Nest in the Honeysuckles,
AND OTHER STORIES.
WRITTEN FOR THE AMERICAN SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION.
AMERICAN SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION,
No. 316 CHESTNUT STREET.
NEW YORK: No. 147 NASSAU ST.
BOSTON: No. 9 CORNHILL....CINCINNATI: 41 WEST FOURTH ST.
LOUISVILLE: No. 103 FOURTH ST.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1855, by the
AMERICAN SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Eastern District of
No books are published by the American Sunday-School Union
without the sanction of the Committee of Publication, consisting of fourteen
members, from the following denominations of Christians, viz. Baptist,
Methodist, Congregational, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and
Reformed Dutch. Not more than three of the members can be of the same
denomination, and no book can be published to which any member of the
Committee shall object.
- THE NEST IN THE HONEYSUCKLES.
CHAPTER II. GOING TO HOUSEKEEPING.
CHAPTER III. PLEASANT NEIGHBOURS.
CHAPTER IV. HOME DUTIES AND HOME PLEASURES.
CHAPTER V. HOME LIFE AND HOME EDUCATION.
CHAPTER VI. GOING ABROAD.
"MAY I POP SOME CORN?"
"WHICH WOULD YOU RATHER I SHOULD DO?"
THE BIRDS AND THE SNOW-STORM.
THE FIRST STRAWBERRY.
"I PRAYED ALL DAY FOR HELP."
"EVER SO MANY BEAUTIFUL THINGS."
LILY AND HER DUCKLINGS.
PRAYING FOR RAIN.
"IT ALMOST MAKES ME CRY."
THE BOY WHO STEALS.
LOOK AT THE BIRDS!
THE LOST CHILD.
THE UNPLEASANT NEIGHBOUR.
THE BOY WHO KEPT HIS PURPOSE.
THE SUNNY FACE, AND THE SHADY FACE; OR, JUNE AND NOVEMBER.
"IT ISN'T FAIR. I PEEPED."
CHRISTMAS AT THE COTTAGE.
I WILL CONQUER MYSELF.
"OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN."
HATTIE AND HERBERT.
THE TWO WILLS.
"BLESS GOD FOR THIS DOLL."
"MARY'S GREAT TREASURE"
"SUSAN WILL BE HAPPIER IF I GO WITH HER."
THE NEWS-BOYS' BANK.
WHAT MADE WILLIE HAPPY.
DO YOU INTEND TO BE A GENTLEMAN? (A QUESTION FOR BOYS.)
GENEROUS NELLY; OR, THE WILLING MIND.
LOVEST THOU ME?
MY LITTLE BAG.
DO YOU LIKE YOUR SEAT?
THE LITTLE BEGGAR.
WIDOW CAHOON AND HER GRANDSON.
THE NEST IN THE HONEYSUCKLES.
"Do come here, mother," said
Eddie, carefully tip-toeing from
the window, and beckoning
with his hand. "Here is something
I want to show you.
Come carefully, or I am afraid
you will frighten it."
Mrs. Dudley laid aside her book, and stepped cautiously
forward, Eddie leading the way back to the
window. "What is it?" she inquired.
"It is a bird with straw in its mouth, and I do
believe it is going to build a nest."
Mrs. Dudley stood by her little boy a few minutes,
looking from the window. Presently a robin alighted
on the walnut tree, directly before them, with a bunch
of dry grass in its mouth. It rested a few seconds,
and then flew in among the branches of a honeysuckle
which twined around the pillars, and crept
over the top of the porch. A fine, warm place it
was for a nest, sheltered from the north winds, and
from the driving rains, and from the hot rays of the
Eddie and his mother watched the bird for some
time. It would bring straws, and arrange them in
its nest, as only a bird can; and then it would away
again, and come back, perhaps, with its bill covered
and filled with mud, which it used for mortar in
fastening the materials in their places. Then it
would get in the nest, and, moving its feet and
wings, would make it just the right shape to hold
the pretty eggs she would lay in it, and the little
robins she would love so well, and feed so carefully.
The robin was industrious, and worked hard to
get the house finished in season. I think she must
have been very tired when night came, and she flew
away to her perch to rest till morning. I do not see
how she could balance herself so nicely on one foot,
as she slept with her head turned back, and half-hidden
beneath her wing.
Eddie often watched the robin during the day.
He was careful not to frighten it. "I wonder how
the robin could find so nice a place. I should not
have thought it would have known about it,"—he
said to his mother, as he saw the bird fly in, almost
out of sight, among the clustering branches.
Mrs. Dudley told Eddie God taught the birds
where to build their nests, and that he took care of
them, and provided food for them.
Is it not wonderful that God, who has built the
world in which we live, and all the bright worlds we
can see in the sky, should attend to the wants of the
robins and sparrows, and other birds which he has
made? We should forget them, if we had much of
importance to attend to, or we should be weary of
providing for their wants; but our heavenly Father
never forgets, and never grows weary. He hears
the ravens when they cry, and not even a sparrow
falls to the ground without his knowledge. "Are
ye not much better than they?" our Saviour said to
his disciples, when endeavouring to teach them to
trust in the love and parental care of God, and not
to be anxious in regard to their temporal welfare.
If God so cares for the birds, whose lives are
short, and who have no souls to live in another
world, will he not much more care for those who
are made in his image, and for whom the Saviour
No good thing will he withhold from those who
walk uprightly, who try to obey his commandments,
and look to Christ for salvation from sin. I hope,
my dear children, when you see the birds, you will
remember God's love to them and to you.
I have given you all I know of the history of one
day of the robin's life, but Eddie will observe it
while it lives in its house in the honeysuckle, and
will tell me all he sees of its domestic arrangements.
I hope to tell you with what kind of a carpet it
covers the floor, and what it hangs on the walls, and
how it brings up its little children, if it should be
so happy as to have any to gladden its quiet home,
and cheer it with their chattering tongues. I am
sure it will have pretty flowers and green leaves for
pictures to look at, painted by One whose skill no
artist can rival; and it will need no Cologne for perfume
for the breath of the honeysuckle is more
delicious than any odour which the art of man could
GOING TO HOUSEKEEPING.
I promised to tell you more about the nest in
the honeysuckles. Eddie has observed it with
great attention, and has kept me well informed in
regard to it. I have stepped out upon the porch
with him, and, kneeling down, and looking over the
side, I have had a peep myself at this wonderfully
contrived home of the robins. It is partly supported
by a cornice, which runs around the porch,
and gives it a firmer foundation than the small
branches of the honeysuckle could do.
But I must not forget to tell you about the finishing
of the nest. The second day, the robin was at
work before six o'clock in the morning; so you see
birds are early risers, and like to have their work
done in good season. They know how pleasant it is
to see the rosy dawn, and welcome it with their
sweetest strains of music. I wonder how many of
my little friends see the sun rise, these bright mornings!
If they would awake with the birds, they
must, as wisely as the birds, go to their places of
rest before the shades of evening shroud the world
in darkness. If they sit up late, they will lose the
morning songs, which fill the woods with sounds of
gladness, and which resound from every tree and
shrub about the houses of those who love these pleasant
visitors, and refuse to allow them to be frightened
from their premises.
The robin rose early, as I have told you, and
resumed her labours for a short time. Through the
day she came occasionally to see how the house was
drying, but did not seem to be at all busy. She
had accomplished so much by her previous industry,
that there was no necessity for much exertion, and
she felt quite at liberty to enjoy herself, taking
short excursions in the country, and returning sometimes
alone, and sometimes in company with her
mate. He, once in a while, visited the nest; but
was so well satisfied with the domestic arrangements
of his wife, and had so much confidence in her
ability and skill, that he manifested no disposition to
interfere with any of her plans, but cheerfully acquiesced
in them, and cheered and encouraged her
by singing her one of his sweetest songs, telling her
how dearly he loved her, how highly he esteemed
her, and how truly happy he was that he had so
pleasant and agreeable, and at the same time so
housewifely, a companion. She appeared quite as
well pleased to be appreciated as any wife or housekeeper
of my acquaintance, and it made her labour
a labour of love. We all like to be appreciated.
I see the robin is a plain, common-sense bird in
her notions, and wants nothing for mere display.
Every thing which could add to the real comfort of
her family she has provided, and has no desire for
any thing further. Many house-keepers might learn
a valuable lesson from her prudent, comfortable
When the dwelling was completed, and suitably
dry for occupancy, the robin deposited there four
bluish-green eggs. I assure you they are beautiful,
and are great treasures to her. In about twelve
days from the time Eddie first saw her carrying
straws into the honeysuckles, she became very domestic,
never leaving home but for a few minutes at
a time. Her four eggs now occupy all her attention
and her great business seems to be to keep
them warm with the heat of her own body. She
does not complain of being confined at home, but is
entirely satisfied to attend to the duties which devolve
upon her. She is not uneasy that she cannot
sing like her husband, or, like him, attend to the
interests of Robindom; but quietly and discreetly
she labours in her appropriate sphere, and feels no
wish to leave it for a less secluded and less happy
life. Her heart is satisfied with the happiness of
her home, and she feels no uneasiness—no ungratified
longings for something to occupy her, aside
from the duties she so cheerfully performs.
Madam Robin was entirely satisfied with the success
of her labours, and she had reason to be. No
bird could have done better. This consciousness of
having done well did not make her proud; it only
gave her such self-respect as every one feels who is
conscious that an allotted task has been faithfully
performed; and the praise of her husband was no
injury to her, as she was not silly enough to think
of herself more highly than she ought to think.
As the house was for a summer residence, she
selected fine straw-matting, instead of woollen carpets
for it. She put it down with great care, perfectly
smooth and even. The wall was covered with
the same cool material, delicately woven. Wasn't
The location selected by our friend, the robin,
seems to be highly appreciated by many of the
feathered race. Although the robin was the first
settler, others have already decided that it affords
great advantages in the way of shelter from the
fierce winds, from the burning rays of a summer
sun, and from the too-curious eyes of hawks and
other birds of prey.
An abundance of fresh, soft water can be obtained
not far from Honeysuckleville, and this is always a
recommendation in favour of any place, either for
men or birds. Fruit also abounds. There will be
bright red currants for the little folks; strawberries,
too, more than they can eat, and raspberries in any
quantity they may wish. I must not forget the
cherries, of which birds are so fond, and which
they can have at any time when they are ripe, for
merely the trouble of picking.
It is not surprising, with all these advantages in
its favour, that Honeysuckleville should find more
than one family happy to settle within its borders.
For some time, two song-sparrows have made it frequent
visits; and have finally decided, after a careful
survey, that no more desirable spot can be found
for a summer residence. They have accordingly
commenced building, not more than two feet from
the mansion of the robins. Their house is much
smaller—a cottage—but quite large enough for
them. It nestles so lovingly in the shadow of the
vines, that I am sure domestic comfort must be
found there. Discord and contention could not
abide in so peaceful a retreat.
The song-sparrows will be pleasant neighbours.
They are exceedingly fond of vocal music, and their
clear melodious voices fill the new settlement with
harmony. In that terrible snow-storm which occurred
in the middle of April, I often saw a sparrow
alight on a bough of a tree near the house, and send
up to heaven such a strain of full, gushing melody,
as melted my heart with pity and admiration. It
reminded me of a child of God in the midst of trials
and afflictions, yet rejoicing in faith, and trusting
continually in the care of a Father in heaven. Was
the cold little sparrow singing itself away, as it was
once believed the swan sung its own death-song?
Or may the new neighbour of the robin be the very
one whose voice rang out so clear and loud, above
the howlings of the storm? I trust no rude blast
nor chilling frost will mar the pleasure of our feathered
friends, but that they may prosper in their
plans, and never forget seeking a home in the vine
which winds so gracefully around the porch of Mrs.
The song sparrow is not the only neighbour of
the robin. A pair of cat-birds have a nest in a lilac
near the honeysuckle, and one of them sings hour
after hour on the walnut-tree opposite to the window
and often comes near enough to the house to
look through the open casement. These birds have
lived for several summers in that same lilac, and
annually make all the repairs necessary to render
their dwelling habitable. They have raised several
broods of birdlings, much to their own enjoyment,
and of Mrs. Dudley's bird-loving family.
HOME DUTIES AND HOME PLEASURES.
Our robin has been a keeper-at-home ever since
those four bluish-green eggs demanded her attention.
She has occasionally left, for a few minutes
at a time, to procure food and drink, or to take a
little exercise; but she has never forgotten her quiet
abode, and the duties which there require her almost
constant presence. She loves the green fields, the
leafy trees, and the clear blue sky, and delights to
hop about with her mate over the fresh grass and
the clean gravel-walks; but better than all she loves
those pretty eggs, which lie so cozily in the bottom
of her straw-built nest.
Before she commenced house-keeping, she was
very fond of travelling, and many a mile has she
wandered, over hill and valley, in company with her
friends. She assisted at concerts, and was universally
admired; but she had the good sense to give
up these enjoyments without a murmur, when higher
claims called for her undivided care. Whatever is
worth doing at all is worth doing well; and the
robin will doubtless be repaid for the unwearied
patience with which she performs her unostentatious
duties. Some people are inclined to think domestic
labour dishonourable, and the cares of house-keeping
a burden; but our feathered friend is wiser than
they. She does with her might what she finds to
do, and she does it heartily. Every act of duty,
faithfully and cheerfully performed, is acceptable to
God; and his children do his will when they endeavour
to attend to their various occupations in such a
way as he can approve. If all house-keepers felt
that, in attending to the different departments of
their work as they should be attended to, they were
honouring Him who has made this care necessary
for the comfort of families, it would be a blessing to
themselves, and to who all who dwell under the same
roof with them. We cannot consider any thing
which we do to please our heavenly Father of small
importance, and no favour can be degrading which
he requires of us.
We may all learn a lesson from the robin who
lives in the honeysuckles, and we shall see how she
was rewarded for her devotion to the employment
which Providence assigned her. The wisest of men,
in describing the character of an excellent woman,
says: "The heart of her husband doth safely trust
in her." "She will do him good, and not evil, all
the days of her life." Our feathered friend's husband
is absent much of his time (as most gentlemen
are obliged to be) from his well-ordered home; but
he always thinks of it with pleasure, and hastens to
it whenever he can find time to do so. Sometimes
he only stops a moment, but it is a precious moment
to them both, for their hearts and interests are one.
They are cheered, in their separation, by the pleasant
memories of these brief interviews, and by
bright anticipations of future enjoyment.
I have observed, Mr. Robin thinks it of importance
to look nice at home, as well as when he is
abroad. I have seen him alight on the walnut-tree,
and carefully arrange his toilet, before going into
the presence of his wife. She must feel complimented
by this delicate attention, indicating so high
a regard for her, and such anxiety to preserve her
esteem. I should not wonder if she was a little
proud of her handsome husband. However this
may be, I am sure it is her greatest happiness to
deserve his respect and love, and honourably to
perform all the duties which devolve upon her in
her married life.
Madam Robin was sitting one day in her vine-shaded
home, looking out through the slender
branches of the honeysuckle, which were gently
swayed by a refreshing breeze, when she heard a
slight tap. She listened eagerly. Another tap—presently
another. How her heart fluttered! It
proceeded from one of those highly-prized eggs, and
she knew it was the timid knock of a birdling, who
was in that little chamber, and was waiting to have
the door opened. Of how small consequence all
her self-denial and her seclusion from general society
seemed, when that thrilling tap sounded on her ear!
She continued to listen, and within those four tiny
chambers she heard the same rapping repeated; and
more than that, the sweet word, Mother, might seem
faintly to greet her ear. How she longed for her mate
to return, that he might enjoy, with her, this new
happiness! When husband and wife love each other,
as they should, all pleasure must be shared, or it
will still be imperfect. She waited, almost impatiently
for his coming; and when he alighted on
the honeysuckle, she looked so full of grateful joy,
that he knew that something more than usual must
have occurred. He affectionately kissed her bill,
and then, in a low tremulous voice, she told him
the glad news. He was quite as much pleased as
she, although he did not appear so excited. Had
employment in the open air given a firmness to
his nerves, which her sedentary occupations had not
done for her? Yet beneath that calm exterior, his
sparkling eye plainly revealed the full tide of emotion
It was pleasant music to their ears to hear those
four new voices in their secluded home; and though
they knew it would increase their labour to provide
food for those gaping mouths, what cared they for
their own comfort, if they could nurture their precious
charge, and rear them to be an honour and a
When the doors of their chambers were quite
open, out came the baby-birds, with a few downy
feathers covering them!
"How very little they are!" said Eddie, with one
breath; and, "How big their mouths are!" with
the next. To be sure, they do look very small, and
their mouths are very large for such diminutive
bodies, and they open them so wide that it almost
seems as if one of them could jump down another's
The robin now often comes home, and brings food
to his family. It is gratifying to see how attentive
he is to his dear children and their mother; and I
hope I may be able, some day, to tell you that they
repay his attachment, by growing up fine, obedient
birds. It will not be long before their education
will be commenced, and I will tell you whether they
are taught at home, or are sent away to school, and
what progress they make in acquiring their accomplishments.
HOME LIFE AND HOME EDUCATION.
The birdlings still live in the honeysuckles.
"How they do grow!" Eddie exclaims, when he
looks at them. "I shouldn't think they could ever
have lived in those little eggs."
They are now almost half as large as the old
birds. They are well covered with feathers, and
their mottled breasts are very pretty.
"They don't have to dress as we do," said Eddie.
"Their clothes grow." And he thinks it would be
a great convenience if his clothes grew too, for then
they would always be large enough for him, and his
mother would not have so much sewing to do.
Sometimes these little birds lie in the bottom of
the nest, quietly sleeping, while their father and
mother are both away, getting them food. At other
times they feel wide awake. Then they stretch
their wings, stand upon their feet, and peep over
the side of the nest. From the parlour-window,
the children can look up directly at their secluded
home, and can see them amusing themselves and
practising their lessons. The honeysuckle grows
almost as fast as the birds, and the tender, overhanging
branches make a roof which keeps off all
The old birds are mindful of their children, but
do not consider it necessary to be with them all the
time. So other parents endeavour to implant good
principles in the hearts of their children, and then
leave them to their self-control; ever keeping a
watchful eye on the influences which surround
them, and using their proper authority, when it
becomes necessary, to restrain from evil, and guide
in the way of virtue. The child that has never
learned to depend upon himself, or to control his
own passions, and to do right because it is right,
will hardly be able to sustain himself when the presence
of his parents is withdrawn.
The robins know very well that children grow
weary of long lectures; so they give them here a
little and there a little instruction, as occasion
They are decided in their family government, but
not severe. Their children are taught to obey
promptly and cheerfully, but they have no slavish
fear of their parents. Their presence is not regarded
as a restraint; for, at all suitable times, they
have freely permitted their little ones to laugh and
frolic to their hearts' content. They willingly listen
to all the plans of the birdlings, and lend an attentive
ear to the story of their joys and their sorrows.
Their sympathy is never withheld; their griefs are
never considered as of no consequence because they
are brief and soon forgotten.
The parent birds do not leave their young alone
but a little while at a time. They often fly home
to see them, and sometimes perch on the walnut-tree,
and talk with them. Their musical chirpings
are pleasant to hear. We don't understand the
bird-language; but we judge, by the soft tones, that
it is something kind and agreeable they are saying.
Perhaps they are talking about their plans for the
future, when they all know how to use their wings,
and can fly about together.
Very often, during the day, the robins bring
worms to fill the gaping mouths. It is surprising
how much they eat. No wonder they have grown
plump and large, for they eat and sleep as much as
they please. We expect soon to see them flying
about from tree to tree, and hopping along the
ground. We hope that great cat, which steps about
so softly, will never find them. She is welcome to
all the rats and mice she can put her paws on, but
we never like to see her climb a tree, for we fear
she will destroy some of our cheerful friends, who
build near the house in full confidence that they
shall not be disturbed.
The young robins are not lonely in their rural
home. The plainly-dressed sparrows and the brilliant
yellow-birds look in upon them, and, now and
then, their cousin, the oriole, comes, clad in the
richest golden plumage, and sings them a song. If
he had dipped his feathers in the gorgeous sunset
he could not be more beautiful. The delicate
little humming-birds sip nectar from the deep horns
of the honeysuckle; and the red-winged starling,
in his glossy black coat, and his dashing scarlet
epaulette, occasionally comes from his home in the
meadow, to make them a call. He does not like
Honeysuckleville quite as well as his dwelling in
the grass, just above the water. If he was not
so confirmed in his habits, I think he would be
strongly tempted to become a neighbour of the
robins. A few weeks ago, when his favourite resort
was five or six feet under water, he and his friends
seemed to be in great uncertainty what course to
pursue. They had several mass meetings on the
quince-bushes, in full sight of Honeysuckleville, and
a great many speeches were made. It sounded to
me like incessant chattering, and as if all were talking
at the same time. I could not understand a
word they said, and I cannot tell you the result of
their deliberations. Whatever it may have been,
when the water subsided, they returned to their old
haunts by the river-side.
These I have mentioned are not the only visitors
whose society our friends enjoy. The swallows gracefully
skim through the air, and greet them with
their merry voices. The wren often favours them
with one of his sweetest melodies, and the blue-bird
flies around the corner to sing a song on the walnut-tree.
He has a curious little nest of his own,
hidden away under the eaves. The cat-birds, of
course, are always near, as they live in the lilacs.
The oriole has suspended his nest, like a basket,
from a limb of the great pear-tree; and when the
robins know how to fly, they can return some of
The old robins, now and then, play peep with the
young birds. They fly almost up to the nest, and
poise themselves for an instant on the wing, just
long enough to say, "Bo-peep!" and then away!
almost before they can be seen. Pretty soon they
return again, generally bringing some nice morsel
with them. They often first alight on a small
branch of the vine, below the nest, and then hop
up to it.
