• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Dedication
 List of Illustrations
 Whittier with the children
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Whittier With the Children
Title: Whittier with the children
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Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00082117/00001
 Material Information
Title: Whittier with the children
Physical Description: 4, 59 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Sidney, Margaret, 1844-1924
D. Lothrop & Company ( Publisher )
Publisher: D. Lothrop Company
Place of Publication: Boston
Publication Date: 1893
 Subjects
Subject: Poets -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Quakers -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Country life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Nature -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Pets -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Kindness -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Biographies -- 1893   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1893
Genre: Biographies   ( rbgenr )
individual biography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Margaret Sidney.
General Note: Title page printed in red and black.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00082117
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002237503
notis - ALH7990
oclc - 05258633
lccn - 07022143

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
    Frontispiece
        Frontispiece
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Dedication
        Dedication
    List of Illustrations
        List of Illustrations
    Whittier with the children
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
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WHITTIER WITH THE


CHILDREN




BY
MARGARET SIDNEY
Author of Old Concord," Five Little Pcppers and How Thley Grew,"
Five Little Peppers Midway," and Five Little Peppers
Grown Up."





x--^ ^ (k .







BOSTON
D. LOTHROP COMPANY
1893











































COPYRIGHT, 1893,
BY
D LOTHROP COMPANY.

All rights reserved.

























Cto jmv mu.baanbi

OF WHOM THIS POET WROTE,
"LET ME SIT IN THE CIROLE OF THY MOURNING,
FOR I TOO HAVE LOST A FRIEND."

















ILLUSTRATIONS.



PAGE
The Brook 1
Whittier's birthplace and Job's Hill 3
The room in which Whittier was born at Haverhill 5
The Barefoot Boy 9
The old oven in the kitchen at the Whittier birth-
place 13
I'm sorry that I spelt the word;
I hate to go above you 17
Sweet Kueoza from the shore and Watching
Hills beyond" 21
Oak Knoll at Danvers, the last home of Mr.
Whittier 27
The little stone play-house at Oak Knoll 33
The old kitchen with the warm hearth blazing
free" .. .35
Friday, Mr. Whittier's pet squirrel. 40
The poet's favorite seat on Oak Knoll grounds 41
David .. 44
Jackanapes 46
The Ramble and Whittier Grove 47
Tihe Norway spruce named the poet's pagoda" by
Oliver Wendell Holmes 48
Whittier at nineteen, from an ambrotype 53
The Gove house in which Whittier died-Hampton
Falls, N. H. 57
Kenoza Lake .. 59














WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.









THE child-soul is born ,


But it often tries its delicate wings too soon,
alas before the boy has emerged into what
we call the world, and ake his place among
whe eager multitudes g hat hhrong the high-
ways of life. The mosd beautiful thing thus
being allowed m & to escape, the boy-man looks
abouE hild-; his young eager eyes pierce the
to livarying forms of individuality he seesman.; he
But it often tries its delicate wings too soon,
alas before the boy has emerged into what
we call the world, and taken his place among
the eager multitudes that throng the high-
ways of life. The most beautiful thing thus
being allowed to escape, the boy-man looks
about him; his young eager eyes pierce the
varying forms of individuality he sees; he








2 WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.

is searching for the hero he would copy, the
man whom he would take as his model. And
all the while the hero is within his own
breast, waiting for that divine and human
summons to action, that can come from none
other than his individual self impelled by the
God who sent him into the universe.
Thus it is that the marked individuality
that men call character, comes by preserving
as nearly as possible the soul fresh from the
hand of God, its divine afflatus unspoiled by
anything that would assert itself between
these agencies. In other words, the soul,
good conditions being around it, is let alone
to do its own growing. And the garden of
virtues thrives, not so much by the system
of grafting, as by all those gentler and slower
processes that leave much to Nature.
"My own dear Mr. Whittier," as he is
called by the child of our household (who
from baby days has by frequent visits been
allowed to bask in the sunshine of the poet's
presence), was so markedly a man who re-









WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN. 3

tainted his child-soul to the very last, that it
is a delightful task to go back over a long
stretch of years to notice how he came by it
in the first place ; then to learn how he kept
it, and allowed it to grow, till God took him








-l

WHITTIER'S BIRTHPLACE AND JOB'S HILL.

with that soul of such native purity as to
contain little that could be of alien growth
in the Immortal Land.
To be all this, and go out of life with soul
so fresh, Mr. Whittier must have had, silently
or otherwise, much sympathy with child-na-
ture. We know that he had; and it is to
pick up the various links of the chain that









