-'ei 0 u
1 ; /My
f t ..* -..'
BY VARIOUS AUTHORS.
LONDON: S. W. PARTRIDGE & CO., 9, PATERNOSTER ROW.
IN consequence of the popularity and usefulness of some of the following
stories, as separate Tracts, it has been considered well to issue the first ten
Nos. in a collective form, in the hope that the Volume may find a place on
the shelves of many Workshops and Village Libraries.
No. i has, by God's blessing, had a remarkable mission of usefulness.
'The testimonies which we have received as to its influence in the
reclamation of the intemperate, both rich and poor, far exceeds what
we have ever known of any other life-story.
No. 2 has, we trust, taught a gocd lesson on Contentment to many a
No. 3 has shown to many the power of kindness to both man and beast.,
No. 4 has, we believe, caused tears of joy to flow down many a cheek.
No. 5. This touching narrative has, like No. i, had a special mission
to many hearts and homes. We specially commend it as a Public
Reading for Working Men's Clubs, &c.
No. 6. To many men, both in work and' out of work, this story will, it is
hoped, prove a source of instruction and help.
No. 7 exhibits in very clear colours the terrible trials and heart struggles
which some working men have to pass through when daring to do
No. 8 contains some valuable hints for the sons and daughters of toil.
No. 9. This is one of the best pieces ever written by A. L. 0. E. It
contains a beautiful exposition of the glorious plan of the redemption
of the world by the death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
No. io contains in simple rhymes the story of the birth of our Lord.
This is specially intended for family reading..
Mgl-jf la m
BUY YOUR OWN CHERRIES.
BY J. W. KIRTON.
MATTHEW HART'S DREAM.
By E. S. HILL.
OLD JANET'S CHRISTMAS GIFT.
BY MIRS. ELLEN Ross (NELSIE BROOK).
"A LITTLE CHILD SHALL LEAD THEM."
By MRS. ELLEN Ross.
THE LAST PENNY.
By T. S. A.
OUT OF WORK.
Ill RFVr S. ;. P..
JOHN STEPPING FOPrTH
BY THE AUTHOR OF GOOD SERVANTS, GOOD WIVES, AND
S THE INDEPENDENT L,'
FACTS .\ND F
BY .1 LADY. .
1IOUGHT WITH A PRICE.
BY A. L. O. E.,
AN OLD STORY IN RHYME.
By H. L. HASTINGS.
-- -?, _' :a -'2 = -:--"- -
B our oJ.n TON.
S, W, PARTRIDGE & LO,, 9, PATERNOSTER ROW,
ao0 ovi.o'U s1% E T R. a 3D a
"GO AND BUY YOUR OWN CHERRIES !"
"BUY YOUR OWN CHERRIES!"
A TALE OF REAL LIFE, FOUNDED ON FACT.
BY J. W. KIRTON.
IT was about 3 o'clock one scorch-
ing hot Saturday afternoon in
July, when John Lewis the car-
penter laid down his hammer on
the bench, put his hand in his
pocket, and drew out a few cop-
pers, Just the price of a pint,"
as he said to himself; so he re-
solved to step across the road to
the Golden Eagle" and have
some ale to slake his thirst. Just
as he opened-the "Bar" door,
what should he see on the polished
counter, but a plate of beautiful
ripe cherries, the sight of which
made John's mouth water so freely,
that, ere he knew exactly what he
was doing, he had stretched out
his hand to take a few, when the
shrill voice of the landlady called
You touch'em if you dare, sir !"
John was startled; but before
he could reply, she added,
"The idea of taking such
liberties I should like to know
what you are thinking about?"
"Well, missus, I was only go-
ing to take one or two to wet my
You had better not try it on,"
she replied with warmth.
"Why not; you won't mind
my having a few, will ou? I
am so thirsty, and they look so
tempting," said John, thinking she
No, sir, not one. I have just
bought 'em as a treat for my chil-
dren ; they are a fine sort, and very
Well,just let me try one."
"No, -not one !" she answered,
with determination in every look;
"'if you want any, go and 'buy
your own cherries!'"
"Well, I was going to have a
pint of your best," (?) replied
John; "but I think I'll take your
advice, and go and buy some
cherries instead," and turning
round, he walked out of the shop.
The landlady saw in a moment
she had made a mistake, and
called loudly for John to come
back. This only made him
quicken his steps to- get away as
fast as he could.
"Well, I've done it now," she
said, as, taking up the plate of
cherries, she passed into the bar-
parlour; "what a stupid I was
not to let him have just one or
two. He is too gcG i a customer
to lose without an effort, so I
must look out for him when he
comes to pay his score, and coax
him; he must be won over again
if possible." She thus tried to
calm down her feelings while
these thoughts passed through her
As she was thus planning his
ruin, he was far down the street,
looking out for a shop where fruit
was sold. As soon as he caught
sight of some cherries, he called
"Here, Master, let me have
three pen'orth of those cherries,
will you ?"
"Yes, sir," said the man, and
soon placed in his hand the cher-
ries in a paper bag, with which
John at once returned to the
workshop. All this had taken
place in a few minutes, and the
events had come so quickly one
upon the other that he had hardly
had time to feel the full force of
the treatment he had received.
But when he had opened the bag
of cherries on the bench, and put
one in his mouth, its sweetness
seemed to bring back the sour
words of the landlady with such
additional force that they seemed
to "stick in his throat." As he
swallowed the juicy fruit, each
seemed to repeat the landlady's
words, "Buy your own cher-
"Yes, that I will," said John
to himself, if this is the way you
serve a fellow, after spending many
a pound with you; and now to
begrudge me even a paltry
cherry! And striking his ham-
mer on the nail, as he muttered
the words, its sound seemed to
answer back to him, "Buy your
All the rest of that afternoon
these words haunted him. Do
what he would, the saw, the
plane, and every other tool, gave
the same advice. At times he
appeared to grow desperate, and
from his lips would rush the words,
" Buy your own cherries."
( 4 )
Ah yes," said he, as his
wounded conscience galled him,
"I've bought them too long for
her and her children : I'll take
care of number one for the future.
I shall then not only be able to
buy my own cherries,' but many
other sweet things beside."
At length the bell rang for
leaving off work. John went to
the counting-house and received
his wages, which amounted gene-
rally to about thirty shillings per
week. Now, although he was in
the habit of paying frequent visits
to the public-house, he was not
by any means what people would
call a drunkard. Indeed, he would
have felt insulted if any one had
dared to apply such a term to him,
and, no doubt, would have been
ready in his way to prove that he
only took what he thought would
do him good. It was true he did
on a Saturday night sometimes get
over the score, as the friendly glass
went round more freely than usual,
and also went home later now and
then. But the cheerful song
caused the time to fly so fast that
he felt he must prove that he was
a good fellow, who must do as
others do. If at such times, the
wife complained that the money
left was barely sufficient to pur-
chase the needful things for the
coming week, he was apt to tell
her to mind her own business,"
and a few sharp words between
them would often follow. But,
alas! such scenes are too well
known to need description, and
Mary, like many others, had grown
weary with complaining; so she
had firmly resolved to do her best
to make the house as comfortable
as her limited means would allow,
and, by kind words and looks, to
strive to make the home as attrac-
tive as possible, feeling assured that
by some means she might expect
to draw him from the public-
house: the opposite course would
most likely drive and keep him
John, having received his wages
went back to his bench, and for a
few minutes stood with the money
in his hand, evidently hesitating
what to do.
"Well, what shall I do?" at
length he said to himself. "I
must go and pay my score, for I
don't wish to be dishonest. If I
"HERE, MASTER, LET ME HAVE THREE rEN 'OTH."
knew how much it was I'd send
it: but never mind, I'll go and pay
her off and have done with her for
In a few minutes he was once
more within the reach of the land-
lady of the Golden Eagle."
The moment she caught sight
of him, she put on her best smiles,
and without giving him time to
utter a word, said in the most
pleasant way she could,
I am so glad to see- you, John.
We've just tapped a barrel of our
best." Drawing a glass, and hold-
ing it to him, she added, I wish
your opinion of it."
No, thank you, I don't want
any," said John; "I've come to
pay you what I owe. How much
is it ?"
"What's your hurry?" said
Mrs. Boniface. Come, take a
glass like a man!"
No, not a drop," said John;
"I want to be off."
Well, will you have a glass of
something short ?" she asked
again, very pressing. Tom
Smith's in the parlour, and Dick
Bates will be here directly; you're
not going just yet! "
"Will you let me know how
much I owe you ?" said John, get-
ting impatient, or I'll go with-
"Ah! I see now that I put my
foot in it this afternoon, and of-
fended you," said the landlady;
but I hope you won't mind a
few words spoken in haste: come,
do let us be friends once more."
"Not a dram will I take here
or any where, else, if I know it;
and as to offending me, I don't see
that it matters to you so long as
you get your money."
But," said the landlady, while
she was reckoning up the P's and
Q's (pints and quarts), "I don't
like to quarrel with any one, espe-
cially with you. Now do let us
make it up; and as for the cher-
ries, why I was only joking, as you
will see, for I've kept them on
purpose for you,"-fetching them
out of the parlour,-see, here
"No, thank you, said John,
with a smile; I' took your ad-
vice, and went and bought some,
which were delicious." Now, take
what I owe you out of this sove-
reign, for'I want to be off."
I don't like," said the landlady,
as she took up the money, really
to change this without your tast-
ing something. What will you
"Nothing, I say again; I don't
believe in your throwing a sprat to
catch a mackerel," said John,
speaking impatiently. Taking up
his change, he walked out, and
was soon on his way home.
Well, I have made a nice
mess of it this time!" thought the
landlady. If ever I get caught
again losing my temper, I'll be
bound it shall not be over such a
good customer as he has been. If
it had been one of those noisy fel-
lows I shouldn't have cared a bit;
but a nice quiet fellow like John,
who takes his glasses so regularly,
and pays up so well every week.
But I'll look out and lay my traps
to catch him before long, and the
first chance I get to set him going
again I will. He is not going to
slip off in this way, I can assure
him; he is too good to lose with-
out an effort; and he may depend
upon it that when I have him
right again, I'll keep him, I war-
While she was thus planning in
her own mind John's future cap-
ture, he had hurried home, and
reached it, much to the surprise of
his wife, long before his usual time.
She soon put the kettle on for his
tea, and, while setting the tea-
things the water boiled.
John took his tea almost in
silence, which was so unusual that
Mary was on the point of asking
him what was the matter, or how
it was that he was home so soon.
Just as she was going to speak he
put his hand in his pocket, and
taking out some money, threw it
in her lap, saying, "I suppose you'll
be going to market soon, Mary ?"
"Yes," said Mary, and she
would have added, "And I shall
be glad to go soon ;" but she had
learnt, by past experience, that she
must not say too much on Satur-
day night. Taking ul the money,
she went into the bed-room to put
on her bonnet and shawl. On
looking to see how much he had
given her, she was surprised to find
some three or four shillings more
I wonder whether he knows
how much he has given me,"
thought Mary ; but afraid, if she
returned to ask, he might want it
back, she quickly passed down
stairs into the street, fearing every
moment that he would be after
her for the extra shillings. She
had not gone far before she heard
some one running fast behind her,
and thinking to be sure it was he,
she looked round, but found to her
great joy that it was only a boy.
So on she went; and being a
thrifty body, who knew how to
lay out the money in the best way,
she quickly visited the different
shops, and bought the needful
things that her family would want
during the coming week; adding
to her store a few comforts which
the extra shillings enabled her to
buy. When she came back with
her basket well filled from market,
she found, from what the children
told her, that John started almost
directly after her, and had not
returned: so she feared lest, after
all, he had gone in search of her.
When he did come in nothing was
said on either side. Thus the
night ended with that curious
coldness which drink often causes
between man and wife,
Sunday was spent in John's
usual manner. In the morning he
went out for a walk, and after
dinner stayed at home to read the
newspaper. When the shades
of evening gathered around, he
strolled out and did not return
until after ten o'clock. (How
many thus waste God's holy day
through the cursed drink!) This
being a regular thing with him, no
notice was taken of it. Yet Mary
thought John quiet and dull, and
once ventured to ask him kindly
whether he was well. As he said
he was all right, she did not ven-
ture to question him any more about
it, thinking it best to wait and see
what was up. All the next week
passed off at home without any
change. But John, not liking to
return home sooner than usual,
went on Monday to a temperance
meeting. He was so much in-
terested with what he heard, that
when another meeting was an-
nounced to be held not far from
there the next evening, he decided
to go; and from what the speakers
said of the good it had done for
them and their families, he signed
"IS ALL THIS FOR ME, JOHN '
( 10 )
On the next Saturday, when the
bell rang, and John went to the
office for his wages, he felt a thrill
of joy run through him, as he re-
tired to a quiet corner of the work-
shop after receiving them. Look-
ing at the sovereign and a half
which lay in his hand, he said, "It
is many a long day since I could say
you both belonged to me; and
now I have got you I'll take good
care I don't part with you unless
I get plenty out of you." Clasping
the money in his hand, and put-
ting it and its contents into his
pocket, you might have heard him
say, I'll buy my own cherries,
that I will."
He at once started off home,
which he reached 'of course even
sooner than the week before.
Mary was doubly pleased to see
him, and soon placed the tea be-
fore him, and bustled about the
room, doing her best to keep the
children quiet. She felt once or
twice almost on the point of saying
how pleased she was, but checked
herself, lest he might, when giving
her the money, stop some for what
she thought the last week's mis-
When he had nearly finished
his meal, he said, "Well, Mary,
you'll be wanting to go a-market-
ing directly, I suppose: there's
your money," throwing it in her
She felt as if her heart was ready
to sink as she took the money in
her hand. "Ah!" she thought, "he
has soon stopped the overplus of last
week," but thinking by the light
of the fire it looked rather yellow,
she went to the window (for it was
a narrow street in which they lived,
where the daylight never fairly
entered the room, except by acci-
dent, or when a streak of sunlight
shot its rays down among them).
Can it be possible ?" she
thought; "a sovereign and a half!"
as with an utterance of surprise
she asked "Is all this for me,
"Yes," said John, "and I hope
you'll try and spend it well."
