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´╗┐Title: Little Ferns For Fanny's Little Friends
Author: Fern, Fanny
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: LITTLE NELLY.]


THIRTY-FIRST THOUSAND.



LITTLE FERNS

FOR

FANNY'S LITTLE FRIENDS.



BY THE AUTHOR OF

"FERN LEAVES."


WITH ORIGINAL DESIGNS BY FRED M. COFFIN.



AUBURN AND BUFFALO:
MILLER, ORTON & MULLIGAN.
1854.

Published first in England by International Arrangement with the
American Proprietors, and entered at Stationers' Hall.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight
hundred and fifty-three, by DERBY AND MILLER, In the Clerk's Office
of the District Court of the Northern District of New-York.

STEREOTYPED BY
DERBY AND MILLER,
AUBURN.



TO MY LITTLE DAUGHTER
THESE
"Little Ferns"
ARE
AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED

    "They reckon not by months, and years
    Where she hath gone to dwell."



Transcriber's Note: The stanza of poetry quoted in SCOTT FARM is from
_The Reaper and The Flowers_ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This same
stanza, with a slight variation, can be found in _Woman's Endurance_, by
A. D. L., B.A., Chaplain in the Concentration Camp, Bethulie, O.R.C.,
slightly different first stanza, can be found in _The Complete Poems
of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow_, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Project


PREFACE.


DEAR CHILDREN:--

Aunt Fanny has written you some stories, which she hopes will please
and divert you. She would rather have come to you, and _told_ them,
that she might have seen your bright faces; but as that could not be,
she sends her little book instead. Perhaps you will sometime come and
see her, and _then_ won't we have a nice time telling stories?

Where do I live?

Won't you tell--certain true? Won't you tell Susy, or Mary, or Hatty,
or Sammy, or Tommy, or even your pet Uncle Charley?

Oh, I _can't_ tell!

    "If I tell it to one, she will tell it to two,
    And the next cup of tea, they will plot what they'll do;
            So I'll tell nobody,
            I'll tell nobody,
    I'll tell nobody; no--not I!"

FANNY FERN.



CONTENTS.


                                                              PAGE

WHERE IS LITTLE NELLY?                                          11

LITTLE GEORGE'S STORY                                           14

MATTY AND MABEL; OR WHO IS RICH!--WHO IS POOR!                  16

THE BABY'S COMPLAINT                                            20

LITTLE FLOY; OR, TEARS AND SMILES                               22

THE LAKE TRIP; OR, GOING A FISHING                              27

"MILK FOR BABES"                                                30

THE LITTLE "MORNING GLORY"                                      33

THE CHARITY ORPHANS                                             35

DON'T GET ANGRY                                                 37

"LITTLE BENNY"                                                  42

A RAP ON SOMEBODY'S KNUCKLES                                    43

LITTLE FREDDY'S MUSINGS                                         45

ONLY A PENNY                                                    47

A LITTLE BOY WITH A BIG HEART                                   52

MAY MORNING                                                     56

THE LITTLE DANDELION MERCHANT                                   59

WALTER WILLET                                                   61

CHILDREN, DID YOU EVER HEAR OF MR. "THEY SAY!"                  66

THE LITTLE MARTYR                                               69

SELFISH MATTHEW                                                 75

CITY CHILDREN                                                   78

ROSALIE AND HETTY                                               81

THE CRYSTAL PALACE                                              84

KIZZY KRINGLE'S STORY                                           89

NEW-YORK IN SHADOW                                              94

HATTY'S MISTAKE                                                100

MIN-YUNG                                                       104

TOM, THE TAILOR                                                108

BETSEY'S DREAM                                                 114

SCOTT FARM                                                     119

A TRUE STORY                                                   126

THE LITTLE EMIGRANTS                                           131

ALL ABOUT THE DOLANS                                           136

FRONTIER LIFE; OR, MITTY MOORE                                 141

UNCLE JOLLY                                                    151

A PEEP UNDER GROUND--THE RAFFERTYS AND THE ROURKES             157

"BALD EAGLE;" OR, THE LITTLE CAPTIVES                          162

A STREET SCENE                                                 171

LETTER FROM TOM GRIMALKIN TO HIS MOTHER                        177

WHAT CAME OF AN OMNIBUS RIDE, AND "ONE PULL TO
THE RIGHT!"                                                    180

LITTLE GERTRUDE'S PARTY                                        188

FERN MUSINGS                                                   195

CRAZY TIM                                                      200

CICELY HUNT; OR, THE LAME GIRL                                 206

THE LITTLE TAMBOURINE PLAYER                                   214

THE BROKER'S WINDOW BY GASLIGHT                                223

BLACK CHLOE                                                    229

A PEEP FROM MY WINDOW                                          235

THE BOY PEDLAR                                                 239

THE NEW COOK                                                   242

LETTY                                                          250

FRONTIER STORIES                                               260

A PEEP THROUGH MY QUIZZING GLASS                               268

THE ENGLISH EMIGRANTS                                          276

NEW-YORK SUNDAY                                                282

THE BOY WHO LIKED NATURAL HISTORY                              288

KNUD IVERSON                                                   292

CHILDREN IN 1853                                               296



ILLUSTRATIONS.

                                                             PAGE

LITTLE NELLY                                        FRONTISPIECE.

ONLY A PENNY                                                   47

HATTY'S MISTAKE                                               100

UNCLE JOLLY                                                   151

CRAZY TIM                                                     200

LETTY                                                         250



LITTLE FERNS.



WHERE IS LITTLE NELLY?


She is not in the garden; I have searched under every bush and tree.
She is not asleep in the summer-house, or in the old barn. She is not
feeding the speckled chickens, or gathering buttercups in the meadows.
Her little dog Fidele is weary waiting for her, and her sweet-voiced
canary has forgotten to sing. Has anybody seen my little Nelly? She had
eyes blue as the summer heavens, hair like woven sunbeams, teeth like
seed pearls, and a voice soft as the wind sighing through the river
willows.

Nelly is not down by the river? No; she never goes where I bid her not.
She is not at the neighbors? No; for she is as shy as a wood-pigeon.
Where can my little pet be? There is her doll--(Fenella she called it,
because it was so tiny,)--she made its dress with her own slender
fingers, laughing the while, because she was so awkward a little
dress-maker. There is her straw hat,--she made that oak-leaf wreath
about the crown one bright summer day, as we sat on the soft moss in
the cool fragrant wood. Nelly liked the woods. She liked to lie with
her ear to the ground and make believe hear the fairies talk; she liked
to look up in the tall trees, and see the bright-winged oriole dart
through the branches; she liked to watch the clouds, and fancy that in
their queer shapes she saw cities, and temples, and chariots, and
people; she liked to see the lightning play; she liked the bright
rainbows. She liked to gather the sweet wild flowers, that breathe out
their little day of sweetness in some sheltered nook; she liked the
cunning little squirrel, peeping slily from some mossy tree-trunk; she
liked to see the bright sun wrap himself in his golden mantle, and sink
behind the hills; she liked the first little silver star that stole
softly out on the dark, blue sky; she liked the last faint note of the
little bird, as it folded its soft wings to sleep; she liked to lay her
cheek to mine, as her eyes filled with happy tears, because God had
made the world so very fair.

Where _is_ our Nelly?

She is not talking with Papa?--no; he can't find her either. He wants
to see her trip down the gravel walk to meet him when business hours
are over, and he has nothing to do but to come home and love us. He
wants her to ramble with; he wants that little velvet cheek to kiss
when he wakes each morning.

Where is Nelly?

I am sure she loved Papa. It was she who ran to warm his slippers when
his horse's feet came prancing down the avenue. It was she who wheeled
the arm-chair to its nice, snug corner; it was she who ran for the
dressing-gown; it was she who tucked in the pockets a sly bit of candy,
that she had hoarded all day for "poor, tired Papa." It was she who
laid her soft hand upon his throbbing temples, when those long, ugly
rows of figures at the counting-room, had given him such a cruel
headache. It was she who kneeled beside her bed and taught herself this
little prayer. "Please, God, let me die before my Papa."

Where _is_ Nelly?

My dear little pets, the flowers shed dewy tears over her bright, young
head long time ago. God _did_ "let her go before Papa," and then ... he
took Papa, too. Here is a lock of raven hair, and a long, golden
ringlet--all that is left of Nelly and Papa--but in that blessed land,
where tears are wiped away, Aunt Fanny knows her "lost are found."



LITTLE GEORGE'S STORY.


My Aunt Libby patted me on the head the other day and said, "George, my
boy, this is the happiest part of your life." I guess my Aunt Libby
don't know much. I guess _she_ never worked a week to make a kite, and
the first time she went to fly it got the tail hitched in a tall tree,
whose owner wouldn't let her climb up to disentangle it. I guess she
never broke one of the runners of her sled some Saturday afternoon,
when it was "prime" coasting. I guess she never had to give her biggest
marbles to a great lubberly boy, because he would thrash her if she
didn't. I guess she never had a "hockey stick" play round her ankles in
recess, because she got above a fellow in the class. I guess she never
had him twitch off her best cap, and toss it in a mud-puddle. I guess
she never had to give her humming-top to quiet the baby, and had the
paint all sucked off. I guess she never saved up all her coppers a
whole winter to buy a trumpet, and then was told she must not blow it,
because it would _make a noise_.

No--I guess my Aunt Libby don't know much; little boys have troubles as
well as grown people,--all the difference is they daren't complain.
Now, I never had a "bran new" jacket and trowsers in my
life--never,--and I don't believe I ever shall; for my two brothers
have shot up like Jack's bean-stalk, and left all their out-grown
clothes "to be made over for George;" and that cross old tailoress
keeps me from bat and ball, an hour on the stretch, while she laps
over, and nips in, and tucks up, and cuts off their great baggy clothes
for me. And when she puts me out the door, she's sure to say--"Good
bye, little Tom Thumb." Then when I go to my uncle's to dine, he always
puts the big dictionary in a chair, to hoist me up high enough to reach
my knife and fork; and if there is a dwarf apple or potatoe on the
table, it is always laid on my plate. If I go to the play-ground to
have a game of ball, the fellows all say--Get out of the way, little
chap, or we shall knock you into a cocked hat. I don't think I've grown
a bit these two years. I know I haven't, by the mark on the wall--(and
I stand up to measure every chance I get.) When visitors come to the
house and ask me my age, and I tell them that I am nine years old, they
say, Tut, tut! little boys shouldn't tell fibs. My brother Hal has got
his first long-tailed coat already; I am really afraid I never shall
have anything but a jacket. I go to bed early, and have left off eating
candy, and sweet-meats. I haven't put my fingers in the sugar-bowl this
many a day. I eat meat like my father, and I stretch up my neck till it
aches,--still I'm "_little_ George," and "nothing shorter;" or, rather,
I'm shorter than nothing. Oh, my Aunt Libby don't know much. How
_should_ she? She never was a boy!



MATTY AND MABEL;

OR,

WHO IS RICH?--WHO IS POOR?


There, Puss! said little Matty, you may have my dinner if you want it.
I'm tired of bread and milk. I'm tired of this old brown house. I'm
tired of that old barn, with its red eaves. I'm tired of the garden,
with its rows of lilacs, its sun-flowers, and its beds of catnip and
penny-royal. I'm tired of the old well, with its pole balancing in the
air. I'm tired of the meadow, where the cows feed, and the hens are
always picking up grass-hoppers. I wish I was a grass-hopper! I ain't
happy. I am tired of this brown stuff dress, and these thick leather
shoes, and my old sun-bonnet. There comes a nice carriage,--how smooth
and shiny the horses are; how bright the silver-mounted harness
glitters; how smart the coachman looks, in his white gloves. How nice
it must be to be rich, and ride in a carriage; oh! there's a little
girl in it, no older than I, and all alone, too!--a RICH little girl,
with a pretty rose-colored bonnet, and a silk dress, and cream-colored
kid gloves. See--she has beautiful curling hair, and when she puts her
pretty face out the carriage window, and tells the coachman to go here,
and to go there, he minds her just as if she were a grown lady. Why did
God make _her_ rich, and _me_ poor? Why did he let _her_ ride in a
carriage, and _me_ go barefoot? Why did he clothe _her_ like a
butterfly, and _me_ like a caterpillar?

                          *          *          *

Matty, come here. Climb into my lap,--lay your head upon my shoulder,--so.
Now listen. You are well and strong, Matty?--yes. You have enough to
eat and drink?--yes. You have a kind father and mother?--yes. You have
a crowing little dimpled baby brother?--yes. You can jump, and leap,
and climb fences, and run up trees like a
squirrel?--yes.

Well; the little girl with the rose-colored bonnet, whom you saw riding
in the carriage, is a poor little cripple. You saw her fine dress and
pretty pale face, but you didn't see her little shrunken foot, dangling
helplessly beneath the silken robe. You saw the white gloved coachman,
and the silver-mounted harness, and the soft, velvet cushions, but you
didn't see the tear in their little owner's soft, dark eyes, as she
spied you at the cottage door, rosy and light-footed, free to ramble
'mid the fields and flowers. You didn't know that her little heart was
aching for somebody to love her. You didn't know that her mamma loved
her diamonds, and silks, and satins better than her own little girl.
You didn't know that when her little crippled limb pained her, and her
heart ached, that she had "no nice place to cry." You didn't know that
through the long, weary day, her mamma never took her gently on her
lap,--or kissed her pale face,--or read her pretty stories, to charm
her pain away,--or told her of that happy home, where none shall say,
I'm sick. You didn't know that she never went to her little bed at
night, to smooth her pillow, or put aside the ringlets from the flushed
cheek, or kneel by the little bed, and ask the dear All Father to heal
and bless her child. You didn't know that she danced till the stars
grew pale, while poor little Mabel tossed restlessly from side to side,
longing for a cool draught for her parched lip.

"You won't be naughty any more?"--that's a darling. And now remember,
my dear little Matty, that money is not happiness;--that fine clothes
and fine carriages are not happiness;--and that even this bright,
beautiful world, with its birds, its flowers, and its sunshine, is dark
without a loving heart to rest upon. Thank God for kind parents and a
happy home, 'Tis _you_ who are _rich_, Matty; pray for _poor_ Mabel.



THE BABY'S COMPLAINT.


Now, I suppose you think, because you never see me do anything but feed
and sleep, that I have a very nice time of it. Let me tell you that you
are mistaken, and that I am tormented half to death, although I never
say anything about it. How should you like every morning to have your
nose washed _up_, instead of _down_? How should you like to have a pin
put through your dress into your skin, and have to bear it all day till
your clothes were taken off at night? How should you like to be held so
near the fire that your eyes were half scorched out of your head, while
your nurse was reading a novel? How should you like to have a great fly
light on your nose, and not know how to take aim at him, with your
little, fat, useless fingers? How should you like to be left alone in
the room to take a nap, and have a great pussy jump into your cradle,
and sit staring at you with her great green eyes, till you were all of
a tremble? How should you like to reach out your hand for the pretty
bright candle, and find out that it was way across the room, instead of
close by? How should you like to tire yourself out crawling way across
the carpet, to pick up a pretty button or pin, and have it snatched
away, as soon as you begin to enjoy it? I tell you it is enough to ruin
any baby's temper. How should you like to have your mamma stay at a
party till you were as hungry as a little cub, and be left to the mercy
of a nurse, who trotted you up and down till every bone in your body
ached? How should you like, when your mamma dressed you up all pretty
to take the nice, fresh air, to spend the afternoon with your nurse in
some smoky kitchen, while she gossipped with one of her cronies? How
should you like to submit to have your toes tickled by all the little
children who insisted upon "seeing the baby's feet?" How should you
like to have a dreadful pain under your apron, and have everybody call
you "a little cross thing," when you couldn't speak to tell what was
the matter with you? How should you like to crawl to the top stair,
(just to look about a little,) and pitch heels over head from the top
to the bottom?

Oh, I can tell you it is no joke to be a baby! Such a thinking as we
keep up; and if we try to find out anything, we are sure to get our
brains knocked out in the attempt. It is very trying to a sensible
baby, who is in a hurry to know everything, and can't wait to grow up.



LITTLE FLOY;

OR,

TEARS AND SMILES.


It was a very hot morning in August, when little Floy stopped to look
in at a city fruiterer's window. There were bright golden apples, nice
juicy pears, plump bunches of grapes, luscious plums and peaches, and
mammoth melons. In truth, it was a very tempting show, to a little
girl, who lived on dry bread and milk, and sometimes had not enough of
that. It was not, however, of herself that Floy was thinking, as the
tears started to her large blue eyes, and she pushed back her faded
sun-bonnet, and looked wistfully at the "forbidden fruit."

Floy once lived in a beautiful house in the country, with her papa and
mamma. Grand old trees stood guard round the house, like so many
sentinels, and many a little bird slept every night in the shadow of
their drooping branches. Near the house was a pretty pond, with
snow-white ducks, sailing lazily about, and two little spaniels--named
Flash and Dash--who were as full of mischief as little magpies. Then
there were three horses in the stable, and two cows, and hens and
chickens, and a bearded nanny-goat, besides a little pink-eyed rabbit,
who darted about the lawn, with a blue ribbon around his snowy neck.
The trees in the orchard drooped to the ground with loads of rosy
apples, and long-necked pears, and tempting plums and peaches; the
garden bushes were laden with gooseberries raspberries, and currants,
(red and white,) while under the broad green leaves the red ripe
strawberry nestled.

Those were happy days for little Floy. How she rode the horses to the
spring, using their manes for a bridle!--how she ran through the
fields, and garlanded herself like a little May Queen!--how she sprang
at night to meet Papa, who tossed her way up high above his dear curly
head!

                          *          *          *

_Now_, though it was sultry midsummer, Floy lived in the hot, stifled
city, up four pairs of stairs, in a room looking out on dingy brick
walls, and gloomy black sheds. Her mamma was dressed in black, and
looked very sad, and very tired; bending all day over that tiresome
writing desk. Sometimes she looked up and smiled at Floy; and then Floy
wished she had not smiled at all--it was so unlike the _old_ smile her
face used to wear in dear papa's life-time. Floy became very tired of
that close room. There were no pretty pictures on the walls, like those
in Floy's house in the country; the chairs were hard and uncomfortable,
and little Floy had nothing to amuse her. Mamma couldn't spare time to
walk much, and Floy was not allowed to play on the sidewalk, lest she
might hear naughty words, and play with naughty children. Mamma's pen
went scratch--scratch--scratch--from sunrise till sunset,--save when
she took a turn across the floor to get rid of an ugly pain in her
shoulders, from constant stooping. Floy was weary of counting the
bricks on the opposite wall,--weary of seeing the milkman stop at seven
o'clock, and the baker at nine,--weary of hearing the shrill voice of
Mrs. Walker, (below stairs,) of whom mamma hired her room. Still Floy
never complained; but sometimes when she could bear the monotonous,
dull stillness no longer, she would slide her little hand round her
mamma's waist, and say, "Please, Mamma, put up that ugly pen, and take
me on your lap."

Floy was always sorry when Christmas, and New Year, and Thanksgiving
came round; because it made mamma's eyes so red and swollen, and
because she was such a little girl that she couldn't tell how to
comfort her. She longed to grow up a big lady, that she might earn some
money, so that mamma needn't work so hard; and it puzzled her very much
to know what had become of mamma's old _friends_, who used to ride out
so often to their pretty country house, in papa's lifetime, to eat
strawberries, and to drink tea. She was quite sure she had met some of
them once or twice, when mamma had taken her out to church--but somehow
they didn't seem to see either mamma or Floy.

Floy was very careful of her two dresses, for fear they would get
soiled, (ever since she woke one night, and found mamma washing them
out, when she was hardly able to hold her head up.) She was afraid,
too, that mamma often wanted the bread and milk she made Floy eat; and
only said "she wasn't hungry," because there wasn't enough for her, and
Floy, too.

Well, my dear children, it was the thought of all these things that
sent the warm tears to Floy's bright eyes, as she looked in at the
fruiterer's window that hot August morning.

                          *          *          *

Two years have gone by. It is August again. The sky is cloudless--the
birds are singing--and little Floy's tears are all dried up. Her cheeks
are plump and rosy; she has plenty to eat now; and another pair of
shoes, when she has danced her toes out of those she has on. And
mamma?--why, she can sit whole hours with her hands folded, if she
likes, and go to sleep whenever she feels tired; for she has earned
plenty of money for herself, and little Floy, too. Floy is glad of
this, because mamma smiles now, and looks happier--and because all her
old friends, who forgot all about her when she was poor, are so
_delighted_ now whenever they meet her. Floy thinks it is very nice all
round. Dear, innocent little Floy!



THE LAKE TRIP;

OR,

GOING A FISHING.


Oh! Aunty, it has done raining! The sun is shining _so_ brightly; we
are going to the Lake to fish--Papa says so--you and Papa, and Bell,
and Harry, and Emma, and Agnes, and our dog Bruno.

Of course, Aunty, who was always on hand for such trips, wasn't five
minutes springing to her feet, and in less than half an hour Pat stood
at the door with the carriage, (that somehow or other always held as
many as wanted to go, whether it were five, or forty-five;) "Papa"
twisting the reins over hats and bonnets with the dexterity of a Jehu;
jolt--jolt--on we go, over pebble stones--over plank roads--past
cottages--past farms--up hill and down, till we reach "the Lake."

Shall I tell you how we tip-toed into the little egg-shell boats? How,
after a great deal of talk, we all were seated to our minds--how each
one had a great fishing rod put into our hands--how Aunty, (who never
fished before,) got laughed at for refusing to stick the cruel hook
into the quivering little minnows used for "bait"--and how, when they
fixed it for her, she forgot all about moving it round, so beautiful
was the "blue above, and the blue below," until a great fish twitched
at her line, telling her to leave off dreaming and mind her
business--and how it made her feel so bad to see them tear the hook
from the mouth of the poor fish she was so UN-lucky as to catch, that
she coaxed them to put her ashore, telling them it was pleasure not
pain she came after--and how they laughed and floated off down the
Lake, leaving her on a green moss patch, under a big tree--and how she
rambled all along shore gathering the tiniest little shells that ever a
wave tossed up--and how she took off her shoes and stockings and dipped
her feet in the cool water, and listened to the bees' drowsy hum from
the old tree trunk close by, and watched the busy ant stagger home,
under the weight of his well earned morsel--and how she made a bridge
of stones over a little streamlet to pluck some crimson lobelias,
growing on the other side, and some delicate, bell-shaped flowers, fit
only for a fairy's bridal wreath,--and how she wandered till sunset
came on, and the Lake's pure breast was all a-glow, and then, how she
lay under that old tree, listening to the plashing waves, and watching
the little birds, dipping their golden wings into the rippling waters,
then soaring aloft to the rosy tinted clouds? Shall I tell you how the
grand old hills, forest crowned, stretched off into the dim
distance--and how sweet the music of childhood's ringing laugh, heard
from the far-off shore--or how Aunty thought 'twas such a _pity_ that
sin, and tears, and sorrow, should ever blight so fair a world?

But Aunty mustn't make you sad; here come the children leaping from the
boat; they've "caught few fish," but a great deal of sunshine, (judging
from their happy faces.) God bless the little voyagers, all; the
laughing Agnes, the pensive Emma, the dove-eyed, tender-hearted Mary,
the rosy Bell, the fearless Harry. In the green pastures by the still
waters, may the dear Shepherd fold them.



"MILK FOR BABES."


Once in a while I have a way of thinking!--and to-day it struck me that
children should have a minister of their own. Yes, a child's minister!
For amid the "strong meat" for older disciples, the "milk for babes"
spoken of by the infant, loving Saviour, seems to be, strangely enough,
forgotten.

Yes, I remember the "Sabbath Schools;" and God bless and prosper
them--as far as they go. But--there's your little Charles--he says to
you on Saturday night,--"Mother, what day is it to-morrow?" "Sunday, my
pet." "Oh, I'm so sorry, I'm so _tired_ Sundays."

Poor Charley! he goes to church because he is bid--and often when he
gets there, has the most uncomfortable seat in the pew--used as a sort
of human wedge, to fill up some triangular corner. From one year's end
to another, he hears nothing from that pulpit he can understand. It is
all Greek and Latin to him, those big words, and rhetorical flourishes,
and theological nuts, thrown out for "wisdom-teeth" to crack. So he
counts the buttons on his jacket, and the bows on his mother's bonnet,
and he wonders how the feathers in that lady's hat before him can be
higher than the pulpit or the minister; (for he can't see either.) And
then he wonders, if the chandelier should fall, if he couldn't have one
of those sparkling glass drops,--and then he wonders if Betty will give
the baby his humming top to play with before he gets home--and whether
his mother will have apple dumplings for dinner? And then he explores
his Sunday pocket for the absent string and marble, and then his little
toes get so fidgety that he can't stand it, and he says out loud,
"hi--ho--hum!" and then he gets a very red ear from his father, for
disturbing _his_ comfortable nap in particular, and the rest of the
congregation generally.

Yes, I'd have a church for children, if I could only find a minister
who _knew enough_ to preach to them! You needn't smile! It needs a very
long head to talk to a child. It is much easier to talk to older people
whose brains are so _cobwebbed_ with "isms" and "ologies," that you can
make them lose themselves when they get troublesome; but that
straight-forward, childish, far-reaching question! and the next--and
the next! That clear, penetrating, searching, yet innocent and trusting
eye! How will you meet them? You'll be astonished to find how often
you'll be cornered by that little child--how many difficulties he will
raise, that will require all your keenest wits to clear away. Oh, you
must get off your clerical stilts, and drop your metaphors and musty
folios, and call everything by its right name when you talk to
children.

Yes, I repeat it. Children should have a minister. Not a gentleman in a
stiff neck-cloth and black coat, who says solemnly, in a sepulchral
voice, (once a year, on his parochial visit,)--"S-a-m-u-e-l--my--
boy--how--do--you--do?" but a genial, warm-hearted, loving, spiritual
father, who is neither wiser, nor greater, nor better than he who took
little children in his arms and said, "Of such is the kingdom of
heaven."



THE LITTLE "MORNING GLORY."


Dear little pet! She was going a journey in the cars with mamma; and
her little curly head could not stay on the pillow, for thinking of it.
She was awake by the dawn, and had been trying to rouse mamma for an
hour. She had told her joy in lisping accents to "Dolly," whose stoical
indifference was very provoking, especially when she knew she was going
to see "her dear, white-haired old grand-papa," who had never yet
looked upon her sweet face; although pen and ink had long since
heralded her polite perfections. Yes, little pet must look her
prettiest, for grand-papa's eyes are not so dim, that the sight of a
pretty face doesn't cheer him like a ray of glad sunlight; so the
glossy waves of golden hair are nicely combed, and the bright dress put
on, to heighten, by contrast, the dimpled fairness of the neck and
shoulders; then, the little white apron, to keep all tidy; then the
Cinderella boots, neatly laced. I can see you, little pet! I wish I had
you in my arms this minute!

Good bye! How the little curls shake! What a nice seat our tiny voyager
has, by that pleasant open window, upon mamma's knee! How wonderfully
fast the trees and houses and fences fly past! Was there ever anything
like it? And how it makes her eyes wink, when the cars dash under the
dark bridges, and how like the ringing of silver bells that little
musical laugh is, when they dart out again into the fair sunlight. How
cows, and horses, and sheep, all run at that horrid whistle. Little pet
feels as though she was most a woman, to be traveling about, seeing so
many fine things. On they dash!--it half takes her breath away--but she
is not _afraid_; no, indeed! What little darling ever could be afraid,
when its hand was in _mamma's love clasp_?

Alas! poor little pet!

Grand-papa's eye grow weary watching for you, at the little cottage
window. Grand-mamma says, "the cakes will be quite spoiled;" and she
"knits to her seam needle," and then moves about the sitting-room
uneasily; now and then stopping to pat the little Kitty, that is to be
pet's play-fellow. And now lame Tim has driven the cows home; and the
dew is falling, the stars are creeping out, and the little crickets and
frogs have commenced their evening concert, and _still_ little pet
hasn't come! Where _is_ the little stray waif?

Listen! Among the "unrecognized dead" by the late RAILROAD ACCIDENT,
was a female child, about three years of age; fair complexion and hair;
had on a red dress, green sack, white apron, linen gaiters, tipped with
patent leather, and white woolen stockings.

Poor little pet! Poor old grand-papa! Go comfort him; tell him it was a
"_shocking accident_," but then "_nobody was to blame_;" and offer him
a healing plaster for his great grief, in the shape of "damage" money.



THE CHARITY ORPHANS.


"Pleasant sight, is it not?" said my friend, glancing complacently at a
long procession of little charity children, who were passing, two and
two--two and two--with closely cropped heads, little close-fitting
sun-bonnets and dark dresses; "pleasant sight, is it not, Fanny?"
Yes--no--_no_, said I, courageously, it gives me the heart-ache. Oh, I
see as you do, that their clothes are clean and whole, and that they
are drilled like a little regiment of soldiers, (heads up,) but I long
to see them step out of those prim ranks, and shout and scamper. I long
to stuff their little pockets full of anything--everything, that other
little pets have. I want to get them round me, and tell them some
comical stories to take the care-worn look out of their anxious little
faces. I want to see them twist their little heads round when they hear
a noise, instead of keeping them straight forward as if they were "on
duty." I want to know if anybody tucks them up comfortably when they go
to bed, and gives them a good-night kiss. I want to know if they get a
beaming smile, and a kind word in the morning. I want to know who
soothes them when they are in pain; and if they _dare say so_, when
they feel lonely, and have the heart-ache. I want to see the tear roll
freely down the cheek, (instead of being wiped slyly away,) when they
see happy little ones trip gaily past, hand in hand, with a kind
father, or mother. I want to know if "Thanksgiving" and "Christmas" and
"New Year's" and "_Home_" are anything but empty sounds in their orphan
ears.

I know their present state is better than vicious poverty, and so I try
to say with my friend, "it is a pleasant sight;" but the words die on
my lip; for full well I know it takes something more than food, shelter
and clothing, to make a child happy. Its little heart, like a delicate
vine, _will_ throw out its tendrils for something to _lean
on_--something to _cling to_; and so I can only say again, the sight of
those charity orphans gives me the heart-ache.



DON'T GET ANGRY.


"I hate you," Aunt Fanny, said a little boy, pouting and snapping his
boots with the little riding whip in his hand; you laughed to-day at
dinner, when I burned my mouth with my soup, and I never shall love you
again--_never_!--said the little passionate boy.

_Now_, Harry, _what a pity_!--and my pocket handkerchiefs all in the
wash, too! That's right--laugh;--now I'll tell you a story.

I've been to the State Prison to-day, and I almost wish I hadn't
gone--such a sick feeling came over me when I saw those poor prisoners.
Oh, Harry! how pale and miserable they looked, in those ugly, striped
clothes, with their heads closely shaven, working away at their
different trades, with a stout man watching them so sharply, to see
that they didn't speak to each other; and some of them very young, too.
Oh, it was very sad. I almost felt afraid to look at them, for fear it
would hurt their feelings, and I longed to tell them that my heart was
full of pity, and not to get discouraged, and not to despair.

Such little, close cells as they sleep in at night,--it almost stifled
me to think of it,--and so dismal and cheerless, too, with an iron door
to bolt them in. On Sunday they stay in their cells nearly all day, and
some of the cells are so dark that they cannot see even to read the
Bible allowed them: and there they lie, thinking over, and over, and
over, their own sad thoughts. So you can't wonder that they dread
Sunday very much, and are very glad to be put to hard work again on
Monday, to get rid of thinking.

Then we saw them march into dinner--just like soldiers, in single file,
with a guard close beside them, that they should not run away. I
suppose they were very glad to eat what was laid on those wooden
plates, but you or I would have gone hungry a long while first. In
fact, I think, Harry, that PRISON _food_ would choke me any how, though
it were roast turkey or plum pudding. I'm quite sure my _gypsey_ throat
would refuse to swallow it.

Then we went into the Hospital for the sick prisoners. It is hard to be
sick in one's own home, even, with kind friends around; but to be sick
in a _prison_!--to lie on such a narrow bed that you cannot toss
about,--to bear, (beside your own pain and misery,) the moanings of
your sick companions,--to see through the grated windows the bright,
blue sky, the far off hills, and the silver streams threading the green
meadows,--to be shut in from the fresh breeze, that would bring you
life and health,--to pine and waste away, and think to die, without one
dear hand to press yours lovingly--_oh, Harry_!

One of the sick prisoners had a little squirrel. The squirrel was a
prisoner, too. He was in a cage--but then sometimes he was let out; and
to please me, the door was opened for him. _Didn't_ he jump? poor
squirrel! He had no soul--so he wasn't as miserable as his sick keeper;
but I'm mistaken if he wouldn't have liked a nut to crack, of _his own
finding_ in some leafy wood, where the green moss lies thickly
cushioned, and the old trees serve him for ladders!

On a bench in the Hospital was seated a poor, sick black-boy.
"Pompey's" mother was a very foolish mother. She had always let him
have his own way. If he cried for anything he always got it, and when
he was angry and struck people, she never punished him for it; so
Pompey grew up a very bad boy, because his mother never taught him to
govern his temper. So one day he got very angry, and did something that
sent him to the State Prison, where I saw him. And he grew sick staying
so long in doors, and now he was in a consumption--all wasted
away--with _such_ hollow cheeks, that it made the tears come to my eyes
to look at him. Oh how glad I was when the keeper told me that _next
Sunday_ his time would be up, so that he could go out if he liked. The
keeper said, "He had better stay there, because they could take good
care of him, and he had no friends." I guess the keeper didn't think
that poor Pompey had rather crawl on his hands and knees out to the
green fields, and die alone, with the sweet, fresh air fanning his poor
temples, than to stay with all the doctors in the world in that tomb of
a prison.

Harry! I wanted so much to go and shake hands with Pompey, and tell him
how happy it made me to know that he was going to get out next Sunday,
and that I hoped the sun would shine just as bright as _ever it could_,
and all the flowers blossom out on purpose for _him_ to see; and then I
hoped that when his heart was so full of gladness he would feel like
_praying_; and then I hoped no cruel, hard-hearted person would point
at him and say, "That is a State Prison boy," and so make his heart all
hard and wicked again, just as he was trying to be good.

                          *          *          *

And now, Harry, shake hands with me, and "make up." You know if poor
Pompey hadn't got so angry, he wouldn't have been in prison; and as for
Aunt Fanny, she must learn to be as polite as a French woman, and never
laugh again when you burn your mouth with a "hasty plate of soup."



"LITTLE BENNY."


So the simple head-stone said. Why did my eyes fill? I never saw the
little creature. I never looked in his laughing eye, or heard his merry
shout, or listened for his tripping tread; I never pillowed his little
head, or bore his little form, or smoothed his silky locks, or laved
his dimpled limbs, or fed his cherry lips with dainty bits, or kissed
his rosy cheek as he lay sleeping.

I did not see his eye grow dim; or his little hand droop powerless; or
the dew of agony gather on his pale forehead; I stood not with clasped
hands and suspended breath, and watched the look that comes but once,
flit over his cherub face. And yet, "little Benny," my tears are
falling; for, _somewhere_, I know there's an empty crib, a vacant
chair, useless robes and toys, a desolate hearth-stone, and a weeping
mother.

"Little Benny!"

It was all her full heart could utter; and it was enough. It tells the
whole story.



A RAP ON SOMEBODY'S KNUCKLES.


