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´╗┐Title: Proud and Lazy - A Story for Little Folks
Author: Optic, Oliver, 1822-1897
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Proud and Lazy - A Story for Little Folks" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



by The Kentuckiana Digital Library.)



                   The Riverdale Stories

                       PROUD AND LAZY

                 A STORY FOR LITTLE FOLKS

                            BY

                       OLIVER OPTIC

 AUTHOR OF "THE BOAT CLUB," "ALL ABOARD," "NOW OR NEVER,"
     "TRY AGAIN," "POOR AND PROUD," "THE WOODVILLE
                  STORIES," ETC., ETC.



                         NEW YORK
                     HURST & COMPANY
                        PUBLISHERS



PROUD AND LAZY.

I.


Tommy Woggs was a funny little boy. He was very proud and very
lazy. He seemed to think he was a great man, and that other people
lived only to serve and obey him.

None of the boys and girls liked him, because he used to order them
round, and because he thought himself so much better than they
were.

Tommy's father was a doctor, and a rich man. He could afford to
have servants to wait upon his son, but he was not quite rich
enough to spoil the child by letting him do as he pleased.

There are some things that wealth cannot purchase. It will not buy
wisdom, for all the money in the world would not teach a person
even to perform a simple question in arithmetic.

It will not buy the love and respect of others. Many rich men are
hated and despised by nearly all who know them.

So Tommy's father could not buy an education for his son, nor would
wealth win for him the esteem of his companions. He must study like
the children of poor people if he wanted to be wise; and he must
treat them well, in order to obtain their good will.

Tommy did not like to study, and he did like to command others. He
wished every body to think that he was better than they, because he
had been to New York, and because his father was rich.

Children are just like men and women. They always find out the
really good boys and girls, and love and respect them. And they
never think much of those who think too much of themselves.

When Tommy was eight years old, his father sent him to the village
school. It was a public school, and it was the best in the town. He
had learned his letters at home, and was able to read a very
little.

At first he was pleased with the idea of going to school, and did
not even tell his mother he would not go. He was very apt to say he
would not do anything, when he was told to do it.

I am sorry to add that his parents were very much to blame, for he
was an only child, and they did not like to cross him. They did not
make him "mind," as all good parents ought to do, and as all good
children are willing to do. He used to have his own way; and when
he went to school, he hardly knew what it was to obey.

Miss Dale, the teacher, gave him a good seat, when he first went to
school, and spoke very kindly to him. For two or three days he got
along quite well. It was a new thing to him, and he was pleased
with the school and the teacher.

But in a little while he was tired of the place, and of the
teacher, and he had yet to learn that he could not always have his
own way.

On the fourth day of his school-life, when Miss Dale called him up
to read, he made up his mind that he would not read.

"I don't want to read," said he.

"Perhaps you don't, Thomas. Do you know what your father sends you
to school for?" replied Miss Dale.

"No, I don't."

"You must not speak so to me. Come here."

"I won't."

"Don't be naughty, Thomas. I asked you to come to me."

"I won't."

"If you won't come, I shall bring you."

Tommy didn't exactly know what to make of this; but the teacher did
not give him much time to think about it, for she took him by the
collar of his coat, and, in spite of his kicking and screaming,
dragged him up to the desk.

"Now, stand there, Thomas; and if you are a good boy, and obey me,
I will not hurt you at all."

"I won't be a good boy," growled Tommy; and when Miss Dale let go
of him, he threw himself on the floor and began to kick and scream
as though he had been mad.

The teacher opened her desk, and took out a little stick. Tommy did
not like the looks of the stick, but he kept on kicking and
screaming.

"Get up, Thomas," said Miss Dale.

"I won't," screamed Tommy, very loud.

"Won't you?"

"No, I won't."

"Then I shall whip you."

"No, you won't," yelled Tommy.

But he was mistaken. Miss Dale would and did whip him, till he was
glad to get up. He found the little stick was a thing not to be
trifled with, for it made him smart so he could not bear the pain.

"I'm going home," said Tommy.

"Not yet, Thomas."

"Yes, I will."

"I think not. Now, pick up your book, and be a good boy."

"I won't."

Then a smart cut of the stick upon one of his legs made him scream
with pain again.

"Pick up your book, now, Thomas."

"I'll tell my mother of you," snarled Tommy, as he picked up the
book.

"You may, if you choose. Now open your book."

He did not mind, and again he felt the terrible stick, which caused
him to obey.

"Now, Thomas," said Miss Dale, as she put the stick in the desk,
"when I tell you to do anything, you must obey me."

"I won't, either."

"You must not say you won't to me."

"Yes, I will."

The teacher opened the desk and took out the stick again.

"Will you?"

"Yes, I will."

Tommy felt the stick once more; and this time blow followed blow
till Tommy, of his own accord, promised not to use the naughty
words again.

"Now, Thomas, if you will be a good boy you will not have any more
trouble. You must do what I tell you to do, and not be saucy to
me."

"I'll tell my mother of you. She don't whip me," muttered Tommy.

"You may tell your mother, and if she does not wish you to mind,
she must not send you here. But I think she wants you to be a good
boy, obey your teacher, and get your lessons."

"No, she don't," said Tommy, who was not quite willing to be good
yet.

"Well, it does not make any difference whether she does or not; you
must mind all I say if you come to school here."

Miss Dale then heard him read; but he did not do very well. He was
thinking all the time what he could do that was naughty; but as he
kept one eye on the little stick, he did not venture again to
disobey or to be saucy.

When he went home that day he told his mother he was not going to
school any more; and perhaps she would have let him have his own
way. But his father, when he heard what Miss Dale had done, said he
was glad she had made him mind, and that he should go to school in
the afternoon.

[Illustration: Tommy makes a mistake.]

To make the matter sure, Dr. Woggs went to school with him himself,
and told the teacher to make a good boy of him, if she could, and
above all things to make him obey her. So Tommy got the worst of
it, after all.

[Illustration: Tommy and his Father.]



II.


Tommy Woggs learned to obey while he was in school. That little
stick produced a great change in him; but after the first week,
Miss Dale did not have occasion to use it again.

He found that he must mind, and he had sense sufficient to see that
it was just as easy to obey before he was whipped, or even scolded,
as it was afterwards.

It was the next year after Tommy began to go to school that he went
to New York. It was a great thing for a little boy like him to go
away so far, and see so many wonderful things; and his companions,
for a time, thought he was a real hero.

When he came back he told ever so many stories of what he had
seen--of the fine buildings in New York, of the great crowds of
people in Broadway, and the sights he saw at the Museum.

But the children soon grew tired of it, and did not want to hear
any more of Tommy's stories. I think it quite likely that, if Tommy
had not been so smart about it, they would have been glad to hear a
great deal more about New York.

But I have another story to tell about Tommy; and I hope it will
convince all my young readers that it is better to obey their
parents, even if they are not punished, than it is to disregard
what they tell them.

I have said that Tommy was proud and lazy. He was so proud he did
not like to mind; and so lazy that he did not like to go to school,
because he had to study there, and learn his lessons.

One fine morning in June, when the birds were singing on all the
trees, and the grass looked bright and green on the hills, Tommy
left his father's house to go to school.

He did not want to go to school that day. He told his mother it was
too pleasant to be shut up in a school room all day, and he begged
that he might be permitted to stay at home.

"No, Tommy, you must go to school. Your father says that you must
not stay at home a single day, unless you are sick."

This was about an hour before school time, and the lazy boy sat on
the door stone, for a while, and then came back and told his mother
he did not feel very well.

"What ails you, Tommy?" asked his mother.

"I'm sick."

"Not very sick, I think."

"Yes, I am; real sick."

Just then his father came in, and heard his complaint.

"How long have you felt sick, Tommy?" asked his father.

"Ever since I got up," replied Tommy, placing his hand upon his
stomach.

"You ate your breakfast very well for a sick boy."

"I feel worse since I ate my breakfast," said the little boy,
trying very hard to look sick.

"What ails you?"

"I feel sick at the stomach."

"Well, I think you will feel better by and by," added Dr. Woggs.

"But I can't go to school, father."

"O, you can't?" said his father, with a smile.

"I don't feel able to go."

"Then you needn't go."

Tommy was much pleased to find he had gained his point; and he did
not think of the wicked lies he had told. His father said he might
stay away from school that day, and this was all he wanted.

He had a pair of rabbits in the wood shed, and without thinking
that he was sick, he was going out to play with them.

"Where are you going, Tommy?" asked his father.

"Out in the wood shed to see my rabbits."

"I thought you were sick."

"So I am, father."

"Then sit down on the sofa, and I will attend to you in a moment.
Do you feel very sick?"

"I'm real bad, father," replied Tommy, quickly, for he was afraid
his father would send him to school, after all.

Dr. Woggs opened a drawer in his bookcase, and took out a little
jar, filled with a kind of yellow powder. He then asked Mrs. Woggs
to get him a little molasses in a cup, and a teaspoon.

Tommy turned pale then, for he knew all about that powder in the
little jar.

"Now, my son, we will make you well by to-morrow, so that you will
be able to go to school again," said Dr. Woggs, as he took the
cover off the jar.

Tommy began to cry, for he would rather have taken a whipping than
a dose of that nasty, yellow powder.

"What's the matter, Tommy? Do you feel worse?" asked his father.

"I don't want to take any of that stuff," whined the poor little
invalid.

"I know, Tommy, it isn't pleasant to take; but when we are sick, we
must take something to keep us from getting any worse."

"I don't want to take it, father. It always makes me a good deal sicker
than I was before--it does indeed, father."

"That's very true, my boy; but, for all that, you must take it. We
very often have to make folks worse before they can be any better.
It always hurts to set a broken arm or leg; but no one would think
of letting it remain unset because the operation is painful."

His mother soon came with the cup of molasses, and Dr. Woggs put
some of the yellow powder into it, and stirred up the mixture.

"I don't want to take it, father," cried Tommy, who was trembling
with dread at the very thought of the nasty stuff.

"I can't help it, my boy. You must take it," said the doctor, in
such a tone that the poor boy felt he must obey, or confess that he
had told a falsehood.

"I can't take it, father," he groaned.

"Poor boy! I know it is not good; but only think how sick you are!
Why, you are so bad that you cannot go to school."

"I will go to school," whined Tommy.

"What! when you are sick?" asked his father. "O, no; you must not
go to school when you are sick; it is a bad place for sick boys.
Take the medicine, stay at home and get well."

"I will go to school," repeated Tommy, earnestly.

"Not when you are sick, my son."

"I'm not sick, father."

"Not sick!"

"No, father."

"Didn't you say only a few moments since that you were sick--real
bad?"

"But I am much better now; and I think I am able to go to school."

"You may be sick again, my son."

"I shall not, father; I know I shall not."

"I think you had better take the medicine to prevent another
attack."

"No, father; I wasn't sick at all," said the little boy, very
sheepishly.

Dr. Woggs scolded him in a most severe manner for the falsehood he
had uttered, and then sent him to school. He ought to have
remembered this lesson. It was the last time that Tommy ever
pretended he was sick, as that disgusting yellow powder frequently
showed itself to his imagination.

I don't think it would answer for many parents to do as Tommy's
father did; but he was a doctor, and understood the case.

[Illustration: Tommy had been in New York.]



III.


It was a beautiful morning in June when Tommy Woggs left his home
to go to school, after the events which I have related in the last
chapter.

He did not want to go to school--of course he did not, or he would
not have pretended to be sick, that he might stay at home. The
grass looked so green, and the birds sang so sweetly, that he
wished to have a good time with them in the fields.

If he had been a good boy, and had always done his duty in school,
he would not have felt so; and he was just as much to blame for
feeling wrong as he was for doing wrong.

I have always noticed that children who behave well, and get their
lessons, like to be in school. It is a pleasant place to them. And
doing right always makes us happy, wherever we are.

