"Pap," maid Jamwe,
will torn keepsT trust boyslI
P" PoP M
- - w r. sw r y
JOSEPH ALDEN, D.D.,
awo or "s usn xaanu t. n" ," LarsauMn mOu"u r c
PUBLISHED BY SAMUEL RAYNOR,
NO. 76 BOWERY.
Entered according to Act of Congress, te the year 188,
Br GATES & STEDMAN,
i the Clerk's office of the District Court of the United State
for the Southern Distict of New York.
Rupert Cabell .
The Snow Storm .
The Mother versus the Rob
The Lent Half Dollar
The Poor Widow's Mitten
The Contested Seat
Feeding on the Wind .
Only Once .
A Lion in the Way
A Thorn in the Brea .
A Great Vtory .
The Friend .
raking not Stalig
Lessons ofths Sta
The Orphan .
* S 40
a U 59
* a S 78
. 0 102
* S S 125
* S S S 134
*. .0 143
IT was a ool autumnal evening. Mr. and
Mrs. Warren with their two children, Jame
and Elia, were sitting before their chful fire.
Mr. W. was busily employed in examining
and repairing a small basket of stocking, so
that they might bea fOr the approaMhig
winter. Eliza was her ft attempt at
knitting, and intermjd her mother very fr-
quently by asking her to take up the stitche
she had dropped. James sat sideways in a
chair, whisking to himself a new tune which
he had h d" beating time with his head:
aoioar sound wou4 esap hi. lips, but
with these exceptions his music was inaudible,
except to his mind's ear. Mr. Warren sat in
his arm-chair, and looked upon the burning
hickory as steadily and silently as if he had
been reading. He at length looked up and
looked round on the circle as if he wanted
somebody to talk. ,
"Papa," said James, "will storekeepers trust
"Not many of them will," said Mr. Warren.
"Why won't they trust them 7"
"Those who are good men, knowing that
parents don't wish to have their children get in
debt, and that it is wrong for the children to get
in debt, will not trust them, of course; and bad
men are afraid they wilJtever gettheir pay."
Can't they make boys pay their debts ?"
"Wel Mr. Doane told Jim Beach that if he
didn'tpay him he would put him in jail; and
then Jim went and paid him: he owed him a
dollar all but five ceats, and he too iattfor in-
RUPERT CAHELL. 13
teresl I heard Jim brag how he had paid him,
and how much it was."
"Yes," said Eliza, "and do you know how
he paid him T7
"He got money somehow, I suppose," sai
"I guess he did get it somehow; he took a
dollar bill from his sister's purse, and paid it
What did she do 1"
"She cried, and went without the collar s
was going to buy."
"Where did she get the dollar P"
"Her Uncle gave it to her on purpose to bua
a collar with."
"Did she tel his father ?"
"Why didn't she 7"
"Jim begged so hard, and she couldn't bear
to see him whipped."
"He ought 4o be whipped. Why, it was
regular stealing, wasn't it, papa "
14 RUPERT CABELL.
"Certainly, just as bad as if he had gone into
Mr. Green's store and took it out of the money-
drawer," said Mr. Warren.
James," said his mother, did his sister do
right in not telling her father "
SI don't know, ma'am," said James, in a hee-
SI rather think you do know. What do you
think about it 1" -
"I don't think she did right She should
have told his father."
So that his father might do something to
prevent his doing it again."
Why did you hesitate when I asked you if
his sister should have told her father T"
"Because the boys say, you must never tell;
they say a tell-tale is as bad as a thief."
What do they mean by a tell-tale '
"Why, one who tells when they have done
anything that they would get whipped for if it
was found out"
RUPERT CABELL. 15
"When any one is called on to bear witne,
and he tells the truth in regard to. any one's
misconduct, he is worse than a thief, is he ?"
"That is what they say."
"Don't you know better ? Don't your reason
and conscience tell you better T.
There was a gentle knock at the door, and
Rupert Cabell entered le( "How do you do, Ru-
pert," said Mr. Warren with great cordiality-
"your folks all well "
SVery well, I thank you sir," said Rupert, ta-
king a seat on the farther side of the room.
"Sit up by the fire," said Mrs. Warren, and
she placed a chair for him between herself and
Eliza Rupert was rather shy in taking it, fr
he had a great admiration of Eliza, nor was
she so much duller than other girls as not to bi
aware of it Eliza was a little discompoe y
the vicinity of the young gentleman-why
should'nt she be ? She was nearly twelve yeas
old, and as she thought, almost a woman grown.
16 RUPERT CABELL.
She dropped more stitches than usual, and was
ashamed to ask her mother to take them up for
her, and did not succeed very well in doing it
herself. Rupert perceived it, and said, Let me
take them up T
Do you know how 7"
He took the knitting work, took up the stitch-
es, and knit round to t great amusement and
admiration of the circle in general, and Eliza in
SWhere did you learn ?" said James.
"In my chamber, on my bed."
"When you were sick ?"
"Yes. Mother used to come and sit by the
bed, and one day as I had nothing better to do I
watched her fingers, and I saw the whole thing
Was very simple. When I got a little stronger,
Soldday I took up her work which she had left
on the bed, and knit round a good many times
When she came to take it up, she said, 'I never
-1 wonder what possesed me to knit so loose
RUPERT CABELL. 17
--and I haven't narrowed either-I must ban
been thinking of something.'
"What did you say ?"
"I said nothing&Aut put my head under the
sheet and laughed. Afterwards I told her all
about it. 'I saw old Mrs. Burton knitting a
kind of stitch that I should like to know-it was
"' When did you see hV
"c Were you at her bpuse eV
What were you there for?" said Jame.
"On an errand."
"What was it ?" James was about to ask,
but a look from his mother checked him.
"I wonder," Paid Mr. Warren, "how Mr.
SteelesI to-day-have you heard?"
SHe is better, sir," said Rupert.
"How did you hear 7"
"I saw him."
18 RUPERT CABELL.
Yeo, ir, this morning."
"Were you away up there to-day, too aid
Rupert again replied with a nod.
"I should think you were tired said James,
and Eliza looked on him very compassionately.
"We were just speaking about James Beach,
as you came in: we were discussing the pro-
priety of his sister's encealing his conduct from
his father," said Mrs. Warren.
"His father knows all about it," said Rupert.
SWhat did he do to him P said Jame.
"I don't exactly know, but I guess birch whips
are scarcer in that country than they were a
week aga I rather guess James wont go into
the credit system again."
You must be a great hand to get( debt,"
said Mr. Warren, with a long face, but a ro-
guish expression of the eye.
"Me I" said Rupert in astonishment.
"Yes, they say you owe every body some-
RUPERT CABELL. 19
Rupert knew what he meant, hut said, "They
don't know everything," and he began to talk
with Eliza very earnestly on the subject of knit-
ting. The conversation was more interesting
to them than it would be to the reader.
20 RUPERT CABELL.
IN the first chapter I mentioned the case of
James Beach, who got in debt at the store, and
stole money from his sister to pay it, through
fear of being sent to jaiL A year before this
happened, had you asked him if he ever intend-
ed to be a thief, he would have thought him-
self greatly insulted. How did it come about
that he became a thief ?
I will give some passages in his history, and
perhaps you will see how it was that he was led
to become a thief.
James Beach and John Hudson were on their
way home from the village school. They pass-
ed by the only grocery and toy shop which the
village contained. The keeper of the shop had
just received a fresh supply of cakes, and there
was one kind which had never been seen in the
village before. The cakes were in the shape of
RUPERT CAEMLL. 21
elephants; they were nicely frosted with white
and red sugar, and made, in the children's eyes,
a fine appearance. They were set up in the
window of the shop to attract the attention, and
tempt the appetites of little customers. James
had passed that way in the morning, and stop-
ped to gaze upon them for some time, though
the bell had rung: in consequence, he was late
at school. Then he did not get his lemon very
well, for he was inclined to look off from his
book, and think of the elephants in the grocery
window, with their sides covered with white
sugar, and their heads and trunks with red
When James and John came opposite the
grocery window, they made a. halt, and gazed
with admiration on the elephants There they
stood in a row, leaning against the glass with
their trunks raised aloft.
