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Title: Leaves for a Christmas Bough - Love, Truth, and Hope
Author: Unknown
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: CHRISTMAS EVE.]



LEAVES

FOR A

CHRISTMAS BOUGH.

[Illustration: Child Reading]

Love, Truth, and Hope.

BOSTON:

WM. CROSBY & H. P. NICHOLS,

111 WASHINGTON STREET.

NEW YORK: CHARLES B. NORTON, 71 CHAMBERS STREET.

1849.



  Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1849, by
  WILLIAM CROSBY & H. P. NICHOLS,
  in the Clerk's Office of
  the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.


COOLIDGE AND WILEY, PRINTERS, 12 WATER ST., BOSTON.



PREFACE.


Recollections of the many pleasant hours passed with a certain juvenile
circle, not fifty miles from Boston, and associations connected with
this joyous season, have induced the feeble effort of collecting a few
stray leaves for its amusement. Hoping that their many defects, arising
from a hasty preparation amid various cares and occupations, may be
kindly pardoned, they are presented as a trifling Gift for the Holidays.

To that group, bound together by a mutual sympathy in each other's joys
and fleeting sorrows, it may not be uninteresting to recall the days of
"Auld Lang Syne." The scene will be a chequered one, for amid the frolic
and sunshine, some tears will have been shed; while with hours of hard
and thoughtful study, the bitterness of failure will sometimes appear.

But the bright and beautiful so far prevail over the rest, that such
only need be recalled; and while enjoying those sweet remembrances, let
us be merry and glad together. With truth and goodness as our constant
aim, let us strive to make daily progress in the school of life, and
though we may be separated on Earth, we may hope for a blissful reunion
in Heaven.



CONTENTS.


  Preface,                                                 5

  A Letter from Santa Claus,                               9

  Rigolette,                                              14

  A Story for Minna,                                      19

  A Story for Nellie and Molly,                           21

  The School-Teacher's Song,                              24

  Letter from the West,                                   26

  A Sketch for the Members of the "Sunbeam Society,"      31

  Scraps about Dogs,                                      34

  A Letter from a little Girl to a Sick School-mate,      39

  Who is my Neighbour?                                    46

  A Few Rhymes for Dan,                                   51

  A Story for Little Emma,                                53

  A Story told under the Great Elm Tree,                  55

  A Letter,                                               60

  A Conversation on Fairs,                                65

  A True Sketch for the Two Sisters,                      68

  Scraps from a Journal, picked up in a gale of Wind,     71

  An Incident,                                            76

  A Story for Willie,                                     78

  A Letter,                                               81

  A Parody on the Mower's Song,                           87

  A Few Rhymes for "Charlie Boy,"                         89

  A Story for Lizzie,                                     91

  The German Musicians,                                   94

  Letter from a Little Girl to an Absent School-mate,    102

  An Account of a Sea-Shore Visit,                       107

  A Tribute to the Memory of a Sunday-School Scholar,    113

  A Simple Story for Georgy,                             118

  A Story for Sweet Little Fanny,                        121

  Sketches from a Fireside Journal,                      124

  Unda, or the Fountain Fairy,                           128



Leaves for a Christmas Bough.


A LETTER FROM SANTA CLAUS,

FOR CHRISTMAS, 1849.


MY DEAR CHILDREN:

As I have always been in the habit of meeting with you on this
Anniversary, and as I cannot expect to see you all together this year,
for the sake of old times I am going to write you a letter. Perhaps you
are not aware that I have been a silent spectator of your daily
occupations, but so it is.

I generally take a nap from one year to another, so after our glorious
celebration at the "Bee-Hive," I packed myself away in the stove-pipe
for that purpose; but the hum of merry voices kept me awake, and thus I
lay and listened to what was going on. The fairies, in whom you perhaps
all believe, have also been quite numerous in your vicinity, and from
my relationship to them, I have often heard of your excursions over hill
and dale, and the many gay times you have enjoyed together.

I travel over many regions at this season of the year, and in order to
accomplish all I wish, in my endeavors to please the young folks, I
shall begin my preparations a little earlier than usual, so you need not
wonder if I visit some of you a little before Christmas and New Year,
with one of my gifts. This will consist of a few of the simplest little
sketches, letters, and reminiscenses of the various occurrences in which
you have participated, and I hope the contents of this "Christmas Bough"
will give you as much satisfaction as those of by-gone seasons, when the
festive pine-tree erected to my honor has been loaded with gay and
glittering gifts.

I trust you will all enjoy the holiday, and with glad and grateful
hearts fully appreciate the many privileges you enjoy, as the children
of kind parents, and the objects of interest to affectionate friends. Of
course you will be most forcibly reminded of the Giver of all these
blessings, and you will love to listen about the "gentle child Jesus,"
in honor of whose birth the day is celebrated.

By looking back upon the past year, you can see what steps you have
taken in self-improvement, what you have learned, what left unlearned;
and the retrospect will help you to form new plans for the future, which
now rises bright and beautifully before you. One little girl will have
the satisfaction of having almost conquered a peevish temper, which made
her very disagreeable; another will have acquired habits of neatness and
order, so necessary to comfort and enjoyment.

This scholar will have an increase of memory, and thus avoid the
repetition of that troublesome phrase, "Oh, I forgot;" and that one will
become more thoughtful, and will not consider the excuse, "I didn't
think," sufficient to cover her frequent blunders. A nice, hearty
little fellow that I know will have learned to read fluently, and to
love his books for the sake of all the good and pleasant things he can
find in them; while another rogue will be kind and gentle to his
sisters, and give up the naughty habit of teasing his companions. The
proud child will learn her true value, and not think herself better than
her mates, on account of her pretty face, fine clothes, or handsome
residence; while best of all these changes, the cowardly and deceitful
will be ever brave and truthful, finding that honesty is the greatest
safeguard, and truthfulness a shield from many temptations.

All foolish quarrels will be forgotten, and the spirit of love and good
will pervade all their actions, as the children resolve to aid their
kind parents in family cares, the brother and sister mutually assisting
each other, and with cheerful, bright faces make a perpetual sunshine at
home. In this delightful progress, the claims of those who have always
served you as devoted domestics, will not be forgotten; and by your
thoughtfulness, you can thus atone for many an unkind word or heedless
exaction on your part.

As children of benevolent parents, you will help to bestow gifts upon
the poor and needy, and nothing, I know from watching you all, will be
more pleasant than this part of the Christmas rejoicings. I shall want
to hear from you in answer to this lengthy epistle, for I know you are
all used to writing; and be assured I shall ever feel a sincere and
hearty interest in your welfare, and whatever may be your position in
life, memory will carry me back to the happy days spent in the pretty
village of D. And now, as I draw on my seven-leagued boots for other
scenes, I will wish you all a "Merry Christmas," and a "Happy New Year."

  SANTA CLAUS.



RIGOLETTE.


A little girl, thinking it was very difficult to write compositions,
once went to her teacher, and said, "Will you please tell me how to
begin? for I do not know what to say first." "How would you begin, if
you were to relate the subject to me?" "Oh! it would be very easy to
_talk_ it all, but to _write_ it properly is very hard." "Well, my dear,
just suppose yourself talking to me, and for once forget the
difficulties of a composition, and I have no doubt you will succeed."
Pointing to an engraving of Rigolette, she continued, "Go and write a
description of that picture, and if you will patiently persevere till it
is carefully finished, I will tell you a story about your favorite."


HERE IS THE COMPOSITION.

"There is a young girl sitting by a window, looking at her Canary
birds. She seems to be very busy with her work, but she stops sewing for
a moment, to listen to the singing of the birds. Her face is very
beautiful; her hair is dark and neatly parted on her forehead. Her eyes
are brown, perhaps black; her nose straight, her cheeks rosy, and her
mouth sweet and smiling. She has a handkerchief tied round her head, and
she wears a dark, nice-fitting dress. The furniture in the room is a
large old-fashioned table, a high-back chair, and on the window-seat is
a pot of pretty flowers. The green blind is drawn up, and in the
distance, the top of a church is seen, so I suppose the room is very
high. The birds' cage is covered with chick-weed and flowers, and I
guess they are very happy and contented. Her hands are white and
handsome, but her thimble is blue, and different from any I ever saw,
and I should think she was hemming a handkerchief."

As a reward for her ready acquiescence, the following little sketch was
written: "Rigolette was a young French girl, in Paris, and earned her
livelihood by following the trade of a seamstress. She had been left an
orphan at a very early age, but from her joyous, happy temperament, she
had acquired her name, which signifies 'The Warbler.' For the people who
adopted her, she performed the duties of a faithful daughter, and was
ever cheerful, active, and industrious. She was placed in the midst of
poor and even wicked people, but her native love of the good and
beautiful saved her from contamination."

"As a young girl of twenty, when deprived of her early protectors, she
lived by herself, with her two Canaries, 'Ramonette and Papa Crétu,' for
her companions; and solaced by their songs, with the native buoyancy of
youth and health, she passed a busy, contented life. Though possessing
very limited means, she was most charitable, supporting a poor family
for a whole winter, and often cheering the sick and lonely. She was
proverbial, in all the neighborhood, for her neatness, taste, industry,
good humor, and active benevolence. She thus became the friend, the
assistant, the confident, and adviser, whenever it was in her power to
aid others, and like a sunbeam she gladdened many a dark and gloomy
apartment."

"Still, she was used to suffering, and sorrow visited her young heart
when her cousin was unjustly thrown into prison. Nobly did she devote
herself to him, when deserted by all others, and many were the efforts
she made to gain his release."

"Meanwhile she made the acquaintance of a German prince, who, in order
to become acquainted with his subjects, travelled through his dominions
in disguise. Through his efforts the cousin was released, and made the
proprietor of a fine farm. By daily intercourse the good prince became
intimately acquainted with the excellent French girl, and fully
appreciated her many estimable qualities. By her means the prince's
daughter, who had long been lost, was joyfully restored to his
affection, and to her proper rank in society."

"Soon after Rigolette was married, and the prince made her a handsome
present on her wedding day. A beautiful rose-wood box, containing many
tasteful articles of apparel, and various ornaments to adorn her country
home, was sent to her with this inscription: "To Industry, Prudence, and
Goodness." Her gratitude for all these favors was unbounded, and many
kind, affectionate letters passed between them, keeping up a continued
interest through life. The example of one such good and cheerful being
is a blessing to all around, imparting the purest pleasure, and teaching
a valuable lesson to those who come within its genial influence."



A STORY FOR MINNA.


There was once a little mouse, that was kept in a nice little trap, and
carefully tended by many good children. It was a great pet, and grew fat
and plump every day. It was so tame that it would sit up just like a
squirrel, and eat its little dinner without the least fear of those
around.

