Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Sybil and her live snowball
 The bird's nest or, the keeping...
 Back Cover

Group Title: Sybil, and her live snowball. To which is added the story of the bird's nest.
Title: Sybil, and her live snowball
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00079896/00001
 Material Information
Title: Sybil, and her live snowball to which is added the story of, The bird's nest
Alternate Title: Sybil and the bird's nest
Bird's nest
Physical Description: 64 p. : ill. ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Bowen, C. E ( Charlotte Elizabeth ), 1817-1890
Ward & Drummond ( Publisher )
Publisher: Ward & Drummond
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: [ca1885]
Subject: Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Trust in God -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Cats -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Pets -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Human-animal relationships -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children and death -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Birds -- Nests -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Promises -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1885
Genre: novel   ( marcgt )
General Note: Preface signed C.E.B., author of "Dick and his donkey," etc.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00079896
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002218942
notis - ALF9121
oclc - 181170119

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Sybil and her live snowball
        Page 9
        Sybil longs for a live pet - Mrs. Judy's opinion of the matter - the important question of its future name discussed - Sybil and Snow become warm friends
            Page 9
            Page 10
            Page 11
            Page 12
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
        Great trouble for Sybil in the loss of her cat - trampers are suspected - Sybil is inconsolable - Mr. Maude tries to comfort her
            Page 16
            Page 17
            Page 18
            Page 19
            Page 20
            Page 21
            Page 22
            Page 23
            Page 24
        Sybil's walk through the wood with Mr. Maude - Betsy Hensman's trials related - Sybil's tea at the vicarage
            Page 25
            Page 26
            Page 27
            Page 28
            Page 29
            Page 30
            Page 31
            Page 32
        Sybil goes to the church to look for her prayer-book - makes a most wonderful discovery there - Snow is found buried alive - She is disinterred, and gradually recovers - Sybil is quite happy again
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
            Page 37
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
    The bird's nest or, the keeping of a promise rewarded
        Page 45
            Page 45
            Page 46
        Councillor von Truehold's country seat
            Page 47
            Page 48
            Page 49
            Page 50
        What the tutor said
            Page 51
            Page 52
            Page 53
        The threatening huntsman
            Page 54
            Page 55
            Page 56
            Page 57
            Page 58
            Page 59
        The emperor's reward
            Page 60
            Page 61
            Page 62
            Page 63
            Page 64
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text


~t~~-;C'. "$L~-'~JL'~

.. 1.
r' .









S'" '' T may increase the interest of the
.,'' following little story if its young
,1 readers are informed that it is
founded on fact.
During the period that various
alterations were going forward in a
church well known to the Author, a certain pussy,
tempted perhaps by curiosity, or more probably
from the hope of finding mice, strayed into the
sacred edifice.


Unseen by any one, she hid herself in a dark
cavity underneath one of the pews. The uncon-
scious workmen replaced the boards, and it was
not till the evening of the following day that her
faint cries attracted notice, and she was released
from her terrible situation and the fearful prospect
of being buried alive.
But the writer seeks to do something more than
merely amuse her little friends by the recital of
Pussy's adventure; she wishes to teach them the
important truth that they, like Sybil, should turn to
God in trouble, for He who loves little children
sympathises with them even in their smallest joys
and sorrows
C. E. B.

.--.:..'i] 3O:,TBTS. %^ -




HER, 16





viii Contents.









WISH I had a little brother or sister,
Judy; how nice it would be !"
"No use wishing, Miss Sybil; it
hasn't pleased God to give you
either one or the other: such things
are not in our power to manage."
"Well then, Judy, I will only wish
I had a dear little cat or dog of my
own to play with me; that might be managed, you
"There's 'Lion' for you, Miss Sybil, and 'Jet';
why won't they do ?"
0 Judy, they can't play. Why, Lion does
nothing but sleep all day long, he is so fat and lazy;
and as for Jet, she is good for nothing, except to
sit in the chimney-corner, she is so old. I should
like a young, dear little kitten, full of fun and



WISH I had a little brother or sister,
Judy; how nice it would be !"
"No use wishing, Miss Sybil; it
hasn't pleased God to give you
either one or the other: such things
are not in our power to manage."
"Well then, Judy, I will only wish
I had a dear little cat or dog of my
own to play with me; that might be managed, you
"There's 'Lion' for you, Miss Sybil, and 'Jet';
why won't they do ?"
0 Judy, they can't play. Why, Lion does
nothing but sleep all day long, he is so fat and lazy;
and as for Jet, she is good for nothing, except to
sit in the chimney-corner, she is so old. I should
like a young, dear little kitten, full of fun and

10 Sybil, and Her Live Snowball.

"One cat's enough in the house, I'm sure,
Miss Sybil, so don't you fidget till you think you
cannot do without another."
This conversation passed between a little girl of
about seven years old and her maid, Judy, as she
was called, though her real name was Judith.
Before we proceed further, we will tell our
readers something about their history.
Sybil Temple was the only child of a gentleman
who lived in a village about seven miles' distance
from a large town in which he held an appointment
that took him away from home every morning, and
prevented his returning till six o'clock in the
evening. Sybil, therefore, saw very little of him,
which was the more unfortunate because her mother
had died when she was three years old. He some-
times talked of sending her to school, but, hitherto,
little Sybil had coaxed him out of the plan, for he
really dreaded the thought of returning to his
solitary home without her bright sunny face to
welcome him. Moreover, there was a lady living
in the village, who was willing to let the little girl
go to her for an hour or two every day, to learn to
read and write, &c., and Judy taught her to work
with her needle; so Mr. Temple was tempted to
keep her as long as possible at home, for he had
great confidence in Judy's care of her.
Judy had been her nurse from the time she was
born, and though she was now more of a house-
keeper than anything else, she still watched over
Sybil with the tenderest care, and tried, as far as
she could, to supply the place of her mother.

Sybil, and Her Live Snowball. 11

Sybil had another friend also, who was extremely
fond of her, and with whom she spent a great deal
of her time. This was Mr. Maude, the vicar of
Wrenmore, as the village was called. He was
getting quite an old man, and as he had never been
married, and had lived alone all his life, many
wondered at his making such a companion of a
mere child. But so it was. Nothing pleased him
better than to see Sybil come running down the
gravel walk in front of the vicarage. He would
lay aside his book directly, and talk to her; or, it
too busy to be disturbed, Sybil knew well in which
cupboard she might look for some little books he
kept there, on purpose for her amusement, and she
would take one to the window-seat, and sit quietly
till Mr. Maude had time to listen to her chatter
for no one had a busier tongue when once it was
set going.
The old gentleman had known her mother very
well, and, when she was dying, he had promised
her to watch over her child, and instruct her in
such things as had made Mrs. Temple happy, even
in that solemn hour.
It was a pretty and unusual sight to see the great
friendship between the aged clergyman and this
child. He often took her walks with him to see
his poor people, and, young as she was, she learnt
many useful lessons at these times, which were
never afterwards forgotten.
Sybil had no companions of her own age, nor
had she even any live pets, for Judy was not fond
of them, and thought that the dog and black cat,

S2 Sybil, and Her Live Snowball.

