FEEDING THE SWANS. PAGE 17
z-~ '~ r:
FOR BOYS AND GIRLS.
PRESBYTERIAN BOARD OF PUBLICATION,
NO. 821 CHESTNUT STREET.
I. The Secret, 5
II. Feeding the Swans, 17
III. Will Winslow, 22
IV. God's Little Child, 29
V. The Little Pilgrim, 41
VI. The Pearl Merchant, 59
VII. The Fkst Commandment with Promise. 66
VIII. Jem, the Sailor Boy, 74
IX. The Lighthouse-Keeper's Daughter, 84
X. Three Stains, 93
XI. Tell the Truth, 102
XII. Sophie's Victory, 115
XIII. The Two Dimes, 128
XIV. Selfishness and Kindness, 134
XV. Robert Douglas's Revenge, 143
XVI. The News Boy, 150
XVII. Always do Right, 159
XVIII. Lost and Found, 166
XIX. Afraid of the Dark, 176
XX. Faith, 184
XXI. Jack Miller, 190
XXII. The Child and the Infidel, 195
XXIII. Little Sins, 202
XXIV. The Law of Love, 206
XXV. The Little Travellers to the Land of
HERE, boys, are twenty shillings for each
of you," said Mr. Mitchell'to his twin sons,
Clarence and Edward, on a bright winter
morning, as they sat at breakfast. He handed
them each a gold piece. "I hear that you
are at the head of your classes in French and
Latin, and this is to express my satisfaction
at your progress. You are at liberty, of
course, to expend it as you please; but there
is an art in spending money. It may be done
selfishly, or disinterestedly; it may be pro-
ductive of happiness, or of bitter memories;
and though the sum be small, how to spend
it is worth learning."
"Tell us something about it, father," said
Clarence, after they had both thanked him
cordially. Which way do you think
"I would rather, my son, that you should
reflect upon the subject, and draw your own
conclusions. Watch for an opportunity to
do with it something which your heart ap-
proves. The love of money, you know, is
called 'the root of evil;' but money may
be made the source of good. Use it as you
The boys looked very thoughtful. They
wished that he would only say what he
thought best. Then they appealed to their
mother; but she approved of their father's
decision, to throw the responsibility on them-
selves, and call their own judgment into ex-
Some days afterward, as the two boys were
in their father's library, he said to them,
"You have not told me how you spent your
Edward drew his from his pocket. "There
it is, father. I have not spent it yet."
"And yours, Clarence ?"
"It has all gone, father."
"Indeed! and what have you to show for
"Nothing, sir." Clarence bent his head
modestly, but without shame; and there was
a manliness in his tone, which convinced his
father that all was right.
"Nothing! Well, that may be; but I will
venture to say, my boy has not made an un-
"I hope not, sir."
"If he had done wrong with it, he would
not be my Clarence," said the mother ten-
Clarence looked at her with an expression
of deep feeling, then went to her silently,
put his arms affectionately about her neck,
and laid his head upon her shoulder. When
he raised it again, a tear lay upon her robe.
"My darling boy,"-she embraced him
tenderly. "The secret is yours. You have
a right to it; and I am sure, it is an honour-
Thank you, mother," he whispered in her
ear. "Does father think so? Is he satis-
His mother repeated his question.
"To be sure, my son. I am satisfied.
Come here," and he threw his arms around
him, and laid his head upon his bosom. Fa-
ther will trust, where he has never had cause
Clarence could only once more whisper his
thanks. It was tenderness, not grief, that
caused his tears. He was a type of all that
is noble and generous in boyhood. Had he
been otherwise; had he expended his gift in
folly, or in vice, no reproaches that could
have been uttered, would have affected him,
or called him to bitter repentance, like the
confidence which was reposed in him, and the
tenderness which had just been manifested.
To prove himself worthy of that love and
confidence, would henceforth be his highest
earthly ambition. Oh! that all parents would,
but understand this! and appealing to the
higher nature, the nobler attributes of their
children, call them into exercise.
Edward wished from his heart, that his bro-
ther would reveal to him what he had done;
but there was a code of honour in that house-
hold, as there should be in every home, and
it was understood by all its members. Clar-
ence had shown by his silence that he did not
wish to be questioned. Yet no one for a mo-
ment doubted that he had made a right use
of his money.
And now, although Clarence supposes his
secret to be safe from all, but the eye of his
Father in heaven, we, who have followed him
unseen, and watched him through all, will re-
late it in confidence to our readers.
The day on which he received the gift was
bright, clear, and frosty. It was December,
and though the sun shone cloudlessly in the
blue heavens, it had no power upon the icicles
which fringed the iron railings, or fell from
the trees in showers of brilliant, splintered
and shivered by the wind. The air was
healthful and exhilarating to the well-clad;
but to the poor, unprotected child of want it
came too keenly. Clarence hurried on, with
his skates flung over his shoulder, to join a
skating-party. It was the vacation now. Ed-
die was to join them later. His hands were
thrust into his coat-pockets, and he pressed
on against the wind, when he felt his arm
seized from behind.
"Quick! Quick! Come quick!" said a
little bare-footed and bareheaded boy, seem-
ingly half frantic with grief and terror.
"I believe mother is dying. Do come
Clarence obeyed impulsively; while the
child clinging to his coat dragged him on.
The home, if such it could be called, was
not far distant; and the scene, which pre-
sented itself on his entrance, was awful in-
deed. A woman, surrounded by three or
four children screaming in terror, was lying
on her miserable bed, in frightful convulsions.
The foam was on her white lips, her clenched
hands seemed fixed in an immovable clasp,
and her aspect was altogether horrible.
"I will go for a doctor," said Clarence,
and remembering that he had seen a physi-
cian's house on his way, he ran with all speed
to summon him.
The doctor followed him immediately; and
while he was administering to the poor suf-
ferer, Clarence had time to observe the scene
around him. What misery was there! Never
had he seen or conceived anything of the
kind before. The poor mother had toiled,
until over-exertion and starvation had brought
her to her present state. The children were
thin and meagre, only half clad; and no fire
upon the hearth. When they saw his friendly,
earnest face-for children understand well a
look or tone of sympathy-they gathered
"Are you hungry?" he asked, in a low
"Yes, dreadful hungry."
"And cold too," he said; and with a heart
bleeding at the sight of such destitution and
misery, he hurried to a "restaurant" near
by. His gold-piece was now in requisition.
Thank God for its possession!
Hot rolls and hot coffee in abundance soon
drew the little famished creatures to a corner
of the hovel, where they satisfied their hunger
and hushed their cries.
For a full hour the agony of the poor mo-
ther lasted; then she lay motionless from
utter exhaustion, and finally fell into a pro-
found slumber. A portion of the gold-piece
yet remained, and Clarence tendered to the
doctor the usual fee. A smile stole over the
face of the wealthy doctor S-, (for it so
happened that one of the first physicians of
the city had, by chance, been summoned,)
but there was a tear in his eye, as he looked
at him earnestly.
God bless you! my noble little fellow,"
and he laid his hand upon his head. "No,
keep your money for other good deeds. But
tell me, who are you ?"
Clarence looked up at him and smiled, after
a moment's pause, Only my father's son,
Well, well; you choose to do your good
deeds under a veil, I see; any father should
be proud of such a son. I never saw you be-
fore; but I think that we shall meet again.
You have a heart, my boy, too large for that
manly little frame." He laid his hand kindly
upon his head; shook him warmly by the
hand, and disappeared.
Clarence went also, but returned in an
hour, bringing with him a pair of new shoes
for each of the two eldest children. These
exhausted the money he then had with him;
but his "charity-box" was at home, and on
that fund he determined to draw, in behalf
of the sufferers. While deliberating on what
they needed most, his good intentions
were forestalled by the appearance of the
doctor's carriage at the door; and the doctor
himself, springing out hastily, took from it
numerous packages of clothing, provisions,
&c., an ample supply for their present wants.
"Here," said he, to the eldest girl, a child
of six years, dress your brothers and sisters
in these clothes; and see if your little hands
cannot make the room comfortable."
The child's eyes brightened, for food had
strengthened, and his cheerful tone encour-
aged her. She was at once busily employed.
He smiled cordially as he discovered Clarence,
and said, "I told you that we should meet
He hastened away to other engagements;
but a supply of fuel came by his orders im-
mediately after, and Clarence remained to aid
the helpless children; nor did he leave
them, until he say them warmed and com-
The doctor visited the family daily, until
the poor and grateful widow was perfectly
restored, and able again to take care of her
little ones; then his wife provided employ-
ment for her, and she required no further
assistance. One more visit revealed all this
to Clarence; but he and the doctor never
Four weeks had passed. Clarence's good
deed was still his own secret, when his father
encountered Dr. S-
"Mr. Mitchell, what a noble specimen of
humanity you have in that young son of
yours! I congratulate you on being his
"Which one, doctor?"
"Why the dark hair, and the dark eyes.
He does not tell his name."
"What do you mean, doctor ? 'I hope that
he is not ashamed to own it."
Then he has not told you of his recent
encounter with me ?"
"Not a word."
"Is it possible? Let me tell you, you
have reason to be proud of that boy; he is a
noble little fellow, and God will place him
where he ought to be, in the ranks of true
greatness." Then he related to Mr. Mitchell
every circumstance of that day, connected
with Clarence, delicately withholding his own
part in the proceedings, which did not, how-
ever, remain long a secret.
