I ~-------"---- -
GRANDMOTHER AND HER PETS
AmbROT Y~man~s dogys CIA, Bu
I*sam 1mrMnu 'Ifs CmaIcT.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1852,
BY PHILLIPS, SAMPsoN & Co.,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the District
BILLION & BROTHERS,
No. 10 NORTH WILLIAM STBaUT, N. Y.
WRIGHT A HASTY,
Printers, Water Stret, Bosdmt
CHAPTER L PA0o
WHO IS OUR SUE ?" 7
OUR SUE AS A PEACEMAKER 12
THE GEOGRAPHY CLASS 23
SUE'S MOTTO-WHAT IT WAS 34
HOW MUCH A MOTTO CAN DO 44
LIFE AT MY GRANDFATHER'S 61
A TASTE OF HOMESICKNESS 70
MY GRANDMOTHER'S PETS 77
CHAPTER IX. PAGQ
SPINNING ON THE LITTLE WHEEL 83
A FUNNY HORSEBACK RIDE 91
OLD-FASHIONED POLITICS 103
A STORY OF THE SPRING-TIME 112
THE FIRST AND LAST BLOW 132
THE TITHING-MAN OF OUR PARISH 144
GRANDMOTHER AND HER PETS (Frontispiece.)
VIGNETTE TITLE-PAGE 3
OUR SUE AND HER SISTERS 19
MAKING COFFEE 65
MY GRANDPARENTS 89
SPRING .. 113
THE QUARREL 133
THE OLD TITHING-MAN AND THE BOYS 163
OUR SUE AND HER MOTTO.
WHO IS "OUR SUE ?"
"AND who is our Sue ?" I suppose
you will ask. Indeed, I should not
wonder if you had asked the question
already, in your own mind; and think-
ing it quite likely that your mind will
not give you a great deal of information
on the subject of that question, I will
8 WHO IS OUR SUE ?
try and throw some light on it my-
There lived in my native village,
when I was a boy scarcely as old as
you are, a family of children, one of
whom was named Susan-Susan Car-
ter. She was the oldest of the chil-
dren, of whom there were three, all
girls. They had a brother once. But
he died when he was a child. Su-
san was very nearly of my own age.
On that account, and possibly be-
cause we liked each other exceedingly
well, we were often together. Many
and many a time, before we had ad-
WHO IS OUR SUE ? 9
vanced into our teens, have we walked
to and fro from school in company, our
hearts as merry as the summer birds.
We were in the saite class at school.
I don't mean to tell you which of us
was the better scholar; for if I should, I
am half afraid I should reveal a secret
not much to my credit.
Now it so happened that there lived
on the other side of Blue Hill another
girl, by the name of Susan. She did
not attend our school, as her father's
house was in a different school district.
Of course, in speaking of either of these
two girls, it was necessary to call her
10 WHO IS OUR SUE?
by some name which would distinguish
her from the other Susan. It cannot
be denied that about as direct and
natural a way to' get over this diffi-
culty, would have been to call one of
the girls Sue Carter, and the other Sue
Staples. But that is not the way we
little folks managed the thing. All
the boys and girls on our side of the
hill-all who went to the red. school-
house-invariably spoke of one of the
girls as Sue Staples, and of the other as
Susan Carter was one of the best
girls that ever lived in Willow Lane.
WHO IS OUR SUE? 11
I cannot go through a list of her good
qualities; and you would get tired be-
fore I got half through, if I should
attempt such a list. But I must men-
tion one of her good qualities, and
dwell upon it a minute or two. That
I will do, if you please, in another
OUR SUE AS A PEACE-MAKER.
I SAID I would point out one of
Susan's good qualities. She was a
peace-maker. If there was any difficulty
between any of the school children,
our Sue was the one to see that it
was all nicely made up. How many
times I have known her, without say-
ing more than half a dozen words,
completely calm the waters of discord,
OUR SUE AS A PEACE-MAKER. 13
after they had raged furiously in the
breasts of two of her companions.
She had such a quiet way of per-
forming these little acts of kindness
and love I She did not make the least
noise about the matter. She never
put on any airs-never acted or spoke
as if she thought that she was any
better than her playmates-she never
seemed to blame any one for a fault.
The dear girl! The blessing of hea-
ven always attended her godlike mis-
sion. Indeed, she was herself blessed
in blessing others; for our Saviour has
said, "Blessed are the peace-makers."
14 OUR SUE AS A PEACE-MAKER.
I remember scores of instances, in
which our Sue was the messenger of
peace to those who had fallen out with
each other. Let me mention one:
Betsey Baldwin and Mary Austin
were disputing about the best way to
do a sum in the Rule of Three. Betsey
had her way; Mary had hers. It may
not seem altogether strange to some of
you, who have noticed how very trivial
disputes will roll up, like snow-balls,
until they get to be great quarrels-
it may not seem altogether strange to
you, that the two girls grew warmer
about that trifling question, as they
OUR SUE AS A PEACE-MAKER. 15
talked on, until they got up quite a
Our Sue heard what was going on.
