The Baldwin Library
11:11 1 1
STREI iTOR S.
~- m w m w.--
BY UNCLE HUMPHREY.
^^^i^^--/ ~- r i -'///^-
1 8 51.
~~~- -----.. ---i aM--
Entered according to Act of Congreu, In the year 18,
BY THOMAS IKLEUIRTi
Is the clerk's offce of the Distret Court of the Dstricte of Mamehu-c
& J. SoelL, Ptak, Lymn.
Preface, .......-... .---....-................... 3
N O, amm_ -ewm-----------------------------a- aaa- a -ww aa 7
Willy and the Beggar Girl, ............ .... 33
The Good Son,-,... ......__-.. .... 40
The Sick MNother, -..... .................... 42
Cornelia's Prayer,......-as----, -......... 44 ,
Forgiveness, .... ............. ..... .-.. 50
The Guilty Conscience,.--.......--........ 54
AcorI Hollow,--......-.............--....... 59
niusar and Idleness, .... ................. 86
Envy, .---- .a.a.a.. a-...a a a... .-.. ..a.- 98
Conclusion, ) --- -1022
THIS little book has been prepared for the in-
struction and amusement of my dear young
friends, and it is hoped that they will be profited
by its perusal. It will show them their duty,
and lead them to perform it.
The little word No is of great importance, al-
though composed of but two letters. It will be
of great service in keeping us from the path of
sin and misery, and of inducing us to walk in
"wisdom's ways, whose ways are ways of pleas-
antness, and all whose paths are peace."
Exercise charity to the destitute, as did little
Be good sons and daughters, and yeo will be
a comfort to your parents, in sickness or in
Forgiveness is an attribute of Heaven."
A guilty conscience gives us no peace.
Which of you have a place of resort that is
like Aunt Lissa's Acorn Hollow ?
Be industrious, and learn to male yourselves
useful, if you would be respected and beloved.
Beware of envy, for it begetteth hatred.
In short, I hope the reader who is now looking
at this preface will carefully read every word in
the following pages; and not only read, but re-
member, the lessons there taught, and thereby
become wiser and better.
And when you have read this book so much
and so carefully as to be able to tell me what it
is all about, when I come to your houses, an-
other little volume will be prepared for the
young friends of
nLrw, January, 1851.
BY T S. ARTHUR.
"There is a word, my son, a very lit-
tle word, in the English language, the
right use of which it is all important
that you should learn," Mr. Howland
said to his son Thomas, who was about
leaving the paternal roof for a resi-
dence in a neighboring city, never
again, perchance, to make one of the
little circle that had so long gathered
in the family homestead.
8 THE WORD NO.
"And wh .word is that, father?"
"It is.the little word No, my son."
"And why does so much importance
attach to that word, father?"
"Perhaps I can make you under-
stand the reason much better if I re-
late an incident that occurred when I
was a boy. I remember it as distinct-
ly as if it had taken place but yester-
day, although thirty years have since
passed. There was a neighbor of my
father's, who was very fond of gunning
and fishing. On several occasions I
had accompanied him, and had enjoy-
ed myself .very much. One day my
father said to me,
THE WORD NO. 9
"' William, I do not wish you to go
into the woods or on the water again
with Mr. Jones.'
"' Why not, father?' I asked, for I
had become so fond of going with him,
that to be denied the pleasure was a
"'I have good reasons for not wish-
ing you to go, William,' my father re-
plied, 'but do not want to give them
now. I hope it is all-sufficient for you,
that your father desires you not to ac-
company Mr. Jones again.'
I could not understand why my fa-
ther laid upon me this prohibition;
and, as I desired veli to go, I
10 THE WORD NO.
did not feel satisfied in my obedience.
On the next day, as I was walking
along the road, I met Mr. Jones, with
his fishing rod on his shoulder, and his
basket in his hand.
"'Alh, William! you are the very one
that I wish to see,' said Mr. Jones, smil-
ing. 'I am going out this morning, and
want company. We shall have a beau-
"' But my father told me yesterday,'
I replied, 'that he did not wish me to
go out with you.'
"'And why not, pray?' asked Mr.
"' I am sure that I do not know, I
THE WORD NO. 11
said, 'but indeed, I should like to go
O, never mind; come along,' he
said,' Your father will never know it.'
"' Yes, but I am afraid that he will,'
I replied, thinking more of my father's
displeasure than of the evil of disobe-
"' There is no danger at all of that.
We will be home again long before
"I hesitated, and he urged; and
finally, I moved the way that he was
going, and had proceeded a few hun-
dred yards, when I stopped, and said:
"'I do n't like to go, Mr. Jones.'
12 THE WORD NO.
"'Nonsense, William! There is no
harm in fishing, I am sure. I have of-
ten been out with your father, myself.'
Much as I felt inclined to go, still
I hesitated; for I could not fully make
up my mind to disobey my father.-
At length, he said-
"'I can't wait here for you, William.
Come along, or go back. Say yes or
This was the decisive moment. I
was to make up my mind, and fix my
determination in one way or the other.
I was to say yes or NO."
"' Come, I can't stay here all day,'
Mr. Jones remarked, rather harshly,
THE WORD NO. 13
seeing that I hesitated. At the same
moment the image of my father rose
distinctly before my mind, and I saw
his eyes fixed steadily and reproving-
ly upon me. With one desperate reso-
lution I uttered the word, 'No!' and
then turning, ran away as fast as my
feet would carry me. I cannot tell
you how relieved I felt when I was far
beyond the reach of temptation.