But those who are naughty, and neglect their duties, are always in
trouble; and for this reason they hate school. It is their own
fault, however, that they dislike it, for if they did right, they
would be happy not only there, but everywhere else.

Tommy dragged along the street like a snail, or like a sheep led to
the slaughter. When he got about half way to the school house, he
met Joe Birch and Ben Tinker.

My readers already know Joe Birch, and know that he was a bad boy;
and I suppose, after being told that Ben Tinker was his constant
companion, they can easily guess what kind of a boy he was. They
were very much alike, and were the leaders in all the mischief done
in Riverdale.

"Where are you going, Tommy?" asked Ben.

"I am going to school," he replied, stopping to talk with the two
boys, who were seated on a rock at the side of the road.

"Have you got any money, Tom?" said Joe.

"No, I haven't."

"'Cause, if you've got three cents about you, I will tell you
something."

"What?" inquired Tommy, without thinking of the price which the bad
boy asked for his important information.

"That's telling," replied Joe, winking at his companion.

"Won't you tell me?"

"Give me three cents, and I will."

"I haven't got three cents; but I will give them to you some time."

"I won't trust you. Give me the money now, and I will tell you all
about it," added Joe.

"How can I give it to you when I haven't got it?"

The two bad boys saw that he was willing enough to pay them for
what they had to tell him, and they had only to devise a plan by
which he could raise the funds.

"Are you going to school, Tom?" asked Joe Birch.

"Yes."

"What for?"

"Because my father makes me go. I tried to get off this morning. I
made believe sick; but father was going to make me take some of his
nasty physic, and I thought I'd rather go to school than do that."

"I can tell you how you can stay away from school without taking
any physic."

"How?"

"Give me the three cents, and I will tell you."

"I haven't them; if I had I would."

"Well, I will tell you how to get them, if you like."

"How?"

"Go home to your mother, and tell her the schoolma'am sent you home
for three cents to buy a new book."

"I'll do that," replied Tommy, not stopping to think how wicked was
the act which the bad boy proposed to him.

"Mind you, Tom, go to your mother--don't go to your father."

Tommy promised to do just as he was told by these bad boys, and ran
home with all his might, to get the money for them. His mother did
not stop to ask him any questions, though she wondered what book he
could buy for three cents.

"Here's the three cents," said Tommy, as he joined the boys in the
road. "Now tell me how I can stay away from school without having
to take any physic."

"Just come with us; we are not going to school this fine morning.
When the factory bell rings for twelve o'clock, just go home; and
your folks won't know but that you have been to school."

"That's the way," added Ben Tinker. "That's what the fellers call
'hookin' jack.'"

Tommy did not exactly like the idea at first, for he could not help
thinking what might happen in case he got found out. He did not ask
himself whether it was right or wrong to do what the boys called
"hooking jack;" but only whether he should get found out or not.

We ought always to do right, whatever may happen to us; and we
should never do wrong, even if we feel certain of not being found
out.

"Where are you going?" asked Tommy.

"Over the other side of the river. We must not let any one see us
after school time, for they will know we ought to be in school."

"And, just you mind, Tom Woggs," added Ben, "if you get found out
yourself, you mustn't tell of us. If you do, you will be apt to get
a broken head--mind that."

Joe Birch jumped over the wall into the lot, and was followed by
his companions in evil. Tommy did not feel just right; not that he
felt bad because he was doing wrong, but because he was afraid of
the two boys.

When they had crossed the lot, they came to a by-road; and here it
was agreed that Ben should run up to the village and buy something
with the money which Tommy had furnished.

He was gone but a little while; and when he joined them again, they
all hastened across the bridge, and were soon in the woods, where
no one could see them.

"What did you buy with the money?" asked Joe.

"Some cigars. I got six for three cents."

"Cigars!" exclaimed Tommy. "What do you want of cigars?"

"To smoke, of course. What do you think?"

"It will make you sick."

"I guess not. You shall have one, if you like. A feller ain't
nobody if he don't smoke," replied Joe.

But the boys decided not to smoke at first; and seeing there was
plenty of sticks and brush in the woods, Tommy proposed that they
should build a house--just for the fun of it.

"So we will; and when we get it done, we will smoke our cigars in
it, and have a good time," replied Ben.

"That will be first rate," added Joe. "But how are you going to
build it?"

"O, I know how. I have been to New York, and I know all about these
things," said Tommy, beginning now to show his usual vanity.

"I say, Tom, do they make houses out of brush in New York?" asked
Ben.

"No; but then I have been about more than you have, and I ought to
know more, of course. I will be the builder, and you two shall be
my servants."

"Look here, Tom--none of that talk, my boy. We ain't your servants,
any how," said Joe.

"Never mind him, Joe," added Ben. "Let him build the house, if he
can. I wonder what it will look like!"

"Well, you bring me the sticks and brush, and see if I don't build
a good one," replied Tommy.

The two boys agreed to this plan; and in a little while they had a
great pile of sticks and brush, and Tommy began to build the
house. He stuck up two sticks, like the letter V, and then carried
a long pole from the top of them down to the ground. Against the
pole, he set up long sticks; and then told his companions to cover
them over with brush and leaves.

It did not take a very long time to build such a house as this, and
it was soon finished. The boys were much pleased with it, and
seated themselves on the ground, inside of it, for the purpose of
having a good time.

[Illustration: The home in the woods.]



IV.


It was now after eleven o'clock, and it would soon be time for the
truants to return home.

The hut which they had built was not very tight, but it kept the
sun out; and the boys were so well pleased with it that they agreed
to come there again in the afternoon. They wished the forenoon had
been much longer, for their fun came to an end too soon.

"Now, boys, we will have a smoke," said Joe, as they seated
themselves in the house.

"Yes; and we haven't any too much time," replied Ben Tinker, as he
took the cigars from his pocket.

"Have you any matches?"

"To be sure I have. What's the use of cigars without any matches?
Take a cigar, Tom."

Tommy took the cigar, and though he had some doubts about smoking
it, he did not like to be behind his companions in anything. He
thought it would make him sick, as he had known it to do to others.
He did not want to smoke it, but he had not the courage to refuse.

He was proud, and did not want to have the other boys any smarter
than he was. They thought it was manly and big to smoke, for I
don't believe either of them could have liked the fumes of a cigar.
They had not smoked enough for this.

Ben lighted a match, and then his cigar. Joe, as dignified as any
old smoker, took a light from him; and both of them puffed away,
and felt as big as though they were doing some great thing.

"Have a light, Tommy?" asked Ben. "If you are going with us, you
must learn to smoke."

"All the fellers that are anything smoke," added Joe.

"Then I'll smoke," replied Tommy. "I used to see lots of gentlemen
smoking cigars in Broadway, in New York, when I was there."

"Of course you did."

Tommy put the cigar into his mouth; he did not like the taste of
the thing, but he felt that it was a good cause, and he was willing
to be a martyr. Ben lent him his cigar to light it by; and with a
little instruction from his friends, he was soon able to puff away
as smart as any of them.

It was not half so bad as he had feared it would be. It did not
make him sick, at first, and he thought he was one of that kind who
can smoke without learning.

He felt as big as his companions then, for the wrong idea that
smoking was smart had taken full possession of him.

There are some savages who paint their faces--they think it is
smart; we don't think so. Some Indians wear bits of tin fastened to
the ends of their noses--they think it looks pretty; we don't think
so.

It does not follow, therefore, that every thing that looks smart is
so. A little boy, or any boy, with a cigar in his mouth, is a
disgusting sight to sensible people. We never heard of any man who
thought it was smart for boys to smoke, or to make use of tobacco
in any way.

"Now, Tom, tell us something about New York while we are smoking,"
said Ben.

"Well, I will, if you wish me to do so; but I have got almost tired
of talking about New York. Everybody wants to know what I saw
there."

[Illustration: Some Savages who paint their faces.]

"Do they?" laughed Joe.

"Yes; I don't like to say no to them, for I am willing to help
along those who don't know as much as I do."

"Do you mean to say we don't know as much as you do?" demanded Ben,
angrily.

"Well, you haven't been to New York--have you?"

"What if we haven't?"

"Then, of course, you can't know so much as I do. I was there a
week."

"If you say that again, I'll pound you," said Ben, rising.

"There's a stump for you, Tom," added Joe.

Tommy had not a great deal of courage; but, in a little while, Joe
Birch managed to get up a fight between his little companions. He
showed Tommy how to strike; and the two boys went into the matter
like real bruisers.

[Illustration: The fight in the woods.]

Of course, Tommy Woggs got whipped--and it served him just right.
His face was scratched, and one of his eyes was very red. Just then
he thought he should not tell another boy that he did not know as
much as he did.

The quarrel was soon made up; for after Ben Tinker had thrashed the
little boaster he was satisfied, and Tommy did not dare to be
cross. By this time they had to start for home.

Tommy had not got half way to his father's house before he began to
feel dizzy, and to realize a very unpleasant feeling at the
stomach. But he hurried home as fast as he could, which was not
very fast, for he was sick in earnest now.

He staggered into the parlor, where his mother was sewing. He felt
very bad then, and wished, with all his heart, that he had gone to
school, and kept away from the bad boys.

"I feel sick, mother," said Tommy, as he threw himself into a
chair.

"Why, Tommy! You are as pale as a ghost," exclaimed his mother,
looking up from her work. "What ails you?"

"I feel sick at the stomach. I want to go to bed."

Whatever were the doubts Mrs. Woggs had in the morning about her
son's sickness, she had none now. His pale face and blue lips were
evidences of his condition.

Taking him by the hand, she led him upstairs, and put him into bed.
Then she called Dr. Woggs, who was in his library, to come upstairs
and see him.

"Poor boy; he is real sick," said his mother, as the doctor entered
the room. "He is just as pale as death, and could hardly walk
upstairs."

"What ails him?"

"He is sick at the stomach, just as he was this morning. It was too
bad to send him to school when he felt so sick. I knew he was ill
then."

"He wasn't very bad this morning," said the doctor, who did not
know what to make of it.

"He was real sick then, and I knew he was. It was too bad to make
him go to school," added the fond mother.

"But I didn't make him go to school," replied Dr. Woggs. "I was
only going to give him some medicine to make him better."

The cigar had done its work; and it operated upon him just as that
nasty yellow powder would if he had taken it.

"What's this?" said the doctor, after the contents of Tommy's
stomach had been thrown up. "What have you been doing, Tommy?"

"Nothing, father," replied Tommy, faintly.

"You have been smoking. You smell as strong of tobacco smoke as a
bar-room loafer."

"Smoking!" exclaimed Mrs. Woggs, with horror.

"Have you been smoking, Tommy?" asked his father sternly.

The poor sufferer felt so bad, he had no courage to tell a lie, and
he was obliged to own that he had been smoking.

When he felt a little better, his father questioned him so closely,
that in spite of his promise, Tommy had to say he had "hooked jack"
that forenoon, and that he had been in the woods with Joe and Ben,
where each of them had smoked a cigar.

Dr. Woggs went to the school that afternoon, and told Miss Dale
all about it; and then to the parents of Joe and Ben, and told them
all about it. The truants were all punished; and as the
schoolmistress promised to send word to their homes when either of
them was absent again, they had no chance to "hook jack"
afterwards.

Tommy was as well as ever the next day; but that red eye became a
black eye, and the children laughed at him for a week.

He thought how much trouble he had caused himself by being proud
and lazy, and he resolved to be a better boy. He did very well for
some time; he went to school without complaining, and didn't talk
big; but he was not entirely cured.

It often takes a great while to get rid of bad habits; but we
should banish them, even if it takes a whole lifetime to do so.



CARELESS KATE.

[Illustration: She tried to look as if nothing had happened.--Page
83.]



CARELESS KATE.

I.


"Kate!" said Mrs. Lamb to her daughter, who was playing in the
garden, in front of the house.

"What do you want, mother?" replied the little girl, without even
lifting her eyes from the ground, in which she was planting a
marigold.

