The children's wreath

Material Information

The children's wreath a picture story book
A. L. O. E., 1821-1893
Small, William, 1843-1929 ( Illustrator )
Dalziel, Edward, 1817-1905 ( Engraver )
Dalziel, George, 1815-1902 ( Engraver )
Williamson ( Engraver )
Paterson, Robert, fl. 1860-1899 ( Engraver )
Thomas Nelson & Sons ( Publisher )
Place of Publication:
London (Paternoster Row) ;
New York
T. Nelson and Sons
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
72 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 29 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Children's stories ( lcsh )
Children's poetry -- 1879
Bldn -- 1879
Children's poetry
fiction ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
United States -- New York -- New York
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )


General Note:
Imprint also notes publisher's location in Edinburgh.
General Note:
Some illustrations drawn by W. Small; some engraved by Paterson, Dalziel, or Williamson.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
by A.L.O.E. and other favourite writers.

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:
024396820 ( ALEPH )
23762992 ( OCLC )
AHP1827 ( NOTIS )


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I. EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING, ... ... ... ... ... .. ... ... 7

II. THE CHRISTMAS SHEAF, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 14

III. THE OLIVE BRANCH, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 17

IV. THE WHITE DOVE, ... .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 25

V. THE HUNTED HARE, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 36

VI. WHAT MAGGIE'S PENNY DID, ... .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 39

VII. THE TWO CRUTCHES, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 44

VIII. LOWLY AND WISE, ... ... ... ...... ... ... ... ........ 51

IX. EVENING HYMN, ... ... ... ... ... .. ... ... ... ... ... 54

X. THE CHAIN-CABLE BROKEN, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 55

XI. GRANDFATHER'S ADVICE, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 62

XII. THE SEA-MEW, ... ... ... ... ... .. ... ... ... ... ... 65

XIII. THE SQUIRRELS, ... ... .. ... ... ... ... .. .... ... 67

XIV. THE PET FAWN, ... ... ... ... .. .. ... ... 71



"'l^",. LEASE, Mr. Mate, has that cloud a silver lining ?"
"- The question was asked by little Kate Vale, the
:a, ~ daughter of an immigrant, who, with her mother, was
S": following her father who had gone before to New York.
Katie was a quiet, gentle little child, who gave trouble to no one. She
had borne the suffering of sea-sickness at the beginning of the voyage
so patiently, and now took the rough sea-fare so thankfully, that she
had made a fast friend of Tom Bolton, the mate. Bolton had a warm,
kindly heart, and one of the children whom he had left in England was
just the age of Katie; this inclined him all the more to show her kind-
ness. Katie often had a piece of Bolton's sea-biscuit; he told her tales
which he called "long yarns;" and sometimes in rough weather he
would wrap his thick jacket around her, to keep the chill from her
thinly-clad form. Katie was not at all afraid of Bolton, or Mr. Mate,"
as she called him; and she took hold of his hard brown hand as she
asked the question, Has that cloud a silver lining? "
Bolton glanced up at a very black lowering cloud, which seemed
to blot the sun quite out of that part of the sky.


Why do you ask me, Kate ? said the sailor.
"Because mother often says that every cloud has a silver lining, and
that one looks as if it had none."
Tom Bolton gave a short laugh. None that we can see," he
replied; "for the cloud is right between us and the sun. If we could
look at the upper part, where the bright beams fall, we should see yon
black cloud like a great mass of silvery mother-o'-pearl, just like those
that you yesterday called shining mountains of snow."
Katie turned round, and raising her eyes, watched for some minutes
the gloomy cloud. It was slowly moving towards the west, and as it
did so, the sun behind it began to edge all its dark outline with
"See! see!" exclaimed Katie; "it is turning out the edge of its
silver lining! If I were up there in the sky, I suppose that all would
look beautiful then. But I don't know why mother should take
comfort from talking of the clouds and their linings."
The mother, Mrs. Vale, who was standing near, leaning against the
bulwarks, heard the last words of her child, and made reply: Because
we have many clouds of sorrow here to darken our lives, and our hearts
would often fail us, but for the thought, There is a bright side to every
trial sent to the humble believer.'" And Mrs. Vale repeated the beau-
tiful lines,-
Yon clouds, a mass of sable shade,
To mortals gazing from below,
By angels from above surveyed
With universal brightness glow."

Katie did not quite understand the verse, but she knew how
patiently and meekly her mother had borne sudden poverty, the sale of


her goods, and the bitter parting from her beloved husband. Bolton
also had been struck by the pious courage of one who had had a large
share of earthly trials.
"Your clouds at least seem to be edged with silver," he observed
with a smile; and, as he spoke, the glorious beams of the sun burst
from behind the black mass of cloud, making widening streams of light
up the sky, which, as Katie remarked, looked like paths up to heaven.
The vessel arrived at New York, after a rather rough voyage, and
Mrs. Vale, to her great delight, found her husband ready at the port to
receive her. He brought her good tidings also. A fortnight before
her landing he had procured a good situation, and he was now able to
take her and their child to a comfortable home. Past sorrows now
seemed to be almost forgotten; the Vales realized the truth of what
the poet has said,-
"Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head !"

Bolton, who during a trying voyage, had shown much kindness to
Mrs. Vale as well as to Katie, was invited during his stay at New York
to make their house his home. He had much business to do as long as
he remained in the great city, so saw little of the Vales except in the
evenings, when he shared their cheerful supper, and then knelt down
with them at family prayers. The mate learned much of the peace and
happiness which piety brings while he dwelt under the immigrants' roof.
But ere long the day arrived when Bolton's vessel, the Albion, was
to start for England. She was to weigh anchor at one, and at mid-day
the mate bade good-bye to his immigrant friends.


"A pleasant journey to you, and a speedy return; we'll be glad
to see you back here," said Henry Vale, as he shook the mate by
the hand.
Bolton's journey was to be much shorter, and his return much more
speedy, than he wished or his friends expected. He was hastening down
to the port to join his vessel, when he saw hanging up in a shop window
a curious basket, made of some of the various nuts of the country
prettily strung together.
"That's just the thing to take my Mary's fancy," said the mate to
himself. "I've a present for every one at home but for her; it won't
take two minutes to buy that basket."
Great events often hang upon very small hooks. If Bolton had not
turned back to buy the basket, he would not have been passing a house
on which masons were working at the very moment when a ladder,
carelessly placed against it, happened to fall with a crash. The ladder
struck Bolton, and he fell on the pavement, so much stunned by the
shock that he had to be carried in a senseless state into the shop of a
Happily no bones were broken, but it was nearly an hour before the
mate recovered the use of his senses. He then opened his eyes, raised
his head, and stared wildly around him, as if wondering to find himself
in a strange place, and trying to think how he came to be there.
Bolton pressed his aching forehead, seeking to recall to his memory
what had happened, for he felt like one in a dream. Soon his glance
fell on the clock in the chemist's shop, and at the same instant the
clock struck one! Bolton started to his feet, as if the chime of the little
bell had been the roar of a cannon.


"The Albion starts at one !" cried the mate; and without so much
as stopping to look for his oilskin cap, with bandaged brow and bare-
headed, Bolton rushed forth into the street, and, dizzy as he felt,
staggered on towards the port from which the vessel was to sail.
It was not to be expected that the sailor's course should be a very
straight one, or that with all his haste he should manage to make good
speed. The streets of New York seemed to be more full of traffic than
usual, and twice the mate narrowly escaped being knocked down again
by some vehicle rapidly driven along the road. At last, breathless and
faint, and scarcely able to keep his feet, poor Bolton arrived at the
wharf to which his ship had been moored but an hour before. But the
Albion was there no longer-the vessel had started without the mate-
he could see her white sails in the distance; she was already on her
way back to Old England, and she had left him behind!
This was a greater shock to poor Bolton than the blow from the
falling ladder had been. He stood for several minutes gazing after the
ship with a look of despair, then slowly and sadly the sailor returned to
the house of the Vales.
"Nothing more unlucky could possibly have happened," muttered
the mate to himself. "Here's a pretty scrape that I shall get into with
my employers; the mate of their vessel absent just at the time when he
ought to have been at his post! Then I've nothing with me-nothing,
save the clothes that I stand in! All my luggage is now on the waves,
and a precious long time it will be before I shall see it again. But I
don't care so much for the luggage; what I can't bear to think of is my
wife and my children looking out eagerly for the arrival of the good ship
Albion, and then, when she reaches port, finding that no Tom Bolton is


in her! I wish that that stupid basket had been at the bottom of the
sea before ever I set eyes on it! "
Pale, haggard, and looking-as he really was-greatly troubled,
poor Bolton entered the house of the Vales, which he so lately had
quitted. The family were just finishing their dinner; and not a little
astonished were they to see one whom they had believed to be on
the wide, wide sea.
Here I am again, like a bad halfpenny," said the poor sailor; and
sitting down wearily on a chair which Katie placed for him directly,
Bolton gave a short account of what he called the most unlucky mis-
chance that had ever happened to him in the course of his life.
The Vales felt much for his trouble, and begged him to remain with
them until he could get a passage in some other vessel bound for
"And don't take your accident so much to heart," softly whispered
little Katie; "you know mother's favourite proverb-' Every cloud has
a silver lining.'"
Sometimes, even in this life, we can see the silver edge round the
border," observed Mrs. Vale.
Bolton had too brave a heart and too sensible a mind to give way
long to fretting, though he did not see how so black a cloud as that
which hung over his sky could possibly have anything to brighten its
Bolton slept very little that night, nor indeed did any one else in
the house; for with the close of day there came on a violent storm,
which raged fiercely until the morning. Katie trembled in her little
cot to hear how the gale roared and shrieked in the chimneys, and


rattled the window-frames, and threatened to burst open the doors.
The child raised her head from her pillow, and thanked the Lord that
her sailor friend was not tossing then on the waves.
But far more thankful was Katie when tidings reached New York
of what the storm had done on that terrible night. Bolton was sitting
at breakfast with his friends on the third day after the tempest, when
Vale, who was reading the newspaper, turned to the part headed
"Shipping Intelligence."
"Any news?" inquired Tom Bolton, struck by the expression on
the face of his friend.
Instead of replying, Vale exclaimed, How little we can tell in this
life what is really for our evil or our good! You called that accident
which prevented your sailing in the Albion an 'unlucky mischance.'"
"Of course I did. My wife and children are impatient to see me-"
"Had you sailed in that ship," interrupted Vale, they would never
have seen you again. The Albion went down in that storm! "
What was the regret of Tom Bolton on hearing of the disaster, and
what was his thankfulness for his own preservation, I leave the reader to
guess. Often in after days did the little American basket remind him
in his own home of what others might have called the chance that led
him to turn back on his way to the ship, and so meet with the accident
which vexed him so much at the time. If God's children carefully
watch the events of their own lives, they will often be able, even here
below, to trace the silvery edge of the cloud; but when they are called
up higher, to dwell above with the angels, then they will see what they
now believe-that the love of their Lord makes all things, even the
darkest, to work for good to them that fear Him.


