The empty jam-pot

Material Information

The empty jam-pot
Series Title:
"Little Dot" series
Religious Tract Society (Great Britain) ( Publisher )
Knight ( Printer )
Place of Publication:
Religious Tract Society
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
64 p., [1] leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 16 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Family -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Jam -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Faith -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Generosity -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Prize books (Provenance) -- 1884 ( rbprov )
Bldn -- 1884
Prize books (Provenance) ( rbprov )
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )


General Note:
Frontispiece printed in colors.
General Note:
Date of publication from prize inscription.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
by the author of "Willie Russell's temptation," "Lost and rescued," etc.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections ( with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026680445 ( ALEPH )
ALG6082 ( NOTIS )
57035406 ( OCLC )

Full Text

.. ......... .





I Cor. ix, 25.

TheBald-in Lhrar
f/ P r'1""'?',



TL{PMi X LD AL 1)1 11 N



By the Author of


-a.'- a-- I






V. "LOST LOST!" 49




was the label in plain
letters, but it was a
I long time since any-
thing so sweet-tasting
had been in the white
pot which came first
SfT of all from the grocer's
t to the cottage where Richard
'- \Vcbbe lived with his father
and mother.
"When the jam was all gone, and the
empty pot had been washed and put
with other clean things in the kitchen
cupboard, Mrs. Webbe filled it with salt;
after this it. held soda for a little time,
and then treacle. But the best of an
Empty jam-pot is that it can be used in

6 The Empty 7am-pot.
a variety of ways, if only it makes fre-
quent acquaintance with warm water,
and Dick found it in nowise injured by
the uses it had been put to when finally
he begged his mother to give it him for
a purpose of his own.
Before I disclose what this purpose
might be, I will tell you a little about
this boy of eleven years,-the only boy
of his home.
Dick had a sister, but she was so
much older than himself that she was
out in the world as a servant when he
ran about in petticoats; and thus, on the
rare occasions when Anna came home
,for a holiday, she seemed like a visitor
to whom he must be very polite and not
venture to teaze,-as some lads do even
the elder sisters.
Besides Mr. and Mrs. Webbe and
their son, there was old grandfather.
He had long been past all work; but he
was as fond as ever of a chat with a
neighbour when he sat by the fire in
winter, or in his chair by the cottage
door as summer came again.
George Webbe-thus he was called-
had been born and lived all his life in

A Young Miser. 7
that small country town, and many a
story could he tell of people he had
known there in the days of his youth.
He was very proud to speak of his
savings; how he had enough laid by to
bury him, and to come in usefully after-
wards to his son and daughter-in-law;
indeed, he was rather apt to talk as if
the chief concern of life was to gain
money, instead of striving to teach that
thrift and success, and such like things,
however good and praiseworthy in them-
selves, are of small value unless we
possess that true religion which God's
Word describes as the one thing need-
ful." Let us take heed thereto.
He was fond of quoting proverbs too,
on his favourite subject, and laying his
hand on his grandson's curly light head
would say, "'A penny saved is a penny
gained,' Dick. Think of that, my boy.
'Take care of the pence, and the pounds
will take care of themselves ;' don't let
that slip out of your mind; then perhaps
you won't be only a working-man like
your father when you grow to be as old.
as he is."
Now, however good a thing may be,

8 The Empty 7am-pot.
it is generally possible to take it in a
wrong way; this is true of pleasures, of
suffering, and of advice.
By taking a pleasure in a wrong way,
I mean, that it may in itself be a harm-
less and innocent one, but by our fault
or our weakness we make it into a real
harm, which does injury to our own
character. Let us suppose a boy to be
very fond of cricket; it is a good old
English sport, and an innocent pleasure
too. But if he can think of nothing else,
if his mind is so set on his "matches"
that he can give not a moment to the
duties we owe to each other, and espe-
cially -owe to God; or again, if by this
means he indulges in envy, spite, ill-
humour, and such bad feelings, he "takes
his pleasure the wrong way."
Then about sufferings: whether by
illness, pain, loss, or poverty, God gives
them to make us better, to draw us
nearer to Himself, because we are so
very prone to forget Him when life is
all smoothness and sunshine. But even
my youngest reader may have seen per-
sons whose trials seem to have quite a
different effect on them to that which

A Young Miser. 9
their heavenly Father intended: they are
full of murmuring against Him; they are
impatient, fretful, and gloomy, because
they have not prayed earnestly for help
to be patient and resigned, but "take
their sorrows the wrong way."
And it would take too long to set
down the number of times or the number
of means by which "good advice" has
been turned into harm because it was
not used in the right way. I will only
speak now of young Dick Webbe, and
the effect which his grandfather's words
had upon him, and this brings me again
to the subject of the old "empty jam-pot."
Carefulness with money is good
enough; the carefulness which makes
the miser is miserable and bad indeed.
You all know what a miser is; I suppose
the easiest way in which to describe one
is to say he is one who makes money
his chief thought, and so very soon it
becomes the only thought or desire he
keeps in his heart. A miser would not
give one of his coins to save the most
needy person from starvation; he will
hardly spare enough to supply his own
wants. He has ceased to wish for good

10 The Empty 7am-fpol.
food, or neat dress, for books, for amuse-
ment, because all these things cost money,
and he cannot bear to spend it; of course
he has ceased to think of God, because
God would have us to be charitable and
kind, sharing what we have with those
who are poorer and needier. Of course
a miser such as this, has become so by
long habit; at first his failing would only
show in little things, because the very
worst passion any one could indulge in
grows from some small seed which at the
beginning could be crushed and kept
under, if we tried.
Dick Webbe even as a boy bid fair to
become a miser, and the proverbs his old
grandfather used to quote to him filled
his foolish mind with the idea that to
have money was better than to have
health, happiness, or goodness,-in fact,
it was the best "object in life."
When he was but a tiny fellow, I can
assure you that cakes and "sweet-stuff"
did not tempt his halfpennies from him
as perhaps they do yours; oh, he liked
gingerbread, and peppermint, and rose
stick," and acid drops, and all the rest of
the things which were sold in one of the

A Young Aiiser. 11
little village shops, and had they been
offered to him he would certainly not be
heard to say, "No, thank you!" But
his own halfpennies were hidden in
corners where no one would ever have
thought of looking for them except him-
self, for it follows that "they that hide
can find."
As Dick grew older, a proper money-
box had no attractions for him; how
might he be sure that no one should feel
a curiosity in its contents? The boy had
just the true miser's spirit, for it gave
him quite a thrill of pain if even his
mother turned over his little store and
counted it for him.
So no cunning magpie could have
found better hiding-places for what she
stole, than Dick found hiding-places for
the halfpennies which his parents or the
old grandfather gave him; and this was
how he came to ask for the empty jam-
pot-it was to be his savings bank!
"May you have it?" said Mrs. Webbe,
when the request was put to her ; why,
yes, to be sure, lad; but what do you
want it for?"
Dick feigned not to hear this question,