What a chirping the birdlings keep up with their
mother! They like to talk as well as Eddie Dudley
and some other children, whom I have heard pleasantly
called little chatter-boxes. Children have
much to learn, and must ask many questions. The
world is new and strange to them, and is a constant
source of surprise and wonder. I do not suppose
people ever learn faster than before they are six
years old, or ever learn more in the same length of
time. They are constantly observing, and in this
way the stock of their ideas is continually increasing.
I once heard a gentleman say he did
not like to go through the world with his head
in a bag. He wished to see what was taking
place around him, and it was this seeing, and
thinking upon what he saw, that, among other
things, made him a distinguished man.
The young birds are now seeing and thinking, as
well as birds can. Their time for action has not
come. Like dear children in their happy homes,
they are preparing for the responsibilities of life;
and, if they honour and obey their parents, as far
as birds are expected to do, and as all children
should, I doubt not they will faithfully perform
the duties which will hereafter devolve upon them.
From observations I have made, I conclude the
robins neither send their children to school nor employ
a governess for them. They have so made
their arrangements that either one or the other has
time to attend to their education. Sometimes the
father, and at other times the mother, assumes the
labour of teaching, and their dearly-loved pupils are
quite as attentive to their instructions as any
children I have ever seen.
It was on a bright, warm, breezy morning in
early June, that our friends at Honeysuckleville
decided that the home education of their children
had been attended with such success as to encourage
the hope that they would "come out" creditably to
themselves, and their parents. Arrangements were
accordingly made, and I assure you there was much
talking and no little excitement and bustle upon
the occasion. It was proposed to spend some weeks
in travelling, that the young people might enjoy
themselves, and acquire much useful information,
which could be obtained no other way.
The weather was delightful. A few light, fleecy
clouds were floating in the blue sky, continually
changing from one form of beauty to another. The
sun shone forth in his splendour, cheering the tender
grass and the up-springing seeds, and drawing them
nearer and nearer to his bosom. They stretched toward
him their feeble blades and diminutive leaves,
as if they would gladly be clasped in his arms; but
their growing roots were striking deeper and deeper
into mother earth, and binding them closer and
closer to her.
The gentle, cooling zephyrs were playing among
the leaves, and winning sweet music from the tiny
voices, which responded in glee to their salutations.
Often they lifted the soft hair from the brows of the
children, and frolicked amid their curls, and fanned
their sun-burnt cheeks. It was a morning which
all nature enjoyed. There could not have been a
finer day to start upon a journey. As birds do not
need a change of dress, there was no trunk to pack,
and no travelling-bag to be laden with comforts. All
the preparation necessary was the usual attention to
the toilet, and the instruction and advice which the
The hearts of the young adventurers fluttered
with excitement. There was a mingling of curiosity
to visit the great world of which they had heard
such glowing descriptions, and of fears to trust
themselves to the power of their wings to bear them
from their pleasant, happy home, and keep them
out of harm's way. They had seen Pussy, as she
walked about in her white and black robe, and
though she seemed so gentle, they had been warned
against her as one of their most deadly enemies.
They knew she was often prowling about, with
stealthy tread, to prey upon the unwary. They
feared that, instead of flying to the walnut-tree, as
was the plan, they should fall upon the grass, where
she could pounce upon them and destroy them,
notwithstanding the screams and agonizing entreaties
of their parents. Puss is a full believer in
the doctrine that "might makes right;" and she is
as unmoved by the cries and appeals of her victims
as if they had no hearts to suffer, and were made
merely for her own use.
Many words of encouragement were addressed to
them by their parents. They told them how they
themselves had suffered from similar fears; how
difficult it was for them to trust implicitly in the
wisdom of their own father and mother; and how they
stood, tremulous and fearful, on the top of the nest,
wishing they had sufficient resolution to obey, and
yet fearing to venture; but how easy and pleasant
they found it to spread their wings in the air, and
be borne up by it, when they fully determined to
make the attempt.
Our little birdlings still hesitated, just as I have
seen children hesitate and quiver with terror when
for the first time they go into the water to learn to
swim. They know their father tells them the truth,
for he has never deceived them. He has bound a
life-preserver beneath their arms, and has promised
to remain near, to catch them, if they begin to sink;
yet they are afraid, and draw back. They lack
faith. When at last they timidly push from the
shore, and find themselves buoyed up on the water,
their delight is almost unbounded, and they are
as unwilling to leave as they were reluctant to
The old robins stood on one of the branches of
the walnut-tree, and endeavoured to persuade their
timid brood to come to them. They were not stern
and severe, for they had not forgotten their own youth,
and they sympathized deeply with these children;
but the father found he must be decided, so he told
them, (as it seemed,) authoritatively, that they must
hesitate no longer. He would count one—two—three;
and when he said three, they must spread
their wings and do as well as they could. The
mother smiled lovingly upon them, and they determined
to obey, whatever effort it might cost. "One—two—three,"
counted the robin, in his full, musical
tones. The birdlings fluttered their wings,
and strained every nerve to alight by the side of
their parents. With what joy they felt their feet
clinging round the branch! How elated they were
with their success! They chirped continually, and
merry and brisk was the conversation. "What is
this?" one asked, and "What is that?" said
another, till it seemed as if the old birds would
be weary of their questions; but they never lost
their patience; they thought the little folks remarkably
When they were rested, away flew the birds to
the elm, and called to their young. Grown courageous
by success, they quickly followed, and,
through the whole day, they were flying about from
tree to tree, enjoying themselves highly.
At sunset, I saw them on the locust-tree, near the
cottage, inhaling its delicious perfume, with their
faces toward the west, wondering, perhaps, what
occasioned all that glorious beauty, as the sun
escaped from their view.
Presently they flew to a great cherry-tree, and,
from the chirping and calling, we concluded they
spent the night in its shelter. How strange it must
have been to them, this first night of their perching!
The sky was clear, the stars twinkled, and the half-moon
shed her silvery light on the earth, and
gleamed through the cherry-leaves, as it had done
through the honeysuckles; but it was not home,
that cherry-tree, and they sighed as they thought
of their birthplace. They sat close to their mother's
side, and felt that, after all, where she was, was the
best place for them. They curled up one foot into
the soft down, and turned back their heads till their
bills were beneath their wings. The lids slowly
closed over their eyes, and they slept quietly and
sweetly, till wakened in the morning by the warbling
of songsters who welcomed the rosy dawn.
A new sense of responsibility filled their hearts.
They were no longer mere children, their every
want supplied by others; but they were youth, and
must begin to provide for themselves, and depend
upon their own energies. We frequently hear the
young robins among the trees, but we seldom see
them. We really miss them, and think of them as
pleasant visitors who have been spending a few days
We hope that Honeysuckleville will not be forsaken;
but that every year the birds will return,
and rear their young beneath its fragrant shade,
making hearts of the little Dudleys glad, and teaching
them to love.
"All things, both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
Hath made and loveth all."
"MAY I POP SOME CORN?"
"May I pop some corn?" asked Eddie.
"Yes," answered his mother; and laying down
her work, she went to the closet and got for him
several small ears—some red and some white—the
kernels of which where not half so large as those
of common corn.
Eddie took a white bowl and sat down on the
carpet by his mother with the tiny ears in his apron.
He worked away for some time, shelling first one ear
and then another, till every little kernel was in the
bowl, and nothing but cobs left. These he thought
would help to build a "log-house," so he put them
in his play-box, with those he had treasured before,
and took his bowl to the kitchen.
Kate, the cook, was a coloured woman, and she
loved children. When he said to her, "Mother
told me I might pop some corn," she cheerfully
placed the iron pan on the stove, and when it was
hot enough, told him he might put in the corn.
Pretty soon it went Pop! pop! pop! till the pan
was filled with snow-white kernels. Eddie always
wondered how they could turn inside out and suddenly
grow so large. He did not understand that it
was because of the expansion or swelling of the air
within the hard case, which then burst open to find
Eddie popping corn.
Eddie was very busy for some time in the kitchen
attending to his corn. When it was all done, he
separated that which was popped from that which
was only parched, and put it in different dishes. He
gave his dog Philo some of the brown kernels, and
he seemed to like them as well as Eddie himself.
Eddie enjoyed hearing him crack them with his
sharp teeth, and would stroke his great head, and
say kindly, "Poor Philo! you are a good Philo;"
and the dog would wag his tail as much as to say,
"Dear Eddie! you are a good Eddie."
After giving Philo his share, and Kate hers,
Eddie carried up a large dishful to his mother and
the children. He did not wish to eat it all himself
for he was a generous boy and always liked
to have others partake of his pleasures, whatever
they might be. He reserved some of the
nicest of it in a tumbler, which he placed on his
mother's work-table. Mrs. Dudley took a little,
saying to him,
"If you miss your corn, Eddie, you will know
what has become of it."
He looked up from his play quite soberly, and
said slowly, "Mother, if you wish to eat more you
may, but Iam not going to."
"Why not, my child?"
"I am going to save it for father."
Mrs. Dudley was pleased to see Eddie willing to
deny himself to give to others, so she said to him,
"That is right." When his father came home from
his business, Eddie placed the tumbler beside his
plate on the tea-table. After the blessing was
asked, Mr. Dudley, looking at the children, inquired,
"Where did this come from?" "I popped it,"
answered Eddie. And his father thanked him with
a kind and loving smile.
Eddie was much happier than if he had eaten all
the corn himself, for he had made others happy by
his generosity. "It is more blessed to give than to
receive," the Bible tells us; and Eddie had been
learning this truth in the great pleasure he felt in
dividing his popped corn with others. I hope you
who read this story know how to sympathize with
him. If you do not, will you try the experiment,
and see if you are not far happier to share your
corn, or your candy, or whatever else you may have,
with your brothers and sisters, and those around
you, than you are to devour it yourself? I have
seen little chickens seize their favourite morsel and
run away and hide where they could eat it all alone;
but I should be sorry to think that any child would
"WHICH WOULD YOU RATHER I SHOULD DO?"
"Which would you rather I should do?" asked
Eddie of his mother, his large blue eyes filling with
"I should rather you would stay with me," was
"Then I will, mother!" and the tears remained
where they were, and did not chase each other down
his plump cheeks. A trembling smile played around
his mouth; for he had conquered himself, and had
readily yielded to his mother's wishes. There had
been a struggle, severe, but short, in his mind, and
when he said, "Then I will, mother," he meant he
could be happy to stay at home, and would not ask
again for permission to go with the other children.
Mrs. Dudley could not resist the impulse to clasp
him to her heart, and tell him he was a good
boy; and this made him still happier. He saw
he had pleased her, and her approving smile was
worth more to him than any enjoyment could be
Eddie, you know, is a little boy, five years old. He
has brothers and sisters older than himself, and they
have fine sport in sliding and skating. Their teacher
takes them every day to enjoy it, and they come
home in high spirits, swinging their skates by their
sides, and talking loud and fast about it.
Eddie has watched them many days from the
nursery window, and has longed to be with them;
but his careful mother has feared he would get hurt
among so many skaters, or perhaps be lost in
one of those "air-holes" which are often found in
the most solid ice; so when Eddie asked her if he
might go to the river, she hesitated, for she did not
like to deny him. "Which would you rather I
would do?" then inquired the dear boy; and when
his mother told him, he did not tease her, but
resumed his place at the window.
Mrs. Dudley resolved to go herself with her little
son to the river, when the children went again.
She did not tell him so, however; but the next day,
when the merry skaters were in the midst of their
enjoyment, she put on her hood, and her warm
blanket-shawl, and thick gloves, and calling Eddie
to her, wrapped him in his wadded coat and
woollen tippet, and placing on his head his "liberty-cap,"—knit
of red and black worsted, with a
tassel dangling from the point—and pulling it
well down over his ears, and covering his fat
hands with warm mittens, they started out on
the white snow. The snow was frozen sufficiently
to bear them, and they had a pleasant walk above
the hidden grass and stones.
Eddie was in great glee. His mother enjoyed it
almost as much as he did, for it was an exhilarating
sight. Some of the boys were sliding, some skating,
and others pushing sleds before them, on which a
mother or sister were sitting. It reminded one of
the pictures we often see of skating in Holland;
and, to make the resemblance more perfect, a Dutchman
was there with his pipe, defiling the pure, fresh
air with its foul odour.
Mrs. Dudley was invited to take a ride, and,
leaving Eddie in the care of another, she was soon
seated on one of the sleds, and speeding away before
a rapid skater. She found it far more swift and
agreeable than riding in the usual way. Eddie, too,
had a ride, and his little heart was brimfull of happiness.
He walked about on the ice quite carefully
The river, on which these children were, rises and
falls with the tide. Eddie saw other boys sliding
off towards an icy meadow bordering on it, and he
thought he would go too. The ice formed an
inclined plane; his feet slipped on its smooth surface,
and down he went; he jumped up, but the
blood from his nose, flowing over his face and coat,
and staining the snow, frightened him, and he uttered
a loud cry. The skaters were with him before his
mother, though she was but a few steps away, for
she could not move as quickly as they. It was
pleasant to see their sympathy, and hear their kind
inquiries. His mother soon comforted him; for he
had not been cut by the ice as they feared. The
blood from his nose testified to a pretty hard bump.
He soon forgot the pain, and was as happy as ever.
He will long remember his first sled ride on the
Why do you think, dear children, I have told you
this story about a child whom you have never seen?
I wanted to ask you, or rather have you ask yourselves,
if you are willing, as Eddie was, to do as your
mother thinks best? Much as he wanted to go on
the river, he felt satisfied to do as his mother wished.
I hope, when you know what your mother prefers,
you will make up your minds to give up your own
plans, and be happy in doing so.
I am not one of those who imagine children have
no trials. I know their lives are not all bright and
sunny. I have not forgotten being a child myself.
Many a hard battle has to be fought with wrong
feelings and wrong wishes; but never fear; resolve
to conquer yourselves, and subdue every thing that
is sinful. Every victory will make you stronger,
and render it easier for you to do right. Will
"If at first you don't succeed,
Try, try again."
THE BIRDS AND THE SNOW-STORM.
The weather is warm and sunny. The snow of
winter has disappeared. The grass is green, and
growing finely. The early spring-flowers have
opened their blossoms, and we all think summer is
so near, that the cold weather must be over. The
birds have thought so, too; for they are flying from
tree to tree, singing most beautiful melodies, and
peeping about, here and there, making arrangements
for summer, and selecting places where to build
their pretty nests.
But the wind blows chill again. The sky is
clouded, and people begin to say, "I think we shall
have another snow-storm." It is not long before
the feathery flakes begin to descend. The earth is
so warm that they scarce touch it before they are
melted and absorbed. The snow continues to fall,
the earth grows colder and colder, and soon it cannot
melt the snow, but is itself chilled, and accepts it as
a mantle. For three days the storm rages. The
ground is as white as in mid-winter.
What is to become of the birds? They can find
neither food nor shelter. It is painful to see them
flying distractedly through the storm, not knowing
where to go; but too cold and too hungry to remain
in the trees, and too fearful to seek comfort in the
many warm houses, that would have opened their
windows, if they would have entered under their
Mrs. Dudley's children are all watching them
from the windows, and throwing out hominy and
bread-crumbs for them to eat. How cold the
little sparrows look, as they pick up their food!
Children's hearts are generally tender, and always
so unless they have been hardened by the practice
of cruelty, and Mrs. Dudley's were full of sympathy
for the little sufferers. "Oh! mother!" said
Eddie, the youngest, "if the birds knew how we
loved them, they would come into the house;" but
the birds did not know, and they stayed out in the
snow, and many of them perished.
The children were sadly grieved, when, after the
storm, they found many of their feathered friends
dead. How much they regretted they could not
have saved their lives! If the birds had only known,
as Eddie said, how much the children loved them,
they would have flown into the house, and been
warmed and fed.
There are many dear children who do not know
how much Jesus loves them; how much he wishes
them to enter the "ark of safety," and escape the
dangers there are in the world. There are many
who have not even heard of him; and many of those
who have, do not know he is their best friend.
Do you know how much he loves you, and have
you sought his protection amid all the dangers that
surround you? If you have not found refuge in
that "high tower," of which David speaks in the
Psalms, you are no safer than were the birds flying
through the cold snow, and you surely will be lost
if you do not fly to that kind Saviour, who has prepared
a way of escape for you.
THE FIRST STRAWBERRY.
How bright and red it looked, half-concealed as
it was by the green leaves! It was the first strawberry
of the season. Mary gathered it with delight,
and ran with it to her mother.
"Here is something for you, mother," she said,
holding up the rosy treasure.
"Thank you, my dear!" said Mrs. Dudley,
smiling upon her daughter. She ate it with a
double relish. She was very fond of the fruit, and
she was gratified by this expression of the thoughtful,
unselfish love of her dear child.
How much more Mary enjoyed that look of love,
and that approving smile, than she would have enjoyed
eating that luscious strawberry herself!
Every day, Mary, Willie, and Eddie search for
the fruit as it ripens, and almost every evening their
father and mother find a saucer of berries, with
sugar and cream, beside their plates at the tea-table.
How pleasant it is to see children think so much
of their parents! I hope they will continue obedient
and attentive, for there is no more beautiful
sight than an affectionate, united family.
God will bless those who honour their parents.
"I PRAYED ALL DAY FOR HELP."
It was a beautiful evening early in June. The
air was cool and pleasant. The trees and shrubs
were covered with luxuriant foliage, and the roses
were in their opening beauty. The frogs were
croaking in the pond, and the birds singing on the
trees. The sun had just sunk beneath the horizon.
The clouds which lingered around his pathway received
his parting rays, and were most gorgeously
decorated with the richest of his colouring.
Willie walked about the lawn, his face lighted up
with a smile, and his dark gray eye bright with
happiness. His heart was attuned to harmony with
all nature around him, and he would frequently
look up to his mother, who sat by the open window,
enjoying the delightful evening. Presently Willie
came, and stood by her side.
"How happy I am this evening!" he said to her.
She put her arm around him, and drew him towards
"What makes you so happy?" she inquired.
"Because I have been trying to control my temper,
I suppose"—was his answer.
"You have not been angry to-day, have you?"
"Did you pray about it, Willie?"
"Yes, mother. I prayed all day for help."
"How did you pray?"
"I said, Forgive my sins, and give me a new
"God heard your prayers, and he has helped you
to control your temper. God always hears prayer,
and helps those who ask his aid. I hope you will
never forget to pray for what you need," said his
mother. Willie smiled, and kissed her, and went
out of doors again to enjoy the evening—
"So cool, so calm, so bright."
Willie is generally a good boy, but he has a quick
temper. When three or four years old, he would
sometimes get very angry. I have even known
him to throw things at children with whom he was
playing, if they did any thing to offend him. He
did so one day when his mother was from home.
She was much grieved when she heard it, and talked
seriously with him. It made a deep impression on
his mind. He speaks of it now with great solemnity,
and asks his mother if she remembers it. He feels
that he committed a great sin. He knows it is wrong
to let his temper govern his reason, and he is struggling
to control himself. I think he will succeed.
I knew his grandfather when I was a little girl,
and I remember hearing him say that he was naturally
quick-tempered; but, although I lived in the
same house with him, and saw him under a great
variety of circumstances, I never heard him speak a
hasty word. I hope Willie will obtain as perfect
control over himself, and, if he lives to manhood,
that his friends will be able to say of him what I
can say of his grandfather.
Willie was, at one time, playing with some children,
and found he was growing angry. He immediately
left them, and sat down on the stairs alone.
Pretty soon they followed him. He did not feel
entirely good-natured, so he again left them, and
went into the library. He shut the door and prayed
to his Father in heaven for strength to conquer
himself. He remained there alone till he felt he
had obtained the victory.
Willie is not the only little boy who has a quick
temper, and I tell this story about him for the sake
of the dear children who sometimes get angry. I
hope, like Willie, they will learn to go to God for
help, and then, like his, their countenances will be
radiant with gladness; and they, too, can say,
"How happy I am!"
"An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious
man aboundeth in transgression."
"He that is slow to anger is better than the
mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that
taketh a city."
"He that hath no rule over his own spirit, is like
a city that is broken down, and without walls."
"EVER SO MANY BEAUTIFUL THINGS."
"There are ever so many beautiful things up in
the sky, mother!" said little Eddie, as he sat in his
mother's lap, leaning his head upon her encircling
The clouds had gathered about the horizon, and
assumed many beautiful and fantastic shapes. Some
of them were gorgeously coloured with the rays of
the departing sun, and were shaded from the most
delicate rose to the darkest, richest crimson. As
the sun receded farther and farther behind the green
hills, they grew darker and darker, and the imaginative
boy had seen fancied ships with their sails
spread; steam-vessels with clouds of smoke rolling
from their chimneys; mountains piled upon mountains;
trees, birds, and many other wondrous things
which filled his infant mind with admiration.
Soon the stars twinkled forth, and they awoke a
new interest. At first they appeared one by one, as
if timidly venturing to look down upon our beautiful
planet, and when fully assured that the king of day
had disappeared, they came forth faster and more
numerously, till the whole heavens were bespangled
with their glittering brightness. Then their companion,
the moon, came slowly up, shining with a
soft and mellow light, a new beauty in the "blue
wilderness of interminable air."
Eddie had long gazed silently before he uttered
the exclamation, "There are ever so many beautiful
things up in the sky!" and I suppose he had
many thoughts which it would have been pleasant
for his mother to know. He did not often sit up so
late that he could see the stars.
Eddie is not the only one who has been charmed
with the glowing sunset, the gray twilight, or the
starry firmament. David loved to look upon the
works of God. In one of his psalms, he says,
"When I consider the heavens, the work of thy
fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast
ordained, what is man, that thou art mindful of him,
and the son of man, that thou visitest him!" It
was astonishing to David, that God, who was so
infinitely superior to man, and who had given such
proofs of his power and greatness in the creation
of the heavens, should condescend to notice him, to
provide for his minutest wants, and to protect him
from danger. I suppose this psalm was written in
the night, when the sweet singer of Israel had been
looking at just such a sky as drew from Eddie his
exclamation of admiration.
