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Title: Little Wideawake - A story book for little children
Author: Sale-Barker, Lucy Elizabeth Drummond
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Little Wideawake - A story book for little children" ***

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                           LITTLE WIDE-AWAKE
                   _A Story Book for Little Children_


                                   BY
                            MRS. SALE BARKER

    [Illustration: Little reader]

                   _WITH FOUR HUNDRED ILLUSTRATIONS_


                          LONDON AND NEW YORK
                       GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS
                                  1877

    [Illustration: Child with snowball]



                       SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS:


                                 ROSIE.

    [Illustration: Decorative T]

Rosie is the name of the little girl whose picture you see on the first
page, with a snowball in her hands. Of course her name is Rosa really,
but somehow we always call her Rosie. Has she not a bright, pretty,
laughing little face, with her blue eyes, and fair hair? She is a fine
strong little maiden into the bargain; a trifle wilful, perhaps, and a
good deal of a romp.

Last Christmas I was staying at Cranley Grange—Rosie’s home in the
country,—when one morning at breakfast her mamma said to me—“Charlie is
coming home to-day; I can’t go to meet him, my cough is so bad. I wonder
if you would mind driving down to the station, and taking Rosie and
Frank?”

Charlie, who was the eldest son, and a great favourite of mine, was
coming home for his Christmas holidays. He was about fourteen years old,
while Rosie was only ten, and Frank two years younger.

I said I should be delighted to go, thinking what a pleasant drive it
would be with those merry laughing children. Little did I anticipate the
trial to my nerves, and the succession of frights, that were in store
for me.

We were soon seated in the open wagonette, and off we started. Though I
should not say _seated_, for the children scarcely sat down at all: they
kept jumping up, changing places, pushing each other, and playing all
sorts of pranks. I was in an agony of fear lest they should tumble out;
and during the whole drive, I sat with my arms extended, clutching hold,
sometimes of one, sometimes of the other, to save them. This was fright
number one.

At last we arrived at the station;—the children still in uproarious
spirits, though with cherry noses, as well as rosy cheeks, from the
cold. I must tell you that there was snow upon the ground; and as,
unluckily, we had ten minutes to wait for the train, they began to amuse
themselves by snowballing each other. Frank set the example, and they
found it such fun that I scolded, and begged them to be quiet, in vain.
At last I observed Rosie standing quite at the end of the platform,
where the snow was thicker, and she had collected a large snowball,
which she held up in her hands. As I looked at her, and thought what a
pretty picture she made, I noticed, in the landscape behind her, a
little puff of white smoke. It was the approaching train, at a distance
of not more than half a mile. I thought her position, at the extremity
of the platform, and just at the edge too, terribly dangerous. And this
may be called—fright number two.

I had just opened my lips to call out to her that the train was coming,
when a whole handful of snow came dab into my face, filling my mouth and
eyes. It was that little rogue Frank, who had crept close up to me, and
playfully bestowed upon my face the snow he had been collecting.
Recovering from the shock, I looked out again for Rosie. She was no
longer in the same place; but, quite beyond the platform, and close upon
the rails, I saw her kneeling down in the snow. I screamed with all my
might, and a railway porter ran to her, whisked her up in his arms, and
brought her safely on to the platform again. This was fright number
three; and never, I think, before or since, have I been so much
frightened as I was for the moment.

Directly afterwards the train stopped, and Charlie jumped out. When he
heard of Rosie’s danger, he scolded her as if he had been a little
grandfather, and his words seemed to have much more weight than mine. I
now observed that Rosie had a tiny white rabbit in her arms, and she
told us that this was what she was picking up out of the snow upon the
rails. She thought it was quite excuse enough for herself when she
said:—“Only think, Charlie dear, haven’t I saved the life of this pretty
little rabbit?”

On the way home, Charlie sat in front and drove, with the coachman
beside him; but he contrived now and then to turn his head a little, and
keep up his lecture to his brother and sister about their riotous
behaviour all the way. Meanwhile I sat quiet, rather humbled at
observing how much more respect they showed for the scolding they got
from their big brother than for mine. But of one thing I am certain:
nothing would ever induce me to take charge of those two lively young
people on an expedition of the kind again.



                           THE ROBIN’S SONG.


    [Illustration: Decorative T]

  The snow’s on the ground,
    And the cold’s in the air;
  There is nothing to eat,
    And the branches are bare:
      Tweet, tweet, tweet!

  Open the window,
    Kind lady, we pray;
  Bestow a few crumbs
    Upon us to-day:
      Tweet, tweet, tweet!

  You’ve flannel and furs
    To keep yourself warm;
  You are not obliged
    To be out in the storm:
      Tweet, tweet, tweet!

    [Illustration: Birds at window]

  We’ve only our feathers
    For bonnet and dress;
  We’re cold and we’re hungry,
    We freely confess:
      Tweet, tweet, tweet!

  Then feed us while winter
    Spreads snow o’er the plain,
  And we’ll sing you our songs
    When it’s summer again:
      Tweet, tweet, tweet!



                             _PUZZLE-PAGE._


    [Illustration: Puzzle images]

Now here is a puzzle page for you to find out. One object begins with A,
one with B, one with C, one with G, one with O, and one with P.



                       A STORY OF A WOODEN HORSE.


                               CHAPTER I.
  IN WHICH WE MAKE THE ACQUAINTANCE OF A NICE LITTLE BOY, AND A PRETTY
                             WOODEN HORSE.

    [Illustration: Decorative T]

There stood once, in the good old time—that is to say some fifteen years
ago, which we may call ages for you, my little readers, who have not yet
lost your pretty first teeth;—there stood, then, once, in a delightful
valley, between Long-Pont and Savigny, in France, a charming country
house, surrounded by a wood, which spread along the bank of a little
winding river.

The house of which I speak was called a chateau—that is, a castle—by the
peasants of the neighbourhood. To tell the truth, however, it was only a
moderate-sized house; but it was kept in excellent order, although a
very old building. In spite of its age, therefore, it wore a smiling
aspect, like the faces of those amiable and good grandmammas, who smile
at your pretty ways, my children.

Let us go in: I wish to make you acquainted with a little companion,
whom I hope you will love very much. There he is with his mamma in the
drawing-room, where the window, opening to the ground, shows us a garden
beyond. At this moment he is repeating a fable to his mother. It is one
which teaches that pride is a great fault; that we ought not to assume
airs of superiority towards the unhappy and humble, nor endeavour to
excite envy in their hearts; and that Providence, moreover, takes upon
itself sometimes to punish those who do so. This fable, as you have
already guessed perhaps, is called—“The Oak and the Reed.”

    [Illustration: THOSE OF MY READERS WHO ARE ACCUSTOMED TO BE DRESSED
    UP AS SOLDIERS—TURCOS OR ZOUAVES.]

My little friend’s attention from the first has been about equally
divided between the fable he is repeating and a beautiful wooden horse,
which stands fastened by the bridle to a tree in the garden: but before
the fable is finished, it is evident that his thoughts are altogether
taken up by the horse. It is a pity; because, not attending to the
punishment of the oak, he will lose the moral of the fable. But let us
not be more severe on him than his mamma, who does not seem much
distressed about the matter. Besides, who can keep the thoughts from
wandering sometimes, particularly during study?

This little boy’s name is Maurice; a nice soft-sounding name, I think;
and he is five and a half years old. I am not going to say, like some
mammas I know,—“This is the most beautiful child in the world, and has
fair curly hair, great blue eyes, and little rosy lips.” No! In our
hearts we—that is, his relations and friends—all considered little
Maurice to be Nature’s masterpiece, but I won’t describe his beauty in
detail; and only say that he had chestnut hair and an intelligent face.

Those of my young readers who are accustomed to be dressed up as
soldiers—Turcos or Zouaves; or, if they are girls, to be clothed in silk
and velvet, would no doubt like to know how my little friend was
dressed. Well then, his mamma did not let him wear such fine clothes as
would interfere with his exercise or his games. Perhaps some of my
elegantly dressed little readers would not care to play with him when
they hear that he wore neither velvet nor fur, nor even a feather in his
cap; but had simply a jacket and trowsers, made of linen in summer, and
of warm cloth in winter. For all that, however, he was a good little
boy, and well brought up.

Directly he had repeated the last verse of the fable—which he did
without thinking at all of its meaning—Maurice bounded off from the
drawing-room into the garden. In a moment he had unfastened the horse,
and placing his foot in the stirrup, had sprung on its back. Then he
called out: “Gee-up, Cressida! gee-up, my friend!”

Cressida, after shaking its head and flowing mane, started off at a
gallop, putting out its legs in the most graceful way imaginable.
Because I have said that Cressida was a wooden horse, you picture it to
yourselves perhaps as resembling other wooden horses that you have
seen,—pretty toy horses, no doubt: but either they have been only
rocking-horses, or they have just moved a little means of some mechanism
which does not produce the real action of a horse. Cressida was like
none of these; but lifted up its legs one after the other with the grace
and elegance of a thoroughbred English horse.

Yes, certainly, for a horse made of wood, it was very wonderful. It had
a curving neck, a long black tail. The muscles were marked, as you see
in well-bred horses; the chest was powerful, the head small, the ears
delicate, the eyes full of fire, and the skin was soft and glossy. Add
to all this that every time you stroked Cressida on the neck it neighed
joyously, and it obeyed the bridle like the most docile Arab horse.

It had many other precious qualities; but were I to tell you all, this
book would not contain the description: I should be obliged to make a
second volume. I will only add, therefore, that this wonderful horse
could remain without food or drink for any length of time that
circumstances might render convenient.

Unfortunately I can give no precise details concerning the birth,
education, or infantine peculiarities of Cressida. It would even be
impossible to learn them now; for the only person who knew anything
about them—the old man who gave the horse to my little friend—is no
longer alive. We know very little even of this old man himself. He was a
native of Nuremberg, an ancient city of Germany, where it is supposed
that clocks were first invented. It seems that in his own country,
Fritz—for that was the only name we knew him by—had been considered an
extraordinary mechanician; and he was driven away from Nuremberg through
the jealousy and enmity of a rich and powerful Burgomaster of the city,
who had a turn for mechanical inventions himself.

The invention upon which this Burgomaster most prided himself, was an
automaton, or wooden figure, of a woman, which walked, and smirked, and
smiled, like a real lady; but he could not make her speak. Fritz, who
was then young, devoted himself to a similar work; and made a figure
representing a young peasant-girl, who could say, “Good morning,” and
inquire after your health; and, if you took her by the hand, would look
down with admirable modesty and grace. The success of Fritz gave great
offence to the Burgomaster; and there grew up between the two, first a
rivalry, then an enmity, which at last caused Fritz to leave the city.

When little Maurice first knew him, Fritz could hardly have been less
than seventy-five years old: he was so old that his hair was quite
white, his head shook a little, and he only walked by the help of a
stick. He lived as if he was very poor, in a small cottage near the
house of Maurice’s parents. Whenever Maurice saw him, the little boy
always wished him good morning, and stopped to talk to him. Fritz was
very much pleased with these attentions, and began to feel a strong
affection for the child; who was not slow to return it.

The child’s instinct told him that Fritz was good and unfortunate,
deserving to be loved and pitied. And indeed he did deserve pity. In the
decline of his life, not only did he live in poverty, but the peasants
of the village he had chosen for his retreat, hurt perhaps by the
coldness and reserve of his manners, used to laugh at him, and sometimes
insult him. The boys of the place, generally mischievous and badly
brought up, would run after him, and mimicking his German accent,
inquire whether he had a cold in his head that he was obliged to speak
through his nose.

    [Illustration: HE SHOWED MAURICE HOW TO SIT THE HORSE FIRMLY AND
    GRACEFULLY.]

One summer evening, when Maurice and his parents were in the garden,
enjoying the freshness of the air and the perfume of the flowers, they
heard the bell ring at the gate, and presently Fritz came up to them,
leading by the bridle a pretty little black horse. In few words the old
man explained the motive of his visit. He wished, before leaving the
world, to make Maurice a present of the wooden horse which he had
brought with him.

“A wooden horse!” they all exclaimed, for they had mistaken Cressida for
a real live pony.

“It is not a being created by God,” said Fritz, “but only a thing made
of wood. By some mechanism, which I will not explain to you, it is
endowed with the action and movements of a real horse. Cressida is what
I possess most precious in the world, and I have made up my mind to part
with it only because I love your little son, and know he deserves to
possess an object which I care more for than I do for the few days of
life that remain to me.”

Then he explained to Maurice how to manage the horse; how to make it
move, and to guide it. He took the little hand of the child and placed
it softly on the pony’s neck, which immediately neighed as if with
pleasure. He showed Maurice how to sit the horse firmly and gracefully;
and when the little boy, who was very intelligent, understood all this,
Fritz told him he might start off. The child had only to press his knees
hard against the sides of Cressida, and off it went at a gallop. The
rider’s heart beat quickly, but he kept his seat, and guiding the pony
back again, pulled up at the spot he had started from.

Maurice’s father and mother were lost in amazement; they did not know
how to show their gratitude, for Fritz was not a man to offer money to.
They begged him to leave his cottage and come and live with them. Fritz
thanked them, but said that he intended in a few days to leave the
village to go to Nuremberg, and that at his age he could hardly
calculate upon returning. He was going to see for the last time his
niece and her three little children, who were the only relations that
remained to him. This niece’s husband had gone to America a year ago, to
settle there: he had been successful, and the wife and children would
follow him soon. Fritz said that before he died he was going to see them
once again.

On taking leave, Fritz asked Maurice to give him a promise that he would
never sell, or part with, Cressida. “Unless, indeed,” he added, “it
should be for the sake of helping somebody in great distress.”

Maurice had a stable arranged for Cressida in the house, and acted as
groom himself. He rose every morning at six o’clock, and went to clean
and rub down his little horse, which always stood quiet the time.

And now it occurs to me, my little readers, that you would probably like
to know the name of Maurice’s father and mother, which I have not yet
told you. The father’s name was Felix de Roisel, and the mother was
called Julie. She was very pretty and very gentle: as gentle and pretty
a mamma as you have ever seen. Still she could be severe if it was
really necessary: but this was not often with so good a child as my
little friend.

                          (_To be continued._)



                               WHAT NEWS?


    [Illustration: Neighbors]

  “What’s the news of the day,
  Good neighbour, I pray?”
  “They say the balloon
  Has gone up to the moon.”
                  “O-oh!”

    [Illustration: Infant and parents]



                                WINTER.


    [Illustration: Decorative O]

  Outside, the meadows are covered with snow;
    Fluffity, fluffity, fluff.
  All round the cottage the winds roughly blow;
    Puffity, puffity, puff

  Inside, the cottagers pleasantly talk:
    Chatterty, chatterty, chat.
  They talk of the time when baby will walk;
    Patterty, patterty, pat.

    [Illustration: Cat and kittens]



                                 CATS.


    [Illustration: Decorative W]

Well, my little friends, I think I need hardly describe _this_ animal to
you; for there is scarcely a home in England, rich or poor, which is
without a pussy.

How the children all love the little kitten, the nursery pet, with its
pretty playful ways and graceful movements! But kitty grows up too soon
into the sedate old mother-cat, like the one we see in the picture
holding the poor little mouse in her mouth. Ah! that to me is a terrible
drawback to Pussy,—that love of killing.

I am so fond of cats that this year I went to the Crystal Palace Cat
Show, where I saw some beauties: among others a tortoiseshell Tom, which
is said to be a great rarity. Hundreds of cats, large and small,
long-haired and short-haired, long-tailed and tailless, cats of every
colour known to catdom, filled the cages, which were arranged in long
rows. And I must say they bore their imprisonment with wonderful
patience. For three days they had been shut up in those wire houses,
like birds: and some of the cages housed a whole family. One, I
remember, contained a mamma and her six children; the latter small, but
very rampageous. I pitied this poor mother with all my heart: how her
patience must have been tried during those three dreadful days!

Though we may not like to see cats kill small animals, Puss is often
valued in proportion as she can rid the house of rats and mice. So it
is, I suspect, with the cat in the picture. She is evidently owned by a
carpenter, who perhaps found his workshop infested by rats and mice till
he possessed this handsome tabby. She will soon rid him of them, I
think: and see how she is teaching her kittens to follow her example!

But in spite of their natural instinct to destroy mice and birds, cats
may be easily taught to live in friendship with these very creatures;
and I will tell you a story of a pet cat which, I think, will amuse you
better than hearing about the poor little mice being killed.

A lady that I know had a fine tabby cat, and also a very beautiful
canary. The cat’s name was Bijou; the canary’s—Cherry. Now Bijou had
been brought up from kittenhood with Cherry: that is, he had been
accustomed to sit on the rug beside the fire, while Cherry sang in his
cage on the table, or hanging at the window. Bijou always behaved
perfectly well, and never attempted to molest Cherry.

The mistress of these two pets used to let the canary fly about
sometimes in her bedroom, but she never had quite confidence enough in
Bijou to do this while he was there. One day in summer the window of the
bedroom happened to be open at the top without her noticing it, and the
canary, after flying about the room a little while, passed out of the
window. It flew round and about, from tree to tree, seeming to enjoy its
liberty very much.

The lady feared she had lost it for ever, but she brought out the cage
and placed it upon the lawn, thinking there was just a chance that the
canary might come back to its old home of its own accord. As she stood
at the window watching, she presently saw the bird alight on the lawn. A
moment afterwards she saw Bijou, who had been crouching in a bed of
flowers, spring out, pounce upon the little creature, and seize it in
his mouth.

Then, to the lady’s astonishment, who expected to see the bird devoured,
Bijou trotted with it up to the cage, and deposited the truant safely
inside again. Cherry was dreadfully frightened, but not at all hurt, and
after shaking its rumpled feathers into their places, sat on its perch
as happy as ever.

    [Illustration: Children putting boots]



                             PETER’S RAVEN.


    [Illustration: Decorative P]

Peter was a little boy who was very fond of birds and animals. He had a
raven which he taught to do all manner of tricks. Trusty Tim—that was
the raven’s name—would fetch and carry like a dog, and would call
upstairs to his master when anyone came to the cottage door, like a
housedog barking. He would also help his master to pull off his boots,
by taking the toe in his beak and giving it a tug.

Like other clever people, however, Trusty Tim sometimes made a mistake.
One day Peter’s little brother, Johnny, put out his foot to see if the
raven would do the same for him. Unluckily there was a tiny hole at the
toe of the boot, and Trusty Tim could not resist the temptation of
pecking at the hole, and taking a little bit of Johnny’s toe. And didn’t
Johnny scream!



                             NURSERY RHYME.


    [Illustration: Illustrations of verses]

  There was a monkey climbed up a tree;
  When he fell down, then down fell he.

  There was a crow sat on a stone;
  When he was gone, then there was none.

  There was an old wife did eat an apple;
  When she ate two, she had ate a couple.

  There was a horse going to the mill;
  When he went on, he didn’t stand still.

  There was a butcher cut his thumb;
  When it did bleed, then blood it did run.

  There was a jockey ran a race;
  When he ran fast, he ran apace.

  There was a cobbler clouting shoon;
  When they were mended, then they were done.

  There was a navy went into Spain;
  When it returned it came back again.



                       OTTO IN THE WATER-BOTTLE.
                             A FAIRY STORY.


    [Illustration: Decorative I]

It had been such a day! The flakes of snow had been falling, falling
like feathers on the pavement all day long. It was now dark, and little
Otto stood at the dining-room window, watching them still falling in the
light of the lamps outside. Otto is a handsome boy of about seven years
old. It is New Year’s Eve; and he is going to a party this evening.
Bertha, his sister, is being dressed for it at the present time, but he
had been so noisy and troublesome, up in the nursery, while the ceremony
of her dressing was going on, that he was sent downstairs to wait till
his turn came.

Otto had been to a good many parties, and to two pantomimes this winter;
still he was not at all tired of either parties or pantomimes; on the
contrary, the more he went to the more he seemed to like them. But it
was only at Christmas Otto was so gay; for did he not do lessons all the
rest of the year with his sister’s governess? Miss Wigly was very
strict, and thought children were much better without many
holidays;—“particularly little boys,” she said. But perhaps that was
because she was so anxious to get Otto well forward before he went to
school.

For the last ten minutes he had been staring at the snow outside the
dining-room windows, then he turned round and looked at the things in
the room. A bright fire blazed on the hearth, the cloth was already laid
for the dinner of the older members of the family, and by the side of
the fire stood a comfortable easy chair, which papa generally sat in as
soon as he had done his dinner.

    [Illustration: Reflections]

Otto seated himself in this chair, and began to look at a bottle of
water, which stood at the corner of the table nearest to him. His
attention was attracted by the odd way in which things were reflected in
the water. How minute the reflections were, and how they all curved, so
as to make the room look round, as if seen in a mirror! He observed,
too, his own little face, sometimes lengthened, sometimes widened,
according to the part of the bottle he saw it in. These observations did
not prevent him from thinking at the same time what a comfortable easy
chair he was sitting in, and what a nice warm fire it was.

How long he had been reflecting upon all these things he never knew,
when he observed, to his surprise, that the bottle was growing bigger;
and, in another moment, instead of looking at it from the outside, he
found himself inside it, looking at the objects beyond. And these were
all changed. There was no water in the bottle now, but the water was
outside, and the bottle itself was floating upon a river. The river
seemed to wind along between mountains, and had beautiful buildings and
trees upon its banks. A boat, rowed by two queer little men, was
fastened by a chain to the bottle; and, as they rowed, the bottle was
towed along. Gold and silver fish were playing about in the water; tiny
children with wings were sporting in the air. The bottle inside was
fitted up like an elegant drawing-room; and—most wonderful of all!—a
beautiful fairy reclined on a sofa in the midst of it.

Otto knew she was a fairy, because she was just like those he had seen
at the play, dressed all in gold and silver tissue, and sparkling with
jewels. Besides, although she looked grown-up, she was not bigger than
Otto himself. She spoke to him also in the beautiful language used in
plays:—

“Mortal child,” she said, “thou lovest well to join in the festivities
of other mortals,—what sayest thou now to making one in a fairy revel?”

“A fairy party, do you mean, ma’am?” asked Otto. “It would be awfully
jolly, I should think.”

“Come, then, with me,” said the fairy, rising from her sofa.

    [Illustration: Fairy party]

As she did so, it occurred to Otto that they would wonder what had
become of him at home. He hesitated, and said,—

“Could I go back home for a minute first, if you please, ma’am, to let
them know where I am? And I think my sister, Bertha, would like very
much to come too, if she might.”

“Mortal boy, dost fear to trust thyself with us?” exclaimed the fairy,
indignantly.

Otto felt he had offended her, but before he could reply, she had
disappeared. For a moment everything seemed confused: “Just like a
change of scene in a pantomime,” thought Otto to himself. Afterwards,
instead of floating along upon the river, he found himself sitting upon
its bank, while a very large moon rose over the water. Bertha was
sitting by his side, and two lovely fairies stood by them, but not the
same fairy as before. In front of him, standing up in the water, was a
very shabby, damp-looking, white-bearded old man. Otto was puzzled to
account for him at first, then he recollected to have seen a picture
somewhere of old Father Thames, and he assumed that this old man must be
the river-god. There were also some little naked fairies hovering about
him, “And those,” thought Otto, “must be little streams that run into
the river.” Besides all these, there was a large tortoise or turtle
close to Otto, which crept up, and stared him in the face.

The old man, addressing Bertha and Otto, said,—“Tell me, children, what
is your wish?”

Before Otto could put in a word, Bertha exclaimed,—“I want to go to the
fairy revel.”

“Why, she seems to know all about it!” thought Otto, very much
surprised. The words—fairy revel—uttered by Bertha, were repeated by
voices in the air, on the earth, among the reeds, in the water,
everywhere. Gradually the sounds died away in the distance, and as they
did so, Otto discovered that he was alone.

    [Illustration: Turtle steed]

“Why, they have all gone off to the fairy ball, and left me behind,”
said Otto, aloud to himself. “How shall I ever get there now?”

“Jump on my back,” cried a voice from the grass. It was the tortoise:
and Otto observed that it had a kind of side-saddle on its back, and a
bridle in its mouth.

“Can you go fast?” said Otto, doubtingly.

“Try me!” briefly replied Mr. Tortoise.

Otto did so, seating himself as he thought a lady-fairy might do. Rather
to his own surprise, he felt no alarm when the creature rose up from the
earth, and bore him rushing through the air. He seemed to be rapidly
approaching the moon, when suddenly a harsh voice sounded in his
ears:—“Why, you’re not dressed.” He looked at himself, and perceived, to
his dismay, that he had on his nightgown. “How stupid of me,” thought
he; “why, I must have jumped out of bed, and come off, without dressing.
What shall I do at the fairy ball?”

Again the same great voice cried,—“You’re not dressed,” and the words
were followed by a merry peal of laughter. Otto looked at himself again,
and now all was changed: he had on his usual little jacket, his
nickerbockers, warm stockings, and shoes. He was in his father’s easy
chair, and the water-bottle was on the table before him. Bertha stood
there, dressed for her party, laughing with all her might; while Mrs.
Crump the nurse looked very cross.

“Oh, nurse, why did you wake me? I was on my way to the fairies’ ball.”

“Fairies’ fiddlestick!” rejoined Mrs. Crump. “Come and get dressed
directly.”

“Oh, Bertha, Bertha, I have had such a wonderful dream; just like being
at the play. I’ll tell you all about it.”

“Well, never mind now,” replied Bertha, snubbing him with all the
importance of a sister three or four years his senior. “Make haste and
dress, or we shan’t go to Aunt Julia’s ball, which I care more about.”



                            CHRISTMAS-TIME.


    [Illustration: Decorative T]

  Tis Christmas time!—the joyous time,
  When, loud from belfry towers, the chime
  Of merry bells, so glad and gay,
  Proclaim the holy Christmas-day.

  The church is decked with holly bright,
  Each face is beaming with delight,
  And mourners put their grief away
  Upon the joyful Christmas-day.

  ’Tis Christmas-day, that brings to each
  Something to learn, something to teach;
  Something to do, if understood:
  All have their mission here for good.

  Good will to man and peace on earth:
  Rejoice with pure and guileless mirth,
  And highest praises to Him pay,
  Through whom we have our Christmas-day.

  Give with free hand, our choicest store
  To all who need, to old and poor;
  With friends rejoice, with children play,
  Make happy all our Christmas-day.

    [Illustration: Moonlit cottage]

  Nor let the common thought appear,
  That Christmas comes but once a year;
  And till next year has passed away,
  Let it be ever Christmas-day.

    [Illustration: Water jars]



                          MAMMA’S SUNDAY TALK.
                        MIRACLES OF OUR SAVIOUR.


                        WATER TURNED INTO WINE.

Now, darling children, come round me while we have a little talk fit for
Sundays. You remember that during the past year I gave you some account
of our Saviour’s teaching, and of the principal events of His life. Now
I shall tell you about some of the miracles He performed.

The word “Miracle” signifies simply—wonder: but there may, of course, be
many wonderful events which are not miracles. As the word is used, a
miracle means strictly an act by which the laws of nature are set aside:
and though the wisest of us do not understand all nature’s laws, we
should be able, I think, generally to distinguish what was really a
miracle from what was merely wonderful. For instance, if a doctor were
to cure a blind man by anointing his eyes, we might think it wonderful,
but should conclude that he had discovered a cure for that kind of
blindness. If the physician, however, were to give sight to the blind
man by merely commanding him to see, we might then pronounce the cure a
miracle.

The Jews expected that all who claimed to be prophets should perform
some miracle to prove that they were divinely inspired; as did Moses,
Elijah, Elisha, and several of the prophets. When the divine promise was
given to Moses and others, that a great prophet should be raised up for
the people of Israel, it was foretold that this prophet should be known
by the greatness and variety of the miracles which he performed.

By such signs he was to be distinguished from all pretenders, and Isaiah
says:—“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened; and the ears of the
deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the
tongue of the dumb sing.”

Our Saviour may be said generally to have had two objects in performing
miracles. In most instances, one object was the immediate relief of
suffering. But He always had the greater object by His miracles of
proving that He was the Christ, whose coming had been foretold to the
Jews so long before. The miracles were the _signs_ that He was the
Messiah.

The first miracle performed by our Saviour was that of turning water
into wine.

We are told by St. John that there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee,
and at the feast our Saviour and His mother were present. After a time
the servants found that the supply of wine for the guests was running
short. One of them told this to the mother of Jesus, and she, going to
Him, said:—“They have no wine.”

The miracle which followed is thus related in the words of Scripture:—

“Jesus saith unto them: Fill the water-pots with water. And they filled
them to the brim. And He saith unto them: Draw out now, and bear unto
the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast
had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was:
(but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast
called the bridegroom, and saith unto him: Every man at the beginning
doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which
is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.”

This was the first miracle that Jesus did: in our next Sunday-talk, my
children, I will tell you more of them.

    [Illustration: Flowers]

    [Illustration: Dog with envelope]



                          ST. VALENTINE’S DAY


    [Illustration: Decorative I]

It was the thirteenth of February; to-morrow would be St. Valentine’s
day; and the children were as busy as bees preparing valentines. They
were as merry, too, as they were busy; all except Annie—little Annie,
the delicate one, the pet of the family. While the others were skipping
and jumping about as they did up their valentines, and eager and noisy,
as it is the nature of children to be, Annie sat on the hearthrug, with
her hands clasped round her little knees, staring into the red fire; and
her pale face looked quite old and wan from trouble.

I was very hard at work directing the envelopes for the children, while
they clamoured and clustered round me; but looking at our dear little
girl’s wistful face, I took advantage of a moment’s respite from my work
to go and ask her what it was that seemed to trouble her so much.

“Oh, auntie,” she said, as she began to cry, “it is because Jack has
taken my darling Tip away from me.”

Tip was a nice little Scotch terrier that belonged to Annie’s cousin,
Jack, who had been staying for two or three weeks at Annie’s home during
his holidays. Tip had come on the visit with his master, and had gone
away with him only that morning. But during those two or three weeks Tip
and Annie had become dear friends and play-fellows.

“I had taught him so many pretty tricks,” continued Annie, “and he loved
me so: I am sure, auntie dear, he loved me better than Jack.”

“But, darling,” I said, “after all Tip is Jack’s own doggie, and he is
very fond of the little creature, you know, so of course he took him
away with him. Now, dear, don’t fret any more, but try and be cheerful.”

Annie is a good little girl, and did try her best to be cheerful, I
could see. She came to the table, and looked over the valentines with
the others; but she had not forgotten her sorrows.

Presently, her little brother Tommy said to her,—“Annie, don’t you hope
you’ll get a jolly lot of valentines to-morrow?”

“I don’t care,” sighed Annie, “unless Tip could send me one.”

“What stuff!” remarked Tommy: “Tip can’t send you a valentine, you
know.”

“Well, he might _bring_ me one, at any rate,” said Annie, “for I taught
him to carry letters.”

Annie’s remark gave me an idea, and I formed a little plan, of which you
shall hear the result.

The next morning—St. Valentine’s morning—as the children were at
breakfast in the nursery, a scratching was heard at the door; and when
it was opened, there appeared in the doorway—what do you suppose now?
There was a little doggie, the very likeness of Tip, standing on his
hind legs, with a valentine in his mouth. The valentine was addressed to
Annie: and when I followed the little terrier into the room, and told
her that not only the valentine, but the doggie too was for her—that I
gave it to her to be her very own, she was more delighted than I can
describe to you.

When I formed this little plan the day before, I had just remembered
where a doggie, very like Tip, was for sale. I had bought him that very
afternoon, and managed the surprise as you see. Annie very soon grew as
fond of Charlie—that was the name of the little dog—as she had ever been
of Tip.

    [Illustration: Children and toy wagon]



                            THE FAIRY QUEEN.


    [Illustration: Decorative S]

  See what a pretty Fairy Queen!
  Such a one is seldom seen:
  A little crown of golden hair,
  And little robes so clean and fair.
  All behind her trumpets blowing;
  All before her banners flowing;
  A valiant guard upon her right,
  With a sword so keen and bright;
  And on her left a dame discreet
  To answer her with converse sweet;
  And a prancing steed before
  Her triumphal car to draw.
  Surely such a Fairy Queen
  Has been very seldom seen:
  For guards and dames and steeds appear
  Her brothers and her sisters dear.
  And there the kind old nurse the while
  Looks on with merry jest and smile.

    [Illustration: Sparrow-hawk]



                           THE SPARROW-HAWK.


    [Illustration: Decorative T]

This is a picture of a bird called the Sparrow-hawk. It is rather a
small kind of hawk, and contents itself with swooping down upon poor
little unoffending sparrows, and such small game. Like other birds of
prey, it is becoming more scarce every year in England, and being a very
wild shy bird, it does not come near people or houses if it can help it.
Still, when it is very hungry, or has little hungry bird-children at
home in its nest, it becomes very brave and fierce, as you will see by
the story I am going to tell you of what happened to me when I was a
little girl.

It was, I remember, a very cold morning, and the trees were standing
bleak and bare against the sky; the world looked dreary enough, and
there were heavy clouds hanging over all. I had come out into the garden
to bowl my hoop, when old Tidyman, the gardener, who was sweeping the
snow from the paths, and who dearly loved a little chat, said to me,—

“We’ll be having a fine fall, missie, presently: it’s rare and cold
surely. The birds is a’most starving: there be a sparrer-hawk a’hoverin
over here as seems precious hungry. It have a nesty, I know, in that
there holler tree in the park, and as soon as ever them pore little
birds you see there trying to peck a bit, comes together, that there
sparrer-hawk he comes after them. Looky there!” exclaimed the old man,
pointing to a hawk high in the air above our heads, “if he ain’t
a’hoverin over us now!”

The poor little dickies, who were pecking away at a few crumbs, which
had been thrown out to them in the garden by some kind-hearted maid
belonging to the house, seemed suddenly to become conscious of their
danger, and flew off with a frightened twittering cry. One only—a very
young and very foolhardy little sparrow—remained to take a last peck.
The hawk singled out this poor birdie for his prey, and allowing the
others to fly away in peace, suddenly swooped down upon the little
laggard, fastening his cruel beak in its poor quivering body.

This took place within half-a-dozen yards of the spot where old Tidyman
and I stood talking. I was but a child of seven years old, but I hated
cruelty, and always longed to help the weak against the strong; so I
rushed at the hawk, hoopstick in hand. The little sparrow was already
dead; but what do you think the savage hawk did? It turned upon me, and
flew at my face. I put my hand up just in time, and had a piece pecked
out of one of my fingers instead.

When Tidyman came up, the horrid bird flew off, not forgetting, though,
to pick up and carry off the little dead sparrow in triumph. I have no
doubt the baby-hawks, in their nest in the hollow tree, greeted him with
open mouths, as you see them in the picture, and they were fed not only
with the little dead sparrow, but also with a nice piece out of my poor
little finger.

    [Illustration: Sparrow-hawk]



                       A STORY OF A WOODEN HORSE.


                              CHAPTER II.
           A SPOILT CHILD.—JEANNE.—MAURICE MAKES COMPARISONS.

    [Illustration: Decorative A]

A Sister of Mr. de Roisel was married to a gentleman named Hector de
Malassise, and they had an only child, a son, of about the same age as
Maurice. They lived in the neighbourhood of Fontainebleau, where Mr. de
Malassise had an estate. The two families, living so far apart, were
accustomed to pay long visits, which generally lasted some weeks, at
each others’ houses.

Soon after Fritz had made a present of the wooden horse to Maurice, it
was arranged that the family of de Roisel should pay a visit to their
relations at Malassise. Now Maurice, to tell the truth, did not look
forward with pleasure to this visit; for Eusèbe—that was the name of his
cousin—had a very bad temper, and my little friend found it very
difficult to get on with him. This boy was thoroughly spoiled, and made
everyone about him miserable by his caprices and his tyranny. His papa
and mamma did not dare to punish, or even to scold him, for they had got
an idea into their heads that, if he was thwarted or contradicted, it
might bring on a nervous illness.

A country doctor being one day at the house of Mr. de Malassise, when
Eusèbe was teasing his father to give him something he ought not to
have, had carelessly said,—“Oh, pray let him have it, or he’ll worry
himself into a nervous fever.” The doctor afterwards in vain assured the
parents that he had not made the remark at all seriously; he could not
remove the impression his words had produced. The parental hearts had
taken alarm, and from that day the father and mother were always in fear
lest their dear boy should be put out, or anything should make him
angry. His wishes became laws for the whole household: at his slightest
frown every one about him trembled, as it is said the gods on Mount
Olympus trembled at the frown of Jupiter;—and he was a pagan deity who,
I assure you, was not wanting in caprices.

    [Illustration: A GOAT-CHAISE IN THE CHAMPS-ELYSEES.]

While his papa and mamma were waiting in trembling anxiety for this
attack of nerves, which never came, Eusèbe, in spite of his bad temper,
enjoyed excellent health; and ate, drank, and slept, as well as
possible. They were in fact the only things he did do well.

Eusèbe always had beautiful toys, and he delighted in showing them to
Maurice with an air of superiority that was humiliating to his little
cousin, whose toys were common and cheap. It was only natural that the
latter should have some wish to retaliate, and hearing that they were
going to Malassise, he thought what a pleasure it would be to take
Cressida with him. Eusèbe could not have a toy-horse like that. Mr. de
Roisel, however, put a stop to this project; because, as he said, if
Eusèbe should take a fancy to the horse, Maurice would be expected to
give it up to him; and that would not do at all. Maurice saw that his
papa was right.

I need hardly say that Eusèbe always got tired of his toys very soon,
and every time Maurice went to stay with him there was a new collection
to be seen. On the occasion of this visit, Maurice found that Eusèbe’s
favourite plaything for the moment was a goat. Not a goat of wood or
pasteboard, such as you children have all possessed perhaps, but a real
live one; as much alive as those you may see any day harnessed in
goat-chaises in the Champs-Elysées at Paris; only she was prettier than
any I have seen there.

The goat was called Jeanne, as I daresay some of my little readers are
called, but they need not be ashamed of their namesake. She was a
well-behaved, graceful creature, and her long silky coat, which was
perfectly white, shone in the sunshine like silver. She had no horns, it
is true, but this was scarcely to be regretted, for the most gentle
animals are apt sometimes to use their horns against their friends. So
Eusèbe had nothing to fear on this account. She wore round her neck a
red collar, on which her name was embroidered in letters of gold. Eusèbe
would tie a string through this collar, and lead her three or four times
a day into a meadow near the house, where she nibbled the grass and
flowers.

I cannot describe to you the delight with which Maurice watched Jeanne
jumping about, or playing with her two little kids; and all with an ease
such as nature alone can give. He could not help making a comparison
between her and Cressida. Then he looked into her soft dark eyes, which
appeared to express thoughts: Cressida had fine dark eyes too, but
somehow they were not the same thing. Jeanne liked to climb on to high
banks, and would stand sometimes on the edge of a precipice, stretching
out her neck to eat the leaves of some tree: Cressida was strong upon
the legs too, and its knees had never been marked by a fall; still it
could not have done so much. Out in the fields Jeanne seemed to listen
to distant noises, which you scarcely heard; her little ears kept moving
about in all directions as if to let no sound escape her: Cressida had
also pretty little ears, but somehow the wooden horse never seemed to
listen as Jeanne did.

    [Illustration: SOON SHE BECAME FAMILIAR WITH MAURICE, AND LET HIM
    CARESS HER.]

Very soon Jeanne became familiar with Maurice, and let him caress her;
while, by way of thanking him, she would lick his hands: Cressida had
never made such advances as this to its young master. Yet another
advantage had Jeanne over the horse: when she had been running, her
sides moved up and down; you could see that a heart was beating in her
breast: but Cressida’s sides, beautiful and glossy as they were, never
heaved after a gallop. Maurice was making these comparisons during a
whole day, and in the evening was so occupied with his reflections, that
instead of playing at dominoes with Eusèbe, he sat silent by the side of
his mamma.

The next morning he talked a great deal in praise of Cressida, but did
not cease to caress and play with Jeanne. While he was stroking her,
Eusèbe suddenly said to him:—“I am beginning to get tired of Jeanne; if
you like, we’ll make an exchange.”

“What do you mean?” asked Maurice.

“You shall give me Cressida; I should like to make his acquaintance very
much; and then in exchange I’ll give you this goat, that you think so
pretty.”

“No, I cannot give you Cressida.”

“Can’t give me Cressida! why not?”

“I can never part with Cressida.”

“You mean,” rejoined Eusèbe, “that you don’t think Jeanne is worth so
much as the horse. Then the fact is that you don’t think her so pretty
after all; and you’ve been telling lies in calling her pretty all this
time.”

“Telling lies?”

“Yes, you have. She’s ugly in reality; she is; I think she’s frightful
now. Oh, you ugly beast, I’ll kill you! There, there, there’s something
for you to punish you for being so ugly.”

And he gave the poor goat several cuts on the head with a whip.

