G. E. SARGENT.
-,>^P.- , ,
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY;
5., PATERNOSTER ROW; 65, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD;
AND 164, PICCADILLY.
too, CORPORATION STREET, MANCHESTER.
31, WESTERN ROAD, BRIGHTON.
7JNIM flROTIIERS, L.ONDON AND CrIIA\VOR'L`r.
, -.' .1,1^ .... ", '. '^ .
I. THE HOP-GARDENS ............................. 5
II. THE STORY OF A BOY FOR WHOM NOBODY
CARED ............ ......................... 16
III. MORE ABOUT THE HOP-GARDENS ......... 27
IV. HOW CHARLEY FOUND A GOOD FRIEND... 39
V. SUNDAY ON THE IOP-GROUNDS ............ 49
VI. M.iORE ABOUT THE HOP-GARDENS ......... 58
VII. CHARLEY'S HOP-PICKING COMES TO AN
UNEXPECTED END.......................... 67
VIII. NOBODY'S OWN HAS KINDNESS SHOWN
HIM BY STRANGERS ....................... 75
IX. BREAD CAST UPON THE 'WATERS ......... 85
THE HOP GARDENS.
ELL, little fellow, and whom do
you belong to? said Mr.
Hammond.-" Nobody, sir.'
"Nobody, eh? You mean that
you did not come with any of these
gangs, I suppose ? But there is some-
one who owns you, I expect?"-"No,
sir, there is not," replied the little
Well, but who are you, then ?
asked the farmer.-" Charley, sir."
Charley what ? "
The little fellow was puzzled with
the simple question. His name was
Charley, he said again. People called
him Charley, and so he was.
Mr. Hammond was puzzled too. He
was a hop-planter and grower, and this
was the first day of his setting people
to work at hop-picking. A great many
of these hop-pickers came from a
distance : several families of country
people from those parts of Kent,
and Sussex, and Surrey, where hops
were not grown, had arrived at Mr.
Hammond's hop-grounds, expecting to
obtain at least a month's profitable
work. A few Irishmen, with their
wives and children, had also made their
appearance. They had come over to
England at haymaking time; after that
season was over they had worked at
harvesting; and now, the corn being
all cut, they had found their way to the
hop-growing parts of the country in
the hope of adding to their former earn-
ings. Then there were English tramps,
who had no certain home anywhere, but
who, all the summer long, were in the
habit of wandering through the country
with their donkeys and tents, and en-
camping at night in green lanes and
under high hedges, while in the day-
time they made and sold mats or
baskets, or common tin wares. These
wandering people had travelled into
Kent to earn money by hop-picking.
Besides these, were many poor per-
sons whose home was generally in
London, but who, every autumn, went
into the hop-country for the sake of
It was a strange but lively scene that
day, and for several days afterwards, in
Mr. Hammond's homestead, when these
strangers from so many different places
came flocking in, hoping to be employed
by him without travelling any farther.
And as this worthy man had rather
extensive hop-grounds, and large crops
that year, there was no difficulty in
But Mr. Hammond had some diffi-
culty respecting the little fellow who
stood before him, cap in hand, waiting
for his favourable reply. He was a
little fellow-not more than eight or
nine years of age, probably, and small
even for that. He was very raggedly
clad, but his hands and face were toler-
ably clean, and his face,when he smiled,
was not by any means unpleasing. It
is of no great consequence, perhaps, but
it may as well be put down here, that
he had golden-coloured hair, which
hung in tangled curls over his forehead,
except when he pushed them aside with
his hand, which he was constantly
doing while Mr. Hammond was talking
So you do not belong to any of these
people, you say: where do you come
from ?"-" From London, sir," said
"Well, whom do you live with there ?"
asked Mr. Hammond.-" With lots of
people in lodging-houses and such like,"
said the boy, readily.
You have a father, have you not? "-
" Never knowed him, sir," said Charley;
" he is dead, I reckon."
"And your mother, does she not take
care of you ? asked the gentleman.
-" Mother's dead, sir," said the boy;
and Mr. Hammond saw, or fancied he
saw, tears glisten in Charley's eyes as
he said this.
Poor boy you remember your mo-
ther, then ? How long ago did she die?"
This was more than Charley could
tell, for he was not very expert at keep-
ing account of time. All he could
recollect was that it was a good while
since his mother died at a lodging-
house in London. He remembered
that day very well, and the day she was
buried too; it was when he was "a
very little fellow," he said.
"Why, I should say you are only a
very little fellow now," said the gentle-
man, smiling, though not in ridicule;
"but since your mother died you have
had somebody to look after you, have
you not ? "-" Not much of that," said
the boy: "you see, sir," he added,
"people has mostly got their own to
look after, and I am Nobody's Own."
Mr. Hammond was a kind-hearted,
Christian farmer, and he was touched
by the last words of the poor boy.
"Nobody's own! Nobody's own!" he
said to himself; "and 'nobody' is a
poor owner, I am afraid. Well," he
continued, and so you have come all
the way from London to try and pick
hops; is that it ? "-" That is just it,"
said Nobody's Own, nodding his head
once or twice.
"What made you think of that? "
Mr. Hammond asked.-" They told me
of it in London," said the boy, readily.
And you have walked all this way ?"
NOBODY S OW'N.
Nobody's Own nodded again. He had
been pretty nearly a week on the road
he said, but he did not mind that. And
in answer to further questions from Mr.
Hammond, he explained that he had
obtained food, as much as he wanted,
by begging as he walked along; also
that he had slept two or three nights
in cheap lodging-houses, where he
could get a bed for twopence; once
in an old lodge, where he found some
straw; and once, when he had not
been successful through the day in
begging, and could find no lodge nor
barn where he could rest his weary
little body, he had slept beside a hay-
stack, which partly sheltered him from
the cold air.
Poor little Nobody's Own! said
the kind farmer to himself again.
"But how is it you did not come in
company with those other people from
London ? he asked.-" They wouldn't
have me, sir," replied the boy. "I
wanted to come along with them, but
they told me to go away; but I followed
them, because I knew they were coming
down to hopping."
I will employ you, certainly," Mr.
Hammond began.-"Thank'ee, sir!"
cried Nobody's Own, brightening up.
I will employ you," the gentleman
said again; "but I shall try you for a
day or two first, to see how you get on.
You are a very little fellow to be work-
ing on your own account, and I am
almost afraid you will not earn money
enough to do yourself any good."-" I'll
work, sir," said the boy; "may I go
along with them, sir ?" and he looked
towards the other pickers whom Mr.
Hammond had already engaged, and
who were following his foreman to one
of the hop-gardens.
"No," said Mr. Hammond, kindly;
"you had better wait here, and I will
take you myself." He had a reason
for this: he knew that his foreman,
though an honest and valuable servant,
was apt to be rough, and perhaps
might not approve of being troubled
with a ragged little boy, who had
no one to look after him; and as the
gentleman felt pity for the little fellow,
he intended to let it be seen that he
was, in some measure, protected by
Perhaps you are hungry," said Mr.
Hammond; have you had any break-
fast ? "-" A bit of bread, so big," said
Nobody's Own, putting one hand across
the other, so that only the fingers were
"And you have got nothing for din-
ner or supper, I suppose ? "-Nobody's
Own turned all the pockets of his rag-
ged garments inside out, to show that
there was nothing in them.
"But the hop-pickers bring their
food with them, my poor boy, or a little
money to buy it with; how do you think
of managing about that?"-" I shall
soon earn some money," the boy said
"Yes, but you will have to wait
some time before you receive any, if
you do earn it. And where will you
sleep at night ? "-" Anywhere," said
Anywhere is almost as bad as no-
where," remarked Mr. Hammond with
a smile. But come, never mind ; I
see I must take you in hand a little at
first; and, to begin, here is sixpence
for you; you can run into the village"-
this was about a quarter-of-a-mile off-
"and there you will find a baker's
shop. You can buy yourself a three-
penny loaf, which will be enough
for you to-day, and you will then
have threepence for to-morrow."-
"Thank'ee, sir," said Nobody's Own,
gleefully, as he received the bright
But you will understand that I do
not give you this; I only pay you in
advance; you will have to work it out."
-" Yes, sir."
Well now, run and get your loaf, and
then come to me in the hop-garden;
you will find me there."