Sometimes it would wash its face like a kitten, and then, after a race
round the room, creep back to its wire cage and take a long nap. It had
a soft, warm bed of cotton and wool, which it would pull to pieces
before it went to sleep, to the great amusement of all the boys and
girls, who daily watched its capers.

No mouse ever had a pleasanter time, or greater dainties at its command.
It had plenty of cheese and sugar, and though it had no companions, it
seemed to play as much as it liked, and to be very happy. On the table
near it stood a globe full of gold fishes sailing in the water, and over
its head were two yellow Canary birds. What they thought of each other,
I can't say; but it was a strange sight to see the beast, birds, and
fishes thus brought together.

No cat ever disturbed little mousey's retreat, but alas, one cold
winter night, it froze to death! From its fate, if you ever are allowed
to keep pet animals, remember to take good care of them, for they are
helpless creatures, and dependent upon you for constant watchfulness.



A LITTLE STORY FOR NELLIE AND MOLLY.


Hanging high above the school-room door, there was a little brown leaf,
which flew round and round in airy circles, and at last, attracting the
notice of certain inquisitive "little folks," was called "the little
bird." Upon being swept down from its winter's perch, the following
little scrap was found rolled up in its folds.

"To day has been dull and rainy, but I was in an atmosphere full of
sunshine, for nice little boys and sweet little girls were near me on
one side of the room, and on the other, busy young misses and maidens.
The "wee little ones" said a nice lesson from Peabody's Primer, which is
a very pretty book, and I could see they were improving very much."

"Then the second class, composed of youngsters about six or seven years
old, recited from the Spelling Book, the Geography, the Mental
Arithmetic, and then read from a book all about animals, birds, and
fishes. They all answered briskly, stood up very straight, turned out
their toes, and looked so smiling you would have thought they were
playing a very pleasant game."

"Once in a while they could not answer the questions correctly, and then
down went a little boy or girl a place lower in the class; but in spite
of that they all kept good natured, and were thus saved from getting
into more trouble."

"One darling little girl, who had sometimes been tempted to pout and
spoil her face by crying, made a great effort to keep calm when she lost
the head of the row, and succeeded. 'I didn't cry, did I?' said she,
'and I am determined I never will again.'"

"Then the teacher kissed her beaming face, and the sweet child felt as
happy as her teacher, at the consciousness of her great victory, and
all her little companions were very glad with her, for they loved each
other dearly."



THE SCHOOL TEACHER'S SONG.

A PARODY ON THE VINE DRESSER'S SONG.


    Come away girls, to labor,
    Brightly glows the young day;
    Come away, every young neighbor,
    To the school-room away.

    The clear echo ringing,
    Is heard on the lawn,
    While the school-girl is singing
    Her joys in the morn.

    In the bright glancing school-room,
    From tree and from stream,
    O'er each rose-tinted cheek-bloom,
    How plays the Sun's beam.
                        Come away, &c.

    Come, each happy young maiden,
    Your lesson prepare,
    With heads freely laden
    With Learning's sweet fare.
                        Come away, &c.

    Then the blithe ones come bounding,
    Aroused by the call,
    And their voices resounding
    Good lessons from all.
                        Come away, &c.

    Hark! the scholars now wending,
    The street-side along,
    Are cheerily blending
    Their shouts and their song.
                        Come away, &c.



LETTER FROM THE WEST.

RIVER-SIDE, ST. CHARLES.


My dear Coz:

Here I am settled down at the far West, on a pretty little farm, and
enjoying every earthly blessing. I am surrounded by a family of merry
children, who frolic round from morn till night, enjoying every moment
of the bright sunshine, and never tired of admiring the beauties all
around them. Perhaps a description of my pets may amuse you, so with a
mother's natural pride, I will draw a picture of their various traits.

My oldest son is a tall, black-eyed boy, and a most gentlemanly little
fellow of his age, assisting his father on the farm, and often lending
his aid to me in the school-room, when, amid the cares of teaching, I
need a monitor. Young as he is, the native energy of his mind makes the
smaller ones bend to his will, and they are very fond of him, in spite
of his exactions.

Charlie, the second, is very precocious, and astonishes us all, by the
readiness with which he acquires every thing, and I look forward to the
time when he will be as great a student as his father.

Annie is a fair-haired, gentle lassie, with deep, earnest blue eyes, a
most delicate complexion, which, from her great sensitiveness, is the
perfect index of her feelings. She is very conscientious, and has never
once deceived me. She is fond of her needle, and will be a most
efficient help in the cares of the household, as she is ever most happy
when quietly seated at my side.

Ada, her sister, is a perfect contrast, with large, black eyes, and a
face glowing with health and happiness. She is not at all pretty, but
her constant good humor and lively sympathy impart an animated and
pleasant expression, as agreeable to us as beauty. With her brothers
she is a great favorite, ready for any plan of theirs, and though she is
often in mischief, her merry laugh procures a speedy pardon. As I look
out of the window, I see the group coming in from the woods, loaded with
flowers and mosses, and Ada mounted on the white poney, looking like a
gipsey queen surrounded by her subjects.

The two youngest, Arthur and Mabel, are the darlings of all, and are the
objects of general pride and attention, particularly the former, who is
beginning to show quite a taste for mechanics.

In looking at my children, I am often reminded of our own childish
days, when together we roamed in the pleasant village of D., free as
birds and careless of aught beside the present. Do you remember those
good old times, when, with our teacher, we took such pleasant walks,
hunting for wild flowers to press in our herbaliums, and the frolics we
had going after berries or nuts?

Then our summer picnics, at Powder Rock, Pine Grove, Vine Rock, Cow
Island, Harrison Grove, Table Mount, Job's Island, the Farm, and other
favorite spots too numerous to mention. In winter, too, can we ever
forget the "Quilting Bee," followed in the evening by the "Candy
Scrape"; our famous French class nights, when we performed "Le Bourgeois
Gentilhomme;" and last but not least the representation of the
"Knapsack?"

With these scenes of pleasure, comes the memory of more serious hours,
passed in improving study, and instructive courses of reading. The
Examinations, at which we quaked with fear, in the presence of the
Committee and the assembled parents. But they generally ended with
unalloyed pleasure, as we received our premiums for any progress in our
lessons, or any steady effort to acquire good habits. Our attempts at
Composition, the subject of so many sighs and groans, and the great
stumbling block in our path of learning. I have yet several relics of
our mimic Post Office, which helped us more than any thing else in
conquering the difficulties of writing.

When my children have been very good, I entertain them with a perusal of
my various notes and letters, and nothing pleases them better than
selections from my old Journal. I keep up with them the same routine we
had at school, making a pleasant walk, or a little gathering of the
neighbor's children, the result of a fortnight's earnest attention to
books and work, and seldom do I have to banish any of the happy circle.
But if laziness, selfishness, or wilful naughtiness of any kind is
manifested, the offender is debarred from the anticipated enjoyment.

And now, dear Coz, I shall expect an answer to my lengthy epistle, with
a full account of Henry, Emma, Molley, and Dan, of whom my little ones
often draw imaginary pictures, believing them to be possessed of every
perfection.

Ever Yours, with kisses from all here, I remain,

  MARY CRIBBENS.



A SKETCH

_FOR THE MEMBERS OF THE "SUNRISE SOCIETY," AND THOSE WHO HAVE A
QUICK EYE CAN BEST JUDGE IF THE OUTLINES RESEMBLE THE ORIGINAL._


In a certain town situated on the banks of the winding Charles, and in
the neighborhood of a village church, there is an humble school-house,
shaded by magnificent elm trees, the pride of the place. In the interior
stand two rows of green desks, flanked by sober-looking chairs, and
occupied by scholars of all ages from five to fifteen. In the centre is
a venerable stove, which for many years has been the presiding genius of
the place, and has retained its stand in the midst of various
revolutions. In winter it imparts its generous warmth to roast
chestnuts and apples, and in summer it serves as a graceful pedestal for
flowers, while its long funnel, raised over the heads of those below,
seems like a protecting arm.

On its walls hang various maps, drawings, and pictures, one in
particular, the object of their admiration and regard; each having some
pleasant association, and all combining to add a pleasant aspect to the
room. At the upper end of the apartment, which is used as a
dressing-room, library, and play-house, &c., &c., are two great tablets,
with the following inscriptions:

    "There's not a leaf within the bower,
    There's not a bird upon the tree,
    There's not a dew drop on the flower,
    But bears the impress, Lord of Thee!

    God, thou art good! Each perfumed flower,
    The smiling fields, the dark green wood,
    The insect fluttering for an hour;
    All things proclaim that _God is good_."

Near the said stove is a table covered with books and work, scattered
round in most elegant confusion, while in the centre stands a beautiful
white vase, filled with the sweetest flowers. Near by are "the little
ones," making their first attempts at writing and drawing upon the
slate, or perhaps sewing upon their many-colored patchwork. In the
larger circle may be seen the older sisters and companions industriously
plying their needles and pencils, while listening to the reading of some
interesting book.

In this circle are various specimens of happy childhood; some being
plump and rosy, others pale and thin, some tall and some short, some
with black eyes and others with blue or grey, but the countenances of
all lit up by the earnest expression of eager interest. With the
sunshine playing round their young heads, clustering together, there
cannot be a more fascinating picture, or one more worthy of an artist's
hand; for what is a more beautiful sight than a group of bright-faced,
busy-fingered children?



SCRAPS ABOUT DOGS.


In the depth of winter, all the dogs in a certain inland town were
supposed to be seized with madness. Numbers fell victims to the mania
for murdering them, and the noble hound, the fierce mastiff, the
graceful spaniel, the sagacious Newfoundland, were, with the common cur,
alike liable to death. Fierce-eyed men roamed through the streets,
thirsting for blood, and waited to destroy their prey by open assault,
or with the treacherous snare of poisoned meat.

The snow lay cold and bright upon all the ground, glittering icicles
gemmed all the trees, and no sounds were heard besides the ringing of
the merry sleigh-bells, making music through the frosty streets. All is
still at the Bee-Hive, when suddenly a boisterous knock is heard at the
door, and upon opening it, the well known features of a dog-killer
appear.

"Whose dog is this?" he asks in a loud voice. "I really don't know," is
the timid reply, "but I believe he belongs to one of the scholars."
"Well, he has been sleeping all the morning on the snow, and he looks
very queer, so I guess he's mad, and I must kill him." Immediately the
mistress of the dog sprang to the door, and with beseeching tones,
exclaimed, "Oh, don't kill him, for it is my dog! Poor Rover! He shall
not be killed!" The man still brandishes his club, the symptoms of the
dog are pronounced those of genuine Hydrophobia, but after a spirited
consultation, the dog's life is spared, and he goes home with his happy
mistress.

Not long after, he was missing, and it is supposed that being in daily
fear of his life, and understanding the fate that awaited him, he
travelled off to parts unknown, thereby proving his superior sagacity.

