Spring time stories

Material Information

Spring time stories
Miller, Thomas, 1807-1874
Shipley, Mary E
Key, Amy
Atteridge, Mary Ellen
Whimper, E ( Engraver )
Groombridge and Sons ( Publisher )
Place of Publication:
Groombridge and Sons
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
[377], [2] p. : ill. ; 20 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Children's stories ( lcsh )
Juvenile literature -- 1879 ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1879 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1879
Children's literature ( fast )
Publishers' catalogues ( rbgenr )
fiction ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )


General Note:
Includes publisher's catalog.
General Note:
Illustrations engraved by E. Whimper.
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:
024350306 ( ALEPH )
1008209099 ( OCLC )
AHP0180 ( NOTIS )


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SWAS as much struck with the quaint old
English name of Brampton-among-the
Roses, the first time I visited that ancient
village, as I was with Christabel Brampton,
whose ancestors, at some remote period, either gave
their name to, or derived it from, the once picturesque
but now rainous locality. All the traces left of the
former greatness of the family-excepting the founda-
tions of extensive ruins, said to be the site of the ancient
castle of the Barons of Brampton-was the old \Manor
House, uninhabitable and roofless as Cromwell left it,
after battering down the great chimneys and knocking
in the strong oaken rafters with his cannon. If it is
an honour, it is mentioned in his red-letter, where he
says, I had good execution of the garrison," though
he spared the brave loyalist colonel, Sir Baldwin
Brampton, after the stubborn defence he made; for if
he warred against misused kingly power, he respected
the valour of a brave man who did his duty con-
scientiously without wavering. So there was nothing
left to tell what the brave Royalists had been but the
name and a pile of ruins, and the fame of a county


hlisory, together with the roses which still abound in
the neighbourhood, but more especially in what had
been the pleasance or garden of the roofless manor
house. The descendants have been famous for more
than a century for their fine flocks of sheep and rare
breed of rams, and were renowned farmers when
George III. was a good judge of a leg of mutton, and
stocked his royal pastures from the flocks they bred;
and never since have the family aspired to be anything
The grandson of the knight who so bravely de-
fended Brampton against the Roundheads, saw how
his father was only fed upon promises through the
loose reign of Charles II.; for it had afforded no
pleasure to him when his father, after he returned
from London filled with empty promises, to sit and
hear tell of the gay doings at the Merry Monarch's ex-
travagant Court in the patched-up apartments of what
remained of the old Manor House. Having his health
drank by Charles II., and clapped on the back when
the kind-hearted but unprincipled king was merry
with wine," and being toasted as the son of the brave
old knight who had so long defended Brampton against
a strong besieging force; neither helped to build up
the old family residence, nor bring back the many
hundreds of gold Jacobuses nor Caroluses which the
grandfather had been compelled to raise on his lands,
to pay the troops who aided him in the defence. As
little did the grandson take pleasure in hearing of the
brazen beauties who infested the royal court, many of
whose portraits are still in existence. For although
his dress appeared shabbier every time he returned
from London, he still loved to sit with the old silver
wine-cup before him, and talk about Lady Castle-
maine's lips, that looked like ripe cherries on a tree in


the sunshine, and Lady Falmouth's sweet, brown gipsy
face, and pretty Nell Gwynne's lively talk, that would
not have suited the solemn court of Cromwell; but he
had fought under his father and mixed with the roys-
tering Cavaliers who battled under the royal banner of
Charles I., and belonged to the old race of warriors
whose blood was shed in many a hard-fought field to
uphold the throne of a king that cared more for himself
than he did for those who died for him. Time, in the
record which he keeps, has revealed many a secret
not known in his lifetime, that proves Charles I. to
have been untruthful; and his son was no keeper of
his promises, as the heir of the old cavalier, Sir
Baldwin Brampton, lived to prove. He had known
Cowley, and Milton, and Dryden, and would quote
passages from their last new poem, and Clarendon, the
historian, whose daughter the king's brother married,
and whose grand sentences were like a coiled-up rope,
fold within fold, which you could see no end to. He
had also seen Colonel Blood, who nearly succeeded in
carrying off the Crown jewels, and who was made quite
a lion of for attempting such a daring robbery. He
was in London at the time of the Great Fire, and could
tell how the flames roared through the streets, and made
them hot as the mouths of furnaces; he stood and
saw church towers and steeples topple down with a
roar like an earthquake, while houses were constantly
blown up with gunpowder to prevent the fire from
spreading, and the pavement on which he stood was so
hot that it burnt the soles of his boots while he
assisted the King's soldiers in mining the houses,
which cast a light for twenty miles round the burning
city-St. Paul's standing like a landmark in the centre
of the blaze, until the great temple came down at last
with a tremendous crash. He pictured the blood-red

colour of the river in which the great blaze was
reflected, and how every boat, and barge, and all the
shipping, were piled high with household goods, which
the affrighted inhabitants had carried down the river-
side streets and put aboard, to escape the great confla-
gration. And ever as he talked he would keep sipping
from the silver goblet, until there was no more wine to
be had, saved from the old stock, and when the new
was sparingly supplied he took to his bed, and there
babbled of Buckingham, and the Duke of York, and
of others he had known, until he wGs at last gathered
to his fathers in the old family vault.
The grandson waited patiently until the reign of
Queen Anne, having built a substantial house out of the
ruins of lodges, stables, etc., then commenced farmer
upon as much of the estate as he could recover, and
called himself plain John Brampton. So the family
went on generation after generation, with only the
roses and the ruins, and a large space of ground which
they turned into sheep walks, to tell of those who once
fought so manfully, except a few dilapidated monu-
ments in the grey old village church. The annals of
many an ancient and once noble English family has
nothing more to record, and have been very fortunate
if they have preserved a few heirlooms through all the
changes of time up to the present period.
The History of the British Peerage contains adven-
tures of the ups and downs of once famous houses
more startling than ever befell the Bramptons, whose
descendants still dwell near their old home, Among-
the-Roses. There are only two or three timbered
tenements remaining out of the thirty buildings that
now form the old village, beside the new manor house,
as it is always called, built on the original garden
ground, where I first made the acquaintance of Chris-


tabel Brampton. I went down Among-the-Roses to
stand godfather to the son and heir of a very old friend,
who knew the Brampton family, and had married a
farmer's blooming daughter, and at the Christening
Dinner got into conversation with the very intelligent
young curate who sprinkled my little godson at the
ancient font, where many a departed Brampton, I have
no doubt, had awakened the silence of the grey-
mouldering, time-worn edifice, by crying as lustily
under similar circumstances. Little Christabel, he
told me, was an exception to all the children he had
christened, and with wide-staring blue eyes looked up
into his face and smiled while he sprinkled her with
water from the old well, out of which many a dead
Royalist had quenched his thirst, and drawn water for
his reeking war-horse when it came up flecked with
foam from the battle-field.
As Christabel's father was such a large sheep
breeder, he employed a good many shepherds, and
almost as soon as she could run she went out with them
among the folds and into the lambing-paddocks, and
established herself as nurse to the sickly lambs. The
shepherds said with all their experience and care they
could not rear the lambs so well as Christabel. She
wrapped them up warm in wool, and fed them upon
new milk, and kept them before the fire in the cold
days of receding winter and early spring, and would
not permit them to be left out all night in the lambing
folds, and as the great kitchen was large enough for
a good big fold, she brought all in that seemed ailing
and didn't take kindly to the ewes, until they were
strong enough and began to bleat for their dams.
As there were lambing-paddocks for miles round
the house, she made many a journey by herself to soe
how the little lambs progressed, and very seldom.

returned in the cold days of February without carrying
one back in her arms, for she didn't mind the cold, and
by exposing herself so much to the weather, she almost
became as hardy as the shepherds. Many visitors were
brought by the curate to see her little flock of lambs,
and in the season the ewes would come bleating about
the door, and sometimes enter the great warm kitchen,
which her father permitted her to use as a fold, and let
the servants occupy other apartments; for there was
vast space everywhere, and a variety of places which
had been built up from time to time, as store-rooms
and out-houses, out of the ancient ruins which were
scattered around. Then she would talk to the lambs
in her pretty childish way, as she sat on the carpet
spread for her before the fire, where she first nursed
one and then another in her arms, and they would
look at her so strangely out of their innocent eyes, and
often go to sleep in her lap while she sang to them, for
she had a sweet soothing voice, and I thought it was
more natural to extend her affection to a pretty white
innocent lamb than to an inanimate doll as so many do;
for the lambs could lick her dear hand when they were
caressed, to show that they returned her love.
The shepherds, both men and boys, all felt a plea-
sure in obeying their little mistress, or little lady, as
they called her, because she was so kind to all dumb
animals, and took so much delight in tending the
sheep and lambs, and she was known all about the
neighbourhood when but a little girl as the Gentle
Shepherdess, though she would sometimes scold the
sheep when they got into the garden and browsed
among the roses.
The curate said he had often taken her by the
hand and gone round with her to visit the folds in
the lambing season, and that it afforded him great


amusement hearing her rate the shepherd boys as she
would go round and examine the lairage or straw
which formed their beds, and when she found it wet
would say, How should you like to sleep on such a
bed, and you are a deal stronger and hardier than a
little lamb, and it isn't big enough yet to race about
to warm itself; and its poor mother's fleece which it
creeps under to keep it dry only makes it cold, for it's
'sopping' wet, and you know there are loads of
dry straw in the stack-yard, and that a good armful
is all that's wanted to make a nice warm, dry bed, and
that the old lairage you throw out is never wasted,
as when it's piled together and decays it makes rich
manure for the fields. If you loved the dear lambs as
I do, you would no more see them sleep on a wet bed
than you would your little sister Polly, who so often
comes to see me, and sits down on the floor to nurse
those I have at home."
She was very careful to see that the troughs they
ate out of were kept sweet and clean, and that the
turnips they fed upon were well washed and cut into
slices, though, night and morning, they were indulged in
warmer food, such as oil-cake, corn, and chopped straw,
so that their ewes yielded rich milk and their lambs
were as fat as little sucking-pigs, while others round
the neighbourhood, that were neglected, stood starved
and shivering beside their dams. It was no unusual
sight, when they got bigger, to see half a score or
more run up to her and stand bleating around her,
for she never came amongst them without bringing
something in her little basket that they would eat out
of her hand. The curate said that he believed all the
flock knew her, and most of them would come at her
She would sit for hours in her father's immense


fields watching them race with one another as the
spring advanced and they got stronger, and sometimes
she would carry one that was not so good a runner to
a daisy-covered hillock, to give it a start in advance,
while she endeavoured to keep back the stronger one
by shouting or getting one of the shepherd boys to
hold it. Then she would clap her hands, and be quite
delighted when her little favourite won the race.
Many of the old pastures were purple with wild
thyme in summer, when it was in flower, the perfume
of which filled all the air with fragrance, and furnished
honey for the swarms of bees that were ever murmuring
about the fields and Old Manor House garden; and this
wild thyme was said to give so fine a flavour to the
Brampton sheep, for no flocks fetched a higher price
in the market than those which fed on the Old Manor
House pastures, many of which had never been mown
within the memory of man, so that the turf was a foot
thick in some of the fields. In others, where corn was
grown, bullets and swords, and buckles, and spurs, and
horse-trappings, had been ploughed up from time to
time, telling of war that had manured those old battle-
fields, from which many a rich harvest has since been
Christabel did not like to hear that blood had been
shed in those peaceful pastures where her lambs
played, and the skylark built her ground-nest among
the daisies, for it was an unsolved mystery to her how
men could go out upon the green earth, with the blue
sky bending over their heads, to shoot and sabre each
other, when God saw all that they did. So the good
curate, finding that tales of the wars between the
Cavaliers and Roundheads made her very sad, used to
change the subject to the natural objects they met
with in their walks.


She told me how delighted she was when the time
of sheep-washing and sheep-shearing came round, and
that on such occasions her father gave a great feast to
all his labourers, and she had her party of village
children, over which she presided, and made them all
as happy as herself, though she was very young to be
the mistress of a feast, and entertain so many little
I accepted the kind invitation that was given me by
the little lady's father, and went down to Brampton to
see this ancient festival, which is as old as the time of
the Patriarchs, and which Abraham and Job must
have celebrated, as they were owners of large flocks.
Christabel was a great reader of the Scriptures, and
would turn to the Book of Samuel and tell us all about
Nabal, a man in Maon, whose possessions were in
Carmel, who had three thousand sheep and a thousand
goats; and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. And
when David's young men came they said to Nabal, We
come in a good day. And Nabal said, Shall I then
take my bread and my meat that I have killed for my
shearers and give it unto men, whom I know not
whence they be ? Then Abigail (the wife of Nabal)
made haste, and took two hundred loaves and two
bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five
measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of
raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs," and sent them
by the young men to King David, for Nabal held a
feast in his house like the feast of a king." I think it
was through her reminding her father so constantly of
Nabal's sheep-shearing feast that caused him to pro-
vide so bountifully; for she would talk about Nabal
and say, "What a stingy farmer he must have been
not to assist King David when he was in want of food
in the wilderness? and he had prepared such a large

feast for the sheep-shearers, and how good it was of
Abigail to send off her asses laden with so many good
things, and how glad she was when her churlish'
husband died, that King David married the rich
widow and made her a queen." And in her way she
made quite a pretty story out of King David and his
Queen Abigail, and wondered how the maids were
dressed that accompanied her when she went to David.
But she shook her little head sadly over that portion of
the sacred narrative which said that Nabal got tipsy at
the feast, and wondered if that was the cause of his
death, which Jacob, the old gardener, whom Christabel
used often to consult on matters that were not very
clearly understood by the little lady, said, "I hev'n't
a doubt, miss, that it helped to carry Nabal off, for
I've heard of clouds' o' persons that hev' been killed
through drink, an' I don't suppose he was overmuch
pleased with his wife when she carried off such loads of
provisions, which he had laid in for the sheep-shearing
feast, and drink and ill-temper never did anybody any
good that I ever heard of." And though Christabel's
father always provided so plentifully for his shepherds
and labourers, his feast was never disgraced by
There was a river which had always formed the
boundary of the Brampton estate on one side, and fed
the moat which in ancient times protected the Manor
House when it lay open to the wild country, then by
a circuitous bend supplied the village. The river still
remained, and beautiful fields sloped down to its banks
beyond the old garden, and there the sheep were
always washed before they were clipped," for that is
the term still used for shearing sheep in every part of
the country.
Besides the sheep-washers, many of the boys and

girls from the village of Brampton assembled as
lookers-on, and helpers to push the sheep into the river
towards the men who stood in the water ready to seize
and give them a good roll over, as they were passed
from one to the other. Though the lambs were not
washed, many were allowed to accompany the ewes,
and what with lambs and sheep, such a loud bleating
was heard that you could hardly hear yourself speak,
for the flock consisted of hundreds. They were penned
in with hurdles, which came down and reached to the
brink of the river, the lambs remaining outside, where
the ewes were permitted to return and join them after
they were washed; and very necessary it was to watch
the lambs when their dams came up from the river,
dripping with water as they stood with puzzled looks
and knew not what to do, such a change had the
washing made in their fleeces, which before were so
warm and dry. Here Christabel and her companions
were very busy, for she knew nearly all the sheep and
lambs in the flock, and she would say to some pretty
little lamb, that was bleating and running about as if
lost, and trying to kneel under some strange ewe, "You
dear little stupid, that isn't your mother : she's bleating
outside there and trying to find you; don't you know
her again after she's been washed so nice and clean ?
She'll soon be dry in the sunshine, and all the sweeter
to sleep beside to-night after such a good washing as
she's had." And then the pretty lamb would begin to
wag its tail, showing how pleased it was at having
again found its dam. What wet frocks Christabel
and her little friends went home with, after moving
about among the dripping sheep, to place the lambs
under the right ewes. But the dear children were too
happy and too busy to bestow a thought on their dry.
ness, and the exercise prevented them from watchingg cold.

