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´╗┐Title: Rollo's Museum
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Rollo's Museum" ***

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Internet Archive)






 Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1839,

                     By T. H. CARTER,

 In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.


 [Illustration: Henry made a sudden plunge after him. _Page 119._]



 THE CANAL                                                    9
 A FALSE ALARM                                               34
 THE HEMLOCK-SEED                                            46
 A LITTLE LAW                                                60
 CONFUSION                                                   77
 ORGANIZATION                                                88
 CAUGHT,--AND GONE AGAIN                                    106
 THE BAILMENT CASES                                         120
 THE CURIOSITIES                                            136
 THE SEA-SHORE                                              154
 THE CLIFFS                                                 167
 THE THREE NORTHMEN                                         179



It happened one summer, when Rollo was between seven and eight years of
age, that there was a vacation at the school which he was attending at
that time. The vacation commenced in the latter part of August, and was
to continue for four or five weeks. Rollo had studied pretty hard at
school, and he complained that his eyes ached sometimes.

The day before the vacation commenced, his father became somewhat uneasy
about his eyes; and so he took him to a physician, to see what should be
done for them. The physician asked Rollo a good many questions, all of
which Rollo endeavored to answer as correctly as he could.

At length, the physician told Rollo's father that all he needed was to
let his eyes rest. "I think he had better not use them at all," said he,
"for reading or writing, for several weeks; and not to be out much in
the hot sun."

Rollo felt very much rejoiced at hearing this prescription, though still
he looked very sober; for he felt somewhat awed and restrained by being
in the doctor's office. There were a good many large books, in cases
upon one side of the room; and strange, uncouth-looking pictures hanging
up, which, so far as Rollo could see, did not look like any thing at
all. Then there was an electric machine upon a stand in one corner,
which he was afraid might in some way "shock" him; and some
frightful-looking surgical instruments in a little case, which was open
upon the table in the middle of the room.

In fact, Rollo was very glad to escape safely out of the doctor's
office; and he was, if possible, still more rejoiced that he had so
light and easy a prescription. He had thought that, perhaps, the doctor
would put something on his eyes, and bandage them up, so that he could
not see at all; or else give him some black and bitter medicines to
take every night and morning.

Instead of that, he said to himself, as he came out at the door, "I have
only got to keep from studying, and that will be capital. I can play all
the time. True, I can't read any story books; but, then, I am willing to
give the story books up, if I don't have to study."

Rollo had usually been obliged to read, or study, or write a little,
even in vacations; for his mother said that boys could not be happy to
play all the time. Rollo, however, thought that she was mistaken in
this. It is true that she had sometimes allowed him to try the
experiment for a day or two, and in such cases he had always, somehow or
other, failed of having a pleasant time. But then he himself always
attributed the failure to some particular difficulty or source of
trouble, which happened to come up then, but which would not be likely
to occur again.

In fact, in this opinion Rollo was partly correct. For it was true that
each day, when he failed of enjoying himself, there was some peculiar
reason for it, and exactly that reason would not be likely to exist
another day. But then the difficulty with playing, or attempting to
amuse one's self all the time, is, that it produces such a state of
mind, that almost any thing becomes a source of uneasiness or
dissatisfaction; and something or other is likely to occur, or there
will be something or other wanting, which makes the time pass very
heavily along.

It is so with men as well as boys. Men sometimes are so situated that
they have nothing to do but to try to amuse themselves. But these men
are generally a very unhappy class. The poorest laborer, who toils all
day at the hardest labor, is happier than they.

So that the physician's prescription was, in reality, a far more
disagreeable one than Rollo had imagined.

When Rollo reached home, he told his mother that he was not to have any
thing more to do with books for a month.

"And you look as if you were glad of it," said she, with a smile.

"Yes, mother, I am," said Rollo, "rather glad."

"And what do you expect to do with yourself all that time?" said she.

"O, I don't know," said Rollo. "Perhaps I shall help Jonas, a part of
the time, about his work."

"That will be a very good plan for a part of the time," said his mother;
"though he is doing pretty hard work just now."

"What is he doing?"

"He is digging a little canal in the marsh, beyond the brook, to drain
off the water."

"O, I can dig," said Rollo, "and I mean to go now and help him."

This was about the middle of the forenoon; and Rollo, taking a piece of
bread for a luncheon, and a little tin dipper, to get some water with,
to drink, out of the brook, walked along towards the great gate which
led to the lane behind his father's house. It was a pleasant, green
lane, and there were rows of raspberry-bushes on each side of it, along
by the fences. Some years before, there had been no raspberries near the
house; but one autumn, when Jonas had a good deal of ploughing to do
down the lane, he ploughed up the ground by the fences in this lane,
making one furrow every time he went up and down to his other work.
Then in the spring he ploughed it again, and by this time the turf had
rotted, and so the land had become mellow. Then Jonas went away with the
wagon, one afternoon, about two miles, to a place where the raspberries
were very abundant, and dug up a large number of them, and set them out
along this lane, on both sides of it; and so, in a year or two, there
was a great abundance of raspberries very near the house.

Rollo stopped to eat some raspberries as he walked along. He thought
they would do exceedingly well with his bread, to give a little variety
to his luncheon. After he had eaten as many as he wanted, he thought he
would gather his dipper full for Jonas, as he was busy at work, and
could not have time to gather any for himself.

He got his dipper full very quick, for the raspberries were thick and
large. He thought it was an excellent plan for Jonas to plant the
raspberry-bushes there; but then he thought it was a great deal of
trouble to bring them all from so great a distance.

"I wonder," said he to himself, as he sat upon a log, thinking of the
subject, "why it would not have been just as well to plant raspberries
themselves, instead of setting out the bushes. The raspberries must be
the seeds. I mean to take some of these big ones, and try. I dare say
they'll grow."

But then he reflected that the spring was planting time, and he knew
very well that raspberries would not keep till spring; and so he
determined to ask Jonas about it. He accordingly rose up from the log,
and walked along, carrying his dipper, very carefully, in his hand.

At length, he reached the brook. There was a rude bridge over it made of
two logs, placed side by side, and short boards nailed across them for a
foot-way. It was only wide enough for persons to walk across. The cattle
and teams always went across through the water, at a shallow place, just
below the bridge.

Rollo lay down upon the bridge, and looked into the water. There were
some skippers and some whirlabouts upon the water. The skippers were
long-legged insects, shaped somewhat like a cricket; and they stood
tiptoe upon the surface of the water. Rollo wondered how they could keep
up. Their feet did not sink into the water at all, and every now and
then they would give a sort of leap, and away they would shoot over the
surface, as if it had been ice. Rollo reached his hand down and tried to
catch one, to examine his feet; but he could not succeed. They were too
nimble for him. He thought that, if he could only catch one, and have an
opportunity to examine his feet, he could see how it was that he could
stand so upon the water. Rollo was considering whether it was possible
or not, that Jonas might make something, like the skippers' feet, for
_him_, to put upon his feet, so that _he_ might walk on the water, when
suddenly he heard a bubbling sound in the brook, near the shore. He
looked there, and saw some bubbles of air coming up out of the bottom,
and rising to the top of the water. He thought this was very singular.
It was not strange that the air should come up through the water to the
top, for air is much lighter than water; the wonder was, how the air
could ever get down there.

From wondering at this extraordinary phenomenon, Rollo began to wonder
at another quite different question; that is, where all the water in
the brook could come from. He looked at a little cascade just above the
bridge, where the water rushed through a narrow place between two rocks,
and watched it a few minutes, wondering that it should continue running
so all the time, forever; and surprised also that he had never wondered
at it before.

He looked into the clear, transparent current, which poured steadily
down between the rocks, and said to himself,

"Strange! There it runs and runs, all the time--all day, and all night;
all summer, and all winter; all this year, and all last year, and every
year. Where can all the water come from?"

Then he thought that he should like to follow the brook up, and find
where it came from; but he concluded that it must be a great way to go,
through bushes, and rocks, and marshes; and he saw at once that the
expedition was out of the question for him.

Just then he heard another gurgling in the water near him, and, looking
down, he saw more bubbles coming up to the surface, very near where they
had come up before. Rollo thought he would get a stick, and see if he
could not poke up the mud, and find out what there was down there, to
make such a bubbling. He thought that perhaps it might be some sort of
animal blowing.

He went off of the bridge, therefore, and began to look about for a
stick. He had just found one, when all at once he heard a noise in the
bushes. He looked up suddenly, not knowing what was coming, but in a
moment saw Jonas walking along towards him.

"Ah, Jonas," said Rollo, "are you going home?"

"Yes," said Jonas, "unless you will go for me."

"Well," said Rollo, "what do you want me to get?"

"I want some fire, to burn up some brush. You can bring out the

"Very well," said Rollo, "I will go; only I wish you would tell me where
these bubbles come from out of the bottom of the brook."

"What bubbles?" said Jonas.

So Rollo took his stick, and pushed the end of it down into the mud, and
that made more bubbles come up.

"They are bubbles of air," said Jonas.

"But how comes the air down there," said Rollo, "under the water?"

"I don't know," said Jonas; "and besides I must not stay and talk here;
I must go back to my work. I will talk to you about it when you come
back." So Jonas returned to his work, and Rollo went to the house again
after the lantern.

When he came back to the brook, he found that he could not make any more
bubbles come up; but instead of that, his attention was attracted by
some curiously colored pebbles near the shore. He put his hand down into
the water, and took up two or three of them. He thought they were
beautiful. Then he took his dipper, which had, all this time, been lying
forgotten by the side of a log, on the shore, and walked along--the
dipper full of raspberries in one hand, the lantern in the other, and
his bright and beautiful pebbles in his pocket.

Rollo followed the path along the banks of the brook under the trees,
until at length he came out to the open ground where Jonas was at work.
There was a broad meadow, or rather marsh, which extended back to some
distance from the brook, and beyond it the land rose to a hill. Just at
the foot of this high land, at the side of the marsh farthest from the
brook, was a pool of water, which had been standing there all summer,
and was half full of green slime. Jonas had been at work, cutting a
canal, or drain, from the bank of the brook back to this pool, in order
to let the water off. The last time that Rollo had seen the marsh, it
had been very wet, so wet that it was impossible for him to walk over
it; it was then full of green moss, and sedgy grass, and black mire,
with tufts of flags, brakes, and cranberry-bushes, here and there all
over it. If any person stepped upon it, he would immediately sink in,
except in some places, where the surface was firm enough to bear one up,
and there the ground quivered and fluctuated under the tread, for some
distance around, showing that it was all soft below.

When Rollo came out in view of the marsh, he saw Jonas at work away off
in the middle of it, not very far from the pool. So he called out to him
in a very loud voice,


[Footnote A: See Frontispiece.]

Jonas, who had been stooping down at his work, rose up at hearing this
call, and replied to Rollo.

Rollo asked him how he should get across to him.

"O, walk right along," said Jonas; "the ground is pretty dry now. Go up
a little farther, and you will find my canal, and then you can follow it
directly along."

So Rollo walked on a little farther, and found the canal where it opened
into the brook. He then began slowly and cautiously to walk along the
side of the canal, into the marsh; and he was surprised to find how firm
and dry the land was. He thought it was owing to Jonas's canal.

"Jonas," said he, as he came up to where Jonas was at work, "this is an
excellent canal; it has made the land almost dry already."

"O, no," said Jonas, "my canal has not done any good yet."

"What makes the bog so dry, then?" said Rollo.

"O, it has been drying all summer, and draining off into the brook."

"Draining off into the brook?" repeated Rollo.

"Yes," said Jonas.

"But there is not any drain," said Rollo; "at least there has not been,
until you began to make your canal."

"But the water soaks off slowly through the ground, and oozes out under
the banks of the brook."

"Does it?" said Rollo.

"Yes," said Jonas; "and the only use of my canal is to make it run off

"Ah! now I know," said Rollo, half talking to himself.

"Know what?" asked Jonas.

"Why, where all the water of the brook comes from; at least, where some
of it comes from."

"How?" said Jonas. "I don't know what you mean."

"Why, I could not think where all the water came from, to keep the brook
running so fast all the time. But now I know that some of it has been
coming all the time from this bog. Does it all come from bogs?"


"Yes, from bogs, and hills, and springs, and from the soakings of all
the land it comes through, from where it first begins."

"Where does it first begin?" said Rollo.

"O, it begins in some bog or other, perhaps; just a little dribbling
stream oozing out from among roots and mire, and it continually grows as
it runs."

"Is that the way?" said Rollo.

"Yes," said Jonas, "that is the way."

During all this time Rollo had been standing with his lantern and his
dipper in his hands, while Jonas had continued his digging. Rollo now
put the lantern down, and handed the dipper to Jonas, telling him that
he had brought him some raspberries.

Jonas seemed quite pleased with his raspberries. While he was eating
them, Rollo asked him if a raspberry was a seed.

"No," said Jonas. "The whole raspberry is not, the seeds are _in_ the
raspberry. They are very small. When you eat a raspberry, you can feel
the little seeds, by biting them with your teeth."

Rollo determined to pick some seeds out, and see how they looked; but
Jonas told him that the way to get them out was to wash them out in

"Take some of these raspberries," said he, "in the dipper to the brook,
and pour in some water over them. Then take a stick and jam the
raspberries all up, and stir them about, and then pour off the water,
but keep the seeds in. Next, pour in some more water, and wash the seeds
over again, and so on, until the seeds are all separated from the pulp,
and left clean."

"Is that the way they get raspberry seeds?" said Rollo.

"Yes," said Jonas, "I believe so. I never tried it myself; but I have
heard them say that that is the way they do with raspberries, and
strawberries, and all such fruits."

Rollo immediately went and washed out some seeds as Jonas had directed,
and when he came back he spread them out upon a piece of birch bark to
dry. While they were there, Jonas let him kindle the pile of brush wood,
which he had been intending to burn. It had been lying all summer, and
had got very dry. In the mean time, Jonas continued digging his canal,
and was gradually approaching the pool of water. When he had got pretty
near the pool, he stopped digging the canal, and went to the pool
itself. He rolled a pretty large log into the edge of it, for him to
stand upon; and with his hoe he dug a trench, beginning as far in the
pool as he could reach with his hoe, while standing upon his log, and
working gradually out towards where he had left digging the canal. The
bottom of the pool was very soft and slimy; but he contrived to get a
pretty deep and wide trench out quite to the margin, and a little

"Now," said he to Rollo, "I am going to dig the canal up to the end of
this trench, and then the water will all run very freely."

There was now a narrow neck of land between the end of the canal and the
beginning of the trench; and as Jonas went on digging the canal along,
this neck grew narrower and narrower. Rollo began to be impatient to see
the water run. He wanted Jonas to let him hoe a little passage, so as to
let it begin to run a little.

"No," said Jonas.

"Why not?" said Rollo.

"There are two good reasons," he replied. "The first is, it will spoil
my work, and the second is, it will spoil your play."

"What do you mean by that?" said Rollo.

"Why, if I let the water run a little now, it will flood me here, where
I am digging, and make all muddy; and I cannot finish my canal so
easily; so it will spoil my work. Then, besides, we want to see the
water run in a torrent; but if I let you dig a little trench along
across the neck, so as to let it off by degrees, you will not take half
as much pleasure in seeing it run, as you will to wait until it is all
ready. So it will spoil your play."

Rollo did not reply to this, and Jonas went on digging.

"Well," said Rollo, after a short pause, "I wish, Jonas, you would tell
me how the bubbles of air get down into the mud, at the bottom of the

"I don't know," said Jonas.

"It seems to me it is very extraordinary," said Rollo.

"It is somewhat extraordinary. I have thought of another extraordinary
phenomenon somewhat like it."

"What is that?" said Rollo.

"The rain," replied Jonas.

"The rain?" said Rollo; "how?"

"Why, the rain," replied Jonas, "is water coming down out of the air;
and the bubbles are air coming up out of the water."

"Then it is exactly the opposite of it," said Rollo.

"Yes," said Jonas.

"But you said it was _like_ it."

"Well, and so it is," Jonas replied.

"Like it, and yet exactly opposite to it! Jonas, that is impossible."

"Why, yes," said Jonas, "the air gets down into the water, and you
wonder how it can, when it is so much lighter than water. So water gets
up into the air, and I wonder how it can, when it is so much heavier. So
that the difficulty is just about the same."

"No," said Rollo, "it is just about opposite."

"Very well," said Jonas. Jonas never would dispute. Whenever any body
said any thing that he did not think was correct, he would sometimes try
to explain it; but then, if they persisted, he would generally say "Very
well," and that would prevent all dispute. This is an excellent way to
prevent disputes, or to end them when they are begun.

While Jonas was digging slowly along through the neck of land, Rollo was
rambling about among the bushes, and at length Jonas heard a sudden
scream from him. Jonas looked up, and saw Rollo scrambling away from a
little thicket, and then presently stopping to look back, apparently

"What now, Rollo?" said Jonas.

"Here is a great hornets' nest," said Rollo.

Jonas laid down his spade, and went to where Rollo was. Rollo pointed to
a little bush, where Jonas saw, hanging to a bough, not far from the
ground, a small hornets' nest, about as big as a common snow-ball, and
as round. Jonas walked slowly up towards it, watching it very
attentively, as he advanced.

"O Jonas! Jonas!" exclaimed Rollo, "you'd better be careful. Jonas!
Jonas! you'll get stung."

Jonas paid no attention to what Rollo was saying, but still kept moving
slowly on towards the bush. When he got pretty near, he took his knife
out of his pocket, and advancing one step more, he took hold of the end
of the branch with one hand, and cut it off close to the tree, with the
other. Rollo, in the mean time, had run backwards several steps to avoid
the danger; still, however, keeping his eyes fixed upon Jonas.

Jonas brought the nest out of the thicket.

"Jonas!" said Rollo, in a tone of strong remonstrance, "you are crazy."

"There are no hornets in it," said Jonas, quietly.

He brought out the nest, and held it so that he and Rollo could see it.

"The hornets have made it of brown paper," said he.