"On the next morning, when I came
down to breakfast, I was startled and
surprised to learn that Mr. Jones had
been drowned on the day before. In-
stead of returning in a few hours, as
he had stated to me that he would, he
14 THE WORD NO.
remained out all the day. A sudden
storm arose; his boat was capsized, and
he drowned. I shuddered when I heard
this sad and fatal accident related.-
That little word NO, had, in all proba-
bility, saved my life."
"'I will now tell you, William,' my
father said, turning to me, 'why I did
not wish you to go with Mr. Jones.-
Of late, he had taken to drinking; and
I had learned within a few days, that
whenever he went out on a fishing or
gunning excursion, he took his bottle
of spirits with him, and usually return-
ed a good deal intoxicated. I could not
trust you with such a man. I did not
THE WORD NO. 15
think it necessary to state this to you,
for I was sure that I had only to ex-
press my wish that you would not ac-
company him, to insure your implicit
"I felt keenly rebuked at this, and
resolved never again to permit even
the thought of disobedience to find a
place in my mind. From that time, I
have felt the value of the word NO,
and have generally, ever since, been
able to use it on all right occasions.-
It has saved me from many troubles.
Often and often in life have I been
urged to do things that my judgment
told me' were wrong: on such occasions
16 THE WORD NO.
I always remembered my first tempta-
tion, and resolutely said-
"And now, my son," continued Mr.
Howland, do you understand the im-
portance of the word Ao ?"
"I think I do, father," Thomas re-
plied. "But is there not danger of my
using it too often, and thus becoming
selfish in all my feelings, and conse-
quently unwilling to render benefits
"Certainly there is, Thomas. The
legitimate use of this word is to resist
evil. To refuse to do a good action is
THE WORD NO. 17
"If any one asks me, then, to do
him a favor or kindness, I should not,
on any account, say, no."
"That will depend, Thomas, in what
manner you are to render him a kind-
ness. If you can do so without really
injuring yourself or others, then it is
a duty which you owe to all men, to
be kind, and render favors."
But the difficulty, I feel, will be
for me to discriminate. When I am
urged to do something by one whom I
esteem, my regard for him, or my de-
sire to render him an obligation, will
be so strong as to obscure my judg-
18 THE WORD NO.
"A consciousness of this weakness
in your character, Thomas, should put
you upon your guard."
That is very true, father. But I
cannot help fearing myself. Still, I
shall never forget what you have said,
and I will try my best to act from a
conviction of right."
Do so, my son. And ever bear in
mind, that a wrong action is always fol-
lowed by pain of mind, and too fre-
quently by evil consequences. If you
would avoid these, ever act from a con-
sciousness that you are doing right,
without regard to others. If another
asks you, from a selfish desire to ben-
THE WORD NO. 19
efit or gratify himself, to do that which
your judgment tells you is wrong, sure-
ly you should have no hesitation in re-
The precept of his father, enforced
when they were about parting, and at
a time when his affections for that fa-
ther were active and intense, lingered
in the mind of Thomas Howland. He
saw and felt its force, and resolved to
act in obedience to it, if ever tempted
to do wrong.
On leaving the paternal roof, he went
to a neighboring town, and entered the
store of a merchant, where were sev-
eral young men nearly of his own age,
20 THE WORD NO.
that is, between eighteen and twenty.
With one of these, named Boyd, he
soon formed an intimate acquaintance.
But, unfortunately, the moral charac-
ter of this young man was far from
being pure, or his principles from rest-
ing upon the firm basis of truth and
Iis growing influence over Thomas
Howland was apparent in inducing him
to stay away from church on the sab-
bath-day, and pass the til e that had
heretofore been spent in e place of
worship, in roaming the wharves
of the city, or in ex rsions into the
country. This influence was slightly
TE WORD NO. 21
resisted, Thomas being ashamed or re-
luctant to use the word "No," on what
seemed to all the young men around
him a matter of so little importance.
Still, his own heart condemned him,
for he felt that it would pain his father
and mother exceedingly if they knew
that he neglected to attend church at
least once on the sabbath-day; and he
was, besides, self-convicted of wrong
in what seemed to him a violation of
the precept, Remember the sabbath-day,
&c. as he 4ld been taught to regard
that precept, iht once having given
way, he felt almost powerless to resist
the influence that now bore upon him.
22 THE WORD NO.
The next violation of what seemed
to him a right course for a young man
to pursue, was in suffering himself to
be persuaded to visit frequently the
theatre; although his father had ex-
pressly desired that he would avoid a
place where lurked for the young and
inexperienced so many dangers. lie
was next easily persuaded to visit a
favorite eating-house, in which many
hours were spent during the evenings
of each week, with Boyd and others,
in eating, drinking, and smoking.
Sometimes domindso and backgam-
mon were introduced, and at length
were played for a slight stake. To
THE WORD NO. 23
participate in this, Thomas refused, on
the plea that he did not know enough
of the games to risk anything. HIf
had not the moral courage to declas
that he considered it wrong to gamble.
All these departures from what he
had been taught by his father to con.
sider a right course, were attended by
much uneasiness and pain of mind.-
But he had yielded to the tempter, and
he could not find the power within him
to resist his influence successfully.
It happened about six months after
his introduction to such an entirely new
course of life, that he was invited onq
evening by his companion Boyd, to cat
24 THE WORD NO.
on a friend with him. He had, on that
day, received from his father forty dol-
lars, with which to buy him a new suit
of clothes, and a few other necessary
articles. lie went, of course, and was
introduced to a very afthble, gentle-
manly young man, in his room at one
of the hotels. In a few minutes, wine
and cigars were ordered, and the three
spent an hour or so, in drinking, smok-
ing, and chit-chat of no elevating or
"Come, let us have a game of cards,"
the friend at last remarked, during a
pause in the conversation; at the same
time going to his trunk and producing
a pack of cards.
