Transcriber's Note: Chapter headings in the table of Contents and in the main body of the book appear as they do in the original. Phrases printed in italics in the original version are indicated in this electronic version by _ (underscore). A list of amendments are given at the end of the book.
BEING AN ELEGANT COLLECTION
The most delightful Little Stories
AND INTERESTING TALES:
CHIEFLY TRANSLATED FROM THAT MUCH ADMIRED WORK
L'AMI DES ENFANS.
WITH SEVENTY-FOUR CUTS,
DESIGNED AND ENGRAVED ON WOOD, BY
THE SIXTEENTH EDITION.
PRINTED FOR JOHN HARRIS, G. WHITTAKER, HARVEY AND CO., LONGMAN AND CO., J. AND C. RIVINGTON, T. CADELL, H. S. KIRBY, BALDWIN AND CO., HAMILTON AND CO., J. SOUTER, SIMPKIN AND CO., AND J. NUNN.
Printed by S. and R. Bentley, Dorset Street, Fleet Street, London.
The following pages may be considered rather as a Collection of the BEAUTIES of M. BERQUIN, than as a literally abridged translation of that work, several original thoughts and observations being occasionally introduced into different parts of them.
The stories here collected are of a most interesting kind, since virtue is constantly represented as the fountain of happiness, and vice as the source of every evil. Nothing extravagant or romantic will be found in these tales: neither enchanted castles, nor supernatural agents, but such scenes are exhibited as come within the reach of the observations of young people in common life; the whole being made familiar by an innocent turn of thought and expression, and applied to describe their amusements, their pursuits, and their necessities.
As a useful and instructive Pocket Looking-Glass, we recommend it for the instruction of every youth, whether miss or master; it is a mirror that will not flatter them, nor lead them into error; it displays the follies and improper pursuits of youthful breasts, points out the dangerous paths they sometimes tread, and clears the way to the Temple of Honour and Fame.
Little Adolphus 1 Anabella's Journey to Market 8 The Absurdity of young People's Wishes exposed 16 Louisa's Tenderness to the little Birds in Winter 21 The Story of Bertrand, a poor Labourer, and his little Family 31 Nancy and her Canary-bird, poor Cherry 38 The Birds, the Thorn-bushes, and the Sheep 48 Poor Crazy Samuel, and the mischievous Boys 54 Bella and Marian 60 Little Jack 75 Leonora and Adolphus 91 Flora and her little Lamb 97 The fruitful Vine 102 Sir John Denham and his worthy Tenant 107 Alfred and Dorinda 118 Rosina; or, the froward Girl reformed 122 Little Anthony 128 History of Jonathan the Gardener 132 The Sparrow's Nest 138 William and Thomas; or, the Contrast between Industry and Indolence 145 Mischief its own Punishment 150 Antony and Augustus; or, Rational Education preferable to Riches 158 The destructive Consequences of Dissipation & Luxury 167 William and Amelia 175 The Rival Dogs 187 Cleopatra; or, the Reformed little Tyrant 193 The Passionate Boy 197 Caroline; or, a Lesson to cure Vanity 201 Arthur and Adrian; or, Two Heads better than One 213 Madam D'Allone and her Four Pupils 217 The Bird's Egg 224 The Covetous Boy 234 Dissipation the certain Road to Ruin 242 Calumny and Scandal great Enemies to Society 247 Clarissa; Or, the Grateful Orphan 252 Returning Good for Evil, the noblest Revenge 257 Grey Hairs made Happy 263
In one of the villages in the neighbourhood of the metropolis, lived little Adolphus, who had the misfortune to lose his mother before he had reached his eighth year. Notwithstanding his early age, this loss made a strong impression on his mind, and evidently affected the natural gaiety of his disposition. His aunt, the good Mrs. Clarkson, soon took him home to her house, in order to remove him from the scene of his affliction, and to prevent his grief adding to the inconsolable sorrows of his father.
After the usual time, they left off their mourning; but though little Adolphus affected cheerfulness, yet his tender heart still felt for the loss of his mother. His father, whom he sometimes visited, could not avoid observing how little Adolphus endeavoured to conceal his grief; and this consideration made him feel the more for the loss of a wife, who had given birth to so promising a child. This made such an impression on his mind, that every one foresaw it would bring on his final dissolution.
Poor Adolphus had not been to see his dear father for some time; for, whenever he proposed it to his aunt, she constantly found some excuse to put it off. The reason was, that Mr. Clarkson being so ill, she feared that seeing him in that condition would increase the grief of Adolphus too much, and lay on his heart a load too heavy for him to support. In short, the loss of his wife, and his uneasiness for his son, put an end to Mr. Clarkson's life on the day before he reached the fiftieth year of his age.
The next morning, little Adolphus thus addressed his aunt: "This is my dear father's birth-day, I will go and see him, and wish him joy." She endeavoured to persuade him from it; but, when she found that all her endeavours were in vain, she consented, and then burst into a flood of tears. The little youth was alarmed, and almost afraid to ask any questions. At last, "I fear," said he, "my dear papa is either ill or dead. Tell me, my dear aunt, for I must and will know: I will sleep no more till I see my dear father, who so tenderly loves me."
Mrs. Clarkson was unable to speak; but when Adolphus saw his aunt take out his mourning clothes, he was too well satisfied of what had happened. "My dear papa is dead!" cried he; "O my papa! my mamma! both dead! What will become of poor Adolphus!" and then fainted, when Mrs. Clarkson found it difficult to bring him to his senses.
As soon as he was a little come to himself, "Do not afflict yourself, my dear child," said his aunt, "your parents are both living in heaven, and will intercede with God to take care of you while on earth. While he yesterday was dying, his last prayer was for you, and his prayer will be heard."
"What! did my dear father die yesterday, while I was thinking of the pleasure I should this day have on seeing him? Oh! let me go and see him, since I cannot now disturb him, or make him unhappy on my account. Pray, my dear aunt, let me go."
Mrs. Clarkson could not resist his importunities, and, engaged to go along with him, provided he would promise to keep himself composed. "You see my sorrow," said she, "and how much I am grieved for the loss of a brother, who was good, charitable, and humane, and from whose bounty I received the greater part of the means of my livelihood. Though I am now left poor and helpless, yet I trust in Providence, and you shall see me cry no more. Let me entreat you, my dear child, to do the same." Poor Adolphus promised he would do as she would wish him; when Mrs. Clarkson took him by the hand, and led him to the melancholy scene.
