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´╗┐Title: Little Susy's Little Servants
Author: Prentiss, E. (Elizabeth), 1818-1878
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                            LITTLE SUSY'S

                           LITTLE SERVANTS.

                         BY MRS. E. PRENTISS,




    COPYRIGHT, 1856 AND 1883,




As Little Susy had a kind mamma to take care of her, you will, perhaps,
wonder why God gave her also, a great many servants of her own. He gave
her so many, that you might spend your whole life in reading about them.
But I shall tell you of only a very few, and then you can ask your
mamma to talk to you about the others. For the little servants Susy had,
you have, too.

At first she did not know what they were for, or where they were. They
did not know, either, and so they were useless. Two of them were black,
and so much alike that you could not tell one from the other. Susy kept
them shut up most of the time, so that nobody could see them. When her
aunts and cousins came to see Susy, they would say: "I should think she
might let _us_ see them!" and would go away quite disappointed. These
black servants were bright little things, and they soon learned to amuse
Susy a great deal. One of the first things they did for her was to let
her see the fire; and that she thought very beautiful.

Susy had another pair of twins for her servants, who knew so little
what they were for, that they used to slap and scratch her face. Her
mamma said she should have to tie them up if they did so. Indeed, many a
little baby has had them all covered up with white rags, to keep them
from doing mischief before they were old enough to know better. But
though they did not know how to behave, they were very pretty, tiny
little things, and when Susy's papa knelt down and took one of them on
his hand, and kissed it, and wondered at it, and said what a funny wee
morsel it was, why, it looked, to be sure, like a pretty rose-leaf, or
any thing else soft, and pink, you can think of.

Susy had another pair of twins, that she took no notice of for some
months. They did not learn how to wait upon her so soon as some of the
others did. They were restless little fat things, seldom still a
moment, and about all they knew was how to kick holes in blue and white

Susy had still another pair of twins, not very pretty, but very useful,
for without them she never could have heard her mamma sing, or her papa
whistle; or the shovel and tongs fall down and make such a charming
noise; nor the pussy-cat say 'mew!' nor the doggy say 'bow wow!'

She had one more little servant that she kept out of sight all the
time. All it was good for at first, was to help her get a great many
breakfasts, and dinners, and suppers every day. But it became good for a
great deal more, after a while.

But if I go on in this way, I am afraid you will get puzzled, you are
such a little creature. So if you will guess the names of these servants
of Susy, I will give you three guesses. And if you do not guess right
the third time, you will have to peep into the glass, when you will see
most of your own; I mean those I have been talking about.


Well! did you look at yourself in the glass? If you did, you saw in the
middle of your face your black, or blue or gray servants, your two eyes.
No matter what color they are; one kind is as good as another kind.

As soon as Susy found out what hers could do, she kept them very busy
indeed. If she wanted to see her mamma, her eyes would not wait for her
to bid them let her look at her; for they knew her thoughts as well as
she knew them herself. They amused her while she lay on her mamma's lap,
by showing her the bright sunshine that came in at the windows, the
white curtains, and the ball of gay worsted in the work-basket. When she
was turned over, her face downwards, to have her frock tied, they showed
her the carpet, so as to keep her from crying. When they were tired,
Susy had a soft coverlid with a beautiful fringe, that she could draw
down over them, and then they could rest all night. God made this
coverlid on purpose. The finest cambric handkerchief is coarser; God
only can make a cover soft enough for the eye.

After Susy was washed and dressed in the morning, and had had her
breakfast, her mamma would lay her down upon the bed, and spread a
small blanket over her. Then the busy, bright eyes would look up to the
wall, and look and look at a small spot of sunshine there, till at last
they grew tired, and the soft coverlid would begin to come drooping,
drooping down, and Susy would be fast asleep. Or in the midst of the
dark night, if she woke up and did not know what else to do, she could
look at the night-lamp that sat on the floor in the corner, and wonder
what it was, and how far off.

Every thing in the world was new to Susy, and as she grew older and her
eyes grew stronger, they kept showing her all sorts of pretty things,
and made the time pass away very quickly indeed. How pleased Susy was
the first time they showed her the sweet smile of love with which her
mamma looked at her! She would have jumped for joy if she had been big

But while her two eyes were so busy in doing all they could to amuse
her, her two ears were not idle, and one day when she was yet a very
little baby, she heard a pleasant sound of bells ringing for church,
that was as sweet as music. She looked surprised, and listened, and
listened, and threw up her arms and smiled. After that, if she cried
when she was washed, some body would rattle the tongs and shovel, or
make some such queer noise, and she would stop crying to hear it. So
then I suppose her ears were very glad, and now they could help her pass
her time much more pleasantly than before; for they could help her hear
her mamma sing, and what sort of a sound keys make when they jingle
together, and all that. Susy was astonished at every thing she heard
for she never had been where there were such wonderful noises before.
And when Sarah put coals on the fire, Susy would start, and perhaps
think it was an earthquake unless her mamma smiled, as much as to say:
"Don't be frightened, darling!"

So what with her eyes, and her ears, and her soft red tongue to get
dinner with, Susy was a very happy baby, growing fatter and stronger and
wiser every day.


But one morning, when she was ten weeks old, Susy began to play with a
plaything. What do you think it was? Why, her own little hand! She felt
of it, lifted it up and looked at it, tasted of it, and admired it very
much. A grave judge, sitting on his bench, and looking as wise as
Solomon, could hardly look graver or wiser than Susy did when she first
found out she had two little hands. How she turned them over, and
tangled up the tiny fingers, and twisted and doubled them! Now she
thought she had found out what those little things were for, that had
been doing nothing but slap and scratch and grow fat. Why, they were to
play with, to be sure! And she never would have to cry for them or get
up to look for them, for there they were, always close by, and so nice
and soft! So Susy played with her hands, and cooed to them, and told
them stories in Greek, or Latin, or Dutch, nobody knows, and was quite
cheery and happy.

Her mamma was very much pleased to see Susy playing with her hands, and
after a time she offered her a little piece of paper. Susy looked at it
and wanted to take it. But her hands did not know how; all they were
good for was to play with each other. But they wanted to learn to hold
things for Susy, and tried very hard, every day, until at last they did
learn to hold her rattle for her, and then an orange, and then a bunch
of keys. Nice little servants! Don't you think so? And by this time Susy
made a great discovery. She found out that she had two feet of her own,
and thought it would be a good plan to get one of them into her mouth.
She worked very hard, before she succeeded, and was such a busy little
baby that she could hardly spare time to eat her breakfast. I suppose
she thought all those fat little feet were made for, was just for her to
play with; just as she had thought about her hands.

Perhaps you would like to see a letter that Susy wrote to her little
cousin about these times. I rather think she must have got her mamma,
or some body, to write it for her.


     Since I last wrote you, I have grown a good deal, for I am now six
     months old. I can not sit alone yet, for when I try, I fall over
     sideways. But with a pillow behind me, I can sit up very well, and
     play with my toys. I have an old basket half full of playthings,
     about which I will tell you. First I have an ivory ring, with a
     blue string in it; but I don't think much of that. Then I have a
     large glass stopper that came out of a vinegar cruet. Thirdly I
     have two spools tied together, and fastened to them, some how, is a
     whole piece of tape that I snatched out of my mamma's basket, and
     sucked till she said it was good for nothing, and I might as well
     keep it. Fourthly I have a cork that used to be in a bottle of
     something sweet, for it tastes very good: I am fond of this cork,
     and lie on the floor and play with it, just as a cat plays with a
     mouse. I have also a half dollar with a hole in it, that my
     grandmamma gave me; but I always cry when I play with it, for it is
     so hard it hurts my mouth. I have a great many rags that my mamma
     has given me. When she cuts out my little frocks, she gives me the
     pieces that are left, and some are white, some pink, and some blue.
     You see I am going to wear short frocks pretty soon. But my best
     playthings are two red sticks that were a part of an old fan your
     mamma left here. The other day I was lying on the floor, and I
     thought I would see how far I could get one of them down my throat.
     When I had pushed it a good way, I began to cry. My mamma caught
     me up and pulled it out, but my throat bled and was sore, so I
     guess I won't push it in so far, next time.

