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Title: The power of kindness and other stories: A book for the example and encouragement of the young
Author: Arthur, T. S. (Timothy Shay)
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 "The power of kindness and other stories: A book for the example and encouragement of the young" ***

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OTHER STORIES ***



  [Illustration]

  THE POWER OF KINDNESS.
  And Other Stories.

  [Illustration]



  [Illustration: THE FIRST INTERVIEW]



  [Illustration: A TIMELY RESCUE
                        _page 105_]

  The POWER OF
  KINDNESS
  & OTHER STORIES.

  _T. NELSON & SONS_



  [Illustration]

  THE
  POWER OF KINDNESS.
  And Other Stories.

  A BOOK FOR THE EXAMPLE AND ENCOURAGEMENT OF
  THE YOUNG.

  _By T. S. ARTHUR._

  LONDON:
  T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW;
  EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.

  1877.



Contents.


  THE POWER OF KINDNESS,              7

  ADA AND HER PET FAWN,              18

  HOW TO AVOID A QUARREL,            26

  THE BROKEN DOLL,                   34

  HARSH WORDS AND KIND WORDS,        42

  A NOBLE ACT,                       46

  EMMA LEE AND HER SIXPENCE,         53

  THE TIMELY AID,                    59

  THE DOUBLE FAULT,                  69

  A STORY ABOUT A DOG,               74

  THE DISCONTENTED SHEPHERD,         81

  THE SHILLING,                      86

  THE WOUNDED BIRD,                  90

  THE HOLIDAY,                       99

  ROVER AND HIS LITTLE MASTER,      104

  JAMES AND HENRY,                  108

  THE USE OF FLOWERS,               116



[Illustration]

The Power of Kindness.


“I hate him!”

Thus, in a loud, angry voice, spoke a lad named Charles Freeman. His
face was red, and his fair white brow disfigured by passion.

“Yes, I hate him! and he had better keep his distance from me, or I--”

“What would you do, Charles?” asked the lad’s companion, seeing that he
paused.

“I don’t know what I might not be tempted to do. I would trample upon
him as I would upon a snake.”

For a boy fourteen years of age, this was a dreadful state of mind to
be in. The individual who had offended him was a fellow-student, named
William Aiken. The cause of offence we will relate.

       *       *       *       *       *

Charles Freeman was a self-willed, passionate boy, who hesitated not
to break any rule of the institution at which he was receiving his
education, provided, in doing so, he felt quite sure of not being found
out and punished. On a certain occasion, he, with two or three others,
who were planning some act of insubordination, called into the room of
William Aiken and asked him to join them.

“It will be such grand sport,” said Freeman.

“But will it be right?” asked the more conscientious lad.

“Right or wrong, we are going to do it. Who cares for the president
and all the faculty put together? They are a set of hypocrites and
oppressors: make the best you can of them.”

“They don’t ask us to do anything but what is required by the rules of
the institution; and then, I think, we ought to obey.”

“You are wonderfully inclined to obedience!” said Charles Freeman, in
a sneering voice. “Come, boys! We have mistaken Master Aiken. I did not
know before that he was such a milksop. Come!”

The other lads retired with Freeman, but they did not insult Aiken, for
they knew him to be kind-hearted and honourable, and felt more disposed
to respect him for his objections than to speak harshly to him for
entertaining them. Aiken made no reply to the insulting language of
the hot-headed, thoughtless Charles Freeman, although his words roused
within him an instant feeling of indignation, that almost forced his
tongue to utter some strong, retaliating expressions. But he controlled
himself, and was very glad, as soon as his visitors had left him, that
he had been able to do so.

On the next morning, before daylight, some persons, unknown to the
faculty, brought from a neighbouring field a spiteful ram, and tied
him, with a strong cord, to a post near the door of the president’s
dwelling. The president, who was very near-sighted, always read prayers
in the chapel at five o’clock in the morning. At the usual hour he
descended from his chamber, and came out at his front door to go to
the chapel, which was distant some fifty yards. It was a little after
break of day. In the dim morning twilight, the president could see but
indistinctly even objects that were very near to him.

The ram, which had, after his fierce struggles with those who had
reduced him to a state of captivity, lain down quietly, roused himself
up at the sound of the opening door, and stood ready to give the
president a rather warm reception the moment he came within reach
of him. Unconscious of the danger that menaced him, the president
descended from the door with slow and cautious steps, and received in
his side a terrible blow from the animal’s head, that threw him, some
feet from where he was standing, prostrate upon the ground. Fortunately
the ram had reached within a few inches of the length of his tether
when the blow was given, and could not, therefore, repeat it, as the
object of his wrath was beyond his reach.

The president was rather severely hurt; so much so that he was unable
to go to the chapel and read morning prayers, and was confined to
his chamber for some days. No investigation into the matter was made
until after he was able to be about again. Then he assembled all the
students together and stated to them what had occurred, and the pain he
had endured in consequence, and asked to have the individuals who had
been guilty of this outrage designated. All were silent. One student
looked at another, and then at the assembled faculty, but no one gave
the desired information, although many of those present knew the
parties who were engaged in the act. Finding that no one would divulge
the names of those who had been guilty of the outrage against him, the
president said,--

“Let all who know nothing of this matter rise to their feet.”

Charles Freeman was the first to spring up, and one after another
followed him, until all had risen except William Aiken. The president
paused for some moments, and then ordered the young men to take their
seats.

“William Aiken will please to come forward,” said the president. As the
lad rose from his seat, several of the faculty, who had their eyes
upon Freeman, and who had reason for suspecting that he knew about as
much of the matter as any one, noticed that he cast a look of anger
towards Aiken.

“It seems, then, that you know something about this matter,” said the
president.

“All I know about it,” replied Aiken, “is, that I was applied to by
some of my fellow-students to join them in doing what has been done,
and that I declined participating in it.”

“For what reason, sir?”

“Because I thought it wrong.”

“Who were the students that applied to you?”

“I would rather not answer that question, sir.”

“But I insist upon it.”

“Then I must decline doing so.”

“You will be suspended, sir.”

“I should regret that,” was the lad’s manly reply. “But as I have
broken no rule of the institution, such a suspension would be no
disgrace to me.”

The president was perplexed. At this point one of the professors
whispered something in his ear, and his eye turned immediately upon
Freeman.

“Let Charles Freeman come forward,” he said.

With a fluctuating countenance the guilty youth left his seat and
approached the faculty.

“Is this one of them?” said the president.

Aiken made no reply.

“Silence is assent,” the president remarked; “you can take your seat,
young man.”

As Aiken moved away, the president, who had rather unjustly fixed upon
him the burden of having given information, tacitly, against Freeman,
said, addressing the latter:--

“And now, sir, who were your associates in this thing?”

“_I_ am no common informer, sir. You had better ask William Aiken. No
doubt _he_ will tell you,” replied the lad.

The president stood thoughtful for a moment, and then said,--

“Gentlemen, you can all retire.”

It was as the students were retiring from the room where this
proceeding had been conducted that Freeman made the bitter remarks
about Aiken with which our story opens. It happened that the subject
of them was so close to him as to hear all he said. About ten minutes
after this, against the persuasion of a fellow-student, Freeman went to
the room of Aiken for the satisfaction of telling him, as he said, “a
piece of his mind.” Aiken was sitting by a table, with his head resting
upon his hand, as Freeman came in. He looked up, when his door opened,
and, seeing who it was, rose quickly to his feet, and advanced towards
him a few steps, saying, with a smile, as he did so:--

“I am glad you have come, Charles. I had just made up my mind to go
to your room. Sit down now, and let us talk this matter over with
as little hard feelings as possible. I am sure it need not make us
enemies. If I have been at any point in the least to blame, I will
freely acknowledge it, and do all in my power to repair any injury that
I may have done to you. Can I do more?”

“Of course not,” replied Charles, completely subdued by the unexpected
manner and words of Aiken.

“I heard you say, a little while ago, that you hated me,” resumed
William. “Of course there must be some cause for this feeling. Tell me
what it is, Charles.”

The kind manner in which Aiken spoke, and the mildness of his voice,
completely subdued the lion in the heart of Freeman. He was astonished
at himself, and the wonderful revulsion that had taken place, so
suddenly, in his feelings.

“I spoke hastily,” he said. “But I was blind with anger at being
discovered through you.”

“But I did not discover you, remember that, Charles.”

“If you had risen with the rest--”

“I would not, in word or act, tell a lie, Charles, for my right hand,”
said Aiken, in an earnest voice, interrupting him. “You must not blame
me for this.”

“Perhaps I ought not, but--”

Freeman left the sentence unfinished, and rising to his feet, commenced
walking the floor of Aiken’s room, hurriedly. This was continued for
some minutes, when he stopped suddenly, and extending his hand, said,--

“I have thought it all over, William, and I believe I have no cause of
complaint against you; but I acknowledge that you have against me. I
have insulted you and hated you without a cause. I wish I could act, in
all things, from the high principles that govern you.”

“Try, Charles, try!” said Aiken with warmth, as he grasped the hand of
his fellow-student.

“It will be no use for me to try,” returned Freeman, sadly. “I shall
be expelled from the institution; my father will be angry; and I shall
perhaps be driven, by my hot and hasty spirit, to say something to him
that will estrange us, for he is a man of a stern temper.”

“Don’t fear such consequences,” said Aiken kindly. “Leave it to me. I
think I can make such representations to the president as will induce
him to let the matter drop where it is.”

“If you can do so, it may save me from ruin,” replied Freeman, with
much feeling.

William Aiken was not deceived in his expectations. He represented to
the kind-hearted but rather impetuous president the repentant state of
Freeman’s mind, and the consequences likely to arise if he should be
expelled from college. The president made no promises; but nothing
more was heard of the subject. From that time the two students were
warm friends; and Freeman was not only led to see the beauty and
excellence of truth and integrity of character, but to act from the
same high principles that governed his noble-minded friend.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is not one of our young readers who cannot see what sad
consequences might have arisen, if William Aiken had not kept down his
indignant feelings, and been governed by kindness instead of anger.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]

Ada and her Pet Fawn.


There was once a dear child named Ada, who was of so sweet a temper
that she only knew how to love; and the consequence was, that everybody
and everything that could know her, loved the sweet little girl in
return. I do not believe that a servant in her father’s family ever
spoke unkindly to Ada, she was so good. There are but few of my young
readers, I am afraid, that can say so of themselves. Cook scolds, the
chambermaid is so cross, and nurse is out of temper, whenever you come
near them. Yes, you know all that; but, my young friends, I am afraid
it is all your own fault. Now, examine closely your own feelings and
conduct, and see if you do not make this trouble for yourselves. Do
you always speak kindly to those around you; and do you always try to
give them as little trouble as possible?

