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Title: Rollo at Work
Author: Abbott, Jacob, 1803-1879
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Rollo Books


Jacob Abbott

[Illustration: The Rollo Books by Jacob Abbott. Boston, Phillips, Sampson,
& Co.]

Boston, Phillips, Sampson, & Co.


Rollo At Work


The Way to Be Industrious



Although this little work, and its fellow, “ROLLO AT PLAY,” are intended
principally as a means of entertainment for their little readers, it is
hoped by the writer that they may aid in accomplishing some of the
following useful purposes:--

1. In cultivating _the thinking powers_; as frequent occasions occur, in
which the incidents of the narrative, and the conversations arising from
them, are intended to awaken and engage the reasoning and reflective
faculties of the little readers.

2. In promoting the progress of children _in reading_ and in knowledge of
language; for the diction of the stories is intended to be often in
advance of the natural language of the reader, and yet so used as to be
explained by the connection.

3. In cultivating the _amiable and gentle qualities of the heart_. The
scenes are laid in quiet and virtuous life, and the character and conduct
described are generally--with the exception of some of the ordinary
exhibitions of childish folly--character and conduct to be imitated; for
it is generally better, in dealing with children, to allure them to what
is right by agreeable pictures of it, than to attempt to drive them to it
by repulsive delineations of what is wrong.


Story 1. Labor Lost
   A Bad Beginning.
   What Rollo Might Do.
   A New Plan.
   Hirrup! Hirrup!
   An Overturn.
Story 2. The Two Little Wheelbarrows.
   The Corporal’s.
   The Old Nails.
   A Conversation.
   Rollo Learns to Work at Last.
   The Corporal’s Again.
Story 3. Causey-Building.
   The Gray Garden.
   A Contract.
   Keeping Tally.
   Rights Defined.
Story 4. Rollo’s Garden.
   Farmer Cropwell.
   Work and Play.
   The Trying Time.
   A Narrow Escape.
Story 5. The Apple-Gathering.
   The Garden-House.
   The Pet Lamb.
   The Meadow-Russet.
   The New Plan Tried.
   A Present.
   The Strawberry-Bed.
   The Farmer’s Story.
Story 6. Georgie.
   The Little Landing.
   Georgie’s Money.
   Two Good Friends.
   A Lecture On Playthings.
   The Young Drivers.
   The Toy-Shop.


Rollo Digging Holes in the Ground.
Too Heavy.
The Corporal’s.
Rollo Took Hold of His Wheelbarrow.
The Cows.
The Bull Chained by the Nose.
Work in the Rain.
The Harvesting Party.
There, Said He, See How Men Work.
Georgie’s Apples.

[Illustration: Rollo Digging Holes in the Ground.]



When Rollo was between five and six years old, he was one day at work in
his little garden, planting some beans. His father had given him a little
square bed in a corner of the garden, which he had planted with corn two
days before. He watched his corn impatiently for two days, and, as it did
not come up, he thought he would plant it again with beans. He ought to
have waited longer.

He was sitting on a little cricket, digging holes in the ground, when he
heard a sudden noise. He started up, and saw a strange, monstrous head
looking at him over the garden wall. He jumped up, and ran as fast as he
could towards the house.

It happened that Jonas, the boy, was at that time at work in the yard,
cutting wood, and he called out, “What is the matter, Rollo?”

Rollo had just looked round, and seeing that the head remained still where
it was, he was a little ashamed of his fears; so at first he did not
answer, but walked along towards Jonas.

“That’s the colt,” said Jonas; “should not you like to go and see him?”

Rollo looked round again, and true enough, it was a small horse’s head
that was over the wall. It looked smaller now than it did when he first
saw it.

Now there was behind the garden a green field, with scattered trees upon
it, and a thick wood at the farther side. Jonas took Rollo by the hand,
and led him back into the garden, towards the colt. The colt took his head
back over the fence as they approached, and walked away. He was now afraid
of Rollo. Jonas and Rollo climbed up upon a stile which was built there
against the fence, and saw the colt trotting away slowly down towards the
wood, looking back at Rollo and Jonas, by bending his head every minute,
first on one side, and then on the other.

“There comes father,” said Rollo.

Jonas looked and saw Rollo’s father coming out of the wood, leading a
horse. The colt and the horse had been feeding together in the field, and
Rollo’s father had caught the horse, for he wanted to take a ride. Rollo’s
father had a little basket in his hand, and when he saw the colt coming
towards him, he held it up and called him, “_Elky, Elky, Elky, Elky_,” for
the colt’s name was Elkin, though they often called him Elky. Elkin walked
slowly up to the basket, and put his nose in it. He found that there were
some oats in it; and Rollo’s father poured them out on the grass, and then
stood by, patting Elky’s head and neck while he ate them. Rollo thought
his head looked beautifully; he wondered how he could have been afraid of

Rollo’s father led the horse across the field, through a gate, into a
green lane which led along the side of the garden towards the house; and
Rollo said he would run round into the lane and meet him. So he jumped off
of the stile, and ran up the garden, and Jonas followed him, and went back
to his work.

Rollo ran round to meet his father, who was coming up the green lane,
leading the horse with a rope round his neck.

“Father,” said Rollo, “could you put me on?”

His father smiled, and lifted Rollo up carefully, and placed him on the
horse’s back. Then he walked slowly along.

“Father,” said Rollo, “are you going away?”

“Yes,” said he, “I am going to ride away in the wagon.”

“Why did not you catch Elky, and let him draw you?”

“Elky? O, Elky is not old enough to work.”

“Not old enough to work!” said Rollo, “Why, he is pretty big. He is almost
as big as the horse. I should think he could draw you alone in the wagon.”

“Perhaps he is strong enough for that; but Elky has never learned to work

“Never learned!” said Rollo, in great surprise. “Do horses have to _learn_
to work? Why, they have nothing to do but to pull.”

“Why, suppose,” said his father, “that he should dart off at once as soon
as he is harnessed, and pull with all his strength, and furiously.”

“O, he must not do so: he must pull gently and slowly.”

“Well, suppose he pulls gently a minute, and then stops and looks round,
and then I tell him to go on, and he pulls a minute again, and then stops
and looks round.”

“O no,” said Rollo, laughing, “he must not do so; he must keep pulling
steadily all the time.”

“Yes, so you see he has something more to do than merely to pull; he must
pull right, and he must be taught to do this. Besides, he must learn to
obey all my various commands. Why, a horse needs to be taught to work as
much as a boy.”

“Why, father, I can work; and I have never been taught.”

“O no,” said his father, smiling, “you cannot work.”

“I can plant beans,” said Rollo.

Just then, Rollo, who was all this time riding on the horse, looked down
from his high seat into a little bush by the side of the road, and saw
there a little bunch that looked like a birdsnest; and he said, “O,
father, please to take me down; I want to look at that birdsnest.”

His father knew that he would not hurt the birdsnest; so he took him off
of the horse, and put him on the ground. Then he walked on with the horse,
and Rollo turned back to see the nest. He climbed up upon a log that lay
by the side of the bush, and then gently opened the branches and looked
in. Four little, unfledged birds lifted up their heads, and opened their
mouths wide. They heard the noise which Rollo made, and thought it was
their mother come to feed them.

“Ah, you little dickeys,” said Rollo; “hungry, are you? _I_ have not got
any thing for you to eat.”

Rollo looked at them a little while, and then slowly got down and walked
along up the lane, saying to himself, “_They_ are not big enough to work,
at any rate, but _I_ am, I know, and I do not believe but that _Elky_ is.”


When Rollo got back into the yard, he found his father just getting into
the wagon to go away. Jonas stood by the horse, having just finished
harnessing him.

“Father,” said Rollo, “I can work. You thought I could not work, but I
can. I am going to work to-day while you are gone.”

“Are you?” said his father. “Very well; I should be glad to have you.”

“What should you like to have me do?” asked Rollo.

“O, you may pick up chips, or pile that short wood in the shed. But stand
back from the wheel, for I am going to start now.”

So Rollo stood back, and his father drew up the reins which Jonas had just
put into his hands, and guided the horse slowly and carefully out of the
yard. Rollo ran along behind the wagon as far as the gate, to see his
father go off, and stood there a few minutes, watching him as he rode
along, until he disappeared at a turn in the road. He then came back to
the yard, and sat down on a log by the side of Jonas, who was busily at
work mending the wheelbarrow.

Rollo sat singing to himself for some time, and then he said,

“Jonas, father thinks I am not big enough to work; don’t you think I am?”

“I don’t know,” said Jonas, hesitating. “You do not seem to be very
industrious just now.”

“O, I am resting now,” said Rollo; “I am going to work pretty soon.”

“What are you resting from?” said Jonas.

“O, I am resting because I am tired.”

“What are you tired of?” said Jonas. “What have you been doing?”

Rollo had no answer at hand, for he had not been doing any thing at all.
The truth was, it was pleasanter for him to sit on the log and sing, and
see Jonas mend the wheelbarrow, than to go to work himself; and he mistook
that feeling for being tired. Boys often do so when they are set to work.

Rollo, finding that he had no excuse for sitting there any longer,
presently got up, and sauntered along towards the house, saying that he
was going to work, picking up chips.

Now there was, in a certain corner of the yard, a considerable space
covered with chips, which were the ones that Rollo had to pick up. He knew
that his father wished to have them put into a kind of a bin in the shed,
called the _chip-bin_. So he went into the house for a basket.

He found his mother busy; and she said she could not go and get a basket
for him; but she told him the chip-basket was probably in its place in the
shed, and he might go and get that.

“But,” said Rollo, “that is too large. I cannot lift that great basket
full of chips.”

“You need not fill it full then,” said his mother. “Put in just as many as
you can easily carry.”

Rollo still objected, saying that he wanted her very much to go and get a
smaller one. He could not work without a smaller one.

“Very well,” said she, “I would rather that you should not work then. The
interruption to me to get up now, and go to look for a smaller basket,
will be greater than all the good you will do in picking up chips.”

Rollo then told her that his father wanted him to work, and he related to
her all the conversation they had had. She then thought that she had
better do all in her power to give Rollo a fair experiment; so she left
her work, went down, got him a basket which he said was just big enough,
and left him at the door, going out to his work in the yard.

A Bad Beginning.

Rollo sat down on the chips, and began picking them up, all around him,
and throwing them into his basket. He soon filled it up, and then lugged
it in, emptied it into the chip-bin, and then returned, and began to fill
it again.

He had not got his basket more than half full the second time, before he
came upon some very large chips, which were so square and flat, that he
thought they would be good to build houses with. He thought he would just
try them a little, and began to stand them up in such a manner as to make
the four walls of a house. He found, however, an unexpected difficulty;
for although the chips were large and square, yet the edges were so sharp
that they would not stand up very well.

Some time was spent in trying experiments with them in various ways; but
he could not succeed very well; so he began again industriously to put
them into his basket.

When he got the basket nearly full, the second time, he thought he was
tired, and that it would be a good plan to take a little time for rest;
and he would go and see Jonas a little while.

Now his various interruptions and delays, his conversation with his
mother, the delay in getting the basket, and his house-building, had
occupied considerable time; so that, when he went back to Jonas, it was
full half an hour from the time when he left him; and he found that Jonas
had finished mending the wheelbarrow, and had put it in its place, and was
just going away himself into the field.

“Well, Rollo,” said he, “how do you get along with your work?”

“O, very well,” said Rollo; “I have been picking up chips all the time
since I went away from you.”

Rollo did not mean to tell a falsehood. But he was not aware how much of
his time he had idled away.

“And how many have you got in?” said Jonas.

“Guess,” said Rollo.

“Six baskets full,” said Jonas.

“No,” said Rollo.


“No; not so many.”

“How many, then?” said Jonas, who began to be tired of guessing.

“Two; that is, I have got one in, and the other is almost full.”

“Only two?” said Jonas. “Then you cannot have worked very steadily. Come
here and I will show you how to work.”

What Rollo Might Do.

So Jonas walked along to the chips, and asked Rollo to fill up that
basket, and carry it, and then come back, and he would tell him.

So Rollo filled up the basket, carried it to the bin, and came back very
soon. Jonas told him then to fill it up again as full as it was before.

“There,” said Jonas, when it was done, “now it is as full as the other
was, and I should think you have been less than two minutes in doing it.
We will call it two minutes. Two minutes for each basket full would make
thirty baskets full in an hour. Now, I don’t think there are more than
thirty baskets full in all; so that, if you work steadily, but without
hurrying any, you would get them all in in an hour.”

“In an hour?” said Rollo. “Could I get them all in in an hour?”

“Yes,” said Jonas, “I have no doubt you can. But you must not hurry and
get tired out. Work moderately, but _steadily_;--that is the way.”

So Jonas went to the field, leaving Rollo to go on with his thirty
baskets. Rollo thought it would be a fine thing to get the chips all in
before his father should come home, and he went to work very busily
filling his basket the third time.

“I can do it quicker,” said he to himself. “I can fill the basket a great
deal faster than that. I will get it all done in half an hour.”

So he began to throw in the chips as fast as possible, taking up very
large ones too, and tossing them in in any way. Now it happened that he
did fill it this time very quick; for the basket being small, and the
chips that he now selected very large, they did not pack well, but lay up
in every direction, so as apparently to fill up the basket quite full,
when, in fact, there were great empty spaces in it; and when he took it up
to carry it, it felt very light, because it was in great part empty.

He ran along with it, forgetting Jonas’s advice not to hurry, and thinking
that the reason why it seemed so light was because he was so strong. When
he got to the coal-bin, the chips would not come out easily. They were so
large that they had got wedged between the sides of the basket, and he had
hard work to get them out.

This fretted him, and cooled his ardor somewhat; he walked back rather
slowly, and began again to fill his basket.

A New Plan.

Before he had got many chips in it, however, he happened to think that the
wheelbarrow would be a better thing to get them in with. They would not
stick in that as they did in the basket. “Men always use a wheelbarrow,”
he said to himself, “and why should not I?”

So he turned the chips out of his basket, thus losing so much labor, and
went after the wheelbarrow. He spent some time in looking to see how Jonas
had mended it, and then he attempted to wheel it along to the chips. He
found it quite heavy; but he contrived to get it along, and after losing
considerable time in various delays, he at last had it fairly on the
ground, and began to fill it.

He found that the chips would go into the wheelbarrow beautifully, and he
was quite pleased with his own ingenuity in thinking of it. He thought he
would take a noble load, and so he filled it almost full, but it took a
long time to do it, for the wheelbarrow was so large that he got tired,
and stopped several times to rest.

When, at length, it was full, he took hold of the handles, and lifted away
upon it. He found it very heavy. He made another desperate effort, and
succeeded in raising it from the ground a little; but unluckily, as
wheelbarrows are very apt to do when the load is too heavy for the
workman, it tipped down to one side, and, though Rollo exerted all his
strength to save it, it was in vain.

[Illustration: Too Heavy.]

Over went the wheelbarrow, and about half of the chips were poured out
upon the ground again.

“O dear me!” said Rollo; “I wish this wheelbarrow was not so heavy.”

He sat down on the side of the wheelbarrow for a time in despair. He had a
great mind to give up work for that day. He thought he had done enough; he
was tired. But, then, when he reflected that he had only got in three
small baskets of chips, and that his father would see that it was really
true, as he had supposed, that Rollo could not work, he felt a little
ashamed to stop.

So he tipped the wheelbarrow back, which he could easily do now that the
load was half out, and thought he would wheel those along, and take the
rest next time.

By great exertions he contrived to stagger along a little way with this
load, until presently the wheel settled into a little low place in the
path, and he could not move it any farther. This worried and troubled him
again. He tried to draw the wheelbarrow back, as he had often seen Jonas
do in similar cases, but in vain. It would not move back or forwards. Then
he went round to the wheel, and pulled upon that; but it would not do. The
wheel held its place immovably.

Rollo sat down on the grass a minute or two, wishing that he had not
touched the wheelbarrow. It was unwise for him to have left his basket,
his regular and proper mode of carrying the chips, to try experiments with
the wheelbarrow, which he was not at all accustomed to. And now the proper
course for him to have taken, would have been to leave the wheelbarrow
where it was, go and get the basket, take out the chips from the
wheelbarrow, and carry them, a basket full at a time, to the bin, then
take the wheelbarrow to its place, and go on with his work in the way he

But Rollo, like all other boys who have not learned to work, was more
inclined to get somebody to help him do what was beyond his own strength,
than to go quietly on alone in doing what he himself was able to do. So he
left the wheelbarrow, and went into the house to try to find somebody to
help him.

He came first into the kitchen, where Mary was at work getting dinner, and
he asked her to come out and help him get his wheelbarrow out of a hole.
Mary said she could not come then, but, if he would wait a few minutes,
she would. Rollo could not wait, but went off in pursuit of his mother.

“Mother,” said he, as he opened the door into her chamber, “could not you
come out and help me get my wheelbarrow along?”

“What wheelbarrow?” said his mother.

“Why, the great wheelbarrow. I am wheeling chips in it, and I cannot get
it along.”

