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Title: Cousin Lucy at Study: By the Author of the Rollo Books
Author: Abbott, Jacob
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 "Cousin Lucy at Study: By the Author of the Rollo Books" ***

[Illustration: Frontispiece]

[Illustration: Title page]

    BY THE
    Author of the Rollo Books.

  _New York_,


    BY THE



  Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1841,
  In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.


Two volumes of a series of little books, corresponding, in their
general style and characteristics, with the Rollo Books for boys,
but designed more particularly for the other sex, have already been
published, under the names of COUSIN LUCY’S CONVERSATIONS, and COUSIN
LUCY’S STORIES. This, and its companion, COUSIN LUCY AT PLAY, are now
offered to the public, in the hope that the little readers, into whose
hands they may fall, may be interested, and, in some degree at least,
profited, by the perusal of them.


    THE NEW SLATE,                   9

    A WAGON RIDE,                   23

    THE MAGAZINE,                   37

    WHERE IS ROYAL?                 48

    ACCOUNTS,                       62

    MARY JAY,                       72

    THE RECESS,                     85


    JUST SAVED,                    108

    DIVER,                         119

    A CONVERSATION,                136

    INTERRUPTION,                  146





One day, when Lucy was about five years old, her mother came home from
the city. Lucy’s brother Royal had been to the city with his mother;
but Lucy had remained at home. Royal went to drive the chaise in which
his mother rode.

When Lucy’s mother had got out of the chaise, Royal handed her some
parcels, which were in the back part of the seat. There was one thin,
flat parcel, which was partly behind the cushion. Royal held this up to
Lucy, saying,--

“Lucy! Lucy!--something for you.”

Lucy took it, and ran into the house. She asked her mother if she might
open it.

“Yes,” said her mother, “but be careful.”

So Lucy ran to the sofa, and sat down to open her parcel. Royal came up
to her, and said,--

“Let me open it for you, Lucy. _I_ know how to open it.”

“No,” said Lucy, “I want to open it myself.”

“You can’t open it,” said Royal; and, as he spoke, he took hold of the
parcel, and attempted gently to take it away from Lucy. “You can’t open
it. You can’t untie the string; it is in a hard knot. I saw the man tie
it myself.”

“Royal! Royal!” said Lucy, in a tone of displeasure, “let my book

“It isn’t a book,” said Royal; “and you can’t open it, to see what it

Royal did wrong. He ought to have reflected that it would have given
Lucy great pleasure to open the parcel, and he ought to have been
willing that she should open it, and to have been contented with giving
her such assistance as she needed. However, he knew that it would be
wrong for him to take the parcel away by force, and so he let go of it,
and sat by, to see Lucy open it.

Lucy found that she could not untie the knot. Then she looked about
to find her scissors, to cut it; for she had a pair of scissors, which
her mother had bought for her, some time before; but, then, as she was
accustomed to leave them any where about the house, wherever she had
been using them, they were continually getting lost; and she could not
find them now. Royal, instead of helping her, seemed rather inclined to
tease and trouble her.

While Lucy was thus walking about the room, sometimes looking for her
scissors, and sometimes stopping to make one more attempt to untie the
knot without them, Miss Anne came into the room. Miss Anne was a young
lady about seventeen years of age. Miss Anne was always very kind to

“Miss Anne,” said Lucy, “do you know where my scissors are?”

“No,” said Miss Anne; “can’t you get your parcel open?”

“No,” said Lucy; “I can’t untie the knot; and I can’t find my scissors
to cut it.”

Miss Anne sat down in a little rocking-chair, and asked Lucy to come to
her, and let her look at it.

“See what a hard knot,” said she.

“I should have been willing to have untied it for her,” said Royal,
“but she would not let me.”

Miss Anne did not reply to this remark, for she supposed that probably
Royal had offered his help to Lucy in some way which was not pleasant
to her.

“Should you like to have me loosen the knot a little?” she said to
Lucy; “and then perhaps you can untie it.”

“O yes,” answered Lucy; and she put the parcel into Miss Anne’s hands.

Miss Anne, who understood the convolutions of a knot better than Lucy,
and who consequently knew just where to attempt to open it, soon got it
loosened. Lucy watched her, afraid that she would open it too much.

“There,” said she, “Miss Anne, there, that will do. I can open it now.”

So Miss Anne put the parcel into her hands, and Lucy now succeeded in
untying the knot. After taking off the string, she opened the paper,
and there came out a handsome slate, of a beautiful purple color, and a
red morocco frame.

“O, what a pretty slate!” said Lucy.

Near one corner of the slate was a sort of socket, made by a
duplicature of the morocco, and Lucy observed a slate pencil sticking
into it. She pulled it out, and said,--

“O, here is a pencil; I mean to mark on my slate.”

“I expect you are going to study arithmetic,” said Miss Anne.

“Yes,” said Royal, “she is, and I am going to teach her.”

“No,” said Lucy, “I would rather have Miss Anne to teach me.”

“No, Lucy,” replied Royal; “mother said, if I would teach you to add
little sums in arithmetic, without any carrying, she would give us a

“Give who a paint-box?” said Lucy.

“Why, you and me,” replied Royal.

“Well,” said Lucy, “then you may teach me.”

Accordingly Lucy went and sat down by Royal upon the sofa, to take her
first lesson then, as they were both in haste to get the paint-box.
Royal set Lucy a sum; but, on looking at it after he had set it, he
rubbed it out, and set another. This also he rubbed out. At length Lucy

“Why, Royal, what makes you rub them all out?”

“Because,” said Royal, “there’s carrying in them.”

“I don’t know what you mean by carrying,” said Lucy.

Royal attempted to explain it to her, but she could not understand.
He told her that, when she added up a column, and the amount was in
two figures, she must carry one of them. But Lucy could not understand
at all. She did not know what he meant by a “column,” or an “amount,”
or by any thing being “in two figures.” In the mean time, Miss Anne,
who had seated herself at the window, with her sewing, went on quietly
attending to her work, until at length the conversation between Royal
and Lucy came to be almost a dispute; and she said,--

“Royal, I thought you were not going to teach Lucy carrying; but only
sums that had no carrying in them.”

“So I was,” said Royal; “but then she asked me herself what carrying
was, and so I had to tell her.”

“No,” replied Miss Anne, “you need not have attempted to explain it to
her fully. It would have been enough to have told her, that it was a
difficult process in addition, which she would understand by and by.”

“Why, Miss Anne,” replied Royal, “I think it is very _easy_.”

“It may be easy to you, now you understand it, but difficult to her,”
replied Miss Anne.

“Well,” said Royal, “then I won’t explain that to you now, Lucy. I’ll
teach you what carrying is when we come to it.”

So he went to work, to set Lucy a sum, trying to make the figures of
so small a value, that there should be no carrying in any column. But
he did not succeed very well. He made the sums so large that, although
he made all the figures ones, twos, threes, and fours, yet, in some
of the columns, the amount, on adding them, would come more than ten;
and of course there would be something to carry. At last, however, he
succeeded; and then he began to teach Lucy how to add up.

But the work was altogether too difficult for Lucy’s powers. In the
first place, she did not know the figures, and she could not remember
which was two, and which was three. Lucy tried to follow him in his
explanation and calculation, but she soon became hopelessly perplexed
and discouraged.

“Two and two,” said Royal, “are how many?”

“Three,” said Lucy.

“No,” said Royal; “four; and one are how many?”

“One is one,” said Lucy.

“No,” said Royal; “one makes five.”

“One makes five?” repeated Lucy, in a tone of surprise.

“Yes,” said Royal, “one and four make five.”

“O, you did not say one and four,” replied Lucy; “you said one.”

“No,” replied Royal, “one and four; you see we got four by adding two
and two. Here they are.”

So saying, Royal pointed to the figures which he had been adding.

Lucy did not know a _two_ from a _three_ very well; so she put her head
down close to the slate, and said, in a gentle, timid voice,--

“Is that a two?”

“Yes,” said Royal. “Let us see; where were we? We added up to three,
didn’t we? and it made six, didn’t it?”

“I don’t know,” said Lucy, shaking her head.

“Yes, it was six; and two more make how many?”

“Five?” asked Lucy, timidly.

“No indeed,” said Royal; “why, Lucy, you don’t know how to count.”

“Yes I do,” said Lucy.

“No you don’t,” said Royal; “you don’t know how to count, I verily

“Yes I do,” said Lucy.

“Well, let’s hear you count: come, begin.”

“One, two, three, four,” said Lucy, and so far she went on very well;
but then she began to hesitate,--“four--five--nine--seven.”

Royal burst into a fit of laughter. “You don’t how to count, Lucy,”
said he; “and how do you think I can teach arithmetic to a girl that
don’t know how to count?”

“Well, then, give me my slate,” said Lucy, “and I’ll go away.” So
she took her slate, and went away out of the room, disappointed,
discouraged, and sad.

As soon as she had gone, Royal’s feelings began to change from those of
ridicule to a sentiment of pity. He sat upon the sofa silently musing,
when Miss Anne terminated the pause by saying,--

“I was surprised at such ignorance.”

“So was I,” said Royal. “I should have thought any body would have
known that.”

“I should have thought so, certainly,” said Miss Anne.

“Any body five years old,” added Royal.

“Yes,” said Miss Anne, “and yet you are ten.”

“_I?_” said Royal; “yes, I am ten, but Lucy is only five.”

“Yes,” replied Miss Anne, “but I was not speaking of Lucy; I was
speaking of you.”

“I thought,” rejoined Royal, “that you were speaking of the ignorance
Lucy showed, in not knowing how to count.”

“O no,” said Miss Anne, “I was speaking of the ignorance you showed.”

“My ignorance,” said Royal, surprised. “I am sure I added it right.”

“I think it very likely you added it right,” said Miss Anne; “it was
your ignorance of human nature, I was speaking of, not your ignorance
of arithmetic.”

“Of human nature?” repeated Royal.

“Yes; to think that you could teach Lucy arithmetic in that way.”

“Why, I thought that that was the way,” said Royal.

“No,” said Miss Anne, “you began at the end, instead of at the

“How?” said Royal.

“Why, you undertook to teach her to add certain sums, and you took such
sums, as difficult as it was possible to make, and got out of humor
with her because she could not do them at once.”

“O Miss Anne, they were not as difficult as could be made.”

“Yes,” replied Miss Anne, “they were, I presume, as difficult sums
as you could make, without having any carrying. In fact, the first
attempts which you made to set sums, you got the figures so many, and
of so high value, that you couldn’t add them without carrying; so you
reduced them by little and little, until you just got the figures
barely small enough to make the amount less than ten; and thus you made
the sums as difficult as they could be made, without carrying; and this
you gave her for her first lesson. The thing which you were to come to
in the end, you took as the beginning.

“Then, besides this, I think you were unreasonable in being
dissatisfied with her. When your mother promised you a paint-box, if
you would teach her to add such sums, was it reasonable to expect that
she could know how to do it already?”

“Why--no,” said Royal, hesitatingly.

“And yet you did expect it. You were employed to go over a process
with her, which would _end_ in her knowing how to do a certain thing;
and then you were vexed and out of humor with her, for not knowing how
to do the thing at the outset, before you had gone over the process at

“Why, I wasn’t out of humor, Miss Anne,” said Royal.

“I thought you were,” replied Miss Anne; “at any rate, you spoke
unkindly to her, and wounded her feelings.”

Here there was a pause. Royal was really sorry for what he had done. He
saw very clearly the unreasonableness and folly of it. But he did not
know exactly what to do.

“Well, Miss Anne,” said he at length, “how should you have managed it?”

“I,” replied Miss Anne, “should have begun at the beginning, instead of
at the end.”

“And how would you have begun at the beginning?”

“Why, I should have first ascertained exactly where Lucy was, in her
knowledge of figures, and then I should have gone to her there, and led
her along by plain and easy steps to where I wanted her to go. You must
know that teaching is a kind of ladder-making.”

“Ladder-making?” repeated Royal.

“Yes,” replied Miss Anne; “that is, it consists in preparing a
succession of steps for the pupil to mount by, and the success of it
depends upon beginning upon the ground, or wherever the pupil is, and
then having the steps so near together, that she can ascend from one to
the other, and so get up. Now, you did not even stop to inquire where
Lucy was in her knowledge, much less to make any ladder for her; but
you remained upon the top of the house, and tried to drag her up by
main force.”

Royal laughed at Miss Anne’s singular metaphor.

“Now, I should have thought,” continued Miss Anne, “that the first
thing would have been, to teach Lucy the figures, at least as many of
them as you are going to use in the sums. This alone will take several
lessons. Then I should set her some very small sums, with only _ones_
in them, and let her add those. Then I should set some more sums, and
put in a _two_ here and there, and let her practise a day or two upon
those. Then I should put one or two _threes_ into her sums, and have
the rest _ones_. After that I should put _threes_ and _twos_ both in;
and thus, after a time, she would get so as to add such sums as you set
her just now.”

“All that would take a great while,” said Royal.

“Yes,” replied Miss Anne; “teaching is slow work; but then it would
not take so long as it would to make a paint-box.”

“No,” replied Royal, “it would not.”

“I suppose you expected that you could sit down and earn your paint-box
in half an hour, and by one single lesson.”

“Why not exactly in one lesson,” said Royal.

“In one or two then,” said Miss Anne; “whereas you ought to calculate
that it will take twenty.”

Royal said no more upon the subject at this time; but he determined to
try the plan which Miss Anne had recommended.



The next day, after Royal had finished his own studies, he wanted Lucy
to come and learn arithmetic. But Lucy did not like to come. She wanted
to play just then, and, besides, although she did not recall to mind,
very distinctly, the manner in which Royal had attempted to teach her
the evening before, yet the occurrence left an unpleasant impression
upon her mind, and she was not disposed to put herself under his
instructions again.

“But, then,” said Royal, “you can’t have a paint-box.”

“Well,” said Lucy, “I don’t care much.”

After a little pause, while Royal was thinking what other inducement he
could offer, he said,--

“Well, Lucy, if you will study a lesson in arithmetic, I will give you
a good ride.”

He meant that he would give her a ride in a little wagon, which was
bought for Lucy when she was too young to walk, and which had been
kept with so much care that it was still a very good wagon. Royal used
sometimes to draw Lucy in this wagon, and she liked to ride in it very

“Well,” said Lucy, “how far will you give me a ride?”

“O, I will give you a good long ride,” said Royal. “I will draw you
away over to Rollo’s.”

Lucy’s cousin Rollo, who was at this time a very small boy, lived at
not a great distance, and Royal and Lucy sometimes went over to play
with him. So they made the agreement, that Royal was to draw Lucy over
to Rollo’s and Lucy was to learn a lesson in arithmetic. But then there
immediately arose a difficulty in determining which should take place
first, the ride or the lesson: Royal wanted to have the lesson then,
and the ride some other time; but Lucy wanted to make sure of the ride,
and so postpone the lesson.

“Why, the rule is, Lucy,” said Royal, “always to pay when the work is
done. I’ll pay you for the lesson when you have studied it.”

“No,” said Lucy, “the ride is the work. I’ll pay you for the ride when
I have had it.”

Royal thought that the lesson ought to be considered the work, and the
ride the pay; but he couldn’t think of any good reason to offer for
this opinion, and he therefore, after some hesitation, came to Lucy’s
terms. They brought out Lucy’s wagon, and, after obtaining permission
of their mother, he helped Lucy into it, and then, he acting the part
of horse, and Lucy that of driver, they went over to their cousin

They went into a yard where there was a gravel walk, which led them
around behind the house. Here they found Rollo sitting upon a bench
near the door, trying to read in a picture-book. He had not learned
to read much yet. The door was open, and there were a couple of bars
across the door-way, pretty low down; and behind them was a little
child, not old enough to walk, who was kept from falling out into the
yard by the bars. This was Rollo’s little brother Nathan.

By the time that Royal had arrived at Rollo’s house, he had become
quite interested in drawing Lucy in the wagon, and had forgotten his
desire to teach her a lesson in arithmetic. So he said,--

“Lucy, if Rollo will go with us, I’ll draw you farther. Come, Rollo,”
said he, “come and play travel with us. I’ll pull, and you push behind.”

“No,” said Rollo, “I can’t go; I must stay and take care of Nathan.”

Royal and Lucy looked at Nathan. He was standing behind his bars,
striking the upper one with a stick, evidently pleased with the
rattling, but paying no attention to the discussion which was going on
among the other children.

“Let Nathan go with us,” said Royal.

“No,” said Rollo, shaking his head; “I don’t think my mother will let

“Yes she will,” said Royal; “Lucy will get out, and let him get into
the wagon, and then you and Lucy shall be the horses, and I will be the

Rollo still thought that his mother would not be willing to let Nathan
go. However, he said that he would go and ask her.

Rollo’s mother came out, and said,--

“Well, Royal, I hardly know what to say to your plan. Do you think you
can take good care of Nathan?”

“O yes, aunt,” said Royal; “we will be very careful indeed.”

After some hesitation, Nathan’s mother consented to let them go. She
said that she should put Nathan under Royal’s special charge. So she
put a sort of a cloak upon his shoulders, and a cap upon his head, and
put him into the wagon. Lucy and Rollo then took hold of the tongue
of the wagon, to draw, while Royal pushed behind; and so they sallied
forth from the yard, Rollo’s mother standing at the door, to watch them
as they went along. Just as they passed around the corner of the house,
she gave them her last charges; which were to keep in the smooth road,
and to be very careful about turning.

The children, promising to obey these instructions, passed on around
the corner, and turned into the road.

They went on for some distance, without any difficulty or trouble. At
last, they came to a place where a road branched off from the main
road, and led into the woods. They turned into this road, for Royal
said that it led to a place where they could get some flowers. Both
Rollo and Lucy said they should like this very much, for they wanted to
have some flowers. Rollo said that he was going to study botany; his
mother was going to teach him.

“I wish I could study botany,” said Lucy; “I should like botany a great
deal better than arithmetic.”

“Well,” said Royal, “I can teach you.”

“O Royal,” said Lucy, “you don’t know how to study botany.”

“Yes, I do,” said Royal. “The first thing is to study the leaves; you
must gather all the different kinds of leaves you can find, and press
them in a book.”

“What good does that do?” said Lucy.

“O, then you know how many different shapes of leaves there are,” he

Rollo had put his picture-book into the wagon, just before they had
set out from the house, thinking that perhaps they might stop at some
place, where he would want to look at it. So he asked Royal if his
picture-book would do to put the leaves into, and Royal said it would
do very well. And they all determined that, after they had gone a
little farther, they would stop and get some leaves by the side of the

They were now in a sort of by-road, leading through the woods; but
presently they came to a kind of cart path, which turned out to one
side, and seemed to lead to places still more solitary than where they
were. Royal wanted to turn off into this cart path.

