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MY LITTLE FRIENDS
MRS. SALE BARKER
WITH TWENTY-FOUR FULL-PAGE PLATES, PRINTED IN
COLOURS BY KRONHEIM & CO.
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS
BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILL
NEW YORK: 9, LAFAYETTE PLACE
META .I TROTTY 49
JESSIE AND WILLY 5 MILLY 53
GERALD, MAURICE, AND OTTO 9 FLORENCE 57
TOMMY 13 ALGERNON .
RONALD 17 MATTY 65
GERTY AND HER CAT 21 EDITH 69
ARTIE AND ETHEL 25 ANNIE 73
LAURA 29 PEARL AND IVY 77
PH(EBE 33 ARTHUR ..
FRANK 37 ADA. 85
PEGGIE 41 RUTH AND EDWIN 89
"MYLES AND CRISSY .45 BERTRAM. .93
SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
EW Year's Day A fine bright winter's day,
with snow on the ground, and all the ponds
frozen so hard that you might drive waggons
over them without making a crack. The
sun shone as bright almost as on a summer's
day, and the earth looked as lovely in her
frosty garb as in her soft green summer dress. On every
branch and twig shone gems of nature's setting; while
icicles hung low from tree and housetop, sparkling in the
sunlight like the finest diamonds that rich lady ever wore
There was a merry party of young people assembled at
Eltham Grange that New Year's Day. Besides the children
of the house-and the, family was tolerably large-some
cousins, both boys and girls, were staying there. How
brisk and busy they all were that morning! And oh, how
noisy! Only papas and mammas can quite imagine what
the noise was. No sooner was breakfast over than they all
trooped off out of doors-some merely to run about in the
fresh frosty air, some to play at snow-balling, some to slide,
and two or three of the bigger ones to skate.
2 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
One child of the family only took no part in the up-
roarious merriment; and that was my little friend Meta.
Meta was only seven years old; she was by no means
strong or robust, but she was my pet among them all; and
whenever I stayed at Eltham Grange, she and I used to
spend many happy hours together. While I was dressing
that morning, I kept expecting to hear a little tap at my
door, and a little voice asking for admittance; for Meta
generally came to me in my room to have a chat before
breakfast. On New Year's morning, I thought she would
be sure to come to wish me a happy new year. I had a
reason too for wishing to see her, which made me impatient.
That reason had something to do with a certain beautiful
doll, dressed with an elegance any French lady might have
envied, which was stowed away in a large cardboard box in
a corner of my room. The truth is, that doll was intended
by me to pass from my possession into that of my little
friend on that very New Year's morning.
As Meta did not come to me, it was clear that I must go
to Meta. Accordingly, as soon as I was dressed, I walked
into the nursery, where I found Meta in bed with a bad
cold. While the other children were running about, and
enjoying themselves out in the frosty air, mamma had
desired that she should remain in bed, and keep warm till
the afternoon; when, if her cold was better, she might
dress and go into the drawing-room, to join in all the fun
the other children were to have in the evening. Meta was
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.a happy little girl, I can tell you, when I drew out of the
pasteboard box the beautifully-dressed doll, and gave it to
her as a New Year's gift. After her first delight was over,
she began to think what name she should give to her new
,doll, and fixed at last upon Arethusa, as a fine name, which
she considered just suited to such an elegantly-dressed little
In the afternoon Meta went down into the drawing-room,
where I settled her comfortably before the fire in her
rocking-chair, with her feet on the warm sheepskin rug,
and a screen drawn behind her to keep off draughts.
Presently I saw through the windows that the other
children, as well as the grown-up members of the family,
were all coming in across the garden, and I went into the
great hall to meet them. As I left the drawing-room, I took
a parting glance at Meta, and saw her sitting with her doll
upon her knees, trying to make it stand upright by itself,
just as you see her in the picture.
As the children trooped into the hall, they all directly
clustered round the great wood fire that was there, to warm
their fingers; and I stopped to listen to their stories of all
the fun and games they had had. Suddenly, we heard a
scream from the drawing-room; and all rushed off to see
what it was. There we found Meta crying bitterly, and
rolling something up in the sheepskin rug.
A terrible accident had happened. The lovely Arethusa,
when trying to stand alone upon her mistress's knee, had
4 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
toppled over into the fender; and her fashionable dress not
being fireproof, alas had been set on fire by a cinder, which
unluckily popped out of the grate. At the risk of being
burnt herself, our little Meta-like a little mother trying to
save her child-had seized the blazing doll, and rolling it
up in the rug, had extinguished the flames. Unfortunately
her heroism was thrown away. When the rug was un-
rolled, the lovely Arethusa no longer existed. All that re-
mained of her was a shapeless mass of half-melted wax,
singed hair, and burnt muslin, all sticking upon the hand-
some white hearthrug.
My darling child," exclaimed Meta's mamma, what a
mercy that you are not dreadfully burnt! "
I heard papa say," sobbed Meta, "that to roll up burn-
ing people in the rug was the best thing to do. He said it
would put them out and save their lives; but it hasn't
saved Arethusa !"
Yes, dear!" rejoined mamma, "and people will run
a risk of being burnt themselves sometimes for the sake
of saving others; but no one would risk being burnt to
death to save a doll, except a foolish little girl like my Meta."
How thankful we ought to be that she has had such an
escape! I chimed in.
My readers will be glad to hear that two days afterwards
another pasteboard box arrived at Eltham Grange, and
from it was produced another Arethusa more lovely than
JESSIE AND WILLY.
MADE the acquaintance of these two
little friends of mine-as I made that of
some others I have told you about-dur-
ing one of my visits at my brother-in-law's
Rectory down in the country. Jessie and
"Willy, however, were born in London; it was only after
their father's death that they came to live at the cottage of
,their grandmother, who was the widow of a small farmer
in, my brother-in-law's parish.
Their father had been a working tailor in London; and
"when he died, the mother, being badly off, and not having
:good health, returned to her native village. There she and
her children lived with her mother, who had a pretty cottage
.and some small means of her own.
Now I must tell you how my acquaintance with these two
little friends began. It so happened that a niece of my
.brother-in-law had come over from Ireland to stay at the
Rectory about the time that I was paying my visit there,
and this young lady was an artist. She was very anxious
to find some pretty models among the children in the village
School: and I remember, soon after my arrival at the
"Rectory, that she and I made an expedition to see what
picturesque looking little folk we could find at the school-
house. After a careful survey all round among the merry,
6 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
sunburnt, country faces, we both, I think, fixed upon
Willy's as being the handsomest in colouring and expres-
sion. The little boy had such large, handsome, dark eyes,
such an unusually clear, olive complexion, with a warm,
bright colour in the cheeks; and, above all, in spite of his
merry smile, there was such a pathetic look in his little face,
which was not to be noticed in the other children.
We soon proposed to Willy's mother that he should come
and sit as a model: consent was given by all parties, except
by the little boy himself. I am afraid he was a little bit
No," said Master Willy, who was about five at this time,
" I'd rather not, please." You see he was a polite little boy,
although he wished to get out of doing something he did not
Oh but please do," said the young artist; "you shall
have some goodies, if you come."
Willy's eyes brightened; but still he stood with his finger
in his mouth and a stubborn look upon his little face. All
he would say was "Please not."
Then his mother said, Well, Miss, I shouldn't be sur-
prised if he felt a little shy at the idea of going to the
And then the grandmother chimed in with, "And it is a
trying business, too, to have your picture taken. Why, I
know the time as they made me be took in a photograph, I
was that nervous I didn't scarcely know what to do. I
:.*' il I
JESSIE AND WILL Y. 7
couldn't get it out of my head as the artist was going to
shoot me with his apparatus."
We all laughed at this, Willy into the bargain; and then
Jessie said, Perhaps Willy wouldn't mind sitting if I came
too. That is, if you don't object, ma'am," she added,
dropping a little curtsey. Then Willy smiled and consented
to come. And the consequence was a very nice picture.
One day I went with my sister-in-law to see the mother
of these children, who was very ill. We took with us some
little nourishing dainties for her; and I had a picture-book
for Jessie, a little trumpet for Willy, and a newspaper for the
old grandmother, who dearly loved to know what was going
on in the world. Willy had his trumpet given him expressly
on condition that he should only blow it out of doors.
The old woman came down from her daughter's bedroom
as we entered the cottage. She had been sitting up a great
part of the night, she said, with her daughter, whose cough
was very bad. We left her downstairs with the children,
and went up to see the poor invalid. She seemed very
weak, and we had scarcely been there five minutes when she
had a violent fit of coughing, and broke a blood-vessel..
Seeing the blood come from between her lips while she
coughed, we suspected what had happened, and my sister-
in-law proposed to stay with the poor sick woman while I
went off in the pony-chaise, which we had left at the door of
the cottage, to bring back the doctor.
The scene that met my eyes, as I passed through the
:8 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
sitting-room, was so peaceful and happy that I could not
make up my mind at the moment to tell any bad news.
The old grandmother was sitting in her easy chair, as you
see in the picture, with her knitting in her lap, and her news-
paper on the ground before her, fast asleep. Jessie was
standing by her side, and Willy, who apparently had been
blowing his trumpet out in the garden till he got tired of
having nobody to listen to him, was just coming in at the
open door, still blowing away. Jessie held up her finger
to him, and whispered, Hush! granny's asleep!" The
sunshine came in at the open door and window, and the
flowers were bright in the garden beyond; the whole
making a picture of cheerfulness and peace which I did not
like to disturb.
I soon brought the doctor back with me, when he con-
firmed what we suspected: the poor woman had broken a
blood-vessel. To shorten my story-in another week Jessie
*and Willy were orphans.
And now I will tell you why I rank these two children
among my little friends. Three or four years have gone by
since their mother died, and I have often seen them during
that time. They have lived on with their grandmother;
and two more affectionate, attentive, and obedient little
children I have never known. They are so considerate that
they seldom worry the poor old woman with their noise,
while they cheer and brighten her life by their happy faces
and their merry, pretty ways.
GERALD, MAURICE, AND OTTO.
ERE, you see, we have three of my little
friends together. They are brothers; and
what pretty little fellows they look in their
sailor dresses! Their papa had this photo-
graph taken last summer when they were at
Folkestone. They are dressed, you see, just
like real common sailors on board ship, without shoes or
stockings on, and they are all hauling at a rope. That
last one, most under the cliff, is Otto. Dear fat little man I
I am afraid the rope must feel very hard to his chubby
hands; for he is only four years old, though he is such a
young giant. Indeed, I believe he is as tall as, and certainly
stouter than, his next brother Maurice, who is pulling there
also, and with a will too.
I hardly know whether I like my little Maurice best as a
rough young sailor, or when he wears his black velvet
evening suit. Last winter I saw him at a child's party,
taking a sweet little girl, all in blue, down to supper. He
was only five then, and his little companion about four;
but you should have seen with what attention and polite-
ness this well-behaved little gentleman took care of this
youngest lady in the company during supper.
You must know that Maurice, besides being a sailor at
the seaside, is really a captain, for he has a beautiful boat
io SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
of his own, which he sails on the Round Pond in Kensington
Gardens-that is, when he is back in his London home, you
know. She is a splendid cutter, painted sky blue, and
presents quite an imposing appearance, covered with the
most gay and gorgeous flags, with all her sails set, flying
through the water on a summer's evening.
Gerald, Maurice, and Otto have two sisters, besides a little
brother called Charlie; and there is a baby too, I remember.
