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Title: Wreaths of Friendship
       A Gift for the Young


Author: T. S. Arthur and F. C. Woodworth



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WREATHS OF FRIENDSHIP:

A Gift for the Young

by

T. S. ARTHUR and F. C. WOODWORTH

New York:
Charles Scribner,
36 Park Row, And 145 Nassau St.
Stereotyped by Baker & Palmer
11 Spruce Street.

1851







[Illustration: Wreaths of Friendship]


[Illustration: TOKENS OF AFFECTION. (See Page 207.)]





Preface.


Young friends--stop a moment. We have set up a sort of turnpike gate
here, as you see, between the title-page and the first story in our
book, in the shape of a preface, or introduction. "What! do you mean to
take toll of us, then?" Why, no--not exactly. But we want to say half a
dozen words to you, as you pass along, and to tell you a little about
these WREATHS which we have been twining for our friends. So you need
not be in quite so great a hurry. Wait a minute.

You have no doubt noticed that it is a very common thing for an author
to take up several of the first pages of his book with apologies to his
readers. First, perhaps, he apologizes for writing at all; and secondly,
for writing so poorly--just as if it was a crime to make a book, for
which crime the author must get down on his knees, and humbly beg the
public's pardon. We think we shall not take this course, on the whole,
for this reason, if for no other--that we do not feel very guilty about
what we have done. But as the plan of our book is somewhat new, we have
been thinking it would be well enough, in introducing it to you, at
least to tell how we came to make it.

We have both of us published a good deal, in one way and another, for
young people; and we got a notion--a very pleasant one, certainly, and
rather natural, withal, whether well founded or not--that among that
class of the public composed of boys and girls, we had a pretty
respectable number of friends. Under this impression, we put our heads
together, one day, and made up our minds to invite these friends of
ours, every one of them, to a kind of festival, and that we would share
equally in the pleasure of giving the entertainment. The book, reader,
which we have named WREATHS OF FRIENDSHIP, as perhaps you have already
guessed, grew out of that plan of ours.

We have not, as you will perceive, indicated the authorship of the tales
and sketches, as they appear; and those readers who have any curiosity
in this matter, are referred to the index.

We hope the volume will please you. More than this: we hope it will
prove to be useful--useful for the future as well as for the present
life; and, indeed, if it had not been for this hope, much as we love to
entertain our young friends, these Wreaths would never have been twined
by our hands.

We have little else to add, except the fondest wishes of our hearts;
and, to tell the truth, it was to express to you these kind wishes--to
give you something like a hearty shake of the hand--rather than because
we had any thing of importance to say in our preface, that we stopped
you at the outset.

                                                            THE AUTHORS.





Contents

                                                      Authors.  Page.

  What shall we Build?                                 T.S.A.     13
  The Two Cousins                                      F.C.W.     16
  A Noble Act                                          T.S.A.     28
  The Word of God                                      T.S.A.     35
  Harsh Words and Kind Words                           T.S.A.     36
  The Herons and the Herrings                          F.C.W.     41
  Early Spring Flowers                                 F.C.W.     43
  Temptation Resisted                                  T.S.A.     51
  Evening Prayer                                       T.S.A.     61
  Stretching the Truth                                 F.C.W.     63
  The City Pigeon                                      T.S.A.     67
  A Day in the Woods                                   T.S.A.     72
  The Spider and the Honey Bee                         F.C.W.     81
  Emma Lee and her Sixpence                            T.S.A.     88
  Uncle Roderick's Stories                             F.C.W.     93
  Honesty the Best Policy                              F.C.W.     94
  How a Rogue Feels when he is Caught                  F.C.W.     97
  The Weekly Newspaper                                 F.C.W.    100
  The Cider Plot                                       F.C.W.    103
  My First Hunting Excursion                           F.C.W.    107
  Saturday in Winter                                   T.S.A.    111
  Rover and his Little Master                          T.S.A.    113
  Something Wrong                                      T.S.A.    117
  The Favorite Child                                   F.C.W.    121
  The Mine                                             T.S.A.    129
  The Miner                                            T.S.A.    132
  Visit to Fairy Land                                  F.C.W.    135
  The Hermit                                           T.S.A.    143
  A Picture                                            T.S.A.    147
  The Boy and the Robin                                F.C.W.    150
  Something about Conscience                           F.C.W.    152
  Old Ned                                              T.S.A.    166
  The Freed Butterfly                                  T.S.A.    175
  Julia and Her Birds                                  F.C.W.    177
  The Song of the Snow Bird                            T.S.A.    185
  How to Avoid a Quarrel                               T.S.A.    189
  Passing for More than One is Worth                   F.C.W.    197
  The Lament of the Invalid                            F.C.W.    205
  The Use of Flowers                                   T.S.A.    207
  Sliding Down Hill                                    F.C.W.    211
  A Garden Overrun with Weeds                          T.S.A.    217
  Disappointment Sometimes a Blessing                  F.C.W.    221
  The Old Man at the Cottage Door                      T.S.A.    232
  Story of a Stolen Pen                                F.C.W.    234





                               WREATHS.
                         WHAT SHALL WE BUILD?


Four children were playing on the sea-shore. They had gathered bright
pebbles and beautiful shells, and written their names in the pure, white
sand; but at last, tired of their sport, they were about going home, when
one of them, as they came to a pile of stones, cried out:

"Oh! let us build a fort; and we will call that ship away out there, an
enemy's vessel, and make believe we are firing great cannon balls into
her!"

"Yes, yes! let us build a fort," responded Edward, the other lad.

And the two boys--for two were boys and two girls--ran off to the pile of
stones, and began removing them to a place near the water.

"Come, Anna and Jane," said they, "come and help us."

"Oh, no. Don't let us build a fort," said Jane.

[Illustration: WHAT SHALL WE BUILD?]

"Yes; we will build a fort," returned the boys. "What else can we build?
You wouldn't put a house down here upon the water's edge?"

"No; but I'll tell you what we can build, and it will be a great deal
better than a fort."

"Well; what can we build?"

"A light-house," said the girls; "and that will be just as much in place on
the edge of the sea as a fort. We can call the ship yonder a vessel lost in
the darkness, and we will hang out a light and direct her in the true way.
Won't that be much better than to call her an enemy, and build a fort to
destroy her? See how beautifully she sits upon and glides over the smooth
water! Her sails are like the open wings of a bird, and they bear her
gracefully along. Would it not be cruel to shoot great balls into her
sides, tear her sails to pieces, and kill the men who are on board of her?
Oh! I am sure it would make us all happier to save her when in darkness and
danger. No, no; let us not build a fort, but a light-house; for it is
better to save than to destroy."

The girls spoke with tenderness and enthusiasm, and their words reached the
better feelings of their companions.

"Oh, yes," said they; "we will build a light-house, and not a fort." And
they did so.

Yes, it is much better to save than to destroy. Think of that, children,
and let it go with you through life. Be more earnest to save your friends
than to destroy your enemies. And yet, when a real enemy comes, and seeks
to do evil, be brave to resist him.




                            THE TWO COUSINS;
                 OR, HOW TO ACT WHEN "THINGS GO WRONG."


"There, mother, I knew it would be so. Lucy Wallace has just sent over to
tell me she can't walk out in the woods with me. There's no use in my
trying to please any body--there's no use in it. I'm an odd sort of a
creature, it seems. Nobody loves me. It always was so. Oh, dear! I wish I
knew what I had done to make the girls hate me so!"

This not very good-natured speech was made by a little girl, whom I shall
call Angeline Standish. She was some ten or twelve years old, as near as I
can recollect. Perhaps my readers would like to know something about the
occasion which called for this speech; but it is a long story, and hardly
worth telling. The truth is, when little boys and girls get very angry, or
peevish, or fretful, they sometimes blow out a great deal of ill-humor,
something after the manner that an overcharged steam boiler lets off
steam--with this difference, however, that the steam boiler gets cooler by
the operation, while the boy or girl gets more heated. The throat is a poor
safety-valve for ill-humor; and it is bad business, this setting the tongue
agoing at such a rate, whenever the mercury in one's temper begins to rise
toward the boiling point.

As is usual, in such cases, Angeline felt worse after these words had
whistled through the escape pipe of her ill-nature, than she did before;
and, for want of something else to do, she commenced crying. She was not
angry--that is, not altogether so--though the spirit she showed was a
pretty good imitation of anger, it must be confessed. She was peevish.
Matters had not gone right with her that day. She was crossed in this thing
and that thing. Her new hat had not come home from the milliner's, as she
expected; one of her frocks had just got badly torn; she had a hard lesson
to learn; and I cannot repeat the whole catalogue of her miseries. So she
fretted, and stormed, and cried, and felt just as badly as she chose.

Not long after the crying spell was over, and there was a little blue sky
in sight, Jeannette Forrest, a cousin of Angeline's, came running into the
room, her face all lighted up with smiles, and threw her arms around her
cousin's neck, and kissed her. This was no uncommon thing with Jeannette.
She had a very happy and a very affectionate disposition. Every body loved
her, and she loved every body.

One not acquainted with Angeline, might very naturally suppose that she
would return her cousin's embrace. But she did no such thing. Her manner
was quite cool and distant. Human nature is a strange compound, is it not?

"Why, cousin," said the light-hearted Jeannette, "what is the matter? You
are not well, are you?"

"Yes, well enough," the other replied, rather crustily. Take care,
Angeline, there's a cloud coming over your cousin's face. Speak a kind word
or two, now. Then the sun will beam out again, brightly as ever. Jeannette
was silent for a moment, for she was astonished, and did not know what to
make of her cousin's manner. It would have appeared uncivil and rude to
most little girls. But the sweet spirit of Jeannette--loving, hoping,
trusting--was differently affected. She saw only the brighter side of the
picture. So the bee, as she flies merrily from flower to flower, finds a
store of honey where others would find only poison.

"Dear Angeline," said her cousin, at length, "I'm sure something is the
matter. Tell me what it is, won't you? Oh, I should love to make you happy,
if I only knew how!"

Angeline seemed scarcely to hear these words of love. That is strange
enough, I hear you say. So it is, perhaps, and it may be stranger still,
that she read not the language of love and sympathy that was written so
plainly in her cousin's countenance. It is true, though, for all that. She
did not say much of any thing to this inquiry--she simply muttered, between
her teeth,

"I don't believe any body loves me."

Jeannette was no philosopher. She could not read essays nor preach sermons.
Her argument to convince her cousin that there was, at least, one who loved
her, was drawn from the heart, rather than from the head. It was very
brief, and very much to the point. She burst into tears, and sobbed,

"Don't say so, dear."

Jeannette could not stay long. Her mother had sent her on an errand, and
told her she must make haste back. Perhaps it was as well that she could
not stay--and perhaps not. Human nature is a strange sort of compound, as I
said before; and it may be that the ice which had covered over the streams
leading from Angeline's heart would not have melted under the influence
even of the warm sun that, for a moment or two, beamed upon them so kindly.
For one, however, I should like to know what would have come out of that
conversation, if it had been allowed to go on. Jeannette went home, and
Angeline was again left to her own reflections, which were any thing but
pleasant. It was Saturday afternoon; and, there being no school, she had
hoped to be able to ramble in the woods with some of her little companions.
But here she was disappointed, too, and this increased her peevishness;
though the reason why she could not go was, because she did not learn her
lesson in season, and that was her own fault. Toward night, when Mrs
Standish had leisure to sit down to her sewing, she called Angeline, and
reminded her of the ill-natured spirit she had shown in the early part of
the afternoon. The child was rather ashamed of what she had said, it is
true; but she tried to excuse her conduct.

"Every thing went wrong to-day, mother," she said; "I couldn't help feeling
so. Oh, dear! I don't see how any body can be good, when things go in this
way--I mean any body but Jeannette. I wish I was like her. It is easy for
her to be good."

"Your cousin has, no doubt, a very different disposition from yours," said
the mother. "But it is much easier for you to be always good-natured and
happy than you suppose, Angeline."

"I wish I knew how, mother."

"Well, you say things went wrong with you this afternoon. I think I know
what some of these things were. They were not so pleasant as they might
have been, certainly. They were troublesome. But don't you think the
greatest trouble of all was in your own heart?"

"No, ma'am. I was well enough until the things began to go wrong; and then
I felt bad, and I couldn't help it."

Mrs Standish laughed, as she said, "So, then, as soon as the things begin
to go wrong, you take the liberty to go wrong too. Every thing works well
inside, until it is disturbed by something outside?"

"That is it, mother."

"And when the things inside go smoothly, because every thing is smooth
outside, you have a very good and happy disposition?"

"Pretty good, I think."

"And so, when there is a hurricane inside, because the wind blows rather
more than usual outside, you are cross, and unhappy, and bad enough to make
up for being so good before?"

"Yes, ma'am, I am afraid I am, sometimes."

"No, my child, you are wrong, all wrong. If all was right inside, the other
things you speak of would not disturb you so, if they should happen to go
wrong."

"Why, mother, wouldn't they disturb me at all?"

"They might, occasionally, but not near as much. Do you remember that our
clock went wrong last winter?"

"Yes, ma'am; we couldn't tell what time it was, and it used to strike all
sorts of ways."

"What do you suppose made the clock act so, Angeline? It goes well enough
now, you know."

"I believe Mr Mercer said one of the wheels was out of order."

"That was all. It was not the weather--not because we forgot to wind it
up--not because things did not go right in the room. Now, your mind is
something like a clock. If it is kept in order, it will run pretty well, I
guess--no matter whether it rains or shines--whether it is winter or
summer. Milton says, very beautifully, in his poem called the 'Paradise
Lost,'

  "'The mind is its own place, and of itself
  Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.'

"He means by this, that our happiness or unhappiness depends more upon what
is within us than it does upon what is without. And he is right. Do you
understand, my child?"

"I understand what you mean, but it is not so easy to see how I am to go to
work and be good all the time, like cousin Jeannette. I'm not like her,
mother, and I never can be like her, I know."

"True, you will always be very unlike your cousin. But I don't know of any
thing to hinder your being as good and amiable as she is, for all that."

"Oh, mother! I'd give every thing in the world, if I only knew how!"

"I think you can learn, my child, with much less expense; though, to be
sure, you will have to give up some things that perhaps you will find it
hard to part with. You will be obliged to give up some of your bad habits."

"That would be easy enough."

"Not so easy as you think, it may be. It is a good deal easier to let a bad
habit come in, than it is to turn one out. But 'where there's a will,
there's a way,' you know."

"Well, mother, what shall I do? I should like to begin pretty soon, for
scarcely any body loves me now,"

"Before you learn much, it might be well to unlearn a little. When any
thing goes wrong, as you say, you must, at least, not make it go worse. You
must not make every body around you unhappy, if you do feel a little cross
and peevish."

"Oh, mother, I can't speak pleasantly when I don't feel so."

"Then, in most cases, you had better not speak at all."

"I never thought of that. I can stop talking, if I try."

"So you can, and you can do more. You can get into the habit of finding
'the south or sunny side of things,' as Jean Paul says, and if you do, you
will not be likely to have a snow-storm in your heart very often. Besides,
you ought to remember, that all these disappointments and crosses are a
part of your education for heaven, and you should endeavor to improve them
as such, so that their good effect will not be lost. And another thing, my
child: you ought to ask God to assist you in this self-government--to make
you his child--to give you a new heart--to teach you to love Christ, and to
be like him. Then you will seldom feel cross and fretful, because things go
wrong. You will be cheerful and good-natured. You will make others
happy--and you will very soon forget the old story, that nobody loves you."

Now, many little boys and girls--possibly some who read this story--would
have thought this task too hard. They would have regarded it as a pretty
severe penance. Perhaps they would have concluded, after having put all
these difficult things into one scale, and the thing to be gained by them
into the other, that the reward was not worth so great a sacrifice. So
thought not Angeline, however. She began the work in earnest, that very
day. She went over to her uncle's, with an unusual amount of sunshine in
her countenance, and made it all right with Jeannette. In the evening, she
told her little brother James what she intended to do, and invited him to
help her; and before they retired to rest that night, they knelt down
together and offered up a prayer, that God, for Christ's sake, would help
them in governing themselves.

One day--perhaps some six weeks after this--Mrs Standish said, smilingly,
to her daughter,

"Well, my dear, does Lucy Wallace love you any better?"

"Oh, mother," said Angeline, as a tear of joy stood in her eye, "every body
loves me now!"




                              A NOBLE ACT.


"What have you there, boys?" asked Captain Bland.

"A ship," replied one of the lads who were passing the captain's neat
cottage.

"A ship! Let me see;" and the captain took the little vessel, and examined
it with as much fondness as a child does a pretty toy. "Very fair, indeed;
who made it?"

"I did," replied one of the boys.

"You, indeed! Do you mean to be a sailor, Harry?"

"I don't know. I want father to get me into the navy."

"As a midshipman?"

"Yes, sir."

Captain Bland shook his head.

"Better be a farmer, a physician, or a merchant."

"Why so, captain?" asked Harry;

"All these are engaged in the doing of things directly useful to society."

"But I am sure, captain, that those who defend us against our enemies, and
protect all who are engaged in commerce from wicked pirates, are doing what
is useful to society."

"Their use, my lad," replied Captain Bland, "is certainly a most important
one; but we may call it rather negative than positive. The civilian is
engaged in building up and sustaining society in doing good, through his
active employment, to his fellow-man. But military and naval officers do
not produce any thing; they only protect and defend."

"But if they did not protect and defend, captain, evil men would destroy
society. It would be of no use for the civilian to endeavor to build up, if
there were none to fight against the enemies of the state."

"Very true, my lad. The brave defender of his country cannot be dispensed
with, and we give him all honor. Still, the use of defence and protection
is not so high as the use of building up and sustaining. The thorn that
wounds the hand stretched forth to pluck the flower, is not so much
esteemed, nor of so much worth, as the blossom it was meant to guard.
Still, the thorn performs a great use. Precisely a similar use does the
soldier or naval officer perform to society; and it will be for you, my
lad, to decide as to which position you would rather fill."

"I never thought of that, captain," said one of the lads. "But I can see
clearly how it is. And yet I think those men who risk their lives for us in
war, deserve great honor. They leave their homes, and remain away,
sometimes for years, deprived of all the comforts and blessings that
civilians enjoy, suffering frequently great hardships, and risking their
lives to defend their country from her enemies."

"It is all as you say," replied Captain Bland; "and they do, indeed,
deserve great honor. Their calling is one that exposes them to imminent
peril, and requires them to make many sacrifices; and they encounter not
this peril and sacrifice for their own good, but for the good of others.
Their lives do not pass so evenly as do the lives of men who spend their
days in the peaceful pursuits of business, art, or literature; and we could
hardly wonder if they lost some of the gentler attributes of the human
heart. In some cases, this is so; but in very many cases the reverse is
true. We find the man who goes fearlessly into battle, and there, in
defence of his country, deals death and destruction unsparingly upon her
enemies, acting, when occasion offers, from the most humane sentiments, and
jeopardizing his life to save the life of a single individual. Let me
relate to you a true story in illustration of what I say.

"When the unhappy war that has been waged by our troops in Mexico broke
out, a lieutenant in the navy, who had a quiet berth at Washington, felt it
to be his duty to go to the scene of strife, and therefore asked to be
ordered to the Gulf of Mexico. His request was complied with, and he
received orders to go on board the steamer Mississippi, Commodore Perry,
then about to sail from Norfolk to Vera Cruz.

"Soon after the Mississippi arrived out, and before the city and castle
were taken, a terrible 'norther' sprung up, and destroyed much shipping in
the harbor. One vessel, on which were a number of passengers, was thrown
high upon a reef, and when morning broke, the heavy sea was making a clear
breach through her. She lay about a mile from the Mississippi, and it soon
became known on board the steamer, that a mother and her infant were in the
wreck, and that unless succor came speedily, they would perish. The
lieutenant of whom I speak, immediately ordered out a boat's crew, and
although the sea was rolling tremendously, and the 'norther' still blowing
a hurricane, started to the rescue. Right in the teeth of the wind were the
men compelled to pull their boat, and so slowly did they progress, that it
took over two hours to gain the wreck.

"At one time, they actually gave out, and the oars lay inactive in their
hands. At this crisis, the brave but humane officer, pointing with one hand
to the fortress of San Juan de Ulloa, upon which a fire had already
commenced, and with the other to the wreck, exclaimed, with noble
enthusiasm,

"'Pull away, men! I would rather save the life of that woman and her child,
than have the honor of taking the castle!'

"Struck by the noble, unselfish, and truly humane feelings of their
officer, the crew bent with new vigor to their oars. In a little while the
wreck was gained, and the brave lieutenant had the pleasure of receiving
into his arms the almost inanimate form of the woman, who had been lashed
to the deck, and over whom the waves had been beating, at intervals, all
night.

"In writing home to his friends, after the excitement of the adventure was
over, the officer spoke of the moment when he rescued that mother and child
from the wreck as the proudest of his life.