With a full heart, overflowing with thank-
fulness to God for such a son, Mr. Mitchell
returned to his home that night, and related
all to his wife. As soon as Clarence came in
he took him by the hand. My son, I know
the history of the twenty shilling piece."
Clarence looked up in wonder. Dr. --
is an old friend, though we do not meet often.
He would not rest till he had traced you out;
and now, my boy, receive your father's bless-
ing." He bent down and kissed his forehead;
then he led him to his mother.
"There," said he, "take to your heart the
noblest son that God ever gave to a mother;
take him, and say, God bless him!"
She did fold him to her heart in silence;
the mother's feelings were too deep for words.
Edward came in. "My son, you have done
well in the purchase of your Bible; your bro-
ther has done well in the practice of its pre-
cepts. Emulate his noble example. I am
proud of both."
Mrs. Mitchell withdrew with Edward into
the library, and there related to him the
story. Scarcely had she concluded it, when
he rushed back, and threw himself, in tears,
upon his brother's neck. "Oh, Clarence!
I must be good, like you."
Clarence wept. Why, it is but little that
FEEDING THE SWANS.
I have done," he said; "I had everything
that I required; it was no sacrifice."
"But you lost the skating-party, Clarence;
and I know that you wanted a new riding-
whip; you said so, when father was giving us
lessons on Poney, in the vacation."
"No matter for that," said Clarence.
"My boy," said his father, "why did you
keep it so secret ? Did you not suppose that
we would all approve and commend it ?"
"Yes, father, but I remembered what you
read to us that morning:.' Take heed that ye
do not your alms before men, to be seen of
them; otherwise, ye have no reward of your
Father which is in heaven.' "
FEEDING THE SWANS.
A LITTLE island lay in the middle of a calm
lake. The water of that lake had not always
been calm; no, it had leaped and roared as
it dashed down the mountain's rugged face,
and then danced in the sunshine at its foot;
but now it slept as quietly as the young birds
in that large nest by its side. This nest, formed
of twigs and reeds, water-plants and long
grass, with a bed of nice soft feathers, was
the home of a family of young swans.
Not far from the lake, a little boy and girl,
called Edwin and Mary Leslie, lived with
their papa and mamma in a pretty country
house almost hidden among trees. Almost
every fine morning when lessons were over,
the children had a walk with their teacher,
who was no other than their own dear mamma;
and the wayside lessons taught them were not
less important than those which had just been
finished in the schoolroom.
Oh, mamma, it is ever so long since we
saw the swans," said Mary, as they passed
through the hall; "may we go down this
morning to the lake and look at them?"
"I am quite willing to go with you, Mary;
but run back for your little basket, and ask
Ellen to cut a piece of bread, that you and
FEEDING THE SWANS.
Edwin may feed them, if they are so good as
to come near us."
Basket and bread were soon found, and a
very few minutes' walking brought the little
party to the water's edge. The delight of
the children was great, when they saw their
old friend, the large white swan, which they
used to call Snowflake, sailing across the lake,
followed by two little cygnets, or young swans.
Edwin's rosy face grew brighter than ever, as
he grasped his mother's hand, crying, Who
ever saw such little beauties! I must have
one of them for my own, and Mary can have
the other. We shall carry them home, and
let them run about the garden."
Mary laughed at her brother's words and
said, Oh, Edwin you forget that the little
swans would not be happy in the garden; we
must leave them here, but we can come down
every day to see them, and bring them a little
bread. Look how glad Snowflake is to get
it. Beautiful Snowflake! I love you very
much. Shall we sit a little time under this
tree, mamma, and watch the swans?"
"I think Snowflake ought to thank us for
the bread," said Edwin, as he seated himself
on the grass by his mother's side; "if she
cannot talk she might sing us a song."
"There was a time," said Mrs. Leslie,
"when people believed that the swan was able
to sing, especially when it was dying; but,
as we now never have any specimen of its
musical talent, there is reason to suppose
that the accounts of its fine voice were only
fables. The tame swan is the most silent of
birds, and the wild one utters only harsh
Mamma, was there ever a black swan?"
"Yes, indeed, dear, though for hundreds
of years the finding of such a bird was not
thought -to be likely. Among the many
strange things discovered in Australia, the
black swan is not the least interesting. -It is
much smaller than its European cousin, and
of quite a jet hue, except a few of its quill
feathers, which are white. There were some
laws made about swans in England long ago.
FEEDING THE SWANS.
At one time they were highly valued as food,
and a man was sent to prison for a year and
a day, with such a fine as the king thought
fit, if he were found stealing one of its eggs."
"I am glad that swans are not eaten in
England now," cried Edwin; "how sad it
would be to kill our beautiful Snowflake!
But, mamma, do not swans live a long time?"
"I have read of some which lived thirty,
or even forty years, and I know that our old
friend here sailed about the lake many a day
before my little boy was born."
"Just look, mamma," cried Mary, "what
care that good bird takes of the little cyg-
nets; see, she is leading them back to the
island. How kind she is to them !"
"Yes, dear, and the tenderness planted by
God in the breast of that parent bird is only
a faint shadow of his own great love to his
children. Oh, what good things he has laid
up for them-blessings in providence and
blessings in grace! But see, papa is coming
down the walk to call us; take your hoop,
Edwin, and run to meet him."
Shame on you, Will!" said Charles Mans-
field, "to laugh at her misfortunes! I heard
my grandmother say, that she became a crip-
ple by lifting her idiot son, and tending him
night and day."
"I don't care what made her so," said
Will, "but I wouldn't stay in the world if I
was such a looking thing as that. Do look !"
"Shame! shame on you!" said Charles,
and Shame! Shame !" echoed from each of
the boys present. "You may get your own
back broken one of these days-who knows ?"
To show their sympathy, several of them
sprang forward to aid the poor woman; but
Charles Mansfield, the oldest, and always an
example of nobleness and generosity, was the
first. Let me get the water for you, ma'am,"
and he gently took the bucket from her
Her voice was tremulous and tearful, as
she said, "Thank you, my dear boy. God
grant that you may never suffer from such
"If I should," said Charles, kindly, "it
WILL WINSLOW was the worst boy in the
village; his father's indulgence had spoiled
him. "Don't check the boy," he would say
to his mother, "you will crush all the man-
hood in him." And so he grew up the terror
of the neighbours. The old, the infirm, and
the crippled, were the special objects of his
vicious merriment. One poor woman, bent
by age and infirmities, he assailed with his
ridicule, as she daily went out upon her crutch,
to draw water from the well near her house,
and just within the play-ground of the school-
house. "Only look at her," he would say,
"isn't she the letter S now, with an extra
crook in it?" and his cruel laugh, as he fol-
lowed closely behind, mocking and mimicking
her, called forth from her no rebuke. One
day, however, she turned, and looking at him
reproachfully, said, "Go home, child, and
read the story of Elisha and the two bears
out of the wood."
would be the duty, and it ought to be the
pleasure of young people to assist me. One
of us will bring you water every day, so you
need not come for it." "Yes, so we will,"
was echoed from lip to lip.
"God bless you! God bless you all!"
She wiped away her tears, and entered her
poor and lonely home.
Will Winslow was reported to the master,
and was sentenced to study during the usual
recess for a week to come. The punishment
was hard, for he loved play better than his
books; but how slight, in comparison with
the retribution which awaited him.
It was the second day of his confinement,
and he sat near the open window, watching
the sports of the boys in the play-ground.
Suddenly-when the master was absorbed in
his occupations, he leaped into the midst of
them, with a shout at his achievement. "Now
let him punish me again, if he can!" and he
ran backward, throwing up his arms, and
shouting in defiance, when-his voice suddenly
ceased; there was a heavy plunge, and a hor-
rible groan broke on the ears of his bewil-
Now it so happened, that the well, of which
we have before spoken, was undergoing re-
pairs, and the workmen were then at a dis-
tance, collecting their materials. Carelessly
the well was left uncovered, and at the very
moment of his triumph, Will Winslow was
precipitated backward into the opening. A
cry of horror burst from the assembled boys,
who rushed to the spot, and Charles Mans-
field, the bravest of them all, was the first to
seize the well-rope, tie it around his waist and
descend to the rescue. The well was deep;
fortunately, however, the water at the time
was mostly exhausted, but Will lay motion-
less at the bottom. Carefully he lifted him,
and with one arm around his apparently life-
less form, and the other upon the rope, he
gave the signal, and was slowly drawn to the
top. The livid face of the wicked boy filled
his companions with a supernatural horror;
and in perfect silence, they bore him to the
house of the poor woman, which was close at
hand. She had witnessed the accident from
her window, and upon her crutch hastened to
meet them. And now Will Winslow was in
the humble home, and upon the lowly bed of
her whom he had assailed with cruelty and
scorn; and faithfully she obeyed the com-
mandment of Him who said: "Do good to
them that hate you, and pray for them which
despitefully use you and persecute you."