As soon as they were come to the house, Adolphus slipped from his aunt, and rushed into the room where his father lay in his coffin, surrounded by his weeping neighbours: he threw himself on the breathless body of his dear papa. After lying some little time in that state, without being able to speak, he at last raised his little head, and cried out, "See how your poor Adolphus cries for having lost you. When mamma died, you comforted me, though you wept yourself; but now, to whom am I to look for comfort? O my dear papa, my good papa!"
By this time his aunt got into the room, and, with the assistance of the neighbours, forced him from the coffin, and carried him to a friend's house, in order to keep him there till his father should be buried; for his aunt dreaded the thoughts of letting him follow the funeral.
The solemn scene was now preparing, and the bell began to toll, which Adolphus heard, and every stroke of it pierced his little innocent heart. The woman to whose care he had been left, having stept into another room, he took that opportunity to regain his liberty, got out of doors, and ran towards the churchyard. On his arrival there, he found the funeral service finished, and the grave filling up, when on a sudden, a cry was heard, "Let me be buried with my dear papa." He then jumped into the grave.
Such a scene must naturally affect every one who saw it. They pulled him out of the grave, and carried him home pale and speechless. For several days he refused almost every kind of sustenance, being at intervals subject to fainting fits. After some time, however, the consolations and advice of his good aunt appeared to have some weight with him, and the tempest in his little heart began to abate.
The affectionate conduct of Adolphus was the conversation for miles round their habitation, and at last reached the ears of a wealthy merchant, who had formerly been a little acquainted with the deceased Mr. Clarkson. He accordingly went to see the good Adolphus, and feeling for his distresses, took him home with him, and treated him as his son.
Adolphus soon gained the highest opinion of the merchant, and as he grew up, grew more and more in his favour. At the age of twenty, he conducted himself with so much ability and integrity, that the merchant took him into partnership, and married him to his only daughter.
Adolphus had always too great a soul to be ungenerous: for even during his younger days he denied himself every kind of extravagance, in order to support his aunt; and when he came into possession of a wife and fortune, he placed her in a comfortable station for the remainder of her life. As for himself, he every year, on his father's birth-day, passed it in a retired room alone, sometimes indulging a tear, and sometimes lifting up his heart to heaven, from whence he had received so much.
My little readers, if you have the happiness still to have parents living, be thankful to God, and be sensible of the blessing you enjoy. Be cautious how you do any thing to offend them; and should you offend them undesignedly, rest neither night nor day till you have obtained their forgiveness. Reflect on, and enjoy the happiness that you are not, like poor little Adolphus, bereft of your fathers and mothers, and left in the hands, though of a good, yet poor aunt.
ANABELLA'S JOURNEY TO MARKET.
Nothing can be more natural and pleasing than to see young children fond of their parents. The birds of the air, and even the wild inhabitants of the forest, love and are beloved by their young progeny.
Little Anabella was six years old, very fond of her mamma, and delighted in following her every where. Her mother, being one day obliged to go to market, wished to leave her little daughter at home, thinking it would be too fatiguing for Anabella, and troublesome to herself; but the child's entreaties to go were so earnest and pressing, that her mother could not withstand them, and at last consented to her request.
The cloak and bonnet were soon on, and the little maid set off with her mamma, in high spirits. Such was the badness of the paths in some places, that it was impossible for them to walk hand-in-hand, so that Anabella was sometimes obliged to trudge on by herself behind her mamma; but these were such kind of hardships as her little spirit was above complaining of.
The town now appeared in sight, and the nearer they approached it, the more the paths were thronged with people. Anabella was often separated from her mamma; but this did not at present much disturb her, as by skipping over a rut, or slipping between the people as they passed, she soon got up again to her mother. However, the nearer they approached the market, the crowd of course increased, which kept her eyes in full employment, to spy which way her mother went; but a little chaise drawn by six dogs having attracted her attention, she stopped to look at them, and by that means lost sight of her mother, which soon became the cause of much uneasiness to her.
Here, my little readers, let me pause for a moment, to give you this necessary advice. When you walk abroad with your parents or servants, never look much about you, unless you have hold of their hand, or some part of their apparel. And I hope it will not be deemed impertinent to give similar advice to parents and servants, to take care that children do not wander from them, since, from such neglect, many fatal accidents have happened. But to proceed.—
Little Anabella had not gazed on this object of novelty for more than a minute, before she recollected her mamma, and turned about to look for her; but no mamma was there, and now the afflictions of her heart began. She called aloud, "Mamma, mamma;" but no mamma answered. She then crawled up a bank, which afforded her a view all around; but no mamma was to be seen. She now burst into a flood of tears, and sat herself down at the foot of the bank, by which people were passing and repassing in great numbers.
Almost every body that passed said something or other to her, but none offered to help her to find her mother. "What is the matter with you, my little dear," said one, "that you cry so sadly?" "I have lost my mamma;" said Anabella, as well as the grief of her heart would permit her to speak. Another told her never to mind it, she would find her again by and by. Some said, "Do not cry so, child, there is nobody that will run away with you." Some pitied her, and others laughed at her; but not one offered to give her any assistance.
Such, my little pupils, is the conduct of most people. When any misfortune brings you into trouble, you will find enough ready to pity you, but few who will give you any material assistance. They will tell you what you then know yourselves, that you should not have done so and so; they will be sorry for you, and then take their leave of you.
Little Anabella, however, was soon relieved from her present terrible anxieties. A poor old woman, with eggs and butter in a basket, happened to be that day going to the same market, whither Anabella's mother was gone before her.
Seeing Anabella in so much distress, still crying as if her little heart would break, she went up to her, and asked her what was the cause of those tears that fell from her little cheeks: She told her she had lost her mamma. "And to what place, my dear," cried the old woman, "was your mamma going when you lost her?" "She was going to the market," replied Anabella. "Well, my sweet girl," continued the old woman, "I am going to the market too, and, if you will go along with me, I make no doubt but we shall find your mother there. However, I will take care of you till you do find her." She then took Anabella by the hand, and led her along the road.
The good old woman put her hand in her pocket, and pulled out a piece of nice plum-cake, which she gave to Anabella, who thankfully accepted of it; but her little heart was too full to permit her to think of eating at that time. She therefore put it into her pocket, saying that she would eat it by and by, when she had found her mamma, which she hoped would be soon.