]2 The Enjtly am-pot.
as he took the jam-pot in his hands and
ran away upstairs with it to the garret,
where nothing was kept except apples
and onions, an old box or two, and
things which were not of much present
use, but which Mrs. Webbe was wont to
say would "come in handily some day."
No one ever disturbed Dick here, un-
less it might be a mouse scrambling
across the boards, and startling him until
he knew it was no one coming to the
door in search of him. Here he kept
his store of pennies, and counted them
day by day, to see that not one had dis-
appeared bysome unknown means. Here
he now sat down to fill the empty jam-
pot, and to decide in what dark corner
he would afterwards conceal it.
The pence had now become pretty
numerous, and it appeared that the jam-
pot was not large enough to hold any
more; Dick took them in half-dozens to
the nearest shop, and changed them into
little silver coins, and then returned
stealthily to the garret, with more the
manner you would expect in a thief than
in a boy who has nothing in his hands
but what is honestly his own.

A Yomu Miscr. 3
And only that very morning, grand-
father had given him a shilling, though
it was no birthday or special occasion.
"You're a good lad, Dick," said he,
"and here's something for you. But
don't waste it in rubbish. If I thought
you'd do that, I wouldn't give it you.
Remember to 'take care of the pence,'
Dick, and you'll never come to any want."
All right, grandfather; don't you
fear!" answered the boy, taking his shil-
ling eagerly. I'm saving all the pennies
you ever gave me, because I want to be
a rich man."
I suppose it was this new addition to
his possession which made Dick want
something in which to keep them to-
gether. His mother had just washed
out the jam-pot, with the cups and plates
from breakfast, and he begged it of her
immediately, as I have told you.
So after holding by turns, raspberry
jam, salt, treacle, soda, rice, and starch,
the pot became the little miser's bank,
and was stowed in the darkest corner of
the dark garret, behind two boxes and
some empty sacks, so that no eye but
the eye of its owner should light on it.

14 7The Empty 7am-pfot.
Ah, Dick, Dick! you little know what
you are doing, or who it is that is tempting
you. Perhaps you may have heard it
read out of the Bible, though I am afraid
you do not attend much when you hear
it read: "The love of money is the root
of all evil;" but you have never thought
of the words applying to you. You do
not know how wicked your heart is, and
how it needs washing in a Saviour's
blood, and renewing by His Holy Spirit.
Satan does not wish you to find this out,
so he tries to occupy you with other
things, and make you believe, even while
"this root of all evil" is gaining more
possession of you, that you are a respect-
able and well-conducted boy. We shall
see how the "root" will grow up and
bring forth evil" fruit.
When Dick came down again he went
out into the little garden before the cot-
tage, and began a delightful day-dream
in which he seemed to see himself the
possessor of piles of golden coins. He
would not then have a fine house, horses,
carriages, or such things as rich people
delight in; he would not spend on food
or clothing-oh, no! he would live on in

A Young Miser. 15
the old place, and work away at some
such trade as his father's, and lay by
money every year.
What for ?" do you say. Well, that
is the question most of us would put, and
I suppose the real miser must find no
answer ready. He does not remember
that all the gold and the silver are
God's; that if He gives it us, it is that
we may use it well, because assuredly we
must render an account of what we have
done with it; that it is meant to enable
us to relieve suffering and sorrow; and
that if we have turned from the sight of
such when it was in our power to do
good, we shall merit those words which
Christ uttered during His life on earth:
" Inasmuch as ye have not done it unto
one of these, ye did it not unto Me."

ri t-';.


E left Dick Webbe standing
"at the cottage gate, imagin-
ing a fine golden future for
himself. He had been there
but a little while when
he was interrupted by the
voice of a schoolmate
close to his ear.
Dick," said the new-comer, in a half-
whisper, "mother sent me with a penny
to buy milk; and somehow I've lost it,
and I don't like to go home and tell her
so. It isn't that she'd be angry but a
penny is a penny just now that father's
ill, and--"
If you think I'm going to lend you
one," interrupted Dick, crossly, you're
mistaken, for I shan't; and turning on
his heel, he went into the kitchen, leaving
poor Harry Law disappointed and sad.
It was scarcely an hour later, that
being in the village on an errand, our

Ill-nalure. 17

young miser came upon a woman whose
face showed plainly enough that the tale
of want she had to tell was true. In her
arms lay a tiny wailing baby, a child
scarcely bigger was by her side, and as
Dick in his good clothing, so rosy and
stout, walked by, the poor thing held out
her hand, and asked just a halfpenny for
Not a bit of sorrow for misery ever
found place in this boy's heart, and he
did not even look at her with a glance of
kindliness; you do not need me to say
either that had fifty pence been in his
pocket at that moment, instead of in the
jam-pot in the corner of the garret, he
would not have spared her one to buy a
morsel of bread.
I hope that there is not a single young
reader who after being unkind like Dick
Webbe twice in the same morning, would
not have felt a little uncomfortable twinge
of conscience afterwards; but he had none
of it. Even had his mother or any one
suggested that "it is more blessed to give
than to receive," he would have opened
his eyes in great astonishment; to him,
as to all selfish people, giving would be
C 76

18 The Enplty yam-ot.
the worst punishment which could have
been laid upon him.
Scarcely had the boy passed the poor
woman and child, before a gentleman on
horseback reined up before a large house
near by, and seeing him, made a sign
that he should draw near. "Can you
hold my horse ?" he said. "You are
not afraid, I suppose."
No, Dick was not in the least timid,
especially when there was a certainty of
something to gain. He answered very
pleasantly, and stood at the head of the
chestnut mare for a full quarter of an
hour, wondering all the time how much
would be given him for doing it.
When the gentleman came out he
seemed disposed to talk a minute or two,
asking the lad's name and age, and
whether he lived in the village.
"And what are you going to do with
the money I shall give you ?" he said next.
" Run off and buy sweets, I suppose."
Dick shook his head. "No, I'm saving
up," he answered. I never spend my
pence in sweets."
Now the owner of the horse, not know-
ing what you and I do concerning the