I often think, as I look abroad, how wonderful it
is that God has made every thing so beautiful. We
need never be weary in studying his works. The
more we learn of them, the more we realize his
greatness and perfection. "The heavens declare
the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his
When you look at the clear blue sky, do you remember
who has spread it out, and who has created
the innumerable worlds which we see, when darkness
covers our earth? "There are," indeed, "ever
so many beautiful things up in the sky," and it was
a Father's hand that placed them there. They are
for us to enjoy, and many a lesson of love and
confidence have they taught God's children. Dear
little Eddie! I hope he will always love nature, and
early learn to "look through nature up to nature's
I shall never forget a drive with my father, when
I was a child so small that I sat on a little footstool
in the carriage, between him and my mother. We
were returning from a visit to Aunt Harriet, at
whose house we had been spending the day. It
was a fine evening. The air was balmy and pleasant.
I remember how the frogs sung in the low
ground, and how we listened to their quaint music.
We had not ridden far before the moon rose, and
the stars, one by one, appeared. My father had a
true love for nature, and for whatever was beautiful
or grand. We drove on without speaking for a
time, each enjoying the evening. My father broke
the silence by repeating that beautiful hymn of
Addison's, commencing with these lines—
"The spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
Their great Original proclaim."
I was awed by the reverence of his manner, and
I felt myself in the presence of my Maker,—a mere
speck amid his vast creations. An ineffaceable impression
was made on my mind, young as I was.
My father died many years ago, while I was still
a child, but the lesson of that hour has not been
LILY AND HER DUCKLINGS.
The white duck, Lily, made a nest on the ground,
in a small enclosure, from which some tame rabbits
had been removed. She gathered the scattered
straw into one corner, and made a much neater nest
than the other ducks did, who laid their eggs under
the wood-pile among the small chips.
She laid several large, smooth, white eggs, and
when she had as many as she could conveniently
take care of, she began to sit on them to keep them
warm, till the little ducks should be ready to peck
their way out. She plucked the soft white down
from her breast, to line the nest, and to make it of a
more even temperature for the eggs; and, whenever
she left to procure food, or to take a short swim on
the pond, she carefully covered them.
The duck cannot spread her wings as wide as the
hen, so she has to be much more particular about her
nest. She makes it deeper and warmer than Biddy.
It is wonderful with what skill all animals rear their
young. It shows the great goodness and kindness
of God, that he should thus fit the creatures he has
made for the duties they must perform. His care
is continual, not only over us, but over them all.
He hears the young ravens when they cry, and the
ducks and the chickens are not forgotten by him.
To the duck he has not given the brooding wings
of the hen-mother; but he has given her a coat of
down, from which she can make a warm bed for her
It was a very pretty sight to see Lily on her nest,
almost covered by the straw, her head turned back,
and her broad yellow bill partially hidden beneath
her wing. The down lay scattered about like snow-flakes.
She looked patient and hopeful, as she
opened her eyes to see who had intruded on her
When a sitting-duck goes in search of food, she
acts so queerly that you would surely laugh to see
her, if you are not accustomed to her odd ways.
She bends her head back, and draws it close to her
body, and waddles about in the greatest haste,
quacking all the time.
Lily waited four weeks before the ducklings appeared.
Some of the brood were of a straw-colour,
and some were marked with spots of black. They
were all pretty. When I first saw them, they were
partly hidden beneath their mother. Their glossy
bills and bright eyes were visible, but they were
afraid to venture from their shelter. They were provided
with water and food in the old rabbit-house,
because, if they followed their mother to the pond,
the musk-rats would probably devour some of them.
While the little ones remained with their mother,
they were safe, but when they became discontented,
and wandered from home, they were sometimes lost.
The rats were their principal enemies, and those
from which they had most to fear. They were constantly
lurking about to catch the ducklings, and
sometimes the defenseless little ones ran directly
into their deep holes, from which there was no possibility
of escape. Quite a number of Lily's family
came to an untimely end in this way.
When I saw them roving about in the high grass,
seeking in vain to find their way to their mother's
presence, and hearing their calls for help, and her
answering cry of distress, I could but think of the
dear children who forget their mother's counsel, and
leave her protection before they are old enough to
take care of themselves.
The ducklings, I observed, did not know who were
their friends; for, one day, when the prettiest of the
brood had found a way out of the rabbit-house, I
thought I would catch it, and give it back to its
mother. It was much alarmed, and Lily was in
equal trouble. It ran away from me, thinking, perhaps
that I was a greater enemy than the rats,
against which it had probably been warned. Just
as I was going to put my hand on it, it hid itself in
a rat-hole, from which there was no escape. I
could not rescue it, neither could its mother. The
next morning, when I went to look at the ducks,
and give them their breakfast, there lay the poor
duckling, close by the fatal hole. The rat had
brought it out, and partly devoured it.
Children often think they know what is best for
them quite as well, if not better, than their parents,
and when told not to do this or that, they are not
satisfied to obey quietly, but ask, "Why not?"
I think children may often be told why they are
bidden to do this, or forbidden to do that; but they
should obey their parents promptly, whether they
know their reasons or not.
Sometimes there are reasons which children cannot
understand, sometimes there are reasons which it
would not be wise to tell them, and sometimes it is
not convenient to give the why and the wherefore.
Children are commanded to obey their parents,—not
the reasons their parents may give them. The young
ducks could not understand why their mother did
not wish them to go out of that enclosure. They
could not comprehend the dangers which surrounded
them. They saw the birds flying about in the air,
and heard the hum of the bees as they were going
abroad for honey, or returning loaded to the hive,
and they could not understand why they might not
wander about too. The red clover looked very
beautiful, and the white clover was so fragrant, they
longed to ramble in it. They thought their mother
unnecessarily strict, because she wished to keep
them with her, instead of permitting them to see all
the pretty things of which they could now and then
catch a glimpse, as they peeped through the cracks
of the rabbit-house.
Children sometimes feel unpleasantly because
they are not permitted to play in the street. Ah!
they are as ignorant of danger as the poor ducklings
and they are too young to understand the peril
to which they are exposed. Even if their mother
should explain it to them, they could realize but
little about it. It is by far the better way for
children to feel that their mother knows best, and
to be satisfied that her reasons are good and sufficient
even if they do not know what they are.
I once heard a distinguished clergyman say he
had always observed that those persons who had
learned to obey their parents promptly, most readily
yielded to the claims of God, and became converted,
while those who had always liked their own way
had generally a long, severe struggle, before they
were willing to give up their sins, and oftentimes
could not make up their minds to do so, and, though
deeply convicted, remained impenitent.
It is a fearful thought that, if you form a habit
of disobedience to your parents, it may cost you
the salvation of your soul.
PRAYING FOR RAIN.
It was the first of July. There had been no rain
for several weeks. Every one feared there would
be a drought. The farmer looked anxiously upon
his fields of corn, whose deep green leaves had not
yet begun to turn yellow, and upon the potatoes,
whose blossoms were still unwithered. They could
not long remain thus beautiful and thriving, if the
refreshing rain was withheld. The ground was so
dry that, in hoeing the garden, no moisture could be
Mrs. Dudley talked with her children about the
need of rain, and the propriety of praying to our
heavenly Father to water the earth, that it might
"bring forth and bud," and "give seed to the
sower, and bread to the eater." She told them how
Elijah prayed for rain, after there had been none in
the land of Canaan for three years and six months,
and how God heard his prayer, "and the heaven
gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit."
This great drought was a judgment upon the people
of Israel for their sin in departing from God,
and worshipping idols. There had been, in consequence
of this want of rain, a "sore famine." We
read in the book of Kings of one poor woman, who
had only a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little
oil in a cruse. When Elijah met her, and asked
her for water, and a morsel of bread, she told him
this was all she had, and that she was gathering
two sticks, that she might bake it for herself and
her son, that they might eat and die! She know not
where to find any more food for herself or her child,
and expected to "pine away, stricken through for
want of the fruits of the field," and to die with hunger.
Elijah bid her not to fear, but go and do what
she had said. He asked her to make him a little
cake first, and bring it to him, and afterwards make
one for herself and son. "For thus saith the
Lord God of Israel, the barrel of meal shall not
waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the
day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth."
It would not have been strange, if this widow of
Zarephath had been unwilling to divide her handful
of meal with Elijah, or if she had doubted the promise
which was made to her, but she did not. She
baked the little cake for the stranger, and afterwards
one for herself and her boy, and there was plenty of
meal and of oil left for another repast. "She, and
he, and her house, did eat of it many days." The
barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of
oil fail, till the Lord sent rain upon the earth, and
her wants could be supplied in the usual way. She
did not lose the reward promised to those who give
a cup of cold water to the friends of God.
God does not willingly afflict the creatures he has
made. He is a gracious God, merciful, and of great
kindness, and has compassion even on the beasts of
the field. When Jonah complained that he spared
Nineveh, because its inhabitants humbled themselves
before him, and turned from their evil way,
after having sent him to prophesy to them that in
forty days it should be overthrown, he said to Jonah,
"Should I not spare Nineveh, that great city,
wherein are more than six-score thousand persons
that cannot discern between their right hand and
their left; and also much cattle?"
In this long drought in the land of Canaan, the
cattle must have suffered greatly, and many of them
probably perished. Indeed, we read that Ahab, the
king of Israel, and Obadiah, the governor of his
house, searched the land for the fountains and
brooks, to find grass to save, the horses and mules
alive, that they might not be all lost.
God is a Father, and, like a tender, loving father,
he removes his chastisements so soon as they have
produced the effect designed. He was "grieved
for the misery of Israel." He told Elijah he would
send rain. The prophet went to Ahab, who, when
he saw him, asked, "Art thou he that troubleth
Israel?" Elijah answered, it was Ahab, and his
father's house, who troubled Israel, because they
had forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and
Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel, and
earnestly prayed for rain. God had promised that
he would send it, and Elijah no doubt pleaded this
promise, as he interceded with him. He directed
his servant to go where he could look towards the
sea. He went and looked, and said, "There is
nothing." Elijah was not discouraged. He knew
God would remember his promise, and he sent
him seven times more. The seventh time the
servant returned, and said, "Behold, there ariseth
a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand."
It grew rapidly larger and larger, till the sky
was black with clouds and wind, and there was a
James, in his Epistle, says, "The effectual fervent
prayer of the righteous man availeth much,"
and he mentions this instance of prevailing prayer
in Elijah, as an encouragement to all Christians to
ask for needed blessings. "Elijah was a man
subject to like passions as we are," he tells us,
and if he prevailed with God, so may others.
God is the "same yesterday, to-day, and forever."
He does not change. He is always a
hearer of prayer.
Mrs. Dudley also told her children that God hears
the cry of all who are in distress. She referred to
one of the psalms of David, where he describes a
storm at sea, and the great terror of the sailors.
"Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and
he delivers them out of their distresses."
God does not forget any creature he has made.
He provides the springs and the streams to give
drink to the beasts of the field, and to the birds
which sing among the branches. He causes the
grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service
of man. He feeds the fowls, and clothes the flowers
with beauty. He has taught us to ask for our daily
bread, and as this must depend upon fruitful seasons
it is proper we should ask for rain, whenever
it is needed.
The children were quite interested in what their
mother had told them. They knew that she earnestly
desired rain, and that she often asked God
to send it, before vegetation perished for want of it.
They watched the sky with great anxiety, and when
it became cloudy, and continued so from day to day,
they thought surely a storm was near. After several
days, there was a slight shower, but not enough
to refresh the plants. Mary was greatly disappointed
"I thought," (she said to her mother,)
"it was going to rain in answer to your prayer."
"I thank God for that little rain," said Eddy, as
he talked about it. Mrs. Dudley told him that was
right, but they ought to pray for more, it was so
The next Sunday Mrs. Dudley was not well, and
could not attend church. When her children returned
she asked Mary if they prayed for rain.
"No, mother!" she answered; "but I did."
The sky continued cloudy for some time, and
then the rain gently fell for a day and a night, and
all nature was refreshed and cheered.
Soon afterwards I left Mrs. Dudley's family.
When I had been absent about a fortnight, I received
a letter from Mary. She told me about the
bantams, and the flowers, and many other things in
which I was interested. She wrote that it had
"rained on Sunday, and all day Monday. I cannot
help thinking," she continued, "how good God is
to send us rain when we most need it, and what
cause we have for thanksgiving."
I hope Mrs. Dudley's children will never forget
that God is the giver of every good gift, and that
he likes to have people ask him for what they need.
Children should think of God as their best friend,
and should go to him in prayer, feeling as sure he
can and does hear them, as they are that their
mother does. In a season of drought they should
ask him for rain, and when he sends it to make
vegetation grow, they should thank him for that
evidence of his loving-kindness.
Very beautiful were the grape-clusters as they
hung on the graceful vine, and very tempting to the
hand that was near enough to pluck them.
Two little boys came on an errand to the lady who
lived in the house which the grape-vine shaded. It
was reviving to come out of the city's heat and dust,
and enter that pleasant parlour, screened from the
fiercer rays of the summer's sun by its green curtain
of leaves. The hot pavement and the glaring
walls of the city seemed far distant, for the charm
of the country was spread over that retired room.
All city sights were shut out, and peace and quiet
The lady was sitting at her desk, writing, when
the boys entered. She spoke to them kindly,
for they were objects of her kind care, although
they did not live with her. They handed her a note
which required an answer. She gave them permission
to play in the yard, while she should write it.
They were very happy, for it was an unusual pleasure
for them. They examined the flowers which
grew in the narrow bed by the high, close fence, and
then they began to look wistfully at the rich bunches
of grapes, which were within their reach. The lady
had not told them that they might gather any, and
they felt that they ought not to do so. But the
tempter was near, and they listened to his suggestions.
The lady was sitting at her desk writing, when the boys entered.
Looking towards the house to see if they were observed,
they cautiously went up to the vine, and
each gathered a bunch of grapes. They ate them
secretly, that they might avoid detection; but although
they knew it not, there was an eye in the
house that saw them, and there was another eye
from which their act was not hid—the eye of the
When the note was written, the boys were recalled
to the parlour, and pleasantly dismissed. I
think they must have felt somewhat ashamed, that
they had abused the confidence reposed in them,
and had been guilty of stealing from their kind
After they left, the lady was informed what they
had done. When she visited "the home," where
they lived, she mentioned the fact to their teacher,
although she did not allude to it to them.
The teacher took occasion to talk with her scholars
about being honest and trustworthy, and asked
them what they should think of children who, when
sent on errands and permitted to go into the yard
to enjoy themselves, should stealthily take the fruit
which grew there. They, of course, condemned
such conduct. She gave them the instruction they
needed, and endeavoured to impress its importance
upon their minds.
Soon after the close of the school, the two boys
who had taken the grapes went to her and told her
what they had done. She talked with them kindly.
They seemed truly penitent. She asked them if
they would like to go to the lady and acknowledge
their fault. They said they should, and immediately
they put on their straw hats, and their clean
sacks, and went cheerfully to make all the reparation
in their power for the fault they had committed.
Confession is always pleasant to the truly penitent.
Again they stood in that shaded parlour. They
were affectionately welcomed as before. They confessed
freely and fully, what they had done on their
previous visit, and asked forgiveness, which was
readily granted. Just as they were leaving, they
turned and inquired, "Can you ever trust us again?"
The lady assured them that she could, and they
went away happy and strengthened in their good
From that time there has been a marked change
in the children. Their characters have much improved
and they have been, in all respects, more
conscientious and trustworthy. One of the boys
has, I think, found a Christian home, and the other
is waiting for one.
"IT ALMOST MAKES ME CRY."
"It almost makes me cry to think of the heathen,"
said Willie Dudley, as he was standing by his mother's
work-table, with his elbow leaning upon it,
and his head resting upon his hand. "I don't wonder
missionaries go to them." His face was thoughtful
and sad, and the tears stood in his eyes.
He had just been looking at two hideous idols,
which had been brought from Africa, and his mother
had been telling him that the heathen thought they
were gods, and prayed to them.
Little Eddie wondered that any people could
think these stone images were God. His large, blue
eyes looked larger and rounder than ever, they were
so filled with amazement at what he heard. He
could only say, "Oh, mother! oh, mother!" in
tones which indicated surprise, pity, and horror.
Mrs. Dudley told her children that the heathen
had not been taught, as we have, that God is a
spirit, and that they had never learned the commandment,
"Thou shalt not make unto thee any
graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is
in the heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath,
or that is in the water under the earth; thou shalt
not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them;
for I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God, visiting
the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto
the third and fourth generation of them that hate
me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that
love me, and keep my commandments."
"I don't wonder that the missionaries go to
them," was the sentiment on the mind of Willie, as
he thought of the ignorance and degradation of the
heathen. He loved, himself, to hear about God,
and our blessed Saviour, and he knew that God
required a pure and spiritual worship. He knew
God was the Creator of the world, and that his
power and glory could not well be represented or
conceived by man. He had often heard of the
heathen, and had read about their idols, but to see
and handle a stone head which had been actually an
object of religious worship, made it seem much
more real to him than ever before, that there are
many people who have never learned to worship the
Willie has always had a great reverence for his
heavenly Father. Several years ago, he was reading
a description of one of the idols of the Hindoos.
The picture was disgustingly repulsive. He went
to Mrs. Dudley with his book, saying, "Mother, I
don't like to call g-o-d God here; I want to call it
d-o-g, for I don't think it is right to call such a thing
by that great name."
Perhaps Willie will some day be a missionary,
and preach the glad tidings of salvation to those
who are now sitting in darkness, and in the shadow
of death. But if he is not a missionary himself, I
trust he will never forget to do what he can for those
who, far from their homes and their friends, are
fulfilling Christ's last command, to "go into all the
world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
All Christians cannot be missionaries, but they
can all do something to spread a knowledge of true
religion throughout the world. They can contribute
of their property to this noble purpose. Our
heavenly Father accepts the smallest gift, offered in
love. We, surely, who live in comfortable homes,
and are surrounded by so much that is pleasant,
should never forget those who, in foreign lands, are
preaching the "unsearchable riches of Christ."
If our Saviour were now upon the earth, I suppose
dear children, you think it would be a great
pleasure to minister to his wants, and provide him
with food or clothing, or any thing he might need.
It is delightful to know that what we do for those who
love him, he accepts as done to himself. In his
Holy Word he says, "Inasmuch as ye have done it
unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye
have done it unto me."
THE BOY WHO STEALS.
Mrs. Dudley was sitting at her dining-table.
The dessert was before her. There were fine, red
water-melons, rich and juicy, with glossy black
seeds peeping out from their hiding-places, and
musk-melons, fragrant and luscious, which grew in
her own garden. They had been gathered early
in the morning, by George and Willie, and placed
in the cellar, that they might be cool and refreshing.
The boys had assisted in planting them in the
spring, and with their little hoes they had worked
about them during the summer, and subdued the
weeds. They had watched their growth, and every
day they examined the vines to find those that were
ripe. They carefully gathered them, and sometimes
there were so many that their wheelbarrow was
quite full. Then they had the pleasure of carrying
some to their neighbours. Mrs. Dudley did not
consider good ripe fruit injurious, but much more
healthy, in summer, than meat, puddings, and
pastries, so that melons formed quite an important
part of the family dinner. The children enjoyed
them particularly, because they had raised them, in
part, by their own industry.
George asked to be excused from the table. Not
long after he left, Mrs. Dudley heard a cry, as if
some child was in trouble. She looked around.
Mary, and Willie, and Eddie were there. The
sounds of distress could not come from George, for
he never cried in that way. Mr. and Mrs. Dudley
immediately arose and went out upon the lawn.
The children followed. They looked here and there,
and soon saw a boy near the house. He had a
small bundle in his hand, and a little tin pail. I
should think he was ten or eleven years old. He
was crying, and calling to a boy who stood at the
gate. Mr. Dudley inquired of him,
"What is the matter?"
"John won't let me go home."
"How does he prevent you? What does he do
to you?" asked Mrs. Dudley.
"He won't let me alone."
"Does he try to make you fight?" she again inquired,—for
she had frequently seen that large boys
often love to tease and torment smaller ones, and she
thought perhaps this little fellow was abused by a
tyrannical companion. She thought of going to
speak to the boy at the gate, but Mr. Dudley made
further inquiries, and the child's answers were not
Mary Dudley now came near her mother, and,
speaking in a low voice, said to her, "That is the
boy who steals."
While they were talking with him a larger boy
came up, and said his teacher had sent him and the
boy at the gate to take Jimmy back to school.
"Why, what has he done?" asked one of the
group which surrounded him.
"He has been stealing the children's dinners.
He stole yesterday, and he has been stealing to-day."
This was a sad account to hear. Jimmy begged
to be permitted to go home, but Mr. Dudley told
him he had better return to the school. He then
very reluctantly walked down to the gate with the
largest boy, and I suppose was led back to his
Mrs. Dudley had never heard of this child before,
but Mr. Dudley said he had known him as a very
bad boy. She asked Mary how she happened to
know any thing about him. Mary told her that he
attended Sunday-school, and that, a few Sundays
before, one of the children could not find his cap.
A thorough search was made for it, but it could not
be found. The superintendent thought some one
must have taken it. He suspected Jimmy, because
his reputation was so bad, and followed him on his
way home. Jimmy had it on his head, and his own
cap was hidden under his sack!
The superintendent of the school talked with
Jimmy, who said he would never steal again; but,
alas! he soon forgot his good resolution. Although
he carried a dinner for himself in his tin pail, he
took whatever he liked from the baskets of his companions.
Mrs. Dudley has seen this boy several times since
she heard him crying on the lawn. She says it
always makes her feel sad to meet him, for she cannot
avoid thinking,—"that is the boy who steals."