4 WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.

bound together this man with the child-soul
and the little ones whom he so closely re-
sembled in purity and in simplicity of faith,
that this imperfect sketch is written.
Lovingly we bring with tender and rever-
ent hand this wreath of bays for his memory;
each leaf is gathered from the carefully
guarded reminiscence of relative and friend,
garnered till the circle of years was completed
and the poet passed on to the larger life that
knows no ending.
The child, John Greenleaf Whittier, had
a heritage from an ancestry singularly free
from taint of any kind. Simple of creed,
direct of purpose, virile of effort, it kept
its long line unswervingly to good aims and
healthful pursuits. So that when the baby
opened his eyes on that winter day in 1807
in the old homestead, under the shadow of
Job's Hill, two miles or more from the cen-
ter of Old IIaverhill, he opened them to an
horizon not hemmed in by the narrow-bounds
of his rural life.























































'-'


THE ROOM IN WHICH WHITTIER WAS BORN AT HAVERHILL.








WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN. 7

What a happy home the sun smiled on
there Out upon those who would call its
conditions hard As well say that the New
England winter air, crisp with recent snow,
and smelling of frozen salt marshes and
passed orchard delights," as some one has
termed it, is cold and cruel! Muscles tense
as steel, wills made strong by battling with
and beating adverse elements, and that sweet
serenity that comes from self-conquest, were
born of the New England winter and the
New England home of the early part of the
century, barren though you of the cent-
ury's ebb may be pleased to call it.
What an altogether delightful place is Mr.
Whittier's old homestead, mellow now with
its happy memories. Here is the room in
which the baby boy, our poet, first saw
the light; here is the quaint staircase, down
which, wrapped in a blanket, he was pro-
jected by the infant hand of his sister, two
years older, who held ideas of her own as to
the manner of achieving descent to the room








8 WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.

below ; here are the whitewashed wall and
sagging beam," the crane and pendent
trammels," the warm hearth blazing free,"
in whose reflected light

The old, rude-furnished room,
Burst, flower-like, into rosy bloom."

Here are cupboards, redolent of juicy pie,
doughnuts, and all the toothsome train of
New England delicacies of that day. Crowded
in upon each other, some with upper door to
hide the treasures secure from the younger
portion of the household, paneled, and with
many a quaint device as to lock and button
and hinge, they stand in the old kitchen, as
who should say:
We guarded the family life; look upon
us, for we are good to see."
And outside the small many-paned win-
dows where the lilac bushes waved their
sweet incense to usher in the long summer
day, or the poplars, grim and straight, pointed
without wavering to the sky, where the old

























-'7 .


a, -,F


THE BAREFOOT BOY.


'1'


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~~7irS!3









WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN. 11

well invited to the cool draught, more wel-
come than nectar to the parched lip, and the
little brook ran down Job's Hill and danced
across the house place to sing its way over
the road here were packed myriad delights
for the growing boy, as soon as he could
toddle through the quaint doorway, and over
the big flat stone that served as a step, to
the limitless world of' out of doors."
When Mr. Whittier was seven years old,
one day as he was driving the cows to pas-
ture, a revelation, swift and unerring, came
to him. He had let down the bars and the
cows had just passed through, when a flash
of thought struck him : Why am I differ-
ent from those cows? What have I got to
do in life ? What is life ? "
And he never lost the influence of that
hour and that revelation; it affected his
whole life.
The love of animals was indeed a domi-
nating quality of Mr. Whittier's mind. It
contributed largely to the strength and sweet-









12 WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.

ness of his verse, and from his companionship
with the patient "beasts of the field" he
received, as we shall show later, much that
kept '' his silences from becoming misan-
thropic and too long-continued.
Nature opened up her secrets to him read-
ily. Alert, indeed, she must have been to
successfully hide her treasures from the sen-
sitive boy whose keen eyes, even then, had
the lambent gleam of the seer. His early
work on the farm brought him into quick
and sympathetic touch with every mood and
tense of Nature, until she was really his
mother, to whom he would go for sweet
counsel, for pleasure and for stimulus.
As a Barefoot Boy ': he revels in all such
pictures that recall his early delights:

"I was rich in flowers and trees,
Humming birds and honey bees;
S Still as my horizon grew
Larger grew my riches too.


S I was monarch; pomp and joy
Waited on the barefoot boy! "























Tr? e; Wd _


III i


5 1 -W-- L
--~1.- --~--~- ---


THE OLD OVEN IN THE KITCHEN AT THE WIIITTIER BITTHIPLACE.








WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN. 15

John Greenleaf Whittier he was to the
world," one relative writes me, but to us,
who knew him so well, he was Greenleaf. I
know a little story that perhaps you never
heard, that I would like to tell you. When
his brother Franklin came, there was the
usual family discussion over naming the baby,
and this embryo poet suggested that his
name be Peachleaf.''
Little Greenleaf, in his seventh and eighth
years, we0nt fbrth from the seclusion of home
and la'rm-lifl, into the arena of the district
school. The site of the old schoolhouse is
now marked by a wooden slab on a tall post
set back from the roadside, telling the pas-
sers-by, Here Whittier went to school."
Here passed before his eyes many of those
rustic pictures of child-life which are embod-
ied in exquisite verse, notably In School
Days," poems that recall the poet as the
possessor, even in those early years, of a
keen, discriminating sense of the silent forces
that lie beneath the little world of school.









16 WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.

How they appeal to each heart in the thick
of the larger world!

S the tangled golden curls,
And brown eyes full of grieving;
For near her stood the little boy
Her childish favor singled;
His cap pulled low upon a brow
Where pride and shame were mingled.
I" ''m sorry that I spelt the word:
I hate to go above you,
Because the brown eyes lower fell -
Because, you see, I love you! "

The books that influenced this child-soul
were few in number. The Bible was his first
choice, and over its pages he pored, gathering
in rich material for those talismanic poems
that were to draw all Christendom to him in
loving sympathy. It is this love of the Holy
Scriptures that made John Greenleaf Whittier
pre-eminently the poet of the people; through
his study of that book he came into the knowl-
edge of human needs, and there he imbibed the
spirit of the old prophets and reformers who
thundered through the pages of the Old Tes-










WIIITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN. 17


I'M SORRY THAT I SPELT THE WORD
I HATE TO GO ABOVE YOU."


tament, while the love breathed in every line
of the New Testament was to bear fruit in
him another John whom the Saviour loved.
Look in at the old kitchen on one of little








18 WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.

Greenleaf's childhood days. More than like-
ly, if the morning hour be near to sun-up,"
you will find him with mother, whom in after
years he lovingly, in words of light, describes
thus: "All that the sacred word mother
means in its broadest, fullest significance our
mother was to us- a friend, helper, coun-
selor, companion, ever loving, gentle and
unselfish." Perhaps he is busy over the
homely household tasks, while she is spinning
or weaving, as all the woollen cloth the family
required must be made by her untiring fin-
gers; it is more than probable that the boy
has the big Bible where he can take a peep
at some open page in the midst of his dish-
washing, or his sweeping of the old kitchen
floor, for little Greenleaf read his Bible as chil-
dren nowadays hang over their toy-books and
fairy tales -or perhaps it was the Farmer's
Almanac or John Woolman's Journal, that
talismanic narrative that stirred his little
soul. By and by comes in one day a
paukie auld care" of a Scotchman, one of









WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN. 19

the droppers-in at the Whittier house. He
hungers, as usual, after the cheese and
doughnuts, and thirsts after the mug of cider.
When he has received them he sings in a
generous fashion, Highland Mary," "Auld
Lang Syne" and Bonnie Doon," till the
old kitchen rings from floor to rafter. Later,
when our poet was fourteen, his school-
teacher, Joshua Coffin, brought to the house
a copy of Burns' poems. Greenleaf entreated
him for the loan of the book a while; and
then every, spare moment was passed in con-
quering the dialect of Burns, and in rhyming
and imagining all sorts of tales.
This little lad's father was well read for
those days; his outlook on men and things
was broad; his sympathies were extended.
An impression to the contrary has obtained in
some quarters, where he is described as one
to whom the amenities of life were little
known. Never was there a greater mistake;
there are those now living who remember the
stately old man, serene of manner, with good









20 WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.

poise of head and shoulders, whose mien and
whose dress with ruffled shirt front, and
ruffles at the hands well carried out the
gentleman of the old school. Quick-witted
he was, with fine sense of' humor, which he
bequeathed to the poet. Indeed, Mr. Whit-
tier not long since said, with great delight in
the thought, that he felt he was like his
father; that he thought as his father did,
and he could recognize in himself many of
the traits and characteristics of his father.
On First Day, as Sunday is called in
Quaker homes, the old chaise would be
brought to the door, and as many of the
household as could, would stow away in its
depths, and away they would drive over the
hills to the quaint little Quaker meeting-
house in Amesbury, eight miles away. It
was sometimes Greenleaf's luck to be crowded
out. But what cared he, to whom the groves
and streams were his pulpit, and Nature the
preacher ? So he spent the lonely delicious
days on Job's Hill, that silent watcher that




















































"SWEET KENOZA FROM THE SHORE, AND WATCHING HILLS BEYOND."









WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN. 23

overhung the lonely farmhouse. Up to this
height the boy's eyes were often turned, as
to a monitor who should point through na-
ture up to nature's God; and with what a
keen relish he spoke in after life, when the
shadows of many graves fell across his path-
way, of the early delights of climbing Job's
Hill which rose abruptly from the brook
which rippled down at the foot of our gar-
deon." And then hle tells over delightedly
the dillerent mountain peaks he could see
from this same dear Job's Hill, and Great
Pond (afterward named by him Kenoza -
the lake of the pickerel) stretched away from
the foot of the hill." Or he wandered
through fi-agrant, piny woods, and .haunted

Sweet Kenoza from the shore,
And watching hills beyond; "

or followed patiently the course of the little
brook that danced and gurgled its way along
through many a tangled covert, till his young
soul was ablaze with the glory of the Lord.









24 WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.

And at night-

When the great logs, crumbling low,
Sent out a dull and duller glow,
The bull's-eye watch that hung in view
Ticking its weary circuit through,
Pointed with meekly warning sign
Its black hand to the hour of nine,"

then he would creep up into his bed under
the eaves, where in winter the snow and
rain came in between the clapboards, and
there think out the fancies that had entranced
his day with golden dreams.
And now we shall see how he carried this
child-soul onward.
Mr. Whittier had the remarkable faculty
of effacing himself in his intercourse with
children. That is, he never intruded his
own personality upon them, nor tried to im-
press them with theologic truths, but instead,
he stood one side, and allowed God and Na-
ture to teach them. This was one secret
of his influence over them, and their great
enjoyment in him. This has been impressed
upon the mind of the writer, in many talks








WHITTIER WITII THE CHILDREN. 25

with the poet, on this subject. His editing
of child-life in prose," and child-life in
poetry," and his poems for children, all show
this method.
Oh but he was so delightful always,"
writes to me the daughter of his dear Quaker
cousin, Mrs. Purington. I remember the
first time I ever visited his home at Ames-
bury with my grandmother, and came into
his kindly, stately presence, and Aunt Abi-
gail's gracious benignity as she said: And
this is Sarah's daughter. How does thy
mother do ?'
"But the best thing of all was that his
every-day life was as pure and sweet as his
writings; that his most perfect poem was
his life from beginning to end."
This Amesbury life of his was made espe-
cially delightful by the coterie of young
friends who flocked around him. The chil-
dren of the old town called him "the man
who owns the parrot." This bird was the
"Charlie who inspired the poem, The








26 WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.

Common Question.'' It belonged to his sis-
ter, Mrs. Mary Caldwell, and when she died
the poet took it home and cared for it ten-
derly. Charlie was a very discriminating
bird, as this anecdote will prove :
One day a member of that class of human
beings called "bores" was seated to stay
with Mr. Whittier. After some time had
elapsed, Charlie got down from his perch
with great decision, and sidled along the
floor till he got well back of the guest, when
he gave a good nip at the leg nearest to him;
then sidled back again, his duty well done.
The man took the nip, the hint, and his hat.
To the end of life Mr. Whittier retained
the keenest enjoyment of nature and the sim-
plest pleasures of life ; and homely joys and
sorrows were the most frequent themes of
his pen," writes one who, as Ml:i-., Dowdell,
belonged to that pleasant circle of young
Amesbury girls.
He liked cheerful people. He once said
to me, I wonder why people always seem to














I"q1


El


11,


pT-v -- *-i-


-. _-...~_1


OAK KNOLL AT DANCERS, THE LAST IIHOME OF IMR. WIIITTIER.


~








WIITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN. 29

confide to me all their sorrows and bewailments
rather than their joys ? '
I could understand why it was so. Great,
tender soul! often overburdened because of
his power to give out sympathy and help.
When quite young, Lizzie and I spent a
day in Newburyport, and visited the White-
field church; went down into the crypt un-
der the pulpit where reposed the remains
of Whitefield and two other persons. We
related our visit to Mr. Whittier and Aunt
Lizzie on our return. I remember he said
to her, 'Why do young people like to dis-
malize themselves? Later in life we have
no need to do that.' "
And then this same friend goes on to
give me this reminiscence, that in letters of
light points a revelation of the marvelous
purity of this child-soul, and his influence
on children.
"One day," she says, "when greatly
excited, I was relating to him some real or
fancied injury. I have entirely forgotten









30 WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.

the cause; I brought down my foot smartly
on the floor saying, 'I hate him! Mr.
Whittier hastily came to me, put his hands
upon my shoulders, and earnestly said, those
great lambent eyes full on my face, Child,
thee must hate nothing but sin.'
That rebuke made a profound impression
upon me. I can never forget it.