THE WORD NO. 25
"No objection," responded Boyd.
"You'll take a hand, of course?"
the new friend said, looking at Thom-
But Thomas said that he knew noth-
ing of cards.
"O that's no matter! You can learn
in two minutes," responded the friend
Young Howland felt reluctant, but
he could not resist the influence that
was around him, and so he consented
to finger the cards with the rest. As
they gathered around the table, a half-
dollar was laid down by each of the
young men, who looked towards Thma-
as as they did so.
26 TfE WORD NO.
"I cannot play for money," he said,
coloring; for he felt really ashamed to
acknowledge his scruples.
"And why not ?" asked the friend of
Boyd, looking him steadily in the face.
"Because I think it wrong," stam-
mered out Howland, coloring still more
"Nonsenese! Isn't your money your
own? And pray what harm is there in
your doing with your own as you
please ?" urged the tempter.
But I do not know enough of the
game to risk my money."
"You do n't think we would take
advantage of your ignorance ?" Boyd
TE WORD NO. 27
said. The stake is only to give inter-
est to the game. I would not give a
copper for a game of cards without a
stake. Come, put down your half-dol-
lar, and we '11 promise to pay you back
all you loose, if you wish it, until you
acquire some skill."
But Thomas felt reluctant, and hesi-
tated. Nevertheless, he was debating
the matter in his mind seriously, and
every moment that reluctance was
Will you play ?" Boyd asked in a
decided tone, breaking in upon his de-
"I had rather not," Thomas replied,
28 THE WORD NO.
attempting to smile, so as to conciliate
his false friends.
You're afraid of your money," said
Boyd, in a half-sneering tone.
"It is not that, Boyd."
"Then what is it, pray ?"
"I am afraid it is not right."
This was answered by a loud laugh
from his two friends, which touched
Thomas a good deal, and made him
feel more ashamed of the scruples that
held him back from entering into the
Come, down with your stake, How-
land," Boyd said, after he had finished
THE WORD NO. 29
The hand of Thomas was in his
pocket, and his fingers had grasped the
silver coin, yet still he hesitated.
"Will you play, or not ?" the friend
of Boyd now said, with something of
impatience in his tone. "Say yes, or
For a moment the mind of Thomas
became confused-then the perception
came upon him as clear as a sunbeam,
that it was wrong to gamble. He re-
membered, too, vividly, his father's
"No," he said, firmly and decidedly.
Both of his companions looked dis-
appointed and angry.
30 THE WORD NO.
"What did you bring him for?" he
heard Boyd's companion say to him in
an under tone, while a frown darkened
upon his brow.
The reply did not reach his ear, but
he felt that his company was no longer
pleasant, and rising, hle bade them a
formal good-evening, and hurriedly re-
tired. That little word no had saved
him. The scheme was, to win from
him his forty dollars, and then involve
him in "debts of honor," as they are
falsely called, which would compel him
to draw upon his father for more mon-
ey, or abstract it from his employer, a
system which had been pursued by
THE WORD NO. 31
Boyd, and which was discovered only
a week subsequent, when the young
man was discharged in disgrace. It
then came out, that he had been for
months in secret association with a
gambler, and that the two shared to-
gether the spoils and peculations.
This incident roused Thomas How-
land to a distinct consciousness of the
danger that lurked in his path, as a
young man, in a large city. He felt,
as he had not felt while simply listen-
ing to his father's precept, the value
of the word no; and resolved that
hereafter he would utter that little
word, and that, too, decidedly, when-
32 THE WORD NO.
ever urged to do what his judgment
did not approve.
I will be free !" he said, pacing his
chamber backward and forward. "I
will be free, hereafter No one shall
persuade me or drive me to do what I
feel to be wrong."
That conclusion was his safeguard
ever after. When tempted, and he
was tempted frequently, his "No" de-
cided the matter at once. There was
a power in it that was all-sufficient in
" An apple, dear mother !"
Cried Willy one day,
Coming ini, with his cheeks
Glowing bright, from his play.
"I want a nice apple,
A large one, and red."
"For whom do you want it ?"
His kind mother said.
34 WILLY AND THE
"You know a big apple
I gave you at noon;
And now for another,
My boy, it's too soon."
"There's a poor little girl
At the door, mother dear,"
Said Will, while within
His mild eye shone a tear.
"She says, since last evening
"She's eaten no bread;
Her feet are all naked,
And bare it her head.
Like me, she's no mother
To love her, I'm sure,
Or she'd not look so hungry,
And ragged, and poor.
BEGGAR GIEL. 35
"Let me give her an apple;
She wants one, I know;
A nice, large, red apple-
O! do not say no."
First a kiss to the lips
Of her generous boy,
Mamma gave with a feeling
Of exquisite joy-
For goodness, whene'er
In a child it is seen,
Gives joy to the heart
Of a moth9, I ween-
And then led her out, where,
Still stood by the door,
A.poor little beggar-girl,
Ragged all o'er.
36 WILY AND TE
"Please ma'am, I am hungry,"
The little thing said,
"Will you give me to eat
A small piece of bread?"
"Yes, child, you shall have it;
But who sends you out,
From dwelling to dwelling
To wander about?"
A pair of mild eyes
To the lady were raised;
"My mother' been sick
For a grea many days,
So sick she don't know me."
Sobs stifled the rest,
And heaved with young sorrow
That innocent breast,
BEGGAR GIRL. 37
Just then from the store-room-
Where wee Willy run,
As his mother to question
The poor child begun-
Came forth th sweet boy,
With a large loaf of bread,
Held tight in his tiny hands
Hiah o'er his head.