“Eusèbe,” cried my little friend, “how can you be so cruel?”

Maurice saw the tears trickling from the eyes of Jeanne, and pointed
them out to Eusèbe, who only shrugged his shoulders. He was not in the
least ashamed of himself, and added,—

“If you don’t like me to hit her, give me your famous horse in exchange;
that’s all I’ve got to say.”

“I cannot, because I’ve promised not to part with it.”

“Oh, you’ve made a promise, have you? What does that matter? Why, I make
promises every evening, and break them every morning.”

“What do you say?” exclaimed Maurice.

“Why, of course, every evening mamma says to me, ‘My pretty Eusèbe, my
little treasure, promise me now that you won’t put yourself into
passions, nor disobey me any more; promise me that, dear, and here are
some bonbons for you, and some chocolate _à la crème_.’ I promise of
course, naturally. Afterwards, in the morning, when I want some more,
she refuses, because, she says, I ought not to eat them before
breakfast; but I put myself into such a terrible passion that she gives
me them directly. That’s how it is, you see.”

“You are very wrong to behave in that way,” said Maurice: “but after
all, your promises are not made quite seriously.”

“And what are yours, pray?”

“Mine are serious promises, and I keep them.”

“Now, that’s just because you’ve heard that men keep their promises,”
replied Eusèbe, “and you want to be like a man. But the truth is, men
are like me, I can tell you: they make promises to get what they want,
and then they break them again to get what they want. It’s all very fine
for them to say to us children—‘Don’t tell lies, be always just, keep
your promises!’ Oh, I’m not to be taken in; I know all about it.”

Now, my little readers, I do not say to you that the world is peopled
with only honest men: that would be deceiving you. But be assured that
those who tell falsehoods are everywhere despised; and when anyone
speaks of them, or writes about them, it is in order to show how much
they ought to be hated.

“Yes,” added Eusèbe, “you make a fine mistake when you think you are
obliged to keep the horse because you made a promise.”

“That’s your opinion, but I know the contrary,” said Maurice. “Don’t let
us talk any more about it.”

“Well, you won’t have Jeanne, you know.”

The next day the vintage began in the vineyards of Mr. de Malassise.
Eusèbe was so much amused with all the bustle, and the coming and going
of so many grape-pickers, that he had no time to think of Jeanne. This
lasted three or four days, and the poor beast began to think she was
free from her tormentor altogether: but no such luck for her! After that
time, Eusèbe, already tired of the vintage, and particularly of the
grape-pickers, who would not let him beat them, came back to make a
victim of her. Maurice reasoned with him, and tried in vain to soften
him.

“Very well then,“ said Eusèbe, “if you pity her so much, take her and
give me your horse. Unless you do, she belongs to me, and I can do what
I like with her—sell her, beat her, or kill her.”

“But your papa wouldn’t let you.”

“Oh, wouldn’t he indeed! He’d be nicely punished if he interfered.”

“I should like to know how?”

“Why, I’d have a nervous attack directly.”

Maurice was very unhappy. Do what he would to persuade himself to the
contrary, he recognised the superiority of Jeanne over Cressida. He
would willingly have made the exchange, but that he remembered the
solemn way in which Fritz asked him to promise that he would never part
with the little horse; and child though he was, he knew he was bound to
keep his promise. Still, a struggle was going on in his own mind. He
felt drawn towards Jeanne, as it is said little birds are sometimes
fascinated and attracted by the gaze of certain snakes. At last he
adopted a bold resolution: he went to his father, and said:

“My dear papa, I want to go away from here.”

“Why, what’s the matter?” said his father. “What has happened? Have you
quarrelled with Eusèbe?”

“Not exactly,” rejoined Maurice, “I generally give way to him; but now
he wants me to give him Cressida in exchange for Jeanne.”

“Who is Jeanne?”

“It is a beautiful white goat, who has two pretty little kids; and
Eusèbe beats her because he wants me to take her and give him Cressida;
but Fritz told me never to part with the wooden horse. You see, papa,
Jeanne is not made of wood; she lives and feels like me, and it’s
terrible to see lately how he beats her. You can’t imagine how nice she
is; and so grateful to any one who is kind to her. Then to see how she
loves her little children!”

“Well, well, if that’s the case we must not leave her with Eusèbe any
longer. Tell him I’ll make him—a present of something much more valuable
in exchange for her.”

“Oh, but I know he won’t give her for anything but Cressida.”

“Why, he must be a little monster. Don’t be unhappy, my child: tomorrow
morning we will leave Malassise, so you shall see no more of his
cruelty, at all events.”

Once more at home, Maurice did not long remain unhappy about Jeanne. Do
not accuse him of caprice, my little readers; but think how quickly your
own impressions pass away or change. It is natural to childhood that it
should be so.

                          (_To be continued._)



                             _PUZZLE-PAGE._


    [Illustration: Puzzle images]

Here are six objects in this puzzle for you to find out. One object
begins with A, one with B, one with C, one with D, one with F, and one
with P.

    [Illustration: Birds on nest]



                            CHIPPEREE, CHIP.


_Allegretto. mf._

                                   1.
  I once knew a couple that lived in a wood,
    Chipperee, chip, chip, chip!
  And up in a tree-top their dwelling it stood,
    Chipperee, chip, chip, chip!
  The summer it came and summer it went,
    Chipperee, chip, chip, chip!
  And there they lived though they never paid rent,
    Chipperee, chip, chip, chip.

                                   2.
  Their parlour was lined with the softest of wool,
    Chipperee, chip, chip, chip!
  Their kitchen was warm and their pantry was full,
    Chipperee, chip, chip, chip!
  And four little babies peeped out at the sky,
    Chipperee, chip, chip, chip!
  You never saw darlings so pretty and shy,
    Chipperee, chip, chip, chip!

                                   3.
  When winter came on with its frost and its snow,
    Chipperee, chip, chip, chip!
  They cared not a bit when they heard the wind blow,
    Chipperee, chip, chip, chip!
  For wrapped in their furs they all lay down to sleep,
    Chipperee, chip, chip, chip!
  But oh! in the spring how their bright eyes will peep!
    Chipperee, chip, chip, chip!

    [Illustration: Chicks in nest]



                       SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS:


                                STEPHEN.

    [Illustration: Decorative I]

I was staying down in Kent with some friends of mine, when I made the
acquaintance of the little boy whom you see lying on the ground in the
picture.

One early spring morning, towards the end of February, I went out for a
constitutional—that is, as I daresay you know, a walk for the sake of
one’s health. I wandered off down the park into a little wood, or
shrubbery, which had a green path winding through it, with arbours or
summer-houses placed here and there under the overhanging trees. The
wind was very keen, and patches of snow were still upon the ground,
though the days were beginning to lengthen, and there were many signs of
warmer weather at hand. As I walked along, I noticed now and then a
young leaf showing itself above the ground, which told me of the coming
primroses; and I could see green shoots, from which bluebells would soon
be springing to nod their graceful heads to the passers by.

Walking along briskly, I had nearly reached one of the little arbours,
when I observed several children standing in front of it. I knew them
well by sight and name: they were the children of the lodge-keeper of
the park, and lived close by. There were four of them, and they were all
standing staring away, as hard as their eight young eyes could stare, at
something inside the arbour. Reaching the spot, I discovered that the
object of their curiosity was a poor little lad of about ten years of
age, who was lying on the ground with his eyes closed, and his head
resting against the seat. He was a fair, curly-headed, pretty boy, but
his clothes were very poor and ragged, and his little face was pinched
and wan. I soon discovered that he was not asleep, but either benumbed
by the cold, or insensible from exhaustion.

    [Illustration: Child and dog]

A little black and tan terrier, of no great value or beauty, was sitting
by his side, seeming to watch him with great anxiety; and I was
surprised to see also some toys lying on the ground, but these I found
belonged to the lodge-keeper’s children, who had left them in the arbour
the day before, and had in fact come that morning to fetch them.

I sent off one of the children to their father to come and carry the boy
to the house. The family were just collecting at the breakfast table
when I returned from my early walk, bringing this poor little waif in
with me. My friends took an interest in him at once, and after he had
been well warmed and fed, he recovered sufficiently to tell us his
story.

He was a London boy, and had lived there with his mother, who earned a
scanty subsistence for them both by needlework. At her death, two or
three weeks before, he was left alone in the world. Then he heard the
neighbours talk of the workhouse; and having a vague dread of being sent
there, he had resolved to go right away into the country. His only
companion was this little terrier, which had attached itself to him in
the odd way in which stray dogs will sometimes adopt a master. Begging
now and then for food at farmhouses and cottage doors, and sleeping at
night in sheds or outhouses, he had managed in three days to come about
thirty miles from London; but he would have died from exhaustion or cold
if I had not found him that morning.

This happened about two years ago, and I call him one of “my little
friends,” because I still take the greatest interest in him. The family
with whom I was then staying have looked after him ever since. He was
sent to lodge at the cottage of a labourer, and goes to the village
school, where he is such a good boy and so quick at his lessons, that I
have no doubt he will get on well in the world.

    [Illustration: Crying boy]



                            THE CRYING BOY.


    [Illustration: Decorative T]

  This was a disagreeable boy,
    Who always fell a-crying;
  No one could ever please the child,
    And so ’twas no use trying.

  His great mouth opened very wide,
    The tears were ever flowing;
  At last he cried himself away,—
    And this is well worth knowing.

  In case you ever feel inclined
    To cry like him, my dears,
  Think on this naughty foolish boy
    Who melted into tears.

    [Illustration: Monkey]



                           AUNT TOTTY’S PETS:


                                 MOKO.

    [Illustration: Decorative A]

Aunt Totty is an old maid—I need not say how old,—and very fond of birds
and animals, which she professes to think are sometimes very superior to
men. At her own home, which is at Paris, she has quite a collection of
pets. She often comes to England, however, to visit her relations, and
then her little nephews and nieces—for she likes children too—always get
round her, and make her tell them stories about her animals or birds.
One evening, when the children were gathered round her, she began in
this way:—

“You want to hear about my pets, my dears? Very well: I shall have
pleasure in telling you all about them; for although I have had some
bites and scratches and pecks from them now and then, on the whole they
are very estimable. In fact, they possess some qualities which I should
be very glad to see oftener than I do in men and women: yes, and in
little children too.

“The first pet animal I can remember was a monkey. I was then quite
little, not more than five or six years old; and Moko—that was the
monkey’s name—was almost as big as I was. I really think he considered
that he and I were of the same species: at all events he used to treat
me as a companion and an equal. But before Moko joined our family
circle, we were very near having another monkey, who was not so amiable;
and I think I will begin by telling you about him.

“In those days—that is, when your mamma and I and your two uncles were
all children—you know that we used generally to live in France, and one
summer your grandpapa took a country house a few miles out of Paris.
Well, on a beautiful warm morning, when we children were all playing in
the large garden, we heard the sound of an organ; and soon we saw,
coming through the white gates and playing as he came, an organ-man,
with a monkey sitting on the organ. A shout of delight resounded through
the garden. When the new-comers approached we were even more delighted,
for the monkey was dressed up in the funniest way possible. He looked
like a tiny old man, with a cocked hat, long red coat, blue breeches,
and a little pair of boots upon his feet, laced up with red laces.

    [Illustration: Monkey on banister]

“The monkey performed all manner of tricks: he danced, he fired off a
little musket, went through the sword exercise, put on spectacles and
pretended to read the newspaper, and did a great deal more besides.
After witnessing these wonderful performances, we conducted both monkey
and man into the drawing-room, where our mamma was sitting at the open
window, and we all began in chorus:—‘Oh, mamma dear, pray, _pray_ buy
this monkey for us; he is such a darling!’

“Now, we were all, as children, very fond of animals,—though I am the
only one, I think, who has the same liking still—and our mamma used
rather to encourage us in it. In fact, we had almost a menagerie
already, and this was not the first time we had teazed mamma to let us
have a monkey. She seemed inclined to give way, and asked the organ-man
if he would sell it. He hesitated: apparently a little struggle was
going on in his own conscience, but his honesty prevailed, and he
confessed that, except in his presence, and under his control, the
monkey was both mischievous and savage.

“All this time the creature stood in front of a large looking-glass,
bowing and scraping to his own reflection; and mamma appearing to doubt
this bad character of the seemingly amiable monkey, the man at last
said:—‘Let me leave him, madam, for a moment, and you shall judge.’

“The man immediately hid himself behind a sofa. When the monkey looked
round, and no longer saw his master, the very expression of his
withered, wrinkled little face began to change,—from an expression of
good-temper it changed to one of fury. He at once jumped upon the
mantelpiece, and before anyone had time to prevent it, he dashed the
clock against the looking-glass, smashing both. My mother seizing him to
prevent more mischief, he scratched and bit her cruelly, till he heard
his master’s voice, and saw his stern face and uplifted arm. Then in a
second he became the amiable tractable creature he had been before; but
you may be sure we were glad to get rid of the horrid little animal.

“However, we still wanted a monkey; and great was our joy when papa
brought us Moko. He bought him of a sailor, who declared he was as
gentle and obedient as any dog, and had been the pet of the whole crew
of the ship he had come over in. And I must say Moko was as nearly
perfect as anyone I know, for he had but one fault: he was very greedy.
I remember one day a box full of fine pears had been left in the hall
near the foot of the staircase, and we found Moko hanging by his tail to
the balusters, and helping himself to the pears. He was eating them in
that uncomfortable position: his cheek stuck out from the quantity he
had stuffed into his mouth; and we found afterwards that he had besides
stowed away a good many under the staircase as a future provision.

“I have a painful recollection of Moko stealing bread and jam away from
me. He used to come behind me quite quietly when I was sitting at the
table at breakfast or tea, and climbing on to the back of my little
chair, he would stretch his long hairy arm over my shoulder, and snatch
the bread and jam away before I knew he was there. He always selected me
to attack, I suppose because I was the smallest.

“In spite of this fault, we all loved Moko very much. He was petted by
the whole household. He used to join us children in our games, and
always appeared to take pains not to hurt us. He was allowed to play
about the garden just as he pleased, for he would always come back when
he was called; and it was pretty to see him climbing from tree to tree,
or hanging on to a branch by his tail, and swinging backwards and
forwards.”

    [Illustration: Monkey in tree]

    [Illustration: Insects]



                           TO THE LADY-BIRD.


    [Illustration: Decorative L]

  Lady-bird! lady-bird! fly away home—
    The field-mouse is gone to her nest;
  The daisies have shut up their sleepy red eyes,
    And the bees and the birds are at rest.

  Lady-bird! lady-bird! fly away home—
    The glow-worm is lighting her lamp;
  The dew’s falling fast, and your fine speckled wings
    Will flag with the close-clinging damp.

  Lady-bird! lady-bird! fly away home,
    The fairy-bells tinkle afar;
  Make haste, or they’ll catch you, and harness you fast,
    With a cobweb, to Oberon’s car.

    [Illustration: Funeral procession]



                          MAMMA’S SUNDAY TALK.
                        MIRACLES OF OUR SAVIOUR:


                       THE NOBLEMAN’S SON HEALED.

    [Illustration: Decorative I]

I have already told you, my little ones, how our Lord Jesus Christ
turned the water into wine at the marriage feast. That was His first
miracle, and one of the few He performed which were not works of
healing; for He went about curing the sick, and in some instances
restoring to life those who were already dead.

We are told in the Bible that after this first miracle, our Saviour left
Cana and went to Jerusalem to keep the Passover, and it is stated that
while there He performed several miracles in the way of healing, which
were so wonderful that His fame spread throughout the land. After the
Passover, Christ left Jerusalem, and turned His steps towards Galilee.

Now in a city of Galilee, called Capernaum, there lived a nobleman, who
had an only child, a son, that he loved with his whole heart. The child
was very ill—so ill that there was no hope of recovery. The little face
that the poor father loved so much grew pale and wan, and the pretty
bright eyes lost their brightness. Everything that human skill could do
had been tried in vain; but the father had heard of the miracles done by
Jesus in Jerusalem, and knowing that He was then passing through that
part of the country, he left the bedside of his dying child, and came
himself to Christ.

St. John tells us—“He besought Christ that He would come down and heal
his son; for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto him,
Except ye see signs and wonders ye will not believe. The nobleman saith
unto Him, Sir, come down ere my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy
way: thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken
unto him, and he went his way.”

From this account it appears as if the nobleman went to our Saviour only
as a last resource, and scarcely believing in His power. This was why
Christ said as a sort of reproof, “Except ye see signs and wonders ye
will not believe.” Then the poor father prayed again to Him to _come_ to
his son, thinking that to save the boy our Saviour must see and touch
him. But Christ showed him that He could heal the boy as well at a
distance as near, and said, “Go thy way: thy son liveth.”

This man’s faith, you see, had grown suddenly, and became perfect; for
he believed without hesitation our Saviour’s word, and returned home at
once. He did not stay to question, but he went home, taking it for
granted that he would find the miracle performed, and that his son was
living as Jesus had declared, although this was the first instance in
which Christ had healed at a distance.

He believed so firmly that all would be well when he got home, that he
does not appear even to have hurried on his journey; and he met some of
his servants the next day before he reached his house. The servants had
come out to meet him, and they were the bearers of the happy tidings of
his son’s recovery. Then he anxiously inquired when the child began to
get better, and they told him: “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever
left him.” And the father knew it was at that hour Christ had said to
him, “Thy son liveth.” From that time, St. John tells us the nobleman
and all his household were believers.

We learn, my dear children, from this miracle that sorrow and trouble
often lead to good. They brought the anxious and sorrowing father to
Christ, and caused not only the father but all the household to become
believers. Let us trust and pray that through such suffering and such
trials as may be in store for us we too may be brought nearer to God.

    [Illustration: Flowers]

    [Illustration: Boy and donkey]



                       SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS:


                            JACK AND JERRY.

    [Illustration: Decorative F]

From the heading of this page you would scarcely know which I call my
little friend—Jack the boy, or Jerry the donkey. Friends of mine indeed
they both are; but I think I am fond of Jerry chiefly on account of the
love he bears his little master.

Jack is the oldest of a large family of boys and girls; he is only ten
years of age, but there are six other children, all younger than he is.
On his fifth birthday he had a rocking-horse given him: it came down
from London, for Jack’s home is far away in the country. How delighted
the little boy was when the horse stood in the hall, covered up with
thick brown paper! He knew it was addressed to him, for he could already
read writing when it was large. Then, as the brown paper was taken off,
what a jumping and shouting there was: for the other little ones had
come down from the nursery to see the gee-gee.

You all know what a large handsome rocking-horse is like, so I need not
describe it; and you can imagine what a deal of amusement and pleasure
it afforded Jack for a while. However, as time went on, fresh little
brothers and sisters arrived quickly; and each in turn, as he or she
grew old enough, began to take delight in the gee-gee; until at last my
friend Jack scarcely ever had the chance of a ride. And I must say the
poor horse looked old and battered, and very different from what it had
looked when only used by my little friend.

One day he said to me sadly:—“You see I am getting big for it now, and
there are so many of the little ones to ride, so I give it up: the poor
gee-gee is worked hard enough as it is.”

Jack was always willing to let the children ride his horse, but, worn
and damaged though it was, he could not bear to see them ill-use it. I
have noticed the child wince as if with pain, when his sturdy brother
Maurice made a great piece of paint drop off with a heavy crack from his
whip. “If the boy is so sensitive about a rocking-horse,” thought I,
“how careful and kind he would be, if he had a real pony or donkey.”

When I proposed to give Jack a pony, his mamma said she thought he was
not old enough to ride one yet, and seemed nervous about it, so I made
up my mind that a donkey it should be. I made inquiries, and soon found
a dear little creature, which I thought so pretty that I bought it at
once. It was very young, and had never before left its mother. Jack
named it Jerry: he took such care of it, and made such a pet of the
little animal, that it would come at his call, and follow him about, and
obey him, just like a large dog.

I remember one day, when we were all sitting at lunch, we heard, patter,
patter, patter on the floorcloth of the hall. Presently the door, which
was not closed, opened a little way. A soft mouse-coloured nose
presented itself, followed by a rough hairy face, with a pair of soft
full bright eyes, and after these came two long ears; then the whole of
Master Jerry’s head looked round the corner at us. We all burst out
laughing, as you may easily suppose; when the donkey, thinking to join
in the merriment, put up his head, and raised such a “Heehaw! heehaw!”
that we were obliged to clap our hands over our ears, and the whole
house, I may almost say the neighbourhood, rang with the sound.

As soon as Jerry was big and strong enough to be ridden, I made Jack a
present of a bridle and saddle. He used to ride about in the park and
lanes; but when they came home, Jack never forgot to give Jerry a few
fresh carrots, or something nice, as you see him doing in the picture.

    [Illustration: Seated by the fireside]



                          COME, ROSY, MY POSY.


_Allegretto. mf._

                                   1.
      Come, Rosy, my posy,
      You’re weary, you’re dozy,
  Sit upon grandmother’s knee;
      Songs I will sing,
      Sweet sleep to bring,
  So nestle up cosy with me,
  So nestle up cosy with me.

                                   2.
      And I will sing ditties
      Of birds and of kitties,
  That of the Well to begin:
      How Johnny Stout
      Pulled the cat out,
  While Johnny Green let her fall in,
  While Johnny Green let her fall in.

                                   3.
      Of little Miss Muffit,
      Who fled from a tuffit:
  Bobby that sailed on the sea;
      Jack and his Jill;
      Mouse at the mill;
  And Baby that rocked on the tree,
  And Baby that rocked on the tree.

    [Illustration: Squirrels]



                               SQUIRRELS.


    [Illustration: Decorative H]

How pretty little squirrels look perched in the branches of a tree! I
like to watch them as they nimbly run up the trunk, or spring from bough
to bough. One or two are generally to be seen in a clump of great old
beeches near a house in the country, where I usually spend some happy
weeks in summer; and I will tell you a story of a little squirrel whose
acquaintance I made there last summer.

I happened to be up very early one morning, long before breakfast was
ready, or any of the family were down, and I went out into the garden to
enjoy the fresh sweet smell of the early day. The cows were grazing in
the field beyond, and now and then lowing a friendly “good-morning” to
each other. Some ducks were waddling in procession down to the pond,
quacking out their wise remarks as they went. The little birds were
singing lustily their welcome to the new-born day. Even the old
watch-dog came yawning, stretching, blinking, and wagging his tail in
kindly dog-fashion, to bid me “good-day” in the summer sunshine.

As I stood under the great beech trees, taking in with greedy eye and
ear the sights and sounds of country life so refreshing to a Londoner, I
heard something fall from one of the trees, then a scuffle, and
immediately afterwards a white Persian cat, belonging to the house,
bounded towards me in hot pursuit of a dear little squirrel. I was just
in time to save the poor little animal by stepping between it and the
cat. The squirrel passed under the edge of my dress, and made off again
up another tree; so pussy lost her prey.

Soon afterwards, when we were at breakfast, the butler told us that one
of the little boys of the village, who had lost a pet squirrel, had
asked if he might look for it in the garden of the house. It had first
escaped into some trees in the park, and he had traced it from them into
the garden. It at once occurred to me that this must be the little
creature I had saved from the cat. I remembered how it made straight
towards me, as if asking me for protection from its enemy, which only a
tame squirrel would do; and I proposed, when breakfast was over, that we
should go out and help in the search.

Little Jack Tompkins stood under the beech trees, looking with
tear-stained face up into the branches. Suddenly I saw his face
brighten, and he called out: “I see un, ma’am; I see un! If so be no one
warn’t by, I be sure he’d come to I.”

I need not say we retreated to a distance; then Jack called up the tree
in a loud whisper: “Billee, Billee!” and in a minute down came the
little creature on to his shoulder. I can tell you Jack was a happier
child than he had been when he came into the garden. And when I told him
what a narrow escape “Billee” had had from the cat, he said: “It would
be hard if a cat eat he, for our old puss brought he up with her own
kits.” Then he told us how the squirrel, when a tiny thing, had dropped
out of its nest, and been found by him lying almost dead at the foot of
a tree, and how he had carried it home, and tried whether pussy would
adopt it as one of her own kittens. The cat was kind; the squirrel
throve under her motherly care, and became Jack’s pet and companion.

Now, children, in this instance it was all very well to keep a tame
squirrel. “Billee” seemed happy, leading the life he was accustomed to:
he had been fed and cared for by human beings from his infancy, and
might be as incapable of finding food, and managing for himself, in a
wild state, as a poor canary would be if let loose from its cage. But
generally it is cruel to imprison little wild birds and animals who have
known the enjoyment of liberty.

Squirrels are interesting little creatures. Besides being so pretty,
bright-eyed, and active, they are remarkably intelligent. They make
their nests in trees as birds do, but with even more ingenuity than most
birds. The materials of the nest are moss, leaves, grass, and fibres of
the bark of trees, all neatly woven together. The nest is waterproof,
and secure from the roughest gale of wind; it is, besides, carefully
hidden from the view of any passer-by beneath. The food of squirrels
consists of vegetables, nuts, acorns, and other fruits and seeds. These
little animals have the forethought to lay up provisions for the winter;
and not only do they keep a little store in their nests, but in any hole
they may chance to find in the surrounding trees. Sometimes they have a
dozen secret storehouses within a few leaps of their nest.

    [Illustration: Squirrel]

    [Illustration: Pumpkinhead]



                             PUMPKIN-HEAD.


    [Illustration: Decorative O]

  Of all the things to make you stare,—
  A Pumpkin-Head, I do declare!
  That such a thing could come about
  One almost feels inclined to doubt.
  The story’s sad, if true it be:
  I’ll tell it as ’twas told to me.
  A man once lived whose name was Nocket,
  Who dearly loved to fill his pocket,
  And for the poor he had small pity.
  By trade a hatter in the city,
  He from his shop went up and down
  To his cottage out of town;
  And in his garden took delight,
  And worked in it with all his might.
  A treatise he had written too
  On kitchen-gardening. So you
  May well suppose he heard with glee
  A garden-show there was to be;
  And that a prize among the rest
  Would be awarded for the best
  And largest pumpkin at the show.
  “Ha! ha!” thought Nocket, “now I’ll grow
  A pumpkin shall be such a size
  It will be sure to gain the prize.”
  In hothouse, where the heat was greater
  Almost than in Mount Etna’s crater,
  The pumpkin grew, and grew so fine
  That Nocket asked his friends to dine.
  And showed it to them all with pride.
  “Magnificent!” the friends replied;
  Excepting one, who looked quite sly,
  And said, “You’ll see mine, by-and-by.”
  ’Twas Nocket’s next door neighbour, Wright,
  Who spoke those words: and all that night
  Nocket slept not; spiteful and sad,
  At length he formed a purpose bad:
  At early dawn, without a fall
  He clambered o’er the garden wall,
  And of Wright’s greenhouse ope’d the door,
  Laid his own pumpkin on the floor;
  There found the biggest ever seen,
  Compared to which his own look’d mean.
  Upon his head with might and main
  He hoisted, it; and once again
  He climbed the wall. Then found—worse luck!—
  The pumpkin on his shoulders stuck.
  In vain he wriggled, struggled, fought,
  His head was in the pumpkin caught;
  And from that day the thing stuck fast
  On Nocket’s neck. ’Tis sometime past;
  Still, if the story be but true,
  We yet may see it—I or you.

    [Illustration: Flowers]



                       A STORY OF A WOODEN HORSE.


                              CHAPTER III.
 JOURNEY TO PARIS.—CRESSIDA IN THE GARDEN OF THE LUXEMBOURG.—MAURICE’S
           UNCLE.—A GREAT TEMPTATION.—MAURICE KEEPS HIS WORD.

    [Illustration: Decorative M]

Mr. and Mrs. de Roisel were accustomed to spend the winter in Paris; and
when November came on, and the time for their departure arrived, it was
not without anxiety that Maurice thought of taking Cressida to live on
the first floor of a Paris house. The rooms were large and handsome, it
is true, but not suitable for a horse: it was necessary, however, to
make the best of circumstances.

They drove to the railway station at Savigny, where Mr. de Roisel
arranged for them to have a carriage to themselves, and Cressida was
lifted into it, for Maurice wanted to make the journey to Paris mounted,
on the back of his horse. Off they started: my little friend, firmly
seated on his saddle, went along at the rate of forty miles an hour. In
less than an hour, however, they reached Paris, and then Maurice
confessed that he felt tired: it was the first time he had made so long
a journey on horseback.

Arrived at their own house, Maurice at once set about making the pony as
comfortable as he could. The first night Cressida had to rough it a
little; but in the course of two or three days Maurice had fitted up in
his own bedroom a stable, which corresponded with the general comfort
and elegance of the rooms occupied by the family.

    [Illustration: THE WORKMAN, AFTER HIS DAY’S TOIL IS OVER, WALKS
    THERE WITH HIS CHILDREN.]

Picture to yourselves a white tent embroidered in blue, supported
against the wall of the room. The entrance to it is shut up by curtains;
but when open, these curtains are held back on each side by broad blue
ribbons. Inside the tent, at the end against the wall of the room, are a
rack and a manger of ebony. At one side stands a large chest, also of
ebony: it is divided into two compartments—one for corn, the other
containing everything required for grooming a horse. Also at the end of
the tent, hanging against the wall, are a saddle and bridle of Russia
leather, and two or three whips. I must add that a beautiful sheepskin
rug, white and soft as the down of a swan, takes the place of the straw
put down for litter in a common stable. Such was the new abode of the
pretty pony.

When it became known that Maurice possessed a wonderful horse, which,
though made of wood, could gallop, and neigh, and shake his head like a
real horse, he received numerous visits; and his little friends envied
him his happiness. Several of them proposed to him that he should give
them Cressida in exchange for some of their own beautiful toys; such as,
for instance, a mule with bells, like the mules in Spain; a pretty
sailing boat, intended to sail on the basin in the Tuileries; a box
containing everything required for performing the astonishing tricks of
the famous conjuror Robert Houdin; a whole flock of sheep with their
shepherd; and one little girl offered him her most beautiful doll—a doll
that had the air of a queen, and whose clothes were made of fine cambric
and lace.

But what were the most beautiful toys in the world compared to Cressida?
Maurice, who had so bravely resisted the temptation of giving his horse
in exchange for Jeanne, found no difficulty in refusing these offers.

For some days after Maurice arrived in Paris, the weather continued mild
and fine, although it was so late in the autumn; and he was able to go
out several times with Cressida into the gardens of the Luxembourg.
These gardens may not be particularly fashionable, but they are very
beautiful all the same. You may see there elegantly dressed ladies and
gentlemen, and children with clean and tidy nurses; but you also see
there, in the evening, the workman, after his day’s toil is over,
walking with his children; perhaps carrying one in his arms: and though
he may carry it awkwardly, it is still touching to see what care he
takes of it.

    [Illustration: ONE OF THE KEEPERS OF THE GARDENS MAKES A MISTAKE.]

My little friend, whose parents had no prejudice against the gardens for
reasons of this kind, went there often, and delighted in riding up and
down the great avenue upon Cressida. They made a sensation together, I
assure you. Not only the children, but the mammas and even the gentlemen
expressed their surprise and admiration. Many people thought at first
that Cressida was a real pony. I have been told, though I do not vouch
for the fact, that one of the keepers of the gardens, going up to
Maurice, summoned him to leave, because it was not permitted to ride
there on horseback. This caused great amusement, as you may suppose,
among the lookers-on. It has been said also that this mistake of the
keeper was reported in the _Journal des Enfants_—(The Child’s Journal)—a
day or two after it occurred, but I cannot say I recollect reading it.
Maurice used to take his horse into the Luxembourg gardens every day
that it was fine, and enjoyed his rides very much.

Maurice had an uncle—his mother’s brother—a lieutenant in the navy, who
returned about this time from a distant expedition. He came to rest from
his fatigues at Paris, and took up his abode with his sister, of whom he
was very fond. He was a young man of about twenty-eight or thirty years
of age, intelligent, and of very agreeable manners. But beneath this
amiable and gentle surface, he possessed a strong will, and a resolute
devotion to whatever he might consider to be a duty.

The uncle and nephew soon became great friends, and were almost
inseparable. They used to go out walking together, and sometimes the
uncle would teach Maurice his lessons. In the evening they often went
together to the circus or to an exhibition of some sort. But when they
passed the evening at home, Maurice was almost more amused; for he never
tired of looking over books of sketches, which his uncle had made during
his voyages.

There were sketches representing the Red Indians of America; the natives
of Australia; the inhabitants of the islands in the Southern Pacific,
and of the coasts of Africa. Maurice was astonished to see faces painted
in all the colours of the rainbow; and he wondered at the singular ideas
savages have of making themselves look more beautiful. He saw some with
pieces of wood fixed into their under lips, to make them hang down; some
with their teeth blackened; others with their eyelids painted red. There
were also sketches of Laplanders, who were certainly not handsome,—not
figures that a sculptor would choose for models. Maurice’s uncle gave
him an account also of the manners and customs of all these people, and
my little friend learnt with horror that among savages, there are those
who roast and devour their fellow-creatures with the same relish with
which we eat good roast beef and mutton.

Then his uncle showed him landscapes of strange countries, all drawn by
himself, and sketches of the principal cities he had visited;
afterwards, drawings of foreign birds and flowers, such as are not to be
found in Europe. All this interested Maurice, and while it amused him,
gave him lessons in natural history and geography. You will easily
understand how fond he was likely to become of such a kind companion and
teacher.

The uncle always showed a great interest in Cressida, admired its
mechanism, and was fond of watching the little horse and its rider as
they went along together. One day, when he had been looking at them for
some time with a very thoughtful air, he said suddenly:—

“I wish I had a horse like Cressida.”

“Why not buy one then?” replied Maurice.

“Ah, you know very well that is impossible. There is no such horse to be
had anywhere.”

“That’s true,” rejoined Maurice; “but why do you want a wooden horse—you
who are so big, and can ride a real horse, if you wish?”

“No real horse—not the most beautiful in the world—could be the same to
me as Cressida,” rejoined the uncle. “It may seem like a caprice, but it
is not. I am going to sea again very soon, and I confess I should like
to take Cressida with me. I could amuse myself with him on board ship.
He would be a great resource during the long tedious hours when there is
nothing to do. Besides, if I had the horse I should feel myself less
separated from you all; and it would remind me of you particularly,
Maurice, whom I shall be so sorry to leave.”

“Ah, my dear uncle, what you desire is impossible. I cannot give you
Cressida.”

“I don’t expect you to give it me for nothing, of course.”

“Indeed I wish I could give it you for nothing.”

“Listen, now, to what I intend to do: I will leave you in exchange all
my books of sketches.”

“Oh, pray stop, uncle,” cried Maurice, feeling more and more unhappy;
“what you are saying makes me so miserable. You know I promised Fritz
never to part with Cressida.”

“But every day people make promises which they do not keep: besides,
Fritz did not know that I should ever wish to have the horse, when he
asked you to make that promise.”

“Still, I gave my word.”

“Yes, the word of a child: what does that signify?”

“Does age make a difference? Are not children expected to keep their
promises?”

“Oh, I don’t mean to say exactly that,” replied the uncle. “Your own
conscience must teach you how that ought to be. But I think it strange
that you should prefer that old Fritz to me.”

Now you must not suppose, my little readers, that Maurice resisted his
uncle’s persuasion with the calm steadfastness of a grown-up man, whose
mind is quite clear as to his duty, and who is quite decided to keep to
it. No: poor little Maurice found his heart drawing him one way and his
conscience another. At last he wisely determined that he would take an
opportunity, when alone with his father, to ask his advice: but the
young lieutenant did not give him a chance of doing this, for he began
again upon the subject the same evening.

“I have been reflecting,” he said to Maurice, “and I think my books of
sketches are not sufficient to give you for your horse. Listen now:
besides the books, I will give you a real pony. Perhaps he will be
rather bigger than Cressida; but I will buy one as much like Cressida as
possible.”

    [Illustration: “YOUR SON IS A HERO!”]

“Well, but,” said Maurice, “why not keep the live one for yourself? You
can even call it Cressida if you like.”

The young officer was a little put out by this suggestion, but after a
minute he replied:—“I could not take a real horse with me on board ship;
but a wooden horse is different. Now look here: not only will I give you
the pony, but you shall have a groom expressly to take care of it; and
both groom and pony shall be kept at my expense while I am away. I will
pay, besides, for you to have some lessons in riding, so that when your
papa goes out on horseback to the Bois de Boulogne you will be able to
ride by his side.”

“You will do all that?”

“Yes, really, I will do all that.”

“Ah, no, no! I cannot give you Cressida. If that poor Fritz should ever
come back, I will tell him all; and perhaps he will let me give you the
horse.”

“You behave to me like a selfish and ungrateful child.”

“Oh, uncle, uncle,” exclaimed poor little Maurice, and he began to weep
bitterly, “is it possible that you say this to me seriously? Ah, well!
then you shall have——” He was going to say,—“you shall have Cressida;”
but as he spoke his mother entered the room. Her presence seemed to
remind him that he was going to break his promise after all; and he went
on:—“You may think what you please, uncle, but I will not give you
Cressida.”

“Really!” exclaimed the young man with an appearance of delight which
astonished Maurice.

“And now go away from me, pray,” said Maurice, still crying bitterly. “I
am ill; I think I am going to faint:” and he ran into the arms of his
mother.

“Your son is a hero!” cried the young officer, joyfully, addressing his
sister. “He is a hero, I say.”

“And you—you are cruel,” replied the mother, caressing her son, who was
sobbing convulsively.

“But did you not hear,” said the young man, “how he kept to his
word,—how he refused to give me Cressida?”

“It is not right,” said the mother, “to torture a child by such a trial.
Suppose out of love for you he had given way; you would have reproached
him for listening to the dictates of his heart rather than obeying his
sense of duty. Let me tell you that what is a virtue in grown-up people,
is not always so in a child. It is through their affections that we
govern children, and you would teach him to combat his tenderest
feelings. Besides, you set a bad example: you were practising a
deception in pretending that you wanted the horse.”

“What! uncle,” cried my little friend, who began to recover, “was it
only make-believe when you asked me for Cressida? You only wanted to see
if I should keep my promise? You would not have loved me any longer,
perhaps, if I had given it to you; and yet I should have given it
because I love you.”

“You hear that,” said Mrs. de Roisel.

“What a great man this little fellow will make some day!” exclaimed the
uncle.

I daresay my little readers can see, though the uncle did not, how near
Maurice was to yielding and giving up Cressida at last. We will allow
the young officer to remain in ignorance upon this point, but let us
tell him that it is always better to prevent faults than to provoke
them.

                          (_To be continued._)

    [Illustration: Flowers]



                             _PUZZLE-PAGE._


    [Illustration: Puzzle images]

Now, children, try to find out this puzzle page. The names of two of
these objects begin with C, one with E, one with G, one with I, and one
with M.

    [Illustration: Birds]



                              THE SEASONS.


    [Illustration: Decorative B]

  Birds are in the woodland, buds are on the tree,
  Merry spring is coming, ope the pane and see.

  Then come sportive breezes, fields with flowers are gay,
  In the woods we’re singing through the summer day.

  Fruits are ripe in autumn, leaves are sear and red,
  Then we glean the cornfield, thanking God for bread.

  Then at last comes winter, fields are cold and lorn,
  But there’s happy Christmas, when our Lord was born.

  Thus as years roll onward, merrily we sing,
  Thankful for the blessings all the seasons bring.

    [Illustration: Little reader]



                                MY LILY.


    [Illustration: Decorative D]

Darling little Lily! This is just how I found her one day after somebody
had given her a picture book of Cinderella.

“What is my little woman thinking about that she looks so sad and
solemn?” asked I.

“I so sorry for Umbrella,” answered Lily, quite sharp and pat, thinking
she had hit upon the name finely; “but I not be sorry any more, for my
mamma come, and mamma love me.”

I finished the story to her, when her pity changed into joy at
“Umbrella’s” happy marriage with the young prince.

    [Illustration: Chamois and little ones]



                THE MOTHER CHAMOIS AND HER LITTLE ONES.


    [Illustration: Decorative A]

A hunter in the Tyrol, while engaged in his dangerous employment, spied
a chamois with two little ones on the top of a rock. The little chamois
were leaping and sporting by the side of their mother, and she, while
watching their gambols, was on the alert to see that no enemy came near
to hurt them. The hunter peeped over a rock at the happy family, and
determined, if possible, to take one of the young ones alive. When the
old chamois caught sight of him, she was in a sad state of alarm: she
ran up to her little ones, and tried to lead them on to leap from one
rock to another; but they were too young to leap far. In the meantime
the hunter was clambering nearer and nearer, and would soon reach them.

Presently they came to a chasm, not very wide across, but of immense
depth. One of the little chamois was big and strong enough to leap
across it, the other was not. At last the mother hit upon a plan: she
made her body into a bridge across the chasm, placing her forefeet upon
the further rock. The young chamois, understanding her intention, sprang
upon her as lightly as a kitten, and reached the other side; when they
all scampered off. The hunter did not dare to follow them over this
dreadful chasm, and they were soon safe beyond the range of his gun.

