The Looking-Glass for the Mind; or, Intellectual Mirror
Produced by Chris Curnow, Lindy Walsh and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net
Chapter headings in the table of Contents and in the main body
of the book appear as they do in the original. Phrases printed
in italics in the original version are indicated in this
electronic version by _ (underscore). A list of amendments are
given at the end of the book.
BEING AN ELEGANT COLLECTION
The most delightful Little Stories
AND INTERESTING TALES:
CHIEFLY TRANSLATED FROM THAT MUCH ADMIRED WORK
L'AMI DES ENFANS.
WITH SEVENTY-FOUR CUTS,
DESIGNED AND ENGRAVED ON WOOD, BY
THE SIXTEENTH EDITION.
PRINTED FOR JOHN HARRIS, G. WHITTAKER, HARVEY
AND CO., LONGMAN AND CO., J. AND C. RIVINGTON,
T. CADELL, H. S. KIRBY, BALDWIN AND CO., HAMILTON
AND CO., J. SOUTER, SIMPKIN AND CO., AND J. NUNN.
Printed by S. and R. Bentley,
Dorset Street, Fleet Street, London.
The following pages may be considered rather as a Collection of the BEAUTIES of M. BERQUIN, than as a literally abridged translation of that work, several original thoughts and observations being occasionally introduced into different parts of them.
The stories here collected are of a most interesting kind, since virtue is constantly represented as the fountain of happiness, and vice as the source of every evil. Nothing extravagant or romantic will be found in these tales: neither enchanted castles, nor supernatural agents, but such scenes are exhibited as come within the reach of the observations of young people in common life; the whole being made familiar by an innocent turn of thought and expression, and applied to describe their amusements, their pursuits, and their necessities.
As a useful and instructive _Pocket Looking-Glass_, we recommend it for the instruction of every youth, whether miss or master; it is a _mirror_ that will not flatter them, nor lead them into error; it displays the follies and improper pursuits of youthful breasts, points out the dangerous paths they sometimes tread, and clears the way to the _Temple of Honour and Fame_.
Little Adolphus 1
Anabella's Journey to Market 8
The Absurdity of young People's Wishes exposed 16
Louisa's Tenderness to the little Birds in Winter 21
The Story of Bertrand, a poor Labourer, and his
little Family 31
Nancy and her Canary-bird, poor Cherry 38
The Birds, the Thorn-bushes, and the Sheep 48
Poor Crazy Samuel, and the mischievous Boys 54
Bella and Marian 60
Little Jack 75
Leonora and Adolphus 91
Flora and her little Lamb 97
The fruitful Vine 102
Sir John Denham and his worthy Tenant 107
Alfred and Dorinda 118
Rosina; or, the froward Girl reformed 122
Little Anthony 128
History of Jonathan the Gardener 132
The Sparrow's Nest 138
William and Thomas; or, the Contrast between
Industry and Indolence 145
Mischief its own Punishment 150
Antony and Augustus; or, Rational Education preferable
to Riches 158
The destructive Consequences of Dissipation & Luxury 167
William and Amelia 175
The Rival Dogs 187
Cleopatra; or, the Reformed little Tyrant 193
The Passionate Boy 197
Caroline; or, a Lesson to cure Vanity 201
Arthur and Adrian; or, Two Heads better than One 213
Madam D'Allone and her Four Pupils 217
The Bird's Egg 224
The Covetous Boy 234
Dissipation the certain Road to Ruin 242
Calumny and Scandal great Enemies to Society 247
Clarissa; Or, the Grateful Orphan 252
Returning Good for Evil, the noblest Revenge 257
Grey Hairs made Happy 263
In one of the villages in the neighbourhood of the metropolis, lived little Adolphus, who had the misfortune to lose his mother before he had reached his eighth year. Notwithstanding his early age, this loss made a strong impression on his mind, and evidently affected the natural gaiety of his disposition. His aunt, the good Mrs. Clarkson, soon took him home to her house, in order to remove him from the scene of his affliction, and to prevent his grief adding to the inconsolable sorrows of his father.
After the usual time, they left off their mourning; but though little Adolphus affected cheerfulness, yet his tender heart still felt for the loss of his mother. His father, whom he sometimes visited, could not avoid observing how little Adolphus endeavoured to conceal his grief; and this consideration made him feel the more for the loss of a wife, who had given birth to so promising a child. This made such an impression on his mind, that every one foresaw it would bring on his final dissolution.
Poor Adolphus had not been to see his dear father for some time; for, whenever he proposed it to his aunt, she constantly found some excuse to put it off. The reason was, that Mr. Clarkson being so ill, she feared that seeing him in that condition would increase the grief of Adolphus too much, and lay on his heart a load too heavy for him to support. In short, the loss of his wife, and his uneasiness for his son, put an end to Mr. Clarkson's life on the day before he reached the fiftieth year of his age.
The next morning, little Adolphus thus addressed his aunt: "This is my dear father's birth-day, I will go and see him, and wish him joy." She endeavoured to persuade him from it; but, when she found that all her endeavours were in vain, she consented, and then burst into a flood of tears. The little youth was alarmed, and almost afraid to ask any questions. At last, "I fear," said he, "my dear papa is either ill or dead. Tell me, my dear aunt, for I must and will know: I will sleep no more till I see my dear father, who so tenderly loves me."
Mrs. Clarkson was unable to speak; but when Adolphus saw his aunt take out his mourning clothes, he was too well satisfied of what had happened. "My dear papa is dead!" cried he; "O my papa! my mamma! both dead! What will become of poor Adolphus!" and then fainted, when Mrs. Clarkson found it difficult to bring him to his senses.
As soon as he was a little come to himself, "Do not afflict yourself, my dear child," said his aunt, "your parents are both living in heaven, and will intercede with God to take care of you while on earth. While he yesterday was dying, his last prayer was for you, and his prayer will be heard."
"What! did my dear father die yesterday, while I was thinking of the pleasure I should this day have on seeing him? Oh! let me go and see him, since I cannot now disturb him, or make him unhappy on my account. Pray, my dear aunt, let me go."
Mrs. Clarkson could not resist his importunities, and, engaged to go along with him, provided he would promise to keep himself composed. "You see my sorrow," said she, "and how much I am grieved for the loss of a brother, who was good, charitable, and humane, and from whose bounty I received the greater part of the means of my livelihood. Though I am now left poor and helpless, yet I trust in Providence, and you shall see me cry no more. Let me entreat you, my dear child, to do the same." Poor Adolphus promised he would do as she would wish him; when Mrs. Clarkson took him by the hand, and led him to the melancholy scene.
As soon as they were come to the house, Adolphus slipped from his aunt, and rushed into the room where his father lay in his coffin, surrounded by his weeping neighbours: he threw himself on the breathless body of his dear papa. After lying some little time in that state, without being able to speak, he at last raised his little head, and cried out, "See how your poor Adolphus cries for having lost you. When mamma died, you comforted me, though you wept yourself; but now, to whom am I to look for comfort? O my dear papa, my good papa!"
By this time his aunt got into the room, and, with the assistance of the neighbours, forced him from the coffin, and carried him to a friend's house, in order to keep him there till his father should be buried; for his aunt dreaded the thoughts of letting him follow the funeral.
The solemn scene was now preparing, and the bell began to toll, which Adolphus heard, and every stroke of it pierced his little innocent heart. The woman to whose care he had been left, having stept into another room, he took that opportunity to regain his liberty, got out of doors, and ran towards the churchyard. On his arrival there, he found the funeral service finished, and the grave filling up, when on a sudden, a cry was heard, "Let me be buried with my dear papa." He then jumped into the grave.
Such a scene must naturally affect every one who saw it. They pulled him out of the grave, and carried him home pale and speechless. For several days he refused almost every kind of sustenance, being at intervals subject to fainting fits. After some time, however, the consolations and advice of his good aunt appeared to have some weight with him, and the tempest in his little heart began to abate.
The affectionate conduct of Adolphus was the conversation for miles round their habitation, and at last reached the ears of a wealthy merchant, who had formerly been a little acquainted with the deceased Mr. Clarkson. He accordingly went to see the good Adolphus, and feeling for his distresses, took him home with him, and treated him as his son.
Adolphus soon gained the highest opinion of the merchant, and as he grew up, grew more and more in his favour. At the age of twenty, he conducted himself with so much ability and integrity, that the merchant took him into partnership, and married him to his only daughter.
Adolphus had always too great a soul to be ungenerous: for even during his younger days he denied himself every kind of extravagance, in order to support his aunt; and when he came into possession of a wife and fortune, he placed her in a comfortable station for the remainder of her life. As for himself, he every year, on his father's birth-day, passed it in a retired room alone, sometimes indulging a tear, and sometimes lifting up his heart to heaven, from whence he had received so much.
My little readers, if you have the happiness still to have parents living, be thankful to God, and be sensible of the blessing you enjoy. Be cautious how you do any thing to offend them; and should you offend them undesignedly, rest neither night nor day till you have obtained their forgiveness. Reflect on, and enjoy the happiness that you are not, like poor little Adolphus, bereft of your fathers and mothers, and left in the hands, though of a good, yet poor aunt.
ANABELLA'S JOURNEY TO MARKET.
Nothing can be more natural and pleasing than to see young children fond of their parents. The birds of the air, and even the wild inhabitants of the forest, love and are beloved by their young progeny.
Little Anabella was six years old, very fond of her mamma, and delighted in following her every where. Her mother, being one day obliged to go to market, wished to leave her little daughter at home, thinking it would be too fatiguing for Anabella, and troublesome to herself; but the child's entreaties to go were so earnest and pressing, that her mother could not withstand them, and at last consented to her request.
The cloak and bonnet were soon on, and the little maid set off with her mamma, in high spirits. Such was the badness of the paths in some places, that it was impossible for them to walk hand-in-hand, so that Anabella was sometimes obliged to trudge on by herself behind her mamma; but these were such kind of hardships as her little spirit was above complaining of.
The town now appeared in sight, and the nearer they approached it, the more the paths were thronged with people. Anabella was often separated from her mamma; but this did not at present much disturb her, as by skipping over a rut, or slipping between the people as they passed, she soon got up again to her mother. However, the nearer they approached the market, the crowd of course increased, which kept her eyes in full employment, to spy which way her mother went; but a little chaise drawn by six dogs having attracted her attention, she stopped to look at them, and by that means lost sight of her mother, which soon became the cause of much uneasiness to her.
Here, my little readers, let me pause for a moment, to give you this necessary advice. When you walk abroad with your parents or servants, never look much about you, unless you have hold of their hand, or some part of their apparel. And I hope it will not be deemed impertinent to give similar advice to parents and servants, to take care that children do not wander from them, since, from such neglect, many fatal accidents have happened. But to proceed.--
Little Anabella had not gazed on this object of novelty for more than a minute, before she recollected her mamma, and turned about to look for her; but no mamma was there, and now the afflictions of her heart began. She called aloud, "Mamma, mamma;" but no mamma answered. She then crawled up a bank, which afforded her a view all around; but no mamma was to be seen. She now burst into a flood of tears, and sat herself down at the foot of the bank, by which people were passing and repassing in great numbers.
Almost every body that passed said something or other to her, but none offered to help her to find her mother. "What is the matter with you, my little dear," said one, "that you cry so sadly?" "I have lost my mamma;" said Anabella, as well as the grief of her heart would permit her to speak. Another told her never to mind it, she would find her again by and by. Some said, "Do not cry so, child, there is nobody that will run away with you." Some pitied her, and others laughed at her; but not one offered to give her any assistance.
Such, my little pupils, is the conduct of most people. When any misfortune brings you into trouble, you will find enough ready to pity you, but few who will give you any material assistance. They will tell you what you then know yourselves, that you should not have done so and so; they will be sorry for you, and then take their leave of you.
Little Anabella, however, was soon relieved from her present terrible anxieties. A poor old woman, with eggs and butter in a basket, happened to be that day going to the same market, whither Anabella's mother was gone before her.
Seeing Anabella in so much distress, still crying as if her little heart would break, she went up to her, and asked her what was the cause of those tears that fell from her little cheeks: She told her she had lost her mamma. "And to what place, my dear," cried the old woman, "was your mamma going when you lost her?" "She was going to the market," replied Anabella. "Well, my sweet girl," continued the old woman, "I am going to the market too, and, if you will go along with me, I make no doubt but we shall find your mother there. However, I will take care of you till you do find her." She then took Anabella by the hand, and led her along the road.
The good old woman put her hand in her pocket, and pulled out a piece of nice plum-cake, which she gave to Anabella, who thankfully accepted of it; but her little heart was too full to permit her to think of eating at that time. She therefore put it into her pocket, saying that she would eat it by and by, when she had found her mamma, which she hoped would be soon.
As they walked along, the good old woman endeavoured to amuse Anabella by telling her pretty stories, and enquiring of her what books she read. "I very well know," said the old woman, "that you young children are too apt to be fond of histories of haunted houses, of witches, ghosts, and apparitions, which tend only to fill you with idle fears and apprehensions, and make you afraid even of your own shadows." But when Anabella told her that her books were all bought at the corner of St. Paul's Church-yard, she seemed perfectly satisfied.
They had hardly entered the market, when the little rambling eyes of Anabella caught sight of her mamma. She shrieked with joy, and, like an arrow out of a bow, darted from the old woman, and flew to her parent, who clasped her pretty dear in her arms, and, after tenderly embracing her, "How came you," said she, "my sweet angel, to wander from me? I have been so frightened as to be hardly able to contain myself."
Anabella threw her arms round the neck of her mamma, and fixing her lips to her cheeks, kept kissing her, till a torrent of tears gave ease to her heart. As soon as she was able to speak, "My dear mamma," said she, "I stopped to look at a pretty little chaise drawn by six dogs, and in the mean time I lost you. I looked for you, and called for you, but I could neither see nor hear you. I sat down crying by the side of a bank; some as they passed pitied me, and others joked me; but none attempted to take care of me, till this good old woman led me by the hand, and brought me here."
Anabella's mother was very thankful to the good old woman for her tenderness and humanity to her daughter; and not only bought of her what eggs and butter she had left, but even made her a small present besides, which she a long time declined accepting of, saying she had done no more than what every good Christian ought to do.
Anabella kissed the good old woman over and over again, and all her way home talked of nothing but her kindness. Nor did she afterwards forget it, as she would frequently go and pay her a visit, when she always took with her some tea and sugar, and a loaf of bread. Anabella's mother constantly bought all the eggs and butter the good old woman had to spare, and paid her a better price for them than she could have got at market, saving her, at the same time, the trouble of going thither.
Thus you see, my young friends, what are the consequences of good nature and humanity. You must accustom yourselves early, not only to feel for the misfortunes of others, but to do every thing that lies in your power to assist them. Whatever may be your condition in life at present, and however improbable it may be, that you may ever want, yet there are strange vicissitudes in this world, in which nothing can be said to be really certain and permanent. Should any of my readers, like Anabella, lose themselves, would they not be happy to meet with so good an old woman as she did? Though your stations in life may place you above receiving any pecuniary reward for a generous action, yet the pleasing sensations of a good heart, on relieving a distressed fellow-creature, are inexpressible.
THE ABSURDITY OF YOUNG PEOPLE'S
The present moment of enjoyment is all young people think of. So long as master Tommy partook of the pleasure of sliding on the ice, and making snow up in various shapes, he wished it always to be winter, totally regardless of either spring, summer, or autumn. His father hearing him one day make that wish, desired him to write it down in the first leaf of his pocket-book; which Tommy accordingly did, though his hand shivered with cold.
The winter glided away imperceptibly, and the spring followed in due time. Tommy now walked in the garden with his father, and with admiration beheld the rising beauty of the various spring flowers. Their perfume afforded him the highest delight, and their brilliant appearance attracted all his attention. "Oh!" said master Tommy, "that it were always spring!" His father desired him to write that wish also in his pocket-book.
The trees, which lately were only budding, were now grown into full leaf, the sure sign that spring was departing, and summer hastening on apace. Tommy one day, accompanied by his parents, and two or three of his select acquaintance, went on a visit to a neighbouring village. Their walk was delightful, afforded them a prospect sometimes of corn, yet green, waving smoothly, like a sea unruffled with the breeze, and sometimes of meadows enamelled with a profusion of various flowers. The innocent lambs skipped and danced about, and the colts and fillies pranced around their dams. But what was still more pleasing, this season produced for Tommy and his companions a delicious feast of cherries, strawberries, and a variety of other fruits. So pleasant a day afforded them the summit of delight, and their little hearts danced in their bosoms with joy.
"Do you not think, Tommy," said his father to him, "that summer has its delights as well as winter and spring?" Tommy replied, he wished it might be summer all the year; when his father desired him to enter that wish in his pocket-book also.
The autumn at length arrived, and all the family went into the country to view the harvest. It happened to be one of those days that are free from clouds, and yet a gentle westerly wind kept the air cool and refreshing. The gardens and orchards were loaded with fruits, and the fine plums, pears, and apples, which hung on the trees almost to the ground, furnished the little visitors with no small amusement and delight. There were also plenty of grapes, apricots, and peaches, which were the sweeter, as they had the pleasure of gathering them. "This season of rich abundance, Tommy," said his father to him, "will soon pass away, and stern and cold winter will succeed it." Tommy again wished that the present happy season would always continue, and that the winter would not be too hasty in its approaches, but leave him in possession of autumn.
Tommy's father desired him to write this in his book also, and, ordering him to read what he had written, soon convinced him how contradictory his wishes had been. In the winter, he wished it to be always winter; in the spring, he wished for a continuance of that season; in the summer, he wished it never to depart; and when autumn came, it afforded him too many delicious fruits to permit him to have a single wish for the approach of winter.
"My dear Tommy," said his father to him, "I am not displeased with you for enjoying the present moment, and thinking it the best that can happen to you; but you see how necessary it is that our wishes should not always be complied with. God knows how to govern this world much better than any human being can pretend to. Had you last winter been indulged in your wish, we should have had neither spring, summer, nor autumn; the earth would have been perpetually covered with snow. The beasts of the field, and the fowls of the air, would either have been starved or frozen to death; and even the pleasures of sliding, or making images of snow, would have soon become tiresome to you. It is a happiness that we have it not in our power to regulate the course of nature: the wise and unerring designs of Providence, in favour of mankind, would then, most probably, be perverted to their own inevitable ruin."
LOUISA'S TENDERNESS TO THE
LITTLE BIRDS IN WINTER.
However long the winter may appear, the spring will naturally succeed it. A gentle breeze began to warm the air, the snow gradually vanished, the fields put on their enamelled livery, the flowers shot forth their buds, and the birds began to send forth their harmony from every bough.
Little Louisa and her father left the city, to partake of the pleasures of the country.--Scarcely had the blackbird and the thrush begun their early whistle to welcome Louisa, than the weather changed all on a sudden; the north wind roared horribly in the grove, and the snow fell in such abundance, that every thing appeared in a silver-white mantle.
Though the little maid went to bed shivering with cold, and much disappointed in her expectations, yet she thanked God for having given her so comfortable a shelter from the inclemency of the elements.
Such a quantity of snow had fallen during the night, that the roads were almost impassable in the morning, which was a matter of great affliction to poor Louisa; but she observed, that the birds were as dull as herself upon the occasion. Every tree and hedge being so covered with snow, that the poor birds could get nothing to eat; not so much as a grain of corn or worm to be found.
The feathered inhabitants now forsook the woods and groves, and fled into the neighbourhood of inhabited towns and villages, to seek that relief from man, which nature alone would not then afford them. Incredibly numerous were the flight of sparrows, robins, and other birds, that were seen in the streets and courtyards, where their little beaks and claws were employed in turning over whatever they thought could afford them a single grain.
A large company of these feathered refugees alighted in the yard belonging to the house in which little Louisa and her father then were. The distress of the poor birds seemed to afflict the tender-hearted maid very much, which her father perceived as soon as she entered his chamber. "What is it makes you look so pensive now," said her father, "since it is but a few minutes ago when you were so remarkably cheerful?"--"O my dear papa!" said Louisa, "all those sweet birds, that sung so charmingly but a day or two ago, are now come into the yard starving with hunger. Do, pray, let me give them a little corn!"
Her papa very readily granted her so reasonable a request, and away she ran, accompanied by her governess, to the barn on the other side of the yard, which had that morning been cleanly swept. Here she got a handful or two of corn, which she immediately scattered in different parts of the yard. The poor little birds fluttered around her, and soon picked up what the bounty of her generous hand had bestowed on them.
It is impossible to describe the pleasure and satisfaction expressed in the countenance of Louisa, on seeing herself the cause of giving so much joy to those little animals. As soon as the birds had picked up all the grains, they flew to the house-top, and seemed to look down on Louisa as if they would say, "Cannot you give us a little more?" She understood their meaning, and away she flew again to the barn, and down they all came to partake of her new bounty; while Louisa called to her papa and mamma to come and enjoy with her the pleasing sight.
In the mean time, a little boy came into the yard, whose heart was not of so tender a nature as Louisa's. He held in his hand a cage full of birds, but carried it so carelessly, that it was evident he cared very little for his poor prisoners. Louisa, who could not bear to see the pretty little creatures used so roughly, asked the boy what he was going to do with those birds. The boy replied, that he would sell them if he could; but, if he could not, his cat should have a dainty meal of them, and they would not be the first she had munched alive.
"O fie," said Louisa, "give them to your cat! What, suffer such innocent things as those to be killed by the merciless talons of a cat?"--"Even so," said the boy, and giving the cage a careless swing, that tumbled the poor birds one over another, off he was setting, when Louisa called him back, and asked him what he would have for his birds. "I will sell them," said he, "three for a penny, and there are eighteen of them." Louisa struck the bargain, and ran to beg the money of her papa, who not only cheerfully gave her the money, but allowed her an empty room for the reception of her little captives.
The boy, having thus found so good a market for his birds, told all his companions of it; so that, in a few hours, Louisa's yard was so filled with little bird-merchants, that you would have supposed it to be a bird-market. However, the pretty maiden purchased all they brought, and had them turned into the same room, with those of her former purchase.
When night came, Louisa went to bed with more pleasure than she had felt for a long time. "What a pleasing reflection it is," said she to herself, "to be thus capable of preserving the lives of so many innocent birds, and save them from famine and merciless cats!--When summer comes, and I go into the woods and groves, these pretty birds will fly round me, and sing their sweetest notes, in gratitude for my kind attention to them."--These thoughts at last lulled her to sleep, but they accompanied her even in her dreams; for she fancied herself in one of the most delightful groves she had ever seen, where all the little birds were busied, either in feeding their young, or in singing, and in hopping from bough to bough.
The first thing Louisa did, after she had got up in the morning, was to go and feed her little family in the room, and also those that came into the yard. Though the seed to feed them cost her nothing, yet she recollected that the many purchases she had lately made of birds must have almost exhausted her purse; "and if the frost should continue," said she to herself, "what will become of those poor birds that I shall not be able to purchase! Those naughty boys will either give them to their cats, or suffer them to die with hunger."
While she was giving way to these sorrowful reflections, her hand was moving gently into her pocket, in order to bring out her exhausted purse; but, judge what must be her surprise and astonishment, when, instead of pulling out an empty purse, she found it brimful of money! She ran immediately to her papa, to tell him of this strange circumstance, when he snatched her up in his arms, tenderly embraced her, and shed tears of joy on her blooming cheeks.
"My dear child," said her papa to her, "you cannot conceive how happy you now make me! Let these little birds continue to be the objects of your relief, and, be assured, your purse shall never be reduced to emptiness." This pleasing news gladdened the little heart of Louisa, and she ran immediately to fill her apron with seed, and then hastened to feed her feathered guests. The birds came fluttering round her, and seemed conscious of her bounty and generosity.
After feeding these happy prisoners, she went down into the yard, and there distributed a plentiful meal to the starving wanderers without. What an important trust had she now taken on herself!--nothing less than the support of a hundred dependants within doors, and a still greater number without! No wonder that her dolls and other playthings should be now totally forgotten.
As Louisa was putting her hand into the seed-bag, to take out of it the afternoon food for her birds, she found a paper, on which were written these words: "The inhabitants of the air fly towards thee, O Lord! and thou givest them their food; thou openest thy hand, and fillest all things living with plenteousness."
As she saw her papa behind her, she turned round and said, "I am therefore now imitating God."--"Yes, my sweet Louisa," said her father, "in every good action we imitate our Maker. When you shall be grown to maturity, you will then assist the necessitous part of the human race, as you now do the birds; and the more good you do, the nearer you will approach the perfections of God."
Louisa continued her attention to feed her hungry birds for more than a week, when the snow began to melt, and the fields by degrees recovered their former verdure. The birds who had lately been afraid to quit the warm shelter of the houses, now returned to the woods and groves. The birds in our little Louisa's aviary were confined, and therefore could not get away; but they showed their inclination to depart, by flying against the windows, and pecking the glass with their bills. These birds, perhaps, were industrious, and wished not to be troublesome to Louisa, since they could not procure their own living.
Louisa, not being able to comprehend what could make them so uneasy, asked her papa if he could tell the cause of it "I know not, my dear," said her papa; "but it is possible these little birds may have left some companions in the fields, which they now wish to see."--"You are very right, papa," replied Louisa, "and they shall have their liberty immediately." She accordingly opened the window, and all the birds flew out of it.
