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The Baldwin Library
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LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
KITTY AT HER POST
p Te 6
THE ONE MOSS-ROSE.
REV. P. B. POWER, M.A.
THOMAS NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW.
EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES ... .. .. 7
THE ONE MOSS-ROSE, .. .. .. .. .. ..
N the north of England, about the
borders of Lancashire, Yorkshire,
and Westmoreland, there live a
number of highly respectable yeo-
men, who are possessed of small properties
of their own. These little properties have
been handed down from father to son, in
some instances, for many generations;
and the different families seem to be al-
most part and parcel of the soil itself.
But now, many of these families are
8 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
breaking up; and the little estates are
purchased by neighboring proprietors,
and absorbed in their large properties.
It is in this part of England we are
going to lay the scene of our story, which,
as you perceive, is called, Little Kitty's
Knitting-Needles." And very beautiful
is this part of our country: hill and
dale, wood and river, diversify the scene;
and the church spires and towers, peep-
ing up here and there, lead us to hope
that amid this beautiful scenery there
may be found something more beauti-
ful still,-even souls knowing and loving
God, and living for a world fairer and
more beautiful than all the loveliness
There are districts in that part of the
country that are famous for knitting.
Almost every one handles the "pricks,"
as the knitting-needles are called; knit-
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 9
ting is part of the business of life, and
part of its pleasures. There are even
knitting-parties, and no end of gossip at
them; and in fact knitting forms a pro-
minent part of the thoughts, words, and
deeds of the female part of these good
Amongst these yeomen lived a worthy
man and his wife, who farmed about forty
acres of land. They were industrious
and thrifty; they lived happily together,
and were a good father and mother to a
large family of boys and girls; and if only
their little estate had been clear from
debt, their hearts would have been as
light as the lark's when she soars to
heaven in the clear morning air, leav-
ing behind her a more glorious train
than ever adorned a monarch in his
court,-a train of clear and melodious
10 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
But John Bulwer had one great trouble
upon his heart; and happy as he and
his wife Mary were together, this trouble
kept them awake many a night. Their
little estate was heavily in debt-not,
indeed, through any fault of theirs, for
they had ever been prudent and thrifty,
but it had been handed down to them
with heavy incumbrances; and they did
not know the moment when the lawyer,
in whose power they were, would turn
When John Bulwer sowed a crop he
often sighed, and, said to himself, Ah,
who knows who will reap this crop?"
When he did any little job about the
house, the strokes of the hammer were as
though they knocked against his own
heart, as he said, "Who can tell for
whom I am doing this?"
At length the evil day really came.
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 11
One morning the postman who went
round that way left a letter for poor
John, and it contained a notice from the
lawyer to pay up the mortgage, or the
money lent on the security of the farm;
and unless it was paid within six months,
the farm was to be sold.
There was sore distress in John Bul-
wer's house when the contents of this
letter became known; for there was no
doubt but that the farm must go. Look-
ing forward to this evil day, the worthy
yeoman had often tried to raise the
money, but he could not; and now he
felt that in a few months the old home-
stead must be left, and he must go forth
into the wide world.
Never did six months pass so quickly
for the poor Bulwers, as those succeeding
the day of notice, and at last the evil
time drew near, and the farm was put up
12 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
to auction. It fetched less than was
expected, some of the interest could not
be paid; then followed a sale of the poor
man's furniture, and, as he himself antici-
pated, he was thrown out upon the wide
John Bulwer's good conduct and kind
neighbourly ways secured him many
friends in this sad state of affairs. Every
one pitied him, and many were willing to
do what they could for him; but as
almost all had large families to support,
and only too many were themselves laden
with debt, they could not do much.
The worthy yeoman was grateful for
all kindness, but he was not the man to
eat the bread of idleness or charity when
he could work, so he speedily cast about
him as to what he was to do. A very
humble cottage at the foot of a neighbour-
ing hill was to be had for a trifling rent,
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 13
and that he hired for a dwelling; and a
situation offered by a neighboring farmer
promised to give him just bread enough
for his little ones. John Bulwer was to
be a kind of head man over the farm,
turning his hand to whatever was wanted,
superintending the men, and giving a
general eye to his master's interests.
For a while all went on tolerably well
in the little cottage, but there was more
trouble at hand; scarlet fever broke out
in the family, and swept away one after
another of the children, until, when the
disease had passed away from the house,
it was found that but one child was left,
and that one the weakest of the little
party. Kitty Bulwer had never been
strong, but she survived the fever, when
all the rest had been laid low in their
Little reader, rejoice not in your strength;
14 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
say not, I am too strong and well to be
near death; I will think about my soul
when I come to die." Ah how soon the
strongest are laid low. Disease may soon
take away all your strength. In one day
or one night you may be reduced to such
a state of weakness as not to be able to
stand or speak. Preparations for another
world should never be put off because we
are strong and well.
So little Kitty was the only one left;
and upon her the fierce disease left its
mark, for during her illness her hands
became contracted, so that she was not
able for a considerable time to help herself
in the least.
In the midst of all this loss John Bulwer
murmured not: he said, The Lord gave,
and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be
the name of the Lord." He read about
Job the man of patience; and, still better,
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 16
he read about Jesus the man of sorrows;
and he said, The disciple is not above
his Master;" and he bowed his head, and
amid all his trials gave thanks to God.
Very grateful indeed were the stricken
parents that their little daughter Kitty
had been spared to them. True, her
hands were a pitiable sight, and she was
evidently very delicate, and probably
would continue so all her life; still she
was their child, and not to be left alto-
gether childless was a great mercy.
Some persons are ever thinking of how
much they have lost, and never look at
what has been spared. Because the clouds
are thick, they shut their eyes to the little
rays of sunshine which break through
them; and thus they miss the alleviation
and comfort which may generally be found
even amid very sore trials. What is there
so bad but that it might have been worse ?
16 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
Mr. and Mrs. Bulwer often went on
Sunday, which was their only day of
leisure, to look at the graves of their five
little darlings, all lying side by side in the
churchyard, and there they dropped many
a warm tear; but often also they stood
over little Kitty's humble bed at night,
and watched her heavenly countenance as
she slept, and then they shed a tear of
gratitude and joy as they looked on her,
and thought that they had one child left.
Little reader, always have an eye for
your mercies; if you have one eye for
your sorrows, (and who can help seeing
trials and troubles when they come upon
him ?) have the other for your mercies, and
you will find that your heart will thus, by
God's grace, be kept from sinful repining,
and have a spring for exertion, and strength
for endurance, until the time of trial be
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 17
No one who knew little Kitty Bulwer
would have been the least surprised at the
delight her parents took in her. She was
obedient, gentle, cheerful, and loved God,
and showed that love in her daily life:
ever had Kitty a cheerful word and smile,
and the light danced in her bright eyes,
just as the sunbeams do in the rippling
Kitty's great grief in life was her crippled
hands. She had been very useful about
the house before the scarlet fever attacked
her,-she had delighted in helping her
mother in her daily household work, and
her heart sunk at the idea of being always
useless, always an incumbrance, unable to
do anything to earn a trifle to help in the
expenses of the house.
It is very true, little Kitty knew how
to knit-almost the very babies round
about knew how to knit, and such an
18 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
intelligent little girl as she was not likely
to be behindhand; but what good was
this, seeing that her poor fingers were now
so contracted, and indeed almost twisted,
that they could not hold the pricks any
more ? She could not grasp the thin
needles with her contorted fingers, and
without knitting-needles it was of course
impossible to knit.
Often did Kitty lie awake at night pon-
dering over her sad affliction, and thinking,
" What can I possibly do to help my father
and mother ?" At one time she fancied
that she could in some way tie the pricks
to her fingers, and when that failed, she
got some cobbler's wax, and tried to stick
them there; but it was all in vain, the
steel needles seemed determined to have
no more to do with Kitty, and at length
she was obliged to give up her experiments
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 19
But though obliged to give up her
experiments on the steel needles, she still
continued to ponder in her mind whether
something could not be done, and at last
a bright idea flashed across her mind.
