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´╗┐Title: Happy Hearts
Author: Isle, June
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 "Happy Hearts" ***

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

                      Maple Grove Stories


                        Little Readers.

                         HAPPY HEARTS

                         BY JUNE ISLE.



    Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864.


    In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States
    for the Southern District of Ohio.


CHAPTER.                                              PAGE.

       I. WHOM HAVE WE ALWAYS                            9

      II. FRITZ DEAD, YET LIVES                         29

     III. HOW? ANSWERED                                 41

      IV. WHAT THE STARS SAW                            47




Mr. and Mrs. Payson had three little children, who were very dear to
them, and whom they amused and instructed in many pleasant ways.

One Spring, just as the leaves were bursting open and the birds were
filling the air with gay songs, Mr. Payson told the children he had
bought a home for them in the country.

This pleased the little ones, and they talked from morning till night
about what they would do in their new home.

In the pretty country they watched the birds building their nests, and
saw them feeding their young and teaching them to fly; and then they saw
them in great cawing, twittering, fluttering swarms moving off to warmer
lands when the yellow Autumn leaves began to fall.

But when the Winter winds sung through the old pine trees, the children
began to talk about Christmas.

"I wonder if Santa Claus will come away out here, with his great pack of
toys," said Rebecca one day. "I am afraid he will forget us, he has so
many children to remember."

"He may perhaps forget us," said Joshua; "for cousin Nelly says that he,
one time, forgot to put any thing in her stocking, although she hung it
where he could find it."

"But," said Rebecca, "Nelly said it was a very stormy night, and they
lived on a hill, and the wind blew so hard they were afraid it would
blow the house down. And I think Santa Claus was afraid the wind would
upset his pack of toys if he went up on aunt Judd's roof."

"I think," said Joshua, "we had better send Santa Claus a letter,
telling him that we have moved from town out into this pretty pine
grove, then he will know where to find us."

"That will be a good way," said Rebecca; "for I remember when Mrs.
White, who lives in our house in town, was here last week, she told
mamma that many persons had called there since we left, and asked for
Mr. Payson. Now, if the people do not know that we have moved away,
Santa Claus may not; so he may go there and slide down the chimney, and,
without asking any thing about it, put all the nice things, which he has
in his pack for us, in Tommy and Jenny White's stockings."

"I will write to Santa Claus," said Joshua, "as soon as I can find

Joshua said this in rather of a large way, for he wished to talk like a
man of business.

"I will run and get your slate now," said Rebecca; and she soon came
with the slate and pencil.

They all sat down and Joshua took the pencil to write; but he found he
could not do much, as his mamma was not there to spell the words for

"Let us ask papa to send word to Santa Claus," said Rebecca.

"And let us ask Mrs. White," said Newton, "to watch, and, when Santa
Claus comes to her house, tell him where we live."

"But Mrs. White might watch all night, and then not see him," said
Rebecca; "for I think Santa Claus never makes any noise till he is just
going out of sight; then his eight tiny reindeers jingle their bells as
they scamper away with the sleigh full of toys."

Mrs. Payson came into the nursery, and the children told her what they
had been saying.

"Santa Claus shall be told where to find you," said Mrs. Payson, "and
you will have a happy Christmas if you are happy in your own hearts. You
shall have a Christmas tree, and we will invite some friends to come and
enjoy its fruits with us. But I wish you to remember, my darlings, if
you have naughty thoughts you can not have a happy Christmas."

"But if some naughty thoughts come, what can we do?" asked Rebecca.

"Try to think about something good and pleasant," said Mrs. Payson, "and
ask God to help you. Yesterday, when I heard Joshua telling Newton, in
an angry way, that he hoped Santa Claus would not bring him any thing, I
thought my dear boy's thinker was wrong."

"I know, mamma," said Joshua, "that I wish to be good. But, if God lets
me be naughty, what good does it do to ask him to help me?"

"God will help you if you ask him in the right way, and if you watch
yourselves," said Mrs. Payson. "If we wished to be happy ourselves we
must do something to make others so; and even little children can do
much good if they try."

"When we are trying to make others happy," said Joshua, "we shall have
good thoughts."

"A little verse which you repeat," said Mrs. Payson, "says truly that

    'Satan finds some mischief still
        For idle hands to do.'

Now I wish to hear what you, my children, have to do before Christmas."

"We must get our gifts ready for the tree," said Rebecca.

"And we must learn our lessons, every day," said Joshua.

"And I must learn all my letters, so papa will give me a rocking-horse,"
said little Newton.

"That is all right," said Mrs. Payson; "but have you not something more
to do?"

"O, yes!" said Joshua, "we are to ride to town and invite our visitors
to come and have a nice time with us in the holidays."