OME time ago, when I was travelling in Norway, I observed
'? one thing that was new and curious to me, and which I
have often thought of since with pleasure. It was a pole
"V- fastened up over the door of the barns at the farm-houses,
and on the top was tied a little sheaf of wheat. I was for a long time
puzzled to understand what it could be for, and often tried to guess.
Was it for ornament? That could hardly be: it was not particularly
ornamental, and occurred so often. Was it a specimen of what the
barn contained ? That did not seem likely, as it did not concern
strangers to know what was in the barn, and those who lived there
knew already. Was it a rude kind of sign-an indication that enter-
tainment for man and beast might be had there? No: it did not
appear only at such houses; and sometimes the farm where we did
stop and were entertained had none. Now I dare say you wonder why
I was so stupid as not to ask somebody. Well, so I did. But, alas!
understanding very little of the language, I was no wiser than I was
before; and after a long speech from my informant-repeated good-
naturedly in a very loud tone of voice, under the impression that if I
could not understand I must be deaf-I was obliged to give it up; to

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laugh and shake my head, and say Verstor ikke-" I don't under-
I wonder how many times a day during our tour we used the
words! We did pretty well as long as we only wanted to ask for food,
or to find our way, and so on; but when we tried to converse about
anything less common, we were generally reduced to head-shaking and
" verstor ikke." So at last I made up my mind, having read about the
superstitious ideas of the Norwegians, that the little sheaf of corn must
be an offering set out for the use of Nigel, or one of the spirits of
wind, water, or storm, in whom the peasants of Norway more than half
believe. But I was wrong.
One day we fell in with some fellow-travellers, a kind old Nor-
wegian gentleman and his friend, who were going the opposite way to
ourselves, and stopped at the same farm-house. He spoke English; so
we had an opportunity of satisfying our curiosity, and we asked him
the meaning of those mysterious sheaves of corn. He laughed heartily
at our numerous guesses, and then told us that they were put out at
Christmas time every year, "that the birds might have a merry Christ-
mas." Every Christmas eve the old sheaf is taken down, and a fresh
one put up.
"What a pretty custom," I thought. Poor little cold Norwegian
birds, with their nine months of winter, and deep snow and long
frosts; their short days and dark nights! It was a merciful idea.
They, too, were to have a little brightness at bright Christmas time.
Often since that day, when we have been preparing for our happy
English Christmas, and bright Christmas faces have gathered round the
fire, and pleasant voices have been singing Christmas songs, I have


thought of the poor little cold Norwegian birds, chirping and twittering

round the Christmas sheaf, and of the pleasure the Norwegian boys and

girls have in providing some Christmas fare for their little feathered

"Glad to see you, little bird;
'Twas your pretty chirp I heard:
What did you intend to say ?
'Give me something this cold day?'

"That I will, and plenty, too;
All these crumbs I saved for you:
Don't be frightened-here's a treat;
I will wait and see you eat."

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you are going for the fodder for our cow, Carlo, what
say you to taking our little Rosina with you ? It is long
i .-,: since she has been beyond our village, and a ride upon
our trusty old Duchessa will do her good."
It was Bice, the wife of an Italian peasant, who spoke these words
to her husband, as she stood at her cottage door, with her bright little
girl at her side.
"What say you, Rosina ?" asked the smiling father; have you a
mind for a ride ?"
The little girl clapped her hands for joy. "Oh, if we are going to
the farmer's for the fodder," she cried, then we will pass by Aunt
Barbara's cottage. May I go in and see her, father, and carry her one
of mother's little goat-milk cheeses that she always likes so much ?"
Rosina saw with surprise a shade of sadness gathering upon her
father's sunburnt face; and when she turned to look at her mother,
Bice was brushing a tear from her eye.
"You cannot go to your aunt, Rosina," said Carlo, and his voice
sounded almost stern to his child.
"Is poor aunt ill?" asked the little girl, for she saw that her
mother was greatly distressed.


"Ask no questions, my child," said Carlo. Then turning to his
wife, he went on: "She cannot understand, poor lamb, why a woman
should quarrel with an only sister, who never meant to give her cause
of offence."
Rosina heard her father's words with increasing wonder. She knew
that her Aunt Barbara had a peevish and angry temper, but she could
not think how she, or any one else, could possibly quarrel with that
gentle mother, who had always taught Rosina to love and forgive.
The child did not, however, venture to ask any more questions, though
her heart was sad at the idea that any one could by unkindness bring a
tear to her mother's eye.
Perhaps, after all, Carlo," said Bice, looking up earnestly into the
face of her husband, "it might be as well for you to let our little one
run in and see her aunt, as you are passing her very door. Barbara
has always been kind to Rosina; it might "-Bice's voice dropped to a
whisper as she added, "it might do good, it could scarcely do harm."
"It would look like an attempt to make up with her," said Carlo
rather proudly; "and after her insolent conduct to you, I would not
choose to take the first step."
"I would take not the first step only, but go the whole way, if I
could but win back my sister to love me," said Bice, clasping her hands.
" 0 Carlo, Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the
children of God! "
"I never knew any one more ready to forget and forgive than you
are, Bice," said her husband; "it is all the greater shame to Barbara
that she quarrels with such a sister. But she is a woman who would
snap at any one who chanced to stand in her light. However, as you


wish it, our little Rosina shall run in and wish her aunt good-day; a
child should never be mixed up with the disputes of older people."
"And may I carry aunt one of your nice cheeses?" whispered
Rosina, standing on tiptoe, and drawing down her mother towards her,
that she might breathe the words in her ear.
Alas! Rosina, my darling, she would now accept nothing from
me !"
Not even a kiss ? whispered Rosina.
The mother's heart was too full for reply, for, notwithstanding
Barbara's unkindness, she was dear to her only sister. Bice could
only lift her darling up in her arms, and half cover her rosy face
with kisses.
Half of these are for your own little girl, half are for auntie,"
said simple Rosina; and she resolved to be a trusty messenger, and
deliver faithfully what she considered to be tokens of love and for-
Carlo started on his way to the farm, leading the patient and trusty
Duchessa, while Fidele, the dog, ran by his side. The day was warm
and bright, sunshine lay on the valley and gilded the distant hills, but
Rosina sat on her ass more quiet and silent than usual--she had
scarcely a word even for her old friend Fidele. Carlo might have
missed her merry prattle, had not his own thoughts been painfully
occupied with the family quarrel. He little guessed what was passing
through the mind of the child scarcely four years of age.
Barl ra, it is true, had hitherto been always kind to Rosina; the
child had seen her angry with others, but had never had a harsh word
herself. Yet Barbara's temper was such that Rosina's love for her had


always been mixed with some fear. What the child had just heard
and seen had increased that feeling of fear to a painful degree. Rosina
quite dreaded having to go alone into the presence of her aunt, the
stern black-eyed woman, whose unkindness had made even her mother
cry. Rosina would far rather have quietly passed the door on her ass,
and she knew that a word to her father would be enough to make him
spare her what she now felt to be a very great trial of courage. But
then her mother's tears and her mother's kisses! Rosina could not
forget these, and she ought to deliver them. Besides, her mother had
said such beautiful words from Scripture-oh, if Aunt Barbara could
but have heard them, surely she would become a peacemaker too, and
never be angry or cross any more !
So while the ass went on at her slow, steady pace, little Rosina was
repeating to herself over and over again, Blessed are the peacemakers."
Her young heart beat faster as Duchessa stopped, as she often had done
before, at the vine-covered porch of Barbara's door, over which hung
clusters of ripe dark grapes. Rosina felt almost inclined to cling to her
father's arm, and beg him to drive on Duchessa, for she dared not go
in by herself; but even one as young as Rosina may be guided by
conscience, and conscience was whispering to the child that her mother
wished her to go,-that it was right to go,-and that the great God of
peace could put kind thoughts into the heart of her aunt.
Barbara was sitting alone in a darkened room. It was dark because
she had made it so; she had so choked up her window with thick-
growing plants that the light which shone so brightly outside could
hardly creep in through the leaves. And so poor Barbara was shutting
out the sunshine of love from her home and her heart, and making


them both dull and cheerless when they might have been so bright.
Do you think that the proud, quarrelsome woman was happy? Ah,
no! dear reader; for there never is true happiness with sin. It has
been truly said that a little sin disturbs our peace more than a great
deal of sorrow. Barbara was in her secret soul vexed at having
quarrelled with her sister; she was vexed, but she would not own it,
for her heart was full of pride. Barbara had resolved never to confess
herself wrong, and rather to live all her life unloving and unloved than
to bend her haughty spirit to make friends with her younger sister.
There sat unhappy Barbara, with no companion but bitter thoughts.
She felt terribly alone in the world, but it was her own pride and
temper that had made a desert around her. She could not help
thinking of the happy days of childhood, when she and her sister had
been merry playmates together. Barbara's eyes chanced to rest on a
little olive-plant in her window, and the sight of that plant had brought
back to her memory days of old. She recollected how Bice, then a
rosy-cheeked child, had once asked her what shrub of tree she would
choose for her own especial favourite.
"I would choose the laurel," had been Barbara's proud reply; for
that is the plant of which wreaths are made for those who conquer
in war."
"I would choose the olive," little Bice had said; "for it was the
leaf of the olive that was brought by the dove to Noah; and it always
seems as if the plant, with its juicy fruit and silvery hue, made one
think of gentle peace."
So from that day the olive had always been connected in the mind
of Barbara with the thought of her gentle sister.