"Oh, how I wish I had one," said James,
don't you "
Yes," said John. ,
2 RUPERT CABELL.
SThey are only three cents a piece.
"They might as well be three dollars: I
have not got three cents, and that is not all, I
don't expect to have very soon."
"I wish there was a pane of glass out," said
James, with a knowing look.
If you wish to turn robber," said John, "you
can easily break one."
"No, I wouldn't rob, but I was thinking how
alily I might put up my hand and take it; I
wish I had some money."
"Seeing you haven't, we might as well go
home," and he moved on a step or two, but as
James did not follow him, he stopped.
"I wish I dared to get trusted," said James.
"You had better not-come, let us go on."
You go on, I'll overtake you in a minute."
John was suspicious that he meant to get
trusted and was resolved he should not if he
muld prevent it, so he did not go on. James
gave one more look at the elephant and wept
on with John towards home, he was not quite
RUPERT CABELL. 23
as cheerful and good-naturedd as usual for the
rest of the way. When they parted John said,
" You wait for .me till I: ome along in the
morning, Ill be early enough to get there before
SWell," said James.
The next morning came, but James did not
wait for John. te had a plan to execute which
did not require John's presence. He set out for
school nearly an hour before the time, and
walked very fast till he came to the grocery.
He stopped before the window for a mtent
and went in. "I want one of your elephant
cakes," said he, in a bold tone, though his face
looked a little red.
The cake was placed on the counter. Jame -
then fel in his pockets, put out his lips and
looked big. Wel I declare," said he, "I don't
see what has become of it." And he felt in all
his pockets again.
Yop must have lost it," aid a shrewd old
24 RUPERT CABELL.
man, who sat in the corner, it was a five dol-
lar bill, want it"
"No, it was--" he left the sentence unfinish-
ed, for he was not willing to speak a lie, though
he was willing to act one.
I guess it was, if it was anything," said the
old man, twisting his face in a manner that
showed he understood the whold matter.
Well, I must have the cake, Fil pay for it
Tomorrow is a bad day; it will be safer to
say next year," said the old man. The grocer
hesitated, but finally handed him the cake.
James took it and came out of the shop with a
very red face, and with feelings far less comfort-
able than those with which he entered it, not-
withstanding he had the wished-for cake.
You set that down to the account of profit I
mid the old man to the grocer.
"I guess he will pay," said the grocer.
SMay be he will: wdRee.
RUPERT CABELL. 26
James had been at the school-house more
than half an hour before John came.
Why did'nt you wait for me ?" said John.
"You didn't come," said he, rather sourly.
"I was along by a quarter-past eight"
"You didn't come till after I had gone."
John thought that was not giving much of a
reason; but he thought he would not be vexed
James went home at night, and remembered
that he had promised to pay for the cake the
next day. When he made the promise he had
no idea where he could get the money; all he
thought of was how to get the cake. Now the
cake was eaten up and the promise remained,
and sorry enough was he for it. He went to
bed thinking about it, and he dreamed about it,
and woke up thinking about it, and the thought
took away his appetite fpr breakfast Nine
o'clock drew near, and he mut go to shoo.
So he set out, and thought he wo-M keep in
the road till be got near the village, and then
26 RUPERT CABELL.
go around in the fields to avoid paang the gro-
cery. He did so, and got very wet with the
dew by passing through a meadow, and then
very muddy by passing over a piece of swampy
ploughed ground. He thought he paid dear
for the cake, and yet these, so far as he could
see, were but the beginning of his trouble.
He finally got into the street again. The first
thing that he saw was a horse-shoe that some
horse had cast. It was nearly new. He ran
with it to the blacksmith's shop, and asked him
what he would give him for it. The blacksmith
took it in his hand and looked at it, then looked
at James, then at the sun, then rolled his to-
banco quid over in his mouth, and then said,
"about three cents."
You may have it," said James. The black-
smith paid him, and he ran toward the grocery.
The old man was in the corner as usual.
James laid the money on the counter, making
a little more noise than was neceary.
All right, my boy, you mean to keep your
credit good, I see," said the grocer, and he look-
ed towards the old man as much as to say, you
see you were wrong. The old man nodded his
head, as much as to say, I give up beat. All
this was observed by James.
A few days afterwards James saw some fine
oranges in the window at the grocery, and he
felt a strong desire to have one. He was tempt-
ed to get trusted for one. "I got along the
other time so well, I shall get along somehow,"
thought he. He went in. I want one of
your oranges, but haven't the money just now."
"I'll trust you," said the man, "you must
pay me the first money you get; it will be four
James took it and left the shop in high smpi
its. He was not obliged to pay to-morrow he
had a great many to-morrows before him. He
was not obliged to pay it till he got the money,
and said he to himself "I shall get it some
It ran on for a week or two, when a stranger
28 RUPERT CABELL.
came along by James' father's and saw in the
wood pile a stick which he wanted for a partic-
ular purpose, and he offered James sixpence for
it. James let him have it. He paid for the
orange and had two cents to spare. His credit
was now so firmly established that the man told
him he would trust him for whatever he wanted.
James then bought another orange, and then
a few raisins, and went on from one thing to
another till he had got in debt ninety-five cents.
Before it got to this amount, however, the grocer
began to dun him, and he would put him off
with fair promises. James was, as he thought,
obliged to lie. He had never been accustomed to
that mean vice before. Men always are obli-
ged to," said he to himself, when they get in
debt and are crowded." Time passed on: James
found no more horse-shoes, nor was he able to
sell any more wood. He had no means of pay-
ing his heavy debt. The grocer dunned him
more and more frequently. He felt that he had
no peace of his life. He did not dare to tell his
RUPERT CABELL. 29
father and ask him for the money:-he did not
know which way to turn.
One day the grocer came out and stopped him
as he was passing by on the opposite side of the
street, and told hbhe would sue him and put
him in jail, if he d not pay him that week.
The man knew he could not do so, but James
did not A man who would lead a boy into
debt, would not stick at lying to get the debt.
James was in great distress, and finally was
led to the wicked act noticed above. He went
to his sister's room, took the dollar bill out of her
purse, went and paid the grocer, who, as has
been said, kept the five cents for interest, and
told James he should trust him no more.
IN the first chapter a& allusion was made to
Rupert's visit to Mrs. Burton and to Mr. Steele;
and to the fact that lie owed something to
everybody. This chapter will be one of expla-
nations in regard to these matters.
One day-it was a holiday-Rupert was go-
ing to see John Hudson to propose an expedi-
tion for butternuts. On his way he overtook
a woman more than eighty years old, go-
ing along with a jug of mosses in her hand.
She was bowed down by age, and seemed very
weak. It was old Mrs. Burton;' She had been
to the store with ae stockings she had made,
and had received some molasses which she was
carrying to her log home in alft t part of the
township. Rupert pitied.t,, old woman,
and offered to carry her jug fotter. She de-
clined his offer, but he insisted, and she allowed
him to relieve her of her burden. But the bur-
den of years and of sorrow was upon her, and
of these he could not relieve her. She tottered
along very slowly and breathed with difficulty.
"1 wish," said Rupert, "I had a wagon to
take you home in."
It would not do any good if you had," said
she, "I couldtlt get into it-I must take time
and I shall get home-but don't you go out of
your way" (for he had turned with her into the
lane that led to her house, which was still more
than a mile distant), "give me the jug." But
Rupert would not give up the jug, but carried it
home for her.
He went in and sat down with the lonely
woman, thinking it might make her happy for
a time. The house was all ly itself, and in a
very lonely place. As soon as she had taken
off her bonnet andshawl, shi began to knit a
kind of mitte~ft tb peculiar stitch that Ru-
pert alluded to at Mr. Warren's.
"What makes you go to work so soon? why
don't you rest a little ?" said Rupert.
"My hands have had a long rest from the
knitting needles: I have no time to lose if I
would earn a living: we are commanded in the
good Book to be diligent in business."
"You read in the Good Book every day, I
"Oh yes, I don't know what I should do if I
didn't. My tea and my flour sometimes fail,
but the Bible is always there: Blessed be God."