True, she could not hold steel knitting-
needles, but as her fingers had not lost all
their power, perhaps she might be able to
do something with larger ones; the only
drawback to this idea being the coarseness
of such work. All around her were knit-
ting fine articles, and for them they pro-
cured a ready sale: would work done with
coarse needles sell at all ? I can never
know unless I try," said Kitty; "and if
only I have a blessing on my efforts, I
shall do well, despite all my disadvan-
tages." With Kitty Bulwer this was the
grand point. She observed that in spite of
many days of sharp winds the little lambs
throve and grew into sheep, and also that
20 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
with all the vicissitudes of the weather
the crops came to perfection; and surely,"
said she, I can do a great deal, and my
work can prosper, if only it have a blessing
from on high." This idea of "the bless-
ing" gradually became a very prominent
one in little Kitty's mind; and the more
she thought about it. and the more she
prayed for it, the more did she expect it,
and great things from it.
A neighboring carpenter, who had a
great regard for Kitty's father, was made
the little girl's confidant, and he promised
to make her some needles of wood. Kitty
visited him at his shop, and he tried her
hands to see how small and fine a needle
she could hold, and sent her away with the
joyful intelligence that she should have
them ready for work by the following
Kitty's father and mother fell very
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 2]
readily into her plans, and provided her
with some coarse wool; they were only
too delighted to find that she could occupy
herself usefully in any way. They knew
that idle time hangs heavy upon the hands,
and they remembered, good as Kitty was,
that what the Christian poet had written
For Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do."
The head full of knowledge, the heart full
of love, and the hands full of work, and
thus, with the bleeding of God, we may be
kept out of much evil. It is a mistake to
suppose that idleness is happiness,-very
few are more truly miserable than the idle.
And it is well known by medical men that
idleness will even make people ill: it
gives them what the French call ennui;
and when people are troubled with ennui,
they get cross, and do not know what to
22 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
do with themselves, and become fretful
both in body and mind, many a time
fancying themselves a prey to all sorts of
diseases and trials.
Kitty Bulwer would have always found
something to do, but to have a regular
resource like this was quite a bright pros-
It required some practice on Kitty's
part to be able to hold the needles, and
her first attempts at knitting were very
awkward; but she soon got used to the
wooden needles, and by degrees she be-
came quite handy at her work.
Even in the humblest spheres of life we
are liable to trials and troubles which will
test our Christian character; and humble
as Kitty Bulwer's position now was, she
found herself tried in it. Kitty Bulwer's
rough work could not, of course, for one
moment be compared with the fine knit-
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 28
ting done in the neighbourhood around;
and indeed she did not pretend that it
could. She did not exhibit it to any
person, much less make any boast of it;
still she found trouble in this humble
The carpenter who had befriended her,
and made her needles, had a daughter,
whose name was Nancy; and this Nancy
was not a well-disposed girl. So long as
she could have everything her own way,
she seemed amiable enough; but as Nancy
could not always have her own way, any
more than other people, we need not be
surprised at hearing that she was very
often out of temper. Nancy Sawyer was
full of self-conceit; she was also jealous
and selfish; and, in fact, had in her char-
acter many elements of misery for others
Just now this unamiable girl was very
24 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
wroth with Kitty Bulwer. It so happened
that she wanted her father to turn an old
box into a rabbit-hutch for her while he
was engaged in making little Kitty Bul-
wer's knitting-needles; and because he
would not put by his work and turn at
once to hers, she flew into a dreadful
"You never do anything for me!" cried
Nancy Sawyer, although I am your own
daughter; but any brat that comes in the
way, and wheedles you, you'll do anything
"Nancy, Nancy," said the carpenter,
"think before you say such an untruth;
didn't I mend your hoe and spade for you
the other day almost as soon as you gave
them to me ?"
"Ay, ay," cried Nancy, "because you
wanted me to work in the garden; that
was for you as well as for myself; but you
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 25
won't make this hutch, that I want only
"'Tis true," answered the carpenter,
"that I hurried with your hoe and spade
because you wanted them for a useful
purpose; and now I am hurrying with
Kitty Bulwer's knitting-needles because
it's a useful job; and indeed, more than
that, it is an important one to her."
Ay, ay, but Kitty is not your daughter,
and I think you ought to help your own
daughter before any one else."
"Nancy," answered the carpenter, "we
may be selfish in what we do for our own
relations, as well as in what we do for
ourselves; and I should be selfish if, to
please you, I took your plaything in hand
before these necessary things for a sick
"I hope they'll never come to any
good passionately screamed out the
26 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
wicked girl, in a high tone of voice; and
I don't believe that they will. What can
a twisted-fingered creature like her do
with knitting-needles ? I don't believe
she'll ever make a sixpence with all her
knitting." And so saying, Nancy Sawyer
flung herself out of her father's workshop
in a great rage.
The carpenter was a kind-hearted man,
but he was sorely in fault in not correct-
ing his daughter; the consequence was,
her temper grew worse and worse, and
she promised fair to be a plague to him,
as well as to herself. Contenting himself
with not doing the hutch, and keeping on
at the knitting-needles, the carpenter took
no more notice of his daughter's passion.
But the matter did not pass so easily out
of Nancy's mind. This evil girl deter-
mined to spite Kitty whenever she could,
and many were the plans for doing so
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 27
which she turned over in her mind.
Meanwhile Kitty Bulwer was turning
over many plans in her mind as to what
she should do with the produce of her
work. Two great objects she had in view;
and as her father had told her that she
might have for herself whatever she was
able to earn, she determined to divide her
earnings between the two great aims she
wished to carry out. One of Kitty's great
desires was to add something to her father
and mother's comfort; the other was to
be able to send something to the mission-
aries, in whose work she had taken the
liveliest interest, almost ever since she
could understand anything. There was
to be one stocking out of each pair for
Kitty's father and mother, and another
stocking for the missionaries; and if only
her work were blessed, Kitty hoped- to do
28 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
"Great things, indeed!" perhaps some
of our young readers exclaim; how could
she be so foolish as to expect that ?
Perhaps she might do something, but to
expect to do great things is rather too
much. If Kitty could give a donation of
1000, or even 50 a year, she might do
something great, but not with the humble
means at her disposal."
But, strange as it may appear, Kitty
Bulwer really did aspire to doing some-
thing great; it was one of her great
encouragements in thus trying to make
use of her crippled fingers, that she might
be eminently useful, and she thus reasoned
with herself: One-half of my money is to
buy Bibles to send to the heathen; if my
money is forthcoming, there will be so
many the more Bibles,-perhaps a dozen,
or say but half-a-dozen. As each heathen
will get only one Bible, there will be a
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 29
supply of the Holy Book for six more
persons than there would have been if I
had not given my money. If I ask a
blessing upon those six Bibles, who can
tell but that they may be the means of
the conversion of six souls; and would it
not be worth even a whole life-time of
labour to be the instrument of bringing
six souls to glory, of rescuing them from
the fearful horrors of the lost "
Thus reasoned Kitty Bulwer with her-
self, and she determined, with God's bless-
ing, to succeed. I will try," said she,
" again and again, until I am able to knit
with these needles, even if it took me
years before I succeeded."
A very useful lesson does little Kitty
teach us all. How apt are we to think
that we cannot do anything! One says,
I am too young;" another, I am too
poor;" another, I am too small," and so
80 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
on; few comparatively remembering that
God requires from a man according to
what he hath, and not according to what
he hath not. Every one can do something
in God's kingdom and to promote his
glory; and oftentimes he uses the very
feeblest instruments to bring about the
end he would have accomplished. But
the great point is, to be determined. If we
make up our minds that, with God's bless-
ing, we will do what is right, he will help
us in carrying out that determination: we
must do our part; he will not fail in doing
Dear young reader, sometimes remem-
ber poor little Kitty Bulwer with her
twisted fingers, and think, What can I do?
and be determined to do it.