It was during recess, and the children
were out at play. Our Sue heard it
all; and as soon as she saw that the
affair was getting to be serious, she ran
up to the place where the angry girls
were disputing, and stood there a mo-
ment, apparently waiting to see what
could be done. She did not speak a
word. She only looked at her play-
mates, and awaited a favorable chance
for dropping a word. But there was
such a world of good nature expressed in
16 OUR SUE AS A PEACE-MAKER.
her face, and withal, there was such a
veil of merriment thrown over her fea-
tures, that the two angry girls, as soon
as they glanced at the peace-maker,
stopped disputing. There was a charm
in that honest, loving, happy face.
There was no more disputing after that
first glance. The girls hung down their
heads for a few moments, heartily
ashamed, and not quite knowing what
to do next. When they looked again
into the face of Susan, they saw there
a curious kind of smile, which made
them both burst out into a hearty
OUR SUE AS A PEACE-MAKER. 17
"Well, girls, it's all over now, isn't
it ?" said the peace-maker.
The girls said nothing, but they
clasped each other's hands, lovingly,
and it was all over.
When any dispute arose between her
two sisters, one word from Sue was
generally sufficient to produce sunshine
again. One day these girls quarreled
about a doll. Both wanted to hold the
doll at the same time. They could not
be gratified in this wish, of course.
But they could have been kind to each
other, though, and have settled their
difficulty well enough, it seems to me.
18 OUB SUE AS A PEAOcXAXaER.
However, they did not settle it. They
used angry words to each other, and
each one, in turn, snatched the doll from
her sister's hands. Our Sue heard what
they said, and saw what they did.
"Come here a moment," said she.
"I have got something to show you."
Both of them ran towards their sis-
ter, as fast as they could run, as soon
as they heard her voice. They knew
that Sue never deceived them, and that
when she said she had any thing to
show them, she told the truth.
"Shall I read you a pretty story ?"
ODB SUE AND HER SISTERS
:-F iW .
OUR SUE AS A PEACE-MAKER. 21
Oh, yes, dearest sister," they both
Then the peace-maker opened the
Bible, and turned to the story about
Joseph and his brethren. It was not
long before both the little listeners
were weeping over that most affecting
"Shall I tead a little more?" asked
Sue, after she had finished the narra-
tive about Joseph. The girls said,
"Yes, do if you please." And this
time the eldest sister selected a chap-
ter in one of the gospels, in which
our Saviour exhorts his disciples to
22 OUR SUE AS A PEACE-MAKER.
love each other. Again the two sis-
ters wept. I have been very naugh-
ty," said one. "And so have I," said
You can't think how much good our
Sue was continually doing among her
playmates. Every body loved her.
What a loss it was to our school when
she was absent, though only for a few
THE GEOGRAPHY CLASS.
THERE was a class in geography one
summer, in the school we attended.
The geography we studied was Wood-
bridge and Willard's. It was printed,
I recollect, a part of it in large and
the other part in small type. The
little boys and girls used to begin
with the coarse print," as they called
it; and when they were thought old
24 THE GEOGRAPHY CLASS.
enough or bright enough, to master
it, they were required to learn the
"fine print." Our Sue belonged to
this class. So, too, did Cousin Kate.
"And who is Cousin Kate ?" some
of you may ask.
Why, haven't I told you about her
before ? She has long been one of
Uncle Frank's best friends.
'Is that her real name, Uncle Frank,
or is it only the name she sometimes
goes by ?"
It is not her real name, that is, not
exactly her real name. It is the only
one she chooses to take, though, when
THE GEOGRAPHY CLASS. 25
she writes stories for her friends, the
"And is she your cousin, Uncle
No; she is no more my cousin than
yours. She is every body's cousin,
when she is telling stories for chil-
"Has she written any children's
Yes, one or two, and I wish she
would write more, for the children's
sake. She is a fine story-teller. If
you should ever hear of a book writ-
ten by Cousin Kate, you may be sure
26 THE GEOGRAPHY CLASS.
it is- worth reading. I never came
across one of her stories, that did not
appear as if it would charm the little
folks who read it.
But we must not forget the geography
class. I will tell you, also, what Cousin
Kate has said about it.
Our Sue did not enjoy very good
health generally; and, on this account,
she frequently had to stay at home
from school. She was not among the
number who were best acquainted with
the fine print in the geography. As
her parents did not wish her to apply
very closely to study, her teacher did
THE GEOGRAPHY CLASS. 2'
not oblige her to learn any thing but
the large print. Sue went on in this
way a few weeks.
But the geography class proved ra-
ther a dull affair. The teacher began to
think she must do something to wake
up the ideas of the girls who belonged
to it. To raise their ambition, she pro-
posed that they should "go up and
down," as they used to call it. That
is, if one missed a question, and the
next answered it, the one who an-
swered was to take her place above
the one who missed it. In this way,
the one who had the most perfect les-
28 THE GEOGRAPHY CLASS.
sons, would get and keep the place at
the head of the class. The one who
was at the head of the class the most
times was to receive a prize.
Sue did not quite like this plan.