As for Ada, everybody loved her; and the reason, as I have already
stated, was plain: she didn’t know any feeling toward others except
that of love. Even the dumb animals would come to her side when she
appeared. The cat would rub against her, and purr as she sat in her
little chair; and when she went out to play among the flowers, would
run after her just as you have seen a favourite dog run after his
master. She never passed Lion, the watch-dog, that he didn’t wag his
great tail, or turn his head to look after her; and if she stopped and
spoke to or put her hand upon him, his old limbs would quiver with
delight, and his face would actually laugh like a human face. And
why was this? It was because love prompted Ada to kind acts towards
everything. Love beamed from her innocent countenance, and gave a music
to her voice that all ears, even those of dumb animals, were glad to
hear. Yes, everything loved Ada, because she was good.

The father of gentle, loving Ada was a rich English lord--a certain
class of wealthy and distinguished men in England, as most young
readers know, are called lords--and he had a great estate some miles
from London, in which were many animals; among them, herds of deer.
When Ada was three or four years old, her father went to live on this
estate. Around the fine old mansion into which they removed were
stately trees, green lawns, and beautiful gardens; and a short distance
away, and concealed from view by a thick grove, was the park where
roamed the graceful deer.

Under the shade of those old trees, upon the smoothly-shaven lawn, or
amid the sweet flowers in the garden, Ada spent many hours every day,
one of the happiest of beings alive.

One morning--it was a few weeks after Ada had come to live in this
fair and beautiful place--she strayed off a short distance from the
house, being lured away by the bright wild flowers that grew thickly
all around, and with which she was filling her apron. At last, when her
tiny apron would not hold a blossom more without pushing off some other
flower, Ada looked up from the ground, and discovered that she was out
of sight of her house, and among trees which stood so thickly together
that the sky could scarcely be seen overhead, nor the light beyond,
when she endeavoured to look between the leafy branches. But Ada did
not feel afraid, for she knew no cause for fear. She loved everything,
and she felt that everything loved her. There was not any room in her
heart for fear.

Still Ada felt too much alone, and she turned and sought to find her
way out of the woods and get back again. While yet among the trees,
she heard a noise of feet approaching; and turning, she saw an animal
that was unlike any she had seen before. It came up close to her, and
neither of them felt afraid. It was a fawn, only a few months old.
The fawn looked into Ada’s face with its dark bright eyes, and when
she spoke to it, and laid her hand upon its head, the young creature
pressed lovingly against the child.

When Ada found her way out of the woods, and came again upon the green
lawn, the young deer was close by her side. As soon as Lion saw the
fawn, he gave a loud bark, and came dashing toward the timid creature.
But Ada put her arm around its neck, and said,--

“Don’t be afraid. Lion won’t hurt you. Lion is a good dog.”

And Lion seemed to understand the act of Ada, for he stopped short
before he reached them, wagged his tail, and looked curiously at the
new companion which Ada had found. First he walked round and round, as
if the whole matter was not clear to him. He had chased deer in his
time, and did not seem to understand why he was not to sink his great
teeth into the tender flank of the gentle creature that had followed
his young mistress from the woods. But he soon appeared to get light on
this difficult subject, for he came up to be patted by Ada, and did not
even growl at the fawn, nor show any disposition to hurt it.

The fawn would not stay in the park after this. Ada’s father had it
taken back once or twice, but before the day was gone it managed to
escape, and came to see its newly-found friend. After this it was
permitted to remain; and every day little Ada fed it with her own
hand. When others of the family approached, the timid creature would
start away; but when Ada appeared, it came with confidence to her side.

Ada had a brother two years older than she was. He was different from
his sister in not having her innocent mind and loving heart. Sometimes
he indulged in a cruel disposition, and often he was ill-tempered. When
William saw the fawn he was delighted, and tried to make friends with
the gentle animal. But the fawn was afraid of him, and when he tried
to come near would run away, or come up to Ada. Then, if William put
his hand on it to caress it, the fawn would shrink closer to Ada, and
tremble. William did not like it because the fawn would not be friends
with him, and wondered why it should be afraid of him, and not of Ada.
He did not think that it was because Ada was so good, while he let evil
tempers come into his heart.

“But how could the fawn know this?” ask my young readers. “The fawn
couldn’t see what was in William’s heart.”

No; for if it could have done so, it would have been wiser than a
human being. But all good affections, let it be remembered, as well
as all evil affections, represent themselves in the face, and picture
themselves in the eyes; and there is, besides, a sphere of what is good
or evil about every one, according to the heart’s affections--just
as the sphere of a rose is around the flower in its odour, showing
its quality. Animals, as well as human beings, can read, by a kind of
instinct, the good or evil of any one in his face, and perceive, by a
mysterious sense, the sphere of good or evil that surrounds him.

You do not clearly understand this, my young reader; nevertheless it
is so. If you are good, others will know it at a glance, and _feel_ it
when you come near them. And the same will be the case if your hearts
are evil.

Ada’s pet fawn stayed with her many months, and nothing harmed it.
The horns began to push forth, like little knobs, from its head; and
afterwards it grew up to be a stately deer, and was sent back to the
park. Ada often went to see her favourite, which now had a pair of
beautiful branching antlers. It always knew her, and would come up to
her side and lick her hand when she held it forth.

Such power has love over even a brute animal.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]

How to Avoid a Quarrel.


“Here! lend me your knife, Bill; I’ve left mine in the house,” said
Edgar Harris to his younger brother. He spoke in a rude voice, and his
manner was imperative.

“No, I won’t! Go and get your own knife,” replied William, in a tone
quite as ungracious as that in which the request, or rather command,
had been made.

“I don’t wish to go into the house. Give me your knife, I say. I only
want it for a minute.”

“I never lend my knife, nor give it, either,” returned William. “Get
your own.”

“You are the most disobliging fellow I ever saw,” retorted Edgar
angrily, rising up and going into the house to get his own knife.
“Don’t ever ask me for a favour, for I’ll never grant it.”

This very unbrotherly conversation took place just beneath the window
near which Mr. Harris, the father of the lads, was seated. He overheard
it all, and was grieved, as may be supposed, that his sons should treat
each other so unkindly. But he said nothing to them then, nor did he
let them know that he heard the language that had passed between them.

In a little while Edgar returned, and as he sat down in the place where
he had been seated before, he said,--

“No thanks to you for your old knife! Keep it to yourself, and welcome.
I wouldn’t use it now if you were to give it to me.”

“I’m glad you are so independent,” retorted William. “I hope you will
always be so.”

And the boys fretted each other for some time.

On the next day, Edgar was building a house with sticks, and William
was rolling a hoop. By accident the hoop was turned from its right
course, and broke down a part of Edgar’s house. William was just going
to say how sorry he was for the accident, and to offer to repair the
damage that was done, when his brother, with his face red with passion,
cried out,--

“Just see what you have done! If you don’t get away with your hoop,
I’ll call father. You did it on purpose.”

“Do go and call him! I’ll go with you,” said William, in a sneering,
tantalizing tone. “Come, come along now.”

For a little while the boys stood and growled at each other like two
ill-natured dogs, and then Edgar commenced repairing his house, and
William went on rolling his hoop again. The latter was strongly tempted
to repeat, in earnest, what he had done at first by accident, by way of
retaliation upon his brother for his spiteful manner toward him; but,
being naturally of a good disposition, and forgiving in his temper, he
soon forgot his bad feelings, and enjoyed his play as much as he had
done before.

This little circumstance Mr. Harris had also observed.

A day or two afterwards, Edgar came to his father with a complaint
against his brother.

“I never saw such a boy,” he said. “He will not do the least thing to
oblige me. If I ask him to lend me his knife, or ball, or anything he
has, he snaps me up short with a refusal.”

“Perhaps you don’t ask him right,” suggested the father. “Perhaps you
don’t speak kindly to him. I hardly think that William is ill-disposed
and disobliging naturally. There must be some fault on your part, I am
sure.”

“I don’t know how I can be in fault, father,” said Edgar.

“William refused to let you have his knife, the other day, although he
was not using it himself, did he not?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Do you remember how you asked him for it?”

“No, sir, not now, particularly.”

“Well, as I happened to overhear you, I can repeat your words, though
I hardly think I can get your very tone and manner. Your words were,
‘Here, lend me your knife, Bill!’ and your voice and manner were
exceedingly offensive. I did not at all wonder that William refused
your request. If you had spoken to him in a kind manner, I am sure
he would have handed you his knife instantly. But no one likes to be
ordered, in a domineering way, to do anything at all. I know you would
resent it in William, as quickly as he resents it in you. Correct your
own fault, my son, and in a little while you will have no complaint to
make of William.”

Edgar felt rebuked. What his father said he saw to be true.

“Whenever you want William to do anything for you,” continued the
father, “use kind words instead of harsh ones, and you will find him
as obliging as you could wish. I have observed you both a good deal,
and I notice that you rarely ever speak to William in a proper manner,
but you are rude and overbearing. Correct this evil in yourself, and
all will be right with him. Kind words are far more powerful than harsh
words, and their effect a hundred-fold greater.”

On the next day, as Edgar was at work in the garden, and William
standing at the gate looking on, Edgar wanted a rake that was in the
summer-house. He was just going to say, “Go and get me that rake,
Bill!” but he checked himself, and made his request in a different
form, and in a better tone than those words would have been uttered in.

“Will you get me the small rake that lies in the summer-house,
William?” he said. The words and tone involved a request, not a
command, and William instantly replied,--

“Certainly;” and bounded away to get the rake for his brother.

“Thank you,” said Edgar, as he received the rake.

“Don’t you want the watering-pot?” asked William.

“Yes, I do; and you may bring it full of water, if you please,” was the
reply.

Off William went for the watering-pot, and soon returned with it full
of water. As he stood near one of Edgar’s flower-beds, he forgot
himself, and stepped back with his foot upon a bed of pansies.

“There! just look at you!” exclaimed Edgar, thrown off his guard.

William, who had felt drawn towards his brother on account of his kind
manner, was hurt at this sudden change in his words and tone. He was
tempted to retort harshly, and even to set his foot more roughly upon
the pansies. But he checked himself, and, turning away, walked slowly
from the garden.

Edgar, who had repented of his rude words and unkind manner the moment
he had time to think, was very sorry that he had been thrown off his
guard, and resolved to be more careful in the future. And he was more
careful. The next time he spoke to his brother, it was in a kind and
gentle manner, and he saw its effect. Since then, he has been watchful
over himself, and now he finds that William is one of the most obliging
boys anywhere to be found.

“So much for kind words, my son,” said his father, on noticing the
great change that had taken place. “Never forget, throughout your whole
life, that kind words are far more potent than harsh ones. I have
found them so, and you have already proved the truth of what I say.”

And so will every one who tries them. Make the experiment, young
friends, and you will find it to succeed in every case.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]

The Broken Doll.