The little fellow was sharp enough to
understand the directions he received,
and he lost, little time in attending to
them. In less than half-an-hour he
was at the good-natured hop-planter's
elbow; and, with a large basket before
him, was receiving a few simple direc-
tions about hop-picking, being told that
he was to separate the hop-flowers
carefully from the stalks without crush-
ing them, and not to suffer any leaves
to get into his basket.
We shall leave him for a short time
at this first hour's employment, while
we write a little about his former history.
Let me say here, however, that Mr.
Hammond did wisely in not making the
little fellow a present of his first day's
dinner and supper, as he might have
done. It was a good lesson to teach
him, namely, that those who have
hands to work, and work for their hands,
should have no occasion to receive
money or food in charity.
THE STORY OF A BOY FOR WHOM NOBODY
The history which Nobody's Own (as
we shall continue sometimes to call little
Ch'arley) had given of himself, was true
as far as it went. He had never known
his father, and he had but a slight re-
membrance of his mother. Afterwards
in life, when he attempted to put his
confused recollections together, he had
reason to think that his poor mother's
home was a long way off in the country,
but that she had lived in London more
than a year before her death. How she
obtained her living he did not at all
know. All he knew was, that when he
became motherless as well as fatherless,
he had no one really to care for him,
and he, perhaps, not more than five or
six years old.
You may well wonder how a little
fellow, so young and friendless, could
manage to live in London, or anywhere
else, and to obtain food and clothing
and lodging by hisown efforts. We are
not sure that we can tell you, but we
As to lodging, the mistress of the
lodging-house where Charley's mother
died, allowed himto remain there; but
sent him out every day to get money,
and made him give her a penny, and
sometimes more, when he returned to
his miserable home every night.
And truly it was a miserable home !
The house had seven or eight rooms in
it; and every one of these, except that
in which the woman herself lived, was
let out to beggars and tramps, or very
poor travellers; so that as many as
thirty or forty people were often crowded
togetherin these rooms at night. Some
of these people lived there constantly-
that is, as long as they could pay for
their lodgings; while others came only
for a night or two, and then were seen
there no more.
This was little Charley's home. His
bed was in a garret, under a roof so
leaky that on wet nights the rain dripped
down upon him as he lay; and his bed
was little better than a coarse bag stuffed
with straw and shavings, with a rug to
cover him. And yet, though these
accommodations were so very poor,
there were many others besides the
little motherless boy who were glad of
them as well as he. Very often seven
or eight, or even more boys slept in that
We are sadly afraid, indeed we are
quite sure, that some of these boys were
not only ignorant, untaught, and as
uncared-for as Nobody's Own could be,
but were dishonest also. They had no
fixed work any more than they had any
fixed homes. Who, indeed, would have
employed them, when there was no one
to speak even a good word for them, or
give them a fair character ?
You may be sure that Charley did not
get goodfrom such boys as these. Atfirst,
indeed (by which we mean soon after
his mother's death), he was almost too
young to know what these bigger boys
were in the habit of talking about in
their garret. Besides that, he was
generally so tired with his day's wander-
ings as to fall asleep almost directly he
lay down on his hard bed. But after
a time, as he grew older, he under-
stood them better, and became familiar
with them; and as we know, both from
the Bible and from what we see around
us, that evil communications corrupt
good manners," there is every reason to
fear that our little Nobody's Own soon
became corrupt in his mind and thoughts
and feelings, as well as ignorant.
This is not a very pleasant picture;
but we wish to let our young readers
see both sides of Charley's character;
and as we have shown him, first of all,
as a civil, well-behaved little fellow,
though a ragged one, and industriously
inclined also, it seems right that we
should next warn them not to expect too
much from him. What he turns out to
be, in the end, we shall see by-and-bye.
But how could such a little fellow
get a living for himself in such a place
as London? Truly we cannot tell you
all the ways he had of doing this. He
began, we think, by begging. Now, the
child had never been taught that to beg
is a disgrace; he did not blush at all
with shame while following ladies in the
streets, and telling them the pitiful tale
(which, indeed, was in his case a true
one) of having no father or mother; and
his simple looks and childish little figure,
and half-cryingvoice, in those early days,
often pleaded strongly in his favour.
Then, as he grew a little bigger, he
became expert in running alongside of
coaches and carriages, turning heels
over head as he kept pace with them.
This was another form of begging by
which he got half-pence to buy food,
and to pay for his nightly lodging.
At other times the friendless little boy
really earned a few pence by small
services for people who knew something
of him in the street where he lived;
and at other times, it is to be feared, he
got money, or what to him was equal to
money, by pilfering, when he could do
this unobserved. Poor little Nobody's
Own he knew very well that if found
out in stealing he would most likely be
punished; but no one had ever told him
that to steal is a sin. He thought that
it was really clever to take what did
not not belong to him without being
There were few policemen in London
at the time of which we are writing, so
that there was not the sharp look-out
kept after little beggar boys and young
thieves that there is now. If there had
been, it is very likely our little Charley
would not have been allowed to go on so
long in his wicked ways of life without
a check. There were parish beadles,
who walked about the streets in the
day-time, as well as watchmen in the
same streets at night; but these were
generally old men, and not at all active,
so that a nimble fellow like Charley
could easily keep out of their way; and
as he never was known to commit any
offence much greater than those we have
mentioned, people did not trouble them-
selves much about him. Once, indeed,
when he had slily run away with a loaf
from a baker's shop, he was caught by
the baker, who threatened to have him
sent to prison; but the baker altered
his mind, and cuffed him pretty hard
instead. This was the only time the
little fellow had ever been punished for
dishonesty. I had not any money,"
he said, "and I was so hungry; and
there were lots more loaves in the
shop ; and why was not I to have
Poor little Nobody's Own He was
naughty in stealing the baker's loaf;
but surely he was also to be pitied. As
we have already said, no one had ever
told him that stealing was a sin against
God. We do not think that he had ever
heard about God, only as he had daily
and almost hourly heard the holy name
misused in oaths and curses. He
knew nothing of the Bible. He did not
know why shops were shut up on Sun-
days, or why churches and chapels were
opened; or if he had been even told
anything about these matters, it was in
a way which made him believe that he
had no concern with them. There were
no ragged-schools at that time for poor
neglected children; and there were no
" shoe-black brigades" for rescuing poor
boys from idleness and dishonesty, by
putting before them a way of getting
an honest living. So we think that
Charley was to be pitied, though he was
to be blamed.
And now we have told you as much
as is necessary about this little fellow's
early history. How it happened that
he took the journey into Kent may
easily be explained. In the course of
his wanderings about London, and in the
lodging-houses where he slept at night
(for he did not always keep to that first
one which has been described), he heard
something about the money that could
be earned at hop-picking, and the fun
which sometimes went on at hop-pick-
ing time. Now, Nobody's Own liked
money when he could get it, and he
liked fun too; so, for a change from
always living in London, and having
nothing certain to do beyond striving
in any irregular manner to get a few
pence from day to day, the little fellow
made up his mind to find his way into
Kent, and to one farm there which he
had heard named.
We think it showed some energy in
the boy to make this effort; for, consider,
he was certainly not more than nine
years old. But the hardships of his
childhood had taught him to endure
much which others could not have
borne; and having had to rely upon
himself ever since the death of his
poor mother, he had more confidence
than some boys have who are many
We may here add, that it was a happy
circumstance for Charley that he had
this disposition to seek honest work
while he was thus young, and before the
bad habits of idleness and dishonesty
had become stronger. Who shall say
that this disposition was not put into
his mind by God Himself, who had
watched him in all his goings, and seen
all his troubles and sins ? Ah, if Charley
could have known this, and had thought
about it, he would not have felt so
strongly that he was Nobody's Own.
And now, before we return to the hop-
garden, we would ask our young readers
to think with gratitude on their superior
advantages. You can read, which Char-
ley could not; he did not know a single
letter of the alphabet. You have been
told the difference there is between right
and wrong, so that you can understand
that difference. We are almost sure
that you know something of the great
truths of the Bible, and have often heard
of the great love of God in sending His
Son into the world to die for sinners,
that, by believing in Him, they might
have eternal life; and you are acquainted
with the promises of God to all who
seek His mercy and help in the name
of the Lord Jesus Christ, His Son,-
His pardon for their past sins, and the
help of His good and gracious Spirit
for time to come. But of all this,
which you surely know of, the poor
boy of whom we are writing was quite
How Nobody's Own got on at the
hop-grounds we shall find out in due
MORE ABOUT THE HOP-GARDENS.