"Brown paper," said Rollo. "Where do they get the brown paper?"

"O, they make the brown paper too."

"Ho!" said Rollo; "hornets can't make paper."

"Think not?" said Jonas. Jonas was always careful not to contradict,
even when he supposed that Rollo was mistaken.

Rollo said he was _sure_ that hornets could not make paper. Then Jonas
took off a little shred from the hornets' nest, and compared it with
some brown paper which he had in his pocket; and he explained to Rollo
that the hornets' nest was made of little fibres adhering to each
other, just as the fibres of the paper did.

"It is the same article," he said, "and made of the same materials; only
they manufacture it in a different way. So I don't see why it is not
proper to call it paper."

"_I_ don't think it is paper," said Rollo; "nothing is paper but what
men make."

"Very well," said Jonas, "we won't dispute about the name."

So Jonas returned to his work, and Rollo said that he meant to carry the
hornets' nest home, and show it to Nathan. He accordingly laid it down
by the side of his fire, near the dipper and the raspberry seeds.

In a short time, Jonas reduced the neck of ground, where he was digging,
to a very narrow wall, and he called Rollo to come and see him let out
the water. He took the shovel, and he told Rollo to take the hoe, so
that, as soon as he should break down this wall, they could both be at
work, digging out the passage way, so as to get it cleared as soon as

He accordingly began, and soon made a breach, through which the water
rushed with considerable force into the canal, and then wandered along
rapidly towards the outlet into the brook. Rollo pulled away with his
hoe, hauling out mud, moss, grass, and water, up upon the bank where he
stood; and Jonas also kept at work clearing the passage with the spade.
In a short time they had got a fine, free course for the water, and then
they stood still, one on each side of the bank, watching the torrent as
it poured through.

At length, the water in the pool began to subside gradually, and then it
did not run so fast through the canal; and pretty soon after this, Jonas
said he thought it was time for them to go home to dinner. So Rollo put
up his raspberry seeds in a paper, and put them into his pocket, and
carried his hornets' nest in his hand. Jonas took the dipper and the
lantern, and thus the boys walked along together.


As Rollo and Jonas walked along towards home, Rollo told Jonas that he
thought he had been very successful in collecting curiosities that day.

"Why, what curiosities have you got besides your hornets' nest?" asked

"Why, there are my raspberry seeds," said Rollo; "I think they are a
curiosity; and besides that, I have got some very beautiful, bright
pebbles in my pocket."

"Let us see them," said Jonas.

So Rollo put his hand into his pocket, and drew forth several pebbles;
but they were by no means as beautiful as he had imagined. They looked
rough and dull.

"They _were_ very bright, when I got them," said Rollo.

"That is because they were wet," said Jonas. "Pebbles always look
brightest and most beautiful when they are in their own proper place, in
the brook; and that is the reason why I think it is generally best to
leave them there."

Rollo looked at his faded pebbles with an air of disappointment. He
asked Jonas if there was no way of keeping them bright all the time.

"I think it probable that they might be oiled, and the oil would not

"Ho!" said Rollo, "I should not like to have them oiled."

"Nor I," said Jonas; "I should rather leave them in the brook."

"But is not there any other way?"

"They might be varnished," said Jonas. "That would bring out the colors;
and the varnish would dry, so that you could handle them."

"That would do," said Rollo, "if I only had some varnish."

"But the best way is to _polish_ them," said Jonas.

"How is that done?" asked Rollo.

"O, it is very hard to do," replied Jonas. "They grind them on stones,
and then they polish them on polishing wheels."

"I wish I could do it," said Rollo.

"It is not worth while to take so much pains with any of _your_
curiosities," said Jonas, "because you very soon get tired of them, and
throw them away."

"O, no," said Rollo, "_I_ never throw them away."

"You leave them lying about the house and yard, then, and so other
people throw them away."

Rollo knew that this was true, and so he did not contradict Jonas.

"It's not of much use to collect curiosities," said Jonas, "unless you
have a museum."

"A museum?" said Rollo.

"Yes, that is a cabinet to put them in, and keep them safe. Then, when
you have done looking at them yourself, you put them away safely; and,
after a time, you get a great many collected, and you take pleasure in
looking them over from time to time, and showing them to other boys that
come to see you."

"Well," said Rollo, "I should like to have a museum."

"O, _you_ could not keep one," said Jonas.

"Why not?" said Rollo.

"You have not patience and perseverance enough. You would be very much
pleased with it for a day or two; but then you would get interested in
other plays, and let your museum all get into disorder."

Rollo was silent. He knew that what Jonas said was true.

"I don't know but that your cousin Lucy might keep a museum," said
Jonas; "she is more careful than you are."

"And cousin James could help us find the curiosities," said Rollo.

"So he could," said Jonas. "I think it might be a very good plan."

"But what shall we have for our cabinet to put them in?" said Rollo.

"Why, sometimes they have something like a book-case," replied Jonas,
"with shelves and glass doors. Then the curiosities are all put upon the
shelves, and you can see them through the glass doors. But this can only
be done with very valuable curiosities."

"Why?" asked Rollo.

"Because such a case, with glass doors, costs a good deal of money; and
it is not worth while to pay so much money only to keep common things,
such as your pebble stones."

"But we have got such a book-case, already made; it is in mother's
chamber," said Rollo.

"Yes," said Jonas; "but it is full of books. Sometimes they keep a
museum in the drawers of a bureau; but that is not a very good plan."

"Why not?" said Rollo.

"Because, when you open and shut the drawers, it joggles the curiosities

"Does it?" said Rollo.

"Yes," replied Jonas. "But there is one thing you can do--I did not
think of it before. There is a good large box in the barn, and I can put
some shelves into it, and make the cover into a door; and if you want to
collect a museum, you can do it in that. You can keep it out in the play
room, and so it will not trouble any body in the house."

Jonas meant, by _the play room_, a pretty large room, in the barn, made
originally for a sort of granary, but which the children were accustomed
to use for a play room.

Rollo was very much pleased with this plan. He determined to collect a
museum, and to put his hornets' nest in it for the first thing. As soon
as he got home, as he found that dinner was not quite ready, he and
Jonas went out into the barn to look at the box. It was a large box,
which had been made to pack up a bureau in, so that the bureau should
not get injured in the wagon which it was brought home in. As it
happened, the box was smooth inside and out, and the cover of it was
made of two boards, which Jonas had taken off carefully, when he took
the bureau out, and had then tacked them on again; thinking that he
might perhaps want it some time or other,--box, covers, and all.

Now it happened, as it generally does to persons who take care of
things, that the article which Jonas thus preserved, came into use
exactly. The box, he said, would be just the thing. He showed Rollo how
he could place it so that it would make a convenient sort of cabinet.

"I can put it upon its end," said he, "and then I can put on the two
cover boards with hinges,--one pair of hinges on each side; then the
covers will make little doors, and it will open like a book case, only
it will not be quite so elegant."

"I think it will be very elegant indeed," said Rollo; "and you can make
it for us this afternoon."

"No," said Jonas; "not this afternoon."

"Why not?" said Rollo.

"O, I must attend to my work in the meadow."

"O, no," said Rollo. "I mean to ask my father to let you make it this

"No; I'd rather you wouldn't," said Jonas.

"Why not?" asked Rollo. "I know he will let you."

"Yes, I suppose he would let me, if you were to ask him; but that would
spoil the museum."

"Spoil it?" said Rollo.

"Yes," said Jonas. "The way to spoil any pleasure is to neglect duty for
the sake of it. Work first, and play afterwards. That's the rule."

"Well, but, Jonas, we want to begin our museum this afternoon."

"Very well," said Jonas; "you may begin collecting your curiosities, you
know; and you can put them all in a safe place, and have them all ready
to put in when I get the case made."

Rollo did not quite like this plan; but he knew that Jonas was always
firm when it was a question of right and wrong, and so he said no more;
only, after a moment's pause, he asked Jonas when he _would_ make the

"The first rainy day," replied Jonas.

"Then I hope it will rain to-morrow," said Rollo; and he went out of the
barn to see if it was not cloudy. But the sun shone bright, and the sky
was clear and serene.

       *       *       *       *       *

While Rollo was looking up at the sky, trying to find some appearance of
rain, he heard a chaise coming, and looking out into the road, he saw
that his cousin James was in it.

"Ah," said he to himself, "there comes cousin James! Now I will have a
frolic with him, by means of my hornets' nest."

So Rollo ran into the garden, and slyly fixed his hornets' nest up in a
lilac bush; and then ran out to the front of the house to find his
cousin. But his cousin was nowhere to be found. The chaise was at the
door, the horse being fastened to a post; but nobody was near it. So
Rollo went into the house to see if he could find James.

They told him in the house that James had gone through the house into
the yard, in pursuit of Rollo.

Rollo then ran out again, and at length found James, and after talking
with him a minute, he said,

"Come, James, let us go into the garden."

So they walked along towards the garden, Rollo telling James, by the
way, about the canal which Jonas had made that day. At length, when they
reached the lilac bush, Rollo looked up, and started in pretended
fright, saying,

"O James! look there!"

"O!" exclaimed James; "it is a hornets' nest."

"So 'tis," said Rollo; "run! run!"

James and Rollo started off at these words, and away they ran down the
alley, Rollo convulsed with laughter at the success of his stratagem. At
length they stopped.

"Now, how shall we get back?" said James. For the lilac, upon which
Rollo had put the hornets' nest, was close to the garden gate.

"I am not afraid to go," said Rollo.

So Rollo walked along boldly; James following slowly and with a timid
air, remonstrating with Rollo for his temerity.

"Rollo!" said he, "Rollo! take care. You had better not go."

But what was his surprise and astonishment at seeing Rollo go
deliberately up to the bush, and take down the twig that had the
hornets' nest attached to it, and hold it out towards him!

"I put it up there," said Rollo. "There are no hornets in it."

Still, James was somewhat afraid. He knew of course, now, that there
could be no hornets in it; but, still, the association of the idea of
danger was so strong with the sight of a hornets' nest, that he could
not feel quite easy. At length, however, he came up near to it, and
examined it attentively.

"What made you frighten me so, Rollo?" said he.

"O, only for fun," said Rollo.

"But you deceived me," said James; "and I don't think that that was
right. It is never right to deceive."

"O, I only did it for fun," said Rollo.

James insisted upon it that it was wrong, and Rollo that it was not
wrong; and finally they concluded to leave it to Jonas. So they both
went to him, and told him the story.

"Wasn't it wrong?" asked James.

"It wasn't--was it?" said Rollo.

"It was deception," added James.

"But it was only in fun," said Rollo.

"One or the other of you must be to blame," said Jonas.

"How?" asked Rollo.

"Why, James seems displeased with you for frightening him so; and now,
either you must have done wrong, and given him just cause for his
displeasure, or else, if you did right, then his displeasure is
unreasonable, and so it is ill humor."

The boys did not answer.

"So that the question is, Did Rollo do wrong? or, Is James out of

"Why, I think deception is always wrong," said James.

"Did you ever play blind-man's-buff?" asked Jonas.

"Yes," replied James.

"And did you ever go and squeak in a corner, and then creep away, to
make the blind man think you were there, and so go groping after you?"

"Why, yes," said James; "but that is not deception."

"Why, don't you try to make the blind man think you are in the corner,
when, in fact, you have gone?"

"Yes," said James.

"And is not that trying to deceive him?"

"Yes--" said James, hesitating, "but,--I think that that is a very
different thing."

"How is it different?" said Jonas.

It is probable that James would have found some difficulty in answering
this question; but, in fact, he did not have the opportunity to try,
for, just then, he heard some one calling him, and he and Rollo went
into the house. They wanted him to go, and so he got into the chaise and
rode away, promising to come and see Rollo in the afternoon, if he could
get permission. Soon after this, Rollo sat down, with the rest of the
family, to dinner. He determined to commence in earnest the work of
collecting curiosities that afternoon.


James came to play with Rollo that afternoon, and Rollo explained to him
his plan of collecting a museum of curiosities. James was very much
interested in it indeed, and he said that he had some shells and some
Guinea peas at home, which he would put into it.

Rollo went to show him the box out of which Jonas was going to make the
cabinet the first rainy day. Then the boys went out again to see if
there were yet any signs of a storm. But they looked in vain. There were
no clouds to be seen, except here and there a few of those white, fleecy
tufts floating in the heavens, which indicate fair weather rather than

The boys played together in the yard for some time. Among other things,
they amused themselves by collecting some flowers, and pressing them in
a book. Suddenly James said,

"O Rollo, let us go and get some blue-bells to press; they will be

"Where?" said Rollo.

"Among the rocks by the road, beyond the bridge," said James. "There are
plenty of them among those rocks."

The place which James referred to, was a rocky precipice by the road
side, about a quarter of a mile from the house; just at the entrance of
a small village. Rollo approved of the proposal, and he went in and
asked his mother's permission to go.

She consented, and Rollo, when he came back through the kitchen, said to
Dorothy, who was sitting at the window, sewing,

"Dorothy, we are going to get some blue-bells to press."

"Ah!" said Dorothy. "Where are you going for them?"

"O, out by the bridge," said Rollo, as he passed on to go out at the

"O Rollo!" said she, calling out to him suddenly, as if she recollected
something; "stop a minute."

So Rollo came back to hear what she had to say.

"You are going pretty near the village."

"Yes," said Rollo.

"And could you be so kind as to do an errand for me?"

"Yes," said Rollo; "what is it?"

Then Dorothy went to her work-table, and began to open it, saying all
the time,

"I want you to get some medicine for Sarah, for she is sick."

Sarah was a friend of Dorothy's, who lived at another house, not far
from Rollo's; and Rollo used sometimes to see her at his father's, when
she came over to see Dorothy. She was in very feeble health, and now
wanted some medicines. Dorothy had been over at the house where she
lived that day, and had found that the doctor had left her a
prescription; but she had nobody to send for it, and she was not quite
able to go herself. So Dorothy told her that if she would let her have
the money, she would ask Rollo or Jonas to go.

So Sarah gave her a dollar bill, and in order to keep it safe, she put
it in a little morocco wallet, and tied it up securely with a string.
This wallet was what Dorothy was looking for, in her work-table. She
took it out, and untied the string. She opened the wallet, and showed
Rollo the money in one of the pockets, and a small piece of white paper,
upon which was written the names of the medicines which the doctor
wished Sarah to take. Such a writing is called a _prescription_.

Rollo looked at the prescription to see what sort of medicines it was
that he was to get, but he could not read it. The words were short and
strange, and had periods at the end of them,--which Rollo told Dorothy
was wrong, as periods ought to be only at the end of a sentence. Then
there were strange characters and marks at the ends of the lines; and
Rollo, after examining it attentively, said he could not read a word of
it, and he did not believe that the apothecary could. However, he said
he was willing to take it to him, and let him try.

He accordingly put the prescription back again carefully into the
wallet, and Dorothy tied it up. Then he put it into his pocket, and went
out to James. He found James waiting by the gate, and they both walked
along together.

He and James had each a book to put their blue-bells in. They walked
along, talking about their flowers, until at length they reached the
bridge. Just beyond it was the rocky precipice, with shrubs and
evergreens growing upon the shelves and in the crevices, and spaces
between the rocks. It towered up pretty high above the road, and the
declivity extended also down to the brook below the bridge, forming one
side of the deep ravine across which the bridge was built. There was a
very large, old hemlock-tree growing upon a small piece of level ground
between the ravine and the higher part of the precipice. Under this
hemlock-tree was a large, smooth, flat stone, where the boys used very
often to come and sit, when they came to play among these rocks.


The boys rambled about among the rocks, sometimes down in the ravine and
near the brook, and sometimes very high up among the rocks. They were
both pretty good climbers, and there were no very dangerous places, for
there were no high, perpendicular precipices. They found blue-bells in
abundance, and several other flowers. They also found a variety of
brakes, of different forms and colors. They determined to gather as many
flowers as they could, and then go down to the hemlock-tree, and
there look them over, and select those best to be pressed; and then put
them carefully into their books there. Then they could carry them home
safely; they would, in fact, be in press all the way.

After rambling and climbing about for half an hour, the boys went down
to the flat rock, under the hemlock, with large bunches of plants and
flowers in their hands. Here they sat another half hour, looking over
their specimens, and putting them into their books. At length, Rollo
picked up a singular-looking thing, which was lying down by the side of
the stone under the tree. It was about as big as his thumb, and somewhat
pointed at the ends. It was black, and rather glossy, and the surface
was marked regularly with little ridges. James could not imagine what it
was; but Rollo told him that he thought it must be a hemlock-seed. The
truth was, that it was a great _chrysalis_, though Rollo did not find it
out till long afterwards.

"A hemlock-seed!" said James.

"Yes," said Rollo; "I have seen the cones which grow on fir-trees, and
they are a good deal like this."

"But they are not so handsome," said James.

"I know it," said Rollo; "they are not so handsome. This is the most
beautiful one I ever saw."

"We can plant it," said James, "next spring."

"Yes," said Rollo; "and then we can have a great hemlock-tree near our

"But we shall have to wait a great many years," said James.

"O, no, not a great many," said Rollo. "It is such a great seed, I think
it would grow pretty fast."

But James did not like the idea of planting it very well. He proposed
that they should keep it, for a curiosity, in their museum. Rollo
insisted, at first, upon planting it; but at length, reflecting that it
was not then the right season to plant it, he concluded to put it into
the museum, with his raspberry-seeds, until the next spring, and to
plant it then.

So Rollo put the hemlock-seed into his pocket, and he and James took
their books under their arms, with a great many flowers and plants
carefully placed between the leaves, and walked along towards the
village. When they arrived at the apothecary's, Rollo put his book down
upon the counter, and then took the wallet from his pocket, and untied
the string, and took the prescription out, and handed it to the
apothecary. The apothecary was talking with another man, at the time;
but he took the prescription, and Rollo watched his countenance to see
how perplexed and puzzled he would look, when he tried to read it.
Instead, however, of appearing perplexed and puzzled, the apothecary
only glanced his eye over it, and laid it down upon the counter, and
immediately began to look upon his shelves to find the articles.