She has learned that he has no father or mother,
but lives with his grandparents. I fear he "will
bring down their gray hairs with sorrow to the
grave." He has allowed himself to steal small
things, and as he grows older he will probably take
articles of more value. He may become a housebreaker
or a murderer.
It is dangerous to indulge in the least sin. It
hardens the heart, and stifles the whisper of that
still, small voice, which so often tells children, when
they are tempted to do wrong, "That is not right;
you should not do that."
In some Catechism the question is asked, "What
is my duty to my neighbour?" and a part of the
answer is, "To keep my hands from picking and
stealing." I suppose "picking" must mean, secretly
taking little pieces of cake, or sugar, or
any thing of the kind, of small value. I presume
Jimmy was in the habit of "picking," at his grandmother's
before he ventured to steal at school.
I could tell you several very sad stories of people
who have stolen when they were children, and who
have grown more and more wicked, as they have
advanced in years, till they became a curse to
society and themselves. "The way of transgressors
is hard." These people have no true enjoyment.
There is always a fearful looking forward to the
It is not pleasant to me to write about bad children,
and I should not do it if it were not to warn
the dear children I so much love against the formation
of wrong and sinful habits.
How much better it would be for Jimmy if he
had learned to "touch not, taste not, handle not,"
that which does not belong to him!
LOOK AT THE BIRDS!
October, with its golden and crimson hues, its
"gentle wind," and its "fair sunny noon," has
passed away. November has come. The sun
shines brightly, and the sky is almost clear of
clouds; but the chill wind blows roughly, and the
leaves are rudely torn from the trees where they
have gladdened us through the spring and the summer
by their refreshing shade, their modest beauty,
and their sweet music, as they sung to the gentle
breeze which played amid the branches. They lie
now, most of them, beneath the trees, wrinkled and
faded, or scattered here and there, far from their
fellows, wherever the cold blast has wafted them.
The birds have been taught by their unfailing
instinct that summer has departed, and winter is
near. They no more warble their rich melodies, or
flit in and out of the bowery recesses of the honeysuckles
or peep with knowing look under the eaves,
or into the arbour. Other purposes prompt to other
acts, and they are taking their farewell of the
pleasant summer haunts, where they have built their
nests and reared their young.
This morning, soon after sunrise, Willie was
standing on the lawn, contemplating the beauties of
nature, and thinking, I suppose, of the changes of
the seasons, when all at once I heard him shout,
"Look at the birds! Look at the birds!" We threw
open the window, and there were thousands and
thousands of them almost over our heads. Their
wings made a noise like the rushing of a steam-engine
as it cleaves the air in its speed. They were
calling to each other with a short, quick sound. It
seemed as if they were giving and receiving orders.
We watched them till they disappeared over the
"There are more! There are more!" shouted
Mary. We again looked towards the rising sun, and
up over the eastern hills came another immense
flock, calling to each other as the first, and they too
disappeared behind the western hills.
"There is another flock!" and so indeed there
was. Up from the meadows and over the hills they
came, swaying up and down in their flight, and so
near that we could see each bird distinctly. Almost
simultaneously they alighted on Clover Hill
to rest for a moment. I can never forget their motion
so full of grace and beauty, waving and undulating
like the gentle swell of the ocean. Soon,
another company followed in the same direction,
and when they were over Clover Hill, up flew the
others, and away they went with them beyond our
sight. Flock after flock appeared, each taking the
same general direction, and some of them so large
that they stretched from the hills which bounded
our view on one side, as far as our eye could see on
the other. They looked, as Willie said, like bees
swarming, only they were much larger. Occasionally
a few stragglers could be seen, hurrying on to
join their party, which was in advance of them.
Perhaps they had delayed to take a last farewell of
their pleasant summer homes, or, may be, they
were dilatory in their habits, and did not make
their morning toilet in season. I hope they will be
more prompt in future, for it is a bad habit to be
late, and occasions, often, much vexation and inconvenience.
I never before saw so many birds together,
although I have frequently been startled by the
peculiar sound made by large numbers flying in
company, and have looked at them with wonder and
The migration of birds is one of the most remarkable
phenomena in natural history. "The stork in
the heaven knoweth her appointed times, and the
turtle, and the crane, and the swallow, observe the
time of their coming," and so do all birds of passage.
Their Creator has endowed them with a wonderful
instinct, which, in some way, unknown to us,
teaches them to guard against the severity of the
season by seeking a warmer climate, and when
"winter is past," and "the flowers appear on the
earth," and "the vines, with the tender grape,
give a good smell," then "the time of the singing
of birds is come," and their voice is heard in our
land. Some of them return, not only to the same
country, but to the same place, where they have
previously built their nests, and, year after year,
raise their broods in the same friendly tree.
It is said that, to enable birds to fly with ease,
and to continue long on the wing, they must fly
against the wind. I observed, this morning, that
there was a brisk wind from the west, while the
birds were flying a little south of west. Perhaps
they had been waiting several days for a favourable
wind, and that may have been the reason of the
great number of flocks we saw.
"Behold the fowls of the air," said our Saviour,
in his sermon on the mount; "for they sow not,
neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, yet
your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not
much better than they?" At another time, when
he was talking with his disciples about the persecutions
they should endure for his sake, he said to
them, "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?
and one of them shall not fall on the ground without
your Father. But the very hairs of your head
are all numbered. Fear ye not, therefore; ye are
of more value than many sparrows."
Not one of that immense number of birds, which
we saw flying to a warmer country, can perish
without God's knowledge. He sees every one of
them. During the summer, he has fed them on
the meadows near the sea-shore, and now that
winter is approaching, he has taught them to seek
other localities, where their appropriate food can be
Whenever God's children are tempted to yield to
despondency, and to fear that they shall suffer from
want, let them remember that they are of more
value than many sparrows, and that if they trust
their heavenly Father, their bread shall be given
them, and their water shall be sure. He who feeds
the birds will feed them. May he
"Fill" our souls "with trust unshaken
In that Being who has taken
Care for every living thing,
In Summer, Winter, Fall and Spring."
THE LOST CHILD.
It was a Sabbath morning in November, clear,
bright and frosty. Mrs. Dudley's family were preparing
for church. They heard Carlo bark violently,
and knew a stranger must be near. Carlo is a faithful
watch-dog, but his habit of barking at visitors is
so disagreeable, that he is usually kept chained in
the day-time. On Sunday, as no company is expected,
he is permitted to go at large. When Mr.
Dudley heard Carlo, he immediately threw open the
window, and spoke to him. He saw a gentleman,
who was evidently much alarmed. None of the
family knew him. The stranger soon made known
the occasion of his call, by inquiring,
"Have you seen any thing of a stray child?"
"No, we have not; whose child is lost?"
"How old is the child?"
"About six years old. His mother sent him
from home, yesterday, about two o'clock, and she
has heard nothing from him since. He had a small
tin pail with him to get some yeast."
It is sad to hear that a child is lost, and all the
family sympathized with the anxious parents. "How
badly you would feel if I was lost!" said Eddie, and
he looked sober and grieved, as he thought of the
little boy about his own age, who had wandered
from home, no one knew where. There was much
fear that he had fallen into the river, as he had
been seen on the dock.
At ten o'clock the family started for church.
They met people who were searching for the child,
and who asked them, as the gentleman had done at
the house, "Have you seen any thing of a stray
Notice was given in the churches that a boy was
lost, and many a mother's heart beat quicker as she
thought of her own dear little ones, and imagined
one of them sleeping, perhaps, through that cold
November night on the ground, or (fearful thought!)
buried deep in the chill water.
After church, you could hear one and another
inquiring anxiously, "Has the child been found?"
But no favourable answer was received. In the
afternoon, however, many hearts were gladdened by
learning that he was safe. He had gone to the
village, and got his pennyworth of yeast, and then,
instead of returning immediately, he stopped to
play with some boys. He had gone with them to a
part of the village with which he was not acquainted
and when he wished to go home, he did
not know what direction to take. He chose a road
leading him from home, and wandered at least five
miles. Just before dark an old gentleman and his
grandson were walking on the road, and they observed
this little boy crying.
"What do you suppose he is crying about?" said
the child to his grandfather.
"I don't know. Perhaps he has been sent to the
grocery, and does not like to go."
They watched him and found he did not stop,
but passed on with his tin pail, crying grievously.
They waited for him to come up to them, and
"What are you crying about?"
"I want to go home!"
"Where is your home?"
The boy could not tell.
"What is your name?"
"William Hudson." He did not say, as he
should have done, William Hudson McPherson.
The old gentleman kindly took him by the hand,
and led him to his own home. William's tears
were soon dried, and he became quite contented.
It was too late to attempt to find his parents that
night, as he could not tell where they lived, and the
name of Hudson was not familiar to the good people
who had given him shelter.
When Sabbath morning came, William was questioned
again and again, till at length some clue was
obtained of his father's place of residence. The
horse was harnessed, and William, with lame and
blistered feet, was placed in the wagon. About
noon he safely reached home, and was clasped once
more to his mother's heart. The father had not
returned from his search, and he afterwards said, it
had seemed to him that he never could go home
without his child, on account of the terrible and
almost frantic distress of the mother. As he approached
his house, borne down with grief, he saw
a wagon at the door. His heart leaped with joy,
for he thought the lost one was found. He opened
the door hopefully, and there, indeed, was William
gathered once more with his brothers and sisters
around the great cooking-stove, tears of joy flowing
down the grateful mother's cheeks.
All this great grief which William's father and
mother endured—all the anxiety felt throughout
the town—and all the sufferings of the boy himself,
were occasioned by William's stopping to play, when
he ought to have gone directly home!
Children often think they are quite as capable of
judging for themselves, as their parents are for
them. Sooner or later this opinion will lead them
into trouble. William thought it was safe to stop
and see the boys play marbles, but he found, to his
sorrow, that it would have been far better to have
resisted temptation and denied himself the short
pleasure he enjoyed.
Every human heart is grieved when a child like
William strays from home. We do not wonder that
his mother should be fearfully anxious in regard
to his fate. But, oh! how much more bitter tears
a loving mother sheds, when her dear ones stray
from the path of virtue, and become disobedient and
wicked! I hope none of the children who read
about William will go astray from the right path,
but will ever choose that which is pure and lovely
and of good report, and which, through the grace
of God in Christ Jesus, will safely lead them home
THE UNPLEASANT NEIGHBOUR.
Eddie's father has a disagreeable neighbour. In
one way or another he is a constant source of annoyance.
Sometimes his pigs will creep through
the fence, and root up the smooth green lawn. His
part of the fence he will not keep in repair, and the
hungry cows, in search of food, will break into the
garden, and make sad havoc among the cabbages
and other vegetables. His fine bay horse, whom he
knows will jump over any ordinary fence, is permitted
to run in a pasture, where he can eke out his
scanty meal by a hearty lunch among Mr. Dudley's
corn. All these aggressions, and many more, have
been borne with the greatest patience.
Mr. Dudley has often been advised to resort to
the law as a means of defence, yet he has been reluctant
to do so. The children have sometimes felt
very indignant when they have been obliged to
chase the pigs or the cows out of the yard or field,
but their parents have endeavoured to teach them
At one time Eddie had been thinking about Mr.
Morrison,—for by that name I shall call the unpleasant
neighbour,—and he said very seriously to his
"Mother, can Mr. Morrison go to heaven if he
She hesitated a moment how to answer him, for,
she had taught him that it is wicked to lie and to
swear, and that if a person loves God he will not be
in the habit of committing such sins; so she told
him, that unless Mr. Morrison repented he could not
go to heaven.
At another time Eddie and his mother were talking
about God's love for the beings he has made.
She told him that God loves every one.
"Does he love Mr. Morrison?" he inquired.
"Yes, God loves Mr. Morrison. He is grieved
and offended by his wickedness, but he loves him.
You know I love you, when you have done wrong,
although I am sorry that you have been naughty.
I do not cease to love you. The Bible tells us that
while we were sinners, God so loved us as to send
his Son to die for us. He loves all, and wishes all
to repent and believe in Christ, and be happy. He
has provided a way for all who believe to be saved,
and it is only because people love sin more than they
love holiness, that they are lost."
Nothing can give us a higher idea of God's love,
than the thought that he loves every one—even his
enemies. "God is love." What a blessed, glorious
thought! How it encourages us to trust him
at all times!
God does not willingly afflict, nor grieve, nor punish
any one. All that he does, he does from the
The knowledge that God loves us should lead us
to love him. We are naturally disposed to love
those who love us, and always do, unless there is
something repulsive about them. There can be
nothing repulsive about God, for he is love, and we
who love him, love him because he first loved us.
One night, after little Eddie had repeated the
Lord's Prayer and his usual evening petitions, he
raised his head, and said to his mother,
"Shan't I pray for Mr. Morrison, now?"
"Yes, dear, if you wish to," she answered.
He bowed his head again, and uttered a simple
prayer for the man who was the occasion of so
much trouble and perplexity to his father's family.
He prayed that God would forgive his sins for
Jesus' sake, and make him a good man. It was
very pleasant to hear Eddie pray thus, and to witness
his kind and forgiving spirit.
Mr. and Mrs. Dudley have often regretted that
the children should have their early memories saddened
by such a neighbour, but perhaps their heavenly
Father wishes to teach them a lesson of forbearance
and love for those who injure them, which
they could not so well learn in any other way.
Our Saviour, when dying on the cross, taught us
practically the duty of forgiveness. He prayed
even for those who put him to death. "Father,
forgive them, for they know not what they do."
Do you not suppose he was pleased to hear Eddie
ask his Father in heaven to forgive Mr. Morrison
and make him a good man?
THE BOY WHO KEPT HIS PURPOSE.
"I would not be so mean," said George Ward
to a boy who stood by, while he put the candy he
had just bought in his pocket.
"I wouldn't be so mean."
"You have no right to call me mean," replied
Reuben Porter, "because I don't spend my money
"You never spend it for any thing," continued
It was true. Reuben did not spend his money.
Do you suppose it was because he loved it more
than other boys do?
Reuben turned slowly away, meditating upon
what had occurred.
"I will not care for what George thinks," he at
length said to himself; "I have four dollars now,
and when I have sold my cabbages, I shall have
another dollar. I shall soon have enough," and his
heart bounded joyfully, his step recovered its elasticity
and his pace quickened, as the pleasant thought
removed the sting which the accusation of meanness
had inflicted on his sensitive spirit.
Enough did not mean the same with Reuben as
it means with grown people. It had a limit. He
hastened cheerfully home, or to the place he called
home. He had no father or mother there, but kind
and loving friends in their stead. His father had
died two years before, leaving a wife and four
children without property to sustain them. Reuben
was the eldest, and as he was old enough to assist
in the labours of a farm, it was thought best he
should leave his mother. Mr. Johnson, a neighbour
took him into his family, where he soon became a great favourite.
There was one thing about the child, however,
which good Mrs. Johnson regarded as a great fault.
It was what she called "a spirit of hoarding." She
said she never gave him an orange, or an apple, that
he did not carry it to his room, instead of eating it.
Perhaps his sisters at home, or dear little brother
Benny, could tell what became of them.
Mrs. Johnson had noticed, too, in his drawer, a
box, which was quite heavy with money. She did
not believe he had bought so much as a fish-hook,
since he had been in their family. If he should go
on in this way he will grow up to be a miser. Mr.
Johnson smiled at his wife's earnestness, and remarked
that with such an example of generosity as
Reuben had constantly before him, he could not
believe the child was in much danger from the fault
she feared. "It must be remembered," he said,
"that Reuben has his own way to make in life.
He must early learn to save, or he will always be
poor. There are his mother and sisters, too, who
need his aid."
In various ways Reuben added to his store.
When the snow came, he made nice broad paths
about the house, which so attracted the notice of a
neighbour, that she asked if he might be allowed to
make paths for her. He rose early that he might
have time for this extra work, and was well paid for
his efforts. The box grew heavier from week to
week. Reuben had almost enough.
One day there was a barrel of flour left at Mrs.
Porter's. She thought there must be a mistake
about it; but the man said he was directed at the
store to take it to that house. Mrs. Porter went
immediately to learn about it, and what was her surprise
on finding her son had been the purchaser.
How could he pay for a whole barrel of flour?
"The money," said the merchant; "he brought in
a box. It was in small bits, which took me some
time to count, but there was enough."
The mother called, with a full heart, at Mrs.
Johnson's, and related what had occurred. Reuben
wondered why his mother should cry so. He thought
she would be happy. He was sure he was happy.
He had been thinking two years of that barrel of
flour, and now he felt more like laughing than
Those tears, noble boy, are not tears of sorrow,
but of the deepest, fullest joy. You are more
than repaid for your self-denial. You have persevered
in your determination. You have resisted
every temptation to deviate from the course which
you marked out as right. You have borne meekly
the charge of meanness so galling to your generous
spirit, and now you receive your reward. You are
happy, and so is your mother, and so are your kind
friends, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson.
That night, Mr. Johnson remarked to his wife, as
they sat together before the cheerful fire, that he had
some idea of keeping the little miser and educating
him. "A boy who could form such a purpose, and
keep it, will, in all probability, make a useful man."
After-years proved the correctness of this conclusion.
Reuben is now a man of intelligence and
wealth. He is one whom the world delights to
honour; but among his pleasantest memories, I
doubt not, is that of the barrel of flour he bought
for his beloved mother.
"Filial love will never go unrewarded."
Mary and Eddie had retired to their little beds.
Their mother had said "good night," and had given
them both a kiss. She was just leaving the room,
when Eddie said to his sister,
"Now you can tell me about Jesus."
This simple remark revealed to Mrs. Dudley the
subject of their conversation after she left them for
the night. It gave her great pleasure, for she desires
nothing so much as that her children may
love the Saviour, and she knows the more they think
about him, and the more they learn of his life,
the more they will find him worthy of love. Mrs.
Dudley offered up a silent prayer to her heavenly
Father that the Holy Spirit would teach them and
guide them into all truth.
She did not remain with the children to hear
them as they talked together, but a few days afterwards
she asked Eddie what Mary told him about
Jesus. He repeated the history of his birth, of the
cruel persecution of Herod, of his blameless life,
and his death upon the cross.
Eddie is too young to realize much about the
great love of Christ, and how much he has done
for us that we may be happy, but he is not too
young to love him.
I hope he will never forget the sweet story Mary
told him. Jesus loves little children. He is their
best friend, always ready to forgive them when they
are sorry for doing wrong, and to help them when
they try to do what is right.
Even now, as I am writing, I hear children singing
"There is a happy land
Far far away."
The sound grows fainter and fainter—eyelids
are drooping—sleep is near—the voices are hushed—the
little ones are slumbering. May "holy
angels guard their bed."
THE SUNNY FACE, AND THE SHADY FACE;
OR, JUNE AND NOVEMBER.
"How happy I am to-night! I love you so
much I want to be with you all the time," said
Willie to his mother, as he followed her from the
dining-room to the nursery, one stormy evening.
What made Willie so happy? It was not because
the day had been pleasant, and he had been permitted
to enjoy himself out of doors, for a chilling
snow had been falling, and Willie had been obliged
to remain in the house. It was not because he was
well, for many hours of the day he had been lying
on the bed too ill to sit up all the time. It was not
because he had received a handsome present, for
none had been given him.
There had been nothing unusual to make him so
happy, excepting a thought hidden in the secret
recesses of his heart. Shall I tell you what that
thought was, that made his face so bright and
sunny, that made his eyes sparkle, and wreathed his
lips with smiles? I will tell you in his own words,
and I hope you will treasure it in your heart. If
you do, your face, too, will be cheerful and smiling,
and your friends will love to look upon you.
When Willie told his mother how happy he was,
she put her arm around him, and drew him lovingly
to her side. "What makes you so happy?" she
"I suppose it is because I have been trying to be
good," he answered.
"That always makes people happy," his mother
Willie is generally a good boy, but he sometimes
does wrong, and wrong-doing always makes him sad.
It was a great pleasure to him that he had tried
to be good, and had been enabled to overcome
All children are sometimes tempted to do wrong,
and it often requires a severe struggle to decide to
do right. But every child who overcomes evil
feels a conscious happiness and self-respect in so
doing. I hope you will "try to be good." If you
do, and look to Christ for strength, he will aid you,
and through his grace you will be able to become
conqueror over the sins that "so easily beset you."
Henry Maxwell lives in the same town with
Willie, and is of the same age. These boys often
play together. I regret to be obliged to say that
Henry is not so good a child as Willie. He does
not so promptly obey his mother, and of course he
cannot be so happy. Sometimes he pouts out his
lips, when his mother wishes him to do something
which he does not exactly like.
I one day heard his mother talking to him about
his teeth. She wished him to brush them again, as
he had not done it thoroughly the first time. It
was astonishing to see how that fair, round face was
disfigured by that ugly pout, and it was sad to hear
his dissatisfied "I don't want to." When his mother
insisted on obedience, Henry reluctantly complied
with her wishes, closing the door behind him with
His face was not sunny and bright like Willie's,
when he had tried to be good, but was dark and
shady, like a clouded sky. It was not pleasant to
look upon, and it made the heart of his mother
heavy and sad to see it. I hope Henry will learn
to be cheerful and prompt in his obedience to his
mother, for, if he should not, the expression of his
face will grow more and more disagreeable, till, when
he is a man, it will look more like a chilly day in
November, than a sweet, gladsome day in June.
I do not wish you should tell me, but I should
like to have you ask yourself, when you have read
about these two boys, which of them you are most
like. Is your face sunny, or shady?
"IT ISN'T FAIR. I PEEPED."
Willie and Eddie were playing Hide the Button.
After they had played some time, and it was Willie's
turn to find it, he came into the nursery with his
face flushed, and evidently much excited. "It isn't
fair," said he, and the tears gathered in his eyes, and
his lips quivered with emotion, "I peeped. Eddie
must hide it again;" and he went out of the room,
for Eddie to put the button in another place.