Ill-nature. 19
miserly ways into which young Webbe
was fast falling, seemed greatly pleased
by an answer which was so sensible.
You're a wise boy, I see," he said,
and a shilling was dropped into the
willing hand. "Stay, you may as well
take these loose halfpence too. They'll
help to make the money-box heavier;"
and Dick found fourpence added to the
coin already given.
His smile was pleasant and his bow
polite, as he stood by to watch the horse
canter away; any stranger would have
been as pleased with him as was this
gentleman ; but then he could not see
what God saw, even the selfishness and
narrowness of Dick Webbe's heart.
Only a few yards were even now be-
tween him and the little child who whined
and cried for bread; but he had not a
halfpenny to spare for her, and hurried
home,-not to tell his mother of his good
fortune, as most boys would have done,
but to add to the money already lodged
in the empty jam-pot.
It certainly was going to be a day of
success in Dick's special object, for as
he sat at dinner his father exclaimed,

20 The Empty yam-pot.
" Well, my lad, have you a mind to earn
a bit of money after school hours ?"
Aye, trust him," said the old grand-
father; "he's a sensible lad, and knows
the worth of money better than some
twice his age."
"What is it?" cried Dick himself.
"I'm ready, father, whatever it is, though."
Webbe explained that a gentleman
at whose house he was just then work-
ing, wanted a lad for one hour in the
morning, and two hours in the evening,
to do small jobs for the cook, such as
filling scuttles, carrying wood, water, and
being useful generally; for this he would
give half-a-crown a week.
It struck me our Dick would be big
enough for that," said the father; and
every one agreeing, it was decided that
Mr. Howard should be petitioned for
the place without any delay.
I am sure you can imagine the pains
which were taken with the boy's appear-
ance first; how Mrs. Webbe brushed his
hair herself, and made his face shine
again with the soap and water she
lavished on it; his best clothes were
brushed, and he started off in his father's

Ill-nature. 21
company to the house where the gentle-
man lived who needed a lad in his
There was not a fear in Dick's mind
of failure, for he had plenty of people in
the village to speak for him; his entire
thoughts were on the matter of the
weekly money, and he was only anxious
lest his mother might take a part of it
towards his shoes or clothing, instead of
leaving him free to lay it by.
Arrived at Mr. Howard's, it was plain
that Dick's clean rosy face and sturdy
figure made a very good impression; but
-well, you shall hear how it was that
he went home in tears of vexation.
He looks a strong lad, and big of his
age," was the reply, "and knowing you,
Webbe, as a steady working man I
should have been pleased to employ
your son. But you are just half-an-hour
too late. I have promised to give Robert
Phillips a trial,-the eldest boy of a poor
woman who needs the half-crown a week
very sadly, poor thing."
In any case the disappointment must
have been very great; but when Dick
heard who it was that had been before

22 The Emply yam-pot.
him, he grew crimson to the roots of his
curly hair.
I am very sorry I don't want two
boys," said Mr. Howard, noting this;
and then fumbling in his pocket he said
kindly, Here's a fourpenny piece, I
daresay you can find some use for; and
if I hear of any place you could fill, you
may be sure I won't forget you, my little
It was the first time in Dick's life that
a fourpenny piece was not the occasion
of unmixed joy; he took it willingly
enough,and made his bow to Mr. Howard
as a well-taught boy should do, but the
desire to "do something" to his uncon-
scious rival was even stronger than to
get home to the garret and the jam-pot.
Never you mind," said his father, as
they passed out of the large iron gates.
" There'll be some other work turning
up, and you're young yet to be earning,
though it did seem a good chance. Don't
cry, my lad, don't; it isn't as if I hadn't
work enough to do for all of us. Ah,
it's true enough that poor Phillips and his
wife, need the half-crown badly, as Mr.
Howard said. We'll not grudge it them."

Zll-Znature. 23
Dick's mother said much the same,
and tried to comfort him in his unhappi-
ness; but it seemed useless. Certainly
Dick did grudge the money his poorer
neighbour was about to earn, and he
spent the chief part of the day in mur-
muring out his dislike to Robert Phillips.
Now, as a proof that ill-will in thought
may often lead to ill-will in action, I
must tell you what it came into Dick
Webbe's mind to do that evening after
he had missed getting employed by Mr.
It was not a stone's throw from his
house to the cottage the Phillips rented;
and even as he stood at his gate Dick
could plainly see the two or three hens
which clucked about on a bit of grass
within the wooden railings. I'll let
them out," said he, "and they'll stray
ever so far, and Bob will have the job
of finding them before night-fall. Serve
him right;" and five minutes afterwards
he had quietly done this bit of mischief,
and was presently delighted to hear Mrs.
Phillips calling to her hens in vain.
While she did so, Robert came up,
looking hot and weary, for he had been

24 The Empty Jam-pot.
helping in some hard work during that
half-holiday afternoon for the sake of
bringing home a few pence to his
"Oh, Bob!" she cried, "some one
must have left the gate open, for the
fowls are nowhere to be seen. I would
not ask you if I could leave Lizzie and
baby-they're so fretful to-night; but
do, like a good boy, run and drive them
in, or they'll be dropping their eggs no
one knows where in the morning."
A cloud came over Robert's tired face;
but he was always good and obliging
where "mother" was concerned. Turn-
ing round without a complaint, he went
off up the lane and across a field or two,
and had-just as the ill-natured Dick
expected-some patience to exercise be-
fore he found the fugitives, and drove
them in again to their own premises.
Poor Robert! unconsciously to himself
he had made an enemy of Richard
Webbe simply by gaining work a little
before him. It was not the last un-
kindly trick which was played him, I
assure you; little tricks, as you may think
them, but by such trifling matters we

Ill-nature. 25
may put much trouble and care into the
lives of others.
And before I write further I would
say that if you think Dick's grasping,
covetous ways would not lead him into
other faults, you think wrongly. The
most serious part of yielding to what is
amiss and harmful is, that we do not
know where the mischief will stop. One
fault leads on to another, one evil habit
is very apt to produce a second. We
tell ourselves, "This is a little thing," or
"that can't matter much;" and so by
such easy steps that we scarcely see we
are moving at all, we get further and
further from God, more apt to do what
is wrong, more disinclined for what is
And the remedy is a simple one, little
readers; only, like all remedies, it must
be taken in time. Ask God to give you
that new heart of which we spoke just
now, for He is so gracious, He has said,
" Ask, and it shall be given you," when
we ask it not for our sake, but for the
sake of Jesus. That will be a heart that
loves to please Him, and would do any-
thing rather than grieve Him. Ask Him

26 The Enmpy yam-pot.
to teach you to count no offence against
Him a small and unimportant thing;
ask Him to teach you to set a guard on
your heart and a watch upon your lips
in the common ways of daily life; pray
to Him that you may have grace first to
see and then to overcome each bad habit,
each fault before it grows up tall and
strong and hard to kill, and your petition
will be heard.
And as by "little things" we go wrong,
so by "little things" we may grow more
like Him, if He give us the grace. But
oh! we cannot take one step in the Chris-
tian life without Him; we can never
make ourselves one bit better or more
holy; we must depend simply and humbly
upon Him who said, Without Me ye
can do nothing;" we may be quite sure
that He will not only forgive us, but will
"keep" us and will uphold us in the
right way.