Nearly all the unhappiness that exists in the world has its origin in
the want of a proper control over the desires and passions. This is
as true in childhood as in more advanced age. Children are unhappy
because they do not possess many things they see; and too often, in
endeavouring to obtain what they have no right to, they make themselves
still more unhappy. A spirit of covetousness is as bad a spirit as can
come into the heart; and whoever has this spirit for a guest, cannot
but be, most of his time, very miserable.

Albert Hawkins, I am sorry to say, had given place in his heart to this
evil spirit of covetousness. Almost everything he saw he desired to
possess. Had it not been for this, Albert would have been a very good
boy. He learned his lessons well, was obedient and attentive at school
and at home, and did not take delight in hurting or annoying dumb
animals and insects, as too many boys do. But his restless desire to
have whatever he saw marred all this, and produced much unhappiness in
his own mind, as well as in the minds of his parents.

One day, on coming home from school, he found his sister Ellen playing
with a large new doll that her father had bought for her.

“Oh, isn’t it beautiful!” he exclaimed. “Where did you get it? Let me
have it to look at.”

And Albert caught hold of the doll and almost forced it out of the
hands of Ellen, who resigned it with great reluctance. He then sat down
and held it in his lap, while Ellen stood by, half in tears. She had
only had it about an hour, and she could not bear to let it go from
her. Albert, in his selfish desire to hold in his hands the beautiful
doll, did not think of how much pleasure he was depriving his sister,
who patiently waited minute after minute to have it restored to her. At
last, seeing that her brother still kept possession of the doll, she
said, gently and kindly,--

“Won’t you give it to me now?” and she put out her hand to take it as
she spoke.

But Albert pushed her hand quickly away, and said,--

“No, no; I’ve not done with it yet.”

Ellen looked disappointed. But she waited still longer.

“Now, brother, give me my doll, won’t you?” she said.

“Don’t be so selfish about your doll,” answered Albert, rudely. “You
shall have it after a while, when I’ve done with it.”

Ellen now felt so vexed that she could not keep from crying. As soon
as Albert saw the tears falling over her face, and heard her sob, he
became angry, and throwing the doll upon the floor, exclaimed in a
harsh voice,--

“There! Take your ugly old doll, if you are so selfish about it!”

As the beautiful figure struck the floor, one of its delicate hands
broke off from the wrist. But even a sight of the injury he had done
did not soften the heart of Albert, who left the room feeling very
angry towards his sister. He was trying to amuse himself in the yard,
about half an hour afterwards, when his mother, who had been out,
called to him from the door. He went up to her, and she said,--

“Albert, how came the hand of Ellen’s new doll broken? Do you know? I
have asked her about it; but the only answer I can get from her is in
tears.”

Albert’s eyes fell immediately to the ground, while his face became red.

“I hope you did not break it!” the mother said, pained to see this
confusion manifested by her boy.

Now Albert, although of a covetous disposition, never told a lie. He
was a truthful boy, and that was much in his favour. To lie is most
wicked and despicable. There is no meaner character than a liar.

“Yes, ma’am, I broke it,” he replied, without any equivocation.

“How did you do that, Albert?” asked his mother.

“Ellen would not let me hold it, and I got angry and threw it upon the
floor. I didn’t mean to break it.”

At this confession, Albert’s mother was very much grieved.

“But what right had you to Ellen’s doll?” she asked.

“I wanted to hold it.”

“But it was your sister’s, not yours; and if she did not wish you to
have it, that was no reason why you should get angry and break it.”

“But, indeed, mother, I didn’t mean to break it.”

“I don’t suppose you did. I should be very sorry to think you were so
wicked. Still, you have been guilty of a great wrong to your sister;
and to this you have no doubt been led by indulging in that covetous
spirit of which I have so often talked to you, and which, if not
overcome, may lead you into some great evil when you become a man. But
tell me just how it happened.”

And Albert truthfully related what had passed.

“I cannot tell you how much all this grieves me,” his mother said.
“Ellen never interferes with your pleasures, and never covets your
playthings nor books, but you give her no peace with anything she has.
If your father brings each of you home a book, yours is thrown aside
in a few moments, and you want to look at hers. It is this covetous
spirit--this desiring to have what belongs to another--that leads to
stealing; and unless you put it away from your heart, you will be in
great danger of more temptations than now assail you. Poor Ellen! Her
heart is almost broken about her doll.”

“I am very sorry, mother,” replied Albert in a penitent voice. “I wish
I hadn’t touched her doll. Don’t you think it can be mended? Can’t I
buy her a new hand for it? I will take the money out of my box.”

“We will see about that, my dear. If you can restore the hand, I think
it is your duty to do so. It will be nothing but simple justice, and we
should all be just one towards another in little as well as in great
things. But your first duty is to go to Ellen and try to comfort her in
her affliction, for it is a great grief for her to have her beautiful
doll broken. I found her just now crying bitterly.”

All Albert’s better feelings came back into his heart. He felt very
sorry for Ellen, and went in immediately to the room where she was. He
found her with her head leaning down upon a table, weeping.

“Sister Ellen!” he said, speaking earnestly, “I am so sorry I broke
your doll’s hand. Don’t cry, and I will take money out of my box, and
buy you a new hand for it.”

Albert’s voice was so kind, and so full of sympathy, that Ellen felt
better in a moment. She lifted her head from the table and looked round
into her brother’s face.

“You will forgive me, won’t you, sister?” he said. “I was angry and
wicked, but I am very sorry, and will try and never trouble you any
more. After dinner we will go out, and see if we can’t find another
hand, and I will buy it for you out of my own money.”

Ellen’s tears all dried up; and she said in a kind, gentle way, that
she forgave her brother. After dinner they went out together, and
Albert found a new hand, and bought it for his sister. The doll is now
as good as it was before; and what is better, Albert has learned to
restrain his covetous spirit, and to leave Ellen happy in the enjoyment
of what is her own.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]

Harsh Words and Kind Words.


William Baker, and his brother Thomas, and sister Ellen, were playing
on the green lawn in front of their mother’s door, when a lad named
Henry Green came along the road, and seeing the children enjoying
themselves, opened the gate and came in. He was rather an ill-natured
boy, and generally took more pleasure in teasing and annoying others
than in being happy with them. When William saw him coming in through
the gate, he called to him and said, in a harsh way,--

“You may just keep out, Henry Green, and go about your business! We
don’t want you here.”

But Henry did not in the least regard what William said. He came
directly forward, and joined in the sport as freely as if he had been
invited instead of repulsed. In a little while he began to pull Ellen
about rudely, and to push Thomas so as nearly to throw them down upon
the grass.

“Go home, Henry Green! Nobody sent for you! Nobody wants you here!”
said William Baker, in an angry tone.

It was of no use, however. William might as well have spoken to the
wind. His words were unheeded by Henry, whose conduct became ruder and
more offensive.

Mrs. Baker, who sat at the window, saw and heard all that was passing.
As soon as she could catch the eye of her excited son, she beckoned him
to come to her, which he promptly did.

“Try kind words on him,” she said; “you will find them more powerful
than harsh words. You spoke very harshly to Henry when he came in, and
I was sorry to hear it.”

“It won’t do any good, mother. He’s a rude, bad boy, and I wish he
would stay at home. Won’t you make him go home?”

“First go and speak to him in a gentler way than you did just now. Try
to subdue him with kindness.”

William felt that he had been wrong in letting his angry feelings
express themselves in angry words. So he left his mother and went down
upon the lawn, where Henry was amusing himself by trying to trip up the
children with a long stick, as they ran about on the green.

“Henry,” he said, cheerfully and pleasantly, “if you were fishing in
the river, and I were to come and throw stones in where your line fell,
and scare away all the fish, would you like it?”

“No, I should not,” replied the lad.

“It wouldn’t be kind in me?”

“No, of course it wouldn’t.”

“Well, now, Henry”--William tried to smile and to speak very
pleasantly--“we are playing here and trying to enjoy ourselves. Is it
right for you to come and interrupt us by tripping up our feet, pulling
us about, and pushing us down? I am sure you will not think so if you
reflect a moment. So don’t do it any more, Henry.”

“No, I will not,” replied Henry promptly. “I am sorry that I disturbed
you. I didn’t think what I was doing. And now I remember, father told
me not to stay, and I must run home.”

So Henry Green went quickly away, and the children were left to enjoy
themselves.

“Didn’t I tell you that kind words were more powerful than harsh
words, William?” said his mother, after Henry had gone away. “When
we speak harshly to our fellows, we arouse their angry feelings, and
then evil spirits have power over them; but when we speak kindly, we
affect them with gentleness, and good spirits flow into this latter
state, and excite in them better thoughts and intentions. How quickly
Henry changed, when you changed your manner and the character of your
language. Do not forget this, my son. Do not forget that kind words
have double the power of harsh ones.”



[Illustration]

A Noble Act.


“What have you there, boys?” asked Captain Bland.

“A ship,” replied one of the lads who were passing the captain’s neat
cottage.

“A ship! Let me see;” and the captain took the little vessel, and
examined it with as much fondness as a child does a pretty toy. “Very
fair indeed; who made it?”

“I did,” replied one of the boys.

“You, indeed! Do you mean to be a sailor, Harry?”

“I don’t know. I want father to get me into the navy.”

“As a midshipman?”

“Yes, sir.”

Captain Bland shook his head.

“Better be a farmer, a physician, or a merchant.”

“Why so, captain?” asked Harry.

“All these are engaged in the doing of things directly useful to
society.”

“But I am sure, captain, that those who defend us against our enemies,
and protect all who are engaged in commerce from wicked pirates, are
doing what is useful to society.”

“Their use, my lad,” replied Captain Bland, “is certainly a most
important one; but we may call it rather negative than positive. The
civilian is engaged in building up and sustaining society in doing
good, through his active employment, to his fellow-men. But military
and naval officers do not produce anything; they only protect and
defend.”

“But if they did not protect and defend, captain, evil men would
destroy society. It would be of no use for the civilian to endeavour to
build up, if there were none to fight against the enemies of the state.”

“Very true, my lad. The brave defender of his country cannot be
dispensed with, and we give him all honour. Still, the use of defence
and protection is not so high as the use of building up and sustaining.
The thorn that wounds the hand stretched forth to pluck the flower is
not so much esteemed, nor of so much worth, as the blossom it was meant
to guard. Still, the thorn performs a great use. Precisely a similar
use does the soldier or naval officer perform to society; and it will
be for you, my lad, to decide as to which position you would rather
fill.”

“I never thought of that, captain,” said one of the lads. “But I can
see clearly how it is. And yet I think those men who risk their lives
for us in war, deserve great honour. They leave their homes, and remain
away, sometimes for years, deprived of all the comforts and blessings
that civilians enjoy, suffering frequently great hardships, and risking
their lives to defend their country from her enemies.”