Violet and Lily are the names of the little girls of the family;
very pretty names you will say, and very pretty little girls,
I can tell you. The cutter is, I think, called "The Violet,"
after the eldest girl : it ought to be, certainly, if it is not.
Now I will tell you something which you will perhaps
think rather curious: it is that I have a little boy who is
named Maurice, and a little girl named Lily, who are friends
of those little friends of mine that I have been telling you
about, and my boy Maurice has a fine boat too, a schooner.
This boat is called "The Lily," and she and "The Violet"
have many a race against each other on the Round Pond.
I fear The Violet" is the faster boat, for she generally
wins; but I think my Maurice's schooner is the handsomest
and most graceful of the two boats. My little Lily, too, has
a boat, for she found it dull only looking on at her name-
sake: so I bought her a small one, a little cutter, that looked
as if it would sail very fast.
"What shall we call it ? asked my Lily. "Do think of a
name, mother, darling."
GERALD, IMAURICE, AND OTTO. I1
We thought of various names: some were too grand, for
Maurice thought of "The Black Prince," or The Victory."
Some were too common, for one of my little friends suggested
"The Polly" or The Mary Ann." At last we decided upon
" The Flying Dutchman." So, accordingly, Lily sent off her
little craft on the wide waters of the Round Pond with this
Alas! the name proved unlucky: for our "Flying Dutch-
man"-like the original ship, which I dare say you have
heard of-never reached the shore again, but went beating
about, backwards and forwards, the whole afternoon, and
we had to leave it at last to the mercy of the swans and
ducks and weeds of the Round Pond: we never saw it
Now, last but not least, comes my friend Master Gerald,
who is a handsome, bright-faced, clever boy, with such a
head of curly hair as you seldom see. And I must tell
you that this same head of hair was the cause of a serious
illness to its owner the summer before this photograph was
taken. Gerald had been occasionally to the hair-dresser to
have his head shampooed, which he found very pleasant in
the warm weather; so, one afternoon, being at a loss for
amusement, and the day being excessively hot, he went
off into the bath-room, without telling anybody, and set
to work to shampoo his own head. He made a tremen-
dous lather among his curls, and rubbed away famously,
till his head looked like a gigantic cauliflower. Then, as
12 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
he turned on the cold water after the hot, he said to him-
self, "This is delicious!" Down, down poured the water
on his little curly head; and not on his head only, but
down his neck and chest and back, making all his clothes
wet. Feeling quite cool and much refreshed, he returned
to the schoolroom without either drying his head or
changing his clothes; and the better to keep up the refresh-
ing coolness, he carefully seated himself between an open
door and window.
At last, the governess observed that Gerald's head was
wet, and then it was found out how he had been amusing
himself. He was sent upstairs to change his clothes, but
it was too late; my poor little friend had caught a chill,
which brought on inflammation of the lungs, and he became
very, very ill.
That he was patient and good throughout his illness,
and so did what he could to help the undoing of his own
work, I know. And his great trouble through it all was
the anxiety it caused his mother and father. They had just
arranged a pleasant autumnal trip abroad, and were obliged
to give it up and stay at home, that his mamma might
nurse her thoughtless little son. He got quite well though
at last, I am happy to say.
You see now, you little people, what a deal of anxiety you
sometimes cause us big people. The best and nicest of you
boys-and there could not be really a better or nicer boy
than Gerald-are at times a sad torment to us.
HE whole of the family were going to the
country. London had grown too hot for any-
body, and the children suffered from it more
than the rest of the world. The trees in the
Park looked smoke-dried, the leaves no
longer green, but withered and dark; the
grass, too, was burnt up; and round about the pond in
Kensington Gardens, under the large trees, were to be seen
patches of brown earth showing up where the grass had
been worn down by many feet, or had faded and dried, and
so left the ground beneath exposed.
Tommy's papa had been down to see a delightful house,
nestled amongst the Surrey hills, which was to be let: he had
taken it, and they were all going down there for four months,
to enjoy the fresh, sweet, country air, and forget, if they
could, the heat and dust of London.
Of course Tommy was going too, three-year-old Tommy,
the youngest and the pet of the whole family. And he
looked forward to the moment as eagerly as any one: had
made little plans of his own, too.jr/ Was he not to be out of
doors the whole, delightful, livelong day? Was he not to
gather armfuls of wild flowers ? Was he not to stroll in the
hay, see the cows milked, have a swing in the garden, tea
out of doors, and, in fact, lead the happy life of a little
14 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
London child spending the summer in the country? The
children, one and all, counted the days before their depar-
ture, and rejoiced as each one passed.
Yes, Tommy, only two days more with me," said grand-
mamma, who was going to remain in London a little longer,
but who was not so eager to go to the country as the rest,
for she had a pretty cottage at the seaside, where she spent
most of the year. "Are you very glad ?"
"Not gad to leave oo, grandma," whispered Tommy,
"for I love oo; but oh so gad to see the pooty fields, and
the buttercups, and ev'ry sing. And to dink the nice milk!
How I wis I had some now, for I'm are firsty" You see
Tommy had plenty to say but did not say it in the best
"Are you thirsty, darling?" asked grandmamma, as she
took him on her lap; "you shall have some milk at once."
So Tommy had the milk, and then he laid back in grand-
mamma's arms, and said, I'se got the ed ache, and I'se so
Just then mamma came in, and she looked anxiously at
her little boy. Do you think Tommy's ill, mother?" she
I don't think he is very well, dear," answered grand-
mamma, but perhaps it is only from the heat, and he will be
better to-morrow." However, when to-morrow came, instead
of Tommy being better, he was much worse. The little
eyes were heavy, and the little round face flushed, and
Tommy complained of sore throat. The doctor was sent
for, and he said he could not be certain, but it was just pos-
sible that poor little Tommy was sickening for scarlatina.
Fortunately the other children did not sleep in the same
room with Tommy; he, being a good deal the youngest,
slept in the old night nursery with his "Nana," as he
called her. All the other children were perfectly well; so,
as the doctor said that poor little Tommy could not at the
present stage of his illness-supposing it to be scarlatina-
give it to the others, they were at once sent out of the house
off to the country.
Then it was arranged that Tommy's mamma and papa
should go too, and that the little sick boy should be left in
grandmamma's care. Tommy's mother was very delicate, and
she had never had scarlatina, but grandmamma was strong
.and had had scarlatina years and years ago. So Tommy's
poor mamma had to leave her little boy. She was very sad
at doing so, but she knew that her own dear mamma
would take as much care of Tommy as she could. Then,
too, Tommy's "Nana," was left also. In a few hours after
Tommy's illness was first discovered the house in London
was quite quiet and deserted. Only grandmamma, Nana,
-and one other servant being left there.
Little Tommy was very ill for some days; the fever ran
high, and the poor child talked incoherently at night, not
knowing even his grandmamma at times. There was no
doubt now in the doctor's mind that his little patient was
16 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
suffering from scarlatina. It was a sharp attack, too,
although not really a very bad one, considering the terrible-
nature of the illness. However, in a few days little Tommy
began to mend, the fever gradually left him, and grand-
mamma was able to write to his mamma and tell her that
her child was recovering. You may suppose that Tommy's
mother was rejoiced, and thankful to God for having pre-
served her little boy.
Still, although my little friend was convalescent now, he
was very much pulled down by his illness; and it was a
poor, thin, pale-faced, and weak-limbed Tommy that first ran
about the nursery again. Then, too, Tommy's long curls,
that used to hang down his back in thick ringlets, were cut
short, and that made a change in him. However, once
Tommy was out of bed, he got on very quickly, and then,
as he could not'go to the country house in the midst of the
Surrey hills, for fear of infection to the other children, he
went with his grandmamma to her cottage at the seaside,
and soon grew as strong and fat as ever.
I was' calling there one day when Tommy had got quite
well again, and just before he returned home, when he came
into the drawing-room laden with toys, as you see him in
the picture: so you may be certain that he was being not
a little spoiled by his grandmamma.
'However, when Tommy's mamma took her darling little
boy in her arms again, I do not fancy she thought he could
be spoiled enough.
FEW years ago I spent a Christmas with
some relations of mine at Dumpton Rectory.
It was a pleasant house to spend the Christ-
mas in; or, indeed, to visit at any time in
the year, I can tell you ; and I need hardly
add- for how could Christmas be merry with-
out them ?-that there was a family of children at the Rec-
tory. There were four children-two girls and two boys:
Janey, Louis, Ronald-he is the little friend I am going to
tell you about to-day-and dear little Jessie, that you see in
the picture, with her dress thrown over her head.
Such fun and merry-making such a mistletoe bough in
the hall, such profusion of holly everywhere at Dumpton
Rectory that Christmas! Then the supplies of roast
turkeys, geese, beef, plum-puddings and mince-pies that
issued from the Rectory kitchen seemed unlimited; and
let me tell you, the poor people round about had their full
share in all those good things. In short, Christmas was
kept in the true spirit; kept as, it is said, our forefathers
kept it, when the yule-log blazed upon the hearth, and-
"The poor did not want, but had for relief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, mince-pies and roast beef."
But now for my story. It was the day before Christmas
18 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
Day, and I was passing through the hall on. my way from
the dining-room, where we had just had lunch, when I felt
a cold blast that set me shivering, and discovered that the
hall door was open. The four children were all standing in
the porch, watching the snow-flakes as they came whirling
down thicker and thicker every minute. Louis, Janey, and
Jessie were under shelter, but that merry little pickle Ronald
-a child of seven years old-was outside, trying to catch
the snow-flakes as they fell.
Do come in, children," I cried, and shut the door."
"We are looking at the feathers Mother Goose is pluck-
ing," said little Jessie, but it is cold."
Come along, Ronald," said Louis, catching hold of his
little brother's arm.
"No, I wont come in," answered Ronald; "it is the first
snow I have seen this winter."
Very well," said Louis, with all the dignity of a public
school-boy, "then stay out; but I wont have the door, left
As he spoke, Jquis shut the door upon Ronald. I was
already settled by the drawing-room fire, when Janey tdld
me how Louis had shut Ronald out in the snow. I in-
stantly went to the door and opened it: the little boy was
not to be seen. I called, "Ronald! Ronald I but no an-
swer came. Returning into the house, I told his mamma
what hid happened, and she thought he had, no doubt, run
round to the back of the house, and gone in by the kitchen.
iiir 1 s casl I urr 1 ~lrWWI%~qi
After waiting a little while, as he still did not appear, we
went into the kitchen to enquire. No; he had not been
through that way. There stood the pudding-pan with the
materials in it, and the wooden spoon too, all ready for the
family stir. The cook was red-faced and smiling, but had
seen no sign of Master Ronald there.'2
We went to the hall door and looked out again, when we
saw the Rector, who had been out to visit some sick parish-
ioner, come trudging home through the snow. He laughed
,at our alarm, and said to his wife, Depend upon it, my
dear, the naughty boy has got back into the house somehow,
and is only hiding himself."
An hour went by: then all began to be seriously anxious.
The servants were set to work to search the house thoroughly;
then the gardener's cottage, the stables, the cow-house, even
the pig-sty, were all looked into. No Ronald was to be
The short December day was closing in. The snow had
ceased; there was a hard frost, and the stars were beginning
to peep out, like golden lamps hanging in the sky. I stood
.at the drawing-room window, looking at all this, though
thinking only of poor Ronald. Suddenly it struck me how
easily anyone might hide behind the trunk of an enormous
oak, which grew opposite to the windows, at the further end
of the garden. The thought had no sooner crossed my
mind than I hastened out, and felt disappointed and sur-
prised, on approaching the tree, to find no one standing
20 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
behind it. Luckily I went close up to it; then I discovered
what I was in search of.
