Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 A visit to the old hall
 A picnic in the forest
 Grandpapa's hay-field
 Rose and Harry
 The first day at sea
 Old Mary Jones
 The village fair
 How Roger came back again
 Back Cover

Title: The pleasures of the country : simple stories for young people
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00002066/00001
 Material Information
Title: The pleasures of the country : simple stories for young people
Alternate Title: Pleasures of the country
Physical Description: <4>, 115 p., <5> leaves of plates : col. ill. ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Myrtle, Harriet, 1811?-1876
Gilbert, John, Sir, 1817-1897
W. McDowall.
Cundall & Addey.
Publisher: Cundall & Addey
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1851
Subject: Country life -- Juvenile fiction. -- England
Children's stories.
Bldn -- 1851.
Genre: Children's stories -- 1851.
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1851.
Hand-colored illustrations -- 1851.
Children's stories -- 1851.
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1851.
Hand-colored illustrations -- 1851.
Spatial Coverage: England -- London.
England -- London.
General Note: Harriet Myrtle is a pseud. for Lydia Falconer (Fraser) Miller.
General Note: 1st ed. according to Gumuchian cited below.
General Note: Illustrations are hand-colored.
General Note: Baldwin library copy missing p. 41 & 42 and color illustrations opposite p. 42, 56, & 72.
General Note: Electronic version available on the World Wide Web as part of the PALMM Project "Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1850-1869 (NEH PA-23536-00)".
Funding: Brittle Books Program
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1850-1869 (NEH PA-23536-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00002066
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002234795
notis - AAA2230
notis - ALH5231
oclc - 12589267
oclc - 45584830
oclc - 50909843

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Front Matter
        Front Matter 1
        Front Matter 2
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    List of Illustrations
        List of Illustrations
    A visit to the old hall
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 20a
        Page 22
    A picnic in the forest
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41-2
    Grandpapa's hay-field
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
    Rose and Harry
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
    The first day at sea
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 84a
        Page 84b
    Old Mary Jones
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 96a
        Page 96b
    The village fair
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
    How Roger came back again
        Page 106
        Page 106a
        Page 106b
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
    Back Cover
        Page 116
Full Text


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EDWARD and KATE lived in a country town. It was a
cheerful, clean town, with wide streets, and an old church
that had large trees round it, and ivy growing up the
tower. Their house had a garden behind it, in which
they used to play very happily, drive their hoops round
the walks, and run and jump about on the grass-plot.
They also made many pleasant little excursions into the
country round, when their sister Laura was able to go
with them.
One of their favourite walks was through the woods
belonging to an ancient manor-house, always called "The
Old Hall," about a mile from the town. It belonged to a
rich nobleman; but nobody had lived in it for a long
time. The gardens and park were, however, kept in
fine order; and it was said, that some day the house


would be put in repair and furnished. As it was now,
people could walk by the paths through the woods close
up to it.
One of these paths was just outside the wall of the
flower garden, and led up to the portico of a sort of
summer house or pavilion, partly gone to ruin. The
door of this pavilion was always closed; but it was so
shady and pleasant all round there, that it was a favour-
ite place for Edward and Kate to play in, while Laura
sat under a tree reading; and they would often look up
at the beautiful roses, jasmines, and other creepers that
hung over the top of the wall, and wish they might go
into the garden and see all the lovely flowers they
thought must be there.
They longed the more to be admitted within the wall,
and see not only the garden, but the Old Hall itself,
because a young carpenter, who was at work for their
papa, putting up a book-case, had told them a great deal
about it. This carpenter, John Wilson, was a great
friend of theirs. He made a whole fleet of boats for
them, which they sailed in the water-butt, in the garden,
and taught them how to saw, and plane, and knock in
nails; and while all this was going on, he would describe

: I



the painted windows and carved ceilings and walls in the
Old Hall; and he knew all its wonders quite well, for
he had worked there for several months, repairing some
parts of the rooms that were going to destruction; and
he said he hoped his lordship would soon have it all
thoroughly done, and that he should be employed to do
the work.
After all thi, Kate and Edward were quite pleased,
when, one day, John brought them permission to go and
see it, from Mrs. Hollis, the housekeeper, who lived in
one of the lodges, and was allowed to shew the place to
visitors. If they went to the door of the pavilion in
their favourite path, and rung the bell, she would admit
them, he said. They thanked John very much for get-
ting such a pleasure for them, and then ran to their
mama to ask her leave to go, which she gave them di-
rectly; and, as the next day was very fine, they set out
after their early dinner, in high spirits, accompanied by
Laura. To add to their pleasure, their mama had told
them they might order a donkey-chaise in the village,
near the Hall gates, to bring them home, because she
was sure they would be tired; and this was a thing they
enjoyed extremely.



Since you are going into the village, Master Edward,
will you be so kind as to ask at the post-office if there's a
letter for me ?" said John Wilson, when Edward went to
bid him good-bye. "Perhaps you will bring me good luck."
Edward readily promised to ask for the letter, and
then whispered to Kate, It's from his father he wants
to hear, I know. He told me he should never be happy
till he did. I wish we could bring him one."
But it was of no use to wish. There was no letter for
John Wilson. So they ordered the donkey-chaise to be
at the pavilion in three hours, and went on to the ap-
pointed place, and rang the bell.
Mrs. Hollis did not keep them long waiting; and when
she came, she looked at them very kindly, and asked
them to walk in. She was a formal little old lady, with
a black silk gown on, that rustled as she moved, and
wore a very white starched cap and handkerchief.
They liked the inside of the pavilion very much. The
floor they trod on was made of squares of black and
white marble, and there were seats and a round marble
table. A long flight of white polished steps in front of
it led down to a broad gravel walk that bounded one
end of the flower garden. The garden was curiously



laid out, in an old-fashioned style, and the green lawn
in the middle looked so smooth and tempting, that they
could not resist running down the steps towards it the
moment they saw it; and Mrs. Hollis and Laura fol-
lowed them.
Their feet sank in the thick velvet-like grass as they
walked over it. In the middle there was a large round
pond, with a fountain which sprung up into the air and
then fell again in showers of sparkling drops, that ruffled
the surface of the water, and made it glance in the sun as
if it were all over diamonds. It was so clear, that, though
it was deep, they could see every blade and leaf of the
green mossy weeds among the white pebbles at.the
bottom; and presently they saw skimming through t a
shoal of gold and silver fish. Little Kate had a slice of
bread in the pocket of her apron, that her mama had
given her in case they should feel hungry before they got
home; so, as Mrs. Hollis told her the fish would come up
to the surface to eat crumbs, she quickly threw some in
for them, and up they came, one after another, and
swallowed the pieces in their gaping mouths, while
their bright scales flashed like fire as they caught the



It was some time before the children could leave this
delightful pond; but when they did, they saw that at each
end there was a smaller one, both of which had their
fountains, that sprung up, as if in imitation of the larger
one; and that, between the centre pond and each of these,
there was a large oval flower bed, and, at all the four
corners of the lawn, a round one. These flower beds
were bordered with ivy, so carefully pegged down that it
formed thick wreaths of dark-green leaves, and made a
beautiful setting for the bright flowers within. White
lilies, tiger lilies, and tall lupins were in the middle;
carnations, white and scarlet geraniums round them,
with brilliant blue salvias, mignonette, fuchsias, and many
other lovely things. Besides these beds, there were at
regular distances tree roses on the lawn, with round bushy
heads, full of splendid flowers of many different shades,
sending out the most delicious scent; and the wall which
bounded the gravel walk, and which they had so often
looked at from the outside, was covered with all manner
of creepers, trained roses, honeysuckle, maurandia, jas-
mine, passion-flowers, and many others.
As soon as they could make up their minds to go out of
this bright garden, Mrs. Hollis shewed them that one side



of it was formed by a wing of the house, and that large
windows opened into it: but these were all shut at pre-
sent; so she led them by a gateway in the wall to a long
straight walk, which led under two tall cedar trees, whose
branches met over their heads, to the principal entrance
of the mansion. She then, with a large key which hung
from her waist, together with several smaller ones, opened
the great heavy door, and they all went in.
At first the light seemed so dim that they scarcely saw
well around them; for their eyes had been looking at
bright flowers, sparkling waters, and green trees and
grass basking in the sun; but they soon saw that they
were in a lofty square entrance hall, with beautiful
painted glass windows, that threw rich colours, blue, red,
purple, yellow, and green on the marble floor; and that
the stone frames of the windows were carved and orna-
mented, and the stone walls and roof also; and that iron
and steel armour of knights, with lances and helmets,
were ranged in niches round the walls; and that long
galleries, with many doors into different rooms, and more
painted windows, went off on each side; and that, opposite
to them was a wide staircase, all the steps of which were
of dark oak, with carved rails, on the top of which were



figures of animals reared up on their hind legs, and
wreaths of fruit and flowers all carved in dark oak.
Then they went through many large rooms, with walls
and ceilings of the same dark oak, beautifully carved in
squares and other forms, to represent flowers and fruit,
birds, and angels with wings; and these rooms had im-
mense fire-places without grates, meant to burn logs of
wood. Kate and Edward went under the richly orna-
mented mantel-pieces and looked up the wide chimneys.
Then the windows-they liked them better than all; for
the walls were so thick that each window seemed to be
at the end of a little room of its own; and others were
bay windows, and these seemed to be in still larger
rooms; and the frames were richly carved; and they
looked over the wide park with its green slopes and
spreading trees, sweeping the grass with their long
branches, and towering up towards the bright blue sky,
and casting deep shadows on the sunny grass; and a
clear river went winding among them; and all looked so
lovely, that every time the children passed one of these
windows, it seemed to them that they saw a new picture
set in a dark frame.
At last, when they had gone through so many rooms,