which were both very old, were quite sufficient in
the house. Fond as she was of Sybil, and anxious
for her happiness, she was not at all disposed to be
over-indulgent, or to humour her in any whims;
and, unfortunately, she considered her desire to
have some animal to play with in the light of a
But, one evening, when Mr. Temple came home,
he carried a small basket in his hand, the cover of
which was carefully tied down with a string. The
care with which he placed it on the table, aroused
Sybil's curiosity directly, and her fingers trembled
with their eagerness to undo the fastening, when he
told her it contained something alive, which was to
be her own.
What was her delight when, on raising the lid,
she saw a most beautiful white kitten, of a foreign
breed, with long silky hair, fast asleep!
There, Sybil," cried her father, I have brought
you a playfellow at last. I called this morning on
a lady, who had a basket lying on her rug, containing
a cat and four kittens, and when I admired them,
she asked if you would like one, and I said
I thought there was no little girl in the world
would value one more; so then she fetched this
basket, and put some hay in it, and I brought
pussy away, much to her own disgust, for she
scratched and mewed till I was rather ashamed of
my burden as I walked along the streets. When
I got back to my office, I let her run about a little,
and gave her some milk, but she would not be
comforted, and kept on crying till about ten

Sybil, and Her Live Snowball. 13

minutes ago, when she became quiet, being tired
out, I suppose. I am not sorry to give up the
care of her to you."
"0 papa," exclaimed Sybil, "what a beauty it
is I did not know any cats had such soft long
hair as this;" and she lifted out the little, warm,
sleepy animal, and hugged it.
To rush to Judy and show her treasure, was her
first impulse, forgetting that the worthy woman
would not be disposed to give it as cordial a
welcome as herself. But even her admiration was
excited by the unusual beauty of the kitten, which
formed a great contrast to poor rusty-black old Jet,
as the cat was called in consequence of its colour.
It is pretty enough, certainly, Miss Sybil," said
she; but what are we to do with two cats in one
house ? and I'm not going to have old friends sent
away for new ones."
I do not want Jet to be sent away," said Sybil:
"there is plenty of room for both. Jet can go on
lying in the chimney-corner, and my dear little
kitten will always be with me, you know."
Judy gave a sort of half consent, but added
something, that Sybil did not choose to hear, about
the parlour being no place for cats. The fact was,
Judy loved Sybil so much that she was secretly
glad her papa had brought the kitten, but she did
not care to seem as pleased as she really was.
Yet it was Judy who thought of the best name
for her, when the important discussion of what it
should be was going on. Dozens had been
mentioned between Sybil and her papa, as they sat

14 Sybil, and Her Live Snowball.

at tea that evening, but not one that suited exactly,
Sybil thought.
Call her Snow, miss," replied Judy, when Sybil
appealed to her on the subject, as she was carrying
out the urn. "We named the other Jet because
she was black; why not call this one Snow, because
she is white? "
Oh yes, Judy, that will do exactly. I wonder
we did not think of it. She is just like a snow-ball
when she is curled up asleep."
From that day Snow became the constant com-
panion and playfellow of our little heroine. She
was a remarkably intelligent kitten, and more like a
dog than a cat in some of her ways. She followed
her mistress all over the house and garden, and to
the vicarage, where she was always a welcome
Sybil's great and only anxiety about her favourite
was whilst she was at her daily lessons with Miss
Maynard. She was not exactly afraid that Judy
would be cross to her in her absence, but still she
knew that she would give her a little slap if she
teased her by running off with her cotton or
thimble. Nay, one day, when she had caught her
with her spectacles in her mouth, she had not
hesitated to give her a downright beating. All
things considered, Sybil wished she might take her
with her.
At length, she opened her mind to Miss Maynard,
who at once promised that she might accompany
her every day, provided she did not take off her
attention from her lessons.

Sybil, and Her Live Snowball.

So from this time Snow trotted off after her little
mistress to Miss Maynard's house, and it was
amusing to see how daintily she picked her way if
the road happened to be dirty, evidently afraid of
soiling her white feet. Sometimes she would stand
still and mew till she was carried; but it was not
very often that her mistress would indulge her in
this way.
Those children who have brothers and sisters of
their own age to play with, will perhaps scarcely be
able to understand how completely Sybil made a
companion of Snow, or how dearly she loved the
little playful creature, who in her turn, clung to her
mistress, and cared no more for old Jet than if she
were not a cat like herself.

.1. i*i



ND now that our young readers know
so much about Sybil and Snow, we
must tell them of something that
occurred when they had been to-
Sgether about four months.
One day Mr. Maude sat by his
study window, with his Bible in his
hand, waiting for the arrival of his little favourite;
for she was in the habit of going into the vicarage
every morning, on her way to school, to wish him
good morning, and to repeat two texts that she daily
learnt for him. He thought often of his promise
to her dying mother. He taught her that, by
nature, we are all sinful and worthy of death, but
that Jesus Christ died to save us, and that He dearly
loves little children when they try to please Him.
Sybil had a loving heart, and when she listened
to Mr. Maude's stories of our Saviour's gentleness
and goodness, and of the way He was treated on

Sybil, and Her Live Snowball.

earth, she would sometimes say, with tears s hining
in her large blue eyes, "I wish I had lived then,
that I might have known Jesus, and have shown
Him how I loved Him.
"And you may still know Him, and show your
love for Him, my little girl," the old vicar would
say. Try and be an obedient, holy child. Look
up to God as the giver of all your happiness; and if
He sees good to send you sorrow, still believe that
He is your best friend. This is the way to know
and love Jesus.
Little by little, these lessons of the good clergy-
man had got Sybil quite into the habit of feeling
that, although she could not see God, He was
always watching over her, and guarding her with
His love. On this particular morning, Mr. Made
sat at his window, as we have said, watching for
his little friend and her kitten, but he waited and
waited, and she did not come. He remembered
that it was to be a holiday, and that she had been
looking forward to staying longer with him than
usual, so he was the more surprised. But the
morning passed away, and no Sybil and Snow
appeared. Afraid she might be ill, Mr. Maude
turned his steps to her house after dinner, and,
opening the little garden gate, was crossing the
lawn, when he heard loud sobs near him, and
looking about to see from whence they proceeded,
he saw Sybil lying under a drooping ash-tree, with
her face buried in her hands.
He went hastily to her, and inquired into the
cause of her grief, but his questions only brought

18 Sybil, and Her Live Snowball.

fresh tears, and it was several minutes before he
could gather from her that Snow had disappeared
altogether since the previous day, and that her papa
and Judy thought she had been stolen.
Mr. Maude felt very sorry for Sybil, for he knew
that the loss of her cat was equal to a far greater
trouble with an older person.
Judy appearing at this moment, he gained
further particulars from her.
There had been a baptism in the church the day
before, which Sybil had been anxious to witness,
and knowing that Snow must not accompany her,
she left her in Judy's charge till she should be out
of sight.
Judy kept watch over her till there was no longer
any danger of her foil wing Sybil, and then she
suffered her to run away. Not long afterwards, she
saw her sitting on the step of the front door, basking
in the bright beams of an afternoon July sun.
That was the last that was known of her. When
Sybil returned, she was missing. All search was
fruitless, and there was every reason to fear that she
had been stolen, for a party of trampers had passed
through the village the day before, and had been
begging at Mr. Temple's house just about the time
that Snow had disappeared. Her foreign breed
and unusual beauty of appearance might have made
her an object of temptation to those who were
probably not very particular as to their methods of
turning a penny. Inquiries had been made in the
village, but no one had seen her. All were inclined
to suspect the trampers.