"That's strange!" said Rollo to himself. "He reads it as easily as I
should a guide board."

While the apothecary was weighing out his medicines, Rollo was very much
interested in looking at the little pair of scales in which he weighed
them. Rollo never had seen so small a pair of scales. The weights, too,
were small, square weights of brass, with little figures stamped upon
them. He asked the apothecary what such scales as those would cost. He
answered that they were of various prices, from one dollar to five.
Rollo thought that that was too much for him to give; but while he was
thinking whether his father would probably be willing to let him have a
dollar to buy a pair with, James said that he wished _he_ had such a
pair of scales.

"So do I," said Rollo; "then we could play keep store. We could have our
store out in the play room, and weigh things."

"So we could," said James. "We could put a long board upon two barrels
for a counter."

"O, you must _make_ your scales, boys," said the apothecary.

"How can we make them?" said Rollo.

"Why, you can get a good, stout knitting-needle for a beam. Tie a silk
thread around the middle of it to hold it up by, and slip it along until
you get it so that the needle will exactly balance. Then for scales, you
must cut out two round pieces of thin pasteboard. Then take three
threads for each scale, and run them through the pasteboard, near the
edge, and at equal distances from each other. You must tie knots at the
lower ends of the threads to keep them from drawing through. Then you
must gather the other ends of the threads together, about half a foot
from the pasteboard, and tie them to the ends of the knitting-needle,
one on each side; and that will make a very respectable pair of scales
for you."

"But what shall we do for weights?" asked Rollo.

"O, weights!--yes, you must have some weights. You must make them of
lead. I will show you how."

So the apothecary took a small piece of sheet lead, rather thin, and cut
off a little square of it. He then put it into one of his scale
balances, and put a thin, square weight of brass, similar to it, into
the other scale. The lead weight was a little too heavy. He then clipped
off a very little with his scissors. This made it about right. Then,
with the point of his scissors, he scratched a figure 1 upon it.
"There," said he, "boys, there is a standard for you."

"What is a standard?" said Rollo, taking up the weight.

"Why, it is a weight made exactly correct, for you to keep, and make
yours by. It is a _one-grain_ weight. I will give you some sheet lead,
and when you get home and have made your scales, you can cut off another
piece, and weigh it by that, and so you will have two one-grain weights.
Then you can put those two into one scale, and a piece of lead as big as
both of them into the other scale, and when you have made it exactly as
heavy as both of the others, you must mark a figure 2 upon it, and then
you will have a _two-grain_ weight. In the same way you can make a
_five-grain_ weight, and a _ten-grain_ weight, and a pennyweight."

"What is a pennyweight?" said Rollo.

"It is a weight as heavy as twenty-four grains."

"The pennyweight will be very big, then," said Rollo.

"Yes," said the apothecary; "but you can take a little strip of lead
like a ribbon, and then roll it up, when you have made it just heavy
enough, and then it will not take up much room. So you can make another
roll for two pennyweights, and another for five pennyweights, and
another for ten pennyweights."

"And another for twenty pennyweights," said James.

"Yes; only twenty pennyweights make an ounce. So you will call that an
_ounce_ weight. But you cannot weigh more than an ounce, I should think,
in your knitting-needle scales."

By this time the apothecary had put up the medicines, and he gave them
to Rollo. There was a middle-sized parcel, and a very small parcel, and
small, round box. Rollo put them all into the pocket of his pantaloons.
Then he opened his wallet, and took out the bill, and gave it to the
apothecary. The apothecary handed him the change. It was half a dollar,
and one small piece of silver besides. Rollo put the change back into
the wallet, and tied it up just as it had been before, and then crowded
the wallet back into his pocket, by the side of the parcels which the
apothecary had given him.


That evening, when Rollo's father came home, he went out at the door
leading to the garden yard, and looked into the yard to see if Rollo was
there. He was not to be seen.

His father then took the bell which always hung in the entry, and began
to ring it at the door. This bell was the one that was rung for
breakfast, dinner, and supper; and when Rollo was out, they generally
called him in, by ringing it at the door.

While Rollo's father was ringing the bell, Dorothy opened the door which
led from the kitchen into the entry, and said to Rollo's father,

"Are you ringing for Rollo, sir?"

"Yes," he replied.

"He has gone to the village," said Dorothy. "He has gone back to look
for a pocket-book, which he dropped, coming home, or else left at the

"A pocket-book?" said his father, with surprise.

"Yes, sir," said Dorothy. "He went to get some medicine for Sarah, and,
when he came home, the pocket-book was missing."

"Was there any money in it?" said he.

"Yes, sir," replied Dorothy.

"How much?"

"I don't know, sir, how much."

Rollo's father then put the bell back into its place, and walked again
into the parlor. He was afraid that there was a good deal of money in
the pocket-book, and that it was all lost.

He, however, went on attending to his own business, until by and by he
heard Rollo's voice in the kitchen. He called him in. Rollo and James
came in together.

"Have you found the pocket-book?" asked Mr. Holiday.

"No, sir," said Rollo; "I have looked all along the road, and inquired
at the apothecary's; but I can't find any thing of it."

"Well, now, I want you to tell me the whole story; and especially, if
you have done wrong about it, in any way, don't attempt to smooth and
gloss it over, but tell me that part more plainly and distinctly and
fully than any other."

"Well, sir," said Rollo, with a very serious air, "I will.

"We went to the apothecary's to get some medicines for Sarah. When I was
there, I put the change in the wallet, and put the wallet in this

"It was a wallet, then," said his father.

"Yes," replied Rollo, "a wallet, or a small pocket-book. I suppose now,
that it would have been better to have put it in some other pocket;
because that was pretty full. So in that, I suppose, I did wrong. Then
James and I came home, only we did not walk along directly; we played
about a little from one side of the road to the other, and then we went
under the great hemlock-tree, to see if we could not find another

"Another hemlock-seed?" said his father.

"Yes, sir," said Rollo; "I suppose it is a hemlock-seed."

"What was it? a sort of a cone?"

"Yes, sir," said Rollo; "with ridges upon it."

Now it is true that pines, firs, and other evergreens bear a sort of
cone, which contains their seed; and Rollo's father thought, from
Rollo's description, that it was one of these cones which Rollo had
found. In fact, the cone was somewhat similar in shape, though, if he
had shown it to his father, he would have known immediately that it was
a very different thing. Rollo put his hand into his pocket to show the
supposed hemlock-seed to his father, but it was not there. He had left
it out in the play room.

"Very well," said his father, "I don't know that I ever saw the cone of
the hemlock; but, very probably, this is one of them. But go on, about
the pocket-book."

"Well, sir,--when we got home, I took out the medicines, but the
pocket-book was nowhere to be found; and I have been back with James,
and we have looked all along the road, and under the hemlock-tree, and
we have inquired at the apothecary's; but we cannot find it any where."

"How much money was there in the wallet?" said his father.

"Half a dollar, and a little more," said Rollo.

Rollo's father felt somewhat relieved at finding that the loss was,
after all, not very large. He placed confidence in Rollo's account of
the facts, and having thus ascertained how the case stood, he began to
consider what was to be done.

"It is a case of bailment," said he to Rollo, "and the question is,
whether you are liable."

"A case of _what_?" said Rollo.

"Bailment," said his father. "When one person intrusts another with his
property for any purpose, it is called _bailing_ it to him. The wallet
and the money were bailed to you. The law relating to such transactions
is called _the law of bailment_. And the question is, whether, according
to the law of bailment, you ought to pay for this loss."

Rollo seemed surprised at such a serious and legal view of the subject
being taken; he waited, however, to hear what more his father had to

"I don't suppose," continued his father, "that Sarah will commence an
action against you; but law is generally justice, and to know what we
ought to do in cases like this, it is generally best to inquire what the
law requires us to do."

"Well, sir," said Rollo, "and how is it?"

"Why, you see," said his father, "there are various kinds of bailments.
A thing may be bailed to you for _your_ benefit; as, for instance, if
James were to lend you his knife, the knife would be a bailment to you
for your benefit. But if he were to ask you to carry his knife somewhere
to be mended, and you should take it, then it would be a bailment to you
for _his_ benefit."

"Well, sir, I took the wallet for Sarah's benefit, not mine," said

"The law requires," continued his father, "that you should take greater
care of any thing, if it is bailed to you for _your_ benefit, than it
does if it is for the benefit of the bailor. For instance, if you were
to borrow James's knife for your own benefit, and were to lose it, even
without any special carelessness, you ought to get him another; for it
was solely for your advantage, that you took it, and so it ought to be
at your risk. But if he asked you to take the knife to get it mended for
_his_ benefit; then, if you accidentally lose it, without any particular
carelessness, you ought not to pay for it; for it was placed in your
hands for his _advantage_, and so it ought to be at his _risk_."

"Well," said Rollo, "the wallet was given to me for Sarah's advantage,
not mine; and so I ought not to pay for it."

"That depends upon whether it was lost through gross carelessness, or
not. For when any thing is bailed to you for the benefit of the owner,
if it is lost or injured through _gross carelessness_, then the law
makes you liable. As, for instance, suppose you take James's knife to
get it mended, and on your way you throw it over the fence among the
grass, and then cannot find it, you ought to pay for it; for you were
bound to take good ordinary care of it."

"Well, sir," said Rollo.

"Well," repeated his father, "now as this property was bailed to you
solely for the advantage of the bailor, the question whether you ought
to pay for the loss of it, depends on whether you was grossly careless,
or not. If you took good ordinary care, and it was lost by accident,
then you are not liable."

"Well, father, I think it was accident; I do, truly."

"I rather think so myself," said his father, with a smile, "and I am
inclined to think that you are not responsible. If any body asks a boy
like you to carry money for them, gratuitously, then they take
themselves the ordinary risks of such a conveyance, and I think that, on
the whole, this accident comes within the ordinary risks. There was not
such gross carelessness as to make you liable. But then I am very sorry
to have Sarah lose her money."

"So am I," said Rollo. "And the wallet is gone too."

"How good a wallet was it?" asked his father.

"O, pretty good; only it was considerably worn."

"Haven't you got one that is pretty much the same, that you don't care a
great deal about?"

"Yes, sir," said Rollo; "it is in my desk. I had as lief that she would
have it as not."

"Very well," said his father; "you give her your wallet, and I will
replace the money."

So Rollo went to his desk, and soon came back, bringing his little
wallet. He unfastened its steel clasp, and opened the wallet, and took
out some little pictures which he had treasured up there, and some small
pieces of white paper, which he said were marks. They were to put into
his books to keep the place, when he was reading. He had got quite a
quantity of them all prepared for use. When Rollo had got his wallet
ready, his father took out half a dollar from his pocket, and also
another small silver coin, about as large as Rollo said the one was,
which was lost; and then sent Rollo to carry it to Dorothy.

In a few minutes, Rollo came back with the money in his hand, and said,

"She won't take it. She said I must bring it back. It was as much as I
could do to get her to take the wallet."

"But she _must_ take it," replied his father. "You carry it to her
again, and tell her she has nothing to do with the business. The money
is for Sarah, and she must not refuse it, but take it and give it to her
the first opportunity."

So Rollo carried the money again to Dorothy. She received it this time,
and put it in the wallet, and then deposited both in a safe place in her
work-table. Then Rollo came back to his father to ask him a little more
about bailments.

"Father," said Rollo, when he came back, "if James should give me his
knife, or any thing, for my own, would that be a bailment?"

"No," said his father. "A bailment is only where property is intrusted
to another, for a certain purpose, to be returned again to the
possession of the owner, when the purpose is accomplished. For instance,
when Jonas is sawing wood with my saw, the saw is a bailment from me to
him; it remains my property; but he is to use it for a specific purpose,
and then return it to my possession."

"He does not bring it back to you," said Rollo.

"No, but he hangs it up in its place in my shed, which is putting it
again in my possession. And so all the things which Dorothy uses in the
kitchen are bailments."

"And if she breaks them, must she pay for them?"

"No, not unless she is grossly careless. If she exercises good ordinary
care, such as prudent persons exercise about their own things, then she
is not liable, because she is using them mainly for my benefit, and of
course it must be at my risk. But if Sarah should come and borrow a
pitcher to carry some milk home in, and should let it fall and break it
by the way, even if it was not gross carelessness, she ought to pay for
it; that is, the person that sent her ought to pay for it, for it was
bailed to her for her benefit alone; and therefore it was at her risk."

"I should not think you would make her pay for it," said Rollo.

"No, I certainly should not. I am only telling what I should have a
right to do if I chose.

"Sometimes a thing is bailed to a person," continued Rollo's father,
"for the benefit of both persons, the bailor and the bailee."

"The bailee?" said James.

"Yes, the bailee is the person the thing is bailed to. For instance, if
I leave my watch at the watchmaker's to be mended, and I am going to pay
him for it, in that case you see it is for his advantage and mine too."

"And then, if it is lost, must he pay for it?"

"Yes; unless he takes _good_ care of it. If it is for his benefit alone,
then he must take _special_ care of it, or else he is liable for the
loss of it. If it is for my benefit alone, then he must take _ordinary_
care of it. For instance, suppose I had a very superior repeater watch,
which the watchmaker should come and borrow of me, in order to see the
construction of it. Then suppose I should leave another watch of
mine,--a _lever_,--at his shop to be repaired. Suppose also I should
have a third watch, a lady's watch, which I had just bought somewhere,
and I should ask him to be kind enough to keep it for me, a day or two,
till my watch was done. These would be three different kinds of
bailments. The _repeater_ would be bailed to him for his benefit; the
_lever_ for his and mine jointly, and the _lady's watch_ for my benefit

"Now, you see," continued Rollo's father, "that if these watches should
get lost or injured in any way, the question whether the watchmaker
would have to pay for them or not, would depend upon the degree of care
it would have required to save them. For instance, if he locked them all
up with special care, and particularly the repeater, and then the
building were struck with lightning and the watches all destroyed, he
would not have to pay for any of them; for this would be an inevitable
accident, which all his care could not guard against. It would have been
as likely to have happened to my repeater, if I had kept it at home.

"But suppose now he should hang all three watches up at his window, and
a boy in the street should accidentally throw a stone and hit the
window, so that the stone should go through the glass and break one of
the watches. Now, if the repeater was the one that was hit, I should
think the man would be bound to pay for it: because he was bound to take
_very special_ care of that, as it was borrowed for his benefit alone.
But if it was the lady's watch, which he had taken only as an
accommodation to me, then he would not be obliged to pay; for, by
hanging it up with his other watches, he took _ordinary_ care of it, and
that was all that he was obliged to take."

"I should think," said James, "that the boy would have to pay, if he
broke the watches."

"Yes," said Rollo's father; "but we have nothing to do with the boy now,
we are only considering the liabilities of the watchmaker."

"And if it had been the lever that was broken," asked Rollo, "what

"Why, as to the lever," said his father, "he was bound to take _good_
care of it,--something more than mere ordinary care; and I don't know
whether the law would consider hanging watches up at a window as _good_
care or not. It would depend upon that, I suppose. But the watches might
be lost in another way. Suppose the watchmaker had sent the repeater
home to me, and then, at night, had put the lever and the lady's watch
into a small trunk with his other watches, and carried them to his
house, as watchmakers do sometimes. Now suppose that, when he got home,
he put the trunk of watches down in a corner of the room; and suppose
that there was a leak in the roof of his house, so that the water could
come in sometimes when it rained. In the night there comes up a shower,
and the water gets into the trunk, and rusts and spoils the watches. Now
I think it probable that he would not have to pay for the lady's watch,
for he took ordinary care of that,--that is, the same care that he was
accustomed to take of his own watches. But he might have to pay for the
other; for he was bound to take _good_ care of that one, as it was
partly for _his_ benefit that it was bailed to him; and putting them
where they were at all exposed to be wet, would be considered, I
suppose, as not taking good care of them."

"And so he would not have to pay for the lady's watch, in any case,"
said Rollo.

"Yes, he would, if he did not take _ordinary_ care of it; that is, if he
was grossly negligent. For instance, if he should take all the rest of
his watches home, and leave that in his shop upon the counter, where I
had laid it down, and somebody should come in the night and steal it,
then, perhaps he would be liable."

By this time, Rollo's father began to think that his law lecture had
been long enough for such young students, and so he said that he would
not tell them any more about it then. "But now," said he, in conclusion,
"I want you to remember what I have said, and practise according to it.
Boys bail things to one another very often, and a great many disputes
arise among them, because they don't understand the law of bailment. It
applies to boys as well as men. It is founded on principles of justice
and common sense, and, of course, what is just and equitable among men,
is just and equitable among boys.

"You must remember that whenever any thing belonging to one boy is
intrusted to another in any way, if it is for the benefit of the bailee,
if any accident happens to it, he must make it good; unless it was some
_inevitable_ accident, which could not have been prevented by the utmost
care. If it is for the benefit of the bailor, that is, the boy who
intrusts it, then he can't require the other to pay for it, unless he
was grossly negligent. And if it was for the common benefit of both,
then if the bailee takes what may be called good care of it, he is not
liable to pay; if he does not take good care, he is."

Here ended the lecture on the law of bailment. James soon after went
home, and Rollo in due time went to bed. The next morning, when he got
up and began to dress himself, he thought one of the legs of his
pantaloons felt somewhat heavy. He put his hand down to ascertain what
was there, and he felt something at the bottom, between the cloth and
the lining. It was Sarah's pocket-book. When Rollo put it into his
pocket, as he thought, he in reality slipped it inside of the lining,
and it worked itself down to the bottom, as he was playing about. He
pulled it out, and then, after he had dressed himself, he ran very
joyfully to his father, to show it to him. His father was very glad that
it was found, and told Rollo to carry it to Dorothy. Dorothy was very
glad, too, for she was very sorry to have Rollo lose his own wallet, or
his father lose his money. So she gave him back his wallet, and he
replaced it in his desk where it was before, after giving his father
back his money.