The Bible was lying on her table which had
no cover on, but it was white as snow. Rupert
took the Book up and opened it. It was an
old and well worn one, and the print was very
"Don't it hurt your eyes to read this fine
"It does strain them some; my specs are too
young for me now; but it isn't like reading a
strange book: if I didn't know what was com-
ing next, when I am reading, I should be put
to it sometimes. But you've got young eyes,
you will read to me, wont you ?"
Rupert read to her for nearly an hour. Some-
times she would stop him and make remarks on
a passage, sometimes applying it to herself, and
sometimes to him. He was astonished that a
poor uneducated woman could talk almost as
well as a minister. But he remembered the
teaching of the Spirit, and felt that it was worth
more than all human teaching.
He bid her good day, saying he would come
again before long and read to her. He felt
thankful, as he went on his way, that God,,
could make a poor lone woman happy; and be
began to devise ways and means of getting her
a Bible with a large type.
Where have you been ?" said James Beach,
as he met him coming out of the lane.
I have been down in the lane."
Down to the old widow's ?"
"Well, you have a queer way of spending
holidays, I must say. I heard your father in-
quiring for you, just now, as I came by your
Rupert waited to hear no more, but went
home as fast as he could. He found his father,
and asked him what he wanted.
"I have heard that old Mr. Steele is very
sick; I guess you had better go and see to him."
"Very well, sir, I should like to," said Rupert.
You will have to walk, as the horses are in
"No matter, I am not tired."
Mr. Steele lived about two miles distant.
Mr. Cabell furnished his son with some things
which he thought would be useful to the aged
sufferer, and he set out. He soon met a troop
of boys whooping like a set of wild Indians.
"There is Rupert, we will take him pris-
"Surrender," Surrender," said several voices,
as he stopped, and they formed around. "You
have got to go with us."
"Where are you going ?"
We are going to a house-moving."
"I can't go now, but I will come as soon as I
"Where are you going ?"
"To Mr. Steele's."
"What, away off there? you wont get back
till the fun is all over."
I can't help it."
I wouldn't go there," said one, "you never
will get any thing for it."
"I never expect to, that is not what I go for."
"You shan't go," said the speaker, seizing
"Let him alone," said one of the larger .
He was released, and went on his way. *
was almost sorry that he couldn't go with the
boys, but soon he thought of the poor sick man,
and thought it was of more consequence that
an aged sick man should be relieved than thbt
a well boy should see the fun of moving a
He found the old man better than he had
been. He was very glad, he said, that such a
fine boy should take such pains to come so far
to see him: it was a great comfort. Rupert
found that he had brought the very things the
old man needed, and he was certain that he felt
more enjoyment in his visit than if he had gone
to see the fun.
"I can do nothing but thank you, my young
friend," said Mr. Steel, "I've nothing to give, as
you see plainly enough," looking on the scanty
furniture of the hut, "but God will reward you,
you may depend upon it. I hope I'm a disciple,
I have no doubt I am; after all the Lord has
done for me, it would be a sin to doubt that I
am one of his. 'And whosoever shall give to
drink unto one of these little ones a cup of
cold water only, in the name of a disciple,
verily, he shall in no wise lose his reward.'
Again, 'inasmuch as ye have done it unto one
of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done
it unto me.' I am as much obliged to you as
if you were not a going to be paid, but it's a
comfort to know that you will be; it's a com-
fort the Lord gives his poor ones."
Rupert went home feeling that he was al-
ready paid. When he got home his mother
wanted his assistance, so that he did not go to
the house-moving at all. If she had known
that he wished to go, she would have excused
him, but he did not say anything to her about
it. When she came to hear of the great event,
and that Rupert had intended to go, she said,
Why did you not tell me about it, my son ?"
"I thought my mother's wishes were to be
consulted in preference to my own," said Rupert.
"But my real wishes would have been to
have you go to the moving, if you dtfred to."
And my real wishes were to assist you in-
stead of going to the moving."
His mother kissed him, and dropped a tear on
.:~his cheek. Boys often make their mothers
weep, but the tears shed are not always of the
kind shed by Mrs. Cabell.
At sunset, two of the boys who had been to
see the house moved, were going by, talking
pretty loud, and Rupert heard one of them say
-"I've had all the day to myself."
"I," thought Rupert, have not had any of
the day to myself, and I wouldn't change with
The next day Rupert went to school, and
overtook a very small boy, crying because his
brother had run away from him. His older
brother, whose business it was to take care of
him, found that the little fellow could not walk
fast enough to suit him, and he left him to come
on alone, and set off on a run. He heard a
drum at the upper end of the street, and he was
anxious to get near it. Rupert took the little
fellow by the hand, and shortened his own steps
to those of the lad, though he would like to
have been by the drum.
Presently came hurrying along a group of
boys. There," says one, there are the train-
ers, see their red feathers."
"Come on, Rupe," said another, taking hold
of his arm, what are you sailing it with that
snub for ?"
You go on," said Rupert, "I shall get there
before long. Step as fast as you can," said he,
to the little fellow.
It's his brother's business to take care of
him, what is it to you ?" continued the boy.
"Never mind, you run on," said Rupert.
"What a fool that fellow is," said he to him-
self, as he ran along, always waiting on some-
I think the reader will now understand the
meaning of Mr. Warren's expression to Rupert,
"They say you owe every body something."
He owed everybody love and kindness.
I hope you will imitate the boy who owed
THE SNOW STORM.
"OH it snows, it snows !" said William, as he
rose from his bed, and went to the window, and
looked out upon the fields which were white
with the first snow that had fallen for the sea-
son. He dressed himself hastily, and came
down to the breakfast room, saying as he en-
tered, "it snows, and I am glad, I hope it will
snow all day, and keep on till it is over my
He wished to go out immediately and play in
the snow, and was rather inclined to be dis-
pleased when his mother told him he must not
go out till after breakfast and prayers.
His appetite for his breakfast was not very
good, nor were his thoughts always where they
THE SNOW STORM.
should have been during the offering of the
morning prayer. With one part of it he war
not well pleased. It was a petition for a moder-
ation of the storm in view of the condition of
those who had not the means of guarding them-
selves against its inclemency.
After prayers, he put on his overcoat, and tied
down his pantaloons, and fastened the lappets
of his cap over his ears, and put on his mittens,
and went out into the storm.
The snow was falling fast, and the wind blew
fiercely, throwing it into heaps. Into these Wil-
liam plunged, sometimes sinking up to his arms.
When he had been out about half an hour
plunging and rolling in the snow, his mother
thought it was best for him to come in, and ac-
cordingly called him. He started immediately,
but took occasion on the way to roll over several
times, in order that as much snow might adhere
to his clothes as possible.
He thought he looked well when he came in,
white with the snow, and stood before the fire.
THE SNOW STORM.
His mother did not happen to come into the
room till it was nearly all melted, and in conse-
quence, his clothes were almost as wet as if he
had been in the river. She reproved him for his
folly, made him change his clothes, and told him
he should not go out again that forenoon.
After he had changed his clothes, he took his
station by the window and watched the falling
and driving snow, earnestly desiring to sound
the banks which were forming in an eddy
caused by the position of the house and the
The time passed slowly: he began to think
that his mother was unjust in keeping him in
for wetting his clothes, and foolish in thinking
his wet clothes would do him any harm. As
he stood indulging these thoughts, which were
just as bad in the sight of God as if he had
spoken them, the sun suddenly shone out, and
the storm appeared to be about to cease.
Oh dear," said he, I am afraid it is going
to stop snowing."
THE SNOW STORM.
"I hope it is," said his mother. "There is
snow enough for good sleighing."
"William was well nigh angry with his
mother for expressing a desire that the storm
should cease. He contented himself by saying
to himself, I hope it won't stop." He was not
aware that by so doing, he was guilty of the sin
of disrespect towards his mother.
"Our wishes will not make any difference
with respect to the continuance of the storm,"
said his mother.