"I hope you haven't done any
thing wrong to get it, John," said
Mary, the tears standing in her
"No, my lass," said John, while
his heart trembled with emotion;
"I have done wrong long enough,
( Ii )
and I am going to try and do right
for the future."
But-" said Mary.
"Never mind ahy more ques-
tion? now," said John; get your
bonnet and shawl, and let us both
go to market."
Mary did not need telling a
second time to get ready. But she
kept all the while wondering how
it was to be accounted for. How-
ever, while she was tying her
strings, she resolved that she would
quietly wait until John thought
proper to give her an explanation.
Bidding Sally and Tommy take
care of the other children and put
them to bed, and to be sure and
mind the house, they went out
together to market.
On the road, John briefly told
her all, and the decision he had
come to, and asked her to forgive
him for the past, and help him to
do better in the time to come. To
all of which of course Mary
listened with trembling, yet joyful
interest. Their conversation was
soon stopped by their coming to
the first place that they should call
at, which was the butcher's, who,
when he saw them together,
ceased crying, "What will you
buy?" For," thought he, "they
won't want much. A small joint
that every body else leaves, or
some pieces in yonder corner at
4d. a pound." So he turned
round to look at his stock of meat
with his back towards John and
He was soon aroused by hear-
ing John's voice, I say, guv'nor,
what's this leg of mutton a pound ?"
On looking round he saw John in
the act of handling the joint of
The idea of your asking such
a question!" thought the butcher.
But quick as thought he said,
"Eightpence a pound to you !"
"Take it down, and see what it
weighs," said John.
"Yes," thought the butcher to
himself, "I'll weigh it, and that will
settle you, I know."
It weighs just 81bs., and comes
to 5 shillings and 4 pence."
Now you are done," thought
"I'll have it," said John.
Yes," thought the butcher,
" when you've-paid for it."
"Here, Mary," said John, "give
( 12 )
him the money, seeing the
butcher looking rather doubtful at
Mary pushed her finger inside
her old glove and brought out
the sovereign, and laid it on the
butcher's block as carefully as if
she was afraid of rubbing all the
The butcher watched every
movement, and thought that all
this care was only part of a plan
to deceive him, and that the money
of course was bad. So, taking it
up quickly, he bounced it hard
upon the block to test its quality.
But when its ring assured him
that it was all right, his face
changed its expression and his
voice its tone, as he asked, with
Can I send it home for you,
sir ? Is there any other article-
beef, pork, &c.?" while the
change rested between his fingers,
as if he did not wish to part
No," said John, feeling rather
vexed, nothing else to-night."
Thank you, sir. Let me see,
you live at No. 20o Broad Street,
don't you ?"
"Yes," said John, as Mary took
up the change. They then passed
out of the shop.
It is not necessary to follow
them round to the other shops.
It is only right to say that each
shopkeeper was surprised and
pleased to receive larger orders and
more money, and of course showed
an extra amount of civility.
While they were going from
shop to shop to make purchases,
the children at home were having
their talk about the matter.
How funny," said Tommy,
"to see father and mother go out
to market together."
"Yes," said Sally, isn't it?"
"I wonder," said Tommy,
" whether any body has died, and
left father some money."
While they were thus engaged
in talking, a sharp rap at the door
aroused them. Sally opened the
door. There stood a butcher's
boy with a basket and a leg of
mutton in it.
"Does Mister Lewis live here ?"
asked the boy.
"No," said Sally, "there's no
one of that name lives here."
"It's strange?" said the boy, "I
-"TAKE IT DOWN AND SEE WHAT IT WEIGHS, SAID JOHN.
( 14 )
was told this was the house. Isn't
this No. 20?"
Yes, this is No. 20; but no
one of that name lives here."
"Who does live here then ?"
asked the boy.
"My father and mother, and
me," replied Sally.
And what's your father's
name?" asked the boy.
"They call him Jack Lewis."
"Well, that's the same man:
Mister and Jack's all the same,"
said the boy. "Come, here's a
leg of mutton for him."
Oh, I'm sure you're wrong,"
said Sally; "we never have such
things come to our house."
But I tell you it's all right,"
said the boy, "for it's paid for."
Well, if it's paid for, I'll take
it in; but I'm sure you'll have
to come and fetch it back again,"
"Oh, it'll be all right," said the
boy, as he went away.
"My word!" said Tommy,
"isn't it a whopper?" And the
little fellow fairly danced about the
room for joy. While he was cut-
ting his capers in this manner, ano-
ther knock was heard at the door.
Here he comes," said Tommy.
"Shall I bring the leg of mutton?"
But on opening the door, a
baker's boy presented himself with
three large loaves.
"Does Mr. Lewis live here ?"
asked the boy.
"Well," replied Sally, thinking
it strange, "my father's called Jack
Lewis, if that's him ?"
All right! here's the loaves
Are they paid for ?" asked
Yes," said the boy. Come,
"Well, I'll take 'em in, seeing
as'how they are paid for;, but we
never have such, big loaves as
them come to our house, and
you'll have to fetch 'em back
again,-there's some mistake, I'm
"There, that's all fudge!" said
the boy, and off he went.
Myword! ain't thembusters?"
said Tommy; "see, sister, they're
quite new. Only fancy if they
was our's, wouldn't we make a
hole in 'em!"
Again he started off with a
dance and a shout, in the midst
( '5 )
of .which another rap at the door
Here they are," Tommy said,
S"I'll bring 'em to the door."
But upon the door being opened,
there was a lad with parcels of tea,
sugar, coffee, &c. Again the same
question was asked. But Sally by
this time had decided to take in
all that was paid for, telling each
one, "They mistn't be surprised if
they had to fetch 'em back again."
The greengrocer sent potatoes
and cabbages; the butterman, eggs,
bacon, and butter; and a few
other articles from different shops
arrived, until the table was full.
"I do wish father and mother
would come home," said Sally.
"Suppose a policeman was to
come, what should we do ? "
"I wonder," asked Tommy,
"whether father and mother's
going to keep a shop?"
"Don't be silly; you would be
still if we were sent to prison." -
While they were talking in this
way they were rejoiced to hear the
voices of their father and mother.
They were soon told that the
things on the table were for the
coming week, and that all of them
would have a share if they were
good. Giving each a piece of the
loaf, they were sent off to bed, and
told to be quiet. But quietness
was out of the question: no sooner
were they upstairs than they began
to talk of the morrow's feasting,
and their tongues made such noise
that it awoke the other children;
and then Tommy was heard tell-
ing them that downstairs there
was such a whopping leg of mutton,
and such big loaves, and lots of
other things. This soon led them
to set up a shout which brought
the mother to the foot of the
stairs, and she said, If you chil-
dren don't be quiet, you shan't have
any pudding to-morrow."
Pudden! pudden!" said the
little ones, what's that ?" And
again the voice of Tommy was
heard telling the others that down-
stairs there was flour and currants,
and -that on the morrow mother
had promised to make them such
a big plum-pudding. Of course,
with this additional piece of news,
was it any wonder that their eyes
were not much troubled with
sleep, and that, long before the
proper time for getting up had
JOHN'S CHILDREN SURPRISED BY THE ARRIVAL OF THE BUTCHER'S BOY.
( i7 )
arrived, Tommy was showing
them, by the aid of the pillows,
' how mother would make the
pudding? Oh, how they longed
for the time to arrive when they
might be able to know in reality
that the "proof of the pudding is
in the eating!"
The day at length came, and
the whole of the articles were dis-
played to the astonished eyes of
all the children. When they were
all seated around the table, and
mother brought out a plate of nice
rosy ripe cherries, was it any
wonder that the children set up a
shout of joy, and that Mary's heart
was full of emotion ? Indeed she
could not help drawing close to
John, while the children were
making earrings of the cherries,
and putting her arms round his
neck, she kissed him, while tears
of real joy trickled down her
cheeks as she softly said, "John,
if you will only continue to buy
your own cherries we may be
And so it was; for in a short
time John found he could buy
clothes for his children, then for
himself and his wife. Then it
began to be whispered that he was
getting proud, for he moved into
a better house, where he only had
to pay a little more rent. Soon
after he began to put his savings
in the Building Society, and thus
enable him to build a house fol
himself. The master finding him
more than ever attentive to his
work appointed him as foreman,
at an advanced rate of wages.
John began then to say, that he
found it vastly more pleasant to
receive .2 los. a week for looking
after men do the work, then 3os.
for doing it."
Step by step he rose, until he
became a master himself; and in-
stead of working, he could afford
to pay other men to look after it
and do it for him. He sent his
son Tommy to a first-rate school;
and in due time he was apprenticed
to a doctor, and is now practising
as a physician with a good con-
nection. The rest of the children
have been well educated. He
himself has built a nice row of
houses, from which he receives
sufficient to keep him without
work the remainder of- his days.
Now in a handsome "Villa,"
( 18 )
which he has lately had built, and
fitted up with everything to make
it comfortable, he may often be
seen reclining in an easy chair,
viewing with evident satisfaction
and pleasure, through the drawing-
room window, a cherry tree, which
he has planted with his own hands,
and on which he for some time
past has been able to grow his
own cherries." It was a pleasant
sight when, added to all this,
he and his wife became hearty
supporters of the "Grand Alliance,"
*and the Temperance cause; and,
by the blessing of God, consistent
Members of a Christian church.
WORKING MEN! the moral is
soon told :-It is not how much
money a week you earn, but what
you do with it when you get it!
How many home-comforts, in the
shape of carpets, sofas, clothes,
books, boots and shoes, etc., are
lost by your spending the money
in the wrong way and at the wrong
If you learn nothing else by
this tale of real life, you may learn
this, that if you wish to have a
Home, sweet home," you must
"BUY YOUR OWN CHERRIES !"
V 1 P
I"AltIHIIGE & CO., 9, PATERNOSTER ROW
No. M. [2d OOLU :,E X 5 3 ,1 3C S.
MATTHEW HART AT WORK.
MATTHEW HART'S DREAM.
BY E. S. HILL.
IN general, a happier man
Than Matthew Hart was seldom
Cheerful and honest; though it was
His lowly lot to till the ground.
He loved his wife, his frugal Kate,
He loved his children four;
They were his treasures, that he
More than miser's hoarded store.
Six morns a-week, up with the lark,
He'd rise and sing to work away;
But who sang blithest of the two,
Indeed 'twas very hard to say.
And 'twas a happy sight to see,
On evenings when his work was
His children at their noisy play
Around their humble cottage
With comely Kate close sitting by,
He busy in his garden plot;
The 'Squire oft looked with wist-
And almost envied him his lot.
And Matthew was a happy man,
Till envymarr'd his life's repose-
Till from his evil heart within
A discontented thought -arose.
And thus he'd murmur to him-
"'Tis very hard to be so poor,
With all my work to barely keep
The hungry wolf outside the
"'T would be so nice if I could rest
And go to work just when I
And have a carriage like the
And drive about and take my ease:
"And when it rains, instead of
As I must now, till I'm wet thro',
I'd read the paper by the fire-
That's all the rich have got to do!"
Sweet is the blessing of content!
For once let envy enter in,
All peace of heart will soon depart,
And leave the owner deep in sin.
( 3 )
So Matthew murmured day by day,
As to and fro his work he went;
Until his breast was quite possess'd
By the dark power of discontent.
At length, one night returning
Both tired and hungry, cold and
His evil thoughts had grown so
That Matthew was in quite a pet.
Yet when he slept within his home,
And sat him down beside the fire,
All looked so cosy, neat and clean,
It part allayed his rising ire.
But when a fire has smouldered
The faintest breath the flame will
Light up the hidden spark within,
And set the whole mass in a blaze.
So when Kate innocently said,
That Johnny wanted a new hat,
And Kitty shoes ;" his evil heart
Burst all restraint, and thus
"They're always wanting things
I'm downright weary of the
To sweat and toil, and till the soil
From morn till night's the poor
"It isn't right !- Look there's the
He never works like me or you;
Yet though we slave, and pinch
To live's as much as we can do."
Kate looked up wondering from her
As soon as he to speak began;.
Then said, as speaking to herself,
"What is the matter with the
"What's matter there's enough
To see how I've to toil and slave!
And all to make another rich !
One might as well be in one's
"To see how some folk roll in
Whilst others starve-it isn't
If I 'd the power, but for one hour,
I 'd give some folk a better share.
"Things shouldn't be as they are,
The more of work the less of
But as the Bible says, I 'd ..y,
If you won't work, you shall not
( 4 )
"I 'd make the rich turn out and
A bit, like us poor lab'ring men;
I 'd make them know what hunger
is- [then !
They'd treat us poor folk better
"A poor man has no joys; his time
It takes to get enough to eat,
And some few decent bits of clothes,
And put some shoes upon his feet:
"And every child a poor man has
Is like a burden on his back ;
Mine press so heavilfyon mine,
I only wonder it don't crack."
"Nay, Matthew lad," Kate gently
"Nay do not say such things as
For tho' for sure we're very poor,
Still, wealth won't give its owner
"I know we little have to spare,
Yet we are honest though we're
And, thank God, hitherto we've kept
The hungrywolf outside the door;
"And tho' our clothes ar'n't like
Yet they are decent, warm and
And many a day I've heard you say,
A tidier cottage nowhere's seen:
"And even if our children are
A great expense-besides the
Yet I am sure there is not one
Amongst the four you 'd like to
" For when our Willie was so ill,
That almost at death's door he lay,
You sat up with him many a night,
Although you had to work next
" And, Matthew, I have noticedoft,
When they are out of doors atplay,
You 've sat and watched them till
To be as full of mirth as they.
" I'm very grieved to see you thus,
For I am sure 'tis very wrong;
For hitherto our lives have been
As happy as the days were long :
" And though six days we have to
We 've one day's rest in every
And does not labour make more
sweet [has given ?"
That one day's rest which God
The Bible says, kind words have
To turn the storm of wrath away;
So Matthew calmer felt when Kate,
His gentle wife, had had her say.
MATTHEW HART GETTING HIS NEW SUIT OF CLOTHES.
( 6 )
But ah! the erring human heart,
Whenonce to discontent inclined,
Tho' strife is silenced for a while,
A lasting peace will never find.