Still let him mild, rebuking stand
Between us and the wrong;
And his dear memory serve to make
Our faith in goodness strong.' "

He was as fond of a good fairy story as
any child," writes this same friend. "'Often
I have gone in to see him at twilight, and
found him alone, lying down in the garden
room, repeating passages from Scott, Burns
or other authors. Then his talks were
charming, of past experiences and anecdotes
-for he had a keen sense of the ludicrous
and could tell a story well-or the talk
would be upon the great questions of life
and immortality. My spirit seems impressed









WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN. 31

with a solemn awe when I think of his
great loving soul, and yet so simple and
approachable."
In the poet's bedroom at Amesbury, among
those treasured for home associations or for
other reasons, hangs the picture that in-
spired the beautiful poem The Sisters"-
My years with thee I share,
And mingle wilth a sister's love
A mother's tu enderi care."

It is called Motherless." Another copy
hangs in the parlor of the poet's cousin, Mrs.
Gertrude Whittier Cartland. Speaking of
it to her one day while there, I was informed
that it was a crayon drawing by Charles A.
Barry, and that some thirty years before,
she had purchased her copy at Providence,
where she was then living, because it had
suggested this poem to her cousin, and she
had always treasured it for that reason.
Up to this time our poet had to do with
children and young people in general; by
the beautiful quality of his mind, he diffused








32 WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.

on all representatives of childhood that fell
in his way, his sympathy, his tenderness and
comradeship. This friendship was as the
fragrance of the flowers, given impartially to
whomsoever walks the garden of their de-
lights; just as elusive and subtle was Whit-
tier's friendship with the little ones. He
loved them all alike; he was ever ready to
give the pleasant smile, the sweet and cheery
word; but he was thrown into intimate com-
panionship with no one of them.
We now approach the period of Mr. Whit-
tier's life when he came into contact with a
little child's mind, where he could watch its
daily unfolding, and could sit, oh! blest
employment to him, reverently and silently
by, while God dealt with the little soul. It
was one of the most beautiful provisions for
his declining years, "slow rounding into
calm," that his child-soul should be met by
the cheer, the abounding life, and the sweet
questioning of one at the gateway of life's
stern duties. This was fully appreciated by









WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN. 33

our poet, who has often expressed to the
writer how great was his debt of love to little
Phebe.
When the question of purchasing Oak
Knoll, at Danvers, was raised by his cousins,
the family of Col. Edmund Johnson, Mr.












THE LITTLE STONE PLAY-HIOUSE AT OAK KNOLL.

Whittier gave his voice in favor of securing
the estate. He signified his desire to be-
come a member of the household, and rooms
were set aside for him, apartments the best
in the house, for one who was to be the loved
and revered center of the home.









34 WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.

Long sweep of lawn and rolling terrace,
with clumps of English oaks, suggested to
Mr. Whittier's mind the poetic name of
"Oak Knoll;" and so he christened it,
and the home-life then and there began.
Between the two, the poet with the child-
soul and the little child, there began at once
a strong and beautiful intimacy, never to be
broken. And it is not too much to say that
some of the poems of his later years follow-
ing his friendship with this child of the Oak
Knoll household, the pictures of home life
and love which brought him so near to the
heart of the people, show the tender reflec-
tion of her influence upon him.
"A little child shall lead them." Back
in the roll of the centuries was that promise
given to man, and the highest and best of
earth's great ones have one after another
hastened to claim the privilege by reigning
supreme in some child-heart.
Even as Walter Scott, the "Wizard of
the North," chose sweet Marjorie Fleming









T:7]


~c-- --~S~~-~C -. -


:i II~






ITC EN WI~ T F"W HM hF.XII H BL ZIN ~IIE .'









WIIITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN. 37

to that dear friendship he vouchsafed to no
other one, so (lid John Greenleaf Whittier,
poet of Freedom, of Nature and of the Home,
choose sweet Phebe, the "wee bairnie" of
Oak Knoll. And as Sir Walter delighted in
nothing so much as to regale himself with
Marjorie's sallies and merry gambols, so did
Sour poet fall into the gay mood of the blithe-
some little maid who made glad the heart of
his home.
How joyous the daily romps! Did the
pine wood just beyond the carefully tended
green lawn resound with happy shouts, and
little bursts of laughter ? "That is Cousin
Greenleaf and Phebe building the little stone
play-house," the quieter portion of the
household would say, one to another, with a
smile. There are still to be seen the remains
of the little play-house ; it is a cairn-like
pile of stones that, long as Oak Knoll shall
last, will, we feel assured, be preserved as a
memento of that joyous time.
And here in this self-same spot was the