, f` l


~Pr~I "I `

20 Sybil, and Her Live Snowball.

Mr. Maude was of the same opinion, for there
had been certain depredations committed on his
own chickens the previous day, which could only
be attributed to strangers. Poor Sybil was the last
who would believe that she was really stolen.
She had clung, as long as possible, to the hope
that she was somewhere about the house or
grounds. She first searched for her in all -likely
places, and then commenced unlikely ones, not
omitting to peep into the pots and pans, as they
stood in a row on the kitchen shelf. Even her
papa's boots did not escape her vigilance, and she
opened and shut small drawers and boxes, in the
vain hope that puss had squeezed herself into half
her usual dimensions.
It was not till night that her hopes utterly failed;
but when bedtime came, and she looked at Snow's
empty basket, and thought of the uncertainty, and
perhaps misery, of her present condition (for her
imagination conjured up all sorts of cruelties she
would undergo from the trampers), she could hold
up no longer, but burst into an agony of grief. In
vain her papa promised to try and procure her
another Snow, as white and silky as the lost one,
should she not return. In vain Judy told her it
was no use "taking on so about a dumb animal
that did not know right from wrong, and therefore
ought not to be mourned after as if she had been a
human being." Sybil only pettishly declared she
cared for her far more than if she had been a
human being; and she begged her papa not to
talk any more about bringing her another cat, for

Sybil, and Her Lzve Snowball.

she should never care about any other as long as
she lived. She cried herself to sleep that night,
and looked so ill the next morning, that Judy was
glad it was a holiday, and she was not obliged to
attend to lessons. Poor Sybil! it was a melancholy
holiday for her. She would rather have done the
hardest sum in long multiplication, with Snow by
her side, than have a week's play without her.
She did not care even to go to Mr. Maude: she
preferred sauntering about the garden all the
morning, thinking of her trouble; and when Judy
called her to dinner, she could scarcely be persuaded
to eat anything.
Judy was really very sorry for her; but she
thought it would only make her worse if she told
her so, and the good woman followed another plan
altogether. She tried the system of gently scolding
her for "making such a fuss," as she said, and
declared it was enough to make God send her
some real sorrow in order to show her what sorrow
really was.
Judy did not mean to be unkind, but she did
not understand children much, or she would have
known that such trials as Sybil's, though small
compared to those which follow in after life, are
very great to a young heart which has had nothing
to bear as yet.
Her words only made Sybil think her cross and
unfeeling, and put her rather out of temper; and
the moment she could get away, she went into the
garden again, and creeping under the long drooping
arms of the ash-tree, where Judy was not likely to

22 Sybil, and Her Live Snowball.

see her, she gave way to a fresh passionate burst of
tears, in the midst of which Mr. Maude found her,
as we have seen.
He was silent for a minute or two. On hearing
all that Judy told him about Sybil's great distress,
some such thoughts as these passed through his
If this little girl cannot bear troubles better
than this when she grows up, she will be a very
unhappy woman, for life is full of sorrow."
He did not think it wise to try and comfort her
with holding out much hope of Snow's return, for
he did not expect it. He was anxious rather to
teach her how to bear her loss more bravely, and
to turn her attention to other things. At length
he said-
"Sybil, do you know that nothing pleasant or
sad can happen to us without God's leave ? When
He sends us joy, we must thank Him for it; and
when He brings us trouble, we should ask Him to
help us to bear it patiently."
"But," said Sybil, "God has not taken away
Snow: it was those wicked beggars."
"We do not know for certain where she is,"
replied Mr. Maude; "but you may be sure that
He knows the smallest thing that happens to us,
and that you can neither lose nor find your cat
without His consent."
"But do you think God cares about such little
things as happen to me ?" asked Sybil.
"I am quite sure He does, my child. He has
told us in His Bible that even the sparrows are

Sybil, and Her Live Snowball. 23

cared for by Him. He loves you dearly, yet He
suffers this trial to come to you; therefore you
may know that in some way He intends it for your
Sybil looked up at Mr. Maude in surprise, and
as if she could not understand his meaning.
"I will try and explain myself to you," he said.
"You know that your papa talks of sending you to
school to be educated, and the reason is, that it is
necessary you should learn all such things as will
be useful to you when you grow up. Childhood
and youth are the seasons for what is called educa-
tion. Now, in just the same way, our heavenly
Father teaches His little ones such lessons whilst
they are young as shall fit them for others much
harder when they are men and women. I have
often told you that sin has brought sorrow into the
world, and that it must be the lot of all more or
less. Your father had it fall on him in a very
severe manner when he lost your sweet mother,
who was dearer to him than all the world besides;
and you, Sybil, must not hope to escape what is
the general lot of all It may seem hard to you
to believe it now, but it is by such smaller misfor-
tunes as this you are now grieving over that God
intends to prepare you gradually for others here-
after; and just as you learn to bear them meekly
or impatiently, you will be happy or miserable
through life."
Sybil perfectly understood Mr. Maude now,
and, after a moment's pause, she said-
"I will try and bear my trouble better: I did

24 Sybil, and Her Live Snowball.

not think about God sending it. Will you ask Him
to make me try and do without Snow, if He wishes
me not to have her ? "
"We will both ask Him, dear child: He will
hear your prayer as readily as mine. Nothing
pleases Him more than when His little children
tell Him everything."
Then may I ask Him to bring me back Snow ?"
asked Sybil timidly, her heart still clinging to the
lost pet.
"You may do so if you first try and resolve to
be patient and submissive should He not see good
to answer your prayer," replied Mr. Maude; "but
for this, too, you must ask His help, for we can do
nothing of ourselves."
"And now," said Mr. Maude, "shall we take a
walk together through Friar's Wood ? I shall be
glad to go and see Betsy Hensman, who lives at
the other end of it, and I should like you to know
her, for she is a great favourite of mine."
This was a delightful proposal to Sybil, who ran
in to ask Judy's leave, and was ready in three



HERE was nothing in the world she
'' I enjoyed like one of these walks, for
f.i .I' Mr. Maude had a delightful way of
i'c'' his own in amusing children. He
was one of those people who, with much
*, learning and fondness for deep reading,
contrive to keep quite fresh and simple
in character even into old age; and this was doubt-
less the reason why he and Sybil Temple under-
stood each other so well. It was a lovely afternoon.
The heat of the day was still great, but the road to
Friar's Wood lay through shade nearly the whole
way. First they had to walk through a lane whose
tall hedges were filled with wild roses and eglantine,
and on either side of the road there was a wide
slip of green grass which was soft and pleasant to
the feet. After walking along this for some time,
they came to a gate in the hedge with a stile by
the side of it, and over this lay their way. It took

26 Sybil, and Her Live Snowball

them into a beautiful wood, through which a path
had been cleared amongst the low brushwood, so
that they could walk with ease, though they had to
go one behind the other. There were many large
trees in which the wood-pigeons had built their
nests, and their soft gentle cooing delighted Sybil
and her friend, and they sometimes stood still to
listen to them.
There was another sound, too, which was very
delicious on a hot summer day. This was the
murmuring of the river Ouse, running just below
this wood, and which, in fact, might be called one
of its banks. For some time it was not visible
because of the brushwood, but at length they came
suddenly on an open spot where it was all cleared
away, and there was a large space covered with
soft mossy grass and blue-bells. Mr. Maude pro-
posed that they should sit down and rest on a
fallen tree, and as Sybil untied her hat and laid it
beside her, she thought there could be no spot
in all the world so beautiful. The green space they
had chosen for their seat sloped down to the edge
of the noble river below, and the branches of the
forest trees which grew on the slope intertwined
their branches, forming a natural canopy over their
heads. They remained till Mr. Maude remem-
bered that they had yet some distance to go; so
they pursued their walk till they again crossed
a stile leading back into the lane, and close by was
a cluster of cottages, the smallest and humblest of
which was Betsy Hensman's, whom they were
going to see.