Long may his young defender retain the warm heart and compassionate
feelings displayed on that occasion; for a love of the noble animals
that serve us is one sign of a kindly, generous soul, and in a woman is
most estimable.

Talking of dogs, it may not be amiss to mention one or two other
specimens of the canine race that have distinguished themselves in times
of yore. Tiger will not be forgotten by those who enjoyed the famous
coasting matches, when, after the swift ride down the steep hills of
"Auld lang syne," he so readily offered his vigorous services, and after
floundering through the snow, brought back the sled to its owner again.

Bruno, too, the companion of many pleasant walks, the attendant on many
a boat-ride, swimming half the distance, the ready assistant at any
race, and the guardian of his young friends, will not be unremembered.

But first of all in fame, and last in the hearts of those who knew him,
will the memory of dear "Old Nep" be cherished. Of him a volume might be
written in praise of his youthful grace and beauty, and his superior
intelligence, as he increased in years. Sharpened by his intercourse
with man he could understand the language addressed to him, and even
when spoken of he shewed by signs that he comprehended the remarks made
in his presence.

He could carry messages, go on errands with a basket in his mouth, carry
bundles, play ball, leap, jump, and slide with the greatest agility.
Besides these and many other accomplishments, he could draw a little
carriage, harnessed like a horse, and obey all the commands of his young
master with untiring patience.

For faithfulness as a watch dog, and for devotion to the interests of
the family, by every member of which he was dearly loved, few dogs can
compare with him. For a well spent life, and for acting well the part
assigned him, he might be cited as an example even to the human race,
some of whom might blush at the superior excellence of the dog.



A LETTER FROM A LITTLE GIRL TO A SICK SCHOOL-MATE.


NEW YEAR'S DAY.

My dear Annie:

As I have a holiday to-day, and can not get up to see you, I am going to
write you a letter. We are all very sorry that you are not well enough
to be in school yet, but are hoping every day to see you again. I will
write you something about our Christmas celebration, as it was the
pleasantest we have ever had yet, I think.

We were very busy for a good while before making things to put on the
tree, and there was a great deal of whispering every day with our
teacher, who helped us all, and had to keep a great many secrets. Then
we practised our prettiest songs from the School-Singer, and recited
our different pieces of poetry, and besides all that we reviewed a good
many lessons. When the day itself came, we were almost crazy with
delight, and with the many things we had to do. Some of us left
invitations for the parents and all the old scholars to come, some
helped make the curtains, which altered the school-room so you would not
have known it. Some of us helped make evergreen trimming to dress the
walls, while the boys went after two beautiful pine trees, to put at the
end of the room, and some of us fixed the candles in tin stands which we
called our silver chandeliers. The young ladies were busy trimming the
church close by, so we could run in there for a minute, to look at the
beautiful great Cross behind the pulpit, and the wreaths and festoons,
for the people were going to celebrate Christmas eve.

Then in the afternoon we brought all our presents to put on the trees,
and they looked beautifully, and there were so many things we had to
have a table besides. Then we made a platform of the benches, and fixed
the chairs all round the room for the company; the boys put up a curtain
for us in front of the trees, and after every thing was ready, we
arranged ourselves as we were to sit in the evening. Soon after tea we
all went to the school-room early, and I brought a rake and some hay,
for I was to be one of the seasons.

There was an address by one of the young gentlemen, and then we all sang
a Christmas song, but I felt so frightened, I could'nt sing very loud.
Then the curtains dropped, and we were arranged as the four seasons.
When it was raised, the two Marys represented Spring; I was Summer, with
a broad-brimmed hat on, and a rake in my hand, and little Emma sat by my
side, holding flowers. I said the mower's song, and then we all sang
another piece. Next came N., dressed as Autumn, with a beautiful wreath
of dried grasses on her head, a sickle in her hand, and close by her
side, dear little Lena knelt with a basket of grapes and apples. Then
Ellen appeared as "Winter," dressed in a red tunic trimmed with white
fur, a muff in her hands, and a fur cap on her head, and she looked very
pretty. "Jack Frost" was at her feet kneeling on a sled, with skates on
his shoulders; he said a long piece of poetry about "Christmas Eve," and
every now and then he rattled some sleigh-bells.

After the "Four Seasons," two of the smallest children stood up a minute
as "Day and Night"; one of them, with rosy cheeks, blue eyes, and light
hair, had a white veil thrown over her head, and the other, with coal
black eyes, and dark hair, had on a black veil, and I think it was the
prettiest thing we had. Dear Abby was the "New Year" of 1849, holding a
large silver cross in her hand, and she said her piece beautifully. Then
Agnes came out as the "Old Year," dressed as an old woman with a
high-crowned cap; she said her piece very perfectly, and she made every
body laugh, she did her part so well.

Last of all, Santa Claus appeared, all dressed in furs, and holding a
bag of presents, and then we all sang together our last song, a great
deal better than the others.

A gentleman then helped give out the presents, but there was such a
crowd, it was hard work to get them. Just then one of the trees caught
fire; and _somebody_ rushing to put it out, tipped over one of the
trees, making a great crash, but no harm was done. It took almost an
hour to give the presents, and after that we all went home with our arms
full of pretty things. The next day we came to the school-room to look
over our gifts, and put the room to rights; then we had some cake and
peanuts, instead of the night before; for you know that is always our
usual treat, and then we all went to church together.

I hear you had a great many presents, and we hope you liked those the
scholars sent you. It has been very cold since Christmas, so we have not
had any sleigh-rides, but we have been on the ice almost every
afternoon, and we have fine times sliding and skating. The great girls
go by moonlight, and have been up to Wigwam Pond, which is just like a
silver floor.

Do you remember those times when we used to slide on your pond near the
old mill, and how we cried if we fell down or our fingers were cold? The
little brook all frozen up and filled with crystals, we thought was like
a Fairy's palace, it was so glittering and had so many colors.

Every day, at noon, when the snow is soft, we make snow forts, and we
have made a great snow man, which is our giant, and at night he gets
real hard. Then we play "English and Americans," like our history
lessons, but the Americans always beat, because the most girls take that
side. We all send love to you, and many kisses, and hope you will soon
get well, for we are getting on very fast with our lessons.

  A Happy New Year to you.
   Yours ever,
    LIZZIE.

[Illustration: Mountain Goat]



WHO IS MY NEIGHBOUR?


"Mother," said a little girl to Mrs. Franklin, as they were seated one
day at their sewing, "will you be so kind as to tell me the real meaning
of the word _neighbour_? Our teacher in the Sunday School gave us the
text, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,' for our subject of
thought during the week, and she wants us to tell her who our neighbours
are. Now I suppose all who live in the same street are really
neighbours, though I am sure I know very few of them."

"Your idea, my dear Emily, is correct as far as it goes; but we are not
only required to feel an interest in the dwellers in the same street,
but also in all those with whom we come in contact, whether rich or
poor, high or low, young or old, provided we can be of service to
them."

"Well then, mother, if all my school-mates are my neighbours, Sarah Howe,
Julia Boyd, and even Kitty Gray come in the number; and I am sure I
cannot love _them_ as well as I do you, or sister Elizabeth, or dear
Father."

"That, my dear, is not strictly required; but a certain degree of kindly
interest, enough to treat them well whenever you meet, or in other
words, as you should like to be treated yourself." "This is quite a new
idea to me, but I do not think I could love Kitty Gray; for she is
always cross and selfish, and all the girls have determined to have
nothing to do with her."

"I hardly think this determination is a Christian one, though I
acknowledge it is very difficult to bear with such disagreeable
qualities. But did you never think, that by being kind and gentle among
yourselves to poor Kitty Gray, you might make her amiable and pleasing?
Remember, 'a soft answer turneth away wrath,' and certainly, a continued
series of kindness will produce a much more beneficial effect than
coldness and studied neglect."

"I suppose you are right, Mother, but then I can't be different from the
other girls, for they will laugh at me, and say I have left their
friendship for such girls as Kitty Gray."

"This need not be, my dear girl, if you act with a right spirit; and I
do not see why you cannot be Kitty's friend, without leaving your old
companions. Besides, if they are really good girls, better than Kitty
herself, they will not only admire your conduct, but imitate it
immediately. But the clock is striking eight, and when you return tell
me of your success."

She reached the school, greeted all the scholars, and none more kindly
than Kitty Gray, who was sitting by herself as usual, the image of
discontent and unhappiness. The latter was not a little surprised, at
this unusual mark of attention, and repaid Emily's kindness by a bright
glance of pleasure, which seemed to say, "I will not forget this."

The girls also noticed the change in Emily's conduct, and asked her the
reason of it. She replied, that she was going to try the effect of
kindness upon poor Kitty, and begged them to join in the benevolent
project. As she was a general favorite, they readily acceded to her
plan, and when the hour for recess came, many a school-mate proffered the
poor girl some act of kindness, that probably had never noticed her
before. She was invited to join in all the games, had bountiful presents
of luncheon, and several offers of help, if she found her lessons
difficult.

Poor Kitty was quite softened by these unexpected tokens of regard, and
when Emily explained the reasons of her former coldness, she resolved to
correct her bad traits of character, and to be altogether a different
girl.

Emily went home with a smiling face and happy heart, and told her mother
the adventures of the morning, being more than rewarded by the
approving smile of Mrs. Franklin, who gave her permission to invite
Kitty, with a few other girls, to spend the afternoon.

They had a merry time together, and their affectionate and obliging
manners to each other, showed very plainly that the law of love was in
all their hearts. And ever after did Emily act up to the spirit of these
divine words, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." May all Sunday
School scholars endeavor to do the same, and they will have the joy of a
good conscience and their heavenly Father's love.

  COUSIN KATE.



A FEW RHYMES FOR DAN.


    There was a little puppy once,
    With silken hair and bright black face,
    Who, that he might not be a dunce,
    Was sent to school to learn apace.

    A pint of milk and crust of bread,
    Was every day his usual food;
    And for his rest a basket bed,
    Was made up warm, and nice, and good.

    He gambolled, frisked, and frolicked round,
    So full of fun the livelong day,
    That often did the room resound
    With laughter at his tricks and play.

    And when he had learned all he could,
    To keep him safe from every harm,
    They took him from all those he loved,
    And now he's living on a farm.

    Now large he's grown, and now he's seen,
    With fringing tail and drooping ears;
    With piercing eye and scent so keen,
    "Hunter's" a dog above his peers.

    And now for game the field he scours,
    Following the huntsman with his gun;
    But I know he thinks those school-day hours,
    His greatest glee, his grandest fun.

[Illustration: Cross]



A STORY FOR LITTLE EMMA.