    [Illustration: Family]



                               CHILDREN.


  What could we without them,
    Those flowers of life?
  How bear all the sorrows
    With which it is rife?
  As long as they blossom,
    Whilst brightly they bloom,
  Our own griefs are nothing,
    Forgotten our gloom.

  We joy in the sunshine,—
    It sheds on them light;
  We welcome the shower,—
    It makes them more bright;
  On our pathway of thorns
    They are thrown from above,
  And they twine round about us,
    And bless us with love.

  Bright, beautiful flowers,
    So fresh and so pure!
  How could we, without them,
    Life’s troubles endure?
  So guileless and holy,
    Such soothers of strife;
  What could we without them,
    Sweet flowers of life?

    [Illustration: Flowers]

    [Illustration: Fishermen]



                          MAMMA’S SUNDAY TALK.
                        MIRACLES OF OUR SAVIOUR:


                   THE MIRACULOUS DRAUGHT OF FISHES.

    [Illustration: Decorative I]

I must tell you to-day, my dear children, about one of the miracles of
our Saviour of which I daresay you have already heard. Perhaps, too, you
have seen engravings of the picture from which the woodcut above is
taken. It is a large painting by Raphael, a great Italian artist of
former days, whom you will know more about when you are older.

After our Saviour had healed the nobleman’s son—the miracle I described
to you in our last Sunday-talk—we are told in the Bible that He left
Cana and went to Capernaum, a town on the shore of the lake, or sea, of
Galilee. The country surrounding this beautiful lake is now desolate and
barren; but at the time when our Saviour lived upon earth, it was
fertile and thickly populated. On the banks of the lake were towns and
villages; on its waters boats plied, engaged in pleasure or trade; and
many fishermen carried on their calling.

One evening our Lord walked on the shore of the lake, teaching His
disciples, when He found Himself surrounded by a multitude of people.
They pressed about Him, eager to hear Him preach; and in order to let
them hear and see Him better, He entered into one of the fishing-boats
which belonged to Simon Peter. And Christ prayed Simon Peter to thrust
out the boat a little from the land: then He sat down, and taught the
people from the boat.

We are not told what was the particular purport of His teaching on this
occasion, but when He had done, He resolved to render what He had said
more impressive by performing a miracle before the eyes of all the
people. He turned to Simon, and told him to cast forth his nets to catch
fish; upon which, St. Luke tells us, Simon answered: “Master, we have
toiled all the night and have taken nothing; nevertheless at thy word I
will let down the net.”

This is the language of obedience and faith. The net was at once cast
into the sea, and it enclosed such a quantity of fish that it began to
break. In the boat with Christ, besides Simon Peter, was another
fisherman, named Andrew; and they beckoned to their partners, James and
John, the sons of Zebedee, who were in another boat, to come to their
assistance. Both boats were filled so full of fish that they were almost
sinking.

Scripture does not give us any account of the impression this miraculous
draught of fishes made upon the multitude that were looking on from the
shore; but the first thought of Simon Peter seems to have been a sense
of his own unworthiness. Falling down at our Saviour’s feet, he cried:
“Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

With mingled feelings of humility, gratitude, and awe, he entreated
Jesus to depart from one who was so guilty and undeserving. But he did
not know the love of Christ towards him, or the gracious design of this
miracle. His fears were soon calmed. “Fear not,” said Jesus to His
trembling disciple: “from henceforth thou shalt catch men.” From that
time Simon Peter, and his companions, Andrew, James, and John, were to
be employed in preaching the gospel. These poor, ignorant fishermen
became endowed with wisdom and eloquence; and in the wonderful draught
of fishes they might foresee their future success. They were to be
“fishers of men”; the world the sea in which they were to labour.

St. Luke says of them: “When they had brought their ships to land, they
forsook all and followed Him.”

    [Illustration: Fairy with book]

    [Illustration: Girl standing on chair]



                       SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS:


                                 RUBY.

    [Illustration: Decorative T]

The little girl you see in the picture is one of the very nicest of my
little friends. She looked just as you see her there on the day of her
party, which was given in honour of her fourth birthday. I remember
going into the nursery while she was being dressed. Nurse was just
arranging her sash, while she stood on a chair in front of the
looking-glass, admiring her little self generally; but most admiring her
pretty blue shoes, which just matched her sash.

When she saw me at the door, she cried out: “I ready now; wait for me.”
And jumping off the chair and seizing my hand, she tripped away
downstairs, chattering merrily as she went. The time of the year was the
end of April, and Ruby’s home being in the country, and the weather very
fine and warm, some of the festivities took place out of doors in the
garden. There were dances, and all sorts of games, on the dry sunny
lawn, a soft westerly wind blowing on the happy children the while,
bringing health and enjoyment with its sweet balmy breath.

While their fun was at its height, a curious figure appeared upon the
lawn. It was a queer-looking old woman with a nutcracker face, carrying
a large basket under her arm. She went hobbling along here and there, in
and out, among the children. From the basket came balls, tops, dolls,
and all sorts of toys, for the younger ones; useful presents for the
bigger children. Was there ever such a curious old woman, or ever a
basket that held so much? How they all laughed when presently she threw
off her mask, bonnet, and cloak; and behold! Ruby’s papa stood before
them.

Now it was tea-time, and the little people trooped into the house. After
tea they were requested to walk into the drawing-room to be introduced
to Count Shuffalongofriski, the Polish dwarf, and his friend Captain
Sovveritall, the wonderful giant. Going into the room, they beheld a
little man standing on a table placed in the recess of a large window,
the curtain being partly drawn round the table. The dwarf wore a turban
and large beard: he had a long pipe in his mouth, and was dressed up in
shawls. He seemed very affable and pleasant, jabbering away continually
in some unknown language, while now and then he threw a handful of
crackers among the children to be scrambled for.

Presently an enormous figure appeared stooping to come through the door
of the room. He was covered up with a long cloak, and was an oddly made
giant too, for his shoulders seemed to stick out little more than
half-way up him, and he had a tiny little face, with a voice much weaker
than the dwarf’s. He stalked up to the dwarf’s table and stood beside
him. At last a little boy of the party, being very curious, lifted up
the giant’s cloak to peep beneath, but happening to pull it at the same
time, down it fell, and there stood Ruby’s papa again, with her little
brother Johnnie on his shoulders.

And now the boys were becoming uproarious, and tried to peep behind the
curtain to find out how the dwarf was made, when their attention was
attracted by the sound of a fiddle playing outside. They saw, in the
fading light of evening, a poor blind man being led up the carriage
drive by a barefooted little girl about the size of Ruby. As the blind
fiddler and his little girl turned the corner of the drive towards the
hall-door, they passed out of sight from the drawing-room windows, and I
observed that Ruby and three or four other children ran into the hall to
meet them. The boys, however, turned once more to pursue their
investigations concerning the dwarf, and were becoming quite riotous,
when I thought I might as well see what was going on in the hall, for I
heard the fiddler playing lustily.

Entering the hall, what do you suppose I saw? I saw Ruby and four or
five other little girls, including the fiddler’s child among them,
dancing away with all their might to the inspiriting music of the
fiddle, fiddler and children seeming as happy as possible together. But
the strangest sight of all was to see Ruby’s pretty blue shoes upon the
dirty stockingless feet of the fiddler’s child, while Ruby herself had
only her white silk socks to dance in.

Dear little Ruby! hers was the true spirit of charity, though certainly
not well directed.

    [Illustration: Child’s face]

    [Illustration: Sowing]



                             SPRING-VOICES.


_Allegretto._

                                   1.
  “Caw! caw!” says the crow,
  “Spring has come again, I know:
  For, as sure as I am born,
  There’s a farmer planting corn;
  I shall breakfast there I trow,
  Long before his corn can grow.”

                                   2.
  “Quack, quack!” says the duck,
  “Was there ever such good luck!
  Spring has cleared the pond of ice,
  And the day is warm and nice,
  Just as I and Goodman Drake
  Thought we’d like a swim to take.”

                                   3.
  “Croak, croak!” says the frog,
  As he leaps out from the bog;
  “Spring is near, I do declare,
  For the earth is warm and fair;
  Croak! croak! croak! I love the spring,
  When the little birdies sing.”

    [Illustration: Flowers]



                       A STORY OF A WOODEN HORSE.


                              CHAPTER IV.
MAURICE’S FATHER IS ILL.—A RICH LITTLE GIRL.—A FAMILY IN DISTRESS.—WHAT
                          OUGHT MAURICE TO DO?

    [Illustration: Decorative S]

Some months later, when the Spring had come on, and the sun was
beginning to give warmth, while the air was already perfumed with
violets, Maurice was walking, one beautiful morning, in the Luxembourg
gardens. He had Cressida with him, whom he sometimes rode and sometimes
led, and Jacques the old servant was also there. A number of children
were in the gardens, playing at different games, and enjoying themselves
in the bright sunshine. They were chattering away too as gaily as the
little wild birds overhead were singing in the soft air.

Maurice alone was not amusing himself, and old Jacques the servant
walked after him in silence, looking as sad as his young master. Alas!
my kind-hearted little readers, you will be grieved, I know, when you
hear the cause of my little friend’s sadness: Maurice’s father was
seriously ill.

That very morning Maurice had been present, without any one knowing it,
at a consultation between two famous doctors, who were attending his
father. He happened to be in the drawing-room, standing at a window and
half hidden behind the curtain, when they came in, and they had not
observed him. Although he did not understand all they said, he heard
enough to cause him great unhappiness and alarm. He had now come into
the Luxembourg gardens—not because he thought of amusing or enjoying
himself, but because his mamma had wished him to go out.

    [Illustration: MAURICE WAS PRESENT AT A CONSULTATION.]

While he was sitting on Cressida’s back, with the reins thrown
carelessly on its neck, and moving at a slow walk to suit his thoughtful
and sad mood, he noticed that a little girl, rather older than himself,
was coming towards him as if she wished to say something. She was
accompanied by a lady, too young to be her mother, of a graceful figure
though simply dressed. The little girl, whose face expressed a bold and
decided character, called out to Maurice,—

“Young gentleman, sell me your horse.”

“Sell Cressida!” cried Maurice, with astonishment. “Oh, no, certainly
not.”

“I will pay you with ten pieces of gold money that I have here in my
purse.”

“What! you’ve got ten pieces of gold money of your own?”

“My very own.”

“Do just let me look at them,” begged Maurice.

“Look!” said she, opening a pretty little purse with an air of triumph.

“What a lot of gold!” exclaimed my little friend, and he put out his
hand to touch it. Then drawing his hand quickly back, he added: “No, no,
I cannot sell Cressida. But tell me, who has given you all this gold?”

“It was my papa. Yesterday was his birthday, and I repeated to him a bit
of poetry—such pretty poetry!—wishing him many happy returns of the day.
Miss Henriette—she’s my English governess, the young lady you see
there—she had written it out for me. When I repeated the lines to papa,
he gave me these ten napoleons, and he told me to buy something handsome
with them for myself,—anything I liked.”

“But I have no idea of selling Cressida,” repeated Maurice.

“You’ve not had him long then, I suppose—not got tired of him yet?”

“I don’t remember exactly how long; eight or nine months perhaps.”

“Nine months! It’s an age; I never kept a plaything for nine months.”

“What do you do then?”

    [Illustration: “NO, NO, I CANNOT SELL YOU CRESSIDA.”]

“I give them away or I break them. Don’t you get tired of having the
same toys always?”

“Cressida is not a common toy to me.”

“Oh, he’s very handsome, no doubt; I thought at first he was a real
pony. But with ten napoleons you can buy another,—you can buy a white
one, and that would be a change, you know. Come, you’ll alter your mind,
won’t you?”

“No, certainly not.”

“Oh, yes.”

“Indeed, I’m sure I shall not.”

“You are not like me then,” replied the little girl, “I am always
changing my mind. Yesterday, what I wished for most in the world was a
set of cups and saucers of Sèvres china for my doll; this morning I
wanted most a coral necklace for myself; then I wanted an ermine muff;
and now I want to buy your horse. Don’t I change my mind often? But your
horse I really wish for very much: the fact is I never saw one like it
at any toy-shop.”

“I should think not,” said Maurice.

“But I shall only care for it, you know, till I have a real pony. My
papa has promised to buy me a real pony in a year.”

“Your papa is rich then?”

“Is my papa rich! I should think so indeed. My papa is a wine-merchant,
and he has made thousands upon thousands and millions upon millions in
his business: he’s going to make a great deal more yet too, I can tell
you.”

This heaping up of millions upon millions caused Maurice to open his
eyes very wide.

“What is your name?” he asked of the young girl.

“I am called Adrienne,” she replied.

“Adrienne what?”

“Adrienne Fallachon, since you wish to know. But that will not be my
name always, for my papa intends me to marry a duke or a prince when I
am old enough. Some little girls I know turn up their noses at me
because my papa is a wine-merchant, and I told him of it one day. Oh, he
was in such a passion! What names he did call them! He took me up on his
knee, and said he loved me doubly since my mamma died; and he declared
he would make such a deal of money to give me when I marry that I should
be a princess, or a duchess at the least. That’s what he said: isn’t he
a good papa?”

“Oh, yes, indeed he is. But those little girls were very ill-natured, I
think.”

“Yes, were they not? Suppose now we become great friends. I shall be
here every day, and sometimes we’ll play together: do you agree?”

Maurice said he should be very glad.

“But I’ve told you my name,” went on Adrienne; “tell me now in return,
what’s your name?”

“Maurice de Roisel.”

“Maurice de Roisel! that’s a pretty name. Have you a title? If you have,
I’ll marry you when you’re grown up.”

“Oh, as for a title, I really don’t know, but I’ll ask mamma if I have
one.”

“Do; you need only be a duke, you understand.”

Saying this she went off to play with her hoop, and Maurice continued
his ride, with Jacques walking by his side.

As Maurice approached the gate of the garden, he beheld a sight which
filled his kind young heart with pity. Seated on the pavement outside
the garden, and leaning against the iron railing, was a young woman with
three pretty children. They appeared to be in the deepest despair, but
there was a certain dignity in their grief; they wept silently, and
seemed anxious to avoid the notice of the passers-by. As he watched
them, he thought to himself—his mind dwelling upon his own anxiety—“I
wonder if their father’s dead that they cry so bitterly?” He did not
like to speak to them, however, but only looked at them from a little
distance through the railings. Presently one of the children—a charming
little girl—looked up at Maurice, and then he ventured to approach and
ask her what made them so miserable.

    [Illustration: THEY APPEARED TO BE IN THE DEEPEST DESPAIR.]

“Alas!” she replied, speaking bad French with a German accent, “it is
the greatest misfortune that could befall us: we are separated for ever
from our father. Our poor dear papa is expecting us at New York, where
he has some land, and where we could be rich and happy; and now it is
impossible for us to go to him. Alas! there is nothing for us but to
die.”

“To die! Oh, don’t say that—it’s dreadful,” rejoined Maurice.

“Yes, it is dreadful,” continued the girl. “And my poor father—Ah, what
grief for him too!”

“But how does it happen that you cannot go out to join him?”

“We have not the means; we are without money.”

“Money? I’ve got some money.” And Maurice hastened to offer the contents
of his little purse—about five or six francs.

The little girl did not take them, but turned to her mother, who was
pressing to her heart her other two children, handsome boys of three and
four years old. The mother and her daughter spoke together for a minute
in German.

“Why do you not take what I offer?” said Maurice.

“Because,” replied the girl,—for her mother could not speak
French,—“because, though it is a good deal for you to give, it would be
of no use to us. To save us we want two hundred francs—that is, ten gold
napoleons. Who would give them to us?”

“Ten pieces of gold money,” cried my little friend. “Wait a minute; I
know somebody who has them.”

He gave Cressida into the care of Jacques, and running after Adrienne,
took her by the hand, and led her up to this poor family.

“Give your money to these good people,” said he.

“No, indeed!” replied Adrienne, astonished; “my papa told me to buy
something with the money for myself, and I’m not going to give it to
beggars.”

“But just consider, Adrienne,” said her English governess, who had
followed her, “whether you would not do well to give some help to this
unhappy woman and her little children: such a kind action would be all
the kinder if you do it by the sacrifice of something you intended to
buy for yourself.”

“But my papa does not wish me to make sacrifices,” said Adrienne. And
nothing that her governess or Maurice could say would induce her to part
with her money.

Maurice thought for a moment of going home to his mother to ask her for
the two hundred francs; but remembering that she would certainly be in
his father’s sick-room nursing him, he felt that it would not do to
disturb or trouble her now. Then he turned to Jacques.

“Can you lend me two hundred francs, Jacques?”

“Two hundred francs!” cried Jacques; “why you would not surely give so
much to people you know nothing about. But at all events I don’t possess
two hundred francs.”

“Is it so large a sum then?” inquired Maurice.

“It is more than my wages for half a year come to.”

“My dear young gentleman,” said the governess, addressing Maurice, “I
see you have a good heart, but perhaps it would be wise, before you
think any more about helping this poor woman, to inquire what has
happened to throw them suddenly into such a state of destitution. You
see they are quite nicely dressed, and do not look at all as if they
were accustomed to ask for charity.”

In answer to the questions of the governess and Maurice, the little
girl, who was the only one that could speak French, explained that they
were Germans from Nuremburg: that they had arrived only that morning in
Paris by railway from that city, intending to go on from Paris to
Nantes, where they were to embark for New York. Their father had gone
out to New York about two years before to settle there: he had been
prosperous, and they were going to join him. Their baggage had been
already seat on from Nuremburg to Nantes, and put on board the vessel in
which their passage had been engaged and paid for by their father at New
York, the captain being a friend of his.

She said that when they got out of the train at Paris that morning, they
missed a little portmanteau, the only luggage they carried with them,
which contained, besides some change of linen, all the money they had.
It had either been stolen or lost in the confusion of getting out of the
train. So they found themselves now in this great city without friends
and without money, and—worst of all—the vessel would sail to-morrow
evening, and unless they could go on at once their passage would be
lost.

She told her story with such earnestness and simplicity that no one
could doubt its truth; and the governess made one more effort to excite
the compassion of her pupil. But Adrienne was quite insensible to the
suffering of others, and ran off, bowling her hoop.

“Still,” said Maurice, looking after her, “I know one way of finding the
money, if I could but make up my mind to do it: I could sell my horse to
Adrienne.”

“What do you say, Master Maurice?” exclaimed Jacques. “It is impossible.
Sell Cressida, that you refused so bravely to part with to your uncle!
Think of your promise to Fritz.”

“When I made that promise, Fritz told me expressly that I might sell it
only in order to help any one who was in great distress. Would not he
have wished to help this poor woman and these children? That I am sure
he would. Still it breaks my heart to part with Cressida: I can hardly
bear to think about it: but I will do it.”

Adrienne ran up with her hoop at this moment, and her joy was unbounded
when she heard that Maurice consented at last to sell Cressida to her
for the ten pieces of gold. She kissed Maurice and she kissed the little
horse. She clapped her hands and danced about with delight.

As soon as her expressions of joy had begun to subside Maurice said to
her very seriously:—“I have one favour to ask of you.”

“What is it?”

“That when you get tired of Cressida you will not throw it aside, or
give it to the first person who comes in the way, without knowing
whether it is taken care of or not. The favour I ask is that you will
just think of it, and care for it a little sometimes, even after it no
longer amuses you.”

“Oh, yes, that I certainly will,” said Adrienne. “I’ll keep it myself as
long as it’s in good condition; that is, till I break it, I mean; and
when I have quite done with it, I won’t be so cruel as to throw it away,
or give it to the first who asks me. No, you may be quite easy about
that: I’ll tell you what I’ll do. When it’s broken, I’ll make it a
present to the children of my nurse. They are great fat country
children, with cheeks like rosy apples; but oh, so stupid! and not
difficult to please, I assure you. If Cressida has lost two or three of
its legs they will admire it all the same, and it will amuse them
immensely.”

This picture of the probable future in store for the little horse was
not calculated to comfort Maurice, whatever it was meant to do. Indeed
he felt very much inclined to be off the bargain, and tears began to
trickle down his cheeks.

If the actors in this scene had not been so engrossed with the matter
they were discussing, they would certainly have noticed a rather old
gentleman, who was walking up and down, with his hands behind him, at a
few paces from where they stood, and who was evidently listening to all
they said. At this moment, when Maurice was looking very unhappy—for his
delight at helping this poor family did not prevent his feeling a sort
of horror to think that Fritz’s wonderful mechanical work should pass
into such bad hands,—just at this moment, the old gentleman came
straight up to them, and spoke to Maurice.

What he said to Maurice, and what he did, are too important to the
course of this story to come in at the end of a chapter; and I will
reserve them for the beginning of the next. But I do not mind letting my
little readers know at once that Adrienne did not have the horse after
all.



                             _PUZZLE-PAGE._


    [Illustration: Puzzle images]

Here are six objects for you to find out, children; one begins with D,
one with G, one with L, one with N, one with P, and one with Y.

    [Illustration: Children sitting on the grass]



                           THE SUMMER SHOWER.


  It’s raining, it’s raining, so heavily, heavily,
  The only dry place is just under the tree;
  There let us scamper, so merrily, merrily,
  Keeping together as close as can be.

  Look at the rainbow, so glorious and wonderful,
  Stretching its great arch far up in the sky,
  While all around the clouds heavy and thunder-full,
  Tinge fields and trees with their stormy red dye.

  Look, how the hills are all purple behind us;
  See, how the sky is all gloomy and black,
  Francis and Willy, indeed you must mind us,
  Rain is still falling—this moment come back.

  Yes, on that side the bright sun is now shining,
  Tinting the tops of the trees with its glow:
  Raindrops and sunbeams, their splendours combining,
  Colour the beautiful rainbow, you know.

  Do you not hear how the heavy drops clatter
  On the broad branches that cover us now?
  We are not shorn, like the sheep, so no matter;—
  See, how they shelter themselves near the cow.

  Old Nurse, perhaps, is afraid of the thunder,
  Guessing in vain where her children can be;
  After such torrents of rain, she will wonder
  To find us all dry ’neath the broad chestnut-tree.

    [Illustration: Flowers]

    [Illustration: Children around the table]



                              TEASING TOM.


    [Illustration: Decorative A]

A little boy called Tom was very fond of teasing. He used to call—“Bo!”
in the baby’s ear, and startle the poor little thing. One Sunday he
pinned a pocket-handkerchief on to nurse’s back as she was going to
church, and she thought people were admiring her when they looked back.
Another day he put some bran into her teapot, and nurse wondered why her
tea was not so good as usual. Then he got a frightful mask, and jumping
out of a dark corner, with a howl, nearly frightened the nursery-maid
into a fit.

One day there was a child’s party. It was sister Mary’s birthday. When
the children were taking their seats at supper, naughty Tom went behind
Mary just as she was sitting down, and pulled her chair away. Mary fell,
and hit her head against the fender.

Poor Mary was seriously hurt, and for a minute or two she lay
insensible. Then Tom was really sorry, and repented what he had done.
For all that, though, he was well whipped, and sent off to school next
day. I daresay you will agree with me that he deserved his punishment.

    [Illustration: Herons]



                                HERONS.


    [Illustration: Decorative T]

To-day our natural history picture shows three very funny long-legged
birds; they look at first sight very like storks, but these birds are
herons.

The heron, though much less common than in former days, still holds its
place among familiar British birds, being occasionally seen on the banks
of almost every river or lake. This bird is about three feet in length,
the bill being longer than the head, and the wings when spread measure
five feet across; with these large strong wings it can fly to a great
height. The heron lives on fish, which it swallows whole, and in great
numbers; it can neither swim nor dive, but it wades into the water as
far as its long legs will carry it with safety, and stands there as
still as if carved out of wood, with its long neck drawn in, and its
head resting between the shoulders. It will watch with patience for
hours till a fish or a frog comes within its reach, when it stretches
out its long neck suddenly, and snatches up its prey with its sharp
bill. It mostly prefers to stand under the shadow of a tree, bush, or
bank; and from its perfect stillness, and the sober colour of its
plumage, it seems often to escape the observation even of the fish
themselves.

In old times in England, the sport called hawking, which consisted in
the chase of herons by hawks or falcons trained for the purpose, was a
very favourite one among both gentlemen and ladies. Young hawks procured
from their nests in Iceland or Norway, and carefully trained, were of
great value. The sport was generally enjoyed on horseback, and both
ladies and gentlemen usually carried the hawks perched upon their
wrists, the birds’ heads being covered with a hood till the moment came
for letting them fly.

When the heron was discovered, he would soon become aware of the
approach of the hawking party; and spreading his broad wings, and
stretching out his long neck in front, and his long legs behind, would
rise majestically in the air. Then the hawk’s hood was removed, and as
soon as he caught sight of the heron, he was let fly in pursuit.

Now a hawk cannot strike unless it is above its prey, and the heron
seems instinctively to be aware of this. It used to be thought a fine
sight to see these two birds striving to rise each above the other.
Round and round they went, wheeling in a succession of circles, always
higher and higher. At length the hawk rose high enough to shoot down
upon the heron. Sometimes he was received upon the long sharp bill of
the latter, and simply spitted himself; but generally he would break the
wing of the heron, or clutch him with beak and claws, when the two came
fluttering down together.

This sport has now fallen into disuse, and English herons lead a
peaceful life enough. There are some at the Zoological gardens, and I
think you will laugh to see them standing there at the edge of their
pond, with heads sunk between their shoulders, looking like long-nosed
old gentlemen in pointed tail-coats.

    [Illustration: Heron]

    [Illustration: Mule]



                           AUNT TOTTY’S PETS:


                           COCO AND MARQUIS.

    [Illustration: Decorative T]

The next of her pets that Aunt Totty told us about were a mule and a
dog.

“Yes, my dears,” said Aunt Totty, “Marquis was certainly a splendid
animal; as large as a fine horse, as strong as a bull, and wonderfully
fleet. We used to drive him about in a light two-wheeled carriage, a
kind of cabriolet, which was the carriage most used in that part of
France in those days. I must tell you that what I am going to relate
happened when I was quite a little child, which of course is a long time
ago, and we were living at the time in a chateau, or large
country-house, in the south of France. There were large forests in that
part of the country, and the house was a long way off from any town.

    [Illustration: Dog and mule]

“Now, handsome and strong Marquis certainly was, but that was about all
you could say in his favour, for he had a detestable temper. I hardly
know why I call Marquis one of my pets, for we children were never
allowed to drive him, hardly even to stroke him, lest he should kick or
bite; and he was addicted to both these bad habits. Whenever he thought
he had hurt anyone, or done mischief of any kind, you might see him
shake all over, as if he was having a good quiet laugh all to himself.
Once he succeeded in breaking the traces and getting free from the
carriage: then he indulged in something more than a quiet chuckle, and
fell to neighing or braying—for I hardly know which to call it—with all
his might, till we were nearly deafened by the horrid noise. I remember
another occasion, when he succeeded in upsetting the little carriage and
breaking the shafts. My mother and I and the coachman were all thrown
out. Luckily we were not much hurt; and while we were picking ourselves
up, Marquis stood looking at us with an air of triumph, and amused
himself by kicking up the dust with his hoofs till we were almost
smothered.

“Marquis had, however, one tender place in his heart, and that was
occupied by our dog Coco. Coco was a spaniel; no great beauty perhaps;
but he was as good and amiable as Marquis was the reverse. How two
creatures so unlike in disposition—one so good-hearted, the other so
vicious—could have struck up such a friendship, I never could make out.
If Coco went into the field where Marquis was grazing, the mule would
run up to him directly, and I have even seen the two rub their noses
together as if they were kissing. Coco had a comfortable bed in the
kitchen, but he preferred at night going to sleep upon the straw in the
little out-house which served as a stable for Marquis.

“The winter we were at the chateau happened to be unusually severe, and
snow was on the ground for many days. It was always known that there
were wolves in the forest, though they were rarely seen; but during the
cold weather it was said that one or two had approached the village. One
evening we were all sitting round the fire, Coco being in the midst of
us, when he suddenly pricked up his ears, as if he heard a sound
outside, and immediately rushed out of the room. Directly afterwards we
heard a dreadful howling, and papa and the boys ran out to see what it
was. They found Coco and a wolf waging a dreadful combat just outside
the door of the shed where Marquis was kept. This was not the regular
stable for the horses, and was rather separated from the other buildings
of the chateau. On the approach of human beings the wolf ran off, but he
had inflicted a mortal wound upon poor Coco, who was just expiring when
his rescuers arrived. He died to defend his friend Marquis.”

    [Illustration: In the woods]



                           COWSLIP GATHERING.


    [Illustration: Decorative M]

  Merry time, when cowslips bloom;
  Merry time, when thrushes sing;
  Merry time, when wild rose sprays
  Far abroad their branches fling.

  Merry time for girls and boys,
  When the cowslips first appear,
  Gilding meadows with their cups,—
  Happiest time of all the year!

  When the bees, with busy hum,
  Play amongst their golden bells,
  And the butterflies are come—
  All of joy and pleasure tells.

  Happy children! roaming far,
  Gather cowslips at your will;
  Fill your baskets—fill them full—
  Thousands will be left there still.

  Oh! the joyous time of youth,
  Like the spring-tide of the year;
  Could it but, like cowslip-bells,
  Come again each coming year!

    [Illustration: Flowers]

    [Illustration: Healing]



                          MAMMA’S SUNDAY TALK.
                        MIRACLES OF OUR SAVIOUR:


                 THE MAN WITH THE WITHERED HAND HEALED.

    [Illustration: Decorative O]

Our Saviour’s next miracle, after the miraculous draught of fishes which
I described in our last Sunday talk, took place also at Capernaum, and
consisted in healing the mother of the wife of Simon Peter the
fisherman. Peter had become a disciple of Jesus, and indeed was soon
afterwards created one of the twelve apostles. The Master often visited
the house of His disciple; and one day on entering it, He was told that
Peter’s wife’s mother lay seriously ill. Christ immediately went into
the room of the sick woman; stood over her, and holding her hand, bade
the fever leave her. She arose at once from her bed, perfectly well; not
merely better; not weak, as people usually are on first recovering from
a fever, but quite well. St. Matthew says of her:—“And she arose and
ministered to them:” meaning that she was able to get up and attend to
her household duties as usual.

Our Saviour now went down to Nazareth, where, as you know, my dear
children, He was brought up, and where He had lived for many years
unknown and in poverty. He there performed many wonderful miracles,
healing the sick, and doing good to the poor or afflicted who came to
Him. But you must not expect me to describe to you all His wonderful
works of this kind; I shall tell you only of the most important, that
you may learn the loving kindness and mercy of Him who “bore our sins
and carried our sorrows.”

It often happened on the Sabbath, in the cool of the evening, that the
sick were brought out on their beds or couches to Jesus to be healed.
They were not brought till the sun was setting, for fear of breaking the
commandment which forbids all manner of work on the Sabbath: but the
Jewish Sabbath ending at the setting of the sun, people did not scruple
to bring their sick to be healed by Jesus after that hour. And He healed
all that were brought to Him.

But once on a Sabbath day, before the hour of sunset, a man came to Him
for help. The hand of this man was withered and helpless, and he came to
Christ hoping that He would heal it. We are told in the Bible that the
Scribes and Pharisees watched Jesus to see whether He would heal on the
Sabbath day, that they might find an accusation against Him for breaking
the commandment. But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to the man
which had the withered hand: “Rise up and stand forth in the midst.” And
he arose and stood forth. Then said Jesus unto them: “I will ask you one
thing: Is it lawful on the Sabbath day to do good or to do evil; to save
life or to destroy it?” And looking round upon them all, He said unto
the man: “Stretch forth thy hand!” And he did so, and his hand was
restored whole as the other.

Now our Saviour did not mean by performing this miracle to teach that
the observance of the Sabbath should be lightly thought of. The teaching
of our Lord and His example do not tend to lessen our reverence for this
holy-day. But what He intended to show was that works of mercy are quite
consistent with the holiness of the Sabbath, and that the Sabbath was
intended for the advantage and happiness of mankind.

You would think that the gentle reproof of our Lord would have made
these Scribes and Pharisees repent: but it was not so. They felt that
they were put to shame before the people, and their rage and hatred
against our Saviour increased. They felt that they could not stand
before His teaching, even had this teaching not been sustained as it was
by such signs and wonders. They were losing influence, and if Christ was
allowed to go on, their own power would be gone.

Then the Pharisees and Scribes went and held council together against
Jesus, consulting how they should destroy Him.

    [Illustration: Cluster of grapes]

    [Illustration: Family at the table]



                       SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS:


                                 FRANK.

    [Illustration: Decorative I]

I think you would like to hear about a little friend of mine called
Frank. That is, he _was_ a little friend of mine, for he is grown into a
man now; and though a friend still, he is by no means little, being
above six feet high. However, what I am going to tell you of him
occurred years ago.

Frank’s father died when he was quite young, and his mother, marrying
again, went out to India; so it happened that he lived in London with
his grandfather and grandmother. They, of course, were quite old people,
and he was always very glad to spend a part of his holidays with some
cousins at their house in the country, which was very near to where I
lived. I was not quite grown up at that time, but I was so much older
than Frank that he looked upon me as a very wise person, and one quite
fitted to give him advice.

Now Frank had a great talent for drawing, and I think that was what drew
us together, for I had a turn that way also. He used to sketch the
beautiful scenery in the neighbourhood; and, although he only sketched
in pencil, he obtained good effects of distance, gave correctly the
foliage of the different trees, and, above all, he seemed by natural
genius always to choose just the subjects which formed a nice
composition as a picture.

He was at this time about twelve or thirteen years of age, and whenever
he talked to me about his own future, which he very often did, I could
not help encouraging him to become an artist. His grandfather, I knew,
had other views, and intended him to be a merchant, there being some
advantageous opening for him in that way. Still I advised Frank at least
to let his grandfather know how much he wished to be an artist, and to
show him some of his sketches; “because,” as I said, “if he consents, it
is time you should be put in the way of studying art properly.”

Well, Frank followed my advice. After spending his holidays in the
country, he went to pass one day in town at his grandfather’s before
going to school. In the evening after dinner, when he was sitting with
his grandfather and grandmother, he suddenly broke out with:—

“Grandpapa dear, I want to be an artist.”

“An artist!” said grandpapa; “why, what fancy is this? I didn’t know you
had a taste that way. Here, let me see if you can draw this.”

He placed before his grandson a small ancient vase, which he took from a
glass case; for Frank’s grandfather, I must tell you, was a great
collector of ancient things—relics, and curiosities.

Frank took his place at the opposite side of the table, and set to work.
At last he brought the paper round to grandpapa. There was the vase,
very fairly and correctly copied:—But I think I had better give you an
account of what happened in grandpapa’s own words, as he told it all to
me some time afterwards.

“The vase was well drawn, no doubt,” said grandpapa, “but after all it
was nothing extraordinary; and I was giving the paper back to Frank,
when I noticed that there was some drawing on the other side. Looking at
it again, I saw two heads—mere sketches, but better likenesses I never
saw. One was his grandmamma; there she was to the very life. The
other—well, the other was a caricature, rather than a portrait, of me. I
was made to appear ugly and ridiculous, instead of the good-looking old
gentleman I am;” (He said this laughing) “still, it was a likeness, I
confess. I tried to be angry, but laughed instead, and exclaimed: ‘Ah,
Frank, Frank! you shall be an artist if you like; you certainly have
talent, but you must turn it to better account than by making
caricatures of your old grandfather.’”

Frank is now grown up, and has already obtained some fame as an artist.
I saw two pictures of his at the Royal Academy exhibition the other day,
which were admired and praised by everybody.

    [Illustration: Flowers]

    [Illustration: Spring showers]



                            SPRING SHOWERS.


_Moderato legato._

                                   1.
  While it patters, while it pours,
  Little folks are kept indoors:
  Little birds sing through the rain,
  “Dreaming flowers, awake again!
  From the damp mould lift your bloom;
  Scent the earth with rich perfume.”

                                   2.
  See the flow’rets, one and all,
  Answer to the cheery call;
  Crocuses begin to thrill,
  Violets thicken on the hill,
  And the fields look sparkling bright,
  With the clover, red and white.

                                   3.
  When it patters, when it pours,
  Little folks are kept in-doors,
  Looking through the window pane,
  Covered o’er by drops of rain;
  While its tinkling sound repeats,
  “Blossoms crown the earth with sweets.”

    [Illustration: Bird]

    [Illustration: Deer]



                                 DEER.


    [Illustration: Decorative L]

Look at that fine stag in the picture, keeping guard while the does and
fawns are feeding! How watchful he looks, with his head erect; and how
grandly his antlers spread out, as we see them against the soft twilight
sky! Deer in their wild state are timid creatures; at least, they are
very much afraid of human beings; and it is difficult to approach them.
Shooting the wild deer in the Highlands of Scotland is considered
excellent sport: it is called Deer-stalking. Large herds are to be found
there among the mountains, but the greatest caution and skill are needed
to get near enough to have a shot at them without being observed. Of
course the deer we see in parks are comparatively tame: they are
generally fallow deer; while those of the Highlands are a larger and
stronger species, called red deer.

I daresay many of you little people who read this have been to Richmond
park, and seen the herds of graceful fallow deer there. If you go up
very gently to them perhaps they will come and eat bread out of your
hand. At least I remember when I was a little girl, and passed a summer
at Richmond, I succeeded once in making two young fawns come and share
my biscuit with me. Shall I tell you how it happened?

One morning I had not learnt my lessons as well as usual; perhaps I had
been watching the butterflies from the window flitting about in the
sunshine instead of looking at my book; at any rate Miss Dobson, my
governess, thought it necessary to punish me. Now I was too big to be
put into the corner, being nine years old; and the mode of punishment
she always adopted was to avoid speaking to me for an hour or so, and at
the same time to put on an expression of face at once severe and
sorrowful.

After school hours we went out for our walk in the park as usual, and,
as I was an affectionate and very talkative child, you may suppose that
Miss Dobson’s gloomy face and freezing silence made me very miserable.
If I ventured upon a remark the answer never extended beyond “yes” or
“no”; sometimes not even that. We had two great dogs, which generally
went out with us on our walk; but when I was under punishment, even
their companionship was not allowed.

At last Miss Dobson seated herself under a great oak, and began to read
a book she had brought out with her. Then I wandered a little way off,
picking the pretty wild flowers that grew amongst the fern. The birds
were singing in the sunshine, the bees were humming, everything with
life seemed to enjoy that life but me. Some deer were lying under the
shadow of the trees not far away, and I observed that two pretty little
fawns, standing nearer to me than the rest, were watching me. I had some
biscuit in my pocket, intended for the dogs; and taking a piece in my
hand, I walked up very softly to the little creatures. They looked at
me, as I approached, with a frightened glance from their great dark
eyes; but I fancy there must have been a sad and subdued expression in
my childish face which took away from my appearance what might have
terrified them, and on consideration they decided to remain.

Holding out the biscuit, I dropped it near them; then up jumped Mrs.
Doe, and came forward to see what it was I offered to her children. I
threw her a piece also, which she took and munched gladly, and the
little ones followed her example. I cannot describe to you what a
comfort it was to me in my trouble to find that these pretty creatures
were not afraid of me, and did not shun me. I no longer felt solitary;
no longer without friends or companions. Presently they took the biscuit
from my fingers, and when I had no more to give them, they still thrust
their soft noses into my little hand, and let me stroke them.

But my pleasure did not last long. A fine stag, the leader of the herd,
who was lying in the midst of them, and who, I suppose, had been half
asleep, seemed suddenly to become conscious of my presence, and took
alarm. Jumping up, he bounded away, followed by the rest of the herd,
and my two little friends went after the others.

Looking at them as they fled away from me, I felt more forlorn and
solitary than ever, and tears came into my eyes. Presently Miss Dobson
came up to me; she had been watching me from a distance, and now finding
that I was crying, her manner changed, and she was very kind. In fact,
my punishment was over for the time, and I think she began to find that
it was a kind of punishment which I felt more than she intended.


  Two legs sat upon three legs,
  With one leg in his lap;
  In comes four legs,
  And runs away with one leg;
  Up jumps two legs,
  Catches up three legs,
  Throws it after four legs,
  And makes him bring one leg back.

    [Illustration: Legs]

    [Illustration: Duck family]



                          DAME DUCK’S LECTURE.


    [Illustration: Decorative O]

  Old Mother Duck has hatched a brood
    Of ducklings small and callow;
  Their little wings are short, their down
    Is mottled grey and yellow.

  One peeped out from beneath her wing,
    One scrambled on her back:
  “That’s very rude,” said old Dame Duck;
    “Get off! quack, quack, quack, quack!”

  “’Tis close,” said Dame Duck, shoving out
    The egg-shells with her bill;
  “Besides, it never suits young ducks
    To keep them sitting still.”

  So rising from her nest, she said,
    “Now, children, look at me:
  A well-bred duck should waddle so,
    From side to side—d’ye see?”