that they began to keep very close to Laura, lest they
should be lost, and had been up the wide staircase and
through other rooms above, they heard, with joy, that
they were next to go into the park. They followed Mrs.
Hollis through a court and an old gateway, and here she
bid them good-bye; and, after thanking her with all their
hearts for her kindness, they turned round, and lost not
a moment, but away they ran over the grass to the banks
of the river.
It was delightful to stand in the shade and watch the
running water rippling and tinkling over rocky stones
that had the brightest green moss on them; and to see
the taper points of the weeping willows, that dipped in
the stream, and were always waving and trembling as it
carried them with it. Sometimes a trout or perch would
dart through the deep parts and disappear in an instant.
They threw leaves and little sticks in, and watched them
sailing away, and wished they had brought some of
John's boats with them; then they dipped in their hands
to feel the cool refreshing water glide through their
fingers. Suddenly there appeared round a point two
lovely white swans. On they came, arching their necks
and ruffling their wings. Kate took out her bread again,



and threw piece after piece to them, till all was gone,
while they swam about catching them in their black
Now Laura called to the children to look at the trees.
What great trees they were! Those round the church,
which they had thought so large, would only make one
arm of these. They crept under the branches of the
beeches and limes, and there they were in a green little
world,-green leaves above and all round, and green
grass under foot, and the flickering sunlight peeping
through upon them. Then they crept out again, and
clambered up steep knolls, and ran down sloping
banks, and every now and then stopped in wonder before
some giant tree, with an enormous trunk, that, when
they took hold of each other's hands, and then Laura's,
and all three stretched out their arms to the utmost,
they had still not grasped half of. They could not
decide which kind of tree was the most beautiful,-the
oak, with its rough bark, strong arms, and deep rich
green; the beech, with smooth, shining stem and grace-
ful, sweeping branches; the tufted elms; or the limes, so
light and feathery. Then there were Spanish chesnuts,
and horse-chesnuts, and dark firs, and birches with bark



as white as silver. It was impossible to know which
was most beautiful.
Now they wound round a woody hill, into a beautiful
glade, and came upon the whole herd of deer, pretty spot-
ted creatures, some with branching horns, some grazing,
some lying in the shade. Quietly as the children tried
to get near them, they were startled, and bounded off
like lightning, but did not go very far, and continued in
sight for some time.
The walk through the park had taken a good while,
and the children began to feel tired; so Laura persuaded
them to sit down and rest on a pleasant bank, all over-
grown with wreaths of periwinkle, with its pretty blue
flowers. While they sat, there came past, like a stately
lady in a court dress, a splendid peacock, his gorgeous
tail sweeping the ground, his crested head erect, and his
lovely neck glancing purple, green, and gold. Then came
another, and another, and then several pea-hens, no -ry
showy, but very graceful in form. Kate wished "
kept some bread for them; but they seemed wardan-
fled with admiration; and one of their
,ile Kate took up the
like a fan, as if to please them, and
,g it in both hands, car-
liant eyes, that shone like gold andg it in both hands, car

11 .


When the peacocks had passed on, Kate began to wish
she had kept a little bread for herself and Edward, for
the walk had been long, and she felt hungry. Edward
declared he was more thirsty than hungry, but consoled
himself with the thoughts of the nice drive home in the
donkey-chaise. They had made the circuit of the park,
and were close to the garden wall, and the gardener's
house, which stood at one corner of it; 'o Laura, who
was always kind, went to the door and asked if she could
buy a little milk. The gardener's wife said she would
sell her some, and also let her buy a few home-baked
cakes, and lent her a bowl, and spoon, and plate, and
said, if the young lady and gentleman would like to sit
down in the pavilion above the garden and take their
refreshment there, they might leave all these things on
the marble table, and she could easily fetch them away
by and bye. This was a very pleasant idea, and away
dec. v went merrily up the gravel walk to enjoy their
oak, wi- They took off their straw hats when they reached
green; the Liqvilion, that they might feel the cool air, and
ful, sweeping branchklk; but before tasting it, they went to
light and feathery. TI donkey-chaise had come.
and horse-chesnuts, and but, looking round, they saw lying



by the path an old man, who seemed to be asleep, and
who rested his head on the lap of a young girl sitting by
his side. She was leaning her head on her hand, and had
not heard the children come to the door; for she seemed
filled with sad thoughts, and tears kept dropping through
her fingers.
Kate and Edward stood with pitying looks on the
steps, when the old man raised his head, but seemed too
weary to open his eyes, and said in a feeble voice,
"We must go on, Martha."
"Are you any better, father?" said she, wiping her
tears away.
"Not much-hunger and sorrow are bad nurses, dear,"
he replied; but night will come upon us before we get
to any place to sleep in, if we do not move on."
"Poor old man! He is tired and hungry, and has got
nothing to eat," whispered little Kate to Edward; and
the tears came into her eyes. "I am not at all hungry
now: are you?"
"Let us go and bring the milk to them," Edward an-
They ran to their table; and while Kate took up the
bowl of milk, and, carefully holding it in both hands, car-




ried it to the door, Edward brought the plate of cakes,
and Laura followed, wondering what they were going
to do.
The young girl had already risen from her seat; the old
man was sitting up, and looked sadly pale and tired.
"Will you drink this milk?" said Kate, raising her
eyes to his face, while Edward held the plate of cakes
to him.
God bless you, little angels," said the old man. "He
has sent you to help us in our sore need."
"Oh! thank and bless you, kind young lady and gen-
tleman," cried his daughter.
"Drink some first, Martha, my child," said her father,
taking the bowl and holding it towards her. She obeyed
him, and seemed to enjoy the draught, as if she had
wanted it very much indeed; and then he drank, and it
seemed to do him so much good that. the children felt
quite joyous as they looked at them both.
"Now eat the cakes," said Edward; and as soon as
each had taken one he set the plate down, that they
might not be hurried, and ran to get the hats, for the
donkey-chaise drove up at the moment.
Laura kissed her little brother and sister very affec-

' 14


tionately, as she tied their hats for them, and then asked
the old man if he and his daughter had far to go?
He said they were still thirty miles from home, and that
they had walked all the way from London, where they
had gone hoping to get some money that was owing him,
and besides, to meet his son, whose ship was expected;
but he had been disappointed in both his hopes,'and, what
was worse, he feared his poor boy's ship had been wreck-
ed, and he should never see him again.
"Poor sailor boy!" said Kate.
"But do not despair," said Laura. "If you had waited
a little longer he might have come."
I waited too long," he replied; "for our money is all
spent,-we have none left, and only trust to selling a few
balls and pin-cushions my poor girl has made, to get
a lodging to-night, and a bit of bread to-morrow."
"And have you no other son?" asked Laura.
I have another, Lady, said he;" but he's the same as
dead to me. He got into wild ways after he had served
his apprenticeship, and I was harsh to him, and he left
his home, and I have never heard of him since. Many
misfortunes fell on me afterwards. Yes, yes, I was too


The old man looked down gloomily. In a minute,
however, he raised his head and said, But God bless you
for your kind hearts; we are so refreshed by this sweet
milk and these cakes, that we shall walk on to Summer-
ton quite heartily. It's the nearest town, they tell me."
As he spoke he got up, and bowing respectfully to
Laura, and smiling gratefully to the children, who were
busy putting all the things belonging to the gardener's
wife where she had directed, he began to walk away; but
he walked quite feebly, and poor Martha's shoes were
worn out, and she limped as she followed him.
Little Kate had just taken her seat in the donkey-
How tired they look!" said she, as she saw them
going slowly on.
I will run after them, and direct them to our house,"
said Laura. "I am sure mama will help them to a
night's lodging."
"And Laura, dear," said Kate, getting out of the
chaise, "if Edward does not mind walking, I don't; so
tell them-shall we Edward?-to get in instead of us."
"Yes, yes," said Edward, eagerly.
"That I will, dear children," Laura answered; and,



stopping the old man and his daughter, she suc-
ceeded, after a great deal of persuasion, in making
them accept the children's offer, and then helped
them in.
Much as they liked a drive in a donkey-chaise, no
drive in the world could have made these children so
happy as they felt in their walk home. Their hearts full
of joy, they bounded along, jumping over tree stumps,
running up and down banks, and never thinking of
either fatigue, hunger, or thirst.
"Here we come, John," they cried, as they approached
their own door, and saw John coming out after his day's
work, his basket on his shoulder.
The donkey-chaise had got behind in climbing the
hill at the entrance of the town, but it came up at
this moment. John's basket fell from his hand, and
fell heavily on the door-step, and he rushed towards it,
"Father! father! how is it I see you here?"
"John,-my dear son!" cried the old man; and they
grasped each other by both hands, and seemed to search
in each other's faces for answers to many questions; and
then Martha took hold of her brother's arm, and he



remembered her, changed as she was from the merry,
rosy girl he had left her.
"Come home with me, father, and my poor Martha,"
said John; and please God you shall never know want
more. If I had known you were come to poverty, never
would I have waited for a letter of pardon before I went
home to you."
"It is all along of those dear, blessed children, that fed
us when we were hungry and thirsty, and sent us on in
their chaise when we were weary, that we have found
you now."
John gave his little friends a look of gratitude that said
more than many words; and then, all bidding good-night,
they separated, the old man and Martha going home with
him, and the children running to their mama to tell her
all the adventures of this happy day, round their cheer-
ful tea-table. They now understood why John was so
anxious for a letter, and why he never received it, because
his father had gone to London.
Next evening they went to see him, and found him at
supper with his father and sister, who were dressed in
nice new clothes, and looked much better and happier.
They all welcomed Kate and Edward joyfully, and gave



them seats, and John went into his little garden, in which
he worked at his spare hours, and picked them a dish of
fine ripe strawberries, which they enjoyed very much.
A week afterwards, John went to his father's village to
sell off his furniture, and give up his cottage, for they had
resolved to live all together in Summerton. Kate and
Edward went to his house the evening he was* expected
home, and stood at the door watching for him, while
Martha got tea ready, and her father swept up the
"Here he comes!" cried Edward, who saw him first.
"And there's a sailor-boy with him," cried Kate.
Now there was a joyful meeting. John had found his
brother on the road to his father's village. His ship had
come into port two days before.
The old man used to say afterwards, when he looked
back to this time, that everything went well with him
from the moment he saw the faces of those dear children;
and they always remembered the day when they visited
the Old Hall, as one of the happiest of their lives.
As for the fine Old Hall, John's hope was fulfilled
about it. His lordship had it repaired and furnished,
and came to live there, and made John his head car-



penter there; so that he never wanted work, and in
time took his brother into partnership, and the two
sons made their father and sister happy and comfortable
all their days.