But the little lady and her companions were dry
in comparison to some of the sturdy village boys and
girls who had assisted to push the sheep into the
water-especially the boys, for some boy would lay hold
of a great fat strong sheep, that seemed determined
not to go into the river, so the lad pushed with all his
strength, and while so engaged the sheep seemed to
have altered its mind and went in with a plunge, and
the shepherd lad after it, over head and ears, and only
got laughed at for his ducking. But considerate
Christabel persuaded him to go home and dry his
clothes, and it was very rarely that any of them dis-
obeyed her, for she had always a smile on her pretty
face, and I fancied that some of them went into the
water purposely that she might notice them; for as the
old gardener said, She had such a winning way with
her that he often fancied she could coax a bird off
the branch where it was singing if she liked, and sang
too." There was music in her voice when she only
talked to her girlish companions, for it was what
Shakespeare has called soft and low," and old Jacob,
the gardener, said he never heard her speak without
thinking of the pretty little blackcap, which is one of
our sweetest English singing-birds.
The sheep-washers, who stood in the water all day,
had as much strong home-brewed ale as was good for
them, and which prevented them from taking cold;
for they had to wade nearly waist deep to give the
sheep a good swim before allowing them to escape; and
fine hardy fellows they were, with their shirt-sleeves
turned up above the elbows, showing their long brown
sinewy arms; and the one nearest the shore, who
stood not much above his knees in the water, seized
the sheep by the fleece with both hands, and rolling it
over and over, pushed it further out, and forced it to

swim to the next man, who stood deeper in the river.
And if you observed closely you noticed that the water
was not so much discoloured as it was around the first
washer. Then the second man, after having made the
poor affrighted sheep undergo a repetition of the
rolling or washing process, though the fleece no longer
spread out or floated on the surface as while it was
receiving the first plunge, sent it along with a push
towards the third washer, who stood up to his waist in
the river. This was the final process, and he, having
completed the washing, sent the sheep with its head
towards the shore, where it landed and stood bleating,
while the water trickled in a score or two of places
from the saturated wool, till it mingled with that por-
tion of the flock that had been cleansed. Then, if it
had a lamb or two, they were soon found and brought
to the dam, when she began licking them, and soon
forgot all about the bath which she had been forced to
Sometimes a strong sheep when liberated by the
last washer in deep water, instead of steering to tho
shore, towards which its head had been placed, would
set off for a good swim, and a rare-to-do there would
be to capture him, especially when he struck out
towards the middle of the river, for some sheep are
much better swimmers than others. But- there was
generally a punt in Ieadiness for such occasions, an
the village boys were eager to push off and pole them.
selves after the sheep, which when once captured, they
had only to keep one hand hold of the fleece, and he
was forced to follow the boat to the shore.
Once, when she was a very little girl, Christabel
was standing leaning over the end of the punt, which
had swung round towards the middle of the river, and
made a clutch at the fleece of the sheep which was

swimming past, when it pulled her along after she fell
into the water without unloosing her hold, and she
came laughing to the shore, towed along by the sheep,
unconscious of the danger she had escaped. The old
gardener, who was a looker-on, shouted to her to keep
fast hold while he reached her, but she only laughed
and nodded her head, while her wet hair was hanging
all over her face and eyes, and as the old man told me,
Wasn't a bit afraid, but wished she had had a longer
ride." But she never did so again,
Some days elapse after the washing to allow the
fleeces to dry before the sheep are clipped, for ex-
perienced breeders argue that the oil must return into
the wool again, so that the shears may slip through
it easily. Rare exercise was it for Christabel and her
girlish companions to roll up and carry away the
fleeces, and many a game of romps they had on the
high-piled heaps of wool which were laid ready to thrust
into the huge wrappers before being carted off to the
wool-pack shed. It was wonderful how little time the
old practical clippers took to shear a sheep clean, and
then to see the alteration it made in the appearance of
the sheep: those that looked like moving hillocks of
wool before they were shorn, appearing comparatively
slim and genteel after they had passed through the
shearers' hands, illustrating the old proverb, which
says, "Many who come out to seek wool go back shorn."
This was another puzzle for the little lambs; for
if they had a difficulty in recognizing their own dams
after the washing, they bore no resemblance to their
former appearance when stripped of their fleeces; but
the lambs would sometimes run away from the ewes
until won back by the old familiar bleating, and even
then they were often some time before they appeared


Christabel, like an experienced general, went
round to arrange her woolly forces in their'.proper
places; and I thought, while watching her, many
of them looked up to her for instructions; and I
have seen few prettier sights than the troop of
lambs that ran bleating at her heels, to be conducted
to their dams after the "clipping." She would often
stoop down and kiss their pretty little foreheads,
before leaving them, and her girlish companions would
follow her example, and some that had been very much
petted in the house would hold up their heads as if
they expected the caress.
But the prettiest sight of all was at the sheep-
shearing feast, when they placed garlands of flowers
around the necks of their favourite lambs, and driving
them in the centre danced around them, the plaintive
low bleating of the innocent creatures which the
dancers enringed making pleasant rural music, such as
is often heard in the country mingled with the low-
ing of kine, and seemed quite in keeping with the
For the village boys and all who liked to partake
of it, plenty of fuirmity was made, which appears
to have been a favourite dish at English merry-
makings centuries back, and consisted of ccreed
wheat boiled soft, and served up with plenty of rich
milk, sweetened, and full of currants. This all the
children had to partake of, and many of the adults
were partial to it, though we seldom found them ex
ceeding a moderate sized basin-full, for, as the
country-people say, it is very cloying," though
" stolen" is an older word. Sometimes the furmity
was sweetened with honey, and the wheat boiled until
the grains cracked and mingled the floury portion with
the sweet milk, and was something like a barley pud-

ding, only much richer. It is an ancient dish often
mentioned by our old writers, and not very costly when
made plain, and would form an agreeable change of
diet, where price is a consideration, in the feeding of
As England was in the most ancient times called
"The Island of Honey," and as we know that the
primitive Britons grew corn and milked their kine, we
are justified in believing that the children in those
remote days were familiar with furmity sweetened with
honey, such as Christabel and her friends partook of at
the sheep-shearing feasts.
I wish all festivals were as blameless as those I
shared in at Brampton-among-the-Roses. The lan-
guage spoken was homely enough-the plain Doric of
the country, which is as pleasant to hear as those
sounds described by Shakespeare, which give delight
but hurt not." Some of the songs sung were very old,
and while I listened to them I could fancy that the
same words were carolled by the milk-maid who gave
Izack Walton a dish of the red-cow's milk beside the
honeysuckle hedge; for somehow you cannot mingle
with pastoral people without travelling back in your
mind to a rural age, of which we only now find a few
relics preserved in such old villages as Brampton-
There was a sermon in the ancient village church
before the sheep-shearing feast commenced, and I was
delighted wlth the style of preaching which the grey-
haired vicar adopted: it was so suitable to a rustic
congregation, and so full of pastoral allusions to sheep
and shepherds, and taking care of the tender lambs,
that all present understood it, and I saw some of the
children's eyes filled with tears when he pictured a
little lamb that had strayed from the fold, and how

the good shepherd wandered weary miles in search of
it, and found it at last by the edge of a steep preci-
pice overhanging a deep river, and how careful he was
not to alarm it lest it might go near and fall over, and
how he tried to imitate the baa" of its mother, and
when he drew nearer and it was out of danger, carried
it tenderly back to the fold in his arms," I noticed
little Christabel wiping the tears from her eyes with
her handkerchief, though she made no noise, but had
a sweet smile on her face while the tears trickled
down her cheeks; and I thought if all preachers would
measure their discourses to fit the simple understanding
of their hearers, like the good vicar, how much more
the unlettered portion of their congregation would be
I could not look round on the weather-beaten faces
of the hardy shepherds without thinking how well-
deserving they were of such a bountiful feast, so often
as they had been out all night during the lauibing
season, when Winter whitened the ground, and that
many a newly-yeaned lamb would have perished but
for their care. I felt glad, too, that the village chil-
dren were not forgotten during that good time," for
many lambs are entrusted to their care during severe
weather, which their fathers bring, when ailing, from
the folds, so that on a great sheep-breeding estate like
Mr. Brampton's it is not uncommon to find little lambs
well wrapped up before the fire of nearly every
labourer's cottage, where they are fed with warm milk,
and nursed by children with hearts as feeling as pretty
Christabel's, though more rough in their manners; for
it is my faith that those who are taught to be kind to
dumb animals when they are children, never forget the
lessons of mercy when they grow up, for this is the
golden rule that teaches us to do unto others as we


would be done unto, and extends to all God's crea-
tures; for
lHe liveth best who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the great God, who loveth us,
Hle made and loveth all."-CoLERIDGE.

Although it was the Old Manor House garden
about which I had so much to say, I must again glance
back at the ancient possessions of the former Barons of
Brampton to show what miles of ground the estate
formerly covered before the days of the old Cavalier
knight, Sir Baldwin, for the struggles of the Common-
wealth were modern in comparison to those remote
times when the first Barons of Brampton were estab-
lished among the Roses.
I have seen a great portion of our beautiful sea-
girt island in my time, but never so many pleasant
footpaths as spread every way around Brampton, and
the curate told me that this was owing to the many
outlying villages, manor-houses, granges, and places
now in ruins, or long since ploughed over and culti-
vated, that formerly sent their knights, squires, and
yeomen, to do suit and service to the ancient lords of
Brampton long before the time of Sir Baldwin. This
was shown in the county history, for barons and their
retainers had dwelt in the Manor House, of which
scarcely any remains were left beyond the ruins, the old
garden, the picturesque church, and the name, which
was more renowned during the Wars of the Roses than
it was in Charles's time. Many then came for miles
around to do suit and service to the ancient Barons of
Brampton, of whom but very little was known beyond
a few brasses in the church, the letters of which could
scarcely be deciphered. There was no record of any
church having ever stood within many miles of


Brampton-among-the-Roses, though the ruins of an
undated abbey-its very name even lost-were seen
about two leagues off. Thus the reason why so many
footpaths and bridle-roads led to the old village is
accounted for, as no doubt all according to their means
contributed towards building the now hoary village
church. The swineherd would give his silver penny,
which he had earned for tending his herds while
feeding on the acorns which fell from the oaks in the
old forest, but little of which remained, though the
ancient bridle-roads and winding footpaths may still
be easily traced.
Wherever a homestead nestled beside the old forest,
even beyond sound of those village bells, would the
young and aged come wending their way to that
ancient tower on the holy Sabbath-day. The child
that was carried to be christened, and the maiden that
went forth in her gay wedding attire, and the grey-
haired sire that was borne on his bier to sleep his long
sleep, where the Barons of Brampton had slumbered
for centuries. I often thought there was a far-away
look in the dreamy eyes of Christabel when we were
out walking with the curate and he was conversing of
those old times which had left so few traces behind to
tell of what had once been. That she pictured in her
"mind's eye the forest and chase that extended for
miles beside the river in which the dappled deer drank
while her remote ancestors went out with hounds and
horses to follow the hunt, and every dell and dingle
echoed back the blast which the full-cheeked hunter
The curate said that there was an iron-bound chest
in the church filled with ancient documents, written on
coarse parchment, which were not only difficult to
read on account of the handwriting, but that portions


were so faded, through time and mildew, as to bear
but faint traces in places of the old letters. He had
made enough out, however, to find that they were
charters of old forest rights and fisheries, containing
the names of boundaries and long-since extinct land-
marks, which had no doubt often been stoutly contested
for in past times in the courts held under the old Barons
of Brampton, who little dreamed that their possessions
would one day be converted into peaceable sheep-walks.
They showed that one held a portion of the
estate by sowing the Baron's lands in spring and
reaping them in autumn, doing what was called
service of Ground and Garner," and that he had a
road to pass over with his plough, harrow, and cart
to do the work agreed upon for his feudal lord; also
to the forest for his hogs to feed on the mast, and to
the common-land, where there was herbage for his
oxen and pasturage for the few sheep he was allowed
to keep. So the warrener brought in his tribute of
rabbits from the sandy warren where they burrowed,
and the fisherman his tribute of fish from the river,
where his thatched hut stood on the bank; and that
there were also roads to the ancient Baronial Hall or
moated Manor House, for those who held their estates
by a higher tenure. Men-at-arms came from remote
thorpes and granges over a bridle-way, overgrown in
places with grass, so little was it made use of, followed
by the bowman, with his arrows at his back, and the
spearmen, in their buff jerkins, to serve under the
banner of the ancient Barons of Brampton, who had
himself to obey the summons of the king, of whom
he held his estate, the same as his retainers held under
him. So roads were made from every point of the
compass to the great centre where they were sum-
moned to assemble, and as there were but few fences


in those days, they rode or walked through the open
country to where the baronial tower stood as a land-
mark long before Sir Baldwin's mansion was built; for
there was mention of barbican, and portcullis, and
drawbridge in the ancient documents preserved in the
iron-bound chest kept in the church, which also
contained grants of livery, and seizen, and sockage,
and all those forms which our forefathers used when
they transferred property, and which to be acquainted
with is to treasure up ancient wisdom and learn how our
English freedom was built up bit by bit until it grew
to what it is.
I have conversed with few gentlemen better read
in the history of our country than the curate of
Brampton; and as Christabel was his especial favourite
and accompanied him in his daily walks, it will be
readily imagined that such an intelligent pupil re-
membered much of his conversation, for she had a
most retentive memory. And I thought that the
knowledge that she had descended from a long line of
barons made her grave beyond her years, as if the
shadow of grandeur which fell so far back could not be
obliterated, faintly as it showed; for one had been
beheaded, and after that there was a blank until
Baldwin, the brave soldier, was knighted by James the
First, but the old title was never restored. The good
old poet Shirley has told us in a few lines that will last
as long as poetry is treasured, that--

"The glories of our blood and state
Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against fate;
Death lays his icy hands on kings:
Sceptre and crown
Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade.

Some men with swords may reap the field,
And plant fresh laurels where they kill;
But their strong nerves at last must yield,
They tame but one another still.
Early or late
They stoop to fate.

Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet-and blossom in the dust."