These little feathered animals had no sooner obtained their liberty, than some were seen hopping on the ground, others darting into the air, or sporting in the trees, from twig to twig, and some flying about the windows, chirping, as though out of gratitude to their benefactor.
Louisa hardly ever went into the fields, but she fancied that some of her little family seemed to welcome her approach, either by hopping before her, or entertaining her with their melodious notes, which afforded her a source of inexhaustible pleasure.
THE STORY OF BERTRAND, A POOR
LABOURER, AND HIS LITTLE FAMILY.
Think yourselves happy, my little readers, since none of you perhaps know what it is to endure hunger day after day, without being able to enjoy one plentiful meal. Confident I am, that the following relation will not fail to make an impression on your tender years.
Bertrand was a poor labourer, who had six young children, whom he maintained with the utmost difficulty. To add to his distresses, an unfavourable season much increased the price of bread. This honest labourer worked day and night to procure subsistence for his family, and though their food was composed of the coarsest kind, yet even of that he could not procure a sufficiency.
Finding himself reduced to extremity, he one day called his little family together, and with tears in his eyes, and a heart overflowing with grief, "My sweet children," said he to them, "bread is now so extravagantly dear, that I find all my efforts to support you ineffectual. My whole day's labour is barely sufficient to purchase this piece of bread which you see in my hand; it must therefore be divided among you, and you must be contented with the little my labour can procure you. Though it will not afford each of you a plentiful meal, yet it will be sufficient to keep you from perishing with hunger." Sorrow and tears interrupted his words, and he could say no more, but lifted up his hands and eyes to heaven.
His children wept in silence, and, young as they were, their little hearts seemed to feel more for their father than for themselves. Bertrand then divided the small portion of bread into seven equal shares, one of which he kept for himself, and gave to the rest each their lot. But one of them, named Harry, refused his share, telling his father he could not eat, pretending to be sick. "What is the matter with you, my dear child?" said his father, taking him up in his arms. "I am very sick," replied Harry, "very sick indeed, and should be glad to go to sleep." Bertrand then carried him to bed, and gave him a tender kiss, wishing him a good night.
The next morning the honest labourer, overwhelmed with sorrow, went to a neighbouring physician, and begged of him, as a charity, to come and see his poor boy. Though the physician was sure of never being paid for his visit, yet such were his humanity and feelings, that he instantly went to the labourer's house.
On his arrival there, he found no particular symptoms of illness, though the boy was evidently in a very low and languishing state. The doctor told him he would send him a cordial draught; but Harry begged he would forbear sending him any thing, as he could do him no good. The doctor was a little angry at this behaviour, and insisted on knowing what his disorder was, threatening him, if he did not tell him immediately, he would go and acquaint his father with his obstinacy.
Poor Harry begged the doctor would say nothing about it to his father, which still more increased the doctor's wish to get at the bottom of this mystery. At last poor Harry, finding the doctor resolute, desired his brothers and sisters might leave the room, and he would acquaint him with every particular.
As soon as the physician had sent the children out of the room, "Alas! Sir," said little Harry, "in this season of scarcity, my poor dear father cannot earn bread enough to feed us. What little quantity he can get, he divides equally among us, reserving to himself the smallest part. To see my dear brothers and sisters suffer hunger is more than I can bear; and, as I am the eldest, and stronger than they, I have therefore not eaten any myself, but have divided my share among them. It is on this account that I pretended to be sick and unable to eat; I beseech you, however, to keep this a secret from my father."
The physician, wiping away a tear which started involuntarily from his eye, asked poor Harry if he were not then hungry. He acknowledged indeed that he was hungry; but said that did not give him so much affliction as to see the distresses of his family. "But my good lad," said the doctor, "if you do not take some nourishment, you will die."--"I am indifferent about that," replied Harry, "since my father will have then one mouth less to feed, and I shall go to heaven, where I will pray to God to assist my dear father, and my little sisters and brothers."
What heart but must melt with pity and admiration at the relation of such facts? The generous physician, taking up Harry in his arms, and clasping him to his bosom, "No, my dear little boy," said he, "thou shalt not die. God and I will take care of thy little family; and return thanks to God for having sent me hither. I must leave you for the present, but I will soon return."
The good physician hastened home, and ordered one of his servants to load himself with refreshments of every kind. He then hastened to the relief of poor Harry and his starving brothers and sisters. He made them all sit down at the table, and eat till they were perfectly satisfied. What could be a more pleasing scene, than that which the good physician then beheld, six pretty little innocent creatures smiling over the bounty of their generous and humane friend?
The doctor, on his departure, desired Harry to be under no uneasiness, as he should take care to secure them a supply of whatever might be wanting. He faithfully performed his promise, and they had daily cause of rejoicing at his bounty and benevolence. The doctor's generosity was imitated by every good person, to whom he related the affecting scene. From some they received provisions, from some money, and from others clothes and linen. So that, in a short time, this little family, which was but lately in want of every thing, became possessed of plenty.
Bertrand's landlord, who was a gentleman of considerable fortune, was so struck with the tender generosity of little Harry that he sent for his father, and paying him many compliments on his happiness of having such a son, he offered to take Harry under his own inspection, and bring him up in his own house. This matter being agreed on, Bertrand's landlord settled an annuity on him, promising, at the same time, to provide for his other children as they grew up. Bertrand, transported with joy, returned to his house, and falling on his knees, offered up his most grateful thanks to that good God, who had graciously condescended to bestow on him such a son!
Hence you may learn, my young readers, how much you have it in your power to prove a blessing to your parents, and a comfort to yourselves. It is not necessary, that, in order to do so, you should be reduced to the same necessity that poor Harry was: for, however exalted your station may be, you will always find opportunities enough to give proofs of your duty to your parents, your affection for your brothers and sisters, and your humanity and benevolence to the poor and needy. Happy indeed are those poor children, who have found a friend and protector when they were needful and helpless; but much happier those who, without ever feeling the griping hand of penury and want themselves, have received the inexpressible delight that never fails to arise from the pleasing reflection of having raised honest poverty to happiness and plenty.
NANCY AND HER CANARY BIRD,
As Nancy was one day looking out of her window, a man happened to come by, crying, "Canary-birds; come, buy my Canary-birds." The man had a large cage upon his head, in which the birds hopped about from perch to perch, and made Nancy quite in love with them. "Will you buy a pretty bird or two, Miss?" said the man. "I have no objection," replied the little maid, "provided my papa will give me leave. If you will stop a little while, I will soon let you know." So away ran Nancy down stairs to her papa, while the birdman put down his cage at the door.
Nancy ran into her papa's chamber quite out of breath, crying, "O dear papa, only come here! here is a man in the street that has a large cage on his head, with, I dare say, a hundred Canary-birds in it."--"Well, and what of all that?" replied her papa; "why does that seem to rejoice you so much?" Nancy answering, that she should be happy to buy one of them; her papa reminded her, that the bird must be fed, and should it be neglected, even only for a day, it would certainly die.
Nancy promised that she would never eat her own breakfast till she had given her bird his; but her papa reminded her that she was a giddy girl, and that he feared she had promised too much. However, there was no getting over her coaxings and wheedlings, so that her papa was at last obliged to consent that she should buy one.
He then took Nancy by the hand, and led her to the door, where the man was waiting with his birds. He chose the prettiest Canary-bird in it: it was a male, of a fine lively yellow colour, with a little black tuft upon his head. Nancy was now quite cheerful and happy, and pulling out her purse, gave it to her father to pay for the bird. But what was to be done with the bird without a cage, and Nancy had not money enough? However, upon her promising that she would take great care to feed her bird, her papa bought her a fine new cage, of which he made her a present.
As soon as Nancy had given her Canary-bird possession of his new palace, she ran about the house, calling her mamma, her brothers and sisters, and all the servants, to come and see her pretty Canary-bird, to which she gave the name of Poor Cherry. When any of her little friends came to see her, the first thing she told them was, that she had one of the prettiest Canary-birds in the world. "He is as yellow as gold," said she, "and he has a little black crest, like the plumes of my mamma's hat. Come, you must go and see him! His name is Cherry."
Cherry was as happy as any bird need wish to be, under the care of Nancy. Her first business every morning was to feed Cherry: and whenever there was any cake at table, Cherry was sure to come in for a share of it. There were always some bits of sugar in store for him, and his cage was constantly decorated with the most lively herbage.
Her pretty bird was not ungrateful, but did all in his power to make Nancy sensible how much he was obliged to her. He soon learned to distinguish her, and the moment he heard her step into the room, he would flutter his wings, and keep up an incessant chirping. It is no wonder, therefore, if Cherry and Nancy became very fond of each other.
At the expiration of a week he began to open his little throat, and sung the most delightful songs. He would sometimes raise his notes to so great a height, that you would almost think he must kill himself with such vast exertions. Then, after stopping a little, he would begin again, with a tone so sweet and powerful, that he was heard in every part of the house.
Nancy would often sit for whole hours by his cage, listening to his melody. Sometimes so attentively would she gaze at him, that she would insensibly let her work fall out of her hands; and after he had entertained her with his melodious notes, she would regale him with a tune on her bird organ, which he would endeavour to imitate.
In length of time, however, these pleasures began to grow familiar to his friend Nancy. Her papa, one day, presented her with a book of prints, with which she was so much delighted, that Cherry began to lose at least one half of her attention. As usual, he would chirp the moment he saw her, let her be at what distance she would; but Nancy began to take no notice of him, and almost a week had passed, without his receiving either a bit of biscuit, or a fresh supply of chick-weed. He repeated the sweetest and most harmonious notes that Nancy had taught him, but to no purpose.
It now appeared too clearly, that new objects began to attract Nancy's attention. Her birth-day arrived, and her godfather gave her a large jointed doll, which she named Columbine: and this said Columbine proved a sad rival to Cherry; for, from morning to night, the dressing and undressing of Miss Columbine engrossed the whole of her time. What with this and her carrying her doll up and down stairs, and into every room in the house, it was happy for poor Cherry if he got fed by the evening, and sometimes it happened that he went a whole day without feeding.
One day, however, when Nancy's papa was at table, accidentally casting his eyes upon the cage, he saw poor Cherry lying upon his breast, and panting, as it were, for life. The poor bird's feathers appeared all rough, and it seemed contracted into a mere lump. Nancy's papa went up close to it; but it was unable even to chirp, and the poor little creature had hardly strength enough to breathe. He called to him his little Nancy, and asked her what was the matter with her bird. Nancy blushed, saying, in a low voice, "Why, papa, I--somehow, I forgot;" and ran to fetch the seed-box.
Her papa, in the mean time, took down the cage, and found that poor Cherry had not a single seed left, nor a drop of water. "Alas! poor bird," said he, "you have got into careless hands. Had I foreseen this, I would never have bought you." All the company joined in pity for the poor bird; and Nancy ran away into her chamber to ease her heart in tears. However, her papa, with some difficulty, brought pretty Cherry to himself again.
Her father, the next day, ordered Cherry to be made a present of to a young gentleman in the neighbourhood, who, he said, would take much better care of it than his little thoughtless daughter; but poor Nancy could not bear the idea of parting with her bird, and most faithfully promised never more to neglect him.
Her papa, at last, gave way to her entreaties; and permitted her to keep little Cherry, but not without a severe reprimand, and a strict injunction to be more careful for the future. "This poor little creature," said her papa, "is confined in a prison, and is therefore totally unable to provide for its own wants. Whenever you want any thing, you know how to get it; but this little bird can neither help himself, nor make his wants known to others. If ever you let him want seed or water again, look to it."
Nancy burst out into a flood of tears, took her papa by the hand, and kissed it; but her heart was so full, that she could not utter a syllable. Cherry and Nancy were now again good friends, and he for some time wanted for nothing.
About a month afterwards, her father and mother were obliged to go a little way into the country on some particular business; but, before they set out, he gave Nancy strict charge to take care of poor Cherry. No sooner were her parents gone, than she ran to the cage, and gave Cherry plenty of seed and water.
Little Nancy now finding herself alone and at liberty, sent for some of her companions to come and spend the day with her. The former part of the day they passed in the garden, and the latter in playing at blindman's buff and four corners. She went to bed very much fatigued; but, as soon as she awoke in the morning, she began to think of new pleasures.
She went abroad that day, while poor Cherry was obliged to stay at home and fast. The second and third day passed in the same playful manner as before; but no poor Cherry was thought of. On the fourth day, her father and mother came home, and, as soon as they had kissed her, her father enquired after poor Cherry. "He is very well," said Nancy, a little confused, and then ran to fetch him some seed and water. Alas! poor little Cherry was no more; he was lying upon his back, with his wings spread, and his beak open. Nancy screamed out, and wrung her hands, when all the family ran to her, and were witnesses of the melancholy scene.
"Alas! poor bird," said her papa, "what a melancholy end thou hast come to! If I had twisted thy head off the day I went into the country, it would have caused you but a moment's pain; but now you have endured all the pangs of hunger and thirst, and expired in extreme agony. However, poor Cherry! you are happy in being out of the hands of so merciless a guardian."
Nancy was so shocked and distressed on the occasion, that she would have given all her little treasure, and even all her playthings, to have brought Cherry to life; but it was now too late. Her papa had the bird stuffed, and hung up to the ceiling, in memory of Nancy's carelessness. She dared not even to lift her eyes up to look at it, for, whenever she did, it was sure to make her cry. At last she prevailed on her papa to have it removed, but not till after many earnest entreaties and repeated acknowledgments of the fault she had been guilty of. Whenever Nancy was guilty of inattention, or giddiness, the bird was hung up again in its place, and every one would say in her hearing, "Alas, poor Cherry! what a cruel death you suffered!"
Thus you see, my little friends, what are the sad consequences of inattention, giddiness, and too great a fondness for pleasure, which always make us forgetful of what we ought carefully to attend to.
THE BIRDS, THE THORN-BUSHES,
AND THE SHEEP.
Mr. Stanhope and his son Gregory were one evening, in the month of May, sitting at the foot of a delightful hill, and surveying the beautiful works of nature that surrounded them. The declining sun, now sinking into the west, seemed to clothe every thing with a purple robe. The cheerful song of a shepherd called off their attention from their meditations on those delightful prospects. This shepherd was driving home his flocks from the adjacent fields.
Thorn-bushes grew on each side of the road, and every sheep that approached the thorns was sure to be robbed of some part of its wool, which a good deal displeased little Gregory. "Only see, papa," said he, "how the sheep are deprived of their wool by those bushes! You have often told me, that God makes nothing in vain; but these briars seem only made for mischief; people should therefore join to destroy them root and branch. Were the poor sheep to come often this way, they would be robbed of all their clothing. But that shall not be the case, for I will rise with the sun to-morrow morning, and with my little bill-hook and snip-snap, I will level all these briars with the ground. You may come with me, papa, if you please, and bring with you an axe. Before breakfast, we shall be able to destroy them all."
Mr. Stanhope replied, "We must not go about this business in too great a hurry, but take a little time to consider of it; perhaps, there may not be so much cause for being angry with these bushes, as you at present seem to imagine. Have you not seen the shepherds about Lammas, with great shears in their hands, take from the trembling sheep all their wool, not being contented with a few locks only."
Gregory allowed that was true; but they did it in order to make clothes, whereas the hedges robbed the sheep without having the least occasion for their wool, and evidently for no useful purpose. "If it be usual," said he, "for sheep to lose their clothing at a certain time of the year, then it is much better to take it for our own advantage, than to suffer the hedges to pull it off for no end whatever."
Mr. Stanhope allowed the arguments of little Gregory to be just; for Nature has given to every beast a clothing, and we are obliged from them to borrow our own, otherwise we should be forced to go naked, and exposed to the inclemency of the elements.
"Very well, papa," said Gregory, "though we want clothing, yet these bushes want none: they rob us of what we have need, and therefore down they shall all come with to-morrow morning's rising sun. And I dare say, papa, you will come along with me, and assist me."
Mr. Stanhope could not but consent; and little Gregory thought himself nothing less than Alexander, merely from the expectation of destroying at once this formidable band of robbers. He could hardly sleep, being so much taken up with the idea of his victories, to which the next morning's sun was to be witness.
The cheerful lark had hardly begun to proclaim the approach of morning, when Gregory got up, and ran to awaken his papa. Mr. Stanhope, though he was very indifferent concerning the fate of the thorn-bushes, yet he was not displeased with having the opportunity of showing to his little Gregory the beauties of the rising sun. They both dressed themselves immediately, took the necessary instruments, and set out on this important expedition. Young Gregory marched forwards with such hasty steps, that Mr. Stanhope was obliged to exert himself, to avoid being left behind.
When they came near the bushes, they observed a multitude of little birds flying in and out of them, and fluttering their wings from branch to branch. On seeing this, Mr. Stanhope stopped his son, and desired him to suspend his vengeance a little time, that they might not disturb those innocent birds. With this view, they retired to the foot of the hill where they had sat the preceding evening, and from thence examined more particularly what had occasioned this apparent bustle among the birds. From hence they plainly saw, that they were employed in carrying away those bits of wool in their beaks, which the bushes had torn from the sheep the evening before. There came a multitude of different sorts of birds, who loaded themselves with the plunder.
Gregory was quite astonished at this sight, and asked his papa what could be the meaning of it. "You by this plainly see," replied Mr. Stanhope, "that Providence provides for creatures of every class, and furnishes them with all things necessary for their convenience and preservation. Here, you see, the poor birds find what is necessary for their habitations, wherein they are to nurse and rear their young, and with this they make a comfortable bed for themselves and their little progeny. The innocent thorn-bush, against which you yesterday so loudly exclaimed, is of infinite service to the inhabitants of the air; it takes from those that are rich only what they can very well spare, in order to satisfy the wants of the poor. Have you now any wish to cut those bushes down, which you will perhaps no longer consider as robbers?"
Gregory shook his head, and said he would not cut the bushes down for the world. Mr. Stanhope applauded his son for so saying; and, after enjoying the sweets of the morning, they retired home to breakfast, leaving the bushes to flourish in peace, since they made so generous a use of their conquests.
My young friends will hence be convinced of the impropriety of cherishing too hastily prejudices against any persons or things, since, however forbidding or useless they may at first sight appear, a more familiar acquaintance with them may discover those accomplishments or perfections which prejudice at first obscured from their observation.
POOR CRAZY SAMUEL, AND THE MISCHIEVOUS
In the city of Bristol lived a crazy person, whose name was Samuel. Whenever he went out he always put four or five wigs on his head at once, and as many muffs upon each of his arms. Though he had unfortunately lost his senses, yet he was not mischievous, unless wicked boys played tricks with him, and put him in a passion.
Whenever he appeared in the streets, all the idle boys would surround him, crying, "Samuel! Samuel! how do you sell your wigs and your muffs?" Some idle boys were of such mischievous dispositions as to throw dirt and stones at him. Though the unfortunate man generally bore all this treatment very quietly, yet he would sometimes turn about in his own defence, and throw among the rabble that followed him any thing that came in his way.
A contest of this nature happened one day near the house of Mr. Denton, who, hearing a noise in the street, went to the window, and, with much regret, saw his son Joseph concerned in the fray. Displeased at the sight, he shut down the sash, and went into another room.
When they were at dinner, Mr. Denton asked his son who the man was, with whom he and other boys in the street seemed to be so pleasingly engaged. Joseph said it was the crazy man, whom they called Samuel. On his father asking him what had occasioned that misfortune, he replied, that it was said to be in consequence of the loss of a law-suit, which deprived him of a large estate.
"Had this man been known to you," said Mr. Denton, "at the time when he was cheated of his estate; and had he told you that he had just lost a large inheritance, which he had long peaceably enjoyed; that all his property was expended in supporting the cause, and that he had now neither country nor town-house, in short, nothing upon earth left; would you then have laughed at this poor man?"
Joseph, with some confusion, replied he certainly should not be guilty of so wicked an action as to laugh at the misfortunes of any man; but should rather endeavour to comfort him.
"This man," said Mr. Denton, "is more to be pitied now than he was then, since to the loss of his fortune is added that of his senses also; and yet you have this day been throwing stones at this poor man, and otherwise insulting him, who never gave you any cause." Joseph seemed very sorry for what he had done, asked his papa's pardon, and promised not only never to do the like again, but to prevent others, as much as lay in his power, committing the same crime.
His father told him, that as to his forgiveness, he freely had it, but that there was another besides him, whose forgiveness was more necessary. Little Joseph thought that his father meant poor Samuel; but Mr. Denton explained the matter to him. "Had Samuel retained his senses," said he, "it would be certainly just that you should ask his pardon; but as his disordered mind will not permit him to receive any apologies, it would be idle to attempt to make any. It is not Samuel, but God, whom you have offended. You have not shown compassion to poor Samuel, but, by your unmerited insults, have added to his misfortunes. Can you think that God will be pleased with such conduct?"
Joseph now plainly perceived whom he had offended, and therefore promised that night to ask pardon of God in his prayers. He kept his word, and not only forbore troubling Samuel for several weeks afterwards, but endeavoured to dissuade all his companions from doing the like.
The resolutions of young people, however, are not always to be depended on. So it happened with little Joseph, who, forgetting the promises he had made, one day happened to mix with the rabble of boys who were following and hooting, and playing many naughty tricks with the unfortunate Samuel.
The more he mixed among them, the more he forgot himself, and at last became as bad as the worst of them. Samuel's patience, however, being at length tired out by the rude behaviour of the wicked boys that pursued him, he suddenly turned about, and picking up a large stone, threw it at little Joseph with such violence, that it grazed his cheek, and almost cut off part of his ear.
Poor Joseph, on feeling the smart occasioned by the blow, and finding the blood trickling down his cheek at a great rate, ran home roaring most terribly. Mr. Denton, however, showed him no pity, telling him it was the just judgment of God for his wickedness.
Joseph attempted to justify himself by saying, that he was not the only one who was guilty, and therefore ought not to be the only one that was punished. His father replied, that, as he knew better than the other boys, his crime was the greater. It is indeed but justice that a child, who knows the commands of God and his parents, should be doubly punished, whenever he so far forgets his duty as to run headlong into wickedness.
Remember this, my young readers; and instead of adding to the afflictions of others, do whatever you can to alleviate them, and God will then undoubtedly have compassion on you, whenever your wants and distresses shall require his assistance.
BELLA AND MARIAN.
The sun was just peeping above the eastern edge of the horizon, to enliven with his golden rays one of the most beautiful mornings of the spring, when Bella went down into the garden to taste with more pleasure, as she rambled through those enchanting walks, the delicacies of a rich cake, of which she intended to make her first meal.
Her heart swelled with delight, on surveying the beauties of the rising sun, in listening to the enlivening notes of the lark, and on breathing the pleasing fragrance which the surrounding shrubs afforded.
Bella was so charmed with this complication of delights, that her sweet eyes were bedewed with a moisture, which rested on her eyelids without dropping in tears. Her heart felt a gentle sensation, and her mind was possessed with emotions of benevolence and tenderness.
The sound of steps in the walk, however, all on a sudden interrupted these happy feelings, and a little girl came tripping towards the same walk, eating a piece of coarse brown bread with the keenest appetite. As she was also rambling about the garden for amusement, her eyes wandered here and there unfixed; so that she came up close to Bella unexpectedly.
As soon as the little girl saw it was Miss Bella, she stopped short, seemed confused, and, turning about, ran away as fast as she could; but Bella called to her, and asked her why she ran away. This made the little girl run the faster, and Bella endeavoured to pursue her; but, not being so much used to exercise, she was soon left behind. Luckily, as it happened, the little stranger had turned up a path leading into that in which Bella was. Here they suddenly met, and Bella caught her by the arm, saying, "Come, I have you fast now; you are my prisoner, and cannot get away from me."
The poor girl was now more frightened than ever, and struggled hard for her liberty; but, after some time, the sweet accents of Bella, and her assurance that she meant only to be her friend, having rather allayed her fears, she became a little more tractable, and quietly followed her into one of the summer-houses.
Miss Bella, having made the stranger sit down by her, asked her if she had a father living, and what was his profession. The girl told her, that, thank God, her father was living, and that he did any thing for an honest livelihood. She said he was then at work in the garden, and had brought her with him that morning.
Bella then observing that the young stranger had got a piece of brown bread in her hand, desired she would let her taste it; but she said it so scratched her throat on swallowing a bit of it, that she could eat no more; and asked the little girl, why her father did not get better bread for her. "Because," replied the stranger, "he does not get so much money as your papa; and, besides that, there are four more of us, and we all eat heartily. Sometimes one wants a frock, another a jacket, and all he can get is barely sufficient for us, without laying out hardly any thing upon himself, though he never misses a day's work while he has it to do."
Upon Bella's asking her if she ever ate any plum-cake, she said she did not even know what it was; but she had no sooner put a bit into her mouth, which Miss Bella gave her, than she said, she had never in her life tasted any thing so nice. She then asked her what was her name, when the girl, rising, and making her a low curtsey, said it was Marian.
"Well then, my good Marian," said Bella, "stop here a moment; I will go and ask my governess for something for you, and will come back directly: but be sure you do not go away." Marian replied, that she was now noways afraid of her, and that she should certainly wait her coming back.