Silently her prayers ascended to God for the
sufferer. Her little vials of camphor and
other restoratives, provided by charitable
neighbours, were emptied for his relief. She
took from her scanty store bandages for his
head, which was shockingly mangled and
bleeding; and she herself, forgetful of all but
his sufferings, sat down and tenderly bathed
his hands and his forehead, while some of the
boys ran for a surgeon, and others for the
master. The injury to the head was sup-
posed to be the only one he had sustained;
and after the surgeon had done his work, the
poor boy was borne away on a litter, to his
home, still insensible, and surrounded by his
companions mute with emotion. That day
was destined to make an impression upon the
school, its master, and all who heard of the
awful catastrophe, so manifestly was it a
judgment from God.
A few hours later, and groups of boys col-
lected in the play-ground. Their conversa-
tion was in whispers; horror sat upon every
face; all were pale and awe-stricken. Charles
Mansfield approached. "How is poor Will,
now? have any of you heard?"
"Oh! Charlie," several exclaimed at once,
as they gathered around him.
Oh! don't you know? haven't you heard?
Why he has opened his eyes and is able to
speak, but his back is broken."
Charles clasped his hands, lifted them high
in the air and uttered not a word, but burst
into tears. For a few minutes he yielded to
his emotion, and then, still pale and grief-
stricken, but with a manly voice, he said to
"Boys, shall we ever forget the lesson of
And Will,-words would be feeble to por-
tray his agony of body and mind, as he lay
for long months upon his bed of suffering, but
when he arose therefrom, with a feeble and
distorted body, and a scar like the mark of
Cain upon his forehead, he was changed in
heart also, crushed in spirit, humble and con-
trite. Repentance had had its perfect work,
and when he became convalescent and his
school-mates came to congratulate him on his
recovery, he threw his arms around the neck
of each, and burst into tears, but could
not speak, except to whisper, "Forgive-for-
At his request the poor woman became the
tenant, rent free, of a cottage belonging to
his father; and his mother constantly admin-
istered to her wants. As soon as he could do
so, he wrote to her, humbly pleading for for-
giveness; and in return she gave to him her
blessing. From this time, one half of his
ample quarterly allowance was bestowed upon
her; he visited her in her loneliness, and at
last made his peace with God, declaring his
" GOD'S LITTLE CHILD."
punishment just-henceforth to be a cripple
and a hunchback !
Youthful readers, let the history of Will
Winslow impress your hearts. Revere the
aged, whether they be in poverty or affluence,
and feel it a privilege to administer to them
in their infirmities, as they have done to you,
in the weakness and helplessness of infancy.
It is the only recompense which youth can
make to age, and God will bless the youthful
heart which bows down in reverence before
the hoary head.
"GOD'S LITTLE CHILD."
THE day was just breaking, when the post-
coach from Strasburg drove into Paris, and
the passengers, yawning and stretching, ex-
pressed their joy in different ways. "Well,"
said one man, "Paris at last !"
"Is this Paris?" asked a sweet little voice
from one corner. Every one turned to look,
and there sat a pretty little creature of six
years old, with a bright, fresh face, soft blue
eyes, and golden curls clustering about her
What a dear little creature!" What a
pretty child!" "What a little angel!" Such
were their delighted exclamations.
Are you all alone, little one ?" asked one.
"Yes, all alone," replied the child, with a
bright smile. In Strasburg mamma took
me to the stage-house, and the conductor pro-
mised to take me safely to Paris. And he
has kept his word, for here I am. Mamma
said God would take care of me, for I'm his
child, you see; she gave me to him as soon
as ever I was born."
In a few moments every one was busy with
his own affairs, and forgot the child. The
conductor placed her on one side, and told
her to wait patiently until he got through,
and then he would take her to her uncle.
She obeyed, and waited until the last pas-
senger was gone. Then the man came to-
wards her and said, "Now, little one, let's
"GOD'S LITTLE CHILD."
have the letter. I have just had orders to go
on with another coach to Lyons; so I can't
go with you to your uncle; but I will give you
to a kind, trustworthy man. So, the letter;
quick, the letter !"
"Oh! yes; here it is!" and she put her
hand in her pocket, then drew it out, and
looked confounded. "It's gone! I put it
here last night, and it's gone It must have
fallen on the floor of the coach!"
"You don't mean that!" said the man;
" and the coach is half way back to Stras-
burg by this time. But tell me your uncle's
name; I have but five minutes; indeed, there
comes my coach now Quick-your uncle's
"I don't know it," said the child; "it was
on the letter, but that's lost !"
All this time the coach was approaching.
It distressed the man to leave a child like that
alone in Paris; but he said his situation de-
pended on his going; he dared not even de-
tain the vehicle two minutes. God help
you, poor little one!" he murmured, sprang
into the coach, and rattled off. The child im-
plored him wildly not to leave her alone, but
he dared not stay.
Sitting down again upon the bench, she
cried at first bitterly; but suddenly a new
thought entered her mind. "I will go back
to mamma," said she, and getting up, she
went up to a person whom, by his uniform,
she knew to be the superintendent of the line.
"If you please, sir," said she, I want to
go to Strasburg; will you ask some of the
conductors to take me ?"
You to Strasburg? What for, you little
monkey ?" was the reply.
"I want to go back to mamma, sir, if you
please. Do let one of them take me."
"Very well, but I suppose you have
Oh, yes, two francs ;" and the child looked
quite delighted. I shan't want to eat and
drink more than that will buy."
"You little fool, I mean to pay your pas-
sage. Is two francs all you've got ?"
Not a bit more, sir; but do let them take
"GOD'S LITTLE CHILD."
me; I won't take up a bit of room. I'll
squeeze away in the corner, or I'll creep under
the seat; only take me back to mamma!"
With a harsh voice and brutal words the
man drove the trembling child from the place,
and bade her "go off."
"I don't know where to go," said she; "I
don't know any one in Paris, and mamma's
in Strasburg," and she sat down again and
"None of your howling there, I tell you!
Go along and beg, if you can't do anything
else," and again he drove her off. The poor
child walked away, she neither knew nor
cared where; she was only thinking how to
get back to Strasburg. At last, overcome
with hunger and fatigue, she sat down on a
stone and began to cry bitterly. The streets
were full of people, and all who passed looked
round at her, but no one spoke to her, until
there came by a boy of about twelve years
old, leading a donkey, to which was fastened
a wagon loaded with coal.
"Coals! coals! very cheap!" cried the lit-
tie merchant; then, seeing the weeping child,
he stopped, and demanded what was the
In a few simple words she told her story.
"So, you see," said she, "since I can't
find my uncle, I must go back to Strasburg."
"Tell me your uncle's name, dear. I'll
find him for you," said the boy.
"Oh! if I only knew it myself. It was on
the letter, but that's lost. I wish God would
take care of me, as mamma said he would, for
I'm his little child!" and she sobbed afresh.
Don't cry, little girl. Tell me what your
My name's Madeleine," said the child,
" and mamma lives in Strasburg. Oh! I wish
I had stayed with her and not come to Paris !"
"Madeleine is a very pretty name," said
the boy. Mine's Pierre, and my mamma is
called Madame Thierry. But come home
with me; she is very, very good, and will
take care of you, and we'll send back to
Strasburg for another letter."
Delighted at this idea, little Madeleine
"GOD'S LITTLE CHILD."
dried her tears, and gladly allowed Pierre to
lift her up on the top of the load of coal,
over which he first spread his coat, and, chat-
ting merrily, they soon reached the humble
cottage of Madame Thierry.
The kind woman gladly undertook the care
of the little stranger, and the next day Pierre
went to the stage-office to meet the Strasburg
coach and ask about the letter. The driver
did not know the child's mother. The con-
ductor did, but had not yet returned from
Lyons; so they must wait.
Meantime, one day there came a terrible
storm; even Pierre could not go abroad; it
was fearful. To while away the time, the
children got around Madame Thierry, and
begged from her a story of "old times," as
they called it.
"Well," said she, "I'll tell you one that
troubles me yet. Now listen:
"You have heard of the dreadful times
called 'the Revolution.' Some unkind actions
of the King and his nobles to the people made
them wry angry, and some wicked men took
advantage of it. They told them that kings
had no more right to be rich than they had,
and persuaded them that it would be a most
excellent thing to kill all who were rich, and
share their money among those who were not.
By this kind of talk they worked upon them
to such an extent that the people acted as if
they were crazy, and imprisoned and killed
every rich man they could find-the good as
well as the bad. Now, at this time I was
living as nursery-maid with a fine old noble-
man, the Count St. Foie. His family was a
wife and one little daughter-both as sweet
and lovely as they could be. They were all
always doing good, and a poor man, whom
they had greatly helped, gave them notice of
the outbreak in time to enable them to send
away to a safe place a great deal of their
"The Count and Countess, however, were
both afterwards taken and killed, and their
last words to me were: 'Jenny, save Marion!'
"Marion was their little daughter, then
twelve years old. Her governess, at the first
"GOD'S LITTLE CHILD."
alarm, had thrown into a valise some of the
child's clothes, and all the money and jewels
she could find. With these I succeeded in
getting away with her to the poor man's hut
-the one who had given notice to the Count
-and *ere we disguised ourselves before
going farther. Then we made our way to
the river, where Thomas, to whom I was soon
to be married, was waiting with a boat. I
got her to Lyons, and put her in the care of
a former housekeeper of the Count's, and one
I knew to be devoted to him. There I left
her, and went back to see if I could save any-
"Dreadful, dreadful sights did I see there!