Rollo explained his plan of collecting a museum of curiosities to his
cousins Lucy and James, and to his sister Mary, who was a good deal
older than he was. He also informed Henry, a playmate of his, who lived
not a great way from his father's house. All the children took a great
deal of interest in the scheme, and promised to help him collect the

At length, after a few days, Rollo, to his great joy, observed one
evening signs of an approaching storm. The wind sighed through the
trees, and thick, hazy clouds spread themselves over the sky.

"Don't you think it is going to rain?" said Rollo to his father, as he
came in to tea.

"I don't know," said his father. "Which way is the wind?"

"I'll go and see," said Rollo.

He went out and looked at the vane which Jonas had placed upon the top
of the barn.

When he came in, he told his father that the wind was east. Then his
father said he thought it would rain, and Rollo clapped his hands with

And it did rain. The next morning, when Rollo awoke, he heard the storm
driving against the window of his chamber. After breakfast, he took an
umbrella, and went out into the barn, and found Jonas already at work
upon the cabinet. In the course of the morning he finished it. He put
three good shelves into it, which, together with the bottom of the box,
made four shelves. He also put the two covers on, with hinges, so as to
make doors of them; and put a little hasp upon the doors, outside, to
fasten them with. He then put it up in one corner of the play room, all
ready for the curiosities. Rollo put in his hornets' nest, his pebble
stones, and his hemlock-seed, as he called it; and then went to the barn
door, and began to be as eager to have it clear up, as he had been
before to have it rain. He wanted to go out and collect some more

After a time it did clear up, and Rollo obtained his mother's leave to
go and ask all the children who were going to have a share in the
museum, to come one afternoon and begin to collect the curiosities. They
all came--Lucy, James, and Henry. And when Rollo saw them all collected
in the garden yard, with baskets in their hands all ready to go forth
after curiosities, he capered about full of anticipations of delight.

"Now," said Henry, "let us go down to the hemlock-tree."

"No," said Rollo, "it will be better to go to the brook, where I found
the pebbles."

"But I want to go and see if I can't find another hemlock-seed," said

Rollo was, however, very unwilling to go that way, and yet Henry
insisted upon it. Lucy listened to the dispute with a countenance
expressive of distress and anxiety. First, she proposed to Rollo to
yield to Henry, and then to Henry to yield to Rollo; but in vain. Henry
said that Rollo ought to let him decide, because he was the oldest; and
Rollo said that he himself ought to decide, because it was his museum.
They were both wrong. Neither ought to have insisted upon having his own
way so strenuously. At length, after quite a long and unpleasant
altercation, Lucy proposed that they should draw lots for it. The boys

"I'll tell you a better plan than that," said a voice above them. They
looked up, and saw Mary sitting at the window of the chamber. She had
been reading, but, on hearing this dispute, she had closed her book, and
now interposed to do what she could to aid in settling it.

When Rollo heard his sister Mary's voice, he felt a little ashamed of
his pertinacity. Lucy asked Mary what the plan was.

"Why," said she, "in all expeditions where there are several children,
it is very desirable to have a regent."

"A regent?" said Lucy.

"Yes," said Mary, "a commander, to take the lead, and decide the
thousand little questions which are likely to occur. Unless there is
somebody to decide them, there will be endless disputes."

"Well," said Henry, "I'll be regent."

"No," said Mary, "you must choose one. I'll tell you how. You must
choose the regent by ballot. Lilac leaves make good ballots. Each one
of you must consider who you think will be best for regent,--that is,
who will have the most discretion and judgment, to decide wisely, and at
the same time be mild and gentle, and amiable in manner, so as to be a
pleasant commander. Of course, no one must vote for himself."

"But I don't understand," said Rollo. "What are the lilac leaves for?"

"For ballots; that is, for you to write your votes upon. You can write
on the under side of a lilac leaf with the point of a pin."

"Can we?" said Lucy, with a look of curiosity and pleasure.

"Yes," said Mary, "you need not write the whole name. You can write the
first letter--that will be enough. R. stands for Rollo, L. for Lucy, H.
for Henry, J. for James, and N. for Nathan."

"Ho!" said Rollo, "Nathan won't do for a regent."

"Perhaps not," said Mary; "each one of you must vote for the one you
think best. Now get your lilac leaves, and I will drop you down some

The children ran off very eagerly to get the leaves, and then came
back, and Mary dropped down four pins. They each took one, and, with the
point of it, wrote a letter upon the back of the leaf. Then Mary asked
Nathan to carry around his cap, and let them all drop their leaves into
it, and then bring them up to her, and she would see who was chosen.

So Nathan, highly pleased with his office, collected the votes in his
cap, and brought them up to his sister Mary. She looked them over as she
sat at the window, the children all looking up from below, eagerly
awaiting the result. At length, Mary told them that there were four
leaves in Nathan's cap, and that three of them had the letter L upon it.
"So," said she, "you see you have chosen Lucy for regent."

"Yes, I voted for Lucy," said Rollo. "I thought she would be the best."

"And so did I," said James and Henry.

Lucy looked down, and felt a little embarrassed at finding herself
raised so suddenly to the dignity of regent; and she asked Mary what she
was to do.

"O, walk along with them just as you would if you had not been chosen;
only you will decide all the questions that come up, such as where you
shall go, and how long you shall stay in the different places. The
others may give you their opinions, if you ask them; but they must let
you decide, and they must all submit to your decisions."

"Well, come," said Lucy; "we'll go down the lane first." So she took
hold of Thanny's hand, and walked along, the other children following.
They passed through the great gate, and soon disappeared from Mary's

They were gone two or three hours. At length, when the sun had nearly
gone down, Mary heard voices in the front of the house. She left her
back window, and went around to a front window to see. She found them
returning, and all talking together with the greatest volubility. They
had their baskets full of various commodities, and large bouquets of
flowers and plants in their hands. They did not see Mary at the window,
and as they all seemed to be good-natured and satisfied with their
afternoon's work, Mary did not speak to them; and so they passed along
into the yard undisturbed. They proceeded immediately to the cabinet in
the play room, and then began to take out their treasures from their
baskets, and pockets, and handkerchiefs, and to spread them out upon the
floor, and upon the bench. In a short time, the floor was covered with
specimens of plants and minerals, with shells, and pebbles, and little
papers of sand, and nuts, and birds' nests which they had found
deserted, and all sorts of wonders. The room was filled with the sound
of their voices; questions, calls to one another, expressions of
delight, exclamations of surprise, or of disappointment or pleasure. It
was all,--"James, you are treading on my flowers!" "O Lucy, Lucy, see my
toadstool!" "O, now my prettiest shell is broken!" "Move away a little,
Rollo--I have not got room for all my pebbles"--"Where's my silk worm?
now where's my silk worm?" "O Henry, give me some of your birch bark,
do,"--and a hundred other similar ejaculations, all uttered together.

They soon began, one and another, to put their curiosities into the
cabinet,--and then it was, as the old phrase is, confusion worse
confounded. Lucy had some discretion and forbearance, and kept a little
back, looking, however, uneasy and distressed, and attempting in vain
to get an opportunity to put some of her things in. The boys crowded
around the cabinet, each attempting to put his own curiosities into the
most conspicuous places, and arranging them over and over again,
according as each one's whims or fancies varied.

"O dear me," said Rollo, "I wish you would not keep moving these pebbles
away, Henry."

"Why, you put them too far this way," said Henry; "I want my shells to
go here."

"No," replied Rollo, "put your shells down on the next shelf. James!
James! take care; don't touch that birds' nest."

"Yes, I want room for my silver stone," said James. He had found a
shining stone, which he called a silver stone. And thus they disputed,
and talked loudly and vociferously, and contradicted, interrupted,
pushed, and crowded each other. Still, they were all good-natured; that
is, they were not angry; the difficulty only arose from their eagerness
and their numbers,--and their disorganization.

"O dear me," said Rollo, at length, "I wish we had a regent again; we
got along very well, while Lucy was a regent. Let me be regent now.
Come, Henry and James, let me be regent, and I will direct, and then we
shall have order again."

"Well," said James.

"No," said Henry, "you have not been elected. You can't be regent,
unless you are chosen regularly."

Lucy said nothing, but stood behind the others in despair.

"Well, then, let Lucy be regent; she was chosen."

"But I was only chosen regent for the walk," said Lucy.

"O never mind," said Rollo, "let her be regent now."

But Henry was not disposed to submit to any doubtful authority. He kept
at work putting things in, in the way that pleased him most, without any
regard to Rollo's proposal for prolonging Lucy's authority. As Henry did
not acquiesce in this proposed measure, Rollo and James seemed to think
it was useless for them to do so, and so they went much as they had
begun, until they had pretty well filled up Jonas's cabinet with a
perfect medley of specimens, the worthy and the worthless all together.
They were at length interrupted by the sound of the bell, calling Rollo
in to tea; Henry then went home, and James, Lucy, and Rollo went into
the house.


James and Lucy staid and took tea with Rollo that evening; and, during
tea time, Rollo's father and mother were talking, and the boys were all
still. At last, just before they had finished their supper, Rollo's
father asked them how they had got along collecting curiosities.

"O, we had a very good time," said Rollo, "till we came to put our
curiosities away; and then we should have had a good time if the boys
had not pushed so, and made such a noise."

"What made them do so?" asked his mother.

"I don't know, unless it was because we did not have any regent."

"Any what?" said his father.

"Any regent," said Rollo. "We had Lucy for a regent while we were
walking, and then we got along very well; but she would not be regent
any longer, when we got home."

Rollo's father and mother scarcely knew what to make of this; for they
had never heard before of a regent in children's plays. But as they
looked towards Mary, and observed that she was smiling, they at once
understood that it was one of her plans. Rollo's father said he thought
it was an excellent idea.

"But why did not you have a regent when you were putting your things
away, just as you had before?" he asked.

"Why, Lucy said she was only chosen for the walk."

"And so she would not serve any longer?"

"No, sir."

"That was right, Lucy. Never attempt to command without a commission.

"But, Rollo," added his father, "I should think it would be best for you
to have some sort of organization, if you are going to attempt to do any
thing in company. Men never think that they can accomplish any thing in
company, without organization; and I should certainly think that
children would not be able to."

"Organization?" said Rollo; "what is that?"

"Why, some plan for investing some persons with authority. There must
always be authority to decide little questions without debate, and for
getting the opinions of all, on great questions, regularly.

"If a number of men," he continued, "were going to form a cabinet of
curiosities, they would form a _society_. They would choose one to be
president, and one to be secretary, and one to be cabinet keeper."

"What does the president do?" asked Lucy.

"The president decides who shall speak, when several want to speak at
the same time; and so he prevents all confusion. Nobody must speak
without his leave."

"Do they have to ask him?" said Rollo.

"Yes, in fact, they ask him, though not formally in words. They ask him
by rising. In large meetings among men, whoever wants to speak, stands
up, and then the president calls their name, and that is giving him
permission to speak. If more than one stand up at a time, then he calls
the name of one of them, and _he_ has leave to speak, and the other
must sit down."

"Which one does he call?" asked Rollo.

"The one whom he happens to notice first. He must be careful not to call
his friends more than he does other persons. He must be impartial. Then,
besides, the president _puts the question_."

"Puts the question?" asked Rollo; "what is putting the question?"

"Why, after all has been said about the plan that they want to say, the
president asks all that are in favor of it, to hold up their hands; and
he counts them. Then he asks all that are against it to hold up their
hands. He counts these too. And it is decided according to the number of

"Is that the way they do?" said Rollo.

"Yes," replied his father, "that is the way that men do; but boys all
talk together, and dispute. If some want to play ball, and some want to
play horses, they all talk together, and dispute; it is all,--'I say we
will,' and 'I say we won't,'--and those that make the most noise get the

"The men's way is the best," said Rollo.

"I think so myself," replied his father.

"And what does the secretary do?" asked Mary.

"The secretary keeps the record. He writes an account of every meeting."

"Does he write all that every body says?" asked Rollo.

"No," said his father, "only the decisions."

"Well," said Rollo, with a tone of satisfaction, "and the cabinet keeper
keeps the cabinet, I suppose."

"Yes," said his father, "and so all disputings about where the things
are to be placed in the cabinet, are avoided; for he decides the whole.
He must be a person of judgment and skill."

"Jonas would be a good cabinet keeper for us," said Rollo.

"I think you had better form a regular society, Rollo," said Mary.

"Well," said Rollo, "will you belong to it?"

"Yes," said Mary.

"And we can choose our officers by lilac ballots," said James.

"We'll have the first meeting to-morrow afternoon," said Rollo. "I will
go in the morning, and ask Henry to come,--if mother will let me."

       *       *       *       *       *

His mother did let him, and the next afternoon the children all
collected in the yard, intending to form their society, and proceed
regularly. Mary promised to meet with them, and help them make their
arrangements. They were to meet in the play room.

Before the time of the meeting, Mary went in, and, with Rollo's help,
made some seats of boards, not far from the cabinet, so that all the
members of the society might sit down. The children played about in the
yard, some gathering lilac leaves for ballots, and some talking about
the curiosities they meant to collect, until, at length, Mary came down
and told them it was time to go and have their meeting. She had a great
many little papers in one hand, and some pencils in the other. James
asked her what she was going to do with those papers. She said they were
for ballots.

"O, we have been getting lilac leaves for ballots," said Lucy.

"Papers are better," said Mary, "when there is a good deal of balloting
to be done."

Then the children threw down the lilac leaves they had gathered, and
followed Mary into the play room. They all came around the cabinet, and
began to open it and talk about the curiosities. But Mary told them
that, if they were going to have a society, they must not touch the
cabinet until they had appointed a cabinet keeper--they ought all to go
and sit down.

So they went and sat down.

"And now you must not talk at all, until the president is chosen," said
Mary. "You must all write upon these papers the name of the person you
think best for president, and then bring them to me. You see," she
continued, as she distributed the papers around, to the other children,
"that I am acting as president just now, until we get one chosen. That
is the way men do. I asked father about it. He said that the oldest
person, or one of the oldest, generally took charge of the proceedings,
until a chairman was chosen."

"A chairman?" said Rollo.


"Yes, or president; sometimes they call him a chairman."

So the children took their papers, and began to prepare for writing
their ballots.

"What shall we put our papers on, cousin Mary, to write?" said Lucy.

"O, you must write on the seat by the side of you,--or on this book;
here is a book for one."

"I can write on my cap," said James; and he placed his cap upon his
knees, and began to use that for a desk. One of the children took the
book, and others leaned over to one side, and put their papers upon the
seat, and prepared to write there. Some began to write very soon. Others
looked around mysteriously, considering which one of the company would
make the best president. Henry stood up by the great work bench, and
made that his writing-desk; keeping a sharp look-out all the time lest
Rollo should see what he should write. And thus the children prepared
their votes for president.

When the votes were all ready, the children brought them all together to
Mary, who put them on the corner of the great bench near which she was
standing; and the children all came up around them, to see who was

But Mary gently put her hand over the votes, and told them that that was
not the way to count votes. "You must all go and sit down again," she
said, "and appoint some one to count them; and then he or she must come
alone, and look them over and tell you who is chosen."

"Well," said the children; and so they went back to their seats.

"I propose that Henry count them," said Mary.

"Well," said the children.

"No, let James," said Rollo.

"That is not right, Rollo," said Mary, "because it is of very little
consequence who counts the votes, and in societies the best way is to
let things that are of little consequence go according to the first
proposal. That saves time."

So Henry came up, and began to look over the votes.

"They are all for Mary but one, and that is for Lucy," said Henry.

"Then cousin Mary is president," said James, clapping his hands.

"Yes," said Mary, "it seems you have chosen me president; and I will be
president for a time, until I think that some of the rest of you have
learned how to preside, and then I shall resign, and leave you to manage
your society yourselves. Now you must write the votes for secretary." So
Mary took her seat in the chair which she had provided for the
president, and which, until this time, had been empty.

So the children began to write votes again, and as fast as they had
written them they brought them to Mary, and dropped them in her lap. As
soon as each one had put in his vote, he went back and took his seat.
When the votes were all in, Mary looked them over, and said,

"There are two votes for Lucy, and one for Rollo, and one for Henry."

"Then Lucy is chosen secretary," said James.

"No," said Mary, "because she has only half. The person that is chosen
must have more than half of all the votes. Lucy has two, and there are
two scattering."

"Scattering!" said Rollo, looking somewhat puzzled.

"Yes; that is, for other persons."

"What shall we do, then?" said Rollo.

"Why, you must vote again."

So the children wrote votes again, and brought them in to the president.
She smiled as she looked them over. Then she said,

"Now there is a tie."

"A tie, Mary!" said Rollo; "what is a tie?"

"Why, there are two votes for Rollo, and two for Lucy; that makes it
exactly balanced, and they call that a _tie_."

"And now what shall we do with the tie?" said Rollo.

"Why, you must vote again."

Just as the children were preparing to vote again, they heard a noise of
footsteps at the door, and, looking up, they saw Nathan coming in. He
had his little straw hat upon his head, and his whip in his hand. He was
playing market-man, and wanted to know if they wished to buy any

The children all laughed. Mary said, "No, Thanny, this is a society;
come, don't you want to belong to the society?"

"Yes," said Nathan; and down went his whip upon the floor, and he came
trotting along towards Mary. Mary told him to sit down upon the seat
next to Rollo.

Nathan took his seat, and began to look around with an air of great
curiosity, wondering what they were going to do; and by this time the
votes were ready. Mary looked them over and counted them, and then said
that they were just as they were before, two for Rollo, and two for

"What shall we do now?" said Rollo.

"We must vote again," said James.

"That won't do any good," said Henry.

"There's Thanny," said Lucy; "let him vote."

"Well," said Mary, "and that will break the tie."

"O, Thanny can't vote," said Rollo; "he can't write a word."

"He can vote without writing," said Mary. "Thanny, come here. Which do
you think will make the best secretary, Rollo, or Lucy?"

"Why--Lucy," said Thanny, after some hesitation.