I know it," said William, and if we could
have looked into his heart, we should have seen
that he was a little vexed with the good Lord
because his wishes were not consulted in the
His father came in at this moment, and saw
from the expression of his son's countenance that
he was somewhat out of humour.
What is the matter, my son ?" said he.
"It is going to stop snowing," said William in
THE SNOW STORM.
a tone which one would naturally use in de-
scribing an injury received.
"You regard it as a great calamity, do you ?"
"I don't want it to stop."
"Why not ?"
"I want the snow deeper to play in."
You would have the Lord change his plans
to suit your fancy, I suppose."
William felt the rebuke and was silent, though
he was not convinced of his sin and folly.
In about an hour, William's father had his
horse and sleigh brought to the door, and told
his son that he might ride with him. He drove
to the outskirts of the township, and stopped be-
fore a lonely log house.
What are you going to stop here for, papa ?"
'il have business here."
William wondered what business he could
have in such a house. They entered. On a
bed in one corner of the only room in the house,
there was a sick woman, who had her knittii z
work in her hands.
THE SNOW STORM.
There were openings between the logs through
which the snow had blown in great quantities. *
There was quite a little heap at the foot of the
bed. The poor woman was suffering from a
paralysis of her lower limbs, and hence could not
remove the snow.
There were a few sticks of green wood in the
huge fire place; they smoked but did not burn.
The room was very cold. The water pail that
stood on a table in the middle of the room was
frozen over hard.
Where is John ?" said William's father.
I sent him to the store to get a little meal
Hav'ent they had any breakfast yet ?" whis-
pered William to his father.
"He was sick yesterday," said the woman,
so sick that he could not hold up his head, but
he is better to-day. I did not dare to let him go
out till the storm was over. I hope he will be
back soon. I made out to get a pair of stock-
ings done, and I told him to take them to Mr.
~Fmnrr(l anrCn*r -- 1IICI ~-~rrar r~r r~en
THE SNOW STORM.
Brown, and tell him to let us have as much
Smeal as he thought they were worth."
While she was yet speaking, John came in.
He was not much older than William. He was
pale and thin, and his face was almost blue with
the cold. He had a small tin pail filled with
meal. He was about to mix some of it with
water before he attempted to warm himself.
The truth was, he was suffering more from
hunger than from cold.
William's father went out to the sleigh and
brought in a basket which William had not no-
ticed. It contained some bread, and cold meat,
and some tea and sugar. He gave John a piece
of bread and meat which he ate with avidity.
He then went to his sleigh again, and brought
in the board that covered the sleigh box, or seat,
and split it up for fuel, and by that means
caused the green wood to burn. After giving
John some directions and offering some words of
encouragement and consolation to the invalid,
he took his leave.
He gave John a piece of bread and meat which he ate with
avidity. See Page 46.
THE SNOW STORM. 49
The ride home was a silent one, William
asked no questions, and his father thought it
best to leave him to his own thoughts.
Just as they reached the house, he said to his
son, "It would have been better to have had the
storm continue all day, would it ?"
"No sir," said William, promptly, but with a
feeling of shame.
"Why not? You would have had deeper
snow to play in."
Yes sir, but when I said I wished it to keep
on snowing, I did not think how it might affect
"I hope you will remember the lesson you
have learned this morning."
THE MOTHER VERSUS THE ROBINS.
THE month of February, 18- was unusually
mild for the climate of New England. There
was a long succession of clear, sunny days,
which caused the snows to disappear, and re-
leased the earth in many places from the frost.
Then there came a fall of rain, and then an-
other series of fine warm days. March opened
in the same pleasant manner. It seemed& as if
spring had come in good earnest. The birds
thought so, and began to make their appear-
ance. First, you heard the blue bird's sweet
notes, which he seemed to utter to announce his
coming, and to invite you to look out for him.
Then he showed himself on a distant tree in his
blue coat and white pantaloons. Then you
THE MOTHER VERSUS THE ROBINS. 5L
heard the robin's note, and looking up, you saw
him on the tree beside the house, in his brown
coat and red waistcoat. Certainly it looked and
sounded like spring.
Mary and Isaac (who were twins) were out
in this fine weather, as you may well suppose.
They asked their mother, many times in the
day, if spring had yet come? She told them
that there would be cold weather and snow
yet. Now once asking was sufficient. If,
after the continuance of the fine weather they
had asked her again, it would not have been
improper but thus to keep asking her every
day, and many times in a day, was highly im-
proper. It would seem to show that they paid
very little attention to what she said, or that
they did not believe her. It was in fact owing
to a habit into which children often fall-the
habit of asking unnecessary questions. I hope
the reader has not formed this habit. If he has,
I hope he will correct it at orfbe, for it is a very
unpleasant and annoying one.
52 THE MOTHER VERSUS THE ROBINS.
There were a couple of robins who had passed
the winter in a neighboring swamp. They
were rather indolent in the autumn, and were
not ready to go south when the robins's caravan
While they were considering what was to be
done, whether it was best to set out alone or not,
winter set in, and they were obliged to seek
such shelter as they could find.
They went into a swamp, and found a hol-
low tree. They climbed up the inside of it as
far as they could, and lay as close together as
possible. As it was a very mild winter they did
not perish, though they came very near it.
When the warm days of which I have spoken
came, they thought it was spring, and came
out from their hiding place, and began to look
around for a building spot. They chose a tree
which stood in Mr. Freeman's garden, and be-
gan to collect materials for a nest. If their
mother had been there to tell them that spring
had not come yet, they would have believed
THE MOTHER VERSUS THE ROBINS. 53
her, and would not have commenced build-
Isaac saw one of these birds with a mouthful
of straw, and pretty soon the other came along
with a mouthful of wool. He called Mary, and
pointed them out to her. The children then
ran to their mother, making the gravel stones
fly merrily behind their feet.
1' Mother, mother," they both exclaimed,
"spring has come certainly, for the robins are
building their nests, and they know."
"Poor little things! I'm sorry for them.
They will lose their labour. There will be
snow and hard frosts yet. If they get their
nests done, and have eggs, they will be frozen
and destroyed," said Mrs. Freeman.
"But, mother, they must know, it must be
spring," said Isaac. His mother was grieved
that her son should dispute her word so plainly
and rudely, and made him no reply.
Isaac and Mary went out again, to observe
the birds. They had laid the foundation of
54 THE MOTHER VERSUS THE ROBINS. ,
their nest on a limb in the apple tree. They
worked very fast, and ever and anon one would
perch himself on the top of the tree, and sing a
few notes, and then at his work again.
"Mary," said Isaac, there is no doubt but
that spring has come; let us make our garden,
and plant our flower seeds."
"I think we had better ask mother," said
No, no. She will say that spring has not
come, and perhaps will forbid our working in
Mary rather unwillingly yielded to his
wishes. She knew that she ought not to do
any thing which it was probable her mother
would forbid, if it were known to her. She
knew that this was disobedience of the heart,
seen and disapproved of God. But her own de-
sires and her brother's wishes caused her to
yield to the temptation.
They got their tools and prepared to make
their garden. Isaac used a spade, and Mary a
THE MOTHER VERSUS THE ROBINS. 55
hoe. Both worked very hard. Isaac's coat was
soon off, and thrown on the ground.
"Mother would not let you do that, if she
knew it," said Mary.
"She has not said I shouldn't," said Isaac.
Here was another example of disobedience of
Mary soon found her bonnet too warm, and
she laid it aside, and worked bareheaded.
When the ground was prepared, as they
thought, for the seed, Isaac put on his coat and
Mary her bonnet, and they went to their mother,
and asked her for their flower seeds. These
they had gathered, and put up the last summer,
with great care.
"Your seeds will never come up-they will
rot in the ground, and you will lose them."
"The robin is building his nest," said Isaac.
Their mother, thinking it would be best to
let them suffer the penalty of their folly, gave
them their seeds. They had nearly finished
planting them, when night approached, and
56 THE MOTHER VERSUS THE ROBINS.
their mother called them in, for fear they should
They were very tired, and went early to bed.
They went to sleep, intending to rise very early
in the morning, and finish planting their garden.