"Afterward he took part in the bombardment of Vera Cruz, and had command,
in turn, of the naval battery, where he faithfully and energetically
performed his duty as an officer in the service of his country. He was
among the first of those who entered the captured city; but pain, not
pleasure, filled his mind, as he looked around, and saw death and
destruction on every hand. Victory had perched upon our banners; the arms
of our country had been successful; the officer had bravely contributed his
part in the work; but he frankly owns that he experienced far more delight
in saving the woman he had borne from the wreck, than he could have felt
had he been the commander of the army that reduced the city.

"Wherever duty calls, my lads," concluded the captain, "you will find that
brave officer. He will never shrink from the post of danger, if his country
have need of him; nor will he ever be deaf to the appeal of humanity; but
so long as he is a true man, just so long will he delight more in saving
than in destroying."





                            THE WORD OF GOD.


Henry, what book is that you have in your hand?"

"It is the Bible, mother,"

"Oh, no, it cannot be, surely!"

"Why, yes it is--see!"

"And my little boy to treat so roughly the book containing God's holy
word!"

Henry's face grew serious.

"Oh, I forgot!" he said, and went and laid the good book carefully away.

"Try and not forget again, my son. If you treat this book so lightly now,
you may, when you become a man, as lightly esteem its holy truths; and then
you could never live in heaven with the angels. No one goes to heaven who
does not love and reverence the Word of God, which is holy in every jot and
tittle."





                       HARSH WORDS AND KIND WORDS.


William Baker, and his brother Thomas and sister Ellen, were playing on the
green lawn in front of their mother's door, when a lad named Henry Green
came along the road, and seeing the children enjoying themselves, opened
the gate and came in. He was rather an ill-natured boy, and generally took
more pleasure in teasing and annoying others, than in being happy with
them. When William saw him coming in through the gate, he called to him and
said, in a harsh way,

"You may just clear out, Henry Green, and go about your business! We don't
want you here."

But Henry did not in the least regard what William said. He came directly
forward, and joined in the sport as freely as if he had been invited
instead of repulsed. In a little while he began to pull Ellen about rudely,
and to push Thomas, so as nearly to throw them down upon the grass.

"Go home, Henry Green! Nobody sent for you! Nobody wants you here!" said
William Baker, in quite an angry tone.

It was of no use, however. William might as well have spoken to the wind.
His words were entirely unheeded by Henry, whose conduct became ruder and
more offensive.

Mrs Baker, who sat at the window, saw and heard all that was passing. As
soon as she could catch the eye of her excited son, she beckoned him to
come to her, which he promptly did.

"Try kind words on him," she said; "you will find them more powerful than
harsh words. You spoke very harshly to Henry when he came in, and I was
sorry to hear it."

"It won't do any good, mother. He's a rude, bad boy, and I wish he would
stay at home. Won't you make him go home?"

"First go and speak to him in a gentler way than you did just now. Try to
subdue him with kindness."

William felt that he had been wrong in letting his angry feelings express
themselves in angry words. So he left his mother and went down upon the
lawn, where Henry was amusing himself by trying to trip the children with a
long stick, as they ran about on the green.

"Henry," he said, cheerfully and pleasantly, "if you were fishing in the
river, and I were to come and throw stones in where your line fell, and
scare away all the fish, would you like it?"

"No, I should not," the lad replied.

"It wouldn't be kind in me?"

"No, of course it wouldn't."

"Well, now, Henry," William tried to smile and to speak very pleasantly,
"we are playing here and trying to enjoy ourselves. Is it right for you to
come and interrupt us by tripping our feet, pulling us about, and pushing
us down? I am sure you will not think so if you reflect a moment. So don't
do it any more, Henry."

"No, I will not," replied Henry, promptly. "I am sorry that I disturbed
you. I didn't think what I was doing. And now I remember, father told me
not to stay, and I must run home."

So Henry Green went quickly away, and the children were left to enjoy
themselves.

"Didn't I tell you that kind words were more powerful than harsh words,
William?" said his mother, after Henry had gone away; "when we speak
harshly to our fellows, we arouse their angry feelings, and then evil
spirits have power over them; but when we speak kindly, we affect them with
gentleness, and good spirits flow into this latter state, and excite in
them better thoughts and intentions. How quickly Henry changed, when you
changed your manner and the character of your language. Do not forget this,
my son. Do not forget, that kind words have double the power of harsh
ones."




[Illustration: THE HERONS AND THE HERRINGS.]





                     THE HERONS AND THE HERRINGS.
                               A FABLE.


  A Heron once came--I can scarcely tell why--
    To the court of his cousins, the fishes,
  With despatches, so heavy he scarcely could fly,
    And his bosom brimfull of good wishes.

  He wished the poor Herrings no harm, he said,
   Though there seemed to be cause for suspicion;
  His government wished to convert them, instead,
    And this was the end of his mission.

  The Herrings replied, and were civil enough,
    Though a little inclined to be witty:
  "We know we are heathenish, savage, and rough,
    And are greatly obliged for your pity.

  "But your plan of conversion we beg to decline,
    With all due respect for your nation;
  No doubt it would tend to exalt and refine,
    Yet we fear it would check respiration."

  The Heron returned to his peers in disdain,
    And told how their love was requited.
  "Poor creatures!" they said, "shall we let them remain
   So ignorant, blind, and benighted?"

  Then soon on a crusade of love and good-will
    The Herons in council decided;
  And they flew, every one that could boast a long bill,
    To the beach where the Herrings resided.

  So the tribe were soon converts from ocean to air,
    Though liking not much the diversion,
  And wishing at least they had time to prepare
    For so novel a mode of conversion.

  A sensible child will discover with ease
    The point of the tale I've related--
  A blockhead could not, let me say what I please--
    Then why need my MORAL be stated?




                           EARLY SPRING FLOWERS.


Of all the amusements of my childhood, I can think of none which I loved so
much as rambling in the woods and meadows among the flowers. What a rich
treat it used to be, just after the earth had thrown aside its white
mantle, and begun to be clothed in its summer dress, to get permission to
spend a whole Saturday afternoon in the woods with my brother and sister.
Oh, how delighted we all were, when we found the first wild flowers of
spring! Let me see. What flowers show their pretty faces the earliest? Do
you remember, young friend? Perhaps you have always lived in the city, and
have never made their acquaintance. But if you have ever seen them,
blushing in their native haunts, I am sure you must remember how they look,
and what their names are. I cannot see how any body can forget them, they
are so beautiful and lovely.

One of the earliest flowers of spring, and one which grew in the woods only
a few rods from my father's door, near the stream that turned my miniature
water-wheels, is the _Trailing Arbutus_. Often you may find this plant
unfolding its delicate blossoms before the snow has left the ground. That,
in our northern latitudes, is usually among the first flowers in blossom.
Soon after she appears, you may see one and perhaps two different species
of the _Anemone_. One, especially--the _Anemone Thalictroides_,
as it used to be called in botany, though it is now the _Thalictrum
Anemonoides_, I believe--is among the fairest of all these flowers of
spring. She has a blossom as white as snow. The _Anemone Nemrosa_ is
almost as fair, too, though not quite, I think. You can sometimes see them
both smiling side by side, early in the month of May, nodding gracefully at
each other, and smiling as if they were very happy. It does not require
much imagination to fancy they are conversing together; and, indeed, I
would quite as soon believe that flowers could talk, as I would believe
those stories about the fairies that children hear sometimes.

There is another beautiful flower which makes her appearance very
early--the _Spring Beauty_, or _Claytonia Virginica_. She is
usually found in the same locations with the Anemone. Then there is the
_Liver Leaf_. Did you ever find that, little girl? Very possibly you
have not taken a ramble early enough in the spring to see her. She makes
her visit frequently in the latter part of April, and she does not stay
long. But after her flower has faded and fallen, there may be seen a few
deeply notched and curious leaves, to mark the spot where she bloomed so
sweetly.

The _Blood Root_, too, will make her visit, and go away again, if you
delay your ramble in the woods till the first of May. The blossom of the
Blood Root is a very delicate white. Hundreds of exotic flowers are
cultivated in our gardens, and very much admired, that are not half so
pretty as this. The leaves that appear before the plant is in blossom, are
oval, a little like those of the Adder's Tongue, which is in flower
somewhat later, and like those of one species of the Solomon's Seal--the
_Convallaria Bifolia_. But when the flower of the Blood Root appears,
you see quite a different kind of leaf, so that even close observers of
wild flowers are sometimes deceived, and think that their early leaves
belong to some other plant.

Every body who has been at all familiar with the forest and meadows in the
spring, knows the _Violet_. There are a good many sisters in this
charming family, but none, perhaps, in our latitude, that are more
beautiful than the _Viola Rotundifolia,_ or Yellow Violet, with
roundish leaves, lying close to the ground. The Blue Violet, too, appears
soon after, and is perhaps equally pretty. I recollect distinctly where it
used to grow near the little brook that ran through our meadow--a brook
that many a time has served to turn my water-wheel. Oh, those days of
miniature water-wheels, and kites, and wind-mills! how happy they were, and
how I love to think of them now! By the way, have you ever read Miss
Gould's poetical fable about the little child and the Blue Violet? I must
recite a stanza or two of this poem, I think. The child speaks to the
Violet, and says,

  "Violet, violet, sparkling with dew,
  Down in the meadow land, wild where you grew,
  How did you come by the beautiful blue
      With which your soft petals unfold?
  And how do you hold up your tender young head,
  Where rude, sweeping winds rush along o'er your bed,
  And dark, gloomy clouds, ranging over you, shed
      Their waters, so heavy and cold?

  "No one has nursed you, or watched you an hour,
  Or found you a place in the garden or bower;
  And they cannot yield me so lovely a flower,
      As here I have found at my feet!

  "Speak, my sweet violet, answer and tell,
  How you have grown up and flourished so well,
  And look so contented, where lonely you dwell,
       And we thus by accident meet?"

Then the Violet answers, and tells the child why it is so contented, and
how it is able to hold up its head, and where its pretty blue petals come
from. But I will not recite the remainder of the poem, for I am sure my
readers do not need to be told who made the flowers, and who taught them to
bloom so sweetly in their wild haunts.

The early flowers of spring! I loved them fondly when a child; but now I am
a man, I love them still more. Shall I tell you why, dear child? There is
something sad in the reason, and yet it is not all sadness. I had a
sister--I _had_ a sister. Ah! that tells the tale. I have no sister
now! The dearest companion of my early rambles among the flowers--herself
the fairest and sweetest of them all--has fallen before the scythe of
Death. She has gone now to a world of perpetual spring, and the flowers she
loved so well are blooming over her grave. She faded away in the early
spring, and we laid her to rest where her mother had long been sleeping. By
the side of the streamlet where we used to play in the sunny days of
childhood, and where the Dandelion grew, and the Butter-cup, and the
Violet--there is now the form of her I tenderly loved.

But my strain is sad--too sad. I will sing, and be cheerful.

      Alas! how soon
  The things of earth we love most fondly perish!
  Why died the flower our hearts had learned to cherish?
      Why, ere 'twas noon?

      I cannot tell--
  But though the grave be that loved sister's dwelling,
  And though my heart e'en now with grief is swelling,
      I know 'tis well.

      'Tis well with the--
  'Tis well with thee, thou lone and silent sleeper!
  'Tis well, though thou hast left me here a weeper
      Awhile to be.

      'Tis well for me--
  'Tis well; my home, since thou art gone, is dearer--
  The grave is welcome, if it bring me nearer
      To heaven and thee.

      I'll not repine--
  No, blest one; thou art happier than thy brother:
  I'll think of thee, as with thy angel-mother,
      Sweet sister mine.

      Still would I share
  Thy love, and meet thee where the flowers are springing,
  Where the wild bird his joyous note is singing--
      Come to me there.

      Oh! come again,
  At the still hour, the holy hour of even,
  Ere one pale star has gemmed the vault of heaven;
      Come to me then.




                         TEMPTATION RESISTED.


Charles Murray left home, with his books in his satchel, for school. Before
starting, he kissed his little sister, and patted Juno on the head, and as
he went singing away, he felt as happy as any little boy could wish to
feel. Charles was a good-tempered lad, but he had the fault common to a
great many boys, that of being tempted and enticed by others to do things
which he knew to be contrary to the wishes of his parents. Such acts never
made him feel any happier; for the fear that his disobedience would be
found out, and the consciousness of having done wrong, were far from being
pleasant companions.

On the present occasion, as he walked briskly in the direction of the
school, he repeated over his lessons in his mind, and was intent upon
having them so perfect as to be able to repeat every word. He had gone
nearly half the distance, and was still thinking over his lessons, when he
stopped suddenly, as a voice called out,

"Halloo, Charley!"

Turning in the direction from which the voice came, he saw Archy Benton,
with his school basket in his hand; but he was going from, instead of in
the direction of the school.

"Where are you going, Archy?" asked Charles, calling out to him.

"Into the woods, for chestnuts."

"Ain't you going to school, to-day?"

"No, indeed. There was a sharp frost last night, and Uncle John says the
wind will rattle down the chestnuts like hail."

"Did your father say you might go?"

"No, indeed. I asked him, but he said I couldn't go until Saturday. But the
hogs are in the woods, and will eat the chestnuts all up, before Saturday.
So I am going to-day. Come, go along, won't you? It is such a fine day, and
the ground will be covered with chestnuts. We can get home at the usual
time, and no one will suspect that we were not at school."

"I should like to go, very well," said Charley; "but I know father will be
greatly displeased, if he finds it out, and I am afraid he will get to know
it, in some way."

"How could he get to know it? Isn't he at his store all the time?"

"But he might think to ask me if I was at school. And I never will tell a
lie."

"You could say yes, and not tell a lie, either," returned Archy. "You were
at school yesterday."

"No, I couldn't. A lie, father says, is in the intent to deceive. He would,
of course, mean to ask whether I was at school to-day, and if I said yes, I
would tell a lie."

"It isn't so clear to me that you would. At any rate, I don't see such
great harm in a little fib. It doesn't hurt any body."

"Father says a falsehood hurts a boy a great deal more than he thinks for.
And one day he showed me in the Bible where liars were classed with
murderers, and other wicked spirits, in hell. I can't tell a lie, Archy."

"There won't be any need of your doing so," urged Archy; "for I am sure he
will never think to ask you about it. Why should he?"

"I don't know. But whenever I have been doing any thing wrong, he is sure
to begin to question me, and lead me on until I betray the secret of my
fault."

"Never mind. Come and go with me. It is such a fine day. We shan't have
another like it. It will rain on Saturday, I'll bet any thing. So come
along, now, and let us have a day in the woods, while we can."

Charles was very strongly tempted. When he thought of the confinement of
school, and then of the freedom of a day in the woods, he felt much
inclined to go with Archy.

"Come along," said Archy, as Charles stood balancing the matter in his
mind. And he took hold of his arm, and drew him in a direction opposite
from the school. "Come! you are just the boy I want. I was thinking about
you the moment before I saw you."

The temptation to Charles was very strong. "I don't believe I will be found
out," he said to himself; "and it is such a pleasant day to go into the
woods!"

Still he held back, and thought of his father's displeasure if he should
discover that he had played the truant. The word "truant," that he repeated
mentally, decided the matter in his mind, and he exclaimed, in a loud and
decided voice, as he dragged away from the hand of Archy, that had still
retained its hold on his arm, "I've never played truant yet, and I don't
think I ever will. Father says he never played truant when he was a boy;
and I'd like to say the same thing when I get to be a man."

"Nonsense, Charley! come, go with me," urged Archy.

But Charles Murray's mind was made up not to play the truant. So he started
off for school, saying, as he did so--

"No, I can't go, Archy; and if I were you, I would wait until Saturday. You
will enjoy it so much better when you have your fathers consent. It always
takes away more than half the pleasure of any enjoyment to think that it is
obtained at the cost of disobedience. Come! go to school with me now, and I
will go into the woods with you on Saturday."

"No, I can't wait until Saturday. I'm sure it will rain by that time; and
if it don't, the hogs will eat up every nut that has fallen before that
time."

"There'll be plenty left on the trees, if they do. It's as fine sport to
knock them down as to pick them up."

But Archy's purpose was settled, and nothing that Charles Murray could say
had any influence with him. So the boys parted, the one for his school, and
the other for a stolen holiday in the woods.

The moment Charles was alone again, he felt no longer any desire to go with
Archy. He had successfully resisted the temptation, and the allurement was
gone. But even for listening to temptation he had some small punishment,
for he was late to school by nearly ten minutes, and had not his lessons as
perfect as usual, for which the teacher felt called upon to reprimand him.
But this was soon forgotten; and he was so good a boy through the whole
day, and studied all his lessons so diligently, that when evening came, the
teacher, who had not forgotten the reprimand, said to him:

"You have been the best boy in the school to-day, Charles. To-morrow
morning try and come in time, and be sure that your lessons are all well
committed to memory."

Charles felt very light and cheerful as he went running, skipping, and
singing homeward. His day had been well spent, and happiness was his
reward. When he came in sight of home, there was no dread of meeting his
father and mother, such as he would have felt if he had played the truant.
Every thing looked bright and pleasant, and when Juno came bounding out to
meet him, he couldn't help hugging the favorite dog in the joy he felt at
seeing her.

When Charles met his mother, she looked at him with a more earnest and
affectionate gaze than usual. And then the boy noticed that her countenance
became serious.

"Ain't you well, mother?" asked Charles.

"Yes, my dear, I am very well," she replied; "but I saw something an hour
ago which has made me feel sad. Archy Benton was brought home from the
woods this afternoon, where he had gone for chestnuts, instead of going to
school, as he should have done, dreadfully hurt. He had fallen from a tree.
Both his arms are broken, and the doctor fears that he has received some
inward injury that may cause his death."

Charles turned pale, when his mother said this.

"Boys rarely get hurt, except when they are acting disobediently, or doing
some harm to others," remarked Mrs Murray. "If Archy had gone to school,
this dreadful accident would not have happened. His father told him that he
might go for chestnuts on Saturday, and if he had waited until then, I am
sure he might have gone into the woods and received no harm, for all who do
right are protected from evil."

"He tried to persuade me to go with him," said Charles, "and I was strongly
tempted to do so. But I resisted the temptation, and have felt glad about
it ever since."

Mrs Murray took her son's hand, and pressing it hard, said, with much
feeling,

"How rejoiced I am that you were able to resist his persuasions to do
wrong. Even if you had not been hurt yourself, the injury received by Archy
would have discovered to us that you were with him, and then how unhappy
your father and I would have been I cannot tell. And you would have been
unhappy, too. Ah! my son, there is only one true course for all of us, and
that is, to do right. Every deviation from this path brings trouble. An act
of a moment may make us wretched for days, weeks, months, or perhaps years.
It will be a long, long time before Archy is free from pain of body or
mind--it may be that he will never recover. Think how miserable his parents
must feel; and all because of this single act of disobedience."

We cannot say how often Charles said to himself, that evening and the next
day, when he thought of Archy, "Oh, how glad I am that I did not go with
him!"

When Saturday came, the father and mother of Charles Murray gave him
permission to go into the woods for chestnuts. Two or three other boys, who
were his school companions, likewise received liberty to go; and they
joined Charles, and altogether made a pleasant party. It did not rain, nor
had the hogs eaten up all the nuts, for the lads found plenty under the
tall old trees, and in a few hours filled their bags and baskets. Charles
said, when he came home, that he had never enjoyed himself better, and was
so glad that he had not been tempted to go with Archy Benton.

It was a lesson he never afterward forgot. If he was tempted to do what he
knew was wrong, he thought of Archy's day in the woods, and the tempter
instantly left him. The boy who had been so badly hurt, did not die, as the
doctor feared; but he suffered great pain, and was ill for a long time.




                            EVENING PRAYER.


  Heavenly Father! Through the day,
  Have we wandered from thy way?
  Have our thoughts to error turned?
  Has within us evil burned?

  Heavenly Father! Oh, remove
  Evil thoughts and evil love!
  Give us truth our minds to fill;
  Give us strength to do thy will.

  Often we are led astray
  From the true and righteous way;
  But, we humbly pray to thee,
  From the tempter keep us free.

  Heavenly Father! While we sleep,
  Angel watchers round us keep.
  When the morning breaks, may we,
  Better, wiser children be.




                         STRETCHING THE TRUTH.


It is a very bad habit, this stretching the truth, as one does a piece of
India rubber; and the worst of it is, that when any body forms the habit,
there is no telling how much it will grow upon him.

There is Jack Weaver, for instance. He is a sailor all over, to be sure--an
"old salt," as he would call himself. But that does not confer upon him any
license to spin such yarns as he does, to his young shipmates on the
forward deck. He has cruised half a dozen years after whales, in the
Pacific ocean, and, of course, has seen some sights that are worth speaking
of. But that is no reason why he should fill the head of that young fellow
sitting on a coil of rope with a hundred cock-and-bull stories, that have
scarcely a word of truth in them, from beginning to end. Why, he don't
pretend to tell stories without stretching the truth.