But the old Manor House garden was above all
things the delight of Christabel. And now I must
tell you how it was that she found so much pleasure in
it, though I think the memory of the past influenced
her mind and taste.
I had no difficulty in tracing what still retains the
name of My Lady's Walk, which ran the whole length
of the ground formerly cultivated as a garden; it must
have been about twelve feet wide and perfectly straight,
and bordered on each side by roses, which have for
full two hundred years retained possession of the
ground in one form or another, and still shoot up as
saplings from long-since buried old roots, and falling
rose-heps, and such mysterious ways as Nature sends
out of her mysterious laboratory from the decay which
time has made. For in the great vegetable world a
new life is constantly breathing from out of the
remains of death, so that the slow process of decay is
but the necessary renewal before a new form of life is
visible to the naked eye, even as we in our faith be.
lieve that from the earthly body will arise one spiritual,
as the grain of wheat rots and sends out the stalk which
supports the new ear of corn, which, responsive to our
prayer, gives us our daily bread." That the long
borders on each side of My Lady's Walk were but a
renewal of the old roses, which were shaken from their
stems by the reverberation of Cromwell's cannon when


he battered in the roof and upper walls of the old
manor house in the June of long ago, I sincerely
believe, and that is the cause of the village having been
known for above a century by the name of Brampton-
Christabel Brampton was one of the happiest girls
I ever knew; she had a contented heart and peaceful
mind, and coveted nothing beyond what she possessed,
believing that there was no station in life happier than
her own. No one ever saw her in a passion; but her
anger was soon awakened if she saw any one cruel to
dumb animals; then she would speak up and not care
how much she offended the cruel tyrant whom she
rebuked. When only a child she often played for long
hours by herself. She played by herself, sung to herself,
and talked to herself, for happiness and content were
companions that never forsook her. When told of this
habit of talking to herself, she would say, "I find so
much to say to the birds, insects, and flowers when I
am in the garden, that I can't help saying what I think
of them, for I only speak the thoughts that are always
talking to me : and I believe they like to hear me, and
often fancy they understand all I say to them, from
their looks, especially the bees, when I stand so close
that I can see all they do while inside the flowers."
Her happiness was like the sunshine in a place that
before was shady, for it made all bright and cheerful it
fell upon; even in her gravest and most thoughtful
moods she was but like the portion of some sunny
brook which a branch overhangs, all golden before
and beyond, with bright flecks between the openings
of the divided leaves, telling how brightly they were
gilded above, and that' the sunshine was still there.
For sunshine glancing on a rill,
Though turned aside, is sunshine still.

and you could not look upon her sweet face without
feeling its warmth and cheerfulness.
Now, although the dear girl loved all God's creaa
tures, I think her favourites, when quite a little child,
were the bees. Whether they inhabited hives or lived
in thymy banks, or built up their cells in the hollows
of old trees, or lived in out-houses, or ivy-mantled
chimneys, or neglected rooms rarely used, they were
forced to come to the flowers for their honey, and
Christabel welcomed and watched them all. I do not
think that with all their careful watchfulness our
naturalists have yet discovered how many varieties of
bees inhabit England, but the number known and
named is immense, from the great black loud-humming
and low-flying bumble-bee, to the little red-bodied
beauty that creeps into the long trumpet-shaped
flowers of the streaked woodbine, and makes the
sweetest honey of all the bees that are known. John
Cleveland, an old Royalist poet, who wrote many bitter
lines against Oliver Cromwell, calls the bees Nature's
Besides bees, there were a many curious insects
about the old manor-house garden whose habits are
but little known, some of them surviving the winter
among the ruins, and not appearing until the spring
began to show her earliest flowers, when, if they got
far enough into the crevices to escape the sharp beaks
of the birds, they then came out, moving about
languidly at first, but soon becoming strong enough
to enjoy the fresh air and warm sunshine, perfumed by
the flowers. Christabel knew that all the summer-
butterflies do not perish in winter, for she had even
seen the purple emperor, with torn and discoloured
wings, alighting on the earliest blossoms of the garden,
when the spring days were very cold; and she knew a


good deal more about flowers than many young ladies
at boarding-schools, who are taught botany and culti-
vate a little patch of garden ground, which they are
allowed to call their own. For Nature was her book,
and she found her chief delight in studying it, and the
good poet Wordsworth tells that she never yet forsook
"the heart that loved her."
I felt an interest in the grey-headed old gardener
from the first moment I saw him, and was told that his
great-grandfather had been employed on the spot,
when after lying neglected for many years, it began
here and there to show signs of its former beauty, and
that he discovered a many choice roots, beside the
old rose-trees, which had perhaps been trodden down
by the hoofs of Cromwell's cavalry, and which he
parted, and replanted, and nursed all the more care-
fully because they sprang from such old stems. I
looked at the rose-borders, which had first been
restored by his care and labour, and thought of that
strange anomaly, which caused man in one age to
destroy what in another he laboured to restore, and
how changeable Time himself was, first destroying,
then beautifying the ruins he had made.
Though old Jacob the gardener was a man of few
words, and generally cut short all strangers that
questioned him, yet he never seemed weary of answer-
ing Christabel, but to be as delighted with her prattle
as when he leant upon his spade to listen to the early
song of some bird that was among the first to come
over the sea in spring. Very often he would, unasked,
tell her secrets connected with the growing of flowers,
which through years of experience he had discovered,
or that had been handed down orally through the family
from the time of his great-grandfather; and the little
lady, who was a patient listener and had a retentive

memory, kept this old-world knowledge in remem-
brance, and put some of it into practice.
I was told of some old suckers that had come up a
little behind My Lady's Walk, where none had ever
before appeared, and that never thrived well, when
they ought to have borne roses. Christabel said she
was sure they had sprung from some old and long-
buried root, and at last persuaded the aged gardener
to look at them.
"Yes, miss, it has missed my old eyes through
standing so far back," after hearing all she had to say,
and examining the shrub attentively. 'You see, I
never cared much for aught that shot up behind the
old border rose-trees, but left everything pretty well
to grow there as it liked, for it was always called the
Wilderness in my father's time, though there are a few
fine old trees here and away. But it shall be seen to
as you wish it, for it's undermined with 'twitch,' and
there are dandelions about it, and they are troublesome
things when they seed and blow all over everywhere,
and I am much obliged, miss, for showing it me, for I
couldn't think where all the dandelions came from
that I have to hoe up at the front of My Lady's
"You are very kind, Jacob, and always oblige
me," said Christabel, and the rose-bush faces the
south, and I have tried to dig some of the dog-grass
up myself; but the roots go so deep and so strong
that when I tried my hardest I could only cut through
them, and your big spade makes my arms ache so, and
my little one is of no use. I cut down the dandelions
only last spring, and here they are again in flower."
There hasn't been a spade in that part of the
Wilderness for years, miss," replied old Jacob;
"C sometimes I take my scythe or shears, and cut round

and between the trees a bit, just to keep the weeds
down and prevent them from showing through the
roses. But I'll trim that one up, and cut out the dead
wood, for there are a few fine healthy young suckers
that only want more sunshine and fresh air to make
them bear flowers. I think by the look of the stems
they will show for what my father used to call the old
Oliver Cromwell roses, for they are the richest red of
all, and I suppose they're called after him because of
the blood he caused to be shed. But he did good in
his day, and let us hope that God pardoned him,
though my great-grandfather used to say it thundered
and lightened dreadfully on the day he died, for he'd
often heard old men say so when he were a lad; and
that wasn't a good sign, but seemed as if Nature were
angry with him."J
Christabel smiled at the idea of Nature being angry
with any one, and recalled the old lady mentioned by
Horace Walpole, who, on receiving a visitor during a
shower, said, "I am quite ashamed of the rain," be.
cause it fell upon her friend's new silk dress.
It was autumn when the old gardener set to work
to clear and trim the rose-bush, and as the little
maiden watched him during his labour, she was de-
lighted with the sweet healthy smell of the earth he
turned up, and its rich reddish-brown colour, crumb-
ling like lumps of flour at the top where it was dry,
and free from gravel where it was moist, for it had
to be dug very deep down to get out the roots of the
couch, and dandelions, which were as long and thick as
carrots. As to the couch, twitch, or dog-grass, for by
all these names it is known, he bared a portion of their
long fibres to let her see how it spread, and then dug
out the earth from under them and showed her the
buried network of long roots that shot out length ways

and across like the bottom of a large sieve, and told
her that those strong wire-like fibres in time destroyed
the roots of everything they entangled, unless it was
a large tree that required no nourishment from its
upper roots. He cleared every morsel of the couch
out, and told her that if he only left one inch of fibre
that was alive in the ground, it would take root.
"Poor dear old rose-tree! It might well not
bloom with such a quantity of couch binding it down
and round about in all directions. I wonder how it
found room enough for its roots to keep alive at all,
such a load of couch fibres as it had to support,"
said Christabel when she saw the piled-up barrow-
load of weeds the old gardener wheeled away to the
heap which would be burned. How kind you are,
Jacob, to take all that pains to please me and save the
old rose-bush, which I shall never look at without
thinking how hard you worked to restore it."
Nay, it is through thy tender care of all things,
that it is saved," replied the God-fearing old gardener;
"if I had found it, and looked for it to bear roses, as
thou hast done, I should have been like the impatient
man our Saviour mentions in one of His blessed para-
bles, and said, 'Cut it down, why cumbereth it the
ground ?' but thy pleading caused me to dig about
it,' and though it would have died, had it been
neglected much longer, I feel sure that it will now
recover, as I have cleared the twitch from all the fibres
that are young and healthy, and I have no doubt that
by another summer it will bear roses as beautiful as
King Solomon praised in his Songs."
Long lafore dark winter drew her curtains upon
the short afternoon to shut out the day, the rose-
bush had put out a few green leaves, which the frosty
weather withered up to clear a way for those spring


would hang on the sprays to cluster round and shelter
the infant rose-buds that would nestle in their centre;
for Nature is a kind mother, and nurses tenderly all
the baby-buds committed to her care. Were there a
brief burst of sunshine, and the snow not lying too
deep on My Lady's Walk, Christabel would be sure
to visit her new rose-tree during the day, and great
was her delight when she saw the first spring leaves
putting forth at the end of February, and found two
ladybirds-nearly the first insects that appear-settled
on one of the stems. Then she got Jacob to sow a
few pinches of mignonette seed, and plant a few ten-
weeks' stocks, and wallflowers that showed for bloom
when they were removed, here and there at irregular
distances all round the rose-tree, so that where the
bees only found groundsel, chickweed, shepherd's
purse, and dandelions to buzz about, they might have
sweet flowers to hum among, and honey to enrich
their hives weeks before the roses were in bloom.
Her kind father and old Jacob moved a garden-
seat, of pretty rustic work, under a low-growing tree
with drooping branches, that stood behind her favourite
rose-bush, and formed quite a pleasant bower, without
over-shadowing the shrub after the gardener had cut off
a few projecting boughs that faced the sunny south; and
here she would sit for a long hour at a time, watching
the insects as they flew in and out among the flowers.
She was very clever at twining wreaths of flowers and
placing them tastefully in her hat; and as Jacob was
constantly gathering them for her, and bringing them
to the rustic seat, and as she knew it pleased the kind
old man to see her.wear them, she made herself a fresh
wreath every day, and this no doubt was the principal
cause of so many beautiful insects hovering around

As for roses, when they were in flower, she
would sometimes wear three wreaths a day, buds in
the morning, full-blown red in the afternoon, and a
white wreath in the evening, then preserve the petals
in choice old china jars, which it was pleasant to stir
about with your fingers, for the leaves throw out a rich
fragrance after they are dried, and where such count.
less thousands of roses grew only to shed their bloom
on the ground, if they remained ungathered, it mat-
tered not how many Christabel used for wreaths, and
then preserved in the old rose-vases-heirlooms saved
from Cromwell's troopers through a simple servant-
maid of those days admiring them, and burying them
in the garden in a deep trench that had been dug for
storing vegetables. And sometimes as many as six
or seven butterflies would come and play with one
another over her head, and round the sweet flowers on
her hat, and about the rose-tree that was now in bloom,
and alight on the ends of the tender sprays, which had
shot out at spring, with folded wings, to rest awhile
after they were tired of playing with one another.
And, except the use she made of her nimble fingers
while doing some light needlework, Christabel would
sit watching them at their game of thread-my-needle,
as she called it, as they flew up and down, and in and
out between one another without once touching wings,
and did it so quickly sometimes, that it was only sharp,
watchful, and practised eyes like hers could see the
sudden turnings and changes they made. Now and
then a daring bird would make a dash at the butter-
flies while they were playing about her; then she
would up with the little branch she kept beside her on
the garden-chair, to beat off the wasps and hornets,
and give the bird a good talking to, as she drove it
away, and say, "Are you not ashamed of yourself, for


trying to kill my peaceable butterflies, so many seeds
as there are about the garden ripe and ready for food ?
Go and catch the great blue-bottles if you must have
a joint for your breakfast; there are too many of them
about, and they spoil the fruit and everything they
can get at; but the butterflies only dip their long
tongues into deep honey-bells, and do no harm, for
that is all the support they require."
But the bees. she was never wearied of watching,
and old Jacob sowed her little clumps of sunflowers
here and there, which grew to a great height, so as
to be on a level with her face, so that she could stand
close to and see their every movement, and very droll
they looked when they were covered all over with
yellow pollen, so that she couldn't see a bit of their
faces. She saw the great pockets they filled inside of
their thighs, and the wax they concealed under the
rings of their winged bodies, and knew that they
didn't eat all the honey they put into their mouths,
but only carried it to the hive, as a bird does food for
the young to its nest, and there delivered their luscious
burden honestly to other bees, who stood ready to
receive it, until the honey-cells in the hive were filled,
and the bee-bread stored away, content with their
allotted share, and knowing that enough is always a
feast," and that more is not good for them; for there
never was known to be a glutton among bees like
those we hear of amongst mankind, who eat and drink
until they make themselves ill, then have to take pills and
black draughts; for the bees are a "peculiar people"
and employ no doctors. The reason why they never
require a doctor is, they are so temperate, they keep
their little bodies so clean, are out so much in the
fresh air and among the flowers, which are very dif-
ferent things to smell of, to the gutters and sewers of

badly-drained towns. Even when their hives are- too
hot they know how to cool them, and will set to beat-
ing their wings until they raise a cool current of air,
which is as refreshing as the shadow of a tree beside
a rapid brook.
She also admired the dragon-flies, and used to tell
the country children that they were wrong in calling
them horse-stingers," for they have no stings, though
their green-blue and golden-coloured bodies were
often as long as her forefinger, and there is nothing
in the insect world that attracts the eye more than a
full-grown dragon-fly on the wing. Neither by the
loom, nor by the hand, can such beautiful gauze be
produced as that which forms their wings, for the
meshes are so fine that you cannot see the network of
the texture without a powerful glass, though they are
so transparent. As for eyes, they are so large as to
fill a great part of the head, and have great gold and
ruby rings all round them, and can just see as well
behind them as they can before, and on each side.
Nor do they ever turn round when they want to fly
back, for tail first or head first is all one to them; and
it was great amusement to Christabel to watch the
birds chasing the dragon-flies, for when the bird made
sure he had him, and was just going to open his beak
for the fatal snap, the dragon-fly would set all sail
without once turning himself, and be a long way ahead
before his enemy had steered round, and was once
more in pursuit.
Then she found a little hillock of fine earth thrown
up, very small at first, and when she asked old Jacob
what it was, he told her it was an ant-hill, and was
caused by the ants underground making a nest in
which to lay their eggs, and rear their young, and
that she would see scores of them going to and fro and


in and out from morning till night when the weather-
was fine, but never when it rained; and that they
always removed in-doors when there was going to be
a rainy day, however fine it might be in the morning.
So Christabel found a new delight in watching the
little ants bringing out the earth grain by grain every
day, and how hard they worked to get up some tiny
bit of grit that was too heavy for them without assis-
tance, and how often it would roll down again just as
they had got it outside the hole, and roll over and
knock down some poor little fellow that was toiling up
with his burden behind. Then she saw that they
opened a communication with another nest, four or five
feet from the first one they made, perhaps because it was
nearer to a supply of food they required, and there
were always some of them travelling from one nest to
the other, and often just touching each other on the
head when they met, but whether it was to speak, or
only nod, or give each other a shake of the hand, with
all her close watching she could never tell. Great was
her delight when she saw them make a long arched
gallery on the level ground, all the way between the
two nests, which they erected out of bits of grit and
grains of sand, and built so firm that she could thrust
a thin wire up the length of her arm or more, and
draw it back again without disturbing the grains of
earth which formed the long vaulted gallery; so they
could carry on their work from nest to nest in the dark
and during a gentle rain.
One night there had been a very heavy shower of
drenching rain, which swept away every vestige of the
gallery, and left many drowned on the shore where
the sandy ruins lay-in piled-up ridges. It must have
been a strong current, for ants are good swimmers.
-But what was her amazement after the rain to see

them fetch up hundreds of what appeared like grains
of rice from out their nest, and bring them to the upper
galleries for the sun to warm and dry. These con-
tained the young ants ready to burst out of the skins
or shells, for the eggs at first are very small, and
Solomon mistook them for grains of corn, when he
spoke of the ants in his day laying up stores of food
for winter, for the habits of insects were not so welt
understood at that remote period as they have been
during the last century. But she was a great plague
to them, and would thrust a round stem of dried grass
into their holes, when they came rushing out of the
ant-hill by scores, and ran up and down and round
about to see what it was that had disturbed them; and
some would mount the tallest blades of grass, and look
out like sailors from the top of a ship-mast, to see if
they could discover the enemy. Then in a minute or
two all would return to the nest, but if the poking
was often repeated, a few would remain outside like
sentinels, to keep watch, and if they raised an alarm
nearly all the garrison would again sally out in the
greatest confusion. Not many young ladies knew so
much of the habits of the industrious ants as Christa-
bel, or observed them so closely as she did.
Sometimes a slow-paced snail, dragging his great
house on his back, as if an elephant carried his caravan
instead of only resting in it at night, and by mistake
he would go trailing with his heavy load over the
house-top of the poor ants, when they would rush out
and begin to bite him. In vain did he draw in his
horns and cover himself with froth; they stuck to him
until he made off with all the speed he could, for he
soon found out that there was no remaining in peace
and comfort in such a populous neighbourhood.
Generally she picked up the poor snail, and removed


it to a safe distance when she saw the danger he was
crawling into, for Christabel loved all God's creatures,
and would not, if she could avoid it, harm any living
thing that He had made, for she thought they suffered
enough by fulfilling the purpose for which they were
sent, that destined one race to feed upon another.
She liked to watch the pretty beetles that come
out of the ground, and few would believe what a
variety there are in our gardens-gold and green, and
bronze, and all the richest metallic hues that can be
imagined, while others are black and bright as polished
ebony. Then they are always so clean-looking as if
they were fresh varnished, and that not a particle of
dust had since settled upon their glossy cases, though
they live in dark underground apartments. And she
thought that poor people who occupy lowly habitations
might be clean like the beetles if they would take the
pains to cleanse themselves and their houses; and that
if they could be convinced how much more healthy and
comfortable they would feel through it, they would not
neglect themselves and their dwellings as they too
often do. And she respected all those good old merci-
ful superstitions which country children are taught to
believe, such as that trampling upon a pretty beetle in
the sunshine will bring on rain, and that giving pain
to a worm will cause you the same pain; for they have
saved many a generation of robins and wrens from
persecution, since that gentle and pitiful sermon was
first preached by some tender-hearted poet on the death
and burial of the Babes in the Wood.
Christabel Brampton was, for her age, very intelli-
gent, had a clear intellect, and was really a talented
young lady, and one or two little sketches which the
good curate--who was her trusted friend-put into my
hands, suggested the thought if she were some day to
,W .