She did not exactly see how she was
to get along as she had done, and study
but half the lesson. She went to her
teacher, and told her the trouble she
was in. Her teacher told her if she
could make up her mind to be always
at the foot of the class, she could get
her lessons just as she had done; she
could not, of course, expect to take
any other place in the class, unless she
________ -p- ~ -~ i ~ brn I -'-~~~ t.ww ~ W
THE GEOGRAPHY CLASS. 29
studied the whole -lesson, as the rest
Sue did not know what to do. She
did not like the idea of being at the
foot of the class all the time; but then
she must get the whole lesson, and get
it perfectly, too, if she expected to take
any other place. This she thought
would be very hard for her, for she
was much younger than many of the
class, and had attended school less
than those of her own age. After hesi-
tating a while, she concluded to be
satisfied with the foot of the class.
Things went on in this way until the
30 ITE GEOGRAPHY CLASS.
best scholar in the class had been at
the head some twenty-days, when Sue
thought she would get the whole les-
son, one day, and get it perfectly, if it
were a possible thing. You shall see
how she succeeded. She went to her
class the day after this resolution had
been taken; and soon the one next
above her missed a question. Our Sue
answered it, and took her place. She
was quite glad to resign her place at
the foot to another, even if it was but
for one day.
It was not long before the one who
was now next above her missed a ques-
THE GEOGRAPHY CLASS. 81
tion. Sue answered that, too. She was
now removed two places from her old
Some notions of rising still higher
in the world, or at least in the class,
began to enter her head. At all events,
she resolved to get the next lesson per-
fectly, and see what might happen in
consequence. The next day, she, went
to her class again, with a perfect les-
son. This time she went up, up, until
she reached the place next to the head
of the class.
The one who had kept possession
of the head, until she had done fear-
32 THE GEOGRAPHY CLASS.
ing any rival, now began to open her
eyes rather widely. But she did not
think it best to be frightened by one
who had remained so long and so qui-
etly at the foot of the class. She
thought the little girl probably owed
her sudden promotion to some lucky
chance. But it was not many days
before she too missed, and our Sue
took her place. Yes, there she was,
at last, quite up to the head. And she
kept her place there, too, until her
companion began to tremble, for fear
she should lose the prize she had been
so sure of getting.
THE GEOGRAPHY CLASS. 33
But Sue did not expect the prize.
She knew that she had started in the
race too late for that. Her ambition
was satisfied, by showing so clearly
what she could do, even at that late
hour. But this was not all. Sue
learned a lesson which was of much
greater value to her than the prize
would have been. What do you think
it was, reader ? She learned that she
could do more than she thought she
could, if she tried; and this is the
lesson I want my little friends to learn
from this story.
SUE'S MOTTO-WHAT IT WAS.
"BUT pray," some one may be ready
to inquire, "do you think that the les-
son you have just spoken of is worth
such a great deal?"
Indeed I do. There is nothing more
common than to hear a girl say, "I
can't do this," or "I can't do that,"
when she has never tried to do it; and,
in nine cases out of ten, I do believe,
SUE'S MOTTO--WIIAT IT WAS. 35
when those children undertake one of
these things, they find they can do
it. It is a great point gained, when
a girl finds out that she can do a thing,
if it is hard. Here is a little boy who
says, I can't do this sum in arithme-
tic;" and here is another who says, "I
can't remember those dates in my his-
tory." Nonsense I You have not tried
yet. I don't believe you have.
Perhaps you may say, "Why, I have
How hard have you tried? How
many times did you try? Suppose
you should try to lift a pail full of
36 SUE'S MOTTO--WHAT IT WAS.
water, by only taking hold of it with
your little finger. How foolish you
would look, trying to clasp the handle,
and to raise the pail, with your little
finger. Come, now, be honest. Don't
you try to get your lessons pretty much
in this way, sometimes? You don't
apply more than the little finger of
your mind to them-just one cornet
of your brain-and try a little while,
and then say, "I can't." Isn't it so?
I am almost sure it is. Now, if you
will only apply your whole mind to
these matters, you can conquer them.
I have not a doubt of it.
SUE's MOTTO-WHAT IT WAS. 87
If I should hear you say, "I can't,"
I should like to ask you two questions
about it. First question: How hard
have you tried? Second question: How
many times have you tried? Have
you tried seven times? Now you
would like to know why I ask if you
have tried seven times. I will tell
you. Not long after our Sue had got
up to the head of the geography class,
one day, when she was at home, she
was trying to do some difficult task
or other-I forget what it was, if I
ever knew-and she finally gave up,
and told her mother she couldn't do it.
38 sUE8s MOTTO--WHAT IT WAS.
Mrs. Carter said, "Very well, if you
are satisfied you can't do it, there is
no use trying any longer, of course."
Sue, as most girls would have done
in such cases, gave up the task, and
sat down by the side of her mother,
who was knitting with her hands, and
rocking the cradle with her foot.
"Sue, my dear," said her mother,
"how would you like to hear a little
"Very much," was the reply, "very
And Mrs. Carter told her the story
about a Scottish king, who was driven
SUE'S MOTTO--WHAT IT WAS. 39
from his throne by the English. This
king fought six battles to regain his
kingdom; but he did not succeed. He
became quite discouraged. He had
tried so hard and so many times, that
he thought it was time for him to
give up the notion that he could con-
quer his enemies. He had to hide
himself from the English, who would
have been very glad to get him into
their hands, and then they would not
have feared to fight any more battles
One day, he hid himself in a cave.