I know some boys, too, who seem to find it very difficult to relate any
incident as it took place. They are so much in the habit of stretching the
truth, in fact, that those who are acquainted with them seldom believe more
than half of one of their stories. These boys, however, have not the
slightest intention, when they are pulling out a foot into a yard, of doing
any thing wrong. Very possibly they think they are telling a pretty
straight story. Habits are strong, you know--especially bad habits. Just
look at Selden Mason, one of the best-natured boys I ever saw, and who has
not got an enemy among all his school-mates; it is wonderful what a
truth-stretcher he has got to be. Every boy shakes his head, when he hears
a great story, and says it sounds like one of Selden's yarns. And yet be is
so particular and minute in relating any thing, sometimes, that one who did
not know him would not suspect him of treating the truth so badly. His
apparent sincerity reminds me of an anecdote related of another boy, who
had this habit worse than Selden has, I should think. The boy remarked that
his father once killed ninety-nine crows at a single shot! He was asked why
he did not say a hundred, and have done with it. The fellow was indignant.
"Do you think I would tell a lie for one crow?" said he!

Selden Mason's habit of truth-stretching has got such a hold of him now,
that you can perceive the marks of it in almost every thing he says. I have
sometimes been half sorry he was so good a boy in other respects; for, as
his companions like him pretty well, there is the more danger that they
will catch the habit of him, before they are aware of it. His teacher was
once asked what he thought of Selden, on the whole. "I can't help being
pleased with the fellow," said he; "he is a good scholar, and very
obedient; but I should like him a great deal better if he didn't tell such
monstrous stories. He is like a book all printed in italic letters, with an
exclamation point at the end of every sentence." Selden has often gone by
the name of the "Exclamation Point," since that time.

Poor fellow! I wish he had tried to break himself of that habit, before it
became so deeply rooted. I am afraid it will stick to him as long as he
lives now; and if it does, he will get a very bad character as a man of
business. Scarcely any reliance can be placed upon his word. No matter how
careful he may be to state a thing exactly as it is, in his business
matters, if he keeps up this general habit, people will say, "Oh! that's
nothing but one of Mason's italic stories!"

Look out, my boy! It wouldn't be the strangest thing in the world, if you
had got into a habit something like this of Selden's, though it may not yet
be half so strong. But keep a sharp look-out, at any rate. Take care that
you never stretch the truth.




                           THE CITY PIGEON.


With all is the beautiful lingerer in our crowded cities a favorite. All
love this gentle bird, that, shunning the cool and quiet woods, stays with
man in the hot and noisy town, and, amid strife and the war of passions,
passes ever before him a living emblem of peace. "It is no light chance,"
says Willis, in his exquisite lines "To a City Pigeon,"

[Illustration: THE CITY PIGEON.]

  "It is no light chance. Thou art set apart
  Wisely by Him who has tamed the heart,
  To stir the love for the bright and fair,
  That else were sealed in this crowded air;
      I sometimes dream
  Angelic rays from thy pinions gleam."

In these same lines, how truly and how sweetly has he said:

  "A holy gift is thine, sweet bird!
  Thou'rt named with childhood's earliest word!
  Thou'rt linked with all that's fresh and wild,
  In the prison'd thoughts of a city child;
      And thy glossy wings
  Are its brightest image of moving things."

In the language of the same poet, how often have we said, as we looked
forth upon the gentle bird:

  "Stoop to my window, thou beautiful dove;
  Thy daily visits have touched my love.
  I watch thy coming, and list the note
  That stirs so low in thy mellow throat;
      And my joy is high
  To catch the glance of thy gentle eye."

In his lines to "The Belfry Pigeon," Mr Willis has expressed most
truthfully the feelings and thoughts which all have had for this gentle
creature, which,

      "Alone of the feathered race,
  Doth look unscared on the human face."

As we know of nothing on the subject more appropriate and beautiful than
the address referred to, we will copy it for our young readers.




                          THE BELFRY PIGEON.


  "On the cross beam under the Old South Bell,
  The nest of a pigeon is builded well.
  In summer and winter that bird is there,
  Out and in with the morning air.
  I love to see him track the street,
  With his wary eye and active feet;
  And I often watch him as he springs,
  Circling the steeples with easy wings,
  Till across the dial his shade has pass'd,
  And the belfry edge is gained at last.
  'Tis a bird I love, with its brooding note,
  And the trembling throb in its mottled throat;
  There's a human look in its swelling breast,
  And the gentle curve of its lowly crest;
  And I often stop with the fear I feel--
  He runs so close to the rapid wheel.

  "Whatever is rung on that noisy bell--
  Chime of the hour or funeral knell--
  The dove in the belfry must hear it well.
  When the tongue swings out to the midnight moon--
  When the sexton cheerily rings for noon--
  When the clock strikes clear at morning light--
  When the child is waked with 'nine at night'--
  When the chimes play soft in the Sabbath air,
  Filling the spirit with love of prayer--
  Whatever tale in the bell is heard,
  He broods on his folded feet unstirr'd,
  Or, rising half in his rounded nest,
  He takes the time to smooth his breast,
  Then drops again with filmed eyes,
  And sleeps as the last vibration dies.

  "Sweet bird! I would that I could be
  A hermit in the crowd like thee!
  With wings to fly to wood and glen.
  Thy lot, like mine, is cast with men,
  And daily, with unwilling feet,
  I tread, like thee, the crowded street;
  But, unlike me, when day is o'er,
  Thou canst dismiss the world and soar;
  Or, at a half-felt wish for rest,
  Canst smooth the feathers on thy breast,
  And drop, forgetful, to thy nest."




                          A DAY IN THE WOODS.


"School!" said Richard White, to himself; "School! I don't want to go to
school. Why am I sent to school every day? What good is there in learning
grammar, and arithmetic, and geography, and all them things? I don't like
school, and I never did."

"Dick!" called out a voice; and the lad, who had seated himself on a cellar
door, and placed his satchel beside him, looked up, and met the cheerful
face of one of his school-fellows.

"What are you sitting there for, Dick? Don't you hear the school bell?"

"Yes; I hear it, Bill."

"Then get up and come along, or you will be late."

"I don't care if I am. I don't like to go to school."

"You don't?"

"No, indeed. I'd never go to school if I could help it. What's the use of
so much learning? I'm going to a trade as soon as I get old enough; and
Pete Elder says that a boy who don't know A B C, can learn a trade just as
well as one who does."

"I don't know any thing about that," replied William Brown; "but father
says, the more learning I get when a boy, the more successful in life will
I be when a man; that is, if I make a good use of my learning."

"What good is grammar going to do a mechanic, I wonder?" said Richard,
contemptuously. "What use will the double rule of three, or fractions, be
to him?"

"They may be of a great deal of use. Father says we cannot learn too much
while we are boys. He says he never learned any thing in his life that did
not come of use to him at some time or other."

"Grammar, and geography, and double rule of three, will never be of any use
to me."

"Oh, yes, they will, Dick! So come along. The bell is nearly done ringing.
Come, won't you?"

"No; I'm going out to the woods,"

"Come, Richard, come! That will be playing truant."

"No; I've made my mind up not to go to school to-day."

"You'll be sorry for it, Dick, if you do stay away from school."

"Why will I?" said the boy, quickly. "Are you going to tell?"

"If I should be asked about you, I will not tell a lie; but I don't suppose
any one will inquire of me."

"Then why will I be sorry?"

"You'll be sorry when you're a man."

Richard White laughed aloud at the idea of his being sorry when he became a
man, for having neglected his school when a boy.

"If you are not going, I am," said William Brown, starting off and running
as fast as he could. He arrived at the door of the schoolhouse just as the
bell stopped ringing. In stopping to persuade Richard not to play truant,
he had come near being too late.

As soon as William left him, Richard White got up from the cellar door
where he had been reclining lazily, and throwing his satchel over his
shoulder, started for the woods. His books and satchel were in his way, and
rather heavy to carry about with him for six or seven hours. But he did not
think it prudent to leave them any where, for the person with whom they
were left would suspect him of playing truant, and through that means his
fault might come to the knowledge of his parents.

After thinking over this, as he went on his way, it occurred to Richard
that the satchel was as likely to betray him if carried along as if left at
some store to be called for on his return. Finally, he concluded to ask for
a newspaper at a shop.

With this he wrapped up his satchel, and taking it under his arm, went on
without any more fears of betrayal from this source.

As soon as the foolish boy reached the woods, he hid his satchel, so as to
get clear of the trouble it was to him, beside a large stone, and covered
it with leaves and long grass. Then he felt free, and, as he thought,
happy.

But it was not long before he got tired of rambling about alone. He
listened, sometimes, to the birds, and sometimes tried, with stones, to
kill the beautiful and innocent creatures. Then he thought how pleasant it
would be to find a nest, and carry off the young ones; and he searched with
great diligence for a long time, but could find no nest.

Once a little striped squirrel glided past him, and mounted a high tree. As
it ran around and around the great trunk, appearing and disappearing at
intervals, Richard tried to knock it off with stones. But his aim was not
very true. Instead of hitting the squirrel, he managed to get a severe blow
himself; for a stone which he threw very high, struck a large limb, and,
bouncing back, fell upon his upturned face, and cut him badly.

From that moment, all the pleasure he had felt since entering the woods was
gone. The blood stained his shirt bosom, and covered his hand when he put
it up to his face. Of course, the wound, and the blood upon his shirt,
would betray him. This was his first thought, as he washed himself at a
small stream. But, then, all at once it occurred to him--for evil
suggestions are sure to be made to us when we are in the way to receive
them--that it would be just as easy to say that a boy threw a stone, which
struck him as he was walking along the street, as to say that he got hurt
while in the woods. And, without stopping to think how wicked it would be
to tell a lie, Richard determined to make this statement when he got home.

The smarting of the wound, and the uneasiness occasioned by a sight of the
blood, so disturbed Richard's feelings, that he was unable to regain enough
composure of mind to enjoy his day of freedom in the woods. By twelve
o'clock, he was tired and hungry, and heartily wished himself at home. But
it would not do to go now; for if he were to do so, his father would
understand that he had not been to school. There was no alternative for him
but to remain out in the lonely woods, without any thing to eat, for five
hours longer. And a weary time it was for him.

At last the sun, which had been for a very long time, it seemed to him,
descending toward the western horizon, sunk so low that he was sure it must
be after five o'clock, and then, with sober feelings, he started for home.
The day had disappointed him. He was far from feeling happy. When he
thought of the wound on his face and the blood upon his bosom, he felt
troubled. If he told the truth, he knew he would be punished, and if he
told a lie, and was found out, punishment would as certainly follow.

These were his thoughts and feelings when he came to the place where he had
concealed his satchel. But, lo! his books were gone. Some one had
discovered and carried them off.

Sadly enough, now, did Richard White return home. We will not pain our
young readers with an account of his reception. The father already knew
that his son had not been to school, for a man had found the satchel in the
woods. Richard's name was on it, and this led the man to bring it to his
father, with whom he was acquainted.

Richard never went to school again. On the very next week, he was sent to
learn a trade, and he soon found that there was a great difference between
a school-boy and an apprentice.

William Brown continued to go to school two years longer, when he also went
from home to learn a trade. He was then a good scholar, and had a fondness
for books. Because he was learning a trade, he did not give up all other
kinds of learning, but, whenever he had leisure, he applied himself to his
books. Both he and Richard were free about the same time. Richard had
learned his trade well, and was as good a workman as William; but he had
not improved his mind. He had not been able to see the use that learning
was going to be to a mechanic.

Fifteen years have passed since these two lads completed their terms of
apprenticeship, and entered the world as men; and how do they now stand?
Why, William Brown has a large manufactory of his own, and Richard White is
one of his workmen. By his superior intelligence and enterprise, the former
is able to serve the public interests by giving direction to the labors of
a hundred men, and his reward is in proportion to the service he thus
renders; while the latter serves the public interest to the extent of only
one man's labors, and his reward is in exact ratio thereto.

Did Richard White gain any thing by his day in the woods? We think not. Is
there any use in education to a mechanic? Let each of our young readers
answer the question for himself.




                    THE SPIDER AND THE HONEY-BEE.
         A FABLE FOR MANY IN GENERAL AND SOME IN PARTICULAR.


I.

  A bee who had chased after pleasure all day,
  And homeward was lazily wending his way,
  Fell in with a Spider, who called to the Bee:
  "Good evening! I trust you are well," said he.

II.

  The bee was quite happy to stop awhile there--
  For indolence always has moments to spare--
  "Good evening!" he said, with a very low bow,
  "My health, sir, alas! 'tis quite delicate now.

III.

  "From spring until autumn, from morning till night,
  I'm obliged to be toiling with all my might;
  My labors are wearing me out, and you know
  I might as well starve, as to kill myself so."

IV.

  The Spider pretended to pity the Bee--
  For a cunning old hypocrite Spider was he--
  "I'm sorry to see you so ill," he said;
  And he whispered his wife, "He will have to be bled."

[Illustration: THE BEE OUTSIDE THE WEB.]

V.

  "Some people--perhaps they are wiser than I--
  Some people are in a great hurry to die;
  Excuse me, but candor compels me to say,
  'Tis wrong to be throwing one's life away.

VI.

  "Your industry, sir, it may do very well
  For the beaver's rude hut, or the honey-bee's cell;
  But it never would suit a gay fellow like me;
  I love to be idle--I love to be free.

VII.

  "This hoarding of riches--this wasting of time,
  In robbing the gardens and fields--'tis a crime!
  And then to be guilty of suicide, too!
  I tremble to think what a miser will do."

VIII.

  'Tis strange the poor Bee was so stupid and blind.
  "Mister Spider," said he, "you have spoken my mind;
  There's something within me that seems to say,
  I have toiled long enough, and 'tis better to play.

IX.
  "But how in the world shall I manage to live?
  I might beg all my life, and nobody would give.
  'Tis easy enough to be merry and sing,
  But living on air is a different thing."

X.

  The Spider was silent, and looked very grave--
  'Twas a habit he had--the scheming old knave!
  No Spider, intent on his labor of love,
  Had more of the serpent, or less of the dove.

XI.

  "To serve you would give me great pleasure," said he;
  "Come into my palace, and tarry with me;
  The Spider knows nothing of labor and care.
  Come, you shall be welcome our bounty to share.

XII.

  "I live like a king, and my wife like a queen,
  In meadows where flowers are blooming and green;
  'Tis sweet on the violet's bosom to lie,
  And list to the stream that runs merrily by.

XIII.

  "With us you shall mingle in scenes of delight,
  All summer and winter, from morning till night;
  And when 'neath the hills the sun sinks in the west,
  Your head on a pillow of roses shall rest.

XIV.

  "When miserly Bees shall return from their toils,
  We'll catch them, and tie them, and feast on the spoils;
  I'll lighten their burdens--I ought to know how--
  My pantry is full of such gentlemen now."

XV.

  The Bee did not wait to be urged any more,
  But nodded his thanks, as he entered the door.
  "Aha!" said the Spider, "I have you at last."
  And he caught the poor urchin, and wound him up fast.

XVI.

  The Bee, when aware of his perilous fate,
  Recovered his wit, though a moment too late.
  "O treacherous Spider! for shame!" said he,
  "Is it thus you betray a poor, innocent Bee?"

XVII.

  The cunning old Spider then laughed outright;
  "Poor fellow!" he said, "you are in a sad plight!
  Ha! ha! what a dunce you must be to suppose,
  That the heart of a Spider should pity your woes!

[Illustration: THE BEE INSIDE THE WEB.]

XVIII.

  "I never could boast of much honor or shame,
  Though a little acquainted with both by name;
  But I think if the Bees can a brother betray,
  We Spiders are quite as good people as they.

XIX.

  "On the whole, you have lived long enough, I opine;
  So now, by your leave, I will hasten to dine;
  You'll make a good dinner, it must be confess'd,
  And the world, I am thinking, will pardon the rest."

XX.

  This lesson for every one, little and great,
  Is taught in that vagabond's tragical fate:
  _Of him who is scheming your friend to ensnare_,
  _Unless you've a passion for Heeding, beware!_






                       EMMA LEE AND HER SIXPENCE.


Emma's aunt had given her a sixpence, and now the question was, what should
she buy with it? "I'll you what I will do, mother," she said, changing her
mind for the tenth time.

"Well, dear, what have you determined upon now?"

"I'll save my sixpence until I get a good many more, and then I'll buy me a
handsome wax doll. Wouldn't you do that, mother, if you were me?"

"If I were you, I suppose I would do just as you will," replied Emma's
mother, smiling.

"But, mother, don't you think that would be a nice way to do? I get a good
many pennies and sixpences, you know, and could soon save enough to buy me
a beautiful wax doll."

"I think it would be better," said Mrs Lee, "for you to save up your money
and buy something worth having."

"Isn't a large wax doll worth having?"

"Oh, yes! for a little girl like you."

"Then I'll save up my money, until I get enough to buy me a doll as big as
Sarah Johnson's."

In about an hour afterward, Emma came to her mother, and said--

"I've just thought what I will do with my sixpence. I saw such a beautiful
book at a store, yesterday! It was full of pictures, and the price was just
sixpence. I'll buy that book."

"But didn't you say, a little while ago, that you were going to save your
money until you had enough to buy a doll?"

"I know I did, mother; but I didn't think about the book then. And it will
take so long before I can save up money enough to get a new doll. I think I
will buy the book."

"Very well, dear," replied Mrs Lee.

Not long after, Emma changed her mind again.

On the next day, her mother said to her--

"Your Aunt Mary is quite sick, and I am going to see her. Do you wish to go
with me?"

"Yes, mother, I should like to go. I am so sorry that Aunt Mary is sick.
What ails her?"

"She is never very well, and the least cold makes her sick. The last time
she was here she took cold."

As they were about leaving the house, Emma said--

"I'll take my sixpence along, and spend it, mother."

"What are you going to buy?" asked Mrs Lee.

"I don't know," replied Emma. "Sometimes I think I will buy some cakes; and
then I think I will get a whole sixpence worth of cream candy, I like it
so."

"Have you forgotten the book?"

"Oh, no! Sometimes I think I will buy the book. Indeed, I don't know what
to buy."

In this undecided state of mind, Emma started with her mother to see her
aunt. They had not gone far before they met a poor woman, with some very
pretty bunches of flowers for sale. She carried them on a tray. She stopped
before Mrs Lee and her little girl, and asked if they would not buy some
flowers.

"How much are they a bunch?" asked Emma.

"Sixpence," replied the woman.

"Mother! I'll tell you what I will do with my sixpence," said Emma, her
face brightening with the thought that came into her mind. "I will buy a
bunch of flowers for Aunt Mary. You know how she loves flowers. Can't I do
it, mother?"

"Oh, yes, dear! Do it, by all means, if you think you can give up the nice
cream candy, or the picture book, for the sake of gratifying your aunt."

Emma did not hesitate a moment, but selected a very handsome bunch of
flowers, and paid her sixpence to the woman with a feeling of real
pleasure.

Aunt Mary was very much pleased with the bouquet Emma brought her.

"The sight of these flowers, and their delightful perfume, really makes me
feel better," she said, after she had held them in her hand for a little
while; "I am very much obliged to my niece, for thinking of me."

That evening, Emma looked up from a book which her mother had bought her as
they returned home from Aunt Mary's, and with which she had been much
entertained, and said--

"I think the spending of my sixpence gave me a double pleasure."

"How so, dear?" asked Mrs Lee.

"I made aunt happy, and the flower woman too. Didn't you notice how pleased
the flower woman looked? I wouldn't wonder if she had little children at
home, and thought about the bread that sixpence would buy them when I paid
it to her. Don't you think she did?"

"I cannot tell that, Emma," replied her mother; "but I shouldn't at all
wonder if it were as you suppose. And so it gives you pleasure to think you
have made others happy?"

"Indeed it does."

"Acts of kindness," replied Emma's mother, "always produce a feeling of
pleasure. This every one may know. And it is the purest and truest pleasure
we experience in this world. Try and remember this little incident of the
flowers as long as you live, my child; and let the thought of it remind you
that every act of self-denial brings to the one who makes it a sweet
delight."






                        UNCLE RODERICK'S STORIES.


Uncle Roderick was an old bachelor--as thorough going an old bachelor as
any one need wish to see. Some folks said he had a great many droll whims
in his head. I don't know how that was; but this I know, that he loved
every body, and almost every body loved him. He had evidently seen better
days, when, in my boyhood, I first made his acquaintance; or rather, he had
been "better off in the world," as the phrase goes. Whether he had been
happier, may admit of a question; for the wealthiest man is not always the
happiest. There were marks about him which seemed to show that he had been
higher on the wheel of fortune, and that the change in his condition had
had a chastening effect--just as some fruits become mellower and better
after being bruised a little and frost-bitten. He was a great lover of
children, and withal an inveterate story-teller.

His memory must have been pretty good, I think; for he would often tell
stories to his little friends by the hour, about what happened to him when
he was a boy. Some of these stories were funny enough; but the old
gentleman usually managed to tack on some good moral to the end of them. By
your leave, boys and girls, I will serve up two or three of these stories
for an evening's entertainment. They will bear telling the second time, I
guess, and I will repeat them, as nearly as my recollection will allow, in
the good old bachelor's own words.