As they walked along, the good old woman endeavoured to amuse Anabella by telling her pretty stories, and enquiring of her what books she read. "I very well know," said the old woman, "that you young children are too apt to be fond of histories of haunted houses, of witches, ghosts, and apparitions, which tend only to fill you with idle fears and apprehensions, and make you afraid even of your own shadows." But when Anabella told her that her books were all bought at the corner of St. Paul's Church-yard, she seemed perfectly satisfied.
They had hardly entered the market, when the little rambling eyes of Anabella caught sight of her mamma. She shrieked with joy, and, like an arrow out of a bow, darted from the old woman, and flew to her parent, who clasped her pretty dear in her arms, and, after tenderly embracing her, "How came you," said she, "my sweet angel, to wander from me? I have been so frightened as to be hardly able to contain myself."
Anabella threw her arms round the neck of her mamma, and fixing her lips to her cheeks, kept kissing her, till a torrent of tears gave ease to her heart. As soon as she was able to speak, "My dear mamma," said she, "I stopped to look at a pretty little chaise drawn by six dogs, and in the mean time I lost you. I looked for you, and called for you, but I could neither see nor hear you. I sat down crying by the side of a bank; some as they passed pitied me, and others joked me; but none attempted to take care of me, till this good old woman led me by the hand, and brought me here."
Anabella's mother was very thankful to the good old woman for her tenderness and humanity to her daughter; and not only bought of her what eggs and butter she had left, but even made her a small present besides, which she a long time declined accepting of, saying she had done no more than what every good Christian ought to do.
Anabella kissed the good old woman over and over again, and all her way home talked of nothing but her kindness. Nor did she afterwards forget it, as she would frequently go and pay her a visit, when she always took with her some tea and sugar, and a loaf of bread. Anabella's mother constantly bought all the eggs and butter the good old woman had to spare, and paid her a better price for them than she could have got at market, saving her, at the same time, the trouble of going thither.
Thus you see, my young friends, what are the consequences of good nature and humanity. You must accustom yourselves early, not only to feel for the misfortunes of others, but to do every thing that lies in your power to assist them. Whatever may be your condition in life at present, and however improbable it may be, that you may ever want, yet there are strange vicissitudes in this world, in which nothing can be said to be really certain and permanent. Should any of my readers, like Anabella, lose themselves, would they not be happy to meet with so good an old woman as she did? Though your stations in life may place you above receiving any pecuniary reward for a generous action, yet the pleasing sensations of a good heart, on relieving a distressed fellow-creature, are inexpressible.
THE ABSURDITY OF YOUNG PEOPLE'S
The present moment of enjoyment is all young people think of. So long as master Tommy partook of the pleasure of sliding on the ice, and making snow up in various shapes, he wished it always to be winter, totally regardless of either spring, summer, or autumn. His father hearing him one day make that wish, desired him to write it down in the first leaf of his pocket-book; which Tommy accordingly did, though his hand shivered with cold.
The winter glided away imperceptibly, and the spring followed in due time. Tommy now walked in the garden with his father, and with admiration beheld the rising beauty of the various spring flowers. Their perfume afforded him the highest delight, and their brilliant appearance attracted all his attention. "Oh!" said master Tommy, "that it were always spring!" His father desired him to write that wish also in his pocket-book.
The trees, which lately were only budding, were now grown into full leaf, the sure sign that spring was departing, and summer hastening on apace. Tommy one day, accompanied by his parents, and two or three of his select acquaintance, went on a visit to a neighbouring village. Their walk was delightful, afforded them a prospect sometimes of corn, yet green, waving smoothly, like a sea unruffled with the breeze, and sometimes of meadows enamelled with a profusion of various flowers. The innocent lambs skipped and danced about, and the colts and fillies pranced around their dams. But what was still more pleasing, this season produced for Tommy and his companions a delicious feast of cherries, strawberries, and a variety of other fruits. So pleasant a day afforded them the summit of delight, and their little hearts danced in their bosoms with joy.
"Do you not think, Tommy," said his father to him, "that summer has its delights as well as winter and spring?" Tommy replied, he wished it might be summer all the year; when his father desired him to enter that wish in his pocket-book also.
The autumn at length arrived, and all the family went into the country to view the harvest. It happened to be one of those days that are free from clouds, and yet a gentle westerly wind kept the air cool and refreshing. The gardens and orchards were loaded with fruits, and the fine plums, pears, and apples, which hung on the trees almost to the ground, furnished the little visitors with no small amusement and delight. There were also plenty of grapes, apricots, and peaches, which were the sweeter, as they had the pleasure of gathering them. "This season of rich abundance, Tommy," said his father to him, "will soon pass away, and stern and cold winter will succeed it." Tommy again wished that the present happy season would always continue, and that the winter would not be too hasty in its approaches, but leave him in possession of autumn.
Tommy's father desired him to write this in his book also, and, ordering him to read what he had written, soon convinced him how contradictory his wishes had been. In the winter, he wished it to be always winter; in the spring, he wished for a continuance of that season; in the summer, he wished it never to depart; and when autumn came, it afforded him too many delicious fruits to permit him to have a single wish for the approach of winter.
"My dear Tommy," said his father to him, "I am not displeased with you for enjoying the present moment, and thinking it the best that can happen to you; but you see how necessary it is that our wishes should not always be complied with. God knows how to govern this world much better than any human being can pretend to. Had you last winter been indulged in your wish, we should have had neither spring, summer, nor autumn; the earth would have been perpetually covered with snow. The beasts of the field, and the fowls of the air, would either have been starved or frozen to death; and even the pleasures of sliding, or making images of snow, would have soon become tiresome to you. It is a happiness that we have it not in our power to regulate the course of nature: the wise and unerring designs of Providence, in favour of mankind, would then, most probably, be perverted to their own inevitable ruin."
LOUISA'S TENDERNESS TO THE
LITTLE BIRDS IN WINTER.
However long the winter may appear, the spring will naturally succeed it. A gentle breeze began to warm the air, the snow gradually vanished, the fields put on their enamelled livery, the flowers shot forth their buds, and the birds began to send forth their harmony from every bough.
Little Louisa and her father left the city, to partake of the pleasures of the country.—Scarcely had the blackbird and the thrush begun their early whistle to welcome Louisa, than the weather changed all on a sudden; the north wind roared horribly in the grove, and the snow fell in such abundance, that every thing appeared in a silver-white mantle.