It is very strange my teacher never says a kind word to me. I am quite
sure I say my lessons well. I haven't had an "error" since I came to
school six months ago. I haven't been "delinquent" or "tardy." I have
never broken a rule. Now there's Harry Gray, that fat boy yonder, with
the dull eyes and frilled shirt-collar, who never can say his lesson
without some fellow prompts him. He comes in half an hour after school
begins, and goes home an hour before it is done, and eats pea-nuts all
the time he stays; he has all the medals, and the master is always
patting him on the head, and smiling at him, and asking him "if the
room is warm enough," and all that; I don't see through it.

My dear, honest, conscientious, unsophisticated little Moses! if you
only knew what a rich man Harry Gray's father was; what nice old wine
he keeps in his cellar; how easy his carriage cushions are; what nice
nectarines and grapes ripen in his hot house; and how much "the master"
is comforted in his inner and outer man thereby, you'd understand how
the son of such a nabob couldn't be anything but an embryo "Clay," or
"Calhoun," or "Webster,"--though he didn't know "B from a buzzard."

Are you aware, my boy, that your clothes, though clean and neat, are
threadbare and patched?--that your mother is a poor widow, whom nobody
knows?--that no "servant man" ever brought your satchel to school for
you?--that you have positively been seen carrying a loaf of bread home
from the grocer's?--and that "New Year's day" passed by, without your
appropriating any of your mother's hard earnings to make "a present" to
your disinterested and discriminating teacher? How can you be anything
but the dullest and stupidest boy in the school? It is a marvel to me
that "the master" condescends to hear you recite at all.

Stay a bit, Moses; don't cry; hold on a while. If your forehead tells
the truth, you'll be President of the United States by and by. Then,
"the master" (quite oblivious of Harry Gray,) will go strutting round,
telling all creation and his cousin, that _he had the honor of first
teaching your "young ideas how to shoot!_"

Won't that be fun? Oh, I tell you, Moses! Fanny has seen some strange
specimens of human nature. Still she tells you, (with tears in her
eyes,) that the Master above is the "friend of the friendless;" and
_you_ must believe it too, my little darling, and wait, and _trust_.



LITTLE FREDDY'S MUSINGS.


Wish my mamma would please keep me warm. My little bare legs are very
cold with these lace ruffles; they are not half as nice as black Jim's
woolen stockings. Wish I had a little pair of warm rubbers. Wish I had
a long-sleeved apron, for my bare neck and arms. Wish I might push my
curls out of my eyes, or have them cut off. Wish my dress would stay up
on my shoulders, and that it was not too nice for me to get on the
floor to play ninepins. Wish my mamma would go to walk with me
sometimes, instead of Betty. Wish she would let me lay my cheek to
hers, (if I would not tumble her curls, or her collar.) Wish she would
not promise me something "very nice," and then forget all about it.
Wish she would answer my questions, and not always say, "Don't bore me,
Freddy!" Wish when we go out in the country, she wouldn't make me wear
my gloves, lest I should "tan my hands." Wish she would not tell me
that all the pretty flowers will "poison me." Wish I could tumble on
the hay, and go into the barn and see how Dobbin eats his supper. Wish
I was one of those little frisky pigs. Wish I could make pretty dirt
pies. Wish there was not a bit of lace, or satin, or silk, in the
world. Wish I knew what makes mamma look so smiling at Aunt Emma's
children, (who come here in their papa's carriage,) and so very cross
at my poor little cousins, whose mother works so hard and cries so
much. Wish I knew what makes the clouds stay up in the sky, and where
the stars go in the day time. Wish I could go over on that high hill,
where the bright sun is going down, and just touch it with my finger.
Wish I didn't keep thinking of things which puzzle me, when nobody will
stop to tell me the reason for anything. If I ask Betty, she says,
"Don't be a fool, Master Freddy!" I wonder if I am a fool? I wonder if
Betty knows much herself? I wonder why my mamma don't love her own
little boy? I wonder when I'm grown a man, if I shall have to look so
nice all the time, and be so tired of doing nothing?



ONLY A PENNY.


Now I am going to tell you a story about little Clara. Those of you who
live in the city will understand it; but some of my little readers may
live in the country, (or at least I hope they do,) where a beggar is
seldom seen; or if he is, can always get of the good, nice,
kind-hearted farmer, a bowl of milk, a fresh bit of bread, and liberty
to sleep in the barn on the sweet-scented hay; therefore, it will be
hard for you to believe that there is anybody in the wide world with
enough to eat, and drink, and wear, who does not care whether a poor
fellow creature starves or not; or whether he lives or dies.

But listen to my story.

One bright, sunny morning I was walking in Broadway, (New-York,)
looking at the ladies who passed, in their gay clothes--as fine as
peacocks, and just about as silly--gazing at the pretty shop windows,
full of silks, and satins, and ribbons, looking very much as if a
rainbow had been shivered there--looking at the rich people's little
children, with their silken hose, and plumed hats, and velvet tunics,
tip-toeing so carefully along, and looking so frightened lest somebody
should soil their nice clothes--when a little, plaintive voice struck
upon my ear--

"Please give me a penny, Madam--_only_ a penny--to buy a loaf of
bread?"

[Illustration: ONLY A PENNY.]

I turned my head: there stood a little girl of six years,--so filthy,
dirty--so ragged, that she scarcely looked like a human being. Her skin
was coated with dust; her pretty curly locks were one tangled mass; her
dress was fluttering in strings around her bare legs and shoeless
feet--and the little hand she held out to me for "a penny," so bony
that it looked like a skeleton's. She looked so very hungry, I wouldn't
make her talk till I had given her something to eat; so I took her to a
baker's, and bought her some bread and cakes; and it would have made
you cry (you, who were never hungry in your life,) to see her swallow
it so greedily, just like a little animal.

Then I asked her name, and found out 'twas "Clara;" that she had no
papa; that while he lived he was very cruel, and used to beat her and
her mother; and that now her mother was cruel too, and drank rum; that
she sent little Clara out each morning to beg,--or if she couldn't beg,
to steal,--but at any rate to bring home something, "unless she wanted
a beating."

Poor little Clara!--all alone threading her way through the great,
wicked city--knocked and jostled about,--_so_ hungry--_so_ tired--_so_
frightened! Clara was afraid to steal, (not because God saw her--for
she didn't know anything about _Him_,) but for fear of policemen and
prisons--so she wandered about, hour after hour, saying pitifully to
the careless crowd, "Only a penny--_please_ give me a penny to buy a
loaf of bread!"

Yes--Clara's mother was very cruel; but God forbid, my little innocent
children, that you should ever know how hunger, and thirst, and misery,
may sometimes turn even that holy thing--a _mother's love_--to
bitterness.

Poor Clara! she had never known a better home than the filthy, dark
cellar, where poor people in cities huddle together like hunted cattle;
her little feet had never pressed the soft, green meadows; her little
fingers had never plucked the sweet wild-flowers; her little eyes had
never seen the bright, blue sky, save between dark brick walls. Her
little head often pained her. She was foot-weary and heart-sore; and
what was worse than all, she had never heard of heaven, "where the
weary rest." Wasn't it very pitiful?

Well, little Clara kissed my hand when she had eaten enough--(it was so
odd for _Clara_ to have _enough_)--and her sunken eyes grew bright, and
she said--"Now I shall not be beaten, because I've something left to
carry home;" so she told me where she lived, and I bade her good bye,
and told her I would come and see her mother to-morrow.

The next day I started again to find little Clara's mother. I was
_very_ happy going along, because I meant, if I could, to get her away
from her cruel mother; to make her clean and neat; to teach her how to
read and spell, and show to her that the world was not _all_
darkness--not _all_ sin, and tears, and sorrow; and to tell her of that
kind God who loves _everything_ that He has made. So as I told you I
was very happy,--the sun looked so bright to me--the sky so fair,--and
I could scarcely make my feet go fast enough.

Turning a corner suddenly, I met a man bearing a child's coffin. I
cannot tell you _why_ I stood still--why my heart sank like lead--why I
could not let him pass, till I asked him what little form he was
bearing away,--or why my heart told me, before he answered, that it was
my poor little Clara.

Yes--it was she! I was too late--_she_ was in the little coffin! No
hearse--no mourners--no tolling bell! Borne along--unnoticed--uncared
for--through the busy, crowded, noisy, streets. But, dear children,
kind Angels looked pitying down, and Clara "hungers no more--nor
thirsts anymore--neither shall the sun light on her, nor any heat."



A LITTLE BOY WITH A BIG HEART.


Such a rich man as little Georgey's father was; so _many_ houses, and
shops, and farms as he owned; so many horses and carriages; such a big
house as he lived in, by the Park, and so many servants as he had in
it,--but he loved little Georgey better than any of them, and bought
him toys enough to fill a shop, live animals enough to stock a
menagerie, and jackets and trousers enough to clothe half the boys in
New-York.

Georgey was a pretty boy; he had a broad, noble forehead, large, dark,
loving eyes, and a form as straight and lithe as a little Indian's. His
mother was very proud of him,--not because he was good, but because he
was pretty. She was a very foolish woman, and talked to him a great
deal about his fine clothes, and his curling hair; but for all that she
didn't make out to spoil Georgey. _He_ didn't care an old marble, not
he, for all the fine clothes in Christendom; and would have been glad
to have had every curl on his merry little head clipped off.

Georgey had no brothers or sisters. He was so sorry for that--he would
rather have had such a playmate than all the toys his father bought
him. His little heart was brim full of love, and his birds, and
rabbits, and ponies were well enough, but they couldn't say, "Georgey,
I love you;" neither could he make them understand what he was thinking
about; so he wearied of them, and would often linger in the street, and
look after the little groups of children so wistfully, that I quite
pitied him. I used to think that, with all his money, he wasn't half as
happy as little Pat and Neil Connor, two little Irish brothers who
played hop-scotch every day under my window.

                          *          *          *

It was a very cold day in January. Jack Frost had been out all day on a
frolic, and was still busily at work. He had drawn all sorts of
pictures on the window panes, such as beautiful trees and flowers, and
great towering castles, and tall-masted ships, and church spires, and
little cottages, (so oddly shaped); beside birds that "Audubon" never
dreamed of, and animals that Noah never huddled into the ark. Then he
festooned all the eaves, the fences, and trees, and bushes with crystal
drops, which sparkled and glittered in the sunbeams like royal
diamonds--then he hung icicles on the poor old horses' noses, and
tripped up the heels of precise old bachelors, and sent the old maids
spinning round on the sidewalks, till they were perfectly ashamed of
themselves; and then he got into the houses, and burst and cracked all
the water pitchers, and choked up the steady old pump, so that it might
as well have been without a nose as with one, and pinched the cheeks of
the little girls till they were as red as a pulpit cushion, blew right
through the key hole on grandpa's poor, rheumatic old back, and ran
round the street corner, tearing open folks' cloaks, and shawls, and
furred wrappers, till they shook as if they had an ague fit. I verily
believe he'd just as quick trip up our minister's heels as yours or
mine! Oh, he is a graceless rogue--that Jack Frost! and many's the time
he's tipped Aunt Fanny's venerable nose with indigo.

Georgey didn't care a penny whistle for the fellow, all muffled up to
the chin in his little wadded velvet sack, with a rich cashmere scarf
of his mother's wound about his neck, and a velvet cap crushed down
over his bright, curly head.

How the sleighs did fly past! with their gaily fringed buffaloes, and
prancing horses necklaced with little tinkling bells. How merry the
pretty ladies peeped from out their gay worsted hoods! Oh! it was a
pretty sight,--Georgey liked it--everybody moved so briskly, and seemed
so happy!

What ails Georgey now? He has crossed the street, stopped short, and
the bright color flushes his cheeks, till he looks quite beautiful. Ah!
he has spied a little apple girl, seated upon the icy pavement. The
wind is making merry with her thin rags,--her little toes peep, blue
and benumbed, from out her half-worn shoes,--and she is blowing on her
stiffened fingers, vainly trying to keep them warm.

Georgey looked down at his nice warm coat, and then at Kate's thin
cotton gown. Georgey never was cold in his life, never hungry. His eyes
fill--his little breast heaves. Then quickly untwisting the thick, warm
scarf from his little throat, he throws it round her shivering form and
says, with a glad smile, _That will warm you!_--and bounds out of sight
before she can thank him. Old Mr. Prince stands by, wiping his eyes,
and says, "God bless the boy!--that's worth a dozen sermons; I'll send
a load of wood to little Kate's mother."



MAY MORNING.


Oh, May is a coquette! Don't trust her. She will smile on you one
minute, and frown on you the next--toss you flowers with one hand, and
hail stones with the other. _I_ know her. Many's the time she has
coaxed me out of a good, warm bed, wheedled me into the fields in a
white dress and thin shoes, and then sent me home wet as a drowned
kitten, with a snapping headache, to a cold breakfast.

Yes--I used to "go a-Maying."

Such a watching of the clouds and weather-cock the night before; such a
fixing of sashes, and wreaths, and hats, and dresses; so many charges
to Betty, the cook, to wake us up by daylight; such a wondering how
mother and father could lie a-bed of a May morning;--such a tossing,
and twisting, and turning, the night before; such a putting aside of
muslin curtains, to see if it wasn't "most daylight;" such surprise
when Aunt Esther came creeping up stairs, shading her night-lamp and
saying, "it was only ten o'clock!" Such broken slumbers as we had--such
funny dreams--and such a galvanic jump out of bed the next morning,
when Betty gave us one of her pump-handle shakes. Then such a time
washing, and combing, and dressing! such long faces when a great
thumping rain drop fell upon the window! such a consultation as to the
expediency of wearing our "best clothes;" such clapping of hands when
the sun finally shone out again; such fears lest Anna Maria and Sarah
Sophia's mother wouldn't let them come to meet us as they promised.
Such a tip-toeing over wet sidewalks, out into the country; such a talk
after we got off the brick pavements, as to which was the prettiest
road; such a wondering what _had_ become of all the flowers; such
regrets that we didn't think to fill our pockets with crackers; such a
picking out of pebble stones from thin shoes; such a drawing up of thin
shawls over shivering shoulders; such a dismay when a great black cloud
emptied itself down on our "best clothes;" such congratulations when
our good-natured, rosy-faced, merry milkman meeting us, stowed and
wedged us away amid his milk-cans, to bring us safely back to the city.
Such a creeping in the back way, lest "that torment of a Tom" should
laugh at us; such a coaxing of Betty to cook us a good, hot breakfast;
and such a gaping and yawning in school for a week after.

Oh! you know all about it,--everybody knows that it is just as sure to
rain on a May morning, as it is to thaw when your schoolmaster attempts
to treat himself and you to a sleigh-ride on _your_ hoarded ninepences!

So take my advice and turn your back on May--she is a fickle little
gypsey. Ask the first Irishman you meet if June isn't the month to go
a-Maying?--June, with her light, green robe, and violet-slippered feet,
and sweet, warm breath, and rose-garlanded hair? ah, June is the month
to go a-Maying! Pat will tell you so.



THE LITTLE DANDELION MERCHANT.


Tattered straw hat, buttonless jacket, and shoeless feet. That is a
large basket for so young a lad as Jemmy to carry. He brushed the dew
from the grass this morning by daylight; his stock in trade consisting
of only a jack-knife and that basket; but "Uncle Sam" owns the
dandelions, and Jim is a Yankee, (born with a trading bump,) and
ninepence a basket is something to think of. To be sure he has cut his
bare feet with a stone, but that's a trifle. See, he is on his way to
the big house yonder, for the old housekeeper and her mistress have
both a tooth for dandelions. Jemmy swings the tattered part of his hat
round behind, and using a patch of grass for a mat, steps lightly up
the avenue.

How still and mirror-like the little pond looks. How gracefully the
long willow-tips bend to kiss the surface; how lazily the little gold
fish float beneath. There is not air enough to shake the perfume from
out the locust blossoms, and old Bruno has crawled into the shade,
although the sun is not two hours high.

What a fine old house! and how many dandelions somebody must have dug
to buy it!--Jemmy's arithmetic couldn't compute it; and that fine
statue, too, on the brink of the pond, with its finger on its lip;
(it's no use, is it Jemmy?) the birds won't "hush" for the daintiest
bit of marble ever sculptured; nested to their minds; no taxes to
pay;--nothing to do but warble. May no sportsman's gun send them
quivering through the branches.

Now Jemmy has reached the kitchen door, and gives a modest rap. Smart
"Tim," the footman, opens it, and with one application of his
aristocratic toe, sends the dandelion basket spinning down the avenue!
Jemmy's Yankee blood is up; his dark eyes flash lightning, he clenches
his brown fist, sets his ivory teeth together, and brings his little
bare foot down on the gravel-walk, with an emphasis; but he sees it is
no use, he is no match for the pampered footman; and great rebellious
tears gather in his eyes, as he picks up his scattered treasures,
saying,--"Ninepence would have bought my book."

"Would it, Jemmy? Well--here it is--'the fairies' have sent it you."

What a pretty picture he makes, as he pushes back his thick locks, and
flashes those great, dark, Italian eyes--it is worth a hundred
ninepences to see such a beaming face.

After all, dear reader, one need not be a "Rothschild," to make a
fellow creature glad. Happiness is a cheaper thing than we are apt to
think.



WALTER WILLET.


Did you ever live in a hotel? I dare say you may have, (some time or
other, when you have been on a journey.) Perhaps your _home_ is in a
hotel. I hope not; because a good, cozy, quiet house of one's own, away
from noise and bustle, is so much better for little children--and grown
people too.

Walter lived in a hotel, with his father and mother and two little
sisters. Walter was very tired of it. His mother never staid in the
nursery; she was always down in the drawing-room, talking to
finely-dressed ladies; and, when his father came home from the store,
he never played with his little boy, but went into the gentlemen's
room, to smoke cigars.

The nursery was very small, and Walter's two little sisters cried a
great deal--sometimes from pain, and sometimes because Betty, the
nurse, got cross and shook them roughly, and took no pains to amuse
them when their mother staid away such a long, long while. So, little
Walter didn't fancy staying in the nursery much, and as he was not
allowed to go into the drawing-room, for fear his shirt-collar might be
tumbled, or his jacket on awry, or his boots have a mud speck on them,
the poor child had nothing left to do but wander round the hall and
lobbies, and see the chambermaids sweep the rooms, and hear the waiters
swear at each other, and watch the stages and trunks and passengers
come and go.

When Walter wearied of this, he'd creep into the "bar-room," and watch
the clerk pour out brandy, and wine and whiskey for the gentlemen to
drink. Walter liked to see them drink it, because it made them laugh so
hard, and clap each other on the back, and tell such funny stories; and
then, sometimes, they would call to him and feed him with the sugar and
brandy in the bottom of the tumbler; and Walter thought it very sweet
and nice, and made up his mind that when _he_ grew to be a man, he'd
have just as much brandy as ever he could drink.

Walter's mamma didn't think, as she sat there in the drawing-room,
dressed like a French doll, that her little curly headed Walter was
learning how to be a drunkard; no, she was a careless young mamma, and
didn't think, (perhaps she didn't know,) how closely little children
must be watched, to make them grow good men and women.

Sometimes Walter went down to peep into the kitchen. There is always a
great deal going on in a hotel kitchen,--so many turkeys and chickens
and birds and fish to fix for dinner. Walter liked to see them roast a
little pig whole, and then put an ear of corn in his mouth and lay him
on a plate--or make a lobster salad look like a turtle, or a boiled ham
like a _pork_-upine! Then Pietro, the cook, was worth looking at,
himself. He was a great six-footer of an Italian; with eyes--(my
senses, how big and how black they were!) Walter thought he must look
like the robbers that his uncle John, who had been across the seas,
used to tell about. Then, Pietro had such big, fierce whiskers, too,
and always wore a bright scarlet cap, with a long gilt tassel, and
altogether, for a cook, he looked very picturesque--(Aunt Fanny knows
that's a long word, but you must look it out in the dictionary.) When
Pietro got angry with any of the waiters, I promise you he'd make his
frying-pan fly across the kitchen as if it were bewitched, and then
poor little Walter would fly up stairs as fast as his little fat legs
could carry him.

But Pietro was not always cross, for all he looked as though he had
been fed on thunder; no--he often tossed Walter a bunch of raisins, or
a rosy apple; and it was quite beautiful when he _did_ smile, to see
his white teeth glitter. Sometimes, when he was waiting for some dish
to cook, he would take Walter on his knee, and tell him of his own
beautiful bright Italy, where the skies were as soft and blue as
Walter's eyes, and where (if we might believe Pietro) one might dance
and sing and eat grapes forever, without working for them; but when
Walter looked up innocently and said, "then why didn't you stay there,
Pietro?" Pietro would drop him as if he had been a red-hot potatoe, and
hiss something in Italian from between his teeth, that poor little
Walter could not begin to understand; but as he was a pretty sensible
little boy, he always took himself off till Pietro felt better natured,
and asked him no more questions.

One rainy day Walter had wandered all over the hotel, trying to get
amused. The nurse had a friend call to see her, and she had given his
little sisters all Walter's playthings, to keep them quiet, that they
need not trouble _her_; and Walter's mamma told him, when he put his
little head into the drawing-room, that "she didn't care what he did,
if he didn't bother _her_;" so the poor little fellow was quite at his
wits' ends to know what to do with himself. Finally it struck him that
it would be fine fun to "play fish." So he went to one of his mother's
drawers and got a long string, on the end of which he fastened a
crooked pin; then he went way up--up--up--so _many_ flights of stairs,
to the very highest entry he could find, way to the top of the house;
from there the stair-case wound round, and round, and round, like a
cork-screw, down into the front entry, far enough to make you dizzy to
look over.

Well, Walter let down his line, and then he reached over his little
curly head to see how far it went. Poor, merry, bright-eyed little
Walter!--how can I tell the rest? Over he went, beating and bruising
his little head--down--down--till he reached the marble floor in the
lower entry, where he was taken up--_dead_!

His young mamma cried very hard,--but that didn't bring back her poor,
neglected little boy; but it made her a better mother. She loves to
stay in the nursery now, with Walter's little sisters nestled in her
lap; and sometimes when they smile, she will part the sunny curls from
their little foreheads, and the tears will fall like rain drops on
their rosy faces, as she remembers her poor, darling, mangled, little
Walter.



CHILDREN, DID YOU EVER HEAR OF MR. "THEY SAY?"


I shan't ask you if you ever saw him, because I know that, like other
cowards, he generally skulks out of sight; but I'm very sure if you
could get a peep at him, you would find that he had a "cloven foot."
But if I can't tell you _who_ Mr. "They Say" is, I can tell you _what_
he is.

It quite drives him frantic to see any person happier than himself, or
more fortunate; and as sure as any one gets more love, or more money,
than he has, he will knit his ugly brows to contrive somehow to give
them the heart-ache. Sometimes he will do it in one way, and sometimes
in another; sometimes he will do it by shrugging his shoulders, shaking
his head, and looking as if he _could_ say something dreadful bad about
a person, if he only had a mind to. He has made many a poor woman, who
had no brave arm to strike the coward down, weep her bright eyes dim,
till she longed to lay her aching head with the silent company in the
quiet church-yard.

You'd suppose that nobody who owned a heart, would ever choose the
society of such a wicked villain. You'd suppose nobody who loved God,
would ever listen to him, or repeat his false sayings; but, alas!
people are so fond of hearing "something new," that they can't make up
their minds to turn their backs upon him; so they sit, and smile, and
listen, till he has nothing more to tell, and then they draw down their
faces, and tell him he "_ought not to talk so_!"--just as if Mr. "They
Say" didn't see that they were perfectly delighted with him? Certainly,
he goes off laughing in his sleeve to think they suppose him such a
fool.

Mr. "They Say" is a very great traveler. It is astonishing how much
ground he can get over without the help of steamboats, cars, stages, or
telegraph wires. He may be found in a thousand places at once--in every
little village in the United States--in every house and shop and hotel
and office. _Editors_ are very fond of Mr. "They Say." They always give
him the best chair in the office, for he is an amazing help to them. In
fact, it is Aunt Fanny's opinion, that their newspapers would die a
natural death without him. To be sure, he sometimes gets them into
shocking scrapes with his big fibs; but they know how to twist and turn
out of it.

Yes, Mr. "They Say" is a cowardly liar! He couldn't look an honest man
straight in the eye, any more than he could face a cannon ball. He
would turn as pale as a snow-wreath, and melt into nothing just about
as quick.

Oh! Aunt Fanny knows all about him. So when he comes on _her_ track,
she looks straight at her inkstand, and minds her own business. She
knows that nothing plagues the old fellow like being treated with
perfect indifference. _That's_ the way to kill him off!



THE LITTLE MARTYR.


How brightly the silver moon shines in that little bow window! Let us
peep in. What do you see? A little girl lies there sleeping. She is
very fair--tears are upon her cheeks--she sighs heavily, and clasps a
letter tightly to her little bosom.

She is young to know sorrow. Life's morning should be all
sunshine;--clouds come at its noon and eve.

                          *          *          *

Listen! some one glides gently into Nettie's room. It is a very old
lady, but her form is drawn up as straight as your own, though her face
is seamed with wrinkles and her hand trembles with age. She is stern
and hard-featured. Should you meet her anywhere you would feel a chill
come over you, as if the bright sun were clouded. You never would dare
to lay your head upon her lap, and you would not think of kissing her,
any more than you would a stone post.

See! she creeps up to Nettie's bed, and a heavy frown gathers on her
wrinkled face as she spies the letter on her bosom. Now she draws it
from between the child's fingers, reads it, mutters something between
her closed teeth, and then burns it to cinders in the candle; then she
shakes her head, and frowning darkly at little Nettie, glides,
spectre-like, out of the room.

                          *          *          *

The same bright moon shines in at a window in the city. It is past
midnight, but a lady sits there, toiling, toiling, toiling, though her
lids long ago drooped heavily, and the candle is nearly burned to the
socket. _Why_ does she toil? Why does she sigh? Why does she get up and
walk the floor as if afraid that sleep may overtake her?

Ah! a mother's love never dies out. That lady is Nettie's mother. She
has something to work _for_;--she is trying to earn money enough (cent
by cent) to bring home, and clothe and feed that poor little weeping,
home-sick Nettie, who cried herself to sleep, with her mother's letter
hugged to her bosom.

The old lady whom you saw burning Nettie's letter, was her grandmother.
She was very jealous of Nettie's mother, because her son (Nettie's
father,) loved her so well; and after he died she revenged herself upon
her, by giving her all the pain she could. She promised if Nettie would
come and live with her to be kind to her; and as Nettie's mother and
little sister Ida hadn't enough to eat, Nettie had to go and live with
the old lady. She cried very hard, and her mother cried too, and so did
Nettie's little sister Ida; but the old lady promised that Nettie
should come often and see them, and that they should come and see her.
But she only said so to get Nettie away. After she got her she was very
unkind to her, and used to tell her that her mother "was a foolish
woman--not fit to bring her up"--and when Nettie got up to leave the
room, because she couldn't bear to hear her talk against her dear
mother, the old lady would shake her, and bring her back, and sit her
down on the chair so hard as to make her cry with pain, and then force
her to hear all she had to say.

You may be sure that all this made poor little Nettie feel very
miserable. She had nothing to amuse her; she wasn't allowed to drive
hoop, because it was "boy's play;" she wasn't allowed to go to walk,
for fear she would "wear her shoes out;" she wasn't allowed to read
story-books, for fear she "wouldn't study;" she wasn't allowed to play
with dolls, because "it was silly;" she mustn't go visiting, because
"it wasn't proper;" she mustn't have a playmate come to see her,
because "it made a disturbance;" she couldn't have a kitten, because
"animals were a nuisance;" she mustn't talk to her grandmother, because
"little girls must be seen and not heard." So she sat there, like a
little automaton, and watched the clock tick, and counted the times her
grandmother put on and took off her spectacles, and thought of her
mother and little sister till she bit her finger nails so that they
bled.

Once in a great while, when Nettie had worried her self nearly sick,
she got leave to go and see her mother. Then her grandmother always put
on her worst clothes, to try to make her ashamed to go, and when she
found that Nettie didn't care for her clothes, if she could only see
her mother, she scolded and fretted and worried her, and gave her so
many charges to come home at a particular hour, else she should be
punished, that poor Nettie didn't enjoy her visit at all, but would
start and turn pale every time she heard a clock strike, and get so
nervous as to bring on a bad headache; and then, when she got home, the
old lady would say that it was just like her mother to make her sick,
and that she shouldn't go again.

Perhaps you'll ask if Nettie's mother never went to see her. You know
it costs money to go in the cars, and Nettie's mother had no money,
though she tried hard to earn it. Once in a while she could save up
cents enough to carry her there; but she always had to carry something
in her pocket for little Ida and herself to eat, for the old lady
wouldn't offer them even a glass of water, because she didn't want them
to come and see Nettie.

When they got there poor little Nettie would meet them at the door,
with a troubled, frightened look upon her face; and without speaking a
word, would lead them through the entry by the hand into her own little
room; then she'd close the door, and after looking timidly about the
room, jump into her mother's lap and kiss her hands and face, and cry
and laugh, and hug little Ida; and Ida and her mother would cry too,
and then Nettie would ask, sobbing, "if her mother hadn't earned money
enough yet to take her away," and say that she'd rather starve with her
mother, than live there, she was so wretched. And Nettie's mother would
kiss her, and soothe her, and tell her how late she sat up toiling to
get money; and then Nettie would cry for fear her mother would get
sick, and then they'd all kiss each other, and almost _wish_ that God
would let them die (then) just as they were--_together_.

                          *          *          *

Again the silver harvest-moon shines down upon the silent city. Through
a curtained window its rays fall softly upon a bed, where lies a lady
sleeping. See! she smiles! _What! Nettie's mother smile?_ Ah, yes; for
_Nettie's_ golden head is pillowed on her breast. Nettie's loving arms
are twined about her neck. God is good;--the "barrel of meal" does not
fail, nor the "cruse of oil." Well may Nettie's mother smile, now that
all she craves on earth is in her clasping arms.



SELFISH MATTHEW.


Such a selfish boy as Matthew was! You wouldn't have given a fig to
play with him. He had carpenters' tools and books, and chequers and
chess, and drawing materials, and balls and kites, and little ships and
skates, and snow-shovels and sleds. Oh! I couldn't tell you _all_ he
had, if I talked a week.

Well, if you went in of a Saturday afternoon to play with him, he'd
watch all these things as closely as a cat would a mouse; and if you
went within shooting distance of them, he'd sing out,--"D-o-n-'t;
t-h-a-t-'s m-i-n-e!" Of course it wasn't much fun to go and see him.
You'd got to play everything he wanted, or he'd pout and say he
wouldn't play at all. He had slices of cake, that he had hoarded up
till they were as hard as his heart; and cents, and dimes, and half
dimes, that he used to handle and jingle and count over, like any
little miser. All the beggars in the world couldn't have coaxed one out
of his pocket had they been starving to death.

Then Matthew was such a cry-baby. I love a _brave_ boy. He'd go
screaming to his mother if he got a scratch, as if a wild tiger were
after him; and if you said anything to him about it, he'd pout, and
stick out his lips so far that you might have hung your hat on 'em! It
was like drawing teeth to get him to go across the room to hand you a
newspaper. He ought to have had a little world all to himself, hadn't
he?

Well, I used to pity him--there was nothing child-like about him. He
always seemed to me like a little wizzled-up, miserly old man. He never
tossed his cap up in the air, and laughed a good hearty laugh; he never
sprang or ran, or climbed or shouted; no--he crawled round as if he had
lead weights on his heels, and talked without scarce moving his lips,
and wore a face as long as the horse's in your father's barn. _Such_ a
boy as he was! Had he been mine I should have tried to get some life
into him somehow.

When his mother was told of his faults, she'd say, "Oh, he'll out-grow
them by and by." I knew better. I knew that his selfishness would grow
as fast as he did; and that when he came to be a man, he would be
unfeeling to the poor, and make hard bargains with them, and wring the
last penny out of their poor, threadbare pockets.

Poor Matthew! he'll never be happy; no--he never'll know the luxury of
making a sad face bright, or of drying up the tear of the despairing;
and when he dies he can't carry his money _with_ him--he has got to
leave it at the tomb door,--and who, do you suppose, will come there to
mourn for him?

Oh, dear children, be _generous_--if you haven't but half a stick of
candy, give _somebody_ a bite of it. Perhaps some child will say "But I
haven't anything _to give_." That's a mistake; that boy or girl isn't
living who has nothing to give. Give your sympathy--give pleasant words
and beaming smiles to the sad and weary-hearted. If a little child goes
to your school who is poorly clad, patched, darned; nay, even
ragged;--if the tear starts to his eye when your schoolmates laugh, and
shun, and refuse to play with him--just you go right up and put your
arms round his neck; ask him to play with _you_. _Love him_;--love
sometimes is meat and drink and clothing. You can all love the sad and
sorrowful. Then never say you have "_nothing to give_."



CITY CHILDREN.


I wonder where all the little children are? I can't find any here in
New-York. There are plenty of young gentlemen and ladies, with little
high-heeled boots, and ruffled shirts, who step gingerly, carry
perfumed handkerchiefs, use big words, talk about parties, but who
would be quite at a loss how to use a hoop or a jump rope--little pale,
candy-fed creatures, with lustreless eyes, flabby limbs, and no more
life than a toad imbedded in a rock,--little tailor and milliner "lay
figures," stiff, fine and artificial.

No; there are no little _children_ here. I'm very sorry;--I love little
children. I used to know some once, with broad, full chests; plump,
round limbs; feet that knew how to run, and hands that could venture to
go through an entry without drawing on a kid glove,--blithe, merry
little children, who got up and went to bed with the sun; who fed on
fresh, new milk, and stepped on daisies, and knew more about
butter-cups and clover blossoms, than parties and fashions,--little
guileless children, who danced and jumped and laughed for the same
reason the birds sing--_because they couldn't help it_,--who didn't
care any more than the birds, whether their plumage was red, green,
yellow or brown, so that they could dart and skim and hop where they
liked, warble when they had a mind, and fold their wings where they
pleased, when weary. But _these_ little city hot-house plants,
shivering, shrinking, drooping--I had almost said _dying_, every time
the wind blows--it quite makes my heart ache.

I think I must go hunt up their mammas, and beg them to give their
little sensitive plants more air and sunshine, to make them hardy. Dear
me! the mammas here are never at home. Some are in the great ladies'
saloon (bright with gilding and mirrors,) in Broadway, sipping red
"cordial," eating sugared wine drops and French cakes, and chattering
with the gentlemen; some are at Madam Modeste's, planning a new ball
dress, and talking about feathers and fashions; some are looking at a
set of diamonds at the jewellers; and some are still in bed, although
it is high noon, because they danced themselves so weary last night.
So, poor little things, I suppose you must stay in your heated
nurseries, bleaching like potato sprouts in a dark cellar, till Molly
or Betty think best to let you out. Well, Aunt Fanny would be _so_ glad
to tie a little sun-bonnet on your head, put on a dress loose enough to
run in, and take you off into the country a while. She'd show you
little cups and saucers, made of acorns, that would beat all they have
in the Broadway toy-shops, (and cost you nothing, either); and soft,
green seats of moss, embroidered with little golden flowers, much
handsomer than any the upholsterer could put in your mamma's drawing
room, (and which never fade in the sunlight); then she'd show you a
pretty picture of bright green fields, where a silver stream goes
dancing through, where little fish dart beneath, where the heated
cattle come to drink, and the little birds dip their wings, then are
off and away!