t r






~` 9.r



"IT must be six o' clocd!" cried Florence Thornhill,
starting up in bed; "and it is a lovely morning. Emily,
it must be six o'clock."-
"Has Jane called us?" said Emily, almost in her sleep.
"No: but-hush! One, two, three, four. Oh! the
clock only struck four;" and Florence fell fast asleep in
an instant.
In another hour she jumped up again. "It must be"-
the clock began to strike as she spoke, and she counted,
"one, two, three, four, five,-only five yet," and once more
fell asleep. -
All was quiet till, another hour having past, Jane came
in saying, "It is just going to strike six, young ladies."
Florelee was up in an instant, and Emily soon after
her. They had been invited by their friends, Mr. and


Mrs. Grove, who lived on the borders of Epping Forest, to
join a young party who were to spend the whole day in
the Forest, and to carry provisions with them and dine
there. To Florence and Emily, who lived in London, this
was a delightful prospect. They had thought of nothing
else for a week. They were quickly dressed, ran down to
breakfast, and before it was over, the carriage that was to
take them to the railway was at the door. Their papa
and mama wished them a very happy day, and they
soon drove off, accompanied by Jane, to take care of
them; a basket containing a large cake and a cold pie,
their mama's contribution to the feast, being put in and
given to Jane's charge.
Fast as they drove, it was not fast enough to satisfy
their impatience. Florence especially was quite certain"
they should be too late, and stretched out her head to
look at every clock they passed. They were, however, in
excellent time, and in a few minutes they were seated
in the train. Off they set; and even to them it seemed
wonderfully soon when they stopped at the station, and
heard a voice at the window ask, Are the Miss Thorn-
hills here?"
It was Mrs. Grove's coachman; and there was Ernest,



her youngest little boy, waiting in the open carriage.
They were soon seated by his side, Jane by the coachman,
and away they drove again.
It was a lovely morning in August. The sky was
bright blue, with a few heavy white clouds sailing over it;
but Jacob the coachman, who was anxiously questioned,
and who looked very grave and wise, declared there would
be no rain. The air felt deliciously fresh to the two little
London girls. They thought the cottages looked very
clean and pretty; then the gardens were gay with dahlias
and hollyhocks, the orchards full of red-cheeked apples,
and a pleasant smell of wood smoke every now and then
in the air. They had twenty questions to ask of Ernest,
and at every house they came to, they said, "Is this your
house now?"
At last they stopped at a white gate. It was thrown
open directly by Fred, Ernest's elder brother, who had
been watching for them; and at the sound of the wheels,
his two-sisters, Annie and Jessy, came running out to
receive them, followed by two little boys, whose names
were Alfred and Johnny, who had come to join the party;
and behind all came bounding and barking, Dash the dog.
When they stopped at the door they thought this was



the prettiest house of any they had seen yet. The porch
was covered with clematis and jasmine, and the borders
and beds full of bright flowers. Out of the porch came
Mr. and Mrs. Grove, and kissed and welcomed them, and
told them that they were all ready to start for the Forest.
So much the better. They longed to be there. The
contents of the basket were quickly transferred to a cer-
tain large pannier that stood in the lobby; Jane was
recommended to the care of the maids, who promised to
take her a nice walk; and in a little while the whole
happy party was on the road to the Forest, Mr. Grove
leading the way, because it was declared that he knew
the prettiest paths. He took them up a wooded bank
among straggling trees.
"Emily and Florence must shut their eyes now," cried
Annie; I will lead them."
"No, you take Emily and I will lead Florence," said
Both shut their eyes and followed to the top of the
"Now you maylook."
They opened their eyes. Below them lay the fine old
Forest. It looked like a whole ocean of green tree tops,



stretching miles and miles to right and left, filling all the
valley before them, and clothing the ridge of the opposite
hill till they were lost against the sky. A narrow wind-
ing path at their feet dived down into this green world,
and down it in a moment ran all with joyous shouts. In
half a minute they could see nothing on every side of
them but trees.
The trees were of the strangest shapes: very short, with
bushy heads, and stems that leaned all manner of ways
and were knotted and mossy, and sometimes they looked
like curious wood creatures dancing. They were so close
together that their branches met over head, and formed
a thick roof of leaves. Long wreaths of ivy and honey-
suckle twined about them, and great ferns grew among
them, often taller than the trees themselves; because they
were allowed to grow as they liked, but the trees were
lopped every few years to supply wood to all the people
that lived near. Round about these twisted stems, and
among these tangled under-growths, the children ran
and danced, sometimes stopping to gather a pretty blue-
bell, or some bright berries, or to peep into a deserted
bird's nest, or look at some insect, Mr. Grove only warn-
ing them to keep near the path lest they should be lost.



"0 come into this lovely arbour," cried Emily, stop-
ping before a group of trees, where the branches had met
over head, and then drooped downwards, leaving a hollow
in the middle. As she stooped to look in, a rabbit, which
had been asleep there, rushed out, and scudded away,
with Dash after it, barking and yelping. But Dash soon
came back, hanging out his tongue, and looking rather
foolish, for the rabbit had found his hole near, and was
safe in it in a minute.
The children all crept into Emily's arbour, and nestled
within it very comfortably.
"Now tell us a story, Annie," said little Ernest.
"0 yes," said Florence; "something about a fairy that
lived in the trees, or-"
Just then something rustled the branches over head,
and a black cow, with a white face and large horns,
looked down upon them.
"Oh! Oh!" exclaimed Florence, and began to make
her way out at the opposite side of the thicket.
"It's only a cow. It will not hurt you," cried Fred
and Annie at once. But she was not used to be so near
a cow, and made her way out, coming bounce against a
large pig that was lying under a hazel tree on its side.



"Ouf! Ouf!" grunted the pig, and, scrambling up, he
began to move off, but presently turned round, and
looked at her as if it had occurred to him, on reflection,
that she had no right to disturb him.
"Come and drive away this great pig, Freddy," she
That was soon done. Away galloped the pig, crushing
the thick branches under his hoofs.
They had all crept out after Florence, and the path on
that side looked so pretty that Annie called to her papa
to ask him to lead them down it. It went winding
among beech trees, which, when they were lopped, had
thrown out long feathery branches from their roots and
stems, making a beautiful green wall on each side, and
meeting in an arch above. As they walked along it, they
saw many and many another, quite as beautiful, branching
off in all directions, like endless shrubberies, and were
often tempted to run down them, but for the fear of losing
"What is that tinkling bell I hear every now and then?"
asked Emily.
"That is a bell round a cow's neck," answered Mrs.
Grove. "The cow that startled Florence so much had pro-



bably twenty companions feeding near us, and one or two
always have bells to guide their owners where to find
them at milking time."
And were there a number of pigs too?" asked Florence.
"There are great numbers in the Forest. Nearly all
the cottagers keep them, and let them roam about in
search of roots and nuts; but they are unsocial crea-
tures, and seldom feed together. In the evenings you
may see them, one by one, issuing from the several paths
out of the trees, and each making his way to his own
home. There they stand grunting and squeaking at the
door of their styes till some one lets them in.
"How funny they must look!" said Florence, laughing.
"But how sensible of them!" said Emily. "I had no
idea pigs were so clever. I am sure I should not know
the way out of the Forest."
The path had now led them to the borders of a clear
little stream, flowing in the bottom of the valley, among
stones and stumps covered with bright green moss.
They crossed it and came to an open grassy space, where
twenty or thirty rough, shaggy-looking horses were feed-
ing; these only lifted their heads for a minute, to look at
the visitors, and then went on eating.



Now they went along a green path, among bushes
where the bright sun beamed down upon them.
"0 look! what quantities of blackberries!" cried
All were scattered among the brambles in a moment,
enjoying the delights of blackberry gathering. The fruit
hung ripe and black in large bunches; fingers and lips
were soon dyed with the juice, and not a few stains and
holes were made in frocks. Then Annie's basket was
filled, that they might take some home for Jane.
Mr. Grove now called them all together; for it was
time to go on. All were soon collected, except Jessie
and Emily. They were called, but no answer came, and
no one could see them anywhere.
"I will climb a tree and look out," said Fred. "I shall
be sure to see them." Accordingly he climbed the high-
est he could find, and looked all round.
"I see them," he cried. "There they go, running
exactly the wrong way. Holloa! Jessie! Emily! Stop!"
And he took out his handkerchief and waved it.
All the children stood looking up anxiously. "Do
they see you?" asked Mr. Grove.
"They have stopped and are looking about. They see



me now. Here they come," said Fred, beginning to slide
down; and as he reached the ground they came running
up quite out of breath, and rather frightened at the idea
that they might have lost themselves.
They continued to walk for nearly half an hour near
the stream, among scattered trees, stopping every now
and then to gather long wreaths of briony, or honey-
suckle, or ivy, or to watch the rabbits that started out of
the bushes, or listen to a woodpigeon, or stock-dove at a
distance, the only sounds that reached them in this silent
place.. At last they came to a grove of fine large trees,
stretching as far as they could see in all directions. It
looked almost dark in there, so great was the contrast
with the sunny place in which they stood. The little
stream took its course under the trees, which hung arch-
ing over it; and by the path at its side they went in
under the tall trees. As they entered they ceased to
laugh and talk, and felt inclined to whisper. It was a
beautiful place. The ground was brown with the leaves
of last autumn; the branches met over head at a great
height, and everywhere a green light was spread.
Presently they found a nook where the stream had
been checked in its course by a fallen tree, and had col-



elected into a round pool. On the bridge made by this
tree all the children had soon seated themselves, watch-
ing the water foaming over one part where it had made
a channel for itself, and glancing in the straggling sun-
beams that came flickering through the leaves.
Look at that squirrel peeping at us out of its nest,"
whispered Johnny.
Looking up, they saw, after a time, the round bright
eye of a squirrel, high up in the tree over their heads,
and soon they spied another at a little distance, fussing
about among the leaves on the ground, finding nuts for
his little ones. Perhaps they made some noise, for he
took fright and climbed up a tall stem as quick as light-
ning, and then leaped to a tree opposite, through the air,
where they could see him quite well, with his bushy
brown tail curled above his head.
"Hush!" said Mr. Grove, at this moment. "Look
They turned where he pointed, and saw come silently
tripping along, one behind another, six or seven of the
Forest deer. The children remained so still that the
timid creatures never saw or heard them, but passed on
among the trees out of sight.