Willie had been overcome by temptation. He
had done a dishonourable act, but his conscience
was quick to reprove him, and he had listened to its
admonitions. There had been a short but severe
struggle in his mind, and truth and honour had
conquered. He was brave enough to confess his
fault, and to do what he could to make amends
Mrs. Dudley was not at home, but a friend who
had charge of the children told her the circumstance.
It rejoiced her greatly that her dear boy
should have had the manliness to acknowledge his
error; and it encouraged her to hope that he would
never be guilty of a similar fault again. Willie is
a conscientious boy. He sometimes does wrong, as
in this instance, but when he reflects, he is always
Mrs. Dudley did not say any thing to Willie
about the occurrence; but a few evenings afterwards
as she was sitting at the tea-table alone, the
others having all left, he came to her and stood
by her side, leaning his elbow upon the table, and
resting his head upon his hand. She knew by his
manner and his serious look that he had something
in particular to say to her. She put her arm around
him and drew him close to her.
"Mother," said he, "the other day, when you were
gone, I peeped while Eddie hid the button;" and
then went on and told her all about it. Mrs. Dudley
talked with him a short time, and said he had done
right in confessing his fault, and in refusing to
profit by his wrong act. She knew he was much
happier than he could have been if he had done otherwise.
"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper;
but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have
mercy." Willie found the happiness of an approving
conscience; and I doubt not that Jesus looked
down with love upon him, as he does upon all true
penitents. "There is joy in heaven over one sinner
If Willie had not confessed his fault, and been
sorry for it, his conscience would have been hardened
and he would probably have "peeped"
another time, when the children played the same
game. But now, if he should be tempted in this
way again, he would remember how much he suffered
in consequence of having once yielded to a
similar temptation, and would not allow himself to
commit the wrong.
It is very important that children should early
learn to confess their faults, and not form the habit
of endeavouring to hide them from others. If they
have injured any individual, they should apologize
to that individual. Sometimes it is only necessary
to confess to God, but we should not be satisfied
with doing it in a general manner. Each wrong
act, so far as we remember it, should be mentioned.
If we really love our heavenly Father, we shall
wish to tell him all about ourselves. We shall have
no desire to conceal any thing from him, and it will
be a pleasure to us to think that he knows every
thought and feeling of our hearts.
Willie had no wish to conceal from his mother
the wrong he had done; he preferred to tell her
about it; and I have no doubt he had previously
told his Father in heaven.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just
to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
"O mother, look here! What is this?" exclaimed
Eddie, as he was in the garden with his
mother and Mary and Willie. He was standing
by a tall pole, around which a Lima bean-vine had
wound itself. He had been gathering the great dry
pods in a basket to preserve them for winter, when
his grandmother would come to Clover-Hill to see
her dear grandchildren. His attention had been attracted
by something peculiar, and he immediately
called his mother to come and see it. Mary and
Willie ran to look. Mrs. Dudley found it was a
beautiful green chrysalis, suspended by its silken
cords to the vine. The colour was soft and delicate,
and it was ornamented with a black line, and with
bright golden spots.
"Isn't it pretty, mother?" "How did it get
here?" and many more questions were rapidly
asked, while the little folks carefully examined it.
Mrs. Dudley told them what it was, and that if they
preserved it, they would in a few days see a butterfly
escape from it. Eddie looked up astonished. She
also told them that it was once a worm, crawling
about upon the earth; that it had climbed up, and
suspended itself under the shelter of the leaves, to
await its change into a new and more attractive
form of being.
Mrs. Dudley took the chrysalis from the vine and
carried it to the house, and put it on the mantle in
her room. Every day the children looked at it to
ascertain if there was any change. Soon the colour
began to fade, and the delicate pea-green became an
ashen white. Then it opened slightly, where there
had from the first seemed to be lines of division, and
they could peep in at the imprisoned insect. The
opening became wider and wider, and one day, when
Eddie came into the room and went as usual to look
at the chrysalis, the shell was empty! The butterfly
had escaped. He uttered an exclamation of mingled
surprise and disappointment. As he turned
his head, he saw, on the little cotton muff of
Mary's doll, the butterfly for which he had so patiently
"Here it is, mother!" he shouted in the most
joyous tones, and his eyes sparkled with delight.
Eddie and his mother observed it for some time.
Its long, slender legs rested on the muff, and ever
and anon it would open and close its brilliant
wings, as if to try their power, or to dry the miniature
feathers which adorned them. Its colour was a
rich orange, shaded from the lighter tints to the
deeper, and variegated with stripes of black. The
children examined it with a microscope, which
made it appear even more beautiful and wonderful
It remained on the muff several hours, and then
flew to the window, and alighted on the curtain.
At evening, it was found on the cushion of a spool-stand,
and there it passed the night. The next day
it disappeared, and the children saw it no more. It
probably flew away through the open window, to
enjoy its brief life under the smiling sun.
The children talked much about the transformations
which had taken place in the life of that caterpillar.
Their mother told them that the butterfly
was sometimes considered a type of immortality.
In this world we are, like the worm, in an inferior
state of existence. Our bodies are laid in the grave,
but we are not dead, any more than the unmoving
chrysalis—which remained so long on the mantel
just where it was placed—was dead. The spirit
still lives, and, after it has freed itself from the imprisoning
flesh, is more beautiful than before, and
is susceptible of more perfect enjoyment in the pure
atmosphere of heaven.
CHRISTMAS AT THE COTTAGE.
Mrs. Dudley's children look forward to Christmas
with many anticipations of pleasure, for several
weeks before it comes. They are quite busy in preparing
for it. Their mother is the repository of
their secrets, and assists them by her advice in making
their arrangements. Many important deliberations
take place about mats, pin-cushions, and bookmarks.
As the day approached, the children often expressed
the wish that it was here. A few days was
a long time for them to wait. But time did not
hasten. The hours were just sixty minutes, and
the minutes just sixty seconds. The clock ticked on
as usual. It was unmoved by all the excitement,
and never, for an instant, quickened its pace.
When Saturday came, their mother proposed that
the presents should be distributed that evening.
She did not like to have the children wish the Sabbath
past, and on Monday morning there would be
but little time to make their arrangements before
the hour for school. She knew they would be quiet
and happy if they had some new books to read, and
would be perfectly willing to lay aside other gifts
Mary wished to decorate the parlour with evergreens.
Mrs. Dudley sent a man to get some for
her. She and Willie arranged them in bunches and
wreaths. Eddie helped all he could, and was as
happy as any of them. In the afternoon their
mother assisted them. She put the bunches made
of the delicate, feathery hemlock, and the dark
glossy laurel, over the windows, and suspended the
wreaths where the bay-windows projected from the
room. Small branches of cedar and spruce were
tastefully arranged in vases, relieved by the rich,
green leaves of the ivy, and the bright, lively twigs
The children wished for a Christmas tree, but the
evergreens they had were all too small for that purpose
Mrs. Dudley suggested that the hat-stand
might be substituted. They were delighted, and
immediately busied themselves in adorning it with
garlands. It proved quite ornamental, and the
pegs served a very useful purpose. Mary arranged
on some strips of white paper the words, "A merry
Christmas." The letters were made of the small
leaves of the box, and were fastened on with gum-arabic.
These were placed amid the wreaths on
the transformed hat-stand.
When all these arrangements were completed to
their satisfaction, they left the room. Mrs. Dudley
remained some time longer. When she left, the door
Mr. Dudley returned from the city, where he had
been spending the day, bringing some friends with
him. Tea was speedily despatched, and then all
the family were summoned. The parlour door was
unlocked. There were various toys, baskets, and
reticules suspended on the hat-stand. There was a
nice little felt hat for one of Mary's dolls, and a
looking-glass for the baby-house, and an embroidered
cushion, which Willie's industrious fingers had made
for Minnie Dudley, as the doll is called—a far better
employment for him, I think, than throwing it
about and treating it roughly, as I have sometimes
heard of boys doing. There were humming-tops,
which reminded me, by their music, of the great
spinning-wheel that whirred away in my mother's
kitchen when I was a child. There were graces,
and battle-doors, and jack-straws for the amusement
of the children when it was too cold or stormy to
play out of doors.
On a table was an array of slippers, which Mary
and her mother had wrought for father and the boys.
There was merry capering when they were transferred
to the feet of their owners. I shall not tell
you whether Mr. Dudley so far forgot his dignity as
to partake of the excitement, but I am quite sure
he was much gratified by the present Mary had
made for him with her own hands, and that he
kissed his thanks with great fondness.
Most valuable of all to the little folks, and most
gladly welcomed, were the books. How eagerly
they looked them over.
There was a present to Mrs. Dudley from her
children, which I must not forget to tell you about.
It was a plain gold pin, in which, neatly plaited,
were six bunches of hair. One of them was dark,
streaked with gray—the others were auburn, flaxen,
and brown. She knew whence the treasures came
to unite in that beautiful mosaic, and the tears were
ready to start from her eyes as she received that
precious token of family love.
When I was a child, I heard little about Christmas.
It came and went without my knowledge.
But I enjoy the return of it very much now, and
sympathize with children in the interest with which
they regard it. I like to think they are treasuring
up such cheerful memories to make their early home
attractive to their age.
The little Dudley's will always like to look back
to this pleasant evening, and wherever they are,
their hearts will warm more fondly on account of
it to their father's cottage, nestled in the valley, and
they will be in less danger of forgetting the lessons
of love and kindness they have learned there.
I WILL CONQUER MYSELF.
In one of the oldest towns of New-England there
lived, many years ago, a little girl, whom I shall
call Helen Earle. Her father had been engaged in
the East Indian trade, and had accumulated great
wealth. Her mother was a sweet, gentle woman,
who most tenderly loved her children, and endeavoured
to correct their faults, and develop their excellencies.
In Helen's home there was every comfort
and every luxury that heart could desire, but
she was not always happy. She had one fault, which
often made herself and her friends very unhappy.
It was the indulgence of a violent temper. She
would allow herself to become exceedingly angry,
and her usually beautiful face was then disfigured
by passion. Her mother was greatly grieved and
distressed by these outbreaks of ill temper, and did
all in her power to restrain them. She talked with
her daughter earnestly in regard to the sin of such
a temper. Helen would weep bitter tears, and express
much regret for the past, but she could not
quite make up her mind to determine to overcome
temptation. The task seemed too difficult, and she
shrunk from the attempt.
Mrs. Earle shed many tears in secret over this
sad failing in her beloved child, and most fervently
pleaded for help from Him who had given her the
care of this immortal spirit to educate for eternity.
She knew that God alone could change Helen's
heart, and give her power to overcome sin, even
though assaulted by the fiercest temptation.
One day, when Helen was very angry at something
which had occurred, her mother led her up
stairs to her own room and left her alone. For a
time she cried violently, then she grew calm and
quiet, and her mother could hear her walking back
and forth across the room, talking to herself. She
listened. How her heart rejoiced when she heard
her repeating, again and again, "I will conquer
myself! I will conquer myself!"
And Helen did conquer herself. She had come
to the determination, not that she would try to conquer,
but that she would conquer, and, by the gracious
help which is always given to those who ask,—she
nobly succeeded. From that hour she was able
to overcome the temptation, and was not overcome
by it. She grew up to womanhood remarkable for
the evenness and gentleness of her temper. None,
who had not known her in childhood, would have
suspected that she was not always thus mild and
Helen did for herself what no earthly friend
could do for her. By the power of her will she
controlled her impulses, and this triumph was of far
more value to her than all the wealth of her father.
It made her a blessing to her friends, strengthened
all her good purposes, and enabled her to perform
the duties of life without the friction which a bad
temper always occasions. It gave her that true self-respect
which elevates the character, and which none
can feel who are not conscious of the power to rule
their own spirits.
No child is blamed for having a quick temper,
but he is blamed if he allows himself to be overpowered
by it. If he really determines, as Helen
did, to conquer himself, he will succeed. The old
proverb, "Where there is a will, there is a way,"
will never fail in such a case as this. "God helps
those who help themselves," and he is ever ready
to assist us in subduing what is wrong in our own
The Bible contains many passages which condemn
anger: "He that is soon angry, dealeth foolishly."
"Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry, for anger
resteth in the bosom of fools." "Make no friendship
with an angry man, and with a furious man
thou shalt not go." "He that is slow to wrath is
of great understanding, but he that is hasty of
spirit exalteth folly." "Let every man be swift to
hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of
man worketh not the righteousness of God."
All habits grow stronger by indulgence. If you
allow yourself to become angry to-day, you will
more easily become so to-morrow. If you control
your temper to-day, it will be less difficult to control
it to-morrow. Helen's victory was obtained by
decision. To form the determination to conquer
herself required more effort of will and more
strength of character than any subsequent struggle
with her besetting sin could possibly require.
If you have any fault which you wish to correct,
you must fully make up your mind to succeed. You
must resolve that you will conquer. If you should
occasionally be overcome, yield not to despair, but
with renewed courage try again.
"On yourself and God relying,
Try, keep trying."
Ella Russell is a little girl with soft, flaxen
hair, bright eyes, and a complexion fair and clear.
She is neat and orderly in her habits, and is very
gentle and mild in her manners. Her musical
laugh sometimes rings through the house like a
sweet melody. It is so contagious that you would
laugh yourself to hear it.
Ella is obedient, and needs as little care as any
child I ever knew. Her father is living, but she has
no mother, and Ella lives with a Mrs. Lindsley, who
has three daughters, two of them older and one
younger than Ella. She is much attached to this
lady, and feels perfectly at home in her house.
Ella's mother was in feeble health several years
before her death. Ella was her constant companion,
and nothing gave her more pleasure than to
wait upon her and do all in her power to relieve her
sufferings and make her more comfortable. Mrs.
Russell said her daughter was an excellent nurse,
although she was not more than seven or eight
years old. It shows how much even small children
can do for the comfort of their invalid friends, if
they really try. It is very gratifying to a mother
to have a child so careful and thoughtful, and Ella
and her mother loved each other more and more
every day. Mrs. Russell's disease was consumption,
and she could not be restored to health. Poor Ella,
how lonely she felt when her mother died! She
was young to know so much sorrow.
Ella's home is not far from the city. Her father
often goes there, and frequently sends her some
delicacy which he knows she would relish—a box
of early strawberries, or a basket of plums or
peaches, or whatever fruit may be in season. Mr.
Russell is exceedingly generous, and he expects his
little daughter to divide the fruit with the family
where she has found so excellent a home.
Ella, good child as she is in most respects, has
one sad fault. She is selfish. When she receives
any rarity she would prefer to eat it herself, just as
the chickens do when they have found a nice tit-bit.
It is really a trial to her that she cannot eat a whole
basket of peaches before they would spoil! Indeed,
one day, after receiving such a present, she said to
a person in the family, "I wish my father would
not send so many. I like it better when I have
only a small basket, and can keep it in my own
At one time Mr. Russell sent a basket of peaches
to Mrs. Lindsley. Ella was not at home. She had
gone out to make a call on some of her friends. She
heard this basket had been sent, and hastened back
as soon as she could. "I hope they haven't eaten
up all my peaches!" was her first exclamation. She
was quite indignant to find the basket had been
Mrs. Lindsley gave her all she considered it
safe for her to eat; but Ella was not happy. She
felt as if they all ought to be hers, and she really
cried about it. A day or two after Ella saw her
father, and he told her the peaches were designed
for the family. Ella was somewhat mortified, and
afterward told Mrs. Lindsley what her father said
about the basket of fruit.
It seems very strange that Ella should be so
selfish, for her father is not at all so, and I know
it must grieve him to have a child of his so forgetful
of the enjoyment of others. This selfishness does
not make her happy. It occasions her much trouble,
and it always will.
I know a little boy, six years old, who is very
fond of fruit, and who is much delighted when his
father brings him an apple; yet I have seen him,
when he had but one, divide it between his brothers
and sisters, and reserve no part of it for himself.
He seemed entirely happy in doing so.
One day he heard his mother say, "I have not
even a penny in my purse." He went up-stairs to
his money-box, and brought down a handful of pennies,
and gave them to her. His mother kissed
his plump, brown cheek, and thanked him for
His mother kissed his plump, brown cheek.
Which should you prefer to be like—selfish Ella,
or this generous little boy?
The selfish person is always willing to receive
favours, but to the generous "it is more blessed
to give than to receive."
"OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN."
"Father is coming, father is coming!" shout a
merry group of children, as Mr. Wilmot appears
around a little knoll, on his return from his business.
"Let us run and meet him,"—and away they
scamper over the lawn to see which will get to him
first. They are laughing gaily, and their feet trip
lightly, as hatless and bonnetless they hasten to
him. Mary's brown curls are streaming in the
wind, and it is a beautiful sight to look upon these
children, so full of life and joy and love.
Mr. Wilmot greets them with a smile, and stoops
to kiss each of them, as they put up their arms
to give him a loving welcome to his home. One
of them takes his basket, and another his cane,
and then the unoccupied hands are claimed by the
tiny ones who love to walk by his side.
Why do these children hasten so eagerly to
meet their father? It is just because he is their
father. He has provided them with a home, and
with food and clothing, and has given them many
pleasant things to enjoy. He loves them, and his
love and approbation are very precious to them.
They obey his wishes, and strive to please him,
and this is one source of the happiness which fills
I think most of you, dear children, have kind
parents, to whom you are warmly attached, and
that you do not hear the name of father without
emotions of pleasure. Some of you have no
earthly father, but you all have one in another and
Most of you, in your infancy, have learned to
repeat the Lord's Prayer. How beautiful and expressive
are the words with which it commences,
"Our Father who art in heaven." God, then,
is your father, and you may go to him as his
children. You may tell him all your wants, all
your sorrows, and all your joys. You may pour out
your heart to him with perfect freedom. You need
not fear to do this as you would to a stranger, for
he is your Father, and knows all about you. He
knows every time you suffer, and he sees every
thought of your heart. God loves you more than
any earthly friends can, and he has enabled them
to bestow upon you all the comforts which surround
When you kneel down to pray, will you not remember
that it is to a father you are speaking, and
will you not love him as truly and warmly as you
do the dear father who takes you on his knee, and
speaks so kindly and affectionately to you. Your
father in heaven has given you this earthly parent,
and you should surely love him for all he has done
Do not let the precious words, "Our Father who
art in heaven," be unmeaning ones to you; but
strive to realize the great goodness and condescension
of God in permitting you to call him by so
sweet a name, and give him the only thing you can
in return,—your young and grateful hearts.
HATTIE AND HERBERT.
"Was there ever so good a mother as you are?"
said Hattie Atherton, throwing her arms around
her mother's neck, and kissing her with great affection.
"Oh yes!" answered little Herbert, in a solemn
tone, "there is one a great deal better."
"Why, Herbert! what do you mean?" exclaimed
Hattie, who knew Herbert loved his mother as
dearly as she did.
"I mean God. He is better than mother."
"But God is a Father. He is our Father in
heaven," continued Hattie.
Herbert was quite satisfied with Hattie's correction,
and was then ready to agree with her, that his
mother was the best mother in the world.
Herbert was a very little boy, but he had been
taught that God was more worthy of love than even
his father or mother could be. He was too young
to understand much about the being of God, and
when he called him a mother a great deal better
than his own mother, it was an expression of his
love and reverence.
Do you, dear children, when you realize something
about the love which your mother feels for
you, and which enables her cheerfully to do so
much for your comfort, remember that God loves
you even more than she does, and that He is far
more deserving your strongest affections?
"He that loveth father or mother more than me,"
the Saviour said, "is not worthy of me." God
should occupy the first place in your heart, and next
to Him you should love your parents.
Happy is that child who is so willing to be governed
by her mother's wishes that she is at all
times ready to exclaim, "Was there ever so good a
mother as my mother!"
THE TWO WILLS.
When a man of wealth dies, there is always
much interest felt in regard to the disposition he
has made of his property by will. Sometimes large
bequests are made to benevolent societies, and the
donor is generally considered a very generous man.
Many bless his memory, and his name is cherished
with grateful respect. It is right that it should be
so. God loves the cheerful giver.
I have just read the last "will and testament"
of a little boy nine years old, who lived in Ohio.
Not very long ago he was taken ill with fever.
The disease was violent, and he suffered much. At
length it became evident that he must die.
A few hours before his death, he looked up to his
mother and said:
"Do you remember my gold dollar?"
"Yes, my son; but we had better not think of
"But mother," said George, "I want you to give
it to the missionaries, and my shillings too, and all
the pennies. Give it all to the missionaries."
George died, and I trust has gone to heaven.
His desire to do good was no doubt acceptable and
pleasing to God. He could not receive here the
reward God has promised to those who give to the
poor, but in another world his heavenly Father can
most richly recompense him. The sum contributed
by the dying child was not large, but it was all he
In the same town lived a little girl, whose father
was a clergyman. One after another of his dear ones
were taken from him. A precious babe of seventeen
months, a sweet prattler of three years, and another
of five, were called to leave this world and grow up
with the angels in heaven. Then this child of eleven
must go too—the fourth out of that family circle
within one short month! She had been a follower
of the Saviour for three years, and had thought
much of the condition of the heathen, who have no
knowledge of the way of salvation through Christ.
She hoped, if she lived, to become a missionary
herself, and teach them about the true God and his
son Jesus Christ.
She was ill nearly three weeks, but she was not
unhappy. She did not fear to die. The Saviour,
whom she loved, was near her, to walk with her
through the valley of the shadow of death, and his
rod and staff—they comforted her. She knew that
her beloved parents would soon join her in the heavenly
world, when they all together should enjoy the
immediate presence of their Lord. She looked forward
cheerfully and joyfully, to the glorious immortality
upon which she was so soon to enter. When
dying, she exclaimed, "It is all dark here, but I
shall soon be where it is light. I shall be with my
heavenly Father, and the blessed Saviour, and all
the good people."