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 81
AFTER many attempts the young knitter
succeeded very well; and great was her
joy, and great also the delight of her
parents, when she exhibited to them the
first pair of finished stockings. The car-
penter also was highly delighted; he was
rejoiced that his needles had done so well,
and his benevolent heart was glad, as he
thought that he had been the means of
benefiting a fellow-creature. Several of
the neighbours also came in, and shared, in
the family joy, and spoke encouragingly
to Kitty of her work. Many of them
thought that it would have been quite a
disgrace for a woman or a girl not to be
able to handle the pricks; so they also,
even though they rejoiced on no higher
ground, were yet well pleased.
32 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
There was only one person who was
not pleased, and that was Nancy Sawyer.
That evil-minded girl had been for a long
time on the watch to do Kitty Bulwer
some harm, and was sorely grieved that
as yet no opportunity had been afforded
her. True, she had been able to give
some vent to her spite; for when Kitty
sat knitting on the sunny side of a neigh-
bouring hedge, singing now and again
snatches of her favourite hymns, she used
to come and twit her about her failures,
and mock at her twisted fingers. At
times she used to contort her own fingers
into strange twisted shapes, and hold
them up before Kitty's face, and then she
used to pretend to try and knit in an
awkward fashion; but she had been
obliged to content herself with these evil
ways,-she dared not really lift a hand
against her little neighbour. Neverthe-
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 33
less Nancy Sawyer kept constantly in
view her intention of playing Kitty as
scurvy a trick as she could; and the great
desire of her mind was to get hold of the
newly-finished pair of stockings, and to
destroy them if she could. "That will
Sbe tenfold better," said Nancy, "than
hindering her as she goes on; that will
bring all her work to nothing in a moment;
that will pay her out for all I owe her,
and I shall have my revenge."
In the course of a little time Nancy
Sawyer got the opportunity she desired.
Kitty Bulwer's new stockings were lying
on the window-sill of her cottage, and
Nancy spied them as she passed by that
way. Cautiously did she peep through
the window to see if any one were at
hand, and when she had made filly sure
of the room's being empty, she took her
scissors from her pocket and gave the
34 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
stockings several small cuts; then, with a
horrible smile upon her mouth, she crept
off as quietly as she could. When Nancy
Sawyer had fairly made her escape, and
was out in the fields, she put her hands to
her sides, and threw back her head, and
burst out into a loud fit of laughter.
" Ha, ha !" cried she; I've done for you
now, my fine lady; you'll stand in the
way of my hutches again, won't you ? I
think I've paid you off pretty handsomely
now-ha, ha, ha!" and Nancy roared
out with laughter again. Nancy Saw-
yer's heart was glad for the moment; she
had just such happiness as the devils have,
when they are able to do mischief; and
indeed she had just yielded herself as an
instrument to Satan, to do what he de-
sired. Whoever spites another is thereby
doing the evil spirit's work: malice, spite,
revenge, are all the devil's delight; and
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 35
let no young reader of this story yield
himself or herself to Satan, a ready instru-
ment to do his will. Is not the very
thought of such a thing horrible ? The
bare idea of being an instrument of the
devil ought to make us shudder, and de-
ter us from rendering evil for evil.
When Kitty Bulwer discovered her
misfortune, her little heart was almost
broken. A kind neighbour who was
"going to the next town, where the stock-
ings were generally bought, called in for
Kitty's pair. The good woman had all
along taken an interest in the child's
efforts, and had promised to do her best
to sell her stockings together with her
own; and although no one knew it, she
had even made up her mind to buy the
stockings herself, if she could not find a
purchaser. "'Tis a brave thing," said
this honest woman, "for that young crea-
36 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
ture to work so hard with those crippled
fingers; and I'll be bound she has some
good way in her head of spending what
she earns. If she does get some of my
money, it won't go to any bad use; some
one will be the better of it."
Mrs. Wilson was a right cheery woman,
one who was always glad to do good to
others, one who made the best of every-
thing as it turned up; and now humming
a tune, she made her appearance at Kitty
"Here I am," said Mrs. Wilson, throw-
ing down a large bundle; "here is all my
girl's fine work going into town, and I'm
come for your coarse stockings, Kitty-
fine capital stockings for some big giant;
why, one pair of them would make a
a dozen of ours. Folk think your stock-
ings won't sell," said Mrs. Wilson, "but
I'm sure they will; I think I know some-
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 37
body will buy them; they're capital for
any rheumatic or gouty people, for drawing
on over the others. I never saw any of
these in the market, so you'll have the
market all to yourself; and who knows,
Kitty, but you'll get a name for coarse
stockings, and make a fortune in the end?"
Kitty laughed at the idea of the for-
tune, and laid hold of her stockings to
put them up in paper.
"Stop, stop!" said Mrs. Wilson, "let
me run my eye over them; I should like
to know well what I'm recommending.
I must be able to say, I know they're
Kitty handed her friend the stockings,
and fixed her eyes upon her, hoping to
see a look of approbation upon her face.
Mrs. Wilson was herself one of the best
knitters in the neighbourhood, therefore
her opinion would be worth something,
38 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
and, in Kitty's mind, if it were favourable,
she felt pretty sure that the stockings
would be sold. Judge therefore of her
distress when she saw Mrs. Wilson's eye-
brows lifted up, and then when she per-
ceived a frown gathering upon her brow.
"They're as good as I could make
them, indeed I've done my best," sobbed
Kitty as she burst into tears; for Mrs.
Wilson had steadily fixed her eyes upon
the stockings, and was evidently in a
high state of displeasure.
"You have done your best, I believe
you, my poor child," said her friend, and
the stockings are as well knitted as if you
had been paid 1000 for doing them; but
look here," and she showed poor Kitty
the little cuts in the wool. "How did
these come here? "
When Kitty saw the cuts, her little
heart was fit to break. In a moment all
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 39
her golden visions of the Bibles for the
missionaries and help for her father
vanished from her mind, and she felt as
if this calamity would quite crush her
"Come, Kitty, we must not waste our
time in crying over the matter; there is
some mystery here, these are the cuts of
some sharp instrument, and as they are in
more places than one, my belief is that
they have not come here by accident.
We must unravel this mystery; what has
happened once may happen perhaps again,
and'twill never do to knit stockings to have
them cut in pieces in this way. If these
stockings have been cut by design, the
person that cut them must have wished
to do you some harm-that's quite plain;
now who is there hereabouts that has
ever tried to do you any harm ? "
"The only one that was ever unkind to
40 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
me," sobbed Kitty, "was Nancy Sawyer:
but I have no reason ,to think she cut the
stockings; indeed, I don't know that she
has been this way at all. Oh dear, oh
dear, it was a cruel thing to do."
"We must try and find out more about
it," said Mrs. Wilson, "but meanwhile
let us not be idle; I never like to lose
any time in useless fretting, let us see
what we can do to repair the loss. The
best thing you can do, Kitty, is to set
about a new pair of stockings at once;
they'll be ready against next market-day,
and you sha'n't want for wool, for I'll buy
these stockings from you for the price of
the wool; I want a piece of net for our
fruit-trees, and this will just do to make
it, so you can start again, and everything
will turn out for the best. If you asked
a blessing on your work, not even this
sad misfortune can prevent its coming.
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 41
Now good-bye;" and Mrs. Wilson took
her departure with a great many thoughts
in her head, leaving poor Kitty standing
at the cottage door, with a great many
tears in her eyes. I'll unravel this mys-
tery," said Mrs. Wilson to herself, even
if it cost 10;" and ruminating on the
matter, turning it over again and again
in her mind, she trudged along to the
The triumphing of the wicked is often
destined to be but short; an eye is upon
them when they do not think it, and their
evil is brought to light. So was it in the
present case. Nancy Sawyer was des-
tined to be discovered in a very unex-
As Mrs. Wilson was going to the
market-town with her bundle of knitting,
her way lay through the very field where
Nancy Sawyer had been giving vent to
42 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
her delight and exultation at having suc-
cessfully accomplished her evil deed; and,
as she walked along, she saw a poor old
man, and apparently his little daughter,
lying in a hedge by the wayside. Mrs.