“It will be a beautiful place to study botany, in there,” said he.

“No,” said Rollo, “we must not go in there; for mother said that we
must keep in smooth roads.”

“Well,” replied Royal, “that is a smooth road. It is just as smooth as

Royal and Lucy looked in. The road was indeed smooth, but then it was
narrow, and Rollo did not know into what difficulties it might lead
them. He was quite reluctant to go in. But Royal assured him that there
was no danger; and he said, also, that, if they should find any rough
places after they had got in some way, they could easily turn around
and come out.

So Rollo consented, and they turned off into the cart path.

After they had gone in for some distance, Royal said that they had got
to a good place to collect leaves. So Lucy and Rollo put the tongue of
the wagon down in the road, and went to the banks on each side, and
began to gather the leaves from the various wild plants which were
growing there. These leaves were of all shapes: some were long and
pointed, others oval, others nearly round; some were shaped like a
heart, some notched along the edges like a saw, and one which Royal got
down from an oak-tree, Lucy said, wasn’t shaped like any thing at all.

While they were collecting these leaves, Lucy suddenly called out to
Rollo, who was upon the side of the road with her,--

“O Rollo, Rollo, come here! here is a little squirrel! come and see

“Where? where?” said Rollo, running towards the place; “let me see; let
me see.”

Royal, hearing this call, immediately dropped a large collection of
leaves and flowers, which he had gathered, and ran across the road.
When he first got sight of the squirrel, he was standing upon his hind
legs on the end of a half-decayed log, holding a nut between his fore
paws, which he nibbled a little from time to time, keeping, however, a
sharp lookout upon the children all the while.

“I’ll catch him in my cap,” said he.

In the mean time, little Nathan, who had been left in his wagon in the
path-way, and who was yet too young to appreciate the pleasure and
the utility of making botanical collections, began to make a sort of
murmuring sound, which indicated restlessness and discontent.

“Yes, Nathan,” said Rollo, calling out to him, “we’ll come in a minute.”

Royal crept up softly towards the squirrel, with his cap in the
air, ready to make him prisoner. Rollo and Lucy looked on with
great interest, while Nathan, who had not yet learned to place much
confidence in promises, seemed still more uneasy. The squirrel stuffed
the remains of his nut into his cheek, leaped off the log, and ran
along upon the ground.

“You go and take care of Nathan,” said Royal, “and I’ll run and catch
the squirrel. You can go and help him, Lucy.”

“But we want to _see_ you catch the squirrel,” said Lucy.

“O, never mind that,” said Royal, looking back towards them, and
speaking in a hurried manner, as he crept along after the squirrel; “I
shall have to chase him ever so far, and you can’t keep up; but you
shall have a share in him just the same, when I catch him. So run back
and take care of Nathan.”

Thus urged, the two children went back to the road, while Royal went
on in pursuit of the squirrel. Lucy and Rollo showed Nathan their
leaves and flowers, and gave him a large lily to pull to pieces. By
these means they had just succeeded in getting him quiet and amused,
when Rollo saw a cow walking slowly along the path, towards the place
where they and the wagon were standing. This threw the children into a
state of great alarm; for, although the cow was really innocent of any
bad design, the children thought they saw in her countenance a very
determined and threatening expression. They thought she was coming to
bite them, or at least that she would certainly run over Nathan.

Rollo’s first design was, to look around for a stick, and drive her
away, which, on the whole, would have been the most judicious plan.
But Lucy, being a girl, was naturally more inclined to retreat than
to give battle; and she called upon Rollo to help her draw the wagon
out of the road, so as to give the cow the opportunity to get by. They
accordingly took hold of the tongue of the wagon, and, turning it short
round, began to pull hard upon it, to get their little charge out of
the danger.

In their eagerness and trepidation, however, they turned the tongue
too short about, so as to lock one of the fore wheels under the wagon,
and then, as very often happens under such circumstances, by the
violence of their effort the wagon was upset; and Nathan, the fragments
of the lily, the picture-book, and the cushion on which Nathan had
been seated, all rolled out together upon the ground. The cow paid no
attention whatever to their terror and distress, but walked by very
deliberately on the other side.

[Illustration: “She walked by very deliberately on the other
side.”--Page 33]

Nathan was not hurt. He looked a little wild when they took him up,
and even began to cry a little; but Lucy soon hushed him, sitting down
upon the bank, and holding him in her lap, while Rollo set the wagon up
again, and replaced the things which had been thrown out. Then,
while Lucy continued to amuse Nathan, Rollo went to see if he could
find Royal.

After going on for some distance, he found him returning slowly, with
his cap upon his head, and a strange-looking thing in his hand.

“Have you caught him?” said Rollo.

“Caught what?” said Royal.

“The squirrel,” replied Rollo.

“O--no,” said Royal, “but I have got a most curious-looking thing here.”

“What is it?” said Rollo.

“A kind of a fungus,” replied Royal. “I found it growing on a tree.”

Royal showed Rollo the fungus, and he thought it was a very curious
thing indeed. Then Rollo told him the story of the accident which had
happened in the cart path. Royal was somewhat alarmed at this, and he
hastened to the place. He felt somewhat condemned for having gone away
and left his charge in the hands of such guardians as Rollo and Lucy,
and so he very assiduously helped them replace Nathan in his wagon, and
turn it round. The leaves which they had collected were all scattered
upon the ground; even those which had been put into the picture-book
had fallen out when the wagon had been upset; so that, when the
children had got nearly home, they recollected that they had left their
whole botanical collection behind them. And this was the end of Lucy’s
attempts to pursue the study of botany, for several years.



Neither Royal nor Lucy thought any thing more of their arithmetic for
several days. Lucy’s slate got put up upon a shelf in the closet,
and was entirely forgotten. One day, however, when Rollo and Lucy
were walking in a little lane by the side of the garden, they found a
beautiful flower, growing near a large, flat stone.

“O, what a beautiful blue flower!” said Lucy.

“Yes,” said Royal; “give it to me.”

“No,” said Lucy, “I want to carry it home to my mother.”

“O, mother won’t care about it,” said Royal; “give it to me, and I will
press it in a book.”

“No,” said Lucy.

“And then,” continued Royal, “we can draw a copy of it, and paint it.”

“We haven’t got our paint-box yet,” said Lucy.

“No, we haven’t,” said Royal. “And that’s because I haven’t finished
teaching you arithmetic. Come, let us go and take a lesson now.”

Lucy, however, was not much inclined to take her lesson. After some
conversation, however, Royal, finding that Lucy had no inclination to
study arithmetic at all, and reflecting that this aversion was his
own fault, concluded that he must win her back again to the work by
dexterous management.

So he said,--

“Well, Lucy, I’ll tell you what we will do. We’ll carry this blue
flower to the house, and I’ll make a drawing of it upon your slate.”

“So we will,” said Lucy. In fact, she was very much pleased with this
plan; and the two children set off accordingly for the house, to make
the drawing. After some search, they found the slate, but the pencil
was gone. Royal, however, had a pencil of his own, in a little box,
which he kept under a sky-light in the garret, and he and Lucy went up
into the garret in pursuit of it.

This box, or chest,--for it was properly a small chest,--was the
place where Royal kept a considerable number of his old playthings,
especially such as were somewhat out of use. He called it his magazine.
His father had told him that a magazine was a place where people kept
things in store; and so he thought that magazine would be a good name
for this depository of his.

Royal lifted up the lid of his magazine, and there, among a great
number of other things, there was a small pasteboard box, without a
cover. In this box were several slate and lead pencils, wafers, and
pieces of India rubber; also the handle of a knife, and one half of a
pair of scissors. Royal called it his _scissor_. He said he meant one
day to grind the blade down to an edge, and then it would make a good
knife, which he meant to call his scissor-knife. Lucy wanted to look
at it, and at a great many other curious things, which she saw in the
magazine; but Royal said no, and, putting down the lid of the chest,
after he had taken out the pencil, he sat down upon it, and asked Lucy
to sit down by his side.

He immediately began, according to his promise, to draw Lucy the
picture of the flower. First he made the stem, then a little root at
the bottom of it, then a few long, slender leaves growing out around
the stalk, and finally the flower.

The flower was the most difficult part; but Royal succeeded in
representing it to Lucy’s entire satisfaction; and, when he had
finished it, he said,--

“Now, Lucy, that we are here, you’d better let me teach you one of the
figures. I’ll just teach you the figure one; that’s very easy. It’s
nothing but a mark.”

So Royal made a mark upon the slate for the figure one, and then put
the pencil into Lucy’s hands, that she might attempt to imitate it.
Lucy made a mark as nearly as she could like Royal’s, only it was a
great deal too long.

“That’s very well, Lucy,” said Royal, “very well indeed for the first,
only it isn’t necessary to make it quite so long. You must make the
next one shorter.”

Lucy accordingly made another; and she stopped sooner than she had
done before, so as to make the mark shorter than she had done at first.
Royal said it was a very good one indeed. Lucy, finding that Royal,
instead of upbraiding or ridiculing her, was pleased and satisfied with
her attempts, began to feel gratified herself; and she said that she
should like much to make some more _ones_; and Royal accordingly told
her to make a row of them quite across the slate near the top. She made
them, on the whole, very well, though some of them were crooked.

“It is very hard to make straight letters,” said she.

“Straight figures, you mean,” said Royal.

“Yes,” said Lucy, “straight figures. Crooked figures are much easier to
make. I can make a _three_. I’m going to make a three.”

“No,” said Royal, “_two_ comes next.”

“I don’t care,” said Lucy; “I can’t make a two, but I can make a three,
and so I am going to make that next.”

“No,” said Royal, “you mustn’t make a three next; that is out of order.
Besides, I am your teacher, and you must mind me.”

“No,” said Lucy, “I am going to make what I choose.”

Royal and Lucy were both wrong in this discussion.

Lucy was wrong, for the last of the reasons which Royal assigned,
namely, that he was her teacher, and therefore she ought to have obeyed
him. The first of Royal’s reasons, however, was not valid,--namely,
that, because two comes before three in numeration, therefore it ought
to be made first. The successive steps of a study ought to be taken in
their natural order, when one depends upon another. For instance, a
child ought to learn how to subtract before undertaking to learn how to
divide, for division depends upon subtraction. You cannot well divide
without subtracting. But in merely learning the forms of the figures,
there is no dependence of one upon the other, and therefore they may be
taught in any order which the teacher thinks best.

Therefore, if Royal, who was the teacher, had thought it best to have
taught Lucy to make the figure _nine_, or _eight_, or the _cipher_,
next to one, because he supposed that those characters would be more
easy for Lucy to form, it would not have been at all improper; and
therefore his argument, that two ought to be made next to one, simply
because it comes next to it as a number, was not a valid argument. But
his second reason was valid; for it is always the duty of a pupil to
follow the directions of the teacher, whether the pupil approves of the
directions or not.

But, then, although Lucy did very wrong in resisting and disobeying
the will of her teacher, Royal himself acted very unwisely, in being so
strenuous in requiring a compliance with it. His whole hope of success
in his efforts to teach his sister, and so to gain the paint-box,
depended necessarily upon keeping on good terms with her, and making
her willing to follow his instructions. If Miss Anne had been in
Royal’s place, she would not have had any contention with her upon the
subject. She would have allowed her to make the _three_ next, and then,
after the lesson was over, she would have said, perhaps,--

“Now, Lucy, you have been a pretty good scholar. You have obeyed my
directions very well generally, and I am therefore going to let you
see the things in my magazine. Only there was one time that you didn’t
obey me. When I wanted you to make _twos_, you would make _threes_, and
so I can’t let you see _all_ the things in my magazine. There are some
little pictures in a pocket-book, which I cannot let you see; but the
next time you study, if you obey me perfectly, _then_ I will let you
see the pictures in my pocket-book.”

Or, if Miss Anne had thought that this would have made Lucy cry, and
so have been the cause of making disturbance in the family, then she
would have had some slighter punishment, just enough not to make her
cry. She did so once, when Lucy was younger and more ready to cry. She
was taking a walk with her, and Lucy did not come back quick when she
called her away from the shore of a brook. Accordingly, when they were
going home, and Lucy asked Miss Anne to tell her a story, Miss Anne

“A short or a long one?”

“O, a long one,” said Lucy.

“Well,” replied Miss Anne, “I will tell you a _pretty_ long one,
because you have obeyed me pretty well while we have been walking;
but I cannot tell you a _very_ long one, because you did not obey me
all the time.” By always doing something like this, Miss Anne soon
succeeded in making Lucy disposed to obey her at all times.

Royal, however, by his opposition to Lucy’s desire, only disturbed and
ruffled her mind, and made her less inclined to comply with his wishes
on the next occasion which might occur. And, in fact, another occasion
came very soon.

For it happened that Lucy, in making her figure three, reversed the
form of it, so as to have the open part come to the right, instead of
to the left, as it ought to do. Children very often make this mistake,
when they first attempt to form the figure three. Royal, seeing the
figure which she made, began immediately to laugh at it. This disturbed
Lucy’s mind more than what had taken place before. She looked up to
Royal as if wondering what he was laughing at, and said,--

“You needn’t laugh, Royal; that is a three.”

“No, it isn’t a three,” said Royal.

“I tell you it _is_ a three,” replied Lucy. “Miss Anne showed me how to
make it one day.”

“O Lucy,” said Royal, “Miss Anne never made such a three as that in her
life. That is an _E_.”

In fact, the letter _E_ is often made, in writing, of very much such a
form as Lucy’s reversed figure assumed; but Lucy insisted that it was
right, and that she meant to make a whole row of them. Royal, who now
began to feel somewhat out of humor himself, lost sight entirely of
the principle with which he had begun, of making amends for his former
roughness by kind and dexterous management. He insisted that Lucy
should let him have the pencil, and he would show her how the figure
ought to be made. But she would not; she said that she knew that that
way was right, and she was going to make a whole row of them.

Then Royal said that she should not have his pencil any more, for he
wouldn’t have his pencil used to make such ridiculous threes as those
were, which, as he said, looked like threes turned wrong side out. So
Lucy gave him his pencil, and got up from the chest, and walked away
down stairs. Royal remained behind, to put his pencil back into his
box. Then he began to look over and rearrange the various articles
which were stored in his magazine. He found the wheels and body of a
small wagon, and he went to work to put them together; and he remained
occupied in this work for nearly half an hour.

Before this time had expired, however, he had opportunity to reflect
upon his conversation with Lucy, and he saw that he had not managed
wisely. He began to feel quite sorry that he had not treated her with
more tenderness and consideration. While he was in this state of mind,
he suddenly began to hear footsteps upon the garret stairs. He knew at
once, by the sound, that it was Lucy coming up again. When she reached
the head of the stairs, he found that she had her slate in her hand.

Lucy walked along towards Royal, with a good-natured and pleasant
expression of countenance, and held out the slate for him to see what
was written upon it. Royal saw that there was a row of threes, all made
very neatly and correctly, and with the open part turned the right way.

“Ah,” said he, “Lucy, who made them?”

“I,” replied Lucy.

“Who showed you how?” asked Royal.

“Miss Anne,” replied Lucy.

“Those are right,” said Royal. He was just ready to say, I told you
you made them wrong before; but, then, he reflected that it would not
be pleasant to her, for him to triumph over her, and so he only said,
“Those are right.”

“And now, Lucy,” he continued, “you may see me put my wagon together,
and then to-morrow you shall learn to make twos.”

That afternoon, Miss Anne questioned Royal about the lesson he had
been giving Lucy, and Royal repeated to her, as nearly as he could
recollect, all that took place.

“I got along a little better,” he said, when he had finished his
account, “than I did the first time.”

“Yes,” replied Miss Anne, “you have learned something. You have
got along just about as far in the art of teaching, as Lucy has in
arithmetic. If you both persevere, you’ll learn after a time.”



Lucy came one evening and climbed up into her father’s lap.

“Father,” said she, “I wish you would let me study something besides
what I study now.”

“Why, what do you study now?” asked her father.

“Only reading and spelling at school, and arithmetic at home with

“Isn’t that enough?” said her father.

“No, sir,” replied Lucy; “I want to study something else.”

“Well,” said her father, “I’ll give you something to study, and I’ll
study it with you.”

“O, well,” said Lucy, much pleased.

“Let me see,” added her father, looking around the room. “What shall it
be? What shall we study? I’ll tell you; we’ll study the windows.”

“O father,” said Lucy, “we can’t study the windows.”

“O, yes,” replied her father, “there is a great deal to be learned
about windows. Look at one of the windows, and tell me what you

So Lucy looked at the window a moment, and then said,--

“No, father, I don’t observe any thing about the windows at all.”

“_I_ observe several things that are peculiar.”

“What do you mean by _peculiar_, father?” asked Lucy.

“Why, whatever one thing has, which other things do not have, is
peculiar to it. Thus roots are peculiar to plants, for other things do
not have roots. Now, look at the window, and see if you find any thing
peculiar in it.”

“No, sir,” said Lucy; “I think it is just like all other windows.”

“But I didn’t wish you to find any thing peculiar to this window alone,
which distinguishes it from other windows, but something peculiar to
all windows, which distinguish them from the other parts of a building.
I notice one thing which is very peculiar.”

“What is it?” said Lucy.

“Why, they are transparent.”

“What is _transparent_?” asked Lucy.

“Any thing that you can see through is transparent,” said her father.
“Water is transparent; glass is transparent; some ice is transparent.
Now, windows are made of glass, which is transparent, for two reasons:
First, in order that the light may shine in and illuminate the room,
so that we can see to walk about in it, and to read, and to sew. The
other reason is, that we can look out through the window, and see the
scenery, and the persons pass along the street. Those are the reasons
why windows are made of something transparent.

“There is also something peculiar,” said her father, “in the mode in
which windows open. How do they open?”

“Right upwards,” said Lucy, making a motion with her hands, as if she
was opening a window.

“And how do doors open?” asked her father.

“Right sideways,” said she.

“Now, can you think of any reason why windows should open by sliding
upward, and doors by swinging out upon hinges?

“First, why shouldn’t windows open like doors, by swinging out upon

“Why, they might get broken by the wind,” said Lucy.

“Yes,” said her father; “doors are very often shut violently by the
wind; and this would doubtless often happen to windows, if they were
hung in a similar manner.”

“Once I saw a house,” said Lucy, “where the window was broken, and the
people had put a piece of board in the place of the glass.”

“Yes,” said her father, “perhaps they had no more glass. But there is
another reason why windows shouldn’t open like doors. Can you think
what it is?”

“No,” said Lucy, “I can’t think.”