       *       *       *       *       *


                                STORY FIRST.
                          HONESTY THE BEST POLICY.


A person is, on the whole, a great deal better off to be honest. Dishonesty
is a losing game. A wise man was once asked what one gained by not telling
the truth. The reply was, "Not to be believed when he speaks the truth." He
was right. There are a great many other respects, too, in which a dishonest
person suffers by his dishonesty. I must tell you what a lie once cost me.
I was about nine years old, perhaps. In justice to myself, I ought to say
that I was not much addicted to this vice; but told a fib once in a great
while, as I am afraid too many other little boys, pretty good on the whole,
sometimes allow themselves to do. One very cool day in the spring of the
year, my father, who was a farmer, was ploughing, and I was riding horse. I
didn't relish the task very well, as I was rather cold, and old Silvertail
was full of his mischief. It was a little more than I could do to manage
him. Moreover, there was some rare sport going on at home.

"Father," said I, after bearing the penance for the greater part of the
forenoon, "how much longer must I stay in the field?"

"About an hour," was the reply.

An hour seemed a great while in the circumstances, and I ventured to say,
"I wish I could go home now--my head aches."

"I am very sorry," said my father; "but can't you stay till it is time to
go home to dinner?"

I thought not--my headache was getting to be pretty severe.

"Well," said he, taking me off the horse, and no doubt suspecting that my
disease was rather in my _heart_ than my head--a suspicion far too
well-founded, I am sorry to say--"well, you may go home. I don't want you
to work if you are sick. Go straight home, and tell your mother that I say
you must take a good large dose of rhubarb. Tell her that I think it will
do you a great deal of good!"

There was no alternative. I went home, of course, and delivered the message
to my mother. I told her, however, that I thought my head was better,
hoping to avoid taking the nauseous medicine. But it was of no use. It was
too late. She understood my case as well as my father did. She knew well
enough my disease was laziness. So she prepared the rhubarb--an unusually
generous dose, I always thought--and I had to swallow every morsel of it.
Dear me! how bitter it was! It makes me sick to think of a dose of rhubarb,
let me be ever so well. I am sure I would have rode horse all day--and all
night, too, for that matter--rather than to have been doctored after that
sort. But it cured my laziness pretty effectually, and it was a long time
before I told another lie, too.

"Honesty is the best policy," children, depend upon it, though there is
another and a better reason, as you very well know, why you should always
speak the truth.


                              STORY SECOND.
                  HOW A ROGUE FEELS WHEN HE IS CAUGHT.


When I was a little boy, as near as I can recollect, about nine years of
age, I went with my brother one bright Saturday afternoon, when there was
no school, to visit at the house of Captain Perry. The captain was esteemed
one of the kindest and best-natured neighbors in Willow Lane, where my
father lived; and Julian, the captain's eldest son, very near my own age,
was, among all the boys at school, my favorite play-fellow. Captain Perry
had two bee-hives in his garden, where we were all three at play; and as I
watched the busy little fellows at work bringing in honey from the fields,
all at once I thought it would be a very fine thing to thrust a stick into
a hole which I saw in one of the hives, and bring out some of the honey. My
brother and Julian did not quite agree with me in this matter. They
thought, as nearly as I can recollect, that there were three good reasons
against this mode of obtaining honey: first, I should be likely to get
pretty badly stung; secondly, the act would be a very mean and cowardly
piece of mischief; and, thirdly, I should be found out.

Still, I was bent on the chivalrous undertaking. I procured a stick of the
right size, and marched up to the hive to make the attack. While I was
deliberating, with the stick already a little way in the hole, whether I
had better thrust it in suddenly, and then scamper away as fast as my legs
could carry me, or proceed so deliberately that the bees would not suspect
what was the matter, Captain Perry happened to come into the garden; and I
was so busy with my mischief, that I did not notice him until he advanced
within a rod or two of the bee-hives. He mistrusted what I was about.
"Roderick," said he. I looked around. I am sure I would have given all I
was worth in the world, not excepting my little pony, which I regarded as a
fortune, if, by some magic or other, I could have got out of this scrape.
But it was too late.  I hung my head down, as may be imagined, while the
captain went on with his speech: "Roderick, if I were in your place (I
heartily wished he was in my place, but I did not say so; I said nothing,
in fact), if I were in your place, I would not disturb those poor, harmless
bees, in that way.  If you should put that stick into the hive, as you were
thinking of doing, it would take the bees a whole week to mend up their
cells.  That is not the way we get honey. I don't wonder you are fond of
honey, though. Children generally are fond of it; and if you will go into
the house, Mrs Perry will give you as much as you wish, I am sure."

This was twenty years ago--perhaps more.  I have met Captain Perry a
hundred times since; yet even now I cannot look upon his frank, honest
countenance, but I distinctly call to mind the Quixotic adventure with the
bees, and I feel almost as much ashamed as I did when I was detected.


                                STORY THIRD.
                           THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER.


I never shall forget what a sensation it used to produce in our family,
years ago, when the newspaper came. We children--there were three of us,
one brother and two sisters--used to watch for the post, on the
all-important day, as anxiously as a cat ever watched for a mouse. Peter
Packer, the bearer of these weekly dispatches, deserves a little notice. He
was a queer man, at least he had that reputation in our neighborhood. As
long as I can remember, he went his rounds; and, for aught I know, he is
going to this day.

Peter's old mare--she must be mentioned, for the two are almost
inseparable--was as odd as he was. I should think she belonged to the same
general class and order with Don Quixote's renowned Rosinante; but she had
one peculiarity which is not put down in the description of Rosinante, to
wit, the faculty of diagonal or oblique locomotion. This mare of Peter's
went forward something after the manner of a crab, and a little like a ship
with the wind abeam, as the sailors say. It was a standing topic of dispute
among us boys, whether the animal went head foremost or not. But that did
not matter much, so that she made her circuit--and she always did,
punctually; that is, she always came some time or another. Sometimes she
was a day or two later than usual; but this never occurred except in the
summer season, and it was in this wise: she had a most passionate love for
the practical study of botany; and not being allowed, when at home, to
pursue her favorite science as often as she wished, owing partly to a want
of specimens, and partly to her master's desire to educate her in the more
solid branches, she frequently took the liberty to divest herself of her
bridle, when standing at the door of her master's customers, and to gallop
away in search of flowers. She was a great lover of botany, so much so,
that, as I said before, her desire to obtain specimens sometimes interfered
a little with her other literary engagements; and I am sure I can forgive
her--

  "For e'en her failings leaned to virtue's side."

Just so it was with Peter himself. No storm, or tempest, or snow-bank,
could detain him--that is, not longer than a day or two--in his weekly
round. But he loved the theory of making money as much as his mare loved
botany; and he was a practical student, too, and the road which he traveled
afforded a good many opportunities both for extending his knowledge of that
science and of practically applying his principles. So, between the two,
our newspaper sometimes got thoroughly aired before it came to the house.
But Peter was punctual--I insist upon it--for he always came some time or
another.

When the paper did come, we literally devoured its contents. With us it was
an oracle. If the "Courier" affirmed or denied a thing, that was enough for
us. It was an end to all debate. How confiding children are! He who has
read "Robinson Crusoe" when a boy, finds it almost impossible to regard it
a fable when he is a man. The newspaper, that makes its weekly visit to the
family circle in the country, leaves the marks of its influence upon the
mind and the morals of the child. It forms his tastes and controls his
character. How careful, then, should parents be, in the selection of
periodicals to be the companions of their children.

       *       *       *       *       *


                               STORY FOURTH.
                              THE CIDER PLOT.


When I was an apprentice, some years ago, I lived--no matter where, and
served--no matter whom. There were three apprentices besides myself; and it
seems necessary to say, that, at the time when the incident happened which
I am about to relate, we had neither of us completed that branch of
husbandry called the sowing of wild oats; and as the soil was very
favorable for the development of that species of grain, we were perhaps a
little too industriously engaged in its cultivation. We were in great haste
to have the oats all sowed in good season.

One day our employer bought a cast of cider--Newark cider, I believe they
called it--and the greater portion of it was nicely bottled, and placed in
a dark corner of the cellar, to be used, not for making vinegar, or mince
pies, but for a very different purpose--which may be surmised by such as
remember that in those days the juice of the apple had a much better
reputation than it has now. We were allowed our share of the beverage. But
we were not satisfied. We resolved ourselves into a sort of committee of
the whole, one afternoon; and after a long and somewhat spirited debate,
came to the unanimous conclusion that, in the course of human events, it
became necessary to employ the most effective measures to procure
additional supplies from the cellar. Now it so happened, that these
measures were not of the most peaceable and honorable kind. Such was their
nature, in fact, that if we had been discovered in the act of resorting to
them, it would no doubt have been deemed necessary, in the general course
of human events, that we should be soundly whipped.

The plan was to seize a bottle once in a while, something after the manner
of privateers; though I believe the trade of privateering is regarded as
piracy, now-a-days. How times are changed! We were to go on this expedition
in rotation, from the oldest downward. We commenced, and two of us had
performed the feat. It came George Reese's turn next. You didn't know
George, I suppose. But I wish you had known him. I think you could
appreciate the story better, if you knew him as well as I did. Well, George
went down cellar, with his pitcher in his hand, thirsting for cider and
glory. You must know that there was a flight of stairs that led directly to
the cellar from the room we occupied. You should know, too, that we went
down without a light, and felt our way in the dark. George had not been
below two minutes, when we heard a report from the cellar very like the
discharge of a pistol. It was loud enough to alarm the whole house. We were
frightened. We had reason to be. Who knows, thought we, but they have set a
spring-gun for us, and poor George is badly wounded? We waited in silence,
and with not a little anxiety, for our hero to come up.

He came at last, and a sorry looking fellow he was. He was covered from
head to foot with yeast! The cook had placed her bottle of emptyings,
tightly corked, in the village of cider bottles; and the truth flashed upon
us at once, that George had made a mistake, and captured the wrong bottle;
and the most of its contents, being a little angry at the time, were
discharged into his face. But this was not all. George thought he had
encountered a cider bottle, after all, for he could see nothing in the
cellar, and he had poured what little remained of his yeast into the
pitcher, and brought it up with him. When he made his appearance, there was
such a noisy trio of laughter as that old kitchen had seldom heard before.
This brought in the cook, and she laughed as loudly as the rest of us.
Then, to crown all, the lady of the house, hearing the noise, came to see
what we were all about; and she laughed the loudest of any body. I shall
never forget the image of George Reese, as he entered that room. It gives
me a pain in the side now, only to think of it.

MORAL 1.--Before undertaking any enterprise similar to this cider-plot, it
is desirable to count the cost.

MORAL 2.--In your pursuit after glory, take care that you do not come in
contact with something else that is not so pleasant.

       *       *       *       *       *


                              STORY FIFTH.
                       MY FIRST HUNTING-EXCURSION.


I shall never forget the first time I sallied out into the woods to try my
hand at hunting. Carlo, the old family dog, went with me, and he was about
as green in the matter of securing game as myself. We were pretty well
matched, I think. I played the part of Hudibras, as nearly as I can
recollect, and Carlo was a second Ralph. I had a most excellent
fowling-piece--so they said. It began its career in the French war, and was
a very veteran in service. Besides this ancient and honorable weapon, I was
provided with all the means and appliances necessary for successful
hunting. I was "armed and equipped as the law directs," to employ the words
of those semi-annual documents that used to summon me to training.

Well, it was sometime before we--Carlo and I--started any game. Wind-mills
were scarce. For one, I began to fear we should have to return without any
adventure to call forth our skill and courage. But the brightest time is
often just before day, and so it was in this instance. Carlo began
presently to bark, and I heard a slight rustling among the leaves in the
woods. Sure enough, there was visible a large animal of some kind, though I
could not determine precisely what it was, on account of the underbrush.
However, I satisfied myself that it was rare game, at any rate; and that
point being settled, I took aim and fired.

Carlo immediately ran to the poor victim. He was a courageous fellow, that
Carlo, especially after the danger was over. Many a time I have known him
make demonstrations as fierce as a tiger when people rode by our house,
though he generally took care not to insult them until they were at a
convenient distance. Carlo had no notion of being killed, knowing very well
that if he were dead, he could be of no service whatever to the world.
Hudibras said well when he said,

  "That he who fights and runs away,
   May live to fight another day."

[Illustration: RODERICK'S FIRST SHOT.]

That was good logic. But Carlo went farther than this, even. He was for
running away before he fought at all; and so he always did, except when the
enemy ran away first, in which case he ran after him, as every chivalrous
dog should. In the case of the animal which I shot at, Carlo bounded to his
side when the gun was discharged, as I said before. For myself, I did not
venture quite so soon, remembering that caution is the parent of safety. By
and by, however, I mustered courage, and advanced to the spot. There lay
the victim of my first shot! It was one of my father's sheep! Poor
creature! She was sick, I believe, and went into a thicket, near a stream
of water, where she could die in peace.

I don't know whether I hit her or not. I didn't look to see, but ran home
as fast as my legs would carry me. Thus ended the first hunting excursion
in which I ever engaged, and, though I was a mere boy then, and am somewhat
advanced now, it proved to be my last.





                          SATURDAY IN WINTER.


I.

  Our tasks are all done, come away! come away!
  For a right merry time--for a Saturday play.
  See! the bright sun is shining right bravely on high;
  Make haste, or he'll soon be half over the sky.
  Come! first with our sleds down the glassy hill side,
  And then on our skates o'er the river we'll glide.

II.

  Now, Harry! sit firm on your sled--here we go!
  Swift--swift as an arrow let fly from a bow!
  Hurrah! downward rushing, how gayly we speed,
  Like an Arab away on his fleet-going steed.
  Hurrah! bravely done! Down the icy hill side,
  Swift--swift as an arrow, again let us glide.

III.

  And now for the river! How smooth and how bright,
  Like a mirror it sleeps in the flashing sunlight.
  Be sure, brother Harry, to strap your skates well;
  Last time you remember how heavy you fell.
  Now away! swift away! why, Harry! not down?
  Are you hurt? You must take better care of your
  crown.

IV.

  Up, up, my good brother! now steady! start fair!
  Away we go! swift through the keen, frosty air.
  Down again! Bless me, Harry! your skates can't be
       right--
  Just wait till I see--no--but now they are tight.
  Here we go again! merry as school-boys can be,
  From books, pens, and pencils, and black board, set free.

V.

  Tired, at last, of our sport, home to dinner we run,
  And find that, two hours ago, dinner was done.
  But our meat and potatoes we relish quite well,
  Though cold--and the reason we scarcely need tell.
  Five hours spent in scudding and skating, I ween,
  'Twould give to such lads as we, appetites keen.

VI.

  At last the dim twilight succeeds to the day;
  Our week's work is ended, and ended our play.
  'Tis Saturday night, and we know with the morn,
  Another dear Sabbath of rest will be born.
  O'er wearied, we sink into slumber profound,
  Assured that God's angels are watching around.





                     ROVER AND HIS LITTLE MASTER.


[Illustration: ROVER AND HIS LITTLE MASTER.]


"Come, Rover!" said Harry, as he passed a fine old Newfoundland dog that
lay on a mat at the door; "come, Rover! I am going down to the river to
sail my boat, and I want you to go with me."

Rover opened his large eyes, and looked lazily at his little master.

"Come! Rover! Rover!"

But the dog didn't care to move, and so Harry went off to the river side
alone. He had not been gone a great while, before a thought of her boy came
suddenly into the mother's mind. Remembering that he had a little vessel,
and that the river was near, it occurred to her that he might have gone
there.

Instantly her heart began to throb with alarm.

"Is Harry with you?" she called up to Harry's father, who was in his study.
But Harry's father said he was not there.

"I'm afraid he's gone to the river with his boat," said the mother.

"To the river!" And Mr Lee dropped his pen, and came quickly down. Taking
up his hat, he went hurriedly from the house. Rover was still lying upon
the mat, with his head upon his paws and his eyes shut.

"Rover!" said his master, in a quick, excited voice, "where is Harry? Has
he gone to the river? Away and see! quick!"

The dog must have understood every word, for he sprang eagerly to his feet,
and rushed toward the river. Mr Lee followed as fast as he could run. When
he reached the river bank, he saw his little boy in the water, with Rover
dragging him toward the shore. He was just in time to receive the
half-drowned child in his arms, and carry him home to his mother.

Harry, who remained insensible, was placed in a warm bed. He soon, however,
revived, and in an hour or two was running about again. But after this,
Rover would never leave the side of his little master, when he wandered
beyond the garden gate. Wherever you found Harry, there Rover was sure to
be--sometimes walking by his side, and sometimes lying on the grass, with
his big eyes watching every movement.

Once Harry found his little vessel, which had been hidden away since he
went with it to the river, and, without his mother's seeing him, he started
again for the water. Rover, as usual, was with him. On his way to the
river, he saw some flowers, and, in order to gather them, put his boat down
upon the grass. Instantly Rover picked it up in his mouth, and walked back
toward the house with it. After going a little way, he stopped, looked
around, and waited until Harry had got his hand full of flowers. The child
then saw that Rover had his boat, and tried to get it from him; but Rover
played around him, always keeping out of his reach, and retreating toward
the house, until he got back within the gate. Then he bounded into the
house, and laid the boat at the feet of Harry's mother.

Harry was a little angry with the good old dog, at first, but when his
mother explained to him what Rover meant, he hugged him around the neck,
and said he would never go down to the river again any more.

Harry is a man now, and Rover has long since been dead; but he often thinks
of the dear old dog that saved him from drowning when he was a child; and
it gives him great pleasure to remember that he never beat Rover, as some
boys beat their dogs, when they are angry, and was never unkind to him. Had
it been otherwise, the thought would have given him great pain.




                              SOMETHING WRONG.


[Illustration: SOMETHING WRONG.]


What's the matter here? There is something wrong. It is clear that the
little boy in the picture is not receiving kind treatment at the hands of
his sister. But what is she doing to him? Not pulling his ear, we hope.
Something is wrong; what can it be? We must try and make it out. There is a
whip and a top on the floor, and also a chair thrown down, to which a
string is tied.

The little boy, we suppose, was whipping his top, while his sister was
playing with the chair.

"Take care, now, Johnny," says the sister, as the lash of her brother's
whip comes every little while close to her face; "take care, or you will
cut me in the eyes."

But Johnny either doesn't hear, or doesn't heed, and keeps on whipping his
top.

"There, now!" says Anna, "you came as near as could be to striking me. I
wish you would go out into the passage or down into the dining-room with
your top."

"John," says mamma, looking up from her work, "you must be careful and not
cut your sister with that whip."

"No, ma'am," replies Johnny, and keeps on with his sport as carelessly as
ever.

Presently there is a cry, and then an angry exclamation. The lash of
Johnny's whip has fallen with a smarting stroke on Anna's neck. The little
girl, without waiting to reflect, follows the impulse of her feelings, and
seeks to punish her brother by pinching and pulling his ears.

This is the story of the picture, and we are sorry it will not bear a more
favorable explanation.

We do not think that any of our young readers will approve the conduct of
either of the children. Undoubtedly, Johnny was wrong not to have been more
careful how he threw his lash about. Anna had as much right to be in the
room as he had, and if Johnny wanted to whip his top, it was his place to
do it so cautiously as not in the least to endanger his sister's face and
eyes; and he deserved to have his top taken from him as a punishment for
his carelessness and indifference; and no doubt this was done by his
mother.

And Anna was wrong, likewise, for permitting her angry feelings to so carry
her away as to lead her to hurt her brother, in revenge for what he had
done to her. So, you see, Johnny's wrong act was the cause of a still
greater departure from right in his sister. If Johnny had loved his sister,
he would have been much more careful how he used his whip; and if Anna had
loved her brother, she would never have been tempted to strike him or pull
his ear, even if he had hurt her.

It is a very sad thing for little brothers and sisters to quarrel with each
other.

  "Birds in their little nests agree,
    And 'tis a shameful sight,
  When children of one family,
    Fall out, and chide, and fight."

We hope, among all our little readers, there is not a brother and sister
who have quarreled--who have ever called each other hard names--or, worse,
who have ever lifted their tiny hands to hurt each other.




                           THE FAVORITE CHILD.


[Illustration: THE FAVORITE CHILD.]


In a very pretty little village not many miles from N----, in Connecticut,
lived Susan Meredith. She was the youngest of three sisters, the eldest of
whom could not be more than twelve or thirteen years of age. A year or two
before the period when our history of this little group commences, the
mother had gone to her rest.

Weighed down with a sorrow too heavy to be borne, and of a nature too
delicate to be confided to others, she sank under it while in the noon of
life, and died commending her children to God. Susan--little Sue, as she
was frequently called--young as she was, remembered a thousand incidents
connected with the departed one, and seemed, so late as the time at which
our story begins, to be never happier than when her mother was the theme of
conversation.