So Matthew spoke no more that
But said his prayers, and laid him
And soundly slept; for labour makes
The hardest bed a couch of down.
And as he lay and slept, there came
Across his mind a wond'rous
He doubted not that it was real,
So plain and vivid did it seem.
He thought, erehe had slept an hour,
There came a rap upon the door;
He wondering rose; for such a rap
Had never woke him up before.
A man was standing there who said,
"Is Matthew Hart residing
"He is," said Matthew. "Then
I've news," [hear."
The man replied, "he'll like to
"Come in," cried Matthew; said the
This is the news you'll like to
That you are heir to an estate
That's worth ten thousand
pounds a year."
"That's good," cried Matthew, "if
it's true." [no liar;
Nay," quoth the man, "I am
'Tis true, as I am Lawyer Sharp,
And you are Matthew Hart,
"A friend who knew your humble
Your upright life and honesty,
Convinced you'd not abuse bis gift,
Has left you this great property.
"But there's one thing I have to
With one condition it is willed-
'Tis this-the duties it entails
By you must all be well fulfilled.
"And in the will the power is given
To me to watch you ivell, and see
That all the duties of your state
Are well performed as they
"Are you content to take it thus?"
"Right glad," cried Matthew,
am I to;
And think myself a lucky man,
That I've no harder task to do.
" God bless the children they shall
As many clothes as they require,
And they shall dress as smart and
As do the children of the 'Squire.
( 7 )
"There's now no need for Kate to
Till eyes and fingers both are
No need to scheme o'er this and
Or fret about the children more;
"For she will be a lady now,
With servants at her call to wait:
And so, friend Sharp, if you don't
I'll have a look at my estate."
"Then come with me," the lawyer
"The train will quickly run us
Your property you'll find to be
Just t'other side of London
Matt fetched a cart-they both
jumped in- [main;
The driver drove with might and
They reached the station justintime
To book themselves by the mail
The engine whistled-off they
At least full fifty miles an hour-
Matt hoped wouldd all be right,
Ne'er travelled half so fast before.
And on they went for miles and
miles, [stop ;
Till they at Euston Square did
And then they took a Hansom cab,
And drove off to a tailor's shop.
"A suit of clothes," cried lawyer
Fit for a man of property!
For, Matthew, you must now be
As men of your estate should be."
"Quite right," cried Matthew,
To dress myself just as you
He put them on-but yet somehow
He did not feel quite at his ease.
"They are so fine, and fit so tight,
I feel afraid to stir," cried Matt:
"Ne'er mind," the lawyer smiling
"You'll very soon get used to that.
" So come along; another cab
Will very quickly drive us down;
And you'll arrive by breakfast time
At your estate of Thistledown."
Away from London town they
Away from London's noise and
While strange thoughts sped, thro'
But few the words were that he
( 8 )
The sun shone brightly as they rode,
The lark its sweetest strain did
But Matthew thought his song less
Than he had heard it oft before.
The ploughman whistled at his
Or sang some old familiar strain;
In which Matt often tried to join,
But every time he tried in vain.
The hardy peasant children played
Before their doors, or in the lane,
AndMatthew almost sighed to think
His ne'er must play like that
At length they reached some high
Where, soon as lawyer Sharp was
The gates were quickly opened wide
To let the new-made 'Squire in.
They drove along a gravelled way,
With stately trees neither hand;
When, distant about half-a-mile,
A fine old house was seen to stand.
"That's Thistledown!" the lawyer
"Indeed !" cried Matt, "it does
look fine !
And do you really mean to say,
That house and all this land are
"Yes, once again," the lawyer said,
I tell you it is left to you,
If you will act the gentleman
In all things as you ought to do."
They reached the Hall; there stood
The servants in grand liveries,
Rigg'd out in grand embroider'd
And breeches buttoned at the
And round about, the villagers
Stood drest in all their best array,
Who, when they saw the chaise
Set up a loud and long Hurra."
"Dear me!" cried Matthew, "what's
all this ? [fuss ?"
Why are they making such a
" Fuss! do you say! 'tis but the
The proper way, to welcome us.
"There, leave the carriage door
You've servants now to do all
Put down your hand, you simple
'Tis not for you to raise your hat.
"Now follow me as I go in,
And walk with unconcerned air;
And as you pass along, just give
A simple nod, now here, now
x. Ir I1o
MATTHEW AND THE~ LAWYER ENTERING THE GRAND MANSION.
( 10 )
The lawyer walked with stately
As proper to his dignity;
Matt followed on, as best he could,
Still wondering what the next
The butler led them through the
And in and out of many a door,
Till Matthew thought-" Were I
I soon should lose myself, I'm
At length the dining-room they
Where breakfast was already laid,
So grand a sight with silver bright
Matt never saw before arrayed.
A carpet fine spread o'er the floor,
And velvet cushioned every chair,
That when the lawyer said Sit
'Twas 'bout as much as Matthew
But being hungry, he began
To eat as freely as he could;
Yet was he ill at ease, because
Behind his chair a servant stood.
Matt thought it strange-but then
again [it is
He thought-" I 'spose but right
A man should stand behind my
Another at the back of his.-.
"I'd rather breakfast by myself,
Than have this fuss and fine
Then down he laid his knife and fork,
And quick his plate was whisked
"That's grand," he thought, but
"I'll perhaps do better by and by:
But if they cut me off like that,
I'll have a bit upon the sly.
"Why did they take away my plate
Before I'd scarcely had a bite ?
I'd ask for more, but am not sure
In doing it I should be right."
The breakfast o'er, the lawyer then
And he were left awhile alone;
" Well, friend," the lawyer smiling
What think you of your grand
new home ?"
"The house," said Matt, "is very
fine; [I'm beat-
But there's one thing in which
Why took they, pray, myplate away
Before I'd half enough to eat ?"
" 'Twas from the way your knife
Just then upon yourplate you set;
That's one thing that you have to
What gentlefolk call 'etiquette.'"
( 11 )
"Tut," Matthew thought, "what
To be so waited on and fussed!
But if, to be a gentleman,
I must endure it, why I must.
"I'd rather wait upon myself,
Than always have a fellow stand
To see me eat each bit of meat,
And look so stately and so grand."
Ere long the lawyer rising said,
"We must attend to work you
And I am told some vagrants now
Are waiting for you down below."
"And wherefore do they wait for
In tone of wonder, Matthew cried :
"You are a magistrate," said Sharp,
"And they are waiting to be
"Be tried by me! that is a bore;
What do I know of law !" cried
"Nay, do not wince," the lawyer
'Tis duty, and you must do
"I wish," thought Matt, "the
All drowned with Pharaoh in the
Instead of coming here just now-
And I'm as tired as tired can be."
The lawyer seemed to know his
And whispered softly in his ear,
" Remember, Matthew, from the
'Tis justice we administer."
Matt took the hint, and patiently
He heard what all had got to tell,
And judged so nicely in the case,
The lawyer said 'twas very well.
Now Matthew's head began to ache,
For he had both to think and
That morning more than heretofore
He used to do in all the week.
He said he'd like to rest a bit;
"To rest, my friend, the lawyer
" That cannot be, for there is work
I cannot let you set aside :
" Some lab'rers' cottages close by,
Are said to be in bad repair;
And that the drainage is so foul,
The fever's always ling'ring
"Well! can't my bailiff see to that ?
Must I look after things like
Thus Matthew cried, but Sharp
"Why as for that, do as you
( 12 )
"But I must tell you, Matthew
Your plain and bounden duty is-
And so neglect it if you dare-
For you yourself to see to this.
"You seem to think wealth hath
Alas, my friend no state is free;
God hath appointed work for all,
Alike of high or low degree.
"The man who was to till the soil,
And he for whom the soil is
Have each a fair allotted share,
Which God expects to see ful-
"He who may own this vast estate,
Is but the steward of the hour;
And at his hand God will demand
The good that lies within his
"And if he let the helpless poor,
Unaided, grovel in the dust;
Or gives a reckless lavish help,
He woefully betrays his trust.
"Nor may he delegate his task,
That he may take a slothful rest,
To hireling's care, by whom too oft
The weak are cruelly opprest.
"He'll look upon his cottagers-
Each humble labourer on his
As members of a family
Who need a parent's guiding
"And if he fully realize
The onerous duty wealth be-
He'll find but little time to spare
For selfish indolent repose.
"Yes, every movement that will tend
To give a blessing to mankind,
For soul or body, will in him
An advocate at all times find:
"Yet must he act with judgment
Nor give the discontented cause
For evil words; for envy loves
To magnify a rich man's flaws :
"And men of rank and riches are
Set as it were on lofty ground,
And in a bright and shining light,
That any flaw is quickly found:
" His public life must spotless be,
Not merely virtuous pretence;
Since wealth bestows, for good or ill,
On him a powerful influence.
MATHWSEZD YTH AWEBSOBES.(e7p 1.
( 14 )
"This, Matthew, is the rich man's
This is peculiarly his care;
And he's parental duties too
Which rich and poor together
"For, like the patriarchs of old,
To all who dwell beneath his roof
He'll be a prophet and a priest,
To lead them in the way of truth:
"He'll train his children's hearts
To virtue and religion true :
To leave them to an hireling's care,
No parent that is wise will do."
Whilst lawyer Sharp was talking
Matt thought as he'd been often
But never knew, till now, how
"All things that glitter are not
"If I, when rich, have this to do,
'Twere best a poor man to re-
So now for me 't would wisest be
To quietly go home again :
"I was a fool to listen to
This evil nature I 've within;
And if I smart for this at heart,
'T were but a judgment on my
Then unto lawyer Sharp he said,
If rich men's duties are so great
As I can see them now to be,
I think I won't have this estate.
" 'Twas kind of him who left it me,
And I shall ever think it such,
But if you'll take me home again
You will oblige me very much."
"Oh! then," said Sharp, "you've
changed your mind!
Well, as you like, do as you will;
But ere we part, friend Matthew
Hart, [bill !"
You'll pay me, perhaps, my little
"Whatfor ?" criedMatthew; "'Tis,"
"For time I've lost, and money
To pay expenses coming here;
My bill is only twenty pound !"
"You needn't think then," Mat-
"That I shall stand to this ex-
You'll not get twentypounds of me,
For I am not worth twenty
"Well, Matthew, if you are unjust,
Still I in duty must not fail,
So if you will not pay my bill,"
Said Sharp, "you'll have to go
( 15 )
He called aloud two servants
They seized on Matt and bound
And on the ground, securely bound,
He lay in pitiable plight.
Then, stern and sad, the lawyer
"Oh Matthew, don't you now
You ever murmured at your lot,
And gave way to your discontent ?
"You had a comfortable home,
Four children dear, a loving wife;
And though a labourer, you were
Respected in your sphere of life.
"And though you had to toil, you'd
The needful strength and vigorous
And yet you looked with envious
And lusted for your neighbour's
"God saw your envious wish arise;
He heard your murmured dis-
You yielded to your evil heart,
And this is now your punishment.
"Yours was a bright and happy life,
But now in jail you'll have to lie,
No more to hear the skylark's song,
Or see again the clear blue sky :
"And whilst you lie and pine in jail,
How bitter it will be to know
Your wife and children both must
starve, [go !"
Or they must to the workhouse
"Oh dear !" cried Matt, what
shall I do ?
I'm sure 'twill break my poor
wife's heart !
Was ever such a wretch as I,
That acted such a sinful part !"
Poor Matthew lay, and groaned,
"Yes, sure my sins have found
me out;" [say,
And then he thought he heard Kate
"Why, husband, what are you
Matt rubb'd his eyes, and rubb'd
Then looked, and saw the morn-
Light up the old familiar room,
"Ah! sure," said he, "I've had
a dream !"
"Indeed 1" cried Kate, "I think
And something very horrid too,
You've kicked, and knocked about
I'm sure my legs are black and
( 16 )
"'Tis time that you were off to work,
I'm very glad 'tis morning light,
You've laughed, and talked, and
groaned so much,
I've scarcely slept a wink all
Right glad was Matthew Hart to
His sorrows have so short a span,
And he arose, as you'll suppose,
A better and a wiser man.
Bright shone the sun, like diamonds
The dew bedeck'd each shrub and
The fields were fair, and fresh the air,
In that sweet summer morning's
The skylark's song in Matthew's
Awoke a light and cheerful lay;
And who sang blithest of the twain,
Indeed 'twas very hard to say !
And when at eve he reached his
The sight around his cottage door
Gave him more joy without alloy,
Than ever he had felt before.
His blooming Kate was knitting
His healthy children playing near,
Whose merry laugh, and joyous
Came like sweet music to his ear.
And as he watched them, from his
A deep and earnest prayer there
For pardon for his murmuring-
His sin of envious discontent.
And never more that evil wish
A lodgment in his breast could
For he had learned that happiness
Springs from content and peace
But true content and peace of mind
No erring mortal may obtain,
Unless his soul be throughly
In Jesus' blood from every stain.
And when by that all-cleansing
He peace and pardon has obtained,
He finds those duties pleasant then,
To which by God he is ordained.
The poor who live by honest toil,
The rich who use their wealth
Alike receive their Father's love,
Are equal in their Father's sight.
fW. M. Watts, 80 Gray's.Itm thad.
( 17 )
ONE honest John Tomkins, a hedger and ditcher,
Although he was poor, did not wish to be richer,
For all these vain wishes to him were prevented
By a fortunate habit of being contented.
Though cold were the weather, or dear were the food,
John fever was found in a murmuring mood;
For this he was constantly heard to declare,
What he could not prevent he would cheerfully bear.
" For why should I grumble and murmur ?" he said,
" If I cannot get meat, I'll be thankful for bread;
And though fretting may make my calamities deeper,
It never can cause bread and cheese to be cheaper."
If John was afflicted with sickness and pain,
He wished himself better, but did not complain,
Nor lie down to fret in despondenee and sorrow,
But said that he hoped to be better to-morrow.
If any one wronged him or treated him ill,
Why John was good-natured and sensible still;
For he said that revenging the injury done
Would be making two rogues where there need be but one.
And thus honest John, though his station was humble,
Passed through this sad world without even a grumble,
And 'twere well if some folk, who are greater and richer,
Would copy John Tomkins the hedger and ditcher.
x -XYX x x
X xx xx x xx x x
.:9 .**.:..:.* ..