“If windows opened upon hinges, like doors, they must either open
outward into the open air, or inward towards the room. If they were
made to open outward, then, when they were wide open, they would swing
back against the side of the house, and it would be very inconvenient
to reach them to shut them.”

“We could go out of doors,” said Lucy.

“Yes,” replied her father, “but that would be very inconvenient,
especially if there came up a sudden shower of rain, and we wished to
shut the windows quick.

“But, on the other hand,” continued her father, “if the windows were
made to open inwards, then they would be apt to knock the things over
on the table. We often have a table before a window, but we never have
a table before a door; for it would be in the way when we wanted to
pass in and out. So you see the reasons, why it is better that windows
should be made to slide up and down, and doors to open upon hinges.”

“But, father,” said Lucy, “why couldn’t doors be made to slide up and
down like windows?”

“Think of it yourself,” said her father, “and see if you can think of
any difficulty.”

“Why--yes,” said Lucy. “Suppose they wanted me to open the door. Well,
and then they tell me to shut the door: well, then I go and try, but
I can’t reach up to the door: well, then I get a chair, and I try to
climb up, and--and the door sticks, and I can’t pull it down, and
perhaps I tumble down and hurt me. An’t those difficulties?”

“Yes,” said her father, “and perhaps, too, the door would sometimes be
left not shoved up quite high enough, and then people would bump their

“Yes,” said Lucy; “and, father, Georgie bumped his head the other day,
and the teacher asked him to spell _bumper_.”

“And did that make him forget his pain?”

“Yes, sir, but he didn’t spell his word right.”

“Didn’t he?” said her father. “Then his experience of the thing did not
teach him the orthography of the word.”

“What, sir?” said Lucy.

“His experience of the thing did not teach him the orthography of the
word,” repeated her father.

“I don’t know what you mean by that,” said Lucy.

“Why, by bumping his own head, he experienced the thing, but yet
he could not spell the word. The _orthography_ of a word means the
spelling of it.”

“I did not know that before,” said Lucy.

“Then I should like to have you take pains to remember it,” said her

“I don’t think I can remember such a long word,” said Lucy.

“The way to fix it in your mind,” said her father, “is to repeat it a
great number of times. Say _orthography_.”

So Lucy repeated the word after her father.

“Now repeat it ten times,” said her father, “and count by means of your

So Lucy repeated the word _orthography_ ten times, touching the thumb
and fingers of her left hand in succession as she did so, and then the
thumb and fingers of her right hand. By doing this, she rendered the
sound of the word somewhat familiar, and also accustomed herself to
pronounce it.

“Now,” said her father, “go out and find Royal, and tell him all I have
told you about windows; and also tell him that _orthography_ means
_spelling_. That will help you remember the whole lesson.”

“Is that a lesson?” said Lucy.

“Yes,” said her father, “it is a lesson; and it will be quite a good
lesson for you, I hope. It will teach you to observe particularly what
you see; and to-morrow morning I will give you the sequel to it.”

“What do you mean by _sequel_?” said Lucy.

“I will tell you when I am ready, to-morrow, to give you the sequel.”

So Lucy went away to find her brother Royal.

She thought it probable that he was in the back yard or garden, but she
could not find him in either place. She stood at the garden gate, and

“Royal! Royal! where are you?”

But there was no answer.

“Joanna,” said Lucy, “do you know where Royal is?”

For, just at that moment, she saw Joanna sitting at the window of her

“No,” said Joanna, “I don’t know; but he can’t be far off, for it is
only a few minutes since I heard him whistle.”

“Whistle?” said Lucy.

“Yes,” replied Joanna; “it sounded as if he was blowing some whistle,
which he had made out of a willow.”

“I wish I could find him,” said Lucy.

Just at this moment, Lucy heard a long-drawn and very clear whistle,
which seemed to be very near.

“Royal!” said Lucy; “Royal! is that you? Where are you?”

There was no answer, but only a repetition of the same shrill and
long-protracted sound.

Lucy began to look eagerly around the yard.

“Royal!” said she, “Royal! is that you whistling?”

Another long whistle.

“Ah, Royal,” said Lucy, “I know where you are; you’ve hid somewhere. I
know you.”

So saying, Lucy began to look around the yard in every direction, but
no Royal was to be seen. She went to the garden gate, and looked under
the shrubbery, but there was no Royal there.

At length she paused, not knowing where to look next; and, after
resting a moment, she said,--

“Whistle again, Royal.”

So Royal whistled again. The sound seemed to come from upwards, and
Lucy looked up towards the house.

“Ah,” said she, “Royal, I know where you are. You are in the house, by
some of the windows. I know--you are at mother’s window--or else at
Joanna’s. Joanna, isn’t he in your room?”

“No,” said Joanna.

“And don’t you know where he is?”

“Yes,” said Joanna.

“Well, tell me then; do, Joanna. I’m tired of looking for him.”

Joanna only smiled; and Lucy, finding that she could get no information
from her, said that she knew Royal was in the house; and she ran in,
and went up stairs to search the chambers which looked out towards that
side of the house, especially such as had any windows open. She looked
in them all in vain. Then she went into Joanna’s room, and stood by her
side, leaning her arms upon the window sill, and looking out the window.

“Royal,” said she, “I should think you might tell me where you are.”

[Illustration: “‘Royal,’ said she, ‘I should think you might tell me
where you are.’”--Page 56]

Royal answered by calling out, C-o-o-p; just as the children were
accustomed to do, when playing hide and go seek. The direction of
the sound of a voice is generally more perceptible than that of a
whistle; and it was particularly so in this case, for Lucy at once
perceived that the sound came from somewhere in the air. She looked
up in the direction from which the sound seemed to proceed, and, to
her great astonishment, saw Royal comfortably seated near the top of a
great oak-tree, which stood in the corner of the yard. He was almost
concealed by the branches.

“Why, Royal!” exclaimed Lucy; “what are you doing there?”

“Making whistles,” said Royal.

“O Royal!” exclaimed Lucy again.

She found, on examining more particularly his position, that he had
placed a short board across from one branch to another for a seat,
and that at a short distance below he had placed another board, which
answered to put his feet on. The board on which he sat extended out a
little way beyond the branch where it rested, and this Royal used for a
sort of shelf, to put his pieces of whistle wood upon, and his knife,
when he was not using it. Two whistles, also, which he had finished,
were lying here. Royal was making another; and he went on very gravely
with his work, while Lucy was wondering at his position.

“Lucy,” said Royal, “do you want a whistle?”

“Yes,” said Lucy.

“Come out, then, into the yard, and I will throw you one down.”

Lucy accordingly ran out, and Royal, taking up one of the whistles,
which he had made, tossed it out from among the branches of the tree.
It sailed out horizontally through the air, and then, turning downward,
it began to descend in that beautiful curve, which bodies projected
from a great height always describe, and at last it came down to the

But it was now some time after sunset, and it was not very light in the
yard. Lucy went to the place where the whistle had fallen, and looked
for it among the grass, but she could not find it. However, Royal
himself came down pretty soon, and, after a little search, he found it
close to Lucy’s foot. The interest which Lucy felt in this incident
drove all thoughts of the lesson on windows from her mind; and so she
did not get the sequel to the lesson, which her father had promised her.

What her father had intended by the sequel to the lesson was this: He
was going to send Lucy into one room, and Royal into another, and let
each of them examine a _fireplace_, so as to observe its peculiarities,
and then to come in and tell him what they were; and also to ask him
for the reason of any thing they noticed about the fireplace, which
they did not understand.

They did not do this, however, until the next day; and then, when they
came in from the examination of the fireplace, Lucy said that she
observed one peculiarity about the fireplace, and that was, that the
back of the chimney was black, and that she did not understand why the
fire, which was red, should make the bricks black. Royal said that he
observed, that there was always a mantel shelf over a fireplace, and he
did not see why they always had a mantel shelf over a fireplace, rather
than in any other part of the room.

“But, father,” said Lucy, “what is a sequel?”

“A sequel of any thing,” replied her father, “is that which comes in
consequence of it, and is the conclusion of it.”

“I don’t understand that very well,” said Lucy.

“Never mind,” replied her father; “I can’t explain it to you any more

So Lucy went away.



Lucy had an allowance from her father of a small sum of money every
week, which she was allowed to expend for herself, in any way that her
father approved. Her father had several reasons for this, and, among
the others, he thought it would help Lucy to learn something about
accounts. For he said, when he told her that he was going to let her
have an allowance, that he must make her an account-book like Royal’s;
for Royal had had an allowance, and an account-book to keep an account
of it in, for a long time.

“But, father,” said Lucy, “why need I have an account-book? Why can’t
you give me the money every Saturday night, and let me keep it myself?”

“For several reasons,” said her father. “In the first place, I should
not always remember to pay you the money every Saturday night; and
then, in the middle of the next week, we should not be quite sure
whether it had been paid or not. And so, in a short time, we should get
into confusion. And then, besides, I am not willing to let you have the
money to keep yourself.”

“Why not, sir?” said Lucy.

“You would be very likely to lose it. You would leave it here and there
about the house, as you do your playthings. Then, besides, if you had
the charge and custody of your money, you would sometimes, perhaps,
expend it without my approbation.”

“But I should think that, if the money was ours,” said Royal, who was
standing by at this time, “we might expend it for any thing we chose.”

“True,” replied his father, “but the money isn’t yours. I don’t make
you an allowance of so much _money_ every week, but give you a credit,
to be used on certain conditions; and if you take it, you take it
subject to those conditions.”

“What conditions?” said Lucy.

“Why, that you use the credit only for such purposes as I approve. I
put down for you a certain sum for every week, and then, when you want
to buy any thing, you can have it, if I think it is proper for you, and
if it doesn’t come to more than your allowance amounts to. But in the
mean time I must keep all the money.”

Accordingly, Lucy’s father made her a small account-book, like Royal’s.
Her mother sewed it. It had a cover of marble paper. The leaves were
made of paper, ruled with blue lines, and her father ruled some lines
up and down the page of red ink. The first line was near the left-hand
edge of every page, and was intended to mark off a space to put down
the day of the month, when any thing was written in the book. Then
there was another, near the right-hand edge of every page, which was
for the figures expressing the amount of the money.

It was about the middle of July, when Lucy’s father made her
the account-book. But he said he would begin back as far as to
Lucy’s birthday, in reckoning the allowance. So he entered in the
account-book, first, an allowance for a month and a half, at the
top of the second page. On the first page, he only wrote the words
Account-Book, in pretty large letters.

“Now,” said her father, “whenever you want to buy any thing, you can
ask me or your mother; and if we approve of it, you can buy it, and I
shall write down what it is, and the price of it, on the page opposite
to the one where your allowance is entered; and then we can see, when
we open the book, how much your allowance comes to, by looking on one
side, and how many things you have bought with it, by looking on the

Lucy was very much pleased with her account-book, and she put it away
very carefully in her drawer. She determined to come every Saturday
evening, and have her allowance for the week regularly entered.

When, however, her account-book was out of sight, it was out of mind;
and several weeks passed away before she thought of it again. At last,
one day, as she and Royal were looking over her drawer, she found her

“There,” said she, “now here is my account-book, and I haven’t had
any allowance for a great many weeks. Father said he would give me an
allowance every week.”

“You ought to have carried him your book, and he would,” said Royal.

“But I forgot it,” said Lucy; “and now I have forgotten how long it is,
and how much the allowance will make.”

So saying, Lucy was just beginning to cry.

“Why, Lucy, you silly child,” said Royal; “it’s nothing to cry for. It
will make no difference.”

“Why, I haven’t had my allowance,” said Lucy, “for a great many weeks.”

“No matter,” replied Royal; “father can put it all down together; it
will make no difference.” So Royal opened Lucy’s book, and explained to
Lucy how it would be.

“You see,” said he, “that when father put down the allowance before, it
was July 15th. Now, he can calculate, very easily, how many weeks it
is since then, till now, and so he can tell how much more allowance he
must put down. I can almost calculate it myself.”

Lucy did not answer, but looked upon the date in her account-book,
which Royal pointed at with his finger, trying to understand how it was.

“You see,” continued Royal, “that is the advantage of having
an account-book. It keeps the reckoning. As soon as you get an
account-book, and have the things put down, you may forget as much as
you please.”

Lucy carried the account-book to her father that evening; and she
found that it was as Royal had predicted. There was no difficulty at
all in ascertaining the amount of the allowance due, by calculating
from the date of the first entry. Lucy got her father to make the
calculation, and enter the amount due up to that time; and then
she went to put her book away, with a feeling of great relief and
satisfaction. She turned round, however, after she had gone a few steps
towards the door, and said,--

“You are not going to let me have the money, I suppose?”

“No,” said her father; “I keep the money for you,--until you want to
buy something with it.”

Nothing more was said about Lucy’s account-book for some days. At
length, however, one evening, as Lucy was playing upon the cricket near
the sofa, where her father was sitting, she came to him, and said,--

“Father, I wish you would just let me look at my money a little while.”

Her father hesitated a moment, and then put his hand into his pocket,
and drew out several pieces of silver money.

“Is that my money,” said Lucy, “or yours?”

Her father laughed, but did not answer.

“Father,” said Lucy earnestly, “_is_ that my money?”

“Why, Lucy,” he replied, “I don’t _keep_ any money for you separate
from my own.”

“O father,” said Lucy, “you said you would keep my money for me.”

“Yes,” said her father, “so I did; but I did not mean that I would
keep it separate.”

“How do you keep it, then?” said Lucy.

Her father laughed; but Lucy did not know what he was laughing at.

“Why, Lucy,” said he, “I keep your money, just as all bankers do the
money they have on deposit.”

“Deposit?” repeated Lucy.

“Yes,” replied her father. “Money that is placed in any body’s hands
for safe-keeping is said to be a deposit. Your money is deposited with

“Yes, sir,” said Lucy. So far she understood very well.

“Now, when money is deposited with a banker, he does not keep that
identical money separate from the rest.”

“I don’t know what you mean by _identical_ money,” said Lucy.

“Why, the _same_ money,--the very same.”

“And doesn’t he keep the money, then, at all?”

“No, not separately; he mixes it with his own money, and pays it away,
just as he does his own.”

“I shouldn’t think he ought to do that,” said Lucy, “if it was
deposited with him for safe-keeping.”

“Why, whenever the owner of the money comes to call for it, instead of
giving back the money, which was deposited, he just gives him the same
amount of his own money, and that is just as good. One dollar is as
good as another dollar.”

“O father!” said Lucy.

“Why, isn’t it?” said her father.

“O no, sir; some are a _great deal_ prettier.”

Here Lucy’s father laughed again very heartily, and concluded that Lucy
was rather too young to understand much about banking and finance.
However, he thought that he would not despair too soon. So he proceeded

“Yes, Lucy, you are right; one dollar may be brighter and prettier
than another as a coin, to be used for a plaything; but when I agreed
to give you so much money each month, I did not mean so many coins for
playthings, but a certain amount of value for purchases. Now, in value,
and for use in making purchases, one dollar is as good as another; and
so, in almost all cases in reckoning accounts among men, they never
think at all of the particular money that they receive and pay, but
only of the value. When one man borrows ten dollars of another man, he
does not keep those same dollars to pay back to him again, but only
pays him other dollars as good. And when money is deposited with a
banker, he does not keep the same money, but puts it with his own, and
spends from it just as if it were his own; and then, when the man who
deposited the money with him, calls for it, he only gives him an equal
amount of his own.”

“Yes, father, I understand it now,” said Lucy.

“Just so with the money of your allowance. I don’t keep it separately
from my other money; I am only bound to let you have the amount in
value;--so that you see I can never give you your money to play with,
but only when you want to expend any of it, then I must supply you with
some of my own.”

Lucy seemed to be pretty well satisfied with this account; but still
she wished there was some way by which she could have some of her money
for a plaything.

“Well,” said her father, “we can manage it in this way. I will give you
a piece of money, and I will set it down in the account, just as if it
had been a plaything bought.”

So Lucy’s father took out several pieces of money from his purse,
and let Lucy look them over, telling her that she might take whichever
she chose. Then he entered the value of this piece of money in Lucy’s
account-book, on the page opposite to the one where the allowance was
entered. The account in this book was continued a long time. On one
page Lucy’s father entered her allowance from time to time, whenever
Lucy came to him and wanted her accounts made up; and on the other side
he entered such things as she purchased; and this was the way in which
Lucy got her first regular ideas of money and accounts.



Besides Lucy’s studies at home, she went to school, where she had
other studies to attend to. The school was a small one, including the
children of only one or two families, and was kept in a room which
opened into a large and beautiful garden, as is more fully described
in the book called LUCY’S STORIES. To go to this school, the children
went through a gate on the street, and then, passing through a green
alley, they went around a corner, with trees, flowers, and shrubbery on
each side, to the garden, and there, up stairs, was the school-room.
There were not many children there. But, besides the teacher, there was
a girl about fifteen, whom the children generally called Mary Jay. She
could not walk very well, for she was very lame; but her countenance
had a very mild and beautiful expression, and she was always very kind
to the children. She used to read them stories out of a great book of
stories, which she had written, and which she called the Morocco Book.

The reason why Mary Jay went to the school, was because she wanted to
learn to be a teacher herself; and all the children thought that she
would make a very excellent teacher. For she often heard the scholars
recite their lessons, and explained their difficulties; and the
children liked to go to her very much. She was very gentle and kind,
and yet she always made them obey. In fact, they liked to obey. One
day, when they were going home from school, Lucy said to her,--

“When are you going to have a school of your own, Mary Jay?”

“Why?” said Mary Jay; “why do you wish to know?”

“Because,” said Lucy, “I mean to come and be one of your scholars.”

“Well,” said Mary Jay, “the school which we go to now, isn’t going to
be kept but two or three weeks longer, and then you may come to the
house where I live, and be my scholar.”

“I don’t know where the house is that you live in,” said Lucy.

“You know the road that leads to the mill,” said Mary Jay.

“Yes,” said Lucy.

“And do you remember a guide-post, at the foot of a hill, fastened to a
great tree?”

“Yes,” said Lucy, “with bridge and two mills written on it.”

“Two _miles_,” said Mary Jay, “not _mills_. It says that to the bridge
it is two miles. Did you think it was mills?”

“Yes,” replied Lucy; “I thought it meant that that road led to a place
where there was a bridge and two mills.”

“O no,” said Mary Jay, laughing. “It means that it is two miles to the
bridge. The house that I live in, is about a half a mile along that

As Mary Jay said this, they reached the place where the road to the
house, which Lucy lived in, turned away from the road which Mary Jay
was to take. So Lucy bade her good bye; and Mary Jay, after resting a
moment upon her crutch, looking at Lucy as she walked along, turned
away into her own road, and Lucy saw her no more.