"I'll throw that plant away; I'll pull it up," muttered Barbara; I
don't care to keep anything now to remind me of her."
The proud woman had hardly uttered the words when a soft, a very
soft knock was heard at the door. At Barbara's rough Come in!" the .
door slowly opened, and a little child appeared, so like to what Bice
had been at her age, that Barbara could almost fancy that she was
looking again at her earliest playmate. Rosina crept in timidly at first,
for she thought that her aunt looked terribly stern.
Why do you come here ?" asked Barbara, with a little softening,
however, in her tone.
"I have something to give you from mother," said the child.
"I will take nothing from her," replied Barbara; I'll return it,
whatever it be."
Will you ?" cried Rosina, suddenly running up to her aunt, and
opening wide her little arms. The next moment the arms were clasped
tightly round Barbara's neck, and the soft little lips were printing
kisses on her cheek.
Barbara was a proud, ill-tempered woman, but she still had a heart,
and a heart that might be conquered by love. She would have spurned
a gift, but she could not refuse a kiss. Barbara could not help pressing
her sister's child to her bosom, and a strange choking sensation appeared
to rise in her throat.
"Those are mother's kisses-dear mother's kisses, and you promised
to return whatever she sent," cried Rosina. "Give me the kisses back
for my mother."
And if Barbara did give the kisses, and if her proud eyes were
moist as she did so, who can wonder? She would have mocked at


words of reproach; she would have retorted insult or scorn, but the
kiss, the fond kiss, sent through the little child, subdued both her
anger and pride.
Barbara rose from her seat, and slowly walked to the window-
perhaps it was partly to hide her eyes that she did so. She broke off
a large branch from the olive, and suddenly turning round, held it out
to her little niece.
Take this to your mother from me, Rosina," she said, and tell her
to remember our early choice. The laurel, I have found, bears but a
poisonous berry; the fruit of the olive is good-I will cultivate it from
this day."
If Rosina did not fully understand the message, she understood the
smile which followed it, which looked so pleasant on a face so lately
furrowed with gloomy frowns. And when Rosina, bearing the olive
branch in her little hand, ran out to her father, and told him all that
had passed, his look of amusement and pleasure more than rewarded
the child for the effort which she had made.
Brava! my brave little messenger," exclaimed Carlo, giving
Rosina a hearty kiss as he lifted her up to Duchessa's back. "Brava,
little peacemaker! So you made her give back the kisses again. That
bit of olive will bring as much joy to your mother's heart as if it were
made of silver, with blossoms of pearl and leaves of gold."
Very joyful was the return of Rosina to her home. The fodder
which Carlo procured from the farm, and heaped high on the patient
Duchessa, looked like a little throne for the child, who, as she saw her
mother standing at her door to welcome her, merrily waved her branch
Sof olive, the token of joy and success.


Carlo planted the olive twig in his garden, where it took root, and
in time grew up to be a goodly tree with blossoms and fruit. Barbara,
who was often a guest at her sister's cottage, watched the growth of the
olive with peculiar interest, and Rosina always on her aunt's birthday
bore to her a little spray from the tree. And when Rosina herself had
grown up to be a woman, and married, and had little children of her
own, their favourite spot for play was under the shadow of what was
called the peacemaker's tree."
Dear children, plant in the gardens of your own little hearts the
olive branch of peace.




SV RNST SEELE was a ruined man, there could be no doubt of
Sthe fact. For years he had pursued his trade as a dairyman in
'\A a wasteful and careless way, spending much more than he
Earned, seeming to be prosperous while his affairs were getting
into a terrible state of disorder. Ernst owed no less than three
years' rent for his comfortable dwelling to its owner, the absent
lord of the manor, and Seele had not laid by a single farthing
with which to pay that rent. The foolish and improvident
dairyman, with thoughts of debt and difficulty ever preying upon his
mind, was like a tree which looks fair at a distance, but which is quite
decayed at the core, so that the first strong blast must lay it in dust.
That blast of misfortune came suddenly upon Seele. A disease
swept away every one of his cows, upon which he depended for bread.
The lord of the manor returned to his castle and claimed his due-the
rent which his thriftless tenant had for so long neglected to pay. Ernst
Seele was indeed a ruined man; there seemed to be nothing before him
but a prison, and for his wife and family the workhouse.
Grace, the youngest child of Seele, was but a little child; but she
2 B


saw and shared the troubles of her parents. She marked how bitterly
her mother wept, and how her father would stride up and down the
room, groaning aloud in his anguish of soul. Grace, young as she was,
learned to know what is meant by that terrible word ruin.
"0 Heartslove!" said Grace softly to her white dove, as she fondled
it in her arms, and her tears dropped fast on its feathers, poor, poor
father will be taken away and shut up in the dreadful place, and we
shall have to leave this home, and everything that we care for! I must
lose you, my own little pet Heartslove. Some stranger will have you,
who may be cruel to you, and kill you. I shall never hear your soft
coo in the morning; I shall never stroke your white feathers again! "
Seele was almost in despair. He knew that it was not only mis-
fortune that had brought him to this depth of distress, but that he had
been careless, wasteful, and dishonest; for it is dishonesty to run up
debts when we know that we are not likely ever to be able to pay them.
"I might have struggled through my difficulties," muttered the
unhappy debtor, but for that crushing sum for rent which I owe to
the lord of the manor."
Little Grace turned from the window at which she had been standing
with Heartslove, her white dove, in her arms. 0 father," said she,
" could you not go to the great lord, and tell him of your misfortunes,
and ask him to forgive you your debt ?"
The suggestion was a very simple one. The same thought had often
arisen in the minds both of Seele and his wife, but they had not acted
upon it, until it was expressed by the lips of their little daughter. Seele
rose hastily from his seat.
Yes, I will go at once to the Castle," he said, and try to move

S I '"

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-'-' -,-- -2

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I M'4_


the pity of my lord. This is my last chance, my last hope. If he do
not show mercy to-day, I shall be in a prison to-morrow."
Very anxious and very sad was Seele's wife during his absence.
She could settle to no occupation, but sat weeping and wringing her
hands, as if her husband were already carried off to a prison. She was
so fretful in her misery that she could scarcely bear to have even her
children near her; only Grace softly stole up to her once, and whispered,
" Let us hope on, dear mother; perhaps the great lord will have pity
when he sees in what trouble poor father is now."
At last the sound of rapid steps was heard on the road-steps that
quickened into a run. Seele's wife looked up eagerly, for she knew
that her husband was approaching, and that he would have come more
slowly and sadly had he been bringing evil tidings. Seele burst into
the cottage, his face, lately so careworn and gloomy, beaming with hope
and delight.
"Give me joy, wife he cried, breathless with running and with
excitement; my lord has forgiven me all-"
The wife uttered a loud exclamation of pleasure.
Nay, more than this," continued Seele, he has not only allowed
me to stay in my home, but has offered to advance me money sufficient
to start me in business again! "
Seele's wife threw her arms round his neck, and cried and sobbed
with delight. The children, who had crowded round their parents to
hear the news, jumped and clapped their hands. Past sorrows seemed
at once to be almost forgotten; Seele and his wife thought now of
nothing but pleasant plans for the future.
But little Grace thought of something besides. Her heart was in-


deed very full of joy, but there was in it room for gratitude also. She
went to her own little chamber, and there on her knees returned thanks
to the Giver of good. Grace then went and threw open her window to
let in Heartslove, who was tapping on the glass with her bill.
Have you come, my pretty one," said Grace, "to share in our
pleasure! I shall not have to part with you now, my darling."
Tenderly the little girl kissed and fondled her pet. Oh, that dear,
dear lord, that most generous friend, how good he has been to us all!
I do love him, though I never have seen him. Oh, how I wish that I
could do something, were it ever so little, to show him how very, very
thankful I am."
The desire to show her gratitude in something more than words had
taken strong hold of the loving heart of the child. Grace sat for more
than an hour thinking and thinking what she-even she-could do for
the merciful lord of the manor.
"I should like to make him a nosegay of all the best flowers in my
garden; I would strip off every blossom," said the child to herself.
" But flowers die so soon; and then the gardens round the Castle hold
flowers a hundred times prettier than mine. I am afraid that the rich
master would scarcely look at my nosegay. I should like to work from
morning till night to make something fit to give him; but I am little,
and cannot work well;-I do not see what I could make. But oh, I
must find some way of letting the generous lord know how grateful I
am for his goodness! "
In the midst of her perplexity, the eye of little Grace rested on her
white dove. This was her greatest treasure, the one thing which she
valued beyond all others.