38 WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.

school, where Phebe as teacher exercised her
right to whip," in which performance her
small soul delighted, and which was gra-
ciously accorded to an unlimited extent.
"D-o-r-g, dog "
That is Cousin Greenleaf at his spelling
lesson," the members of the household who
did not attend this school, would exclaim, as
the distinct tones came pealing over the
slope.
"No-no! the little teacher would
reply. "I shall whip you if you do not
spell it right'' -
"What does d-o-r-g spell if it doesn't
spell dog? asks the pupil distinctly.
But Phebe has her ever-ready whip for
answer.
On one of these occasions Mr. Whittier
came into the house with laughing mouth,
and eyes a-light.
"Phebe is seventy, I am seven, and we
both act like sixty," he said.
When the days were stormy, and the out-









WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN. 39

of-door sports not to be thought of, then
would Mr. Whittier and the little girl run
many a race around and around the big table
in the dining-room. And she it was who
was dear little Red Riding-hood, and in-
spired the poem, the scene of which was laid
at Oak Knoll.
There were long delicious evenings at Oak
Knoll, when the poet would draw near the
fireside, the rest of the family circling around
him, and there they would sit till his own
word of departure Let us wait till the
logs burn out -was fulfilled. Mr. Whit-
tier never had his study lighted of an even-
ing, but always sat with the rest of the
family, enjoying to the full all that they
had to contribute toward the general fund
of conversation, and furnishing reminiscence
and anecdote, of which he was a capital
raconteur.
The pets at Oak Knoll were many and
varied. There was Friday, the squirrel,
who, brought in by the gardener one day,









40 WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.

had his cage in Mr. Whittier's study, and
early ingratiated himself, by some trick
handed down from his squirrel ancestry, into
favor with the poet. So that, be-
i sides his name, he
Received many to-
S kens of regard at
Mr. Whittier's hand.
HIe used to take lib-
erties with the poet's
,'i. ~ coat-collar and his
-;, sleeve, while as for
--^-^ pockets, they were
-/ all at Friday's dis-
posal. Here he
would hunt for the nuts he knew were sure
to be placed there by kind fingers, and,
drawing them forth with industrious little
paws, he would perch on the benefactor's
shoulder, and leisurely crack and eat his
spoil in the poet's very face.
And, with a most unbecoming diligence,
Friday would ransack the bureau drawers,




























.-4-


- 4.


THE POET'S FAVORITE SEAT ON OAK KNOLL GROUNDS.








WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN. 43

disputing Mr. Whittier's right to go there,
chattering with glee when his bright eyes
espied the object of his search snugly hidden
in a dim corner; the poet's glee matching
his own when the nuts were pounced upon
and triumphantly dragged forth. Friday
, would go out of doors and be gone sometimes
a day or two; but he always returned of
his own free will, and in a glad little way,
to receive the welcome he felt sure was to
be his.
When Mr. Whittier fell asleep on the sofa
then was Friday's time for mischief; nestled
on the warm breast of his kind friend, he
would industriously gnaw off the buttons of
the poet's coat. But he was never punished.
The poet would appear before any member of
the household who looked As if a, mending-
basket might be an opportune subject, and
say most solemnly, holding aloft in thumb
and finger the rifled button, There is the
last button gone."
And then there was David, "the sweet








44 WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.

singer of Israel," the mocking-bird. David
had pretty manners when occasion demanded.
He was very fond of singing out, "Whit-
ti-er-Whit-ti-er in the sweetest of calls,
clear and distinct, when he desired his mas-
ter's attention. And he would chirrup to
the horses, so that they would stamp their
feet, and long to be off,
until they found out the

amusement was to circle in
S the air with many a wild
flight, until, at last, down
he would come on Mr. Whit-
tier's head where he would
rest in intense satisfaction.
Seldom did Mr. Whittier
e come in from a morning
IrII ramble over the grounds,
without a nice fat grasshop-
per carefully held out for David's delectation.
A sad little story connected with David's
demise, is stored in the family legends. One








WHITTIER WITH TIHE CHILDREN. 45

Sunday Mr. Rantoul, a valued friend from
Salem, was visiting at Oak Knoll. David's
pretty manners were not on, that day; he
sang all the time the family were at dinner,
most exquisitely, it is true, but still with the
evident desire to shut off conversation.
Mr. Rantoul exclaimed, What a beauti-
fil young bird you have David was then
twelve years old. When Mr. Rantoul was
told this, he added, That bird will not live
long; you will find him dead some day."
The following Tuesday morning, David sang
one song, a burst of perfect melody ; then he
fell suddenly, and was found soon after, his
little feet thrust into the air, cold and stiff.
Both bird and squirrel were stuffed and
kept in loving remembrance gay little Fri-
day and sweet David and now they perch
aloft on the bookcase at Oak Knoll in mem-
ory of the cheer they have given to their dear
master.
Then there was Robin Adair, the big
shepherd dog, handsome and of a rather