"Lucy, he says; so Lucy is chosen," said Mary. "Now, Lucy, you must be
secretary; but I forgot to bring out some paper."

Rollo looked a little disappointed. He had hoped to have been secretary
himself. So when Nathan came back to his seat, he began to punch him a
little, good-naturedly, with his thumb, saying, "_Me_--why didn't you
say _me_, Thanny? Hey, Thanny! Why did not you say _me_?"

Just then, Mary asked Rollo to go into the house and get a sheet of
paper for the secretary; and when he came back, Lucy asked her what she
should write. Mary gave her the necessary directions, and then Lucy went
to the bench, and standing there, near the president's chair, she went
on writing the record, while the rest of the society proceeded with
their business. The next thing was to choose a cabinet keeper.

"You may prepare your votes for cabinet keeper."

"I think Jonas would be the best cabinet keeper," said Henry; "he made
the cabinet."

"O, Jonas does not belong to the society," said Rollo.

"But we can let him in," said Lucy.

"No, he can't belong to the society," said Rollo; "he has too much work
to do."

The fact was, that Rollo wanted to be cabinet keeper himself, and so he
was opposed to any arrangement which would be likely to result in the
election of Jonas. But Mary said that it was not necessary that any one
should be a member of the society, in order to be chosen cabinet keeper.
She said he might be chosen, if the children thought best, even if he
was not a member. "But then," said she, "you must consider all the
circumstances, and vote for the one who, you honestly think, will take
the best care of the curiosities, and arrange them best."

The children then wrote their ballots, and brought them to Mary. Mary
asked Lucy to count them. Lucy said she had not written her vote herself

"Well, write it quick then," said Mary.

"But I can't think," said Lucy, "whether I had better vote for Jonas or

"Well," said Mary, "you have only to consider whether it will be best
for the museum to be in Jonas's hands, or in Rollo's."

"But I have been thinking," said Lucy, "that it is all Rollo's plan, and
his museum; and that _he_ ought to be cabinet keeper, if he wants to

"There is something in that," said Mary; "though generally, in choosing
officers, we ought to act for the good of the society, not for the good
of the officers."

"But it is _my_ cabinet," said Rollo; "Jonas made it for me."

"That may be," said Mary; "that is, it may have been yours at the
beginning; but when you invite us all to come and form a society, you
give up your claim to it, and it comes to belong to the society; at any
rate, the right to manage it belongs to the society, and we must do what
will be best for the whole."

Rollo did not look very much pleased at these remarks of his sister's;
but Lucy immediately wrote her vote, and put it with the others. She
then examined and counted them, and immediately afterwards, she said
there were three votes for Jonas, and one for Rollo. So Jonas was
chosen. The children did not know who wrote the vote which was given for
Rollo; but the fact was, he wrote it himself. He wanted to be cabinet
keeper very much indeed.


Rollo was sadly disappointed at not being chosen cabinet keeper. Older
and wiser persons than he have often been greatly vexed from similar
causes. When the society meeting was ended, Mary told Lucy that she must
tell Jonas that they had chosen him cabinet keeper, for she was
secretary, and it was the secretary's duty to do that. Mary then went
into the house. The children gathered around the cabinet, and began to
look at the things which had been put in the day before. Rollo undertook
to arrange one of the shelves differently from what it had been; but
Henry told him he must not touch the things, for Jonas was cabinet
keeper, and nobody but the cabinet keeper had any right to touch the

"O, I am only going to change them a little," said Rollo.

"But you have no right to touch them at all," said Henry, pushing Rollo
back a little.

"Yes, I have," said Rollo, standing stiffly, and resisting Henry's push.
"It's _my_ cabinet, and I have a right to do what I please with it."

"No, it is not your cabinet," said Henry; "it belongs to the society."

"No, it doesn't," said Rollo.

"It does," said Henry.

Rollo was wrong--and, in fact, Henry was wrong. In disputes, it almost
always happens that both boys are wrong. Lucy stood by, looking
distressed. She was very sorry to have any disputing about the cabinet.

"O, never mind, Henry," said she; "let him move them. Jonas will put
them all right afterwards."

"No," said Rollo, "I am going to keep the cabinet myself."

This was not at all like Rollo, to be so unreasonable and angry. But
Henry's roughness had irritated and vexed him, and that, in connection
with his own determination to keep the charge of his cabinet, had got
him into a very wrong state of mind.

Lucy did not know what to do. She walked slowly along to the door, and
after standing there a moment, while Rollo was at work upon the
cabinet, she said,

"O, here comes Jonas, now."

James and Henry ran to the door, and, as they saw Jonas walking up the
lane, they ran towards him, followed by Lucy, and they all began eagerly
to tell him about the society, and about his having been chosen cabinet
keeper. Lucy came up to them before they had finished their account; and
as they had all turned round when they met Jonas, they came walking
along together towards the house. James and Henry talked very fast and
eagerly. They told Jonas about the society, and about their having
chosen Mary president, and Lucy secretary, and him cabinet keeper. When
they had finished their account, Lucy added, in a desponding tone,

"Only Rollo says _he_ means to be cabinet keeper."

"Does he?" said Jonas.

"Yes," replied Henry. "He says you made the cabinet for him, and he
_will_ have it."

"O, well," said Jonas, "let him be cabinet keeper; he will make a very
good cabinet keeper."

"No," said James, "we want you to be cabinet keeper. We chose you."

They saw Rollo at the door of the barn, looking at them, but not very
good-naturedly. When they came up, Lucy said,

"Come, Rollo, let Jonas be cabinet keeper; that's a good boy."

"No," said Rollo, "it's _my_ cabinet, and I mean to keep it myself."

"Then we won't help you get the curiosities," said Henry.

"I don't care," said Rollo.

"And we won't have any society," added James,--thinking that that threat
would compel Rollo to give up.

But Rollo only said,

"I don't care; I don't want any society. I can make a museum myself."

There is no doubt, but that many of the readers of this book will wonder
that Rollo should have acted in this manner. And yet they themselves act
in just such a way when they allow themselves to get out of temper. It
is very dangerous to allow ourselves to become vexed and angry. We then
do and say the most unreasonable things, without being aware,
ourselves, of their unreasonableness and folly. Rollo himself did not
know how his conduct appeared to the other children, and how it sunk him
in their good opinion.

Rollo would have had a miserable time in attempting to make a collection
of curiosities alone. He would very soon have got tired of it, and have
abandoned the plan altogether. It happened, however, that some
circumstances occurred to prevent the consequences that his ill humor
and obstinacy came so near occasioning.

Henry and James, finding that Rollo would not give up the cabinet to
Jonas's care, considered the plan of the society abandoned, and went to
play in the yard. Lucy went into the house to find her cousin Mary.
Rollo remained at the cabinet for some time, but he found it very dull
amusement to work there alone; besides, he heard the other boys' voices
out in the yard, and before long he began to feel a strong desire to go
and see what they were doing. He accordingly went to the door of the
barn. He saw that Henry and James had got a log of wood out, and had
placed a board across it, for a see-saw. Rollo slowly walked along
towards them.

Henry saw him gradually approaching, and so he whispered, or rather
spoke in a low tone to James, saying,

"Here comes Rollo, James; don't let's let him get on our see-saw."

But James felt in more of a forgiving mood than Henry. He did not like
quarrelling, and he knew very well that peace-makers must be prepared to
yield and forbear, even if they had not been themselves in the wrong. So
he said,

"O, yes, Henry, let him have a ride. He may get on my end.

"Rollo," he added, calling to Rollo, as he came up, "do you want to
see-saw? You may have my end."

Rollo did not quite expect this gentle treatment, and it made him feel a
little ashamed. He, however, took James's place, but he did not feel
quite easy there. He knew it was a place that he did not deserve. Pretty
soon he proposed that they should all go after raspberries down the

"Well," said Henry, "and I'll go and get my dipper."

"Your dipper?" said Rollo.

"Yes," said Henry, "I brought a dipper."

Henry then went to a wood pile which was lying in the yard, and, looking
behind it, among the logs, he drew out a small tin dipper, and showed it
to Rollo.

"O, I wish I had a dipper to carry!" said Rollo. "It is better than a

Rollo went into the house, and presently returned bringing two small

"One for me?" said James, interrogatively, holding out his hand.

"Yes," said Rollo.

"Give me the other," said Henry, "and you shall have my dipper."

"Well," said Rollo.

"_I_ should rather have a basket," said James.

"No," said Rollo, "I think a dipper is better. I can get some drink with
it, if we come to any brook."

"But you must give me some drink out of the dipper, if I want any," said

"Well," said Rollo, "I will."

"Though I can drink without a dipper," said Henry.

"How?" said Rollo.

"O, I can get a piece of elder, and punch out the pith, and that will
make a hollow reed; and I can draw up the water through that into my

By this time, Rollo and Henry had exchanged the basket and the dipper,
and they were all walking along together. Rollo told the boys of several
other reasons why he would rather have the dipper on such an expedition;
but Henry preferred the basket, and so all were satisfied.

They went on down the lane. The berries were very thick. The boys ate a
great many, and they filled their baskets, and the dipper besides. When
they reached the bottom of the lane, Rollo proposed that they should go
on, through the woods, to the brook. They liked the plan. They
accordingly hid their baskets under the fence, heaping full of
raspberries. Rollo said that he should take his dipper with him, so as
to get a drink at the brook.

"But you can't use it to get a drink," said Henry; "it is full of

Rollo had not thought of this difficulty. He walked slowly along, with
the other boys, a few minutes, looking somewhat foolish; but in a moment
he said he meant to eat his raspberries up, and then his dipper would be
empty when he should get to the brook.

So he began to eat them. The other boys wanted some of them, and he gave
them some, on condition that they should help him fill up his dipper
again, when they returned up the lane on their way home. They assented
to this condition, and so the boys walked along, eating the raspberries
together, in great harmony.

They rambled about in the woods, for some time, meeting with various
adventures, until they reached the brook. Neither of the boys were
thirsty, not even Rollo; but still he took a drink from the brook, for
the sake of using the dipper. He then amused himself, for some time, in
trying to scoop up skippers and roundabouts, but without much success.
The skippers and roundabouts have both been mentioned before. The latter
were a sort of bugs, which had a remarkable power of whirling round and
round with the greatest rapidity, upon the surface of the water. While
Rollo was endeavoring to entrap some of these animals, the other boys
were picking up pebbles, or gathering flowers, until at length their
attention was suddenly arrested by a loud and long exclamation of
surprise and pleasure from Rollo.

"What?" said Henry and James, looking towards Rollo.

They saw that he was standing at the edge of the water, gazing eagerly
into his dipper.

"What is it?" said the boys, running towards him.

"I have caught a little fish," said Rollo.

True enough, Rollo had caught a little fish. It was very small, and, as
it had been swimming about there, Rollo had, probably more by accident
than skill, got him into his dipper, and there he was safely imprisoned.

"O, what a splendid little fellow!" said Henry, crowding his head in
between Rollo's and James's, over the dipper. "See his fins!"

"Yes," said Rollo. "It is a trout,--a little trout."

"See his eyes!" said James. "How he swims about! What are you going to
do with him, Rollo?"

"O, I shall carry him home, and keep him."

"O, you can't keep him," said James; "you have not got any pond."

"Never mind," said Rollo, "I can keep him in a bowl in the house."

"What shall you give him to eat?" said James.

"Eat! fishes never eat; they only drink. I shall give him fresh water
every day, and that will keep him alive."

"They do eat, too," said James. "They eat bait off of the hooks when we
fish for them."

Rollo had forgotten this fact when he said that fishes never ate; and,
having nothing to say in reply to it, now, he was silent, and only
looked at his fish.

"O, I wish I had a fish!" said Henry. "If I had kept my dipper, now, I
might have had one."

"I don't believe you could have caught one," said Rollo.

"Yes, I could; and I believe I will take my dipper, after all, and catch
me a fish."

"No," said Rollo, "you lent me the dipper, and I lent you my basket
instead; and now I must keep it till we get home."

"No," said Henry, "it is _my_ dipper, and I only lent it to you; and I
have a right to it whenever I want it. So you must give it to me."

But Rollo was very far from being convinced that he ought to give back
the dipper then. He had borrowed it, he said, for the whole expedition,
and he had a right to keep it till he got home. Besides, he had a fish
in it, and there was nothing that he could do with him, if Henry took
away the dipper.

But Henry said he did not think of catching a little fish in his dipper,
when he lent it to Rollo. If he had, he should not have lent it to him.
He only lent it to him to get raspberries in. But Rollo insisted that he
had lent it to him for the whole expedition, and to put any thing in it
he pleased.

After some time spent in this discussion, Rollo finally yielded. He was,
in fact, somewhat ashamed of the part he had taken in the former
difficulty, and had secretly resolved to be more good-natured and
yielding in future. So he gave the dipper back to Henry.

Before he did this, however, Henry said that he would be very careful
not to lose Rollo's fish.

"I will only dip the dipper in again," said he, "very carefully, to
catch another fish, without letting yours get out. Then we can carry
both to your house, and put yours in the bowl; and then I can carry mine
home in the dipper."

So Rollo gave the dipper back to Henry, though very reluctantly.

Henry carried it carefully down to the bank of the brook. He stood upon
a little sloping shore of sand and pebbles, and began to watch for the
little minnows which were swimming about in the deep places. He immersed
his dipper partially in the water, being very careful not to plunge it
in entirely, lest Rollo's fish should escape. Whenever he made an
attempt, however, to catch a fish, he was obliged to plunge it in; but
he did it very quick, so as not to give the prisoner, already taken,
time to escape.

At last, a fish, larger than any he had seen, came moving slowly along,
out from a deep place under a large log, which lay imbedded in the bank.
Henry made a sudden plunge after him. He drew up his dipper again,
confident that he had caught him; but, on looking into the dipper, no
fish was to be seen. The bird in the hand, and the bird in the bush,
were both gone.

The boys tried for a long time, in vain, to catch another fish. Rollo
was sadly disappointed at the loss of the one he had caught, but there
was now no help for it; and so they all slowly returned home together.


As the boys were slowly coming up the lane, towards the house, they saw
Mary and Lucy in the garden. They went round into the garden to see what
they were doing.

They found them seated upon a bench in a pleasant part of the garden; it
was the same bench were Rollo had once undertaken to establish a hive of
bees. Mary was teaching Lucy how to draw pictures upon lilac leaves, and
other leaves which they gathered, here and there, in the garden.

The boys came up and asked to see what the girls were doing. The girls
did not say to them, as girls sometimes do in such cases, 'It is none of
your concern,--you go off out of the garden, we don't want you here.'
They very politely showed them their leaf sketches,--and the boys, at
the same time, with equal politeness, offered them some of their
raspberries. In the course of the conversation, as they sat and stood
there, Rollo said to his sister,

"Henry lost my fish, Mary, and ought he not to pay me?"

"Your fish?" asked Mary.

"Yes," said Rollo, "I caught a fish in a dipper."

"And how came Henry to have it?"

"O, I let him have it, to catch another. He made me."

Henry had some secret feeling that he had not done quite right in the
transaction, though he did not know exactly how he had done wrong. He
did not make any reply to Rollo's charge, but stood back, looking
somewhat confused.

"Ought he not to pay me?" repeated Rollo.

"It seems to be a case of bailment," said Mary.

"O yes," said Rollo, who now recollected his father's conversation on
that subject some days before.

"And so, you know, the question," continued Mary, "whether he ought to
pay or not, depends upon circumstances."

"Well," said Rollo, who began to recall to mind the principles which
his father had laid down upon the subject, "it was for _his_ benefit,
not _mine_, and so he ought to pay."

All this conversation about bailment, and about its being for his
benefit, not Rollo's, was entirely unintelligible to Henry, who had
never studied the law of bailment at all. He looked first at Mary, and
then at Rollo, and finally said,

"I don't understand what you mean."

So Mary explained to him what her father had said. She told him, first,
that whenever one boy intrusted his property of any kind to the hands of
another boy, it was a _bailment_; and that the question whether the one
who took the thing ought to pay for it, if it was lost, depended upon
the degree of care he took of it, considered in connection with the
question, whether the bailment was for the benefit of the bailor, or the

"What is _bailor_ and the _bailee_?" said Henry.

"Why, Rollo bailed you his fish," said Mary. "Rollo was bailor, and you

"No," said Henry, "he only gave me back my dipper, and the fish was in

Mary asked for an explanation of this, and the boys related all the
circumstances. Mary said it was an intricate case.

"I don't understand it exactly," said Mary. "You returned him his
property which you had borrowed, and at the same time put into his hands
some property of your own. I don't know whether it ought to be
considered as only giving him back his dipper, or bailing him the fish."

"I did not want the _fish_," said Henry.

"No," said Mary. "It is a knotty case. Let us go and ask father about

"O, _I_ don't want to go," said Henry.

"Yes, I would," said Mary. "I'll be your lawyer, and manage your side of
the question for you; and we will get a regular decision."

"Well," said Henry, reluctantly. And all the children followed Mary and
Lucy towards the house.

They found Rollo's father in his room, examining some maps and plans
which were spread out upon the table before him. When he saw the
children coming in, he asked Mary, who was foremost, what they wanted.
She said they had a law question, which they wanted him to decide.

"A law question?" said he.

"Yes," she replied; "a case of bailment."

"O, very well; walk in," said he.

There was a sofa at one side of the room, and he seated the children all
there, while he drew up his arm-chair directly before them. He then told
them to proceed. Rollo first told the whole story, closing his statement
by saying,

"And so I let him have my fish; and that was a bailment, and it was not
for my benefit, but his, and so he ought to have taken very especial
care of it. But he did not, and lost it, and so he ought to pay."

"But we maintain," said Mary, "that the _fish_ was not bailed to Henry
at all. Rollo only gave him back the dipper, and, though the fish was in
it, still the fish did not do Henry any good, and so it was not for his

"It seems to be rather an intricate case," said her father, smiling.

Henry looked rather sober and anxious. The proceedings seemed to him to
be a very serious business.

