Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Cissy's basket
 The motherless birds
 The children's hour
 The burning ship
 The kind leaves and the pretty...
 Jack's moon
 Listening Louise
 Gretchen in England
 A fable
 The cock's song
 The clouds
 Christmas morning
 Tony's doll
 The wonderful book
 Ben Hadud
 Back Cover

Group Title: Cosy corner series
Title: Cissy's basket
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00065459/00001
 Material Information
Title: Cissy's basket stories, poems and pictures for the little ones
Series Title: Cosy corner series
Physical Description: 59, 1 : ill. ; 25 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Strahan, Alexander, 1834?-1918 ( Publisher )
Ballantyne Press ( Printer )
Ballantyne, Hanson and Co ( Printer )
Publisher: Alexander Strahan
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Ballantyne Press ; Ballantyne, Hanson and Co.
Publication Date: 1889
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's poetry   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1889   ( lcsh )
Children's poetry -- 1889   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1889
Genre: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's poetry   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00065459
Volume ID: VID00001
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: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002223132
notis - ALG3380
oclc - 70870159

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Half Title
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Cissy's basket
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
    The motherless birds
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    The children's hour
        Page 23
        Page 24
    The burning ship
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    The kind leaves and the pretty birds
        Page 28
        Page 29
    Jack's moon
        Page 30
        Page 31
    Listening Louise
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Gretchen in England
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
    A fable
        Page 38
    The cock's song
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    The clouds
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
    Christmas morning
        Page 45
        Page 46
    Tony's doll
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
    The wonderful book
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
    Ben Hadud
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
    Back Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
Full Text

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Cissy, take this basket over to poor old Mrs. Brown,"
said Cissy's mother to her one day. She is so very ill.
I have made her a nice basin of broth, and there is a bottle
of cowslip wine, which may do her good. Be very careful
of the basket, and go as quickly as you can and come
back, for I want you to mind Baby for me."


Cissy set off with her basket on her arm. She had a
choice of two ways to go to old Mrs. Brown's cottage.
She might go by the road or through the wood which
skirted it. It was a lovely summer day, and the road was
hot and dusty, and the wood was simply charming in its
pleasant shady coolness.
"I didn't ask mother which way I was to go," said
Cissy, almost as soon as she had started, but as it is so
hot, I think mother would like me to go by the wood,
though, to be sure, it is a little roundabout."
Anyway Cissy knew quite well which way she liked to
go, and so by the wood she went.
Now, perhaps, this would have been all very well if
Cissy had gone straight on. She might have gone faster
over the smooth short turf than she would have done
had she been plunging all the time through the heavy dust
of the road. But the worst of it was, she never could go
straight on through the wood. There were always so many
things to make one turn out of the straight path. Now
a squirrel would be seen flying up a tree, or a rabbit
would scamper into a hole, and of course one must go
and have a look at these things. Now a butterfly made
her run this way, and now a beautiful wild flower tempted
her another.
No one," said Cissy to herself, "could pass by these
flowers ;" and so she stayed here and there picking, and
strayed here and there looking. And time went on.
At a bank of lovely big white daisies she put her basket
down and fairly stopped.



I must get a big bunch of these, and I will give some
to poor old Mrs. Brown, and the rest to mother."
And so, in reaching after a flower which was higher up
the bank, she threw over the basket, smashing the bottle of
wine and spilling all the beef-tea. The very first words she
said were, "It serves me right! I ought to have gone
straight on."
Poor little Cissy, of course, had a good cry, for she knew
her mother would be vexed, and that poor sick Mrs.
Brown was losing the good things she needed through
her naughty want of obedience.
But after all Cissy was not really a bad girl. She ran
home as fast as she could, and told her mother of her fault,
and bore the scolding which she knew she deserved, as
bravely and as meekly as she could.

Now, who may they be,
These playfellows three,
Under the shady arch ?
Each has his pack
Strapped fast on his back,
As if he were ready to march.
I very much fear
They have no business here,
But ought to be trudging away;
For boys when sent out
Should not loiter about,
Not even at marbles to play.