Oh, such merry times as we'd have! I know where the purple geranium
grows; where the bright scarlet columbine blushes, and where the pale
wax plant hides under its glossy green leaf. I know where the blue eyed
anemone blossoms; I know where the bright lobelia nods its royal
scarlet head; (I know how to pull off my shoes and wade in after it,
too); and I know how to make a wreath of it for your pretty little
head. Oh, I know how to make your eyes shine--and your little heart
happy. So tie on your sun-bonnet, and come with me,--the more the
merrier. I don't believe your mammas will ever know you, when I bring
you back.



ROSALIE AND BETTY.


Everybody called Rosalie a beauty. Everybody was right. Her cheeks
looked like a ripe peach; her hair waved over as fair a forehead as
ever a zephyr kissed; her eyes and mouth were as perfect as eyes and
mouth could be; no violet was softer or bluer than the one, no rose-bud
sweeter than the other. All colors became Rosalie, and whatever she did
was gracefully done.

Yes, everybody thought Rosalie was "a beauty." _Rosalie thought so
herself._ So, she took no pains to be good, or amiable, or obliging.
She never cared about learning anything, for she said to herself, I can
afford to have my own way; I can afford to be a dunce if I like; I
shall be always sought and admired for my pretty face.

So, Rosalie dressed as tastefully as she and the dress-maker knew how,
and looked _up_ to show her fine eyes, and _down_ to show her long
eye-lashes, and held up her dress and hopped over little imaginary
puddles, to show her pretty feet; and smiled to show her white teeth;
and danced to show her fine form--and was as brilliant and as brainless
as a butterfly.

Now, I suppose you think that Rosalie was very happy. Not at all! She
was in a perfect fidget lest she should not get all the admiration she
wanted. She was torturing herself all the while, for fear some prettier
face would come along, and eclipse hers. If she went to a party and
every person in the room (but one) admired her, she would fret herself
sick, because _that one_ didn't bow down and worship her.

Never having studied or read anything, Rosalie could talk nothing but
nonsense; so, everybody who conversed with her, talked nonsense, too,
and paid her silly compliments, and made her believe that all she
needed to make her _quite_ an angel was a pair of wings; and then she
would hold her pretty head on one side, and simper; and they would go
away laughing in their sleeves, and saying, "What a vain little fool
Rosalie is!"

Now, Rosalie's cousin Hetty was as plain as a chestnut-bur. She had not
a single pretty feature in her face. Nobody ever thought of calling
Hetty a beauty, and _she knew it_! She was used to being overlooked;
but she didn't go whining round and making herself unhappy about
it,--not she. She just put her mind on something else. She studied, and
read books, and learned a great many useful things; so, she had a great
deal in her mind to think of, and went singing about as happy as could
be, without minding whether anybody noticed her or not.

So she grew up sweet-tempered, amiable, generous and happy. When she
went into company, strangers would say, "What a plain little body Hetty
is." If they could not find anybody else to talk to, they'd go speak to
her. Then Hetty would look up at them with one of her quiet smiles, and
commence talking. She would say a great many very sensible things, and
some queer ones, and they would listen--and listen--and listen--and by
and by look at their watch and wonder what _had_ made time fly so; and
then go home, wondering to themselves _how they could ever call such an
agreeable girl as Hetty "homely_."

So you see, everybody learned to love her when they found out what a
_beautiful soul_ she had; and while Rosalie was pining and fretting
herself sick because her beauty was fading, and her admirers were
dropping off one by one, to flatter prettier faces, Hetty went quietly
on her way, winning hearts and----_keeping them, too_.



THE CRYSTAL PALACE.


How many of my little readers have seen the Crystal Palace, in
New-York? Those of you who have, can skip these pages, while I talk to
some of your little bright-eyed country cousins, who have never been
there.

You know, my dear little daisies, that poor city children, who have to
walk on brick pavements, and breathe bad air, ought to have something
by way of a sugar plum, now and then, to make up for it. So, you
mustn't pout because _they_ have seen the Crystal Palace, and _you_
have not.

You know John Bull got up a Crystal Palace in England, some time since,
to which people of all nations sent articles of their own making,--not
to sell, but to show the great crowd who came to look at them what they
could do when they tried. It was a grand thing, because it made them
anxious to finish off everything in the best possible manner; and as
many of the articles were very useful, it did a great deal of good.
Then, it brought thousands of people to see it, and that made Adam's
sons and daughters better acquainted, and more sociable, and happier;
so, it was a very excellent thing on that account.

Well, you know that we Americans are a very smart people, (ask your
grandfather if we are not,) and we made up our minds that we would show
John Bull, and Sandy, and Pat, a Crystal Palace of our own; and when an
American says he will do a thing--it is done!

So, I was not at all astonished at what I saw last night;--such a
beautiful building,--such a splendid glass roof--such a blaze of light,
(for it was evening) my eyes were almost put out! I couldn't begin to
tell you all the pretty things there were in it, but if you wish to
know what I wanted more than anything else, it was a little marble
statue (I suppose you would call it "an image") of a sleeping child. It
had the prettiest, plumpest little dimpled limbs, you ever saw, and
such an innocent little cherub face; I wanted to catch it up and run
away with it.

There were a great many very beautiful statues there, some of which
would have made you cuddle very close up to your mother, and hold her
hand very tight; for instance, one statue representing a dead mother
with a live baby lying on her breast, and a great, strong eagle
fastening its claws in the little baby to carry it off. And then, there
was a statue of an enormous bear, giving a poor man _such_ a
hugging--squeezing the very life out of him; he wouldn't have had to
squeeze you at all to kill you, for the very sight of such a grizzly
monster would have scared you to death in an instant.

Then there was a glass case full of swords, and dirks, and daggers, and
all sorts of instruments to kill people; and you would have been as
glad as I was, had you seen them hanging up there so harmlessly,
instead of making widows and orphans, on the battlefield.

Then, there were beautiful pianos with silver keys, and rich sofas, and
bedsteads, and chairs, and tables, and bureaus; and pretty, tempting
work-boxes, full of all sorts of knick-knacks to tempt ladies to be
industrious; and such dainty little writing desks!--oh, I can tell you,
it was very hard work not to covet those.

Then the diamonds, and amethysts, and emeralds, and pearls, and rubies,
fit for a queen's diadem;--they flashed in my eyes till I was almost
blind--but I would rather have had that little image of the sleeping
baby than the whole of them.

Then there were silks, and satins, and gauzes, and embroideries, and
worsted jackets, and tippets, and gloves, and shoes fit for Cinderella.

Then there were dolls, (boys and girls) dressed up to show off the
fashions. I should be sorry to see you finified up so. Then, there was
a beautiful baby's cradle, lined with soft, white satin, with a rich
lace curtain, fit for Queen Victoria's baby, or your mother's; and a
tiny little robe and cap lying near it, delicate as a lily leaf.

Then there was a tall wax lady dressed in deep black, (black eyes too)
to show off the mourning goods; and between you and me, I think she
_mourned_ quite as much as a great many persons who put on black.

Then there was a pyramid of perfumery--done up in bottles--enough to
sweeten the handkerchiefs and dispositions of all the young ladies in
New-York.

Then there were silver and gold tea-sets, and dishes and trays, and
knives and forks, for rich ladies who like to be tied to a bunch of
keys, and sleep with one eye open.

Then there were beautiful pictures, which many a poor artist had toiled
and sighed over, and which I should like to give him a good bag of
money for, and then hang them up in my parlor. Pictures are such
pleasant, quiet company.

Then there were a great many machines, and instruments, and engines, of
much importance, which grown up people would be interested in, but
which I will not describe to you.

Well, these pretty things I have told you about were not all on the
lower floor of the Palace. No; part of them were in the galleries. You
could sit there and look down below upon the great statue of General
Washington on horseback; upon Daniel Webster; and then, upon the
Lilliputians that were walking around looking at them; then, you could
shut your eyes and listen to the music, and fancy you were in some
enchanted region, for it was quite like a fairy tale, the whole of it.



KIZZY KRINGLE'S STORY.


I am an old maid. Perhaps I might have been married. Perhaps not. I
don't know as that is anybody's business.

I have a little room I call my own. There's a bedstead in it covered
with a patched quilt, made of as many colors as "Joseph's coat," and an
old-fashioned bureau with great claw feet, and a chair whose cushion is
stuffed with cotton batting; a wash-stand, a table, and a looking-glass
over it. At the side of the looking-glass is a picture of Daniel
Webster, which I look at oftener than in the looking-glass--for I am an
ugly old maid, and Daniel was one of a thousand.

Old maids like to have a good time, as well as other folks; so, I don't
shut myself up moping in my little salt-box of a room. When the four
walls close too tight round me, there are four or five families where I
go visiting, sometimes to breakfast, (for I'm an early riser,)
sometimes to tea, sometimes to dinner, and sometimes to all
three;--sometimes I stay all night.

Everybody is glad to see me, because I pay my way. If the baby has the
colic, I tend it; if Johnny wants a new tail to his kite, I make it; if
Susy has torn her best frock, I mend it; and if Papa comes slily up to
me and slips a dicky into my hand, I sew the missing string on, and say
nothing.

I have lately made the acquaintance of a new family, by the name of
Tompkins; and very pleasant people they are, too. They have a whole
house full of children,--not one too many, according to my way of
thinking. Louisas and Jennys, and Marthas and Marys, and Tommys and
Johnnys, besides a little baby that its mother has never had time to
name.

I love to watch little children. I love to hear them talk when they
don't think I am listening. I love to read to them and watch their eyes
sparkle. I love to play with them, and walk with them. They are often
much pleasanter company than grown people--at least, so Kizzy thinks.
But that is only an old maid's opinion.

I hadn't visited at the Tompkins' long, before I noticed that little
"Luly," as they called her, was one by herself; that is, she was not a
favorite with the rest of the family. At first I didn't understand how
it was, and I felt very much like saying I didn't like it; for Luly
seemed to be a nice little girl, and playful as a little kitty. She was
always laughing, singing, and dancing--now in at one door, and now out
at the other, like a will-o'-the-wisp, or a jack-o'-lantern. Why on
earth they didn't like Luly, I couldn't see. Being an old maid, of
course I couldn't rest easy till I found out the reason of this; and I
soon did it, as you'll see, if you read on to the end of my story.

One day Luly came to me saying, "Tell me a story, there's a good Kizzy,
I am tired of running round."

Well, I knit to my seam needle, and then I took her up on my lap and
began:

Once there was a little girl whose name was Violetta. She had never
kept still five minutes since she was born, and I suppose the
shoemakers were very glad of it. She was as much like a little squirrel
as a little girl could be--nibbling and scampering, scampering and
nibbling, from sunrise to sunset.

When Violetta came into the room, everybody looked uneasy. If her papa
was writing, he'd lay one hand over his papers, and push his ink-stand
as far as possible into the middle of the table; mamma would catch up
her work-basket and put it in her lap; her little brothers and sisters
would all scrabble up their playthings, and run; even the little baby
would crawl on its hands and knees as fast as it could, and catch hold
of its mother's gown.

You might be sure if you laid a thing out of your hand, you never would
find it in the same spot where you left it, if Violetta were in the
room. She would run off with your scissors, your bodkin, your
needlebook, and your spool of cotton; she would stuff your handkerchief
in her pocket by mistake; she'd break the strings of your bag, trying
to open it; she'd try your spectacles on to her kitten, and tie your
new tippet on the dog Ponto's neck.

Then she would run into the kitchen and dip her fingers into the
preserves, and upset the egg-basket, and open the oven door and let the
heat all out when the pies were baking, and leave the cover off the
sugar bucket, and dip into the milk to feed her kitty, and disturb the
cream, and nibble round a loaf of fresh cake, just like a little mouse.

Well, of course everybody disliked her, and hated to see her come where
they were. She never got invited anywhere, because nothing was safe
from her little Paul Pry fingers; and when company came she generally
got sent out of the room. It was a great pity, because she was really a
pretty little girl, and a very bright one, too.

"Oh, Miss Kizzy," said Luly, "I never will do so any more, I----"

Why, Luly, I didn't say _you_ did so; I was talking about Violetta.

"Oh, but it is just like _me_," said the honest little girl; "I have
done all those things, Miss Kizzy--every one of them; but I didn't
think it would make everybody hate me. I want to be loved, Miss Kizzy;
but you don't know how dreadful hard it is for a little girl to 'keep
still.'"

Yes I do, Luly; and you needn't "keep still," as you call it, but you
mustn't meddle with what don't belong to you. I see how it is: you are
a very active little girl, and want something to do all the time. I'll
ask your mother to let you go to school--(Luly frowned)--to me, Luly!

"Oh, that's so nice," said Luly. "Don't get a bench--will you? Don't
make me set up straight. Don't make me fold up my hands and keep my
toes still, will you, Miss Kizzy?"

Well, Luly came to my school, and stood up or sat down, just as she
liked. She was the only scholar I had, so I was not particular about
that; but after she had learned to read, she would "keep still" for
hours together without minding it, if you'd only give her a book.

Poor little Luly; she didn't _mean_ to be naughty; she only wanted
something to do. She is one of the best little girls now that ever
carried a satchel.



NEW-YORK IN SHADOW.


My dear little readers: But a step or two from the famous Broadway, in
New-York, where one sees so much riches and splendor, is a place called
the "Five Points," where the wicked poor live, huddled together in
garrets and cellars, half starved, half naked, and dirty, and wretched,
beyond what _you_, in your pure and happy homes, ever could dream of.
They were recently so numerous, so strong, and so cunning, that even
the police were afraid to go among them, for fear they should get
killed.

A good man by the name of Mr. Pease heard of this dreadful place, and
went down there to see what he could do to make the people better. I
had heard how much good he had done, and to-day I went down to the Five
Points to see for myself.

Oh, I couldn't tell you half the misery that stared me in the face, as
I passed through those streets. Slatternly women, huddled round cellar
doors; dirty children, half naked, playing in the muddy gutters, and
hearing words that may never, never be written for you to read.

Then, there were drinking shops, with such shocking odors issuing from
doors and windows; and red-faced, blear-eyed men, half drunk, leaning
against the barrels, and sitting on the side-walks; and decayed fruit,
in windows so thick with dirt that one could scarcely see through them;
and second-hand, faded dresses and bonnets for sale, swinging from out
the doorways; and girls with uncombed hair and bare feet and bold
faces, fighting and swearing; and old, gray-haired men, smoking pipes
and drinking. I was quite sick at heart, and was glad to get into Mr.
Pease's house, and find _something_ doing to make things better.

Mr. Pease is a very sensible man, as well as a kind hearted one. Some
people who had always had enough to eat, drink, and wear themselves,
wished him only to pray for, and talk to these poor creatures, and give
them tracts; but Mr. Pease knew that many of them were willing to work,
and only stole because they could not get work to do, and must either
steal or starve. So he knew it was no use to talk and tell them they
must be good, so long as he didn't show them any way by which they
could earn their living honestly.

So, like a sensible man, in the first place he took a shop, and got a
great many coarse shirts to make, and told these poor women if they
would come in and make them, he would pay them money, and then they
needn't steal. And they came, too; for many of them were weary enough
of such a wretched life. Nobody likes to be dirty, instead of clean;
nobody likes to be despised, instead of loved; nobody likes a
police-man's hand on his throat, instead of the twining arms of the
good and pure.

No, indeed! Nobody _likes_ to be afraid to look up at the holy stars,
lest their bright eyes should see into their dark souls; nobody likes
to drink till they are senseless as a beast, to stifle the sweet voice
of conscience; nobody likes to be hungry, or thirsty, or sick and
diseased, or so miserable that death would be a blessing.

No, no--no, no! my dear children. So, these poor creatures came
flocking to Mr. Pease's shop, _glad_ to work,--glad of a _chance to
be honest_,--glad to see somebody, like Mr. Pease, who would reach
out his hand and _pull_ them out of this SEA OF SIN, instead of
standing on shore, with his hands folded, while they were drowning,
reading them a tract. They saw that he was _in earnest_,--they saw that
he didn't think himself too good to come right down and _live_ in that
dreadful neighborhood, if he only could help them. And then, when he
had shown them how to put honest bread in their mouths,--when he had
found the way to their hearts, (for these wretched creatures _have_
hearts,)--_then_ he talked to them of God and Heaven, till the tears
rained down their cheeks,--then he asked them to promise him to "go
and sin no more;" and they have kept their word, too. Isn't that good?

Another good thing Mr. Pease has done: he opened a school in this house
of his, for the children in the neighborhood, and I asked him to take
me in to see them. So, he opened a door, and there sat the little
creatures on low benches;--some black as "Topsy;" some white as you
are; some barefoot; some with shoes; some so small that their little
feet didn't touch the floor from the low benches; some sickly looking
and pallid; some rosy and bright; but all with clean hands and clean
faces.

At a signal from the lady teacher, they all began to sing, "A brighter
day will dawn to-morrow." I had to cry. I couldn't help it.

Some of the children had such pure, sweet faces, that as they sat there
singing, with their soft eyes looking upwards, I felt as if I had
almost rather they would die there, than go home through those dreadful
streets, into those wretched cellars, and hear the shocking words I had
heard, as I passed along through them.

I was so glad to learn from Mr. Pease, that some of these little
children, who had no parents, lived there in the house with him, and
that he kept the others in the _day time_, giving them their dinners at
noon. Poor, little innocent children! I looked at one little face after
another, and I _couldn't make it right_ that they should have to live
where they can't help sinning,--where they are _taught_ to be
wicked,--where they are whipped and beaten for _not_ being
wicked,--because rich people love silks and jewels too well, to give
Mr. Pease money to find them bread and shelter, and take them away.

Oh, if the rich ladies and gentlemen who live in fine houses, had only
seen those poor children as _I_ did, and heard their sweet voices, I
can't believe that they would suffer them to remain in such a sinful
and wretched condition. Some of them _have_ sent money, which has
helped Mr. Pease to buy a place in the country, where he means to carry
all the children he can get, away from that vile neighborhood.

Is not that nice? How I should like to see them running over the
fields, when work is done; tumbling about under the trees, growing
brown and rosy and healthy; listening, not to curses and oaths, but to
the warble of some dear little bird, praising God in his own sweet way,
for _his_ share of light and air and sunshine!

And now, as you sit in your happy homes, where you hear only kind,
good, pure words,--where you never tremble at your father's footfall,
or creep under the bed _for fear of your own mother_,--where you are
never hungry, or thirsty, or cold,--where you meet only loving smiles,
and go to sleep with the hand of blessing on your bright young
head,--oh, remember the poor little outcast ones still forced to live
at the Five Points; and if you cannot give them money to help them
away, fold your hands and pray God every night to "keep them from the
evil that is in the world."



HATTY'S MISTAKE.


"I am so glad it is Saturday afternoon!"--and little Hatty tossed off
her bonnet, and shook out her hair, and skipped up to her mother, who
sat making the baby's new red frock,--"I am glad it is Saturday; I
don't see the use of going to school, and I wish I never had to look
into a book again;" and down little Hatty jumped, two stairs at a time,
into the kitchen, to ask Bridget for an apple.

Bridget's red arms were up to the elbows in flour, making pies, and
Hatty said _she_ should like to help her. Bridget smiled at the idea of
"_helping_" her. But she liked Hatty; so she tied a great check apron
round her, tucked her curls behind her ears, and gave her a bit of
paste, and a little cup-plate on which to make herself a pie. So Hatty
rolled out the paste, keeping one eye all the while on Bridget, to see
how she did hers; and then she greased her little plate so that the pie
need not stick to it. When that was done, she filled up the inside with
stewed apple, then she tucked it all in with a nice "top crust," then
she worked it all round the edge with a tiny little key she had in her
pocket: then she looked up and said,

"Bridget! I wish I were _you_; I should have such a good time tasting
the apple-sauce, to see if it were sweet enough. I should like to go
out to service, Bridget, and never see that hateful school any more."

Bridget didn't answer, but she turned away and took a long-handled
shovel and poked her pies into the hot oven, and then Hatty heard her
draw a great long sigh.

"What is the matter, Bridget?" said Hatty. "Is your crust heavy?"

"No," said Bridget,--"but my _heart is_. I was thinking how I wished I
knew how to read and write. There's Patrick, my brother, way over in
Ireland--the last time I saw him I wasn't taller than that butter
firkin. Father and mother are dead, and Pat is just the pulse of my
heart, Hatty! Well, when he writes me a letter, it's me that can't for
the life of me read a word of it; and if I get Honora Donahue to read
it, I'm not sure whether she gets the right sense of it; and then a
body wants to read a letter more than once, you know; and so I take it
up, my darlin', and turn it over and over, and it's nothing but Greek
and Latin to poor Bridget. And so many's the time, Hatty, I've cried
hours over Pat's letters, for reason of that. Then I can't answer
them--cause you know I can't write--and in course I don't want to turn
my heart inside out for anybody else to write it to Pat for me; and so
you see, my darlin', it's a bother all round entirely,"--and Bridget
shut to the oven door, and wiped her eyes with the corner of her check
apron.

Hatty was a very warm-hearted little girl, and she couldn't bear to see
Bridget cry, so she threw down the bit of paste in her hand; then
starting to her feet, as if a sudden thought had struck her, ran
quickly up stairs into the parlor, where her mother was sitting,
talking with two ladies.

Hatty forgot that her face, and hands, and check apron, and even her
curls, were all over flour, when she burst into the room, saying,

"Oh, Mamma!--Bridget and I have been talking, and Bridget--(_great big_
Bridget!)--don't know how to read and write! and she has nobody to love
but Pat--and Pat is in Ireland; and when he writes her a letter she
can't read it, and she can't answer him, because she don't know how to
write; and she hasn't seen Pat since--since he was as little as a
butter firkin--and she is so unhappy--and, Mamma, mayn't I have an
A-B-C book, and teach Bridget how to read and how to write?" And little
Hatty stopped--not because she had no more to say, but because she was
out of breath.

Hatty's mamma smiled, and said, "There was a little girl just your
size, in here about an hour ago, who 'didn't see the use of going to
school, and wished she might never look into another book so long as
she lived.' Have you seen anything of her?"

[Illustration: HATTY'S MISTAKE.]

Hatty blushed and said, "Oh, Mamma, I never will be so foolish again. I
see now how bad it is not to learn when one is a little girl."

Well, the A-B-C book was bought, and very funny it was to see little
Miss Hatty looking so wise from under her curls, and pointing out the
letters to Bridget with a long knitting needle. It was very slow work,
to be sure; but then Hatty was patient, for she had a good, kind heart;
and how proud she was when Bridget was able to read Pat's letters! and
prouder yet when she learned to answer them! and you may be sure that
Hatty never was heard to say again that "she didn't see _the use of
going to school_."



MIN-YUNG.


Did you ever see a China-man? I used to know one. His head was quite
shaved, except a long braid, which hung down below his waist behind. I
suppose it wasn't all his own hair; but that's none of my business. He
had as much right to tie on a false tail, if he liked, as the gentlemen
in Broadway have to wear false whiskers, and false moustaches.

Perched on the top of his head was a little skull-cap, just about big
enough to fit your little baby brother. On his feet were wooden shoes,
curled up at the toes like the end of an Indian canoe. He also wore
blue and white stockings, and a blue Canton-crape wrapper.

Min-Yung (that was his name) had not been a great while in the United
States. He was coaxed away from China, with many others of his
countrymen, by some Americans, who imagined that they could make money
by exhibiting them over here, in their different Chinese dresses, and
making them play tricks, like so many monkeys. When they got them here,
they found "it didn't pay"; that is, people didn't care to give money
to go to see them. So they ran off, and left the poor Chinese, without
a cent, to take care of themselves in a strange country. Was not that
very mean?

Poor Min-Yung had pawned one of his dresses after another to pay for
things he needed, till they were all gone, and he looked quite worn out
and miserable. He couldn't speak but a word or two of our language, and
I couldn't speak Chinese; but I saw that he was sick and unhappy. So I
shook hands with him, and pointed to his forehead, and looked as
pitiful as I knew how; and then he nodded his head, and pulled up his
sleeve, that I might feel his pulse, and leaned his head on one side,
to show me how forlorn and weary he felt.

I thought that, perhaps, he might be faint, and need something to eat,
or drink; so I said "_Tea?_" for I knew that a China-man would be sure
to understand that word.

You should have seen what a horrid grimace he made, and how he lifted
up both his hands, as if to wave off an imaginary cup of tea! I always
thought that the tea sent over to this country from China was a
miserable humbug; so poor Min-Yung's horror at being asked to drink a
cup of it, quite upset me, and I laughed immoderately. Min-Yung
laughed, too; and understood by the way I shook my fore-finger at him,
just as well as if I had said, "You know very well, my dear Min-Yung,
that your countrymen make us swallow and pay for any sort of a mess
which they choose to baptize by the name of 'tea.'"

However, Min-Yung ate some nice jelly, without being poisoned, and
pocketed some money which was given him by a gentleman present, and
then he dropped on one knee very gracefully, and kissed first the
gentleman's hand, and then mine; and his little huckleberry eyes
twinkled, as much as to say, "You see, I'm very grateful."

With good, careful nursing, Min-Yung got better. I think it made him
almost well to speak kindly to him, for he had a good, affectionate
heart. When he got quite well and strong, he wanted to "be my servant."
I liked Min-Yung, but I had nothing for him to do; beside, I like to be
my own servant. It would make me as nervous as a cat in a china closet,
to have anybody always standing behind my chair. So, the gentleman who
gave him the money, said he was going to California soon, and would
like to have Min-Yung go with him, to wait upon him. Wasn't that kind?

It did not take the poor China-man long to pack his trunk, for the very
good reason that he had nothing to put in it. So, in less than a week's
time, his wooden shoes walked on board the ship "Dolphin," and away he
went to California, and I didn't hear of him again for many a long day.

It seems that after his master had got through all his business in
California, he asked Min-Yung if he would like to go back to his own
country and see his old father and mother, and his sisters, with the
twinkling little feet;--and Min-Yung said yes. So the gentleman gave
him some money, and he started off, in his little skull cap, for the
"Celestial City."

I often used to think of him, and wonder if he found his old father and
mother alive; and if they were glad to see him; and often, when I
turned out a cup of tea, I laughed aloud to think of poor Min-Yung's
horrid grimace, when I offered _him_ some.

One day a huge box came for me, directed "United States of America." I
couldn't imagine what was in it. I thought of mummies, and stuffed
monkeys, and "infernal machines;" and walked round the box at a
respectful distance, with one eye on the door.

By and by the lid was knocked off; and now, what do you think I found
in it?--a chest of "tea;" none of your sham doses, but tea that a
Chinese Mandarin wouldn't have turned up his celestial nose at, and a
lovely little Chinese work-box, and a pretty scarlet, Canton-crape
scarf, all from that comical, good, affectionate Min-Yung.

Won't you and I call on him, when we go to China?



TOM, THE TAILOR.


Tell you another story, Charley? Bless your blue eyes, how many stories
high do you suppose I am?

Who made that jacket for you, hey?

"A tailor."

Do you like to see a _man_ sewing, Charley? I don't. I don't believe
that their great muscular arms were intended to wield a needle,
especially when so many feminine fingers are forced to be idle for want
of employment; so I never like to see a tailor.--Oh, yes, I do, too. I
came very near forgetting Tom Willcut.

Who was _he_? I don't know, any more than you do. The first time I saw
him, was in an old tumble-down building, where the wind played hide and
go seek through the timbers; and where more men, women, dogs and
children were huddled together, than four walls of the like size ever
held before.

In one of the smallest of these rooms, I first saw Tom; sitting, with a
white cotton cap upon his head, cross-legged on the floor, stitching
away by the dim light of a tallow candle. A line stretched across the
room, on which hung some coarse pea-jackets and trousers which he had
finished, while at his side stood a rough table, with the remains of
some supper, and two unwashed cups and saucers.

_Two_ cups and saucers, thought I: pray, who shares this little room
with that poor, pale tailor?

Ah, I see! In yonder bed, which I had not noticed, lies a woman, and on
her breast a little wee baby. Well may Tom sit drawing out his thread,
hour after hour, by that dim candle.

1 coughed a little bit. Tom shaded his eyes with his hand, looked up,
and invited me in. That was just what I wanted, you know. Then, he
dusted off a chair with the tail of his coat, and I sat down.

"Is that your baby?" said I.

"It is _ours_," said he, looking over, with a proud smile, at his wife.

I liked Tom from that very minute. Of course, his wife wanted to own
half of such a nice little baby--and the first one, too--and it was
very gallant of tailor Tom, to say "_ours_," instead of "mine:" it
showed he had a soul above buttons. Ask your mother if it didn't.

Then I asked Tom if he got good pay for making those jackets. He
clipped off his thread with his great shears, and, shaking his head,
said, "My boss is a Jew, Missis."

What did he mean by that? Why, "boss" means master, and Jew, I am sorry
to say, is but another name for a person who gets all the work he can
out of poor people, and pays them as little for it as possible.

Tom's answer made me feel very bad,--he said it in such a quiet,
uncomplaining way, as if, hard as it was, he had quite made up his mind
to it, for the sake of that new baby and its mother.

I wanted to jump right up and take him by the hand, and say, "Tom, you
are a hero!" but, I dare say he wouldn't have understood that. Your
father, Charley, would probably call him a "philosopher," but you and
I, who can't afford to use up the dictionary that way, will say he is a
clever, good-hearted fellow.

When Tom was first married, he had a little shop of his own, and was
"quite before-hand," as he called it; but one unlucky night it caught
on fire, and burned up all his coats, and trousers, and jackets, and
all the stuff he had laid in to make them of; and then his wife was
taken sick; and, what with doctoring, and one trouble and another,
although poor Tom was honest, temperate and industrious, he came down
to that poor, miserable little room, after all.

But Tom was not a man to whine about his bad luck. No; he looked at
that new baby, and made his fingers fly faster than ever, and wore a
cheerful smile for his sick wife, beside. That's why I called him "a
hero;" for, Charley, anybody can be courageous and endure a great deal
when all the world are looking on and clapping their hands, and
admiring them; but it is another thing, in an obscure corner, without
food, without friends, without hope, to struggle--struggle--struggle
on, fighting off Temptation, fighting off grim Want, day after day,
with none to say, "God speed you."

That's why I said the poor tailor had a good, _brave_ heart; that's why
I honored him; that's why I prayed God a brighter day might dawn for
him.

Did it? Yes! I tell you, Charley, _never despair!_ no matter how dark
the cloud is overhead, work on, and look up; the sun will shine
through, by and by;--it did for poor Tom.

One day a gentleman called to see him, and asked him to go with him and
look at some cloth for making jackets. Tom thought it was very odd;--he
didn't remember that anybody ever asked his opinion before;--he didn't
know what to make of it. However, he dropped his shears, pulled off his
cotton cap, kissed his little baby, and followed the gentleman.

They went along through a great many streets, till they came to the
business part of the town. The gentleman opened the door of a small
shop, and Tom followed him in. There were cloths of all kinds on the
shelves, and the gentleman took some down and asked Tom if they were
the right sort for such jackets as he had been making; and Tom said it
was "prime cloth."

And then the gentleman showed him a little room, divided off at the end
of the shop, and asked Tom if it was light enough to work in, and Tom
said it could not be better; and then the gentleman clapped him on the
shoulder, and told him to go to work in it as soon as he pleased, for
these were his goods, and that was his shop!

Poor Tom looked as if he were dreaming. He tried to speak two or three
times, but failed. Then, great tears dropped over his cheeks, and he
said, "God bless you, sir, but I don't know what to say."

"I'm very glad of it," said the gentleman, smiling; "because I don't
want you to say anything; only go home and bring your wife and baby,
because there is a nice parlor and bed-room overhead, and I want to see
how they look in it."

Well, the amount of it was, that the poor tailor's wife was as crazy as
the tailor himself; the baby crowed, and the little terrier dog barked;
and, altogether, they had a _moving_ time of it, that day.

I can't tell you the kind gentleman's name, because he never does a
charity to have it published; but, sure I am, the recording angel has
written it in the "Book of Life."



BETSEY'S DREAM.


It was very weary, lying there so long. Betsey had counted all the
squares, and three-cornered pieces, and circles, in the patch-work
quilt upon her bed; she knew there were six more red than green ones,
and that one of the circles was pieced seven times.

Yes, poor lame Betsey was very tired; not that she was unused to lying
there, day after day, while her mother went out washing; but, somehow,
_this_ day had seemed longer and more tedious than any which had gone
before. To be sure she had last year's almanac, and a torn newspaper,
but she knew them both by heart. Betsey wished she "only had a little
book," but she knew mother couldn't buy books, when she had not money
enough for bread; so she twisted and turned, and rubbed her lame foot,
and lay and looked at the mantel with its pewter lamp, and the shelf
with its two earthen bowls, and its wooden spoons and platters, and the
bench with her mother's wash tub on it and a square of brown soap, and
the brown jug full of starch, and the old worn-out broom and mop.
Betsey could have seen them just as well had her eyes been shut, she
had looked at them so many times.

Did I tell you Betsey was "alone?" Oh no--there were four or five
families in the some entry. There was Mrs. O'Flanigan with her six
red-headed, quarrelsome children and a drunken husband, who beat her
everyday till she screamed with pain; and then the six little Flanigans
all screamed, too, till Betsey would put her fingers in her ears to
shut out the dreadful sounds.

Then, there was Mrs. Doherty, who had twin babies and one room, and
took boarders in the corners. Then, there was black Dinah, who got her
living by scraping the gutters, and came home every night with a great
tow-cloth bag upon her back, and emptied the old bones and rugs and
papers on the floor of her room, and kept a broom handle to whip the
little Flanigans, who ran in to steal them, when she went to the pump
in the alley to get a drink of water.

Then, there was little Pat Rourke, who lived up the alley, and kept a
little black dog named Pompey. When Pat didn't know what else to do, he
would open Betsey's door, and put the dog in to worry her cat, and
enjoy Betsey's fright.

Pompey would chase Pussy all round the room, and then Pussy would spit
at him, and hump up her back and hide behind the wash-tub; and then
Pompey would turn over the wash-tub, and seize Pussy by the neck; and
then her eyes would turn all green; and then Betsey would scream and
beg Pat to drive Pompey off; and then Pat would point to her lame foot
and say, "Let's see you do it _yourself_, honey;" and then Betsey would
hide her face under the coverlid and cry; and then Pat would run off,
leaving the door wide open, and the cold air blowing right upon the
bed. Yes, Betsey had all this to amuse her, besides the torn newspaper
and the old almanac.

But why _didn't_ her mother come home?--that was the question. It must
be late in the afternoon;--Betsey knew _that_, for the sun had crept
round to the west window long since. They must have a great wash to do
up at the big house. Betsey hoped the lady wouldn't go out to ride in
her carriage, and forget, as she sometimes did, to pay her mother; and
she hoped the cook would give her some cold tea to warm for their
supper, and perhaps a bit of meat, or some potatoes. The lady herself
never gave Betsey's mother anything, except an old gauze ball dress "to
make over for her little girl," which Betsey's mother sold for
twenty-five cents, to buy some tea.

And then Betsey wondered if rich people were always born without
hearts, and if her foot would _always_ be lame, and she should never be
able to help her mother, but must always be a burden; and then she
thought it would be better if she died; and then she thought _not_,
because when her mother came home at night ever so weary, she
remembered that she always kissed her cheek, and called her "a little
darling," and divided her piece of bread with her, and smiled just as
sweetly as if she hadn't worked ever since the sun rose, for a mere
penny.