"But, are there not others whom you can help to be happy and good?"
asked Mrs. Payson; "those whom we always have with us?"

"I don't know," said Joshua, "as there are any persons that are always
with us. Bridget has been here only a few months, and she says she must
go away after New-Year; so you do not mean her. And John will leave next
Spring; so you can not mean him."

"When you were learning your Sunday school lesson a few weeks since,"
said Mrs. Payson, "I heard you repeating these words of Christ, 'Ye
have the poor with you always; and whensoever ye will ye may do them

"O, yes, mamma, I did not think of that," said Joshua. "But, there are
so many poor people, how can we do them good?"

"We can do our little," said Mrs. Payson, "and if we only make one sad
heart glad we have done a good deed, and we shall be better and happier
ourselves while we are helping others."

"When Mrs. Blake comes here to see you, mamma," said Rebecca, "she talks
about poor people, and how much she does for them. But Mrs. Blake does
not seem to be happy; and she says there is no use in helping the poor,
for if one begins there is no end."

"Mrs. Blake," said Mrs. Payson, "has not a pleasant way of talking; but
I think she enjoys doing good to others in her own cross way. Yet, if we
would be happy ourselves in making others happy, we must love to do it.
If you should give little Harry Grant a pair of mittens because I told
you to do so, while you were fretting because you wished to keep them
yourself, you would be neither better nor happier for doing it; and you
would not speak gently and kindly to the poor little fellow, and so make
his face and your own bright by pleasant words. Mrs. Blake spends much
time and money in helping poor people; but she forgets that she should

    'Speak gently, kindly to the poor.'"

"I have some toys, mamma," said Rebecca, "that I can give to Mrs.
Grant's lame Harry; I am sure they will make his little pale face

"And I should like to give Willie a pair of shoes," said Joshua; "for
his are very ragged."

"Shall I give him my sled, mamma?" asked Newton.

Now Newton thought more of his sled than he did of any other plaything.
It was painted green and yellow, and had a bright colored strap which he
called the reins. The runners were very smooth, and he expected to have
a gay time with it all Winter. So, when Newton asked about giving his
sled, he knew he was giving what he liked best.

"No, my darling," said Mrs. Payson; "keep your sled. But, we will see
what we all can do for Mrs. Grant and her children, by the time
Christmas comes. She is a good woman, and we can do much to make her
happy while her husband is gone to the war.

"Then there is Mrs. Fisher, who lives near town; can we do something for
her?" asked Mrs. Payson.

"Mr. Fisher gets drunk," said Joshua; "and Mrs. Blake says it does no
good to try to help them, for he sells things that are given to his wife
to buy whisky."

"But shall we leave poor Mrs. Fisher to suffer?" said Mrs. Payson.
"Shall we try to do nothing for her and her dear children? They are
often cold for want of clothes and a fire. They are often hungry,
because Mr. Fisher gets drunk, and is unkind to them.

"With so many good things around us, shall we not try to help the little
hungry children who have an unkind father?"

"O, yes, mamma!" said all the children at once.

"May I give something to Martha Kelly," asked Rebecca, "who says she
never has any presents?"

"Poor little Martha is not much older than you are, my daughter," said
Mrs. Payson; "yet she is obliged to work quite hard; for her mother is
sick and her father is poor. But she has a sweet, smiling face, and she
lives in a happier home than many children of rich parents."

"I know, mamma," said Joshua, "Martha always looks pleasant, even in a
shabby dress."

"Mr. Kelly is a very kind and good man," said Mrs. Payson; "and I hope,
before another Christmas, he will be able to give his family a better

"They look happy because they have good thoughts and try to do their
duty. None can be happy, even in beautiful homes, unless their thoughts
are right.

"I hope you will select a pleasant book for little Martha, my daughter,
and I will send some articles to her mamma."

"It is now your bedtime, my darlings. To-morrow we will begin to prepare
our Christmas gifts for the poor."

The children kneeled down and thanked God for being so good to them, and
asked him to help them to be kind and obedient, and to speak the truth.

After they had said their prayers, Newton ran to his mamma and kneeled
down again by her side, and said, "Will God please to help the hungry
little children to smile, for Christ's sake?"



The next day, after the children had finished their lessons, Mrs. Payson
said, "I will tell you a little story, showing how a child can do much

"Many years ago, I knew a little boy who could not walk. His nurse let
him fall, when he was a baby, and hurt his back, so that he grew out of
shape, and could not stand on his feet.

"The little boy's name was Fritz Ritter. His parents lived in a pleasant
home, and did all they could to make their darling lame boy happy.

"They taught him to read, and write, and to draw pictures.

"But Fritz said, 'That is not enough. I have dear friends, who do every
thing for me. Now, I must do something too.'