tell the story of the old rose-tree in her own simple
way, and how she talked to the bees and other insects
when she was a little child, she would be teaching a
lesson of kindness and mercy to other children that
would cause them never to be cruel to the humblest of
God's dumb creatures.
But her own meditations when alone in the old
garden were such as seldom find a place in the mind
of a child, for she listened attentively to all the old
gardener's remarks, and treasured them up in her
memory, and they guided her in many a research which
otherwise she would have never made, and drew her
nearer the Great Creator while contemplating His
The good curate told me how much he had been
amused and delighted while listening to her pleasant
prattle, for hardly a bird or insect moved about her
but what she had something to say of their habits.
When the bee murmured a good deal to itself and
flew about, she called it grumbling," and used to
fancy she knew why it complained-that it had been
found fault with in the hive by the Queen Bee; and that
as she had so many faithful subjects, whose stings
were out in a moment if a buzz was heard against
Her Majesty, he said what he had got to say to
himself when out hunting for honey, especially when
so many flowers were not to be found as he met
with in spring and summer, and that he went
flying about, saying to himself, "I don't like going
back to the hive without a good load of honey, for I
fancied our Queen Bee looked rather black at me when
I emptied out what I brought back the last journey,
which wasn't much; but if she only had a fly
out before the hive swarmed, she would see what
a few flowers there are that yield honey. In summer

,and at the close of spring, I have only to creep
out of the hive, fly over the garden-hedge, and
alight in the first field I come to, and there I am
sure to find plenty of flowers that yield honey, and
I could get a load and have a bit of a nap in the clover
flowers, and be back so soon that she would say, Well
done, you are a good bee, and have been so quick, we
shall soon have our combs full of honey, if you work
like that.' And now, when I go back, if she speaks
to me it is only to say, as she watches me empty it out,
'Humph, is that all, after having been out so long ? I
mustn't lay so many eggs if you can't do better than
that, for fear there shouldn't be honey enough for the
young bees to eat.' And it isn't very pleasant to be
grumbled at like that when you do your best; and if
sho keeps going on in that way, the next time a swarm
leaves the hive I'll join it, and try to find a fresh
Queen." Now, I don't think that Queen Bee would
grumble at him if he went about his work with more of
a good-will, instead of murmuring as he does, for
she has sharp ears, and if she can't hear all he says
some of her servants can, and they are sure to tell her,
if it only be in the hope of getting into her favour; and
though she hates all tale-bearers, she is forced to
listen to all that is going on, like other Queens.
And so she would continue talking and letting her
imagination run loose, that listening to her at times
was like reading an entertaining fairy tale, which is
often both instructive and amusing. She would fancy
if some of the rose-trees had voices they would cry for
help as they grow weaker every year, and say, "If I
have not some assistance I shall soon be too weak even
to send out a sucker as a signal that I want help. This
couch binds up my roots underground as much as the
grass above does my lower branches; and see how

closely I am beset by those strong weeds, and I know
well how deep their long straight roots go down, for
they pierce beyond my young fibres, and I can feel
them drawing all the nourishment away that I ought
to have to make roses of. Look at my leaves, they are
not half so large as they ought to be, and nearly all
drop off soon after the end of June, instead of the
roses I should be shedding, if I had any to scatter.
What am I to do ? I cannot weed myself, and the
gardener is very old, and I am half-hidden by the
shrubbery behind me, and I have no beautiful flowers
about me that require his attention, or to attract those
who come and go up and down My Lady's Walk to
where I stand."
Then she would remark that "the bee was a great
traveller, and moved about a good deal in the world,
and passed many things in his flight over the land
that pine, and droop, and grieve for want of a little
care, kindness, and attention, as is too often the case
with silent want which hides and dies, and makes no
sign. Those dandelions which stand up with such
brazen faces, and make themselves seen, as too many
in the world shout until they make themselves heard,
although they have only their folly to proclaim."
She sometimes gave utterance to thoughts that
seemed of greater depth than might have been looked
for in one so young, but then, as the curate said, she
tried hard to understand those books of wisdom which
are so seldom given to children, and would thus
moralize on the feathered seed, and say, "They are
their own avengers, and blow all about the garden and
alight wheresoever they find any soil to lay hold of.
And I sometimes tell old Jacob, when he wonders
where they come from, that if he looked about on a
windy day he would see myriads in the air, when the


groundsel and thistles swarm, and are on the look out
for favourable places in which to alight; but he only
sees the effect, and often grumbles without searching
for the cause of the wide-spread evil, when a spade
sent down to their roots would destroy them, and turn
up a rich soil which only produced them because it
could get nothing better to grow; the good seed has
not been cast on the ground, for Nature accomplishes
her great work in the same way as we set seed; not
that I begrudge the weeds the space they occupy, it is
not their fault that they are there, they are only in a
wrong place, like dirt on a pretty face. There is room
enough for them outside the garden, many animals
enjoy them as food as well as birds."
She liked to look down on the great golden dande-
lions at her feet on a dull day, and often tried to fancy
that the sunshine was sleeping above the roots; there
was such a splendour about the garish flowers. But
she often wished they were farther away, as their
thick, milky roots drew up the moisture from the
flowers, and they are among the first wild flowers that
Spring sends out as scouts to see if there are any
tidings of the birds that have been wintering over the
sea, though the yellow coltsfoot appears a little earlier.
She knew them all well, from the purple dead.
nettle with its little pea-shaped bloom, showing as
soon as the snowdrop, and bringing sweet dreams of a
distant summer-time even while half-buried amid the
withered leaves; while the bees dare not stay out long
together for fear of the cold, though they may often
be seen peeping out of their hives on a warm day, if,
there is a momentary gleam of sunshine. Then the
rose-bushes felt the rising sap run up their sprays,
causing them to first put out those pretty emerald
buds, which in a few weeks become beautiful green


leaves, all ready snipped at the edges, after the old
pattern which has never been improved. She always
felt comforted when the bees came buzzing around
her, to talk to during their many wanderings in
search of flowers, for she had often heard men bid
one another cheer up," and say that when things
come to the worst they are sure to- mend," and her
own experience had taught her "that the longest
lane comes to an end."
Though but little, she did all the good in her
power, and nursed the lambs, and weeded the flowers,
and picked the dead leaves off the rose-bushes, and
gave them room enough to fill the eye with beauty,
and the air with sweetness; and it seemed to her
that one insect told another of the pretty flowers she
had in store for them, that the bees went humming to
the butterflies, telling them when they were passing
by that way to alight and hover round; and many a
golden-belted bee came to visit her, and made a
pleasant murmur, while the deep-dyed dragon-flies
kept darting to and fro.
So the little lady frequented the old Manor House
garden, who loved all dumb things that God had
created, and when she saw them she began to wonder
why the bushes bare no roses, and set to and hunted
about for the cause, which she soon found out
Then she consulted with the good old gardener again,
who was always kind to her, and he dug and delved
about, and cleared away all the noisome weeds, and
let in the silver showers and the golden sunshine,
and the sweet air of heaven, which blew through the
branches, and made the slender sprays dance for joy;
for there were no longer any weeds crowding around
her flowers to keep off the cheering sunshine and leaf-
stirring breeze; and though they did not bear much


bloom the first year, another sumnier saw them crowded
with roses, and supplying many a bee with honey, and
filling all the air with fragrance.
So she would talk while the bees went round and
whispered to the butterflies, and while playing
together she fancied they told one another, and
moving with folded wings upon the branches of her
dear old rose-bush as the bees murmured a low sleepy
air in the sunshine, and flew to and fro, and soon the
eyes of the little lady were drawn towards those which
she saw were neglected, and overrun by the rank
weeds; and then she attended to them, and ever since
they have borne beautiful roses.
Christabel is now a young lady who delights in
doing good, and instead of nursing the lambs, or sitting
on the rustic chair beside her rose-tree, watching
the insects, has consented to make herself useful in the
village school, and is a great favourite with all the
ladies who visit it and instruct the poor children, for
she teaches them in the same simple language in which
her meditations are told, and takes pains to make
them understand her. At the intercession of her
friend, the curate, all the children distinguished by
their good behaviour are allowed a half-holiday, and
when the weather is favourable she receives them in
the old manor-house garden, and tells them all she
knows about bees, and flowers, and butterflies, and
other insects, and describes the habits of the birds
they hear singing and see flying and hopping about;
and does it in a more pleasing manner than some
of those learned authors whose works frighten chil-
dren when they see so many hard words,
Gathering around her as she was seated in her
favourite rustic chair beside the old rose-tree, with two
or three of the youngest children beside her, she would


tell the elder ones all about the growth of the foliage
and the young buds that expand into beautiful roses,
and where the rich fragrance of the rose lies con-
cealed. Then she taught them all about what is mis-
called the fall of the leaf," making them understand
that the summer-leaves do not fall, but are pushed off
by the young buds that are coming out in autumn to
take their places, seeming to say as they pushed them
out, "Be off with you; you are stopping the way;
you are old, and have done your work, and we are
young and have come to take your place." And to
convince the children of the truth of her teaching, she
would show them some dead branch of a tree which
had been cut off while covered with foliage, and which
still remained on the bough though all the leaves were
withered. Then she had but to finish her lesson by
telling them that the reason of the dead leaves remain-
ing on the branch was because no young ones could
come out to push them from their places. So they
learnt all about the new buds bursting out under the
old leaves, and pushing them down and seating them-
selves in their places, though they would not become
full grown leaves themselves until the end of the follow-
ing spring, or the beginning of summer. Then she
drew pretty simple morals of her own, which caused
the good curate to smile if he chanced to be a listener,
but which she made the dear children understand
thoroughly before she had done, so that they liked her
little garden lectures, though it might be through the
young lady dealing out cakes, and cream, and tea, and
fruit along with her lessons.
There was no contention in that happy little village
school, in which the curate took so much interest in
the dear children, and listened to their Bible-lessons,
or often offered up prayers to our God and Saviour,

6RAM)TONI-AMOS1d -OiisE-n.e6
asking a blessing on their labours and teaching the
scholars to become good Christians while instructing
them in all things which the very poorest of our chil-
dren ought to be taught, to prove that they were not
reared in a heathen land.
She also made them wiser, and often in autumn
rambled with them in what remained of the old forest,
telling them all about the wild fruits, and which they
might gather and eat, and pointing out those which
were to be avoided; for many that look very beautiful
to the eye, and do no injury to the birds, are not suit-
able for human food. She let them eat their fill of
blackberries, when they were ripe, and allowed them to
carry home the sloes and bullaces to store up for win-
ter, and didn't mind them smearing their little faces
with the juice, for it was soon washed off when they
returned. She showed them how to distinguish the
dewberry from the blackberry, by holding it in a
favourable light, when they saw the purple bloom on
it, like a plum. They carried home the wild raspber-
ries to preserve; and many a rich pudding bad they,
when the wind was blowing through the old forest
on his winter-trumpet, and the birds out shivering on
the leafless trees. She told them how dangerous it
was to health to partake of the rich scarlet berries of
the woody nightshade, which are almost as tempting as
ripe red currants to look at. She pointed out the fruit
of the bird-cherry, which is first green, and then red,
and at last as dark as purple grapes, and told them
that it must only be eaten in moderation; for when she
herself was only a little girl, Old Jacob, the gardener,
had taken her by the hand, and pointed out the wild
fruit that she might freely partake of, and shown her
such as were injurious. The lessons of the good old
grey-haired man she had never forgotten, and was very


careful while repeating them to her little scholars.
These autumn walks also afforded fine opportunities
to her of pointing out such birds as wintered with us,
when the great band of summer musicians had ceased
to play, and gone over the sea; and greatly delighted
they were when they saw a little golden-crested wren
and she told them that though it was one of our
smallest British birds it stayed with us all the year
round, while so many larger birds, which many of them
knew by sight, deserted us until the following spring.
The rector smiled, when I said that I could picture
in my fancy the attendant angels employed like her,
leading little children by the hand through the gar-
dens of heaven."
Christabel Brampton had, from her own observa-
tion, learnt to look up from Nature "to Nature's God,"
though few teachers had had so much experience in the
out-of-door world as fell to her share, and the good
curate was always enforcing upon her the necessity of
instilling into the minds of the children the principles
of Christian religion. "For," said he, "if they are
not taught in school or church, few I fear will care
about them when they grow older, and go out into the
world." And upon the children themselves he would
try to enforce our Saviour's beautiful parable of the
" Sower."

^*>>a^^^^ >B<

-- I-- -- -
S--- -------.- -




WO children and their mother were together
one morning in the front parlour of a small
house in the outskirts of London. That
the mother was a widow could be seen by
her dress, and that she had suffered much sorrow, and
was still full of anxiety, might easily be perceived by
any one who noticed her pale and care-worn counten-
ance. The children--a boy and girl-did not show
any signs of care upon their faces, though they were
not so lively, perhaps, as they would have been, had
their mother not been so sorrowful, and had not the
remembrance of their father's death been still fresh in
their minds. They were living too, just then, with
their mother, in lodgings, after leaving a much plea-
santer home, and their mother was full of uncertainty
as to where they might settle for life.