Then Betsey was so weary that she fell asleep, and dreamed she was an
angel. She was not lame any longer; she had bright wings, and a pure
white robe, and a golden harp. There was no misery there, and night and
day she sang, "Worthy, worthy, worthy the Lamb!" and thousands of
bright winged angels echoed it back; and then--poor little Betsey woke,
crying because it was only a dream, and found herself again in the
little old room all alone,--all but Pussy, who was rubbing her lank
sides against the bed post and the wicker chair, and looking wistfully
up into Betsey's face, as much as to say, aint you _very_ hungry,
Betsey?

                          *          *          *

"Rein up--rein up! Stop your horses, I say! It's no use--she's down."
"Move your omnibus,"--"Get out of the way, there,"--"Go ahead"--"What
do you block up the street, for?"--"What's to pay?"--"Who's killed?"

"Only a beggar woman," said the omnibus driver, gathering up his reins;
"she slipped on the wet pavements, yonder, and the horses went over
her, and killed her. Can't be helped, you know,--there's enough beggars
left--everybody knows _that_," and he whipped up his horses, and drove
on.

Then a police-man picked up Betsey's dead mother and carried her to the
watch house; while some little Irish boys ran off with her basket and
ate up Betsey's supper.

There was nobody to take care of lame Betsey, so she was carried to the
poor-house. It didn't matter much to her, when she found her mother was
dead, where they took her. She was used to seeing misery; so the groans
of the poor creatures on the hospital cots about her was nothing new.
But she grew very weak, day by day, and couldn't eat the food they
brought her; and one morning the old nurse found her lying with her
little cheek in her hand, and a smile upon her face. Betsey's dream had
come true: she was an angel!



SCOTT FARM.


What a blessed thing it is to have a good grandmother! Sophy had one.
Sophy loved to go and see her.

It was in the country where Grandmother Scott lived, just a pleasant
ride from Sophy's home; in a good, old-fashioned farm-house, with green
moss growing out of the sloping roof, shaded by trees that looked a
century old. It is autumn there now; so you see on the cellar door and
under the front windows, crooked necked squashes and round yellow
pumpkins, mellowing in the warm sunbeams. Strings of dried apples are
festooned from chamber windows; and paper bags of catnip and spearmint
and thoroughwort and penny-royal and mullen hang drying on the garret
walls.

On "the buttery" shelves are broad pans of fresh, new milk, crusted
with cream that would make a New-Yorker stare; and great round cheeses,
and little pats of golden butter, stamped with a rose, and jars of
pickled cucumbers, and pots of preserved plums, and peaches, and
barberries, tied down with tissue brandy papers; and loaves of "riz
cake," and plates of doughnuts, and pans of apple dowdy, beside an
earthen jar of rich English plum cake.

Then, there's the sitting room, where the bright sun shone in, on a
picture of General Washington, and a sampler of Grandma Scott's,
representing a woman crying over a tombstone shaded by a pea-green
willow; and black profile likenesses of all the Scott family cut by a
traveling artist, hanging in spots over the fire place; and an
old-fashioned clock, standing guard in the corner, with the picture of
the rising sun on it, and Grandpa's spectacles, and loose copies of the
"Scott-town Daily Bulletin" tucked in round the wood work at the sides;
and great, comfortable-looking arm-chairs, with patch cushions; and a
sideboard with a silver pitcher on it, presented to Grandpa Scott by
the Agricultural Society and a china mug with a gold rim round it, and
"Betsey" on the side, given by the minister to Grandma Scott when she
was a little girl, for learning her catechism right; and a great big
china closet, with a glass door, to show off the rows of china cups and
saucers and flowered plates, all ready if the minister or the President
should come to tea.

Then, out of doors, wasn't there a great barn for the children to play
in?--with piles of hay, and ladders reaching up to the roof; and old
Dobbin nibbling and munching oats in his stall; and Brindle, and her
little two-day old, red and white calf cuddled down in a straw bed in
the corner; and the little field mice darting over the barn floor; and
the swallows twittering overhead among the beams and rafters; and the
old grindstone that the children liked to turn; and the scythe and
pitchfork that Grandpa charged them "not even to look at;" and the
yellow ears of corn peeping out of their dry husks, in a pile in the
corner, and the old rooster strutting round it, (followed by his hen
wives,) now and then stopping short, with one foot lifted up, and
cocking his eye at them from under his red cap, as much as to say,
"Stir if you dare, till I give the signal!" Oh, I can tell you, that
barn was a grand old place to play in, to frolic in, or to read and
think in.

Then, there was the pig-stye under it, with such lazy great pigs, and
such frisky little ones, with their tails curled up so tight that they
lifted their hind legs right up, jumping round and tumbling heels over
head over their mother, who lay half-buried in a mud-puddle, winking
her pink eyes at the bright sun, and looking just as happy as if there
wasn't a butcher in the world, or as if "the Governor and council"
wouldn't sign her little piggies' death warrant with the Thanksgiving
proclamation.

Thanksgiving! Oh, wasn't _that_ an affair? Grandma Scott would mount
her silver-bowed spectacles, strip her arms to this elbows, tie on a
check apron, pin up her cap strings, and stew pumpkins and squashes and
apples and quinces, and pound spices, and chop meat and suet, and roll
out pie-crust, and heat the oven, and turn out so many pies and tarts
and "pan-dowdies," and loaves of cake, that it would make your apron
strings grow tight just to look at them!

Then, the first thing the hens in the barn-yard knew, _they didn't know
anything_! but lay on the kitchen table with their yellow boots kicked
up in the air, waiting to be singed, stuffed, and skewered. Poor
things, they had laid their last egg, and swallowed their last kernel
of corn, every rooster's daughter of 'em!

What a party of horses stamped their iron shoes in Grandpa Scott's barn
on Thanksgiving morning! What a party of little children in bright
autumn-leaf dresses and white aprons, went scampering through the
house! What a fuss they all made over the littlest baby! What a fire
(big enough to roast an ox whole) blazed in the great, wide,
sitting-room fireplace!

How Grandpa Scott walked round, not knowing whether to laugh or to cry,
patting this one on the head, chucking the other under the chin, and
tossing a third up to the wall. How he looked all round, with his arms
a-kimbo, and said if any grandpa in the United States had a prettier
set of grandchildren than that, he'd like to see them; and how Grandma
said, "Pshaw! Grandpa," because she was so proud of them herself that
she didn't know what else to say!

And how Grandma looked as if she never would grow old, with her nice
lace cap, and her own brown hair, with scarce a silver thread in it,
curling round her happy face; and how Grandpa would whisper slily to
the boys, "After all, your mother is handsomer than any child she ever
had!"

How contented and satisfied Grandmamma looked, sitting at the head of
her Thanksgiving table; plenty of chickens and turkeys boiled and
roasted before her. What a time she had getting all the little
Scott-ites seated to her mind, and napkins tucked properly under each
chubby chin; how she _would_ carve the turkey herself, because, when
Grandpa got busy talking, he cut off the wings before he did the legs!

How she insisted upon "all just tasting some of that chicken-pie," when
it was quite impossible to stow away another mouthful, because "she had
no idea of making it for nothing."

How she would give the little wee baby a "wish-bone," though it could
not hold it one minute in its limpsy little fingers; and how she would
keep on passing round nuts, and oranges, and grapes, and apples, and
wonder what _had_ become of all their appetites.

And then how all the family would go back into the sitting-room after
dinner; and how Tom, the family "Mozart," would sing "Home, Sweet
Home;" and how Grandma Scott would rub her eyes with her handkerchief,
and declare that the room smoked! And how all the grown-up boys and
girls would begin to look hysterical; and how Maggie, who believed in
"a time to dance," would jump up and seize sober Uncle Walter by the
waist, and waltz round the room with him; and how Grandmamma would
smile and say, "Will anything _ever_ tame that girl?" Poor, merry
Maggie! she's "tame" enough now, though Grandmamma didn't live to see
the sorrow that it took to do it.

And bright-eyed Hal, and golden-haired Letty, and brave, handsome
Walter, and cherry-lipped Susy, and dimpled little Benny,--and
Grandmamma with her warm, big heart and cheerful smile; and Grandpapa
with his silvery locks, and beaming eye, and kindly hand of
welcome--oh, where are they all _now_?

Dear children,

    "There is a reaper, his name is Death,
      And with his sickle keen,
    He cuts _the bearded grain at a breath_,
      _And the flowers that grow between_."

Yes, other families have "Thanksgiving" now under the mossy eaves of
the old farm-house--other strange little voices lisp "Grandpapa,"
"Grandmamma;" and long graves and short graves are in the old
churchyard; and names look you in the face from marble tablets, that
were once at Scott Farm--_oh_, such _cherished_ "household words!"



A TRUE STORY.


People say that it is a sign of good luck to tumble up stairs. I am
glad of it; for, what with my long skirts, and what with the broken
stairway, and the pitch darkness, I did nothing _but_ tumble. However,
it's my motto _never to give up_; so, of course I gained the top at
last, and, opening a door, found myself in a garret, piled up as high
as my waist with old rags, and old papers, and old bits of bones.

"Go down, I say! Don't want you,--don't want anybody. I've got a
dreadful pain----. Go down,--there's nothing here;--go down, I say,"
growled a voice, from a pile of rags in the corner.

I passed by this growling man, without noticing him; for, in the middle
of the room was a woman, (oh, so miserable a looking creature!) with
her hands crossed hopelessly in her lap, and so buried up in the piles
of rags about the floor, that I could see nothing but her head and
shoulders.

She was quite young,--not more than twenty. She was not that old man's
wife, nor his daughter, nor his sister--but _that was her home_; and
every day she went out with him and scraped the gutters, and refuse
barrels, for old rags and papers; and then came back and emptied them
out upon the garret floor at night, to pick them over. One whole year
she had lived in that dirty den. How came she here? Listen, and I will
tell you.

Mary once lived in the country, amid sweet, green fields, and
clustering vines, and shady trees, and murmuring brooks. Her father was
a good old farmer, as happy and contented with his few acres, as if he
owned all Great Britain. Mary was his only child. Her mother died when
she was a very little girl. Mary could not even remember how she
looked; but her father often used to part her hair away from her white
forehead, and say, "You are so _like_ your mother, Mary"--and then Mary
would run to the little mirror, over the dresser, and see a sweet pair
of hazel eyes, and clusters of rich, brown hair falling over rosy
cheeks and snowy shoulders; and then she'd toss her curls, and run back
again to her father. Mary knew that her mother must have been very
pretty.

Mary had an uncle, named Ralph. He was a bad man; but Mary's father was
so good and honest himself, that it was hard to make him believe
anybody was _dis_-honest. So he lent his brother large sums of
money--(Ralph all the while promising to pay him at a certain time.) By
and by, Ralph got away all his money, and the old farm, too, with all
the cows and horses, and sheep and oxen; and then Mary's father worried
so much that it made him very sick, and he soon died, leaving poor Mary
without a penny in the world.

Uncle Ralph told her to go to the city, and he would find employment
for her. But, after he got her there, he left her, and ran off; and
poor Mary wandered about, quite heart-broken, till finally she found
some coarse work to do, for which she was paid a trifle. She worked on
with a brave heart, from day to day, for some weeks, till her employer
died; and then, poor Mary knew not what to do,--nobody would employ
her; and wicked people came and tempted her to sin, but Mary was good,
and would not listen to them; and so she had to sell her clothes, one
after another, as poor people do, till she had nothing left but the
calico dress she had on. Even her under-clothes were gone, to pay the
woman where she lived for her lodging. Alas! then poor Mary said,
despairingly, "It is of no use for me to try to be honest any
longer,"--and wicked people came again and tempted her, and nobody
said, "Mary, struggle on, and I will help you; I will give you work to
do." No; nobody said _that_; and everything looked dark and gloomy, and
she forgot the little prayer she used to say at the old farmhouse, and
made her home with wicked people; and the sweet, innocent look faded
out from her soft blue eyes, and her heart grew hard--and wrong seemed
right to poor Mary.

But sometimes Mary would wake at night, when all was still, and think
of her childhood's home, under the linden trees; and of her good old
father sitting in the porch, with the Bible on his knee, and the soft
wind gently lifting the gray hair from his temples. Then she thought of
the old church-yard, where her mother lay buried; and then she would
press her hands tightly over her eyes, as if in that way she could shut
out the torturing picture.

Mary could not bear such thoughts; they drove her almost wild. So, she
drank wine (when she could get it) to drown her misery, and passed from
one place of shelter to another, till at last she was glad of a home in
the wretched garret where I found her.

When I spoke to Mary, she would not answer me; but looked me in the
face as if she had been a stone image. She seemed to be afraid of the
old man with whom she lived in the garret. Finding, after many earnest
attempts, that I could do Mary no good, I left her; and soon after I
heard that the old man had died, and that Mary had found a great many
dollars in gold and silver, hid away in the garret, that he had earned
picking up old rags.

So, Mary had all the old miser's money. But did it bring back the
sweet, innocent look to her eyes? or take the misery out of her heart?
No, no. She'd count over her gold, and say, with a horrid laugh, "It
comes too late--too late!"

Oh! how I wished that all who give only----_good advice_! to a poor,
tempted, starving, fellow creature, could have heard those dreadful
words: "Too late,--too late!"



THE LITTLE EMIGRANTS.


Tell you a story, Harry? Do you like to hear about poor people? Well,
jump up into my lap. So;--now look straight into my eyes.

Last night I went to see some poor Italian emigrants. I threaded my way
through dirty streets and alleys, and up rickety old staircases, where
it was so dark that I had to feel my way, and where I coughed and
choked at every step, with the tobacco smoke and bad air.

At last I opened the door of a small room, lighted with one window,
where were a dozen persons--men, women and children. Some were seated
on straw beds, which were lying upon the floor; some were sitting upon
old boxes, and others were looking out the window (as if bewildered)
upon the strange scenes in the street below.

Crouched upon the hearth, was a very old woman, with thin, gray locks,
toothless gums, and bare bosom. She was stretching out her skinny hands
over a few shavings that she had kindled into a blaze; while a little
baby lay in a shawl beside her, rubbing its eyes, and crying at the
smoke that was every instant puffed into its little face. On the
opposite side of the hearth, was a little boy and girl, quite naked to
the waist from whence hung a little dirty tunic to their bare knees. A
tin pan of _raw potatoes_ lay between them, which they were slicing off
with a great knife, and greedily devouring, as if they were
half-starved.

Harry, what do you think of that? How should _you_ relish a raw potato
for supper? How should you like to come from a warm, sunny country,
into a cold, chilly climate, and be obliged to go half-naked because
you had no money to buy clothes? How should you like not to be able to
understand a word anybody there said to you, or not to be able to make
_them_ understand _you_? How should you like to have _your_ mother, or
_your_ father, go wandering round, day after day, _making signs_ to
people, to try to get employment, and have to keep giving away one
article of their poor clothing after another for a loaf of bread? How
should you like to be turned out (even of that miserable room) into the
street, some stormy night, by a cruel landlord? How should you like to
see _your mother_ sit down on a door step, in the dark, dark night, and
droop her weary head upon her bosom and _die_?

Oh, Harry! all that had happened to the poor little boy and girl who
were eating raw potatoes at the hearth. They were poor little orphans,
and that old woman was their grandmother. They had all wandered about,
from place to place, ever since they left the ship that brought them
out.

They were pretty children, with great dark eyes, and curly hair, and
such a bright smile when we spoke kindly to them. Their grandmother was
all they had now to love; and she, poor woman, couldn't live long to
take care of them, for the cold, and exposure, and anxiety, had almost
killed her, too. So, she felt very anxious about what would become of
little Pietro and Annita, when she was dead; and she kept patting them
on the head, as if she was determined to make them as happy as possible
while she lived.

Well, do you know, Harry, it struck me that Mrs. ----, who lives in
New-York, might like to adopt the little orphans. She has no children
of her own, and she loves children. That's why I took her with me to
see the poor emigrants last night.

How she _did_ cry when she saw the poor things eating raw potatoes! She
turned round to me, and said, "Fanny, I must have those children. I'll
take them right home, and I'll ----" then she couldn't stop to tell me
the rest, but ran up to the grandmother, and asked her, in Italian, if
she might not have Pietro and Annita.

At first, the poor old grandmother looked at them both, and said she
couldn't give them up. Then she looked round that dismal room, and drew
her torn shawl up over her shoulders; and then she called them both to
her, and hugged and kissed them; and then, with the tears rolling down
her cheeks, she took them by the hand and led them up to Mrs. ----, and
told her to be "a kind mamma to them."

But poor little Pietro and Annita clung to their grandmother, and
kissed her wrinkled face, and hung round her neck, and hid their little
curly heads in her lap, for they had seen so many strange faces, and so
much misery, that it had made them as shy as little rabbits, and they
were afraid to venture away from grandmother. Mrs. ---- spoke to them
in Italian, and tried to coax them with promises of all sorts of pretty
things. But it was of no use; they only shook their little curly heads,
and ran back to their dear old grandma, who patted them both, and
laughed and cried together.

Then, Mrs. ---- said "she would take grandma, too:" and that she should
help her to take care of Annita and Pietro. When the little rogues
heard this, they wiped away their tears, and smiled, and showed their
little white, glittering teeth, and kissed Mrs. ----'s hands, and said,
"We will go."

So, we got a carriage, and took them all in, to Mrs. ----'s house in
Fourth street, where they were washed, and dressed, and ate some nice
hot supper; and before I came away, they were asleep in a cunning
little trundle-bed, with their little curly heads nestled on the same
pillow, and their little cheeks close together, and just as rosy as if
they had never shivered, half naked, in that old smoky room.

And Mrs. ----'s husband, who is an artist, stood there over them, with
his pencil in his fingers, taking a sketch of their little Italian
faces; and by and by he will finish a beautiful picture of Pietro and
Annita, in the old ragged dresses in which they were found; and if he
paints their little dimpled shoulders and cunning little legs and feet
half as pretty as they really are, I know you will say with me, that
the "Little Emigrants" are worth looking at, and _worth loving_.



ALL ABOUT THE DOLANS.


Tobacco! tobacco! If there's anything I hate worse than a dandy, it is
tobacco. Such a headache as I have this morning, all for that vile pipe
that Bridget Dolan's husband was smoking, when I went over to see her.

Charley, I believe if an Irishman hadn't a potato to put in his
blarney-ing mouth, he would own a pipe and a puppy. Jim Dolan had both.

Now, Bridget Dolan was full clever enough to have been a born Yankee,
and, of course, was a great deal too good for Jim Dolan. She had more
children than you could count, if you were in a hurry, and a baby in
her arms, year in and year out. For all that, she is never out of
patience trying to keep their elbows and knees and toes in, and make up
for what Jim wastes in smoking and drinking. I verily believe Bridget
would fight anybody who said he was not the best husband in the
world,--black and blue spots on her arms to the contrary. Well, if she
has patience to put up with it, it is no affair of yours or mine; all I
have to say is, that her name ought to be Job, instead of Dolan.

Last night I thought I would go over to see her; so, I lifted up my
dress and waded through the alley, and after getting away from a
drunken woman, who insisted upon having my bonnet, I reached Bridget's
door in safety.

There they were, all in a heap, as usual,--Michael and Johnny, and
Sammy and Pat, and Fanny and Katy, and Mike and the baby. Bridget's
face shone like a new milk-pan, when I opened the door (she knows I
pity her); she flew round and got me a wooden chair, scrubbed the
baby's face with her apron, put one hand on Mike's hair to make it lie
down, sent Snip, the dog, yelping under the bed, and asked me how I
did; while Jim knocked the ashes out of his pipe, twitched a lock of
hair that hung over his forehead, and scraped out his hind foot, by way
of a bow.

Presently Johnny began to whisper to Sammy, and Sammy whispered to
Mike, and Mike whispered to his mother; and then his mother got up and
gave them something out of the closet, which they came and laid in my
lap, with their eyes shining like a cat's in the dark. And when I held
it up to the light, it turned out to be two new jackets, one for Sammy
and one for Johnny, that their good, thrifty mother had made out of an
old coat that somebody had given her.

Of course, I admired them; and of course, I buttoned the little boys up
in them; and of course, they strutted round, as smart as little
corporals; and Sammy shook his red head, and said he would "like to
hear Brian Doherty call him a beggar _now_!"

Bridget smiled, and said, "It takes so little to make the poor lads
happy;" and then, Johnny pulled at my gown again, and pointed up in the
corner, and right between the windows, where nearly every pane of glass
was broken out, stood a brand new cooking stove, with all its shining
pots and pans and kettles, set in order on the top, as if the most
magnificent dinner that ever was dreamed of, was hissing and stewing
and broiling and baking and roasting inside.

As to Sammy, he lifted up all the lids, and poked his nose in, as if he
could already smell the dinner. Mike spread out his little blue hands,
as if _some time or other_ they would get warm over it; Johnny
shouldered the poker and showed me how they were going to rattle the
coal out when somebody should give mother work enough to earn money to
buy it, and the baby got well enough to let her do it. Then Sammy held
the light, and we all walked in a procession, round and round the
stove, and voted it a most magnificent affair.

But how did they get it? That's what I wanted to know. Stoves cost
money. Sammy saw I was dying to know, so he whispered in my ear, loud
enough to be heard in South America, "Mammy earned it shaking carpets,
_she_ did."

I turned round and looked at Jim Dolan. If I could have had my own way,
I would liked to have put a petticoat and a bonnet on him, and marched
him up to the looking-glass!--a great, able-bodied, idle six-footer! I
don't think much of a man that will _let his wife support him_. Do you?

All the way home I was thinking over what poor Bridget said: "It takes
so little to make the poor lads happy." I want you to think of that,
children, when you pout because the potato is not put on the right side
of your plate; or, because little Minnie has climbed into your chair at
the table; or, because the apple dumplings are not sweet enough for
your dainty little tooth; or, because the tailoress put six buttons
instead of seven, on your new overcoat.

Johnny and Sammy would toss their caps up in the air and go wild with
joy, if they had all the nice things you have. Poor little fellows! I
loved them, because they were so proud of their mother. Oh, children!
there's nothing in the wide earth like a mother. All the friends in the
world couldn't make up to you for her loss. There's no arm but God's so
true and safe to lean upon; there's no heart but His so full of love
and pity, so long-suffering and forgiving.

Love your mother, little ones.



FRONTIER LIFE:

OR,

MITTY MOORE.


"Frontier life!" I think I hear my little readers echo, knitting their
brows; "frontier life,--I wish FANNY FERN wouldn't write about things
we don't understand."

Suppose I should tell you a story to _make_ you understand it? How
would you like that?

Mitty Moore's father took it into his head that _he_ should like
frontier life. So he traveled hundred and hundreds of miles--way off
where the sun goes down, to find a place in which to settle. The roads
were rough and bad. Sometimes it would be a long while before they
reached a place where travelers could get drink and food; and Mitty's
little bones would ache, and she began to think with "Paddy," that the
end of the journey was cut off.

At last Mr. Moore found a place to his mind; and they all halted, with
the old baggage wagon, in the woods; and Mitty, and her little brothers
and sisters, jumped out and stretched their limbs, and looked way up
into the great tall trees to try to see the tops, which seemed to
pierce the clouds.

They made a sort of pic-nic dinner, out of some provisions stowed away
in the old wagon; after which Mitty's father and eldest brother pulled
off their coats, stripped up their shirt-sleeves, and went to work to
make a "clearing," as they called it, for a log house--felling the
trees, and cutting and burning the underbrush.

It took them a long while to hew down those fine old trees. I'm glad I
didn't see it done, for I should have sung out, with General Morris,

    "Woodman! spare that tree!
      Touch not a single bough,"--

for, a house, you know, can be put up by any carpenter who owns a set
of tools, but it takes many a long year of dew and sunshine to make
those grand old trees tower up to heaven.

However, it was all fine fun for Mitty, who sat on an old stump, with
her chin resting in her hands, watching to see the stout old trunk
stand like a rock against their heavy blows; then lean a little; then
creak, as if it were groaning with pain that its green branches must so
soon wither; then totter; then fall, crashing to the earth, like the
"giant" before little "David." Mitty liked it, though it was rather
dangerous sport; for, if the tree had fallen upon her pretty little
head, she never would have tossed back _her_ bright curls again.

Mitty was just the right sort of a Mitty for a little frontier girl.
She seemed to know just when to hand her father the axe, or the
hatchet, or the pick-axe; and just when they could rest a minute to
take a drink of water, or a mouthful of bread and cheese. She didn't
talk to them when they were busy, but amused herself making little log
houses, with chips, for her dolly. She didn't scream or run, if a snake
or a rabbit went over her foot; she was not all the time conjuring up
bears, and tigers, and raccoons, or catching hold of her father every
time she heard a little squirrel squeal;--not she--she loved
everything; and her soul looked out as fearlessly from her sweet blue
eyes, as if pain and danger and death had never followed the Serpent
into Eden.

Now, I suppose you are wondering what people so buried in the woods did
for stores, and shops, in which to buy things, and for meeting-houses
and newspapers.

In the first place, when they went there, they made up their minds that
silk dresses and ice-creams didn't grow on frontier bushes! and they
soon became astonished to find how many things there were that were not
at all necessary to their happiness, which they had always felt they
_could not do without_.

They kept a cow, and she found them in milk; they kept hens, and the
hens kept _them_ in eggs; they kept a pig, and the pig made no
objection to being cut up, whenever they got ready to eat him; then,
they brought meal and flour enough with them, to last till they could
plough the land, and raise corn and wheat of their own, which they
intended doing as soon as the log house should be raised over their
heads.

Oh, they got on famously. It was good, healthy work, this digging, and
hewing, and ploughing. It made the muscles on their arms stand out like
whip cords; it bronzed their pale faces, and made their eyes bright,
and gave them a good appetite for their bread and milk; and when they
went to bed, they didn't stop to see if the seam of the sheet was
exactly in the middle, or to count the feathers in the pillows under
their heads. They had neighbors (off in different directions); some
four miles away; some two; some six, and some eight. Not city neighbors
who shut themselves up in their great jails of houses, and wouldn't
care if a hearse stood before your door every day in the year. No,
indeed! They were warm-hearted country folks, with hearts as big as
their pumpkins. If you were out of meal, or molasses, or sugar, or tea,
you were welcome to borrow of them till you could spare time to send to
"the settlement" for some. That's the way _they_ lived. The men folks
had too many trees to cut down to keep tackling up the old oxen every
five minutes, and go "gee-hawing" over to the stores, every time the
women wanted an Indian cake. No; they borrowed of each other till
somebody had time to go to the store or to mill; and then, whoever
went, took all their errands and did them up in a bunch, to save time.
_They_ went by the "golden rule."

People who live in the woods, where the trees are all the time
whispering of God, and the little birds singing of Him, don't feel like
being quarrelsome, and disobliging, and ugly; no, they leave that to
city people, who live in such a whirl that they never remember they
have a soul till Death comes after it.

Well, as I was saying, they helped one another. Orphy Smith, Mr.
Moore's next neighbor, took his bag of corn one day, to carry it to
mill. Mitty was very glad, because they had been out of meal some days,
and she was rather tired of potatoes. So she made up her mind, and her
mouth, that when Orphy came back, they would all have "a prime supper."
But Orphy didn't _come_ back that night, or the next morning, either;
but, late the next afternoon, he came crawling back, with the meal, and
told them that "he should have been home with it long ago, if that
pesky wheel hadn't come off his wagon, and it hadn't taken such a
powerful long time to blacksmith it on again."

How glad little Mitty was to see that bag of meal! and what a nice time
she had of it that night, sitting on a little cricket before a blazing
hickory fire, and eating the buttered cakes that her mother handed down
to her from the table. Oh, you city children couldn't get up such a
frontier appetite for your fricassees, and mince-pies, if you tried a
lifetime.

"They didn't have any newspapers there."

Ah! there you have me! More especially as I had as lief go without my
breakfast as without my newspaper; but, then, I can tell you, that
there were things all the time happening there on the frontier, that
many a newspaper editor would have given his scissors and easy chair to
have got hold of, for his paper. I'll tell you about some.

One night Mitty lay in her little bed of straw and husks, almost
asleep, when she heard her father at the door, singing out,
"H-a-l-l-o-o! h-a-l-l-o-o!" as loud as ever he could; and then a faint
voice, way off, caught it up, and echoed back, "H-a-l-l-o-o!
h-a-l-l-o-o!" Then Mitty's father lit a great bright torch, and moved
it, flaming, back and forth before the door; and in a little while a
poor, weary, frightened traveler, who had got lost in the dark woods,
heard the voice that had answered to his, and saw, by the torch, where
to come to find Mr. Moore; and in less than an hour after, he was
snoring away under Mr. Moore's roof, with a good, comfortable supper
tucked under his ribs while the bears had to go without any.

_Bears?_ Certainly!--I didn't mention the gentlemen before, for fear it
would make your mother trouble when it came your bed-time; but,
nevertheless, it is a naked fact that _bears_ live on the frontier.

One day a woman came in to Mr. Moore's, crying and "taking on" in a
most pitiful manner. Mitty couldn't understand (the woman sobbed so
much) what it was all about; but she concluded that something _special_
was to pay, because her mother let her brown bread all burn to a crisp
in the oven, while she was listening to her. Then her mother ran out in
the cornfield, with her cap strings all flying, after her father; and
Mr. Moore dropped his hoe, ran to the house and caught up a great tin
horn, and stood at the door, blowing with all his might;
"Too--hoo--too--hoo--too--hoo;" and then Orphy Smith, the next
neighbor, caught up _his_ horn, and blew, too; and then the next, and
the next; and, in a very short time, all the neighbors knew that Mr.
Moore wanted them to come to his log house, just as fast as their
horses legs could carry them.

So, in they flocked,--Orphy Smith, and Seth Jones, and Pete Parker, and
Jesse Jenkins, and Eph. Ellet, and a whole host more; and Mitty's
father told them that Desire Dibden's child (whose father had been
killed by the Indians,) was lost in the woods; and that was _enough_ to
say;--every man of them started off through the door, as if he had been
shot out of a pop-gun, to help find the child.

Certainly;--didn't I tell you that "_farmers had hearts_?" When a child
gets lost in the city, the fat old town crier (if he is paid for it)
"takes his time" and his bell, and crawls through the street, whining
out sleepily, "C-h-i-l-d l-o-s-t;" and the city folks pay about as much
attention to it, as if you told them that a six-days' kitten had
presumptuously stepped into a wash-tub.

You didn't catch the nice, big-hearted farmers acting that way; they
didn't say it was none of their business,--that their corn wanted
hoeing, and their hay wanted stacking, and their meadows wanted
ploughing! The sight of that poor weeping mother was enough. They
started right off in companies, to scour the woods for the poor,
little, lost boy, hoping to find him before night-fall.

There sat poor Desire, in the chimney corner, sobbing and wringing her
hands, and rocking her body to and fro. She wouldn't eat, though good,
kind, motherly Mrs. Moore, baked, on purpose for her, some of her most
tempting cakes; she wouldn't drink, though Mrs. Moore handed her a nice
hot cup of tea. She did nothing but cry fit to break her heart; while
sensible little Mitty whispered to her mother to know "if she hadn't
better go out of the way, for fear the sight of her, safe in her
mother's log house, might make poor Desire cry the harder."

Dinner time came; but the men didn't come back. Supper time;--then
evening came on, dark and chilly, and Desire's lips grew paler every
minute: still, no tidings yet of the boy. Through the long night she
listened--listened--listened, till every gust of wind made her tremble
like the leaves. Morning dawned,--noon came again,--then night. Then,
indeed, at last they heard the tramp of heavy feet.

Desire sprang from her chair and ran toward the door, then back again
to her seat, with her hands pressed tightly on her heart; then back to
the door, as if her straining eye could pierce the darkness. It did,
God pity her! What did she see? Her little Willy, quite dead, lying on
a litter, carried by Mr. Moore and Orphy.

Poor little Willy! They had tracked him to an old shanty, in the woods,
where he had gathered some dry leaves and slept. There was the mark of
his little form upon the leaves. Then they tracked him out into the
woods, along, along, farther than one would have thought his little
feet could have carried him; and then they found him, with his little
head leaning against a tree, quite dead from exhaustion and hunger.

Poor Desire! There wasn't one of those nice old farmers who wouldn't
have given his farm to bring that little sleeper back to life. They
took his mother's cold hands in theirs, and chafed them, and bathed her
temples, and wept (strong men as they were) to think of the bitter
waking she would have. But God was merciful;--she never _did_ wake in
_this_ world. In Heaven she found her boy.



UNCLE JOLLY.


"Well, I declare! here it is New Year's morning again, and cold as
Greenland, too," said Uncle Jolly, as he poked his cotton night-cap out
of bed--"frost an inch thick on the windows, water all frozen in the
pitcher, and I an old bachelor. Heigho! nobody to give any presents
to--no little feet to come patting up to my bed to wish me 'A happy New
Year.' Miserable piece of business! Wonder what ever became of that
sister of mine who ran off with that poor artist? Wish she'd turn up
somewhere with two or three children for me to love and pet. Heigh-ho!
It's a miserable piece of business to be an old bachelor."

[Illustration: UNCLE JOLLY.]

And Uncle Jolly broke the ice in the basin with his frost-nipped
fingers, and buttoned his dressing gown tightly to his chin; then he
went down stairs, swallowed a cup of coffee, an egg, and a slice of
toast. Then he buttoned his surtout snugly up over them, and went out
the front door into the street.

Such a crowd as there was buying New Year's presents. The toy-shops
were filled with grandpas and grandmas, and aunts and uncles and
cousins. As to the shopkeepers, what with telling prices, answering
forty questions in a minute, and doing up parcels, they were as crazy
as a bachelor tending a crying baby.

Uncle Jolly slipped along over the icy pavements, and finally halted in
front of Tim Nonesuch's toy shop. You should have seen _his_ show
windows! Beautiful English dolls at five dollars a-piece, dressed like
Queen Vic's babies, with such plump little shoulders and arms that one
longed to pinch 'em; and tea sets, and dinner sets, cunning enough, for
a fairy to keep house with. Then, there were dancing Jacks, and jumping
Jennys, and "Topsys," and "Uncle Toms" as black as the chimney back,
with wool made of a raveled black stocking. Then, there were little
work-boxes with gold thimbles and bodkins, and scissors in crimson
velvet cases, and snakes that squirmed so naturally as to make you hop
up on the table to get out of the way, and little innocent looking
boxes containing a little spry mouse, that jumped into your face as
soon as you raised the lid, and music boxes to place under your pillows
when you had drank too strong a cup of green tea, and vinaigrettes that
you could hold to your nose to keep you from fainting when you saw a
dandy. Oh! I can tell you that Mr. Nonesuch understood keeping a toy
shop; there were plenty of carriages always in front of it, plenty of
taper fingers pulling over his wares, and plenty of husbands and
fathers who returned thanks that New Year's didn't come _every_ day!

"Don't stay here, dear Susy, if it makes you cry," said the elder of
two little girls; "I thought you said it would make you happy to come
out and _look_ at the New Year's presents, though we couldn't _have_
any."

"I did think so," said Susy; "but it makes me think of last New Year's,
when you and I lay cuddled together in our little bed, and papa came
creeping up in his slippers, thinking we were asleep, and laid our
presents on the table, and then kissed us both, and said, 'God bless
the little darlings!' Oh! Katy--all the little girls in that shop have
their papa's with them. I want MY papa," and little Susy laid her head
on Katy's shoulder and sobbed as if her heart were breaking.