“It is all as you say,” replied Captain Bland; “and they do, indeed,
deserve great honour. Their calling is one that exposes them to
imminent peril, and requires them to make many sacrifices; and they
encounter not this peril and sacrifice for their own good, but for the
good of others. Their lives do not pass so evenly as do the lives of
men who spend their days in the peaceful pursuits of business, art, or
literature; and we could hardly wonder if they lost some of the gentler
attributes of the human heart. In some cases this is so; but, in very
many cases, the reverse is true. We find the man who goes fearlessly
into battle, and there, in defence of his country, deals death and
destruction unsparingly upon her enemies, acting, when occasion offers,
from the most humane sentiments, and jeopardizing his life to save
the life of a single individual. Let me relate to you a true story in
illustration of what I say.

       *       *       *       *       *

“When the unhappy war that was waged by the American troops in
Mexico broke out, a lieutenant in the navy, who had a quiet berth at
Washington, felt it to be his duty to go to the scene of strife, and
therefore asked to be ordered to the Gulf of Mexico. His request was
complied with, and he received orders to go on board the steamer
_Mississippi_, Commodore Perry, then about to sail from Norfolk to Vera
Cruz.

“Soon after the _Mississippi_ arrived out, and before the city and
castle were taken, a terrible ‘norther’ sprung up, and destroyed
much shipping in the harbour. One vessel, on which were a number of
passengers, was thrown high upon a reef; and when morning broke, the
heavy sea was making a clear breach through her. She lay about a mile
from the _Mississippi_, and it soon became known on board the steamer
that a mother and her infant were in the wreck, and that, unless
succour came speedily, they would perish. The lieutenant of whom I
speak immediately ordered out a boat’s crew, and although the sea was
rolling tremendously, and the ‘norther’ still blowing a hurricane,
started to the rescue. Right in the teeth of the wind were the men
compelled to pull their boat, and so slowly did they proceed that it
took more than two hours to gain the wreck.

“At one time they actually gave up, and the oars lay inactive in their
hands. At this crisis, the brave but humane officer, pointing with
one hand to the fortress of San Juan de Ulloa, upon which a fire had
already commenced, and with the other to the wreck, exclaimed, with
noble enthusiasm,--

“‘Pull away, men! I would rather save the life of that woman and her
child, than have the honour of taking the castle!’

“Struck by the noble, unselfish, and truly humane feelings of their
officer, the crew bent with new vigour to their oars. In a little while
the wreck was gained, and the brave lieutenant had the pleasure of
receiving into his arms the almost inanimate form of the woman, who had
been lashed to the deck, and over whom the waves had been beating, at
intervals, all night.

“In writing home to his friends, after the excitement of the adventure
was over, the officer spoke of the moment when he rescued that mother
and child from the wreck as the proudest of his life.

“Afterwards he took part in the bombardment of Vera Cruz, and had
command, in turn, of the naval battery, where he faithfully and
energetically performed his duty as an officer in the service of his
country. He was among the first of those who entered the captured city;
but pain, not pleasure, filled his mind, as he looked around and saw
death and destruction on every hand. The arms of his country had been
successful; the officer had bravely contributed his part in the work;
but he frankly owns that he experienced far more delight in saving the
woman he had borne from the wreck, than he could have felt had he been
the commander of the army that reduced the city.

       *       *       *       *       *

“Wherever duty calls, my lads,” concluded the captain, “you will find
that brave officer. He will never shrink from the post of danger, if
his country have need of him, nor will he ever be deaf to the appeal of
humanity; but so long as he is a true man, just so long will he delight
more in saving than in destroying.”



[Illustration]

Emma Lee and her Sixpence.


Emma’s aunt had given her a sixpence, and now the question was, what
should she buy with it?

“I’ll tell you what I will do, mother,” she said, changing her mind for
the tenth time.

“Well, dear, what have you determined upon now?”

“I’ll save my sixpence until I get a good many more, and then I’ll buy
me a handsome wax doll. Wouldn’t you do that, mother, if you were me?”

“If I were you, I suppose I should do just as you will,” replied Emma’s
mother, smiling.

“But, mother, don’t you think that would be a nice way to do? I get a
good many pennies and sixpences, you know, and could soon save enough
to buy me a beautiful wax doll.”

“I think it would be better,” said Mrs. Lee, “for you to save up your
money and buy something worth having.”

“Isn’t a large wax doll worth having?”

“Oh yes; for a little girl like you.”

“Then I’ll save up my money, until I get enough to buy me a doll as big
as Sarah Johnson’s.”

In about an hour afterwards, Emma came to her mother, and said,--

“I’ve just thought what I will do with my sixpence. I saw such a
beautiful book at a shop yesterday! It was full of pictures, and the
price was just sixpence. I’ll buy that book.”

“But didn’t you say, a little while ago, that you were going to save
your money until you had enough to buy a doll?”

“I know I did, mother; but I didn’t think about the book then. And it
will take so long before I can save up money enough to get a new doll.
I think I will buy the book.”

“Very well, dear,” replied Mrs. Lee.

Not long after, Emma changed her mind again.

On the next day her mother said to her,--

“Your aunt Mary is very ill, and I am going to see her. Do you wish to
go with me?”

“Yes, mother, I should like to go. I am so sorry that aunt Mary is ill.
What ails her?”

“She is never very well, and the least cold makes her worse. The last
time she was here she took cold.”

As they were about leaving the house, Emma said,--

“I’ll take my sixpence with me, and spend it, mother.”

“What are you going to buy?” asked Mrs. Lee.

“I don’t know,” replied Emma. “Sometimes I think I will buy some cakes;
and then I think I will get a whole sixpence worth of cream candy--I
like it so.”

“Have you forgotten the book?”

“Oh no. Sometimes I think I will buy the book. Indeed, I don’t know
what to buy.”

In this undecided state of mind, Emma started with her mother to see
her aunt. They had not gone far before they met a poor woman with some
very pretty bunches of flowers for sale. She carried them on a tray.
She stopped before Mrs. Lee and her little girl, and asked if they
would not buy some flowers.

“How much are they a bunch?” asked Emma.

“Sixpence,” replied the woman.

“Mother, I’ll tell you what I will do with my sixpence,” said Emma, her
face brightening with the thought that came into her mind. “I will buy
a bunch of flowers for aunt Mary. You know how she loves flowers. Can’t
I do it, mother?”

“Oh yes, dear. Do it, by all means, if you think you can give up the
nice cream candy or the picture book for the sake of gratifying your
aunt.”

Emma did not hesitate a moment, but selected a very handsome bunch of
flowers, and paid her sixpence to the woman with a feeling of real
pleasure.

Aunt Mary was very much pleased with the bouquet Emma brought her.

“The sight of these flowers, and their delightful perfume, really makes
me feel better,” she said, after she had held them in her hand for a
little while. “I am very much obliged to my niece for thinking of me.”

That evening Emma looked up from a book which her mother had bought her
as they returned home from aunt Mary’s, and with which she had been
much entertained, and said,--

“I think the spending of my sixpence gave me a double pleasure.”

“How so, dear?” asked Mrs. Lee.

“I made aunt happy, and the flower-woman too. Didn’t you notice how
pleased the flower-woman looked? I shouldn’t wonder if she had little
children at home, and thought about the bread that sixpence would buy
them when I paid it to her. Don’t you think she did?”

“I cannot tell that, Emma,” replied her mother; “but I shouldn’t at all
wonder if it were as you suppose. And so it gives you pleasure to think
you have made others happy?”

“Indeed it does.”

“Acts of kindness,” replied Emma’s mother, “always produce a feeling
of pleasure. This every one may know. And it is the purest and truest
pleasure we experience in this world. Try and remember this little
incident of the flowers as long as you live, my child; and let the
thought of it remind you that every act of self-denial brings to the
one who makes it a sweet delight.”

[Illustration]



[Illustration]

The Timely Aid.


“Take care of that wolf, my son,” said Mrs. Maylie to a boy about
twelve years old, who had come from school in a very ill humour with a
playmate, and kept saying harsh things about him, which were but oral
evidences of the unkind feelings he cherished within.

“What wolf, mother?” asked Alfred, looking up with surprise.

“The wolf in your heart. Have you already forgotten what I told you
last evening about the wild beasts within you?”

“But you told us too,” spoke up little Emily, “about the innocent
lambs. There are gentle and good animals in us, as well as fierce and
evil ones.”

“Oh yes. Good affections are the innocent animals of your hearts,
and evil affections the cruel beasts of prey that are lurking there,
ever ready, if you will permit them, to rise up and destroy your good
affections. Take care, my children, how you permit the wild beasts to
rage. In a moment that you know not, they may ravage some sweet spot.”

“But what did you mean by saying that there was a _wolf_ in brother
Alfred? Tell us the meaning of that, mother.”

“Yes, do, mother,” joined in Alfred, whose ill humour had already begun
to subside. “I want to know what the wolf in my heart means.”

“Do you know anything about the nature of wolves?” asked Mrs. Maylie.

“They are very cruel, and love to seize and eat up dear little innocent
lambs,” said Emily.

“Yes, my children, their nature is cruel, and they prey upon innocent
creatures. Until now, Alfred, you have always loved to be with your
playmate, William Jarvis.”

Alfred was silent.

“Was it not so, my dear?”

“Yes, ma’am; I used to like him.”

“Frequently you would get from me a fine large apple, or a choice
flower from the garden, to present to him. But the tender and innocent
feelings that prompted you to do this have perished. Some wolf has
rushed in and destroyed them. Is it not so?”

Alfred sat in thoughtful silence.

“Think, my son,” continued Mrs. Maylie, “how innocent, like gentle
lambs, were your feelings until now. When you thought of William, it
was with kindness. When you played by his side, it was with a warm,
even tender regard. But it is not so now. Some beast of prey has
devoured these lambs--these innocent creatures that sported in your
bosom. If the angry, raging wolf has not eaten them up, where are they?
Before you permitted yourself to feel anger against William, gentle
creatures leaped about happily in your breast; but you feel them no
longer--only the wolf is there. Will you let him still rage, and devour
your lambs, or will you drive him out?”

“I will drive him out, mother, if I can. How shall I do it?” Alfred
said earnestly, and with a troubled look.

“By resisting him even unto the death. You have the power. You have
weapons that will prevail. Try to forget the fault of William; try to
excuse him; think of his good qualities; and assure yourself of what I
know to be true--that he never meant to offend you. If the angry wolf
growl in your bosom, thrust bravely at him, as you would, were you,
weapon in hand, defending a sheepfold; and he will and must retire, or
die at your feet. Then innocent lambs will again be seen, and their
sports delight your heart. Then you will feel no more anger towards
your young friend, but love instead.”

“I don’t think I am angry with William, mother,” Alfred said.

“But you were just now.”

“Yes; but the wolf is no longer in my heart,” the boy replied smiling.
“He has been driven out.”