But at last things became quiet, and matters
had been going on smoothly for some years,
when one day I had a call from a visitor. An
elegant-looking officer came to see me, (I was
nursing Pierre then,) and said he was the
Count Narbonne, the young brother of Ma-
rion's mother, and when the Revolution broke
out had been in Spain. Here he had been
so fortunate as to do the king many services,
and he, in return, had not only richly re-
warded him, but obliged the French Govern-
ment to give him back the property the Re-
volutionists had taken from the family. He
was only just come home, and wished to find
his sister's child. 4
"I told him where I had left her, and he
went to see about her; but all he could learn
was that she had married a young officer, the
orphan son of one of the Count's old friends.
He stood high in the German army, but was
not rich, and had taken her to Germany,
where his regiment was. Since that the old
woman said she had heard that the young
officer had been killed, and that Marion
and a little daughter were living in Stras-
"The Count went there, but could not find
her; then he came here, and left word where
I should send to him if I heard more of her.
But I have never heard a word," said the
worthy woman, with tears in her eyes. "Dear
Miss Marion, how I would love to see her and
her little one! Her uncle comes every now
"GOD'S LITTLE CHILD."
and then to ask, and has all her property
safe for her; but- "
Here she was interrupted by a faint knock
at the door. She rose in haste to open it,
and a young but miserable woman, drenched
with the storm and exhausted by hunger and
fatigue, fell, fainting, across the door. Gently
lifting and taking her towards the fire, she
opened her eyes and spoke, and the next mo-
ment, with a shriek of joy, little Madeleine
was hanging round her neck. It was her
mother! The sight and voice of the child
revived her even more than the warmth and
shelter. When she had eaten and been
strengthened by a glass of warm tea, she told
the story of her fears and sufferings. She
had gone to the coach-office to inquire if her
child had reached Paris safely, and while
there, the letter was found in the coach. A
passenger by another coach told, in her hear-
ing, of the brutal conduct of the superinten-
dent to a beautiful child who seemed alone
and friendless, and from his description she
knew at once that it was Madeleine.
Without a cent in the world, or the means
of getting one, (for she had sold her last ring
to pay her child's passage-money,) she set out
on foot. After getting to Paris and finding
no tidings of the child at the office, she walked
on, inquiring of all she met for her; but in
vain. At last, overcome by want and fatigue,
and unable any longer to breast the storm,
she lay down to die, and was praying for her
child, when a woman, in passing, stopped and
spoke to her. From her she learned that
Madame Thierry had taken in a little stranger,
and hope gave her strength to go a little
After resting, she began to tell the good
woman the story of her life; but hardly had
she said a dozen words, when her hostess
jumped up, exclaiming: "Miss Marion! dear,
dear Miss Marion !" It was indeed Marion,
and, leaving them together, Pierre slipped
out, and soon returned with the Count de
The rest may be imagined. Restored to
wealth, Jenny and her son were placed in im-
THE LITTLE PILGRIM.
portant situations in their household, and
always treated as old and dear friends. Lit-
tle Madeleine often whispered, when she felt
uncommonly happy; Mamma, I'm so glad
I was God's little child! Hasn't he taken
good care of me?"
THE LITTLE PILGRIM.
THE only youthful inmate of a large, old
fashioned house, in an ancient town, in the
very centre of Old England, was Maria
Walker. She lived with her grandmother
and two maiden aunts, whom she would have
called very old indeed, though they by no
means were of the same opinion.
She was, however, a very happy child,
though she durst not make any noise except
in her own play-room at the top of the house.
Of course she had her troubles like all other
little girls, even those whose voices are never
checked; and she used to get into sad scrapes
sometimes; but then she used to get out of
them, and she was neither perplexed by re-
grets for the past nor fears for the future.
The very first serious difficulty Maria could
recollect finding herself in, occurred one day
when grandmother and both aunts were gone
out to dinner; an event of very rare occur-
rence, and of momentous interest in the family.
Both aunts had some scruples about the pro-
priety of leaving Maria so very long alone,
for company dinners at Oldtown were cele-
brated at two o'clock ; but as neither of them
seemed for a moment to contemplate the pos-
sibility of staying at home to take care of her,
their anxieties assumed the form of strict
injunctions to Mrs. Martha, the housekeeper,
on no account to let her go out of her sight.
Maria was in general a very good little
girl, and if she had been allowed to have her
childish curiosity reasonably gratified, the
desire that filled her mind would have had no
place there. But Aunt Charlotte so invari-
ably insisted that little girls were never al-
TIE LITTLE PILGRIM.
lowed to ask questions, for that when they
grew up they would know everything that
was good for them to know; and she had very
recently smarted so severely under the laugh-
ter of her aunts, when she had asked if rivers
had teeth as well as mouths, that she resolved
she would ask no questions, but try to find out
for herself what at present she so much wished
Maria's education had been far from ne-
glected. She could read very well-had be-
gun to learn to write, and had received les-
sons in geography and history, though, from
the dry, tedious manner in which they were
administered, her ideas of time and space
were very confused. She had formed a theory
of her own, that all celebrated persons of dif-
ferent countries, whose names began with the
same sound, were cotemporaries ; that, for in-
stance, Queen Anne and Hannibal, Queen
Mary and Marius, Brutus and Bruce the
traveller, might have known each other if
they had but lived near enough. Her ideas
of geography were not much less vague, as
may be inferred from the fact, that she be-
lieved certain mounds in the churchyard to
be really what Mrs. Martha asserted them to
be, the graves of the infants slaughtered by
Herod. Her grandmother told all her friends
what very great pains she took to give Maria
good principles. Her lectures on these points
might all be reduced to four heads, namely:
to put everything in its proper place, to do
everything in its proper time, to be genteel,
and hate the French.
It will not be surprising that, with such
training, the perusal of the Pilgrim's Pro-
gress, a copy of which had recently been pre-
sented to her, gave an entirely new bias to
her thoughts. Sorely puzzled was she to
guess how much of it might be true, when,
one day, as they were riding out in the car-
riage, she saw at a little distance from the
road a very handsome house. On some one
asking the name of it, she did not hear the
answer distinctly, but was quite sure she
heard the word Beautiful, and as they im-
mediately began to descend a hill, she at once
THE LITTLE PILGRIM.
concluded that it was the palace Beautiful,
and that the hill was the hill Difficulty. One
great point was now ascertained, that there
were really such places; but she began to
be sorely distressed when it occurred to her
that they were travelling in the wrong direc-
tion from what they ought to be going.
Oldtown was a place where fewer changes
occurred than in more populous and modern
places, and Maria scarcely recollected ever to
have heard of any one's leaving it. Certainly
she had never heard of any one going on a
pilgrimage; and she wondered very much how
her aunts, who had told her the Pilgrim's
Progress was so very good a book, should
have read it without thinking it necessary to
take the advice it conveyed.
The rector of the parish happened to call
the very next day at Mrs. Walker's, and as
he was going away, inquired so kindly after
the little girl, that she was called in from the
garden to see him. He asked what book it
was she was reading, and when she said it
was the Pilgrim's Progress, he stroked her
head, and said he hoped she would not delay
setting out on her pilgrimage till she was as
old as Christian, adding that a youthful pil-
grim was the most interesting object he knew.
This last observation was addressed to her
aunts, who assented to it, as they did to
everything Mr. Roberts said, and it confirmed
the resolution Maria had already taken, of
setting out alone. The day she fixed upon
was the one in which her grandmother and
aunts went to the dinner party.
The housekeeper suffered her to amuse her-
self in the garden, while she entertained some
friends. She thus slipped away unperceived.
She was soon missed, and Mrs. Martha and
her guests spent the afternoon in the greatest
distress, searching all over the fields and for-
ests in the neighbourhood. When the ladies
came home, they were terribly alarmed for
poor Maria. They blamed the housekeeper,
reflected on their own imprudence, and mourned
over the poor girl's rashness. A boy soon
brought a little shoe which had belonged to
Maria, but he could not tell where it was
THE LITTLE PILGRIM.
found. Many tears were shed over it that
night, which was a time of mourning for the
poor lost girl.
But it is time that we should return to
Maria. When she made up her mind to set
out, it was a distressing thought to her that
she knew not the direction in which to turn
for the purpose of finding the path which she
was to pursue, and she was determined to ask
no one by the way, for fear of encountering
Mr. Worldly Wiseman. The road by which
they came in the carriage, she knew, did not
bring them through the Wicket Gate. She
concluded, therefore, that there must be some
different route through the fields to the foot
of the hill Difficulty, which she could distinctly
see from the garden; so she resolved to make
her way through the fields for the chance of
finding it; but should she not succeed in get-
ting there by the right path, she would at any
rate get there; and when she reached the
porter's lodge, at the gate of the palace, she
would there ask them to take her back to the
beginning of the path, which she was sure
some of them would do. She set out, then,
expecting every moment to hear her name
called from behind her; for she remem-
bered that Christian's friends were clamorous
that he should return, and she naturally sup-
posed hers might be so too; but she was
firmly resolved to pursue the same course that
he did, and put her fingers in her ears, that
she might not hear.