Sybil, and Her Live Snowball. 27

As they had walked along, Mr. Maude had told
Sybil her history.
She was the wife of a labouring man employed
by the Squire, whose house was not far distant on
the opposite side of the river; and as it was wide
here, and the bridge a good way off, a boat was
kept close by, in a boat-house, for the use of the
Hall people, and of the labouring men who lived
in these cottages.
"Three years ago," said Mr. Maude, Betsy
Hensman and her husband had two of the finest
little boys that parents could boast of. But a sad
accident happened.
They were high-spirited children, of about nine
and ten years of age, and, young as they were,
they were quite accustomed to cross backwards and
forwards on the river in the boat by themselves,
often taking their father's dinner to him when he
was very busy.
One day their mother had gone into the village
to make some purchases. Her boys were playing
in the wood near the cottage when she left, as was
their habit for hours together, and she went without
anxiety, saying she would be at home by tea-time.
As she was returning, she heard loud cries as from
children in distress, and the sound seemed to
proceed from the river. The next moment she
came in sight of a boat with one boy in it, trying
to pull up another who was struggling in the water.
They were her own children; and, at the very
instant she recognized them, the one in the boat
lost his balance and fell over. It was a dreadful

28 Sybil, and Her Live Snowball.

moment for the poor mother, who could render no
assistance. Her screams brought a woodman to
her side, who instantly sprang down the bank, and
plunged into the river. He was a capital swimmer,
fortunately, and strong enough to force his way
against the stream, which is very strong in that
place. He managed to save the elder lad, but the
other was dead before he could get him on shore."
"How dreadful! exclaimed Sybil, shuddering :
"then poor Betsy has but one boy now? "
Yes," replied Mr. Maude; "and he is likely to
be a cripple; for somehow his spine got a twist
either as he fell out of the boat, or as he was got
out of the water. It was not noticed much at
first, though he complained of pain; but, little
by little, it grew worse, till at last they took him to
an infirmary, and it was found that the injury was
very serious, and he has to lie constantly on his
back, and will probably have to do so for years.
Poor fellows! they paid dearly for their impru-
dence in getting out the boat, and rowing it down
the river to gather water-lilies, for it was thus that
the accident happened.
"We were talking this morning, Sybil," continued
Mr. Maude, of childhood's sorrows being a
preparation for greater ones. This sad affliction
of the Hensmans is one of life's large troubles, by
the side of which such a one as the loss of Snow
becomes small, does it not?"
At this moment they reached the cottage door.
Mr. Maude's story had given a great interest to
this family in Sybil's eyes. A tidy, clean-looking

Sybil, and Her Live Snowball.

woman received them in a humbly but neatly-
arranged room.
On a rudely-contrived couch lay a delicate-
looking lad about twelve years old, reading.
It seemed dreadful to Sybil to have to lie there
perhaps for years, as she had been told .he must
do; yet the boy appeared contented and cheerful,
and his mother spoke gratefully of their many
"I have been telling this little girl," said the
clergyman, after a time, "of the sad trial that
befell you three years ago. I have brought her
with me to-day because I want her to see how
happy they can be under affliction who have
learnt that God sends it in love to teach us lessons
that must be learnt. My little friend here is in
some trouble at present, and I think it will help
her to bear her smaller sorrow to see that others
have much more serious ones to endure."
Betsy Hensman looked kindly at Sybil. She
was a good woman, one of whom Mr. Maude
thought almost more highly than of anybody else
in his parish. He had known her from a child,
and she had lived for some years in his house as
a servant. He had purposely brought Sybil to see
her to-day, because he knew that her cheerful
temper and meek resignation to God's will would
be a better lesson than any words could impart.
"Little miss does not look as if she knew much
about trouble," said she, and she inwardly compared
her rosy cheeks and plump, thriving appearance
with that of her own pale, slender lad, whose want

30 Sybil, and Her Live Snowball.
of exercise had greatly affected his health and
"And yet," she added, "little things try young
folks who haven't got enough sense, as it were to
bear them; but my boy there knows that the best
way is to be patient, and believe, as you have
often told him, sir, that everything, small and
great, is in the hands of God, and that nothing
can happen without His leave. That thought has
done more for us than anything else since our
great misfortune."
During their walk home, Mr. Maude and Sybil
talked a good deal about the Hensmans, and Sybil
said she should like to go back again, and take
the poor boy some books. She was almost as
cheerful as ever when she entered the vicarage
garden; for, as her papa was not coming home
till late this evening, she was to have tea with
Mr. Maude, whose housekeeper, knowing she was
coming, took care to make some of the cakes
Sybil liked best.
Being Saturday evening, Mr. Maude had to
look over his sermons for the next day, and she
left directly after tea, for she, too, had some
preparations to make. She always read her
Gospel and Collect on Saturday night, as she had
to repeat them before breakfast to her papa.
She had enjoyed her walk so much, that her
mind had been quite diverted from her loss; but
when she entered the garden-gate the thought of it
rushed on her more sadly than ever. The garden
looked lonely without either her papa or Snow,

7T \V r

I /
It Il(i I I ~I ii
ls~lll~Ll~'~f~Y~ri '~rii~-.lllirr TI~:l U~rr ~.'ln-I. .~II.* ;I; T- .~- ~r.-.ru;m ~-r*- a~r;u~r;~~-rr6~II~--

32 Sybil, and Her Live Snowball.

and she felt inclined to give way to her tears and
lamentations afresh.
But then she remembered all that Mr. Maude
had said to her, and she thought now would be
the time to pray to God to help her to be sub-
missive. So she went to her favourite place under
the drooping ash, and concealed by its long
branches, she knelt down, and asked to be made
patient and contented without her little favourite;
but she also begged God to send it back again,
if He were willing she should have it once more.
Then she came out from under the ash-tree,
looking quite calm; and she spoke so cheerfully to
Judy a few minutes afterwards, that when she left
her, she exclaimed to one of the other maids,
"Well, to be sure! what a way Mr. Maude has
with that child. Her heart was just breaking over
the loss of her cat when he came and fetched her
away, and now he has sent her back looking and
speaking quite like herself again."

i-r itj-1,



Ni- HEN Sybil went to fetch her Prayer-
book to look out the Collect and
Gospel, she could not find it, and
after a few minutes' hunt, she
-... remembered she had left it in the
S'.' church on the previous Sunday; so
;, rhe ran back to Judy, to ask if she might
run and fetch it, for the door was sure to
be open, as James Harley, the old sexton, always
dusted and prepared the church for the next day
on Saturday evening. It was not above five
minutes' walk. She found the sexton there, as she
expected, and he looked rather surprised at seeing
Sybil; but he was very deaf, so she merely nodded
to him, and passed on to her pew, to fetch the