-~~ ----~-s


Secret Enemny.
Svou must not for a moment
imagine that Dick often had
so much "luck" (as he would
term it) in one day, or even
in a week; indeed, after the
day described to you, many
went by without his being
able to add so much as a farthing to the
store in the jam-pot.
The boy was moody and dull there-
fore, and got into trouble with both father
and mother for his temper, as well as for
his idleness at school; the only time that
the cloud cleared from his brow a little
would be as he counted his coins in the
garret, and no one could see him then
and have the benefit of a pleasanter face.
He often saw Robert Phillips running
off after lessons to his work in Mr.
Howard's kitchen, and this made Richard
feel all the worse. Half-a-crown a
week," he would murmur, "and he is

28 The Empty yam-pot.
getting it instead of me. How I should
like him to lose his place!"
It was a mean wish certainly. The
boy with a comfortable home, good
clothing, and plenty of food, to feel so
envious of another to whom this half-a-
crown meant a little more to eat, a trifle
put aside for some warm wrap when
winter came. Ah! how mean, how cruel
even, we may grow to be when we make
of self a sort of thing who shall rule
every thought and every desire.
So the wish that poor Robert might
be deprived of his earnings, set Dick
wondering how something could be man-
aged to get him out of his employer's
favour; and at last he did not keep these
thoughts to himself, but took into his
confidence an elder lad, the worst in all
the village, who, under a quiet manner,
concealed a deceitful heart.
I suppose all little fellows are easily
flattered if one much bigger seems to
want their friendship, and Aleck Mea-
dows quite won Dick's foolish heart by
joining him on the way from school, or
giving him a word or a nod as he ran
past the Webbes' gate.

A Secret Enemy. 29
"Oh, I don't waste my pennies in
sweets !" from Dick one day, had ex-
cited Aleck's curiosity; and after a few
questions he heard all about the little
hoard in the jam-pot, though where it
was kept remained untold.
How much have you now ?" he
would ask; and Dick told him to a far-
thing-it was not difficult to be very
exact when he constantly counted up, to
be certain nothing had disappeared or
been overlooked.
Thus Meadows learned about the lost
place which would have brought in a
weekly half-crown, and he feigned to be
very sorry, and to think Dick had not
been well treated because Phillips was
first chosen.
I'll do all I can to spite him," said
the younger boy, and then he told how
he had sent the fowls astray; how he
had shut up Bob's favourite cat for a
day and a night, while search was made
everywhere; how he had hidden Bob's
cap, too, so that after the school was
dismissed he could not find it, and came
near being late for Mr. Howard's in con-
sequence-these, and other such spiteful

30 The Empty 7am-pot.
teazing games, having been quite within
his power to manage.
"We'll bother him a bit more yet,'
answered Aleck Meadows. I never
liked Bob Phillips, never. He's one of
the good sort I can't get on with at all."
Filled as Dick's heart was with envy,
he took pleasure in such speeches; I do
not suppose he had any wish to bring
any serious harm or distress upon his
neighbour; and he did not consider
what I have already said-small faults
lead up to great ones.
So when a day came whereon Mea-
dows led him out of all other hearing,
saying he had "thought of something to
do to Robert Phillips," Dick was pleased,
and inquired eagerly, what the some-
thing" might be.
But Aleck was not the boy to tell a
secret too easily; he must first bind Dick
over with mingled promises and threats
to say nothing either at home, or at
school, or in the village.
The younger boy was not loth to
promise; he had not learned, I fear, to
mistrust all those so-called friends who
cry, Don't tell! don't tell !'

A Secret Enemy. 31
Depend on it, little people, that if a
secret plan is not fit for mother's and
father's ears, it is not fit for a lodging in
your hearts, and you will be the happier,
the wiser, and the better for refusing to
have anything to do with it. Pages
might be written or a whole book filled
with the harm which Don't tell has
However, curly-headed Dick Webbe
was not at all alarmed or made cautious
by Aleck Meadows' Don't tell! He
listened with a. well-pleased smile, and
this is the idea which was unfolded to him.
You know how particular his master
is about honesty," said Aleck. My
mother goes there now and then to see
one of the servants, and she heard say
that the reason Bob Phillips is so much
thought of, is because they could trust
him not to take even a pin that wasn't
his own."
He paused a moment to impress the
need of secrecy on his companion, and
then suggested that if they could make
Bob seem less honest than he was thought,
Mr. Howard would not look on him with
favour, and indeed most probably would

32 The Empty 7am-pot.
dismiss him, and then-well then, why
might not Dick himself get the place
and the weekly half-crown ?
It was cunningly put, you see; it is
certain that temptation assails us in our
weakest place, and young Webbe's weak
spot was his avarice-his grasping, greedy
love of money. To get money to add
to his savings made up the chief desire
of his heart, and so he opened it to let
in a further evil, which led him into cruel
wrong of his neighbour.
Something was to be abstracted from
Mr. Howard's premises, so Aleck de-
cided, and it must be shown as if Robert
had given it; it need not be money, or
" anything much," so the boy told his
younger comrade, for that of course
would be bad. Some of the ripe cher-
ries, or those sweet summer apples-
some new-laid eggs, anything which came
easily to hand, and with which Robert
had some concern. Mr. Howard would
not be very angry; but all the same his
trust in the lad he had taken to work in
his household would be gone.
I must tell you that Dick did not like
the notion but this feeling was not from

A Secret Enemy. 33

the best motive-a detestation of deceit
and a dread of offending God; he only
felt that he did not want to lose his own
good name in the village, or how was he
by and-by to get on ? even to plague the
boy he envied, he did not mean to let
Meadows persuade or laugh him into
robbing Mr. Howard's garden or hen-
Leave it to me, you young coward,"
said Aleck, as he saw this hesitation.
"You don't think I'm going to get you
into a scrape, or myself either. Just you
come along by Mr. Howard's place about
2 o'clock on Saturday afternoon, and
you'll see how well I shall manage."
Dick agreed; and on the appointed
day he was lounging on a gate about a
hundred yards from the house of Robert s
employer, wondering within himself what
would happen next; but having a great
confidence in the big lad who was such
a friend of his as to try to get him taken
on in Robert's place by a scheme like
the present.
It was not long before Meadows came
up and invited him to sit on a fallen tree
which lay near. "Have some cherries?"