She had her misgivings, certainly, as to
the propriety of leaving home, but then she
thought Mr. Roberts had so distinctly recom-
mended her journey, that her aunts could not
blame her very much, particularly as it had
not escaped her observation how cordially
they had agreed with him as to the necessity
of it; and they had so often on a Sunday
evening exhorted her to do, during the week,
all that Mr. Roberts had enforced in his ser-
mons, that she thought, or tried to think, that
for once they would have no cause to com-
plain. She scrambled over or through seve-
ral hedges, without seeing anything at all like
a path through the fields; she still fancied
THE LITTLE PILGRIM.
she was gaining upon the hill, and she thought
if she reached the palace they would allow
her to sleep there, although she had not come
in by the Wicket Gate, since she really wished
to go through it; and she amused herself by
wondering whether she should sleep in the
same room where Christian had slept, and
whether they would give her any armour, or
whether it was only worn by men pilgrims.
She was interrupted in her reverie by see-
ing a number of cows running, as she feared,
towards her; so she began to run too, and it
was not till she had climbed the gate into the
next field that she missed one of her shoes,
which had fallen off in her rapid flight-that
same shoe which caused so much lamentation
at home. She durst not go back to look for
it, as a dog was still chasing the cows; but
she thought she could manage to walk without
it, as the grass was so very soft, and she was
sure either Prudence, Piety, or Charity would
give her a new one.
At last she reached the high road, and be-
gan to ascend the hill. By this time she was
very tired, very sleepy, and very hungry; but
she remembered Christian had felt sleepy here
also; and she resolved, however tired, not to
sleep in the arbour, for which, however, she
looked in vain, and concluded it had been
pulled down; she could not help feeling very
glad of it, as with her tired little limbs it cer-
tainly would have been very difficult to resist
She was very much shocked to see how
many people were coming down the hill, and
that no one but herself was ascending it. At
length she saw two tall, big men, apparently
running a race down, and her little heart beat
more rapidly as she thought how very awful
the lions must look; for if these were not
Timorous and Mistrust themselves, she did
not for a moment doubt that they were terri-
fied in the same manner.
She had not seen any lions the day they
passed in the carriage, and she had sometimes
almost ventured to hope that they no longer
existed; but how the poor little thing trem-
bled when, on reaching the bend of the road,
THE LITTLE PILGRIM.
where it swept off to the lodge she had before
seen, there appeared, reposing under the shade
of two fine beech trees, two enormous lions!
Maria was no great naturalist, or she would
have perceived at once tha they were made
of stone; but she never for a moment doubted
that they were really the lions! She stood
gazing and trembling for some time, continu-
ally repeating, The lions were chained, but
he saw not the chains;" and then, summoning
up all her courage, she ran swiftly between
them, passed through the gate, and knocked
with all her might at the door of the lodge.
It was opened by a tall, good-looking man;
and Maria, awestruck at beholding at length
one of the individuals of whom she had
thought so much, dropped a courtesy, and
said, "If you please, sir, are you Watchful?"
"Why, Miss, as to that," said the man,
smiling good-humouredly, "I hopes I be;
what did you please to want ?"
"I want Discretion, if you please, sir,"
"I say, Miss," said the man, looking over
his shoulder at his wife, "Didst ever hear
the like of that?-here's a little maiden says
as how she wants discretion. Well, I've seed
many a one as wanted it afore, but never one
as owned to it."
A sharp-featured, vinegar-looking woman
now appeared, looking very unlike anything
Maria expected to see so near the house
So you want discretion, Miss, do you?
Well, I wonder if there's anything else you
"I thought," said Maria, trying to feel
brave, "I might be allowed to sleep either
here or at the palace."
A private conversation now took place be-
tween the husband and wife, in which it was
agreed that he should take Maria to the
quality at the great house, as may be they
would make something of her. Maria felt
very proud when she found herself with her
hand in that of Mr. Watchful, and actually
on the way to the palace. Her guide left her
outside, while he asked to speak to Mrs.
THE LITTLE PILGRIM.
Adams, to whom he said that the little lady's
intellects seemed all of a heap together, it
was such a queer thing to hear a child like
her talk of want of discretion, though no
doubt it was all very true.
Mrs. Adams told him to get a horse ready,
that she might send him off to the friends of
the little girl, as soon as she could ascertain
who they were; and she came and led Maria
by the hand into the drawing-room so ten-
derly, and looked so very kindly, that Maria
began to feel quite re-assured.
She was delighted to see three young la-
dies in the room, who, of course, were Piety,
Prudence, and Charity. Mrs. Adams, as soon
as she had given her a large slice of bread
and butter, and some new milk, said, "Now,
my dear, you'll tell us what your name is,
and who your papa and mamma are."
My name, ma'am, is Maria Walker, but
I never had either a papa or mamma," replied
Maria, with the utmost simplicity.
"And where do you live, dear?"
"At Oldtown, with my grandmother."
"And where were you going, my love?"
"I did not want to go farther than this
house to-night. I always intended to sleep
"And does any one know you were coming
"No, ma'am. No one knew exactly that
I meant to come to-day; but our clergy-
man, Mr. Roberts, strongly advised me to
come, and he said I could not set out too
"And what was your object in coming,
"I wished to set an example to all the peo-
ple in Oldtown," was the answer; and both
Mrs. Adams and her daughters were quite at
a loss what to think of their little visitor.
Maria, however, had gained so much cour-
age, that she thought she might venture to
ask a few questions, and she began with,
"Do many children come here, ma'am?"
"Yes, sometimes we have children here.
We're all very fond of them, when they are
THE LITTLE PILGRIM.
"And have you got any armour for little
This was almost too much for the gravity
of Mrs. Adams, but determined not to let her
see how much she was amused, she deter-
mined rather to encourage her in asking any
questions she pleased, hoping by that means
to obtain a clue to the very extraordinary
state in which her mind seemed to be.
"Oh no!" she said; "but why do you want
"I was afraid you had not," said Maria;
and then looking very serious, "Please, ma'am,
tell me is this house very near the Valley of
the Shadow of Death?"
My poor little child!" said Mrs. Adams,
drawing her close to her and kissing her,
"that none of us can tell; it iay be nearer
than we think."
"But you won't send me there to-night,
will you?" and the child half cried as she
asked the question, "You'll let me stay and
"Yes, you shall, dear little wanderer, and
I think you must need sleep very much, for
you look tired, and your little hand is very
"I suppose nobody ever comes back here
that's been through the Valley," continued
the child, almost as if thinking aloud.
This touched a chord in every bosom pres-
ent, that thrilled through them, for their
mourning was yet new for one very dear to
them, who had been suddenly hurried through
that valley of which Maria spoke.
"I think, ma'am," said she, "it would be
a terrible thing for a little girl like me to go
there alone without any armour. Oh, please
let Piety go with me-O pray do!" said the
child, wondering what she possibly could have
said that made them all cry so.
At this moment the porter arrived, to say
he was ready, and Mrs. Adams desired him to
tell Mrs. Walker her little Maria was safe,
but very tired, and she would either take her
home in the morning, or would be very happy
to see the ladies if they liked to come and
THE LITTLE PILGRIM.
"I don't want to go home," said Maria;
"I only want to go back as far as the Wicket
Gate, that I may begin at the beginning."
Oh, now I see it all!" exclaimed she whom
Maria was sure must be Charity ; "you dear,
delightful little creature, you've been reading
the Pilgrim's Progress till your little head
is turned, as I'm sure mine would have been
at your age, if I had not had a good mamma
to explain all to me; and as you never had a
mamma, how could you know anything about
A few judicious questions now drew forth
from Maria the whole story of her pilgrimage,
and when her aunts arrived, before breakfast
the next morning, they were quite surprised
to find her looking so well, and happy, and
rational, as they had been very much fright-
ened by Mr. Watchful's account of what he
called her light-mindedness and want of dis-
Mrs. Adams begged she might be allowed
to stay a few days with them; and before the
time came for her departure, the beautiful al-
58 LITTLE GEMS.
legory which had so much perplexed her, was
made so very plain, that she thought she
must have been extremely stupid not to have
found out the meaning for herself.
My young readers will, I am sure, be glad
to hear that Maria, who has now little girls
of her own, has long since found the true
Wicket Gate, and is anxious to show to
others the privilege of being permitted to en-
ter it. Few, in the present day, have not
greater advantages than she had; and if any
are induced to ask themselves the question,
whether with superior instruction, they are
equally in earnest to obtain, in the days of
health, Piety for their companion through that
dark valley, which, sooner or later, all must
tread, my story will not have been written in
THE PEARL MERCHANT.
THE PEARL MERCHANT.
IT was a beautiful evening in a little town
on the shores of the Red Sea. The setting
sun lighted up the clay-houses, and the even-
ing breeze fanned the turbans and the long
flowing robes of the people who had come to
the shore to refresh themselves after the toils
of the day. Just as the disk of the sun
touched the horizon, they saw a long train of
camels approaching. Men were riding on
some of them in little carriages, or on richly
embroidered saddles. Others carried on their
backs large bundles, and the cloths thrown
over them almost touched the ground. There
were men walking beside the camels leading
them, and a troop of horsemen on their white
Arab steeds were galloping round the train.
It was a caravan.
The people were glad to see this sight; for
this town was a noted place for pearls, and
the people who were riding on the camels
were coming to buy their pearls. So they in-
vited the merchants to their houses, andcthe
rest of the caravan went to the inn. There
were no rooms there: it was simply a large
empty shed. But they unloaded their camels
and gave them their supper; and then they
spread their own mats on the floor and lay
down to sleep.