Though the little maid went to bed shivering with cold, and much disappointed in her expectations, yet she thanked God for having given her so comfortable a shelter from the inclemency of the elements.
Such a quantity of snow had fallen during the night, that the roads were almost impassable in the morning, which was a matter of great affliction to poor Louisa; but she observed, that the birds were as dull as herself upon the occasion. Every tree and hedge being so covered with snow, that the poor birds could get nothing to eat; not so much as a grain of corn or worm to be found.
The feathered inhabitants now forsook the woods and groves, and fled into the neighbourhood of inhabited towns and villages, to seek that relief from man, which nature alone would not then afford them. Incredibly numerous were the flight of sparrows, robins, and other birds, that were seen in the streets and courtyards, where their little beaks and claws were employed in turning over whatever they thought could afford them a single grain.
A large company of these feathered refugees alighted in the yard belonging to the house in which little Louisa and her father then were. The distress of the poor birds seemed to afflict the tender-hearted maid very much, which her father perceived as soon as she entered his chamber. "What is it makes you look so pensive now," said her father, "since it is but a few minutes ago when you were so remarkably cheerful?"—"O my dear papa!" said Louisa, "all those sweet birds, that sung so charmingly but a day or two ago, are now come into the yard starving with hunger. Do, pray, let me give them a little corn!"
Her papa very readily granted her so reasonable a request, and away she ran, accompanied by her governess, to the barn on the other side of the yard, which had that morning been cleanly swept. Here she got a handful or two of corn, which she immediately scattered in different parts of the yard. The poor little birds fluttered around her, and soon picked up what the bounty of her generous hand had bestowed on them.
It is impossible to describe the pleasure and satisfaction expressed in the countenance of Louisa, on seeing herself the cause of giving so much joy to those little animals. As soon as the birds had picked up all the grains, they flew to the house-top, and seemed to look down on Louisa as if they would say, "Cannot you give us a little more?" She understood their meaning, and away she flew again to the barn, and down they all came to partake of her new bounty; while Louisa called to her papa and mamma to come and enjoy with her the pleasing sight.
In the mean time, a little boy came into the yard, whose heart was not of so tender a nature as Louisa's. He held in his hand a cage full of birds, but carried it so carelessly, that it was evident he cared very little for his poor prisoners. Louisa, who could not bear to see the pretty little creatures used so roughly, asked the boy what he was going to do with those birds. The boy replied, that he would sell them if he could; but, if he could not, his cat should have a dainty meal of them, and they would not be the first she had munched alive.
"O fie," said Louisa, "give them to your cat! What, suffer such innocent things as those to be killed by the merciless talons of a cat?"—"Even so," said the boy, and giving the cage a careless swing, that tumbled the poor birds one over another, off he was setting, when Louisa called him back, and asked him what he would have for his birds. "I will sell them," said he, "three for a penny, and there are eighteen of them." Louisa struck the bargain, and ran to beg the money of her papa, who not only cheerfully gave her the money, but allowed her an empty room for the reception of her little captives.
The boy, having thus found so good a market for his birds, told all his companions of it; so that, in a few hours, Louisa's yard was so filled with little bird-merchants, that you would have supposed it to be a bird-market. However, the pretty maiden purchased all they brought, and had them turned into the same room, with those of her former purchase.
When night came, Louisa went to bed with more pleasure than she had felt for a long time. "What a pleasing reflection it is," said she to herself, "to be thus capable of preserving the lives of so many innocent birds, and save them from famine and merciless cats!—When summer comes, and I go into the woods and groves, these pretty birds will fly round me, and sing their sweetest notes, in gratitude for my kind attention to them."—These thoughts at last lulled her to sleep, but they accompanied her even in her dreams; for she fancied herself in one of the most delightful groves she had ever seen, where all the little birds were busied, either in feeding their young, or in singing, and in hopping from bough to bough.
The first thing Louisa did, after she had got up in the morning, was to go and feed her little family in the room, and also those that came into the yard. Though the seed to feed them cost her nothing, yet she recollected that the many purchases she had lately made of birds must have almost exhausted her purse; "and if the frost should continue," said she to herself, "what will become of those poor birds that I shall not be able to purchase! Those naughty boys will either give them to their cats, or suffer them to die with hunger."
While she was giving way to these sorrowful reflections, her hand was moving gently into her pocket, in order to bring out her exhausted purse; but, judge what must be her surprise and astonishment, when, instead of pulling out an empty purse, she found it brimful of money! She ran immediately to her papa, to tell him of this strange circumstance, when he snatched her up in his arms, tenderly embraced her, and shed tears of joy on her blooming cheeks.
"My dear child," said her papa to her, "you cannot conceive how happy you now make me! Let these little birds continue to be the objects of your relief, and, be assured, your purse shall never be reduced to emptiness." This pleasing news gladdened the little heart of Louisa, and she ran immediately to fill her apron with seed, and then hastened to feed her feathered guests. The birds came fluttering round her, and seemed conscious of her bounty and generosity.
After feeding these happy prisoners, she went down into the yard, and there distributed a plentiful meal to the starving wanderers without. What an important trust had she now taken on herself!—nothing less than the support of a hundred dependants within doors, and a still greater number without! No wonder that her dolls and other playthings should be now totally forgotten.
As Louisa was putting her hand into the seed-bag, to take out of it the afternoon food for her birds, she found a paper, on which were written these words: "The inhabitants of the air fly towards thee, O Lord! and thou givest them their food; thou openest thy hand, and fillest all things living with plenteousness."
As she saw her papa behind her, she turned round and said, "I am therefore now imitating God."—"Yes, my sweet Louisa," said her father, "in every good action we imitate our Maker. When you shall be grown to maturity, you will then assist the necessitous part of the human race, as you now do the birds; and the more good you do, the nearer you will approach the perfections of God."
Louisa continued her attention to feed her hungry birds for more than a week, when the snow began to melt, and the fields by degrees recovered their former verdure. The birds who had lately been afraid to quit the warm shelter of the houses, now returned to the woods and groves. The birds in our little Louisa's aviary were confined, and therefore could not get away; but they showed their inclination to depart, by flying against the windows, and pecking the glass with their bills. These birds, perhaps, were industrious, and wished not to be troublesome to Louisa, since they could not procure their own living.