I don't think any of my young readers regard this as a proper
answer for a little girl to make to her mother; and I hope none of
them ever speak to their parents in this manner.

"Come into the house. I want you," added her mother.

But Kate did not go till she got ready. She was not in the habit of
minding her mother at once, and without asking any improper
questions, as all good children do, or ought to do, at least.

When she stepped out of the bed of flowers, in which she had been
at work, instead of looking to see where she put her feet, she kept
her eyes fixed on the place where she had just planted the
marigold.

"Look before you leap" is a good motto for everybody--for children,
as well as for men and women. If Kate had thought of it, perhaps
she would have saved herself and her mother a great deal of
trouble.

She did not mind where she stepped, and put her foot upon a
beautiful, sweet-scented peony, which had just come out of the
ground. She broke the stem short off, and crushed the root all in
pieces.

Now, this flower was very highly prized by Mrs. Lamb, for she had
brought it from a great distance, and it was the only one of the
kind in Riverdale at that time.

Kate was very fond of flowers herself, and when she saw the
mischief she had done, she cried with anger and vexation. She would
not have spoiled this peony for a great deal, for she had looked
forward with much pleasure to the time when it should bud and
blossom, and fill the garden with its fragrance.

"What is the matter with you, Kate?" called her mother, from the
house, when she heard Kate crying.

"I did not mean to do it, mother," sobbed the poor girl.

"Didn't mean to do what, Kate?" said her mother, rushing into the
garden to find out what mischief had been done.

Mrs. Lamb was very angry when she saw that the peony was spoiled;
and she took Kate by the arm, and shook her. I don't think this
shaking did any good; but it was a great trial to her to see her
favorite flower destroyed.

"You careless girl!" said Mrs. Lamb.

"I didn't mean to, mother," replied Kate.

"But you were careless, as you always are. Will you never learn to
be careful? You walk about the flower beds as though they were
solid rocks."

"I did not mean to tread upon it," was all that poor Kate could
say.

It was very true that she did not mean to spoil the peony; but it
was almost as bad to ruin it by being careless. Children ought to
understand that not meaning to do wrong is not a good excuse, when
the wrong might have been prevented by being careful.

Suppose the captain of a ship should run his vessel on the rocks,
and lose a dozen lives, by being careless; do you think people
would be willing to trust him with another vessel afterwards?

Suppose the engineer should neglect to keep watch of the boiler,
and it should burst; would not people blame him? Would they think
it a good excuse if he said he did not mean to let it burst?

If the man who has the keeping of a powder house should smoke a
pipe in it, and twenty persons should be killed by his carelessness,
do you think it would be enough for him to say he did not intend
to kill them?

When we go on the water in a sailing vessel or a steamer; when we
ride on a railroad, in a stage, or wagon, our lives depend on the
carefulness with which the vessel, railroad, or carriage is
managed. People don't excuse them, when lives are lost, because
they did not mean to kill anybody.

You are liable to lose your life every day by the carelessness of
some one. The house in which you are to sleep on a cold winter's
night may be burned down by the neglect of those who take care of
the fires.

The careless use of a lamp might destroy many lives and much
property. If you play with fire, though you do not mean any harm,
you may burn the house in which you live, and perhaps destroy the
lives of your friends.

A little carelessness may produce dreadful results. The want of
thought for a few moments may do more mischief than you can repair
in a whole lifetime.

Kate Lamb was not a bad girl at heart. She loved her parents and
her friends as much as any little girl; but she often gave them a
great deal of trouble and sadness by her carelessness.

She was so thoughtless that she had come to be called "Careless
Kate." It was a bad fault; and it sometimes led her to commit
worse ones, as my story will show.

"Now, Kate, come into the house; and next time, when I call, come
at once," said her mother. "If you had minded me, perhaps my flower
would not have been spoiled."

"I will be more careful next time, mother," replied Kate.

"I hope you will. I think you have done sufficient mischief by
being careless, and I hope you will soon begin to do better."

"I will try, mother."

Very likely she meant to try, just then, while she was smarting
under her mother's rebuke, and while she was still sad at the loss
of the flower; but she had promised to do better so many times,
that her mother could hardly believe her again.

"I want you to carry this quart of milk down in the meadow to poor
Mrs. O'Brien," said Mrs. Lamb, as she handed her a tin kettle.
"And you must go quick, for it is almost dark now."

"It won't take me long, mother."

"But you must be very careful, and not spill any of the milk."

"I will be very careful."

"Mrs. O'Brien is sick, and has two small children. This milk is for
their supper."

"That is the woman whose husband was killed on the railroad last
summer--isn't it, mother?"

"Yes; and she is very poor. She is sick now, and not able to work.
The neighbors have all sent milk to her for her children, and a
great many other things. Now go just as fast as you can, but be
very careful and not spill the milk."

[Illustration: Mrs. O'Brien and her child.]



II.


Kate put on her bonnet, and taking the pail of milk, hastened
towards the house of the poor sick woman. But she had gone but a
little way when she met Fanny Flynn, who was an idle girl, and very
fond of mischief.

"Where are you going, Kate?" asked Fanny.

"I am going down to Mrs. O'Brien's with some milk."

"Give me a drink--will you?"

"I can't; it is for the poor widow's children. I suppose they won't
have any supper till they get this milk."

"Yes, they will. I won't drink but a little of it."

"No, I can't give you any. It would not be right for me to do so."

"Pooh! You needn't pretend to be so good all at once. You are no
better than I am."

"I didn't say I was. Only I shall not give you any of this milk,
when it is for the poor woman's children; so you needn't ask me,"
replied Kate, with a great deal of spirit.

Some people think, when they do anything that is right, they ought
to make a great parade over it; but this only shows that they are
not much in the habit of doing right, and they wish to get all the
credit they can for it.

It was so with Kate. She ought to have been content with merely
doing her duty, without "talking large" about it. Fanny felt that
she was just as good as Kate, and she was angry when the latter
made a needless show of her intention to do what she believed to be
right.

[Illustration: Fanny and Kate.]

"I don't want it," said Fanny.

"What did you ask me for it for, then? You wanted to make me do
something that was wrong."

"You are not always so nice," sneered Fanny.

"I don't mean to do wrong, anyhow, as some folks do."

"Do you mean me?"

"No matter whom I mean."

Fanny was so angry that she walked up to Kate and pulled her
"shaker" down over her face. She also used some naughty words when
she did so, which I will not repeat.

Kate, in her turn, was very angry with the saucy girl, and wanted
to "pay" her for what she had done. But Fanny did not wait for any
reply, and ran away just as fast as she could.

It would have been much better for Kate if she had let her go; but
she was so angry she could not do this; she wanted to strike back
again. Without thinking of the milk in the pail, she started to run
after the naughty girl.

For a few moments she ran with all her might, and had nearly caught
Fanny, when a stone tripped her up, and she fell upon the ground.

Then she thought of the milk, and tried to save it; but the cover
of the kettle came off, and it was all spilled on the ground.

The fall did not hurt her, but the laugh with which her misfortune
was greeted by Fanny roused a very wicked spirit in her heart, and
dropping the pail, which she had picked up, she pursued her.

But the naughty girl had the start of her, and though she followed
her a good way she could not overtake her. Then she stopped in the
path, and cried with anger and vexation. The thought of the milk
which had been spilled, was, after all, the worst part of the
affair.

Walking back to the place where the accident had happened, she
picked up the pail again, and began to think what she should do. It
was of no use now for her to go to Mrs. O'Brien's. She had no milk
for the children's supper.

What would her mother say to her if she should return home and tell
her she had spilled all the milk? She had told her to be careful,
and she felt that she had been very careless.

It was not necessary that she should chase the naughty girl,
whatever she said; and she could not help seeing that she had been
very careless. While she was thinking about it, Ben Tinker came
along. He lived in the next house to Mr. Lamb, and the children
were well acquainted with each other.

"What is the matter with you, Kate?" asked Ben, when he saw that
her eyes were red, and her face was wet with tears.

"I have just spilled a pailful of milk on the ground," sobbed Kate.

"O, well, it's no use to cry for spilled milk," laughed Ben.

"I was carrying it to Mrs. O'Brien."

"No matter; she will get along very well without it."

"That ugly Fanny Flynn struck me on the head, and that's what made
me spill the milk."

"Didn't you hit her back?"

"I couldn't catch her; she ran away. I was chasing her when I fell
down and spilled the milk."

"You can catch her some time; when you do, give it to her."

But Kate had got over her anger, and heartily wished she had not
attempted to catch Fanny. Besides, she very well knew that Ben was
giving her bad advice.

That passage from the New Testament, "If any man smite thee on the
one cheek, turn to him the other also," came to her mind, and she
felt how wicked it was to harbor a desire for revenge.

The loss of the milk, and what would follow when she went home,
gave her more trouble than the injury she had received from the
naughty girl.

"I don't know what I shall do," said she, beginning to cry again,
as she thought of her mother.

"Do? you can't do anything--can you? The milk is gone, and all you
have to do is to go home," replied Ben.

"What will my mother say?"

"No matter what she says, if she don't whip you or send you to bed
without your supper."

"She won't whip me, and I have been to supper."

"Then what are you crying about?"

"Mother says I am very careless; and I know I am," whined Kate.

"Don't be a baby, Kate."

"I spoiled a flower this afternoon, and mother scolded me and shook
me for it. She told me to be very careful with this milk, and now I
have spilled the whole of it."

"Well, if you feel so bad, why need you tell her anything about
it?"

"About what?" asked Kate, looking up into his face, for she did not
quite understand him.

"You needn't tell her you spilled the milk. She will never find it
out."

"But she will ask me."

"What if she does? Can't you tell her you gave the milk to the old
woman, and that she was very much obliged to her for sending it?"

"I can do that," said Kate.

She did not like the plan, but it seemed to her just then that
anything would be better than telling her mother that she had
spilled the milk; and, wicked as it was, she resolved to do it.

[Illustration: Crying for spilled milk.]



III.


Kate did not think of the poor woman and her hungry children when
she made up her mind to tell her mother such a monstrous lie.

She did not think how very wicked it was to deceive her mother,
just to escape, perhaps, a severe rebuke for her carelessness.

She felt all the time that she was doing wrong, but she tried so
hard to cover it up, that her conscience was not permitted to do
its whole duty.

When we are tempted to do wrong, something within us tells us not
to do it; but we often struggle to get rid of this feeling, and if
we succeed the first time, it is easier the next time. And the more
we do wrong, the easier it becomes to put down the little voice
within us.

It was so with Kate. She had told falsehoods before, or it would
not have been so easy for her to do it this time. If we do not take
care of our consciences, as we do of our caps and bonnets, they are
soon spoiled.

Did you ever notice that one of the wheels on your little wagon,
when it becomes loose, soon wears out? The more it sags over on one
side, the weaker it grows. While the wheel stands up straight, it
does not seem to wear out at all.

It is just so with your conscience--your power to tell right from
wrong. While you keep it up straight, it works well, and never
wears out. But when it gets a little out of order, it grows worse
very fast, and is not of much more value than a lighthouse without
any light in it.

Kate's conscience had begun to sag over on one side. It was growing
weak, and did not remind her of her wrong deeds with force enough
to make itself heeded. If she could only escape the reproof of her
mother, she did not care.

Thus moved by the wicked counsel of Ben Tinker, she hastened home.
She tried to look as if nothing had happened, but her eyes were
still very red from crying; and her mother wanted to know what had
made her cry.

"Fanny Flynn struck me, and pulled my 'shaker' over my face,"
replied Kate.

"What did she do that for?"

"She asked me to give her a drink of the milk, and because I
wouldn't, she struck me," answered Kate, placing her pail upon the
kitchen table.

"She is a naughty girl, and I will go and see her mother about it.
What did she say to you?"

"She asked me for a drink of the milk."

"What did you answer?"