In the shade of a leafy Butter-nut tree, a rosy cheeked little girl sat
looking up at the blue sky, with many curious thoughts running through
her head. A friend came and sat down beside her, and to make the time
pass pleasantly, told the following little story:

Once upon a time, a cluster of boys and girls gathered under this tree,
for the sake of enjoying the beauty around them, whilst they studied and
worked in the warm sunshine.

Just in the midst, a visitor approached, and to their great delight
Peter Parley stood before them. They could scarcely believe their eyes,
for they imagined him an old man, but right glad were they to listen to
his pleasant talk.

He told them of many things he had seen in foreign lands, of his love
for good children, and of his pleasure in serving such a happy, busy
group. He also reminded them of the great Fisher Ames, who had lived on
that very spot, and was the friend of the immortal Washington.

He particularly impressed upon the minds of the boys, the importance of
forming correct habits in early life; and said if they had the right
spirit, they too might become great and good men.

Just before he left, he showed them a new book which he had been
preparing for their improvement, and which he hoped they would read for
his sake. They all promised they would; and before he said good-by he
shook hands with each one, they all begging him to come and see them
again.

After that memorable visit, many were the pleasant readings from the
"Cabinet Library," and often was Peter Parley remembered by the
inhabitants of the "Bird's Nest."



A STORY TOLD UNDER THE GREAT ELM TREE.


Well, patience young folks; don't all besiege me at once, and I will
tell you about my own school-days. As the day is so warm and bright, I
will make the scene at the South, among the thick pine woods of Georgia.

I can distinctly recollect the singular features of the spot where I was
sent to school, but it will be impossible to bring it to your mind's
eye. There were about half a dozen log houses, and an Academy standing
in the midst, like the Court-House there in the square; and being a neat
wooden house of two stories, we thought it very grand.

The little church was about a mile off, all by itself in the woods; but
why it was placed at such a distance, we never could tell, unless it
was to give people a pleasant walk on Sunday morning.

The preacher was the school-master of the place, and, as I remember, was
a very pleasant man, besides being a most excellent teacher. I remember
the day I was first ushered into the school-room, filled with strange
faces, when the master, patting me upon the head, said, "Here is a
little stranger, and I hope you will do all you can to keep her from
being home-sick."

The kind admonition had its effect, and before the day was past, their
warm hospitality made me feel as if among brothers and sisters.

Many were the pleasures of my sojourn in Springfield, and among them,
the excursions after wild flowers and birds were not the least frequent.

Once I caught a great Gopher, or Land Turtle, sleeping under a tree, and
brought him home in triumph. This creature has a tawny-colored shell on
his back, and underneath is a yellow one, ending in a square shaped
protuberance like a spade, and with this he digs his burrow or den. In
these sand holes I often played, turning them into a baby house, with
the pine cones for my numerous family of dolls.

Sometimes the master went off with us, to show us the process of making
pitch and tar, the dusky figures of the blacks tending the operation
looking like so many imps. We often came across the huge coach-whip
snake, so named from its resemblance to a whip-lash, and the hoop-snake,
only found, I believe, in those regions, and of which the negroes are
very much afraid. The flocks of wild pigeons which break the trees by
their weight, were objects of unceasing delight, and for weeks we were
feasted upon their delicate meat.

But my flower garden was my greatest pride, surrounded with a little
crooked fence, looking just like a row of herring-bone stitch, and the
soil as black as ink. I can now see the bright blue spider-wort, the
sweet-williams, the pinks, the ladies'-delight, and the clustering
roses, making the homely log cabin most beautiful in my sight.

The house, of one story, was built of logs, and with a chimney outside.
The chinks between the logs were filled up with clay, which in case of
the heavy rains so prevalent there, was not the least protection against
the storm; so we were frequently liable to an inundation.

The Crackers, a most ignorant and degraded class of poor people, used to
pass through the woods on their way to market, where they carried things
to sell. Their language is very uncouth, and their complexion very
sallow, the effects of chills and fevers, and as some say from eating
the yellow clay off the chimneys. Their bonnets were made of white
cloth, and the tops of their wagons were of the same pattern, and are
something like the covering of a butcher's cart here, but much lower and
smaller. My old nurse, a free black woman, took good care of me, feeding
me with sweet potatoes, rice, and hominy, and, as a great treat, with
ground-nuts, which she parched to perfection. When I was sick, she hung
a charm around my neck, firmly believing it performed the cure.

The scholars were a merry, lively set, and in the winter evenings had a
"Speaking Club," which I was allowed to attend, as a reward for
conquering the mysteries of Long Division, and the spelling of such
words as "Phthysic," "Catsup," &c. To me the rough blanket curtain
concealed the most glorious scenes, and as I saw the performance of
"Rolla and Pizarro," and listened to the musical cadences of Scott, or
"The death of Absalom," by Willis, I felt wrapt in an Elysium.

But now, girls, recess is over, and I will stop my description, or I
shall run the risk of seeming egotistical.



A LETTER.


THE OAKS.

My dear Daughter:

I was very glad to hear from you, and I hope you continue as well as
when you left home; for, of course, I consider your health of the
greatest importance. To preserve this, I am excessively anxious to have
you walk regularly every day, as often as twice, if possible. Be sure
and keep up the habit of cold bathing, and do not forget your usual
attention to your nails, teeth, and hair, for though I am not near to
remind you of this care, you are now old enough to take it upon
yourself. Remember the gold pencil your father has offered, if you cure
yourself of the disagreeable habit of biting your nails; so make the
effort, at least for his sake.

Try hard to have all your lessons well prepared out of school, so that
there will be time to look them over; and then if any difficulty occurs,
it may be solved by the Teacher before recitation. While reciting, pay
strict attention to all the explanations and illustrations given, for
these are often of more value than the mere text, and by your interest
you will make light the labor of instruction.

Be punctual in your hours of attendance, for then no time will be lost,
and a valuable habit will be formed, of great use in after life.

Of course your social disposition will lead you to get acquainted with
the other girls; but do be particular in your choice of companions, and
always ask yourself, if they are such as your parents would approve, or
will tend to improve you.

Do not in any case repeat the sayings of one scholar to another, for
nothing is more hateful than a habit of tattling, or a greater cause of
mischief and unhappiness. Do not fancy it is the sign of a frank
disposition, to report the harsh sayings made by one girl to another,
but on the contrary, try to create peace and love among all your mates.

Above all, be pleasant and affectionate in your bearing to your
Teachers, for nothing will more quickly endear you to them, or so fully
repay them for all their labors for your improvement.

Do not forget my advice about romping with boys, a common habit with
school-girls of your age; it is very foolish, and liable to be carried
to excess, as you yourself know, in the late troubles at the Academy
here. Be always truthful, and learn to bear a laugh at your expense,
when you know you are in the right; for ridicule is far lighter to bear
than the reproaches of conscience. You are so sensitive by nature, that
I shall particularly caution you in this respect, as I know your tears
are apt to overflow, even at trifling occurrences. These directions I
hope will not seem too tedious to you, as my motive for sending them,
is to make your duties lighter, and the time spent away from home more
profitable.

All these regulations are not incompatible with plenty of recreation,
and when you play, do it in earnest; give full vent to your over-flowing
spirits, and take plenty of exercise with your hoop and ball. It is a
pleasant sight to see a young girl enjoying her games, and the one who
works and studies the hardest, will play with the greatest zest.

I particularly depend upon your keeping a journal, and anticipate great
pleasure in reading it; for any thing interesting to you, no matter how
trifling, will be interesting to me. Write to me often, freely and
unreservedly, and if you will just imagine you are talking to me, you
will have no difficulty in keeping up quite a correspondence with me. If
I am ambitious for you in any one point, it is that you should be a
fluent writer, and should excel in Composition.

When you return home, if I see that you have improved your time, and
appreciate the advantages of attending Mr. C.'s school, I will do all I
can to make the vacation pass pleasantly. Besides a certain amount of
reading and sewing, you are to enjoy yourself, riding, walking, and
visiting as you fancy, for I mean to have the time a season of
recreation.

How do you like taking dancing lessons, and are you holding yourself
more erect than formerly? As to your request about music lessons, I
think you had better give up that plan for the present, for you have as
much as you ought to do, and in a few years, you will have more time to
practise thoroughly. When you leave school, you shall have the best
instruction on the piano and in singing.

Good night, my dear child. With love and remembrances from every member
of the family, I remain,

  YOUR AFFECTIONATE MOTHER.



A CONVERSATION ON FAIRS.


_Georgia._ "Well, Sarah, I've come to invite you to attend our Fair this
afternoon. Susy and I have been busy getting every thing ready, and we
want you to come very much. The price of admission is six pins."

_Sarah._ "Well, that isn't much I'm sure, and I will ask my mother. I am
afraid she will not let me go, for I have not finished my work, and I
know she disapproves of Fairs."

_Georgia._ "Oh, this is only a make believe Fair, and so it can't do any
harm. Besides, all we can earn we are going to give to the ladies, for
the improvement of the Burying-Ground, and that is a good object."

The mother just entering, Sarah asks her permission to attend the
proposed Fair.

_Mother._ "Where is to be, my dear?"

_Georgia._ "At the hotel; and when it is over, we are to have a dance in
the Hall."

_Sarah._ "Oh, mother, say, can I go?"

_Mother._ "I am afraid I must deny your request, for I dislike to have
you engage in such excitements at your age, and more than all, I do not
wish to have you at such public places so late in the evening, as will
be the case. Wait till you are eighteen, and then there will be plenty
of time for such gayeties, if you fancy them; but now, I want you to be
contented with a child's pleasures."

_Sarah._ "Oh, mother, I want to go so much; for Ellen, and Fanny, and
Lizzie, and Kitty are all going, and _their_ mothers are willing."

_Mother._ "They are the best judges of their own actions, but I do not
feel willing to have you there, and if you bear the disappointment
patiently, you may invite your young friends to tea next Saturday
afternoon."

_Sarah._ "Oh, thank you, mother; and I can give the twenty-five cents I
get for making this shirt, to the 'Ladies' Society' for improving the
Burying-Ground."

_Mother._ "Well, you may, my dear. Good-by, Georgia."

[Illustration: Bird Nest]



A TRUE SKETCH FOR THE TWO SISTERS.


On a beautiful farm in Worcester County, where nature seems to have
lavished all her charms, and where man is a vigorous rival in his
efforts to adorn the land, there sparkles a beautiful pond. On the
borders of that pond there is a pretty white house, in which the
following little occurrence took place.

Late in the evening a poor woman arrived, bearing in her arms a sick
baby, and leading by the hand a little tired girl. The woman was kindly
cared for, and a place of rest provided for the night, while food was
given to herself and children.

Upon asking her destination, she said she had just arrived from Ireland
in search of her sister, who was the mother of the little children. The
letter containing the directions had been lost, so there was no clue to
the parents, and she was left sad and lonely.