Wilson was not the woman to pass by
any one in distress without a kind word,
so she stopped and spoke to the poor
people. The old man said he had had
very little to eat that day; "and indeed,"
said he, "we have not met with any one
who would give us anything; the only
person we have seen this way was a girl
that we thought was mad, and she fright-
ened my poor child here almost out of her
Mrs. Wilson's curiosity was a good deal
stirred at this; she did not know of any one's
being insane in the neighbourhood, so she
put a few questions to the poor people to
find out some more about the matter.
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 43
"What kind of a girl was she ?" asked
"A tall, slouching-looking girl, with a
red handkerchief crossed upon her breast,
and a straw bonnet with a yellow faded
"Why, sure," said Mrs. Wilson, "it
must have been Nancy Sawyer; but
she's not mad. And what did she say or
do to frighten you, my child?" asked
"Why, she was so wild-like," answered
the little girl; she didn't see us, for we
were then lying at the other side of the
hedge under yon ferns, but she talked to
herself, and threw herself about, and was
quite mad-like. I couldn't hear all she
said, for we were not close enough, but
she was saying she had done for some-
body, and she cried out ha, ha, ha! very
44 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
"As far as we could make out," chimed
in the old man, "somebody had angered
her, and she had been spiting the person
and had her revenge, and she was de-
lighted at whatever she had done."
"Ho! ho!" said Mrs. Wilson to her-
self; "I'm on the scent now,-that girl
was Nancy Sawyer, and I expect she has
been cutting Kitty Bulwer's stockings;"
and so saying, she gave a couple of pence
to these poor folk and went on her way.
WHEN Mrs. Wilson returned from the
market-town, she came back by Kitty's
cottage. The little girl had expected to
have received her first earnings just at
this time, so it was a sore trial to her to
see Mrs. Wilson without having her
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 45
hopes realized. There was a smile, how-
ever, on that good woman's face, which
made Kitty feel sure that she had some-
thing interesting to tell.
"I have it all!" said Mrs. Wilson.
"There can be little doubt that Nancy
Sawyer did all the mischief; that's the
way she took to spite you. I'll go to her
father, and get her such a thrashing as
will do her good for the rest of her life."
It was some time before Kitty Bulwer
could fully persuade herself that Nancy
Sawyer could have been guilty of so wan-
ton an act of mischief; at last, however,
she came to be of Mrs. Wilson's opinion.
"I fear," said she, after thinking for a
long time, she did it; but don't get her
beaten-I'd rather lose the stockings than
have her thrashed."
Mrs. Wilson could not understand this
at all; she thought that a good thrashing
46 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
was just what Nancy Sawyer deserved,
and indeed she went so far as to say that
she should have no objection to give it to
her herself-"the good-for-nothing hussy,"
said she; "but she'll suffer for it some
way or other."
Mrs. Wilson was rather vexed that
Kitty would not let her go to the carpen-
ter to get his daughter thrashed; she
said, however, that it was Kitty's stock-
ings that had been spoiled, and that it
was her affair, and that she would leave
it where it was, as such was her wish;
and, after encouraging Kitty to begin
another pair of stockings as soon as she
could get the ,coarse worsted, she took
No doubt now remained on Kitty Bul-
wer's mind as to who had injured her
work, and she was the more confirmed in
her belief by the fact that Nancy Sawyer
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 47
avoided her as much as she could. That
evil girl was not without a conscience,
and her conscience would not let her look
Kitty in the face.
I must pray for that girl," said Kitty;
we are told to pray for those that de-
spitefully use us."
From that day forth Nancy Sawyer
was never an entire day out of Kitty
Bulwer's mind; her one great wish was
that she should come to repentance, and
not perish at the last. Kitty's parents
Shad the same desire; they could not but
feel sorely hurt at their poor child's
having been so persecuted, but they
were ready to bless them that persecuted
Sad as poor Kitty's misfortune was, she
was not destined to be entirely disap-
pointed in her desires of earning both for
the missionaries and her parents; on the
48 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
other hand, a double blessing was about
to be her lot.
As the little girl had been so much put
back by the loss of the first pair of stock-
ings, she began earnestly to think what
she could do to repair the loss. At last
she hit upon a thought.
Some little distance from Kitty's cot-
tage lay the coach road, and on that road
was a very steep hill. The little girl,
whenever she went that way, had ob-
served that the horses generally stopped
in the middle of the hill to take breath,
and then it was necessary for some one
with the carriages to put a stone behind
the wheels to prevent their slipping down
the hill, especially in frosty weather. As
many of the carriages passing that way
had no footman, Kitty thought that if
she took her pricks and did her work by
the road-side, she might be at hand to
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 49
supply a stone for the wheels, and so
might earn some pence.
The old man who kept the turnpike at
the bottom of the hill agreed to give the
child shelter in case of the weather's turn-
ing out unexpectedly bad; and it was
settled that she should go just when she
liked, and stay as long as she pleased. In
this matter also the carpenter proved him-
self a friend. He promised to throw to-
gether a rough seat for his little friend;
and he suggested that she should have a
couple of wedge-shaped pieces of wood,
which would be lighter than stone to move,
and would answer the purpose more effect-
ually. "Besides which," said the carpen-
ter, "it will look much better, and more
useful like; and perhaps when folk see you
with your regular tools, they will be more
inclined to give you something, than if you
just put a stone behind their wheels."
50 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
The carpenter was as good as his word;,
he soon tossed together a rustic seat, and
made the wedges, and Kitty took her place
by the road-side one sunshiny morning,
with her pricks in her hand, and the wedges
by her side.
Kitty was not discouraged because at
first not many pence came to her lot: her
new stockings were getting on, and she
was delivered from the mockings of Nancy
Sawyer, and the little she had received
would buy wool for three or four pairs
more of her stockings; so she thought she
had no cause to complain.
There was, however, what some people
would call a great piece of good luck in
store for Kitty. One day a travelling-
carriage with four horses dashed through
the turnpike and up the hill. The pos-
tilions in all probability thought to sur-
mount the hill at a gallop, and they
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 51
whipped and spurred their horses so as to
reach the top in a single run; but midway
in the hill the horses found their work too
heavy for them, and the leaders, apparently
quite blown, stumbled and fell. Kitty was
at her post; had she not been, who could
tell what fearful consequences might have
ensued? for the carriage was heavily laden
with luggage, and the great probability
was that it would drag back horses and all
down the steep incline. Kitty, as we have
said, was at her post, and in a moment her
two wedges were pushed firmly under the
hind wheels. The footman behind shouted
to the postilions that it was all right, and
then leaped down to help to extricate the
horses, and to wait on the occupants
of the carriage. They consisted of
a lady and her little daughter, and
they were both as pale as marble, and
their eyes were wet with tears; they
52 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
felt they had escaped from a great peril
"Please your ladyship," said the foot-
man, "it is a providence that we have not
all been destroyed; we might have been
killed but for yonder little girl on that
"The horses cannot go on for some
time," said the countess,-" put down the
steps, Thomas, and let me out; and take
out Lady Mary also.-Come, Mary dar-
ling, and we'll thank the little girl for
having been the means of doing so much
The little girl called Lady Mary" was
about Kitty's own size, but she was even
much more delicate in form. She was thin
and pale, and it was quite evident that she
was not strong upon her feet; indeed, her
feet were so wrapped up, that it was almost
hard for her to walk. Young as Lady
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 83
Mary was, she was a martyr to rheuma-
tism; her little bones often ached, and it
was only by great care that she had been
"Thank you, my little girl, a thousand
times," said the countess to Kitty, "for I
believe that, under Providence, you have
saved our lives."
"Yes, thank you," said Lady Mary.
" I am sure we shall never forget you;
shall we, mamma?"