"Don't, dear Susy," said Katy, wiping away her own tears with her
little pinafore; "don't cry--mamma will see how red your eyes
are,--poor, sick, tired mamma,--don't cry, Susy."

"Oh, Katy, I can't help it. See that tall man with the black whiskers,
(don't he look like papa?) kissing that little girl. Oh! Katy," and
Susy's tears flowed afresh.

Uncle Jolly couldn't stand it any longer;--he rushed into the toy shop,
bought an armful of play-things helter-skelter, and ran after the two
little girls.

"Here, Susy! here, Katy!" said he, "here are some New Year's presents
from Uncle Jolly."

"Who is Uncle Jolly?"

"Well, he's uncle to all the poor little children who have no kind
papa."

"Now, where do you live, little pigeons?--got far to go?--toes all out
your shoes here in January? Don't like it,--_my_ toes ain't out my
shoes;--come in here, and let's see if we can find anything to cover
them. There, now, (fitting them both to a pair,) that's something like;
it will puzzle Jack Frost to find your toes now. Cotton clothes on? _I_
don't wear cotton clothes;--come in here and get some woolen shawls.
Which do you like best, red, green, or blue?--plaids or stripes, hey?

"'Mother won't like it?' Don't talk to me;--mother's don't generally
scratch people's eyes out for being kind to their little ones. I'll
take care of that, little puss. Uncle Jolly's going home with you. 'How
do _I_ know whether you have got any dinner or not?' _I've_ got a
dinner--_you_ shall have a dinner, too. Pity if I can't have my own
way--New Year's day, too.

"_That_ your home? p-h-e-w! I don't know about trusting my old bones up
those rickety stairs,--old bones are hard to mend; did you know that?"

Little Susy opened the door, and Uncle Jolly walked in,--their momma
turned her head, then with one wild cry of joy threw her arms about his
neck, while Susy and Katy stood in the door-way, uncertain whether to
laugh or cry.

"Come here, come here," said Uncle Jolly; "I didn't know I was so near
the truth this morning when I called myself your _Uncle_ Jolly; I
didn't know what made my heart leap so when I saw you there in the
street. Come here, I say; don't you ever shed another tear;--you see I
don't,"--and Jolly tried to smile, as he drew his coat sleeve across
his eyes.

Wasn't that a merry New Year's night in Uncle Jolly's little parlor?
Wasn't the fire warm and bright? Were not the tea cakes nice? Didn't
Uncle Jolly make them eat till he had tightened their apron strings?
Were their toes ever out of their shoes again? Did they wear cotton
shawls in January? Did cruel landlords ever again make their mamma
tremble and cry?

In the midst of all this plenty, did they forget "papa?" No, no!
Whenever little Susy met in the street a tall, princely man with large
black whiskers, she'd look at Katy and nod her little curly head
sorrowfully, as much as to say--"Oh, Katy, I never--never can forget
_my own dear papa_."



A PEEP UNDER GROUND.

THE RAFFERTYS AND THE ROURKES.


I have made up my mind, that there is nothing lost in New-York. You
open your window and toss out a bit of paper or silk, and though it may
be no bigger than a sixpence, it is directly snatched up and carried
off, by a class of persons the Parisians call, "Chiffoniers"
(rag-pickers)! You order a load of coal, or wood, to be dropped at your
door;--in less than five minutes a whole horde of ragged children are
greedily waiting round to pick up the chips, and bits, that are left
after the wood or coal is carried in and housed; and often locks of
hair are pulled out, and bloody noses ensue, in the strife to get the
largest share. You will see these persons round the stores, looking for
bits of paper, and silk, and calico, that are swept out by the clerks,
upon the pavement; you will see them watching round provision shops,
for decayed vegetables, and fruits, and rinds of melons, which they
sell to keepers of pigs; you will see them picking up peach stones to
sell to confectioners, who crack them and use the kernels; you will see
them round old buildings, carrying off, at the risk of cracked heads,
pieces of decayed timber, and old nails; you will see them round new
buildings, when the workmen are gone to meals, scampering off with
boards, shingles, and bits of scaffolding. I thought I had seen all the
ingenuity there was to be seen, in picking up odds and ends in
New-York, but I hadn't then seen Michael Rafferty!

Michael Rafferty, and Terence Rourke, who was a wood sawyer by
profession, lived in a cellar together; the little Raffertys, and
little Rourkes, with their mammas, filling up all the extra space,
except just so much as was necessary to swing the cellar door open. A
calico curtain was swung across the cellar for a boundary line, to
which the little Rourkes and little Raffertys paid about as much
attention, as the whites did to the poor Indians' landmarks.

At the time I became acquainted with the two families, quite a jealousy
had sprung up on account of Mr. Rafferty's having made a successful
butter speculation. Mrs. Rourke, in consequence, had kept the calico
curtain tightly drawn for some weeks, and boxed six of the little
Rourkes' ears (twelve in all,) for speaking to the little Raffertys
through the rents in the curtain.

All this I learned from Mrs. Rafferty, as I sat on an old barrel in the
north-west corner of her cellar. "It was always the way," she said, "if
a body got up in the world, there were plenty of envious spalpeens,
sure, to spite them for it;" which I took occasion to remark to Mrs.
Rafferty, was as true, as anything I had ever had the pleasure of
hearing her say.

Just then the cellar door swung open, and the great butter speculator,
Mr. Michael Rafferty, walked in. He nodded his head, and gave an uneasy
glance at the curtain, as much as to say "calicoes have ears." I
understood it, and told him we had been very discreet. Upon which he
said, "You see, they'll be afther staling my thrade, your ladyship, if
they know how I manage about the butther."

"Tell me how you do it, Michael," said I; "you know women have a right
to be curious.

"Well," said he, speaking in a confidential whisper, "your ladyship
knows there are plenty of little grocery shops round in these poor
neighborhoods, where they sell onions, and combs, and molasses, and
fish, and tape, and gingerbread, and rum. Most of them sell milk, (none
of the best, sure, but it does for the likes of us poor folks.) It
stands round in the sun in the shop windows, your ladyship, till it
gets turned, like, and when they have kept it a day or two, and find
they can't sell it," (and here Michael looked sharp at the calico
curtain,) "I buys it for two cents a quart, and puts it in that churn,"
(pointing to a dirty looking affair in the corner,) "and my old woman
and I make it into butter." And he stepped carefully across the cellar,
and pulled from _under the bed_, a keg, which he uncovered with a proud
flourish, and sticking a bit of wood in it, offered me a taste, "just
to thry it."

I couldn't have tasted it, if Michael had shot me; but I told him I
dare say he understood his trade and hoped he found plenty of
customers.

"I sell it as fast as I can make it," said he, putting on the cover and
shoving it back under the bed again.

"What do you do with the buttermilk?" said I.

He looked at Mrs. Rafferty, and she pointed to the bright, rainbow
ribbon on her cap.

"Sell it?" said I.

"Sure," said Michael, with a grin; "we are making money, your ladyship;
we shall be afther moving out of this cellar before long, and away from
the likes of them," (pointing in the direction of the curtain); "and,
savin' your ladyship's presence," said he, running his fingers through
his mop of wiry hair, "Irish people sometimes understhand dhriving a
thrade as well as Yankees;" and Michael drew himself up as though
General Washington couldn't be named on the same day with _him_.

Just then a little snarly headed boy came in with two pennies and a
cracked plate, "to buy some butther."

"Didn't I tell your ladyship so?" said Michael. "Holy Mother!" he
continued, as he pocketed the pennies, and gave the boy a short
allowance of the vile stuff, "how I wish I had known how to make that
butther when every bone in me body used to ache sawin' wood, and the
likes o' that,--to say nothing of the greater respictability of being
in the mercantile profession."

Well, well, thought I, as I traveled home, this is high life under
ground, in New-York.



"BALD EAGLE;"

OR,

THE LITTLE CAPTIVES.


Do you like Indians? Our forefathers didn't admire them much. They had
seen too many scalps hanging at their belts, and had heard their war
whoops rather too often, to fancy such troublesome neighbors. They
never felt as if they were safe, and wouldn't have thought ever of
going to meeting without a loaded musket. I suppose that's the way the
fashion originated for men to sit at the bottom of the pews, and women
and children up at the other end. The men wanted to get on their feet
quickly if a posse of Indians yelled at the door. Ah! men were _men_,
then, from the tips of their noses to their shoe-ties; they didn't wear
plaid pants, and use perfume and Macassar, as they do now-a-days.

And the women, too! they were not ashamed to be seen in calico dresses,
and did not go about the country making orations and wearing dickeys. I
had rather see an Indian, any time, than such a woman.

Sometimes the men were obliged to go away from home, and then they left
a loaded gun where their wives could use it, in case the Indians came
while they were absent. The Indians are very cunning. They used to
watch their chance; and often, when a man came back to his home, he
would find it a pile of smoking ruins, and his wife and children
killed, or, what was worse, carried away captives.

You wouldn't have relished living in those days, would you? What do you
think you would have done had the Indians come into your
door?--scampered under the bed, or seized the gun and defended your
mother? It is hard telling, isn't it? I'm very glad you are not obliged
to live in such days. The poor Indians had also their story of wrong to
tell. God will judge both rightly.

The sun shone brightly one autumn afternoon into a room where two
little children were playing, in a pretty little village in the State
of South Carolina. "Robert," said little Nina, to a dark-eyed boy of
twelve years, "I'm tired of staying in this unfurnished room; it isn't
pretty. Hasn't mother most done baking, Robert? Can't we go into the
kitchen? I'm afraid of the Indians, too, without mamma."

Robert took his little sister in his arms, and stroked her little black
head, and kissed her cheek, and then he drew himself proudly up,
saying, "Nina? Do you see that gun? Well, it is loaded, and I know how
to use it."

"Oh, Robert!" said Nina, "hush! Is not that mamma screaming? Oh,
Robert, hide me--the Indians--the Indians!"

Robert had just time to seize his gun, when a tall Indian opened the
door, and receiving the contents of it in his face, fell, quivering, to
the floor.

Bald Eagle, the chief of the party, heard the report of Robert's gun,
and rushed in with a dozen Indians. Robert, with his eye flashing, was
standing over the dead Indian, with one arm round his little sister,
who was clinging to his jacket.

Bald Eagle admired bravery; so, when the other Indians seized Robert by
the hair to tomahawk him, for killing their comrade, he said, "No;--the
pappoose is brave enough to make a chief. He shall go home with Bald
Eagle and be his son."

The Indians frowned, for they thirsted for somebody's blood. They
seized hold of Nina's long curls to kill _her_; but Robert clung to the
old chief's knees, and, though he didn't think much of girls or women,
Bald Eagle said, "She shall live--to please the boy."

The Indians lowered their tomahawks, for they didn't dare to disobey
Bald Eagle, and led Nina and Robert out of the house, which had been
set on fire and was beginning to burn.

As they passed the kitchen door, Nina gave a loud scream, for there lay
her mother, across the threshold, quite dead. The old chief lifted his
tomahawk, frowning at her fiercely from beneath his nodding plume, and
Robert whispered, "Hush, Nina, or they will kill you, too;" and Nina
stifled her sobs, and permitted the Indians to lead her away.

What a weary, weary march they had of it, through the forest; and how
Nina shrunk when the Indians lifted her up to carry her in their arms;
how she looked imploringly at Robert, and how he smiled and nodded, and
tried to make her feel as if he would protect her always. How
frightened she was when Bald Eagle tied a cord to Robert's hands every
night, and fastened the end of it to his wrists before he went to
sleep; and how she used to lie awake and look at those grim old
Indians, sleeping there on their blankets, and think of her mother,
till it seemed as though God must be dead, or such wicked men wouldn't
be alive.

After many, many miles had been traveled over, they reached the Indian
camp, where the squaws and pappooses and old men lived. The old squaws
walked round Nina, and turned her about, and then they gave her some
food which she couldn't eat, because she wanted to cry so much; and
they gave her a blanket, to wrap round her, and taught her how to sew
beads on bags and moccasins, and put a pair of pewter earrings in her
ears, and combed her hair all back, and named her "The Little Fawn,"
and tried to make a little Indian of her.

Bald Eagle was very fond of Robert. He named him "The Young Eagle;" and
gave him a bow and arrow, and a gun; and took him out hunting; and
every time he shot a bird, or wounded a deer, he would pat him on the
head and say: "Good,--by and by scalp the pale faces."

Robert never contradicted Bald Eagle, but appeared as if he were quite
contented, and tried to shoot as well as he could, to please him; and
so Bald Eagle gave him much more liberty to run about, and thought
every thing he did was about right.

But Robert had a great many thoughts passing in that little head of
his, that Bald Eagle knew very little about. He couldn't look at Nina's
little pale, sorrowful face without resolving to get away as soon as he
could. It made his heart ache to see her wrapped in that ugly blanket,
sitting there sewing beads, instead of learning to read and spell and
write; and whenever he got a chance he would whisper something in her
ear that would make her smile, and nod her little head, and press his
hand confidingly.

Bald Eagle had a brother-in-law named "Winged Arrow," because he could
run so fast. He was a white man that had been taken captive by the
Indians some years before, and had married Bald Eagle's sister. Robert
liked him,--perhaps, because he was a pale face; perhaps, because he
thought he might pity him and Nina enough to help them get away some
time; so, he used to stay all he could with Winged Arrow, and bring him
game that he shot; and Nina worked a pair of moccasins for his squaw;
and Winged Arrow was a very good friend to them.

One day he and Robert were out hunting together, and Robert told him
how much he wanted to get away with Nina; and then Winged Arrow told
him that he was getting tired of Indian life, too; and that very soon
there was to be a hunting party, when all the Indians would go away for
two days, leaving Nina and Robert with the squaws and some old chiefs,
and that he (Winged Arrow) was to go, too. But he said that he would
pretend to hurt his foot just as they started, so as to be left behind;
and then he would manage to get away with Nina and Robert.

Robert didn't jump up and down and clap his hands;--no; he had lived
among the Indians too long for that; he just nodded, as gravely as if
he were sitting with Bald Eagle over a council fire, and they separated
and went into the wigwam.

Well, the hunting day name, and Winged Arrow managed to get left; and
after the Indians had all gone, Nina, who sat making moccasins, asked
the old squaw to let her play with Robert outside the wigwam. At first,
she said no; but Winged Arrow said he would watch them; so she gave
them leave.

They played about some time, running in and out of the wigwam, and then
going off, gradually, farther and further. By and by Winged Arrow
joined them, and getting out of sight, he caught Nina in his arms, and
made good his name never stopping to breathe till they were miles and
miles away from the encampment.

Toward nightfall of the second day, they halted for a few minutes, when
a dog bounded past them, that belonged to the tribe. Winged Arrow knew
that unless the dog was instantly killed, he would run back and betray
them. He did not dare to shoot him with his rifle, on account of the
noise; so he told Robert to fire an arrow at him; and then Winged Arrow
knocked him in the head with his gun, and hid him under the bushes.

Then Winged Arrow put his ear to the ground and listened; then he
caught up Nina and ran (telling Robert to follow) till they came to a
stream in which they all waded for some distance, to throw their
followers off the trail. Then Winged Arrow stepped out and put Nina up
in a great tree, and Robert and he got up in another. Before long Bald
Eagle and several other Indians came along, listening and peeping, and
finally halted under the very trees where they were; and some of the
Indians proposed building a council fire and staying there all night,
but Bald Eagle objected; so they rested a while and then moved on.

You may be sure that the children were in a dreadful fright, and very
glad, when they came down, to be on the Indians' trail, instead of
having them on theirs.

Winged Arrow made up his mind to take the children to Charleston, where
the American army was; so, they traveled cautiously on, not meeting any
more Indians, till they reached the American camp in safety.

Robert and Nina were so glad to get among white people again, even
though they were strangers. The General was very kind, and promised to
protect them.

It was not long before Bald Eagle found them out. He really loved
Robert, and was quite determined to have him back. When he saw him
again, although he was an Indian, he almost cried for joy.

The General asked Robert if he wished to go back with Bald Eagle.
Robert put his arms around Nina and said, "No!" Bald Eagle looked very
sorrowful, but the General wouldn't let him have the children; so he
had to go away home, to his old squaw, without 'em.

Winged Arrow found kind friends who gave him some work to do, and he
and Robert and Nina lived together very happily. You never would have
guessed, had you seen Nina in her little calico dress and white apron,
with her curls hanging about her face, that she had ever made
moccasins, or worn a blanket in an Indian wigwam.

As to Robert, if your father could have heard his speeches, he wouldn't
have been sorry that "a chief" was spoiled, to make a lawyer.



A STREET SCENE.


I was taking a walk, some mouths since, when I saw a carriage driving
at a furious rate over the pavements. Inside was a woman, with a
handkerchief bound under her chin, spotted with blood, and in her lap a
little girl with her arm in a sling, and drops of blood upon her collar
and face.

The woman was pretty, spite of the blood-stained handkerchief about her
face, and was caressing the frightened girl upon her lap in such a
gentle, womanly way, that I concluded she must be her mother. On the
box, with the coachman, was a police officer. What could it all mean?

I will tell you.

Some years ago, in one of the handsomest houses in New-York, lived a
lady and her husband, and a little girl named Rosa. They had plenty of
money, plenty of servants, and, of course, plenty of friends. They had
a fine carriage and horses, and every day you might have seen Mrs.
Simon, dressed like a queen, seated upon the velvet cushions, with
black John, the coachman, upon the box, and black Peter, the footman,
standing behind, while little Rosa, as gay as a little paroquet, peered
out from her little plumed hat, laughing merrily at all the fine sights
she saw.

The shop-keepers flew round as if they had St. Vitus' dance, when Mrs.
Simon's carriage stopped at their door, with the glossy, sleek-coated
horses and their silver-mounted harness, and the liveried servants.
They bowed and smirked, and skipped round, and pulled little "Cash's"
ears for not getting her "change" quicker, and offered to send home
any, and all, and every bundle she chose to order, quicker than chain
lightning, if it were only a paper of No. 6 needles.

When she got into her carriage again, and rode down Broadway, whiskered
gentlemen on the pavement hoisted their beavers, and bent themselves as
low as their corsets would possibly allow, and ladies nodded, and
showed their pretty little teeth, and declared that Mrs. Simon was "a
perfect little love."

From all this show and luxury, she came down to an empty purse, and a
widow's weeds. Her husband lost all his property at once. Money was all
the poor man had ever cared for. He had not the courage to live and
look his misfortune boldly in the face, but took his own life, (like a
coward,) and left his dainty wife and child to bear _alone_ the cross
that his manly shoulders couldn't carry.

Well, Mrs. Simon buried her husband, and then looked about her for her
friends; but alas! they had all fled, like butterflies, with the
sunshine. Her fine house, furniture and carriage and horses, were all
taken from her, to pay her husband's debts; and she wandered forth, no
one knew whither.

My dear children, it is a very sad thing to be proud and poor. Mrs.
Simon was very proud. She could not make up her mind to work. She
fancied, poor mistaken woman, that it would degrade her. She didn't see
that all whose opinion is worth caring for, would respect her the more,
for her striving to earn bread for herself and her child.

So she sat and cried, and worried herself almost sick, instead of
looking at little Rosa, and then stepping out, with a brave heart, and
saying: I have been rich; I am now poor:--I want some work to do. She
couldn't bring her mind to _that_; so, as I told you, she disappeared,
nobody knew whither, and the world went on just the same without her.

Other gay carriages rolled up and down Broadway, with the glittering
harness, and sleek horses, and pampered servants; bearing ladies as gay
and as pretty as Mrs. Simon. None of them asked what had become of
their old friend; they were all too busy about their own affairs;
frolicking and dancing away their lives, just as if they were to live
that way forever.

Where was Mrs. Simon? If you had looked into a house where wicked
people dwell, who live by breaking all God's commandments, there you
would have found her and little Rosa.

Was she happy there? Can any body be happy who makes up his mind to do
wrong? No; poor woman; she dreaded nothing so much as her own thoughts;
and sometimes when Rosa bounded into the room, she would start us if a
serpent had stung her. She didn't think when she went there, that
sickness and death would come to her in that wretched place; but they
did. And what was to become of little, innocent Rosa? Must she die and
leave her _there_? The thought of it made great drops of agony start
out on her pale face. She looked about her. There were none there who
feared either God or man, and her moments were fast numbering. She
called to her bedside one of the inmates who had been kind to her--a
young girl, whose heart was not hard and stony. She said to her, with
her hands clasped,

"Promise me, before I die, that you will get Rosa away from this
wretched place--quick--promise!"

"I will, I will!" said the young girl, wiping the death-damp from her
forehead.

The grave closed over poor Mrs. Simon and her errors; and poor little
Rosa sobbed as if she had been the best mother in the world; and then
the young girl, of whom I have spoken, whispered to Rosa that _she_
would be kind to her,--and so she was; for Mrs. Simon's death had made
her think of a great many good thoughts, and she wanted to get away,
too, and live where God was feared.

_Now_ you know who were in the carriage that was driving away with the
police officer. It was that young girl and little Rosa. The man in
whose house she lived, caught her going away with the child, and cut
her with a knife that such people always carry. That's why the blood
was on her cheek, and on Rosa's dress. And then, in the struggle to get
Rosa away, he broke her little arm with his rough grasp; so she had it
"in a sling." Perhaps they might not have got away at all, had not a
police-man heard their screams and helped them off. The man in whose
house they had been, was sent to "The Tombs" (a place in New York for
such people,) and then he was sentenced to the Penitentiary; and Rosa
was very glad to hear that, because she trembled all over for fear he
would get her again.

Dear little Rosa! the fright, and her grief, and the broken arm
together, threw her into a fever; and for a long while it was feared
she would die; but you will be glad to know that she got well, and that
I have seen her since, with her face as full of sunshine as if a cloud
had never passed over it; and that I have heard her, with some other
little children, in a school, saying: "Suffer little children to come
unto me, and forbid them not;" and you can't tell how happy this made
me, after hearing her sad story.

Are you not glad that there are good, true, kind hearts left in the
world, who remember that Jesus said, "_Feed my lambs_"?



LETTER FROM TOM GRIMALKIN TO HIS MOTHER.


    MY DEAR MAMMA GRIMALKIN: How _could_ you let Miss Nipper take
    me away from you? I am so miserable, that I have not run around
    after my tail once since I came here. There's nothing here to amuse
    me, not even a fly in the room to catch, for Miss Nipper won't have
    one about. There she sits, knitting--knitting--knitting--in the
    chimney corner. If she'd only drop her ball now and then, it would
    be quite a pretty little excitement for me to chase it round, you
    know; but she never drops her ball, nor her handkerchief, nor even
    leaves an old shoe round for me to toss about--and as to playing
    with her apron strings, I should as soon think of jumping into the
    cradle of Queen Victoria's baby.

    I should like to hop up in the chairs now and then, by way of
    variety, but I don't dare,--or up on the window seats, to see
    what's going on in the street; but she won't let me. Goodness knows
    she needn't be afraid my paws are dirty, for I haven't been over
    the threshold since I came here, for a breath of fresh air; beside,
    every morning she souses me head over heels in a tub of water, till
    I hear all sorts of sounds, and see all sorts of sights; and then
    roasts my brains out drying me between the andirons. Ah, it's very
    well for people to talk about "leading a _dog's_ life of it."
    _I_ say, let 'em try a _cat's_.

    Now I am about old enough to begin to go into society a little, and
    there are a plenty of well-bred cats here in the neighborhood, with
    beautiful voices, who give free concerts every moonlight night, but
    Miss Nipper won't let me stir a paw. I don't think I shall stand it
    much longer; for the other day, when she went out of the room, I
    hopped up on the table, and noticed that my whiskers had begun to
    grow considerable large, and that set me to examining my
    _claws_. You understand!

    How does Tabby do? Have you weaned her yet? Don't she ever feel
    sorry, now I am away, that she used to nurse so much more than her
    share? She needs to have you cuff her ears now and then, that
    Tabby. She never had any sisterly affection for me, although one of
    my eyes was a week longer getting open than hers. I shan't forget
    it in a hurry. I often think it over, as I lie here on the
    hearth-rug, listening to the everlasting click, click of Miss
    Nipper's knitting-needles. Oh, it's a very hard case, Mother
    Grimalkin, for a kitty with such a warm heart, and such a frisky
    disposition as I have, to do nothing but think such miserable
    thoughts, and lie here staring the ashes in the fire-place out of
    countenance.

    Miss Nipper is so stingy of her milk, too, that my ribs are all
    pricking through my fur; besides, you will be concerned to learn
    that I'm growing up as ignorant as a young Hottentot: for how can
    I learn to catch mice, boxed up in a parlor without any closets?
    Answer me that, and please write soon to your afflicted son,

    TOM GRIMALKIN.



WHAT CAME OF AN OMNIBUS RIDE,

AND

"ONE PULL TO THE RIGHT!"


Some time ago, (no matter _when_;--little folks shouldn't be curious!)
I was riding in an omnibus with some half-dozen well-dressed ladies,
and white kidded gentlemen.

At a signal from somebody on the sidewalk, the driver reined up his
horses, and a very old man, with tremulous limbs and silvery locks,
presented himself at the door for admission. The driver shouted through
the sky-light, "Room for one more, there, inside;"--but the gentlemen
looked at the old man and frowned, and the ladies spread out their
ruffled skirts, for his hat was shabby, and his coat very threadbare.
_He_ saw how it was, and why there was "no room," and meekly turned
about to go down the steps, when a fine-looking young man, who sat next
to me, sprang to the door, and seizing him by the arm, said, "Take my
place, sir; you are _quite_ welcome to it. I am young and hearty; it
won't weary me to walk"--and kindly leading the old man to the vacant
seat, he leaped from the steps and walked briskly down the street,
while I looked admiringly after him, saying to myself, "That young man
has had a good mother."

We drove on, and the more I looked at the old man's silver hairs, and
fine, honest face, the more indignant I felt, at the way he had been
treated. Whether he read my thoughts in my countenance, or not, I can't
say; but, after most of the passengers had got out, he moved up to me
and said, "Good boy--good boy--wasn't he? My dear, (and here his voice
sunk to a confidential whisper,) I have got money enough to buy out all
the upstart people that filled this omnibus, twenty times over, but I
like this old coat and hat. They are as good as a crucible. Help me to
find out the true metal. Good morning, my dear. Thank you for your
pity, just as much as if I needed it"--and the old man pulled the
strap, got out of the omnibus, and hobbled off down street.

Some time after, I advertised for lodgings, and was answered by a widow
lady. I liked the air of her house, it was so neat and quiet; and then,
the flowering plants in the window were a letter of recommendation to
me. Your cold-hearted, icicle people never care for flowers; (you may
write that in the fly-leaf of your primer.) But what particularly
pleased me, at Mrs. Harris', was the devotion of her son to his mother.
I expected no less, because the minute he opened the door, I saw that
he was the same young man who gave up his seat in the omnibus to the
old gentleman.

John did all the marketing and providing as wisely and as well as if he
were seventy, instead of seventeen. He wheeled his mother's arm-chair
to the pleasantest corner; handed her her footstool, and newspaper, and
spectacles; offered her his arm up stairs and down, and spent his
evenings by _her_ side, instead of joining other young men in racing
over the city to find ways to kill time.

It was a beautiful sight, in these days, when beardless boys come
stamping and whistling into their mother's presence, with their hats
on, and call her "the old woman."

I spent a pleasant autumn under Mrs. Harris' quiet roof. And now,
winter had set in, with its nice long evenings. John came in to tea,
one night, with his bright face over-clouded. His mother was at his
side in an instant. John's master had failed, and John was thrown out
of employment!

Then I learned, that it was only by the strictest economy, and hoarding
of every cent of John's small salary, that the house rent was paid and
the table provided.

And now, so the widow said, the house must be given up, for John might
be a long while getting another place; clerkships were so difficult to
obtain; and they must not think of running in debt.

It was _such_ a pity. We were all so comfortable and happy there, in
that cozy little parlor, with its sunny bow window full of flowers, and
its bright Lehigh fire, and softly cushioned chairs; that cozy parlor,
where the little round table, with its snowy cloth, had been so often
spread; and the fragrant coffee, and delicate tea-biscuit, and racy
newspaper had been so often discussed; where John, in his slippers and
dressing-gown, with his dark hair pushed off his broad forehead, read
to us page after page of some favorite author, while the wind was
welcome to whistle itself dumb outside the threshold, and old Winter to
pile up the snow at the door till he got tired of it.

It _was_ hard!

John walked up and down the floor, with his hands crossed behind, and
Mrs. Harris went round the room, hunting after her spectacles, when
they were comfortably reposing on the bridge of her fine Roman nose.

A knock at the door!

A note for John!

    "Enclosed, find $500, to pay Mr. John Harris' house rent for the
    coming year.

    A FRIEND."

John rubbed his eyes, and looked at his mother; his mother looked at
me; and I looked at both of them; and then we laughed and cried, till
we nearly had regular hysterics.

But who was the "Friend"? That was the question. We were all born
Yankees, and did our best at "guessing;" but it didn't help us. Well,
at any rate, it was very nice, all round. I hadn't to be routed. No,
nor John, nor his dear old mother. And pussy purred round as if she had
as much reason to be glad as any of us; and the canary trilled so sharp
a strain that we were obliged to muffle his cage and his enthusiasm,
with John's red silk pocket-handkerchief.

Mrs. Harris and I had not got our feminine tongues still, the next day,
when John came back, in the middle of the forenoon, with another
riddle, to drive our womanly curiosity still more distracted. He was
requested to call immediately--so a note, he had just received,
read--at Mr. ---- & Co's, and "accept the head clerkship, at a salary
of $1,400 a year; being highly recommended by a person whose name his
new employers decline giving."

That was a greater puzzle still. John and his mother had rich
relations, to be sure; but, though they had always been interfering in
all their plans for making a living, they never had been known to
_give_ them anything except--_advice_, or to call on them _by
daylight_; and it wasn't at all likely that the "leopard would change
his spots," at that late day. No; it couldn't be John's rich relatives,
who were always in such a panic lest upper-tendom should discover that
their cousins, the Harrises, lived in an unfashionable part of the
town, dined at one o'clock, and noticed trades-people and mechanics.

We were too sensible to believe in fairies, and who the mischief was
emptying the "horn of plenty" in that way at our feet, was the
question.

When we woke the next morning, we found in the back yard, a barrel of
apples, a barrel of flour, a keg of butter, and a bag of buckwheat
flour; labelled, "For Mr. John Harris, ---- street."

John declared, (after pinching himself to see if he were really John,)
that he fastened the gate inside the very last thing before he put on
his night-cap. Mrs. Harris said somebody must have climbed over and
unfastened it; and I jumped right up and down, for a bright thought had
just struck me, and I was determined to hold on to it, for I didn't
have a bright thought _every_ day.

"What now?" said John, as I capered round the room.

"Oh! nothing," said I, "only it takes a woman, after all, to find out a
secret--and to _keep it, too_," I added, snapping my fingers at him.

That day I thought it would do me good to ride about in an omnibus. I
tried several. It didn't make much difference to me whether they went
up street or down, or where they finally stopped. I was looking more at
the passengers.

By and by I saw the person I wanted. Said I, in a whisper, sitting down
beside him, "House rent--clerkship--flour--butter--crackers and
buckwheat; all for giving you a seat in an omnibus!"

Didn't I know that "the fairy" was the nice old man with silver locks?
Didn't he bribe me to hold my tongue, by telling me that he would come
and drink tea with me, so that he might get a peep at John and his
mother? Didn't he come? and didn't I look as much astonished when he
called, as if it hadn't been all settled two days previous? But how was
_I_ to know that Mrs. Harris would turn out to be an old love of his?
How was _John_ to know, when he felt such an irresistible impulse to be
kind to the old man, that his hair had grown white loving his mother?
How was the _old man_ to know why he loved John so well, and thought
him one of the finest young men he had ever seen? How was _I_ to know
that I was to turn out to be what I always so mortally hated--a
feminine match-maker?



LITTLE GERTRUDE'S PARTY.


Little Gertrude wanted to have a party. Sarah and Julia Smith had had
one, and Eliza Doane, and the twin Smith girls, and their little cousin
Mary Vose; (parties were very delightful things, why shouldn't _she_
have one?) Gertrude's mother was a sensible woman; she did not approve
of children's parties; but she had found out that it was sometimes the
cheapest way to teach her little daughter _by experience_, that her
mother always knew best; so Miss Gertrude had leave to "have a party!"

How her tongue _did_ run! "She should not ask Louisa Loft because _she_
did not invite _her_; she should not ask Louisa Thompson, because she
borrowed her 'Arabian Nights' and tore out one of the pictures; she
should not ask Janie Jones, because she heard her call her new bonnet
'a perfect fright;' she should not ask George Sales, because he was
such a glutton he would eat up all the bon-bons."

As to "supper," she would like oysters, of course; "escalloped
oysters," with wine in them, and two pyramids of ice cream, one vanilla
and one lemon; and some Charlotte Russe, and some Jersey biscuit, and
all sorts of cakes, and sugar drops with "cordial" inside, and
"mottoes" for the little beaux to give the little belles, &c., &c., &c.

Then her dress--_that_ required a _great deal of thought_; her pink
dress was too shabby to be thought of a moment; her blue one had
neither tucks, nor flounces; (and who ever heard of a party dress with
a plain skirt?) her buff one was not gay enough; in short, she had
_been seen_ in all those dresses--she ought to have a bran new one--a
cherry silk, for instance, with swan's down round the neck and
shoulders; that would be charming. Mary Scott told her, that her
Philadelphia cousin had a dress like that, and looked lovely in it.

As to the time for the party she thought a week from that day would
suit all the dress-makers--next Thursday week; then there were the
notes of invitation--should they be written on plain or embossed paper?
gilt-edged or not gilt-edged? These important questions puzzled
Gertrude hugely.

Thursday came--and so did "the cherry dress and the swan's down." The
dress-maker pinched Gertrude into it, and Gertrude, catching her breath
between the hooks and eyes, said "it fitted beautifully;" the little
satin slippers were also laced and rosetted to her mind, and her kid
gloves properly _ruche-d_ and bow-d and her hair curled by Mons.
Frizzle, till she looked like his wife's little poodle dog "Apollo."

The bell began to ring! Gertrude ran _once_ more to the glass before
the door should open; it was all right, all but one curl on the left
temple that had veered round a little too much to the north-east, and
which had to be re-arranged.

In they came.

The two Misses Tarleton first, dressed in a cerulean blue, to set off
their "lint locks" and fair complexions, with their two hands encased
in white kids, crossed over their two sashes, and an embroidered
pocket-handkerchief, starched very stiffly, between their little
fingers. Close upon _their_ satin slippers came Miss Jenny Judkins,
whose father was "rich." Miss Jenny wore a black velvet waist trimmed
profusely with black bugles, that sparkled under the chandelier enough
to put your eyes out. Her skirt was pink satin trimmed with black lace
flowers, and her hair was drawn back tightly from the roots at her
forehead, and confined by tri-colored bows with long streamers like the
pennants of a ship. Gertrude felt very much afraid that Miss Jenny
would be voted "the belle."

Time would "give out" should I undertake to do justice to all these
young ladies, beside I must not omit the young gentlemen. I am not
quite sure that I have done right to keep them so long in "the
gentleman's dressing room."

In the first place, allow me to introduce you to Mr. Augustus Anthony,
who has been in the hands of Mons. Peruke for the last hour, as you
will perceive by his perfumed locks; the bows of his little silk
necktie, you please notice, are of the proper fashionable size, and his
jacket richly embroidered. His brother John, "just from college," fixed
his watch chain; so there's no use in my criticising _that_. Then,
there's Master George Harrison, Jr., with his patent pumps and silk
stockings, and his sister Jane's diamond ring outside his buff glove on
the third finger. He has frequent occasion to point about the room with
_that_ hand, you notice!

