Blind Alice, and her benefactress

Material Information

Blind Alice, and her benefactress
Series Title:
Home library for little readers
Uniform Title:
Blind Alice
McIntosh, Maria J ( Maria Jane ), 1803-1878
Thomas Nelson & Sons ( Publisher )
Place of Publication:
Thomas Nelson and Sons
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
63 p., [1] leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 16 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Girls -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Blindness -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Happiness -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Blind children -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Children with disabilities -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Friendship -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Family stories -- 1881 ( local )
Bldn -- 1881
Family stories ( local )
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )


General Note:
Frontispiece printed in colors.
General Note:
Originally published as: Blind Alice. New York : D. Appleton, 1856.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections ( with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026857575 ( ALEPH )
ALH3928 ( NOTIS )
41860463 ( OCLC )


This item has the following downloads:

Full Text

'' rU.



.I bb;iu'


I I I I _

The Baldwin Library
| ^ ^ ^ ^ |^ ^ ^ ^ ^|M ^ ^ ^^


:ei -
."N I

:1;Bnrc- :iFt-7

,C i.54 r 2.
s ..J
I C *
.- .-rnT r.: `

r 2.
'?L i :;i

a .-:L7;IP.3m.e .ia::-- -r-cdnr;irr-
BgB .'-PliEi t' .;::?,ZPclT;+-.T;_513,L'' .i3-eaolc

'. Rafar*zaplbcW4ssl'x' : J1e--- -e ----nr!-,r3r;

-6 Tr :;
'i .
..Z I-

1. .29
.. i
i r. ,....

cLt-.Weqi: 5"
I-r Ic-. -?
r- r
,,, '

4fl-'P *rlC1"IL(ia[&_-:;-;2 d --

c LeHLlr-~j
r '
c__ r
-ni C

'r, r
r b..

L r"="""~81P"d"n" 5:;19BbB;b


r- h .

i Y:

-3.' ?
3 ';c= t"
`i 'rj-
r -*...... ..OL

..? r--


r r
i: ..

5 ;rfe8Bjfiji: B c
-- 1Pl;rr

-'I 'r;
i **. L+dZBY agB%n'

Ir j-;


-r r-
., r
:d .
t PaWrV,ar.j

,yi r. i

.c... I
.. 8
:- r.
: Bc- .-41 i.. i
-- r2+ib;i-S
i-. JliC -'



r .






.1. Y





1 ___




aT -i "_a ;
T (0
,'X ;-" .-, a



I. EARLY DAYS, ... .... ...

II. A TERRIBLE DARKNESS, ... .. ... .. 14

II. HARRIET'S SACRIFICE, .. .. .. ... 20

IV. IMPULSE AND PRINCIPLE, ... ... ... ... 26

V. SEEKING FOR LIGHT, .. ... ... ... 31

VI. NOT WEARY OF WELL-DOING, ... ... ... 37

VII. THE DISAPPOINTMENT, ... ... ... ... 43

VIII. WELL-SPENT MONEY, .. .. ... ... 50




OOD morning, my young friend A merry
Christmas, or happy New Year, or at least a
pleasant holiday to you; for holiday I hope
it is, as it is on such festivals, when there is
no danger of lessons being forgotten, that I
best love to see around me a group of happy
children,-all the happier for having Aunt
Kitty to direct their plays, to show them the
pleasantest walks, or, when they are tired both of play-
ing and walking, to sit with them by the fireside and tell
them some entertaining story. I am never, however,
entirely without such young companions. I have always
with me an orphan niece, Harriet Armand, who is
about ten years old. Her father and mother died when
she was quite an infant, and she has ever since been to
me as my own child. Then I have another niece, Mary
Mackay, just six years old, the merriest little girl on
whom the sun ever shone, who, as her father lives quite
near me, spends part-her mother says the largest part-
of every day with me. Besides these, there are Susan

May and Lucy Ellis, who, living in a neat pretty village
near us, seldom let a fine day pass without seeing Harriet
and me.
I am the very intimate and confidential friend of all
these little girls. To me they intrust all their secrets. I
know all the pleasant surprises they intend for each other;
am consulted on birthday presents, and have helped them
out of many troubles, which, though they might seem
little to larger people, were to them very serious affairs.
I encourage them to tell me, not only what they say and
do, but what they think and feel. Sometimes, when they
are a little fretful and discontented because their friends
have not done just as they wished, we talk the matter
over together, and find that they have themselves been
unreasonable; and then the fretfulness is dismissed, and
they try by a very pleasant manner to make amends for
their hard thoughts and unjust feelings. If any one has
really injured them, or been unkind to them, and I find
them too angry easily to forgive it, I bid them put on
their bonnets, and we go out together to look for their
good-humour. Then, as we see the gay flowers, and in-
hale the sweet perfumes, and listen to the merry birds
that hop around us, twittering and chirping, my little
friends forget to be angry ; and while I talk to them of
the good Father in heaven, who made all these beautiful
and pleasant things for his children on earth, they feel
such love and thankfulness to him, that it seems easy for
his sake even to forgive those who have done them wrong.
These are Aunt Kitty's lessons,-they are lessons for the
"heart, and such as I hope all my readers will be pleased
to learn.
The walk which these little girls and I best love is to a
small house, about half a mile from mine. Small as it is,
it looks so pleasantly with its white walls (it is freshly
whitewashed every spring), and green shutters, its neat
paling and pretty flower-garden, peeping from the midst
of green trees, that any one might be contented to live
there. In this house lives a widow, with one only child,
a daughter, a year older than my niece Harriet. I will



tell you their story, which I think will make you feel
almost as much interested in them as we do, and you will
then understand why we like them so well, and visit
them so often.
About three years ago, my little friends Susan May
and Lucy Ellis began to talk a great deal of a child who
had lately come to the school in the village which they
attended. They said her name was Alice Scott; that
her teachers thought a great deal of her because she
learned her lessons so well, and that her schoolmates loved
her because she was so good-humoured and merry. She
had told them that she used to live a great way off, and
that her father and mother had left her other home in
consequence of its being so sickly, and had come here
because they had heard it was a healthy place. The girls
said that Alice looked very well herself, but that Mrs.
Scott was pale, and that Alice said she was very often
sick. A stranger and sick," thought I, "then I must
go to see her "-and so I did, very soon.
I found her a pleasing, as well as a good woman, though
she seemed sad,-except when Alice was with her, and
then she was happy enough. She told me that her
husband was a carpenter, and as he was an industrious
and honest man, he had as much work given to him as he
could do, and would have made money enough for them
to live on very comfortably, had he not been so often ill
himself, and obliged to pay so much to the doctors who
attended his family when they were ill. This made them
very poor; but it was not being poor, she said, that made
her look and feel sorrowful,-it was the thought of three
sweet little babies, all younger than Alice, who had died
and been buried side by side in the green churchyard of
the place from which they had moved. Then she would
check herself, and say how very wrong it was for her to
grieve so much, when God had still left her dear Alice
with her, and she knew her babies were all happy in
Mrs. Scott was a very neat and careful woman, and
poor as they were, she made her home quite comfortable




--a great deal more comfortable than that of many people
who have more money in their purses and better furni-
ture in their houses. Their little courtyard too was filled
with pretty flowers, for Alice loved gardening, and was
never so happy as when cutting her finest carnations and
roses to dress her mother's parlour, and make nosegays
for her young friends. And yet Alice was always happy,
and so you felt she was the moment you looked at her.
She was now a healthy, fine-looking child of nine years
of age. Her very eyes seemed to sparkle with pleasure ;
she never walked when she was alone, but bounded along
like a young fawn. Her voice was very sweet, and was
often heard, when she was with her young companions,
ringing out in a gay laugh; or when she was by herself,
singing some of the little hymns which her mother had
taught her. Yet, gay as Alice was, her laughter was
hushed, her bounding step became cautious and noiseless,
and her bright eyes were full of tears in a moment, if she
saw either her father or her mother suffering from any
cause. When they first came to the village, Mrs. Scott
was subject to very distressing attacks of pain in the
head, and it was touching to see the playful Alice
changed into a quiet, watchful nurse.
A year had passed away, and Mrs. Scott was healthier
and happier, and dear little Alice livelier than ever, when
many people in our village and in the country around,
and especially many children, became ill with a very
dangerous disease called the scarlet fever. My little
niece Harriet was one of the first who had it, and she was
so ill with it that we feared she would die. As soon as
she was well enough to travel, I took her to her grand-
father's, about twenty miles off, for a change of air.
When we left home, Mr. and Mrs. Scott and Alice were
still well. Alice, who loved Harriet very much, wished
greatly to see her before she w ut away, if only to bid
her good-bye, but I would not consent, for fear she should
take the disease. Her mother, however, gave her per-
mission to walk out on the road by which we were to
pass, and take one look at Harriet, as we drove by. So


when we were about half a mile from home, there stood
Alice by the road-side, with a bunch of flowers in her
hand. As we passed she threw the flowers into the
carriage, and called out, Good-bye, good-bye dear Har-
riet; I hope you will come back soon, and well."
I raised Harriet from the pillow on which she was
leaning in a corner of the carriage, to the window, that
she might see Alice ; and as I looked at Alice's red cheeks
and smiling face and lively motion, while she ran along
by the side of the carriage for a few minutes, I felt sadder
than ever to see Harriet so pale and weak.
Now, my little readers, if any of you have a grand-
father and grandmother, and have ever gone to visit them
after having been ill, you will know how very glad Har-
riet's grandfather and grandmother were to see her, and
how anxious they were to gratify and amuse her.
Harriet got well very slowly, and was obliged for some
weeks to be much confined to the house, and often to
suffer pain. She was a good child, and bore all this so
patiently, that when, at the end of six weeks, we were
about returning home, her grandfather gave her half-a-
sovereign, bidding her spend it as she liked. This, you
know, was a great deal of money for a little girl; and as
Harriet had never had half so much at one time, she was
quite wild with delight, thinking at first that it would
buy everything for which she had ever wished. On
calculation, however, she found it would take it all to buy
one such large wax doll as a little girl who had lately
visited her had brought with her. The wax doll she was
determined to have, for she thought it by far the most
beautiful thing she had ever seen, and so her money was
at once disposed of in her own mind.
During the first part of her ride home, Harriet talked
of nothing but her doll, which I was to get from the city
for her as soon as I could. She had not yet decided what
would be the prettiest name for it, or the most becoming
colour for its dress, when we stopped at a friend's house,
about eight miles from our home, where we were to rest
for two or three hours. Here there was a very clever




girl, a little older than Harriet, who brought out all her
books and toys to amuse her. Among the books were
several of those nice little volumes, called the Boys' and
Girls' Library, which Harriet had never read. The little
girl offered to lend them to her, and I allowed her to
take one of them, as she promised to be very careful of it.
As soon as we were in the carriage, Harriet begged me
to read for her from this little book; and she was not
only much amused with it, but I was able to point out to
her some very useful lessons it contained.
We did not arrive at home till after sunset, and as Har-
riet was much fatigued, she was soon put to bed. Her
room opened into mine, and I went early in the morning
to see how she was. She was already awake, and gave
me no time to speak to her, for, as soon as she saw me,
she cried out, "Now, Aunt Kitty, I know what to do
with my money."
"Why, my love," said I, "I thought you were going to
buy a doll with it, like Eliza Lewis's; and you know I
told you that such a doll would take it all."
Oh yes, I know all that, Aunt Kitty; but I've some-
thing a great deal better to do with it now,-I am going
to buy books with it. It will buy five volumes of the
Boys' and Girls' Library ; for, see here, Aunt Kitty,"
showing me the price which was marked on a leaf of the
book she had brought home the day before, "see here,
this only,cost two shillings,-and I've counted, and there
are five times two shillings in my half-sovereign."
And are you very sure," said I, that you will always
like the books better than the doll, and that when you
have finished reading them you will not feel sorry for
having changed your mind 1"
"Oh no I am very sure I shall not, for you know I
could only play with my doll now and then, and if I kept
it all to myself I should soon grow tired of it, and if I let
the other girls play with it, it would soon get spoiled or
broken, and I should have nothing left for my money.
But it will take me a long time to read through so many
new books; and when they get spoiled or torn up, if I