     Sometimes I go and pay a visit to our old cat and her three
     kittens. I talk to them as loud as I can, but they do not seem to
     understand what I say. And they don't like it when I try to put
     them in my mouth.

     I am sorry to say that as I increase in wisdom I grow in
     naughtiness. I always cry all the time mamma is washing and
     dressing me, and am very angry with her, for I don't like to be
     washed. And the moment I see her take out my basket at night, so as
     to undress me and put me to bed, I scream with all my might, and
     never stop till I feel something soft in my mouth. Last night as I
     lay on the floor playing with my beloved cork, mamma came behind
     me and unfastened all my clothes, so that time I did not cry. I
     have two feet that I find very handy to kick with when I am angry,
     and two hands that pick up my toys when I want to play, and two
     eyes that show me pictures and other pretty things, and that never
     get any rest except when I am asleep. And if you ever answer this
     letter, I have two ears with which I hear it read.

     I am a very good baby when I wake in the morning. I lie in bed a
     good while, playing with my feet, or any thing else I can get hold
     of. Sometimes I untie mamma's cap strings and sometimes I scratch
     and pull her cheeks and chin. Very often I almost pull papa's nose
     off his face, for I don't know what he wants of it when he is fast
     asleep. Doesn't this remind you of old times, three or four years
     ago, when you were a baby? If you ever come here I shall not know
     what to do to amuse you, for I can not talk. I should scratch your
     face and pull your hair, and put my fingers in your eyes; I don't
     know any better, I am such a little baby. I am very tired now, and
     must bid you good by; but one of these days I will write you
     another letter.

     Your little cousin,



Not long after Susy sent her letter, her mamma bought some tiny little
shoes and stockings for her. Susy was very much pleased indeed, and at
first she would keep untying her shoes and taking them off. But one day
when she awoke from her nap, she took hold of the two sides of her
cradle, and stood up straight in it. Now she had found out that feet
were not made just for playthings, but to stand on. She was so glad! She
kept taking hold of the chairs, and her mamma's dress, or the legs of
the table, so as to pull herself up on to her feet, and pretty soon she
would stand at a chair with her toys, and play by the hour, and if the
chair moved a little, from her leaning against it, her feet would move
too, first one, then the other, learning how to walk. How delighted
every body was when one day Susy got up in the middle of the floor, and
ran across the room! It would be hard to tell which laughed most--Susy,
or her papa or her mamma.

Now Susy had learned how to use all her little servants, except her
tongue. And you must know that her mamma had been giving her lessons on
that subject every day. That is, she kept coaxing and begging her to
say, "papa;" and I don't know how many hundred times a day she cried out
to Susy, "Say _papa_!" But Susy did not say papa, and all the private
lessons were in vain. But one evening, when she had the toothache and
could not sleep she stretched forth her hand and said "book," to her
mamma's great delight, who thought there was no doubt her baby was going
to be very fond of books indeed. Now Susy had found out that her tongue
was very useful, for her mamma gave her the book she had asked for; so
she soon learned to say a great many other words.

Did you ever think before, how long it takes a baby to learn how to use
the little eyes and hands and feet, God has been so good as to give it?
If you watch your baby brother or sister, you will see how awkward it is
at first about using its hands; and do not you remember how eager you
were to hear it speak its first word, and to see it trot about on its
own little feet?

But all this time I have only spoken of Susy's hands and feet, and ears,
and eyes, and tongue, as being useful to herself, and have not said a
word about their doing things for other people. Now it is not likely
that God meant any little child should live in this world, where there
is so much to do, and do nothing for its papa and mamma, and nothing for
Him who has done so much for its happiness and comfort. And he is so
kind, and loves so to please those who love Him, that long before Susy
was old enough to know it, He taught her small baby hands to begin some
of the sweetest work He made them to do. When, in the midst of a
sleepless night in which Susy's mamma watched over, and sang to, and
cared for her, she had such a reward, such precious payment for all her
fatigue and labor, that a queen might have envied her. What do you think
it was? Why, it was feeling Susy's little hand pat and caress her face
in the dark night, or lie folded lovingly in her own, or clinging fast
to her neck with all the strength a baby can use. Then a thrill of joy
would rush through her mamma's heart, and she would forget every thing
the world has in it of trouble, and thank God for giving her a baby to
live and to work for, and a baby to love and comfort her in return.


So day after day passed, and one or another of Susy's little servants
was always busy in doing something for her pleasure. Either her hands
played with pretty toys, or her eyes looked at beautiful pictures and
kind, loving faces of dear friends, or her ears listened to sweet music
or amusing stories, or her feet carried her up and down, here and there
and everywhere. If she had had no eyes, she could have used her hands,
but she could not have seen the toys they held. If she had had no ears,
she could never have heard her mamma's voice, nor ever learned to talk
or to sing. If she had had no hands, she could have walked about, and
looked at pretty things, but she could have touched no toy, held no dear
dolly, caressed and patted no little kitty. And if she had been without
feet, she might have used her eyes, and her ears, and her hands, and her
tongue, but when other children jumped and ran and played, Susy must
have sat still in her little chair, and felt what a long, long day that
is when one can not move.

I dare say you know some little boy who can not hear or talk, or some
pale little girl who can not run and play. And if God has been so very
good to you as to give you what He has not seen best to give them, how
you ought to thank him! And how happy you should be if you ever can lend
a book or give a flower, or do any kind act for the deaf and dumb boy
who never heard his mamma call him "darling!" no matter how many times
she may have said it. And if you can ever be what the Bible calls "feet
to the lame;" if you run to pick up that little pale girl's ball if she
drops it; if you can go up stairs to get her doll when she wants it,
would not that be making your own little servants useful and very happy?
And if you ever happen to be where there is a blind child, would you not
like to lend it your eyes now and then? And as you can not do that, you
would surely love to take it by the hand and lead it about; and when
you are old enough to read you would read pretty stories to it? There
was once a dear little boy not much more than two years old, who became
very ill. His head ached so that he did not love to play or run about.
He liked to have his papa or mamma carry him round the room, and then
when his poor head did not ache too hard, they would talk to him and
tell him stories. One day his papa said to his mamma: "I do not believe
our little Charlie will ever get well. I think that Jesus will soon take
him up to heaven. And I mean to talk to him a great deal about Jesus, so
that the moment he gets to heaven he will be happy to be near such a
dear, kind Friend." So Charlie's papa often took his poor little boy in
his arms, and let him lay his head on his shoulder, while he walked
gently up and down talking about Christ. He told him all those sweet
stories from the Bible, how Jesus pitied sick people, and how he cured
them, and how many lame men he made to walk, and how many blind to see.
So one day after he had been talking so, he had to give Charlie to his
nurse while he went out for a time, and Charlie lay with his head on her
shoulder, just as he had done on his papa's, till all at once he lifted
it up, and said: "Mary did you know that Jesus hadn't any eyes?"

"Oh! yes, Jesus had eyes," said Mary.

"He had some once, but He gave them to a poor blind man," said Charlie.

You see Charlie was such a little boy that he thought when his papa told
him that Jesus gave eyes to a blind man, that he had to give him his

Little Charlie is in heaven now and has been there a great many years.
And he has long known more about the goodness of God than any body who
still lives in this world. And if he could speak to you, he would tell
you that it is better to be without eyes and hands and feet, than not to
love Him who was willing rather to die than that you should not know and
love Him.


I have spoken of some of the good things Susy's little servants could
do, and I am sorry to have to say that she sometimes let them do naughty

The first thing was while she was still a baby, when she raised her hand
to slap her dear, kind mamma because she was going to wash her. Little
babies often do so before they have been taught better. The moment
Susy's hand had given the slap, she saw that her mamma's face became
grave and displeased. Then Susy was sorry, and she made haste to kiss
the place she had hurt, and the tears rolled down her cheeks. But pretty
soon, when something else vexed her, she lifted her little hand, and was
going to strike with it. Her mamma caught it in hers, and looked at it
gravely, and said: "Naughty little hand!" Then Susy began to cry again
and she cried so much that her mamma had to lend her her handkerchief to
wipe away her tears. Almost every day the little hand was naughty in
this way, but at last Susy's mamma cured it, by always tying a red
mitten on it whenever it slapped. It did not like to wear a mitten at
all, because then it could not pick up its toys so well.