However, Rollo's father spoke to him in a very kind and good-humored
tone, so that, before long, he began to feel at his ease. After hearing
a full statement of the case, and all the arguments which the children
had to offer on one side or the other, Rollo's father began to give his
decision, as follows:--

"I think that Rollo's giving Henry the dipper, with the fish in it, was
clearly a bailment of the fish; that is, it was an intrusting of his
property to Henry's care. It is clear also that Henry took pretty good
care of it. He tried to avoid losing it. He took as much care of it,
perhaps, as he would have done of a fish of his own. Still, he did not
take _very extraordinary_ or special care of it. The loss was not owing
to _inevitable_ accident. If the bailment was for Rollo's benefit, the
care he took was sufficient to save him from being liable; but, if it
was for his own benefit, then all he did was at his own risk; and the
loss ought to be his loss, and he ought to pay for it."

"But I don't see," said Mary, "that he was to blame in either case."

"O, no," said his father; "he was not to blame for losing the fish,
perhaps. That is not the point in these cases. It is not a question of
who is to blame, but who ought to bear a loss, for which perhaps nobody
is to blame.

"And you see," he continued, "that it is reasonable that the loss should
be borne by the person who was to have derived benefit from the risk. If
the risk was run for Henry's benefit, then he ought to bear the loss;
which he would do by making Rollo compensation. If the risk was run for
Rollo's benefit, then Rollo ought to bear the loss himself."

"Yes, sir," said Rollo; "and it certainly was for Henry's benefit, for
he was trying to catch another fish for himself,--not for me. I had no
advantage in it."

"That is not so certain," replied his father. "It depends altogether
upon the question, who had a right to the dipper at that time. If Henry
had a right to the dipper, then he might have even poured out the water,
fish and all; or he might have kept the fish in, to accommodate Rollo.
On the other hand, if Rollo had a right to the dipper then, and he let
Henry have it, as a favor to him, then, in that case, the bailment was
for Henry's benefit."

"Well, sir," said Henry, "I had a right to the dipper, for it was mine;
and so it was for his benefit, and I ought not to pay."

"No, sir," said Rollo; "he had let me have it, and I let him have my

"I only _lent_ it to him," said Henry.

"But you lent it to me for the whole walk," said Rollo, turning round to

"You must only speak to _me_," said his father. "In all debates and
arguments, always speak to the one who is presiding."

"Well, sir," said Rollo, turning back to his father, again, "he lent it
to me for the whole walk, and so I don't think he had any right to take
it back again."

"That is coming to the point exactly," said his father. "It all depends
upon that,--whether Henry had a right to reclaim his dipper at that
time, after only lending it to Rollo. And that, you see, is another
bailment case. Henry bailed Rollo the dipper. This shows the truth of
what I said before, that a great many of the disputes among boys arise
from cases of bailment. This seems to be a sort of doubled and twisted
case. And it all hinges on the question whether Henry or Rollo had the
right to the dipper at the time when Henry took it. For, as I have
already explained, if _Henry_ had a right to it, then his keeping
Rollo's fish in it was for Rollo's advantage, and Rollo ought to bear
the loss. But if _Rollo_ had a right to keep the dipper longer, then he
bailed the fish to him, in order to be able to let him have the dipper,
for he could not let him have the one without the other; and so it was
for Henry's benefit; and, as the loss was not from _inevitable_
accident, Henry ought to bear it."

"Well, sir, and now please to tell us," said Mary, "who had the right to
the dipper."

"Rollo," said her father.

"Rollo!" exclaimed several voices.

"Yes," replied Rollo's father. "There is a principle in the law of
bailment which I did not explain to you the other day. It is this:
Whenever a person bails a thing to another person, for a particular
purpose, and receives a compensation for it, the bailor has no right to
take it back again from the bailee, until a fair opportunity has been
allowed to accomplish that purpose. For instance, if I go and hire a
horse of a man to make a journey, I have a right to keep the horse
until the journey is ended. If the owner of the horse meets me on the
road, fifty miles from home, it is not reasonable, you see, that he
should have the right to take the horse away from me there, on the
ground that it is his horse, and that he has a right to him wherever he
finds him. So, if one boy lends another his knife to make a whistle
with, he ought not to take it away again, when the boy has got his
whistle half done, and so make him lose all his labor."

"Why, it seems to me he ought to give it back to him," said Rollo, "if
it is his knife, whenever he wants it."

"Yes," replied his father, "he ought to give it up, no doubt, if the
owner claims it; and yet perhaps the owner might do wrong in claiming
it. Though I am not certain, after all, how it is in case a thing is
lent gratuitously."

"What is _gratuitously_?" said Rollo.

"Why, for nothing; without any pay. Perhaps the bailor _has_ a right to
claim his property again, at any time, if it is bailed gratuitously,
though I am not certain. I will ask some lawyer when I have an
opportunity. But when a thing is let for pay, or bailed on contract in
any way, I am sure the bailor ought to leave it in the hands of the
bailee, until the purpose is accomplished; or, at least, until there has
been a fair opportunity to accomplish it.

"Wherefore I decide that, as Henry intended to let Rollo have the dipper
for the whole expedition, and as he took Rollo's basket, and Rollo
agreed to let him have some drink, as conditions, therefore, he ought
not to have reclaimed the dipper. Since he did reclaim it, Rollo did
perfectly right to give it up, fish and all; and as he did so, it was a
bailment for the benefit of the bailee, that is, Henry. And of course it
was at his risk, and, in strict justice, Rollo has a right to claim
compensation for the loss of his fish. But then I should hope he won't
insist upon it."

"Well, sir," said Rollo, "I don't care much about it now."

"You see, Henry," continued Rollo's father, "I haven't been talking
about this all this time on account of the value of the fish, but to
have you understand some of the principles you ought to regard, when any
other's property is in your possession. So, now, you may all go."

"Well, uncle," said James, as the children rose from their seats,
"haven't you got some great box that we can have for our cabinet?"

"Your cabinet?" asked his uncle.

"Yes, sir, we want to make a museum."

"Why, Rollo has got a cabinet. Jonas made him one."

"Yes, sir; but he wants his for himself, and we want one for our

"You may have mine, now," said Rollo; "I am not going to have one alone.
I have concluded to let you have mine. Come."

So Rollo moved on, as if he wished to go. In fact, he had an instinctive
feeling that his conduct in respect to the cabinet and the society would
not bear examination, and he wanted to go.

But his father, afraid that Rollo had been doing some injustice to his
playmates, stopped the children and inquired into the case. The children
told him that they had formed a society, and had elected Jonas cabinet
keeper; and that Rollo had afterwards said he meant to be cabinet keeper
himself, and so would not let the society have his cabinet to keep
their curiosities in.

"And did he first agree that the society might have it?"

"No, sir," said Rollo, decidedly; "I did not agree to any thing about
it." He thought that this would exonerate him from all blame.

"Was not there a _tacit_ agreement?" asked his father.

"A _tacit_ agreement!" repeated Rollo. He did not know what a tacit
agreement was.

"Yes," said his father, "_tacit_ means silent; a tacit or implied
agreement is one which is made without being formally expressed in
words. If it is only understood by both parties, it is just as binding
as if it were fully expressed. For instance, if I go into a bookstore,
and ask the bookseller to put me up certain books, and take them and
carry them home, and then he charges them to me in his books, I must pay
for them: for, though I did not _say_ any thing about paying for them,
yet my actions constituted an implied agreement to pay. By going in and
getting them, under those circumstances, I, in fact, tacitly promise
that I will pay for them when the bookseller sends in his bill. A very
large portion of the agreements made among men are tacit agreements."

The children all listened very attentively, and they understood very
well what Rollo's father was saying. Rollo was considering whether there
had been a tacit agreement that the society should have the cabinet; but
he did not speak.

"Now, Rollo, did you consent to the formation of the society?"

"Yes, sir," said Henry, eagerly; "he _asked_ us all to form the

"And was it the understanding that the museum was to be kept in the
cabinet that Jonas made?"

"Yes, sir," said Rollo, rather faintly.

"Then, it seems to me that there was a tacit agreement on your part,
that if the children would form the society and help you make the
collection, you would submit to whatever arrangements they might make
about the officers and the charge of the cabinet. You, in fact, _bailed_
the cabinet to the society."

"Yes, sir," said the children.

"And as the bailment was for your advantage, as well as theirs, you
ought not to have taken possession of the property again, until a fair
opportunity had been afforded to accomplish the purpose of the bailment,
that is, the collection of a cabinet by the society. So, you see, you
fell into the same fault in respect to the society, that Henry did in
regard to you in the case of the dipper."

The children were silent; but they all perceived the justice of what
Rollo's father had said.

"And the society have a claim upon you, Rollo, for compensation for the
disappointment and trouble you have caused them by taking away the

Rollo looked rather serious.

"O, we don't care about it," said Lucy.

"Well," said his father, "if the society release their claim upon you,
as you did yours upon Henry, very well. I hope, at all events, you will
all go on pleasantly after this."

The children then went out, and Rollo, followed by the other boys, went
to find Jonas, to tell him he might be cabinet keeper. They tried to
tell Jonas the whole story, and about Rollo's giving the fish to Henry,
and its being a bailment. But they could not make Jonas understand it
very well. He said he did not know any thing about bailment, except
bailing out boats--he had never heard of bailing fishes.


Jonas accepted the office of cabinet keeper. He inquired particularly of
the children about the meeting of the society, and, as they stated to
him the facts, he perceived that Rollo had been a good deal disappointed
at not having been chosen to any office. Jonas was sorry himself that
Rollo could not have had some special charge, as it was his plan at the
beginning, and the others had only joined it at his invitation. When he
observed, also, how good-naturedly Rollo acquiesced,--for he did at last
acquiesce very good-naturedly indeed,--he was the more sorry; and so he
proposed to Rollo that he should be _assistant_ cabinet keeper.

"I shall want an assistant," said Jonas, "for I have not time to attend
to the business much; I can give you directions, and then you can
arrange the curiosities accordingly; and you can help me when I am at
work there."

Rollo liked this plan very much; and so Jonas said that he might act as
assistant cabinet keeper until the next meeting of the society, and then
he would propose to them to choose him regularly. He told Mary of this
plan, and she liked it very much indeed.

The children had various plans for collecting curiosities. They had
meetings of the society once a week, when they all came into the play
room, bringing in with them the articles which they had found or
prepared. These articles were there exhibited and admired by all the
members, and then were put upon the great work-bench, under the care of
the assistant cabinet keeper. They remained there until Jonas had time
to look them over, and determine how to arrange them. Then he and Rollo
put them up in the cabinet, in good order.

Mary did not collect many articles herself; but she used to tell the
children what they could get or prepare. They made some very pretty
collections of dried plants at her suggestion. They would come to her,
as she sat in the house at her work, and there she would explain to
them, in detail, what to do; and then they would go away and do it,
bringing their work to her frequently as they went on. In respect to
collections of plants, she told them that botanists generally pressed
them, and then fastened them into great books, between the leaves,
arranged according to the kinds.

"But you," said she, "don't know enough of plants to arrange them in
that way,--and, besides, it would be too great an undertaking for you to
attempt to prepare a large collection. But you might make a small
collection, and select and arrange the flowers in it according to their

Lucy said she should like to do this very much, and so Mary recommended
to her to go and get as many flowers as she could find, and press them
between the leaves of some old book which would not be injured by them.
Lucy did so. She was a week or two in getting them ready. Then she
brought them to Mary. Mary looked them over, and said that many of them
were very pretty indeed, and that she could make a very fine collection
from them.

"Now," said she, "you must have a book to keep them in."

So Mary went and got two sheets of large, light-colored wrapping paper,
and folded them again and again, until the leaves were of the right
size. Then she cut the edges.

"Now," said Mary, "I must make some false leaves."

"False leaves!" said Lucy; "what are they?"

"O, you shall see," replied Mary.

She then cut one of the leaves which she had made into narrow strips,
and put these strips between the true leaves at the back, where they
were folded, in such a manner, that, when she sewed the book, the false
leaves would be sewed in with the true. But the false leaves, being
narrow strips, only made the back thicker. They did not extend out into
the body of the book between the leaves; but Mary showed Lucy that when
she came to put in her flowers between the true leaves, it would make
the body of the book as thick as the back. They would make it thicker,
were it not for these false leaves.

"Yes," said Lucy, "I have seen false leaves in scrap books, made to
paste pictures in. I always thought that they made the leaves whole,
first, and then cut them out."

"No," said Mary, "that would be a great waste of paper. It is very easy
to make them by sewing in narrow strips."

Mary then asked Lucy to sit up at the table, and select some of her
prettiest flowers,--some large, and some small,--enough to fill up one
page of her book; and then to arrange them on the page in such a way as
to produce the best effect; and Lucy did so. Then she gummed each one
down upon the page, by touching the under side, here and there, with
some gum arabic, dissolved in water, but made very thick. When she had
done one page, she turned the leaf over very carefully, and laid a book
upon it, and then proceeded to make selections of flowers for the second
page. In this manner she went on through the book, and it made a very
beautiful book indeed. Mary put a cover and a title-page to it; and on
the title-page, she wrote the title, thus:--




                        COMMON FLOWERS,



When it was all ready, it was presented to the society, and put into the
cabinet, where it was long known by the name of "_Lucy's Collection_."
She wrote the name of each plant under it, as fast as she could find out
the names; and, whenever visitors came to see the museum, she would ask
them the name of any of the flowers in her collection which she did not
know, and then wrote the name down. Thus, after a time, nearly all the
names were entered; and so, whenever the children found any flower which
they did not know, they would sometimes go and look over Lucy's
collection, and there perhaps they would find the very flower with its
name under it.

This museum lasted several years; and the next spring, Rollo made his
collection of flowers, which was larger than Lucy's. Mary helped him
about it. At first, he was going to have it in a larger book; but Mary
thought it would be better to have all the books of a size, and then
they would lie together very compactly, in a pile; which would not be
the case if they had several books of different sizes. She said if any
one wanted to make a larger collection, he had better have several
volumes. Rollo made volume after volume, until at last his collection
consisted of six.

There was one collection of _leaves_; Henry made it. His object was to
see how many different-shaped leaves he could get. He did not regard the
little differences which exist between the leaves of the same tree, but
only the essential differences of shape; such as between the leaf of the
oak and of the maple. Two or three pages were devoted to leaves of
forest-trees, and they looked very beautiful indeed. Leaves, being
naturally flat, can be pressed very easily, and they generally preserve
their colors pretty well. One page was devoted to the leaves of
evergreens, such as the pine, fir, spruce, hemlock; and they made a
singular appearance, they were so small and slender. A little sprig of
pine leaves was put in the centre, and the others around. Then there
were the leaves of fruit-trees and plants, such as the apple, pear,
peach, plum, raspberry, strawberry, currant, gooseberry, &c., arranged
by themselves; and there were half a dozen pages devoted to
bright-colored leaves, gathered in the autumn, after the frost had come.
These pages looked very splendidly. The names of the plants to which all
these leaves belonged were written under them, and also the name given
by botanists to indicate the particular shape of the leaf; these names
the children found in books of botany. Such, for instance, as
_serrated_, which means notched all around the edge with teeth like a
saw, like the strawberry leaf; and _cordate_, which means shaped like a
heart, as the lilac leaf is, and many others.

There was also a collection of brakes that Rollo made, which the
children liked to look over very much. There is a great variety in the
forms of brakes, or ferns, and yet they are all regular and beautiful,
and are so flat that they are easily pressed and preserved. But of all
the botanical collections which were formed and deposited in this
museum, one of the prettiest was a little collection of _petals_, which
Rollo's mother made. Petals are the colored leaves of flowers,--those
which form the flower itself. Sometimes the flower cannot be pressed
very well whole, and yet, if you take off one of its petals, you find
that that will press very easily, and preserve its color finely. So
Rollo's mother, every day, when she saw a flower, would put one of the
leaves into a book, and after a time she had a large collection,--red,
and white, and blue, and yellow, and brown, in fact, of almost every
color. Then she made a little book of white paper, because she thought
the colors and forms of these delicate petals would appear to better
advantage on a smooth, white ground. She then made a selection from all
which she had preserved, and arranged them upon the pages of her little
book, so as to bring a great variety both of form and color upon a page;
and yet forms and colors so selected that all that was upon one page
should be in keeping and harmony.

But it was not merely the botanical collections in the museum which
interested the children. They had some philosophical apparatus. There
was what the boys called a sucker, which consisted of a round piece of
sole leather, about as big as a dollar, with a string put through the
middle, and a stop-knot in the end of it, to keep the string from coming
entirely through; then, when the leather was wet, the boys could just
pat it down upon a smooth stone, and then lift the stone by the string;
the sucker appearing to stick to the stone very closely. Rollo did not
understand how the sucker could lift so well; his father said it was by
the pressure of the atmosphere, but in a way that Rollo was not old
enough to understand.

Then there was what the boys called a circular saw, made of a flat,
circular piece of lead, as large as the top of a tea cup. Jonas had
hammered it out of a bullet. There were saw-teeth cut all around the
circumference, and two holes bored through the lead, at a little
distance from the centre, one on each side. There was a string passed
through these holes, and then the ends were tied together; and to put
the circular saw in motion, this string was held over the two hands, as
the string is held when you first begin to play cat's-cradle. Then, by a
peculiar motion, this saw could be made to whirl very swiftly, by
pulling the two hands apart, and then letting them come together
again,--the string twisting and untwisting alternately, all the time.
There were various other articles of apparatus for performing
philosophical experiments; such as a prism, a magnet, pipes for blowing
soap bubbles, a syringe, or squirt-gun, as the boys called it, made of a
reed, which may be said to be a philosophical instrument.