"Here's bread, and a plenty!
Eat, little girl, eat!"
He cried, as he laid
The great loaf at her feet.
The mother smiled gently,
Then, quick through the door
Drew the sad little stranger,
So hungry and poor.
38 WILLY AND THE
With words kindly spoken
She gave her nice food,
And clothed her with garments
All clean, warm, and good.
This done, she-was leading
Her out, when she heard
Willy coming down stairs,
Like a fluttering bird.
A newly bought leghorn,
With green bow and band.
And an old, worn out beaver
He held in his hand.
Here give her my new hat,"
He cried; "I can wear
My black one all summer-
It's good-you won't care-
BEGGAR GIRL. 39
"Say! will you, dear mother ?"
First out through the door,
She passed the girl kindly;
Then quick from the floor
Caught up the dear fellow,
Kissed and kissed him again,
While her glad tears fell freely
O'er his sweet face like rain.
Little Martin went to a peasant
and endeavored to procure employ-
ment, by which he might be able to
earn some money.
Yes," said the peasant, "I will take
you for a herds-boy, and if you are in-
dustrious, will give you your board and
ten dollars for the whole summer."
"I will be very industrious," said
Martin, "but I beg you to pay me
my wages every week, for I have a
poor father at home to whom I wish
to carry all I earn."
THE GOOD SON. 41
The peasant, who was pleased be-
yond measure at this filial love, not
only willingly consented, but also rais-
ed his wages much higher. Every
Saturday the son carefully carried his
money, and as much bread and butter
as he could spare from his own mouth,
to his father.
Children, love and gratitude
Always please the wise and good,
But contempt and hate from all,
On the thankless child will fall.
A mother once lay very sick, and
suffered great and constant pain. Her
children were all very sad and melan-
choly, and the large ones often kneel-
ed down together, and prayed that
God would restore their mother to
health once more.
The youngest child would stand all
day by the bed of her mother, and
with tearful eyes, anxiously inquire
when she would be well and get up
again. One day this little child ob-
served a glass filled with some dark
I!'. I I 1111111
1111. I ----- Iiii
____________ ,I I ________ I 11
i~II~, hI I 1111
II1~,~ IiiII A
THE SICK MOTHER. 43
fluid standing by the sick bed, and
asked, "Mother, what is this?" The
mother answered, "My dear child, it
is something very bitter; but I must
drink it, that I may get well again."
"Mother," said the good child, if it
is so bitter, I will drink it for you;
then you will be well again."
And the sick mother, in all her
pains, had the comfort and consolation
of seeing how dearly all her children
Parents, joy and comfort find
SIn a child that's good and kind
But their hearts arc very sad,
When the child they love is bad.
I II I Il ill I 1 3 -------------~ ~
Cornelia was the joy and pride of
her parents, for she was a slender,
graceful little creature, darting about
like a young fawn, and her cheeks
were as fresh and blooming as the
young rose when it first opens to re-
ceive the dew. Added to this, she
was blessed with a temper as sweet
and serene as a spring morning when
it dawns upon the blooming valleys,
announcing a fair and delightful day.
Cornelia had never in her life known
what it is to experience trouble and
CORNELIA S PRAYER. 45
anxiety, for her youth had been all
brightness and sunshine. But such
freedom from all trials does not gen-
erally continue for a long time unin-
terrupted. And so it was with Cor-
nelia. She was one day very much
delighted at being shown a little broth-
er with which her mother had present-
ed her, but her joy was soon clouded
by the severe illness of that mother.
She lay many long days without no-
ticing or appearing to know her little
Cornelia, for her fever was strong, and
her senses were continually wandering.
Cornelia was almost heart-broken at
this, and they could scarcely persuade
46 CORNELIA'S PRAYER.
her to leave the bedside of her dear
mother, for a single moment. She
would entreat and implore until she
won their consent that she slbuld re-
main in the sick room; and then all
night long would the affectionate lit-
tle girl watch by her mother's bed,
and attentively study her every want,
wetting her parched lips, and moving
around her with the lightest and most
On the seventh day of her sickness
the fever approached its crisis, and
there was deep silence in the little
chamber, and stifled weeping, for ev-
ery one thought that death was near.
CORNELIA'S PRAYER. 47
But with the night came long absent
slumber, and revived the almost dying
mother, and seemed to give her back
to life. What a season for Cornelia!
Through the whole night she sat by the
bed listening to her now soft and reg-
ular breathing, while hope and fear
were struggling together in her bosom.
When daylight appeared, the moth-
er opened her eyes, and turning them
upon the anxious Cornelia, knew her.
"I am better, my child," said she in a
clear, but feeble voice, "I am better,
and shall get well!" They then gave
her drink and nourishment, and she
went to sleep again.
48 CORNELIA'S PRAYER.
What joy was this for the affection-
ate little girl! Her heart was too full
for utterance, and she stole softly out
of the chamber, and skipped out into
the field, and ascended a hill near by,
just as the sun was dawning. Here
she stood, her hands clasped together,
and her, bosom swelling with many
contending emotions of pain and hope.
Presently the sun arose and streamed
over her face, and Cornelia thought of
the new life of her mother after her
reviving sleep, and the anguish of her
own feelings. But she could not long
shut up the flood of feeling within
her own heart, and she knelt down
CORNELIA'S PRAYER. 49
upon blooming flowers with which the
hill was covered, and bowing her face
to the fragrant sod, her tears were
mingled with the dew of heaven.
After a few minutes silence, she lift-
ed up her head, and rising from the
ground, returned to her home, and the
chamber of her mother. Never before
had there been so sweet and calm a
loveliness on the face of Cornelia. It
was a reflection of the peace and tran-
quility of her soul, for she had held
communion with her God!
