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´╗┐Title: Small Means and Great Ends
Author: Adams, Mrs. M. H. [Editor]
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 "Small Means and Great Ends" ***

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[Illustration: THE WIDOW'S POT OF OIL.]



   Word of Truth, and Gift of Love,
     Waiting hearts now need thee;
   Faithful in thy mission prove,
     On that mission speed thee.



From the encouragement extended to our worthy publisher on the
presentation of the first and second volumes of the Annual, we conclude
that the experiment of 1845 may be regarded as a successful one, and the
preparation of a little work of this kind an acceptable offering to the

The present year, our kind contributors have afforded us a much more
ample supply of interesting articles than could possibly appear. We
regret that any who have so generously labored for us and our young
friends, should be denied the pleasure of greeting their articles on the
pages of the Annual. Let them not suspect that it is from any
disapproval or rejection of their labors. Be assured, dear friends, we
are more grateful than can properly be expressed in a brief preface. Our
warmest thanks are due our old friends, who, in the midst of other
arduous duties, have willingly given us assistance. Let our new
correspondents be assured they are gratefully remembered, although we
have not the pleasure or opportunity to present their articles to our
readers in the present volume. They are at the publisher's disposal for
another year.

May the blessing of our Father in heaven rest upon the little book and
all its mends.



          *       *       *       *       *

   Small Means and Great Ends

   Mary Ellen

   The Dead Child to its Mother


   The Young Soldier

   The Stolen Children

   My Grandmother's Cottage

   The First Oath

   The Fairy's Gift

   A Lesson taught by Nature

   Florence Drew


   The Little Candle

   "Are we not all Brothers and Sisters?"


   The Boy who Stole the Nails

   The Childless Mother

   The Motherless Child






"Oh! how I do wish I was rich!" said Eliza Melvyn, dropping her work in
her lap, and looking up discontentedly to her mother; "why should not I
be rich as well as Clara Payson? There she passes in her father's
carriage, with her fine clothes, and haughty ways; while I sit
here--sew--sewing--all day long. I don't see what use I am in the world!

"Why should it be so? Why should one person have bread to waste, while
another is starving? Why should one sit idle all day, while another
toils all night? Why should one have so many blessings, and another so

"Eliza!" said Mrs. Melvyn, taking her daughter's hand gently within her
own, and pushing back the curls from her flushed brow, "my daughter, why
is this? why is your usual contentment gone, and why are you so sinfully
complaining? Have you forgotten to think that 'God is ever good?'"

"No, mother," replied the young girl, "but it sometimes appears strange
to me, why he allows all these things."

"Wiser people than either you or I have been led to wonder at these
things," said Mrs. Melvyn; "but the Christian sees in all the wisdom of
God, who allows us to be tried here, and will overrule all for our good.
The very person who is envied for one blessing perhaps envies another
for one he does not possess. But why would you be rich, my child?"

"Mother, I went this morning through a narrow, dirty street in another
part of the city. A group of ragged children were collected round one
who was crying bitterly. I made my way through them and spoke to the
little boy. He told me his little sister was dead, his father was sick,
and he was hungry. Here was sorrow enough for any one; but the little
boy stood there with his bare feet, his sunbleached hair and tattered
clothes, and smiled almost cheerfully through the tears which washed
white streaks amid the darkness of his dirty face. He led me to his
_home_. Oh, mother! if you had been with me up those broken stairs, and
seen the helpless beings in that dismal, dirty room you would have
wished, like me, for the means to help them. The dead body lay there
unburied, for the man said, they had no money to pay for a coffin. He
was dying himself, and they might as well be buried together."

"Are you sure, Eliza, that you have not the means to help them?" asked
Mrs. Melvyn. "Put on your bonnet, my dear, and go to our sexton. Tell
him to go and do what should be done. The charitable society of which I
am a member will pay the expense. Then call on Dr. ---- the dispensary
physician, and send him to the relief of the sick one. Then go to those
of your acquaintance who have, as you say, 'bread to waste,' and mention
to them this hungry little boy. If you have no money to give these
sufferers, you have a voice to plead with those who have; and thus you
may bless the poor, while you doubly bless the rich, for 'It is more
blessed to give than to receive.'"

Eliza obeyed, and when she returned several hours after, her face
glowing with animation, and eagerly recounted how much had been done for
the poor family; how their dead had been humanely borne from their
sight; how the sick man was visited by the physician, and his bitterness
of spirit removed by the sympathy which was sent him; how the room was
to be cleaned and ventilated, and how she left the little boy eating a
huge slice of bread, while others of the family were half devouring the
remainder of the loaf; her mother listened with the same gentleness. "It
is well, my daughter," said she; "I preferred to send you on this errand
of sympathy, that you might see how much you could do with small means."

"I have a picture here," she continued, "which I wish you to keep as a
token of this day's feelings and actions. It is called 'The Widow's Pot
of Oil.' Will you read me the story which belongs to it?"

Eliza took her little pocket Bible, the one that she always carried to
the Sabbath school, and, turning to the fourth chapter of the second
book of Kings, read the first seven verses. Turn to them now, children,
and read them.

"You can see in this picture," said her mother, "how small was the 'pot
of oil,' and how large were some of the vessels to be filled. Yet still
it flowed on, a little stream; still knelt the widow in her faith,
patiently supporting it; still brought her little sons the empty
vessels; the blessing of God was upon it, and they were all filled. She
feared not that the oil would cease to flow; she stopped not when one
vessel was filled; she still believed, and labored, and waited, until
her work was done.

"Take this picture, my daughter, and when you think that you cannot do
good with small means, remember 'the widow's pot of oil,' and
perseveringly use the means you have; when one labor is done, begin
another; stitch by stitch you have made this beautiful garment; very
large houses are built of little bricks patiently joined together one by
one; and 'the widow's small pot of oil' filled many large vessels."

"Oh, mother," said Eliza, "I hope I shall never be so wicked again. I
will keep the picture always. But, mother, do you not think Mr. Usher
would like this picture to put in the 'Sabbath School Annual?' He might
have a smaller one engraved from this, you know, and perhaps cousin
Julia will write something about it. I mean to ask them."




   "O, lightly, lightly tread!
   A holy thing is sleep
   On the worn spirit shed,
   And eyes that wake to weep;
   Ye know not what ye do,
   That call the slumberer back
   From the world unseen by you,
   Unto life's dim faded track."

How beautiful, calm, and peaceful is sleep! Often, when I have laid my
head upon my pillow happy and healthful, I have asked myself, to what
shall I awaken? What changes may come ere again my head shall press this
pillow? Ah, little do we know what a day may unfold to us! We know not
to what we shall awaken; what joy or sorrow. I do not know when I was
awakened to more painful intelligence, than when aroused one morning
from pleasant dreams by the voice of a neighbor, saying that Mary Ellen,
the only daughter of a near neighbor, was dying. She was a beautiful
little girl, about three years of age, unlike most other children. She
was more serious and thoughtful; and many predicted that her friends
would not have her long. She would often ask strange questions about
heaven and her heavenly Father; and many of her expressions were very

One day she asked permission of her mother to go and gather her some
flowers. Her mother gave her permission, but requested her not to go out
of the field. After searching in vain for flowers, she returned with
some clover leaves and blades of grass. "Mother," said she, "I could
find you no flowers, but here are some spires of grass and clover
leaves. Say that they are some pretty, mother. GOD made them." Often,
when she woke in the morning, she would ask her mother if it was the
Sabbath day. If told it was, "Then," she would say, "we will read the
Bible and keep the day holy." Her mother always strove to render the
Sabbath interesting to her, and to have her spend it in a profitable
manner. Nor did she fail; for little Mary Ellen was always happy when
the Sabbath morning came. The interest she took in the reading of the
Scriptures, in explanations given of the plates in the Bible, and the
accuracy with which she would remember all that was told her, were truly
pleasing. Her kind and affectionate disposition, her love for all that
was pure and holy, and her readiness to forgive and excuse all that she
saw wrong in others, made her beloved by all who knew her. If she saw
children at play on the Sabbath, or roaming about, she would notice it,
and speak of it as being very wrong, and it would appear to wound her
feelings; yet she would try to excuse them. "It may be," she would say,
"that they do not know that it is the holy Sabbath day. Perhaps no one
has told them." She could not bear to think of any one doing wrong

Whenever she heard her little associates make use of any language that
she was not quite sure was right, she would ask her mother if it was
wrong to speak thus; and if wrong, she would say, "Then, I will never
speak so, and I shall be your own dear little girl, and my heavenly
Father will love me." We often ask children whom they love best. Such
was the question often put to Mary Ellen. She would always say, "I love
my heavenly Father best, and my dear father and mother next." Her first
and best affections were freely given to her Maker, not from a sense of
duty alone did it seem, but from a heart overflowing with love and
gratitude; and never, at the hour of retiring, would she forget to kneel
and offer up her evening prayer. Thus she lived.

Now I will lead you to her dying pillow Many friends were around her.
No one had told her that she was dying; yet she herself felt conscious
of it. She wished to have the window raised, that she might see the
ocean and trees once more. "Oh!" said her mother, bending over her, "is
my dear little girl dying?" "I want to go," said Mary Ellen; "I want my
father and mother to go with me." "Will you not stay with us?" said the
stricken father; "will you not stay with us?" She raised her little
hands and eyes--"Oh no," said she; "I see them! I see them! 't is
lighter there; I want to go; get a coffin and go with me, father. 'T is
lighter there!" She died soon after she ceased speaking. Her pure spirit
winged its way to the blest home where we shall _all_ have more light,
where the mortal shall put on immortality.

She died when flowers were fading; fit season for one of so gentle and
pure a nature to depart.

   "In the cold, moist earth they laid her
     When the forest cast the leaf,
   And we wept that one so beautiful
     Should have a life so brief.
   And yet 't was not unmeet that one,
     Like that young friend of ours,
   So gentle and so beautiful,
     Should perish with the flowers."

But Oh! when that little form was laid in the cold grave,--when the
childless parents returned to their lonely home, once made so happy by
the smile of their departed child,--Oh! who can express or describe
their anguish! In her they had all they could ask in a child; she was
their only one. Everything speaks to their hearts of _her_; but her
light step and happy voice fall not upon their ears; to them the flowers
that she loved have a mournful language. The voice of the wind sighing
in the trees has to them a melancholy tone. The light laugh of little
children, coming in at the open window,--the singing of birds which she
delighted to hear,--but speak to their hearts of utter loneliness. They
feel that the little form they had nursed with so much care and
tenderness, so often pressed to their bosoms, is laid beneath the sod.
Yet the sweet consolation which religion affords, cheered and sustained
the afflicted parents in their hours of deepest sorrow. They would not
call their child back. They feel that she has reached her heavenly home.
Happy must they have been in yielding up to its Maker a spirit so pure.

Two years Mary Ellen has been sleeping in the little grave-yard. Since
then another little daughter has been given her parents,--a promising
little bud, that came with the spring flowers, to bless and cheer the
home which was made so desolate. The best wish I have for the parents,
and all I ask for the child, is, that it may be like little Mary Ellen.
I have an earnest wish, too that all little children who read this
sketch may be led to love and obey God as much as Mary Ellen.




        Mother, mourn not for me;
        No more I need of thee;
   Call back the yearning which would follow where
        No mortal grief can go;
        All thine affection throw
   Around thy living ones; they need thy care.

        Let not my name still be
        A word of grief to thee,
   But let it bring a thought of peace and rest;
        Shed for me no sad tear,
        Remember, mother dear!
   That I am with the perfect and the blest.

        Yes, let my memory still
        With joy thy bosom fill;
   For, though thou dost along life's desert roam,
        My spirit, like a star,
        Bright burning and afar,
   Shall guide thee, through the darkness, to thy home



Expectation is not desire, nor desire hope. We may _expect_ misfortune,
sickness, poverty, while from these evils we would fain escape. Bending
over the couches of the sick and suffering, we may _desire_ their
restoration to health, while the hectic flush and the rapid beating of
the heart assure us that no effort of kindness or skill can prolong
their days upon the earth. _Hope_ is directed to some future good, and
it implies not only an ardent desire that our future may be fair and
unclouded, but an expectation that our wishes will, at length, be
granted, and our plans be crowned with large success. Hence hope
animates us to exertion and diligence, and always imparts pleasure and
gladness, while our fondest wishes cost us anxiety and tears.

There are _false_ and _delusive_ hopes, which bring us, at last, to
shame. There are those who expect to gain riches by fraud and deceit, in
pursuits and traffics on which the laws of truth, love, and justice,
must ever darkly frown. They forget that wealth, with all its splendor,
can only be deemed a good and desirable gift when sought as an
instrument to advance noble and beneficent aims,--when we are the
almoners of God's bounty to the lonely children of sorrow and want.

If we seek wealth, let us not forget that pure hearts gentle affections,
lofty purposes, and generous deeds, can alone secure the peace and
blessedness of the spiritual kingdom of God.

There are some who have a strong desire for the praise and stations of
men, yet are often careless of the means by which they accomplish their
ends. Remember, my young friends, that no station, no crown, or honor,
will occupy the attention of a good and noble heart, except it opens a
better opportunity for philanthropic labor, and is conferred as the free
offering of an intelligent and grateful people.

There are many, especially among the young, who seek _present_ pleasure
in foolish and sinful deeds, vainly believing the wicked may flourish
and receive the blessing of the good. Believe me, young friend, such
hopes are delusive, and such expectations will suddenly perish. Let
fools laugh and mock at sin, and live as if God were not; but consider
well the path of _your_ feet! When your weak arm can hold back the
globes which circle in space above us in solemn grandeur and beauty
forever, then may you hope to arrest the operation of those laws which
preserve an everlasting connection between obedience and blessedness,
sin and sorrow.

In the spring-season of life, how beautiful are the visions which Hope
spreads out to our admiring view, as we go forth, with gladsome heart
and step, amid the duties of life, its trials and temptations. It begets
manly effort by its promises of success, and leads us to virtue and
self-denial, in our weakness and sin. When our heads are bowed to the
earth in despondency and gloom, hope putteth forth her hand, scattereth
afar the clouds, dispelleth our sorrow; and again, with a firmer step
and a more trustful heart, we go forth on the solemn march of life! It
is our solace and strength in the hours of woe and grief, when those in
whose smile we have rejoiced pass from our presence and homes to the
valley and shadow of death. And if we weep that they are not, and can
never return,

   "Hope, like the rainbow, a creature of light,
   Is born, like the rainbow, in tears,"

and we rest in the calm and blest assurance that we shall ultimately go
to them, and with them dwell forever in a land without sorrow.

It may be said that we scarcely live in the present. =Memory=, in
whose mysterious cells are treasured the records of the past, carries
us back to our earlier years, and all our pursuits, and sports, and
joys, and griefs, pass rapidly in review before us; and =Hope= leads
us onward, investing future years with charms, and bidding us strive
with brave and manly hearts in the conflicts and duties that remain. The
former years--sorrowful remembrance!--may have been passed in luxury,
indolence, or flagrant sin; the fruits of our industry and skill may
have wasted away; friends, whose love once cast a golden sunshine on the
path of life, may have proved false and treacherous; our fondest
desires, perchance, have faded, and sorrows may encompass us about;--yet
above us the voice of Hope crieth aloud, "_Press on_!"--through tears
and the cross must thou win the crown; be patient, trustful, in every
duty and grief; "_press on_," and falter not; and its words linger like
the music of a remembered dream in our ear, until, at the borders of the
grave, we lay down the burden of our sinfulness and care, and, through
the open gate of death, pass onward to that world where hope shall be
exchanged for sight, and we, with unveiled eye, shall look upon the
wondrous ways and works of God.



   A soldier! a soldier!
     I'm longing to be;
   The name and the life
     Of a soldier for me!
   I would not be living
     At ease and at play:
   True honor and glory
     I'd win in my day!

   A soldier! a soldier!
     In armor arrayed;
   My weapons in hand,
     Of no contest afraid;
   I'd ever be ready
     To strike the first blow,
   And to fight my good way
     Through the ranks of the foe.

   But then, let me tell you,
     No blood would I shed,
   No victory seek o'er
     The dying and dead;
   A far braver soldier
     Than this would I be;
   A warrior of Truth,
    In the ranks of the free!

   My helmet Salvation,
     Strong Faith my good shield.
   The sword of the Spirit
     I'd learn how to wield.
   And then against evil
     And sin would I fight,
   Assured of my triumph,
     Because in the right.

   A soldier! a soldier!
     O, then, let me be!
   Young friends, I invite you--
     Enlist now with me.
   Truth's bands will be mustered--
     Love's foes shall give way!
   Let's up, and be clad
     In our battle array!




Not many years ago, the beautiful hills and valleys of New England gave
to the wild Indian a home, and its bright waters and quiet forests
furnished him with food. Rude wigwams stood where now ascends the hum of
the populous city, and council-fires blazed amid the giant trees which
have since bowed before the axe of the settler. Between that rude age
and the refinement of the present day, many and fearful were the strifes
of the red owner of the land with the invading white man, who, having
crossed the waters of the Atlantic, sought to drive him from his
hitherto undisputed possessions. The recital of deeds of inhuman cruelty
which characterized that period; the rehearsal of bloody massacres of
inoffensive women and innocent children, which those cruel savages
delighted in, would even now curdle the blood with horror, and make one
sick at heart.