remember what was in them, I shall still have something
for my gold piece. And then, you know, Aunt Kitty,
you cannot play with my doll, but you can read my
I was always gratified that my little girl should wish
me to share in her pleasures, and so I told her, adding
that I thought her choice of books rather than the doll
was very wise. At the end of the book which Harriet
had just read, were the names of all the volumes of the
Boys' and Girls' Library that had yet been published.
Harriet turned to this leaf, and began to show me which
of them she intended to buy. I told her, however, that
she had better not think any more of them just now, and
that after breakfast she might write down their names
and give them to me, and I would send for them to a
bookseller in the city. In the meantime I reminded her
that she had not yet thanked her heavenly Father for
his kind care of her while she was away, or asked him to
bless her through this day.
I then left her, as she was dressed, and went to the
breakfast-parlour, intending to put some questions to the
servant who was there about my neighbours, which I had
no time to ask the evening before. I now heard very sad
news indeed. The servant told me that a great many
children, and even some grown-up persons, had died of
scarlet fever. Among the last was Mr. Scott; and Alice
had been near death,-indeed, was very ill. This news
made me very sad, and when Harriet heard of it she forgot
both her gold coin and the books it was to buy, while she
begged to go with me to see the sick child. As I was no
longer afraid of her taking the disease, since persons
usually have the scarlet fever but once, I consented, and
we set out as soon as we had breakfasted.




As we came in sight of the house, we found it looking
very gloomy. Though the morning was pleasant and the
weather warm, the windows were all closely shut. The
little courtyard was neglected; it was full of weeds.
Alice's flowers seemed to have withered on their stalks,
and wanted trimming and training sadly. We did not
see a creature or hear a sound, and everything was so
still and seemed so lifeless that it made me feel melancholy;
and Harriet appeared a little afraid, for she drew close to
my side and took hold of my hand. When we came quite
near, I found the door was ajar, and we went in at once
without knocking. The parlour door stood open, and I
looked in, hoping to find some one there who would tell
Mrs. Scott of my coming, as I was afraid we might dis-
turb Alice by going straight to her room. There was no
one in the parlour, and bidding Harriet wait there for
me, I stepped very softly on to the room door. I intended
to knock at this door so lightly, that though Mrs. Scott
might hear me it would not wake Alice if she were
asleep. When I came near the room, however, I heard a
sound like some one speaking very low, yet not whisper-
ing. The door was not latched, and everything was so
quiet that I stood still and listened. I not only knew
that it was Alice's voice, but I could even hear what she
said. Her tone was very feeble, as if from her own great
weakness, yet sharp, like that in which persons speak who
are frightened or distressed. She appeared, poor child,
to be both frightened and distressed. It seemed to me
that she was complaining to her mother of the darkness
and silence around her, while her mother did not answer
her at all, but every now and then moaned as if in great
"Mother, my dear mother," said Alice, "speak to me;
and open the window, mother-pray open the window



and give me some light. I am afraid, mother-I am
afraid, it is so dark and still-so like the grave."
For a moment the child was silent, as if waiting for
her mother's answer; but as no one spoke to her, she cried
out again in still sharper tones, "Oh, mother, mother,
where are you? Wake up, mother, dear mother, and
open the window, and let me look once, only once, on the
blessed light, and see your face; and then, mother, I will
be quiet and go to sleep, and you may shut it all up again."
I began now to be quite anxious about Mrs. Scott, who
I thought must be ill herself, or she would certainly
answer Alice. Besides, I could not stand the poor child's
distress any longer, and thinking it would be a relief to
her to hear anybody speak, I pushed the door open and
went in. The window was shut, as poor Alice supposed,
but still there was light enough for me to see her very
plainly. Her face was as white as the pillow on which it
was lying, and her long and thick dark hair fell around
it in great confusion. This, and the terror she felt, made
her look very wild. Mrs. Scott was kneeling at the foot
of the bed, her hands were clasped over her head, and her
face wasburied in the bedclothes. Alice's eyes were opened
very widely, and their look, together with what I had
heard, told me the painful truth at once. Alice was
blind-perfectly blind,-an affliction that sometimes fol-
lows scarlet fever. Till this morning she had been either
out of her senses, or so low and stupid from the disease,
that she did not notice anything. But now she was
better and stronger, and having heard the doctor bid her
mother good-morning when he came in to see her, she
was first surprised by the long-continued darkness, and
then frightened by her mother's silence and distress.
And poor Mrs. Scott! she had long feared for her child's
eyes, as Alice would complain of the darkness when the
broad daylight was around her, and grieve that she could
not see her mother's face when she was weeping over her
pillow, or pressing her cold hand on her hot and aching
head. But the fever gave Alice many strange fancies,
and Mrs. Scott had hoped that this was one of them, till



this morning, when the doctor told her that her beloved
child was blind, quite blind, and must, he feared, be so
I have told you that Mrs. Scott had had many sorrows;
that she had been sick and poor; had lost three sweet
children; and, last and worst of all, her husband. Yet she
had never complained; she had always said, My Father
in heaven loves me, and he sees this sorrow will do me
good, or he would not let it happen to me." But she was
now weak and worn with grief and fatigue, and when
she first heard that her gay, laughing Alice must now be
always in darkness-that she could never again see the
green earth, or the beautiful flowers, or the bright skies
she had so loved to look upon-that, instead of running,
jumping, and dancing along, she must now be led by
another, or feel her way very slowly and carefully, she
was so distressed, so very, very sad, that she had no power
to answer Alice, except by low moans.
Much of what I have now told you I heard afterwards;
but I saw enough at once to show me what I had best do.
Now I want my little readers to mark what I say, and
remember whenever anything happens to another which
terrifies or distresses them, they are not to run away from
it, but to try to do something to remove it. It no doubt
makes you feel very badly to see another suffering, but
then you know they feel a great deal worse than you do,
and if you will only think more of them than of yourself,
you will generally find something you can do to help
As soon as I saw how things were with Mrs. Scott and
poor Alice, I said to Mrs. Scott, in as cheerful and quiet
a manner as possible, How d'ye do, Mrs. Scott ? I have
called to see how Alice and you are to-day, and I am very
glad to see she is better." Then going up to Alice, and
taking her hand, I said, "I rejoice, my dear little girl,
that you are getting well again ; but you have been very
ill, and your mother has watched by you so long that she
seems quite overcome with sleep. Will you let me take
care of you for a little while, that she may rest?"



I spoke very gently, and the child seemed pleased to
hear any voice besides her own.
Thank you, ma'am," said she; I will be glad to have
you sit by me while my mother rests, if you will only
open the window and give me some light."
Her mother groaned.
"I will open the window, my dear, and let you feel the
breeze, and know that the light is around you; but your
eyes are weak yet-so weak that it would hurt them very
much, perhaps blind them entirely, if the light fell on
them, so you must let me tie a handkerchief lightly over
them before I open the window, and promise me you will
not take it off while it is open."
In this I only told Alice the truth ; for I knew if there
was any hope of her recovering her sight it must be by keep-
ing her from using her eyes for some time. She readily
promised what I asked, and I then took my pocket-hand-
kerchief, which was fine and thin, and passing it lightly
over her eyes, tied it so as to cover them without pressing
upon them. I then opened the window, and as she heard
me open it and felt the breeze upon her, Alice said, "Oh,
thank you, ma'am, it is so pleasant to know that the light
is here, and I can almost see it; but, indeed, you need not
be afraid of it hurting me, for I will keep my eyes shut
all the time."
The poor mother had by this time risen up from the
foot of the bed, and was trying to be calm; but when she
heard her little girl speak in such cheerful tones, and
especially when she heard her say that she could almost
see, knowing, as she did, that this was only a fancy which
would soon pass away, she was quite overcome, and burst-
ing into tears she hurried out of the room. I thought it
was best to let her go by herself, for I believed she would
ask God to give her strength to bear this great sorrow,
and I knew that "like as a father pitieth his children, so
the Lord pitieth them that fear him," and that he could
send into her heart such thoughts of his love and tender
care for her and her dear child, as would comfort her
more than anything I could say to her.
(11) 2



I called Harriet in to see Alice. They were very glad
to meet, and chatted cheerfully together, while I moved
about the room, putting things in as neat order as I could.
Harriet told Alice of everything she had seen since she
had been away, which she thought could amuse her, not
forgetting the beautiful wax doll, nor what she intended
to do with it. Alice quite approved of Harriet's intention
to buy books instead of a doll, and Harriet promised that
she would lend them to her as soon as her eyes were strong
enough to read; for Harriet never supposed that Alice
was blind, but thought the handkerchief was bound over
her eyes because the light pained them, as she remembered
it had done hers when she was ill.
After a while, Mrs. Scott came in, and going straight
up to Alice, pressed her lips tenderly over the places in
the handkerchief which covered those dear eyes, and asked
her gently how she was now. Alice answered cheerfully,
" I feel a great deal better, and so glad to hear your voice
again. You quite frightened me this morning, dear
mother, when you would not speak to me. Have you
"Not slept, my love, but rested, and I too feel a great
deal better."
I am very glad;" then raising her hand, she passed it
softly over her mother's face, saying, "I will be satisfied
while I can hear you and feel that it is you, though they
will not let me look at you."
Mrs. Scott's lip trembled, and the tears came into her
eyes again, but they did not run over. She kissed Alice,
and then turning to me, thanked me for coming over, and
asked me how long I had been at home.
"Only since yesterday evening," I replied, "and I have
so much to attend to before I shall feel quite at home,
that now, as you are able to come back to Alice, I must,
I think, leave her till to-morrow; but you are too much
fatigued to be left alone with her. I know a good girl,
who will not only help you to do your work, but who is
so kind that she will take care of Alice, and so cheerful
and pleasant that she will amuse her when you cannot



be with her. I will stop at her house on my way home,
and send her to you."
The poor woman did not speak directly, but after a
little while she said, I think, ma'am, I ought not to let
the girl you speak of come, for I am not so well able to
pay for help as I once was."
I will settle all that with her," said I; and I will find
some way to make your little girl here pay me for it,
when she gets well.-And now, Alice, you will I know
remember your promise to me, and not even ask your
mother to take the handkerchief off your eyes till she
darkens the room this evening. Perhaps, my dear child,
you may have to be in the dark for many days, but we
will do everything we can to help you to bear it patiently.
Harriet will spend part of every day with you, and she
can read for you till you are able to read for yourself
Oh, thank you, ma'am, I do not think I shall mind
the darkness at all now, if my mother stays with me, and
you will let Harriet come very often to see me."
"Well, my child, we will both come to-morrow; and
now we will bid you good-bye, and I think you had better
be still and try to sleep, for while you are so weak it is
not right for you to talk long without resting."
Harriet and I then left the room, and were followed
by Mrs. Scott, who told Alice she was going to the door
with us, and would soon be back. She opened the door
for us, and when we had gone out she stepped out too,
and taking my hand, she thanked me again and again for
the comfort I had given her poor blind girl, as she called
Alice, when she was too much stunned, she said, to know
what to do. I told her I thought it was very important
that Alice should not know her misfortune till she was
stronger, for fear she would grieve so much as to make
her ill again; and that now, till the doctor should think
it right to tell her of it, I hoped Alice would, suppose that
the bandage, or the darkness of the room, kept her from
seeing. "But," I asked Mrs. Scott, "does not the doctor
think something may be done to restore her sight?"