Kitty courtesied and got very red, for
she felt sure she was speaking to some very
grand people, and at last she stammered
out that she was very glad she had been
of any use.
"I think, under God, you have saved
our lives," said the countess, and I should
like to give you some little acknowledg-
ment of our thankfulness;" whereupon,
having drawn a handsome silk purse from
54 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
her pocket, she took five sovereigns from
it, and put them into Kitty Bulwer's
Nothing could have set Kitty more at
ease than this mention of the lady's thank-
fulness to God. These are good people,"
thought she to herself; "they no doubt
love and worship the same God that I do,"
and she now felt less inclined to slip away.
By way of putting the child more at her
ease, the countess took up her knitting and
began to ask her about it; and Kitty, get-
ting communicative, gave her the whole
account of their misfortunes, of the death
of her brothers and sisters, of her own ill-
ness, and of her effort to help her parents
and the missionaries.
I had almost despaired of ever being
rich enough to give them any real help,
but now I can," said the little girl joyfully,
as she looked at the golden coins.
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 55
"You shall not be disappointed in your
work either," said the countess, who was
greatly interested in Kitty's story. I
approve highly of your attempt to do
something; I always help those whom I
find endeavouring to help themselves, and
I will buy a dozen pairs of your stockings
as soon as they are ready. Here," said
the countess, taking a card from her card-
case, and writing an address on it with a
pencil, "is the name of the place where
we shall be staying for the next three
months, and you can bring the stockings
when they are done. They are to be a
child's size-the size for this little girl;"
and the countess told Kitty to measure
Lady Mary's foot. "My little daughter
is subject to rheumatism, and these will
do to draw over her feet."
By this time the carriage was got to
rights, and the footman came forward to
66 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
announce that all was ready; and in a few
moments the handsome vehicle, with its
four horses, was out of sight, and Kitty
Bulwer remained by the road-side, almost
fancying that all that had just passed was
a dream. People don't find golden sove-
reigns in their hands when they have been
dreaming of them, and there was no deny-
ing that there they were in Kitty's palm,
so she made the best of her way home.
As she went along the road she had some
sore temptations about the money; two
pounds ten shillings seemed to be a great
deal to give away, especially for one in
her circumstances, and when her dear
parents were in want of so many things;
and it was suggested to her mind that if
she gave five shillings, that would do very
well, especially as it would be a great deal
more than many of the neighbours gave.
But Kitty held firm, and after many argu-
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 57
ments, and indeed no small contention
within herself, she determined that one-
half should be given. Is it," said she to
herself, "because God has blessed me
above all expectation that I should draw
back? I thought to have made a few
shillings, and then he should have had the
half; and now that I have pounds, shall I
do less in proportion? No," said she;
"two pounds ten shall go to the mission-
aries, and two pounds ten to father and
mother: the more liberal God is to us, the
more liberal should we be in our gifts to
THE story of Kitty's wonderful adventure
soon got abroad through the neighbour-
hood; and every one except Nancy Sawyer
rejoiced at her prosperity. Amongst
58 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
those who rejoiced most was good Mrs.
Wilson. "You remember," said she,
"you asked a blessing on your work.
Kitty, and you have received it, only in
an unexpected way. All our blessings do
not come on the road we expect them to
travel, and this one has come a round-about
way. You remember that it is written
that all things shall work together for
good to them that love God,' and thus has
it been in your case.
"And I hear you have an order for
twelve pairs," said Mrs. Wilson. "Well
that's grand; and if I can give you any
help I will."
Kitty Bulwer worked away at her coarse
stockings, and was getting on pretty for-
ward with the execution of her order, when
a groom rode up to her cottage door. She
soon knew whence he came, for he had
the same livery on as that worn by the
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 59
servants of the countess; and it was from
the countess he had come. The man
brought a note to Kitty, saying that the
countess wished her to come at once to the
Hall where she was staying, and to bring
with her as many of the stockings as she
had finished; the groom had instructions
also to give her ten shillings to pay her
fare by the coach.
When Kitty Bulwer arrived at the Hall,
she was taken to a small room, where,
laid upon a sofa, was the little girl she had
seen on the road-side-the Lady Mary.
The little lady was suffering from rheuma-
tism, and now she tried to raise herself on
the couch. We sent for you," said she,
" to know if you would teach me to knit.
I have been thinking, too, a great deal
about your having been the means of sav-
ing our lives, and as I wish to try and
learn to knit, I should rather learn from
60 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
you than any one else. Mamma will give
you plenty of money if you teach me;
only I am very slow at learning, and you
must have a great deal of patience with
me. Have you plenty of patience ?"
Kitty had been told by the housekeeper
to call the little girl "My lady;" "for,"
said she, "her father is a grand lord." So
she answered, My lady, I'll be very glad
to teach you to knit; and I hope I can be
patient, for it took me a long time before
I was handy enough to do any knitting
after my hands got bad."
Perhaps it will take me ever so many
months," said her little ladyship.
"Oh, I don't mind how long; only "-
and here Kitty burst into tears, the
thought of her father and mother crossed
her mind-" only I should not like to be
so long away from my parents."
I'll take care of your parents," said a
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 61
voice from the door, and at that moment
Lady Mary's mother entered, "if only
you'll remain with my daughter until she
Then and there was the whole matter
settled; and before long Lady Mary let
Kitty into her whole secret.
"You see," said her ladyship, "that I
am now laid here; and although I can
often run about, still I am often laid for
whole weeks upon my sofa, or perhaps in
bed, and then my time does not always pass
very quickly; and I often keep thinking
that I should be much happier if I had
something to do, especially if it were
something that would help to make other
people happy; so I have made up my
my mind to learn to knit. And when I
have learned to knit, I mean to make a
great many stockings for the poor. We
have a great many poor people in our
62 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
neighbourhood, and on our estate; and it
will be a great pleasure to keep them
warm in the winter."
What a delightful prospect now opened
out before Kitty Bulwer, and it became
much more delightful when her parents
gave their assent to it, and it was settled
that Kitty Bulwer should live as knitting-
teacher and half waiting-maid on Lady
Mary. "All the waiting I want," said
the countess to Kitty's mother, can be
easily done by your daughter; and if she
reads to my child, and they knit together,
and she conduces to her happiness, that is
all I desire." And thus Kitty became
installed for a while as an inmate of a
As weeks passed on, Kitty Bulwer
became more and more acceptable to the
little lady, so much so that Lady Mary
could not bear to part with her; and
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 63
when the situation of farm-bailiff became
vacant the countess gave it to Kitty's
father, who came south, and lived near
his daughter, in something like his former
Years rolled on, and Kitty Bulwer had
grown into a strong woman, when one
day as she was returning to the castle, in
the frosty twilight of Christmas, she
was accosted by a gipsy-like woman,
with a wretched-looking child upon her
back and two more following her. Kitty
was very respectably though not finely
dressed, and the woman took her for one
of the ladies of the castle. Oh, listen
to me, my lady," said she, "and give me
something to cover my feet; they're frost-
bitten, and I feel as though my toes would
drop off; and the children are as bad.
My husband is dead-ay, he died in a
64 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
ditch, of cold, not a month ago; and I'll
soon go too."
If you go up to the castle-yard I'll
relieve you," said Kitty; I'll go on and
get something warm for you." And hast-
ening home she took out the last pair of
socks she had knitted, and got some warm
soup from the kitchen. The woman was
at the door; and when she and the child-
ren had devoured the soup, she stretched
out her hand eagerly for the stockings;
but she no sooner saw them plainly, than
she fixed her eyes on Kitty, and then
with a loud scream she fell fainting on
the ground. When the strange woman
came to herself, she thrust out her hand
violently, as though she were pushing
some one from her, and cried out Kitty's
name several times. Who or what could
she be? whence had she come? Kitty
ventured close to her, while one of the
LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES. 65
servants threw a light strong upon her
face, and in a moment the truth was re-
vealed-the wretched woman was Nancy
Sawyer! It was too much, even for her,
to receive the stockings from one whom
she had so wronged in former times!