34 Thie Empty yam-pot.
he said, carelessly, showing a cap-full,
and they were just eating the first when
Mr. Howard came out at his gate.
His glance as he passed the boys was
curious, and then with a sudden doubt
he turned and spoke to them. I think
those came off one of my trees," he said,
sternly. You've been stealing, haven't
you ?"
"Oh, no, sir, no!" cried Dick, much
alarmed for himself. Aleck said, Oh,
no, sir," also, with apparent innocence.
Tell the truth if you wish me to for-
give you," said the gentleman, who knew
it to be fruit from a special tree he took
pride in. Haven't you been over the
wall to get them ?"
No, indeed, sir," cried Dick again.
But I am certain they are out of my
garden. How did you get them? Speak
at once; you will find it useless to
deceive me."
"It wasn't our fault if Phillips gave
them us," said the artful Aleck. We
didn't know but what he had leave."
"Phillips gave them you, did he ?"
and Mr. Howard seemed almost startled.
"A boy who I thought so trustworthy,

A Secret Enemy. 35
who-- Are you sure of it, or are you
telling a lie ?" and he turned towards
Dick, and then remembered how and
when he had seen him before.
"Why, it is young Webbe, isn't it?
I remember you wanted to be taken on
to work here-you ought to be honest
with such respectable parents. Did you
take my cherries, Webbe ?"
I've never been inside your place,"
said Dick, sturdily. I didn't know you'd
any cherries ripe till-till-till they were
given me." Ah it was truth, but truth
spoken with a bad meaning in it.
Meadows had a falsehood ready, but
that was no new thing with him.
Bob Phillips promised us some cher-
ries, and he said you'd never miss them,"
he exclaimed. I wouldn't have taken
them from him; but how was I to know
you'd mind, sir ?"
Mr. Howard scarcely seemed to hear
the words; his thoughts turned only to
one certain thing, as it appeared-the
boy he trusted was not trustworthy.
"Well, I suppose you are telling me
the truth," he said, slowly; "but it is
strange that Robert Phillips should

36 The Empty Jam-pot.
change so suddenly from the honest lad
we found him. I must ask him --" and
there Mr. Howard stopped, for Robert
was seen in the distance, whistling cheer-
fully as he came to do his customary
Saturday afternoon work which set him
free for Sunday.
"Come here, Phillips," said his master,
as he drew near. When did you pick
my cherries to give to your friends ?"
I, sir ? I never touched a cherry off
your trees; and Robert spoke gravely
and without any sign of guilt. If they
have told you so, it isn't true."
Are they your friends or not ?"
"They go to school with me,' an-
swered the boy; "but I don't know that
we're much of friends. But I never gave
them a cherry; never."
He did, sir," said Aleck Meadows;
"he asked us to come along after school;
and we waited here while he went to
get them, and then he ran home to his
dinner. Didn't he, Dick ?"
For very fear of his companion Dick
answered, "Yes." It made him feel very
uncomfortable, certainly, yet he fancied
his promise of secrecy bound him to echo

A Secret Enemy. 37
all that Aleck said; and besides, if he
did not, what might not the bigger boy
do to revenge himself?
"You hear, Phillips ?" and Mr. How-
ard turned towards him. Now, who am
I to believe ? It is not just one boy's
word against another-appearances are
all against you. certainly; but I do not
want to give you unjust blame. Speak
out frankly, lad, and I will forgive you,
if your liking for your schoolmates has
led you into a fault."
I never gave them anything, I never
so much as thought of it," said Robert
again. "And if I lose my place for it,
. sir, I can't say different."
"Well, I shall let the matter alone
this time, as I have no reason to suspect
you, except upon their word. Go on to
the house now, and mind, I shall keep
an eye on you in future."
Bob touched his cap, and went in at
the gate; he knew without any telling
that from this time his master would not
be able to trust him so entirely, he knew
too that in Aleck Meadows he had a
dangerous enemy.
Mr. Howard continued his walk with-

38 The Empty 7am-not.
out another word to the two culprits;
they lingered a few minutes, and eat up
their cherries in silence; then walked
home in silence until, as they parted on
reaching the Webbes' cottage, Meadows
said, I think we've done the first thing
towards getting you the place."
"Yes," said Dick; "good-bye," and
he went in feeling more miserable than
he had ever done before, falsehood being
a new thing to him.
Yes, unkindness, malice, revenge, de-
ceit, lying -the root" had indeed
brought forth evil and bitter fruit."


Turned Off.
From that Saturday when
he was supposed to have
picked cherries for Mea-
dows and Webbe his master
was changed to him. It was not
that Mr. Howard was a hard
S man, nor that he did not desire
Sto be perfectly just to his servant-
boy; it was simply that he had ceased to
be sure that poor Bob told the truth,
and was perfectly honest, and the doubt
gave him a cold and somewhat suspicious
Then too he had disclosed the matter
to his wife; and she, though partial to
Robert, bade the cook be watchful over
him, so that they might discover if he
really could be relied on. Now, the
cook was a good, kind woman, and stoutly
declared that the affair of the cherries
was all a make-up of the two other

40 The Enmpty yam-pot.
boys; still, she also was a little changed
to Robert, apt to say, Are you quite
sure ?" when he answered any question;
and all these things combined to make
him really unhappy.
Never mind, my lad," said his
mother, to whom he told all; "you must
be content with knowing that God isn't
like us,-He sees the right; and if it
seems that we are suspected of what we
never did, it is His will. You're not
treated like the Saviour was; no one
hardly, except a few poor fishermen who
became His disciples, believed in Him.
Even those He had healed and done
good to turned against Him at last."
"But what have I ever done to Aleck
Meadows and Dick Webbe that they
should spite me so ?" inquired Bob.
"And it is spite, mother; it isn't the
cherries they cared for, or they'd have
cleared the trees. It was all a plan to
be there just when Mr. Howard came
by, and I expect they want to lose me
my place."
Little Webbe did go after it," said
Mrs. Phillips, slowly; "but-no, Bob, I
can't think he would have any grudge

Turned Off. 41
against you for getting to work, he
knows we want your earnings badly.
Besides, he's got decent parents, who
would have taught him right, I should
think. What sort of people are these
Meadows? "
"I don't know much of them," said
Bob; "except that Aleck hasn't too good
a name. But why he should turn against
me I can't think."
Well, try and give your mind to your
work, and prove that you're worthy of
trust," exclaimed Mrs. Phillips hopefully.
"It isn't so very bad, Bob, to be sus-
pected if we've a conscience clear of all
we need be ashamed of.'
The boy felt a little comforted, and,
adopting his mother's advice, addressed
himself to his work, and the week passed
quietly. On the next Saturday, however,
much the same scene was acted over
again, this time with summer apples in-
stead of the big late cherries.
"Those came from my tree," said Mr.
Howard, who, as Meadows knew, always
took a stroll at that particular hour of
the day.
Bob gave them us," answered the