Next comes Master Simpkins, who is very bashful, and stood tweeddling
his thumbs, all of a cold sweat, before he ventured in; he knew that
his toes _ought_ to turn _out_, instead of _in_, but that was a defect
that couldn't be rectified in a minute, and so he made up his mind to
shuffle in behind Peter, the black waiter, who just passed in to
arrange the candelabras.

Well, they commenced dancing and all "went merry as a marriage bell"
for an hour, when Miss Tarleton was discovered crying, because "Master
Simpkins had trod on her blue dress and torn off one of the
flounces"--and Miss Jane Judkins was very red in the face, because one
of Mr. Augustus Anthony's jacket buttons had caught in a fine gold
chain upon her neck, and a little gold cross had snapped off, nobody
knew where, that belonged to her sister Julia, who made her promise
"certain true not to lose it;" and Miss Smith had burst her kid glove
right across the hand, and couldn't think of dancing after such a
disaster.

Gertrude ran to her mother in great trouble, proposing that harmony
should be restored by the supper table. It looked very gay--that supper
table, with its lights, and bouquets, and fancy confectionary; it
seemed almost a pity to put it in confusion; but Mr. George Sales did
not incline to that opinion; so he very quietly seized a dish of
oysters and commenced helping himself out of it, quite oblivious of
"the presence of the ladies."

Master Anthony was more gallant--he, under the influence of Miss Jane
Judkins' tri-colored bows and velvet spencer, valiantly attacked, knife
in hand, a fortress of ice-cream, and having freighted a gilt-edged
saucer with it, was in the act of presenting it to her, with a
dancing-school bow, when he unfortunately lodged the contents of the
saucer on her pink skirt and lace flounces. Gertrude retired to the
dressing-room with the afflicted Miss Jane, offering her all the
sympathy that such a melancholy occasion called for.

When Gertrude returned to the supper room she had the pleasure of
hearing Miss Taft remark, that it was "the stupidest party she ever
attended; and as to the supper, it was positively shabby--only _two_
pyramids of ice-cream! but then she had heard her mamma say that
Gertrude's mother had never been to parties much, so she supposed she
really didn't know any better; _she_ (Miss Taft) intended to have a
party herself, when she was twelve years old, which event was to come
off in a month or two, and _then_ they'd see a party worth dressing
for."

Poor Gertrude, after all the pains she had taken, her pretty supper
table "shabby," her party "stupid," and her mamma--"didn't know any
better!" She was perfectly miserable--her head ached violently, and had
it not been for shame, she would have cried outright.

The "ladies and gentlemen" having surfeited themselves at the "shabby
supper table," had one more dance, in which nobody was suited with
their partners, and several declared, pouting, that they would not
dance at all, "because the music was so miserable;" and then they
cloaked and hood-ed themselves, and the "rich" Miss Judkins rolled off
in her father's carriage, much to the dissatisfaction of some of the
other young ladies, who walked home with their little pinafore
admirers, cutting up Miss Gertrude's party in a manner that showed they
had not listened in vain to the remarks of their mammas about the
parties _they_ had attended.

As to Gertrude herself, when the last little foot had pattered out of
the entry, she threw herself, weeping, into her mamma's lap, quite worn
out with excitement and mortification.

Gertrude's mother considers the money laid out for that "party," and
the "cherry silk dress," as one of the most profitable investments she
ever made; for, although Miss Gertrude is now a wife and a mother, with
a house of her own, she has never been known since that night, to "have
a party," or to express the least desire to _go to one_. For, my dear
children, "grown-up parties" are not a whit more profitable or
satisfactory than the little miniature one that caused Gertrude so much
trouble and unhappiness.



FERN MUSINGS.


Morning again! and New-York is beginning to stir. Lazy creatures! they
_should_ have been up hours ago. That old rooster over the way has
crowed himself hoarse, trying to start them all out: and _he_ is not as
smart as he might be, for I saw the first streak of dawn myself, before
he was off his perch.

Now the carts begin to rumble by, with "fresh sweet milk," labelled on
the sides. Lucky they tell us of it, for we never should find it out
ourselves by _tasting_. There go the dray-carts, with baggage from the
just-arrived cars; then follows a carriage with the owners of the
baggage. How hollow-eyed they look, traveling all night. They are
evidently thinking of eggs and hot rolls. There go the boarding-house
women, basket in hand, to secure their dinner: hope they won't spoil it
with bad cooking-butter! There go the shop girls, shrouded in thick
brown veils: poor things! they got up late and couldn't stop to comb
their hair. There come the market carts from the country, laden with
cabbages, and turnips, and beets, and parsnips, and apples, and nobody
knows what else beside.

There comes a little boy, screeching "R-a-d-i-shes;" and a little girl
just behind him, shouting "Bl-a-ck-ber-ries," and a man in the middle
of the street, yelling "Tin-tin-tin--tin ware for sale." Oh dear! I
shall have to stuff my ears with cotton wool. I'm as crazy as a
Fourth-of-July orator who has forgotten his speech.

There come some business men, chewing the last mouthful of their
breakfast as they button the first button of their overcoats and hurry
down street. There go the laundresses with their baskets of clean
clothes,--hope they haven't ironed off all the shirt-buttons. There's a
man with a parcel of old umbrellas on his back: it would puzzle "a
Philadelphia lawyer" to find out what _he_ is shouting. Never mind, he
makes a noise in the world; so I suppose he is satisfied. There go two
or three women with _slip-shod feet_;--ugh! And there's a little girl
fresh from the country, (you may know that) for her eyes are as bright
as stars, and her cheeks look like June roses. She has a bunch of
flowers in her hand, but they are no prettier than herself;--she is a
perfect little rose-bud (if her shoes are clumsy and her bonnet
old-fashioned.) If you'll excuse me I'll run down a minute and speak to
her.

Well, I declare! she says her name is "Letty Hill," and she has come
into town to see Aunt Hopkins; and her aunt, and she, and her little
cousin Meg Hopkins, are all going to Barnum's Museum, (Uncle Hopkins
isn't going with 'em, because he says Burnum's a humbug;) and she is
going to wear a clean white apron, that is stowed away safe in her
carpet bag, with blue ribbon strings on it. She don't know whether she
shall stay over night, or not; her mother told her she _might_, if Aunt
Hopkins asked her, and she hopes she _will_ ask her, because she and
Meg Hopkins want to tell ghost-stories, and play "tent" with the sheets
after they get into bed. She has a whole ninepence in her pocket, which
Jake (the man on the farm) gave her, and she intends to buy out some of
the Broadway shop keepers with it before she sees Clover Farm again.
She hopes Aunt Hopkins will have mince pie for dinner, and make it real
sweet, too; and she hopes Cousin Tom Hopkins will be at home, because
he always gives her sixpences. There she goes, tripping along. God
bless her! _She_ don't care whether there's a revolution in Europe or
not.

Look over there at that street pump; isn't that a pretty sight
now?--that little girl in the short frock, with bare legs, and feet as
plump as little partridges. She has set down her basket, and stopped to
get a drink of water. The pump handle goes very hard. She concludes to
put it to a better use,--she will make a swing of it. So she lifts it
way up, and then seizing hold with both hands, swings herself down upon
the sidewalk. Ah! she has alighted in a puddle! She looks at her little
fat feet, and makes up her mind she will take a bath; so she pumps out
the water, and holds first one little plump foot under, then the other,
till they are as white and polished as marble, and her little
pink-tipped toes look all too dainty to touch the dirty sidewalk. Now,
she sees me looking at her, and blushing scampers off.

"Sweep, ho--sweep, ho! want any chimneys swept, ma'am?"

"No, indeed! not if that poor child behind you has got to crawl up the
chimney to do it. Why, he can't be more than five years old."

"He's used to it--it don't hurt his _complexion_."

Very like, poor little African; but it would hurt my _feelings_;
besides I haven't got any chimney--no, nor a house;--don't own
_anything_, I'm happy to say, but a bandbox and a tooth-brush; don't
care a snap of my thumb for the "first of May" in New-York; it don't
_move_ me!

There's a little boy, under the window, holding up his hand for a
penny. He's trying to _cry_; but it is very hard work. Never mind,
Johnny, or Sammy, or whatever your name is, don't shed a tear for me,
for mercy's sake; but there's a penny for making up such an awful face.
I'll send you to puzzle the barber in the avenue, who advertises to
"_cut hair to suit the countenance_!"



CRAZY TIM.


What in the world is that?--a poor old man, almost bent double, drawing
a little wooden horse upon the pavement, and laughing and talking to it
as if he were seven years old, instead of seventy! How white his hair
is; and see--his hat is without a crown, and one of the flaps of his
coat is torn off. Now one of the boys has pelted him with a stone, that
has brought the blood from his wrinkled cheek; another asks him "how
much he will take for his hat," while all the rest surround him,
shouting, "Old crazy Uncle Tim--old crazy Uncle Tim!"

Come here, boys, won't you?--and let poor Uncle Tim go home, while I
tell you his story.

Uncle Tim used to be the village shoemaker, hammering away at his
lap-stone in that little shop with the red eaves, as contentedly as if
he owned a kingdom. He always had a pleasant smile and a merry story
for his customers, and it was worth twice the money one paid him, to
see his sunshiny face and hear his hearty laugh.

[Illustration: CRAZY TIM.]

But the light of Uncle Tim's eyes was his little daughter Kitty. Kitty
was not a beauty. No--her little nose turned right up, like a little
dogs; her hair was neither soft nor curly; and her little neck and arms
were almost as brown as the leather in her father's shop,--still,
everybody loved Kitty, because she had such a warm, good heart, and
because she was so kind to her honest old father.

Uncle Tim had no wife. She had been dead many years. I shouldn't wonder
if Uncle Tim didn't grieve any, for she was a very cross, quarrelsome,
disagreeable person, and made him very unhappy.

Little Kitty was his housekeeper now, although she was only seven years
old. She and her father lived in a room back of the shop, and Uncle Tim
did the cooking, while Kitty washed the dishes, made the bed, and
tidied up the small room with her own nimble little fingers. When she
had quite done, she would run into the shop, steal behind her father,
throw her chubby brown arms about his neck, and give him a kiss that
would make him sing like a lark for many an hour after.

While his fingers were busy at his lap-stone he was thinking--not of
the coarse boots and shoes he was making, but of little Kitty--how he
meant to send her to school--how he meant she should learn to read and
write, and know a great deal more than ever _he_ did, when he was
young--and how he meant to save up all his money in the old yarn
stocking, till he got enough to put in the bank for Kitty,--so that
when he died she needn't go drifting round the world, trying to earn
her bread and butter among cold, stony-hearted strangers.

Uncle Tim found some time to play, too. When it came sundown, he and
Kitty, and the old yellow dog Jowler, would start off on a stroll. It
was very funny to see little Kitty fasten down the windows with an old
nail, before she started, like some old housekeeper, and put the
tea-kettle in the left-hand corner of the fire-place, and take such a
careful look about to see if everything was right, before turning the
key. When they got out into the fields they both enjoyed the fresh air
as only industrious people can. Every breath they drew seemed a luxury;
and as to Uncle Tim, I don't know which was the younger, he or Kitty. I
am sure he went over fences and stone walls like a squirrel; and as to
Kitty, her merry laugh would ring through the woods till the little
birds would catch it up and echo it back again.

Then, when they reached home, they had such a good appetite for their
brown bread and milk. Oh! I can tell you, Uncle Tim and Miss Kitty
wouldn't have thanked Queen Victoria for the gift of her scepter, they
were so happy.

One day Kitty asked Uncle Tim to let her go huckleberrying. She said
she knew a field where they were "as thick as blades of grass." Uncle
Tim couldn't go with her, because Sam Spike, the blacksmith, was in a
hurry for a pair of boots to be married in, and of course Sam couldn't
wait for all the huckleberries in creation; so Tim staid at home,
humming and singing, and singing and humming, while Kitty tied on her
calico sun-bonnet, slung her basket on her little brown arm, and
trudged off with her dog Jowler.

Jowler was very good company. Kitty and he used to have long
conversations about all sorts of things. Kitty always knew by the way
he wagged his tail whether he agreed with her or not. When any other
dog came up to speak to him, he'd look up into Kitty's little freckled
face, to see if she considered the new dog a proper acquaintance, and
if she shook her head, he'd give him a look out of his eyes, as much as
to say, "It's no use," and trot demurely on after Kitty.

Well, Jowler and she picked a quart of huckleberries, and then Kitty
started for home, Jowler carrying the basket in his mouth part of the
way, when Kitty spied any flowers she wished to pick. When she had
plucked all she wanted she concluded to take a shorter cut home across
the fields, and down on the railroad track. So they trotted on, Kitty
singing the while.

By and by they reached the track. Kitty looked,--there were no cars
coming as far as she could see. To be sure there was a curve in the
road just behind her, (round which the eye couldn't look,) but she
wasn't afraid. Just then Jowler dropped the basket and spilt her
huckleberries. Kitty was _so_ sorry,--but she stooped down to gather
them up, when a train of cars whisked like lightning round the curve on
the road, and poor little Kitty was crushed to death in an instant!

Jowler wasn't killed--faithful Jowler,--he trotted home to Uncle Tim,
who sat singing at his work, and leaped upon him, and whined, and
tugged at his coat, till Uncle Tim threw down the blacksmith's boots
and followed him, for he knew something must be the matter. Perhaps
Kitty had fallen over a stone wall, and lamed her foot--who knew? So
Jowler ran backwards and forwards, barking and whining, till he brought
Uncle Tim to the railroad track.

Was _that_ crushed mass of flesh and bone little Kitty?--_his_
Kitty?--all he had in the wide earth to love?

Uncle Tim looked once, and fell upon the earth as senseless as a stone.
Ever since he has been quite crazy. All he cares to do is to draw up
and down through the road that little wooden horse that Kitty used to
play with, hoping to coax her back to him.

Poor old Tim! Would you throw another stone at him, boys? Would you
hunt the weary old man through the streets like some wild beast? Would
you taunt, and sneer, and shout in his ears, "Old crazy Tim"--"Old
crazy Tim?" Oh, no--no! Pick a flower and give him, as Kitty used; take
his hand--poor, harmless old man--and walk along with him; maybe he'll
fancy that you are little Kitty, (who knows?) and smile once more
before he dies. Poor Uncle Tim!



CICELY HUNT;

OR,

THE LAME GIRL.


What a holy and beautiful thing is a mother's love!

Every morning, about eight o'clock, I have noticed, limping past my
window to school, a little lame girl. A woman goes with her; supporting
her gently by the arm and carrying her satchel of books.

The girl is very poorly clad. Sometimes her dress will be patched with
two or three different colors; but it is always very clean; and I have
observed that her stockings, though coarse, are always whole, and that
her shoes are neatly tied up. The woman who goes with her looks tidy,
too; though she wears a rusty black bonnet, of an old-fashioned make,
and a faded shawl.

Cicely's little school-mates bound past her; skipping, hopping, jumping
and running, as if they could not exercise their legs enough. The lame
girl looks at them, smiles a sad, quiet smile, and looks up tearfully
in her mother's face. The mother answers back with a look so _full_ of
love, and lays her hand upon her child's arm, as much as to say, "I
love you all the more, because you are a poor, little helpless
cripple."

And so they travel over the icy pavements to school; (stepping very
carefully, for it would be a sad thing if Cicely should slip and fall;)
until, at last, they reach the school house.

What a blessing are free schools! What a difference it makes in the
life of that poor girl, to be able to read! How many weary hours of
pain will a nice book beguile! And, beside, if one has not a cent in
the world, if one has a good education, it is worth as much as money in
the bank,--and more, too, because banks often turn out great humbugs,
and then people lose all the money they have placed in them.

Cicely was not always poor. She can remember (just as you can a dream,
when you first rub open your eyes in the morning) a great big house
with richly carpeted halls, and massive chandeliers, and rich sofas and
curtains, and gilded mirrors, and silver vessels, and black servants.

She remembers that her father carried a gold-headed cane, that he used
to let her play horse with; and that he used to sit a long while at the
table with gentlemen, drinking wine and eating fruit after dinner; and
that often, he would ring for the nurse to bring _her_ in, to show her
to the gentlemen when her curls had been nicely smoothed and her little
embroidered frock put on; and that then he would stand her up on the
table and make her sing a little song, and that the gentlemen would
clap their hands and laugh, and grow very merry about it.

Then she remembers that one day there was a great running to and fro in
the house; and she saw her father lifted from a carriage in the arms of
two gentlemen, and that blood was flowing from his side; and then her
nurse caught her up, and carried her into the nursery, and she didn't
go down stairs or see her papa again for many days; and she remembers
that one day, getting tired waiting for him to come up and see her, she
crept down _by herself_ to his room, and found him lying on the bed,
with his hands crossed over his breast, and only a linen sheet thrown
over him, though it was very cold weather; and she said, "Papa?"--but
he didn't answer; and she got a chair and climbed up in it to put her
hand on his face, to wake him, but he was as cold as the marble image
in the hall; and then her nurse called, "Cicely!--Cicely!" and seemed
frightened, when she found her _there_; but wouldn't tell her _why_ her
papa laid there so still, or _why_ he wouldn't speak to his little
girl.

And then she remembers going away from the big house, and bidding
good-bye to her black nurse; and ever since that they had lived in poor
places, and people spoke harshly to them; and though her mamma never
answered them back, she sighed heavily, and sometimes leaned her head
on her hand and wept.

And one night it snowed in on the bed, and Cicely caught cold and had a
fever, which left her with the dreadful lameness that I told you about;
and then Cicely's mother groaned because she had no money; for she
thought some of the great doctors, if they were well paid for it, might
think it worth their while to try and cure Cicely.

Cicely's limb was less painful now than it had been for two years,
although it was quite useless; but her mother, as I told you, helped
her to limp to school. Cicely kept hoping it would get _quite_ well,
and she wanted to learn as fast and as much as she could; because she
thought if she got all the medals, the Committee might say, "Cicely, we
must have you for a teacher here, some day."

Yes; why not? Stranger things than that have happened; and then,
perhaps, she could earn enough to (and here Cicely had to stop to
think, because there were so _many_ things they wanted,)--earn enough
to buy a pair of warm blankets for their bed; and enough to have a cup
of tea Sunday nights; and enough to keep a fire and a light through the
long winter evenings, and not have to go to bed because they were so
cold, and because candles were so dear.

Yes; Cicely was looking forward to all that, when she limped along to
school. She thought it would be so delightful to empty her purse in her
kind mother's lap, and say: "Dear mother, you needn't work any more.
_I_ will support you, now."

Oh, what a nice thing hope is! Sometimes, to be sure, she leads us a
long dance for nothing; but I am very certain that were it not for
hope, we shouldn't be good for much. Many a poor groaner has she
clapped on the back, and made him leap to his feet and set his teeth
together, and spring over obstacles as if he had on "seven league
boots." She is a little coquettish, but _I_ like her. She has helped
_me_ out of many a hobble.

Well, as the great speakers say, this is a digression. Do you know what
that is? It is leaving off what you are about, to dance off to
something else--just as I did up there about hope. Now I'm going on!

One day the committee came to Cicely's school, to hear the scholars
recite; and Cicely stood up in her patched gown as straight as she
could, and recited her lessons.

One of the gentlemen who came in with the committee asked, "Who is that
young girl who said her lessons so well?"

"Cicely Hunt?" he repeated, after the teacher,--"Cicely Hunt! _She_ was
not lame; and then--why--no--it _can't_ be: the thing is quite
impossible," and he leaned back in his chair, and looked at Cicely.

After school was over he said to her, "Do you sing, Cicely?"

"Not now," said Cicely, blushing. "I used to sing, a long while ago,
when I was little."

"When, Cicely?"

"I sang to--to--my papa," said Cicely--tears springing to her eyes. "I
used to sing, 'Blue eyed Mary,' for the gentlemen who dined with papa."

Then the gentleman (pretending to look out the window) wiped his eyes,
and turning to the teacher, they whispered a long while together, now
and then looking at Cicely.

That evening, when Cicely and her mother were warming their fingers
over a fire of shavings, somebody knocked at the door.

Cicely blushed, when she saw the same gentleman she had seen at the
school coming in, and looked anxiously about the room.

But Mr. Raymond was not looking at the room. I doubt if he saw
anything, his eyes were so full of tears; but he held Cicely's mother
by the hand several minutes, without speaking, and led her back to the
chair with as much deference as if she had been a Duchess; and then
Cicely found out, as they talked, that he was one of her father's old
friends, and that, as sometimes happens, even between friends, they had
a quarrel, and that then they were both mistaken enough to think that
the most gentlemanly way to settle it, was to fight a duel; and that
Mr. Raymond wounded her father, and had to go away as fast as possible,
because there was so much noise about it, and that he had been very
unhappy ever since, and would have given all he had to have brought him
to life again, and that when he returned to his native city he had
searched everywhere for Mrs. Hunt and Cicely, without finding them.

Well, now he wanted to support Cicely and her mother, but Mrs. Hunt did
not like that. She forgave him the sorrow he had brought upon her
because he had suffered so much; but she did not wish to be supported
by him. However, she allowed him to find her a better place to live in,
and get her some scholars to teach, who paid her high prices, and by
and by Cicely helped her, and so they supported _themselves_; which is
a far pleasanter way of living than to be dependent.

Cicely was never entirely cured of her lameness; but a physician made
her much more comfortable; so she could walk by herself, with the help
of a crutch; and Mrs. Hunt's last days, after all, were her best days;
for, we should never know, my dear little pets, how brightly the sun
shines, if it _were never clouded_.



THE LITTLE TAMBOURINE PLAYER.


I was sitting at my window one fine morning, at a farm house in the
country, enjoying the sweet air, the soft blue clouds, and far-off
hills, and watching the hay-makers in their large, straw hats, as they
tossed the hay about, piled it upon the cart, or "raked after," or
drove along home through the meadow, crushing the sweet breath from the
clover blossoms that lay scattered in their path; and enjoying the song
of the little robin in the linden tree opposite, who was thrilling my
heart with his gushing notes.

                          *          *          *

A hand organ! What a nuisance! I fancied I had left them all behind me
in the city, where one has such a surfeit of them. A hand organ in the
_country_! where the little birds never make a discord, or charge us a
fee, either! I'll get up and shut the window, or run off into the back
woods, where such a thing as a hand organ was never heard of.

I got up to put my threat into execution, when my eye was attracted by
the musicians. There was a coarse, stout, sun-burned Irish woman, with
an immense straw hat flapping over her freckled face, tied with a gaudy
ribbon under her _three chins_, singing, "I'd be a butterfly!" At her
side, stood a little girl about six years old, holding an inverted
tambourine, to catch windfalls in the shape of pennies.

The little creature was as delicate as a rose leaf; her eyes were large
and of a soft hazel; her skin fair and white, and her hair waved over
her graceful little head as sweetly as your own. Her hands were small
and white, and her coarse shoes could not hide her pretty little feet.
She was not _that_ woman's child; I was sure of if; for her voice was
as sweet as a wind harp.

"How far have you come, to-day?" asked I of the Irish "butterfly."

"From the city, sure," said she; "would your leddyship give me a
saxpence?"

I'd have given her five times that amount, if she wouldn't have sung to
me again. So I tossed her the "saxpence," and asked if the child had
walked from the city (four miles) too?

"Sure," said the woman, looking a little confused. "Biddy would be
afther going with her mother wheriver she went."

_Her_ mother? I didn't believe it. That child had been delicately
brought up, as sure as my name was Fanny. All my motherly feelings were
roused in an instant.

"If that is the case," said I, carelessly, "I suppose she is hungry,
and her mother, too; if you will let her go down in the orchard with
me, I will bring you back some nice ripe apples."

The little girl looked timidly at the woman, who took a good look at me
out of her bold, saucy, black eyes, and asked, "Is it far you'll be
going?"

"Just to yonder tree," said I, pointing down the meadow; "but if you
think it will weary her to go, I will bring them to her myself."

"You can go with the lady," said the woman, giving her a look that the
child seemed to understand, "and I will just sit on the fence and look
afther ye."

"Is that your mother?" said I, stooping to pluck a daisy at the little
one's feet.

"Y-e-s," she said slowly, but without looking me in the face.

"_No she is not_," said I. "Don't be afraid of me; if you want to get
away from her I can help you. Didn't she steal you away?"

The child nodded her head, without speaking, and looked timidly over
her shoulder, to see if any one was near to hear me.

"Is your own mother alive?" I asked.

She nodded her head again, and her sweet little lip quivered.

"Hush!" said I, "don't cry. I'll get you away from her. Keep quiet.
Don't talk any more now. Just pick up the pears in your apron, that I
knock off this tree."

I climbed the pear tree and peeping over the fence, saw good honest
"Jim," the "man of all work" at the farm, sitting down in the shade to
rest, with old Bruno curled up at his feet.

I tossed a pear at his red head. Jim looked up. I put my finger on my
lip, saying, "Creep round by the fence, Jim, and get up to the house;
go in at the back door and wait till I come up. Don't say a word to
anybody. I'll tell you why when I get back."

Jim gave me a sagacious nod, and commenced going on all fours behind
the fence.

Little "Biddy," as her pretended mother called her, filled her apron
with the pears and we started across the field to where Bridget still
sat, perched upon the garden fence, with her hand organ unstrapped at
her feet.

I emptied the pears in her lap, and she thanked me in her uncouth way,
between the big mouthsful, and sat down on the grass with Biddy.

Presently I asked her if she would like some ginger beer; of course she
said yes, and of course I had to go into the kitchen to get it, and of
course I found Jim there, and telling him my story in a dozen words, he
brought his hand down with a thump on his waistband, exclaiming,

"Je-ru-sa-lem!"

When Jim said _that_ you might know he was going to do something
terrible!

Well, I went back with the beer, and just as Bridget was tipping the
glass up to her thick lips, Jim bounded behind her like a panther, and
held her arms tight while I took little Biddy and scampered into the
house.

Having locked little Biddy safe in my chamber, I returned and picked up
off the grass, two silver spoons of Jim's mother's, that Bridget had
taken from the parlor closet while we were getting the pears.

That gave us a right to shut her up in jail--to say nothing of her
carrying off poor little Biddy--and you may be sure that Jim was not
long in sending her there, spite of her vociferations that, "If there
was law in the counthry she'd have the right of him yet, for meddling
with an honest woman like Bridget Fliligan."

"Thank you for telling us your name," said Jim, coolly; "it is just
what we wanted to know."

But it is time I let out my little prisoner, poor little Edith, (that
was her real name.)

"Is she gone a great _way_ off? Can't she get me _ever_?" said the
frightened child, peeping round the room as if she expected to see her
jump out of the closet, or spring from under the bed. "Will you keep
hold of my hand all the time when it comes night? Can't they get me
_then_?"

"No, no, my darling--never, never. Come here and sit on my knee. Now,
tell me, how came you to live with Bridget?"

"I was going to school," said Edith, "and I stopped to look at some
pretty pictures in a shop window, when this Bridget came up to me and
said, 'Which of them do you like best, dear?'--and I said, 'The little
boy asleep on the dog's neck;' and she said, 'If you will come round
the corner with me, I will give you one just like it;' and I said, 'No;
I shall be late at school, and my mamma wouldn't like it;' and then she
said it wouldn't take but a minute, and she led me into an alley, and
when she got there she threw her shawl over my head, and ran with me;
and when she took the shawl off, I was in a house with some Irish
people, and Bridget said, 'I've got her!--she will do nicely, sure, to
play the tambourine. Won't the pretty face of her bring the shillings?'

"And then I cried, and begged them to take me back to mamma; and
Bridget held up a great stick, and said, 'Do you see that?' and then
she took off the clothes I had on, and put on these, and brought the
tambourine, and told me how to play it; and when my fingers trembled so
that I couldn't, she shook me, and pulled my hair, and said I should
have nothing to eat till I learned to do it; and I begged and begged
her to take me home. I told her mamma would cry all night, and papa,
too, and little Henry,--but she hurt me with the stick so (pulling up
her sleeve, and showing me the blue spots on her arms); and then I was
afraid she would kill me, and so I tried to learn, because I thought if
I minded her, perhaps she would let me see mamma;--but she never did;
and I slept in the cellar with her nights, and in the day time, before
light, she takes me out into the country to play. See, my feet are very
sore"--(and she pulled off the heavy, coarse shoes and showed me the
blisters on them.)

"Won't _you_ take me to see my mamma, _quick_?" said Edith, putting her
little arms round my neck, as if she were afraid I would feel hurt
because she wanted to leave me so soon.

"Just as fast as old Dobbin can carry you, my darling," said I, "if you
will only tell me where to find her."

Little Edith began to cry.

"Perhaps she is dead," said she, sobbing.

"Oh, I hope not," said I, (the thought of restoring the little one had
been so delightful to me); "cheer up, my darling,--now tell me where to
find your father. What does he do for a living, Edith?"

"He has a shop," said Edith, "and knives, and forks, and scissors, and
iron things in it."

"Oh, I know; he is what we call a hardware merchant."

"Yes," said Edith, "that's it."

"Well, where's the shop?"

"In the city," said Edith, "in ---- street. My papa's name is ----
Grosvenor, Esquire."

"Well, we'll find him, Jim and I. Here's the horse and wagon, my little
musician, so jump in."

Jim whipped up, and away we jolted into town, little Edith clinging
tightly to my arm, for fear of Bridget.

Two hours and we were in ---- street. I went into a confectioner's with
little Edith, while Jim drove to her father's store.

Edith grew very impatient--a bright red spot came upon her cheek--and
she walked often to the window and looked out.

In about half an hour I saw Jim coming back up the street, and at his
side a fine looking, tall man, of thirty.

"There's Jim," said I to Edith--

"And papa! and papa!--oh, _it is_ papa--my own papa"--and she rushed to
the door with the speed of an antelope.

How can I describe to you that meeting, when I couldn't see it for my
tears? but I heard kisses and sobs, thick and fast, and the words,
"Dear papa," and "My blessed, lost Edith."

Well, nothing would do, but Jim and I must go home and see mamma, too,
who had never been outside of the door since her poor little girl was
taken away.

We drove to the house--Edith, and I and Jim, staying below stairs,
while Mr. G---- went to prepare his wife for the joyful news.

Presently we heard a heavy fall upon the floor. The joy was too
intense. Edith's mother had fainted! She opened her eyes--it was not a
dream! There was her little lost darling before her! She held her at
arm's length--she clasped her to her breast--she kissed my hands--then
she ran weeping to her husband--then back to Edith, till the pantomime
became too painful.

"Je-ru-sa-lem!" said Jim.



THE BROKER'S WINDOW BY GASLIGHT.


Last evening I was walking in Broadway. The shop windows were brilliant
with gas, and bright silks, and satins, and jewels were all spread out
in the windows in the most tempting manner; all was gayety, bustle,
hurry, drive, and confusion; omnibuses, carts, carriages, drays,
military, music; people flocking to concerts, shows, and theatres;
people flocking _in_ town, and people flocking _out_; fashions in _one_
window--coffins in the _next_; beggars and millionaires, ministers and
play-actors, chimney-sweeps and ex-presidents, all in a heap.

I sauntered along dreamily, looking at them all, and wondering where
all those myriads of people ate, and drank, and slept; how they had all
laughed and wept; how soon they would all die off, one by one, without
being missed, while strangers, just as busy, would fill their places,
and die in turn, to give place to others.

Over my head the stars shone on, just as brightly as they did ages ago,
when Bethlehem's babe was born--just as they will ages hence, when
nobody will know that you or I ever thrilled with joy, or sighed with
sorrow, beneath them.

But I am not going to preach to you;--the panorama made me _think_;
that's all. Well, I sauntered along, and presently came in sight of a
broker's window, (ask your papa what a broker is,) in a basement, quite
down upon the pavement. The window seat was covered with black velvet,
and on it lay little glittering heaps of money, in gold and
silver;--some quarters--some half-dollars--some dollars--some five
dollar and some ten dollar pieces.

I shouldn't have looked twice after _them_, but, crouched down upon the
sidewalk, so close to the broker's window that his face almost touched
it, was a little boy about ten years old. His ragged little cap was
pushed carelessly back; his long, dark hair fell round his face, and
his eyes were fixed upon that money with an intensity of gaze, that
seemed to render him perfectly unconscious of the presence of any one
about him.

I touched my companion's arm, and we stopped and looked at the boy some
moments, and then passed on. But I couldn't go away, I wanted so much
to know what that little boy was thinking about. So we went back again,
and watched him a few minutes longer. He had not moved from his
position. There he sat, with his little chin in his hand, building air
castles.

"What are you thinking about, dear?" said I, touching him gently on the
shoulder.

He started, and the bright color flushed to his very temples. I fancied
that I had frightened him, or wounded his feelings. Perhaps he imagined
that I thought he was trying to _steal_ that money. So I said quickly,
"Don't be afraid of me; I only felt curious to know what your thoughts
were. I love little children. Now tell me--you were wishing all that
bright money was _yours_, were you not?"

"Yes," said he, veiling his great dark eyes with their long lashes.

"I thought so," said I; "and now, supposing you had it, what would you
do with it, my darling?"

Now, very likely you think he told me of the kites, and tops, and
balls, and horses, and marbles that he would buy with it.

No--he looked up earnestly in my face for a minute, as if he would read
_my_ thoughts, and then he said, with his great eyes swimming in tears,
"I would give it all to my mother."

I didn't care _whose_ boy he was--he was _mine_ then. So I just kissed
him, and tried to keep from crying myself, while I asked him where he
lived.

He told me in ---- Court; and then we took hold of his hands and went
home with him.

Such a home!

A little low room, with one small window, and no furniture in it,
except an old rickety bedstead, upon which lay a woman about thirty
years old, wasting away in a consumption.

Her large eyes glittered like stars, and on each cheek burned a bright
red fever-spot. An old shawl was thrown on the bed for a counterpane.
She had neither sheets nor blankets, and the chill night air blew
through the broken window-panes, making her cough so fearfully that I
thought she must die _then_.

Little Angelo crept to my side, and pointing to the bed, said, "That's
why I wanted the money."

Well, this was her story, which (in broken English) she told us
(between her coughing spells): About a year before, she came over to
this country from Italy with her husband. He was a very bad man, and as
soon as he landed from the ship he ran off with all their money, and
left his wife to take care of herself and little Angelo.

They wandered all about, and came near getting into some very bad
places, (which was what her naughty husband _wished_ her to do, I
suppose.) Sometimes they slept in old sheds, and behind barrels, or
anywhere where they could find a shelter for the night out of harm's
way. Poor Mrs. Cicchi was delicate, and could not bear such cruel
exposure. She took a violent cold, and that brought on a quick
consumption; and now there she lay, in that miserable room, in a
strange country, _dying_!

Poor little Angelo! well might he look wistfully at the money in the
broker's window.

Mrs. Cicchi told us that Angelo was a good boy, and would much rather
work than beg, if he could get anything to do. She said his father made
images in Italy, and that Angelo was always trying to do it too,
whenever he got a bit of clay; and sometimes she thought he could get a
living in that way when she was dead, if he had any friends; but, "poor
boy!" she said, and turned her face to the pillow. "Poor boy! oh, how
can his father forget him?"