Kitty begged the servants to withdraw
and leave the strange woman with her;
and in a short time she heard from her
her whole story. She confessed to having
cut the stockings; and ever since she had
done that malicious deed she had no
peace. Things seemed always to go
wrong with her. In spite of her father's
disapproval, Nancy had married a travel-
ling tinker and knife-grinder, and had
wandered about half-starved over the
country for many a long day.
A comfortable place was provided, by
the countess's direction, in one of the out-
offices for the poor vagrant; and Kitty
66 LITTLE KITTY'S KNITTING-NEEDLES.
Bulwer intended on the following morn-
ing to give her some substantial help.
But when morning came the vagrant was
not to be found. Lying close to where
she had slept were the stockings which
had been laid for her; and it was sup-
posed that, sore as was her need, she
could not take them, when she remem-
bered the past. No more was ever heard
of Nancy Sawyer; but a person answering
her description was transported for theft.
But Kitty Bulwer lived on, honoured and
respected, at the castle, finding out, more
and more, every day, how all things work
together for good to those who love God.
THE ONE MOSS-ROSE.
THE ONE MOSS-ROSE.
EONARD DOBBIN had a humble
cottage upon Squire Courtenay's
estate; but although the cottage
was humble, it was always kept
neat and clean, and was a pattern
of everything that a poor man's dwelling
should be. The white-washed walls, the
smoothly raked gravel walk, and the
sanded floor, were so many evidences that
Leonard was a careful and a thrifty man;
and while some of his poorer neighbours
laughed, and asked where was the use of
being so precise, they could not help re-
specting Dobbin, nevertheless.
63 THE ONE MOSS-ROSE.
The great, and, indeed, almost the only
pleasure upon which the labourer allowed
himself to spend any time, was the little
flower garden in front of the house. The
garden was Dobbin's pride; and the pride
of the garden was a moss-rose tree, which
was the peculiar treasure of the labourer's
little crippled son, who watched it from
the window, and whenever he was well
enough, crept out to water it, and pick off
any stray snail which had ventured to
climb up its rich brown leaves. No
mother ever watched her little infant with
more eager eyes than Jacob Dobbin did
his favourite rose; and no doubt he
thought all the more of it because he had
so few pleasures in life. Jacob Dobbin
had no fine toys, he could not take any
long walks, nor could he play at cricket,
or any such games, therefore his rose tree
was all the more precious; in fact, in his
THE ONE MOSS-ROSE. 69
estimation there was nothing to compare
with it in the world.
There was a great difference between
poor Jacob's lot and that of Squire Cour-
tenay's son. James Courtenay had plenty
of toys; he had also a pony,.and a servant
to attend him whenever he rode out; when
the summer came, he used often to go out
sailing with the squire in his yacht; and
there was scarce anything on which he set
his heart which he was not able to get.
With all these pleasures, James Cour-
tenay was not, however, so happy a youth
as poor Jacob Dobbin. Jacob, though
crippled, was contented-his few pleasures
were thoroughly enjoyed, and "a con-
tented mind is a continual feast;" whereas
James was spoiled by the abundance of
good things at his command; he was like
the full man that loatheth the honeycomb;
and he often caused no little trouble to his
70 THE ONE MOSS-ROSE.
friends, and, indeed, to himself also, by
the evil tempers he displayed.
Many a time did Jaames Courtenay's old
nurse, who was a God-fearing woman,
point out to him that the world was not
made for him alone; that there were many
others to be considered as well as himself;
and that although God had given him
many things, still he was not of a bit more
importance in His sight than others who
had not so much. All this the young
squire would never have listened to from
any one else; but old Aggie had reared
him, and whenever he was laid by with
any illness, or was in any particular
trouble, she was the one to whom he
always fled. God sometimes teaches
people very bitter lessons," said old
Aggie one day, when James Courtenay
had been speaking contemptuously to
one of the servants; "and take care,
THE ONE MOSS-ROSE. 71
Master James, lest you soon have to
Jacob Dobbin had been for some time
worse than usual, his cough was more
severe, and his poor leg more painful, when
his father and he held a long conversation
by the side of their scanty fire.
Leonard had made the tea in the old
black pot with the broken spout, and
Jacob lay on his little settle, close up to
"Father," said Jacob, I saw the young
squire ride by on his gray pony to-day,
and just then my leg gave me a sore pinch,
and I thought, How strange it is that
there should be such a difference between
folk; he's almost always galloping about,
and I'm almost always in bed."
"Poor folk," answered Jacob's father,
"are not always so badly off as they sup-
pose; little things make them happy, and
72 THE ONE MOSS-ROSE.
little things often make great folk un-
happy; and let us remember, Jacob, that
whatever may be our lot in life, we all
have an opportunity of pleasing God, and
so obtaining the great reward, which of
his mercy, and for Christ's sake, he will
give to all those who please him by patient
continuance in well-doing. The squire
cannot please God any more than you."
Oh," said Jacob, the squire can spend
more money than I can; he can give to
the poor, and do no end of things that I
cannot: all I can do is to lie still on my
bed, and at times keep myself from almost
cursing and swearing when the pain is
"Exactly so, my son," answered Leonard
Dobbin; "but remember that patience is
of great price in the sight of God; and he
is very often glorified in the sufferings of
THE ONE MOSS-ROSE. 78
"The way I should like to glorify God,"
said Jacob, "would be by going about
doing good, and letting people see me do
it, so that I could glorify him before them,
and not in my dull little corner here."
"Ah, Jacob, my son," replied old
Leonard Dobbin, "you may glorify God
more than you suppose up in your little
dull corner: what should you think of
glorifying him before angels and evil
"Ah, that would be glorious !" cried
Spirits, good and bad,'are ever around
us," said old Leonard, "and they are
watching us; and how much must God be
glorified before them, when they see his
grace able to make a sufferer patient and
gentle, and when they know that he is
bearing everything for Christ's sake.
When a Christian is injured, and avenges
74 THE ONE MOSS-ROSE.
not himself; when he is evil spoken of,
and answers not again; when he is pro-
voked, yet continues long-suffering,-then
the spirits, good and bad, witness these
things, and they must glorify the grace of
That night Jacob Dobbin seemed to
have quite a new light thrown upon his
life. Perhaps," said he to himself, as he
lay upon the little settle, I'm afflicted in
order that I may glorify God. I suppose
he is glorified by his people bearing differ-
ent kinds of pain; perhaps some other boy
is glorifying him with a crippled hand,
while I am with my poor crippled leg:
but I should like to be able even to bear
persecution from man for Christ's sake,
like the martyrs in father's old book; as
I have strength to bear such dreadful pain
in my poor leg, I daresay I might bear a
great deal of suffering of other kinds."
THE ONE MOSS-ROSE. 75
The spring with its showers passed away,
and the beautiful summer came, and Jacob
Dobbin was able to sit at his cottage door,
breathing in the pure country air, and
admiring what was to him the loveliest
object in nature-namely, one rich, swell-
ing bud upon his moss-rose tree. There
was but one bud this year upon the tree,
-the frosts and keen spring winds had
nipped all the rest; and this one was now
bursting into beauty; and it was doubly
dear to Jacob, because it was left alone.
Jacob passed much of his time at the cot-
tage door, dividing his admiration between
the one moss-rose and the beautiful white
fleecy clouds which used to sail in majes-
tic grandeur over his head; and often he
used to be day-dreaming for hours, about
the white robes of all who suffered for
While thus engaged one day, the young
76 THE ONE MOSS-ROSE.
squire came running along, and his eye
fell upon Jacob's rose. Hallo!" cried he
with delight-" a moss-rose Ha, ha!-
the gardener said we had not even one
blown in our garden; but here's a rare
beauty!" and in a moment James Cour-
tenay had bounded over the little garden
gate, and stood beside the rose bush. In
another instant his knife was out of his
pocket, and his hand approaching the tree.