As he lay there, he watched a spider,
40 SUE'S MOTTO-WHAT IT WAS.
weaving her web. She was trying to
carry the slender thread from one point
over to another. The king watched
her, and counted the times she made
"One, two, three, four, five, six
times," said the king. As many
times as I have fought battles. But
see she is trying it again. She is
more persevering than I am. There
She has succeeded. I will learn a les-
son from this spider.. I will try one
more battle." He did try one more
battle, and gained the victory.
Sue hung down her head, when her
USE'S MOTTO---WHAT IT WAS. 41
mother had got through telling the
story; for she knew well enough that
there was a reproof in it for her. She
went right away, and tried again to do
the task she had given up-and she
succeeded. She did it. After this,
when she was heard to say, "I can't, c'
do a thing," as she sometimes would,
her mother would ask her if she had
tried seven times; and she soon learn-
ed the lesson. If she was just going
t6 say, "I can't," she would stop, and
say, "I have not tried seven times."
If she was trying to loosen a fast knot
in her shoe strings, and was beginning
42 SUE'S MOTITO-WHAT IT WAS.
to feel impatient, she would think of
this story, and say, "I have not tried
seven times yet. Let me see. I have
tried twice. Now I have tried three
times. This makes four times. There
it comes! and I have tried only four
times either." Our young friend had
learned the lesson so well, that some-
times she would teach her teacher.
That little word can't does slip out
of the mouth very easy sometimes. If
ever her mother said, "I can't do s'o
and so," Sue would look up in her
face, very innocently, and say, "Have
you tried seven times ?" This became
SUE' MOTTO-WHAT IT WAS. 43
our Sue's motto: "I'll try-I'll try
seven times, at least."
I don't believe she ever heard a story
in her life, which did her so much good.
By the way, let me drop a hint just
here-a hint for parents; for I pre-
sume some of them will look over Uncle
Frank's book. It is this: That good
instruction, through the medium of a
story, is far more likely to be remem-
bered than in any other form.
HOW MUCH A MOTTO CAN DO.
IT is really astonishing how much a
motto can do, or rather, how much a
person can do with a motto. Indeed,
almost every one who has done any
thing worth mentioning in the world,
has been spurred on by some good
motto. In a great many instances,
to be sure, a person, who has accom-
plished a good deal, may not exactly
HOW MUCH A MOTTO CAN DO. 45
have formed his motto into words and
syllables. But he has had one, very
likely, nevertheless. You sometimes
come across a little girl, who seems
to have taken I can't" for her motto.
You, reader, have seen more than one
girl, who hardly ever thought she could
do a thing, when she was asked to do
it. Her answer was pretty uniformly
"I can't." Well, did such a girl ever
succeed in doing any thing worth na-
ming ? Of course not. How could she
do any thing with such a motto?
Our Sue's motto was one of quite
another stamp. After her success in
46 HOW MUCH A MOTTO CAN DO.
the geography class, when she became
somewhat aware of her own power, and
after the story about the spider, the
motto that governed her more than
any other, when a task was proposed
to her, was, "I'll try." She never
would allow herself to give up, in her
efforts to accomplish a hard task, until
she had tried as many times as the
Her mother began very early to teach
her children to do housework. She did
not believe in letting girls grow up
to be women, without knowing the
alphabet of housekeeping. "I want
HOW MUCH A MOTTO CAN DO. 47
them to be useful," she used to say,
"useful to themselves and to others;
and I don't see how they can be use-
ful, without learning to work." Some
might say, and indeed, some did say,
"Why, madam, your children are able
to live without work." "But what if
they are ?" she replied, "that may not
always be the case. To be sure, we
are not poor now; but we may be,
some day or other. Besides, we don't
expect the girls will live here with us
always; and who can tell whether
they will be able to keep two or three
servants twenty years hene ? But
48 .HOW MUCH A MOTTO CAN DO.
even if they were always to be quite
rich enough to warrant such extrava-
gance, I should be ashamed of them,
if they did not know how the differ-
ent branches of housekeeping ought to
be done. It must be very uncomforta-
ble to be the mistress of a family, and
to be surrounded with servants, but
to be as ignorant as a cat of the way
in which the household affairs ought
to be managed. What good would it
do such a lady, to know ever so well
how a particular dish ought to taste,
if she did not know how to cook it?
She ought to know how to do the work
HOW MUCH A MOTTO CAN DO. 49
in the kitchen, so as to be able to in-
struct her domestics, if for no other
reason; and the only way for a girl
to learn how to do these things, is to
take hold and do them."
I believe in that doctrine of Mrs. Car-
ter. I believe that children, if their
parents are ever so rich, ought to know
how to instruct others in doing work,
when they get to be masters and mis-
tresses themselves; and I believe that,
in most cases, at least, the only way to
learn how to do a thing, is just to take
hold and do it. As to making bread,
and roasting turkeys, and broiling a
60 HOW MUCH A MOTro CAN DO.
beef steak, I confess I don't know,
from my own experience, but a lady
might learn all about these matters,
by studying the cookery books. But
I do know that it is impossible to
know how to drive any branch of use-
ful business belonging to boys and
Smen, without taking hold of it in
earnest; and I have heard, too, from
those who ought to know, and who,
I think, did know, that a knowledge
of the cooking art cannot be learned
from the cook books.