Louisa, not being able to comprehend what could make them so uneasy, asked her papa if he could tell the cause of it "I know not, my dear," said her papa; "but it is possible these little birds may have left some companions in the fields, which they now wish to see."—"You are very right, papa," replied Louisa, "and they shall have their liberty immediately." She accordingly opened the window, and all the birds flew out of it.
These little feathered animals had no sooner obtained their liberty, than some were seen hopping on the ground, others darting into the air, or sporting in the trees, from twig to twig, and some flying about the windows, chirping, as though out of gratitude to their benefactor.
Louisa hardly ever went into the fields, but she fancied that some of her little family seemed to welcome her approach, either by hopping before her, or entertaining her with their melodious notes, which afforded her a source of inexhaustible pleasure.
THE STORY OF BERTRAND, A POOR
LABOURER, AND HIS LITTLE FAMILY.
Think yourselves happy, my little readers, since none of you perhaps know what it is to endure hunger day after day, without being able to enjoy one plentiful meal. Confident I am, that the following relation will not fail to make an impression on your tender years.
Bertrand was a poor labourer, who had six young children, whom he maintained with the utmost difficulty. To add to his distresses, an unfavourable season much increased the price of bread. This honest labourer worked day and night to procure subsistence for his family, and though their food was composed of the coarsest kind, yet even of that he could not procure a sufficiency.
Finding himself reduced to extremity, he one day called his little family together, and with tears in his eyes, and a heart overflowing with grief, "My sweet children," said he to them, "bread is now so extravagantly dear, that I find all my efforts to support you ineffectual. My whole day's labour is barely sufficient to purchase this piece of bread which you see in my hand; it must therefore be divided among you, and you must be contented with the little my labour can procure you. Though it will not afford each of you a plentiful meal, yet it will be sufficient to keep you from perishing with hunger." Sorrow and tears interrupted his words, and he could say no more, but lifted up his hands and eyes to heaven.
His children wept in silence, and, young as they were, their little hearts seemed to feel more for their father than for themselves. Bertrand then divided the small portion of bread into seven equal shares, one of which he kept for himself, and gave to the rest each their lot. But one of them, named Harry, refused his share, telling his father he could not eat, pretending to be sick. "What is the matter with you, my dear child?" said his father, taking him up in his arms. "I am very sick," replied Harry, "very sick indeed, and should be glad to go to sleep." Bertrand then carried him to bed, and gave him a tender kiss, wishing him a good night.
The next morning the honest labourer, overwhelmed with sorrow, went to a neighbouring physician, and begged of him, as a charity, to come and see his poor boy. Though the physician was sure of never being paid for his visit, yet such were his humanity and feelings, that he instantly went to the labourer's house.
On his arrival there, he found no particular symptoms of illness, though the boy was evidently in a very low and languishing state. The doctor told him he would send him a cordial draught; but Harry begged he would forbear sending him any thing, as he could do him no good. The doctor was a little angry at this behaviour, and insisted on knowing what his disorder was, threatening him, if he did not tell him immediately, he would go and acquaint his father with his obstinacy.
Poor Harry begged the doctor would say nothing about it to his father, which still more increased the doctor's wish to get at the bottom of this mystery. At last poor Harry, finding the doctor resolute, desired his brothers and sisters might leave the room, and he would acquaint him with every particular.
As soon as the physician had sent the children out of the room, "Alas! Sir," said little Harry, "in this season of scarcity, my poor dear father cannot earn bread enough to feed us. What little quantity he can get, he divides equally among us, reserving to himself the smallest part. To see my dear brothers and sisters suffer hunger is more than I can bear; and, as I am the eldest, and stronger than they, I have therefore not eaten any myself, but have divided my share among them. It is on this account that I pretended to be sick and unable to eat; I beseech you, however, to keep this a secret from my father."
The physician, wiping away a tear which started involuntarily from his eye, asked poor Harry if he were not then hungry. He acknowledged indeed that he was hungry; but said that did not give him so much affliction as to see the distresses of his family. "But my good lad," said the doctor, "if you do not take some nourishment, you will die."—"I am indifferent about that," replied Harry, "since my father will have then one mouth less to feed, and I shall go to heaven, where I will pray to God to assist my dear father, and my little sisters and brothers."
What heart but must melt with pity and admiration at the relation of such facts? The generous physician, taking up Harry in his arms, and clasping him to his bosom, "No, my dear little boy," said he, "thou shalt not die. God and I will take care of thy little family; and return thanks to God for having sent me hither. I must leave you for the present, but I will soon return."
The good physician hastened home, and ordered one of his servants to load himself with refreshments of every kind. He then hastened to the relief of poor Harry and his starving brothers and sisters. He made them all sit down at the table, and eat till they were perfectly satisfied. What could be a more pleasing scene, than that which the good physician then beheld, six pretty little innocent creatures smiling over the bounty of their generous and humane friend?
The doctor, on his departure, desired Harry to be under no uneasiness, as he should take care to secure them a supply of whatever might be wanting. He faithfully performed his promise, and they had daily cause of rejoicing at his bounty and benevolence. The doctor's generosity was imitated by every good person, to whom he related the affecting scene. From some they received provisions, from some money, and from others clothes and linen. So that, in a short time, this little family, which was but lately in want of every thing, became possessed of plenty.
Bertrand's landlord, who was a gentleman of considerable fortune, was so struck with the tender generosity of little Harry that he sent for his father, and paying him many compliments on his happiness of having such a son, he offered to take Harry under his own inspection, and bring him up in his own house. This matter being agreed on, Bertrand's landlord settled an annuity on him, promising, at the same time, to provide for his other children as they grew up. Bertrand, transported with joy, returned to his house, and falling on his knees, offered up his most grateful thanks to that good God, who had graciously condescended to bestow on him such a son!
Hence you may learn, my young readers, how much you have it in your power to prove a blessing to your parents, and a comfort to yourselves. It is not necessary, that, in order to do so, you should be reduced to the same necessity that poor Harry was: for, however exalted your station may be, you will always find opportunities enough to give proofs of your duty to your parents, your affection for your brothers and sisters, and your humanity and benevolence to the poor and needy. Happy indeed are those poor children, who have found a friend and protector when they were needful and helpless; but much happier those who, without ever feeling the griping hand of penury and want themselves, have received the inexpressible delight that never fails to arise from the pleasing reflection of having raised honest poverty to happiness and plenty.