One of this child's last requests was, that her dollar—the
only money she possessed—should be sent
to a missionary society to buy Testaments for heathen
These children's offerings, small though they are,
are yet precious gifts cast into the treasury of our
Lord. Their influence will never cease. Many
souls may be converted through the truth these
"two mites" may be the means of teaching.
"BLESS GOD FOR THIS DOLL."
When Mary Wilson was about five years old,
her aunt Ann came from a distant place to make
her mother a visit. She was fond of children, and
often talked and played with her little niece, and
assisted her in making dresses for her doll. This
gratified Mary, and made her love her more and
more, as we always love those who are kind to us.
Mary's doll was not pretty, but she liked it very
much, and took good care of it. She always undressed
it at night, before she went to bed, and put
on a nice white night-gown her mother had made
for it; and in the morning she would dress it again
for the day. She named it Louisa, but her younger
brother always called it Quesa, and, after a time, all
the family spoke of it by that name.
Mary often wished she could wash Quesa's face,
as her own was washed; but she had tried it once,
and found it would not answer, for the colour came
off its cheeks, and it looked more than ever as if it
needed a good rubbing with a sponge.
Sometimes, when passing the shop-windows, and
seeing the new dolls so temptingly displayed, Mary
would ask if she might stop and look at them, and
would, perhaps, say, "I should like that doll."
Mrs. Wilson would gladly have purchased one of
them for her, but she was obliged to be economical,
and could not gratify all her wishes. Mary had
early to learn many lessons of self-denial, and I
must do her the justice to say she was always
satisfied with her mother's decision.
Mary would occasionally go to walk with her
aunt Ann, who observed with what delight she
looked at the porcelain dolls, so bright and fresh,
and she thought she could not make her a more acceptable
present than one of them.
One day, when Mary was not with her, she bought
a doll with rosy lips and cheeks, blue eyes, and
short curling hair, and dressed it in clothes which
could be taken off and put on easily, as all little
girls like to have them. It was indeed very pretty,
and its face could be washed without injury as
often as Mary pleased to do it.
Mary knew nothing about the present she was to
receive, till all this was done; and then her aunt,
going into the nursery, put it in her arms as she
was sitting in her low chair playing with Quesa.
Mary looked at the new doll, and then at her aunt,
and then at the doll again, as if to say, "What does
all this mean?" Aunt Ann answered the look by
saying, "The doll is for you, Mary."
It was just what she had long wanted, and her
heart was full of happiness and gratitude. After
holding it a moment, she laid it carefully in her
chair, and kneeling down, put her little hands together
and closing her eyes, said, "Bless God for this
doll." Mary had been taught that God was the
giver of every good gift, and she felt, that although
aunt Ann gave her the doll, her heavenly Father
had put it into her heart to do so, and she wanted to
thank him for making her so happy.
Perhaps you think that God is too great a being
to care about your little wants, and that he does not
put the thought into any body's heart to buy dolls
for children, as Mary Wilson did. Nothing which
concerns the happiness of the creatures he has made,
is too small for his attention. Nothing escapes his
notice. "The very hairs of your head are all numbered."
So small a bird as a sparrow, the Bible
tells us, cannot fall to the ground without his knowledge.
If he cares for the birds, he certainly does
for children, and wishes them all to be good and
God has given you all many gifts, for which you
ought to thank him. If I should look into your
play-rooms, how many things I should see which
add to your enjoyment! In one there is a pasteboard
house, with windows and doors, and partitions
to divide it into rooms. It is furnished with
tables and chairs, and the dolls can sit in them. In
another, are blocks with which to build houses,
castles, and railways, or any thing the fancy of the
young architect may dictate; and here is Noah's
ark, in miniature, containing himself and family,
and many animals. Countless other toys are distributed
among my young friends, which make their
bright eyes sparkle, and wreathe their lips with smiles.
Other treasures, more valuable than these, are
not wanting. How many books I see! and as I
open them, one after another, at the fly-leaf, I read
your own names and the names of those friends
and relatives who have given them to you.
Have you ever thanked your heavenly Father, as
Mary Wilson did, for these pleasant things which
make you so happy, and for all the blessings he
confers upon you?
Your parents provide you with food and clothes,
and many other comforts which you need; but it
is God who enables them to do so, and who fills
their hearts with such love for you as to make it a
pleasure to watch over and care for you. You
should be grateful to them for all their kindness,
but you should never forget that to your Father in
heaven you owe your gratitude for such loving friends.
God himself has taught you to ask him, day by
day, for your daily bread. That prayer shows who
provides for your wants, and whom you should
thank for the pleasant things you enjoy.
There is one gift of exceeding great value which
the Lord has bestowed upon us—greater than all
others—but I will tell you about it another time.
Children who are called obedient children are
often not so prompt in their obedience as they
should be. Instead of doing directly as they are
bidden, they stop to ask "Why?" and seem to wish
some other reason for compliance with a command
than the word of a parent. It is often proper to tell
children why they should do or should not do certain
things; but children should be careful to remember
that they must obey, whether they know
the reason of the requirement or not.
Bessie Hartwell is about eleven years old. She
is generally a good child, but, like all others whom
I have known, she has some faults. Although she
always intends to obey, she does not always obey
instantly. I will tell you a sad accident which
befell her in consequence of this tardiness, and you
will see it would have been much better for her if
she had learned to be prompt.
She was travelling with an aunt on a steamboat.
She was very happy, for she was going to visit her
grandfather and grandmother, and she knew she
should enjoy herself on the fine farm, scampering
about over the fields, raking the new-mown hay, and
riding on the top of the load.
Bessie always liked to go to the country. Her
home was in the city, where she had only a small
yard, not much larger than her grandmother's capacious
kitchen, to play in, and that was surrounded
by a high, close fence, so that she could see only the
tiny patch of grass beneath and the beautiful blue
Children in the country do not know how to
prize their freedom. If they could be penned
up in the city for a few months, as Bessie
was for the greater part of the year, they would
learn to appreciate it, and they would look upon
every tree and every blade of grass as a friend.
The chirping of the crickets, the singing of the
frogs, and the warbling of the birds would be thrice
welcome music to them. No wonder Bessie was so
happy when she thought of the wide lawn studded
with trees, the orchard rich in apples and pears,
the hills down which she and her sisters could run,
and up whose steep sides they must scramble when
the horn sounds for dinner. The country is rich in
its treasures of happiness, and they are bestowed
freely and profusely upon every one "who in the
love of nature holds communion with her visible
It was in the gray twilight of the morning that
the steamboat arrived at the wharf. When they
went home, Bessie was awakened, and was soon
ready, with her travelling-bag on her arm, to leave
the boat. Her aunt took her by the hand, to lead
her across the gangway. They had but just stepped
upon it, when she started forward to reach her
uncle, who, with an infant in his arms, had just
preceded her. Her aunt called to her to stop.
She paid no attention, but passed rapidly on. A
car, laden with baggage, was drawn across the gangway.
It frightened her. She stepped quickly aside,
and fell into the water.
Oh! the agony of that moment! Her uncle and
aunt could not aid her. He besought the people
near him to take the infant from his arms, that he
might leap into the water to attempt the rescue of
the child; but they would not do it. They held
him back, that he might not expose himself to the
danger of immediate death; for he could not swim,
and of course he could not render the assistance
which was needed. He and her aunt were both
obliged to stand and look on, in unutterable anguish,
while strangers attempted to save her.
Bessie fell in such a way that she did not sink
under the water. Her clothes spread out, and
buoyed her up like a life-preserver. A man let
himself down as soon as possible; but the rope
was not long enough for him to reach Bessie.
He could only touch her with his foot. She took
hold of it, and he slowly raised her till he grasped
her bonnet. In this way they were both pulled
up, and Bessie once more stood by the side of her
aunt. How freely they all breathed once more,
when the terrible suspense was ended, and she
Bessie seemed scarcely aware of the danger she
had been in. She had been perfectly calm, and did
not lose her presence of mind; and it was owing
to this, probably, that she was so easily rescued.
She tried to save her travelling-bag, but, as she
told her aunt, she could not hold it any longer than
It was wonderful that Bessie was not drowned.
If she had not been supported by her clothes, she
would have sunk beneath the water, and when she
arose would very probably have come up under the
boat, so that it would have been impossible to
If Bessie had been in the habit of obeying so
soon as she was spoken to, she would not have met
with this fearful accident, and her uncle and aunt
would have been spared the mental suffering they
endured. I should think she never again would
forget to obey at the first word from those who
have the care of her.
I hope, dear children, you will profit as much
by Bessie's accident as I trust she will; and that
you will aim not only to be obedient, but promptly
obedient. You may not suffer the same mishap
that she did, even if you allow yourself to form
the same habit; but it may lead you into as
great danger, and even greater, for it may peril
the purity and peace of your soul, and that is
of far more consequence than the safety of your
"MARY'S GREAT TREASURE"
More than twenty years ago, there was a little
blue-eyed, curly-haired child playing about one of
the pleasant homes in the West. She was happy
and kind, and every one loved her. She was only
six years old, yet she had a great treasure in her
possession—greater than many of the kings and
queens of the earth can claim.
What do you suppose this treasure was? Was it
a valuable diamond? Was it an immense amount
of silver and gold? Something better than diamonds
or silver and gold, was in this little girl's
keeping—something which will be safe when these
have all perished.
I will tell you what this treasure was, because I
want you to be as rich as Mary, and, through the
great goodness of God, you may all have just such
a precious gift. It was a new heart—a heart that
loved her heavenly Father, that loved to pray to him
and ask him to keep her from sin.
Mary often talked with her companions about
Jesus, and before she was ten years old several of
them had been brought to love and obey him, and
had, like Mary, a new heart. How happy they were
together! How much the Saviour loved them!
Mary is now dead, and has gone to heaven. Do
you suppose she is sorry she so early went to Christ
and asked him for a new heart?
How pleasant it must have been to her to be able
to say, as she looked back over her past life, that
she could not remember the time when she did not
love the Saviour; and she surely does not now
regret, that when she was a little child—less than
most of you who are reading about her—she went
to Jesus and asked him for a heart to love him.
Our heavenly Father will give you a new heart,
if you really wish to have it and feel your great
need of it. Jesus died that you might be saved
from sin, and he loves little children. Will you not
go to him, as did Mary, and ask him for a new
heart? If you are sorry for your sins, tell him so;
and if you are not, ask him to help you to feel how
wicked sin is, that you may have the "great treasure."
"SUSAN WILL BE HAPPIER IF I GO WITH HER."
Mary Wilson is a little girl only nine years old.
She loves her mother very dearly, and she is always
happy to be with her.
Mrs. Wilson lives in the country, not far from a
pretty village, to which she occasionally goes to
make a few purchases or call on a friend. She
sometimes takes Mary with her, who always enjoys
such a walk. She trips along by her mother's side,
sometimes taking her hand, and sometimes stooping
down to gather a wild-flower which blossoms by the
roadside; and then perhaps she runs on and watches
the brook that trickles down the hill, on its way to
the river. Her smiling face and sparkling eyes
show she is happy.
One day when she was all ready, with her white
sack and blue sun-bonnet on, to accompany her
mother along the bank of the river to the village,
Susan Grafton called for her to go with her in
another direction, on an errand for Mrs. Grafton.
Mary was greatly tried. She wished very much to
go with her mother, but Susan did not like to go
alone. What to do she did not know. Tears were
in her eyes, as she told her mother her trouble and
asked her what she should do. Mrs. Wilson left
the decision entirely to Mary. After a short struggle
she smiled through her tears, and said, "I should
rather go with you, mother, but Susan will be happier
if I go with her. I think I had better go with
Mrs. Wilson kissed the quivering lip of her
daughter, and told her she had done right in thinking
of Susan's happiness. Her heart ascended in
prayer to God for his blessing on her dear child,
that she might ever be unselfish and self-sacrificing.
Would not most children be happier than they
now are, if, like Mary, they tried to make others
happy, and were willing to deny themselves for the
sake of their companions?
Although Mary was so much grieved to lose her
walk with her mother, she was far happier that
afternoon than she would have been without an
Will you not pray, dear children, for a kind,
THE NEWS-BOYS' BANK.
"How much money have you in the bank?"
I heard a gentleman inquire of a boy. "A dollar
and a half," he replied. I looked up, and saw before
me a slender, bright-looking lad, about fourteen
years old. The pantaloons he wore had evidently
belonged to a full-grown man, and were rolled up at
the bottom to make them short enough for the present
wearer. His coat had been cut short in the
skirts, and the sleeves hung loosely about his hands.
His shirt was not particularly clean, neither was it
very dirty. His face, however, had been nicely
washed, so that there was nothing repulsive about
the fellow. The gentleman talked with him a few
moments. I was quite interested in the conversation
and learned from it that he was one of the
news-boys of New York.
First interview with the news-boy.
Patrick—for by this name I shall call the boy—sleeps
at the lodging-house for news-boys, and is
there learning to read. I concluded that I would
go there, and see for myself what had been done for
the improvement and salvation of these energetic,
active boys. I found the building to which I had
been directed, but could not readily find the entrance
which led to the room I was seeking. I
inquired of some poorly-dressed children where it
was. A boy about ten years old guided me. He
asked if I wanted a boy. I was sorry to say "No,"
for he looked so bright and active that it seemed a
pity not to give him some employment.
I ascended one flight of stairs, and another, and
still another and another, before I came to the right
door. I knocked, and was admitted by a gentleman
who has the oversight of these boys. The room
which I entered was nicely painted and whitewashed.
There were many seats with desks as in a
a schoolroom, and there were books and slates on
them. Maps and pictures hung on the walls, and
there was a library for those who could read.
The room was neat and tidy, and quite inviting
in its appearance. At the farther end of it was an
office for the caretaker, and a bathing-room, where
water can be used without stint or measure. The
boys enjoy the free use of the water, though probably
many of them never bathed in their lives,
before they came to the lodging-house. If "cleanliness
is next to godliness," much has been already
The school or sitting-room opens into the dormitory.
This is a large and well-ventilated apartment,
and, being in the sixth story, overlooks most of the
buildings in the vicinity. There were accommodations
for fifty boys, and the room is large enough
for eighty. Each boy has a separate bed. They are
arranged in two tiers, as in a steamboat. The beds
were all neatly made, and looked quite comfortable.
Many of these boys have never slept in a bed except
in this room. The remarks which they make to
each other, when comparing their beds, with their
clean sheets and pillow-cases, with the boxes, areas,
and crannies where they have been accustomed to
sleep, are very amusing.
I am happy to know that there has been a constant
improvement among the boys. They grow
more orderly, and are more easily restrained, and
some of them give promise of making useful men.
They are not allowed to use profane language, to
fight, nor to smoke in the rooms, and generally
manifest much kindness of feeling toward each
There was a table in the room, which interested
me greatly. It was of black-walnut. In the top
there were one hundred and ten different holes,
large enough to admit a half-dollar. Each of them
was numbered. This was the bank in which Patrick
had deposited his money. There were one hundred
and ten little divisions in the drawer, corresponding
with one hundred and ten openings in the top. The
boys each have a certain number for their own use,
and if they choose, can safely secure their day's
earnings for a time of need. The superintendent
keeps the key of the drawer.
Several weeks ago, the boys voted not to take
their money from the bank till November, that they
might then have the means of purchasing warm
clothes for the winter. I had quite a curiosity to
look into the bank, to see how much the boys had
saved. In some of the divisions there were only a
few pennies, while in others there were several
I never looked upon any bank with so much
pleasure, as I did upon this simple one of the news-boys.
It was teaching them a lesson of economy
and forethought, which I trust they will never forget.
When they enjoy their comfortable coats and
warm pantaloons in the cold weather of winter,
they cannot avoid remembering, that it was by
taking care of the pennies, that they were enabled
so nicely to clothe themselves. The news-boys have
never been taught the true value of money. They
have not hesitated to gamble it away, or to spend it
for segars and tobacco, and other unnecessary and
hurtful things. They have been exceedingly improvident
and have had no idea of laying up any
thing for the future.
One evening, as the boys were gathered in their
sitting-room, one of them was leaning on the bank.
He held up a quarter of a dollar between his thumb
and finger, and, looking at his companions, said,
"You know Simpson, the pawnbroker?" "Yes."
"He is a friend in need, but here is a friend
indeed!" and the bright silver dropped, jingling,
into his bank.
Those news-boys all of them possess more than
ordinary intelligence and energy of character.
"Every one of them," as a gentleman said, "is
worth saving." They are sure to make men, and
to exert an influence in the world.
After my return from my visit to their rooms,
I told some children about the necessities of these
news-boys, and how much they need better clothing.
A little girl, whom I know, has determined to make
a shirt for one of them. I am sure it will be acceptable;
for, frequently, when they first go to the
lodging-house, they are so filthy that something
must be given them to make them decent. Perhaps
other children may like to do something to benefit
those needy ones, who have no father nor mother to
take care of them and provide for their wants.
When the bank was opened, the first of November
it was found to contain seventy-nine dollars
and eleven cents! This sum of money had been
saved in seven weeks, by twenty-four boys. They
were quite astonished at their own success. They
learned the lesson by personal experience, that if
they took care of the pennies, the shillings would
take care of themselves. Some of them had saved
enough to buy a new suit of clothes, others enough
for pantaloons, and others for a cap or shoes. They
were advised not to spend their money hastily; but
a few were too impatient to wait, and the same
evening they received it they went out to make
their purchases. Others laid by their money till
The news-boys found it was so much better for
them to put their money in the bank, than to spend
it in gaming, or for cigars, or in other useless ways,
that they voted to close it again, not to be opened
till December. During the month of November,
nineteen boys saved sixty-three dollars and forty-seven
cents. One of them had put in thirteen
dollars. He did not spend it all for himself, but
gave a part of it to his mother to pay her rent.
The boys were delighted with their wealth. "No
hard times here!" they cried. "Money isn't tight
with us. There is plenty of it."
One of the boys purchased an entire suit of
clothes; and when he made his appearance among
the others, in his nice blue jacket, with bright buttons,
his pantaloons to match, and his blue navy-cap,
he was greeted with cheers. One and another
examined his wardrobe, and all enjoyed his success.
"Who are you? Who'd think this was Charley ——?
Is this a news-boy? Who'd believe this
was a news-boy?" and various other exclamations
escaped from them. "Charley has done well this
time." Yes, Charley did well, and he will not
soon forget the lesson he learned that month. He
knows more of the true use of money than ever
The first of December the boys voted to keep the
bank closed till the third of January. They decided
not to have it opened on the first, because
there are so many temptations to spend money that
they feared, if they had it in their pockets, they
should part with it foolishly.
One of the news-boys has been recently run over
by a stage. I inquired about him, and learned that
he is the very boy whom I met in a friend's office,
and my interest in whom led me first to visit the
lodging-house. This is the third time he has narrowly
escaped death. The omnibus passed directly
over his body. When he was taken up, his companions
thought him dying. He was conveyed
immediately to the hospital.
The boys at the lodging-house were saddened by
Patrick's troubles. They expected he would die.
They recounted his excellencies of character. His
cheerfulness and ready wit were not forgotten.
Patrick is not a boy of many words, but when he
speaks, it is to the purpose. The boys called at the
hospital to see him. The door-keeper said he never
knew a boy who had so many cousins!
The next day Patrick was better. It was found
that he was not so much injured as was at first supposed.
There was great rejoicing in the evening at
the lodging-house. A heavy load had been lifted
from their hearts. Patrick would soon be among
them again. They were cheerful and full of life
and spirits. "Patrick must be half made of India-rubber!"
they exclaimed, gleefully.
This sympathy with each other is one of the
most beautiful traits of their character, and shows
a nature that may be nobly developed. They cannot
but learn much that is good in the hours spent
in their reading-room, as they listen to the instruction
of those interested in their welfare. Many of
them have already found good situations, and give
promise of becoming useful men. They appreciate
kindness and civility. "Mr. —— spoke to me in the
street, when he was walking with another gentleman
and he shook hands with me too," said one of
them triumphantly, as if he had risen in the scale
of being, and was more worthy of respect, in consequence
of the respect with which he had been
treated. Few can estimate the power of sympathy.
"Speak gently, kindly, to the poor;
Let no harsh term be heard;
They have enough they must endure,
Without an unkind word."
"I have never forgotten your words of kindness,
when I was poor and almost discouraged," wrote
one lady to another, and no more will any child
of want forget the utterance of a warm, generous
I should have told you, that besides the money
the boys put in the bank, they earn enough to pay
for their lodging, six cents a night, and to purchase
their food, and, sometimes, various articles of clothing.
They are obliged to be very active, and to be
up early in the morning. They may be found in
all parts of the city, crying their papers with loud,
piercing voices, and running at full speed from
street to street, stopping only to sell papers to any
who may buy.
It would be well if they had some occupation
which would expose them less to bad company and
unsteady habits; but a news-boy can be honest,
virtuous, and temperate, as well as any other boy,—if
he will take the right way to be.
At one time, when Mrs. Dudley was spending a
few days in the city, she went with a friend to call
upon a poor woman whom she heard was in great
need. This woman had sent a daughter, about
eight years old, to school for one day, and then
found that she could not spare her; she felt obliged
to keep her at home to take care of the baby.
Mrs. Carter—for by this name I shall call her—occupied
a house back from the street. The ladies
ascended the steps leading to the first floor, and
inquired if she lived there. "She is in the basement,"
was the answer. They descended into the
area. It was neatly swept, and in perfect order.
"It must be a genteel woman who lives here,"
remarked Mrs. Benton. They knocked. A voice
bade them come in. They opened the door and
entered. Mrs. Carter was sewing by a table.