That was Mrs. Carter's notion; and
it was certainly no fault of hers that
HOW MUCH A MOTTO CAN DO. 51
her children were not good housewives.
When Sue was quite a little girl, her
mother began to teach her how to do
some of the work about the house. She
taught her the alphabet of housekeep-
ing, almost as soon as she taught her
the alphabet that was printed on one
of the first pages of Webster's spell-
I believe, however, that Sue did not
learn the mysteries of housekeeping
quite as easily as she did some other
things. She was very fond of her
books, and did not "take to cooking
much," as Mrs. Carter's hired girl used
62 HOW MUCH A MOTTO OA DO.
to remark, once in a while, somewhat
It was after the recital of the story
of the spider, that her mother, having
instructed her how to cook a few plain
dishes, told her she might prepare some
coffee for breakfast; and that, as her
father was quite fond of coffee, she
wished her to learn how to make it
very nicely. The first lesson was soon
given, and our Sue made her first trial.
She roasted the coffee, ground it, boiled
it, settled it, and make it all ready for
the table. But, for some reason or
other, and Ohe could not tell wlat, the
How MUCH A MOTTO AN DO. 53
coffee was poor enough that time. Her
father could hardly drink it.
The next time, having got fresh in-
structions from her mother, she suc-
ceeded a little better. Still the coffee,
when it was poured out into the cups,
lacked that rich, clear, brown appear-
ance, which it ought to have. The
odor of it was not quite right, and its
flavor was far behind that which her
mother was in the habit of making.
Poor Sue! she was beginning to get
discouraged; and the third or fourth
time she tried, when the coffee was
served up, she burst into tears.
54 HOW MUCH A MOTOR CAN Do.
"Never mind, Sue," her mother said.
"You'll make it better the next time,
Sue dried her tears. She had for-
gotten her motto until then; and when
it came into her mind, as it did while
her mother was speaking so kindly, she
thought, "Why, what a foolish girl I
am! I haven't tried seven times yet,
The next day she went about her
task again, a great deal more cheer-
fully than she had done before. "Let
me see," she said to herself. "Some-
thing has been wrong every time be-
DP.E- -&_ I
"MOM"-- -I -------- -
HOW MUCH A MOTxE CAN DO. 57
fore. I wonder what it was. Perhaps
it was in the roasting. I have a good
mind to roast some coffee anew." Her
mother gave her permission to do so,
and she made her second attempt at
coffee-roasting. She roasted it very.
slowly, stirred it often, and watched
it all the time, to see that it did not
burn. Then she ground it. When the
time came for preparing the coffee for
breakfast, she was very careful to do
just as her mother had directed her,
in every little particular.
Well, the coffee was made. It was
brought upon the table, and poured out.
68 HOW MUCH A MOTTO CAN DO.
"Well done I" said Sue's father,
"this is the best cup of coffee we
have had for many a day;" and he
praised the skill of the young cook
so highly, that she felt amply repaid
for all the pains she had taken.
So much for that motto of yours,
Sue," said her mother. "I don't be-
lieve you would have succeeded in
making this fine dish of coffee, my
dear, if it had not been for that motto
It was, indeed, astonishing, what
wonders were brought about by those
two words, I'll try. Napoleon Bona-
HOW MUCH A MOTTO CAN DO. 59
parte, as you may have heard, thought
there ought to be no such word as
impossible among Frenchmen, and he
wanted it blotted out of the dictionary
of the French language, I believe. Sue
did not go quite so far as Napoleon,
in her opinion of the words, I can't;
yet they were words which one seldom
heard her use. The motto, which had
become, as it were, engraved into her
very heart, helped to control all her
I could tell you a great many anec-
dotes about Sue and that motto of hers.
But, fearing you would grow weary of
60 HOW MUCH A MOTTO CAN DO.
this theme, I will talk to you about
something else. Children, I have often
noticed, like short stories better than
long ones; and it is on this account
that I never spin out my yarns to a
very great length.
LIFE AT MY GRANDFATHER'S.
HAVE I ever told you any thing about
my maternal grandfather and grand-
mother? They deserve a warm place
in my memory, I am sure. Moreover,
though they lived a humble life, there
was enough about their history worth
recording; and if I have not given you
some account of them, perhaps it is
time I had done so.
62 LIFE AT MY GRANDFATHER'S.
I was an inmate of their family, off
and on, for some two years, when I was
a little boy. I did chores for the old
folks, night and morning, for which I
had my board, together with the privi-
lege of picking up choice morsels of
knowledge at the brick school-house,
the greater portion of five days in
My grand-parents were old-fashioned
people, thoroughly old-fashioned, indeed.
"New-fangled notions" did not find
much favor in their eyes. Still, they
did not quarrel with younger people,
because they preferred to do things and
LIFE AT MY GRANDFATHEE'8. 68
to see things done in a more modem
They were very unlike, in many re-
spects. Grandfather had a strong will;
grandmother easily gave up almost
every thing but principle. He had a
temper which would get excited, in
spite of all he could do-she was al-
ways mild, and pleasant, and .good-
humored, let what might happen. In
his character, there was a good deal
of sternness-in hers there was none.