It was in this period of fearful warfare that the events occurred which
form the foundation of the following story.

Not far from the year 1680, a small colony was planted on the banks of
the beautiful Connecticut. A little company from the sea-side found
their way, through the tangled and pathless woods, to the meadows that
lay sleeping on the banks of this bright river; and here, after having
felled the mighty trees whose brows had long been kissed by the pure
heavens, they erected their humble cottages; and began to till the rich
alluvial soil. The colonists were persevering and industrious; and soon
a little village grew up beside the shining stream, fields of Indian
corn waved their wealth of tasselled heads in the breezes, the
rudely-constructed school-house echoed with the cheerful hum of the
little students, and a rustic church was dedicated to the God of the
Pilgrims. He who officiated as the spiritual teacher of this new parish,
also instructed the children during the week. A man he was of no
inferior mind, or neglected education; of fervent, but austere piety,
possessing a bold spirit and a benevolent heart. His family consisted of
a wife and two daughters; Emma, the elder, was a girl of eight summers,
and Anna, the younger, was about five.

Never were children so frolicsome and mirth-loving as were Emma and Anna
Wilson, the daughters of the minister. Not the grave admonitions of
their mother, or the severe reproofs of their stern father; not their
many confinements in dark and windowless closets, or the memory of
afternoons, when, supperless, they had been sent to bed while the sun
was yet high in the heavens; not the fear of certain punishment, or the
suasion of kindness, could tame their wild natures, or force them into
anything like woman-like sobriety. Hand in hand, they would wander amid
the aisles of mossy-trunked trees, plucking the flowers that carpeted
the earth; now digging for ground-nuts, now turning over the leaves for
acorns; sometimes they would watch the nibbling squirrel as he nimbly
sprang from tree to tree, or overpower, with their boisterous laughter,
the gushing melody of the bobolink; they mocked the querulous cat-bird
and the cawing crow, started at the swift winging of the shy blackbird,
and stood still to listen to the sweet song of the clear-throated
thrush; now they bathed their feet in the streamlets that went singing
on their way to the Connecticut, and then, throwing up handfuls of the
running water, which fell again upon their heads, they laughed right
merrily at their self-baptism. They were happy as the days were long;
but wild as their playfellows, the birds, the streams, and the

One beautiful Sabbath morning in July, their mother dressed them tidily
in their best frocks, and tying on their snow-white sun-bonnets, she
sent them to church nearly an hour before she started with their father,
that they might walk leisurely, and have opportunity to get rested
before the commencement of services. But it was not until near the
middle of the sermon that the little rogues made their appearance. With
glowing faces, hair that had strayed from its ungraceful confinement to
float in golden curls over their necks and shoulders,--with bonnets,
shoes and stockings tied together and swinging over each arm,--with
dresses rent, ripped, soiled and stained, and up-gathered aprons filled
with berries, blossoms, pebbles, fresh-water shells and bright sand,
they stole softly to where their mother was sitting, much to her
mortification, and greatly to the horror of their pious father.

For this offence, they were forbidden to accompany their parents, on the
next Sabbath, to church, but were condemned to close confinement in the
house during the long, bright, summer day--a severer punishment than
which, could not have been inflicted. When the hour of assembling for
worship was announced by the old English clock that stood in the corner,
the curtains were drawn before the windows; two bowls of bread and milk
were placed on the dresser for their dinner; a lesson in the Testament
was assigned to Emma, and one in the Catechism to Anna; a strict
injunction to remain all day in the house was laid upon both, and Mr.
and Mrs. Wilson departed, locking the door, and taking the key. The
children soon wiped away the tears that their hard fate had gathered in
their eyes, and applied themselves to their tasks, which were speedily
committed. Then the forenoon wore slowly away; they dared not get their
playthings,--they were forbidden to go out doors,--and the only books in
the room were the Bible, Watts' Hymns, and the Pilgrim's Progress, which
lay on the highest shelf in the room, far beyond their reach. Noon came
at last; the sun shone fully in at the south window, betokening the
dinner hour, and then their dinner of bread and milk was eaten. What
were they next to do? Sorrowfully they gazed on the smiling river, the
green corn-fields, the large potato-plats, the grazing cattle, the
blooming flower-beds, and the shady walks which led far into the cool
recesses of the forest; and earnestly did they long for liberty to
ramble out in the glorious sunshine. As they were gazing wistfully
through the window, they saw their playful little kitten, Fanny, dart
like lightning from her hiding-place in the garden, where she had long
lain in ambush, and fasten her sharp claws in the back of a poor little
ground-bird, which had been hopping from twig to twig, chirping and
twittering very cheerfully. The little bird fluttered, gasped, and
uttered wailing cries, as it ineffectually labored to free itself from
the power of its captor, until Emma and Anna, unable longer to witness
its distress, sprang out the window, and, rushing down the garden,
liberated the little prisoner, and with delight saw it fly away towards
the woods.

Delighted to find themselves once more in the open air, the joyful
children forgot the prohibition of their parents, and leaping over the
dear little brook with which they loved to run races, they filled their
aprons with the blue-eyed violets that grew on its margin. On they
bounded, further and further, and a few moments more found them in the
dense wood, where not a sunbeam could reach the ground. But suddenly the
leaves rustled behind them, and the twigs cracked, and there sprung,
from an ambuscade in the thicket, the tall figure of an Indian, who laid
a strong hand on the arm of each little girl, and, despite the cries,
tears, and entreaties of the poor children, hurried them deeper into the
forest, where they found a large body of these cruel savages, clad in
moose and deer skins, armed with bows and arrows, tomahawks, and
muskets. The children were questioned concerning the village, the
occupation of the inhabitants on that day, and the number of men at
home, and they replied correctly and intelligibly. A consultation was
then held among the Indians, which resulted in a determination to attack
the village; and forthwith, leaving but one behind to guard the little
prisoners, they made a descent on the quiet settlement, burning and
ravaging buildings on their way to the church. But they did not find the
body of worshippers unarmed, as they doubtless expected; for, in those
days of peril and savage warfare, men worshipped God armed with musket
and bayonet, and the hand that was lifted in prayer to heaven would
often, at the next moment, draw the gleaming sword from its sheath. At
the meeting-house, the savages met with a warm repulse; and were so
surprised and affrighted that they retreated back into the wild woods,
after wounding but one or two colonists, among whom was Mr. Wilson,
Emma's and Anna's father.

The Indians commenced, about dark, a journey to the settlement where
they belonged, taking the stolen children with them; they reached their
destination early on the second day of their travel. Rough, indeed,
seemed the Indian village to the white children: the houses were only
wigwams, made by placing poles obliquely in the ground, and fastening
them at the top, covered on the outside with bark, and lined on the
inside with mats; some containing but one family, others a great many.
The furniture consisted of mats for beds, curiously wrought baskets to
hold corn, and strings of wampum which served for ornaments. Into one of
the smallest of these wigwams Emma and Anna were carried, and were given
to the wife of one of the chief warriors, who had but one child of her
own,--Winona was her name, which signifies the first-born,--a
bright-eyed, pleasant, winning little girl of two years of age. The
mother scrutinized them closely, but the child appeared overjoyed to see
them, and wiped away their tears with her little hand, and, jabbering in
her unknown language, seemed begging them not to cry. This interested
the mother, and she soon looked more kindly upon them, and set before
them food. But they were too sorrowful to eat, and were glad to be shown
a mat, where they were to sleep. Locked in each others' arms, cheek
pressed to cheek, they lay and wept as if their hearts were broken.

"Let us pray to God," whispered Emma, after the inmates of the wigwam
were reposing in slumber, "and ask Him to bring us again to our father
and mother."

So they rose, and knelt in the dark wigwam, with their arms about one
another's necks, and their tears flowing together, and offered to God
their childish prayer:

"Our Father in Heaven, love us poor children; take care of us; forgive
us for doing wrong, and help us be good; take care of our dear parents;
comfort them, and bring us again to meet them."

Then, more composed, and trusting in the blessed Father of us all, they
fell asleep, and sweet were their slumbers, though far from their dear
parents and home, for angels watched over them, and gave to them happy

A few days' residence among these untutored red men made Emma and Anna
great favorites among them; their pleasant dispositions, their good
nature, and, above all, their love for the little Winona, which was
fully reciprocated, endeared them to the father and mother of the Indian
girl. Though sad at being separated from their parents, and though they
often wept until they could weep no longer when they thought of home,
yet their hearts, like those of all children, were easily consoled, and
their spirits were so elastic that they could not long be depressed.
Winona loved them tenderly; at night she slept between them, and during
the day she would never leave them. She wore garlands of their
wreathing, listened to their English songs, stroked their rosy cheeks,
and frolicked with them in the woods, and beside the running brooks.

Two months passed away; all the Indian women in the village were
speaking of the love that had sprung up between the little white girls
and the copper-colored Winona; and many a hard hand smoothed the golden
curls of the little captives in token of affection. Then Winona was
taken sick; her body glowed with the fever-heat, her bright eyes became
dull, and day and night she moaned with pain. With surprising care and
tenderness, Emma and Anna nursed the suffering child,--for to them were
her glowing and burning hands extended for relief, rather than to her
mother. They held her throbbing head, lulled her to sleep, bathed her
hot temples, moistened her parched lips, and soothed her distresses; but
they could not win her from the power of death--and she died!

Oh, it was a sorrowful thing to them to part with their little
playmate,--to see the damp earth heaped upon her lovely form, and to
feel that she was forever hidden from their sight! They wept, and, with
the almost frantic mother, laid their faces on the tiny grave, and
moistened it with their tears. Hither they often came to scatter the
freshest flowers, and to weep for the home they feared they would never
again see; and here they often kneeled in united prayer to that God, who
bends on prayerful children a loving eye, and spreads over them a
shadowing wing.

The childless Indian woman now loved them more than ever; but the death
of Winona had opened afresh the fountains of their grief, and often did
she find them weeping so bitterly that she could not comfort them. She
would draw them to her bosom, and tenderly caress them; but it all
availed not, and when the month of October came, with its sere foliage
and fading flowers, Emma and Anna had grown so thin, and pale, and
feeble, from their wearing home-sickness, that they stayed all day in
the wigwam, going out only to visit Winona's grave. They drooped and
drooped, and those who saw them said, "The white children will die, and
lie down with Winona."

The Indian mother gazed on their pallid faces, and wept; she loved them,
and could not bear to part with them; but she saw they would die, and
calling her husband, she bade him convey them to the home of their
father. Many were the tears she shed at parting with them; and when they
disappeared among the thick trees, she threw herself, in an agony of
grief, upon the mats within the wigwam.

It was Sabbath noon when the children arrived in sight of their
father's house; here the Indian left them, and plunged again into the
depths of the forest. They could gain no admittance into the house, and
they hastened to the meeting-house, where they hoped to find their
parents. They reached the church; the congregation was singing;
silently, and unobserved, they entered, and seated themselves at the
remotest part of the building. The singing ceased; there was a momentary
pause, and their father rose before them. Oh, how he was changed! Pale,
very pale, thin and sad was his dear face; and Emma's and Anna's hearts
smote them, as being the cause of this change. They leaned forward to
catch a glimpse of their mother, but in her accustomed seat sat a lady
dressed in black, and this, they thought, could not be her; they little
supposed that their parents mourned for them as for the dead, believing
they should see them no more.

Mr. Wilson took his text from Psalms: "It is good for me that I have
been afflicted." With a tremulous voice, he spoke of their recent
afflictions; of the sudden invasion of the colony, the burning of their
dwellings, the wounding of some of their number, and then his tones
became more deeply tremulous, for he spoke of his children. The sobs of
his sympathizing people filled the house, and the anguish of the
father's feelings became so intense, that he bowed his head upon the
Bible and wept aloud. The hearts of the children palpitated with
emotion; their sobs arose above all others; and, taking each other by
the hand, the wan, emaciated, badly-dressed little girls hastened to the
pulpit, where stood their father, with his face bowed upon the leaves of
the Holy Book, and laying their hand upon his passive arm, they sobbed
forth, "Father! Father!" He raised his head, gazed eagerly and wildly
upon the children, and comprehending at once the whole scene, the
revulsion of feeling that came over him was so great,--the sorrow for
the dead being instantly changed into joy for the living,--that he
staggered backwards, and would have fallen but for the timely support of
a chair.

The whole house was in instant confusion; in a moment they were clasped
in their mother's arms, and kisses and tears and blessings were mingled
together upon their white, thin cheeks. "Let us thank God for the return
of our children," said the pastor; and all kneeling reverently, he
thanked our merciful heavenly Father, in the warm and glowing language
of a deeply grateful heart, for restoring to his arms those whom he had
wept as lost to him forever.

Oh, there was joy in that village that night again and again the
children told their interesting story, and those who listened forgot to
chide their disobedience, or to harshly reprove. Need I tell you how
they were pressed to the bosoms of the villagers; how tears were shed
for their sufferings, and those of the little lost Winona, whom they did
not forget; how caresses were lavished upon them, and prayers offered to
God, that their lives, which he had so wonderfully preserved, might be
spent in usefulness and piety? No, I need not, for you can imagine it

The sermon which was so happily interrupted by the return of the
children was the first Mr. Wilson had attempted to preach since the day
they were stolen; the wounds he that day received, and the illness that
immediately afterwards ensued, with his unutterable grief for the loss
of his children, had confined him mostly to his bed during their
absence. On the next Sabbath, Emma and Anna accompanied their father and
mother once more to church, when Mr. Wilson preached from these words:
"Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good, and his mercy endureth

[Illustration: My Grandmother's Cottage]



Of all places in the wide world, my own early home excepted, none seem
to me more pleasing in memory than my grandmother's cottage. Very often
did I visit it in my boyhood, and well acquainted with its appearance
within, and with almost every object around it, did I become. It stood
in a quiet nook in the midst of the woods, about five miles from the
pleasant seaport where I was born. The cottage was not a spacious one.
It had but few rooms in it; but it was amply large for my aged
grandparents, I remember. They lived happily there. My grandfather was
somewhat infirm; my grandmother was a very vigorous person for one of
seventy-five; this was her age at the time of my first recollection of
her. She used to walk from her cottage to our home; and once I walked
with her, but was exceedingly mortified that I could not endure the walk
so well as she did.

I used to love this cottage home, because it was so quiet, and in the
summer time so delighting to me. I believe I received some of my very
first lessons in the love of nature in this place. It was a charming
summer or winter retreat. If the sun shone warmly down anywhere, it was
here. If the wind blew kindly anywhere, it was around the snug cottage,
sheltered as it was on every side by the tall old pines. If the robin's
note came earliest anywhere in the spring-time, it was from the large
spreading apple-tree just at the foot of the little garden lot. How
often has my young heart been delighted with his song there! And then,
what sweet chanting I have heard in those woods all the day from the
thrush and sparrow, yellow-bird and oriole! How their mellow voices
would seem to echo in the noon-silence, or at the sunset hour, as though
they were singing anthems in some vast cathedral! They were; and what
anthems of nature's harmony and praise! God heard them, and was

It seemed to me that every animate thing was made to be happy. I loved
to stand beneath a tall old hemlock in a certain part of the wood, and
watch the squirrels as they skipped and ran so swiftly along the wall,
or from branch to branch, or up and down the trees. Their chattering
made a fine accompaniment to the bird-songs. And here I learned to
indulge a fondness for the very crows, which to this day I have never
outgrown. Though they have been denounced as mischievous, and bounties
have been set upon them, I never could find it in my heart to indulge in
the warring propensity against them. They always seemed to me such
social company--issuing from some edge of the woodland, and slowly
flapping their black wings, and flocking out into the clearing, huddling
overhead, and sailing away, chatting so loudly and heartily all the
while, and reminding the whole neighborhood that when we have life, it
is best to let others know it! Yes--the cawing crows have been company
for me in many a solitary ramble; and whenever I hear them, I inwardly
pay my respects to them. All these, and other familiar sights and
sounds, did I richly enjoy at the old cottage in the woods.

I loved to sit at the shed-door, and watch my grandfather at his slow
work; for he had been a mechanic in his day, and was able to do a little
very moderately at his trade now. He would tell me the history of the
old people in the neighborhood, and of the customs and fashions when
they were boys and girls; and my eyes and ears were open to hear him. I
used to wish I could see them just as they looked when they were
children. It was very difficult then for me to imagine how those who
had become so wrinkled could ever have had the smooth faces of infants
and children. But my grandfather could remember when he was a boy; and
his father had told him what things were done when he, too, was a boy.
And so I concluded that wrinkles were no disgrace, nor the fairest faces
of the young any protection against them.

My grandmother was very fond of me, and took great pleasure in having me
read to her, as her eyesight had become somewhat dim. And so I used to
load myself with story-books and newspapers, when I became older, to
carry and read to her. And such times as we had with them! Voyages,
travels, discoveries, adventures, perils,--the wonders of the world, the
wonders of science, the wonders of history,--all came in for their share
of reading. Though I should read myself tired and sleepy, my grandmother
would still be an interested listener. Since I have been a minister, I
have often wished that many hearers would as eagerly listen to what I
had to say especially to them, as did my aged grandmother to my young
words then.