Lucy, the girl, who was about twelve years old,
was busied that morning about a canary bird which
hung in a little cage by the side of the window; and
while she arranged about it some groundsel, which she
had just bought at the door, and stuck a piece of sugar
between the wires, she chatted away, half to her bird
and half to her brother, hardly expecting, though,
that the latter would answer her, or even listen to her,
so absorbed was he over his favourite Robinson
Crusoe," which he was reading for the second or third
There now, Dickey, you look quite smart," said
she; "just like a lady in a yellow satin dress, sitting
in a green bower! And wasn't it lucky, Edward, that
I heard that old man crying his water-cresses, and that
I noticed the other day that he had groundsel to sell
as well? Now really, Dickey, you must give us one
of your best songs this morning, only not too loud,
so as to make mamma's head ache. Ah you have
found out the sugar, have you ? I know you like
Suddenly Lucy lowered her voice, and said to her
brother, who was crouched down in a corner close to
the window with his book on his knees, which were
stuck up, so as to make a reading-desk, Edward, do
you know, I think I see the postman coming down the
street; but don't say anything to mamma about it, and
don't cry out, 'There's the postman!' if you hear him
knock. Mamma is always so disappointed when he
does not bring her a letter, and she is so tired of ex-
pecting one from uncle, that I wish she would not
remember that it is post-time at all."
It was a kind thought of Lucy's to try to avoid
calling her mother's attention to the postman; but in
spite of her caution to her brother, they both started,


and so did their mother, when a knock louder than
usual came to the door; and, like their mother, they
could not help waiting in breathless silence a minute or
two, to see if the maid was going to bring up the letter
to their room. Her step was heard on the stairs, the
door opened, and she came in and handed their mother,
Mrs. Osborne, a letter. Lucy saw her mother's hand
almost tremble as she opened the letter, and she looked
grave and eager as she began to read it. As she read,
however, the anxious look cleared away, she almost
smiled, she looked pleased and satisfied; and letting
the letter fall upon her lap, she leant her arm upon the
table at her side, and covered her eyes with her hand
for a few minutes. Lucy did not know that, during
those few minutes, thanks from her mother's heart
were being offered to God, who had heard her prayers
and sent her help in time of trouble. Lucy, my love,"
said she at length in a cheerful tone, "I have got
a letter at last from your uncle. Edward, do you hear ?
Why, where is Edward ? said she, looking round the
"Here, mother; here I am," cried Edward, scram-
bling out of his corner with his beloved Robinson'-
"Cc a letter from uncle, did you say ?"
"Yes; and such a pleasant letter, dear children.
You know I wrote to consult him about our going to
New Zealand, and instead of that he asks us to go and
stay with him all the summer at least, and perhaps for
ever. But listen to what he says," and she read aloud
as follows :-
HANTS, April 25th.
"DEAR SISTER OSBORNE,-I received your letter,
dated the 5th, only this morning, having been for the
last fortnight from home. I took a run down to Ports.


mouth to see an old friend, and unexpectedly went a
cruise with him up the Channel, so that I did not get
my letters till my return. I hardly know what to
advise about New Zealand, not being acquainted with
the colony, and only having touched there once or
twice for water. I am sorry to find that my late
brother's affairs have not been arranged as favourably
as you could desire. My old housekeeper, Mrs. Brown,
died about two months back, and I can't say I get on
very well with my household matters, so that if you
think well of it, I shall be very glad to see you here
for a month or two, and longer if we find that we suit
each other. I suppose you must bring the children with
you. There is a good school near, that the boy can go
to every day; and the girl, I suppose, can learn pud-
ding-making and stitching at home. I don't exactly
know how I shall like to have young folks in the house,
never having been accustomed to them, but I suppose
they know how to behave themselves. You can let
me know when you will come, a day or two before-
"Your affectionate brother-in-law,
Please to direct to Captain Osborne, U.N., The
Haven, near P- .

"P.S.-You had better take the rail on to P--,
instead of stopping at the station near the Haven.
There are plenty of flies to be had, which will bring
you out. The Haven stands about two miles N.N.W.
of the town, on the old London road."

You will go, mother, won't you ?" cried Edward;
"I'm sure I hope you will! I shall like going to
tncle's almost as well as going to New Zealand. It


will be nearly as good as going a voyage, to hear all
uncle's adventures at sea, won't it, Lucy ?"
Much better, I should say," said Lucy; but still
she did not look as pleased as Edward.
"And you will like to live in the country too,
Lucy, I am sure you will like it very much," said her
Oh yes, mamma-but then Grace Martin I am
so sorry to leave Grace Martin; and at uncle's I shall
never have a girl of my own age to play with, and
Edward will go to school."
Tha he would do anywhere," said her mother;
"and you can always write to Grace Martin, as often
as you please."
"Yes, mamma; but do you think we shall like
Uncle Osborne ? Do you know, I don't quite think he
can be good-natured, or he would not have said that
about our behaving ourselves, or have called us 'the
boy,' and the girl.' "
Not good-natured, my dear, when he asks us all
to go to him, and invites you and your brother, who
cannot be of any use to him ?"
Lucy was too good-natured herself not to be ready
to believe that her notion might be quite unfounded,
and when she saw how pleased her mother and brother
were about going to the Haven, she set quite aside her
own little private reasons for not being so happy in
the prospect herself, and she tried not to think so much
about Grace Martin. Lucy had always known Grace
Martin, but they had latterly been living only a few
doors from where her father and mother lived, so that
Lucy and Grace had seen a geat deal of each other, and
been very happy together. After having had no one
but a brother older than herself to play with in general,
it was quite delightful to Lucy to have Grace as a


companion, who by no means despised many of the
plays that Edward could now never be persuaded to
play at; and besides that, was a capital hand at invent-
ing games of the quiet kind that Lucy was so
particularly fond of.
From the very morning on which the invitation
came from Captain Osborne, preparations were began
for leaving London. Mrs. Osborne wrote to accept
most gratefully the proposed shelter for herself and
children, and she undertook to do her best to make
her brother-in-law comfortable, promising also for her
children that they would behave well, and not disturb
him in any way. She ended her letter by fixing to be
at the Haven in a fortnight's time.
That fortnight was soon over. The packing time
was one of great bustle, and the most beautiful spring
weather seemed to make a journey into the country the
pleasantest thing in the world; and even leave-taking
of old friends did not seem so painful as they had all
expected, for every one was so kind, and so glad that
the scheme of going out to New Zealand had been
given up. One pleasure, too, which Lucy enjoyed, then
occupied her thoughts for nearly a whole week, and
this was the choice of a parting keepsake for her friend
Grace Martin. Out of her own savings she bought
the prettiest of work-boxes imaginable, and with her
mother's assistance fitted it up with all kinds of useful
little nick-nacks and materials, such as a clever little
workwoman like Grace is sure to require.
Edward enjoyed most of all the final packing up andl
nailing down of boxes, and cording of trunks, for then
he could be of help, and as busy as any one. For a,
whole day he went about hammer in hand, from one
room to another, and used up an innumerable quantity
of nails and tacks to his great satisfaction, and no one


could have managed better than he did the writing of
directions and tying on of labels. There was so much
to be done, and so much bustle at last, that Mrs.
Osborne could hardly be persuaded that something
very important had not been forgotten, when she found
herself with her children fairly seated in the railroad
carriage, which was to take them to P--; but a box
that she fancied must be left behind, proved to be
under the se*t-placed there by kind Mr. Martin,
Grace's father, who saw them off; and Edward was
found to have had all the while tight hold of the knob
of an umbrella, that, when first inquired after, he was
sure he knew nothing about! This blunder of Edward's
helped them all to a smile before the train had quite
got away from the station, and wiping away the tears
that had started into her eyes, Lucy was able to nod and
kiss her hand to Grace Martin, as she stood by her
father's side on the platform. Grace's bonnet was the
very last thing that Lucy saw as they steamed away
from under the great station roof, and then she had to
settle her pet canary, which she carried in her hand in
his cage and sling him up over head comfortably for
the journey, while she uncovered his cage and let him
see all of the world that he chose. They had no
adventures on the road during their two hours' journey.
Edward read Robinson Crusoe the greater part of
the way, and their mother slept, for she was very tired
with all the bustle of the previous day, and several
sleepless nights, so that Lucy had no one to talk to
and was quite sorry she had not brought a book. A
silent old lady in the corner, however, who was their
only companion in the railroad carriage, got out at one
of the stations, and a more talkative gentleman got in.
He soon caused Edward to look up from his book, and
answer some of his questions. He asked them where

they were going, and what were their names. Did
they like leaving town and coming to stay in the
country ? Edward said he did very much, because he
thought he should have capital fun with his uncle, who
had been a sailor.
I don't like leaving London as well as Edward,"
said Lucy, because of leaving Grace Martin; and
besides, I am almost afraid of Uncle Osborne, and
don't know whether I shall like him."
Hem! said the gentleman, and he called her a
chatterbox. After that he talked more with Edward
than Lucy, and, finding out what he was reading, he
told him a good deal about the real Robinson Crusoe,
Alexander Selkirk, who was wrecked on the island of
Juan Fernandez.
I wonder whether Uncle Osborne ever touched
at Juan Fernandez, in any of his voyages," said
Edward, "I shall ask him when I see him."
Ay, mind you don't forget," said the gentleman
as he got out at the last station before they came to
P--. "And take care Uncle Osborne does not eat
you up," said he to Lucy as he pulled out his great-
coat from under the seat after he was out of the
Edward and Lucy saw their acquaintance walking
away from the station across some fields, which seemed
to lie between them and the town of P--, which
was now visible. In another ten minutes they would
be at the end of the journey, and their mother roused
herself up to see after all their packages, and to call to
mind all that were in the great luggage van at the end
of the train. Dickey was carefully covered up again,
and the bags and baskets of each collected. Nothing
was left behind, and a nice little carriage was found at
the station in which they were soon leaving the town


again along a pleasant country road. The driver knew
Captain Osborne's house, called the Haven, quite well,
so that when he stopped before a pretty white house
standing amidst shrubberies and flower-beds, with a
mnooth lawnn on one side sloping down from the sitting-
room windows, they felt delighted to think that so

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pleasant a place was to be their future homo. If they
had doubted for a minute, there was the white and red
flag hoisted on a flag-staff in the middle of the lawn,
and on the top of a little summer-house was a brightly
gilt weather-cock, with the four points of the compass
shown by its letters-all which looked as if the house


belonged to one who had been accustomed to hoist
flags on all occasions of importance, and to think a
great deal about the direction of the wind.
Edward and Lucy, however, were almost in too
much trepidation just then to look more about them.
They were hunting out all their own possessions again,
and were preparing to get out of the carriage, when
whom should they see handing out their mother, and
welcoming her very cordially to his house, but the
gentleman who had talked to them in the train-the
sunburnt gentleman who seemed to know so much
about the sea, and who could be no one else but their
own uncle, Captain Osborne!
"Well, my young gentleman, so we are met again,
you see-only that I have got into port a little before
you, by a nearer tack;-yes, no mistake, my man, I
am Uncle Osborne himself, you see," and he shook
Edward heartily by the hand. He helped Lucy out
too, but he did not take so much notice of her as of her
brother; and he really did frighten her a little, even
at this her first arrival at the Haven, by the sharp way
in which he told her to let her things alone, and leave
the servant to look after them. Only once, however, did
he allude to Lucy's dread of him, and this was when
a large Newfoundland dog came bounding forth to meet
them, as they went up the path to the house. Lucy
shrunk back, rather in alarm, at the unceremonious
greeting of great Rover, bat her uncle said, "No fear,
Miss Lucy, even of him; for he won't bite any more
than his master."
Nothing, however, could be more kind or hospit-
able than the manner in which they were all received
by Captain Osborne at the Haven, while Mrs. Osborne,
after a little while, was able to remember, in her sun-
burnt and weather-beaten brother-in-law, the young


man that she had only known when just entering the
navy as a midshipman. He explained to her that he
had unexpectedly had some business that morning at a
town on the line of railway by which they had come,
and that after he found out who were his comp',anions
in returning, he had tried not to disturb her nap, whilst
he amused himself with the talk of the young folk,
without letting them know who he was. Mrs. Osborne
soon felt quite at home with him, and quickly under-
stood the mixture of roughness and kindness which
was in his manners. They had, besides, many plea-
sant remembrances of old times to talk over together,
which made them familiar and friendly at once.
Edward liked his uncle very much, and was greatly
delighted with all the charming things that were to be
found at the Haven, and Lucy's spirits rose as she saw
how pleased and cheerful her mother seemed. She
followed close behind, as her uncle led the way, all over
the house and round the garden, and thought to her-
self how ungrateful it would be not to be pleased at the
thought of living in such a nice home. Kind prepara-
tions, too, had been made for their arrival, and the
prettiest of bed-rooms and sitting-rooms set apart en-
tirely for the use of her mother and herself, and even,
before they had been half-an-hour in the house, a nail
found at the side of a pleasant window where Dickey
could hang and sing as long as he liked. Luckily
Captain Osborne did not dislike pet birds; for in the
hall was a large grey parrot, on a perch, who was the
most amusing and plain-speaking talker that was ever
heard. It was enough to make them all feel at home,
if it were only to hear this parrot, whom the bustle of
their arrival had roused into a talkative fit; for nothing
was heard all over the house but How d'ye do;"
" Hope you're pretty well; Glad to see you; filled


up with the usual praises of her own beauty, which
these birds are so fond of sounding.
Is it not all delightful? said Edward to Lucy,
when they were together in their mother's room, un-
buckling straps and unlocking padlocks. Don't you
like uncle now, Lucy ? and are you not sorry you told
him in the railroad carriage that you did not like
coming to stay with him ? Don't you think, mother,
that Lucy had better tell him she is very sorry, and did
not mean to say--
No, Edward, I do not," said his mother; Lucy
told the truth about her feelings, and your uncle knows
that she did not intend it as any rudeness to him, be-
cause she did not know to whom she was speaking.
He will soon think no more of it, and will like Lucy
well enough at last, I have no doubt-and all the
more for her being plain-spoken and truthful like him-
The first evening at the Haven passed very happily,
and Lucy tried not to fancy that her uncle had taken a
dislike to her, at the same time that she was really
quite glad to see what good friends he and Edward
were going to be.



BETTER acquaintance with the Haven only made
everybody like it still better, and Edward, in particular,
seemed to be happier and happier every day. No house
that he had ever lived in had in it such very interest-
ing things, and no garden had ever afforded so much
amusement to him. Before the first morning was over,
he had grown quite expert at hoisting and taking down
the flag on the flagstaff; he knew the dogs all by name,
and had fed the pigeons. He had been introduced to
his uncle's grey mare in the stable, and had been taken
up into what was called the workshop, over the kitchen,
where were the turning-lathe and chest of carpenter's
tools; and he had been to the very farthest end of the
orchard, and into every corner of the kitchen-garden.
But it was what his uncle called his state-cabin" that


pleased him most of all. This was a room indoors,
which his uncle considered particularly his own, and
did not like anybody to go into unless he was with


him. It was quite a museum that little room, and all
around it were curiosities, which Captain Osborne had
brought home from different parts of the world in his
voyages. Shells, pieces of branch coral, sea-weed,
ostrich-eggs, stuffed birds, and such objects of natural
history, but also things even more interesting to Ed-
ward, such as pictures and models of celebrated ships,
telescopes, a quadrant, and a mariner's compass, both
of which latter things he wished much to understand.
Here, too, it was that Captain Osborne kept his fishing-
tackle, and made his own flies for angling; which was,
perhaps, the reason why he did not like people going
into his room when he was away, for fear they should
disturb the little delicate materials with which he made
them. Edward passed several hours of each day with
his uncle in this room, when he was not at work in the
garden with him, or accompanying him in a ride in his
gig. No companion that Edward had ever had, of his
own age, was half so entertaining to him as his uncle,
and he liked to be with him too, because he was always
learning from him the kind of knowledge that was
particularly interesting to him. His uncle, for instance,
could tell him everything about ships and navigation
that he wanted to know. Hie learnt from him the
names of all the parts of a vessel, and the names of the
different kinds of vessels, and how to distinguish them.
He had long wished to understand rightly the difference
between a brig, a frigate, a cutter, and a schooner; to
say nothing of all the names for the different sails and
masts, which he often found alluded to in books, with-
out exactly knowing what they meant. He was never
tired of asking questions about such matters; and it
seemed as if Uncle Osborne was never tired of giving
explanations. Then what interesting stories his uncle
could tell him about his adventures at sea, and about