NANCY AND HER CANARY BIRD,
As Nancy was one day looking out of her window, a man happened to come by, crying, "Canary-birds; come, buy my Canary-birds." The man had a large cage upon his head, in which the birds hopped about from perch to perch, and made Nancy quite in love with them. "Will you buy a pretty bird or two, Miss?" said the man. "I have no objection," replied the little maid, "provided my papa will give me leave. If you will stop a little while, I will soon let you know." So away ran Nancy down stairs to her papa, while the birdman put down his cage at the door.
Nancy ran into her papa's chamber quite out of breath, crying, "O dear papa, only come here! here is a man in the street that has a large cage on his head, with, I dare say, a hundred Canary-birds in it."—"Well, and what of all that?" replied her papa; "why does that seem to rejoice you so much?" Nancy answering, that she should be happy to buy one of them; her papa reminded her, that the bird must be fed, and should it be neglected, even only for a day, it would certainly die.
Nancy promised that she would never eat her own breakfast till she had given her bird his; but her papa reminded her that she was a giddy girl, and that he feared she had promised too much. However, there was no getting over her coaxings and wheedlings, so that her papa was at last obliged to consent that she should buy one.
He then took Nancy by the hand, and led her to the door, where the man was waiting with his birds. He chose the prettiest Canary-bird in it: it was a male, of a fine lively yellow colour, with a little black tuft upon his head. Nancy was now quite cheerful and happy, and pulling out her purse, gave it to her father to pay for the bird. But what was to be done with the bird without a cage, and Nancy had not money enough? However, upon her promising that she would take great care to feed her bird, her papa bought her a fine new cage, of which he made her a present.
As soon as Nancy had given her Canary-bird possession of his new palace, she ran about the house, calling her mamma, her brothers and sisters, and all the servants, to come and see her pretty Canary-bird, to which she gave the name of Poor Cherry. When any of her little friends came to see her, the first thing she told them was, that she had one of the prettiest Canary-birds in the world. "He is as yellow as gold," said she, "and he has a little black crest, like the plumes of my mamma's hat. Come, you must go and see him! His name is Cherry."
Cherry was as happy as any bird need wish to be, under the care of Nancy. Her first business every morning was to feed Cherry: and whenever there was any cake at table, Cherry was sure to come in for a share of it. There were always some bits of sugar in store for him, and his cage was constantly decorated with the most lively herbage.
Her pretty bird was not ungrateful, but did all in his power to make Nancy sensible how much he was obliged to her. He soon learned to distinguish her, and the moment he heard her step into the room, he would flutter his wings, and keep up an incessant chirping. It is no wonder, therefore, if Cherry and Nancy became very fond of each other.
At the expiration of a week he began to open his little throat, and sung the most delightful songs. He would sometimes raise his notes to so great a height, that you would almost think he must kill himself with such vast exertions. Then, after stopping a little, he would begin again, with a tone so sweet and powerful, that he was heard in every part of the house.
Nancy would often sit for whole hours by his cage, listening to his melody. Sometimes so attentively would she gaze at him, that she would insensibly let her work fall out of her hands; and after he had entertained her with his melodious notes, she would regale him with a tune on her bird organ, which he would endeavour to imitate.
In length of time, however, these pleasures began to grow familiar to his friend Nancy. Her papa, one day, presented her with a book of prints, with which she was so much delighted, that Cherry began to lose at least one half of her attention. As usual, he would chirp the moment he saw her, let her be at what distance she would; but Nancy began to take no notice of him, and almost a week had passed, without his receiving either a bit of biscuit, or a fresh supply of chick-weed. He repeated the sweetest and most harmonious notes that Nancy had taught him, but to no purpose.
It now appeared too clearly, that new objects began to attract Nancy's attention. Her birth-day arrived, and her godfather gave her a large jointed doll, which she named Columbine: and this said Columbine proved a sad rival to Cherry; for, from morning to night, the dressing and undressing of Miss Columbine engrossed the whole of her time. What with this and her carrying her doll up and down stairs, and into every room in the house, it was happy for poor Cherry if he got fed by the evening, and sometimes it happened that he went a whole day without feeding.
One day, however, when Nancy's papa was at table, accidentally casting his eyes upon the cage, he saw poor Cherry lying upon his breast, and panting, as it were, for life. The poor bird's feathers appeared all rough, and it seemed contracted into a mere lump. Nancy's papa went up close to it; but it was unable even to chirp, and the poor little creature had hardly strength enough to breathe. He called to him his little Nancy, and asked her what was the matter with her bird. Nancy blushed, saying, in a low voice, "Why, papa, I—somehow, I forgot;" and ran to fetch the seed-box.
Her papa, in the mean time, took down the cage, and found that poor Cherry had not a single seed left, nor a drop of water. "Alas! poor bird," said he, "you have got into careless hands. Had I foreseen this, I would never have bought you." All the company joined in pity for the poor bird; and Nancy ran away into her chamber to ease her heart in tears. However, her papa, with some difficulty, brought pretty Cherry to himself again.
Her father, the next day, ordered Cherry to be made a present of to a young gentleman in the neighbourhood, who, he said, would take much better care of it than his little thoughtless daughter; but poor Nancy could not bear the idea of parting with her bird, and most faithfully promised never more to neglect him.
Her papa, at last, gave way to her entreaties; and permitted her to keep little Cherry, but not without a severe reprimand, and a strict injunction to be more careful for the future. "This poor little creature," said her papa, "is confined in a prison, and is therefore totally unable to provide for its own wants. Whenever you want any thing, you know how to get it; but this little bird can neither help himself, nor make his wants known to others. If ever you let him want seed or water again, look to it."
Nancy burst out into a flood of tears, took her papa by the hand, and kissed it; but her heart was so full, that she could not utter a syllable. Cherry and Nancy were now again good friends, and he for some time wanted for nothing.
About a month afterwards, her father and mother were obliged to go a little way into the country on some particular business; but, before they set out, he gave Nancy strict charge to take care of poor Cherry. No sooner were her parents gone, than she ran to the cage, and gave Cherry plenty of seed and water.
Little Nancy now finding herself alone and at liberty, sent for some of her companions to come and spend the day with her. The former part of the day they passed in the garden, and the latter in playing at blindman's buff and four corners. She went to bed very much fatigued; but, as soon as she awoke in the morning, she began to think of new pleasures.