“And innocent creatures can now sport there unharmed. I am glad of it.
Do not again, Alfred, do not any of you, my children, permit ravenous
beasts to prey upon the lambs of your flocks. Fly from them in as much
terror as you would fly from the presence of a wolf, a tiger, or a
lion, were one to meet you in a forest. They are equally hurtful--one
injures the body, the other the soul.”

“Tell us now, mother, about the wolf that had nearly killed uncle
Harper when he was a little boy no bigger than me,” spoke up Charley,
the youngest of Mrs. Maylie’s treasures.

“Oh yes, mother, tell us all about it,” said Alfred.

“I’ve told you that very often,” the mother returned.

“But we want to hear it again. Tell it to us; won’t you, mother?”

“Oh, certainly. Many years ago, when I was a little girl not bigger
than Emily, we lived at the foot of a high mountain, in a wild,
unsettled country. There were but few neighbours, and they were at
great distances from us. At that time bears, wolves, and panthers were
in the region where we lived, and often destroyed the sheep of the
settlers, and otherwise annoyed them. The men used frequently to go out
and hunt them, and kill off these their forest enemies in great numbers.

“One day, when your uncle Harper was about five years old, our father
took us in his waggon to visit a neighbour about six miles up among the
mountains. This neighbour had a little boy just Harper’s age, and they
were together in the garden and about the house all the morning. After
dinner, they were dressed up nicely, and again went out to play.

“‘Come,’ said Harper’s companion, ‘let us go and see brother Allen’s
bird-trap. He caught three pheasants yesterday. Maybe we’ll find one in
it to-day.’

“Harper was very willing to go. And so they started right into the
woods; for the forest came up close to the house, and went off quite
out of sight. They had not been gone long before a neighbour, who lived
about a mile off, came over to say that a very large wolf had been seen
a few hours before.

“‘Where is Harper?’ my mother asked quickly, going to the door and
looking out.

“‘I saw him a little while ago, playing about here with Johnny,’ some
one replied.

“‘But where is he now?’ and our mother went out of doors, looking all
around the house and in the garden.

“‘They’ve gone off to my bird-trap, without doubt,’ said Allen, a stout
boy about sixteen years of age. ‘Johnny has been there several times
within a day or two.’

“‘Do run and see,’ urged our mother. Allen took up his gun and started
off quickly towards the place where he had set his bird-trap. Two or
three took other directions; for, now that it was known a wolf had
been seen, all were alarmed at the absence of the children. In about
five minutes after Allen had left the house, we were startled by the
sharp crack of a rifle in the direction he had taken. For the next
five minutes we waited in dreadful suspense; then we were gladdened
by the sight of Allen, bringing home the two children. But when we
heard all that had occurred, we trembled from head to foot. Allen had
gone quickly towards the place where he expected to find the little
truants. When he came in sight of the trap, he saw them on the ground
close to it, and was just going to call out to them to take care or
they would spring it, when the dark body of a large wolf came quickly
in between him and the children. There was not a moment to be lost; if
the cruel beast reached them, destruction would be inevitable. Quickly
presenting his rifle, he took a steady aim and fired. A fierce howl
answered the report: as the smoke arose from before his eyes, he saw
the ‘gaunt gray robber’ of the wilderness rolling upon the ground. The
bullet had sped with unerring certainty.

“How thankful we were,” added Mrs. Maylie, “when, knowing how great had
been the danger, we saw the children safe from all harm!”

“Does uncle Harper remember it?” asked Charley.

“Yes; he says he can just remember something about it; but he was a
very little boy then.”

“That was a _real_ wolf,” remarked Emily; “but the wolves, and tigers,
and lambs you have been telling us about are not real, are they? Real
animals can’t live in us.”

“If there was nothing real about them, could they hurt you, dear?”

“No.”

“But the wolves I spoke about do hurt you. Must they not be real then?”

“Not real like the big hairy wolf I saw at the show?”

“Oh no; not real like that; not clothed in flesh; but still real, so
far as power to harm you is concerned: and surely that is reality
enough. Don’t you think so?”

“Yes, real that way. But still,” Alfred said, “I can’t understand how a
real wolf can be in me; for a wolf is much bigger than I am.”

“But I don’t mean a flesh and blood wolf, but something in you that
partakes of the wolf’s cruel nature, and, like the wolf, seeks to
destroy all in you that is good, and harmless, and innocent. There may
be in you something that corresponds to the fierce nature of the wolf,
and something that corresponds to the gentle nature of the lamb. Both
of these cannot be active at the same time. If you let the wolf rule,
your gentle lambs, as I before told you, will be destroyed.”

The children now understood their mother better, though they could not
clearly comprehend all that was meant by the wild beasts and innocent
creatures of the human heart.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]

The Double Fault.


“Why, Arthur,” exclaimed Mrs. Mason, on coming into the room where she
had left her two boys playing, and finding one of them there with a
bunch of flowers in his hand; “how came you to pull my flowers? Haven’t
I positively forbidden you to do so?”

“I did not do it, mother. I did not do it. It was John.”

“Where is John?”

“He’s in the yard.”

“Call him in,” said Mrs. Mason.

While Arthur was at the window calling to his brother, Mr. Mason, the
father, came into the room.

“John has been pulling my flowers. Isn’t it too bad that a boy as big
as he is should have so little consideration? They were coming out into
bloom beautifully.”

Just then John entered, with a bunch of flowers also in his hand.

“John, how came you to pull my flowers?” said Mrs. Mason. “You knew it
was wrong.”

“I did not think, when I pulled off a rosebud and two or three
larkspurs,” replied John.

“Two or three larkspurs and a rosebud! Why, your hand is full of
flowers.”

“Oh, but William Jones gave me all but the larkspurs and the rosebud.
Indeed, mother, I didn’t touch any more; and I am sorry I took them;
but I forgot that it was wrong when I did so.”

“But Arthur says you pulled that large bunch in his hand.”

“Arthur knows I didn’t. He knows he pulled them himself, and that I
told him he’d better not do it; but he said he’d as much right to the
flowers as I had.”

Mr. and Mrs. Mason both looked at Arthur in surprise and displeasure.
His countenance showed that he had been guilty of wrongly accusing his
brother.

“Is it true that you did pull the flowers, Arthur?” asked his mother.

But Arthur was silent.

“Speak, sir!” said the father sternly. “Did you pull the flowers?”

“Yes, sir.”

“And then falsely accused your brother of the wrong you had done.
That my boy should be guilty of an evil act like this! I could not
have believed it. It is a wicked thing to tell a lie to hide a fault,
simply; but falsely to accuse another of what we have ourselves done,
is still more wicked. Can it be possible that a son of mine has fallen
so low? It grieves me to the heart.”

Mr. Mason spoke as he felt. He was deeply grieved. Nothing had occurred
for a long time that so hurt him. He loved honesty and truth; but how
opposite to both had been the conduct of his boy!

“Go up to your chamber, and stay there until I see you or send for
you,” he said; and Arthur retired in shame from the presence of his
parents, and the brother he had so meanly attempted to injure. Of
course he felt very unhappy. How could he feel otherwise? The rebuking
words of his father fell like heavy blows upon his heart, and the pain
they occasioned was for a long time severely felt.

What punishment the parents thought it right to inflict upon Arthur
we do not know; but, no doubt, he was punished in some way, as he
deserved. And besides this, he had the still severer punishment which
always follows that meanest fault of which any one can be guilty--that
of accusing another and innocent person of what we have ourselves done.

Bad as this fault is, it is, alas! too common. But no manly,
honest-minded, truthful boy will be betrayed into it. To the better
impulses of our young readers who have been so wicked as to fall into
this sin, either from sudden impulse or deliberate purpose, we would
earnestly appeal, and beg of them to think more wisely and act more
justly in the future. No cause is ever made better, but always worse,
by a falsehood. Even where detection does not follow, suspicion is
almost always created; for it is impossible for a boy to tell a lie
without betraying it in the face or voice, and causing a doubt to pass
through the minds of his parents, and set them to making inquiry into
the truth or falsehood of what he has stated.

Truth--the open, bold, honest truth--is always the best, always the
wisest, always the safest for every one, in any and all circumstances.
Let no boy deviate from it, even though he have been guilty of a fault.
Better--a thousand times better--is it to own to the wrong, and keep a
clear conscience.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]

A Story about a Dog.


“Tell us a story, father, before we go to bed,” said a little boy, who
spoke for two brothers as well as for himself.

“What shall it be about?” asked Mr. Melville, their father.

“Oh, about a dog. I love to hear stories about dogs.”

“Oh yes! let it be about a dog.”

“Yes, papa, let it be about a dog,” ran through the circle of children.

“Wouldn’t you rather hear a story about the innocent lamb; the pure,
snow-white lamb that sports in the green meadows?” said the father.
“Dogs are evil animals.”

“Oh no, father! dogs are not evil animals. You don’t call our Carlo an
evil animal? He’s a good, kind, generous dog. Didn’t he save the life
of Mr. Graham’s little Harry, when he fell into the river? And doesn’t
he love us, and go with us everywhere? And didn’t he jump on Mr.
Parker’s Nero and beat him, when he flew out at us as we were passing,
and was going to bite us? I am sure Carlo is a good dog. He watches our
house at night, and keeps all the robbers away.”

“Carlo is one of the better class of dogs,” said Mr. Melville. “Many
of these animals have generous qualities, and can be taught by man to
perform many good acts; but I hardly think the dog can be called a good
animal, like the noble horse or the useful cow and sheep. These serve
man in a great variety of ways, and do not, even in their wild state,
prey upon other animals, or attack and injure man as the dog will.
The only use of the dog is for a protection against evil; and he is
able to do this from something in him that is cruel and destructive.
But I own that in some dogs there are to be found many noble and
generous qualities; but these they derive from long association with
man, and from being employed by him from one generation to another
in doing useful things. The dogs of St. Bernard, of which you have
so often read, are noble specimens of this improved race. So are the
Newfoundland dogs. But still they are not good and innocent,--like
sheep, for instance, or cows, or like the gentle dove. Those are truly
innocent animals, and correspond in nature to certain good affections
in our minds.”

But the children still thought that Carlo must be a good animal, and
insisted that it was so, and upon having a story about a dog instead of
a lamb.

“Very well,” said Mr. Melville: “I will tell you a story about a dog,
and a very interesting one it is too. I heard it or read about it
somewhere recently, but I cannot now tell where.”

“Tell it, father, do tell it,” urged the children.

Mr. Melville then told the following story:--

“There was a boy,--we will call his name Thomas,--whose father bought
him a fine horse, upon which he used to ride out almost every day,
accompanied by a large Newfoundland dog named Bruno. One day Thomas
had his horse brought out for a ride, and after he had mounted the
animal, he whistled for Bruno, who was lying on a mat in front of the
house. But Bruno only wagged his tail. He did not even lift his head
from between his fore paws, although his dark bright eyes were fixed
upon his young master. ‘Come, Bruno, come!’ called Thomas. But the dog
only wagged his tail more quickly. ‘You are a lazy fellow, Bruno,’ said
Thomas, in a half-chiding, disappointed tone. ‘I shan’t half enjoy my
ride unless you come.’ And he whistled loud for Bruno, as he gave his
horse the rein and trotted off. Although he looked back and called for
Bruno many times, as he rode away, the dog evinced no disposition to
follow him.