There was something remarkable in this. One reason for it might have been,
that the surviving parent of these sisters, though once a kind and
affectionate father, was now so altered by habits of intemperance, that
they found very little enjoyment in his society. But there was another
reason. Little Sue was an unusually thoughtful, serious child, for one of
her years. Was there not another reason, still? I do not know. I cannot
tell what words God may whisper to the child that loves him; but this I
know, that little Sue talked much of heaven, and seemed to have learned
more of the language of heaven than men can teach.

One bright Saturday, in the early spring time, when there was no school,
these sisters might have been seen winding their way through the woods, not
far from the house where they lived, searching for the first wild flowers.
Little Sue, the youngest, was very happy, but, as usual, more grave than
the other sisters. By and by, wearied with their walk, they sat down under
the shadow, of a tree, and talked a great while. At first, the conversation
was about birds and flowers; but Sue soon gave a serious turn to it.

"I wonder," said she, "if dear mother has pretty flowers in heaven. I hope
so--she loved them so well. Do you remember the little monthly rose she
wanted we should bring into her room, just before she died? How happy she
was, when one of us went and brought it to her bed. And she went to heaven
so soon after that! Oh, I think there must be flowers up there in the sky,
or she would not have thought of them and loved them so, when she was
dying. Don't you think so?"

And she was silent. So were her sisters, awhile. Thoughts of heaven made
them serious. They were sad, too. When the youngest--their darling
Sue--conversed in this strain, a cloud always came over their sunny faces.
They could scarcely tell why it was so; for they, too, loved to think of
heaven. But the language of their sister seemed to them to belong to
another world; and often, in the midst of their brightest hopes, would come
the fear, like a thunderbolt, that God would crush that cherished flower,
and remove her from their embrace while she was young.

"Sue," at length said Eliza, the eldest sister, "why do you always talk so
much about heaven?"

"I don't know," was the reply; "perhaps, because I think a good deal about
it. I dreamed last night"----

"Oh, I thought so," said Maria, playfully interrupting her sister; "I
should think the little fairies were playing hide and seek all around your
pillow every night. I wish they would whisper in my ears as they do in
yours. Why, the naughty things hardly ever speak to me, and when they do,
they tell a very different story from those they tell you. It is generally
about falling down from a church steeple, or something of that kind. Well,
what did they say to you this time, dear?"

"I never had such a dream before," said the favorite, her face glowing with
a new, almost an unearthly radiance; "I mean I never had one just like it.
When dear mother died, you remember I told you a dream about the angels.
Last night I thought they came to me again, and I saw mother, too, so
clearly!"

She stopped, and her eyes fell. She seemed almost sorry that she had said
as much; for she had not forgotten that the former dream to which she
alluded had caused her sisters pain, and she thought, that perhaps she
should make them unhappy again, if she related her dream of the night
before. But her sisters begged her to go on, and she did so.

"When I went to sleep," said she, "I was thinking of--of--what father had
said to me"--and she burst into a flood of tears. Her sisters wept, too;
for they well remembered that their father had come home intoxicated that
night, and that he had spoken very harshly to them all, and especially to
the youngest. They could not say much to console her. What could they say?
Silently they wept, and by their tears and embraces they told her how
deeply they sympathized with her, and how much they would do for her, if
they could. When the little dreamer was able to go on, she said,

"I was thinking about this when I went to sleep. I thought I was crying,
and wondering why God should let dear mother die, and leave us all alone,
when I heard some one say, 'Look up,' I looked up in the sky, and all the
stars were windows, and I saw through them. I saw heaven--so beautiful--so
beautiful! I saw mother looking out of one of these windows, and she
smiled, as she did when we brought the rose to her bed-side. I heard her
call my name, and she reached her arms toward me, and said, 'You may come,'
Oh, this was not like other dreams"----

"Don't think of it, dear sister; don't think of it any more," said Eliza.
"You was not well last night, and I have often heard, that when people are
ill, their dreams are more apt to be disturbed. But we will not say any
more about it now, dear."

"No," said Maria; "we shall all feel too sad, if we do." And she made an
effort to be cheerful; though tears stood in her eyes as she spoke.

"I don't know why it makes others feel sad to think of heaven," said the
favorite. "I should love dearly to go there."

"But then it is so dreadful to die!"

"I know it; but mother was so happy when she died!"

"Would you be willing to leave your sisters, dear Sue?"

"No; not unless I could see my mother and Christ. Oh, I do love Christ more
than all the rest of my friends! Do you think that is wrong?"

The three sisters slowly and thoughtfully bent their steps homeward, and
just as the sun was setting, and the western clouds were spread with the
beauty and glory of twilight, they entered that cottage which, though the
abode of sorrow, was yet dear and sacred to them, because it was once the
home of their mother.

From that time, the gentle, loving, thoughtful little Sue, faded--faded as
a flower in the autumn wind. She had not been well for weeks; and soon it
was evident that she was rapidly declining. Was her dream a cause or an
effect--a cause of her decline, or an effect of an illness already preying
upon her frail system? Perhaps we cannot tell. There is something very
remarkable about many dreams. It is not easy to account for them all, by
what is known of the laws of the mind. But we must not stop now to inquire
into this matter.

Step by step, that cherished sister went downward to the grave; and before
the summer had come, while the early violet and the pure anemone were still
in bloom, God called her home. Peacefully and beautifully her sun went
down. "They have come," she said. So died the youngest--the favorite child.




                                THE MINE.


[Illustration: THE MINE.]


There  are three kingdoms in nature--the Mineral kingdom, the Vegetable
kingdom, and the Animal kingdom--the former for the sake of the latter, and
all for the sake of man. Without the Vegetable kingdom animals could not
exist, and without the Mineral kingdom vegetables could not exist.

It is also worthy of remark, that in all the inferior kingdoms of nature,
there is an image of what is superior. The lowest of all the kingdoms is
the Mineral kingdom, where every thing takes a fixed form, and where all
changes are the work of centuries, instead of days and months, as in the
Vegetable and Animal kingdoms. Yet, in this dull, inert kingdom, we find a
certain image of the one next above, in the upright or orderly forms into
which many of its substances arrange themselves. Under circumstances of
more than usual freedom, particles of matter in this kingdom will assume
shapes so nearly resembling those of the Vegetable kingdom, that many were
at first disposed to conclude that they were mere petrifactions; as in the
case of formations at the bottom of the ocean, and those that take place in
caverns. But we will not wonder at this, when we remember, that the use of
the Mineral kingdom is to sustain the Vegetable kingdom, in order that the
latter may sustain the Animal kingdom. Use, it must be remembered, is the
great law that pervades, sustains, and holds in harmonious order, the whole
universe.

In the Vegetable kingdom we see a still nearer approach to man. There is
motion and life--not conscious life, but a kind of insensible existence.
Nearly all the members of this kingdom elevate themselves toward heaven,
and stand upright, like men.

In the Animal kingdom there is still greater perfection of life and
freedom. Beasts move over the earth, birds fly through the air, and fishes
change their places, at will, in the sea. This is the highest and most
perfect kingdom, and it is for the sake of this that the others exist. And,
as was just said, all three are for the sake of man. They go to sustain his
natural life, while he remains in this world.

The variety and beauty in the two higher kingdoms are displayed to the eyes
of all. But the wonders of the Mineral kingdom are hidden beneath the
surface. Mines have to be opened, in order to obtain the metals and
precious stones that the earth hides in her bosom; and man can only obtain
them through hard and patient labor. Hundreds of feet below the surface of
the ground, the miner, with no light to direct his labor but that given him
by his dimly burning safety-lamp, toils on, unconscious of the day's
opening or decline. The sun does not rise nor set for him. He is not warned
by the home-returning bee, the dimly falling shadows of evening, nor the
sudden cry of the night-bird, that the hour of rest has come. But the body
cannot endure labor beyond a certain number of hours. Tired nature calls
for repose, and the call must be obeyed. Even the miner must have his hours
of rest; and then he comes forth, it may be, from his gloomy place of
labor, once more into the sunlight; or sinks to sleep in the dark chambers
where he toils for bread.

When you look at a piece of metal, whether it be gold, silver, copper, or
iron, remember that it has been won from its hidden place, deep in the
solid earth, by the hard labor of man.

       *       *       *       *       *




                               THE MINER.


  Down where the daylight never comes
    Toileth the miner on;
  He sees not the golden morning break--
    He sees not the setting sun.

  Dimly his lamp in the dark vault burns,
    And he sits on the miner's hard floor,
  Toiling, toiling, toiling on;
    Toiling for precious ore!

  The air is wet; for the dew and rain,
    Drank by the thirsty ground,
  Have won their way to his dark retreat,
    And are trickling all around---

  And sickly vapors are near his lips,
    And close to his wire-net lamp,
  Unseen, as an evil spirit comes,
    Up stealeth the dread fire-damp!

  But the miner works on, though death is by,
    And fears not the monster grim;
  For the wiry gauze, round his steady light,
    Makes a safety-lamp for him.

  Rough and rude, and of little worth,
    Seems the ore that the miner brings
  From the hidden places where lie concealed
    Earth's rare and precious things;

  But, tried awhile in the glowing fire,
    It is rough and rude no more;
  Art moulds the iron, and forms the gold,
    And fashions the silver ore.

  And useful, rare, and beautiful things,
    'Neath the hand of skill arise:
  Oh! a thousand thousand human wants
    The miner's toil supplies!




                            VISIT TO FAIRY LAND.


So, then, you want to hear some stories about the fairies, do you, little
girl? Well, I must humor you a little, I suppose; though I should not
wonder if my fairy stories were somewhat different from those you have
heard before. But have you the least idea that there were ever such beings
as the fairies in the world? If you have, let me tell you, you are quite
mistaken. The stories that have been told about these fairy people are none
of them worthy of belief, though it must be admitted that millions have
believed them. Many of the men and women who pretended to have seen the
fairies, and who related the stories in the first place, believed all they
said, I have no doubt. But they were generally ignorant persons, very
superstitious, and easily imposed upon. There are, it is true, invisible
inhabitants in this world. Those who believe the Bible, can hardly doubt
the presence of angels among us. But angels, as they are represented in the
Scriptures, are a very different class of spirits from those called
fairies, if we may credit what has been said of this singular race of
beings, by those who pretend to have seen them in fairy land.

Not a great while ago, the people of England and Scotland were very
superstitious. It is not two centuries since our good forefathers on that
island were burning witches by scores. At that time, a great many believed
in the existence of fairies, or elves. I have been at some pains to find
out at what time this fairy superstition first appeared among the Britons.
But it seems not very easy to determine. One thing is certain, that the
belief in some kind of spirits--either the same with the fairies, under a
different name, or very nearly related to them--dates back to a very early
period in British history--earlier, probably, than the Christian era.

The fairies are always represented as very small and very
beautiful--generally, as perfect miniatures of the human form. The color of
their dress is uniformly pure green. It would seem, according to the
accounts of these people, some five or six hundred years ago, that they
were kind, amiable, excellent neighbors. Indeed, one of the names they went
by was, "the Good Neighbors," and another was, "the Men of Peace." Still,
they used to do some mischief in those days, if we may believe their
historians, who tell us that the fairies, once in a while, visited the
abodes of men, and carried away captives into their invisible haunts, under
ground. The reason for this kidnapping of human beings was said to be, that
the fairies were obliged occasionally to pay a tribute of this kind to
their king or queen.

The fairies were not always cunning enough to keep their victims, after
they had caught them. Sometimes people would come back from fairy land, and
tell all about what they had seen there. You might suppose that a great
deal would be learned of these strange, invisible creatures, from the men
and women who had been with them and escaped. Well, so there was. But the
worst of it was, the stories did not hang together very well; and there
were about as many different and contradictory accounts of fairydom as
there were different individuals who pretended to have made a visit to that
country. However, all seemed to agree that fairy land was a very merry
country. The people there were great lovers of fun, according to the
general testimony, and used to dance a great deal by moonlight, in the open
air. They are engaged in one of their dances, you see, in the engraving.
Every evening, as soon as the moon rose, they assembled at some convenient
place, took hold of each other's hands, usually in a ring, I think, and
then they had a right merry time of it, you may depend. It did not seem to
make any difference, whether the spot selected for the dance was on the
land or on the sea. Indeed, they could dance pretty well in the air,
without any thing to stand upon. The assemblies held in the palaces of the
king and queen of the fairies, were, at times, splendid in the extreme. No
poet, in his most lofty flights of fancy, ever dreamed of such beauty and
splendor as were exhibited at the fairy court. They rode on milk-white
steeds. Their dresses were of brilliant green, and were rich beyond
conception. When they mingled in the dance, or moved in procession among
the shady groves, or over the delightful meadows, covered with the fairest
of flowers, music, such as mortal lips cannot utter, floated on the breeze.

However, these splendors, astonishing as they were, all vanished in a
moment, whenever the eye of any one gifted with the power of spiritual
communion was turned upon them. Then their treasures of gold and silver
became slate-stones, and their stately halls were turned into damp caverns.
They themselves, instead of being the beautiful creatures they were before,
became ugly as a hedge-fence.

The king of fairy land was called _Oberon_--the queen, _Titania_.
The king used to wear a crown of jewels on his head, and he always carried
a horn in his hand, which set every body around him to dancing, whenever he
blew it. Ben Jonson, a poet who flourished a great many years ago, speaks
very respectfully of fairies and elves, in his poems. In describing the
haunts of his "Sad Shepherd," he says--


  "There, in the stocks of trees, white fays do dwell,
   And span-long elves that dance about a pool."


Shakspeare, too, in several of his plays, makes us quite familiar with the
fairy people. Shakspeare, you are aware, wrote in the time of Elizabeth,
and as late as that period, there were thousands in England and Scotland in
whose creed the existence of such a race of spirits was a very important
article. It was not long, however, after this, before the superstition
about the fairies--which, at the worst, was a very foolish affair--began to
decline. But that decline brought a dark night to thousands of poor,
innocent men and women; for then came the era of witchcraft, and persons of
every rank, convicted of this imaginary crime, were hurried to the scaffold
or the stake.

In the beginning of the seventeenth century, Dr. Corbett, Bishop of Oxford
and Norwich, wrote a very humorous satire on the fairy superstition, called
"The Fairies' Farewell, a proper new ballad to be sung or whistled to the
tune of Meadow Brow." Perhaps I cannot better take leave of these very
curious imaginary people, than to employ a couple of stanzas from the
bishop's playful ballad:


  "Witness those rings and roundelays
     Of theirs, which yet remain,
   Were footed in Queen Mary's days,
     On many a grassy plain;
   But since of late Elizabeth,
     And later James came in,
   They never danced on any heath,
     As when the time hath been.

  "By which we note the fairies
     Were of the old profession;
   Their songs were Ave Marias,
     Their dances were processions;
  But now, alas! they all are dead,
    Or gone beyond the seas,
  Or further for religion fled,
    Or else they take their ease."




                              THE HERMIT.


A Traveler was once passing through a great wilderness, in which he
supposed no human being dwelt. But, while riding along in its gloomiest
part, he was surprised to see a hermit, his face covered with a long
beard, that hung down upon his breast, sitting on a stone at the
entrance of what seemed a cave.

The hermit arose as the traveler drew up his horse, and speaking kindly to
him, invited him to accept such refreshment as it was in his power to
offer. The traveler did not refuse, but, dismounting, tied his horse to a
tree, and, following the pious man, entered the narrow door of a little
cave which nature had formed in the side of a mountain. All the hermit had
to set before the traveler, was water from a pure stream that came merrily
leaping down the hill side, and some wild fruit and nuts.

"Tell me," said the traveler, after he had eaten, "why a man with a sound
body, such as you possess, and a sound mind, should hide away from his
fellow-men, in a dreary wild like this?"

"For pious meditation and repentance," replied the hermit. "All is vanity
in the world. Its beauties charm but to allure from heaven. And worse than
this, it is full of evil. Turn where you will, pain, sorrow, and crime meet
your eyes. But here, in the silence of nature, there is nothing to draw the
mind from holy thoughts; there is no danger of falling into temptation. By
pious meditation and prayer, we are purified and made fit for heaven."

"Not so," answered the traveler; "pious meditation and prayer are of no
avail without good be done to our fellow-men. Piety is nothing without
charity; and charity consists in willing well and doing well to our
neighbors. 'And now abideth faith, hope, and charity,' says the Apostle,
'but the greatest of these is charity,' Hermit, you are not wise thus to
retire from the midst of the busy world. Your service cannot be acceptable
to God. Go back again among your fellow-men, and faithfully perform your
real duties in life. Heal the sick, comfort the mourner, bind up the broken
heart, and in the various walks of life do good to friend and enemy.
Without this, how can you hope in the judgment to hear the Lord say, 'As
much as ye have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto me?'"

The hermit, at such unexpected words, bowed his head, and was silent. The
traveler went on, and said--

"You have committed a common error, in supposing that in holy meditation,
as it is called, there was any thing particularly pleasing to God. But
reason will tell you why the widow's mite is more acceptable in heaven than
the most pious thoughts of idle self-righteousness. Hermit! go back again
into the world, and there act your part as a man in the great social body.
Only by this means will you be prepared to live and act in the great body
of angels in heaven."

The hermit could not reply, but still sat with his head bowed to his bosom,
and his eyes upon the ground. The words of the stranger fell with strokes
of reproof upon his heart.

When the traveler returned that way, he sought for the hermit, but found
him not at the door of his cave. He entered, but the place had been a long
time deserted. The erring man had gone back into the world, and taken his
place among his fellows. And he had done right. No man is wise who retires
from society, and shuts himself up in the hope of becoming better through
prayer and pious thoughts. Only by doing our duty to our fellow-men, in
some particular pursuit in life, can we hope to grow better and wiser?




                               A PICTURE.


[Illustration: A PICTURE.]


What have we here? That kind-looking old gentleman must have something for
these children; his hand is in his pocket, and they are all gathering
around him. I wonder who he is, and what he is going to give them?

"He's their uncle, may be."

"Or their grandfather."

"Or somebody else that is kind to children."

No doubt of it in the world. He is some one who likes children, you may be
sure. And I suppose he's got a pocket full of sugar-plums or nuts for his
favorites. The little girl who has seized his cane, I rather think, will
get the largest share; but I don't suppose her young companions will be at
all displeased at this, for no doubt she is a very good girl, and beloved
by all. Indeed, if we may judge by the faces of the children, not one of
them will look at what the other receives, to see if he has not obtained
the largest share.

This is not always so, however. I know some little boys and girls, who,
when their parents, relatives, or friends give them cakes, candies, or
playthings, immediately look from what they have themselves to what the
others have received, and, if one thinks his share smaller or inferior,
becomes dissatisfied, and, from a jealous and envious spirit, sacrifices
his own pleasure and that of all the rest. Because there is a square inch
more of cake in his brother's piece, that which he has doesn't taste good.
If he have one sugar-plum less than the others, they become tasteless, and
he throws them all, perhaps, upon the floor.

How bad all this looks, and how very bad it really is! The friends of such
children are never encouraged to make them presents. They rather avoid
doing so; for they know that their greedy, envious, covetous spirit, will
turn the good things they would offer them into causes of strife and
unhappiness.




                           THE BOY AND THE ROBIN.


I.

  So now, pretty robin, you've come to my door;
  I wonder you never have ventured before:
  'Tis likely you thought I would do you some harm;
  But pray, sir, what cause have you seen for alarm?

II.

  You seem to be timid--I'd like to know why--
  Did I ever hurt you? What makes you so shy?
  You shrewd little rogue, I've a mind, ere you go,
  To tell you a thing it concerns you to know.

III

  You think I have never discovered your nest;
  'Tis hid pretty snugly, it must be confessed.
  Ha! ha! how the boughs are entwined all around!
  No wonder you thought it would never be found.

IV.

  You're as cunning a robin as ever I knew;
  And yet, ha! ha! ha! I'm as cunning as you!
  I know all about your nice home on the tree--'Twas
  nonsense to try to conceal it from me.

V.

  I know--for but yesterday I was your guest--
  How many young robins there are in your nest;
  And pardon me, sir, if I venture to say,
  They've had not a morsel of dinner to-day.

VI.

  But you look very sad, pretty robin, I see,
  As you glance o'er the meadow, to yonder green tree;
  I fear I have thoughtlessly given you pain,
  And I will not prattle so lightly again.

VII.

  Go home, where your mate and your little ones dwell;
  Though I know where they are, yet I never will tell;
  Nobody shall injure that leaf-covered nest,
  For sacred to me is the place of your rest.

VIII.

  Adieu! for you want to be flying away,
  And it would be cruel to ask you to stay;
  But come in the morning, come early, and sing,
  For dearly I love you, sweet warbler of spring.




                      SOMETHING ABOUT CONSCIENCE:
                         OR MR MASON'S STORY.