Nothing that I can do, ma'am," said the poor woman,
beginning to weep; and that's the worst part, and the
hardest to bear, though I try to remember that my Father
in heaven sends that too. The doctor says that in the
city there are eye-doctors,-he calls them oculists,-who
know a great deal which he does not, and that they might
do her" some good. But ah, ma'am how am I to go to
the city with her, even if they would attend her for noth-
ing after we get there, when I owe more money than I can
pay for a long while without working very hard, and liv-
ing myself, and what's worse, making my poor child live,
on bread and water ?"
I tried to say something that might comfort this poor
woman, but I felt it was a very sad case, and could not
say much. She answered to what I did say: True,
ma'am, true, God will strengthen me to bear what only
his own hand could bring upon me. May he forgive my
complaining heart. He has given me back my child from
the very gate of the grave, and now he has sent you to
me to be a kind friend in my time of great trouble, and I
ought to feel, and I will try to feel, very thankful. But
good-bye, ma'am; I hope to see you again to-morrow. I
must not stay longer now, for fear my poor child should
want me." So saying, she shook hands with Harriet and
me, and went into the house.

As soon as she was gone, Harriet, who had stood, while
we were talking, staring with a half-frightened look, first
at Mrs. Scott and then at me, said in a low tone, "Aunt
Kitty, what is the matter with Alice ? What does Mrs.
Scott mean by calling her a blind girl ? Surely Alice will
see again soon; will she not, Aunt Kitty ?"
"I fear not, my love, I fear not,-certainly not, unless



Mrs. Scott can take her where she can have more done
for her than anybody here can do; and I know not how
she will get money enough to do that."
"Money enough Why, Aunt Kitty, is Mrs. Scott so
very poor ?"
"You heard her say that she owed money which she
could only hope to pay by working very hard, and living
very poorly. She has no husband to work for her now,
Harriet, and Mr. Scott's and Alice's illness must have
made her spend a great deal."
0 Aunt Kitty! I am very sorry for Alice, and if I
thought it would help her, I would-"
What Harriet would have said was here interrupted by
the coming up of the very girl whom I had wished to get
to help Mrs. Scott to take care of Alice. I told her of
Alice's blindness, how anxious we were that she should
not hear of it just now, and that we wished to keep her
amused, as well as to have her made comfortable. I
added that I would pay her for what she did, and then
asked how soon she could go.
Right away, right away, ma'am. Poor things! And
such kind and clever people as them are too. I only wish,
ma'am, I could go to 'em without pay. I am sure if it
wasn't for them as depends on me, I'd do it with all my
I told her this was not necessary, though it was very
kind, and again bidding her take good care of Alice, I sent
her to them, while I went home.
Harriet was very silent during the rest of our walk. I
did not ask any questions about what she had been going
to tell me she would do for Alice, if she thought it would
help her, because, whatever she did, I wished should be
done from her own free will. When we were again at
home, she did not go to play or to read as usual, but sat
down in one place, as if she were tired, and seemed very
thoughtful; yet she never named Alice, which surprised
me a little, as she was accustomed to talk to me of what-
ever distressed her. In the afternoon she tried to amuse
herself, bringing out first a book and then a toy from her



room into the parlour where I sat, until she had gathered
together all she had; but there seemed still to be some-
thing wanting, for in a short time the books were laid
aside, the toys pushed away, and Harriet, apparently for-
getting them, again sat as she had done in the morning,
quiet and thoughtful. After it began to grow dark, she
carried her books and toys back to her room, and came
and seated herself at my feet. As the weather was warm,
we had no lights in the parlour, and the hall light just
let us see where objects stood, but was not bright enough
to show us very plainly what they were.
"Aunt Kitty," said Harriet, can Alice see no more
plainly than we do now when there is no light in the
room ?"
Not so plainly, my love, for we can see a little. She
can see no more than you can of a dark night when you
wake up at midnight with your windows shut and your
curtains down."
She was silent a few minutes, and then said, It must
be a dreadful thing, Aunt Kitty, to be blind."
"Yes, my dear Harriet," said I, "it must be a dreadful
thing; and I fear neither you nor I have been thankful
enough to God for saving you from such an affliction,
when you got well of the same disease which has made
Alice blind. When you pray for your little friend to-
night, my love, do not forget how much reason you have
to be thankful that you can see."
Harriet did not say anything more, but she laid her
head on my lap, and I heard her sob once or twice.
It was now getting late, and kissing her, I told her it
was time for her to go to bed, and that I would only sit
up long enough after her to write a letter to a bookseller
to whom I intended sending for the books. Harriet was
now standing by me in the hall, where I had gone to light
her candle; and when I mentioned the books, she looked
as if she was about to speak, but stopped herself. After
I had ended, she said, "Aunt Kitty,-" then stopped
What, my love ?" said I.



"Nothing, ma'am-good-night to you," and taking her
candle she went to her room.
I wrote my letter and then went to mine, into which,
you must remember, I have told you, hers opened. I
turned my latch very softly, for fear of waking Harriet if
she was asleep ; but as soon as I entered she called out,
"I'm not asleep, dear Aunt Kitty; please come here, and
let me speak to you."
I went to her directly, asking what was the matter.
I have been waiting and listening a long time for you.
Aunt Kitty, for there is something I wanted to say to
you, and I could not go to sleep till I had said it. I hope
you did not write the letter about the books, for I do not
want them now, Aunt Kitty. I want you, if you please,
to give the money to poor Mrs. Scott, that it may help her
to go to the city and get something done for Alice's eyes."
My dear Harriet, this money is yours, and you have
a right to do what you will with it; but I hope you have
thought well of what you are going to do now. It will
not do afterwards to be sorry you did not buy the books
you want, which you will not be likely to get in any other
"Oh no, Aunt Kitty! I do not want them now; at
least I do not want them half so much as I want Alice to
see again, and I have thought very much about it,-in-
deed I have. When I first heard Mrs. Scott and you
talking this morning, and you said Alice was blind, and
Mrs. Scott was too poor to take her to the good doctors
who might do something for her, I remembered my
gold piece, and thought I would give it to her to help
her; and I was just going to tell you so when Betty
Maclaurin came up, and you stopped to speak to her
about going to Mrs. Scott's, and then I could not, you
"Well, but you could have told me after she had gone,
if you still wished it."
Yes, I know I could; but while you were talking to
her, I remembered my books, and I called all their names
over, and thought how Alice would like to hear me read



them, till I wanted them more than ever; and then I
thought it would be a great deal kinder to get them, and
read some of them every day to Alice, than to give Mrs.
Scott my money, which, though I think it so much,
would hardly help her at all. Besides, Aunt Kitty, I
knew you and my uncle and my grandpapa would give
Mrs. Scott a great deal more money than my half-sovereign
if it would help poor Alice."
And what made my little girl change her mind-what
made her think this would not be best ?"
"I do not know, Aunt Kitty; I only know I could not
think of anything but Alice all day, though I tried every
way to forget her, and everything I looked at made me
feel bad, because Alice could not see it too."
Did my little Harriet never think during all this time
of that verse which she learned from her Bible the other
day, which I told her would always teach her what she
ought to do for others: 'As ye would that men should do
to you, do ye also to them likewise'?"
Oh yes, Aunt Kitty! I thought of that this evening
when you were telling me what a dreadful thing it is to
be blind, and that I might have been blind as well as
Alice. And I said to myself, If I had been blind, I would
have thought it very unkind in Alice not to do all she
could to help me to see again; and then I felt as if I was so
cruel that I could not help crying; and when you said you
were going to write for the books, I wanted to beg of you
not to do it, yet somehow I could not, so I only bid you
good-night, and came to bed."
And what happened then to make you feel differently ?
Tell me all you thought and felt, dear child, and then I
shall know whether you are doing right now."
Why, you see, Aunt Kitty, after I was undressed, I
knelt down to say my prayers; and after I had thanked
God, as you told me to do, for my own eyesight, I tried to
pray that he would give Alice back hers. But though I
said the words over and over again, I could not feel as if I
was praying them; for I kept thinking, Aunt Kitty, how
deceitful God would think me to pretend to care so much



for Alice's eyes, when I really cared so much more about
my books; and then I remembered the little prayer you
taught me once, '0 God! I pray you, show me what is
right to do, and make me love to do it.' As soon as I said
'what is right to do,' it came into my head that it was
right for me to do all I could for Alice, if everybody else
did ever so much for her. And now, Aunt Kitty, I wish
I had a great deal more money, that I might give it all to
her; and though I am just as sorry for Alice, I do not
feel half so bad about her, for if we are willing to do all
we can for her, God, who loves her a great deal more than
any of us, will certainly give her back her eyesight. Don't
you think he will, Aunt Kitty?"
God does love her a great deal more than we do, my
dear; but he is a great deal wiser than we are, and he
may see that it is best for Alice that she should continue
blind, though it seems so terrible to us. You must re-
member, therefore, that Alice may go to the city and come
back no better. Should you not feel sorry then that you
had given up your books without doing her any good ?"
Harriet thought for a moment, and then said, "No,
Aunt Kitty, for I should have done what was right, and
I could never feel sorry for that, you know."
I kissed the sweet child, and said, "Dear Harriet, al-
ways remember what you now say. Do right, my child,
and you will be happy, let what will happen,-far happier
than if by doing wrong you could get everything in the
world you wished for. And now I may tell you that you
could have made no use of your money which I would
have thought half so good, or which would have given me
half so much pleasure."
I am very glad, Aunt Kitty; I was afraid at first that
you did not like me to give it away."
"Why, Harriet? What made you feel afraid of this?"
"Because you did not talk at first as you do when you
are very much pleased."
"I had a reason, my dear, for not seeming very much
pleased until I had heard why you wished to give your
money to Alice,-a very good reason, I think, which it



would take me too long to explain to you to-night, for it
is very late already for such a little girl to be sitting up.
Go to bed now, and to-morrow morning I will tell you
all about it." Harriet went to bed, and soon forgot her
good intentions and my good reasons in a sound sleep.
I dare say my little readers thought just as Harriet did,
that I did not seem at first as much pleased as I ought to
have been with her kind and generous feelings to her
friend ; but if they will read the conversation I had with
her the next morning, I think they will understand why
this was.