` P



Monkeys are found in many different parts of the world,
but only where the climate is very warm. The Monkey


tribe is divided into three
kinds-Apes, Baboons,
and Monkeys. There are
the great Tail-less Apes,
such as the Gorilla,
Orang-outang, and Chim-
panzee, which can be
taught to behave very like
human beings, and will
even imitate men in the
bad habit of smoking.
Little Orang-outangs

learn to eat their bread and
milk with a spoon, while they "
sit on their master's knee, as
nicely as a child could do. I
saw a Chimpanzee at the Berlin
Zoological Gardens take a il
parasol from a lady and try to _
shut it up quite in the proper
way. Even in their wild state
they will sometimes walk a few
steps erect like a man, though ~
really they are not standing on :-
their feet, but on their hinder -iow te ape u our an
t-ow tire ape u:eJ Iris four hands.~'


pair of hands. Those AIL that are caught young
are very affectionate, and behave much like
spoiled children. There is only one
place in Europe where Apes are
found, and that is on the famous rock of
Gibraltar. The Ba- boons are not nearly
such nice creatures. They have short
stumpy tails
and gene-
rally big
heads, have
harsh dog-
like voices,
and very
,Mi savage tem-
pers. Of
M o n k e y s
properly so-called there are many
sorts; some few are large and
ugly, but most f t h e m a r e
amusing crea- tures enough,
and some are very -pretty. The little
Marmoset is so -sinall that it will
go into the inside .:of a cocoanut.
They skip nimbly q' about the trees.
like squirrels, and feed on the fruit
and leaves. They have faces like a
little old man, and a most wistful ex-
pression, and when tame have cuddling caressing ways

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which make them charming for pets, only unfortunately
they are very delicate, and it is almost impossible to keep
them warm enough.
The monkey-house I have alluded to is kept very warm
indeed, and is full of nice tropical plants and trees, to
remind the creatures of their own countries; but even here
the more delicate kinds are apt to die of a very bad cough.
It is quite a sad sight to see a mamma monkey with a
poor sick little one. Some of them, like the squirrels, have
bushy tails, only for warmth
and ornament; but others use
their tail as a sort of fifth
hand, and will i swing by it
from a branch. They are cun-
ning creatures, but their greedi-
ness often leads to their being
caught in a veryfunnyway.
Covered earth- enware jars full
of nuts or rice are set up for
the m, with w small holes in
the sides, into which they can
just manage to slip one hand. Monkey pokes his taper
fingers through the hole and grasps a handful; then,
finding he cannot draw it back, begins screaming with all
his might, but never thinks of letting the nuts go, while
somebody comes up softly behind and catches him.
Mrs. Helfer, in her amusing book of travels, tells us of
a pet monkey of hers who took special delight in using her
brush and comb. He knew it was wrong, and would choose


his opportunity very carefully
when her back was turned, seize
the coveted articles, and run with
them up a tree, at the top of
which he brushed and combed
his hair with great satisfaction.
A lady who had lived in South
America told me a curious story
about a very pretty kind of black and white monkey, called
a Diana Monkey. One day her Indian servants came
to ask her to help them to catch one of these pretty
creatures, which was in a tall tree near the house. They
said that they had been trying in vain to entice it down
for a long time; but that if their mistress went out it
would be sure to come, as this kind of monkey was so
fond of white people. Of course the lady thought this
was all nonsense; however, she went out with the black
servants, and stood under the tree, in the topmost branches
of which she saw the beautiful monkey. She had no
sooner taken her stand, than he appeared to observe her
S with interest, and presently, to
her astonishment, she saw him
springing down in the most
graceful manner from bough to
Sbough, till he reached the lowest
branch, from which he gently
SJ'ri -1 alighted on her shoulder. From
That moment he appeared per-
p ---= --- fectly tame, and entirely attached


to his self-adopted mistress; and he became the greatest
pet, from his peculiar gentleness and the grace of all his
movements. After he had been with her for some time,
there was a terrible storm of thunder and lightning, and,
sad to say, the dear little Diana was found the next
morning lying dead in a gallery where he slept, apparently
killed by the fright.