He had his own way of thinking in
religious matters-she had hers. But
with all these differences, they never
64 LIFE AT MY GRANDFATHER'S.
seemed to disagree. It was a very
rare thing to hear of the least clashing
between them. They loved each other
with an affection too deep to be easily
disturbed. It seemed to me, indeed,
that their love for each other ripened,
as their heads whitened with age.
My grandfather was a man to be
loved. But he was a man to be
feared, too. There was something in
his manner, which seemed to say to
the stranger, just making his acquaint-
ance, "Not too fast, sir; there will be
time enough to be intimate; not too
fast." The children in the neighbor-
LIFE AT MY GRANDFATHER'S. 65
hood, who only saw him occasionally,
had a notion that there was a good
deal of the bear in his character.
They did not like him. Some of them,
I dare say, could not help remember-
ing how he set the house dog upon
them, when they attempted to rob the
sugar pear-tree in the garden; and
that recollection did not tend much to
make them love him. Those, however,
who got acquainted with him, especi-
ally if they had never done any thing
to call forth the old gentleman's dis-
pleasure, thought better of him. There
was, in fact, a kind heart in his breast,
66 LIFE AT MY GRANDFATHER'8.
though, as I then thought, he regarded
the outward signs of affection as rather
unmanly, and so he often shut up his
tender feelings, when he had them, and
when many other people would let
them out. To my grandmother, how-
ever, he always showed a great deal
of tenderness. As for his love toward
his grandchildren in general, and to-
ward me in particular, I don't feel
disposed to question it, though he did
not take the little folks in his lap and
play with them, as often as some old
people do. I believe he never kissed
me but once, and that was when I
LIFE AT MY GRANDFATHER'S. 67
threw up my cap, and shouted, Hur-
rah for Jackson !" when he was telling
me about the battle of New Orleans.
He was a great Democrat, and pinned
his political faith on such sleeves as
those of Thomas Jefferson.
An admirable old. lady was my grand-
mother. All the boys and girls, for
miles around the little brown cottage
where she dwelt, were in love with
her. They loved her, I suppose, be-
cause she loved them, and because
her kind heart sought so many ways of
making them happy.
My grandparents were not rich. In-
68 LIFE AT MY GRANDFATHER'S.
deed, except in faith and good works,
they were poor. The house in which
they lived and had brought up a family
of children, as numerous, almost, as
Jacob's, was but one story in height,
and had only some half a dozen rooms
in it, all told, including the sink-room,
which was a sort of shanty, though
joined to the main building after a
I tell you what it is, my young friend,
in that part of the country where I
lived when I was a little boy, our fore-
fathers and foremothers-if that last
word happens to be in the dictionary,
LIFE AT MY GRANDFATHER'S. 69
which, I confess, is a matter of some
doubt in my own mind-were satisfied
with a much smaller house than we
think we need now-a-days, to make
us comfortable; and they didn't fur-
nish their houses so finely as most of
the families do who live in this last
half of the nineteenth century. Why,
would you have dreamed of such a
thing ? There was not a piano in the
county where my grand-parents were
brought up, when I first went to live
A TASTE OF HOMESICKNESS.
How homesick I was, now I think of
it, the first autumn I was at the old gen-
tleman's. I used to cry so much, that,
to use a comparison of my grandfather's,
my eyes looked like a pair of onions. I
remember, now, as if it were but yes-
terday, how one afternoon, after school,
I went out to the wood-pile, to split
some oven wood for my grandmother,
A TASTE OF HOMESIOKESS. 71
it being the day preceding the baking
day-Friday, of course-I remember
how my tears fell so fast, that I could
not see to split a log I was at work
upon, and 1pft my great toe instead.
But I declare to you, that the pain I
suffered from the wound-and I had
a hard time of it with that toe, too,
before it got well-was easier to bear
than the homesickness.
Homesickness is a good deal like
seasickness. When one is seasick,
thoroughly seaick, he does not care
much what becomes of him. If the
captain soQ1d come, to te berth of.
12 A TASTE OF HOMESICKNESS.
a poor fellow, who was groaning with
seasickness, and tell him he was very
much afraid the vessel was going to
the bottom, just as likely as not he
would say, "Well, let the' old thing
go, I can't help it;" or if he didn't
say so, he would feel like saying so.
Just so, when a chap has got as
completely under the control of the
genius of homesickness as I was at
the time I now allude to, he scarcely
cares a fig for any thing else that may
be going on in the gre world around
I must tell you, now I have shown
A TASTE OF HOMESICKNESS. i8
you how I got into this fit of home-
sickness, how it came to pass that
I got out of it. Thanksgiving now ap-
proached. "Coming events cast their
shadows before," it is said. I suppose
they do sometimes, though not always,
I am sure. This time there were more
lights than shadows cast forward on my
pathway. You can guess why, can't
you? I was to go home the day before
thanksgiving, and remain there a whole
week. A whole week I That thought
was bliss to. me, perfect bliss-as it
Why, the wood split a.good deal
174 A TASTE OF HOMESICKNESS.
easier, as the longed-for day drew near.