I DID not wake Harriet as early as usual the next morn-
ing, because she had been up so late at night. As soon,
however, as she was well awake, she remembered our
conversation, and said, Now, Aunt Kitty, you will tell
me what you promised ?"
Not now, my love, for it is late, and breakfast will
soon be ready; but after breakfast we will go to Mrs.
Scott's, and on our way there I will answer your questions."
As soon as we had set out for Mrs. Scott's, Harriet
again reminded me of my promise.
"Well, my love," said I, "you wish to know why I did
not tell you at once how much pleased I was with your
intention to help Alice. It was because I wanted first to
hear your reasons for doing it, and so to know whether
you were acting from an impulse or a principle."
Now my little readers are doubtless very much puzzled
by this "acting from an impulse or a principle," and so
was Harriet too. She looked up in my face with a very
thoughtful air for a minute, then shook her head, and
said, "Aunt Kitty, I do not even know what 'impulse'
means, or principle' either."
"I did not expect you would, my love; but I hope to



be able to explain them to you, if you will listen very
carefully to what I am going to say. Persons are said to
act from impulse when they are led to do a thing from
feeling, without pausing to ask whether the feeling be
right or wrong. Thus: if you were eating a piece of cake,
and a very poor child should come up to you, and saying
she was hungry, ask you for it, and you should give it to
her without a moment's thought, from a feeling of pity for
her, this would be acting from impulse."
"And would it not be right, Aunt Kitty, to give the
poor little child my cake ?"
Very right, my love; and if you had asked yourself
what it was right to do, you would have given it, perhaps,
just as quickly, for you know your Bible tells you, 'Be
pitiful'-' Feed the hungry.' Your feeling of pity, then,
was a right feeling, and your readiness to give your cake
was what we call a good impulse; but you know there are
some very wrong feelings, such as anger, which sometimes
makes little girls give hard words, and even hard blows,
to their brothers and sisters, or playmates, who will not
do as they wish. This again is acting from impulse,
though it is a bad impulse. So you see, my dear Harriet,
as the best-natured people in the world sometimes have
very wrong feelings, if they are accustomed to do just
what their feelings tell them to do,-that is, to act from
impulse,-you can never be sure whether their actions will
be good or bad."
But, Aunt Kitty, when I find out my feeling is a
right feeling, I may do just what it tells me to do ? "
"No, my love; even when a feeling is a right feeling, it
will not be well to do always just what it tells you, for a
right feeling may -lead to a very wrong action. You
think this strange, but I will tell you a story which will
show you that it sometimes is so. A little girl was once
sent by a lady, who was making a visit to her mother, to
a thread and needle store, to buy a spool of cotton for her.
The lady had given her a shilling, which she held carefully
between her finger and thumb, for fear of losing it. Another
girl who was passing saw the shilling, and wanted it very



much. Being a very wicked child, she began to cry, or
at least, to seem to cry, saying that she had just lost the
only shilling her mother had, as she was going to the
baker's to buy a loaf of bread with it; that they had
nothing to eat at home, and she was afraid her mother
would beat her when she went back and told her what
she had done. The little girl who had the shilling felt
very sorry for her, and offered to help her to look for the
money. They did look for it a long time, the wicked
child crying piteously all the while, and saying that her
mother would kill her, till the other little girl felt so
grieved that she gave her the shilling which she had in
her hand. Now, as she believed the wicked child's story,
the sorrow she felt for her was very right, and yet you see
it led her to do a very wrong action-to give away what
did not belong to her. Nor did the wrong-doing stop
here; when she went home, her mamma, to whom she
intended to tell all about it, was gone out, and the lady
asking for her cotton, she was afraid to tell her what she
had done with the money, and so she committed a greater
fault by saying what was not true,-she told her she had
lost the shilling. The lady thought her very careless,
and thus she got blame which she did not deserve; and as
she was really a good little girl in general, she was quite
miserable for several days about the story she had told,
until she summoned courage to let her mamma know the
whole truth. Here you see, Harriet, a very kind feeling
made this little girl act very badly; but if she had been
accustomed, when a feeling inclined her to do anything,
to ask herself if it would be right, before she did it,-that
is, to act from principle instead of impulse,-she would
have said to the wicked child, 'I am very sorry for you,
and if this shilling was mine I would give it to you; but
it is not. You must wait till I have bought the spool of
cotton I was sent for, and then, if you will go home with
me, I will ask my mamma for another shilling for you."'
"Now, Aunt Kitty, I think I understand you: if I had
given my money to Alice yesterday morning, when I first
heard she was blind, and before I had thought what was



right for me to do, I would have acted from impulse,
would I not ?"
"Yes, my love; and though it would have been a good
impulse, and you would even then have had more pleasure
than in spending it on anything that was only for your-
self, yet I am afraid your pleasure would not have lasted
long. You would soon have begun to think of your
books, and if other people offered to help Alice, you would
have thought you had been very foolish to give them up."
"But I shall not think so now, Aunt Kitty; I shall
always think it was right to give them up to do Alice
"That is true, Harriet, and the happiness you feel in
doing what is right, you will always feel : for that which
makes you happy will not change ; what is right to-day,
will be right to-morrow, and the next day, and the next."
"We walked on a little way in silence, and then Harriet
said, looking up at me with a smiling, pleasant face,
" Then, Aunt Kitty, after all, it was not very wrong for
me not to give my money to Alice at once ?"
It was not wrong at all, my dear, for you not to give
it till you had asked yourself whether it was right to do
so; but you might have asked this question as soon as
you felt sorry for Alice, and then you would have done
in the morning what you waited till night to do, and
have felt just as happy on account of doing it. I would
be very sorry to have my little girl suppose that when
she sees anybody in distress, she must wait a great while
to think the matter over, before she does anything for
them. There is only one question you need ask before
you try to help them, and that is-What is it right for me
to do? This you can ask immediately; and you need not
wait long for an answer-conscience will tell you very
honestly and very quickly what is right."
Now perhaps some of my little readers may not know
as well as Harriet did what I mean by conscience, so I
will tell them. I mean something within you, which
makes you know whether you have been good or bad
children, before anybody else says anything about it.



"But, Aunt Kitty," said Harriet, "how is my con-
science always to know what is right or wrong ?"
There are many ways, Harriet, in which conscience
may learn something about it; but the easiest and
simplest way of all is by reading your Bible, and trying
to understand and remember what that tells you to do or
not to do. When conscience is thus taught, if it tells you
that what a feeling would, lead you to do is right, you
must do it at once, without thinking any further about it;
and if conscience tells you a feeling is wrong, you must
try to get rid of it at once."
Get rid of it, Aunt Kitty !" said Harriet, with a
wondering look; "how can I get rid of a feeling ?"
"The best way, my dear Harriet, is by refusing to do
anything it would have you. Thus, if you are angry with
any one, and the feeling of anger would have you say
some of those hard words to them which I spoke of just
now, refuse to say them, or if possible even to think them
over in your own mind, and you will very soon get rid of
your anger."
Harriet did not say anything for some minutes. When
she next spoke, it was in a very low and somewhat sad
"Aunt Kitty, I am afraid I cannot do all you tell me,
for I have tried sometimes, when I have been very angry,
not to say anything, and I could not help talking."
I know, my dear, that it is often difficult; but the
harder it is, the happier will you feel if you can do it.
But, my dear Harriet, you planted some seeds in your
garden this morning, and watered them, yet you know
they could not grow any more than a pebble could, if God
did not put life into them, and make them take in the
water and the warmth which will nourish them and cause
them to swell out and put forth; and so, after all the in-
structions which I can give you, or even which you can
get from your Bible, it is only God who can put into
your heart such a strong desire to do right, that you will
receive these instructions, as the little seeds receive the
water and warmth, and put forth right feelings and right



actions, as they put forth their green leaves. This you
must ask him to do. But here we are in sight of Mrs.
Scott's, slowly as we have walked, and you will not be
sorry, I suppose, to have such a very grave talk stopped."
"I am not glad to have you stop talking, Aunt Kitty;
but I will be very glad to see Alice, for I have brought a
book to read for her, that I know she wants to hear
very much."

I WAs pleased to see, as I approached, that the house
looked more cheerful. The parlour windows were open,
and as we went up the steps and passed through the little
porch I saw that they had been nicely swept. The door
was latched, and on my knocking at it Mrs. Scott herself
opened it for us. She seemed very glad to see us, and
said Alice felt stronger and better, and that she had been
looking, or rather listening, for us all the morning. We
went directly to her room. There too everything seemed
in order, and looked very pleasantly. The sash was raised,
and the soft, warm breeze brought to us the sweet smell
of the clover, a field of which was in bloom quite near the
house. Alice was sitting in bed, propped up with pillows,
and though still very pale, looked much more like herself
than she had done the day before. The handkerchief
was over her eyes, as I had placed it, and I told her I
was much pleased to see she had not forgotten her pro-
mise. She smiled and answered me cheerfully, Indeed,
ma'am, I have been very careful to keep it. I would not
ask to take off the handkerchief till my mother shut the
window last night, and told me it was quite dark, and I
tied it on myself as soon as I awoke this morning, though
that was long before daylight. But now," she added,
speaking very fast, as if something would call off my
attention before I had heard all she wished to say, may



not I have it off just for one single minute ? I do want
to see the clover, for I know it is in bloom by the smell."
"And I hope, my dear little girl, you will be satisfied
to know it only by the smell to-day, for it would be very
imprudent to expose your eyes to the light so soon.
Harriet has come to spend the morning with you, and
you must see with her eyes. She will read for you, and
when you grow weary of listening she will tell you how
anything looks which you want very much to see."
"Oh I shall like that, for then, Harriet, I can see all
that you saw when you were away, your grandfather's
house, and all the places that you passed on the road, for
you know you can tell me how they looked, and then I
shall see them through your eyes. Will not that be
pleasant ?"
Having thus satisfied Alice, I proposed to Mrs. Scott
that we should leave the children, as I thought Harriet
would read better, and Alice and she would talk more
freely, if we were not there to listen to them. I had an-
other reason too, as my little readers will presently see.
I wanted to speak to Mrs. Scott about Alice, to learn
whether the doctor had seen her after I went away the
day before, and whether he still thought that some-
thing might be done in the city for her eyes. Mrs. Scott
told me he had been there the evening before, when poor
Alice thought the room quite dark, and wondered her
mother did not bring in a light for the doctor, though a
lamp was burning brightly upon the table near her. The
doctor passed this lamp before her eyes, holding it quite
close to them, but she never winked. Poor Mrs. Scott
told me this with her eyes full of tears, which streamed
down her cheeks as she added, that the doctor did not
speak a word, but that the mournful shake of his head as
he set down the lamp said as plainly as words could do, that
he thought her child's a very bad case. The doctor's house
was quite near to Mrs. Scott's, and while she was speak-
ing we saw him coming home from a visit he had been
making. He was on horseback, and seeing me at the
open window, he stopped his horse at the gate of the



courtyard to say that he was glad to see me at home
again, and to ask how his little friend Harriet was; for
Harriet having been, as I told you before, a very good
child in her sickness, she and her doctor were very close
Leaving Mrs. Scott in the parlour, I went to the gate
of the courtyard and told the doctor I wanted to put
some questions to him about Alice, which I would rather
Mrs. Scott did not hear. He very kindly got off his
horse and came quite near me. I then told him that 1
wished to know from him whether there was the least
hope that anything could be done in the city to restore
Alice's sight. Looking very grave, he answered that he
was afraid not, but as physicians who knew more about
the eyes than he did might think differently, if Mrs.
Scott were a little richer, or if he were rich enough to
help her, he would still advise her to go. I told the doc-
tor that I had some friends who I thought would give Mrs.
Scott as much money as would take her to B- and
pay her board as long as it would be necessary for Alice
to stay there, but that I was afraid the attendance of
these oculists would cost a great deal more perhaps than
they could give.
Not if she go to B-," replied the doctor quickly.
" That,,you know, is the place from which I came, and I
know a number of physicians there. To some of these I
would give Mrs. Scott letters, and through them the
pious and excellent Doctor W- the best oculist there,
might be made acquainted with the case of our little
Alice. He would, I am sure, do all he could for her
without any charge."
I asked the doctor if he knew anything of the Institu-
tion for the Blind in B
"Yes, ma'am," he replied. "It is a most noble institu-
tion, and its manager, Dr. H- the most benevolent of
men. To him I can give Mrs. Scott a letter, and this
poor child will, I doubt not, have all the aid which he
can give her."
Perhaps my little readers never heard of these institu-
(11) 3