Those sunny days have departed. The old cottage is not there now. Years
ago it was taken down. My grandfather died when I was yet a boy, and I
followed him to the grave with a heavy heart. My grandmother lived to
be almost a hundred years old,--her powers all gone, and she helpless.
It would sometimes, even in my manhood, deeply affect me to have her
look into my face with no sign in hers that she knew me, when she had
once loved her talkative and delighted grandchild so fondly. But she,
too, found her resting-place at last beside her companion. Peace to
them! They blest me with their kindly, cheering words when most I needed
them, and I will bless their memories. And peace to the spot where once
stood their quiet home! Wherever in life I may be,--however brightly its
pleasures may shine, or heavily its cares and afflictions press upon
me--never would I outgrow the inspiration of these early enjoyments;
never forget, that, however the great, proud, and contentious world may
distract and dishearten, there will yet be peace to the humble and
virtuous soul in many a nook like that which sheltered and blest my
grand mother's cottage.



It is now many years since a near friend of mine uttered his first oath.
We were very intimate in our youthful days. I have thought that I would
write a little story about him, for some of the little folks of these
times to read, hoping that it will not only be interesting, but do them
good; for I am indeed sorry to know that swearing is a very common sin
among the boys of our times.

The parents of my young playfellow were of the humbler class in society;
they were industrious and prudent, and took great pains to teach him
what was right. They lived in the metropolis of New England, where my
schoolmate was born. His father wrought with the saw, the plane, the
hammer, and such tools as carpenters use about their business. His home
was a neat, wooden two-story house, in one of the streets of that part
of Boston which was generally known, when we were boys, by the name of
the MILL-POND. I suppose that most of my little readers who live in the
city can tell where it is. Many changes have taken place there since my
childhood. When I was a small boy it was called the _town_,--now we
never hear of it but as the _city_ of Boston. Its population has
increased rapidly; its territory has been extended; it has grown in
wealth, in splendor, in its means for mental and moral improvement; in
the number and convenience of its public schools,--the pride and
ornament, or the disgrace, of any place. Yes, Boston is not, in
appearance or in fact, what it once was.

But I am getting off from my story. I was saying that my young friend
resided on the "new-land"--no; the "Mill-Pond;"--well, it's all the
same--for when they dug down old Beacon Hill, they threw the dirt into
the Mill-Pond, and when it was filled up, or made land, the spot was
still known as the Mill-Pond, and oftentimes was called the new-land. In
later years, there have been other portions added to the city, by making
wharves, and filling up where the tide used to ebb and flow, and where
large vessels could float.

But again I am digressing too far from the story.

So soon as my friend was old enough, he was sent to one of the primary
schools, and was a pretty constant scholar at that, and afterwards at a
grammar school, till he was about twelve years old. He was, of course,
much with other lads of his own age, and some who were older and
younger than himself. He was, also, often in the streets, and as there
were a great many people who used profane language in those days,--as
there are at the present time,--he heard much of it; yet he had been so
carefully trained that he did not for years utter wicked words.

It is always painful to most persons, old as well as young, to hear
profanity, even though it be very common in their hearing, if they are
never accustomed to its use.

My young friend had been taught to reverence the name of that great
Being who made heaven and earth and all things. He was a member of a
Sabbath school, and thus had much valuable advice from his faithful
teacher to govern his conduct in word and deed. For a while he heeded
this, and was careful of his moral character. But by-and-by, he
overstepped the bounds of right.

It is very true that "evil communications corrupt good manners;" and
that if one would not be bad, one means of safety is to keep out of bad

My friend was, in a few years, placed in a store, where there was a
large business carried on. He came in contact with persons who were not
so carefully instructed as he had been. They made no hesitation in
pronouncing the names of God and Jesus Christ in a blasphemous and
profane manner. He resisted the pernicious influence of their example
for a while, but at last it became so familiar to his ears, that he
could hear wicked words spoken without even a thrill of horror in his

He, however, had not the disposition to speak them, till one day, when
some little thing in the store did not suit him, his passion was
aroused, and, in the angry excitement of the moment, he spoke out,--and
in that unguarded expression there was profanity,--a miserable,
blasphemous, wicked word. He had uttered his _first oath._ The
disposition had been lurking in his heart for several days to do this;
but he had not been able to so far lower his moral sense as to do it
before. Now he felt as though he had done a brave act,--that he had
achieved something very grand. But soon, very soon, conscience whispered
her gentle yet severe rebuke. She complained sadly of the wickedness
that was done. The blush of shame mantled his cheek. Remorse took hold
on his spirit. He looked about to see who was upbraiding him; but none
seemed to notice it. He resolved that he would not again give occasion
for such feelings of regret and sorrow to himself as he then felt.

Could you have then looked into his heart, you would have pitied him.
This resolution he kept a few weeks, when, being a little irritated, he
a second time profaned the holy name of Deity. This time he felt some
compunctions of conscience, but they were not as powerful as before; the
first step had been already taken, and a second was much easier.

I need not go on to tell you how he, not long after, broke a second
resolution, and so on, till, ere many months, he had become really a
swearing young man.

It all sprang from the first sinful act; and when at last he did break
himself of the habit, it was not done without a serious struggle.

I have told you this story, my young readers, because I thought it might
be, not only interesting to you, but because I hoped it might be the
means of leading you to reflect upon the uselessness and wickedness of
PROFANITY; and that it might aid in impressing on your minds the
importance of governing your passions and keeping your tongues free from
evil speaking.

I see my friend, about whom I have written, quite often. He is now a
parent, and occupies an eminent position in the community; but he often
thinks of his former life, and says he has not yet ceased to lament his
FIRST OATH. Let this fact, then, teach you how a recollection of the
sins of boyhood, even though you may call them little sins, will be
cherished through life, and poison many moments that would otherwise be
happy ones. How important that childhood be pure and righteous in the
sight of God, and to our own consciences, in order to insure a happy
manhood and old age!




   It was a quiet summer's day,
     The breeze blew cool and fair,
   And blest ten thousand happy things
     Of land, and sea, and air,
   And played a thousand merry pranks
     With MARY'S golden hair.

   MARY was not a happy girl;
     Her face was sad and sour,
   And on her little pretty brow
     Dark frowns did often lower,--
   And she would scold, and fret, and cry,
     Full fifty times an hour.

   She sat and wept with grief and pain,
     And did not smile at all,--
   And when her friends and mates came near
     She shunned them, great and small,--
   And then upon the Fairy Queen
     She earnestly did call.

   "Oh, hither, hither, good Fairy,
     I pray thee come to me!
   And point me out the Path of Peace,
     That I may happy be,
   For I cannot, in all the world,
     A moment's pleasure see!

   "I try my work, my play I try,
     My little playmates, too;
   Help me to find true happiness,
     I sadly, humbly sue;--
   Oh! my lot is a darksome one,--
     Fairy! what shall I do?"

   A humble-bee comes riding by,
     No bigger than my thumb,
   And on his browny, gold-striped back,
     Behold the Fairy come!
   One look upon her loveliness
     Makes little MARY dumb.

   She wore a veil of gossamer,
     Her tunic was of blue,
   A golden sunbeam was her belt,
     And bonnet of crimson hue,
   And through the net of her purple shawl
     Clear silver stars looked through.

   Her slippers were of sunflower seeds,
     And tied with spider's thread,
   A rein of silkworm's finest yarn
     Passed round the bee's brown head;
   An oaten straw was her riding whip,--
     Oh how her courser sped!

   She beckoned to the sighing maid,
     And led her a little way,
   And showed a hundred fountains bright
     That bubbled night and day,
   And flashed their waves in the glad sunlight,
     And showers of crystal spray.

   She said: "Each stream has secret power
     Upon the human heart,
   And, as you drink, the mystic draught
     Shall joy or woe impart;
   'T will give you pleasant happiness,
     Or sorrow's painful smart."

   The founts were labelled every one,
     With titles plainly seen,--
   The fountains _Pride_, and _Sin_, and _Wrong_,
     And _Hate_, and _Scorn_, and _Spleen,
   Goodness_ and _Love_, and many more,
     Sparkled along the green.

   And MARY drank at each bright fount,
     To draw her grief away;
   But, spite of all the water's power,
     Her sorrows they would stay.
   And still she mourned, and still was sad,
     Through all the livelong day.

   One morn she saw a little spring
     She never saw before,
   Down in a still and shady vale,
     Covered with blossoms o'er,--
   And when she 'd drunk, and still would drink
     She thirsted still for more.

   She gladly quaffed its cooling draught,
     And found what she had sought;
   No more her heart with sorrow grieved.
     She thirsted now for nought;
   She'd found a blessed happiness,
     Beyond her highest thought.

   And when she moved the vines aside
     That hid the fount from sight,
   In loveliest, brightest characters,
     Like stars of silver light,--
   _Goodness of heart, and speech, and life_,
     She read in letters bright.

   And MARY drank the liquid waves,
     And soon her little brow
   Became as pure, and clear, and white,
     As bank of whitest snow;
   And when she drank of that blest fount,
     She purest joy did know.

   Then MARY learned this highest truth.
     Beyond all human art,--
   That there are many things in life
     Can pain and woe impart;--
   But Goodness alone of act and deed
     Can make a happy heart.



When I was a little child, younger than those for whom this book is
written, my home was in a valley. The usual appendages to a farm-house,
the garden, orchard and small pasture grounds, lay very near it; and I
was as familiar with these enclosures as with the rooms of the house. A
little further off there was a mimic river, which, as it wound about,
divided itself into different streams, and surrounded little islands,
shaded with the tall plane tree and the flexible willow. Here, too, with
those who were old enough to be careful in crossing the rustic bridges,
I sometimes played on summer afternoons;--gathered the prettiest flowers
in the sweetest little woods, and dipped my feet into the clear running

Beyond these there lay less frequented fields, which rose gradually, at
no very great distance, into a range of hills as green as the valley
below. One of them was covered all over its summit, and a little way
down its sides, with some dark old woods. The trees which grew there
were very tall, and so large that their thick and heavy tops seemed to
crowd together, so that you might have walked on them almost as well as
upon the hill itself. I loved sometimes, when the air was full of the
bright sunshine, to look at the rich shades of green upon those
tree-tops; but if ever my eye rested, for a moment only, upon the dark
and mysterious avenues which led into the depths of the wood beneath
them, there would creep such a chill to my heart,--such a feeling of
dread would come over me,--that I turned quickly to the glad-looking
homestead, that I might again grow warm and happy.

At first it was probably no more than the idea that those woods formed a
limit to the world of light and gladness in which I lived. My eye could
not penetrate their dimness, and with a childish, human feeling I shrank
from the undiscovered and unknown. But as I grew older, and read the
stories in the small books which were given to me for presents, or lent
by my little friends, I had other and plainer reasons for the
apprehensive feeling with which I looked at the woods. I found that
children had been so lost among their thickets as hardly to be found
again; and that two poor little orphans, left there on purpose, had lain
down and died of hunger and weariness; and the birds covered them over
with leaves. Strange birds I thought there were in the woods. Then the
fairies that dwelt there, and the strange elfin creatures, and the
perils that travellers fell into with robbers and wild beasts; and still
I referred the scene of every story I read directly to those very woods
upon the hill-side, although they were so near that I could see them
plainly enough from the windows of the cheerful rooms at home.

Time passed along in its usual way; but before I had acquired knowledge
or strength of mind enough to correct my early impressions of the woods,
I had permission, one bright afternoon in June, to go with an older
sister to a strawberry meadow across the creek. We were accompanied by
some little maidens, who were older and more adventurous than me; and so
it happened that when we did not find the fruit so abundant as we could
wish, they persuaded us to go into another field, and then into another,
I little thought where, until I became suddenly sensible of a shaded
light around me, of a breeze a little cooler than that which tempered
the warm air of the valley, and a low, wild music that I had never heard
before; and looking up, I saw that we were actually upon the ascent of
the hill which led up to the dreaded woods.

Strange and almost horror-struck as I felt, I did not scream out,
(perhaps I should not have had breath to do so,) but I gathered up all
the wisdom that my little heart could boast, into the resolution not to
look at the woods, not to think of them; for we should soon go back
again, I thought, and nothing would happen. And my young friends can
judge how terrified I must have grown, when I heard one of the girls
begin to talk of the beautiful flowers her brother had brought her from
the woods, and end by proposing that we should go there, and get some
for ourselves. I waited breathlessly to hear the objections which I
doubted not would be urged against this plan, but none were offered; and
when I ventured to remonstrate, they paid so little attention to me,
that my pride was hurt at the thought of saying any more.

There was another way in which my pride was at work. I was ashamed,
among those who were so brave, to own that I was afraid; so, though I
held the hands of those who led me pretty tight, and gave them some
little trouble to pull me along, they knew nothing more of my reluctance
to go with them.

We got up the hill very fast; so at least it seemed to me. Here and
there a solitary tree, a few feet in advance, looked as if it had
stepped out to welcome and encourage us to pass on; and I cannot say
that my strength did not revive a little as I passed under the heavy
branches, and out again into the freer air. Be that as it may, it was
terrible enough to me, the approach to those woods. My companions were
eager and gay, and shouted out, as we entered them. They little thought
how overpowering were my feelings. And I little thought, myself, that I
was then and there to receive a lesson that I should never forget; one,
perhaps, that would do me more good than any other that I should ever

At first, I was so frightened that my senses were all in confusion; but
as I gradually recovered the use of them, I took notice of the coolness
and the shade, and the dimness away in the distance; I heard the leafy
murmur above my head, the sweet notes that the birds were singing, and
the loud echoes. All these things seemed to blend together into
something so solemn and so magnificent, that I began to feel for the
first time what it was to be a little child. With that, soon came a
feeling of confidence and even love. I thought that the majestic
presence that filled the woods, whatever it was, would not hurt me, and
my heart grew so light at the thought, that I began to gather flowers
with the rest. How pretty they were! and what clean, shining leaves! And
here and there, wherever a little sunshine found an opening in the
branches and streamed down upon the bright green moss, it seemed so
golden, so clear, and so real, just as if I might clasp it in my hands!

I grew so much affected, at length, that I sobbed myself into tears, and
my sister said that I had never been in the woods before, and she would
take me home. I did not like to say that I wanted to stay longer, but
held to my flowers; and after I reached home, was washed and rested, I
went to the window, and remained there a long time, looking at the
woods. I did not quite comprehend all I had thought and felt, but it
seemed to me that a great truth, one that would do me good, had dawned
upon my mind.

It was a long time before I fully understood the lesson. In a few weeks
I caught one of those contagious diseases which children must have once;
and it went so hard with me, that, before I was able to walk about, and
go out of the house, the leaves were all gone, and the snow had covered
the ground. When spring returned I thought often of the woods, but I was
too sickly to go there; and when I grew strong again, my thoughts were
all occupied with an approaching event. Several changes had occurred in
the family, and others were expected, to which my friends though
discontented at first, had grown quite reconciled. It was not so with
me. There was one circumstance which affected me more than it did
others, and from that I prophesied a continual succession of evils. It
seemed to me that my life was to be wholly changed, and all the joy and
beauty left behind. It was childish, I know. I knew it then, for I would
not for the world have told any one how I felt. Still I was as much
affected by it as I have ever been since at any real grief.

Late one afternoon, when my thoughts were busy with my fears, I went to
the window, and looked up at the woods. The sunshine was very bright on
their tops, and the shadow very dark on the hill-side below. Very
vividly then came back to me the memory of my visit to them the year
before. I thought of the evils which I expected to meet, and of the
beauty which I found there. It was some good angel which whispered then
in my thoughts, that, just as I went to the woods, full of fears and
forebodings, I was approaching the expected misfortune; that I might be
as happily disappointed in this as I had been in that.

I cannot tell how delighted I was with this suggestion, nor how
completely it took possession of my mind. I was gloomy and fearful no
longer. I did not, indeed, when the change came, resign what I lost by
it without regret; but I was so certain of finding new enjoyments, that
I resigned it cheerfully. And when, after a few weeks' experience had
taught me that many advantages and many pleasures had come to me in
consequence of those very circumstances which I had dreaded so much, I
bound the lesson of the woods to my heart so firmly that there it still

And let me say to you, for whom I have related this little incident of
my childhood:--do not tremble at the disappointments and trials which
await you. Do not seek to throw upon others any part of them which you
may more becomingly bear yourself. If you live always in the open
sunshine, you will never know what beauty there is in the woods. You
will find the sentiment in your books, that it is the night-time only
that shows us the stars; and in the gloom which must sometimes fall upon
this uncertain and mortal life of ours, you may find, if you will, as
much to rejoice in as to dread. You will form plans, and indulge in
hopes, which cannot be realized, and disappointment will look frowningly
upon you; but if you will submit yourself to the trial like a little
child, the hand that will lead you through it will point you to happier
scenes than those of your own imagining.