W W 8 In
W. M.W ts 0 ra' od
No. 31a n C OrE t s d if 1 .
SS, W, PARTRIDGE & CO, 9, PATERNOSTER ROW,
c O LOU 2-E SERIE S.
OLD JANET'S CHRISTMAS GIFT.
BY MRS. ELLEN ROSS (NELSIE BROOK).
FEw possessions had poor old Janet
Ray,-just a'few simple articles of
household furniture, and the little
house that contained them; a tiny
cart of very homely manufacture,
and a bonnie brown donkey that
had never suffered a hardship in
its life, its pleasant lot having been
merely to draw that little cart for
two or three miles during the six
days of every week, led and cheered
by the kind voice and caressing
hand of one of the best of masters.
These possessions old Janet
prized more than a monarch does
his crown jewels. The strong and
tender love that she cherished for
the memory of her good husband,
who had been dead about a year,
made them almost sacred in her
sight. The house he had bought
with the saved earnings of honest
labour; the little cart he had made
with his own hands, as well as
many of the articles of household
furniture; and the sleek donkey
had known no other master: he
had bought him when very young,
and trained him to his own service.
The cosy little stable which housed
I him had also been set up by John
Ray's industry. In speaking of
one thing or another about the
house, to friends who dropped in
to see her in her lonely widowhood,
Janet would say, My John made
that," or That's John's work;"
and she always spoke of the donkey
as My John's."
Gipsy was its name, which it
knew right well, and would turn
and trot to its old mistress, at the
word of call, as readily as a kitten
or a dog would have done. It is
not too much to say that Janet
really loved him, and he in return
had certainly a sort of affection for
her. She went every evening to
his stable to address long condo
versations to him, telling him he
was a saucy rogue," and so forth,
to all of which Gipsy listened de-
murely enough, pricking up his
ears, and archly poking his face up
to be rubbed and caressed.
John Ray had lived a busy life
for many years as a gardener, and,
by temperate and careful living,
had been able to make himself
owner of the cottage in which he
( 2 )
and his wife had lived during the
greater part of their married life.
As he grew old he left off going out
to work, and kept entirely to his
own garden-a fine piece of ground
at the back of his cottage. This he
tended with great care, and it pro-
duced some of the best fruit and
vegetables to be found in any part
of the country in which he lived.
Of course there was much more
on his ground than he and Janet
could possibly use; so every-day he
and Gipsy trudged off to the
neighboring town, about a mile
distant, with the aforesaid little cart
full of such really good vegetables
and fine fresh-gathered fruit, that
it was no wonder that the whole
lot was soon changed into money,
which caused old John to return
home with his pockets much
heavier than when he set out.
It was quite a picture to see the
turn-out every morning. There
was the clean, brightly-painted
little cart, with its contents of
bright green, white, yellow, red,
according to the season; there was
Gipsy, not a ragged, beaten, droop-
ing donkey, as so many (to the
disgrace of their owners) are, but
a merry little animal, sleek and
pert, and tugging at its pretty load
with a will, and a certain pride, as
much as to say to the consequential
ponies who passed it by, See, I
can step up and draw as well, and
as much as you can!" And then
there was the ruddy, happy-look-
ing old master, who never used
anything but good words and
kind pats in driving, and who met
his customers with smiles and an
obliging manner, which won for
him their respect.
When death came to him in his
seventy-eighth year, and gently and
suddenly cut him down, like an ear
of wheat fully ripe, the pleasant
old man was missed and mourned
for as a valued friend; and many
eyes grew dim when, a week or so
after his burial, they saw the well-
known little cart and donkey go by
without its master: his place was
taken by a youth of thirteen, a son
of one of Janet's neighbours. Janet
was not able to go daily to town
herself, for she was already seventy
years of age.
The name of Janet's assistant
was Charles Chapman. He was
the eldest child of very poor
parents, poorer a great deal than
they ought to have been, seeing
that the father'was a strong man,
and had many opportunities of
getting on, and the mother was as
good and well-managing a woman
as any man could wish for a wife.
But it was the old, old story of
drink bringing a family low, and
keeping it so. The Chapmans
were neighbours of old Janet's and
had a piece of ground attached to
their house quite equal to hers.
Chapman, with his boys, might
have made much of it, and have
been able to rent and plant another
piece as large or larger than that
in the neighbourhood, had he
been steady and determined to get
on. But instead of that, the
house-ground was left entirely to
the boys, and without any advice
or assistance from their father the
poor lads couldn't make much of
it. They were good lads though,
and did their best towards making
a little money out of the garden-
stuff. For their mother's sake
they gave up play for hard work;
and she heartily blessed God for
giving them hearts to feel for her
in her trouble and poverty.
Sometimes Chapman got work
in the town-gardens; but his wife
saw very little of the money that
he earned in that way. When he
had no other work, he walked to
town with the vegetables that his
boys had prepared for sale. The
boys dreaded his going with them,
because the hardly-earned money
found its way into his pocket, and
then into the publican's till, in-
stead of going to the mother to
buy necessaries for the family.
Janet knew all about them.
She remembered the time when
Mrs. Chapman's home was as
comfortable as a house need to be,
when her husband was steady and
industrious. She had marked his
gradual decline from the path of
sobriety, and had many a time
risked offending him by giving
him words of warning and advice,
when not even his wife believed
him to be in danger. But old Janet
knew well-enough all the stages
of the drunkard's progress. Long
ago she had had a son who went as-
tray just so, and who got into the
deepest slough of misery through
drink. When he had ruined him-
self beyond recovery, he sought his
( 4 )
father's house to die in ; and there,
through the mercy of God, and
his mother's earnest prayers, he
was led to look to the Saviour,
who regards the penitent cry of
even the foulest sinners, and was
" saved so as by fire even at the
eleventh hour. Remembering her
son, old Janet felt intense com-
passion and concern for any one
whom she saw going astray as he
did; and this led her often to
plead and remonstrate with her
neighbour, Chapman, in the first
stages of his downward career.
But, alas! he did not heed her;
and she was powerless to do any-
thing beyond comforting his poor
wife now and then, and doing any
kind neighbourly action for her or
When Janet's husband died she
at once decided to employ Charlie
Chapman to take her garden things
to town. She knew him to be a
trusty lad, and one who would
willingly set himself to any kind
of honest labour, so as to be a help
to his mother. His younger
brother, Alfred, could very well
manage the taking out of their
own things: he was a very-steady
and well-grown lad of eleven
Charlie transacted all Janet's
business with the greatest care,
and gave her great satisfaction.
When he returned from his round
in the morning, he usually worked
in her garden for a few hours, and
then went home to help Alfred
with his; so he did not live an
idle life. Indeed, both he and his
brother were good and industrious
enough to have shamed their father
into a better way of living, had he
not been so entirely lost to all right
feeling. Things went on thus for
a year or so. There seemed no
prospect of a change in the affairs
of the Chapman family: every-
thing went on in the old miserable
One bright autumn day Mrs.
Chapman called at the old lady's
neat little house, to have a few
minutes' chat, and to thank her
for her continued kindness shown
to her children. Charlie was at work
in the garden, having not long re-
turned from the morning's jaunt to
I'm not so able as I used to
be," said Janet, sinking into a chair
by the open door, where she could
see Charlie at work. The time
was, and not long ago either, when
I could go outside and help the
lad a bit; but now I can do no-
thing beyond gathering fruit or
such like. I was thinking the
other day, Kate (she always called
Mrs. Chapman by her Christian
name), that it would be a pleasure
and a comfort to me to have the re-
sponsibility of the garden taken en-
tirely off my hands by letting it to
some industrious and worthy man,
who would keep it as my John did.
It would be worth any one's while to
take it, for I should put the rent
low, and a good bit can be made
of it if properly managed."
Mrs. Chapman thought it would
be a great relief to Janet to do so.
" Now, if your husband were what
he ought to be," continued Mrs.
Ray, "there is no one I know that
I would more gladly let it to.
With this and his own garden he
might do capitally, having two such
good workers with him as your
boys. I shouldn't like to lose
Charlie from the place: it does
me good to see his bright face
"Ah, it would be a fine thing,
Mrs. Ray; but what's the use
thinking of it ?" said Mrs. Chap-
man, hopelessly. "We've got
trouble enough every week to pay
the rent of our place: I don't know
how it would be with anything
extra. We should sink I guess."
"Of course it wouldn't do un-
less your James became steady,"
"Became steady !" repeated the
sorrowful wife. "Ah! Mrs. Ray, I've
almost given up hoping about it."
You needn't give up hoping if
you haven't given up praying,"
said Janet, laying her hand kindly
on poor Kate's. "Remember the
woman in Scripture, who received
what she asked for, because of her
importunity-because she wouldn't
give over asking."
"Yes; but when one keeps on
praying year after year, and no
answer comes, one begins to get
weary and lose faith."
"No, no; don't lose faith, Kate,
though the answer is ever so long
in coming. 'Praying breath is
never spent in vain,' you know.
Wasn't I years praying and waiting
for a saving blessing for my boy ?
( 6 )
and didn't it come at last ? I'm
sure you mustn't give up hoping."
Mrs. Chapman's only reply was
a burst of tears. Janet allowed her
to weep quietly for some time;
then she said, Well, Kate, speak
to your husband of what I've said.
Maybe he'll give it a thought, and
it may wake up some good reso-
lutions in him."
Mrs. Chapman promised, at the
same time repeating that she
thought it was no good hoping."
She walked sorrowfully homeward,
and unexpectedly found her hus-
band there. He had just dropped
in for his spade, having succeeded
in getting a job of work.
"Where's Charlie ?" he asked.
"Working at Mrs. Ray's. I've
just been along there, and she's
been talking about that beautiful
garden of hers: she wants to let
it to somebody that would keep it
as it is now, and always has been.
I think it looks just as well as it
did when old John was alive; our
Charlie's a capital hand at garden-
It's a pity he don't try his
hand a little more on this; it looks
anything but first-rate."
"Poor Alfred does his best,"
said Mrs. Chapman, and Charlie
helps as much as he can. It would
never do for him to give up Mrs.
Ray's for this. We should be
without bread again, as we used
to be." She paused a minute, for
she saw the expression of her hus-
band's face change at those words.
She could depend upon anything
like that taking some effect upon
him when he was sober, as at the
present moment. For a time there
was no sound but the chirruping
of a robin about the open doorway.
Then Mrs. Chapman continued,
"Mrs. Ray was saying that she
don't know any one she'd sooner let
the ground to than us. She thinks
with proper management and steady
attention to it, you and the boys
might make a very good thing of
it, with our own piece, too. You
see our Charlie knows her con-
nexion, and is used to the place.
It's an offer that hundreds would
"I don't believe she'd like me
to have it," growled Chapman.
" I know she hates me like poison,
and thinks me a scamp and all
manner of things. She've as good
( 7 )
as said so many a time in her
preachings; and I take good care
never to get within reach of her
"Indeed I know she doesn't,"
replied Kate. She's only so sorry,
James, to think that you won't try
to be better, and give up the drink.
She knows that you might be so
well off and happy if it wasn't for
that, and we might be as comfort-
able as anybody." Here she fairly
broke down, and turned away
weeping. Chapman walked quietly
!out of the house in no pleasant
frame of mind. He felt troubled
by his wife's distress; and as he
was sober just then he felt some-
thing like a faint desire to turn
round and become the sober and re-
spectable master of Janet's ground;
but before long he found his way
to a public-house, and there the
faint desire entirely died away; and
the days passed wearily on without
its being revived at all.
The cold wintry weather rapidly
set in. Alfred tried to make his
truck look as "bonnie as possible
every morning, ,though the stock
of things with which he -set out
-for the purpose of tempting -ous-
topmers to buy did not look very in-
viting. For many mornings dur-
ing the chill November weather
he had gone his rounds alone, and
he rather dreaded to hear that his
father purposed going out with
him again. However, the an-
nouncement soon came. One dull
and lowering morning, early in
December, Alfred had just arranged
his wares on the rickety old truck,
and, trying to look cheery in spite
of the dull morning, was wishing
his mother good-bye, when his
father appeared saying, "I may as
well go round with you to-day:
I've nothing else to do."
The boy's countenance fell, and
all spirit seemed to leave him. He
turned listlessly to the truck, and
the pushing it seemed almost too
great a ,effort for him. His father
put out no helping hand, but
walked alongside with his hands
in his pockets. Mrs. Chapman's
eyes filled with .tears as she stood
to watch the departure; and she
turned away sighing, "The poor
lad's work will go for nothing to-
:Some distance along the road,
and within a stone's throw of
( 8 )
Janet Ray's house, there was an
inn. As they neared it, Alfred's
father said, Pull up here for a
"No, father, don't go in!" said
Alfred, in a voice of entreaty.
Don't let us stop. See, it's be-
ginning to rain, and very likely we
shall have a wet day. Shall I
hurry on by myself, father ?"
No; you just bide there till I
come out; and don't make any
bother about a drop o'rain. You
ain't made of barley-sugar, areyou?"
With this he strode into the
sanded passage of the inn, and
turned into the bar. Alfred looked
the picture of dejection; and had it
not been for passers-by, he would
certainly have burst into tears.
He was not warmly clad, and the
chill wind drove the rain, which
was beginning to fall in good
earnest, pitilessly against him, till
it seemed almost to freeze the
blood in his veins. How courage-
ously he would have trudged
along through it all, for his
mother's sake, had he been free
that morning !
Once or twice he walked to the
inn-door, blowing his poor numbed
fingers, and stamping his feet,
looking anxiously for his father;
but he did not come. Then he
stood on the lee-side of his truck
to get sheltered as much as pos-
sible. From that position he was
in full view of Janet's house. He
thought of her, and of her many
kind words and acts to him; he
thought of the peace, and warmth,
and comfort of her house, and of
the cheerless one where his poor
mother dragged her weary exist-
ance on month after month.
As he gazed that way a person
went to Janet's door, and having
been spoken to, turned away. Old
Janet, who had answered the
door, before returning in, took a
peep out and along the road. She
received Alfred standing out in
the cold rain before the inn, and
she beckoned to him. He shook
his head rather sadly, as much as
to say he couldn't go, but would
if he could.