tions for the blind, and I will therefore tell them that
there those who are perfectly blind are taught to read,
write, sew, and do many fancy works, which it would
seem to us quite impossible to do without sight. Now,
you will see at once, if Alice should continue blind, what
a great advantage it would be to her to be taught such
things. To sit always in the dark, and be able to do
nothing, might make even a merry little girl sad, while
even blindness may be borne cheerfully when the blind
can be employed. Besides, Alice, if able to do some of
the works I have named, might earn money by them-
perhaps enough to support herself and her mother too;
and I need not tell you what a comfort that would be to
a good and affectionate child.
Before the doctor left me I asked him how soon it
would be prudent for Alice to travel; and he said, if she
continued to get better, she might set out on the follow-
ing Monday, as she would go almost all the way in a
steamboat, which would not fatigue her so much as tra-
velling by land. He added, if by Saturday evening I
were to get as much money for Mrs. Scott as would be
necessary, he would have the letters he had promised to
write ready for her, and we would then meet at her
house on Sunday, and tell the poor little girl of her
blindness, as kindly and gently as we could, if she should
not discover it before that time.
When I went back to the house, finding Mrs. Scott still
in the parlour, I told her of what the doctor and I had
been speaking, and asked her whether, if she should go
to B- and find that nothing could be done by the
physicians there for her child's eyes, she would be willing
to have her placed for a year or two at the Institution
for the Blind.
Willing, my dear ma'am!" said the good woman; I
shall be thankful indeed to the kind people who gave
their money to support such a good school, and still more
to God, who put it in their hearts to do so. I know it
will be hard to part from my poor little girl, even for an
hour, now she's so helpless; but I need not come far away



from her, for I dare say I can get some kind of work in
B- by which I can make enough to live upon; and if
she can't come home to me at night, they will maybe let
me go to see her every day: don't you think they will,
ma'am ?"
"I do not doubt it," I replied; "but now I will see
Alice, and bid her good-bye, for I must hasten home to
write a letter that I wish to send away this afternoon."
I entered Alice's room as I spoke, and found her still
listening to the book which Harriet had not more than
half finished reading, as she had stopped to talk over
with Alice whatever seemed to her most pleasant in it.
Alice seemed so unwilling to part with Harriet that I
gave her permission to stay till evening, when I promised
to send for her, adding that I would call myself the next
"And then, ma'am," said Alice, "do you not think-"
she stopped, and seemed confused.
Do I not think what, Alice ? Speak, my dear child,-
what would you ask?"
"I am afraid you will think me very teasing, ma'am;
but I am so tired of the dark. Do you not think I can
take off the handkerchief by that time ?"
It made me very sad to hear her speak of being tired of
the dark,-so sad, that I could not answer her directly.
Thinking from my silence that I was displeased with her,
she burst into tears, and said, "I was afraid you would
be angry with me."
Indeed, my dear child," said I, kissing her and wiping
the tears from her face, "I am not angry, nor am I at all
surprised that you should be tired of this unpleasant
bandage; but you will not now have to bear it long. This
is Thursday; on Sunday the doctor says he will take it
off altogether. You will try, I hope, for the next two
days to bear it as cheerfully and think of it as little as
"Oh yes, ma'am indeed I will; I will not say another
word about it."
"And now, my dear little girl, I would have you re-



member in all your troubles, little and great, that he who
sends them is God, your kind and tender heavenly Father.
Do you think, Alice, your mother would willingly make
you suffer pain ?"
"No, ma'am, I am sure she would not."
"And yet she has given you, since you were sick, very
bad-tasted and sickening medicine, and even put a blister
upon you, which must have given you great pain. Why
was this ? "
"To save me from being more ill, and having greater
pain, and to make me well," said Alice, in a very low
"True, my dear child; and God, who tells us in the
Bible that he loves us better than even mothers love their
own children, never, we may be sure, suffers any pain or
trouble to come upon us which is not to save us from
some greater pain, to make us better. Remember this,
and it will help you to bear a great many things easily,
which would otherwise seem very hard and fret you very
much. Harriet, can you not repeat for Alice those lines
you learned the other day, called a Conversation between
a Mother and her Sick Child ?"
As Alice looked very grave, I pressed her little hand
in mine, and without speaking went out of the room
as Harriet began to recite the lines-which I will set
down here, as I think my little readers would like to see

Mother, we read to-day, you know,
Where Holy Scriptures tell
That Jesus, when he lived below,
Loved little children well.
And then you told me how his word,
From the bad spirit's power
Freed him who never spoke, nor heard,
Until that blessed hour.



Beside the ruler's lifeless child,
In pitying tones he spoke,
The maiden sleeps "-though corners smiled,
She heard his voice, and woke.
And now, you say, above the sky,
Unchanged, he loves us still;
Then why did he let baby die,
And why am I so ill?

When Mary walked with mother last,
She saw a little flower,
Drooping its head and fading fast
Within her garden bower.
To a more sunny spot removed,
That flower blooms fair and bright;
Our drooping baby Jesus loved,
And bore from earthly blight.
And though, my child, I cannot tell
Why yet he leaves you ill,
As I am sure he loves you well,
I doubt not that he will,
At the best time, heal every pain,
And make my Mary well again.

THE letter which I had told Mrs. Scott I wished to send
off that afternoon was to Harriet's grandfather, to whom
I intended writing about Alice; for he was a very kind,
good man, and was always glad to be told of those who
wanted, when he had anything to give. He had pro-
mised to make us a visit soon, but I did not know that it
would be so soon as this week. However, about an hour
after I had gone home, when I had written, and just as I



was folding my letter, a carriage drove to the door, and
he alighted from it. As I knew he would stay with us
two or three days, I was in no hurry to speak of Alice,
preferring to wait till Harriet came home in the evening,
and see whether she would think of interesting her
grandfather in her little friend. He had been with me
about two hours when I sent for her, and he told the ser-
vant who went that she need not mention his coming, for
he thought it would be very pleasant to see Harriet's
first joy at meeting him, when she so little expected to
see him.
As Harriet came back with the servant, we could now
and then catch a glimpse of her white dress through an
opening of the wood, and while she was still too far off
to distinguish the faces of persons sitting in the parlour,
her grandfather moved away from the window, so that
she might not see him till she was quite in the parlour.
She came up the steps, and through the porch and to the
parlour door very quietly, and rather slowly, as if she
was almost sorry to come in; but the moment she saw
her grandfather she threw down the flowers she had been
picking, and springing towards him, was in his lap before
he could even rise from his chair to meet her, crying out,
" Oh, grandpapa! I am so glad to see you-so very, very
glad-more glad than I ever was in my life before."
Why, how is that ?" said he, smiling and kissing her;
"I thought my little pet was always as glad to see old
grandpapa as she could possibly be."
So I thought too, but now I am more glad than ever,
for I want some more money, very, very much; and I
know you will give me some."
Mr. Armand, for that was his name, looked all at once
very grave, and said, So, it is to get money you are glad,
not to see me !"
I saw he was not quite well pleased, for he turned aside
his face as Harriet would have kissed him, and seemed
about to put her out of his lap. But Harriet was too
eager to notice all this; she kept her seat, and putting
her arm around his neck, spoke very fast. "Oh yes,



grandpapa! you know I am always glad to see you; but
now I do want some money for poor Alice."
"For poor Alice," said Mr. Armand,-" that alters the
case;" and drawing her close to him again, and looking
much better satisfied with her, he added, And who is
Alice ? and what makes her 'poor ?"
"Alice Why, do not you remember Alice Scott, that
I talked so much about when I was at your house ? Do
you not remember I told you I loved to play with her
better than with any of the girls, because she was so
good-natured, and never was tired ?"
"Ah! now I think I do remember something of her.
And it is because she is so pleasant a playfellow that you
wish me to give you some money for her ? "
"oOh no, grandpapa, that would be very funny," said
Harriet, laughing; but in a minute she was looking very
serious again, and went on speaking more slowly. "Poor
Alice's father is dead; he died while we were away, and
her mother is very poor, and Alice has been ill; and oh,
grandpapa! she's blind, quite blind, and Dr. Franks says
he cannot do her any good; but that there are some
doctors-eye-doctors-oculists, is it not, Aunt Kitty ?-in
B-, who might do something for her, and poor Mrs.
Scott has not any money to carry her there. Now, grand-
papa, will you not give me some for her ? "
Have you given her some yourself, Harriet ?"
"Yes, grandpapa, I have given her all I had; but
though it was a deal for me, it is not near enough for her,
you know."
Mr. Armand was silent a minute, and then said, "I
am very sorry, my dear child, to disappoint you, and still
more sorry not to help your little friend, in whom I feel
much interest; but what can I do ? I have just spent a
great deal of money on a present for you, and I really
have now none to give."
"Spent a great deal of money on a present for me!"
repeated Harriet, with a wondering face.
"Yes, my dear. I think sixteen pounds a great deal
of money to spend on a little girl, and I have just given



all that for a present for you. Do you remember the
little pony you saw at Mr. Lewis's house; and do you
remember thinking Eliza Lewis must be a very happy
little girl, because she had such a nice little wax doll to
play with in the house, and such a little pony to ride
when she went out ?"
"Oh, grandpapa! I know that was very foolish in me,
but I remember it all-the beautiful pony and all."
Well, my dear, that beautiful pony is now yours, and
will be here this evening, with a new saddle and bridle; for
all which I gave, as I have just told you, sixteen pounds."
Oh, Aunt Kitty !" cried Harriet, her eyes bright with
joy, only hear, that beautiful little pony! and he is so
gentle that I may ride him all by myself-may I not,
grandpapa ?"
"Yes, I bought him on that account, for your aunt
told me that she would like to have you ride, but feared
to put you on one of her horses.-This pony," he said,
turning to me, is as gentle as a lamb, and so well broken
and obedient, that you scarcely need a bridle for him. I
made them bring him very slowly, and rest him some
hours on the road, that he might not be at all tired when
he got here, for I thought Harriet would want a ride
to-morrow morning."
"Yes, yes, dear grandpapa, that will be so pleasant;
and I can ride him to Mrs. Scott's, and let Alice see-O
grandpapa !"-suddenly stopping herself, and looking
very sad-" she cannot see him. I had forgotten all
about it; and now you have not any money for her,
what will she do ? Poor Alice !"
"I am very sorry for her," said Mr. Armand, "for it
must be a sad thing to be blind. Had I heard about her
this morning, I do not know that you would have got
your pony; for a gentleman, at whose house I stopped,
wanted him so much, that he offered to buy him from me
at any price. However, he is now yours, and I have no
right to him, or to the money he would bring. I hope
you will enjoy riding him very much, and think of dear
grandpapa whenever you ride."