You will have friends to love, that death may take away from you--and,
oh! then, the shadow of the woodland, as it lies against the sunny
meadow, will be less dark than your life. But do not despair. The few
rays of light that reach you will be richer, the flowers will be purer,
and the music will be softer and sweeter; for you will be nearer heaven
than you were before.

There is another shadow which you and I, and all of us, are
approaching,--"the shadow of death." But will not "the lesson" brighten
our approach even to that? Certain I am, that if _that_ hour of my
childhood, when, with a fearful heart, I went into the solemn woods, and
heard the sweet singing of the bird and the breeze, shall be remembered
then, even though the light of life be fading away, "I shall fear no


[Illustration: FLORENCE DREW.]


"I will not go to Sabbath school to-morrow," said Florence Drew, as she
threw aside her catechism and sat herself sullenly by the window.

"Florence!" said her mother; "I am astonished to hear you speak so

"I don't care,--I will not go,--my lesson is so hard I can't get it;"
saying which, she burst into tears. Mrs. Drew cast a look of sorrow upon
her only child as she left her to regain her good humor.

No sooner had the door closed after her mother than the rustling of
leaves beneath the window drew the attention of Florence. Thinking it
her favorite Carlo, and being in no mood for a frolic, without lifting
her eyes she bid him "begone;" but she was soon undeceived by a shrill
voice pronouncing her name, at the same time finding her arm tightly
grasped by the thin, bony fingers of Crazy Nell, the terror of all the
truant children in the village. The terrified child vainly tried to
disengage herself from the maniac's hold; and, finding her calls for
help all unheeded, she gave up in despair.

The wild, searching eyes of Crazy Nell detected her terror, and her
stern features relaxed into a smile as she said, "Poor child! I will not
harm you; you fear me, and think me mad; yes, I have been mad, but I'm
not now; and I have come to save you from being as I have been. Nay,
Florence, 't is useless for you to try to escape me; I will detain you
but a short time. I heard your angry words as I was gathering herbs, and
saw you fling your book away. I heard all. Listen to me, Florence Drew,
and I will tell you a story by which I hope you will profit.

"I was once young, gay, and happy, as you, and, like you, an only and
indulged, but wilful child, with a quick and ungoverned temper.

"One day, I was studying my Sabbath school lesson, and finding it, as I
thought, rather hard, I threw it away, as you did yours, saying that I
would not go to school at all. My poor mother's entreaties were all
unheeded by me, and I grew up in idleness and ignorance. My mother's
health daily declined, partly through my ill-treatment and wickedness.
Often did she plead with me, with tears streaming down her cheeks, to
alter my conduct; but I rudely repulsed her."

Nell paused, and seemed very much agitated; her eyes glared wildly, and
bending close to Florence, she continued in a whisper: "We became very
poor, in consequence of my extravagance; I then thought my mother a
burden; she was too ill to work, and I left her to starve; she did not,
however; she died of a broken heart. _I was her murderer_! 'T was that
which drove me mad. Look! see you not that black cloud which darkens the
sunshine of my life?"

"I cannot see a cloud," sobbed poor Florence, who was now tasting the
bitter cup of repentance.

"I know it, poor child!" continued Nell; "the cloud I mean is such as
you just felt,--=Temper=. _It is within us_! Conquer your temper,
Florence Drew, and you may yet be good and happy. Go, now, and seek
mother, who is at this moment shedding tears of sorrow for her little
girl's ill-temper. Go to her and--" But, ere she could finish, Florence
had glided into her mother's room, and was kneeling humbly at her feet
Tears of sorrow were changed to those of joy and repentance, as Mrs.
Drew folded her little girl to her breast in a long and affectionate

Florence has never been unkind to her mother, or given freedom to her
temper, since that day. She is now the teacher of a class in a Sabbath
school, and she often relates to her little scholars the story I have
just related to you.

Crazy Nell continues to gather herbs, an object of pity to the
benevolent, and of sport to the unfeeling. And now, my dear little
readers, I must repeat Crazy Nell's expression: "Conquer your temper,
and you will be happy;" or, in the words of the sacred Scriptures, "He
that ruleth his own spirit is greater than he that taketh a city."


[Illustration: SHECHEM.]



In the picture opposite, the reader will see represented a part of the
city of Shechem, at the foot of Mount Gerizim. It is a very noted place
in history. It is called Sychar in the Gospel, John 4:5. It was here, at
Jacob's well, that Jesus met the woman of Samaria. The account of the
conversation which they held together is one of the most interesting
records in the New Testament. I wish all our young readers would make
themselves acquainted with it. Jesus was a Jew; and the Jews had no
dealings with the Samaritans. Weary with travelling in the heat of the
day, our Lord sat down to rest by that ancient well, when the stranger
woman came to draw water from it. Jesus said unto her, "Give me to
drink." She was surprised that he, being a Jew, should ask water of her,
a Samaritan. This very surprise which she expressed led to a most
instructive conversation. Read it, and see how plainly Jesus teaches us
the nature of true worship. The Jews had their temple at Jerusalem; the
Samaritans had theirs on Mount Gerizim. The woman said to Jesus, "Our
fathers worshipped in this mountain, and ye say that Jerusalem is the
place where men ought to worship." She would ask which was the true
place. Jesus declared to her that it was not so much the place, as it
was the heart, which made worship what it should be. Read the answer of
Jesus as the New Testament gives it, and then see if the Quaker poet,
Barton, has not beautifully expressed it thus:

   "Woman, believe me, the hour is near
     When He, if ye rightly would hail him,
   Will neither be worshipped exclusively here.
     Nor yet at the altar of Salem.

   For God is a spirit, and they, who aright
     Would perform the pure worship he loveth
   In the heart's holy temple will seek with delight
     That spirit the Father approveth."

Through the knowledge of Christ obtained by the Samaritan woman in this
conversation, many of her sect were induced to believe on him.

Shechem, or Sichem, is a very ancient place; though we do not find it
mentioned as a city until the time of Jacob, who purchased a piece of
land, and dug the well of which we have just spoken. The city lay
between the two mountains Ebal and Gerizim. It was made a city of
refuge. Joshua 20: 7. 21. 20, 21. Quite a number of events mentioned in
the Old Testament occurred here. It was at Shechem Joshua met the
assembled people for the last time. It was here that Rehoboam was made
king, and the ten tribes rebelled.

In after time Shechem became the chief seat of the people who
thenceforth bore the name of Samaritans. They were made up in part of
emigrants from other eastern nations. When the Jews returned from their
long captivity in Babylon, and began to rebuild Jerusalem and their
temple, the Samaritans desired to aid them in their work. "Let us build
with you," was their request. The Jews refused to admit them to this
privilege; hence a strong hatred between the two sects arose. The
Samaritans erected their temple on Mount Gerizim.

Shechem received the new name of Neapolis from the Greeks--a name which
it retains to the present day. The city has passed through many changes,
which, had we time to recount them, might be of deep interest to the
reader. But it would take a larger space to do this than we can now
occupy. The Samaritans are still here; but their number now is small,
not exceeding one hundred and fifty. They have a synagogue, where they
preserve several ancient copies of the books of Moses, and among them
one ancient manuscript which they believe to be three thousand four
hundred and sixty-five years old, saying it was written by Abishua, the
son of Phinehas (1 Chron. 6: 3, 4.) The manuscript, so travellers who
have seen it say, is very ancient; but they do not all think it so old
as the Samaritans pretend it is.

Mount Gerizim is still held in great veneration by the Samaritans. Four
times a year they ascend it in solemn procession, to worship. The old
feeling of hostility between them and the Jews is still existing.

The city of Neapolis, or, as the Arabs call it, Nablous, is long and
narrow, stretching close along the northeast base of Mount Gerizim. The
population is about eight thousand souls, all Mohammedans, with the
exception of about five hundred Greek Christians, and the one hundred
and fifty Samaritans already mentioned. Those who have taken part in its
eventful past history are gone. But never shall be heard there a more
glorious voice than that which uttered those sublime words of heavenly
truth to the woman at Jacob's well.



That the human race is one, bound together by the strongest and holiest
ties, is one of the sublimest truths announced by the Master. Indeed, so
close and intimate is the connection subsisting between the various
members of the common family, that to tear one from the body would be
like following the direction of Solomon to his servant, and dividing the
living child in two, leaving life's purple current to spout forth from
either half. An appreciation of this truth is what the world, heart-sick
and weary as it is, now needs above all things else. And to illustrate
and enforce the fact that it is not a vain shadow, but a solid reality,
too solemn to be trifled with, and too important to be neglected,--to
illustrate this by deeds which bear joy to the joyless and hope to the
hopeless,--is _the_ work which Christians, the young as well as old, are
now called to perform. Will it need the voice of duty, which speaketh as
from the skies? This is the great truth, also, which, with all its
relations to life and duty, is to be impressed by the present, upon the
minds of the rising, generation. This is what my young readers are to
learn,--and not simply to learn, but to practise:--that we are all
brothers and sisters, no matter in what clime or country we may have
been born, or with what complexion we may be clothed.

A little girl, some five years of age, whom the writer of this has often
fondled in his arms, had well learned this most important lesson. By
pious parents and earnest Sabbath school teachers had she been taught,
that to be like Jesus, who took little children in his arms and blessed
them, she must love and do good unto all, as brothers and sisters. This
had sunk deep into her young and tender mind; and when, on a visit at
the house of a friend, she was asked that familiar question, which is so
often put to children,--whom she loved,--

After a moment's hesitation she replied, that she loved everybody.
"Indeed!" said the querist; "how can that be? You certainly do not love
me as well as you do your own brothers and sisters; do you?"

After another short pause she replied, "Yes, I think I do; for _you_,
too, are my sister." "_I_ your sister?" said the lady, in surprise; "how
can that be possible?" Looking up with a countenance in which all
heaven's innocence and purity were mirrored, she exclaimed, "Is not God
our Father? and are we not all brothers and sisters? and should we not
love each other as such?"

There was no further argument to be used. Though hid from many wise and
prudent, yet the truth was thus revealed to babes.

Yes, we _are_ all brethren and sisters, having a common origin, a common
destination, and a common home. And may all those children who read this
short article ever recollect this important truth. When you behold a
poor, unfortunate man, with torn and filthy garments, and perhaps
intoxicated, reeling through the streets, do not hoot after, and throw
stones at him, as I have known many boys do, but think within
yourselves, "He is our brother."

When one of your number abuses the rest, and you are tempted to injure
and beat him, wait till you have said to yourselves, "He is still our
brother; and though he has done us wrong, why should we strike or injure

When you see a companion in trouble, and one to whom your assistance can
do much good, recollect he is a brother, or she is a sister, and fly to
help him. And oh! if all, both old and young, would act upon this
principle, how different would be the aspect of affairs from what it
now is! Then the kingdom of God would dawn upon us. Then the wolf and
the lamb would lie down together, and the lion eat straw like an ox.
Then we should be like _little children_, and the blessing-smile of
Jehovah would shed upon us choicest benediction.





_Sophronia_. Come, girls, let us go and have our fortunes told.

_Eveline_. Oh! I should like it of all things; where shall we go?

_Sarah_. Let us go to old Kate Merrill's. They say she can read the
future as we do the past, by hand, tea-cups, or cards. Come, Mary Ann.

_Mary Ann_. Excuse me, girls, if I do not go with you. I do not think it
is right to have our fortunes told.

_Sophronia_. Not right? why not?

_Mary Ann_. Because, if it had been best for us to know the future, I
think God would have revealed it to us.

_Sarah_. Oh, but you know this is only for amusement.

_Eveline_. Of course, we shall not believe a word she says.

_Mary Ann_. If it is only for amusement, I think we can find others far
more rational and innocent. But depend upon it, girls, you would not
wish to go, if there were not in your minds a little of credulous

_Sophronia_. Well, I am sure I am not credulous.

_Mary Ann_. Do not be offended, Sophronia; I only meant that we are all
of us more inclined to believe these things than we at first imagine.

_Sarah_. I think that Mary Ann is right in this respect. I am sure I
would not go if I did not think her predictions would come to pass.

_Mary Ann_. Certainly; I could not suppose you would spend your time and
money to hear an old woman tell you things you did not believe.

_Eveline_. Well, I am sure I do not see any harm in having a little fun
once in a while.

_Sophronia_. No; and I think it is very unkind in Mary Ann to spoil all
our pleasures with her whims. She is always preaching to us about giving
up our own way for the comfort of others, and I think she ought to give
up now, and go with us.

_Sarah_. Now, really, Sophronia, I think you are the one that is unkind.
If Mary Ann is wrong, it is better to convince her of it kindly, and I
am sure she will acknowledge it.

_Mary Ann_. I hope I should be willing to give up a mere whim for the
pleasure of those I love so well. But this is not a whim; it is a
serious conviction of duty.

_Sophronia_. Well, I thought you always pretended to be very obliging.

_Mary Ann_. I have no right to be obliging at the expense of what I deem
duty. Our own inclinations we should often sacrifice, our prejudices
always, but our sense of duty never.

_Eveline_. I think, girls, we have done wrong to urge Mary Ann to go,
after she had told us her reasons.

_Sophronia_. Well, then, don't spend any more time in urging her to go,
against her will. You know the old proverb "The least said is soonest

_Eveline_. Well, do not let us go away angry or ill-natured. You asked
Mary Ann to say why she thought it was wrong, and we should receive her
reasons kindly.

_Sarah_. So I think; but I wish she would tell us what harm she thinks
it would do to go.

_Mary Ann_. Well, girls, I think, by trying to look into the future, we
are apt to grow discontented and restless, and to forget that we have
duties to perform in the present. Then, if we do not believe in it, it
is a waste of time and money, which might be better employed in
relieving the suffering of the poor around us. But the greatest evil of
all is, that we should believe even a part; she would of course tell us
many little circumstances which would be true of any one; thus we might
be led to believe all she said; the prediction would probably work out
its own fulfilment, and perhaps render us miserable for life.

_Sophronia_. Oh, fudge! Mary Ann. This is altogether too bad and
ungenerous in you. In the first place, the few cents we give, bestowed
as they are on a poor old widow woman, are not wasted, in my opinion,
but well spent;--and if I spend an evening, granted to me by my father
and mother for recreation, in listening to Old Kate, it is no more
wasted than if I spend it with the girls in any other social way. And
when you connect fortune-telling and our duties in the present, you make
it too serious an affair. _Remember, this is all for sport_.

_Mary Ann_. It may be so with you, Sophronia; but there are those who
seriously believe every word of a fortune-teller, and actually live more
in the unseen but expected events of the future, than in faithfully
performing their duties in the present. This is true, Sophronia. The
contentment and peace of many young minds have been utterly lost, _sold_
for the absurd jabbering of old, ignorant, low-bred women, who pretend
to read the future. [_In a livelier tone of voice_.] But just say,
girls, do you believe there is any connection between tea-leaves and
your future lives?

_Eveline, Sarah, Sophronia_. Why, no!

_Mary Ann_. Do you believe God has marked the fortunes of thousands of
his creatures on the face of cards?

_Eveline, Sarah, Sophronia_. Certainly not.

_Mary Ann_. Well, do you believe, if God should intrust the secret
events of the future with any of our race, in this age, it would be with
those who have neither intellectual, moral, nor religious education--who
can be bribed by dollars and cents to say anything?

_Sarah, Eveline_. No, indeed!

_Mary Ann. (Turns to Sophronia,)_ You do not answer, Sophronia. Let me
ask you one or two more questions. Do you suppose Kate Merrill believes
that she has a revelation from God?

_Sophronia_. No, Mary Ann.

_Mary Ann_. Do you suppose she thinks you believe so?

_Sophronia_. Why, yes, I do.

_Mary Ann_. Then, is it benevolent to bestow money to encourage an old
woman in telling for truth what she knows to be false?

_Sophronia_. I doubt whether it is really benevolent.

_Mary Ann_. And if Old Kate speaks falsely and knows she does so, and
you know it, yet spend your time in listening to what she has to say,
what good can come of it to head or heart?

_Sophronia_. None at all, Mary Ann. It is time wasted, and I am
convinced that I have been doubly wrong in wishing to go, and in being
angry with you. Will you forgive me?

_Mary Ann_. Certainly, Sophronia. And now, if you wish for amusement, I
will be a witch myself, and tell your fortunes for you.

_Sophronia_. Oh, do tell mine; and be sure you tell it truly. What lines
of fate do you see in my hand?

_Mary Ann. (Takes her hand and looks at it intently.)

(To Sophronia_.)

   Passions strong my art doth see.
   Thou must rule them, or they rule thee.
   If the first, you peace will know;
   If the last, woe followeth woe.

_Sarah_. Now tell mine next.

_(To Sarah_.)

   Too believing, too believing,
   Thou hast learned not of deceiving.
   Closely scan what seemeth fair,
   And of flattering words beware.

_Eveline_. Now tell me a pleasant fortune, Mary Ann.

_(To Eveline_.)

   Lively and loving, I would not chide thee,
   Do thou thy duty, and joy shall betide thee.

_Sophronia_. Thank you, Mary Ann, for the lessons you have given us. We
can now, in turn, tell your fortune, and that is, Always be amiable and
sensible as now, and you will always be loved.