"I told her it was for Mrs. O'Brien's children, and that it
wouldn't be right for me to give it to her, and I would not."

"Well, I will see to that. I think it is a pity if I can't send one
of my children out on an errand of charity without her being
treated in this manner. She shall suffer for it."

"She is a naughty girl, mother; and I never mean to speak to her
again as long as I live," said Kate, with much apparent
earnestness.

"You did right not to give her any of the milk, and I am glad you
did not. I am happy that my daughter has been brave enough to do
right, and even to suffer for doing it. You are a good girl,
Kate."

"I meant to be, mother."

"What did Mrs. O'Brien say when you gave her the milk?" continued
Mrs. Lamb.

"She said she was much obliged to you," replied Kate, not daring to
look her mother in the face.

"Did you see the children?"

"Yes, mother."

Mrs. Lamb was going to ask more questions about the family, but
something called her attention away, and Kate was saved from
telling more falsehoods.

She took a book and tried to read, but she could not, for she did
not feel like a good girl. The little voice within told her how
wicked she had been, and she began to wish that she had not
deceived her mother.

While she sat with the book in her hand, her father came home; and
her mother told him what Fanny Flynn had done. He was very angry
when he had heard the story, and asked Kate a great many questions
about the affair.

"You did well, Kate, and I am glad you were so brave and so smart,"
said Mr. Lamb.

"Of course I could not give her any of the milk when it was for the
poor widow's hungry children."

"You did right, Kate," repeated her father. "The poor children
might have had to go to bed hungry if you had given up the milk to
that bad girl."

"I know it, father."

"Only think what a sad thing it would have been if the poor little
ones had been sent hungry and crying to bed. That Fanny Flynn must
be taken care of. When little girls get to be so bold as that, it
is high time something was done."

"I think so, too, father."

"It is time for you to go to bed now, Kate," said her mother.

"I am ready, mother, for I am tired as I can be."

Kate was glad to get away from her father and mother, for while
they were praising her for her good conduct, she knew very well
that she did not deserve it.

What would her parents think if they knew that she had spilled all
the milk on the ground? What would they say to her if they found
out that she had told them so many lies?

The more she thought of her conduct, the more she felt that she had
done wrong. She now saw that, if she had returned home and told her
mother the truth, she would have excused the fault, and sent
another pail of milk to the poor sick woman's hungry children.

She wished she had done so, for it would have been a great deal
better to be scolded for her carelessness than to feel as guilty
as she now felt. She was sure that it was far better to suffer a
great deal than to do even a little wrong.

She was not satisfied either that her mother would have scolded
her, if she had stated the whole truth to her--that Fanny Flynn had
made her spill the milk.

She went to bed; but when her mother bade her good night, and took
the lamp in her hand, she begged her to leave it, for she did not
like to be alone in the dark.

It seemed just as though a wicked spirit was tormenting her; and
though she was in the habit of going to sleep without a light, the
darkness was terrible to her at this time. She did not even wish to
be left alone, but she dared not ask her mother to stay with her.

When Mrs. Lamb had gone out, Kate covered her face wholly under the
bedclothes, and shut her eyes as close as she could, trying in
this manner to go to sleep. But her guilty conscience gave her no
rest.

[Illustration]

Then she opened her eyes, and looked around the room; but
everything in the chamber seemed to mock and reproach her. Again
and again she shut her eyes, and tried to sleep.

The little voice within would speak now, in the silence of her
chamber. She had never felt so bad before; perhaps because she had
never been so wicked before. Do you want to know why she suffered
so much? It was because she could not keep from her mind those
hungry, crying children.

[Illustration: Kate tells the whole story.]



IV.


Poor Kate! She had certainly never been so wicked in her life
before. The words of her father still lingered in her ears, and she
could almost hear the moans of those hungry, crying children.

She had never been sent to bed in her life without her supper, and
it looked like a dreadful thing to her--perhaps even more dreadful
than it really was.

If there had been nothing but the falsehoods she had told, she
might have gone to sleep; but it was sad to think that she had
deprived the poor children of their supper, and sent them hungry to
bed. This seemed to be the most wicked part of her conduct.

I do not know how many times she turned over in the bed, nor how
many times she pulled the clothes over her eyes to shut out the sad
picture of those hungry and crying children that would come up
before her, in spite of all she could do to prevent it.

She tried to think of other things--of the scene with Fanny; of her
school; of a picnic party she had attended on the first of May; of
almost everything, indeed; but it did no good. The poor children
could not be banished from her mind.

Kate had been sick with the measles, with the scarlet fever, and
the mumps; and she remembered how bad she felt at these times; but
it seemed to her now that she would rather have all these diseases
at once than suffer from a guilty conscience.

When she was sick, her mother bent over her and pitied her, and did
all she could to ease her pain; and even when she was burning with
fever, and racked with pain, she felt happier than she did now.

She could not inform her mother how bad she felt, for that would
expose her guilt. She heard the clock strike nine, and every moment
appeared to her like an hour. Those poor little children constantly
haunted her; whether her eyes were open or shut, still she saw them
crying, and heard them moaning, and begging their sick mother to
give them some supper.

O, Kate! how severely was she punished for the sin she had
committed! Her mother and her father had praised her, but still she
was unhappy.

Slowly, very slowly, the time passed away and she heard the clock
strike ten. She could endure her sufferings no longer; and she
burst into tears, sobbing and moaning as if her heart would break.

For some time she cried; but as her distress increased, she sobbed
and moaned so loud that her father and mother, who were in the
adjoining room, heard her, and hastened into the room to find out
what ailed her.

"What is the matter, my child?" anxiously asked her mother.
"Haven't you been asleep since you went to bed?"

"No mother," sobbed Kate.

"What ails you? Are you sick?"

"No, mother."

"What are you crying for, then?"

"O mother!"

"Why, what ails you, child? Have you been frightened?"

"No, mother."

"Tell us what ails you, Kate," added her father.

Both of her parents were greatly alarmed about her, for they loved
their little girl very much; and they knew that something must ail
her, or she would not have lain awake so long, or have cried so
bitterly.

"Can't you tell us what ails you, Kate?" inquired her mother, very
tenderly.

"I have been very naughty, mother," replied Kate, almost choking
with emotion.

"Naughty, child?"

"Yes, mother."

"I thought you had been very good," added Mr. Lamb.

"No, I have not; I have been very wicked, and you will never
forgive me."

"Why, what have you done, Kate? How strange you act, my child!"

"I can't help it, mother. If you will forgive me this time, I will
never be so wicked again while I live."

"Tell us all about it, Kate, and we will forgive you," said her
father, very kindly.

The poor girl sobbed so that she could not speak for some time, for
the tenderness of her parents made her feel a great deal worse
than if they had scolded her severely.

"What have you done, Kate?" repeated Mrs. Lamb.

"I didn't carry the milk to Mrs. O'Brien, mother," gasped the poor
penitent, as she uncovered her eyes, and looked up in the face of
her parents to notice the effect of her confession upon them.

"Didn't carry it to her?" was the exclamation of her father and
mother at the same time.

"No; I spilled it on the ground."

"Why, Kate! what did you do that for?"

"I couldn't help it--I mean I was careless. When Fanny Flynn struck
me, I ran after her. My foot tripped, and I fell, and spilled all
the milk."

"Why didn't you tell me so, Kate?"

"I didn't dare to tell you; I was afraid you would scold at me, as
you did for spoiling the peony."

Kate felt a little better now that she had confessed her fault, and
she was able to look her parents in the face.

"Why, Kate, if you had only told me, I should not have scolded you.
You may have been careless, but it was all the fault of Fanny
Flynn."

"No, mother; I was careless. I forgot all about the milk, I was so
angry."

"And so the poor children had no supper, after all," added Mr.
Lamb.

"O father! It was what you said about them that made me feel so
bad. I am sure I shall never be so very wicked again. Let me carry
them some milk now."

"What are you talking about? It is after ten o'clock, my child."

"No matter, father; I am not afraid to go in the dark, if I can
only carry them their supper."

"No, no, Kate. I will carry them the milk, though it is rather
late, and probably they are all asleep by this time."

"But will you forgive me, father and mother?"

"Freely, my child; you have suffered severely already for your
fault, and I hope it will be a lesson to you which will last as
long as you live," said her father.

"It will," said Kate, earnestly.

Both her parents kissed her, in token of their forgiveness; and Mr.
Lamb put on his coat, while Mrs. Lamb went to the cellar for a pail
of milk, with which he soon left the house on his errand of
kindness and charity.

[Illustration: Kate a better girl.]

Kate felt a great deal better then, and before her father returned,
she was fast asleep. Mr. Lamb found the poor woman still up. The
children had had bread and water, but no milk, for their supper,
and she was very glad to have some for them when they waked up in
the night. And she was very grateful to Mr. Lamb for thinking of
her at that hour, and thanked God for giving her such kind and
thoughtful friends.

From that time, Kate was a better girl, and tried hard to reform
her life and character. She tried so hard, and succeeded so well,
that she very soon lost the name of "Careless Kate."

Mr. Lamb went to see Fanny Flynn's parents the next day, and they
promised to punish her for her conduct. After that Kate did not
provoke her, and they never had any more trouble.

Now my readers have seen that Kate's fault led her into falsehood
and deception, which are worse than carelessness; and I hope they
will all learn to be careful and truthful.



NOTHING TO DO.



NOTHING TO DO.


    "My kitty is purring
      Upon the hearth rug
    Rolled up in a bundle
      Just like a great bug.
    I wonder what kitty
      Is thinking about;
    What makes her so happy
      I cannot find out.

    "She has no hard lessons
      To bother her brain,
    No spelling and reading
      To study in vain;
    She ought to be happy
      With nothing to do
    But play all the morning--
      And I should be, too."

    Thus Nellie kept thinking,
      And spoke out her thought.
    The words which she uttered
      Her mother's ear caught.
    "You wish to be idle
      Like kitty, dear, there,
    And play all the morning,
      Or sleep in your chair?"

    "I don't like my lessons;
      I think 'tis a pity
    I can't be as happy
      As dear little kitty.
    That ugly old spelling
      I never can learn!
    O, into a kitty
      I wish I could turn!"

    "I am not a fairy,"
      Her mother replied;
    "To me all the power
      Of magic's denied;
    But you may be idle
      From morning till night,
    And see if 'do nothing'
      Will set your case right."

    "O, shall I do nothing
      But play all day long,
    And sing with my kitty
      A holiday song?
    How happy, and merry,
      And joyous 'twill be
    To have no hard lessons--
      From study be free!"

    "Do what will best please you;
      Be idle all day;
    Recite no more lessons;
      Do nothing but play."
    Then Nellie, rejoicing,
      Flew out of the room;
    Played _hide_, _horse_, and _dolly_,
      And rode on the broom.

    But long before dinner
      Poor Nell had "played out,"
    And studied, and studied,
      And wandered about,
    To find some new pleasure,
      Some game, or some play,
    To use up the hours,
      And end that long day;--

    And long before evening
      Was cross as a bear--
    Just like the McFlimsey
      With "nothing to wear."
    And tired of nothing,
      And tired of play,
    No day was so tedious
      As that idle day.

    "O mother! my lessons
      I think I will get,
    And then I can play
      As I never played yet.
    I do not feel happy
      With nothing to do;
    I cannot endure it
      Another day through."

    "I thought so, my Nellie;
      To make your play sweet
    You must work, and be useful
      To those whom you meet.
    The idle are never
      So happy as they
    Who work for themselves
      Or for others each day."



DOLLY AND I.

[Illustration: Mrs. Green took the doll.--Page 146.]



DOLLY AND I.

I.


Do you know what envy means? I hope you have never felt it, for it
is a very wicked feeling. It is being sorry when another has any
good thing. Perhaps you will know better what the word means when
you have read my story; and I hope it will help you to keep the
feeling away from your own heart.