A friend with whom I was convers-
ing a few weeks since, told me of a
beautiful example of this christian
grace, even in a little child. It has
often dwelt in my memory since, and
perhaps some of my little readers may
be induced to cultivate the same spir-
it, if I repeat it to them.
Little Sarah was a sweet child of
six summers. Gentle and affectionate
in disposition, she soon won a large
portion of that love which few hearts
can withhold,from the happy spirit of
infancy. It has been said, "Childhood
is ever lovely," and I would add, child-
hood is ever loved. Sarah was an at-
tentive and careful reader of the word
of God, at a very early age. There it
was that she found the Divine promise,
"Forgive, and thou shalt be forgiven."
And she not only read this precept,
but showed, by her life of gentle for-
giveness, that she had engraven it up-
on her heart
She attended a small school w h
was kept near her home; and I am. sor-
ry that all who were her schoolmates
had not the same kind spirit. There
were some who were very rude and
unkind, and Sarah soon found n
trials to encounter. Often would
gentle child return to her sweet I
in tears, to forget her sorrow
mother's love. Yet every harsh
itngentle tone was forgiven by
for she knew that forgiveness
One day when her mother had
en her some plums, she observed
Sarah did not eat them, but put
al into her little work-bag to
them to school.
"Why do you do so?" said
"you do not eat the plums whi
have given you."
"No, mother," said Sarah, "I will
carry them to the little children who
do not love me. Perhaps they will
love me better if I am kind to them."
Here was the true secret of human
love. The power of kindness-there
is none other that will reach every
heart. There is none other that can
influence them for good. It can lead
the sinner from his evil way, for none
are too sinful to love, and where love
is, there is power. We are all frail md
erring beings, whose hourly prayer
should be for pardon, and shall we
not forgive ?
A mother one day returned home
very sorrowful, and lamented bitterly
to her husband that she had heard that
one of their sois had beaten a poor
"This," said she, "must have cer-
tainly been done by our naughty
Caspar, but he will deny it if I put
the question to him."
"I will answer for it," said the pru-
dent father, that I will put the ques-
tion to him in a way in which he can-
THE GUILTY CONSCIENCE. 55
not answer with a lie; and thereby
come at the truth."
They soon after went to the supper
table, and Caspar was very still and
quiet: he ate little, and spoke still
less.- He seldom looked at his pa-
rents, who were very grave and seri-
ous, and then only with stolen glances.
The sons soon after went to bed.-
They all slept in separate beds, but in
the same room.
About half an hour after, when they
were gone to sleep, their father enter-
ed the chamber, and took pains to
make a great noise in shutting the
door. Caspar instantly sprang out of
56 THE GUILTY CONSCIENCE.
bed, and full of fear cried out, "What
is it? What is the matter ?"
"Nothing," answered the father, "I
was only wishing to see who among
you was asleep." The two other broth-
ers were sleeping softly and sweetly,
and did not awake until they were
aroused by Caspar's cry. The father
then went out again.
The next day the father called Cas-
par to him, and, before his mother and
all the children, said to him, "You beat
a poor child, yesterday, did you?"
Caspar, who thought that it had all
come out, began to excuse himself.-
" He struck me too, and-" His father
THE GUILTY CONSCIENCE 57
would not suffer him to proceed any
farther. "Caspar!" said he, "why do
you make us so much trouble and sor-
row? Yesterday, we heard that one of
our sons had beaten a poor child, but
we did not then know who had done
it. But when I saw you eating in so
much fear and trouble, and still more,
when you could not sleep from uneasi-
ness, and your qguily conscience drove
you from your bed as soon as I opened
the door, I was convinced that you
were the guilty one. See, how miser-
able wickedness can make us. You
have been sufficiently punished by
your anxiety and fear, but you must
68 THE GUILTY CONSCIENCE.
now endeavor to do some good to the
poor child, and make atonement for
your faults. What will you do?"
Caspar acknowledged his fault, and
promised to do every thing that his
father commanded him.
He who does wrong is always sure
to repent of it, for he is punished by
his own conscience, if in no other way.
"Oh, Aunt Elissa stay with us and
spend the evening, why can't you!"
exclaimed Janie, Nelly, and Thanny,
as the before-mentioned aunt entered
their cheerful little parlor one evening,
after being absent some time.
Stay and spend the evening!
Bless your dear souls! no. Have n't
I got to go to the post office, and be-
sides that, a hundred and one other
errands to do ?"
"Never mind the post office, Aunt
Lissa. Where's my hat? I'll run there
60 ACORN HOLLOW.
and back again in two minutes, and
that will save you the trouble of going.
And never mind the errands either;
you can come over in the morning and
do them; besides that, we do n't like
to have our aunt going about these
dark evenings-she might get lost, or
something might catch her and carry
her off, and then-"
What then ? "
"Why she would n't tell us any
"Away with you, you selfish things!
that 's as much as -ou care for me.
Now I '11 go right hoIei."
"Oh do n't, do n't! Run Thanny
ACORN HOLLOW. 61
and shut the door, while I hold her,
and Nelly unties her bonnet. I do n't
care if she does scold."
"Go away! you wild birds. Have n't
you been taught any better manners
than this ? Strange your mother will
let you act so! but there she sits, sew-
ing away us busily as ever, only look-
ing up now and then, to smile, as if
she did n't care at all. Fie! for shame!
There goes my bonnet and shawl. Now
Nelly, if you hide them, I '11 never go
over the hills with you again. I have
a great mind not to speak a word to
one of you."
"Oh do n't stop talking, for we want
you to tell us a story."