I remember well, that, when I was quite a little boy, a circumstance
occurred which I shall probably never forget, and which, no doubt, has
had some little influence on my life at many different periods since. I
will relate it; and I wish all my young readers would remember the

My father was somewhat poor. He had no salary for preaching, except for
a few months, perhaps not five hundred dollars for forty years of pulpit
labor. He maintained his family chiefly from a small farm, and, there
being several children, we were deprived of many little things that
wealthier parents are accustomed to furnish for theirs. We had few
presents, and those chiefly of necessary articles,--school-books, or
something of the kind; while toys, playthings, and instruments of
amusement, we were left to go without, or take up with such rude and
simple ones as we could manufacture for ourselves.

I wanted a small box very much. A handsome little trunk, such as most of
my young readers probably have, was too much to hope for, and a plain
wooden box, even, I had no means to purchase.

I went without for a long time, and at last determined that I would try
to make one. But the materials,--where was I to obtain them? True, my
father had pieces of thin boards that would answer, but there were
nails, and hinges, and a lock wanting. Where were these to come from?

After trying a variety of methods, I invented a plan for fastening it
without a lock, and leather made a very good substitute for hinges, as
it was to be out of sight. Still, I wanted nails. There were some old
ones about the house, but they were crooked, and broken, and rusty.
These would not answer if anything better could be obtained.

My uncle, who at this time lived but a short distance from us, was
engaged in building, and I watched the barrel of bright new nails his
workmen were using, with a longing eye. O, how I coveted them!

The temptation was too great. I sought the opportunity while the hands
were at dinner, and, after cautiously looking about to see that no one
was near to observe me, with trembling hands seized upon them, _and
stole enough to make my box_. O! how my heart beat as I hurried away
across the fields home. I almost expected to see some one start up from
every stump and bush on the way, to accuse me of the theft. I hardly
dared to look behind me. It seemed as though my old uncle, with frowning
brow, was at my very heels. And then, too, the workmen;--were they not
suspicious from my hanging about them, and had not some of them watched
me? So horrid images began to dance about my brain. Dim visions of
court-rooms, and lawyers, and judges, and prisons, and sorrowing
parents, and frightened brothers and sisters, rose in awful terror
before me. I began to grow dizzy and faint. I had laid up, for a long
time, all the pennies I could obtain, which, at that time, amounted to
the vast sum of twenty cents, contained in an old-fashioned pistareen;
and the hope sprung up in my heart, that, possibly, by paying this to
the officers, they would not carry me to jail.

Thought was busy in laying plans for escape, and I reached home in the
greatest excitement imaginable.

Well, the deed was now done, and I could not undo it. I was really a
thief; and now, as I had got the nails, I thought I might as well use
them. I was too anxious about the crime, however, to do this at once.
So I hid them away for a week or more, before I ventured to make my box.

Taking such leisure hours as I had,--for I was obliged to work most of
the time on the farm,--I crept away in the loft of an old building, and
finally succeeded in finishing my task. But, now that the box was done,
my troubles were by no means ended. It would be seen. I could not always
keep it out of sight. My brothers, and sisters, and playmates, would
examine it, and possibly my father would get his eye upon it! Suppose he
should, and ask me where those nails came from?

O, how my poor brain was racked to invent some false story by which I
could escape detection! I thought of saying that they were old ones
which I had polished up so as to appear new, and I even filed down the
rust on the head of an old nail to see if they would look sufficiently
alike. But nothing of this kind would answer. The cheat, I thought,
would be detected; and so I was obliged, after all my trouble and
suffering, to keep my box hidden away when it was done. Every time I
went to look at it, those bright new nail-heads were staring out at me,
ready to reveal my crime to any one who saw them.

For a long time, I did not dare to go to my uncles again. True, he knew
nothing of my wrong; but I felt guilty, and did not care to see him.
Finally, after some time had passed away, though I had by no means
forgotten the theft, and still suffered much every time it was thought
of, I ventured to call and see him. I could hardly avoid the impression
that he must know what I had done, and would accuse me of it; and when
he met me in the yard at his door; patted my cheek with a half-laughing,
half-reproving look; asked why I had stayed away from him so long; and
said, that, to punish me, he should go and get me some very nice apples
from the garden;--I could bear it no longer. It seemed as though my
heart would break. What I said, I have now forgotten. I remember that I
cried very heartily, and, as soon as my tears would allow it, told him
the whole story!

I can still see, fresh in my memory, the sad look that came over him as
I confessed my crime; but not a single harsh or unkind word did he
utter. He told me that it was very wrong; that I had acted nobly in
confessing it; and that, if I had only asked him in the first place, he
would gladly have given me all I wanted.

Thinking I had suffered enough already, he promised not to tell my
parents, in case I continued a good boy, and advised me to destroy the
box and bring him back the nails, as no one could then suspect what had
been done but ourselves.

His kindness, I confess, pained me very much. I think nothing could have
tempted me to do him any wrong again.

I loved him better than ever before. He never alluded to the subject
afterwards, but I always thought of it when I saw him. He died in a
short time; and, twenty years after, as I stood by his grave, the
circumstance came up, clear and distinct, to my recollection. I have
not, indeed, from that to the present hour, felt the least temptation to
commit any wrong of the kind without recalling it; and, if all my young
readers will think seriously how much suffering that one act cost me,
and how much happier I should otherwise have been, I am confident that
they will never commit a similar offence so long as they remember the
story of _the boy who stole the nails_.



There are many childless mothers in our land. In some homes there never
lived a little child to make them happy; but in others the spirits of
the little ones have departed. They dwell in another home--the "dear
heavenly home." Their mothers, those childless mothers, weep day and
night in their loneliness and sadness. This sketch is of a mother who
had buried all her little babes--four precious children--all her little
family. The mother's name was Ellen Moore.

For many months after the birth of her first child, Ellen was free from
sorrow as a bird in the morning. She never thought affliction might come
to her blessed home. It was not surprising, for she had never known what
bereavement and bitter disappointment were. She was educated to be a
child of sunshine. She had always lived amid smiles and tenderness, and
when the fearful cloud of sorrow broke, in an unexpected moment, upon
her head, she seemed bowed down, never to rise again in health and

It was a sad day in our neighborhood when Ellen's first little babe
died; we all wept. Not so much because he was dead, for we all felt that
_he_ was at rest; but his dear mother was so sorely troubled, her heart
ached so grievously, it seemed as if she too would die. Days and nights
Ellen wept, and moaned, and walked her house. The tears seemed to burn
their way down her cheeks. She spoke but seldom, yet that pitiful moan
she so often breathed out pierced our souls and made us all very sad.

After a few weeks, the consolation we offered her quieted her feelings,
and she became calm. She went to church, called on her friends, and
attended to her duties at home. But there was ever a sadness in her
voice and manners. Her home was so lonely, so strangely still and
vacant, and Ellen so silent, that the voice of gladness was not heard in
it again until a second beautiful boy was born under its roof.

We were all happy then. Even Ellen smiled as she kissed her dear
babe--but a tear followed the smile and the kiss so soon, we knew her
wounded heart was not _then_ healed. She was very sad, and felt that
this babe, too, might only be loaned her for a short time. It was not
long before we all felt so. That little face, so pale, so sad, so
beautiful, evidently bore the seal of death upon it. He refused all
nourishment, and pined slowly away. Ellen knew he must die, but could
not say so. She could not shed one tear to relieve her sorrowful heart.
She neither spoke nor wept, until her infant was laid in its coffin.

A friend had woven a wreath of beautiful flowers, and laid it on the
satin pillow of the coffin, and placed a delicate rose-bud in the little
hand of the babe. Ellen went alone to take her last kiss, when, seeing
her babe so beautiful in death, she seated herself on the floor and wept

"Who loved my babe so fondly?" said she, when she came from the room.
"Who has been so kind and thoughtful of me? It has unsealed my tears;
now let me weep alone." We left her. She came out of that room a changed
woman. She assisted us in our preparations for the burial of the dead,
spoke cheerfully to her husband, conversed freely about her children in
heaven, and remarked that henceforth her life should be worthy of a
Christian. We buried the sweet babe by the side of his brother, and
planted a rose-tree over his grave. Then our thoughts turned to Ellen,
whose whole manner indicated resignation and peace.

We were not surprised at the effect of grief upon Ellen, for I have told
you she was not educated to bear human misery with much composure. Yet
what her parents had left undone seemed to be effected by those severe
dispensations of God. Our Father in heaven often educates us by his
chastisements, giving us wisdom, patience, hope, trustfulness and
resignation, according to the severity with which he afflicts us.

Ellen maintained the same cheerful manner from the time of the burial of
her second babe to the birth of her third child. Her friends hoped many
blessings for Ellen in the life of this child. It was a daughter,
apparently healthy; and as its mother had endured so severe a trial we
hoped the Lord would deal mercifully with her in sparing this one to
her. For one short year we had reason to hope for the life of the child.
But it was too frail a creature for this world, and, like its little
brothers, died in early infancy. And its mother--we found her to be a
practical Christian indeed.

Instead of moaning and violent grief, she held her babe as it breathed
its latest breath, and was first to break the awful silence in the room
that succeeded the final struggle, with these words: "She is with her
little brothers now, and I have reason to bless the Lord." She could say
no more then; and a few large tears fell on the cheek of her babe as it
still lay on her lap. Once only did she freely yield to tears. It was
when her husband first heard of the death of his babe. His anguish
overcame her composure. Soon recovered however, she maintained a truly
Christian deportment. The third little grave was opened in the burial
lot of Mr. Moore, and the body of this babe laid by its little brothers.

A fourth babe was born in the lonely home of Ellen, and fresh hopes
cherished for the long life of her child. The burden of every prayer
offered at that family altar was, "Lord, if it be thy will, suffer us to
rear this tender child!"

"Yet though I pray thus," said Ellen, "my heart is strong to meet its
early death; and if it dies, I shall not mourn as for my first-born. God
has afflicted me, but I am profited thereby."

"Very true, Ellen, but if this fourth dear babe is taken from us, we
shall almost doubt the mercy of God. How can you, in your present
delicate health, endure to lay this last dear babe by the side of the
departed ones, and again find your home desolate and silent?"

"My body is weak, Mary, but my spirit is well instructed in resignation,
and can calmly bear whatever new affliction God pleases to send. You
have called me changed since Alfred died, and sometimes too silent and
sad. I am changed and often silent, but not sad. _My_ treasures are in
heaven, and my communings are more with the spirits of my children in
heaven than with the friends who are with me here. And if this child
dies, Mary,----if he dies--his death will prepare me for the duties of
all the rest of my life."

       *       *       *       *       *

The beautiful boy passed away just as his little lips had learned to
pronounce his mother's name--suddenly, unexpectedly to us all, and all
yielded to our grief but Ellen. We greatly feared his father would
become insane.

But Ellen--believe me, she was transformed from a child of sunshine to
an angel and minister of light in darkness. She sat by her husband as
serene and collected as if her babe only slept; not a tear swept her
cheek, not a tremulous word fell from her lips, as she soothed her
stricken companion; her pale face wore no look of despair, and she
directed every funeral preparation with as much composure as if _her_
heart had not felt the awful wound. The world called her heartless,--but
Christ must have owned her as one of his brightest jewels, almost a
perfect disciple. When she spoke, we felt as if some mysterious power
from heaven was in our midst. We thought as much of the saint-like
fortitude and resignation of our feeble Ellen, and wept as much to
witness her calmness and spiritual strength, as for the loss of our
interesting little friend.

Our pastor called to offer gospel consolations to the sorrowing mother,
but he wept as Ellen greeted him, saying, "God hath much love for us,
Brother Ellis, for he chasteneth much. Now, my only prayer is, that
Henry may be led to perceive it and be at peace. If you have words of
comfort, go to him and still his troubled spirit."

The aged came to console her, but went back to their dwellings feeling
that she was as well instructed in the wisdom of heaven as the oldest
servant among them. The young and happy came to mingle tears of sympathy
with her, but returned to dwell upon her words as upon communications
from the spirit-land, rather than from a creature like themselves. Her
words found a way to the soul of the most thoughtless, fixing their
minds upon heaven, and revealing the unseen glories of a better home,
and the beauty of Christian faith in an earthly one.

She was a Christian mother. When she put on Christ, she was "_a new
creature_" She believed her first grief was almost a murmuring against
heaven. Surely we know she bore an equal love for all her children, but
when her last one died, she loved God and her Saviour more, believing
fully that God would not do her wrong,--that he only sought the good of
his creatures in his dispensations,--that although they seemed grievous
and inscrutable to them, he saw the end from the beginning, and
chastized whom he loved.



To become a childless mother is indeed one of the most severe
afflictions which woman can be called to endure; yet it may be, it is
often met with noble, Christian fortitude, with Christian humility and
resignation, that soothe the acute pains of the mother's heart, and
carry her thoughts away from earth and above its sorrows; so that we
feel that she can and has found a balm, and has still left her
consolation and happiness. But when we see a little child, whose mother
God has taken, as fully realizing its bereavement, its loneliness, its
absolute misfortune, as a child can do, we feel that to be a motherless
child in this unchristian world, is indeed an affliction for which there
seldom appears a balm; though we doubt not our Father hath the balm for
this as for every other wound.

A young man sat by the corpse of his faithful wife, the mother of all
his little babes. One child was gazing silently and inquiringly at her
father, as he held his head weeping and groaning in anguish of spirit.
A tender infant of a few weeks lay asleep in the cradle at his side. The
young man's mother entered the room, and with tenderness of tone and
manner, endeavored to calm his grief; with words of gospel love and
faith to comfort him.

"Abby has been to you a kind, faithful and devoted wife, David; an
agreeable companion and constant friend. Before God she was a humble
child, and before the world a worthy disciple of Christ. You doubtless
feel all this, and more. Few can speak evil of her, and very many will
sincerely mourn her early death, and sympathize with you in this
dreadful hour. But remember, David, you have, before this, professed
trust and belief in the promises and love of God. Now is the time to
make manifest your Christian faith, your hope in God, your belief in the
gospel. Try not to be utterly disconsolate in your loneliness. God is
very near to us, although this heavy cloud of sorrow lies between him
and us."

They were interrupted by the entrance of the oldest child of the
departed one, a sensitive, intelligent boy of six or seven years. Tears
were in his eyes as he opened the door, and fell fast into the lap of
his father as he tried to speak to him.

"Father," said he, "I have been down in the sitting-room, trying to read
my little books; but I think so much of my dear dead mother, I can't
read; and the tears come into my eyes so fast, that I can't see the
pictures. I went to rock in my little chair, but I saw my mother's empty
chair, and my little heart aches very much. It will be very lonesome and
sad here, if I don't see mother anywhere. And who will take care of this
little baby brother?"

No word was spoken by those present, but their tears and sobs told
plainly that they too felt how lonely and sad that home would be without
the gentle voice and cheerful song of that "dear mother." As no one
checked him, Willie again spoke, and, as well as he could amid sobs and
tears, told the bitterness of his young spirit.

"I love you some, father, but not as I did my mother; and now my mother
is in heaven, who shall I have to take care of me and kiss me, father;
who will say a prayer to me every night? Aunt Susan's prayers are not
like mother's; and your voice doesn't sound so sweet by the side of my
bed as my mother's did. Oh dear! what did my mother die for, and leave
me a poor little motherless boy?"

His father then took him upon his knee, wiped his tears, and soothed him
to sleep with gentle caresses. No word could David utter. For a long
time he sat with his sleeping boy, beside his dead. The paleness of his
cheek, and the frequent sigh, expressed his sorrow. His mother again
tried to draw from him an expression of his Christian fidelity, fearing
that he was untrue to his God and his Master under a trial so severe.
When at length he did speak, a hardened heart might have been moved by
his broken sentences and choking words, as he made an effort to assure
his anxious parent.

"Mother, I have the utmost confidence in the mercy and goodness of
God--even now that he has taken to himself one so very dear. I feel sure
there is some great and important lesson which he would have me learn
from this sorrowful event. I have all faith that Abby is at rest, and
will still love those of us who are left on the earth to mourn. I
believe we shall meet each other in the future, that we shall recognize
and love each other, with a far more perfect and a purer love than we
have cherished here. I shall be lonely, and miss from my hours at home
the counsel, the aid, the cheerfulness, sympathy and attentive love of
one of the best of women. Her beautiful example in the service of her
Master will often be remembered with deep and sincere grief.

"All this I could bear calmly; if it were more bitter, I could bear it
and not weep. But to think of my children--as motherless babes; to hear
Willie tell his sorrow, and mourn so bitterly in his tender years for a
mother--so dear; to feel that with his susceptibility and keen
sensitiveness he realizes so fully his loss; to hear him sob on his
pillow at night, and, when alone, call himself 'little motherless
Willie;'--oh, mother! what man or Christian would not bow beneath a
burden like this?--It is the contemplation of _four motherless children_
that wounds me most. It seems to me Abby herself would not reprove me,
could those cold lips now bring me a message from her spirit in heaven."