The little baby grew worse during the night, and in the morning, before
any physician could arrive, breathed its last in the arms of its nurse.
The poor woman seemed distracted with her grief, and constantly mourned,
"Oh! would that its mother could see her own handsome boy!" The little
girl watched everything that was going on with a quiet smile, and
thinking her little brother was asleep, kept saying, "Why don't he wake?
Poor brother, he is very sick."

Seeing her aunt weep as the beautiful child was about to be laid in its
last resting-place, she said, "Don't cry, he'll soon be well again; I'll
give him some of my cake, and then I know he'll be better."

'Twas a touching scene to see such heart-rending grief in the woman, and
the happy unconsciousness of the little girl. The poor creature could
not be comforted, as she thought of her sister's loss and her own
responsibility; but in her moments of calmness she was engaged in
earnest prayer.

As a last act of devotion, she placed a little cross, made of two pine
sticks, upon the breast of the infant, and then, as if feeling some
consolation from this act of her faith, she quietly resigned the body
for burial.

  EMMA AND LINA.

[Illustration: Cat]



SCRAPS FROM A JOURNAL PICKED UP IN A GALE OF WIND.


Monday. Began the duties of the day by reciting the texts of the day
before, the commandments, and then reading in the Testament. We were all
very busy, and tried to have a good beginning for the week, so our
lessons were well said, and no one was kept in. We sewed all the
afternoon, and listened to the reading of "Kings and Queens," by Abbot,
and we like it very much.

Tuesday. The day was bright and beautiful, and after our lessons were
over, we all went to a printing office to see the process of setting
types, and printing newspapers, and we had a present of some types for
ourselves. In the afternoon, we had a drawing lesson, and some of us
have begun landscapes.

After school we all visited the jail, to see some little children there,
and we wondered what they had done to be put in such a place. We did not
want to see the convicts, but we took a peep into the little stone
cells, and heard some one singing.

Wednesday. We sang a whole hour, as some visitors come into the school,
and then recited our lessons as usual. In the afternoon, several old
scholars and the Sunday School class, were invited to hear a new story,
called "A Trap to catch a Sunbeam," and we enjoyed it very much. Before
they left we played games on the green, and then sat down to crack nuts
and talk. In the evening all the family went to a lecture, but I staid
at home to study.

Thursday. It stormed hard, so we said all our lessons early to have a
little longer recess. We danced cotillons and learned how to waltz, as
one of the girls was so kind as to show us, and we think she is a grand
teacher. We brought our dinners and all staid at noon, when we had a
fine time playing "Still Palm," "Keeping House," and acting Charades.

Friday. We were all as busy as bees, and the teacher was very happy
because we were good. At recess we all picked up the yellow leaves, and
pinned them on our shoulders, as a badge of our belonging to the
"Sunbeam Society;" and the first one who was not good natured, was to
forfeit membership.

In the afternoon we read as usual, and then counted up the pieces of
work finished off during the week, and there was quite a variety of
useful and tasteful articles. Susy had a pair of Polish boots; Jenny
several yards of edging; Lizzy a tidy; Sarah a bead purse; Julia a sack;
Lily a bag; Annie a pair of slippers and scarf; Angelina a quilt; Abby a
book mark; Mary a sampler; Emeline a pair of pantalets; Isabella a
dress; besides handkerchiefs, towels, and knit dishcloths, from the
little ones.

After school we visited the paper factory, and saw a great many curious
operations; cutting pasteboard, coloring and polishing paper,
enamelling cards, and then most wonderful of all, the making of marbled
paper.

Saturday. We all said poetry, and made preparations for the coming
Examination; then, after the marks were counted, we changed our desks
for the next fortnight, and the _gold cross_ was given to the best
scholar.

In the afternoon we went to see some Indians make baskets in their tent,
and came away each with a specimen of their work. We then went to the
church steps, heard an address on the subject, and were requested to
read all we could find about the Indians, and at some future day to make
them a subject for composition.

Sunday. I attended Sunday School, and heard a very interesting address
from the Superintendent on the duty of being good, and several pretty
anecdotes were told to illustrate the subject. The minister joined in
the exercises, and some hymns were sung preparatory to an approaching
Sunday School celebration on Fast-day. We are all very much pleased at
the prospect, for we anticipated hearing some excellent speakers.

Our lesson was as usual from "the Parables," and the scholars wrote an
abstract from the "Pearl of great price." I went to church in the
morning, and heard a very fine sermon on the duty of a contented and
grateful disposition.

  SUSY A.

[Illustration: Reeds]



AN INCIDENT

_RECORDED FOR THE SAKE OF LITTLE ANNIE'S BENEFIT AND PLEASURE._


On a warm summer's day, as a class of little folks were reading from
their Natural History, in flew a lovely "bluebird," of which they were
at that moment reading a description.

Struck by the coincidence, they were allowed to examine his brilliant
plumage, his bright eyes and little beak, all of which he bore very
quietly, and then was set at liberty.

His flight was watched, and soon after he was seen to visit a grape-jar
placed in a neighbouring garden, and they recognized him as one of the
pets of a good lady who had often watched them from her window, whilst
patiently lingering in her last sickness. All her kindness came back to
their minds, and many were the pleasant things said about her goodness,
and their sorrow for her loss. They remembered her care of the two blue
birds, and of all the dumb creatures under her ever watchful eye; her
interest for the lone and friendless, and her unwearied attendance at
the sick and dying bed.

More than all they thought of the pleasant hours they had passed under
her roof, and of her gentleness and affectionate manner towards them.
For her sake they resolved to be good children; and all that knew her
must try to grow up as kind and benevolent to all around them, as was
this excellent and most disinterested woman.



A STORY FOR WILLIE.


Once upon a time, when leaves were falling and cold winds began to blow,
a birthday was to be celebrated. It was too late for pleasant summer
walks, and too early for winter sports, so what could be devised for
this important occasion. At last it came into the head of somebody, to
have a tea-party, and the idea was so acceptable, that it was declared a
unanimous vote.

The one useful boy offered to do errands, and bring all the necessary
articles; while the girls were to provide the feast and to array all
tastefully within the school-room. Many were the expedients, strange the
metamorphoses occasioned by the fete, and great was the fun thereof to
all concerned.

An ironing board placed upon two barrels, was converted into a beautiful
extension table, and was gracefully draped with a large white cloth. The
well-worn black-board became an elegant buffet, and instead of long rows
of figures, held pails of crystal water and jugs of sweet, fresh milk. A
solar lamp of diminutive size graced the centre of the table, which
groaned under the weight of cake, dough-nuts, bread and butter, and a
variety of other articles too numerous to mention.

One of the youngest was lady hostess, and presided at the head of the
table, aided in her duties by several nimble waiting maids.
Distinguished guests were invited, and partook of the ample
refreshments.

After a proper attention to the feast, the table was nicely cleared, the
dishes washed and wiped, and every thing put into the neatest order by
the young house-keepers. Then a merry set of dances followed to the
pleasant music of the piano, and after those, songs and choruses pealed
forth from the harmonious throng.

Last of all, Charades and Tableaux added brilliancy to the festival.
Among the words chosen for representation, were "Capital," "Caprice,"
"Childhood," and "Washington," and the actors excelled themselves.

All had a delightful time, and after one last song, sung with warmly
grasped hands, and hearts full of affection, they departed to their
various homes. Who will forget that birthday tea-party, on Thanksgiving
Eve?

[Illustration: Willow Tree]



A LETTER.


"THE VILLAGE OF TREES."

MY DEAR MOTHER:

I was very glad indeed to get your letter last week. I will try to do
all you wish, though I have already been silly enough to have one or two
crying spells. But I think I shall soon cure myself, for I have such
pleasant times, I have more cause for laughing than tears, and I mean to
keep up the good habit.

I have to study very hard, for the teacher is very particular; and the
scholars are so bright, that I must work to keep up with them. Out of
school we have grand times together, and this Spring we have formed a
Club, which we call the "Sunrise Society;" and we get up very early and
all go off to walk by six o'clock.

We have been in every direction, and I only wish you knew the delightful
walks there are here. One of the pleasantest is to the "Falls," near the
factories, through a narrow winding path, by the side of a beautiful
pond, the waters of which flow over a dam. As we look underneath the
bridge, the water rushes down with great rapidity and force, and the
noise is very loud. There is a beautiful grove close by, with rocks
scattered along the side of the stream, which runs quietly on after its
foaming, whirling jump over the dam, and it is a very romantic spot.
There are many other pleasant places, called "Rose Cottage;" "Lover's
Lane;" "Sandy Valley;" "Powder House Rock;" "Spider's Village;" "Tyot
Woods;" "Harrison Grove;" "West Retreat;" and "Purgatory;" and when you
come, I will show them all to you.

After school for the day is over, we often walk again; so you see I
shall have plenty of exercise. Yesterday, as there was no school, we
all went to the Court-House, to hear some speeches by two distinguished
lawyers, in a very interesting case, and the room was crowded. We went
early and carried our work, but we soon had to put it away for want of
elbow room. We learned something about the manner of trying a case
before a jury. There was one speaker who was very much interested in
what he was saying, and the ladies all seemed to like him the best; so I
hoped he would gain the case, and I believe he did.

Last week the weather was very warm and pleasant, so we rolled hoop at
recess and had fine fun. In the afternoon we sew and draw; and lately we
have been making garments for a poor woman and her family in another
part of the town.

After making up a large bundle, we all went to see her. She seemed very
much obliged to us, and dressed up her children to show us how nicely
the clothes fitted. We have very interesting lessons in History about
the Queens of England; and besides that we have been reading about
Marie Antoinette, who suffered so dreadfully in the French Revolution.

The little scholars have been reading some of "Mary Howitt's tales;"
"The Cousins in Ohio;" and the "Life of Robert Swain," which is very
interesting. We are all very busy with Arithmetic, and as each one gets
through any difficult section, we receive a _pictured card_ as a sort of
certificate. The little ones have been learning the Multiplication
Table, and one of them had a cunning little slate given to her, for
reciting perfectly at the fortnight's review.

Last Saturday we all went into town with our teacher, to see "Bayne's
Panorama of a Voyage to Europe," and we had to write a description of it
for our composition. We had a very pleasant time and it was very
beautiful; though I can remember but little about the scenes, they came
so fast one after another. We all liked the storm at sea, the icebergs,
and the views on the river Rhine very much; but we think Banvard's
Panorama of the Mississippi was the best. As we had been writing a
description of the Telegraph, we stopped at a place where it was made,
examined all the different parts, and had them explained to us; and some
of these days we are to see a message sent to New York.

You ask me to tell you everything, so I will end my letter, by relating
an event which took place in our school-room. As we were all sitting
round the fire, studying our lessons, down tumbled the stove-pipe with a
tremendous noise, scattering soot in every direction. Fortunately no one
was hurt; but we were all very much frightened. We had a longer play
time than usual, while a man was repairing the damage.