"His father kept a man to draw him about in a little wagon; so Fritz
knew all the streets in town, and visited the machine-shops and mills
to see how things are made. Almost every one looked kindly on his sweet,
pale face, and wherever he went the people would talk with him and show
him what he wished to see.

"As he rode about the city he saw many poor houses, and hungry and
ragged children.

"One night, when his mamma laid him in his little bed, she saw that he
was sad and quiet.

"'What is the matter with my little boy to-night?' she asked.

"'I have seen so many poor little children on Stone Alley to-day,' said
Fritz, 'who were ragged and dirty, I wished they had good homes and
good mammas.'

"'I am sorry for all poor little children who are ragged and hungry,'
said Mrs. Ritter. 'But, as we can not give them pleasant homes we must
do what we can for them; for you know Christ says, "The poor ye have
always; and whensoever ye will, ye may do them good."'"

"Fritz turned his face away and shut his eyes as though he was tired.
But he was not tired; he was only thinking.

"He had stopped many times at a little shop, in the edge of town, where
baskets were made; a man, and a woman, and several children worked
there, and they made many kinds of baskets; some of them very fine and

"Fritz had sat in the shop a long time that day, and he asked the man if
he might come every day, and learn to make baskets.

"Now, in his little bed, with his eyes shut, he was thinking how he
would make them and sell them for money to help poor children.

"The next morning Fritz told his mamma what he had been thinking about.

"She was pleased with his plan; for she thought it would amuse her
darling little lame boy.

"Fritz went to the basket-maker's shop all Summer, and by the time cold
weather came he could make very beautiful baskets. Some merchants in
town sold them for him, and by Christmas time he had laid up several
dollars, which he said he should give to poor widow Wilcox, who looked
sick and pale, and had two children.

"Mrs. Ritter gave Fritz a little room at home for his shop; and his papa
put into it all the materials necessary for making baskets; and there
Fritz spent several hours every day at his work.

"He was happy and said, 'Now I am of some use, as I can help to make
others good and happy.'

"Widow Wilcox and her children had food, and a fire, and clothes in the
cold Winter weather; and it was the little pale-faced lame boy who gave
them to her.

"Jim and Dora Wilcox learned their books because Fritz wished them to do
so. They would not play any more with bad children on the streets,
because Fritz told them they must not. And when Jim promised that he
would try to remember and not use any more naughty words, Fritz told him
he would give him all the books he would read to Dora and his mother.

"Finally, Jim went every day to Fritz's little shop, and learned to make
baskets. He was so handy that, by the time another Christmas came, he
was able to carry to his mother money that he had himself earned.

"Fritz was about ten years old when he began to make baskets. The Lord
allowed him to live only two years longer; but, in that time, many poor
children loved him, and thanked him for his kindness. When he died many
tears were shed in the alleys and back streets, where the dear
pale-faced boy had tried to make others good and happy.

"Little children went in a great company, when he was buried, and threw
flowers into his grave.

"We believe that when Fritz's gentle spirit left his poor, crooked body,
it went to the happy land, to grow in beauty forever. But he is not
forgotten on earth; and now, many years after, there are those who
bless the dear little lame boy."

"Did you know him, mamma?" asked Rebecca, with tears in her eyes.

"Yes," said Mrs. Payson. "It was when I was a young girl that I attended
the funeral of little Fritz.

"Mr. Wilcox, who keeps the great store of baskets in town, where you
have sometimes stopped with me to see how beautiful they are, is the
little Jim whom Fritz taught to be good and useful.

"He has always taken tender care of his mother, who is now so old she
remembers but little; but if you ask her about Fritz she will talk a
long time about him, whom she calls 'God's dear child.'"

"Your true story, mamma, is better than made-up ones," said Joshua, as
he walked away to the window.

"When I look at my little work-basket, mamma," said Rebecca, "that you
bought of Mr. Wilcox, I shall think of Fritz, and the basket will help
me to be good."

"So you see, my darling," said Mrs. Payson, "when our bodies are turning
to dust in the ground, the deeds which we did may be helping others to
be good or bad."



When the family were gathered in the parlor, after dinner, Mrs. Payson
said, "We will now see how we can help poor Mrs. Fisher; for there are
none who more need kind words and deeds than helpless ones whom a bad
husband and father leaves to suffer, and sometimes to perish, with
hunger and cold."

"But how can we give Mrs. Fisher any thing, if her husband sells it?"
asked Joshua.

"There is an honest woman living next to Mrs. Fisher's," said Mrs.
Payson, "who has washed for me sometimes. I will hire a place in her
little yard for coal, and send some there. I will give Mrs. Fisher
tickets for getting a half bushel at a time, when she needs it, so she
can have a fire."

"And I will give her tickets for getting bread at the bakery, and meat
and potatoes in market," said Mr. Payson. "She must get a little at a
time, and not keep any in the house for her husband to carry off."