A rustling among the leaves was now heard, as if some
one was coming. Who should it be but Jacob the coach-
man, leading the horse that had brought the carriage
from the station, but who now bore two large panniers on
his back, instead of drawing a carriage. The horse's
name was Sir Toby.
"Here comes Jacob with Sir Toby. Is this where we
are to dine, papa? O what a lovely place to dine in!"
exclaimed several voices.
All collected round the panniers directly, and now
mama took the direction of affairs.
"Fix on the spot where we shall lay the cloth," said
They scattered about to choose a place. One fixed
here, another there; at last all agreed that the most beau-
tiful had been found. It was a round space covered with
soft grass, where the trees and bushes left just a sufficient
opening. The stream running behind the bushes, but
close by, would supply them with delicious water. Here,
therefore, they fixed it should be.
The white tablecloth was spread smoothly, and looked
very pretty with its green border of grass.
"Now Dash, take care of my shawl," said Annie.



"And of my bonnet," said Emily. Dash accordingly
took his place beside the bonnet and shawl.
Jacob unpacked the mugs, and a tumbler, some spoons,
knives, and forks, the salt and pepper. Annie, assisted
by Alfred and Johnny, took all these things, put them
down, and stationed herself at one end to direct the pro-
ceedings. A pile of plates came next. Emily placed
these opposite to Annie; then a large jar of milk, which
Jessie put by them.
"Who will carry this pie?" said Mrs. Grove.
"I will,-let me," said little Ernest; so it was trusted
to him, and he brought it quite safely.
A round basket, piled with fruit, came next. There were
grapes, peaches, apples, pears, and plums. Florence begged
to carry the fruit, and it was put on her head, and she
followed Ernest. Behind her came Fred with the cake.
While these were laid on the tablecloth, other things
were coming out of the panniers,-cold fowls and ham,
tarts and bread. When all was put down, it looked a
splendid feast. They took their places. A tree stump
was found for papa and mama, but the children chose to
sit on the grass. Never was there a merrier party.
Even Jacob, grave as he was, could not help smiling at



the shouts of laughter that reached him as he sat on a
large stone, eating his plateful of cold pie, and letting
Sir Toby feast on the short grass. The children carved,
handed the plates, and managed everything. Mr. and
Mrs. Grove were not allowed to take any trouble, but
were waited on by all. There was a great deal to do,
running to the stream for water, handing things round,
changing the plates, and then clearing away, and giving
the empty dishes to Jacob's charge to be packed. Dash
was not forgotten, and seemed to enjoy himself very
much. Afterwards they sat still for some time, and told
stories, asked riddles, and sung songs.
"Now, Annie," said Mrs. Grove, rising as the last song
ended, "your papa and I must go home, but we will leave
you here to play for an hour or two. Jacob can remain,
and will see you safely home."
They were delighted with this permission, and lost no
time in beginning some games. They had "Follow my
leader," "Hunt the hare," and then "Hide and seek." It
was a capital place for this; there were hollow trees, thick
bushes, and deep holes, and one after another hid and
Swas found after a great deal of fun. At last it was Flo-
rence's turn. She seemed to have fixed on a very good



place, for no one could find her. In vain they searched in
every hole and stump, looked up trees where it was im-
possible she could have climbed, and into great bramble
bushes, where she could not have crept without being
scratched to pieces. Nearly two hours had passed since
they began their games, and Jacob declared it was time
to go home.
"Florence!" cried Emily, "where are you? come out:
we ought to go home."
No answer.
"Florence! we give it up; we cannot find you; where
are you, Florence?" was shouted by every one.
Still no answer.
It's not play, Flory; we are frightened," cried Emily.
" Do speak."
All was still silent.
Come and help us to look, Jacob," said Annie; and
Jacob came, with his grave face, and began to beat the
bushes, and peer about everywhere.
"Suppose we should never find her again!" said poor
Emily, almost crying. "Dear Flory, do speak!" And
she sat down on the grass with a feeling of fear, of she did.
not know what.



It must be six o'clock, and it's a lovely morning," ex-
claimed a voice at her feet, and up started Florence from
under a heap of dry leaves, where she had hidden, and
felt so comfortable that she had fallen fast asleep.
Here she is! Florence is found 1" cried; Emily, in joy;
and from all quarters the seekers came running to the
spot, while Florence, hardly knowing where she was,
stared round her in surprise.
Fred came up first: "Where had-?" he cried; but no
more was heard, for he sunk into the ground and disap-
Johnny came next, running towards them: "So you
are-" he began, and also sunk into the ground, and dis-
Alfred was next. "Ah, Florence! I am-" he sunk,
and disappeared.
Florence started up, but when she had got on her knees
she began slipping and sinking, and in an instant had
"What is it?-where are--?" cried Emily rushing for-
ward, and sunk like the others.
"Bless me!" cried Jacob. Stop a moment Wait a
bit, Miss Jessie; hold fast by that stump, Miss Annie!"



But both were running too fast to stop themselves, and
when they set their feet on the spot where all the rest
had vanished, down they went and disappeared.
Little Ernest had taken longer to come up than the
rest, for he had been dreadfully frightened about Florence,
and had gone to a great distance to seek her, and had
seen all this with the greatest wonder. He was running
fast towards the place, when Florence's head appeared
above ground.
"Dear Florence'!" he cried, holding out both his hands,
and catching hold of her's, which now came above ground
also, "where are you? Have you all tumbled into one of
those ponds covered with leaves, papa told us about?
Shall you all be drowned?"
He pulled her with all his might as he spoke, and she
came safely up on firm ground beside him, laughing
"Drowned!" cried Fred, whose face now appeared; "I
was never so comfortable in my life. It's like the softest
bed, only a great deal nicer."
"I do not wonder Florence went to sleep," said Alfred,
whose head next came in sight. "We are in a pit full of
nice dry leaves."


Jacob had, by this time, cut a long stick, which he held
out to them, and by its help he got them out, after a
great deal of laughing, with their hair stuck over with
brown leaves.
"Yes, Jacob, we really will make haste and go home,"
said Annie, in answer to his representation that they
should be very late. But where's Dash?"
"Dash! Dash 1" cried Fred.
Dash barked angrily in answer, from a distance, but
did not come.
Where's my bonnet?" said Emily.
"And my shawl?" said Annie. Dash barked angrily
again. "O, now I remember. Poor Dash He is watch-
ing them all this time!" They ran back to the place
where they had dined, and there they found him at his
post, the bonnet and shawl on one side, and the basket of
blackberries on the other. He was praised and patted
till he had quite forgotten his anger, and was up and
ready for anything again.
Now then, where are the panniers and Sir Toby?"
said Annie.
"Here are the panniers all ready packed, Miss Annie,"
answered Jacob; "but, bless me! where's Sir Toby?"



They looked all round, and presently discovered Sir
Toby trotting very contentedly along the path homeward
He had gone nearly out of sight already.
"Bless me!" exclaimed poor Jacob again, "what shall
I-do? I cannot leave you young ladies and gentlemen.
alone. Wo there! Wo there! The horse will not stop.
He may come to mischief."
Run after him, Jacob," cried Fred. "We will stay by
the panniers."
Jacob ran on. They thought he would succeed at first,
for Sir Toby stopped to eat, but no sooner did he hear
Jacob behind him, than he pricked up his ears and trot-
ted on again. It was impossible to help laughing, trou-
blesome as it was. How to get home all the heavy things
they could not think. Fred ran on a little way to see if
he could do anything to help. Turning the corner of a
thicket, he came against a donkey feeding, and saw be-
hind the trees a little cottage, with a great stack of wood
by it much higher than itself. An old woman stood at
the door.
"Is that your horse yonder, running away, Master?"
said she; and she looked so good-natured, that he told
her all the case.



If our donkey will do to carry the panniers he shall go
with you," said she, "and my son can lead him and bring
him back."
Fred thanked her heartily, and then made signs to
Jacob to go on again. Jacob had begun to run bask,
despairing of stopping Sir Toby, and distracted between
his duty to the young ladies and gentlemen and the
"Go after your horse I" shouted the old woman, point-
ing energetically along the path. Seeing he still doubted,
she led the donkey up a steep bank and pushed her son to
his head. Jacob understood; he saw that this stout coun-
try lad and this donkey would supply the place of himself
and Sir Toby, and with a heart eased of half its load of
care, he started off again in pursuit.
The donkey was soon loaded, not forgetting the black-,
berries, and the whole party moved homewards after
many thanks to the kind old woman, who promised to
come up to tea and return with her son. Sir Toby was
safe in his stable when they arrived. He had gone
straight to the door and waited there for Jacob.
Tea was ready in the pretty drawing-room; and when
they were going to take their places round the table, with




wished this was grandpapa's," and sat down by the gate,
thinking it would be very nice if they might go by the
fields instead of the dusty road. At this moment they
heard the sound of wheels, and horses' feet coming tramp,
tramp behind the hedge, and, looking through the gate,
they saw Farmer Dale's horse and wagon with Charley
the carter walking by the side.
"Ah Charley!" cried little Willie, "where are you
"To Squire Wakefield's," answered he, to cart his hay.'
"Then we shall see you again presently, for we are
going to grandpapa's too," said Willie.
Wo! Smiler," said Charley, and the horse stopped.
Charley began to open the gate, then touched his hat,
and asked Mrs. Grey if she would please to walk in and go
through the fields. She was very much obliged to him,
and the children were delighted to get on the grass.
They ran along by the side of the cart, looking at the
great horse as he went on so strongly, and as if he did
not feel the weight of the cart in the least.
"What is all that wood for, that you have in the
wagon?" asked Alice.
"That is to lay under the hay-stack. The hay is laid



on wood, not on the damp ground, you see, Miss. If it
was not for the wood, you and Master Willie might have
got into the cart and had a ride, but you might get hurt
some way if it shook about."
"Thank you, Charley; I should have liked it very
much," said she.
"Wo! Smiler," said Charley again, and again Smiler
You could both ride on Smiler's back, if you're not
afraid," said Charley.
May we, mama?" cried Alice. I should like it very
much, only it looks so high up."
"Suppose we should tumble off," said little Willie,
rather doubtfully.
Their mama was a little afraid at first too, but Charley
assured her he would take great care of the young gentle-
man and lady; and presently Willie felt quite courageous,
and was lifted up and seated very firmly, and took fast
hold of the collar. Then Charley lifted up Alice, and she
put her arm round Willie's waist. Then Ranger began to
bark and leap up as if he wanted to have a ride too.
Stay by us, mama," cried Willie. What a height we
are from the ground "