Not far from Mr. Lee's house, in Riverdale, lived a man by the name
of Green. He was the agent of one of the factories in the village.
Mr. Green had two little girls and three sons. The boys have
nothing to do with my story, and for that reason I shall not say a
great deal about them.

Katy, Mr. Green's older daughter, was ten years old. She was a
pretty good girl, but she did not like to have others get good
things, when she did not have any herself. If any person gave one
of her brothers an apple, or an orange, she seemed to think she
ought to have it.

When she was a baby, she used to cry for everything she saw, and
would give her parents no peace till they gave it to her. I am
sorry to say they were sometimes very weak on this point, and gave
her things which she ought not to have had, just to quiet her.

Her father and mother hoped, when she grew older, she would not
want everything that belonged to her brothers. If Charles had a
plaything, Katy wanted it, and would cry till she got it. Very
often, just to make her stop crying, her mother made poor Charley
give up the thing.

But as Katy grew older, she seemed to want everything that others
had just as much as ever. She was now ten years old, and still she
did not like to see others have anything which she could not have.
It is true she did not always say so, but she felt it just as much,
and was very apt to be cross and sullen towards those whom she
envied.

Nellie Green was not at all like her sister. She was only eight
years old, but there was not a bit of envy in her. She would give a
part, and often the whole, of her apples, oranges, candy, and
playthings to her sister, and to her brothers. She liked to see
them happy, and when Charley ate an apple, it tasted just as good
to her as though she were eating it herself.

She was not selfish. She would always divide her good things with
her friends. Did you ever see a little boy or a little girl eating
an apple or some candy, and another little boy or girl standing by,
and looking just as if he wanted some?

Nellie always gave her friends a part, and then she not only
enjoyed what she ate herself, but she enjoyed what they ate. This
is the way to make apples, oranges, and candy taste good.

One New Year's Day, Katy's aunt, after whom she was named, sent her
a beautiful wax doll. It was a very pretty doll, and the little
girl was the happiest child in Riverdale when the welcome present
reached her.

There was another little girl in Riverdale who was almost if not
quite as happy; and that was Nellie, her sister. It is true, the
doll was not for her; she did not own any of it, and Katy would
hardly let her touch it; but for all this, Nellie was pleased to
see her sister so happy.

The dolly's name was Lady Jane; for Katy thought, as she was a very
fine doll, she ought to have a very fine name. So, when she spoke
to the doll,--and she talked a great deal with her,--she always
called her Lady Jane. The two little girls had five or six other
dolls, but none of them were anything near such fine ladies as Lady
Jane. Their heads were made of porcelain, or rubber, or
composition, and they had grown so old that they were really ugly.

Miss Lucy, who had a rubber head, looked as though she "had been
through the wars." Her nose was worn out, so that she had a great
hole in the end of it. I suppose, if she had wanted to sneeze, this
hole would have been very handy; but Miss Lucy was a very proper
young lady, and never sneezed in company. If she ever sneezed when
alone, of course there was no one present to know anything about
it.

There was another hole right in the top of her head, so that if she
had had any brains, they would certainly have leaked out; but as
Miss Lucy was not a strong-minded woman, I suppose she had no use
for brains.

One of the family of dolls was a little black girl, whose name was
Dinah. She had seen hard service in her day, and did not look as
though she would last much longer.

Miss Fanny had once been a fine lady, but times had gone hard with
her, and her fine clothes were both ragged and dirty. But hard
times were not so very bad, for she wore the same smile as when her
clothes had been new and nice.

Miss Mary was a poor cripple. By a sad accident she had broken one
of her legs. Katy placed her on a table one day, and either
because the height from the floor made her dizzy, or because she
was laid too near the edge, she had tumbled off, and one leg was so
badly broken that neither a wooden nor a cork one could be fastened
in its place.

Therefore Miss Mary could not walk about the room, and never went
anywhere, except when she was carried. But she was not half so
badly off as Miss Susie, who had broken her neck, and lost off her
head. The head was tied on with a string, but it kept falling off
while the family were at play; but Miss Susie did not seem to mind
it at all.

She got along a great deal better without her head than you or I
could without ours. Indeed, she wore the same smile upon her face
whether the head was on or off--which teaches us that we ought
always to be cheerful in misfortune.

Besides these fine young ladies there were two or three rag babies;
but as you could not tell by the looks of them what they were
thinking about, I will not say anything about them. They had no
virtues worth telling; they never ate soup with a fork, or gave
money to the poor.

Some of my readers may not think much of this family of dollies,
but I am sure Katy and Nellie had fine times with them. They used
to spend hours together with them, and the dollies used to do
everything that anybody could do.

Miss Fanny used to visit a great deal, in spite of her dirty,
ragged clothes; so did Miss Lucy, with two holes in her head, and
Miss Mary, with her broken leg, and Miss Susie, with her broken
neck. All of them used to go a-visiting, except Miss Dinah, and
she, being a black girl, had to do the sweeping and tend the door.

These ladies were all of them so bashful that they would not speak
in company, and Katy and Nellie had to do all the talking for them.

But they used to "make believe" the dollies talked, and this did
just as well. They used to say just such things as the ladies did
who called on Mrs. Green, and never left without being urged to
stay longer, and also to call again; which they always promised to
do.

On the whole, they were very wonderful dollies; at least they were
until Lady Jane came, and she was such a fine lady, with her white
silk dress and her _real_ hair, that none of them could shine after
that.

[Illustration: Miss Fanny and others.]



II.


One day Flora Lee came to see Nellie Green, and to spend the
afternoon with her.

It was in the month of November, and the weather was too cold to
permit them to play in the garden; so they said they would have a
good time in the house.

Katy Green had to go away, and could not play with them. Nellie was
very sorry for this, for she not only liked to have her sister with
her, but she also wanted the company of Lady Jane.

She told Flora how sorry she was, and they agreed that it was too
bad Katy had to go away, for she was older than they, and could
help them a great deal in their plays. Besides, they wanted one
fine lady among the dollies, for they had a certain play which
required just such a person.

"I wish I had brought Miss Dolly with me. I guess she is fine
enough," said Flora.

"I wish you had," replied Nellie; "but as you have not, we can't
help it now. I dare say Miss Fanny will do."

"I'll tell you what you can do, Nellie."

"What?"

"You can just ask Katy," said Nellie, at last.

"Why not? She will let you have her. Of _course_ she will let you
have her," added Flora, warmly.

"I don't think she will. You know we might break her neck, or lose
off her legs or arms; or we might dirty her white silk dress."

"But we will be very careful. Let us go and ask her. It won't do
any harm to ask her, you know. She can't do any more than refuse."

Nellie did not like to be refused, and she tried to prevent Flora
from going any farther in the matter. She was sorry to have it
appear that her sister was selfish, and she thought more of this
than she did of being refused.

Flora said so much that at last she thought Katy might let her have
the doll, and they ran downstairs to the sitting room, to have the
matter settled.

"Will you lend us your dolly, Katy?" asked Nellie, and the tones of
her voice showed how doubtful she was of the result of the
question.

"What dolly do you mean?" asked Katy.

"Your wax dolly--Lady Jane."

"I am very sure I shall not," replied Katy.

"We will be very careful of her," added Flora. "We won't let her
be hurt a bit--you may depend on that."

"I'm not going to let you have my dolly to break and spoil--I'm
sure I shall not," said Katy, who even seemed to be angry because
she was asked.

"But don't I say we won't hurt it a bit?" continued Flora. "And
when you come over to my house, you shall have my dolly just as
long as you want her; and her house too, and all the chairs and
tables and things."

"I don't want them."

"Do please to let us have Lady Jane," teased Nellie. "We want her
ever so much; and I know she won't get broken or dirty. Please to
lend her to us, Katy."

"I shan't do any such thing; so it's no use to tease me. Why don't
you play with your own dollies? I won't lend Lady Jane--that's
flat."

Nellie felt so bad she could not help crying,--not because she
could not have the doll, but because her sister was so harsh and
unkind. She would not have cared so much if Flora had not been
there, for she did not like to have her see her sister behave in
this manner.

Poor Flora wanted to cry, too, when she saw how badly Nellie felt;
but she tried to be brave, and placed her arm round her friend's
neck, as if to let her know that she would be kind to her.

"Come, Nellie, let's go upstairs again. We won't say anything more
about it," said Flora; and she led her out of the room.

"Now you won't like Katy, after this," replied Nellie.

"O, yes, I will."

"Katy would have lent us the dolly, only Aunt Jane gave it to her,
and she is afraid it will be broken. If it hadn't been for this,
she would have lent us Lady Jane--I know she would," added Nellie,
wiping away her tears.

"I dare say she would; but we won't think anything more about it.
And when I come over again, sometime, I will bring her something,
just to show her that I don't feel hard towards her."

"What a dear, good girl you are, Flora! I was afraid you would hate
her after what she said."

"O, dear, no, I should hope not. My mother tells me I must love
those who don't do what I want them to; and I try to do so; but it
is very hard sometimes. I wish you had a wax doll, Nellie. You
ought to have one, you are such a good girl, and love your sister
so much, even when she is not kind to you."

"I wish I had one; it would be so nice to have one like Lady Jane.
I should be so happy; but then if only one of us can have one, I
would rather Katy had it than have it myself."

"You are not a bit selfish, Nellie. Do you know what _selfish_
means? I do."

"I guess I do. It means when you have an apple or any candy to
refuse to give a part to your sister."

"Yes, or to anybody that happens to be with you. Candy is good, but
don't you like to see others eat it almost as well as you do to eat
it yourself?"

"Well, yes, I think I do."

"Then you know just what I mean, and I guess we'll play 'visiting'
now."

"So we will; and Miss Fanny shall be the great lady, and Dinah
shall be her servant."

"Yes, and this shall be her house," said Nellie, as she placed Miss
Fanny in a large arm chair which they were to "make believe" was
her elegant mansion.

"You shall stay here, and I will bring Miss Mary to visit Miss
Fanny."

Flora bounded over to the other side of the room, which was
supposed to be the home of the other dolls, and Miss Mary, in spite
of her broken leg, was soon on her way to visit the fine lady.

"Ting, a ling, a ling!" said Flora, which meant that the caller had
rung the bell, and Dinah appeared at the door.

"Is Miss Fanny at home?" asked Flora, speaking for the lady with
the broken leg.

"No, marm, she is not," replied Nellie, who had to speak for Dinah,
because, though her mouth was very large, she could not speak for
herself.

"What an awful fib!" cried Flora. "There she is; don't I see her
through the door?"

"But that's just the way some of the fine folks do," replied
Nellie, laughing at Flora's earnestness.

[Illustration: The Christmas present.]

"It is an awful story, and I wouldn't say it even in fun."

Nellie said she would not say it again, only she wanted to have
Miss Fanny do just as the big folks did. And so they played all
the afternoon, though Lady Jane did not honor them with her
company. All the dollies paid lots of visits; and Flora went home.

[Illustration: Katy unhappy.]



III.


When Flora reached home she told her mother what a nice time she
had, and what splendid visits Miss Lucy and Miss Mary and Miss
Susie had made to Miss Fanny.

She could not help telling her mother what a good girl Nellie was,
and how she loved her sister, even when she was unkind and spoke
pettishly to her.

Then she told her how much she wished Nellie had a wax doll, with
real hair, and a white silk dress. Mrs. Lee thought such a good
girl ought to have one, and the very next time she went to the
city, she bought the prettiest wax doll she could find for her.

Flora was full of joy when she saw the doll, and learned whom it
was for. She was a great deal happier than if the doll had been
bought for herself; and she wanted to run right over to Mr. Green's
with the beautiful present. She longed to see the eyes of Nellie
sparkle as she saw the doll, and to hear what she would say when
told it was for her. But Mrs. Lee thought they had better keep the
doll till Christmas, and let her find it with her stocking in the
morning.

"But then I shan't see her when she first gets the dolly," said
Flora.

"That is true; but you must write a little note, which shall be
pinned on the doll's dress."