That evening, however, Lucy told her mother what Mary Jay had said.
Her mother inquired about it, and found that it was true that the
school where Lucy had been admitted was to be closed in a few weeks,
because the family where it had been kept were going away, and it
wasn’t to be opened again until the next spring. But there were to be
three more months of pleasant weather; and so Lucy’s mother went to see
Mary Jay, and made an arrangement with her to take Lucy for a scholar.

Accordingly, a few days after this, Lucy set off, one morning, with
Royal to guide her, to go to Mary Jay’s house, to begin at her new
school. They walked along very pleasantly together, Royal carrying
Lucy’s slate and book for her, in a green satchel. When they came to
the guide-board, Lucy stopped to examine it more particularly. She
found it was _miles_, not _mills_.

“You might have known,” said Royal, “by there being no _and_. If it had
meant two mills, it would have been, bridge _and_ two mills.”

“Then it means,” said Lucy, “that it is two miles to the bridge down
this road.”

“Yes,” said Royal.

“How far is two miles?” asked Lucy.

“O, it isn’t very far,” said Royal. “I can walk two miles easily

“I should like to see the bridge,” said Lucy.

“Yes,” said Royal. “Some day we will take a walk down and see it.”

So Royal and Lucy walked on. After a time, the road turned a little,
coming round a pretty green hill covered with trees; and on the other
side of it, there came into view a small farm-house, painted white,
with a garden on one side, and a few small sheds and barns upon the
other. Between the house and the garden there was a little gate, and a
path leading up to a door in the end of the house; and there was quite
a pleasant little grass yard in front of the door, with the garden gate
on the opposite side of it.

“There,” said Royal, “that is Mary Jay’s house.”

“Is that it?” said Lucy; “what a pleasant house! Do you think she will
let me go in that garden?”

“No,” said Royal, “not she.”

“Why not?” said Lucy.

“O, because you’d pull up the flowers, and trample on the beds. They
don’t let children go in such pretty gardens as that.”

“O Royal,” said Lucy, “I shouldn’t trample on the beds, I am sure. I
should be very careful.”

“Well,” replied Royal, “you’ll see whether she’ll let you go in her
garden. But now you can find your way to the door, and I am going back.”

“No, Royal,” said Lucy; “you must come and knock for me.”

“O no,” replied Royal; “you must knock for yourself.”

“I can’t knock hard enough,” said Lucy; “besides, I am afraid.”

Royal only laughed at Lucy’s fears, and said he only came to show her
the way, and not to knock for her. But he did wrong. He ought to have
been willing to have gone up to the door with her, since she wished it;
but he would not.

He, however, finally consented to remain where he was, to watch and see
whether she got in safely.

So Lucy took her satchel and walked along, while Royal sat down upon a
stone by the roadside, to watch her progress.

There was a little gate next to the street, which Lucy would have to
pass through in going up to the door. There were two large lilac bushes
hanging over the gate, one on each side. When she came to it, she found
it fastened by a kind of wooden latch; and at first she did not know
how to open it. She turned around, and beckoned to Royal to come and
help her; but Royal sat still. He thought that she might have climbed
over, if she couldn’t open the gate.

There was another large gate beyond the house, which seemed to lead
from the street into a yard, where the little barns and sheds were; and
Lucy had a great mind to go in there, for the large gate was open. But
she was afraid that there might be some cows in there; and besides, she
did not know that there was any door leading into the house around that
way; so she tried once more to open the gate. This time she succeeded;
the gate came open, and Lucy, much relieved, went through, and shut it
after her.

She walked along the path, toward the door. Before the door there was a
large stone step, of irregular form, but smooth upon the top. There was
a rose-bush on each side of the step. One of the rose-bushes was very
large. There were apple-trees in the garden, and Lucy thought she saw a
bird’s nest on one of them.

Lucy knocked gently and timidly at the door; but nobody heard her. Then
she knocked again, a little louder. She listened, and presently she
thought she heard somebody coming. A moment after, the door opened, and
a little girl, who yet seemed to be considerably older than she was
herself, appeared. She smiled when she saw Lucy, as if she knew her,
but did not speak. She opened the door wide, and Lucy went in.

Then Royal, who had been all this time sitting upon the stone by the
roadside, watching Lucy’s motions, as soon as he saw that Lucy had gone
in, and that the door was shut, and that there was nothing more for him
to do, got up from his seat, and walked away towards home.

The girl who had opened the door for Lucy, conducted her along through
a kind of sitting-room, into a little bed-room, where Lucy found Mary
Jay sitting at a window at work.

“Ah! Lucy,” said Mary Jay, “I am glad to see you; how did you find your

“Royal showed me,” said Lucy.

“I expected that Royal would show you the way; but where is he?”

“He did not come quite here,” said Lucy, “but stopped out in the road;
and now I suppose that he has gone home.”

“O, I am sorry that he didn’t come in. He would have liked to see our
bird’s nest.”

“Have you got a bird’s nest?” said Lucy.

“Yes,” said Mary Jay, “with three young birds in it. And there is a
little ladder, so that we can climb up very easily and see it. But you
may take off your bonnet and put it away. You’ll find a nail to hang it
upon in that closet.”

Mary Jay pointed to a closet door, which Lucy opened, and found there
two nails, driven on purpose for her, low enough for her to reach. She
put her bonnet upon one, and hung her satchel upon the other, after
having taken out her book and slate. Then Lucy went back to Mary Jay.

“There,” said Mary Jay, “look there, and see what a table I have
prepared for you.”

Lucy looked where Mary Jay pointed. There were two chairs placed near
the window, with a board passing across from one chair to the other.
The board was pretty wide, but not very long. It was smooth, and it
looked very new. One end of the board rested upon one chair, and the
other end upon the other chair, so that it made a sort of table. There
was a small chair with a seat made of a kind of basket work, before
this table. Lucy knew at once that this little chair was for her.

“Is that my table?” said Lucy.

“Yes,” said Mary Jay, “or desk; you may call it your desk, if you

Lucy sat down at her desk, and she said she liked it very much. She put
her book and slate before her, and found that the board was just high
enough for her.

“Now,” continued Mary Jay, “that will be your place to study; but the
place to keep your books after you have done studying is on a shelf in
the closet. You may go and see if you can find it.”

So Lucy went to the closet again. She found a small shelf there, pretty
low, so that she could not only reach it, to put things on and take
them off, but she could see all over it.

There was an inkstand upon this shelf, and a ruler and a pencil.

“Whose inkstand, and ruler, and pencil, are these, Mary Jay, on my
shelf?” said Lucy.

“They are yours,” said Mary Jay.

“I don’t suppose I ought to call you Mary Jay,” said Lucy, “now you are
my teacher.”

“Yes,” said Mary Jay, “call me by that name, just as you always have

“Am I going to write with pen and ink?” said Lucy.

“Yes,” said Mary Jay.

“But I don’t know how to write with pen and ink,” said Lucy.

“That’s the very reason why I got them for you, so that you might
learn. Children don’t come to school to do what they know how to do

“Well,” said Lucy.

So Lucy came away from her closet, and sat down before her desk.

“What am I going to learn first?”

“Why, the first thing I want you to learn, is to go alone a little.”

“To go alone?” repeated Lucy.

“Yes,” replied Mary Jay, “intellectually.”

“I don’t know what you mean by that,” said Lucy.

“Why, you know, when children are very little, they cannot walk at all
without somebody to take hold of their hands and lead them. After a
while, they learn to go alone. Now, when they first come to school, it
is just so with their progress in study. They can’t go alone at all.
The teacher has to lead them all the way. After a time, they get along
a little way, so that they can study by themselves a quarter of an
hour, or half an hour, and, by and by, an hour, without any help; and
this is what I call going alone. Now, when a scholar gets so as to go
alone a little in her studies, it is a great deal easier to teach her.

“Now,” continued Mary Jay, “my plan is for you to study half an hour
by yourself, if I can only contrive lessons which you can understand
without help for so long a time; and that is what I call going alone.”

“Well,” said Lucy, “I will try.”

“Now,” added Mary Jay, “your first lesson shall be to make figures on
your slate. I will set you a copy.”

So Mary Jay took Lucy’s slate, and, with the ruler and the slate
pencil, she ruled a line along the top of it, and then made a number
of figures, very neatly and carefully, for Lucy to copy. She told Lucy
to take the ruler, and sit down at her desk, and rule another line,
and then to make some figures exactly like the copy, and then to rule
another line, and so on down the slate.

“I want to see,” said Mary Jay, “if you can keep yourself busy doing
that, without saying a word to me, for half an hour. That will be going
alone. When the half-hour is out, I will let you have a recess.”

Lucy tried, but she did not succeed very well. She could not rule her
lines straight, and she wanted to come and show them to Mary Jay. Then,
whenever she made a bad figure, she would sigh, and exclaim, “O dear
me! how hard it is!” If she made a good figure, she wanted to jump up,
and come and show it to Mary Jay. When the time was about half out, she
was very thirsty, and she wanted Mary Jay to go out and get her a drink
of water. In reply to all her questions and complaints, Mary Jay always
told her to wait until the half-hour was out, and she would attend to
her. Even for the drink of water, she told her that she must wait until
the recess.

When the time which Mary Jay had assigned to Lucy had expired, she said
to her,--

“Now, Lucy, it is time for recess. So you may leave your slate upon the
desk, and go out and play a little while.”

“Well,” said Lucy, “only may I first come and show you what I have

“No,” said Mary Jay, “not till after the recess.”

“Then shall I go and put my slate away first, upon my shelf?”

“No,” said Mary Jay, “not till after recess. When you get any
directions from your teacher, you must obey them exactly.”

“Where shall I go to play?” said Lucy.

“O, you may go out into the yard and garden, and see what you can find
to amuse yourself with.”



Lucy went out through the room by which she had entered, and came to
the door, where she had knocked when she came to the house. The door
was open, and she walked out. She stood a few minutes upon the great,
flat stone, which served for a step, considering which way she should

Just then, she recollected that she was thirsty; and so she went back
and asked Mary Jay how she should get a drink.

Mary Jay told her to go and look under her shelf in her closet.
Lucy went, and she found a little tin mug hanging there upon a
nail; for Mary Jay, like all good teachers, had taken pains to
consider beforehand what would be necessary for her little pupil,
and had provided for every thing, so as to prevent delay and trouble
afterwards. This is always the best way in teaching, as well as in
every thing else.

“Now,” said Mary Jay, “take that mug, and go out in the yard, and
around behind the house, and you will see a small gate. Go through that
gate, and you will see a little building with woodbine growing all over
it. There you can get a drink.”

“How?” said Lucy.

“O, you’ll see when you get there,” said Mary Jay.

So Lucy took her mug and walked along. She found the gate very easily.
It was small and easy to open. When Lucy had passed through, it shut of
its own accord.

She found herself in a pretty, green yard, next to the backside of the
house; and in the corner of this yard was the little building which
Mary Jay had referred to. It was small; it had a roof and sides, but
the front was open. It was almost covered and enveloped with woodbine.
There was no floor, but there came up out of the ground, inside of the
building, a small red post, with a little stream of water spouting out
from it. Lucy went immediately to it, to see what it was.

There was a large, square board upon the ground before the post, which
looked like the cover of a box, buried in the ground. The water from
the post fell into a place just behind this box. She took hold of the
edge of the board, to see if it would lift up like a cover. She wanted
to see where the water went to.

She found that the board would lift up like the cover of a box; and
under it there was a small, square cistern, full of water. Lucy put the
cover down again immediately, partly because she was afraid that she
might fall in, and partly because she happened to recollect that it was
not right for her to open the cistern without leave.

Then Lucy held her mug under the stream of water which spouted out
from the post, until the mug was full. Then she had a good drink. She
afterwards held her mug under, and let it fill several times, pouring
the water down upon the grass. When the water first struck upon the
bottom of the mug, it made a sort of a drumming sound, which was
gradually deadened as the bottom became covered with water. Then Lucy
would watch the surface of the water as it rose slowly, until at length
it would run over in streams, and fall into the cistern below.

While Lucy was sitting here, a door which led into the back part of
the house, opened, and a girl came out, swinging a pail back and forth
in her hand. The girl advanced towards the place where Lucy was, by a
path which was well trodden. When she reached the cistern, she lifted
up the cover; and then, dipping the pail in, she took up a pail full of
water, and then shut the cover down.

“Well, Lucy,” said she, “how do you like the aqueduct?”

“Is this an aqueduct?” said Lucy.

“Yes,” said she; “here is where we get all our water.”

“Why don’t you hold your pail under, and catch the spouting?” said Lucy.

“Because,” said the girl, “I can’t wait long enough for it. So we have
a cistern, which keeps always full, and we can dip it out of that.”

So saying, the girl went away towards the house, carrying the pail upon
one side, and leaning her head and arm away over to the other. Lucy
then thought that she would go and look around the yard, and see what
else she could find.

She walked along towards the garden gate. “I knew,” she said to
herself, “that Mary Jay would let me go in her garden, though Royal
said she would not.”

She opened the gate, and walked in. She found many rows of corn, and
beans, and other garden vegetables, but not many flowers. In the back
corner were some large sunflowers, with great bumble-bees in them; and
there were two or three apple-trees, with a great many apples growing
on the branches. Some were red, and some were of a russet-brown.

Lucy liked the garden very much; but she began soon to think that it
was time for her to go in. So she turned around, and began to walk
back towards the garden gate. She was walking now in a path along on
the opposite side of the garden from that in which she came in, and
looking at some large gourds, which were growing by the side of it,
when suddenly she heard a great buzzing near her. She looked up, and
saw that there was a hive of bees under a little shed, by the side of
the walk close before her.

Lucy was afraid to go by the bees, and so she turned back to go around
some other way.

She found that she had to go quite to the backside of the garden,
before she could get into another path, which would lead towards the
gate. Here, just as she passed the end of a row of currant-bushes, her
attention was attracted by a stile, or set of steps, made of boards,
which was made to get over the fence by. Lucy thought that she would
climb up upon the stile, and look over, and see what there was upon the
other side.

She found that she could mount very easily; and, when she got up to
the highest step but one, she could see over into the field beyond. It
was a very pleasant place, and Lucy wished very much that she could go
over. There was a path well beaten, which led down a gentle descent,
until it turned around the point of a rocky precipice, and disappeared
among the trees. Lucy wished very much that she knew where the path
led to. She thought that she could see something down among the trees,
glimmering like light, reflected from water.

But Lucy then thought that it was quite time for her to go in; and so
she got down from the stile, and walked along towards the gate. By the
route which she was now taking, she was led away from the bees, so that
she reached the gate without any difficulty. Then she went in and took
her place at her desk again.

That evening, when she went home, Royal asked her how she liked her

“Very much,” said Lucy; “only there are no other children for me to
play with.”

“True,” said Royal; “but you don’t go to school to play, and so that is
no hardship.”

“Yes, it is a hardship,” said Lucy, “for I have a recess, and I want
somebody to play with me in the recess.”

“A recess!” said Royal--“a recess for only one scholar!”

“I had a recess,” said Lucy, “and an excellent recess too, and you
don’t know what I saw.”

“What was it?” rejoined Royal.

“A post,” said Lucy, “with water spouting out of it.”

“It was a pump, I suppose,” replied Royal, “and the water spouted out
when you pumped.”

“No,” said Lucy, “it was only a short post about so high.” Here Lucy
held her hand out, about two feet above the level of the ground, to
show Royal how high the post was.

“Why, Lucy,” said Royal, “water couldn’t spout out of a pump unless
there was something to make it.”

“Yes it could,” said Lucy; “I saw it. It was nothing but a red post so

Here Lucy held out her hand again, to indicate to Royal the height of
the post.

“And what do you suppose made the water come out?”

“I don’t know,” said Lucy; “only I know that there was nothing there
but a post, for I saw it myself. The water came up out of a box in the

“How do you know?” said Royal.

“Why, I saw it,” replied Lucy. “I lifted up the cover of the box, and
looked in, and it was full of water. I mean to ask my father to buy
such a post, and put it in our yard.”

“O Lucy,” said Royal, with a laugh, “it couldn’t be--not unless there
was a lead pipe, or something to come along under the ground, for the
water to run in.”

“No,” said Lucy, “there wasn’t any lead pipe; it was nothing but a
post. I saw it myself.”

“There must be a lead pipe,” said Royal, very positively, “under the
ground, or else the water wouldn’t spout up.”

Lucy paused a moment, considering whether what Royal said could be
true; but at length she added,--

“Why, Royal, there couldn’t be any lead pipe in the ground, because,
if there was, they would have dug up the grass around there, when they
put it down. But the ground was not dug up at all. It was smooth and
grassed all over the yard.”

Lucy was wrong. She ought not to have been so positive. It is very
unsafe for children to be positive, in saying what is and what is not
possible. And Royal was wrong too. He might safely have said, that he
_presumed_ that there was a lead pipe under the ground; but he ought
not to have been so positive of what he had no means of certainly

The question was not settled until Lucy went to school the next day.
She then asked Mary Jay about it.

“There is a _wooden_ pipe, under the ground,” said Mary Jay.

“A wooden pipe?” repeated Lucy.

“Yes,” said Mary Jay, “a pipe made of wooden logs, with holes bored
through them, from end to end. Then these logs are put together under
the ground, and thus they make a long wooden pipe, and the water comes
through that.”

“Where does it come from?” said Lucy.

“It comes from a spring, on a hill behind the house. The spring is
pretty high, and so the water runs down until it gets to the post, and
then, as it cannot get any farther, it spouts out into the air.”

“I thought it came from the box of water underneath,” said Lucy.

“No,” said Mary Jay; “the water in the cistern comes out of the post;
it does not go into it. The water spouts out from the post, and keeps
the cistern full.”

“And where does the rest of the water go to?” said Lucy.

“It flows along through another pipe, underground, into a trough in the
barn-yard, where the cows go to drink.”

Lucy paused a moment, reflecting upon what she had heard; and then she

“But, Mary Jay, how could they put the great logs in the ground,
without digging up all the grass in the yard?”

“They did dig it up,” said Mary Jay, “I suppose, when they put the logs
down; but that was several years ago, and the grass has grown up since.”

“O,” said Lucy, “I didn’t think of that.”

Lucy paused again a few minutes, and then she drew a long breath, and

“Well,--I knew the water didn’t come in a leaden pipe, at any rate,
and I told Royal so.”



After Lucy had been several days in Mary Jay’s school, and had learned
to work quietly by herself, for half an hour at a time, Mary Jay said,
one day, that she would go and take a walk with her in the recess.

“Well,” said Lucy, “and I wish you would go down behind the garden, by
the great rock, and show me where that path leads to.”