He kissed her again, and put her down from his lap.
Harriet stood beside him, and smiled a little at first, but
not so joyfully as she had done when she first heard of
the pony. After a while her countenance grew more
and more serious. Several minutes had passed, and her
grandfather and I were talking of something else, when
Harriet said to him, Grandpapa, would that gentleman
who wanted the pony give you the whole sixteen pounds
back again ?"
Yes, my love."
And would you give it all to Alice, grandpapa ?"
I should have no right to give any of it, Harriet.
The pony is now yours; and should you choose me to sell
him, the money would be yours, and I should honestly
pay every penny of it to you, and you could give it to
Alice if you liked."
Harriet was again silent for a minute or two, and
seemed very thoughtful; then, raising her head and put-
ting her hand into her grandfather's, she said, "Grand-
papa, please take pony back, and send me the money."
Her grandfather laid his hand affectionately on her
head, and said," Certainly, my child, if you wish it, when
I am going-that will give you two nights and a day to
think of it. You have not seen pony's new saddle and
bridle yet, and you may change your mind."
"Oh no, grandpapa, I shall not change my mind, for I
am sure it is right to do without pony myself, and let
Alice have the money."
She looked at me as she said this, and I replied," I am
pleased that you have not forgotten what we talked of
this morning."
Pony came, and beautiful he was, and very pretty was
the new saddle and bridle; and Harriet rode him to Mrs.
Scott's, in the morning, and home again, and very much
did she enjoy her ride; yet she did not change her mind,
for when her grandfather asked, on the morning he left
us, Well, Harriet, does pony go with me, or stay with
you ?" she answered directly, Go with you, grandpapa."
And when he was brought to the door, all saddled and



bridled for his journey, she went up to him, and stroking
his sleek sides, said, smiling, "Good-bye, my pretty pony
-good-bye; I could love you very much, but not so much
as I love Alice."
So pony went on Saturday morning; and on Saturday
evening (for the gentleman who bought him only lived
about ten miles from us) came the sixteen pounds, en-
closed in a very affectionate note to Harriet from her
grandfather. She seemed never tired of reading the note,
or of admiring the pretty new bills that were in it. When
she gave me these bills for Mrs. Scott, she begged me not
to say anything about her in giving them. As I always
liked to know my little girl's reasons for what she did, I
asked, "And why, my dear ?"
She looked confused, hesitated a good deal, and said,
"Aunt Kitty, do you remember when that little baby's
mother died last summer, and I begged you to let me
make its clothes, and-and-oh, you remember, Aunt
Kitty ?"
Yes, Harriet, I remember that you sewed very indus-
triously at first, and afterwards getting tired of your
work, the poor little baby wanted clothes sadly."
"But, Aunt Kitty, that is not all. Do you not re-
member what you told me was the reason I felt tired so
soon ? "
I think I do. Was it not that you had done it from
a desire for praise, and that as soon as people were tired
of praising you, you were tired of working? But I do
not see why you speak of that now; when you have given
the money to Alice, you cannot take it back, so you need
not be afraid of changing."
No, Aunt Kitty, not of changing-at least I could
not take it back-but-but-you know-" she stopped
and hung her head.
"If you did it for praise, you think you might get
sorry for having done it, and wish you could take it back,
when people were done praising you."
Yes, Aunt Kitty, that is it; and if people knew it, I
could not be quite sure that I was not doing it to be



praised, you know. I am very happy, now that dear
Alice will have it, and I do not think I can ever want to
take it back, or ever be sorry for giving it to her; but
you told me the other day, that doing right was the only
thing I could be certain of always being glad of; so I
would rather, if you please, you would not say anything
about me, and then I shall know that I have done it
only because it is right, and that it will always make me
just as happy as I am now."
I was too much pleased with Harriet's reasons to re-
fuse her request; so no one but her grandfather, her
grandmother, and myself, ever knew what she had done
for Alice, till now that I have told it to you,-which I
would not have done, did I not feel sure that, after what
I have said of her wishes, you would not, if you should
ever meet her, speak to her on the subject.
I was able to add four pounds to Harriet's gift, and
so there were twenty pounds for Mrs. Scott to begin
with. It would cost her but little to go to B- and
this would enable her to stay there quite long enough to
learn what could be done for Alice. Harriet thought she
would rather give her gold piece to her friend herself, to
spend as she liked.

ON Sunday afternoon the doctor and I met, as we had
agreed to do, at Mrs. Scott's. We saw her first in the
parlour. I gave her the money, and the doctor had his
letters ready for her, and explained very carefully to her
what he wished her to do. He had already sent by the
mail a letter to his sister, who lived in B- telling her
of Mrs. Scott's coming, and requesting her to look out for
some quiet place where she might be cheaply boarded,
as near as possible to the Institution for the Blind, for
there he thought Alice would have to go. He now gave



Mrs. Scott, on a card, his sister's name, and the name of
the place where she lived, telling her to go there when
she arrived in B-; and if his sister had not found a
place for her, he was sure she would keep her at her own
house till she did. Having arranged all these things
with Mrs. Scott, we went into Alice's room.
Alice was sitting up, and was so anxious for our
coming, and so happy at the thought of seeing once
more, that she had quite a rosy colour in her cheeks.
The doctor looked at her very sadly, and said How
d'ye do ?" to her with a very soft and kind voice. She
seemed hardly to hear him ; but said very quickly, with
a pleasant smile, "Now, doctor, may I take off the hand-
kerchief ?" and raised her hand to take out the pin which
fastened it.
Not yet, my dear," said the doctor, taking hold of her
hand; I wish to say something to you first. I fear,
Alice, that you atre going to be very much disappointed.
You have no idea how very bad your eyes are. They
give you no pain, and therefore you think there cannot
be much the matter with them; but, my dear child,
those are not the worst diseases of the eye which give the
most pain. You think that only this handkerchief keeps
you from seeing, but I am afraid that when I take it off
you will still see very dimly-very dimly indeed; nay,
Alice, I may as well tell you all-I fear that, at present
at least, and perhaps for many days to come, you will not
see at all."
As Dr. Franks spoke, the smile had gone from Alice's
lip, and the colour from her cheek; so that when he was
done, instead of the bright, happy face she had when we
came in, she was looking very pale and very sad. She
seemed to have forgotten the handkerchief; her hands
hung down in her lap, and she did not speak a word. But
the doctor and I were much grieved for her, and Mrs.
Scott's tears fell upon her head as she stood leaning over
the back of her chair. Alice did not weep-indeed,
she seemed quite stunned.
After a while the doctor said, "Alice, this handker-



chief is of no use to you, and it must be very warm and
unpleasant. Shall I take it off?"
Her lips moved, and she tried to say, "Yes, sir;" but
we could scarcely hear her.
It was taken off. Alice kept her eyes shut for a little
time, and then opened them suddenly, and turning them
first towards the window, looked slowly around the room,
then shut them again, without saying a word. She soon
opened them, and looking towards the doctor, said, in a
low, faltering voice, Doctor, is it night ?"
No, my child, it is not more than four o'clock in the
She was silent a minute, then said, Is it cloudy ?"
"No, Alice; the sun is shining brightly." She was
again still for a little while; the tears began to come into
her eyes, and her lips quivered very much, as, speaking
again, she said, Are the windows shut ?"
The doctor again answered her, "No; they are open,
and the sashes raised."
Poor Alice covered her eyes with her hands for a
second; then stretching out her arms, and turning her
head around as if looking for some one, she cried mourn-
fully, Mother, mother, where are you ?"
Here, here, my own dear child," said Mrs. Scott, as,
coming round to the side of the chair, she put her arms
around her, and drew her head down upon her bosom.
Alice did not cry aloud; but her tears came fast, and her
sobs were so deep, that it seemed as though her heart
would break with this great sorrow. The doctor said
softly to Mrs. Scott, "Persuade her to go to bed as soon
as you can ;" and then both he and I went out, for we
knew her mother would be her best comforter.
Mrs. Scott was to leave her home at ten o'clock the
next morning; and at nine Harriet went over to say
some parting words to Alice, and I to receive some last
directions from Mrs. Scott about taking care of the house
and furniture for her. I could see that Harriet was
almost afraid to meet Alice, thinking she must be very
miserable now that her blindness was known to her. But



though she looked sadly, and turned away with tears in
her eyes when we first spoke to her, she began to talk
with Harriet about her journey. She seemed to hope to
receive great good from the physicians in B-, and I
was glad to find that her mother had not tried to dis-
courage this hope; for, I said to myself, if nothing can
be done for her, she will find it out soon enough, and
every day that passes will help to prepare her better for
it. She seemed much gratified by Harriet's present of
the gold piece; and when she bade me good-bye, said," I
thank you, ma'am, very much, for all your goodness to me."
Mrs. Scott, too, begged me to tell the friends that helped
her how very grateful she was to them, and how earnestly
she would pray to God to reward them for all their good-
ness to her and her fatherless girl. I knew by the colour
that came into Harriet's face, and the tears that sprang
into her eyes, as the good woman spoke, that she had
heard her. And I was glad of it, for I thought that she
deserved to be made as happy as I felt certain such thank-
fulness would make her, for her desire to do right, and her
readiness to give up her own pleasures for her friend's
After our friends were gone, I spent some time in
giving directions to Betty about the cleaning and putting
away things so that she might leave the house in order;
and Harriet kept herself from being very sad by working
in Alice's garden, weeding the beds and tying up the
flowers, which, as I said before, had been left during her
illness to trail upon the ground.
Mrs. Scott had promised to write to me as soon as the
physicians had decided whether they could or could not
be of any service to Alice; and you may be sure we
looked very anxiously for her letter. It came about two
weeks after she had left us, and I will copy it for you
here, as I am sure you will like to see it.

B-, July 2, 18-.
MY DEAR MADAM,-You were so kind as to ask me to
let you know what the doctors here might think of my



little girl's case, and I have only been waiting for them
to make up their minds about it before I wrote to you.
Yesterday, they told me, what I felt long ago, that they
could not help her. This is a great trial, ma'am, but,
blessed be God, with great trials he sends great mercies.
I don't know, ma'am, how to tell you the thankfulness
that is in my heart, first to him, and then to you and Dr.
Franks, and all the other kind friends who have helped
me through this affliction. It is a comfort to me to feel
that everything has been done for my poor child that
could be done; indeed, I fear it would have broken my
heart to think that something might be done to make her
see again, and to feel that I could never get money enough
to pay for that something, if I worked till I was dead.
Oh! I thank God that I have not that to bear!
But I am forgetting all this time to tell you how kind
everybody here has been to me. Miss Franks is the
doctor's own sister, I am sure, for she is just such another
kind and generous person. The steamboat did not get
here till it began to grow quite dark, and I was very much
troubled, thinking how I should find my way up through
the crowd, and fearing lest my little trunk should get
lost, which had all our clothes in it, or that if I went to
see about that Alice would get hurt, when a man came
on board and asked for me. He said Miss Franks had
sent him with a carriage to bring us to her house. It
was a hired carriage, as I found afterwards, for I thought
at first it was her own; but she would not let me pay
anything fqr it. Was not this kind? She had us to stay
at her house the first night, and the next morning took
us again in a carriage to the place where she had got
board for us. This was in a very neat house, and with a
clever, good woman. She is an elderly, single woman,
who seems to be pious, and is very kind to us. Miss
Franks sent round her brother's letters, after she had
written on them the name of the street, and the number
of the house we were staying at, that the doctors might
know where to find Alice.
The next day three doctors came, and brought with



them a Dr. W- who, they said, knew more about the
eyes than any of them. At first my little girl seemed
very shy of having strangers come to see her; but they
were so kind to her, that she does not feel at all afraid
now. Indeed, ma'am, everybody is kind to her, and they
speak so softly and pitifully to her, that it often makes
the tears come into my eyes, and my heart feel so full,
that I have to go away to my room, and thank God for
all his goodness and theirs to her; for you know, ma'am,
goodness to her child, and that a poor blind child, too, is
more to a mother than anything which people could do
for her.
Two or three days ago, Dr. H- who they say is at
the head of that Institution for the Blind you talked to
me about, came to see us, and he talked so gently and
pleasantly that Alice loved him at once. He had some
talk with the doctors when they came, and then he asked
Alice if she would not like to know how blind children,
who never had seen at all, read, and wrote, and sewed;
and told her, if she would come to his house, he would
teach her as they were taught, and that she would find
many of them learning there. Alice seemed very glad to
hear that she might learn to do these things now, and
need not wait doing nothing till her eyes got well; for
you know, ma'am, she was always an industrious child,
and it grieves her sadly to sit all day idle. She asked,
though, if I could come with her; and the kind gentleman
said I might come with her in the morning, and bring
her away in the afternoon. This made my heart jump
for joy, for I was afraid he was going to say she must
stay there all the time. She will begin to go next Monday.
And now, ma'am, I must tell you some more of Miss
Franks' goodness. She has got me some plain sewing,
and so many of her friends promise to employ me in that
way, that I hope I shall be able to live by my needle;
and then, ma'am, I think, maybe I ought to send back
what money I have left, to them that were so good as to
give it to me. Will you please, ma'am, to tell me if this
would be right? Alice begs me to send her love to her



dear friend, Miss Harriet, and her dutiful respects to you.
She bids me tell Miss Harriet that she has not spent her
gold piece yet. Please, ma'am, to tell the doctor how
kind his sister has been to us, and thank him for all he
has done for us. I am afraid, ma'am, I have tired you
with this long letter; but indeed, when I began to write
I could not help telling you of all the goodness which has
been shown to me. God bless you, ma'am, prays, yours
very thankfully, MARTHA SCOTT.