"I wonder if the great lord would accept Heartslove," murmured
the child. I should not indeed like to lose my dear dove; but I have
nothing else worth offering to the friend who has saved my father. The
bird is my own, my very own; I may give it to any one that I please;
and shall I grudge it to him to whom we owe everything that we
have ?"
There was a little struggle in the mind of the child, but it ended in
her resolving to offer her pet bird to the lord of the manor.
Full of her grateful design, Grace put her dove into a little woven
basket, with open work on the lid, and lined the basket with moss, that
her favourite might take no harm by the way. Grace then went and
asked her father to carry her dove to the great and good lord at the
I am far too busy to do any such thing," said Seele, who was just
about starting off to make a new purchase of cows for his dairy, with the
money advanced by his kind benefactor. Go you up to the Castle,
child, and take your present yourself."
Grace was afraid to go up to the Castle, though she knew the road
to it perfectly well, for she had often gathered acorns under the great
oaks of the park while the lord of the manor had been absent. But
though feeling timid and shy, Grace was too anxious to offer her
humble gift to be easily put aside from her purpose.
I will just venture as far as the outer gate," 4he said to herself,
" and give the basket to one of the servants, and beg him kindly to
take it to the generous lord."
So Grace put on her little bonnet and cloak. In vain she tried to
get one of her brothers or sisters to go with her-they too said that they


were too busy: not one seemed to think that it was in the least
needful to show gratitude, or even to feel it. So Grace set out quite
alone. Ofttimes on her way she raised the lid of the basket a little
to take a last peep of her pet.
I shall miss you, but I do not grudge you, my little beauty!"
said the child. "I am sure that so kind a lord will be gentle and
good to my bird. He will not despise or hurt you; and when he
hears your soft note in the morning, he will know that you are cooing
the thanks of a little child for what he has done for us all."
But when Grace reached the large gate beside which hung the great
iron bell, she had hardly courage to ring it. After all, thought she,
might not so grand a nobleman think it presuming in her to come
even to offer a gift? Was the bird, though it was her all, worthy to
be placed before him ? Should she not rather carry Heartslove back
to her home ?
While Grace stood hesitating and doubting, with her small hand
raised to the bell handle, which she did not venture to pull, a man of
a noble appearance, who was walking within the Castle grounds, came
up to the gate.
What do you want, little girl ? he inquired in a tone so gentle,
that even timid Grace was not afraid to reply to the question.
0 sir, I am the child of Ernst Seele," she replied with a blush.
" The lord of the Castle has been good, oh, so very good to my father,
and I want to give him my dove, just to show how thankful I feel."
Do you think that the lord of the Castle would value your bird ?"
asked the stranger, smiling kindly down on the child.
I dare say that he has many more, and perhaps prettier birds,"


said poor Grace, and she looked wistfully at her covered basket as she
spoke; "but Heartslove is so tame, so gentle-she will come at my
call, and eat crumbs from my lips-he cannot have a more loving little
dove. And then, sir, she is all that I have to give; so, perhaps, the
great lord will not despise her."
No; I will answer for it that the lord of the Castle will prize your
bird dearly," answered the stranger, and his voice sounded so tender
and loving that it seemed to Grace as if a father had spoken. Give
me your basket, my child; I will see that the dove reaches safely him
to whom you would give it-he will most surely accept and value it
for your sake."
Grace opened the basket, and pressed down her rosy lips to give
one parting kiss to her Heartslove. She then closed down the lid, and
with simple trust handed the basket to the stranger, who had opened
the gate to take in her little present. The child then, after thanking
him and dropping a curtsey, turned away from the gate. Grace felt
pleased to think that she had done what was right, that she had at
least proved her wish to be grateful; and the remembrance of the
noble stranger's smile lay warm at the little girl's heart. She liked
to recall his words, I will answer for it that the lord of the Castle
will prize your bird dearly."
During the rest of that day Grace never spoke of her dove, though
she thought of it often. Her parents were far too much occupied
with their business to think of it at all, and, what was far more strange,
not a word of gratitude towards their most generous benefactor was
heard either from Seele or his wife. In the greatness of his gift they
seemed quite to have forgotten the giver. Grace alone resolved in


her heart that not a morning or evening should pass without her
blessing the name of the friend who had saved them all from ruin;
and she smiled to herself as she thought of her gentle white dove
nestling upon his bosom.
On the following day, as the family sat round the table at break-
fast, talking over the purchases which Seele had made through the
help of the lord of the manor, there was heard the tap of a bill
at the window.
Oh! it's my dove-it's my own Heartslove; she has flown back
again to her old home! exclaimed Grace, starting up from her seat,
and running to open the window.
The child took the bird in, kissed and fondled it. Pleasant it was
to her to stroke again the downy plumage, and to hear the coo of
her pet.
Look there, Grace!" exclaimed her father, "there seems to be
something white tied under the wing of the bird."
There was indeed a small strip of paper, fastened with a bright
thread of gold. Grace very eagerly untied it, wondering what kind
of message her bird could have brought.
There is something written, but I cannot read it. Please, father,
tell me what it is! cried Grace.
There was silence round the table, as Seele read aloud the contents
of the paper to the circle of curious listeners. The writing was as
The child who gave this dove will be welcomed if she come alone
to the Castle at noon."
Grace to go to the Castle-Grace to be expressly sent for by the


lord of the manor! Father, mother, brothers, and sisters all wondered
at the message sent to the child. There could be no mistake about it;
the lord's own signature was at the end of the note. It was read and
re-read a dozen times over. Grace said less than did any one else,
though she thought far more than them all.
Won't you be afraid to go alone into the presence of the lord of
the manor ?" asked one of her sisters.
"I should be very, very much afraid," she replied, only he has
invited me to come."
And what will you do when you see him ?" inquired a brother.
I will just give back Heartslove to her master," simply answered
the child.
But very fast beat the heart of Grace, and her courage almost
failed her when she had to pass alone the great iron gate, and walk
up the stately avenue to the marble steps that led up to the Castle.
She wished that she could have held her father's hand, or had her
mother beside her. One thought, however, gave her strength to go
forward. The master has written that I-even I-shall be welcome.
I have his own express invitation, so why should I fear to appear
before him!"
So, with Heartslove, not now in a basket, but held in her bosom,
the poor little grateful child drew nigh to the lord's magnificent home.
Grace was met by a kind-looking servant. "My lord has sent me
to bring you to him," said the man. Do not tremble, little one;
my lord is very fond of children. See he is coming down the marble
staircase to receive you himself."
Grace eagerly, though timidly, raised her eyes to catch the first


sight of her great benefactor, the mighty lord of the land. She had
felt afraid to enter his presence, but all her fear passed away when
she saw in the form advancing towards her the same gentle stranger
who had met her before at the gate, and who had taken charge of
her dove.
Did 1 not tell you that the lord of the Castle would prize your
bird dearly?" he said, as he stooped and lovingly laid his hand on
the head of the child.
Grace was then led by him through the Castle, its splendid galleries,
its beautiful halls, where there was everything that could delight the
eye of the beholder. In one apartment she found a new dress awaiting
her, spotless and white. She was left alone for awhile to put on the
dress, and was then called to a rich feast spread out in a lofty hall.
Grace, poor child as she was, then was allowed to sit down with the
lord at his table, and to be helped to whatever she liked by his own
princely hand.
Nor was her friend's kindness to end here. That most happy hour
was but the first of many which Grace was to pass in that beautiful
place. With the full consent of her parents, the lord of the Castle
adopted the little girl as his own, and brought her up as his daughter.
He lavished freely upon her every token of love, gratified every wish,
and made the life of Grace so joyful, that every day seemed more
bright than the last. And much did the lord value the bird which
had been her first token of grateful affection; of all his treasures none
was more prized than the Heartslove of the child.
Shall I leave my young readers to find out for themselves the
meaning of my little parable, or help them to trace out the lesson


which it contains? There is not one of them that has not a great
Benefactor, to whose free bounty they owe a million times more than
Grace and her family owed to the lord of the manor. Have they
received all His benefits without a word of thanks, without a thought of
grateful devotion ? Have they offered nothing to their Heavenly Lord,
who has freely forgiven them all their great debt, and loaded them
with blessings day after day ?
But perhaps a child may reply, I have nothing to give to the
Lord, no money with which to help His poor, no power of working
for Him." This may be so, but oh, remember that you have still one
offering which you can make; you have your Heartslove to lay at the
feet of your Heavenly Friend. Be assured that the Lord will prize
your love dearly, far, far more than all the earth's treasures of silver
and gold. No being that has offered Heartslove in simple, grateful
homage to his Saviour, but will be welcomed by Him to a glorious
home in heaven, not to be received as a passing guest, but as a dearly
beloved child, adopted into His family, and made happy for ever and
ever with Him!

"f,.' 2i



I O1OUNDING o'er the blooming heather,
It Or amid the copse at play,
S.'' '' Silky-ears and I together
Sported through the summer day;
Eyes so bright, and fur so glossy,
Little feet with graceful ease
Springing through the dingle mossy,
Light as down upon the breeze!

We were 'mid the fern reclining
On one bright and sunny morn,
On the dewy herbage dining,
When I heard a distant horn!
Quivering ears were turned to listen-
Little hearts how fast they beat!
How our dark eyes seemed to glisten-
How we started to our feet!

Then a fearful sound succeeded-
'Twas the baying of a hound!


Other warning was not needed;
With a spring and with a bound
Silky-ears and I were darting-
She to left, and I to right,
Swift as swallow's speed at starting,
Terror giving wings to flight!

On I sped, till, faint and weary,
Paused I, trembling, and looked back;
Not a hound was following near me-
Not a hunter on my track!
From a cruel fate delivered,
Saved from death, alive and free,
Yet my frame with terror quivered-
Silky-ears-ah where was she ?

When the evening dews were falling,
Crept I back unto my dell,
Sadly on my lost one calling,-
Silky-ears! beloved so well!
Thou hast suffered death or capture-
Vainly, vainly didst thou fly! "
Who can tell my joy, my rapture,
When I heard a soft reply !-

"Little feet have safely borne me
O'er the common, far away;


Cruel dogs! ye have not torn me;
Hunters! ye have missed your prey!
In the fearful race a winner,
I have proved my running powers;
Man, perhaps, has lost his dinner-
Merrily we'll finish ours! "

Now again, amid the heather,
We will nibble, we will play,
Silky-ears and I together,
Sporting through the autumn day!
Why should man, the chase enjoying,
Of our terrors make his sport;
For an hour of mirth, destroying
Life so sweet, and life so short ?