His body and legs covered with snow, his little head rest-
ing against the tree, and with one handpeeping up through
the snow like a snowdrop-there lay the insensible form of
my dear little friend. I raised him up, and staggering under
his weight, carried him into the house, calling out as I en-
tered the door--' I have found him! I have found him'!'"
But the poor father and mother were hardly less anxious
than before, when they beheld the white face and stiff limbs
of their little boy. The doctor was sent for instantly, and
fortunately soon arrived; for we knew not how to treat the
child. Under his care, Ronald soon recovered his senses, and
he was sufficiently well the next evening to enjoy his merry
Christmas with the rest.
His own account of all that happened to him was simply
this; while hiding behind the tree, waiting for somebody to
come to look for him, he felt, first very cold, then very
sleepy, and he remembered nothing more. This drowsiness
is a common effect of cold, and if the little boy had re-
mained out an hour or two longer, he might never have
The good clergyman and his wife-and all of us in-
deed-found in this dear child's recovery an additional
reason for thanksgiving to God that happy Christmas.
GERTY AND HER CAT.
ITTLE GERTY is both good and pretty;
with soft brown eyes, and a sweet expres-
sion on her little face. She is nine years
old, and lives with her grandmamma, who
is only a lodging-house keeper at Hastings,
so you see my little friend Gerty is by no
means a fine young lady.
One of my own children-my little Lily-was ill not long
ago, and, on her recovery, I took her down to Hastings for
two or three weeks of change of air. Our railway journey
over, we drove about the town in a fly to look for lodgings.
At last we came to a pretty, detached house-a cottage I
may almost say--acing the sea, at the extreme end of the
*old .part of Hastings, It took ouJ fancy at once. There was
.a bill in the window, so we walked up the gravel path of
the little garden, and, finding the door open, went into the
hall at the same time as we rang the bell,:
There, was a room on each side of the passage as we
entered, and, through the open door of one, we saw the,
pretty little figure sitting over the fire that you see on the
,opposite page. It was Gerty, whom we afterwards came to
know and like so well. She wYas seated on a low footstool,
busily toasting a piece of bread for her grandmother's tea.
SA big black cat, named Uncle Tom, as we afterwards
22 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
learned, sat close to his little mistress, blinking at the fire,
and joining with his 'deep purr in a duet with the singing
The grandmother came downstairs while we were looking
at Gerty, and we found her just as nice in her way as the
little girl seemed in hers; so we soon arranged to take the
Lily and Gerty became fast friends and companions before
we had been in the house more than two or three days, and
one morning Lily and I being driven in from our walk by a
drizzling rain, my little girl began to look about for Gerty,
that they might play together in the house; Gerty, however,.
was nowhere to be found. At last Lily's nurse, who had
not been out with us, said she had seen Gerty, accompanied
by Uncle Tom, leave the house before the rain began. Now,
Gerty was never allowed, when out by herself, to go beyond
the beach in front of the house, so we were surprised she
had not run in from the rain.
We were becoming very anxious, when suddenly Uncle
Tom made his appearance on the window-sill outside,
miowing piteously; but there was no Gerty with him, and,
when the window was opened, he refused to come in. Then
I and the nurse took umbrellas, and sallied forth to search :
Uncle Tom, in spite of the objection he, like all cats, had to
getting wet, ran by the side of us. Gerty was not to be
seen on the beach, and I was beginning to be seriously
alarmed, when I observed Uncle Tom trotting in the direc-
RA t -?
OA A.1 k 1,
GERTY AND HER CAT. 23
tion of a cluster of little rocks, covered with seaweed, which
the children were fond of climbing about upon. Looking
towards the rocks, I noticed something white among them
and there at last we found the poor child. She had slipped
from one of the rocks, and sprained her ankle so badly that
she could not even crawl home or stand upright. She was
sitting on the wet sand in the pouring rain, leaning against
a rock and crying.
We managed between us to carry her home, and I am
glad to say she soon recovered from her sprain; but what
do you, my little readers, think of Uncle Tom? Was he
not a clever, nice cat? No doubt he came home on purpose
to fetch us to his little mistress in her distress, and meant
to guide us to her.
I dare say you, my little friends, have often heard of dogs
as clever as this cat, though perhaps not of any cat to equal
it in intelligence; but I must tell you that I have known
many wonderful cats either personally or by hearsay. My
own little girl, Cissy, has a cat who is very clever, and
wonderfully affectionate; this cat is not handsome though,
he is a very ordinary short-haired tabby, and will not get fat,
though we try to feed him up as much as possible. His name
is Toddles, and Cissy adopted him when he was a very tiny,
and not even then pretty creature. I think she asked for
him fearing that nobody else would care to have such a
Soon after Cissy had her pet given over to her, he was
24 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
lost, and she was very miserable. "You see, Mamma,"
she said, "I have so petted him that he can never be so
happy anywhere else, and I am sure he would come back to
me if he could." And my poor little girl cried a little over
her lost pet. However a few weeks afterwards, Cissy and I
were coming home from church one Sunday evening, when
who should meet us in the street but Toddles! He knew
Cissy again directly, and ran to her, crying and purring, and
rubbing himself against her. Cissy picked the kitten up
and then Toddles showed how intensely delighted he was to
be with his little mistress again in every possible way that a
little kitten can show delight.
Toddles is now quite grown up, but he is as loving as
ever; he comes when Cissy calls him, as if he were a dog;
if he is far away, quite out of sight, and Cissy stands in our
garden and calls "Toddles," we hear, a long, long way off
perhaps, a friendly miow," which proceeds from Toddles
who is answering Cissy. Then Cissy calls again, and Tod-
,dles miows his friendly miow in answer at intervals until we
see the long, lean cat making his way home, sometimes on
the top of the garden wall, then down he jumps, and then
perches himself on Cissy's shoulder, purring so loudly, you
,can hear him quite a long way off.
Toddles will fetch and carry, sit up and beg, jump over
your arms, and, in fact, do most of a dog's tricks. I could
tell you a great deal about Toddles but I have not space
here; perhaps I shall another day.
ARTIE AND ETHEL.
RTIE and Ethel are two little friends of mine
who live in Berkshire; their papa's house is
called Battendene Grange. They are the
only children of their parents, and by some
people are thought to be just a little too
But so does not think their dear old grandmamma, who
lives in a pretty little house about a mile from Battendene.
Rose Cottage is the name of her house, and in summer it
truly deserves its name. Then clusters of sweet-smelling
roses hide the walls, peep inquiringly in at the windows, and
hang around the porch. The adventure I am going to tell
about, however, happened in winter; upon a bitter, bitter
day in January. At the time Artie was ten years old and
Ethel about eight.
I must tell you that grandmamma is a very active-minded
old lady: she always occupies herself in some way, and in
winter, as she lives alone and cannot go out much, she
spends a great deal of her time in reading. It happened on
this January morning that the papa and mamma of Artie
and Ethel were talking about a book they had just been
reading, which they thought would amuse and interest
grandmamma very much.
"I would take it over myself this morning," said papa,
26 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
" only it's such a bad day, and the snow's so deep." Then
he added, as he looked from the window: "We shall have
some more snow too, I think, presently." And so the
Now two pairs of sharp little ears were listening to
this conversation, and the young persons to whom the
ears belonged quickly formed a plan to trudge off through
the snow to grandmamma's, in order to take her the
book. Both the children were extremely fond of their
dear grandmamma, who was as fond, or even more so, of
them. It was always a great treat to them to trot off
together across the fields, and pay her a little visit on their
own account. During the summer holidays, when
Artie was at home, the two children constantly did this,
though they were in the habit of asking mamma's leave first.
But I am sorry to say on this particular occasion they
formed the plan of walking over to grandmamma's with the
book without asking leave at all; for they very well knew
it would not be given on such a day. Now, this was very
naughty of Artie and Ethel, as I need not tell the little
readers of "Wide Awake."
Without saying a word to anyone, these children set out
on their walk through the deep snow, Artie carrying the
book, which he had taken off the library table, under his
arm. At first they were going by the footpath across the
fields, but Artie had prudence enough to consider, when he
looked at the smooth white snow all spread out before him,
-------------- -_-___-- - --.1---- ---r -_ --- I
II 1 _I
ARTIE AND ETHEL. 27
that it might have drifted to a great depth in some parts,
and so they turned off into the road.
They went on merrily enough till they had done nearly
half the distance; then Ethel complained of the cold, and
proposed-rather timidly indeed-to turn back: but Artie
encouraged his sister; he clasped her little hand in his, and
on they went a few steps farther. Now, however, the snow
began to fall thick again, and Ethel, besides being tired and
cold, grew frightened; the tears trickled down her pretty
cheeks, and mixed with the snow-flakes that beat upon
her face. Artie tried in vain to cheer her; her steps
became slower and slower, till at last she flung herself
down upon the snow, declaring she could go on no
Then Artie felt how naughty he had been. What would
he not have given at that moment to have his sister safe at
home again! Ethel was a delicate child, and was really
now quite unable to go on. She appeared to be numbed by
the cold; her sobs ceased, and her eyes closed as if she were
going to sleep upon her snowy bed. Artie took her up in
his arms, and by great exertion carried her a little way, but
this only served to convince him that it would be impossible
to carry her home.
With all his faults, Artie was a brave boy, and he did not
give way to despair. He looked about for help : there was
no house or cottage in sight; there were no labourers in the
fields nor passers-by upon the road; but, lying in the road,
28 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
he saw a branch of a tree which had been blown off in a
recent gale, and it occurred to him that he might construct a
sort of sledge out of this. At its thickest end it was about
the size of Artie's wrist, while the other end spread out into
a multitude of small branches. Upon these branches he
spread his own warm coat, which he took off, and pressed it
down to form a sort of nest. Then, seating Ethel upon the
coat, he took hold of the other-nd of the branch and pulled
it along over the snow with all his might.
Poor little half-frozen Ethel held on as best she could,
and they made progress, though slowly. Artie tugged away
bravely, till, in spite of the falling snow and his want of a
great coat, he felt quite warm; and had he been less anxious
about his sister he would have thought this new kind of
sledging capital fun.
In this way they had nearly reached the lodge gate when
they saw their father and some servants coming out to look
for them. Papa was too glad to see them to give Artie the
scolding he deserved. Poor little Ethel was put to bed, and
the doctor was sent for. She was ill for a long time, and
Artie was very, very sorry that he had taken her out in the
snow without asking leave of papa or mamma.
T is a curious fact that there are some chil-
dren who seem by a strange chance to have
fallen into their wrong places in the world.
Children who ought to have been boys are
sometimes girls instead; and I have known
many boys who ought to have been girls.
Some children, too, who from their appearance and ways
would exactly suit the rich are born to poor parents ; while
others, who seem born to work hard, and who rejoice in ex-
erting themselves in useful manual labour, fall to the lot of
the rich. Not that any of you little folks must suppose from
what I say that you are to be discontented, and think you
would like to be anybody else. It is of no use if you do;
but remember that the only way to be happy is to do what-
ever work we have to do cheerfully and heartily.
Now, my pretty little friend Laura is just one of those chil-
dren who seem to have dropped from the skies into the
wrong place. She loves hard work, and she has none to do
of the kind she likes. Her work just now ought to be to
learn her lessons with her governess ; for she is eight years
old, and is the only child of rich parents, who wish her to
grow up into an accomplished and ladylike woman. But
Laura, I regret to say, hates her lessons, and-what is worse
-she never catches sight of a housemaid scrubbing, or a
30 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.,
cook cooking, or a gardener at work in the garden, that she
does not long to change places with them and do their work.