There are many funny stories of the way in which
monkeys imitate men. Once a man was travelling in
Africa with an immense quantity of woven red caps, which
he had purchased in Spain to sell for the crowns of the
turbans they wear in Turkey and Africa. Being exhausted
with the heat, he lay down under a tree with one of these
on his head for a nightcap. When he woke, to his


horror he perceived the boughs of the tree covered with


monkeys with red caps on their heads. In a great rage
he threw off his cap, and immediately to his joy all the
monkeys did the same. Another traveller tells us how
he used to brush his teeth by a stream, and soon after
saw a whole army of monkeys doing the same, with bits

of stick for tooth-brushes. Of all dumb creatures monkeys
most closely resemble human beings; indeed, there are
some Indian tribes who believe that they need not be
dumb unless they chose, but that they are determined not
to learn to speak for fear they should be made to work!
There is a tribe of monkeys in South America who

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march from place to place in large numbers. When they
come to a stream, some of the most experienced of the
party survey it carefully, and, having chosen a spot where
the trees on each side are nearest to each other, one of the
strongest monkeys twists his tail firmly round a branch,
and hangs head downwards, another slides down the body
of the first, twines his tail round him, and hangs also,
then another comes in the same way, till a long chain is
formed: when they think it is long enough, they swing
gently backwards and forwards till the last in the chain is
able to catch hold of a branch on the other side of the
stream. A regular bridge
being now made, the
whole troop pass over it,
chattering and playing all
sorts of tricks on the way.
Finally, the bridge loosens
itself from the side where op-
erations were commenced,
and swings and -- climbs over
itself till all are safely landed.
Monkeys do not often attach themselves to other animals,
but we have heard of their forming friendships with dogs
and horses, and of an Orang who was exceedingly fond of a
cat. He used to sleep with her at night, play all sorts of
tricks with her: sometimes he would carry her up into a
tree in his arms without hurting her in the least.
During a voyage a monkey amused himself by riding
the pigs about the deck, which they objected to very much.



"Their mother hasn't come back yet! called little Effie,
running back to meet her big sister Maggie, who was
coming along with one baby-brother, too little to walk, in
her arms, and two little sisters trotting and chattering by
her side.
"Poor birdies! their mother must be dead," answered
Maggie, evidently knowing what Effie had spoken about.
" Don to heaven, like our mother?" questioned little Bina,
looking up to Maggie. Maggie gazing down into the


upturned face, with a puzzled look on her own, said:
" Nobody knows whether birds go to heaven, or not."
Just as Maggie finished speaking, the four children
came in sight of a big tree, which was spreading its green
branches all ways, and part way up the trunk was seen
Donald, their brother.
On seeing Maggie, Donald shouted, "They can't speak
half so loudly as yesterday." His own voice drowned the
sound of a weak chipper-chipper, coming from somewhere
in the tree.
Shortly Donald was seen coming down the tree, very
slowly; one arm was carefully clasping a little brown nest.
"Take care !" screamed all the children, when they saw
In two more minutes the nest was lying on the ground,
safely placed in the crown of Donald's hat, and all the
children were peeping at five poor little half-fledged birds
within it.
Their little beaks were all poking up, making a chirping
sound, which Effie thought meant, Mother, mother!"
and which Donald thought meant, Hungry, hungry! "
Poor little things," said Maggie, her bright eyes filling
with tears, "think of them being all alone through the
dark night, with nothing to eat, and no mother to spread
her wings over them."
"We haven't dot a mother, dicky-birds," called Bina, as
if the little birds could understand her. No, but Maggie
and father take care of us," cried Effie. "Could we be
Maggie to them?" added Effie, a moment after.


All right," called Donald. I'll look for worms and
things-that will be like father working for us, and you
girls can feed the birds, and that will be like Maggie
making the porridge, and looking after us."
They carried the nest carefully home, and four of the
birds grew big enough to look after themselves.



20 "MOPSA.'

"They found them-
selves in a place like
an immensely long
stable; they saw that
it was strewed with
quantities of fresh hay,
from which curious
things like sticks stuck
up in all directions.
What were they?

"'They are dry
branches of trees,' said
the boy-king.
,,'They are table-legs
turned down,' said
Jack; but then the
other Jack suddenly
perceived the real nature
of the thing, and he
shouted out,' No; .they
are antlers!'
"The moment he said
this the moaning ceased,
hundreds of beautiful
antlered heads were
lifted up, and the two