62 ACORN HOLLOW.
"A story! why dear children, I can't
begin with the first thought of a story
to-night; I feel so stupid and dull that
it will be quite as much as I can do to
keep myself awake."
"Oh well, then we will have a dance,
and that will wake you up. Here!
Away we go!"
"Stop! stop you merry elves! Oh
my foot I Oh my hand I would rather
tell you all the stories in the Arabian
Nights, than go through one such dance
as this. Sit down now and be quiet,
for if I have really got it to do, I want
to begin as soon as possible. Well,
what shall I tell you about, Janie ?"
Oh, anything you please."
ACORN HOLLOW. 63
"There, now, that is n't any sort of
an answer at all. What shall I tell
you about, Thanny ? "
Oh, tell us about a sailor boy, who
wore a tarpaulin hat and a blue jacket
with a collar to it-and how he went
to sea, and got shipwrecked on an un-
inhabited, desert island, and almost got
drowned, but did n't quite-and then,
after a great many years, he came home
one snow-stormy night, and knocked
at the door, with a bag full of dollars
and a bunch of cocoa nuts, and his old
father and mother almost died of joy
to see him."
"Well done But now that you
64 ACORN HOLLOW.
know the whole of the story, it wont
be of any use for me to tell it over
again. What shall I tell you about,
"Tell us about something you used
to do when you was a little girl."
"When I was a little girl ? Ah yes:
do you know that I used to be a wild
and careless creature, and did many
things which I am sorry for now ? I
would often act upon the impulse of
the moment, therefore I said many vain
and foolish words, and though I did not
intend evil, yet I often committed
thoughtless acts, which were, in them-
selves, very wrong. I did not restrain
ACORN HOLLOW. 65
that spirit as I ought to, so it grew
upon me, until it almost became a part
of my nature, and now that I have
grown up to be a woman, and people
expect better things of me-a word, a
thought, or look will call forth those
feelings once more, even at times of
the most serious reflection; and then
many call me light-minded and trifling.
I do not blame them, but in my heart
I do not feel so. Take care of your-
selves in time, that you may not have
these sorrowful fruits to repent of.
But I do not mean to preach you a ser-
mon, instead of telling a story. And
now that you have reminded me of my
66 ACORN HOLLOW.
earlier days, I will tell you about a
place called Acorn Hollow, for of all
the spots that I love to remember, this
is one of the dearest to me."
Where is it, Aunt Lissa ?"
"It is about two miles from your
grandfather's house, in the woods, at
the south part of the town. I have
visited it at all times and seasons of
the year, but the first time I ever saw
it was in the dead of winter."
Why, how happened that ?"
SIt was the. 22d of December-the
anniversary of the landing of the Pil-
grims, and there was to be a grand en-
tertainment in the evening, to which
ACORN HOLLOW. 67
my older sisters were invited. They
wanted some of the curly ground pine,
which keeps green all winter, to put
with the flowers they wore in their hair;
and as brother Alfred was always fa-
mous for knowing the whereabouts of
all strange plants and wild flowers, he
promised to get them some. In" the
afternoon, Freddy Lucas, his friend
and almost constant companion, came,
and as it was an uncommonly mild and
pleasant day for that season of the
year, they asked me to go with them.
I was right glad to do so, and after
adding one more to our party, Susan
Edwards, a dark-eyed, merry-hearted
68 ACORN HOLLOW.
girl, we were soon scampering away
over the hills. There had been some
very heavy rains, by which the sand
had been washed away from the hill-
side, leaving deep and wide furrows at
the foot, which required all our skill to
jump over, but we determined not to
be outdone by Alfred, who acted as
pioneer; so we continued to follow
our leader, with many a laugh and
tumble, until it seemed we were going
a great way, to get nowhere.
"At length we came to a little pond,
far down among the hills, with shrubs
and rushes growing all around and in-
to it. Alfred said this was Turtle pond,
ACORN HOLLOW. 69
where the boys often came Saturday
afternoons to roast potatoes and ap-
ples, and have a real frolic. Hie said,
too, it would do one's heart good to
look upon these hills in the early spring
time, for then they were fairly blush-
ing with the beautiful May flowers,
which the boys and girls who are work-
ing for the anti-slavery cause, take so
much pains to gather, and send to the
Boston market. I asked him if this
was Acorn Hollow. Oh no,' said he,
'we must go through this pasture, and
the next one beyond it; then we shall
see a cedar tree growing by the fence,
and soon we shall come to a place
70 ACORN HOLLOW.
where two roads go round a hill, and
then we shall be close by there.'
"So we went, and went, till he
stopped suddenly, and said, 'here it
is.' And sure enough, there was the
beautiful hollow, close by the road-side.
The sides were so steep that it was by
no means safe to run down into it, and
the great oak trees and the small ones,
with the pine, the walnut, and the sil-
very birch, grew thick and close all
around, save that one small opening
from the road, a little archway among
the overhanging boughs and dwarf
Just below this opening there was
trees that I
than any o:
trunk was s
and reached our arms
could only touch the ti
her's fingers. We had
get our ground pine
were very short, and it
There was plenty of it
the trees with another
evergreen, which ran
It was taller
trees, and the
Lt when two of
on each side,
Around it, we
ps of each oth-
to hurry and
, for the days
grew dark fast
close to the
with little soft
felt like fur.
72 ACORN HOLLOW.
do n't think that was the right name,
but I never knew any other. After
we had trimmed up our caps and bon-
nets with the early leaves of pine, and
made ourselves tippets of the bear's
grass, we hastened back again; but
the stars were in the sky, and the
Gurnet lights were beaming brightly
over the waters, long before we reach-
ed our homes.