The next morning the little town was in
a great commotion. Every one who had any
pearls to sell took them to the market-place.
There they sat down on the ground, spread
their mats before them, and laid out their
oyster shells upon the mats. For pearls, as
you know, are found in oyster-shells; and
they would not open the shells, but sold them
to the merchants as they were.
The merchants soon arrived, and then the
business began. They went round to each
seller and examined his shells. They took
up one shell after another and held it up to
the light, and tried to open it and peep in-
side, and looked at the marks outside; and,
if they liked it, they sat down and bargained
for it. And thus the work went on.
THE PEARL MERCHANT.
There was one among the merchants who
made no purchases. He had been with the
caravan; but throughout the whole journey
he had spent nothing, and when they asked
him what he would buy, he said that he was
in search of a valuable pearl. This day he
walked about from place to place, taking up
a few shells occasionally, and putting them
down again with a melancholy look.
At last he. came to one man who was sit-
ting among the rest. He took up one of his
shells in his hand to look at it. As he looked
at it his face brightened, till at length he
clasped his hands, and lifted up his eyes to
heaven. He had found what he was search-
"What is the price of this shell,?" he said,
to the owner.
"This shell," replied the owner, "is be-
yond all price. Nothing but esteem for thee
could induce me to part with it. But out of
love to thee, I will let thee have it for two
"I will pay that sum," said the other.
The bystanders were astonished. They
had never known such a sum given for a pearl
shell before. But he was in earnest; and
witnesses were called to prevent any mistake.
That same day the merchant sold all his
goods. All the jewels which he had brought
for the purpose of his business, and all his
beautiful clothes, and even his camel, were
sold; so that nothing was left to him. In
the evening he came back to the owner of the
pearl and counted out the sum, and then,
after carefully examining the shell, he took it
away with him to the inn. All the town was
in wonder; some said he was a magician, but
others shook their heads, and said that he
The caravan soon started on their journey
home, and with them the poor merchant. He
had no camel to ride, and hardly any food to
eat. He was forced to walk all the way;
and he would have perished with hunger if it
had not been for the kindness of some of his
fellow-travellers, who took pity upon him.
He got many hard words, and many blows;
THE PEARL MERCHANT.
but still-he was cheerful and contented, for
he could think of nothing but his pearl.
At length the caravan reached the great
city where the king lived; and the merchants
began to prepare the merchandise. But many
of them were sadly disappointed. Some found
that their shells, which they had carried all
the way from the sea-coast, were empty.
Others found' that the pearls which, when
they first came out of their shells, were pure
white, had turned yellow, and were of little
But the merchant who had sold everything
that he had to buy his pearl, came forth with
joy from the trial. This pearl was pure
white. There was not a spot upon it. It
was perfectly round, and larger than any that
had ever been seen. The despised merchant
was now the first man in the city. He sold
his pearl to the king for an immense sum,
and became a rich man. Those who had ill-
treated him were glad to beg his favour, and
he did not forget those who had been kind to
him. And for years afterwards the merchant
and his valuable pearl were remembered and
We are all seeking for a pearl; and that
pearl is happiness. Some seek it in riches.
They give themselves no rest. They sit up
late at night, and they rise up early in the
morning, in order to get rich, and sometimes
they succeed. But often riches take to them-
selves wings and flee away; and if not, they
die and leave their riches. Their pearl shell
Others again seek their happiness in plea-
sure. They spend their whole life in amuse-
ment, and never look beyond the present day.
But they soon get tired of their amusements,
and then they try new ones, until they have
gone through all they can get, and then they
have nothing to look to. And when they
get old they cannot enjoy their pleasures any
more. Their pearl has lost its lustre.
But others seek their happiness in religion.
They confess their sins and ask that they
may be forgiven for Christ's sake; and God
hears their prayers. Then they have a peace
THE PEARL MERCHANT.
which nothing in this world can give. They
lie down at night with the thought that their
sins are pardoned; and through every day
God fills their heart with joy. Their riches
cannot flee away; for they are laid up in
heaven. Their happiness can never grow old;
for the peace which Christ gives is not like
that which the world gives. And when they
die their happiness will not end.
After death its joys shall be,
Lasting as eternity;
Be the living God my friend,
Then my bliss will never end.
This is the "pearl of great price:" and
who would not seek this happiness? Who
would not make it the first thing ?
"For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a
merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who
when he had found one pearl of great price,
went and sold all that he had, and bought it."
Matt. xiii. 45, 46.
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT WITH
DON'T go on the river to-night, James,"
said Widow Bright to her son a few weeks
"Because it is unsafe. The weather has
been mild for several days, and I have myself
heard the ice crack two or three times, al-
though it is half a mile away."
"Poh, mother, you women are such scary
creatures. Why, Dick Colton and I skated
there all the afternoon, and the ice was as
strong as a bridge."
"But, my son, it has been growing tender
all the while under the warm wind, and you
cannot see, this dark evening, to avoid the
"Just one hour, mother."
"Not one moment, my son."
Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle
-tied to my mother's apron strings!" shouted
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT WITH PROMISE. 67
Harry, very red in the face, and rushed out
of the room, banging the door after him.
"Oh dear!" sighed good Mrs. Bright, as
she leaned her head thoughtfully upon her
hands. A tear or two trickled through her
clasped fingers, and she looked, as she sat
there, like a very careworn, anxious mother.
And so she was. She was a widow, and
Harry her only child. ,IHe was a bright-faced
boy of thirteen, quick-witted, impulsive, and
kind-hearted. But oh! he was so daring, so
impetuous, so self-willed. He loved his mo-
ther dearly; but he loved his own way better.
He would do much, very much for her com-
fort, but he would do a great deal more for
the carrying out of any wild plan of his own.
His mother saw his faults. She reasoned
with him, plead with him, and what was far
better, prayed for him. She was cheered too
by a firm hope; for bright, from out the mire
and dirt of the boy's nature, shone that pur-
est of gems, Truth.
There are a great many boys like Harry
Bright %Perhaps one of them is just now
reading this story. Well, I do not care how
sparkling your face is, how quick your brain
is; if you are ever unkind to your gentle mo-
ther, if you ever give her sad moments, or
bring tears of sorrow to her eyes, you have a
bad spot in your heart; and every time you
grieve her, you forfeit one more claim to God's
S? Harry did not feel just right, when he got
out of doors. The evening was quite dark,
but the sky was thickly studded with stars,
and the air was soft and balmy. It was in-
deed just such an evening as would ordinarily
have set Harry's brain all aglow with bright
dreams. But on this evening it was alto-
gether otherwise. He stole up to the window
and pee t in, then sat down on the end of
the door-stone, leaned his head on his hands,
just as his mother was doing inside, and be-
gan to cry.
I'He was listening to his good angel then;
and had nothing untoward happened, he would
probably ha _.':.rie in, asked his mother's for-
giveness and passed a happy evening with
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT WITH PROMISE. 69
her. But just as Harry was making up his
mind so to do, there came a shrill whistle at
the garden gate. It was Dick Colton, calling
him to the skating-ground. Harry gave no
answer, but drew his sleeve quickly two or
three times across his eyes.~ Dick whistled
once more, and then came to the corner of
the house and peeped round.
"Halloa, there!" he shouted, "are you
asleep or dead? Come, there are-half a
dozen more boys going on to the river, and
we shall have capital fun."
"I can't," said Harry, faintly.
1 Can't!" repeated Dick, coming up to
him; "what do you mean? Been crying
too, I'll bet a sixpence. Ha, ha, that's a
good one. My mother said, You shan't go,
and I said, I will. Come, boo-baby, cut your
mother's apron-strings and run."
Harry did not relish being called a boo-
baby. HIis cheeks grew as red as his eyes;
he KrEathed quick, clenched his fists, and
would have struck Dick, had not that artful
boy turned the tide by a touch of flattery.
"It is too bad though, Harry, that such a
good-natured fellow and capital skater as you
are, can't have a little fun now and then of
Now Harry, like the rest of you boys,
liked to be called a good-natured fellow, and
liked Dick, at the time, for doing it. So
Harry parleyed a while with the tempter, and
then did what people always do, who parley
with sin /he made a compromise with Dick,
and concluded to go down to the river side
and look on, whilst the other boys skated.
Another breach of God's command, another
forfeiture of the glorious promise. Dick Col-
ton and the rest of the boys strapped on their
skates, and started off in fine style. Harry
took Dick's shawl and spread it out at the
foot of the great elm tree, which overhung
the river, and sat down upon it. He looked
up Through the leafless branches the sky
shone blue and clear, begemmed with stars.
Up and down the bank, as far as he. could
see, little bushes nudged and crowded each
other, and leaned far over on the frozen stream.
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT WITH PROMISE. 71
A very pleasant river bank they had al-
ways made for him before; but now they grew
weird and grim, in the dim light, and the tall
forest beyond them was full of gloom. The
boys had gone far down the river, and Harry
grew so very lonely, he thought he could not
stand it any longer, and had just made up his
mind to go home to his motherwhen he was
startled by the crackling of the bushes behind
him. It was only Dick Colton's dog, how-
ever, that jumped out of the underbrush on
to Harry's neck, and began to wag his tail,
as much as to say, "You are not such a bad
boy after all." Harry was glad just then to
have the caresses of any living thing; so he
hugged the dog until he barked for pain.