Bella ran directly to her governess, and begged she would give her some currant jelly for a little girl, who had nothing but dry bread for breakfast. The governess, being highly pleased with the good-nature of her amiable pupil, gave her some in a cup, and a small roll also. Bella instantly ran away with it, and coming to Marian, said she hoped she had not made her wait, but begged her to put down her brown bread till another time, and eat what she had brought her.
Marian, after tasting the jelly, and smacking her lips, said it was very nice indeed; and asked Bella if she ate such every day. Miss replied, that she ate those things frequently, and if she would come now and then, she would always give her some.
They now became very familiar together, and Miss Bella asked Marian a number of questions, such as, whether she never was sick, seeing her now look so hearty, and in what manner she employed her time.
Marian replied, she did not know what it was to be sick; and, as to her employments, in winter she went to get straw for the cow, and dry sticks to make the pot boil; in summer she went to weed the corn; and, in harvest-time, to glean and pull hops. In short, they were never at a loss for work; and she said her mother would make a sad noise, if any of her little ones should take it into their heads to be lazy.
Miss Bella, observing that her little visitor went barefooted, which much surprised her, was induced to ask the reason of it; when Marian replied, that it would be too expensive for their father to think of finding shoes and stockings for them all, and therefore none of them had any; but they found no inconvenience from it, since time had so hardened the bottoms of their feet, as to make shoes unnecessary.
The time having slipped away in this kind of chit-chat, Marian told Miss Bella that she must be going, in order to gather some greens for her cow, who would want her breakfast by eight o'clock. This little girl did not eat up all her roll and jelly, but saved some part of it to carry home to her youngest sister, who, she said, she was sure would be very fond of it. Bella was vastly pleased to find Marian was so tender of her sister, and desired she would not fail to come again at the same hour the next morning. So, after a mutual good b'ye, they separated for the present.
Miss Bella had now, for the first time, tasted the pleasure of doing good. She walked a little longer in the garden, enjoying the pleasing reflection how happy she had made Marian, how grateful that little girl had showed herself, and how pleased her sister would be to taste currant jelly, which she had never seen before.
Miss Bella was enjoying the idea of the pleasure she should receive from her future bounties to her new acquaintance, when she recollected that she had some ribands and a necklace, which her mamma had given her a little time before, but of which she now began to grow tired. Besides these, she had some other old things to give her, which, though of no use to herself, would make Marian quite fine.
The next morning Marian came into the garden again, and Miss Bella was ready to receive her, with a tolerable good portion of gingerbread. Indeed, this interview was continued every morning; and Miss Bella always carried some dainties along with her. When her pocket failed her, she would beg her mamma to supply her with something out of the pantry, which was always cheerfully complied with.
One day, however, it happened that Bella received an answer which gave her some uneasiness. She had been begging her mamma to advance her something on her weekly allowance, in order to buy shoes and stockings for Marian; to which her mamma gave her a flat denial, telling her, that she wished she would be a little more sparing to her favourite, for which she would give her a reason at dinner-time. Bella was a little surprised at this answer, and every hour appeared an age till dinner-time arrived.
At length they sat down to table, and dinner was half over before her mamma said a word about Marian; but a dish of shrimps being then served up, gave her mamma an opportunity of beginning the conversation. "I think, Bella," said the lady, "this is your favourite dish." Bella replied it was, and could not help observing, how happy she supposed poor Marian would be to taste them, who she imagined had never so much as seen any. With her mamma's leave, she begged two of the smallest, to give to that little girl.
Mrs. Adams, for such was her mamma's name, seemed unwilling to grant her request, urging, that she was afraid she would do her favourite more mischief than good. "At present," said her mamma, "she eats her dry brown bread with an appetite, and walks barefooted on the gravel without complaining. Should you continue to feed her with dainties, and accustom her to wear shoes and stockings, what would she do, should she by any means lose your favour, and with it all those indulgences? She will then lament that she had ever experienced your bounty."
Miss Bella hastily replied, that she meant to be a friend to her all her life, and only wished that her mamma, in order to enable her to do so, would add a little to her weekly allowance, and she would manage it with all the frugality possible.
Mrs. Adams then asked her daughter, if she did not know of any other children in distress; to which Bella replied, that she knew several besides, and particularly two in a neighbouring village, who had neither father nor mother, and who, without doubt, stood much in need of assistance. Her mamma then reminded her, that it was somewhat uncharitable to feed Marian with sweetmeats and dainties, while other poor children were starving with hunger. To this Bella replied, that she hoped she should have something to spare for them likewise: but, at all events, she loved Marian best.
However, her mamma advised her to give her sweet things seldomer, and instead thereof something that would be of more use to her, such as an apron or a gown. Miss Bella immediately proposed to give her one of her frocks; but her mamma soon made her sensible of the impropriety of dressing up a village girl, without shoes or stockings, in a muslin slip. "Were I in your place," said her mamma, "I would be sparing in my amusements for some time, and when I had saved a little money, I would lay it out in buying whatever was most necessary for her. The stuffs that poor children wear are not very expensive." Bella followed mamma's advice. Marian was not, indeed, so punctual in her morning visits; but Bella made her presents that were far more useful than sweetmeats.
Miss Bella, besides frequently giving Marian an apron, a petticoat, or such like, paid a certain sum every month to the schoolmaster of the village, to improve her in reading. Marian was so sensible of these kindnesses, that she grew every day more tenderly fond of her kind benefactress. She frequently paid her a visit, and was never so happy as when she could do any little matters to oblige her.
Marian came one day to the garden gate to wait for Bella's coming down to her; but she did not come, and she was obliged to go back again without seeing her. She returned two days successively, but no Bella appeared, which was a great affliction to her little heart, and she began to fear she had inadvertently offended her. "I have, perhaps," said she to herself, "done something to vex her: I am sure, if I knew I had, I would ask her a thousand pardons, for I cannot live without loving her."
While she was thus reflecting, one of Mrs. Adams's maids came out of the house; when poor Marian stopped her, and asked her where Miss Bella was. "Miss Bella!" replied the woman, "she is ill of the small-pox; so ill, indeed, that there are no hopes of her recovery!" Poor Marian was all distraction, and, without considering what she did, flew up stairs and burst into Mrs. Adams's room, imploring, on her knees, that she might be permitted to see her dear Miss Bella.
Mrs. Adams would have stopped Marian; but the door being half open, she flew to her bedside like an arrow out of a bow. Poor Bella was in a violent fever, alone, and very low spirited; for all her little companions had forsaken her. Marian, drowned in tears, seized hold of Bella's hand, squeezed it in hers, and kissed it. "Ah! my dear Miss," said she "is it in this condition I find you! but you must not die; what would then become of me? I will watch over you, and serve you: shall I, my dear Miss Bella?"
Miss Bella, squeezing Marian's hand, signified to her, that staying with her would do her a great favour. And the little maid, with Mrs. Adams's consent, became Bella's nurse, which she performed the part of to admiration. She had a small bed made up for her, close beside her little sick friend, whom she never left for a moment. If the slightest sigh escaped Bella, Marian was up in an instant to know what she wanted, and gave her, with her own hands, all her medicines.
This grateful girl did every thing she could to amuse her friend. She ransacked Mrs. Adams's library for books that had pictures in them, which she would show to Bella; and during the time that her eyes were darkened by her disorder, which was for near a week, Marian exerted herself to the utmost to divert her. When Bella grew impatient at the want of sight, Marian told her stories of what happened in the village; and as she had made a good use of her schoolmaster's instructions, she read whatever she thought would be amusing and diverting to her.
Thus Marian was not only her nurse, but philosopher also; for she would sometimes say to her, "God Almighty will have pity upon you, as you have had pity on me. Will you let me sing a pretty song to divert you?" Bella had only to make a sign, and the little maid would sing her every song she had learnt from the village nymphs and swains, endeavouring by this means to soften the affliction of her generous friend.
At length she began to open her eyes, her lowness of spirits left her, the pock dried up, and her appetite returned. Her face was still covered with red spots; but Marian looked at her with more pleasure than ever, from the consideration of the danger she had been in of losing her; while the grateful Bella, on the other hand, regarded her with equal tenderness. "In what manner," she would sometimes say, "can I think of requiting you, to my own satisfaction, for the tender care you have taken of me?"
Miss Bella, as soon as she found herself perfectly recovered, asked her mamma in what manner she could recompense her faithful and tender nurse; but Mrs. Adams, whose joy on the recovery of her daughter was inexpressible, desired Bella to leave that matter to her, as she likewise was equally in her debt.
Mrs. Adams gave private orders to have a complete suit of clothes made for Marian; and Bella desired that she might have the pleasure of dressing her the first time she was permitted to go into the garden. The day arrived, and it was indeed a day of rejoicing throughout the whole family: for Bella was beloved by all the servants, as well as by all her acquaintance.
This was a joyful day to Miss Bella, who had the double satisfaction of seeing her health restored, and of beholding her little friend dressed out in her new clothes! It is much easier to conceive than to express the emotions of these two tender hearts, when they again found themselves in the garden, on the very spot where their acquaintance first commenced. They tenderly embraced each other, and vowed an inseparable friendship.
It is evidently clear, from the story of Bella and Marian, how advantageous it is to be generous and humane. Had not Bella, by her kindness, attached Marian to her interest, she might have sunk under the severe indisposition, from which the kind attentions and the unremitting assiduities of Marian were perhaps the chief means of restoring her.
One day, as Mr. Glover was returning home after taking a ride over his estates, and passing by the wall of a burying-ground belonging to a small village, he heard the sound of groans and lamentations. As he had a heart that was ever open to the distresses of others, he alighted from his horse to see from whence the voice proceeded, and got over the inclosure.
On his entering the place, he perceived a grave fresh filled up, upon which, at full length, lay a child about five years old, who was crying sadly. Mr. Glover went up to him, and tenderly asked him what he did there. "I am calling my mother," said he; "they laid her here yesterday, and she does not get up!"
Mr. Glover then told him, that his poor mother was dead, and would get up no more. "I know," replied the poor child, "that they tell me she is dead, but I do not believe it. She was perfectly well when she left me the other day with old Susan our neighbour; she told me she would soon come back, but she has not kept her word. My father has gone away too, and also my little brother; and the other boys of the village will not play with me, but say very naughty things about my father and mother, which vexes me more than all. O mammy, get up, get up!"
Mr. Glover's eyes were filled with tears; he asked him where his father and brother were gone to. He replied, that he did not know where his father was; and as to his little brother, he was the day before taken to another town, by a person dressed in black just like their parson. Mr. Glover then asked him where he lived. "With our neighbour Susan," said he. "I am to be there till my mother comes back, as she promised me. I love my other mammy Susan very well; but I love my mammy that lies here a great deal better. O mother! mother! why do you lie so long? when will you get up?"
"My poor child," said Mr. Glover, "it is in vain to call her, for she will awake no more!"--"Then," said the poor little boy, "I will lie down here, and sleep by her. Ah! I saw her when they put her into a great chest to carry her away. Oh, how white she was! and how cold! I will lie down here and sleep by her!"
The tears now started from the eyes of Mr. Glover, for he could no longer conceal them, but stooping down, took the child up in his arms, and tenderly kissed him, asking him what was his name. "When I am a good boy, they call me Jackey; and when I behave amiss, they say, you Jack." Mr. Glover, though in tears, could not help smiling at the innocence and simplicity of this answer, and begged Jackey to conduct him to the house of the good Susan.
The child very readily consented, and, running before him as fast as his legs would carry him, conducted Mr. Glover to Susan's door. Susan was not a little surprised, on seeing Jack conduct a gentleman into her cottage, and then running to her, hid his little head in her lap, crying, "This is she! this is my other mammy!" Mr. Glover, however, did not keep her long in suspense, but related to her what he had just seen, and begged Susan to give him the history of the parents of this little boy.--Susan desired the gentleman to be seated, and then related to him the following particulars:
"The father of this poor child is a shoemaker, and his house is next to mine. His wife, though a handsome, was not a healthy woman; but she was a careful and good housewife. It is about seven years since they were married, always lived together on the best terms, and undoubtedly would have been perfectly happy, had their affairs been a little better.
"John had nothing beyond what his trade produced him; and Margaret, his wife, being left an orphan, had only a little money which she had scraped together in the service of a worthy neighbouring curate. With this they bought the most necessary articles of household furniture, and a small stock of leather to begin business with. However, by dint of labour and good management, they for some years contrived to live a little comfortably.
"As children increased, so did their difficulties, and misfortunes seldom come alone. Poor Margaret, who had daily worked in the fields during hay-time, to bring home a little money to her husband at night, fell ill, and continued so all the harvest and winter. John's customers left him one after another, fearing that work could not go on properly in a sick house.
"Though Margaret at last grew better, yet her husband's work continued to decline, and he was obliged to borrow money to pay the apothecary; while poor Margaret continued so weakly that nobody thought it worth their while to employ her. The rent of their house and the interest of the money they had borrowed were heavy loads upon them; and they were frequently obliged to endure hunger themselves, in order to give a morsel of bread to their poor children.
"To add to their misfortune, the hardhearted landlord threatened to put poor John in jail, if he did not pay the two quarters' rent that were due; and though he is the richest man in the place, it was with the greatest difficulty that they could obtain a month's delay. He declared if they did not at the end of that time pay the whole, he would sell their furniture, and put John in prison. Their house was now a picture of melancholy and patient distress. How often have I lamented my inability to assist the distresses of this honest couple!
"I went myself to their landlord, and begged of him, for God's sake, to have some compassion on these unfortunate people, and even offered to pawn to him all I was possessed of in the world; but he treated me with contempt, and told me I was as bad as they were. I was obliged, however, being only a poor widow, to bear the insult with patience, and contented myself by easing my heart with a flood of tears.
"I advised poor Margaret to make her distresses known to the worthy clergyman, with whom she had so long lived with an unblemished character, and to beg of him to advance them a little money. Margaret replied, that she supposed her husband would not like that proposal, fearing that their friend might suspect their necessities proceeded from mismanagement.
"It is but a few days ago since she brought me her two children, and begged me to take care of them till the evening. Her intention was to go to a village at a little distance, and endeavour to get some hemp from the weaver to spin, with a view to get something towards the debt. As she could not persuade herself to wait upon the clergyman, her husband had undertaken it, and had accordingly set off on that business. As Margaret was going, she clasped her two children to her breast and kissed them, little thinking it was to be the last time she should ever see them.
"Soon after she was gone, I heard some noise in her house, but supposed it might be only the flapping of the door. However, the evening came on, and my neighbour did not come to fetch her children as usual. I therefore determined to go to her house, and see if she was come home. I found the door open and went in; but how shall I express my horror and astonishment, when I found poor Margaret lying dead at the foot of the stairs!
"After trying in vain to recover her, I fetched the surgeon, who shook his head, and said all was over. The coroner's inquest brought in their verdict accidental death; but, as her husband was missing, ill-natured people raised suspicious reports. Her death, however, was easily to be accounted for; she had returned to her house, to go up to the loft for a bag to hold her hemp, and as her eyes were still dimmed with tears, she had missed her step in coming down, and fallen from the top of the stairs, with her head foremost, on the ground. The bag that lay by her side showed this to have been the case.
"I made an offer to the parish officers to keep the two children myself, not doubting, but that the goodness of God, even a poor widow as I was, would enable me to support them. The worthy curate came yesterday to see the unfortunate Margaret, and great indeed was his affliction when I related to him what I have been now telling you. I then told him, that John was gone to him; but I was much surprised, when he declared he had seen nothing of him. The two children came up to him; and little Jack asked him, if he could not awake his mother, who had been a long time asleep. This brought tears into the eyes of the good curate, who proposed to take the two children home to his own house and bring them up under his care; but as I could not consent to part with both these innocents, it was at last agreed, that he should take the younger and leave me the elder.
"He asked little Jack if he should not like to go with him. 'What, where my mother is?' said Jack, 'oh! yes, with all my heart!' 'No, my little man,' replied the curate, 'I do not mean there, but to my handsome house and garden.'--'No, no,' answered Jack, 'I will stay here with Susan, and every day go to where my mother is; for I would rather go there than to your handsome garden.'
"This worthy curate did not choose to vex the child more, who went and hid himself behind my bed-curtains. He told me he would send his man for the younger, who would be more trouble to me than the elder child, and before he went, left me some money towards the support of this.
"This, Sir, is the whole of this unfortunate business. What makes me exceedingly uneasy at present is, that John does not return, and that it is reported in the parish, that he has connected himself with a gang of smugglers, and that his wife put an end to her life through grief. These stories have obtained such credit in the village, that even the children have got it; and whenever poor Jack attempts to mix with them, they drive him away as though he were infectious. Hence the poor little fellow is quite dull, and now never goes out but to pay a sad visit to his mother's grave."
Mr. Glover, who had silently listened to this melancholy tale, was deeply affected by it. Little Jack was now got close up to Susan; he looked at her with fondness, and often called her his mother. Mr. Glover at length broke silence, and told Susan she was a worthy woman, and that God would not fail to reward her for her generosity towards this unfortunate family.
"Ah!" said Susan, "I am happy in what I have done, and I wish I could have done more; but my only possession consists in my cottage, a little garden, in which I have a few greens, and what I can earn by the labour of my hands. Yet for these eight years that I have been a widow, God has not suffered me to want, and I trust he never will."
Mr. Glover reminded her, that keeping this little boy must be very inconvenient to her, and that she would find it difficult to supply him with clothes. She answered, "I leave the care of that to Him who clothes the fields with grass and the trees with leaves. He has given me fingers to sew and spin, and they shall work to clothe my poor little orphan. I will never part with him."
Mr. Glover was astonished at this good woman's resolution. "I must not suffer you alone," said he, "to have all the honour of befriending this poor orphan, since God has bestowed on me those blessings of affluence which you do not enjoy. Permit me to take care of the education of this sweet boy; and, since I find that you cannot live separate, I will take you both home with me, and provide for you. Sell your cottage and garden, and make my house your own, where you may spend the remainder of your life amidst peace and plenty."
Susan gave Mr. Glover a most affectionate look, but begged he would excuse her accepting his offer, as she was fond of the spot on which she was born, and had lived in so long. Besides, she added, she could not suit herself to the bustle of a great house, and should soon grow sick, were she to live upon dainties in idleness. "If you will please," continued Susan, "now and then to send him a small matter to pay for his schooling, and to supply him with tools when he shall take to business, God will not fail to reward you for your bounty. As I have no child, he shall be as one to me, and whatever I possess shall be his at my death."
Mr. Glover, finding she did not choose to quit her habitation, told her, he should every month send her what would be sufficient for her support, and that he would sometimes come and see them himself. Susan lifted up her hands to heaven, and bid Jackey go and ask the gentleman's blessing, which he did. He then threw down his purse on the table, bid them a farewell, and mounting his horse, took the road that led to the parish in which the worthy curate lived.
On Mr. Glover's arrival there, he found the worthy curate reading a letter, on which he had shed some tears. He explained the cause of his visit to this worthy divine, and asked him, if he knew what was become of the father of the two little unfortunate children. The curate replied, that it was not a quarter of an hour since he received a letter from him to his wife. "It was," said the curate, "inclosed in one to me, and contains a small draft for the use of his wife; he requests me to deliver it to her, and to console her for his absence. As she is dead, I have opened the letter, and here it is; be so kind as to read it." Mr. Glover took the letter, the particulars of which were as follow:
He hoped his wife would not give herself any uneasiness on account of his absence. As he was going to the clergyman's house, he began to think that it could be of no use to go thus a begging, and, if he should borrow money, he was not sure he should be able to pay it, which he thought would be as bad as thieving. At this instant a thought struck into his head, that he was young and hearty, stout and able-bodied, and therefore could see no harm if he entered on board a man of war for a few years, where he might stand a chance of getting a fortune for his wife and children, at least get enough to pay all his debts. While he was thinking of this matter, a press-gang came up, and asked him if he would enter, telling him that they would give him five pounds bounty. The thought of receiving five pounds fixed his determination at once, and he accordingly entered, received the money, and sent every farthing of it to his wife, with his love and blessing, and hoping they would all join in their prayers to God for him. He hoped the war would soon be over, and that he should then return with inexpressible joy to his dear wife.
Mr. Glover's eyes swimmed with tears all the time he was reading the letter. When he had finished it, "This man," said he, "may indeed be justly called a good husband, a tender father, and an honest man. There is an expressive pleasure in being a friend to such characters as these. I will pay John's debts, and enable him to set up his trade again. Let his money be kept for the children, to be divided between them, as soon as they shall be at an age to know how to make use of it, and I will add something to this sacred deposit."
So greatly was the worthy curate affected, that he could make no reply; and Mr. Glover perfectly understanding the cause of his silence, squeezed him by the hand, and took his leave; but he completely accomplished all his designs in favour of John, who at length returned, and enjoyed an easiness of circumstances beyond any thing he had before experienced.
Nothing now disturbed John's felicity, but the sorrowful reflection of having lost his dear Margaret; she had experienced part of his misfortunes, but had not lived to share in his felicity; and John's only consolation is perpetually to talk about her to Susan, whom he looks upon as a sister to him, and as a mother to his children. Little Jack frequently visits his mother's grave; and has made so good a use of Mr. Glover's generosity, in improving himself, that this excellent gentleman intends placing him in a very desirable situation. John's younger son has likewise a share in his favours; and whenever Mr. Glover's mind is oppressed, a visit to this spot, where such an affecting scene passed, and where he has been enabled to do so much good, never fails to raise his spirits.
My readers will from hence learn, that God always assists those who put their trust in him. It is on Him we must rely on every occasion, and he will not desert us, provided we ourselves also try to surmount difficulties by patience and industry.
LEONORA AND ADOLPHUS.
A young widow lady, whose name was Lenox, had two children, Leonora and Adolphus, both equally deserving the affections of a parent, which, however, were unequally shared. Adolphus was the favourite, which Leonora very early began to discover, and consequently felt no small share of uneasiness on the occasion: but she was prudent enough to conceal her sorrow.
Leonora, though not remarkably handsome, had a mind that made ample amends for the want of beauty; but her brother was a little Cupid, on whom Mrs. Lenox lavished all her kisses and caresses. It is no wonder that the servants, to gain the favour of their mistress, were very attentive to humour him in all his whimsies. Leonora, on the other hand, was consequently slighted by every one in the house; and, so far from wishing to study her humour, they scarcely treated her with common civility.
Finding herself frequently alone and neglected, and taken little notice of by any one, she would privately shed a torrent of tears; but she always took care, that not the least mark of discontent should escape her in the presence of any one. Her constant attention to the observance of her duty, her mildness, and endeavours to convince her mother that her mind was superior to her face, had no effect; for beauty alone attracts the attention of those who examine no further than external appearances.
Mrs. Lenox, who was continually chiding Leonora, and expecting from her perfections far beyond the reach of those more advanced in years, at last fell sick. Adolphus seemed very sorry for his mother's illness; but Leonora, with the softest looks and most languishing countenance, fancied she perceived in her mother an abatement of her accustomed rigour towards her, and far surpassed her brother in her attention to her parent. She endeavoured to supply her slightest wants, exerted all her penetration to discover them, that she might even spare her the pain of asking for any thing. So long as her mother's illness had the least appearance of danger, she never quitted her pillow, and neither threats nor commands could prevail on her to take the least repose.
Mrs. Lenox, however, at length recovered, which afforded inexpressible pleasure to the amiable Leonora; but she soon experienced a renewal of her misfortunes, as her mother began to treat her with her usual severity and indifference.
As Mrs. Lenox was one day talking to her children on the pain she had suffered during her illness, and was praising them for the anxiety they had shown on her account, she desired them to ask of her whatever they thought would be the most pleasing to them, and they should certainly be indulged in it, provided their demands were not unreasonable.
First addressing herself to Adolphus, she desired to know what he would choose: and his desire was to have a cane and a watch, which his mother promised he should have the next morning. "And pray, Leonora," said Mrs. Lenox, "what is your wish?"--"Me, mamma, me?" answered she, trembling, "if you do but love me, I have nothing else to wish for!"--"This is not an answer;" replied the mother, "you shall have your recompense likewise, miss, therefore speak your wish instantly."
However accustomed Leonora might have been to this severe tone, yet she felt it on this occasion more sensibly than ever she had before. She threw herself at her mother's feet, looked up to her with eyes swimming in tears, and instantly hiding her face with both her hands, lisped out these words: "Only give me two kisses, such as you give my brother."
What heart could fail to relent at these words? Mrs. Lenox felt all the tender sentiments of a parent arise in her heart, and, taking her up in her arms, she clasped her to her breast, and loaded her with kisses. The sweet Leonora, who now, for the first time, received her mother's caresses, gave way to the effusion of her joy and love; she kissed her cheeks, her eyes, her breasts, and her hands; and Adolphus, who loved his sister, mixed his embraces with hers. Thus all had a share in this scene of unexpected happiness.
The affection which Mrs. Lenox had so long withheld from Leonora, she now repaid with interest, and her daughter returned it with the most dutiful attention. Adolphus, so far from being jealous at this change of his mother's affection for his sister, showed every mark of pleasure on the occasion, and he afterwards reaped a reward of so generous a conduct; for his natural disposition having been, in some measure, injured by the too great indulgence of his mother, he gave way in his early days to those little indiscretions, which would have lost him the heart of his parent, had not his sister stepped in between them. It was to the advice of this amiable girl that Adolphus at last owed his entire reformation of manners. They all three then experienced, that true happiness cannot exist in a family, unless the most perfect union between brothers and sisters, and the most lively and equal affection between parents and children, are constantly and strictly adhered to.