Old Kate, my grandfather's mare, who
had only two faults-first, that she
was bad to catch, and secondly, that.
she was good for nothing after she was
caught---seemed not to act quite as
much like an uncivilized mare, when
I came up to her ir the pasture, with
the bridle on my arm; the cows cer-
tainly stood stiller, while they were
undergoing the milking penance; there
did not appear to be half as many
chips to pick up for grandmother's"
kitchen fire; and indeed, the sun, and
moon, and stars, all looked more and
A TASTE OF HOMESICKNE~I 5
more cheerfully and good-naturedly up-
At last, the day came-the day be-
fore thanksgiving -and off I posted
homeward, twelve long miles, afoot
and alone, as a certain Irish gentle-
man from the island of Erin is re-
puted to have gone to the wedding.
My feet were blistered when I got
home. But that was no matter. I
Young friends, when do you think
4I went back to my grandfather's ? Not
until the frosts of the next autumn
began to open the chestnut burs, near-
76 A TASTE OF HOMESICKNESS.
ly one whole year after that thanks-
MY GRANDMOTHER'S PETS.
I DO wish from my heart, you could
have seen my grandmother, little girl.
It would have done your heart good to
sit down by her side, when she had
her knitting work in her hand, and
to read what there was written in her
"Why, what was there so remarka-
ble about her?" you inquire.
18 MY GRANDMOTHERS PETS.
Indeed, I am not sure that there was
any thing exactly remarkable about
her, except this, that she always wore
one of the best-natured faces that you
ever gazed upon in your life. I never
saw her angry for a moment, in all my
acquaintance with her. She was al-
ways as cheerful as the old family cat,
who had sat in the chimney corner,
purring a song of contentment and
genuine enjoyment, time out of mind.
She loved every body and every thing;
and every body and every thing, it
seemed to me, loved her.
Speaking of the old family cat, as
MY GRANDMOTHEl PETS. '9
I did a second ago, reminds me of
what a host of pets the good old lady
always had. Indeed, every thing that
had the breath of life in it, with which
she had aught to do, was a pet of hers,
to 'a greater or less extent. She in-
variably had at least one cosset lamb
under her care, who would show his
fondness for his mistress, whenever he
could get a chance, by playing all sorts
of pranks for her amusement, often
coming into the sink-room door, and
making himself vastly at home in al-
most every part of the house.
Many a time, when we have been
80 MY GRANDMOTHER'S PETS.
eating dinner, in the summer season,
and the doors were all open, old Jenny,
a huge cosset sheep, that grandmother
had brought up with great care, came
into the kitchen, and marched straight
to my grandmother's chair, looking up
wistfully into her face, as much as to
say, "I am fond of that dish, too."
And Jenny usually got her share of
the dinner, before she left the room.
Hens and chickens, a multitude of
them, scampered toward the old lady,
whenever the word biddy fell from her
lips, in the yard. I have known a
great rooster alight on her head, many
MY GRANDMOTHER'S PETS. 81
a time, to manifest the joy he felt to
greet her appearance gmong his tribe;
and once, I distinctly recollect that,
after such a personage had taken his
position there, and was clinging to the
old lady's mob cap, another member
of the family, much younger, though
quite as ambitious, mounted upon the
aforesaid rooster's back.
. Though my grandmother never kept
birds shut up in cages, considering it
wrong and cruel to deprive the poor
things of their liberty, she had houses
built for the martens and the wrens,
close under the eaves of the house,
82 MY GRANDMOTHERS PETS.
every spring. Such a chattering as
grandmother's wrens made when they
they were bringing up a family of
children! I don't know whether the
feeling of gratitude ever entered a
wren's heart; and I could not say
positively that wrens have hearts at
all. But I am sure if they do have
hearts, and if they ever feel any thing
in the shape of gratitude, those around
the old mansion must have been trying
to express their thanks to the old lady
for her hospitality to them, when they
were chattering at such a rate.
SPINNING ON THE LIITLE WHEEL.
I, TOO, was one of my grandmother's
pets. At least, I so regarded myself,
when a child. Oh, what an ocean of
kindness there was in her heart. How
could I ever have been homesick in a
house which was blessed by the light
of her cheerful countenance? I don't
believe that a single night passed, du-
ring the winter season, while I was
84 SPINNING ON THE LITTLE WHEEL.
living with the good old couple, that
grandmother did not come to my bed
in the garret, to see that I was lying
"nice and warm." In the day-time,
when I had nothing out of doors to do,
and had got my lessons for the next
day sufficiently studied, it was among
my greatest comforts to sit by her side,
on a high-backed article of furniture,
which we called a settle, while she was
spinning flax on the little wheel that
went with a lathe, where I would
watch the motions of her fingers, as
the wheel went round. There was
sweet music to my ears in the buzzing
SPINNING ON THE LITTLE WHEEL. 85
of that wheel, as it went round and
round so industriously.
A most wonderful process, it seemed
to me, was the spinning of that linen
thread. How skilfully the old lady did
manage the thread with one hand, and
draw out the unspun flax with the
other; and what a remarkable feat she
performed, now and then, when she
dipped her fingers in the miniature
gourd shell, to moisten the thread.