"That will be splendid, mother! And I will go right away and write
the note now."

Flora got a pencil and a piece of paper, and seated herself in the
corner. She worked away for half an hour as busy as a bee, and
then she carried the note to her mother. She was not much of a
writer, having been to school only a year. She could only print the
note.

Flora was very fond of writing notes, and long before she could
make a single letter, she would fill up a piece of paper with
pothooks and spiders' legs, and send them to her mother and Frank.

She did not spell all the words right, but her mother told her how
to correct them, and then she printed the note over again, on a
nice sheet of gilt-edged paper. Thinking my little friends might
want to see this note, I place a copy of it in the book, just
exactly as she wrote it.

[Illustration: Dear Nellie This Dolly Is From Me. I Love You Very
Much And I Wish You A Merry Christmas.

Flora Lee.]

When Christmas morning came, Nellie found the doll in a chair,
close by her stocking. I can't tell you how pleased she was, but
you can all guess. Then she took the note from the dress, and read
it. She was more pleased than ever to find it was from Flora.

She almost cried with joy as she puzzled out the note, and thought
how kind Flora and her mother were to remember her.

"What a dear you are, Miss Dolly!" said she, as she took up the
doll and kissed her, just as though she had been a real live baby.
"You and I shall be first-rate friends, just as long as we live. I
will take such good care of you! Dear me! Why, mother! Only think!"

"What is the matter, Nellie?" asked Mrs. Green, who was almost as
much pleased as her daughter.

"Did you see that?"

"What, child? What do you mean?"

"Did you see those eyes?"

"Yes, I see them."

"Why, just as true as I am alive, she moved them!"

"I think not, my child. She is a very handsome doll, but I don't
think she could move her eyes, if she tried ever so hard."

"But she did; I know she did;" and Nellie took hold of her head to
examine it more closely. As she did so, she bent the body a little.
"There! as true as I live, she moved them again!"

Mrs. Green took the doll, and found that the eyes did really move.
It was funny, but it was true. Mrs. Lee and Flora knew all about
it.

The eyes were made of glass, and there was something inside of the
doll which moved them when the body was bent.

"Let me see," said Katy, who had been looking on in silence all
this time. Nellie gave her the doll at once; and she bent the body
and saw the eyes move twenty times. The happy owner of Miss Dolly
waited with patience till her sister had done with her.

"Why didn't aunt Jane get me one like that, I wonder," said Katy,
when she gave the doll to Nellie.

"I suppose she could not afford to buy one like this, for she is
not so rich as Mrs. Lee."

"But you shall have her to play with just when you want her," said
Nellie.

"Pooh! I don't want your old dolly," snarled Katy. "She isn't half
so good as mine. I would rather have Lady Jane than have her, any
day."

"Why, then, did you wish your aunt Jane had given you one like
this?" asked her mother.

"I don't care for her old dolly! She may keep it for all me,"
replied Katy.

"But it shall be yours just as much as mine, Katy," said Nellie, in
tones so gentle and sweet that her sister ought to have kissed her
for them, and loved her more than she ever loved her before.

But she did not. She was envious. She was sorry the doll had been
given to Nellie--sorry because it was a prettier one than her own.
It was a very wicked feeling. She had some presents of her own, but
her envy spoiled all the pleasure she might have taken in them.

Nellie was almost sorry the doll had been given to her, when she
saw how Katy felt about it. Mrs. Green talked to the envious girl
till she cried, about her conduct. She tried to make her feel how
odious and wicked envy made her.

Whenever Katy saw the new doll, she seemed to be angry with her
sister. Poor Nellie's pleasure was nearly spoiled, and she even
offered to exchange her doll for Katy's, but her mother would not
let her do so.

In a few days, however, she seemed to feel better, and the two
sisters had some good times with their dolls. I say she seemed to
feel better, but she really did not. She did not like it that
Nellie's doll was a finer one than her own.

Yet Nellie was happier, for she thought Katy was cured of her ill
feeling. Then she loved her doll more than ever. She was a cunning
little girl, and she thought so much of her new friend that she
always used to say "Dolly and I."

When her mother asked her where she had been, she would reply,
"Dolly and I have been having a nice time upstairs." "Dolly and I"
used to do ever so many things, and no two little ladies could
ever enjoy themselves more than did Dolly and Nellie.

I am sorry to say that Katy did not like Dolly at all. She could
never forgive her for moving her eyes, because Lady Jane could not
move hers. It is true that, after she saw how silly and wicked her
envy made her appear to others, she tried very hard not to show it.

We may be just as wicked without showing our sin to others, as we
can be when we let the world see just what we are. When we are
wicked, the sin is more in the heart than in the actions.

Men may seem to be very good when they are really very bad, though
people almost always find out such persons. Katy was just as
wicked, just as envious, when her sister thought she was kind and
loving, as she was on that Christmas morning, when the doll was
found in the chamber.

You will be surprised and sorry when you see just how wicked her
envy made her. I shall tell you about it in the next chapter, and I
hope it will lead you to drive any such feeling from your own
hearts.

[Illustration: What Katy did.]

[Illustration: Nellie and Katy in their room.]



IV.


Lady Jane and Miss Dolly were kept in the lower drawer of the
bureau, for they were very fine young ladies, and Mrs. Green wished
to have them kept clean and nice.

One day, about two weeks after Miss Dolly was given to Nellie, both
she and Katy had been playing with the dolls. When the bell rang
for tea, they ran downstairs; but before they went they put the
dolls in the drawer. As they were in a hurry, they were not very
careful, and the dresses of both the dolls were sadly tumbled.

Mrs. Green, who was in the room, saw in what manner Miss Dolly and
Lady Jane had been thrown into the drawer; and before she went
down to tea, she took them both out, smoothed down their dresses,
and put them back in a more proper manner.

Katy and Nellie had had some talk about their dolls; and the
envious girl had said hers was better than her sister's. Nellie did
not dispute with her about it, but she saw that Katy had not got
over that bad feeling yet.

The children ate their suppers, and not a word more was said about
the dolls; but Katy looked very sour. She was thinking about Miss
Dolly's eyes, and wishing Lady Jane's eyes would move like the
other's.

She finished her supper, and ran upstairs again. By this time it
was quite dark in the room where the dolls were kept, and Nellie
and her mother wondered why she went upstairs at that late hour.

Katy was still thinking of those eyes. She thought her aunt Jane
was real mean not to buy her such a doll; and then she was very
sorry that Flora's mother had bought it for her sister.

While she was thinking these wicked thoughts she went to the
bureau, and opened the lower drawer. It was so dark she could
hardly see the dolls, but she took out one of them.

"Your dolly shall not be better than mine any longer," said she to
herself.

As she said this, she took the scissors from the work basket on the
bureau, and finding one of the eyes with her fingers, she struck
one of the points right into it. Then she turned the scissors, so
as entirely to destroy the eye. Not content with this, she spoiled
the other eye in the same manner.

"Now your doll isn't so good as mine, anyhow," said she to herself,
as she put the poor spoiled lady back into the drawer.

I would not have a little girl feel as she felt then for all the
world. Her heart was full of envy and wickedness. To gratify her
ill feeling she had thrust the scissors into the eyes of the doll.
She knew how badly her sister would feel, but she did not care for
this. Now Lady Jane was the best doll, and she did not care for
anything else.

She staid in the room but a few moments. Closing the drawer, she
hastened downstairs, and took a seat by the fire. She tried to look
as though nothing had happened; but she was sour and sullen, for
she felt that she had done a very naughty act.

"Come, Katy, let us go upstairs and play with the dollies again,"
said Nellie, when she had got through with her supper.

"I don't want to," replied she, without even looking at her sister.

"Do come, Katy."

"I tell you I don't want to," snarled she.

"You can bring your dolly downstairs, and play with her here,
Nellie," said her mother.

"May I, mother?"

"You may--take a light with you."

"I don't want any light, mother; I can find her just as well in the
dark;" and away she ran to get the doll.

Don't you think Katy trembled then? She did tremble, like a leaf,
and wished she had not done the naughty deed. In a moment Nellie
would return with poor Miss Dolly, whose eyes had been spoiled with
the scissors. She did not think it would be found out so soon, and
she could not think what to say before the doll came down.

She felt just as though she should sink through the floor, when
Nellie came into the room with the doll in her arms. There would be
an awful time in a moment, and her father and mother would want to
know who had spoiled Miss Dolly's eyes.

They knew she had been upstairs since tea, and they would charge
her with the naughty act. She meant to deny it, for those who are
wicked enough to do such things are almost always wicked enough to
lie about them.

"Now won't you and I have a nice time, Dolly?" said Nellie, as she
rushed into the sitting room, with the doll in her arms, "Come,
Katy, let's play Dolly is the Queen of England."

"I don't want to play."

"Well--won't you make me a crown for her?"

"I can't."

Katy was waiting for her sister to find out the mischief that had
been done, and she dreaded the moment when she should do so. She
did not dare to look at her, for fear her looks might betray her.

"You shall be queen without any crown," said Nellie, as she placed
the doll on the table. "This pincushion shall be your throne.
There, you look just like a queen--don't she, mother?"

"I think she does," replied Mrs. Green, with a smile. "I hope she
will be as good as Queen Victoria."

"She will, mother--only she ought to have a crown."

"I have got a piece of gilt paper upstairs, and I will make her
one. I'm going up in a minute."

Katy, not daring to look yet, did not know what to think of this
talk. How could the doll look like a queen when her eyes had been
punched out with the scissors? It was very strange to her, and she
stole a glance at the queenly Miss Dolly on the table.

There she was, seated on her pincushion throne, just as if nothing
had happened. Her eyes were just as bright as ever, and as Nellie
bent her body, she moved them as well as ever she could.

Katy did not know what to make of it. She had certainly driven the
scissors into the eyes of the doll as hard as she could; but there
was Miss Dolly as good as new. She could not explain it, and it was
of no use to try.

Mrs. Green brought down the scissors, and cut out the crown. Then
Miss Dolly certainly looked like a queen, and Nellie spent a very
pleasant hour with her majesty, till it was time for her to go to
bed.

Katy was very unhappy. She had not done what she meant to do, and
she was filled with doubt. But she did not have to wait long to
find out what she had done. When Mrs. Green went upstairs with the
children, Miss Dolly had to be put to bed first, for she was a
queen.

When the bureau drawer was opened, what do you think they saw?
There lay Lady Jane, with both of her eyes punched out!

Katy burst into tears when she saw that her doll was entirely
spoiled. Then she found that she had made a mistake. In the
darkness she had punched out the eyes of Lady Jane instead of Miss
Dolly. This is the way that wicked people often punish themselves
instead of others.

Her mother had changed the places of the dolls in the drawer, and
this was the reason why Katy had made the mistake. Don't you think
it served her right?

Katy felt so badly that she could not tell any of the lies she had
made up, and the truth was found out by her mother. Mrs. Green
scolded her for what she had done, and for what she meant to do.
The naughty girl cried herself to sleep that night, but poor Lady
Jane was utterly ruined.

Nellie felt almost as bad as her sister, and said all she could to
console her. The next day Katy was so ashamed of herself that she
did not wish to see anybody. But in a few days she got over it; and
her mother hoped the affair would do her a great deal of good.
Whenever she showed a spirit of envy, Mrs. Green reminded her of
her doll, and she tried to conquer the feeling; but it took many
years to cure her.

[Illustration: Mrs. Green scolding Katy.]

When you envy others, although you may not punch out the eyes of
your own doll, you hurt yourself more than any one else.



THE BIRTHDAY PARTY.

[Illustration: "Play us some tunes," said the children.--Page
211.]



THE BIRTHDAY PARTY.

I.


Flora Lee's birthday came in July. Her mother wished very much to
celebrate the occasion in a proper manner. Flora was a good girl,
and her parents were always glad to do anything they could to
please her, and to increase her happiness.