46 WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.

serious turn of mind, yet not averse to a bit of
a frolic if the poet gently urged it. Yet his
preference was to lie at his master's feet, and
in a reflective mood to gravely consider his
face. There also was Jackanapes, frisky,
changeful little sprite, now here, now there,
always demanding love and getting it; care-
less of the duties of
a dog's existence, yet
petted unremittingly.
The pair of dogs were
S great friends, yet they
.*':' preserved a business
''' oversight of their in-
': dividual rights. They
3 would always accom-
pany Mr. Whittier to
his favorite seat under a large spreading
maple, and there, with the dogs at his feet,
and Philippa, the pretty Jersey calf, teth-
ered just without the drooping branches, the
group would often pass the better part of a
summer morning. Just a stone's throw off,








WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN. 47

the road wound around this side of the estate,
and by the fence would linger such of the
townspeople as chanced to be passing, to see
the poet thus surrounded by his dumb friends.
Another spot on the grounds of beautiful
Oak Knoll that Mr. Whittier was very fond
of, was what is called his "Ramble," and









THE RAMBLE AND WHITTIER GROVE.

at the foot of the slope is the little group
of saplings he set out with his own hand.
They are sturdy little trees now, and unless
something unforeseen occurs, they will one
day be the strong and beautiful Whittier
grove a delight to the eye, and a shelter
from the heat of the noontide.









48 WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.

There is a splendid specimen of a Norway
spruce just beyond the wide sweep of lawn


fronting the mansion.
fond of this tree; and


+-^j*


Whittier was very
one day at the close
of one of those
vi-it- fi',Iii Oliver
VWl,,,Hll 1 Hlmes,
whi Ili *l.:v both
1 ,,,u-,h ,-n.joyed,
Dr. Illi.n,:- spoke
Il' til.I won-
I ,I,-lul sym-
SIpoJ.' nii:-ti-% of the


rl[ i J Ill
III''



THE NORWAY SPRUCE NAMED "THE POET'S PAGODA" BY
OLIVER WENDELL TIOLMES.








WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN. 49

tree from root to pinnacle, naming it the
poet's pagoda;" a name it has always
retained.
Slowly the beautiful day fades into a still
more beautiful twilight and evening bell"'
as we approach another little friend of Mr.
Whittier, who, outside of his family circle,
came perhaps nearer than any other child
into the friendship of his fTstl-declining years.
Little Margaret Lothrop almost from baby
days was taken to the poet's home on many
occasions when her father went to see his
beloved friend. And the baby, reared, as it
were, on Whittier poetry which was a house-
hold word in the Lothrop home, lisped his
name in pretty fashion as soon as she could
talk, recognizing him when she really came
to see him, as a dear old friend.
It may have been this quality of trustful-
ness, childhood's divine right, which first
drew Mr. Whittier to her. For this element
of the child-soul was identical in the man
who had through a long life held it in all its








50 WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.

native purity, and in the little one fresh from
the hand of Eternal Love.
Little Margaret has tender recollections of
quiet hours at Amesbury when the poet and
she would wander around hand in hand in a
blissful frame of mind, and nobody disturbed
them, or intruded upon Mr. Whittier's
thought. The garden room," as the poet's
study was always called, naturally engrossed
the child's attention the most of any part of
the interior, and here she would delightedly
listen to the little stories he would tell her,
or the descriptions of certain things in the
surroundings that appealed to her, and which,
with childish directness, she immediately
desired to have explained.
One day Mr. Whittier wished the child to
see the cat, a household pet. But it often
happens on such occasions that the felines,
although a. little bird" may not tell them,
are missing. I shall never forget the patience
with which the poet sought out the straying
pussy in all her haunts, at last running her








WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN. 51

down in some place best known to himself.
IIow he smiled in serenest satisfaction when
he put the delinquent animal into the eager
little toddler's outstretched hands.
Margaret, doesn't thee want a plant for
thy garden ? he asked her that same day;
and they went to the woodshed, where he got
a small trowel, and then, down on his knees,
lie loosened the roots, the little child hang-
ing with bated breath over every movement,
even to the doing of the plant up in a paper
to carry home to the Wayside, where under
Hawthorne's favorite tree "my own dear
Mr. Whittier's myrtle'' is growing.
It was on one of these occasions that I
asked him (knowing well what the answer
would be), Mr. Whittier, what is the name
of the brook ? We were standing in front
of the large oil painting of his birthplace
hanging in his study, on the left as one
enters from the hall. He looked at me
intently for a moment, then said with great
impressiveness, It is the brook." And