“I thought you were picking up chips in the basket I got for you.”

“Yes, mother, I did a little while; but I thought I could get them along
faster with the wheelbarrow.”

“And, instead of that, it seems you cannot get them along at all.”

“Why, mother, it is only one little place. It is in a little hole. If I
could only get it out of that little hole, it would go very well.”

“But it seems to me you are not a very profitable workman, Rollo, after
all. You wanted me very much to go and get you a small basket, because the
common basket was too large and heavy; so I left my work, and went and got
it for you. But you soon lay it aside, and go, of your own accord, and get
something heavier than the common chip-basket, a great deal. And now I
must leave my work and go down and wheel it along for you.”

“Only this once, mother. If you can get it out of this hole for me, I will
be careful not to let it get in again.”

“Well,” said his mother at length, “I will go. Though the common way with
wagoners, when they get their loads into difficulty, is to throw a part
off until they lighten it sufficiently, and then go on. I will go this
time; but if you get into difficulty again, you must get out yourself.”

So Rollo and his mother went down together, and she took hold of the
wheelbarrow, and soon got it out. She advised Rollo not to use the
wheelbarrow, but to return to his basket, but yet wished him to do just as
he thought best himself.

When she had returned to the house, Rollo went on with his load, slowly
and with great difficulty. He succeeded, however, in working it along
until he came to the edge of the platform which was before the shed door,
where he was to carry in his chips. Here, of course, he was at a complete
stand, as he could not get the wheel up such a high step; so he sat down
on the edge of the platform, not knowing what to do next.

He could not go to his mother, for she had told him that she could not
help him again; so, on the whole, he concluded that he would not pick up
chips any more; he would pile the wood. He recollected that his father had
told him that he might either pick up chips or pile wood; and the last, he
thought, would be much easier.

“I shall not have any thing to carry or to wheel at all,” said he to
himself, “and so I shall not have any of these difficulties.”

So he left his wheelbarrow where it was, at the edge of the platform,
intending to ask Jonas to get it up for him when he should come home. He
went into the shed, and began to pile up the wood.

It was some very short, small wood, prepared for a stove in his mother’s
chamber, and he knew where his father wanted to have it piled--back
against the side of the shed, near where the wood was lying Jonas had
thrown it down there in a heap as he had sawed and split it.

Hirrup! Hirrup!

He began to lay the wood regularly upon the ground where his pile was to
be, and for a few minutes went on very prosperously. But presently he
heard a great trampling in the street, and ran out to see what it was, and
found that it was a large herd of cattle driving by--oxen and cows, and
large and small calves. They filled the whole road as they walked slowly
along, and Rollo climbed up upon the fence, by the side of the gate, to
look at them. He was much amused to see so large a herd, and he watched
all their motions. Some stopped to eat by the road side; some tried to run
off down the lane, but were driven back by boys with long whips, who ran
after them. Others would stand still in the middle of the road and bellow,
and here and there two or three would be seen pushing one another with
their horns, or running up upon a bank by the road side.

Presently Rollo heard a commotion among the cattle at a little distance,
and, looking that way, saw that Jonas was in among them, with a stick,
driving the about, and calling out, HIRRUP! HIRRUP! At first he could not
think what he was doing; but presently he saw that their own cow had got
in among the others, and Jonas was trying to get her out.

Some of the men who were driving the herd helped him, and they succeeded,
at length, in getting her away by herself, by the side of the road. The
rest of the cattle moved slowly on, and when they were fairly by, Jonas
called out to Rollo to open the gate and then run away.

Rollo did, accordingly, open the gate and run up the yard, and presently
he saw the cow coming in, with Jonas after her.

“Jonas,” said Rollo, “how came our cow in among all those?”

“She got out of the pasture somehow,” said Jonas, in reply, “and I must go
and drive her back. How do you get along with your chips?”

“O, not very well. I want you to help me get the wheelbarrow up on the

“The wheelbarrow!” said Jonas. “Are you doing it with the wheelbarrow?”

“No. I am not picking up chips now at all. I am piling wood. I _did_ have
the wheelbarrow.”

In the mean time, the cow walked along through the yard and out of the
gate into the field, and Jonas said he must go on immediately after her,
to drive her back into the pasture, and put up the fence, and so he could
not stop to help Rollo about the chips; but he would just look in and see
if he was piling the wood right.

He accordingly just stepped a moment to the shed door, and looked at
Rollo’s work. “That will do very well,” said he; “only you must put the
biggest ends of the sticks outwards, or it will all tumble down.”

So saying, he turned away, and walked off fast after the cow.

An Overturn.

Rollo stood looking at him for some time, wishing that he was going too.
But he knew that he must not go without his mother’s leave, and that, if
he should go in to ask her, Jonas would have gone so far that he should
not be able to overtake him. So he went back to his wood-pile.

He piled a little more, and as he piled he wondered what Jonas meant by
telling him to put the largest ends outwards. He took up a stick which had
a knot on one end, which made that end much the largest, and laid it on
both ways, first with the knot back against the side of the shed, and then
with the knot in front, towards himself. He did not see but that the stick
lay as steadily in one position as in the other.

“Jonas was mistaken,” said he. “It is a great deal better to put the big
ends back. Then they are out of sight; all the old knots are hid, and the
pile looks handsomer in front.”

So he went on, putting the sticks upon the pile with the biggest ends back
against the shed. By this means the back side of the pile began soon to be
the highest, and the wood slanted forward, so that, when it was up nearly
as high as his head, it leaned forward so as to be quite unsteady. Rollo
could not imagine what made his pile act so. He thought he would put on
one stick more, and then leave it. But, as he was putting on this stick,
he found that the whole pile was very unsteady. He put his hand upon it,
and shook it a little, to see if it was going to fall, when he found it
was coming down right upon him, and had just time to spring back before it

He did not get clear, however; for, as he stepped suddenly back, he
tumbled over the wood which was lying on the ground, and fell over
backwards; and a large part of the pile came down upon him.

He screamed out with fright and pain, for he bruised himself a little in
falling; though the wood which fell upon him was so small and light that
it did not do much serious injury.

Rollo stopped crying pretty soon, and went into the house; and that
evening, when his father came home, he went to him, and said,

“Father, you were right, after all; I _don’t_ know how to work any better
than Elky.”



Rollo often used to ride out with his father and mother. When he was quite
a small boy, he did not know how to manage so as to get frequent rides. He
used to keep talking, himself, a great deal, and interrupting his father
and mother, when they wanted to talk; and if he was tired, he would
complain, and ask them, again and again, when they should get home. Then
he was often thirsty, and would tease his father and mother for water, in
places where there was no water to be got, and then fret because he was
obliged to wait a little while. In consequence of this, his father and
mother did not take him very often. When they wanted a quiet, still,
pleasant ride, they had to leave Rollo behind. A great many children act
just as Rollo did, and thus deprive themselves of a great many very
pleasant rides.

Rollo observed, however, that his uncle almost always took Lucy with him
when he went to ride. And one day, when he was playing in the yard where
Jonas was at work setting out trees, he saw his uncle riding by, with
another person in the chaise, and Lucy sitting between them on a little
low seat. Lucy smiled and nodded as she went by; and when she had gone,
Rollo said,

“There goes Lucy, taking a ride. Uncle almost always takes her, when he
goes any where. I wonder why father does not take me as often.”

“I know why,” said Jonas.

“What is the reason?” said Rollo.

“Because you are troublesome, and Lucy is not. If I was a boy like you, I
should manage so as almost always to ride with my father.”

“Why, what should you do?” said Rollo.

“Why, in the first place, I should never find fault with my seat. I should
sit exactly where they put me, without any complaint. Then I should not
talk much, and I should _never_ interrupt them when they were talking. If
I saw any thing on the road that I wanted to ask about, I should wait
until I had a good opportunity to do it without disturbing their
conversation; and then, if I wanted any thing to eat or drink, I should
not ask for it, unless I was in a place where they could easily get it for
me. Thus I should not be any trouble to them, and so they would let me go
almost always.”

Rollo was silent. He began to recollect how much trouble he had given his
parents, when riding with them, without thinking of it at the time. He did
not say any thing to Jonas about it, but he secretly resolved to try
Jonas’s experiment the very next time he went to ride.

He did so, and in a very short time his father and mother both perceived
that there was, some how or other, a great change in his manners. He had
ceased to be troublesome, and had become quite a pleasant travelling
companion. And the effect was exactly as Jonas had foretold. His father
and mother liked very much to have such a still, pleasant little boy
sitting between them; and at last they began almost to think they could
not have a pleasant ride themselves, unless Rollo was with them.

They used to put a little cricket in, upon the bottom of the chaise, for
Rollo to sit upon; but this was not very convenient, and so one day
Rollo’s father said that, now Rollo had become so pleasant a boy to ride
with them, he would have a little seat made on purpose for him. “In fact,”
said he, “I will take the chaise down to the corporal’s to-night, and see
if he cannot do it for me.”

“And may I go with you?” said Rollo.

“Yes,” said his father, “you may.”

Rollo was always very much pleased when his father let him go to the

The Corporal’s.

But perhaps the reader will like to know who this corporal was that Rollo
was so desirous of going to see. He was an old soldier, who had become
disabled in the wars, so that he could not go out to do very hard work,
but was very ingenious in making and mending things, and he had a little
shop down by the mill, where he used to work.

Rollo often went there with Jonas, to carry a chair to be mended, or to
get a lock or latch put in order; and sometimes to buy a basket, or a
rake, or some simple thing that the corporal knew how to make. A corporal,
you must know, is a kind of an officer in a company. This man had been
such an officer; and so they always called him the corporal. I never knew
what his other name was.

That evening Rollo and his father set off in the chaise to go to the
corporal’s. It was not very far. They rode along by some very pleasant
farm-houses, and came at length to the house where Georgie lived. They
then went down the hill; but, just before they came to the bridge, they
turned off among the trees, into a secluded road, which led along the bank
of the stream. After going on a short distance, they came out into a kind
of opening among the trees, where a mill came into view, by the side of
the stream; and opposite to it, across the road, under the trees, was the
corporal’s little shop.

The trees hung over the shop, and behind it there was a high rocky hill
almost covered with forest trees. Between the shop and the mill they could
see the road winding along a little way still farther up the stream, until
it was lost in the woods.

[Illustration: The Corporal’s]

As soon as Rollo came in sight of the shop, he saw a little wheelbarrow
standing up by the side of the door. It was just large enough for him, and
he called out for his father to look at it.

“It is a very pretty little wheelbarrow,” said his father.

“I wish you would buy it for me. How much do you suppose the corporal asks
for it?”

“We will talk with him about it,” said his father.

So saying, they drove up to the side of the road near the mill, and
fastened the horse at a post. Then Rollo clambered down out of the chaise,
and he and his father walked into the shop.

They found the corporal busily at work mending a chair-bottom. Rollo stood
by, much pleased to see him weave in the flags, while his father explained
to the corporal that he wanted a small seat made in front, in his chaise.

“I do not know whether you can do it, or not,” said he.

“What sort of a seat do you want?”

“I thought,” said he, “that you might make a little seat, with two legs to
it in front, and then fasten the back side of it to the front of the

“Yes,” said the corporal, “that will do I think; but I must have a little
blacksmith work to fasten the seat properly behind, so that you can slip
it out when you are not using it. Let us go and see.”

So the corporal rose to go out and see the chaise, and as they passed by
the wheelbarrow at the door, as they went out, Rollo asked him what was
the price of that little wheelbarrow.

“That is not for sale, my little man. That is engaged. But I can make you
one, if your father likes. I ask three quarters of a dollar for them.”

Rollo looked at it very wishfully, and the corporal told him that he might
try it if he chose. “Wheel it about,” said he, “while your father and I
are looking at the chaise.”

So Rollo trundled the wheelbarrow up and down the road with great
pleasure. It was light, and it moved easily. He wished he had such a one.
It would not tip over, he said, like that great heavy one at home; he
thought he could wheel it even if it was full of stones. He ran down with
it to the shore of the stream, where there were plenty of stones lying,
intending to load it up, and try it. But when he got there, he recollected
that he had not had liberty to put any thing in it; and so he determined
at once that he would not.

Just then his father called him. So he wheeled the wheelbarrow back to its
place, and told the corporal that he liked it very much. He wanted his
father to engage one for him then, but he did not ask him. He thought
that, as he had already expressed a wish for one, it would be better not
to say any thing about it again, but to wait and let his father do as he

As they were going home, his father said,

“That was a very pretty wheelbarrow, Rollo, I think myself.”

“Yes, it was beautiful, father. It was so light, and went so easy! I wish
you would buy me one, father.”

“I would, my son, but I think a wheelbarrow will give you more pleasure at
some future time, than it will now.”

“When do you mean?”

“When you have learned to work.”

“But I want the wheelbarrow to _play_ with.”

“I know you do; but you would take a great deal more solid and permanent
satisfaction in such a thing, if you were to use it for doing some useful

“When shall I learn to work, father?” said Rollo.

“I have been thinking that it is full time now. You are about six years
old, and they say that a boy of _seven_ years old is able to earn his

“Well, father, I wish you would teach me to work. What should you do

“The first lesson would be to teach you to do some common, easy work,

“Why, father, I can do that now, without being taught.”

“I think you are mistaken about that. A boy works steadily when he goes
directly forward in his work, without stopping to rest, or to contrive new
ways of doing it, or to see other people, or to talk. Now, do you think
you could work steadily an hour, without stopping for any of these

“Why--yes,” said Rollo.

“I will try you to-morrow,” said his father.

The Old Nails.

The next morning, after breakfast, Rollo’s father told him he was ready
for him to go to his work. He took a small basket in his hand, and led
Rollo out into the barn, and told him to wait there a few minutes, and he
would bring him something to do.

Rollo sat down on a little bundle of straw, wondering what his work was
going to be.

Presently his father came back, bringing in his hands a box full of old
nails, which he got out of an old store-room, in a corner of the barn. He
brought it along, and set it down on the barn floor.

“Why, father,” said Rollo, “what am I going to do with those old nails?”

“You are going to _sort_ them. Here are a great many kinds, all together.
I want them all picked over--those that are alike put by themselves. I
will tell you exactly how to do it.”

Rollo put his hand into the box, and began to pick up some of the nails,
and look them over, while his father was speaking; but his father told him
to put them down, and not begin until he had got all his directions.

“You must listen,” said he, “and understand the directions now, for I
cannot tell you twice.”

He then took a little wisp of straw, and brushed away a clean place upon
the barn floor, and then poured down the nails upon it.

“O, how many nails!” said Rollo.

His father then took up a handful of them, and showed Rollo that there
were several different sizes; and he placed them down upon the floor in
little heaps, each size by itself. Those that were crooked also he laid
away in a separate pile.

“Now, Rollo,” said he, “I want you to go to work sorting these nails,
steadily and industriously, until they are all done. There are not more
than three or four kinds of nails, and you can do them pretty fast if you
work _steadily_, and do not get to playing with them. If you find any
pieces of iron, or any thing else that you do not know what to do with,
lay them aside, and go on with the nails. Do you understand it all?”

Rollo said he did, and so his father left him, and went into the house.
Rollo sat down upon the clean barn floor, and began his task.

“I don’t think this is any great thing,” said he; “I can do this easily
enough;” and he took up some of the nails, and began to arrange them as
his father had directed.

But Rollo did not perceive what the real difficulty in his task was. It
was, indeed, very easy to see what nails were large, and what were small,
and what were of middle size, and to put them in their proper heaps. There
was nothing very hard in that. The difficulty was, that, after having
sorted a few, it would become tedious and tiresome work, doing it there
all alone in the barn,--picking out old nails, with nobody to help him,
and nobody to talk to, and nothing to see, but those little heaps of rusty
iron on the floor.

This, I say, was the real trouble; and Rollo’s father knew, when he set
his little boy about it, that he would soon get very tired of it, and, not
being accustomed to any thing but play, would not persevere.

And so it was. Rollo sorted out a few, and then he began to think that it
was rather tiresome to be there all alone; and he thought it would be a
good plan for him to go and ask his father to let him go and get his
cousin James to come and help him.

He accordingly laid down the nails he had in his hand, and went into the
house, and found his father writing at a table.

“What is the matter now?” said his father.

“Why, father,” said Rollo, “I thought I should like to have James come and
help me, if you are willing;--we can get them done so much quicker if
there are two.”

“But my great object is, not to get the nails sorted very quick, but to
teach you patient industry. I know it is tiresome for you to be alone, but
that is the very reason why I wish you to be alone. I want you to learn to
persevere patiently in doing any thing, even if it is tiresome. What I
want to teach you is, to _work_, not to _play_.”

Rollo felt disappointed, but he saw that his father was right, and he went
slowly back to his task. He sorted out two or three handfuls more, but he
found there was no pleasure in it, and he began to be very sorry his
father had set him at it.