She went abroad that day, while poor Cherry was obliged to stay at home and fast. The second and third day passed in the same playful manner as before; but no poor Cherry was thought of. On the fourth day, her father and mother came home, and, as soon as they had kissed her, her father enquired after poor Cherry. "He is very well," said Nancy, a little confused, and then ran to fetch him some seed and water. Alas! poor little Cherry was no more; he was lying upon his back, with his wings spread, and his beak open. Nancy screamed out, and wrung her hands, when all the family ran to her, and were witnesses of the melancholy scene.
"Alas! poor bird," said her papa, "what a melancholy end thou hast come to! If I had twisted thy head off the day I went into the country, it would have caused you but a moment's pain; but now you have endured all the pangs of hunger and thirst, and expired in extreme agony. However, poor Cherry! you are happy in being out of the hands of so merciless a guardian."
Nancy was so shocked and distressed on the occasion, that she would have given all her little treasure, and even all her playthings, to have brought Cherry to life; but it was now too late. Her papa had the bird stuffed, and hung up to the ceiling, in memory of Nancy's carelessness. She dared not even to lift her eyes up to look at it, for, whenever she did, it was sure to make her cry. At last she prevailed on her papa to have it removed, but not till after many earnest entreaties and repeated acknowledgments of the fault she had been guilty of. Whenever Nancy was guilty of inattention, or giddiness, the bird was hung up again in its place, and every one would say in her hearing, "Alas, poor Cherry! what a cruel death you suffered!"
Thus you see, my little friends, what are the sad consequences of inattention, giddiness, and too great a fondness for pleasure, which always make us forgetful of what we ought carefully to attend to.
THE BIRDS, THE THORN-BUSHES,
AND THE SHEEP.
Mr. Stanhope and his son Gregory were one evening, in the month of May, sitting at the foot of a delightful hill, and surveying the beautiful works of nature that surrounded them. The declining sun, now sinking into the west, seemed to clothe every thing with a purple robe. The cheerful song of a shepherd called off their attention from their meditations on those delightful prospects. This shepherd was driving home his flocks from the adjacent fields.
Thorn-bushes grew on each side of the road, and every sheep that approached the thorns was sure to be robbed of some part of its wool, which a good deal displeased little Gregory. "Only see, papa," said he, "how the sheep are deprived of their wool by those bushes! You have often told me, that God makes nothing in vain; but these briars seem only made for mischief; people should therefore join to destroy them root and branch. Were the poor sheep to come often this way, they would be robbed of all their clothing. But that shall not be the case, for I will rise with the sun to-morrow morning, and with my little bill-hook and snip-snap, I will level all these briars with the ground. You may come with me, papa, if you please, and bring with you an axe. Before breakfast, we shall be able to destroy them all."
Mr. Stanhope replied, "We must not go about this business in too great a hurry, but take a little time to consider of it; perhaps, there may not be so much cause for being angry with these bushes, as you at present seem to imagine. Have you not seen the shepherds about Lammas, with great shears in their hands, take from the trembling sheep all their wool, not being contented with a few locks only."
Gregory allowed that was true; but they did it in order to make clothes, whereas the hedges robbed the sheep without having the least occasion for their wool, and evidently for no useful purpose. "If it be usual," said he, "for sheep to lose their clothing at a certain time of the year, then it is much better to take it for our own advantage, than to suffer the hedges to pull it off for no end whatever."
Mr. Stanhope allowed the arguments of little Gregory to be just; for Nature has given to every beast a clothing, and we are obliged from them to borrow our own, otherwise we should be forced to go naked, and exposed to the inclemency of the elements.
"Very well, papa," said Gregory, "though we want clothing, yet these bushes want none: they rob us of what we have need, and therefore down they shall all come with to-morrow morning's rising sun. And I dare say, papa, you will come along with me, and assist me."
Mr. Stanhope could not but consent; and little Gregory thought himself nothing less than Alexander, merely from the expectation of destroying at once this formidable band of robbers. He could hardly sleep, being so much taken up with the idea of his victories, to which the next morning's sun was to be witness.
The cheerful lark had hardly begun to proclaim the approach of morning, when Gregory got up, and ran to awaken his papa. Mr. Stanhope, though he was very indifferent concerning the fate of the thorn-bushes, yet he was not displeased with having the opportunity of showing to his little Gregory the beauties of the rising sun. They both dressed themselves immediately, took the necessary instruments, and set out on this important expedition. Young Gregory marched forwards with such hasty steps, that Mr. Stanhope was obliged to exert himself, to avoid being left behind.
When they came near the bushes, they observed a multitude of little birds flying in and out of them, and fluttering their wings from branch to branch. On seeing this, Mr. Stanhope stopped his son, and desired him to suspend his vengeance a little time, that they might not disturb those innocent birds. With this view, they retired to the foot of the hill where they had sat the preceding evening, and from thence examined more particularly what had occasioned this apparent bustle among the birds. From hence they plainly saw, that they were employed in carrying away those bits of wool in their beaks, which the bushes had torn from the sheep the evening before. There came a multitude of different sorts of birds, who loaded themselves with the plunder.
Gregory was quite astonished at this sight, and asked his papa what could be the meaning of it. "You by this plainly see," replied Mr. Stanhope, "that Providence provides for creatures of every class, and furnishes them with all things necessary for their convenience and preservation. Here, you see, the poor birds find what is necessary for their habitations, wherein they are to nurse and rear their young, and with this they make a comfortable bed for themselves and their little progeny. The innocent thorn-bush, against which you yesterday so loudly exclaimed, is of infinite service to the inhabitants of the air; it takes from those that are rich only what they can very well spare, in order to satisfy the wants of the poor. Have you now any wish to cut those bushes down, which you will perhaps no longer consider as robbers?"
Gregory shook his head, and said he would not cut the bushes down for the world. Mr. Stanhope applauded his son for so saying; and, after enjoying the sweets of the morning, they retired home to breakfast, leaving the bushes to flourish in peace, since they made so generous a use of their conquests.
My young friends will hence be convinced of the impropriety of cherishing too hastily prejudices against any persons or things, since, however forbidding or useless they may at first sight appear, a more familiar acquaintance with them may discover those accomplishments or perfections which prejudice at first obscured from their observation.
POOR CRAZY SAMUEL, AND THE MISCHIEVOUS
In the city of Bristol lived a crazy person, whose name was Samuel. Whenever he went out he always put four or five wigs on his head at once, and as many muffs upon each of his arms. Though he had unfortunately lost his senses, yet he was not mischievous, unless wicked boys played tricks with him, and put him in a passion.