After Susy had learned not to strike, her little hands began to grow
meddlesome, that is, to touch and take things they should not have
touched. One day they tore the newspaper all to pieces. Once they cut
off all her hair, as far as they could reach it. One of them got into
the sugar-bowl and took three lumps of sugar. And once, when they were
in the country, and there was a wash-stand in the room, Susy tried to
open the drawer, and pulled the wash-stand over, broke the pitcher,
spilled the water, and frightened every body very much indeed.

All these things made a deal of trouble. Susy's mamma had to keep all
the time teaching her that she must not do so. It took her a great while
to teach Susy that there were some things she must not touch.

And when the busy little hands began to learn what they were taught,
then the little feet began to get into trouble. One day before Susy was
old enough to go up and down stairs by herself, her mamma had visitors,
and Susy kept talking and talking at such a rate that at last nobody
else could be heard. So her mamma took her into the hall and seated her
on the lowest stair, where Susy was fond of sitting, and said to her:
"My little Susy must sit here a while because she does not mind mamma
and stop talking." Pretty soon she heard a little voice cry out, "Mamma!
aren't you afraid your little girl will fall down stairs?" and on
running to see what that meant, there was Susy sitting on the top stair,
smiling and looking very happy to think she had played such a trick. And
not long after, the two truant feet carried Susy out into the street,
among the carts and horses, and if God had not taken care of her, she
would certainty have been killed. And another time Susy climbed up and
was just going to put one foot out of the window, when her mamma caught
her by her dress, and pulled her back. I suppose you did just such
things when you were a baby, and your mamma might amuse you by telling
you about it.


Susy was not so mischievous as some children are, and when she was
three years old, and had learned what she might do, and what she must
not, her mamma could leave her all alone in the parlor, with a few toys,
and be quite sure that she would touch nothing she had been forbidden to
touch, nor climb up into dangerous places, nor take any dangerous thing.
The scissors might lie on the table, and the sharp knife open by her
side; the good little hands would not touch them. Nor would the
obedient little feet now take Susy near the fire where she could so
easily have been burned. If Susy _promised_ to do a thing, she always
did it, and so her mamma often let her play by herself in the parlor,
when up in the nursery Robbie had not yet learned not to get away all
her toys.


When Susy first learned to walk, she was so pleased to find that she
could run about, that she liked very much to run to get things for her
papa or mamma. She felt herself almost a young lady when she found she
could lift one of papa's boots and carry it to him; and how pleased she
was when her mamma sent her to get her work-basket! When Robbie was
dressed she liked to stand by, and hold the pins, and she even thought
she could brush his hair, and tie his frocks, if they would let her try.

But as she grew older, and stronger, and wiser, and so better able to
run for mamma, or to wait upon her papa, Susy grew selfish. If her mamma
said, "Susy bring me my work," Susy would say, "In a minute, mamma!"
and go on playing. Or she would ask, "Must I bring it?" or, "Mayn't I
wait till I have finis'ed my house?" And if her papa said, "Doesn't my
little Susy want to rub papa's head?" she would be likely to give it one
or two little rubs, and then run off to play again.

A great many ways were tried to cure Susy of these faults. One of the
best was never to allow her to do a little favor after she had objected
to do it. When her mamma asked her to run and get a book for her, if
Susy looked fretful, or went slowly, or said, "Oh! dear!" then her papa
would say, "Stop, Susy, you can not go. Nobody shall wait on dear mamma
who looks and speaks so!" and then he would go for the book himself, and
Susy would feel so ashamed! And as soon as Robbie was able to use _his_
feet and hands, Susy learned from his behavior to try to obey quickly
and cheerfully; for no matter how busy Robbie was, he always _smiled_
when papa called him to get things for him, and if Susy did not jump the
very moment she was spoken to, Robbie would get it first, and then he
would have a sweet kiss and a loving smile, as his reward.

But you must not think Susy did not try to grow good, or that she never
_was_ good. Her papa and mamma often had a great deal of comfort in
seeing how hard she tried to do kind, loving things for them. If she saw
her papa look tired, she would often go to him and say, "Dear papa! when
I am a big girl I mean to work and let _you_ sit still!" and, "May I rub
your head? May I get your slippers?" And when her mamma saw her feeling
and behaving so sweetly, she did not forget to tell her when she went
to bed, how much pleasure it had given her.

"My little hands have been good hands to-day," Susy said one night. "And
I wish mamma would kiss them when they've been good." Her mamma smiled,
and kissed them, and then Susy folded them together, and knelt down and
prayed. And after she had got into bed, she said: "My hands will never
be naughty any more. Never strike Robbie, never take away his toys,
never touch any body's things."

And then her mamma told her a story about a little girl who stood by her
brother's coffin, and taking up the small, cold hand, kissed it, and
said: "This little hand never struck me!" Susy lay still, and thought
and thought a good while, after hearing this story.

"Mamma!" said she, at last, "I _will_ try to be good. And then perhaps
when I am dead, you will 'member me, and you can take hold of my little
hand, and say, 'This little hand wasn't always a good little hand, but
it _tried_ to be good, and sometimes it patted and loved me.'" Then Susy
put up her hand, and caressed her mamma's cheek, and kept saying, "Dear
mamma! kind mamma!" till she fell asleep.


"Mamma!" said Susy, one day as they were walking home from church,
"there is a little girl in my class at Sunday-school, who loves me
dearly. She always hugs my hands and hugs them."

Her mamma smiled, and said, "Then I hope you 'hugged' hers too."

"I was afraid to," said Susy.

"Then that little girl was disappointed, I dare say. You should have let
her see that you were grateful to her for loving you."

"I turned my head away round--so--" said Susy.

"Instead of that you should have smiled, and looked kindly at her, as
much as to say, I like to have you love me, and I love you, too."

Susy looked down, and smiled. "I was afraid to," she said again.

They walked along together in silence for some time. At last Susy quite
forgot what they had been talking about, and began to think what a
pleasant day it was, and how sweet and fresh the air felt, and how nice
it was to walk with her dear papa and mamma, and while she thought thus,
she clasped the hand she held, more firmly and lovingly. Her mamma,
however, took no notice of this, and turned her head away.

Susy felt hurt.

"Mamma does not love me a bit," thought she, and she was going to draw
away her hand.

Her mamma looked down and smiled and said playfully: "Oh! I felt your
little, loving squeeze, but I was afraid to take any notice of it."

Susy smiled too. She never forgot this little lesson, and it was useful
to her as long as she lived.

Children should not only learn to observe little tokens of love, but to
be grateful for them.

"Mamma, was I a good girl in church?" said Susy, when they reached home.

"Yes, pretty good. But I must tell you something about a dear little
boy, whose life you shall read, as soon as you are old enough. When
asked if there were many children at Sunday-school, he said: 'I don't
know, for when I am there, I never dare to look round.' Now your little
hands were very good in church; and so were your little feet. But I
thought your eyes and ears were not so good."

"My eyes looked round a good deal," said Susy. "But my ears _couldn't_
do any thing naughty."

"Yes they could, dear Susy, by not listening to what was said. Did they
hear any thing at all?" "No, mamma. I was busy, thinking. I thinked
about my dollies."

"But we do not go to church to think about dollies. We go to praise God,
and hear about Him."

"Big people don't have any dollies," said Susy.

"But they have other things that they like as well. And when they first
go into church they ask God to help them not to think about any thing
but Himself, and to hear what is said. For in the Bible it speaks of
those who having ears, hear not--and I do not want my little Susy to be
one of those."

Susy then went up stairs to the nursery, where she found Robbie asleep
in his cradle. She went up to him and putting her mouth close to his
ear, shouted, "Robbie! Robbie!"

Robbie opened his eyes, turned over and smiled.

"You naughty, naughty girl!" said his nurse, "to wake your brother up.
I'll tell your mamma, and she'll punish you well."

"I didn't mean to wake him up," said Susy. "I only wanted to see if he
was one of those who having ears, hear not. And I guess he isn't, he
wakes up so easy."