  “Yes,” said the little ones; and then
    She went on to explain:
  “A well-bred duck turns in its toes
    As I do—try again.”

  “Yes,” said the ducklings, waddling on:
    “That’s better,” said their mother;
  “But well-bred ducks walk in a row,
    Straight—one behind another.”

  “Yes,” said the little ducks again,
    All waddling in a row:
  “Now to the pond,” said old Dame Duck—
    Splash, splash, and in they go.

  “Let me swim first,” said old Dame Duck,
    “To this side, now to that;
  There, snap at those great brown-winged flies,
    They make young ducklings fat.

  “Now when you reach the poultry-yard,
    The hen-wife, Molly Head,
  Will feed you with the other fowls,
    On bran and mashed-up bread;

  “The hens will peck and fight, but mind,
    I hope that all of you
  Will gobble up the food as fast
    As well-bred ducks should do.

  “You’d better get into the dish,
    Unless it is too small;
  In that case I should use my foot,
    And overturn it all.”

  The ducklings did as they were bid,
    And found the plan so good,
  That, from that day, the other fowls
    Got hardly any food.



                             _PUZZLE-PAGE._


    [Illustration: Puzzle images]

Here is a puzzle page for you. The names of two of these objects begin
with C, one with L, one with P, one with R, and one with S. Now try if
you can find them out.



                       A STORY OF A WOODEN HORSE.


                               CHAPTER V.
A MAN OF SCIENCE.—MAURICE PARTS WITH THE HORSE.—JOURNEY TO NICE.—RETURN
                       HOME.—AN UNEXPECTED VISIT.

    [Illustration: Decorative A]

At the close of the last chapter I told you that an old gentleman had
been looking on from a little distance, while Maurice and Adrienne were
discussing the sale of the horse. At last the old gentleman came up to
Maurice, and said,—

“Are you going to sell that little wooden horse, whose mechanism is so
ingenious?”

“Yes, sir,” replied Maurice, crying while he spoke.

“You seem very sorry to part with it. Tell me exactly why you sell it.”

Maurice pointed to the poor family, sitting there against the railing of
the garden; and related all that had passed.

“You are a good boy,” said the gentleman; “listen now: I also wish to
help this poor woman. Will you let me join you in the good work? That
will not make your merit the less.”

“Oh, I don’t think about my own merit,” said Maurice.

“You are right,” replied the gentleman; “charity does not think of self.
I mean to say, if you would practise charity in a true and holy spirit,
you must forget yourself completely. You are too young, perhaps, to
understand all that; but if you remember my words, they will grow up in
your mind as a young tree grows in a good soil. Now, as to helping this
poor woman and her children: she wants two hundred francs, you say. I
will give her half that sum from myself; and I will lend you another
hundred francs, that you may give them to her on your own part. Then
instead of selling your clever little horse to this young lady, you
shall leave it with me for a time as security for the repayment of the
hundred francs. Your mamma gives you money sometimes, I daresay?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Very well; put aside all the money she gives you till you have got
together a hundred francs. It won’t take you long. You must do without
sugar-plums, and cakes, and many a toy that you would otherwise buy. In
less than six months I have no doubt you will have the money. Let me
see; this is the twelfth of February: we will fix the twelfth of August
as the day when you will bring me the hundred francs and take back your
horse.”

“But suppose I have not the money by that time?” urged Maurice.

“Oh, you’ll have it. All I fear is that your father or mother may give
it you on purpose to pay me, and not let you save it out of your usual
pocket-money. But I will see them or write to them about that. Remember,
my dear boy, that an action is only really noble when it requires
self-sacrifice of some sort.”

My little readers may imagine with what eagerness Maurice accepted this
proposition. Adrienne at first was very angry, and sulked and pouted for
a few minutes; then seeing some young friends come into the gardens, she
ran off to play with them, and seemed to forget the horse very soon.

The gentleman tore out a leaf from his pocket-book, and wrote on it in
pencil a formal acknowledgment of his having received the wooden horse
in pledge for a loan of one hundred francs; the horse to be restored
within six months on repayment of the money. He signed his name to the
paper, and handed it to Maurice.

    [Illustration: HE WENT AWAY, LEADING CRESSIDA BY THE BRIDLE.]

On reading it, Maurice was surprised to see the name of Duberger. He
recognised it as the name of one of the most distinguished members of
the Academy of sciences; a name of European celebrity. The little boy
looked up at his new friend with an expression of curiosity and
admiration, at which the latter seemed both amused and pleased.

Mr. Duberger at that time was not really old—at least not old for a
philosopher and man of science. He looked old because his long hair was
grey, his figure was stooping, and his dress neglected. But, for all
that, his appearance was calculated to inspire respect and sympathy,
while his face wore an expression at once of goodness and intelligence.
He embraced Maurice, bidding him tell his father and mother all that had
happened; he went away leading Cressida by the bridle, and leaving
Maurice to give the two hundred francs to the poor woman himself.

Thus at last Maurice and his horse were parted, though after all he was
not breaking his promise to Fritz. He had resisted the temptation of
exchanging Cressida for Eusèbe’s pretty goat—the gentle, graceful
Jeanne. He had resisted persuasions, entreaties, and the offer of many a
beautiful toy. Even when his uncle, by way of trying him, pretended that
he wished to have the little mechanical horse to amuse him on board
ship, Maurice had remembered, and still kept, his promise. Now, he
parted with Cressida for the sake of helping a poor family in distress;
and Fritz had expressly said that for such an object only Maurice might
sell the horse. Besides, was he not to have the horse again in six
months?

When he presented the money to the poor woman, she showed some confusion
at receiving so large a sum from the hands of a child. Maurice explained
to the little girl, who acted as interpreter, that he was not their only
benefactor.

“Duberger! Maurice de Roisel!” the poor little girl repeated several
times; then continued, “I will teach my brothers to say those two names;
we will never forget them; they will be as dear to us as the names of
our own father and mother. Our name is Kirchner: our father is Leopold
Kirchner, formerly of Nuremburg, where he was a blacksmith well known
throughout the city for his skill. Now he is rich, and a proprietor of
land in the United States of America, a country beyond the seas a long
way from here.”

The mother took Maurice’s two hands in hers, and said some words in
German.

“My mother says,” explained the little daughter, “that you are born with
divine charity in your heart, and she prays God to lead you by the hand
through your life, on the path that leads to heaven. She prays, besides,
that happiness may fall on you and all who are dear to you.”

“Pray, above all,” replied my little friend, deeply touched, “that my
dear father may be restored to health.”

With these words he took leave of the poor family to whom he had proved
such a benefactor, and hastened home, anxious to learn how his father
was going on.

“My father!—how is he?” he asked of the servant, as the door was opened.

“My master has been asking for you, sir,” replied the servant; then,
seeing the tears in Maurice’s eyes, he added: “but you must not let him
see you cry, or he will think he is worse than he really is.”

“The tears come to my eyes in spite of me,” replied my little friend,
drying his eyes and checking his tears as well as he could.

Maurice went into his father’s room, which appeared almost dark to him.
The poor invalid’s eyes were weak and could not support the light.
Maurice, impressed by the silence and darkness of the room, walked as
quietly as possible on tiptoe up to his mother, whom he could
distinguish sitting by the side of the bed. She was praying silently to
herself, but on seeing her little boy, she took him in her arms, and
leant with him over his father’s bed, who pressed him to his heart.

“My child, my dear child!”

Maurice could restrain his tears no longer, and his father observed it.

“Why do you cry, my darling boy?” said he; “you think me very ill? But
don’t be alarmed; God is all powerful, and may save me yet. Take
courage; it will all pass away. I shall be cured before long; and, when
the weather gets fine, I will take walks in the Luxembourg gardens with
you and Cressida. Do not cry like that, my child, you will make yourself
ill.”

My little friend’s emotion was uncontrollable, and he was led out of the
room by his mother, while the poor father sank back upon his pillow
exhausted with the few words he had spoken.

The next morning, when Jacques came into Maurice’s room to wake him, the
first words spoken by the little boy were to inquire after his father.
Jacques replied that the doctor, who had been there late the evening
before, had declared that his patient was better, and had told Mrs. de
Roisel that he had great hope now of his recovery. Maurice felt happier
than he had done since he was present at the consultation of the doctors
the morning before. Then, as he looked round the room, he saw Cressida’s
empty stable, and occupied as his thoughts were by his father, he still
felt inclined to shed a tear at the sight.

“Do you know, Jacques,” he said, “I had a dream about Fritz in the
night. I thought that I saw him, and I was afraid he would ask me what I
had done with Cressida; but instead of that, he took me in his arms, and
embraced me, and called me his dear good boy.”

The hope expressed by the doctor that Mr. de Roisel would yet recover
proved to be well founded, and when the month of April came on he had
regained his strength sufficiently to bear a journey to Nice, so as to
escape the sudden changes of temperature to which Paris is subject in
the spring. He made the journey, accompanied by his wife and son.
Arriving at Nice, they took a pretty villa, having a view of the sea on
one side, and, on the other, delicious garden, in which my little friend
was surprised to find rose-trees, lilacs, and other plants in full
bloom, which at Paris had scarcely begun to bud.

    [Illustration: THEY HEARD A GREAT NOISE OF CRACKING OF WHIPS.]

The climate of Nice agreed with Mr. de Roisel so well that they stayed
there nearly four months, and it was already the beginning of August
when the family returned once more to their own home—the pretty
comfortable old house where I first introduced Maurice to my little
readers. Maurice was heartily glad to be back again at his own
country-home, where he had his own little garden, where he knew
everybody in the village, and where even the trees in the wood, and the
little winding river with its pretty water-lilies, seemed like old
friends to him.

The very first day of his arrival at home, the little boy ran off to the
cottage of Fritz, to see if he had returned. He found it shut up, and no
one in the village had heard anything about him since his departure.
Although Maurice felt rather anxious at Fritz’s prolonged absence, it
yet afforded him a sort of satisfaction; for he would have been sorry
that Fritz, on their first meeting, should find him without the horse. A
few days more, and he hoped to be in possession of it again.

In fact he had already collected together, out of the savings of his
pocket-money, the sum of a hundred francs; and the day after their
arrival at home, his father wrote to Mr. Duberger to say that he should
have the pleasure of bringing his little boy, on the twelfth of the
month, to pay him a visit and to redeem the horse.

On the morning of the twelfth, my little friend and his father were just
preparing to start, when they heard a sound of carriage wheels and
horses’ hoofs, accompanied by a great noise of cracking of whips, on the
drive leading to the house. A minute afterwards a carriage with four
horses and postillions drew up at the door.

From this carriage descended Eusèbe and his father. They were not
expected, and never were visitors less wished for. Mr. de Malassise
began by making their excuses for arriving so unexpectedly, and
explained the reason. He said that Eusèbe had heard only the day before
of Maurice’s return, and a violent fancy had seized him suddenly to come
and pay a visit to his cousin. It had been impossible to persuade Eusèbe
to delay the visit till they could write and give notice of their
intention. Eusèbe, he said, had insisted upon starting early that
morning; and had he been thwarted, that terrible attack of nervous
fever, so much dreaded by his parents, might have come on at last. So
they had made the journey with post-horses, and there they were!

It was a sad disappointment to Maurice that his visit to Mr. Duberger
should be put off, but there was no alternative; and after all it was
only a delay of perhaps a couple of days. Cressida could remain without
inconvenience for another forty-eight hours at Mr. Duberger’s.

So thought our little Maurice; but we shall see presently what serious
consequences arose from that delay of only a couple of days.



                             THE BUTTERFLY.


    [Illustration: Decorative L]

  Little pretty butterfly,
    Fluttering ’mid the flowers,
  Thou must live so happily
    Through thy life’s short hours.

  Little pretty butterfly,
    Where the flowers are blowing,
  Where the pretty song-birds sing,
    Where the trees are growing;

  There we see thy bright wings burn,
    Fluttering free from sorrow:
  Ne’er a task hast thou to learn,
    To be said tomorrow.

  Through the glad warm summer,
    Fluttering on thy way,
  With no thought or trouble
    For a future day.

  But when comes the autumn,
    Thy short life is o’er,
  In the wintry gardens
    Thou art seen no more.

  Fluttering on in lightness,
    Soon thy life is past,
  Vanished in its brightness—
    Bright things do not last.

    [Illustration: Flower]

    [Illustration: Cooking]



                           DO AS YOU ARE BID.


    [Illustration: Decorative O]

Once upon a time there lived a poor woman who had five children. The
eldest, Tom, went to school, but the others stayed at home with Jane,
the eldest girl, to take care of them; Jane was seven years old.

One day Jane’s mother went out, telling Jane to be quiet, and careful
with the little ones, and on no account to touch anything that could
hurt them or herself. For some time after their mother went out the
children were good and played with some old dolls. But presently Jane
thought she would light a fire;—was she not naughty? She got on a chair
to reach the matches from the mantel-piece, and in doing so, she knocked
down an iron candlestick upon her brother Willy’s head. Willy screamed,
and no wonder, for he had a great cut on his forehead. As soon as Willy
stopped crying, Jane lighted the fire, and then she thought she would
boil some potatoes; she found a saucepan, and popped them in.

The children crowded round her; she raised her arm to drive them off,
over went the pan with the boiling water all over them. Jane’s ankle was
terribly scalded, as well as Willy’s arm and Peter’s leg; and baby was
scalded all over.

Just then in came mother. The doctor had to be sent for, and it was
weeks before the children were well. So much for disobedience.

    [Illustration: Pond flowers]

    [Illustration: Child and wolf-cubs]



                     THE CHILD AMONG THE WOLF-CUBS.


    [Illustration: Decorative I]

In a cottage that stood on a great range of mountains in Germany, there
once lived a poor woman who had a little child and a flock of sheep.
Now, one day she sat with her little child in the forest, and gave the
child some porridge out of a pipkin, and the sheep were nibbling the
grass in the glades around. But in the thick parts of the forest there
were wicked wolves, and when the sheep went further away under the
trees, the woman thought, “Perhaps the wolves may attack them.” So she
gave the child the bowl with porridge in it, and a wooden spoon, and
bade her eat it; saying, “Be sure not fill the spoon too full,” and off
she went after the sheep.

And as the child sat alone, and ate and ate, there came a big she-wolf
out of the forest; and she ran straight to the child and took hold of
her by the jacket at the back, and carried her into the forest. So when
the mother came back the child was gone; the bowl was there, but the
spoon was not with it, for the child had held the spoon fast in her
little hand. Directly the poor mother saw the child was gone, she
thought the wolf must have taken it, so she ran back to the village, and
called the people to come and help her to find her child.

Meantime a man who had lost his way in the wood, and was wandering about
among the bushes, heard a sound of talking near him, and thought at
once, “There must be some people here;” and a little voice kept saying,
“Go, or I’ll give you something!” And when he looked through the bushes,
to see what this might be, behold! there sat a little child on the
ground, and six little wolf-cubs round her, which kept snapping at her
hands; but the old she-wolf was gone. Each time that a little wolf-cub
snapped at her hands, the child hit it on the nose with the wooden
spoon, and said, “Go, or I’ll give you something!”

The man ran up quickly, and beat off the wolf-cubs with his stick, so
they all ran away. Then he took up the child in his arms, for he feared
the old wolf might come back. In a short time he met the villagers
coming out to kill the wolf, and with them was the child’s mother. How
rejoiced she was! How she thanked the man, and still more God, that her
child was saved!

    [Illustration: Children and lambs]



                             LITTLE LAMBS.


    [Illustration: Decorative I]

  I walk’d in a field of fresh clover this morn,
  Where lambs play’d so merrily under the trees,
  Or rub’d their soft coats on a naked old thorn,
  Or nibbled the clover, or rested at ease.

  And under the hedge ran a clear water-brook,
  To drink from when thirsty or weary with play;
  So gay did the daisies and buttercups look,
  That I thought little lambs must be happy all day.

  And when I remember the beautiful psalm,
  That tells about Christ and His pastures so green,
  I know He is willing to make me His lamb,
  And happier far than the lambs I have seen.

  If I drink of the waters so peaceful and still,
  That flow in His field, I for ever shall live;
  If I love Him, and seek His commands to fulfil,
  A place in His sheepfold to me will He give.

  The lambs are at peace in the fields when they play,
  The long summer’s day in contentment they spend;
  But happier I, if in God’s holy way
  I try to walk always, with Christ for my Friend.

    [Illustration: Lambs]

    [Illustration: Boat in a storm]



                          MAMMA’S SUNDAY TALK.
                        MIRACLES OF OUR SAVIOUR:


                         STILLING THE TEMPEST.

    [Illustration: Decorative I]

In our last Sunday talk I told you how our Saviour healed the man with
the withered hand: and how angry the Pharisees were at His doing so on
the Sabbath. You understand, my children, that Christ was not teaching
us to regard the Sabbath with less reverence, but He showed us by His
example that works of mercy and kindness are consistent with the
holiness of Sunday. Christ said, “It is lawful to do well on the Sabbath
day.” To attend the sick, comfort the afflicted, teach the young and
ignorant,—these are all good works; and to do these is “to do well.”

The Pharisees and Scribes were always on the watch for something, either
in the doctrines that Christ taught, or in His acts, which might serve
as a ground for arresting Him and bringing Him to trial. But besides the
open enmity of these men, our Saviour had a difficulty to contend with
in the want of thorough and perfect faith even in those who dearly loved
Him—His own disciples; and some of the miracles He performed had for
their object chiefly to confirm and strengthen the faith of His
followers. The miracle I am going to tell you of—the stilling of the
tempest—was one of these, and was witnessed only by the disciples who
were with Him in the ship.

Not only was faith necessary for the disciples in order to give them
confidence in the protection of God while they helped our Saviour in His
work, or when they should have to continue it after Him, but perfect
faith was needed before they could acquire the power of performing
miracles. On one occasion, when some of them had attempted the
miraculous cure of a boy, and failed, they asked Christ the reason of
their failure. He replied: “Because of your unbelief. If ye have faith
as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove
hence to yonder place; and it shall remove, and nothing shall be
impossible to you.”

The apostles—that is, the chosen few, who continued the mission of our
Saviour after His crucifixion—had the power of working miracles
conferred upon them. We may assume therefore that their faith was
perfect. But let us come to the miracle I have to tell you of today.

Our Saviour had been teaching the people all day from a boat on the lake
of Galilee; the people being ranged along the shore, so that they could
all hear without crowding in upon Him. When evening came on, He desired
the people to return to their homes, and bade His disciples put their
boat from the land, and depart to the other side of the lake. As they
left the shore, the water was smooth and calm, and the cool air blew
gently from the mountains. Christ, tired out with the exertion of the
day, lay down to rest and fell asleep.

The boat bore them over the rippling waves, and the disciples conversed
most likely about the teaching of our Saviour which they had heard that
day. They thought very probably that their faith in Him was quite
strong: but it was soon to be tried. A terrible storm arose suddenly;
the wind blew furiously; the great waves arose around the little vessel,
and broke over its sides; the sail was torn, the mast broken. Then the
disciples, in terror, rushed to our Saviour to wake Him, saying, “Lord,
save us! we perish.”

Christ said unto them: “Why are ye fearful? oh, ye of little faith!” and
He rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.

But even after this the disciples did not seem thoroughly to understand
our Saviour; for the scripture tells us that “they marvelled, saying,
What manner of man is this that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

    [Illustration: Boat]

    [Illustration: Child with bird]



                       SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS:


                                 LENA.

    [Illustration: Decorative L]

Lena is the name of the little friend of mine I am going to tell you
about. You may see by the picture that she is not an English child, nor
does she belong to the class which we call gentlefolk. Lena is German,
and the daughter of a fisherman; nevertheless she is one of my dearest
little friends. She lives in a cottage on the banks of the river Rhine,
a short distance from the city of Coblenz. Her father earns his living
as a boatman and fisherman upon the river; her mother takes care of the
cottage, of their only child, and of the poultry: she finds plenty of
time for making lace besides. I will tell you how I came to make little
Lena’s acquaintance.

I passed one summer not long ago at Coblenz, at a villa on the banks of
the river just outside the city. One evening, after a very hot day, I
wandered a little way along the road by the side of the great beautiful
river. I watched the lights gradually appearing, like fireflies in the
distance, in the windows of the old castle or fortress of
Ehrenbreitstein, which crowns a rocky hill on the opposite bank; and I
watched, too, the lights and shadows borne on the breast of the swift
river beneath. I stood looking at the restless ever-flowing water,
comparing the river in its course to my own life, or to the lives of
others; and thinking many thoughts which you, my little readers, would
hardly understand.

At length my meditations were disturbed by a woman who came out of a
cottage close by, and who, walking to the edge of the bank, there sat
down, threw her apron over her head, and began to cry bitterly. It
seemed as if she had come out of the cottage on purpose to have a good
cry without disturbing some one within. After a moment’s hesitation, I
went up and begged her to tell me what was the matter. She replied that
her little girl was very ill with low fever, and the doctor had told her
that very evening that he had scarcely any hope.

This woman was Lena’s mother. I asked her to let me see the child, whom
I found flushed and restless, tossing from side to side in her bed. Poor
little Lena! The cottage was near my own house, and I went every day
after that to see her. Often did I watch part of the night by her sick
bed while her mother rested. At length our little patient began to
recover; and while she was still too weak to walk, she delighted to sit
at the cottage door, and listen while I told her stories.

Now, besides the poultry about the cottage, Lena had a pair of white
doves, and in one of my stories I had told her of a letter being sent by
a carrier-pigeon. Lena took it into her head that one of her white doves
should carry letters from her to me after I returned to England. One
day, when she was almost well, I found her standing at the door of the
cottage, with the dove perched upon her hand, and a letter tied round
its neck. She had been trying if it would carry a letter to me to my
house close by; but it had only wheeled round and round and come back
again to her. She said sadly: “If it does not know how to take a letter
that little distance, how will it ever take one to England?”

Dear simple Lena! she did not understand that pigeons will only return
to places where they have lived; but we have managed to correspond
without the help of carrier-pigeons. I have seldom seen a prettier
picture than she presented that day, standing at the cottage door with
the white dove upon her hand.

    [Illustration: Flowers]



                             FLOWER-BELLS.


_Allegretto._

                                   1.
  The flower-bells are ringing! come one, and come all;
  Come plain and come pretty, come great and come small.
  The flower-bells are ringing! come quick, and you’ll say,
  Some queer little people have joined in our play.

                                   2.
  They’ll do us no harm, and may do us some good;
  They’d make us all happy and wise, if they could.
  In cups of the flowers they love dearly to dwell;
  Now listen, and hear them each ringing a bell!

                                   3.
  “Come, boys and girls, come to our flower-school and learn
  The lessons we find in each lily and fern;
  We’ll teach you to seek for the fair and the good,
  In city and village, in field and in wood.”

    [Illustration: Flowers]

    [Illustration: Woodpeckers]



                              WOODPECKERS.


    [Illustration: Decorative H]

Here we have a picture of Woodpeckers. See how they cling to the bark of
the tree with their claws, and how eager the two little ones seem for
the prize their mother has just captured. The woodpecker is a bird of
very singular habits. It lives upon the insects which exist in the bark
of trees, and is remarkably adapted by nature for obtaining this kind of
food. Its bill is long and sharp and powerful; and with its hooked claws
it clings to the tree while it sways its body to and fro to give force
to the strokes of its bill. The object of these strokes is to shake the
insects out of the tree, and they are given with wonderful force and in
rapid succession. Then the bird thrusts its long tongue into the
crevices, and the tongue being barbed at the end and covered with a sort
of gum, it secures a vast number of insects as well as their eggs.

In the quiet of the woods the sound of the woodpecker tapping may be
heard at a great distance. I remember once, when I was a little girl,
being very much frightened by the noise: I will tell you how it
happened.

The house where I lived in the country not only had a large garden, but
beyond that was a little wood, which we called the shrubbery. This wood
had a broad walk winding through it, with seats placed here and there.
One beautiful summer morning I and my brother, who was some years older
than I was, were sitting together upon one of these seats under the
shade of the trees. He was on his way to go out fishing, and was only
stopping to do something to his fishing tackle. Wanting a pair of
scissors, he sent me into the house to fetch them, ordering me about in
the sort of way in which big boys are apt to order their little brothers
and sisters.

I soon returned with the scissors, but no longer found my brother where
I had left him. The truth is he had gone off on his fishing expedition
without waiting for my return. However, I looked about for him, and
presently I heard a sound like somebody hitting a tree with a stick.
“Ah, ah, so you are hiding, are you, Master Maurice?” thought I; and I
looked behind different trees, one after another, thinking every moment
to discover him. Then I began to fancy that the sound, although so clear
and distinct, was some distance off; so I wandered on, still following
it, and looking about as I went. Now and then the tapping ceased, but
always went on again after a minute.

At last I began to be frightened, and called out:—“Maurice, dear
Maurice, where are you? You are frightening me.” The tapping ceased from
that moment, but my alarm did not. That such a noise should have been
made without anybody to make it seemed to me very like something
supernatural. I began to cry, and at the same time set off running
towards home. I dared not look behind me as I ran, and when I reached
the house, was at first too frightened and excited even to explain what
was the matter. I must tell you that I was only seven years old at that
time.

I remember the old gardener said, when he heard the story, that he
suspected that it was only a woodpecker tapping; but I refused to
believe that a bird could make so loud a noise. It was not till long
afterwards, when I happened to both hear and see one, that I became
convinced the old gardener was right.

The woodpecker is a handsome bird, about the size of a pigeon, of a
greenish colour, with black and white marks upon the wings, and a
crimson stain upon the head. It is heard much oftener than seen, for,
being very timid, it is ingenious in hiding itself. It does not build a
nest like other birds, but seeks for a decayed place in the trunk of
some tree, where it scoops out a hole. There Mr. and Mrs. Woodpecker
establish their little home: there the eggs are laid, and the young ones
are reared.



                             _PUZZLE-PAGE._


    [Illustration: Puzzle images]

Now see if you can find out the names of all these objects. One of them
begins with C, two with D, one with F, one with H, and one with T.



                       A STORY OF A WOODEN HORSE.


                              CHAPTER VI.
              A PHILOSOPHER AT HOME.—THE HORSE IS STOLEN.

    [Illustration: Decorative T]

The visit of Mr. de Malassise and Eusèbe only lasted two days. Eusèbe
went away very well satisfied with himself, for in those two days he had
contrived to alarm his father several times by putting himself in a
passion, and had teazed his cousin so ingeniously that he more than once
brought tears into his eyes.

The morning after the departure of these unwelcome visitors, Mr. de
Roisel and Maurice started off on their expedition to see Mr. Duberger,
and to bring back the horse. They were going two days later than was
intended, but a letter had been already sent to Mr. Duberger, explaining
why they were obliged to postpone their visit from the twelfth of August
to the fourteenth. That gentleman did not live habitually at Paris, but
at a place called Palaiseau, which was not more than two or three hours’
drive from Maurice’s home. Mr. de Roisel drove Maurice in a light chaise
with one horse; and they started very early, in order to avoid the heat
of the day.

Palaiseau is a large straggling village situated in a pleasant valley;
and on the hills around are many pretty country houses, one of which was
inhabited by Mr. Duberger. Neither Maurice nor his father had been there
before, so, on arriving in the village, they had to inquire which was
the house. Just in front of the little inn of the village stood three or
four men, conversing earnestly, and Mr. de Roisel inquired of them for
the house he wanted. One of them replied:—

“It is a good half mile beyond the village, sir; and stands quite alone
on the right hand side of the road. We were just talking about a report
there is in the village this morning, that Mr. Duberger’s house was
broken into by thieves last night; but the accounts are so different I
hardly know if any of them are true.”

Mr. de Roisel touched his horse with the whip and hastened on, feeling
very anxious and alarmed. After driving about half a mile along the
road, he pulled up again to ask his way of a woman who was standing at
the door of a cottage.

“Do you want to see Mr. Duberger?” exclaimed the good woman. “Ah, poor
dear man! Only to think there are wretches in the world who would do him
an injury! But they do not belong to these parts, I’m certain. He does
so much good, that no one here would hurt a hair of his head.”

“Good heavens! Has he been murdered?”

“Murdered! No, no: but he was robbed last night of a great many valuable
things. That’s bad enough, I hope. If you want to see him, sir, that’s
his house, yonder among the trees. The turning there on the right leads
directly up to it.” Saying this she pointed to a house, which, seen from
a distance, had a good appearance.

They turned up what might once have been a handsome avenue of trees, but
many had died or been cut down, and never been replaced. A number of
sheep were grazing beneath the trees of the avenue, and there reigned
over the place that air of quiet and peace which brings repose both to
the eyes and heart.

    [Illustration: SHE SAID, “I WAS SURE YOU WOULD NOT BE READY.”]

Reaching the iron gate of the courtyard, Mr. de Roisel got down to ring
the bell, but finding that the gate was not fastened he opened it, and
the chaise drew up at the stone steps of the entrance door. The house
appeared large, but very much out of repair. The walls were crumbling in
parts, and broken shutters hung at the windows; but this appearance of
decay or disorder seemed rather the effect of negligence than of
poverty.

They soon heard the sound of slow footsteps approaching from the inside,
and an old woman, having the look of a housekeeper, appeared at the
door. Glancing at our travellers, she turned back into the house, and
they could hear her call out to some one within:—“It’s the gentleman who
wrote to you the day before yesterday. I was sure you would not be ready
to receive him.”

“Well, well, Marianne,” replied a man’s voice, “I’m making all the haste
I can.”

“Sir,” said the old woman, coming forward again, and addressing Mr. de
Roisel, making at the same time a curtsey after the manner of a peasant,
“you are welcome. If you will trouble yourself to walk into the
drawing-room, my master will join you there in an instant. Michel will
take the horse to the stable, sir. See, he’s coming as quickly as he
can. He doesn’t run very fast; his legs are like mine—a little stiff. In
truth, he’s no longer young. He has been our gardener, sir, for more
than fifty years.”

Michel was a little withered old man, bent from age, and from the habit
of stooping at his work.

“Sir,” said he, in a shaking voice, “excuse my slowness; I have no
longer the activity of a youth. Besides, I had a good walk this morning
to go after the police.”

“It is true then, this robbery I have heard of? What has been stolen?
Any money?”

“No, unfortunately,” replied the old woman; “if it were only money my
master would not care so much. He thinks little about money—not enough,
indeed. But the thieves have carried away some precious and curious
things that never can be replaced. Still we ought to thank Providence
that we all remained fast asleep while the robbers were in the house. If
we had wakened up, perhaps they would have cut our throats. But come in,
I beg, sir.”

As they entered the room, Marianne went on:—“It must be confessed that
my master himself is partly to blame for what has happened. He never
would have the doors fastened or the windows barred up. He trusts
everybody. But won’t you sit down, sir?” (Here she put forward some
chairs) “You see we might all have been murdered, sir. That would have
mattered very little for Michel and me; we are so old; but for him!—I
tremble to think of it.”

While the old woman chattered away, Mr. de Roisel looked round the room,
but he saw nothing there to justify the character which Mr. Duberger
bore of being an enlightened collector of curiosities and works of art,
as well as a man of science. The furniture was extremely old, and of the
fashion of fifty years ago. Some badly executed drawings hung on the
walls; and an old-fashioned clock stood on the mantelpiece.

“What!” said Mr. de Roisel, observing it, “can it be past eleven?”

“Oh, no, sir,” replied Marianne; “pardon me, it is not yet ten. That
clock is an excellent one, only if you do not understand its ways, it is
apt to mislead. The thieves did not take anything from this room last
night: they seemed to know where the valuable things were to be found.
The furniture of this room, sir, my master sometimes says would not sell
for fifty francs altogether: still it is of value to him—and to me
also,—for it belonged to his grandmother, my first mistress. This old
furniture is associated with the recollection of one we loved. These
drawings were made by her, and her husband had them framed as you see.
My master adored his grandmother, and these old things are precious to
him for her sake.”

Mr. de Roisel felt a strong sympathy for the man who united such
tenderness of heart with the rare intellect which had made him
celebrated. Maurice also was touched, and took the withered hand of
Marianne in his own.

“You are very good, my little gentleman; you remind me of my master in
his childhood.” Then she went on: “After the death of my first mistress,
I served the mother of Mr. Duberger. She died too young to see the
success and honours of her son: I have never quitted my master since.”

At this moment Mr. Duberger entered.

“Leave us now, my good Marianne,” said he. Then embracing Maurice, he
exclaimed: “Why, how you have grown! I think the good God watches over
children that have kind hearts. You have been growing up in happiness
and health, as a flower blossoms in the spring-time.” Then turning to
Mr. de Roisel, he added: “I received your letter, sir, and regret very
much indeed that the day of your coming was postponed.”

“I fear we have come at a very inconvenient time.”

“Oh, it is not that; but you are one day too late.” Then taking Maurice
on his knee, he went on: “You are a brave boy, and no doubt have
deprived yourself of a good deal in collecting these hundred francs; but
they are useless after all. When we met in the Luxembourg gardens, I
thought it better for you that your charity to the poor woman should
cost you some real sacrifice; but I was wrong to take your horse in
pledge for the money. Now I am your debtor, and a debtor who cannot
pay.”

“I understand,” said Maurice, as he burst into tears; “the thieves
carried off Cressida last night. But it is not your fault.”

“Yes, yes, it is my fault. I was wanting in prudence; I kept neither
doors nor windows fastened. I am much to blame.”

“Not so, indeed, sir,” said Mr. de Roisel; “it has been a chance which
nobody could foresee. But do you not think the thieves may yet be
discovered?”

“Probably. I think they will betray themselves in trying to sell the
things they have stolen.”

“Let us hope so,” rejoined Mr. de Roisel.

With this hope, and the chance it afforded of the recovery of the horse,
Maurice tried to console himself.

    [Illustration: Children in village]



                              BABY’S RIDE.


    [Illustration: Decorative B]

  Baby, do you like your ride?
    Baby on the baa-lamb!
  Baby’s mother is beside
    Baby riding baa-lamb.

  Sisters too are dancing near
    Baby,—near her baa-lamb;
  On the ground is brother dear,
    Almost touching baa-lamb.

  Little birdies even stop,
    Perching close to baa-lamb,
  Now they chirp, and now they hop,—
    They have no fear of baa-lamb.

  Yet another sister there,
    Comes to look at baa-lamb:
  Her clothes and shoes are left,—oh, where?
    Through haste to see poor baa-lamb.

  The summer’s day too soon is past
    For children and for baa-lamb;
  You see our pleasure cannot last—
    Not even rides on baa-lamb.

    [Illustration: Sitting in front of the fireplace]



                            THE GIANT HANDS.


                                Scene I.

    [Illustration: Decorative L]

Little Willie sits by the fire thinking. He lives in this cottage alone
with his mother, who is out just now, and I will tell you what Willie is
thinking about so earnestly. He is a clever good boy, and is making up
his mind that he ought to go out into the world and seek for work, and
try to earn his own living, instead of being dependent on his mother,
who is very poor. He determines he will tell her so directly she comes
in, and ask her leave to go.

    [Illustration: Child and giant hands]


                               Scene II.

Here is Willie, with his little bundle at his back, on his first day’s
journey to seek his fortune. As he walks along he is startled to observe
a white cloud resting on the ground, directly in his path. From this
cloud come forth two enormous hands, and a voice from the cloud
says:—“Don’t be afraid, Willie; I come to be your friend. No eyes but
yours will be able to see me, but only persevere in your wish to work,
and I will be ever near to help you.”

Willie, somehow, does not feel frightened, but says:—“Thank you, good
hands.” And then they vanish.

    [Illustration: Child and giant hands]


                               Scene III.

The help promised to Willie by the hands makes him so happy that he runs
and leaps with joy; but as evening draws on he feels very tired. He lies
down under some trees, and eats some bread and cheese brought with him
in his wallet. He is in a forest now, and thinks he hears the howling of
wolves in the distance; still he is so tired that he must go to sleep.
Presently he sees the giant hands spread themselves over him, forming a
sort of tent. His heart is full of gratitude as he says his prayers, and
falls asleep, feeling how safe he is beneath those giant hands.

    [Illustration: Child and giant hands]


                               Scene IV.

The next day Willie obtains employment in the service of a farmer. Here
we see him in the corn-field reaping, and doing as much work as two
strong men could do. But under the shelter of the high corn are the
giant hands at work helping him. Willie whistles and cuts away: his
sickle glistens as the corn falls under its long sweeps.

In the evening the farmer comes into the field, and stares to see the
long rows of well-tied sheaves. He looks at Willie with astonishment,
and promises himself that he will do his best to keep so good a servant.

    [Illustration: Child and giant hands]


                                Scene V.

“If he can reap so well, perhaps he can plough,” says the farmer to
himself, as he leaves the cornfield; and the next morning sees Willie
employed as a ploughman. The giant hands guide the plough, unseen by any
but Willie; and the land is ploughed in furrows as straight as the
flight of an arrow. The farmer watches from his window, and again
blesses his good fortune. As time goes on, he feels grateful to the
industrious lad, who seems to take pleasure in working for him; and
gradually Willie is placed over the other labourers and trusted with
everything.

    [Illustration: Child and giant hands]


                               Scene VI.

One day, while the sheep are out on the hills, a heavy storm comes on,
and the low ground between the hills is quickly flooded. Willie goes out
to bring in his master’s sheep, but by the time he has collected them,
the water is pouring on like a river in a narrow valley which separates
them from the farm. “How I wish the hands would help me now!” thinks
Willie. In a moment the giant hands spread themselves over the turbid
water, forming a bridge. He drives the sheep across, and reaches the
farm in safety, to the joy of all, for they have given him up for lost.

    [Illustration: Child and giant hands]


                               Scene VII.

One night Willie is wakened up by a cry of “Fire! Fire!” He dresses in a
moment, and rushes out into the farmyard. Here he finds his master and
the farm-servants running about, frantic with terror; pigs are
squealing, geese cackling, everybody is shouting, but there is no water
handy. The flames are making their way from room to room, and now reach
the chamber of the farmer’s pretty daughter. She is still there; what is
to be done? The staircase is burnt; no ladder will reach the window; and
there stands the girl, in the midst of the smoke, screaming, and
stretching out her arms for help. Willie looks on in despair. Suddenly
the giant hands appear to him, and placing themselves against the side
of the house, form a ladder with their fingers, up which he quickly
springs. He catches the girl in his arms, and in a moment brings her
down, safe and sound, to her weeping father.


Now I daresay my little readers have been sufficiently interested in
these seven scenes in the life of Willie to wish to know what became of
him. Well then, Willie had such good wages that he was able to send
money to his mother, and as soon as he grew to be quite a man, he
married the farmer’s pretty daughter, whose life he had saved. Everybody
liked him, and he soon took the entire management of the farm.

But now do you know the meaning of these giant hands? They signify the
strength and power arising from industry, talent, and perseverance. The
giant hands will come to help all those who, in the right way, try to
help themselves.

When Willie was a rich farmer and had a large family, he used to say to
his children: “Be honest, kind, industrious, and persevering; then the
giant hands will come to help you.”


  Multiplication is vexation,
    Division is as bad,
  The Rule of Three doth puzzle me,
    And Practice drives me mad.

    [Illustration: Child doing sums]

    [Illustration: Horse]



                                OLD TOM.


    [Illustration: Decorative T]

I am sure you would like to hear about an old horse that belonged to my
papa when I was a little girl.

Tom had been so handsome when he was young, and thought so much of, that
my father kept him long after he was past work. Tom used to lead a very
happy life of it in a nice large field, where he had plenty to eat all
the summer-day, and no work to do. But there was no pond in this field,
only a pump, with a large tub to hold the water; and one of the men used
to fill it every day for old Tom.

However, one day, when hay-making was going on, there was a great deal
to do for all hands about the place, and Bob the odd man, whose work it
was to give old Tom water, was busy helping cart the hay. So when the
old horse felt thirsty, and went to his tub for water, he found it
empty. He gave a great neigh, and a stamp with his foot; but finding
that nobody came, he thought he would help himself, and fell to pumping
water into the tub for himself, as you see him in the picture.

    [Illustration: Riverside with trees]



                              IDLE WORDS.


    [Illustration: Decorative I]

  I walked by the side of a tranquil stream,
  That the sun had tinged with its parting beam;
  The water was still, and so crystal clear
  That every spray had its image there.

  And every reed that o’er it bowed,
  And the crimson streak and the silvery cloud,
  And all that was bright, and all that was fair,
  And all that was gay was reflected there.

  But I took a stone that lay beside,
  And I cast it far on the glassy tide;
  And gone was the charm of the pictured scene,
  And the sky so bright and the landscape green.

  And I bade them mark how an idle word,
  Too lightly said, or too deeply heard,
  Or a harsh reproof, or a look unkind,
  May spoil the peace of a heavenly mind.

  Though sweet be the peace, and holy the calm,
  And the heavenly beam be bright and warm,
  The heart that it gilds is all as weak
  As the wave that reflects the crimson streak.