We comforted her, and told her that Angelo should be taken care of, and
then she wiped away her tears, and said she "could die happy"--and she
did die a few days after; for cold, and hunger, and trouble had done
more mischief, than the doctor who was sent to her could undo, with all
his skill.

How poor Angelo clung to her dead body! How he kissed her hands and
face, and sobbed, "My _poor, poor_ mother!" He grieved so much that we
almost feared _he_ would die too.

By and by he listened to me. I told him that his mother was always near
him, though he could not _see_ her; and that every time he thought a
good thought, or put away an evil one, she sang a sweeter song. Angelo
liked that! His great dark eyes glittered through his tears; he smiled
and kissed my hand;--often he sits still and listens, as if he heard
his mother's song.

Angelo is a _good_ boy. When he is out of school he works with an image
maker. It is all play to _him_, he likes it so much. The old man stares
to see him go on, but don't say anything. I know very well what he is
thinking: he thinks that one of these days Congress will send Angelo an
order for a statue for the Capitol!

I think so myself.

Dear little Angelo! his father will be very glad to own him by and by.
Oh, I can tell you, _good luck_ is an _excellent "town crier," to find
people with bad memories_!



BLACK CHLOE.


I wonder how you treat the servants in your mother's house? Do you
order them round, as if they were so many dray-horses?--or do you speak
pleasantly to them when you desire they should wait on you? I know
there are a great many bad servants, but there are a great many good
ones, too.

I am going to tell you about one.

Her name was Chloe Steele. She lived with a lady by the name of Mrs.
Kumin. Fannie Kumin was fifteen years old when Chloe came to live with
her mother. Chloe loved to do little services for Fannie, because she
was so smiling and good natured. She never rang the bell, just to warn
Chloe that she was her mistress; and when she called her for anything,
always tried to remember everything she wanted, at once, that she need
not make her take any extra steps, up and down stairs.

Chloe noticed this, and felt grateful for it, and was always very
careful to regard all her little wishes. She tidied up her little
bed-room very carefully, and always ran out in the garden and cut a
little bouquet to place in the vase upon her toilette table, to make
her room sweet and pleasant for her.

Fannie didn't require much waiting upon; she preferred being her own
waiter, (like a sensible little girl.) It was very well she did so,
because in a couple of years after Chloe went there to live, she was
left an orphan, and when the estate was settled up, it was found that
little Fannie had no money to live upon.

Chloe said, "don't be troubled, Miss Fannie; I am used to work. I'll
find you a boarding place, and then I'll go out to service, and pay
your bills. I can get high wages for a housekeeper's place, and you
will live like a lady. It would break my heart to see Master's daughter
work for her living."

Fannie said, "You are a dear, good Chloe, but I could not be happy to
live that way;--no--I must go to work, and that will keep me from
thinking of my troubles. I should become very miserable if I sat still,
with my hands folded, and thought only of so many sorrowful things. No,
no, dear Chloe--I shall teach in Mrs. ----'s school; and you will see,
the education that my dear mother has given me will be just as good as
so much money."

So Chloe said no more about supporting her, because she saw that she
_really_ would be happier to support herself; but she insisted upon
washing and ironing her clothes for her, and the day that she carried
them home, all nicely folded in a basket, was the happiest day in the
week to poor Chloe.

Chloe had taken a little room to herself, and cooked her own food. All
blacks are born cooks, I believe, and many a tempting little dainty she
stowed away of a Saturday night, to take up to school to Fannie.
Sometimes it would be a loaf of cake; sometimes a pie or two; sometimes
a few oysters, nicely cooked; for she said "it was poor fare enough
teachers had in boarding schools, and who knew but Miss Fannie might
get quite run down, on that and the hard work together."

Then she would go round her room, picking up the stockings and mending
them, and brushing her little gaiter boots; and then she would take the
comb out of her long hair and part it nicely, and brush it and dress it
all over as well as Madame Marmotte, the French hair dresser, could do.

If Fannie took cold, she'd come and make her some hot tea, and soak her
feet in mustard water, and leave her some nice hot lemonade to drink
when she went away; and if she had a letter to put in the post-office,
or was expecting one, then Chloe was on hand to do the errand, just as
promptly as an express man.

Now she did all this out of sheer love for Fannie, and because she had
been kind to her in her mother's house, and never put on airs and
ordered her about, as some children do.

By and by, Miss Fannie took it into her head to get engaged to be
married.

Chloe didn't half like it;--she was jealous. She was "afraid Massa Hale
wouldn't make a good husband enough. Miss Fannie ought to have a _very
nice one_, because she was such a fine young lady;" and Chloe shook her
woolly head, till her gold hoop ear-rings rung again, and advised Miss
Fannie to "wait a leetle longer." "Time enough yet, when she was only
eighteen, plenty more gemmen; no hurry _yet_ for Miss Fannie."

But Fannie had her own way that time, too, and married "Massa Hale;"
and when Chloe found there was no help for it, she said she would go
and be her cook, "just to look after the dear child a bit, and see that
she had everything she wanted," and that nothing was wasted.

You ought to have seen her in "Miss Fannie's" kitchen, (for she still
kept on calling her Miss Fannie;) with her gay bandanna handkerchief
twisted round her wool, and her neat check apron tied round her waist,
moving round among the shining pots, and pans, and kettles, as
important as if she were the great Mogul; turning out pies and hoe
cakes, and flap-jacks, (and every other Jack, too, for Chloe had no
beaux dangling after _her_, I promise you.)

If "Miss Fannie" put her head into the kitchen, she'd tell her it was
no place for _her_,--to go right up stairs, and sit in the parlor like
a lady, and not be worrying her little head about the cooking and such
matters; that she'd send up a dinner pretty soon that would make Massa
Hale open his eyes; and she didn't care if he brought the President
home with him to dine!

Chloe was scrupulously honest;--she took care of everything just as
carefully as "Miss Fannie"--never wasting, never giving slily away tea
or sugar, or bread, or meat, or coal, to her acquaintances, as I'm
sorry to say many unprincipled servants do.

So "Massa Hale" began to like her, as well as "Miss Fannie," and many a
nice calico dress, or handkerchief turban, found its way mysteriously
into Chloe's trunk.

After a while, Chloe had _another_ Miss Fannie to look after. Was there
ever a baby like that? Certainly not--except the _original_ Miss
Fannie. Chloe forgot her pots, and pans, and pickles, and preserves,
and hoe-cakes; and said that "somebody else must do the cooking, or
else that baby never would thrive; for what did Miss Fannie know about
babies, she would like to know?"

So Chloe washed her hands, and walked up into the nursery, and when she
said that little Fan must have some peppermint, she had it; and when
she objected to its wearing caps, they were taken off; and when she
said it was time for her to go to sleep, she _went_ to sleep, as a
matter of course.

Chloe sent its mother out to take the air, and told her it was no use
for her to trouble her head about the baby, because it was a thing she
knew nothing about;--in fact "Miss Fannie" never was allowed to peep
into its cradle without Chloe's express permission.

But the time was coming when Sorrow's dark shadow should cross the
happy threshold. Death laid his icy finger on the little baby's lip,
(with scarce a moment's warning,) just as it had twined itself round
all their hearts with its winning little ways.

Who comforted poor Fannie then? Who arrayed the baby's dainty little
limbs for burial? Who placed the tiny flowers between its waxen little
fingers? Who folded away from the weeping mother's sight the useless
caps and robes? Who spoke words of cheer, while her own heart was
breaking?--who, but _Chloe_?

Ah, dear children, _never say that servants are without feeling_; never
say it spoils them to treat them like human beings. They all have their
trials--humble though they be--and (often, God knows,) _few joys
enough_.



A PEEP FROM MY WINDOW.


"Oh, stop! stop! Pray don't beat that child so," said I to a strapping
great woman in front of my window. "What has she done? What is the
matter? Don't strike her."

"Well, then tell her not to meddle with me again," said the virago,
shaking a stick at the child. "I got to that barrel of cinders on the
sidewalk, _first_, and had put my stick in it, to see if I could get
anything out worth saving; of course, if I came first, I had the first
right to what I could find; and then she came up and put _her_ stick in
it, without saying 'by your leave.' I'll teach her better manners"--and
the stick descended again on the child's shoulders.

"Run in here, run in here," said I. "I'll take care of you;" and I
opened the door for her. Poor little thing--all tears, and rags, and
dirt; her little bare feet cut and bruised with the stones, and her
hair streaming all over her face. You would have pitied her, too. She
gazed about the room, looked at the fire, then wistfully at the
breakfast table, from which I had just risen.

"You shall have some," said I, giving her a cup of hot coffee and some
egg and roll; "eat away, as much as ever you can."

She didn't need a second invitation, but swallowed the food as if she
were famished. She put on the shoes and stockings I gave her, and then
she told me that her father was killed on the railroad; that her mother
had four little children beside herself; that they lived in a cellar in
---- street, where the water often came in and covered the floor; that
her mother had a dreadful bad cough; that her baby brother was very
sick, and that they had nothing to eat except what they got begging.

"Why did you hunt in that old barrel?" said I.

"To find bits of coal, to burn. Sometimes the servants in the big
houses don't sift it, and then we find a great many pieces to carry
home and burn. Oh dear! that was such a _nice_ barrel, that the women
beat me for coming to!"

"Never mind the barrel," said I; "do you want this? and this? and this?
and this?"--giving her some old dresses, "and this loaf of bread, and
this bit of money for your mother?"

"Oh yes--yes. She will be _so_ glad!" And off she skipped, down street,
drawing her ragged shawl over her head.

Directly after, thinking of an errand I wished to do, I put on my
bonnet and walked out.

I had passed several blocks, when I came to an alley where I heard
voices. The speakers had their backs turned to me, but I could see
them. It was the child who had just left me, and the woman who had beat
her for meddling with the barrel of cinders.

"You did it _well_," said the woman. "I couldn't have _made believe
cry_ better myself. I knew she'd call you in. Did she give you all
these? and these? and these?" (holding up the dresses.) "That's good. I
can sell them to the second-hand clothes shop there, for money;--_you_
may have that bit of money she gave you, to buy yourself a string of
beads, because you cried so well. Which story did you tell her, hey?"

"The one you told me this morning"--said the child; "all about the
cellar, and the water in it, and how father was killed on the railroad
track. Didn't she give me a good breakfast, though?" And the child
stretched up her arms and yawned.

                          *          *          *

Well, I was not sorry that I gave her that breakfast, or those clothes,
or that money; I was sorry to see a little child so deceitful; but, do
you know it is better _sometimes_ to be mistaken than _never_ to
_trust_?--better sometimes even to _lose a little_, than with icy words
to crush from out a despairing heart, the last hope of a tempted,
starving, fellow creature!

That's the way I comforted myself, dear children, as I walked along
home.



THE BOY PEDLAR.


Rain, rain, rain! How the drops come down! I wonder if anybody beside
myself will get out doors to-day?

Ah, yes! There's a little boy, not much bigger than Tom Thumb. He's a
little merchant, as true as the world, and has a box strapped on his
back. Now he wants to sell me something.

"Corset lacings?" Never use such things, my dear.

"Paste blacking?" Wear patent leather.

"Ear-rings?" I leave those to the Indians.

"Combs? hooks and eyes? pins? needles? tape? scissors? spools?"

Oh, you little rogue--come in here; where did you come from, hey?

"I am an Englishman."

No, you are not.

"Well, my father was. I was born in Hamburgh."

That's it; now, how came you to be selling these things?

"I'm doing it to try to pay my own board. I pay ten shillings a week.
My brother has gone to California. By and by, perhaps, he will come
home, and send me to school. Buy anything, to-day, ma'am?"

Of course I shall. I haven't seen such an enterprising young man since
I left off pinafores. I'll buy all the pins you have; for since I came
here to New-York, I see so many things to make me sigh, that my hooks
and eyes keep flying off like Peggotty's buttons. There--run along,
now, and don't you come this way again, with that little glib tongue,
and those bright eyes, or you'll empty my purse entirely!

                          *          *          *

Oh dear! oh dear, he is knocked down crossing the street; he's killed!

No he is not!--

Yes he is!--

No--he's up--safe and sound. Now he rubs the mud out of his eyes, and
says, just as coolly as if he had not barely escaped with his skin.

"Where's my box?"

"Never mind the box," say the crowd, "as long as _you_ are not hurt."

"But I _do_," said the little Dutchman, "for that's the way I get my
living, selling these things. Oh dear--the box is broke, and everything
is spoiled."

"Make up a purse for him," says a gentleman, passing round his hat.

Coppers, and shillings, and quarters, and half dollars flow into the
hat, and finally a dollar bill.

"There," said the gentleman, smiling, "now take that home to your
mother, my boy."

"My mother is dead," sobbed the child.

"Pass round the hat _again_," said the gentleman--a tear in his eye.

The crowd responded with another handful of coppers and shillings and
quarters.

Ah, little Hans, who is it who saith, "Leave thy fatherless children
with me; I will preserve them alive?"



THE NEW COOK.


"What a funny new cook Mamma has!"

"Yes, and how she starts every time the bell rings, as if somebody were
coming to catch her, and what a wild look she has in her eyes. She
makes good cake, though, don't she, Louise? a great deal better than
black Sally's;--and then Sally had such a temper! Do you remember how
she sent the gridiron across the kitchen, after the chamber-maid,
because she had mislaid the dish-cloth?--how I _did_ laugh!"

"I remember it. But what do you suppose makes this new cook act so
oddly when the bell rings? I heard Mamma say she was 'one of the
nervous sort.' It would be good fun to play a trick on her and frighten
her; wouldn't it? You know the dark entry by the parlor door, Louise?"

"Yes."

"Well, you know there are plenty of old clothes, and things, hanging up
there, and she has to pass by them, when she goes up and down stairs."

"Yes."

"Well, suppose we hide behind those coats, and just as she comes along,
both of us make a spring at her?--won't that be fun?"

"Capital!" said Louise, "but won't Mamma punish us?"

"Of course, if she finds us out; but we mustn't _get_ found out. What
is the use of having feet, if you can't scamper with them? Betsey of
course will be too frightened to see who did it, and before anybody
else comes, we shall get out of the way."

The new cook, "Betsey," whom these two little sisters were talking
about, was a widow. Her husband was an industrious, temperate man, a
carpenter by trade. He loved Betsey very much, and they lived in a
snug, comfortable little house, which they hoped to be able to buy some
day, when Tom had earned money enough at his trade.

Betsey made Tom a good wife. If _he_ worked hard in the shop, _she_
worked hard in the house. Everything was just as neat as a new pin. You
might have eaten off her floors, they were scrubbed so white and clean.
There were no finger marks on her doors or windows, no broken panes of
glass, with paper or rags stuffed in, to keep out the air, and her
closets and cupboards would bear looking at, in the brightest sunlight
that ever found its way into a kitchen. Her dishes and tumblers never
stuck to your fingers; her table never had on soiled table-cloths; her
walls were never festooned with cobwebs; her hearth never was littered
with ashes. Well might Tom work cheerfully for _such_ a wife; for he
knew that every penny he saved, and gave her, was put to the best
possible use. It didn't go for tawdry finery, I can tell you; and she
knew how to turn a coat for Tom, or re-line the sleeves, or seat a pair
of pants, as nicely as a tailor.

Tom was a good looking fellow. He had a fine broad chest, and a
straight, well formed figure; a large, clear, black eye, and a fine
Roman nose, besides a set of teeth that would have made a dentist sigh.
The truth was Tom was one of Nature's gentlemen; he always did and said
just the right thing, and made everybody about him feel perfectly
satisfied with the world in general, and himself in particular.

Well, they lived together as contented as two oysters. Tom didn't grit
his teeth when a carriage rolled by with a rich man in it, or when
another man passed him in a finer suit of broadcloth than his own. Not
he. He stepped off to his shop, on the strength of Betsey's nice coffee
and biscuit, as grand as the President. Why not? He owed nobody a cent,
and that's more than many a man can say, who would knock you down as
quick as a flash, if you should intimate he wasn't a _gentleman_.

One fine day, Tom proposed to Betsey to go a fishing, he said she
needed something of that sort, by way of change, for she was quite worn
out. Betsey said, "No, Tom, I am well enough; besides, the water will
make me sick; but I want _you_ to go; you and Phil Dolan; you need it
more than I, a great deal."

Tom didn't like to go without Betsey; he didn't believe in husband's
frolicking about, and leaving their poor tired wives to mend their old
duds, at home. No; he knew that there is no woman, be she ever so kind
and good, who does not _sometimes_ want to see something beside a mop,
a gridiron, and a darning needle; so Tom said, "No, I'll think of some
pleasure you can share with me."

But Betsey persuaded him to go without her. She fancied, (good kind
soul,) that Tom was looking less well than usual, and the thought of
_his_ getting sick, made her quite miserable; so Tom said he'd go. Then
Betsey got Tom his fishing tackle, and put him up some biscuit, for he
and Phil intended to get out on a little island to make some chowder;
and then Tom----kissed her; (as true as you are alive, though she was
his _wife_!) and then he went for Phil, and they got into a little
boat, and floated off down the river.

Betsey worked away, thinking all the time how much good the fresh air
on the water was doing Tom. She got along very well through the
forenoon; cleaning up the house, and putting things in place, till
dinner-time; then how lonesome it was not to have Tom's handsome face
opposite her! and nobody to say, "Betsey, dear, here's your favorite
bit;" or, "Betsey, dear, where's your appetite to-day?" It made her so
dull, that she couldn't eat her dinner.

I am sorry to say that Betsey had no darling little girl or boy, to
climb up in her lap, and talk to her about papa. Betsey was sorry too,
and so was Tom.

Well, the afternoon wore away. It was five o'clock;--time Betsey had
begun to get tea, for Tom would soon be home. Let's see!--she would
make some flap-jacks. Tom was fond of flap-jacks. She'd make him a
_real_ strong cup of coffee: he liked that better than tea. She would
cook him a bit of beef steak too, for she knew that fishing always gave
people a good appetite. So she stepped around briskly, and spread her
snow-white table-cloth, and put on her cups and saucers, and plates,
and the castor--(yes, the _castor_ on the _tea_ table! for they didn't
care a pin for fashion); and when she had cooked her supper, she looked
at the clock. Yes, it was quite time he was there; and then she looked
out the front door, just as if she could _look_ him home.

An hour went by--an hour after the time he said he'd come; and Tom
always punctual to the minute, too. Betsey grew nervous. Somebody rang
the bell. She flew to the door. (Tom never rang the bell.) It was only
a boy inquiring for the next neighbor. Betsey pulled a little wrinkle
out of the table-cloth, set Tom's chair up to the table, and peeped
into the coffee-pot. It was all right. He would soon be there. But
somehow she couldn't keep still a minute. She had a great mind (if she
were not afraid of being laughed at) to run down to Phil Dolan's
brother's, to see if Phil had got back.

There's the bell again! Betsey trembled so she could hardly get to the
door, though she couldn't tell why.

It is Phil's brother.

Why don't Betsey speak to him? Why don't _he_ speak to Betsey? Why are
his lips so ashen white?

Poor Betsey! she knew it all; though he has not spoken a word.

Tom is drowned.

Phil lifts Betsey from the floor, chafes her hands, and speaks to her
pitifully. Betsey does not answer: she does not even hear him.

By and by she comes to herself and opens her eyes. She sees the little
supper table. She looks at Phil, and then she puts her hand over his
mouth, and says, "Not yet, not yet."

Phil's kind heart is wrung with pity. He knows they will soon bring in
Tom's dead body. He loved Tom. Everybody loved him. It was only that
very morning that he left home so bright, so full of life. Poor Tom!

Dear children, you can imagine how poor Betsey hung, weeping, over her
husband's dead body; how dreadful it was to see the earth close over
it, and to leave her dear little happy home, and go out among
strangers, with such a sorrowful heart, to earn her bread.

She heard that Minnie's mother wanted a cook; she called and Minnie's
mother engaged her; and now, perhaps, you'd like to hear the end of the
trick the two little girls were planning to play on poor, heart-broken
Betsey. You know now _why_ she started whenever a bell rang, and _why_
her nerves were in such a state.

"Now is the time," said Minnie; "Betsey has just gone in after the
tea-waiter. Quick! get behind the coat, Louise."

Betsey soon came out with the tea-tray of dishes, and Minnie and Louise
jumped at her, from behind the coats, seizing rudely hold of her arm.

Betsey uttered a loud scream, and fell to the bottom of the stairs,
with the tray of dishes; while Minnie and Louise, terrified at the
broken dishes, ran off up chamber, to hide under the bed.

Minnie's mother had not gone out, as she supposed, and was the first to
find Betsey, whose face was badly cut with the broken dishes, and who
was taken up quite senseless.

The doctor came and bandaged Betsey's head, and said she might die.
Their mother nursed her through a brain fever, and in her delirium,
Betsey raved about her husband, and told, in fragments, all that her
poor heart had suffered.

Minnie's mother, without saying a word to her little girls about their
naughtiness, led them into the room and let them hear poor Betsey call
for "Tom--dear Tom," to come and "pity and love her, and take the dull,
weary pain out of her heart." And then they wept, and wanted to do
something for Betsey, if it were only to bring her a glass of water to
moisten her lips. After a long time, when their kind mother got nearly
worn out with watching and nursing, Betsey got better. When she had
quite recovered, their mother took her for a sempstress, and gave her a
nice little comfortable room up stairs, with a fire in it, all to
herself; and Minnie and Louise used to sit and read to her, and tell
her over and over again, with their arms around her neck, how sorry
they were they had been so wicked, and gave her nice books to read
evenings, and tried to make poor Betsey's lonely life as happy as ever
they could.



LETTY.


Did you ever hear of an Intelligence Office? Well, it's a place where
servant girls go, to hear of families who wish to hire help. They pay
the man who keeps the office something, and then he finds a place where
they can work and earn money.

In one of these offices, one pleasant summer morning, twenty or more
servant girls were seated,--some of them modest looking and tidily
dressed, others bold and slatternly.

Wedged among them, in a dark corner, was a little girl about thirteen
years old. Her face was pale, and her features, which were small and
delicate, were half hidden by her thick, black hair. Her little hands
were small and white, and from under her dress (which had evidently
been made for some one else, as it was much too long and too wide for
her) peeped as cunning a little pair of feet as you ever saw.

Little Letty--for that was her name--looked frightened and distressed.
She had never been in such a place before, and it made her cheeks very
hot to have those rude girls stare at her so. Then, the air of the room
was very close, and that made her head ache badly; and she felt afraid
that nobody would hire her, because she was so little. Her mother had
died only a week before, and Letty had a drunken father,--so, you see,
that, young as she was, she had to earn her own bread and butter.

[Illustration: LETTY.]

By and by, a woman came in. Some people, I suppose, would have called
her a lady, as she had on a silk dress, and a great many shiny chains
and pins. Letty's mother was a lady, although she was poor. She had
sweet, gentle manners, and a soft, low voice. Letty did not like Mrs.
Finley's looks; she wore too many bows and flounces; and then her voice
was loud and harsh, and her forehead had an ugly frown on it, that
didn't go away even when she smiled and tried to look gracious. No,
Letty didn't like her, and she almost hoped she wouldn't take a fancy
to her, much as she needed a place to live in.

But Mrs. Finley liked Letty's looks; so she sailed across the room,
with her six flounces, and asked her so many questions, in such a loud
voice, that Letty was quite bewildered; then she heard her say to Mr.
Silas Skinflint, who kept the office, that she would take her, and that
it was a very nice thing that her mother was dead, for mothers were
always bothering.

"Very nice that her mother was dead!"

Poor, little, desolate Letty couldn't bear _that_. She hid her little
face in her hands, and began to sob pitifully; but Mr. Skinflint tapped
her on the shoulder with his cane, and told her that nobody would hire
a cry-baby; so Letty sat up straight, and choked her tears down, and at
a signal from Mr. Skinflint took up her little bundle and followed Mrs.
Finley.

On she went, past a great many fine shops and fine houses, Letty
keeping close behind her. Letty's head felt quite giddy, and she was
very faint, for her naughty father had gone off, and poor Letty had had
no breakfast that morning.

After turning a great many squares, Mrs. Finley went down a very narrow
street, where a great many noisy, dirty children were playing on the
sidewalks,--where a great many women were leaning (on their red elbows)
out of the windows, and a great many coarse, rough men were sitting on
the steps, smoking pipes, in their shirt sleeves.

At one of these houses Mrs. Finley stopped, and Letty followed her up
the steps, through the entry, and into the parlor. A table stood in the
middle of the floor, covered with dirty breakfast dishes, where myriads
of flies were making a meal. A little baby with a pink nose and bald
head, was playing on the floor with a head-brush and a skillet; while a
boy, about Letty's age, was mopping out a sugar bowl with his fingers,
and two little girls, in yellow pantalettes and pink dresses, were
trying to hide away a dress cap of their mother's, which they had been
cutting up for their dollies. On a side table were Mr. Finley's
"shaving things," a dirty dickey, and sundry little bits of paper with
floating islands of soap-suds, left there by his razor.

"Well--here we are at last," said Mrs. Finley, fanning herself with a
great newspaper. "You see, Letty, there's plenty to do here. Now I'm
going up stairs, to put on a calico long-short, and take a nap; and you
are to wash these dishes, and put them in the closet; clear away the
table; sweep the room and dust it; wash these children's faces, and
keep them quiet; put some water in the tea-kettle and set it boiling;
tend the door, and keep a look out for the milk-man.

"Ma'am?" said Letty, looking bewildered.

"M-a-'a-m"--mocked Mrs. Finley, "where's your ears, child? let's see if
I can find 'em," and she gave Letty's little ear a smart pull.

"Please, ma'am, it is all so new to me," said Letty, trying to keep
from crying; "will you please tell me where to find the broom to sweep
with, or the water to wash the dishes, and which closet I am to put
them in, and where's the towel to wipe the children's faces?"

"Oh--my--senses!" said Mrs. Finley, "what a little fool;--use your eyes
a little more and your tongue less, and you'll find things, I guess;
and now let me see every thing right end up when I come down stairs.
_Do you hear?_"

"Yes, ma'am," said Letty, drawing a long sigh as Mrs. Finley closed the
door.

"Came from the poor-house, didn't you?" said Master John Finley,
cracking a whip over Letty's head. "Well, I'm glad you've come here at
any rate; I haven't known what to do with myself all vacation. It will
be prime fun, I'm thinking, to tease you, you little scared rabbit; and
I'll tell you, to begin with, that my name is Mr. John Finley, and that
I'm my mother's pet, and that whatever _I_ say is pretty likely to be
done in this house;--so you'd better be careful and keep on the right
side of me," said the wicked boy, as he gave her arm a knock, and sent
the waiter of dishes out of her hand upon the floor.

"Oh! Master John," said Letty; "see what you have done--oh!"--and Letty
wrung her little white hands.

"See what _I've_ done?" said John. "I like that, Miss Letty, or Hetty,
or whatever you call yourself; but what's that string round your neck
for?--what's on the end of it, hey?"--and he gave it a rude twitch,
snapped it in two, and picked up a little locket that Letty wore in her
bosom.

"Oh, Master John," said Letty, "give it back, do,--it's all I have to
make me happy now,--my mamma gave it me when she died. She used to wear
it once when she was rich. Oh, Master John, don't, please, take it away
from me."

"Look here! cry-baby," said John, putting the locket in his jacket
pocket, "you never'll see that locket again. I shall say, too, that
_you_ broke all those dishes, and if you contradict it, I'll take that
locket to a police-man, and tell him you stole it. Won't you look
pretty going to jail with your long black curls? Answer me _that_, Miss
Hetty Letty?"

Letty only answered by her sobs.

"What's all this?" said Mrs. Finley, opening the door; "one might as
well try to sleep in Bedlam. Merciful man! who broke all those dishes?
John Madison Harrison Polk! who broke all those dishes, I say?"

"I told her she'd catch it, mother, when you came down," said John;
"see if she dare deny it?"

"Letty," said Mrs. Finley, seizing her by the shoulders and giving her
a shake, "did you break that breakfast set?"

Letty thought of John, and the police-man, and the jail, and was
silent.

"John," said Mrs. Finley, "go bring me your father's horse-whip from
behind the kitchen door."

"Oh, Mrs. Finley," said Letty, growing very white about the mouth, and
trembling violently all over; "don't whip me; my mamma never whipped
me. Oh, mamma--mamma!"

Down came the heavy whip on Letty's fair head and
shoulders;--"There--take that, and that, and that!" said Mrs. Finley,
"and remember that I didn't take you into my house to quarrel with my
children, and break up dishes; and now take yourself up into the dark
garret, and get into bed, and don't you get up till Mr. Finley comes
home to dinner, and let's see if he can manage you."

Letty pushed her hair from before her eyes, and staggered to the door;
then, up the stairs where they told her, into the garret; then, she
groped her way to bed; then, she laid her head on the pillow; but she
didn't cry--no--not even when she thought of her mamma,--the tears
wouldn't come; but her head was very hot, and her hands burning. There
she lay, hour after hour, talking to herself about a great many things;
and had it been light enough you would have seen how flushed her cheeks
were, and how very strangely her eyes looked.

                          *          *          *

"The child has a brain fever," said the Doctor to Mrs. Finley.

"No wonder," said the wicked woman, "she had such a dreadful fall down
the cellar stairs. You see how she bruised her face and neck."

The Doctor looked very sharp at Mrs. Finley--so sharp that she stooped
down, pretending to pick something from the floor, that he needn't see
her blush.

"I don't know how I am to nurse a sick child," grumbled Mrs. Finley;
"there's John Madison Harrison Polk, and Sarah Jenny Lind, and Malvina
Cecelia Victoria, and Napoleon Bonaparte, four children of my own to
look after. It's a hard case, Doctor."

"Not so hard a case as little Letty's," said the kind Doctor. "Those
bruises never came from falling down stairs, Mrs. Finley; that child
has been cruelly abused. I _may_ tell of it, and I may _not_,--that
depends upon whether she lives or dies; but I am going to take her home
to my own house, and see what good doctoring can do for her. She looks
like my little dead Mary, and for her sake I'll be a father to her."

So Letty was carried on a litter to Doctor Harris' house; and there,
for a great many weeks, she lay in her little bed, quite crazy--her
beautiful hair shaved off, and her little head blistered to make her
well. The Doctor's wife was a sweet, kind lady;--_she_ thought, too,
that "Letty looked like her little dead Mary," and often, when she held
her little burning hand, the tears would come to her eyes, and she
would pray God to let her live, for she had no child to love now, and
she wanted Letty for her own little girl.

Well, after a long, long while, Letty's senses came slowly back. She
put her little hand to her forehead and tried to remember what had
happened;--she didn't know what to make of the nice, pretty room, and
soft bed with its silken curtains;--she thought she was dreaming, and
rubbed her eyes and looked again, and then hid her face in the sheet
for fear she should see Mrs. Finley, or John, or the police-man;--and
then Mrs. Harris put her finger on Letty's lip and told her not to talk
now, because she was sick and weak, but that she was always going to
live with her, and be, not her servant, but her own dear little girl;
and then Letty kissed Mrs. Harris' hand, and shut her eyes, and went to
sleep as quietly as if she were on her mother's bosom.

By and by, little by little, she got strong and well again; her checks
grew plump and rosy; her hair came out in little black, curls all over
her head, and she was just the happiest little girl--as happy as you
are when you climb on your mother's lap and kiss her, as if you never
wanted to stop.

She had a little room of her own, close by her new mother's, with a
cunning little bed, and wash-stand, and bureau, and rocking chair. She
had plenty of playthings, too,--(not little Mary's, for mothers can't
give away their little children's playthings when they are dead.) Letty
had playthings of her own;--but sometimes, Mrs. Harris would unlock a
little trunk, and show her a little cake, all dried up, _with the marks
of tiny little teeth in it_; and a slate on which was a word left
unfinished by little Mary; and a little chest of doll's clothes, with
such nice little womanly stitches in them; and a little fairy thimble;
and then the tears would fall into the trunk as she locked it up again,
and then Letty would throw her arms about her neck and say, "Don't
cry--Letty loves you."

And now, my little darling readers, there is one verse in the Bible
which Aunt Fanny wants you to remember; it is this:

"When thy father and thy mother forsake thee, then the Lord will take
thee up."



FRONTIER STORIES.


"Joseph," said his mother, "I want you to run over to Aunt Elsie's and
borrow a pair of flat-irons; she said she would lend them to me, till I
could get some from the settlement."

"Yes, mother," said little Joe; "and I can whittle my stick going
along. I'm afraid Bill Sykes will get _his_ arrows made first; and if I
ain't but eight years old, he shan't beat me at anything."

So Joe perched his cap on the top of his head, and started off through
the woods, with his jack-knife for company.

"Aunt Elsie" was a widow, who lived just half a mile from Joe's
mother's. Everybody loved her, she was so motherly, and so ready to do
a kindness; every man, woman and child in the neighborhood, would have
run their feet off for her, if it would have done her any good.

Yes, Aunt Elsie was a regular sunbeam; and yet she had known sorrow and
trouble enough, for, as I told you, she was a widow; but she looked
forward to a better home than any _this_ world can furnish, and so she
bore her trials just as one would the little wearinesses and
discomforts of a journey, when every hour is bringing him nearer and
nearer to his own dear fireside, with its loving hearts.

Well, little Joe went whistling and whittling along, thinking of Bill
Sykes and his arrows. Half a mile was no great distance to go; he might
finish one arrow going along; that is, if his jack-knife didn't break,
or if he didn't whittle off one of his fingers by mistake. He wished
the wood wasn't quite so hard: he wondered whether Bill Sykes would
make _his_ arrows of hickory: he wondered whether Bill's brother Tom,
wouldn't make them for him--just as like as not, now, he would, and
then Bill would be _sure_ to have the best ones: too bad! Joe wished
_he_ had a brother, too; he wished----ph-e-w! What's that?

A _bear_! as sure as you are alive! (and may _not_ be long.) What's to
be done now? Joe was a nice fat little boy, and the bear might be
hungry. He wasn't afraid: pooh!--no. A little backwoods boy afraid?
They are made of different stuff than the little ruffled-collar boys
that tag about with the nursery maid at their heels, in Broadway.

Joe examined his jack-knife, and took another look at the bear, as he
lay behind the bushes. Old Bruin was fast asleep.

All right;--Joe's mother wouldn't have to wait for her flat-irons; so
he stepped carefully along (not to disturb Bruin's nap) and reached
Aunt Elsie's, with a whole skin.

Aunt Elsie was very glad to see Joe, for she loved children, and always
ran to the cupboard to get them a piece of wholesome frontier pie, or
gingerbread, or bit of hoe-cake; but Joe said he couldn't stop; because
his mother had her clothes already sprinkled and folded ready for the
irons, and had told him to hurry back as fast as ever he could.

Did he tell Aunt Elsie about the bear? Do you suppose a frontier boy
would take refuge under a woman's apron?

No, sir!

If you should mention such a thing to him, he would tuck up his
pinafore, roll up his jacket sleeves, and show you his little brown
fists, in a trice!

No, sir; he never _alluded_ to the bear, but taking a flat-iron in each
hand, went whistling along as if no such animal had ever walked out of
Noah's ark into the back woods.

Well, he had got through "Hail Columbia," and "Auld Lang Syne," when he
spied Bruin again; and this time he was wide awake, too.

He began whistling Yankee Doodle; first, to show his independence, and
secondly, because he knew if anything would take the nonsense out of
the letter _B_, it was Yankee Doodle!