FLORA AND HER LITTLE LAMB
A poor countryman's little daughter, whose name was Flora, was one morning sitting by the side of the road, holding on her lap a pan of milk for her breakfast, into which she was breaking some bits of coarse black bread.
While Flora was thus busily employed at her breakfast, a farmer was passing the road with his cart, in which were about twenty lambs, and these he was going to carry to the market for sale. These pretty little lambs were tied together like so many criminals, and lay with their legs fastened with cords, and their heads hanging down. Their plaintive bleatings pierced the heart of poor Flora, but they had no manner of effect on the hardhearted farmer.
As soon as he came opposite the place where little Flora was sitting, he threw down to her a lamb, which he was carrying across his shoulder, saying, "There, my girl, is a poor sorry creature that has just died, and made me some shillings poorer than I was. You may take it if you will, and do what you like with it."
Flora put down her milk and her bread, and taking up the lamb, viewed it with looks of tenderness and compassion. "But why should I pity you?" said she to the lamb. "Either this day or to-morrow they would have run a great knife through your throat, whereas now you have nothing to fear."
While she was thus speaking, the warmth of her arms somewhat revived the lamb, who, opening its eyes a little, made a slight motion, and cried baa, in a very low tone, as if it were calling for its mother. It would be impossible to express little Flora's joy on this occasion. She covered the lamb in her apron, and over that put her stuff petticoat; she then bent her breast down towards her lap, in order to increase the warmth, and blew into its mouth and nostrils with all the force she could. By degrees the poor animal began to stir, and every motion it made conveyed joy to her little heart.
This success encouraged her to proceed; she crumbled some of her bread into her pan, and, taking it up in her fingers, she with no small difficulty forced it between its teeth, which were very firmly closed together. The lamb, whose only disorder was hunger and fatigue, began to feel the effects of this nourishment. It first began to stretch out its limbs, then shake its head, to wag its tail, and at last to prick up its ears. In a little time, it was able to stand upon its legs, and then went of itself to Flora's breakfast pan, who was highly delighted to see it take such pleasing liberties; for she cared not a farthing about losing her own breakfast, since it saved the life of the little lamb. In short, in a little time, it recovered its usual strength, and began to skip and play about its kind deliverer.
It may naturally be supposed, that Flora was greatly pleased at this unexpected success. She took it up in her arms, and ran with it to the cottage to shew it her mother. Her Baba, for so Flora called it, became the first object of her cares, and it constantly shared with her in the little allowance of bread and milk, which she received for her meals. Indeed, so fond was she of it, that she would not have exchanged it for a whole flock. Nor was Baba insensible of the fondness of her little mistress, since she would follow her wherever she went, would come and eat out of her hand, skip, and frisk round her, and would bleat most piteously whenever Flora was obliged to leave her at home.
Baba, however, repaid the services of her little mistress in a more substantial manner than that of merely dancing about her, for she brought forth young lambs: those lambs grew up, and brought forth others; so that, within the space of a few years, Flora had a very capital stock, that furnished the whole family with food and raiment. Such, my little readers, are the rewards which Providence bestows on acts of goodness, tenderness, and humanity.
THE FRUITFUL VINE
It was in the beginning of the spring, when Mr. Jackson went to his country-house, and took with him his little son Junius, in order to treat him with a walk in the garden. The primroses and violets were then displaying all their beauties, and many trees had begun to show what livery they were soon to wear.
After walking some time about the garden, they happened to go into the summer-house, at the foot of which grew the stump of a vine, which twisted wildly, and extended its naked branches in a rude and irregular manner. As soon as little Junius saw this tree, he exclaimed sadly against the ugly appearance it made, and began to exert all his strength to pull it up, but he found his efforts in vain, it being too well rooted to yield to his weak arm. He begged his papa to call the gardener to grub it up, and make firewood of it; but Mr. Jackson desired his son to let the tree alone, telling him that he would in a few months give him his reasons for not complying with his request.
This did not satisfy Junius, who desired his father to look at those lively crocusses and snow-drops, saying, he could not see why that barren stump should be kept, which did not produce a single green leaf. He thought it spoiled and disfigured the garden, and therefore begged his father would permit him to fetch the gardener to pluck it up.
Mr. Jackson, who could not think of granting him his request, told him, that it must stand as it then was, at least for some time to come. Little Junius still persisted in his entreaties, urging how disgraceful it was to the garden; but his father diverted his attention from the vine, by turning the conversation.
It so happened, that Mr. Jackson's affairs called him to a different part of the country, from whence he did not return till the middle of autumn. He no sooner came home, than he paid a visit to his country-house, taking little Junius with him. As the day happened to be exceedingly warm, they retired to enjoy the benefit of the shade, and entered the arbour, in which the vine stump had before so much offended his son Junius.
"Ah! papa," said the young gentleman, "how charming and delightful is this green shade! I am much obliged to you for having that dry and ugly stump plucked up, which I found so much fault with when we were here last, and for putting in its place this beautiful plant; I suppose you did it in order to give me an agreeable surprise. How delightful and tempting the fruit looks! What fine grapes! some purple, and others almost black: I see no tree in the garden that looks in so blooming a state. All have lost their fruit; but this fine one seems in the highest perfection. See how it is loaded! See those wide-spreading leaves that hide the clusters. If the fruit be as good as it appears beautiful, it must be delicious."
Little Junius was in raptures when he tasted one of the grapes, which his father gave him, and still more when he informed him, that from such fruit was made that delicious liquor which he sometimes tasted after dinner. The little fellow was quite astonished on hearing his father talk thus; but he was far more surprised, when Mr. Jackson told him, that all those fine leaves, and delicious fruit grew from that very crooked and misshapen stump, with which he had been so angry in the spring. His father then asked him, if he should now order the gardener to pluck it up, and make firewood of it. Junius was much confused; but, after a short silence, told his papa, that he would rather see every other tree in the garden cut down than that, so beautiful were its leaves, and so delicious its fruit.
As Mr. Jackson was a man of good sense, he thus moralized on this occasion. "You see then, my dear," said he, "how imprudently I should have acted, had I followed your advice, and cut down this tree. Daily experience convinces us, that the same thing happens frequently in the commerce of this world, which has in this instance misled you. When we see a child badly clothed, and of an unpleasing external appearance, we are too apt to despise him, and grow conceited on comparing ourselves with him; and sometimes even go so far as cruelly to address him in haughty and insulting language. But beware, my dear boy, how you run into errors by forming a too hasty judgment. It is possible that in a person so little favoured by nature may dwell an exalted soul, which may one day astonish the world with the greatness of its virtues, or enlighten it with knowledge. The most rugged stem may produce the most delicious fruit, while a straight and stately plant may be worthless and barren."
SIR JOHN DENHAM AND HIS WORTHY
One morning, Sir John Denham having shut himself up in his study, on some particular business, his servant came to inform him, that one of his tenants, Farmer Harris, desired to speak with him. Sir John told him to show the farmer into the drawing-room, and to beg him to stay one moment, until he had finished writing a letter.
Sir John had three children, Robert, Arthur, and Sophia, who were in the drawing-room when the farmer was introduced. As soon as he entered, he saluted them very respectfully, though not with the grace of a dancing-master, nor were his compliments very elegantly turned. The two sons looked at each other with a smile of contempt and disrespect. Indeed, they behaved in such a manner, that the poor farmer blushed, and was quite out of countenance.
Robert was so shamefully impertinent as to walk round him, holding his nose, and asking his brother, if he did not perceive something of the smell of a dung heap. Then he lighted some paper at the fire, and carried it round the room, in order to disperse, as he said, the unpleasant smell. Arthur all the while stood laughing most heartily.
Sophia, however, acted in a very different manner; for, instead of imitating the rudeness of her brothers, she checked them for their behaviour, made apologies for them to the farmer, and approaching him with the most complaisant looks, offered him some wine to refresh him, made him sit down, and took from him his hat and stick to put by.
In a little time, Sir John came out of his study, and approaching the farmer in a friendly manner, took him by the hand, inquired after the health of his family, and asked him what had brought him to town. The farmer replied, that he was come to pay him half a year's rent, and that he hoped he would not be displeased at his not coming sooner, the roads having been so bad that he could not till then carry his corn to market.
Sir John told him he was not displeased at his not coming sooner, because he knew him to be an honest man, who had no occasion to be put in mind of his debts. The farmer then put down the money, and drew out of his great coat pocket a jar of candied fruits. "I have brought something here," said he, "for the young folks. Won't you be so kind, Sir John, as to let them come out one of these days, and take a mouthful of the country air with us? I'd try, as well as I could, to entertain and amuse them. I have two good stout nags, and would come for them myself, and take them down in my four-wheeled chaise, which will carry them very safely, I'll warrant it."
Sir John said, that he would certainly take an opportunity to pay him a visit, and invited him to stay to dinner; but the farmer excused himself, saying, he had a good deal of business to do in town, and wished to get home before night. Sir John filled his pocket with cakes for his children, thanked him for the present he had made to his, and then took leave of him.
No sooner was the farmer gone, than Sophia, in the presence of her brothers, acquainted her papa of the very rude reception they had given the honest farmer. Sir John was exceedingly displeased at their conduct, and much applauded Sophia for her different behaviour.
Sir John, being seated at breakfast with his children, opened the farmer's jar of fruit, and he and his daughter ate some of them, which they thought were very nice; but Robert and Arthur were neither of them invited to a single taste. Their longing eyes were fixed upon them; but their father, instead of taking any notice of them, continued conversing with Sophia, whom he advised never to despise a person merely for the plainness of his dress; "for," said he, "were we to behave politely to those only who are finely clothed, we should appear to direct our attention more to the dress than to the wearer. The most worthy people are frequently found under the plainest dress, and of this we have an example in Farmer Harris. It is this man who helps to clothe you, and also to procure you a proper education, for the money that he and my other tenants bring me, enables me to do these things."
Breakfast being finished, the remainder of the fruit was ordered to be locked up; but Robert and his brother, whose longing eyes followed the jar, clearly saw they were to have none of them. In this they were confirmed by their father, who told them not to expect to taste any of those fruits, either on that or any future day.
Robert endeavoured to excuse himself by saying, that it was not his fault if the farmer did not smell well; and he thought there was no harm in telling him of it. If people will go among dung, they must expect to smell of it. "And yet," said Sir John, "if this man were not to manure his land with dung, his crops would fail him, he would be unable to pay me his rent; and you yourself would perhaps be obliged to follow a dung cart." The two boys saw displeasure in their papa's countenance, and therefore did not presume to say any thing more.
Early on a morning, shortly after, the good farmer came to Sir John Denham's door, and sent up his compliments, kindly inviting him to make a little excursion to his farm. Sir John could not resist the friendly invitation, as a refusal might perhaps have made the honest farmer uneasy. Robert and Arthur begged very hard to go along with them, promising to behave more civilly in future; and Sophia begging for them likewise, Sir John at last consented. They then mounted the four-wheeled chaise with joyful countenances, and, as the farmer had a pair of good horses, they were there in a short time.
On their arrival, Mrs. Harris, the farmer's wife, came to the door to receive them, helped the young gentlefolks out of the chaise, and kissed them. All their little family, dressed in their best clothes, came out to compliment their visitors. Sir John would have stopped a moment to talk with the little ones, and caress them; but Mrs. Harris pressed him to go in, lest the coffee should grow cold, it being already poured out; it was placed on a table, covered with a napkin as white as snow.
Indeed, the coffee-pot was not silver, nor the cups china, yet every thing was in the neatest order. Robert and Arthur, however, looked slily at each other, and would have burst out into a laugh, had not their father been present. Mrs. Harris, who was a sensible woman, guessed by their looks what they thought, and therefore made an apology for the humble style in which her table was set out, which she owned could not be equal to what they met with at their own homes; but hoped they would not be dissatisfied with her homely fare. The cakes she produced were excellent, for she spared no pains in making them.
As soon as breakfast was over, the farmer asked Sir John to look at his orchard and grounds; and Mrs. Harris took all the pains she could to make the walk pleasing to the children. She showed them all her flocks, which covered the fields, and gave them the prettiest lambs to play with. She then conducted them to her pigeon-house, where every thing was clean and wholesome. There were some so young that they were unable to fly; some of the mothers sitting on their eggs, and others employed in feeding their young. From the pigeon-house, they proceeded to the bee-hive: but Mrs. Harris took care that they should not go too near them, for fear of being stung.
Most of these sights being new to the children, they seemed highly pleased with them, and were even going to take a second survey of them, when the farmer's youngest son came to inform them that dinner was ready. They ate off pewter, and drank out of Delft ware; but Robert and Arthur, finding themselves so well pleased with their morning-walk, dared not to indulge themselves in ill-natured observations. Mrs. Harris, indeed, had spared neither pains nor attention to produce every thing in the best manner she was able.
Sir John, after dinner, perceiving two fiddles hang up against the wall, asked who played on those instruments. The farmer answered, he and his son; and, without saying a word more, he made a sign to his son Luke to take down the fiddles. They by turns played some old tunes, with which Sir John seemed highly pleased. As they were going to hang up the instruments, Sir John desired his two sons to play some of their best tunes, putting the fiddles into their hands: but they knew not even how to hold the bow, and their confusion occasioned a general laugh.
Sir John, now thinking it high time to return home, desired the farmer to order the carriage. Farmer Harris strongly pressed Sir John to stay all night, but the farmer was at last obliged to submit to Sir John's excuses.
On his return home, he asked his son Robert how he had liked his entertainment; and what he should have thought of the farmer, if he had taken no pains to entertain them. He replied, that he liked his entertainment; but had he not taken pains to accommodate them, he should have thought him an unmannerly clown. "Ah, Robert! Robert!" said Sir John, "this honest man came to our house, and, instead of offering him any refreshment, you made game of him. Which, then, is the best bred, you or the farmer?"
Robert blushed, and seemed at a loss what answer to make; but at length replied, that it was his duty to receive them well, as he got his living off their lands. "That is true," answered Sir John, "but it may be easily seen who draws the greatest profit from my lands, the farmer or I. He indeed feeds his horses with hay which he gets off my meadows, but his horses in return plough the fields, which otherwise would be overrun with weeds. He also feeds his cows and his sheep with the hay; but their dung is useful in giving fertility to the ground. His wife and children are fed with the harvest corn; but they in return devote the summer to weeding the crops; and afterwards, some in reaping them, and some in threshing. All these labours end in my advantage. The rest of the hay and corn he takes to market to sell, and with the produce thereof he pays his rent. From this, it is evident, who derives the greatest profit from my lands."
Here a long pause ensued; but, at last, Robert confessed that he saw his error. "Remember, then, all your life," said Sir John "what has now been offered to your eyes and ears. This farmer, so homely dressed, whose manners you have considered as so rustic, this man is better bred than you; and, though he knows nothing of Latin, he knows much more than you, and things of much greater use. You see, therefore, how unjust it is to despise any one for the plainness of his dress, and the rusticity of his manners. You may understand a little Latin, but you know not how to plough, sow grain, or reap the harvest, nor even to prune a tree. Sit down with being convinced that you have despised your superior."
ALFRED AND DORINDA.
Mr. Venables, one fine summer day, having promised his two children, Alfred and Dorinda, to treat them with a walk in a fine garden a little way out of town, went up into his dressing-room to prepare himself, leaving the two children in the parlour.
Alfred was so delighted with the thoughts of the pleasure he should receive from his walk, that he jumped about the room, without thinking of any evil consequence that could happen; but unluckily the skirt of his coat brushed against a very valuable flower, which his father was rearing with great pains, and which he had unfortunately just removed from before the window, in order to screen it from the scorching heat of the sun.
"O brother, brother!" said Dorinda, taking up the flower which was broken off from the stalk, "what have you done!" The sweet girl was holding the flower in her hand, when her father, having dressed himself, came into the parlour. "Bless me! Dorinda," said Mr. Venables, in an angry tone, "how could you be so thoughtless as to pluck a flower, which you have seen me take so much care to rear, in order to have taken seed from it?" Poor Dorinda was in such a fright, that she could only beg her papa not to be angry. Mr. Venables, growing more calm, replied he was not angry, but reminded her, that as they were going to a garden where there was a variety of flowers, she might have waited till they got there to indulge her fancy. He therefore hoped she would not take it amiss if he left her at home.
This was a terrible situation for Dorinda, who held her head down, and said, nothing. Little Alfred, however, was of too generous a temper to keep silence any longer. He went up to his papa, with his eyes swimming in tears, and told him, that it was not his sister but himself, who had accidentally beaten off the head of the flower with the flap of his coat. He therefore desired, that his sister might go abroad, and he stay at home.
Mr. Venables was so delighted with the generosity of his children, that he instantly forgave the accident, and tenderly kissed them both, being happy to see them have such an affection for each other. He told them, that he loved them equally alike, and that they should both go with him. Alfred and Dorinda kissed each other, and leaped about for joy.
They all three then walked to the garden, where they saw plants of the most valuable kinds. Mr. Venables observed with pleasure how Dorinda pressed her clothes on each side, and Alfred kept the skirts of his coat under his arms, for fear of doing any damage in their walk among the flowers.
The flower Mr. Venables had lost would have given him some pain had it happened from any other circumstance; but the pleasure he received from seeing such mutual affection and regard subsist between his two children, amply repaid him for the loss of his flower. I cannot omit the opportunity that here presents itself, of reminding my young friends, not only how necessary, but how amiable and praiseworthy it is, for brothers and sisters to live together in harmony. It is not only their most important interest to do so, but what should be a still stronger argument with them, such are the commands of Him who made them.
ROSINA; OR, THE FROWARD GIRL
I would recommend to all my little readers who have had the misfortune to contract a vicious habit, very attentively to peruse the following historical fragment, in which, if they will but properly reflect, they will see that amendment is no very difficult thing, when once they form a sincere resolution to accomplish it.
Rosina was the joy of her parents until the seventh year of her age, at which period the glowing light of reason begins to unfold itself, and make us sensible of our infantine faults; but this period of life had a different effect on Rosina, who had then contracted an unhappy disposition, which cannot better be described, than by the practices of those snarling curs that grumble incessantly, and seem always ready to run and bite at those that approach them.
If a person touched any of her playthings, though it were by mistake, she would be out of temper for hours, and murmur about the house as though she had been robbed. If any one attempted to correct her, though in the most gentle manner, she would fly into a rage, equalled only by the fury of contending elements, and the uproar of the angry billows of the ocean.
Her father and mother saw this unaccountable change, with inexpressible sorrow; for neither they, nor any in the house, could now bear with her. Indeed, she would sometimes seem sensible of her errors, and would often shed tears in private, on seeing herself thus become the object of contempt to every one, not excepting her parents; but an ill habit had got the better of her temper, and she consequently every day grew worse and worse.
One evening, which happened to be new year's eve, she saw her mother going towards her room with a basket under her cloak. Rosina followed her mother, who ordered her to go back to the parlour immediately. As Rosina went thither, she threw about all the stools and chairs that stood in her way.
About half an hour after, her mamma sent for her; and great indeed was her surprise on seeing the room lighted up with a number of candles and the table covered with the most elegant toys.
Her mother called her to her, and desired her to read, in a bit of paper which she gave her, for whom those toys were intended, on which she read the following words, written in large letters; "For an amiable little girl, in return for her good behaviour." Rosina looked down, and could not say a word. On her mother's asking her for whom those toys were intended, she replied, with tears in her eyes, that they could not be intended for her.
Her parent then showed her another paper, desiring her to see if that did not concern her. Rosina took it, and read as follows: "For a froward little girl, who is sensible of her faults, and in beginning a new year will take pains to amend them." Rosina, instantly throwing herself into her mother's arms, and crying bitterly, said, "O! that is I, that is I." The tears also fell from her parent's eyes, partly for sorrow, on account of her daughter's faults, and partly through joy in the promising hope of her amendment.
"Come, Rosina," said she to her, after a short pause, "and take what was intended for you; and may God, who has heard your resolution, give you ability to fulfil it." Rosina, however, insisted on it, that it belonged to the person described in the first paper, and therefore desired her mamma to keep those things for her till she answered that description. This answer gave her mother a deal of pleasure, and she immediately put all the toys into a drawer, giving the key of it to Rosina, and telling her to open the drawer whenever she should think it proper so to do.
Several weeks passed without the least complaint against Rosina, who had performed wonders on herself. She then went to her mamma, threw her arms round her neck, and asked her if she thought she had then any right to open the drawer. "Yes, my dear," said her mother, clasping her tenderly in her arms, "you may now open the drawer with great propriety. But pray tell me how you have so well managed to get the better of your temper?" Rosina said it had cost her a deal of trouble; but every morning and evening, and indeed almost every hour in the day, she prayed to God to assist her.
Her mother shed tears of delight on this occasion; and Rosina became not only mistress of the toys, but of the affections of all her friends and acquaintances. Her mother related this happy change in the temper of her daughter in the presence of a little miss, who gave way to the same unhappy disposition; when the little girl was so struck with the relation of it, that she immediately determined to set about the work of reformation, in order to become as amiable as Rosina. Her attempt was not made in vain; and Rosina had the satisfaction to find, that, in being useful to herself, she had contributed to make others happy. My youthful readers, if any of you labour under bad habits, set about a reformation immediately, lest you become hardened by time, and thus totally destroy your present and future happiness.
On one of those fine mornings, which the month of June frequently affords us, little Anthony was busily employed in preparing to set out with his father on a party of pleasure, which, for several days before, had engrossed all his attention. Though, in general, he found it very difficult to rise early, yet this morning he got up soon, without being called, so much was his mind fixed on the intended jaunt.
It often happens, with young people in particular, that, all on a sudden, they lose the object they flattered themselves they were almost in possession of. So it fared with little Anthony; for, just as they were ready to set out, the sky darkened all at once, the clouds grew thick, and a tempestuous wind bent down the trees, and raised a cloud of dust.
Little Anthony was running down the garden every minute to see how the sky looked, and then jumped up-stairs to examine the barometer; but neither the sky nor the barometer seemed to forbode any thing in his favour. Notwithstanding all this, he gave his father the most flattering hopes that it would still be a fair day, and that these unfavourable appearances would soon disperse. He doubted not but that it would be one of the finest days in the world; and he therefore thought, that the sooner they set out the better, as it would be a pity to lose a moment of their time.
His father, however, did not choose to be too hasty in giving credit to his son's predictions, and thought it more advisable to wait a little. While Anthony and his father were reasoning on this matter, the clouds burst, and down came a very heavy shower of rain. Poor Anthony was now doubly disappointed, and vented his grief in tears, refusing to listen to the voice of consolation.
The rain continued, without intermission, till three o'clock in the afternoon, when the clouds began to disperse, the sun resumed its splendour, the element its clearness, and all nature breathed the odours of the spring. As the weather brightened, so did the countenance of little Anthony, and by degrees he recovered his good humour.
His father now thought it necessary to indulge him with a little walk, and off they set. The calmness of the air, the music of the feathered songsters, the lively and enchanting verdure of the fields, and the sweet perfumes that breathed all around them, completely quieted and composed the troubled heart of the disappointed Anthony.
"Do not you observe," said his father to him, "how agreeable the change is of every thing before you? You cannot have yet forgotten how dull every thing appeared to you yesterday; the ground was parched up for want of rain; the flowers had lost their colour, and hung their heads in languor; and, in short, all nature seemed to be in a state of inaction. What can be the reason, that nature has so suddenly put on such a different aspect?"--"That is easily accounted for, Sir," said Anthony, "it undoubtedly is occasioned by the rain that has fallen to-day."
Anthony had no sooner pronounced these words, than he saw his father's motive for asking him the question. He now plainly perceived the impropriety of his late conduct, in being so unhappy about what was evidently so universally serviceable. He blushed, but his father took no notice of it, judging that his own sense would sufficiently teach him another time, without reluctance, to sacrifice selfish pleasure to the general good of the community at large.
THE HISTORY OF JONATHAN, THE
In the city of Lincoln lived an honest and industrious gardener, whose name was Jonathan, and who was in general considered as the most skilful in his profession of any in that county. His fruits were much larger than any of his neighbours, and were generally supposed to have a more exquisite flavour.
It was the pride of all the neighbouring gentlemen to have Jonathan's fruits to form their desserts, so that he was under no necessity of sending the produce of his garden to market, as he was always sure of meeting with a sale for them at home. His prudence and assiduity increased as his good fortune enlarged, and, instead of riches making him idle, he attended more closely to cultivation.
Such a character and situation could not fail of procuring him a suitable matrimonial mate, and he accordingly married a young woman in the neighbourhood, whose name was Bella, and who was both prudent and handsome. The first year of their marriage was as comfortable as they could wish for; for Bella assisted her husband in his business, and every thing prospered with them.