Having no heart for his work, he did not go on with alacrity, and of
course made very slow progress. He ought to have gone rapidly forward, and
not thought any thing about the pleasantness or unpleasantness of it, but
only been anxious to finish the work, and please his father. Instead of
that, he only lounged over it--looked at the heap of nails, and sighed to
think how large it was. He could not sort all those, possibly, he said. He
knew he could not. It would take him forever.

Still he could not think of any excuse for leaving his work again, until,
after a little while, he came upon a couple of screws. “And now what shall
I do with these?” said he.

He took the screws, and laid them side by side, to measure them, so as to
see which was the largest. Then he rolled them about a little, and after
playing with them for a little time, during which, of course, his work was
entirely neglected, he concluded he would go and ask his father what he
was to do with screws.

He accordingly walked slowly along to the house, stopping to look at the
grasshoppers and butterflies by the way. After wasting some time in this
manner, he appeared again at his father’s table, and wanted to know what
he should do with the _screws_ that he found among the nails.

“You ought not to have left your work to come and ask that question,” said
his father. “I am afraid you are not doing very well. I gave you all the
necessary instructions. Go back to your work.”

“But, father,” said Rollo, “as he went out, I do not know what I am to do
with the screws. You did not say any thing about screws.”

“Then why do you leave your work to ask me any thing about them?”

“Why,--because,--” said Rollo, hesitating. He did not know what to say.

“Your work is to sort out the _nails_, and I expect, by your coming to me
for such frivolous reasons, that you are not going on with it very well.”

Rollo went slowly out of the room, and sauntered along back to his work.
He put the screws aside, and went on with the nails, but he did very
little. When the heart is not in the work, it always goes on very slowly.

Thus an hour or two of the forenoon passed away, and Rollo made very
little progress. At last his father came out to see what he had done; and
it was very plain that he had been idling away his time, and had
accomplished very little indeed.

His father then said that he might leave his work and come in. Rollo
walked along by the side of his father, and he said to him--

“I see, Rollo, that I shall not succeed in teaching you to work
industriously, without something more than kind words.”

Rollo knew not what to say, and so he was silent. He felt guilty and

“I gave you work to do which was very easy and plain, but you have been
leaving it repeatedly for frivolous reasons; and even while you were over
your work, you have not been industrious. Thus you have wasted your
morning entirely; you have neither done work nor enjoyed play.

“I was afraid it would be so,” he continued. “Very few boys can be taught
to work industriously, without being compelled; though I hoped that my
little Rollo could have been. But as it is, as I find that persuasion will
not do, I must do something more decided. I should do very wrong to let
you grow up an idle boy; and it is time for you to begin to learn to do
something besides play.”

He said this in a kind, but very serious tone, and it was plain he was
much displeased. He told Rollo, a minute or two after, that he might go,
then, where he pleased, and that he would consider what he should do, and
tell him some other time.

A Conversation.

That evening, when Rollo was just going to bed, his father took him up in
his lap, and told him he had concluded what to do.

“You see it is very necessary,” said he, “that you should have the power
of confining yourself steadily and patiently to a single employment, even
if it does not amuse you. _I_ have to do that, and all people have to do
it, and you must learn to do it, or you will grow up indolent and useless.
You cannot do it now, it is very plain. If I set you to doing any thing,
you go on as long as the novelty and the amusement last, and then your
patience is gone, and you contrive every possible excuse for getting away
from your task. Now, I am going to give you one hour’s work to do, every
forenoon and afternoon. I shall give you such things to do, as are
perfectly plain and easy, so that you will have no excuse for neglecting
your work or leaving it. But yet I shall choose such things as will afford
you no amusement; for I want you to learn to _work_, not play.”

“But, father,” said Rollo, “you told me there was pleasure in work, the
other day. But how can there be any pleasure in it, if you choose such
things as have no amusement in them, at all?”

“The pleasure of working,” said his father, “is not the fun of doing
amusing things, but the satisfaction and solid happiness of being faithful
in duty, and accomplishing some useful purpose. For example, if I were to
lose my pocket-book on the road, and should tell you to walk back a mile,
and look carefully all the way until you found it, and if you did it
faithfully and carefully, you would find a kind of satisfaction in doing
it; and when you found the pocket-book, and brought it back to me, you
would enjoy a high degree of happiness. Should not you?”

“Why, yes, sir, I should,” said Rollo.

“And yet there would be no _amusement_ in it. You might, perhaps, the next
day, go over the same road, catching butterflies: that would be amusement.
Now, the pleasure you would enjoy in looking for the pocket-book, would be
the solid satisfaction of useful work. The pleasure of catching
butterflies would be the amusement of play. Now, the difficulty is, with
you, that you have scarcely any idea, yet, of the first. You are all the
time looking for the other, that is, the amusement. You begin to work when
I give you any thing to do, but if you do not find _amusement_ in it, you
soon give it up. But if you would only persevere, you would find, at
length, a solid satisfaction, that would be worth a great deal more.”

Rollo sat still, and listened, but his father saw, from his looks, that he
was not much interested in what he was saying; and he perceived that it
was not at all probable that so small a boy could be _reasoned_ into
liking work. In fact, it was rather hard for Rollo to understand all that
his father said,--and still harder for him to feel the force of it. He
began to grow sleepy, and so his father let him go to bed.

Rollo Learns to Work at Last.

The next day his father gave him his work. He was to begin at ten o’clock,
and work till eleven, gathering beans in the garden. His father went out
with him, and waited to see how long it took him to gather half a pint,
and then calculated how many he could gather in an hour, if he was
industrious. Rollo knew that if he failed now, he should be punished in
some way, although his father did not say any thing about punishment. When
he was set at work the day before, about the nails, he was making an
experiment, as it were, and he did not expect to be actually punished if
he failed; but now he knew that he was under orders, and must obey.

So he worked very diligently, and when his father came out at the end of
the hour, he found that Rollo had got rather more beans than he had
expected. Rollo was much gratified to see his father pleased; and he
carried in his large basket full of beans to show his mother, with great
pleasure. Then he went to play, and enjoyed himself very highly.

The next morning, his father said to him,

“Well, Rollo, you did very well yesterday; but doing right once is a very
different thing from forming a habit of doing right. I can hardly expect
you will succeed as well to-day; or, if you should to-day, that you will

Rollo thought he should. His work was to pick up all the loose stones in
the road, and carry them, in a basket, to a great heap of stones behind
the barn. But he was not quite faithful. His father observed him playing
several times. He did not speak to him, however, until the hour was over,
and then he called him in.

“Rollo,” said he, “you have failed to-day. You have not been very idle,
but have not been industrious; and the punishment which I have concluded
to try first, is, to give you only bread and water for dinner.”

So, when dinner time came, and the family sat down to the good beefsteak
and apple-pie which was upon the table, Rollo knew that he was not to
come. He felt very unhappy, but he did not cry. His father called him, and
cut off a good slice of bread, and put into his hands, and told him he
might go and eat it on the steps of the back door. “If you should be
thirsty,” he added, “you may ask Mary to give you some water.”

Rollo took the bread, and went out, and took his solitary seat on the
stone step leading into the back yard, and, in spite of all his efforts to
prevent it, the tears would come into his eyes. He thought of his guilt in
disobeying his father, and he felt unhappy to think that his father and
mother were seated together at their pleasant table, and that he could not
come because he had been an undutiful son. He determined that he would
never be unfaithful in his work again.

He went on, after this, several days, very well. His father gave him
various kinds of work to do, and he began at last to find a considerable
degree of satisfaction in doing it. He found, particularly, that he
enjoyed himself a great deal more after his work than before, and whenever
he saw what he had done, it gave him pleasure. After he had picked up the
loose stones before the house, for instance, he drove his hoop about
there, with unusual satisfaction; enjoying the neat and tidy appearance of
the road much more than he would have done if Jonas had cleared it. In
fact, in the course of a month, Rollo became quite a faithful and
efficient little workman.

The Corporal’s Again.

“Now,” said his father to him one day, after he had been doing a fine job
of wood-piling,--“now we will go and talk with the corporal about a
wheelbarrow. Or do you think you could find the way yourself?”

Rollo said he thought he could.

“Very well, you may go; I believe I shall let you have a wheelbarrow now,
and you can ask him how soon he can have it done.”

Rollo clapped his hands, and capered about, and asked his father how long
he thought it would be before he could have it.

“O, you will learn,” said he, “when you come to talk with the corporal.”

“Do you think it will be a week?”

“I think it probable that he could make one in less than a week,” said his
father, smiling.

“Well, how soon?” said Rollo.

“O, I cannot tell you: wait till you get to his shop, and then you will

Rollo saw that, for some reason or other, his father was not inclined to
talk about the time when he should have his wheelbarrow, but he could not
think why; however, he determined to get the corporal to make it as quick
as he could, at any rate.

It was about the middle of the afternoon that Rollo set off to go for his
wheelbarrow. His mother told him he might go and get his cousin James to
go with him if he chose. So he walked along towards the bridge, and,
instead of turning at once off there to go towards the mill, he went on
over the bridge towards the house where James lived. James came with him,
and they walked back very pleasantly together.

When they got back across the bridge again, they turned off towards the
mill, talking about the wheelbarrow. Rollo told James about his learning
to work, and about his having seen the wheelbarrow at the corporal’s, and
how he trundled it about, and liked it very much.

“I should like to see it very much,” said James. “I suppose I can, when we
get to the corporal’s shop.”

“No,” said Rollo, “he said that that wheelbarrow was engaged; and I
suppose it has been taken away before this time.”

Just then the corner of the corporal’s shop began to corner into view, and
presently the door came in sight, and James called out,

“Yes, yes, there it is. I see it standing up by the side of the door.”

“No,” said Rollo, “that is not it. That is a green one.”

“What color was the wheelbarrow that you saw?” asked James.

“It was not any color; it was not painted,” said Rollo. “I wonder whose
that wheelbarrow can be?”

The boys walked along, and presently came to the door of the shop. They
opened the door, and went in. There was nobody there.

Various articles were around the room. There was a bench at one side, near
a window; and there were a great many tools upon it, and upon shelves over
it. On another side of the shop was a lathe, a curious sort of a machine,
that the corporal used a great deal, in some of his nicest work. Then
there were a good many things there, which were sent in to be mended, such
as chairs, a spinning-wheel, boys’ sleds, and one or two large

The boys walked around the room a few minutes, looking at the various
things; and at last Rollo spied another little wheelbarrow, on a shelf. It
was very much like the one at the door, only it was painted green.

Rollo said that that one looked exactly like the one he trundled when he
was there before, only it was green.

“Perhaps he has painted it since,” said James; “let us go to the door, and
look at the other one, and see which is the biggest.”

So they went to the door, and found that the blue one was a little the

Just then they saw the corporal coming across the road, with a hatchet in
his hand. He had been to grind it at the mill, where there was a
grindstone, that went round by water.

“Ah, boys,” said he, “how do you do? Have you come for your wheelbarrow,

“Yes, sir,” said Rollo; “how soon can you get it done?”

“Done? it is done now,” said he; “there it is.” And he took the blue
wheelbarrow, which was at the door, and set it down in the path.

“That is not mine,” said Rollo, “is it?”

“Yes,” said the corporal; “your father spoke for it a week ago.”

Rollo took hold of his wheelbarrow, and began to wheel it along. He liked
it very much.

[Illustration: Rollo Took Hold of His Wheelbarrow.]

James said he wished he could have one too, and while Rollo was talking
with the corporal, he could not help looking at the green one on the
shelf, which he thought was just about as big as he should like.

The corporal asked him if he wanted to see that one, and he took it down
for him. James took hold of the handles, and tried it a little, back and
forth on the floor, and then he said it was just about big enough for him.

“Who is this for?” said he to the corporal.

“I do not know,” said the corporal; “a gentleman bespoke it some time ago.
I do not know what his name is.”

Just then he seemed to see somebody out of the window.

“Ah! here he comes now!” he exclaimed suddenly.

Just then the door opened, and whom should the boys see coming in, but
their uncle George!

“Why, James,” said he, “have you got hold of your wheelbarrow already?”

“_My_ wheelbarrow!” said James. “Is this mine?”

“Yes,” said his uncle, “I got it made to give to you. But when I found
that Rollo was having one made, I waited for his to be done, so that you
might have them both together. So trundle them home.”

So the boys set off on the run down the road, in fine style, with their
wheelbarrows trundling beautifully before them.



Next to little wooden blocks, I think that good, clean sand is an
excellent thing for children to play with. When it is a little damp, it
will remain in any shape you put it in, and you can build houses and
cities, and make roads and canals in it. At any rate, Rollo and his cousin
James used to be very fond of going down to a certain place in the brook,
where there was plenty of sand, and playing in it. It was of a gray color,
and somewhat mixed with pebble-stones; but then they used to like the
pebble-stones very much to make walls with, and to stone up the little
wells which they made in the sand.

One Wednesday afternoon, they were there playing very pleasantly with the
sand. They had been building a famous city, and, after amusing themselves
with it some time, they had knocked down the houses, and trampled the sand
all about again. James then said he meant to go to the barn and get his
horse-cart, and haul a load of sand to market.

Now there was a place around behind a large rock near there, which the
boys called their barn; and Rollo and James went to it, and pulled out
their two little wheelbarrows, which they called their horse-carts. They
wheeled them down to the edge of the water, and began to take up the sand
by double handfuls, and put it in.

When they had got their carts loaded, they began to wheel them around to
the trees, and stones, and bushes, saying,

“Who’ll buy my sand?”

“Who’ll buy my white sand?”

“Who’ll buy my gray sand?”

“Who’ll buy my black sand?”

But they did not seem to find any purchaser; and at last Rollo said,

“O, I know who will buy our sand.”

“Who?” said James.


“So she will,” said James. “We will wheel it up to the house.”

So they set off, and began wheeling their loads of sand up the pathway
among the trees. They went on a little way, and presently stopped, and sat
down on a bank to rest. Here they found a number of flowers, which they
gathered and stuck up in the sand, so that their loads soon made a very
gay appearance.

Just as they were going to set out again, Rollo said,

“But, James, how are we going to get through the quagmire?”

“O,” said James, “we can step along on the bank by the side of the path.”

“No,” said Rollo; “for we cannot get our wheelbarrows along there.”

“Why, yes,--we got them along there when we came down.”

“But they were empty and light then; now they are loaded and heavy.”

“So they are; but I think we can get along; it is not very muddy there

The place which the boys called the quagmire, was a low place in the
pathway, where it was almost always muddy. This pathway was made by the
cows, going up and down to drink; and it was a good, dry, and hard path in
all places but one. This, in the spring of the year, was very wet and
miry; and, during the whole summer, it was seldom perfectly dry. The boys
called it the quagmire, and they used to get by on one side, in among the

They found that it was not very muddy at this time, and they contrived to
get through with their loads of sand, and soon got to the house. They
trundled their wheelbarrows up to the door leading out to the garden; and
Rollo knocked at the door.

Now Rollo’s mother happened, at this time, to be sitting at the
back-parlor window, and she heard their voices as they came along the
yard. So, supposing the knocking was some of their play, she just looked
out of the window, and called out,

“Who’s there?”

“Some sand-men,” Rollo answered, “who have got some sand to sell.”

His mother looked out of the window, and had quite a talk with them about
their sand; she asked them where it came from, what color it was, and
whether it was free from pebble-stones. The boys had to admit that there
were a good many pebble-stones in it, and that pebble-stones were not very
good to scour floors with.

The Gray Garden.

At last, Rollo’s mother recommended that they should carry the sand out to
a corner of the yard, where the chips used to be, and spread it out there,
and stick their flowers up in it for a garden.

The boys liked this plan very much. “We can make walks and beds,
beautifully, in the sand,” said Rollo. “But, mother, do you think the
flowers will grow?”

“No,” said his mother, “flowers will not grow in sand; but, as it is
rather a shady place, and you can water them occasionally, they will keep
green and bright a good many days, and then, you know, you can get some

So the boys wheeled the sand out to the corner of the yard, took the
flowers out carefully, and then tipped the sand down and spread it out.
They tried to make walks and beds, but they found they had not got as much
sand as they wanted. So they concluded to go back and get some more.

In fact, they found that, by getting a great many wheelbarrow loads of
sand, they could cover over the whole corner, and make a noble large place
for a sand-garden. And then, besides, as James said, when they were tired
of it for a garden, they could build cities there, instead of having to go
away down to the brook.

So they went on wheeling their loads of sand, for an hour or two. James
had not learned to work as well as Rollo had, and he was constantly
wanting to stop, and run into the woods, or play in the water; but Rollo
told him it would be better to get all the sand up, first. They at last
got quite a great heap, and then went and got a rake and hoe to level it
down smooth.

Thus the afternoon passed away; and at last Mary told the boys that they
must come and get ready for tea, for she was going to carry it in soon.

A Contract.

So Rollo and James brushed the loose sand from their clothes, and washed
their faces and hands, and went in. As tea was not quite ready, they sat
down on the front-door steps before Rollo’s father, who was then sitting
in his arm-chair in the entry, reading.

