Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Little Mischief-Maker
 My First Bargain
 The Boy and the Robin
 Leading and Driving
 Beating People Down
 Aunt Susan and Her Secret
 Go Ahead
 The Yellow Bird's Compliant
 The Happy Family
 Back Cover

Group Title: Uncle Frank's home stories
Title: The little mischief-maker
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00002203/00001
 Material Information
Title: The little mischief-maker and other stories
Series Title: Uncle Frank's home stories
Physical Description: 174 p., <1> leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 15 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Woodworth, Francis C ( Francis Channing ), 1812-1859
Scribner, Charles, 1821-1871 ( Publisher )
Benedict, Charles W ( Printer )
Publisher: Charles Scribner
Place of Publication: New York
Manufacturer: C.W. Benedict, Stereotyper and Printer
Publication Date: 1852, c1851
Copyright Date: 1951
Subject: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1852   ( lcsh )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1852   ( rbbin )
Bldn -- 1852
Genre: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
Statement of Responsibility: by Uncle Frank.
General Note: Added title page, engraved.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00002203
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002240012
oclc - 08844026
notis - ALJ0551

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front cover 1
        Front cover 2
        Front 3
        Page i
    Half Title
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
    List of Illustrations
        Page vi
    Little Mischief-Maker
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
    My First Bargain
        Page 54
        Page 55
        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
        Page 72
    The Boy and the Robin
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
    Leading and Driving
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
    Beating People Down
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
    Aunt Susan and Her Secret
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
    Go Ahead
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
    The Yellow Bird's Compliant
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
    The Happy Family
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
    Back Cover
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
Full Text


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Entered according to Ant of Congress, in the year 1851, by
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the Southern District of New York.

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OF all the girls that came to our school,
the most mated for mischief-making was
Clara Redwood. Clara was, in the
main, a good, kind, sweet-tempered girl.
But she was half her time engaged in
some piece of mischief or other. I sup-
pose, that, at heart, she was no worse
than many of her associates in school.
But however that may be, candor com-


pels me to say that, if she was a good
girl, she sometimes had a very bad way
of showing it.
I used to wonder why she would go
on with her mischievous tricks, day after
day; for she very often got punished for
her misdemeanors. The schoolmasters
and schoolmistresses in our school used
the rod and the ferule a good deal-
much oftener, I think, than these instru-
ments are used now-a-days. And they
had a knack of striking pretty hard, too.
Some people, who have the government
of children, believe in corporal punish-
ment as much as anybody; but when
they come to apply it, they do the thing


so softly and delicately, that the child
is sometimes quite at a loss to know
whether the punishment is a serious one,
or whether it is all sham. *But our
teachers were not of that sort. When
they used the ferule, or the seasoned
hickory sprout, they left the marks on us,
so that we could carry them home with
us, and show our parents what kind of
scholars we had been that day.
Oh, how many times I have seen
Clara punished in one way and another.
And yet, her punishment did not seem to
make any difference with her. Perhaps
the very next day after she had received
on her hand half a dozen blows from the


ferule, she got into a scrape that called
for some new punishment. Was it be-
cause, er memory was so poor? What
was the reason of it ? I am sure I never
could tell. I guess it must -have been
because she loved mischief so well.
But how came she to have such a taste
for mischief? What good did it do any-
body else ?
If she had had the faculty which some
young people possess, of getting easily
out of a scrape, one might wonder less
how she came to get into so many. But
she had no such faculty. On the con-
trary, she always got found out, wherf
she had been in mischief. There was



not a particle of deception about her.
She could not have deceived the school-
master, if she had attempted to do so.
Some boys and girls, who went to our
school, might cut all manner of ;capers;
and unless the sharp eye of the school-
master was on them at the time, he could
not conjecture which was the rogue---
they wore such grave and sober faces, as
if nothing had happened. But it was
quite otherwise with Clara. If she had
done anything in the shape of mischief,
and it was found out that the mischief
had been done, it was no matter whether
she had been seen in the act or not
The schoolmaster had only to. look at


her face. That told the story. That
said as plainly as anybody could wish,
" Clara Redwood did it." Ah, that tell-
tale face! How many whippings it used
to cost her, to say nothing about other
and milder modes of punishment.
I must give you a specimen or tww" of
her mischief. I want you to see what
a rattle-headed, thoughtless, frolicking,
girl she was, and what she got by her
She had a little sister, several years
younger than she was, named Gertrude.
Clara used to tease her a good deal.
This teasing, young friend-let me say
it now, while I think of it-is, as a gen-


eral thing, bad business. I never saw
much good come out of it. But I have
seen a great deal of evil result from it.
It is well enough for brothers and sisters
to have a good time of it, when they are
playing together. Uncle Frank don't
like to see moping children. He goes
for fun. He don't like to see children
as grave and sedate as judges on the
bench. He believes that there is time
enough for people to be men and women,
when they are grown up. He thinks
that children's heads ought to grow on
children's shoulders, and no other kind
of heads, and children's hearts ought to
throb in children's bosoms. Uncle Frank


don't care how merry boys and. girls are,
when they are at play. The merrier the
better, to suit him. But it always gives
him pain to see the little folks teasing
each other, he is so much afraid that that
kind of sport will turn out badly in the
I tell you, it is hard work to appear
to be kind, when you are teasing any-
body younger than yourself, especially if
you keep it up for some time. You may
have ever so much kindness in your
heart; but it is difficult to make the one
you are teasing feel that you are kind.
So that, take it altogether, I consider
teasing bad business; and it gives me