"Stop, stop!" cried Jacob Dobbin;
"pray don't cut it,-'tis our only rose;
I've watched it I don't know how long;
and 'tisn't quite come out yet,"-and
Jacob made an effort to get from his seat
to the tree: but before the poor little
cripple could well rise from his seat the
young squire's knife was through the stem,
and with a loud laugh he jumped over the
little garden fence, and was soon lost to
THE ONE MOSS-ROSE. 77
The excitement of this scene had a
lamentable effect upon poor Jacob Dobbin.
When he found his one moss-rose gone,
he burst into a violent fit of sobbing, and
soon a quantity of blood began to pour
from his mouth-he had broken a blood-
vessel; and a neighbour, passing that way
a little time after, found him lying sense-
less upon the ground. The neighboring
doctor was sent for, and he gave it as his
opinion that Jacob could never get over
this attack. "Had it been an ordinary
case," said the doctor, I should not have
apprehended a fatal result; but under
present circumstances I fear the very
worst. Poor Jacob has not strength to
bear up against this loss of blood."
For many days Jacob Dobbin lay in
a darkened room, and many were the
thoughts of the other world which came into
his mind; amongst them were some con-
78 THE ONE MOSS-ROSE.
nected with the holy martyrs. "Father,"
said he to his aged parent as he sat by his
side, I have been learning a lesson about
the martyrs. I see now how unfit I was to
be tried as they were. If I could not bear
the loss of one moss-rose patiently for
Christ's sake, how could I have borne fire
and prison, and such like things?"
"Ah, Jacob," said the old man, "'tiLin
little common trials such as we meet with
every day, that, by God's grace, such a
spirit is reared within us as was in the
hearts of the great martyrs of the olden
time.-Tell me, can you forgive the
young squire? "
The blessed Jesus forgave his perse-
cutors," whispered Jacob faintly, "and
the martyrs prayed for those who tor-
mented them-in this, at least, I may be
like them. Father, I do forgive the
young squire. And, father," said Jacob, as
THE ONE MOSS-ROSE. 79
he opened his eyes after an interval of a
few minutes' rest, "get your spade, and
dig up the tree, and take it with my duty
to the young squire. Don't wait till I'm
dead, father-I should not feel parting
with it then; but I love the tree, and I
wish to give it to him now. And if you
dig up a very large ball of earth with it,
he can have it planted in his garden at
once; and-" But poor Jacob could say
no more-he sank back quite exhausted;
and he never returned to the subject again,
for in a day or two afterwards he died.
When old Leonard Dobbin appeared at
the great house with his wheel-barrow
containing the rose tree and its ball of
earth, there was no small stir among the
servants. Some said that it was fine im-
pudence in him to come troubling the
family about his trumpery rose, bringing
80 THE ONE MOSS-ROSE.
the tree, as if he wanted to lay Jacob
Dobbin's blood at their young master's
door; others shook their heads, and said
it was a bad business, and that that tree
was an ugly present, and one that they
should not care to have; and as to old
Aggie, she held her tongue, but prayed
that the child she had reared so anxiously
might yet become changed, and grow up
an altered man.
Old Leonard could not get audience of
the squire or his son; but the gardener,
who was in the servants' hall when he
arrived with his rose, told him to wheel it
along, and he would plant it in Master
James's garden, and look after it until
it bloomed again. And there the rose
finally took up its abode.
Meanwhile the young squire grew worse
and worse: he respected no one's property,
if he fancied it himself; and all the tenants
THE ONE MOSS-ROSE. 81
and domestics were afraid of imposing any
check upon his evil ways. He was not,
however, without some stings of con-
science: he knew that Jacob Dobbin was
dead-he had even seen his newly-made
grave in the churchyard on Sunday; and
he could not blot out from his memory the
distress of poor Jacob when last he saw
him alive; moreover, some of the whisper-
ings of the neighbourhood reached his
ears,-and all these things made him feel
far from comfortable.
As day after day passed by, James
Courtenay felt more and more miserable:
a settled sadness took possession of his
mind, varied by fits of restlessness and
passion, and he felt that there was some-
thing hanging over him, although he could
not exactly tell what. It was evident,
from the whispers which had reached his
ears, that there had been some dreadful
82 THE ONE MOSS-ROSE.
circumstances connected with Jacob Dob-
bin's death, but he feared to inquire; and
so day after day passed in wretchedness,
and there seemed little chance of matters
getting any better.
At length a change came in a very
unexpected way. As James Courtenay
was riding along one day, he saw a pair of
bantam fowls picking up the corn about a
stack in one of the tenants' yards. The
bantams were very handsome, and he felt
a great desire to possess them; so he dis-
mounted, and seeing the farmer's son hard
by, he asked him for how much he would
sell the fowls.
"They're not for sale, master," said
the boy; "they belong to my young
sister, and she wouldn't sell these ban-
tams for any money,-there isn't a cock
to match that one in all the country
THE ONE MOSS-ROSE. 83
I'll give a sovereign for them," said
"No, not ten," answered Jim Meyers.
"Then I'll take them, and no thanks,"
said the young squire; and so saying, he
flung Jim Meyers the sovereign, and be-
gan to hunt the bantams into a corner of
I say," cried Jim, "leave off hunting
those bantams, master, or I must call my
"Your father!" 'cried the young squire;
"and pray, who's your father? You're a
pretty fellow to talk about a father; take
care I don't bring my father to you;" and
having said this, he made a dart at the
cock bantam, which he had by this time
driven into a corner.
"Look here," said Jim, doubling his
fists. You did a bad job, young master,
by Jacob Dobbin; you were the death of
84 THE ONE MOSS-ROSE.
him; and I won't have you the death of
my little sister, by, maybe, her fretting
herself to death about these birds, so you
look out, and if you touch one of these
birds, come what will of it, I'll touch you."
"Who ever said I did Jacob Dobbin
any harm?" asked James Courtenay, his
face as pale as ashes; "I never laid a
hand upon the brat."
"Brat or no brat," answered Jim Meyers,
"you were the death of him; you made
him burst a blood-vessel, and I say you
murdered him!" This was too much for
James Courtenay to bear, so without more
ado he flew upon Jim Meyers, intending
to pommel him well. But Jim was not to
be so easily pommelled; he stood upon
his guard, and soon dealt the young squire
such a blow between the eyes that he had
no more power to fight.
"Vengeance! vengeance!" cried the
THE ONE MOSS-ROSE. 85
angry youth. I'll make you pay dearly
for this;" and slinking away, he got upon
his pony and rode rapidly home.
It may be easily imagined that on the
young squire's arrival at the Hall, in so
melancholy a plight, the whole place was
in terrible confusion. Servants ran hither
and thither, old Aggie went off for some
ice, and the footman ran to the stable to
send the groom for the doctor, and the
whole house was turned upside down.
In the midst of all this, James Courte-
nay's father came home, and great indeed
was his rage when he heard that his son
had received this beating on his own pro-
perty, and from the hands of a son of one
of his own tenants; and his rage became
greater and greater as the beaten boy
gave a very untrue account of what had
occurred. I was admiring a bantam of
Meyers," said he to his father, "and his
86 THE ONE MOSS-ROSE.
son flew upon me like a tiger,, and hit me
between the eyes."
Squire Courtenay determined to move
in the matter at once, so he sent a groom
to summon the Meyers-both father and
son. I'll make Meyers pay dearly for
this," said the squire; "his lease is out
next Michaelmas, and I shall not renew
it; and, besides, I'll prosecute his son."
All this delighted the young squire, and
every minute seemed to him to be an
hour, until the arrival of the two Meyers,
upon whom ample vengeance was to be
wreaked; and the pain of his eyes seemed
as nothing, so sweet was the prospect of
In the course of an hour the two Meyers
arrived, and with much fear and trembling
were shown into their landlord's presence.
"Meyers," cried the squire, in great
wrath, "you leave your farm at Michael-
THE ONE MOSS-ROSE. 87
mas; and as to that young scoundrel, your
son, I'll have him before the bench next
bench-day, and I'll see whether I can't
make him pay for such tricks as these."