Jonas made a collection of specimens of _wood_, which was, on the whole,
very curious, as well as somewhat useful. As he was at work sawing wood
from day to day, he laid aside small specimens of the different kinds;
as oak, maple, beech, ash, fir, cedar, &c. He generally chose small,
round pieces, about as large round as a boy's arm, and sawed off a short
piece about three inches long. This he split into quarters, and reserved
one quarter for his specimen, throwing the others away. This quarter
had, of course, three sides; one was covered with bark, and the other
two were the split sides. As fast as Jonas got these specimens split out
in this manner, he put them in the barn, upon a shelf, near the bench;
and then, one day, he took them one by one, and planed one of the split
sides of each, and then smoothed it perfectly with sand paper.

Rollo, who was standing by at the time, asked him why he did not plane
them all around.

"O, because," said Jonas, "they are for specimens, and so we want them
to show the bark on one side, and the wood on the other side, in its
natural state; and the third side is enough to show its appearance when
it is manufactured."

"Manufactured!" said Rollo.

"Yes," said Jonas; "planed and varnished, as it is when it is made into

"Are you going to varnish the sides that you plane?"

Jonas said he was; and he did so. He planed one side, and one end. He
varnished the planed side, and pasted a neat little label on the planed
end. On the label he wrote the name of the wood, and some very brief
account of its qualities and uses, when he knew what they were. For
instance, on the end of the specimen of walnut, was written in a very
close but plain hand--

     Walnut, very tough and hard. Used for handles.

After Jonas had got as many specimens as he could, from the wood pile,
he used to cut others in the woods, when he happened to be there, of
kinds which are not commonly cut for fuel. In this way he got, after a
time, more than twenty different kinds, and when they were all neatly
varnished and labelled, it made a very curious collection; and it was
very useful, too, sometimes; for whenever the boys found any kind of a
tree in the woods which they did not know, all they had to do, was to
cut a branch of it off, and bring it to the museum, and compare it with
Jonas's specimens. In this way, before long, they learned the names of
nearly all the trees which grew in the woods about there.

There was a curious circumstance which happened in respect to Rollo's
hemlock-seed. It has already been said that this supposed hemlock-seed
was really a chrysalis. Now, a chrysalis is that form which all
caterpillars assume, before they change into butterflies; and the animal
remains within, generally for some time, in a dormant state;--all the
time, however, making a slow progress towards its development. Now,
Rollo's great chrysalis remained in a conspicuous position, upon the
middle shelf in the cabinet, for some weeks. Rollo always insisted, when
he showed it to visitors, that it was a hemlock-seed. Jonas said he knew
it was not; and he did not believe it was any kind of seed. But then he
confessed that he did not know what it was, and Rollo considered that he
had his father's authority for believing it to be a hemlock-seed,
because his father had said he thought it might be so, judging however
only by Rollo's description, without having seen it at all. Rollo always
asserted very confidently that it was a hemlock-seed, and that he was
going to plant it the next spring.

In the mean time, the humble caterpillar within, unconscious of the
conspicuous position to which he had been elevated, and the
distinguished marks of attention he received from many visitors, went
slowly on in his progress towards a new stage of being. When the time
was fully come, he very coolly gnawed a hole in one end of his glossy
shell, and laboriously pushed himself through, his broad and beautiful
wings folded up compactly by his side. When he was fairly liberated, he
stood for two hours perfectly silent and motionless upon the shelf,
while his wings gradually expanded, and assumed their proper form and
dimensions. It was rather dark, for the doors were closed; and yet
sufficient light came through the crevices of Jonas's cabinet, to enable
him to see the various objects around him, though he took very little
notice of them. It was a strange thing for him to be shut up in such a
place, with no green trees, or grass, or flowers around; but having
never turned into a butterfly before, he did not know that there was any
thing unusual in his situation.

He began, however, in the course of six hours, to feel decidedly hungry;
so he thought he would creep along in search of something to eat. He
tried his proboscis upon one curiosity after another, in vain. The
magnet, the sucker, pebbles, shells, books, every thing was hard, dry
and tasteless; and at length, discouraged and in despair, he clambered
up upon Jonas's specimen of maple, poised his broad, black, leopard-like
wings over his back, and hung his head in mute despair. He would have
given all his newborn glories for one single supper from the leaf which
he used to feed upon when he was a worm.

It was just about this time, that Rollo, Lucy, and Jonas happened to
come together to the cabinet, to put in some new curiosity which they
had found. As soon as Rollo opened the doors, he perceived the hole in
the end of the chrysalis, which lay directly before him. He seized it

"There now," said he, in a tone of sad disappointment, "somebody has
been boring a hole in my hemlock-seed!"

He took up the empty shell, and looked at the hole.

"Why, Jonas," said he, "how light it is!"

Jonas took the chrysalis, weighed it in his hand, looked into the hole,
and then said, quickly,

"It is a chrysalis, I verily believe; and that is where the butterfly
came out."

"What!" said Rollo, in a tone of utter amazement.

"That hole is where a butterfly came out," said Jonas, "I have no
doubt;--and if we look about here a little, we shall find him."

They immediately began to look about; and the butterfly, as if he
understood their conversation, and perceived the necessity of a movement
on his part, just at that instant, expanded his wings, and floated off
through the air into the middle of the room, towards the bright sunshine
which came in at the door. He alighted upon the edge of a barrel, which
stood there. Rollo was after him in a moment, with his cap in the air.
The butterfly, however, was too hungry to wait. He was again upon the
wing. He soared away across the yard, towards the garden, and
disappeared over the tops of the trees. Rollo and Lucy looked for him
for some time among the plants and flowers, but in vain.

"Never mind," said Jonas, when they returned. "The butterfly had rather
be free; but he has left you the chrysalis shell, and that,
notwithstanding the hole, is a greater curiosity now, than it was


Rollo's father and mother were very much pleased with the children's
plan of collecting a cabinet. They often went out, at Rollo's request,
to look at the curiosities.

One evening, about sunset, when they were walking in the garden, Rollo
proposed that, before they went into the house, they should go out and
look at the museum. They accordingly walked along, Rollo and Mary taking
hold of hands before, and their father and mother walking arm in arm
after them. Nathan was behind, riding a stick for a horse, and blowing a
trumpet which Rollo had made for him out of the stem of a pumpkin vine.

"I am a trooper," said Nathan to himself, "blowing a bugle." Then he
would whip his horse, sound his trumpet, and gallop along.

When they reached the door of the barn which led into the place where
their museum was kept, Rollo turned round and said sharply,

"Thanny, be quiet! Don't make such a noise."

"Speak pleasantly, Rollo," said Mary.

"Well, Thanny," said Rollo, taking hold of his arm, and gently turning
him away from the door, "go and blow your bugle somewhere else, because
we want to see our curiosities."

Thanny made no reply; but, being spoken to pleasantly, he turned around
and went galloping off, and seeing the cat upon the fence, he ran up and
began trumpeting at her to frighten her away.

In the mean time, Rollo's father and mother looked over the curiosities,
as they had done many a time before. Rollo explained the wonders, and
his parents looked and listened with great satisfaction, though they had
been called upon to admire the same things for the same reasons, twenty
times before.

"But, Rollo," said his father, at length, "it appears to me that your
cabinet has not increased much, lately."

"Why, father, we can't find any more curiosities. I wish we could go to
some new place."

"What new place can we go to?" said he.

"I don't know," said Rollo; "some place where there are some

"We might go to the sea-shore, and get some shells," said Mary.

"So we could," said her father; "that would give you a fine addition."

"Well, father," said Rollo, looking up very eagerly, "I wish you would
let us go."

"I will think of it," said his father.

Rollo knew that when his father said this, he meant as he said, and that
he would really think of it;--and consequently that he himself ought not
to say any thing more about it. He accordingly soon began to talk to
Mary about other things, and by and by they went into the house.

The next day, Rollo's father told him that they had concluded to make a
party to go to the sea-shore. There was a shore and a beach about twelve
miles from where they lived, and he said that they were going the next
day in the carryall. Rollo's father and mother, with Mary and her cousin
Lucy, were to ride in the carryall, and Rollo and Jonas in the wagon

"We want cousin Lucy to go with us," said Mr. Holiday, in explaining the
plan, "and so there will not be quite room for us all in the carryall.
Besides, we shall want Jonas's help, probably, in the expedition, and
then the wagon will be a good thing to bring back our treasures in."

"O father," said Rollo, "we shall not get more than a carryall full."

"No, I suppose not," said his father; "but the wagon will be better to
bring stones, and sand, and shells. You must put baskets in behind, to
pack them in."

The next afternoon, all was in readiness at the appointed hour. The
carryall was at the door, waiting to receive its portion of the party,
and the wagon was fastened to a post behind. Jonas stood at the head of
the carryall horse, to hold him still while the people should be getting
in. Rollo was near the wagon horse.

"Shall I unfasten him, Jonas?"

"_You_ can't unfasten him," said he.

"O yes, I can, if you will only let me try."

Rollo approached the horse, and cautiously reached out his hands to
unhook the chain from the ring at the horse's mouth, standing a good way
back, and leaning forward on tiptoe, as if he thought the horse would
bite him.

"What are you afraid of, Rollo?" said Jonas.

"Nothing," said Rollo; "only I can't reach very well."

"Stand up nearer."

"But perhaps he might bite me."

"Poh! he never bites," said Jonas. "There is only one danger to guard
against, in unfastening such a horse as that."

"What danger?" said Rollo.

"Danger that he may step and tread on your foot."

Rollo looked down at his feet, and began to consider this danger; but
just then his father and mother came out, followed by the two girls, and
took their seats in the carryall. Jonas then came to the wagon, and,
after helping Rollo in, he got in himself, and away the whole party
went, very happily.

After riding for some time, Rollo's mother, upon looking back towards
the wagon, saw that Rollo was making signs as if he wanted them to
stop. She told Mr. Holiday, and he accordingly stopped his horse, and
waited until the wagon came up. Rollo had a plan to propose.

"Father," said he, "I wish you would let Jonas come into the carryall
and drive you and mother, and let Mary and cousin Lucy come and ride
with me."

"But who will drive?" said his father.

"I'll drive," replied Rollo.

"O no," said his mother, "he can't drive; he will overturn the wagon."

"Why, mother, I can drive," said Rollo. "I have been driving some time."

"I rather think there will be no danger," said Mr. Holiday to his wife,
turning towards her as she sat upon the back seat. "The road is pretty
level and retired, and he will keep close along behind the carryall."

Rollo's mother looked rather doubtfully, and yet she could not help
feeling a certain degree of pleasure at thinking that Rollo was old
enough to drive alone. She accordingly consented, and the change was at
once made. Rollo's father and mother sat on the back seat of the
carryall, and Jonas before, to drive them; while Rollo, Mary, and Lucy
took possession of the wagon.

Rollo drove very well. He kept near the carryall, and was so attentive
to his business as a driver, and so successful in avoiding stones and
jolts, and in turning out for the various vehicles they met upon the
road, that his father let him drive so all the rest of the way.

They gradually approached the sea-shore. The country grew wild and
hilly, and great ledges of rocks were seen in the fields and by the road
side. At length, upon the summit of a long ascent, the broad sea burst
into view, stretching along the horizon before them, smooth and glassy,
with here and there a small white sail almost motionless in the
distance. Below them was a long, sandy beach. The surf was breaking
against it. A swell of the sea, of the whole length of the beach, would
rise and advance, growing higher and more distinct as it approached, and
then it would break over upon the shore in one long line of foam, white
and beautiful, and gracefully curved to adapt itself to the curvature of
the shore. At the extremities of the beach, points and promontories of
ragged rocks extended out into the water, white with the breakers which
foamed and struggled around them. From the whole there arose a continued
and solemn roar, like the sound of a great waterfall.

Mr. Holiday stopped his horse by the side of the road, and Rollo, when
he reached the place, stopped also.

"Here we are," said Rollo. "That's the sea."

"Where's the beach?" said Lucy.

Mary was silent.

"Come," said Rollo, "let's drive on."

"O no," said Mary, "wait here a few minutes."

"Jonas, what are you waiting for?" said Rollo.

"I wished him to stop here a few minutes," said Rollo's father, "to let
us look at the prospect."

Rollo said no more, though he could not understand what his father was
waiting for. They all sat still, looking at the view, and saying very
little; Rollo was impatient and restless. In a short time, however,
Jonas drove on, and Rollo followed him. They went down into a sort of
valley, where they lost sight of the water again, and then, after
winding around for some time among the rocks and sand hills, they came
at length to a high ridge of pebble stones, which ran along the shore;
and surmounting this, they found the white beach spread out close before
them, while a long line of wave was just curling over and dashing into
foam upon the sand. They fastened the horses to some heavy pieces of
timber, the remains of a wreck, which lay up high upon the sand.

"O, what a wide beach!" said Rollo. The truth is, that when he saw the
beach from the hill, it looked like a mere line of sand, extending along
the shore. But now he found it was a broad and smooth area, gently
descending towards the water. It was firm, so that the children could
run about upon it. Rollo went down pretty near to the water's edge, and
amused himself by watching the surf. Each wave would recede after it
broke, and run off, leaving a broad piece of the beach dry; until, in a
moment more, another wave would come curling on, and break over the
retreating water of the former; and then it would rush up the sand, in a
broad and rapid stream, all along the shore, almost to Rollo's feet.

Rollo asked his father to let him take off his shoes and stockings; and
he did so. Rollo put each stocking into its shoe, to keep them dry, and
then laid them down upon the sand beyond the reach of the waves. Then he
would watch the waves, and whenever the water retreated, he would follow
it down until he met the new wave coming curling up at him, when he
would turn and run, the wave after him, to the shore; and when the wave
broke, it would throw the water all around his feet.

Lucy and Mary walked along the other shore at a greater distance,
looking for shells. They found a great many. Rollo could hear their
exclamations of delight at every new shell they found, and they were
continually calling upon him to come and get some too; but he was too
much occupied with the surf.

At length, Rollo's attention was excited by hearing Lucy call out,

"O Mary, Mary! I have found a piece of sponge."

Rollo turned around to look. He had just run up from the water, and was
standing beyond the reach of the surf, though the water which each wave,
as it broke, sent up upon the shore, played around his feet.

"How big is it?" said Rollo,

"About as big as my finger."

"Ho!" said Rollo; "that is not very big."

Just at this instant, a wave larger than usual burst just behind Rollo,
and it sent up a torrent of water all around him, which rose almost up
to his knees. Rollo was frightened. He started to run; but so much water
confused and embarrassed him. He staggered.

"Stand still, Rollo," said his father.

Rollo then stood still; but by this time the water was receding, and his
eyes fell upon his two shoes, which had been taken up by the wave, and
were now running rapidly down from the shore, each loaded with its
stocking. Rollo ran to seize them, and had just time to get them before
the next wave advanced and was ready to dash over them. He ran up upon
the sand, and put his shoes several yards from the highest place that
the water had come to.

"There," said he, looking back at the waves, "now get my shoes if you
can!" The waves said nothing, but went on breaking and then retreating,
just as before.

Rollo then went to where Mary and Lucy were, and began to collect
shells. They found quite a number of different kinds, all along the
shore. Some were large and coarse,--broken and worn by the water. Some
were so thin and delicate that he had to wrap them up carefully in a
paper, and put them into his waistcoat pocket, in order to get them home
safely. The children found several other curiosities besides shells.
They collected pebbles, and specimens of sand, of different colors. Mary
found an old iron spike, perhaps part of a vessel, with the sand and
gravel concreted around it. It looked like stone growing upon iron.
Rollo also found a small piece of wood, battered and worn by the
long-continued action of the waves, and he thought it was very curious
indeed. In fine, the children filled their baskets with wonders, and,
after about three quarters of an hour, they set out on their return
home. When Rollo went to get his shoes, he found the water almost up to
them. If he had staid away a little longer, they would have been washed
away again. The truth was, the tide was rising.


As the party slowly rode away from the beach, Rollo's mother asked if it
was too late to go to the cliffs. There was a splendid prospect from the
cliffs. They were rocky precipices overhanging the sea, at the extremity
of a point of land, about a mile from the beach where they had been. The
two girls wanted to go very much; but Rollo did not care so much about
it. He was in haste to get home and arrange his curiosities.

His father, however, after looking at his watch, said that he thought
there would be time to go. So he turned his horse's head in the right
direction, and they went to the cliffs.

The precipices were very high, and the swell of the sea dashed and
roared against them at their foot; and yet the water looked very smooth
at a little distance from the land. Rollo wondered why there should be
waves along the beach and against the rocks, when there were none out in
the open sea.

"I should think, father," said he, "that it would be calmer near the
shore, and more windy out upon the water."

"It is," said his father.

"Then, why are not the waves bigger?"

"They _are_ full as big."

"Why, father," said Rollo, "there are no waves at all out from the

"You can't see them very well," said his father, "because we look down
upon them. When we are upon a mountain, the small hills below almost
disappear. Besides, the waves out in the open sea, in such a still time
as this, are in the form of broad swells; but these swells are broken
when they roll against the shore, and so this makes the surf."

"I mean to look over and see," said Rollo, and he walked cautiously
along towards the precipice.

"O Rollo," exclaimed Mary, "don't go so near!"

"Why, there is no danger," said Rollo.

"Rollo! Rollo!" exclaimed Mary again, as Rollo went nearer and nearer.

His father had turned away, just as he had finished what he said above,
and so had not observed what Rollo was doing. In fact, he did not go
near enough to the brink to be in any danger, though Mary was afraid to
have him so near.

His mother, hearing Mary's call, turned to see what was the matter, and
she, too, felt afraid at seeing Rollo so near. She called him to come
away; but Rollo told her that he was not near enough to fall.

"But I had rather that you would come away," said his mother; and she
looked very anxious and uneasy, and began to hurry along towards him.

"You see that large island off to the right," said Rollo's father,
directing her attention in the right quarter.

"Yes, I see it--Rollo!"

"Well, that is George's Island. There is a rock lying just about south
of it."

"Yes," said Rollo's mother, "I believe I see it," beckoning at the same
time to Rollo.

Her mind was evidently occupied with watching Rollo. She looked first
at the rock and island, where Mr. Holiday was pointing, and then back at
Rollo, until at length Mr. Holiday, perceiving that her mind was
disturbed by Rollo's motions, said to him,

"Rollo, keep outside of us."