“It was near sunset, and the father and mother of Thomas were sitting
in front of their door, enjoying the cool refreshing air. Bruno still
lay upon the mat, and seemed to be sleeping.

“‘I wonder why that dog didn’t go with Thomas?’ said the father,
looking at Bruno.

“‘He’s lazy to-day,’ replied the mother. ‘Thomas called him, and tried
his best to get him off with him, as usual, but Bruno never stirred.’

“On hearing his name, the dog rose up, and came and rubbed himself
against his master, who patted him kindly upon the head. While standing
thus by his master’s side, Bruno all at once pricked up his ears and
rose, and seemed all attention. Almost at the same instant the father
of Thomas heard the distant clattering of a horse’s hoofs, which drew
nearer every moment. He arose quickly; as he did so, Bruno gave a
short, uneasy bark, and went a few steps towards the road, holding his
head very high, and looking first in one direction and then in another.
This suspense did not continue long. In less than a minute from the
time the first distant sound was heard, they saw the horse of Thomas
come dashing down the road at a fearful speed, with his little rider
clinging to his neck. The house stood nearly a hundred yards from the
road, and the horse approaching at such a rapid rate, that, although
the father sprang forward to catch him, if possible, at the moment of
passing, yet he was instantly conscious that before he could possibly
reach the road the frightened animal would be beyond his reach. Just
as his mind felt this painful certainty, Bruno went past him like an
arrow, cleared the fence at a bound, and at the moment the horse was
passing the gate caught him by the bridle. To this he held on, checking
the animal’s speed so much that his master found it easy to come up
with and stop him.”

“Oh, what a noble dog!” cried the children. “How Thomas must have loved
him!”

“But how,” said one, “did Bruno know that the horse was going to run
away?”

“He did not know it,” said Mr. Melville.

“Then why didn’t he go with Thomas? He must have known it, father.”

“Oh no; that doesn’t follow, my son, at all. But the Lord, in his
omnipotence and providence, knew what would take place, and provided
just the means that were needed to save Thomas from being killed.”

“Then he made Bruno stay at home that he might be ready to save his
young master’s life?” said one of the children.

“The Lord’s protecting Spirit is everywhere,” replied Mr. Melville,
“and governs in all circumstances by which we are preserved from harm.
Without doubt, it was an influence from Heaven that produced in the dog
an indisposition to go with Thomas.”

“How good the Lord is!” said the child who had last spoken, in a
thoughtful tone.

“Yes, my dear,” returned Mr. Melville; “the Lord is good to all, and
kind even to the unthankful. He maketh his sun to shine upon the evil
and the good, and sendeth his rain upon the just and the unjust.”

[Illustration]



[Illustration]

The Discontented Shepherd.


In a quiet valley there once dwelt a shepherd, who led a peaceful,
happy life. He had large flocks, from whose fleecy backs the wool was
regularly shorn, and sold to the merchants; and the merchants paid him
money, with which he bought all things needful for health and bodily
comfort.

One day the shepherd drove his flocks to the sea-side, and as he looked
abroad upon the great expanse of water, and saw the ships moving over
its surface, he felt, for the first time, discontented with his lot. A
desire to see the world took possession of his mind.

“I will no longer shut myself up in this narrow valley,” he said. “I
will become a merchant. I will pass over the wide sea, and go among the
people of many lands.”

So the shepherd sold his flocks, and with the money bought merchandise,
which he placed in a ship, and started for a distant country. During
the first day after leaving the land, he could do little else but
admire the wonderful ocean upon whose surface he was sailing, and think
how happy he was at having escaped the dull life of a shepherd in an
unknown vale. But on the second day after leaving the land, the motion
of the ship made him very sick. He could no longer enjoy the great
expanse of ocean and sky spread out above and around him, but had to
remain in the cabin, unable even to lift his head from his pillow. As
he lay sick in the dark, narrow cabin, filled with polluted air, he
thought of the green shady places, cool refreshing streams, and pure
air of his native valley, and, for the first time, he repented of what
he had done.

It was more than a week before the shepherd could go upon deck, and
feel pleasure in the sky and ocean as he had done at first.

At last the vessel arrived at its destined place: the shepherd landed
his goods and offered them for sale. He soon found a merchant willing
to buy them. The price was agreed upon, the merchandise delivered, and
the money demanded. But it happened, as it almost always happens when
men get dissatisfied with the business or calling with which they are
perfectly familiar, and enter into one they know nothing about, the
shepherd fell into dishonest hands. The merchant refused to pay him his
money.

In order to get this wrong redressed, the shepherd called upon a
magistrate of the country, who promised to see that justice was done
to him. But the merchant knew the magistrate to be as unfitted for his
calling as he was for his, and so he offered him a bribe, which the
wicked magistrate accepted. In vain did the shepherd seek for justice
at his hands; no justice could he get. His importunities at last became
so great, that the magistrate threatened to have him put into prison if
he troubled him any more.

In his own peaceful valley there was no wrong and oppression like
this. The merchants who came for his fleece were good and true men,
and paid the prices agreed upon. The ignorant shepherd had not dreamed
that there were such wicked men in the world as this merchant and this
magistrate, into whose hands he had fallen.

In a strange land, among strange people, thousands of miles away from
his home, and all his money and property gone, the poor shepherd was
about giving up in despair. But he bethought him that he would go to
the king of the country, and ask justice at his hands.

The king, when he heard the shepherd’s story, was very angry at the
wrong that had been done in his kingdom. He sent immediately, and had
the magistrate and the merchant brought before him and confronted with
their accuser. On seeing the shepherd, their hearts became filled with
alarm, and their faces betrayed what was in their hearts. When accused
they could answer nothing. So the king caused the merchant to pay the
shepherd for his goods; and besides, imposed upon him a heavy fine.
From the magistrate he took away his office, and had him cast into
prison.

As soon as the shepherd had received his money, he returned in the
first ship that sailed for his native country, and buying more flocks,
was ever after contented to follow them in the peaceful valley where no
wrong, oppression, or dishonesty had yet come.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]

The Shilling.


George Hanson’s uncle had given him a shilling; and George, like most
boys, felt very anxious to spend it. But, among his many wants, he
found it a hard matter to decide upon which to gratify. If it had been
a half-crown instead of a shilling, the difficulty would have been
lessened, for then George could have supplied at least half a dozen
wants. But it was only a shilling.

He stood at the window, looking out upon the passengers who were going
quickly by, the frosty air of December giving lightness to many a step
that, in a milder day, would have been less hurriedly taken. While
standing here, his mind half made up to gratify his love of cakes and
oranges by a whole shilling’s worth, a man went by with some pretty
little glass toys in a box, which he held up to the window, and asked
if he did not want to buy some.

George beckoned to the man to stop, and then ran to the front door. The
man was a glass-blower, and had manufactured some handsome birds, and
sheep, and deer, from white glass, which looked, certainly, curious and
beautiful.

“How much is this?” asked George, pointing to a bird of paradise.

“Eighteen-pence.”

“But I’ve only got a shilling,” returned George.

“Well, here’s a robin redbreast for a shilling; and here’s a deer, and
a sheep. All these on this side are a shilling.”

But George liked the bird of paradise best of all, and couldn’t think
of taking anything else.

While the man stood trying to persuade him to buy one of the birds that
were sold for a shilling, George looked up and saw going by a poor
old man, who was bent with age. He led a little girl by the hand, who
appeared to shrink in the cold. The old man looked sick and feeble, and
very poor.

“They shall have my shilling!” exclaimed George, speaking from a sudden
impulse; and he stepped forward, and placing the coin in the old man’s
hand, said, as he did so,--

“I was just going to spend this for a little glass toy that would be
broken in a day. But I want it put to a better use. Take it, and buy
something for your little girl.”

The poor old man stopped, and said, with a look of surprise and
pleasure as he received the coin,--

“Thank you, my young master! This will give my little Alice a nice bowl
of bread and milk for her supper and breakfast. She will think of you
with a grateful heart while she eats them.”

“Well done, my good boy!” said the glass-blower, as the old man went on
his way. “That poor little girl’s bread and milk will taste sweet to
her to-night. And as a reward for your generous self-denial, here is
the bird of paradise that has pleased you so much: take it.”

But George drew back, and said he hardly thought that would be right.

“Why not, I wonder?” returned the man. “Am I to be outdone in
generosity by a boy? Take it, and whenever you look upon it let it
teach you this lesson--that it is more blessed to give than to receive;
for I am sure the thought of the good done to the old man and the
little girl will be more pleasant to you than the thought of possessing
this pretty toy.”

And so it was. The toy pleased for a short time only, but the thought
of the little girl who had been made happy by his shilling never passed
through his mind without giving him pleasure.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]

The Wounded Bird.


“Father,” said Henry Thompson, a boy just eleven years old, “won’t you
buy me a gun?”

“A gun! Oh no; I can’t buy you a gun,” Mr. Thompson replied in a
decided voice.

Henry turned away disappointed, and went out of his father’s warehouse,
into which he had come specially to ask for a gun. He was not pleased
at the refusal he had met with, and felt much inclined, as are too
many children, to indulge hard thoughts against his kind father for
not gratifying his wish. As he walked along, he met Alfred Lyon, a lad
about his own age, whose father had given him a gun, and who then had
it on his shoulder.

“Come, Henry,” said Alfred, “I’m going out a-shooting. Won’t you go
with me?”

Henry at once said “Yes.” It was a holiday, and his mother had told
him that he might go out and spend the morning as he liked, only that
he must not go into danger, nor harm anything. So he did not hesitate
to go with Alfred. He had seen the little boy the day before, and then
learned that he had received from his father the present of a gun, and
this was what had made him desire to have one also.

The two little boys then took their way to the woods. It was a bright
day in early summer. The trees were all covered with tender foliage,
the fields bright and green, and the singing birds made the air thrill
with delicious melody. To mar this scene of innocence, beauty, and
peace, came these two thoughtless boys. They saw the woods mantled in
their dark, rich drapery, that moved gracefully in the light breeze;
but all their majestic beauty was lost to their eyes. They thought
only whether the thick, green masses of leaves contained a robin
or harmless red-bird, as a victim to their murderous gun. The green
fields, too, were pleasant to their eyes only so far as they might
conceal, in their blossoming hedgerows, a victim wren or sparrow. And
the sweet trilling of the lovely songsters, as it floated from wood
and field, though it gladdened their ears, affected them not with a
pure and innocent pleasure. I grieve to make such a record of these two
lads, but it is, alas! too true. Both together, were they to labour
over their task from this hour of their boyhood until threescore and
ten years had been numbered to them, could not make even a little
yellow bird,--nay, not so much as a feather like one shed from its
downy wing; and yet they were eager to destroy the lovely creature made
by God’s own hand, and all from an idle love of sport.