Suddenly there came up the river a shriek, so
clear, so shrill and wild./, Iarry started up
in terror. Skating towards him, as for dear
life, he saw five boys. Where was the
Oh, come quick," they shouted to Harry,
"Dick will drown. He has broken through
the ice. Oh, do come."
Harry was a quick-witted boy. "Your
skates," he called to the smallest boy. They
were off and buckled on again in a twinkling.
Harry snatched the shawl, and in less time
than I am writing this, was far down the
/.I)" Stop, stop," screamed the boy behind
him, "there he is. You will be in after him."
And so he might, had not the stalwart fellow
caught Harry by the arm, and thrown him
somersault upon the ice. The thin crust
cracked beneath them, and they were obliged
to creep very carefully. Poor Dick was in a
fearful plight. Yet Providence had given
him a fragile hold upon life. In an Autumn
gale, a tall tree had been dislodged from the
shelving shore, and had fallen into the stream,
which was here both broad and deep./ Upon
the outermost branch of this tree, slender and
frail, Dick supported himself. He did not
try to reach the ice, for he knew that it would
break off at his touch; so that his only hope
lay in the overhanging tree. He was a wise
boy to send for sharp, brave Harry, who did
TIE FIRST COMMANDMENT WITH PROMISE. 73
just what you must do in a like trial. He
crept as near the hole as he durst, and laid
flat upon the ice; then he made another stout
boy lie down behind him and take hold of his
heels. 'Thereupon he threw a corner of the
shawl to Dick, who by the help of that, made
out to reach the firm trunk of the tree, upon
which he easily clambered on to the stronger
There was no more skating that night.
Dick's little dog clapped his tail between his
legs, and walked behind his drenched master,
whining piteously. Harry, sobered and sad-
dened, went straight home, and laid open his
heart to his mother. "Oh, if it had been me,
dear mother," said he, "how I should have
thought of my unkindness to you! Can I
ever treat you so again ?"
/'}." God helping you, my son, you will not,"
said the widow, her eyes filling with tears.
And Harry did,.I trust, thereafter, try to
fulfil the full meaning of that holy command-
ment with promise. I wish, too, that Dick
Colton's heart had been washed clean in that
74 LITTLE GEMS.
cold river; but poor Dick was but a sorry
fellow at best. He was laid up a long time
with a fever, brought on by the exposure of
that night, and for more than a year was
barely able to hobble about. When I last
saw him he had just shipped on board of a
merchantman, bound for China.
More than one praying mother holds the
poor waif in remembrance; and I have strong
faith of good news of him some day.
Honour thy father and mother, which is
the first commandment with promise.
JEM, THE SAILOR BOY.
"WHAT makes you so sad, Jem? You are
a dull companion when you ought to be mer-
riest. Here we are close in shore."
The two boys were standing on the deck
of the "Saratoga," as she swept gaily into
the port of New York.
JEM, THE SAILOR BOY. 7b
"I have no reason to be merry," said Jeri.
"It has been a sad voyage to me."
"Sad! Why we have had some pleasant
times together." '
"And yet I have not been happy a mo-
ment since I left New York."
"Well, what is it, Jem? Tell me now."
"A guilty conscience, Will, that is all;
and that is enough, too, everybody knows.
Bad companionship has led to all my troubles,
and I have cried myself to sleep many a night
in my hammock."
"Come now, Jem, and confess your sins, as
if I were a priest." And Will tried to laugh
away his sadness, but in vain; he still gazed
thoughtfully at the sunset over the water, and
continued silent. "Jem, we have always
been good friends since we met on ship-board,
and friends should always tell each other their
It is of no use, Will. You are going home
to meet your father and mother; and I-"
"Well, if you have no home, that is no
reason for a guilty conscience."
S* But, Will, I ran away from it, and I
have never been really happy since."
The boys stood leaning over the railing,
and looking down into theater; as it parted
before the prow, and broke into myriads of
foam-crested waves, the silence grew deeper
and deeper. At length it was broken by Jem,
and in the hope of relieving his mind, he re-
lated to Will the circumstances of his child-
hood. His mother had died in his infancy,
and his grandmother had had the charge of
his early training. His father, a poor but
honest man, had endeavoured to instil good
principles into the mind of his son; but as he
grew up he became wayward and passionate;
a bad companion in the neighbourhood had
counteracted all home influences, and made
him restless and impatient of restraint.
They urged him to go to the Sunday-school;
Jem rebelled, because his companion told
him that it was "pleasantest to go out into
the fields on Sunday afternoons; it was bad
enough to study on week-days." Time rolled
on, and even a removal from the neighbour-
JEM, THE SAILOR BOY.
hood did not separate them. The boy fol-
lowed Jem wherever he went, and finally, in an
evil hour, induced him to run away with him,
and ship as an apprentice on board a sloop of
He was then fourteen years old. The
vessel was to sail immediately, so that Jem
had no time for reflection or repentance.
They had been at sea but one week, when his
companion fell from the mast-head upon the
deck, and was killed. Then it was that Jem,
terrified and conscience-stricken, as he looked
upon the mangled and bleeding body of him
who had acquired such an ascendancy over
him, awoke to a sense of his own guilt.
The chaplain, observing his distress, ob-
tained from him a confession of the circum-
stances, and availed himself of the opportunity
to influence him to a right course, and to fill
his mind with better thoughts and new resolu-
tions. Convinced of his penitence, he com-
forted him with the promises of pardon which
the Bible offers to the penitent sinner; and
Jem was changed. Day and night the thought
was on his mind of the distress which he had
caused to those who had loved him through
all his waywardness. How could he atone
for it? Would they forgive-would God for-
give him? Oh! could he only see his father
and his grandmother once again Could he
only get back to that poor little homely
dwelling! It was too late. Jem must bear
his punishment; it was to be greater than he
They touched at a foreign port for supplies,
and from thence he wrote a letter to his
father, and told him all. The pages were
blotted with his tears, and for the time he
was relieved; but he was never to see that
father again; he told him where to address
his next letter, and in due time he received
one, in the trembling hand of his poor heart-
broken grandmother. He broke the seal in
haste, and through all its bad spelling, and
crooked lines, he discovered the fact that his
father had been ill ever since he left; that
anxiety on his account had increased his
malady, and that his penitential letter had
JEM, THE SAILOR BOY.
arrived only a few days before his death.
His most earnest earthly wish had been
for tidings of his son, and when they ar-
rived, and showed him penitent and resolved
to amend his life, and to atone for his sins,
he fervently tharked God "for his mercies to
his unworthy servant." Then a deep serenity
had taken the place of his restlessness, and
when he yielded his spirit to his Maker, he
left his blessing for his prodigal but repentant
son. She also assured him of her forgiveness,
and hoped that he would come to her as soon
as the vessel returned; she would "try to
keep the little old home till then, but her
means were very small."
Jem's sorrow was indeed bitter for his
father's death, and his poor grandmother's
desolation. He felt, for the time, that "his
punishment was greater than he could bear;"'
and he went for consolation once morato the
good chaplain, who prayed with and for him,
and offered him all the soothing influences
of religion. He felt that he deserved the
trials which God had sent upon him, and in
daily petitions for strength and guidance, he
awaited the end of the voyage. The months
passed slowly on; and, faithful to his duty,
he continued so, also, to his new resolves.
At another port, Will Fowler had joined the
vessel, and his ceaseless wit and merriment
had won Jem, in some degree, from his sor-
row; but his gaiety was only the ripple on
the surface: that there was an undercurrent
of deep feeling we have already seen.
SOn his arrival, he hastened to the old
home. It had twice changed hands. Stran-
gers inhabited it. They knew nothing of its
former occupants. Broken-hearted, he turned
away. What should he do? How find his
poor and aged grandmother, who might be
starving even now? Where was she in this
wide world? Homeless perhaps, and friendless.
Onthe steps of the Custom House in Wall
Street, sat an old woman with a little stand
before her, covered with a snow white cloth.
On it were piled pyramids of rosy apples,
polished like a mirror. The sale of these,
JEM, THE SAILOR BOY.
with some candies, made her whole revenue.
There she sat knitting, knitting, the long
day through, in her neat calico dress, white
apron, and close cap, with a sun-bonnet drawn
over it; and the officials, as they passed in and
out, often stopped to drop some pennies into
her hand, in exchange for what her neat little
table offered them. She tried to be cheerful.
She tried to be submissive to God's will; but
sometimes a tear would trickle down.over her
furrowed cheek and awaken sympathy for her
age and apparent sorrows. Then a larger
token of benevolence, in the shape of a half
dollar, or two shilling piece, would fall into
her little treasury. Sometimes, in her human
longings for the one being for whose sake
she yet clung to life, she would become ab-
stracted, and then the money would touch her
hand to recall her to consciousness.
"Oh if I only knew where poor Jem is!
If these old eyes couldhAnly see him once
more! But, it. isn't likely-it isn't likely.
I could not keep the old house any longer: a
little room in an attic must do for me now;
and he won't know where to find me." Such
thoughts were continually in her mind, and
prayer for him was daily and hourly in her
heart and on her lips.