It was a very lively and interesting
scene which presented itself from day
to day in Mr. Hammond's hop-grounds.
Those of my young readers who are ac-
customed to the sight will agree with
me in this; and, for the sake of those
who have never seen a hop-gadren, I
will try to describe what was as new
to Nobody's Own as it would be to
First of all, you must fancy a large
field, enclosed on all sides by tall
thick hedges, which, in early summer,
are very likely beautiful and blooming
with wild roses and honeysuckle blos-
soms, but which, in the hop-picking
season, are rich with clusters of black-
berries, ripe or ripening, and very
possibly with hazel-nuts also. I need
scarcely say, however, that nuts and
blackberries soon disappear after hop-
picking has fairly begun.
Next, you have to fancy this field to
be thickly studded all over with regular
lines or rows of tall poles, in groups of
four or five, almost close together; and
these are covered over from bottom to
top with the strong twining hop-plant,
which has large, rich, dark-green leaves,
and beautiful clusters of light-green
flowers. There is not a handsomer
plant grown by English farmers than
the hop-plant, when it is in full and
flourishing bearing, and the scent of
both leaves and flowers is quite delicious.
Then you must picture to yourself a
number of bins-which are a sort of
canvas bags, fastened on square wooden
frames-or else large wicker baskets,
or both bins and baskets, standing
between the rows of hop-plants and
poles, and surrounded by men, women,
and children, all of them stripping with
swift and busy hands the flowers from
their stalks, while other men are equally
busy with sharp hooks in cutting asun-
der the stems of the plants near to the
root, uplifting the poles, and laying
them across the bins and baskets ready
for the pickers. In Mr. Hammond's
hop-grounds, more than a hundred
pickers were earnestly at work, each
striving to earn as much money as
possible every day.
Now look round again. See, here
is a basket close to one of the bins,
which serves the purpose of a cradle
for some poor woman's infant, well
covered up from the chill air; and
there is a child's waggon, which serves
the same purpose. Here, again, a fire
is burning, over which hangs a kettle;
and there, under the hedge, is a blanket
tent, low and snug and warm, which,
if you were to peep into, you would see
contains a little nest of children, from
five years old and downwards. Then,
listen to the voices of the hop-garden.
Here, an infant crying, poor little thing!
not knowing what to make of it, and
the mother hushing it to sleep; or,
perhaps, if she be rather impatient,
scolding it a little, because she loses
precious time every minute she is at-
tending to baby; their children, too
young to be at work, are playing and
shouting and enjoying the fun. Here,
again, is a merry party round a bin,
or basket, talking and laughing while
busy at work; and there, round another
bin, they are grumbling loudly because
the poles are not supplied to them at
the very moment they are wanted.
This is one scene in a hop-garden
in picking-time ; but if you were to
enter it at noon, or soon after, you
would see all the bins and baskets de-
serted, work suspended, and other oper-
ations going on. It is dinner-time,
and one fire after another having been
previously lighted under the hedges, or
in some other convenient place, pots
and kettles are bubbling over them,
while groups of families sit round en-
joying their food, just as you may
perhaps have seen gipsies sitting round
their fires in green lanes and shady
nooks, or by the road-side. Not much
time is wasted in eating and drinking,
however; very soon work is commenced
again, and continued till evening.
And then, as well as at intervals
through the day, the foreman, or mea-
surer, goes round to empty the full
bins, and take account of the number
of bushels picked in each; and you
may be sure that a careful, watchful
eye is kept upon him by the pickers,
lest he should press the hops down too
tight as he measures them, and so
make fewer bushels than they think to
be fair, or lest he should make a mis-
take in the reckoning; while he, on his
part, is equally sharp to detect any
carelessness in the picking. Having
measured the binful and put the hops
into sacks, which are directly carried
away, the foreman gives, not money,
but tallies, to the pickers, which agree
with the number of bushels picked by
each, and when the "hopping" is
over, these are exchanged for the money
which has been earned.
I should further explain that the hop-
flowers when picked are taken to the
drying-house, which is called an oast-
house," where they are carefully spread
on a kind of open floor, covered with
hair-cloth; and below this is a kiln,
in which a charcoal-fire is continually
kept burning. I might tell much more
about hop-picking, but it would take
up too much room to describe all the
proceedings connected with it, and all
the busy scenes which a hop-garden
exhibits from day to day during the
time picking is going on; and enough
has been written to show how little
Nobody's Own was employed, and what
he saw. A very different life this was,
you will say, from his life in London.
Truly it was, and an improvement
upon it, I think.
If you are curious to know how so
many strangers could dispose of them-
selves during the night as well as find
work through the day, I must tell you
that some few of them obtained lodgings
in the village where Charley had bought
his two three-penny loaves. But, for
the greater part of them, Mr. Hammond
had fitted up an empty barn and an
out-house as sleeping-places, and in one
of these the men and boys were not
uncomfortably lodged, while the other
was reserved for the women and chil-
dren. This was a rude and rough
makeshift, no doubt, for those who
were accustomed to better home ac-
commodation; but as to poor little
Nobody's Own, he quite enjoyed the
clean, sweet straw on which he lay,
and the coarse sheets provided for his
use. And so it is no wonder that, with
the novelty of industrious work, the
sweet and fresh country air, the whole-
some bread on which he dined and
supped the day before, and broke his
fast the morning after, and the refresh-
ing sleep he had enjoyed in the barn,
-it is no wonder, I say, that on the
second day of his new toil, he wished
hop-picking would last all the year
There are more sides than one to
every true picture of life, however; and
my description of a hop-garden in pick-
ing-time would not be complete if I were
not to speak of wet and uncomfortable,
as well as of fine, dry, and sunny days.
Sometimes the cold air, especially in
the morning, is very nipping, and the
hop-pickers are glad to wrap themselves
up in coats and cloaks to keep them-
selves tolerably comfortable. Worse
than this, thick mists or fine drizzling
rain cover them with moisture, or a
pouring rain descends, and drives the
hop-pickers to take shelter where they
can. These are some of the disagree-
able things of a hop-garden.
It happened, however, that the autumn
at which our story begins was very fine,
and Charley was not subjected to much
inconvenience from the weather.
Mr. Hammond kindly fulfilled his pro-
mise in at first taking the little fellow
in hand, and letting it be seen that he
took an interest in him. He took care
to provide him with a berth, or sleeping
place, in the barn with the other men
and boys; and on the second day
Charley was paid a little more money
in advance for the purchase of food.
So far, therefore, little Nobody's Own
got on very happily and well. It was
almost the first time in his life that he
had known anyone to care for him in
ever so slight a degree, and the feeling
it produced in his mind was a very
But I am sorry to say that the poor
boy did not receive the same kindness
from every one around him. There was
Martin, the foreman, who was a little
jealous of the notice taken of Charley
by his master, and who spoke roughly
to him, and found more fault than was
perhaps quite necessary with Charley's
picking He did not choose to think
that it was new work to the boy, and
that gentle words would have done
more good in this case than harsh
There were others also who were not
very good-natured to Nobody's Own.
They spoke of him as a common va-
grant and vagabond, and called him a
" young 1.:. ,- and wanted to know
what business he had to be working
with decent people. I fear it was
Charley's friendless state which promp-
ted them to be thus unkind. They
might perhaps have looked round and
seen in the hop-garden others whom
they could as justly have called va-
grants; but these had companions who
cou!l have taken their part, and No-
body's Own had, as they thought,
nobody to take his part, at any rate
when Mr. Hammond was out of sight
They were a little mistaken in this,
though. Very near the little fellow,
as he stood at work, was a poor woman,
whose home was in the village. She
was a widow, and had experienced
much sorrow in the course of her life;
but her troubles had not hardened her
heart and blunted her feelings for others,
and she soon began to feel great sym-
pathy towards the poor little orphan
boy by her side. She felt for his lone-
liness, because she herself was lonely;
and she pitied his ignorance, because
she saw that he was in danger of
perishing for lack of knowledge.
Mrs. Smith (for that was the poor
widow's name) was a humble, loving
Christian; and she was one of those
who are not satisfied with being Chris-
tians themselves, but are anxious that
all around them should know the bles-
sedness of having God for a reconciled
Father, through faith in the Lord Jesus
Christ. No wonder, then, that this
Christian woman felt for poor little
Nobody's Own, and was not ashamed
to show him such little kind acts as
were in her power. So at dinner-time,
when the boy had only his dry bread
to eat, Mrs. Smith made a point of
giving him a cup of tea out of her little
teapot, and at other times she ad-
dressed a few gentle words to him. This
went on for several days, and then the
poor widow had it in her power to
befriend Nobody's Own yet more effec-
tually. How it happened we must
HOW CHARLEY FOUND A GOOD FRIEND.