rather a poor opinion of a boy or girl,
when I see him or her often engaged in
that sort of business.
Clara-I am sorry tQ be obliged to say
so much to the discredit of the girl-
used to love to tease this sister of hers.
She would get Gertrude's slate, after the
little girl had drawn pictures-rather
rude, to be sure-of horses, and dogs,
and lambs, and birds, and rub all the pic-
tures out. She would get Gertrude's
doll, and black its face up with ink.
She would worry Gertrude's little kitten,
and make it mew; hide Gertrude's hoop
and top, so that she could not find them;
and do a hundred things of this kind. It


is probable she did so just for the sake of
the fun, not because she wanted to hurt
her sister's feelings. But she did hurt
her sister's feelings. Many and many a
time, the little girl would cry, as if her
heart would break, when Clara teased
her in this style. There was not a par-
ticle of excuse for Clara; for her sister
never teased her in return.
Clara had a brother, too, by the name
of Andrew. I don't recollect which was
the older. But there was not much dif-
ference in the ages of the two. Andrew
was a pretty quiet sort of a boy, remark-
ably fond of his books, and seldom dis-
posed to get into mischief. But Clara


used -to tease him sometimes, until I am
not sure but he sighed for that

--" lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of shade,"

of which the poet Cowper makes men-
tion. Bridget, Mrs. Redwood's hired
girl, declared that Clara teased the life
out of Andrew." But that was rather
too strong language.
One day, when Mr. Redwood was
away from home, Andrew, who was just
beginning to write, and who, I suppose,
as is common for children at that stage
of their education, was a little proud of
what he could do with his pen, took a


notion that he would write a letter to his
father. Mrs. Redwood gave him per-
mission to do so, and he went to work at
the letter. He was a long time writing
it. I don't know how many times, after
he had got a little way down the page,
he stopped, and began again. His whole
soul was in that letter. After it was
completed, and ready for exhibition, I
presume he felt as much interest in it as
Milton felt in the first book of his Para-
dise Lost," when he had written the last
line in that book, and began to read over
some of the first strains of that wonderful
poem. There is nothing more natural
than for a person to think very highly of


anything which has cost him a great deal
of labor. Andrew had worked long and
hard at his letter. He had done the best
he could in writing it. And it was very
well done for him. It was no great
affair, to be sure. No one, who looked
at it, would need to be told that it was
written by a little boy. But, consider-
ing that Andrew had only just begun to
write, it was well enough. Mrs. Red-
wood praised Andrew's letter a good
deal, and said she would send it to his
Andrew showed it to Clara. He
thought she would praise it, too. But
he was never more mistaken in his life.


"Oh, what quail-tracks!" said she.
"I could do a great deal better than that,
Andrew, and not more than half try. It
is not fit to send to papa. Why, what a
goose !"
And she began to make some com-
ments on what he had said in the letter,
and the "quail-tracks," as she called
them, which Andrew had made on that
sheet of paper.
I declare I would not send it to
papa for anything," said she. "He
would laugh the hair off from his"head,
if you should; and I am afraid he would
laugh his teeth out, into the bargain."
This language, though in jest, of



course, was exceedingly out of place.
It sounded unkindly to Andrew. It
would have sounded so to you, if you
had been in Andrew's place. But that
was not the worst of Clara's conduct in
that affair of the letter. Instead of hand-
ing it back to her brother, after she had
finished reading it, she tore it all to
pieces, and told her brother, in a joking
way, that he had better write another
letter, because it was a pity that papa
should laugh all the hair off from his
head, and come home as bald as Deacon
That was too bad, altogether too bad.
It did really look as if the girl was pos-


sessed of an evil spirit. Mrs. Redwood
could hardly believe her own eyes. She
was pretty well acquainted with Clara's
habit of teasing, and had frequently tried
to break her of it. But she had not
dreamed that her daughter would do
such a rude thing as this, to gratify this
passion of hers. Whether the tearing
of that letter was the result of malice or
mere thoughtlessness and love of sport,
Clara deserved severe punishment-and
she received it, When she saw how that
foolish and thoughtless piece of sport
grieved her brother, she would have
given all she was worth, almost, if she
had not torn up the letter. The punish-


ment she received from the hands of her
mother-and you may depend upon it
that good lady did not spare the mis-
chief-maker at all-was not half so hard
to bear as the reflection, which haunted
her for days and nights afterward, that
her rashness had cost her dear, innocent
brother so much pain. .I wonder she
was not cured entirely of her habit of
mischief-making. But she did not get
cured. She was just as jnischievous as
ever, both at home and at school.
One day, I remember, when Mr. Solo-
mon Stark was our schoolmaster, Clara
took it into her head to set the whole
school in a roar of laughter. Mr. Stark


was called out into the entry for a few
minutes. Somebody wanted to see him
on private business. I should not won-
der if it was his shoemaker or his laun-
dress.. He did not pay hfs bills very
punctually, and there used to be ever so
many calls at the school house, which
were understood to have some relation
to these bills.
Don't understand me as blaming my
old friend, Mr. Stark, for keeping his
creditors waiting, sometimes, until they
got nearly out of patience. I am not
censuring the man at all. I am only
trying to account for his going out of
school so often, and leaving us to govern