He shut up the book, and began to talk with the boys.

“Well, boys,” said he, “what have you been doing all this afternoon?”

“O,” said Rollo, “we have been hard at work.”

“And what have you been doing?”

Rollo explained to his father that they had been making a sand-garden out
in a corner of the yard, and they both asked him to go with them and see

They all three accordingly went out behind the house, the children running
on before.

“But, boys,” said Rollo’s father, as they went on, “how came your feet so

“O,” said James, “they got muddy in the quagmire.”

The boys explained how they could not go around the quagmire with their
loaded wheelbarrows, and so had to pick their way through it the best way
they could; and thus they got their shoes muddy a little; but they said
they were as careful as they could be.

When they came to the sand-garden, Rollo’s father smiled to see the beds
and walks, and the rows of flowers stuck up in the sand. It made quite a
gay appearance. After looking at it some time, they went slowly back
again, and as they were walking across the yard,

“Father,” said Rollo, “do you not think that is a pretty good garden?”

“Why, yes,” said his father, “pretty good.”

“Don’t you think we have worked pretty well?”

“Why, I think I should call that play, not work.”

“Not work!” said Rollo. “Is it not work to wheel up such heavy loads of
sand? You don’t know how heavy they were.”

“I dare say it was hard; but boys _play_ hard, sometimes, as well as work

“But I should think ours, this afternoon, was work,” said Rollo.

“Work,” replied his father, “is when you are engaged in doing any thing in
order to produce some useful result. When you are doing any thing only for
the amusement of it, without any useful result, it is play. Still, in one
sense, your wheeling the sand was work. But it was not very useful work;
you will admit that.”

“Yes, sir,” said Rollo.

“Well, boys, how should you like to do some useful work for me, with your
wheelbarrows? I will hire you.”

“O, we should like that very much,” said James. “How much should you pay

“That would depend upon how much work you do. I should pay you what the
work was fairly worth; as much as I should have to pay a man, if I were to
hire a man to do it.”

“What should you give us to do?” said Rollo.

“I don’t know. I should think of some job. How should you like to fill up
the quagmire?”

“Fill up the quagmire!” said Rollo. “How could we do that?”

“You might fill it up with stones. There are a great many small stones
lying around there, which you might pick up and put into your
wheelbarrows, and wheel them along, and tip them over into the quagmire;
and when you have filled the path all up with stones, cover them over with
gravel, and it will make a good causey.”

“Causey?” said Rollo.

“Yes, causey,” said his father; “such a hard, dry road, built along a
muddy place, is called a causey.”

They had got to the tea-table by this time; and while at tea, Rollo’s
father explained the plan to them more fully. He said he would pay them a
cent for every two loads of stones or gravel which they should wheel in to
make the causey.

They were going to ask some more questions about it, but he told them he
could not talk any more about it then, but that they might go and ask
Jonas how they should do it, after tea.


They went out into the kitchen, after tea, to find Jonas; but he was not
there. They then went out into the yard; and presently James saw him over
beyond the fence, walking along the lane. Rollo called out,

“Jonas! Jonas! where are you going?”

“I am going after the cows.”

“We want you!” said Rollo, calling out loud.

“What for?” said Jonas.

“We want to talk with you about something.”

Just then, Rollo’s mother, hearing this hallooing, looked out of the
window, and told the boys they must not make so much noise.

“Why, we want Jonas,” said Rollo; “and he has gone to get the cows.”

“Well, you may go with him,” said she, “if you wish; and you can talk on
the way.”

So the boys took their hats and ran, and soon came to where Jonas was: for
he had been standing still, waiting for them.

They walked along together, and the boys told Jonas what their father had
said. Jonas said he should be very glad to have the quagmire filled up,
but he was afraid it would not do any good for him to give them any

“Why?” said James.

“Because,” said Jonas, “little boys will never follow any directions. They
always want to do the work their own way.”

“O, but we _will_ obey the directions,” said Rollo.

“Do you remember about the wood-pile?” said Jonas.

Rollo hung his head, and looked a little ashamed.

“What was it about the wood-pile?” said James.

“Why, I told Rollo,” said Jonas, “that he ought to pile wood with the big
ends in front, but he did not mind it; he thought it was better to have
the big ends back, out of sight; and that made the pile lean forward; and
presently it all fell over upon him.”

“Did it?” said James. “Did it hurt you much, Rollo?”

“No, not much. But we will follow the directions now, Jonas, if you will
tell us what to do.”

“Very well,” said Jonas, “I will try you.

“In the first place, you must get a few old pieces of board, and lay them
along the quagmire to step upon, so as not to get your feet muddy. Then
you must go and get a load of stones, in each wheelbarrow, and wheel them
along. You must not tip them down at the beginning of the muddy place, for
then they will be in your way when you come with the next load.

“You must go on with them, one of you right behind the other, both
stepping carefully on the boards, till you get to the farther end, and
there tip them over both together. Then you must turn round yourselves,
but not turn your wheelbarrows round. You must face the other way, and
_draw_ your wheelbarrows out.”

“Why?” said James.

“Because,” said Jonas, “it would be difficult to turn your wheelbarrows
round there among the mud and stones, but you can draw them out very

“Then, besides, you must not attempt to go by one another. You must both
stop at the same time, but as near one another as you can, and go out just
as you came in; that is, if Rollo came in first, and James after him,
James must come up as near to Rollo as he can, and then, when the loads
are tipped over, and you both turn round, James will be before Rollo, and
will draw his wheelbarrow out first. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” said James.

“Must we always go in together?” asked Rollo.

“Yes, that is better.”


“Because, if you go in at different times, you will be in one another’s
way. One will be going out when the other is coming in, and so you will
interfere with one another. Then, besides, if you fill the wheelbarrows
together, and wheel together, you will always be in company,--which is

“Well, we will,” said Rollo.

“After you have wheeled one load apiece in, you must go and get another,
and wheel that in as far as you can. Tip them over on the top of the
others, if you can, or as near as you can. Each time you will not go in
quite so far as before, so that at last you will have covered the quagmire
all over with stones once.”

“And then must we put on the gravel?”

“O no. That will not be stones enough. They would sink down into the mud,
and the water would come up over them. So you must wheel on more.”

“But how can we?” said James. “We cannot wheel on the top of all those

“No,” said Jonas; “so you must go up to the house and get a pretty long,
narrow board, as long as you and Rollo can carry, and bring it down and
lay it along on the top of the stones. Perhaps you will have to move the
stones a little, so as to make it steady; and then you can wheel on that.
If one board is not long enough, you must go and get two. And you must put
them down on one side of the path, so that the stones will go into the
middle of the path and upon the other side, so as not to cover up the

“Then, when you have put loads of stones all along in this way, you must
shift your boards over to the other side of the path, and then wheel on
them again; and that will fill up the side where the boards lay at first.
And so, after a while, you will get the whole pathway filled up with
stones, as high as you please. I should think you had better fill it up
nearly level with the bank on each side.”

By this time the boys came to the bars that led into the pasture, and they
went in and began to look about for the cows. Jonas did not see them any
where near, and so he told the boys that they might stay there and pick
some blackberries, while he went on and found them. He said he thought
that they must be out by the boiling spring.

This boiling spring, as they called it, was a beautiful spring, from which
fine cool water was always boiling up out of the sand. It was in a narrow
glen, shaded by trees, and the water running down into a little sort of
meadow, kept the grass green there, even in very dry times; so that the
cows were very fond of this spot.

James and Rollo remained, according to Jonas’s proposal, near the bars,
while he went along the path towards the spring. Rollo and James had a
fine time gathering blackberries, until, at last, they saw the cows
coming, lowing along the path. Presently they saw Jonas’s head among the

[Illustration: The Cows.]

When he came up to the boys, he told them it was lucky that they did not
go with him.

“Why?” said Rollo.

“I came upon an enormous hornet’s nest, and you would very probably have
got stung.”

“Where was it?” said James.

“O, it was right over the path, just before you get to the spring.”

The boys said they were very sorry to hear that, for now they could not go
to the spring any more; but Jonas said he meant to destroy the nest.

“How shall you destroy it?” said Rollo.

“I shall burn it up.”

“But how can you?” said Rollo.

Jonas then explained to them how he was going to burn the hornet’s nest.
He said he should take a long pole with two prongs at one end like a
pitchfork, and with that fork up a bunch of hay. Then he should set the
top of the hay on fire, and stand it up directly under the nest.

The boys continued talking about the hornet’s nest all the way home, and
forgot to say any thing more about the causey until just as they were
going into the yard. Then they told Jonas that he had not told them how to
put on the gravel, on the top.

He said he could not tell them then, and, besides, they would have as much
as they could do to put in stones for one day.

Besides, James said it was sundown, and time for him to go home; but he
promised to come the next morning, if his mother would let him, as soon as
he had finished his lessons.

Keeping Tally.

Rollo and James began their work the next day about the middle of the
forenoon, determined to obey Jonas’s directions exactly, and to work
industriously for an hour. They put a number of small pieces of board upon
their wheelbarrows, to put along the pathway at first, and just as they
had got them placed, Jonas came down just to see whether they were
beginning right.

He saw them wheel in one or two loads of stones, and told them he thought
they were doing very well.

“We have earned one cent already,” said Rollo.

“How,” said Jonas; “is your father going to pay you for your work?”

“Yes,” said Rollo, “a cent for every two loads we put in.”

“Then you must keep tally,” said Jonas.

“_Tally_,” said Rollo, “what is tally?”

“Tally is the reckoning. How are you going to remember how many loads you
wheel in?”

“O, we can remember easily enough,” said Rollo: “we will count them as we
go along.”

“That will never do,” said Jonas. “You must mark them down with a piece of
chalk on your wheelbarrow.”

So saying, Jonas fumbled in his pockets, and drew out a small, well-worn
piece of chalk, and then tipped up Rollo’s wheelbarrow, saying,

“How many loads do you say you have carried already?”

“Two,” said Rollo.

“Two,” repeated Jonas; and he made two white marks with his chalk on the
side of the wheelbarrow.

“There!” said he.

“Mark mine,” said James; “I have wheeled two loads.”

Jonas marked them, and then laid the chalk down upon a flat stone by the
side of the path, and told the boys that they must stop after every load,
and make a mark, and that would keep the reckoning exact.

Jonas then left them, and the boys went on with their work. They wheeled
ten loads of stones apiece, and by that time had the bottom of the path
all covered, so that they could not wheel any more, without the long
boards. They went up and got the boards, and laid them down as Jonas had
described, and then went on with their wheeling.

At first, James kept constantly stopping, either to play, or to hear Rollo
talk; for they kept the wheelbarrows together all the time, as Jonas had
recommended. At such times, Rollo would remind him of his work, for he had
himself learned to work steadily. They were getting on very finely, when,
at length, they heard a bell ringing at the house.

This bell was to call them home; for as Rollo and Jonas were often away at
a little distance from the house, too far to be called very easily, there
was a bell to ring to call them home; and Mary, the girl, had two ways of
ringing it--one way for Jonas, and another for Rollo.

The bell was rung now for Rollo; and so he and James walked along towards
home. When they had got about half way, they saw Rollo’s father standing
at the door, with a basket in his hand; and he called out to them to bring
their wheelbarrows.

So the boys went back for their wheelbarrows.

When they came up a second time with their wheelbarrows before them, he
asked how they had got along with their work.

“O, famously,” said Rollo. “There is the tally,” said he, turning up the
side of the wheelbarrow towards his father, so that he could see all the

“Why, have you wheeled as many loads as that?” said his father.

“Yes, sir,” said Rollo, “and James just as many too.”

“And were they all good loads?”

“Yes, all good, full loads.”

“Well, you have done very well. Count them, and see how many there are.”

The boys counted them, and found there were fifteen.

“That is enough to come to seven cents, and one load over,” said Rollo’s
father; and he took out his purse, and gave the boys seven cents each,
that is, a six-cent piece in silver, and one cent besides. He told them
they might keep the money until they had finished their work, and then he
would tell them about purchasing something with it.

“Now,” said he, “you can rub out the tally--all but one mark. I have paid
you for fourteen loads, and you have wheeled in fifteen; so you have one
mark to go to the new tally. You can go round to the shed, and find a wet
cloth, and wipe out your marks clean, and then make one again, and leave
it there for to-morrow.”

“But we are going right back now,” said Rollo.

“No,” said his father; “I don’t want you to do any more to-day.”

“Why not, father? We want to, very much.”

“I cannot tell you why, now; but I choose you should not. And, now, here
is a luncheon for you in this basket. You may go and eat it where you

Rights Defined.

So the boys took the basket, and, after they had rubbed out the tally,
they went and sat down by their sand-garden, and began to eat the bread
and cheese very happily together.

After they had finished their luncheon, they went and got a watering-pot,
and began to water their sand-garden, and, while doing it, began to talk
about what they should buy with their money. They talked of several things
that they should like, and, at last, Rollo said he meant to buy a bow and
arrow with his.

“A bow and arrow?” said James. “I do not believe your father will let

“Yes, he will let me,” said Rollo. “Besides, it is _our_ money, and we can
do what we have a mind to with it.”

“I don’t believe that,” said James.

“Why, yes, we can,” said Rollo.

“I don’t believe we can,” said James.

“Well, I mean to go and ask my father,” said Rollo, “this minute.”

So he laid down the watering-pot, and ran in, and James after him. When
they got into the room where his father was, they came and stood by his
side a minute, waiting for him to be ready to speak to them.

Presently, his father laid down his pen, and said,

“What, my boys!”

“Is not this money our own?” said Rollo.


“And can we not buy what we have a mind to with it?”

“That depends upon what you have a mind to buy.”

“But, father, I should think that, if it was our own, we might do _any
thing_ with it we please.”

“No,” said his father, “that does not follow, at all.”

“Why, father,” said Rollo, looking disappointed, “I thought every body
could do what they pleased with their own things.”

“Whose hat is that you have on? Is it James’s?”

“No, sir, it is mine.”

“Are you sure it is your own?”

“Why, yes, sir,” said Rollo, taking off his hat and looking at it, and
wondering what his father could mean.

“Well, do you suppose you have a right to go and sell it?”

“No, sir,” said Rollo.

“Or go and burn it up?”

“No, sir.”

“Or give it away?”

“No, sir.”

“Then it seems that people cannot always do what they please with their
own things.”

“Why, father, it seems to me, that is a very different thing.”

“I dare say it seems so to you; but it is not--it is just the same thing.
No person can do _anything they please_ with their property. There are
limits and restrictions in all cases. And in all cases where children have
property, whether it is money, hats, toys, or any thing, they are always
limited and restricted to such a use of them _as their parents approve_.
So, when I give you money, it becomes yours just as your clothes, or your
wheelbarrow, or your books, are yours. They are all yours to use and to
enjoy; but in the way of using them and enjoying them, you must be under
my direction. Do you understand that?”

“Why, yes, sir,” said Rollo.

“And does it not appear reasonable?”

“Yes, sir, I don’t know but it is reasonable. But _men_ can do anything
they please with their money, can they not?”

“No,” said his father; “they are under various restrictions made by the
laws of the land. But I cannot talk any more about it now. When you have
finished your work, I will talk with you about expending your money.”

The boys went on with their work the next day, and built the causey up
high enough with stones. They then levelled them off, and began to wheel
on the gravel. Jonas made each of them a little shovel out of a shingle;
and, as the gravel was lying loose under a high bank, they could shovel it
up easily, and fill their wheelbarrows. The third day they covered the
stones entirely with gravel, and smoothed it all over with a rake and hoe,
and, after it had become well trodden, it made a beautiful, hard causey;
so that now there was a firm and dry road all the way from the house to
the watering-place at the brook.


On counting up the loads which it had taken to do this work, Rollo’s
father found that he owed Rollo twenty-three cents, and James twenty-one.
The reason why Rollo had earned the most was because, at one time, James
said he was tired, and must rest, and, while he was resting, Rollo went on

James seemed rather sorry that he had not got as many cents as Rollo.

“I wish I had not stopped to rest,” said he.

“I wish so too,” said Rollo; “but I will give you two of my cents, and
then I shall have only twenty-one, like you.”

“Shall we be alike then?”

“Yes,” said Rollo; “for, you see, two cents taken away from twenty-three,
leaves twenty-one, which is just as many as you have.”

“Yes, but then I shall have more. If you give me two, _I_ shall have

“So you will,” said Rollo; “I did not think of that.”

The boys paused at this unexpected difficulty; at last, Rollo said he
might give his two cents back to his father, and then they should have
both alike.

Just then the boys heard some one calling,


Rollo looked up, and saw his mother at the chamber window. She was sitting
there at work, and had heard their conversation.

“What, mother?” said Rollo.

“You might give him _one_ of yours, and then you will both have

They thought that this would be a fine plan, and wondered why they had not
thought of it before. A few days afterwards, they decided to buy two
little shovels with their money, one for each, so that they might shovel
sand and gravel easier than with the wooden shovels that Jonas made.


Farmer Cropwell.