We are now to tell how Mrs. Smith,
the poor widow, became more and more
the friend of Charley. The little fellow
was quick and active, and was desirous
of earning as much money as he could;
but, somehow or other, he did not get
on very well. It was strange work to
him, and he did not pick as many
bushels in a day as he wished to do.
It was such slow work, he began to
think, and he was in a fidget to get
away from it; he got quite tired of
standing so long with the basket before
him, and wanted to have a good run, to
stretch his legs and cheer his spirits.
Now all this was very natural, for little
Nobody's Own had never, in all his life,
been so confined to one spot from day to
day; but had been in the habit of roam-
ing about wherever he pleased, with no
one to stop his movements.
You will not much wonder, therefore,
that, after a little while, the poor boy
became careless in his work. He was
worse than careless. What's the use
of being so particular ? he thought to
himself; and so, by design, he heaped
his basket with almost entirely unpicked
bunches of flowers, hoping that the
measure would not find out his trick
of filling his basket wVithout trouble.
But Charley was mistaken; and the con-
sequence was that Mr. Martin scolded
him very severely, as well as ordered
him to go over his work again. He
also threatened that if he had any more
trouble with the "young vagabond," as
he called the boy, he would turn him
out of the hop-garden, whether Mr.
Hammond liked it or not.
Mrs. Smith heard all this, and she
tried to speak a word or two on the
I do believe you would speak up
for anybody, Mrs. Smith," said Martin.
I don't know about that, Mr. Mar-
tin," said the widow; "but it is plain
to be seen that little Charley has not
had much good teaching, and we should
make allowances for him."
It is all very well to talk about
making allowances," grumbled the fore-
man, as he walked away to the next
bin, "but I reckon if you had to
measure instead of pick, you would not
stand being cheated more than any of
the rest of us."
Mrs. Smith did not think it necessary
to answer Mr. Martin,--in truth, she
was paying more attention to the boy,
who was sullenly walking away. In
another moment, the kind woman had
followed him, and laid her hand gently
on his arm.
"Where are you going, Charley?"
"Right away," said Nobody's Own,
angrily, and his countenance was dark
and angry too.
"Ah, I thought so; and you do not
mean to work any more, is not that it ? "
Yes; I am not going to stand being
scraped down, as that man scraped me
down," said Charley.
You mean that he scolded you; and
you do not like being scolded, I dare
say. But then you should remember
that you deserved it; you deserved it
a little, did you not, Charley ?"
I don't care said the boy-
"Oh, I would not say that, if I were
you, Charley. I am sure you will care
when you think a little more about it.
And, you know, if you go away and
leave your work, you will lose the money
you have already earned."
Nobody's Own had it on his tongue
to say again that he did not care; but,
strange as it may seem, he refrained
from doing so, because he knew Mrs.
Smith did not like to hear him use those
"And what will you do if you go
away without any money, Charley ?"
Mrs. Smith asked.
I'll go back to London," he said;
" I can beg my way there."
Charley, don't do that," said the
poor widow, tenderly.
Why not ?" he demanded, looking
up into his kind friend's face with a sort
of mixed curiosity and doubt. It was a
tone in which he was very little used
to be spoken to. "Why not?" he
Because it would make me very
"I don't know why you should be
sorry about me," said Nobody's Own;
" I aren't anytl:ing to anybody."
"Yes, you are, Charley; you are
something to yourself, you know; and
you are something to me, too; and I
should be very sorry for you to go away
in this manner."
Why ?" asked the boy, with increas-
"Because I feel for you, poor Char-
ley; and-and Charley, don't go away.
I want you to stop and earn money like
an honest, good boy; I don't want you to
be an idle beggar-boy." And the gentle-
hearted woman took Charley by the
hand, and looked down upon the puzzled
face which was turned up inquiringly,
as though to meet her gaze.
Oh, there is such power in loving
looks and loving words! Nobody's
Own felt this power. His kind friend
did not hold him tightly at all; but
he had no wish to break away from
What does it matter ?" he said, at
length, looking down on the ground.
Will you stop to please me, Char-
ley ? asked the widow.
There was a little struggle, and then
Nobody's Own felt himself conquered.
He suffered himself to be led back to
his basket; but Mrs. Smith had not
yet done with him.
Come now, Charley," she said;
" let us see why Mr. Martin found fault."
This was easily seen; and between
laughing and crying, the boy stood by
while his friend held up one long bunch
after another of unpicked hops, and col-
lected handfuls of leaves as well, which
he had dropped into his basket.
No wonder Mr. Martin scolded,"
said Mrs. Smith; suppose we see
what we can do to quiet him;" and
then, with Charley's help, removing the
basket close to her now empty bin, she
carefully picked the hops again. Itwas a
sad waste of time, but it was done at last.
I think this act of kindness had even
more effect upon Charley than Mrs.
Smith's kind words. Words," he
might have argued, do not cost any-
thing; but to give an hour of precious
time, and lose money by it, when there
was no occasion for her to be troubled
about me-that is something I do not
No, the poor ignorant, vice-nurtured
boy, did not understand it. He did not
know that where the love of Christ is
shed abroad in the heart by God's good
Spirit, it makes the heart soft and loving
towards all men; so that a true Chris-
tian will be kindly affectioned, and for-
giving, and helpful, not only to the good
and gentle, but to the froward.
But though the boy did not under-
stand it-being so different from anything
he had ever before seen-he could and
did feel it. "It is very good of you,
Mrs. Smith, it is," he said, when she
had completed her task; "and I'll do
them better next time."
"I am glad to hear you say so,
Charley," said she, with a smile; and
if you would like to come and pick with
me-this is a double bin, you see, and
there is no one at the other end-I'll
ask Mr. Martin to let you. Then I
shall see if you do it all right."
After that time, Charley took his
stand with Mrs. Smith at the same bin;
and, perhaps, for the first time almost
in his memory, he began to feel how
pleasant it would be to be Somebody's
Own, instead of Nobody's Own.
For the poor widow had a pleasant
way, not only of talking herself so as to
interest the boy, but she induced him
to talk too, and so he was drawn on to
tell his new friend about his various
adventures in London. Much of this
was scarcely worth telling or hearing,
truly; and many things which he told,
with a kind of wicked glee, were
what he would probably have been
ashamed to boast about if he had not
been a very ignorant boy. But it was
in patiently listening to him that Mrs.
Smith gained his confidence, and gave
her the opportunity of telling him what
was indeed worth hearing, but which had
never before entered into his thoughts.
You may be sure that this friendship
between Mrs. Smith and Nobody's Own
did not pass without some remarks from
those around; and there were those
who sneered and professed to wonder
who their heighbour would take up
with next." But the kind woman did
not answer their sneering remarks. I
dare say she remembered that, when the
Lord Jesus Christ was on earth, He
was sneered at too, and called a friend
of sinners," because He went about doing
good, and did not turn from those who
were "ignorant and out of the way."
And she might have remembered (I think
she did) that, in this as well as in other
respects, He set His disciples an example
" that they should follow His steps."
SUNDAY ON THE HOP-GROUNDS.
Sunday on hop-grounds arefrequently
not only idle, but mischievous days.
The people who are gathered together
are not generally disposed to improve
the day that God has blessed." Those
who come from a distance, and espe-
cially the tramps and wandering hop-
pickers, of whom I have spoken, are
little inclined to attend public worship;
and they have an excuse ready at hand,
namely, that they have no clothes fit to
go in. If they have Sunday garments,
they do not bring them to the hop-
gardens. It is to be feared, however,
they have no disposition to attend to
religion. Of course, it is not so with all,
but I am telling of the many, and am
writing of what I have seen and known.
Instead, therefore, of making the
Sunday days of rest and refreshment
to their souls and bodies, many of the
hop-pickers make use of them for roam-
ing about without any object but that
of "killing time," which hangs heavily
on their hands. Others have even a
worse object than this in view, for they
are tempted, by the sight of gardens
and orchards of fine fruit, to be dis-
honest. Others, again, engage in sports
and games, which are sadly opposed
to the design of the Lord's-day; and
yet, others, or perhaps the greater part
of them, spend as much of the day as
they can, and as much money as they
can as well, in neighboring public-
houses, and, of course, in drinking.