"I'll tell your mamma the very first thing. He will be just as cross as
two sticks. Just as I had got him to sleep! It is too bad!"

Susy looked quite puzzled to know what she had done. She ran down to her
mamma, and told her all about it.

"Was I naughty, mamma?" she asked.

"Yes, I think you were. For you know how often I have told you there
must be no noise when Robbie was asleep. And then it was wrong to use
God's holy words to play with."

Susy sighed. "Oh! dear!" said she. "First my ears are naughty, and then
my tongue. But they are sorry, mamma."

Her mamma kissed her, and told her to go up stairs and amuse Robbie, as
she had made him lose his nap. So Susy went, and said in a pleasant
voice to Nurse:

"I've come to 'muse Robbie because I woke him up," and Nurse smiled and

"Well you _are_ a good child when you aren't naughty."


One day Susy and her mamma and Robbie were sitting alone together in the
nursery. Susy was in the corner, with her toys, and Robbie sat on his
mamma's lap. Every now and then he put up his little hand to pat her
cheek or to play with her hair. His bare white foot was nestled in her
hand, and more than once she leaned over and kissed it. After a time
Susy got up and came and stood by them.

"You love Robbie dearly, don't you mamma?" she asked.

"Yes, darling--dearly. And I love my little Susy just as well."

"You wouldn't like to kiss _my_ little foot," said Susy.

"I used to kiss it when it was a little baby foot, and wasn't covered up
with a shoe. But it would be rather funny for me to take off its shoe
and stocking so as to kiss it when there is this nice, round cheek, all

Susy laughed; and kneeling down she took Robbie's foot in her hand,
kissed it, laid it on her neck and cheek, and talked to it as if it were
a doll.

"Some body said Robbie's hands were whiter than mine," said she.

"That is nothing," said her mamma. "The question is not whether Susy's
hands are white, but whether they do all they can for God."

"They are too little to do any thing for God," said Susy in a mournful

"Why no, indeed, Jesus said that whoever gave a cup of cold water in his
name, that is, for His sake, should not lose his reward. And you can do
as much as that, I am sure. Besides that, every time you pick up
Robbie's toys for him, you do something for God."

Susy looked puzzled.

"If you can't understand how this can be, just believe it because your
mamma tells you so, and by and by, when you are older, you will
understand it. God sees every thing you do, and when you leave your own
play, and run to do a little favor for Robbie, or papa, or any of us,
then He is pleased. When I was kissing Robbie's feet and hands just
now, I was praying to God to keep them always pure, and to teach them
very early, to work for Him. And so I often did for yours when you were
a baby, and do now, every day."

Susy was pleased to hear this, and she tried to think of something she
could do. Her papa came in just then, feeling very tired, and hoping to
find mamma at leisure to rub and comb his head.

"Isn't Robbie well?" he asked.

"Not very well," said his mamma, "and I am trying to keep him quiet,
hoping he may fall asleep. But I have one hand to rub your head with, if
that will do."

"Oh! let me rub papa's head," said Susy, in a joyful voice. "Lie on the
sofa, papa, and I'll rub it!"

So papa threw himself down, and Susy pushed a chair up to the bureau,
and climbed up for the brush and comb, and though she tangled his hair
and pulled it dreadfully, papa let her work at his poor head, till
Robbie fell asleep, and mamma could come to the rescue. Susy felt very
happy, and she whispered to her mamma:

"I love you, dear mamma, and I like God, too."

She felt very sweet and happy, and looking about to see if there were
any thing else she could do, she saw a fly on Robbie's face. She ran
quickly, and drove it away.

"Little fly! do you think you are going to have Robbie's face for your
dinner?" said she. "No, indeed! I shall sit here, and drive you away.
And you can go home and tell your mother there is a great big giant
named Susy, sitting by the cradle, and you are afraid to try to eat
Robbie's face."

The fly, on hearing this, flew away, and Susy sat so still that all at
once she fell over, fast asleep. Then her mamma came softly and tucked a
pillow under her head, threw a cradle quilt over her, and left her to
enjoy a sweet sleep.


    "But Satan finds some mischief still
    For idle hands to do."

"Susy, dear, don't you feel well?" asked her mamma, seeing Susy sitting
idly on the carpet.

"Yes, mamma, I feel well, but I don't know what to do. I wish you would
tell me what to do."

"Well, you may go down and shell peas," said her mamma.

"I don't want to shell peas," said Susy. "I shelled a bushel yesterday."

"Oh! no, not a bushel. Not much more than a cup full," said nurse.

"Then you may hold a skein of silk for me to wind."

"I don't want to work, I want to play," said Susy.

Her mamma was called down to see visitors, and Susy remained sitting on
the floor, in not very good humor.

"Oh! dear. I wish I had something to do!" said she. "I wonder how Robbie
would do for a doll? I guess I'll try and see."

So she crept over softly to the corner where Robbie sat playing with his
blocks, and where she was out of nurse's sight, and began to unbutton
his frock.

By and by, judging by the silence that something wrong was going on,
nurse got up and went to look. There lay Robbie with his clothes all
off, while Susy was trying to squeeze one of his arms into her doll's
night-gown. The patient little fellow held a block fast in one hand, as
his comforter under his sorrows, for he really thought he had done
something naughty and had to be put to bed.

"Pretty works, I do think!" said nurse. "Just let me call your mamma to
see you, that's all."

Susy jumped up and caught nurse by her dress. "You shan't call mamma!"
said she. "Robbie is my doll, and I'm putting him to bed. Aren't you,

Nurse only answered by snatching him up and kissing him.

"I do believe he would let you cut his head off, if you wanted to," said
she. "Susy is a naughty girl, and her mamma will whip her."

"Naughty dirl, mamma s'ap!" repeated Robbie, showing with his little
hands how mamma would do.

"If you had gone down like a good girl, and shelled peas," said nurse,
"you wouldn't have got into mischief. Where is the other stocking? On
your doll's arm? Bring it to me this minute. And what have you done with
Robbie's shirt? He will catch his death sitting here with nothing on.
Well! we'll see what his mamma will say!"

By this time Susy was convinced she had done something really dreadful.
So she went softly down stairs and began to shell peas as fast as she
could. Her little thoughts were very busy.

"I guess mamma won't care. I was only playing. And I will shell a _lot_
of peas. I wish I knowed where I put Robbie's shirt. I guess I put it
under the bed. But if he doesn't have it on, he'll catch cold." The busy
fingers stopped, she slipped down from her chair, and away went the
peas, rolling this way and that, about the kitchen floor.

"I wish you'd stay up stairs, where you belong," said Sarah. "See how
you've wasted the peas! If I were your mamma, I would not give you any
for your dinner."

"I'll pick them up," said Susy. "And mamma said I might shell them." She
seemed so sorry that Sarah said it was no matter, she guessed six peas
wouldn't be much loss. So Susy went back to the nursery to see about the
missing shirt.

"If there isn't Robbie's shirt hanging out of your pocket!" said nurse.
"I declare! I never saw such a child. Well! you wait till your mamma
hears of this!" As she spoke in an angry voice, Susy saw a faint smile
on the corner of her mouth, that quite cheered her disconsolate little

"I didn't mean to be naughty," said she. "I did not know what else to
do. And I never will do so any more for a thousand years. Won't you
forgive me?"

"Oh! yes, I'll forgive you. And I'll teach you a hymn, besides, about
idle hands."

    How doth the little busy bee
      Improve each shining hour;
    And gather honey all the day,
      From every opening flower!

    How skilfully she builds her cell,
      How neat she spreads the wax!
    And labors hard to store it well
      With the sweet food she makes.

    In works of labor or of skill,
      I would be busy too;
    For Satan finds some mischief still,
      For idle hands to do.

    In books, or work, or healthful play,
      Let my first years be passed;
    That I may give for every day
      Some good account at last.





"I wish I knew how to sew," Susy one day said to her nurse.

"I wish so, too," said nurse. "For then you could be always making
aprons and things for your babies. And in time, you could make a shirt
for your papa."

Susy smiled at this pleasant prospect.

"I'll go and ask mamma to teach me," said she, jumping up. "And I'll
make my dollies some frocks, and some aprons, and some cloaks and
bonnets. And I'll make _you_ an apron, too, Robbie."