One warm morning, early in the spring, just after the snow was melted off
from the ground, Rollo and his father went to take a walk. The ground by
the side of the road was dry and settled, and they walked along very
pleasantly; and at length they came to a fine-looking farm. The house was
not very large, but there were great sheds and barns, and spacious yards,
and high wood-piles, and flocks of geese, and hens and turkeys, and cattle
and sheep, sunning themselves around the barns.

Rollo and his father walked into the yard, and went up to the end door, a
large pig running away with a grunt when they came up. The door was open,
and Rollo’s father knocked at it with the head of his cane. A
pleasant-looking young woman came to the door.

“Is Farmer Cropwell at home?” said Rollo’s father.

“Yes, sir,” said she, “he is out in the long barn, I believe.”

“Shall I go there and look for him?” said he.

“If you please, sir.”

So Rollo’s father walked along to the barn.

It was a long barn indeed. Rollo thought he had never seen so large a
building. On each side was a long range of stalls for cattle, facing
towards the middle, and great scaffolds overhead, partly filled with hay
and with bundles of straw. They walked down the barn floor, and in one
place Rollo passed a large bull chained by the nose in one of the stalls.
The bull uttered a sort of low growl or roar, as Rollo and his father
passed, which made him a little afraid; but his attention was soon
attracted to some hens, a little farther along, which were standing on the
edge of the scaffolding over his head, and cackling with noise enough to
fill the whole barn.

[Illustration: The Bull Chained by the Nose.]

When they got to the other end of the barn, they found a door leading out
into a shed; and there was Farmer Cropwell, with one of his men and a
pretty large boy, getting out some ploughs.

“Good morning, Mr. Cropwell,” said Rollo’s father; “what! are you going to

“Why, it is about time to overhaul the ploughs, and see that they are in
order. I think we shall have an early season.”

“Yes, I find my garden is getting settled, and I came to talk with you a
little about some garden seeds.”

The truth was, that Rollo’s father was accustomed to come every spring,
and purchase his garden seeds at this farm; and so, after a few minutes,
they went into the house, taking Rollo with them, to get the seeds that
were wanted, out of the seed-room.

What they called the seed-room was a large closet in the house, with
shelves all around it; and Rollo waited there a little while, until the
seeds were selected, put up in papers, and given to his father.

When this was all done, and they were just coming out, the farmer said,
“Well, my little boy, you have been very still and patient. Should not you
like some seeds too? Have you got any garden?”

“No, sir,” said Rollo; “but perhaps my father will give me some ground for

“Well, I will give you a few seeds, at any rate.” So he opened a little
drawer, and took out some seeds, and put them in a piece of paper, and
wrote something on the outside. Then he did so again and again, until he
had four little papers, which he handed to Rollo, and told him to plant
them in his garden.

Rollo thanked him, and took his seeds, and they returned home.

Work and Play.

On the way, Rollo thought it would be an excellent plan for him to have a
garden, and he told his father so.

“I think it would be an excellent plan myself,” said his father. “But do
you intend to make work or play of it?”

“Why, I must make work of it, must not I, if I have a real garden?”

“No,” said his father; “you may make play of it if you choose.”

“How?” said Rollo.

“Why, you can take a hoe, and hoe about in the ground as long as it amuses
you to hoe; and then you can plant your seeds, and water and weed them
just as long as you find any amusement in it. Then, if you have any thing
else to play with, you can neglect your garden a long time, and let the
weeds grow, and not come and pull them up until you get tired of other
play, and happen to feel like working in your garden.”

“I should not think that that would be a very good plan,” said Rollo.

“Why, yes,” replied his father; “I do not know but that it is a good plan
enough,--that is, for _play_. It is right for you to play sometimes; and I
do not know why you might not play with a piece of ground, and seeds, as
well as with any thing else.”

“Well, father, how should I manage my garden if I was going to make _work_
of it?”

“O, then you would not do it for amusement, but for the useful results.
You would consider what you could raise to best advantage, and then lay
out your garden; not as you might happen to _fancy_ doing it, but so as to
get the most produce from it. When you come to dig it over, you would not
consider how long you could find amusement in digging, but how much
digging is necessary to make the ground productive; and so in all your

“Well, father, which do you think would be the best plan for me?”

“Why, I hardly know. By making play of it, you will have the greatest
pleasure as you go along. But, in the other plan, you will have some good
crops of vegetables, fruits, and flowers.”

“And shouldn’t I have any crops if I made play of my garden?”

“Yes; I think you might, perhaps, have some flowers, and, perhaps, some
beans and peas.”

Rollo hesitated for some time which plan he should adopt. He had worked
enough to know that it was often very tiresome to keep on with his work
when he wanted to go and play; but then he knew that after it was over,
there was great satisfaction in thinking of useful employment, and in
seeing what had been done.

That afternoon he went out into the garden to consider what he should do,
and he found his father there, staking out some ground.

“Father,” said he, “whereabouts should you give me the ground for my

“Why, that depends,” said his father, “on the plan you determine upon. If
you are going to make play of it, I must give you ground in a back corner,
where the irregularity, and the weeds, will be out of sight. But if you
conclude to have a real garden, and to work industriously a little while
every day upon it, I should give it to you there, just beyond the

Rollo looked at the two places, but he could not make up his mind. That
evening he asked Jonas about it, and Jonas advised him to ask his father
to let him have both. “Then,” said he, “you can work on your real garden
as long as there is any necessary work to be done, and then you could go
and play about the other with James or Lucy, when they are here.”

Rollo went off immediately, and asked his father. His father said there
would be some difficulties about that; but he would think of it, and see
if there was any way to avoid them.

The next morning, when he came in to breakfast, he had a paper in his
hand, and he told Rollo he had concluded to let him have the two gardens,
on certain conditions, which he had written down. He opened the paper, and
read as follows:--


“_Conditions on which I let Rollo have two pieces of land to cultivate_;
the one to be called his _working-garden_, and the other his

“1. In cultivating his working-garden, he is to take Jonas’s advice, and
to follow it faithfully in every respect.

“2. He is not to go and work upon his playing-garden, at any time, when
there is any work that ought to be done on his working-garden.

“3. If he lets his working-garden get out of order, and I give him notice
of it; then, if it is not put perfectly in order again within three days
after receiving the notice, he is to forfeit the garden, and all that is
growing upon it.

“4. Whatever he raises, he may sell to me, at fair prices, at the end of
the season.”


Rollo accepted the conditions, and asked his father to stake out the two
pieces of ground for him, as soon as he could; and his father did so that
day. The piece for the working-garden was much the largest. There was a
row of currant-bushes near it, and his father said he might consider all
those opposite his piece of ground as included in it, and belonging to

So Rollo asked Jonas what he had better do first, and Jonas told him that
the first thing was to dig his ground all over, pretty deep; and, as it
was difficult to begin it, Jonas said he would begin it for him. So Jonas
began, and dug along one side, and instructed Rollo how to throw up the
spadefuls of earth out of the way, so that the next spadeful would come up

Jonas, in this way, made a kind of a trench all along the side of Rollo’s
ground; and he told Rollo to be careful to throw every spadeful well
forward, so as to keep the trench open and free, and then it would be easy
for him to dig.

Jonas then left him, and told him that there was work enough for him for
three or four days, to dig up his ground well.

Rollo went to work, very patiently, for the first day, and persevered an
hour in digging up his ground. Then he left his work for that day; and the
next morning, when the regular hour which he had allotted to work arrived,
he found he had not much inclination to return to it. He accordingly asked
his father whether it would not be a good plan to plant what he had
already dug, before he dug any more.

“What is Jonas’s advice?” said his father.

“Why, he told me I had better dig it all up first; but I thought that, if
I planted part first, those things would be growing while I am digging up
the rest of the ground.”

“But you must do, you know, as Jonas advises; that is the condition. Next
year, perhaps, you will be old enough to act according to your own
judgment; but this year you must follow guidance.”

Rollo recollected the condition, and he had nothing to say against it; but
he looked dissatisfied.

“Don’t you think that is reasonable, Rollo?” said his father.

“Why; I don’t know,” said Rollo.

“This very case shows that it is reasonable. Here you want to plant a part
before you have got the ground prepared. The real reason is because you
are tired of digging; not because you are really of opinion that that
would be a better plan. You have not the means of judging whether it is,
or is not, now, time to begin to put in seeds.”

Rollo could not help seeing that that was his real motive; and he promised
his father that he would go on, though it was tiresome. It was not the
hard labor of the digging that fatigued him, for, by following Jonas’s
directions, he found it easy work; but it was the sameness of it. He
longed for something new.

He persevered, however, and it was a valuable lesson to him; for when he
had got it all done, he was so satisfied with thinking that it was fairly
completed, and in thinking that now it was all ready together, and that he
could form a plan for the whole at once, that he determined that forever
after, when he had any unpleasant piece of work to do, he would go on
patiently through it, even if it was tiresome.

With Jonas’s help, Rollo planned his garden beautifully. He put double
rows of peas and beans all around, so that when they should grow up, they
would enclose his garden like a fence or hedge, and make it look snug and
pleasant within. Then, he had a row of corn, for he thought he should like
some green corn himself to roast. Then, he had one bed of beets and some
hills of muskmelons, and in one corner he planted some flower seeds, so
that he could have some flowers to put into his mother’s glasses, for the

Rollo took great interest in laying out and planting his ground, and in
watching the garden when the seeds first came up; for all this was easy
and pleasant work. In the intervals, he used to play on his
pleasure-ground, planting and digging, and setting out, just as he

Sometimes he, and James, and Lucy, would go out in the woods with his
little wheelbarrow, and dig up roots of flowers and little trees there,
and bring them in, and set them out here and there. But he did not proceed
regularly with this ground. He did not dig it all up first, and then form
a regular plan for the whole; and the consequence was, that it soon became
very irregular. He would want to make a path one day where he had set out
a little tree, perhaps, a few days before; and it often happened that,
when he was making a little trench to sow one kind of seeds, out came a
whole parcel of others that he had put in before, and forgotten.

Then, when the seeds came up in his playing-garden, they came up here and
there, irregularly; but, in his working-garden, all looked orderly and

One evening, just before sundown, Rollo brought out his father and mother
to look at his two gardens. The difference between them was very great;
and Rollo, as he ran along before his father, said that he thought the
working plan of making a garden was a great deal better than the playing

“That depends upon what your object is.”

“How so?” said Rollo.

“Why, which do you think you have had the most amusement from, thus far?”

“Why, I have had most amusement, I suppose, in the little garden in the

“Yes,” said his father, “undoubtedly. But the other appears altogether the
best now, and will produce altogether more in the end. So, if your object
is useful results, you must manage systematically, regularly, and
patiently; but if you only want amusement as you go along, you had better
do every day just as you happen to feel inclined.”

“Well, father, which do you think is best for a boy?”

“For quite small boys, a garden for play is best. They have not patience
or industry enough for any other.”

“Do you think I have patience or industry enough?”

“You have done very well, so far; but the trying time is to come.”

“Why, father?”

“Because the novelty of the beginning is over, and now you will have a
good deal of hoeing and weeding to do for a month to come. I am not sure
but that you will forfeit your land yet.”

“But you are to give me three days’ notice, you know.”

“That is true; but we shall see.”

The Trying Time.

The trying time did come, true enough; for, in June and July, Rollo found
it hard to take proper care of his garden. If he had worked resolutely an
hour, once or twice a week, it would have been enough; but he became
interested in other plays, and, when Jonas reminded him that the weeds
were growing, he would go in and hoe a few minutes, and then go away to

At last, one day his father gave him notice that his garden was getting
out of order, and, unless it was entirely restored in three days, it must
be forfeited.

Rollo was not much alarmed, for he thought he should have ample time to do
it before the three days should have expired.

It was just at night that Rollo received his notice. He worked a little
the next morning; but his heart was not in it much, and he left it before
he had made much progress. The weeds were well rooted and strong, and he
found it much harder to get them up than he expected. The next day, he did
a little more, and, near the latter part of the afternoon, Jonas saw him
running about after butterflies in the yard, and asked him if he had got
his work all done.

“No,” said he; “but I think I have got more than half done, and I can
finish it very early to-morrow.”

“To-morrow!” said Jonas. “To-morrow is Sunday, and you cannot work then.”

“Is it?” said Rollo, with much surprise and alarm; “I didn’t know that.
What shall I do? Do you suppose my father will count Sunday?”

“Yes,” said Jonas, “I presume he will. He said, three _days_, without
mentioning any thing about Sunday.”

Rollo ran for his hoe. He had become much attached to his ground, and was
very unwilling to lose it; but he knew that his father would rigorously
insist on his forfeiting it, if he failed to keep the conditions. So he
went to work as hard as he could.

It was then almost sundown. He hoed away, and pulled up the weeds, as
industriously as possible, until the sun went down. He then kept on until
it was so dark that he could not see any longer, and then, finding that
there was considerable more to be done, and that he could not work any
longer, he sat down on the side of his little wheelbarrow, and burst into

He knew, however, that it would do no good to cry, and so, after a time,
he dried his eyes, and went in. He could not help hoping that his father
would not count the Sunday; and “If I can only have Monday,” said he to
himself, “it will all be well.”

He went in to ask his father, but found that he had gone away, and would
not come home until quite late. He begged his mother to let him sit up
until he came home, so that he could ask him, and, as she saw that he was
so anxious and unhappy about it, she consented. Rollo sat at the window
watching, and, as soon as he heard his father drive up to the door, he
went out, and, while he was getting out of the chaise, he said to him, in
a trembling, faltering voice,

“Father, do you count Sunday as one of my three days?”

“No, my son.”

Rollo clapped his hands, and said, “O, how glad!” and ran back. He told
his mother that he was very much obliged to her for letting him sit up,
and now he was ready to go to bed.

He went to his room, undressed himself, and, in a few minutes, his father
came in to get his light.

“Father,” said Rollo, “I am very much obliged to you for not counting

“It is not out of any indulgence to you, Rollo; I have no right to count

“No right, father? Why, you said three days.”

“Yes; but in such agreements as that, three working days are always meant;
so that, strictly, according to the agreement, I do not think I have any
right to count Sunday. If I had, I should have felt obliged to count it.”

“Why, father?”

“Because I want you, when you grow up to be a man, to be _bound_ by your
agreements. Men will hold you to your agreements when you are a man, and I
want you to be accustomed to it while you are a boy. I should rather give
up twice as much land as your garden, than take yours away from you now;
but I must do it if you do not get it in good order before the time is

“But, father, I shall, for I shall have time enough on Monday.”

“True; but some accident may prevent it. Suppose you should be sick.”

“If I was sick, should you count it?”

“Certainly. You ought not to let your garden get out of order; and, if you
do it, you run the risk of all accidents that may prevent your working
during the three days.”

Rollo bade his father good night, and he went to sleep, thinking what a
narrow escape he had had. He felt sure that he should save it now, for he
did not think there was the least danger of his being sick on Monday.

A Narrow Escape.

Monday morning came, and, when he awoke, his first movement was, to jump
out of bed, exclaiming,

“Well, I am not sick this morning, am I?”

He had scarcely spoken the words, however, before his ear caught the sound
of rain, and, looking out of the window, he saw, to his utter
consternation, that it was pouring steadily down, and, from the wind and
the gray uniformity of the clouds, there was every appearance of a settled

“What shall I do?” said Rollo. “What shall I do? Why did I not finish it
on Saturday?”

He dressed himself, went down stairs, and looked out at the clouds. There
was no prospect of any thing but rain. He ate his breakfast, and then went
out, and looked again. Rain, still. He studied and recited his morning
lessons, and then again looked out. Rain, rain. He could not help hoping
it would clear up before night; but, as it continued so steadily, he began
to be seriously afraid that, after all, he should lose his garden.

He spent the day very anxiously and unhappily. He knew, from what his
father had said, that he could not hope to have another day allowed, and
that all would depend on his being able to do the work before night.

At last, about the middle of the afternoon, Rollo came into the room where
his father and mother were sitting, and told his father that it did not
rain a great deal then, and asked him if he might not go out and finish
his weeding; he did not care, he said, if he did get wet.

“But your getting wet will not injure you alone--it will spoil your

“Besides, you will take cold,” said his mother.

“Perhaps he would not take cold, if he were to put on dry clothes as soon
as he leaves working,” said his father; “but wetting his clothes would put
you to a good deal of trouble. No; I’d rather you would not go, on the
whole, Rollo.”

Rollo turned away with tears in his eyes, and went out into the kitchen.
He sat down on a bench in the shed where Jonas was working, and looked out
towards the garden. Jonas pitied him, and would gladly have gone and done
the work for him; but he knew that his father would not allow that. At
last, a sudden thought struck him.

“Rollo,” said he, “you might perhaps find some old clothes in the garret,
which it would not hurt to get wet.”

Rollo jumped up, and said, “Let us go and see.”

They went up garret, and found, hanging up, quite a quantity of old
clothes. Some belonged to Jonas, some to himself, and they selected the
worst ones they could find, and carried them down into the shed.