"That will be good," said Rebecca; "the little hungry children will

"I will give half of my money to buy some shoes for Dick Fisher," said

"And I will give half of mine to buy a flannel petticoat for Mrs.
Fisher," said Rebecca.

"Here is my money, mamma," said Newton, who had run to bring his little

"May we send the children some of our toys?" asked Rebecca.

"You may send what you please," said Mrs. Payson. "We will put them in
a basket with enough food for a good dinner, and you may carry all to
her, Christmas morning, with the tickets."

"O, mamma," said Joshua, "it will be pleasant to see how surprised and
happy they will look."

"Now, what shall we do for Mrs. Grant?" asked Mrs. Payson.

"Several neighbors have promised to join me in giving her coal, flour,
and meat, as long as she needs such help," said Mr. Payson.

"I will prepare some clothes for herself and her children," said Mrs.

"And we will give them some toys and books," said Joshua.

"Will you please, papa," said Newton, "send word to Santa Claus to carry
his pack to the top of Mrs. Grant's chimney? And I will tell little lame
Harry to hang up his stocking."

"Yes," said Mr. Payson smiling, "I will send word to Santa Claus to have
his eight tiny reindeer jingle their bells right merrily over Mrs.
Grant's chimney."

That night Mr. Payson's three children went to bed feeling very happy;
for they were trying to do something to make others good and happy.



The stars were yet winking through the pine trees on Christmas morning,
when the little Paysons went shouting their "merry Christmas" through
the house.

Santa Claus had filled their stockings with just what they most wanted.
Strange that he should know so well!

There could be no more morning naps now, and while the stars were
shutting their eyes Bridget prepared the early breakfast, so the
children might go with their happy hearts and their gifts to gladden
those who needed kind words and good deeds.

After the family had joined in their morning worship, Mr. Payson said,
"Now, my children, we will go and see some sad faces smile, while mamma
prepares the Christmas-tree; for she says we must not have a peep at it
till our friends come this evening."

By the time the sun was looking over the tree tops, Mr. Payson and the
children were riding toward Mrs. Grant's with a basket of good things
and a great many kind words.

They found the little Grants in quite an uproar. They had hung up their
stockings for the first time in their lives, and now they were spreading
out Santa Claus's wonderful gifts with great glee.

The basket was carried in, and Mr. Payson told Mrs. Grant what more
would be done for her every-day comfort.

Tears came in her eyes when she thanked him and the children.

"It almost made me feel like crying," said Rebecca, when they had left
the house, "to see poor lame Harry's face look so happy."

At Mrs. Fisher's they found a gloomy and unhappy scene.

Mr. Fisher sat with his hair falling over his half-shut eyes, while the
hungry and cold children were huddled around the half-warmed stove on
which their mother was trying to cook something for breakfast.

"My children have come to bring some smiles to yourself and your little
ones this Christmas morning," said Mr. Payson to Mrs. Fisher, as they
stepped into the miserable home.

"Mamma says, will you please have a good dinner?" said Rebecca, as she
and Joshua carried the basket to Mrs. Fisher, whose eyes filled with
tears at this unexpected kindness.

Mr. Payson gave her the tickets for coal and food, and told her that his
wife would call sometimes and see how she enjoyed them.

Mr. Fisher hung his head in shame as the bright faces of the little
Paysons left. But a ray of light had shone into that gloomy home, and
Mrs. Fisher's sad face smiled when she saw her children spreading out
their Christmas gifts. Each one had been kindly remembered and was
bright with happiness.

Joshua, and Rebecca, and Newton rode toward home, carrying hearts filled
anew with love, and gentleness, and kindness.

Mr. Payson next knocked at Mr. Kelly's door. Mrs. Kelly was sitting,
wrapped up, in a rocking chair, sick, but having a pleasant smile.
Little Martha was doing the morning work, and looked with surprise at
the early visitors and their good gifts.

The children soon had the food spread out for Mrs. Kelly to see what a
nice dinner she would have; and Martha fairly danced around the room,
holding up a good Sunday frock for herself and a pretty story book.

"This _is_ a happy Christmas," said Rebecca as they rode home.

"We learn, my children," said Mr. Payson, "that those who try to do
their duty may be rich in happy hearts and smiling homes though they
are very poor.

"But bad hearts and bad ways make the sunshine seem gloomy in the finest

When the sun went down that night, friends, both old and young, gathered
in Mr. Payson's parlors, to pluck gifts from the well-loaded

Fruits from all parts of the world were hanging in its branches, and
toys and books peeped out from the green leaves.

When little eyelids were closed in sleep that night, the stars winked
and smiled over little hearts that were brimful of love; because, by
giving, they had grown rich.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Happy Hearts" ***

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