Mary Jay assented to this proposal, and they set out together. Lucy
clambered over the stile without any trouble, and Mary Jay herself
got over much more easily than Lucy had supposed possible. In fact,
although Mary Jay appeared to be very lame in walking, yet she could
walk without any pain, and without much inconvenience to herself. The
difficulty was rather apparent than real.

Lucy was surprised, therefore, to see how readily Mary Jay mounted the
steps of the stile, and descended on the other side.

“I believe I will leave one of my crutches here,” said she to Lucy,
“and then I can take hold of your hand.”

So she led Lucy with one of her hands, while she managed the remaining
crutch with the other; and thus they walked along the path which led
towards the rocky precipice.

“Now, Lucy,” said Mary Jay, “I will tell you of some of the
difficulties which children meet with in school. There are three
things, which it belongs to a good scholar to do, which are rather

“What are they?” said Lucy.

“To continue to study after you have got tired of study, to try to do
what you think you can’t do, and to obey orders when you think they are

“When they are wrong?” replied Lucy.

“Yes,” replied Mary Jay. “It is pretty easy to obey when you think
the orders are right; the difficulty comes when you think the orders
are wrong. For example, there was a boy once, and his name was Thomas.
He used to hold his slate pencil just as we commonly hold a pen. The
teacher told him that that wasn’t right. She showed him how a slate
pencil ought to be held, and then she went away and left Thomas at his
work. He tried the teacher’s way, and said to himself, ‘This isn’t half
as good a way as mine. I can’t make the figures half as well.’ Then he
changed his pencil, and held it just as he had done it before, that is,
as a pen is held.”

“How?” said Lucy.

“I will show you,” said Mary Jay. Then she looked about upon the
ground, and found a little sprig, which would answer to represent a
pen, and she placed it between the fingers of her right hand, leaning
upon her crutch while she did it,--and thus showed Lucy how a pen ought
to be held.

“And now,” said Lucy, “show me how the teacher told him to hold it.”

So Mary Jay broke off a short piece of the sprig, which was of suitable
length to represent a slate pencil, and she placed that between her
fingers, in such a way as to show how a slate pencil ought to be held.

“Now, Thomas,” she continued, “when he found that he could not work
so conveniently by holding the pencil in the way that the teacher had
directed him to hold it, concluded that she must have been wrong, and
so he returned to his old method.”

“Method?” said Lucy, “what is that?”

“The _way_,--his old way of holding it,” replied Mary Jay.

“And what did the teacher say?” said Lucy.

“Why, when the teacher came there again,” said Mary Jay, “she found
him disobeying her. She said, ‘Why, Thomas, I told you not to hold the
pencil so.’

“‘Yes,’ said Thomas, ‘I tried the other way, but I found that I
couldn’t make my figures so well.’”

Here Mary Jay paused a moment; but Lucy did not say any thing, and so
she proceeded.

“Thomas thought,” said she, “that he was not bound to obey his teacher,
unless he thought that her directions were right. But the truth is,
that children ought to obey their parents and teachers _always_; no
matter whether they think the commands are right and reasonable, or
not. It is very easy to obey, when you see that the command is right
and reasonable; but when you do not understand why the command is
given, or when it seems unreasonable or wrong, then comes the trial.”

“I shouldn’t think,” said Lucy, “that the teacher would want him to
make the figures the hardest way.”

[Illustration: “Mary Jay said that she had seen boys climb up nearly
to the top.”--Page 101.]

“No,” said Mary Jay; “the truth was this: Thomas’s way was the hardest,
and the teacher’s the easiest; only Thomas had become so accustomed to
his method, that he couldn’t at once do quite so well in the other.
There are a great many things, which children have to do, that can be
done most easily in one particular way, when they are once accustomed
to that way. But before they are accustomed to it, it may perhaps be
harder than some other way, which they are familiar with. Children are
often told to hold their pens, or their knife and fork, or spoon, at
table, in a way which seems to them inconvenient and troublesome; and
so they think the command is unreasonable and wrong. They think their
parent or teacher is mistaken, and so they don’t obey. But if they
would obey, they would soon become accustomed to the proper way, and
then they would find it altogether better than their old habit. That’s
the philosophy of it, Lucy; that’s the philosophy of it.”

At this time, they had reached the rocky precipice, and the path
passed around near the foot of it. Lucy looked up at the rocks, and was
a little afraid that they would fall down upon her head. Mary Jay said,
that she had seen boys climb up nearly to the top. From this place, the
path passed along among some trees, and Lucy and Mary Jay went on; and,
as they walked, Mary Jay resumed the conversation.

“Then there is another thing,” she added, “which I mentioned--being
willing to try to do what you think you can’t do, or what you can’t do
very well. Once, when I was at a school, there was a girl that sat next
to me, and her name was Sarah. The teacher was choosing a copy for her
to write. He had several in his hands, and he gave her one that had
some figures at the end of it. Sarah looked at it, and then carried it
back to the teacher’s desk, and asked him if he would be kind enough to
give her another copy, for that one had figures at the end of it.

“‘Well,’ said the teacher, ‘and why is that an objection?’

“‘Why, I can’t make figures very well,’ replied Sarah.

“‘Can’t you?’ said the teacher.

“‘No,’ said Sarah, ‘and so I should like to have a copy that hasn’t got
any figures in it.’

“The teacher then began to look over his copies, and Sarah supposed
that he was endeavoring to find one which had no figures in it. While
he was doing this, she said,--

“‘I think Lucy Dane would like that copy very well, for she can make
figures beautifully.’”

“Lucy Dane?” said Lucy; “was her name Lucy?”

“Yes,” said Mary Jay.

“That’s the same as my name,” added Lucy.

“Presently,” continued Mary Jay, “the teacher took out a copy, which
was all figures from the beginning of the line to the end, and handed
it to Sarah.

“‘There,’ said he, ‘I am glad you told me that you can’t make figures
very well, for I want to have you learn; so I’ll give you copies of
figures altogether, for a while. And as for Lucy Dane, I will be
careful not to give her any more copies with figures in them, if she
can make figures beautifully already.’”

“Why, Mary Jay!” said Lucy. She was quite surprised at this decision of
the teacher.

“Children very often,” continued Mary Jay, “make objections to do what
their teacher requires, because they say they can’t do it. They forget
that this is the very reason why they should set to work and learn. You
don’t go to school to do over again what you can already do very well,
but to learn to do things which you can’t do when you go.

“There was another girl in the same school,” continued Mary Jay; “and
one day, when the teacher told us that we must write every other page
in our writing books without ruling, in order that we might learn to
write straight without lines to guide us, she said that she couldn’t
write _at all_ without ruling.

“‘Can’t you?’ said the teacher; ‘then you’ll have to write _every_ page
so, instead of every other, until you learn a little; and when you get
so as to write tolerably straight, then it will not be necessary for
you to write so much without a guide.’”

“What was _her_ name?” said Lucy.

But Mary Jay did not have time to answer this question, for Lucy had
hardly spoken the words, when her eye caught a view of quite a little
sheet of water before her, under the trees. So she left Mary Jay, and
ran on towards it.

It was a broad and shallow sheet of water, made by the expansion of
a brook, which flowed here over smooth, yellow sands. A little below
where they stood, the surface of the water was contracted, and the
brook flowed over gravel and small stones, with a rapid motion, and
finally fell down some rocks, making quite a little waterfall. Large
trees overhung the whole scene, and made it shady and cool.

“Now,” said Mary Jay, “I will show you my seat.”

So she led Lucy along up a bank, by a narrow path, until she came to a
place where were some rocks, which were, like the water, overhung with
trees. Here there was placed a long, flat stone, in front of a sort
of wall or precipice of rock, in such a manner that the stone made a
very good seat, and the rock behind it, which was smooth and inclined
backwards a little, made a very good back to lean upon.

“Is this your seat?” said Lucy.

“Yes,” said Mary Jay.

“Who made it for you?” said Lucy.

“I made it myself,” said Mary Jay.

“Why, did you lift this great stone?” said Lucy, putting her hand down
upon the stone seat.

“Yes,” said Mary Jay.

“I shouldn’t think that you could lift such a great, heavy stone,” said

“No,” replied Mary Jay, “I couldn’t have lifted it exactly. I pried it

“How did you do it?” asked Lucy.

“Why, I saw the stone lying a little way off, half in the ground, and
I went, one day, and got my little hoe, which my father bought for me
when I was about as large as you are, to hoe my garden with; and with
that I dug the stone out. Then I brought down a little iron bar, and
pried it up. My sister put stones under to keep it from falling back
again into its old place. At last I got it up so high, that she could
put a pole under; and at length we got it entirely out of its hole.
Then we pried it along, one end at a time; and finally we got it in its
place, and I pried it up, and my sister put the stones under which keep
it up.”

Then Lucy looked under the seat, and found that at each end there were
several flat stones, one over the other, forming a little pile; and the
stone seat rested upon them.

“But, Mary Jay,” said Lucy, “why didn’t you get your father to come and
do it for you?”

“Because,” said Mary Jay, “my father is always busy at his work; and,
besides, I knew that I should enjoy my seat a great deal more, to do it
all myself.”

“But then your sister helped you,” said Lucy.

“Yes,” replied Mary Jay, “my sister helped me; and she and I own the
seat together. I come down here sometimes to read.”

“I wish,” said Lucy, “that you would let me come down here sometimes,
and study my lesson.”

“Well,” said Mary Jay, “when you get so that you can go alone, I will.
If you are down here, there will be nobody to watch you, or help you
when you are in difficulty, so that it will be of no use for you to
come until you can go alone.”

After this, Lucy and Mary Jay walked slowly back to the house.



One morning, when Lucy was seated at her desk, in Mary Jay’s room, the
little girl that opened the door for her, the first day of her coming
to school, came in and told Mary Jay that there was a young gentleman
at the door who wanted to see Lucy.

“A young gentleman!” said Lucy, astonished. She couldn’t imagine how
any young gentleman could have called to see her. She looked up to Mary
Jay, without saying a word.

“Well, Lucy,” said Mary Jay, “you had better go and see who it is.”

So Lucy rose; but she was somewhat afraid to go. However, she followed
the little girl out; and then, passing through the intervening room,
she went to the front door; and there Lucy found that the young
gentleman was nobody but Royal. Lucy laughed aloud.

“What are you laughing at?” said Royal.

“Why, the girl said that there was a young gentleman at the door, who
wanted to see me.”

“Well, I am a young gentleman,” said Royal, “I’d have you to know. But
come, I am going to ride away in a chaise, and my father said that I
might call and get you to go too, if Mary Jay was willing.”

So Lucy went in to ask Mary Jay. She readily gave her consent, only she
told Lucy that she had better take Royal about the garden and yards a
little, and let him see what there was to be seen.

Lucy was much pleased to adopt this plan. She first took Royal to
the water post, as she called it, to let him see the water spout out,
and she told him that the pipes, which conveyed the water to it, were
wooden pipes, not leaden ones. Then she conducted him into the garden,
and pointed out the hive of bees to him, standing at a safe distance.
Then they both clambered over the stile, and went down to the brook,
where Lucy was going to show him Mary Jay’s seat; but her attention
was arrested at the sight of a duck and six small ducklings, sailing
about upon the pond. Both Royal and Lucy were greatly delighted at this
sight. The little ducklings would swim about, and dabble with their
bills in the sand, and in the grass upon the bank, as skilfully as if
they had been practising half a dozen years.

“O, what _beautiful_ little things!” said Royal. “I wish I had a duck.”

“I didn’t know that Mary Jay had any ducks,” said Lucy.

Some of the ducks were nearly black, and some were yellow; they were
all covered with a silky down, instead of feathers, with a little
tuft on each side, in the place of wings. Their little web feet were,
however, perfectly formed, and were smooth and glossy. Lucy saw one
very plainly, when one of the ducks was running on the bank.

After some time, the children left the pond and the ducks, and went up
to the house again; and then Lucy got into the chaise with Royal, and
rode away. They rode about two miles, when Royal did his errand, and
then they returned home. Royal left Lucy at her school again, as there
was some more school time yet left; and, besides, Lucy wanted to ask
Mary Jay something about the ducks.

When she came into the school-room, however, Mary Jay said to her,--

“Well, Lucy, have you had a pleasant ride?”

“Yes,” said Lucy, “we went over the bridge, and----”

Lucy was going on to describe her ride, but Mary Jay said that it was
her study hours, and that she had better sit right down to her studies,
and when she had finished her lesson, then she should like very much to
hear about her ride.

“You see,” continued Mary Jay, “that it will be better for us not to
lose any more time than is necessary, when you go away to ride; for
then your father, when he finds it doesn’t make much interruption, will
let you go the oftener.”

Lucy accordingly sat down at once to her work, and studied
industriously upon her spelling lesson, until the time had expired.
Then she told Mary Jay about her ride, and afterwards asked her about
the ducks.

“The ducks!” repeated Mary Jay; “where did you see them? Down in the

“Yes,” said Lucy, “a duck, and six little ducklings.”

“Why, Lucy,” said Mary Jay, apparently much surprised, and starting up
to take her crutches. “Then my ducklings are hatched out.”

“Didn’t you know it?” said Lucy.

“No,” said Mary Jay; “let us go and see.”

So Mary Jay and Lucy hastened out into the yard. From the yard they
passed into the garden, and from thence over the stile. They followed
the path down, until they came to the water; and here Mary Jay seemed
to be even more pleased than Royal and Lucy had been, to see her little

“I didn’t know that they were hatched,” said Mary Jay; “the duck has
been sitting for some time, but I didn’t think that she could find her
way down here alone, with all the little ducklings. Let’s see--how many
are there?”

“Six,” said Lucy; “Royal and I counted them.”

“One, two, three, four, five,--and that little black one on the bank
makes six,” said Mary Jay. “But there ought to be seven.”

“Why?” said Lucy.

“Because,” said Mary Jay, “there were seven eggs. Let us go to the nest
and see.”

So Mary Jay and Lucy went back towards the house. They went through the
garden and the yard beyond, where the aqueduct was situated, and thence
they passed into another yard, where there was a barn and a shed.

“I don’t see how the little ducklings could get over all these
fences,” said Lucy.

“No,” said Mary Jay, “they didn’t; there is another way for them to go.
I will show it to you presently.”

They now came into a shed, where there was a cart and a wagon; and in
one corner there was a sleigh, which had been stored away there for the
summer. Mary Jay looked under the sleigh, and Lucy stooped down and
looked under too.

There was a nest made of hay under the back corner of the sleigh, with
several egg-shells lying about it; in the nest was one egg remaining,
which seemed to be whole.

“There is one egg,” said Mary Jay; “couldn’t you creep under and get
it, Lucy? Stop a minute, and I will put something down for you to kneel

So Mary Jay took the seat out of the sleigh, which was a smooth board,
like a box cover, and she put it down upon the ground between the two
runners. Then Lucy crept in upon this, going in in front; and when she
came to the end of the seat, she found that she could just reach the
egg. She took it up, and was bringing it out, when suddenly she dropped
it, appearing to be frightened.

“What is the matter?” said Mary Jay.

“Why, I heard it peep,” said Lucy.

“Did you?” said Mary Jay; “then there must be a little duckling in it
alive. Take it up very carefully, and bring it out to me.”

So Lucy took up the egg again, and crept out backward, and handed it to
Mary Jay. Then she came out entirely, and stood up before Mary Jay to
see the egg. It was cracked and broken by the fall.

“Put the seat back in its place, Lucy,” said Mary Jay, “and then we can
get into the sleigh, and sit down.”

So Lucy put the seat back in its place, and they both stepped in and
sat down. Then Mary Jay began carefully to pull off the pieces of the

“Are you going to take the little duckling out?” asked Lucy.

“Yes,” replied Mary Jay; “but I don’t believe it will live.”

“Why not?” said Lucy.

“Because,” said Mary Jay, “it is so tender and young. You see it is not
fledged yet, and it ought to be kept warm; but the old duck has gone
away with the others, and so she will not take care of it; and it is
not grown enough to swim about in the water.”

By this time, Mary Jay had got the little duckling out, and held it
in her hand. He was partly covered with a coarse sort of bristles,
the rudiments of future feathers. He _peeped_ a little, but he could
not stand, or hold up his head. He lay extended upon Mary Jay’s hand,
almost lifeless and cold.

“How shaggy he looks!” said Mary Jay.

“Shaggy?” repeated Lucy.

“Yes,” replied Mary Jay; “he looks more like a young porcupine, than
like a duck.”

“Let me hold him in my hand,” said Lucy.

So Mary Jay gently placed him in Lucy’s hand.

“Now put your other hand over him,” said Mary Jay.

“What for?” said Lucy.

“To keep him warm,” said Mary Jay. “One of your hands will be a bed,
and the other a blanket.”

“We’ll go in and give him something to eat,” said Lucy.

“No,” replied Mary Jay, “it is warmth, not food, that he wants.”

So Mary Jay walked along towards the house, and Lucy followed her,
carrying the duckling very carefully, covering it with her right hand,
though she took care not to press her hand down upon it hard enough to
hurt it. When they got into the house, Mary Jay got a little basket,
not much larger than a tea-cup, and lined the bottom of it with cotton.
Then she put in the duckling, and covered him over with cotton.

“O Mary Jay,” said Lucy, “you’ll stifle him.”

“No,” said Mary Jay, “he has more air to breathe than he had in the
egg-shell; the great thing is to keep him warm.”

When Mary Jay had got the little duckling comfortably established in
his basket, she went out into the kitchen, and put the basket in a
pretty warm corner, and left him. Then she told Lucy that it was time
for her to go home.

“Do you think that the duckling will live?” said Lucy.

“No,” said Mary Jay, “I am afraid not--but we can tell by the time you
come to school to-morrow morning.”

       *       *       *       *       *

When it was time for Lucy to come home from her school the next day,
Royal went out to the door to watch for her; for Lucy had told him
about the duckling, and he was very eager to hear whether it was alive
or not. After waiting some time, he caught a glimpse of Lucy’s bonnet,
through the trees, as she was coming along the road. When she had
advanced so far as to come into full view, he saw that she had a little
basket in her hand, which she was bringing along very carefully.

“Lucy,” said Royal, calling out aloud to her, “what have you got there?”

Lucy looked up, and, seeing Royal, began to run along a little, very
gently, towards him; but she checked herself immediately, finding that
it shook the basket too much. So she contented herself with walking as
fast as she could, calling out at the same time, in reply to Royal,--

“I’ve got the little duckling. Mary Jay has given it to me.”

By this time Royal had run up to where she was, very eager to look in
and see the little duckling.