By her side stood Georgianna, her oldest child,
plainly and neatly dressed. At the other end of
the table was a little girl about four years old, whose
name I forget, and in the rocking-chair before the
stove was a dark-haired babe, quietly sleeping.
The room was neat and tidy. There was a little
fire in the stove, but not enough to thoroughly
warm the room.
The ladies inquired of Mrs. Carter in regard to
her circumstances. They learned that her husband
left her last spring, and had gone she knew not
where. He was a carpenter by trade, and could
earn two dollars a day. She had always done what
she could with her needle, and had earned a few
dollars a month by binding shoes or doing other
sewing. They had lived very comfortably, renting
good apartments for eight dollars a month, and
knew nothing of want or suffering.
Mrs. Carter was obliged to give up her pleasant
rooms, to remove to the basement. She has laboured
industriously, whenever she can procure work, to
pay her rent, three dollars a month, and to provide
food for her children. She has known what it is
to be both cold and hungry. She has bought coal
by the bushel, and has sometimes been without
fire in the dead of winter. Her family have lived
principally upon bread and water, and the little
ones have cried for food when she had none to
Little Ida is too young to know her mother's sorrow.
She is a babe of only a few weeks old, and
she sleeps as sweetly in that great rocking-chair as
any babe ever slept in a cradle. She is warmly
wrapped in a blanket, and does not suffer, although
she has scarce a change of dresses.
When Mrs. Dudley returned to her happy home,
she told her children about this family, and particularly
about the poor babe, who so increased her
mother's cares and labours, yet repaying it all by
the wealth of maternal love her coming had developed.
It was pleasing to see Georgianna lay her
face so softly on the infant's, and so gently rock her
when her slumbers were disturbed.
Mrs. Dudley's children listened to her story with
great interest, and wished to do something for the
family. Mary repaired some garments which her
mother gave her, and when this was done, she went
to her drawer and took out a small piece of calico,
which had been given to her to make her doll a
dress. She asked her mother if there was enough
to make Ida a dress. Mrs. Dudley examined it,
and told her there was. So she cut it out for her
daughter, and showed her how to make it. This
work occupied her several days, for Mary goes to
school, and has not much time for sewing. The
dress looked very pretty when it was completed.
She had embroidered the tiny sleeves with a neat
scollop, and had taken great pains to make it strong
The next time Mrs. Dudley went to the city, she
took several small parcels for Mrs. Carter, who was
much pleased with them. None gratified her more
than the dress for the baby.
It will always be a pleasant recollection to Mary
that she made the heart of this suffering woman
happy by sending a dress to her infant. She learned
the pleasure of giving, and of exerting herself to do
good to others.
If Mrs. Dudley had had the dress made by a
seamstress, it would have been equally useful to
Mrs. Carter; but Mary would have lost the reward
which she now enjoys in the consciousness of relieving
the sufferings of the destitute. I hope
Mary will always be benevolent, and never grow
"weary in well-doing."
WHAT MADE WILLIE HAPPY.
Willie was looking at the slippers which his
mother had wrought for him, and admiring the
freshness of the colours. They were a Christmas
present to him, and had afforded him much pleasure.
"You were very happy the evening they were
given to you," said his mother.
"But no happier than I was last evening," he
I will tell you what made him so happy on the
evening to which he alluded. At Christmas, two
little books had been added to his library, and
another had been lent him by one of his companions.
When he had read these books, he was
very desirous to get still another. He began to
inquire how he could earn money enough to buy it,
for he thought he should like to purchase it himself.
He could think of nothing which could be done in
the house, by which he could replenish his purse;
so his mother told him, if he would control his temper
for a week, she would get the book for him. If
he did get out of patience, and immediately checked
himself, he was to receive it.
Every evening Willie came to his mother, and
told her how he had succeeded through the day.
She observed him very carefully, and she knew that
he really tried to conquer himself. She encouraged
him in his efforts, and Willie was very happy—happy
because he was succeeding in correcting what
was wrong—and happy in the anticipation of the
reward promised him.
The last day of the week came, and passed away.
Willie's father returned from the city. He brought
with him a parcel done up in soft white paper, and
tied with a small red and white twine. His mother
opened it, and there was the book for which she had
sent. She wrote Willie's name in it, with the day
of the month, and then wrote "A Reward of Merit."
She thought those few words would remind him of
the way in which he earned the book, and would
encourage him to persevere in overcoming any bad
or sinful habit.
All these things together made Willie quite as
happy as on "Merry Christmas." It always makes
people happy to endeavour to subdue what is wrong
in themselves,—such efforts being their own reward.
The consciousness of the approval of our
heavenly Father must always occasion the truest
DO YOU INTEND TO BE A GENTLEMAN?
(A QUESTION FOR BOYS.)
As I sat at the table a few evenings since, a gentleman
called. He was invited to take a seat with us.
As he had already supped, he declined. This person
is a man of talent and education, but as I turned
to look at him, in the course of conversation, I observed
a habit which so disgusted me, that it was
with an effort I could finish my tea.
This circumstance impressed on my mind the importance
of forming correct habits in boyhood.
"The child is father of the man," Wordsworth says
in one of his poems. The habits and character you
form now will, in all probability, be the habits and
character you will retain when you are a man. I
suppose the individual to whom I have alluded was
entirely unconscious of doing any thing disagreeable.
If not, perhaps he did not consider it of much
consequence. He may have grown up with the
opinion that little things are of small importance.
Now, that this is not always so, you may easily see
if you drop a spark of fire in a pile of shavings:
the whole will be immediately in flames, and will
do as much injury as if it had been kindled by
a large coal.
Our happiness depends quite as much on little
things as on great. Small trials are as difficult to
bear as any. People often lose their patience when
a dress is torn, or a pitcher broken, who would be
quiet and calm if some serious misfortune had befallen
I hope, boys, you intend to be gentlemen. I do
not mean fops and dandies, but true gentlemen.
You have perhaps seen the remark made, that
"dress does not make the man, but after he is
made, he looks better dressed up." Neither do
gentlemanly habits and manners make the man, but
they certainly improve him after he is made, and
render him agreeable and prepossessing.
A farmer, or a cabinet-maker, or a blacksmith,
are no less gentlemen because they are engaged in
these useful and honourable employments, than are
judges, or merchants, or ministers. To be a gentleman
is to be a man of gentle manners; and who
would not desire to be distinguished for such
If you intend to be gentlemen, you must begin
now, by always conducting, under all circumstances,
just as well as you know how. Some of you, I
suppose, have better advantages of society, and more
careful instruction at home, than others; but no boy
of intelligence need fail to be a gentleman if he
A true gentleman is always courteous. He answers
respectfully when spoken to—no matter by
whom. Do you remember the anecdote of General
Washington, who raised his hat and bowed politely
to a coloured man he met, who had previously
saluted him with the usual civility of the race? A
friend with him expressed surprise. "Do you
think," said he, "I would be less polite than a
negro?" I hope, when you are tempted to be uncivil
to those whom you consider beneath you, you
will not forget the good example of the Father of
his Country. I suppose the secret of Washington's
politeness and greatness was, as his mother proudly
said of him, that "George was always a good boy!"
He was a gentleman—such a gentleman as I
should be glad to believe every boy who reads this
book will one day be. If you would be polite to
all, you must cultivate kind feelings towards all.
A gentleman is not a rough man. He may have
great energy and power of character, as had Washington,
but still he is a gentle-man.
OR, THE WILLING MIND.
Nelly Wallace is about six years old. She
has a pleasant, attractive face. Her long hair curls
in ringlets over her neck. She is one of the neatest
and most gentle children I ever saw, and gives her
mother but little trouble. Indeed, she is so orderly,
and active, that she is quite an assistance to her.
She sings like a lark, and is patient as a lamb. She
is very generous, too.
Her father is obliged to live on a small salary.
Nelly is a favourite with her father's friends, and
often receives a present from them.
One day, she heard her mother say to her father
that they needed some particular article very much,
but he told her he had not money enough to purchase
it. She quietly left the room, and went up
stairs. Presently she returned, and placed a five-dollar
gold-piece, which had been given to her, in
her mother's hand. "Please use my money, mother,"
she said; "I should rather you would use it
for what you need, than keep it to buy something
At another time, her father was obliged to take a
journey on business. Nelly brought forth her
purse, and offered its contents to him to defray his
expenses. Dear child! she knew nothing about the
cost of travelling, nor the value of money. She
thought her three-cent pieces would be all he would
Nelly brought forth her purse.
Paul, when exhorting the Corinthian church to
liberality, says, "If there be first a willing mind, it
is accepted according to that a man hath, and not
according to that he hath not." Nelly had a willing
mind, and her father was as much gratified by her
thoughtful consideration as he would have been if
she had been able to furnish him all that he needed.
So our heavenly Father is pleased with his children
when they do what they can to provide for the
wants of the needy; and the smallest gift, offered in
love, is not forgotten by him.
You recollect that our Saviour, when he saw the
rich men casting their gifts into the treasury and
the poor woman casting in her two mites, said that
she had cast in more than they all. They had
given of their abundance; it had cost them no
self-denial—but she, of her penury, had cast in all
the living that she had. God looks not only on the
outward act, but at the heart. He sees the motives
which actuate us. He saw Nelly's heart, and he
approved her generosity. He gave her an approving
conscience, which made her very happy—far
happier than she could have been if she had been
selfish, and thought only of her own enjoyment.
LOVEST THOU ME?
Jesus, after his resurrection from the dead, appeared
at various times to his disciples. Once, when
Peter, John, and a few others were fishing in the
Sea of Tiberias, he stood on the shore, and inquired
of them, "Have ye any meat?" They answered,
"No." Then he directed them to cast their net on
the right side of the ship, and they should find fish.
They did so, and caught one hundred and fifty-three.
The disciples then knew it was Jesus who
had spoken to them. After they had secured the
fish by drawing the net to the shore, Jesus invited
them to dine with him.
The disciples had observed, so soon as they came
to land, a fire of coals, and "fish laid thereon, and
bread." This was the refreshment our Lord had
prepared for them, and he, himself, gave them the
After they had dined, our Saviour said to Peter
three times, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou
me?" The first and the second time Peter answered,
"Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love
thee." Peter was grieved because Jesus said unto
him the third time, "Lovest thou me?" and he
replied, "Thou knowest all things; thou knowest
that I love thee."
How did Peter know that he loved Jesus? It
was not because he always did right, for a short
time before he had denied his Lord, and had more
than once said that he did not know him! Yet,
notwithstanding this, when he was now asked,
"Lovest thou me?" he could unhesitatingly answer,
"Thou knowest that I love thee."
If you should be asked, "Do you love your
parents?" you would immediately answer, "Yes."
You know you love them. How do you know it?
It might not be so easy for you to answer this question
as the other, but at the same time you are
conscious that you do love them. You feel that
they are your best friends. They provide for all
your wants. They furnish you with food and
clothes and the means of education. They take
care of you when you are well and when you are ill.
You feel grateful to them for what they do for you,
and you enjoy being with them, and talking with
them. You like to please them, and it makes you
sad when you have grieved them. Children who
love their parents very dearly sometimes do what
they do not approve; but they are always sorry
for it, as Peter was when he went out and wept
If you should be asked, "Do you love your
heavenly Father?" could you as readily answer,
"Yes?" Do you like to hear about him and his
wonderful works? Is the story of Jesus' love for
lost man one that interests you? Is it pleasant to
you to think of living forever with the Lord when
you leave this world?
If you love your Father in heaven, you do not
love to do what is wrong. If you are overcome by
temptation, and sin against him, you are sorry, as
you are when you sin against your earthly parents.
Children, and grown people too, sometimes seem
to think that religion is to be kept by itself, separate
and distinct from our daily duties, and that it consists
in praying, going to church, hearing sermons,
and wearing a sober face. It is true the Christian
often feels sober, but there is no one who may be so
cheerful as he, for there is none that can be so truly
happy. True piety extends to all the acts of our
lives, and influences them all. It does not forbid
our doing any thing that it is right for us to do.
A Christian child enjoys play quite as well as any
If Jesus should say to you to-day, as he did to
Peter, "Lovest thou me?" could you answer,
"Yes, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee?" It
is just as easy for you to know whether you love
him as it is for you to know whether you love your
father and mother. I trust there are many children
who do love the Saviour, and who wish to live to be
good and to do good.
MY LITTLE BAG.
On my table lies a little bag. It has no beauty
to render it valuable. It is not made of silk or velvet.
The material is plain muslin, and that by no
means of the finest texture. It is not very neatly
made. The stitches are irregular. Sometimes they
are piled one above another, and again they are
scattered far apart. The hemming shows that no
skilful seamstress held the needle. And yet this
bag has afforded me much pleasure. Every stitch
was made by the hand of love, and with a desire to
gratify me and add to my happiness. It was a work
of toil, for the fingers were unused to such labour.
Patient industry and persevering effort were required
to accomplish it. Self-denial, too, was practised,
for play was forsaken on its account.
It was a gift to me from a dear child; a token of
his purest and warmest affection; and that has made
this coarse muslin more precious than the richest
material could be, which had no such extraneous
What a blessing is love! How it enriches us!
Without it we must ever be poor. "God is love,"
and he has taught us to love one another. "Love
is the fulfilling of the law." We must love our
neighbour as ourselves.
"Little deeds of kindness,
Little words of love,
Make our earth an Eden,
Like the heaven above."
No offering of true love is valueless, however
small or imperfect it may be. My little bag is rich
in pleasant associations, and I never look upon it
but with a full heart.
God does not accept what we do for him because
of any peculiar excellence in our devotion, but because
it is the result of our love to him.
DO YOU LIKE YOUR SEAT?
On the day after one Fourth of July, I was
obliged to go into the city. The cars were crowded
with those who were returning, after spending our
national anniversary in the country. How much
they must have enjoyed that day of release from
city labour, and dust, and close streets bounded by
high brick houses! How beautiful to them the
green fields, the shady trees, and the soft-flowing
river! How they gazed on the hills luxuriating in
verdure, and the valleys rich with their treasures of
wealth and beauty!
"God made the country," and all his works
are perfect. I pity those who are pent up in a
large prison-city with nothing but a dwarf-maple
before their windows which at all resembles the
country, and who have to look up, up, up, before
they can get a glimpse of the blue sky, and the
fleecy clouds which sail majestically along, ever
varying from one form of beauty to another. Thank
God, my young friends, that he has given you a
country home, and never leave it, unless stern necessity
compels you to make your abode in the hot,
crowded, feverish city.
The cars, on the morning of the fifth, were, as I
have told you, crowded, and it was difficult to find
unoccupied seats. A gentleman and his wife
entered a car, near the door of which were two
seats with only one person in each. The first was
occupied by a boy about fifteen. The gentleman
politely asked him if he would sit with another
gentleman, that he and the lady who was with him
might not be separated. The first impulse of the
boy was a civil one, and he started to rise; but the
second thought was ungentlemanly, ungenerous,
and extremely selfish. "I like my seat very well,"
he muttered, and drew back to the window and
looked out. Perhaps even then he began to feel
ashamed of such rudeness.
The gentleman behind him immediately arose,
and offered his seat. It was accepted with a bow,
and a "thank you, sir." The lady was immediately
behind the boy, and, as she seated herself, she
said to him, in a low, kind voice, "I fear you will
never be a gentleman." He made no reply, nor
did he move his face from the window, but his
very ears blushed. He was evidently ashamed.
During the whole ride he kept nearly the same
position, not being willing to meet the eyes of his
fellow-passengers, for he must have observed their
disapprobation of his ill-manners; and before the
cars were entirely within the depôt, he went out
upon the platform to escape from observation.
I hope the boy will never be rude in this way
again, for he evidently was made unhappy by it.
There is only one reason why I fear he will not profit
by the well-merited rebuke he received, and that
is, because I saw one of his cheeks puffed out with
a quid of tobacco! I confess I do not expect so
much improvement from a boy who indulges in such
a filthy habit, as from one who does not.
A gentlemanly boy must always be happier than
one who is rough and selfish. The boy in the car
did not enjoy his ride, although, as he said, he liked
his seat very well. His impoliteness made it unpleasant
and the remembrance of it will never afford
him gratification. I hope none of you, who read
about him, will be guilty of a similar error.
Always try to be accommodating to those about you.
If you are asked to do a favour, do it as if it gave
you pleasure. You will never have occasion to regret
it. Be civil to those in your father's employment.
Their love and respect is of value to you.
There are very few sunk so low as not to appreciate
true politeness. Above all others, be polite to your
parents, and your brothers and sisters. Do not
indulge in harsh words.
Perhaps the boy of whose history I have given
you a single incident never read Peter's instruction
to the early Christians, in his epistle to them,
and did not know that the apostle considered
politeness of sufficient importance to be worthy
of the attention of those to whom he wrote.
"Be courteous," is his direction to them, and
I cannot give you better advice on the same subject.
THE LITTLE BEGGAR.
As I was walking up street, a few days since, I
met two little girls who looked very much alike,
and were nearly of the same age. They wore gingham
sun-bonnets, which came far over their good-natured
faces. Their calico dresses were neatly
made. Their blue woollen stockings looked warm
and comfortable, but their shoes were old and much
As I passed, the elder held out her hand in a way
which I could not mistake, but I thought I would
ask her what she wanted. She replied, "A penny
to get mother some sugar for her tea." I talked
with the children a few minutes about their mother,
and inquired if she sent them out to beg. They
said she was obliged to do it, for their father was
dead, and she was not able to work.
The elder held out her hand.
The children had such good, honest faces, and
gave such evidence, in their general appearance,
of more care than most of this class of children usually
receive, that I thought I would go home with
them, that I might better judge of the correctness of
their story, and of the necessities of their mother.
So I said to them—
"Where does your mother live?"
They named the street.
"Will you take me there?"
"Yes, ma'am. We must go this way;" and they
turned off in the direction of their home.
"What is your name?" I inquired of the elder
"Mary Ann ——."
"And what is your's?"
"Ellen ——," answered the younger.
"Have you any brothers and sisters?"
"We have one sister and one brother. Her
name is Joanna, and his is Michael. A man took
Michael away the fifth of July—the day after the
Fourth—and we haven't seen him since. Mother
thinks we shall never see him again."
They told me that their father was a stone-picker,
and while he lived, they did very well, and
went to school; but since he died, their mother had
been ill, and had bled at the lungs, and was not
strong enough to work.
I was pleased to see the children take each other
by the hand, and walk along quite lovingly by my
side. They appeared kind and polite to each other,
and seemed to think that in me they had found a
friend. They talked very fast, and told me many
things about themselves and their way of life.
"We save our money to pay the rent."
"How much does your mother pay?"
"Three dollars a month!" I said, thinking how
much it was for a poor woman, who had herself and
three children to feed and clothe.
"I don't know whether it is a month, or a week,
or how long; I only know it is three dollars.
"Once we were turned out in the snow. Oh!
how cold my feet were!" The remembrance of her
sufferings seemed almost to make her shiver.
"What did you do?"
"A woman took us in her house."
"It is a long walk for you," said Mary Ann, as we
crossed one of the broad avenues, "and we live in
the top of the house."
When we reached the house where the children
lived, Mary Ann and Ellen ran up before me so fast
that I lost sight of them. The hall was so dark
that I could not see the stairs, but I could hear
their feet pattering quickly on, and I followed as
best I could. The last flight of stairs I could see
distinctly, for the sky-light was just over them.
They were brown with age, but they were evidently
often swept and washed. I entered a room in which
I saw the children. The woman there they introduced
as their mother. She did not receive me with
much cordiality. I suppose she wondered why I had
come there. Her room was small and scantily furnished.
It was heated by a small furnace. The
great gray cat was dozing in the corner.
I seated myself on a clean wooden chair, and began
to talk with the mother about her children.
She told me of her only son, "as fine a boy as ever
stood on two feet," and her anxiety in regard to
him. I attempted to encourage her to hope that so
soon as navigation closed, he would return to her,
for he had been employed on a coal-boat; but she
refused to be comforted. She wished to find a place
for Joanna in the city.
Mary Ann, who is nine years old, said she should
like to go to the country. She thought she could
wash dishes, set the table, and sweep, and I thought
so too, for she seemed to me one of the smartest
little girls I ever saw. She would have been
quite willing to accompany me to the country,
if her mother had consented, and I could have
The children's mother came to this country when
she was quite young, and lived for several years as
a servant in different families. She showed me
several papers which she carefully preserved in a
basket. One was a certificate from a physician—another
from the person who had employed her
husband. As she opened her trunk I observed its
contents were nicely folded and arranged, as if she
had a love of order. She told me she was able to
do nothing but sew and could not procure much
After the children came in, they combed their
hair, and braided it, and washed their hands and
I inquired if the children could read. Ellen got
her "Easy Lessons," and came and stood by my
side while she read in it. Mary Ann read very well
in her geography, and Joanna in some "Reading
Lessons" which she had used at school. I asked
them if they could write.
"I can," replied Mary Ann. "I can write my
name, or I could your's if I knew it."
I gave each of the children a piece of silver.
They immediately handed it, with a bright smile, to
their mother. I told them I would call again and
see them some time, but I could not do it often.
When I bade them good-by, they all followed me
to the door, and looked so pleased and happy that I
felt amply repaid for my long walk. I had gone
but a few steps, when Mary Ann came bounding
along, and asked, "When will you come to see us
again?" I took her hand, and we walked together
to the next street.
There are many children as destitute as these
little girls, and many, very many, who have not
even a feeble mother to care for them. Many poor
children are sent out to gather the coal from the
streets, or bits of wood where new buildings are
being erected, and their bread they beg from door
In some of our cities benevolent people have
opened schools for these miserable children, where
they are taught to sew and read, and to observe to
some extent the decencies and proprieties of life.
In some, a dinner is given to its pupils, and, where
it is possible, a home for the homeless in the
Children often save a part of their money for
missionary or other benevolent purposes. I cannot
conceive a more suitable object for their benefactions
than other children who are poor and destitute.