When she has a half-holiday from her lessons, instead of
playing with her dolls, of which she has several, or doing
some needlework, or knitting, like many little friends of
mine, she sets to work at some washing or scrubbing, by
which she dirties her clothes, and tires herself. She is very
fond, too, of animals; she races and romps with all the dogs,
great or small, kept at her country home; and, when she can
manage it, finds her way into the stables or the cow-house.
I used to live near Laura in the country, and I remember
one day-it was in the month of April-I had promised to
lunch with her mamma, and bring my children. While we
were driving over there was a heavy shower, which ceased
just as we reached the door. As we drove up we discovered
Miss Laura as you see her in the picture, sweeping the
water off the door-step and the gravel in front of the house.
Her shoes and stockings were wet; her dress was tucked up
showing her petticoat all 'splashed; and she was using a
carpet broom, which of course was being spoilt. On the
broom was seated her pet white kitten, which clung there
.and seemed to enjoy its ride, as much amused as Laura.
Of course, I was quite shocked at this performance of
Laura: still, when I was talking to her mamma about
it-Laura being absent at the time-I could not help
laughing a little about the matter. But her mamma
looked very grave, and said, "It is no laughing matter
indeed: you would hardly believe the things that child
does at times. She is quite a meddlesome Matty, and
seems determined to have a finger in every pie; that is to
say, the child will try to do things with which she has no
business to meddle. One day, when we had a garden party,
and Laura, seeing that the maid-servants were helping
Thomas to get the tables ready, hovered about worrying the
maids to let her help; and when they were not observing her,
she-determined to have a hand in the matter-took up a
packet of salt by mistake, and filled up the sugar basins,
which were being got ready for strawberries and cream. It
was not discovered until some of the guests had tasted the
disagreeable compound they had mixed, and wondered at
the curious taste. It really is dreadful," went on Miss Laura's
poor mamma, to think of the things that child does. But
I have not told you the worst, for once her love of meddling
made her do a most extraordinary and dangerous thing, that
might have cost her her life! And then Laura's mother
told me the following anecdote of her tiresome little girl.
It appeared that a month or two before this conversation
took place, Laura's mamma expected some visitors to stay
with her, and going into the spare room a short time before
they were expected, she looked about to see that all was neat,
and nice, and prettily arranged for her guests. It happened
that heavy rain had fallen a few days before, and the win.
dows did not look quite as bright and spotless as Laura's
mamma thought they should.
32 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
"That is very careless of Elizabeth," said Laura's
mamma to herself, though aloud; she ought to have had
the windows cleaned; it spoils the appearance of the room.'"
Laura had followed her mamma into the spare bedroom,
and heard what she said. Now, what do you think this
little monkey made up her mind to do ? Why, she actually
made up her mind to clean the windows herself, and no sooner
did she see her mamma go out of the room to gather some
flowers in the garden to decorate the visitors' bedroom, than
she hurried off to the housemaid's cupboard, and, getting
dusters, soap and water, and a pail, a brush, and sundry other
"things which she thought requisite for her purpose, she re-
turned to the spare room and commenced operations. She
had great difficulty in lugging the pail across the room, and
spilled some of the water on the way. She managed some-
how, however, to clean the lower panes of glass, after a
fashion, though they were rather smeared. But in trying to
pull down the upper part of the window, she broke one of
the panes. Then she thought she would get outside and
stand upon the window ledge, as she had seen the man-
servant do when cleaning the upper part of the window.
And this naughty and foolish child actually had one foot
outside when her mamma, who was gathering flowers in
the garden below, happened to glance upwards and see her.
It was just in time, and Miss Laura's mischief was, fortu-
nately, stopped for that day.
CERTAINLY think that my little friend
Phoebe is as sweet a little girl as could be
found in the whole world. Does she not
look it in the picture? Little Phoebe is
another of those little friends whose acquain-
tance I made when I was staying down at
the dear old Rectory in Kent, now some years ago.
I remember, so well, the first time I saw her. It was a
lovely summer morning, and I had got up very early to take
a delightful stroll through the sweet lanes. My sister-
in-law was with me, and as we were thinking of returning
home, laden with wild flowers, she turned to a gate leading
into a field, through which ran a footpath, and pointing
to some picturesque cottages to which the path led, she
said, I ought to go down there, and look after some of
the people. I have one old woman who is ill there, and I
am anxious to know how she is getting on. Will you be
too tired to get over the gate and go down with me? "
Of course I was not too tired, and was glad to extend our
walk down the footpath, in the middle of the meadow.
We had just got over the gate, when we saw a little
figure in the distance coming towards us from the end of
the field nearest the cottages ; it was a pretty little figure, of
a little girl, in a dark dress, a white pinafore, a shady hat,
34 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
and with a slate and some books under her arm. My sister-
in-law stopped to speak to her.
Well, Phoebe," said she, and how is your grandmother ?
And all of you down in the Dell ?" The cottages occupied a
hollow in the landscape which went by the name of the Dell.
The child dropped a curtsey, as she answered, "Quite
well, ma'am, all except grandmother, which you know,
ma'am, is ailing, and Ben, if you please, ma'am, which old
Goosestalker do say have the distemper."
"OhI" said my sister-in-law, "I'm sorry to hear the
puppy's ill; I am going on to see your grandmother now,
and I will look at the puppy while I am there."
Pretty little Phoebe curtsied her thanks and continued her
way, and we ours. We crossed a rustic bridge over what
looked like quite an insignificant little stream, but which
my sister-in-law informed me was the river Medway. On
our way to the cottages I heard some particulars about the
sweet little village beauty who had just left us. My sister-
in-law told me that Phoebe's mother was dead, and her
father-whose only child she was-had some occupation in
London, so he left his little girl in the charge of his wife's
mother-a very superior and nice old woman-who lived in
one of the cottages in the Dell.
They are quite among the nicest of the people I visit,"
said the Rector's wife, "and Phoebe is one of the best and
most intelligent children at the school. She is a dear,
tender-hearted little girl too. She had a pet kitten that
somehow was mistaken for a rabbit by one of the Squire's
keepers, and came to an untimely end; the child fretted so
much for her pet that I gave her one of our retriever's
puppies to try and comfort her, and that is the animal that is
now supposed to be suffering from distemper."
After we had talked a little to Phcebe's grandmother, we
asked to see the puppy. It was lying on a rug just outside
the back door of the cottage, which led into a small kitchen
garden, where there was, apparently, a good supply of
vegetables, and a neat little gravel path in the middle.
How is it that your garden is so well kept, so sweet and
so nice in every way ? inquired my sister-in-law, of Phoebe's
My next-door neighbour takes care of that, ma'am,"
.answered the old lady, and he pays himself for his trouble
in vegetables-there's a plenty for us both."
We said we thought this a very good plan; we then
looked at the puppy, who seemed dull and sleepy- "Unlike
the playful little creature he usually is," Phoebe's grand-
He must be nearly a year old now," said the Rector's
wife to Mrs. Marchmont.
"Yes, ma'am, I think somewhere about that," replied the
old woman smiling. Phoebe is most anxious to know his
birthday, that she may keep it for him, and give him an
extra good dinner. There, it's wonderful," she went on,
" the fuss that child makes over the dog."
36 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
About a week after this visit, as we were driving, one
afternoon, along a road which ran at the back of the cottages
in one of which Phoebe and her grandmother lived, we
heard a sound of scuffling, and loud cries, proceeding from
that direction. My sister-in-law and I jumped out of the
carriage and ran to Mrs. Marchmont's cottage, where we
found the greatest confusion. It appeared that Ben had
suddenly--" after seeming queer for some days "-gone
apparently quite mad, and had bitten Mrs. Marchmont,
who tried to shut him up. When we entered the cottage
Phoebe was on her knees, dissolved in tears, with her mouth
applied to her grandmother's hand sucking the poison from
the wound. We could hear the dog yelping and making
the most terrible noise in the woodhouse, where they had
managed to shut the door upon him.
"Oh, they will kill him with a pitchfork," cried poor
Phoebe. Oh, ma'am I don't let them be cruel to him."
'After quiet was restored a little, I was convinced, from
the description given to us, that Ben was not mad, but was.
suffering from a fit. I therefore begged for his life until
the veterinary surgeon could see him. So he was shut up
alone in the woodhouse for some hours, and when the
veterinary surgeon saw him, the dog had quite recovered,
and the medical opinion was the same as my own. I believe
that fit was partly brought on by Phoebe settling the dog's
natal day, and by Ben indulging too freely in a birthday
OU see on the last page a picture of Frank,
my little sailor boy. A very dear little
friend of mine he was once, when he was
small and young, but he is changed now.
He is growing up into a young man, and
has, in fact, just arrived at the stage of
hobbledehoydom; so you may suppose he is scarcely the pet
with me that he used to be, though I still like him very much.
My memory takes me back to a time when Frank was
not so big even as you see him in the picture; to days when
I used to sing him to sleep in my arms, and carry him up
.and down stairs on my back. The child had a passion for
music, and would sit by me, while I played or sang, with a
rapt and dreamy expression on his tiny face. He most de-
lighted to hear what he called "tune-stories "-that is, I
used to tell him a story, or describe something to him, and
play an accompaniment to my words on the piano the time.
He often asked that the tune-story might be about the sea.
Then I would begin with some soft strain, while I told him
,of the sea in its mild and gentle mood, its low murmuring
waves stealing in soft ripples to the shore under the glad sun-
",beams. Then the music would grow louder and more solemn,
as I described the rising wind, and storm gathering in the
distance; till at last would come a crash on the piano, with
38 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
startling chords, as I spoke of the storm bursting, of the
waves mountains high, and of their terrible giant strength:
perhaps the whole winding up with a shipwreck.
When Frank was about ten years old, he stayed with us.
one summer at Hastings, and thoroughly enjoyed being
either on or in the water, for he could swim like a duck.
One morning he had been sailing his little boat in the pools
formed by the receding tide, while I had been making a
Newfoundland puppy of ours go into the sea after a stick.
At last we grew tired, and mounted the little footpath
that leads up to the cliff, to go home. Frank sat down on
the edge of the cliff, with his boat on his knee, and his chin
resting on his hand, watching the sea with that dreamy
look on his face which I had so often seen. Suddenly I
heard a sound from the shore, something between a cry
and a howl, and I saw Nep, the Newfoundland puppy, in
the sea, entangled in a quantity of seaweed, and struggling
in vain to land.
Both Frank and I instantly ran down the footpath to the
shore. Without a moment's-hesitation, he jumped into the
sea, which was very calm, dressed as he was. He went in
beyond the seaweed, and swam round behind it, reaching
the puppy in that way. Then he put his arm round Nep's
neck, made him turn back to make the round of the sea-
weed, and so they reached the shore together, side by side.
It was reversing the usual order of things. I have read
many stories of Newfoundland dogs saving the lives of
little children, but never of children saving dogs. I must.
tell you that Frank had a good scolding for risking his life
so recklessly; though-to let you into a secret-I believe in
our hearts we all admired him for it.
I think Frank, from that time, determined to take Nep
under his especial protection; he, at all events, took care
that Nep should have plenty of practice in swimming, so
that he should not get into another scrape in the sea for
want of experience, particularly as he was not likely to meet
with such prompt and kind help a second time.