"IMOPSA." 21

boys stood before a splendid herd of stags; but they had
hardly time to be sure of this when the beautiful multitude
rose and fled away into the darkness, leaving the two boys
to follow as well as they could.
"They were sure they ought to run after the herd, and
they ran and ran, but they soon lost sight of it, though they
heard far on in front what seemed at first like a pattering
of deer's feet, but the sound changed from time to time.
It became heavier and louder, and then the clattering ceased,
and it was evidently the tramping of a great crowd of men.
At last they heard words, very glad and thankful words;
people were crying to one another to make haste, lest the
spell should come upon them again. Then the two Jacks.
still running, came into a grand hall, which was quite full
of knights and all sorts of fairy men."
Now where does that come from?
What! you have not read Mopsa the Fairy," by Jean
Ingelow ? Then you have a pleasure to come, for it is a
beautiful fairy tale ; all that Miss Ingelow writes is sweet
and good, and all her poetry is beautiful.
Mopsa, the Fairy," is full of pretty songs. This is one:
"The dove laid some little sticks,
Then began to coo,
The gnat took his trumpet up
To play the day through;
The pie chattered soft and long-
But that she always does;
The bee did all he had to do,
And only said 'Buzz. "

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And this is another:-
The prince shall to the chase again,
The dame has got her face again,
The king shall have his place again
Aneath the fairy dome.
And all the knights shall woo again,
And all the doves shall coo again,
And all the dreams come true again,
And Jack shall go home."
Both these little songs are very sweet and playful ; and if
you would like more of the same kind of sweetness and
playfulness, you must read Mopsa, the Fairy," and Miss
Ingelow's other books.

The day is done, with all its busy sound,
And halts, preparing for the patient hour
We call the children's. Even they are found
To feel the silent majesty of power.
Like roses looking for the evening shower
Of dew, when, weary of the glorious day,
They watch the sun below the sea-line lower,
Then put each noisy toy and game away.
The time is come for gentler joys than these,
And happy memories draw them to the place
Where, with the opened book upon her knees,
A mother waits them, and a mother's face
Is blest, in being still the holy lure
To those, twice blest, whose welcome is so sure.






Every child knows what it is to be frightened. It has
started at a sudden noise; has been terrified in the dark
night by silence; has fled in panic from imagined ghost or

goblin. Is not one of the things for which children all
admire their elders, the power these show of not being
afraid ?
But there is one fear before which grown-up men and


women are as helpless as the weakest boy or girl. It is
that which arises in the heart when, on board a vessel out
at sea, the cry is madly'shouted : "The ship is on fire !"
One afternoon, in the very middle of the Atlantic, this
awful shout startled those on board a large emigrant ship,
which had so far merrily ploughed its way through the
dancing waves. Even the night-watch sailors who were
sleeping in their berths heard the first word of the fatal cry.
" Fire !" they re-echoed-leaping from their hammocks. All
the men and women who were below struggled frantically
to the deck, those who had children bearing them aloft in
their arms, thinking those their most precious treasures.
"Save my baby!" shouted many a mother. "Take
everything we have, if you will only save my child !"
Alas what hope of rescue was there with the splitting
deck beginning to glow like a furnace under foot, and
everywhere around the ship's sides the waves leaping like
hungry wolves. Amidst wild screaming, the boats were
launched; but there was not room for half of those clinging
to the bulwarks.
Jump into the boat, Captain! shouted some of those
who had first scrambled in there.
No," he bravely called back, high above the din. My
place is on the bridge till she blows up and sinks. Besides,
it was my little boy who did it; against all command he
played with a lamp in the cabin He and I must perish
with so many more."
So small a thing as a boy's idle hand had proved enough
.to fire a mighty ship! Great is the power of mischief.


Those few in the boats, hours after, got safely on board
a passing vessel. But, from the shelter of its friendly deck,
they saw the burning ship blazing on the edge of the far
waters like a star. As dusk fell, there was a sudden white
flash and a loud bellowing roar; she had blown up, and
every soul on board her perished.


Two little birds sat on a bough, alone in a shady wood;
their hearts were heavy, their song was low-as though they
would weep if they could.
The leaves bent over, and watched them there. "Alas!
poor birds," said they; "their souls will faint in this dull
despair; how can we chase it away ?"
They stooped-the Leaves-from their lofty height, and
whispered, soft and low, Birdies, dear, what is thy woe to-
day ? why art thou pining so ?
Is it hard to have no companions, then ? There are
worse things than being alone.
Is it hard to work for thy daily meal ? 'Tis better to
work than to drone.
Is it hard to be hungry ? An, yes, poor birds! but
the earth is filled with bread; there is surely enough for
two small birds, and the workers shall be fed.
Dost think thou art useless, birdies dear? A sparrow
once thought so too; but he plucked a fly from the heart of
a rose, and, instead of fading, it grew; grew into wonderful,
rosy bloom, and gladdened the heart of a king-a king who
had sworn, in his wrathful woe, a ravaging army to bring;
for his son had been killed in some city games. 'They
shall cease to play and to sing.' So he said, in his woful
anger-the king; and in vain the people prayed; while
the rose was gathered, in fragrant bloom, and on the dead
boy laid.