Then Rollo went and called his mother to come out, and he asked her if she
thought it would hurt those old clothes to get wet. She laughed, and said
no; and said she would go and ask his father to let him go out with them.

In a few minutes, she came back, and said that his father consented, but
that he must go himself, and put on the old clothes, without troubling his
mother, and then, when he came back, he must rub himself dry with a towel,
and put on his common dress, and put the wet ones somewhere in the shed to
dry; and when they were dry, put them all back carefully in their places.

[Illustration: Work in the Rain.]

Rollo ran up to his room, and rigged himself out, as well as he could,
putting one of Jonas’s great coats over him, and wearing an old
broad-brimmed straw hat on his head. Thus equipped, he took his hoe, and
sallied forth in the rain.

At first he thought it was good fun; but, in about half an hour, he began
to be tired, and to feel very uncomfortable. The rain spattered in his
face, and leaked down the back of his neck; and then the ground was wet
and slippery; and once or twice he almost gave up in despair.

He persevered, however, and before dark he got it done. He raked off all
the weeds, and smoothed the ground over carefully, for he knew his father
would come out to examine it as soon as the storm was over. Then he went
in, rubbed himself dry, changed his clothes, and went and took his seat by
the kitchen fire.

His father came out a few minutes after, and said, “Well, Rollo, have you
got through?”

“Yes, sir,” said Rollo.

“Well, I am _very_ glad of it. I was afraid you would have lost your
garden. As it is, perhaps it will do you good.”

“How?” said Rollo. “What good?”

“It will teach you, I hope, that it is dangerous to neglect or postpone
doing one’s duty. We cannot always depend on repairing the mischief. When
the proper opportunity is once lost, it may never return.”

Rollo said nothing, but he thought he should remember the lesson as long
as he lived.

He remembered it for the rest of that summer, at any rate, and did not run
any more risks. He kept his ground very neat, and his father did not have
to give him notice again. His corn grew finely, and he had many a good
roasting ear from it; and his flowers helped ornament the parlor
mantel-piece all the summer; and the green peas, and the beans, and the
muskmelons, and the other vegetables, which his father took and paid for,
amounted to more than two dollars.


“Well, Rollo,” said his father, one evening, as he was sitting on his
cricket before a bright, glowing fire, late in the autumn, after all his
fruits were gathered in, “you have really done some work this summer,
haven’t you?”

“Yes, sir,” said Rollo; and he began to reckon up the amount of peas, and
beans, and corn, and other things, that he had raised.

“Yes,” said his father, “you have had a pretty good garden; but the best
of it is your own improvement. You are really beginning to get over some
of the faults of _boy work_.”

“What are the faults of boy work?” said Rollo.

“One of the first is, confounding work with play,--or rather expecting the
pleasure of play, while they are doing work. There is great pleasure in
doing work, as I have told you before, when it is well and properly done,
but it is very different from the pleasure of play. It comes later;
generally after the work is done. While you are doing your work, it
requires _exertion_ and _self-denial_, and sometimes the sameness is

“It is so with _men_ when they work, but they expect it will be so, and
persevere notwithstanding; but _boys_, who have not learned this, expect
their work will be play; and, when they find it is not so, they get tired,
and want to leave it or to find some new way.

“You showed your wish to make play of your work, that day when you were
getting in your chips, by insisting on having just such a basket as you
happened to fancy; and then, when you got a little tired of that, going
for the wheelbarrow; and then leaving the chips altogether, and going to
piling the wood.”

“Well, father,” said Rollo, “do not men try to make their work as pleasant
as they can?”

“Yes, but they do not continually change from one thing to another in
hopes to make it _amusing_. They always expect that it will be laborious
and tiresome, and they understand this beforehand, and go steadily forward
notwithstanding. You are beginning to learn to do this.

“Another fault, which you boys are very apt to fall into, is impatience.
This comes from the first fault; for you expect, when you go to work, the
kind of pleasure you have in play, and when you find you do not obtain it,
or meet with any difficulties, you grow impatient, and get tired of what
you are doing.

“From this follows the third fault--_changeableness_, or want of
perseverance. Instead of steadily going forward in the way they commence,
boys are very apt to abandon one thing after another, and to try this new
way, and that new way, so as to accomplish very little in any thing.”

“Do you think I have overcome all these?” said Rollo.

“In part,” said his father; “you begin to understand something about them,
and to be on your guard against them. But you have only made a beginning.”

“Only a beginning?” said Rollo; “why, I thought I had learned to work
pretty well.”

“So you have, for a little boy; but it is only a beginning, after all. I
don’t think you would succeed in persevering steadily, so as to accomplish
any serious undertaking now.”

“Why, father, _I_ think I should.”

“Suppose I should give you the Latin grammar to learn in three months, and
tell you that, at the end of that time, I would hear you recite it all at
once. Do you suppose you should be ready?”

“Why, father, that is not _work_.”

“Yes,” said his father, “that is one kind of work,--and just such a kind
of work, so far as patience, steadiness, and perseverance, are needed, as
you will have most to do, in future years. But if I were to give it to you
to do, and then say nothing to you about it till you had time to have
learned the whole, I have some doubts whether you would recite a tenth
part of it.”

Rollo was silent; he knew it would be just so.

“No, my little son,” said his father, putting him down and patting his
head, “you have got a great deal to learn before you become a man; but
then you have got some years to learn it in; that is a comfort. But now it
is time for you to go to bed; so good night.”


The Garden-House.

There was a certain building on one side of Farmer Cropwell’s yard which
they called the _garden-house_. There was one large double door which
opened from it into the garden, and another smaller one which led to the
yard towards the house. On one side of this room were a great many
different kinds of garden-tools, such as hoes, rakes, shovels, and spades;
there were one or two wheelbarrows, and little wagons. Over these were two
or three broad shelves, with baskets, and bundles of matting, and ropes,
and chains, and various iron tools. Around the wall, in different places,
various things were hung up--here a row of augers, there a trap, and in
other places parts of harness.

Opposite to these, there was a large bench, which extended along the whole
side. At one end of this bench there were a great many carpenter’s tools;
and the other was covered with papers of seeds, and little bundles of
dried plants, which Farmer Cropwell had just been getting in from the

The farmer and one of his boys was at work here, arranging his seeds, and
doing up his bundles, one pleasant morning in the fall, when a boy about
twelve years old came running to the door of the garden-house, from the
yard, playing with a large dog. The dog ran behind him, jumping up upon
him; and when they got to the door, the boy ran in quick, laughing, and
shut the door suddenly, so that the dog could not come in after him. This
boy’s name was George: the dog’s name was Nappy--that is, they always
called him Nappy. His true name was Napoleon; though James always thought
that he got his name from the long naps he used to take in a certain sunny
corner of the yard.

But, as I said before, George got into the garden-house, and shut Nappy
out. He stood there holding the door, and said,

“Father, all the horses have been watered but Jolly: may I ride him to the

“Yes,” said his father.

So George turned round, and opened the door a little way, and peeped out.

“Ah, old Nappy! you are there still, are you, wagging your tail? Don’t you
wish you could catch him?”

George then shut the door, and walked softly across to the great door
leading out into the garden. From here he stole softly around into the
barn, by a back way, and then came forward, and peeped out in front, and
saw that Nappy was still there, sitting up, and looking at the door very
closely. He was waiting for George to come out.


George then went back to the stall where Jolly was feeding. He went in and
untied his halter, and led him out. Jolly was a sleek, black, beautiful
little horse, not old enough to do much work, but a very good horse to
ride. George took down a bridle, and, after leading Jolly to a
horse-block, where he could stand up high enough to reach his head, he put
the bridle on, and then jumped up upon his back, and walked him out of the
barn by a door where Nappy could not see them.

He then rode round by the other side of the house, until he came to the
road, and he went along the road until he could see up the yard to the
place where Nappy was watching. He called out, _Nappy!_ in a loud voice,
and then immediately set his horse off upon a run. Nappy looked down to
the road, and was astonished to see George upon the horse, when he
supposed he was still behind the door where he was watching, and he sprang
forward, and set off after him in full pursuit.

He caught George just as he was riding down into the brook. George was
looking round and laughing at him as he came up; but Nappy looked quite
grave, and did nothing but go down into the brook, and lap up water with
his tongue, while the horse drank.

While the horse was drinking, Rollo came along the road, and George asked
him how his garden came on.

“O, very well,” said Rollo. “Father is going to give me a larger one next

“Have you got a strawberry-bed?” said George.

“No,” said Rollo.

“I should think you would have a strawberry-bed. My father will give you
some plants, and you can set them out this fall.”

“I don’t know how to set them out,” said Rollo. “Could you come and show

George said he would ask his father; and then, as his horse had done
drinking, he turned round, and rode home again.

Mr. Cropwell said that he would give Rollo a plenty of strawberry-plants,
and, as to George’s helping him set them out, he said that they might
exchange works. If Rollo would come and help George gather his
meadow-russets, George might go and help him make his strawberry-bed. That
evening, George went and told Rollo of this plan, and Rollo’s father
approved of it. So it was agreed that, the next day, he should go to help
them gather the russets. They invited James to go too.

The Pet Lamb.

The next morning, James and Rollo went together to the farmer’s. They
found George at the gate waiting for them, with his dog Nappy. As the boys
were walking along into the yard, George said that his dog Nappy was the
best friend he had in the world, except his lamb.

“Your lamb!” said James; “have you got a lamb?”

“Yes, a most beautiful little lamb. When he was very little indeed, he was
weak and sick, and father thought he would not live; and he told me I
might have him if I wanted him. I made a bed for him in the corner of the

“O, I wish I had one,” said James. “Where is he now?”

“O, he is grown up large, and he plays around in the field behind the
house. If I go out there with a little pan of milk, and call him
so,--_Co-nan_, _Co-nan_, _Co-nan_,--he comes running up to me to get the

“I wish I could see him,” said James.

“Well, you can,” said George. “My sister Ann will go and show him to you.”

So George called his sister Ann, and asked her if she should be willing to
go and show James and Rollo his lamb, while he went and got the little
wagon ready to go for the apples.

Ann said she would, and she went into the house, and got a pan with a
little milk in the bottom of it, and walked along carefully, James and
Rollo following her. When they had got round to the other side of the
house, they found there a little gate, leading out into a field where
there were green grass and little clumps of trees.

Ann went carefully through. James and Rollo stopped to look. She walked on
a little way, and looked around every where, but she saw no lamb.
Presently she began to call out, as George had said, “_Co-nan_, _Co-nan_,

In a minute or two, the lamb began to run towards her out of a little
thicket of bushes; and it drank the milk out of the pan. James and Rollo
were very much pleased, but they did not go towards the lamb. Ann let it
drink all it wanted, and then it walked away.

Then James ran back to the yard. He found that George and Rollo had gone
into the garden-house. He went in there after them, and found that they
were getting a little wagon ready to draw out into the field. There were
three barrels standing by the door of the garden-house, and George told
them that they were to put their apples into them.

The Meadow-Russet.

There was a beautiful meadow down a little way from Farmer Cropwell’s
house, and at the farther side of it, across a brook, there stood a very
large old apple-tree, which bore a kind of apples called _russets_, and
they called the tree the _meadow-russet_. These were the apples that the
boys were going to gather. They soon got ready, and began to walk along
the path towards the meadow. Two of them drew the wagon, and the others
carried long poles to knock off the apples with.

As the party were descending the hill towards the meadow, they saw before
them, coming around a turn in the path, a cart and oxen, with a large boy
driving. They immediately began to call out to one another to turn out,
some pulling one way and some the other, with much noise and vociferation.
At last they got fairly out upon the grass, and the cart went by. The boy
who was driving it said, as he went by, smiling,

“Who is the head of _that_ gang?”

James and Rollo looked at him, wondering what he meant. George laughed.

“What does he mean?” said Rollo.

“He means,” said George, laughing, “that we make so much noise and
confusion, that we cannot have any head.”

“Any head?” said James.

“Yes,--any master workman.”

“Why,” said Rollo, “do we need a master workman?”

“No,” said George, “I don’t believe we do.”

So the boys went along until they came to the brook. They crossed the
brook on a bridge of planks, and were very soon under the spreading
branches of the great apple-tree.

[Illustration: The Harvesting Party.]


The boys immediately began the work of getting down the apples. But,
unluckily, there were but two poles, and they all wanted them. George had
one, and James the other, and Rollo came up to James, and took hold of his
pole, saying,

“Here, James, I will knock them down; you may pick them up and put them in
the wagon.”

“No,” said James, holding fast to his pole; “no, I’d rather knock them

“No,” said Rollo, “I can knock them down better.”

“But I got the pole first, and I ought to have it.”

Rollo, finding that James was not willing to give up his pole, left him,
and went to George, and asked George to let him have the pole; but George
said he was taller, and could use it better than Rollo.

Rollo was a little out of humor at this, and stood aside and looked on.
James soon got tired of his pole, and laid it down; and then Rollo seized
it, and began knocking the apples off of the tree. But it fatigued him
very much to reach up so high; and, in fact, they all three got tired of
the poles very soon, and began picking up the apples.

But they did not go on any more harmoniously with this than with the
other. After Rollo and James had thrown in several apples, George came and
turned them all out.

“You must not put them in so,” said he; “all the good and bad ones

“How must we put them in?” asked Rollo.

“Why, first we must get a load of good, large, whole, round apples, and
then a load of small and wormy ones. We only put the _good_ ones into the

“And what do you do with the little ones?” said James.

“O, we give them to the pigs.”

“Well,” said Rollo, “we can pick them all up together now, and separate
them when we get home.”

As he said this, he threw in a handful of small apples among the good ones
which George had been putting in.

“Be still,” said George; “you must not do so. I tell you we must not mix
them at all.” And he poured the apples out upon the ground again.

“O, I’ll tell you what we will do,” said James; “we will get a load of
little ones first, and then the big ones. I want to see the pigs eat them

But George thought it was best to take the big ones first, and so they had
quite a discussion about it, and a great deal of time was lost before they
could agree.

Thus they went on for some time, discussing every thing, and each wanting
to do the work in his own way. They did not dispute much, it is true, for
neither of them wished to make difficulty. But each thought he might
direct as well as the others, and so they had much talk and clamor, and
but very little work. When one wanted the wagon to be on one side of the
tree, the others wanted it the other; and when George thought it was time
to draw the load along towards home, Rollo and James thought it was not
nearly full enough. So they were all pulling in different directions, and
made very slow progress in their work. It took them a long time to get
their wagon full.

When they got the load ready, and were fairly set off on the road, they
went on smoothly and pleasantly for a time, until they got up near the
door of the garden-house, when Rollo was going to turn the wagon round so
as to back it up to the door, and George began to pull in the other

“Not so, Rollo,” said George; “go right up straight.”

“No,” said Rollo, “it is better to _back_ it up.”

James had something to say, too; and they all pulled, and talked loud and
all together, so that there was nothing but noise and clamor. In the mean
time, the wagon, being pulled every way, of course did not move at all.


Presently Farmer Cropwell made his appearance at the door of the

“Well, boys,” said he, “you seem to be pretty good-natured, and I am glad
of that; but you are certainly the _noisiest_ workmen, of your size, that
I ever heard.”

“Why, father,” said George, “I want to go right up to the door, straight,
and Rollo won’t let me.”

“Must not we back it up?” said Rollo.

“Is that the way you have been working all the morning?” said the farmer.

“How?” said George.

“Why, all generals and no soldiers.”

“Sir?” said George.

“All of you commanding, and none obeying. There is nothing but confusion
and noise. I don’t see how you can gather apples so. How many have you got

So saying, he went and looked into the barrels.

“None,” said he; “I thought so.”

He stood still a minute, as if thinking what to do; and then he told them
to leave the wagon there, and go with him, and he would show them the way
to work.

The boys accordingly walked along after him, through the garden-house,
into the yard. They then went across the road, and down behind a barn, to
a place where some men were building a stone bridge. They stopped upon a
bank at some distance, and looked down upon them.

“There,” said he, “see how men work!”

It happened, at that time, that all the men were engaged in moving a great
stone with iron bars. There was scarcely any thing said by any of them.
Every thing went on silently, but the stone moved regularly into its

“Now, boys, do you understand,” said the farmer, “how they get along so

“Why, it is because they are men, and not boys,” said Rollo.

“No,” said the farmer, “that is not the reason. It is because they have a

“A head?” said Rollo.

“Yes,” said he, “a head; that is, one man to direct, and the rest obey.”

“Which is it?” said George.

“It is that man who is pointing now,” said the farmer, “to another stone.
He is telling them which to take next. Watch them now, and you will see
that he directs every thing, and the rest do just as he says. But you are
all directing and commanding together, and there is nobody to obey. If you
were moving those stones, you would be all advising and disputing
together, and pulling in every direction at once, and the stone would not
move at all.”

[Illustration: There, Said He, See How Men Work.]

“And do men always appoint a head,” said Rollo, “when they work together?”