In consequence of the instruction imparted to him by
Frank, and also, I suppose, from the natural aptitude of a
thoroughbred Newfoundland for the sea, Nep became quite
a wonder in the swimming and diving line. How well I
remember the summer evening when Frank came to me, in-
sisting that I should come out and judge if there was
another such dog in the world as Nep.
It was a lovely, still evening; the sea reflected every
shade taken by the sky above; there was a cool, yet soft
breeze blowing; and the waves made a gentle murmur as.
they rolled in upon the sands.
Frank, full of pride at the success of his method of
educating Nep-which, I must tell you, was entirely a
method of extreme kindness and indulgence-led me on
over the sands, and up some steps to a high part of the cliff,
where there was a rude sort of pier jutting out into the sea
for some distance. Frank and I, and Nep, wended our way
"40, SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
"to the end of this pier, and then Frank said to me, with
great pride, "Would you like to see Nep do something
Certainly I should," I answered. "What can he do ?"
"You shall see," said Frank. "Give me one of your
My gloves were not quite new, so I did not mind ex-
periments being tried with them, perhaps, as much as if
they had been; still I am not sure that I felt quite happy in
my mind when this young friend of mine produced a large
stone, which I had seen him pick up by the way, and, on
my giving him one of my gloves, first present it to Nep to
-smell, and then tie the large stone up in it, and fling it off
the pier into the sea. An involuntary Oh, don't I" burst
from me; but Frank smiled, and said, Don't be afraid;
you'll get it back again."
"What use will it be to me then?" I was about to say,
rather sorrowfully, when my attention was -attracted by a
loud splash, and away flew, rather than jumped, Nep into
the sea. A great hole was made in the water, then it closed,
and we saw nothing more for a second, when presently we
,discovered Nep, with the gloved stone in his mouth, swim-
tning away under the pier to shore. He had dived and
I did not grudge my glove, nor did I mind walking home
with only one. I do not know which was most proud of
this feat, my little friend, Frank, or the dear dog himself.
CALL to mind one peaceful August evening
some few years ago, when I was returning
home from a long walk by the sea-shore,
with a dear little companion, whose short
legs were beginning to feel the effect of
long plodding through the sand. We
were walking with the sea on one side and the cliff upon
the other, and, as the tide was coming in, we knew it would
not do to loiter by the way. We knew, besides, that at our
home all manner of nice things awaited us for tea.
Hallowdean, where we were staying, is an off-shoot from
a fashionable watering-place about two miles from it. It
consisted at this time merely of a cluster of fishermen's
cottages, situated in a pretty bay, and behind them a few
small villas, which were let to visitors. There was our abode.
Presently my companion, my little daughter Lily, said:
What is that white thing, mother, half way up the cliff ? "
Looking in the direction that she pointed, I saw a child's
straw hat hanging by the strings and fluttering in the wind,
but the little figure it belonged to was hidden by a point of
rock. Advancing a few steps, I discovered the little girl, to
whose neck it was attached, perched on a projecting piece
of rock, her feet dangling in the air, and nursing a dolly in
her lap, seemingly quite at her ease. The child's position
42 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
appeared to me to be terribly dangerous: the spot where
she sat was at least twenty feet above the level of the sands,
and the rocks presented the appearance of a rough wall
raised by giant hands. At first I wondered how she could
have got there, but soon observed that behind her was a
little level piece of grass, which could be reached by a rough
pathway on the face of the cliff, beginning some distance off.
Not only was her position dangerous in itself, but in
a few minutes the water would reach the foot of the cliff,
and her retreat would be cut off. I feared to call out,
lest, being startled, she might fall. So I told my little
Lily to walk on fast to the nearest cottage-where we were
well known, for it belonged to the people who kept the
bathing-machines-and wait for me there while I went up
by the footpath to the little girl and brought her away.
The path was steep and rough, and it took me much
longer than I expected to reach the child. Every minute
was a golden minute lost. At last I reached her. She was
a very pretty and engaging little child, with curly golden
brown hair, dark bright eyes, and a brilliant complexion.
She was swaying herself backwards and forwards, sitting
on the edge of the piece of rock, singing a sweet little
lullaby to an exceedingly ugly-faced doll, that was, how-
ever, most carefully dressed, even to its boots and socks.
Every now and then she stopped her singing, and I could
hear her talking to the doll, quite unconscious of her perilous
oil= ~-~-~;~ ,~ _~~--,"; -;r_ ~~
i --m ..A ll
"Go to sleep, dolly dear; go to sleep, do," she said,
caressingly; then, getting a little impatient, she gave it a
shake, and said, Goodness gracious me, why what a little
torment it is !"
I stood quite close to her before she saw me, and, when
she did, she gave a little start of surprise. However, I
soon explained to her how and why I came there. I found
she had quite forgotten that the tide was rising, and she
thanked me very prettily for coming to her. She was very
chatty, and told me all about herself. Her name was
Peggie, she informed me, and she was the child of a widow
who kept a shop and the post-office.
We were walking as she told me this, for I feared to lose
any time, thinking that the tide would rise too rapidly for
us to get round the cliff, a point of which projected some
little distance into the sea. As we descended the footpath
by which I had reached little Peggie, I glanced downward,
and from where I stood caught a glimpse of the projecting
point of the cliff. To my dismay, it was already sur-
rounded by water. What should we do? It was clearly of
no use for us to go down by this path to the sands. We
should only reach them to be driven back by the waves!
" I now remembered there was another path just beyond
the projecting cliff, which, if we could descend by it in
safety, would take us to a part of the sands from whence
we could easily reach the village, as the tide never covered
44 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
We reached it, but as I looked down it, my heart sank.
The track was only just wide enough to place one foot before
the other, and, after a few steps, the cliff rose perpendicularly
on the left-hand side, while on the right it fell away straight
down to the sands below. By myself, I might have ven-
tured it, but with this little, child what could I do ?
One thing was certain: Dolly must be left behind. It
would be all we could do to get down the cliff with the help
of both our hands, as well as feet, without being encum-
bered with Dolly. This I broke to poor little Peggie.
She looked at me at first with a troubled, incredulous air;
but then, understanding how it must be, she took her doll
close in her arms, and, kissing it passionately, she laid it
down on the grass, murmuring, Mamma coming back to
Dolly; don't'ee cry, dear." And then, placing her little
hand in mine, she bravely prepared to descend the cliff.
After a few steps, I felt the little hand I held in mine tremble
and turn cold. Looking back, I saw Peggie's little face quite
white and sickly. I then made up my mind we could not go
down this path. We were soon on the top again, beside
Dolly. And then, in desperation, I went back to the old
path, determined to go down that, and wait at the foot,
above high-water mark, until the tide turned.
Presently, to our joy, we saw a small boat approaching,
and I soon discovered that the man belonging to the
bathing-machines was rowing it, and my own little Lily
was at the helm. They had come to our rescue !
MYLES AND CRISSY.
HEY made as pretty a picture as you could
wish to see, did those two children as I saw
them in the garden; Crissy in the wheel-
barrow with her doll, and her brother wheel-
Myles and Crissy are the children of a
widow lady who is a great friend of mine. They are her
only children, though there is a great gap between them in
age: Myles being near twelve, and Crissy, or Christabel-
for that is her real name-only four. The children's father
died more than three years ago, when Crissy was a tiny
baby. Since that sad time my friend, who is far from rich,
has lived with her children in a cottage in Kent, not far
from the house of her husband's elder brother, who has an
estate in that county.
Myles and his dear little sister are inseparable: Crissy
follows her big brother about like his shadow; rather too
much, indeed, for his comfort or her own safety. One
day last autumn I was paying a visit to their mamma,
when I saw, coming towards me in the garden, my two
little friends just as you see them in the picture. Crissy
seated, proud and happy, in her wheelbarrow, with her
favourite doll-child placed in front of her, enjoying her
drive as much as any lady in the land. Myles seemed
46 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
.equally to enjoy the task of driving-I should say pushing
-her in her chariot.
I inquired if there was any reason why Crissy was
wheeled about instead of walking, and her mamma told
me that, though it was only done for fun now, the practice
of wheeling her about began when she had hurt her leg,
which happened in this way. In the summer Myles used,
to roam about a good deal in the hay-fields, and Crissy
-always wanted to go with him, although she was told not
to do so. At last one day, in spite of her mother's watch-
fulness, the little puss managed to escape into the hay-field,
where she knew her brother had already gone. Once in the
field, she trotted here and there looking for him; at the
same time sniffing the perfume of the hay, and taking a roll
,on it now and then.
Presently Crissy caught sight of him through a gate
leading into the next field. Off she started in pursuit,
and just got through the gate in time to see Myles dis-
appearing up a ladder at the side of a heavily-loaded
waggon of hay. He was going to have a ride home on
the top of the hay, for they were already carting it in
this field. Crissy reached the foot of the ladder just as
her brother stepped off it and threw himself down on to
the hay at the top.
She called out to him, and he put his head over the edge
of the hay, and looked down at her from the height. Then
she thought she would follow his example, arid in spite of
MYLES AND CRISSY. 47
his warnings and entreaties, the little child began stepping
up the ladder. After taking two or three steps in safety,
one little foot slipped through the ladder, and she fell back,
bruising her little leg severely.
Fortunately there was no serious harm done, but poor
little Crissy's leg was painful and weak for some time.
Then it was that Myles was struck with the happy thought
of taking her about in a wheelbarrow. He placed in it
a cushion, and spread over that a shawl, and whenever Miss
Crissy was anxious to take her walks abroad, her patient,
kind big brother was at her service to wheel her. Crissy
grew so fond of her carriage that, long after the bruised leg
was well, she would make her brother wheel her about
as I saw her that day; and it was as pretty a picture as you
would wish to see.
In this instance, fortunately, matters were not so bad as
they might have been; but when Crissy's mamma told me
of her little girl's accident, it reminded me of a case which
was very similar, but which, unfortunately, did not turn out
When I was a little girl, a lady who was a great friend of
my mother used often to come and stay with us in the
country, and she used to bring with her a little boy, her only
child, who was about seven years old. This child used to
take great delight in seeing our gardener at work, and
would follow him about in the garden, eagerly watching
all he might be doing, and often try to help him, too.
48 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
You see, Freddy-that was the little boy's name-lived
in London, and all the gardening that he saw when he was
staying down with us was quite a new amusement.
One day in early summer, I remember, the gardener was
arranging some creepers against the wall of the house; he
was mounted on a high ladder, and was hard at work, with
his hammer, nails, and bits of list.
Freddy looked on for some time with the greatest in-
terest, and then, I suppose, he was seized with a strong
desire to do some of the gardener's work of nailing the
list across the branches of the creeper; still the child
refrained from saying anything; he bided his time, until
he saw the gardener descend from the ladder, leaving it
still leaning against the wall; also the nails, hammer, and
list lying in a little heap upon the ground. The gardener
once out of sight, Master Freddy seized the opportunity,
and taking the little heap of materials from the ground, he
held them tight in one hand, and helped himself to mount
the ladder with the other.
He got safely to the top, wonderful to say, but in reach-
ing after a long, hanging spray of the creeper, in order
to fasten it to the wall, he lost his, balance, and, in
another moment, poor Freddy fell to the ground, with the
ladder on the top of him I Poor little fellow! he was found
quite insensible; his thigh was broken; and I must tell
you that the poor little boy was lame for the rest of his
OW, my dear little readers of Wide-Awake,
I do not know whether you will take as
great an interest in this little friend of mine
as in the others, when I tell you that she
was a friend of mine when I was a little
girl myself. You shall hear how she be-
came one of my little friends.