This happiness, however, was not to last long; for near his house lived another gardener, whose name was Guzzle, and who spent his time, from morning to night, in an alehouse. The merry and thoughtless humour of Guzzle, by degrees, began to be pleasing to Jonathan, who soon fell into the same ruinous error. At first, he only went now and then to drink with him, and talk to him about gardening; but he very soon began to drop the subject of plants, and delight only in the praises of malt.
Bella saw this change in her husband with the utmost grief and consternation. As yet, not having sufficient experience to attend the wall-fruit herself, she was frequently obliged to fetch him home to his work, when she generally found him in a state of intoxication. It would often have been better had he kept out of the garden than gone into it; for his head was generally so muddled with beer, when he went to work on his trees, that his pruning-knife committed the greatest depredations, cutting away those branches which ought to have been left, and leaving those that were useless.
Hence it was not to be wondered at, that the garden fell off in the quality and quantity of its fruit, and the more Jonathan perceived the decay, the more he gave himself up to drinking. As his garden gradually failed in procuring him the means of getting strong liquor, he first parted with his furniture, and then with his linen and clothes.
Bella, in the mean time, did what little she could to keep things together; but all to no purpose. One day, when she was gone to market with some roots she had reared herself, he went and sold his working utensils, and immediately went and spent all with Guzzle. Judge what must be the situation of poor Bella on her return! It was indeed a heart-breaking consideration, to be thus reduced to poverty by the folly of her husband; but yet she loved him, and equally felt for him as for herself, but still more for an infant, as yet but six months old, and which received its nourishment from her breast.
In the evening Jonathan came home drunk, and, swearing at his wife, asked her for something to eat. Bella handed him a knife, and put before him a large basket covered with her apron; Jonathan, in a pet, pulled away the apron; but his astonishment was inexpressible, when he beheld nothing in the basket but his own child fast asleep. "Eat that," said Bella, "for I have nothing else to give you. It is your own child, and if you do not devour it, famine and misery will in a short time."
Jonathan seemed almost petrified into a stone at these words, and for some time remained speechless, with his eyes fixed on his little sleeping son. At last recovering himself, quite sobered, his heart eased itself in tears and lamentations. He rose and embraced his wife, asked her pardon, and promised to amend; and what was still better, he was faithful to his promise.
Though his wife's father had for some time refused to see him, yet, on being made acquainted with his promises of reformation, he advanced money sufficient to enable him to restore his garden to its former state, Jonathan did not deceive him; for his garden put on another appearance, and cut a more splendid figure than ever. After this, neither his prudence nor activity forsook him, but he became at once, and continued so even to old age, the honest man, the indulgent husband, and the tender father. He would sometimes tell this tale of his follies to his son, as a lesson to him, how dangerous it is to get connected with bad company, and how easily human nature is led astray by the poison of example. The son, who thus acquired knowledge at the father's former expense, became a wise and prudent man, and conceived such an aversion to idleness and drinking, that he continued all his life as sober as he was laborious. Thus was an innocent infant the cause of reformation in a deluded father.
THE SPARROW'S NEST.
Billy Jessamy, having one day espied a sparrow's nest under the eves of the house, ran directly to inform his sisters of the important discovery, and they immediately fell into a consultation concerning the manner in which they should take it. It was at last agreed, that they should wait till the young ones were fledged, that Billy should then get a ladder up against the wall, and that his sisters should hold it fast below, while he mounted after the prize.
As soon as they thought these poor little creatures were properly fledged, preparations were made for the execution of their intended plan. The old birds flew backwards and forwards about the nest, and expressed, as well as they were able, the sorrow and affliction they felt on being robbed of their young. Billy and his two sisters, however, paid no regard to their piteous moans; for they took the nest, with three young ones in it.
As they had now got the innocent prisoners in their possession, the next thing to be considered was, what they should do with them. The younger sister, being of a mild and tender-hearted disposition, proposed putting them into a cage, promising to look after them herself, and to see that they wanted for nothing. She reminded her brother and sister how pretty it would be to see and hear those birds when grown up.
Billy, however, was of a very different opinion; for he insisted on it, that it would be better to pluck off their feathers, and then set them down in the middle of the room, as it would be very funny to see how they would hop about without feathers. The elder sister was of the same way of thinking as the younger; but Billy was determined to have the matter entirely his own way.
The two little ladies, finding they were not likely to have things as they wished, gave up the point without much hesitation; for Billy had already begun to strip the poor helpless birds. As fast as he plucked them, he put them down on the floor, and it was not long before the little birds were stripped of all their tender feathers. The poor things cried _Weet!_ _Weet!_ and complained in the most piteous accents; they shook their little wings, and shuddered with cold.
Billy, however, who had not the least kind of feeling for their sufferings, carried his persecutions still further, pushing them with his toe, to make them go on when they stopped, and laughing most heartily whenever they staggered or tumbled down through weakness. Though his two sisters at first setting off had pleaded against this cruel kind of sport, yet, seeing their brother so merry on the occasion, they forgot their former dictates of humanity, and joined in the cruel sport with him. Such, as we saw in the preceding tale, is the influence of bad example!
In the midst of this cruel kind of enjoyment, at a distance they saw their tutor approaching. This put them into some flurry, and each pocketed a bird. They would have avoided their tutor, but he called to them, and asked their reason for wishing to shun him. They approached him very slowly, with their eyes cast downwards, which convinced him that something amiss was going forwards.
On their answering, that they were only playing, their tutor observed to them, that they very well knew he never denied them innocent amusement, but, on the contrary, was always glad to see them cheerful and happy. He took notice that each held one of their hands in their pocket, upon which he insisted on their pulling them out, and letting him see what it was they endeavoured to conceal.
They were obliged to comply, much against their will, when each produced a poor bird, that had been stripped of its feathers. The tutor was filled with pity and indignation, and gave each of them a look, that was more dreadful than any words he could have spoken. After some silence, Billy attempted to justify himself by saying, that it was a droll sight to see sparrows hopping about without feathers, and he could see no harm in it.
"Can you then," said the tutor to Billy, "take pleasure in seeing innocent creatures suffer, and hear their cries without pity?" Billy said he did not see how they could suffer from having a few feathers pulled off. The tutor, to convince him of his error, pulled a few hairs from his head, when he roared out loudly, that he hurt him. "What would your pain be then," said the tutor, "were I thus to pluck all the hair off your head? You are sensible of the pain you now feel, but you were insensible of the torment to which you put those innocent creatures, that never offended you. But that you, ladies, should join in such an act of cruelty, very much surprises me!"
The ladies stood motionless, and then, without being able to say a word, sat down, with their eyes swimming in tears; which their tutor observing, he said no more to them. But Billy still persisted in his opinion, that he did the birds no harm; on the contrary, he said, they showed their pleasure by clapping their wings and chirping.
"They clapped their wings," said the tutor, "from the pain you put them to; and what you call chirping, were cries and lamentations. Could those birds have expressed themselves in your speech, you would have heard them cry, 'Ah, father and mother! save us, for we have fallen into the hands of cruel children, who have robbed us of all our feathers! We are cold and in pain. Come, warm us and cure us, or we shall soon die!'"
The little ladies could no longer refrain from tears, and accused Billy of leading them into this act of cruelty. Billy was himself become sensible of his faults, and had already felt the smart of having a few hairs plucked from his head; but the reproaches of his own heart were now visible on his countenance. It appeared to the tutor, that there was no need of carrying the punishment any further; for the error Billy had committed did not arise from a natural love of cruelty, but merely from want of thought and reflection. From this moment Billy, instead of punishing and tormenting dumb creatures, always felt for their distresses, and did what he could to relieve them.
WILLIAM AND THOMAS;
_Or, the Contrast between Industry and Indolence._
In a village, at no small distance from the metropolis, lived a wealthy husbandman, who had two sons, William and Thomas, of whom the former was exactly a year older than the latter.
On the day that the second son was born, the husbandman set in his orchard two young apple-trees of an equal size, on which he bestowed the same care in cultivating, and they throve so much alike, that it was a difficult matter to say which claimed the preference.
As soon as the children were capable of using garden implements, their father took them, on a fine day, early in the spring, to see the two plants he had reared for them, and called after their names. William and Thomas having admired the beauty of these trees, now filled with blossoms, their father told them that he made them a present of them in good condition, and that they would continue to thrive or decay, in proportion to the labour or neglect they received.
Thomas, though the younger son, turned all his attention to the improvement of his tree, by clearing it of insects as soon as he discovered them, and propping up the stem, that it might grow perfectly upright. He dug all round it, to loosen the earth, that the root might receive nourishment from the warmth of the sun and the moisture of the dews. No mother could nurse a child more tenderly in its infancy, than Thomas did his tree.
His brother William, however, pursued a very different conduct; for he loitered away all his time in the most idle and mischievous manner, one of his principal amusements being to throw stones at people as they passed. He kept company with all the idle boys in the neighbourhood, with whom he was continually fighting, and was seldom without either a black eye or a broken shin. His poor tree was neglected, and never thought of, till one day in the autumn, when, by chance, seeing his brother's tree loaded with the finest apples, and almost ready to break down with the weight, he ran to his own tree, not doubting but he should find it in the same pleasing condition.
Great indeed was his disappointment and surprise, when, instead of finding the tree loaded with excellent fruit, he beheld nothing but a few withered leaves, and branches covered with moss. He instantly went to his father, and complained of his partiality in giving him a tree that was worthless and barren, while his brother's produced the most luxuriant fruit. He therefore thought that his brother should at least give him one half of his apples.
His father told him, that it was by no means reasonable, that the industrious should give up part of their labour to feed the idle. "If your tree," said he, "has produced you nothing, it is but a just reward of your indolence, since you see what the industry of your brother has gained him. Your tree was equally full of blossoms, and grew in the same soil; but you paid no attention to the culture of it. Your brother suffered no visible insect to remain on his tree; but you neglected that caution, and left them even to eat up the very buds. As I cannot bear to see even plants perish through neglect, I must now take this tree from you, and give it to your brother, whose care and attention may possibly restore it to its former vigour. The fruit it shall produce must be his property, and you must no longer consider yourself as having any right therein. However, you may go to my nursery, and there choose any other which you may like better, and try what you can do with it; but, if you neglect to take proper care of it, I shall also take that from you, and give it to your brother, as a reward for his superior industry and attention."
This had the desired effect on William, who clearly perceived the justice and propriety of his father's reasoning, and instantly got into the nursery, to choose the most thriving apple-tree he could there meet with. His brother Thomas assisted him in the culture of his tree, advising him in what manner to proceed; and William made the best use of his time, and the instructions he received from his brother. He left off all his mischievous tricks, forsook the company of idle boys, and applied himself cheerfully to work; and in autumn received the reward of his labour, his tree being then loaded with fruit.
From this happy change in his conduct, he derived the advantage, not only of enriching himself with a plentiful crop of fruit, but also of getting rid of bad and pernicious habits. His father was so perfectly satisfied with his reformation, that the following season he gave him and his brother the produce of a small orchard, which they shared equally between them.
MISCHIEF ITS OWN PUNISHMENT,
EXEMPLIFIED IN THE HISTORY OF
WILLIAM AND HARRY.
Mr. Stevenson and his little son Richard, as they were one fine day walking in the fields together, passed by the side of a garden, in which they saw a beautiful pear-tree loaded with fruit. Richard cast a longing eye at it, and complained to his papa that he was very dry. On Mr. Stevenson's saying that he was dry also, but they must bear it with patience till they got home, Richard pointed to the pear-tree, and begged his papa would let him go and get one; for, as the hedge was not very thick, he said he could easily get through, without being seen by any one.
Richard's father reminded him, that the garden and fruit were private property, and to take any thing from thence, without permission, was nothing less than being guilty of a robbery. He allowed that there might be a possibility of getting into the garden without being seen by the owner of it; but such a wicked action could not be concealed from Him who sees every action of our lives, and who penetrates even to the very secrets of our hearts; and that is God.
His son shook his head, and said, he was sensible of his error, and would no more think of committing what might be called a robbery. He recollected that parson Jackson had told him the same thing before, but he had then forgotten it.
At this instant a man started up from behind the hedge, which had before concealed him from their sight. This was an old man, the owner of the garden, who had heard every thing that had passed between Mr. Stevenson and his son. "Be thankful to God, my child," said the old man, "that your father prevented you from getting into my garden with a view to deprive me of that which does not belong to you. You little thought, that at the foot of each tree is placed a trap to catch thieves, which you could not have escaped, and which might have lamed you for the rest of your life. I am, however, happy to find that you so readily listen to the first admonition of your father, and show such a fear of offending God. As you have behaved in so just and sensible a manner, you shall now, without any danger or trouble, partake of the fruit of my garden." He then went to the finest pear-tree, gave it a shake, and brought down near a hatful of fruit, which he immediately gave to Richard.
This civil old man could not be prevailed on to accept of any thing in return, though Mr. Stevenson pulled out his purse for that purpose. "I am sufficiently satisfied, Sir," said he, "in thus obliging your son, and were I to accept of any thing, that satisfaction would be lost." Mr. Stevenson thanked him very kindly, and having shaken hands over the hedge, they parted; Richard at the same time taking leave of the old man in a polite manner.
Little Richard, having finished several of the pears, began to find himself at leisure to talk to his papa. "This is a very good old man," said he; "but would God have punished me, had I taken these pears without his leave?" "He certainly would," replied Mr. Stevenson; "for he never fails to reward good actions, and chastise those who commit evil. The good old man fully explained to you this matter, in telling you of the traps laid for thieves, into which you must have inevitably fallen, had you entered his garden in a clandestine manner. God orders every thing that passes upon earth, and directs events so as to reward good people for virtuous actions, and to punish the wicked for their crimes. In order to make this more clear to you, I will relate to you an affair which happened when I was a boy, and which I shall never forget." Richard seemed very attentive to his father; and having said he should be very glad to hear his story, Mr. Stevenson thus proceeded:--
"When I lived with my father, and was much about your age, we had two neighbours, between whose houses ours was situated, and their names were Davis and Johnson. Mr. Davis had a son named William, and Mr. Johnson one also of the name of Harry. Our gardens were at that time separated only by quickset hedges, so that it was easy to see into each others grounds.
"It was too often the practice with William, when he found himself alone in his father's garden, to take pleasure in throwing stones over the hedges, without paying the least regard to the mischief they might do. Mr. Davis had frequently caught him at this dangerous sport, and never failed severely to reprimand him for it, threatening him with severe punishment, if he did not desist.
"This child, unhappily, either knew not, or would not take the trouble to reflect, that we are not to do amiss, even when we are alone, for reasons I have already mentioned to you. His father being one day gone out, and therefore thinking that nobody could see him, or bring him to punishment, he filled his pockets with stones, and then began to fling them about at random.
"Mr. Johnson happened to be in his garden at the same time, and his son Harry with him. This boy was of much the same disposition as William, thinking there was no crime in committing any mischief, provided he were not discovered. His father had a gun charged, which he brought into the garden, in order to shoot the sparrows that made sad havoc among his cherries, and was sitting in a summer-house to watch them.
"At this instant a servant came to acquaint him that a strange gentleman desired to speak with him, and was waiting in the parlour. He therefore put down the gun in the summer-house, and strictly ordered Harry by no means to touch it; but he was no sooner gone, than this naughty son said to himself, that he could see no harm in playing a little with the gun; and therefore took it on his shoulder, and endeavoured to act the part of a soldier.
"The muzzle of the gun happened to be pointed towards Mr. Davis's garden; and, just as he was in the midst of his military exercises, a stone thrown by William hit him directly in one of his eyes. The fright and pain together made Harry drop the gun, which went off, and in a moment both gardens resounded with the most dismal shrieks and lamentations. Harry had received a blow in the eye with a stone, and the whole charge had entered William's leg; the sad consequences of which were, the one lost his eye, and the other a leg."
Richard could not help pitying poor William and Harry for their terrible misfortune; and Mr. Stevenson was not angry with his son for his tenderness. "It is true," said he "they were much to be pitied, and their parents still more, for having such vicious and disobedient children. Yet it is probable, if God had not early punished these boys, they would have continued their mischievous practices as often as they should find themselves alone; but by this misfortune they learned to know that God publicly punishes all wickedness done in secret. This had the desired effect, as both ever after left off all kinds of mischief, and became prudent and sedate. Certain it is, that an all-wise Creator never chastises us but with a view to add to our happiness."
Richard was very much struck with this story, and said, he hoped he should never lose either a leg or an eye by such imprudent conduct. This interesting conversation was interrupted by their arrival at their own house; when Richard hastened to find his brothers and sisters, to tell them the adventures of his walk, and the history of William and Harry.
ANTONY AND AUGUSTUS; OR A RATIONAL
A very early friendship commenced between Antony and Augustus, who were nearly of an age; and, as they were neighbours, they were almost inseparable companions. The father of Antony, whose name was Lenox, possessed a very lucrative employment under government, and was besides possessed of a considerable fortune; but Mr. Littleton, the father of Augustus, was not in such affluent circumstances; though he lived contentedly, and turned all his thoughts to the welfare and happiness of his son, in giving him a well-grounded education, which he thought might prove of more advantage to him than riches, or, at least, might amply supply the place of them.
As soon as Augustus was nine years of age, he was accustomed to bodily exercise, and his mind inured to study, which at once contributed to improve his health, strength, and understanding. Being thus used to exercise and motion, he was healthy and robust; and being contented and happy in the affection of his parents, he enjoyed a tranquil cheerfulness, which much influenced those who enjoyed his company.
Antony was one of his happy companions, who was always at a loss for amusement when Augustus was absent; and in that case, in order to fill up his time, he was continually eating without being hungry, drinking without being dry, and slumbering without being sleepy. This naturally brought on a weak habit of body, and frequent headaches.
Both parents ardently wished to see their children healthy and happy; but Mr. Lenox unfortunately pursued that object in a wrong channel, by bringing up his son, even from his cradle, in the most excessive delicacy. He was not suffered to lift himself a chair, whenever he had a mind to change his seat, but a servant was called for that purpose. He was dressed and undressed by other people, and even the cutting of his own victuals seemed a pain to him.
While Augustus, in a thin linen jacket, assisted his father to cultivate a small garden for their amusement, Antony, in a rich velvet coat, was lolling in a coach, and paying morning visits with his mamma. If he went abroad to enjoy the air, and got out of the carriage but for a minute, his great coat was put on, and a handkerchief tied round his neck, to prevent his catching cold. Thus accustomed to be humoured to excess, he wished for every thing he saw, or could think of; but his wish was no sooner obtained, than he became tired of it, and was constantly unhappy in the pursuit of new objects.
As the servants had strict orders to obey him with implicit submission, he became so whimsical and imperious, that he was hated and despised by every one in the house, excepting his parents. Augustus was his only companion who loved him, and it was upon that account he patiently put up with his humours. He was so perfectly master of his temper, that he would, at times, make him as good-humoured as himself.
Mr. Lenox would sometimes ask Augustus how he contrived to be always so merry; to which he one day answered, that his father had told him, that no person could be perfectly happy, unless they mixed some kind of employment with their pleasures. "I have frequently observed," continued Augustus, "that the most tedious and dull days I experience are those in which I do no kind of work. It is properly blending exercise with amusement that keeps me in such good health and spirits. I fear neither the winds nor the rain, neither the heat of summer nor the cold of winter, and I have frequently dug up a whole plat in my garden before Antony has quitted his pillow in the morning."
Mr. Lenox felt the propriety of such conduct, and a sigh unavoidably escaped him. He then went to consult Mr. Littleton in what manner he should act, in order to make Antony as hearty and robust as Augustus. Mr. Littleton informed him in what manner he treated his son. "The powers of the body and mind," said he, "should be equally kept in exercise, unless we mean them to be unserviceable, as money buried in the ground would be to its owner. Nothing can be more injurious to the health and happiness of children, than using them to excess of delicacy, and, under the idea of pleasing them, to indulge them in their whimsical and obstinate humours. The person who has been accustomed from his childhood to have his humours flattered, will be exposed to many vexatious disappointments. He will sigh after those things, the want or possession of which will equally make him miserable. I have, however, every reason to believe, that Augustus will never be that man."
Mr. Lenox saw the truth of these arguments, and determined to adopt the same plan for the treatment of his son. But it was now too late, for Antony was fourteen years of age, and his mind and body so much enervated, that he could not bear the least fatiguing exertions. His mother, who was as weak as himself, begged of her husband not to tease their darling, and he was at last obliged to give way to her importunities, when Antony again sunk into his former destructive effeminacy. The strength of his body declined, in proportion as his mind was degraded by ignorance.
As soon as Antony had entered his seventeenth year, his parents sent him to the university, intending to bring him up to the study of the law; and Augustus being intended for the same profession, he accompanied him thither. Augustus, in his different studies and pursuits, had never had any other instructor than his father; while Antony had as many masters as there are different sciences, from whom he learned only a superficial education, by retaining little more than the terms used in the different branches he had studied. Augustus, on the contrary, was like a garden, whose airy situation admits the rays of the sun to every part of it, and in which every seed, by a proper cultivation, advances rapidly to perfection. Already well instructed, he still thirsted after further knowledge, and his diligence and good behaviour afforded a pattern for imitation to all his companions. The mildness of his temper, and his vivacity and sprightly humour, made his company at all times desirable; he was universally beloved, and every one was his friend.
Antony was at first happy of being in the same room with Augustus; but his pride was soon hurt on seeing the preference that was given by every one to his friend, and he could not think of any longer submitting to so mortifying a distinction. He therefore found some frivolous excuse, and forsook the company of Augustus.
Antony, having now nobody to advise or check him, gave loose to his vitiated taste, and wandered from pleasure to pleasure in search of happiness. It will be to little purpose to say, how often he blushed at his own conduct; but, being hardened by a repetition of his follies, he gradually fell into the grossest irregularities. To be short, he at last returned home with the seeds of a mortal distemper in his bosom, and, after languishing a few months, expired in the greatest agonies.
Some time after, Augustus returned home to his parents, possessed of an equal stock of learning and prudence; his departure from the university being regretted both by his teachers and companions. It may easily be supposed, that his family received him with transports of joy. You know not, my little readers, how pleasing are those tender parental feelings, which arise from the prospect of seeing their children beloved and respected! His parents thought themselves the happiest people, and tears of joy filled their eyes when they beheld him.
Augustus had not been long at home, before a considerable employment in his profession was conferred on him, with the unanimous approbation of all who were acquainted with his character. This enabled him to gratify his generous desire of promoting the felicity of his friends, and a sense of their happiness added to his own. He was the comfort of his parents in the evening of their lives, and with interest repaid their attention and care of him in his childhood. An amiable wife, equally endued with sense, virtue, and beauty, who bore him children like himself, completed his happiness.
In the characters of Antony and Augustus, we see the fatal consequences of giving way to folly and vice, and what a happy effect the contrary conduct has. Antony fell a victim to the misguided indulgence of his parents, while Augustus lived to be happy by the prudent management he received in his infancy.
THE DESTRUCTIVE CONSEQUENCES
OF DISSIPATION AND LUXURY.
On a fine evening, in the midst of summer, Mr. Drake and his son Albert took a walk in some of the most agreeable environs of the city. The sky was clear, the air cool; and the purling streams, and gentle zyphyrs rustling in the trees, lulled the mind into an agreeable gloom. Albert, enchanted with the natural beauties that surrounded him, could not help exclaiming, "What a lovely evening!" He pressed his father's hand, and, looking up to him, said, "You know not, papa, what thoughts rise in my heart!" He was silent for a moment, and then looked towards heaven, his eyes moistened with tears. "I thank God," said he, "for the happy moments he now permits me to enjoy! Had I my wish, every one should taste the beauties of this evening as I do. Were I the king of a large country, I would make my subjects perfectly happy."
Mr. Drake embraced his son, and told him, that the benevolent wish he had just uttered came from a heart as generous as it was humane. "But would not your thoughts change with your fortune? Are you certain, that in an exalted station you should preserve the sentiments which now animate you in that middling state, in which it has pleased Heaven to place you?"
Albert was a little surprised that his father should ask such a question, for he had no idea that riches could bring with them cruelty and wickedness.
Mr. Drake told him, that indeed was not always the case. "The world has produced fortunate persons," said he, "who have remembered their past distresses, and have always retained the most charitable ideas for the unfortunate; but we too often see, what is a disgrace to the human heart, that a change of fortune alters the most tender and sympathetic affections. While we ourselves labour under misfortunes, we look upon it as a duty incumbent on every man to assist us. Should the hand of God relieve us, we then think that all his intentions in the preservation of the world are answered, and too often cease to remember those unfortunate wretches, who remain in the gulf from which we have been rescued. You may see an instance of this in the man who frequently comes to beg charity of me, whom I relieve with reluctance, and cannot but censure myself for so doing."
Albert told his father that he had frequently observed how coolly he put money into his hands, without speaking to him in that tender language, which he generally used to other poor people. He therefore begged his father would tell him what could be his reason for it.
"I will tell you, my dear," said Mr. Drake, "what has been his conduct, and then leave you to judge how far I do right. Mr. Mason was a linen-draper in Cheapside; and though the profits of his business were but moderate, yet a poor person never asked his charity in vain. This he viewed as his most pleasing extravagance, and he considered himself happy in the enjoyment of it, though he could not pursue this indulgence to the extent of his wishes. Business one day called him on 'Change, he heard a number of capital merchants talking together of vast cargoes, and the immense profits to be expected from them. 'Ah!' said he to himself, 'how happy these people are! Were I as rich, Heaven knows, I should not make money my idol, for the poor should plentifully partake of my abundance.'