"'I promised my boy the first rose from the bush: I'm
glad that in time it has blown.' So the father mused, as he
placed the rose, and murmured: His own-my own.'
The kingly heart was touched, and mercy entered it.
'The town shall not suffer,' he said; and so he turned
from his purposed sin.
"The army was ordered back; the city was not to fall.
"' It was spared for the sake of the rose,' they said-but
the sparrow had done it all."
The Birds flew up to the comforting Leaves; they
covered them safe and warm, while the hail and the rain
came pelting down before a thunderous storm. "Courage!"
they said; '"the rain will pass, the sun is waiting to shine,
and the thunder is but the voice of God; He made such
lives as thine, as He made the flowers in hidden spots, to
work His perfect will; if only by following that command,
which husheth with 'Peace, be still.'"
The Birds grew brave, for their hearts were healed, the
bitterness passed away. They loved their life as a holy
thing. The Leaves worked well that day.

Little Jack was a town boy, who went into the country
to stay for the first time in his life. He saw a good many
things there which surprised him. He saw cows milked
and sheep sheared, and bees swarmed, about all which
things he had known nothing before. He saw carrots and
onions and potatoes dug up out of the ground, which


astonished him very much, for he had always thought they
grew with the roots upwards. And he saw the moon, and
he said, "The moon they have in the country is a much
better moon than they have in town." He did not know it
for the same, because it was so much brighter; and he
thought, what a lot of gas they must use to light it." For
he thought it was only a big gas lamp, like the gas lamps
he was used. to see in the streets. He would have been
astonished if any one had told him, what perhaps you know,
that the moon itself has no light of her own, but only shines
by the light which the sun casts or reflects upon her,
That is what clever folks, called astronomers, tell us.


Louise was a lass
Of a somewhat common class,
But a very, very bad one of the sort;
We all have different spheres,
It is well to have quick ears,
And Louise had; for quick hearing was her forte.
Wherever she was found
Was very ticklish ground;
And you had to mind your !'s and your' s,
Lest every word you said,
Whether up or in your bed,
Should be overheard by Listening Louise!
Some people took offence
At the fineness of her sense,
And they said to her, with marks of irritation,
"In your ears you should put wool,
For to have your head so full
Of other people's news, is a temptation."
Well, one day, at a door
She was listening, as before
(By that I mean it was not the first time),
When she heard a person say,
In a confidential way,
That Louise had been guilty of a CRIME!
Perhaps it was not much ;
But still the effect was such


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On the nerves of our unfortunate Louise,
That, though cheerfully inclined,
She lost her peace of mind,
And hated hearing speak of holes for keys.
She never saw a door
But she shook at every pore,
And how her seeing doors could they prevent ?
They could think of but one way-
And so, unto this day,
Louise has been living in a tent.

Everybody in and about the Hall said that Gretchen was
very stupid. The Squire's sister, who lived with her
bachelor brother, had taken a fancy to her while travelling
on the Continent, and had brought the German girl back
with her to the Hall. But scarcely had Miss Wallingham
been at home a day before she had to set out hurriedly for
Cornwall, to visit an aged aunt whose life was ending.
Poor Gretchen was left behind in the large household,
knowing scarcely half-a-dozen words of English.
"That stupid Gretchen!" "The German noodle!"
" That foreign idiot !"
Ill-natured names like these were to be heard all day long
in the kitchen, and about the passages.
The girl did not seem to be either idle or unwilling; but
all her fellow-servants agreed in saying that she did every-
thing badly. Well, there was just one exception. She had


asked to have the feeding of the Squire's pet animals, of

which he had a large number. Whenever she appeared
with an apron full of food for them, at the warm gable
of the Hall where the sunflowers grew, she was quickly
withan pronful of oodfor hem at he ar) MI
of te Hll werethe unfower grw, se ws quclw