When I was a child I lived in the country; and I loved
the country, with its beauty and freshness, and out-of-doors,
health-giving amusements, as I love it now. Every season
had its beauty and its pleasures. Spring, with its glad
breath, told of hope and youth: Summer had its fulness of
beauty, fulfilling the promises of Spring; and Autumn had
its ever-changing and marvellous tints, its harvests, its
blackberrying and nutting. Even hard, cold winter had its
beauty too. How we loved it, with its stern face of ice and
snow, its sliding, its snow-balling, its merry evenings by
the fireside But it was in the Autumn that I made Trotty's
acquaintance, and this is how it came about.
We children had been out one morning blackberrying in
the lanes, and had just returned into the garden, our lips
and fingers stained with blackberry juice, when our father
came out to us. We thought at first he was going to scold,
but he smiled and said:
50 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
"Well, children, I've got a new amusement for you;
what do you think it is? Guess!"
We all guessed. Some said one thing, some another.
I, the youngest of the party, thought of something good to
eat; the bigger ones thought of presents of different kinds,
but none of us hit upon the right thing. I wonder if you,
my little readers, would have guessed it? You would now,
of course, because you see the picture: you say A
Yes, the new amusement that my father had provided for
us was a swing. He led the, way into the "Green Lane,"
as we called it. This was a pathway through a small wood,
which opened from our lawn by an iron gate: it was my
father's property and led to a field belonging to us. The
swing was a fine strong one, and hung from a great
branch of a splendid oak-tree.
There was the swing, and there were we children; but
as, strange to say, we had never had a swing before, and
had never any of us been in one, we were afraid to try it.
Papa appeared so much annoyed at this that we became
-some of us, at least-more venturesome; and I remember
that my brother Frank scrambled up into the swing, and,
trying to start it off standing, slipped his foot from the seat,
and nearly had a bad fall, whereupon he refused to get in
again. Horace, our little cousin, seeing Frank's misfor-
tune, said he would rather not try at all; and my sister
thought it a stupid affair if you could not start yourself."
Then my father put me in; but I was fat and heavy, and
managed to sit so far over the seat that I fell out at the
back of the swing, and astonished myself a good deal, while
hurting myself a little. At last papa got into the swing
himself, to show us how to do it; but his legs were too long
to manage well, and he very nearly met with the same mis-
fortune as I did in trying to keep his feet off the ground;
in fact, it appeared that what had been intended as a great
treat for us would turn out a great failure.
My father, who was quick-tempered, laughed at us
heartily at first, but after a little while he grew rather
angry, and called us-particularly the two boys-poor little
cowards. We still hesitated, when a labourer, who was at
work close by, came up, and, giving a little pull to his front
hair,s aid :
"If so be as these young masters and missusses bees
afeard, it's because they hasn't never tried a swing. I'se
got a little lass at home as do rarely love a good swing, and
I putten one up for her in my bit o' garden. If you
pleases I'll bring her, and she'll show the young gentlefolks
how to swing."
My father told the man to bring his child by all means,
and the man went off to fetch her. He soon returned, lead-
ing by the hand my little friend Trotty. A pretty, merry-
,looking little lass she was, sure enough, and not more than
five years old. Her father popped her into the swing at once,
and away she went up among the green boughs, her little
52 SOME OF MY'LITTLE FRIENDS.
rosy face looking brighter and rosier against the background
of green leaves, and her glad little laugh ringing down upon
us like a peal of bells in the air.
After this we were no longer afraid of our swing. So
far from it, indeed, that we used sometimes to quarrel-or
as Nurse called it, have a few words "-in our eagerness to
have first swing. We became great friends with Trotty,
and would often ask her to come and enjoy our amusement
with us. She was always nicely behaved; and, although
we soon got accustomed to the swing, she used still to go.
higher than any of us.
My father never forgot that little Trotty first taught us
to venture into the swing, and he told her himself, patting
her little rosy cheek the time, that she was always free to
use it whenever she liked.
Now, one day, some two or three years back, I happened
to be again in the neighbourhood of my childhood's home.
As I was walking down a certain green lane, I found myself
in front of a cottage-a very pretty and tidy one. In the
garden there were a number of chubby, rosy children, all
eager to get into a swing, which hung from a strong branch
of the only tree in the little garden. A motherly, merry-
faced woman came out of the cottage door to settle the
dispute, as I stood watching; and in a few minutes I found
out that this was no other than my old friend Trotty and
her children I
THINK that dear little Milly is quite one of
my nicest little friends. She is so sweetly
good tempered, gentle, and sweet. Then
she is very pretty; she has a quantity of
lovely golden hair, soft blue eyes, pink and
white complexion, and such a winning
-expression in her little face. She looks, as she really is, one
of the very best little children in the world.
Milly is an only child. She has no brother, and no dear
little sister; so she often has to make up games all by her
little self. She has plenty of toys-some, such funny ones I
She has one doll, who wears golden boots, and is so finely
*dressed I and, above all, this doll can walk by herself; first
-one leg and then the other goes forward; and, as she walks,
she turns her head from side to side.
Then Milly has two wonderful sister dolls, as she informed
me, twins." One is called Lady Betty, and the other Lady
Sarah. These dolls are most beautifully dressed; they have
each two sets of every kind of clothing, even two pairs of
shoes each, one pair black and one pair red; each two pairs
of stockings; each a little brush and comb; each a little
watch, and each a locket. These two dolls sleep in a bed-
stead made on purpose for them, a walnut-wood bedstead
carved and polished. Then there are two pairs of sheets to
54 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
this bed, and little pillows and frilled pillow-cases; and little
blankets, all embroidered, and the prettiest little counter-
Lady Betty and Lady Sarah have a little trunk too, fitted
up with trays; places for their hats and bonnets, just like a
real travelling trunk. And, just fancy! they each have a
tiny work-basket-though those cannot be of much use to
them, can they ? But they are all fitted up nicely like real
work-baskets, with scissors and thimbles even! Milly is
very proud, and justly so, I think, of Lady Betty and Lady
Sarah and their belongings. The dolls are just the same
size, and very much alike. Her godmother bought them
for Milly at a Fancy Fair.
But much as my dear little friend loves her fine dolls, and
in spite of the great pride she takes in them, I think Milly
loves some of her old dolls best; indeed, there is one very
battered doll-child of hers that I know she especially loves,
because it has lost both its eyes, and she talks of it with the
greatest affection, and treats it with the greatest gentleness,
because of this sad affliction. This unfortunate doll is
dressed in a brown velvet suit, the jacket and knickerbockers
being trimmed profusely with white mother-of-pearl buttons,
and it goes by the name of Blind George.
Milly is well off for toys of all kinds; she has a musical
box, which plays a number of pretty tunes. She has,
besides, an organ, and you have only to turn the handle to
make it play merrily, while a little stuffed monkey jumps.
:cC a-- C.r u3 t
MILL Y. 55
about on the top. Then Milly has a lot of picture books,
and she can read them all too, though she is only seven years
old. She is very fond of Hans Andersen's and Grimm's
stories-in fact, she takes immense pleasure in fairy tales;
but I think, of all the fairy stories she knows, her favourite
is Beauty and the Beast."
This little girl is very fond of animals, and live creatures
of all sorts; she would not let any living thing be hurt if
she could help it. She was once in great distress because
she saw some naughty boys with a little young sparrow that
had managed to fall out of its nest.
"Mamma, mamma!" she cried, "oh do, pray, make those
boys put that little birdie down. And pray let me have it
to love and take care of."
Milly's mamma bought the poor little sparrow from the
boys, and Milly took it home with her in triumph; then the
dear child was greatly troubled because she could not get the
little bird to eat. At last she fancied that perhaps her canary
might feed it if she let the little thing out of its cage; but,
alas what was her distress to find that the canary flew at
the baby sparrow, and, instead of feeding it, pecked at it,
and would have cruelly treated it, although the young
sparrow was so much its superior in size, if she had not
Then my little friend devoted herself to feeding her ugly
little pet, and at last was gratified to find that it took its
food well, and in the end Master Sparrow flourished and
56 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
grew fat and tame, but eventually, when summer came, it
flew off, and was not seen again.
Milly being an only child, and without child companions,
is very thoughtful, and often full of curious fancies, her little
mind being much taken up with fairy stories. One day when
she was in the garden playing battledore and shuttlecock
all by herself, a little black kitten made its appearance quite
suddenly out of a bush. It had a piece of pink ribbon round
its neck. Now Milly had no live pet of her own, so she
was glad to see this little 'playmate. It was a sweet, fluffy
little creature, with large shining green eyes.
Off ran Milly to fetch it a saucer of milk, which it lapped
up very greedily, while the little girl looked on quite
delighted. Then they had a game at ball together, such a
merry game it was the little kitty springing first on one
side and then on the other, all four feet off the ground at
once. And I don't know really which was most enjoying
the fun, the child or the kitten. At-all events, from that day
the kitten stayed with Milly as her very own.
One day, not long after the appearance of the black kitten,
Milly came to her mamma and asked her, with a very serious
face, if she did not think the kitten had been sent by a kind
fairy, and would change some day, perhaps, into a dear little
sister for her if she was very good. Her mamma laughed
very much at this, as you may suppose, and kissed her'sweet
OW I have a very sad task before me, my
dear little readers; for I regret to say that
I am going to tell you about the only really
naughty little girl that I ever knew. I, of
course, know well that all of you little folks
are really naughty sometimes, but I am
sorry to say that my little friend Florence was hardly ever
good. She was mischievous and disobedient beyond any
child that I ever knew; and, what was worse, she was cruel
to animals. I have known that naughty child pull off flies'
wings, and crush butterflies in her hand. Her love of
tormenting others was so great, that I remember her making
another tender-hearted child cry, by running round the
garden and pretending to catch the poor, pretty butterflies;
and as she clenched her hands tight together, she exclaimed,
" I've caught it, I've got it in my hands; I can feel its bones
cracking; I can feel it being crushed to death."
She really had no butterfly at all in her hand, so she only
said these horrid things to make the other child miserable.
Florence was never so happy as when she was teasing or
hurting somebody or something. She was the eldest of
four children, but the other three were much younger than
she was-quite babies, in fact, when Florence was nine
years old. And these baby children quite dreaded her
58 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
approach. She teased the poor little things whenever she
had a chance; took their toys from them, and constantly
gave them slaps and pinches, so that the little ones cried
when their sister Florry came near them.
Then the dogs and cats ran away if they heard her coming,
or saw her in the distance; for she used to pull their hair,
and the horrid child would never lose an opportunity of
treading on the poor things' tails or paws when she saw
them lying, happy and unsuspecting, asleep on rug or mat.
Then she would open the door of the canary-bird's cage,
and, letting the little creature out, would then chase and
frighten it about the room until, exhausted with flying, it
fell upon the floor, when the horrid child would catch it up,
and shake and frighten'it more than ever.
Everyone disliked this horrid little friend of mine -
children, servants, and animals all alike avoided her as much
as possible. Even her own mamma, although she, of course,
had a natural love for her child, disliked having her with
her; and was seriously thinking of sending her to some very
strict school-where she would perhaps be made to alter her
naughty ways-when the event occurred which changed at
last this very disagreeable child into a different sort of little
One morning in the early summer, but when the days were
already becoming Very warm, Florence was running down
stairs from the schoolroom, when she happened to meet the
housemaid, who was going into the drawing-room, carrying
49 'I III ki II
l r II I 11!1:
a quantity of white and gold shavings to put into the fire-
"What have you got there, Mary?" inquired Miss
"You can see, miss," answered Mary, rather shortly, for
she, like all the other servants in the house, disliked speak-
ing to or having anything to do with this child.