"Oh yes, stay by us," said Alice, who could not help
feeling a little frightened too.
"I will stay by you," said their mama; sit firm, and
you are in no danger."
"Now hold fast," cried Charley. "Gee wot! Smiler!"
and away went Smiler, tramp, tramp again. Very soon
they got used to the motion, and laughed and chatted,
and enjoyed it very much. Ranger went on, jumping and
barking all the way; but Smiler did not mind: he never
stopped. It was all their mama could do to keep up with
Open the gate. Look where we are," cried Willie,
when they stopped at their grandpapa's field, and smelt
the sweet new hay. The gate was thrown open, and in
they went in triumph, and were soon surrounded by a
whole troop of merry people, with hay-forks and rakes
in their hands, and lifted down and kissed and welcomed
by alL
There were Aunt Lucy, and Aunt Emily, and Uncle
John, and there were their little cousins Mary and Janey,
with their elder brother Robert, and their friends Herbert
and Meggy, with their papa and mama. And there were
Thomas, the gardener, and two hay-makers, whose names


were Joe and Roger, and Emma, the cook, and Harriet,
the housemaid. All were in the field, hard at work,
spreading the large hay-cocks into long ridges ready to
Willie and Alice were first taken to the summer-house,
in one corner of the field, to have some cake and milk,
and then a little rake was given to each, and they went
hard to work raking the hay like the rest.
The wagon was standing behind the summer-house, by
the place where the stack was to be made, and Thomas
was busy unloading it, and laying the wood in a proper
form, ready to lay the hay on. This was soon done, and
he got into the wagon himself, fork in hand.
"Who will have a ride down the field?" he cried.
"I wil,-I will,-let me,-take me up," cried many
voices, and in two minutes every child there was seated
in the wagon, and away went Smiler with them down the
field, and Charley led him to the end of one of the long
ridges of hay.
Now out they must all come as fast as they got in.
Uncle John held out his hands, and jumped them down
one after another, on to the ridge of hay, and ended by
burying them under it. But Thomas called out, that it



was not time to play yet, so they all scrambled up as well
as they could for laughing. Joe and Roger, Uncle John
and Robert, forked up the hay and threw it into the
wagon, and Thomas, standing up in it, packed it all even;
all the rest raked after them, collecting what was scat-
tered, and Charley led Smiler on and on, as they cleared.
Soon there was a good heaped load.
"Who will have a ride on the top of the hay?" cries
All the children were ready. So now Uncle John
must lift them up, and, as Thomas received them, and
seated them on the dry loose hay, they sunk in it very
comfortably, and their faces peeped out like the young birds
in a nest. When Smiler moved on they set up a shout,
and grandpapa himself came out to see what was doing.
"Here we are Ah, grandpapa, come up too !" cried
Alice and Willie; but he laughed, and said, that would
never do for him."
Now they had to be handed down again, sliding and
jumping as well as they could; for the wagon was led to
,the right place, and the hay was to be forked out and
laid in order on the wood. Joe and Roger built the
stack; Thomas, Robert, and Uncle John threw the hay



out of the wagon; the rest had time to rest or play; only a
few had to rake what was scattered by the wind or drop-
ped, and Thomas soon sent them all to shake the rest of
the cocks into ridges.
Now came a new visitor into the field: it was Daisy,
the cow. All the time the grass was growing, she had
been kept in the cow-house, but now Aunt Lucy had de-
termined she should come and enjoy the pleasant air and
grass once more. Daisy was a pretty Guernsey cow, with
short horns, a small head, short legs, and was prettily
spotted white and light brown. She was very gentle and
tame, but she was young and playful; so when she found
herself once more in her field, she set off, levelled her
horns at a large hay-cock, knocked it down, and ran
round by the hedge with a great bunch of hay on her
head. Everybody laughed, and grandpapa declared it
was exactly as if she had said to the hay-cock, So it was
for you I was kept shut up all this time i down with you !"
You ought to have jumped over it, Daisy cried Un-
cle John.
Uncle John must jump over a hay-cock cried Alice
"Yes, yes, Uncle John. Do jump over a hay-cock,"
exclaimed several voices.



"To be sure I will," he said; so he laid down his fork,
took off his straw hat, chose out one of the tallest hay-
cocks, went back several paces, took a run, then a jump;
but, high as he jumped, it was not high enough. His foot
came thump against the top of the hay-cock, knocked it
off, and he tumbled down on the other side, where he was
buried under the rest of it by the children the next
There is no saying when he would have got out; but
the sight of the empty wagon, going down the field, made
them all eager for a ride, and Uncle John must crawl out
and help them in; and then every one was hard at work
By-and-by it was dinner time. A cold dinner was
ready for every .one, and it was surprising what ap-
petites they had; but the children could not sit long,-
they must be off to the field again; and as the men were
not ready to go on yet, they began to play. They pelted
each other with hay. Little Willie was seized as he was
running along with a load on his head to throw at some
one, laid on a hay-cock, and quite hid under a heap;
then out he got, and Alice was smothered, then all the




"Would anybody like a swing?" cried Robert, who had
just come out.
Everybody liked swiningng, so to the swing all went.
It was hung to one of the arms of a large elm tree.
Alice was put in first, and Robert swung her so high that
she touched the green leaves and branches with her feet,
and she enjoyed it very much; but she soon called out to
him to stop, that some one else might come in. Herbert
was such a bold swinger that he liked to stand up on the
board, and Janey stood up with him; they held tight, and
went up as high as Alice had done. Then little Willie
and Mary were put in side by side, and swung together,
and then Meggy had her turn; and while she was scud-
ding through the air, first touching the high branches
with her head, then with the tips of her toes, Thomas
called all to work again.
Smiler had been taken out of the shafts and allowed to
feed where he liked, but now he must be fastened in again;
and as Charley had gone a message, Joe undertook to do
it, and was a long time over it, for he did not understand
how to fasten the buckles; however, it was done at last,
and he led the wagon while the others loaded, and then
the children were mounted on the top as before. They


had got to the lower part of the field, and Smiler had to
drag them up a steep bank. As he was straining up, and
had nearly reached the top, one of the buckles, not pro-
perly fastened by Joe, gave way. Up went the shafts,
down went the back of the wagon, and out fell all the hay
and all the children with it on the grass. Smiler walked
off quietly, and began to eat grass very contentedly;
grandpapa, uncle, aunts, papas, and mamas rushed to the
spot in alarm. Nothing was to be seen of children,
nothing but a great heap of hay; but the hay began to
shake, and out came a head, then a foot, then a hand,
then several heads, feet, and hands; then some were able
to laugh, others to cry, and others to answer the anxious
question, Are you hurt?"
No one was hurt. Alice's bonnet was beat flat over
her eyes, but her mama soon straightened it; Meggy's
frock was torn, but Aunt Emily brought out a needle and
thread and mended it; Herbert lost a top out of his
pocket, and Willie could not find his cap till the hay was
nearly all flung into the wagon again; but when they
had shaken themselves well, and had got the hay out of
their mouths and hair as well as they could, it was
declared that no harm was done. It happened, however,
1 2



that though Charley now fastened the harness right and
tight, no one asked to get up on the next load or two;
they preferred rather to run by the side.
The sun began to go round towards the west, and the
trees to cast a longer shadow, and the field was nearly
cleared; but now tea was ready under a spreading beech.
Such a great tea-pot, such an immense jug of milk, such
platefuls of cake and bread and butter, such piled heaps
of strawberries and cherries were there for them, as they
had never seen before; and much they enjoyed everything.
"What are those bright ribbons for, Aunt Lucy?" cried
somebody. And, all leaving the remains of the feast,
found the grass covered with bits of ribbon of every
"Where are your rakes?" said she. "Choose your
colours. All of you must have a streamer on your rakes
when the last load goes to be stacked."
Now there was a great bustle. One would have green,
another blue, another pink, another white. Then the
forks were dressed; and then, for papas and mamas, who
had not been at work, long sticks were cut, and ribbons
tied on them. Smiler must be dressed now. He had
hunches of green leaves at each ear; and, as ribbon failed,


long strips of bright-coloured calico were torn up and tied
about his mane, tail, and harness. Ranger was caught,
and had a fine collar of blue and red, with a large bow
put on, and Herbert's little dog Ponto was made splendid,
by tying bright strips to his long white hair all over him.
The carting was going on, and rakers were soon called
for. The field was cleared; the wagon was about half full,
and it was the last load.
All must mount now, rakes and forks in hand. Not
only children,-grandpapa was in, now papa, now
mama, now Aunt Lucy, now Aunt Emily, and Uncle
John, and Emma, and Harriet. All were in. Charley
walked at the head, a long red streamer on his whip.
Joe and Roger waited on the stack, streamers on their
"Now hold up your rakes and forks, and shout for
the last load," cries Thomas. He was obeyed; there was
a famous shout.
They stopped at the stack. "Master must please to
get up on the stack, and Joe and Roger must come
Grandpapa mounted on the stack; all the rest stood up
in the wagon.



"Three cheers for Squire Wakefield: whose hay we
have got in this day," cries Thomas.
There were three capital cheers, and then Mr. Wake-
field, thanking them, told them supper would be ready in
half an hour, and invited them all to partake.
It was a lovely evening, and the long supper table was
laid in the garden, on the lawn. The children helped to
lay the tables, and were ready and delighted to wait on the
company at supper. There was abundance of everything,
and the tables looked beautiful when the high vases of
flowers and heaped dishes of fruit were placed among the
substantial dishes.
The hay was stacked, Smiler put up in the stable,
and Thomas and his two assistants, with Charley, had
come into the garden; and now the guests began to arrive,
-Thomas's wife and three children, Enmm's brother and
sister, Harriet's father and sister, Charley's old mother,
Joe's wife, Roger's mother and sister. There were seats
for everybody. Mr. Wakefield and Aunt Lucy took the
two ends of the table, and the children waited on all.
Everything was so well arranged that they found it quite
easy, and when they had no more to do they formed
rings on the grass, and danced to their own voices.