34 Sybil, and Her Live Snowball.
But what was the old man's amazement when, a
moment after, she flew up to him, as he was shaking
a cushion, and seizing him by the arm, shouted
something in his ear in such an excited manner
that he thought she must be gone mad. James,
James," she exclaimed, "come quick to the Squire's
pew, and pull up the boards. My cat is under-
What does missy say ? said he, putting up his
hand to his ear as he let the cushion fall from it,
but not stirring one inch.
"Oh, come, please come," she repeated. "Snow
is under the ground there. I hear her crying quite
Snow on the ground at Midsummer, do you
say ? replied old James, catching only one or two
of her words. "Why, little miss, you must think
I am growing foolish in my old age, to come to me
with such a pack of nonsense as that;" and he
took up his cushion again, and began to beat and
shake it in a manner that showed he was rather
offended. Sybil left him as an arrow flies from a
bow. Two minutes later she rushed into the room
where Judy was busy putting away linen.
Judy, Judy, I have found Snow. She is in the
church, under the Squire's pew, quite in the ground,
and she must be dying. Oh, how can we get her
Sybil's first words had made Judy drop a sheet
from her hand as suddenly as the sexton had
dropped the cushion, and her face had lighted up
with pleasure; but when she heard where Sybil

Sybil, and Her Live Snowball. 35

supposed she was, she quietly took up the sheet,
and turned to her linen cupboard again, saying,
"Now, Miss Sybil, don't you come here talking
such nonsense as that. Just as if a cat would go
off and bury itself in a church."
Poor Sybil saw she could get no more help from
Judy than the sexton. Off she darted again, out
of the house, through the garden, down the road,
till she reached the vicarage. Mr. Maude was in
his study, bending over his sermon, when Sybil
rushed through the glass door, and stood by his
side, too breathless to articulate a syllable.
The old gentleman took off his spectacles and
looked at her with astonishment.
At last she found breath to make the same
announcement that she had previously done, though
in vain, to the sexton and Judy.
Indeed Snow is there, Mr. Maude," she said,
"yet nobody will believe me. I knew her voice
directly, although it was so faint and weak. She
will die, because no one will help me to pull up the
But tell me what took you to the church, and
more about it?" said Mr. Maude, who was inclined
to be somewhat incredulous also, and to think that
his little friend's anxiety about her pet had caused
her imagination to mislead her in the matter.
I was going to look out the Collect and Gospel
for to-morrow, when I left you," replied Sybil,
"and I could not find my Prayer-book. Then
I recollected I had left it in the pew last Sunday,
so Judy told me I might go and fetch it. James

36 Sybil, and Her Live Snowball.

Harley was there dusting the pews. I went, and
found my Prayer-book, and was just coming away
when I heard a little noise, which seemed to come
from the Squire's pew, next to ours. I listened,
and in a minute it came again, and I was sure it
was the mew of a cat. I flew into the pew, and
hunted all about, underneath the seats, and behind
the hassocks, but there was nothing. The cry came
again and again, though, and it seemed to be from
under the floor. I pulled up the carpet and laid
my ear down to the ground, just on the place where
the sound was, and then I knew Snow's voice
directly. I called to her, and I think she heard
me, for the mews came quicker; but they were so
weak that I know she must be nearly dead;" and,
so saying the excited child burst into tears. Mr.
Maude rose hastily, looking round for his hat, which
Sybil placed in his hand in an instant. He began to
give credit to her tale, for he remembered that the
Squire's pew had been undergoing alterations during
the past week. Being found damp the flags had
been removed, a space hollowed out underneath,
and boards placed instead of the flags. The work-
men had been engaged thus for several days, and it
seemed to be by no means impossible that Snow
might have followed Sybil to the church when she
went to the christening, and had somehow got
enclosed in the space under the new boards.
It was the more likely, because the workmen had
left their work during the short time that the
christening had occupied, and he remembered that
that there were then but two or three boards left to

Sybil, and Her Live Snowball. 37

be laid down, which were fitted in immediately after
their return. A cat might easily have escaped
their notice if she were in a corner underneath part
of the flooring. They had finished their work that
evening, and left the pew ready for the sexton to
clean. This he had done, but his deafness had
doubtless prevented his hearing the cries which had
so quickly attracted Sybil's ears. All this passed
through Mr. Maude's mind in a shorter time than
it took him to step from his study window into the
garden, and it made him anxious not to lose an
instant in fetching Tom Morris, the village carpen-
ter, to take up the boards.
Quickly as he walked, his steps seemed sadly
slow to Sybil, who flew on in front, and kept
running back again, as if, by so doing, she could
hurry his movements.
When they got to Morris's cottage, poor Sybil's
patience had again to be tried. His wife was there,
preparing his supper; but he himself had not yet
come in from his work at the Hall, which was half
a mile distant, and his son, who worked under him,
was there also.
"They are sure to be here directly, miss," said
Mrs. Morris, feeling for Sybil when she heard why
they were wanted. "My good man is as punctual
as the church clock, unless he be kept for some-
thing particular by the Squire himself."
"But if he should be kept my cat will die,"
exclaimed Sybil, in a voice of almost agony.
"Cats live longer than you would think," replied
Mrs. Morris, "and this one hasn't been buried

38 Sybil, and Her Live Snowball.

long enough to be starved yet; so don't fret your-
self in that way, little miss: you'll make yourself
quite ill."
Mrs. Morris stepped to the gate to look up the
road in the direction of the Hall, and Mr. Maude
took the opportunity of saying to Sybil-
"God's little children must learn to be patient,
you know, my child. Try and believe that He is
caring for you, even now."
His words had an immediate effect in calming
the little girl, who had not forgotten their former
conversation; but it was a relief to both her and
Mr. Maude when Mrs. Morris came running in to
say her husband and son were in sight.
They were quite willing to postpone their supper,
although they were very tired, and hasten to the
church with the necessary tools. Mrs. Morris's
little boy, Charlie, had been in the cottage when
Mr. Maude and Sybil entered, and had listened
with boyish eagerness to what they had said, and,
in consequence, the story had spread to a number
of other children, who were all interested in the
affair, for Snow was an object of universal admira-
tion amongst them. A little crowd of village
urchins were collected round the gate, and ran
after them to the church, hoping to get a peep of
what was going on, either through doors or windows.
But on reaching the churchyard, Mr. Maude shut
the gate too decidedly for them to dare to follow
farther, knowing how particular he was about all
sacred places.
Old Harley was still busy in the church and

Sybil, and Her Live Snowball.