  You cannot impede the celestial ray
  That gilds the dawn of eternal day,
  But you may so trouble the bosom it cheers,
  ’Twill cease to be true to the image it bears.

    [Illustration: Stream]

    [Illustration: Invalid]



                          MAMMA’S SUNDAY TALK.
                        MIRACLES OF OUR SAVIOUR:


                   RAISING OF THE DAUGHTER OF JAIRUS.

    [Illustration: Decorative T]

The next miracle I have to tell you of, my dear children, is one which
shows particularly our Lord’s divine quality of mercy. It is called “the
raising of the daughter of Jairus,” which means—restoring her to life.

Our Saviour was one day at the house of His disciple Matthew at
Capernaum, when a man of importance in the city, a ruler in the
synagogue, named Jairus, came to Him. This man had an only child, a
daughter about twelve years old, who was lying at the point of death;
and he came to Jesus in the hope that He would cure her.

Generally, the poor and lowly were the first to believe in our Saviour.
The rich were slow to accept the self-denying doctrines which He taught;
the learned were too wise in their own esteem to listen to His
instruction. But when they were in affliction both the rich and the
learned sometimes came to Jesus to seek His aid. So it was in this
instance.

We may imagine what the unhappy father suffered at the prospect of
losing his darling child,—at the thought of her fading away from him,
and sinking into the grave. As he was rich, we may suppose that all had
been done by the doctors that could be done; so now in an agony of
despair he turned to seek our Saviour. No doubt he thought of all the
miraculous cures Jesus had effected, as he went towards Matthew’s house,
where he found our Saviour at the door teaching a crowd of people.
Jairus immediately fell at His feet, and with heart-felt earnestness
“besought him greatly” that He would come and see his child.

Jesus rose, and went forth, followed by a number of people, while Jairus
led the way to his own house. The poor father would have walked quickly,
every moment seeming an age till he reached his sick child’s bedside,
but the crowd pressing round, interfered with their speed, and soon
there arose another cause of delay.

In the crowd was a poor woman who had been very ill for a long time. She
had consulted many doctors, but none could cure her; and at last she had
spent all her money in trying to regain her health. Hearing that Jesus
was near, she approached Him in great fear and trembling. She was almost
crushed by the crowd, as she struggled to come near Him; but at length
succeeded so far as to be able to stretch forth her hand, and touch the
border of His mantle. In a moment she felt that she was recovering from
her illness. Our Saviour stopped, and turned towards her, when she cast
herself at His feet, fearing for her presumption. But He looked
graciously upon her, for He knew why she had touched His garment; then
speaking to her, He said:—“Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath
made thee whole.” And from that hour she was cured.

After this incident, Jairus was again hurrying on, leading the way to
his house, when messengers met him with the agonizing intelligence that
the child was already dead—gone beyond the reach of human help.
Thereupon Christ turned to Jairus, saying:—“Be not afraid; only believe,
and she shall be made whole.” For it was as easy to Him to bring back
the dead, as to restore the living.

He went into the house with three of His disciples and the parents of
the child. Then He addressed words of comfort to the father and mother,
saying,—“The damsel is not dead but sleepeth;”—meaning that her death
would only be like a short sleep, because He was going to bring her back
to life.

Then taking hold of the little girl’s hand, as though He were about to
waken her from a pleasant sleep, He said: “Talitha cumi!”—that is,
“Damsel, arise!” The words were no sooner spoken, than the colour
returned to her cheeks, her eyes opened, and she arose as if just
awakened from a refreshing sleep.

We are told that “the parents and all present were astonished with a
great astonishment.” We may also suppose how great was their delight,
and how unbounded was their gratitude to our blessed Lord.

    [Illustration: Flowers]

    [Illustration: Dog begging]



                       SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS:


                            ALEC AND ELFIE.

    [Illustration: Decorative I]

In giving you an account of Alec, one of my little boy friends, I must
give you at the same time an account of Elfie, one of my little dog
friends, for the two are inseparable. Both these friends of mine are
Scotch; and I met them first when the little boy was yet in petticoats,
and the doggie a tiny little puppy that had just left its mother.

The two young things grew up together, Elfie, the dog, becoming every
day more of a companion for Alec, the boy. But the dog grew old the
fastest, and when the event I am going to tell you of occurred, Alec was
about nine years old and Elfie about seven; which is in fact quite old
for a dog, and an age at which he is likely to be as wise as ever he
will be.

Alec had no brother, but he had a cousin at whose house he used to spend
a good deal of his time. Little Arthur was about four years younger than
Alec, and would follow him about like his shadow, looking up to his big
cousin as an authority on all matters. He learnt from Alec to consider
Elfie the most wonderful dog in the world, with more sense than most
people. He thought Elfie understood everything that was said to him, and
could do almost everything he was told to do. Many an hour the three
would spend together; and Alec and Arthur never appeared tired of seeing
Elfie go through the common dog’s trick with a piece of sugar on his
nose. When the word “Trust” was said to him, he let the sugar remain on
the tip of his nose, while he only squinted at it with all his might.
Directly he heard the words “Paid for” he would jerk it into the air,
and snap it up as it fell. This is how the three are amusing themselves,
you see, in the picture.

One morning when it was very hot, Arthur’s mamma and I were sitting
under the shade of some trees in the garden, working and reading. We
knew that little Arthur was about somewhere in the garden or the grounds
with his cousin Alec, who, we thought, was old enough to keep the little
one out of harm’s way. Suddenly we heard a sound of panting and puffing,
and saw Elfie tearing across the garden towards us. With his short legs
and long hair he appeared as if he was rolling over the ground: his
little red tongue was hanging out of his mouth, and we could see his
bright eyes gleaming with excitement through the overhanging locks of
hair.

“What can be the matter with the dog?” exclaimed Arthur’s mamma, jumping
up. “Has he gone mad?”

As she spoke, Elfie began barking furiously, and seizing her dress in
his mouth, tried to drag her away. A thought struck me, and I cried
out,—“Something is wrong with the boys, and Elfie has come to let us
know!”

In the direction Elfie had come from, but hidden from our view by trees,
was a large piece of water: towards this we hastened. Fortunately
Arthur’s papa was sitting in the library, of which the window was open:
we called to him as we ran, and he followed as fast as he could. Coming
in sight of the water, our worst fears were realized. Only a few yards
from the bank, but in quite deep water, we beheld the canoe floating
bottom upwards, and the two boys clinging to it; or rather, Alec
clinging to the canoe with one arm, and with the other supporting
Arthur, who had fainted.

The father plunged in instantly, and in a moment brought Arthur to
shore, and placed him in his mother’s arms. Alec, left alone, easily
supported himself by the canoe till his uncle returned, and brought him
also on to the bank. The fault was Alec’s, who had taken out the canoe
from the boat-house without permission; but what praise could be too
great for Elfie, who had probably saved two lives by his intelligence?
We all agreed he was the most wonderful doggie in the world.

    [Illustration: Child in bed]



                                MORNING.


                                   1.
  Wake up, little Maud, ’tis a sunshiny day,
  The kitten is up, and already at play;
  And Maud like the merriest kitten can run,
  And scamper, and frolic, and laugh at the fun.

                                   2.
  Wake up, little Maud, for on thicket and tree
  The birdies are singing as gay as can be.
  As sweet and as clear can my little Maud sing
  As ever the merriest bird on the wing.

                                   3.
  Wake up, little Maud, for the flowers are awake,
  The sweet breezes are blowing on mountain and lake;
  The world is all beauty and brightness to-day,
  Then wake, little Maud, with the roses to play.

    [Illustration: Morning in the country]



                       A STORY OF A WOODEN HORSE.


                              CHAPTER VII.
         EUSÈBE AT PARIS.—HOW HE BECOMES THE OWNER OF CRESSIDA.

    [Illustration: Decorative T]

The course of my story obliges me now to follow the doings of Maurice’s
cousin Eusèbe through one chapter. His goat Jeanne had died some time
ago; to her had succeeded a monkey, then a dog; afterwards some birds,
and last of all a lamb. With his usual caprice these had all been
discarded in turn, and he had at this moment no animal to pet or to
torment. It was a hot day towards the end of August, and Eusèbe lounged
about in one easy chair after another, trying in vain to occupy or amuse
himself. Suddenly, the idea occurred to him that he would like to pass a
few days in Paris.

Now Mr. and Mrs. de Malassise were just thinking of going to stay for a
few weeks at Dieppe, which was a place more suitable certainly for the
hot weather than Paris. But Eusèbe had taken a fancy to Paris; and to
gain his point, he acted the little comedy which always succeeded so
well with his parents: he screamed, and rolled over and over on the
ground like a mad child. They were frightened, and started off with him
the very next morning, leaving the shady woods of Malassise for the dust
of the Boulevard des Italiens, where they usually lodged when they came
to Paris.

On the afternoon of their arrival, Eusèbe asked his father to take him
for a walk as far as the square of the Bastille. He had heard that
street-jugglers often performed their tricks there: and, hot as it was,
he insisted that his mamma, a delicate weak little woman, should walk
with them.

They had walked as far as the gate of St. Denis, when a man approached
them, who had some little watches for sale fit for children. He went up
to Eusèbe, who, although such a big boy, was not above stopping to look
at the glittering watches with their bright chains attached. Then the
man said in a low voice,—

“Would you like to buy a beautiful horse, my prince?”

This title of prince was pleasant to the ears of Eusèbe, and with an air
of kind protection, he replied,—

“What is it you ask, my good fellow?”

“I ask if your lordship feels disposed to make the purchase of an
extraordinary and beautiful wooden horse.”

“I have rocking-horses of all sorts and sizes,” rejoined Eusèbe.

“I doubt it not, your Highness.”

This title of highness completed the work of turning the little boy’s
head; and putting on the air of being a very great person, he said,—

“Why, you seem to know who I am.”

“Indeed, who does not know your lordship?”

Now of course this cunning fellow did not really suppose that Eusèbe was
either a prince or a lord, but saw very well that he was a spoilt child,
and thought it would be a good opportunity for selling Cressida—for
Cressida it was that he was offering,—and he dared not sell it publicly.

Mr. and Mrs. de Malassise, who had walked on a little in front, now
stopped, and the former called out, “What’s the matter?”

“Sir,” replied the man, when he came up to them, “I have a beautiful
wooden horse to sell, which walks and moves about like a real horse.”

“Be off!” said Mr. de Malassise, who did not like the look of the man;
“we don’t want to buy it.”

“Would you just come and see it, noble sir? it is at my house, only two
steps from here. It has the movements of a live horse.”

“No, No!”

“But you need not buy it, sir, if you would only come to see it. It is
an extraordinary horse.”

“Papa, I want to see it,” said Eusèbe.

“No, no, my dear,” urged his father.

“Papa, I _will_ go to see the horse,” and Eusèbe began to cry.

“Why oppose him, my dear?” said Mrs. de Malassise, “as he is so anxious
to see the horse. Suppose he should have an attack of the nerves out
here! what should we do?”

“There, you hear, papa; why do you oppose me? I’m going to have an
attack of the nerves, I feel I am.”

“Oh, let us go and see the horse then, pray,” said Mr. de Malassise,
resigning himself with rather a bad grace.

They had followed their guide for about a quarter of a mile, when an
empty hackney-coach passed. The man stopped it, saying, “Perhaps, sir,
the lady will be tired if she walks all the way; had you not better take
this hackney-coach? I will get up on the box, and direct the driver.”

“Why, you said it was only two steps,” urged Mr. de Malassise.

“Oh, it is not far,” replied the man.

“Yes, yes, let us have the coach; I can’t walk any more,” exclaimed
Eusèbe.

So of course they got into the hackney-coach, while the man who had the
horse to sell seated himself beside the coachman. On they went, right
out of Paris, into the narrow streets of a suburb inhabited by very poor
people. On they went still, while the houses became more scattered, and
the roads were so bad that the horses could hardly get along.

At last the coachman pulled up, and taking out his pipe, he began to
light it, as he said, “I won’t go no further; the patience of a
hackney-coachman has its limits, these roads ain’t fit for any carriage,
and the sun’s hot enough to kill a camel of the desert, much more horses
like mine.”

    [Illustration: “THE HORSES COULD HARDLY GET ALONG.”]

Mr. de Malassise had lost patience also, and called out to their guide
in an angry voice, “Now, my man, tell me at once, where are you leading
us to?”

“My noble gentleman,” the man replied, “do not be angry; I did not think
it was so far, but you can see the house now; and, if the lady will get
down from the carriage, we can reach it on foot in two minutes.”

Mr. de Malassise looked out of the carriage window on one side, and his
wife on the other. They saw a few scattered houses of the meanest
description, and began to view their position with dismay; but Eusèbe
found it an amusing adventure.

“I wish, now,” he said, “we were in Sicily, and then we might be
attacked by brigands in such an out-of-the-way place as this. I read
about them in that little book you gave me yesterday, you know, mamma.”

At this remark Eusèbe’s mother began to laugh as if it were very funny
and brilliant; even his father was almost restored to good humour by it.
And when Eusèbe added—“only, neither that man nor the coachman are as
handsome as brigands”—the father and mother exchanged looks of
congratulation at the wit and humour of their son.

They walked a short distance along the dirty, badly-paved street, and
entered a small low house almost in ruins. You may imagine how well it
was furnished, when I tell you that Mrs. de Malassise was obliged to
stand, because the master of the house—that is, the man who conducted
them—had but one chair to offer her, and that was lame of two of its
legs. He opened a large closet, the door of which was concealed,
appearing only like a panel in the wall, and he led forth a pretty
little black horse, scarcely bigger than a large dog;—but I need not
describe Cressida a second time to my young readers.

    [Illustration: “HOW DID YOU COME BY THIS HORSE?”]

Now although Eusèbe had often had Cressida described to him by Maurice,
he had never happened to see the little horse; consequently he did not
recognise it on the present occasion; nor had he ever imagined Cressida
to be so wonderful as he found this horse to be. He had no sooner seated
himself in the saddle than the pressure of his knees against the sides
of the horse caused the legs to move, and it walked round the room.
Then, when Eusèbe in his delight very naturally began to pat it on the
neck, this had the effect of causing the little horse to neigh joyfully,
just like a real pony. Eusèbe’s father and mother were as much
astonished and delighted as he was.

“How did you come by this horse?” inquired Mr. de Malassise, in a voice
which sufficiently showed the suspicions he entertained.

“It was given to me by a friend of mine,” replied the man.

“That was a generous friend. And how much do you ask for it?”

“Eighty francs, though I know it is worth a great deal more.” Then
seeing that the small price he asked had only made his customer more
suspicious, he went on:—

“My noble gentleman, I will tell you the truth. Formerly I was rich, and
sold toys in a shop on the Boulevard; but misfortunes came upon me, I
had to give up my business, and of all the beautiful things I had, this
wooden horse is the only one I kept. I kept it for my children to play
with; but, alas! noble sir, it has pleased heaven to take them away from
me. Ah, my children! my children! they resembled your beautiful son. I
would have kept this horse always in remembrance of them, but hunger,
sir—hunger compels me to sell it.”

He dried his eyes with the back of his hand.

“Poor man!” said Mrs. de Malassise, much touched. Then she whispered to
her husband, “My dear, I would give him twenty francs, and leave him the
horse he is so fond of.”

“I see no reason for giving him twenty francs, and _I_ think we should
be wise to have nothing to do with the horse either. I suspect it’s a
matter which the police will have something to do with sooner or later.”

“Oh, what a hard heart you have! and how suspicious you are!” rejoined
the wife. “I am sure the poor man is truthful. Just look at his
despair.”

The man was sitting on the ground, hiding his face with his hands. He
seemed to have partly heard the whispered conversation, and said, “Her
ladyship is an angel of charity, but I should not regret parting with
the horse when I knew it would be in the hands of such a good young
gentleman.”

Eusèbe at last put an end to the hesitation of his parents in a very
simple way.

“Now, then,” he said, “why don’t you buy the horse?”

“No, no,” said his father, “let us go away.”

“Papa,” cried Eusèbe, “I won’t go away from here till you buy the
horse.” And he began to tear his hair, and stamp on the ground, uttering
piercing shrieks.

“I want the horse! I want the horse!” he cried.

“My noble gentleman,” urged the man, “what are eighty francs to you?
When I was rich I would have given more to spare my children’s tears.”

“Oh dear! oh dear! I feel that I am going to fall,” cried Eusèbe,
turning round and round.

“Oh, calm yourself, my child,” cried his mother.

“Eusèbe, my dear boy,” said his father kindly, “I will give you another
horse. You shall have the most expensive that can be found.”

“No, I want this one; I want this one.”

“Well, well, you shall have it—there; only don’t cry.”

“But I want it directly.”

“You shall have it directly. We will take it away with us.”

Eusèbe became calm as if by enchantment. He had not really shed a tear,
but his eyes were red from being rubbed, and his hair was pushed up in
indescribable disorder.

“Come, kiss me,” said his father.

“Yes, papa; but do you know that twice to-day I have very nearly had an
attack of nerves through your fault.”

Matters being thus comfortably arranged at last, the eighty francs were
paid, the horse was put into the coach, and they all returned to the
Boulevard des Italiens. Here Eusèbe amused himself the whole evening by
riding his pretty little horse round and round the drawing-room.



                       BIRDS, BEASTS, AND FISHES.


    [Illustration: Dog]

  The Dog will come when he is called,
    The Cat will run away;
  The Monkey’s cheek is very bald,
    The Goat is fond of play.
  The Parrot is a prate-apace,
    Yet knows not what he says;
  The noble Horse will win the race,
    Or draw you in a chaise.

    [Illustration: Pig]

  The Pig is not a feeder nice,
    The Squirrel loves a nut;
  The Wolf would eat you in a trice,
    The Buzzard’s eyes are shut.
  The Lark sings high up in the air,
    The Linnet in the tree;
  The Swan he has a bosom fair,
    And who so proud as he?

    [Illustration: Peacock]

  Oh, yes, the Peacock is more proud
    Because his tail has eyes;
  The Lion roars so very loud,
    He’d fill you with surprise.
  The Raven’s coat is shining black,
    Or, rather, raven grey;
  The Camel’s hunch is on his back,
    The Owl abhors the day.

    [Illustration: Pelican]

  The Pelican she loves her young,
    The Stork its parent loves;
  The Woodcock’s bill is very long,
    And innocent are Doves.
  The little Wren is very small,
    The Humming-bird is less;
  The Lady-bird is least of all,
    And beautiful in dress.

    [Illustration: Turtle]

  The Turtle—citizens’ delight!—
    Doth wear a coat of mail;
  The Glow-worm shines the darkest night
    With lantern in its tail.
  The streakèd Tiger’s fond of blood,
    The Pigeon feeds on peas;
  The Duck will gobble in the mud,
    The Mice will eat your cheese.

    [Illustration: Boar]

  In Germany they hunt the Boar,
    The Bee brings honey home;
  The Ant lays up a winter store,
    The Bear loves honey-comb.
  The Hen guards well her little chicks,
    The Cow, her hoof is slit;
  The Beaver builds with mud and sticks,
    The Lapwing cries “Pee-wit!”

  The child that does not these things know
    Might well be called a dunce;
  But you in knowledge quick must grow,
    For youth can come but once.

    [Illustration: Hunting scene]



                  SCENES IN THE LIFE OF MR. LOVESPORT.


                                Scene I.

Mr. Lovesport has left his native land in search of larger game, and
more adventurous and dangerous sport than he can find in England. One
day in southern Africa he has cautiously approached a herd of antelopes,
and is just within the distance for a shot, when he observes a sudden
commotion among them, some bounding one way, some another, as if in
terror. Looking round to discover the cause, he finds himself face to
face with an enormous lion. The lion pauses to consider whether he will
have an antelope for dinner or Mr. Lovesport. Our intrepid hunter takes
advantage of the pause to shoot him through the heart.

    [Illustration: Riding a quagga]


                               Scene II.

This is the way Mr. Lovesport once rode a Quagga. It is a kind of zebra,
or wild ass, and is considered untameable. A friend of Mr. Lovesport—a
colonist in southern Africa—had caught one, and had tried in vain to
tame it. Our hunter offered to ride it, if they could put on saddle and
bridle. This was at length accomplished: he mounted, and the quagga
galloped away, away till he reached a herd of his own species, who all
came round, curious to know what thing he had upon his back. Our hero
became anxious to return, and, taking off his jacket, contrived to wrap
it over the eyes of the beast; then once getting its head in the right
direction, spurred it on, till it stopped exhausted at his friend’s
door.

    [Illustration: Elephant escaping]


                               Scene III.

In one of his hunting expeditions, Mr. Lovesport finds an elephant
asleep under some trees. He has only one attendant with him, a negro,
named Jumbo; and this man takes it into his head that he will tie the
elephant’s leg to a tree with some strong rope he has, while it sleeps:
and see what it will do when it wakes up. He had just finished his work
when the huge creature awoke. In a moment the rope was snapped, but
unluckily Jumbo was entangled in it, and remained for a moment attached
to the elephant’s leg, which he had to cling to that it might not step
on him. In this way he was carried some distance, though without being
seriously hurt. Our hunter did not fire at the elephant, lest, becoming
furious, it might crush the little creature clinging to it.

    [Illustration: Elephant and rhinoceros]


                               Scene IV.

This is a scene where our hunter was a looker-on, not an actor. He was
on one of his expeditions with Jumbo, when they heard the trumpeting
sound made by an elephant when angry. Looking through the trees, they
saw a huge creature stamping with his feet, and tearing up the grass
with his trunk. Presently a rhinoceros approached, as if the two had
appointed to meet and fight upon that spot. The battle did not last
long. The poor elephant could not guard the under part of its body from
its enemy’s horn; and it fled away, perhaps mortally wounded, leaving a
stream of blood upon its path. This is the last scene for to-day of Mr.
Lovesport’s adventures, but perhaps he will send some more another time.

    [Illustration: Pets]



                             MOTHER’S PETS.


    [Illustration: Decorative L]

  Little kid is bleating, bleating,
    “Pray, give me some cake;”
  Little baby’s crying, crying,
    “Mine it mustn’t take.”

  Goosey-gander, waddling, waddling,
    Wants to have some too;
  Cock-a-doodle, strutting, strutting,
    Crows out, “How d’ye do?”

  Henny-penny’s pecking, pecking
    Up the husks and grain;
  Mother’s petting, spoiling, spoiling
    Everyone, ’tis plain.

  Summer air is blowing, blowing
    Fragrance all around.
  See the blossoms, falling, falling
    Softly to the ground.

  All the world is shining, shining
    Radiant with the sun.
  Summer glory shedding, shedding
    Light on every one.

    [Illustration: Hares]



                                 HARES.


    [Illustration: Decorative H]

The picture on the opposite page shows us a family of hares enjoying
themselves in a field of cabbages. How pretty, and yet how queer-looking
they are! I think that one standing up in the middle, with his ears so
straight up, must be Mr. Hare, while the others are Mrs. Hare and the
children. They are eating away as fast as they can, while the good papa
looks on, and listens with those long ears of his for the sound of any
approaching footsteps. If he hears any noise of a kind which he
considers alarming, he will give notice to his wife and little ones;
then they will all scurry off so fast that they will soon be miles away
from the spot where they have been frightened.

A hare never walks or trots, because the hind legs are so much longer
than the front ones, but it goes along in a succession of bounds. Hares
can take great leaps, too, in height as well as in distance: they have
been known, when pursued, to jump over very high hedges, and even walls
of moderate size. One curious quality in a hare is that it never becomes
fat, however rich the pasture may be on which it feeds; consequently it
can go very long distances without fatigue.

Though rabbits are easily domesticated, it is very unusual to see a
really tame hare; and you will be surprised to hear that the only one I
ever met with was in a house in London. I went one day to call upon a
gentleman—an artist—who was very fond of animals: indeed, among other
things, he often painted animals. I found him in his studio, working
away at his picture, with three dogs and a cat and her kittens all in
the room with him. I sat for some time talking and admiring his picture,
when presently I heard an odd sort of knocking or rubbing at the door.

“I hear some one at the door,” said I, after the noise had been going on
for some time, thinking my friend did not hear it.

“Oh, that’s only stupid old Tommy; he is such a bother; he never seems
able to settle anywhere now he’s so old.”

“Who is he?” I asked, thinking he was speaking of some stupid old
person.

“Would you like to see him?” said the artist; “he is not particularly
handsome now, and he is dreadfully impudent.”

Walking to the door he opened it, and who should come hopping and
leaping into the room but a gigantic hare. He hopped past me first, and
then turning round, came quite close, and stood up on his hind legs. He
made one long ear stick forward and the other backward, looking more
comical than I can tell you; and he twisted his curious, sensitive,
moveable nose round and round, while he stared at me with his immense
prominent eyes till I thought they were going to drop out.

“That isn’t manners, Tommy,” said my friend; “it’s very rude to stare
so: lie down.” Whereupon good obedient Tommy crouched down, with his
nose between his two front paws; laid his ears back flat on his neck,
and did his best, I am sure, not to stare—but that he could not help, by
reason of the peculiar nature of his eyes.

I caressed him, and found him as tame and gentle as a little dog. Indeed
my friend had had him from the time he was a very tiny creature.

    [Illustration: Hare]



                             _PUZZLE-PAGE._


    [Illustration: Puzzle images]

Now here is a puzzle-page for you. Of these six objects that you see,
two begin with the letter B; one begins with G; one with H, and two with
P. Can you tell what they all are?

    [Illustration: Fox and goat]



                       THE FOX AND GOAT.—A FABLE.


    [Illustration: Decorative A]

A Fox once fell into a deep well, and could not get out again. A Goat,
wishing to drink, came to the well, and seeing the Fox, asked him if the
water was good. The Fox did not say he had fallen into the well, but
pretended he stayed in the well from choice; and saying the water was
the best he had ever tasted, begged the Goat to jump down and try it.
The Goat jumped down, and drank; and then sly Fox told him that they
were imprisoned in the well. “But,” said he, “we may still get out if
you will place your fore-feet upon the wall; I will then run up your
back and escape, and help you out afterwards.” The Goat did as the Fox
asked, and Mr. Fox, running up his back, soon got out of the well, and
then ran off. The Goat called after him, when the Fox, turning round,
cried out these words:—“You foolish old fellow! If you had as many
brains in your head as you have hairs in your beard you would have
looked before you leaped.”

    [Illustration: Flowers]

    [Illustration: Angels]



                                ANGELS.


    [Illustration: Decorative M]

  Mother, what are angels made of?
    Have they feet and hands like ours?
  Are they things to be afraid of?
    Do they hide among the flowers?

  Mary says they are not creatures
    Made of flesh, and bones, and blood,
  Though they have the sweetest features,
    And are glad when we are good.

  Fanny thinks they’re always roving
    Here and there on wings of light;
  Gentle things, all kind and loving,
    Guarding us by day and night;

  Made by God to keep from danger
    Little ones at school or play;
  Just like those that watched the manger
    Where the infant Jesus lay.

  Tell me, mother—dearest mother!
    Oh, I do _so_ want to know.
  Susan says that “little brother
    Is an angel.” Is it so?

  Darling, this is all that’s told us
    In the word of Him above,
  That those beings who behold us,
  In their unseen arms enfold us,
    Creatures are of Light and Love.

    [Illustration: Angels]

    [Illustration: Healing blind men]



                          MAMMA’S SUNDAY TALK.
                        MIRACLES OF OUR SAVIOUR:


                  THE TWO BLIND MEN RESTORED TO SIGHT.

    [Illustration: Decorative T]

The next miracle that I shall tell you about, my dear children, is one
which is represented in the picture above; it is our Saviour giving
sight to two blind men.

When He left the house of Jairus, the ruler, whose daughter He had
raised from the dead, the scripture tells us that two blind men followed
Him. As they followed, they kept crying out, “Thou son of David, have
mercy upon us!” They meant by this entreaty to implore Christ to have
pity upon their darkness and misery; to consider how helpless and
useless they were; and, as He had just restored to life a child already
dead, to have mercy upon them, and give them back their sight.

It is evident that these men thoroughly believed our Saviour to be the
true Messiah, whose coming had been foretold by the prophets; for one of
the signs by which the true Messiah was to be known, according to the
prophecies, was His giving sight to the blind.

Our Saviour at first, as though to try the faith of these two poor men,
appeared not to regard them. But they followed Him into the house where
He was going, groping their way as they best could, and repeated their
prayer, “Oh, son of David, have mercy on us!” Then Jesus, as St. Matthew
tells, said unto them, “Believe ye that I am able to do this?” and they
replied, “Yea, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to
your faith be it done unto you.” And their eyes were opened.

We may observe that Christ appeared to make faith a condition upon which
the success of the miracle was to depend, and it is evident that these
poor men had perfect faith. What unspeakable joy and gratitude they must
have felt on finding their dark night suddenly changed into bright day.
Without pain, without any operation, simply by the touch of Christ upon
their sightless eyes, had one of the greatest of earthly blessings been
given to these two men.

There is another miracle I shall have time to tell you about to-day, my
children, which was performed soon after the last. It consisted in the
feeding of a multitude of people—five thousand—upon five barley loaves
and two small fishes. It took place on the shore of the sea of Galilee.

A great multitude of people had followed our Saviour to listen to His
teaching, and He had led them some distance away from any town. He
preached to them a long time, and was still continuing His instructions
when the shades of evening began to gather round. Then the disciples
reminded Him that the day was declining, one of them saying, “This is a
desert place, and now the time is far passed: send them away that they
may go into the country round about and buy themselves bread, for they
have nothing to eat.”

But our Saviour was too compassionate to send the people away hungry,
and He intended Himself to give them food. He said to His disciples,
“How many loaves have ye? go and see.” And when they knew, they said,
“Five loaves and two fishes.” Christ then commanded them to make all the
people sit down upon the grass; He took the five loaves and the two
fishes, and brake the loaves, and gave the pieces to His disciples to
give among the people: He also divided the two fishes, and gave them in
the same way. Then the multitude, as the Bible tells us, ate and were
filled: and, what is more, the disciples afterwards gathered up several
basketsful of the fragments that were left.

Thus, by our Lord’s power, those five loaves and two fishes were made
sufficient to feed and satisfy that great multitude of five thousand
people.

    [Illustration: Sharing food]

    [Illustration: Unhappy child]



                       SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS:


                                 DORA.

    [Illustration: Decorative I]

I am sorry to say I have to tell you to-day of one of my little friends,
whom I cannot hold up as an example to any of my little readers. Dora is
an only child, and a very spoilt one too,—though I ought to mention that
I think she is improving of late; and her improvement dates from the
event I am going to describe. It was a severe lesson for her, but I hope
and believe it will prove a useful one.

Dora had a very naughty and stupid habit, whenever she was found fault
with, of saying she would run away. One day, when the family were
staying at Hastings, nurse scolded her for drawing upon her books, and
threatened to tell mamma.

“I like to draw upon my books, and I will!” replied Dora; “and if mamma
scolds me I shall run away.”

“Well,” rejoined nurse, losing patience for once, as she afterwards
confessed, “and it would be real kindness to us all, miss Dora, if you
did.”

Whereupon Dora walked out of the nursery, highly offended.

A little while afterwards mamma asked for Dora to go out with her on to
the sands. The child was nowhere to be found. Nurse supposed her to have
gone into the drawing-room: mamma thought her still in the nursery. The
house was searched in vain. Then nurse remembered the conversation which
had taken place:—Dora had really run away!

The alarm and distress of the father and mother were beyond description.
The child was only seven years old: what could have become of her?
Servants were sent out in all directions—on to the sands; to the pier;
into the streets: but she was nowhere to be found. Then nurse had a
happy idea. You must know that in many country towns like Hastings, an
old custom is kept up of having a Town-crier. When people lose anything,
like a watch, a purse, or a dog, they employ this man. He goes about the
town ringing a bell to attract attention, and then reads from a piece of
paper, in a loud voice, a description of the thing lost; offering a
reward for its discovery.

Nurse very sensibly thought a lost child might be cried about the town
as well as anything else; and a handsome reward was offered for the
recovery of this naughty little girl.

But what had become of Dora in the meantime? She had run out of the
house suddenly in her fit of anger, carrying her doll in her arms, but
without hat or jacket. At first she was delighted to find herself alone
and free in the streets, and laughed as she thought how frightened nurse
would be. But after walking for a little while, she discovered that she
had lost herself: for she had only been at Hastings two or three days,
and did not even know the name of the street she lived in. She had hoped
to frighten nurse, but never thought of being frightened herself; yet
that was what it had come to.

She sat upon a doorstep and began to cry. Presently somebody spoke to
her. Then Dora thought of stories she had heard of children being
stolen, and started up and ran away. So she wandered about for two or
three hours, till at last the Town-crier came close to where she stood
in a doorway. She heard him read the description of herself, and the
people standing by recognised it also. The crier had a kind face; she
let him take her by the hand, and thus was led home again, followed by a
crowd of children.

    [Illustration: Hen and ducklings]



                         THE HEN AND DUCKLINGS.


_Allegretto. mf._

                                   1.
      From the old barn floor
      to the cottage door,
  Struts forth the old white hen;
      Very proud she feels,
      for at her heels
  She has a brood of ten.
      She’s glad to get out
      and roam about,
  Quite tired of sitting still;
      And now they will go,
      For she tells them all so,
  To the meadow down by the old mill.

                                   2.
      For we there shall meet
      Many worms to eat,
  And beetles green and brown;
      But, she says, “D’ye hear,
      Don’t go too near
  The mill-pond, or you’ll drown.”
      They waddle along
      The weeds among,
  And learn to scratch and pick;
      But each little fellow
      Is covered with yellow,
  And has a queer bill for a chick.

                                   3.
      Very soon the hen,
      With her brood of ten,
  A beetle sees beyond;
      As she runs to pin it,
      In a minute
  All jump into the pond.
      She opens her eyes
      In great surprise
  To see them swim with ease,
      And says, “Well, I never!
      Now, pray, did you ever
  See any such chickens as these?”

    [Illustration: Grouse]



                                GROUSE.


    [Illustration: Decorative F]

For the subject of our natural history picture to-day we have some
Grouse. There is a nice little family of grouse, consisting of papa,
mamma, and four children, all taking a pleasant walk among the heath and
fern. At the same time the old birds are searching for the wild berries,
the buds of the heath, and the seeds which form their principal food.
Look how eager the young ones are to have their share of some nice
berries, which mamma grouse has just found!

These birds are only met with on moors or wild heaths, and chiefly in
mountainous countries; indeed Scotland is the country where they are now
principally found, and people often go there on purpose for the
grouse-shooting. I daresay some of my little readers already know that
grouse-shooting begins on the 12th of August, a great day for sportsmen.
From the way in which game is now preserved in England,
partridge-shooting has come to be a tamer sport than it used to be. Many
brace of partridges may sometimes be brought down during a short walk
over cultivated fields, and such sport seems less manly than taking long
fatiguing walks over breezy moors, as sportsmen have to do in search of
grouse.

The grouse is a very wild and shy bird, and both skill and caution are
required in approaching them; they live in flocks, called “packs,” and
form their nests, as partridges do, upon the ground. Their plumage is a
rich brown, mottled with paler spots; the tail is black, with the
exception of four of the feathers, which have red marks on them: over
the eye also is a rough bare red spot. The bill of the grouse is short,
arched, and very strong; and the legs of this bird, as the winter
approaches, become feathered. As an article of food, the grouse is very
delicate, and has an excellent flavour.

The bird I have been describing is the red grouse; that is in fact the
common grouse. But there is also found in Scotland, though less
frequently, the black grouse, which is a much larger bird. The red
grouse is rather bigger than a partridge.

I once made the acquaintance of a tame grouse—one at least that had been
domesticated. The gentleman it belonged to had picked it up out of its
nest when a tiny thing on the moors in Scotland; and being a great
bird-fancier, and having a collection, he had brought it in a cage to
his house in Kent. When I saw Peter—that was the name given the
grouse,—he was quite tame, but very ill-tempered. You might take him up
if you pleased, but he always pecked the hand that did so. Peter was
supposed to live habitually in a wicker cage, but in truth he had pretty
well the run of the house. More than once he had taken flight beyond the
premises, but had returned for his food. One day however he was missed,
and never came back. His fate may be surmised from the fact that about
the same time a party of gentlemen in the neighbourhood, being out
shooting—it was September—were surprised to find a grouse among the game
they had killed.

    [Illustration: Grouse]



                       A STORY OF A WOODEN HORSE.


                             CHAPTER VIII.
HOW EUSÈBE TREATS THE HORSE AT DIEPPE.—MAURICE RECOVERS IT.—THE THIEVES
 ARE ARRESTED.—RETURN OF FRITZ.—HIS GRATITUDE TO MAURICE.—HE MENDS THE
                                 HORSE.

    [Illustration: Decorative A]

A few days after Eusèbe came into possession of the horse, in the way
described in the last chapter, he went off with his father and mother to
Dieppe for sea-bathing. He took Cressida with him, for he wished to show
it to some little friends whom he expected to meet there.

His fondness for the wooden horse did not last long. Instead of being
reasonable and gentle with it, like Maurice, he was continually wanting
this ingenious automaton to do more than it was intended to do. When it
failed, he would grow impatient, call it obstinate, and beat it with all
his might; sometimes he would spitefully pull the hair from its mane,
and try to tear out its eyes. The best that could happen for the poor
little horse now would be for its master to get tired of it, and cast it
aside entirely.

    [Illustration: THE RECOIL OF THE PISTOL THREW HIM ON HIS BACK.]

The garden of the house occupied by Mr. and Mrs. de Malassise at Dieppe
was ornamented with grottoes, rocks, cascades, rivulets, all in
miniature, as if intended to amuse children. Eusèbe was fond of jumping
about among the rocks and rivulets, and one day he took it into his head
that Cressida should do the same. He took the horse at a gallop up to a
little stream, only two or three feet wide, intending it to leap across;
but it galloped into the water instead, leaping not being one of the
movements it was constructed to make. Eusèbe took it up to the water two
or three times, not sparing threats or blows while he did so, but in
vain. Then he began to scream, as usual when he was in a rage, and
looking about for some means of satisfying his anger, he remembered that
his father kept a loaded pistol on the upper shelf of a closet in his
dressing-room. He ran upstairs, and by mounting on a chair, contrived to
reach the pistol, which was a double-barrelled one. Returning again into
the garden, and still as furious as ever against the poor little horse,
he went close up to it and fired off both barrels at once.

The horse was not so much damaged as Eusèbe himself. The child held the
pistol in both hands, the left hand being close to the muzzle, and the
result of his exploit was that not only did the recoil of the pistol
throw him down on his back, but his hand was wounded and burnt by the
explosion. He fainted from the pain, and in this state was picked up by
his father, who ran into the garden at the sound of the shot.

Mr. and Mrs. de Malassise, instead of being angry with their son, laid
the blame of the accident on the unfortunate horse; and a servant was at
once ordered to break it in pieces, and throw it upon the fire.

In consequence of this accident Eusèbe had an attack of fever, and was
obliged to keep his bed for some days. Most children in his place would
have been taught a useful lesson by the suffering he thus brought upon
himself. Not so Eusèbe: he only took advantage of the anxiety his
parents felt about him, to be more tyrannical and capricious than
before.

About this time Mr. and Mrs. de Roisel came also with their son to pass
a few weeks at Dieppe, and Eusèbe was not yet quite restored to health
when my little friend went to see him. With tears in their eyes Eusèbe’s
parents related the accident which had happened to their dear child; and
it did not seem to occur to them that there was anything in the affair
for which he could be found fault with. But Maurice felt indignant at
what he considered cruelty even towards a wooden horse. He was thinking
of Cressida while he listened to the story; but as Eusèbe’s horse was
not particularly described by his parents, it never occurred to Maurice
that it could be his own lost Cressida.

A few mornings later Maurice was taking a country walk with his father
and mother a little way out of Dieppe, when, as they approached a small
village, they heard the loud and angry voices of children.

“Gee-up, gee-up! Get on, lazy beast!” said one voice.

“He can’t carry so many,” said another.

“He can’t move!” exclaimed a third.

“I tell you he can.”

“Tell you he can’t.”

“You shall see. Hi! Gee-up, gee-up! Go along!” and immediately the sound
of a shower of blows, rained upon the back of some poor animal, reached
the ears of Maurice, who, without stopping to reflect, ran as fast as
legs of eight years old can run, in the direction of the noise.

He stopped at the entrance to a farm, where, in the courtyard, he saw
five or six boys, and as many little girls, all clustered round a small
pony. Two boys and a girl had contrived to seat themselves upon its
back; two or three more were dragging it along by the bridle, while
another beat it with a stick behind. The pony hung down its head in a
way that was pitiful to see; it appeared to have a shoulder dislocated,
and a leg was broken above the knee, and bandaged up. Its difficulty in
“going along” seemed quite accounted for.

“Are you not ashamed,” cried my little friend, “to ride, three of you at
once, upon a little pony who is lame and ill?”