Then songs were sung, and the children sometimes
joined in chorus, and pleasant stories were told, and they
stopped their dance to listen. The sun had gone down
in a golden sky, and the moon was up when the happy
party separated. The children stayed all night; every
sofa and bed was full, and the moon that lighted the
other guests to their several homes, peeped in at the win-
'dows of Mr. Wakefield's cottage on many little eye-lids
fast closed in sleep after a very merry day.




ON the sloping side of a green hill there was a pretty
cottage, with a little garden round it, and a white gate
that led into a wood of firs and larches, mixed with a few
birch trees, that sent out a delicious odour after a shower
of rain when the sun came out, and the green leaves glis-
tened in the light. It was such a solitary place that thi
cottage would have been lonely, but that near it there
was a farm-house, and the sheep belonging to the farmer
used to crop the grass on the hill, and often come close
up to the gate; and he had cows in the meadows below,
'and corn-fields at a little distance, and fine strong horses
for his ploughs and wagons, and a pigeon-house on the
roof of his barn.
In the cottage there lived a little girl and boy called
Rose and Harry, with their mama. Their papa died


when they were too young to remember him, and their
mama seemed to have no happiness but in teaching them,
walking about the beautiful country with them, giv-
ing them pleasure, and trying to make them as good as
she told them their dear apap was. They were very
happy children, for they were always with their amna,
whom they loved so much. When they awoke in the
morning they were sure to see her near their little bed&
She bathed and dressed them with her own hands. Her
voice led their morning prayer. She sat on the hill while
they ran and jumped in the fresh sweet air. They sat at
the same round table at breakfast with her, and then
went with her to see what Mary the maid was doing to
!elp to give out what was wanted from the store-room,
and to see what vegetables were ready to cut in the gar-
den. Then they did their lessons, read to her, wrote, and
did sums; and when work was over they played till she
called them to dinner, when they had a great many
things to talk over with her. Then, after dinner she took
them long walks into beautiful places, through woods and
green fields, and up hills, where they saw lovely views,
and down into deep valleys by the side of clear streams;
and when evening came they went home to tea. In sum-


mer evenings, when they came in sight of their peaceful
home it was still quite light, and the sun was making
the windows glitter through the roses that grew round
them; -but in spring and autumn it was often nearly dark;
the stars were coming out, and the bright light of the nice
warm fire in their sitting-room shone out pleasantly in
the cold air. In winter their walk ended earlier, and
they had to run to keep out the frost, or to skip along
over the snow. But whether it was warm or cold, light
or dark, it was always happy to them. They thought
that they liked better than anything in all their pleasant
lives the time when they sat down to tea, sometimes by
the open window, sometimes by the cheerful fire; and
then, when the table was cleared, and their mama
brought out her work, and told them stories, or taught
Rose to hem and Harry to draw, how happy they were!
The only thing that seemed sad to them was when bed-
time came; but still, the moment their mama said, It is
time to go to bed," they put everything away, and fol-
lowed her up stairs; for whatever she wished them to do
they did instantly. They loved her so much, that to
please and obey her was their delight.
It was early in the month of February, when, one day,



they were agreeably surprised by receiving a present from
the farmer's wife of a cock and five hens. There was a
yard, with an empty hen-house at the back of their cot-
tage, and their mama had often said she should like to
keep some fowls to lay fresh eggs for them; so this was a
very kind present. Every morning and afternoon they
used to go and feed their new pets, and to look for eggs
in the nests of the hen-house; and they almost always
found three or four a day. They named the cock Empe-
ror, because he looked so grand and proud; the two
white hens they named Fairy and Lily, the black one
Jet, and the two'speckled ones Browny and Pet.
It happened that one day, when Rose and Harry were
at play in the garden, they could see their mama's face as
she sat at work near the window, and it seemed to Rose
that her dear mama looked very pale and melancholy.
Rose left off laughing and talking, and was silent so
long, that Harry asked what she was thinking of.
I wish," said she, "that we could do anything
Harry looked as if he did not quite understand
"Mama is always working for us, and doing things to



make us happy,"' she continued, and I wish we could do
anything to help her."
So do I, Rose. What can we do?"
This led to a great deal of talk between them; and at
last they ran to their mama to ask her to let them try to
be useful to her. She smiled, kissed them, and said, "It
helped her best to see them try to be good;" but she
added, As you grow older you shall both learn more
and more to be useful."
"Let us begin now, mama," said Rose.
SI think that I can find something for you to do for
me," answered her mama, that will be very useful, if I
can trust you. It will require care and attention."
Both declared they would be careful and attentive.
"I know by several signs," continued their mama,
"that the little white hen you call Fairy wants to sit."
Does she, and will she have some chickens?"
"I hope so; but sitting hens require great attention
when there is no separate place for them to make their
nest in. The other hens try to drive them off, to lay their
eggs in the nest; then they fight, and perhaps break the
eggs. I shall therefore have a door made to shut in
Fairy when she has got her eggs under her."



"But how is she to get her food?"
"That is what I am going to trust you with. She must
be allowed once a day to come off her eggs, to take her
food and have a little exercise. Some one must open her
door every morning. She will know how long she may
safely stay out. When she goes back she must be shut
in again."
Then may we open her door, feed her, and wait till
she is ready to go back?" said Rose.
And shut her in again when she goes back? How I
shall like doing it," said Harry.
"It will be very useful to me if you will take this
charge," said their mama Mary has not time for it,
and it would be troublesome to me."
"We will be very attentive. It will be so very nice!"
said Rose.
"But remember," added her mama, that Fairy must
sit three whole weeks; and that, if you forget to let her
out even one day, she will suffer much and be very hun-
gry and thirsty; while, if you neglect to let her in again,
the eggs will get cold and we shall have no chickens.
May I trust you?"
Both declared that she might; that they would never



forget. Accordingly the carpenter put a little wooden
door before one of the nests, with holes in it for air.
Then Rose and Harry went with their mama to the store-
room, and she took thirteen eggs in a little basket. Fairy
was already in the nest, though she had no eggs; but
Harry took her off and held her while his mama put clean
straw and a little hay nicely in. Rose laid all the eggs
carefully among it, and then Fairy was allowed to go in.
She began to arrange the eggs with her feet and beak,
till they were laid as she liked, then she spread her wings
out and settled down upon them. The door was now
closed and she was left alone.
Next morning before breakfast, Rose and Harry went
to the hen-house with a saucer of water, and some barley
which they spread on the floor. When they opened
Fairy's door and called her she got off, picked it up, and
drank some water. They felt the warm eggs, and then shut
the door, lest another hen should get in; but they wait-
ed in the yard while Fairy wandered about, till, in less
than ten minutes, she came to her nest again, when they
opened her door, let her in, and then shut her up safely.
They went on every morning in the same way. Some-
times it seemed to them that she staid out very long, but



they always found she came back before the eggs had lost
their warmth; however, to pass the time, they went into
the garden and played there, going back every few
minutes to see if Fairy was clucking outside her door and
ready to go in.
Eighteen days passed on. By this time their mama
had told them there was in each egg, she hoped, a
chicken, ready in a few days to burst the shell and come
out. In three days more they might expect the chickens;
indeed Mary told them that in her last place she remem-
bered a hen brought out her brood a day too soon; and
therefore, though their mama said she thought there must
be some mistake about this, they even hoped for them in
two days.
On the nineteenth morning they let out Fairy as usual,
shut her door, and went into the garden to go on with
their play. The game was keeping a shop on a bench
under a large walnut tree. It was such a shop as there
was in the village, where they sometimes went with their
mama, in which many different kinds of things were sold.
For several mornings they had been collecting their stock:
now they were ready to begin buying and selling; so that
it would be still more amusing to play. They had


scraped sand off the walk, and this they called moist
sugar; some chalk they had found in a field, cut into
pieces was loaf sugar; the black seeds in the laburnum
pods, which were falling as the young spring leaves came
out, were coffee; the dry beech leaves broken up in their
hands made tea; large stones were loaves, and little peb-
bles rolls; willow twigs peeled and cut into pieces were
pounds of butter; straws cut short, and tied six or eight
together, were candles; and pieces of broken cups and
saucers that Mary gave them, were ranged along, and
made a fine show of crockery ware. Harry was to be
shopman, and Rose customer.
"Stop a moment," said Rose, as Harry placed him-
self behind the counter; let me run and look after
She ran back, but soon returned saying Fairy was still
out, and the eggs as warm as pies, and they began to
play. Rose bought several things. She pretended that
she was a farmer's wife who had a large family of child-
ren, and wanted to lay in stores for three months, and to
buy a great many cups and plates. Harry praised his
things very much, and she said they were dear and not
good, in the way they had observed people did when they



went to the shop. They played in this way for some
"I now want some moist sugar, sir," said Rose.
Harry began to weigh some sand in a pair of scales
that their mama had made of orange peel. Rose asked
the price, and was beginning to complain of it.
"Your sugar is-Fairy Oh Harry, Fairy!" she cried,
instead of what she was going to say.
The scales dropped from Harry's hands. A long while
had passed. They both ran to the hen-house.
Poor Fairy was wandering restlessly before the closed
door, ruffing her feathers, and sometimes flying up and
pecking at it. Rose opened it. The eggs felt quite cold
to her hand. Fairy jumped in and settled on them in-
"Run to mama, Harry," cried Rose, the tears filling
her eyes. "Ask her to come. See if she can do anything."
S Harry ran into the cottage, and brought back his
mama, followed by Mary.
"Oh Miss Rose!" said Mary, what a pity. The eggs
must all be spoiled."
Do you think so?" sobbed Rose. "Oh mama, mama,
how sorry I am!"