stared in amazement at the entrance of the party.
But when he saw the Squire's pew again dismantled
of the carpet and hassocks he had somewhat angrily
replaced after Sybil's disarrangement, he was
thoroughly offended, and would have marched out
of the church in dudgeon if Mr. Maude had not
taken the trouble to shout the reason of what they
were doing into his ear. Even then he was
disposed to look upon them all as fairly gone out
of their senses to think a cat should be found
in such an outlandish place as that." "He saw
now," he said, "what Miss Sybil meant when she
told him that Snow was lying there; but for his part
he should as soon expect to find real winter's snow
under the Squire's pew as a living cat; but if they
would pull the place to pieces, why it was no
concern of his, so long as they did it up again, and
put the carpet and hassocks right, for he wasn't
a-going to do it a third time." Old Harley was a
noted grumbler, and an irritable old man, though a
worthy one in many respects, so nobody thought
much of his, words. Indeed, every one was too
intent on the result of the carpenter's exertions.
At first all was quiet under the pew, and, to Sybil's
dismay, Morris remarked to Mr. Maude that
perhaps little miss was mistaken after all, and, if so,
it would be a pity to disturb the boards just as they
were finished.
In an agony of terror lest Mr. Maude should be
of the same mind, Sybil threw herself on the ground
before he could answer, and called "Snow, Snow,"
in the same silvery child-like tones to which the

40 Sybil, and Her Live Snowball.

little animal had so often replied by bounding on
her lap or shoulder.
What was her joy when a gentle mew came from
the old comer, faint indeed, but loud enough to be
heard by the carpenter, who instantly seized his
tool, and began vigorously to commence operations
on the board immediately above the spot whence
the sound proceeded. A few minutes sufficed to
raise it and the adjoining one, and with a scream of
joy Sybil's keen eye detected a little white bundle
of fur lying beneath, which moved and uncurled
itself as the light and fresh air came on it. It
was indeed poor Snow, in a state of half starvation,
too weak to stand on her legs, but still able to
recognize her young mistress as she received her
tenderly into her arms. All sympathised with
Sybil's happiness. Even old James Harley, who
had kept aloof, with an air of slight contempt,
exclaimed, "Well, to be sure! if missy hasn't been
right after all, and found her Snowball in a queer
place enough!"
Sybil was eager to run home to give poor puss
some milk, but she could not help stopping a
moment at the churchyard gate, to show her to the
children, who pressed forward to peep, and then
set up a loud hurrah, at a hint given by a merry
little fellow, who dearly loved the sound of-his own
lungs. In fact, Snow had become a heroine.
Judy held up her hands with amazement when
Sybil rushed into the kitchen with her white bundle
in her arms to ask the cook for some milk.
"She was there, Judy," said Sybil, "just as


-t 'I


.. ~


42 Sybil, and Her Live Snowball.

I said. You wouldn't believe me, but I was
"What do you mean by there, Miss Sybil?"
asked Judy. "You don't mean that Snow had got
so tired of being alive, that she went and dug a
hole, and buried herself under the Squire's pew ? "
"No," said Sybil, laughing; "but she got into a
hole there by mistake, and the men covered her
over, and she is nearly starved."
Some milk, judiciously administered in small
quantities, soon had the effect of reviving Snow,
who after a time began to try and use her legs a
little, purr, wash her face, and finally, curling her-
self into a ball in her basket, went into a sound
sleep, and did not wake up even when Sybil
joyfully exhibited her to her papa on his return.
The next evening, after tea, she went to the
vicarage with a message from her papa to Mr.
Maude. Snow was able to follow her as usual,
though with somewhat slower and more sedate
steps, for she was still feeling weak from the effects
of her recent imprisonment. The clergyman was
resting in his easy chair after the day's labour, but
he was pleased to see his visitors enter, and told
Sybil to sit down by him on her accustomed low
"I was just thinking of you, my child," said he.
"I am glad your trial about Snow has ended so
happily. Yesterday we talked about trying to be
patient and submissive when in sorrow; to-day we
have to speak of gratitude and thankfulness
because of its removal."

Sybil, and Her Live Snowball.

Then Sybil told Mr. Maude how she had felt
comforted by praying under the ash-tree, and she
said she had not forgotten to thank Him for
making her so happy again.
Try and look upon Him as your friend more
and more," replied Mr. Maude; "go to Him in
all your griefs, whatever they may be; and though
they may not always end so happily as this has
done, you may feel sure that His love for you will
always order everything for the best."
Three years passed away after this incident had
happened to Sybil Temple, and then she was called
on to experience a far heavier trial, whilst yet still
in her childhood, in the loss of her revered and
much-loved friend, Mr. Maude.
His health failed gradually for a year, and he
had to give the charge of his flock chiefly into
other hands. But, during this time, Sybil was his
constant companion, and the lessons she learnt
from his conversation and dying instructions were
such as she never forgot.
He was buried not far from the spot where
Snow had been covered over by the boards, and
Sybil wept bitterly as she remembered that this
sorrow could not pass away as that had done.
But her papa reminded her that her beloved
Mr. Maude was not laid there for ever-that the
day would come when he would rise again to be
re-united with those he had loved on earth; and
that, instead of sorrowing over her loss, she must
try and cling yet closer to that Heavenly Father
who could never die, and who, Mr. Maude had so

44 Sybil, and Her Live Snowball.
early taught her, would sympathise with all her
joys and sorrows as none other could do.
Good old Mr. Maude, and the white cat and its
curious adventure, are now but the reminiscences
of a distant childhood, yet the lesson learnt on
that occasion has often helped Sybil in after years;
and she has written this story in the hope that it
may persuade any little ones who read it to begin
early and take all their troubles to God, for there
is not one too trifling for His notice and sympathy.



A. '.',", HE habit of keeping one's promise,
-*,'! o like all godliness, is profitable for
,. L the life that now is. This truth is
,''f. impressively illustrated by the follow-
., ing beautiful story, translated from the
S German.
S Too little instruction is given to the
young in respect to the sacred nature of a
promise. Too few grown people are as sensitive
as they should be to the meanness and guilt of
treachery, especially in little things; or believe as
they ought in the profitableness, in business and
social life, of strict truthfulness. Many a young



A. '.',", HE habit of keeping one's promise,
-*,'! o like all godliness, is profitable for
,. L the life that now is. This truth is
,''f. impressively illustrated by the follow-
., ing beautiful story, translated from the
S German.
S Too little instruction is given to the
young in respect to the sacred nature of a
promise. Too few grown people are as sensitive
as they should be to the meanness and guilt of
treachery, especially in little things; or believe as
they ought in the profitableness, in business and
social life, of strict truthfulness. Many a young


man is dismissed from his place as a clerk or
apprentice simply because he does not always
keep his word with his employers. Many a man
starts in business life with every prospect of success,
and yet fails only because he has the habit of
making more promises than he keeps. No person
can have any reputation for solidity and strength
.of character, or wield much influence, who is care-
less in giving his word and then not careful to
keep it. Many a life has been blasted, many a
fortune lost, many a soul ruined by the breaking
of a promise.
This touching story of "The Bird's Nest," it is
hoped, will serve to impress the minds of its youth-
ful readers with the sacredness of the obligation
they are under to keep their word when once given,
at whatever cost to themselves. And if any of
them, after reading this story of a little boy's
faithfulness to his word, shall resolve to go and do
likewise, let them be cheered in their purpose with
the certainty of a great reward. Lord, who shall
abide in Thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in Thy
holy hill ? e that sweareth to his own hurt,
and changeth not."