"After this we went there a great
many times, for we were fond of ramb-
ling in the woods, and almost every-
thing which is usually found on hill-
top or valley, seemed to grow there.
There were May flowers, violets and
~ ~ ~X_ ~ ~I
ACORN HOLLOW. 73
anemonies, in spring time; box, whor-
tie, and black berries, in summer, and
acorns and walnuts in autumn.
One fourth of July, when soldiers
were marching about the streets-boys
were firing crackers-dogs barking,
and every body seemed just ready to
run crazy, Alfred, and Charlie, who
was but a wee bit' of a boy, then,
with sister Una and myself, determin-
ed to make our escape from this scene
of confusion. We took a little basket
of provision, with a hatchet and a jug
of water, and started for our favorite
hollow. Often, in the long winter eve-
nings, we brothers and sisters would
74 ACORN HOLLOW.
sit round the fire, and tell what we
would do when we grew up to be men
and women. But there was one thing
which we always agreed upon, and it
was. this: that we would all live to-
gether, in a little cottage in the woods,
where we could have plenty of room
to move about in, and do just as we
pleased. Now we thought we had
dreamed of this long enough, and we
determined to have a little of the re-
ality; so, as soon as we reached the
hollow, we began to build a bower
with the branches which we cut from
the trees with our hatchet. We work-
ed away very busily, for a long time,
ACORN HOLLOW. 75
toiling and sweating, yet all the time
feeling never so happy. Oh, I do wish
that all you children, and a great
many more beside, could have been
there with us, to see what a nice, pret-
ty place it was, when it was finished.
Iiram of Tyre, in his stately palace of
cedar, fir, and algum wood, could not
have felt prouder or happier than we
did, in our little sylvan bower.
"We spread a shawl on the ground,
and laid our provisions upon it. Here
we sat and sung, and told stories, till
we saw a great dark shadow coming
down the hill-side; and what do you
suppose it was, Thanny ?"
76 ACORN HOLLOW.
Well I do n't know, unless it was a
great black bear, coming down to get
some of his grass for supper."
Oh fie! No. What do you think
it was, Nelly?"
"Was n't it old Pan and Sylvanus,
who were astonished to hear such a
noise in their woods ?"
No, you hav n't got it right either.
What do you say, Janie?"
"Well, I guess it was the shadows
of evening, coming down the hill-side."
"That's it-and we were very much
surprised to find it so, for the time had
passed very quickly and pleasantly.
We gathered up our things, and start-
ACORN HOLLOW. 77
ed for home. But first we stopped
under the old acorn-tree, and sung 'a
song to the oak, the brave old oak.'
We did n't know the right tune, and
so we sung it to the air of there is
nae luck about the house.' It was n't
the music we cared so much about,
as the beautiful words, they were so
pretty and appropriate.
Well, we did not go into the woods
much, after this, for we had a great
many other things to take up our minds.
Charlie and I went to school, and
father needed Alfred to help him all
"I have told you how we found the
hollow and how much we enjoyed our-
selves there; now I will tell you what
became of it."
What became of it! Why! did it
catch afire and burn up ?"
"Did it blow away in a strong north
"Did it get filled up with dust and
dry leaves, or did you forget the way
there, and never find it again ? What
did become of it?"
"Well, let me tell you. It was one
of those beautiful spring days-when
we feel that we cannot possibly stay
ACORN HOLLOW. 79
at home, and our feet will run away
with us, in spite of ourselves-that
the old spirit and desire for rambling
came over us once more, and away we
started for the woods. 'Which way
will you go?' said Alfred, as we
stopped at a place where two roads
led in different directions. 'Acorn
Hollow,' was the answer of all; and
accordingly we went that way. But
oh, wonder of wonders! How we
stood by the once loved spot, and
stared at each other, and rubbed our
eyes, and looked again and again.
Where were the beautiful trees that
grew so closely side by side, inter-
80 ACORN HOLLOW.
mingling their foliage, and locking
their arms together like loving broth-
ers and sisters? Where was the
'brave old oak,' that had stood there
with his broad green arms outstretch-
ed, and shook his myriad leaves when-
ever we came, as if he loved us chil-
dren, and welcomed us to a resting-
place inahis shadow. And where was
the soft green carpet of moss and ten-
der grass that was spread out so beau-
tifully at the bottom of the hollow?
It was all changed, as if the breath of an
evil spirit had blown upon it. 'Is n't
it too bad!' we all exclaimed; and
after we had given expression to our
ACORN HOLLOW. 81
feelings by these few words, we pro
needed to a closer examination. All
the trees along the hill-side had been
cut down, and little piles of wood were
put up, to carry away. The May flow-
ers were all dried up in the sun, and
the ground pine and bear's grass were
as sere and yellow as the autumn
leaves. Down in the bottom of the hol-
low, the turf had been cut up and car-
ried off, and there lay the bones of an
old horse bleaching in the sun. There
was only a little stump left of the
acorn tree, with a few withered branch-
es. 'Is n't it a sin, and a shame !' said
Alfred, indignantly. 'I never want to
82 ACORN HOLLOW.
come here again,' murmured Charlie;
and I sat down on the stump and cried.
If all the world had been looking at
me I could n't have helped it.
"Then I thought how strangely
everything was changing around me.
Nothing appeared the same to me,
save the sun and stars and the broad
blue sea. Father and mother, brothers
and sisters, and the great world itself,
were all changing. I too was changed.