all the grand sea-fights that had taken place when he
was a little midshipman,-those especially in which
Lord Nelson had distinguished himself. Edward was
sure he never should be tired of hearing all about Lord
Nelson, and he longed for the time when he should go
to Portsmouth to see the Victory," the ship in which
he was killed, and which his uncle promised to show
him some day.
Lucy, meantime, went on with her mother much
as she usually did, wherever they were, with her books
and her work. She was very happy, and she liked
the pleasant garden and the pretty country walks very
much, but she would have been glad to have had a
young companion of her own age, or to have been a
little more with Edward. It was impossible, too, for
her to take so much pleasure as Edward in her uncle's
talk about ships, for in fact she did not half under-
stand what it was all about, from the strange sailor's
expressions that he made use of. She was a long time
before she found out that starboard and larboard meant
the right and left sides of a ship, fore and aft, the
front and back parts, and when her uncle talked
of "jib-booms," and foretop-gallants," and about
" taking the sun," and getting soundings," it seemed
to be quite another language, and she despaired of
ever being able to understand it all. Regularly every
evening, when her uncle and Edward came in to tea,
when it would have been so pleasant to have heard
what they had been doing all the afternoon, they were
sure to have some long story about a shipwreck, or
about one of Nelson's sea-fights to finish off, which,
for want of having heard the beginning, was quite un-
intelligible to her; and very often all the cups and
saucers and plates would be arranged about the table,
to show the positions of the different vessels at the


battle of St. Vincent, or Trafalgar; and if Lucy did
try to understand how it was, she was sure to make a
blunder, and get confused about the English and
French ships, fancying perhaps all the time that the
sugar-basin had been on the French side, when it had
been fixed on for Nelson's ship. All this made Lucy
much more silent at the Haven than she had ever bench
before in her life, so that Uncle Osborne had no op-

portunity of calling' her a chatr ox arleain, as he did i

in the railroad carriage. To tell the truth, her uncle
did n take much notice of Lucy in any kind of way,

unless it was to ask her every day how she got on
with her sewing," which he seemed to think the only
thing she had anything to do with; and when he
found out that she had never learned to mark, he used
to teaze her a little about it, always asking her when
to feaze her a little about it, always asking her wher


she was going to begin a sampler, which Lucy did not
at all see any necessity for doing, considering how
neatly her mother marked everything with marking.
ink. Lucy took the teazing very good-temperedly,
however, we ought to observe, and was always so
obliging, that she never on any occasion omitted doing
any little thing for her uncle that she could; and her
mother had only to say, Lucy, your uncle's slippers,"
or "Lucy, your uncle's hat," before she was off as
quick as lightning, to fetch them. She and her brother
both tried to please their uncle, to whom they were so
much obliged; but it was in different ways-Lucy with
actions, perhaps, and Edward with words. Edward
was too anxious to please his uncle in this way, and he
was not long at the Haven before his mother began to
fear that this might have a bad effect upon his charac-
ter. This trying so much to please one person is rather
a dangerous thing at all times, and is not nearly so
snfe as trying to do and say what is right. Now,
Captain Osborne could be rather sharp and severe
when things did not go on quite smoothly, or when
any one disobeyed his orders and wishes. Having
been accustomed the greater part of his life to have
the command of a large crew of sailors on board a ship,
where nothing can be done except through the most
strict obedience to the words of the captain, it was
natural that he should be vexed and displeased if any
one seemed for an instant to forget his orders. Ed-
ward was exceedingly fearful of causing his uncle to
express any such vexation; and yet at the same time
he was by no means accustomed to be very punctual
or particular, so that he very often had recourse to
excuses to prevent his uncle from being angry with
"" Come, come Master Edward, I don't like being


kept waiting," said his uncle, one day when they wore
going out for a walk.
Yes, uncle; but my shoes were not cleaned, and
I had to wait for them, uncle," said Edward, although,
long after he had put on his shoes, he had been seen
by his mother and Lucy playing in the yard with the
"Edward should not have said anything about the
shoes," said his mother, looking very grave. The
very next day, Edward had been helping the gar-
dener's boy to hoe some lettuces, and instead of put-
ting back his hoe in the tool-house, he had thrown
it down, so that his uncle had picked it up when he
went round the garden. I like my tools put back in
their proper places," said he to Edward.
Yes, uncle, I know; and I am always very par-
ticular, so I cannot help thinking that must be the hoe
that Jack used." There was something in the tone of
Edward's voice as he said this, which made Lucy, who
was present, feel quite uncomfortable.
"Don't you think you forgot to put it away ?" said
she in a low voice to him. Lucy often wished that
Edward was not so afraid of Uncle Osborne, and had
courage to tell him the exact truth about such little
matters. How different it was with herself-although
it might have been thought beforehand that she would
be likely to feel much more afraid of her uncle than
Edward. It happened one day, when Captain Osborne
was out, that Lucy was sent by her mother to fetch a
letter which lay on the table in his room, and which
they knew he particularly wished to be sent to the
post, so that Lucy had no hesitation in going there by
herself to fetch it. She had found the letter, and was
leaving the room with it, when she felt something pull
at her elbow, and, looking round, she found that one


of her uncle's fish-hooks had caught in her sleeve.
It had a long piece of twine fastened to it, and this
twine had brought with it other pieces of horsehair
and catgut, and all sorts of bristles, and feathers, and
artificial flies, had been scattered over the floor. Lucy
was at first in terrible alarm about the mischief she
had done, but, extricating the hook from her sleeve,
she picked up the rest of the tackle, and put it back on
the table, fearing to make matters worse by attempt-
ing to replace them as they had been before. She was
very vexed about it altogether, because it was the very
first time she had ever been in that room alone; but
it never occurred to her to try to prevent her uncle
from knowing that it was she who had disturbed his
things. She even went and stood by the garden-gate,
so as to be ready to tell him directly he came in from
his walk, and she said at once that she was afraid he
would find that she had done some mischief. "I think,
too, uncle," added she, "I ought to tell you that I
remember I put your letter into your letter-weight,
which I need not have done, because it was very light,
and I daresay I leant my elbow on the table for a
minute, and did not see that there were any hooks
Lucy followed her uncle into the room as he went
to see what was the matter, and she begged to be
allowed to try and disentangle the twine and horsehair,
which she did very patiently, so that it ended by her
uncle saying that no great harm had been done; and
any one could see that he was pleased at Lucy's frank-
ness and truthfulness in telling him about the affair.
Perhaps it was about this time that their Uncle Osborne
began to see the difference between the characters of
Edward and Lucy; for a little circumstance, which
happened a day or two after, showed it very plainly.


Captain Osborne and Edward we-re flying a kite upon
the lawn, and the latter was sent to the "state cabin"
to fetch a card which was to make a messenger to be
sent up the string. When he came back, his uncle
said he hoped he had not meddled with anything, and
Edward too readily replied, Oh, no, uncle, indeed!"
Presently Captain Osborne went to fetch something
which no one but himself could find, and when he
came back Edward and Lucy saw in an instant that he
was displeased. "I thought, young gentleman," said
he, that you said you had nob meddled with any.
"No, indeed, uncle, I did not," said Edward agari
"Take care, Master Edward, what you are saying,;
said his uncle; "for, if you did not meddle with any-
thing, how was it that I found my hour-glass running
when I went into the room ?"

--- -- 77

Edward blushed, and stopped for an instant to seek
out an excuse; "You said meddled, you know, uncle,
and I did not say I had not touched anything- ."
He was going on, but his uncle looked at him very
sternly, and said, People who speak the truth speak
it according to the meaning of words ;" and he would
not have another word from Edward on the subject, nor


did he talk as usual with him that evening at tea, but
read the newspaper aloud to Mrs. Osborne.
All this time Mrs. Osborne had been looking out
for a school for Edward, where he could go for several
hours of the day, and where he would have more
regular occupation; and such a school being now
found, she began to feel that they were now quite
settled at the Haven, for many months, at all events,
while Captain Osborne would sometimes talk as if
their stay was to be for years.



EDWARD and Lucy had not long been at the Haven
before a little acquaintanceship sprung up between
them and the children of a farmer who lived very near,
and whose farm stretched down to the roadside oppo-
site the Haven, through which, by pleasant pathways
over fields of wheat and barley, they went to the farm-
house. Haymaking time was scarcely over, before
the children began to look forward to the harvest,
when, for the first time in their lives, Edward and
Lucy were to be gleaners. Farmer Whicher always
had a most merry harvest-supper for his labourers;
and this year Mrs. Whicher promised her children also
a little treat in the way of a supper, to which they
were to invite all their young friends, as well as the
children of the farm-labourers who lived in the neigh-
bouring village.
Now, Edward and Lucy were invited to this har-
vest feast, and looked forward to it with no little
pleasure-watching the weather and the ripening of
the corn almost as anxiously as Farmer Whicher
himself. When the morning came that, on looking
out of the window as she was dressing, Lucy first
described a band of reapers, cutting away with their
bright sickles at the edge of the waving sea of wheat
which lay beyond the roadside hedge, she called out
to Edward the joyful news that the harvest was began;
and, before the day was over, the farmer's children
came down to tell them that their little harvest-home


supper was fixed for the following Thursday, when
their father expected that the greater part of his coin
would be got into his barns. The large wheat-field,
which lay between the Haven and the farm, would, at
all events, be carried that day; and it was expected
that, at about five o'clock in the afternoon, the gleaners
would be able to take possession of the field. Long
before that time, on the appointed day, Edward and
Lucy, and a group of the village children, were at the
gate of the field, ready to begin operations the very
moment that the last cart should drive out; for, as is
usually the case, Farmer Whicher did not like the
gleaners to be admitted until his crop of corn was
fairly off the field. It was very amusing at first to
watch the men pitching up into the carts the heavy
sheaves; but the children had not watched this long
before they began to feel impatient about the progress
of their labour, for it seemed as if the field would never
be emptied. Five o'clock had struck long ago, and it
was not very far off six, when a message came out from
the farm, to say, that as the men were likely to be
quite another hour before they had carried all the
corn, the children were to be allowed to enter, and
glean in the lower part of the field, away from the
remainder of the still standing sheaves. The children
shouted joyfully, as this permission was'given, and the
gate being opened, in they rushed; and, scattering
about the field, were soon seen busy stooping and
gathering up the scattered ears of wheat which had
been left behind. Who should glean the largest
bundle was the cry-and no one was more eager than
Edward to prove a good gleaner. He was not so
steady at his work, or persevering, however, as Lucy,
who went quietly on, travelling up the furrows, and
taking care not to go to parts where others had been


before. Now and then all agreed to rest awhile ; for
they grew hot and tired with so much stooping; and
then there were other things to look at and divers
their attention, such as the nest of a field-mouse full
of young ones, and a hedgehog, which one of the
young Whichers turned out of the hedge, and which
rolled itself up into a round prickly ball. Edward
had never before seen a hedgehog, and he stayed
looking at it, and trying to make it unroll itself again,
long after the rest had returned to their gleaning.
Presently, the eldest Miss Whicher came out from the
house, to summon all the gleaners in. The tarts and
cakes were out of the oven, she said, and the fermety,
which was to be the principal dish on the supper table,
would be ready in another hour. Sbe invited all the
gleaners to come on to the lawn, at the back of the
house, and there, in the cool arbour, they could rest
and bind up their sheaves, and then have a game of
play. The children obeyed the summons very gladly;
for, altogether, it was thought they must have gleaned
what, when divided amongst the village children,
would make a famous sheaf for each to carry home.
Lucy, with the rest, was leaving the field, with a
charming large bundle of wheat in her apron, when
she looked round to see after Edward. He was only
then coming away from a corner of the field where the
hedgehog had been found, and, as he came up to her,
Lucy was quite vexed to see what a small quantity of
corn he had gleaned; really not more than he could
hold in one hand.
Oh, Edward! said she "how little you have
got; what have you been about?" Edward never
liked being behind others in what he did, so that he
was sorry, now it was too late, that he had not gleaned
more industriously He and Lucy were passing at


this moment tp amongst the shocks of corn which
were yet standing; and what was Lucy's concern, to
see Edward stay behind, and draw out of one of the
sheaves several fine ears of corn to add to his own
small bunch. "Oh, Edward, you must not take that
corn-you know you must not! Farmer Whicher has
trusted us to leave those sheaves alone. Oh, pray
don't, Edward! It is really quite like stealing,"
said she, the tears coming into her eyes at the very
What nonsense, Lucy,-you do say such things.
Just as if the corn did not all belong to Farmer
Whicher,-and just as if it mattered to him. You see
I have not taken more than a dozen ears of corn at
the very most." And Edward ran past her into the
Lucy stood for a few minutes in painful thought,
wishing she could do anything that would make Ed-
ward bring back that corn again, and see things as
she saw them, and feel as she felt; then, suddenly a
plan occurred to her, which would make matters
better, at all events, in this case; then, taking out of
her own gleanings twelve nice full ears of corn, she
laid them at the top of the sheaf, from which Edward
had so dishonourably helped himself. She was turn-
ing away from the sheaf, when she started to see
Farmer Whicher leaning over a gate close by, watching
the filling of the last cart. Lucy hoped he had not
seen her put back the ears of corn, or rather that he
had not seen Edward take them.
The children enjoyed themselves much in the
arbour, binding their little sheaves and portioning
them out among those whose homes would be glad-
dened by the prospect of an extra loaf or two of bread
during the coming week, and when their work was


done, all were ready for a game of play upon the
smooth green lawn.
Prisoner's base was the game fixed upon, which
the girls soon learned to play at, although they had
never heard of it before, and the arbour was an ex-
cellent prison for the prisoners who were taken in the
chase. The sun was sinking behind the hills and
sending its slanting rays through the trees of Farmer
Whicher's orchard, and the shadow of the great cedar
of Lebanon had stretched quite across the lawn, and
made the prison where Lucy was in confinement, beau-
tifully gloomy, when a voice was heard calling all the
party of runners and catchers in to supper. Such a
bustling and crowding there was into the supper-room,
the old-fashioned parlour where the large table was
laid out for the children's harvest feast. Dishes piled
high with all manner of good things, fruit, pastry, and
a variety of choice cakes, were arranged upon the
snow-white table-cloth, and in the midst a large china
bowl full of smoking hot fermety. There were nose-
gays of flowers too upon the table, by way of ornament,
and the eldest Miss Whicher had made a most beauti-
ful garland of blue corn-flowers, which lay on the
table, ready to crown, as she said, the queen of the
gleaners. The children were soon seated down each
side of the long table, and the fermety was being
ladled out to them and the cakes handed round, when
Farmer Whicher came in, bringing with him Captain
and Mrs. Osborne, who had walked up to the farm to
fetch Edward and Lucy-as every one said, a great
deal too soon. They consented to wait, however,
until the children's supper was quite over, and were
glad to see the pleasant sight of their happiness.
Farmer Whicher had something merry to say to each
ehild as he walked round the table-now patting a


boy on the head, and now chucking a little girl under
the chin. At last he came to Lucy-" Ah, here is my
little friend, Miss Lucy," said he, my good little
honest friend, who would not let me be defrauded of
any of my corn. She it is who deserves to be crowned
queen of the gleaners." And as he spoke he took up
the garland of corn-flowers which lay upon the table,
and popped it upon Lucy's head.
Lucy held down her head, blushing deeply.
"What is this all about ? said Captain Osborne,
whilst everybody round the table looked anxious for
an explanation. Farmer Whicher jokingly told how
Master Edward had made up for his bad gleaning by
helping himself from one of his sheaves, and how
Miss Lucy had been too honest to let him be cheated
that way. He had seen it all, he said, as he stood hid
by the hedge whilst he was looking after his men;
they little knew that he had seen it all.
It was now Edward's turn to hold down his head,
and though Farmer Whicher seemed to think it a very
good joke, there were those present who could not
think it so. Mrs. Osborne looked sorry and grieved,
and Captain Osborne said in a very severe tone to
Edward, "You ought to have been ashamed to do such
thing. It was no better than stealing, to take the corn
in that way." Luckily for Edward, the noise of talk-
ing and the rattle of plates and spoons, together with
the praises of Lucy's honesty which were sounded
round the table, prevented these words from being heard
by the rest of the children. Lucy got rid of the crown
which made her feel so bashful, and it reached at last
the little girl who had been fixed on as a queen of the
gleaners, because she really had gleaned more than
any of them, but as Miss Whicn r took the garland
from Lucy, she said, "After all, Miss Lucy, it is a more

unfading crown than mine you know, that is reserved
for the Upright and the Just." There was plenty of
fun and merriment to finish out the evening and pre-
vent any one saying anything more about the affair of
the stolen wheat-ears, so that even Edward had partly
succeeded in forgetting it. His mother and uncle,
however, could iiot forget it. When they had at last
taken leave of the farmer's kind family and were walk-
ing home, Mrs. Osborne went on before the others with
Edward, to whom she had something to say, whilst
Uncle Osborne and Lucy walked together. It would
have been quite dark but for the very bright stars
overhead and just a faint tinge of red left in the sky
to the west. Lucy felt that her uncle was so very kind
in taking care that she did not stumble over the stiff
stubble, or slip into the furrows as they crossed the
now empty corn-field. He kept quite tight hold of her
hand, whilst he carried for her her bunch of nice long
straight straws which she was taking home to plait.
Her uncle assisted her, too, so kindly over the very
awkward stile, which had a ditch and a foot-plank on
the other side, and he talked to her so very pleasantly
all the way home. They talked about the stars. Her
uncle showed Lucy which was the pole-star, by which
sailors at sea could find the north and steer by it.
"All over the world, can they see it?" asked Lucy.
"No, not all over the world. When ships sail in
a southerly direction and approach nearer and nearer
to the equator, the pole-star seems to sink down nearer
and nearer to the horizon, until at last it is quite lost
sight of; and when sailing in the southern hemisphere,
people see quite a different set of stars in the sky to
what we do in England--quite different groups of stars
or constellations as they are called, and the constella-
tions have different names."