Two little boys, Robert and Samuel, were one day assisting the gardener
about some flower-beds. They were rather young to be of much service to the
old man, and gave him some trouble, once in a while, by the clumsy way in
which they did their work. Still, they meant to please the gardener, and he
ought not to have got out of patience, if they did now and then make a
blunder. Well, he was usually very patient and kind; but that day, for some
reason or another, things did not go right with him at all. Pianos and
violins, though they sometimes make sweet music, get out of tune
occasionally, and then, no matter what you try to play on them, nothing
sounds well. It is so with men and women too often; and with boys and
girls, too, it is to be feared. At any rate, it was so with Mr Mason's
gardener, at the time I speak of. He was peevish and fretful, and said some
harsh things to Robert, because he accidentally destroyed a fine tulip with
his spade. Robert cried, and said he did not mean to do it. Then the old
man was sorry, but, probably feeling too proud to confess it, he was silent
for a long time. By and by, however, he told Robert that his conscience
troubled him on account of his speaking so unkindly, and he hoped the
little boy would forgive him. So you see the gardener was a good man,
although he was hasty at that time. Robert cheerfully forgave him, and
things went on a good deal better. The boys tried to be more careful, and
the gardener tried to be more patient.

[Illustration: THE GARDENER REPROVING ROBERT.]

Robert thought a good deal about the old man's mention of conscience, and
when he saw his father, he asked him what the conscience meant.

Robert's father liked to have his children make such inquiries, and did all
that he could to encourage them in doing so.

"There are two ways, Robert," said he, "of explaining things. One is by
telling what they are, directly, and the other is by telling what they do.
I find that my children generally like the last of these methods better
than they do the first; and I am not sure but, on the whole, it is quite as
good as the other. At any rate, I shall try to describe conscience by
pointing out some of its effects. In other words, I shall tell you a story.
Some twenty-five years ago--it may be thirty; how time slides away!--I knew
a boy who had one of the kindest of mothers, but whose father had died
before his recollection. I think--indeed I know--he loved his mother,
though he was sometimes thoughtless, and once in a while disobedient. One
day, in midsummer, when the blackberries were ripe in the woods, and the
trout were sporting merrily in the brook, Charles--for that was the name of
the boy--came running to his mother, all out of breath, and said that
Joseph Cone and Charley Corson had come with their baskets and fish-lines,
and wanted he should go with them. 'Oh, such fine times as they are going
to have, mother! Mayn't I go? Blackberries are ripe now, and there are lots
of them over in Mr Simpson's woods. And oh! such splendid trout! One of the
boys caught a trout last Saturday, so big that he couldn't hardly pull it
out of the water! Oh, I _do_ want to go, mother! I'll bring home a
fine string of trout--I know I will. Ha! ha! ha!' And Charley danced up and
down the room, and clapped his hands, and laughed very loudly at the idea,
I suppose, of his outwitting the simple little fish."

Robert laughed, too, when his father came to this part of the story, and
said he thought that was something like counting the chickens before they
were hatched.

"Yes," continued Mr Mason; "but I am afraid that was not the worst of it,
by a good deal; for Charles knew well enough that his mother wanted him at
home that day, and he ought not to have urged her so hard. 'My dear,' said
that kind, indulgent lady, 'I will let you do just as you choose about
going. You know I want you to help me about the house to-day, and I should
be very sorry to have you leave me. But I don't wish to govern you by
force. I want to see you mind because you love me--not because you are
obliged to. So I shall not say any more. Do as you please, this time.'

"Charles thought a moment or two. He saw plainly enough that there were two
sides to the question about going a-fishing that day. His mother was not
very well. He thought of that; and he thought that if he went, she would
have more work to do, and perhaps she would then be quite sick. His
conscience was at work, you see. 'Well,' he thought, 'I guess I will let
the trout stay where they are to-day,' But just then he heard one of the
boys say, 'Halloo, Charley! what do you say? We're tired of waiting. Shall
we go without you, or will you come along?'

"Well, what do you think Charley did, Robert?"

"Why, he stayed at home, and helped his mother, of course."

"No, I'm sorry to say that he changed his mind, and started off with the
boys. His conscience said _no_, but his will said _yes_."

"Then he did very wrong."

"So I think. But the truth must be told. Charley took his fishing
apparatus, and whistled for his little dog, Caper, and away the three boys
ran, toward the brook.

"'Let's go to the deep hole under the elm tree. That's where Bill Havens
caught the big trout, the other day,' said one.

"Bill Havens, as they called him, was one of the most noted fishermen in
the place. I knew him well. He was always sure to succeed, wherever and
whenever he went out with his hook and line. I have been to this deep hole
with Bill Havens, more than once, and have seen him catch half a dozen
large pickerel, when I could not, by any of my skill, persuade a single
fish to come out of the brook.

[Illustration: BILL HAVENS AT THE DEEP HOLE.]

"'But we shall have to cross the brook,' said Charley, 'and how in the
world are we going to do that? The foot-bridge was swept away by the
freshet, you know.'

"'Oh, I'll see about that. I know where there's an old tree that lies clear
across the stream. We can get over on that, just as well as we could over
the foot-bridge,'

"And so they started for the old tree, which was to serve them for a
bridge. It had been blown down by the wind, and had fallen across the
stream, so that the large end rested on the side where the boys were, while
the upper limbs reached the opposite bank. When the boys got to the tree,
they saw that it was not quite so convenient a bridge as they could wish;
and Charley Mason, who was not by any means a headstrong lad, and not used
to such adventures, said he would rather not attempt to cross it. But the
other two boys laughed at him, and told him not to be a coward; and he
finally determined he would venture, if the others succeeded. They did
succeed, and Charley, not without some trembling--which, of course, made
his danger the greater--prepared to follow. 'Take care, Charley! take care!
Rather dangerous business, isn't it? Cling closely to the tree. There--so.
Don't look down into the water, or you'll be dizzy. That's the way. Come
on, now. Don't hang on to that dry limb! It will break and let you fall
into the water, if you do. How the poor fellow trembles! _Plash_!
There he goes, I declare!'

[Illustration: CHARLES CROSSING THE BROOK.]

"Sure enough, Charles had slipped and fallen into the stream! and his
companions, so frightened that they hardly knew what they did, took to
their heels, and ran as fast as they could toward home!"

"Poor Charley! he was drowned, then?" said Robert.

"No, he managed to get out of the water; but he had a hard time of it,
though. He could not swim very well, at the best; and with all his clothes
on, it was as much as he could do to swim at all. If the river had been a
little wider, he never could have got out alone. As it was, however, by the
help of some rocks there were in the brook, he reached the shore, pretty
thoroughly exhausted, and not a little frightened. His zeal for
trout-fishing was by this time a good deal cooled off, as you may suppose.
The nearest he came to catching any of those cunning little fellows that
day, was when he tumbled into the brook; and then he had something else to
think of.

"There he was, alone, wet as a drowned rat, and shivering, partly from cold
and partly from fright, as if he had the ague. Poor fellow! His conscience
began to be heard again, now he had time to think. He hardly knew what to
do; he was ashamed to go home to his mother; and there he stood, for a good
while, leaning his head on the fence near the water, the tears all the time
chasing each other down his cheeks."

"I don't wonder he cried," said Robert; "but I can't help laughing to think
what a sorry figure he must have made there, on the bank! And he was going
to bring home such a nice string of fish, too! I wonder if his mother did
not laugh when she saw him coming. Did he stay there, father, shivering and
crying, till some body came after him?"

[Illustration: CHARLES, AFTER THE DUCKING.]

"No, he started for home before any of the neighbors reached the spot where
he fell into the river; and, as they missed him on the way, they supposed
he was drowned, and searched for his body half an hour or more, till they
learned he was safe at home."

"Well, what did his mother say to him, father?"

"She did not say much, poor woman. She was not well, as I said before, when
Charles left her; and as her servant had gone away for a week, and she had
no one but him to assist her in her work, she became very much fatigued;
and when she heard that Charles had fallen into the river, she fainted
immediately. She had hardly recovered when the boy reached the house."

"I think Charles was a very bad boy."

"Not so much worse than many others, perhaps, as you may suppose. You judge
of the boy's conduct by the consequences of it. If he had been successful
in his trout-fishing, and no accident had happened to his mother, you would
not have thought half as much of his guilt in acting contrary to his
mother's wishes."

"Certainly not."

"But the boy would have been just as bad, for all that."

"I can't see how, father."

"Why, the boy, when he was thinking what he would do about going on that
fishing excursion, could not have foreseen all that would happen if he
went. Do you think he could?"

"No, sir, not all, I suppose. But I am sure he was a very bad boy, whether
he knew what would happen or not."

"Yes, no doubt. But I want you to see exactly where his guilt lay. It was
simply in his not yielding to his mother's wish, when she so kindly left
him at liberty to do as he chose; especially as he knew she was ill, and
needed his assistance."

"Charley deserved a good whipping."

"Well, he _was_ punished severely."

"Did his mother punish him?"

"No, for weeks she was too ill for that; and if she had been well, probably
she would not have punished him."

"How did he get punished?"

"By his own conscience. He felt that he had done wrong, and that made him
very unhappy. He saw, then, that he had been very unkind to his mother, and
that his unkindness cost her pain and sorrow. He would rather have given
all his playthings--every one of his toys--than to feel as he did then.
Indeed, I think he would prefer the severest punishment from his mother, to
the wound which his conscience inflicted. Do you understand now, my son,
what is meant by conscience?"

"I think I do. When we are sorry for any thing we have done, it is the
conscience that makes us feel so."

"Not always. Charles was no doubt very sorry he had tried to cross the
river on the tree, because he fell into the water, and came near being
drowned. But the conscience had nothing to do with this sorrow. When we see
that we have carelessly or wilfully injured some one--hurt his feelings,
perhaps--or when we reflect that we have disobeyed God, and feel grieved
and sorry on this account, then the conscience is the cause of our pain. So
you see that it is one of the numerous proofs of the wisdom and the
goodness of God, that he has given mankind a conscience. Take care, my son,
that you listen to its voice."




                                 OLD NED.


Not many years ago, Farmer Jones had an old horse named "Ned," who appeared
to have almost as much sense as some people. Ned was a favorite with his
master, who petted him as if he were a child instead of a dumb animal. The
horse seemed to understand every word that the farmer said to him, and
would obey him quite as readily and with as much intelligence as Rover, the
house dog. If his master came into the field where he was grazing, Ned
would come galloping up to meet him, and then caper round as playfully,
though not, it must be owned, as gracefully, as a kitten.

Farmer Jones, on these occasions, generally had an ear or two of corn in
his pocket; and Ned, whose nose had been many a time in that capacious
receptacle of odds and ends, after sweeping around his master two or three
times, would stop short and come sideling up, half coquetishly, yet with a
knowing twinkle in his eye, and commence a search for the little tidbit
that he had good reason for knowing lay snugly stored away in the pocket.

[Illustration: OLD NED.]

If any one besides his master went into the field and tried to catch Ned,
he was sure to have a troublesome time of it; and if he succeeded in his
object before circling the field a dozen times in pursuit of the horse, he
might think himself lucky. But a word or a motion of the hand from Farmer
Jones was all-sufficient. Ned would become, instantly, as docile as a
child, trot up to his side, and stand perfectly still to receive the saddle
and bridle.

When Farmer Jones was on the back of Ned, or sitting behind him in the old
chaise, no horse could be more even in his gait, or more orderly in all his
movements. But it wasn't safe for any one else to try the experiment of
riding or driving him. If he escaped without a broken neck, he might think
himself exceedingly fortunate; for the moment any one but his master
attempted to govern his actions in any way, he became possessed with a
spirit that was sometimes more than mischievous. He would kick up, bite,
wheel suddenly around, rear up on his hind feet, and do almost every thing
except go ahead in an orderly way, as a respectable horse ought to have
done.

Ned was too great a favorite with his master for the latter to think of
trying very hard to correct him of these bad practices. He would talk to
him, sometimes, about the folly of an old horse like him prancing about,
and cutting up as many antics as a young colt; but his words, it was clear,
went into one of Ned's ears and out of the other, as people say, for Ned
did not in the least mend his manners, although he would nod his head in a
knowing and obedient way, while his master was talking to him.

Ned spent at least two thirds of his time, from the period when the grass
sprung up, tender and green, until it became pale and crisp with frost, in
a three-acre field belonging to his master, where he ate, walked about,
rolled himself on the soft sward, or slept away the hours, as happy as a
horse could be. Across one corner of this field a little boy and his sister
used every day to go to school. The little boy was a namesake of the horse;
but he was usually called Neddy. One day Neddy felt rather mischievous, as
little boys will feel sometimes. He had a long willow switch in his hand,
and was cutting away at every thing that came within his reach. He
frightened a brood of chickens, and laughed merrily to see them scamper in
every direction; he made an old hog grunt, and a little pig squeal, and was
even so thoughtless as to strike with his slender switch a little lamb,
that lay close beside its mother on the soft grass.

"Don't, don't, Neddy," Jane, his sister, would say.

But the little fellow gave no heed to her words. At last, in crossing the
field, they came to where the old horse lay under the shade of a great
walnut tree. The temptation to let him have a taste of the switch was too
strong for Neddy to resist; so he passed up close to the horse, and gave
him a smart cut across the shoulders.

Now that was an indignity to which the old fellow was not prepared to
submit. Why, it was at least ten years since the stroke of a whip had been
felt upon his glossy skin. Whip and spur were of the times long since gone
by. Springing up as quickly as if he were only a colt instead of a grave
old horse, Ned elevated his mane, and swept angrily around the now
frightened lad, neighing fiercely, and striking out into the air with his
heels at a furious rate. Jane and Neddy ran, but the horse kept up, and by
his acts threatening every moment to kill them. But, angry as the old
fellow was, he did not really intend to harm the children, who at length
reached the fence toward which they were flying. Jane got safely over, but
just as Neddy was creeping through the bars, the horse caught hold of his
loose coat, with his teeth, and pulled him back into the field, where he
turned him over and over on the grass with his nose for half a dozen times,
but without harming him in the least, and then let him go, and went
trotting back to the cool, shady place under the old walnut tree, from
which the switch of the thoughtless boy had aroused him.

Neddy, you may be sure, was dreadfully frightened, and went crying home. On
the next day, when they came to the field in which Ned lived at his ease
and enjoyed himself, the old horse was grazing in a far-off corner, and the
children thought they might safely venture to cross over. But they had only
gained half the distance, when Ned espied them, and, with a loud neigh,
gave chase at full gallop. The children ran, in great alarm, for the fence,
and got through, safely, before the horse came up.

After this, whenever they ventured to cross the field, Ned would interfere.
Once he got Neddy's hat in his mouth, and ran off with it. But he didn't
harm it any, and after keeping the children waiting at the fence for about
half an hour, came and threw it over; after which he kicked up both his
heels in a defiant manner, and giving a "horse laugh," scampered away as if
a locomotive were after him.

At last Neddy's father complained to Farmer Jones of the way in which his
old horse was annoying the children, who had to pass through the field, as
they went to school, or else be compelled to go a long distance out of
their way. The farmer inquired the cause of Ned's strange conduct, and
learned that the little boy cut him across the shoulders with a willow
switch.

"Ho! ho!" said he, "that's the trouble, is it? Ned won't bear a stroke from
any one. But I will make up the matter between him and the children. So let
them stop here on their way from school this evening."

The children stopped accordingly. Ned was standing in the barn-yard, the
very picture of demure innocence. But when he saw little Neddy and his
sister, he pricked up his ears, shook his head, and neighed.

"Come, come, old boy!" said the farmer, "we've had enough of that. You must
learn to forgive and forget. The little fellow was only playing with you."

Ned appeared to understand his master, for he looked a little ashamed of
himself, and let his pointed ears fall back again to their old places.

"Now, my little fellows," said Farmer Jones, "take up a handful of that
sweet new hay, and call him to the bars."

"I'm afraid," returned Neddy. "He'll bite me."

"Not he. Why the old horse wouldn't harm a hair of your head. He was only
trying to frighten you as a punishment for the stroke you gave him. Come.
Now's your time to make friends."

Neddy, thus encouraged, gathered a handful of the sweet new hay that was
scattered around, and going up to the fence, held it out and called to the
horse--

"Here! Ned, Ned, Ned!"

The horse shook his head, and stood still.

"Come along, you old vagabond!" said Farmer Jones, in a voice of reproof.
"Don't you see the lad's sorry for the cut he gave you? Now walk up to the
bars, and forgive the little fellow, as a sensible horse ought to do."

Ned no longer hesitated, but went up to the bars, where Neddy, half
trembling, awaited him, and took the sweet morsel of hay from the child's
hand. Jane, encouraged by this evidence of docility, put her hand on the
animal's neck, and stroked his long head gently with her hand, while Neddy
gathered handful after handful of hay, and stood close by the mouth of the
old horse, as he ate it with the air of one who enjoyed himself.

After that, the children could cross the field again as freely as before,
and if Ned noticed them at all, it was in a manner so good natured as not
to cause them the slightest uneasiness.




                            THE FREED BUTTERFLY.


  Yes, go, little butterfly,
    Fan the warm air
  With your soft silken pinions,
    So brilliant and fair;
  A poor, fluttering prisoner
    No longer you'll be;
  There! Out of the window!
    You are free--you are free!

  Go, rest on the bosom
    Of some favorite flower;
  Go, sport in the sunlight
    Your brief little hour;
  For your day, at the longest,
    Is scarcely a span:
  Then go and enjoy it;
    Be gay while you can.

  As for me, I have something
    More useful to do:
  I must work, I must learn--
    Though I play sometimes, too.
  All your days with the blossoms,
    Bright thing, _you_ may spend;
  They will close with the summer,
    _Mine_ never shall end.




                            JULIA AND HER BIRDS.


Little Julia Cornish, a young friend of mine, is very fond of birds. It is
no strange thing, I am aware, for children to love birds. Indeed, I do not
see how any body can help loving the dear little things, especially those
that fill the air with their music. But Julia was unusually fond of them,
and her fondness showed itself in a great many ways. She did not shut them
up in cages. But she was so kind to those that had their liberty, that many
of them became quite as tame as if they had always lived in a cage.

I must tell you about a robin that used to be a pet of hers. You know the
robin, do you not, reader? To my mind he is one of the dearest of all our
native songsters. His notes are among the first we hear in the spring. And
he is a very social and confiding creature. How often he selects a place
for his nest on some tree near the house! and when it is built, while his
partner is busy with her domestic duties, he will sing for hours together
his song of love and tenderness.

Julia resided in the country; and every year the robins built their nests
on the trees in her father's orchard, near the house. She fancied that the
robins came from the South to her door, year after year, and brought their
children with them. She was sure she could distinguish the voices of her
old friends, and she used to sit under the shade of the trees where they
had their nests, and talk to them kindly, and leave something good for them
to eat.

One year there were a pair of robins who made their nest on a tree, the
boughs of which hung over the house; and Julia could sit in her window and
see all that the little family were doing. She was delighted with such a
token of confidence, and she and the robins soon became very intimate. The
old ones frequently flew down from their nest, and alighted near the door,
when Julia would give them as much food as they wanted, and let them carry
some home to their children.

By and by, the young robins were old enough to leave their nests. That was
a great day with both parents and children, and all seemed about as merry
as they could be when the half-fledged little birds took their first
lessons in flying, though Julia laughed a good deal to see their
manoeuvres, and said their motions were awkward enough. However, they
learned to fly after a while, as well as their parents, though before they
left for the season, some cruel boy threw a stone at one of them and broke
his wing. Poor fellow! he suffered a great deal of pain, and his parents
and brothers and sisters were very sad about it. They seemed for a while
hardly to know what to do. Probably there were no surgeons among them, who
understood how to manage broken limbs. And they had a long talk
together--so Julia said--and finally hit upon this plan. Willy--that was
the name my friend gave to the lame bird--was to go into the house, and see
if something could not be done for him there.

Accordingly, one bright morning in June, almost as soon as breakfast was
over, the little invalid, attended by the rest of the family, came to the
door, where Julia was waiting to receive them--for she fed them regularly
every day--and then, after they had eaten what they wanted, instead of
flying away, as they were accustomed to do, little Willy hopped into the
kitchen, while the rest remained near the door. Julia thought that was
queer enough, and she ran and told her mother. "I wonder if I can coax the
little fellow to stay with me until his wing gets well," she said. "I wish
I could. Oh, I should dearly love to take care of him, and I am sure we can
make him well soon."

[Illustration: JULIA'S PET ROBIN.]

Little Willy did not say--at least he did not say in our language--that he
should be happy to place himself awhile under his friend Julia's care. But
he seemed very content, and soon made himself quite at home. Though he had
perfect liberty to go just where he pleased, and would often venture out of
the house, yet he evidently considered himself an inmate of Mr Cornish's
family. Under the care especially of Miss Julia, he became so tame that she
could take him in her lap and stroke his feathers. Willy was a great
favorite in the family, after he had been there a day or two. No one did
any thing for his wing. They did not understand setting birds' wings, when
they were broken. Still, Willy got better in a very short time, without the
assistance of a surgeon. A great many sick people, you know, need the care
of a nurse more than that of a doctor. That was the case with Willy, it
would seem. In less than three weeks his wing was entirely well, and he was
able to take care of himself. So he warbled his adieu to the family under
whose roof he had been so kindly treated, and flew away with the other
robins who had been waiting for him.