P.S. I forgot to tell you that I went to see a little play performed,
called "Old Poz." We had a fine time, for all the characters were well
dressed and the parts were well acted. We did not have much scenery, but
that was no matter, we had such a grand curtain. After the play we had
a young "Indian Girl," in complete costume, and "The three Sisters of
Scio," which puzzled the audience very much indeed. I went to bed later
than usual, but I had all my lessons perfect the next day; so I do not
think it did me any harm. But if you do not like such things, I will not
go again.

  With a kiss, I remain
   Your Affectionate Daughter,
    "POLLY PRIPPETS."



PARODY ON THE MOWER'S SONG.


    When early morning's ruddy light
      Bids man to labor go,
    We haste, with faces fresh and bright,
      Our early walk to go.

                            Chorus.

    And then at school we next appear,
      To pass the hours away,
    And all is lively, sprightly here,
      Like merry, merry May.

                            Chorus.

    The scholars come in gladsome train,
      And skip along the way,
    Rejoiced to con their books again,
      As flies the happy day.

                            Chorus.

    With jokes, and jests, and lively din,
      We eat our recess cheer;
    While in the healthful game we join,
      With nought to make us fear.

                            Chorus.

    When evening's shades begin to fall,
      In study's busy hum,
    We willing list to learning's call,
      And think of days to come.

                            Chorus.

    We'll fill our heads with ample store,
      Our hearts with love are stirred;
    And thus, before youth's days are o'er,
      For age our armor gird.

                            Chorus.

    And when life's harvest all is done,
      We'll give our souls the wing,
    And happy spirits all as one,
      Make Heaven with music ring.

                            Chorus.

                  CHORUS.

    We scholars--dal de ral dey,
      We'll study and then we will play;
    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, play!
      Hey-day! yes play--hey-day;
    We'll study and then we will play.



A FEW RHYMES FOR "CHARLIE BOY."


    There was a brown squirrel on a tree,
    Hopping about so merrily;
    And spying below some children near,
    Said, "I wonder what they're doing here?"

    Busy they brought both stones and sticks,
    And ovens and fires they tried to fix,
    Grand parlors too, sprang up beside,
    Their greatest work, their greatest pride!

    And there were Emma, and Willy, and Molly,
    All so bright, and merry, and jolly;
    With Charley too, and roguish Dan,
    Named for the great New Hampshire man.

    Says Bunny, "I'll try if I can see
    Anything there, will do for me;"
    So slyly he peeped from his high seat,
    As they were munching their luncheon treat.

    Says Molly to Willy and rosy Ju,
    "Here's a piece of cake for both of you;"
    And in the sunshine they cosily sat,
    Eating and talking childish chat.

    But pretty soon their play was o'er,
    And each went in at the school-room door;
    Then down came Bunny and ate their crumbs,
    And then sat coolly wiping his thumbs.

[Illustration: Bough]



A STORY FOR LIZZIE.


A little sparrow who had been very carefully, reared by her mother, was
one day permitted to go off by herself to see a little of the great
world. Delighted with her freedom, she hopped from bough to bough, and
finally alighted near a school-house.

Kindly voices met her ears, and friendly faces soon came out to watch
her motions. Without fear of molestation, she picked up the bread and
cake scattered round, and eyed the children with her bright black eyes.

Soon after she came again, bringing a little mate; and together they
chirped their thanks, and for a long time were regular and welcome
visitors.

One morning, feeling less timid than usual, one of them hopped into the
school-room, watching everything with a keen interest; but thinking he
might intrude, he flew away, very much pleased with the song the
children sung to him. It is so pretty, we will sing it now for those who
did not hear it on that occasion.

    [From the School Singer.]

    "With your singing,
    Pleasure bringing,
    Come sweet lovely bird again;
    Winter sighing
    Off is hieing,
    Joy again with you shall reign.

    Fruits and berries,
    Plums and cherries,
    Now shall be your welcome meat;
    Come to cheer us,
    Do not fear us,
    Glad indeed your songs we'll greet.

    None shall harm you,
    None alarm you,
    Sacred be your dear retreat;
    Love shall guard you,
    Love reward you,
    For your music pure and sweet.

    Oh how hateful,
    How ungrateful,
    He who would disturb your rest!
    No dear treasure,
    Wake your measure,
    Softly may you cheer my breast."



THE GERMAN MUSICIANS.


On a dark, rainy day, two weary-looking street minstrels took shelter
from the storm, under the projecting roof of a horse shed. Not far from
the place stood a small but pretty school-house, in which might be seen
a group of bright-faced and busy children; some conning their lessons,
some reciting with earnest attention, and others rejoicing with
childhood's happy freedom from care, at a temporary release from some
expected recitation.

The teacher, during the intervals of occupation, spied out the poor
wanderers, and feeling a desire to help them, she concluded to invite
them into the school-room, after receiving a promise from the
sympathizing circle, that the interruption should not interfere in the
least with their studies. Accordingly, the foreigners, who had begun to
find their covering insufficient against the drenching rain, very gladly
accepted the invitation, and modestly took their places at the farther
end of the apartment.

Many bright and inquisitive eyes were turned upon them; but remembering
their promise, the children again turned their prompt attention to their
various exercises, and while the strangers were busily engaged with some
books and a slate, they soon accomplished their required duties.

As a reward for their attention, they were allowed at recess to listen
to several gay tunes upon the organ, accompanied by the tambourine, and
very soon their lively feet joined in a merry dance. After this
irrepressible ebullition of their glee, they each played a tune
themselves, and when fully satisfied, voluntarily presented the tired
ones with donations from their luncheon baskets, and with flowers that
decked the room.

With these the boy made a wreath for his sister's head, but the girl
adorned the little image of the virgin placed upon the organ; and then
after a few entreaties, they both sang some German songs. In return the
scholars sang their prettiest pieces from the "School Singer," and at
any familiar melody, the faces of the listeners beamed with pleasure and
delight. Before the group was dismissed for home, the boy asked for a
pen and paper; and during the time he was left alone, he wrote the
following history of himself and his pretty sister for the teacher and
her scholars.

"My name is Hendrik Glaubenstein, and I am fourteen years old. My sister
Gertruyd, who is as good as an angel, is just sixteen. We have left our
poor old father and mother in Germany, and have come to this happy
country to make money.

I went to school every winter, and in summer I staid at home on account
of work; but after it was done, my sister and I studied together,
sometimes in the fields, sometimes in our little cabin. My sister
earned all she could by spinning yarn and knitting stockings, which I
took once a fortnight to the nearest town to sell. In the mean time I
earned all I could, by driving the sheep of a rich neighbor of ours to
pasture.

But somehow or other, we did not get along, as well as we wanted to; and
we always found it difficult to get the rent ready for our landlord, who
was cruel and bad tempered. What to do we did not know, so I had at last
to give up my winter's schooling, to do errands for a little money.

Finally I bought me an organ, and with that I continued to pick up
something at the Fairs; and I often had a kind word from the ladies and
gentlemen, who would listen to me and give me silver pieces. At home my
sister always sang with me when I practised, and we could make different
parts to our music. I begged her to go with me sometimes, for I knew we
could get more money if she would help me with her voice. But she said
she could not leave our poor old mother, so I wandered round alone.

In one of my journeys, I met a lad who said he was going to America, and
he told me if I would go too, I should make money fast, and we should
come home rich men. I told my sister all about this, and she thought it
would be a good plan, but that I should not go alone, for I was too
young.

After waiting a little while, we got our sister Liesle and her husband
Klaus, to come and live with mother, and then we made ready to leave as
fast possible. As soon as we could get enough money to pay our passage,
with many tears we bade good-bye to all at home; and then with prayers
to the good God, we travelled on foot through France, till we reached
the sea-shore. Here, we were stowed away in the great hold of the ship,
with many other poor companions; and sometimes we were sick, and
sometimes we were hungry, for we did not bring enough victuals to last
us all our voyage. But Gertruyd was so pleasant to the others, helping
the women to take care of their babies, and often singing her pretty
songs, that every one gave us something, and we managed to get along.

When we reached New York we were in great trouble, for we knew nobody,
and had no home to go to; but the good God took care of us, and made a
kind lady notice us standing alone on the Battery. We told her our
wants, and after giving us a supper and a nice bed for the night, she
sent us to some poor Germans, where we staid till we had learned a
little of the American language.

We did very well for a while, singing together, while my sister played
upon the tambourine; but soon there were so many other organ players in
the streets, that we thought we would go to some other towns near by. We
went all through New York, and now we are going to travel over your
pleasant State, and if we do well we can go home in two years. Then I
shall buy a farm, and a cow for our dear old mother and father, and then
we can all live together as happy as princes. Gertruyd can marry our
friend Cornelius, for though he is poor, she has always liked him.

Many good people have offered us both nice places; but I like my organ
too well to give it up, and my sister will not leave me for never so
fine a home, because she promised mother to take care of me always. We
live on as little as possible, and dress in very poor clothes so as to
save all we can; for we say, no one will care how we look, if we are
only tidy and honest, and make trouble for nobody.

The Virgin Mother, to whom we have erected a shrine in our organ, smiles
upon us, and will keep us from all harm, so we need fear nothing. We are
both well contented with little; and as long as we do not lose our
voices, we can make several dollars a day, and so we are happy. Good-bye
to you, and the kind-hearted children who have been so pleasant to us,
and that God will bless you all, is the prayer of Hendrik and his sister
Gertruyd."

[Illustration: Doves]



LETTER FROM A LITTLE GIRL TO AN ABSENT SCHOOL-MATE.


SUNNY SIDE.

MY DEAR LILY:

As you were so kind as to remember me at Christmas, I will write you a
letter about our other yearly festival, the "May-day Coronation." Of
course, you remember many of our pleasant gatherings, at different rural
spots, on that occasion. But I do not think we ever had a pleasanter
time than this year at May Mount; for so we christened the place where
we had our party.

Early in the morning, we voted for the Queen, and after every one had
written their choice on the big slate, we found that Annie was
unanimously elected. We were all delighted, as she had been so long
separated from us, and then she chose her maids of honor and two pages.
We selected some pretty songs, and all rehearsed the pieces of poetry we
intended for our Queen; then we were very busy finishing off moss
baskets, and making bouquets and wreaths for the procession.

We had two beautiful banners, all trimmed round with evergreen; one had
on it, "All Hail, thou lovely May;" and the other, "Sweet Spring has
come." We also twined a tall May-pole with evergreen and put on the top
a great wreath of daffies. For a throne we had an armchair, and on each
side two large bouquets of flowers. These were sent us from Boston,
besides three beautiful wreaths for the Queen and her maids of honor.
The wild flowers were so plentiful, that we had very pretty wreaths for
all the subjects too, which we cannot say every year.