42 Thze Empty 7am-pol.
boy, and Dick growing bolder echoed,
" Yes, sir, Bob gave them us."
"This cannot go on," said Mr. How-
ard, in much displeasure. It seems as
if Robert invited his friends each Satur-
day afternoon to eat my fruit. Come
this way, boys;" and he walked before
them to the house, entered a room, and
ringing a bell, desired that Robert might
be sent to him.
It was of course as before, word against
word. If one boy was firm in asserting
his innocence, the two were as firm in
declaring his guilt-the apples were a
sort of proof against him, as no one could
doubt that they were precisely like those
which grew on a tree in Mr. Howard's
I cannot keep any one here whom I
do not wholly trust," was this gentle-
man's decision, after a great deal of
questioning and cross-questioning. "But
I will not consider you guilty, Robert.
It is better for you to leave at once, and
here is the money instead of a week's
notice; but I shall give you a good
character for work, and assure every
one that I have never proved you capable

Turned Of. 43
of telling an untruth. Perhaps you think
me harsh; but I cannot bear to have
these suspicious things happening which
it seems impossible to clear up. If these
lads are plotting against you, the truth
will come out at last."
Poor Robert went home in tears to
his mother, and even she found it hard
to find comfort in his innocence. Dear,
dear!" she sighed, I never could have
supposed a boy would have been so full
of malice as to get you turned from your
place, and it falls heavily when we've
need of every penny. However, I don't
believe you did it; and, thank God, there's
no one who knows you that will believe
it either."
She said it, unconscious how "ill news
flies apace," and that evil report finds
readier listeners than good report. Be-
fore night-fall, Aleck Meadows had told
half the village folks that Phillips was
turned off by Mr. Howard for taking
cherries and apples from his best trees ;
and though many were doubtful, and one
or two declared it could not be true, it
was certain that Robert had fallen in the
opinion of the larger number of his ac-

44 The Empty 7am-pot.
quaintances, and that to replace himself
would probably be a matter of very
great difficulty.
"And now, Dick, you'll get his half-
crown; you'd best speak at once," said
Aleck; but I think the younger boy's
guilt of conscience would have held him
silent, had not his mother taken him to
Mr. Howard, and succeeded in getting
him a trial.
I will try him, certainly," was the
reply; "but I wish he had not been,
mixed up in this affair with that Mea-
dows' lad and young Phillips. Are you
sure, Dick, that you both spoke the
truth ?" and Dick said, Oh, yes, sir,"
and tried to fancy himself guiltless as he
really had never entered Mr. Howard's
Now, I do call that a shame!" cried
Robert Phillips, when he heard the news,
and many people said the same; they
supposed, however, that Mr. Howard
took Dick on trial because he had sought
the place before, and because too his
parents were so well-known and esteemed
in those parts.
It's all my doing," said Meadows to

Turned Of. 45
his friend, when they talked it over alone.
" You ought to be very much obliged
to me too."
"I am," said Dick.
"Well, then, you'll give me something
out of that same jam-pot you've hidden
away so nicely," continued the lad, who
now meant to show himself in his true
character of bully. "Ah, ah you don't
know so much about that, do you?
You're so mean, you can't bear to take
out a shilling for a friend who's done
you a good turn! But all the same
you'll have to."
Dick had turned pale at the sugges-
tion. Latterly, his mind had been so
much given to the hope of worrying
Robert Phillips that even the subject of
his savings had been less interesting.
Now, his miserly instincts were awake
directly, and though conscious of Aleck's
power over him, he was trying to find
some way of evading the loss of a
"I'll give you something," he faltered;
"but a shilling's rather a good deal,
isn't it ?"
"A good deal!" cried the other; "you

46 The Emnpty 7am-pot.
are a mean little chap, to be sure. A
shilling for getting you a place worth
half-a-crown a week Why, any one but
me would have asked you for five shil-
lings at the least."
Dick looked miserable, but his friend
was quite resolved. Come, no non-
sense," he cried; "I'll have a shilling, or
I'll tell all I know-how you went over
the wall to steal fruit, and laid it on to
Bob Phillips!"
"But I didn't!" cried Dick; "you
know it was you."
"No, I don't," replied Meadows; "and
I'll make every one call you a thief and
a liar if I want to. You aren't tell, you
know,-don't you remember your pro-
mise, and what I said I'd do if you let
a word out?"
Well-I'll get you a shilling, but it's
too bad," said Dick, slowly. "Stay here,
and I'll come back in five minutes."
"Oh, no, I shan't stay here," remarked
Meadows, quietly. I've a fancy to see
this savings bank of yours. You told
me you'd got as much as six shillings
and ninepence halfpenny hidden in an
old jam-pot; but you didn't say where

Turned Of. 47
you kept it, and perhaps it's not true,
so I'll go with you, and then I shall see
for myself."
But I can't," stammered Dick. "It's
-it's indoors, and mother would wonder
if I took you in."
No, she wouldn't," responded Aleck;
"for you know she's out. There's no
one in but your old grandfather, and he's
so deaf he'll not hear us."
I can't," began Dick, who could not
bear any eyes but his own to look upon
the treasure.
"Well, then, I'll go straight off to Mr.
Howard, and get Phillips taken back
again," interrupted the bigger boy; "and
then I'll give you a character that won't
be forgotten in a hurry."
The threat was sufficient, and Dick
Webbe yielded. Upstairs on tip-toe the
two boys went, and presently Meadows
was sitting on the garret floor examining
the contents of the jam-pot.
Why, you're richer than you told
me," he chuckled. It's seven and nine
you've got; so I'll just ease you of two
shillings instead of one ; you oughtn't to
grudge me that certainly ;" and starting

48 The Enmpty yam-pot.
up he sent the sixpences and coppers
rolling in all directions, and ran away
laughing softly.
Dick remained gathering them up in
much misery of heart; it seemed to him
then that Aleck Meadows' friendship
had been dearly purchased at the price
of two shillings, and yet how could he
now escape from the difficulty in which
he found himself?