This little lesson on the stars was just ended as they
arrived at the gate of the Haven, where Mrs. Osborne
and Edward were standing after having rung the bell.
As they got up to them, Captain Osborne and Lucy
knew quite well what Edward and his mother had been
talking about, by the last words that were spoken.
"Now, do, my dear Edward, try to be more part.
cular in future."
"I will, mother,-indeed, I will," said Edward,
and he spoke as if he was quite in earnest as he made
the promise.
"Yes, my boy," said Captain Osborne, laying his
hand on Edward's shoulder, "learn to steer by the
pole-star truth and honour, and then you will never
run aground on shoals, or break on rocks."

i ~ ----3l



AFTER the conversation which her uncle and Lucy had
had together about the stars, in which the latter had
shown that she liked to understand such matters, her
mother observed that Captain Osborne often stopped
in the middle of what he was relating to Edward, in
order to explain sea terms, and such sailors' expres-
sions as he thought she might not understand; and
these explanations began to make his stories of ship-
wrecks and adventures at sea much more interesting
to her. Her mother's prophecy that Captain Osborne
would like Lucy, when he came to know her well, had
come to pass; and whilst he liked her for being so
obliging and intelligent, he quite loved her for her
truthfulness and strict feeling of honour.
What made Lucy at this time particularly glad that
she was beginning to understand more about ships and
boats was, that her uncle and Edward had a grand
scheme for building a boat large enough to be rowed
on the pond at the bottom of the lawn. Now we must
explain that this pond, though avery pretty object to look
at from the house, with its weeping willow hanging over
it at one end, was rather an inconvenience to those who
lived at the Haven. It lay between the kitchen-garden
and lawn; and in order to get to the former, it was
necessary to go rather a long way round, through the
yard at the side of the house, and down a strip of
ground that was used for drying linen. At the time
that the strawberries were ripe, and afterwards, when
the cook was busy preserving, it was felt to be quite
tiresome to have to go such a long way round with


the baskets of fruit. Edward had often asked his
uncle why he did not build a bridge over the narrow
end of the pond, but this was never thought of seri-
ously. One day, however, when Edward was at home,
on one of his half-holidays, it was raining so heavily,
that there was nothing to be done but to get up in the
workshop and do some carpentering, and then it was
that the making of a boat was first planned. When
they came in to tea that evening, Edward was full of
delight and full of talk about the real proper-shaped
and proper-sized boat they were going to build for the
pond. It was to be large enough to hold three persons,
and Uncle Osborne thought that they might get it
finished in time for gathering of the late apples and
winter pears, so that it would be really useful to bring
the baskets over from the other side, and land them
where they would be carried up to the apple-room in
no time.
Lucy liked the idea of the boat very much, and had
no fears about its capsizing, as her uncle called it,
because the bottom of the pond could be seen so
plainly, that she was sure no one could ever be drowned
in it. She listened quite patiently to the description
of how it was all to be managed-how the frame of the
boat was to be made of five long pieces of deal, and
how the ribs were to be of flexible ash-wood; how a
piece of zinc was to be fastened along the keel; and
lastly, how canvas was to be stretched over the out-
side, because it would be impossible for them, as
Captain Osborne. said, to get planks warped into tho
right curve for nailing outside, in the manner of boats
in general, and the canvas would make it light and
easy to carry. There was nothing talked of but the
boat all that evening, and when the tea-things were
removed, pen and ink and paper were brought out to


make a list of all that would be wanted of nails,
screws, and tin tacks, zinc, ash-wood, and deal-all of
which things Captain Osborne was to have in readiness
to begin operations with the very next evening. So
many hours work on half-holidays, and so many half.
hours before breakfast and after tea, on ordinary days,
would, they thought, complete the boat in three weeks'
time, so that the grand day of the launch might be
fixed for Lucy's birth-day, which was at the beginning
of September.
Everything went on very pleasantly and smoothly
with the boat-building between Edward and his uncle,
so that Lucy and her mother were quite pleased to see
how much more careful he had become, whilst he was
always diligent over his lessons, and punctual at school,
which his mother was very particular about. It can-
not be said that Edward never made excuses at this
time, and did not sometimes misrepresent a little when
he was in fear of being blamed, but every one thought
he was trying to cure himself of his faults, and made
allowance for the difficulty of breaking himself of a
settled habit.
Lucy was very glad to be allowed by her mother to
go occasionally up to the workshop to watch Edward
and her uncle at work upon the boat. She was sur-
prised to find that it required 'such downright hard
work, and used to wonder that they liked to make
themselves so hot and tired with their hammering and
sawing. At first it was thought that it would not be
necessary to have a rudder to their boat, considering
what short voyages it would have to perform on the
little pond, but Edward maintained that it would be
quite a pity not to make it a real boat in every respect,
so that a rudder was decided on, and Captain Osborne
thought that he knew of a man in P--, who would be


able to furnish them with a set of rudder-irons small
enough to suit their little boat. These irons were the
sort of hinges which were to connect the rudder to the
boat, and enable it to move from side to side, at the
will of the steersman, but they were so contrived, that
the rudder could be taken off, or unshipped, as Captain
Osborne said, when it was not wanted. The rudder,
and the piece of wood which fitted on to the top of it,
called a yoke, with its two pieces of rope, which were
to be pulled first on one side and then on the other,
as they steered, was thought by Lucy to be the pret-
tiest part of the boat, although it was altogether, as
her uncle said, "as trim a little craft as ever was built."
Lucy's birthday drew near, and there was nothing
to be done but the pitching and painting of the boat
and the making of a pair of oars. A painter who was
coming to re-paint the greenhouse was to do the
former, and Uncle Osborne undertook to get the oars
finished off whilst Edward was at school the last three
days. Lucy thought something very terrible had hap-
pened, from Edward's look of consternation, as he
came in one evening to tell his mother and her quite
an unexpected difficulty about the boat. All finished
as it was, and ready for pitching and painting in the
open air, it could not be got down the crooked little
staircase that led up to the workshop! Captain
Osborne had always expected that it could be hoisted
up on end in such a manner as to come down very
easily, but it was now found that this could not be
managed, so that there was nothing left, but to take
out the window of the workshop and lower the boat
with ropes into the yard below. Jack had been sent
up to Farmer Whicher's to borrow some ropes for this
purpose, and when they arrived Mrs. Osborne and Lucy,
and the maid-servants, went out into t]f yard to see


the operation of letting down the boat. It took half-
an-hour before this was managed-the gardener and
Jack, Captain Osborne and Edward, all hard at work,
very hot and very eager. Quite safely, however, and,
without any damage to it, the little boat was lowered
to the ground, and those who had never seen it before
thought it most beautifully and cleverly made. Edward
was very delighted, and very impatient to see it
launched upon the pond. He could hardly, in fact,
make up his mind to lose sight of it, when his uncle
proposed its being carried into an outhouse and left
for the night. They had, however, to discuss together
the important point of what colour it was to be painted,
and the still more important point to settle of what it
was to be called. Black outside with the pitch of
course it would be, so it was thought that a bright
green inside, with lines of white, would give it a light
and pretty effect; but as to the name-that was most
difficult to settle. Uncle Osborne did not care about
the name, and said Edward might call it what he
liked, and Mrs. Osborne could not suggest one.
'Edward and Lucy tried the sound of several, when all
at once Edward declared that he had thought of the
best name in the world, and was sure everybody would
think so too; but as Uncle Osborne had said he might
choose the name, he would not tell what he had fixed
on until the painter had painted it in white letters at
the stern. He made Lucy promise that she would not
go to look at the boat again until it was painted, and
ready for launching, because Edward was certain she
would like the name, and wanted to surprise her; and
Lucy never once tried to make him tell her what he
had fixed on, and never even tried to guess it. She
told her mother, in fact, the next day, that she was
nearly sure she knew what it was to be.


During the pitching, and painting, and drying of
the boat, which took quite three days, Lucy was busily
employed, in her leisure time, in making a little flag
to hang at the stern of the boat. It was to be a
"' Union Jack;" and her mother having procured her
some pieces of red, blue, and white calico, Uncle
Osborne left her a picture of the flags of different
nations to copy it from: but it was to be quite a sur-
prise to Edward, and only when his secret about the
name came out was Lucy to present her nice little
flag, which she was sure would please him greatly.
All was ready by Lucy's birthday; and the painter
pronounced, that if they could only wait until the
evening, there would be no chance of the paint coming
off on Lucy's frock during her first voyage round the
pond, after that Uncle Osborne and Edward had made
a sort of experimental trip. The beautiful iced plum-
cake, which was to be served up at tea that evening,
made by the cook in honour of Lucy's birthday, was
hardly thought of by any one, so full were they of the
launch of the boat.
At about five o'clock, Lucy and her mother were
out on the lawn, and were sitting on the bench under
the plane-tree, ready for the ceremony, when presently
there came quite a procession across the lawn from the
yard at the side of the house. First came the boat
itself, hoisted on the shoulders of the gardener and
Jack-then came Uncle Osborne with the pair of oars,
and lastly Edward with the rudder and its yoke. In
a few minutes more the boat was shoved off on to
the pond at a point where the lawn sloped down very
gradually to the water, and Mrs. Osborne and Lucy
were summoned to approach. All this time Lucy had
been holding under her apron, to conceal it, the gay
little flag which was to surprise Edward so much; but


then waving it up in the air, she came forward to pre-
sent it, and be surprised herself about the name of
the boat. She was surprised, and, it must be con.
fessed, a little disappointed, although she could not
deny that it was an excellent name. Edward had
called his boat the Crusoe," and Lucy only wondered
that she had not also thought of this name, considering
that Robinson Crusoe" was still his most favourite
book. She had been thinking of quite a different name,
and it had put Robinson Crusoe" out of her head.

-^ -J


"----------- _

Edward was so delighted with the little Union
Jack, and with the admirable manner in which the
"C Crusoe" righted herself upon the water and made
the first voyage round the pond, that he never noticed
anything like disappointment in Lucy's manner. She
was, besides, too pleased herself at the success of the
boat to feel it long, and she was not in the least afraid
when the time came for her to step into the boat and


go round the pond with Uncle Osborne, and, after a
little instruction from him, he said she made a very
good steersman.
Tea had been waiting long, and the urn had ceased
to boil, so that fresh warm water was wanted, before
the party could make up their minds to moor up
the boat and return to the house. People ate Lucy's
delicious plum-cake, talking all the time about the boat
and praising it, and planning all sorts of things which
were to be done for it, and with it, when all at once
Edward turned to Lucy and said, "Now, do tell us,
Lucy, what was the name you thought of for the boat--
you have never told us yet."
Lucy blushed very much, and she hesitated-she
could hardly make up her mind to tell them, for she
thought they would think it so silly. At last, she said
that she had thought-indeed, from something Ed-
ward had said, she had almost felt sure-that he was
going to call the boat the Lucy.'"
Lucy had no sooner said this than Edward quite
wished he had thought of calling it after his sister, and
he said. so-and Captain Osborne also wished that Lucy's
name had been given to the boat; and he did not think
it at all strange or wrong that she should have expected
it. He liked too, very much, that she should have been
so frank in telling them all her thoughts, when it
would have been easy enough to have concealed them.
It was possible, even for Captain Osborne, who had
been all his life a brave sailor, to admire this kind of
courage in a very little girl; and without any one
knowing how it came about, Lucy was presently sitting
on her uncle's knee, with his arm so kindly round her;
and before the evening was over, he remembered that
upstairs he had a most beautifully carved ivory fan,
that he had brought home from India, in one of his


voyages, which must have taken quite a year of a
Chinaman's life to carve; and he brought it down and
gave it to Lucy, as a birthday present and keepsake
from him, and in remembrance of the launch of the
"c Crusoe."



THE Crusoe was a continual source of pleasure
to every one at the Haven, and no day passed with-
out her performing many voyages round the pond,
and passages across it. Even Captain Osborne
seemed quite satisfied with her success, and would
stand for an hour together on the bank, giving
Edward instructions in rowing, and telling Lucy how
to steer. There were not any rocks or breakers in
their little sea, but, as it required, they always main-
tained some skilful steering, to keep clear of the old
stump of a post that stood up out of the water at one
end of the pond, and to keep away from the branches
of the willow-tree at the other end, which would have
carried off Lucy's bonnet perhaps if they had got among
Edward became very expert in managing the
" Crusoe," and in mooring her to the stump of a laurel
at the side of the pond, which his uncle had cut down,
all but the main stem, so that she might have safe
moorage; for, before this, the "Crusoe" got adrift
one windy night into the middle of the pond, and
it was difficult to get her back to shore the next