“Is it alive, Lucy?” said he. “Is it alive?”

“Yes,” said Lucy; and she moved away a little of the cotton, and let
Royal look in. The duckling held up its head, and began to peep. It was
alive, and pretty strong, and covered with a soft, silky down, like the
ducklings which Royal and Lucy had seen in the water.

“You said he was all covered with bristles,” said Royal.

“Yes,” replied Lucy, “but they have all grown out into feathers.”

“O Lucy,” said Royal, “what a beautiful little duckling! I wish I had
it. Didn’t she give it partly to me? To me and you together, I guess it
was,” he added.

“No,” replied Lucy, “to me alone. She gave it altogether to me.”

“Well,” said Royal, “I wish you would let me own it with you;” and then
he added, after a moment’s pause, “I’ll make you a duck pond, Lucy; you
must have a duck pond.”

“You can’t make a duck pond,” said Lucy.

“O Lucy! yes I can,” replied Royal.

“Big enough for him to swim in?” said Lucy.

“Yes,” replied Royal, “plenty big enough.”

“Well,” said Lucy, “but where will you make it?”

“O, any where--wherever you want it.”

Lucy still had some doubts whether Royal could really make a duck
pond; but, as she wanted very much to see the little duckling swim, she
finally concluded to agree to Royal’s proposal, and to let him own it
with her, provided he would make a pond.



Royal commenced his pond that afternoon, though the commencement of
the pond was the commencement of difficulties between him and Lucy
respecting their agreement; for Lucy, after getting Joanna to give the
duckling a little meal and water, according to Mary Jay’s directions,
and leaving him safe in Joanna’s care in the kitchen, went out into the
yard, and found Royal at work getting out a large box, which was behind
the barn. The box was about as large every way as a common bureau
drawer, being pretty long and broad, but very shallow.

“What are you going to do with that box?” said Lucy.

“I am going to make your duck pond with it,” said Royal.

“I don’t see how you are going to make a duck pond with a box,” said

“Why, you see,” said Royal, “I am going to dig a square hole in the
ground, in a corner of the yard, and set this box down in it, and then
I am going to pour water in it, and so make the duck pond.”

“But that won’t be big enough,” said Lucy.

“O yes,” said Royal, “it will be plenty big enough for such a little
duckling as ours. He can swim about in it a great deal.”

“It is not yours and mine,” said Lucy; “it is mine alone.”

“Yes,” said Royal, “it is part mine; you said if I would make you a
duck pond, you would let me own it with you.”

“Yes, I said I _would_ give it to you, _after_ you had made the duck
pond; but I haven’t given it to you yet.”

“Yes, but, Lucy, I am going to make the duck pond. I am doing it as
fast as I can.”

“It won’t be big enough,” said Lucy. “I meant a duck pond as big as
Mary Jay’s.”

“O Lucy, I could not possibly make such a big duck pond as that. That
is a great brook.”

“Yes,” said Lucy, “and so I told you. I told you that you couldn’t make
such a duck pond as I wanted.”

Royal insisted that the bargain was fairly made, and that he only
agreed to make a duck pond big enough for a duck to swim in. And now he
said that it was not fair for Lucy to take back her promise, and that
he meant to go on and finish the pond, and then he should certainly
have half the duck for his.

But Lucy, on the other hand, contended that she meant a large duck
pond; whereas Royal was only going to make a box full of water. After
considerable discussion, they very properly agreed to refer the case to
Miss Anne. They both promised to abide by her decision.

They found Miss Anne swinging herself at a swing, near the back part of
the garden. After hearing a full account of the case from each of the
parties, Miss Anne said,--

“It is rather a difficult case to decide. Nothing was said about the
size of the duck pond in the bargain, but yet Lucy says she _meant_ a
large one; and it is highly probable that she did. Now, it is hard for
her to lose her duck, in a bargain which she did not mean to make.

“But, then, on the other hand,” continued Miss Anne, “Royal honestly
understood her to mean a duck pond of any size, and so he began in good
faith to fulfil his agreement; and now it is rather hard for him to be
disappointed, and lose his work.”

“Why, Miss Anne,” said Lucy, “he hasn’t done any work; he has only
taken out the box.”

“That is something,” said Miss Anne, “and then the disappointment is a
good deal; so that it is a hard case to decide.”

She paused for a few moments, considering the case, and then she

“You see, Royal--do you not?--that your claim is a somewhat doubtful

“Why, I think,” said Royal, “that it was a fair bargain; and, besides,
to make a small duck pond will be as much as the duckling is worth.”

“Still, that was not her understanding, and so the case is somewhat
doubtful. Now, sometimes, in such a case, where a man has a claim which
he perceives is, after all, a doubtful one, and the other party is
not willing to allow it, he will not insist upon it. We all have just
claims, which, considering all the circumstances of the case, we do not
wish to insist upon.”

“How?” said Royal.

“Why, suppose, for instance, that I should lend a book to Mary Jay,
and, while it was at her house, it should accidentally get injured.”

“But Mary Jay is very careful of books,” said Lucy.

“I have no doubt of that,” replied Miss Anne; “but then an accident
might happen. A little child might get it.”

“But there are no little children there,” persisted Lucy.

“No matter,” replied Miss Anne; “we can certainly make the supposition,
that the book got injured.”

Lucy thought that, even as a mere supposition, the idea that a
book could get injured, while under Mary Jay’s care, was wholly
inadmissible. However, she said no more, and Miss Anne proceeded.

“Now, if that were the case,” continued Miss Anne, “I should have a
claim upon Mary Jay to buy me another book. If any body borrows any
thing, and it gets injured while in her care, she is bound to get
another; so I should have a fair and just claim upon her; but I should
not insist upon it. I should not wish her to buy me another book. It
would be a just claim, but yet I should not insist upon it.

“Now, cases of this kind very often happen,” she continued, “where
persons have just claims, which they prefer to yield, rather than to
insist upon. Now, you think, in this case, Royal, that you have a just
claim upon Lucy; but, perhaps, considering all the circumstances of
the case, you will conclude that you will not insist upon it. That
will settle the whole question; and I shall be saved the necessity of
deciding whether the share of the duck is justly yours or not.”

“Well,” said Royal, after a moment’s pause, “on the whole, I don’t care
much. I believe I’ll make the duck pond, and you may have the duck
yourself, Lucy, pond and all.”

Lucy was highly gratified at Royal’s generosity, in giving up his claim
so pleasantly, and they went together out into the yard.

Royal then proceeded with his work. He dug a square hole in the corner
of the yard, and put the earth, which came out of it, into his little
wheelbarrow, and wheeled it away, reserving one wheelbarrow load. Then
he put the box into its place, and rammed in the earth which he had
reserved, compactly, all around it.

“And now,” said Lucy, “are you going to put the water in that?”

“Yes,” said Royal.

“I don’t think it will be a very good duck pond,” said Lucy.

“Why not?” asked Royal.

“Because,” said Lucy, “the sides are so steep, that my little duck
can’t get out.”

“Ah, you’ll see that he can get out, when it is done.”

“But, Royal,” said Lucy, “what good does it do to put in the box? Why
don’t you pour the water right into the hole.”

“Because,” said Royal, “it would all soak away into the ground. The
sides of the box will keep the water from soaking away so much.”

“It will soak away through the cracks,” said Lucy.

“No,” said Royal, “I shall stop up the cracks.”

Accordingly, when Royal had finished placing his box in the ground,
and had packed the earth in tight all around it, he went away with his
wheelbarrow to a bank at some distance, down in the field, where there
was some clay, and he brought a little of this in his wheelbarrow to
the spot. He worked this clay over all the seams, and into the corners
of the box, ramming it down hard.

“There,” said he, “now the water can’t get through. Clay is
water-tight. Water can go through sand, but it can’t get through clay.”

“Is that what you mean by water-tight?” asked Lucy.

“Yes,” replied Royal. “After I have made my box water-tight, with
clay, then I am going to put sand in.”

“What is that for?” said Lucy.

“You will see,” replied Royal.

So Royal, when his clay was all crowded into its place, around the
bottom of the box, took his wheelbarrow again, and went after a load
of sand and gravel. He had to go to some distance for this; but he
succeeded at length in getting as much as he could wheel, of pretty
clean sand and pebble-stones.

This load he put into the box, and he disposed of the sand and gravel
in such a way, as that it filled the box nearly full around the sides,
leaving a deep place in the middle. Then he went to get some water.

He brought pailful after pailful, until he had filled up his little
pond level with the top. The water was somewhat turbid immediately
after he had poured it in; but he told Lucy that in a little while it
would subside and be clear.

“It will settle,” said he, “while I am making the duck house.”

“Are you going to make a duck house too?” asked Lucy.

“Yes,” replied Royal; “for, pretty soon, you see, the duck will be big
enough to live out of doors, and then you will want a house for him.”

So Royal went and got another box. It was shaped like a trunk, and
about as large, only it had no cover. Royal brought this, and placed it
at one end of his duck pond, laying it down upon its side, so that the
open part was towards the pond.

“There,” said he, “that will do for a house, only the top ought to be

“What for?” said Lucy.

“Why, for the roof,--so that the water will run off when it rains.”

“Well, Royal,” said Lucy, “we can tip it back a little, and that will
make the top slanting. Then you can put a stone under one side, to keep
it so.”

“No,” replied Royal, “for that will make the bottom slant back too. You
see the floor ought to be level, and only the roof slant back. But I
know what I can do.”

Saying this, Royal went away, and got a short board, a little larger
every way than the upper board of the box. This he placed over the box,
in an inclined position. This was for a roof. The back part of the
roof--that is, the part which was away from the pond--rested directly
upon the box. The front part--that is, the part which was towards the
pond, which was, of course, to be raised, in order to make the roof
slant backward--Royal supported by a narrow board, which he placed
under this edge to keep it up. He nailed the roof securely in its place.

When it was finished, there was, of course, a space between the upper
part of the box and the roof. Royal said that this was the duck’s
garret. “And now,” said he, “for the yard.”

“What! are you going to make a yard?” asked Lucy.

“Yes,” said Royal, “he must have a yard, or else he will run away. But
while I am making a yard, Lucy, you must go into the barn, and get a
little hay, and make him a nest.”

So Lucy went into the barn, and got some hay, while Royal took his
wheelbarrow, and went away to find some boards for the yard. He brought
three or four boards, and with these he made a yard. The boards were
about six feet long. He placed them upon the ground, upon their edges.
Each board made one side of the yard. He nailed them together at the
four corners. One of the boards passed directly behind the duck house;
the others extended on each side, and forward, so as to enclose the
duck pond and considerable space besides, so that the duck could come
out of his house, and either swim in his pond, or else walk about upon
the ground, just as he pleased; only he could not get over the boards,
so as to run away.

“That is a beautiful duck yard,” said Lucy, “only I wish there was a
door for me to open, to go in.”

“O, you can step right over it,” said Royal.

“Yes,” said Lucy, “I know I _can_ step over it; but I should like a

“Well,” said Royal, “I will see if I can contrive some way to make a

Royal then went and got a small block of wood, which he brought to the
duck yard, and put it down before it, close to the board upon one side.
When he had it properly placed, he said,--

“There, Lucy, that will do for a step, and you can step up by that, and
so get over easily; and you can call that a door. Won’t that do?”

Lucy said that it would do very well; and she stepped over by means of
her step, and back again, several times. She said it made a very good
door indeed.

By the time that all this had been doing, the water in the little pond
had become quite clear, and Lucy could see that it had a smooth, sandy
bottom. So they both wanted to bring the duck out, and see it swim.
Lucy was afraid that it was too little to swim; but Royal insisted that
a duck could swim just as quick as it could get out of the shell. Lucy
said that she meant to ask Joanna; and they accordingly both went into
the house to ask Joanna if it would do to put their little duck into
the water.

Joanna said that she thought he could swim, and, at any rate, that she
would go out with them, and carry him, and see. Then they all went out

Joanna said that she liked the pond, and the house, and the yard, all
very much indeed.

“But I think,” she added, “that it would be better to keep the little
duck in the house at night, for a while, where he can be kept warm,
until he gets a little older. Then, in the daytime, while the sun is
out, you can keep him here in his house; and then, after some time,
when he gets older and stronger, you can let him stay in his house all
the time, day and night.”

So saying, Joanna gently put the duck down upon the edge of his pond,
in order to see what he would do. He ran right into it at once, and
immediately began to swim about as dexterously as if he had been
accustomed to the water as long as his mother had been.

[Illustration: “‘He can swim!’ exclaimed Lucy; ‘see, Royal! he can
swim!’”--Page 133]

“He can swim!” exclaimed Lucy; “see, Royal! he can swim!”

The duck then began to dabble with his bill in the sand, upon the
margin of the water. Then he took up a little water, and held his bill
up to let the water run down his throat. Then he looked up with one eye
towards Royal and Lucy, and then he swam across the pond again, and
went to dabbling in the sand upon the other side.

“O ducky,” said Royal, “what a cunning little rogue you are!”

“Let’s give him something to eat,” said Lucy.

“Yes,” replied Joanna, “I brought him a little piece of bread;” and
so saying, she proceeded to crumb her bread upon the ground, near the
duckling. He came out upon the bank, and began to pick up some of
the small crumbs immediately; and then he turned around, and jumped
into the water again, and swam away, striking the water from beneath
him with his little web feet. Joanna laughed heartily at his comical
movements; and, after looking at him for a few minutes, she left him
with the children, and went back to the house.

The children let the duck swim about in his pond for more than an hour,
while they remained near, sometimes watching his motions, and sometimes
playing at a little distance from his house and yard. They had some
conversation about his name. Several names were talked of, but finally
they concluded to call him Diver. They gave him as much bread as they
thought he ought to have, and then Royal put the remainder of the
pieces, which Joanna had brought out, in Diver’s garret, which he said
would be a fine place to keep his provisions in.

“Yes,” said Lucy, “I think it will be an excellent place, and I am much
obliged to you, Royal, for making me such a good duck pond, and house,
and yard. I am very glad to have it. It is a great deal better than I
expected that it would be. And I believe, on the whole, that I shall
let you own Diver with me. We will own him, and his house, and his
yard, and his pond, all together.”

“Yes,” said Royal, “so we will.”

The children went in and told Miss Anne how they had settled the
business, and she said that she was glad of it. “It is much better,”
she said, “to arrange such affairs in a spirit of kindness and
good-will, than for each party to insist upon his or her claims, and
have the case decided as a dispute between them; and I am very glad
that you have settled it in an amicable manner.”

“What do you mean by amicable?” asked Lucy.

“_Friendly_,” replied Miss Anne.



After Lucy had been at school for some days, and had learned a little
how to study by herself, and to follow Mary Jay’s directions, Mary Jay
asked her, one day, if she knew what her mother wanted her to study.
She said that she didn’t know. “Then,” said Mary Jay, “I wish that you
would ask your mother, and tell me to-morrow.”

Lucy did ask her mother, and her mother consulted her father. The
result of their conversation was, that they should like to see Mary Jay
about Lucy’s studies; and they concluded to invite her to come that
evening and take tea with them, and then, after tea, they would have
time to talk about it.

Royal wished to go and bring Mary Jay in the chaise, as she couldn’t
walk very well; and his father said that that would be an excellent
plan. Lucy invited her when she went to school that morning; and in the
afternoon, when it was time for her to come, Royal and Lucy went for
her in the chaise.

The first thing, after Mary Jay arrived, was to take her out, and let
her see the duck pond and house. Mary Jay was very much pleased indeed;
and she said that, when her ducklings grew up, she would give them
another, and then they would have a pair.

Royal wished that Mary Jay would give them the other duckling then, so
that they might bring them up together; but he didn’t think that it
would be proper for him to ask it, and so he only said that he and Lucy
would be very glad indeed to have a pair.

After tea that evening, Lucy’s father and mother, and Mary Jay, sat
down to talk about Lucy’s studies.

“I believe,” said Lucy’s father, “that teachers have often very wrong
ideas about the proper studies for children. The question is, not what
studies are the easiest, but what can be pursued to best advantage.
Now, there are some things which children can learn thoroughly, as
far as they learn them at all, and others that they cannot learn

“Not if they are thoroughly taught?” said Mary Jay.

“No,” said he, “because they cannot be thoroughly taught; for the very
things that the study relates to, are such that they cannot really
appreciate them. Take history, for example. If a child, like Lucy, is
to study history, she reads, perhaps, in her book, that a rebellion
broke out, and the leaders of it beheaded the king. Now, she may commit
the words to memory, it is true, and recite the lesson fluently; but
she cannot have any adequate idea of the truth, because the elements of
it are beyond her capacity.”

“I don’t understand one word that you say,” said Lucy.

“Why, if you read in a book of history,” said her father, “that a
rebellion broke out, and that the leaders of it beheaded the king,
you cannot really understand it, because you cannot understand what a
rebellion is, or what the leaders are, or even what a king is.”

“Why, father,” said Lucy, “I know what a king is already; and Mary Jay
could tell me the other things.”

“What is a king?” asked her father.

“Why he--he--is a kind of man, and he lives in a great palace;--and he
makes people obey him, I believe,” said Lucy.

Her father did not say any thing in reply to her description of a
king; but Mary Jay saw very clearly, that she could not possibly have
any thing more than a very inadequate and childish idea of a king.

“It is so with all the ideas,” continued her father, addressing
Mary Jay, “which history brings before the mind. They are greatly
complicated, and of very extended and intricate relations, so that
young children cannot possibly appreciate them. If you tell them that
Columbus discovered America in 1492, they can learn the words; but
they are utterly unable to appreciate the truth. They cannot form any
conception of America, or of Columbus, and the date 1492 marks no era
of the world in their minds.”

“Well, sir,” said Mary Jay, “but isn’t it so with all studies?”

“No, by no means,” replied Lucy’s father. “The truths of arithmetic a
child can appreciate as fully and completely as any person. Three from
ten leaves seven. Now, a child may be longer in learning that than a
grown person; but when she once understands it, she understands it as
perfectly as any mind can. The reason is, that the idea of three is a
simple idea, which, if it is formed at all in the mind, is formed fully
at once. But the idea of a rebellion, or of a king, or an army, is a
complicated idea, which can be acquired only slowly, and after some
years of experience of life, of reading and observation.”

“What are some of the other studies,” asked Mary Jay, “besides
arithmetic, which children can learn to advantage?”

“Reading is one. A child who learns what the sound is, that is
represented by the character S, knows the truth as completely and
thoroughly as Sir Isaac Newton could have known it. Then there is
writing, including spelling.”

“Spelling belongs to reading, father,” said Lucy.

“You _learn_ the art of spelling, generally, with reading; but we _use_
it only with writing,” replied her father.

“How?” said Lucy.