"L( Lost! Lost!"
vT T is not surprising that
when Richard Webbe
began to work in place
:'". "' .J of the boy he had injured,
he was neither happy nor
at ease. The mere name
of Robert Phillips sound-
ed disagreeably in his ear,
and he constantly had to listen to it, for
the servants were always praising him.
If Dick forgot anything, it would be,
" You'll never be worth your money as
Bob was!"
If Dick cleaned his knives and boots
amiss, it was, "You should have seen
how well Bob did them."
If he was five minutes behind his
appointed hour, he was assured that the
other boy was punctual to a second. If
he was long on an errand, he heard that
Robert never let the grass grow under
his feet."
E 76

50 The Empty yam-.pot.
Now, in common with others who have
committed a similar injustice, Richard
felt his dislike to his victim grow stronger
and stronger; yet it was sometimes
mingled or changed into a species of
shame which made him turn another
way if he saw Phillips coming, and avoid
his eye when they were opposite each
other at school. The knowledge, too, of
his deceit, gave the boy a timid manner
which was new to him, and the fear that
Aleck Meadows might turn his accuser,
gave him many a wretched day and sleep-
less night. So though he was beginning
to work, and though he gained half-a-
crown weekly, our young acquaintance
was not to be envied just now. Besides,
his mother kept two shillings every Satur-
day towards his clothes, thinking it well
he should help a little, so there was only
sixpence remaining to be put into the
Four whole weeks,"-so said Dick
to himself-" before the two shillings
claimed by Meadows would be made
up." It proved, however, that this was
not the only demand which he would
have to listen to.

"Lost Lost!" 51
"I say, Dick, I must have another
sixpence of you," whispered the bigger
boy, a few days after what we have re-
lated. Oh, it's no use to shake your
head; if you don't give it me, I'll get
you turned off like Bob was!" and for
very fear Richard yielded.
I can't think what has come to the
boy," said Mrs. Webbe to her husband
about this time; "he doesn't eat the
same, and he doesn't play the same, and
when I speak a word to him, he does
not answer, but suddenly starts as if
something had struck him. Perhaps his
work is too much for him, coming after
Work won't hurt him," replied the
father; "besides, he likes it better than
idleness. It's your fancy, wife. I don't
see that anything ails him What would
you be if you were that poor Bob Phillips'
mother ? he looks thin and miserable
enough to be ill."
Others besides the Webbes noticed
this, and guessed that the loss of one
place, ld the impossibility to get another,
made difference to the poor folks which
lessened their children's food ; though

52 The Em'zpty 7am-.pot.
Dick had never been a tender-hearted
boy, even he felt uncomfortable when
Robert's sickly looks were mentioned in
his hearing.
Why, perhaps you ask, did he not
make amends for the past wrong by
speaking out boldly the truth ?
It was because by nature he was mean
and cowardly, and because he had not
sought God's grace to change this nature
into a better one.
I suppose Dick Webbe would have
owned that "all men have sinned," as
Scripture tells us; but, as we have said,
he had never thought much or sorrow-
fully about his own sins, and thus, not
seeing his need of a Saviour, he had
never cried for pardon from God for
Jesus Christ's sake.
Poor boy let us pity him, even if we
must blame him too. He must be blamed
because he was no little untaught heathen,
and the name of Christ and the work of
redemption were not strange subjects to
his ear; and he knew that only through
Jesus are pardon and help and blessing
to be gained.
Still, let us give Richard pity, for Christ

"Lost! Lost !' 53
taught us by His own example to pity
those who are living in their sins, and
carrying a heavy burden upon their
shoulders. It would be so simple, so
easy to be free from every stain; so
simple, so easy to leave the heavy load
at the feet of Christ, who has promised
to bear it for each and all of us; but,
like those of old, this boy did not love,
did not believe in the Saviour, and so he
went on in his miserable course day by
day, and week by week.
God is, however, so good that He
leaves nothing untried which can be the
means of changing our hearts ; and, de-
spite all his inclinations and all his errors,
Dick Webbe was to become a different
boy,-yes, even by the means of such an
one as Aleck Meadows.
One evening, when Dick, having
brought home his earnings, and given
up the customary two shillings to his
mother, went to the garret to put the
sixpence to his hoard, he could not find
the jam-pot. It was still summer, but
the evenings were shortening, and he
perhaps "could hardly distinguish what
he sought in the gathering gloom ; be-

54 The Empty azm-pot.
sides, the garret was at all times rather
dim,-this was how Richard tried to
quiet his alarm as he went down for a
match with which to light a candle.
No, not up in the garret!" cried
Mrs. Webbe, when the boy made some
excuse about finding something. "
" Whatever it is, you must wait till to-
morrow, for I won't have matches dropped
about, and run the risk of being burnt in
my bed. Sit down, boy, and tell me
what it is you've missed ; I'll look myself
in the morning; indeed, it's about time
I had a good turn-out there."
Terrible news was this, and yet Dick
forced himself to murmur, Nothing
particular," and to cease to plead for a
light. He passed a very hard time of
it, though, between fear respecting his
hoard and dislike to his mother's pro-
posed search, and he rose betimes in-
deed, intent on finding his jam-pot, and
transferring it to a new hiding-place.
No one could have hunted more care-
fully; but after a good half-hour what
was the result ? It was plain that the
sixpences, the shillings, the pence, and
the halfpence, were all gone, and the

"Los Lost !" 55
only discovery which Dick made was
of the jam-pot -an" empty jam-pot"
indeed, now,-and rolled away behind
a rarely-needed washing-tub up in the
dimmest corner.
The boy's cry reached even the ears
of the deaf old grandfather, as he ran
down to the kitchen where his mother
was just setting light to her fire. "Lost!
Lost!" he sobbed. "All my savings,
all I've been laying by so long. I know
who's done it-it's Aleck ;" and he was
darting from the house had not his mother
caught him by the arms.
"Are you gone crazy ?" she said,
giving him a shake. What is it that's
lost, and what have you and that great
good-for-nothing Meadows got to do
with each other ?"
Let me go, let me find him cried
Dick, still in excitement and tears. "I'll
make him give it back. I'll tell all about
Bob and his losing the place; I'll- "
But he spoke in vain, for Mrs. Webbe
had heard enough to make her determine
to hear all, and there was no escape for
the boy until he had told the story.
This was not a matter of a few mo-

56 The Empty Jam-jot.
ments, but at length both father and
mother had gathered enough to make
them understand Dick's character as they
had never done before.
I wouldn't think so much of the
saving without telling me a word," said
Mrs. Webbe, at last; but it's the sly
way you have been taking that makes me
ashamed of you. Yet that's nothing to
playing such a shabby trick on Bob
Phillips, and you deserve all that may
follow; yes, that you do! Up you go
with me as early as I dare ask to see
Mr. Howard, and you'll beg him to take
the boy back and tell him why."
It was Aleck more than me," pro-
tested Dick. Let me go and get back
my money;" but Mrs. Webbe turned
the key in the door, declaring "Aleck
and the money might wait." The first
thing should be restoring Robert Phillips
to his employer's favour.
Seeing that she was in earnest, Dick
sat sullenly, still kicking his legs to and
fro, and muttering threats against Aleck;
again we must pity him, for though he
had parents who were honest and right-
minded, they could not show him his