Meanwhile, the women are employed
in minding the children they have
brought with them, and in sitting in
the sunshine, gossiping, or often in
mending clothes. Sunday, too, in
hop-picking time, are often quarrel-
some days; for when the people have
no useful occupation for hands and
minds, and no desire to learn what is
good, they generally practice what is
bad, and this leads to quarrels.
Mr. Hammond knew all this, and as
he was a pious man he did what he
could to remedy the evils of hop-picking
time on his own farm. For one thing,
he required his pickers to leave off work
at noon on every Saturday, that they
might have time to prepare for the next
day, and that any who came from the
distance of a few miles only might re-
turn home if they pleased. On Sun-
day morning he was up early, and walked
into his hop grounds with a supply
of tracts in his hand, which he dis-
tributed to those who could read; and
as he selected interesting narrative-
tracts, there was no difficulty in getting
rid of them profitably to those who re-
ceived them. Through the day, might
be seen at intervals, little groups of the
pickers gathered round one of their num-
ber, who was reading aloud to the rest.
Then, some time after breakfast, the
pious hop-grower made a point of walk-
ing again into his grounds, and inquir-
ing if any of the people were going to
public worship ; and as the answer he
received in most instances was the ex-
cuse I have already mentioned, or some
other, he was in the habit of proposing
to read out of the Bible to as many as
were disposed to listen to him. In this
way he was sure to get a good many
hearers ; and it was pleasant to see the
employer standing under the shade of
a large tree, with men, women, and
children, some standing and some sit-
ting on the ground quietly around him,
while he read some portion of the Gos-
pels or Epistles, in a clear voice, and
sometimes spoke a few words to them
about what he was reading.
Mr. Hammond did this on the first
Sunday after Charley became one of
his hop-pickers, and the little fellow,
being curious to know what was going
on, first of all joined the group, and
then gradually crept into the inner
circle, very close to his master, just
as he was opening his pocket-Bible.
Nice manners you've brought with
ye," said a man who was standing by ;
and he would have thrust Nobody's
Own back again, if Mr. Hammond had
not prevented him.
No, no," he said, kindly, "there is
plenty of room here. Let the little
fellow stand by me." Charley then
stood close by while Mr. Hammond
read a chapter or two from one of the
Gospel narratives. He listened very
attentively; and when Mr. Hammond
had finished reading, the poor boy went
away by himself.
There was a shady copse on one side
of the hop-garden, where the pickers
had been at work during the week, with
a pleasant stream running through it,
and thither Nobody's Own turned his
steps. I do not know why he chose
to go there, but perhaps it was because
he felt lonely, and wished to get away
from those who did not seem to care
He very soon reached the place, and
then he sat down on the bank of the
stream, close to the foot-path, and
began to turn over in his mind all that
had happened to him since he left
London. He thought of his weary jour-
ney along the dusty roads; the repulses
and threatening he had sometimes
met with when he begged on his way;
his night's rest under the haystack ; the
unkindness of some in the garden, and
the kindness of his master and the poor
widow. Then he thought of what he
had just been hearing. He did not un-
derstand it all, indeed he understood
but little of it, for the poor boy was
very ignorant, and the very plainness of
the Bible was new and strange to him,
for he had lived to be nine years old and
did not even know what a Bible was.
But what he had heard and partly
understood filled him with wonder, and
gave him much to think about. He
had heard of Him whom Mr. Hammond
called Jesus, of whom kind Mrs. Smith
had once or twice spoken, and the same,
he supposed, whose name he had some-
times heard in the streets or lodging-
houses mixed up with oaths, but before
this in no other way. Well, he had
heard of Jesus having healed a man
who was very bad with the leprosy
(what that meant, he did not know),
and had cured a woman who was very
ill with the fever, only by touching them.
What was more wonderful still, Charley
remembered this same Jesus had made
a man well, whom He did not see, by
only speaking a word. And yet (and I
dare say this was the most wonderful
part of it all to Nobody's Own) Jesus
had declared Himself to be so poor as
not to have a place in which to lay His
If I had been in His place, wouldn't
I have made them pay me for curing
them thought he; and this was what
the poor boy did not understand.
But the very poverty of which he had
heard gave a sort of charm to the story.
He could understand that, and it came
into his mind that if Jesus were to come
along now, he would not mind speaking
to Him. He did not suppose, from what
he had heard, that this wonderful Being
would be too proud, as many were, or
ashamed, to be seen talking to a poor
boy, whom nobody owned or cared for.
And then the little fellow began to
cry. He was unhappy, though he did
not know what ailed him. Perhaps the
scenes through which he had passed,
and the knowledge which had come to
him, little as it was, overpowered him,
and made him feel more helpless and
more alone in the world than ever.
He began to wish he had not come
away from London.
Charley was in the midst of his dis-
tress, when he heard himself called by
name, and, looking back, he saw the poor
widow close by.
She had come to seek him. Poor,
simple Christian that she was, she had
been thinking much of the little London
vagrant all the morning. While at
public worship, his image had come
before her mind, and she had reproached
herself that she had not asked him to
her cottage that day. In short, Mrs.
Smith thought so much about Nobody's
Own, that she could not be satisfied
without looking after him as soon as
the service was over. She had accord-
ingly sought him among the other hop-
pickers, but in vain, until some one told
her that the boy had gone towards the
copse. Thither, therefore, she followed
him. Where she met him, and how
she comforted him, will be related in
our next chapter.
MORE ABOUT THE HOP-GARDENS.
You may wonder what there could be
in a child like Nobody's Own to induce
any one to notice him; and I can only
account for the poor widow's conduct
by repeating that she was, in heart and
soul, a disciple of a very kind and loving
Master, and loved to follow His example.
Now, the Lord Jesus Christ said, when
He was on earth, that He came to seek
and to save those who were lost; and
Mrs. Smith could but know that Charley
was a poor, sinful, lost boy; and she felt
a strong desire to bring the knowledge
of Jesus home to his heart, as well as
to show kindness to him in other ways.
So Mrs. Smith sought the poor lonely
boy'; and when she saw that he was
crying, she asked what ailed him.
He did not. know, he said; and he
seemed so ashamed at having been found
in tears, that the widow wisely took no
further notice of this fact, but told the
boy, in a cheerful, encouraging voice,
that she had come into the hop-garden
on purpose to ask him to go home with
her and share her dinner.
Nobody's Own started to his feet at
once, and said he was ready to go ; but
before he had taken another step, he
looked down and hesitated, and said,
" No, I think I'd better not."
"Why not, Charley?" his friend asked.
"Because I am not fit to go into
your house, or anybody's," said the
boy. He was evidently comparing his
ragged, dirty garments with the neat
and tidy dress of the poor widow. Mrs.
Smith saw why he hesitated.
"Never mind about your clothes,
Charley," she said; I do not mind it,
and there will be no one else to take
any notice of you. And, by-and-bye,
when you get your hopping money, you
will be able to buy better."
Charley did not make any further
objection, but went with Mrs. Smith
to her home ; and, for the first time in
his life, he sat down to a dinner-table
with a clean cloth upon it; and though
the fare was very homely, it was delicious
to him, especially as it was accompanied
by so much kindness.
It should, however, be said, that
before they sat down to dinner, the
generous woman induced her little guest
to wash himself well with soap and
water, and took the trouble to comb his
tangled hair; and this made a great
improvement in his appearance.
Mrs. Smith's cottage was small and
scantily furnished, but it was clean;
and to Nobody's Own, who was familiar
only with the most wretched and filthy
lodging-houses of London, it seemed a
very desirable place to live in; and
presently, when he began to feel him-
self at home (which did not take long
to bring about), he said so.
It is a comfortable home for me,
Charley," said the poor widow, "and
I hope I am thankful for it. But I
have had some trouble to go through
here; and she sighed.
Have you, though ? said the boy.
"Yes, indeed. When I first came
to live here I was a youn woman, and
had a good husband; then after a time,
I had a dear little baby."
"They were not troubles, were they ?"
asked Nobody's Own, briskly.
No, indeed, Charley ; they were
great blessings and comforts. But
God saw fit to take them away, first
my little girl, and then my husband"
-the widow's voice faltered a little
when she said this; and then, when
my husband was gone, I was very poor."