"Might they be put near the kitchen fire?" asked
Harry, with a faltering voice.
Their mama put her hand under Fairy, and felt the
"They are not quite cold," said she; "I yet hope they
may not be spoiled."
Do you think so, mama? Oh how happy I should be,"
said Rose, looking up in her tears.
And then perhaps the poor little chickens are not all
dead," said Harry.
"We must leave Fairy quiet. That is all we can do,"
said their mama. Let us go in to breakfast."
The children each took one of her hands, and walked
silently by her side. As they looked up at her they saw
that she looked very sad. They sat down, but could not
eat: their hearts seemed too full. Rose soon left her seat,
threw her arms round her mama's neck, and leaned her
head on her shoulder, and Harry went to her also, and
laid his head on her lap.
You will not be able to trust us any more," said Rose.
And we have not been useful to you at all," added
My dear children," she replied, "this is a great dis-


appointment to me. It grieves me that you have
failed in the duty you had undertaken. But learn from
your failure a lesson that I hope you will never forgot
Whatever duty you have to perform let that be your first
concern. Never let pleasure make you forget it."
We will try, mama," said Rose; and Harry added, I
hope we shall be able to remember."
They went to their lessons. They had never felt so
melancholy before, and they were not able to play at all.
Their mama took them a long walk, and talked with
them, and told them some stories that encouraged them
to be earnest in faithfully doing whatever they knew they
ought to do.
Next morning, when they were dressed, they stood
doubtfully looking at their mama. They were not sure
whether she meant to trust them any more; and when
she told them to go and let Fairy out they felt grateful
to her. They could not help hoping that even this morn-
ing some of the chickens might have come out, as Mary
had said they might. They looked anxiously in, but the
eggs lay as they had always done; no chickens had come
out yet. They did not think of play, but remained near
the door till Fairy came back to it.


Many were the questions they put to Mary that day as
to her expectations, and many a guess did they make be-
tween themselves as to the next day. When morning
came, the twenty-first morning so long expected, they
felt afraid to go to look at the eggs, so fearful were they
that no signs of chickens would be there. How differ-
ently they would have felt if they had not forgotten their
work that unlucky morning. They begged their mama
to go with'them, and she agreed.
They opened the door; Fairy seemed unwilling to move,
and their mama was obliged to lift her off. They
watched with beating hearts, but were disappointed.
No egg was even chipped, and no chickens were to be
"Do not quite despair yet," said their mama. "Any
time to-day or in the night they may come. It was not
unlikely, after such a check as the eggs had, that there
might be some delay. You must shew your self-denial
by not coming to disturb Fairy. The best thing we can
do for her is to let her quite alone." When they had
shut her in again they went to breakfast, with many
fears, notwithstanding their mama's words of comfort.
They obeyed her by not returning to the nest, and only



went the last thing before going to bed, with her permis-
sion, to listen for a chirp. But all was quiet.
Again, when morning came they begged of their mama
to go with them, to help them to bear it, if there was no
hope. All three went, and Rose with trembling fingers
opened the door. 0 look! look!" cried Harry in a tone
of joy. He had seen a little bright black eye peeping
from under Fairy's wing. And now they saw another,
and two or three beaks. All was safe. The eggs had
not been spoiled.
Before anything more could be done, they both threw
their arms round their mama, kissed her, and almost
danced for joy. She then lifted Fairy up, pecking and
screaming, and put her on the floor to eat her barley. In
the nest there were nine pretty little soft chickens, look-
ing like balls of down, some entirely yellow, others
speckled with brown, one quite black. There was,
besides, an egg with a beak poking out at one end, and
another cracked at the end.
Rose and Harry wanted to run for some food; but their
mama said it would be better to wait till the rest had
come out, for that young chickens did not require to be fed
for several hours after they were hatched. She removed


the broken shells, and shook the eggs gently that shewed
no signs of cracking, and by doing so found they were
bad and threw them away. How happily Rose and
Harry went to breakfast now! Still more happy were
they when their mama told them that she meant to trust
them with the care of the young brood. They felt that
they should never forget the lesson they had received,
and were not afraid to take the charge. She gave them
the proper food, and showed them how to set about their
work. When they returned to Fairy in the afternoon,
they found the two remaining chickens had come out,
and they took her down and put all on the ground, and
had the great pleasure of seeing the little things begin
to peck and to drink water. By their constant care they
reared all the chickens but one, which hurt itself in try-
ing to get through a narrow slit in the gate and died;
but all the other ten grew up. Every morning and after-
noon, Rose and Harry took them their food, and Mary
often said, as she looked at them, that she never saw
chickens thrive so well. They got so strong that they
used to stray away, and it often took Fairy some time
before she could collect more than two or three round
her; but all were sure to come at last. Everything went



on as happily as before with Rose and Harry; they
enjoyed their game in the garden and all their other
plays, but they often remembered their mama's words,
and tried never to let pleasure make them forget their


"RAMSGATE! Ramsgate!" was called by the man at
the station, as the train stopped.
"Ramsgate!" repeated a little boy in one of the car-
riages, waking up out of a sound sleep.
"Why, Johnny, you have been asleep," said his elder
sister Helen; and Louisa asleep too! Wake up. We
are at Ramsgate."
"Where's the sea?" said Johnny, rubbing his eyes.
"It is quite dark," answered his papa, who was already
out of the carriage. "Nothing can be seen till to-mor-
row. Make haste, little Johnny: I will carry you."
In a minute Johnny was seated in a fly, his sisters
beside him, then their mama, and their papa on the box.
Joseph the groom was seeing the luggage put on a truck;
the bell rang, the engine began to puff and blow like


some great animal preparing to start off again with his
load, and away went the train.
"Where are Neptune and Spot?" asked Louisa, putting
her head out at the window.
"I hear them barking. Joseph has got them safe out
of the train," answered her papa, as they began to move
This family came from Warwickshire, which is a long
way from the coast, and the children had never yet even
had a sight of the sea. They looked out on both sides as
they drove along, but in vain; the night was very dark,
and they could see nothing. They heard, however, a grand
sound, such as they had never heard before, which their
mama told them was the sound of the waves; and the air
felt very fresh. They presently stopped at a door, which
was quickly opened and they got out. It was very nice
to go up an unknown staircase, to peep into a strange
drawing-room, then to go up to the bed-rooms, where
everything was new to them. They thought the beds
and curtains very white and clean, and were very glad to
see their nurse again, who had gone on a day before them,
and had everything ready; and as it was too dark to see
out of the windows, they began to long for nothing so



mUch as to lie down in the comfortable white beds; so,
before half an hour was over, all three were fast asleep.
Hour after hour passed, while kind sleep was changing
them from wearied travellers into active, merry children
once more; but they knew nothing of this time. It
seemed to them like the next minute that they heard a
voice say- Who wants to look at the sea?" and saw
their mama standing in the room, dressed and ready to
go out. It was seven o'clock in the morning, and the
bright sun was shining on the windows. In a minute
Johnny was in her arms, Helen and Louisa by her side,
and she took them to the window and drew up the blind.
There lay the beautiful sea before them, under the blue
morning sky, sparkling in the sun, the waves gently
breaking on the yellow sands. Two fine large ships, with
their white sails set, were passing near the shore, and
many more in the distance. A steamer was going in the
opposite direction. A whole fleet of fishing-boats were
coming in towards the harbour, after being out all night.
Beyond all, on both sides, and onward as far as the eye
could reach, stretched the blue sea, till it met the sky.
The children had longed to see it, had wondered what it
would be like, had expected it would be beautiful, but



it was far greater and more beautiful than they hid
imagined. They would never forget that first sight of it.
Make haste and come out to bathe," said their mama.
Very quickly they were dressed, and enjoyed all the
delights of choosing a machine, plunging into the refresh-
ing water, dancing and splashing in it, coming out at last
to be dried and dressed, meeting their papa on the sands
when they came out of the machine, having a good run
with him, clambering over some slippery sea-weedy
rocks, peeping into a cave in the white cliff, and then
going in to breakfast very hungry, and sitting round the
table, drawn so near the bow window that they could
look out and see what was going on all the time.
The sea was always taking some new and lovely colour;
the two ships had sailed out of sight, but three others
had come; the tide was rising, and the line of white waves
came nearer and nearer; rowing-boats and sailing-boats
were scudding this way and that on the sunny water; the
steamer for London, which had just started from the
pier, passed rapidly across. Then there were donkeys
trotting and cantering up and down the sands, with boys
and girls on them. In short, it all looked so delightful,
that breakfast had hardly been cleared away when their



mama told them to get ready and she would take them
to spend the whole morning on the sands.
They were not long about getting ready, and went
down the cliff by a long wooden staircase. As soon as
they got upon the sands they ran to the edge of the sea,
stopping only a minute to look at some children who
were digging with wooden spades. Neptune and Spot
had come out with them, and rushed about barking with
How nice it is to stand quite near, and have to run
back when the next wave comes!" cried Johnny.
Ah, master Johnny, if you stand so near as that, you
will be caught and get wet presently," cried Louisa.
Neptune came bounding past as they spoke, and swam
out; they could only see his head bobbing over the
waves. He seemed to enjoy it very much; but foolish
little Spot would not go out: he only stayed barking by
Johnny's side, and when the waves broke on the sands
and came hissing up he ran back too. Helen and Louisa
were amusing themselves with digging hollows with their
hands, and seeing them filled with water, and changed
into little ponds, and then covered entirely and lost, one
after another, in the great sea.