ourselves. Our schoolmasters had small
salaries; and Mr. Stark's fault, if he bad
any, in respect to this matter of the bills,
was not so much that he did not pay
them-for I presume he could not pay)
them, any more than he could build a
meeting-house-as it was that he con-
tracted his debts in the first place.
Mr. Solomon Stark, as I said, at the
earnest request of his shoemaker, or his
laundress, or his tailor, or some one else,
was called out for a few minutes. Clara
was in a perfect gale that day. As soon
as the inside door was shut, she marched
up to the schoolmaster's desk, seized his
glasses, which were lying on a copy-book,


put the glasses on, took the ferule into
her hand, and began to give her orders,
after the fashion of Mr. Stark. She was a
good mimic, and imitated the pompous
and wordy manner of the schoolmaster
so well, that she made a great deal of
There!" said some one of the girls,
just as Clara was trying to muster a little
mimic gravity, so as to command the
scholars, with becoming dignity, to stop
laughing, and attend to their books,
"there, he is coming !"
It was a false alarm; for the school-
master staid some time after that. But
Clara dropped her spectacles in such a


hurry, that, without noticing the acci-
dent at the time, she overturned Mr.
Stark's ink-stand, and ran to her seat.
When the czar of that little empire came
in, he thought by the appearance of the
faces of the boys and girls, that some fun
had been going on; and when he went
up to his desk, and saw what a huge
stream had been made by the upsetting
of his ink-stand, and how his copy-book
had been blotted all over, he was sure
that they had had a high time of it, and
that some one, in particular, had been.
the principal mischief-maker.
Who did that ?" thundered 1.
Stark, pointing to the copy-book, which


looked like a map of some country
where the rivers were very abundant
and large.
No answer.
Who did that ?" he thundered again,
louder than before, this time stamping
fiercely with his foot.
Nobody answered.
Perhaps some one ought to have told
the schoolmaster who the guilty one
was. But we all despised a tell-tale.
We were so much afraid of getting a
.reputation for acting the part of a tell-
tale, that we might have eited on the
other extreme, and kept silence when
we ought to have spoken out. But


however that may be, we said nothing.
We shut up our mouths as tight as if
they had been so many bottles of root
beer with the corks tied in.
Then the schoolmaster tried another
plan. He examined the countenances
of the different boys and girls. Poor
Clara! that plan was fatal to her. The
moment he set his eyes on that face, he
saw who had drawn the map with so
many large rivers on it.
Clara, did you do it ?" he inquired.
Clara owned that she did it. She
never told lies. Dishonesty and decep-
tion were no faults of hers. She owned
that she had upset the ink-stand.


"But what did you do it for ?" the
schoolmaster asked.
It was not so easy to answer that ques-
tion. I presume Clara would rather
have attempted to go through with the
longest answer in the Westminster Cate-
chism-and that is long enough, as it
was put down in the New England
Primer, from which we used to recite
the catechism at our school every Satur-
day-than to have framed a reply to this
last query of Mr. Stark's. The best
plan, I think, for any one to adopt,
when he or she has nothing to say, is to
say nothing. That is just exactly the
plan that Clara adopted. She said no-


thing at all. There was nothing to be
Well, the sequel to this story, as you
have conjectured long ago, is that our
little mischief-making friend, Clara, got
badly feruled that day. I guess she
never paid dearer for any little piece of
fun in her life, than she did for playing
the part of the schoolmaster for the space
of a couple of minutes.
I recollect another instance, in which
she suffered a good deal for a small
amount of fun. There had been some
sort of a show in our village, and, as is
usual in the country, where such scenes
are witnessed but seldom, nearly all the


neighborhood-men, women and chil-
dren-turned out to see it. There was
a band of music connected with the
exhibition, and among the instruments
used on the occasion was one quite novel
to us children, and which interested us
largely. It was a tambourine. Such
instruments are common enough in the
city, now-a-days. Perhaps, indeed, they
were so at the period of which I am
speaking. But they were very rare in
the country, in those days.
A tambourine is a small drum, with
bells attached to it. Instead of.having
two heads, however, like other drums, it
has but one, and is played on with the


fingers, instead of regu~tr wooden drum-
The next day, after the exhibition, all
the boys, and most of the girls, who
went to our school, were amusing them-
selves and each other, by giving imita-
tions of the performance on the tambour-
ine. These imitations consisted, out of
door, in drumming lightly on a shingle,
or a board, with the fingers. In the
school room-for the performance went
on inside the school house, to some
extent, as well as outside-the process
was necessarily varied a little. The left
hand represented the instrument there.
Tambourine playing was the ruling pas-


sion that day. 'I remember it seemed
to me, during the whole forenoon,
especially, one of the hardest tasks I
ever undertook in school time, to keep
the fingers of my right hand from the
drumming process.
Several of the boys were detected by
the schoolmaster, as they were engaged
in these imitations. I hardly think the
boys really meant, at first, to break over
the rules of school, in these perform-
ances. I am sure I did not. The
drumming was mechanical. It went on,
without any bidding or forbidding on the
part of the will. The will had not
much to do with it.