She at once guessed how matters
stood, and returning to her warm
room she took her stand at the
window, intending to stop Mr.
Chapman as he passed her house.
A quarter-of-an-hour passed by.
( 9 )
OLD JANET BRINGING HER CHRISTMAS GIFT. (page 15.)
( 10 )
It seemed a long time to her, yet
not nearly so long as it seemed to
the poor little lad who stood anx-
iously watching and waiting out-
side the inn, his clothes gradually
getting wet through. At length
Mr. Chapman made his appear-
ance, and without a single remark
about the inclement weather, or
his boy's condition, bade him
"step up and hurry on." They
hurried on a few yards and then a
voice arrested them.
"Please to step in a minute,
neighbour," cried old Janet, and
the lad, too. The cart won't
hurt in the rain ; but certainly it
isn't right for the child to be
getting wet through in it. It
seems an age since I saw you, Mr.
Chapman," she added, as they
entered, and she closed the .door
behind them; "and I've been
looking out for you ever since the
day I spoke to your wife about
letting my ground. What d'ye
think of it?"
"I haven't thought at all about
it yet," said Chapman, feeling
rather ill-at-ease. I shouldn't
like to get anything else on my
hands just now."
Why not?" said Janet, briskly,
after setting Alfred before the fire to
dry his clothes. "You've got
loads of time to attend to even a
larger garden than mine; you've
got health. and strength, and two
handy, willing boys to help you.
The fact is, you're far more
greatly blessed than you think you
are, Mr. Chapman. There's no-
thing to hinder you from becoming
one of the most well-to-do men
in the place, and having a house
and ground of your very own by-
and-by; nothing, but one thing,
neighbour; you know what that
is; we've talked together about it
"Yes, yes, I know," answered
Chapman uneasily. "Well, we
must be getting on."
"Wait a minute," said Janet,
laying her hand on his arm earn-
.estly. Mr. Chapman, for your
wife's sake as well as your own,
I'd do anything in the world to
help you to a different and better
state of living. You know I can
remember the time when you
were all so happy and comfort-
able; and I want to see you so
again before I die, and help you
on, if I can. But it's all of no use
unless you try to help yourself: it
depends upon yourself more than
upon anybody else. It grieves my
heart daily to see you spending
health and money and comfort
upon that which satisfieth not.'
* Why should you do it ? It seems
madness. Now do just ask God's
grace to help you to take a turn
and begin a new life; will you ?"
There was no mistaking old
Janet's earnestness. She spoke
with tears of deep feeling in her
eyes; and her spectacles became
so dim that she was obliged to rub
them. As Chapman did not
reply, she added, "Now, will
I don't know: it seems no
sort o' use, Mrs. Ray," he replied.
I've tried once and again to give
up the drink, as my missus
knows. But somehow it always
gets over me at last."
That's because you don't man-
fully resist the temptation. Of
course it's easy enough to keep in
the right way as long as there's
nothing or no one by to tempt
us; but, when there is, that's just
the time to show what stuff we're
made of,-whether we've got any
energy or strength to pull through.
Temptations are too much for us
sometimes, though: I know that
well enough; and if we try to
overcome in our own strength we
shall be sure to fall. But God
can always give us strength equal
to our day of trial and temptation,
and will, if we ask Him for it.
We needn't be afraid of falling
back into the mire when He has
raised us from it, if we walk in
dependence upon Him; for you
know what the Bible says: He
is able to keep you from falling.' "
Yes, yes: well, we must go
now. Good morning, Mrs. Ray."
Janet did not detain him again,
but answered Good morning,"
opened the door for them, and
stroked Alfred's hair kindly as he
passed out. She watched them
down the garden, and then turned
away with a silent prayer that
Chapman might seek grace from
that hour to begin a new life.
He and Alfred resumed their
onward walk in silence. Presently
the lad said, We shall be quite
late at town to-day, father. You
won't turn in anywhere else, will
( 12 )
you ? Let us take every farthing
home to-day, father!"
The father had not sufficient
confidence in himself to answer
yes, so he merely said Humph!"
He knew that as soon as he
neared some of his old haunts he
would feel dreadfully tempted to
go in. Nevertheless he wished
that he could bravely pass them
all by, and the wish was a little
step in the right direction. There
was quite a struggle going on
within him, as they entered the
town. In passing the first public-
house, poor little Alfred looked
very anxious. Since his father
gave no answer to his last earnest
question, he felt very little hope.
He did not speak now, but trudged
along through the rain, pushing
the truck manfully, though his
fingers were quite benumbed.
His father passed it by! Al-
fred's heart felt big with thank-
fulness, and he turned a glad face
to his father. But the father did
not see it. He was walking along
quite absorbed, with his eyes fixed
on the ground. The lad little
knew what was going on within
him, and what a struggle he had
had to pass that inn. Once he
seemed about to yield to the temp-
tation; then old Janet's words
recurred to his mind, and some
other words which were in his
long-neglected Bible: He that
being often reproved hardeneth
his neck, shall suddenly be de-
stroyed, and that without remedy."
Perhaps if he disregarded this last
reproof he might put himself out
of the way of ever listening to
another. He felt that that moment
must decide his future course.
Should he just go on in the way,
or should he make a bold, brave
stop, and turn right round, as
thousands had done before, and
begin a new life ? Hope was
weak, his will was weak, but his
desire was strong. He called to
mind Janet's words,-" God can
always give us strength equal to
our day of trial and temptation, and
will, if we ask Him for it." And
there, as he strode along through the
cold rain, the first earnest prayer
that he had uttered for many a
long day burst from his heart,
" Lord, help me, save me !" After
that his heart seemed somewhat
lightened of its heavy weight. A
( 13 )
strange, new, peaceful feeling took
possession of him; and now, in-
stead of having merely to pull
against his desire to turn into the
public-houses, a horror and dread
of them was uppermost. He
longed to get home for that day,
out of sight of them. Alfred won-
dered with all his heart as one after
another was passed by; and when,
having sold all their stock, they
turned their faces homeward, he
could scarcely believe that his
father was about to return home
perfectly sober. It was such a
wonder! When they reached the
garden-gate, Mr. Chapman said he
would put the truck away, and he
bade Alfred run in and get his wet
things off. The boy ran in eager-
ly, more for the sake of telling his
mother the good news than of
changing his clothes. She heard
it with a beating heart, but it did
not gladden her very much: she
had hoped and been disappointed
so many times before, that now
she would scarcely allow herself to
There was a happy party in the
humble little cottage that evening,
though the cold rain beat pitilessly
against the windows. Instead of
having to listen, in the pauses of
the rising storm, for thd father's
staggering footstep, there he was in
the midst of the family, sitting in
the cheery firelight, making plea-
sure for them. Ah, what are the
so-called pleasures of the tap-room,
and the convivial club, compared
to the elevating pleasures of our
ain fireside ?"
The taste of fire-side joys that
Mr. Chapman got that evening,
strengthened him in his hope and
desire to have himself and his
home restored to the happy state
they were once in. When the
children were gone to bed, he had
a long talk with his poor, worn
wife, telling her of old Janet, and
of his own desires really to turn
round and become himself again.
You may be sure tears were shed,
and earnest words were spoken, by
Mrs. Chapman; and hope grew
stronger in her heart than it had
ever done before, seeing that now
she was assured her husband was
seeking strength from God to begin
a new life.
For the next few days he kept
close to home, working in his own
( 14 )
garden, and doing a bit to old Ja-
net's. How delighted and thank-
ful was she to see his altered
conduct! She knew what struggles
he had with himself and with his
circumstances, and more than once
she said to him, "If I had the
power I 'd do a deal to help you,
Mr. Chapman; but I'm only a
poor old woman."
Mr. Chapman thanked her. He
did not want any help: he felt
that he would rather work himself
to supply all the wants of his
family; yet he had a hard struggle
to keep on: it sometimes seemed
as though all things were against
Nevertheless he did not lose
heart. He was learning to trust in
God for blessings to follow his
own utmost endeavours to get
on. And oftentimes the Sabbath
brought him such strengthening
and consoling messages, as he sat
in the house of God with his
family, after the trials and efforts
of the working-days, that he felt
encouraged to have faith in the
Great Helper of the needy. Well
was it for him that he did not
depend upon his own strength to
press on in the new way, or when
difficulties and temptations crowded
upon him he would surely have
Christmas was approaching them
not very cheerily. They had made
very little preparation for celebra-
ting the season, save in putting up
evergreen decorations about the
house. Their funds were so low
that the customary Christmas cheer
was almost out of the question.
Yet, for the children's sakes, Mrs.
Chapman did what she could to
make them realize that it was
Christmas; and their father pro-
mised them that they should "keep
Christmas first-rate next year!"
though, as he said the words, he
felt some misgiving. His prospects
were so dark just then, that he felt
half afraid to look forward with
any hope. His trust was wavering
for a moment. No sooner had he
uttered those cheery words to the
young folks than his depression in-
creased just in proportion as their
pleasant anticipations did. "How
easy, but how vain, is it to utter
such words !" he said to himself.
This was on Christmas morning.
"That was something of a pro-
( i5 )
mise, yet I have not the least pro-
spect of being able to fulfil it. See
how I've been striving for the last
few weeks," he mentally continued,
" and, after all, what a Christmas
we've got. Things were scarcely
worse last year, when I let every-
thing take its course, and didn't
trouble." Then dark, dark thoughts
and suggestions came to his mind,
as if uttered aloud by the tempter.
It was a trying moment for him.
His reverie was cut short by a
sudden knock at the door.
Mrs. Chapman, who had been
watching his drooping air with
some little concern, immediately
responded to it.
Good morning, Kate; a hap-
py Christmas to you all!" said a
cheery voice. "I can't come in,
unless we can both come."
Both!" cried the children, who
had clustered about the door as
soon as they heard old Janet's
"Come in both;" said Mrs.
Chapman, laughing. "You can-
not bring in any dirt off such
hard frozen ground, and if you do,
never mind." So in walked old
Janet and Gipsy !
How the children got out of
the harmless fellow's way; and
how Mr. Chapman rose up won-
dering and smiling; and how
Gipsy pricked up his ears and
looked up into his old mistress's
face, which was beaming with
gladness and a sort of fun; you
can imagine this, and much more.
"Well, here we are!" she said,
sinking down on a chair, and
still holding Gipsy's bridle. "I
brought Gipsy with me to make
this a happy Christmas day for
you and for me."
"How in the world do you
mean to db that?" asked Mrs.
By letting Gipsy change own-
ers," said the old woman. "Here,
Mr. Chapman, give me your
hand." He did so, and, putting the
bridle into it, old Janet continued,
"There, now I only want you to
promise me that you will be as
good to him as my John was. A
righteous man is merciful to his
beast,' the Bible says. So I can
trust you, seeing that now, like
my John did, you are striving to
walk in the way of righteousness.
You know I'm but a poor old
( 16 )
woman, and I can't do what I
would for you, neighbour, so I'll
just do what I can; and may my
Christmas gift prove a help and a
blessing to you!"
Chapman stood up, and affec-
tionately stroked the bonnie little
donkey's neck, as he replied, "I
can't attempt to thank you, Mrs.
Ray. It is too good of you to
remember us in this way. You
little know how timely your gift
is, how it has tended to strengthen
my hopes and resolutions, which
just for a little moment were wa-
vering, and how it has encouraged
me at this dreary time to go on
and keep faith in God. It's just
the best thing that could have
happened to me to-day; and you
may depend upon it I will never
let Gipsy feel the loss of his first
good master. But how shall you
manage without him ? It will put
you quite out of the way with
"But I must get some one to
begin at once to rent it of me,"
said Janet; "some one who will
put his shoulder to the wheel, and
just make it pay, and pay well."
Chapman stood considering for
a minute, and then said, "I'm
your man, Mrs. Ray; I've not got
sixpence of money to begin with;
but I've got ready hands and a
"And two brave lads to help,"
added Janet. Upon which Char-
lie and Alfred, with radiant faces,
said, "Yes, we will help father."
All the while Kate's eyes were
glistening with thankful tears; and
she said, "Oh! Mrs. Ray, I do be-
lieve your gift has quite turned
the tide for us! I am sure things
will go smoothly now." After
that, dear old Janet felt her forti-
tude giving way, and she got up
to leave. Making an effort to be
gay, she said, I suppose I must
give you a lodging for Gipsy,-
but stop, no, of course you rent
his stable with the garden. Well
Charlie, get your cap and take
your father's property off to his
quarters. I'll follow."
Away went Charlie, and then
Mr. and Mrs. Chapman tried
again to express their thanks to old
Janet; but she cut them short,
telling them to thank God, for He
had put it into her heart to make
( 17 )
The weight was lifted from the
father's heart. Both at the house
of worship and at home, the day
proved to be a very happy one
after all. Gipsy had done wonders
for them; -and indeed he proved
to be a great blessing to them, for
in after time Mr. Chapman was
in the habit of saying, in reference
to that day, "That morning was a
dark enough one to me, and who
can say what might have happened
if nothing had come to brighten
it? But, as my wife said, 'The
tide was fairly turned by old Ja-
net's Christmas Gift."'
0073 OT nIiA
WV. M. Watts, 80, Gray's Inn Road.
COLOusmn SE Iz13S
shall alo them'.
AFTI- IK LbUWIN LANULIb- 'S PAINTING. (BY PERMISSIONN}
LONDON: S, W, PARTRIDGE & CO,, 9, PATERNOSTER Row,
"A LITTLE CHILD SHALL LEAD THEM."
A CHRISTMAS STORY.
BY MRS. ELLEN ROSS
IT was Christmas time, and the
weather was as cold as the lovers
of sharp, stinging winter weather
could desire. The roads were
frozen as hard as iron, seemingly;
and the biting wind wailed mourn-
fully through bare and shivering
trees, which swayed to and fro like
ghosts in the dim, mournful air.
It wanted only a week to Christ-
mas Day. Little Faith Harley
said so to her mother as they sat to-
gether in their humble home, sew-
ing by the light of the fading after-
noon. Anybody could tell that
Christmas is very near, because it
gets dark so early in the after-
noons," added the child, looking
up from her frill-hemming to the
strip of grey sky above the chimney-
pots over the way. I remember,
mother, that the lamplighter always
comes round before four o'clock at
Christmas time, and then we put
away our work and have tea by
"Yes," said the mother, absently,
without looking up from her work.