Mrs. Smith then went on to tell the
listening boy, in her simple way, how
she had been supported by her Heavenly
Father, and was able to rejoice, even
in the midst of sorrow.
But I did not bring you here to tell
you about my troubles," she added;
and then she asked him if he liked
looking at pictures
Charley was somewhat at home on
this subject, for one of his few amuse-
ments in London had been to look in
at the windows of picture-shops; so he
said gaily, Don't I! adding, I
like the funny ones best."
Mrs. Smith made no remark upon
this, but she took down from a shelf an
old volume of the "Pilgrim's Progress,"
which had a great many curious, old-
fashioned engravings in it. And Charley
was soon occupied in examining them,
while the widow sat opposite to him,
partly reading her Bible, and partly
watching the countenance of her young
visitor, who occasionally broke out into
a cry of delight when he found any-
thing very amusing
Would you like to know what the
pictures are about?" asked Mrs. Smith.
Charley thought he should; and, thus
encouraged, the good woman gave the
little fellow a sort of outline of Christian's
journey from the City of Destruction to
the Celestial City, and explained what
it meant. She took occasion, while
doing this, to show Charley that all
people are born in the City of Destruc-
tion; and that the Bible is given to
them to show how they may escape
from the wrath to come. These sub-
jects are very likely familiar to the ears
of our young readers, and perhaps to
their thoughts ; but they must remem-
ber that poor little Nobody's Own had
never heard of them until within a few
days of that Sunday. No wonder,
therefore, that his mind was confused,
and that he mixed up in his thoughts
the London he had left behind with the
City of Destruction; and was curious to
know whether the way to the Celestial
City lay through Kent.
Mrs. Smith smiled at first, and then
sighed, when Charley put this question.
She smiled at the address of the ques-
tion, and sighed at the deep darkness
of mind it showed. Perhaps, also, she
felt a little troubled to think that her
attempts to instruct the poor boy were
so imperfect. She was not mortified,
however, for the poor widow was hum-
ble, and had a low opinion of her own
I tell you what, Charley, you and
I had better go up to Mr. Hammond's
large kitchen this evening," she said.
"What for ?" Charley wanted to
Why, have they not told you that
Mr. Hammond opens his great kitchen
every Sunday evening, all the while hop-
picking lasts, for reading the Bible ? "
"No, they never told me," said
Nobody's Own. This was indeed true;
but if he had stayed a little longer after
Mr. Hammond had finished reading in
the morning, he would have heard it.
Well, it is so, whether you have
heard it or not," said Mrs. Smith;
" and it is done that the hop-pickers
who come from a distance, and will not
go to a place of worship on Sundays,
may have the opportunity of hearing
the Gospel, and so not go away as
ignorant as they came." "But, poor
boy,"-thought the widow to herself,-
" I suppose he does not know what I
mean; it is all so strange to him." And
I am much mistaken if the pious woman
did not then put up a prayer to God
that He would be pleased to open little
Charley's eyes, so that he might see
wondrous things out of His law.
Whether he understood Mrs. Smith
or not, Nobody's Own made no objec-
tion to her proposal; and accordingly,
after what she called an early cup of
tea, she put on her bonnet and shawl,
and, leading Charley by the hand,
walked across the fields to Mr. Ham-
mond's farm. And it was pleasant to
see how the little wayward fellow, who
had never before submitted to any
guidance but that of his own will,
yielded himself up to his newly-found
friend, and did as she desired. Harsh-
ness and scorn would have had no
other effect upon him but that of hard-
ening his heart against instruction; but
kindness and Christian love melted
But do not think that it was alto-
gether naturally pleasant to Mrs. Smith
to be seen walking hand in hand with
a ragged little boy, and so provoking
the laughter, and almost the contempt,
of every one she met; and it so hap-
pened that she fell in with a good many
of her fellow-villagers that fine evening,
who did not at all conceal the amusement
they derived from the sight. No person
likes to be ridiculed; and Mrs. Smith
felt pained, though not ashamed; and I
think she was more anxious to keep the
little fellow from perceiving the atten-
tion they excited than to avoid notice
on her own account.
Mr. Hammond's large kitchen was
very well filled with the hop-pickers
that evening. I am sorry to say, how-
ever, that poor little Nobody's Own did
not hear much of the Bible reading;
for soon after it was commenced, he
closed his eyes through weariness, and
before it was finished, he had sunk into
a deep slumber, with his head on the
widow's lap, as he sat on the floor at
CHARLEY'S HOP-PICKING COMES TO AN
One afternoon in the following week,
Mr. Hammond was going round his
hop-garden, and looking on at the hop-
pickers, when he came to Mrs. Smith,
who was alone at her bin.
I do not see your little companion,
Mrs. Smith; he is not playing truant, is
he ? "
"No, sir; Charley has been very
poorly ever since the morning; he has
a dreadful bad headache, and looks heavy
and scared-like ; so I gave him a little
tea, and wrapped him up warm."
Where is he, then ?"
He was lying under the hedge, the
poor widow said, and if her master
would be kind enough to look at him,
she would feel obliged, for poor Nobody's
Own seemed to her to be really ill.
Of course Mr. Hammond would look
at the boy, and he went directly with
the poor woman to the place where she
had laid him. He had not made a fuss
about nothing, that was plain, for his
face was fevered and flushed, his eyes
were heavy, and he groaned feebly,
while he kept on saying, Oh, my head,
my head "
What is to be done with the poor
little fellow?" asked Mr. Hammond,
stooping down, and taking Charley by
Mrs. Smith did not very well know,
only she thought it would be no harm
if the doctor were to see him. He
may have got a fever," she said.
He has a fever, I am afraid," said
Mr. Hammond in a low tone, so as not
to be overheard by any besides the poor
And it may be catching, you know,
sir," continued Mrs. Smith, in an equally
Do you mind staying by him till I
return with the doctor?" asked Mr.
Hammond, adding that he would pay
her for the trouble and loss of time.
The poor widow did not need this in-
ducement, however; she sat down by
Charley's side, and tried to comfort
him; but his pain was evidently in-
creasing, for he moaned more sadly than
before, and closed his eyes, which could
no longer endure the light. It was a
great relief to Mrs. Smith when her
employer returned with the doctor.
"You must not let anybody come
near the boy," said this gentleman,
when he had examined his tongue and
skin and eyes, and felt his pulse.
"Ah! I was afraid," Mrs. Smith
began; but the doctor did not listen
Where has the boy been sleeping
lately ? he asked.
In my barn," replied Mr. Ham-
"He must not sleep there again,"
said the doctor; "and I will not be
answerable now for any mischief that
may already have been done. How
could you-I mean it is very unfor-
tunate. The poor fellow has some
friends with him, I suppose."
I am sorry to say he has no friends,
either here or anywhere else, I am afraid.
He says he is Nobody's Own," replied
Nobody's Own, indeed He will be
somebody's own soon, I should not
wonder, if we do not take care," said
the doctor; and by this I suppose he
meant that poor Charley was danger-
ously ill. And having said this, he
drew Mr. Hammond aside. They spoke
together very long and earnestly : then
they returned to where the boy was
lying, and the widow saw that her em-
ployer was much agitated.
He must not be allowed to perish
for want of care and attention," he said.
Of course not, sir ; but the question
is, what to do with him,-where to take
him. If you send him to the parish
workhouse,-you know what sort of
place that is,-the disease will spread
through the house, and then-"
No, no," said Mr. Hammond; he
must be carried to my own house; and
we must do the best we can for him
"You must not do anything of the
kind, sir," said the doctor. You have
a house full of young people and ser-
vants; and if they should take the
disorder you would never forgive me,
nor yourself either."
I should never forgive myself if I
were to allow this poor boy to die,"
said Mr. Hammond.
Mrs. Smith heard this conversation,
and she looked so anxiously and inquir-
ingly towards the gentlemen that Mr.
Hammond observed it. I understand
you, Mrs. Smith," he said; but I am
afraid you can do nothing to help us
"I beg you pardon, gentlemen, for
being so bold," said the widow; but
may I ask what you think ails the poor
little fellow ?"
Can you keep a secret, Mrs. Smith ?"
asked the doctor.
If there is any occasion, sir, I can,"
Vell, I think you can ; and there is
occasion; so I may as well tell you at
once that the boy seems sickening for
the small-pox," said the doctor, looking
round first to make sure he could not
be overheard. And another thing is,"
he continued, "we don't know what to
do with him."