Well, Alfred and Henry soon arrived at the woods.

“Hark!” said Alfred, “there is a robin singing in that maple! Be still,
and I will shoot him.”

Henry stood very still, while Alfred moved stealthily along, with
his gun in his hand, until he stood nearly under the maple-tree. The
robin, all unconscious of danger, was singing his song of gladness--a
tribute of praise to Him who had fashioned him curiously, and with
inconceivable wisdom and skill--when the boy raised his gun, took a
deadly aim, and fired. The breast of the robin was still heaving, and
his throat trembling with the song, when the swift-winged shot entered
his side, and pierced his little heart. He fell at the feet of his
murderer. One would have thought, that when Alfred and Henry saw the
bleeding bird, lying dead on the ground, their hearts would have been
filled with sorrow. But not so. A shout of joy followed this cruel
exploit. The bird was picked up, and a string tied about its neck, and
borne along with them, as the triumphant evidence of Alfred’s skill
with his weapon.

Next an oriole was discovered, flying from a bush near them, and
alighting upon the branch of a tree, high up in the air.

“Now, let me shoot,” said Henry; and Alfred suffered his companion
to take the gun. He proved to be not quite so good a marksman as
Alfred. But he struck the oriole, and wounded him. The bird fluttered
to another tree, upon a limb of which he alighted. Here he clung, with
his tiny feet, until these cruel boys had again loaded their gun. Then
Henry took a truer aim, and brought him to the ground. But he was
not dead. Henry seized the trembling creature, that tried in vain to
escape, and held him fast in his hands.

“Wring off his neck,” said Alfred; “that’s the way.”

“No, no,” returned Henry; “I’ll take him home just as he is: perhaps
he’ll get well, and then I’ll put him in a cage, and keep him.”

And so Henry kept the bird, that must have been suffering great pain,
carefully in his hand, while Alfred loaded his gun once more. But we
will not follow these boys further in their cruel employment, which
was continued for several hours, when they grew tired, and returned
home. It was past the dinner hour when Henry got back, with four birds
for his share of the morning’s sport. One of these was the oriole,
still alive. Another was a sparrow, another a robin, and the fourth a
blue-bird. These last three were all dead.

“Just see, mother, what I’ve got; and I killed them all myself,” cried
Henry, as he came in and displayed his birds. “Won’t you ask father to
buy me a gun? Alfred Lyon has got one, and I think I ought to have one
too. I asked father to-day to buy me one, but he said _No_. Won’t you
ask him to buy me a gun, mother? for I can shoot; I shot all these with
Alfred’s gun, myself.”

Henry’s mother listened to her son with surprise and pain. “Poor bird!”
said she, taking from Henry the wounded oriole, and handling it with
great tenderness. “Can it be possible that my son has done this?--that
his hand has committed so cruel a deed?” and the tears dimmed her eyes.

The words, tone, and manner of his mother touched the heart of Henry in
an instant. New thoughts were awakened, and with these thoughts came
new feelings. His mind had a glimpse of the truth, that it was wrong to
sport with the life of any creature.

“Can you make a pretty bird like this?” his mother asked, pointing to
the drooping bird in her hand. Her son was silent.

“Then why seek, wantonly, to take its life?” she continued. “Were you
envious of its happiness? Like an evil spirit, did a sight of innocent
delights inflame you with a desire to destroy it? Can you restore
health to its wounded body? No! Can you ever assuage its present
agonies? No--you cannot. Cruel boy! what could you have been dreaming
about? Think, how terrible it would be, if there were a race of beings
stronger than we are, who, with the power, had the will to destroy us
for mere sport. Some day I might be walking out, and become the victim
of one of these, and then my children would have no mother. Perhaps
Henry might leave me, and while on his way to school might be shot at,
as he shot at the birds, and be killed like this pretty blue-bird, or
fatally wounded like this oriole. Would you think such sport innocent?
I think not. Poor bird! See how it trembles! See how it flutters its
wings in pain! See how it gasps! Now it has fallen over upon its
side--and now it is dead! Alas, that my son should have done this
cruel deed--that my son should have caused all this pain!”

The words of Henry’s mother touched him deeply. They caused him to see
how cruel he had indeed been. They made him conscious that it was most
wicked to hurt or kill any one of God’s creatures in mere sport. So
moved was he, that he could not refrain from bursting into tears and
sobbing bitterly.

“O mother!” he said, after he had gained some little command over his
feelings, “I never thought how wicked and cruel it was to take pleasure
in hunting the pretty birds. I don’t want a gun. I wouldn’t have a gun
now, if father would buy me the handsomest one in town.”

Henry’s mother was glad to hear him say this, for it showed that he
felt all she wished him to feel--sorrow at having indulged in a cruel
sport. It showed, also, that he had determined in his own mind, from
seeing how wicked it was, never to do so again. From this determination
Henry never swerved. He was never known afterwards to hurt any animal
in sport. And more than this, by talking to his little friend Alfred,
he caused him to see how wrong it was to shoot the birds; and Alfred
gave his gun back to his father, who sold it for him, and with the
money bought him a number of good and useful books.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]

The Holiday.


“How are you going to spend your holiday?” asked Edgar Williams of
Charles Manly.

“I don’t know; how are you going to spend yours?”

“I’m going a-fishing; won’t you go with me?”

“No, I think not,” replied Manly.

“Why? It will be fine sport.”

But Manly shook his head, and replied,--

“I don’t think it such fine sport to hunt the little fishes. I’m sure I
shouldn’t like a sharp hook in my mouth. Ugh! To think of being lifted
up by a hook fastened in your tongue, or in the roof of your mouth!”

“You’re very tender-hearted all at once,” replied Edgar Williams. “I’ve
seen you fishing, many a time.”

“No doubt of it. But I hardly think I shall go again. Father says it is
cruel sport; and so it is. Suppose you don’t go, Edgar.”

“Oh yes, but I will. It’s delightful. I’m fond of it above everything.”

“I’ll tell you what I should like to do, if you would go with me,” said
Charles Manly.

“Well?”

“I should like to go out into the woods and fields, to look for
specimens for my cabinet.”

“A fig for specimens!” returned Williams. “No, indeed! I’m going
a-fishing.”

The two lads had each some money given to him by his parents to spend.
With his money, Edgar Williams bought a fishing-line, a rod, and some
bait; and taking his dinner in a basket, started off alone to spend
his day in fishing from the river-bank. During the morning the fish
would not bite. Hour after hour he threw his line in vain. He did not
get so much as a nibble. About mid-day, tired and disappointed, Edgar
threw his rod upon the grass, and now beginning to feel hungry, he
opened his lunch-basket and took therefrom his dinner, the eating of
which he enjoyed much more than he had enjoyed his fishing. After this,
he lay down under the shade of a tree and slept for an hour. When he
awoke, he felt dull and heavy, and wished himself at home. But he had
caught nothing, and did not want to go back with so poor an account
of his doings. So he took up his rod and line, and again sought to
take the life, for mere sport, of some fish, tempted, in the hope of
obtaining food, to seize upon the murderous hook. But his red cork lay,
as before, immovable upon the smooth surface of the river for a very
long time. At last it suddenly disappeared, and Edgar gave his line a
quick jerk, which brought up a bright little sunfish, that had hoped to
get a good dinner, but was, alas! sadly disappointed. It was not more
than three inches long, and beautiful to look upon as a fish could be,
so thin, so delicately made, and so purely golden in its hue. Edgar
caught the fluttering little creature in his hand, and tore the cruel
hook from its bleeding mouth. Just at that moment he thought of what
Charles Manly had said, about having a sharp hook in his tongue or
tearing into the roof of his mouth, and for the first time in his life
he felt pity for a fish. The quivering little animal was still in his
hand, and he held it up and looked at its torn mouth, with the blood
oozing therefrom, and sorrow for the pain he had occasioned touched his
heart.

“It is cruel sport, as Charles said, sure enough,” he murmured to
himself. “This little fish never did me any harm. And even if I were
in want of food, which I am not, it is too small to eat. So I have
no excuse for doing it this sad injury. Go, little fish!” he added,
throwing it back again into the river. “I will not rob you of life,
though I have seriously injured you.”

But the fish, instead of diving down out of sight into the deep water,
turned upon its side and swam about unevenly upon the surface of the
water. Edgar felt grieved when he saw this.

“Poor little sunfish,” he said; “I hope you will not die.”

Just then he observed a sudden rippling motion of the water, a short
distance from where the sunfish was swimming about, and in an instant
afterwards the little sufferer was seized by some larger fish and
devoured.

“I’ll never fish again for sport!” said Edgar, throwing his rod and
line into the water, and turning sadly away from the river-side.

It was nearly night when he arrived at home, tired and altogether
dissatisfied with himself. More than an hour elapsed after he went
to bed before he could close his eyes in sleep. The image of that
beautiful little sunfish, with its torn and bleeding mouth, was too
vividly present to his mind. During the night, he dreamed that he fell
into the river, and was seized by some monster, as he had seen the
sunfish seized. He awoke in terror, with the perspiration starting from
every pore, and it was a long time before sleep visited his eyes again.

Sweeter far, and more peaceful, were the dreams of Charles Manly, who
had gone with his sister to the museum, and spent his holiday there,
examining the many curious and wonderful things in art and nature that
it contained. His enjoyment had been innocent, and it had left his mind
tranquil and peaceful.



[Illustration]

Rover and his Little Master.


“Come, Rover!” said Harry, as he passed a fine old Newfoundland dog
that lay on a mat at the door; “come, Rover! I am going down to the
river to sail my boat, and I want you to go with me.”

Rover opened his large eyes, and looked lazily at his little master.

“Come, Rover!--Rover!”

But the dog didn’t care to move, and so Harry went off to the
river-side alone. He had not been gone a great while, before a thought
of her boy came suddenly into the mother’s mind. Remembering that he
had a little vessel, and that the river was near, it occurred to her
that he might have gone there.

Instantly her heart began to throb with alarm.

“Is Harry with you?” she called up to Harry’s father, who was in his
study. But Harry’s father said he was not there.

“I’m afraid he’s gone to the river with his boat,” said the mother.

“To the river!” And Mr. Lee dropped his pen, and came quickly down.
Taking up his hat, he went hurriedly from the house. Rover was still
lying upon the mat, with his head upon his paws and his eyes shut.

“Rover!” said his master, in a quick, excited voice, “where is Harry?
Has he gone to the river? Away and see! quick!”