“Why, the chief reason why we learn to spell is, so as to be able to
spell the words correctly when we are writing. We do not spell the
words when we read. Therefore, to be able to spell is rather a part of
the art of writing, than of reading. In reading, the scholar must be
able to pronounce all the words which she finds already spelt; and in
writing, she must be able to spell them again.”

“Is geography another study?” said Mary Jay.

“Geography, one would at first think, would be one of the studies
which a child could learn thoroughly; but, on reflection, we shall
see that the elementary ideas, which that study brings to the mind,
are beyond the grasp of very young children. They have no ideas of
distance, and of course can have no adequate conception of the earth,
or of continents, oceans, mountains. It is impossible to carry the
mind of a very young child away from the lines, and dots, and crooked
configurations of the map, to the vast forms of real land and water,
represented by them. We all carry with us to the end of life absurd
and ridiculous ideas of some regions of the earth’s surface, which we
obtained from our maps, when we were children. But a child cannot very
well form an absurd or ridiculous idea of the number _ten_, or of the
letter _s_, or of the mode of spelling _until_.”

“Well, father,” said Lucy, “I know what a mountain is, at any rate.”

“What is it?” said her father.

“It is a great, high hill.”

“How high is it?” said her father.

“O, it is very high,” said Lucy, reaching up with her hand; “very
high, indeed. Higher than this house.”

“Is it as high as a tree?” said her father.

“Yes,” said Lucy, “a great deal higher than a tree.”

“Is it as high as the steeple of a church?” asked her father.

“Why, I don’t know,” answered Lucy. “I don’t know that it is quite so
high as the steeple of a church.”

Mary Jay smiled; but Lucy’s father only said that it was true that
church steeples were sometimes very high. Mary Jay saw how inadequate
all Lucy’s ideas of the magnitude of mountains were; for, in fact, the
principal mountains of the world are as much higher than the steeple
of a church, as the house that Lucy lived in was higher than her duck
house. In fact, Lucy was entirely unable to form any conception,
when she heard the word _mountain_, of the vast and complicated idea
expressed by it,--including the immense and towering elevations, the
forests, the rocks, and the glaciers,--the broken ranges, the chasms
and valleys, and the lofty summits, bare, and desolate, and cold. Her
idea of a mountain was only that of a great green hill.

“Then,” said Mary Jay, “you would rather have Lucy not study any
thing, but what she can learn thoroughly--reading, spelling, writing,
and arithmetic.”

“No,” replied Lucy’s father, “I did not say exactly that; I wouldn’t
forbid her making a beginning upon geography or history,--if we can
get some suitable book,--by way of variety, and to give her a little
introduction to these studies. But I want her main time and attention,
for several years, to be directed to the other studies, which she can
pursue to advantage. Remember that every step she takes in learning
the three great arts, of reading, writing, and arithmetic, is a step
taken well and thoroughly,--but that whatever ground she goes over in
history, geography, or philosophy, or any such study, is gone over in a
very superficial manner; and that all the ideas she forms are childish,
inadequate, and oftentimes entirely incorrect or absurd.”

Mary Jay was very much interested in what Lucy’s father had been
saying; but Lucy did not understand it very well, and, as she could not
understand, she had gradually ceased to pay any attention, and was now
thinking of a plan of getting Royal to carry Diver down to the brook,
which was at some distance behind the house, the next day, and let him
swim there; and just as her father had finished the last remark, she

“Father, may Royal and I carry Diver down to the brook to-morrow?”

“Diver?” repeated her father; “who is Diver?”

“O, haven’t you seen Diver yet, father?--Come out then, and see him.
Mary Jay gave him to us.”

This was the first time that her father had heard of Diver. He allowed
Lucy to take him by the hand, and to lead him out to Royal’s duck pond.
He was very much pleased with it, indeed, and with Diver’s motions and
frolics in the water. He said that he did not know before that a young
duck was such a pretty thing. He took it up, and looked at its little
web feet, which he admired exceedingly, and said that, if he was an
engineer, he would attempt to construct paddles for a steamboat on the
same principle.

“I should think that they would strike the bottom in shallow water,”
said Mary Jay.

“And get broken,” said Lucy.

“So they would,” replied her father. “I didn’t think of that; did I?”

Mary Jay got into the chaise again, and Royal drove her home; and on
the way, she determined to devote nearly all Lucy’s time in school to
making as much, and as thorough progress as possible, in the great
fundamental branches of reading, writing, spelling, and arithmetic.



One afternoon, Lucy went to see her cousin Rollo. Rollo was younger
than Lucy, being then about four or five years old. Lucy was six or
seven. She was going to spend the evening at her uncle’s, and Royal,
her brother, was to come for her in the chaise about half-past eight

Before tea, Lucy and Rollo had been playing with picture-books.
Lucy sat upon a cricket before a little book-case, looking at the
books. Rollo had a stick for a gun, and was marching about, stopping
occasionally to make believe fire his gun. He did not care much about
the picture-books as he had seen them a great many times.

After tea, Rollo’s father went into a little back parlor, where he
had been writing, and Rollo and Lucy returned to the little book-case.
They had a lamp now, for by this time it was dark. Rollo wanted Lucy to
make him a little cap, so that he could play soldier better. He had a
feather, which he told her she could put into it.

So Lucy took a piece of paper, which was in the book-case, and cut a
narrow strip, which she put around Rollo’s head like a band, and pinned
the ends together. Then she contrived to fasten the feather in at the
side of it. Rollo said it would do very well for a cap, and he went
marching about and firing his gun.

Lucy found that she could not see very well; so she followed Rollo out
into the entry. She wanted to see where he was going. Rollo marched
along until he came to the door leading into his father’s back parlor.
He opened the door and went in. Lucy remained at the door, looking to
see what he would do.

Rollo’s father was seated at a table near the window, with his back to
the door, writing very busily; and he paid no attention to Rollo, but
went on with his work. Rollo marched backwards and forwards, imitating
the sound of a trumpet with his lips, and stopping occasionally to
point his stick towards his father, or towards Lucy, and say, _Bang_,
as if he was shooting them.

“Come in, Lucy,” said Rollo.

“No,” said Lucy, in a low tone, and shaking her head.

“Yes,” said Rollo, “come in; my father will let us come in.”

But Lucy was afraid of interrupting her uncle, and so she did not come
in, immediately; but finding, at length, that her uncle went on with
his work without appearing to pay any attention to Rollo, she presently
glided in, and took her seat upon a sofa which was upon the side of the
room opposite to where her uncle was sitting.

Presently Rollo’s father paused in his work, and laid down a ruler,
which he had been using in copying a plan into a letter that he had
been writing, upon the table. He then rose from his seat, and turned
around to look at Rollo. Rollo immediately began to march back and
forth again, trumpeting with his lips, and shooting at his father with
his gun.

“Come,” said his father, “I think I should like to have the enemy march
out of my kingdom.”

“Why, father,” said Rollo; “I’m not the enemy.”

“O,” said his father, “I thought it was the enemy.”

“Yes, come, Rollo,” said Lucy; “we had better go out.”

“No,” said Rollo; “mayn’t we stay here, father?”

While Lucy and Rollo were saying this, Mr. Holiday had gone to his
secretary, and opened it, and was taking down a bundle of papers.

“Why, I am afraid,” said he, “that you will interrupt me. I am engaged
in some very perplexing work.”

“No, sir, we won’t,” said Rollo. “We will be ever so still. I’ll put my
gun away, and my cap. Lucy, you take out my feather, and then I’ll take
off my cap, and we’ll put it away, and come and sit down upon the sofa,
and be still, and look at father’s great picture-book. May we have your
great picture-book, father?”

“Why, I have no objection,” said his father, “to your having the great
picture-book; but then I am very certain that you’ll interrupt me if
you stay here.”

Rollo’s father talked very indistinctly as he said this, for his pen
was across his mouth, both hands being occupied in turning over the
file of papers which he had taken down from the secretary.

At length, he took his seat at the table again, and began to write,
saying, however, before he began, that Rollo and Lucy might see if they
could stay in his room without interrupting him.

“Come, Lucy,” said Rollo, “let us go and get my little table to put up
by the sofa, and then we can put the great picture-book upon it, and
then sit upon the sofa, and look at the pictures.”

They accordingly went off to get the table. It was a small, square
table, with a drawer in it. It was just high enough for Rollo and Lucy,
and so light that it was very easy to carry about. Rollo took hold of
one side, and Lucy of the other, and they brought it into the room very

“Now,” said Rollo, looking about, “now for a light.”

He observed that there were two lamps upon his father’s table, and so
he went up to the table abruptly, saying,--

“Father, will you be good enough to let us have one of your lights?”

“There,” said his father. “I thought that you would come pretty soon
and interrupt me.”

“But, father,” said Rollo, “we can’t see without a light.”

“No,” said his father; “that is true, no doubt; but it does not make
it any the less an interruption to me for you to come and ask me for

“Well, but, father,” said Rollo, moving back slowly, and speaking in a
disappointed tone, “then I don’t see what we shall do.”

“I thought you had a light yourselves, by your book-case.”

“O yes,” said Lucy, “so we did. I’ll run and get it, Rollo.”

So Lucy jumped up, and ran off after the light, while Rollo went to get
the great picture-book.

What Rollo called the great picture-book was a very large and heavy
volume, in his father’s library, which contained a great many large and
beautiful pictures. His father never allowed him to carry it out of the
room, but sometimes let him put it in a chair, and turn over the leaves
very carefully, to see the pictures. Rollo took this book down, which
he accomplished without much difficulty; for it was on the lower part
of the book-case, not very far from the floor. He carried it to the
little table, and pretty soon after Lucy came in with a light.

But here an unexpected difficulty occurred. The book was so large that,
when it was opened, it covered the whole top of the table, and so there
was no room for the lamp.

“Move the book,” said Lucy.

Rollo moved it as far as he could, but there was scarcely room for the
lamp to stand.

“No,” said Lucy, “that won’t do. The lamp will get knocked off the
table, and will fall upon the carpet.”

“No it won’t,” said Rollo; “I’ll watch it.”

“But I’m afraid to have it there,” said Lucy. “By and by, we shall push
the book against it, and knock it over; and then my aunt will be very
sorry indeed.”

“No, but, Lucy,” said Rollo, in a very positive tone, “I tell you I’ll
watch it.”

Here Rollo’s father turned around again, and said, “Now, children, you
are interrupting me again.”

“Well, father,” said Rollo, “it is because our table is not big enough.”

“Yes,” said his father, “I see the reason, and I don’t blame you
particularly; only I have not time now to attend to you, and it
interrupts me to hear of your difficulties. I wish you’d go into the
front parlor, and amuse yourselves there.”

“Well, come, Rollo,” said Lucy, “let us go.”

“I’d rather stay here, sir,” said Rollo, in a supplicating tone. “If
you’ll only tell us how we can put our light,” he continued, “then we
shall not interrupt you again. We shall not have any thing to interrupt
you for.”

“Well,” said his father, “I’ll do that, and then I’ll keep an account,
and after you have interrupted me three times more, you must go out.
Will you agree to that?”

Rollo and Lucy both said that they would agree to that, and so Mr.
Holiday left his work, and went over to the sofa. He saw at once that
the table was not large enough to render it safe to put the lamp and
the book upon it together. So he brought a chair, and placed it near
to the little table, and then laid the book, open, upon the chair. The
chair was placed so near to the table that the light shone down upon
the book.

“Now,” said he, “children, you must go and get a couple of crickets, or
one long one, and put before the chair for your seats. So the crickets
will serve for your chairs, the chair for your table, and the table for
your light-stand.”

They accordingly went and got the crickets, and they found that the
arrangement answered very well. They could see the pictures distinctly,
and there was no danger now that the lamp would fall down. Mr. Holiday
laid out a small piece of paper upon the corner of his table, and said
that, every time that they interrupted him, in any way, he should make
a mark upon that paper, and that, as soon as there were three marks
made, they must go out.

The children turned over the leaves of the great book very carefully
for some time, and were much amused by them. Rollo was greatly
delighted at the picture of a dog standing on his head; and he talked
and laughed about him with a great deal of glee. Lucy said, “Hush!” to
him several times, for she was afraid that he would make so much noise
that her uncle would be interrupted, and make a mark against them. But
he seemed to take no notice of it.

At last, they got through the book, and Rollo shut it up and put it
away. They then did not immediately know what to do next; but very soon
Lucy said that, if she only had a pencil and a piece of paper, she
would draw Rollo a house. Royal, she said, had showed her how.

“Only,” said she, “this chair would not be a good table to draw upon.”

The chair was what is commonly called a _cane-bottomed_ chair. The
seat was made of narrow strips of ratan, woven together in such a way
as to leave a great many curious octagonal interstices. This did not
prevent its answering a very good purpose as a support for a book; but
it was plain that it would not do at all to write upon.

“I know how to manage,” said Rollo.

He said no more, but went immediately to a corner of the room, where
there was a small space at the end of the secretary, and he pulled
out a smooth pine board, about as wide, and twice as long, as the
top of his little table. He brought this out with an air of great
satisfaction, and they placed another chair at a little distance from
the one which they had been using as a table, in such a manner that he
could rest this board upon the two chairs, one end of the board upon

“That’s a good smooth table,” said Lucy. “What is this board made for?”

“It is one my father has. He uses it for a great many things,” said
Rollo. “When he makes me a little book, he pares the edges upon it.”

“Why does not he do it on his table?” asked Lucy.

“Because,” said Rollo, “then his knife would cut through down to the
table, and so cut the cloth.”

Rollo then went and got some paper out of a drawer where he knew
that there was some kept, and where he often went to get some for his
mother. But then he had no pencil; so he went over to his father’s
table, and said,--

“Father, do you know where there is a pencil?--two pencils? We shall
want two.”

His father did not answer his question, but quietly took up the piece
of paper which he had placed upon the corner of the table, and made a
mark upon it, saying, at the same time,--

“There’s _one_ interruption.”

“Why, father,” said Rollo, “we only want two pencils, and I thought
that you could just tell us if you knew where there are any.”

“That makes _two_ interruptions,” said his father. “One more, and
you’ll have to go out.”

Rollo looked confounded; he turned round, and walked slowly away, with
a very anxious expression of countenance.

“Don’t you know where you can find any pencils yourself?” asked Lucy.

“No,” said Rollo.

Then he walked back slowly towards his father’s table, but was very
careful not to say a word, or make any noise, so as not to make an
interruption. His father had often told him that, when he was busy, he
ought not to speak, but come and stand quietly by his side, until he
was spoken to. So he thought he would adopt this plan at this time. He
went up cautiously to the table, standing round in such a position that
his father could see him; and there he remained still, waiting for his
father to look up and ask him what he wanted.

His father waited a few minutes, and then looked up. But, to Rollo’s
grief and consternation, instead of asking him, as usual, what he
wanted, he took up the paper, and made another mark upon it, saying,--

“There’s the _third_ interruption.”

Rollo could barely articulate the words, “Now, father,” and then,
overcome with grief and disappointment, he turned around, and burst
into tears.

“Why, Rollo,” said his father, “you must not be so much troubled.”

He took him by the hand, and drew him gently towards him, and took him
up in his lap.

“You promised,” continued his father, “that, if you interrupted me
three times, you would go out willingly.”

“Yes, sir,” said Rollo, though he was so much in trouble that he could
not speak very distinctly; “but I don’t think you ought to call that an

“Come to think of it,” replied his father, “perhaps I ought not to.
You came and stood by me, very still, so as not to interrupt me, but to
wait until I was at leisure.”

“Yes, sir,” said Rollo, still sobbing. “I did not speak a word.”

“Well,” said his father, “I will not count that, then.”

And so saying, he took his pen, and crossed out the third mark, which
he made on the paper that contained the record of interruptions. This
restored Rollo’s composure, though he still looked very unhappy. He
could not imagine why his father should have even intended to have made
a mark against him in such a case.

“I see,” said his father, “you and I had a different understanding
about the interruptions. You did not speak to me, and interrupt me in
the common way; but still, do you suppose that I could go on with my
writing, while you were standing there, waiting to speak to me?”

“Why, no, sir,” said Rollo.

“No,” added his father; “so that your coming to me, and waiting to
ask me for a pencil, really interrupted my work; and that was the
reason why I was going to mark it. But, then, it was not what you have
commonly understood by an interruption, and so I ought not to have
marked it. And, in fact,” he continued, “now I have given you so much
trouble to no purpose, I believe that I will erase all the marks, and
begin again. Only now you must understand that you must take care of
yourselves altogether, and that, if you do any thing, in any way, to
take off my attention from my work, I shall have to mark it.”

“Well, sir,” said Rollo.

He spoke this in a tone of great satisfaction and pleasure, and jumped
down, and went away to Lucy.

During all this time, Lucy had been standing near the board table,
looking at Rollo and his father with a countenance expressive of
great concern. She now, however, appeared very much relieved, and she
proposed, in a whisper, that they should go out and ask her aunt to
lend them some pencils. Accordingly Rollo went and got them in that
manner, without any difficulty.



Rollo did not interrupt his father but once more that evening. That
happened in the following manner: Rollo agreed to be Lucy’s scholar,
and she was to teach him to draw. So she began to set him a copy. She
drew a row of figures, in a line along the top of the paper, and Rollo
was to imitate them by making similar drawings below. The first drawing
was the figure of a dog, the second of a hat; the third was a pair of
tongs, and the last a mouse. Lucy said that they were not very good,
but that they were as good as she could make.

Rollo set himself at work to copying them. But he said that he meant to
begin with the hat, which was the second picture; for he said the dog
was too hard for him.

“O no,” said Lucy; “you must begin at the beginning, and proceed

“No,” said Rollo; “I’ll do the hat first, and then the dog.”

“There’s an interruption,” said Rollo’s father; and he took up the
paper, and made a mark.

“Why, father!” said Rollo.

“Yes,” said his father, “that interrupts me--to hear a dispute between
you and Lucy.”

“O father,” said Rollo, “we were not disputing.”

“It was only the commencement of a dispute, I acknowledge,” said his
father; “but when you had agreed to be Lucy’s scholar, to hear you
refusing to obey her directions, and beginning to argue with her,
disturbs my mind at once.”

“Well, sir,” said Rollo, “then I’ll draw the dog.”

There was no more disputing, and no more interruption, for more
than half an hour. Rollo was Lucy’s scholar, and he followed her
instructions with great faithfulness and docility. At length, just as
Rollo was finishing the chimney of a house, he saw that his father was
getting up, and beginning to put his papers away.

“Have you finished your work, father?” said Rollo.

“Yes,” replied his father; “and when I have put away my papers, I am
coming to see you. I think you had better put away your drawing, too.”