At first the boys were inclined to answer by some impertinence, but
seeing Mr. and Mrs. de Roisel coming up behind Maurice, they rather
sulkily got down from the pony. Then the poor animal, relieved from
their weight, raised its drooping head, and a sudden suspicion flashed
across the mind of Maurice. He cried out,—

“Oh! it is Cressida!”

Maurice ran back to his parents to tell them of his discovery; but
instead of explaining himself, he could only say,—“Come, come quickly!”

    [Illustration: TWO BOYS AND A GIRL HAD SEATED THEMSELVES UPON ITS
    BACK.]

He took his mother’s arm, for he was so agitated he could scarcely
stand.

Mr. de Roisel at once asked who was the owner of the unfortunate
Cressida. It was one of the boys present: but the mother of this boy,
being at work in the next field, observed that something was going on,
and she now came up out of curiosity to see what was the matter. When
Mr. de Roisel said he wished to buy the horse, she replied that she
would sell it willingly.

“How much do you ask for it?” said he.

“You can give me whatever you please, sir.”

“A napoleon—is that enough?”

“Indeed, sir, it is too much,” she replied, “for the horse cost me only
the trouble of asking for it. But if you like to give so much, sir——”

“Where did you get it?” asked Mr. de Roisel.

“Well, I got it in this way, sir. You must know I go twice every day
into the town to take milk to different houses. One afternoon I was at
the house of a rich gentleman, when I heard him call out to the servant
to throw this little horse into the fire. It was in much better
condition then than it is now, and though it might not be good enough
for that rich gentleman’s children to play with, it was quite good
enough for mine. So I begged the servant to give it me rather than burn
it, and he let me have it. There you see, sir, how I got it without
paying anything. We poor people do not buy wooden horses for our
children.”

Mr. de Roisel gave the napoleon to the good woman, and some money also
to her little boy.

“May God for ever bless you, my good gentleman,” said she, astonished at
his generosity; and she almost suspected that he must know of some
hidden treasure inside the little horse.

When Eusèbe heard how Maurice had recovered Cressida, he was furious,
and wanted the servant to be immediately sent away who had spared the
little horse from burning. That evening Mr. de Malassise gave an account
of the circumstances under which he had bought the horse, and spoke of
the suspicion he had felt from the first of the man who sold it. The
next day information was given to the police, and it was not long before
the seller of the horse was arrested. He proved to be one of the thieves
who had broken into Mr. Duberger’s house. His accomplice was a man who
went about the country as a pedlar, selling ribbons, silk-handkerchiefs,
and toys. In this way he used to obtain access to houses, learning where
valuable things were kept, and what were the habits of the family. The
two together had committed the robbery: both were tried and convicted.

Mr. Duberger recovered only a small portion of the objects of art that
had been stolen, but he was much rejoiced to hear that Maurice had got
back his horse.

It was the month of October, and Maurice had returned to his own country
home, where Cressida was installed once more in its old stable. But the
poor pony had lost its former activity; it could not go faster than a
walk, and even that with difficulty.

One morning Maurice was in the garden, when he saw Fritz approaching
him, walking as fast as his old legs would carry him, and having an open
letter in his hand. My little friend ran to meet him, when the old man
embraced the child with tears in his eyes, and called him his
benefactor. Seeing that Maurice did not understand why he used the word,
Fritz tried to explain, but for some time he was too much affected to
say anything intelligible.

“Ah, my poor niece!” he exclaimed, “she owes her life to you! Is it
possible, so young a child! But I never thought you like other children.
You have saved the life of a poor woman and her three little children.
Nobody would believe it; yet it is true; it is all told here.” And he
pointed to the letter in his hand.

At this moment Mrs. de Roisel came up, and welcomed Fritz back again.
Then he soon became sufficiently calm to explain himself clearly. It
appeared that the young woman, with her three children, whom Maurice had
met in the Luxembourg gardens, and had been so kind to, was the niece of
Fritz. No sooner had she arrived in America than, overflowing with
gratitude, she wrote her uncle a long account of what had happened to
them, telling him how they had been saved by a young child named Maurice
de Roisel. It was this letter that Fritz held in his hand. He had
returned from Nuremberg to his cottage in the village only the evening
before, and had come the first thing this morning to express his
gratitude to Maurice.

“But how,” asked Fritz, “came you to have so large a sum of money by you
to give?”

“Oh, I did not give it all myself: besides, I was obliged to part with
Cressida.”

“Is it possible?” cried Fritz, starting back and turning pale. “You
didn’t sell it?”

“Alas!” replied Maurice, “it was only by parting with Cressida that I
could procure the money.”

“You were right: I must not complain. If it was the only way, you did
right.”

“But, oh Fritz! you cannot imagine in what a state I found my poor
Cressida again.”

“What!” cried the old man, with the joy of a child, “you _have_ Cressida
again then? You should have told me so at first; it would have saved me
pain. But you did well to sell it, else how could my poor niece have
joined her husband?—my niece who is almost my daughter!”

Then Maurice related Cressida’s adventures, and the wooden horse was
brought out for Fritz to look at.

“It is not seriously damaged,” said he, after examining it. “In a few
days I will restore it to what it was a year ago: but bear in mind, I am
the only doctor that can effect a cure. If, when I am no longer alive,
it should be damaged in the same way, there is no one who could mend it.
Watch then carefully over it in future.”

    [Illustration: Horse]



                             _PUZZLE-PAGE._


    [Illustration: Puzzle images]

Now, children, see if you can find out the names of these different
objects. Three of them begin with A, one with C, one with H, and one
with S.

    [Illustration: Children and puppy]



                             EARLY LESSONS.


    [Illustration: Decorative N]

  Now, Master Puppy,
  Sit up, if you please;
  This is for your good,
  Not in order to teaze.

  When a nice little doggie
  Seems anxious to learn,
  A kind little master
  Will not from him turn.

  Now you must not be snappish,
  But just do your best;
  A five minutes’ lesson,
  And then you shall rest.

  Little Katie and Baby
  Are anxious to see
  If you try, like a good pup,
  To imitate me.

  Old Boxer, your friend too,
  Is curling his tail,
  And pricking his ears,
  For fear you should fail.

  But if you are careful,
  I plainly can tell,
  You will grow quite accomplished,
  And do very well.

    [Illustration: JACK AND DOBBIN.]



                            JACK AND DOBBIN.


    [Illustration: Decorative T]

There were two horses that belonged to my grandpapa when I was a little
girl, that I think you will like to hear about; for although they were
only common carthorses, employed to do farm work, they set a good
example to children. They never quarrelled, but were always good
friends; they worked together, and rested in the field together, and
always kept together.

I will tell you what happened one day. It was a winter’s morning,
bitterly cold, and when Jack went to drink at the pond he found it was
frozen over. He struck the ice two or three times with his foot to break
it, but it was too hard, so off he trotted to Dobbin, who was standing a
little way off, and neighed his trouble to him. Dobbin returned to the
pond with Jack, and they both struck the ice together with their great
heavy feet, and broke it; so that Jack could have his drink. Were they
not clever?

We may often learn a lesson from animals; and I hope, my children, you
will imitate these sensible nice horses, and always help each other.

    [Illustration: Children at play]



                       UNCLE JOHN’S SCHOOL-DAYS.


    [Illustration: Decorative T]

This picture reminds me, children, of some funny stories that I have
heard your Uncle John tell, when he and I were boy and girl together, of
his exploits as a schoolboy. According to his account, not only he, but
most of his schoolfellows, used to lead merry lives enough at school.
They had a great deal of what he called excellent fun, though I am
afraid it sometimes bordered upon mischief or naughtiness. I used to
consider that he and his schoolfellows were regular heroes, as I
listened to his stories when he came home for the holidays; and even now
I must confess I cannot help laughing when I think of some of his
naughty pranks.

Uncle John first went to a large school when he was eleven years old,
and I remember now the tremendous hamper of good things he took with
him. The boys who slept in his bedroom were so pleased with the contents
of his hamper that they determined to make a great feast. To add to
their enjoyment they imagined themselves to be settlers in the back
woods of America or Australia. They built a log-hut with bolsters, and
had a sort of pic-nic. One of them mounted on the top of the log-hut to
look out with his telescope for any approaching savages, while the
others enjoyed their suppers in and about the hut. When their fun was at
its height, the door softly opened, and in walked Dr. Birchall,
spectacles on nose, and cane in hand. What followed may be imagined.

You would not recognize Uncle John himself, whom you know only as a man
six feet high, in that little lad on the right hand side of the picture,
half hiding under the bedclothes. As a new boy he had no share either in
the riot or its punishment; except indeed in so far as his hamper had
supplied the means of riot. Still, what he saw made a deep impression on
his mind; and particularly he thought a great deal of the inconvenience
arising from the sudden appearance of the master.

You know that Uncle John is an engineer now, and even as a little boy he
had a great turn for mechanical inventions. Well, he pondered over some
means by which such a sudden interruption to the enjoyment of his
schoolfellows might be prevented in future; and I will tell you what he
did.

It happened that the large room in which he slept formed the upper floor
of a wing of the house, which had been added to it when it became a
school; and there was no access to this room from the principal
staircase of the house. You had to pass through the room below, and go
up a little separate staircase to reach to floor above. The lower room
was also a bedroom for the boys, and Uncle John’s little scheme was
this:—

He made a hole with a gimlet in the frame of one of the windows of his
bedroom, passed a piece of string through the hole, and carried it
outside the wall of the house down to a similar hole in a window-frame
of the room below. To the end of the string in the upper room was
fastened a small rattle, while the other end of the string—that in the
room below—was taken into the bed of a boy who slept near the window.

This admirable little invention once in order, there was more rioting in
the upper room than ever; and the master, disturbed by the noise, soon
went, cane in hand, to stop it. The instant he set foot in the lower
room, the boy there who held the string in bed gave it a little pull;
the rattle sounded—ting! ting!—in the room above, and in an instant
every boy was in bed and snoring. Perhaps they had been playing at
leap-frog the moment before, but as Dr. Birchall entered the room—and he
crept up the staircase very quietly that he might catch them unawares—he
found some twenty boys lying in bed, seemingly sound asleep, though
snoring unnaturally loud.

The doctor was so disconcerted by this unexpected state of things that
he retired at once, fancying perhaps that his ears had deceived him when
he thought he had heard a noise in the room. The same thing happened two
or three times: the doctor was puzzled, and the invention appeared a
complete success; but at last all was discovered.

    [Illustration: Tossing in the blanket]

The boys one evening began imprudently to play at “Tossing in the
blanket” before they were undressed. The rattle sounded, and they had
just time to hide away the blanket. But the doctor coming in, and
finding they were only then beginning to undress, knew they must have
been at some mischief, and began questioning one after another.
Unluckily, while he was in the room the rattle sounded again by
accident: perhaps the boy in the room below had pulled the string by
moving in bed. The doctor looked about, found the rattle hanging just
below the window, saw the string, opened the window, and traced its
course outside, went down into the room below and understood the whole
arrangement. Then he put the rattle in his pocket, and went away without
saying a word. The boys declared he had such difficulty in keeping
himself from laughing, that he was afraid to speak lest he should burst
out.

However, next day every boy in that room had a slight punishment, and so
the matter ended.

Now I will tell you another of Uncle John’s pranks at school. There was
a large tree in the playground, the upper branches of which spread out
very near to the windows of the bedroom I have been describing. One
evening Uncle John got hold of a large hand-bell, which was used for
ringing the boys up in the morning, and climbing up the tree, he
fastened it by a piece of string to a branch near the top. Then another
boy threw him the end of a long string from a window of the bedroom into
the tree, and he fastened it to the bell in such a way that, when it was
pulled in the bedroom, it made the bell ring in the tree. Having
accomplished this arrangement, he came down from the tree and went to
bed.

At ten o’clock at night the household was disturbed by the loud ringing
of this bell. The master, in his dressing-gown, came out into the
playground and soon discovered where the sound came from; but of course
supposed that some boy had climbed up into the tree, and was ringing the
bell there. It was the middle of summer, and a beautiful moonlight
night, so the boys could see from the windows all that took place. Dr.
Birchall stood at the foot of the tree, looking up, and exclaimed
angrily,—

“Come down, you naughty boy! Come down, I say, directly. Oh, I’ll give
you such a flogging! Stop that horrible noise, I tell you, and come
down!”

The bell still went on ringing. At last the string—being pulled too
hard, I suppose, in the excitement of the fun—broke; and the bell
tumbled down from the top of the tree, falling very near the old
schoolmaster. This was worse than all.

“What!” he exclaimed, “you throw the bell at me? Why, if it had hit me
on the head, it might have killed me. Oh, you wicked boy! I’ll expel
you, sir. I’ll find out who you are if I stop here till morning.”

At last, however, his patience was exhausted, and he went away, but left
an old butler to watch the tree all night. The boys from the windows
could see this man settle himself comfortably on a seat which was at the
foot of the tree. He lighted his pipe, and prepared to carry out his
master’s orders, and watch till daylight. By three o’clock in the
morning the dawn broke; then the man began to look up occasionally into
the tree. Now and then he walked a little distance away, first in one
direction, and then in another, to look into parts of the tree that he
could not see from underneath. He kept this up till the sun had risen,
and it was broad daylight; then at last he became convinced that it was
impossible there could be a boy in the tree. He walked slowly into the
house, still smoking his pipe, with a puzzled expression on his face.

And I suspect he was not the only person who felt puzzled. The next day
the boys were going home for the holidays, so that no further inquiry
could be made. I wonder if Dr. Birchall ever found out how it had been
managed!

    [Illustration: Bell]

    [Illustration: Sitting at a desk]



                               TREASURES.


    [Illustration: Decorative O]

  Only a common room,
  Old, carpetless, and bare!
  Only a poor old home!
  A poor old woman there!

  She sits with her eyes downcast,
  And thinks of the bygone years;
  Looks at the treasures gathered there
  When her heart held hopes and fears.

  Hopes that lived but to die,
  Like the sweet one that gave them birth;
  Fears which changed to despair,
  When she sat by her lonely hearth.

  Despair is now dulled by time,
  But it quickens and lives again,
  As she opens the old bureau
  To see treasures that still remain.

  Only a broken toy—
  An old mis-shapen thing!
  Yet endowed with cruel strength
  To inflict a sharp heart-sting.

  A few old withered flowers
  Have fallen to the floor,—
  Where, where are the little hands
  That gathered them long before?

  Oh terrible, cruel power!
  That lies in inanimate things,
  To open the old deep wounds
  Time had touched with his healing wings.

    [Illustration: Walking on the sea]



                          MAMMA’S SUNDAY TALK.
                        MIRACLES OF OUR SAVIOUR:


                       CHRIST WALKING ON THE SEA.

    [Illustration: Decorative T]

The miracle I have to tell you of to-day, my children, is called—Christ
walking on the waters. It followed closely upon that I described in our
last Sunday talk; I mean, that of our Saviour feeding a multitude of
people with five barley loaves and three small fishes.

As evening came on, the multitude that had been fed, dispersed; and
Christ desired His disciples to enter into their boat, and go before Him
to the town of Bethsaida, where they might pass the night, while He went
up into a mountain alone, intending seemingly to spend the night in
prayer.

The disciples had not gone far upon their voyage, when the light breeze
which was bearing them on their way, changed into a strong adverse wind.
It had become dark, “and the sea arose by reason of a great wind that
blew, and the ship was tossed with the waves.” They were overtaken in
fact by one of those sudden squalls to which the lake, or sea of Galilee
is liable. In vain they rowed with all their strength; the contrary wind
drove them out of their course into the middle of the lake.

In such an hour of danger they must have thought of the time, not long
before, when they were caught in another storm on the same sea. But then
their Master was with them in the boat; at His command the sea became
calm, and the wind ceased. How they must have wished that He were with
them now, or that they could call Him to them, that His voice might once
more hush the tempest into peace, and control the winds and waves! They
had entered the fourth watch of the night, which, as the night was
divided into only four watches, means that the morning was approaching,
and the storm was still raging fiercely, when they beheld a human figure
approaching, walking on the surface of the water as if upon firm ground.

Sailors and fishermen have been in all ages superstitious, and those of
that day generally held the belief that storms were raised by spirits,
who delighted in the turmoil of the elements, and in the terror and
destruction that were caused. Some superstitious thought of this kind
seems to have been the first that entered the minds of the disciples, as
they saw the figure approaching on the water. What followed is thus
described by St. Matthew:—

“And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled,
saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway
Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
And Peter answered Him, and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto
thee on the water. And Jesus said, Come. And when Peter was come down
out of the ship, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw
the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried,
saying, Lord, save me! And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand,
and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore
didst thou doubt?”

The want of a thorough, unbounded faith and confidence in the power and
divinity of our Saviour, was a fault which He had to contend against
even in the disciples, who beheld His miracles almost daily. Peter and
others who were in the boat became afterwards apostles of Christianity,
and performed miracles themselves, when their faith must have become
perfect; but it seems to have grown up gradually; and the words of
Christ signify that Peter failed to walk on the water himself on this
occasion only through his want of faith.

St. Matthew goes on to tell us that when our Saviour came into the ship,
the wind ceased. Then the disciples came round Him, worshipping Him,
saying,—“Of a truth thou art the Son of God.”

    [Illustration: Angel with trumpet]

    [Illustration: Friends]



                       SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS:


                                 Sammy.

    [Illustration: Decorative S]

Sammy is a great friend of mine, and a brave boy too, I can tell you: he
is only seven years old, but quite a little man. Sammy’s grandmamma was
my nurse when I was a child, and through her I came to know him. She
married a fisherman at Hastings one summer when we were staying there,
and has lived from that time to this in a cottage on the beach just out
of the town. Her husband no longer follows the calling of a fisherman,
for he is very old; but he lets out rowing boats, of which two or three
are generally to be seen drawn up on the beach close to the cottage.

The daughter of this old couple married a shipwright, and has four
children, of whom Sammy is the eldest. She, her husband, and all the
children, live with her father and mother in the cottage on the beach.
How they all squeeze in, I do not pretend to know: it is a puzzle to me,
but they manage somehow.

I had not seen my old nurse for some years—indeed not since her
daughter’s marriage—when, being at Hastings not long ago, I went one
afternoon to pay her a visit. I approached the cottage from the beach,
and entered at the door of a sort of kitchen which I found open. The
proper entrance to the cottage, it appears, is from the road at the
other side, where there is a little garden. However, I went in, and
finding the kitchen empty, went through it to another open door leading
into a sitting-room. Through this door, without being observed myself, I
beheld one of the pleasantest sights that has ever met my eyes.

The children had evidently been out to meet their father on his way home
from work, and they were all coming through the garden and just entering
the opposite door together, as you see them in the picture. Sammy
marched in front, carrying his father’s basket of tools upon his
shoulder as proudly as if he bore a treasure. Father himself was
carrying little Topsey, the youngest child, upon _his_ shoulder, who
pulled his hair and crowed and laughed all the time; while the other two
children, Mary Jane and Florence Bessy, walked, or rather jumped and
danced, on either side of him. The old man in the cottage was smiling a
welcome to them as they came in: in short every face, from the youngest
to the eldest there, looked bright and happy.

As I stood there observing, I mentally thanked heaven for the happiness
which love and good temper can bring to the poorest cottage. My presence
was soon noticed: my old nurse appeared heartily glad to see me, and
showed me her grandchildren with great pride; but I did not remain long,
for I saw that their tea was ready, and I was disturbing them.
Afterwards I was often at the cottage; but I must hasten on to describe
what first made me rank Sammy among my little friends.

One morning I was rambling along the shore, sometimes walking on the
sand, sometimes on the slippery green rocks, reading occasionally a few
lines of a book I had in my hand, but more frequently looking out to sea
and watching the fishing boats riding bravely on the waves, when I
suddenly became aware that the tide had risen quickly, and that I was
hemmed in on a sort of island. I found water in front and on each side
of me, while behind me was a ridge of rocks too rugged and slippery to
climb.

Now my life was in no danger I daresay, but the prospect of having to
walk through the water up to my knees was disagreeable. Very near me,
but separated by some impassable rocks, stood the cottage of my old
nurse, looking tranquil and pretty in the sunshine; while close by it,
in a little cove formed by a wooden breakwater, a small boat was moored.
I approached as near as I could and called for help. Presently little
Sammy made his appearance in answer to my cries; but instead of
returning into the cottage to obtain help from some grown-up person, he
set to work at once to unmoor the boat, jumped into it, and began
paddling along with a single oar round the breakwater and the rocks to
where I stood.

I was in an agony of fear lest he should be carried out to sea, for he
was certainly too little and too weak to have made head against any
current or wind that there might be. However, the boat soon touched the
sand close to me. I scrambled in, getting very wet the while, and then
by our united efforts we got her off again and paddled her round to her
own little harbour.

Once in safety, I exclaimed: “Oh, Sammy, how dangerous for you to come
alone! why didn’t you call somebody?”

“I thought you’d drown furst,” said Sammy, with a grin; “but
grandfather’s ill and father’s out, so I wor the only man at home, yer
see.”

“And a true little man you are,” said I to my friend Sammy; and I am
sure my little readers think so too.

    [Illustration: Beached boat]



                             _PUZZLE-PAGE._


    [Illustration: Puzzle images]

Now, dear children, see if you can find out this puzzle page. One of
these objects begins with a B, one with C, one with F, one with K, one
with M, and one with P.

    [Illustration: Rabbits]



                              THE RABBITS.


_Cheerfully. mf._

                                   1.
  Come out, little rabbits here’s something to eat:
  The birds are all singing their music is sweet.
  The morning is lovely with sunshine and shade;
  Come out, little rabbits, and be not afraid.

                                   2.
  Some nice water-cresses we have for you here,
  Some bran and some clover, so come, do not fear;
  The dog will not harm you, the cat is away,
  Come Bunnie, come Minnie, for food and for play.



                       A STORY OF A WOODEN HORSE.


                              CHAPTER IX.
       A FRIENDLY PARTY.—WHAT ADRIENNE DID WITH HER TEN PIECES OF
              GOLD.—UNEXPECTED VISITORS.—A HAPPY MEETING.

    [Illustration: Decorative W]

We must suppose that an interval of a year and a half has passed since
the events happened which I related in the last chapter. The family of
de Roisel are staying at Paris, as usual during the winter; and this
chapter opens on a certain day, soon after Christmas, when they had
guests to dinner. Eusèbe, and his father and mother, were there; also
Adrienne Fallachon, accompanied by her father and her English governess.
Maurice had met Adrienne again in the Luxembourg gardens, and at length
the two families had become acquainted.

The dinner was in the middle of the day on account of the children, and
afterwards, to amuse them as they sat round the fire, a singular sort of
game was introduced. All were to confess in turn such faults or follies
as they were conscious of in themselves, and to relate what bad, or
silly, or ridiculous actions these faults had led them into,—it being
understood that the grown-up people were only to speak of the faults and
follies of their childhood.

They had just settled down to the game when Mr. Duberger came in. He
joined in it at once, and related, with great goodnature and perfect
candour and simplicity, a multitude of absurdities and mistakes which he
had committed in complete innocence, but through negligence and absence
of mind. He made every one laugh heartily at his stories.

Eusèbe was the only one of the party who had nothing to relate, for he
knew of no imperfection in himself. Some of those present tried to help
his memory a little; but no! he could remember no fault he had ever
committed. He recollected, and related, only deeds of heroism, which did
not fail to cause a slight astonishment in his hearers.

Adrienne, who, under the watchful care of her governess, had much
improved in character since we knew her before, spoke of her own caprice
and selfishness; and said she always should consider she had caused the
misfortunes which befell Cressida, through refusing to give her ten
pieces of gold to the poor woman.

“And what did you do at last with those ten napoleons?” asked Mr.
Duberger.

Miss Henriette, the English governess, replied for Adrienne: “To tell
you that, sir,” she said, “would not be keeping to our game.”

“But I can tell you what she did with them,” said Maurice. “When she
went home that day, she had such a scolding from Miss Henriette for her
hardness of heart, that she was very sorry indeed, and I have heard she
cried a good deal. Well, a day or two afterwards a poor workman was
killed, in falling from the scaffolding of a house, that was being built
close by. Adrienne heard that he had left a widow and children in the
greatest distress; and what do you think she did? She asked Miss
Henriette to take her to see this poor woman, and gave her the ten
napoleons. I know too that she has often been kind to poor people since,
and given away her pocket-money.”

“It is all quite true,” said Adrienne’s father. “I should have told you
of it long ago, but Adrienne made me promise that I would not.”

The little girl blushed, and her governess, who was sitting by her, took
her hand; but at this moment the general attention was drawn in another
direction. A servant came into the room, and spoke in a low voice to
Mrs. de Roisel, who replied aloud: “Ask them to come in here, of
course.”

The next moment the servant announced Mr. and Mrs. Leopold Kirchner; and
a lady and gentleman with three children entered the room.

The name of Fritz’s niece—the poor woman whom Maurice had helped—was
known to every one present; it was known also that her husband, having
already made a good fortune in America, was about to return to Europe
with his family, but their arrival at this time was unexpected. Their
dress showed that they had but just come off a journey, and it was
evident that, on arriving in Paris, their first thought had been to pay
a visit to Maurice.

Finding so many persons in the room, the new-comers stood for a moment
confused; and Mrs. de Roisel hastened forward to welcome them.

“Oh, father,” exclaimed the little girl, “here is Maurice. I know him,
though he is grown much bigger in two years.”

Maurice was immediately embraced and kissed by every member of the
family in turn.

“It rests with God,” said Leopold Kirchner, with deep emotion,—“it rests
with God to reward such actions as yours; but if ever it should happen
that we can be of any service to you, remember that all we possess, and
all we can do, is at your command. But we had another benefactor at the
same time.”

“Yes, that was Mr. Duberger,” Maurice hastened to say, glad to turn
attention away from himself. “Here he is!”

“Sir,” said Leopold Kirchner to him, “I am not surprised to see you
here. My wife’s uncle, Fritz Keller, who wrote to us very often about
Maurice de Roisel, told us how you had become his friend and that of his
parents. It is natural that those who have good hearts should come
together, and esteem and love each other. I find no words, sir, in which
I can express my gratitude to you.”

    [Illustration: MAURICE WAS EMBRACED BY ALL THE FAMILY.]

There was an evident sincerity, and a certain dignity too, in this
language that went to the hearts of all. Then they talked of Fritz, who
had died at a great age towards the beginning of the winter; and Maurice
brought in Cressida to show the horse to his new friends. He had learnt
from Mr. Duberger how to value it, and no longer used it as a plaything.
Mr. Duberger always declared it to be the most remarkable and ingenious
automaton that had ever been made.

When Cressida was brought in Eusèbe informed his parents that he must go
away. He had not amused himself at all, and the sight of Cressida always
put him out of temper. He regretted so much that when the little horse
belonged to him, he had not destroyed it.


                               CHAPTER X.
                              CONCLUSION.

Something tells me that among my little readers there may be a
few—perhaps the oldest or most clever—who wish to ask me certain
questions. They may say to me:—

“Now what moral lesson do you draw from your story? That boy, Eusèbe,
who is about the naughtiest and most disagreeable boy that ever lived,
is left just as well off, and as happy as the dear good little Maurice.
An author can make shadow or sunshine fall upon his paper as he pleases:
then he should punish the bad, and make the good happy.”

In reply, I say to you: My dear little gentlemen and my pretty young
ladies, you must know that Providence, which watches over us from above,
does not institute special rewards for virtue, as men may do; nor has
any system like ours for punishing the bad. Yet Providence is always
just. To those who do good no other reward is sometimes accorded than
that of being good: but, in truth, that is the best reward of all. If a
man bestow charity in the hope that God will, as a reward, render him
prosperous, he is not really charitable, but only a speculator who risks
a little in the hope that he may gain much. Nor can we always see how
Providence punishes the bad. They may be rich and prosperous, yet they
may suffer from the hatred that is in their hearts, and from the envy
they feel towards those who appear happy.

But to satisfy my little readers I will leap over the fifteen years
which separate the present time from that at which my story began, and
see what has become of the principal characters.

To begin with Eusèbe. You may meet him everywhere; at the theatres, in
the park, at races, always with his glass in his eye, generally with a
cigar in his mouth, and dressed in a conspicuous and ridiculous fashion.
But you may ask perhaps what he does? Nothing: that is the only thing he
is capable of doing. With a cold heart and an empty head he has no
friendships, nor has he intellect enough even to enjoy his amusements.

That attack of the nerves which his parents always dreaded, but which
never came, was an excuse for not working at college; and when his
education was supposed to be finished, it was discovered one fine day
that he knew nothing and was fit for nothing. But I am forgetting: he
has one occupation, which is the misery of his life. His occupation is
to envy. When any of his old college companions or his schoolfellows are
successful in literature, science, or art, he is miserable. It is
torture to him to hear them praised. He does what he can to detract from
their merit and renown; and finds a certain satisfaction—perhaps a
slight consolation—in laughing at them for their application and
industry.

“How a fellow can be such a fool as to work hard in that way!” he will
say with an air of superiority.

In short, Eusèbe would like to sweep away all genius, talent, and wit
from the face of the earth, and when there remained only fools upon it,
he might be king among them. And now, my little readers, what do you
think of Eusèbe? Is he happy, do you suppose?

    [Illustration: WITH HIS GLASS IN HIS EYE, AND DRESSED IN A
    RIDICULOUS FASHION.]

You ask now if Adrienne Fallachon became a duchess after all?

No; far from it. She grew up wiser and less ambitious than her father.
She has lately married a young lawyer, a cousin of her own, whom she
loved. So she has not even changed her name, which is still Fallachon.

And Maurice?

Maurice has lately left college, where he has greatly distinguished
himself. As a young man, he is still as kind, gentle, and brave, as he
used to be when a boy; and is as generally loved as his cousin Eusèbe is
disliked. His talent and his inclination both seem to point to a
literary career, as the one he will take to; nor can any be more
honourable or useful when the writer teaches what is true, and good, and
noble. I am sure we all wish him success and happiness.

    [Illustration: Child playing a flute]

    [Illustration: Doll-house]



                           LITTLE-DOLL HALL.


    [Illustration: Decorative A]

  A wonderful house is Little-doll Hall,
  With toys, and dollies, and sweetmeats, and all;
  Up in the attic, a goodly show,
  There are three lady-dolls all in a row.

  Old Mother Hubbard and Old Dame Trot
    Are busy a-washing the linen;
  And Princess Prettypet, down below,
    Sits in the garden spinning.

  Behind, the maid, a very old maid,
    Is carrying out the clothes:
  I don’t know if there’s a blackbird near,
    Prepared to snap off her nose.
  And there stands the little maid by the well,
    And a little doll sits on the brink:
  Her name is Belinda Dorothy Ann,
    And that’s a fine name, I think!
  A little bird sits on the garden pale,
    And his voice is clear and good,—
  He’s one of the robins who covered up,
  With leaves of the berries on which they did sup,
    The children in the wood.
  Jack Sprat lives there also, and Hop-o’-my-Thumb,
    And Jack the Giant-Killer;
  And Humpty-Dumpty, and Puss in Boots,
    Likewise the Jolly Miller.
  And the nice little man who had a small gun,
    Whose bullets were made of lead,
  _He_ used to live there, but is not there now,
    Because, poor fellow, he’s dead.

  All these might you see, as plain as could be,
    And many a fairy wight;
  But this cannot be, because—don’t you see?—
    They’re every one out of sight.

  And all that you find there, children and mother,
  Have been in some fairy tale or other;
  And therefore the good little children all
  Are fond of going to Little-doll Hall;
  And if _you’re_ a good child, I and you
  On some fine day will go there too.

    [Illustration: Goats]



                                 GOATS.


    [Illustration: Decorative T]

This, you see, is a picture of goats, enjoying a feast of nice fresh
young leaves from that tree which hangs over the paling. How greedily
the little kid there, standing on his hind legs, reaches up to eat,
while the other little fellow stands with pricked-up ears and wide-open
eyes, holding a sprig of some tree in his mouth. He has heard a noise,
and is on the watch, fearful lest some enemy should come, and ready to
spring away in a moment.

This picture just represents a family of common European goats. They are
fleet, active creatures. In their wild state they delight in climbing
rocks, and bounding about at the edge of precipices, as sure-footed as
the chamois. Even our tame goats here at home are so fond of climbing
that they always get on to some high place, even on to the tops of
houses or outbuildings, when they have a chance.

You know, children, how tame and gentle these creatures can be made, for
I am sure there is scarcely one of the readers of “Wide-Awake” but has
ridden in a goat-chaise at some time of his or her life; yes, and has
sat up in state, and held the reins, and driven the poor little willing
goat too. But I trust that the little hands have been merciful the
while, and that the poor goat’s mouth has not been jerked and dragged
till every tooth in its head ached. And how about the whips? Goats’
skins are not very sensitive perhaps, but I am terribly afraid that some
little children whip their goats till they must smart again. Now if your
consciences accuse you—and I address myself to any of my little
readers—make up your minds never to be cruel to goats, or any other
living creature, again. Few things are more horrid to me than a cruel
child.

When I was in India I had a number of goats: they were kept to give
milk. I grew quite fond of them, and they knew me so well that they
would come trotting after me, baaing at me for bread or sugar, whenever
I walked out in the compound. There was only one disagreeable quality
about my goats: they were not sweet-smelling, and on that account were
not very pleasant pets.

I have been told that at the Cape of Good Hope large flocks of these
animals are kept, and they are very sagacious, requiring no goat-herd to
look after them. In this respect they are very different from sheep:
they start off in an orderly flock of their own accord to find their
food in the morning, and they return in the same orderly fashion in the
evening.

Goats are almost the only animals that will face fire. On some occasions
when stables have caught fire, they have been known to save the lives of
horses by setting them a good example, and boldly leading the way
through smoke and flame out of the burning stables.

    [Illustration: Goat]

    [Illustration: Dog]



                       AUNT TOTTY’S PETS.—TIGER.


    [Illustration: Decorative T]

The next of her pets that Aunt Totty told us about was a dog called
“Tiger.” This was what she told us.

“Tiger,” said Aunt Totty, “flourished about the same time as Moko, the
monkey I described to you the other day. He was a very big dog,
something between a Newfoundland and a Mount St. Bernard. He belonged to
my old nurse and foster-mother, who lived on a little farm not very far
from Marseilles. Her husband, who was now a farmer, had once been a
soldier, and was a brave and worthy man.

“Once, after I had had the measles, I was sent for change of air to stay
a week or two with my old nurse. The chateau, where we then lived, was
not many leagues away; still for some reason the change of air was
considered necessary for my complete cure. How I enjoyed the visit I can
scarcely tell you. I had everything entirely my own way, and of course
had a holiday from all lessons. From the moment I entered the house,
Tiger adopted me as his playfellow and friend. I loved him dearly, and
had a great respect for him at the same time, for never was dog at once
so gentle and so terrible. He would jump upon me to caress me, and knock
me down flat under the weight of his great paws, while I in turn used to
sit upon his back, roll on the top of him when he was resting, and
unmercifully pull his ears and his tail.

“He was mine to do as I liked with, for my nurse would deny me nothing,
and I chose to adopt Tiger for my own. Everyone loved the brave big dog
who knew him: but now I must come to the point of my story.

“One evening, at twilight, I was out playing with my little
foster-brother a short distance from the cottage, on the outskirts of a
large wood. We were sitting on a bank talking, and he was telling me of
a ghost which, he said, had been frightening everybody in the
neighbourhood of late.

“‘Ah,’ cried little Pierrette, shuddering, ‘this frightful ghost makes
the grown-up people run away: what should we do if we saw it now?’

“‘Nonsense,’ I answered, ‘a boy ought never to be frightened——.’ I got
so far when, to my horror, I saw, coming out of the dark wood, a tall
white figure, which came walking slowly towards us. As it approached
slowly, slowly, a cold shiver ran down my back, my eyes seemed starting
from my head, and shrieking out, ‘The ghost, the ghost!’ I ran back
towards the cottage. Pierrette—in consequence perhaps of what I had just
said—stood his ground boldly; at least for the moment.

“For my part I thought of nothing but myself, and rushed screaming into
the house. Pierrette’s father, Pierre, ran to the door, hearing my
cries, and could himself see the terrible ghost at a distance. He at
once took down an old gun from above the chimney-piece—one which, I
believe, had figured in Napoleon’s campaigns—and hastily loading it with
deer-shot, marched out in the direction of the phantom. Walking a few
steps, he called out in a voice which he strove in vain to make firm,—

“‘Who goes there?’

“The ghost made no answer, but waved his arms about in the air.

“‘Who goes there?’ again cried Pierre. ‘If you do not answer, I shall
fire.’

“Again the ghost only waved his long arms—arms which appeared to me to
reach the sky. Pierre put the gun to his shoulder, he pulled the
trigger, but it did not go off; it was old and out of order. Then a
shout of diabolical laughter broke the quiet night, echoing all around.
And I regret to say my nurse’s husband fled—positively fled; caught his
foot against a stone, tumbled on his nose, picked himself up again, and
ran into the cottage—though I must do him the justice to say that he
caught me by the hand, and dragged me in along with him.

“Once safe inside, we both thought of Pierrette,—where was he? And I
told how he had stood still when I ran away. Then a happy thought
occurred to me: I called Tiger from his kennel; and as, on looking out,
we could no longer see the ghost, we all—father, mother, I, and
Tiger—went out to look about for the boy.

    [Illustration: Dog and child asleep]

“After searching a little while in vain, we returned to the cottage,
where, at the door, we found Tiger and Pierrette lying down together
waiting for our return—the little boy having fallen asleep with his head
comfortably resting on the dog’s body, just as you see them in the
picture.

“The next evening, as soon as it began to grow dark, we watched for the
ghost, and saw it appear again almost at the same hour in the same
place. But this time the brave Tiger was let loose upon him at once.

“The phantom had only advanced a little way from the wood, and was
beginning to wave his long arms, when Tiger, without the least
hesitation, sprang upon him, howling with rage. The ghost showed no
fight at all, but at once turned and fled. In running, he got his feet
entangled in the sheets which he was wrapped up in, and fell to the
ground. Tiger was upon him in an instant, and the ghost cried for mercy.

“Pierre and some other peasants came to the rescue, when they found that
they had been so frightened only by one of themselves—a drunken, idle
fellow, who, rather than work, played this trick. And why? Well, partly
for fun, no doubt, but also in order to steal his neighbours’ fowls and
vegetables; for he thought that no one would venture to come out at
night to interfere with the ghost.

“The fame of Tiger’s exploit was so great, that he was soon afterwards
purchased at a high price by the owner of some flocks of sheep, which
pastured in the mountains; and who said very reasonably:—‘The dog who
dare attack a ghost will never be afraid of wolves.’”


  When I go walking along, long, long,
  I always keep singing a song, song, song.
    It shortens the way,
    By night or by day,
  If you keep singing a song, song, song.

    [Illustration: Tramp]

    [Illustration: Cooking dinner]



                          LITTLE PETER PRYOR.


    [Illustration: Decorative L]

Little Peter Pryor must needs pry into everything. Here you see him in
the kitchen, taking a look into the saucepan to see what there is for
dinner. Cookey looks very kind, and not at all angry. But Peter’s mamma
just comes in and says: “Now, Peter, I will not have you prying; you
have no business here; go out of the kitchen directly.”

Peter drops the lid of the saucepan, scalds his fingers, slips from the
stool, and scrapes his chin. I am afraid nothing will cure Peter of
prying, except some really bad hurt.

One day this silly little boy got into the fireplace, (luckily there was
no fire,) and began climbing up the chimney to see where the soot came
from. A quantity fell on him, and he soon came back—not a bit
frightened, only laughing,—and said to his Nurse,—

“Look’ee, Nana, Peter hab turned into back boy!”

He thought it great fun, but Nurse did not.

    [Illustration: Flowers]

    [Illustration: Flowers]



                                FLOWERS.


    [Illustration: Decorative H]

  How stilly, yet how sweetly,
    The little while they bloom,
  They teach us quiet trustfulness,
  Allure our hearts from selfishness,
    And smile away our gloom:
  So do they prove that heavenly love
    Doth every path illume.

  How stilly, yet how sadly,
    When summer fleeteth by,
  And their sweet work of life is done,
  They fall and wither, one by one,
    And undistinguished lie:
  So warning all that pride must fall,
    And fairest forms must die.

  How stilly, yet how surely,
    They all will come again
  In life and glory multiplied,
  To bless the ground wherein they died,
    And long have darkly lain:
  So we may know, e’en here below,
    Death has no lasting reign.

    [Illustration: Healing]



                          MAMMA’S SUNDAY TALK.
                        MIRACLES OF OUR SAVIOUR:


                      CURE OF A DEAF AND DUMB MAN.