She did it as quickly as a swallow
dips his beak in the mill-pond. Did
you ever see a lady spin on one of these
little wheels, my friend ? Very likely
86 :PIrMrNG ON THE rITLE WwaXM.
you have not enjoyed such a treat, as
the business of family spinning has
gone quite out of fashion in these days,
While my grandmother was spinning
on the little wheel, she would sing for
me, and tell me stories, and try to store
my young mind with valuable knowl-
edge. I shall never forget those songs
and stories. They not only made a
deep impression upon me at the time,
but they lived in my memory, and still
live there. Next to my own dear mo-
ther, who died when I was little else
than a child, no one ever did so muoh
sePIMNa o THE LITTLE WHEEL. 8Y
to guide my steps toward heaven, as
my grandmother. With too many peo-
ple, religion wears a gloomy face. It
wore a cheerful one, as it was pictured
by my grandmother. There was noth-
ing sad, nothing gloomy, nothing cheer-
less about it, in her vision.
I have spoken of the garret, where I
used to sleep. In the same room were
stored all kinds of things, some of which
excited my curiosity a good deal, and
I never wearied of hearing my grand-
mother tell stories which were con-
nected with them. She had a way of
her own, in gratifying children's cu-
88 SPI~INxG *ON THE LITTLE WHEEL.
riosity about any thing. If I asked
her what that odd-looking thing was,
with something like an ox bow, only
smaller, fastened to it, she would tell
me it was a pillion, and go on to ex-
plain what a pillion was, and how they
were used in old times, when she was
a young lady. But her talk about pil-
lions did not stop here. She was not
satisfied with informing me, in general,
what the article was, and how it was
used. She improved the opportunity
to tell me ever so many stories, in all
of which the pillion played a part.
r Z 'I ---~----~-moll=L
A FUNNY HORSEBACK RIDE.
LET me tell you one story, as a speci-
men of her mode of amusing her little
grand-children, and instructing them,
too, at the hle time.
When I was a romping girl-she
would say-we had no chairs and
wagons. Th* was not, a sin-
gle wagon it all parish, when I
was married. Squire Keeler was the
92 A FUNNY HORSEBACK RIDE.
first to get one; and I remember that
the people came to see it from all parts
of the neighborhood. They thought it
a wonderful thing, and many of them
secretly accused the squire, who was a
good man and a deacon in the meeting,
of getting proud, or grand, as they had
When we girls rode out, instead of
getting into a carriage, we mounted
the family horse; and the way your
grandfather and grandmother went to
meeting, when we first started in life
together, was on the back of Kate, our
old sorrel mare. Grandfather sat upon
A FUNNY HORSEBACK RIDE. 93
the saddle, and I sat behind him on
the pillion. That is the way we rode
out, the next day after the wedding.
This time he didn't ride Kate, though.
It would have been better for us, if we
had, as things turned out.
It was in the winter. Let me' see.
It was in December-the twenty-fourth
day of December, old style. The ground
was covered with light snow. It seems
to me that we had deeper snow in those
days than we have now. At any rate,
the snow was deep enough then. The
neighbors had to turn out, for miles
around, that morning, with their ox
94 A FUNNY HORSEBACK BIDE.
sleds to break paths, over the whole
Parish. I should not wonder if it was
as deep as that yard stick yonder,
when we set out on our first ride after
I have told you that we did not ride
Kate. We rode, however, your Uncle
Zial's horse, instead of her. I'll tell
you the reason why: your Uncle Zial's
Jack was handsomer than Kate, and
your grandfather said, that as one's
wedding didn't happen a great many
times in one's life, we might as well
look nice and trim," when it did hap-
pen. You see, he was to take me, for
A FUNNY HORSEBACK RIDE. 95
the first time, from the home of my
childhood, to his father's house, where
we were to live, the "best room" hav-
ing been fitted up for us, until our
new home was built. It was a great
event, and your grandfather thought,
and I believe we all thought, that it
was best to do something worthy of
the occasion, and to perform the jour-
ney in good style. That was the reason
that Jack was selected, in preference
to Kate, at the time I am now speak-
Every thing having been got ready,
your grandfather mounted the saddle,
96 A FUNNY HORSEBACK RIDE.
and I, having climbed the horse-block
that stood at the garden gate, mounted
the pillion behind him. Off we started.
As we rode along, toward the house
of my new father and mother, we
could not help noticing that all the
people along the road were looking
at us; and I am n9t sure but we
felt a little pride, when we reflected
that we were the most important char-
acters in all those parts, that day.
For a while, our journey was a pros-
perous one. Things went on smoothly.
Jack behaved well. He was not noted
for his kindness and gentleness, while
A FUNNY HORSEBACK RIDE. 97
under the saddle and pillion. He was
roguish. Uncle Zial never had any
trouble with him, it is true. He knew
how to manage the fellow. Bat Jack
made it a sort of principle, to cut up
some caper or another with almost
every body, except his master, who
had any thing to do with him. We
were not afraid, though. Your grand-
father said, I recollect, as we were
riding along, that he believed he could
manage any horse in the world, if he
could get a bit into his mouth, and
I believed he could, too.
But that self-confidence proved quite
98 A FUNNY HORSEBACK RIDE.
out of place. As we were going down
the long hill, just this side of the
stone bridge, Jack began to grow rest-
less, and to show signs that things
were not going exactly right with him.
I have thought since that the girth
of the saddle was too tight to suit
him, and that he was nervous on that
account. It matters little now, how-
ever, what was the cause of Jack's
restlessness, though if we had under-
stood it then, we might have turned
our knowledge to good account.
As soon as Jack commenced twisting
his head about, as if a swarm of flies