"Oh Johnny run! run!-what a great wave !" cried
He ran with all his might, but it was in vain. The
wave was too fast for him, and he got wet up to his
knees. Neptune swam out at the same time, and shook
the water out of his long hair all over him.
"We must go in for dry socks and shoes," said his
mama. "But we need not be long about it. As to
Neptune's contribution, I can rub that away with my
They went in, but soon got all put to rights and came
out again. Passing on towards the stairs they came to a
toy-shop, and stopped to look at the things.
"Those wooden spades are exactly like what the boys
were digging with," said Johnny. "Will you buy us one,
She answered by going into the shop and telling him to
choose one, and greatly added to his pleasure by telling
Louisa to choose one also.
May Helen have one too?" said Louisa.
"I am afraid she is too old for a wooden spade," re-
plied her mama, smiling.
But Helen declared she was not at all too old, and the



shopman said he often sold spades to young ladies of her
age; so she also had one, and all three sallied forth, and
went down the cliff in great glee. They began to dig as
soon as they reached the hard sands. At first they only
dug holes; but after a while Helen proposed that they
should make a house standing in a garden, with a wall
round it. She was to build the house, while Louisa and
Johnny made the wall of round white stones, of which
they found plenty. They drew a line to shew the
boundary, and fixed a row of stones in it. The sand
Helen dug out to build the house left a hollow, which
they decided should be a pond in the garden, and they
planned several walks and a grass-plot, on which they
determined to lay green sea-weed, such as they had seen
on the rocks.
"How pretty a grotto would look in one corner!" said
Both the others thought so too; they therefore left their
work, and began to look for shells.
I have found a lovely little yellow one," cried Helen.
"So have I, and a black one," said Johnny.
Louisa also found a few; but, after searching some time,
they had only collected a small number, and these nearly



all yellow; so they gathered round their mama, who was
all this time sitting reading on a block of wood, with
Neptune and Spot by her side, and asked her what they
should do for shells. The house, they declared, would be
nothing without the pretty grotto, and they could scarcely
find any.
Just at that moment there came towards them a boy
who carried a flat board slung round his neck covered
with beautiful large shells; he came up to their mama,
asking her to buy some.
how lovely !" cried Helen.
"But they are too large for the grotto," said Johnny.
The boy said he had plenty of smaller ones, which
he sold by the pint; and, setting down his board, he took
a canvas bag out of his pocket, which was full of all sorts
of common shells, white, yellow, pink, and black. These
were exactly what the children wanted, and their mama
bought a pint for them.
But where do you find all these?" asked Helen. "We
could see none almost, but a few little yellow ones."
The boy said he came from Pegwell Bay, where there
were numbers of them; but, he added, he did not find the
large ones there. They came from foreign parts, and



were brought home by his father, who was a sailor.
"Would not the lady please to take one?" he said. He
had slung on his board again, and held one in his hand
towards her as he spoke. She bought two, and gave
him the price he asked; and, after thanking her, he
went on.
The grotto was now commenced in good earnest. A
layer of stones was first put down, and then the shells
raised on it, the largest at the bottom. It took a good
while to sort them into different sizes and colours, and
then to produce the proper effect by arranging them
well. At last, nearly the whole collection had been
used up, and the grotto was rising to a peak at the top,
when they were startled by a most unexpected event. A
wave, pushing on before its companions, sent a pointed
flood of water into the midst of their garden, and, rolling
back, left their pond full. They had not observed, in
their eagerness over their work, that the tide had risen
fast, and that their house and garden now stood at the
very edge of the sea. They started up; but, while they
stood staring in consternation, on came another wave,
swept away the grotto, and carried the shells back with
it. Scarcely, however, was there time to feel the misfor-



tune, when another, rolling on, brought them back and
laid them at their feet.
Save the shells,-pick them up,-mama, come and help
us!" was shouted by all three, while each gathered up as
many as the returning waves would leave time for.
Their mama had been so much engaged with her book,
that she had not observed what was going on; but she
came quickly and helped as well as she could. She was
obliged, however, to prevent Louisa and Johnny from
attempting to save as many as they wished, lest they
should be carried away themselves. By great exertions,
and at the cost of getting their shoes full of water, they
collected a good many; the two dogs came and barked
and rushed about as if they wished to help, but did little
else except splashing everybody with salt water. When
the hurry was over, Johnny began to look very sad, and
Louisa could hardly help crying. Fortunately the spades
were safe; Helen had thrown them as far away as she
could at the first appearance of danger, and they lay on
the dry sand; as to the house and garden, it had vanished
for ever.
They turned homewards, for it was time for dinner;
when they got in, nurse said, she did not know what was



to be done for shoes and stockings if they went on in this
way; but they told her they should be wiser soon, when
they began to understand the ways of the sea. At
dinner they related all the adventure to their papa, who
advised them to measure their shells and see how many
they had saved. They got a pint jug for the purpose, and
found that they had not saved above half their stock.
Suppose," said he, "that we were all to go to Pegwell
Bay in a sailing boat this afternoon, and you were to pick
up shells for yourselves?"
Great joy was shewn at this proposal. To go out in a
boat was pleasure enough of itself, and to gather shells
was equally delightful; so they were soon ready, and went
to the pier, where they found plenty of boats.
The boats were very pretty, painted of different colours,
with gay little flags, and all had names; and as the child-
ren looked down at them they began to choose which they
should like best. The "Sea-flower" was a pretty name;
but then, the Water-witch was such bright green and
white; the Sally" did not please them at all,-they
would have liked to go in the "Victoria;" but the "Princess
Royal" was so pretty altogether, both name, colour, and
flag,-for it was painted light cane-colour, with a little



black about it, and had a sky-blue flag, and the whitest
possible sails,-that they fixed upon it.
They had a delightful sail. There was sufficient breeze
to make their boat go dancing over the water, and yet it
was warm and pleasant. It was great fun to land at
Pegwell Bay, and to scatter over the beach picking up
shells; and they found numbers,-in some "places the
whole beach seemed composed of them. When at last
their papa called them to go back to the boat, they found
they had filled all the little baskets they brought. As
they walked along they passed a row of cottages, and, at
the door of one of them, saw the boy standing of whom
they had bought the shells in the morning. There was a
nice fire in the room of the cottage, and his mother was
getting tea ready. They stopped and spoke to him, and
shewed him their shells, and their papa thought some of
the large ones he saw on the board, that now stood on a
table, so beautiful that he bought six of them, which
seemed to please the boy very much.
The sun was setting behind Ramsgate when they
reached the pier, and a golden light was spread over every-
thing, while the sea looked dark-violet colour; and it was
difficult to say whether it looked most beautiful now, or
M 2




when they saw it first, under the blue morning sky, or
afterwards in the many changes that came over it during
their happy visit to Ramsgate.








IN that part of North Wales which borders on England
there are many beautiful grassy hills, often wooded half
way up their sides, and lovely green valleys between
them. The hills are not too high or rugged to be easily
climbed in a morning's walk, and it is delightful to rest
on their tops. The air is very fresh; there is a scent of
wild thyme growing among the grass on which you tread,
and a wide view over all the neighboring country.
A large and pleasant old house, partly overgrown
with ivy, near the top of one of these hills, was the
home of Walter and Lucy Lewis. There Were plea-
sure-grounds and plantations all round the house, and
the hill had many walks and terraces cut in it, where
there were beautiful places, sometimes among trees, some-
times among heath, and ferns, and gay fox-gloves, and



always some new view of the green valley beneath. Mr.
Lewis was the landlord of most of the farms that lay
near, and of most of the white cottages that peeped
out every here and there from some thicket or knoll.
He was a kind landlord to all his tenants, and was espe-
cially careful of his cottagers. He never let a cottage
that was badly built, or inconvenient, or made with only
one room in it for a whole family, as some cottages are;
he always had three rooms at least in his, besides a
wash-house, a place for coals and wood, and a pig-sty;
and with each he always gave enough ground to grow
the vegetables for the family. It was a pleasure to see
how clean and comfortable these cottages were. There
was sure to be a side of bacon hanging from the beams
in the kitchen; a good sack of potatoes in a corer; a
large home-made loaf or two of good brown bread, and
comfortable furniture. Whenever sickness or trouble
came upon any of Mr. Lewis's tenants they were sure to
find friends in him and Mrs. Lewis, and whenever any
good fortune or happiness came to them they were glad
to see these good friends come to their gates that they
might relate it. Mr. Lewis had built schools for their
children, and took great pains about their education, and



he had given a large piece of ground to be free for games,
for keeping May-day, and other pleasures.
Walter and Lucy were allowed to roam about a good
deal by themselves, because every one in the neighbour-
hood knew them, and would take care of them. Their
mama used to tell them, whenever they went far from
home they should look out for the church steeple, for the
church stood on the same hill with their house. With
this landmark to prevent their losing themselves, they
used to take long walks together sometimes. One day
they had gone to the top of a low hill that rose next to
that on which their house was, and they came to a
hedge. There was a gap in the hedge, near the ground,
and through this Walter said he would go.
Now look, Lucy," said he, "how cleverly I shall creep
through feet foremost. My feet are through,-now my
knees, now-- he disappeared, and not a word more
"Walter! Walter! where are you?" cried little Lucy,
peeping through. "Oh, Walter, where are you gone?"
She went on with a faltering voice, for she saw that the
hedge was at the top of a steep bank, and that he must
have slipped down at once to the bottom.



"Lucy," said a voice a long way below, "come down
"I cannot," answered she at first; but after a little
encouragement from Walter, who now appeared from
among some bushes into which he had rolled, she cau-
tiously made her way through the gap, and partly
sliding, partly running, soon joined him where he stood.
Below them was a small lake which they had often seen
in their walks, but never had gone close to, and which
looked very inviting, and Walter determined to go down
to it. Lucy was afraid. She said they had already lost
sight of the steeple, and how should they find their
way back? But Walter declared that nothing could be
easier than to climb up the bank the way they came
down; so, leading his little sister by the hand, and help-
ing her over difficult places, he soon reached the lake
with her.
Here everything was very beautiful. There were a
great many bright flowers, of which they gathered several,
and a number of dragon-flies that flitted over the water
with their lacy wings, and their corselets glancing green,
gold, and purple in the sun. Walter and Lucy ran along
the edge of the lake, watching the quick movements of



the dragon-flies, till, suddenly stopping, Lucy declared it
was growing dark and she wanted to go home.
Dark !-Why, how can you say so?" said Walter. "It
was only three o'clock when we came out." But, as he
spoke, he looked up, and saw that the sky had become
covered with black clouds.
They began directly to clamber up the hill, and reached
the top at last; but when they looked round, everything
was strange. No steeple was in sight, nor did they see
any tree or rock that they knew.
We must have come up the wrong way," said Walter.
"But don't be frightened, Lucy dear; let us get down to
the lake again and look well about us, so as to find the
way we came."
Trying to keep her courage up, Lucy took hold of his
hand, and they were soon by the water again. It was
easy to them, used as they were to clambering, to go safely
down steep places. When they reached the borders of
the lake, they saw some large drops of rain falling into
the water, and immediately afterwards they were startled
by a loud akp of thunder.
"Make haste; let us find the way if we can," said


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