Pleasant country seat was situated
in a beautiful neighbourhood; and
'- when he could retire for a few days
from the more active pursuits of life,
he greatly enjoyed the fresh breezes and
pleasant prospect he found there. Those
occasional visits were a still greater delight
to him when he had the company of his two little
sons-fine, blooming boys, who were well pleased
to accompany their father at such times. It was
a new life to them to roam about the gardens,
cornfields, and flowery meadows; but their chief
delight was a ramble in a little neighboring wood,
full of trees and shrubs, through which pleasant
walks led in all directions.
One day the Councillor took the children to
this wood, and showed them a bird's nest, in which
were five tender nestlings, and to which the old

The Bird's Nest.

birds were constantly bringing food. This sight
pleased the children greatly.
Their good father sat down with his sons on a
bank under an old oak tree, at the end of the wood,
where they had a fine view of the pretty valley that
lay beyond them.
While they sat together, he said, Now I will
tell you a remarkable story about a bird's nest,
which there was in that place several years ago."
The children thanked him, and listened with
much interest while he told the following tale:-
On a fine spring morning, about forty years ago,
a poor boy sat under this very tree watching his
sheep. As he sat on the bank he read a little book,
which so much engaged his attention, that he
seldom raised his eyes from the page, except to
take a hasty glance at his sheep that grazed on the
turf between this wood and the little brook yonder.
Looking up, on one occasion, he was surprised to
see a fine young gentleman beside him, with a
bright countenance, and dress embroidered with
gold. It was the Crown-Prince, who, at the time,
was not quite ten years old. The shepherd-boy
was not aware of his rank, but thought this friendly-
looking boy was one of the upper-forester's family,
who often came on business to the Prince's hunting-
lodge in the neighbourhood.
"Young Mr. Forester," said the shepherd-boy,
taking off his hat, can I do anything for you ? "
Only tell me," replied the Prince, are there
any birds' nests in this wood ? I very much wish
to see one."

Pa-e 48. D

The Bird's Nest.

"That is a strange question for a young forester
to ask," said the boy. "Do you not hear the
birds singing so joyously, as if their very throats
would burst ? To be sure there are plenty of nests
here: each little bird has its own nest."
Then I dare say you know of a nest," rejoined
the Prince, in a very friendly voice.
Oh, yes," said the shepherd-boy, "that I do;
and a wonderful nest it is. I never saw such a
one in my life, and I have seen a great number
the few years I have been herding sheep. It is
woven of yellow straws, and prettily lined with
soft moss. There are five eggs in it, too, nearly as
blue as the sky that looks down on us through the
oak leaves."
How beautiful said the Prince; "do come
and show it to me-I want very much to see it."
I dare say," said the boy; but I cannot show
it to you."
I do not want you to do it for nothing," replied
the Prince; "I will reward you."
"I suppose you could," said the boy; "but still
I cannot show it to you."
Oh! you had better not say so," continued
the Prince; see what a lot of silver pieces I have,
and all shall be yours if you will point the nest out
to me."
The shepherd-lad, however, persisted in his



T this moment the young Prince's
tutor stepped forward-a worthy
clergyman in a dark dress, whom
the shepherd-boy had not noticed
"Do not be unkind, my little
friend," he said; "this young gentle-
man has often heard of birds' nests,
and yet has never seen one. He is very anxious
to have that pleasure--pray do him this favour.
He will not take it away from you, or even touch
it: he only wants to look at it."
The shepherd-boy shook his head, replying as
before, that he could not show the nest.
The tutor was displeased. "Little boy," he
said, "you should be glad to have an opportunity
of obliging our beloved Crown-Prince."
"And is this gentleman the Crown-Prince?"
replied the boy, greatly surprised, and taking off
his hat. "I am very glad to know your Highness;

The Bird's Nest or,

but still, if it were the Prince himself, I cannot
show the nest."
"I never saw such an obstinate boy," said the
Crown-Prince, angrily; "but we shall find means
to oblige him to show it."
"Do not speak in that manner, your Highness,"
said the tutor, though he himself was surprised at
the boy's firm refusal So he said quietly, Now
tell us, little boy, what is the reason you refuse to
show us the nest, and then we will go away and
leave you alone. I can hardly imagine you can
have a good reason; but if you have, pray tell us
what it is."
"Oh! I can do that readily," said the boy.
"Little Michael, who is herding goats on the
mountain yonder, showed me the nest; and he
made me promise him not to show it to any one."
That alters the case," said the tutor, who wa-
pleased to hear this honourable motive for the
boy's apparent obstinacy; but anxious to try the
strength of his principle further, he showed him a
purse with gold pieces in it. "Here is a gold
piece," said he, taking one out of the purse and
holding it up to view. I will give you this if you
show me the nest; and if you do not tell Michael,
he will never know of it."
"I am much obliged to you," said the shepherd-
boy; but if Michael should never know it-if no
one in the world knew it-I should know it myself.
And God would know it too; for though He is in
heaven, He would know if I were so naughty a
boy. I cannot do it."

The Keeping of a Promise Rewarded. 53

"Perhaps you do not know how much this gold
is worth," replied the tutor; "if you were to
change it for copper money, your hat would not
hold it all."
"Indeed !" cried the boy, looking hard at the
gold piece. "My poor father would be very glad
to have so much money." He paused a moment,
and then cried out with firmness, "No, no; go
away from me," and then he said in a more
subdued tone, "The Lord pardon me. It was like
that wicked one said in the wilderness, 'All these
things will I give thee.' Once for all, I promised
Michael that I would not show the nest; so



SE was turning away; but just then the
Prince's huntsman, who had been
!* F listening to the conversation at a
little distance, came forward, and
Putting on an angry face, and taking
f the boy roughly by the arm, he said
V "Is that the way, then, you treat
your Prince, rude boy ? Do you not know that he
will. one day rule over you? and you prefer a
ragged goatherd on the mountains! Show the
nest immediately, or I'11 give you a good flogging."
The boy grew pale, and cried trembling,
"Pardon! Pardon!"
"Then show the nest," cried the huntsman, "or
I'11 strike."
The poor boy held both his hands before his
face, looked through his tears at the upraised arm,
but still cried, "Oh! I cannot! I dare not!-
I will not!"

The Keeping of a Promise Rewarded. 55

"That will do," said the tutor, desiring the
huntsman to put the stick down. "Be quiet, my
boy," he said to the child; "you shall not be hurt.
You have acted well-you have a noble mind.
Now go and ask your little friend Michael's leave
to show us the nest; and you can share the gold
piece with him afterwards."
"Very well," said the boy. "I will bring you
word this evening."
The tutor returned with the young Prince to the
castle, where they had come to spend the spring.
On the way he said to his royal pupil, "The
honour of that boy is a precious jewel that cannot
be too highly prized. The groundwork of a great
man is in that lad. He has a firm, determined
character; and virtue like his is often to be found
beneath the thatched roof of the cottage, though
sometimes we may seek it in vain in the
When the tutor returned to the castle, he made
particular inquiries about the boy from the steward.
"The lad," said the steward, "is very brave:
his name is George. His father is only a poor
rake-maker, but he is one of the most upright men
I know."
As soon as the Prince had finished his lessons
in the evening, he went to the window. "Ha!"
he said, "little George is waiting already. He
is minding his sheep close by the wood, and looks
up at the castle frequently."
"Then let us see what reply he brings us," said
the tutor; and they went to the place.