Poor little fellow !" murmured the
widow; and then she added, firmly,
SI'll take him in, sir."
You, Mrs. Smith!" cried her em-
ployer; "you do not mean that you
will take him home with you ?"
Yes, she did mean this; she was a
solitary woman, she said; and she
had a spare room in her cottage, and
was willing to take charge of the sick
But think again;-if this should
turn out to be what we fear, think of
Somebody must risk that danger,
sir," said the widow ; and I am willing
to do it. And perhaps there would not
be any danger to me; for I believe I was
vaccinated for the-"
"You need not mention the word,"
said the doctor, hastily. "They say
that leaves have ears; and we may be
mistaken, you know."
Well, sir, any way, if you will
trust the boy with me, I will nurse him
as well as I can," she said.
Really," rejoined the doctor, I.am
sure we cannot do better than accept this
offer. Mrs. Smith's cottage stands by
itself; and we can trust her discretion."
If it must be so, it must," said Mr.
Hammond; and I will take care that
Mrs. Smith shall have all the help I
can give; but I do not like it. The
poor boy is in my employ, and it seems
selfish in me to-"
It is better that he should be in my
cottage than in your house, sir," said
Mrs. Smith; and, if you please, gentle-
men, we had better take him there at
I shall not repeat any more of this
conversation; it is enough to say that
Nobody's Own was, that same hour,
taken to the widow's cottage, and laid
on a comfortable bed, while Mrs. Smith
devoted herself to the duty she had
Poor little Nobody's Own He was
scarcely conscious how he got there;
and before many hours had passed
away, he knew still less of all that was
going on around him. But there was a
confused and strange feeling in his mind
that he had got into a new kind of world
-a world in which somebody, instead
of nobody, cared for him.
NOBODY'S OWN HAS KINDNESS SHOWN
HIM BY STRANGERS.
Nobody's Own-but I shall not call
him by this name any more, for it is no
longer suitable ; so I must begin afresh.
Charley, without another name, was
very ill indeed. He became rapidly
worse after his removal to Mrs. Smith's
cottage; and in a few hours it was
beyond doubt that he had the small-
It was never known how he became
infected with this sickness ; but it was
the doctor's opinion that he brought it
with him from London, or picked it
up," as he said, on his way down.
However this might be, I may say here
that it did not make its appearance
among the other hop-pickers after
Charley was removed. This was a great
wonder to Mr. Hammond, and a cause
for much thankfulness.
Yes, the little fellow was very ill;
and for more than a week his recovery
was scarcely expected. It was sad to
see him in such pain as he endured, and
his countenance so swollen and altered
with disease. He was very restless,
too; and often, when so delirious that
he did not know where he was or what
he said, he seemed to fancy himself tor-
mented by ugly things, which he said
were swarming in his bed, and mocking
him with horrid looks. At these times
he declared that he would not lie there
any longer for anybody, but that he
would get up and run away back to
London, where he should be safe.
The poor widow, therefore, had a
painful and difficult task in nursing the
wayward boy, but she did not regret
having undertaken it. And when, after
more than a week of very anxious watch-
ing almost night and day, the little
fellow began to amend, and to express his
lively gratitude to his good nurse as soon
as his consciousness returned, she felt
more than recompensed for all her
trouble and fatigue and care.
Very nearly the first thing Charley
asked for when he was only just strong
enough to sit up in bed, was to be
allowed to look at the picture-book he
had seen on that Sunday afternoon of
which we have spoken; and accordingly
his good nurse put it into his hands.
Them's the ugly things," said the
boy, as he turned over the pages till he
stopped at one particular engraving.
What ugly things are you speaking
about, Charley ?"
He pointed to the picture; it was
a representation of Christian passing
through the Valley of the Shadow of
Death. Those children who have read
the Pilgrim's Progress will remem-
ber, most likely, that Christian is said to
have been much affrighted there with
" hobgoblins and satyrs and dragons of
the pit." And in the picture which
attracted Charley's attention were seen
a number of strange figures like nothing
that anyone ever saw on earth, flitting
about and crawling on the ground, very
close to poor Christian.
Them's the ugly things that crowded
about the bed and a-top of me," said
the boy, shuddering at the remembrance.
It was plain from this that the picture
had made a great impression on his
mind on first looking at it, and that
his memory returned to it in his ill-
The nurse told him that it was only
his disordered fancy; but Charley was
at first hard to be persuaded that he
had not been persecuted in that way.
" I saw them as plain as anything," he
said; presently he admitted that he
might be mistaken, he was, no doubt,
if Mrs. Smith said he was.
The pious woman began then further
to tell Charley, as far as she was able,
what the picture really represented. She
read a few pages of the book to him,
and explained that good people, even
those who love God, are sometimes
troubled with temptations and evil
thoughts and suggestions, as they travel
onwards in the spiritual journey; and
that often, in the prospect of death, their
fears are very great, but that God is able
to deliver them from both temptations
and fears, and to lead them safely to
His heavenly kingdom.
"I must read to you what a good
man once set down about this," she con-
tinued, as she exchanged the book she
had been holding in her hand for the
Bible. And then she turned to the
twenty-third Psalm, and read to Charley
what is written there, ending with:
" Yea, though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
for thou art with me : thy rod and thy
staff they comfort me."
Charley listened attentively, but he
seemed to understand but little of what
he heard; poor boy, his mind was very
dark. All these things were so new to
him, and so very, very strange. He was
willing to believe that it was all right in
some way, because Mrs. Smith told him
about it, and he was ready to take for
granted all that she said; but he could
not understand it.
At another time, when he was yet a
little further recovered, Charley began
to talk again about the book out of
which his kind friend had read to him
that Sunday afternoon, and also about
what he had heard Mr. Hammond read
on the Sunday morning. It was plain
that these things had made an impres-
sion on his mind, and that during the
most painful part of his illness they
had returned to it unbidden again and
again. And this discovery encouraged
Mrs. Smith to tell the poor boy more
about the great love of God in sending
His dear Son into the world to die for
sinful men, and to recount the history
of the Lord Jesus Christ from His birth
at Bethlehem to His death on Calvary;
and then to tell how Christ rose again
from the dead and ascended to heaven,
to carry on His great work of love and
mercy there; and to send down the
Holy Spirit to bring sinners to Himself,
and to sanctify the souls of all who
believe in Jesus.
And the good and earnest teacher
never failed-and oh, how lovingly!-
to tell Charley that it was just such as
he that Jesus came into the world to
save and to bless ; that His condescen-
sion and compassion were so great that
little children were encouraged to go to
Him ; and that His gracious promise to
them, as to all, is, Him that cometh
to me I will in no wise cast out."
There were times when these instruc-
tions seemed to make a strong impres-
sion on the little fellow's mind; and his
great ignorance certainly began to give
way as the simple knowledge of Bible
truths entered into his mind. The pious
widow was thus encouraged to go on,
by little and little every day, as the
invalid was able to bear conversa-
tion without weariness. But at the
same time she very well knew that all
her teaching, or her attempts to teach,
would be in vain without God's blessing;
and I have no doubt that, with many
tears of anxious solicitude for the little
homeless and almost friendless boy, she
prayed that God, by His Holy Spirit,
would fasten instruction upon Charley's
I shall shortly have to tell how God
was pleased to hear and answer these
prayers; but I must now for a little
while turn to another part of my story.
Before I finish this chapter, however,
it is right that I should say that Mr.
Hammond did not neglect the sick boy.
Every day through his illness he called
to ask how he was getting on, and never
without staying a few minutes to speak
a few kind words to him as well as to
the widow, and also to kneel down to
utter a few earnest petitions to God on
behalf of the sufferer. And he did not
neglect his promise to supply Mrs. Smith
with all that was necessary for the poor
boy in the way of nourishing food, which
it was out of her power to provide.
None of this could be done by the far-
mer without a sacrifice, for at the busy
time of hop-picking every moment was
of value to him; but he did it cheer-
fully, because the love of Christ was in
It was Mr. Hammond, also, who en-
gaged to pay the doctor for his services,
though he might perhaps have thrown
this burden upon the parish. But he
would not do this, because the poor boy
had been taken ill while in his service.
It need not scarcely be added, that the
just and honourable Christian farmer
took care to make up to the poor widow,
as far as money could do this, for the
loss of her hop-picking earnings.