They were very indulgent parents, and as they had plenty of money,
they could afford to pay well for a "good time." Yet they were not
weak and silly in their indulgence. As much as they loved their
little daughter, they did not give her pies and cakes to eat when
they thought such articles would hurt her.

They did not let her lie in bed till noon because they loved her,
or permit her to do anything that would injure her, either in body
or mind. Flora always went to church, and to the Sunday school, and
never cried to stay at home. If she had cried, it would have made
no difference, for her father and mother meant to have her do
right, whether she liked it or not.

But Flora gave them very little trouble about such matters. Her
parents knew best what was good for her, and she was willing in all
things to obey them. It was for this reason that they were so
anxious to please her, even at the expense of a great deal of time
and money.

The birthday of Flora came on Wednesday, and school did not keep in
the afternoon. All the children, therefore, could attend the party
which they intended to give in honor of the day.

About a week before the time, Mrs. Lee told Flora she might have
the party, and wanted her to make out a list of all the children
whom she wished to invite.

"I want to ask all the children in Riverdale," said Flora,
promptly.

"Not all, I think," replied Mrs. Lee.

"Yes, mother, all of them."

"But you know there are a great many bad boys in town. Do you wish
to invite them?"

"Perhaps, if we treat them well, they will be made better by it."

"Would you like to have Joe Birch come to the party?"

"I don't know, mother," said Flora, musing.

"I think you had better invite only those who will enjoy the party,
and who will not be likely to spoil the pleasure of others. We
will not invite such boys as Joe Birch."

"Just as you think best, dear mother," replied Flora. "Shall I ask
such boys as Tommy Woggs?"

"Tommy isn't a bad boy," said Mrs. Lee, with a smile.

"I don't know that he is; but he is a very queer fellow. You said I
had better not ask those who would be likely to spoil the pleasure
of others."

"Do you think, my child, Tommy Woggs will do so?"

"I am afraid he would; he is such a queer boy."

"But Tommy is a great traveler, you know," added Mrs. Lee,
laughing.

"The boys and girls don't like him, he pretends to be such a big
man. He knows more than all the rest of the world put together--at
least, he thinks he does."

"I think you had better ask him, for he will probably feel slighted
if you don't."

"Very well, mother."

"Now, Flora, I will take a pencil and paper, and write down the
names of all the boys and girls with whom you are acquainted; and
you must be careful not to forget any. Here comes Frank; he will
help you."

Frank was told about the party, and he was quite as much pleased
with the idea as his sister had been; and both of them began to
repeat the name of all the boys and girls they could remember.

For half an hour they were employed in this manner, and then the
list was read over to them, so as to be sure that no names had been
omitted.

Flora and Frank now went through all the streets of Riverdale, in
imagination, thinking who lived in each house; and when they had
completed their journey in fancy, they felt sure they had omitted
none.

"But we must invite cousins Sarah and Henry," said Flora. "O, I
hope they will come! Henry is so funny; we can't do without them."

"Perhaps they will come; at any rate we will send them
invitations," replied Mrs. Lee.

The next day, when the children had gone to school, Mrs. Lee went
to the office of the Riverdale Gazette, which was the village
newspaper, and had the invitations printed on nice gilt-edged
paper.

By the following day Mrs. Lee had written in the names of the
children invited, enclosed the notes in envelopes, and directed
them. I will give you a copy of one of them, that you may know how
to write them when you have a birthday party, though I dare say it
would do just as well if you go to your friends and ask them to
attend. If you change the names and dates, this note will answer
for any party.

     _Miss Flora Lee presents her compliments to Miss Nellie Green,
     and requests the pleasure of her company on Wednesday
     afternoon, July 20._

     _Riverdale, July 15._

"Those are very fine indeed," said Flora: "shall I put on my
bonnet, and carry out some of them to-day?"

"No, my child; it is not quite the thing for you to carry your own
invitations. I will tell you what you may do. You may hire David
White to deliver them for you. You must pay him for it; give him
half a dollar, which will be a good thing for him."

This plan was adopted, and Frank was sent with the notes and the
money over to the poor widow's cottage.

"Don't you think it is very wicked, mother, for rich folks to have
parties, when the money they cost will do so much good to the
poor?" asked Flora.

"I do not think so, my dear child."

"Well, I think so, mother," added Flora, warmly.

"Perhaps you do not fully understand it."

"I think I do."

"Why should it be wicked for you to enjoy yourself?"

"I don't think it is wicked to enjoy myself, but only to spend
money for such things. You said you were going to have the
Riverdale Band, and that the music would cost more than twenty
dollars."

"I did, and the supper will cost at least twenty more; for I have
spoken to the confectioner to supply us with ice cream, cake,
jellies, and other luxuries. We shall have a supply of strawberries
and cream, and all the nice things of the season. We must also
erect a tent in the garden, in which we shall have the supper;
but after tea I will tell you all about it."

[Illustration: Flora and her Father.]

[Illustration: Writing the notes.]



II.


Flora could not help thinking how much good the forty dollars,
which her father would have to pay for the birthday party, would do
if given to the poor.

It seemed to her just like spending the money for a few hours'
pleasure; and even if they had a fine time, which she was quite
sure they would have, it would be soon over, and not do any real
good.

Forty dollars was a great deal of money. It would pay Mrs. White's
rent for a whole year; it would clothe her family, and feed them
nearly all the next winter. It appeared to her like a shameful
waste; and these thoughts promised to take away a great deal from
the pleasure of the occasion.

"I think, mother, I had just as lief not have the band, and only
have a supper of bread and butter and seed cakes."

"Why, Flora, what has got into you?" said her father.

Mrs. Lee laughed at the troubled looks of Flora, and explained to
her father the nature of her scruples in regard to the party.

"Where did the child get this foolish idea?" asked her father, who
thought her notions were too old and too severe for a little girl.

"Didn't I see last winter how much good only a little money would
do?" replied Flora.

"Don't you think it is wicked for me to live in this great house,
keep five or six horses, and nine or ten servants, when I could
live in a little house, like Mrs. White?" laughed Mr. Lee.

"All the money you spend would take care of a dozen families of
poor folks," said Flora.

"That is very true. Suppose I should turn away all the men and
women that work for me,--those, I mean, who work about the house
and garden,--and give the money I spend in luxuries to the poor."

"But what would John and Peter, Hannah and Bridget do then? They
would lose their places, and not be able to earn anything. Why, no,
father; Peter has a family; he has got three children, and he must
take care of them."

"Ah, you begin to see it--do you?" said Mr. Lee, with a smile. "All
that I spend upon luxury goes into the pockets of the farmer,
mechanic, and laborer."

"I see that, father," replied Flora, looking as bright as sunshine
again; "but all the money spent on my party will be wasted--won't
it?"

"Not a cent of it, my child. If I were a miser, and kept my money
in an iron safe, and lived like a poor man, I should waste it
then."

"But twenty dollars for the Riverdale Band is a great deal to give
for a few hours' service. It don't do any good, I think."

"Yes, it does; music improves our minds and hearts. It makes us
happy. I have engaged six men to play. They are musicians only at
such times as they can get a job. They are shoemakers, also, and
poor men; and the money which I shall pay them will help support
their families and educate them."

"What a fool I was, father!" exclaimed Flora.

"O, no; not so bad as that; for a great many older and wiser
persons than yourself have thought just what you think."

"But the supper, father,--the ice cream, the cake, and the
lemonade,--won't all the money spent for these things be wasted?"

"No more than the money spent for the music. The confectioner and
those whom he employs depend upon their work for the means of
supporting themselves and their families."

"So they do, father. And when you have a party, you are really
doing good to the poor."

"That depends upon circumstances," replied Mr. Lee. "I don't think
it would be an act of charity for a person who could not afford it
to give a party. I only mean to say that when we spend money for
that which does not injure us or anybody else, what we spend goes
into the pockets of those who need it.

"A party--a proper party, I mean, such a one as you will have--is a
good thing in itself. Innocent amusement is just as necessary as
food and drink.

"God has given me wealth, Flora, and he expects me to do all the
good I can with it. I hold it as his steward. Now, when I pay one
of these musicians three or four dollars for an afternoon's work, I
do him a favor as well as you and those whom you invite to your
party.

"And I hope the party will make you love one another more than ever
before. I hope the music will warm your hearts, and that the supper
will make you happy, and render you thankful to the Giver of all
things for his constant bounty."

"How funny that I should make such a blunder!" exclaimed Flora. "I
am sure I shall enjoy my party a great deal more now that I
understand these things."

"I hope you won't understand too much, Flora. Suppose you had only
a dollar, and that it had been given you to purchase a story book.
Then, suppose Mrs. White and her children were suffering from want
of fuel and clothing. What would you do with your dollar?"

"I would--"

"Wait a minute, Flora," interposed her father. "When you buy the
book, you pay the printer, the paper maker, the bookseller, the
type founder, the miner who dug the earth, the machinist who made
the press, and a great many other persons whose labor enters into
the making of a book--you pay all these men for their labor; you
give them money to help take care of their wives and children,
their fathers and mothers. You help all these men when you buy a
book. Now, what would you do with your dollar?"

"I would give it to poor Mrs. White," promptly replied Flora.

"I think you would do right, for your money would do more good in
her hands. The self-denial on your part would do you good. I only
wanted you to understand that, when you bought a book,--even a book
which was only to amuse you,--the money is not thrown away.

"Riches are given to men for a good purpose; and they ought to use
their wealth for the benefit of others, as well as for their own
pleasure. If they spend money, even for things that are of no real
use to them, it helps the poor, for it feeds and clothes them."

Flora was much interested in this conversation, and perhaps some of
my young friends will think she was an old head to care for such
things; but I think they can all understand what was said as well
as she did.

[Illustration: On the Lawn.]



III.


The great day at length arrived, and everything was ready for the
party. On the lawn, by the side of the house, a large tent had been
put up, in which the children were to have the feast.

Under a large maple tree, near the tent, a stage for the musicians
had been erected. Two swings had been put up; and there was no good
reason why the children should not enjoy themselves to their
hearts' content.

I think the teachers in the Riverdale school found it hard work to
secure the attention of their scholars on the forenoon of that day,
for all the boys and girls in the neighborhood were thinking about
the party.

As early as one o'clock in the afternoon the children began to
collect at the house of Mr. Lee, and at the end of an hour all who
had received invitations were present. The band had arrived, and at
a signal from Mr. Lee the music commenced.

"Now, father, we are all here. What shall we do?" asked Flora, who
was so excited she did not know which way to turn, or how to
proceed to entertain the party.

"Wait a few minutes, and let the children listen to the music. They
seem to enjoy it very well."

"But we want to play something, father."

"Very soon, my child, we will play something."

"What shall we play, father?"

"There are plenty of plays. Wouldn't you like to march a little
while to the music?"

"March?"

[Illustration: The Swing.]

"Yes, march to the tune of 'Hail, Columbia.' I will show you how to
do it."

"I don't know what you mean, father."

"Well, I will show you in a few minutes."

When the band had played a little longer, Mr. Lee assembled the
children in the middle of the lawn, and asked them if they would
like to march.

They were pleased with the idea, though some of them thought it
would be rather tame amusement for such an exciting occasion.

"You want two leaders, and I think you had better choose them
yourselves. It would be the most proper to select two boys."

Mr. Lee thought the choice of the leaders would amuse them; so he
proposed that they should vote for them.

"How shall we vote, father?" asked Frank.

"Three of the children must retire, and pick out four persons; and
the two of these four who get the most votes shall be the leaders."

Mr. Lee appointed two girls and one boy to be on this committee;
but while he was doing so, Tommy Woggs said he did not think this
was a good play.

"I don't think they will choose the best leaders," said Tommy.

"Don't you, Mr. Woggs?" asked Mr. Lee, laughing.

"No, sir, I do not. What do any of these boys know about such
things!" said Tommy, with a sneer. "I have been to New York, and
have seen a great many parades."