"This man went home with a bosom full of ambitious thoughts; but his circumstances were too narrow to embrace his vast projects, as it required no small share of prudence, in the management of his affairs, to make every thing meet the end of the year. 'Ah!' cried he, 'I shall never get forward, nor rise above the middling condition, in which I at present linger.'
"In the midst of these gloomy thoughts, a paper inviting adventurers to purchase shares in the lottery was put into his hand. He seemed as if inspired by Fortune, and caught the idea immediately. Without considering the inconvenience to which his covetousness might reduce him, he hastened to the lottery-office, and there laid out four guineas. From this moment he waited with impatience for the drawing, nor could he find repose even at night on his pillow. He sometimes repented of having so foolishly hazarded what he could not well bear the loss of, and at other times he fancied he saw riches pouring in upon him from all quarters. At last the drawing began, and, in the midst of his hopes and fears, Fortune favoured him with a prize of five thousand pounds.
"Having received the money, he thought of nothing else for several days; but when his imagination had cooled a little, he began to think what use he should make of it. He therefore increased his stock, extended his business, and, by care and assiduity in trade, soon doubled his capital. In less than ten years he became one of the most considerable men in the city, and hitherto he had punctually kept his promise, in being the friend and patron of the poor; for the sight of an unfortunate person always put him in mind of his former condition, and pleaded powerfully in behalf of the distressed.
"As he now frequented gay company, he by degrees began to contract a habit of luxury and dissipation: he purchased a splendid country-house, with elegant gardens, and his life became a scene of uninterrupted pleasures and amusements. All this extravagance, however, soon convinced him, that he was considerably reducing his fortune; and his trade, which he had given up, to be the more at leisure for the enjoyment of his pleasures, no longer enabled him to repair it. Besides, having been so long accustomed to put no restraint on his vanity and pride, he could not submit to the meanness of lessening his expenses. 'I shall always have enough for myself,' thought he, 'and let others take care of themselves.'
"As his fortune decreased, so did his feelings for the distressed; and his heart grew callous to the cries of misery, as with indifference we hear the roaring tempest when sheltered from its fury. Friends, whom he had till then supported, came as usual to implore his bounty, but he received them roughly, and forbid them his house. 'Am I,' said he, 'to squander my fortune upon you? Do as I have done, and get one for yourselves.'
"His poor unhappy mother from whom he had taken half the pension he used to allow her, came to beg a corner in any part of his house, where she might finish her few remaining days; but he was so cruel as to refuse her request, and with the utmost indifference saw her perish for want. The measure of his crimes, however, was now nearly filled. His wealth was soon exhausted in debaucheries and other excesses, and he had neither the inclination nor ability to return to trade. Misery soon overtook him, and brought him to that state in which you now see him. He begs his bread from door to door, an object of contempt and detestation to all honest people, and a just example of the indignation of the Almighty."
Albert told his father, that if fortune made men so wicked and miserable, he wished to remain as he was, above pity, and secure from contempt.
"Think often, my dear child," said his father to him, "of this story, and learn from this example, that no true happiness can be enjoyed, unless we feel for the misfortunes of others. It is the rich man's duty to relieve the distresses of the poor; and in this more solid pleasure is found, than can be expected from the enervating excesses of luxury and pomp."
The sun was now sinking beneath the horizon, and his parting beams reflected a lovely glow upon the clouds, which seemed to form a purple curtain round his bed. The air, freshened by the approach of evening, breathed an agreeable calm; and the feathered inhabitants of the grove sung their farewell song. The wind rustling among the trees, added a gentle murmur to the concert, and every thing seemed to inspire joy and happiness, while Albert and his father returned to their house with thoughtful and pensive steps.
WILLIAM AND AMELIA.
In a pleasant village, at some distance from the metropolis, lived Lord and Lady Russel, who had brought up an orphan, named William, from his infancy; and had a stranger to the family seen in what a tender manner he was treated, he would have supposed him to be their son. This amiable couple had only one child living, a daughter, named Amelia, who was nearly of the same age with William, and the lady was pleased to see that the two children had something beyond a common attachment for each other.
William and Amelia were one fine summer morning sauntering in the orchard with their little friend Charlotte, whose parents lived in the neighbourhood. Of the little misses, Amelia was the youngest, and not quite eight years of age. They were walking arm and arm, and humming over a pretty song, then fashionable in the village collection of Ballads. At the same time William was walking before them, at some little distance, amusing himself with a shepherd's pipe.
While Amelia and Charlotte were thus rambling about, they cast their eyes on some beautiful apples that hung on a fine tree, from which all the fruit had been supposed to be gathered; but the branches had hidden some from view, and in course had escaped the notice of the gatherers. The beautiful vermilion with which these apples were tinged, and which the leaves could not entirely hide, seemingly invited the hand to come and take them. William instantly climbed the tree they were admiring, and threw down as many apples as he could reach, while the ladies below held their aprons to catch them as they fell.
Chance directed it, that two or three, which were considered as the finest, fell into the apron of Charlotte, who was much pleased with this accidental distribution, as she might with reason have been, had a premeditated preference been the cause of it; for William was in reality the politest and prettiest little fellow in the village.
Charlotte, with joy and triumph in her eyes, thus addressed herself to Amelia: "Only see how fine and large my apples are, while yours are nothing to compare to them!" Amelia was very much displeased with these words; she hung down her head, and putting on a serious countenance, remained silent during the remainder of the walk. William, by a hundred assiduities, endeavoured to recover Amelia's cheerfulness, again to spread a smile on her clouded countenance, and make her renew her usual pleasing prattle.
As soon as they arrived near home, Charlotte took her leave. Little William then addressed his sister, for by that tender name he always called her, and asked her why she seemed so angry with him. "Certainly," said he, "you cannot be angry at Charlotte having her share of the apples. You very well know that I always loved you best, and therefore endeavoured to throw into your apron those apples, which, by chance, fell into Charlotte's. You must be sensible, that I could not afterwards take them from her. Besides, I thought you of too generous a disposition to take notice of such trifles. Be assured, the first opportunity that shall offer, I will give you a convincing proof that I had no design to vex you, whatever you may at present think of my intentions."
"Very pretty, indeed, Mr. William!" replied Amelia, with a look of uneasiness and disdain. "Pray who told you that I was vexed? Suppose Miss Charlotte's apples had been ten times finer than mine, would that be any consideration to me? You very well know, Sir, that I am no glutton; neither should I have taken any notice of the preference you showed her, had it not been for that saucy little creature's looks. I never wish to see her more: and, as for you, fall down on your knees this instant, or I never will forgive you while I live."
Little William could not think of submitting to such an indignity, as that would be confessing a fault, of which he was not guilty, and therefore now stood more upright than before. "I am no story-teller, Miss Amelia," said he, "and therefore it is very wrong in you not to believe what I so positively affirm; for I certainly had no design to vex you."
"Very wrong in me, Sir!" replied Amelia. "This is pretty indeed! But you need not thus affront me, because Miss Charlotte is your favourite!" So saying, and bestowing a contemptuous curtsy on him, she left him with an affected air of scorn and contempt.
Dinner being now ready, they sat down at table, but pouted at each other all the time it lasted. Amelia would not once drink, in order to avoid saying, "Your good health, William;" and William, on his part, was so vexed at her treatment of him, that he was determined not to give up the point. Amelia, however, could not help sometimes stealing a glance at William, and, from a corner of her eye, watch all his motions. As it happened, one of these sly glances met the eye of William, who was equally attentive to watch all the emotions of Amelia, without wishing to be observed. Their eyes thus meeting, she instantly turned hers away to another object; and as William attributed this to contempt, which in reality it was not, he affected much indifference, and continued eating with the most apparent composure.
As soon as the cloth was removed, and the wine and fruit put on the table, poor Amelia, being sadly out of temper at the indifference she experienced from William, made a disrespectful answer to a question put to her by her mamma, and, for a second offence of the same nature, was ordered to retire from table. She obeyed, and bursting into a flood of tears, instantly withdrew, without caring whither she went. However, it so happened that the garden door was open; she therefore flew down the walk, and went into the arbour, in order there, in secret, to vent her grief. Here she cried most lamentably; and soon repented of her quarrelling with William, who constantly, whenever she happened to get into disgrace with her mamma, would not only weep with her, but endeavour to bring about a reconciliation, which he never failed to accomplish.
Though William continued at table, he could not help feeling for the disgrace of Amelia. He had fixed his eye on two peaches, and endeavoured to contrive means of getting them into his pocket, in order to convey them to Amelia, whom he knew he should find somewhere in the garden, and he could easily make an excuse to go thither; yet he was fearful of having his intentions discovered. He pushed back his chair, then brought it forwards several times, and was continually looking down, as if for something on the carpet. "Pretty little Cæsar! sweet Pompey!" cried he, speaking to two dogs then in the room. At this time he held a peach in his hand, which he meant to slip into his pocket as soon as he could discover the eyes of my lord and lady attracted by any other object. "Only see, papa and mamma," continued he, "how prettily they are playing!"
His lordship replied, that they would not eat one another, he would answer for it; and having just looked at them, put himself into his former position. Thus poor William, who thought he was sure of then pocketing the peach, was sadly disappointed, and obliged to replace it on the table.
These motions, however, were observed by Lady Russel, who conjectured what were his intentions. She therefore for some time enjoyed the poor fellow's embarrassments, and made his lordship acquainted with it by looks and dumb motions.
William, who had no idea that his scheme was suspected, being fearful of trying the same stratagem twice, instantly thought of another expedient. He took a peach, and placed it in the hollow of his hands both put together, after which he conducted it to his mouth, and made believe as though he was really eating it. Then, while with his left hand he found means to clap his peach into a cavity he had previously hollowed in the napkin on his knees, he put his right hand out to reach the other, which he disposed of in the same manner.
In a few minutes my lord and lady forgot to watch the motions of William, and entered into conversation on various subjects. He therefore thought this a proper opportunity to get away, rose up from table with both peaches in the napkin, and began to imitate the mewing of a cat, which a young shepherd's boy had lately taught him. His view in this was to engage the attention of Cæsar and Pompey, in which he succeeded, as they both got up, and jumped about the room.
Lady Russel was a little angry with him for making such a noise, and told him, if he wanted to make such a mewing as that, the garden was the most proper place. William pretended to be very much confused at this reproof, though the consequence of it was the very thing he wanted. He then instantly ran up to Cæsar, "See, mamma," said William, "he wants to bite Pompey!" and as he turned, he dexterously slipped the napkin into his pocket, and pretended to run after Cæsar, to punish him. The dog ran towards the door Amelia had left open when she went into the garden, and away went William in pursuit of her.
Lady Russel called William back, and asked him where he was going. "My dear mamma," said he, "if you please, I will take a turn in the garden, and I hope you will not refuse me that favour." As lady Russel did not immediately answer him, he lowered his voice and spoke in a more suppliant manner. At last, having obtained her permission, away he ran with so much haste, that his foot slipped, and down he fell; but, luckily, neither he nor the peaches were hurt.
After searching round the garden for his sister, he at last found her in the arbour, sitting in an attitude of sorrow. She was exceedingly unhappy to think she had grieved the three best friends she had, her worthy parents and her dear William. "My sweetest Amelia," said the little fellow, falling on his knees at the same time, "let us be friends. I would freely ask forgiveness for my fault, had I really intended to displease you. If you will ask my pardon, I will ask yours also. My pretty Amelia, let us be friends. Here are two nice peaches, which I could not think of eating while you were not present to partake of them."
"Ah, my dearest Billy," said Amelia, squeezing his hand while she spoke, and weeping on his shoulder, "what a sweet good-tempered little fellow you are! Certainly," continued she, sobbing while she spoke, "those that are friends to us in our misfortunes are truly valuable. It was very wrong in me to be so vexed, as I was this morning, about the loss of a few apples. It was the insulting look that Miss Charlotte gave me that was the cause of it; but I will think of her no more. Will you forgive me?" added she, wiping off the tears she had let fall on William's hand. "I confess that I sometimes love to plague you; but keep your peaches, for I cannot think of eating them."
"As to plaguing me, sister," answered William, "you may do that as often as you like; but, I assure you, nobody shall do so but yourself: as to the peaches, I most certainly will not eat them. I have already told you so, and my word is like the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not."
"For the very same reason," said Amelia, "I shall not eat them," and immediately threw them both over the garden wall; for, besides her having said she would not eat them, she could not bear the thought of receiving a bribe to reconcile a quarrel. Amelia's next consideration was, how to make it up with her mamma; and she said she should be happy indeed, if she would but permit her to appear before her, and ask her pardon.
The generous little William no sooner heard these words, than he promised to settle that business, and away he instantly ran; but before he had taken many steps, he stopped short, and, turning round, said, "I will tell mamma, that it was I who made you anger her, by having vexed you in the morning."
Little William succeeded beyond his expectations, and all parties were soon reconciled to each other. A friendship so affectionate and generous is highly worthy of the imitation of all my juvenile readers.
THE RIVAL DOGS.
A gentleman, whose name was Howard, had brought up two pretty dogs from puppies. The one he called Castor and the other Pollux, hoping they would live in such friendship together as did the two illustrious heroes, after whom they were named. Though they both came from the same mother, and, at the same time, had been fed together, and equally treated, yet it was soon seen that there was a great difference in their tempers and dispositions.
Castor was of a meek and tractable nature; but Pollux was fierce and quarrelsome. When any person took notice of the generous Castor, he would wag his tail, and jump about for joy, nor was he ever jealous on seeing more notice taken of his brother than of himself. The surly Pollux, on the contrary, whenever Mr. Howard had him on his lap, would growl and grumble at Castor if he attempted to come near him, or if any one took notice of him.
When any of Mr. Howard's friends happened to come on a visit to his house, and bring their dogs along with them, the good-natured Castor would immediately mix among them, and, in his way, endeavoured to amuse them. As he was by nature extremely pliant and engaging, they were all peace and harmony whenever it fell to his lot to entertain them. They would jump and play about the house, as boys do in school when they are left to themselves.
The surly Pollux acted a very different part. He would sneak into a corner, and bark all day at the strangers. If any one of them happened to pass too near him, he would then be sure to snarl and grin, and would often start up, and bite their ears or tails. If his master happened to take any notice of either of the strange dogs on account of their good-nature or handsomeness, Pollux would howl as loud as if thieves were actually breaking into the house.
This odious disposition of Pollux did not escape the notice of Mr. Howard, who gradually began to neglect him; while Castor, on the contrary, was every day increasing in his master's favour.
As Mr. Howard was one day sitting at table, it suddenly entered his mind to make a more particular trial of the temper of these two dogs than he had hitherto done. Both happened to be attending at table, but Pollux was nearest his master; for the good-natured Castor, in order to avoid strife and contention, always let him choose his place.
Mr. Howard threw a nice piece of meat to Pollux, which he devoured with much greediness. Castor showed no signs of uneasiness at this, but patiently waited till his master should think it was his turn. Soon afterwards, Mr. Howard threw Castor a bone, with hardly any meat on it: but he took it without showing the least mark of discontent. The surly Pollux, however, no sooner saw his brother engaged on a meatless bone, though he had feasted on his own delicious morsel, than he fell upon him, and took it from him. The good-natured Castor made no opposition, but gave up the bone without a murmur.
My readers must not from hence imagine that Castor was a coward, or was in the least afraid of the strength of his brother; for he had lately given sufficient proof of his courage and resolution, in a battle he had been drawn into by Pollux, whose intolerable moroseness had brought on him the vengeance of a neighbouring dog. Pollux, after engaging his antagonist only a few minutes, though he had provoked the dog to try his strength, ran away like a coward; but Castor, in order to cover the retreat of his brother, and without any one to take his part, fought him like a hero, and at last forced him to run away likewise.
Mr. Howard was well acquainted with this circumstance; and, as he had before established his credit in point of courage, so was his master now fully convinced of his good temper, and the surly and cowardly disposition of his brother. "My good fellow," said Mr. Howard to Castor, "it is but just that you should, at least, fare as well as your brother, who does not deserve as much as you." So saying, he cut off a large piece of nice meat and gave it to Castor.
Pollux, seeing so nice a morsel given to his brother, accompanied with such cutting words from his master, began to growl and snarl. "Since you have shown so much complaisance and generosity to your brother," continued Mr. Howard, still speaking to Castor, "who in return treats you with ill manners, jealousy, and envy, you shall in future be my own dog, and be at liberty to range about the house at your pleasure: but your brother shall be confined in the yard. Here," cried he, "bring a chain for Pollux, and order the carpenter to make him a little house!" The order was instantly obeyed, and Pollux was led to his kennel, while his brother rambled about at liberty.
Had Pollux received so singular a mark of favour, he would undoubtedly have supported it with insolence; but Castor was of a different disposition, and appeared very unhappy at his brother's disgrace. Whenever any nice bit was given to Castor, he would run away with it to Pollux, wag his tail for joy, and invite him to partake of it. In short, the visited him every night in his house, and did every thing he could to amuse him under his sufferings.
Notwithstanding all these marks of tenderness, Pollux always received his brother in the most surly manner, howling as though he were come to devour him, and treating him with every mark of disrespect. At length, rage and disappointment inflamed his blood, he pined away by degrees, and at last died a miserable spectacle.
The moral of this history is so obvious, that there hardly appears a necessity to tell my young readers, that such a disposition as Pollux's must render its possessor an object of contempt and abhorrence, while that of Castor will ever be beloved and respected.
CLEOPATRA; OR THE REFORMED
A pert little hussey, whose name was Cleopatra, was continually teasing and commanding her poor brother. "So, you will not do what I bid you, Mr. Obstinacy?" she would often say to him: "Come, come, Sir, obey, or it shall be worse for you."
If Cleopatra's word might be taken for it, her brother did every thing wrong; but, on the contrary, whatever she thought of doing was the masterpiece of reason and sound sense. If he proposed any kind of diversion, she was sure to consider it as dull and insipid; but it often happened, that she would herself the next day recommend the same thing, and, having forgotten what she had said of it before, consider it as the most lively and entertaining.
Her brother was obliged to submit to her unaccountable whims and fancies, or else endure the most disagreeable lectures a little female tongue could utter. If ever he presumed to be so hardy as to reason with her on her strange conduct, instant destruction to his playthings were the inevitable consequence of it.
Her parents saw with regret this strange and tyrannical disposition of their daughter, and in vain did every thing they could think of to break her of it. Her mother, in particular, continually enforced on her mind, that such children never procured the esteem of others; and that a girl, who set up her own opinion against that of every one else, would soon become intolerable and insupportable to all her acquaintance. This prudent advice, however, made no impression on her stubborn heart; and her brother, wearied out by her caprice and tyranny, began to have very little affection for her. It one day happened that a gentleman of a free and open temper, dined at their house. He could not help observing with what a haughty air she treated her poor brother, and, indeed, every other person in the room. At first, the rules of politeness kept him from saying any thing; but at last, tired out with her impertinence, he began addressing his discourse to her mamma in the following manner:
"I was lately in France, and, as I was fond of being present at the soldiers' exercises, I used to go as often as I could, to see their manoeuvres on the parade, nearly in the same manner as they do here at St. James's. Among the soldiers there were many I observed with whiskers, which gave them a very fierce and soldier-like look. Now, had I a child like your Cleopatra, I would instantly give her a soldier's uniform, and put her on a pair of whiskers, when she might, with rather more propriety than at present, act the part of a commander."
Cleopatra heard this, and stood covered with confusion; she could not help blushing, and was unable to conceal her tears. However, this reproach perfectly reformed her, and she became sensible how unbecoming was a tyrannizing temper. It has been observed, that to be sensible of our errors is half the work of reformation. So it happened with Cleopatra, who with the assistance of her mother's prudent counsels, became an amiable girl.
Her reformation was a credit to her; and it is much to be wished that all young ladies, who take no pains to conquer their passions, would at last imitate Cleopatra, and wish to avoid being told, that a soldier's dress and a pair of whiskers would better become them than nice cambric frocks and silk slips. Had Cleopatra attended to the advice of her parents, and not have imagined that greatness consists in impertinence, she would have been happy much sooner than she was.
THE PASSIONATE BOY.
Young Frederick had naturally a noble soul, elevated thoughts, and generous notions. His turn of mind was lively, his imagination strong and quick, and his temper cheerful and pleasing. Indeed, the elegance of his person, and his behaviour and accomplishments, gained him the respect of every one; but, notwithstanding all these amiable qualities, he had one unhappy defect, which was that of giving way too readily to the most violent emotions of passion.
It would frequently happen that, while he was amusing himself in the circle of his playmates, the most trifling contradiction would ruffle his temper, and fill him with the highest degree of rage and fury, little short of a state of madness.
As he happened to be one day walking about his chamber, and meditating on the necessary preparations for a treat his father had permitted him to give his sister, his dear friend and favourite, Marcus, came to him, to advise with him on that business. Frederick, being lost in thought, saw not his friend, who therefore having spoken to him in vain, drew nearer to him, and began to pull him by the sleeve. Frederick, angry, and out of patience with these interruptions, suddenly turned round, and gave Marcus such a push, that he sent him reeling across the room, and he at last fell against the wainscot.
Marcus lay motionless on the floor, without the least appearance of life; for, in his fall, he had struck his head against something which had given him a deep and terrible wound, from which issued a great quantity of blood. How shall we describe the situation of poor Frederick, who loved his friend tenderly, and for whom he would, on occasion, have sacrificed his life?
Frederick fell down beside him, crying out most lamentably, "He is dead! he is dead! I have killed my dear friend Marcus!" So great were his fright and consternation, that he had no idea of calling for assistance, but lay by his side, uttering the most dismal groans. Happily, however, his father heard him, and, instantly running in, took up Marcus in his arms. He called for some sugar to stop the bleeding of the wound, and having applied some salts to his nose, and some water to his temples, they brought him a little to himself.
Frederick was transported with joy when he perceived symptoms of life in his friend; but the fear of relapse kept him in the greatest anxiety. They immediately sent for a surgeon, who, as soon as he arrived, searched the wound. He found it was not in the temple, but so very close to it, that the tenth part of an inch nearer would probably have made the wound dangerous indeed, if not mortal.
Marcus, being carried home, soon became delirious, and Frederick could not be persuaded to leave him. He sat down by the side of his poor friend, wholly absorbed in silence. Marcus, while he remained in that delirious state, frequently pronounced the name of Frederick. "My dear Frederick," he would sometimes say, "what could I have done to deserve being treated in this manner? Yet, I am sure, you cannot be less unhappy than myself, when you reflect you wounded me without a cause. However, I would not wish your generous nature should be grieved. Let us forgive each other; I for vexing you, and you for wounding me."
In this manner did Marcus talk, without being sensible that Frederick was near him, though he held him by the hand at the same time. Every word, thus pronounced, in which there could be neither flattery nor deceit, went to the heart of the afflicted Frederick, and rendered his grief almost insupportable.
In ten days time, however, it pleased God to abate the fever, and he was enabled to get up, to the great joy of his parents; but how can we express the feelings of Frederick on this happy occasion! That task must be left for those who may have unfortunately been in a similar situation; his joy now was undoubtedly as great as his sorrow had been.
Marcus at last got perfectly well, and Frederick, in consequence, recovered his former cheerfulness and good humour. He now stood in need of no other lesson, than the sorrowful event that had lately taken place, to break himself of that violence of temper, to which he had been so long a slave. In a little time, no appearance of the wound remained, excepting a small scar near his temple, which Frederick could never look at without some emotion, even after they were both grown up to manhood. Indeed, it ever afterwards was considered as a seal of that friendship, which they never lost sight of.
CAROLINE; OR, A LESSON TO CURE
A plain white frock had hitherto been the only dress of Caroline; silver buckles in her red morocco shoes; and her ebon hair, which had never felt the torturing iron, flowed upon her shoulders in graceful ringlets, now and then disturbed by the gentle winds.
Being one day in company with some little girls, who, though no older than herself, were dressed in all the empty parade of fashion, the glare and glitter of those fine clothes raised in her heart a desire she had never before felt.
As soon as she got home, "My dear mamma," said she, "I have this afternoon seen Miss Flippant and her two sisters, whom you very well know. The eldest is not older than myself, and yet they were all dressed in the most elegant manner. Their parents must certainly have great pleasure in seeing them so finely dressed; and, as they are not richer than you, do, my dear mamma, let me have a fine silk slip, embroidered shoes like theirs, and let my hair be dressed by Mr. Frizzle, who is said to be a very capital man in his profession!"
Her mother replied, that she would have no objection to gratify her wishes, provided it would add to her happiness; but she was rather fearful it might have a contrary effect. As Miss Caroline could not give in to this mode of thinking, she requested her mamma to explain her reasons for what she had said.
"Because," said her mother, "you will be in continual fear of spotting your silk slip, and even rumpling it whenever you wear it. A dress like that of Miss Flippant will require the utmost care and attention to preserve it from accidents; for a single spot will spoil its beauty, and you very well know there is no washing of silks. However extensive my fortune may be, I assure you, it is not sufficient to purchase you silk gowns as often as you would wish to have them."