surrounded by fawns, rabbits, peacocks, and turkeys.
Some of the pigeons would settle on her arms.
I cannot believe that Gretchen is stupid," warmly said
Miss Wallingham, the day she came back from her sad
visit. "The girl has just been talking to me in the
brightest way."
"Well, everybody says she is stupid," replied the Squire.
His sister went on: "Not half-an-hour ago, I saw her
with a perfect swarm of your pets about her; if she was not
kind they would not have made such a friend of her."
She does get along with the animals," said the Squire.
Miss Wallingham's face wore a smile, as she asked her
brother to step out on the lawn with her. She took him to
the sunny gable. "Call to your pets," she said, "and let
us see how they will act."
The Squire shouted. The creatures turned their heads,
and shook their ears, looking kindly towards him. But
only two or three of them came. Then Miss Wallingham,
imitating Gretchen's voice, called their German names.
Instantly, all were hopping or fluttering to the spot.
"I can see how it is!" laughed MIiss Wallingham.
" Instead of Gretchen being stupid, she is the only person
I left at the Hall who is not so. Why, the very rabbits
and poultry have learned German from her kindness!
But because she did not know English, you all thought
her witless."
This explanation proved to be right; so soon as Gretchen
had picked up a stock of English words, everybody found
out that she was as bright as they knew she was kind.


We can tell at once by their dress and faces to what
country these two belong. They are Italians; and we
should have to travel far before we could see a prettier
thing than a mother and child so happy.
._. _- ----


A farmyard chick stood by the horse-pond watching a
clutch of ducklings. Every now and then they put their
heads under water, and flung their legs up.
How very ridiculous! Wait a bit; I will show you."
In plunged the little chick; but, instead of getting to the
other side, it went to the bottom.

Cock-a-rock-a-doodle-do !
It's very kind, Miss Trot, of you
To pay my wives and children dear
So much attention ;
But there's one thing that's very clear,
Without pretension,
You will excuse me if I say,
What really is as clear as day,
That such a family as mine
All other families outshine.
It really must a pleasure be
Such grace and elegance to see;
But the reason why they thus outdo-
Cock-a-rock-a-doodle-do !-
All other creatures upon earth,
Of feathered or of human birth,
Is that they all belong to me,
As you may very plainly see-
A cock-a-doodle-doodle-de !


A farmyard chick stood by the horse-pond watching a
clutch of ducklings. Every now and then they put their
heads under water, and flung their legs up.
How very ridiculous! Wait a bit; I will show you."
In plunged the little chick; but, instead of getting to the
other side, it went to the bottom.

Cock-a-rock-a-doodle-do !
It's very kind, Miss Trot, of you
To pay my wives and children dear
So much attention ;
But there's one thing that's very clear,
Without pretension,
You will excuse me if I say,
What really is as clear as day,
That such a family as mine
All other families outshine.
It really must a pleasure be
Such grace and elegance to see;
But the reason why they thus outdo-
Cock-a-rock-a-doodle-do !-
All other creatures upon earth,
Of feathered or of human birth,
Is that they all belong to me,
As you may very plainly see-
A cock-a-doodle-doodle-de !



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-_ --__

One day John and Mary took a walk with their father.
"Just look, papa," said John; "what big clouds are in
the sky."
Oh, yes," said Mary. I wonder what the clouds are
made for?"
The clouds are very useful," said the father. They
are big curYtains, and you know what we use curtains for ?"


"Oh, yes," said Mary; "I know. When the sun
shines too brightly, we pull down the curtains to keep out
the heat and light."
"Quite so," replied the father. Now, when the sun
shines too brightly on the fields, the clouds are spread out,
just as our curtains are pulled down, and the cows begin to

leap and to run about, and the flowers and plants to lift up
their heads."
While the father was speaking it began to rain. They
went into a farmhouse for shelter. The children stood at
the window looking at the rain.
"That rain, too," said the father, comes from the
clouds. They are big waterinz-pots."