Presently she added, "I shall go to
bed, Faith, directly I have finished
this nightdress : I don't feel well."
Faith looked rather concerned.
"Couldn't you leave it till to-
morrow morning, if you don't feel
well, and finish it then, mother ?"
she said; adding, before her mother
could reply, Oh, but I forget-
perhaps you want me to take it
home to-night ?"
No, I don't, Faith," said her
mother; but I have tasked my-
self to finish it to night."
"I'm not a bit afraid, you know,
mother, if you'd like me to go,"
said Faith, glancing involuntarily
at a little crimson cloak hanging
behind the door. This was a new
garment which she had only just
come into possession of. In spare
minutes during the past week Mrs.
Harley had been making it out of
one which once belonged to her own
grandmother-so she told Faith.
Faith was delighted with her new
possession: she had wished for a
red cloak ever since she had first
( 2 )
heard the story of Little Red Rid-
ing-hood, which she believed in
as implicitly as she did in the more
beautiful stories of Joseph in Egypt,
and Daniel in the lions' den.
Although she was not the most
courageous of children, she thought
she might venture to assert that
she wasn't a bit afraid to go out
after dark, now she had a crimson
cloak. The fact was, she wanted
to get it round her little plump
Her mother understood her
glance towards it, and said, You
seem very anxious to get your new
cloak on, Faith. I hope it won't
make you feel proud, dear, or I
should wish a hundred times that
I had not made it for you. I cut
this up to save expense, but I
would much rather it had been a
quieter colour." Then she gave
the little one a mild lecture on the
vanity of dress, telling her, that
though man regards the outward
appearance, God looks upon the
heart; and she concluded, in ortho-
dox fashion, with a verse from Dr.
Watts. She was a good woman,
and it was he earnest and daily
study to bring up her only child,
the comfort of her widowhood, in
the right way.
Poor little Faith seemed now to
have some conscientious twinges
about the red cloak. She listened
very attentively to her mother,
and when she raised her bright
blue eyes they were glistening with
I do like my new cloak very
much, mother," she said, artlessly;
" and this morning I thought per-
haps I should be thinking too much
about it to-day, so I asked in my
prayers that God would keep me
from feeling proud about it; and
though I am pleased, I don't think
I shall feel proud; do you, mother ?"
I think not, as you have pray-
ed about it, Faith," said the widow.
The child bent her curly head
over her work again, and sat quietly
thinking. Presently it grew dark,
and the little woman of nine years
got up to put the kettle over the
fire, and prepare tea, while her
mother stayed at the window with
her work, to catch the last rays of
daylight. By-and-by the widow
broke off her thread with a triumph-
ant snap, and said, with a sigh of
relief, There, that's finished."
"I'm so glad, mother," said
Faith, placing a chair for her
mother at the table. Now come
to tea; it's quite ready. See how
cheerful the fire is to-night; it
crackles so, and the little flames
jump up as if they knew how glad
we are that the work is done."
When the widow was seated,
and had poured out tea, the child
"Let us talk about Christmas
to-night, mother. It is such a
pretty time, isn't it? The toy-
shops are crowded with happy
little girls and boys choosing and
buying such lovely things. I choose
things when I stand to look in at
the windows, but of course I can't
buy anything: it's only pretending,
you know, mother. And the
Christmas trees! you just ought to
see them. I wish such trees grew
in gardens! Couldn't we give
presents away to ragged little chil-
dren then, and make them glad?
You'll try to be well enough to go
up town on Christmas Eve, won't
you, mother ? It is so nice to see
the shops all lighted up, and the
people bustling about buying things
on the sly for their friends, so as to
give them a surprise on the next
day; and to see the children out
with their mothers and fathers, all
so merry and laughing; and to
hear the bells ringing like music.
If we had a father, p'r'aps we might
keep Christmas as well as other
people, and have a Christmas pud-
ding, and laugh, and sing carols
like they do in other houses.
Sometimes, when I'm going along
the street, I see shadows of little
children pass by on the blinds of
lighted windows, and I hear them
playing and laughing and singing.
It isn't everybody that can be so
merry at Christmas time, is it,
mother ? I think they ought to
be very thankful that God lets
them keep Christmas, don't you ?"
Yes, dear. We have all cause
to be thankful to God for His
mercies," said the widow.
Yes," said Faith, thoughtfully.
"We have got more than some,
even now; and we are so quiet and
peaceful here together. If we
can't have a pudding-and it
doesn't much matter about it-we
will have some holly over the
pictures, and make it look like
Christmas, eh, mother ?"
( 4 )
"Of course," said Mrs. Harley;
"but I think, Faith, if you get
paid for these things when you
take them home to-morrow, I
shall be able to buy some plums
and currants when we go up town
on Christmas Eve."
Faith's eyes brightened. I
dare say the lady will pay," she
After tea, Faith went to look
out of the window for a while, be-
fore the candle was lighted. It
was a very quiet neighbourhood,
and very respectable. Mrs. Harley
had seen better days, and she could
not bear the thought of living in a
low street; and although she had
to make a pinch for it in other
directions, she rented two rooms
in a street which was inhabited by
There were not many passers-
by to be seen in this street, so
Faith had nothing particular to
look out upon. Besides, there
were no stars out this evening to
attract her attention. The sky was
very dark, and the mournful wind
sighed through the street.
Mother, mother !" called
Faith, suddenly, do come and
look: here is Mr. Morgan-oh,
so tipsy look, he can scarcely find
his own door."
Mrs. Harley came quickly to
the window, and looked down
upon the man with a very dis-
tressed expression. She watched
him as he thumped at the door,
and then a somewhat corpulent
woman made her appearance, and
pulled him in.
"How sad!" uttered the widow,
as she turned away from the
window; "and that man might
have kept his carriage long ago if
he had liked."
Is he rich, mother?" asked
He was, dear, years ago. He
had several houses; but they have
all gone one by one-all but two,
the one he lives in, and that next
to it. And they will soon go, too,
if he keeps on at this rate."
"Why doesn't Mrs. Morgan
try to stop him?" asked Faith,
She encourages him, dear. She
is almost as bad as he is, I am sorry
Does she get tipsy ?" asked
Faith, in extreme surprise.
Very often," said Mrs. Harley.
"Well, sometimes I have won-
dered what made her so tunny
towards me," said the child. One
day she will call me little dear,'
and make me think that she likes
me, and another day she will tell
me to get out of her way if I get
anywhere near her. Oh, how
dreadful to think she should be so
bad! Isn't it a good thing to
think she has no children ? They
wouldn't be so happy as I am,
though we haven't got much
money, nor a house at all."
After gazing out for some mi-
nutes longer, she continued: "And
at Christmas time, too! just when
people ought to be so good, be-
cause they think about Jesus com-
ing into the world to die for us.
I'm sure Mr. and Mrs. Morgan
oughtn't to be drinking now, ought
they, mother? People ought to
try to be better, and to please God
more than ever at Christmas time,
when they remember that it is
the time at which He sent His
"Yes, indeed," said the widow;
"but, instead of that, it is the time
when wicked men make it an ex-
cuse for being worse than they are
at any other time."
Then Christmas can't be a
happy time to them," said Faith,
thoughtfully. How miserable
Mr. and Mrs. Morgan must be!
I am sorry for them." Faith kept
her eyes on the lighted window-
blind of their front sitting-room,
and wondered what was going on
within. "It's a good thing they
keep a little servant, isn't it, mo-
ther ?" she said presently.
Yes, I have often thought so,"
replied her mother. "She takes
care of them and of the house. If
they had been left to themselves,
the house might have been burned
to the ground before now. Come,
Faith, I think we will have the
candle lighted now. Draw down
the blind. You need not do any
more work to-night; but if you
like you can read aloud, and I'll
try to sit up a little longer." Faith
obeyed; and after sitting reading
to her mother for some time, the
two went to bed.
Next morning, when Faith woke,
she was overjoyed to see, on look-
ing out, that the window-sill was
cushioned with snow, and that the
street and the houses opposite were
adorned with snow. "Now every-
thing looks exactly like Christmas,
mother," she said: "I'm so glad
that I've to go on an errand this
Directly after breakfast she
wanted to start off. The pretty
crimson cloak was wrapped round
her; her well-worn little black
hat was tied on her curly head;
and with scarcely-needed injunctions
(for she was always a careful child)
from her mother to take care of
the little parcel, and of the money,
if the lady should pay her for the
work, she tripped downstairs and
out into the snow, looking a
veritable Red Riding-hood. Pre-
sently she had performed her
errand to the lady, and had re-
ceived the money due to her
mother in one coin, a five-shilling
piece. This she carried in her
hand, feeling afraid to trust so pre-
cious a sum in her pocket, for fear
of being operated upon by pick-
pockets, of whom she had heard
such dreadful tales.
Her cheeks glowed with health
and exercise as she tripped along
through the snow, glad in the pos-
session of the crown-piece, and in
the anticipation of going up
town" with her mother on Christ-
mas Eve. But, alas! just as heavy
clouds often rise suddenly to darken
sunniest skies, a circumstance hap-
pened which shrouded all her
gladness and her bright imagin-
ings, and filled her childish heart
with sorrow. As she was skipping
round the corner of a street, she
would have knocked roughly
against a costermonger, carrying a
huge basket on each arm, if she
had not nimbly sprung aside; but
in so doing she encountered a kerb-
stone, and fell heavily into the
snowy road. Heedless of how
much she was hurt, she sprang up
with a frightened air, for the
crown-piece had fallen from her
hand and rolled away somewhere.
Eh! my little lass!" said the
costermonger, kindly, "are any
bones broken ?"
Oh," said Faith, with starting
tears, I have lost my money : it
fell out of my hand!"
How much ?" said the man.
"A crown-piece," said Faith,
stooping and peering about in the
snow and mire.
( 7 )
Well now, that's a bad job,"
said the man, setting down his
basket, and stooping to assist the
child in her search. It's a sight
o' trouble to find anything in the
snow, and besides, here's a drain at
this corner. It might have took
a fancy to go down there. I always
find, when a thing rolls out o' my
claw that I don't want to lose, it's
sure to get into the most plaguy
place in the world."
Certainly he did his best to
assist the child in her search. Not
being an over-fastidious man, he
boldly raked his hand through the
snow and dirt, while Faith stood
by peering about, with tears run-
ning down her face. But their
efforts were fruitless: the crown
was not to be found.
"I wish I was rich now, my
little dear," said the man, with a
sorry attempt to comfort her, "and
I'd give you another crown as
sure as my name ain't King Cole.
There now, don't take on so: it
makes me feel quite queerish. Your
mother won't beat ye, will she ?
Oh, no. But she can't afford
to lose that money," sobbed Faith.
A little group had gathered round
while the search had been going
on, and a homely woman said,
"Do go home, my dear. See, now,
your cloak and frock are dirtied.
It's no use standing about in the
"What's this?" said a man's
voice. "Why, it's little what's-
her-name, I declare! What's the
Faith looked up, and encoun-
tered Mr. Morgan's astonished
gaze. The costermonger answered
his question by explaining about
the child's loss; and then Mr.
Morgan took her hand and said
he would go and tell her mother
all about it. Like many other
drunkards, Mr. Morgan was a very
kind man when he was sober;
and this morning he was sober,
though how long he would have
remained so if he had not met
with Faith is a question, consider-
ing that he was just on his way to
a public-house to get something
"to steady his nerves," as he
phrased it; for they were sadly out
of order, after his debauch of the
previous day. The hand which
held little Faith's was unnaturally
hot and tremulous.
Five shillings !" said Mr.
Morgan, as they walked along;
"that's a good sum to lose."
"Yes, and it was all in one
piece-such a beautiful crown!"
said Faith, her chin quivering with
"Was it now ?" said Mr. Mor-
gan, involuntarily putting his hand
to his waistcoat pocket, for it
held a similar coin, which his
wife had supplied him with before
he left home that morning.
"Yes," answered Faith; "and
I was thinking how pleased mo-
ther would be with it. And now
I can't take her any money, and
my new cloak is dirtied, and p'r'aps
we shan't be able to have even
bread and butter at Christmas;-
oh yes, we shall, though! We
shall be sure to have bread, because
every morning we always pray,
' Give us this day our daily bread';
but mother won't be able to buy
any Christmas things."
"' Give us this day' is in 'Our
Father,' isn't it?" said Mr. Mor-
gan, alluding laconically to the
Lord's Prayer. "Do you say that
every morning ? I used to know it
by heart when I was a boy, years
and years ago: I used to say it
every morning regularly with my
For a moment Faith forgot her
sorrow in the extreme interest
which she felt in what Mr. Mor-
gan was saying. She looked up
at him through her tears, and said,
"Don't you say it now, sir ?"
"Say it now!" he echoed. "I
haven't- ," and then he abruptly
stopped and turned away. Look
here, little one," he said, after a
silence, "would you like to come
with me and let Mrs. Morgan
clean your cloak a bit? Perhaps
your mother will be cross to see it
so dirtied; and then I'll walk over
and explain to her all about the
At this allusion to her loss the
sad expression came back into
As they drew near to Mr.
Morgan's house, she looked up
anxiously to her mother's window,
but no one was looking out.
Mrs. Morgan was sitting on the
sofa in her sitting-room, doing
nothing. Although the furniture
was good, the place looked as
unhome-like as houses always do
LIIiI I !a
MR. AND MRS. MORGAN LISTENING TO FAITH'S STORY. (p. 14.)
( 10 )
when neglected through drink.
Mrs. Morgan was astonished to
see her husband return so soon,
and with Faith Harley, too. She
was sober as yet, so Faith was
addressed as "little dear"; and
when the fat old lady had heard
the story of her loss, she uttered
any number of sympathetic ejacu-
lations, and roused herself to call
her maid to bring a flannel and hot
water for. Faith's cloak. When
these were brought, she took
the cloak off Faith's shoulders
and began cleaning it, while Faith
sat by the fire on a low chair,
which Mr. Morgan had put for
her. He told his wife what the
child had been saying about being
sure of having bread at Christmas,
and of her disappointed hopes of
having real Christmas things; "
and then, to divert the child's
attention, he said,-
"So, your name is Faith ?"