"I don't know what it is," cried naughty Florence, "and
if you don't tell me I'll pull your cap off."
For shame, you naughty girl!" indignantly exclaimed
Mary. I'm not a-going to tell you nothing," and off she
went into the drawing-room, Florence making a desperate,
but fruitless, clutch at her cap.
In a few minutes the drawing-room door opened slightly
while Mary was doing her work; and, without the servant
perceiving it, Florence peeped in to satisfy her curiosity, and
she then saw that Mary had placed the nice bright steel bars
in the grate, and was just going to arrange the shavings she
had been carrying, in the fire-place.
Now, certainly some evil spirit possessed this child, for
she watched her opportunity, and first finding her way to the
housemaid's closet, she took from it the black-lead pot and
brushes used to black-lead the grate; these she carried into
the drawing-room; then, throwing out the shavings into the
middle of the room, she began to blacken the nice, bright
steel bars. "Mary will have to take all this off," the
naughty girl said to herself, and what fun it is putting it
60 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
on." Away she worked, blacking herself-her face, her
dress, the drawing-room carpet, all coming in for a share, as
well as the steel bars. Florence had left the schoolroom
with a lesson-book in her hand; this, too, as well as a very
handsome footstool, was entirely spoiled.
Having in a few minutes managed to do a vast amount of
mischief with the black-lead, Florence thought to herself,
What a fine bonfire the shavings would make; so, gathering
them up, she carelessly threw them back into the fender, and
finding some matches on her mamma's writing-table, she
struck one, and soon had the shavings in a blaze. What a
blaze it was I Suddenly it flared up into the child's face!
and not only into her face, alas! The naughty child saw
that some of the shavings were within the fender, and some
outside. These latter she stooped down to throw on the top
of the blaze she had already made; in doing this her frock
caught fire, and in a few minutes she was running out of the
drawing-room to the staircase in flames. Here she was
fortunately met by the governess, who was in search of her,
and who-being a sensible woman, with plenty of presence
of mind -threw her on the floor, and managed to extinguish
her clothes. But Florence was badly burned, and was ill
for a long time. And during that illness she became a much
better child, and made good resolutions for the future, which,
I am glad to say, she kept, or I should never have included
her in the number of my Little Friends.
-M LGY was about ten years old, when his father
and mother went to India, leaving him at
school in England, and he used often to
come to me for his holidays. This he was,
delighted to do, for I lived in the country,
and he had a boy's fondness for country
sports and games. Algy was quick, clever, and handy, and
always eager to be of use. Indeed, he was never happy
unless he was busy: only find him work to do and he was
perfectly contented. He and I were great friends, but there
was one little person that I think he liked better than me,
and this person I was not inclined to be jealous of, seeing it
was my own little daughter Cissy.
Unlike other schoolboys, who generally have a contempt
for children younger than themselves, and girls especially,
Algy showed the greatest affection for my little baby-girl,
then about three years old. He was her constant companion
and her slavey; he played at being her horse, or anything
else she chose, and was always inventing some new pleasure
or amusement for her. He was wonderfully clever, too, at
mending her broken toys, and never tired of the work. I
need not say that Algy's love was thoroughly returned by
my little Cissy.
As Algy was so clever at carpentering, my husband made
62 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
him a present of a fine box of carpentering tools upon one
of his birthdays. This was a source of immense pleasure
to the boy, who showed wonderful ingenuity in the work he
did. A regular carpenter could hardly have shown more
,cleverness in the use of his tools: that is, as far as wood
goes, but I cannot say this was always the case with respect
to his own unfortunate fingers. He used to work in one
of the outhouses near the kitchen garden, and there my
husband had a regular carpenter's bench put up for him.
In this outhouse many carpentering achievements were per-
formed, I can tell you. The most beautiful and roomy
rabbit-hutches were made, the most cleverly constructed
boxes, and, indeed, more wonders in the carpentering line
than I have space to tell you of. I remember, though, one
morning, just before lunch, poor Algy coming up to my
boudoir and knocking at the door.
"Come in," I called, fancying from the sound of the
footstep that it was my little friend.
Algy entered the room, his face looking rather pale, and his
hand bound up in a large handkerchief, which bore certain
terrible signs of a bad wound beneath.
"Oh, Algy cried I, "you have cut yourself with some
of your tools, and I am afraid very badly too. Let me see
Algernon unrolled his pocket-handkerchief, and I shud-
dered at the great gash I saw upon the child's hand.
" How it must hurt you, my poor little boy," said I, and
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how much it is bleeding, and what in the world have you
been doing to it ? What is all this sticky brown stuff near
the cut ?"
"Oh," answered Algernon, that's varnish. Old Price
told me it was the best thing to use if one cut oneself with
the tools. But it won't stop the bleeding this time, so I
thought I had better come and ask you for some sticking-
As Algy said this, he turned paler, and gave me a terrible
fright by fainting away. The poor little boy had cut him-
self very deeply in the palm of the hand, and had lost a
great deal of blood before he came to me; added to which
he had inflicted considerable and needless pain upon himself
by rubbing varnish into the wound. I placed him on my
sofa, and applied remedies by which he soon recovered, and
then I washed and bound up afresh the poor hand, and
.made my little friend promise that if ever he met with an
accident again he would come to me at once.
But now I am going to give you an account of one of his
,clever performances in the way of carpentering, which was
very like mischief, though not done with a mischievous
intention. It was really only a very mistaken piece of kind-
ness, on the little boy's part.
One day Cissy was begging to have a little chair of her
own to sit upon. "I want a little low chair of my own,
mamma," said she, "and I should like it to be a chair that I
can wheel about from one side of the room to the other."
64 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
Well, darling," I answered, we will see about it."
Algy said nothing. But the next day I had a bad cold,
and remained in my room to breakfast; my husband was
out shooting; so that the drawing-room was unoccupied
during the morning.
Just before lunch, I got up and went into the drawing-
room: what did I find there? Master Algy in his shirt
sleeves, kneeling, with his box of tools open beside him, and
sawing away with all his might and main at the legs of one
of my little light drawing-room chairs. It was a very pretty
chair of ebony, inlaid with mother-of-pearl.
"Good gracious, Algy I exclaimed, "what are you
"Only making Cissy a little chair out of a big one,'"
coolly answered the child.
He had already cut pieces off two of the legs, and was at
work upon a third, so I let him go on; and a very pretty
little chair he managed to make for my Cissy. He even
fastened little rollers on to the legs, so that she might wheel
it about; and this pleased her above everything.
Algy is a man now, but to this day I often scold him for
having cut up one of my best drawing-room chairs.
EAR little Matty! What a sweet little friend
she is, or was rather, for I can scarcely call
her a little friend now. No, she is a tall,
and very handsome young lady at the pre-
sent time ; but she has still the same warm,
kind heart, and fondness for animals that
she used to have.
Matty lived in a large country house, when she was a
little girl, to which belonged a large farm-yard, where every-
thing that ought to be found in a farm-yard was kept.
She was the youngest of a large family, and the other
daughters and sons were almost grown up when my little
friend was still quite a child. So Matty depended upon her
pets, a good deal, for play-fellows. She had a kitten, some
rabbits, and some sweet, dear, fluffy baby chickens, whose
mother was her very own old hen, Cackle. That old hen
was extremely attached to Matty, and if she caught sight of
her ever so far off, or only heard the sound of her footsteps
upon the gravel, the old hen would come running up, with
her brood of chickens behind her, to see what Matty was
going to give them. In fact, not only Cackle, and her young
ones, came, but also two ducks, which were Matty's very
-own as well as Cackle.
Now I must tell you a very curious thing about good Mrs.
66 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
Cackle, Matty's pet hen. Well, then, once upon a time,
Matty had two pet hens, and one of them, not Cackle
but the other, had a brood of sixteen little chickens : Cackle
about the same time becoming the mother of ten promising
little fluffy babies; the two hens marched about in great
pomp, with their troop of little ones about them, taking
care to keep at a respectful distance one from the other. But
alas! the poor, but proud, mother of the sixteen- little
chickens, finding the cares of so large a family too much for
her, or from some other cause unknown, went raving mad:
she behaved in such an insane manner that the man whose
business it was to look after the poultry announced, in much
trouble, to Matty's mamma, that the poor mad hen must be
killed. Matty was standing by when the terrible announce-
ment was made, and she exclaimed with horror:
"Oh, mamma what is to become of her chickens?
Don't you think she might get well? I am so sorry. And
she is Cackle's great friend too! "
"I'm afraid that we must let Preston do as he thinks
best," replied Matty's mamma. It would be a terrible
thing to have a mad hen roaming about at large. But I
think with you, Matty, that it is a dreadful misfortune for
the little chickens : but what is to be done ? "
Little tender-hearted Matty shed a few tears over the fate
of the poor mad hen, but then she wisely turned her
thoughts to what could be done for the sixteen unfortunate
orphans. She and Preston put their heads together, and
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they decided that it would be a good plan to try and induce
Cackle to adopt the motherless chicks as her own, and bring
them up with her own family. Matty at first was inclined
to object to this plan, as she could not but think it was hard
upon her favourite, who was already oppressed with the
care of many children. However, there seemed no other
plan to adopt: at least it seemed the most feasible plan, so
the-sixteen little orphans were placed under the same coop
with Cackle and her children, and that worthy and generous-
minded hen from that time mothered them, and I often saw
Cackle leading about her immense family, every one of
which she brought up in the most careful and praiseworthy
Now I must tell you about one of these six-and-twenty
little chickens brought up by the worthy Cackle. Whether
it was one of her own proper chickens or an adopted child,
I cannot say, but Matty always said she was sure it must
be Cackle's own child, because it was so nice, and Matty
made a great pet of it, and it used to follow her about like
a dog, and would fly in at the window, if it saw her inside
the room, and perch upon her shoulder like a parrot. It was
a very pretty chicken, speckled like a partridge, and indeed
quite uncommon in all ways.
This chicken, which Matty called Speckly, made great
friends with one of the ducks, who was also a great pet of
Matty's, and very tame: now these two creatures were
generally seen pecking about together, and directly Matty
68 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
made her appearance out of doors-both these creatures,
Speckly and Waddles, as the duck was called--came to
meet her and follow her about. But I must tell you of one
dreadful piece of impropriety they committed through their
desire to be near Matty.
One very hot Sunday afternoon in the summer the little
girl had gone to the old parish church, which was not far
from the gates leading to Matty's home, and the farm-yard
where Speckly and Waddles were disporting themselves.
It is supposed that these two affectionate friends of little
Matty were seized with a strong desire to see her, fancying
perhaps, that she was absent from them too long. At all
events, just at the commencement of the sermon, two very
curious church-goers appeared at the open door under the
large porch, and Speckly and Waddles came scraping and
waddling up the aisle, nothing daunted at the wrathful
glances cast at them, or the sound of tittering which some
of the younger portions of the congregation could not
restrain. They made their way in a solemn and stately
fashion up to Matty's seat, who, covered with confusion,
would not have known what to do, had not her governess
quietly taken her by the hand, and led her out of church,
followed by the unwelcome pets, who went out silently and
with great decorum. Except that just as they were reaching
the church porch again, Waddles gave vent to one loud
" quack," probably as a sign of rejoicing at regaining the
open air, safely accompanied by his two friends.