[Illustration: JULIA FEEDING THE BIRDS.]

Julia is very kind, too, to the snow-birds in the winter. Many a time, when
the snow has been deep, and these hungry birds have come to her father's
door, I have seen her feeding them. One winter, I recollect, she had a
flock of them that she could call to her, when she wanted to feed them,
just as she could the chickens. The snow-bird is an interesting little
creature; and though he has not a very sweet voice for singing, he was
always a favorite with Julia, and I am not sure but I love the fellow as
well as she does. Winter to me would be a great deal more gloomy, were it
not for the Winter King, as Miss Gould calls this little bird.

Did you know reader, that the snow-bird is a very affectionate creature? It
seems that it is so. Some years ago one of them flew into a house, where,
finding itself quite welcome, it remained over night. By accident, however,
it was killed in the morning, and one of the servants threw it into the
yard. In the course of the day, one of the family witnessed a most
affecting scene in connection with the dead body. Its mate was standing
beside it, mourning its loss. It placed its beak below the head of its
companion, raised it up, and again warbled its song of mourning. By and by
it flew away, and returned with a grain or two of wheat, which it dropped
before its dead partner. Then it fluttered its wings, and endeavored to
call the attention of the dead bird to the food. Again it flew away, again
it returned, and used the same efforts as before. At last, it took up a
kernel of the wheat, and dropped it into the beak of the dead bird. This
was repeated several times. Then the poor bereaved one sang in the same
plaintive strain as before. But the scene was too affecting for the lady
who witnessed it. She could bear the sight no longer, and turned away. I
have loved the snow-bird more than ever since this story was told me, and
so has my friend Julia.

Now I think of it, I have in one of the storerooms of my memory, a song
about the snow-bird. It is rather simple and childish--possibly too much so
for boys and girls of your age. However, as we are somewhat musical just
now, after talking so much about birds, and are greatly in want of a song,
I will sing this about Emily and the Snow-Bird, and you may join in the
chorus, if you like.




                          SONG OF THE SNOW-BIRD.


I.
  The ground was all cover'd with snow one day,
  And two little sisters were busy at play,
  When a snow-bird was sitting close by on a tree,
  And merrily singing his chick-a-de-de,
  Chick-a-de-de, Chick-a-de-de,
  And merrily singing his chick-a-de-de.

[Illustration: THE SISTERS AND THE SNOW-BIRD]

II.

  He had not been singing that tune very long,
  Ere Emily heard him, so loud was his song.--
  "O sister! look out of the window," said she;
  "Here's a dear little bird, singing chick-a-de-de.
          Chick-a-de-de, &c.

III.

  "Poor fellow! he walks in the snow and the sleet,
  And has neither stockings nor shoes on his feet;
  I pity him so! how cold he must be!
  And yet he keeps singing his chick-a-de-de.
          Chick-a-de-de, &c.

IV.

  "If I were a barefooted snow-bird, I know
  I would not stay out in the cold and the snow.--
  I wonder what makes him so full of his glee;
  He's all the time singing that chick-a-de-de.
          Chick-a-de-de, &c.

V.

  "O mother! do get him some stockings and shoes,
  And a nice little frock, and a hat, if he choose;
  I wish he'd come into the parlor, and see
  How warm we would make him, poor chick-a-de-de."
          Chick-a-de-de, &c.

VI.

  The bird had flown down for some pieces of bread,
  And heard every word little Emily said;
 "How queer I would look hi that dress!" thought he;
  And he laughed, as he warbled his chick-a-de-de.
          Chick-a-de-de, &c.

VII.

  "I'm grateful," he said, "for the wish you express,
  But I've no occasion for such a fine dress;
  I had rather remain with my limbs all free,
  Than to hobble about, singing chick-a-de-de.
          Chick-a-de-de, &c.

VIII.

  "There is ONE, my dear child, tho' I cannot tell who,
  Has clothed me already, and warm enough too--
  Good morning! O, who are so happy as we?"--
  And away he went, singing his chick-a-de-de.
          Chick-a-de-de, &c.




                           EDGAR AND WILLIAM;
                        OR HOW TO AVOID A QUARREL.


"Here! lend me your knife, Bill; I've left mine in the house," said Edgar
Harris to his younger brother. He spoke in a rude voice, and his manner was
imperative.

"No, I won't! Go and get your own knife," replied William, in a tone quite
as ungracious as that in which the request, or rather command, had been
made.

"I don't wish to go into the house. Give me your knife, I say. I only want
it for a minute."

"I never lend my knife, nor give it, either," returned William. "Get your
own."

"You are the most disobliging fellow I ever saw," retorted Edgar, angrily,
rising up and going into the house to get his own knife. "Don't ever ask me
for a favor, for I'll never grant it."

This very unbrotherly conversation took place just beneath the window near
which Mr Harris, the father of the lads, was seated. He overheard it all,
and was grieved, as may be supposed, that his sons should treat each other
so unkindly. But he said nothing to them then, nor did he let them know
that he heard the language that had passed between them.

In a little while Edgar returned, and as he sat down in the place where he
had been seated before, he said,

"No thanks to you for your old knife! Keep it to yourself, in welcome. I
wouldn't use it now, if you were to give it to me."

"I'm glad you are so independent," retorted William. "I hope you will
always be so."

And the boys fretted each other for some time.

[Illustration: THE TWO BROTHERS AT PLAY.]

On the next day, Edgar was building a house with sticks, and William was
rolling a hoop. By accident the hoop was turned from its right course, and
broke down a part of Edgar's house. William was just going to say how sorry
he was for the accident, and to offer to repair the damage that was done,
when his brother, with his face red with passion, cried out--

"Just see what you have done! If you don't clear out with your hoop, I'll
call father. You did it on purpose."

"Do go and call him! I'll go with you," said William, in a sneering,
tantalizing tone. "Come, come along now."

For a little while the boys stood and growled at each other like two
ill-natured dogs, and then Edgar commenced repairing his house, and William
went to rolling his hoop again. The latter was strongly tempted to repeat,
in earnest, what he had done at first by accident, by way of retaliation
upon his brother for his spiteful manner toward him; but, being naturally
of a good disposition, and forgiving in his temper, he soon forgot his bad
feelings, and enjoyed his play as much as he had done before.

This little circumstance Mr Harris had also observed.

A day or two afterward, Edgar came to his father with a complaint against
his brother.

"I never saw such a boy," he said. "He won't do the least thing to oblige
me. If I ask him to lend me his knife, or ball, or any thing he has, he
snaps me up short with a refusal."

"Perhaps you don't ask him right," suggested the father. "Perhaps you don't
speak kindly to him. I hardly think that William is ill-disposed and
disobliging naturally. There must be some fault on your part, I am sure."

"I don't know how I can be in fault, father," said Edgar.

"William refused to let you have his knife, the other day, although he was
not using it himself, did he not?"

"Yes, sir."

"Do you remember how you asked him for it?"

"No, sir, not now, particularly."

"Well, as I happened to overhear you, I can repeat your words, though I
hardly think I can get your very tone and manner. Your words were, 'Here,
lend me your knife, Bill!' and your voice and manner were exceedingly
offensive. I did not at all wonder that William refused your request. If
you had spoken to him in a kind manner, I am sure he would have handed you
his knife, instantly. But no one likes to be ordered, in a domineering way,
to do any thing at all. I know you would resent it in William, as quickly
as he resents it in you. Correct your own fault, my son, and in a little
while you will have no complaint to make of William."

Edgar felt rebuked. What his father said he saw to be true.

"Whenever you want William to do any thing for you," continued the father,
"use kind words instead of harsh ones, and you will find him as obliging as
you could wish. I have observed you both a good deal, and I notice that you
rarely ever speak to William in a proper manner, but are rude and
overbearing. Correct this evil in yourself, and all will be right with him.
Kind words are far more powerful than harsh words, and their effect a
hundred-fold greater."

On the next day, as Edgar was at work in the garden, and William standing
at the gate, looking on, Edgar wanted a rake that was in the summer-house.
He was just going to say, "Go and get me that rake, Bill!" but he checked
himself, and made his request in a different form, and in a better tone
than those words would have been uttered in.

"Won't you get me the small rake that lies in the summer-house, William?"
he said. The words and tone involved a request, not a command, and William
instantly replied--

"Certainly;" and bounded away to get the rake for his brother.

"Thank you," said Edgar, as he received the rake.

"Don't you want the watering-pot?" asked William.

"Yes, I do; and you may bring it full of water, if you please," was the
reply.

Off William went for the watering-pot, and soon returned with it full of
water. As he stood near one of Edgar's flower-beds, he forgot himself, and
stepped back with his foot upon a bed of pansies.

"There! just look at you!" exclaimed Edgar, thrown off his guard.

William, who had felt drawn toward his brother on account of his kind
manner, was hurt at this sudden change in his words and tone. He was
tempted to retort harshly, and even to set his foot more roughly upon the
pansies. But he checked himself, and, turning away, walked slowly from the
garden.

Edgar, who had repented of his rude words and unkind manner the moment he
had time to think, was very sorry that he had been thrown off his guard,
and resolved to be more careful in the future. And he was more careful. The
next time he spoke to his brother, it was in a kind and gentle manner, and
he saw its effect. Since then, he has been watchful over himself, and now
he finds that William is one of the most obliging boys any where to be
found.

"So much for kind words, my son," said his father, on noticing the great
change that had taken place. "Never forget, throughout your whole life,
that kind words are far more potent than harsh ones. I have found them so,
and you have already proved the truth of what I say."

And so will every one who tries them. Make the experiment, young friends,
and you will find it to succeed in every case.




                 PASSING FOR MORE THAN ONE IS WORTH.


The other day I had occasion to pay a man half a dollar, and gave him a
dollar bank note, for which he gave me in exchange two silver pieces that I
supposed to be worth twenty-five cents each. One of the pieces, however, I
found afterward would only go for sixteen or seventeen cents. It was not a
quarter of a dollar, though it looked very much like one. It had passed for
some eight or nine cents more than it was worth. Well, that was an affair
of very little consequence, you say. True enough, but I am going to take
hold of something else with this handle, that may be of more consequence.

There are a great many folks in the world who, like this pistareen, pass
themselves off, or try to pass themselves off, for more than their real
value. It is bad business, though; and they always feel _cheap_ when
they get found out, as they are sure to be in the end.

Did you ever see a dandy under a full press of canvas, as the sailors say,
showing himself off on one of the principal streets of a city--on Broadway,
for instance, in New York? He was trying to pass himself off for more than
his worth. And no doubt he succeeded, too, in some instances. By the way,
do you know what definition Webster gives of a dandy in his large
dictionary? It is worth remembering. Suppose we turn to it. "A dandy," says
he, "is one who dresses himself like a doll, and carries his character on
his back." It is a most capital definition; but the silly fellow will pass
for something else where he is not known. He will make a great swell, and
some people will believe he is a gentleman. Indeed, it would not be strange
if he should pass himself off, one of these days, upon some young lady who
is quite ignorant of this kind of currency, as an Italian count, or,
perhaps, the marquis of this or the duke of that. There is no telling. But
if she takes him for a cent more than Webster rates him at, she gets
cheated, depend upon it. He is not worth the clothes on his back. He has to
cross the street sometimes, to get rid of being dunned by his tailor; and
he has been two or three hours trying to find a barber who will trust him.
He's nothing but a pistareen, and hardly that.

Some people pass themselves off for being very learned, when they are as
ignorant as a horse-block. But, oh! such mistakes as they make sometimes;
it is enough to set one into a fit of laughter, only to think of some of
them. I know a miss, who tries to pass herself off for a great reader, when
the truth is, she has only dipped up a spoon-full, here and there, from a
score or two of authors, and has not the slightest idea about the merits of
any of them. Some one came up with her nicely the other night, at a party.
He had suspicions, I suppose, that she was trying to pass for too much; at
all events, he asked her a great many roundabout questions, which she was
obliged to answer, and in doing so she let out the secret. Every body saw
what sort of a coin she was, at once.

What fools some folks make of themselves, by attempting to pass for more
than they are worth, in the matter of dollars and cents. It is said, that
in the city of New York there are a good many poor fellows that can
scarcely get enough money to appear in a respectable suit of clothes, who
will buy a dinner in some cheap eating-house for sixpence, and then pick
their teeth on the door-steps of the Astor House, to make people think they
have dined there. And that is not any worse than some would-be genteel
people manage when the warm season comes on, every year. They close their
front window blinds, and steal into and out of their houses like thieves,
or dogs that have just had a flogging, so that their neighbors will think
they have gone to Saratoga, or Rockaway, or some other fashionable summer
retreat. They take a good deal of pains to pass for so much more than they
are worth--do they not, little friend? They only go for pistareens, though,
where they are known.

One sometimes comes across a public speaker--a lawyer--possibly a
preacher--who displays his eloquence by using all sorts of long and
out-of-the-way words. A man may be listening ever so quietly and
innocently, and the first thing he knows, down comes a word about his ears
half as long as his arm almost, and half as heavy as a mallet. That is what
the orator calls a _knock-down_ argument; and when he wishes to be
particularly convincing and eloquent, he throws at you such brick-bats and
bars of iron as incomprehensibility--epexegetically--anthropopathically--so
fast that you have scarcely a chance to dodge one before another comes
whizzing along. Of course, you are confounded with the man's assault and
battery, and if you are a thinking person, perhaps fall to musing how such
monstrous words can come out of a man's throat whole, without choking him,
or themselves splitting to pieces. When I hear a public speaker going on in
that way, I generally think that the poor fellow is making up in big words
what he lacks in brains, and if I could whisper a small word or two in his
ear, I should be apt to say, "That will never do, sir. You can't pass
yourself off for a great scholar with this clap-trap. You are nothing but a
pistareen, and rather smooth at that. You are, indeed. Those big words that
we have to bend up and twist around to get into our coat-pockets, will not
go for sense. So pray be quiet, and not attempt to pass for any more than
you are honestly worth, which is little enough, to be sure."

I have known boys and girls at school attempt to pass for more than their
real value. Whenever I hear a boy asking somebody to write a composition
for him, or to help him write one, which he intends to palm off as his own,
or see him jog the boy that sits next him in the school-room, to get some
help in reciting a bad lesson, I think of the pistareen, and want very much
to caution the little fellow not to pass for more than he is worth. And it
makes very little difference that I know of, whether it is a boy or a girl.
It seems just as bad in one case as it does in the other.

It happens once in a while that a young lady puts on a great many charms
that are not natural to her, and uses every kind of deception, just for the
sake of being admired, or, perhaps, to get a good husband. It is bad
business, though. Sensible men are not often caught with such a trap; and
if they are, when they find out how the matter stands--and they will find
it out sooner or later--they despise the trick as one of the meanest that
was ever invented. I have a notion, too, that this kind of deception is
pretty common among young gentlemen, as well as young ladies. But it is a
miserable business, whoever may work at it. It never turns out well in the
end, if it does after a fashion at first. It is a great deal better to be
natural, and to act like one's self. This passing for more than one is
worth, to buy a husband or a wife, as the case may be, don't pay, as the
merchant says.

Some people work like a horse in a bark-mill, to make every body believe
they are most excellent Christians, very nearly as pious as the angel
Gabriel, when the truth is, their religion is all sham, and they will lie
and cheat as bad as any body, if they think they will not be found out.
Whenever I see one of this class, trying with all his might to pass for a
saint, with his face as long as a yard-stick, or, perhaps, all lighted up
with kindly smiles, I can't help thinking of the pistareen. It will come
into my mind in spite of all I can do. Why, all the time the man is putting
on these airs, he is plotting some scheme for selfish gain, or some
mischief, just as likely as not. "He does not rise toward heaven like the
lark, to make music, but like the hawk, to dart down upon his prey. If he
goes up the Mount of Olives to kneel in prayer, he is about to build an
oil-mill up there. If he weeps by the brook Kedron, he is making ready to
fish for eels, or else to drown somebody in the stream." Poor man! he has a
hard time of it, trying to keep up appearances. But it will be harder
still, by and by, if he does not look out. He cannot carry his mask with
him into the other world. There no one will pass for any more than he is
worth.




                        LAMENT OF THE INVALID.


  The earth is arrayed in the robes of spring,
    And by the soft zephyr the green leaves are stirred;
  With the wood-bird's note the pine forests ring,
    And the voice of the robin's glad music is heard.

  I see my companions abroad on the plain,
    But the beauties of spring, they are not for me.
  Oh! when shall I leave my dull prison again?
    I am pining to roam 'mid the wild flowers free.

  O green is the turf in the wildwood now,
    And my spirit flies from the dwellings of men,
  Where the wind blows soft through the cedar's bough,
    And the voice of the streamlet is heard from the glen.

  This dim-lighted chamber I long to resign
    For my cherish'd retreat, 'neath the wide-spreading tree.
  Through the long, long hours of day I pine
    For the breath of the flowers and the hum of the bee.

  No, not for me are the beauties of spring,
    Nor the zephyr that sighs in the cedar's bough;
  The birds of the forest all sweetly may sing,
    But not for my ear is their music now.

  Yet, merciful Father! I will not complain;
    My hopes are all centred on heaven and Thee;
  I know that thy grace will my spirit sustain--
    I ask not for more--'tis sufficient for me.




                       THE USE OF FLOWERS[1].


[Footnote 1: See the frontispiece.]


Just one moment longer, cousin Mary, I want to put this flower in your
hair. Now doesn't it look sweet, sister Aggy?"

"Oh, yes! very sweet. And here is the dearest little bud I ever saw. I took
it from the sweet-briar bush in the lane. Put that, too, in cousin Mary's
hair."

Little Florence, seeing what was going on, was soon, also, at work upon
Mary's hair, that, in a little while, was covered with buds and blossoms.

"Now she is our May Queen," said the children, as they hung fondly around
their cousin, who had come out into the country to enjoy a few weeks of
rural quiet, in the season of fruits and flowers. "And our May Queen must
sing us a song," said Agnes, who was sitting at the feet of her cousin.
"Sing us something about flowers."

"Oh, yes!" spoke up Grace, "sing us that beautiful piece by Mrs Howitt,
about the use of flowers. You sang it for us, you remember, the last time
you were here."

Cousin Mary sang as desired. After she had concluded, she said--

"Flowers, according to these beautiful verses, are only useful as objects
to delight our senses. They are only beautiful forms in nature--their
highest use, their beauty and fragrance."

"I think that is what Mrs Howitt means," replied Grace. "So I have always
understood her. And I cannot see any other use that flowers have. Do you
know of any other use, cousin?"

"Oh, yes. Flowers have a more important use than merely giving delight to
the senses. Without them, plants could not produce fruit and seed. You
notice that the flower always comes before the fruit?"

"Oh, yes. But why is a flower needed? Why does not the fruit push itself
directly out from the stem of a plant?" asked Agnes.

"Flowers are the most exquisitely delicate in their texture of all forms in
the vegetable kingdom. Look at the petals of this one. Could any thing be
softer or finer? The leaf, the bark, and the wood of the plant are all
coarse, in comparison to the flower. Now, as nothing is made in vain, there
must be some reason for this. The leaves and bark, as well as wood, of
plants, all have vessels through which sap flows, and this sap nourishes,
sustains, and builds up the plant, as our blood does our bodies. But the
whole effort of the plant is to reproduce itself; and to this end it forms
seed, which, when cast into the ground, takes root, springs up, and makes a
new plant. To form this seed, requires the purest juices of the plant, and
these are obtained by means of the flowers, through the exquisitely fine
vessels of which these juices are filtered, or strained, and thus separated
from all that is gross and impure."

"I never thought of that before," said Agnes. "Flowers, then, are useful,
as well as beautiful."

"Nothing is made for mere beauty. All things in nature regard use as an
end. To flowers are assigned a high and important use, and exquisite beauty
of form and color is at the same time given to them; and with these our
senses are delighted. They are, in more respects than one, good gifts from
our heavenly Father."

"Oh! how I do love the flowers," said Agnes; "and now, when I look upon
them, and think of their use as well as their beauty, I will love them
still more. Are they so very beautiful because their use is such an
important one, cousin Mary?"

"Yes, dear; I believe this is so. In the seeds of plants there is an image
of the infinity of our great Creator; for in seeds resides a power, or an
effort, to reproduce the plants, that lie concealed as gems within them, to
infinity. We might naturally enough suppose that flowers, whose use it is
to refine and prepare the juices of plants, so as to free them from all
grosser matters, and make them fit for the important office of developing
and maturing seeds, would be exceedingly delicate in their structure, and,
as a natural consequence, beautiful to look upon. And we will believe,
therefore, that their peculiar beauty depends upon their peculiar use."




                           SLIDING DOWN HILL.


Say what you will--talk about cold hands, feet, and noses, as much as you
please--there are about as fine sports in winter as we get in the whole
year. There is something very exciting in snow. A snow storm acts like
electricity upon the spirits of the boys--and girls too, for that matter.
How busy we used to be, on Saturday afternoon, when there was no school, as
soon as the first flakes of snow had whitened the ground, making new sleds,
and mending up old ones.