Isaac awoke first in the morning, and at-
tempted to rise, but found he could not stir his
limbs without great pain. He called to Mary,
who slept in the adjoining room. She did not
answer him, but after some time she came into
the room, carrying her head as carefully as if it
was made of glass, and she was afraid of break-
She moved her lips, but did not speak.
"Why don't you speak, and what do you
hold your head so for ?"
She shook her hand, and coming close to him,
said with difficulty, in a whisper, "I've got such
a cold that I can't speak, and such a sore neck
that I can't turn my head."
That's comfortable, now," said Isaac, "I've
got such a cold that I can't move hand or foot
THE MOTHER VERSUS THE ROBINS. 57
without great pain. But draw aside the cur-
tain, and let us see how it looks out doors."
Mary did so. With a good many Oh's and
Ah's, he raised himself up in bed, so that he
could get a view of the distant hill side. It was
as white as in midwinter.
"Is there snow in the garden ?" said he.
Mary whispered a reply.
"Well," said he, as he laid himself slowly
and painfully down in the bed, "I think it will
be as well to believe mother instead of the robins,
He reflected on the folly, and afterwards on
the wickedness of disbelieving and disobeying
his mother. He had abundant time for reflec-
tion, for the inflammatory rheumatism set in
and confined him to his bed for nearly three
months. When he left his chamber; the spring
was over. He felt that the way of transgressors
Mary did not not suffer so severely. She
went with her throat bound up in flannels sev-
58 THE MOTHER VERSUS THE ROBINS.
eral days before she could speak. The first use
she made of her voice, when she recovered it,
was to confess her fault to her mother, and
promise not to disobey either in deed or heart in
I cannot tell you what became of the robins.
They never made their appearance again.
Mary was in hopes that they would come
back when warm weather came, and finish
their nest, but they never did. Whether they
perished in the snow storm, or went to another
place, I do not know.
The ruins of their premature foundation re-
mained on the tree for a long time, and served
to remind Mary and Isaac of their own folly
THE LENT HALF DOLLAR.
WHAT are you crying for ?" said Arthur to
a little ragged boy that he overtook on his way
home from the village school. There was some-
thing in the kind of crying that led Arthur to
think that there was some serious cause for it.
I'm hungry," said the boy, and I can't get
nothing to eat."
He don't go to our school, or he would have
said get any thing to eat. But Arthur did not
stop to criticise his language.
Why don't your mother give you something
to eat ?"
"She hasn't any thing for herself, and she is
sick, and can't get up."
Where is your father ?"
60 THE LENT HALF DOLLAR.
"I haven't any. He was drowned away
off at sea."
Drowned, you should say;" said Arthur,
and then he was sorry that he had said so, for it
looked as though he did not feel for his troubles.
"Where do you live ?"
Down there," pointing to a miserable hut in
a distant lane.
Come with me, and I'll get you something."
Arthur turned back, and the boy followed him.
He had a few cents in his pocket, just enough,
as it proved, to buy a loaf of bread. He gave it
to the boy, and told him he would go home
with him. The boy took the loaf, and though
he did not break it, he looked at it so wistfully,
that Arthur took his knife and cut off a piece
and gave it to him to eat. He ate in a man-
ner which showed that he had not deceived Ar-
thur when he told him he was hungry. .The
tears came into Arthur's eyes as he saw him
swallow the dry bread with such eagerness.
He remembered, with some self-reproach, that
THE LENT HALF DOLLAR.
he had sometimes complained when he had no-
thing but bread and butter for tea.
On their way to the boy's home, Arthur
learned that the family had moved into the
place about a week before; that his mother was
taken sick the day after they came, and was un-
able to leave her bed; that there were two chil-
dren younger than himself; that their last food
was eaten the day before; that his mother had
sent him out to beg for the first time in his life;
that the first person he asked told him beg-
gars would be put in jail, so he was afraid to
ask any body else, but was returning home
when Arthur overtook him and asked what he
was crying for.
Arthur went in, and saw a good looking wo-
man on the bed, with two children crying by
her side. As he opened the door, he heard the
oldest say, Do mamma, give me something to
eat." They stopped crying when Arthur and
the boy eame in. The boy ran to the bed, and
62 THE LENT HALF DOLLAR.
gave his mother the loaf, and pointing to Arthur
said, He bought it for me."
Thank you," said the woman, may God
bless and give you the bread of eternal life."
The oldest little girl jumped up and down in
her joy, and the youngest tried to seize the loaf,
and struggled hard to do so, but did not speak.
Seeing that the widow's hands were weak, Ar-
thur took the loaf and cut off a piece for the
youngest first, and then for the girl and the boy.
He then gave the loaf to the widow. She ate a
small piece, and then closed her eyes, and seem-
ed to be engaged in silent prayer.
She must be one of the Lord's poor," thought
Arthur. "I'll go and get something else for her
as quick as I can," said Arthur, and he departed.
He went to Mrs. Bertron, who lived near,
and told her the story; and she immediately
sent some milk and bread, and tea, and sugar,
and butter, and sent word she would come her-
self, as soon as she got the baby asleep.
Arthur had half a dollar at home, which he
THE LENT HALF DOLLAR.
wished to give to the poor woman. His father
gave it to him for watching sheep, and told him
that he must not spend it, but put it out at in-
terest, or trade with it, so as to make something.
He knew his father would not let him give it
away, for he was not a Christian, and thought
of little else than of making and saving money.
Arthur's mother died when he was an infant,
but with her last breath she gave him to God.
When Arthur was five years old, he was sent
to school to a pious teacher, who cared for his
soul. Knowing that he had no teacher at home,
she took unusual pains to instruct him in the
principles of religious truth. The Holy Spirit
aided her efforts, and before he was eight years
of age, there was reason to hope that- he had
been born again.
Arthur was now in his tenth year. He con-
sidered how he should help the poor widow, and
at length he hit upon a plan which proved suc-
His father was very desirous that he should
64 THE LENT HALF DOLLAR.
begin to act for himself in business matters,
such as making bargains. He did not wish
him to ask his advice in so doing, but to go by
his own judgment. After the business was
done, he would show him whether it was wise
or not; but never censured him, lest he should
discourage him from acting on his own responsi-
bility. In view of these facts, Arthur formed
"Father, may I lend my half dollar ?" said he.
"To some spendthrift, boy ?" said his father.
"I won't lend it without good security."
The father was pleased that his son had the
idea of good security in his head. He would
not inquire what it was, for he wished Arthur
to decide that for himself. He told him to lend
it, but to be careful not to lose it.
"I'll be sure about that," said Arthur.
Arthur took his half dollar, and ran to the
poor widow and gave it to her, and came away
before she had time to thank him.
THE LENT HALF DOLLAR.
At night, his father asked him, if he had put
out his money.
"Yes, sir," said Arthur.
"Who did you lend it to ?"
"I gave it to a starving widow, in Mr. Hare's
There was a frown gathering on his father's
brow as he said, "Do you call that lending?
Did you not ask my permission to lend it?
Have I a son that will deceive me ?"
"No, sir," said Arthur, "I did lend it." He
opened his Bible, which he had ready, with his
finger on the place, and read, 'He that giveth
to the poor, lendeth to the Lord.' I lent it to
the Lord, and I call that written promise good
"Lent it to the Lord! He will never pay
"Yes, he will-it says he will repay again."
"I thought you had more sense," said his
father; but this was not said in an angry tone.
The truth was the old man was pleased with
66 THE LENT HALF DOLLAR.
the ingenuity, as he called it, of his boy. He
did not wish to discourage that. So he took
out his purse, and handed Arthur half a dollar.
" Here, the Lord will never pay you-I must, or
you will never see your money again."
"Thank you, sir," said Arthur. In my
way of thinking," said Arthur to himself, the
Lord has paid me, and much sooner than I ex-
pected: I did'nt hardly expect he would pay me
in money. The hearts of all men are in his
hand, and the gold and silver are his, and He
has disposed my father to pay it to me. I'll lend
Arthur kept up the habit of lending his spare
money to the Lord all his days, and he was al-
ways satisfied that he was paid, and often sev-
eral times over.