Miss Charlotte considered these arguments as very trifling, and promised to give her mamma no uneasiness as to her carelessness in wearing her fine clothes. Though her mamma consented to let her be dressed in the manner she requested, yet she desired her to remember the hints she had given her of the vexations to which her vanity would expose her.
Miss Caroline, on whom this good advice had no effect, lost not a moment in destroying all the pleasure and enjoyment of her infancy. Her hair, which before hung down in careless ringlets, was now twisted up in paper, and squeezed between a burning pair of tongs; that fine jet, which had hitherto so happily set off the whiteness of her forehead, was lost under a clod of powder and pomatum.
In a few days the mantua-maker arrived with a fine slip of pea-green taffety, with fine pink trimmings, and a pair of shoes, elegantly worked to answer the slip. The sight of them gave infinite pleasure to Caroline; but it was easily to be perceived, when she had them on, that her limbs were under great restraint, and her motions had lost their accustomed ease and freedom. That innocence and candour, which used to adorn her lovely countenance, began to be lost amidst the profusion of flowers, silks, gauzes, and ribands.
The novelty, however, of her appearance quite enchanted her. Her eyes, with uncommon eagerness, wandered over every part of her dress, and were seldom removed, unless to take a general survey of the whole in a pier glass. She prevailed on her mamma to let her send cards of invitation to all her acquaintances, in order to enjoy the inexpressible pleasure of being gazed at. As soon as they were met, she would walk backwards and forwards before them, like a peacock, and seemed to consider herself as the empress of the world, and they as her vassals.
All this triumph and consequence, however, met with many mortifying circumstances. The children who lived near her were one day permitted to ramble about the fields, when Caroline accompanied them, and led the way. What first attracted their attention was a beautiful meadow, enamelled with a variety of charming flowers; and butterflies, whose wings were of various colours, hovered over its surface. The little ladies amused themselves with hunting these butterflies, which they dexterously caught without hurting them; and, as soon as they had examined their beauties, let them fly again. Of the flowers that sprung beneath their feet they made nosegays, formed in the prettiest taste.
Though pride would not at first permit Miss Caroline to partake of these mean amusements, yet she at last wanted to share in the diversion; but they told her that the ground might be damp, which would infallibly stain her shoes, and hurt her silk slip. They had discovered her intention in thus bringing them together, which was only to show her fine clothes, and they were therefore resolved to mortify her vanity.
Miss Caroline was of course under the necessity of being solitary and inactive, while her companions sported on the grass, without fear of incommoding themselves. The pleasure she had lately taken in viewing her fine slip and shoes was, at this moment, but a poor compensation for the mirth and merriment she thereby lost.
On one side of the meadow grew a fine grove of trees, which resounded with the various notes of innumerable birds, and which seemed to invite every one that passed that way to retire thither, and partake of the indulgences of the shade. The little maidens entered this grove, jumping and sporting, without fearing any injury to their clothes. Miss Caroline would have followed them, but they advised her not, telling her, that the bushes would certainly tear her fine trimmings. She plainly saw that her friends, who were joyously sporting among the trees, were making themselves merry at her expense, and therefore grew peevish and ill-humoured.
The youngest of her visitors, however, had some sort of compassion on her. She had just discovered a corner, where a quantity of fine wild strawberries grew, when she called to Miss Caroline, and invited her to eat part of them. This she readily attempted; but no sooner had she entered the grove, than she was obliged to call out for help. Hereupon the children all gathered to the spot, and found poor Caroline fastened by the gauze of her hat to a branch of white-thorn, from which she could not disengage herself. They immediately took out the pins that fastened her hat; but, to add to her misfortunes, as her hair, which had been frizzed with so much labour, was also entangled with the branch of white-thorn, it cost her almost a whole lock before she could be set at liberty. Thus, in an instant, was all the boasted superstructure of her head-dress put into a state of confusion.
After what had passed, it cannot be difficult to suppose in what manner her playmates viewed this accident. Instead of consolation, of which Caroline stood in much need, they could not refrain laughing at the odd figure she made, and did actually torment her with a hundred witty jokes. After having put her a little into order, they quitted her in search of new amusements, and were soon seen at the top of a neighbouring hill.
Miss Caroline found it very difficult to reach this hill; for her fine shoes, that were made very tight, in order to set off her feet the better, greatly retarded her speed. Nor was this the only inconvenience; for her stays were drawn so close, that she could not properly breathe. She would very willingly have gone home to change her dress, in order to be more at ease; but she well knew that her friends would not give up their amusements to please her caprice.
Her playmates having reached the summit of the hill, enjoyed the beautiful prospect that surrounded them on all sides. On one hand were seen verdant meadows; on the other the riches of the harvest, with meandering streams that intersected the fields, and country seats and cottages scattered here and there. So grand a prospect could not fail of delighting them, and they danced about with joy; while poor Caroline found herself obliged to remain below, overwhelmed with sorrow, not being able to get up the hill.
In such a situation, she had leisure enough to make the most sorrowful reflections. "To what purpose," said she to herself, "am I dressed in these fine clothes? Of what a deal of pleasure do they debar me; and do not all my present sufferings arise merely from the possession of them?" She was giving up her mind to these distressing thoughts, when she suddenly saw her friends come running down the hill, and all crying out together as they passed her. "Run, run, Caroline! there is a terrible storm behind the hill, and it is coming towards us: if you do not make haste, your fine silk slip will be nicely soused!"
The fear of having her slip spoiled, recalled her strength; she forgot her weariness, pinched feet, and tight-laced waist, and made all the haste she could to get under cover. In spite of all her efforts, however, she could not run so fast as her companions, who were not incommoded by their dresses. Every moment produced some obstacle to her speed; at one time by her hoop and flounces, in the narrow paths she had to pass through; at another, by her train, of which the furzes frequently took hold; and at others by Mons. Pomatum and Powder's fine scaffold work about her head, on which the wind beat down the branches of such trees as she was obliged, in her progress home, to pass under.
At last, down came the storm with great fury, and hail and rain, mixed, fell in torrents. All her companions were safe at home before it began; and none were exposed to its rage but poor Caroline, who, indeed, got home at last, but in a most disastrous condition. She had left one of her fine shoes behind her in a large muddy hole, which in her precipitate flight, she had hurried over without observing; and, to fill up the measure of her misfortunes, just as she had got over the meadow, a sudden gust of wind made free with her hat, and blew it into a pond of stagnated and filthy water.
So completely soaked was every thing she had on, and the heat and rain had so glued her linen to her, that it was with some difficulty they got her undressed; as to her silk slip, it indeed afforded a miserable spectacle of fallen pride and vanity.
Her mother, seeing her in tears, jocosely said to her, "My dear, shall I have another slip made up for you against to-morrow?"--"Oh no, mamma," answered Caroline, kissing her, "I am perfectly convinced, from experience, that fine clothes cannot add to the happiness of the wearer. Let me again have my nice white frock, and no more powder and pomatum till I am at least ten years older; for I am ashamed of my folly and vanity."
Caroline soon appeared in her former dress, and with it she recovered her usual ease and freedom, looking more modest and pleasing than she ever did in her gaudy finery. Her mamma did not regret the loss she had sustained in the wreck of the slip, fine shoes, and hat, since it produced the means of bringing her daughter back to reason and prudence.
ARTHUR AND ADRIAN; OR TWO HEADS
BETTER THAN ONE.
Adrian had frequently heard his father say, that children had but little knowledge with respect to what was the most proper for them; and, that the greatest proof they could give of their wisdom, consisted in following the advice of people who had more age and experience. This was a kind of doctrine Adrian did not understand, or at least would not, and therefore it is no wonder he forgot it.
This wise and good father had allotted him and his brother Arthur a convenient piece of ground, in order that each might be possessed of a little garden, and display his knowledge and industry in the cultivation of it. They had also leave to sow whatever seed they should think proper, and to transplant any tree they liked out of their father's garden into their own.
Arthur remembered those words of his father which his brother Adrian had forgotten, and therefore went to consult their gardener, Rufus. "Pray tell me," said he, "what is now in season to sow in my garden, and in what manner I am to set about my business." The gardener hereupon gave him several roots and seeds, such as were properest for the season. Arthur instantly ran and put them in the ground; and Rufus very kindly not only assisted him in the work, but made him acquainted with many things necessary to be known.
Adrian, on the other hand, shrugged up his shoulders at his brother's industry, thinking he was taking much more pains than was necessary. Rufus, not observing this contemptuous treatment, offered him likewise his assistance and instruction; but he refused it in a manner that sufficiently betrayed his vanity and ignorance. He then went into his father's garden, and took from thence a quantity of flowers, which he immediately transplanted into his own. The gardener took no notice of him, but left him to do as he liked.
When Adrian visited his garden the following morning, all the flowers he had planted hung down their heads, like so many mourners at a funeral, and, as he plainly saw, were in a dying state. He replaced them with others from his father's garden; but, on visiting them the next morning, he found them perishing like the former.
This was a matter of great vexation to Adrian, who consequently became soon disgusted with this kind of business. He had no idea of taking so much pains for the possession of a few flowers, and therefore gave it up as an unprofitable game. Hence his piece of ground soon became a wilderness of weeds and thistles.
As he was looking into his brother's garden, about the beginning of summer, he saw something of a red colour hanging near the ground, which, on examination, he found to be strawberries of a delicious flavour. "Ah!" said he, "I should have planted strawberries in my garden."
Sometime afterwards, walking again in his brother's garden, he saw little berries of a milk-white colour, which hung down in clusters from the branches of a bush. Upon examination, he found they were currants, which even the sight of was a feast. "Ah!" said he, "I should have planted currants in my garden."
The gardener then observed to him, that it was his own fault that his garden was not as productive as his brother's. "Never, for the future," said Rufus, "despise the instruction and assistance of any one, since you will find by experience, that _two heads are better than one_."
MADAM D'ALLONE AND HER FOUR
Madam D'Allone was the governess of four young ladies, Emilia, Harriot, Lucy, and Sophia, whom she loved with the tenderness of a mother. Her principal wish was, that her pupils might be virtuous and happy, and that they might enjoy all the comforts of life with tranquillity. They each experienced an equal share of her indulgence, and each received the same treatment, either as to pardon for errors, or rewards, or punishments.
Her endeavours were crowned with the happiest success, and her four little girls became the sweetest children upon earth. They told each other of their faults, and as readily forgave offences; they shared in each other's joys, nor were they ever happy when separated.
An unforeseen event, however, disturbed this happy tranquillity, just at the very moment they began to taste its charms, which served to convince them how necessary it was to be guided by their prudent governess.
Madam D'Allone was obliged to leave her pupils for a little time, a family affair having made it necessary for her to visit France. She left them with much reluctance, even sacrificed her interest, in some measure, to the desire of speedily settling her affairs, and, in the course of a month, returned in safety to her little flock, who received her with the warmest expressions of joy; but the alteration she perceived in her children very much surprised and alarmed her.
She saw it frequently happen, that if one asked the slightest favour of another, it was ill-naturedly refused, and from thence arose tumults and quarrels. That gaiety and cheerfulness, which had used to accompany all their sports and pastimes, were now changed to a gloomy perverseness; and instead of those tender expressions of love and friendship, which had constantly dwelt in all their conversations, nothing was now heard but perpetual jarrings and wranglings. If one proposed a walk in the garden, another would give some reason why she wished to remain in her chamber; and, in short, their only study seemed to be to thwart each other.
It happened one day that, not contented with showing each other how much they delighted in perverseness, they mutually distressed themselves with reciprocal reproaches.
Madam D'Allone beheld this scene with the greatest uneasiness, and could not help shedding tears on the occasion. She did not then think it prudent to say any thing to them, but retired to her chamber, in order there to think of the properest means of restoring peace and harmony among her unhappy pupils.
While she was turning these afflicting thoughts in her mind, all the four young ladies entered her apartment with a peevish and uneasy look, each complaining of the ill-temper of the rest. There was not one but what charged the other three with being the cause of it, and all together begged their governess would, if possible, restore to them that happiness they once possessed.
Their governess put on a very serious countenance, and said, "I have observed, my pupils, that you endeavour to thwart each other, and thereby destroy your pleasures. In order, therefore, that no such thing may happen again, let each take up her corner in this room, if she choose it, and divert herself in what manner she pleases, provided she does not interfere with either of her sisters. You may immediately have recourse to this mode of recreation, as you have leave to play till night; but remember that neither of you stir from the corner in which I shall place you."
The little maidens, who were no way displeased with this proposal, hastened to their different quarters, and began to amuse themselves each in her own way. Sophia commenced a conversation with her doll, or rather told her many pretty little stories; but her doll had not the gift of speech, and consequently was no companion. She could not expect any entertainment from her sisters, as they were playing, each asunder, in their respective corners.
Lucy took her battledore and shuttlecock, but there was none to admire her dexterity; besides, she was not allowed to strike it across the room, as that would have been an invasion on one of her sister's territories. She could not expect that either of them would quit their amusements to oblige her.
Harriot was very fond of her old game of hunt the slipper; but what was she to do with the slipper by herself; she could only shove it from hand to hand. It was in vain to hope for such service from her sisters, as each was amusing herself in her assigned corner.
Emilia, who was a very skilful pretty housewife, was thinking how she might give her friends an entertainment, and of course sent out for many things to market; but there was at present nobody near, with whom she might consult on the occasion, for her sisters were amusing themselves each in her corner.
Every attempt they made to find some new amusement failed, and all supposed that a compromise would be most agreeable; but, as matters were carried so far, who was first to propose it? This each would have considered as a humiliating circumstance; they therefore kept their distance, and disdainfully continued in their solitude. The day at last closing, they returned to Madam D'Allone, and begged her to think of some other amusement for them, than the ineffectual one they had tried.
"I am sorry, my children," said their governess, "to see you all so discontented. I know but of one way to make you happy, with which you yourselves were formerly acquainted, but which, it seems, you have forgotten. Yet, if you wish once more to put it into practice, I can easily bring it to your recollections." They all answered together, as though with one voice, that they heartily wished to recollect it, and stood attentive while their governess was looking at them, in eager expectation to hear what she had to say.
"What you have lost, or at least forgotten," replied Madam D'Allone, "is that mutual love and friendship which you once had for each other, and which every sister ought cheerfully to cherish. O! my dearest little friends, how have you contrived to forget this, and thereby make me and yourselves miserable?"
Having uttered these few words, which were interrupted by sighs, she stopped short, while tears of tenderness stole down her cheeks. The young ladies appeared much disconcerted, and struck dumb with sorrow and confusion. Their governess held out her arms, and they all at once instantly rushed towards her. They sincerely promised that they would tenderly love each other for the future, and perfectly agree as they formerly had done.
From this time, no idle peevishness troubled their harmonious intercourse: and, instead of bickerings and discontents among them, nothing was seen but mutual condescension, which delighted all who had the opportunity of being in their company. May this serve as a useful lesson to my youthful readers, how easy it is for them to promote or disturb their own happiness.
THE BIRD'S EGG.
Master Gregory was fond of walking in a wood, which stood at a short distance from his father's house. The wood being young, the trees were consequently small, and placed very near to each other, with two or three paths between them. As he was one day walking up and down, in order to rest himself a little, he placed his back against a tree, whose stem was quite slender, and therefore all its branches shook as soon as it was touched. This rustling happened to frighten a little bird, who sprang from a neighbouring bush, and flew into another part of the wood.
Gregory was vexed to think he had disturbed the bird, and fixed his eyes upon the bush, in hopes of seeing it return. While he was thus attentively on the watch, he imagined he saw among the twisted branches something like a tuft of hay. As his curiosity was raised to know what it was, he went up close to the hedge, and found this tuft of hay was hollow, like a bowl. On putting aside the branches, he saw something like little balls within it, which were spotted, and of an oval shape. They lay close to each other, on something very soft. "Bless me," said Gregory, "this must be certainly what I have heard some people call a bird's nest, and the balls must be eggs. They are indeed less than our eggs, but then our hens are larger than these birds."
He had some thoughts, at first, of taking away the whole nest; but, upon second consideration, he contented himself with taking only one of the eggs, with which he instantly ran home. In the midst of his haste, he met his sister. "See this little egg," said he to her, "I have just now found it in a nest, in which were five others."
She desired to have it in her hand, examined it attentively, and then returned it to her brother. At last, they began rolling it up and down a table, just as they would a ball. One pushed it one way, and the other a different way, till at last they pushed it off the table, when it fell on the floor and broke. This set them a crying, and each mutually accused the other of being the cause of this sad disaster.
Their mamma, happening to hear them cry, came to inquire into the cause of it, when both began at once telling their sorrows; and, having heard their different stories, she took them affectionately by the hand, and led them to a tree, whose stately boughs afforded a pleasant shade to a verdant bank, on which they all sat down together.
"My dear children," said their mamma, "make yourselves easy. You have broken the egg between you, and that, to be sure, is a misfortune; but it is of too trifling a nature to suffer it to make you unhappy. After all, Gregory, there is some room of complaint against you, as it was an act of injustice to rob the poor bird of its egg. You must have seen how the hen places her eggs in a nest, on which she sits to warm and animate them. In about three weeks, from the eggs proceed chickens, which pierce the shell, and in a few days come and feed out of your hand. This egg, which you have just now broken, had you left it in the nest, would have become a sort of chick. The bird you saw fly out of the bush was probably the mother, who will, very likely, return again to see what mischief you have done her, and perhaps she will forsake it altogether, which they frequently do when disturbed.
"Though the loss is only a single egg, yet that perhaps will inform them that their habitation is discovered, when they have every thing to be afraid of from our violence. They guess, that when their little ones shall be hatched, those that robbed them of an egg, will return and seize upon their infant family. If this nest you have been robbing, for I cannot call it anything less than a robbery, should be on that account forsaken, I think you will be very sorry for it."
Gregory replied that it would indeed give him much uneasiness, and seemed very sorry that he had meddled with the egg. "But," said he to his mamma, "I had not the least thought of what you have been telling me, nor did I suppose there could be any harm in bringing it to my sister, for it was principally on that account that I took it."
His mamma replied, that she readily believed him; for she told him she was sensible that he had too good a heart to wish to do mischief, merely for the sake of tormenting others. Gregory was, indeed, a very good boy, and was as remarkable for his duty to his parents, his tender attachment to his sister, and his universal benevolence to every one.
The little girl observed to her mamma, that the nest which her brother had shown her did not in any degree resemble the swallow's nests that were seen about the corners of the windows of some houses. "My dear," replied her mamma, "every nest is not alike, any more than every bird, some being great, and others little; some are never seen to perch on trees, while others are hardly ever out of them; some are bulky and inactive, others slim, and full of cunning and industry; the plumage of some are beautiful beyond description, with an amazing variety of colours, and others have a plain and homely appearance; some subsist on fruits, some feed upon insects, and many live by making a prey of and of devouring the smaller birds."
Here her little daughter exclaimed, "Oh, what wicked creatures! I am sure I should think it no crime to destroy the nest of such unnatural birds."--"Very true," replied her mamma, and there are many more of your way of thinking; and therefore these great birds, who live upon the smaller class, build their nests in places where they cannot be easily disturbed, such as in woods, in crevices of rocks, and in other places most unfrequented by men, or at heights beyond our reach.
"Since, therefore, my dear children, these birds are greatly different from each other, as well in size as in the mode of living, and in the variety of their plumage, it will naturally follow that their nests must also differ. The lark never perches on a tree, and sings only when mounting in the air, and builds her nest on the ground. The swallow builds about the roofs of houses, under what we call the eaves, and sometimes in the corners of windows. The owl, which flies abroad only in the night, seeks out deserted habitations, or some hollow trees, wherein to deposit her eggs; and the eagles, who soar above the clouds till absolutely out of sight, bring forth their young in the cliffs of craggy rocks. Those birds, which so prettily sport round our houses, and hop from branch to branch, make their nests in the trees and hedges. Those who sport on the water, and find their living therein, build their nests among the rushes that grow on the banks.
"We will, one fine day, take a walk into the little valley that terminates our large meadow, and you will there see a number of these pretty creatures busy in selecting the materials of which they compose their nests. You will observe one employed in carrying off a wheaten straw, another with wool or feathers in its beak, another with a dried leaf, and perhaps with a little moss. You may frequently notice the swallow, on the borders of a limpid stream, moistening in the water a little bit of earth which he holds in his beak, and with this he builds his habitation; and, though the outside of its nest is formed of hard and durable materials, the inside is lined with the softest and warmest. There are even some birds, who pull off their own feathers to make up a comfortable bed, wherein to secure their young from every inclemency of the elements.
"Their nests are made large or small, in proportion to the number of eggs they are to contain. Some birds hang up their nests by a kind of thread, which they have the skill to form of flax, of different sorts of weeds, and of the webs of spiders. Others place it in the middle of a soft and gluey substance, to which they carefully stick many feathers. All birds seek retired and solitary places, and use every endeavour to make their nests strong and solid, to secure them from the attacks of enemies of various species.
"It is in this kind of habitation they lay their eggs, where the mother, and at times the father, sits upon them, puts every thing within them into motion, and at last produce little creatures, who break through their shell, and come forth.
"I doubt not but you have often seen a fly in winter, which appeared to have no life in it: yet, upon taking it into your hand, the warmth proceeding from it has brought it to life. It is nearly the same thing with birds, the perseverance of whose parents, in brooding upon their eggs, converts them into living creatures.
"While the mother is sitting, the cock is her constant attendant, and amuses her with his music. When the young birds are hatched, the old ones endeavour to release them from the confinement of the egg. At this period their diligence is redoubled, they do everything to nourish and defend them, and are constantly employed in that interesting pursuit. No distance deters them from seeking their food, of which they make an equal distribution, every one receiving in his turn what they have been able to procure. So long as they continue young and helpless, they contrive to procure such food as is adapted to their delicacy; but as soon as they are grown stronger by age, they provide for them food of a more solid nature.
"The pelican, which is a very large bird, is obliged to go a great distance for food for its young, and therefore nature has provided it with a sort of bag, which she fills with such food as she knows is most agreeable to the palate of her young ones. She warms what she procures, and by such means makes it fitter for their tender stomachs.
"While they are thus acting the parental part, they seem to be forgetful of themselves, and attentive only to their little family. On the approach of either rain or tempests, they hasten to their nest, and cover it as well as they can with expanded wings, thereby keeping out the wind and water from hurting their infant brood. All their nights are employed in nourishing and keeping them warm. The most timorous among the feathered race, who will fly away on the least noise that approaches them, and tremble at the most trifling apprehensions of danger, become strangers to fear as soon as they have a young family to take care of, and are inspired with courage and intrepidity. We see an instance of this in the common hen, who, though in general a coward, no sooner becomes a parent, than she gives proofs of courage, and boldly stands forth in defence of her young. She will face the largest dog, and will not run even from a man, who shall attempt to rob her of her young.
"In nearly a similar manner, the little birds endeavour to protect their infant family. When an enemy approaches, they will flutter round the nest, will seem to call out for assistance, will attack the invader, and pursue him. The mother will frequently prefer confining herself with them, to the pleasure of rambling through the woods, and will not quit her little progeny."
Here their mamma ended, and her two children promised they never would any more disturb those pretty feathered animals. They promised only to look at their nests, without being so cruel as to do them any harm. They said they would be satisfied with gazing on them, while employed in the delightful task of attending on their young, and comforting and caressing their unprotected offspring.
"My dear children," said their mamma, "this is the conduct you ought to pursue. Keep your resolutions, and I shall love you the more tenderly for it. Do no injury to any creature, for He who made you made them also. Take no delight in giving pain to the most insignificant part of the creation; but endeavour on all occasions to contribute to their happiness."
THE COVETOUS BOY.
Young Samuel was the only son of a capital merchant, and was tenderly beloved by his father. He had by no means a bad heart, his countenance was pleasing, and his friends would all have been very fond of him, had he not shown, in every part of his conduct, a covetous propensity, that eclipsed all his accomplishments.
His covetous disposition made him wish for every thing he saw others possessed of, and, even carried him to so great a length, that he would not share among his playmates any thing that he had, or even let them see it.
It was with little Samuel, as it generally is with every body else, that he lost more than he gained by his avarice. If any body gave him any sweetmeats, he would get into some private corner of the house and there swallow them, for fear any of his acquaintance should want part of them. His father, in order to cure him of this greedy disposition, used, while he was feasting in private, to give a double portion to his companions. He perceived this, and therefore left off hiding himself; but he no sooner fixed his eyes on any nicety, than he appeared ready to devour it at once; and pursued the hand of those that held it, as a vulture does its prey.
From what has been already said, his father may be supposed to be much hurt at this conduct; and, in order to save himself as much vexation as possible, he ceased to give him any more niceties, or even have them within his house, so that they might not, at any rate, be within the reach of his voracious son.
If Samuel had a pleasing toy of any kind, he would never show it, but conceal himself in the enjoyment of it, without ever being happy. If he had any sort of fruit, he would not share it with his playmates, but devour it in private, even refusing any to those he happened to love most. Consequently, none of his playmates would ever give him a part of what they had, and seemed always desirous of shunning his company. When he chanced to be engaged in a quarrel with any one, none appeared ready to take his part, not even when they knew him in the right; and, when he was in the wrong, every one joined against him.