You have heard of the boy, I suppose,
who was called up by his schoolmaster
for whistling, %nd who alleged, in de-
fence of the act, t~t he "( didn't whistle,
but that it whistled itself." The case
of that honest, though unfortunate little
urchin, was very much like our own.
I declare it did seem to me, when
I caught myself going through with
that performance, sitting on my humble,
backless bench, that it was not I who
drummed, but that it drummed itself.
But the schoolmaster recognized no
such philosophy as this. If he caught
us doing anything, he took it for granted
that the will had a hand in the act, and


that we meant to do it, and, on the
whole, I cannot now find it in my heart
to quarrel with the standard of judgment
he went by. It is a tolerably accu-
rate one in the main, it must be
confessed. The boy who was first dis-
covered imitating the playing of the
tambourine, was reprimanded, and told,
significantly, that it would be well for
him to bring his performances to a close
at his earliest convenience.
The drumming stopped in that quarter.
But it soon broke out in another, and a
second reprimand was necessary. After
the third or fourth offence, the school-
master declared that the next boy he


caught drumming, would drum such a
tune, before he got through, as he would
not like. It was some time before
another drummer was discovered. But
George Morehead forgot himself, before
noon, and drummed a very little, or it
drummed itself, one or the ether. He
was discovered.
"George, walk up here !" said the
The offender walked up, accordingly,
to the throne of the monarch, who ruled
and feruled over that kingdom of boys
and girls.
"Now, go to drumming," said Mr.


There was no help for the little
fellow. He had to drum there for the
whole school. And the master: made
him keep it up incessantly. He would
not let him stop for a moment. It was
not long before another boy was dis-
covered drumming at his seat. I don't
wonder he drummed. If it was hard to
keep from drumming before, it was
harder still, with a drummer-general
performing so publicly all .the time.
The boys drummed from sympathy, if on
no other account.
"Come up here !" said the school-
master to the new offender.
And he went up, and stood by the


side of the other boy, and was made to
drum in concert with him. After this,
the public drumming, which had worn an
air somewhat disgraceful, began to look
a little more respectable. Even George,
who had a sort of hang-dog look about
him before he was joined by his school-
fellow, and who had scarcely the courage
to look from the floor, seemed to be
quite resigned to his lot. By and bye,
another was caught drumming, called
up, placed in a line with the other
performers, and required to take his part
in the entertainment.
The thing became decidedly respect-
able. Others joined the band. Really,


those musicians began to be looked upon
as quite a privileged order of scholars.
There was a row of boys, before the
school was dismissed at noon, reaching
nearly across the school house, all drum-
ming as if the fate of a small empire
depended on the success of their per-
Drum away, boys !" shouted the
schoolmaster ; I'll make you drum
until you get sick of it, I guess. Drum
away !"
And they did drum away, and enjoyed
it, too. It took them longer to get sick
of it than Mr. Solomon calculated upon.
He saw that, I think, at last. I'll tell


you what makes me think so. It was
the way he served Clara Redwood.
Clara was caught drumming. The sport
seemed so rich, that she thought she
must have a hand in it by all means.
"Clara," said Mr. Stark, with more
sternness than he had shown before, in
calling up the culprits, Clara, come
Clara went, went cheerfully. She
expected to go, when she commenced
drumming. The invitation was just what
she wanted. But she soon had occasion
to repent of that misdeed. Instead of
being stationed in a line with the rest of
the performers, she was placed in front


of them, and set to drumming there.
But her position in the musical band was
not the worst of the case. Poor girl!
she was always unfortunate. Her mis-
chief always cost her a great deal more
than it was worth to her. Either
because the schoolmaster had got enough
of the drumming, and meant to put a
stop to it at once, or, which is quite as
likely, because Clara was famous for
mischief, and consequently supposed to
deserve severer punishment than the
rest, he required the unfortunate girl to
drum on his ferule, instead of her left
Drum harder, you little rogue!"


said he, as he observed Clara trying to
favor her knuckles a little.
She did drum harder, a little harder;
but that didn't satisfy the schoolmaster.
Harder yet!" said he.
It got to be pretty dear drumming for
Clara. How red her little hand was.
Harder yet !" shouted the school-
It seemed too hard, almost. But poor
Clara had to drum on that ferule for ten
minutes or more ; there was no such
thing as taking the slightest comfort
in the performance ; when she tried to
drum more softly, so as not to hurt her
fingers so much, she found herself in a


condition somewhat like the horse who
takes it into his head to stop to rest,
while he is in a treadmill. She only
made the matter worse; because if she
did not drum the ferule hard enough
with her fingers, the master drummed
her fingers with the ferule.
That performance, I need hardly tell
you, cost Clara a hearty crying spell,
before she got through with it. It
completely broke up the tambourine
mania, too. I believe there was not a
single attack of it after Clara and the
other performers were allowed to take
their seats
Clara was left alone in the parlor, one


I lj
' I 1,---
; ; .'^f i


day, for an hour or more. When her
mother and aunt Sophia returned, they
found the whole room in confusion. To
crown all, Clara had made a huge ink-
blot on one of the beautiful books which
was lying on the centre-table.
But that was not half so bad as
another exploit of hers. She went into
her mother's bed room one night, with a
candle, and thinking there was a chance
to do a very funny thing indeed, she just
set fire to the fringe on one of the tassels
of the window-shade. She thought, I
suppose, that she could put it out
instantly, and that not a particle of harm
would be done, while she would enjoy


the pleasure of seeing the fringe flash
up, like gunpowder. The silly girl! In
a second after she had touched the
tassel with the blaze of the candle, the
whole window-shade was on fire. Clara
screamed, and her aunt Sophia came
into the room immediately, though not
in season to prevent the fire from ex-
tending to a pile of linen, which was
lying on the dressing bureau, under the
window, every article of which was
spoiled. It was well that Clara's aunt
came in as she did. In a very few
moments more, the flames would have
spread to other parts of the room, and,
very likely, nothing would have been left