Our southern readers know very little about these sports of winter. I have
a good mind to enlighten them a little. Imagine, my young friends--you who
live so near the tropics that snow and ice are objects of
curiosity--imagine, if you can, the earth covered to the depth of two feet
or more with snow. In some places, the drifts are as high as your head, and
higher too. When it first falls, the particles are loosely thrown together;
but a warm sun or a little shower of rain melts them down a little, and
then comes a night cold enough to freeze up your mouth, if you don't look
out, and the surface of the snow becomes hard and slippery. Then such a
time as the boys have sliding down hill--why, it is worth coming up as far
north as New York, and running the risk of having your fingers frozen a
little, to see them at it, and take a few trips down the hill.

[Illustration: SLIDING DOWN HILL.]

A sled constructed for this purpose is a very simple thing. I will sketch
one for you. Here it is, and a boy carrying it up the hill.

When the boy gets to the top of the hill, he sometimes lies and sometimes
sits up on his sled, and lets it go. It finds its way down, without any of
the boy's help, you may depend upon it. He has to guide it a little with
his feet, though. If he did not, he might come in contact with another
boy's sled, or a rock, perhaps; and that would be rather a serious joke,
when the sled was going like the cars on a railroad.

Sometimes there are a dozen boys, all or nearly all with a sled of their
own, sliding down the same hill at once. In fact, we used to have the whole
school at it, now and then, when I was a little boy. It was a merry time
then, you may be sure. Occasionally we would have a large sled, which it
took three or four boys to draw up the hill. Then half a dozen of us would
get on, and slide down in advance of the wind, it seemed to me--for it was
so swift that I scarcely could breathe--until we came up all standing in a
huge snow bank.

Sometimes, when we were half way down, and our locomotive was under a full
pressure of steam, a boy would fall off, and, not being able to check the
force he received from the sled, would go down to the bottom of the hill in
a manner calculated to raise a very stormy concert of laughter from the
rest of the boys. And the poor John Gilpin enjoyed the fun, too, or tried
to enjoy it, as much as any of them, though he did not laugh quite so
heartily; and he could well be pardoned for not doing that, certainly,
until he had got to the end of his ludicrous race.

I can recollect a great many funny adventures connected with sliding down
hill. I don't know that I ever laughed more in my life at any one time,
than I did once at a feat of Jack Mason's. Jack was a courageous
fellow--one of the most daring boys in the whole school. Some thirty or
forty of us were one bright Saturday afternoon sliding down a fine hill,
with a good level valley at its foot, when Jack challenged the boys to go
down the other side, which was a great deal steeper, and which had an
immense drift of snow at the bottom. No one dared to do it. We all thought
it would be rather too serious business. Jack surveyed the ground for a few
minutes, and screwed his courage up to the highest point. "I am going
down," said he. We tried to dissuade him, but it was of no use. When Jack
had made up his mind, you might as well attempt to turn the course of the
north wind as to turn him. The words were no sooner out of his mouth, than
down he went, like an arrow. We trembled for him, and held our breath
almost, as we watched his sled; for it used to be a proverb with us, that
Jack would break his neck one of these days, and we were not without our
fears that the day had come.

Down went Jack on his sled, and in a few moments he was plunged in the snow
bank out of sight. We all ran down to dig him out, scarcely daring to hope
we should find him alive. We worked like beavers for a considerable time,
and found nothing of the poor adventurer. At last, more than a rod from
where he entered the bank, up popped Jack, as white with snow as if he had
been into a flour barrel, tugging his sled after him, and grinning like a
right merry fellow, as he was. Take it all in all, it was one of the most
laughable sights I ever saw; and now as I write, and a sort of a
daguerreotype likeness of Jack, just emerging, like a ghost, from that snow
bank, comes up to my mind, I have to stop and laugh almost as heartily as I
did at the scene itself, when it occurred.




                      A GARDEN OVERRUN WITH WEEDS.


"Father, I don't like to go to school," said Harry Williams, one
morning. "I wish you would let me always stay at home. Charles Parker's
father don't make him go to school."

Mr Williams took his little boy by the hand, and said kindly to him, "Come,
my son, I want to show you something in the garden."

Harry walked into the garden with his father, who led him along until they
came to a bed in which peas were growing, the vines supported by thin
branches that had been placed in the ground. Not a weed was to be seen
about their roots, nor even disfiguring the walk around the bed in which
they had been planted.

"See how beautifully these peas are growing, my son," said Mr Williams.
"How clean and healthy the vines look. We shall have an abundant crop. Now
let me show you the vines in Mr Parker's garden. We can look at them
through a great hole in his fence."

Mr Williams then led Harry through the garden gate and across the road, to
look at Mr Parker's pea vines through the hole in the fence. The bed in
which they were growing was near to the road; so they had no difficulty in
seeing it. After looking into the garden for a few moments, Mr Williams
said--

"Well, my son, what do you think of Mr Parker's pea vines?"

"Oh, father!" replied the little boy; "I never saw such poor looking peas
in my life! There are no sticks for them to run upon, and the weeds are
nearly as high as the peas themselves. There won't be half a crop!"

"Why are they so much worse than ours, Harry?"

"Because they have been left to grow as they pleased. I suppose Mr Parker
just planted them, and never took any care of them afterward. He has
neither taken out the weeds, nor helped them to grow right."

"Yes, that is just the truth, my son. A garden will soon be overrun with
weeds and briars, if it is not cultivated with the greatest care. And just
so it is with the human garden. This precious garden must be trained and
watered, and kept free from weeds, or it will run to waste. Children's
minds are like garden beds; and they must be as carefully tended, and even
more carefully, than the choicest plants. If you, my son, were never to go
to school, nor have good seeds of knowledge planted in your mind, it would,
when you become a man, resemble the weed-covered, neglected bed we have
just been looking at, instead of the beautiful one in my garden. Would you
think me right to neglect my garden as Mr Parker neglects his?"

"Oh, no, father; your garden is a good garden, but Mr Parker's is all
overrun with weeds and briars. It won't yield half as much as yours will."

"Or, my son, do you think I would be right if I neglected my son as Mr
Parker neglects his son, allowing him to run wild, and his mind,
uncultivated, to become overgrown with weeds?"

Little Harry made no reply; but he understood pretty clearly what his
father meant.

"I send you to school," Mr Williams continued, "in order that the garden
of your mind may have good seeds sown in it, and that these seeds may
spring up and grow, and produce plentifully. Now which would you prefer, to
stay at home from school, and so let the garden of your mind be overrun
with weeds, or go to school, and have this garden cultivated?"

"I would rather go to school," said Harry. "But, father, is Charles
Parker's mind overrun with weeds?"

"I am afraid that it is. If not, it certainly will be, if his father does
not send him to school. For a little boy not to be sent to school, is a
great misfortune, and I hope you will think the privilege of going to
school a very great one indeed."

Harry Williams listened to all his father said, and, what was better,
thought about it, too. He never again asked to stay home from school.




                            JULIAN PARMELEE;
                  OR DISAPPOINTMENT SOMETIMES A BLESSING.


In a pleasant New England village, several years ago, there was a good deal
of excitement produced among the little folks, by the appearance, on the
sign-post, and in the tavern and store, of some large placards, with very
curious and funny pictures upon them. These placards made known the
important fact, that, for the sum of ninepence, (a shilling, according to
the currency of New York,) any boy and girl in the vicinity might have the
pleasure of seeing some of the most astonishing feats of trained animals
ever heard of. On a certain day there was to be a sort of juggler, who
would play on some kind of instruments. The music made by this man would
have the power of charming the animals--so the advertisement read--and the
instant they heard it, they would commence playing their antics. There was
a great black bear who would stand on his head; a dog who knew almost as
much as his master; a cock that could walk on a pair of high stilts. Then
there were learned monkeys, learned pigs, and I know not what besides.

[Illustration: THE "SHOW."]

The pictures of these different animals, performing their several exploits,
caused a great deal of wonder and admiration among the village boys and
girls. In cities, where such exhibitions occur very frequently, such things
would not be much thought of. But it is very different in the country,
where public exhibitions of every sort are "like angels' visits, few and
far between." For nearly a week before the day appointed for this juggling
exhibition, there was nothing talked of in this quiet village so much as
the "show." Ninepences that had been a twelvemonth in accumulating, were
now in great demand; and more than one boy sighed as he reflected that he
had spent his pennies in candies and other nice things, so that he had none
left for the "show," and secretly resolved that he would be wiser next
time, and not allow his money to slip through his fingers so easily.

Among those who had the permission of their parents to visit the
exhibition, and who were anxiously longing for the day to come, were Julian
Parmelee and his sister. Julian, especially--a boy of about nine years of
age--was almost crazy with delight, when his mother told him he might go.
He jumped, danced, clapped his hands, shouted, and went through so many
strange manoeuvres, that his elder brother George, who was rather more
sober on the occasion, said he guessed he should not go to the court-house
and pay ninepence to see the show, for he was in a fair way to get the
exhibition at home, for nothing.

"Oh, mother!" said Julian, "do you really believe the bear will stand on
his head? What a funny sight it must be! I wonder if they keep the bear
chained. I shall take care I do not get within reach of his paws, I guess.
Charley Staples said he didn't believe it was half so big as the one he saw
when he was up in Vermont. How big is it, mother? as big as our Carlo? Oh,
I wish it was time to go now! I should think monkeys were very funny
creatures. They say there is one in the show that rides a horse, just like
a man. Ha! ha! ha!" And he laughed so loudly that he waked up the baby in
the cradle.

I do not wonder at all that little Julian was so much delighted with the
idea of going to this exhibition. It was something entirely new to him; and
to children, especially, such singular feats as these animals were to
perform, are always entertaining. It may, however, admit of a question,
whether it is right, just for our amusement, to inflict so much pain upon
these poor creatures as is necessary to teach them their several parts.  It
seems rather cruel.  You know what the frogs once said to the boys,
according to the fable, in the matter of stoning: "Young gentlemen, you do
not consider, that while this is sport to you, it is death to us."  These
poor bears, and monkeys, and other animals, while they are going through
their education, might use some such language to their teachers, perhaps,
if they had the same faculty that the fable ascribes to the frogs.  But,
however that may be, it was very natural that Julian should be half frantic
at the thought of seeing the show, and quite as natural that Julian's
father and mother should consent to let him go.

Well, some two days before the exhibition was to take place, Julian was
taken sick.  There is a class of diseases--such as the measles and the
whooping-cough--which, you know, almost every boy and girl must have some
time or another; and it is not always left with the children to decide
precisely when they shall take their turn.  One of these diseases had made
Julian a call, and insisted on staying with him a week or two.  It was the
whooping-cough.  Julian wanted to be excused for a few days; but the old
fellow told him, in his wheezing way, that he could not think of letting
him off so long.  Julian was disappointed, and cried a good deal.  It did
seem rather hard that he must be caged up in his chamber just at this time.
 He was not so sick as to make it necessary to stay at home; but his mother
thought it would be wrong to allow him to go where there were to be so many
other children, because they would be in danger of taking the disease from
him.  So it was decided that he could not see the "show;" and he fretted
and stormed, and made himself very unhappy.  He was usually a good-natured
boy, but it must be confessed, that he was now quite out of humor.

"I don't see what I'm sick for, just when I wanted to go to the 'show.'  I
declare, it is too bad.  And the whooping-cough, too!  If it was any thing
else, I could go.  What under the sun--"

"There, Julian, that will do, I think," said his mother, kindly.

Julian checked himself, but he could hardly help muttering something about
its being "very provoking."

Mrs Parmelee was silent for a while, until the peevishness of her child had
a little time to subside, and then she said--

"My dear child, I am sorry that you should feel so; for you not only make
yourself unhappy, but you are finding fault with God, and you know that is
very wrong.  God had something to do with your sickness.  He could very
easily have prevented it, if he had chosen to do so.  But he did not choose
to prevent it, and--"

"Well, why didn't he prevent it, mother?"

"Hear me through, my child.  If he allowed you to be sick, when he could
have kept you well, then it is certain that, on the whole, he would rather
you would be sick.  You see this, don't you, Julian?"

"Yes, ma'am.  God made me sick, didn't he?"

"There's no doubt that all diseases are under his control."

"Then, mama, I am sure that God--"

"Not quite so fast. I want you to see what you was doing, when you was
so peevish a little while ago. You was very much out of humor. Indeed, I
think you showed some anger."

"Oh, no, mother, I was not angry."

"Perhaps not, my child; but what would you call that spirit, if it was
not anger?"

"I was--I was--provoked--I mean vexed, mama."

"Well, who vexed you?"

"Nobody; it was the whooping-cough."

"I'm very sorry that my child should get into such a passion--or
vexation, whichever it may be--with the whooping-cough; for you say that
you suppose the disease was under the control of God, so that it must
have been rather an innocent sort of thing, after all. If you should
fall into the mill-pond, and a man standing on the shore should let you
struggle a while before he helped you out, you would get vexed, wouldn't
you?"

"I guess I should."

"You would certainly have as much reason for vexation as you have had
this morning. But would you be likely to get vexed with the water?"

"Why, no, mama. I should be provoked with the man, because he didn't
help me out."

"I thought so. Well, then, don't you think you found fault with God, in
this matter of the whooping-cough?"

"It may be so."

"It must be so."

Little Julian was a thoughtful child. He saw that this spirit of
peevishness was very wrong, and that he had murmured against God. He
told his mother that he hoped he should not do so any more. He was
silent for some minutes, and then said--

"There is one thing I would like to know about, mother; but it may be I
ought not to ask."

"What is it, Julian?" asked his mother.

"If God is kind, and if he loves us, why does he let us get sick? I am
sure you would keep me well all the time, if you could, because you love
me, and because you are good and kind."

"I am glad you asked that question, Julian. There are a great many
things which we cannot understand about the government of God. But I
think I can explain this to you. God, it is true, often disappoints us,
and gives us pain, and makes us weep. This would all seem very strange,
and almost unkind, if we did not know that God has some other end in
view besides making us happy in this life. He is training us for another
world; and if you live to be a man, you will see that such
disappointments as this of yours, for a part of God's plan of fitting
his children for heaven."

"But I think we should be just as good, if he did not make us feel bad
and cry."

"That is your mistake. Do you think you would be just as good a child,
if your parents always humored you, and gave you every plaything you
asked for? Are you quite sure that you would now mind your father and
mother as well, if you had always been allowed to have your own way?"

"But you don't make me sick, mother."

"True. We correct you in another way. But we sometimes give you pain,
and make you cry. Did you ever think, when your father reproved you and
punished you, that it was because he did not love you?"

"Oh, no, mother."

"You can see how your father can be kind and affectionate, and still
give you pain?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"Then cannot you see how God may disappoint _his_ children, and
even make them unhappy for a time, and love them tenderly, too?"

"Oh, mother, I see it all now! I wonder I never thought of this before!
Well, the whooping-cough is not so bad, after all. I've learned
something by it, at any rate."

"Yes, and it may be worth a great deal more to you than the 'show' would
have been."




                   THE OLD MAN AT THE COTTAGE DOOR.


  Come, faint old man! and sit awhile
    Beside our cottage door;
  A cup of water from the spring,
    A loaf to bless the poor,
  We give with cheerful hearts, for God
    Hath given us of his store.

  Too feeble, thou, for daily toil,
    Too weak to earn thy bread--
  For th' weight of many, many years,
    Lies heavy on thy head--
  A wanderer, want, thy weary feet,
    Hath to our cottage led.

  Come rest awhile. 'Twill not be long,
    Ere thy faint head shall know
  A deeper, calmer, better rest,
    Than cometh here below;
  When He, who loveth every one,
    Shall call thee hence to go.

  God bless thee in thy wanderings!
    Wherever they may be,
  And make the ears of every one
    Attentive to thy plea;
  A double blessing will be theirs,
    Who kindly turn to thee.




                        STORY OF A STOLEN PEN.
                          WRITTEN BY ITSELF.


My friend, Theodore Thinker, who is an odd sort of a genius, and
frequently takes up things after a singular fashion, has put into my
hands a paper with this caption: "Story of a Stolen Pen, written by
itself." It seems, from a somewhat lengthy introduction--too lengthy to
be here quoted--that the pen once belonged to some editor or another;
and as Theodore has something to do with editorial matters himself, I
should not wonder if he is the one. Some curious readers may be disposed
to inquire how the pen was made to talk so fluently, and perhaps some
others would like to know how it was found in the first place. I can't
answer these reasonable inquiries. The manuscript is entirely silent on
both points. I have my conjectures in relation to the thing--pretty
strong conjectures, too. I guess the whole story is a fable, to tell the
truth. But never mind. There is a great deal of sense in fables
sometimes; and who knows but there may be some in this? At all events,
we must have

                               THE STORY.


[Illustration: THE THIEF STEALING THE PEN.]


I wish you could have seen the thief in the act of stealing me. What a
sorry face he had on! I send you a rough sketch of him--for I have a
little talent at drawing--taken from memory. I was lying on the desk,
close by a manuscript which I had commenced. He snatched me as soon as
the editor's back was turned, and ran out of the office. I wonder the
people did not notice that he was a rogue as he passed along the street.
Why, he stared at every body he met, as if he was afraid they were going
to give him an invitation to walk to the police office. The first thing
he did was to call at several pawnbroker's offices, where he tried to
sell me. No one would give him what he asked. He wanted ten or twelve
dollars, I believe. Well, he gave up that project before night, and I
heard him mutter to himself, "If I only had the money for it!" After
supper he took me into his room, and when he had locked the door fast,
he began to examine me carefully. "It _is_ a beautiful pen," said
he, and then he tried to see how I would write. I should think he was a
pretty good penman. He made a great many flourishes with me, and wrote
his name several times. His name was John Smith, by the way, or at any
rate, that was the signature he made. "What a fine pen this is," said
he; "I never wrote with a better pen in my life. But it won't do for me
to keep it. I shall be found out, if I do. Oh, dear! I wish I had got it
without stealing it. I wonder where I can sell the troublesome thing."

Just then somebody knocked at the door. It was a long time before he let
the person in. He had to think what he would do with me first, and it
took him a good while to put away the paper he had been scribbling on.
"Why, John!" said the man, when he came in, "what makes you look so
frightened? I should think you took me for a tiger, or some such
animal." "I've got the toothache," said the thief, "and I have sent for
the doctor to pull it out. I thought he had come when you knocked. Dear
me! how I dread it! Did you ever have a tooth drawn?"

So you see the fellow told a lie. Those who break one of God's
commandments, are pretty likely to break more before they get through.
My new owner seemed to find it difficult to get to sleep that night, and
after he did get to sleep, he muttered a good deal in his dreams. Once I
heard him say, "No; I bought it of Mr Bagley, in Broadway." I could not
help thinking that he ought to be content with telling lies when he was
awake.

One day he left me on the table when he went out. It was unfortunate for
him. That night I overheard the chambermaid talking with him about it,
and I saw him turn very red in the face. It was evident she did not
believe his story about buying the pen of Mr Bagley, though he told it
over and over again, and made use of a terrible oath, which I dare not
repeat. Poor man! I pitied him. He was certainly very unhappy. He wanted
to sell me very much indeed; but some how or other, no one would give
the price he asked. Perhaps they remembered the saying, "The buyer is as
bad as the thief." He offered me to one man in Pearl street, who seemed
a little disposed to buy. "Wait a minute," said he; and he went into a
back room to speak to somebody. But John Smith thought it would be safer
for him not to wait. I guess he had his mind on the subject of police
officers at that time.

He never went to church with me but once; and then, strange enough, the
minister preached from this text: "The way of transgressors is hard."
I could feel the poor man's heart throb, as the clergyman slowly read
the words. When he went home, he was in great distress--for the sermon
was a very solemn one--and he took down from a shelf a small Bible, all
covered with dust, and looked at some words which were written on the
first leaf. I don't wonder he wept, as he read them--"A mother's gift."
He remembered where the text was, and he turned to it, and read it again
and again. "Yes," said he, "it is true--too true. But what shall I do?
I have been to the theatre so much now, that I can't be happy unless I
go; and where am I to get the money? I wish I had never begun to steal.
Oh! that was a sad day for me, when I listened to wicked boys, and
robbed that old man's pear tree." I saw then how he first became a
thief; and I thought I should like to have every body know that when
boys are stealing apples, and pears, and peaches, they are serving an
apprenticeship to the business of stealing on a larger scale. I myself
have heard of many a highway robber, who began his career in the orchard
of his neighbor.

Mr Smith did not reform. About three months ago, he stole a horse from
a stable in the upper part of the city, and immediately left for some
place in New Jersey. It was a beautiful horse, but he could not sell
him. People were suspicious. At last he was arrested, and had to go to
Sing Sing prison. I hope he will make up his mind to be an honest man
now; for he has certainly learned, by pretty dear experience, that
"honesty is the best policy." I can't think he would steal any more if
they should let him out. Still, I am not sure. The habit was very
strong.



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