At two o'clock we all started, each one carrying baskets of refreshments
for the table, which was to be laid in pic-nic style. We had a great
deal of fun walking over to the place, for the wind blew quite strong,
and we had as much as we could do to get all our things safely to
Riverdale. After we arrived in the little wood, we chose a green mound
for the throne, and spread carpets round for fear of dampness; and then,
while the young ladies made the arrangements for the celebration, we
scampered off for wild flowers.

The boys were just as full of fun as they could be, and one of them
caught a little snake and chased us; but we did not mind any thing, we
felt so happy ourselves. One of the girls tore her dress, and another
fell out of the swing, which one of the gentlemen kindly put up for us;
but we determined to laugh at everything.

Soon the parents and company all assembled, and then we went through our
usual ceremonies. Our Queen looked sweetly, and the wreaths were very
becoming to all the girls. Each one said a piece of poetry to her
majesty, and then kissing her hand, said, "Long live the Queen of May."
We had a bishop, who put on the crowns and made a nice little address;
and then the pages introduced all the ladies and gentlemen to the Queen,
who sat smiling and blushing at her honors.

Then we all stood in a circle and sang our May song round the May-pole,
but the wind scattered our voices, and they did not sound so well as in
school. After that, we played games and went to the top of Prospect
Rock, from which we could see the river, the woods and all the village,
which looked very pretty with its three churches, and nice white houses.

After we had rambled round till we were tired, we took some refreshment
at the table, which was loaded with good things and looked very pretty.
Then we repeated several of our songs, by particular request; and we did
a great deal better than at first. Just before sunset we packed up all
the things and prepared to go home. Some of us rode, packed eight or
nine, close in a wagon, and the rest of us walked home.

We stopped a moment at the old apple-tree, where the first May-party was
gathered, and some of the oldest girls gave an account of the "Prince of
Wales," who was present on the occasion.

We had a grand time, and I hope we may have just such another every
year. I pressed my wreath as a memento of the occasion, and have put it
away to show you, when you come to make me a visit. With love to all
your sisters, I remain your affectionate school-mate,

  AGNES.



AN ACCOUNT OF A SEA-SHORE VISIT,

_FOR THOSE WHO HAVE RECEIVED THE "NANTASKET SEA-WEEDS."_


Two little girls, rejoicing in the names of Mary and Maimée, were one
summer recommended to visit the sea-shore, to regain the health and
strength which they had lost by too steady an application to study.
After being duly prepared, one by the "Good Aunt," whom every body knew
and loved for her many acts of disinterestedness; the other by a most
excellent mother, they both started off with friend "Maimiotti" for a
snug little nook at Lynn.

Wild was the delight of the trio, as they took up their comfortable
quarters with the good-natured fisherman; and never were they tired of
gazing at the beautiful expanse of waters spread before them. Many were
the plans formed for that week of leisure, and unbounded freedom;
certainly enough to fill up six common months, and for a while, what to
do first was a difficult question.

However, moderation, or "A happy Medium," was to be their motto; and
though they were their own mistresses, with liberty to do just what they
pleased, they showed a wonderful instance of self-government, and _were
pleased_ to do right. Whether this is difficult or not, I leave to the
decision of certain scholars, who have enjoyed a similar pleasure, when
controlling themselves during the temporary absence of the Queen Bee.

Every day Mary, Maimée and "Maimiotti" were up bright and early before
breakfast; and after a brisk walk on the beach, or in the surrounding
woods, they returned with fine appetites and an inexhaustible supply of
spirits.

When proper attention had been bestowed upon the arrangement of their
rooms, they passed a portion of their time aiding the fisherman's wife
in the homely details of house-keeping; sometimes holding the little
baby, and sometimes devoting themselves to the amusement of sick Kitty
B., who was always pleased with the attention.

After this wholesome discipline, they sat down to their sewing with
renewed interest, and while one read aloud, accomplished wonders of work
with their fast flying needles, unconscious of the flight of time.

At length the hour for the bath, with its important and interesting
preparations arrived. After decking themselves in the most fantastic
costumes, great was the frolic at "the Cradle," as they gambolled in the
waters like so many sea-nymphs; but vainly striving to emulate them in
the art of swimming.

A nap and the duties of the toilet followed this delightful
exhilaration; for they considered a tidy exterior indispensable to their
comfort and pleasure, even in their retirment from all social life. At
their meals a constant flow of lively conversation, and never ceasing
jokes enlivened the hour; while at the same time, a graceful attention
to the wants of those around them marked their refinement, and made them
the pets of the household. They all seemed to remember the infinite
power of good manners, and in their wildest fun never overstepped the
bounds of a becoming propriety.

In the afternoon, a little more reading, letters and journal-writing
filled up the time, till cooler hours allowed another ramble on the
rocks, or a stroll after the sweet wild flowers in the woods around. And
famous were the collections of Iceland moss, sea-shells, pebbles and
pressed flowers, made by those indefatigable bodies for "the dear ones
at home."

Every day brought some new pleasure, and though apart from the throng of
gay visitors around them, they were never weary of their simple life;
and their happy hearts were a constant offering of gratitude to the
Giver of all the fair and glorious things in the world about them. The
sunset clouds, the flight of birds, the brilliancy of the sea and sky,
the bracing air and the soft moonlight, filled their hearts with good
and holy feelings; and without knowing it, they were made better by the
beauty of Nature.

The building of a stone cottage near by, was the source of constant
interest; and many were the pleasant visits to its various apartments,
decorated with all the appliances of wealth and taste. By the aid of a
kind gentleman's camera, a perfect drawing of the cottage, and a pretty
little bird's eye view of the shore were obtained; but better than all,
an original sketch of their humble cot was taken, as a memento of those
sunny hours.

Fishing for cod and haddock with the skipper in his dory, sea-sickness
notwithstanding, was one of their rare occasions of enjoyment. Then the
delightful trip to Nahant, in a sail boat, will long be remembered by
those hardy adventurers, one of whom almost pitched the merry crew into
the briny deep, as the stout fisherman pushed the little bark homeward
against the resisting winds and waves.

But last, though not least in their annals, was the grand "Clam bake,"
when "all the folks" from far and near, came to have a good time, and
eat as much baked fish, boiled lobsters and hot clams as possible. One
of the party, carried away by the spirit of the occasion, and imitating
the example of those around, forgot the motto of the week and ate too
many clams. As a necessary consequence she forfeited a delicious bath;
thereby proving that every excess is followed by the loss of some
anticipated enjoyment, and worse than all, by an accompanying loss of
self-respect.



A TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF A SUNDAY SCHOOL SCHOLAR.


Many were the tears shed at the death of lovely Carry G.; the joy of her
parents, the idol of her school-mates, and the pride of her Teachers. She
belonged to the Sunday-school of the First Church in ----, and no one was
more regular in attendance, or more thorough in the preparation of her
lessons. But death, who had been busy in the village, visited the little
band of scholars; and one of its choicest flowers was transplanted to a
fairer soil.

The love of a fond mother, of an affectionate sister and brothers, the
interest of her many friends could not save her; and after a short
separation, she followed her beloved father to that Heaven, whither he
had preceded her.

The deepest sympathy prevailed among all her class-mates and
school-companions, during her illness, and many were the pleasant
incidents brought to mind, as they thought upon her guileless life.

She was about eleven years old, and had already made considerable
proficiency in her studies at school; always maintaining a very good
rank, and being noted for her habits of neatness and regularity. In
music she evinced a great taste, playing with ease and correctness, and
in her father's sickness, she was quite a solace with her little songs.

Of flowers she was excessively fond; always the first to find them in
her garden, and ever ready to join in the ramble after the wild blossoms
of the neighboring hills and dales. Her last effort of health, was an
early morning walk, the pleasures of which she enjoyed exceedingly, for
she was keenly alive to the beauties of Nature.

In poetry she took great delight, frequently reading selections, with
great feeling and pathos. One piece, of which she was particularly
fond, she neatly copied off for her mother, to whom she read it just
before her sickness, with such peculiar earnestness and sweetness, that
it was like listening to the tones of an angel. It is called "The
Inquiry," and may be found in "The Common School Speaker and Reader."

To all these pleasant qualities, which made her so agreeable at home and
abroad, she added a sacred regard for truth. In all her dealings at
school, this was very conspicuous; and to have her word doubted caused
the deepest pang to her sensitive nature.

In her last sickness the fever affected her brain, so that she was not
always conscious of what was going on around her; but in her wanderings,
she was constantly thinking of her school-mates, and in imagination
participating with them in their usual duties. A few hours before she
died, she partook of a little refreshment; and then with her usual sweet
smile of intelligence, gave her mother her parting kiss of affection.
Soon after she slept in peace; and free from all pain and anguish, she
is now one of the bright celestial choir.

The scholars of her school, sang several touching hymns at her funeral;
and as they took their last look at her remains, beautiful even in
death, their grief burst forth in sobs, and general sadness pervaded the
room. The earnest prayer of the minister made a deep impression; and the
appropriate services at the Sunday-School, on the next Sabbath, will
long be remembered by those who heard them. May the many virtues of this
sweet child be imitated, and may all those who loved her in life, be
enabled to followed her bright example.

On the coffin-lid, which was covered with her favorite flowers, the
gifts of those who loved her, were placed the following lines, the
effusion of a friend:

    "Sweet flowers upon the Bier,
      Bedewed with Nature's tears!
    No more her Child, reposing here,
      Within her fane appears.

    The silent bending skies,
      Will weeping vigils keep;
    While myriad glistening starry eyes,
      Attend her peaceful sleep.

    Far, far beyond those skies,
      Where dwell the immortal throng,
    Strains of a new-born spirit rise,--
      Swells the celestial song.

    The tides of rapture roll,
      The Heaven's eternal rounds,
    As if a _union_ there of _souls_
      Were mingling in the sounds.

    O let us weep; away
      From that blest land of peace,
    We shall not always lingering stay;
      Soon will our yearning cease."



A SIMPLE STORY FOR GEORGY.


A nice little duck once took it into his wise head, that he would like
to travel, and so get vast stores of learning. Upon hearing that there
was to be a grand gathering of all the fowls in the country, he resolved
to be present at the exhibition.

So upon a bright balmy day, he was taken in a cage for his carriage, and
put in the midst of the mixed assembly. Upon looking round, he soon
spied out his near neighbors, the beautiful rough-neck pigeons, who
cooed a pleasant welcome.

There he saw great Turkey-gobblers, white Geese, China Fowls, and
Chickens of every description. The Guinea-hens frightened him with their
loud screams, and for a while, he was perfectly bewildered with the din
of the many sounds about him.