A very safe way of lending money is that of
lending it to the Lord.
THE POOR WIDOW'S MITTENS.
ONE morning, John Simmons was sent to
purchase some articles at Mr. Hamet's store.
Just before he reached the store, he overtook a
poor, decrepid widow, who walked with a crutch.
She made her way along very slowly, but John
thought he would not pass her; it might re-
mind her more strongly of her infirmity, and
make her feel sad. I do not think it would, for
she had long since become resigned to her lot.
Still it was noble in John to have the regard for
the feelings of the poor woman which was mani-
fested by his slowly walking behind her. When
she came to the store, she entered it and walked
up to the counter, and placed upon it a pair of
curiously wrought woolen mittens. Mr. Hamet
68 THE POOR WIDOW'S MITTENS.
was sitting behind the counter on a high stool,
near the window, and was busily employed in
looking into the street, though no one was pass-
ing, and nothing was to be seen there except the
usual quantity of dust. He did not get down
from his perch when the widow entered the
store, or notice her in any way. She stood by
the counter in silence, and he kept looking out
of the window. At length she spoke.
"I want you to take these mittens, and let
me have some things out of the store, if you
Mr. Hamet then slid slowly off from his stool,
and came and took up the gloves, and casting a
hasty glance at them, threw them down, saying
in a depreciating tone, And how much do you
expect to get for those things?"
"I don't know. As much as you can afford
to give. I need it all."
If she expected all Mr. Hamet could afford to
give, she had very unfounded expectations. As
to the fact of her needing it all, there could be
"You think you can't take them said the widow, with a
voice a little tremulous. See Page 71.
THE POOR WIDOW'S MITTENS.
no doubt. She had no relatives to depend on,
and her infirmities rendered her incapable of
performing many kinds of labour. She did what
she could, and trusted in the promise--" Bread
shall be given him, his waters shall be sure."
I don't know," said Mr. Hamet, "as I should
ever sell them-can't afford to give much," and
he walked towards the window, and resumed
his observations on the street.
The old woman stood leaning on her crutch
in silence, and as John gazed upon her furrowed
and care-worn countenance, his heart ached
"You think you can't take them ?" said the
widow, with a voice a little tremulous. 4
"Why-I don't know," leaving the window
and coming towards her very slowly. "I must
take them. I suppose; but I can't give much
for them." Taking them up-" I suppose I can
allow you twenty cents for them."
How much did you say ?" said the widow,
looking in his face with an expression that made
72 THE POOR WIDOW'S MITTENS.
John turn aside, and use the cuff of his coat, to
keep his eyes in order.
"Why, I said twenty-perhaps I might sell
them for twenty-five." The look had made
some impression on his heart. "I'll give you
twenty-five for them."
"You may take them," in a sad voice, which
put John's cuff again in requisition, but he took
care not to let Mr. Hamet see it.
Some tea and sugar were weighed out, and
the widow retired, and John was about to follow
her, when a gentleman entered the store. The
mittens were still lying on the counter.
"What have you here ?" said the gentleman,
taking up the mittens.
"Something you will want next winter."
The gentleman put them on. "They are
nice, certainly. How much are they ?"
"I'll let you have them for-seventy-five
cents. They would be cheap at a dollar; but I
bought them cheap, and can sell them so."
The gentleman made no objection to the
THE POOR WIDOW'8 MITTITNS.
price, paid for the mittens, purchased some other
articles, and departed.
John's indignation was now about fever heat.
Mr. Hamet asked him what he would have, in
a very pleasant tone and with a soft smile, but
John answered "Nothing," in a manner very
unlike his usually polite one.
John ran after the gentleman, with whom he
was well acquainted. "I think I ought to tel
you, sir, Mr. Hamet bought those mittens from
widow Fowler for twenty-five cents, and she al-
most cried when he didn't give her more. He
was not a going to give her only twenty, but he
did give her twenty-five in tea and sugar."
"Are you sure that what you say is correct,
Yes, sir, I was in-the door all the time, and
heard all he said. He didn't seem to see me."
"The scoundrel," said the gentleman.
"There the poor old woman goes now," said
John, my friend, will you run and give her
74 THE POOR WIDOW'S MITTENS.
this ?"-handing him a half dollar-" tell her
the man who bought the mittens sent it to her;
but don't tell her who it was."
John very joyfully executed the commission.
"I'm very thankful. I can now get what I
wanted, said the widow."
Don't go to Mr. Hamet's store to get them.
He'll be sorry for wronging you so, or I'm mis-
"I thought he didn't allow me as much as I
ought to have, but I didn't know. We must
not judge harshly. The other store is so far"-
Tell me what you want, and I will go and
"No, I'll go myself," and she set off and
moved much faster than she did before she re-
ceived the half dollar. John felt better than he
did before she received it, but not towards Mr.
"The smooth-tongued scoundrel !" said he to
himself aloud, as he entered the dooryard of his
home. His father overheard him, and asked
THE POOR WIDOW'S MITTENS.
him who he was abusing? John told him the
whole story. Mr. Simmons listened with inter-
est, and felt as much indignation as John did;
but while he praised his sympathy for the poor,
he reproved him for the expression he had over-
heard, and checked him when he thought he
used too. strong language in describing Mr.
"So, you didn't get the things I sent you for ?"
: No, sir. I came home to ask your leave to
get them at the other store."
"I have no objection, certainly. It is some-
what farther to go."
I don't care for that. With your permis-
sion, I will always go there."
As John did most of the shopping for the
family, it was quite a matter to him to go to the
other store, but he preferred the additional la-
bour to dealing with the oppressor of the widow.
When he had made any purchases, and was
carrying them home, he would always walk
76 THE POOR WIDOW'S MITTENS.
very slowly when he passed Mr. Hamet's store,
that he might see him. I am not sure but there
was some wrong feeling in this; and I am
quite sure there was something wrong in a re-
ply John made to Mr. Hamet once, when he
spoke to him. Mr. H. was standing in the door
as John was going by from the other store with
quite a load of things. "Simmons, why do you
always pass me by lately ?"
"Didn't you buy a pair of mittens of widow
Fowler," said John in a bitter tone, and with a
saucy look of the eye. Mr. Hamet blushed, and
went into the store.
John was sorry that he had said it, as soon as
it had passed his lips; and the more he thought
of it, the more sorry he was, till by the time he
got home he was crying about it.
His father asked him what was the matter,
and he told him frankly. As he was penitent,
Mr. Simmons only expressed his sorrow that his
son should speak so to any man, and his earnest
hope he would never do so again.
.L~._;~, _~ _~ ~I -L -L L-Ya ~l*:--IL ~ ILLI-_-- II L1* Z-L--C~-.- --- -IC-rrr ~_ _L-~l-.~ -~YL~WLIYI~Y~ _-:i~L_
THE POOR WIDOW'S MITTENS. 77
"Indeed, sir, I never will."
In order to avoid the possibility of any thing
of that nature happening again, John ceased to
make any display of his purchases. He con-
tinued to purchase at the other store, but was
careful not to do or say any thing designed
to injure Mr. Hamet's feelings. That, doubt-
less, was the true way.
THE CONTESTED SEAT.
"I DECLARE I will never speak to Susan
Green again as long as I live," said Matilda, as
she entered the house on coming home from
My daughter," said her mother, "I hope I
may never hear you make such a remark again.
It is very unamiable and very wrong."
"Well, mother, I feel so, and may just as
well say so."
"You have no right to feel so; and besides
one sin does not excuse another sin. Wrong
feeling does not justify wrong speaking."
"Well, I can't help feeling so; and I don't
see how I can be to blame for what I can't help;
Susan is so provoking."
THE CONTESTED SEAT.
"What does she do?"
"She is always getting my seat, and won't
give it up to me, and laughs at me when I tell
her to give it up; and if she gets any body else's
place, she gives it up as soon as she is asked."
In the school to which Matilda went, a par-
ticular seat was not set apart for each of the
pupils. They were at liberty to choose for them-
selves. Those who came first to the school
house in the morning took such seats for the
day as pleased them.