“No,” said the farmer, “they do not always _appoint_ one regularly, but
they always _have_ one, in some way or other. Even when no one is
particularly authorized to direct, they generally let the one who is
oldest, or who knows most about the business, take the lead, and the rest
do as he says.”

They all then walked slowly back to the garden-house, and the farmer
advised them to have a head, if they wanted their business to go on
smoothly and well.

“Who do you think ought to be our head?”

“The one who is the oldest, and knows most about the business,” said the
farmer, “and that, I suppose, would be George. But perhaps you had better
take turns, and let each one be head for one load, and then you will all
learn both to command and to obey.”

So the boys agreed that George should command while they got the next
load, and James and Rollo agreed to obey. The farmer told them they must
obey exactly, and good-naturedly.

“You must not even _advise_ him what to do, or say any thing about it at
all, except in some extraordinary case; but, when you talk, talk about
other things altogether, and work on exactly as he shall say.”

“What if we _know_ there is a better way? must not we tell him?” said

“No,” said the farmer, “unless it is something very uncommon. It is better
to go wrong sometimes, under a head, than to be endlessly talking and
disputing how you shall go. Therefore you must do exactly what he says,
even if you know a better way, and see if you do not get along much

The New Plan Tried.

The boys determined to try the plan, and, after putting their first load
of apples into the barrel, they set off again under George’s command. He
told Rollo and James to draw the wagon, while he ran along behind. When
they got to the tree, Rollo took up a pole, and began to beat down some
more apples; but George told him that they must first pick up what were
knocked down before; and he drew the wagon round to the place where he
thought it was best for it to stand. The other boys made no objection, but
worked industriously, picking up all the small and worm-eaten apples they
could find; and, in a very short time, they had the wagon loaded, and were
on their way to the house again.

Still, Rollo and James had to make so great an effort to avoid interfering
with George’s directions, that they did not really enjoy this trip quite
so well as they did the first. It was pleasant to them to be more at
liberty, and they thought, on the whole, that they did not like having a
head quite so well as being without one.

Instead of going up to the garden-house, George ordered them to take this
load to the barn, to put it in a bin where all such apples were to go.
When they came back, the farmer came again to the door of the

“Well, boys,” said he, “you have come rather quicker this time. How do you
like that way of working?”

“Why, not quite so well,” said Rollo. “I do not think it is so pleasant as
the other way.”

“It is not such good _play_, perhaps; but don’t you think it makes better
_work_?” said he.

The boys admitted that they got their apples in faster, and, as they were
at work then, and not at play, they resolved to continue the plan.

Farmer Cropwell then asked who was to take command the next time.

“Rollo,” said the boys.

“Well, Rollo,” said he, “I want you to have a large number of apples
knocked down this time, and then select from them the largest and nicest
you can. I want one load for a particular purpose.”

A Present.

The boys worked on industriously, and, before dinner-time, they had
gathered all the apples. The load of best apples, which the farmer had
requested them to bring for a particular purpose, were put into a small
square box, until it was full, and then a cover was nailed on; the rest
were laid upon the great bench. When, at length, the work was all done,
and they were ready to go home, the farmer put this box into the wagon, so
that it stood up in the middle, leaving a considerable space before and
behind it. He put the loose apples into this space, some before and some
behind, until the wagon was full.

“Now, James and Rollo, I want you to draw these apples for me, when you go
home,” said the farmer.

“Who are they for?” said Rollo.

“I will mark them,” said he.

So he took down a little curious-looking tin dipper, with a top sloping in
all around, and with a hole in the middle of it. A long, slender
brush-handle was standing up in this hole.

When he took out the brush, the boys saw that it was blacking. With this
blacking-brush he wrote on the top of the box,--LUCY.

“Is that box for my cousin Lucy?” said Rollo.

“Yes,” said he; “you can draw it to her, can you not?”

“Yes, sir,” said Rollo, “we will. And who are the other apples for? You
cannot mark _them_.”

“No,” said the farmer; “but you will remember. Those before the box are
for you, and those behind it for James. So drive along. George will come
to your house, this afternoon, with the strawberry plants, and then he can
bring the wagon home.”

The Strawberry-Bed.

George Cropwell came, soon after, to Rollo’s house, and helped him make a
fine strawberry-bed, which, he said, he thought would bear considerably
the next year. They dug up the ground, raked it over carefully, and then
put in the plants in rows.

After it was all done, Rollo got permission of his father to go back with
George to take the wagon home; and George proposed to take Rollo’s
wheelbarrow too. He had never seen such a pretty little wheelbarrow, and
was very much pleased with it. So George ran on before, trundling the
wheelbarrow, and Rollo came after, drawing the wagon.

Just as they came near the farmer’s house, George saw, on before him, a
ragged little boy, much smaller than Rollo, who was walking along

“There’s Tom,” said George.

“Who?” said Rollo.

“Tom. See how I will frighten him.”

As he said this, George darted forward with his wheelbarrow, and trundled
it on directly towards Tom, as if he was going to run over him. Tom looked
round, and then ran away, the wheelbarrow at his heels. He was frightened
very much, and began to scream; and, just then, Farmer Cropwell, who at
that moment happened to be coming up a lane, on the opposite side of the
road, called out,


George stopped his wheelbarrow.

“Is that right?” said the farmer.

“Why, I was not going to hurt him,” said George.

“You _did_ hurt him--you frightened him.”

“Is frightening him hurting him, father?”

“Why, yes, it is giving him _pain_, and a very unpleasant kind of pain

“I did not think of that,” said George.

“Besides,” said his father, “when you treat boys in that harsh, rough way,
you make them your enemies; and it is a very bad plan to make enemies.”

“Enemies, father!” said George, laughing; “Tom could not do me any harm,
if he was my enemy.”

“That makes me think of the story of the bear and the tomtit,” said the
farmer; “and, if you and Rollo will jump up in the cart, I will tell it to

Thus far, while they had been talking, the boys had walked along by the
side of the road, keeping up with the farmer as he drove along in the
cart. But now they jumped in, and sat down with the farmer on his seat,
which was a board laid across from one side of the cart to the other. As
soon as they were seated, the farmer began.

The Farmer’s Story.

“The story I was going to tell you, boys, is an old fable about making
enemies. It is called ‘The Bear and the Tomtit.’ ”

“What is a tomtit?” said Rollo.

“It is a kind of a bird, a very little bird; but he sings pleasantly.
Well, one pleasant summer’s day, a wolf and a bear were taking a walk
together in a lonely wood. They heard something singing.

“ ‘Brother,’ said the bear, ‘that is good singing: what sort of a bird do
you think that may be?’

“ ‘That’s a tomtit,’ said the wolf.

“ ‘I should like to see his nest,’ said the bear; ‘where do you think it

“ ‘If we wait a little time, till his mate comes home, we shall see,’ said
the wolf.

“The bear and the wolf walked backward and forward some time, till his
mate came home with some food in her mouth for her children. The wolf and
the bear watched her. She went to the tree where the bird was singing, and
they together flew to a little grove just by, and went to their nest.

“ ‘Now,’ said the bear, ‘let us go and see.’

“ ‘No,’ said the wolf, ‘we must wait till the old birds have gone away

“So they noticed the place, and walked away.

“They did not stay long, for the bear was very impatient to see the nest.
They returned, and the bear scrambled up the tree, expecting to amuse
himself finely by frightening the young tomtits.

“ ‘Take care,’ said the wolf; ‘you had better be careful. The tomtits are
little; but little enemies are sometimes very troublesome.’

“ ‘Who is afraid of a tomtit?’ said the bear.

“So saying, he poked his great black nose into the nest.

“ ‘Who is here?’ said he; ‘what are you?’

“The poor birds screamed out with terror. ‘Go away! Go away!’ said they.

“ ‘What do you mean by making such a noise,’ said he, ‘and talking so to
me? I will teach you better.’ So he put his great paw on the nest, and
crowded it down until the poor little birds were almost stifled. Presently
he left them, and went away.

“The young tomtits were terribly frightened, and some of them were hurt.
As soon as the bear was gone, their fright gave way to anger; and, soon
after, the old birds came home, and were very indignant too. They used to
see the bear, occasionally, prowling about the woods, but did not know
what they could do to bring him to punishment.

“Now, there was a famous glen, surrounded by high rocks, where the bear
used to go and sleep, because it was a wild, solitary place. The tomtits
often saw him there. One day, the bear was prowling around, and he saw, at
a great distance, two huntsmen, with guns, coming towards the wood. He
fled to his glen in dismay, though he thought he should be safe there.

“The tomtits were flying about there, and presently they saw the huntsmen.
‘Now,’ said one of them to the other, ‘is the time to get rid of the
tyrant; you go and see if he is in his glen, and then come back to where
you hear me singing.’

“So he flew about from tree to tree, keeping in sight of the huntsmen, and
singing all the time; while the other went and found that the bear was in
his glen, crouched down in terror behind a rock.

“The tomtits then began to flutter around the huntsmen, and fly a little
way towards the glen, and then back again. This attracted the notice of
the men, and they followed them to see what could be the matter.

“By and by, the bear saw the terrible huntsmen coming, led on by his
little enemies, the tomtits. He sprang forward, and ran from one side of
the glen to the other; but he could not escape. They shot him with two
bullets through his head.

“The wolf happened to be near by, at that time, upon the rocks that were
around the glen; and, hearing all this noise, he came and peeped over. As
soon as he saw how the case stood, he thought it would be most prudent for
him to walk away; which he did, saying, as he went.

“ ‘Well, the bear has found out that it is better to have a person a
friend than an enemy, whether he is great or small.’ ”


Here the farmer paused--he had ended the story.

“And what did they do with the bear?” said Rollo.

“O, they took off his skin to make caps of, and nailed his claws up on the


The Little Landing.

A short distance from where Rollo lives, there is a small, but very
pleasant house, just under the hill, where you go down to the stone bridge
leading over the brook. There is a noble large apple tree on one side of
the house, which bears a beautiful, sweet, and mellow kind of apple,
called golden pippins. A great many other trees and flowers are around the
house, and in the little garden on the side of it towards the brook. There
is a small white gate that leads to the house, from the road; and there is
a pleasant path leading right out from the front door, through the garden,
down to the water. This is the house that Georgie lives in.

One evening, just before sunset, Rollo was coming along over the stone
bridge, towards home. He stopped a moment to look over the railing, down
into the water. Presently he heard a very sweet-toned voice calling out to


Rollo looked along in the direction in which the sound came. It was from
the bank of the stream, a little way from the road, at the place where the
path from Georgie’s house came down to the water. The brook was broad, and
the water pretty smooth and still here; and it was a place where Rollo had
often been to sail boats with Georgie. There was a little smooth, sandy
place on the shore, at the foot of the path, and they used to call it
Georgie’s landing; and there was a seat close by, under the bushes.

Rollo thought it was Georgie’s voice that called him, and in a minute, he
saw him sitting on his little seat, with his crutches by his side. Georgie
was a sick boy. He could not walk, but had to sit almost all day, at home,
in a large easy chair, which his father had bought for him. In the winter,
his chair was established in a particular corner, by the side of the fire,
and he had a little case of shelves and drawers, painted green, by the
side of him. In these shelves and drawers he had his books and
playthings,--his pen and ink,--his paint-box, brushes and pencils,--his
knife, and a little saw,--and a great many things which he used to make
for his amusement. Then, in the summer, his chair, and his shelves and
drawers, were moved to the end window, which looked out upon the garden
and brook. Sometimes, when he was better than usual, he could move about a
little upon crutches; and, at such times, when it was pleasant, he used to
go out into the garden, and down, through it, to his landing, at the

Georgie had been sick a great many years, and when Rollo and Jonas first
knew him, he used to be very sad and unhappy. It was because the poor
little fellow had nothing to do. His father had to work pretty hard to get
food and clothing for his family; he loved little Georgie very much, but
he could not buy him many things. Sometimes people who visited him, used
to give him playthings, and they would amuse him a little while, but he
soon grew tired of them, and had them put away. It is very hard for any
body to be happy who has not any thing to do.

It was Jonas that taught Georgie what to do. He lent him his knife, and
brought him some smooth, soft, pine wood, and taught him to make
wind-mills and little boxes. Georgie liked this very much, and used to sit
by his window in the summer mornings, and make playthings, hours at a
time. After he had made several things, Jonas told the boys that lived
about there, that they had better buy them of him, when they had a few
cents to spend for toys; and they did. In fact, they liked the little
windmills, and wagons, and small framed houses that Georgie made, better
than sugar-plums and candy. Besides, they liked to go and see Georgie;
for, whenever they went to buy any thing of him, he looked so contented
and happy, sitting in his easy chair, with his small and slender feet
drawn up under him, and his work on the table by his side.

Then he was a very beautiful boy too. His face was delicate and pale, but
there was such a kind and gentle expression in his mild blue eye, and so
much sweetness in the tone of his voice, that they loved very much to go
and see him. In fact, all the boys were very fond of Georgie.

Georgie’s Money.

Georgie, at length, earned, in this way, quite a little sum of money. It
was nearly all in cents; but then there was one fourpence which a lady
gave him for a four-wheeled wagon that he made. He kept this money in a
corner of his drawer, and, at last, there was quite a handful of it.

One summer evening, when Georgie’s father came home from his work, he hung
up his hat, and came and sat down in Georgie’s corner, by the side of his
little boy. Georgie looked up to him with a smile.

“Well, father,” said he, “are you tired to-night?”

“You are the one to be tired, Georgie,” said he, “sitting here alone all

“Hold up your hand, father,” said Georgie, reaching out his own at the
same time, which was shut up, and appeared to have something in it.

“Why, what have you got for me?” said his father.

“Hold fast all I give you,” replied he; and he dropped the money all into
his father’s hand, and shut up his father’s fingers over it.

“What is all this?” said his father.

“It is my money,” said he, “for you. It is ’most all cents, but then there
is _one_ fourpence.”

“I am sure, I am much obliged to you, Georgie, for this.”

“O no,” said Georgie, “it’s only a _little_ of what you have to spend for

Georgie’s father took the money, and put it in his pocket, and the next
day he went to Jonas, and told him about it, and asked Jonas to spend it
in buying such things as he thought would be useful to Georgie; either
playthings, or tools, or materials to work with.

Jonas said he should be very glad to do it, for he thought he could buy
him some things that would help him very much in his work. Jonas carried
the money into the city the next time he went, and bought him a small hone
to sharpen his knife, a fine-toothed saw, and a bottle of black varnish,
with a little brush, to put it on with. He brought these things home, and
gave them to Georgie’s father; and he carried them into the house, and put
them in a drawer.

That evening, when Georgie was at supper, his father slyly put the things
that Jonas had bought on his table, so that when he went back, after
supper, he found them there. He was very much surprised and pleased. He
examined them all very particularly, and was especially glad to have the
black varnish, for now he could varnish his work, and make it look much
more handsome. The little boxes that he made, after this, of a bright
black outside, and lined neatly with paper within, were thought by the
boys to be elegant.

He could now earn money faster, and, as his father insisted on having all
his earnings expended for articles for Georgie’s own use, and Jonas used
to help him about expending it, he got, at last, quite a variety of
implements and articles. He had some wire, and a little pair of pliers for
bending it in all shapes, and a hammer and little nails. He had also a
paint-box and brushes, and paper of various colors, for lining boxes, and
making portfolios and pocket-books; and he had varnishes, red, green,
blue, and black. All these he kept in his drawers and shelves, and made a
great many ingenious things with them.

So Georgie was a great friend of both Rollo and Jonas, and they often used
to come and see him, and play with him; and that was the reason that Rollo
knew his voice so well, when he called to him from the landing, when Rollo
was standing on the bridge, as described in the beginning of this story.

Two Good Friends.

Rollo ran along to the end of the bridge, clambered down to the water’s
edge, went along the shore among the trees and shrubbery, until he came to
the seat where Georgie was sitting. Georgie asked him to sit down, and
stay with him; but Rollo said he must go directly home; and so Georgie
took his crutches, and they began to walk slowly together up the garden

“Where have you been, Rollo?” said Georgie.

“I have been to see my cousin James, to ask him to go to the city with us

“Are you going to the city?”

“Yes; uncle George gave James and I a half a dollar apiece, the other day;
and mother is going to carry us into the city to-morrow to buy something
with it.”

“Is Jonas going with you?”

“Yes,” said Rollo. “He is going to drive. We are going in our carryall.”

“I wish you would take some money for me, then, and get Jonas to buy me
something with it.”

“Well, I will,” said Rollo. “What shall he buy for you?”

“O, he may buy any thing he chooses.”

“Yes, but if you do not tell him what to buy, he may buy something you
have got already.”

“O, Jonas knows every thing I have got as well as I do.”

Just then they came up near the house, and Georgie asked Rollo to look up
at the golden pippin tree, and see how full it was.

“That is my branch,” said he.

He pointed to a large branch which came out on one side, and which hung
down loaded with fruit. It would have broken down, perhaps, if there had
not been a crotched pole put under it, to prop it up.