Watering-pots ?" asked Mary, in great surprise.
"Yes, my dear," said the father. When the big
meadows and fields are too dry, the water is poured down
from the clouds upon them."
"Oh, I see! I see !" cried John. Then the rain
comes out of those big clouds ? "
"Yes," said the father; "the clouds are big watering-
pots which water this beautiful earth of ours."
The rain was soon over, and the father went out again
with his children.
The children looked up, and clapped their hands.
" Oh," they cried, "how beautiful!"
There the great clouds floated about in the sky. The
sun had just broken through them, and given them all
sorts of fine colours. Some had gilt edges; others were
red like crimson; some again were purple, pink, light-
blue and dark-blue. Many of them, too, had most striking


forms. On the left-hand side was a large bluish cloud
that looked just like a ship with its sails set up to the very
top; on the right was a dark cloud that had very much the
shape of a big cow, with three horns.
The children looked with delight at the fine sights
above them.
Now you see," said the father, that the clouds are
pictures, too. We hang up pictures in our rooms. So the
golden, purple, and blue clouds on the walls of the sky
make a beautiful drawing-room of our whole earth."



The trees are wet with mist,
The clouds hang low, as though
The sky the hill-tops kissed,
And meant to send them snow.

But snow, or rain, or sleet,
The children still come out,


With busy, trotting feet,
In merry Christmas rout:
For this of all the year
Is most the children's time,


Since He we hold most dear
Became a Child sublime.
And what the children feel
We know, who hear them say
"We must not quarrel now,
For this is Christmas Day."
And so o'er all the land
There dawns a day of Peace,
And joy, at her command,
Doth visibly increase;
And strangers, friends, and foes
Are frankly heard to say,
"We wish you every good,
For this is Christmas Day."
And we who walk as friends,"
As more than friends may say,
"God bless you evermore
On every Christmas Day !"

Nurse Margaret they called me in the village. My
children-I called them mine whether they were well off
or badly off, and they did seem like my own so long as I
did for them, and they looked to me for everythig-my
children liked nothing better than to hear of one another.
It whiled away many a tedious hour even in homes where


the pretty little bedrooms were like pictures, and the broth
was brought
in porcelain
cups to the
side of the
small bed lit-
tered all over
with costly

n were a good
aort- many tedious
hours in such
rooms, for you
see pain will
be pain, and
weariness and weakness can't be charmed away by riches.
I often thought another sort of charm worked great
wonders, and that was kindness.
One of my children "-Tony Drew, they called him-
met with a bad accident once. I nursed him for six weeks
off and on, for, having other engagements then, I could
not be with him all the time. His father-the child had
no mother-was away all day at his work, but could afford
to pay me to look in and out and see to Tony, and could
afford to give Tony all he wanted; the only mistake was
that the father seemed to think nothing was wanted but
food and medicine, and a sick child needs more than that.
It was not so bad while he was very ill-all my children
are pretty much alike then-but as he began to get better,


I used to wish for
just a few of the
many toys and books
I saw elsewhere, or
that Tony had some
little friend to look
in now and then to
cheer him up.
The nearest neigh-
bour Drew had was
a widow woman with
one little girl. Susy
was one of "my
children" herself, and
I told her how dull
Tony was, and how
much. the dulness,
and the cross tem-
pers that came of it,
threw him back and
kept him from get-
ting well.
"I wish I had a
few toys for him," I
"I've not got a toy
in the world," said
Susy, in the saddest
little voice.


But after that she would run in
and out and see the boy, which
cheered him up wonderfully,
though it must be confessed Tony
had grown very cross, and quite
wrapped up in himself. I saw it
wasn't enough for Susy to be kind
to him; he must be kind to Susy,
before any good could come of it.
The day of the village school-
feast came, and poor sick Tony
was crosser than ever. He had
gone back the last day or two, and -
could not leave his Led.
"Susy is going to enjoy
herself," he grumbled, "and
I've got to lie here. Oh dear,
oh dear!"
But Susy gave up her party,
the only thing like a party she
had to look forward to from
one year's end to another, and
spent the day with us. Her
kindness did Tony a world
of good, and the next day,
when he was sitting up, well
'wrapped up in a blanket, I
bethought me to tell him of
Susy's sad speech:


I've not got a toy in the world!"
"They'd have given her a toy at the feast."
Oh, Nurse Margaret, couldn't I give her one ? Tony
It would never have done to ask Tony's father for
money to buy toys.
But I knew of a house where the children seemed to have
presents showered upon them ; they were all my children;"
I'd nursed them every one in measles that same spring. So
I sent up to beg any old toy that could be spared.
Tony and I unpacked the parcel when it came-the
milkman left it on his rounds.
Dear me I can't say how ashamed I was of my children
when I saw the contents!
One old doll. But szuc a doll!
A wooden one, with all the paint washed off its face, and


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an arm broken. But while I was feeling put out, Tony
exclaimed joyfully:
"I'm glad it's old! I'm glad it's bad and broken!
Borrow some paint for me, Nurse Margaret-red paint
for the cheeks and black for the hair-and I'll do it
and then it will be my present to Susy."
I did as he wished, and that old wooden doll cured
Tony. It took him out of himself, you see, and made him
do something for others. The interest and delight the
children took in it, to be sure! For Susy came in while
Tony was at work upon the ugly thing. I saw her kneel
down by him, with one arm round his neck, to watch what
he was about.
It is for you," said Tony.