T .ICmOU may go and play on the sands, children," said Mrs.
,,.' ,:Weston; "but be sure to come home in good time
for dinner."
..- Little Maggie and Andrew did not need to be told a
second time; only Maggie said,-
"Please let me take my charity penny, mamma; perhaps I will
see a very poor child to give it to."
Maggie had pleased her mamma very much that morning, and had
got a "charity penny," to be given to any person that she chose; so
now she and Andrew and the penny all went together to the sands.
The children had come very lately to Seaton, and everything was new
and delightful to them. The tide was out, and the pools of water in
the yellow sands were their chief attraction. For long no one was near
them except an old fisherman, mending his nets. Dan Johnson was
too old to go to sea now, but was never idle, and usually might be
seen, seated on a log, at work among the nets, with a large dog at
his feet.
After a time a neighboring school was dismissed, and many other
children came rushing to the sands, some of them staring rudely at the
two new-comers, little Maggie and Andrew; and then they formed


themselves into parties to run races. One boy lingered beside the
Westons, and watched Dan Johnson at his work. "I'll play the old
man a trick," he said to Andrew, and you'll see a bit of fun."
Going quietly behind the old fisherman, he took a penknife from
his pocket and made a great cut in the net, which lay in heavy folds
on the ground. The mischief of a moment had destroyed the patient
work of hours, and when the dog sprang up and barked furiously, Dan
Johnson discovered it all. The boy was far along the sands, but the
angry dog would soon have laid hold of him if Dan had not kept him
"It won't mend it, good dog," he said; "it won't mend it: but
it's hard too. This net will not get to sea to-night, and sure, it was
He rubbed his hand across his eyes very much, as if there were
tears there. Maggie and Andrew had left their play and stood beside
him, Maggie fairly sobbing at the sight of the broken net.
"Please take my penny," she said, putting it softly into Dan's
Andrew drew her back, whispering, Maggie, Maggie, he is not a
But Maggie gave no heed. "Please take it," she said again. "I
would like you to take my penny."
Dan smiled, and took her penny. "Thank you, little miss," he
said; it's kindly meant, and you wouldn't play an old man such an
ugly trick as this."
"Neither would I," said Andrew. "Why did you not let the dog
catch that bad boy ?"


"Ah," said Dan, "Rover is very good to his friends, but he's a
strong beast, and might have taken too hard a grip of the lad. It's not
"but that he deserved it, and I'll give him a good thrashing when I've
a chance."
After this Maggie and Andrew went to different parts of the beach
to gather shells, agreeing to meet in a while and see whose were the
prettiest. Maggie wandered down to a rocky bay, and was so enchanted
with the wonders she saw there, that she never thought how fast the
hours were passing, and how far her little feet were carrying her away
from home. On and on she went, till, getting tired, she sat down on
a rock beside a little pool full of lovely sea-weeds and sea-anemones.
She had sat some little time when she was startled by a noise beside
her, and the large dog Rover bounded down from a rock above her.
He licked her hands and made a whining noise, and then began gently
to pull her frock.
"Rover wishes me to come away, I see," she said, patting him;
well, I think I'll do so." So she rose from the rock and began to go
home. Alas, it was not so easy to do as she expected. Places she had
gone down with ease she found very difficult to get up, and as the tide
had been coming in for some time, she found some of the stones wet
and slippery. At last she came quite to a stand-still in a little rocky
bay. There had been sand all round it when she came there an hour
before; now there was nothing but water, and great waves dashing
round the rocks, that would have knocked down a stronger little girl
than she was.
What could poor Maggie do ? She sobbed and cried, but the
waves made a far louder noise than she could do; and perhaps no


one would have found her until the waves had taken her into their
great arms and carried her out to sea, if it had not been for good
wise Rover.
He sprang upon a boulder-stone and raised his loud, hoarse bark,
until even the waves could not drown it.
When Andrew got tired of gathering shells, he went back to the
place where Maggie said she would meet him; but as she never came,
he thought, "Maggie must have tired, and gone home; I will go too."
But when he reached home there was no Maggie there. Soon all the
household were out searching for her in vain. The bay where she
really was seemed much too distant for her to have reached; and
besides, it was now inaccessible, until the tide receded again.
In the meantime Dan had taken his nets to the top of the cliffs,
and was laying them out in the sun, when he heard the fierce barking
of Rover. He felt sure it was Rover, and Rover in distress; so, going
to the edge of the cliff, he lay flat down upon the grass and looked
over. There he saw it all-Rover barking for help, and the little
bewildered child standing at the mouth of the bay beside him.
"Bless her! it is the little one that was so kind-spoken to me
this morning!" he cried; and, springing up, he hurried to his sons'
"Quick, boys, quick he said; "get to the boat, and row fast to
the mussel bay; there's a poor child there just waiting to be drowned."
So the fishermen lost no time, and soon little Maggie and Rover were
in the boat and rowed safely to land. Old Dan was waiting there to
lift her out, and give her into her mother's arms.
It was the penny that did it, ma'am," he said afterwards to Mrs.


Weston. "That dog of mine is as wise as we are, and I saw him
looking at her when she put the penny so kind-like into my hand,-
just as if he would have said, 'Rover will be your friend now, little
lady;' and I'm thinking he had been looking after her all the day,
for he never came near me after that."
Mrs. Weston would gladly have bought the dog, only Dan could
not part with his favourite; but, not many years after, Rover came to
them with a little note: "Will Miss Maggie comfort Rover, for his
master is dead ?"



".-, T is such a wretched thing-oh, such a wretched-not to
k I'T be able to get out on such a day as this, when the sun
.-\ is shining and the birds are singing, and every creature
S seems so gay and happy but myself!" exclaimed Harvey
Gordon, impatiently flinging aside a book which he had been trying to
amuse himself with. "Oh, I do wish that I had not this horrid bad
leg, which has laid me up for months, so that I cannot so much as get
out of the house for ten minutes."
"You will be able to get out now as often as you like, Master
Harvey," said the good-natured parlour-maid, who had entered the
room while the lame boy was speaking. "Here is your nice pair of
new crutches; the carpenter has just brought them home; hasn't he
made them neatly ?"
A very nice pair of crutches indeed, firm and strong, with padded
rests to go under the arms, each rest covered with red leather, and
studded with bright brass nails. But Harvey looked at the tokens of
his lameness with anything but satisfaction, and took up one of them
with both his hands, scowling as he did so, as if he were half disposed
to break it across his knee.
"Crutches for me!" he muttered; "crutches for me, who could

--- .,. .

-,-, FYI,


..,.:~~ ~ -_ ------_--_---".-

.. .. .. :. ,, .. ... ----.....


run faster than any other boy in my class, and jump over six hurdles,
one after the other! Horrid things; I have half a mind to put them
at the back of the fire "
But though neither the green leather nor the bright brass nails
reconciled the lame boy to his crutches, even while he grumbled at
them he soon prepared to use them. After being long shut up in the
house, it was a comfort to be able to move out without putting his
painful leg to the ground. Harvey was glad to find himself again in
the fresh outer air, with the breath of spring fanning his cheek, and the
music of May in his ears. The boy left his book behind; he did not
want to read it; he preferred sitting on a bench in a summer-house,
and doing nothing but listen to the thrushes, and think. Harvey's
thoughts were not very cheerful, however; he had not a contented
mind. The cripple was impatient, and almost angry, because he had
the trial of lameness; and in his vexation at having lost some of the
pleasures of boyhood, he forgot how many comforts and enjoyments
were left to him still.
When persons sit for hours in the open air doing nothing, they are
likely enough to drop into a sleep. Such was the case, at least, with
Harvey. And while the boy slept, he dreamed the following curious
Harvey seemed to be still sitting on the bench in the summer-house,
with a crutch on either side of him resting against the seat. Presently
he chanced to glance at the crutch on his right, and saw a change
coming over it which filled him with surprise.
Why, I thought it was covered with green leather! cried Harvey,
in his dream; "but the leather looks wonderfully like yellow hair.


Why, if it is not taking to curling! And all that row of brass nails is
changing to a line of twinkling eyes-such pleasant, cheerful round
eyes! I never saw such a lively-looking, curious crutch in my life "
The wondering dreamer then turned to the crutch on his left, and,
behold, the shape of its rest had also undergone a singular change. A
crop of stiff hair stuck up from the leather, like bristles on a brush;
and not only eyes, but a long thin slit of a mouth had begun to
appear! The two crutches had grown so much like stout sticks with
a funny living head at the top of each, that it scarcely seemed strange
in the dream when one of the heads began to talk.
"Surely I know you, my friend," said the right crutch to the left
one. Were you not my companion branch on the great beech-tree
that grew in the wood and threw its shadow over the pond ?"
"I wonder how you could recognize me, now that I am stripped
of my bark, and made as bare as a board," sighed the left crutch,
in reply. But I remember you very well. It was on you that a
cawing rook had built her nest. I used to think what a worry it
must have been to you to have to support the ugly bundle of sticks
night and day."
"No worry; it was a pleasure," answered the right crutch in a
cheerful tone. "I liked, when the wind blew, to rock the little
nestlings to sleep. I am glad that the poor gaping creatures were all
fledged and flown before the woodman cut down our tree."
The left crutch gave a curious sort of groan, which sounded to
Harvey much like the creaking of a big branch in a gale.
"Ah, I wish that I were up again in a tree !" he exclaimed, even
if I were to be plagued with half-a-dozen nests and a score of ugly