"What have I done," asked old Meyers,
"to deserve being turned adrift ? If your
honour will hear the whole of the story
about this business, I don't believe you'll
turn me out on the cold world, after being
on that land nigh-hand forty years."
"Hear! I have heard enough about
it; your son dared to lift a hand to mine,
and-and I'll have no tenant on my estate
that will ever venture upon such an out-
rage as that. It was a great compliment
to you for my son to admire your bantams,
or anything on your farm, without his
being subjected to such an assault."
I don't want to excuse my boy," said
old Meyers, "for touching the young
squire; and right sorry I am that he ever
88 THE ONE MOSS-ROSE.
lifted a hand to him; but begging your
honour's pardon, the young squire pro-
voked him to it, and he did a great deal
more than just admire my little girl's
bantams.-Come, Jim, speak up, and tell
the squire all about it."
"Ay, speak up and excuse yourself, you
young rascal, if you can," said the angry
squire; "and if you can't, you'll soon find
your way into the inside of a prison for
this. Talk of poaching! what is it to an
assault upon the person?"
I will speak up, then, your honour,
since you wish it," said Jim Meyers, and
I'll tell the whole truth of how this came
about." And then he told the whole
story of the young squire having wanted
to buy the bantams, and on his not being
permitted to do so, of his endeavouring
to take them by force. "And when I
wouldn't let him carry away my sister's
THE ONE MOSS-ROSE. 89
birds, he flew on me like a game cock;
and in self-defence I struck him as I did."
"You said I murdered Jacob Dobbin,"
'interrupted James Courtenay.
"Yes, I did," answered Jim Meyers;
"and all the country says the same, and I
only say what every one else says. Ask
anybody within five miles of this, and if
they're not afraid to speak up, they'll tell
just the same tale that I do."
"Murdered Jacob Dobbin!" ejaculated
the squire in astonishment; "I don't be
lieve my son ever lifted a hand to him,-
you mean the crippled boy that died some
Yes, he means him," said Jim Meyers'
father; "and 'tis true what the lad says,
that folk for five miles round lay his death
at the young squire's door, and say that
a day will come when his blood will be
required of him!"
90 THE ONE MOSS-ROSE.
"Why, what happened?" asked the
squire, beginning almost to tremble in his
chair: for he knew that his son was given
to very violent tempers, and was of a very
arbitrary disposition; and he felt, more-
over, within the depths of his own heart,
that he had not checked him as he should.
"What is the whole truth about this
"Come, speak up, Jim," said old Meyers;
"you were poor Jacob's friend, and you
know most about it." The squire also
added a word, encouraging the lad, who,
thus emboldened, took courage and gave
the squire the whole history of poor Jacob
Dobbin's one moss-rose. He told him of
the cripple's love for the plant, and how
its one and only blossom had been rudely
snatched away by the young squire, and
how poor Jacob burst a blood-vessel and
THE ONE MOSS-ROSE. 91
"And if your honour wants to know
what became of the tree, you'll find it
planted in the young squire's garden,"
added Jim, "and the gardener will tell
you how it came there."
The reader will easily guess what must
have been the young squire's feelings as
he heard the whole of this tale. Several
times did he endeavour to make his escape,
under the plea that he was in great pain
from his face, and once or twice he pre-
tended to faint away; but his father, who,
though proud and irreligious, was just,
determined that he should remain until
the whole matter was searched out.
When Jim Meyers' story was ended,
the squire bade him go into the servants'
hall, and his father also, while old Dobbin
was sent for; and as to James, his son,
he told him to go up to his bedroom, and
not come down until he was called.
92 THE ONE MOSS-ROSE.
Poor old Leonard Dobbin was just as
much frightened as Jim Meyers and his
father had been, at the summons to attend
the squire. He had a clear conscience,
however; he felt that he had not wronged
the squire in anything; and so, washing
himself and putting on his best Sunday
clothes, he made his way to the Hall as
quickly as he could.
Leonard Dobbin," said the squire, I
charge you, upon pain of my worst dis-
pleasure, to tell me all you know about
this story of your late son's moss-rose tree.
You need not be afraid to tell me all;
your only cause for fear will be the hold-
ing back from me anything connected
-ith the matter."
Leonard went through the whole story
just as Jim Meyers had done; only he
added many little matters which made the
young squire's conduct appear even in a
THE ONE MOSS-ROSE. 93
still worse light than it had already done.
He was able to add all about his poor
crippled boy's forgiveness of the one who
had wronged him, and how he had himself
wheeled the rose tree up to the squire's
door, and how it was now to be found in
the young squire's garden. "And if I may
make so bold as to speak," continued old
Leonard, "nothing but true religion, and
the love of Christ, and the power of God's
Spirit in the heart, will ever make us
heartily forgive our enemies, and not only
forgive them, but render to them good for
When Leonard Dobbin arrived James
Courtenay had been sent for, and had
been obliged, with crimsoned cheeks, to
listen to this story of the poor crippled
boy's feelings. And now he would have
given all the roses in the world, if they
were his, to restore poor Jacob to life, or
94 THE ONE MOSS-ROSE.
never to have meddled with his flower;
but what had been done could not be un-
done, and no one could awake the poor
boy from his long cold sleep in the silent
"Leonard Dobbin," said the squire,
after he had sat for some time moodily,
with his face buried in his hands, "this is
the worst blow I have ever had in my life.
I would give 10,000 hard money, down
on that table, this very moment, that my
boy had never touched your boy's rose.
But what is done cannot be undone. Go
home, and when I've thought upon this
matter I'll see you again."
Meyers," said the squire, turning to
the other tenant, I was hasty in saying
a little while ago that I'd turn you out of
your farm next Michaelmas: you need
have no fear about the matter; instead of
turning you out, I'll give you a lease of it.
THE ONE MOSS-ROSE. 95
I hope you won't talk more than can be
helped about this terrible business. Now
The two men stood talking together for
a while at the lodge before they left the
grounds of the great house; and old
Leonard could not help wiping his eyes
with the sleeve of his rough coat, as he
said to Meyers, "Ah, neighbour, 'tis sore
work having a child without the fear of
God before his eyes. I'd rather be the
father of poor Jacob in his grave, than of
the young squire up yonder at the Hall."
Bitter indeed were Squire Courtenay's
feelings and reflections when the two old
men had left, and, his son having been
ordered off to his chamber, he found himself
once more alone. The dusk of the evening
came on, but the squire did not seem to
care for food, and, in truth, his melancholy
96 THE ONE MOSS-ROSE.
thoughts had taken all appetite away.
At last he went to the window, which
looked out over a fine park and a long
reach of valuable property, and he began
to think: What good will all these farms
do this boy, if the tenants upon them only
hate him, and curse him ? Perhaps, with
all this property he may come to some
bad end, and bring disgrace upon his
family and himself. And then the squire's
own heart began to smite him, and he
thought: Am not I to blame for not
having looked more closely after him, and
for not having corrected him whenever he
went wrong ? I must do something at
once. I must send him away from this
place, where almost every one lets him do
as he likes, until he learns how to control
himself, at least so far as not to do in-
justice to others.
Meanwhile the young squire's punish-
THE ONE MOSS-ROSE. 97
ment had begun. When left to the soli-
tude of his room, after having heard the
whole of Leonard Dobbin's account of
Jacob's death, a great horror took posses-
sion of his mind. Many were the efforts
the young lad made to shake off the
gloomy thoughts which came trooping
into his mind'; but every thought seemed
to have a hundred hooks by which it clung
to the memory, so that once in the mind,
it could not be got rid of again. At
length the young squire lay down upon
his bed, trembling as if he had the ague,
and realizing how true are the words, that
" our sin will find us out," and that "the
way of transgressors is hard."
At last, to his great relief, the handle
of his door was turned, and old Aggie
made her appearance.
"0 Aggie, Aggie," cried James Courte-
nay, come here! I'm fit to die with the