Matilda, therefore, did not tell the exact truth
when she said that Susan took her seat; for as
Susan arrived at the schoolhouse first, she had
a right to take whatever seat she chose.
"Did you ever ask Susan in a pleasant way,
to give you the seat for which you have such a
I don't know as I asked her: I told her it
was mine, and told her to give it up, and she
only laughed at me."
"That is to say, you ordered her to resign a
THE CONTESTED SEAT.
seat which she had a right to retain, and
laughed at your folly, instead of getting angry
as you would have done, if you had been in her
place. My dear, you are pursuing a very un-
wise and sinful course. You displease God,
and make yourself disagreeable to all your com-
"I can't help it."
"Matilda, you know better. You know that
you can help it. You know that you are to
blame for your feelings-your conscience tells
I suppose I am to blame for feeling cross,
but I don't see how I can help feeling cross
when I am treated so badly. So long as Susan
keeps getting my seat, I don't see how I can
feel otherwise. I can put my hand on my
mouth and not say any thing, but I don't see
what good that would do."
"It would do a great deal of good, even if it
were true that you could do nothing else. By
not speaking, you will avoid stirring up strife,
-L~ -L -Y Ir~--~ C_- ~j---_~ L- - -- --~-.-;- ~---YyC_~ L -4--...~Lrr_ I;r~-._r-rr ~I~~,_~--._, I JY--r-/I - ~ZC- ~,
THE CONTESTED SEAT. f
and will be aided in getting control of your feel-
ings. If you feel at any time the risings of
anger, and refuse to give it any expression by
word or act, it will soon pass away. But, it is
not true that you cannot feel pleasantly towards
Susan. Does she never take any other seat but
that which you call yours ?"
"Yes, ma'am; yesterday, she took Bella
"What did Bella say 7"
She only smiled as she came in; and don't
you think, Susan offered her the seat without
her asking for it, and she would'nt take it.
And to-day, Susan would not give. up mine
when I asked her for it."
Did you ask her, or order her, to give it to
"Why-I told her to give it up."
"Bella Hall, you say, smiled when she saw
that Susan had taken her seat ? It seems that
she did not feel cross. Why is it necessary that
THE CONTESTED SEAT.
you should feel differently from her, in the same
"I don't know-she is always pleasant, and
gives way to everybody."
"In other words, she keeps an even temper
and obeys the law of kindness; while you suffer
your feelings to rise, and rule you without re-
straint. If you would cultivate and govern your
temper, you could take things as pleasantly as
Bella .does. I wish you to go to your chamber,
and think the matter over; consider what will
be the effect of the course you are pursuing on
your own happiness and that of your friends;
above all, consider how God regards it. I wish
you would not leave your room till you are con-
vinced of the folly and sinfulness of the remark
with which our conversation began."
Matilda went to her chamber. At first, she
employed herself in seeking for arguments in de-
fence of what she had done and said; but her
conscience took up the other side of the question,
and showed her that all her arguments were
THE CONTESTED SEAT.
unsound. She next thought of Bella Hall's
sweet smile and kind manner towards every
body, and of the effect thereof in securing the
respect and love of every body. She compared
her own course with Bella's, and came fully to
the conclusion that Bella's was the wiser and
better one. She then thought of the mild, and
gentle, and benevolent example of the Saviour
when on earth, and she began to feel ashamed
and sorry for her sin.
She was now able to see things in their true
light. She saw that Susan had a perfect right
to take the seat in question, and that she had
no right to require her to give it up. She knew
that if she had asked Susan for the seat in a
polite manner, she would have given it to her
very cheerfully. She remembered that Susan
had never taken the seat but twice, instead of
"always" taking it, as she told her mother.
She saw that no one had been to blame but
herself. She wept over her folly and guilt. She
kneeled down and asked God's forgiveness and
84 THE CONTESTED SEAT.
His aid to enable her in future to obey the law
She then dried her tears and washed her face,
and went down to her mother; but as soon as
she saw her, she began to weep "n She
threw her arms around her mother neck, and
wept upon her bosom. At length she said-
"Mother, I have been very ughty; forgive
me, and pray form that h ay forgive me."
Her mother pressed her to her heart: and
wept tears of joy over the repenting sinner.
The next morning, when Matilda reached
the school-room, she found Susan in the seat
which she had occupied the day before. Susan
did not take it for the purpose of vexing Ma-
tilda. She designed to take anotherkeat, but
of the girls requested her to sit by her, and help
her get her lesson.
When Matilda was seen coming, some of the
girls said, "Now there will be war again."
Matilda came into the school-room in a very
quiet manner, and the girls were struck with
THE CONTESTED SEAT. 85
the sad expression of her countenance. As she
passed Susan, on her way to put her bonnet in
its place, she looked at her kindly, and tried to
smile. Susan read in her countenance the evi-
drace oftpentance and of a better mind. With
&ne of her sweetest smiles, she insisted that Ma-
ttIdi should take the seat. Some meaning
looks were exchanged by some of the girls, but
all treated Matilda with kindness. There is
something in the showings of repentance, which
commands respect and sympathy. Matilda per-
severed in her new course, and reaped the re-
ward of well doing.
LITTLE Thomas was a great lover of flowers.
It is pleasant to see this disposition in young
persons. It indicates refinement of feeling, and
gives us some reason to hope that the love of
beauty and goodness will grow in the soul, and
adorn the conduct of life.
Thomas had a piece of ground in the garden
which he called his own. In it he set roses and
other flowering shrubs, and planted at the pro-
per time, a great many flower seeds. He kept
it very free from weeds, and when there was a
lack of rain, he carried water from the cistern
and watered such plants as drooped. In conse-
quence, he had the pleasure of causing many
flowers to unfold their beauties and diffuse their
fragrance. It cost him a good deal of labour,
- d- -- - a -AM111M ~ 10
but then it was labour well bestowed. He felt
that he was abundantly paid for it, by the
pleasure which the flowers afforded to his friends
He kept his garden in fine order during the
whole season. Some boys and girls will begin
a garden with great zeal, and will keep the
weeds out for a while; but by and by they get
tired, and let the weeds choke the flowers. A
flower garden, like the heart, must be kept with
diligence at all times.
Thomas was unwilling that his flowers should
be picked. He was willing to pick them for
such persons as he knew would prize them, and
take care of them. He was not willing to pick
them for those who would hold them for a little
while, and then throw them away, or tear them
to pieces, as you have often seen persons do.
He looked upon this as a waste of beauty which
ought not to be allowed. He thought that we
had no more right wantonly to waste beauty,
than to waste money.
Some visitor who had little regard for flowers
or sense of propriety, had been in Thomas' gar-
den, and left rather unpleasant traces of his
visit. When Thomas next went to his garden,
he exclaimed, "who has been in my garden ?
My finest moss rose is gone, and here is a hand-
ful of verbenas pulled off and thrown away, and
this satin striped marigold has been trampled
upon-it is to bad," and he sat down on a rus-
tic seat near, and wept.
At this moment Mr. Frame came along, and
asked him 'what he was crying for ?'
"Somebody has been destroying my garden."
"Have the cattle been in it ?"
"It's somebody worse than that, sir."
Mr. Frame came into the garden to see the
mischief. Thomas pointed out to him where
the missing rose had been, and the scattered
verbenas, and the injured marigold.
"Pooh," said Mr. Frame, "I thought some
damage had been done. These things are
worth nothing, I wouldn't cry about such a
Thomas looked at him with a feeling of irrita-
tion in his heart, but did not speak for fear he
should say something wrong. He had learned
that when he felt vexed with any person it was
best not to say anything to him. This is an
excellent rule. Some persons always express
their feelings in such cases, and call it frankness ;
whereas it is only being led captive by Satan at
his will. The true way is to say nothing till
the feeling of vexation has passed away.
When Mr. Frame had made the above re-
mark, he took a walk through the vegetable
garden, and viewed the cucumbers and cabbages
with great interest. By the time he came back
to the place where Thomas was, Thomas had
got cool, and thought it was safe to speak to
Mr. Frame, I don't think you do right to
"What are they good for? They are of no
What would you say, sir, if I were to tell
you that the curious wheel which I saw you
making yesterday was of no use ?"