young rooks. How well I looked with my summer garlands of leaves
-how pleasant it was to feel the sap rising within me! Now, there's
not a scrap of bark nor a leaf left upon me, and I am as dry as a bone !"
A louder groaning creak burst from the crutch, sounding almost as if
he were going to snap asunder.
"But you were not happy even on our tree," remarked his com-
panion. "Do you not remember, my friend, how you used to fret over
the falling leaves in autumn, and be ready to cry when you saw them
strewing the pond ? Do you not remember how you used to shiver and
tremble when the cold winter wind came by ?"
"And you were always talking about the return of spring," said the
left crutch with a sigh. "You always seemed to catch the first gleam
of sunshine. Snow always lay upon me long after you had shaken off
the last flake; and even while the flakes remained, you never seemed
to mind them."
"They were my coat of white feathers-I felt quite gay in them,"
cried his neighbour.
"Yes; you always made the best of everything," remarked the
crutch on the left.
"Surely one ought to make the best of everything," rejoined the
right one; and his row of little brass eyes shone as brightly as if they
had been sparkling gems.
Oh that those old days could come again," groaned the dismal
companion crutch. "I'd not object to have snow, frost, or rime on
my bark, if I had only bark for them to lie on. I'd not mind the sharp
wind shaking the tree, if Idiad only a tree to grow on. I'd not care for
my leaves dropping, if I had only a leaf to drop;" and as the poor


crutch thus lamented, from every one in his row of brass eyes suddenly
popped out a tear !
"Make the best of it, friend-make the best of it! cried the right
crutch in a cheering tone. One can't help, indeed, being sorry at
having lost such a bright sunshiny life in the wood, and at being cut,
and shaped, and nailed, and hammered-a kind of treatment which no
free-born branch can like. But grumbling does no good; and, after
all, matters might have been worse."
"I don't see how they could have been worse," said the doleful
crutch in the dream.
Why, we might have been part of a wooden shelf in a cupboard
as dark as night, with nothing but tallow candles upon us," observed
his friend. "Such misfortunes sometimes happen to branches that
have waved aloft in the air, and up and down which the merry
squirrels have darted. Here we at least see daylight, and the sun
is shining upon us just as warmly and kindly as if we were covered
with leaves."
"To have been shut up in a cupboard with tallow candles-yes,
that would have been worse than our present lot," said the left crutch,
in a tone rather less dismal.
"Or we might have been chopped up small for fagots and burned
to ashes," remarked his philosophical friend.
Dear, dear-that would have been worse, a great deal worse! "
cried the left crutch, with sudden animation. But soon relapsing into
a mournful creaking, he added, Still, you must own that it is dreadful
to have to waste our existence leading sucl a very dull life as we now
must lead."


"Oh no; our existence will not be wasted, nor will our lives be
dull," exclaimed the benevolent crutch. "Is it not a joy to think
that we shall serve to support a weak and suffering creature; that we,
stripped of our bark, and robbed of our merry green leaves, as we are,
may be more useful in our bareness than we ever were in our beauty ?
Yes; for we shall help another to enjoy the sunshine whenever it falls
on ourselves." The voice of the right crutch, as he ended his cheerful
speech, died away in the waking ear of Harvey. The lame boy
stretched himself, and opened his eyes. Nothing was to be heard but
the song of the thrush.
"Well, I have had a funny dream-a remarkably funny dream!"
exclaimed Harvey, looking first at the one crutch and then at the
other, as if to make sure whether they kept any traces of the curious
transformation which he had seen in his dream. But no; the talking
crutches were silent enough now; the green leather looked like nothing
but simple green leather, and there was not a single twinkling eye to
be seen amongst all the rows of brass nails. Harvey smiled as he took
up the right crutch, and gently stroked its rest, and noticed how nicely
padded it was.
"I am much obliged to you, friend crutch, I am really much
obliged to you," said the boy, laughing to himself as he recollected
what had passed in his dream. "You've taught me to make the best
of my trouble, and not to grumble because I can't be what I once was,
nor enjoy what I once enjoyed. Why need my existence be wasted, or
my life be dull ?" added the boy more gravely. "Is there no weak,
helpless creature, that I 'iy help to support? I have little bodily
strength, indeed; but there's pocket-money in my purse, and many an


honest poor person is in want of a shilling. I have not feet fit to run
races; but I have hands that can work, and a tongue to speak cheering
words, such as I heard from the crutch in my dream. I may still help
some one to enjoy the sunshine, and then its brightness will fall on
Thoughts like these comforted and gladdened the heart of poor
Harvey, and he returned to his father's house in a more contented and
cheerful spirit.
It did Master Harvey a wonderful deal of good to get out into the
garden yesterday," observed the parlour-maid to the house-maid on the
following morning. I heard him whistling in the evening, as I have
not done before ever since his poor leg was taken so bad."
"He was busying himself in a funny way, I take it," said the house-
maid. "He must have been scratching the four odd lines which I
found on one of his crutches."
"Lines scratched on a crutch!" cried her companion; "that is an
odd place to put poetry on, seeing that paper's so cheap! Can you
remember the lines ? "
The house-maid laughed as she repeated the rough verse which
Harvey had made to keep in his mind the memory of his dream,-

"Health and strength are great blessings, but now
I find joys that I value as much:
If we're not like the beautiful bough,
Let's be like the benevolent crutch."

i-j N.
/ ...-,


"UT I will have it!"
"But you shan't! "
I The loud, angry words were followed by the sound of a
struggle, which brought Mrs. Clare out of her room in haste,
to see what was the cause of the strife between her little son Maitland
and his cousin Frederick Grey.
The two boys had both hold of the staff of a flag, and were pulling
and tugging at it, each trying hard to wrench it out of the hand of the
other. Both their faces were red with passion, and they hardly stopped
their struggling even when the lady entered the room.
"Boys! what are you quarrelling about?" exclaimed Mrs. Glare
with displeased surprise.
Mamma, we're going to play at soldiers, and I want to carry the
flag," answered Maitland, scarcely able to speak from passion.
I must have it-I shall have it! cried Fred, still trying to wrench
it from his cousin.
"Give it to me!" said the lady, in a decided tone, taking it from
the grasp of both the boys. "See, you have torn the pretty flag in
your struggle To which of you does it belong ? "
Uncle gave it to us li ," replied Fred; but I choose to carry it,
because I am the elder."


"I must have it-because my father is a soldier, and I am going to
be a soldier myself! cried Maitland, still looking very fierce.
"I am sorry, boys, to see that you have less sense than four-footed
What do you mean, mamma ? said Maitland.
"Your quarrel reminds me of a story of two goats which I have
heard," replied the lady, seating herself on a chair, still holding the flag
in her hand. On a wild mountain in the Tyrol two goats met on a
ledge just over a precipice-a ledge which was so narrow that there was
neither room for them to pass each other nor to turn round and go
back! A steep rock rose straight above them; a deep dark chasm lay
below! What do you think the two goats did ? "
"I suppose," said Maitland, "that if they had horns, like my two
little goats, they pushed, and butted, and fought, till one or both of
them were tossed over the precipice and killed! "
"You suppose that they were as proud, and silly, and quarrelsome
as two little boys whom I need not name," said Mrs. Clare, shaking her
head. "No; the goats were more lowly and more wise. One of them
quietly and carefully laid himself down on the narrow ledge; he bent
first one leg under his body, then another, pressing as close to the rock
as he could. Then the second goat gently and softly stepped over his
companion, till, safe on the further side, he could lightly bound away.
The goat that had lain down then drew himself up from his lowly posi-
tion, safe and uninjured, free to spring again from rock to rock, and
crop the sweet herbage, instead of lying, as he might otherwise have
done, at the bottom of the precipice, with all his bones broken by a


What a wise goat he was! exclaimed Fred.
I did not know that goats had such sense," cried Maitland. "1
wonder if my two little Billys that I drive in my go-cart would have
done just the same as these creatures ?"
If so," observed Mrs. Clare with a smile, they would have shown
much more sense than their master."
"I don't see that one is bound always to give up one's rights!"
cried Maitland, glancing at the flag; for he saw that his mother was
thinking of his conduct in fighting for it.
"The right of way belonged to the one goat just as much as to the
other," remarked the lady; "but the wisest was the lowliest: with him
to stoop was to conquer; by letting another be first, he saved the lives
of both. Oh, my child, if instinct taught this to a poor four-footed
beast, shall beings with reason fight and quarrel; and, above all,"-
the mother gently laid her hand on the head of her child as she added,
"shall Christians dispute about trifles, when they know where it is
written, Blessed are the meek, and, With the lowly is wisdom !"
Maitland looked doubtfully at his mother, pride was having a little
struggle within; but Fred cried out frankly at once, Let him have the
flag! I'm sorry that I quarrelled about it."
No, no; you shall have it! exclaimed Maitland, more moved by
his cousin's kindness than by even the lesson of his mother.
"You shall both carry it by turns, my boys! said the lady, when
I shall have mended the rent which you tore. Let this little incident
impress on you the truth that we often gain most by yielding; and that
he is the wisest and noble;iwho can stoop, for the sake of conscience, to
take the lowest place! "


-\I "ESUS, tender Shepherd, hear me;
's Bless Thy little lamb to-night:
, Through the darkness be Thou near me;
Keep me safe till morning light.

All this day Thy hand has led me,
And I thank Thee for Thy care;
Thou hast clothed me, warmed and fed me,
Listen to my evening prayer.

Let my sins be all forgiven;
Bless the friends I love so well;
Take me, when I die, to Heaven,
Happy there with Thee to dwell.