Very soon he made the acquaintance of a pretty little Polish couple, who
told him they were the descendants of the famous "Thaddeus of Warsaw,"
and "Sobieski;" and they told him a pathetic story of their many
sufferings, and final sad death away from their country.

With the other fowls he could not make any acquaintance, they so stared
him out of countenance, from envy of his beautiful plumage. In most
disconsolate tones he begged to be taken out of the crowd, and satisfied
with this specimen of city life, he was ever afterwards contented with
_home_.

    Quack! Quack! Quack! Quack!
    Said the duck in sad plight!
    Oh! carry me back,
    To my sweet country home;
    Where there is no lack
    Of fresh air and light,
    Where I'm not on the rack,
    For want of a little room.
    Take me from this clack,
    Or, struck with a blight,
    I shall die, alack!
    And that will seal my doom.

    _A Duck's Lament._

[Illustration: Bird]



A STORY FOR SWEET LITTLE FANNY.


Out in the country there lives a funny little boy, who makes a great
deal of sport in his family, by saying and doing a great many droll
things.

This merry little fellow owns a beautiful Maltese kitten, which he calls
"Minnie," and with her he has a great many frolics. She is a very great
favorite with every body, and visitors are sure to notice her bright
eyes, her white breast, and her graceful motions.

Like all little boys and girls, she likes to be noticed; and when she is
caressed and petted, she shows her satisfaction by purring as loud as
possible. But if she is teazed, she is very unhappy, and runs off into a
dark hole in the cellar, so her little master cannot find her.

One day he took it into his busy head, that, as he had a cold bath every
day, pussy must have one too. So off he goes to the bathing-tub, and
notwithstanding Minnie's pitiful cries, he plunges her into the cold
water, and gives her a thorough ducking.

Being missed by his mother, search was made for the little rogue, and he
was found in the act, apparently very much satisfied with his
performance. He was quite surprised to find, that instead of doing a
kind act, he had unintentionally been very rough with his darling Kitty.

Great was his sorrow, and after carefully drying his pet, he tried, by
every effort in his power, to make her forget his strange treatment.
Minnie quickly recovered her health and spirits; and soon after she was
seen chasing her tail, and jumping round among the chairs.

Her little master, in his _first_ pair of boots, clattered round the
room in great glee; and when tired of racing, he sat down in the
corner, to teach his Maltese playfellow how to read. But she did not get
any farther than "mew," and I guess her teacher will not try that much
longer, for she cannot learn as fast as little Fanny. When _she_ can
read and spell, she too shall have a pretty little kitty for her next
birth-day present, or if she likes better, a beautiful great doll.

[Illustration: Dog]



SKETCHES FROM A FIRESIDE JOURNAL.


This week I am to have a vacation, so I will see how much I can do at
home, and try to spend the time properly.

Monday. I was up early and walked with the girls, though the weather was
dreary. I came home and helped mother get breakfast, and then sewed all
the morning. In the afternoon I took care of my little brother, and
amused the other children, while mother was out. Before dark I played
ball on the Court-house steps.

Tuesday. I was lazy and lost my walk, so I felt cross all the morning,
and every thing seemed to go wrong. At last I determined to conquer
myself and be pleasant, and then I helped mother make some cake. In the
afternoon I learned how to darn stockings, and father was very much
pleased with me for doing so well. In the evening mother let us have a
frolic, and we dressed up in all sorts of characters. We had an old
woman with a long nose, and "Mrs. Jemima Jones," who wore a most absurd
looking, beaver bonnet.

Wednesday. I walked with the girls to the Monument, and we collected a
quantity of moss, to make baskets and vases. I helped mother take care
of the children, and stopped a quarrel between my two brothers. I made a
whole sheet, so mother said I might go to the vestry, and help tie up
bouquets for the Warren street Sunday School. The room was full of
ladies, and we made fifty beautiful bunches of flowers, which were sent
into the city on long poles. In the evening father and mother went to
hear Mr. Giles lecture, and they came home perfectly delighted with him.

Thursday. The fourth of July! I did not go into Boston, as I had been
the year before; but some of our Sunday-School went to see the Floral
Procession, which they said was very beautiful. The girls, who staid at
home, went off on a pic-nic, and we had a fine time, for we had a
boat-ride and games in the woods.

Friday. I went with my Cousin and a party of girls to visit the woollen
factories. We went into all the different rooms, where they were dyeing,
spinning, weaving and folding cloth; but the machinery made such a
noise, that we could not hear each other talk. In the night there was a
terrible fire; two houses were burned and a poor little boy perished in
the flames. Every body went to see the ruins, and the next day all the
ladies were busy making clothes, and raising money for the sufferers.

Saturday. I was very busy, at home, all the morning, sweeping, dusting
and putting the parlor in order. A large party on horseback went to Blue
Hill, so I stopped awhile to look, as they passed through the village.
In the afternoon I mended all my clothes, learned my Sunday-School
lesson, and went to walk. I then watered my garden, and gathered some
flowers for a bouquet, to be put in church the next day.

Sunday. I went to church all day, and then father took a walk with us.
We went to Harrison Grove, where the Sunday-school once had a
celebration, and two little children were christened under the trees. It
was a beautiful sight, and I often think of the pleasant time we had,
listening to our minister, and the other gentlemen who spoke to us, on
that interesting occasion.

  SARAH.



UNDA, OR THE FOUNTAIN FAIRY.


In the warm bright days of pleasant October, as some happy, healthful
children were collected on the banks of a bubbling brook, twining gay
autumn leaves into wreaths and bouquets, with one accord they asked for
a story. "What shall it be about?" "Oh, about fairies," said a bright
eyed girl, who had lately been revelling in the fascinating tales of the
"Forty Thieves," and "Aladdin's wonderful lamp." "Well, a story you
shall have, but only about good fairies; for a wicked fairy seems as
inconsistent as an ungentle lamb, an ugly beauty, or a dark sunbeam."
"Oh, good, good, good!" echoed from them all; and after the lunch of
wedding cake was finished, and each one had crept as near as possible to
the narrator, she began.

"Once upon a time there lived a Fairy, or Fair spirit, in a crystal
palace. This was built upon the polished surface of an immense mirror,
and being reflected in the clear depths below, it was an object of
unsurpassable magnificence.

Her name was Unda. For many, many years she had been busy doing good,
refreshing the earth, the trees and the modest flowerets, and giving
bountiful supplies to all the living creatures in her extensive
dominions.

The fame of her beauty and goodness at last reached the ears of the
excellent ruler of a certain great city, and he resolved to invite her
to visit his people. Like his father before him, he had always striven
to better their condition, and by her pure presence, he hoped to banish
all the _evil spirits_, which frequently tormented and degraded his
beloved subjects.

Accordingly an invitation was sent to Unda, and she agreed to come
within a year, provided a safe and convenient road should be constructed
for her especial benefit, and pleasant resting places erected, where
she might stop and collect her strength. This was promised; and a
hundred thousand magicians were immediately set to work to cut down
hills, blow up rocks, and fill up valleys, so that her course might be
unobstructed, and her access to the great city might be easy and
agreeable.

The news of her coming was sent to distant parts of the country by the
Flying Lightnings, who were employed as the ruler's messengers. On the
appointed day, thousands of people were brought safely to the place by
the giant, Steam, who, by a puff of his breath, could waft a hundred
chariots across the land, and great ships across the sea, in less than
no time.

Great was the desire to see the beautiful stranger, and vast the
preparations made in honor of her arrival. The city was ornamented with
flowers and evergreen, and sounds of music and shouts of rejoicing were
heard in every street. A procession was formed, three miles in length,
composed of men of all ranks, ages and professions, each bearing an
appropriate offering, and all vying with each other in the costliness of
their gifts. Myriads of gallant horsemen, on gaily caparisoned steeds,
bore along splendid flags and banners; children scattered flowers in
endless profusion, and representatives of various nations all went forth
in their pomp to greet the distinguished guest.

A pretty lake, in the centre of a spacious park interspersed with green
lawns, shady trees and pleasant walks, was especially fitted up for her
residence. And there, with a prospect of the hills and dales of the
neighboring country, and the companionship of her sweet sisters, Lux and
Aer, the good ruler hoped she would be tempted to remain forever.

Every thing was ready, and crowds of people with happy, expectant faces,
were waiting for the sign of her approach. Soon soft musical tones were
heard, like the breathings of an Æolian harp. Then swelling clearer and
louder, instantly up rose the lovely Water Spirit, radiant with gems,
and decked with a scarf of rainbow hues. Dancing and leaping higher and
higher, till she had attained her full majestic height, she bowed her
glittering head as a token of homage to the Father of all, and then
scattered cooling drops, like blessings, upon the gathered multitude.

Great was the enthusiasm at her arrival, and loud were the acclamations
that rent the sky, as all drank in the beauties of the graceful nymph
before them; and it seemed as if they could never tire of gazing at her
various charms. In the evening, to conclude the festivities of the day,
the Flame Fairies lit up the city with magic brilliancy, and fire
pictures, of every description, were exhibited, with most gorgeous
effect, to the assembled thousands.

Unda was so much pleased with her reception, that she resolved to abide
in the great city; and now her little daughters sparkle in various parts
of the metropolis, aiding their bright mother in her efforts to elevate
humanity.

No place is too grand, and none too humble for her ministrations of
mercy; and daily does she visit the sick and the wretched, the poor and
the prosperous, gladdening many a hearth-stone with her smiles, and
bringing peace and plenty to the squalid abodes of vice and poverty.
Blessed is her mission, and long may that city rejoice in the presence
of Unda, the Fountain Fairy, and may her store-houses be inexhaustible."

       *       *       *       *       *

NOTE.--The above story was especially written for those scholars, who,
for a fortnight, strove diligently to be _good at home_; never
disobeying their parents, kind and polite to each other, and with
smiling faces promptly performing their various duties. To those, who
have preserved the white Cameo seals given on that occasion, it may be
pleasant to imagine them a likeness of Unda; and like an Amulet they may
serve to encourage them in constant efforts to be "Perfect." If at any
time, they should be discouraged, let them sing "Try, again;" for this
song, like many others in the "School Singer," has a most invigorating
influence.

    TRY AGAIN.

    "'Tis a lesson you should heed,
          Try, try again;
    If at first you don't succeed,
          Try, try again;
    Then your courage should appear;
    For if you will persevere,
    You will conquer, never fear,--
          Try, try again.

    If you find your task is hard,
          Try, try again;
    Time will bring you your reward,
          Try, try again;
    All that other folks can do,
    Why, with patience, may not you?
    Only keep this rule in view,
          Try, try again."

    "MIZPAH."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Transcriber's note: Apparent printer's errors have been corrected.
Hyphenation and accentuation have been standardised. A blank line has
been added to maintain 6 line stanzas on page 93, all other
inconsistencies are as in the original. The author's spelling has been
maintained.]





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