    [Illustration: Decorative A]

Among the miracles which our Lord next performed was that of giving
speech and hearing to a deaf and dumb man. This man was brought by his
friends, who placed him before the Saviour, with the earnest request
that He would put His hand on him. St. Mark thus describes the miracle:—

“And they brought unto Him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in
his speech; and they besought Him to put His hand upon him. And He took
him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers into his ears, and He
spat, and touched his tongue. And looking up to heaven, He sighed, and
saith unto him, ‘Ephphatha,’ that is, ‘Be opened.’ And straightway his
ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake
plain.”

We cannot always determine the reasons that influenced the actions of
our Lord; nor indeed is it necessary we should. We cannot doubt, judging
by other miracles, but He could have cured the man by a word, or the
mere exercise of His will; yet on this occasion He chose to touch the
man’s eyes and his tongue, and to sigh a mental prayer to His Father.

His reasons for taking the man aside from the multitude we can more
easily surmise. It may have been as a lesson to His disciples, to teach
them that they should not make a vain display of their works of mercy;
or it may have been that, not wishing to excite still further at the
moment the enmity of the Pharisees, He desired that the fame of His
miracles should not be further spread. But whatever our Saviour’s motive
in taking the man aside, it is evident that the multitude crowded about
Him, and beheld the miracle; for St. Mark goes on to say:—

“And He charged them that they should tell no man; but the more He
charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it; and were
beyond measure astonished, saying, ‘He hath done all things well: He
maketh the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.’”

The Scripture tells us that, after Jesus had performed this miracle,
great multitudes came unto Him, bringing with them those that were lame,
blind, dumb, or maimed. These poor suffering creatures were cast down at
Jesus’ feet, and He healed them. “And the people wondered when they saw
the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the
blind to see; and they glorified the God of Israel.”

Christ performed a great many more miracles, my children, than I shall
be able to tell you about, and you must read of them for yourselves in
the Bible when you grow a little older. Most of our Saviour’s miracles
were, as I have before told you, miracles of healing, and works of
mercy; but, on one occasion about this time, He performed a miracle to
pay what was called the tribute money.

This tribute was a tax levied for the support of the temple at
Jerusalem. It consisted in the annual payment of a coin called a
dedrachma—two drachmas—by every person over twenty years of age. It was
devoted chiefly to the purchase of such things as were used for the
sacrifices in the Jewish sanctuary. This tax was sometimes called “The
ransom money, or atonement for the soul,” and was paid equally by rich
and poor, to show that the souls of all were considered to be equal in
the sight of God. It was an acknowledgment that all were sinners, and
all alike needed to be ransomed.

We are told by St. Matthew that when Jesus and His disciples came to
Capernaum, “They that received tribute money, came to Peter, and said,
Doth not your master pay tribute?”

Peter, who had heard our Lord teach His followers to give to all their
dues, answered promptly to the inquiry, “Yes,” and then went into the
house where Jesus was. Our Saviour, although not present at the
conversation with the collector of tribute, knew perfectly well what had
taken place, and He anticipated what Peter was about to tell Him by
saying,—

“What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take
custom or tribute? of their own children or of strangers?”

Peter, you must know, was sometimes addressed by his first name of
Simon. Now Christ, in putting this question to him, meant to ask whether
He, as the Son of God, to whom the temple was dedicated, ought to pay
tribute for its support, as kings do not tax their children.
Nevertheless, He added words signifying that lest the Pharisees should
charge Him with despising the temple and its services, the tribute
should be paid. And He went on: “Go thou to the sea, and cast an hook,
and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his
mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them
for me and thee.”

Peter obeyed. He went and caught the fish, found in its mouth a
shekel—equal to four drachmas—and with it paid the tribute.

    [Illustration: Seated by a cliff]

    [Illustration: Child at bedside]



                       SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS:


                               MARGARET.

    [Illustration: Decorative T]

The little friend that you see in the picture is a little girl that I
knew long ago. As you can judge from the picture, her father and mother
were not what we call gentlefolk. But simple country people as
Margaret’s parents were, they had as warm hearts—yes, and as good
manners too—as you would meet with anywhere.

Margaret’s father was just an honest English farmer, and her mother a
worthy active farmer’s wife, while little Margaret herself was the
perfection of a merry country girl. She was up early to help her mother
in the morning. She would rise at cock-crow, wash and dress herself,
make her own bed, and then kneel down, as we see her in the picture, and
say her prayers. And if it was summer, the sun, in rising would cast his
slanting rays in at the window, and gild her pretty head the while with
his soft light.

I had been very ill, and went down to stay at the farm to get strong and
well again. In fact I took a lodging there for a short time. But I
already knew the people, for I had once lived in the neighbourhood. It
was the month of October when I went down, after having been long
confined to my sick room in London; and I can remember now how beautiful
the woods looked, as I drove from the station up the hill to the
farm-house. The leaves of the oak were already mellowing into bronze;
the beeches were changing to a deep orange; and here and there the pale
yellow of the chestnut showed in relief against the dark green of the
unchanging fir. The whole landscape glowed in the warm lights and
shadows of autumn colouring.

The old farm-house was perfect in point of cleanliness and comfort. I
soon regained my health and strength, and was beginning to think of
returning home again, when the sad event happened which I am going to
tell you of.

Little Margaret used to wander in and out, and round about, near her
father’s farm, just as she pleased. She was known and loved by everyone,
great and small; by the young children particularly, who would run out
of their cottages as she passed to see and speak to her. One evening she
was returning home across a plot of open ground near the farm, when she
saw, drawn up out of the road, one of those houses on wheels which
gipsies travel about in. A woman stood outside with a little brown baby
in her arms; and Margaret could not pass without saying a word to the
baby.

“But it doesn’t look well,” said Margaret to the mother.

“No, missie, nor ’tain’t well neither,” replied the woman; “and I have
one inside a deal worser. I don’t know what ails ’em. Would yer like to
step inside and see the child?”

Margaret ran up the steps without a moment’s hesitation, and found a
poor sick boy about seven years old stretched upon a hard mattress,
tossing from side to side in what was evidently a bad fever. The
good-hearted child said to the woman,—“I am sure your little boy is very
ill; I will run home and ask mother what you had better do for him.”

She hurried home full of the subject, and I was sitting in the garden
when she came running in. I asked the reason of her haste, when she told
me of the sick children. From her description, the idea at once occurred
to me that they were sick with scarlet fever; and the parish doctor,
whom we asked to go to see them, afterwards confirmed my opinion.

Those children, however, struggled through the terrible illness; but,
alas! our little Margaret—I say _our_ because a strong love had grown up
in my heart for the good and pretty child—sickened with the fever, which
she had caught during those few minutes spent in the fever-stricken
cart. Days of wearing anxiety and nights of watching followed. It was
heart-breaking to see the little head rolling from side to side upon the
pillow, while the pretty eyes looked with unmeaning gaze upon us all:
the voice too, that we had so loved to hear, sounded strange as it
talked in the wild delirium of fever.

After a time the fever abated, and the child became more tranquil,
though weaker. One day some sad words fell from the little parched lips:
“Mother dear,” she said, “set me up a little; I want to see out of the
window, and say good-bye to everything.”

The poor mother raised her up, and Margaret could see the soft evening
sky, and the outside world just melting into twilight under the warm
smile of the setting sun.

“Is it, as they say, mother, more beautiful there?” she whispered,
pointing to the sky.

“Where, darling?” asked her mother.

“In heaven,” said the child, “which I shall see so soon.”

“Not soon! Oh, my darling, not soon! don’t say it!” cried the poor
farmer’s wife.

“Yes, very soon. Don’t cry, mother dear.”

And Margaret was right. Only a few days more, and the setting sun shed
its warm light upon her grave.

This is a very, very sad story; and perhaps has brought tears into the
eyes of some of my dear little readers. I hardly know why I have told
it, except that my stories would not be like reality, if they were
always happy. The world has shadows as well as sunshine.

    [Illustration: Child in bed]



                             _PUZZLE-PAGE._


    [Illustration: Puzzle images]

Now here are six objects for you to find out. One begins with B, one
with C, one with D, one with F, one with G, and one with J. My little
boy found them all out in less than five minutes.

    [Illustration: Wooded lane]



                         SONG OF THE SQUIRREL.


                                   1.
  Overhead on the boughs you may see me,
    I’m off in a flash if you tease;
  And I swing on the green twig above you,
    As it gracefully bends to the breeze.
  All the sweet summer time I am playing,
    And cutting up capers so queer;
  ’Tis the happiest season for squirrels,
    The holiday time of the year.

                                   2.
  And when Autumn is dressing the wild wood
    In raiment of scarlet and brown;
  When Jack Frost comes to shake all the treetops,
    Till the nuts and the acorns come down;
  Then the squirrel’s rich harvest is welcome:
    I gather a plentiful store.
  You may know where my snug little house is,
    By nuts that you see at my door.

                                   3.
  All the winter, secure from the weather,
    I live in my streets underground,
  So concealed you can’t see my snug dwelling,
    Where I sleep from the cold safe and sound.
  Don’t you think I am clever and skilful,
    And all my contrivances good;
  Don’t you think that we gay little squirrels
    Are the happiest folk of the wood?

    [Illustration: Squirrel]

    [Illustration: Bird feeding nestlings]



                      THE SHRIKE, OR BUTCHER BIRD.


    [Illustration: Decorative M]

My little readers have, none of them perhaps, ever seen this bird: it is
not very common in England, though found in most parts of the globe.
This one we see in the picture is feeding its young with an insect, or
beetle; but the Shrike is a very voracious and cruel bird. It not only
eats insects, reptiles, little mice and such things, but attacks the
young unfledged nestlings of smaller birds than itself, and devours
them. This is why it is called by the ugly name of Butcher Bird. Fancy
the horrid thing devouring the tender, weak, and helpless young of its
own species! Poor little baby-birds settled comfortably in their nests,
waiting for the return of papa or mamma with food, are pounced upon by
these cruel creatures, carried off, torn limb from limb, and used to
feed a nestful of little butcher birds!

I never saw a Shrike but once, and that was many years ago. I was
driving with a relation of mine, the wife of a country clergyman, to
visit a sick child, the daughter of one of the parishioners. As we drove
up to the farmhouse, we met the child’s father, who was a small farmer,
coming out at the door with a gun in his hand. After inquiring about the
child, we naturally asked what he was going to shoot, for it was not the
shooting season. He told us in reply that he had just seen a grey shrike
up in an apple tree in the orchard, and he was going to have a shot at
it.

“For it be a rare bird, that it be,” added he; “this be the furst as
I’ve seen since I wor a boy, and loike enough I mayn’t never see
another, so I be a’going to shoot un.”

Although the bird is so cruel itself, I did not feel inclined to see it
killed, so I wished the farmer good morning. But he did “shoot un,” I
afterwards learnt; in fact, he butchered the butcher bird, and had it
stuffed too, and put into a glass case. In this condition I saw it. It
was a handsome bird; the general colour of it was grey, but it had a
white breast, and some strong black marks upon the head, wings, and
tail. Its size was about that of a pigeon.

There is another kind of Shrike, which is found in South America, and is
called the Bush Shrike. This bird is rather larger, and more powerful
than the European Shrike, and has a handsome tuft of feathers on its
head. It is found in forests and thick brushwood, where it passes its
time in a constant search for insects, reptiles, and the young of other
birds, which it devours like the European Shrike. It possesses a strong
and rather hooked beak, and is a formidable enemy to any creature it may
attack.

But the country in which the Shrike lives on the best terms with man is
New South Wales. There it is very common, and in appearance resembles
the Shrike of Europe. It is called by the colonists the Piping Crow, on
account of the rich and varied strain of song it pours forth in early
morning and towards evening. In this gift of song it seems to differ
from the European bird, or at least, if the latter possesses such a
merit, it has not been observed. In New South Wales the Shrike prefers
the open localities to the wooded districts, and in particular shows a
preference for those parts which have been cleared by the settlers. In
fact, in that country, the Piping Crow is looked upon as being a
particularly trustful bird,—trustful, I mean, of man. It will build its
nest in the plantations or gardens of the colonists, who, particularly
in the back settlements, do all they can to encourage it for the sake of
its pleasant morning and evening song.



                                A FABLE.


    [Illustration: Wolf outside a window]

A famished Wolf was prowling about in search of food one morning. As he
passed the door of a cottage built in a forest, he heard a mother say to
her child,—

“Be quiet, or I will throw you out of the window, and the Wolf shall eat
you.”

The Wolf sat all day waiting at the door. In the evening he heard the
same woman fondling and petting her child, and saying,—

“He’s a good boy now, and if the Wolf should come, we will kill him.”

The Wolf, hearing these words, went home, gaping with cold and hunger.
On his reaching his den, Mistress Wolf inquired of him why he returned
tired and supperless, so contrary to his wont. He replied, “Why,
forsooth! because I believed what a woman said!”

    [Illustration: See-saw]



                                SEE-SAW!


  See-saw! up in the air we go,
  High, high up; and down, down low.
  That boy in the cap’s such a regular lump,
  No wonder he comes to the ground with a bump.
  The little man tossed up so high in the air
  Has the best of the fun; it is really not fair.
  His sisters and brothers look on with delight,
  While the kitten and fowls think it quite a grand sight.
  The chickens go, “Cluck, cluck!” the boys shout with glee;
  And all seem to say: “Who so happy as we?”

    [Illustration: Flowers]



                          TINY AND THE FAIRY.
                            IN EIGHT SCENES.


                                Scene I.

    [Illustration: Decorative A]

A pretty little girl is Tiny, and she is also _now_ a very nice one, but
she used to have one great fault—she was very conceited. She fancied
herself the prettiest and cleverest child in the world, and when she was
with other little girls of the village where she lived, she was in the
habit of telling them very plainly what she thought of herself; which,
you may imagine, was not the way to make them like her. One day she had
a lesson, however, which, I am glad to say, quite cured her; and I am
going to tell you how the happy change was brought about.

That little girl you see in the picture, standing on the other side of
the brook, is Tiny. This brook is in a little wood close to her mother’s
cottage, and she has just been looking at the reflection of her own
pretty face in the water, and thinking how much prettier it is than any
other faces she ever sees. While she is occupied in this way, she hears
somebody laugh, and looking up, sees a beautiful lady and an ugly little
dwarf standing on the other side of the brook. The lady has bright wings
upon her shoulders, and both she and the dwarf are laughing at poor
little Tiny.

Tiny does not quite like being laughed at, but has no doubt they are
admiring her all the same. She is very much astonished, though; when she
hears the lady say:—

    [Illustration: Child, lady, and dwarf]

“Well, Tiny, I suppose you think yourself quite perfect. You are a vain
little creature; and if you remain through life the same, nobody will
love you, and you will never be happy: I will help you to become wiser.
I am going to give you a pair of wings, with which you will be able to
fly about, and see and hear a great deal which will serve as a useful
lesson to you. The wings will only last till sunset, but you will have
time to find out that there is vanity in others as well as yourself, and
to judge how silly it is.”

After saying this, the fairy with her attendant dwarf disappear. But
Tiny feels a strange pricking at her shoulders, and presently finds
herself raised up from the ground by a pair of wings, which have grown
out suddenly. She was always small for her age; and that is the reason
she is called Tiny; but now she discovers that she has become no bigger
than a little bird.

    [Illustration: Child and giant owl]


                               Scene II.

After flying a little way, she settles down among some pretty wild
flowers, and finds herself close to a large owl. “What are you?” he
says, for he cannot see well in the daylight. “Please, sir, I’m a little
girl, only a good fairy has given me wings, that I may see the world,
and grow wiser.” “Ha, ha, ha!” laughs the owl, “see the world indeed!
Why, I’ve lived in the same barn all my life, and I’m the wisest bird
there is; everybody knows that.”

“What a conceited, stupid old thing!” says Tiny to herself as she flies
away.

    [Illustration: Child, stork, and kangaroo]


                               Scene III.

Presently she sees a stork and a kangaroo, who appear to be at high
words. “What an enormous tail you’ve got!” says the stork to the
kangaroo; “and are those little bits of things your forelegs? Why, you
are perfectly ridiculous.” The kangaroo replies: “Silly bird! my form is
perfect, and my beautiful tail is a wonder in itself, for it helps me to
take my immense leaps. Go away to your swamp, and hide your own long
sticks of legs, do.”

“That’s pretty well on both sides,” thinks Tiny; “each considers himself
the most beautiful animal in the world.”

    [Illustration: Frog and fish]


                               Scene IV.

“Croak! croak!” cries a frog, squatting on the bank of a stream; and the
sound attracts Tiny. At the same moment, a fish, popping his nose out of
the water, exclaims, “Stop that horrid noise! I can’t get my little ones
to sleep.” “Don’t bother me about your little ones,” says the frog; “and
why don’t you come out of the water if you’ve anything to say? But
you’ve no legs: you’ve nothing to stand upon: you are an imperfect
creature.” The fish rejoins, “As for you, you only hop; and when you are
in the water, why don’t you swim gracefully, like me?”

    [Illustration: Child, cat, and hare]


                                Scene V.

Next Tiny alights on a terrace in a garden, where she sees a pretty
white cat. Tiny calls, “Puss, puss!” when immediately out pops from
among some cabbages a pert young hare. “Did you call?” he inquires.
“You!” says the cat contemptuously, “are you Puss?” “Yes, indeed, I am
called Puss by a great many people.” “Why, where is your tail, if you
are a cat?” “Tail! pooh! what does a tail matter? Look at my fine long
ears!”

“Just like the others,” thinks Tiny, as she flies away; “always
quarrelling; and always praising themselves.”

    [Illustration: Ostrich and toucan]


                               Scene VI.

Here we have an ostrich and a toucan. I think Tiny must have flown a
long way to meet with these strange birds: but she finds that they are
quarrelling like all the rest. The toucan is mocking the ostrich,
because, with all its feathers, it cannot fly; and the ostrich laughs at
the toucan for its enormous beak.

“I wish they wouldn’t all find fault with each other so much,” Tiny
begins to think; “I am sure the ostrich is very beautiful, and I daresay
the toucan has some good qualities, though his nose is rather
ridiculous.”

    [Illustration: Penguin and eagle]


                               Scene VII.

Then Tiny must have flown to a colder country, for here are a penguin
and an eagle. “A nice cool breeze here!” says the penguin to Tiny, as he
flaps his little wings, which look like leather. “Don’t waste your time
in such company, little girl,” says the eagle; “that half-bird,
half-fish is a disgrace to the family of birds, of which I am king.” “I
may be humble and ugly,” rejoins the penguin, “but he is a bird of prey,
without kindness or pity.”

The eagle looks so fierce at this retort that Tiny thinks it wise to fly
away.

    [Illustration: Grasshopper and mole]


                              Scene VIII.

Tiny remembers now that the fairy had said her wings would last only
till sunset, so she thinks it is time to fly towards home; for the sun
is getting low already. You see, they are fairy wings, so she can fly
just as fast as she pleases; and in a few minutes she alights in the
wood, near the spot she had started from.

The first thing she sees, close to her in the long grass, is a handsome
grasshopper. “How d’ye do, dear?” chirps he. “I am very glad to see you,
for I am bored to death with the conversation of this stupid mole.” As
he speaks, he points out to Tiny the mole’s nose just peeping out of a
molehill. “You see,” he continues, “instead of being like me, instead of
having bright sparkling eyes, and wearing a splendid green coat, all
over gold, he is a very poor creature, with scarcely any eyes at all;
and he spends his time almost always under ground, so of course he knows
nothing, and is very dull company.” “What good do _you_ do, with your
green coat and gilding?” replies the mole. “You do nothing but chirp,
while I devour the vermin that would eat up the roots of the corn. So
that, although buried, I am useful to others.”

“Certainly the mole has the best of the argument there,” thinks Tiny. At
that moment the sun goes down: Tiny’s wings drop off on to the ground,
and at once shrivel up and disappear; she recovers, too, her natural
size. Then she sees her mother’s cottage through the trees, and a candle
just lighted is burning in the window.

As she walks towards it, she talks to herself as if she were somebody
else. “Now, Miss Tiny,” she begins, and she touches her own breast with
the point of her finger as she speaks,—“now, Miss Tiny, let us think a
little. The good fairy told you you should learn a lesson and grow wise.
Let us see what you have learnt. All these creatures are more or less
conceited, and, just because they are so, they are always quarrelling;
and how disagreeable and ridiculous they make themselves, to be sure! I
wonder if Miss Tiny is as disagreeable and absurd as they are? If she
is, she won’t be so any more. From this day, she will always try to see
whatever there is that’s good and nice and pretty in everybody else, and
make the most of it.”

Tiny keeps to her resolution; the consequence is, that everybody loves
her, and she is happier than ever she has been before.

    [Illustration: Eating a tiny house]



                             NURSERY RHYME.


  There was an old woman called Nothing-at-all,
  Who lived in a dwelling exceedingly small;
  A man stretched his mouth to its utmost extent,
  And down at one gulp house and old woman went.

  The man he was troubled with terrible pain,
  And wished the old woman and house up again;
  He groaned and he yelled, but could get no relief,
  And he died of his gluttony, ’tis my belief.

    [Illustration: Child in bath]



                       GETTING UP IN THE MORNING.


    [Illustration: Decorative U]

“Unpleasant!” says the Sponge, “very unpleasant to be squeezed like
this.”

“Nonsense, you stupid thing,” says the water; “what are you made for I
should like to know, if not to be squeezed. You are not nice soft,
lukewarm water like me.”

“Don’t talk so much, but mind your own business, and think how I go on
rubbing,” says the soapy Flannel; “rub, rub! if I didn’t rub so hard we
should never make a clean little girl.”

“I am glad to say that this little ear is quite clean now,” says the
Towel, slyly; “now we have only the other one to do. I have rubbed the
little pink cheeks till they glow again.”

    [Illustration: Washing a child]

“First this little right shoulder, and then the left,” says the little
clean shirt. “How white and dimpled they are! it is quite a pleasure to
touch them: I think they must belong to a very good child.”

“Well, we haven’t got any thinner either in the night,” exclaim the
socks to the little round fat waddling legs.

“Come, come, come, little horse, and be shod!” say the shoes.

Up comes the brush, bristling finely. “Let me see what I can do here,”
says he; and soon the pretty golden locks are disentangled. And comb
giving his assistance, a nice parting is made, and then Brush says, “I
think we have done our work very nicely.”

“Over the head without spoiling the pretty curls,” says the Petticoat.
“Yes, that’s the way we do it.”

“Now I’m coming!” says the little Frock, like a person of importance for
whom all the rest have been waiting. It knows quite well it is a pretty
blue frock, all trimmed with braid, and that the little child chose the
stuff to make it; and that it is her favourite frock.

    [Illustration: Dressing a child]

“Now, if you please, I must come, for I am quite as important, if not so
gay as you,” says the pinafore; “besides, I have two little pockets.”

“I live in one,” says the Pocket-handkerchief, “and before I get into
it, I should like very much to know if the little nose is quite nice and
tidy.”

Mr. Pocket-handkerchief being quite satisfied, a chorus of voices shout,
“All ready now!”

“Ah! but here is a tear, a stupid little tear, on my darling’s face.
Never mind, I’ll kiss it off,” says Mamma, who came into the nursery at
that minute.

    [Illustration: Clean child]

    [Illustration: Country scene at dusk]



                             AFTER SUNSET.


    [Illustration: Decorative T]

  The sun has set, the sky is calm,
    And yonder uplands dim,
  With all the little trees, stand out
    A sharp and fringe-like rim.

  A roll of clouds like indigo
    Hangs in the lower sky,
  All edged above with crimson fire,
    And piled up gloriously.

  And far behind are flakes and flaws,
    And streaks of purest red;
  And feathery dashes, paling slow,
    Still linger overhead.

  And far, far off—how far it looks!—
    The sky is green and clear,
  And still in front a little flight
    Of black clouds saileth near.

  Oh! wondrous sight! oh! joyous hour!
    Ye workmen passing by,
  Why stay ye not your boisterous mirth
    To gaze upon the sky?

  Ye merry children playing near,
    Why stop ye not your play,
  To see how God with glory crowns
    The closing of the day?

  Oh! would that they whose weary minds
    The things of sense enthral,
  Upon whose lives but scanty rays
    Of grace and beauty fall,—

  Would that they knew what noble store
    Of purest joy and love
  Is given to bless the poor man’s lot,
    And lift his heart above.

    [Illustration: Lepers healed]



                          MAMMA’S SUNDAY TALK.
                        MIRACLES OF OUR SAVIOUR:


                           TEN LEPERS HEALED.

    [Illustration: Decorative O]

One of the most common faults—or rather, I should say, one of the most
common sins—that we meet with in the world, is that of ingratitude. Some
are ungrateful from pride or conceit, thinking that the kindnesses or
services of others are due to them of right. But most people are
ungrateful simply from thoughtlessness: yet this very
thoughtlessness—the want of thought for others—has its root in what is
the foundation of all faults—selfishness.

Even in dumb creatures—from whom, by the way, we may often learn good
lessons—we seldom see ingratitude. If you are kind and gentle to a dog
or cat, a horse or bird, it will be thankful, and generally manage in
its own fashion to make you understand its gratitude. My darling
children, never be ungrateful! Be grateful to God first of all—be
grateful to God for everything. Be grateful to your father and mother;
and be grateful also to all those who show so many kindnesses to you.
Never forget to thank them both with heart and lip.

I am going to tell you to-day of an instance of man’s ingratitude: not
that of man to man, but of ingratitude to our Lord Jesus Christ.

We are told by St. Luke that,—“It came to pass as Jesus went to
Jerusalem, He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as He
entered into a certain village, there met Him ten men that were lepers,
which stood afar off; and they lifted up their voices, and said, ‘Jesus,
Master, have mercy on us.’ And when He saw them, He said unto them, ‘Go,
show yourselves unto the priests.’ And it came to pass that, as they
went, they were cleansed.”

I must tell you that this leprosy, with which these poor people were
afflicted, was a terrible disease common among the Jews at that time. It
was a disease of the skin, which was hereditary, and also was caught by
contagion. Hence those afflicted with it were prohibited by strict laws
from associating with other people. They might not enter the walled
cities at all, and in the villages they were obliged to live apart from
the other inhabitants. You see these lepers “stood afar off” while they
cried out to Jesus for mercy.

We must suppose that before anyone recovering from the leprosy was
allowed to associate with his fellow-citizens, he had to go before the
priests, that they should pronounce him cured; and this explains the
injunction of our Saviour—“Go, show yourselves to the priests.” The
lepers had faith, and turned at once to obey. They had scarcely moved a
step when the change in their condition seems to have taken place; and
we may imagine their joy and surprise, on looking at each other, to see
the ghastly and loathsome hue of the leprous skin change for the bloom
and freshness of health. But now we come to the sad instance of
ingratitude.

St. Luke goes on to tell us—still speaking of the lepers:—“And one of
them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice
glorified God; and fell down on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving Him
thanks.”

Thus we find, out of these ten, one only showed himself grateful, and
thought, before aught else, of glorifying God, and giving thanks to
Jesus. The other nine, in their joy at the blessing which had just been
bestowed upon them, forgot the Bestower of that blessing. They hastened
on, thinking only of their own good fortune, and eager to make known
their recovery to the priests, that they might be restored to
communication with their fellow men.

Our Saviour only remarked upon this instance of ingratitude:—“Were there
not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?”

    [Illustration: Open book]

    [Illustration: Shipwrecked child]



                       SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS:


                                Charlie.

    [Illustration: Decorative I]

I made the acquaintance of my little friend Charlie under very unusual
and startling circumstances. When I saw him for the first time he was
situated as you see him in the picture. I saw a lad about thirteen years
of age, clinging desperately, for very life, to the topmast of a sunken
ship in the British Channel. I will tell you how it happened.

I must go back nearly twenty years;—indeed, I ought to explain that
Charlie was a little friend of mine a long time ago; now he’s a grown-up
man. Well, twenty years ago I was not very old myself; but my sister,
who is some years older than I am, was already married, and her husband
was very fond of yachting. They lived, during a great part of the year,
in the Isle of Wight, and there I often used to go to stay with them.

The “Swallow”—that was the name of my brother-in-law’s yacht—was a
beautiful boat, and many happy hours have I passed on board her, as she
skimmed merrily over the sparkling water. I delighted to sit on deck,
watching the fishing-boats as they rode bravely from wave to wave; or
sometimes wondering at some large ship, as it passed by, on which men
live for weeks and months without ever touching land. We used to sail
long distances, and occasionally be out for several days and nights
together. My brother-in-law’s skipper could tell me what country almost
every vessel that we saw was bound for. Some were sailing to climates
where the heat is so great that our most sultry summer in England is
comparatively cold; others were off northward, perhaps whale-fishing,
where they would see huge icebergs, and hear the growling of the polar
bears.

We were taking our last cruise of the season: it was already near the
end of October, and the weather was becoming stormy. Passing out of the
Solent into the Channel, we found the sea much rougher than we expected;
and as night came on it blew a regular gale. The wind and sea roared,
the rain poured down in torrents, and the night seemed to me to be the
darkest I had ever known. But on board the “Swallow” we had no fear; we
trusted to the seamanship of our skipper and the goodness of our vessel,
and went to bed with minds as free from fear as if the sea were smooth
and the sky clear.

I awoke just as dawn was breaking, dressed quickly, and throwing a
water-proof cloak over me, popped my head up the companion-ladder to see
how things looked. The old skipper was on deck; he had not turned in
during the night. I wished him good-morning, and he remarked, in return,
that the wind was going down, he thought. Looking at the sea, I observed
two or three large fragments of wood floating near, and they attracted
his notice at the same moment.

“Has there been a wreck, captain?” I asked, with a feeling of awe.

“That’s about what it is, miss,” answered the old seaman.

“Do you think the people are drowned?” I inquired anxiously.

“Well,” replied Captain Bounce, casting, as I thought, rather a
contemptuous glance at me, “people don’t in general live under water,
miss.”

“Perhaps they may have had boats,” I said meekly. “Do you think boats
could have reached the shore in such a storm?”

“Well,” answered the old captain, “they might have had boats and they
mightn’t; and the boats, supposing they had ’em, might have lived
through the storm, and at the same time they mightn’t.”

This was not giving me much information, and I thought to myself that my
friend the skipper did not seem so much inclined for a chat as usual; I
turned to look at the sea in search of more pieces of wreck, when I
discovered, in the distance, a dark speck rising out of the water. I
pointed it out to the skipper at once, who took his glass out of his
pocket, and, after looking through it for a moment, exclaimed,—

“There’s something floating there, and a man clinging to it, as I’m
alive!”

As he spoke, my brother-in-law came on deck, and also took a look
through the telescope. Then he, the captain, and every sailor on board
became eager and excited; you would have thought it was some dear friend
of each whose life was to be saved. The yacht was headed in the
direction of the object, the boat was quickly lowered, the captain
himself, with four sailors, jumping into it; and, in another minute,
they caught in their arms a poor little exhausted and fainting boy, as
he dropped from the mast of a large sunken ship. We could now
distinguish the tops of all the three masts appearing above the waves;
for the sea was not deep, and the ship had settled down in an upright
position.

Poor Charlie Standish was soon in the cabin of the yacht, and after
swallowing some champagne he revived sufficiently to tell us his story.
The sunken ship was the “Melbourne,” bound for Australia, and this was
Charlie’s first voyage as a midshipman on board. During the darkness of
the night she had been run into by a large homeward-bound merchantman of
the same class. She sank within an hour of the collision. In the
scramble for the boats Charlie thought he had but little chance for
finding a place; and as the ship filled, and kept sinking deeper in the
water, an instinct of self-preservation led him to climb into the
rigging. Then up he went, higher and higher, even to the topmast; and at
last, when the vessel went down all at once, he found himself, to his
inexpressible relief, still above the surface.

What most astonished us all was that a boy so young should have been
able to hold on for more than an hour to a slippery mast, exposed to the
fury of the wind, and within reach, even, of the lashing waves. We
sailed home at once to the Isle of Wight, and wrote to the boy’s mother,
a widow living in London, to tell her of his safety. The boy himself
stayed with us two or three days. My brother-in-law took a great fancy
to him; he has watched his career, and seen him at intervals, ever
since. Charlie Standish is now a chief mate on board a great merchantman
of the same class as the “Melbourne.”



                             _PUZZLE-PAGE._


    [Illustration: Puzzle images]

Now find out this puzzle page, children. Two of these objects begin with
C, one with M, one with O, one with P, and one with S. Try if you can
find out what they all are.

    [Illustration: Wooded stream]



                           A SONG FOR AUTUMN.


_Andantino._

                                   1.
  Good-bye, daisy pink, and rose, and snow-white lily too;
  Every pretty flower that blows, here’s a kiss for you.
  Good-bye, merry bird and bee, and take this tiny song....
  For the ones you sang to me all the summer long.

                                   2.
  Good-bye, mossy little rill, that shivers in the cold;
  Leaves, that fall on vale and hill, cover you with gold.
  Good-bye, pretty birds that roam, and rills, and flowers, and trees;
  But when winter’s gone, come home; come whene’er you please.

    [Illustration: Lions]



                                 LIONS.


    [Illustration: Decorative T]

The Lion is called the king of beasts, because he is the most
courageous, the strongest, and the grandest-looking of all beasts. The
picture represents a great lion and his family; you see he has just
caught a poor little gazelle, of which herds are found in the plains of
Africa. And that, as I daresay you know, is also the country of the
lions.

Lions belong to what is called the cat tribe of animals, as do also
tigers and leopards. The members of this tribe are remarkable for their
powerful jaw, large fangs, the quickness and grace of their movements,
and for the manner in which the sharp hooked claws of the feet are drawn
back when not in use, and thrust forward when needed for action.

The colour of the lion is a tawny yellow, lighter on the under parts of
the body, and darker above. The ears are almost black, and there is a
tuft of black hair at the tip of the tail. When full-grown, the male
lion has a thick, shaggy mane of long hair, which falls from the neck
and shoulders, covering the throat and breast. He measures some four
feet in height at the shoulder, and about eleven feet in length,
including the tail. These measurements, however, are only applicable to
the animals which have lived in freedom in their native land, with their
limbs unshackled, and spirits unbroken.

The lioness is a smaller animal than her mate, the difference in size
appearing greater than it really is, because she is without the shaggy
mane, which makes the lion seem so grand and imposing. But though
smaller, she is quite as terrible as the lion; and if she has cubs to
look after and protect, she is a fearful enemy to any who cross her
path.

I think it would amuse you to hear an anecdote of a revengeful lioness,
which I lately read. The gentleman, who relates the story, was out with
a party of hunters in Southern Africa, in search of elephants. They had
not had much sport, and as they were going to encamp for a day, this
gentleman thought he would ride off alone to a patch of jungle or wood
not far away, which appeared likely to harbour wild beasts. He
discovered no sign of elephants, but he found a new footprint made by a
lion. Now he had never shot a lion, and had a great ambition to do so;
accordingly, he followed the lion’s track, which of course was very
brave of him, but, I must say, I think, very rash. After a little while
he came suddenly upon the savage beast, and luckily shot him dead at the
first shot.

Having achieved this exploit, he was anxious to carry back the skin with
him as a trophy; and therefore set to work to skin the dead beast,
which, it seems to me, must have been a most horrible business. This
operation took a long time, and when accomplished, our friend the hunter
found great difficulty in persuading his horse to carry the skin. Horses
have a great horror of lions, and the poor animal probably did not feel
sure that the skin alone could do him no harm.

At last all was satisfactorily arranged, and the hunter started to
return to the encampment; but so much time had been lost, that before he
had gone far, night began to close in, and he thought it best to bivouac
where he was till daylight. There was a stream of water close by; and he
had with him a blanket, a flask of brandy, and a box of matches. He took
the precaution also, before it was quite dark, to shoot a guinea-fowl
for his supper. Then, collecting a quantity of dry wood, he piled it up
in a circle, leaving space enough inside for himself, his horse, and the
skin. Setting fire to the wood, he considered himself safe from any
attack of wild beasts within this magic circle of fire, and made himself
comfortable for the night. He cooked and ate his supper, and then, lying
down by the side of his horse, soon began to doze.

Presently he was disturbed by a loud snort from his horse. He rose up,
and kicking the burning wood together with the heel of his boot, made a
brighter blaze, and distinctly saw the head of an old lioness looking
through the surrounding bushes. She was gone in an instant, but you may
be sure the hunter did not go to sleep again. He suspected at once that
she was the widow of the lion he had killed, and that she had followed
the scent of his skin to be revenged upon his murderer.

Our hunter made his fire burn as brightly as he could, and remained upon
the watch for the lioness. He thought he could see her again among the
bushes, and seizing a piece of burning wood, threw it at her; then he
detected her slinking away into the darkness. He did not fire, for he
saw too imperfectly to be sure of his aim. Not long afterwards he
suddenly heard a terrific roar, and at the same moment some large body
flew through the air close to him. Then followed a crash, and the hunter
saw his poor horse knocked down, as if shot, beneath the weight of the
lioness, who stood on him, tearing at him and growling. The hunter
fired: the first shot wounded her, the second killed; but she had so far
revenged the lion’s death that she had killed the horse.

The hunter now had her skin as well as the lion’s, which must have been
a satisfaction to him. He set to work to skin her at once, and then
buried both skins in the ground that they might not be eaten or damaged
by prowling animals, while he trudged back on foot to the encampment. In
the afternoon he returned in a waggon, and fetched away both skins,
which he kept as trophies.

My own experience of a lioness is of a very different sort to this, as
my acquaintance with either lions or lionesses has been made only at the
Zoological gardens. But I remember a few years ago there was a dear old
lioness there, who had five little cubs; and I can only say her kindness
and tenderness to her young ones would have afforded a good example to
many mothers.

I will tell you another anecdote about a lion. It is related of a lion
of the Zoological gardens, who died there of inflammation of the lungs
many years ago. Sir Edwin Landseer was then just rising into fame as a
painter of animals, and a friend of his suggested to the manager of the
gardens, that the dead lion should be sent to Sir Edwin, in case he
might like to paint it.

So one morning, just at daylight, (this is how the story is told) the
artist was awakened by a knocking at his bedroom door. He called out to
know who was there.

“Please, sir,” was the reply, “have you ordered a lion?”

“Ordered a what?”

“A lion, sir; have you ordered a lion? because there’s a dead one just
come to the door.”

“Oh, very well,” said the great painter, “take him in: I’ll be down
directly.”

Dressing hurriedly, he went downstairs, and beheld the enormous beast
stretched at full length upon the floor of his studio. The artist
quickly arranged his palette, and painted a picture of a lion lying dead
in the desert. The picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1849,
and added greatly to the artist’s fame.

    [Illustration: Lion]

    [Illustration: Child and doll]



                     THE LITTLE GIRL TO HER DOLLY.


    [Illustration: Decorative T]

  There, go to sleep, Dolly, in own mother’s lap;
  I’ve put on your night-gown and neat little cap;
  So sleep, pretty baby, and shut up your eye:
  By-bye, little Dolly; lie still, and by-bye.

  I’ll lay my clean handkerchief over your head,
  And then make believe that my arms are your bed,
  So hush! little dear, and be sure you don’t cry;
  By-bye, little Dolly; lie still, and by-bye.

  There, now it is morning, and time to get up,
  And I’ll crumb you a mess in my doll’s china cup;
  So wake, little baby, and open your eye,
  For I think it high time to have done with by-bye.

    [Illustration: Child in cupboard]



                             TINY TASTEALL.


    [Illustration: Decorative L]

Little Tiny had a sad habit of tasting everything that came in her way.
This was because she was so greedy; and it was very naughty too, because
she used to take things that had not been given to her. At last she had
a lesson, which I am going to tell you of, and I think it almost cured
her of her bad habit.

One day Tiny’s mother was in the kitchen, preparing some nice dish, and
she said to her little girl,—“Run into the back kitchen, dear, and bring
me a lemon; you will find some upon the shelf.” When Tiny found herself
alone in the back kitchen, she looked about to see if there was anything
she could taste. On a shelf she saw a number of jars, which looked as if
they contained jam, or preserves, or something of that sort; so she
placed a stool, and standing on tip-toe upon it, chose a pretty little
jar, which she took down. It contained some yellow powder: she put her
fingers into the powder without hesitation, and then put them into her
mouth. Bah! it was mustard. Crying and spluttering, she went back to her
mamma, who simply said,—“My dear, it serves you right.”

    [Illustration: Child and cat]

    [Illustration: Dog]



                           AUNT TOTTY’S PETS:


                                Jacquot.

    [Illustration: Decorative J]

Here is another of Aunt Totty’s stories about her pet animals. I shall
tell it to my little readers as nearly as I can in her own words; and
they must fancy Aunt Totty seated in the midst of her little nephews and
nieces, who are all ready to listen. This is how she begins:—

“Now, my dears, I am going to give you an account of a pet I had whose
name was Jacquot. I daresay you think from the name it must have been a
monkey or a parrot. No such thing! it was a great brown bear, and this
is how I made his acquaintance.