..-' '- :' -,- .7 S .
_-:-' -


I--> -- --

l,-'j 'ND you are all ready for your journey?" asked old Aunt
,Martha of Florence her young niece.
SA" Oh yes! I'm all packed, all ready, auntie," was the
S: cheerful reply. "I've only my bonnet and scarf and gloves
to put on ; and there they are on that chair. I've put up my box and
locked it, and I've forgotten nothing that I ought to put into it. I've
a whole quire of paper and a dozen stamps for letters to you and papa."
"That's a pretty good allowance," said the old lady, smiling,
"considering that you are not to be away at Playsdown for more than
ten days. But, you know, we'll miss you, my pet. Your papa will
find the house lonely when he comes back from York; and there's no
one to make his coffee, or butter his muffin, or bring his slippers, but a
poor old woman like me."
I should hardly like to go, if I thought that you or papa would
feel lonely, auntie," said Florence.
Oh nonsense, my dear; I was only joking," said the good-natured
old lady. Both John and I are pleased-quite pleased, that you
should have a little change and amusement, and visit the cousins whom
you love so much, and wlW are so much delighted to have you."
Aunt Martha seated herself by the window, to watch for the coming


of the fly which had been engaged to take her niece to Playsdown, and
Florence took her favourite place on a stool at her feet. The girl was
very fond of her aunt; and the one green spot in the heart of old Miss
Martha Bloxum was her love for her niece. It must be owned that the
old lady's love was none of the wisest; it would have been an evil
thing for Florence had she been left entirely to the care of one so over-
indulgent. But during the first ten years of her life Florence had had
the blessing of a wise as well as tender mother; and though that
mother had long since left Earth, her words, her counsels still helped
to guide the only child whom she had left behind her.
"I suppose that you have not forgotten your trinkets, my dear; for
your cousins may see a good deal of company," said Aunt Martha,
gently stroking her niece's fair hair.
I have not many trinkets to trouble my memory," replied Florence
gaily; then she added more gravely, raising her hand to a black chain-
cable of Irish bog-wood, which she wore round her neck, "what I most
value is this, which I never take off but at night."
Miss Bloxum knew well that the chain-cable had been given to
Florence by her mother, and that though it was neither pretty nor new,
and had never been costly, memory of her departed parent made it
precious to Florence. But Miss Bloxum did not share the feelings of
her niece in regard to the simple ornament; it was no favourite with
the old lady. Though Aunt Martha dressed quietly enough herself, she
had a foolish fancy for decking out her brother's only child.
I think that you might put off that old black cable of yours, and
wear your pretty bright coral instead," she observed. Black wood
looks heavy on that white little neck: and your cable is not even a



perfect one; it is easy enough to see that it has been broken and
Ah, that was before it was given to me," replied Florence. "Dear
mamma used to wear it herself, with a golden locket hanging from it;
once the cable broke, and the locket was lost."
I think that the cable was scarcely worth mending," began the
aunt, when she was interrupted by the entrance of the servant, who
brought in a letter for Florence, which had come by the morning post.
A letter from papa! exclaimed Florence joyfully, as she took it
from the servant. How well I know his hand !"
"Let's hear his news," said the aunt; "I'm glad that the letter
came before you started. I want to know whether I may expect John
home before the end of the week."
Florence broke open the envelope, and read the letter aloud. It
was an amusing one, describing her father's journey to York, his fellow-
travellers in the train, and then what he had seen in the grand old city.
Nothing about his coming home! observed Miss Bloxum, after
Florence had read down to the signature, "Your affectionate father,
J. BLoxuM."
Ah, there's one line more, just at the bottom of the page! cried
Florence; but her face, as she glanced at this line, showed so marked
a change of expression that her aunt could not help saying, Is any-
thing the matter, my dear ? "
Florence was too much vexed at the moment to speak. She held
up the letter so that her aunt could see it, pointing to the line, which
seemed to have been hastily added-" Do not go to Playsdown."
What nonsense!" exclaimed Aunt Martha, who, because she was


ten years older than her brother John, and could remember him as a
baby, did not always treat him with respect, even in the presence of his
daughter. "When the fly is ordered, the box packed, everything
ready, and your cousins expecting you, John thinks to upset everything
by a scribbled line at the end of a letter! "
"What am I to do!" exclaimed Florence, her eyes filling with
tears; for she was little accustomed to disappointment, and not to go
to Playsdown would be a great disappointment indeed.
Do! why, get into the carriage, and be off to your cousins. Here
is the fly coming up the drive, and I hear Ann dragging your box into
the hall; so quick, put on your bonnet," said Aunt Martha, who could
never bear to see a tear in the eye of her niece.
But what would papa say?" murmured Florence; who was, how-
ever, exceedingly inclined to follow the advice of her aunt.
Oh he never says much; he takes everything pretty easy; he did
so from a baby! said the elder lady. "John was the most jolly, good-
tempered little fellow that ever I danced in my arms. Your father, I'll
answer for it, won't be much vexed at your going; and if he is, I'll
take all the blame on myself. I'll tell John that I bade you go, and
that will be the end of the matter."
Florence hesitated for a few seconds: the fly was at the door, the
coachman was actually lifting up her box; she knew that her remaining
at home would grievously disappoint her cousins as well as herself.
Besides all this, it would not be pleasant to act contrary to the advice
of her kind old aunt; and Florence knew as well as Miss Bloxum
herself that her father was not one to be angry even if he were not
promptly obeyed. Florence, in her indecision, put up her hand, as she


often did when reflecting, to the chain-cable which she wore round her
neck. It seemed as if the touch of it recalled something to her mind,
for she instantly said, in a voice expressing decision, though certainly
not cheerfulness, No, auntie, I cannot go when papa forbids; please
have my box taken back into the house, and send the fly away."
"Why, your father cannot in reason expect that, when every
arrangement is made, all is to be altered by one hasty line," cried Miss
Bloxum with some impatience. Why could not John at least give a
reason, instead of writing all that about the French count in the train,
and the lady with her poodle, and the new buildings in York ? But
it's just like John added the elder sister, still thinking of what Mr.
Bloxum had been as a boy. "Put on your bonnet and scarf; you
may disobey your father for once."
Oh no!" exclaimed Florence, again passing her hand over the
links of her chain. "Auntie, I can never forget the talk which I had
with dear mamma when she gave me this bog-wood cable. She told
me never, never to disobey one of the Commandments, saying to
myself, 'It is only for once.' You see,' she said,' this cable: every
link in it was firm and strong, save one; that one I broke, and my
locket was lost. By one commandment broken a world was lost. O
Florence! beware of the words-Only this once.'"
Florence's fingers were no longer on her ornament; both her hands
rested on the knee of her aunt, and as the girl glanced up at her
mother's likeness which hung on the wall, she seemed to hear again
the sweet voice which had said, Beware of the words-Only this once."
Aunt Martha looked thoughtful and grave. She felt, perhaps, that
she had been acting the part of a tempter to the niece whom she fondly


loved; the little bog-wood chain-cable had been a better counsellor
than herself.
"Well, my dear, perhaps you are right," said the kind old lady,
bending forward to kiss the brow of Florence. "I'll pay the coachman,
and send away the fly; and you must write a line to your cousins to
say what stopped you." Miss Bloxum added, but happily not aloud,
"It is very stupid and tiresome in John to disappoint his poor child
for some idle whim of his own."
Miss Bloxum changed her mind about this on the following
morning, when the postman brought two letters for Florence. The first
was from her father, and thus began:-
Just as I was sending off my last letter to my darling, I chanced
to hear from the landlord of the hotel in which I am staying, that the
small-pox is raging in the neighbourhood of Playsdown, where a sister
of his is residing. I had barely time to open my envelope and add
one hurried line at the end of my letter, for I was almost too late
for the post."
"So papa had a reason-a good reason-though he had not a
minute to spare to write it down," observed Florence.
I think that second letter is from Playsdown," said her aunt.
"From Annie; perhaps it is a scold to me for breaking my
appointment," cried Florence as she opened the note. She then read
aloud to her aunt as follows:-
We are so thankful, dear Florence, that you have not made your
appearance, and that something has evidently occurred to make you
delay your visit. There has been a good deal of small-pox in the
village; but as our house stands quite by itself, we hoped that we all


should escape infection, and that, therefore, it was not needful to write
anything about it."
Very wrong-very wrong ejaculated Miss Bloxum. Florence
continued reading the note:-
But to-day a rash has broken out upon Ellen, and the doctor says
that there is not a doubt that she has taken the small-pox."
So, if you had gone to your cousins' yesterday, you would have
been turned back from the door, and-had your journey for nothing! "
interrupted Aunt Martha.
Or I should have run into the house, and perhaps have caught
the infection," said Florence. I can't help being a little afraid of
small-pox; oh, I do hope that poor Ellen will recover from the
disease! "
Ellen did indeed recover; but the small-pox spread in the house at
Playsdown, all Florence's cousins had it, and one of their servants
sickened and died. Miss Bloxum was very much struck when she
heard of the poor maid's death. The old lady, with tearful eyes,
looked at her delicate Florence, and thought what might have
happened had she taken the advice of her too indulgent aunt-had
she pleased herself instead of obeying her father. Aunt Martha felt
great thankfulness, mingled with much self-reproach.
"I shall never again wish you to change that bog-wood cable for
your pretty red coral," said Miss Bloxum one day to her niece. I
never look now at that mended link, without thinking what a blessing
it is that it reminded you of the words of your mother: 'By one link
broken my locket was lost; by one commandment broken a world was
lost. Beware of the words-Only this once.'"