“Yes, so we will,” said Lucy. “I am tired of drawing now.”

Rollo put away the paper, which he had not used, reserving that which
had his and Lucy’s drawing upon it, to show to his mother; and he gave
Lucy the pencils to carry into the other room. Then he put the board
away in its place again, and set the lamp upon the table. By this time,
his father was ready; and he came and sat down upon the sofa, while
Lucy took her place upon one side, and Rollo upon the other.

“I believe,” said Mr. Holiday, “that children very often don’t
understand exactly how it is that they interrupt their parents, when
they are busy. They think it is _noise_ which constitutes interruption.”

“Well, sir,” said Rollo, “and is not it?”

“No, not exactly,” replied his father. “If it should thunder while I
was writing, do you suppose that it would interrupt me?”

“Yes, sir,” said Lucy; “I am sure I should.”

Mr. Holiday smiled. In fact, he perceived that he had fallen upon an
unfortunate illustration.

“Well, then,” said he, “suppose that I were in a city, and were
writing by a window, which opened upon a street, where a great many
horses, and heavy wagons, and coaches, were passing; do you suppose
that that noise would interrupt me?”

“Why, no, sir,” said Rollo.

“Well, now, suppose that I was seated at my own window, and saw a
single horse, walking slowly into my garden; would not that interrupt

“Yes, sir,” “Yes, sir,” answered Rollo and Lucy together.

“Because,” continued Mr. Holiday, “it would attract my attention. It
would call upon me to do something; that is, to get up, and go and get
somebody to drive him out.”

“Yes, sir,” said Rollo, “I think that would interrupt _me_.”

“While you and Lucy,” continued his father, “were talking and laughing
together, pleasantly, it did not disturb me at all.”

“When was it, father?” said Rollo.

“Why, when we were looking at the dog standing on his head,” said Lucy;
“don’t you remember? I was afraid that we should interrupt you.”

“No,” said her uncle, “that did not disturb me; because you were
good-natured and pleasant, and every thing was going on right. But the
moment Rollo began to argue about obeying your directions in regard to
the drawing, that moment my mind was disturbed. You did not make nearly
as much noise as you had done when talking and laughing about the dog;
but it was the beginning of a difficulty, and so it troubled my mind.

“And so,” continued his father, “when you came, Rollo, and stood by my
side, waiting to speak to me; although I don’t think that you did wrong
at all, yet it interrupted me; that is, it attracted my attention from
my work. I said to myself, ‘Here is Rollo wanting to speak to me, and I
must stop my work, and hear what he has to say.’ It was not so sudden
and violent an interruption as it was when you came the first time, and
broke in upon my work at once, asking me for the pencils; but still it
interrupted me. It required me to stop my work to attend to you.”

“I thought that you could just tell us,” said Rollo, “if you knew where
there were any pencils.”

“Yes,” replied his father, “and so I might, if I had only been busy
about some ordinary work. But I was very specially busy. I was making
calculations; and I knew that, if you came ever so still to speak to
me, and should thus make me stop in the middle of a calculation, I
should have to give it up, and begin again, and so lose what I had done.

“That’s the reason,” he continued, “why I am not willing to have you
in my room when I am very busy. You don’t know very well what an
interruption is. Children do not have such perplexing work to do as men
have, and they don’t understand how easily the mind may be disturbed.”

“I did not think that I should interrupt you,” said Rollo, “by only
going up to the table and standing still.”

“No; and therefore,” said his father, “you were not to blame. But
you see now, I suppose, how it did interrupt me. Why, one day you
interrupted me, and did a great deal of mischief, without saying a word
to me, or even coming near to the table.”

“How was it?” said Rollo.

“Why, you had lost your hat. I knew where it was, for I saw it out
under a tree, where you had left it. And I heard you walking about
and asking every body if they knew where your hat was. You asked them
quietly and very properly, but still I heard; and the difficulty which
you were in attracted my attention, and confused me in my adding.”

“Adding?” said Lucy, in an interrogative tone; that is, in the tone of
asking a question.

“Yes,” said her uncle. “I was adding a long column of figures; and this
difficulty about Rollo’s hat took place when I had nearly got through.
So I lost my reckoning just as Rollo was coming into my room, to ask me
where his hat was. I told him that it was out under the tree; and then
I had to begin once more, and do my work all over again.”

“But, father,” said Rollo, “you said that I did not speak to you at

“True,” replied his father, “and you did not. You were coming to speak
to me, and I knew what you were coming for. But the interruption was
occasioned before, by the inquiries which you were making out in the
entries, which I heard, although you did not speak very loud.”

“Well, sir,” said Rollo, “I am sorry that I interrupted you. I did not
know it.”

“O, it is not of much consequence,” said his father; “I only mentioned
the case to help explain to you the theory of interruption.”

“The what, sir?” said Rollo.

“The theory of interruption; that is, the _nature_ of it.”

“Yes, sir,” said Rollo, “I understand the nature of it now.”

Mr. Holiday then said that Lucy and Rollo might go into the other room,
and that he was coming in himself pretty soon. So Lucy took their lamp,
and they walked along into the front parlor.

Lucy saw, as soon as she entered the room, that her aunt was sitting
near the cradle. Nathan was lying in the cradle asleep. Her aunt was
reading, with her foot near the rocker, ready to rock him immediately
in case he should move.

Rollo was going up immediately to his mother to ask her what she
thought he and Lucy had better play. But then he concluded, on the
whole, not to interrupt her; and he accordingly turned round and walked
back to Lucy.

“Now, Lucy, what shall we do for the rest of the evening.”

“I don’t know,” said Lucy; “I expect it is very nearly time for Royal
to come for me.”

“O no,” said Rollo, “not yet. It is only eight o’clock; and you are not
going home until half after eight. We shall have time to play half an
hour yet.”

Lucy admitted this, and Rollo proposed that Lucy should be a man
walking in the woods, and that he should be a lion roaring at her, and
frightening her. The tables and chairs were to be the trees.

Lucy agreed to this plan; and so Rollo got down, upon his hands and
knees, under the table, and Lucy began to walk slowly back and forth,
as if she was walking in the woods. She talked to herself all the time,
as follows,--

“O dear! what a dark night! What a terrible dark night! And I am afraid
that there are lions in these woods.”

Here Rollo began to roar a little.

“Hark!” said Lucy. “I believe I hear a lion roaring. What shall I do?
He’s a great way off, I suppose; but what if he should come nearer!”

Here Rollo began to roar louder.

“Hush! children,” said Rollo’s mother, without, however, looking round,
or even taking her eyes off her book.

Here Rollo’s roar subsided into a lower tone.

“O dear me!” said Lucy, speaking more softly; “I am afraid I shall lose
my way, and then I shall get caught by that terrible lion.”

Rollo began to roar again a little louder than before.

“O, how he roars!” said Lucy; “what shall I do?”

At this moment, Rollo scrambled out towards Lucy upon all fours, just
as if he was a lion, springing out of the thicket to seize her. Lucy
ran, Rollo pursuing her; his roaring growing louder and louder.

“Children,” said his mother, “that’s too noisy a play. I can’t let you
play that play; you must think of something else.”

“Why, mother,” said Rollo, still, however, keeping his quadruped form
and position, “father said a little noise was not any interruption.”

“Did he?” said his mother.

“Yes, mother,” replied Rollo, with a very confident tone. “He said that
it did not do any harm to make a little noise, if we did not come and
do any thing to attract your attention.”

“Yes,” said his mother, “that is true in regard to grown persons,
but there is a very different rule in regard to babies. Noise alone
disturbs them. What I’m afraid is, not that you’ll interrupt me, but
that you’ll wake Nathan.”

“O,” said Rollo; and just at that moment the door opened, and Royal
came in.

Royal smiled to see Rollo upon his hands and knees, and yet looking
towards his mother, with such a sober expression of countenance. He
asked them what they were playing.

Rollo got up, and answered,--

“Lion. But you have come too early, Royal. Lucy was not to go home
until half past eight.”

“I know it,” said Royal, “and I have come to play with you half an

“I’m glad of that,” said Rollo; “only we can’t play now very well,
because we shall wake the baby.”

“Let’s go into the kitchen, then,” said Royal. “Aunt, may we go into
the kitchen?”

“Yes, if Dorothy is willing. You must not play unless Dorothy is

They all went out into the kitchen to ask Dorothy; and she said they
might make any reasonable noise; but that, as soon as the noise became
_too_ great, she should stop the game.

“Well,” said Royal, “you may. And now,” he continued, “we’ll play
elephant. I’ll be the elephant. Rollo, where’s your little chain? Go
and get your little chain, to chain round my fore leg.”

Rollo went and got his chain. It was a small iron chain, such as is
used to support stove-pipes, and it had a hook in one end. It was a
favorite plaything of Rollo’s, for he could use it in a great many ways.

Rollo brought the chain, and then Royal got down upon all fours, and
pretended that he was an elephant. Lucy was the hunter, and Rollo
the dog. There was considerable barking, and other noise, while they
were hunting the elephant; but when, at last, they got him caught and
chained, they were more still.

Rollo then turned into a man, in order that he might be the elephant’s
keeper. He put the chain around Royal’s shoulder, and led him about.
Royal walked upon his hands and knees, with a very deliberate motion,
as much as possible like that of a real elephant. Sometimes Rollo would
order his elephant to kneel, and then Royal would fold his arms before
him, and lie down close to the floor, so that Rollo could easily get
upon his back. Rollo would mount, and then call upon his elephant to
get up again; and so he would take a short ride about the room. Lucy
had one ride herself.

Royal at last began to pretend that he was in a frenzy. He said
that he had read in books of elephants’ getting into a frenzy, and
frightening their keepers terribly. So he scrambled around the floor,
shaking his head about in a very ferocious manner, while Rollo and Lucy
ran off, trying to get out of his way, and making the kitchen ring with
their peals of laughter.

Dorothy, who was knitting all this time at the side of the fire, at
length interrupted their play by saying,--

“Come, come, children! I think that’s getting to be unreasonable noise.”

“O Dorothy,” said Lucy, “I don’t think that’s much noise.”

“Yes,” said Dorothy, “you must not play so any more. But if you’ll come
and sit down here by the fire, I’ll tell you a story.”

“Well,” said the children. In fact, they were as much pleased at the
idea of having a story, as they would have been to have gone on with
their play. So they all came and sat down by the fire.

“Tell us a story about a snow-storm,” said Lucy.

“I have told you pretty much all my snow-storm stories, already,” said
Dorothy. “Let me think,--did I ever tell you about Oliver’s snow-shoes.”

“No,” said Lucy; “tell us now.”

Accordingly, when all were ready, Dorothy commenced her story as

“It was a great many years ago that what I am going to tell you took
place. It was when Oliver was about eight years old.”

“And how old were you?” asked Royal.

“I was about twelve,” replied Dorothy. “Our house was in the woods,
a great way from the school-house where we used to go to school. I
should think that it was more than two miles; and we had to go by a
path through the woods. We walked to school in the mornings with our
dinners in a basket. Then we staid in the school-room at noon, eating
our dinners by the fire.”

“What did you use to have for dinner?” asked Rollo.

“O, bread and cheese,” said Dorothy, “and sometimes an apple turnover,
which my mother made for us.

“Well, one day,” continued Dorothy, “when we had got half way to
school, in the morning, it began to snow. It snowed very fast all the
forenoon; and at noon, when school was done, we found that the boys who
went out came in again with their clothes whitened with snow, half way
up to their knees. We were afraid that we should not be able to get

“And what should you do if you could not get home?” said Lucy. “Should
you stay in the school-house all night?”

“O, I don’t know,” said Dorothy, “what we should have done. Perhaps we
should have gone to Mary Green’s house.”

“Mary Green’s house?” said Lucy; “who was Mary Green?”

“Why, she was a girl that went to our school.”

“Never mind about her,” interrupted Royal, “but tell the story. I want
to hear about the snow-shoes.”

“It stopped snowing about the middle of the afternoon,” said Dorothy,
“and Mary Green’s father came for her in a sleigh; and he said that he
would carry us as far as he was going our way; for, you see, we had
to go along the main road for about half a mile, till we came to the
place where the path through the woods turned off. When we came to
this place, we got out of the sleigh, and began to walk along through
the woods. At last, we came to a little opening by the side of a
mill-stream, where there was a little hut. The hut was built there to
make shingles in. It was what they call a _shingle camp_.”

“How do they make shingles?” said Royal.

“O, they cut down a large pine-tree, and then cut it up into very
short logs, and then split the logs into thin pieces, very wide. Then
they take these pieces, and shave them smooth. We looked into the hut,
but the man was not there. His shave was there, and there was a great
pile of shavings; and the horse was in one corner.”

“The horse!” said Rollo.

“Yes,” replied Dorothy, “and we went in and sat down on the shavings to
rest ourselves.”

“How came the man to leave his horse there?” said Royal.

“Why, he was coming back again in the morning, and so he left his horse
and his tools. There was nobody about there to steal them. It would
have been a great deal of trouble to have taken his horse home every

“And what did he have to eat?” said Royal--“shavings?”

Dorothy laughed, and said there was nothing else for him to eat, and
that, in fact, he looked as if he lived upon shavings.

“We staid here a few minutes to rest,” continued Dorothy, “and then we
concluded that we would make ourselves some snow-shoes.”

“What are snow-shoes?” asked Lucy.

“They are large, flat things to put under your feet to keep your feet
from sinking into the snow. They make them in different ways; but we
were going to make ours of the broad and thin pieces of pine which had
been split out for shingles. So we began to look about before the hut
for some pieces which were of the right size.”

“But, Dorothy,” said Lucy, “I should think that they would have been
all covered up in the snow.”

“They were not,” replied Dorothy;--“but stop,--let me see. It appears
to me that the sun was shining, and that it was a warm, pleasant day
when we made our snow-shoes. Yes;--it was; and I have been making a
mistake all this time. For we didn’t make our snow-shoes the day that
it snowed; it was one day in the spring, when the snow was melting, so
that we kept sinking into it, and could not get along.”

“Never mind,” said Royal; “no matter what day it was,--only tell on.”

“Well,” said Dorothy, “I told Oliver that if he had any string in his
pocket, so that we could fasten the snow-shoes on, we would make two
pair, one for him and one for me. He said that he had got some string,
and he drew out a long piece from his pocket. So we found pieces of
wood, of the right size, and then we went into the hut, and Oliver
undertook to shave them smooth. So he took one of the pieces, and sat
down upon the seat before the horse, and put one end of it into the
horse’s mouth, and gripped it tight, while he shaved the other end.”

“O Dorothy,” exclaimed the children, “what a story!”

“He did,” said Dorothy, seriously. “He was a little fellow, it is
true, but then he was very handy with tools.” Dorothy thought that the
children were surprised that such a little boy as Oliver could use the
shave; but, in fact, what surprised them was, that the piece of wood
was held in the horse’s mouth.

“When he had shaved one half of the piece, he turned it end for end,
and shaved the other half. Then he turned it over, and shaved the other

“But how did he get it out of the horse’s mouth?” said Rollo.

“O, there was a little foot-piece down underneath; and when he pressed
that with his foot, it pressed down the jaw, and when he lifted off his
foot, the jaw came up again, and let the wood out.”

“Why, Dorothy!” said Lucy; “what sort of a horse do you mean?”

“Why, a shaving horse,” said Dorothy.

“A shaving horse!” repeated Rollo and Lucy.

“Yes, certainly,” said Dorothy. “What sort of a horse did you think I

“Why, a real horse, live horse,” said Rollo.

Dorothy laughed very heartily at this mistake; and the children, when
they understood the case, laughed heartily too. In the midst of their
merriment, Royal looked up at the clock, and said that it was time for
him and Lucy to go. “Only,” said he, “Dorothy, I wish you’d finish the

“Why, that is about all,” said Dorothy; “we made the snow-shoes, and
tied them on, and then we walked along over the soft snow without
sinking in, and so got safely home.”

“How did you tie the shoes on?” asked Royal.

“Why, Oliver contrived to bore some holes in the wood,” replied
Dorothy, “and then he had a piece of twine in his pocket, for strings.
He cut the strings into proper lengths, and then put them into the
holes; and so we fastened the snow-shoes to our feet.”

“I should not think that you could walk very well with snow-shoes,”
said Lucy.

“We can’t walk very well,” replied Dorothy; “but it is better than
sinking down deep into the snow. You must understand that we don’t lift
the whole snow-shoe off from the ground, when we step.”

“Don’t you?” said Royal.

“No,” said Dorothy. “It is fastened on with the strings, in such a way
that the back part of it hangs down, and drags along. When we step, we
only lift the front part of it up, and the back part drags along upon
the snow to the new place, and then we step down upon it again.”

“I wish I had a pair of snow-shoes,” said Royal.

“You must make a pair,” said Dorothy.

“But I haven’t got any such pieces of wood,” said Royal.

“Nor any shaving horse,” said Lucy.

“O, perhaps you can find some thin pieces of wood,” replied Dorothy.
“You’d better make a pair; and then, when there comes a deep snow, this
winter, you can walk on them. You can draw Lucy with your hand-sled all
over the fields.”

“But the _sled_ would sink down into the snow,” said Royal.

“Why, haven’t you got a snow-sled?” asked Dorothy.

“A snow-sled?” replied Royal; “no; what is a snow-sled?”

“Why, it is a sled,” replied Dorothy, “with _broad runners_, so that it
will not sink deep into the snow.”

“How broad?” said Royal.

“O, about as broad as my hand,” said Dorothy.

“Then it must be a very heavy sled,” said Royal.

“No,” replied Dorothy, “it is a very light sled. The runners are not
solid; they are framed, and made light, with only a broad, thin piece
at the bottom.”

“I wish you had a snow-sled, Royal,” said Lucy, “and a pair of

“So do I,” said Royal, “and I mean to try to make them; only the
sled,--I don’t believe I can make a sled.”

Royal then got his hat, and went out into the yard to get the chaise.
He told Lucy to go and put on her bonnet, and then come to the front
door, when she heard the sound of the wheels.

Lucy accordingly went in, and put on her bonnet, and bade her aunt and
uncle good night. She asked her aunt when Rollo might come and return
her visit. She said that she would let him come the next week, if Royal
could come and bring him home. And Lucy said that she had no doubt that
her father would let Royal bring him home.

By this time, she heard the sound of the wheels driving up to the door;
and so she went out, and got into the chaise, and Royal drove her away.


Transcriber’s Note:

Punctuation has been standardised. Changes have been made as follows:

  Page 72
    flowers, and shubbery _changed to_
    flowers, and shrubbery

  Page 112
    more pleased that _changed to_
    more pleased than

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that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.