BREAD CAST UPON THE WATERS.
"If you please, these are not my
clothes," said poor Charley.
"Yes, they are, Charley. Master
sent them for you. Your old ragged
things are put quite away. We had
to burn them, for fear of mischief when
you got about again. You would not
wish for anyone else to have taken the
disease from your old clothes ? "
"No, I don't want anyone else to
have it; but-" and Charley was so
very puzzled that he stopped short in
what he was saying, and began to hold
up one garment after another to the
light. He could not hide the tears
which came to his eyes.
It was more than a month after the
commencement of hop-picking, and the
season was now over. The hop-gardens
were deserted and bare, and the tall
poles which had supported the hop-
plants were standing in stacks against
the wall. The hop-pickers, who had
come from afar, had returned to their
homes, so that, of them all, only little
Charley remained behind.
His illness had lasted long; but he
was now slowly regaining strength, and
had asked Mrs. Smith to allow him,
not only to sit up in a comfortable
chair, wrapped in a blanket, but to put
on his clothes. She had therefore
brought a bundle into the little bed-
room, and at once opened it before him,
for him to look at.
No wonder Charley was astonished.
Instead of the ragged garments in
which he had made his first appearance
in Mr. Hammond's homestead, was a
suit of stout new fustian, with bright
yellow buttons, and warmly lined; three
new shirts, and as many pairs of stock-
ings; a pair of good shoes for his feet,
and a new cap for his head.
"They are yours," repeated Mrs.
Smith, after enjoying for a moment
the boy's surprise. Mr. Hammond
bought them for you. He said if you
had not been taken ill you would have
earned as much money as would have
bought all these; and as it was not
your fault that you were ill, and as we
had to burn your old clothes, why, he
thought it was only right, you know."
Charley did not reply. He seemed
troubled in his mind
Don't you like your new clothes,
Charley?" asked the widow, rather
disappointed, if the truth were known,
that the little fellow did not break out
at once into a burst of gladness.
Yes," the boy murmured softly; I
should think I do! And there was no
doubt that he did. He put the new
clothes on, however, with a little of his
nurse's help, and then said he should
like to walk out of doors, if he might.
It was a bright, warm day for that
time of year, which was October, and
Mrs. Smith thought it would perhaps
do him good. But do not go out of
my little garden," she said.
"Not a little way on the road?"
"You had better not, I think; do
you not know why ? "
No, he did not, he said; only, if his
nurse thought him not strong enough,
he was sure he could walk farther than
That was not the reason, she said;
and then, after a moment's consider-
ation, she took down a little looking-
glass, and told Charley to look at his
reflection in it.
Was ever such a change in so short
a time as poor Charley saw in himself
then ? He started back in alarm. I
know that isn't me!" he said; for
though you may suppose that the little
fellow had never indulged in the luxury
of dressing before a glass, he had often
caught glimpses of his reflection from
the looking-glasses in London shop
windows, and well he might be aston-
ished at his altered appearance. The
very form of his countenance was
changed, as he believed, and his hair,
which was cut short when he was in the
worst of his illness, had not yet grown
again ; all this, and more, Charley saw
for the first time, and he understood
why his kind nurse did not wish him
to be seen by anyone on the road.
And when convinced of this, he sat
down and said, very despondingly, It
is regular spoiled, I am, anyhow."
You will not be always like this,
Charley," said the widow, in a soothing
tone; "as you get quite well and strong
your natural colour will return, and you
yourself will be accustomed to the
change. But till then, you see, it will
be better not to expose yourself too
much to others. And, Charley, if your
face is a little altered for the worse, as
you may think, and your heart should
be changed for the better, don't you
think it will be all right then ? For,
Charley, my poor boy, it is only man
that looks at the outward appearance:
God looks at the heart."
But still Charley did not speak. It
was not sullenness that kept him silent,
nor ingratitude, nor disappointment, nor
grief. The truth is, so many strange
things had happened to him since he
left London, and so much which he did
not understand was going on not only
around but within him, that he scarcely
felt himself to be the same unfcared-for,
untaught boy, he had all his life known
himself to be. It was this which kept
him silent, and caused him to wonder
in his heart what other strange things
would next befall him. His mind was
in confusion, and it was not all at once
that he could disentangle his thoughts
cir ii ir i*
About a week after Charley had
taken his first walk out of doors since
his illness, he was sitting with his kind
nurse in her cottage. It was in the
dusk of evening, and having been read-
ing and talking to Charley for some
little time, Mrs. Smith now sat quietly
watching his countenance in the fading
light, for she thought he had been, and
still was, greatly moved that evening.
The first to break this silence was the
boy himself, who said, very abruptly,
"These will not be of much use to me
when I get there again."
"What do you mean, Charley?"
asked his friend.
"These clothes," said he, looking
down upon himself.
When you get where, Charley ? "
"When I get back to London. Why, I
shall soon be robbed of them, and-"
somehow, he could not get on, the
words would not come.
But what has put into your head
that you are to get back to London ?
Are you so tired of living with me? "
said Mrs Smith.
Tired of living with her! Charley's
looks expressed more astonishment at
the question than can well be put into
And why are you in such a dreadful
hurry to get back to London ?" she
Charley sobbed out that he was not
in a hurry to get back at all; but, of
course, he would have to turn out now
that he was well enough, and where
was he to go but to London ? it was
the only place he knew anything about.
And what shall you do, and where
shall you go, when you get there ?"
Mrs. Smith asked still further.
Charley did not know. He should
have to go back to one of his old
lodging-houses, he supposed, and-
and be just Nobody's Own again," he
added, in a subdued tone.
Charley, would you like to be Some-
body's Own ? "
"Yes; indeed I would, if I could."
Would you rather go back to Lon-
don, or would you be satisfied with
staying here ? "
The boy looked up eagerly. I would
never go back to London if I could
help it," said he, sorrowfully.
Would you like to stay with me
always, Charley ? continued the poor
widow, with glistening eyes.
If you please, don't," pleaded the
little fellow; "you are only making
game of me," and he looked very
But I am not making game of you,
Charley. I want you to stop here with
me. You would be a comfort to me;
and-and I cannot bear to think of
your going back to that naughty London
you have told me so much about. Stay
with me, Charley-do "
It needed no more. In another
moment the boy was leaning on his
nurse's arm sobbing- sobbing- but
they were glad tears which lie shed
there. He was Nobody's Own no
There is only a little more to tell, and
that little may be told in a few words.
A text is to be found in the Bible which
says, "Cast thy bread upon the waters:
for thou shalt find it after many days."
(Eccles. xi. I.) The meaning of this is,
that true-hearted and unselfish kindness
is almost certain of some kind of return.
And so the Lord Jesus Christ tells us
that with what measure we mete, it
shall be measured to us again-" good
measure, pressed down, and shaken
together, and running over." (Luke vi.
38.) Especially when Christians, out
of the love they have for their Lord and
Master, strive to do good to the souls
as well as the bodies of their ignorant
and distressed fellow-creatures, we are
quite sure that they will not lose their
*reward, though sometimes the good
seed they sow may seem to remain
long in the ground.
Mrs. Smith never had reason to re-
gret the kindness she had shown to the
poor little outcast of the hop-garden.
Long afterwards, when Charley was a
man, he was the support as well as the
comfort of her age; he called her his
mother, and she loved him as her son.
This was happiness to her; but, better
even than this, the seed of heavenly
truth which she had planted in his soul
sprang up, by the Divine blessing, to
bring forth fruit unto everlasting life.
And those who in after life knew Charles
Smith (for by this name he soon came
to be called), as an intelligent, active,
loving Christian man, would scarcely
have conceived, until assured of the fact,
that the early years of his boyhood were
passed in scenes of vice and wretched-
ness in a large city, when he was
PRAYER FOR DIVINE ASSISTANCE.
ESUS, my Almighty Saviour,
Prostrate at thy feet I lie;
Humbly I entreat thy favour:
Condescend to hear my cry.
When I was to thee a stranger,
Wandering in forbidden ways,
From the paths of sin and danger
Thou didst call me by thy grace.
Let not, then, my foes confound me;
Thou art all my help and hope;
Let thy arms of love surround me,
Let thy mercy hold me up.
Gracious Saviour, never leave me,
While my toils and conflicts last;
To thy kind embrace receive me,
the storms of life are past!
0(NWIN EROTIIERS, PKINTlERS, LONDON AND CHILWORTIH.
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