       *       *       *       *       *

With expressions like those in the chamber of the dead was every hour in
the home of David embittered, for weeks and months, by the little
mourning child. He gathered flowers and laid them before his father,
saying, "I don't suppose you care about them, father; but my mother
isn't here to take them. I pick them because they look up into my face
as if mother was somewhere near them. But they wither on my hand, and
hold down their heads, just as I want to do now my mother is dead."

Every object at home seemed to remind Willie of his mother, and keep his
bereavement uppermost in his thoughts. He did not weep as much after a
few weeks, but through all his boyhood there rested a sadness on his
countenance, that indicated a mournful recollection of that dear mother.
Through his whole life he felt that he was like a tender branch lopped
from the parent-tree; like a lamb sent out from the fold while too young
to meet the storms and travel the dangerous paths of which he often
heard from his mother. This idea seemed ever present, and served many
times to hold him back from adventurous pursuits and untried schemes. "I
don't know--but I should have known had my dear mother lived," was the
expression of his general course in life.

As long as he was a child he spoke often and tenderly of his mother. He
cherished a remembrance of her faithful admonitions and precepts, as
vivid as might have been expected from a child bereaved at the age of
eight or ten. When older, he realized more fully his loss, especially
when he met one whom he believed to be _a good mother._ He then seldom
spoke of his mother; but his visits to the grave-yard, his sadness on
the anniversary of the day of her death, his conversations about her
with his brothers and sister, the value he attached to every token of
her love to him, convinced us that he remembered her with deep

When a young man, he was several times beguiled by the tempter into
forbidden paths, and his eyes were not opened to behold the danger
until the fangs of the serpent pierced deeply into his heart. Then most
fully did he realize that he was _poor motherless William_; that he was
abroad in the world without those most effectual safeguards against sin,
a good mother's counsels and a mother's daily prayers; that while others
could express unreservedly to their mothers their hopes or fears, their
success or misfortune, their faithfulness in the hour of temptation or
weakness under its power, and be counselled, encouraged, urged or
entreated anew,--he could only go to his mother's grave and shed bitter
tears of repentance in loneliness, or withdraw himself from all around
him, and, _a poor motherless child,_ call up the dim remembrance of that
young and cheerful being who once called him her precious son, her
treasured child,--and weep the more bitterly that no answering voice or
smile, or look of encouragement or hope, met _him_ in this sinful world!

Oh ye who have hearts to feel, who profess Christian principles to guide
you, and the holy love of our Master for your example, seek out the
_motherless child_ of the poor, the ignorant, the vicious, and by the
power of Christ which is within you, according to the measure of that
power, strive to be like fond mothers to the thousands who cry "We have
no dear mother--our mother is in heaven--is dead--and we know not what
is right or what is wrong!" Help and pity them. Rescue them from that
heart-breaking loneliness and sorrow that prey incessantly on the
feelings of a sensitive, intelligent, _motherless child_.



   Upon the peaceful breast of Faith
     My troubled soul hath found repose,
   Free from the sad and starless gloom
     That doubting scepticism knows.

   Though disappointment, care, and pain,
     Have bent my heart to their decree,
   One thought hath ever led me on,
     It is, _that it was so to be_.

   Oft would my weary spirit faint,
     My heart yield almost to despair,
   Did not "a still small voice" exclaim,
     "There is no change, but God is there."

   That mighty power which points the shaft,
     And forms the spirit to endure,
   Will, in its own peculiar way
     And time, perform the wondrous cure.

   Still may my soul, through faith, rely
     Upon the promises of God;
   His mercy see in every change,
     And learn to bless his chastening rod.




_Clarissa_. Pray, Mary, what are you going to do with those crumbs which
you hold in your hand?

_Mary_. I am going to feed my snow-birds with them; and I should be very
happy to have you go with me. I know you will enjoy seeing how merrily
they hop about and flutter their wings, and seem to chirp out their
thanks as they pick up the food I throw them.

_C_. Thank you for your invitation; but I beg you will excuse me; it may
be pretty sport for you, but, for my part, I can enjoy myself much
better to stay here and arrange my baby-things, for I expect some girls
to see me this afternoon. I cannot conceive what there is in those
ugly-looking snow-birds to interest you; they are not handsome, surely;
they have not a single bright feather; and, as for their songs, they
sound like the squeak of a sick chicken.

_M_. I am sorry to hear you speak so of my favorites; for, though they
are not so brilliant in their colors as many that flutter around us in
the summer, yet to me they tire dearer than any others, and far more
beautiful than those of a gaudier hue.

_C_. Well, you have a queer taste, I must confess; you remind me of the
philosopher I read of in the story-book, who thought a toad the most
beautiful of God's creatures. Come, perhaps you can show me why they are
entitled to your regard, and point out their beauties.

_M_. I will cheerfully comply with your request, for nothing gives me
more pleasure than to speak of the good qualities of my friends. Examine
them for a moment and see how exquisitely they are formed, and, though
not gaudy in their colors, yet their feathers are soft and glossy. But
these are trifles comparatively; what most endears them to me is their

_C._ That is a new idea, indeed. Constancy in snow-birds! Please explain
yourself, Mary.

_M_. Well, they seem to me like those rare friends that love us best in
adversity, when the bright summer of prosperity, with its attendant
joys, has fled, and the winter of sorrow and misfortune shuts out, with
its dark clouds, the light of life, and withers, with its frosts, the
few flowers which bloom along its pathway. There are summer friends,
Clara, as well as summer birds, and they both wear brilliant colors, and
sing enchanting songs, but they depart with the sunshine; the first
leave us to battle the storms of adversity, and the others, the cold and
barren prospect of winter; these little snow-birds, however, remain, and
through all its dark hours they cheer us by their presence. They seem to
tell us that we are not entirely destitute of pleasure, but that the
darkest hours have something of beauty; and, while they serve to awaken
in our minds a remembrance of the bright days that have gone, they bid
us look forward to the end of our sorrows, and welcome the bright spring
days, which shall return to us the joys that departed.

_C._ I declare! you have preached quite a sermon, and from a funny text;
I confess there is both truth and poetry in what you say. I do not
wonder that you love the snow-birds, if they awaken such pleasant and
pretty thoughts in your mind. Henceforth I will love them myself, for
the good lesson that, through you, they have imparted. I trust you will
forgive me the rudeness of laughing at you.

_M_. Cheerfully, Clara; but learn from this never to despise any of
God's creatures; they can all teach us some important and beautiful
lesson which we should be happy to heed. And now, if you please, we will
go and feed the snow-birds.

_C_. With all my heart!

[Illustration: MOUNT CARMEL.]



Mount Carmel is a high promontory, forming the termination of a range of
hills running northwest from the plain of Esdraelon. Mount Carmel is the
southern boundary of the Bay of Acre, on Acca, as it is called by the
Turks; its height is about fifteen hundred feet, and at its foot, north,
runs the brook Kishon, and a little further north the river Belus.

Mount Carmel is celebrated in Scripture history as the place where
Elijah went up when he told his servant to look forth to the sea yet
seven times, and the seventh time he saw a little cloud coming up from
the sea "like a man's hand," when the prophet knew that the promised
rain was at hand, and girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab's chariot
even to the gates of Jezreel. (1 Kings xviii. 44-46.)

Towards the sea is a cave, where it has been supposed that Elijah
desired Ahab to bring Baal's false prophets, and where fire from heaven
descended on the altar he erected. The present appearance of Carmel is
thus described by Dr. Hogg, who visited it in 1833. "The convent on
Mount Carmel was destroyed by the Turks in the early part of the Greek
revolution. Abdallah, the Turkish pasha, who commanded the district in
which Carmel is situated, not only razed their convent to the ground,
but blew up the foundations, and carried the materials to Acre for his
own use. The convent is now being rebuilt, or probably is now completely
finished, the funds having been supplied by subscriptions solicited all
over Europe, and a great part of the East, by one of the brethren,
Giovanni Battista, who has travelled far and wide for that purpose." Dr.
Hogg gives the following account of the condition of the place at the
time of his visit.

"The whole fabric is of stone, and, when completed, will possess the
solidity of a fortress. The first story only is at present finished, and
hereafter will be solely appropriated to the accommodation of
travellers, when another, to be raised above, will be exclusively
devoted to permanent inmates. In the centre a spacious church has been
commenced, and already promises to be a fine building. The principal
altar will be placed over the cave so long held sacred as the retreat of
the prophet. This natural cavern exhibits at its farther extremity some
signs of having been enlarged by art. When the edifice above is
complete, it will be converted into a chapel; and a projecting ledge of
rock, believed to have been the sleeping-place of the prophet, will then
be the altar. The superior himself kindly conducted me to see one of the
celebrated caves which everywhere abound in the district of Mount
Carmel. Descending two thirds of the mountain by a narrow path, scooped
in the rock, we entered an enclosure of fig-trees and vines, where
several caverns, that of old belonged to the Carmelites, are now
inhabited by a Mohammedan saint and his numerous progeny. We first
entered a lofty excavation of beautiful proportions, at least fifty feet
long, with a large recess on one side,--every part chiselled with the
nicest care, and inscribed with numerous Greek initials, names, and
sentences. Here Elijah is believed to have taught his disciples, and
hence its name, 'the school of the prophets.' Some smaller adjoining
caverns, fronted with masonry, now form the residence of the saint and
his family. A deep cistern for the preservation of water has been hewn
in the rock, and the entrance is closed by a gate shaded inside by

"The memory of Elijah is equally venerated by Christians and Moslems;
and the votaries of each faith are liberally allowed access to the
several caves. At the time of our visit the general appearance of Mount
Carmel was dry and sterile; but the superior assured us that in spring
it was clothed in verdure and beauty."



   "Daily striving, though so lonely,
     Every day reward shall give,
   Thou shalt find by striving only,
     And in loving, thou canst live."
                              Miss Edwards.

"On dear!" said Annie Burton, as she sat down under the old apple-tree
by the spring; "I wonder what ails me; there's been such a choking
feeling in my throat all this afternoon, and though I winked and
swallowed with all my might, the tears would come in spite of myself.
Here I've been wandering for more than three hours, up hill and down,
through brambles and brier-bushes; my hands are scratched and bloody,
and the sun has burnt me as brown as a berry. Three long precious hours
in the sunny month of August! and what does it all amount to? Why, I
have picked a basket of berries that can be eaten in half an hour; and
here is a bunch of flowers for little Katie, that she will take and
admire, and then tear to pieces; that will be the end of them. But that
isn't the worst of all; no, not by a great deal; there is a great rent
in my frock, gaping and staring at me, waiting to be mended; and nobody
knows how long 't will take me to do that. Oh dear! how I hate to work!
I don't see how it is; there's mother takes care of the children, sews,
makes bread and washes the dishes, just as willingly and cheerfully as
if she were playing on the piano or reading a pleasant book. They say
that good people are always happy; but I _never_ am. Oh, I believe I am
the worst creature that ever lived!" and she bent her head upon her lap
and burst into tears.

It was not long before she was roused by the sound of footsteps; she
raised her head, and saw an old woman coming down the road with a large
basket on her arm. She looked tired and weary, as well she might be, for
she had travelled a long distance; it was a hot, sultry afternoon, and
every footstep stirred a cloud of dust. She came towards the spring; but
before she reached it, she struck her foot against a stone and fell.

"Have you hurt you?" exclaimed Annie, as she sprung to her side.

"Not a bit, not a bit," she replied, as she shook the dust from her
apron, and replaced the things that had fallen from her basket.

"Oh, yes, you have!" said Annie; "see, the blood is streaming down your

"Oh that's nothing; only a scratch. Blessings on the good Father that
watches over me! I might have broken my arm, and that would have been a
deal worse! How fortunate I happened to fall just by the spring here!
I've been longing for a drink of cold water, and I sha'n't need it any
the less for getting such a mouthful of this hot dust."

"Heart's dearest!" she exclaimed, as she put down the iron dipper that
always hung by the spring, after having satisfied her thirst, "what is
it troubles you? Such sorrowful eyes and a tearful face belong only to
older heads and more sinful hearts; and God forbid it even to them,
unless it is wrung out of the agony of their very souls; for though his
providences are just and wise, yet nature must have its way sometimes."

"Oh," she replied, as the tears filled her eyes again, "I have been
crying to think how wicked I am."

"Well-a-day!" said the old woman, looking rather droll; "it's very
strange such a young creature as you should come down here to weep on
account of great wickedness. You don't look much like a Salem witch, or
a runaway from the house of correction."

Annie could not help laughing at such an idea; but as the smile passed
away, the troubled waters of her heart seemed to burst forth in a
flood, and she wept violently.

"Ah," said the old woman, shaking her head sorrowfully: "I ought not to
have spoken thus; I see how it is. Poor lamb! she hears the voice of the
Shepherd calling her, but she is bewildered and knows not the way to the
fold; and may the Lord Jesus look upon me, as he did upon his sinful
servant Peter when he denied him, if I fail to point out to this dear
child the path wherein he himself has taught me to tread."

She sat down beside Annie and laid her arm gently around her. "There's a
dear girl," said she, raising her head, and putting back the locks of
moist hair; "listen to me a little while, and I will tell you what will
make you happier." She took the cool waters of the spring, and bathed
her burning forehead, and washed away all traces of dust and tears. The
water had a cooling and soothing effect upon Annie's troubled brain.

"There now," said the good dame; "don't you feel better?"

"Yes," said Annie, almost cheerfully.

"Well," she continued, "God's love is just like this spring; it is full
and free to all. Now don't you suppose, if you could cleanse and purify
your heart from all traces of sin and sorrow in its blessed waters, just
as you bathe your face in this spring, that you would feel happier and

"Yes," said Annie, slowly and thoughtfully, as if a new idea was passing
through her mind.

"Well then, I will tell you how. I have felt just as you do now. When I
was a girl I was a restless, idle creature; useless to others, and a
burden to myself. Of course I was unhappy, miserable. It was in vain
that I went to school with such a discontented mind. I had a harder
lesson to learn than any that my teacher could learn me. God grant you
may not have to learn it in the same way that I did! I learned it by
experience; a sorrowful way that is to learn anything, although it is
slow and sure; you may be pretty certain that you never will forget it.
I have found out, by experience, that the only way that we can live and
be happy, is by loving and serving others, just as the blessed Jesus
did; and if you will try it you will find it so."

"Oh," said Annie, "I am a little girl. What good can I do? If I was the
Lord Jesus, I would go about doing good; then I would cast out devils,
and heal the sick, and raise the dead."

"Yes, yes; I know you are yet but a 'wee thing,' and have much to learn;
but 'the race is not always to the swift and the battle to the strong;'
it isn't the tallest men and the oldest heads that do the most good in
the world. But I'll tell you what _you can_ do, if you can't work
miracles; though there's many a devil cast out in these days of sin and
sorrow, that men know not of; those who struggle and strive with the
Evil One, and thrust him out of the doors of their heart, do not sound a
trumpet before them in the streets, for they are true followers of the
dear Lamb of God. That same old spirit of selfishness that tempted Eve
in the garden of Eden has gone through the world like a creeping, wily
serpent ever since. It has wound itself round and round our hearts, coil
upon coil, until we scarce seem to have any heart at all. It is this
that troubles you, and you must cast it out; you must forget your own
interest, and learn everybody to love you; then you can't help loving
everybody, and you will be happy. Oh, it will be hard, very hard, to do
this; you will stop, and perhaps turn back; but when it is the darkest
you must take the gentle hand that our dear brother, the Lord Jesus,
stretches out to you, and he will lead you safely to the very bosom of
the Father.

"But look up, dear one, the sun has gone down behind the hill, and you
must hasten homeward. The mother bird must needs feel anxious when her
nestlings are away. But don't forget what I have told you."

"No," said Annie, raising her head, for she had been thinking
earnestly; every word that her kind friend had spoken went with a
powerful influence to her heart; "I will _try_ and _do what I can,"_
said she.

"Ay," said the old woman, "that's right! not even an angel can do more.
But stop," she added; "do you remember what day it is?"

"Yes," said Annie.

"Well then, just a year from this time, if the Lord permits, we will
meet again by this spring. Now good night, and may the blessing of the
Great Father go with you."

"Good night," said Annie, and with a cheerful heart and light footstep,
she hastened homeward.

No sooner did she come in sight of her home, than she perceived a horse
and carriage standing by the gate. She recognized it in a moment; it was
the doctor's. A cold shudder passed over her, and an indefinable fear
entered her mind. She hastened onward and entered the house.

Upon the bed lay little Katie; her eyes fixed upon the wall, seemingly
unconscious of all that passed around her, sending forth low moans, as
if in great pain. Beside her sat the doctor, counting the beatings of
her pulse, and closely observing the alterations of her countenance.

"I cannot give you much encouragement," said he. "It is a disease of
the brain. All shall be done for her that is possible, but I fear there
is not much hope."