"H"AT would you advise me to do, grandpa? Charles Blake
does everything he can to vex me. He hides my books
So to make me miss my lessons, trips me when we run races,
i and brags how big he is beside me, and how easily he can take
me down; and to-day he broke the new whip you gave me, and when
I ran to tell the teacher he called out 'tell-tale.' I wish I could leave
the school, or get him turned out."
Imagine the little boy's surprise, when the white-haired old man,
whose quiet temper had always been held up as a model for imitation,
turned about and said: "I don't know, Sammy, unless you contrive
some way to break every bone in his body; that is the way my father
once conquered an enemy."
"Why, grandpa, I thought your father was a minister !"
"So he was; and at the time I refer to he was a Christian boy, just
beginning to turn his attention to the subject of studying for the
Seeing Sammy's wondering, dissatisfied look, grandpa said: "Come,
and I will tell you all about it.
"When my father, whose name was Robert, was a boy, he and his
brother Richard used to have some differences. They loved each other,


but still their high temper sometimes led them astray. After a while
my father became a Christian, and by his example reproved many of
the wicked and thoughtless practices of his companions. He refused to
accompany them when going to rob an orchard, break the Sabbath, or
disobey their parents, and persisted in reproving their conduct on all
proper occasions, so that even his brother was for a time turned against
"'By-and-by,' I have heard my uncle say, 'we couldn't stand
Robert's ways any longer, particularly as he had told father of some of
our wrongdoings, and got us punished. So one day I caught him
alone in the orchard, got a horse-whip, and gave him a good thrashing;
and knowing that he would tell my father, and get me whipped in
return, I gave him several extra cuts on that account. I came in
rather slowly when the bell rang for supper, for I dreaded father's
angry looks; and besides, I began to be ashamed of my disgraceful
conduct. As Robert had not tried to resist me, but had walked away
without speaking, I felt sure that he would make up for it by telling on
me as soon as he reached the house. To my surprise, no one seemed to
know about it, and Robert greeted me as kindly as if nothing had
happened, though I knew his back was so sore that he could hardly sit
up. Just before bed-time, I said, in a kind of sneaking way, Did you
not tell father, Bob ?'
"'No, Richard; no one but my Father in heaven, and he has
helped me to forgive you.'
"' That remark, and the kind look of his face, broke every bone in
my body. I begged his forgiveness alone and before the whole family,
and from that day was a changed boy. I never again did anything to


grieve him, and before long began, I trust, to walk the straight and
narrow path with him. Poor dear Robert! after many sufferings and
toils, he has gone to glory.'"
Sammy's grandfather added: I have heard uncle Richard say, in a
trembling voice, That time he broke every bone in my body.'"
By this time Sammy was in a different mood from that in which he
had first spoken to his grandpapa.
As the old man left the room, he said: "Sammy, don't you think
you had better try Robert's way of subduing an enemy? Take my
advice, try it; 'heap coals of fire upon his head,' and he will be apt
to surrender."

LU Y'i .

"2 !t) .


i.; -: ',.

IF I were to be a bird, I would never choose to be a sea-
mew," said Ailsie Burns, as she gazed forth on the rough
-/ u waves and the stormy sky above them. "I would be a
-' happy little lark, singing as I soared, and then dropping
down into some pleasant field. Or I would be a beautiful swan, gliding
softly over still waters, with my nest amidst the tall rushes. Mamma,
has the sea-mew any home, or does she fly up and down for ever as I
see her now, with her white silvery wing flashing against the dark sky ?"
Mrs. Burns answered without raising her eyes from her needle, for
she was working hard to prepare a set of shirts for her eldest boy, who
was going to school, while her youngest lay asleep on her knee. Mrs.
Burns was the wife of a sea-captain, and the mother of seven children;
she knew well the struggle through life of those who have little to
earn and many to keep."
"The sea-bird builds upon the bare rock, and rears her young
within sound of the dashing billows. God has fitted her for the
restless, roaming life which she leads." And Mrs. Burns, as she busily
plied her needle, thought of her husband, far away.
"But where does the sea-bird get food, mamma ? There is no corn
on the bare rock, no pleasant fruit on the tossing sea."


"The sea is for the gull, my child, what the fruitful field is for the
land-bird. She is a bold and skilful fisher, and neither needs nor
would care for waving wheat or sweet ripe berry. He who feeds the
ravens provides for the sea-mew also."
"But does the wild bird never get cold and wet in the stormy
wintry nights, when we shiver over the fire, but she is skimming over
the waves, or resting upon them, mamma ?"
"There is an oil on the plumage of the sea-mew, Ailsie, which
prevents her feathers from ever being damp. Dry in the midst of
water, safe in the midst of danger, 'at home in the tempest, at rest on
the waves,' the sea-mew, with her silvery wings, ever reminds me of
some brave spirit trusting in God, that is never damped by the trials of
life; because, whatever storms are around it, it has Heaven's own peace
The babe on the lap of the sea-captain's wife now began to stir, so
she hushed it again to sleep by singing her song of hope and trust:-


The angry thunder-cloud On ocean the sea-mew
Pours its showers on the vine, Fearless braves the stormy weather,
Still in their downy shroud Safe in the oily dew
Unhurt its clusters shine. On each white and stainless feather.
The rain-drops trickle down the spray, Though o'er her dash the drops of spray,
They cannot harm, they cannot stay. They cannot harm, they cannot stay.

In hours of grief acute,
Thus peace Religion brings,
Like the down upon the fruit,
Or the oil upon the wings.
Though tears fall fast in sorrow's day,
They cannot harm, they cannot stay.





;- --. 4 t.'!!
: :i
W -,-:

:' 4riBDI



bt Ts "I


ss-=- .... ---I----

i :


T is winter, as you may see from the Picture. The snow
'; i lies on the ground, and on the branches of the trees.
., The little birds that used to sing so sweetly in the
\' summer are gone to some warm place till the spring
comes again; and the butterflies and merry little insects that sported
in the sun are dead. There are no nuts nor acorns on the trees, and
yet here are two little squirrels, looking as brisk and as lively as
ever. Shall I tell you the reason why ?
All the bright summer days they frisked about among the branches,
and had as much frolic and play as they liked. If you had gone into
the wood, I dare say you would have seen them leaping from tree to
tree, or sitting still, their bushy tails erect and their eyes sparkling with
fun. But though the squirrels had so much play, they found time for
a little work too. All around were growing nice things for them to eat.
There were plenty of nuts and acorns, to say nothing of the buds and
tender young shoots they were so fond of.
But the little squirrel seemed to know that the summer would not
last long, and that when winter came there would be no nuts and
acorns for him to eat. So before there was any danger of his being
hungry, he began to carry the nuts and acorns to his storehouse.- His


storehouse was in the hollow of a tree, and here he kept his hoard.
He never eats any of them while the autumn lasts. He knows
better than that. He can get his dinner every day in the wood.
But by-and-by it will not be so; for all the nuts and acorns will be
gone, and the trees be left bare and leafless. Something teaches the
little squirrel that this will happen, and that then he must go to his
But besides his storehouse, he has a nice warm nest close by. The
nest is in the fork of a branch, and is made of moss and twigs and dry
leaves, all woven together in a very clever way. The nest is so firm
and strong, that neither wind nor rain can injure it. It has a hole at
the top just large enough for the squirrel to get in. And over the
hole, or door, (if you like to call it a door,) the squirrel has a roof or
canopy to keep out the rain. The door of the nest is very small, but
the nest itself is of a good size ; and the lining is so soft and warm that
the squirrels inside are as snug as can be. Here the mother squirrel
rears her little ones, and here they are quite screened from the heat of
the sun, as well as from the showers of rain that come down even in
And in winter, when the snow comes, and the cold winds whistle
among the boughs, the squirrel lies warm in his nest. He takes a
great many naps; but when he wakes up and is hungry, he goes to his
storehouse and eats a few nuts from his hoard.
The squirrel is the most playful little creature in the wood. He
never goes out into the fields, nor near the places where people
live. He is very shy and timid, and if he gets a fright he will give
great bounds from one tree to another. He will go on bounding till




he has got a long way from home. And then he will begin to come
back, making his way through the thickest boughs and bushes, so that
nobody may see him.
There are some places in the world where the squirrels travel about
in a very curious manner. In Lapland they sometimes take long
journeys from one forest to another. As many as a thousand squirrels
will form themselves into a kind of army, and set off. They go
straight forward, and nothing can stop them. The steepest rocks and
the darkest forests are no hindrance to the squirrels. But often they
come to a broad river or stream. Then they draw up and halt on the
bank, as if they were making up their minds what to do. They cannot
swim, and it is not easy to guess how they will get over. But the
squirrels will not turn back. They set off into the nearest forest, and
begin to hunt about for the pieces of bark that have been stripped off
the trees, and that lie on the ground. Each squirrel picks up a piece
of bark, and carries it to the river's brink. Then he pushes it into the
water, and sits down on it. The piece of bark is like a float, on which
he can cross the river; and he moves his tail about as if it were a
sail, to steady himself. Very soon the whole army of squirrels have
set off, and are sailing along to the opposite bank !
You will be sorry to hear that very often not many squirrels get
there alive. The water may be calm at the edge of the shore, and
rough in the middle; and the least breath of wind upsets the poor
little sailor and his boat. Hundreds of squirrels are drowned, and their
dead bodies are drifted on to the bank.
The people who live near the river are not sorry when this happens.
They go down to the shore, and pick up the little drowned squirrels.


They think the flesh is nice to eat; and the skins are sold to make into
fur tippets.
It is God who has given to the squirrel the instinct to make his
nice warm nest, and to collect his hoard for the winter. No one has
taught him, or made him understand that the frost and snow are
coming. The more you learn about the habits of the living creatures
around you, the more you will admire the power and the goodness of
God, and say, with all your heart, "He doeth all things well!"

-_ -- -'.
-_ 4:- ;. __-; -_ _

- I L- .. --..


----- ........

S'N a pleasant Highland cave,
"- Shadowed o'er by ancient trees,
Safe from winter's wild alarms,
"Summer heat, and autumn breeze

Where the purple foxglove hangs
All about its coloured bells,
And the graceful fern-leaves spread,
And the soft turf greenly swells;

While the wimpling burn below,
Trailing o'er a pebbly bed,
Tells its sad and murmurous tale,
Which has ne'er been sung or said,-

In this mossy Highland cave
Ellen's fawn finds safe retreat;
And there she daily wends her way,
Her gentle favourite to greet.


Dainty meal she always brings,
And marks it feed with huge delight;
Oh ne'er," she says, "was skin so sleek,
And ne'er were eyes so softly bright!"

And round its neck she gaily winds
A ribbon of the deepest blue;
For blue," says she, "means truth," and ah,
Her pet can ne'er be aught but true!

And in that mossy Highland cave
She often spends the summer noon;
While in the glen the restless brook
Still chants its low, unending tune.

Her kitten freely sports about,
Now plays with this, and now with that-
A glove, a flower, a bit of string,
Or, best of all, with Ellen's hat!

And happy is our little girl,
Yes, happy she, whatever befall;
Because her tender, trustful heart,
Loveth God's creatures, great and small!

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