Time and study, with daily trial, were
making me an altogether different be-
ing from what I had been, and I knew
that the finger of the Almighty was
writing lessons upon my heart, which
ACORN HOLLOW. 83
I could never forget; no, not through
all eternity. I wept; and then a
truth-a great and a good one-rose
in my heart, like the morning star, for
I knew, at that moment, that all these
changes were but the lessons which
the angel teachers are giving us, to fit
us for higher duties in the world to
come. The memory of that beautiful
spot is as fresh and fair in my heart
as ever, and the lesson which I learned
there has had a blessed influence upon
my life; for now, when I feel sad and
disheartened, I strive to keep my eye
fixed on the great point to which we
all tend, forgetting the little sorrows
84 ACORN HOLLOW.
that lie between. And I hear the
calm sweet voice of him who died on
Calvary, saying, 'fear not; I am thy
friend and brother. I too have dwelt
in the flesh, and know its conflicts and
trials; trust in me, for I am the same,
yesterday, to-day, and forever.'
Hark! do n't I hear the clock
strike ?-eight, nine, ten. 0, naughty
children! when I only came in here to
stop ten minutes; and now you have
kept me here till ten o'clock! Only
think how dark it is, and what a long
way over to the green. I guess you
will be sorry, if you should hear, in
the morning, that I had walked off the
ACORN HOLLOW. 85
bridge into the mill-brook, or fallen
into the cistern on the Green."
"Oh aunt Lissa! as if there was n't
any fence to the bridge, and a cover on
the cistern, with a stone on it. You
need n't try to frighten us in that way."
a Well then, let me go, lest grand-
mother should feel frightened; but
first you must pay me for telling you
"Well, how much do you ask ?"
"Oh, not much; only a kiss from
each of you."
"That you may have and welcome,
and as many as you please,"
on3GD1rclav ACbD aILSSSSS^
The necessity of cultivating indus-
trious habits in early youth was never
more fully exemplified than in the
case of two girls, daughters of the
same mother, who were born in a
village about forty miles from the
city of Boston.
Mary and Sophia had the advan-
tage of a mother who was herself full
of enterprise and energy, and who
having been left a widow, and' know-
ing that the success of her children
depended mainly on their own con-
-. -- _:w
INDUSTRY AND IDLENESS. 87
duct, strove to bring them up to hab-
its of industry. Sophia, the younger
of the two sisters, inherited much of
her mother's tact and vivacity. When
the elder persons of the family were
engaged in any domestic employment,
she delighted to watch their movq
ments; and they, being pleased* wi
this mark of early promise, never fail-
ed to instruct her in the duties of a
housewife. She learned rapidly un-
der their tuition, and as she never
thought she knew too much to learn,
she thrived greatly; so that when she
became old enough to be married,
she was fully acquainted with all the
88 INDUSTRY AND IDLENESS.
branches of domestic business. She
knew what implements to use, and she
had a dexterous way of using them,
which not only helped to forward the
business of the day, but also gave
much pleasure to those persons who
saw with what grace and ease she per-
formed her labor. She married a wor-
thy young man, who never ceased to
admire her, because his house was al-
ways in order, his meals were on the
table at the exact hour, and her dress
was always arranged with a regard to
neatness and to beauty, and the most
perfect cleanliness reigned from one
end of the house to the other.
INDUSTRY AND IDLENESS. 89
With regard to her sister Mary, I
regret that I have too much reason
to speak otherwise. Although Mary
knew very well that her fortune, for
good or for evil, depended wholly upon
herself, yet she thought it unnecessary
to take any pains to acquire industri-
ous habits, or to learn the business of
housekeeping. While she was yet a
very little girl, she was obstinate and
self-willed, and thought herself too
good to work, or to learn any useful
art. While the rest of the family
were engaged in necessary labor, she
was amusing herself; and if called
upon to do the least thing, she com-
90 INDUSTRY AND IDLENESS.
plained bitterly as if some great inju-
ry had been done to her. She thought
it very much beneath her to learn to
sew or to make bread, or to milk one
of the cows, and could talk half an
hour and make very fine excuses in
order to get rid of any such little ex-
ercise. When she was twelve years
old, she supposed that she was born to
be a lady, and she took this notion in-
to her head, merely because she did
not know how to do a single useful
thing. If her mother or sisters said
anything to her about her dress, which
was never put on as it should be, or
about her hair, which was never done
INDUSTRY AND IDLENESS. 91
up neatly, she flouted at them with dis-
dain, and said that clothes did not make
the woman; which was very true of
itself, but nevertheless, neatness in
dress is always required to make a re-
spectable woman. One may be ever
so poor and may have ever so little
clothing, but one can always tell by a
girl's appearance, what is to be laid to
the account of poverty, and what is to
be laid to the account of sluttishness.
Mary grew up in this way, and as
she did not improve herself by useful
occupation, she found other employ-
ments which did her no good. She
read every foolish and extravagant
92 NusnTY AND DLENEss
story and novel which give false ideas
of life, and which poison the mind by
unreasonable views of love and of mar-
ried life. She now thought that she
was becoming very accomplished, but
no young man who knew her history
desired to unite himself with such a
partner. At last, however, a stranger
who entirely misapprehended her char-
acter offered her his hand, and she pro-
fessed to love him very much. But
her professions were all frothy and
vain; for she had read so many ex-
travagant fictions, and knew so little of
real life, that she did not know her own
mind, and supposed that she was very
INDUSTRY AD IDLENESS. 93
much in love, when she did not even
know how to form a serious attachment.
The man whom she married was very
respectable and well disposed, and if
he had married a smart and industrious
woman would have succeeded well in
the world. But Mary had never been
either smart or industrious, and she
seemed to suppose that now she was
married there was no necessity for do-
ing anything. When her husband
complained that it was hard to live,
she only smiled, and said that she knew
if she were a man she could get along
well enough, and that every man ought
to expect, as a matter of course, to sup-