52 WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.

that indescribable change, that one needed
to see to understand, came over his face.
The eyes twinkled, and shone with fun, and
the closely folded lips allowed a smile to
twitch the corners, as if playing a prank
with the inevitableness of the New England
gravity, as he repeated the brook."
Little Margaret's favorite coigne of van-
tage was the poet's lap. Early possessing
herself of it in her first meeting with him,
here she would nestle a good share of the
time spent in each subsequent visit, looking
over a book, or simply resting and letting
him talk to her, careless of all possible at-
tractions elsewhere. Two pictures stand out
with great distinctness: one when, the throng
of visitors having departed from one of his
birthday receptions, the poet sat in a large
easy chair inathe sitting-room at Oak Knoll,
the child in his lap, while opposite was one
of the cousins who presided over the house-
hold, holding Jackanapes, whose dog-breast
was torn with jealous fury, and whose neck









WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN. 53


A. #\Ao


WIIITTIER AT NINETEEN, FRO1M AN AMBROTYPE.


was craned in the vain attempt to get at the
interloper who had his master's regards.
The other was just as unique; it was at
Newburyport where Mr. Whittier was spend-
ing the winter in the home of his cousin,
Mrs. Gertrude Cartland. Coming suddenly
into a quiet corner, some members of the








54 WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.

family party discovered the poet, the child
in his arms, explaining to her rapt inquiry,
slowly and patiently, all the details of the
costume of a Quaker doll he held in his hand;
this doll, by the way, was the work of an
old lady who was formerly very celebrated as
the maker of Quaker bonnets.
It is a blessed thing to please a child,"
and he has the very kingdom of God within
him, who elects himself to this privilege. It
was this sweet patience that the poet ob-
served in entering into the childish demand
of the moment, that gave him the power to
hold the innermost portal of the little soul.
Afterward, his various talks with this little
girl on Nature and God, sank deeply into
a heart already possessed by the poet. She
was first led by his love; then by his good-
ness. These little incidents are important,
therefore, as points of light upon the methods
by which Mr. Whittier dealt with children.
Oh golden hour of childhood, whether it
comes early or late, that lies so near to the








WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN. 55

eternities that the soul can afford to take
time to enter into the passing desire of one
of His little ones.
When "the evening bell" had struck,
and our poet's life faded out from earth, the
children of Danvers gathered to show for him
their love and reverence. Twenty-five miles
away, on the shore of the beautiful Merri-
mack, at Amesbury his other home, services
were being held at the same hour, before
dear friends laid him away to rest. The
children brought, on that golden Septem-
ber day, sweet flowers and autumn leaves;
and other flowers they brought, the blossoms
of loving remembrance, that were gathered
up and voiced in a poem, Our Offering,"
written for them by Miss Harriet Fowler.
And a hush fell over the vast assemblage as
Mr. A. P. White gave the children this little
word-picture: Some summers ago I was
coming down from Newburyport. Mr. Whit-
tier was on the train, and just as we ap-
proached the junction, a beautiful lady, with









56 WHITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN.

her daughter who had a dear little baby in
her arms, took the child, and going to the
poet's seat, she asked, 'Is this Mr. Whittier? '
S' Yes.'
'I live in England, and, if you please,
I want you to kiss this little child, and if he
lives to grow up in his own home in England,
he will be told that when he was a baby,
the poet Whittier kissed him.' And to-day
there is the little child, who by this time is as
old as some of you are, across the Atlantic
Ocean in far away England, who will bring at
least, in spirit, his sprig of flowers and lay it
upon the grave in memory of the great poet
and good man who kissed him, a tiny baby."
While these words were being spoken in
the children's meeting at Danvers, a throng
surged through the old home at Amesbury to
see the face of the dear poet, as he lay at
rest in the flowers under his mother's picture.
Presently the groups, going up in unbroken
procession, parted, making way with one ac-
cord for two boys-little barefoot fellows


















.1 1
= #* V-'S


It F.



-,p<' ~-
T,.M

1(1k* ~I Me',-






THE GOVE HOUSE IN WHICH WYHITTIEI D)IED1 HA3I1PTON FALLS. ,. 1{.









WIIITTIER WITH THE CHILDREN. 59

whose torn hats were clutched in their brown
hands while they stole silently in, the
younger hanging to his brother's jacket.
"I was once a barefoot boy," the poet
seemed to say from the Immortal Fields
where his child-soul now ranged; and as the
boys lingered by the peaceful face encircled
with fern sprays, no one said them nay, but
rather in his heart, Linger as you may, 0,
barefoot boys; it is your right to-day."
The evening bell and after that the
shore of the Immortal Land. In passing,
the child-soul of our poet left his last word,
borne back on the swelling tide, Love -
to- the world, as he went forth to the
morning of a new Day.


n







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