Mrs. Scott was told that those who had given her the
money would not have any of it returned; and she then,
I afterwards found, paid every one in our village to whom
she owed anything, saying, that though they had told her
to make herself easy, she could not be easy while she was
in debt to those who, she knew, needed the money.
In a few months after she went to the Institution for
the Blind, Alice wrote a letter to Harriet, and from that
time they wrote to each other as often as once in a month.
It has been now about three months since Dr. Franks,
who had been making a visit in B-, brought Harriet
a letter from Alice, which gave her great delight. You
shall read it for yourself, and then you will see how much
reason she had to be pleased with it.

B-, April 14, 18-.
DEAR HARRIET,-I am so happy that I can hardly
write, or do anything but tell everybody near me how
happy I am; or when there is nobody near me, sit down
and think of you and your good aunt, and Dr. Franks,
and Susan, and Lucy, and everybody that lives at home.
Oh, Harriet, we are coming there-coming home next
week-dear home It is the middle of April now, and so
many flowers will be opening, and the peach-trees and the
apple-trees will be in bloom soon, and they will look so
beautiful. I cannot see them, but I can smell them, and
feel them, and think how they look. Oh, Harriet, how
much better off I am than the poor children who never
did see, and who cannot remember how such things
(11) 4



looked! But I cannot write any more now, except good-
bye, from your affectionate ALICE.
P.S.-I have spent the gold piece; I will show you
how, when I come.

Mrs. Scott sent a message to me by the doctor to ask,
with many apologies for troubling me, that I would get
Betty Maclaurin to go to her house early in the next
week, and put everything in order for her by Wednesday
evening, as she hoped to be at home some time in that
night. Betty liked Mrs. Scott and Alice, and was quite
ready to do them a kindness; so, early on Monday
morning she was at work, and she worked so industriously
in the house, and Harriet so industriously in Alice's
garden, that before Wednesday evening both house and
garden were in perfect order.

HARRIET'S grandfather had taken so much interest in
Alice, that he had said, when she came home he intended
to come to see her; so Harriet found time, in the midst
of all her preparations for her friend's arrival, to write
him what day she was expected; and on Wednesday, not
only he, but her grandmother also, who seldom left home,
came to spend a week with us. I was not in the house
when they arrived, and when I came in Harriet met me
at the door before I had seen them, and cried out, "Oh,
Aunt Kitty! grandpapa's come, and grandmamma too;
and only think what they have brought me-the dear,
pretty pony !-as pretty as ever, with another beautiful
new saddle and bridle. Is it not good in them, and am
I not a happy girl?"
Now, my little readers must not suppose that Mr.
Armand had only made Harriet believe that the pony


was sold, while he really kept him for her. Oh no! Mr.
Armand always told just the truth, and the pony was
sold-really and truly sold-to the gentleman he had
spoken of, who had bought him for his son. This boy
was gone to a school at a distance from his home, and
besides, he was now so good a rider that his father thought
he might have a larger horse when he came back, so he
was not unwilling to let Mr. Armand have the pony again,
when he expressed a wish for him.
Harriet was indeed a happy girl this Wednesday
evening; and still more happy was she when she set out,
after an early breakfast the next morning, to ride on the
pony to Mrs. Scott's. As I started at the same time to
walk there, and she would not leave me, she rode very
slowly. If any of you can remember some morning in
spring, when the air, though cool, had not the least frosty
feeling in it, when the grass was fresh and green, when
the trees had put out their first tender leaves, and the
peach and the pear and the apple blossoms looked as if
just ready to open, to have risen early and walked or
ridden out, while the leaves and the blossoms were still
glittering with the night-dew, you will know how delight-
ful Harriet and I found it. We went on, at a brisk pace
for me, and a slow one for the pony, till we were in sight
of Mrs. Scott's house, when Harriet looked so eager, that
I bade her hasten on. As I spoke, I chirruped to the
pony, and he went off at a smart trot, which soon brought
Harriet to the gate. I had then just entered the clear
space before the house, and could see and hear all that
passed. Alice was standing at the open window, looking
healthy and happy. As the pony stopped, she called out
to her mother, who seemed to be in some other room, for
she spoke loudly, "Mother, mother, here is somebody on
horseback-it must be the doctor."
No, Alice, it is Harriet," cried my little niece, as she
sprang from her pony, without much of the caution
which she had promised her grandfather always to use
in getting down.
Oh it is Harriet," exclaimed Alice, clapping her



hands joyfully together, and then putting them out to
feel her way to the door. Mrs. Scott came from the
next room, and taking her hand led her to meet us.
The little girls were in each other's arms in a moment,
and any one who had looked at Alice's happy face, and
her eyes bright with tender and glad feelings, would
never have believed they saw a blind girl. Harriet told
of the beautiful pony her grandpapa had brought her the
evening before, and Alice passed her hands over him to
feel how small he was, and how sleek and glossy his sides
were, and promised that she would sometimes mount him
and walk him over to my house with Harriet at her side.
Then they went into the flower-garden, and Alice ex-
claimed, Oh, Harriet! how nicely you have weeded my
beds and trimmed my flowers!"
Betty told you that," said Harriet.
"Betty told me who did it, but I knew it was done
without her telling me, for I felt them. I did not re-
quire to feel my hyacinths and jonquils to know they
were in bloom, for I smelt them, and I know exactly how
they look. My rose-bushes, too," said she, putting her
hand on one, are in bud; they will soon be beautiful.
You see, Harriet, I love my garden, and can take pleasure
in it, if I am blind;-but come into the house, and let me
show you the books they have taken the pains to make
for poor blind people, and the different kinds of work I
have learned to do."
Alice took Harriet's hand, and walked with a quick
and lively step into the house. When they had entered
the door she left Harriet, and putting out her hands to
feel that there was nothing in her way, passed into the
next room, and soon came out again with her arms full.
There were only a few books-I was sorry to see so few-
but they were so large that she could not well have
carried any more. Having laid them on the table, she
opened one, and we saw that the letters were large, and
so raised from the paper that the blind could feel their
form, and thus distinguish them as readily as we can dis-
tinguish the letters in ordinary printing by seeing them.



Alice soon showed us how this was done, for passing her
finger over the lines of a sentence on the page which she
had opened, she read it as correctly as anybody could
have done. Then turning with quickness to a box which
stood near, she said, Now, see my work." There were
baskets she had woven, purses and bags she had knitted,
pin-cushions and needle-books which she had sewed as
neatly as possible. Full of animation, and as happy as
Alice seemed in showing these things, I am certain she
was not half so happy in showing as Harriet was in see-
ing them. Having looked at them myself, I went into
the garden to show Mrs. Scott where some seeds were
planted. From the garden I could still hear and see
through an open window what was passing in the parlour,
and I was too much interested in the feelings of these
little girls not to attend to them. I soon saw, however,
that they did not think that they were observed; for
Harriet-who had hitherto spoken little, expressing her
pleasure in looks more than in words-as soon as they
were left alone, took Alice's hand, and said, How glad
I am you can do so much!"
I knew you would be glad, and that made me show
you; and I wish I could show them to all the kind people
who gave mother money to take me to B- for, you
know, if it was not for that, I could not have learned to
do these things,-and you don't know, Harriet, how hard
those first dark weeks were to bear, and how often, when
I thought it would be always so, I wished I was in the
graveyard with my little brother and sisters;-that was
wicked, I know, Harriet, but I could not help it then."
Harriet stood with her face turned from me, yet I
could see by her movements that she was weeping.
Alice put her arm around her, saying, Don't cry, I
am very happy now."
"And so am I," said Harriet, sobbing ; "and I believe
that's what makes me cry."
That's funny, too," said Alice, laughing; and Harriet
laughed with her, though the tears were still on her
cheeks. Then Alice told that there was a kind shop-



keeper in B- who had promised to buy all she made, and
that her mother said she got so much money from him
that she could afford to keep a woman-Alice hoped it
would be Betty-to do the hard work; and as she would
only take in a little plain sewing, she would then be able
to sit with Alice, and could sometimes spare time to read
to her. And, Harriet," she added, I promised to show
you what I had bought with the gold piece you gave me.
I bought the straw for my first basket, and the braids
and ribbons for my first purses and bags, and the pieces
of silk and velvet for my first pin-cushions and needle-
books; so you see how much it helped me;" and she
kissed Harriet, little knowing how much more she owed
to her.
And now, if any of my little readers have thought
that Harriet had made a foolish choice, when she gave
up her pony to help her friend, they will, I am sure,
change their minds, when they remember what a sad
house this was at the time that Alice first became blind,
and think that now, as Harriet looked at Mrs. Scott's and.
Alice's contented, cheerful faces, and saw how much her
friend could do and could enjoy, and that by her pleasant
employment she could not only support herself com-
fortably, but help her mother too, she could say to her-
self,-" This is my work-it is I who have made them so
happy." Who would not have given the pony for such a
feeling, even though they had never got him back again?
When we were going away, Alice very modestly gave
me a beautiful work-basket, a very neat needle-book, and
pin-cushion, all of her own making. For Harriet she
had now made a very pretty bag; and hearing that Mr.
and Mrs. Armand were with us, she selected a very hand-
some purse and needle-book, and requested Harriet to
present them to her grandfather and grandmother, as
the offerings of a blind girl.
And now, my young friends, I have little more to tell
you of Alice. If you could visit her, you would find her
sometimes employed in making those tasteful and pretty
things, by the sale of which she aids in supporting her



mother and herself ; sometimes in her garden, feeling for
the weeds, and pulling them away from her plants, or
tying up her vines, or cutting flowers to dress their
pleasant little parlour; sometimes walking, leaning on
her mother's arm, or on that of some young companion;
and though you may see her look a little sad when her
friends speak of a beautiful flower, or admire a fine sun-
set, you will oftener hear her sweet voice in cheerful
talk, or merry laugh, or singing some pleasatit hymn, ex-
pressive of her gratitude to God for his goodness to her.
And when you see and hear all this, you will, I hope, not
envy Harriet, for that would be a wrong feeling, but
watch every opportunity of going and doing like her.
As this has been a very long story, and I do not wish
to tire you, I will now bid you good-bye, hoping you will
soon wish to hear from me again. Whenever you do, I
shall know it, and shall be quite ready to have another
talk with you.