Alas! it was even so; all was done in vain. She laid day after day, a
helpless sufferer. It was long before the vital energy was spent; but
through all this weary time, there was one constant watcher by her

Annie, with the impression of a deep truth upon her soul, felt that
_now_ was the time to act, and most faithfully did she perform her duty.
And when, at last, sweet Katie died, with a warm gush of tears she laid
one of the flowers that she had gathered from the hill-side upon her
bosom, and clasping her arms around her mother's neck, she said:
"Mother, dear sister is gone, and now I must be both Annie and Katie to
you; and if God will help me, I shall be more of a blessing to you than
I ever yet have been."

Oh, it was like a ray of sunshine to that weeping mother's heart, to
hear her once wayward child speak thus! and though it was like taking
away the life-drops from her heart to give up her cherished little one,
yet she felt there was still a great blessing remaining for her.

Time passed on. Autumn came with its ripened fruits and golden foliage;
winter laid his glittering mantle upon the streams and hill-tops, and
spring brought blossoms for little Katie's grave.

Annie, the gentle Annie, where was she?

Firm to her purpose, she had gone onward. At times the struggle was hard
indeed. Then she would go to the spring, and kneel down, and talk with
her Good Father, until the evil feelings had left her heart, and the
cheerful smile came again to her countenance.

At length summer, bright, beautiful summer, beamed over the land once
more, and as it drew to a close it brought the day on which Annie was to
meet her friend at the spring.

It was the close of the Sabbath, and the last rays of the setting sun
streamed through the branches of the trees that surrounded the spring,
and tinged its waters with a rosy light. There sat the old lady, looking
anxiously up the road.

"I wonder why she don't come," said she. "Perhaps the young thing has
forgotten me. Sure 'twould be a sorrow to me if I thought she had."

"No indeed," said a pleasant voice. A light form sprang from a clump of
bushes close by, and she felt a warm kiss upon her cheek. "No, I have
not forgotten you, but I have come to tell you how happy I am. Oh, I
have seen trouble and sorrow _enough_, since I saw you; but for all
that, I am much happier than I was then. You told me that I must learn
to love everybody, and so I did; and now it seems as if everybody and
everything loved me, even our old cat and dog. Strange, isn't it?"

"Heart's dearest!" said the old woman, as soon as she could speak,
wiping away the tears from her eyes with the corner of her apron;
"there's a philosophy in all things, even in baking bread and washing
dishes; but the true philosophy of life consists in loving and doing;
and, blessed be God! that is so plain, that the least of his children
can understand it."




   A wail comes o'er the ocean,
     Though faint, yet deep with woe!
   A nation's poor are falling
     Before the direst foe!
   Grim Famine there hath seized them,
     And over Erin's land
   The multitudes are perishing
     Beneath his blasting hand!

   The father gives his morsel
     To his imploring child,
   Himself imploring mercy, too,
     With voice and visage wild.
   The ever-faithful mother
     Her portion, too, will share
   With those who lean upon her,
     And plead her dying care.

   Then father, mother, children,
     Must listen, one and all,
   To Famine's surer, sterner voice--
     To Death's relentless call.
   For means are all exhausted;
     Bread! bread! There is no more!
   And in that once glad cabin
     The conflict now is o'er.

   Fond, faithful hearts there perished;
     Affections deep and true
   As other homes and loved ones
     Now know, or ever knew.
   And why this visitation
     So sweeping and so sore?
   Why? why? Repeat the question
     The wide world o'er and o'er!

   In that same land is plenty,
     Profusion, wealth, and power,
   Enough to stay the famine-plague
     This very day and hour.
   Yes, while the poor are starving
     By scores and hundreds even,
   Riches and luxury send up
     Their impious laugh to heaven!

   Wrong! wrong! this destitution,
     While there are means to save
   A nation of strong-hearted men
     From famine and the grave.
   Thanks, thanks for riches! but a woe
     To this our earth they bring,
   So long as they shall fail to save
     God's poor from suffering!



In these days of "exhibitions" and "excursions" which give such rich
pleasure to our Sabbath school children, it may be well to turn back
something over twenty years, and see what used to be "great things" to
the pupils of the Sunday schools. The only festival I ever knew while in
a Sabbath school, in my youth, was at Dr. Baldwin's church, Boston. As I
was cradled in a different faith, I ought to tell how I came to be a
scholar in a Baptist school; and I will do so, as it may give a good
hint to some teachers to be impartial.

At the school I attended a decision was made to give a silver medal to
the best scholar. A good many of us worked hard for it, especially the
boys in the round pews near the pulpit, who had reason to think that the
prize would fall to one of their number. A right good feeling prevailed
amongst them; all were willing to acquiesce in whatever should be the
decision of the superintendent or committee. When the time for decision
came, a lad, the son of a deacon, and who had left school and had not
been at school for six months, was sent for, and _to him_ the silver
medal was given! We all felt outraged, but did not dare to say much. I
begged my parents, with good reasoning, to let me go to another school,
where I had many friends; and I went to Dr. Winchell's, in Salem street,
where Mr. John Gear was superintendent.

What lessons I did get! Whole chapters were recited from the New
Testament, because so many verses brought me a reward, so many rewards a
mark, and so many marks _a book_! We had no libraries then. Well, the
annual meeting came round, and one evening the school met and marched
down to Dr. Baldwin's church. I remember the children did the singing,
and while they were singing, of course, I sung; and I have not forgotten
how crest-fallen I felt when Mr. Gear came along, and whispered to me,
"Don't sing _so loud_;" but he might just as well have said, "Don't
sing," because I knew he did not want me to sing, for I could not keep
time. But it was festival-night, and he was extremely good-natured, and
did not wish to cut short the privileges of any. A prayer was offered,
and then we sung again. A big man, in a large black silk gown, got up,
and delivered a sermon; but we did not heed it as we ought to have done,
because some _tea-chests_ were ranged along at the base of the pulpit.
It was not the _tea-chests_ that attracted our attention, but the sweets
that we knew were _in_ them.

After the sermon was over, and the scholars were ranged in order, in
single file, they marched up to the table near the chests, and each one
received _a quarter of a sheet of gingerbread!_ How rich we were! How
sweet the cake tasted! We were in perfect ecstasies at the "great piece"
given to each of us! Such rows of happy children are seldom seen, and
all because two cents worth of gingerbread was given to them all alike!
We had thought of it for weeks, and it was delightful to anticipate the
occasion. We felt paid for all the trouble we had met in learning
lessons, in getting to school on rainy days, and keeping still and
orderly when we got there. And why all this happiness from so slight a
cause? Because we all felt loving and happy; we loved our teachers and
our school; and it seemed _so odd_ to get gingerbread in the church and
from the Sabbath school superintendent.

But how is it now? A long ride or sail; swings, music, cakes, pies,
fruit, lemonade, and a vast variety of "good things," must be had, or
else the Sabbath school children do not have "a good time!" After all
this is had and enjoyed, I do not believe it is any better than our
simple quarter of a sheet of gingerbread, unless the scholars love each
other more, and their schools better, than we did. Do _you_, reader?



"Nelly! Nelly! Where can the child be? Nelly! Nelly!" But Nelly Grey was
away off in dreamland, and the cheerful tones of her mother's voice fell
all unheeded upon her ear, as did the impatient touch of her little dog
Frisk's cold nose upon her hand. She was sitting on the last step of the
vine-covered portico in front of the cottage,--the warm June sun smiling
down lovingly upon her, and the soft wind kissing the little rings of
chestnut-colored hair that clustered about her temples.

What could make the child so quiet? It must be some weighty matter that
would still _her_ joyous laugh. Why, she was the merriest little body
that ever hunted for violets. There was a laugh lodged in every dimple
of her sunny face, and her busy little tongue was all the day long
carolling some happy ditty.

"Nelly, what are you dreaming about? I've been calling you this long
time, and here you are in this warm sun, almost asleep."

"No, no! mother dear, I've only been thinking, and haven't heard you
call once. Only to think that you couldn't find me mother! how funny!"

"And what has my little girl been thinking of?" said Mrs. Grey, as she
lifted Nelly into her lap, and smoothed hack the silky curls from her
brow. Nelly laid her rosy cheek close to her mother's, and wound her
small arms about her neck, and told her simple thoughts in a low, sweet

"You know it's strawberry time, mother, don't you?"

"Yes, darling."

"Well, I was thinking, if you would let me, I could pick a big basket
full, they are so thick over in our meadow; and maybe Mrs. Preston would
buy them of me, for she gives Mr. Jones a heap of money every year for

"And what does Nelly want of a heap of money?"

"Why, mother, little Frisk wants a brass collar,--don't you, Frisk?"
Frisk barked and played all sorts of antics to show his young mistress
he was very much in need of one. "Think how pretty it would be, mother,
round Frisk's glossy neck. Oh, say that I may--do, do, mother!"

Nelly's pleading proved irresistible, and her mother tied her little
sunbonnet under her chin, gave the "big basket" into her hands, and the
little girl trudged merrily off, with Frisk jumping and barking by her
side to see his young mistress so happy.

Shall I tell how the long summer afternoon wore away, dear little
reader, and how the big basket was filled to the tip-top and covered
with wild flowers and oak leaves? Shall I tell, or shall I leave you to
guess, my little bright eyes? You say, yes? Well, I will tell you about
her walk to Mrs. Preston's after the sun had gone down and the azure
blue sky had become changed to a soft, golden hue.

It was a pleasant walk under the drooping trees, and Nelly Grey,
swinging her basket carefully on her arm, tripped lightly on her way.
Oh, how her blue eyes danced with joy as she looked down upon the little
merry Frisk trotting by her side; her bright lips parted as she
murmured, "Yes, yes, Frisk shall have a nice new collar, with 'Nelly
Grey's dog, Frisk,' written upon it;" then Frisk played all sorts of
funny antics again, probably by way of thanks.

Ah! but what calls that sudden blush and smile to Nelly's face?--and she
had well nigh stumbled, too, and spilt all her strawberries. No wonder
she started, for, emerging from under the shadow of the trees, was a
handsome lad some half a head taller than Nelly. He was gazing, too,
with a witching smile into her face, waiting till it should be the
little maiden's pleasure to notice him. She nodded her pretty little
head as demurely as a city belle, laid her small hand lovingly upon
Frisk's curly coat, and walked with a slower and less bounding step than
before. But Phil Morton was not to be abashed at this; so he stepped
lightly up to Nelly, saying,

"Let me carry your basket; it is too heavy for you."

The little girl, with many injunctions to be careful and not tip it
over, delivered the basket to him; she then told him her project of
buying Frisk a collar with the money got by the selling of the
strawberries, which young Phil approved of very much, and offered to go
with her to buy it, for he knew somebody, he said, that kept them for
sale. Nelly joyfully assented to his offer, and thanked him heartily,
too, for his kindness.

"There, Phil, we are almost there. I can see the long study window; we
have only to pass the widow Mason's cottage, up the green lane, and we
shall be there."

On they walked, laughing merrily for very lightness of heart, till they
were close beside the poor widow's low cottage window. Suddenly Nelly
stopped, and the laugh was hushed upon her bright lips. "Did you hear
it, Phil?" she said softly. "Hear what, Nell?" and Phil turned his black
eyes slowly round, as if he expected to see some fairy issue from the
grove of trees near by. "Why, Lucy Mason's cough. Mother says she will
not live to see the little snow-birds come again. Poor, dear Lucy!" The
great tear-drops rolled fast over Nelly's red cheeks, and fell like rain
upon her little hand. "Oh, Phil, I'll tell you what;--I'll give these
strawberries to Lucy. She used to love them dearly."

"Poh! poh! Nelly; what a silly girl! to give them away when Mrs. Preston
will give you such a deal of money for them!"

"But, Phil, Lucy's mother is poor; she can't buy them for her, and you
can't think how well Lucy loves them."

"Well, what if she does, and what if she is poor? can't her mother pick
them over in the fields, if she wants them so bad? I wouldn't give them

"For shame, Phil Morton! To think of poor old Mrs. Mason's going over in
the fields to pick strawberries, leaving Lucy all alone, and so sick! I
shouldn't have thought it of you, Phil. No, indeed I shouldn't. Give me
the basket," said Nelly sorrowfully; "I shall give them to Lucy." Phil
silently handed the basket to her, and, without speaking, he followed
Nelly as she went round to the cottage door.

The tears ran silently down the poor widow's cheek as she led the
children to her sick child's room, for it touched her heart to see young
and thoughtless children so attentive to her poor Lucy. "And did you
come all this way, you and Phil, Nelly, to bring me these nice
strawberries?" without waiting for her to reply, she turned to a little
choice tea-rose that stood beside her, and, breaking off two half-blown
buds, she gave them to Phil and Nelly, saying as she did so, "It's all I
have to give you, darlings, for your kindness to me, but I know that you
will like them as coming from your sick friend."

The bright blood flashed over Phil's dark brow and crimsoned even his
ears. Poor Phil! The shame and remorse of those few minutes washed away
his unthinking sin, and Nelly forgave him, and tried with all her power
to make him forget it. But the kind though thoughtless boy was not
satisfied until he had sent Lucy a pretty little basket filled with rare
and beautiful flowers, gathered from his father's large garden. Then,
and not till then, did he look with pleasure upon the rose Lucy had
given him.

Some time after the above occurrence, perhaps a week, Nelly was sitting
in her low rocking-chair, under the shadow of the portico, sewing as
busily as her nimble little fingers would let her, when a shadow
darkened the sunlit walk leading to the house. Nelly saw it, and knew
well enough who it was; but there she sat, her pretty little mouth
pursed up, and her merry blue eyes almost closed, working faster than

"Oh! is it you, Phil?" she exclaimed, as Phil Morton bounded lightly
over the railing beside her, (for he disdained the sober process of
walking up the steps;) "how you frightened me!" _He_ frighten _her!_
Though he was naughty sometimes, and scared the little birds, he would
not think of frightening Nelly Grey. No, not he.

"Oh! Phil, I have something to show you," said the little girl, after a
while, and then she raised her voice and called, "Frisk! Frisk!" Frisk
was not far away from Nelly, and presently he came lazily along, shaking
his silky coat as if he did not quite relish being waked from his nap so

"But what is that shining so brightly around his neck--can it be a
collar? Well, it is, sure enough. But where _did_ you get it, Nell?"
said Phil, turning to her in amazement.

"Mrs. Preston, the minister's wife, gave it to me; how she came to know
I wanted it, I can't think."

"But I can, Nell. She heard us when we were talking, I'll bet; for you
know she came in just after we did, and she gave it to you for being so

"Oh no, Phil! I only did what anybody else would have done."

"_Anybody_? You know _I_ didn't want to Nelly," said Phil sadly.

"Oh, never mind _that_, Phil; you did afterward, you know."

"Well, but, Nell, I _know_ she gave it to you for being so good. Isn't
there something on the collar?"

"No, only Frisk's name;" and she turned to examine it with Phil.

"There, Nell! what do you call this?" and Phil triumphantly held up the
edge of the collar, on which was written, "_Nelly's reward for

"Why, Phil, I never saw it before; isn't it queer?"

"Queer, that you didn't _see_ it before? Yes; but it isn't queer that
she gave it to you No, not at all; I should have thought she would."

"Oh, Phil, how you praise me! you mustn't," said Nelly, her pink cheeks
deepening into scarlet.

She deserved praise, did not she? for she was a very good little girl.
But I will not tire you with any more about her now. So good-by, my
sweet little reader.





My Young Friends:

I love to hear and to tell stories nearly as well as when I was a child;
but I cannot write them for others to read. Even _small_ children are
sometimes _great_ critics. At any rate, I shall not venture at
story-telling here.