"Have you, indeed?"

"Yes, sir, I have."

"And you think you would make a better leader than any of the
others?"

"I think so, sir."

All the children laughed heartily at Master Woggs, who was so very
modest!

"None of these boys and girls have ever been to New York," added
Tommy, his vanity increasing every moment.

"That is very true; and perhaps the children will select you as
their leader."

"They can do as they like. If they want me, I should be very
willing to be their leader," replied Tommy.

It was very clear that Master Woggs had a very good opinion of
himself. He seemed to think that the fact of his having been to New
York made a hero of him, and that all the boys ought to take off
their caps to him.

But it is quite as certain that the Riverdale children did not
think Master Woggs was a very great man. He thought so much of
himself, that there was no room for others to think much of him.

The committee of three returned in a few minutes, and reported the
names of four boys to be voted for as the leaders. They were Henry
Vernon, Charley Green, David White, and Tommy Woggs.

The important little gentleman who had been to New York, was
delighted with the action of the committee. He thought all the
children could see what a very fine leader he would make, and that
all of them would vote for him.

"What shall we do for votes, father?" asked Frank.

"We can easily manage that, Frank," replied Mr. Lee.

"We have no paper here."

"Listen to me a moment, children," continued Mr. Lee. "There are
four boys to be voted for; and we will choose one leader first,
and then the other.

"Those who want Henry Vernon for a leader will put a blade of grass
in the hat which will be the ballot box; those who want Charley
Green will put in a clover blossom; those who want David White will
put in a maple leaf; and those who want to vote for Tommy Woggs
will put in a--let me see--put in a dandelion flower."

The children laughed, for they thought the dandelion was just the
thing for Master Woggs, who had been to New York.

One of the boys carried round Mr. Lee's hat, and it was found that
Henry Vernon had the most votes; so he was declared to be the first
leader.

"Humph!" said Tommy Woggs. "What does Henry Vernon know? He has
never been to New York."

"But he lives in Boston," added Charley Green.

"Boston is nothing side of New York."

"I think Boston is a great place," replied Charley.

"That's because you have never been to New York," said Master
Woggs. "They will, of course, all vote for me next time. If they
do, I will show them how things are done in New York."

"Pooh!" exclaimed Charley, as he left the vain little man.

While all the children were wondering who would be the other
leader, Flora was electioneering among them for her favorite
candidate; that is, she was asking her friends to vote for the one
she wanted. Who do you suppose it was? Master Woggs? No. It was
David White.

The hat was passed round again, and when the votes were counted,
there was only one single dandelion blossom found in the hat.

Tommy Woggs was mad, for he felt that his companions had slighted
him; but it was only because he was so vain and silly. People do
not often think much of those who think a great deal of themselves.

There was a great demand for maple leaves, and David White was
chosen the second leader, and had nearly all the votes. The boys
then gave three cheers for the leaders, and the lines were formed.
Mr. Lee told Henry and David just how they were to march, and the
band at once began to play "Hail, Columbia."

The children first marched, two by two, round the lawn, and then
down the center. When they reached the end, one leader turned off
to the right, and the other to the left, each followed by a single
line of the children.

Passing round the lawn, they came together again on the other side.
Then they formed a great circle, a circle within a circle, and
concluded the march with the "grand basket."

This was certainly a very simple play, but the children enjoyed it
ever so much--I mean all but vain Master Woggs, who was so greatly
displeased because he was not chosen one of the leaders, that he
said there was no fun at all in the whole thing.

About half an hour was spent in marching, and then Mr. Lee proposed
a second game. The children wanted to march a little longer; but
there were a great number of things to be done before night, and so
it was thought best, on the whole, to try a new game.

[Illustration: The old fiddler.]



IV.


When the children had done marching, Mrs. Lee took charge of the
games. Several new plays, which none of them had heard of before,
were introduced. The boys and girls all liked them very well, and
the time passed away most rapidly.

Just before they were going to supper, an old man, with a fiddle in
his hand, tottered into the garden, and down the lawn. He was a
very queer-looking old man. He had long white hair, and a long
white beard.

He was dressed in old, worn-out, soldier clothes, in part, and had
a sailor's hat upon his head, so that they could not tell whether
he was a soldier or a sailor.

As he approached the children, they began to laugh with all their
might; and he certainly was a very funny old man. His long beard
and hair, his tattered finery, and his hobbling walk, would have
made almost any one laugh--much more a company of children as full
of fun as those who were attending the birthday party.

"Children," said the old man, as he took off his hat and made a low
bow, "I heard there was a party here, and I came to play the fiddle
for you. All the boys and girls like a fiddle, because it is so
merry."

"O mother! what did send that old man here?" cried Flora.

"He came of himself, I suppose," replied Mrs. Lee, laughing.

"I think it is too bad to laugh at an old man like him," added
Flora.

"It would be, if he were in distress; but don't you see he is as
merry as any of the children?"

"Play us some tunes," said the children.

"I will, my little dears;" and the old man raised the fiddle.
"Let's see--I will play 'Napoleon's Grand March.'"

The fiddler played, but he behaved so queerly that the children
laughed so loud they could hardly hear the music.

"Why, that's 'Yankee Doodle,'" said Henry Vernon; and they all
shouted at the idea of calling that tune "Napoleon's Grand March."

"Now I will play you the solo to the opera of 'La Sonnambula,'"
said the old man.

"Whew!" said Henry.

The old man fiddled again, with the same funny movements as before.

"Why, that's 'Yankee Doodle' too!" exclaimed Henry.

"I guess he don't know any other tune."

"You like that tune so well, I will play you 'Washington's
March;'" and the funny old fiddler, with a great flourish, began to
play again; but still it was "Yankee Doodle."

And so he went on saying he would play many different tunes, but he
played nothing but "Yankee Doodle."

"Can't you tell us a story now?" asked Charley Green.

"O, yes, my little man, I can tell you a story. What shall it be?"

"Are you a soldier or a sailor?"

"Neither, my boy."

"The story! the story!" shouted the boys, very much excited.

"Some years ago I was in New York," the old man commenced.

"Did you see me there?" demanded Tommy Woggs.

"Well, my little man, I don't remember that I saw you."

"O, I was there;" and Tommy thrust his hands down to the bottom of
his pockets, and strutted up the space between the children and the
comical old fiddler.

"I did see a very nice-looking little gentleman--"

"That was me," pompously added Tommy.

"He was stalking up Broadway. He thought everybody was looking at
and admiring him; but such was not the case. He looked just
like--just like--"

"Like me?" asked Tommy.

"Like a sick monkey," replied the fiddler.

"Go on with your story."

"I will, children. Several years ago I was in New York. It is a
great city; if you don't believe it, ask Master Tommy Woggs."

"You tell the truth, Mr. Fiddler. It is a great city, and I have
been all over it, and can speak from observation," replied Master
Woggs.

"The story!" shouted the children.

"I was walking up Broadway. This street is always crowded with
people, as well as with carts and carriages."

"I have seen that street," said Tommy.

"Now you keep still a few minutes, Tommy, if you can," interposed
Mrs. Lee.

"At the corner of Wall Street--"

"I know where that is," exclaimed Tommy.

"At the corner of Wall Street there was a man with a kind of cart,
loaded with apples and candy, which he was selling to the passers
by. Suddenly there came a stage down the street, and ran into the
apple cart."

"I saw the very same thing done," added Tommy, with his usual
self-important air.

"Keep still, Tom Woggs," said Charley Green.

"The apples were scattered all over the sidewalk; yet the man
picked up all but one of them, though he was very angry with the
driver of the stage for running against his cart."

"Why didn't he pick up the other apple?" asked Henry.

"A well-dressed man, with big black whiskers, picked that up. 'Give
it to me,' said the apple man. 'I will not,' replied the man with
whiskers. The apple merchant was as mad as he could be; and then
the man with black whiskers put his hand in his pocket and drew out
a knife. The blade was six inches long."

"O, dear me!" exclaimed Flora.

"Raising the knife, he at once moved towards the angry apple
merchant, and--and--"

"Well, what?" asked several, eagerly.

"And cut a piece out of the apple, and put it in his mouth."

The children all laughed heartily, for they were sure the man with
the whiskers was going to stab the apple merchant.

"He then took two cents from his pocket, paid for the apple, and
went his way," continued the old man. "Now, there is one thing more
I can do. I want to run a race with these boys."

"Pooh! You run a race!" sneered Charley.

"I can beat you."

"Try it, and see."

The old man and Charley took places, and were to start at the word
from Henry. But when it was given, the fiddler hobbled off, leaving
Charley to follow at his leisure.

When the old man had got half way round the lawn, Charley started,
sure he could catch him long before he reached the goal. But just
as the boy was coming up with the man, the latter began to run, and
poor Charley found, much to his surprise, that he ran very fast. He
was unable to overtake him, and consequently lost the race.

The children were much astonished when they saw the old man run so
fast. He appeared to have grown young all at once. But he offered
to race with any of the boys again; and half a dozen of them agreed
to run with him.

"I guess I will take my coat off this time," said the fiddler.

As he threw away the coat, he slipped off the wig and false beard
he wore; and the children found, to their surprise, that the old
man was Mr. Lee, who had dressed himself up in this disguise to
please them.

The supper was now ready, and all the children were invited to the
tent. They had played so hard that all of them had excellent
appetites, and the supper was just as nice as a supper could be.

It was now nearly dark, and the children had to go home; but all of
them declared the birthday party of Flora was the best they ever
attended.

"Only to think," said Flora, when she went to bed that night, "the
old fiddler was my father!"

[Illustration: Flora's good-bye.]



LIZZIE.


    Mother, what ails our Lizzie dear,
      So cold and still she lies?
    She does not speak a word to-day,
      And closed her soft blue eyes.
    Why won't she look at me again,
      And laugh and play once more?
    I cannot make her look at me
      As she used to look before.

    Her face and neck as marble white,
      And, O, so very cold!
    Why don't you warm her, mother dear,
      Your cloak around her fold?
    Her little hand is cold as ice,
      Upon her waveless breast,--
    So pure, I thought I could see through,
      The little hand I pressed.

    Your darling sister's dead, my child;
      She cannot see you now:
    The damps of death are gath'ring there
      Upon her marble brow.
    She cannot speak to you again,
      Her lips are sealed in death;
    That little hand will never move,
      Nor come that fleeting breath.

    All robed in white, and decked with flowers,
      We'll lay her in the tomb;
    The flower that bloomed so sweetly here,
      No more on earth will bloom;
    But in our hearts we'll lay her up,
      And love her all the more,
    Because she died in life's spring time,
      Ere earth had won her o'er.

    Nay, nay, my child, she is not dead,
      Although she slumbers there,
    And cold and still her marble brow,
      And free from pain and care.
    She slept, and passed from earth to heaven,
      And won her early crown:
    An angel now she dwells above,
      And looks in triumph down.

    She is not dead, for Jesus died
      That she might live again.
    "Forbid them not," the Saviour said,
      And blessed dear sister then.
    Her little lamp this morn went out
      On earth's time-bounded shore;
    But angels bright in heaven this morn
      Relighted it once more.

    Some time we, too, shall fall asleep,
      To wake in heaven above,
    And meet our angel Lizzie there
      In realms of endless love.
    We'll bear sweet sister in our hearts,
      And then there'll ever be
    An angel there to keep our souls
      From sin and sorrow free.



TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES


Minor punctuation corrections have been made. Additional changes
are noted below:

Page 23: inserted "makes" in the sentence "It always me a good deal sicker
than I was before--it does indeed, father."

Page 77: changed typo "than" to "that"

Page 96: changed typo "and" to "find"

Page 125: changed typo "Nelie" to "Nellie"

Page 134: changed typo "tell" to "tells"

Page 136: changed typo "apeared" to "appeared"

Page 213: removed duplicate "the"

Page 223: changed typo "heart's" to "hearts"





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search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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