of the whole house the next morning but
a heap of ashes.
My young friends, I do not love to
tell stories such as these. It always
gives me pain. I would a thousand
times rather speak of the good traits in
a person's character than of the bad
ones. The only reason why I have
given you this sketch of the little
mischief-maker is, that. you may see
what mischief costs, and that you may
keep clear, of it yourselves. There is
nothing lovely in mischief-making. I
never could love Clara much, just be-
cause on account of this habit of hers.
A person may be ever so handsome in


almost all respects; but if she has a
great, ugly scar on her cheek, that spoils
all her beauty. So it is, exactly, with a
person's mind. Though she may abound
with good qualities, if there is one very
bad feature in her disposition-one very
bad trait in her character-it casts a
dark shadow over the whole mind, and
renders it unlovely. That was the case
with Clara. There were scores of things
in her character, for which one could
love her, if it were not for this mischief-
making disposition of hers. But that,
of itself, was enough to make people
dislike her. What if they did laugh
sometimes at her fun, when it was inno-


cent and harmless ? What if they were
pleased to see her light-hearted and
merry, and frolicsome ? They did not
laugh at her mischief. Nothing was
more common than to hear folks say,
when they were speaking of her, What
a charming girl that Clara Redwood
would be, if she were not such a
mischief-maker; but that completely
spoils her."




Wmw I was quite a little boy, I used
to be mightily pleased with candy and
sugar plums. I don't set this fact down
as any evidence that I 'was an extraordi-
nary lad ; for most children show, at
least, this sign of good taste, I believe.
[ mention it rather as a prelude to a
story about the first bargain I ever had a


hand in-a bargain which I struck for a
whole double handful of sugar plums, or
My father was going to a distant part
of the farm, one fine morning, in early
autumn, to carry salt to his sheep.
These sheep, by the way, were as fond
of salt as I was of sugar plums; and
it was not a little amusing to see the
whole flock, old and young, run up to
him, when he came into the pasture
where they were, with his salt bag, and
when they heard the sound of his well-
known voice. On these expeditions,
which were made some two or three
times a week, as nearly as I can now


recollect, my father generally carried his
gun, in order to be ready for any kind
of game he might meet with. It was
not forgotten on the particular occasion
to which I allude.
The great pond lay on the route to
the sheep pasture; and as we passed by
it, we saw a little bird sitting gracefully
on the water, which my father, at the
time, took for a duck. The gun, which
was already loaded, was aimed at the
little fellow, and he was shot. Of course
he was shot. My father was a good
marksman. His aim was a sure one.
It was not without some difficulty, and
the expense of a thorough ducking-


which, perhaps, was not much, consid-
ering it was a duck that he was after-
that the poor bird was got to the shore.
But we captured him, at last. It proved
to be a bird of the thrush family, called,
in that neighborhood, the dipper. My
brother, a little younger than myself,
shared with me the pleasure and the
glory of carrying the prize to the sheep
pasture, and thence home. First one
carried it a little way, then the other.
It was not a very heavy burden, if the
truth must be told.
"Well, boys," said my father, "what
shall we do with the dipper ?"
That was a question of too much


moment to be decided in a hurry. It
cost us little urchins a great deal of
intense thinking. Various plans for the
disposal of the bird were, in their turn,
suggested, canvassed, and rejected. At
last, we hit upon one against which no
possible objection could be raised; and,
thereupon, I clapped my hands furiously,
partly on account of the pleasure I had
in anticipation of the time when the
plan would go into effect, and partly, I
surmise, at the idea that it was my little
head, and nobody else's head, which
started that bright notion.
The plan was this: to sell the dipper
for sugar plums. Yes, that was it.


There were no such luxuries as sugar
plums any where near our house. We
knew that fact too well. It was often
talked of among us children, as a thing
to be deplored, that Willow Lane, so far
as raisins, and sugar plums, and things
of that sort, were concerned, was a mere
desert. However, Northville was only
seven or eight miles off, and there were
oceans of sugar plums there. It hap-
pened, very opportunely-or my father
made it happen so, I hardly know
which-that a barrel of flour was want-
ing at our house, and it became necessary
to visit that paradise of sweet things, the
next day after the capture of the little


water fowl. There never was any thing
more fortunate, it seemed to me.
Could we go, too, and sell the dipper ?
It was decided, that, in case we were
particularly good boys, we could go.
Thereat, another clapping of hands en-
sued, for it was very near the pinnacle
of my young ambition to go to North-
ville, where there were ever so many
stores, filled with every thing nice-it
really seemed so to me-that ever was
known on the earth, or above it, or
under it. Such a deep river, such
mighty ships,.such big boxes of raisins,
such lots of playthings, such a variety
of jew's harps, and tin whistles, and


miniature drums, such a world of nuts,
of every imaginable and unimaginable
kind, such vast multitudes of sugar
plums and candies--I thought were
never brought together in one place
since Adam's time, as could be seen in
the village of Northville.
And so we were actually to go to
Northiille, and sell the dipper for sugar
plums Heigho that was almost too
good to believe.
It was true, though. It was no day
dream ; or if it was one, the dream
was realized the next day. Before the
short hand on the old town clock, whose
uncovered face, time out of mind, always