S" Yes, sir," said Faith, resting
her folded hands on her knee.
"I wonder what made your
mother call you that ?" he said,
"I know," said Faith, with a
degree of hesitation. "Mother
told me all about it one day, and
I can tell you, if you like. But
you won't tell anybody ?"
Of course not," said Mr. Mor-
gan, taking his wife's place on the
sofa, for in truth he felt scarcely
able to stand. But wait a minute,
little one. Wife," he added, have
you a sup of brandy left in the
house? I want something, and I
met the child before I could turn
Faith's heart beat quickly. Mak-
ing an effort, which brought a
deep flush to her face, she got up,
and said, Please, sir, don't have
it till I have told you this."
Mrs. Morgan, on her way to get
the brandy, paused in extreme
astonishment, and stared at her
husband and then at Faith. The
old gentleman's eyebrows were
raised in equal astonishment, as he
looked at Faith's flushed and ear-
"Because it's something about
that I'm going to tell you," added
the child, apologetically.
Very well, then, let us hear it
first," said Mr. Morgan, settling
himself back on the sofa.
Faith went back to her seat,
( 11 )
looking very gratified, and, folding
her hands on her knee again, as
she had a habit of doing, she began,
in a timid voice,-
"A long time ago, before I was
born, when mother had two boys
alive, she was almost* rich. She
had such a nice house, she told me,
and money enough to buy anything
she wanted. Father was a master
then, and had a lot of men to work
for him; he was a builder."
Ah, well then, I knew him,"
interrupted Mr. Morgan. "Bless
me! do you mean to say that you
are David Harley's little girl?
Many's the time I have met him,
and a good-hearted, sociable man
he was. But I never heard what
came of him at last; I quite lost
sight of him. Go on, Faith."
"Did you know that he-he
got tipsy ?" asked Faith, with a
Mr. Morgan nodded his head.
Yes," continued the child,
" and he kept on so dreadful that
at last he was obliged to send all
his men away, and go out to work
under a master himself. And so
mother got so poor, she had to live
in a little house, and go without
many things that she wanted; and
besides having so much sorrow
about father, she had other troubles,
for both her boys died. I often
think how dreadful she must have
felt then, because it is so bad to
have to live with people who
get tipsy, isn't it ?"
Mr. Morgan coughed, and said,
Well, then, after a time father
had a dreadful accident. When he
was going up a ladder one day he
slipped and fell, and had to be
carried to the hospital. I think
mother said that his spine was hurt
-yes, that was it; and he had to
lie in bed for a great many weeks;
and at last he died. I often ask
mother to tell me about his death,
because it's so beautiful."
Beautiful !" echoed Mr. Mor-
gan, incredulously. With his no-
tions of death nothing but the
horrible was connected.
Yes," answered Faith, looking
into the fire. "You know, he
was so changed while he was ill.
He got to love God, and he was so
sorry to think he had been such a
wicked man for such a long time.
Mother used to go and sit by his
( 12 )
bed at the hospital tor hours, and
she tells me how kindly he used to
hold her hand and try to comfort
her, and beg her to forgive him
for causing her so much sorrow
through drinking; and he said that
if God made him well again he
would never touch the drink any
more; and if he had got well I
don't think he would, do you,
Mr. Morgan squeezed his eyes
together, and used his handkerchief
vigorously before he replied, I
should think not, dear."
The last time mother went to
see him," continued Faith, was
when I was not quite a month old,
and she took me along with her.
That day father did not care to
talk about anything else but Jesus,
and angels, and heaven. Mother
says that his face seemed to shine,
he was so happy, because he said
that his Saviour had forgiven him
all his sins. Well, when mother
had to wish him good-bye, he told
her so gently that she would soon
be a widow, and told her to have
faith in God, who cares very much
for widows and for little children
without fathers; and then, when
mother stooped down for him to
kiss me, he said, Call her Faith,'
for I wasn't christened then. That's
how it was I was named Faith."
Then you can't remember
your father?" said Mrs. Morgan,
turning round and revealing a
No," said Faith; he died
that very evening. Some one
came from the hospital to tell
mother what his last words were."
"What were they ?" asked Mr.
"Verses out of the Bible," an-
swered Faith. "These : So fool-
ish was I and ignorant; I was as a
beast before Thee.' 'I shall be
satisfied when I awake in Thy like-
Here Faith paused, and com-
plete silence reigned, until Mrs.
Morgan gave a deep sigh, and said,
" Ah, those are things that we don't
think or hear much about."
Yes," said her husband, rousing
himself with a loud ahem! But
I knew them all when I was a boy.
I learnt them of my mother. Now,
when I hear them again, they
seem to come back fresh to me,
and all the feelings that I had
MR. MORGAN GIVES FAITH THE SUM SHE HAD LOST. (p. 14.)
( 14 )
years ago. Ah, those were happy
There was another silence. Mr.
Morgan clasped his hands round
his knee, and gazed into the fire
with those bloodshot eyes of his,
which, however, looked better
than they had done for many a
long day, because of the tears that
glistened in them.
Isn't there something in Isaiah
about spending your labour for
that which satisfieth not '?" he said,
musingly. "I used to know the
chapter with that in it by heart."
"Yes," said Faith, I often
read it to mother. It is one of her
"Well, now, all the marks are
out of your cloak," chimed in Mrs.
Morgan; "and look, Faith, when
it is quite dry they won't show in
Faith got up, and Mrs. Morgan
put it on for her.
I'll take you over," said Mr.
Morgan, rising and buttoning his
The sad look came back into
the child's face as she bade Mrs.
Morgan good morning; for, al-
though the cloak was nicely
cleaned, had she not to go home
to her mother empty-handed ?
When they got over the way,
and Mr. Morgan had opened the
door for her, he said, "I won't
come up, dear: you can tell your
mother all about your tumble.
But the poor widow musn't be a
loser by it, little Faith. Give her
this, dear." And with his trem-
bling hand he took the crown-
piece from his waistcoat pocket,
put it into the child's hand, and,
pushing her gently in, he closed
the door, and went away without
saying another word.
Her heart beat wildly with joy.
She sprang up the stairs, and with
tears and laughter told her mother
of the events of the morning.
"And I never thanked him," she
said in conclusion; he wouldn't
give me time. Let me go over
before I take my things off; may
I, mother ?"
Yes, dear, certainly."
Off went Faith, her face glow-
ing with excitement. Mrs. Mor-
gan, seeing her coming, went to
the door. In answer to Faith's
inquiries, she said that she must
run across another time; Mr.
( is )
Morgan was just gone upstairs to
To bed !" Faith feared he was
ill; but his reasons for going to
bed were truly philosophical.
So the child thanked Mrs.
Morgan for the five shillings,
presuming that she knew all about
it, which was not the case, though
Mrs. Morgan did not say so to
the child; but directly the door
was closed, up the old lady toddled
to her husband, and asked an
Don't ask me to-day," said he;
"I will tell you to-morrow why I
Faith cast many an anxious
glance out of the window during
that day, but no Mr. Morgan did
she see go out. Neither on the
next day. But on the day follow-
ing, oh, wonders she saw Mr. and
Mrs. Morgan go out arm in arm.
Look, mother!" she cried,
" I've never seen them go out to-
Mrs. Harley smiled, and looked
gratified. Folks often do things
at Christmas that they never do at
any other time," she said.
Faith watched them go up the
street. Mr. Morgan looked ill,
she affirmed, and they were walk-
ing very slowly. The next day
she did not see them at all; but
in the afternoon the little servant
went out, and on her return she
had quite enough to do to answer
the door to errand-boys. She had
evidently been out to give orders;
and it was Christmas Eve.
After tea, just as Faith and her
mother were getting ready to go
"up town," the little servant
brought a message over from Mrs.
Morgan-compliments, and an in-
vitation to the widow and Faith to
dine over the way on the morrow.
Mrs. Harley accepted it in much
astonishment. It was such an un-
usual thing to receive an invitation
of the kind; for since she had
been a widow she had not been
taken much notice of by neighbours
and former friends.
. What with going up town with
her mother, and the anticipations
of the morrow, Faith was in an
ecstacy of enjoyment. Before go-
ing to bed that night, however,
her pleasure took a more solid
turn. Do you think, mother,''
she said, that Mr. Morgan is
( 16 )
going to try to be good, now I have
told him how good father became
before he died ? I don't think he
has been tipsy since that day."
"I think not," replied her
mother. "And I do hope that
he will try to be good. We shall
see as time goes on."
He seemed to like those texts
so much, mother," said Faith.
"P'r'aps they'll do him good, eh?"
Very likely so," answered the
widow. In the very chapter he
spoke of, God says that His word
shall not return unto Him void,
but shall accomplish His will."
The next day they went over
the way to dinner, and spent a
very pleasant afternoon there.
Both Faith and her mother rather
marvelled that no intoxicating
drink was brought on the table at
dinner; and not even at dessert
was there anything of the sort.
After quietly peeling an orange
for Faith, Mr. Morgan looked up
with moistened eyes, and said, I
suppose you knew, Mrs. Harley,
that God spoke to me by your
little girl a few days ago ?" A
pause, and then he continued, I
have tried to give heed to that
voice; and during the last day or
two I have had a conflict with
myself, and with old habits, greater
than I can tell you. But, please
God, I am going to keep on
struggling. I took the first step
in a new and happy direction when
I transacted a little business with
Miss Faith, the other morning, at
your door. I went home and to
bed, to be out of the way of temp-
tation while I felt so weak physi-
cally, as well as morally. And I
got moral strength (or something
better, if you will) before I got
physical strength; for as I read
over that chapter which Faith and
I had been talking about, I came
to those two verses, the sixth and
seventh of Isaiah the 55th, and I
went over and over them again,
until I felt such hope as I had
never felt before; and this hope
infused such life and strength into
me that I at last ventured to think
that the former things might really
pass away, and that all things
might become new, and I think so
now, Mrs. Harley, after more re-
flection. What a mercy that it is
never too late to begin to do right !
Though my head is grown grey,
( 17 )
and though I have spent years and
health and wealth in a sinful and
wretched course, yet I have the
assurance that it is not too late.
I have indeed been as a beast be-
fore God'; still He has sent me a
most gracious message of mercy."
Here the old gentleman's voice
completely broke down. Mrs.
Harley made a few relevant re-
marks to allow of his regaining his
He drew Faith to his side, and,
putting his arms around her, said,
"I thank God for the ministrations
of your little daughter, Mrs.
Harley. From this time I shall
see a meaning and a beauty which
I never saw before in that text, 'A
little child shall lead them.' It
seems as if a little hand had pointed
me up to the shining heights, and
a soft voice had, angel-like, whis-
pered to me at this beautiful Christ-
mas time of things as glad as those
which were uttered to the Bethle-
hem shepherds by singing angels
ages ago. I have been told of the
way of peace: by God's good help
I have begun to walk in that way."
Faith looked up and said earn-
estly, And will you always ?"
Yes, indeed, I trust so," he
replied, with equal earnestness.
I hope you will," responded
Faith, heartily-a hope, I may tell
you, which was not disappointed;
for as the months rolled by they
found Mr. Morgan still doing
honest battle with self, and ever
victorious through the strength of
the Mighty Helper. Faith rather
wondered that Mr. Morgan should
always address her as "little child";
he had quite left off calling her
Faith. She expressed her surprise
to her mother, by saying, It's a
wonder he calls me 'little child'
so, mother. I'm not so little.
Mrs. Morgan says I'm a rather
big girl for my age."
It may be, dear, that he does
so in remembrance of that Christ-
mas event," said her mother. He
is sure to have some reason of his
own for giving you that title."
It was to keep fresh the memory
of that day on which a child had
been instrumental, through the
providence of God, in leading him
and his wife from the dark and
horrible road of intemperance to
the pathway that leads on to life,
light, and a glorious immortality.
THE MOUTH OF
SAS1 c 1 1", TC I GS
' 1 'Et (,R IXl MAiS 7
. Xi XTE)v P yl i-l/&Ai-CA Xo&
MATT. xxi. 16.
W. M. Watts, 80, Gray's-Inn Road.
No. 5.1 coxouoo S[IS- [2d.
4? & I &2A1? m .
"What is it compared to an orange for a sick chil?" 9
-.S, W. PARTRIDGE & CO., 9, PATERNOSTER ROW, A -
THOMAS CLAIRE, a son of wasindustrious; but,ashisabili-
St. Crispin, was a shrewd sort ties were small, his reward was
, of a man, though not very proportioned thereto. His
,well off in the world. He skill went but little beyond- '
+..- -+ . ., _
( 4 )
half-soles, heel-taps, and patches.
Those who, willing to encourage
Thomas, ventured to order from
him a pair of boots or shoes never
repeated the order. That would
have been carrying their good
wishes for his prosperity rather too
As intimated, the income of
Thomas Claire was not large.
Industrious though he was,. the
amount earned proved so small
that his frugal wife always found
it insufficient for an adequate
supply of the wants of the family,
which consisted of her husband,
herself, and three children. It
cannot be denied, however, that
if Thomas had cared less about
his pipe and
mug of ale, the
supply of bread
been more li-
beral. But he
\ had to work
hard, and must
have some little
At least, so he very unwisely
argued. This self-indulgence cost
him two or three shillings every
week, a sum that would have pur-
chased many comforts for the needy
The oldest of Claire's children,
a girl ten years of age, had been
sickly from her birth. She was a
gentle, loving child, the favourite
of all in the house, and more
especially of her father. Little
Lizzy would come up into the
garret where Claire worked, and
sit with him sometimes for hours,
talking in a strain that caused
him to wonder; and sometimes,
when she did .not feel as well as
usual, lying upon the floor and
fixing upon him her large bright
eyes for almost as long a period.
Lizzy was never so contented as
when she was with her father;
and he never worked so cheerfully
as when she was near him.
Gradually, as month after month
went by, Lizzy wasted away. Her
cheeks became paler and paler,
her eyes larger and brighter, and
such a weakness fell upon her
slender limbs that they could with
difficulty sustain her weight. She
was no longer able to clamber up
the steep stairs into the garret or
loft, where her father worked; yet
she was there as often as before.