Edward and Lucy never allowed themselves to doubt
of its being very convenient to get across to the kitchen
garden, by means of a voyage in the Crusoe; and, to
please them, the gardener, when he gathered his pears
and apples, brought them all down to the side of the
pond, to be rowed over by Edward, though he con-
fessed to others that it would have given him very
little more trouble to have taken them round by land
all the way.
Mrs. Osborne, as she sat at work at the drawing-
room window, thought she had never seen anything
prettier than that little boat, going backwards and for-
wards with its freight of rosy apples and russet-brown
pears-Edward rowing, and Lucy steering-and the
bright-coloured little flag hanging at the stern. She
thought it look very pretty, and she rejoiced to see
her children so happy-saying to herself that she really
hoped the time had come for Edward to cure himself of
his one fault.
Bad habits, however, such as Edward's, are not to
be got rid of all at once; especially, as the desire to
seem to do right leads to the repetition of the fault. It
was a great grief to everybody when Edward again
forgot his promises of amendment, and did wrong in a
matter connected with the favourite boat, which had
given every one so much pleasure.
At the time of the building of the boat, Edward had
had a good deal to do with the purchasing of various
articles wanted for it, and when it was quite completed
he was sent into the town one day with Jack, the gar-
dener's boy, to settle for everything that had been
ordered and left unpaid. He had besides some com-
missions for his mother to get that day, some paper and
sealing-wax, and pens, and a list of all the things to be
bought and paid for were given him, together with the


right sum of money that would be required. Now,
Edward and Jack had become great friends, and were
too fond, perhaps, of each other's company. Jack was
good-natured, but very ignorant, and because Edward
could tell him such nice stories about Robinson Crusoe
and Lord Nelson, he fancied Edward a great deal wiser
than he really was, and was more ready to be guided by
him than was quite safe, considering that the greater
part of his time belonged to his master. Several times
had Jack been in disgrace for neglecting his work
because he was with Master Edward, or when sent into
the town with Edward, for staying away too long. It
happened on this day we are telling of, that both Jack
and Edward remained away much longer than there was
any occasion for, so that every one at the Haven got
quite alarmed about their not returning, and Captain
Osborne was about preparing to set out in search of
them, when they made their appearance. It came out
that they had been tempted when in town, by the pre-
sence of a wild-beast show, in which there were lions
and tigers, and other animals that Jack had never seen.
They had both gone into the show, and had been in-
duced to stay much longer than they at first intended,
by the hope of seeing the animals fed. Jack told all
this very faithfully, and tried to take the blame on
himself, because Master Edward had, he said, been so
anxious for him to see the lions and tigers. But Cap-
tain Osborne did not excuse either Jack or Edward,
and was much displeased that they should have done
anything of the kind without permission. Jack was
ordered never on any pretence whatever to go out
again with Master Edward, and Captain Osborne said
something very angrily about not liking to have his
servants disturbed in their duty to him by his visitors.
Even after all this had been settled, and Edward had


been very seriously reproved by his mother, the whole
blame was not exposed of that afternoon's visit to the
town. Edward's mind was very uneasy about the
commissions and the money that had been given to him.
When required by his mother to give an account of the
money that he had spent in the town, he was confused
and embarrassed. It had been his own money which
had paid for the entrance of Jack and himself to the
wild-beast show, but there ought to be a shilling left
to give back to his uncle, aud he had only threepence
remaining in his purse. It was found necessary to
apply to Jack for an explanation of this; and it was
after scratching his head several times that he said
something about "nuts and apples that they had bought
to give to the elephant and monkeys;;" and then
Edward had to confess with many blushes and tears of
shame, that in this manner the missing halfpence had
been spent.
We will spare our readers the description of Captain
Osborne's deep displeasure at this exposure of Edward's
want of truth and honour; and we could not describe
his mother's grief. Lucy too-she left the room to
hide her tears, and did not hear all the angry and
bitter reproaches cast upon her brother by his uncle.
There seemed no chance of Edward ever regaining the
confidence and affection which he had lost, and Mrs.
Osborne saw plainly that she and her children must
not remain to be a cause of disturbance at the Haven;
for she called to mind that the latter had only been
invited to come, provided they could behave well.
Before that day was over, she had quite decided on
leaving the Haven, and had told Captain Osborne of
her intention. She told Edward and Lucy, too, that
the Haven was no longer to be their home, and that
they should return in town in another ronth; and she


did not scruple to point out to Edward that his conduct
was the cause of their giving up the pleasures and com.
forts that they were enjoying.
Lucy was quite frightened to see how Edward was
distressed at this announcement from her mother. He
kept in his own room for the whole of that day, and he
i was very miserable. It was quite as well that this time
he should make no promises for the future, but it
grieved Edward more than anything to see that no one
asked him to do so. His mother had grown tired of
hoping that he would keep any promises of the kind,
and she knew that his uncle would place no reliance on
them. Lucy never once said "Do promise, Edward,
that you will be more particular in future," because she
said it only made matters worse to have these broken
promises to look back upon. At the same time Lucy
did believe that from this time forward Edward would
speak the truth on all occasions, and she told her
mother so.
"When you come to think, mamma, how very
much he will grieve to leave the Haven, and the
'Crusoe;' and above all, to go away from Uncle
Osborne, whom he likes so much. Oh! I do think,
mamma, that he will always be careful in future."
From the time of this painful affair at the Haven,
all seemed changed in the once happy family party.
Edward and his uncle talked no longer together as
they were used to do, and Lucy, if she was merry for
a few minutes, was sure to see some grave look from
some one which reminded her of what had happened
and what was going to happen. Her mother now
wrote letters to town, and looked anxiously for
answers, and seemed to be arranging plans for the
future in her mind. As for Edward, each day seemed
to increase his sorrow and shame, as he saw his


mother's former grave and sorrowful looks quite fixed
on her countenance again, and at each little occurrence
that took place with regard to their leaving the Haven,
his own grew more sad. Preparations, too, for leaving
were made, which showed that there was no doubt
about his mother being in earnest. His schoolmaster
was told that he would leave in a month, and he knew
that Grace Martin's father had been written to about
their having the same lodgings in town that they lived
in before they came to the Haven. And if these
tokens of leaving grieved Edward, they did not the
less disturb his uncle. He never alluded himself to
their going away, and if any one else did so, he always
looked grave, and said nothing in reply. Once, when
he was walking round the garden with Lucy, he
showed her where he always threw down crumbs for
the robins at Christmas time, and added, You will
see how they will pop out of this privet-hedge, where
they have their nests, to eat their roast beef and plum.
"Ah but, uncle, I shall not be here then, you
know," said Lucy, in a low and sorrowful tone.
Her uncle said nothing, but Lucy thought he
grasped her hand tighter than he had done before
during the rest of their walk.
As the time fixed by Mrs. Osborne for leaving
drew near, both Edward and. his uncle seemed more
sorrowful about it, and the latter made several attempts
to persuade Mrs. Osborne to change her mind; and
Edward, too, talked with his mother about it, and said
he thought that others ought not to suffer for his
No, my dear Edward," said his mother; "but
unfortunately it is always the consequence of mis.
conduct that others do suffer for it. It is my duty


to do the best I can to make you grow up a good
and honourable man; and I think that if you were
placed at a good school, and away from all the in
dulgences of the Haven, it would be better for you,
Edward turned these words of his mother over in
[ his mind, and they gave him courage for what neither
his mother nor Lucy would ever have expected of him.
They were quite taken by surprise the next day, when
sitting with Captain Osborne, to see Edward come
into the room on his return from school, and going up
to his uncle, say in quite an open and courageous
"Uncle, I really am sorry and ashamed to think
that my behaviour is making us all go away from the
Haven. Don't you think, uncle, that I might be sent
away to school, and that then my mother and Lucy
could stay on with you? I think it would be the
best plan in the world, if you will only persuade my
"I do think it would be a good plan, Edward, and
the best way of all to settle the difficulty," said his
uncle; and he held out his hand to Edward, and added,
I am glad, too, to see that you are learning to speak
out and be straightforward, my boy; and I hope that
the day may come when you will see that a ship might
as well attempt to sail without either rudder or com-
pass, as for a man to go through the world without a
character for truth and honesty."
Captain Osborne, after this, had a long consulta-
tion about Edward with his mother; and this time he
really did persuade her to stay on at the Haven. It
was decided that Edward should become a boarder at
a school which was several miles off. which they knew
had a strict but kind and just master, and where no


would be allowed only to come home once a month.
Mr. Martin was written to, to say they were not going
to return to London; and preparations were now only
made for Edward's departure, and for providing him
with all that he would require at school.
During the fortnight previous to Edward's leaving
the Haven, Lucy was so busy hemming pocket-hand-
kerchiefs, and stitching wristbands for him, that she
had hardly time to think about how she should feel
when he was gone; and she tried, too, to keep up
Edward's spirits about leaving them, and to persuade
him it would be for the best in the end.
"After all, Edward, it is only a month before you
will see us again," said she, as Edward stood on the
bank of the pond, looking at the Crusoe with very
melancholy looks "and, anyhow, uncle says the
" Crusoe' must be laid up for the winter, and not used
any more for some months."
The parting with Edward, was not, however,
without tears from Lucy, though Edward bore it
very well. The Haven seemed very dull the next
day; and perhaps it was a little sadness in Lucy's
manner that made her uncle say, that he hoped she
did not regret that her mother had not gone back to
Oh no, uncle," said she, I should like to stay
at the Haven all my life, for I am very happy here;
and I never wish to go to London, except to see Grace
Martin; but I should like to see Grace Martin again
very much."
Only a week after this, Lucy was surprised one
morning when she got up and looked out of the win-
dow, to see her uncle very busy with the flag-staff.
He was hoisting the flag, which was only done when a
visitor was expected at the Haven. Who could bo


coming there that day ? As Lucy wondered, she also
thought to herself how very pleasant the Haven would
look to any one who might see it for the first time that
day, though it was November. The sun was shining
so brightly on the many coloured leaves of the shrub-
berins, and the scarlet berries of the mountain ash
looked so brilliant among the different shades of
yellow, gold-colour and brown, to say nothing
of all the chrysanthemums, which were still in
Nothing was said about a visitor, however, at
breakfast, but soon after, Uncle Osborne set off in his
gig for the town.
"I do think uncle must be going to fetch some
one from the railway station," said Lucy to her
We shall see," replied her mother. Lucy
cleared out the cage of her canary, and filled his
glass with water; and she fed the chickens, and
gave some peas to the pigeons, and then sat down to
work. She had not worked long before the gate bell
rang. She looked up, and could see between the
bushes a part of the grey mare, and the corner of a
brown hair trunk, which projected from the splash-
boardl of the gig.
"Ra- out and meet your uncle," said her
In the hall, the servant was bringing in a
number of parcels-but what she said in reply,
when Lucy asked who had come, was not to be
heard, for Poll was screeching her very loudest,
SHow dy'e do"-" glad to see you-hope you're
pretty well."
Uncle Osborne was bringing some one in--
a short person-in a bonnet-a little girl-Could


it be? Yes! It was indeed-it really was Grace
Martin !
And Grace Martin spent a most happy month at
the Haven, with Lucy, and towards the end of the
time Edward paid his first visit home from school.
And by his account of himself, and of all that he was
doing, he made everybody feel hopeful, if not quite
sure, of his improvement.
Many things occurred during his short stay to lead
them to feel this. He spoke frankly and openly of
the little difficulties he had met with on first leaving
home, and owned to some terrible blunders that he
had made, because he was more backward than his
schoolfellows in some things. In giving an account
to his uncle, too, of an expedition which had been
made by some of his companions to the top of a hill
near the school, from which they had seen the sea, and
even, with a telescope, the ships in Portsmouth har-
bour, his uncle had inquired how it was that he had
not been of the party. I don't know, uncle," were
the words that came first to Edward's lips, but he
stopped himself in time, and replied, It was because
I had been idle, uncle, and had not got my Latin
done." And from such tokens of newly-acquired
courage to bear the blame, did Edward's friends now
begin to hope that he was learning, through truth
and uprightness of conduct, to avoid all cause for
And our young readers will like to know that these
hopes were fulfilled. When Edward grew up, he be-
came a sailor, and, as a man, he has gone through many
of the same kinds of adventures at sea that, as a boy,
he liked so much to hear of and read about. He has
not, it is true, turned out such a distinguished com-
mander as Lord Nelson, nor has he ever been left


upon a desert island, like Alexander Selkirk; but,
what is quite as good, he has proved a brave and
skilful captain, doing his duty on many trying '.nd
difficult occasions, and earning for himself a o1baracter
for courage, integrity, and truth.

"" >

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L "-Ux o' ~ ~ ~
a b e ;: p;35T;i~llli1:1111i iI I W '

A6 A4 ..~
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Give true hearts but earth and sTcy,
And some flowers to bloom and die,--
Homely scenes and simple views,
Lowly thoughts may best infuse."
Christian Year.

1UCH a horrid place to go to! I'm sure 1
shall hate it !" said Gertrude Layton, when
her elder sister Effie told her that the
living of Northcroft had been given to
their papa, and they would leave London in February.
"(It can't be worse than this. No one can call
Newington a very charming place."
Well, perhaps not; but then we know the people,
and there's poor Nancy! Besides, Lincolnshire is all
fen. I should not mind so much if it were anywhere
"g How do you know it is all fen?"
"cWhy, the Geography says so: 'Lincolnshire is
in many parts a marshy and uninteresting county. A
great quantity of wild-fowl is sent from the fens to the
London markets,' and so it goes on. And then King
John lost his baggage in the fens, and it all sounds so
dreary-sedges-and wild geese-and a dead level--
and the Wash Oh, it's horrid I I wish it had been
like Uncle Fred's in Devonshire."
A 13


Well, it is done, and we shall have to go; so it
is no use grumbling," said Effie. "There will be
heaps to do before we go, and it is the tenth of
December now. We shall at least have a garden, I
suppose, fen or no fen; and papa looks so ill and
worn out. I think we ought to be glad for his sake,
But Gertrude did not look glad, neither did she
feel so. Dearly as she loved her papa, this leaving
London was her first trial, and it was to her as if all
the sunshine had gone; and inside and out of the
house everything seemed to her mind wrapped in the
thick December gloom.
Now, if you had asked Effe Layton to describe
Gertrude, she would have most probably replied, Oh,
she is a dear child, but much too impulsive." But
Effie, with all her quiet self-complacency, and the
added wisdom of her greater age and experience, was
very dependent on her little sister's sunny spirits
(though she might not have cared to own it); and
when two days had passed, and Gertrude still moped
and refused to take comfort in anything, Effie bethought
herself of every imaginable thing to rouse her (for she
would not trouble her mamma about it), and then at
last went to the school-room, where Gertrude was
diligently doing penance by practising scales, though
it was Saturday morning, the children's holiday; and
Gertrude herself had often declared it was one thin
that always was, always had been, and always should
be, and nothing would make her work on a day whose
whole and sole object was amusement.
But here she was this cold morning, with a dis-
contented look ill becoming her round rosy face, and
with little blue fingers working away resolutely when
Effie went up to her.


s What are you practising for, Gertrude ? WhVly,
your fingers are as cold as ice! Come and warm
Effie was usually so calm and cool about things,
and so apt to laugh at any one who cared for such
trifles as cold fingers, that Gertrude's little sensitive
heart was touched by her kindness, and she threw
herself on the hearthrug by her sister's side, and
burst into a passion of tears.
Effie let her cry on. She felt sure she was acting
wisely, and wisdom for once, under the guise of
kindness, answered her purpose well. She thought
Gertrude childish, but she made allowance for her,
and from the heights of her superior calm felt herself
acting quite a motherly part by her little impulsive
sister; and it was very true that no plan could have
suggested itself more likely to turn Gertrude's thoughts
from herself than the one in her mind. Presently sho
said, Gertrude, I have an idea in my head I think
you will like. Don't you think it would be nice to
have a Christmas-tree for the school children ?"
Why, Effie, there are three hundred boys and
two hundred and seventy girls! We should want a
dozen trees. Besides, they would not care for Christmas-
trees-it would be no good !"
Effie was slightly taken aback, but, skilful diplo-
matist as she was, she forbore to remark on her
sister's impetuosity. "I meant the infant-school
children, dear," she said.
"Ah! well, that's something like! Let me see,
there are a hundred and twenty-nine of them, with
that poor little cripple, Harry White. It would want
an immense tree, though, Effie, and what should we
put on it ?"
Gertrude was thoroughly roused now, and Efflo


felt she Lad gained her point. Dolls to begin with,"
she said.
"But you hate dressing dolls, Effie !"
"Well, but you don't, and little Lottie would knit
some comforters, I am sure, and the boys might do
something in the holidays; and--"
Oh, I know," interrupted Gertrude. Nurse
said yesterday she dreaded turning out the play
cupboard in the nursery, and she made me so cross,
she told Betsy she should burn all the old pictures in
it. You know there are no end of them, and I was
cross, and told her she shouldn't (as if that would do
any good either !) But now that's capital! You love
messing about with paste, and we can get some un-
bleached calico and make some scrap-books, and I'll
paint some of the pictures. There's the Prince of
Wales's wedding for one, I know. Oh, that will be
first-rate Thank you, dear Effie, you are the very
dearest old girl! I'll run off this very minute, and
the tiresome old scales may take care of themselves,"
and giving her sister a warm hug, off she rushed.
To tell the truth, Effie did not much relish being
told she "loved messing about with paste," because
she knew she pasted, as she did everything else, very
neatly; but she was really glad to have brought a
smile into Gertrude's face again, and was quite de-
lighted with her conquest, for she knew very well if
her little impulsive sister did once undertake a thing
she would go through with it; and so, the first diffi-
culty being surmounted, she would not trouble about
the rest.
Gertrude rushed upstairs, right to the top of the
house, into the nursery, which looked out over an old
smoke-dried elm-tree, in whose branches the little
dingy sparrows hopped and twittered, and beyond