Robbie looked as if he admired Susy very much, and began to think, as he
always did when pleased, what he could give her.

In the mean time their nurse had cut out a little white petticoat, and
was basting it very nicely together.

"Is that for me?" cried Susy joyfully. "O Nursey!"

And Susy sat down, took the needle in her eager little fingers, and
began to sew.

"Oh! you mustn't put the needle back and forth that way!" said nurse.
"See here, the point of the needle should come towards you."

"Yes, I know," said Susy, and went on sewing all sorts of ways.

"That isn't right," said nurse. "When you learn to sew you ought to
learn the best way."

"This is the best way," said Susy.

"Very well. If you know so much, there's no use in my teaching you,"
said nurse, feeling rather vexed.

"Oh! dear, here's an old, ugly old knot!" said Susy. She pulled the
thread angrily and it broke.

"Fix it for me, will you nurse?"

Nurse joined the thread in silence. Susy took one more stitch and her
needle unthreaded.

"I can't string my needle," said she.

"You must learn," said nurse. "See, this way. And you needn't talk about
stringing it, as if it were a bead. Ah! well. I may as well thread it
this time. But my! what stitches! Why, dolly will fall through between

"I guess I won't learn to sew," said Susy. "It's hard. Here's the
needle. I'll put it back in your cush pinion for you."

"My pin cushion, you mean. But I should be ashamed if I were you, not to
know how to sew. There was little Mary Jones where I used to live; she
sewed like a woman. Such stitches! But then there are few children like
Mary Jones."

"I thought you said she was the trial of your life," said Susy.

"Well! the child's memory!" said nurse, lifting up her hands. "You
should not notice every thing I say, my dear. Now I'll tell you
something. You learn to sew and you shall make a little bag to give to
your mamma. Just such a bag as Mary Jones made for her mamma. Only
yours shall be blue, and hers was pink. Come! that's a good girl! Your
mamma will be so pleased!"

So Susy sat down again, and took a few more stitches.

"The needle hurts me!" said she.

"That's because you've no thimble. I'll lend you my silver thimble--the
one your aunt gave me."

So nurse wound a large piece of paper round and round Susy's finger,
and crowded the thimble over the whole. It looked like a helmet on a

Susy took one more stitch, and sighed.

"I'm tired," said she. "And the thimble is so heavy!"

"Well, put your work away then," said nurse, "and when we go out I'll
buy you a dear little brass thimble. But not unless you'll promise to be
patient, and to try to learn."

Susy promised, but her promise cost her many tears. For her needle
unthreaded, her thread broke, or got into knots, her hands were awkward
and did not know how to behave, and then when she cried on her work, it
made it hard to sew.

But every day, her hands grew more skillful. Finding they really _must_
learn to sew, they would not dispute about such a trifle, and you can
not think how delighted Susy was to be able, one day, to carry her
mamma the nice bag she had made for her.

"Thank you, darling," said her mamma. "I am very glad your little hands
have made this for me, and I will keep it a great while. Why, when your
aunt Laura was your age, she had made a whole quilt of bits of calico
not much larger than the palm of your hand. The next thing I know, I
suppose you will be writing me a little letter."

"Oh! I never could learn to write!" said Susy.

"Why not? Are not your hands just like mine? And they learned to write."

Susy smiled, and looked at her mamma's hands and then at her own, but
did not have time to talk any more just then.


For just at this moment a carriage drove up to the door, and Susy ran to
the window to see who had come. She saw two gentlemen alight, and
presently her mamma was called down.

"You may come with me, Susy," said she.

So they went down together, and Susy saw that one of the gentlemen had
soft white hair flowing down to his shoulders. She looked at his mild,
kind face with great interest, and when he placed his hand on her head,
and blessed her, she felt very happy.

"Mamma, is that the Apostle John?" she whispered.

Her mamma smiled, and shook her head, and Susy sat still, and listened
to what was said, without speaking, for her little tongue had learned
that it must keep still when older persons were talking.

After the visitors went away, she made up for lost time, by asking
several questions all in one long row.

"Who was that man? What makes his hair so white? Did you see him put his
hand on my head? I liked him dearly."

"That was a very good man," said her mamma, "and I hope God will hear
the prayer he made for you when he put his hand on your head."

"That's the way Jesus put his hand on the heads of little children,"
said Susy. "I wish I had been there."

"That reminds me of a sweet little hymn that I copied from a book Mrs.
Ray lent me. I must read it to you till you learn it. Come! we'll go
right up stairs, and you shall hear it."

So they went up stairs, and Susy heard for the first time that
beautiful hymn, beginning:

    "I think when I hear that sweet story of old."

Tears came into her eyes as she listened, but they were tears of
pleasure; she soon had learned the first verse, and they sat singing it
together when nurse came in with Robbie, who had a small box in his

"Mrs. Ray has sent Susy a box of beads," said she, "and says she must
string them when she does not know what else to do."

Susy was delighted to hear this, and she flew off to find a needle and
thread, so as to begin at once to string her beads. It was, however,
time for their supper, and she had to wait.

She was too happy to eat much, and as soon as she could, she hastened to
the window, and seated herself to begin her pleasant work. She had
hardly strung a dozen beads when looking down, she saw that they had
all fallen from the string.

"Oh! dear! that's because I didn't make a knot. Oh! how I wish I knew
how to make knots! Nursey! won't you make a knot?"

"It's too dark to string beads," said nurse. "You'll hurt your eyes,
Susy. Come! put away your beads, and go to bed."

"It doesn't hurt my eyes," said Susy. "I can see just as easy."

All of a sudden she felt two hands over her eyes.

"O papa! is that you! Please don't! I want to string my beads. See,
papa! all these beads. Mrs. Ray sent them."

"Mrs. Ray was very kind," said her papa. "But my little Susy is not kind
at all. She has been abusing two of those servants that God gave her.
Don't you know it is wrong to treat your eyes so?"

"I guess they didn't care," said Susy.

"I guess they did," said her papa. "And you must remember that eyes are
very precious things, and be careful of them. If I should give you a
little white-handled penknife--"

"O papa! I wish you would!"

"If I gave you one, would it be right for you to cut off one of your
little fingers with it?"

"Why, no, papa!"

"And is it right to injure the eyes God has been so very kind as to give

"No, papa. And I won't, again."

"But what are they looking so hard at my pocket for?" asked her papa,

"Why, I thought perhaps there was a little knife there," said Susy,
rather doubtfully.

"And so there is. It was given me to-day, and I will give it to you.
Only you must promise not to open it. For you are such a little girl
that I do not dare to let you use it yet."

Susy promised, and her papa took her on one shoulder and Robbie on the
other, and "rided" them as Robbie called it, three times across the
room, and then they kissed each other good night, and Susy and her box
of beads and her little knife all went to bed together.


About this time a lady came to visit Susy's mamma, bringing with her a
little boy.

His name was Thomas. He was several years older than Susy, but as there
was no one else for him to play with, he had to amuse himself with her
as well as he could. Susy followed him about, wherever he went, and
thought every thing he did very amusing, and that every thing he said
must be right.

One afternoon as they were playing together in his mamma's room, Thomas
asked Susy if she liked candy.

"Yes, I like it," said Susy. "But mamma does not let me eat it very

"My mother lets me eat as much as I please," said Thomas. "There is a
great bundle of it in her trunk, and she lets me go and get some, as
often as I want it. I'll give you some if you will hold open the trunk
for me."

Susy did not know that Thomas had been forbidden to open this trunk. So
she stood holding the cover open, while he searched for the candy. But
it was heavy, and her little hands were not strong enough to hold it

"Make haste, Thomas," said she, "or I shall let it fall."

"I _am_ making haste," said Thomas. "And don't you go and let it fall;
you'll break my head in two, if you do."

Susy tried with all her strength to hold up the heavy lid, but Thomas
kept her waiting too long, and all at once down it came. Thomas tried to
draw back his head, but the trunk-cover was too quick for him, and gave
him a blow right across his face and eyes.

As soon as he knew enough to speak, he called Susy all sorts of bad
names, and struck her several times. Susy was so frightened and
astonished, that at first she was quite silent, but after a moment she
began to cry so loudly that every body came running in to see what was
the matter.