The Bird's Nest

The herd-boy sprang joyfully towards them.
" Michael is quite satisfied," he said eagerly. He
called me a stupid boy for not agreeing to the
proposal at once and sharing the money with him.
But it was better to ask him first. So now, my
Prince, come along. I can show you the nest
with pleasure."
George ran gaily on before, and the Prince and
his tutor followed him.
"Do you see that little yellow bird on the alder
twig, that is singing so sweetly ? The nest belongs
to it. Now let us go very gently."
In an opening in the wood, between the dark
coverts, stood a hawthorn bush, covered with fresh
green leaves and rich clusters of sweet, white
blossoms, on which the full beams of the setting
sun fell with mellow softness. The little guide
pointed with his finger to the middle of the bush,
and said in a whisper to the Prince, "Now peep
in there, your Highness."
The Prince was greatly delighted with the nest
and the five blue eggs; and his wise tutor made
many instructive remarks upon it. He then said
to George, "Now, my boy, come with us, and we
will give you the promised reward. But gold would
be of no use to you. I will pay you in silver."
He took a roll of money out of his pocket, and
here, on this very bank, under this oak-tree, he
gave the astonished boy the amount of the gold in
bright new silver pieces.
"Be sure to share with Michael," said the

: -, '--- -

Page 56.

58 The Bird's Nest; or,

"Never fear, your Highness," said George, as
he bounded away, delighted with his treasure.
The tutor inquired afterwards if George had
divided his reward with Michael, and found that
he had done so exactly, and then brought his own
share to his father, without reserving one piece for
The young Prince now walked into the wood
almost every day to see the pretty little nest.
The two old birds soon ceased to be at all shy
of him when they found he did them no harm;
and each day he felt new pleasure in watching
them. Soon all the little yellow bills were open,
and chirped together for the food which the old
birds constantly brought. The young ones quickly
grew bigger,"and got soft feathers; and at last, one
bright morning, to the young Prince's great delight,
he saw them take their first flight, and alight on
the twigs of the nearest tree, where their parents
still brought them food.
The Crown-Prince and his tutor now met
George frequently, as he led his sheep from place
to place, and they were pleased to see that he
always had his book with him, and read it
One day the tutor said to him, "How pleasant
it is for you to be able to amuse yourself with
your book in this way, while you take care of your
sheep! Will you read me a page, if you
please ? "
George read a few sentences, but was obliged to
spell a word now and then.

The Keeping of a Promise Rewarded. 59

"That is pretty well," said the tutor. "In
what school did you learn to read so fairly ?"
"Ah! said George, "I have never been at
school; it is too far off, and my father is too poor
to let me go there. All winter I have to spin at
home; but if I had time, even then my father
could not afford to pay for me; but I have begged
Michael, who can read well, to teach me too;
He taught me to spell, and I have read over this
little book, in which Michael learned to read, four
times already. But it is so worn out it is hard to
see the letters."
The next time the young Prince met George
he showed him a beautiful little book, gilt, and
handsomely bound. "I will lend you this book,
George," said he, and as soon as you can read a
page of it without any mistake, I will give it to you
for yourself."
The poor boy was greatly delighted, and touched
it as tenderly with the tips of his fingers as if it
were made of spider's web.
After a few days he came and said, "Now,
your Highness, I can read you a page from the
first six leaves, wherever you please, without any
The young Prince pointed out a passage, and
George read it without stumbling. So the Prince
gave him the book for his own, and George
jumped for joy.




S, NE fine morning, soon after this, the
i, young Prince's father arrived very
unexpectedly at the ancient castle.
S He.was on horseback, and attended
S only by his groom. He had come to
see his little son, and to learn what
progress he was making in his various
At table that day the Crown-Prince told his
father of the pretty nest in the wood, and the
honest shepherd-boy who had shown it to him.
The father listened to his son with much interest,
and was surprised to hear of the honour and
uprightness of this simple country boy.
"Indeed, your Highness," said the tutor, "this
boy's honesty is like tried gold. He would make
a faithful servant for our beloved Crown-Prince,
one on whom we could rely most fully. And since
God has blessed him with excellent talents, it is
much to be wished that he should have a good


The Bird's Nest; or,

education. His father is a poor man, and cannot
advance him; yet it seems a pity that a boy of such
principles and talents should only be a rake-maker
like his father."
After dinner the Prince retired to the window
with the tutor, and talked to him for some time.
He then ordered George to be sent for. The poor
boy was greatly astonished when he entered a
splendid hall, and was brought to a noble-looking
man with a star on his breast; and when the tutor
told him that he stood before his Prince, George
made a respectful bow.
"Well, my boy," said the Prince, in a friendly
tone, "I hear you are very fond of reading books;
would you not like a college education?"
"Ah! your Highness," said poor George, "if
wishing would make me a student, I should be one
to-morrow. But my father is poor; that is the
"Well," said the Prince, "listen to me. I will
see if I cannot make a student of you. My
son's tutor knows a worthy clergyman, a friend of
his, who takes diligent boys into his house to
instruct them in the learned languages, and prepare
them for college. I will send you to him and pay
him for your education. Does that please you ?"
The Prince expected that George would be very
glad, and embrace the offer most eagerly. But,
though he smiled at first, his countenance quickly
changed, and he was silent.
"What is the matter? said the Prince. "You
seem inclined to cry. What ails you ?"

The Keeping of a Promise Rewarded. 63

Ah! your Highness," said George, "my father
is too poor to do without my earnings, in summer
as a shepherd-boy, and in winter by my spinning.
I am afraid he could not do without me."
"You are a good boy," said the Prince, kindly;
"your filial love is worth more than the most
costly jewel in my treasure-chamber. I will make
up to your father what he would lose by your
absence. Now, will that do ?"
Poor George was indeed full of joy. With
heartfelt gratitude he kissed the Prince's hand, and
then ran home to tell his father the good news,
who soon returned to the castle with him to thank
the Prince.
Councillor Von Truehold was now silent, and his
little sons saw that his eyes were full of tears.
" But, father," said Adolph and Wilhelm, "the story
is not done! What happened afterwards to that
brave little herd-boy ? "
"Dearest children," said their father, "that little
herd-boy was myself/ The noble Prince, whom you
had never seen, took me into his employ as soon as
I had finished my studies; and because he was
pleased with my faithful services, he called me Von
Truehold ('Kind and true'). He has now been
dead ten years, but his memory will never perish.
He still claims my gratitude, and that of the whole
land. The little Crown-Prince whom I met for the
first time under this oak tree, is our Sovereign;
and the pastor of our principal church, who shows
such love to you and instructs you in the Scriptures
so faithfully, is the good tutor. My own dear

The Bird's Nest.

father, your grandfather, who spent his last days in
my house, is gone before us to heaven. He loved
you both very much, and was very kind to you,
though you can scarcely remember the good old
man. God has so blessed me that I have been
able to purchase this estate, on which I was
formerly a poor shepherd-boy, and it is now our
own property; and the good tenant is that Michael
who formerly herded goats on the mountains yonder,
and who was my first instructor in learning. But,
dear children, the honour is not mine, but Gods.
What could I have done for myself, poor boy as
I was, had not God so ordered it for me?"
As the Councillor concluded his instructive story
he saw that his little boys had tears in their eyes,
They all stood together under the oak-tree, and he
laid his hand on their heads. Raising his eyes to
heaven, he asked God to bless them, for the sake
of His own Son, our Divine Saviour.


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