It one day happened, that a little boy observed him with an apple in his hand, and gave him by surprise a knock on the elbow, which made him let the apple fall. However, he picked it up hastily, and, in order to revenge himself on the boy, set off to catch him; but, in running, fell into a hog-pond, and had like to have been suffocated in the soil. He exerted all his power to get out, but to no effect: he endeavoured, but without succeeding, to prevail on his playmates to take hold of his hand and help him out.
Instead of assisting him, they laughed at his distress, and joyously danced about the pond, from which he could not relieve himself. They told him to ask the assistance of those to whom he had done the least kindness; but among all his playmates, there was not one whose help he could demand on that score. At last one of the boys, who took pity on him, came forward and gave him his hand, when he safely got out.
Samuel shook off the mud as well as he could, and then to show his gratitude to the little boy who had assisted him, he bit off about a quarter of the apple which caused this disaster, and which he never let go, and desired him to accept of it. But the boy, disgusted with so pitiful a gift, took the morsel, and then flung it in his face; and this served as a signal for all the boys to scout him. They pursued Samuel quite home, hooting him all the way he went.
This was the first time he had ever been hooted, and, as he did not want for feeling, it threw him into a depth of thought. He kept out of his father's presence, and confined himself to his room for some days. There he reasoned with himself on the cause that could produce such treatment from his playfellows. "For what reason," said he to himself, "could my little neighbour, who even lent me his hand to get out of the pond, throw the apple in my face, and set the boys to hoot me? Why has he so many good friends, while I have not a single one?"
On comparing the good boy's behaviour with his own, he soon discovered the reason. To become sensible of our errors is half the work of reformation. He recollected, that he had observed his friend was always ready to help every one; that whenever he had any fruit, confectionary, or the like, he seemed to feel more pleasure in sharing it with his companions, than in eating it himself, and had no kind of amusement in which he did not wish every one to bear a part. On this short review of circumstances, he plainly perceived wherein lay the difference between himself and this little good boy. He at last resolved to imitate him; and the next day, filling his pockets with fruit, he ran up to every boy he met and gave him a part of it; but he could not, on a sudden, give up _self_, having left a little in his pocket to eat at home in private.
Though it is evident that he had not yet completely conquered his avarice, yet he was not a little pleased with the advances he had made, since his companions were now, on their part, more generous to him; they showed themselves much more satisfied with his company, and admitted him a partner in all their little pastimes; they divided with him whatever they happened to have, and he always went home pleased and satisfied.
Soon after, he made a still greater progress in conquering his selfish disposition; for he pulled out of his pocket every thing he had, and divided it into as many shares as there were mouths to eat it, without reserving any more than an equal part for himself. Indeed, it was the general opinion of the boys, that his own share was the least. This day he was much more satisfied than before, and went home gay and cheerful.
By pursuing this conduct, he soon acquired a generous habit, and became liberal even to those who had nothing to give in return. He consequently acquired the love and esteem of his companions, who no sooner saw him than they ran to meet him with joyful countenances, and made his pleasure their own. Thus, instead of being miserable and wretched through avarice, he became completely happy in the practice of generosity.
His father was, undoubtedly, highly pleased with this change, and, tenderly embracing him, promised to refuse him nothing in future that might add to his pleasure and delight. Samuel hereby learned in what true happiness consists.
DISSIPATION THE CERTAIN ROAD TO
A young man, whose name was Humphries, was a dull companion, but an excellent workman. Nothing ran in his head so much as the wish to become a master, but he had not money to gratify that wish. A merchant, however, who was well acquainted with his industry, lent him a hundred pounds, in order that he might open a shop in a proper style.
It will from hence naturally follow, that Humphries thought himself one of the happiest men in the world. He supposed his warehouse already filled with goods, he reckoned how many customers would crowd to buy them, and what would be his profits thereon.
In the midst of these extravagant flights of fancy, he perceived an alehouse. "Come," said he, on entering it, "I will indulge myself with spending one sixpence of this money." He hesitated, however, some few moments, about calling for punch, which was his favourite liquor, as his conscience loudly told him that his time for enjoyment ought to be at some distance, and not till he had paid his friend the money he had borrowed; that it would not be honest in him at present to expend a farthing of that money but in absolute necessaries. With these right ideas, he was nearly leaving the alehouse; but, bethinking himself, on the other hand, that, if he spent a sixpence of his money, he should still have a hundred pounds all but that sixpence, that such a sum was fully sufficient to set him up in trade, and that a single half-hour's industry would amply make amends for such a trifling pleasure as he wished then to enjoy; he called for his punch, and the first glass banished all his former qualms, little thinking that such a conduct would, by insensible degrees, open a way to his ruin. The next day he recollected the pleasures of the former glass, and found it easy to reconcile his conscience to the spending of another sixpence. He knew he should still have a hundred pounds left, all but one shilling.
The love of liquor had at last completely conquered him, and every succeeding day he constantly returned to his favourite alehouse, and gradually increased his quantity, till he spent two shillings and sixpence at each sitting. Here he seemed to make a stand; and every time he went he consoled himself, with saying, that he was spending only half-a-crown, and that he need not fear but he should have enough to carry on his trade.
By this delusive way of reasoning, he silenced the prudent whispers of conscience, which would sometimes, in spite even of liquor, break in upon him, and remind him, that the proper use of money consisted in prudently applying every part of it to advantageous purposes.
Thus you see how the human mind is led into destructive extravagances by insensible degrees. Industry had no longer any charms to allure him, being blindly persuaded, that the money he had borrowed would prove an inexhaustible source for all its extravagance. He was at last convinced, and his conviction suddenly fell on him like a clap of thunder that he could not recover the effects of his preceding dissipation, and that his generous benefactor would have little inclination to lend another hundred pounds to a man who had so shamefully abused his kindness in the first instance.
Entirely overcome with shame and confusion, his recourse to hard drinking, merely to quiet his conscience and reflections, served only to bring on his ruin the sooner. At last the fatal moment arrived, when, quite disgusted at the thoughts of industry, and becoming an object of horror even to himself, life became insupportable, and nothing presented themselves to him but scenes of poverty, desolation, and remorse.
Overtaken by despair, he fled from his country, and joined a gang of smugglers, whose ravages were dreaded through every town and village on the coast. Heaven, however, did not permit these iniquities to have a long reign, for a disgraceful death soon put a period to the existence of this unhappy wretch.
Alas! had he listened to the first dictates of reason, and been wrought upon by the reproaches of his conscience, he might have been easy and happy in his situation, and have comfortably enjoyed the repose of a reputable old age, instead of coming to that deplorable end, which is the certain reward of vice and folly.
CALUMNY AND SCANDAL GREAT
ENEMIES TO SOCIETY.
Though Maria was of a tolerably good temper, yet she had contracted a most mischievous vice, and that was calumny. Whenever she fancied she saw any thing amiss in others, though they were her most intimate friends, she seemed to take pleasure in publishing it to the world.
The inexperience of her age frequently led her to ascribe indifferent actions to improper motives; and a single word, or volatility of disposition, was sufficient to raise in her breast the worst suspicions, with which, as soon as she had formed them, she would run into company, and there publish them as indubitable facts.
As she was never at a loss for embellishments for her own fancy, in order to make her tales appear the more plausible, it may easily be supposed what mischief such a conduct was capable of producing. In a little time, all the families in the neighbourhood were set together by the ears, and the seeds of discord soon after sprung up amongst individuals; husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, masters and servants, commenced perpetual variance between each other. All on a sudden, mutual confidence seemed to be lost in every place where Maria visited.
Matters at last were carried so far, that every one shut their doors against her, as they would have done against any one tainted with the plague; but neither hatred nor humiliation could reform a vice which custom and prejudice had so deeply rivetted in her heart. This glorious work of reformation was reserved for Angelica, her cousin, who was the only one left that would keep her company, and who lived in hopes that she should in the end be able to convince her of her ruinous conduct.
Maria went one day to see her cousin, and entertained her as usual with a long recital of scandal against their common friends, though she well knew that such tales were disagreeable to Angelica. "And now, my dear," said Maria, having stopped for want of breath, "your turn is come to tell me something. You see such a variety of company, that you surely must be acquainted with a number of anecdotes."
"My dear Maria," answered Angelica, "whenever I visit my friends, it is for the sake of enjoying their company; and I am too sensible of my own interest to forfeit their esteem by exposing their defects. Indeed, I am sensible of so many errors in myself, and find it so difficult to correct them, that I have no leisure to contemplate the imperfections of others. Having every reason to wish for their candour and indulgence, I readily grant them mine; and my attention is constantly turned to discover what is commendable in them, in order that I may make such perfections my own. Before we presume to censure others, we ought to be certain that we have no faults ourselves. I cannot, therefore, but congratulate you on that faultless state, which I am so unhappy as to want. Continue, my dear Maria, this employment of a charitable censor, who would lead the world to virtue by exposing the deformity of vice, and you cannot fail of meeting your deserts."
Maria well knew how much she was the public object of aversion and disgust, and therefore could not help feeling the irony of Angelica. From that day she began very seriously to reflect on the danger of her indiscretion; and, trembling at the recollection of those mischiefs she had caused, determined to prevent their progress.
She found it difficult to throw off the custom she had long indulged of viewing things on the worst side of the question. At last, however, she became so perfectly reformed, that she studied only the pleasing parts of characters, and was never heard to speak ill of any one.
Maria became more and more convinced of the pernicious consequences that arise from exposing the faults of others, and began to feel the pleasing satisfaction of universal charity. My dear children, shun the vice of scandal, and, still more, being the authors of it, as you would plague, pestilence, and famine.
CLARISSA; OR, THE GRATEFUL
The amiable Dorinda, soon after the misfortune of losing her husband, was so unhappy as to have a law-suit determined to her disadvantage, and thereby lost great part of her possessions, which were taken from her with the most unrelenting hand. This reduced her to the necessity of selling all her furniture, and the greater part of her jewels. The produce of these she placed in the hands of a banker, and retired to a village, where she could live much cheaper than in the metropolis, and with tolerable decency.
She had not passed more than two months in this retreat, when information was brought her, that her banker had failed in trade, and consequently all her money was lost. Judge what must be the horrors of her situation! Sickness and grief had so debilitated her constitution, that she was unable to do any kind of work, whereby to procure a subsistence; and, after having passed her youth in ease and pleasure, she had no resources left in the evening of her life, but that of a workhouse, or common beggary.
Not one of her acquaintance would see her, nor condescend to take the least interest in her sufferings. Being brought by her husband from a foreign country, she had no friends to cry to for assistance, except a distant relation, whom she had brought with her to England, and who, by her husband's credit, gained great riches; but this man's avarice was greater than his wealth, and there was little charity to be expected from a man who denied himself the common necessaries of life.
Afflicted virtue, however, always finds resource in the bounteous hands of Providence, and she found the means of subsistence where she little expected it. In the former days of her prosperity, she had adopted a female orphan, whose name was Clarissa, who now became her guardian and protector. Clarissa had a grateful heart; she wept for the misfortunes of her friend, but she rejoiced at the thoughts of having an opportunity to show her gratitude.
When Dorinda mentioned her design of seeking refuge in a parish workhouse, "No," said Clarissa, "you shall never leave me. From your tenderness I formerly received the indulgences of a beloved child; and, if in your prosperity I thought myself happy in the idea of being so nearly related to you by adoption, I still think it more so now I see you in adversity. Thank heaven and your adoption for my comfortable situation! your maternal conduct was amply displayed in teaching me all the necessary female arts; and I am happy in the reflection, that I can make use of my knowledge for your sake. With health and courage, I fear not being able to procure for us both at least a comfortable living."
This generous offer exceedingly affected the unhappy widow, who embraced Clarissa, and with joy accepted of her proposal. This amiable girl, in her turn, became the mother, by adoption, of her former benefactress. Not contented with feeding her with the produce of an unremitted labour, she consoled her in affliction, attended her in sickness, and endeavoured, by the tenderest methods, to soften the iron hand of fortune.
For two years did the constancy and ardour of Clarissa continue with unwearied attention, and her only happiness seemed to consist in promoting that of her friend. At the end of that period, when death relieved the unhappy Dorinda from the cares and troubles of this life, she sincerely lamented her death, and bewailed it as a grievous misfortune.
A short time after died also the relation of Dorinda, of whom we have lately spoken, and who had shown himself so shamefully insensible to every claim of gratitude and kindred. As he could not carry his riches with him, he supposed it would be making some atonement for his ungenerous conduct, by leaving the injured Dorinda every thing he possessed. Alas! it came too late, for she was no more.
The amiable Dorinda had not, before her death, the consolation of knowing that such a change happened in her fortune, as in that case she might have easily turned it to the advantage of the generous Clarissa. This large fortune, therefore, for want of an heir, fell to the king; but Providence so directed it, that the generous conduct of the orphan to her benefactress reached the ears of the prince. "Ah! then," said he, "she merits this inheritance! I renounce my right in her favour, and shall be happy in being her father and friend."
This generous act of the king was applauded by the whole nation; and Clarissa, having thus received so glorious a reward for her gratitude, employed it in the maintenance of orphans, such as she herself had been. It was the summit of her delight to inspire them with sentiments similar to those she herself possessed.
RETURNING GOOD FOR EVIL THE
"I will be revenged of him, that I will, and make him heartily repent it," said little Philip to himself with a countenance quite red with anger. His mind was so engaged, that, as he walked along, he did not see his dear friend Stephen, who happened at that instant to meet him, and consequently heard what he had said.
"Who is that," said Stephen, "that you intend to be revenged on?" Philip, as though awakened from a dream, stopped short, and, looking at his friend, soon resumed the smile that was natural to his countenance. "Ah!" said he, "come with me, my friend, and you shall see whom I will be revenged on. I believe you remember my supple jack, a very pretty little cane, which my father gave me. You see it is now all in pieces. It was farmer Robinson's son, who lives in yonder thatched cottage, that reduced it to this worthless state."
Stephen very coolly asked him what induced the farmer's son to break it. "I was walking very peaceably along," replied Philip, "and was playing with my cane, by twisting it round my body. By some accident or other one of the two ends got out of my hand when I was opposite the gate just by the wooden bridge, and where the little miscreant had put down a pitcher full of water, which he was carrying home from the well. It so happened that my cane, in springing, overset the pitcher, but did not break it. He came up close to me, and began to call me names; when I assured him I did not intend any harm,--what I had done was by accident, and I was very sorry for it. Without paying any regard to what I said, he instantly seized my supple jack, and twisted it here as you see; but I will make him heartily repent it."
"To be sure," said Stephen, "he is a very wicked boy, and he is already very properly punished for it, since nobody likes him, nor will do any thing for him. He finds it very difficult to get any companion to play with him, and, if he attempts to intrude himself into their company, they will all instantly leave him. To consider this properly, I think, should be sufficient revenge for you."
"All this is true," replied Philip, "but he has broken my cane. It was a present from my papa, and a very pretty cane you know it was. My father will perhaps ask me what has become of it; and, as he will suppose I have carelessly lost his present, he will probably be angry with me; of which this little saucy fellow will be the cause. I offered to fill his pitcher again, having knocked it down by accident--I will be revenged."
"My dear friend," said Stephen, "I think you will act better in not minding him, as your contempt will be the best punishment you can inflict upon him. He is not upon a level with you, and you may be assured that he will always be able to do more mischief to you than you would choose to do him. And now I think of it, I will tell you what happened to him not long since.
"Very unluckily for him, he chanced to see a bee hovering about a flower, which he caught, and was going to pull off its wings, out of sport, when the animal found means to sting him, and then flew in safety to the hive. The pain put him into a most furious passion, and, like you, he vowed to take a severe revenge. He accordingly procured a little hazel-stick, and thrust it through the hole into the bee-hive, twisting it about therein. By this means he killed several of the little animals; but, in an instant, all the swarm issued out, and, falling upon him, stung him in a thousand different places. You will naturally suppose that he uttered the most piercing cries, and rolled upon the ground in the excess of his agony. His father ran to him, but could not, without the greatest difficulty, put the bees to flight, after having stung him so severely that he was confined several days to his bed.
"Thus you see, he was not very successful in his pursuit of revenge. I would advise you, therefore, to pass over his insult, and leave others to punish him, without your taking any part of it. Besides, he is a wicked boy, and much stronger than you are; so that your ability to obtain revenge may be doubtful."
"I must own," replied Philip, "that your advice seems very good. So come along with me, and I will go and tell my father the whole matter, and I think he will not be angry with me. It is not the cane that I value on any other consideration than that it was my father's present, and I would wish to convince him that I take care of every thing he gives me." He and his friend then went together, and Philip told his father what had happened, who thanked Stephen for the good advice he had given his son, and gave Philip another cane, exactly like the first.
A few days afterwards, Philip saw this ill-natured boy let fall, as he was carrying home, a very heavy log of wood, which he could not get up again. Philip ran to him, and replaced it on his shoulder.
Young Robinson was quite ashamed at the thought of having received this kind of assistance from a youth he had treated so badly, and heartily repented of his behaviour. Philip went home quite satisfied, to think he had assisted one he did not love, and from pure motives of tenderness and humanity. "This," said he, "is the noblest vengeance I could take, in returning good for evil."
GREY HAIRS MADE HAPPY.
Opposite to the house where Charlotte's parents lived, was a little opening, ornamented with a grass-plot, and overshaded by a venerable tree, commanding an extensive view before it. On this delightful spot Charlotte used frequently to sit in her little chair, while employed in knitting stockings for her mamma.
As she was one day thus employed, she saw a poor old man advancing very slowly towards her. His hair was as white as silver, and his back bent with age; he supported himself by a stick, and seemed to walk with great difficulty. "Poor man," said Charlotte, looking at him most tenderly, "he seems to be very much in pain, and perhaps is very poor, which are two dreadful evils!"
She also saw a number of boys, who were following close behind this poor old man. They passed jokes upon his thread-bare coat, which had very long skirts, and short sleeves, contrary to the fashion of those days. His hat, which was quite rusty, did not escape their notice; his cheeks were hollow, and his body thin. These wicked boys no sooner saw him, than they all burst out a laughing. A stone lay in his way, which he did not perceive, and over it he stumbled, and had like to have fallen. This afforded them sport, and they laughed loudly; but it gave great pain to the poor old man, who uttered a deep sigh.
"I once was as young as you are," said he to the boys, "but I did not laugh at the infirmities of age as you do. The day will come in which you will be old yourselves, and every day is bringing you forward to that period. You will then be sensible of the impropriety of your present conduct." Having thus spoken, he endeavoured to hobble on again, and made a second stumble, when, in struggling to save himself from falling, he dropped his cane, and down he fell. On this, the wicked boys renewed their laugh, and highly enjoyed his misfortune.
Charlotte, who had seen every thing that had passed, could not help pitying the old man's situation, and, therefore, putting down her stockings on the chair, ran towards him, picked up the cane, and gave it to him, and then taking hold of his other arm, as if she had been as strong as a woman, advised him to lean upon her, and not mind any thing the boys might say to him.
The poor old man, looking at her very earnestly, "Sweet child," said he, "how good you are! This kindness makes me in a moment forget all the ill-behaviour of those naughty boys. May you ever be happy!"--They then walked on together; but the boys being probably made ashamed of their conduct by the behaviour of Charlotte, followed the old man no farther.
While the boys were turning about, one of them fell down also, and all the rest began laughing, as they had before done at the old man. He was very angry with them on that account, and, as soon as he got up, ran after his companions, pelting them with stones. He instantly became convinced how unjust it was to laugh at the distress of another, and formed a resolution, for the future, never to laugh at any person's pain. He followed the old man he had been laughing at, though at some distance, wishing for an opportunity to do him some favour, by way of atonement for what he had done.
The good old man, in the mean time, by the kind assistance of Charlotte, proceeded with slow, but sure steps. She asked him to stop and rest himself a little, and told him that her house was that before him. "Pray stay," said she, "and sit a little under that large tree. My parents indeed are not at home, and therefore you will not be so well treated, yet it will be a little rest to you."
The old man accepted Charlotte's offer. She brought him out a chair, and then fetched some bread and cheese, and good small beer, which was all the pretty maid could get at. He thanked her very kindly, and then entered into conversation with her.
"I find, my dear," said he, "you have parents, I doubt not but you love them, and they love you. They must be very happy, and may they always continue to be so!"
"And pray, good old man," said Charlotte, "I suppose you have got children."--"I had a son," replied he, "who lived in London, loved me tenderly, and frequently came to see me; but, alas! he is now dead, and I am left disconsolate. His widow, indeed, is rich; but she assumes the character of a lady, and thinks it beneath her to inquire whether I be dead or living, as she does not wish it to be known that her husband's father is a peasant."
Charlotte was much affected, and could hardly believe that such cruel people existed. "Ah! certain I am," said she, "that my dear mother would not behave so cruelly." He then rose and thanked Charlotte with a blessing; but she was determined not to leave him, till she had accompanied him a little way farther.
As they walked on, they saw the little boy who had been following them; for he ran on some way before, and was then sitting on the grass. When they looked upon him, he cast his eyes downwards, got up after they had passed, and followed them again. Charlotte observed him, but said nothing.
She asked the old man if he lived alone; "No, little lady," answered he, "I have a cottage on the other side of that mead, seated in the middle of a little garden, with an orchard and a small field. An old neighbour, whose cottage fell down through age, lives with me, and cultivates my ground. He is an honest man, and I am perfectly easy in his society; but the loss of my son still bears hard upon me, nor have I the happiness to see any of his children, who must by this time have forgotten me."
These complaints touched the heart of Charlotte, who told him, that she and her mother would come and see him. The sensibility and kindness of this little girl served only to aggravate his grief, by bringing to his mind the loss he had sustained in his son. Tears came in his eyes, when he pulled out his handkerchief to wipe them; and, instead of again putting it into his pocket, in the agitation of his mind, it slipped aside, and fell unnoticed by him or Charlotte.
The little boy, who followed them, saw the handkerchief fall, ran to pick it up, and gave it the old man, saying, "Here, good old man, you dropped your handkerchief, and here it is."--"Thank you, heartily, my little friend," said the old man. "Here is a good natured lad, who does not ridicule old age, nor laugh at the afflictions that attend it. You will certainly become an honest man. Come both of you to my habitation, and I will give you some milk." They had no sooner reached the old man's cottage, than he brought out some milk, and the best bread he had, which, though coarse, was good. They all sat down upon the grass, and made a comfortable repast. However, Charlotte began to be afraid her parents might come home, and be uneasy at her absence; and the little boy was sorry to go, but was sadly afraid, should he stay, of being scolded by his mother.
"This mother of yours," said the old man, "must be very cross to scold you."--"She is not always so," replied the boy; "but though she loves me, she makes me fear her."--"And your father?"--"Oh, I scarcely knew him, he having been dead these four years."--"Dead these four years!" interrupted the old man, and fixing his eyes attentively on the boy. "Is it possible that I have some recollection of your features? Can it be little Francis?"--"Yes, yes, Francis is my name."
For a few moments the old man stood motionless, and, with an altered voice, his eyes swimming with tears, cried out, "My dear Francis, you do not recollect your grandfather! Embrace me! you have got the very features of my son! My dearest child, you were not thinking of me! My son affectionately loved me, and his son will love me also. My old age will not be so miserable as I expected, and the evening of my life will not pass without some joy. I shall depart in peace!--But I forget that by detaining you, I may expose you to your mother's anger. Go, my dear child, for I do not wish that my joy should cost you tears. Go, love your mother, and obey her commands, even though you should not come and see me. Come and see me if you can; but do not disobey or tell a story on any account."
He then turned to Charlotte, and said, though he then did not wish her to stay, for fear of offending her parents, yet he hoped she would come again. He then dismissed them, giving them a hearty blessing, and the two children walked away hand in hand. Charlotte got home safe before her parents, who were not long after her, when she told them every thing that had passed, which furnished an agreeable conversation for the evening.
The next day they all went to see the good old man, and afterwards frequently repeated their visits. Francis also came to see his grandfather, who was rejoiced to hear him speak, and to receive his affectionate caresses. Francis, on his side, was equally rejoiced, excepting when he did not meet with Charlotte, for then he went home sorrowful and sad.
The nearer Francis arrived to manhood, the more his affections for Charlotte increased; and accordingly, when he was old enough to marry, he would think of no other woman, though she was not rich. The old man lived to see them married and happy, and then finally closed his eyes in peace.
| Transcriber's Note: |
| In the Contents, page 113 for the chapter titled "Alfred and |
| Dorinda" has been changed to 118. |
| Page 20, double closing quotation mark has been added to the |
| end of the chapter--ruin." |
| Page 25, closing quotation mark has been removed--munched |
| alive. |
| Page 134, "about gardening. but" has been changed to "about |
| gardening; but" |
| Page 159 punctuation after "contentedly" has been |
| interpreted as a comma |
| Page 215 "Ah!"' said he" has been changed to "Ah!" said he" |
| Page 223 "down her cheeks The" has been changed to "down her |
| cheeks. The" |
| Page 246 "treason, and been" has been changed to "reason, |
| and been" |
| Page 266 "entored into conversation" has been changed to |
| "entered into conversation" |
| Page 269 "and hear it is" has been changed to "and here it |
| is" |
No reviews yet.