" EAR ye one another's burdens," said David Jones to
himself, repeating the text as he walked home
from church. Our pastor has made it very plain. In
this world, he says, every soul has some burden of sorrow
or trial to bear, and every one who loves God must try
to help his neighbour to bear it. Now it is clear enough
that the squire does this when he gives blankets and
coals to the poor at Christmas ; and our parson does this,
for every one in trouble is sure to go straight to him;
but I can't see how a boy like me is to do it. I can't
give like the squire, or talk like the parson; yet I should
like to help to bear some one's burden, for, as it was said
in the sermon, it is a blessed thing to do anything for the
Lord who has done everything for us ; and when we help
a poor neighbour for his sake, he counts it as done to
himself. I'll pray God to show me some way of bearing
another's burdens."
So before David went to rest that night, he made a
little simple prayer that God would give him some work,
however small, to do for him, and let him be useful to
The first thought of David, when the bright rays of the
sun awoke him on Monday morning, was, Here is an-
other day ; I hope that it will not pass over without my


helping some one to bear his'burden ;" and again he
turned the thought into a prayer. While David was
putting on his clothes, an idea came into his mind,-
Poor old Mrs. Crane, she is almost bent double with
age, and hard work it is for her to draw up water from
her well. She is a good old woman, Mrs. Crane, and was
always ready to help others before she grew so feeble.
I'll have time before I set out for school to draw up a pail
of water and carry it to her door. Won't it be a nice
surprise to her, when she comes out to draw, to find the
water all ready Old age is her burden-I can help her
a little to bear it."
David was soon off to the well; he let down the bucket
and filled it, and as he turned the windlass to raise it
again, a very sweet thought came into the mind of the
boy. "Our Lord asked the woman of Samaria to draw
water for him, and she did not do it; yet what an honour
it would have been to her-had she been a queen-to
have drawn water for the Son of God Now the Lord
said, Inasmuch as ye did it unto the least of these my bre-
thren ye did it unto me; so I really am doing what the
woman would not do, I am drawing water for the blessed
Saviour; for I am sure that Mrs. Crane is his servant,
and so, working for her, I am working for him."
The boy cheerfully placed the pail of water at the door
of Mrs. Crane, and soon after set out for school, carrying
with him his dinner of bread and cheese, wrapped up in
a bit of brown paper. I am glad that I have done one
little kind act to-day," thought David; "but it does not
seem very likely that I shall be able to do any other."
He very soon found that he was wrong. There are so
many burdens, great and small, in the world, that even a
child who is on the look-out for an opportunity of doing
good will not wait long before he find one.
David overtook on the road little Steeney Clark, who
was slowly walking towards school.
Good morning, Steeney," cried David; why do you
look so dull and sad ?"
"'Cause I'm sure Mr. Day will punish me again," an-



swered the poor dull boy, who was always getting into
trouble with the master at his school. I didn't know
my lesson yesterday, I don't know it to-day, I don't think
as I ever shall know it !" and the boy rubbed his fore-
head hard, as if he fancied that he could make his wits
brighter by rubbing.
"Let's see what you have to learn," said David;
"maybe if you and I go over it together as we walk
along, you may understand it a bit better. Pluck up a
brave heart, Steeney. You know 'perseverance conquers
difficulties,' and 'slow and steady wins the race.'"
It was very cheering to poor Steeney to have some one
to help and encourage him, instead of laughing fat his
natural dulness. David was one of the sharpest boys in
the school, but he did not despise his poor young com-
panion for not being so clever as himself. As the two
walked on together, David explained all the difficulties of
the lesson so clearly to Steeney, that the dull face of the
boy brightened, he was able at last to master the task, he
would not be set down as a hopeless dunce by his master.
David entered the schoolroom feeling very happy; he had
helped a fellow-creature again to bear a burden.
How pale Mr. Day looks," thought David, as the
schoolmaster stood up behind his desk, and rapped with
the ruler to command silence. Mr. Day was not a great
favourite with the boys, for he was sometimes severe, and
easily put out of temper. The truth was that his work
was too much for him, as any one might have seen by
looking at his thin worn face with its deep furrow be-
tween the brows. Mr. Day would have liked David for
his quickness in learning, but for the trouble which he
gave by his love of frolic and fun. For David was a
very merry boy, and could scarcely keep quiet in school-
time. He would drum on a desk, or kick on the floor,
and set the other boys laughing. David had never seen
much harm in this, though it had often brought him
into a scrape with the master; but it struck him this day
for the first time that it was not fair to a tired hard-
worked master to add to the labour of teaching.



Mr. Day looks as if he'd a mighty heavy burden to
bear, and I'm afraid I've often helped to make it heavier.
I'll try and be quiet and steady to-day, and set a good
example to the boys about me," thought David.
He kept his resolution; and glad indeed would he have
been that he had done so, had he known with what an
aching heart and aching head the poor master had begun
his day's work. Mr. Day had private griefs, about which
his pupils knew nothing, which sorely embittered his life.
He was also subject to racking headaches, which the noise
of a schoolroom increased to such a painful degree, that
he would long before have given up his office, had he not
had a wife and children to support.
I fear that I cannot stand this work much longer,"
poor Mr. Day had said to himself that morning. He was
like a weary pack-horse dragging a weight beyond its
strength up a steep hill; and, from mere thoughtlessness,
his pupils had often acted like boys dragging on behind.
But things went on better on this Monday; and Mr. Day
told his wife as they sat down to dinner that he had had
much less worry than usual with the boys. He did not
guess the cause of the relief-that one of his best scholars
had been on that day helping to bear his burden.
David Jones, as I have said, had brought with him his
dinner of bread and cheese, as his home was at some dis-
tance from the school. He sat down under a hedge, with
a good appetite, to enjoy his simple meal. Scarcely had
David begun it, when, chancing to raise his eyes, he saw
a ragged half-starved-looking child wistfully watching
him as he ate.
I dare say that poor little creature has had no break-
fast to-day," thought David, and maybe no supper last
night. Should I not be doing a little thing to please my
Lord if I shared my dinner with her ?"
He broke off a piece of bread, and, smiling, held it out
to the girl, who eagerly ran forward to get it, and ate it
as if she were famished.
"And there's a bit of the cheese too," said David
kindly, watching the hungry girl's enjoyment with a plea-



sure which made his own scanty meal appear like a feast.
David knew well that our best works deserve no reward
from God, yet he could not but recall with joy the gracious
promise to those who feed the poor: They cannot recom-
pense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection
of the just.
When afternoon lessons were over, David, whistling as
he went, set out on his homeward way. It is a strange
thing," thought he, but whenever we try to bear other
people's burdens, it seems as if our own hearts grew
lighter and lighter!"
As David passed by an orchard, divided from the road
by a rough stone wall, he heard a voice calling to him,
and came up to Owen Pell-a boy of about his own age,
who was looking up at the fine ripe fruit hanging almost
over the wall.
I say, Davy, lend me a hand; I think I can climb
over here." He was already mounting the wall. "Let's
fill our pockets with apples;-don't they look tempting
and nice?"
Nice or not, they're not ours," replied David, who
remembered that God's commandment, Thou shalt not
steal, is broken not only by robbers who take a man's
purse, but by boys who take his apples.
We'll soon make 'em ours," laughed Owen. If you
don't choose to climb yourself-though I know you're
active as a kitten-just lend me your stick, and I'll knock
some fruit off from that bough."
No, no, Owen," said David; leave the apples alone.
Farmer Ford does not grow them for you or for me; I'll
neither pluck nor help you to pluck them."
Oh, indeed !" cried the angry Owen; "you're afeard
of a thrashing from the farmer, are you?"
It's not that I'm afraid of," said David, turning
quickly away; for he felt his passion rising, and was
much inclined to use his stick in a very different way
from that which the insolent boy had requested, by
knocking him down instead of the apples.
I can't bear that Owen," muttered David to himself;



"how he is yelling after me, calling me all sorts of bad
names, just because I won't join him in theft."
Before David reached his home, he came on a wide
tract of common, and noticed a number of ducks splash-
ing about in a pool half hidden by rushes.
"Why, these are Mrs. Pell's ducks, that her boy Owen
ought to be watching on the common, instead of hunting
after apples. I heard her scolding him yesterday for
leaving them out so late, and promising him a sound beat-
ing if any should stray and get lost. There's Brown's
big dog coming this way; he has had a mind to a duck-
ling for supper before now; if Owen does not keep a
better look-out, it's not many of the brood that he'll ever
drive home. What a scrape he'll be in! When Mrs.
Pell promises a beating she is certain to keep her word.
Well, let Owen be beaten, what do I care?"
That was David's first thought, but a more generous
one succeeded. "I might drive home these ducks for
Owen, and keep them and him out of trouble. To be
sure he deserves nothing from me, but are we not told to
be kind even to the unthankful and the evil ? I should
think that God is pleased when we bear the burdens of
our friends, more pleased when we bear the burdens of
strangers, but most pleased of all when for his sake we
show kindness to those who have done us a wrong."
In the meantime, Owen Pell had had cause to regret
that he had neglected his mother's ducks to go after the
farmer's apples. Owen was not an active boy; in strug-
gling to climb up the wall he missed his footing, and
came down with a heavy bang on the back of his head.
He had just scrambled on his feet again, bruised and cry-
ing with pain, when who should ride up to the spot but
Farmer Ford, with a great horse-whip in his hand!
"What are you crying for ?" called out the farmer.
I've had a tumble," whined the frightened boy.
Climbing my wall to get at my apples; I'll give you
something to cry for !" and the rough farmer bestowed
two or three sharp cuts with his lash on poor Owen,
which made him yell with the smart, and sent him run-



ning home in such haste to escape from the farmer's whip,
that he never once thought of the ducks till he saw his
mother, a tall, bony woman, standing with a broom in
her hand at the gate of her little garden.
"Where are the ducks?" shouted she.
Owen stopped, breathless and gasping, and looked
around in dismay. Evening was closing in, his ducks
had wandered he knew not whither. Mrs. Pell came
angrily towards him. I told you yesterday," she ex-
claimed, raising the broomstick, that if one of them
ducks was lost-"
None are lost none are lost!" called out a cheerful
voice near ; and from behind a knoll covered with furze,
which had hidden him from view, appeared David Jones,
driving home the ducks for Owen.
Well, Davy, you're a good-natured boy, if ever there
was one!" cried Mrs. Pell, her hard features relaxing
into a kindly look. Owen has escaped a beating this
once, but next time he shall not be so easily let off. You
look tired and heated, Davy," she added; "just step into
my cottage and rest; and if you'd like a sup of new milk
and a slice of plum-bread, you'll be heartily welcome to
both.-There's none for you," she said sharply to Owen;
" go and shut up those ducks."
David glanced at the boy as he slunk away. "I'm
glad," he thought, that I did a good turn to that poor
fellow, and saved him a beating."
You'll always get on well in the world, Davy," ob-
served Mrs. Pell, as she cut for him a large slice of her
home-made plum-bread; "you always keep steady to
your duty, and you make friends wherever you go."
Mrs. Pell was right. David passed through boyhood,
youth, and manhood, prospering in what he undertook,
till he became a wealthy farmer. Always ready to help
others, he found others ready to help him: he made
many friends on earth, but it was through earnestly seek-
ing to please an Almighty Friend above. David had
grown rich, and a noble use he made of his riches. The
more he gained the more he gave; and truly it appeared



that the more he gave the more he had. When David
Jones had built the new aisle to the church, and set up a
village lending-library, sent twenty pounds at once to the
Bible Society, pensioned several poor widows, and feasted
a hundred school children, he might smile at the remem-
brance of the day when he had begun his work for God
by such things as filling an old woman's pail, feeding a
hungry little girl, and driving home ducks from the com-
mon. But perhaps the kind acts of the penniless boy
were as pleasing in the sight of God as the great gifts of
the rich farmer, for they both sprang from the same
motive-a desire to show grateful love to his Lord by
bearing the burdens of others. A. L. 0. E.

^ \x1 \c 9

I "I "