For me Oh, Tony, how kind of you," she said.
"You were kind to me first," says Tony.
Tony was weak and ill for some time after that, and got
well only very slowly.
But I always used to say the wooden doll, or rather the
magic of kindness, began the cure.
At the same time, I must say I thought it too bad of my
children, who were well off, to send nothing but that one
old doll.
And it set me wishing more toys might go from little
ones who'have whole cupboards full to little ones who are
sick and sad, and have few toys of any sort at all.

1Ms 'f*i_ ___

* ------ ~ ~


"All wonders are possible to the Wonderful Book," said
the reader, breaking off for a moment in uttering the sweet
words on the large page open before her.
There were three listeners grouped about her in the
beautiful room. They were her elder sisters; and they,
out of their goodness of heart, let her, as the youngest, read
the marvels of the volume. But all their faces alike lighted
up at this praise of the things which were in the Book, and
of hearing which over and over again they never tired.
The happy looks of the ladies seemed to fill the room with
sunshine, besides that which came pouring in through the
open lattice window-the golden blaze of which sparkled
on the page of the Book, as if glad to brighten it.
Let us go," said the sister nestling closest to the reader,
"and repeat a passage from it to poor suffering old Peggy,
and so make her forget for a time her aches and pains."
"In returning," broke in the sister who was sitting in
the sun-lighted window-bay, "we can call on idle Peter, the
carpenter, and read him something from it which will set
him working hard out of loving shame."
The third sister, who was standing behind the reader's
chair, leaning upon its back with her arms crossed, next
added her remark: "Nelly, the miller's daughter, poor
tempted one, has her mind filled with vain thoughts, and is
urged to sin. Let us look in at .her father's cottage, and
find some passage in the Book, the hearing of which will
put to rest her wrong fancies, and make her soul white
again as snow."


Taking the Wonderful Book with them, the cluster of



sisters left the beautiful room, going forth on these visits to
the houses of those who dwelt around them. Every one


of the marvels they had spoken of came true. A poor,
sick, ailing woman, lying on a bed of suffering, when a few
lines were read to her, felt as if she was already in Heaven;
the drunken, morose Peter, on a passage being repeated to
him, seized his working tools and got honestly to work
upon the instant; while no sooner had some words from
the Book fallen on the ears of Nellie, the miller's daughter,


that she left off gazing into her deceitful looking-glass, and
went about her duties with a quiet mind. What miraculous
Book was this ? Surely we need not name it. But we

may say that of the four sisters who went forth to read it to
the people, the youngest was called Religion, and the three
others, Faith, Hope, and Charity.


Ben Hadud, standing in the Temple porch, prayed this
wrong prayer:
"Allah! This day, Ben Hadji has injured me. He
passed by me in the street without making salutation. For
this, may his ass fall into a pit !"
That same evening, Ben Hadud saw Ben Hadji
entering the city gate, walking with slow, sad mien. He
hastened to him, and asked, with joyful malice: "What
perplexes thee, O friend ? Has ought evil happened to
thee or thine ?"
"I am, indeed, perplexed," sighed Ben Hadji. "We
know that Allah cannot err; yet a strange thing has
happened. This morning, at the Temple, I overheard a
man, whose face I could not see, for my eyes grow dim,
pray that his enemy's ass might fall into a pit. Now, I
have just heard that it is thy ass which lies smothered in
the ditch. But neither hast thou enemies, nor art thou the
enemy of any. How could Allah mistake between thy
ass and another's ?"
Ben Hadud fell upon his face, and groaned heavily.
"Allah," he said, "is just. He has repaid me righteously.
It was I who, forgetting thy blindness, prayed this punish-
ment on thee for what at most would have been slight
offending. Allah has told me that I am myself mine
May He bless thee, 0, my best of friends, and do
thou pray Him to forgive me."










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