"Outside, father!" said Rollo; "how do you mean?"

"Why, farther back from the brink than we are."

So Rollo walked reluctantly back until he was at about the same distance
from the brink with his father, and then began to take up some little
stones, and throw them over. His father and mother went on talking,
though Rollo's stones disturbed them a little. At length, Rollo came and
stood near his father to hear what he was saying about a large ship
which was just coming into view behind the island.

As he stood there, he kept pressing forward to get as near to the brink
as he could, without actually going before his father and mother. She
instinctively put out her hand to hold him back, and was evidently so
uneasy, that Mr. Holiday looked to see what was the matter. Rollo had
pressed forward so as to be a very little in advance of his father,
though it was only very little indeed.

"Rollo," said his father, "go and sit in the carryall until we come."

Rollo looked up surprised, and was just going to ask what for. But he
perceived at once that he was in advance of his parents, and that he had
consequently disobeyed his father's orders. He went away rather

"I was not more than an inch in advance of where they were," said he to
himself; "and, besides, it was far enough from the brink. I don't see
why I need be sent away."

However, he knew that he must obey, and he went and took his seat in the
carryall. It was turned away from the sea, and he had nothing before him
but the inland prospect.

"What dismal-looking rocks and hills!" said he to himself. They had
appeared wild and picturesque when he first came in view of them, but
now they had a very gloomy expression. He who is dissatisfied with
himself, is generally dissatisfied with all around him.

Rollo waited until he was tired, and then he had to wait some time
longer. At length his father and mother appeared, and Rollo jumped out,
and asked his father if he might ride in the wagon, and drive the girls

"No," replied his father, "I have made another arrangement. Jonas," he
continued, "you may get into the wagon, and drive on alone."

Rollo's father then helped Mrs. Holiday and Mary into the back seat,
while he put Lucy and Rollo on before, and he took a seat between them.
When they had rode on a little way, he said,

"I was very sorry to have to send you away, Rollo."

"Why, father, I was not more than an inch before you."

"That's true," said his father.

"And I don't think I was in any danger."

"I don't think you were myself," said his father.

"Then, why did you send me back?"

"For two reasons. First, you disobeyed me."

"But I don't think I came before you more than an inch."

"Nor I," said his father; "very likely it was not more than half an

"And was that enough to do any harm?"

"It was enough to constitute _disobedience_. I told you to keep back,
_outside_ of us, and by coming up even as near as we were, you showed a
disposition not to obey."

"But I forgot," said Rollo. "I did not observe that I was so near."

"But when I give you a direction like that, it is your duty to observe."

Rollo was silent. After a short pause, he added,

"Well, father, you said that there were two reasons why you sent me

"Yes, the other was that you were spoiling all the pleasure of the
party. You kept Mary and mother continually uneasy and anxious."

"But I don't think I went into any danger."

"Perhaps not; that is not what I charge you with. I did not send you
away for going into danger, but for making other persons anxious and

"But, father, if there was not any danger, why need they be uneasy?"

"Do you suppose that persons are never made uneasy and anxious, except
by actual danger?"

"Why--I don't know, sir."

"If you observe persons carefully, you will see that they are."

"Then they must be unreasonable," said Rollo.

"Not altogether," said his father. "If you were lying down upon the
ground, and I were to come up to you with an axe, and make believe cut
your head off, it would make you very uneasy, though there would be
really no danger."

"But this is very different," said Rollo. "That would have been as if I
had made believe push mother off."

"That would have been more like it, I confess. But I only meant to show
you that it does not always require real danger, to make any one uneasy
and anxious. When we see persons in situations which strongly suggest
the idea of danger to our minds, it makes us uneasy, though we may know
that there is no actual danger in the case. Thus it is painful to most
persons to see a carpenter upon a very lofty spire, or to go very near a
precipice, or see any body else go, even when there is a strong railing;
and so in all other cases. Therefore, our rule ought always to be, when
we are in company with others, not only not to go into actual danger,
but not to go so near as strongly to bring up the idea to their minds,
and thus distress them."

"I never thought of that before," said Rollo.

"No, I presume not. And I had not time to explain it to you when we were
upon the cliffs, and so I simply directed you to keep back of us. That
would have prevented all trouble, if you had only obeyed."

Rollo was silent and thoughtful. He was sorry that he had disobeyed.

"However," continued his father, "I am very glad I have had this
opportunity to explain this subject to you. Now, I want you to
remember, after this, that the best way, in all such cases, is to
consider, not what the actual danger is, but what the feelings and fears
of those who are with you may be. It is not your own safety, but the
comfort of others, that you have to look out for."

"Yes, sir," said Rollo, "I will."

"Once there were two young men," continued his father, "taking a ride in
chaises. Each had his sister with him. They came to an old bridge that
was somewhat decayed, and it led across a very deep ravine which looked
very frightful, though in reality the bridge was perfectly strong and
safe. Now, when the first chaise came near, the girl who was in it cried

"'O brother, what a bridge! O, I must get out and walk over it. I don't
dare to ride over such a bridge.'

"'Poh, nonsense!' said Henry. Her brother's name was Henry. 'The bridge
is strong enough for a four-ox team. I have been over it a dozen times.'
So he drove on. His sister looked very much terrified when they came
upon the bridge, but they went over safely.

"'There,' said Henry, when they had got over, 'I told you it was safe.'

"When the other chaise came down, the young lady said the same thing to
_her_ brother, whose name was Charles. She said she was afraid to ride

"'Very well,' said Charles. 'The bridge is safe enough, but I think,
perhaps, it may be pleasanter for you to walk over. It will rest you to
walk a little, and besides, you can stop to look at the pleasant
prospect, up and down the river, from the middle of the bridge.'

"So his sister got out, and he drove the chaise over carefully, while
she walked behind. Now, which do you think took the best course, Charles
or Henry?"

"I--don't know," said Rollo.

"The way to determine," said his father, "is to apply the Savior's rule,
'Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.'"

"Well, I think," said Rollo, "that I should rather get out and walk."

"I am sure I should," said Lucy.

       *       *       *       *       *

The whole party, after this, got safely home, though it was too late,
that night, to arrange their curiosities. They, however, looked them all
over the next day, and they made a very large and valuable addition to
their cabinet. The specimens of sand of different colors they arranged
in little, square, pasteboard boxes, which Mary made, covering them
neatly with blue paper upon the outside, and with white paper within.


The summer and autumn passed away, and the winter came on. Rollo was
having a new great-coat made. He had grown too big for the old one, and
so his mother had laid it aside, waiting for Nathan to grow up to it.

When Rollo's coat was done, he went out to show it to Jonas. It was
thick and warm, with large cuffs, and there was a good warm collar to
come up about his ears.

"And see," said Rollo, throwing the coat back, and slipping one of his
arms out, "see how easy it comes off and on!"

"Yes," said Jonas, "and that is a great convenience in a great-coat. It
is a very fine great-coat, indeed. I think, with that on, you will be
able to make your stand against all three of the Northmen."

"All three of the Northmen!" repeated Rollo. "Who are the Northmen?"

"Don't you know who the three famous Northmen are," said Jonas, "who do
so much mischief?"

"No," said Rollo, "I never heard of them before."

"Well," said Jonas, "I will tell you some time, but now I must go away
with the cart."

Jonas had been harnessing the horse into the cart, in the yard, while
Rollo had been talking with him, and now was about ready to go away.
Rollo determined to ask his mother to let him go with him.

"Where are you going, Jonas?" said he.

"Down into the woods," said Jonas.

"Wait a minute for me."

So away Rollo ran to ask his mother. She said, yes; and he accordingly
came out and took his seat, by the side of Jonas, upon a board which was
placed across the cart, from one side to the other.

Jonas was going down into the woods to bring up a load of wood which he
had obtained from the trimmings of the trees. It was a cold, frosty
morning, and the winter was near; and Jonas wished to get the wood in
before the snow should come and cover it up. Rollo was so much
interested in driving the cart down, and then in loading it with wood,
that he forgot to ask Jonas about the three famous Northmen.

About a month after this, there were a few very cold mornings. The ice
froze very hard in a tub of water before the pump, and Jonas had to cut
a hole in it with the axe, for the horse to drink.

Rollo saw him through the kitchen window, and he opened the door and ran
out a moment to see him. Jonas was cutting away very carefully all
around the sides of the tub, so as to get the whole mass of ice out
together. Rollo stood looking on, shivering. He had no hat on, and only
slippers upon his feet. He stood leaning a little forward, his arms
hanging off from his sides as if they were driven off by electric

"A'n't you cold?" said Rollo to Jonas.

"No," said Jonas, "not at all."

"I am; and I can't stay out here any longer, I am so cold."

"You are not prepared for it; that is the difficulty. Go and put on your
boots, and your cap, and your mittens, and button up your jacket, and
come out here and go to work with me, and you won't be cold."

Rollo ran in and got his boots; and after warming them by the kitchen
fire, he put them on. He also buttoned his jacket up to his chin, and
drew on his mittens, and put on his cap. He then went out again to find

He found him in the barn, pitching down hay.

"Now," said Rollo, as he came up the stairs, "what shall I do?"

"Ah, you have come out to work, have you?" said Jonas. "Well, take this
pitchfork, and mount up upon the loft there, and pitch me down some

Rollo found it very hard to get up upon the loft. There were only some
pegs, driven into a post, to climb up by. However, with Jonas's help, he
got up, and then clambered over upon the hay; and Jonas threw the
pitchfork up after him.

"Now work moderately," said Jonas, "and I'll insure that the Northmen
can't touch you."

"O, there!" said Rollo, "you have never told me about the Northmen."

"Well," said Jonas, "I will tell you now, when you come down."

After pitching the hay down a little while, Rollo descended, though it
was not necessary for Jonas to help him, for he jumped down upon the
heap of hay which he had made. They then went together, attending to
Jonas's work about the barn, while Rollo stopped occasionally to look
out the open door or window, where the sun was shining in very
pleasantly. Rollo began to think it was a warm, pleasant morning.

"There is one of the Northmen," said Jonas, "that you are somewhat
acquainted with already."

"What is his name?" said Rollo.

"Captain Jack Frost," replied Jonas.

"O, yes," said Rollo, with a smile, "I have heard of that gentleman

"Yes," said Jonas, "he is pretty well known. He is a great
mischief-maker. He lives in an ice castle at the North, and in the fall
of the year he comes creeping along in the still nights, and early in
the mornings. He builds bridges over the ponds, and brooks, and plants
little gardens of hoar frost; and where he sees a stone in the ground,
he stamps his foot upon it, and crowds it down a little way. Then it is
his great delight to go about pinching boys' toes and noses. He is a
sly rogue."

"And who are the other Northmen?" said Rollo.

"The next is General Boreas," said Jonas.

"General Boreas!" repeated Rollo; "and who is he?"

"O! he is a terrible fellow," replied Jonas. "He comes roaring and
thundering along the tops of the forests at midnight, in snowstorms and
hail. He buries up the whole country, he breaks down the trees, and
sometimes unroofs the houses. Then, if he finds any poor traveller out,
he whistles and roars about his ears, and tries to frighten him; and he
throws snow into his face, and heaps it up all about him in order to
bury him up if he can.

"Then, besides," continued Jonas, "the old stormer has another way of
making mischief. After he has got the valleys and streams covered and
filled with ice and snow, he brings on a tempest of wind and rain, and
fills the land with torrents, which raise the streams, and tear up the
ice, and carry it down in vast, broken, and jamming blocks, which break
down the bridges, and carry away dams, and spread all over the meadows,
frightening a good many families out of their beds at midnight."

"Is that the way that General Boreas acts?" said Rollo.

"Yes," replied Jonas, "that's the way."

"And who is the third Northman?" said Rollo.

"His name is Old Zero," replied Jonas. "He is more than threescore years
and ten, a great deal; his head is hoary, and his beard is long and
gray. He creeps softly along after General Boreas has worked himself out
of breath, and gone away. He curtains over all the windows with frost
work in the night. He likes the night, when it is calm and still, and
the stars are shining bright and cold all over the sky. And he kills
more people than Boreas does."

"Kills them?" said Rollo.

"Yes," replied Jonas. "He makes no blustering, but he stings bitterly,
and the poor traveller has his ears, and hands, and feet frozen before
he knows what a cruel enemy is around him. Captain Jack Frost you may
laugh at,--but as to Old Zero, you had better beware of him."

Rollo laughed a good deal at Jonas's account of the three Northmen, and
Jonas told him that they sometimes made some splendid curiosities, which
would be beautiful for a shelf in his museum, if they would only keep.

"What are the curiosities?" said Rollo.

"O, all kinds of stars, and spangles, and snow-flakes, of a great many
beautiful forms,--and icicles, and frost work. But they will not keep
very long, unless you make a cabinet expressly for them."

"_I_ can't make a cabinet," said Rollo.

"O, yes, you can,--a frost-cabinet," said Jonas.

"How?" asked Rollo.

"Why, you must go down near the brook, in the middle of the winter, and
make a little room of snow. Then you must get a large piece of thin,
clear ice from a still place in the brook, and fix it in for a window.
You must also get some sheets of white ice, or snow crust, for shelves,
and put your frost curiosities upon them. If you make it in a cold
place, they will keep for some time."

"I _will_ make a frost museum," said Rollo. "I mean to go down to-day
and look out a place."

"Yes," said Jonas, "and you can keep it a secret until it is done, and
then take your father and mother down to see it, and surprise them."

"Yes," said Rollo, clapping his hands, "so I will."




 _Rollo at Work_,                   _Rollo at School_,
 _Rollo at Play_,                   _Rollo's Vacation_,
 _Rollo Learning to Read_,          _Rollo Learning to Talk_.

                    BOUND IN UNIFORM STYLE.

The publishers request the attention of the friends of the young to this
popular series of books, which have been pronounced, by competent and
judicious persons, the best works for children published, not even
excepting the best English writers. Mr. Abbott's style is peculiarly
interesting to children, being natural and simple, and portraying the
trials and temptations of childhood, just as they occur in every day
life, and giving them clear and distinct ideas of the right and wrong in
their actions.

                    _From the Christian Examiner._

As a whole, they make the most important series of juvenile books that
have appeared, to our knowledge, since Miss Edgeworth. They are very
unlike those, and yet they resemble them in some prominent features;
especially in making it their chief object to be _pleasing_, and thus
gently and imperceptibly opening a way for _instruction_ to the mind and
morals, without obtruding or forcing it in the least. For this the books
before us are remarkable. They are entertaining throughout. The interest
never flags, and yet there is no seeming attempt to sustain it. There is
little continuous story, and no plot or romance, or grown-up folly, such
as fills half of the _young_ novels now made for children. Here is a
little boy, who is first induced to learn to _talk_; and in order to do
this, he is made to see objects for himself, and think about them, and
ask questions. Next he is taught to _read_; to effect this, he is
candidly told that learning to read is not play, but work, and at first
dry and hard work. It soon becomes easy, however, because it is
undertaken in earnest, and then it becomes pleasant; and parents may
take a hint from this, when they are afraid to allow letters and
learning to wear any form but that of playthings and pastime to their
children. In the third volume, Rollo is at _work_; in the fourth, at
_play_; and the morals of both play and work are as easily and
pleasantly insinuated as we have often seen. There is constant
occupation in both, and constant natural opportunities of learning the
duty and the advantage of feeling and doing right, and thus seeing the
evil of feeling and doing wrong; for Mr. Abbott fully carries out, in
these books, the great principle which we rejoice to see advanced in the
Preface to one of them, namely, "that 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." The fifth volume presents Rollo at _School_, and the
last his _vacation_. They keep up the interest, and advance in maturity
of thought and illustration, as the boy advances.

     _From the Mother's Magazine, edited by Mrs. Whittlesey._

Mr. Abbott possesses, in a very high degree, the faculty of awakening
the interest of children. His writings have that absolute requisite for
securing permanent popularity--_truth to nature_. His boys and girls
talk and act _like_ boys and girls, not like miniature men and women.

There are a thousand minute touches in his descriptions, which are
evidently drawn from the life, and which betoken a habit of close and
accurate observation of the ways and manners of children. In reading his
books, you hardly believe that it is not your own little Charles or
Henry, whose doings and sayings he is reporting. It is this truth and
freshness in minute touches that constitutes _picturesqueness_ in
writing; a quality which renders Miss Edgeworth and Mr. Abbott
attractive not only to _little_ readers, but to some older persons that
we know. We have spoken of these books as _interesting_; we can also
recommend them as adapted to be exceedingly _useful_--and for the very
same reason. Instead of _general_ exhortations to certain things, and
dehortations from others, children here find vivid pictures of the very
faults they are to strive against, and are shown how to strive--of the
good habits they are to acquire, and _how_ they may be acquired. Parents
will find them a valuable aid in the instruction and amendment of their

                    _In Press_,

                    ROLLO'S EXPERIMENTS.
                    ROLLO'S MUSEUM.




WEEKS, JORDAN, & CO. are engaged in publishing books for young persons,
in the preparing of which particular attention will be given to
furnishing reading which shall combine rational and innocent recreation
with good moral influence. Those published are,

House I live in." A work full of incident, illustrating Christian
principles in the young by example.

"Stories about Dogs," &c. With five engravings.



HAPPY DAYS. By the author of "Happy Valley."


---- IN VERSE.






ALNOMUC, or THE GOLDEN RULE; A Tale of the Sea. 18 engravings.

TEACHER'S PRESENT. With a copperplate.

OLD IRONSIDE. By the author of "Alnomuc." 24 engravings.





1. Minor changes have been made to correct usage of punctuation;
otherwise, every effort has been made to ensure that this etext is
faithful to the original book.

2. The original Table of Contents incorrectly listed the first chapter
as beginning on page 11; this has been corrected to reflect the first
page as page 9.

3. The footnote in the first chapter refers the reader to the
Frontispiece; in fact, the Frontispiece refers to an event in seventh
chapter. The Transcriber believes that the footnote should read "See
page 23."

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