"I should tell you, that was all you knew
Thomas was tempted to answer, when you
say flowers are of no use, that is all you know
about it," but he knew it would not be respect-
Do you think, sir," said he, that the Lord
would make flowers, if they were of no use ?"
The Lord don't make them."
"The Lord don't make them! I wonder
who does, then ?"
"(No-body makes them; they grow them-
"What makes them grow ?"
The rain, and sunshine, and soil, &c."
"Who makes the sun and rain and soil, sir ?"
"I can't stop to argue with a boy. My advice
to you is to have done with such things, and to
attend to something which will be profitable."
And he went his way with a feeling that he
had stopped to argue with a boy, and that the
boy had the best of the argument.
While Thomas was engaged in repairing
damages as far as possible, and putting his gar-
den in order, his thoughts continued to be occu-
pied with the subject of the utility of flowers.
He knew that the Lord never did anything in
vain, and he thought he would consider and set
in order in his mind the uses of flowers, so that
he might have an answer ready should he again
fall in with one who held the opinions advanced
by Mr. Frame.
But he did not succeed very well, so, when he
had finished what he had to do in his garden,
he went to his father to get him to explain the
subject to him. I wish the reader would follow
Thomas' example. When you wish to under-
stand the reason of a thing, try to think it
out yourself, and when you have tried faithfully
and can't succeed, then ask your parents.
They will always be pleased to be questioned
under such circumstances. Some boys always
ask the reasons of things before they have tried
to find them out themselves and thus weary the
patience of their friends.
"Papa," said Thomas, "of what use are
flowers ? I don't ask because I don't think they
are of use, but I wish to know what to answer
those who say they are of no use, and that
we ought not to spend time upon them."
They are of use to make us happy. They
give us a pure and innocent pleasure," said his
Is it not wrong to despise them ?"
"Suppose your father were to make you a
very curious instrument, to please you, and
should paint it in the most beautiful manner,
would it be right for you to despise it?"
"No, sir, it would be an insult to my father."
"If yotr father were absent from you, and
were to send you such an mstrument, it
would please you-what else would it do ?"
"It would make me think of him when 1
"This is another of the uses of flowers.
They are not only designed to give us pleasure,
but to remind us of our Father who is in Hea-
ven-of his goodness to us. Whenever you
look at a flower and admire and enjoy its
beauty, you should say to yourself, my Father
made it-you should regard it as a token of
your Father's goodness, and resolve to make
greater efforts to please and honor Him.
FEEDING ON THE WIND.
ONE evening as Mr. Harlan was reading tne
scriptures at family worship, he read the 12th
chapter of Hosea, in which the phrase Ephraim
feedeth on the wind" occurs. Little Edward
who was about eight years old noticed the ex-
pression, and wondered what it meant. He
gave close attention to the remainder of the
chapter in hopes that he might hear something
which would explain the expression; but he
was disappointed. When he kneeled down du-
ring the prayer, the thought of that remark-
able expression so filled his mind that he did not
attend to or join with the prayer which his
father offered. This was wrong, very wrong.
t was insulting God by pretending to worship
FEEDING ON THE WIND.
Him. It was drawing near unto him with the
lips while the heart was far from him.
You must always keep wandering thoughts
out of your mind when you take the attitude of
prayer. You must pray with the person who
offers the prayer.
But some one may say, my father never
prays, so I am not guilty of this sin. Well, I
am very sorry for you, I should be afraid to live
in a house where there is no family prayer.
After prayer, Edward went to his father and
said, "father, is the wind good to eat ?"
"What put such an idea into your head ?'
"What you read before prayers, sir, Ephraim
feedeth upon the wind. I don't know what it
"You know who Ephraim was ?"
"Yes, sir, he was one of the sons of Jacob,
but, he was dead before the book of Hosea was
Ephraim is put for the descendants of Eph-
raim; just as New Jersey is put for the people
96 FEEDING ON THE WIND.
of New Jersey, when we say New Jersey voted
for Mr. Clay. You know what feedeth means."
"Yes, sir, it means to eat."
No, it don't," said his little sister who had
listened very attentively to what had been said,
"it don't mean to eat; for when we feed the
chickens we don't eat them."
That is true, sister, we don't eat them till
after we have fed them, and they have grown
fat; but the word feed, in this place, means to
eat. It has two meanings. But, papa, I don't
see how any body can eat the wind."
The word wind, is not used in a literal but
a figurative sense; just as in the case of para-
bles: they are never to be taken literally."
"I didn't know as I quite understand what
papa means by literally."
"Take a parable, for example that of the
householder in the 21st chapter of Matthew.
The Saviour did not mean to have the people
understand that there was a certain man who
did and said the things there recorded. He de-
FEEDING ON THE WIND.
signed to show them, by means of the compari-
son, how men had treated God and the Redee-
mer, and the consequence of such conduct."
"In a parable, then, one thing is said, and
another is meant."
Is that right? ought we not always to say
what we mean ?"
"Certainly, in our intercourse with our fellow
men we ought; we should never intentionally
deceive; but in the case of parables there is no
intention of deceiving-a fictitious story is told
for sake of communicating truth."
"Mr. L. said it was wrong to tell a story un-
less it was true."
"Certainly, if you profess to tell it as truth."
"But he said it was wrong to have a book in
which the story was not true."
"Then he must be wiser than the inspired
men of old, and wiser than the Great Teacher.
The parables are nothing but fictitious stories
98 FEEDING ON THE WIND.
designed to communicate and illustrate the
"But papa, you have not told me what the
wind means in the verse you read."
It is put for those objects of human pursuit
which are no better adapted to satisfy the desires
of the soul than wind is adapted to satisfy the
cravings of hunger. One man thinks he will
be happy, if he become rich. So he strains
every nerve for this purpose: perhaps he suc-
ceeds-perhaps not. In either case he feeds
upon the wind; he pursues that which can
never satisfy the wants of the soul-which can
never make him happy."
"But are not rich people happier than poor
folks? I always thought they were."
"There is nothing in mere riches which is
able to give happiness. There are many rich
people who are very unhappy. They have no
enjoyment in their riches nor in any thiag:~"
What is the reason ?"
Because they do not love God; because their
FEEDING ON THE WIND
hearts are not right before him. God has deter,
mined that none but those who love him shall
be happy. He has made a solemn declaration
of this truth. Yet men will not believe Him.
Each one thinks that he will try the experi-
ment; hence so few are happy-so many feed
upon the wind."
"Charles Foster says that he is glad that no
rich people will ever get to heaven."
"What a wicked speech !"
"I told him it was wicked, but he said they
had so many comforts more than he had."
"If he cherishes such a temper, it is certain
that he will never see heaven. The spirit of
heaven is the spirit of love."
But papa, wont there be any rich folks in
heaven ? not one ?"
"Why, my dear boy, you speak as though
you belieypd what Charles said."
"You know what the Bible says, sir,--' it is
easier for a camel to go through the eye of a
FEEDING ON THE WIND.
needle than for a rich man to enter the king-
dom of heaven.' "
"Well," said Mr. H. waiting for Edward's in-
terpretation of the passage.
"A camel can't possibly go through the eye
of a needle, and if it is easier for a camel to do
that than for a rich man to be saved, then I
don't know how a rich man can be saved."
"Your reasoning would be good if the passage
was to be understood literally. It was not in-
tended to be so understood. The people to
whom the words were addressed did not so un-
derstand it. They were accustomed to that
mode of expression. They knew that the Sa-
viour meant by that expression to teach the
great difficulty, not the impossibility of the rich
man's salvation. There are great difficulties in
the way of the rich man's salvation, but they-'
can be overcome. Many have overcome them
and have gone home to glory. Many ictihen
are now serving God and their generation, and
will follow them. There is nothing wrong in
FEEDING ON THE WIND. 101
riches; it is their effect on the heart of the pos-
sessor which makes the difficulty with respect to
salvation. These are, as the Saviour teaches
us, very great; and should lead us to offer the
prayer of Agur, give me neither poverty or