You have all read some portions of the book we call the Bible. But do
you know who wrote the Bible? at what time it was written? or anything
of the men by whom it was composed? It was not written by any one man,
at one time, and by him sent out to all men in every part of the world;
but by various persons, in different ages, and first addressed to
particular churches or people. I will not attempt, in this article, to
furnish you with an account of all the individuals, Moses, David,
Isaiah, Paul, John, and others, who wrote portions of the sacred volume;
but I will try to give you some sketches of _the four Evangelists,_
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, who wrote the four _gospels_, or Lives of
Jesus, to which their names are now attached. And,

1st, of MATTHEW, by whom the _first_ gospel was composed. He was
called, also, Levi. He was a Jew, born in the province of Galilee. We
suppose that from his youth he was familiar with the worship of the
synagogue and temple, and educated strictly in the religion of Moses. He
filled the office of a publican, was a collector of taxes from the Jews,
to which place he was appointed by the Romans, who, in his day, ruled
over Judea. While engaged in these duties, he became acquainted with the
preaching, miracles, and character of Jesus, the despised Nazarene, and
left all,--his business, friends, home,--to follow him. He journeyed
with Jesus in his ministry, and, after his Master went up to heaven, he
left his own land to preach the gospel among the Gentiles. Some people
suppose that he was a martyr, but this is not well established. Matthew
wrote his gospel either in Hebrew or Greek, (some say both,) about 1800
years since,--very soon after his Master had finished the labors of his
mission, and returned unto his Father. I said, I think, that this man
left all; made many sacrifices to become Jesus' disciple. But we do not
find this in _his_ book. With other virtues, he was an _humble_ man,
quite too modest to praise himself. Luke, in his narrative, mentions
this fact concerning Matthew. Modesty is a rare virtue; an ornament to
the aged, and very beautiful in the young. But I will tell you,

2d, of Mark, sometimes called John, and once, John Mark, in the New
Testament. Very little is known concerning this man. He was probably
born in Judea, and, it is supposed, was converted to Christianity by the
preaching of the ardent, zealous Peter. At one time, he was the
companion of Paul and Barnabas; but, when a quarrel sprang up between
these men, each went his way. Christians quarrelled then sometimes as
well, or as bad, as in our days. Chiefly, Mark travelled with Peter, as
he went forth among Jews and Gentiles, and aided him in his arduous
toils. He went, at last, to Egypt, where he planted churches, and where,
also, he died. Mark was not an apostle; neither did he attend on the
ministry of Jesus. Do you ask, how, then, could he write a correct
account of our Saviour's life? Here is one fact worth remembering. Mark
was the companion of Peter, who was an apostle, who saw the miracles and
heard the discourses of Christ. He examined the account which Mark had
written, and gave it his approval, as being correct,--true. Very few men
who write histories have vouchers like his. So, did we not regard the
Bible-writers as inspired men, we should place the utmost confidence in
the truth of Mark's gospel. He composed it about A.D. 65. We come now,

3d, to LUKE. He was a Gentile,--all people not born in Judea were called
Gentiles,--born in Antioch, the capital of Syria, where the disciples of
Jesus first were called Christians. Luke was a learned man, we are told,
having studied in the famous schools of his own land, also of Greece and
Egypt. He was a physician by profession; and physicians assure us, that,
in his gospel, he has given a more accurate account of the diseases
which Jesus cured than any other New Testament writer: that he often
uses medical terms in his description of the miracles which were
wrought. He was a good and careful thinker, not at all credulous, but
disposed to prove all things, holding fast only to the good and true. He
wrote his gospel (perhaps you know that he was the author of the book of
Acts, also) in Greece, about 35 years after the ascension of Jesus. He
was associated with Paul in his travels, went with him to Rome, and
continued there during the imprisonment of the apostle. Historians are
not agreed in regard to the time or manner of his death. Some affirm
that he suffered as a martyr; others, simply, that, in due time, he
"fell asleep," or died a natural death. We are sure that his talents,
learning, and time were given to the diffusion of the Christian faith.
Lastly, and

4th, of JOHN, the beloved disciple, so termed because of his mild and
gentle spirit, and because he most resembled his and our Master. He was
born in Judea, near the sea, or lake, of Galilee. Zebedee, his father,
was a fisherman; and John, probably, engaged in his father's business
until he became a preacher of glad tidings. You must not, from this
fact, conclude that they were certainly poor men, for then, at least,
men of wealth were engaged in the business, and I suppose many now are.
John was the youngest apostle, and "the disciple whom Jesus loved;" you
may recollect that he leaned on the bosom of Christ at the "Last
Supper." He, only, was present, of all the apostles, when Jesus was
crucified,--and Jesus commended his mother to this disciple's care.
After the resurrection of Jesus, John preached "the gospel" in various
parts of Asia.

He wrote his gospel at Ephesus, and, by his labors, the truths of
Christianity spread everywhere among men. The story sometimes told, that
he was put into a caldron of burning oil, by a Roman emperor, and came
out unharmed, is not true. He lived to a very advanced age, and died
when not far from 100 years old. Late in life, when too feeble to
preach, he was often carried into the meetings of the disciples, at his
own request, and, stretching out his hands, as he sat in his chair, was
wont to say, "Little children, _love_ one another." And, when asked why
he so often gave this precept, he would say, "If this be obeyed, it is
the Lord's command, and it sufficeth."

Children, will you think of that precept?

Conversing with two lads once, I asked one, Who wrote the Bible, good
men, or bad men? "Good men, of course," was the response. "But how do
you know they were _good_ men?" I rejoined. And he said, "Because,"--a
very common and very foolish answer,--and was silent. "I think," said
the other lad, the younger of the two, "that good men wrote the Bible,
because _good_ men _love_ the Bible, and _wicked_ men don't."

Can you give another reason as good?

Now I have told you, briefly, of the four evangelists. They were good
men, honest-minded and sincere. Wicked men, all men, act from motives.
But _they_ could have had no motive to deceive. They lost friends, and
wealth, and honor, and ease, and gained contempt, persecution, and
suffering, by preaching the gospel. Their conduct is full evidence that
they were pure and good men. And, if they were good men, they wrote
_the truth_; and, by their labors we have a correct and faithful account
of the life of Jesus. Study these books, and by them be made wise. Above
all, remember the precept of John, "Little children, love one another."




It is spring,--a backward spring, it is true, for now it is the first
week in May, and not a flower to be seen except the yellow dandelion,
not a blossom even on a cherry tree; nothing is green but the grass, and
that--yes, that is very green, especially this piece before my window;
it seems a relief to look upon it.

Poor May-day revellers! May-day this year was pleasant; that is, the sun
shone, the sky was blue, and the grass was green, in spots at least; but
the cold north wind was blowing, and one needed to be told it was the
first of May.

The sun was higher than usual on such occasions, when the children came
upon our hill;--yet they did come with wreaths and May-poles, but, ah!
the flowers were artificial. Some of the children had on sun-bonnets and
thin shawls; they should have worn hoods and cloaks, and then they might
have been comfortable. But it takes a great deal to discourage children
from going "Maying."

Our hill is a famous place for children on May-day, for it is green and
pleasant; it is glorious to run down its sides, and pleasant to sit on
its banks, which once were forts, and behind which, in less peaceful
days, lurked soldiers with weapons of war. Ah, those children were a
pleasant sight, and as I heard their glad laughter, and saw them chase
each other down those green banks, I said, Peace is better than war.

"Please, ma'am, will you tell me what time it is?" said a little girl,
coming forward from one group of children.

"Quarter of nine," was the reply.

"I didn't think it was so late; did you?" said she, turning to her
companions. They had been out perhaps two hours, and thought it was most
noon, and back they went to their sports.

Soon I heard a sound of weeping. I went to the door, where stood a group
of children around the pump; one poor shivering child, looking blue and
cold, was having her hands and face washed by another, with water cold
from the pump, the tears streaming down her cheeks, and she sobbing

"What is the matter, little girl?"

"Oh," said the one who was performing the washing operation, "she fell
from the top of the hill to the bottom, and made her nose bleed and hurt
her dreadfully."

The poor child still sobbed and shivered. We carried her in, set her
down before a hot coal fire, and tried to warm her red hands. Her little
companions came and stood beside her, and told her not to cry; but, oh!
she was so cold, and "the tops of her fingers did ache so!"

And this was going a Maying! But yet, next year, these very girls, I
doubt not, will start with just as buoyant hearts for May-day sports,
forgetful of the fall, the cold, and all inconveniences. Ah, childhood's
hopeful heart is a blessed thing!

I well remember now a May-day of by-gone years. Then we had a queen, a
tent, and a table set with numberless delicacies. We had rare sport that
day. The weather was not as cold as the day of which I have been
speaking; we had a few _real_ flowers, and some hardy girls even
appeared in white dresses. The forenoon passed pleasantly; numerous
visitors thronged to see us, and we were the happiest of all May-day
revellers. But all pleasure must have an end. Soon word came that we
must surrender the sails of our tent, for the owner had need thereof.
This caused a general _strike_, and, in the confusion which ensued, a
boy had the misfortune to sit or fall upon the queen's straw bonnet,
which had been laid aside for her flowery crown. It was literally
smashed, unfit for further use. "Ah what will mother say?" was all the
disappointed queen could say. Some few laughed at the queer, misshapen
thing, but more looked on with sad countenances, for it was the queen's
best bonnet.

We separated, tired, and, it may be, a little out of humor; but yet, a
few days made everything bright again; we remembered the pleasure with
pleasure, and thought of the disappointments only to laugh over them.

And that bent, spoiled bonnet! When the ex-queen appeared in a fine new
one, with gay ribbons, many looked on, and almost wished that they had
been so fortunate as to have had their bonnets spoiled.

As I look back, other May-days throng upon my mind. The memories of some
of these are sad, yea, very sad! One was the birth-day of a little one
who now rests beneath the green sod. And well do I remember another
bright May morning, when I wandered out over the hill, holding the hand
of a little fair-haired child within my own. Her tiny basket was filled
with flowers the children had given her, and her bright, sunny face was
radiant with smiles. That was her first May-day walk, and much did the
little being enjoy it.

It was her last! Ere the spring breezes came again, she lay within her
little shroud. The snows of winter fell silently upon her little grave,
by the side of him who had gone before, and, ere another May-day, the
sod was green above them.

These are the memories that come over me when I look out upon the
revellers; yet just as well do I love to see them at their sports, and I
can look upon their light, graceful forms, and hear their merry
laughter; and, though my heart goes to the grave-yard and mine eyes rest
upon the spot, yet I can smile upon the gay, living creatures before me,
for I know that childhood is a glad and joyous thing, and that these
beings are the light and joy of some homes, and I pray that these homes
may be never darkened by Death's shadow crossing the threshold.

These my May-day reveries have begun lightly, and ended, as May-days
themselves have done, in sad thoughts. But sad thoughts and life's
troubles are, or ought to be, the heart's discipline. For this purpose
do they come to us, and we should go forth from them purer and better.



   The gentle, laughing, spring had come
     With eye and cheek so bright;
   The bird glanced through the clear, blue air,
     On wing of golden light;
   And earth, in gladness, lay and smiled,
     To see the beauteous sight.

   The streams went singing to the sea,
     And dancing to their song;
   Its carpet, had the young grass spread
     The hills and vales among;
   Yet not a flower its bloom had shed,
     The fresh green earth along.

   Not yet the violet had unsealed
     Its blue and loving eye;
   Nor had the primrose dared unfold,
     For fear that it might die;
   And on the tree-tops shook the leaves,
     Which oped to kiss the sky.

   But so it chanced, one gentle day,
     While softly wept the rain,
   And sadly sighed the mourning breeze,
     The flowers to see again;
   A silvery snow-flake fell to earth,
     Escaped from winter's chain.

   And daintily it laid itself
     Where greenest grass was spread,
   And where the bland and warm south-wind,
     Soft-footed, loved to tread,
   And here the white-robed fugitive
     Made for itself a bed.

   The flower-goddess smiled to see
     This new-born snow that fell;
   "I'll change it to a flower," said she
     "By magic touch, and spell;
   For 'twill be long ere blossoms ope,
     That spring doth love so well."

   Then with a wand of living light,
     She touched the feathery snow;
   And on it, radiant from her cheek,
     There streamed a sunny glow.
   Forth from the tiny, crystal flake,
     The pearly petals came;
   The stem sprang up--there waved a flower,--
   The SNOW-DROP was its name!


I never liked the idea of rearing birds in cages; of confining those
little creatures, that seem to enjoy liberty most of all God's vast
family, in the little, stinted prison-house of a cage. Girls seldom
incline to keep them caged; I wish, fewer women did; but boys seem
almost to possess a different nature. Many really enjoy taking the
little helpless fledglings from the nest, hid away so slyly among the
thick boughs of the forest-tree; crowding two, three, or even four, into
one cage, oftentimes not eighteen inches square. They are even so
heartless as to laugh at the fluttering, slapping, and beating of the
poor prisoner against the wiry walls of his gloomy, unnatural home.

To be sure, I once owned a caged bird. It was a robin. A dear brother
had kept him several years, and, on leaving home for a residence in
Boston, where he could not take care of the bird, he gave him to me. It
was not at a season of the year when we could safely release him from
confinement; and, besides that, our oldest brother had taught him to
whistle parts of several tunes, and we feared, moreover, that he might
suffer even in the best season of the year, from the fact of his having
been taken when so young from other robins. Confinement, probably, does
not destroy the instinct of birds, so that they would starve if
released. After having been an inmate of our family nine years, having
suffered countless frights and manglings from the many kittens we had
kept in the time, he at last died by the claws of the family cat, when
released one fine afternoon for an airing, and to have his cage cleaned.

I never since have wished to own a caged bird. The song of a canary
bird, born and reared in a cage, never pleases me like the cheerful
warbling or merry whistle of the wild, free birds of our woodlands. The
one seems but the expression of a cheerful forgiveness of unkind
treatment, the bursting forth of a happy nature in spite of man's
cruelty; while the other seems a free outpouring of perfect happiness,
and the choicest notes of a grateful little being directed to the good
GOD of nature.

I know we often hear of happy, contented little pet birds; yet I never
saw one that did not seem to prefer the freedom of an out-of-door
excursion on the strong, free wing, to the hopping, swinging, perching,
and fluttering, within a narrow cage. The taming and petting of
sparrows, robins, yellow-birds, snow-birds, and swallows, round the
doors or windows of one's house, I admire. There is nothing inhuman in
this practice. It rather calls forth some of the better feelings of the
heart--gives pleasure to us and the birds, yet violates no law of

I here give you a little story of a pet swallow that I met with in a
little English book, which, perhaps, few of you have read. The children
named in the story were certainly kind-hearted towards their little pet,
and very indulgent. Mark well their reward! Some of you may be induced
to imitate them; at least, I hope you will not again be so selfish as to
cage a bird for his song, while, with the exercise of a little patience
and kindly attention, you can tame them so easily at your door.


One day we had been out gathering primroses, and, to put the pretty pale
flowers neatly into baskets, we had sat down under one of the windows in
the old church tower. Mary was sitting next the wall, when something
touched her shoulder, and fell on her knee. It was a young swallow,
without any feathers, that had fallen, or perhaps had been thrown, out
of the nest, by some quarrelsome brother or sister.

The poor primroses were cast away, and every little hand was ready to
seize the prize. When we found it was not killed, or even hurt, by its
fall, some called for a cage; others said, "Let us put it back in the
nest; we do not know what to give it to eat; we may be sure it will
die." And this seemed so very true that we were all obliged to agree;
but, alas! the poor swallow having built in a false window of the tower,
there was no way of getting to the nest, and so the cage was brought,
and the little bird did not die, but grew bigger and prettier every day,
until at last it could skim through the room on its pretty, soft wings,
and would dive down to us, and light upon our shoulders, or let itself
fall into our hands. How we did love that little bird! and oh, how sorry
we were one day, when it flew out at the window! We all ran down to the
lawn; we were quite sure it would never come back to us again, for it
seemed so happy to be free; and we watched it flying here and there--now
high in the air, now close down to the ground. We had called our pretty
bird Fairy, and it really seemed like a fairy now; one moment it was
quite out of sight, the next so near it almost touched us. At last, Fred
gave a long, loud whistle; when he began, it was up in the air, high,
high above our heads, but, before the sound passed away, it was
fluttering its pretty dark wings upon his face. From this time Fairy was
allowed to go free; and it would skim about before our windows all day
long, coming in from time to time to pay us visits, and to sleep at
nights in its old post on the top of one of our little beds in the

At last August came, and then our pretty Fairy skimmed through the air,
far, far beyond the reach of Fred's whistle, for it had set out, with
all the other swallows, on its long voyage across the seas.

We had never thought of this,--never thought that our faithful Fairy
would so leave us,--and it was many days before the hope of its coming
back next year could make us feel at all happy again.

But Fairy, our own dear little Fairy, _did_ come back, and it remembered
us all, as if it had been away only for a few hours, instead of nearly
eight whole months.

It was a very happy day, the day that Fairy came back, and it seemed to
feel as much joy as we did; first it flew to Mary, and then to Fred, and
then to one after the other, twittering its wings, and rubbing its
pretty black head on our hands or faces, as we see dogs and cats do
when they want to show great kindness.

It flew to the top of the little bed at night, pecked at the window when
it wished to get out in the morning, and would dart down at Fred's
whistle as readily as it had been used to do the year before. In short,
notwithstanding the long voyage it had made, Fairy seemed to have
forgotten neither its old friends nor its old ways.

When it came near the time for the swallows to fly away again, we grew
very sad at the idea of losing our pretty Fairy: some thought it would
be wise to put it into a cage, and keep it there until all the others
were gone; while some, who were wiser, said it was Fairy's nature to go
away, and that Fairy must go. But what do you think was our joy to find,
that, of its own good will, Fairy stayed with us? All the others went
away; and, whether it had grown fonder of us, or that it had not liked
the long voyage it had been led into by the example of others, I cannot
say; but for four winters it stayed always with us, taking a flight now
and then in the open air, but spending the greatest part of the day in
the school-room, till summer came, when it would again join its friends,
and always build its nest in the very window from which it had fallen
into Mary's lap.

Six years had passed since then, but what now became of it we could
never learn. For a long time we hoped it had gone again over sea and
land, to visit far countries with all the others, but whether it had or
not we never knew, for we saw our pretty Fairy no more.


   The last bright page before you,
     Kind reader and good friend,
   Is of another Annual
     The very pleasant end.

   Our Book's communication
     To goodly themes applied,
   None of its pages would we wish
     To change, expunge, or hide.

   With us be Life's brief pages,
     When looking back to youth,
   So filled with kindly words of love,
     And timely Christian truth,

   That with an honest confidence
     In what our deeds shall say,
   With steady and firm hand we write
     Our "last page," and away!

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