By this time Thomas's forehead and face looked quite bruised and
swollen, and the moment his mamma saw it she flew to kiss him, and then
turned to Susy, and said in a angry tone:

"What did you strike him for, you naughty child?"

"I didn't strike him," said Susy; "I didn't mean to hurt him; I could
not hold up the cover, it was so heavy."

"What cover?" asked her mamma.

"The trunk-cover," said Susy.

"Oh! so you were at my trunk, were you?" said the lady. "And who said
you might do that?"

"Thomas told me to hold it open while he got the candy."

"Oh! what a story!" said Thomas. "She went and opened the trunk and was
going to look for candy, and I went to make her come away, and she
struck me with a great big stick."

"Is that true, Susy?" asked her mamma in a grave, sad voice. For the
mere thought that Susy could do such a thing, made her heart ache.

Before Susy had time to answer, the lady cried out:

"Of course, it is true. Don't you see the dreadful marks on his face?"

"Answer, Susy, is it true?" repeated her mamma.

Susy tried to tell the whole story, just as it happened, but seeing her
mamma look so sad, and every body else believing Thomas, she could only
cry still harder.

Then her mamma took her away to her own room, and wiped away her tears,
and said:

"Now tell me, my dear Susy, all about it. I can not think my precious
child has done this sinful thing. But don't be afraid to tell me the
whole truth. Remember God hears every word you say. Remember, my
darling! Think before you speak."

"Mamma, I telled the truth!" said Susy. "I telled the truth. Thomas said
he would get some candy for me if I would hold up the cover. And I tried
to hold it, and I couldn't. And won't you believe me? O mamma! won't you
believe me?"

Then Susy's mamma said in her heart, to God:

"O God! teach me what to believe. Do not let me make a mistake. And oh!
do not let my little Susy ever speak a word that is not true."

And after she had said that, there came into her mind a way by which she
could find out whether Thomas had spoken the truth.

She went right back to the lady's room, whom she found holding Thomas in
her lap, and feeding with candy.

"Thomas, where is the stick you said Susy struck you with?" asked she.

Thomas blushed and looked about, as if in search of the stick.

"I suppose she hid it, somewhere," said he.

"She could not do that, for she has been with me ever since she left the

"I dare say we shall find it," said the lady. "And I hope you mean to
give Susy a good whipping. She needs it, I am sure. Such a blow! Why,
what a naughty child she must be!"

"Susy says Thomas opened the trunk and told her to hold it open while he
looked for candy. And it was heavy, and she let it fall on his head. I
think she has spoken the truth. I never knew her to speak any thing
else. The marks on Thomas's face look to me, just like those the heavy
lid of a trunk would make."

"They look to me like the marks of a stick," said the lady. "But people
see things differently. Come, Thomas! eat this nice candy. And I'll buy
you something to pay for this."

Susy's mamma said no more. She felt sorry to have her dear little
daughter in such trouble but there seemed no help for it. She went back
to her room; and taking Susy again in her lap, talked gently to her
about the dreadful sin of which Thomas had been guilty.

"I never will tell a naughty story," said Susy.

"Don't say you never will. You may be tempted, some time, more than you
ever have been. But ask God, who is the God of truth, to keep you from
doing it. How thankful you ought to be that you have been taught to
pray! For the Bible says that no man can tame the tongue. That is, no
one can, of himself, keep from saying what he ought not to say. And his
only way is to keep praying to God to bridle his tongue for him."

"My tongue isn't a good little servant, then," said Susy.

"God can make it good, and teach it to bless and praise Him."

Then Susy's mamma took down her Bible and read several verses from it.

"Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile."

"The tongue of the just is as choice silver."

"Whose keepeth his tongue, keepeth his soul from troubles."

"He that telleth lies shall not tarry in My sight."

"As soon as you learn to write, my dear Susy, I will make a little book
in which you can write all that the Bible says about this. You will be
astonished to find how much there is about speaking the truth, speaking
kindly, and speaking wisely. And of our dear Saviour it says that when
his enemies reviled him, "as a lamb before her shearers is dumb, so he
opened not His mouth." Now the next time you see Thomas, I think it
likely he will say a good many things to vex you, and I want you to
remember, when he does so, how Jesus did, and what you should do."

"Mayn't I tell him he is a naughty boy?" asked Susy. "Mayn't I tell him
he has telled a lie?"

"Would Jesus love you when you were doing so, my dear Susy? No, be
careful not to say one word that you would not like Jesus to hear. And
pray for that poor boy that God would pity him for being so naughty,
and forgive him, and help him to grow good."


Early the next morning Thomas's mamma began to pack her trunks in order
to go away, for she felt quite vexed with Susy, and with her mamma.
While she was busy in this way, Thomas was quite as busy in eating some
dainties that she had placed on the floor while she made room for them
in the trunk. Thomas knew they were to be carried to his aunt, who was

By and by his mother turned round, and seeing him eating, she said to

"Thomas! what are you about? I hope you have not touched any of those
things I got for your aunt? Let me see, one, two, three; there ought to
be four boxes of jelly. Come here and let me look at your hands. Come
this minute, you naughty boy, you."

"I didn't eat a bit," said Thomas, "I only just made a little hole in
one side, and ate what came out on a pin."

"Where is the box?"

"I don't know. There were only three boxes."

"Yes there were four boxes. And you've eaten one of them. I never saw
such a boy! Well, I shall not buy you the present I promised you
yesterday. To think of your eating your aunt's jelly!"

"I didn't eat it," said Thomas, in a sulky voice.

"Your face is all covered with it, so don't let me hear another word. I
begin now to think you told me a story, yesterday. Come here!"

"What are you going to do?" cried Thomas trying to get away.

"I'm going to see if the lid of my trunk fits to that mark on your
face," said his mother. "And if it does, I shall believe Susy spoke the
truth after all."

"I _said_ she let the lid fall on me," said Thomas.

"You said no such thing. You said she struck you with a stick."

"I didn't," said Thomas.

"What a wicked, wicked boy you are!" cried his mother. "I see just what
you are. If there is such a thing as a rod in this house, I'll whip you
with it till you are ashamed of yourself. What do you suppose Susy's
mother thought of me yesterday, when I took your part? I only wish your
father was here. But I'll whip you, you see if I don't."

On hearing this, Thomas ran to get away; his mother ran after him, and
seeing a door half open, Thomas hoped to escape by that means. For this
door led to a dark, low closet under the stairs, in which a grown
person could not stand upright.

The moment Thomas crept in his mother shut and locked the door.

"There! now I've got you!" she cried, "and there you shall stay on bread
and water, the whole day!"

Thomas kicked against the door, and cried, and begged to come out, but
in vain.

His mother was as severe on one day as she was fond on another. She kept
him shut up till nearly night, when she took him out all covered with
cobwebs, gave him a good shaking, and told him to ask Susy's pardon for
telling a story about her.

That night when Susy was going to bed, she said to her mamma:

"Thomas and his mother fighted together to-day, and she couldn't whip
him he ran away so."

"How came you to know that, Susy?"

"The door was open, and I was going by, and I heard a noise, and so I

"That was not right, my darling. You must teach your little eyes not to
look at things they ought not to see. Didn't you feel, all the time,
that it was not quite proper for you to stop and watch in that way?
Always make it a rule never to look at _any_ thing, no matter what, if
you have even a little bit of a feeling that you ought not. Your eyes
are your own, and you must teach them."

"I will, mamma," said Susy. "And I am glad I've got you for a mamma. I'm
glad Thomas's mamma isn't mine. She didn't pray to God to make him good;
she fighted with him."


About this time Susy began to learn to read. At first, though she wanted
to be able to read, she did not like the trouble, and would make all
sorts of excuses when her mamma called her to come to her lesson.
Sometimes she said she was too tired. Sometimes she said Robbie couldn't
spare her.

Once she said her eyes ached, and when her mamma still would have her
read, she wanted some body to come and hold her book for her because it
was so heavy! But she was learning to read, very fast, and also to make
letters on her slate, like those in the book. She was very happy indeed
when one day, after working quite hard, she was able to send her papa a
little letter that she had printed with a pen. All the letter had in
it, was this, "I love you, dear papa!" but it gave him a great deal of
pleasure, and I dare say he has put it away among his treasures, and
will keep it as long as he lives.