seemed so sadly in want of a good
washing-before the short hand on that
dingy old clock pointed to the hour of
ten, we were in the village-I am
not sure but we called it the city, then;
we will call it so now, at any rate-
of Northville.
There," said my father, as he reined
up Silvertail to the store where he
intended to do most of his trading,
" there, boys, you may go and sell your
dipper, now."
But where shall we go ? who wiM
buy. it ?"
My father, determined to throw us
altogether upon our own power of con-


tnvance, did not answer these questions,
but told us to try at the first store we
came across, and if we did not find a
customer there, to go into the next store,
and to keep going until we sold the
But how many sugar plums shall we
get for the dipper ?"
"Oh, not many. It's a little thing.
It is not worth many sugar plums."
We sallied out, my brother and I,
with tolerably good opinions of our-
selves, and almost staggering under the
weight, not of the dipper exactly, but of
the mission we had undertaken. I, as
having the advantage of my brother in


years, was to act as salesman, and my
brother, so as not to lose his share in
the enterprise, was to turn his jacket
pocket into a magazine for the reception
of the precious merchandise we were to
get for our fowl.
We entered the first store that we
came across, and I offered to sell the
dipper. It was no go." I could not
strike a bargain. This kind of goods
was evidently a drug in that market.
The man I offered to trade with only
laughed at me, and shook his head. It
was a bad omen. But I went into
the next store, hoping for better success.
"Do you want to buy a dipper?"


I asked of a smooth-faced, curly-headed,
nicely-dressed young man, who stood
behind the counter, with a yard stick in
his hand, and a pen behind his ear,
measuring out lace for some ladies; "do
you want to buy a dipper ?"
A dipper !" said the dandy, "what
do you mean by a dipper ?"
I held up the precious bird, proudly
and triumphantly, above the top of the
counter, so that the nice young man
could see it.
Oh, how the fellow did laugh! "Do
you call that a dipper ?" he inquired, as
soon as he could speak ; for he almost
choked himself with laughter.


"Yes, sir," I replied, as principal
salesman, not a little anxious to sustain
the dignity of the family to which my
bird belonged, my father shot it on
the great pond, close by the sheep
pasture; and we want to sell it, and get
some sugar plums."
There must have been something rather
ludicrous in the thing, I think, for the
clerk laughed again, worse than he did
at first, and the ladies laughed, too.
"No," said the very nice-looking
young man, we don't want any such
dippers as that." And so we left the
store. It was plain that dippers were
below par in that region.


The fowl was offered at some half
a dozen different stores. But nobody
would buy it. I began to be almost
discouraged ; but remembering what my
father said, that we must go until we
sold it," I made another trial.
This time I went into a large store,
which, I recollect, was right on the
corner of a block of buildings, and
seemed all covered with signs. It was
kept by one Captain Cost.
"Do you want to buy a dipper ?" I
asked, as I had invariably asked before.
My question was stereotyped.
I shall never forget the kind and
encouraging look that that merchant


gave me, as he said, "And how much
do you ask for your dipper, my son ?"
Some sugar plums, a few sugar
plums," was the reply.
I do believe the man could scarcely
keep from laughing. But he managed
to conduct the bargain with a becoming
gravity. "How many sugar plums do
you want for the dipper ?" he asked.
Not many," I said. I remembered
what my father had told me about the
value of the bird, and it seemed to me
that the principal thing I had to do, in
turning the bird into sugar plums, was to
take care that the purchaser did not get
cheated. I must not take many sugar


plums," I added, because the dipper is
small, and is not worth much."
Well, I'll buy your dipper," said
the captain, and pay you in sugar
plums. Hold open your pocket, my
little lad."
The door of my brother's magazine
was opened, and as many sugar plums as
both the gentleman's hands would hold
were put into it. I feared the poor man
had got wretchedly cheated, and was
about to hint as much to him, when he
called for another pocket, and actually
poured into it a second double handful
of sugar plums. Was the man crazy?
It looked as if he was. He shook his


head to all our expostulations, and, after
filling two pockets with sugar plums,
he made each of us take a large and
splendid sugar horse.
We left Captain Cost's store, fully
persuaded that that merchant was one of
the best men in the world, and firmly
resolved to give him all our custom in




.h.. .~~





So, now, pretty robin, you've come to our door.
I wonder you never have ventured before.
You thought, I suppose, we would do you some harm;
But pray, sir, what cause have you had for alarm ?

You seem to be timid-I'd like to know why-
Did I ever hurt you ? What makes you so shy ?
You shrewd little rogue! I've a mind, ere you go,
To tell you a thing it concerns you to know.


You think I have never discovered your nest.
'Tis hid pretty snugly, it must be confessed.
Ha! ha! how the boughs are entwined all around I
No wonder you thought it would never be found.

You're as cunning a robin as ever I knew;
And yet, ha ha! ha! I'm as cunning as you!
I know all about your nice home on the tree-
'Twas nonsense to try to conceal it from me.

I know-for but yesterday I was your guest-
How many young robins there are in your nest;
And pardon me, sir, if I venture to say,
They 've had not a morsel of dinner to-day.

But you look very sad, pretty robin, I see,
As you glance o'er the meadow, to yonder green tree.


I fear I have thoughtlessly given you pain,
And I'll never prattle so lightly again.

Go home, where your mate and your little ones dwell.
Though I know where they are, yet I never will tell;
Nobody shall injure that leaf-covered nest,
No, sacred to me is the place of your rest

I am glad, I am glad you have come to our door,
Though I wonder you never have ventured befoz
But come again, robin, come often, and sing;
For dearly I love you, sweet warbler of spring.