"Lost! Lost!" 57
offence as in God's sight, in fact, they
never even thought of it.
And yet, about to meet blame and
disgrace, and full too of angry hatred of
the boy who had duped him, how well
would it have been for Richard Webbe
had he possessed in that moment a friend
to show him that the loss of his treasured
money would be a real gain if only he was
led back from deceit and falsehood; it
only he began to see that sin has miser-
able consequences even in this life. How
well, had there been some good word
spoken of God, whom he had offended,
yet who was waiting and willing to for-
give; of Christ, whose blood was shed
to wash away every stain and make the
heart clean, whiter even than snow!
But Dick had not yet such wise teach-
ing given him; and it was in a surly
silence rather than in sorrowful shame
that he walked by his mother's side to
Mr. Howard's.
As for Meadows, we may mention that,
being sought by Dick's father, he pro-
tested innocence of the theft, nay, he
declared he did not even know of the
money being hidden in the jam-pot!


Friends after AU.
TT AM.i now going to tell you
i how a boy can forgive, and
S such full generous forgive-
Sness shows something more
than a noble nature-yes, a
little likeness to Him who
even as He hung bleeding
and dying on the cross could murmur as
He thought of His enemies, "Father, for-
give them, they know not what they do."
When Robert Phillips was hastily
summoned to the house from which he
had been dismissed, when before Mr.
and Mrs. Howard, Dick owned what he
had helped to plan and to do, while his
mother stood there watching his down-
cast face, the lad might have reproached
the culprit or might have made some
secret resolve to have his revenge.
That poor Bob did neither of these
things was due to God's grace; that he
held out his hand and said so simply,

Friends After All. 59
" Don't cry, Dick; I'm not a bit angry,
and I thank you for speaking out now,
and getting me taken back," was not the
result of a passing good-nature.
No! little friends-of himself I think
no boy so wronged could thus have acted;
but then Robert had long ago come to
Jesus for pardon, and since that time
had been trying to do what He would
like to look upon; to obey the com-
mands he had read from earliest child-
hood in the pages of his Bible. At the
first of his trouble, his heart was hot
and angry, for as long as we live we are
prone to such feelings under injury; but
he had asked God to help him to forgive
as he also hoped to be forgiven, and by-
and-by all animosity towards Aleck and
Richard had passed from his mind.
Do you see, then, the difference in
these boys ? One had yielded to evil
because he never prayed; the other had
overcome himself because he called the
best of all helpers to his assistance. The
one loved self, the other loved God; the
one had planned injury, the other was
ready to forgive.
I should tell you also that besides being

60 The Empty 7am-rot.
generous in pardoning Dick, Robert felt
so sorry for his loss, and that he should
be so ill-served by Meadows, that he
wanted more than anything to be friends,
and made many an effort to win a word
or a sign which promised this.
For many a week Dick kept out of
his way, and indeed out of the way of
all his associates, for he was in general
Serve you right," said Mrs. Webbe,
when he mourned over his empty jam-
pot; and Serve you right," said the
father, when his boy complained he could
not get work ; only the old grandfather
comforted him with a stray penny, and a
penny seems little indeed as a substitute
for more valuable coin !
As for Meadows, he got work in a
distant town just at this moment, and so
"disappears from our story; the whole
blame and the whole disgrace therefore
fell on Richard Webbe, who could not
go away from it. They shunned him at
school, for boys don't generally favour
one they call a coward and a cheat;"
they had learned the whole story, too,
and shouted Miser!" as he passed

Friends After All. 61
down the street-all turned against him
at that period of his life, except Robert
Phillips; and at last Dick could hold
out against his efforts no longer, but
thankfully made him a friend.
And just as Aleck had once led the
boy wrong, so his new and older com-
panion began gently to lead him right.
He did not "preach," as Dick would
say; he did not set himself up as some
one above his fellows, and yet-because
God's grace in the heart is something
which shines out in common life-it was
plain that he had taken for his rule
something better than his own will, that
he had his eye fixed on Christ for an
example, and that God's approval was
the first thing he desired.
And though he said little, Bob did
much for his companion. He persuaded
him that by joining in God's worship on
Sunday we gain blessing on the coming
week, he coaxed him to the Sunday-
school, and brought him into acquaint-
ance thus with those who could teach
him the way to be saved; and you may
be sure this lad felt fully rewarded when
Dick became known as one of the village

62 The Empty yam-pot.
"good boys," good, I mean, in the only
real way.
The old inclination to save did not
die out, but it was kept in its right place,
as Dick grew to see where avarice would
lead him. Besides, he understood a little
what is meant by that verse, Lay up
for yourselves treasure in heaven."
Yes, faulty as he may be, I can assure
you he is in the right way now, since he
and Robert Phillips became friends at
last;" and thus he began a fresh way
for himself, one infinitely happier than
the old one; and as good spreads, we
may hope that Dick in his turn will be-
come a blessing to others.
It was a happy thing for me when I
found my money gone, and the jam-pot
empty," he often said. But for that
you and I should never have been friends,
Bob; and I might never have made
amends for what I had done against
And then-after the manner of young
folks-they look into the future and de-
cide how their friendship is to grow on
and get stronger; but 1 cannot tell you
anything of that.

Friends After All. 63
I only ask you if you can find a lesson
out of an old jam-pot, or may I tell you
what it can be?
First of all, beware of little faults; be
afraid of loving self, drive far from you
all resentful thoughts of others-other-
wise your actions may become as bad or
worse than those of Dick Webbe.
Next, if you would learn to forgive, if
you would be generous and noble like
Bob Phillips, go for help where he went.
You hear perhaps of pious children,
and you fancy them gloomy, dull, un-
companionable. Ah you don't under-
stand what the little word means. To
be pious is not to be always saying
wise things, to avoid play, to be like an
old, grave person. The piety God asks
of you is a simple, happy thing, which
never yet took a smile from one young
face, or hushed one merry laugh. It is
just to love Christ best; better than self
or any creature. It is to pray to Him,
to think of Him, to believe He has
forgiven us our sins because the Bible
says, "The Lord hath laid on Him the
iniquity of us all," and that He will make
us happy in heaven by-and-by; and

64 The Empty 7am-pot.
holding all these thoughts in faith, which
God gives by the grace of the Holy
Spirit, we shall try to make our lives
like little copies of the greatest and the
most glorious life-Christ's life in the
world, so many hundred years ago.
And, as a parting word of counsel,
when you think of Dick and his jam-pot,
think also that better than all earthly
treasure is that of hope laid up in heaven.
And so it will be true of us that, "Where
your treasure is, there will your heart
be also."