O-MORROW would be Christmas Day-the
merriest time of all the year! Boys at
home for the holidays were scampering
about like wild things, and sisters had not
yet found out how rough and riotous boys
can be when they are long at home.
Edith, my little friend, had several brothers-five in all,
some older, some younger than herself, and one sweet little
baby sister, Rosey. Edith was thirteen when the event
happened I am going to tell you about. I was spending
Christmas down at the Rectory, Edith's home, and we were
all busy decorating the church for Christmas Day. The
boys helped us finely, and even little Rosey toddled up the
churchyard path bringing evergreens in her hands.
As to Edith, she was the best worker among us all,
carrying baskets full of ivy, holly, and mistletoe, from the
Rectory garden to the church. How pretty she looked, too,
with a white shawl tied over her shoulders and chest, and
her little blue quilted hood on her fair head! She trudged
backwards and forwards through the snow, as pretty, merry,
and useful a little person as you ever saw. The nearest
way from the Rectory garden to the church was across a
field, through which ran a small stream-a branch of the
river Medway, I believe. This stream was spanned by a
70 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
little bridge, consisting of a single plank, with a hand-rail
only on one side; and I know I trembled sometimes when
I saw Edith crossing it with her great basket of evergreens
in her arms.
When it grew dark we had lights in the dear old church,
and still worked on. Little Rosey had been sent in to bed
before it got quite dark, though she only went quietly upon
condition that Edith would go in and see her before she
went to sleep. As it was Christmas Eve all the bigger
children were allowed to dine at seven with us.
At about six o'clock, Edith, who was helping me, said:
"Now I must go home, because I promised Rosey that I
would kiss her before she went to sleep." In a moment
she was off, and I went on with my work. After another
half-hour's work, we elders prepared to leave the church
also. It was very dark, so instead of going the short way
across the field and over the bridge, we went out into the
high road, and so round to the Rectory that way.
How bright and cheery the old Rectory looked, with
lights at the windows, and bright fires and merry faces
But where's Edith? said her mamma, as we went in.
"Edith left us," I replied, "to come in and say good-
night to Rosey. We only got the little one off to bed by
promising that Edith should go and kiss her before she
went to sleep. She must have returned home half an hour
____- ____ _ _------_- ------- .;c,=..)'
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Going into my room to dress for dinner, I stood at the
window for a moment watching the moon, as it rose and
shone down upon a white, still world. The earth seemed
to sleep quietly under its soft canopy of snow. Nothing
stirred, nor was there a sound to break the silence. I
opened the window and was leaning out enjoying the
tranquil beauty of the scene, when I fancied I heard a faint
cry in the distance. But at that moment the silence was
broken by sounds of laughter and merriment in the village:
I heard the cry no more, and, shutting down the window
began to dress.
We were soon assembled in the drawing-room, all but
"Run up and see where Edith is, and ask Nurse about
her," cried Edith's mamma to one of the boys.
The answer was brought back that Nurse had not seen
Edith since she was in the church ; and nobody knew where
she was. There was general dismay in the house, which
a minute before had been so full of merriment and happi-
ness. Then an idea suddenly flashed across my mind:
I remembered the faint cry I had heard a short time back
from my bedroom window. It seemed in the direction of
the field where the bridge was. Could the child have fallen
from the bridge? At any rate she had not been drowned
or there would have been no cry. I hoped now, what I
should have dreaded at another time, that the cry had come
from our little Edith's lips.
SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
"Come, come! I exclaimed, "to the bridge! "
We all of us started off at once as fast as we could go,
treading in thin shoes upon the soft snow, across the garden
to the little bridge, which was but just beyond it. There,
on the bank, we caught sight of our darling child. She
had slipped and fallen, but, thank God, not into the water.
1He1r foot slipped as she stepped from the bridge on to the
snow-covered ground beyond, and she fell down the bank
to the edge of the water, spraining her ankle in the fall so
badly that she could neither stand nor rise. There she had
remained upon the sloping bank for nearly an hour, within
a stone's throw of the Rectory, nobody happening to pass
all that time. When we reached the child she had fainted,
either from the cold or the pain of her ankle.
Many weeks passed before my dear little friend recovered,
for the accident caused an attack of rheumatic fever. Indeed,
the primroses were showing themselves under the hedges in
the country lanes before our little Edith looked quite her-
If possible, from that day our dear little girl was more
precious to us than ever, for had we not suffered the pain
of feeling for a time that we had lost her. And being given
back to us again, it seemed as if we could never make
enough of the child; but Edith was not spoiled. No, I
think she grew nicer as well as dearer every day.
NE glorious summer afternoon, a year or
two ago, I went off for a walk through
the fields with the dogs; and it was on
this occasion that I made the acquaintance
of the pretty child you see in the picture.
I was staying at the dear old Rectory, in
Kent, where I spent so many happy days, and where I first
met a good many of the little friends I have told you
Little Gerda, my sister-in-law's lovely little Danish
dog, with silky-white hair, insisted upon my taking her;
she sprang about, and made such a fuss that I had to give
in to her importunities, though I knew well I should
have to carry her half the way. However, this I made up
my mind to do, and started off through the shrubbery, then
through an iron gate to the church-yard, and so reached
the village street. As I walked into the latter, I was met
by old Tan, one of the dearest of my many dog friends;
the cunning old fellow had watched, and found out that
I was going for a walk, and wishing to accompany me,
he had slipped his collar, by which he was fastened to his
kennel-a favourite trick of his-and had made his way by
the road to the village, where he was in time to meet me
coming out of the church-yard.
74 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
I shook my head at the old dog, for I knew that he would
give me trouble. Poor old Tan had great difficulty in
getting over stiles or up banks, for the old fellow was stiff
from rheumatism: still he was determined not to be left
behind, and if he stuck at any stile or fence he would cry
piteously for me until I returned and helped him over his
difficulty, which was often hard to do, for he was very large
and heavy. But really the worst trouble that Tan gave was
when, in crossing the fields, we happened to fall in with any
cattle, which always made a point of pursuing the dog.
However, on this glorious summer afternoon, I made up
my mind I could not refuse to let the old doggie have his
run which he so enjoyed, so we three started off together.
First of all our way led us through the village, then down
a shady road, which was cool and delicious even on this
broiling July day. The trees met overhead, allowing, here
and there, broad flashes of sunlight to shine down through
the branches. Then, I remember, we came to a dear old
farm-house, its lattice windows wide open, allowing the
creeping roses to peep in and breathe their sweetness
through the house. All was bright and gay here; the
garden, a mass of summer beauty and delicious fragrance,
was overlooked by some tall sunflowers which seemed to
smile down upon the whole world. Then we went down a
hill, the dogs and I, and all the way my eyes were delighted
by the sight of the lovely valley before me, and the great
stretch of beautiful landscape lying beyond.
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Now we came to a stile, over which I climbed easily, and
under which little Gerda crept easily: but poor old Tan
could do neither easily. At last, by dint of much struggling
and pulling, I managed to get him over, and we then found
ourselves in a good large field, with a small foot-path
running through it close to a high hedge. We had three
fields to cross; this first was the largest of the three; and
just about the middle of the field I saw, in the path before
me, the figure of a little girl. A lovely little picture she
made with the sunlight gleaming down upon her.
The child carried her hat slung over one arm by the tied
strings; in it she had placed some wild flowers, which she
was still busy gathering as she went along; one little hand
held a bright bunch of blossoms, when I first saw her, while
the other pulled down one of the small branches of a tree
which grew by the hedge side. A fair child, with earnest,
blue eyes a pretty picture indeed! As I passed her, with
my four-footed companions, the child looked at me with a
bright smile which made her quite beautiful. She was only
a little village child, commonly and poorly dressed, but
wonderfully sweet and pretty. She did not seem in the
least afraid of the dogs, but stretched out her little hand to
pat old Tan as he trotted past, which notice was gratefully
received by the dear old dog. The field in which we now
were had sheep only grazing in it, but as we got over the
stile into the next I was rather dismayed to find a number
of horses turned out. I called Tan close to heel,however,
76 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
and lifting Gerda in my arms, went on my way along the
little footpath which struck straight across the field.
Now, unfortunately, Tan took it into his foolish old head
to bark as we passed rather near two or three large cart-
horses, which were grazing in the middle of the field. This
attracted their attention, and they at once came trotting up:
Tan advanced in spite of me, and barked again; this angered
the horses, and they sprang about, lashing out with their
great iron-shod hoofs in a most alarming manner; their
tails and manes making a sort of whirlwind round us, for
Tan now took refuge almost under my dress. I was really
frightened; one blow from those fearful iron feet would so
easily have put an end to me. But imagine my surprise-
as I stood still in the middle of the field for a second, think-
ing what I had better do with myself and dogs for safety-
to see my little friend of the first field jumping over the
stile, and running towards me, waving her hat in her hand.
It was wonderful to see her bounding up towards the horses,
whirling her hat about, and knocking right and left; and it
was wonderful to see the horses galloping off to the other
end of the field, leaving the child, and me and the dogs,
safe and sound.
You may be sure I went to see little Annie-for that was
her name-in her cottage after this ; and you do not wonder
at my calling her my little friend; but I made her promise
me she would not be so rash again, though I must say I
could not help praising her for her courage.
PEARL AND IVY.
EARL and IVY are two dear little friends of
mine, and I have a very interesting, indeed
exciting story to tell you about them.
It happened that one winter, instead of
spending Christmas at Penstone Hall-
their own home in the country Pearl
and Ivy came up to spend the Christmas holidays with
their grandmamma, who always lived in London. The
fact was that scarlatina had broken out at the school where
some of the brothers went, just before the Christmas holi-
days, and, as neither Pearl nor Ivy had ever had scarlatina,
their father and mother thought it would be safer for the
two little girls to spend their Christmas with grandmamma,
away from any chance of infection.
Pearl and Ivy had never been away from their mamma
before; but although they were very sorry to leave her and
to miss the Christmas fun at home, still they looked forward
with great pleasure to their visit to dear grandmamma, who
was always so kind to them, and to the delights of an after-
noon pantomime which they were promised they should go
to see. Then, too, they were to have a Christmas tree on
Christmas day; a little party from three o'clock until seven;
and a dozen little friends were to come and have games
and tea, and enjoy a magic lantern.
78 SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS.
Well, Christmas day with all its joys came and went; at
eight o'clock all the little guests were gone; and the two
little girls were taken up to bed by nurse soon after. Their
grandmamma dined out, so that, when their bed-time arrived,
the house was empty with the exception of the two children
and the servants. Pearl and Ivy were in no hurry to go to
bed, they were over-excited with their party and inclined
to be troublesome; they insisted upon having the blinds
up before they were undressed, to look at the lights in a
house opposite where a children's dance was going on.
They could see little figures flitting past the lighted
windows through the drawn blinds.
At last the little girls allowed nurse to undress them;
but, once they had said their prayers, they hurried to the
window again in their little pink flannel dressing-gowns
to have another look at the fascinating party opposite.
Nurse was really getting very angry with her refractory
charges, when there suddenly appeared at the door a certain
little under-housemaid, a most good-natured little drudge,
that the children had taken, a great fancy to.
Please, Nurse, shall I stay a bit with the young ladies?"
said little Betsy, with a good-natured smile.
So off went nurse, and Betsy was left in charge. Presently
Betsy exclaimed, Lor', my dear young ladies, why every-
one can see into the room, and see us, as plain as plain, with
this lighted candle in the room; you must let me pull the
blinds down, or put away the candle."
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