If you want to please _your_ papa, you might print such a letter, for
him. It might tire your little hands, but you would not mind that, if
papa should kiss you, and say you had sent him a sweet little letter;
you would only be thankful you had two hands with which to do something
to gratify him.

Susy's mamma was sick, in bed, soon after this, and I could not begin to
tell you how useful this dear child now found every one of her little
servants. Before this, when she went to bed, she used to leave her
clothes on the floor, for some body to pick up. But now she folded them
neatly and put them by the side of her bed, so as to dress herself in
the morning. She tried to be as still as a mouse, when in her mamma's
room, and no matter in how low and feeble a voice she was asked to get
something that was wanted she always heard, and always went quickly and
without noise. Sometimes, with her little soft hands, she patted her
mamma's cheek till she fell asleep. Sometimes she sang hymns. Sometimes
she would try to comfort her mamma by saying: "I guess you will get
better by and by!" or, "If you do not get well, dear mamma I p'omise you
I will take care of poor papa, and never will let him go anywhere
alone." She learned to give the medicine, and to shake up the pillows,
and to do a great many other kind and loving things, even though she was
yet so small that she had to climb into a chair to reach every thing
from the shelf or the bureau. And don't you suppose her mamma, lying
now so helpless on her bed, felt paid for all she had done for little
Susy? For all the time she had kept her awake, all the fatigue, all the
trouble? Yes, indeed! And have you ever paid your mamma for all she did
for you when you lay, a weak, helpless baby, with hands that couldn't
hold any thing, and feet that couldn't walk, and a tongue that couldn't
speak? If not, why, begin now. Pat your mamma's face with the little
hand she has taught so much; tell her you love her, with that tongue
whose first word it learned from her lips; run for her on those little
feet she has so long kept out of danger. If she has the baby in her
arms, and is going to carry it about the room looking for what she
wants, ask her to sit down and let you find it, for her. Let your little
servants know that you shan't think much of them if they do not wait
upon or in some way be useful to your mamma, your papa, your brother,
your sister, and they shall not lose their reward!


"How many miles a day do you walk?" Nurse asked Robbie. "Do you know?"

Robbie smiled, and stood still for a minute, to think, but soon ran away

"How many miles do you suppose he walks, Nursey?" asked Susy.

"I don't know. I wish I knew. And I wish I knew how many miles my hand
travels in a week."

"Your _hand_! Why, just as many as your feet," said Susy.

"No such thing. See here now, look at me while I sew. Don't you see how
my hand goes back and forth with every stitch? And when I make beds, and
sweep and dust, and wash you children and dress you, and brush your
hair, and pick up your toys--dear me! it's a wonder they're not used
up, long ago!"

Susy laughed, and felt quite interested.

"Who told you any thing about that?" she asked.

"Nobody," said nurse. "Don't you suppose I ever have any thoughts of my
own? However, I did see something in the paper about how far a printer's
hand could travel in one day, and that set me to thinking about mine."

When Susy went to her mamma she told her what she and nurse had been
talking about.

"I suspect your eyes are the greatest travellers you know much about,"
said her mamma. "Think how far they can go; and how many times they move
from one end of the page to the other, when you read."

"I wish I knew how far," said Susy. "If Charlie ever comes here I mean
to ask him to measure one of my books. He has got such a nice little
carpenter's rule to measure with!"

Perhaps the children who read this book would like to know how far the
hand that printed had to travel to do it. To be sure, it was not all
done by a single hand; but one of the printers has been kind enough to
find out how many miles the _hand_ moved when they set up the types, and
behold it was nearly 230! Add to this the journeys my hand has had to
make back and forth, to and fro, over the paper, off to the inkstand and
back again, and you will see that even our little book costs a good deal
of labor, and keeps a good many hands from being idle and so getting
into mischief.

While Susy and her mamma were talking together, they heard a little
knock at the door, and on opening it, they saw Robbie standing outside
with a long piece of twine in his hand.

"What does Robbie want?" asked his mamma.

"I want you to mezzer how many miles long my foots are," said Robbie.

Susy and mamma laughed, and Robbie climbed up on the bed where his mamma
still lay, though she was now getting well.

"Instead of that I will teach you a verse to say to papa at breakfast:

     'Thou hast delivered my eyes from tears, my feet from falling and
     my soul from death.'"

Robbie learned his verse very quickly, and Susy wanted now to learn
hers. Her mamma gave her an easy one:

     "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path;"

and Susy learned it so easily that she asked for another.

"I did not know there was any thing in the Bible about feet," said she.
"Is there any thing about hands?"

"Yes, indeed. Don't you remember the story of the man with the withered
hand that he could not use? Jesus must have pitied him because he had
but one well hand, or he would not have healed him. In a few days I hope
I shall be strong enough to have you come and read to me, and I will
make a list of verses for you. For I want you to see that though your
hands and feet and eyes and ears and tongue now seem small things, such
as God would be likely to overlook, He has made them to do great things
and useful and kind ones."


Susy and Robbie were standing at the window a few days after this,
watching some boys who were playing in the snow.

"I wish we could go out and throw snow at each other," said Susy. "Can
we, Nursey?"

"No, not to-day," said nurse; "for your hands would freeze for want of
mittens. I am hurrying as fast as I can, to get some done but I don't
know; time flies in this house."

"Where does it fly to?" asked Robbie.

Before nurse had time to answer, the children were sent for by their
mamma. They jumped down from the window, and ran to see what was wanted.

"Grandmamma has sent a basket full of things, and I thought you would
like to take them out for me," said their mamma.

"Oh! yes," said Susy, "we'll take turns. Robbie shall take out the first
thing and I'll take out the next."

So Robbie put in his hand, and pulled out, with great labor, a jar of
currant jelly.

"That's for mamma," said Susy. "Grandma always sends jelly to her." She
put in her hand and took out a small bundle that had "Robbie" printed
on it in large letters. On opening it, out rolled a pair of nice warm
mittens, which were marked: "For the little hands that so often, and so
cheerfully, picked up grandma's ball."

Susy blushed and the tears came into her eyes. She knew the reason there
were no mittens for her. She had often looked displeased when grandma's
ball had rolled under the table when she was busy, reading or playing.

Robbie ran and threw his arms round her neck.

"Naughty drandma!" said he.

"Oh! no, _kind_ grandmamma, to try to make my little Susy good," said
their mamma.

"Susy shall have one mitten and I'll teep one," said Robbie.

"No, Susy must wait till nurse gets hers done. But I am sure dear
grandmamma has sent something for her. Try again, my darling."

And this time there came out six pairs of warm white stockings; three
for Susy and three for Robbie, and on the bundle was written:
"Grandmamma has not forgotten how many times those little feet went up
and down stairs for her when she made her last visit; and so she has
knit these warm stockings for them."

"There's something else in the basket," said Susy. "Why! it's a cart,
and it's horses, and it's barrels! O Robbie! Help me get them out!"

Laughing and pulling, and trembling over, they at last got the cart and
horses out of the basket, and a very nice toy it was.

"I suppose it's for Robbie," said Susy.

"Aunt Maria sent it to him," said her mamma. "Don't you remember she
promised she would?"

"Oh! she promised me a work-basket!" cried Susy, "let me see, yes! here
it is! O mamma! There's a thimble and scissors, and needle! Now I can
sew with my own things. Look, Robbie."

But Robbie was too busy. One of his barrels had broken open, and a host
of sugar-plums had rolled out all over the floor.

"O Robbie! give me some sugar-plums, will you?" cried Susy.

"It is _torn_," said Robbie. "Big men don't load up with sugar-pums."

"It _isn't_ corn," said Susy.

"Yes, it is torn. And little dirls don't eat torn."

"Little chickens eat it, at any rate, and I'm a little chicken, and I'm
hungry, too," said Susy.

"Well," said Robbie, "if you are a little chiten, I'll feed you," so he
scattered the sugar-plums on the floor and Susy ate them as fast as she

"Leave him some," said their mamma. "Don't eat them all, Susy."