HAVE you never found that it is
generally easier to lead than to drive ?
I have. I remember how I first came
to see that one could often accomplish
more by leading than by driving.
Jacob Ford borrowed our oxen one
day. He wanted them to use in the
same team with his own oxen. I hap-


opened to see the man ploughing with
this team, and I thought I had never
known our oxen act so badly. Really, I
felt ashamed of them. They were
generally very well behaved oxen. But
that day they acted as if they were cross
and stubborn. They did not work well
at all.
"I wonder what does ail our oxen,"
I said to my father, after my visit to the
corn field. "They act as if they were
'"I don't know, I'm sure," was the
answer. Did Mr. Ford whip them
any ?"
Yes, sir," said I; "he whipped



them half the time ; but that did not
seem to make them any better."
No," my father replied, I presume
it did not make them any better. It
made them worse. Our oxen are not
used to whipping. I never drive them.
I lead them."
Sure enough. The whole thing was
explained. I remembered that I had
never seen my father strike one of those
oxen in my life. But on this occasion,
they were cudgeled too much, just as
Mr. Ford treated his own oxen. That
was all that ailed them.
Since that time, I have often had
occasion to remark that I could do a


great deal by leading, when I could do
nothing by driving.
Once, I recollect, I was riding our old
mare to mill, with a bag of rye on her
back. When we came to the bridge
that crossed the brook, close by the
grist mill, Silvertail stopped as still as a
post. She would not go over the bridge.
"'You shall go," I thought, and hit her
a hard blow with the whip. But she
wouldn't go. I couldn't drive her at all.
What was to be done ? I got off, and
stood holding the bridle in my hand,
wondering whether it was best to hitch
the mare to the fence on that side of the
bridge, and to go and tell the miller my


trouble, or to give the obstinate beast a
few more doses of the same medicine I
had already tried, with so little success.
While in this state of indecision, a
man came along; and finding out how
matters stood, spoke kindly to the mare,
patted her on the neck, took hold of the
bridle, went before her, and led her
across the bridge in two minutes.
Your horse was afraid," said he.
"She needed leading, not driving."
Why did I not think of that before ?
It seemed as plain as the nose on the
man's face, after he told me of it; and I
remembered the affair about neighbor
Ford and our oxen, and what my father


had said about it. I saw that the rule
applied to horses, as well as to oxen.
A colored man, who lived at my
father's, once undertook to drive the
hogs from the pen, where they were
usually kept, into the woods, about a
hundred rods from the house. It was in
the fall of the year, and it was thought
best to give the hogs a chance to pick up
the acorns that abounded in the woods.
Tom could not drive the hogs. They
would go in every direction but the
right one. He scolded them, struck
them with a long whip, threw sticks at
them, stoned them, and set them to
squealing at a great rate. But it was of


no avail. They were obstinate, very
obstinate, and bent on having their own
My father, as soon as he saw how
poorly the colored man was getting
along with the hogs, went out into the
lane, where the strife was going on,
with a pail in his hand-the same pail
which was used in carrying food for the
hogs-and sending Tom away, started
off toward the woods, calling the hogs
after him. IHe found not the slightest
difficulty in leading them to the pasture
where he wanted them to go.
My young friend, this rule of my
father's works well in multitudes of cases.


You will find it accomplishes miracles,
almost. And it works as well among
men, and women, and children, as it
does among beasts, for aught I know.
Two brothers, both very good friends
of mine, were returning from school, the
other day, each with a parcel of books.
Here, Bill," said one of them, "take
this dictionary; I've got more than my
I won't do any such thing," said the
It was wrong to say so, of course.
Still, Freddy had no business to speak in
that rough way. It appeared as if he
was trying to drive Willy, and Willy


had no notion of being driven. He did
not take the dictionary then. Before
the boys had got half way home, how-
ever, Freddy thought he would try
again to persuade his brother to carry
the dictionary. This time he tried the
other plan.
I do wish you would take this book,"
said he. "Will you, Bill? That's a
good boy, now. I'll do as much for
you some other time."
Willy took it, cheerfully, and carried
it all the way home. He needed leading,
you see. Driving was not the thing.
Freddy could no more have driven him
to carry the dictionary, than Tom could


have driven the hogs to the pasture
where the acorns were.
Lucy, you lazy girl! help me wipe
these dishes, or I'll tell mamma of you,
as true as I breathe; see if I don't.'V
I heard a girl using this coarse and
unamiable language to her sister a while
ago. But do you think Lucy minded
her ? Do you think she ran, and helped
wipe the dishes ? If you do, you are
very much mistaken.
"Wipe them yourself," said she, and
went on with her play.
Perhaps you think that Lucy was
an obstinate girl. But she was not
obstinate. She had an obliging and


kind disposition. She could be led
easily enough. But she could not be
driven. She does not like driving at all.
And Lucy, unless I am greatly mis-
taken, is very much, in this respect, like
most other girls. You can get along
fifty times as well with them, when you
undertake to lead them, as you can
when you try to drive them. And it is
just so with the boys, too; for boys and
girls are very much alike, after all.
Nobody likes to be driven. Bear that
in mind, little friend, as you trip along
in the journey of life. It will save you
a world of trouble and vexation.