The dog must have understood every word, for he sprang eagerly to his
feet, and rushed toward the river. Mr. Lee followed as fast as he could
run. When he reached the river-bank, he saw his little boy in the
water, with Rover dragging him towards the shore. He was just in time
to receive the half-drowned child in his arms, and carry him home to
his mother.

Harry, who remained insensible, was placed in a warm bed. He soon,
however, revived, and in an hour or two was running about again. But
after this, Rover would never leave the side of his little master, when
he wandered beyond the garden gate. Wherever you found Harry, there
Rover was sure to be--sometimes walking by his side, and sometimes
lying on the grass, with his big eyes watching every movement.

Once Harry found his little vessel, which had been hidden away since
he went with it to the river, and, without his mother seeing him, he
started again for the water. Rover, as usual, was with him. On his way
to the river he saw some flowers, and, in order to gather them, put his
boat down upon the grass. Instantly Rover picked it up in his mouth,
and walked back towards the house with it. After going a little way,
he stopped, looked round, and waited until Harry had got his hand full
of flowers. The child then saw that Rover had his boat, and tried to
get it from him; but Rover played round him, always keeping out of his
reach, and retreating towards the house, until he got back within the
gate. Then he bounded into the house, and laid the boat at the feet of
Harry’s mother.

Harry was a little angry with the good old dog, at first; but when his
mother explained to him what Rover meant, he hugged him round the neck,
and said he would never go down to the river any more.

Harry is a man now, and Rover has long since been dead; but he often
thinks of the dear old dog that saved him from drowning when he was a
child; and it gives him great pleasure to remember that he never beat
Rover, as some boys beat their dogs, when they are angry, and was never
unkind to him. Had it been otherwise, the thought would have given him
great pain.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]

James and Henry; OR, “TWO WRONGS NEVER MAKE A RIGHT.”


A mother, who loved her children very much, sat reading a good book
one day, while her two little boys were playing in the next room. All
at once loud cries and angry words fell upon her ears, and gave her
great pain. She rose up quickly, and went in to the children, and
there she saw a sad sight indeed. James, her eldest boy, whose eighth
birthday had just been passed, was standing over his younger brother,
Henry, with his hand raised, and his face red with anger; and Henry had
doubled his little fist, and was ready to strike again.

“James! Henry!” cried their mother, as soon as her eyes fell upon them.

“Mother! mother! Henry knocked over my house, and he did it on
purpose,” said the eldest boy, a blush of shame covering his face, and
hiding the red anger that was on it an instant before.

“No, mother, I didn’t do it on purpose,” spoke up little Henry. “It was
an accident; and he struck me.”

“And then what did you do?” asked the mother, taking the little boy by
the hand, and looking him in the face.

Henry held down his head, and replied, “I struck him again.”

“Oh, how wrong that was!”

“But I didn’t mean to knock over his house.”

“How was it, James?” the mother asked, appealing to the eldest boy.

“He did knock over my house.”

“But, do you believe it was done on purpose?”

“He kept pushing his foot against it all the while, and I told him not
to do it,” said James.

“Why, Henry?”

Henry again hung down his head, and was silent.

“And so you did it on purpose, Henry?”

“Oh no, no, mother, I didn’t do it on purpose,” cried Henry, bursting
into tears and burying his face in his mother’s lap. “It was an
accident. I did put my foot against the house, _just to plague him_;
but I didn’t mean to push it over. _Something made my foot go hard
against it._ But I am sorry.”

And Henry sobbed aloud.

“Henry is sorry for what he has done, James; he did not do it on
purpose. But you were angry and struck him on purpose. Are you not
sorry?”

“But he was trying to plague me; and he is always trying to plague me.”

“That was wrong, James. But, you know that I have often said to
you--_two wrongs never make a right_. Do you feel any happier now,
because you struck your brother?”

James was silent.

“Tell me, my son, do you think you are happier for what you have done?”

The little boy said, “No.”

“But you feel very unhappy?”

“Yes, mother.”

“That is a sign that you have done wrong. When we do right it makes us
happy. Are you not always sorry after you have done wrong?”

“Yes, mother.”

“You are sorry that you struck Henry?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“And Henry is sorry for having tried to plague you; ain’t you, Henry?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Then give James your hand, my son. He is sorry for having struck you.”

The little boys took hold of each other’s hands, and looked into each
other’s faces. But tears were in both their eyes, and on their cheeks.

“Now kiss each other with the kiss of forgiveness.”

The children put their arms round each other’s necks, and kissed each
other with a warm kiss of love and forgiveness.

“Now bring me that little book lying on the table, James,” said the
mother.

James brought the book, and the mother opened it, and read:--

  “‘Whatever brawls disturb the street,
    There should be peace at home;
  Where sisters dwell, and brothers meet,
    Quarrels should never come.

  “‘Birds in their little nests agree,
    And ’tis a shameful sight,
  When children of one family
    Fall out, and chide, and fight.

  “‘Hard names at first, and angry words,
    Which are but noisy breath,
  May come to clubs and naked swords,
    To murder and to death.’

“Think of that, my dear children! ‘To murder and to death!’ If you
quarrel with each other now, instead of growing up and loving each
other, you may grow up to hate each other. I remember two brothers that
were once no older than you are. They were always quarrelling with each
other, and they kept on quarrelling as they grew up. One day, after
they had become men, they got into a dispute about something, when one
of them struck the other a dreadful blow with a stick and killed him.
Was not that a terrible thing? And who knows but that you, if you keep
on quarrelling as you do now, may grow up to hate one another.”

“Henry, do you know why it is that you so often try to tease your
brother James?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Why is it, my son?”

“I let evil spirits come into me, and do what they wish me to do.”

“Yes, that is the reason. But can’t you keep them out.”

“Yes, ma’am, if I try.”

“Do you like to have evil spirits in you, instead of good angels.”

“Oh no. I love the good angels, and I hate the wicked spirits that make
me do wrong.”

“How can you keep the wicked spirits out?”

“By not doing the wrong things they want me to do, and then the good
angels will drive them all away.”

“I hope, my dear children, as you know so well what is right, that
you will never again let wicked spirits from hell have anything to do
with you. When they again tempt you to plague your brother, Henry, you
must not do it, and then they will go away; and you, James, if Henry
should again be so weak and foolish as to let the evil spirits come
into him, must not let them come into you at the same time. If, instead
of letting them tempt you to strike him, you permit the good angels to
govern you, you will speak kindly to him, and say, ‘Don’t, brother,
please.’ I am sure he will do so no longer. By doing this, you will
help him to cast out the evil spirits who are seeking to destroy him.”

“How destroy him, mother?”

“All evil spirits seek to destroy children by making them wicked like
themselves, so that they may be cast into hell. They hate children so
much, that, if they were not restrained by the Lord, they would do them
all manner of harm--would utterly destroy them; for they burn with
hatred towards little children.”

“But the Lord won’t let them hurt us.”

“Not if we will keep them out of our hearts. But if we let them come
in, he cannot save us. And, whenever you are angry with each other,
they come into your little hearts. Oh! my dear children, keep out these
dreadful enemies, or they will utterly destroy you.”

The children burst into tears, kissed each other and their mother
again and again, and promised that they would try and never speak or
act unkindly to one another as long as they lived. We hope they will
not; and that all our little readers will try, like them, to keep evil
spirits far away, that good angels may be round about them and dwell in
their young hearts.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]

The Use of Flowers.


“Just one moment longer, cousin Mary; I want to put this flower in your
hair. Now doesn’t it look sweet, sister Aggy?”

“Oh yes! very sweet. And here is the dearest little bud I ever saw. I
took it from the sweet-brier bush in the lane. Put that, too, in cousin
Mary’s hair.”

Little Florence, seeing what was going on, was soon also at work upon
Mary’s hair, which, in a little while, was covered with buds and
blossoms.

“Now she is our May Queen,” said the children, as they hung fondly
around their cousin, who had come into the country to enjoy a few
weeks of rural quiet, in the season of fruits and flowers.

“And our May Queen must sing us a song,” said Agnes, who was sitting at
the feet of her cousin. “Sing us something about flowers.”

“Oh yes!” spoke up Grace; “sing us that beautiful piece by Mrs. Howitt,
about the use of flowers. You sang it for us, you remember, the last
time you were here.”

Cousin Mary sang as desired. After she had concluded, she said,--

“Flowers, according to these beautiful verses, are only useful as
objects to delight our senses. They are only beautiful forms in
nature--their highest use, their beauty and fragrance.”

“I think that is what Mrs. Howitt means,” replied Grace. “So I have
always understood her. And I cannot see any other use that flowers
have. Do you know of any other use, cousin?”

“Oh yes. Flowers have a more important use than merely giving delight
to the senses. Without them, plants could not produce fruit and seed.
You notice that the flower always comes before the fruit?”

“Oh yes. But why is a flower needed? Why does not the fruit push itself
directly out from the stem of a plant?” asked Agnes.

“Flowers are the most exquisitely delicate in their texture of all
forms in the vegetable kingdom. Look at the petals of this one. Could
anything be softer or finer? The leaf, the bark, and the wood of the
plant are all coarse, in comparison to the flower. Now, as nothing
is made in vain, there must be some reason for this. The leaves and
bark, as well as wood, of plants, all have vessels through which sap
flows, and this sap nourishes, sustains, and builds up the plant, as
our blood does our bodies. But the whole effort of the plant is to
reproduce itself; and to this end it forms seed, which, when cast into
the ground, takes root, springs up, and makes a new plant. To form this
seed requires the purest juices of the plant, and these are obtained
by means of the flowers, through the exquisitely fine vessels of which
these juices are filtered, or strained, and thus separated from all
that is gross and impure.”

“I never thought of that before,” said Agnes. “Flowers, then, are
useful as well as beautiful.”

“Nothing is made for mere beauty. All things in nature regard use as an
end. To flowers are assigned a high and important use, and exquisite
beauty of form and colour is at the same time given to them; and with
these our senses are delighted. They are, in more respects than one,
good gifts from our heavenly Father.”

“Oh! how I do love the flowers,” said Agnes; “and now, when I look upon
them, and think of their use as well as their beauty, I shall love them
still more. Are they so very beautiful because their use is such an
important one, cousin Mary?”

“Yes, dear; I believe this is so. In the seeds of plants there is an
image of the infinity of our great Creator; for in seeds resides a
power, or an effort, to reproduce the plants, that lie concealed as
gems within them, to infinity. We might naturally enough suppose that
flowers, whose use it is to refine and prepare the juices of plants,
so as to free them from all grosser matters, and make them fit for
the important office of developing and maturing seeds, would be
exceedingly delicate in their structure, and, as a natural consequence,
beautiful to look upon. And we will believe, therefore, that their
peculiar beauty depends upon their peculiar use.”


[Illustration: THE END]



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TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES:


  Italicized text is surrounded by underscores: _italics_.

  Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

  Inconsistencies in hyphenation have been standardized.



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