Susy jumped up and began to take the rest of the things from the basket.
There were stockings for papa and an apron for nurse, and for mamma a
little roasted chicken, which grandma had been so kind as to have cooked
for her.

"I do believe I could eat a piece of that chicken," said she when Susy
held it up on its little white dish. "Grandma's things always taste so

"Oh! then you'll get well!" cried Susy joyfully.


The little chicken, or something, did Susy's mamma so much good, that
the next day she was able to sit up an hour; and she felt able to look
over her Bible for the verses that she had promised to find for Susy.

Susy enjoyed reading them, very much.


"Why, mamma, there are enough to fill a book!" said she. "We would
put in the story of the man who had the withered hand, and then all
about blind Bartimeus, and the man who was blind and dumb that Jesus
made to see and speak. And then there's a story of a man who was laid at
the Beautiful gate of the temple, who could not walk a step, and he was
cured so that he walked and leaped."

"And praised God," said her mamma. "Don't leave that out because that
is the best part of the story. I suppose he would not have been likely
to praise God for the use of his feet if he had never felt the want of
them. I sometimes think that one reason why God has made so many lame
and deaf and blind people, is to teach them to praise him for what
mercies he _has_ given, and to teach us who have feet and eyes and ears
and hands to praise Him with our hearts and our lives for His goodness
to us."

"How _can_ we praise Him with our lives?" asked Susy.

"Why, by obeying Him and trying to please Him. If you had been blind all
your life, and I at last gave you my eyes, what do you think would be
the first use you should make of them?"

"O mamma! I should want to look at you the first thing, to see how you
looked. And at papa and Robbie too. And I should want to do something
for you for giving me eyes. But at first I shouldn't know how."

"But when you had learned, you surely would not use the eyes I had given
you to look at any thing I did not want you to see? If, out of love and
gratitude to me, you should always refuse to look at things you knew
were improper, that would be praising me with your life, or thanking
me, which means nearly the same thing."

"I should think these lame men that Jesus healed, would have followed
Him everywhere He went," said Susy. "And do every thing for Him. _I_
should, I am sure."

"But you have more to be grateful for, than those poor men had. For some
of them had been blind or lame ever since they were born, and had
suffered many years before Jesus came to heal them. And do you follow
Jesus wherever He goes, thanking Him, and doing all you can for Him?
Look at those little hands! Have they done for Jesus all they could? And
those strong, busy feet that can carry you anywhere you want to go; have
they never carried you where you knew Jesus would not go? And have you
never spoken any unkind words you would not have liked to speak if you
saw Him standing near, and listening?"

"I have done a good many naughty things," said Susy. "I never thinked
how good God was. And I've said a good many things I shouldn't think He
liked to hear. I am sorry, mamma. I _am_ sorry, really."

And Susy _was_ sorry. After she left her mamma she went away by herself
and knelt down and prayed to God. She thanked Him that she was not a
little lame girl, sitting pale and sad and unable to run and play. She
thanked Him that she had eyes to see this beautiful world with. She
thanked Him that she had ears with which to hear about Jesus, and the
holy angels, and the happy heaven above. And last of all, she thanked
Him that she had a tongue with which to thank Him, and asked Him to keep
it from speaking unkind and untruthful words. And He who loves little
children, heard her prayer, and wrote it in His Book.


The next day was Sunday, and Susy and Robbie went to church and sat in
the pew with their papa. Susy observed that a plate was handed to every
one, and that when it came to her papa he put in some money. So when
they were walking home together, she said:

"Papa! who was that money for that you put into the plate, at church?"

"It was for God," said her papa.

"How will they get it up to Him?" asked Robbie in great surprise, and
looking up to the sky.

His papa smiled, and even Susy knew better than that.

"When Jesus was here on this earth," said their papa, "he sent good men,
two and two at a time, to go about teaching people about God, and about
heaven. And such good men keep going, even to this day. And that money
was to help feed and clothe them while they are preaching, and so I said
it was money given to God."

"I wish I had some money to give to God," said Susy. "But I haven't a

"God does not expect you to give him what you have not," said her papa.
"But you have other things, besides money."

"I've got some _dolls_," said Susy.

"No, I don't mean dolls. When we get home I will read something to you
which will make you see plainly what you can give to God."

So after dinner they went to the library and Susy's papa took down a
large book and began to turn over the leaves, as if in search of
something. Before long he came to the place he was looking for, and he
lifted Susy into his lap and showed her where to read.

"Read it aloud," said he, and Susy read.

"I have this day been before God, and have given myself--all that I am
and have--to God; so that I am in no respect my own. I have no right to
this body, or any of its members; no right to this tongue, these hands,
these feet, these eyes, these ears; I have given myself clean away."

"These are the words of a great and good man, who is now in heaven. Now
you see what you have to give to God, my darling little Susy."

Susy looked at her hands and at her feet, and was silent. At last she
said, in a low voice, half to herself:

"I don't believe God wants them."

Her papa heard her. "He does want them, and He is looking at you, now,
to see whether you will give them to Him, or keep them for yourself. If
you give them to Him you will be careful never to let them do any thing
naughty, and will teach them to do every good thing they can. And if you
keep them for yourself, they will be likely to do wrong, and to get
into mischief."

"Have you given yours to Him, papa?"

"Yes, indeed, long ago."

"Are you glad?"

"Yes, very glad."

Susy sat still silent. She did not quite understand what it all meant.

"If you give your tongue to God," said her papa, "you never will let it
speak angry, unkind words. Or tell tales. Or speak an untruth."

"I guess I'll give Him my tongue," said Susy.

"And if you give God your hands, you will watch them and keep them from
touching things that do not belong to them. You will not let them be
idle, but will keep them busy about something, either work or play--"

"Oh! will God let them _play_!" cried Susy in a joyful voice. "Well!
then I'll give Him my hands."

"And if you give Him your feet, you never will let them carry you where
you ought not to go, but teach them to run quickly when mamma calls; and
when you are old enough, they will carry you to visit and comfort poor
and sick people."

"Yes, that will be nice!" said Susy. "God shall have my feet."

"If you give Him your eyes, you will never, never let them look at any
thing you know _He_ would not like to look at if He were here by your
side. Not to read a book you would not read if He were looking over the
page with you. And to use them wisely and with great care."

"Could I cry with them?"

"Why, certainly."

"Mamma says I cry too much."

"I did not say you might cry _too much_ with them."

"Well!--I'll give God my eyes some of the time, and some of the time
I'll keep them."

"Oh! no! God will not like that, at all."

"Well, I might want to--let me see--I might want to look at
something--and I couldn't. And I should want to be naughty

"A little girl who loves God want to be naughty!"

"I love Him, I do love Him," said Susy. "And He may have my eyes. I
guess I shan't want to look at any thing naughty."

"I dare say you will, Susy, but if you give your eyes to God, you know
He will help them not to do wrong."

"Then I _will_ give them to Him and _welcome_," said Susy.

"And as to your ears, after you have given them to God you will not let
them listen to a _word_ that you think He would not like them to hear.
And you will take care to make them listen to people who try to teach
you. They have behaved very well to-day, and I am sure you will give
them to God."

"Yes papa, I will."

Then they knelt down together and Susy's papa prayed to God to hear all
they had been saying and to be so good as to accept all Susy had now
promised to give Him, and to keep her from ever forgetting her promise,
but to make it her rule in all she said and all she did, all she saw and
all she heard, to remember,

    "I am not my own."

And then he taught her the lines you will find at the end of this book.
They were written nearly two hundred years ago, but are just as good now
as they were then; and may God help every child who reads about little
Susy, to live according to this prayer.

    "Oh! that mine eyes might closed be
    To what concerns me not to see;
    That deafness might possess mine ear
    To what concerns me not to hear;
    That truth my tongue might ever tie
    From ever speaking foolishly;
    That no vain thought might ever rest,
    Or be conceived in my breast;
    That by each word, and deed, and thought,
    Glory may to my God be brought!
    But what are wishes! Lord, mine eye
    On Thee is fixed, to Thee I cry--
    Wash, Lord, and purify my heart
    And make it clean in every part;
    And when 'tis done, Lord, keep it so,
    For that is more than I can do!"

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