“I was not more than nine years old, and was travelling with my papa and
mamma, and my brother, who was two or three years older than myself. We
were making a tour in Switzerland, and stopped for a few days at a town
of which I forget the name now; for you may suppose it was a great many
years ago. However, what I _do_ remember is that a fair was being held
in the town at the time, and that is how it happened that the bear was
there.

“On the morning after our arrival I came down early,—as I thought,
before anyone else of the party—and seated myself at the open window of
our sitting-room in the hotel. As I sat there watching all that was
going on outside, I saw my brother cross the courtyard of the hotel,
coming out from a long low range of buildings on the other side of it. A
minute afterwards he entered the room, and coming up to me, said with an
air of mystery,—‘Totty, I want to show you something: come with me
before mamma and papa are down; you’ll see something curious.’

“‘What is it?’ I inquired, feeling quite excited.

“‘I won’t tell you what it is; but come along and see,’ answered my
brother.

“As he spoke, he led me downstairs. We crossed the courtyard hand in
hand, and entered the stables of the hotel. I could not help looking
about rather nervously, as he led me past a number of horses and
mules—keeping always, however, at a safe distance from their heels—till
we came to the last stall of all. In a corner of this, I perceived a
huge ragged hairy ball, but what it was I could not at first imagine. I
saw that a strong chain attached it to a ring in the wall; then I
discovered that it was some living creature, for its sides rose and fell
with the breath as it slept. A man, who was lying on some straw close
by, seeing my brother and me, rose up, and said in French,—‘You need not
be afraid, he won’t hurt you.’ Then patting the creature with his hand,
he added,—‘You wouldn’t hurt the young lady, would you, Jacquot?’

“The ball uncurled itself, growled, and rose upon four legs. It was a
bear: but the saddest-looking, the thinnest, and most ragged you can
imagine. It had twenty scars on different parts of its body, and one ear
was almost torn away. I must have looked shocked and distressed, for the
man seemed to understand my thoughts, and said,—‘Ah, well! what can you
expect? poor Jacquot is not happy.’

“Then he went on to tell us the bear’s history. It appeared that he was
himself only the keeper or attendant of the bear, not the owner. He told
us that Jacquot was born in the Pyrènean mountains: he was caught when
quite a baby, and received an excellent education, being able to dance
and perform every trick a bear can learn; he was perfect also in point
of docility. At one year of age, his education being considered
complete, he had been sold to the man who was still his master. This
man, at the time he made the purchase, was the owner also of other
animals. Jacquot’s first companions were a camel, two monkeys, and a red
and blue parrot. One of the monkeys passed the greater part of his time
on the bear’s back, the other monkey and the parrot on the back of the
camel. But they were not a happy family: the monkeys and parrot bit and
scratched, and generally tyrannised over, the patient camel and the
good-natured bear.

    [Illustration: Dog and monkey]

“The owner of these animals used to take them about in a caravan from
place to place, to exhibit them; but he was not kind to them, or did not
treat them properly, for the camel, one monkey, and the parrot died; and
when I made the acquaintance of Jacquot they had lately been replaced by
a small leopard. So that the collection consisted then of a bear, a
monkey, and a leopard, the latter being kept in a strong-wooden cage.

“Just as the man finished speaking, a monkey jumped down from a manger,
and seized upon some cabbage leaves which the man, while talking to us,
had given poor Jacquot. The bear, who was enjoying his little bit of
greenmeat, objected to part with it; whereupon the monkey, looking like
a little fiend, seized upon an old saucepan which lay near, and
belaboured the poor bear cruelly upon the head and nose. Not content
with this, it jumped upon the bear’s back, and bit and tore the poor
creature, until the man took up a whip; at the sight of which the savage
monkey quickly made off into its manger again. From that moment I hated
the monkey, and loved the poor, patient, oppressed, ill-used bear.

“During the next few days I used to pay a visit to Jacquot whenever I
could get my brother to take me into the stable; and on such occasions I
always took him a present of fruit or cakes. More than once, also, I saw
him performing in the fair, and then it always seemed to me that he
looked out of the corner of his little eye as if he recognised me. There
was a knowing twinkle in his eye which seemed to say,—‘We don’t appear
to be friends in public, but we have our pleasant little secret
interviews for all that.’ It went to my heart to see how the patient
creature was knocked about and ill-treated by his cruel master, who
always acted himself as showman. Poor Jacquot danced and went through
his different performances hour after hour, with nothing but blows for
his reward. He was the principal performer: the monkey was not very
clever, and did not do much; while the only trick that the leopard had
been taught was to jump through a hoop, which was thrust into his cage
between the bars. When not doing this he only walked backwards and
forwards in his cage, to be looked at.

“One evening I had some nice cakes, which mamma had given me from the
dessert after dinner, to take to Jacquot. I looked about for my brother
to go with me into the stable, but not finding him, at last, after some
hesitation, I ventured to go alone. The coast was quite clear; there
seemed to be nobody about. I passed by the horses and mules, and went on
to the last stall, which was Jacquot’s habitation.

    [Illustration: Leopard]

“He welcomed me with a friendly grunt, and while he was munching his
cakes, for which he seemed very grateful, I happened to look through an
open door which led into a room beyond the stable. This room was
probably intended as a harness room, but I knew that in it the leopard
was kept. There was his cage, too, standing on the ground, just in the
place where I had seen it before; but I noticed, to my inexpressible
astonishment, that the cage was empty. I did not observe, or do not
remember, whether the cage door was open or the cage was broken; but the
conviction on my mind at once was that the leopard had escaped.

“In a corner of the stable was a heap of clean straw, on which the
keeper of the animals, Auguste,—the man who had told us the history of
Jacquot—was accustomed to lie down; probably it served for his bed at
night. While I was wondering what could have become of the leopard, and
beginning to feel very frightened, I heard a rustling sound, and saw the
handsome, wicked-looking head of the creature peep from beneath the
straw; then slowly it crept out altogether, its eyes glaring at me, and
showing its teeth the while. It was just going to spring when my friend
Jacquot saved my life. As I stood immovable from fear, Jacquot stepped
in front of me, the length of his chain just allowing it; and there he
stood up, exactly as a man might have done, to defend me. He gave a
tremendous growl as the leopard sprang upon him. I saw no more, but ran
off as fast as I could.

    [Illustration: Muzzled bear]

“In the courtyard I met Auguste, who had heard the bear growl, and was
running to see what had happened. I afterwards learnt that he had only
been able to liberate poor Jacquot and secure the leopard by striking
the latter on the head with an iron bar, which he kept always handy for
emergencies of the kind. The creature was stunned by the blow and
restored to its cage, but both animals were very much hurt in the fight.

“Then the question arose, how was Jacquot to be rewarded for having
saved my life? My father said at once that he should like to buy the
bear, so as to save it from further ill-treatment by its master, the
monkey, or the leopard. But when we had him what were we to do with him?
He could not be taken about with us like a pet dog. Then I proposed that
it should be bought from its present owner, and made a present to
Auguste, who, I felt sure, would always treat it kindly. This plan was
carried out; and before we left Switzerland I had the satisfaction of
knowing that Jacquot was earning a good living for itself, and for a
kind master, by its accomplishments.

“Many years afterwards I was staying at the house of some French friends
of ours near Versailles, when one of the children—for there was a large
family—ran into the drawing-room, looking very excited, to say that
there was a wonderful performing bear, which had come into the garden,
and they had now got it in the nursery, which opened on to the garden.
The bear was doing the most extraordinary things, the child said, and
would we come to see it? We elders of the party went off to the nursery
immediately, for it sounded alarming to have a bear playing with the
children. As we entered, I at once recognised in the bear’s master, who
was standing in a corner of the room, and looking on with great pride at
his bear’s performances, my old friend Auguste.

“I told Jacquot’s story to my friends, and you may be sure the bear and
its master were both made much of.”

    [Illustration: Unhappy children]



                              CROSS TOMMY.


    [Illustration: Decorative T]

  The bird that will not sing,
    The bell that will not ring,
  The wheel that won’t go round about,
    The horse that will not spring,
  And the child that won’t be happy
    With what each day doth bring,—
  Now I call every one of these
    A naughty, useless thing.

  Little Tommy’s crying;—
    What’s it all about?
  He cannot tell you why himself,
    So greatly he’s put out.
  He’s all that he can wish for,
    And plenty more beside,—
  A drum and a gun,
    And a great plum bun,
  And a rocking-horse to ride.

  Young Master Tommy does not know
    What it is he wants to-day;
  He can’t enjoy his dinner,
    And he does not want to play.
  Suppose we send him off to bed,
    And take his toys away!

    [Illustration: Flowers and scroll]

    [Illustration: Children and lessons]



                              TIT FOR TAT.


    [Illustration: Decorative P]

Philip and Rosa work very hard at their lessons. They are the two oldest
of a family of seven: Philip goes to college in the day-time, and Rosa
has a daily governess, so that in the evening they both have lessons to
prepare for the next day; and they like to work quietly together in a
little room they call their school-room.

One evening Philip had been having a game with one of his little
brothers. Tommy—that was the little brother’s name—had had a present
made to him of a bat and ball, and Philip showed him how to play. Now
Master Tommy was so pleased with the game, that when evening came on,
and it was time for him to go in, and when Philip, too, wanted to go to
his lessons, he would not leave off. At last Philip adopted the plan,
when Tommy’s back was turned for a moment, of making the bat and ball
disappear. Then Tommy began to cry; and his big brother assured him that
“Bogy” had taken the bat and ball; adding,—“But if you are a good boy
he’ll bring them back to-morrow.” So saying, off he went to his work in
the school-room.

Just when Philip and Rosa had settled to their work, with books and
slates scattered upon the table, a little figure, with knapsack on his
back, and cap much too large for him covering his head, crept quietly
into the room. They thought it best to take no notice of Master Tommy,
as then perhaps he might go away of himself; but presently, when they
were most occupied with their lessons, he suddenly slipped some of the
books from the table into his knapsack, and taking others and a slate
under his arm, ran out of the room. At the door he turned and cried out,
“Bogy’s got ’em; if you good, perhaps he’ll bring ’em ’gain to-morrow.”

Philip and Rosa pursued, and picked up the books, which Tommy dropped as
he ran downstairs. They both took the joke very good-naturedly. Philip
declared it was only tit for tat; and Rosa supplied Tommy with a lot of
old finery, for him to take into the nursery, that he and the other
children might amuse themselves by dressing up.

After all, Tommy had capital fun that evening. The children dressed up,
and fancied themselves all sorts of wonderful people: kings, and queens,
and fairies; judges and generals, and I know not what.

    [Illustration: Children dressing up]

    [Illustration: Sunset]



                             GOOD-BYE, SUN.


  Good-bye, pretty sun, good-bye!
  You are sinking behind the sea,
  But I know you’ll come back to-morrow
  To shine again upon me.

  I know that, although you seem
  To be taking a bath out there,
  You are only gone to shine
  Upon other countries fair,

  Where people like us live,
  Although they are far away:
  You shine upon girls and boys,
  And light them at their play.

  And I hope that every day
  That I see the sun once more,
  He’ll find me a little wiser
  Than I was the day before.

    [Illustration: In the tomb]



                          MAMMA’S SUNDAY TALK.
                        MIRACLES OF OUR SAVIOUR:


                        THE RAISING OF LAZARUS.

    [Illustration: Decorative L]

Listen to me, now, my darling children, while I relate a wonderful
miracle, called “The Raising of Lazarus.” I have already told you of
many instances in which our Saviour restored the sick to health, the
blind or deaf to sight or hearing. I have related one case—that of the
daughter of Jairus—where He restored a child to life; but I am now going
to describe how our Lord brought back to life a man who had been four
days dead.

In the little city of Bethany, in Judæa, lived a family which we are
told that Jesus loved. This family consisted of two sisters and a
brother, and their names were Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Now Lazarus
fell sick, and his sisters sent to tell Jesus of this. The message they
sent was simply, “Lord, he whom Thou lovest is sick.” They made no
request, but probably they thought that the kind and good Lord who had
done so many works of mercy for others, would come and heal their
brother.

When Jesus received this message, He was in the country beyond the river
Jordan, about thirty miles from Bethany, which is near Jerusalem. He had
retired to a distance from the latter city, because the priests and
Pharisees had succeeded in stirring up a portion of the populace against
Him. His reply to the messengers was as follows:—“This sickness is not
unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be
glorified thereby.” These seemed like words of comfort for the anxious
sisters; yet they saw their brother get worse hour after hour. The
Saviour came not; and at length their brother died.

And where was Jesus at the time? After receiving the message, He “abode
two days still in the place where He was.” But this delay does not
appear to have arisen from any hesitation to return to the neighbourhood
of Jerusalem. He said to His disciples, at the end of the two days,
“Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to
the intent ye may believe: nevertheless, let us go unto him.”

These words appear to signify that our Saviour was glad He had not been
with Lazarus when he was ill, because then He should have cured him, and
the miracle would not have been so wonderful as it would be now—not so
likely to increase the faith of those who beheld it. Therefore He
rejoiced that He should have to raise Lazarus from death to life instead
of curing him of sickness.

The disciples attempted to dissuade Christ from returning so near to
Jerusalem, but finding Him resolved, they declared their willingness to
accompany Him, and they all departed together into the land of Judæa. As
they approached Bethany, Martha, hearing that the Lord was coming, went
out to meet Him, while Mary remained in the house. As soon as Martha met
Jesus, she thought, doubtless, of all the people He had so mercifully
healed by a touch of His hand or a word from His mouth, and said to Him,
“Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” Then added
immediately afterwards, “But I know that even now, whatever Thou wilt
ask of God, God will give it Thee.”

These words of Martha’s prove how strong her faith was. And Jesus
answered her, saying, “Thy brother shall rise again.”

She does not seem to have felt sure that this promise was meant in the
sense of restoring Lazarus to life; but what followed is best related in
the words of St. John, who tells us:—

“Martha saith unto Him, ‘I know that he shall rise again in the
resurrection at the last day.’ Jesus said unto her, ‘I am the
resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead,
yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never
die. Believest thou this?’ She saith unto Him, ‘Yea, Lord: I believe
that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the
world.’ And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her
sister secretly, saying, ‘The Master is come, and calleth for thee.’”

It was the custom among the Jews, when anybody died, for the friends and
neighbours of the bereaved family to gather round the remaining members
of it, and mourn with them, or endeavour to console them. Mary was
surrounded by friends when Martha returned to her, and said, “The Master
is come.” St. John goes on as follows:—

“As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto Him. Now
Jesus was not yet come unto the town, but was in that place where Martha
met Him. The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted
her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed
her, saying, ‘She goeth unto the grave, to weep there.’ Then when Mary
was come where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying
unto Him, ‘Lord, if Thou hads’t been here my brother had not died.’ When
Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came
with her, He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled; and said, ‘Where
have ye laid him?’ They said unto Him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus
wept.”

Christ, the Son of God, wept with the mourners. Although He knew He
should raise Lazarus from the dead, He shed tears at the sight of human
grief.

They came to the grave. It was a sepulchre hewn out of the rock, and a
large stone had been rolled against the entrance. Jesus desired that
this stone should be rolled away. Then Martha reminded Him that Lazarus
had been dead four days. She said this because in hot countries like
Judæa bodies decompose rapidly after death. But Christ replied,—“Said I
not unto thee that if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the
glory of God?”

The stone was removed. Jesus first lifted up His eyes, and prayed, then
He cried in a loud voice,—“Lazarus, come forth!”

And the man who had been dead four days came forth, all wrapped in his
grave-clothes, and his face bound about with a napkin. Those who stood
round and beheld this miracle, were too astounded to approach Lazarus,
until Christ said,—“Loose him, and let him go.” St. John adds:—“Many of
the Jews which came with Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did,
believed on Him.”

    [Illustration: Child in toy shop]



                       SOME OF MY LITTLE FRIENDS:


                                 Janey.

    [Illustration: Decorative T]

The name of my little friend, whose picture you see on the last page, is
Janey; and I will tell you how I became acquainted with her.

One very cold day in December last year, just before Christmas time, I
was walking rather briskly in a London street near my own house, with a
certain pair of little pattering feet trotting along beside me, and a
certain pair of bright blue eyes looking alternately up to my face and
at the brilliantly decorated shops. Now and then we stopped to look in
at the windows of the toy-shops, and see the beautiful toys, and other
pretty things displayed there. And now and then we did still better, for
we went in at the glass doors, and mingling with a host of other merry
Christmas folk, bought some of the pretty things we had been looking at
from the outside. Both Lily and I would come out of the shops laden with
such a number of parcels—such a load of dolls and horses, balls and
musical instruments, that it was a wonder and a puzzle to ourselves how
we contrived to carry them all. I think my little Lily’s slender arms
grew stronger and longer for the occasion. Once, too, we went into a
pastrycook’s, and came out with still an additional parcel or two: these
were intended for the little ones at home.

My Lily and I had lately made several expeditions of this kind in the
service of a certain giant tree at home. For a long time this tree
seemed insatiable: the greedy branches never had enough, though every
day new ornaments, or toys, or trinkets of some sort were hung upon
them. But to-day’s was to be our last expedition; we needed only a few
toys to fill up some gaps near the foot of our great Christmas tree.

We had just made up our minds to go into no more shops, but hurry home
with the purchases we had made, when, in turning a corner, Lily ran up
against a poor little girl scarcely bigger than herself, though probably
about eight years old. The little girl had on a dress with short
sleeves, although it was so cold; she had a little three-cornered grey
woollen shawl upon her shoulders, and a torn straw hat upon her head.
This little girl was Janey; and my Lily, who was walking very fast, had
almost knocked her over.

As the two children recovered from the shock, I saw Janey turn her
pretty brown eyes wistfully towards the parcels of toys and sugar-plums
we were carrying; when Lily, touched at the sight of the forlorn little
girl, suddenly held out half-a-crown, which had been clutched in her
hand ever since we had been out. This half-crown had been given to her
that morning by her god-father, and she had brought it out to spend it,
but had not done so. I thought it rather much to give to a strange
child; but I said nothing, as the girl had already got the money safe in
her poor little cold red hand.

“It was my own, you know, mamma dear,” pleaded my Lily, perhaps reading
my thoughts.

“Yes, dear,” I replied, as I watched the expression of delight in both
the children’s faces: one delighted at receiving, the other at giving
the present.

The strange child murmured some words of thanks, and we continued on our
way. We had not gone far, however, when I discovered that I had lost my
purse, and feeling sure that I had left it on the counter in the last
shop we had been to, I and Lily began to retrace our steps as quickly as
we could. We had not gone far when we came in sight of the little girl
again. She was standing in front of a toy shop, as you see her in the
picture; she held the half-crown in her hand, and was glancing,
sometimes at the shop window, sometimes at some oranges on a fruit stall
in the street, seeming undecided what to buy. Just before we reached
her, however, she appeared to have made up her mind, and without
entering the shop, she trotted briskly on in front of us.

Presently we saw her walk into a baker’s shop; we passed it, but had not
gone far beyond, before she overtook us, walking very fast, and carrying
two large loaves under her shawl. Then I stopped her, and asked where
she was going.

“Home, ma’am,” she said; “I am taking mother this bread for our little
ones: they are so hungry!”

“You didn’t buy yourself a toy, nor even an orange then?” I said. “But
you have still money enough to do so.”

“Oh, I have lots left out of what the little lady gave me, but I would
rather, please, take it all home to mother. She would give us toys if
she could, but it is hard for her to give us bread, and I know she will
spend the money better than I can. I did stop at the toy shop window,
ma’am, but I am very glad I didn’t buy anything.”

And this was Christmas time!—the time, above all others in the year,
when we should help each other, in remembrance of Him who came to us one
Christmas night, and living on the earth among the poor, taught us by
His precept and example to love and succour all our poorer brethren.

We walked with little Janey to see her mother, and her home, which was
very near; and I think the readers of “Wide-awake” will be glad to hear
that Janey, her mother, and the little ones have not suffered from want
of bread since that day. Besides, on Christmas day itself they had a
real Christmas dinner, with roast beef and plum-pudding, and oranges;
and good little Janey had some toys given to her into the bargain.



                             _PUZZLE-PAGE._


    [Illustration: Puzzle images]

Now, little people, see if you can guess this puzzle-page. One of these
objects begins with L, one with N, one with R, two with T, and one with
W.

    [Illustration: Birds on nest]



                         THE DOLLS’ TEA-PARTY.


_Lively. mf._

                                   1.
  The dolls had a tea party: wasn’t it fun!
  In ribbons and laces they came one by one;
  We girls set the table, and poured out the tea;
  And each of us held up a doll on our knee.

                                   2.
  You never saw children behave half so well;
  Why nobody had any gossip to tell!
  And—can you believe it? for badness that day,
  No dolly was sent from the table away.

                                   3.
  The cups and the saucers they shone lily white:
  We helped all the dollies; they looked so polite;
  We had cake and jam from our own pantry shelves;
  Of course we did most of the eating ourselves.

                                   4.
  But housewives don’t know when their cares may begin—
  The door it stood open, and pussy popped in;
  He jumped on the table,—and what do you think?—
  Down fell all the crockery there in a wink.

                                   5.
  We picked up the pieces with many a sigh;
  Our party broke up, and we all said good-bye.
  Do come to our next one:—but then we’ll invite
  That very rude pussy to keep out of sight.

    [Illustration: Bird building a nest]



                             ASKING PARDON.


    [Illustration: Decorative C]

Cissy and Lily are feeding a little tame sparrow. The poor bird had
fallen out of its nest, and the gardener picked it up, and gave it to
the children. The little creature sits on Cissy’s finger, while Lily
feeds it with bread and milk. It is getting quite tame, puts its little
head on one side, and looks at Lily out of its pretty bright eye. The
children have had it some days: it can fly a little now, but shows no
wish at present to fly away.

“I’m the mother of it,” says Lily, “tos I feed it.” Then she adds, after
considering a moment: “Cissy can be father if she likes.”

Cissy, aged nine years, smiles at this remark, and says,—“You don’t know
what you’re talking about, my dear child; I can be aunt or grandmamma:
Johnny can be father, if he likes.”

Johnny is marching up and down the room with a gun over his shoulder. He
is two years old, and likes to be one thing at a time, so he answers in
a gruff voice,—“No, me tan’t: Donny soldar; tan’t be father now;” and he
continues his march.

“I shall call it Tommy,” says Lily.

“Teddy’s a prettier name,” suggests Cissy.

“Shan’t call it Teddy,” rejoins Lily; “peoples ’ill think he’s a
donkey.” Lily once knew a donkey who had that name.

“Pretty Teddy! Teddy! Teddy!” cries Cissy in a teazing way. Whereupon
Lily, who, I am sorry to say, is very short-tempered, raises her little
hand, and brings it down smartly on Cissy’s face. A skirmish takes
place: the sparrow flies off to a distant part of the room; and mamma,
coming in at the moment, finds voices raised, tears flowing, and red and
angry faces.

After hearing what each has to say, mamma thinks that both children have
been very naughty, and she tells them to make it up. Neither will say
that she is sorry. Then mamma looks very grave, and tells the children
how we ought always to ask pardon when we have done wrong.

At last peace is restored: the little girls kiss each other and are
quite happy again. Then Cissy says:—“Sometimes people had better not ask
pardon, mamma dear. Don’t you remember Hans Christian Andersen’s story
in ‘What the Moon saw?’”

“I doubt very much, dear, if there is any story of Hans Christian
Andersen’s which teaches us we ought not to ask pardon, when we have
done wrong: I don’t know which you can be thinking of. ‘What the Moon
saw’ is a collection of little stories, one of which is supposed to be
related every evening by the moon to a poor artist, who was fond of
looking at her from his window. The moon relates to him something she
has seen on the world every evening. But, Cissy dear, get the book, and
read us the story you are thinking of; it is sure to be amusing.”

    [Illustration: Man opening door, and child]

The book is on the table, for Cissy has been reading it to-day. She
takes it up, and begins at once to read:—

                            WHAT THE MOON SAW.
                             SECOND EVENING.

  “Yesterday,” said the moon to me, “I looked down upon a small
  court-yard surrounded on all sides by houses. In the court-yard sat a
  clucking hen with eleven chickens; and a pretty little girl was
  running and jumping round them. The hen was frightened, and screamed,
  and spread out her wings over the little brood. Then the girl’s father
  came out and scolded her; and I glided away and thought no more of the
  matter.

  “But this evening, only a few minutes ago, I looked down into the same
  court-yard. Everything was quite quiet. But presently the little girl
  came forth again, crept quietly to the hen-house, pushed back the
  bolts, and slipped into the apartment of the hen and chickens. They
  cried out loudly, and came fluttering down from their perches, and ran
  about in dismay, and the little girl ran after them. I saw it quite
  plainly, for I looked through a hole in the hen-house wall. I was
  angry with the wilful child, and felt glad when her father came out
  and scolded her more violently than yesterday, holding her roughly by
  the arm. She held down her head, and her blue eyes were full of large
  tears. ‘What are you about here?’ he asked. She wept, and said, ‘I
  wanted to kiss the hen and beg her pardon for frightening her
  yesterday; but I was afraid to tell you.’

  “And the father kissed the innocent child’s forehead, and I kissed her
  on the mouth and eyes.”

Here ended the story of “What the Moon saw,” and as Cissy leaves off
reading, mamma says:—

“Why, my darling Cissy, this story does not teach that it is ever better
not to ask forgiveness. The little girl was only silly for thinking that
the hen could understand her, and so it happened that she only
frightened the poor creature instead of doing any good. If the hen could
have understood her, as little girls understand each other, it would
have been very glad, I daresay, to let her kiss it. Besides, you see in
the story, that directly the father knew his little girl had meant to
ask pardon of the hen, he kissed her on the forehead, for he saw how
good she really was.”

    [Illustration: Reading outside]



                             A HAPPY PARTY.


    [Illustration: Decorative I]

  In the quiet summer evening,
    The children gather round,
  While granny reads aloud to them
    With voice of pleasant sound.

  A happy cheerful party,
    Indeed we all must say;—
  Both granny and the children
    Enjoy the close of day.

  Katrina stands beside her;
    Lina’s knitting at her feet;
  Karl feeds himself, and Faust the dog,
    With bread and jam—a treat!

  Even pussy and the dicky-birds
    Seem pleased and quiet too:
  I think, my little children,
    Indeed, and so would you.

    [Illustration: Flowers]

    [Illustration: Swans]



                                 SWANS.


    [Illustration: Decorative M]

My little readers all know very well what a swan is like. Which of you
has not seen the beautiful large bird sailing proudly on the water;
either on some river or lake, or perhaps on the Serpentine, or round a
pond, in Kensington Gardens? How graceful the Swan is, with its long
arched neck and pure white plumage! How grand it looks, turning slowly
from side to side, followed perhaps by one or two cygnets! The mother
swan casts sharp glances round her to see that no one is daring to
interfere with her children. Then, too, how curiously she thrusts her
long neck and head under the water, seeking for river weeds or some
water insect.

In the picture there we see two swans and two growing-up cygnets. The
papa and mamma swans, and one of the cygnets, are all engaged in
obtaining food with their heads under water. Swans live upon water
plants, frogs, and insects; and some swans get a great deal of bread
besides. Certain little friends of mine, and indeed almost all little
children living at the west end of London, take delight in carrying out
pieces of bread for the swans in Kensington Gardens. These swans are
nearly always gentle to children, and will come waddling out of the
water, and eat from the children’s hands. I must say, however, if swans
could know how awkward they look when waddling about on dry land, they
would never—at least if they care for admiration—show themselves out of
their proper element. They are as awkward and ungainly in all their
movements when on land, as they are graceful in the water. I know few
prettier sights than that of a swan moving lazily along in summer on
some calm lake or river; his reflection just broken now and then by the
tiny wavelets that he makes in swimming.

Swans build their nests on the bank of some river or piece of water, or
still more frequently on some small island. In the nest the mother swan
lays six or seven greenish-white eggs, on which she sits patiently for
two months before the young cygnets appear. She nurses them with the
most tender care, teaching them to swim, and sometimes carrying them on
her back when the water is rough, or the current strong.

I told you just now how gentle tame swans generally are, but I must add
that they are not always so. They are anything but gentle if you go near
their nests, or their young ones. When I was a little girl, and was
staying at a country house, where there was a large lake, I had a very
disagreeable adventure with a swan.

I had been feeding some swans in the morning with bread which I had
brought from breakfast. My governess had taken me down to the lake, and
we had found the beautiful creatures perfectly tame. In the afternoon,
after my early dinner, I took some bread from the table, thinking I
would run down and feed them again. I ran off alone, for they had been
so gentle in the morning it did not occur to me that there was any
danger. Reaching the edge of the water, I found that my friends whom I
had fed before had gone off to another part of the lake, but there was a
solitary one not far away, sitting among some reeds upon the bank.

I approached it, and tried to make it come to me by calling, and by
holding out the bread in my hand; but it took not the slightest notice.
Then I threw some bread to it, when I saw its feathers rising as if it
was growing angry. But I wanted to make it, either come to me, or go
into the water, that I might see it swim; so at last I threw a piece of
hard crust at it, calling out at the same time,—“You stupid thing, get
up.” It did get up, and more quickly than I expected, for it ran at me
as fast as it could waddle, hissing angrily, flapping its wings, and
with all its feathers raised up. I was a tall child of eight years old,
and could easily have escaped by running, but unluckily I stumbled and
fell just as I turned to run away. The swan instantly seized my dress in
his bill, while he beat me cruelly with his wings. My screams soon
brought a gardener to the spot, who drove the swan away, but I was
already dreadfully bruised. Then the gardener warned me solemnly never
to go near a sitting swan again: I had disturbed the poor swan while she
was sitting on her eggs.

    [Illustration: Black swan]

At the top of this page we have a picture of a black swan. I daresay you
have seen them, for they are common in England now. They were found in
Australia, and are handsome birds with scarlet bills, but their long
necks have not the graceful curve seen in the white swans.

    [Illustration: Moonlit village]



                             CHRISTMAS EVE.


    [Illustration: Decorative C]

  Christmas Eve! the bells are ringing,—
    Ringing through the frosty air,
  Happiness to each one bringing,
    And release from toil and care.

  How the merry peal is swelling
    From the grey old crumbling tower!
  To the simplest creature telling
    Of Almighty love and power.

  Ankle deep the snow is lying,
    Every spray is clothed in white;
  Yet abroad the folk are hieing,
    Brisk and busy, gay and light.

  Now fresh helps and aids are offered
    To the agèd and the poor,
  And rare love-exchanges proffered
    At the lowliest cottage door.

  Then while Christmas bells are ringing,
    Rich and poor your voices raise,
  And, your simple carol singing,
    Waft to heaven your grateful praise.

    [Illustration: Falling snow]

    [Illustration: Healing]



                          MAMMA’S SUNDAY TALK.
                        MIRACLES OF OUR SAVIOUR:


                      HEALING THE EAR OF MALCHUS.

    [Illustration: Decorative W]

We come now to the last miracle that Jesus did before His crucifixion,
and with that I shall finish my description of them. But you must not
suppose, my dear children, that I have told you all, or nearly all, the
miracles He performed.

The crucifixion itself was marked by miracles: darkness overspread the
land; the veil, or curtain, which hung before the sanctuary in the
temple, was rent in two; an earthquake tore asunder rocks and opened
graves; but all these were signs and wonders sent by God: they hardly
can be classed among the miracles performed by Christ Himself.

Our Saviour’s last miracle, then, which I am going to tell you of
to-day, took place at the time of His seizure by the soldiers and people
the night before the crucifixion. I have already told you, my children,
the sad story of our Saviour’s trial and crucifixion: I have told you
how He was arrested during the night in the place called the garden of
Gethsemane, at the foot of Mount Olivet, just outside Jerusalem. He was
there with several of His disciples, and was praying—perhaps for those
who He knew were about to inflict upon Him the suffering of a cruel
death—when some soldiers and a crowd of people, led by the traitor
Judas, approached. What followed is thus described by St. John:—

“Jesus, therefore, knowing all things that should come upon Him, went
forth, and said unto them, ‘Whom seek ye?’ They answered Him, ‘Jesus of
Nazareth.’ Jesus saith unto them, ‘I am he.’ And Judas also, which
betrayed Him, stood with them. As soon, then, as He had said unto them,
‘I am he,’ they went backward, and fell to the ground. Then asked He
them again, ‘Whom seek ye?’ And they said, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus
answered, ‘I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let
these go their way.’”

You see even at that moment Christ thought of the safety of His
disciples, and in saying, “let these go their way,” He was requesting
that they might not be arrested with Him. When He advanced towards the
soldiers and people saying, “I am he,” they were at first so impressed
with the composure and majesty of His Divine presence, that they started
back, and fell prostrate; or, as St. John says, “fell to the ground.”
This impression, however, passed quickly away; and, urged on, we may
suppose, by the priests and Pharisees who were with them, they kept to
their purpose of arresting Christ. The miracle which Jesus then did is
thus related by St. Luke:—

“When they which were about Him saw what would follow, they said unto
Him, ‘Lord, shall we smite with the sword?’ And one of them smote the
servant of the High Priest, and cut off his right ear. And Jesus
answered and said, ‘Suffer ye thus far.’ And He touched his ear, and
healed him.”

Peter was the disciple, as we learn from the other evangelists, who cut
off this man’s ear, and the man’s name was Malchus. He was probably one
of the most forward in rudely seizing Jesus: but when he was wounded,
the compassion of the Saviour appeared. “Suffer ye thus far,” He cried
amidst the strife. They were probably binding Him with cords, and He
asked for a moment’s liberty, that He might touch and heal the wounded
man.

A word of reproof was addressed at the same time to the rash disciple.
Our Saviour reminded Peter how easily He could obtain the protection of
legions of angels, if He wished for any protection or defence at all.
“But how then,” said He, “shall the scriptures be fulfilled?” And He
added:—“The cup which my Father hath given me to drink, shall I not
drink it?” He would exert no power to help Himself, but He performed a
miracle—His last miracle—to do good to an enemy. After this the
disciples fled, and Jesus was conducted bound into Jerusalem.

We are surprised to find that this miracle did not produce any
conviction of the Divine mission of our Saviour upon the minds of the
priests, Pharisees, and others who witnessed it: We can only suppose
that they had become familiar with miracles, and that those men whose
interest or pride led them to oppose the teaching of Jesus, tried to
persuade themselves that these miracles were not done through a power
derived from God. Yet the character of the miracles ought to have
removed the possibility of doubt. Christ exercised His power to do good
to the suffering and afflicted: the sick were healed; the blind and deaf
restored to sight and hearing; the dead brought back to life.

    [Illustration: Feeding an infant]



                             BABY’S GRACE.


    [Illustration: Decorative O]

Our little baby is such a darling! He has curly golden hair, and great
blue eyes, that he opens very wide. He looks up so earnestly, with such
a solemn look in his eyes sometimes, that you would fancy he had all the
cares of the world to think about, instead of only what his dinner will
be, and when it will come, like other babies of two years old. Baby can
talk nicely; he says his prayers night and morning, and before nurse
feeds him with his beef-tea, he will fold his hands, and say his grace
after her, as well as he can in his baby lisp. This is what he says,—

  “Lord, that givest all things good,
  To whom the ravens look for food,
  Deign to look on us from heaven,
  And bless the food that Thou hast given.”

    [Illustration: Reading]



                            THE STORY BOOK.


    [Illustration: Decorative W]

  What shall we read to-night?
  Of lord and lady bright?
  Of the babies in the wood,
  And the little robins good?
  Of the man with beard so blue,
  Or of Cinderella’s shoe?
  Of Beauty and the beast,
  Or, last, but not the least,
  The Belle who slept so long,
  Told in story and in song?
  When the Prince a kiss did take,
  She was “Little Wide-awake.”



                                 INDEX.


  Some of My Little Friends—
      Rosie, 1
      Stephen, 52
      Jack and Jerry, 66
      Ruby, 97
      Frank, 129
      Lena, 162
      Alec and Elfie, 194
      Dora, 226
      Sammy, 258
      Margaret, 289
      Charlie, 321
      Janey, 354

  Puzzle Pages.—6, 49, 87, 113, 141, 169, 217, 241, 261, 293, 325,
          357.

  A Story of a Wooden Horse—
      I. In which we make the acquaintance of a Nice Little Boy, and
          a Pretty Wooden Horse, 7
      II. A Spoilt Child.—Jeanne.—Maurice makes Comparisons, 41
      III. Journey to Paris.—Cressida in the Garden of the
          Luxembourg.—Maurice’s Uncle.—A Great Temptation.—Maurice
          Keeps his Word, 77
      IV. Maurice’s Father is Ill.—A Rich little Girl.—A Family in
          Distress.—What ought Maurice to do?, 102
      V. A Man of Science.—Maurice Parts with the Horse.—Journey to
          Nice.—Return Home.—An unexpected Visit, 142
      VI. A Philosopher at Home.—The Horse is Stolen, 170
      VII. Eusèbe at Paris.—How he Becomes the Owner of Cressida,
          198
      VIII. How Eusèbe Treats the Horse at Dieppe.—Maurice Recovers
          it.—The Thieves are Arrested.—Return of Fritz.—His
          Gratitude to Maurice.—He Mends the Horse., 233
      IX. A Friendly Party.—What Adrienne did with her Ten Pieces of
          Gold.—Unexpected Visitors.—A Happy Meeting., 264
      X. Conclusion, 268

  Natural History Pages—
      Cats, 17
      The Sparrow-hawk, 39
      Squirrels, 71
      Herons, 119
      Deer, 135
      Woodpeckers, 167
      Hares, 215
      Grouse, 231
      Goats, 275
      The Shriek, or Butcher Bird, 297
      Lions, 339
      Swans, 369
      Peter’s Raven, 19
      Otto in the Water-bottle, 21

  Mamma’s Sunday Talk—
      Water Turned into Wine, 30
      The Nobleman’s Son Healed, 62
      The Miraculous Draught of Fishes, 94
      The Man with the Withered Hand Healed, 126
      Stilling the Tempest, 158
      Raising the Daughter of Jairus, 190
      The Two Blind Men restored to Sight, 222
      Christ Walking on the Sea, 254
      Cure of a Deaf and Dumb Man, 285
      Ten Lepers Healed, 318
      The Raising of Lazarus, 349
      Healing the ear of Malchus, 372
      St. Valentine’s Day, 34

  Music—
      Chipperee, Chip, 50
      Come Rosy, my posy, 69
      Spring Voices, 100
      Spring Showers, 132
      Flower Bells, 164
      Morning, 196
      The Hen and Ducklings, 229
      The Rabbits, 263
      Song of the Squirrel, 294
      A Song for Autumn, 327
      The Doll’s Tea-party, 358

  Aunt Totty’s Pets—
      Moko, 56
      Coco and Marquis, 121
      Tiger, 277
      Jacquot, 337

  My Lily, 89
  The Mother Chamois and her Little ones, 91
  Do as you are Bid, 152
  The Child among the Wolf-cubs, 154
  The Giant Hand, 178
  Old Tom, 186
  Scenes in the Life of Mr. Lovesport, 208
  The Fox and the Goat, 218
  Jack and Dobbin, 245
  Uncle John’s School-days, 246
  Little Peter Pryor, 282
  A Fable, 299
  Tiny and the Fairy, 302
  Getting up in the Morning, 313
  Tiny Tasteall, 334
  Tit for Tat, 346
  Asking Pardon, 360
  Baby’s Grace, 375

  Poetry—
      The Robin’s Song, 4
      What News?, 14
      Winter, 15
      Nursery Rhyme, 20
      Christmas Time, 28
      The Fairy Queen, 37
      The Crying Boy, 55
      To the Lady-bird, 61
      Pumpkin-head, 75
      The Seasons, 88
      Children, 93
      The Summer Shower, 114
      Cowslip Gathering, 124
      “Two Legs sat upon Three Legs”, 137
      Dame Duck’s Lecture, 139
      The Butterfly, 150
      Little Lambs, 156
      Baby’s Ride, 177
      “Multiplication is Vexation”, 185
      Idle Words, 188
      Birds, Beasts, and Fishes, 206
      Mother’s Pets, 213
      Angels, 226
      Early Lessons, 243
      Treasures, 253
      Little-doll Hall, 272
      “When I go walking Along”, 281
      Flowers, 284
      See-saw!, 301
      Nursery Rhyme, 312
      After Sunset, 316
      The Little Girl to her Dolly, 333
      Cross Tommy, 345
      Good-bye, Sun, 348
      A Happy Party, 365
      Christmas-Eve, 370
      The Story Book, 376


        Printed by Hazell, Watson, & Viney, London and Aylesbury.



                          Transcriber’s Notes


—Copyright notice provided as in the original—this e-text is public
  domain in the country of publication.

—Silently corrected palpable typos; left non-standard spellings and
  dialect unchanged.

—In the text versions, delimited italics text in _underscores_ (the HTML
  version reproduces the font form of the printed book.)

—In the text versions, added brief captions to unlabelled images.





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