Claire had made for her a little
bed, raised a short space from the
floor, and here she lay, talking
to him or looking at him, as of
old. He rarely went up or down
the garret-stairs without having
Lizzy in his arms. Usually her
head was lying upon his shoulder.
And thus the time went on,
Claire, for all the love he felt for
his sick child-for all the regard
he entertained for his family-
indulging in his beer and tobacco
as usual, and thus consuming,
weekly, a portion of their little
income that would have brought
to his children many a comfort.
No one but himself had any
luxuries. Not even for Lizzy's
weak appetite were dainties pro-
cured. It was as much as the
mother could do, out of the
weekly pittance she received, to
get enough coarse food for the
table, and cover the nakedness of
To supply the pipe and mug of
Claire, from two to three shillings
a week were required. This sum
he usually retained out of his
earnings, and gave the balance,
whether large or small, to his
frugal wife. No matter what his
income happened to be, the
amount necessary to obtain these
articles was rigidly deducted, and
as certainly expended. Without
his beer, Claire really imagined
that he would not have strength
sufficient to go through with his
weekly toil: how his wife managed
to get along without even her
regular cup of good tea, it had
never occurred to him to ask; and
not to have had a pipe to smoke
in the evening, or after each meal,
would have been a deprivation
beyond his ability to endure. So
the two or three shillings went
regularly in the old way. When
the sixpences and pennies congre-
gated in goodly numbers in the
shoemaker's pocket, his visits to
the ale-house were often repeated,
and his extra pipe smoked more
frequently. But, as his allowance
for the week diminished, and it
required some searching in the
capacious pockets, where they had
hid themselves away, to find the
straggling coins, Claire found it
necessary to put some check upon
his appetite. And so it went on,
week after week and month after
month. The beer was drunk and
the pipe smoked as usual, while
the whole family bent under the
weight of poverty that was laid
Weaker and weaker grew little
Lizzy. From the coarse food that
was daily set before her, her weak
stomach turned, and she hardly
took sufficient nourishment to
keep life in her attenuated frame.
Poor child! said the mother
one morning, "she cannot live if
she doesn't eat. But coarse bread
and potatoes and butter-milk go
against her weak stomach. Ah
me If we only had a little that
the rich waste."
There is a curse in poverty !"
replied Claire, with a bitterness
that was unusual to him, as he
turned his 'eyes upon his child,
who had pushed away the food
that had been placed before her,
and was looking at it with an ex-
pression of disappointment on her
wan face. A curse in poverty!"
he repeated. "Why should my
child die for want of nourishing
food, while the children of the
rich have every luxury ? "
In the mind of Claire there was
usually a dead calm. He plodded
on, from day to day, eating his
potatoes and butter-milk, or what-
ever came before him, and work-
ing steadily through the hours
allotted to labour, his hopes or
fears in life rarely exciting him
to an expression of discontent.
But he loved Lizzy better than
any earthly thing, and to see her
turn with loathing from her coarse
food, the best he was able to pro-
cure for her, aroused his sluggish
nature into rebellion against his
lot. But he saw no remedy.
Can't we get something a
little better for Lizzy ? said he,
as he pushed his plate aside, his
appetite for once gone before his
meal was half eaten.
Not unless you can earn
more," replied the wife. Cut
and carve, and manage as I will,
it's as much as I can do to get
Claire pushed himself back
from the table, and without say-
ing a word more, went up to his
shop in the garret, and sat down
to work. There was a troubled
and despondent feeling about his
heart. He did not light his pipe manifestations of feeling; but
as usual, for he had smoked up now, as he held Lizzy in his
the last of his tobacco on the arms, he bent down his face and
evening before. kissed her cheek
b But he had a tenderly. Alight,
penny left, and like a gleam of
with that, as sunshine,fellsud-
soon as he had denly upon the
finished mend- pale countenance
ing a pair of of the child,
boots and taken them home, he while a faint
meant to get a new supply of
the fragrant weed. The boots
had only half an hour's work on
them. But a few stitches had
been taken by the cobbler, when
he heard the feeble voice of Lizzy
calling to him from the bottom
of the stairs. That voice never
came unregarded to his ears. He
laid aside his work, and went
down for his patient child, and
as he took her light form in his
arms, and bore her up into his
little work-shop, he felt that he
pressed against his heart the
dearest thing to him in life.
And with this feeling came the
bitter certainty that soon she
would pass away and be no
more seen. Thomas Claire did
not often indulge in external
but loving smile
played about her lips. Her father
kissed' her again, and then laid her
upon the little bed that was always
ready for her, and once more
resumed his work.
Claire's mind had been awak-
ened from its usual leaden quiet.
The wants of his failing child
aroused it into disturbed activity.
Thought beat, for a while, like
a caged bird against the bars of
necessity, and then fluttered back
into panting imbecility.
At last the boots were done,
and with his thoughts now more
occupied with the supply of
tobacco he was to obtain than
with anything else, Claire started
to take them home. As he
walked along he passed a fruit-
( 8 )
shop, and the thought of Lizzy
came into his mind.
"If we could afford her some
of these nice things!" he said to
himself. "They would be food
and medicine both to the dear
child. But," he added, with a
sigh, "we are poor!-we are
poor! Such dainties are not for
the children of poverty."
He passed along, until he came
to the ale-house where he intended
to get his pennyworth of tobacco.
For the first time a thought of
self-denial entered his mind, as
he stood by the door, with his
hand in his pocket, feeling for
his solitary copper.
"This would buy Lizzy an
orange," he said to himself.
"But then," was quickly added,
" I would have no tobacco to-day
nor to-morrow, for I shall not
be paid for these boots before
Saturday, when Barton gets his
Then came a long pause.
There was before the mind of
Claire the image of the faint
and feeble child with the refresh-
ing orange to her lips; and there
was also the image of himself
uncheered for two long days by
his pipe. But could he for a
moment hesitate, if he really
loved that sick child ? is asked.
Yes, he could hesitate, and yet
loved the little sufferer; for to
one of his order of mind and
habits of acting and feeling, a
self-indulgence like that of his
pipe, or a regular draught of
beer, becomes so much like se-
cond nature, that it is as it were
a part of the very life; and to
give it up costs more than a light
The penny was between his
fingers, and he took a single step
towards the ale-house door; but
so vividly came back the image
of little Lizzy, that he stopped
suddenly. The conflict, even
though the spending of a single
penny was concerned, now became
severe; love for the child pleaded
earnestly, and as earnestly pleaded
the old habit that seemed as if
it would take no denial.
It was his last penny that was
between the cobbler's fingers.
Had there been two pennies in his
pocket, all difficulty would im-
mediately have vanished. Having
( 9 )
thought of the orange, he would
have bought it with one of them,
and supplied his pipe with the
other. But as affairs now stood,
he must utterly deny himself, or
else deny his child.
For minutes the question was
Oh, I will see as I come back,"
said Claire, at last starting on his
errand, and thus, for the time,
making a sort of compromise.
As he walked along, the argument
still went on in his mind. The
more his thoughts acted in this
new channel, the more light came
into the cobbler's mind, at all
times rather dark and dull.
Certain discrimination, never be-
fore thought of, were made; and
certain convictions forced them-
selves upon him.
What is a pipe of tobacco to
a healthy man, compared with an
orange to a sick child ? uttered
half-aloud, marked at last the final
conclusion of his mind; and as
this was said, the penny, which
was still in his fingers, was thrust
determinedly into his pocket.
As he returned home, Claire
bought the orange, and in the act
experienced a new pleasure. By a
kind of necessity he had worked
on, daily, for his family, upon
which was expended nearly all
his earnings; and the whole
matter came so much as a thing
of course, that it was no subject of
conscious thought, and produced
no emotion of delight or pain.
But the giving up of his tobacco
for the sake of his little Lizzy was
an act of self-denial entirely out of
the ordinary course, and it brought
with it its own sweet reward.
When Claire got back to his
home, Lizzy was lying at the
bottom of the stairs waiting for
his return. He lifted her, as usual,
in his arms, and carried her up to
his shop. After placing her upon
the rude couch he had prepared
for her, he sat down upon his
bench, and as he looked upon the
white, shrunken face of his dear
child, and met the fixed, sad gaze
of her large, earnest eyes, a more
than usual tenderness came over
his feelings. Then, without a word,
he took the orange from his pocket,
and gave it into her hand.
Instantly there came over Lizzy's
face a deep flush of surprise and
THOMAS CLAIRE WATCHING
-7-- -.- 1.._-71-,
ilvl, I '
M- 4,,01 Aq
, i 3
LIZZY EATING THE ORANGE. See page 12.
( 12 )
pleasure. A smile trembled around
her wan lips, and an unusual light
glittered in her eyes. Eagerly she
placed the fruit to her mouth and
drank the refreshing juice, while
every part of her" body seemed
quivering with a sense of delight.
Is it good, dear?" at length
asked the father, who sat looking
on with a new feeling at his heart.
The child did not answer in
words; but words could not have
expressed her sense of pleasure so
eloquently as the smile that lit up
and made beautiful every feature
of her face.
While the orange was yet at
the lips of Lizzy, Mrs. Claire
came up into the shop for some
"An orange !" she exclaimed
with surprise. "Where did that
come from ?"
Oh, mother, it is so good!"
said the child, taking from her
lips the portion that yet remained,
and looking at it with a happy
"Where in the world did that
come from, Thomas ?" asked the
"I bought it with my las
penny," replied Claire. I thought
it would taste good to her."
But you had no tobacco."
I'll do without that until
to-morrow," replied Clai .
"It was kind in yo/ to deny
yourself for Lizzy's sak/f"
This was said in a 'approving
voice, and added another pleasur-
able emotion to those he was
already feeling. The mother sat
down, and for a few moments
enjoyed the sight of her sick child,
as, with unabated eagerness, she
continued to extract the refreshing
juice from the fruit. When she
went down stairs, and resumed her
household duties, her heart beat
more lightly in her bosom than it
had beaten for a long time.
Not once through that whole
day did Thomas Claire feel the
want of his pipe; for the thought
of the orange kept his mind in so
pleasant a state, that a mere sen-
sual desire like that of a whiff of
tobacco had no power over him.
Thinking of the orange, of
course brought other thoughts:
and before the day closed Claire
had made a calculation of how
much his beer and tobacco money
( 13 )
would amount to in a year. The
sum astonished him. He paid
rent for the little house in which
he lived four pounds sterling a
year, which he always thought a
large sum. But his beer and to-
bacco cost nearly seven pounds!
He went over and over the calcu-
lation a dozen times, in doubt of
the first estimate, but it always
came out the same. Then he
began to go over in his mind the
many comforts seven pounds per
annum would give to his family;
and particularly how many little
luxuries might be procured for
Lizzy, whose delicate appetite
turned from the coarse food that
was daily set before her.
But to give up the beer and
tobacco in toto, when it was
thought of seriously, appeared im-
possible. How could he live
without them? On that evening
the customer whose boots he had
taken home in-the morning called
in, unexpectedly, and paid for
them. Claire retained a sixpence
of the money, and gave the balance
to his wife. With this sixpence
in his pocket he went out for a
mug of beer, and some tobacco to
replenish his pipe. He stayed
some time- longer than he usually
took for such an errand.
When he came back he had
three oranges in his pocket: and in
his hands were two fresh buns and
a cup of sweet new milk. No
beer had passed his lips, and his
pipe was as yet unsupplied.
He had passed through another
long conflict with his old appe-
tites: but love for his child came
off, as before, the conqueror.
Lizzy, who drooped about all
day, lying down most of her time,
never went to sleep early. She
was awake, as usual, when her
father returned. With scarcely
less eagerness than she had eaten
the orange in the morning did she
( 14 )
now drink the nourishing milk
and eat the sweet buns, while her
father sat looking at her, his heart
throbbing with inexpressible de-
From that day the pipe and the
mug were thrown aside. It cost
a prolonged struggle. But the
man conquered the mere animal.
And Claire found himself no worse
off in health. He could work as
many hours, and with as little
fatigue; in fact, he found himself
brighter in the morning, and ready
to go to his work earlier, by which
he was able to increase at least a
shilling or two his weekly income.
Added to the comfort of his family,
eight or ten pounds a year pro-
duced a great change. But the
greatest change was in little Lizzy.
For a few weeks every penny saved
from the beer and tobacco the
father regularly expended for his
sick child; and it soon became
apparent that it was nourishing
food, more than medicine, that
Lizzy needed. She revived won-
derfully; and no long time passed
before she could sit up for hours.
Her little tongue, too, became free
once more, and many an hour of
labour did her voice again be-
But added to all the sweet new
feeling that came into the father's
heart from this act of self-denial,
there were other and even deeper
emotions moved. When a ray of
light comes into a dark room, it is
only natural to look at the place
at which the light enters; and if
the eyes that see it have been long
dim, the blessedness of the light
itself will surely be thought about.
Now Claire had long gone on in
a dull sort of way, loving his little
girl without, however, thinking
what a blessing love is-certainly
without thinking whence all pure
tender love is derived. Christians
know that love is of God, that
Christ is the embodiment of that
love-the sun of the soul, shedding
light into the dark nooks and cran-
nies of the human heart. Part of
a text that Claire had once heard
preached from, without taking
very much notice of it at the time,
came all at once into his mind,
and he repeated it aloud as he sat
at work,-" Who for our sakes
became poor, that we through His
poverty might be made rich."
( '5 )
LIZZY WONDERFULLY REVIVED.
What are you talking about,
father ?" said Lizzy. He repeated
the words, saying, I'd like to
hear that sermon again."
"Ah, that's about Jesus Christ.
I heard the lady that used to call
on us tell mother about Him."
"What about Him, dear ?"
"That He loved us so, better
than any one on earth can love."
"What, better than I love you,
child ?" said the poor father incre-
dulously and half reproachfully.
She said so; and read about
His love in the Testament, oh,
such beautiful reading, father !"
Claire rose from his seat, and
reached down a New Testament
from an upper shelf. He wiped
the dust off the covers, and, open-
ing it, began at once to read where
he opened. It was the fourteenth