"I'll iron him with these flat-irons, anyhow," said Joe to himself, "if
he comes here to eat _me_." But whether the bear wasn't hungry, or
whether he didn't like the looks of the flat-irons, or whether Joe's
house was a little too near, or whether it was all three, I can't say;
all I know is that he never touched a paw to him, and Joe and his
flat-irons arrived home in perfect safety.

"I'm _so_ glad you are come, Joe," said his mother, taking the irons
and putting them over the fire to heat. "I've a heap of work to do, and
besides I felt uneasy like, after you went off alone through the woods,
for fear you might _possibly_ meet a bear."

"I did," said Joe, quietly whittling away at his arrow.

"_Did?_ Sakes alive! Where? how? when? Did he bite you?" and she caught
him up by the waistband and held him up to the light, and turned him
round to see where he was damaged.

Joe told her all about it, and she flew and bolted all the doors, and
every now and then she'd set down her flat-iron, and putting her arms
a-kimbo, say, "Sakes alive! 'spose that bear had ate him up?" That
night she insisted on his eating a _whole_ pie for supper, gave him two
lumps of white sugar, and put an extra blanket on his bed, and all
night long she was traveling back and forth in her night cap, from her
bed to his, to feel if Joe was safe between the sheets.

Now, while Joe's asleep, if you like that story, I will tell you
another about Aunt Elsie.

                          *          *          *

One day she went to her door and blew her horn, as if all creation was
let loose; (you know I told you that when frontier folks want to call
the neighbors together that's the way they manage.)

Well, there was a general stampede to see what was to pay with Aunt
Elsie. Some said the bears must have run off with her little
girl;--some said an Indian might have strayed into her log hut, and
frightened her;--some said the house might be on fire, and they all
said they'd stand by Aunt Elsie as long as there was a timber left of
them, _whatever_ was to pay. Zeke Smith said, (Zeke was an old
bachelor,) that "he'd thought for a great while, that it wasn't safe
for Elsie to live there alone without some _man_ to protect her;" and
Jim Brown who was a widower, said "it _was_ a lonesome piece of
business and no mistake;" and they all rushed through the woods to see
which should pitch into the house first and help her the fastest.

Well--what do you think _was_ to pay when they got there?

Her old cow was choking with a turnip!

Now I'm going to tell you one more backwoods story while I'm about it.

                          *          *          *

A great roaring fire was burning in Zeke Smith's log house; and all the
Tims, and Joes, and Bills, and Jacks, and Sams had come in to see him.
They peeled chestnuts and threw the shells into the fire, and the
shells cracked and snapped, and the blaze lit up all their
weather-beaten, bronzed faces, and they drank cider out of a great mug,
and talked about one thing and another that you and I don't care about;
and then Zeke Smith said he lost a sheep last night.

"So did I," said Pete Parker.

"I lost two hens," said Joachim Jones.

"I lost a _ram_," said Bill Bond.

"Don't _say_ so!" said Zeke. "Well, that _is_ a loss. There's a bear
about,--that's certain; and it's just as certain that we are the boys
to kill him. I should like to see a bear get out of the way of _my_
rifle!"

"Or mine"--

"Or mine," said they all.

Well, they agreed to start the next morning, by daylight, to hunt up
the bear. They fixed their rifles the night before, and in the morning
got up bright and early, and got into their great boots, and buttoned
up their coats and strided off, with provisions in their pouches, for
they were determined not to come back without him.

On they tramped, over bush and bog and briar; the dogs running before
and scenting round among the bushes. All day, no luck. Night came on,
and still no luck; so they "camped out," and started fresh again the
next morning.

About dark the dogs scented the bear, sure enough,--and what a
monstrous fellow he was--black as Topsy, too! Never mind, his time had
come _now_. He ran up an old stub, and sat perched on the top. They
pointed their rifles--took aim--not a rifle went off! and Bruin sat
grinning at them.

Wern't they furious? I wouldn't undertake to repeat what they said,
'cause it wouldn't answer. The bear came down from the stub, and ran
off into a swamp; so they had the hunt all over again. They primed
their guns anew and picked the flints (for percussion locks had not
then been invented,) so that their rifles would be sure to go off; for
you may be certain that they wouldn't have that story told in "the
settlement," for a barrel of their best cider. So taking their
newly-primed rifles, off they started again, with their teeth set
together, looking as fierce as so many Hospidars. If Bruin had
understood what stuff _a disappointed backwoodsman_ is made of, he
would have kept out of their way--but he didn't; and as their rifles
this time had the genuine "stand and deliver" in 'em, there was nothing
left for him to do, but to cross his paws and surrender.

Didn't they drink cider and crack nuts over the old fellow's remains?
Certainly; they never would have showed _their_ heads at "a raising"
again, I can tell you, hadn't they captured him.



A PEEP THROUGH MY QUIZZING GLASS.


Well, I don't know as there is any use in my sitting here at the window
any longer. Bricks and mortar, mortar and bricks! and little strips of
yards not big enough to swing a cat round in. You may, perhaps you
will, ask with the Frenchman, "Vat for you _want_ to swing a cat
round?"

But there's a choice even in those yards. Now just look at them--there
is _one_, that, small as it is, has its little circular grass plat,
with a hedge of china asters about it, and a little vase in the middle,
from which hang tendrils of the pretty mountain myrtle; a woodbine
creeps over the fence and my favorite tree (the willow) is struggling
for life in yonder corner, and prettier than all, out dances a little
fairy, with shining locks neatly parted, and a clean white pinafore
tucked round her chubby little figure. See her tip-toe round the grass
plat, with eyes as blue as the morning glories she is plucking. How
glad I am she has a mother who teaches her to love the beautiful, and
provides her that pretty little garden.

Now just look in the next yard--it is just the same size as the other,
but poor mother earth lies buried under great flat paving stones; while
strewed over them are old bits of china, and carpeting, and old keg
covers, and old barrels with the hoops dropping off, and an old
tail-less rocking-horse, and a child's chair, trying in vain to stand
on three legs, and a Buffalo skin that is sadly in need of some of
"Bogles Hyperian."

There's a little child dancing out _that_ door, too; now he stands
poised on one foot, and takes a survey of the yard; _unpromising_,
isn't it, dear? Nothing pretty to look at, is there? Aunt Fanny is
sorry for you; if she could get you up here she'd tell you a story. I
know very well what _you_ would tell _her_; that mamma lies in bed
asleep--although it is ten o'clock; that papa has eaten his breakfast
_alone_ and gone down to the store; and that Betty and Sally have it
all their own way, not only in that slovenly looking yard, but all over
the house, (so long as they don't trouble your mamma.) Poor little
fellow--I hope some country cousin will have mercy on you, and
introduce you to her cows and hens and chickens and hay and
flowers--yes, and to her brown bread and milk, too, for you look like a
little hot-house plant.

I wonder who lives over there? I'll just look at them through my
quizzing glass. In the first place, that's a "single lady's" room (I am
afraid she'll box my ears if I call her "an old maid," and if there is
anything I am afraid of it is a mouse and a mad woman.)

Just look over there. There's a little tin, pint pail out on the window
sill, and a stone pot. I'll bet you sixpence she "finds herself" (I
know nobody _finds_ old maids). There now, didn't I tell you so?
See,--she moves a little table up to the window and holds the
table-cloth close up to her eye-lashes, to see if there's a speck of
dirt on it, and then twitches, and pats, and pulls it into line and
plummet order; then she places thereon a small tea tray, with only
_one_ cup and saucer. I declare it makes me feel quite melancholy! Then
she throws up the window, lifts the cover off the tin-pail, and turns
about a thimble full of milk into a lilliputian pitcher; then she nips
out a bit of butter about the size of a nutmeg, and puts it on a little
cup plate; and placing a small roll and a little black teapot on the
table, she sits down to her solitary meal. Now she clasps her hands and
bows her head--and _now_ I am sorry for what I've said about her,
because I see she is a good, religious woman, else she wouldn't ask a
blessing. I hope she will get it; and I hope somebody will ask her out
to tea two or three times a week, and take her now and then of a long
evening to a lecture, or a concert, or a panorama, or anywhere else she
fancies going. Don't you?

There's an old bachelor's room;--fussy old thing! he has been one good
hour trying to tie that cravat bow to suit him; now he has twitched it
off his neck in a pet, and thrown it on the floor; if his wash woman
don't "catch it," for not putting more starch in it, my name isn't
Fanny. Just see him trim his whiskers--(red ones, too!) I could warm my
hands by them, freeze me if I couldn't! Now that breastpin has got to
find its latitude; that you see will be a work of _time_. He has got it
in the wrong place, to begin with; well, I suppose he will get down to
his store, by the time he has lost a dozen customers, or so--he is too
busy shaving himself, to go down there to _shave_ them! that's a
settled point.

Look now at that window!--a young mother comes to it with a little new
baby,--its little neck is as limpsy as your doll's; and its hands look
just like those your cook fries when she makes fancy doughnuts. She
loves it, though; just as well as if it wasn't as red as a brick, and
bows up its little worked sleeves, and combs its _five_ hairs, and
thinks it a "perfect beauty." She has got _her_ work cut out for the
winter, hasn't she? The times that baby will have to be taken up and
put down--washed--dressed and undressed--nursed, rocked and
trotted--laid on its back, and laid on its stomach--and laid on its
side. Just as if _I_ didn't know!--I could tell her a great many things
she don't know about taking care of that baby.

Young mothers are very _experiment-y_. Do you know what _that_ means?
Well, they worry a baby out of a year's growth, for fear it _will_
worry; _your_ mother knows all about it--ask her if she didn't do just
that way with you till Grandma and Aunt Charity taught her better?
First babies are poor little victims. I can remember how _I_ used to be
plagued! Stifled alive for "fear I should get cold;" trotted up and
down when there was a great pin sticking into my shoulder--and held so
close to the candle to be looked at, that I came near being blind as a
mole. It's a wonder to me that I am here now, writing this juvenile
book; if I hadn't been a baby of spirit, I should have keeled over, and
died of sheer torment long before I got into short clothes.

Well, there's another window. An old lady sits at it; not so _very_
old, either, for she's as brisk as a musquito. Her head flies round if
any one opens the door, as if it were strung on wires. I don't believe
she has any fire in her room, for she keeps hitching round after the
sun all day--and when he bids her good afternoon, she comforts her
shoulders with a blanket shawl; then, her lamp is always out long
before I go to bed, and nobody who has a good fire, ever wants to go to
bed and leave it; they'll find a thousand things to do--a letter to
write, or a book to read, or some chestnuts to eat; or, if they haven't
anything else to do, they will sit and look at the fire. I am sure I've
been forced to look at more disagreeable objects than that, for many an
hour.

There's a woman at another window, writing, or rather she has got her
table before her, and her inkstand, and the pen between her fingers;
all that she wants is a few ideas; see, she rolls up her eyes like a
pussy in a fit, and looks _up_, and looks _down_, and makes a love knot
on the paper with her pen, and coaxes her temples with her fingers; but
it's no use, there's nothing _there_! So she may as well get off her
stilts and darn her stockings.

There are two little girls at another window playing with their
dollies. Now I like that--it's a good thing--it teaches them how to
sew, and to cut out little garments, and to contrive and fix up things,
so that when they have _live_ dollies it will come handy to cut out
_their_ frocks. I always like to see little girls play with dollies,
and big girls, too, if they want to; it is better than a novel; better
than a thousand other things that girls do now-a-days, who fancy
themselves ladies as soon as they twist up their ringlets with a comb.
Heigh-ho, it makes me sigh to think there are so few _children_ in
1853.

Over there at another window in the same block, is a very sad sight. A
drunken husband! See how patiently his poor wife is trying to coax him
not to go out. She is fearful he may fall in the street, and get hurt,
and then she feels ashamed to have him seen in such a plight; now she
gently removes his hat--then he puts it on again; now her arm is about
his neck--but only to have it rudely pushed aside, poor woman. I hope
she believes in God, and knows how to _lean_ upon Him.

Now her husband has gone, and she sits down and covers her face with
her hands, and weeps. They are bitter tears--she thinks of the time he
took her proudly away from a happy home, and promised she should be
dear to him as his own life blood. Perhaps she cannot go to that home
_now_--perhaps her father and mother (happily for them) have not lived
to see her joy so soon turned to sorrow; or, if she could go there, she
loves her husband still too much to leave him. She hopes each morning
that he will come home and love her at night--and she tidies up the
hearth, and makes the fire bright, and keeps his supper warm, and wipes
away her tears, and braids her hair in shining plaits as he once loved
to see it, and looks often at the little mantel clock, and then out the
window. By and by she hears his step; oh, it is the same old story--he
reels, cursing, into her presence--perhaps aims at her a blow.

Her little child lies there sleeping. She is glad he is not old enough
to know his father's shame. Sometimes she even prays the babe may die.
She knows, were she taken away, how much it must suffer. Then, she
remembers the time when its father was steady and kind and industrious,
and she thinks of those who roll about in carriages, on the money taken
from _her_ husband's pocket, and that of other poor victims like him.
And then the angry flush mounts to her temples, and she says, "Is there
_no law_ to punish these wicked rumsellers?" Poor thing! that wailing
cry has gone up from Maine to Georgia--from many a houseless wife and
shivering child!

God hears it! I had rather be in _their_ place than the rumseller's.

Well, now it is quite dark, and I must light my lamp and shut my
shutters, or some of those folks may be peeping in and taking notes of
_me_!--who knows? Wouldn't that be a joke?



THE ENGLISH EMIGRANTS.


It was very weary on ship board. Julien and Victor had spied out all
there was to be seen the first week they set sail, and the sailors had
told them all the stories they could possibly think of. Mrs. Adrian
(their mother) was too sick to leave the cabin, and the little boys
were getting very impatient to reach shore.

How would America look? What sort of houses did they have there? What
sort of children? Would they be good play-fellows? These were the
things little Julien and Victor were thinking about.

Their father was thinking of the price of provisions, and about house
rent, and the probabilities of his finding customers for his tailoring
work; and whether they should all have to live in the shop, and whether
his sickly wife would thrive under the changeable climate, and whether
they should make a _home_, or always be like "strangers in a strange
land."

And their mother; she was thinking of the gray-haired old father who
had blessed her for the last time, and of the sunny homes of England,
with their wealth of shrub and tree and blossom, and of a dear little
girl whom she left sleeping in a quiet church-yard, between whom and
herself the swift blue waves were building up a wall of separation.

Land ho! shouted the old tars.

Land ho! echoed the merry little boys.

And this was America! this New-York! How very odd and strange
everything was! How anxious the people all looked! How slender!--how
pale!--and what a hurry they all seemed to be in! How they jostled
about, as if they were afraid they shouldn't get their share of
terra-firma! How the cab-men and porters and hack-drivers were just as
independent as the gentlemen and ladies they worked for! and how
showily and gaily the ladies dressed, just to take a promenade.

It was all very funny.

The children and their mother looked with all their eyes; they could
not make up their minds whether they should like it or not; but that
was not the first thing to be considered; they must first decide where
to live.

Mr. Adrian concluded to go to B----, about two days' journey by the
railroad. So their trunks were taken from the ship and carried to the
baggage cars. Little Julien and Victor had nice seats by the window,
and it was very delightful to see the green fields after having seen
nothing but the dashing billows for so many weeks. They felt as glad as
Noah's dove did, when she spread her wings from the door of the ark,
after "the waters were abated." They threw their limbs about, whenever
the cars stopped for the great "iron horse" to lay in some wood for his
supper, as if they were determined to make up for the time they had
been cramped on ship-board.

"Things are not so very cheap after all, over here in America," said
Mr. Adrian, with a sigh, as he took possession of the room that was to
serve them for shop, parlor, kitchen and bed-room. "Well, we must be
patient and industrious; I will put up my sign to-day, and if you and
the children (turning to his wife) are only in good health, I shall
have courage to work."

So the sign was put up: "John Adrian, tailor, from England--all orders
promptly and neatly executed." Then John took out his shears and
"goose," crossed his legs and seated himself with a jacket to make, in
front of the window, where pedestrians could see that he was at his
post, ready for orders.

Julien and Victor, the rosy little Englishmen, didn't fancy much the
small room they lived in. It was almost as much of a prison to them as
the vessel; they liked better to play in the streets. Their mother
looked out the window at them, with a sigh, for her children had been
carefully brought up, and she shuddered at the bad words they were
hearing, and the groups of idle, noisy, vicious children, swarming
about the neighborhood. Oh, how should she keep her little boys pure
and unspotted?

Three weeks had passed by. Little Julien came in, one day, from his
play, when his mother met him at the door, saying, "Run, Julien,
quick--quick--for the doctor."

"Where, mother--where shall I find him?"

"Oh! I don't know," said the distracted woman, chafing her husband's
temples; "ask somebody--quick, dear Julien, for the love of God!--the
death dew is on your father's forehead."

"Cholera," said the doctor. "I can do nothing for him, my poor woman;
the disease is raging fearfully here; he cannot live an hour."

"_Nothing_ to be done?" said the poor wife, fixing her eyes on her
dying husband, and watching his spasms; "_nothing_ to be done? Oh, sir,
don't tell me _that_."

But even while she spoke the dark shadow fell. The loving eyes grew
glassy; the hand she held relaxed its hold, and that "change," so
subtle, so fearful, (that all have _seen_ yet none may _tell_,) flitted
over his face.

Death came for more than _one_ victim, to that doomed house. First one
little head drooped, then another, then the soft eyes closed, and the
little lip said, quiveringly, "It is all dark; kiss us, dear mother;"
and Mrs. Adrian was a childless widow.

Dear children, God be praised that the world is not all a desert--that
there are hearts that feel, eyes that weep, and hands that minister to
the sorrow-stricken. Mammon has left some hearts that he has not
shrivelled, some eyes that he has not blinded, some hands that he has
not fettered.

Poor Mrs. Adrian! She knew that there were strangers about her, and
that their voices were kind, and their hands busy straightening the
dear limbs, and smoothing the cherished locks, and placing them
reverently in "the narrow house;" she knew that the hearse came at
their bidding, and bore her dead away; she knew that they led her back
to that forsaken room, and held the tempting morsel to her grieved lip,
and she felt their warm tears drop upon her cheek, and their kind hands
upon her throbbing forehead; but it was all like a dream to her.

Oh, my dear children, where could she have turned in that dark hour if
not to _Heaven_? What if she had said, with the unbeliever, "There is
no God?" How could she try to lean on reeds that bent and broke beneath
her? Oh, no, no! when sickness and trouble come, our hearts _must have
a God_. Heaven _only_ can bring healing to a heart so stunned with
pain; and there the poor English woman sought it.

Did God ever forsake those who threw themselves on _His_ great loving
heart for comfort?

Never!

If Mrs. Adrian could not smile, she did not weep. True, she looked for
rosy little faces she never more might see; listened for tripping
little feet she never more might hear; but, dear children, peace came
gently down upon her heart, like dew upon the closed flowers, and she
said, with bowed head, "'Tis well."



NEW-YORK SUNDAY.


Dear children: There is the bell for church; but Sunday is not
_Sunday_, here in New-York. I wish I were going to church in the
country with you, where everything is quiet, and sweet, and
holy,--where people go to church to worship God, and not to see and to
show the fashions. No, it is not Sunday here, if the bells _do_ say so.

Why? Because there's a woman, at the corner of that street, spreading
out on her stall, apples and candy, and bananas, and oranges, and
cookies, and sugar-toys, and melons, and cocoa-nuts, and ginger beer;
because there's a cigar shop--(the shutters, closed to be sure,) but
with the door wide open, and the owner already beginning to trade with
customers; because, there's a man selling bouquets, and a
confectioner's saloon open, and people eating ice-creams in it; and
little ragged news boys, who have been screeching ever since day-light,
"New York Herald--Times--Sunday Despatch--dreadful collision and _lass
o' life_--Times, Despatch, and Herald"--and drunken men whom you meet
at every few blocks, and people going everywhere but into the church
doors.

Well, you go into a city church,--it is not like _yours_ in the
country, where the blessed sunlight shines cheerfully in, and the sweet
breeze wafts through the open windows the breath of clover blossoms and
new mown hay; where the minister preaches to poor people, who are not
forced to carry a _dictionary_ to church; where people don't frown and
hastily button the pew door when a stranger comes in; where neighbors
smile kindly on each other, and never gather up the folds of their
dress lest it should sweep against a shilling de-laine; where good "Old
Hundred" and "St. Martins" are sung, instead of twistified, finical,
modern tunes, that old-fashioned folks can't follow; where the minister
is not too stately to pat the little children on the head coming out
the porch, or to give them a pleasant smile to make them feel that they
are part of his parish; where they all walk home, not over crowded,
dusty pavements, but under the leafy trees, with hearts filled with a
quiet joy, seeing "the cattle on a thousand hills," the springs which
run among the hills, "and the birds which build their houses in the
branches;" where the golden sun goes down, not on the bloated drunkard
and noisy Sabbath breaker, but on the hale old man "of silver hairs,"
teaching the cherub on his knee to lisp the evening hymn--upon kneeling
groups under cottage roofs, where envy and hatred and ill-will find no
resting place for their swift and evil feet. That is what Aunt Fanny
calls _Sunday_.

Children, there is one thing I like in New-York: almost all the
churches have "the ivy green" clambering over the windows and turrets,
and pretty willow trees drooping their graceful branches about the
doorways. I love to see it, because I love the beautiful, and because
it is pleasant to get even a glimpse of nature in the artificial city.
But I _don't_ like the stained glass windows. I don't like to see the
congregation with green eyes and pink noses and blue cheeks and yellow
lips. It excites my troublesome bump of mirthfulness, (and that's
wrong, you know, in church;) beside, I catch myself examining the
windows, to see if there are any two of them alike, and counting the
red and pink and blue diamonds, and squares, and wondering whether,
were they transposed this way and that way, the effect would not be
better. And then I know that most of those windows are so arranged that
they can't be opened, to let in the fresh air, and that gives me a
stifled feeling, and I involuntarily untie my bonnet strings, and draw
a long breath, to see if my breathing apparatus is all right!

No, I don't like these modern _improvements_ (?) in churches: in fact,
to tell you the truth, I had rather worship, like the old Covenanters,
among the green hills--the blue sky for a roof, the gnarled old tree
trunks for pillars, the branches for galleries, and the birds for an
orchestra; and unless the minister preached because his heart was _so
full of love to God that he couldn't help_ preaching, I should rather
hear my _Maker_ preach to me, in the soft whisper of the leaves, the
happy hum of the tiny insect, and the low, soft murmur of the stream.

Now, my dear children, don't mistake me. It is our duty to go to
church; and it is wrong to think of anything else in church but
worshipping God; but there's so much display, and show, and fashion
now-a-days, in the churches--so much to distract the thoughts--so much
hollow pretension to piety, that I sometimes feel, as I told you, that
I would rather worship amid the green hills, like the old persecuted
Covenanters. Oh! there was _heart_ in their worship! they sang every
hymn as if they might sing the next one in Heaven.

_So ought we!_ Are you tired of my sermon?

Well, what do you think I saw here in New-York to-day? A boy of _eight_
years old walking in the street, with his hands in his jacket pockets,
_smoking a cigar_! I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry at the
little monkey. Finally, I laid my hand on his shoulder and said,

"You don't _like_ that nasty cigar, I hope, my dear child." He blushed,
and taking it out of his mouth, said,

"Yes, I do, but I'll throw it away if you want me to."

"Thank you," said I, "for your politeness, but it is not of myself I
was thinking. I can easily get out of the way of it, you know, but it
is such a shocking bad habit to get into; so young as you are, too. Oh,
you have no idea how much it costs to smoke. You must always offer a
friend one, else he will call you 'a stingy fellow.' Why, my dear boy,
only think, it will take all your pocket money to buy _cigars_. You
forget that by and by, you will want a store in Broadway, full of
goods, and clerks to sell them, and a house to live in, and may be a
wife, too; ah, you needn't laugh, for I don't believe you'll be able to
get a wife if you keep on smoking till you get old enough to be
engaged. By that time you'll be so stupefied, that nobody will have
you!

"Yes, and many a time when you want a pair of new boots, you'll have to
do without them because you can't _possibly_ go without your cigar, and
you haven't money enough for both. Now, I'd just like to know if a
smart little fellow like you is going to be made such a slave of, by a
miserable little dirty roll of tobacco?"

Well, he said he would not smoke any more, but I've been afraid ever
since to turn a corner, for fear I shall see the precocious young man
walking behind a cigar.

Oh, the country is the place for boys,--on a nice farm, where there is
ploughing, and hoeing, and digging, and sowing, and reaping going on;
where they can jump upon a horse, without any saddle, and ride him to
water, with his mane for a bridle; where they can help build fences,
and help make hay, and help milk cows, and drive them to pasture; where
they can go blackberrying, and strawberrying, and chestnuting, and
everything but bird-nesting. I wouldn't like to leave my purse in the
way of a boy who went bird-nesting. I should know he had a bad heart.

Yes, the country is the place for boys. There are no oyster saloons
there; no cigar shops for them to loitre round; no gangs of bad, idle
boys to teach them all sorts of mischief;--plenty going on in the
country to amuse them innocently--terrible rattlesnakes to be
slaughtered; woodchucks to be hunted; hawks to be shot (who make
mince-meat of the poor little chickens); maple sugar and cider to make;
husking frolics to go to. Just as if I didn't know what was best for
boys, if I _am a woman_. I tell you, some of the greatest heroes in the
world have had _women for mothers_.



THE BOY WHO LIKED NATURAL HISTORY.


Hal Hunt lived at the "Seven Corners;" he was just six years old last
Fourth of July; and as "independent" as you might suppose, with _such_
a birth-day to boast of.

He was on the gun-powder order, I can tell you; bound to make a _fizz_
wherever he went, always popping up in odd places, and frightening
nervous old ladies, and little two-year-olders, who had ventured away
from their mothers' apron strings. Every cat and dog, for ten miles
round, made for the nearest port when Hal and his torn straw hat loomed
up in the distance.

Hal never was in a school room in his life; but it didn't follow that
he did no studying for all that. On the contrary, he sat there, on the
steps of his father's grocery store, with his chin between his little
brown palms, doing up more thinking than the schoolma'am would have
allowed, except in recess.

Hal was very fond of Natural History;--in fact, he had about made up
his mind, that as soon as he owned a long-tailed coat, he would own a
menagerie. Pigs, geese, hens, ducks, cows, oxen, nothing came amiss to
him that went into Noah's ark. He expected to have a grand time when he
got that menagerie--setting them all the cars, and hearing them growl
behind their bars.

One day he sat on the door-step running it over in his mind, when the
old rooster, followed by his hens, marched in a procession past the
door.

There was the speckled hen, _black and white_, (with red eyes) looking
like a widow in half mourning; there was the white one that _would_
have been pretty, hadn't she such a turn for fighting that her feathers
were as scarce as brains in a dandy's head; there was the _black_ one,
that contested her claims with the white hen, to a kernel of corn, and
a place in the procession next the rooster, in a manner that would have
delighted the abolitionists.

Hal watched them all, and then it struck him, all of a sudden, that he
had never seen a _hen swim_. He had seen ducks do it, and swans, and
geese, but he never remembered to have seen a HEN swim.

What was the reason? Didn't they know how? or _wouldn't_ they do it?

Hal was resolved to get at the bottom of that problem without delay; so
he jumped up and chased one round till he fell down and tore his
jacket, and the hen flew up in a tree.

Then he tried for the speckled widow; _she_ of course was too sharp for
him.

At last he secured the brown one, and hiding her under his jacket
started for the "creek," about a quarter of a mile off. He told the
hen, going along, that if she didn't know how to swim, it was high time
she did, and that he was going to try her any how; the hen cocked up
her eye but said nothing, though she had her thoughts.

The fact was she never had been in the habit of going out of the
barn-yard, without asking leave of the rooster, who was a regular old
"Blue Beard;" and she knew very well that he wouldn't scratch her up
another worm, for a good twelve-month, for being absent without leave.
So she dug her claws into Hal's side, every now and then, and tried to
peck him with her bill, but Hal told her it was no use, for go into
that creek she _should_.

Well, he got to the creek at last, and stood triumphantly on a little
bank just over it. He took a good grip of his hen, and then lifted up
his arm to give her a nice toss into the water.

He told her that now she was to consider herself a _duck_, instead of a
_hen_, (what a _goose_!) then over he went _splash_ into the water
_himself_. The question was not _now_ whether the _hen_ could swim, but
whether _he_ could; he floundered round and round, and screeched like a
little bedlamite, and was just thinking of the last fib he told, when
his brother Zedekiah came along and fished him out.

Hal prefers now to try his experiments on his father's door-step; as to
the hen, poor chicken-hearted thing! she didn't dare to show her wet
feathers to her lordly old rooster; so she smuggled herself into
neighbor Jones' barn-yard and laid her eggs wherever it suited the old
farmer, for the sake of her board.



KNUD IVERSON.


I suppose that every boy and girl who reads my "Little Ferns," has
heard or read of martyrs. You have all owned a primer with the picture
of "John Rogers," who was burned alive for being a good man; then, you
remember "Stephen," of Bible memory, who was stoned to death, for the
same reason.

In 1853, when Religion walks in satin slippers, perhaps you think that
no martyrs can be found. Dear children, Aunt Fanny sees them every day;
bearing tortures worse than the fire, or the rack, and opening their
burdened hearts to God alone.

But it is not of these that I would speak _now_. I am going to tell you
of a _little boy martyr_.

"Knud Iverson" was a little Norwegian, a countryman of the famous "Ole
Bull," the great violinist.

Knud's parents had come over from Norway to this country, and settled
in Chicago. (You will find that place if you look in your Atlas, and I
should like to have you find it, because I want you to remember all
about this dear little boy.)

Knud had been early taught how to be a good boy. His parents' words did
not pass into his ears to be forgotten. Knud remembered _everything_
they said; and, what was better, he _practiced_ it. They were quite
sure that when Knud was out of their sight, he behaved just as well as
if their eyes were on him. Can _your_ father and mother be as sure of
YOU?

Knud loved to go to Sabbath school; he never was absent from his class
once. He was not frightened away by a drop of rain, or a warm sun; he
_loved_ to go. His mother did not have to say to him, "Come, come,
Knud! don't you know it is time you were preparing to go to school?"
or, "Come, come, Knud! it is time you were looking over your Sunday
school lesson." No; he was always ready; his lesson in his _head_, and
love for God in his _heart_; and away he trudged, cheerful and happy,
to gladden the eyes of his kind teacher by being promptly in his place.

Perhaps you think because Knud loved to _pray_ that he didn't love to
_play_. Not at all. You didn't know that good boys enjoy play much
better than _bad_ ones, did you? Well, they _do_; because their
consciences are not troubling them all the while, as those of bad boys
are.

Yes, Knud loved to play; but he could never play with _bad_ boys, or
help them to do wrong. And he wasn't a coward, either, as you will see.
He spoke right up, and told them kindly what he thought, and begged
_them_ not to do evil, either.

One day he was walking peaceably along, thinking happy thoughts, when a
party of bad boys came up to him, saying: "Knud, we know where there is
some splendid fruit, and we want some, and what is more, we are
determined to have some; and we want you to go with us and help us to
get it."

"What, _steal_?" said Knud; fixing his clear, pure eyes on the naughty
boys. "Steal! I would not do it for all the world."

"But you _shall_," said a great, strong boy, bigger than Knud.

"You shall?" echoed all the other boys, "or, we will drown you, Knud;
yes, drown you in the river, just as sure as you stand there."

Knud looked at them. He saw that they were in earnest. They were
stronger than he, and Knud knew that they _could_ kill him, for there
was nobody near to help him. His father and mother were not within
call. Knud loved his father and mother; he thought this world a very
fair and pleasant one, with its birds, its sunshine and its flowers;
but, did he tremble and drop on his knees before those wicked boys and
say, "_Don't_ kill me--_don't_--I will do _anything_ if you won't kill
me!"

No, no; dear, noble, courageous little fellow! He stood up and faced
them all, and said, "I cannot steal; no--not even if you kill me!"

You would have thought that they would have put their arms about his
neck and begged his forgiveness, but they were little monsters. I
cannot bear to think there are _children_ with such bad hearts, because
we look to see _them_ innocent, and good, and pure. But you will weep
when I tell you that they seized Knud and dragged him down to the river
and plunged him in, and that the waters closed over the sunny little
head, that is now wearing a martyr's crown.

You pity Knud? _I_ pity his murderers.

Do you think that they can sleep peaceably at night? No; in their
dreams they hear the plashing waves, and see a pallid, upturned face,
with pure and pleading eyes, from which _they turned away_!

Ever at their side, at golden morn, and busy noon, and dewy eve, a
little form, unseen by other eyes, shall follow--follow--follow. Ever
in their startled ears, a little childish voice, that no noise may
drown, no earthly power may hush, shall ring, "Oh, I _cannot_ steal,
not even if you _kill_ me! I _cannot_ steal!"



CHILDREN IN 1853.


I went with a friend, the other day, to look at some "rooms to let."
She liked the rooms, and the man who owned them liked she should have
them; but when she mentioned she had children--he stepped six paces
off--set his teeth together--pulled his waist-coat down with a jerk,
and said--"_Never--take--children,--ma'am!_"

Now, I'd like to know if that man was _born_ grown up?

I'd like to know if children are to have their necks wrung like so many
chickens, if they happen to "_peep_?"

I'd like to know if they haven't just as much right in the world as
grown folks?

I begin to feel catamount-y about it!

I'd like to know if boarding-house keepers, (after children have been
in a close school-room for five or six hours, feeding on verbs and
pronouns,) are to put them off with a "second table," leaving them to
stand round in the entries on one leg, smelling the dinner, while grown
people (who have lunched at oyster shops and confectioner's saloons)
sit two or three hours longer than is necessary at dessert, cracking
their nuts and their jokes?

I'd like to know if, when they have a quarter given them to spend, they
must _always_ receive a bad shilling out of it at the stores, in
"change"?

I'd like to know if people in omnibuses are at liberty to take them by
the coat collar, lift them out of a nice seat, take it themselves, and
then perch them on their sharp knee-bones, to jolt over the pavements?

I have a great mind to pick up all the children, and form a colony on
some bright island, where these people, who were made up in a hurry,
without hearts, couldn't find us; or if they did, we'd just say to them
when they tried to come ashore--_Never take grown-up folks here, sir!_
or, we'd treat them to a "second dinner,"--bill of fare, cold potatoes,
bad cooking butter, bread full of saleratus, bones without any meat on
them, watery soups, and curdled milk--(that is to say, after we had
picked our nuts long enough to suit us at dessert!) How do you suppose
they'd like to change places with "children" that way?

Now here's Aunt Fanny's creed, and you may read it to your mother if
you like.

I believe in great round apples and _big_ slices of good plain
gingerbread for children.

I believe in making their clothes loose enough to enable them to eat it
all, and jump round in when they get through.

I believe in not giving away their little property, such as dolls,
kites, balls, hoops, and the like, without their leave.

I believe in not promising them a ride, and then forgetting all about
it.

I believe in not teasing them for amusement, and then punishing them
for being "troublesome."

I believe in not allowing Bridget and Betty to box their ears because
the pot boils over, or because their beaux didn't come the evening
before.

I believe in sending them to school where there are backs to the
benches, and where the schoolma'am has had at least "_one_ offer."

I believe no house can be properly furnished with out at least a
_dozen_ children in it.

I believe little children to be all that is left us of Paradise; and
that any housekeeper harboring a person who "don't like them," had
better _count up her silver, without loss of time_!


THE END



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