"Well, good mother, can you spare some
of your red apples to-day?" and some pen-
nies fell upon her little table. She started at
the voice, and looked up; but she drooped
her head again, in disappointment. The
young sailor who addressed her, wore the
uniform of a ship-of-war. The white pants,
and blue jacket, the large blue shirt collar
with stripes, and the broad-brimmed straw
hat, and black ribbon with long ends, like
streamers, she had never seen before. He
had grown taller, too, during his two years
"May be you have been to foreign parts,
"Yes, ma'am, I have."
"Did you ever see a sailor, called Jem
Bogart, in your travels?"
"Jem Bogart! Let me look under that
big sun-bonnet of yours, if you please, ma'am,"
JEM, THE SAILOR BOY.
and suiting the action to his words, he stooped
down suddenly, and gazed at her. Another
moment and she was clasped in the young
sailor's arms, and held to his heart.
So, grandmother, you don't know poor
Jem, in all this 'toggery.' "
Praise God! praise God! dear Jem! now
I can depart in peace."
"No, no, grandmother, all my earnings I
have saved for you, and I have found you at
last; after looking three days all over this
great city. I am tired of the sea; and now
I am going to live with you, and work for
"God bless you; my boy! and you will
not leave me any more?"
"No, grandmother, nothing but death shall
separate us. You have forgiven me, I know."
"Yes, my boy, as I hope that God will
The punishment of Jem had been severe,
but it had "wrought a good work in him,"
and by a new life he proved his contrition for
the sins of the past.
A LIGHTHOUSE is a high tower, or building,
the upper part of which is called "the lan-
tern," where lamps are lit at night. The
light of these lamps shines all night, to guide
Ships on their way, and to show where danger
lies. The lighthouse seems to say, "Take
care, sailors, for rocks and sands are here.
Keep a good lookout, and mind how you sail,
or you will be lost."
Two or three persons live in the lighthouse
to attend to the lamps. We will now look
into one of these buildings on the coast of
Little Mary was in the lighthouse alone.
The night was coming on, and a storm was
rising on the sea. She heard the waves dash
against the rocks, and the wind moan round
Mary's father had trimmed the lamps, and
they were ready for lighting when the even-
LIGHTHOUSE-KEEPER'S DAUGHTER. 85
ing came on. But as he wanted to buy some
food, he crossed the-"causey," which leads to
the land. This causey was a pathway over
the rocks and sands, which could only be
passed for two or three hours in the day; at
other times the waters rose and covered it.
The father intended to hasten home before it
was dark, and before the tide flowed over this
path to the shore.
But where was Mary's mother? She had
been dead for two or three years. She was a
pious woman, and often sat in the lonely
lighthouse with her little girl, teaching her to
read from a large old Bible. Then she used
to tell her of Jesus, the Lord of life and glory,
and how he came into the world, and died on
the cross to save sinners, and how he invites
the young to come to him, that they may be
Well, as we have said, the father of Mary
had gone on shore. He had told Mary not
to be afraid, for that he would soon return.
But there were some rough-looking men be-
hind a rock, who were watching Mary's father,
and seemed glad as they saw him go to the
land. Who were they?
These men were wreckers. They waited
about the coast, and if a vessel was driven by
a storm on the rocks, they rushed down-not
to help the poor sailors-but to rob and ill-
treat them, and to plunder the ship.
The wicked men knew that there was only
a little girl left in the lighthouse; and they
had a plan to keep her father on the shore all
the night. Some ships, filled with rich goods,
were expected to.pass before the morning;
and they thought that, should the lamps in
the lighthouse not be lit, these vessels would
run upon the rocks and be wrecked? and then
the goods would be their spoil.
How cruel and wicked these men must have
been to seek the ruin and death of the poor
sailors But we see how true it is what the
Bible says: "The heart is deceitful above all
things, and desperately wicked; who can
Miary's father had filled his basket with
bread and other things, and had prepared to
LIGHTHOUSE-KEEPER'S IfAUGHTER. 87
return; for it would soon be time'to light the
lamps. As he drew nigh to the road leading
to the causey, the wreckers rushed from their
hiding-place, and threw him on'the ground.
They quickly bound his hands and feet with
ropes, and carried him into a shed, there to
lie till the morning. It was in vain that he
cried to them to be set free; they only mocked
his distress. They then left him to the
charge of two men, while they ran back to
Oh, my sweet little Mary! what will you
do?" cried the father, as he lay in the shed;
"there will be no one to light the lamps; many
ships may be wrecked, and hundreds of sailors
may be lost.
Mary looked from a narrow window in the
lighthouse toward the shore, thinking it was
time for her father to come back. The clock
in the little room had just struck six; and
she knew that the waters would soon rise up
to the causey.
An hour passed; the clock struck seven,
and Mary still looked toward the beach, but
no father was to be seen. By the time it was
eight, the tide was nearly over the pathway;
only bits of rock here and there were above
the waters, and they too were soon covered
over. Oh, father, make haste!" cried Mary
aloud, as though her father could hear her,
"have you forgotten your little girl?" But
the only answer was the noise of the waters
as they rose higher and higher, and the roar
of the wind as it gave notice of the coming
Now Mary sat down and wept. Surely
there would be no lights that night, and many
a vessel would be cast ashore.
While Mary wept, she thought of what her
dear mother used to say, that we should look
to Jesus in every time of need. And in a
corner of the room she knelt and prayed for
help: 0 Lord, show me what to do, and
bless my dear father, and bring him home
The water was now some feet above the
causey. The sun had set for more than an
hour. As the moon rose in the sky, black
LIGHTHOUSE-KEEPER'S DAUGHTER. 89
storm-clouds soon covered her from sight, and
then not a. star was seen. The wreckers
walked along the shore, looking for some ship
to strike on the coast. These men hoped that
the sailors, not seeing the lights, would think
that they were not near the coast, and would
be dashed on the rocks.
Just at this moment the thought came into
Mary's mind that she would try to light the
lamps. But what could a little girl do ? The
lamps were far above her reach. She, how-
ever, got a few matches, and made a light.
The next thing was to carry a set of steps to
the spot, and attempt to reach the lamps.
But after much labour, she found they were
still above her head. A small table was next
brought from below, and Mary put the steps
upon it, and mounted to the top with hope
and joy, for now she was almost sure that she
could light the lamps. But no; though she
stood on tiptoe, they were even yet a little
higher than she could reach. "If I had a
stick," she said, I would tie a match to it,
and then I could set light to the wicks." Yet
no stick, nor anything of the kind was to be
The storm now became quite fearful. The
sailors looked along the coast for the lights.
Where could they be? Had they brought
their ships in a wrong direction? They were
at a loss to tell, and knew not which way to
All this time Mary's father was praying in
the shed, that God would take care of his
child in the dark and lonely lighthouse.
Poor Mary was about to sit down again
and weep, when she thought of the large old
Bible in the room below. But how could she
tread on that book? It was God's holy word,
which her mother loved so much to read.
"Yet it is to save life," said she; "and if
mother were here, would she not allow me to
take it?" Mary did not scorn her mother's
Bible; its very covers were precious in her
In a minute the large book was brought
and placed under the steps, and up she got
again. Yes, she was just high enough; then
LIGHTHOUSE-KEEPER'S DAUGHTER. 91
she touched one wick, and another, and an-
other, till the rays of the lamps shone brightly
far over the dark waters.
The fatlier saw the light as he lay in the
shed, dnd thanked God who had sent help-
though he knew not how-in the hour of
danger. The sailors beheld the light, and
steered their ships away from the rocks, and
were safe. And the wreckers, too, saw the
light, and were full of rage that their cruel
plot had wholly failed.
All that stormy night the lamps cast their
rays over the foaming sea; and when the
morning came, the wreckers let the father
loose from the shed. The water was again
down from the causey, and he was soon in the
lighthouse, there to learn from his little girl
the way in which God had helped her in the
hour of her trial. Brave little Mary! may
we not hope that the blessed Bible was a
light unto her feet and a lamp unto her path"
all through her life, and that it guided her
to heaven, there to meet her dear mother to
part no more ?
Young reader, have you the light of life?
Has the Holy Spirit led you to believe in Je-
sus as your Saviour? If so, let your light
shine-let it be seen in a holy temper and
conduct. And while the wicked tryto put
out the true light of God's truth, do you strive
to set it up in the world, that men may see it
and be saved.
The heart, where the Spirit of God
In love and in pureness may rest,
Will spread all its beauty abroad,
And beam in the face from the breast.
No anger, nor hatred, nor scorn,
Nor bitterness there will be found;
An injury felt will be borne,
Affeclon will thine all around.
Whatever men beauty may call,
This merits the title in truth;
The loveliest beauty of all
Is the bud of religion in youth.
ON THE CHILDHOOD OF KATY MOORE.
WHAT! only three! How good she must
have been!" exclaimed Bell. Ah, no! she
was not good, nor were those the only stains
upon the pages of her young life, but they
stand out more prominently in her memory,
and assume a darker hue than all the others
combined; and I will tell you why, ere I lay
down my pen.
Katy was an only daughter, and besides
her brother Harry, who was nearly three
years her senior, there was no little one in
the home circle. All her- reasonable desires
were gratified. Her little school-mates were
always welcomed at her mother's house, and
she could visit them in return as much as she
liked. She had a library of the most charm-
ing books; a garden of her own, in which
she might sow her own' seeds, yes, and dig
them up too, to see if they had sprouted;
neat and pretty dresses,-but, I am glad to