"It is more blessed to give than to receive," the
Bible tells us.
I hope you do not forget to thank God for the
comforts and happiness of home, which you enjoy;
and I hope, also, that you will not forget that we
have the poor with us always, and must do them all
the good in our power.
"Have pity on them, for their life
Is full of grief and care;
You do not know one half the woes
The very poor must bear;
You do not see the silent tears
By many a mother shed,
As childhood offers up the prayer,
'Give us our daily bread.'"
Charley was a sweet little babe. It was a pleasure
to kiss his plump cheek, and pat his fat and
dimpled arms. He was a dear babe, and we all
loved him, and our blessed Saviour loved him even
more than we did.
Before Charley was two years old, he became ill.
All that physicians could do was done for him, but
he daily grew more and more feeble. The bright
blue eyes lost their brilliancy, and became faded and
dim. The plump and rosy cheek became hollow
and pale. The fat and rounded limbs grew thin
and weak, and we all felt that little Charley would
soon be taken from us.
The same sweet smile lingered about his mouth,
although pain and suffering had saddened that baby-face.
He no longer tottered about the floor, but
was confined constantly to his bed. Not there even
was he to remain more than a few short weeks.
The angel of death came, and bore him to the
Saviour's bosom. His friends looked at the beautiful
casket, and felt that the spirit which had inhabited
it, and made it precious, was no more there.
They committed it tearfully to the grave, and, lonely
and sorrowing, returned to their desolate home.
The crib was vacant—the tiny shoe had no owner—the
rattle lay neglected. There was no need of the
noiseless step lest the sleeper should be awakened.
Little Charley slept in death.
How sad and broken those loving hearts! Those
parents were Christian parents, and they sorrowed
not as those without hope. Jesus, their Saviour,
had wept, and they knew their tears were not forbidden.
One of the cords which bound them to earth
was snapped asunder. They had one child in
heaven, there to be a pure and sinless spirit in the
immediate presence of his Father—God. There
was comfort in the thought that Charley's tiny bark
had safely passed over the sea of life, and was securely
anchored in the haven of eternal rest.
Charley had a brother, Willie, two years older
than himself. Little could he know of death—but
he knew he had no baby-brother now, and his mother
told him Charley was in heaven.
"I hope, mother," said he, "the apostles will
not get him."
"Why, my child?"
"Because they did not want little children to go
to Jesus," was his artless reply.
This little boy has recently removed, with his parents,
to the city. He does not like it as he did the
green grass and shaded fields of the country. He
feels lonely without the companionship of the trees
and the birds, and he wishes that "God would take
him right up to heaven to play with Charley."
How is it with you, my dear child? Are you
ready to be taken "right up to heaven?" Do you
love your Saviour? Do you obey your parents?
Are you truthful and conscientious? Do you study
your Bible to learn all you can about God, and what
he would have you be and do? Do you pray to him
daily for His blessing, and ask Him to keep you
from sin? Do you seek His forgiveness for all you
have done that is wrong?
So live, that when the angel of death comes for
you, he may carry you where Charley is, into the
blessed home prepared for all who love God. When
He will come, you cannot know. Be always ready,
and then He will not find you unprepared.
Willie was an active little boy, just large
enough to be dressed in frock and pantaloons. He
was very affectionate, and everybody who knew him
When he left the green fields in the country, to
come with his parents to the city, he did not feel so
happy as in his pleasant home by the river side,
where the wild birds sung to him, and where he
could watch the branches of the old elm swaying in
It was autumn when he came to town, and there
were no flowers in the yard attached to his city
home. The grass was brown and frost-bitten, and
soon the white snow came and covered it. The
stone walks were swept, and when it was not too
cold, Willie could ride around the little square,
seated on his velocipede. In his mother's parlour,
he could make houses with his blocks, or stables for
his tin horses, and often he went out to walk or
drive with his mother, who always enjoyed taking
him with her.
The winter passed away, and every month the
strong cords of love were binding him still more
closely to the hearts of his friends. Spring came—the
fresh grass sprung up, and the dandelions opened
their blossoms in Willie's playground. How he
loved to look at them! Those blades of grass, and
the yellow flowers, filled his heart with gladness.
His eyes sparkled, and he could scarcely stand still
as he talked about them.
Willie was, one day, sitting with his grandmother
by the open window. The sun had just sunk below
the horizon, and the clouds were gorgeously tinted
with his parting rays. Some of them were of a rich
golden hue, and others were dyed with rosy light.
It was an exceedingly beautiful sunset, and Willie,
who loved all nature, gazed for some time in silent
admiration. Then, looking up to his grandmother's
face, and pointing to the west,
"See, grandmother," said he, "what a beautiful
home Charley has!"
Willie was one day sitting with his grandmother by the open window.
Charley was Willie's little brother, whom the
angels had taken from earth, and carried to live
He thought Charley must have felt lonely when
he first went to heaven; but, as he would say, "now
he has got acquainted, he is very happy."
Sometimes Willie would ask his mother, "Would
you be lonesome without me, mother?" It was
always a pleasant thought to him that he might
early die and go to Jesus.
Willie liked to look at the blue sky. Perhaps it
was because he thought it was Charley's home. He
watched every evening for the moon, with her silvery
light, and for the twinkling stars.
At one time, a cousin of his called to see him.
He brought a basket with him. Raising the cover,
"Willie, come, look in my basket."
Willie came as requested.
"Oh! I know what it is! It is a rabbit for me!"
So it was. George opened the basket, and out
jumped a white rabbit, with pink eyes. It was
a beautiful animal. Willie capered with delight.
He had a live plaything, and it pleased him more
than the velocipede, or his blocks, or any of his
Willie said he loved his cousin George for bringing
him the rabbit, and his cousin Walter for sending
it to him. They were happy because they had
made him so happy.
Not long after this rabbit was added to Willie's
amusements, very sad tidings came to the home
of George and Walter. It was said that Willie
was dead. It seemed scarcely possible—for it was
only a few days since he had sent a message of
love to them.
Some member of the family immediately went to
town, and called on Willie's father. It was indeed
true that Willie was not there! He had gone
to be with the angels. God had heard his prayer.
Heaven was a better, safer, happier place for him
than even his pleasant home, with his fond parents,
and he was taken "right up there," as he wished,
to be with Charley.
Saturday evening Willie went to his bed in apparent
health. Sabbath morning he complained
of not feeling entirely well, and on Wednesday he
laid aside his garment of mortality, and put on the
beautiful robes made white in the blood of the
Lamb, in the spirit-world. He was a lovely child
when he dwelt with us here below; how very
lovely he must be in the bright world to which
he has gone!
His mother often weeps when she thinks of him,
and she misses him more than any one but a
mother can. There is no one to play with his
blocks, or his tin horses, or his pretty rabbit. Yet
Willie is very happy, and his mother has no wish to
recall him to earth, lonely and desolate as is their
once cheerful home.
Willie will shed no more tears. He will never
feel sad or lonely. He will suffer neither pain, nor
hunger, nor weariness. But we, who love him,
may weep, as did Jesus when Lazarus lay in the
grave; and we shall never forget the sweet child, so
full of life and love, who was given us for a little
while, and then taken home to glory.
Dear children, who read about Willie, are you
prepared to follow him and Charley, where they
are gone to dwell with that Saviour who, when
he was on earth, took little children in his arms,
and blessed them, and said, "of such is the kingdom
WIDOW CAHOON AND HER GRANDSON.
"I wish to make a call in —— street," said
a lady to me, as we together were visiting some of
the poor of the city. "There is a Mrs. Smith
living there, a poor old woman nearly eighty years
old. She is infirm and partially blind. She has a
little grandson, and she has no means with which to
take care of him. We hope to persuade her to give
him to us, and let us find a good home, by adoption,
It was a warm winter's morning. Snow had
fallen the day before, but it was rapidly disappearing.
The foot sank in the melting mass at every
step. The crossings were muddy, and it required
some skill to pick our way along dry-shod.
We turned into the street, and sought for the
number which had been given us. We found it on
the door of a low, shed-like building, old and out
"Does Mrs. Smith live here?" we inquired.
"Is there an old lady, who is almost blind, and
who has a little grandson, in the house?"—we
further asked, thinking Mrs. Smith might not be
known by name.
"No, ma'am. There is no such person here."
"Does she live in the neighbourhood?"
"She may be in No. ——."
We made inquiries at several doors, dodging in
quickly to avoid the great drops which came pattering
down on the pavement from the gutterless
eaves, but we could learn nothing of the object of
At length we came to a grocery, and, stepping in
by the mackerel barrels which stood at the door, we
repeated our inquiry—
"Can you tell us where Mrs. Smith lives?
She is an old lady, almost blind, and has a little
"Oh, yes! I know her well. She is a deserving,
The man followed us to the street to point out
the house where she lived. As he was telling us, a
woman passed by. He spoke to her, saying,
"You know where Mrs. Smith lives—the old
lady who is almost blind, and who has a little
"Will you show these ladies the place?"
She walked on with us till she came to a large
tenement building, and then directed us to a room
in the upper story. We thanked her, and entered
the narrow hall, and passed up the still narrower
We knocked at the door, and were bidden to
enter. The old lady was not there. We inquired
for her again, and learned that she had just gone
out. The woman said she would send for her. A
boy, ten or twelve years old, went to find her.
While he was gone, we talked with his mother,—a
round-faced, good-natured, intelligent Irish woman.
We asked her where Mrs. Smith lived, and she
said she was most of the time with her. Poor
woman! she had only a living-room and a bed-room
for herself and four children, yet she was willing to
share them with another as poor and more helpless
She was a widow, too, and had no one to depend
upon. Her husband died last spring. During
the summer she had provided for her family by
washing and cleaning, but this winter she finds
it almost impossible to get work. One of the
children is a babe, who was lying on a rough, unpainted
board-cradle, rudely put together by some
unaccustomed hand. This infant had been taken
care of during the summer by his brother, not more
than ten or twelve years old, while his mother was
absent at work. There was a little girl, about eight
years old, who attends the Industrial School. She
was quite unwell, and had not been able to go out for
several days. She sat in the great rocking-chair,
looking sad and disconsolate, as most sick children
do. She was comfortably clothed. Her dress she
had received at the school, and had sewed on it herself
doing all her little fingers could do to make it.
Her hair was neatly combed. She was feverish
and very thirsty. Sometimes she went to the pail
herself for a cup of water, and sometimes her
brother would get it for her. He seemed kind,
gentle, and sympathizing—a good example for
some more favoured boys.
Pretty soon the door opened, and an aged woman,
bent with years and breathing hard and painfully,
entered the room. A boy, with a complexion fair
and transparent, through which the blue veins
showed themselves, immediately followed her. She
greeted us kindly, and took a chair by my side,
bending towards us that she might hear more
easily, for she was almost deaf. She told us that
since her daughter's death she had been entirely
dependent on charity.
After talking with her a short time, Mrs. B——,
the lady accompanying me, gave her little grandson
a penny to buy some candy. She did so, because
she wished to talk with his grandmother about him,
and thought he had, perhaps, better not be in the
room. So soon as he left, she asked the old lady
if she had made up her mind to part with the
child. She had been spoken to a fortnight previously
in regard to it by another lady, and seemed
then unwilling that he should leave her. She said
she had come to the conclusion that she must give
him up, for she was too old and feeble to take care
of him, and she was constantly anxious about him.
She could not do for him all that he needed, and
she knew it would be much better for him to be
adopted in some kind family, where he could be
brought up as a son. She spoke of him most tenderly
and affectionately. He was her earthly all.
She had taken care of him from his infancy. She
came from Ireland for that very purpose. His
father had died before he was old enough to remember
him, and his mother had supported him by her
The grandmother's name was not Smith, as we
called her. It was, as she said, widow Cahoon.
The daughter's name was Smith, and the sunny-haired
boy was David. Last May, Mrs. Smith died
of cholera, leaving her aged mother homeless, and
her beautiful boy an orphan.
When David returned with a great piece of molasses-candy,
he did not keep it all himself. He
divided it among the other children without being
told to do so. This showed that he was a generous
child, and loved to make others happy. When he
had eaten his portion, his grandmother washed his
face, neck, and hands, and put on his best clothes,
which his mother had made for him before her death.
He looked very tidy and comfortable in his brown
overcoat and his new boots—a New-Year's present.
The grandmother tied up a pair of shoes and a
few socks in a little bundle. When she handed it
to David, he burst into tears. He felt that he was
really going from his dearest friend. She wept
aloud for a few minutes, but when she saw how
much it affected him, she wiped away her tears, and
attempted to cheer him. He summoned his resolution
and became once more calm.
Mrs. B—— took him by the hand, and led him
down stairs. As he left the room, I gave mine to
his grandmother, who uplifted it in both her's, as if
pleading, in silent agony, for strength to bear this
new trial. I shall never forget the expression of that
wrinkled, up-turned face. Dear old grandmother!
Who will comfort her now? David will not forget her,
but he cannot put his arms around her neck, nor
cheer her with the sunlight of his bright face. She
is alone—none of her kindred near. The lady who
took charge of David will do what she can for her,
but her heart must yearn for the dear boy that
poverty and age compelled her to give to the fostering
care of strangers.
When David reached the street, the tears were
tracing their way over his round, plump cheek, but
soon a smile played around his mouth. Mrs. B—— took
him into a toy-shop, and purchased for him a
tin horse suspended in a wheel, which he could roll
about the room. He selected this himself, and it
was delightful to see with how much pleasure he
looked at it, as he carried it in his hand.
We concluded to make no more calls that day,
but to take David directly to Mrs. B——'s. When
his coat and cap were taken off, he began to roll
the horse across the floor. Sometimes he would
come and stand by my side, and examine it closely.
I said to him—
"Have you ever been in the country?"
"Oh, yes. I was there a month, when we buried
"Where were you?"
"We were with Elek, grandma's son."
"Why doesn't your grandmother live with him?"
"He isn't kind to her."
"Was his wife kind?"
"No; she said she wouldn't live with him if
"What did you see in the country?"
"I saw the fields, and the trees, and horses, and
"Did Elek have a cow?"
"Yes; and she went away every day, and at
night she came home, and they milked her."
"Did you see any birds?"
"I saw birds no bigger than that," said he, putting
his hand over his horse so as to hide more
than half of it, "and they sang all the time. And
there were some chickens, that laid eggs, and then
Elek's wife sold the eggs to the baker to pay for
"And had you apples or peaches?"
"I used to throw small stones at the apples, and
knock them off. The peaches I could reach with
my hand. I had just as many as I wanted."
The little orphan's month in the country had been
a sunny spot in his memory, clouded only by the
unkindness of Elek towards the grandmother he
loved so much.
How strange it is that children can ever forget
how much they owe their parents! When the
widow Cahoon was young, she had watched over
his infancy. She had carried him in her arms,
unmindful of her own weariness, and had done
all for him that his helplessness required. But
now she is old; her eyes are dim; her hearing is
impaired; her hands are tremulous, and she is unable
to provide for herself. Yet Elek's heart is hard.
He has forgotten all her love, and will not even give
her a home. He cannot prosper.
I well remember, when a child, what a fearful
impression a passage from the "words of Agur"
made on my mind: "The eye that mocketh at his
father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens
of the valley shall pick it out, and the young
eagles shall eat it." "Honour thy father and
mother, (which is the first commandment with
promise,") Paul writes to the Ephesian children,
"that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest
live long on the earth."
I should fear to hear Elek's future history. It
must be dark and sorrowful. His poor old mother
uttered a groan, when, as she was talking about
David's mother, I asked if she had any other children.
"He isn't kind to her," explained its meaning.
"Sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child."
I left David with Mrs. B——, who will find him
a home in some family where they wish to adopt a
little son. "He will make friends for himself,"—she
said, confidently, and I felt so also, for his sweet,
intelligent face is too attractive and winning not to
find its way to some loving heart.
When Mrs. B—— talked with him about his
mother, he wept. She soon comforted him, and
told him that God would provide for him. He
seems to possess a sensitive nature, with, at the
same time, the power of self-control.
Who of you would like this orphan for an adopted
brother? He is only five years old. I have written
to a kind lady of my acquaintance, who has
adopted two little girls, to inquire if she does not
wish to add David to her household treasures.
There are many such homeless children in New
York, and it is an act of Christian charity to adopt
and educate them, and one which is rich in blessings
to every heart that is open to receive the fatherless
Mrs. B—— would like to have adopted David herself
but she has so much to do for so many orphan
children, that she concluded she had not the time to
devote to him. She sent him to a place known as
the Home of the Friendless. This is a large brick
house, built on purpose to shelter those who have
no home of their own. There are always many
children there, who are kindly taken care of till
homes can be obtained for them. Those who are
large enough attend school.
I was so much interested in David that I often
called to see him. The first call was made one day
just before dinner. I looked about for my little
friend, and found him in the wash-room. He was
standing by a great towel, and wiping his fair,
plump face as nicely as he could. I kissed his
clean, rosy cheek, and inquired if he remembered
me. He smiled, and said, "Yes, ma'am." He
appeared quite happy and contented. His teacher
told me that he was a remarkably good boy.
Several applications were made for David by
those who heard his story, and found room in their
hearts and houses for the fatherless and motherless
boy. His grandmother, knowing that she was
too aged and feeble to take care of him, gave
him to the Home. It was a great trial to do
so, but she loved him too well not to seek his
best interests. She was willing to live alone,
uncheered by the presence and affection of her
darling grandchild, if she could only feel that he
would be kindly treated and educated by Christian
A lady in Illinois wrote that she had a dear little
son in heaven, and wanted David to come to her
to supply his place in the home circle, where he
would find those whom he might call "father,
mother, and grandmother." A clergyman in Connecticut
proposed to adopt him, and was coming to
New York the first of May to take him home, if it
should be thought best.
While David was at the Home for the Friendless,
his grandmother occupied a room not far from Mrs.
B——'s. It was on the lower floor, so that she was
no longer exhausted by going up so many flights
of stairs. Several ladies united, and each sent her
a dinner one day in the week, and saw that she
was provided with breakfast and tea. They furnished
her with comfortable clothing, for which
she manifested much gratitude.
It was always pleasant to call upon "Widow
Cahoon," and hear her talk about herself and her
previous charge. She told us about his parents
and grandparents. His father's father was a Methodist
clergyman, and his grandmother, Smith, was
a most devout woman. She loved to talk of their
excellencies of character, and the good they had
accomplished. I never heard her without being
reminded of God's faithfulness in showing mercy
unto thousands of them that love him and keep his
One day, when I was at Mrs. B——'s, "Widow
Cahoon" was ushered into her private room—a back
parlour on the second story. She was much out of
breath, and it required some time for her to recover
herself sufficiently to talk. At length she spoke
of her children, some of whom she hoped were
living. Two sons and a daughter had come to
America long before she did, and had gone to
Pennsylvania. She had not heard from them for
twelve years. She had often prayed that she might
see them before she died, and she hoped still that
she should. She had been the mother of eleven
children, and here she was entirely alone,—no relative
near her to care for her in her age and helplessness.
She was very desirous Mrs. B—— should
write to Pennsylvania to make inquiries about her
children. It seemed almost a hopeless effort, but, to
gratify her, Mrs. B—— wrote to the postmaster
of the town where her sons were last heard from.
In about a week an answer came from the postmaster
saying that he was well acquainted with
James, and had seen him a short time previously.
He spoke highly of him, as an industrious and
respectable man, and one who would be happy to
provide for his mother. In regard to her other
son, he said he did not know him personally. His
reputation was good, and his circumstances were
such that he could assist in the care of his mother.
From James the "Widow Cahoon" afterwards
learned that her daughter had married and moved
farther west, but she had not been heard from
for ten years. When Mrs. B—— read the letter
to her, she was much overcome, and the tears
chased each other down her furrowed cheeks.
"Glory be to God!" she exclaimed. "He has
lifted a load off my heart. I shall see my sons
before I die. Bless the Lord that I ever saw the
like of you! I have been trying seven years to get
that letter written!"
I had the pleasure of carrying to her a letter
from James, and reading it to her myself. As
I entered the room she was sitting by the little
stove in a large rocking-chair, looking as comfortable
as one could wish. She seemed very happy,
and told me about the prospect of seeing her sons.
"They will send for me, and I shall go to them,"
was a cheering and delightful thought. She said
she was expecting every day a letter from James.
When I told her I had brought it, her face lighted
up, and she uttered expressions of thankfulness,
evidently from a full and overflowing heart. She
spoke of David, and of being once more with him,
if "the boys should send for him." She wished
to do what was best for the child, and was still
willing he should be adopted, if it was thought
desirable. She expressed the utmost confidence in
Mrs. B——, and was willing to leave it all to
her judgment. This was the last time I ever saw
the "Widow Cahoon," and we shall probably never
meet again. She had no earthly treasure to confer
upon me, but she gave me her blessing, and, I
doubt not, will remember me in her prayers so long
as she remains upon earth; and when the spirit-world
is our home, I shall expect her face, unwrinkled
by sorrow or age, to beam upon me a
heavenly welcome. It was but little I did for this
poor widow, and yet that little has been rich in
blessings to me, and may be to mine, for whom
she fervently prayed.
James, in his second letter, sent a check to his
mother to pay her fare from New York to Pennsylvania
with a request that David might accompany
her. He will provide for them both in
So soon as arrangements could be made, the
now happy widow and her little grandson started,
under the protection of a friend, for her new
home in the country where, I suppose, they now
are. What a pleasure it must be to James to
have his mother once more with him, and to be
able to do something for her who has done so
much for him! Little David will again see the
birds and the chickens, and be surrounded by
kind and loving friends. The ladies of the Home
will occasionally inquire about him, and if he
needs their care they will provide for him, as
his grandmother made them his legal protectors.
If I ever hear more about David which I think
will interest you, I shall write you again in regard