IT is a bad practice, this of always
beating people down. Understand me,
if you please. I don't allude now to
knocking folks down with a club, or
with one's fist. Among decent people,
I doubt if there is much"difference of
opinion as to the propriety or expediency
of such things. I cannot think that any


of my readers believe in this way of
knocking anybody down. I don't allude
to that species of assault and battery.
What I mean, is the too common habit
of always beating a person down in his
prices,'when one is trading with him.
No matter what prices Mr. A. sets
upon his goods; Mr. B.-one of these
men who make a business of beating
folks down-says they are altogether too
high, and that he must take less, or
he can't trade with him.
Let me give you a little bit of conver-
sation, such as not unfrequently takes
place in a dry goods store.
"Mr. Merchant, have you any first


rate unbleached sheeting, as low as a
shilling a yard ?"
Yes, ma'am, I have a very fine
article which I can sell for ten pence."
Let me see it, if you please."
Mr. Merchant produces the piece of
Why, Mr. Merchant! you don't
pretend to ask ten pence a yard for
Yes, madam, and we consider it
cheap at that."
"It is very dear, sir-very dear."
"I hardly think you '11 find a piece of
muslin in the city as good as this, for
a less price."


Why, Mr. Bobbinet, on the other
side of the street, has the same goods
exactly, and he don't pretend to ask but
eight pence for them."
Take care, Mrs. Beatwell. That last
remark of yours is what my good old
uncle Mike would call a whopper; and I
rather think that Mr. Merchant has some
suspicions that you are fibbing a little.
See, now, what comes of that habit of
yours, of forever beating people down.
While you are beating down the man
who has goods to sell, you are apt to
beat down the truth. It isn't honest
business. Don't you see it isn't ? An
honest business don't require the telling


even of white lies; and I am afraid,
that, if you should take the pains to pull
this last remark of yours to pieces, and
to examine it closely, you would find
that it is a white lie, and not so very
white either.
Well, perhaps the lady buys' the
muslin, and perhaps she don't buy it.
If the man who is trying to trade with
her, understands what sort of a customer
he has got, very likely he asks her a
penny or two a yard more than he
expected to get, so that she could have a
chance to beat him down, and he could
have a chance to fall. Some merchants
have a trick of this kind, I understand,


which they practice upon such patrons as
Mrs. Beatwell, and justify themselves by
saying that it is the only way they can
get along with those folks, as they never
pretend to buy a penny's worth any-
where, without first going regularly
through with the beating down process.
Perhaps this gentleman is one of that
class. If so,- he will, no doubt, suffer
himself to be beaten down, and so Mrs.
Beatwell will trade with him; but it is
possible that Mr. Merchant has but one
price for his goods, in which case, of
course, he will not fall on the article,
and the lady will go to Mr. Bobbinet's,
or somewhere else.


There used to be a man in our town,
who understood exactly how to manage
such folks as Mrs. Beatwell. He was a
shrewd sort of a man-tolerably honest,
I believe, but a perfect master of all the
arts needed in trading with those cus-
tomers who belong to a race of people
sometimes called skin-flints. We will
allow this man, who was the principal
merchant in our village, to go by the
convenient name of Smith, for the pre-
sent, though I might as well tell you
that his real name was very differently
Mr. Smith had a great variety of
articles for sale. So had his neighbor


across the way, with whom he was on
the best of terms. These two were
the only merchants of which our little
village could boast.
An inventory of Mr. Smith's goods
would mIake some of you smile, I guess.
In the city, one man keeps dry goods,
another groceries, another hardware,
another crockery and glassware, another
drugs and medicines, and so on. In the
country, the case is very different, as
you would find by taking a bird's eye
glance at Mr. Smith's store. Indeed,
you would find out before you got into
the store, by just reading the sign, that
there was a good deal of variety in the


articles he kept for sale. I happen to
have an exact copy of the sign before
me. It reads thus, after giving the name
of the proprietor: Rum, brandy, gin,
wine cordials, tea, sugar, mackerel, her-
ring, corn, rye, oats, shorts, molasses,
dry goods, crockery ware, Lee's pills,
Hull's physic, hardware, saleratus, gin-
ger, tobacco, hams, butter, cheese ;
highest prices paid for all kinds of
country produce, sheep and calf skins
with the wool on; Post office.
Pray don't ask me to stop now, and
give a commentary on this sign. I
didn't paint the sign, and I didn't give
the order to have it painted. So you


can't reasonably ask me to make any
apology for the character of the articles
sold at that store, or for the way thby
were grouped together on the sign. Mr.
Smith sold rum, as you see, and all the
rest of the evil spirits belonging to that
class and order. Aye, and he sold those
articles pretty freely, too. People didn't
always get them for sickness then and
there, not by a good deal. Everybody-
almost everybody-drank a little in those
days, and many a man, candor compels
me to add, drank like a fish.
Mr. Smith, though a good man-quite
as good, I think, as the average, now-a-
days-had not got his eyes open in


relation to the matter of liquor-drinking
and liquor-selling. Nor was it strange.
Why, the best men in all that part of the
country-the deacons and the parson
himself-used ardent spirits habitually,
in some form or another. If Mr. Smith
was living now, I don't believe he would
sell Santa Croix rum, or anything of that
sort, and if our good minister was living
now, I hardly think he would drink that
kind of stuff. But Mr. Smith did sell it
then, and the parson did drink it then.
There is no use in mincing the. matter.
Still, as I said before, I don't consider
myself bound, inasmuch as I neither
painted the sign nor ordered the painting

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