“But all the apples on your branch are not golden pippins,” said Rollo.
“There are some on it that are red. What beautiful red apples!”

“Yes,” said Georgie. “Father grafted that for me, to make it bear
rosy-boys. I call the red ones my rosy-boys.”

“Grafted?” said Rollo; “how did he graft it?”

“O,” said Georgie, “I do not know exactly. He cut off a little branch from
a rosy-boy tree, and stuck it on somehow, and it grew, and bears rosy-boys

Rollo thought this was very curious; Georgie told him he would give him an
apple, and that he might have his choice--a pippin or a rosy-boy.

Rollo hesitated, and looked at them, first at one, and then at another;
but he could not decide. The rosy-boys had the brightest and most
beautiful color, but then the pippins looked so rich and mellow, that he
could not choose very easily; and so Georgie laughed, find told him he
would settle the difficulty by giving him one of each.

“So come here,” said he, “Rollo, and let me lean on you, while I knock
them down.”

So Rollo came and stood near him, while Georgie leaned on him, and with
his crutch gave a gentle tap to one of each of his kinds of apples, and
they fell down upon the soft grass, safe and sound.

[Illustration: Georgie’s Apples.]

They then went into the house, and Georgie gave Rollo his money, wrapped
up in a small piece of paper; and then Rollo, bidding him good by, went
out of the little white gate, and walked along home.

The next morning, soon after breakfast, Jonas drove the carryall up to the
front door, and Rollo and his mother walked out to it. Rollo’s mother took
the back seat, and Rollo and Jonas sat in front, and they drove along.

They called at the house where James lived, and found him waiting for them
on the front steps, with his half dollar in his hand.

He ran into the house to tell his mother that the carryall had come, and
to bid her good morning, and then he came out to the gate.

“James,” said Rollo, “you may sit on the front seat with Jonas, if you
want to.”

James said he should like to very much; and so Rollo stepped over behind,
and sat with his mother. This was kind and polite; for boys all like the
front seat when they are riding, and Rollo therefore did right to offer it
to his cousin.

A Lecture On Playthings.

After a short time, they came to a smooth and pleasant road, with trees
and farm-houses on each side; and as the horse was trotting along quietly,
Rollo asked his mother if she could not tell them a story.

“I cannot tell you a story very well, this morning, but I can give you a
lecture on playthings, if you wish.”

“Very well, mother, we should like that,” said the boys.

They did not know very well what a lecture was, but they thought that any
thing which their mother would propose would be interesting.

“Do you know what a lecture is?” said she.

“Not exactly,” said Rollo.

“Why, I should explain to you about playthings,--the various kinds, their
use, the way to keep them, and to derive the most pleasure from them, &c.
Giving you this information will not be as _interesting_ to you as to hear
a story; but it will be more _useful_, if you attend carefully, and
endeavor to remember what I say.”

The boys thought they should like the lecture, and promised to attend.
Rollo said he would remember it all; and so his mother began.

“The value of a plaything does not consist in itself, but in the pleasure
it awakens in your mind. Do you understand that?”

“Not very well,” said Rollo.

“If you should give a round stick to a baby on the floor, and let him
strike the floor with it, he would be pleased. You would see by his looks
that it gave him great pleasure. Now, where would this pleasure be,--in
the stick, or in the floor, or in the baby?”

“Why, in the baby,” said Rollo, laughing.

“Yes; and would it be in his body, or in his mind?”

“In his face,” said James.

“In his eyes,” said Rollo.

“You would see the _signs of it_ in his face and in his eyes, but the
feeling of pleasure would be in his mind. Now, I suppose you understand
what I said, that the value of the plaything consists in the pleasure it
can awaken in the mind.”

“Yes, mother,” said Rollo.

“There is your jumping man,” said she; “is that a good plaything?”

“Yes,” said Rollo, “my _kicker_. But I don’t care much about it. I don’t
know where it is now.”

“What was it?” said James. “_I_ never saw it.”

“It was a pasteboard man,” said his mother; “and there was a string
behind, fixed so that, by pulling it, you could make his arms and legs fly

“Yes,” said Rollo, “I called him my _kicker_.”

“You liked it very much, when you first had it.”

“Yes,” said Rollo, “but I don’t think it is very pretty now.”

“That shows what I said was true. When you first had it, it was new, and
the sight of it gave you pleasure; but the pleasure consisted in the
novelty and drollery of it, and after a little while, when you became
familiar with it, it ceased to give you pleasure, and then you did not
value it. I found it the other day lying on the ground in the yard, and
took it up and put it away carefully in a drawer.”

“But if the value is all gone, what good does it do to save it?” said

“The value to _you_ is gone, because you have become familiar with it, and
so it has lost its power to awaken feelings of pleasure in you. But it has
still power to give pleasure to other children, who have not seen it, and
I kept it for them.”

“I should like to see it, very much,” said James. “I never saw such a

“I will show it to you some time. Now, this is one kind of
plaything,--those which please by their _novelty_ only. It is not
generally best to buy such playthings, for you very soon get familiar with
them, and then they cease to give you pleasure, and are almost worthless.”

“Only we ought to keep them, if we have them, to show to other boys,” said

“Yes,” said his mother. “You ought never to throw them away, or leave them
on the floor, or on the ground.”

“O, the little fool,” said Rollo suddenly.

His mother and James looked up, wondering what Rollo meant. He was looking
out at the side of the carryall, at something about the wheel.

“What is it,” said his mother.

“Why, here is a large fly trying to light on the wheel, and every time his
legs touch it, it knocks them away. See! See!”

“Yes, but you must not attend to him now. You must listen to my lecture.
You promised to give your attention to me.”

So James and Rollo turned away from the window, and began to listen again.

“I have told you now,” said she, “of one kind of playthings--those that
give pleasure from their _novelty_ only. There is another kind--those that
give you pleasure by their _use_;--such as a doll, for example.”

“How, mother? Is a doll of any _use_?”

“Yes, in one sense; that is, the girl who has it, _uses_ it continually.
Perhaps she admired the _looks_ of it, the first day it was given to her;
but then, after that, she can _use_ it in so many ways, that it continues
to afford her pleasure for a long time. She can dress and undress it, put
it to bed, make it sit up for company, and do a great many other things
with it. When she gets tired of playing with it one day, she puts it away,
and the next day she thinks of something new to do with it, which she
never thought of before. Now, which should you think the pleasure you
should obtain from a ball, would arise from, its _novelty_, or its _use_?”

“Its _use_,” said the boys.

“Yes,” said the mother. “The first sight of a ball would not give you any
very special pleasure. Its value would consist in the pleasure you would
take in playing with it.

“Now, it is generally best to buy such playthings as you can use a great
many times, and in a great many ways; such as a top, a ball, a knife, a
wheelbarrow. But things that please you only by their _novelty_, will soon
lose all their power to give you pleasure, and be good for nothing to you.
Such, for instance, as jumping men, and witches, and funny little images.
Children are very often deceived in buying their playthings; for those
things which please by their novelty only, usually please them very much
for a few minutes, while they are in the shop, and see them for the first
time; while those things which would last a long time, do not give them
much pleasure at first.

“There is another kind of playthings I want to tell you about a little,
and then my lecture will be done. I mean playthings which give _you_
pleasure, but give _other persons_ pain. A drum and a whistle, for
example, are disagreeable to other persons; and children, therefore, ought
not to choose them, unless they have a place to go to, to play with them,
which will be out of hearing. I have known boys to buy masks to frighten
other children with, and bows and arrows, which sometimes are the means of
putting out children’s eyes. So you must consider, when you are choosing
playthings, first, whether the pleasure they will give you will be from
the _novelty_ or the _use_; and, secondly, whether, in giving _you_
pleasure, they will give _any other persons_ pain.

“This is the end of the lecture. Now you may rest a little, and look
about, and then I will tell you a short story.”

The Young Drivers.

They came, about this time, to the foot of a long hill, and Jonas said he
believed that he would get out and walk up, and he said James might drive
the horse. So he put the reins into James’s hands, and jumped out. Rollo
climbed over the seat, and sat by his side. Presently James saw a large
stone in the road, and he asked Rollo to see how well he could drive round
it; for as the horse was going, he would have carried one wheel directly
over it. So he pulled one of the reins, and turned the horse away; but he
contrived to turn him out just far enough to make the _other_ wheel go
over the stone. Rollo laughed, and asked him to let him try the next time;
and James gave him the reins; but there was no other stone till they got
up to the top of the hill.

Then James said that Rollo might ride on the front seat now, and when
Jonas got in, he climbed back to the back seat, and took his place by the
side of Rollo’s mother.

“Come, mother,” then said Rollo, “we are rested enough now: please to
begin the story.”

“Very well, if you are all ready.”

So she began as follows:--

    The Story of Shallow, Selfish, and Wise.

    Once there were three boys going into town to buy some playthings:
    their names were Shallow, Selfish, and Wise. Each had half a
    dollar. Shallow carried his in his hand, tossing it up in the air,
    and catching it, as he went along. Selfish kept teasing his mother
    to give him some more money: half a dollar, he said, was not
    enough. Wise walked along quietly, with his cash safe in his

    Presently Shallow missed catching his half dollar, and--chink--it
    went, on the sidewalk, and it rolled along down into a crack under
    a building. Then he began to cry. Selfish stood by, holding his
    own money tight in his hands, and said he did not pity Shallow at
    all; it was good enough for him; he had no business to be tossing
    it up. Wise came up, and tried to get the money out with a stick,
    but he could not. He told Shallow not to cry; said he was sorry he
    had lost his money, and that he would give him half of his, as
    soon as they could get it changed at the shop.

    So they walked along to the toy-shop.

    Their mother said that each one might choose his own plaything; so
    they began to look around on the counter and shelves.

    After a while, Shallow began to laugh very loud and heartily at
    something he found. It was an image of a grinning monkey. It
    looked very droll indeed. Shallow asked Wise to come and see. Wise
    laughed at it too, but said he should not want to buy it, as he
    thought he should soon get tired of laughing at any thing, if it
    was ever so droll.

    Shallow was sure that he should never get tired of laughing at so
    very droll a thing as the grinning monkey; and he decided to buy
    it, if Wise would give him half of his money; and so Wise did.

    Selfish found a rattle, a large, noisy rattle, and went to
    springing it until they were all tired of hearing the noise.

    “I think I shall buy this,” said he. “I can make believe that
    there is a fire, and can run about springing my rattle, and
    crying, ‘Fire! Fire!’ or I can play that a thief is breaking into
    a store, and can rattle my rattle at him, and call out, ‘Stop
    thief!’ ”

    “But that will disturb all the people in the house,” said Wise.

    “What care I for that?” said Selfish.

    Selfish found that the price of his rattle was not so much as the
    half dollar; so he laid out the rest of it in cake, and sat down
    on a box, and began to eat it.

    Wise passed by all the images and gaudy toys, only good to look at
    a few times, and chose a soft ball, and finding that that did not
    take all of his half of the money, he purchased a little morocco
    box with an inkstand, some wafers, and one or two short pens in
    it. Shallow told him that was not a plaything; it was only fit for
    a school; and as to his ball, he did not think much of that.

    Wise said he thought they could all play with the ball a great
    many times, and he thought, too, that he should like his little
    inkstand rainy days and winter evenings.

    So the boys walked along home. Shallow stopped every moment to
    laugh at his monkey, and Selfish to spring his rattle; and they
    looked with contempt on Wise’s ball, which he carried quietly in
    one hand, and his box done up in brown paper in the other.

    When they got home, Shallow ran in to show his monkey. The people
    smiled a little, but did not take much notice of it; and, in fact,
    it did not look half so funny, even to himself, as it did in the
    shop. In a short time, it did not make him laugh at all, and then
    he was vexed and angry with it. He said he meant to go and throw
    the ugly old baboon away; he was tired of seeing that same old
    grin on his face all the time. So he went and threw it over the

    Selfish ate his cake up, on his way home. He would not give his
    brothers any, for he said they had had their money as well as he.
    When he got home, he went about the house, up and down, through
    parlor and chamber, kitchen and shed, springing his rattle, and
    calling out, “Stop thief! Stop thief!” or “Fire! Fire!” Every body
    got tired, and asked him to be still; but he did not mind, until,
    at last, his father took his rattle away from him, and put it up
    on a high shelf.

    Then Selfish and Shallow went out and found Wise playing
    beautifully with his ball in the yard; and he invited them to play
    with him. They would toss it up against the wall, and learn to
    catch it when it came down; and then they made some bat-sticks,
    and knocked it back and forth to one another, about the yard. The
    more they played with the ball, the more they liked it, and, as
    Wise was always very careful not to play near any holes, and to
    put it away safe when he had done with it, he kept it a long time,
    and gave them pleasure a great many times all summer long.

    And then his inkstand box was a great treasure. He would get it
    out in the long winter evenings, and lend Selfish and Shallow,
    each, one of his pens; and they would all sit at the table, and
    make pictures, and write little letters, and seal them with small
    bits of the wafers. In fact, Wise kept his inkstand box safe till
    he grew up to be a man.

    That is the end of the story.

The Toy-Shop.

“I wish I could get an inkstand box,” said Rollo, when the story was

“I think he was very foolish to throw away his grinning monkey,” said
James, “I wish I could see a grinning monkey.”

They continued talking about this story some time, and at length they drew
nigh to the city. They drove to a stable, where Jonas had the horse put
up, and then they all walked on in search of a toy-shop.

They passed along through one or two streets, walking very slowly, so that
the boys might look at the pictures and curious things in the shop
windows. At length they came to a toy-shop, and all went in.

They saw at once a great number and variety of playthings exhibited to
view. All around the floor were arranged horses on wheels, little carts,
wagons, and baskets. The counter had a great variety of images and
figures,--birds that would peep, and dogs that would bark, and drummers
that would drum--all by just turning a little handle. Then the shelves and
the window were filled with all sorts of boxes, and whips, and puzzles,
and tea-sets, and dolls, dressed and not dressed. There were bows and
arrows, and darts, and jumping ropes, and glass dogs, and little
rocking-horses, and a thousand other things.

When the boys first came in, there was a little girl standing by the
counter with a small slate in her hand. She looked like a poor girl,
though she was neat and tidy in her dress. She was talking with the
shopman about the slate.

“Don’t you think,” said she, “you could let me have it for ten cents?”

“No,” said he, “I could not afford it for less than fifteen. It cost me
more than ten.”

The little girl laid the slate down, and looked disappointed and sad.
Rollo’s mother came up to her, took up the slate, and said,

“I should think you had better give him fifteen cents. It is a very good
slate. It is worth as much as that, certainly.”

“Yes, madam, so I tell her,” said the shopman.

“But I have not got but ten cents,” said the little girl.

“Have not you?” said Rollo’s mother. She stood still thinking a moment,
and then she asked the little girl what her name was.

She said it was Maria.

She asked her what she wanted the slate for; and Maria said it was to do
sums on, at school. She wanted to study arithmetic, and could not do so
without a slate.

Jonas then came forward, and said that he should like to give her five
cents of Georgie’s money, and that, with the ten she had, would be enough.
He said that Georgie had given him authority to do what he thought best
with his money, and he knew, if Georgie was here, he would wish to help
the little girl.

Rollo and James were both sorry they had not thought of it themselves;
and, as soon as Jonas mentioned it, they wanted to give some of their
money to the girl; but Jonas said he knew that Georgie would prefer to do
it. At last, however, it was agreed that Rollo and James should furnish
one cent each, and Georgie the rest. This was all agreed upon after a low
conversation by themselves in a corner of the store; and then Jonas came
forward, and told the shopman that they were going to pay the additional
five cents, and that he might let the girl have the slate. So Jonas paid
the money, and it was agreed that Rollo and James should pay him back
their share, when they got their money changed. The boys were very much
pleased to see the little girl go away so happy with her slate in her
hand. It was neatly done up in paper, with two pencils which the shopman
gave her, done up inside.

After Maria was gone, the boys looked around the shop, but could not find
any thing which exactly pleased them; or at least they could not find any
thing which pleased them so much more than any thing else, that they could
decide in favor of it. So they concluded to walk along, and look at
another shop.

They succeeded at last in finding some playthings that they liked, and
Jonas bought a variety of useful things for Georgie. On their way home,
the carryall stopped at the house where Lucy lived and Rollo’s mother left
him and James there, to show Lucy their playthings.

One of the things they bought was a little boat with two sails, and they
went down behind the house to sail it. The other playthings and books they
carried down too, and had a fine time playing with them, with Lucy and
another little girl who was visiting her that afternoon.




      Rollo Learning to Talk.
      Rollo Learning to Read.
      Rollo at Work.
      Rollo at Play.
      Rollo at School.
      Rollo’s Vacation.
      Rollo’s Experiments.
      Rollo’s Museum.
      Rollo’s Travels.
      Rollo’s Correspondence.
      Rollo’s Philosophy--Water.
      Rollo’s Philosophy--Air.
      Rollo’s Philosophy--Fire.
      Rollo’s Philosophy--Sky.


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