Whenever he appeared in the streets, all the idle boys would surround him, crying, "Samuel! Samuel! how do you sell your wigs and your muffs?" Some idle boys were of such mischievous dispositions as to throw dirt and stones at him. Though the unfortunate man generally bore all this treatment very quietly, yet he would sometimes turn about in his own defence, and throw among the rabble that followed him any thing that came in his way.
A contest of this nature happened one day near the house of Mr. Denton, who, hearing a noise in the street, went to the window, and, with much regret, saw his son Joseph concerned in the fray. Displeased at the sight, he shut down the sash, and went into another room.
When they were at dinner, Mr. Denton asked his son who the man was, with whom he and other boys in the street seemed to be so pleasingly engaged. Joseph said it was the crazy man, whom they called Samuel. On his father asking him what had occasioned that misfortune, he replied, that it was said to be in consequence of the loss of a law-suit, which deprived him of a large estate.
"Had this man been known to you," said Mr. Denton, "at the time when he was cheated of his estate; and had he told you that he had just lost a large inheritance, which he had long peaceably enjoyed; that all his property was expended in supporting the cause, and that he had now neither country nor town-house, in short, nothing upon earth left; would you then have laughed at this poor man?"
Joseph, with some confusion, replied he certainly should not be guilty of so wicked an action as to laugh at the misfortunes of any man; but should rather endeavour to comfort him.
"This man," said Mr. Denton, "is more to be pitied now than he was then, since to the loss of his fortune is added that of his senses also; and yet you have this day been throwing stones at this poor man, and otherwise insulting him, who never gave you any cause." Joseph seemed very sorry for what he had done, asked his papa's pardon, and promised not only never to do the like again, but to prevent others, as much as lay in his power, committing the same crime.
His father told him, that as to his forgiveness, he freely had it, but that there was another besides him, whose forgiveness was more necessary. Little Joseph thought that his father meant poor Samuel; but Mr. Denton explained the matter to him. "Had Samuel retained his senses," said he, "it would be certainly just that you should ask his pardon; but as his disordered mind will not permit him to receive any apologies, it would be idle to attempt to make any. It is not Samuel, but God, whom you have offended. You have not shown compassion to poor Samuel, but, by your unmerited insults, have added to his misfortunes. Can you think that God will be pleased with such conduct?"
Joseph now plainly perceived whom he had offended, and therefore promised that night to ask pardon of God in his prayers. He kept his word, and not only forbore troubling Samuel for several weeks afterwards, but endeavoured to dissuade all his companions from doing the like.
The resolutions of young people, however, are not always to be depended on. So it happened with little Joseph, who, forgetting the promises he had made, one day happened to mix with the rabble of boys who were following and hooting, and playing many naughty tricks with the unfortunate Samuel.
The more he mixed among them, the more he forgot himself, and at last became as bad as the worst of them. Samuel's patience, however, being at length tired out by the rude behaviour of the wicked boys that pursued him, he suddenly turned about, and picking up a large stone, threw it at little Joseph with such violence, that it grazed his cheek, and almost cut off part of his ear.
Poor Joseph, on feeling the smart occasioned by the blow, and finding the blood trickling down his cheek at a great rate, ran home roaring most terribly. Mr. Denton, however, showed him no pity, telling him it was the just judgment of God for his wickedness.
Joseph attempted to justify himself by saying, that he was not the only one who was guilty, and therefore ought not to be the only one that was punished. His father replied, that, as he knew better than the other boys, his crime was the greater. It is indeed but justice that a child, who knows the commands of God and his parents, should be doubly punished, whenever he so far forgets his duty as to run headlong into wickedness.
Remember this, my young readers; and instead of adding to the afflictions of others, do whatever you can to alleviate them, and God will then undoubtedly have compassion on you, whenever your wants and distresses shall require his assistance.
BELLA AND MARIAN.
The sun was just peeping above the eastern edge of the horizon, to enliven with his golden rays one of the most beautiful mornings of the spring, when Bella went down into the garden to taste with more pleasure, as she rambled through those enchanting walks, the delicacies of a rich cake, of which she intended to make her first meal.
Her heart swelled with delight, on surveying the beauties of the rising sun, in listening to the enlivening notes of the lark, and on breathing the pleasing fragrance which the surrounding shrubs afforded.
Bella was so charmed with this complication of delights, that her sweet eyes were bedewed with a moisture, which rested on her eyelids without dropping in tears. Her heart felt a gentle sensation, and her mind was possessed with emotions of benevolence and tenderness.
The sound of steps in the walk, however, all on a sudden interrupted these happy feelings, and a little girl came tripping towards the same walk, eating a piece of coarse brown bread with the keenest appetite. As she was also rambling about the garden for amusement, her eyes wandered here and there unfixed; so that she came up close to Bella unexpectedly.
As soon as the little girl saw it was Miss Bella, she stopped short, seemed confused, and, turning about, ran away as fast as she could; but Bella called to her, and asked her why she ran away. This made the little girl run the faster, and Bella endeavoured to pursue her; but, not being so much used to exercise, she was soon left behind. Luckily, as it happened, the little stranger had turned up a path leading into that in which Bella was. Here they suddenly met, and Bella caught her by the arm, saying, "Come, I have you fast now; you are my prisoner, and cannot get away from me."
The poor girl was now more frightened than ever, and struggled hard for her liberty; but, after some time, the sweet accents of Bella, and her assurance that she meant only to be her friend, having rather allayed her fears, she became a little more tractable, and quietly followed her into one of the summer-houses.
Miss Bella, having made the stranger sit down by her, asked her if she had a father living, and what was his profession. The girl told her, that, thank God, her father was living, and that he did any thing for an honest livelihood. She said he was then at work in the garden, and had brought her with him that morning.
Bella then observing that the young stranger had got a piece of brown bread in her hand, desired she would let her taste it; but she said it so scratched her throat on swallowing a bit of it, that she could eat no more; and asked the little girl, why her father did not get better bread for her. "Because," replied the stranger, "he does not get so much money as your papa; and, besides that, there are four more of us, and we all eat heartily. Sometimes one wants a frock, another a jacket, and all he can get is barely sufficient for us, without laying out hardly any thing upon himself, though he never misses a day's work while he has it to do."
Upon Bella's asking her if she ever ate any plum-cake, she said she did not even know what it was; but she had no sooner put a bit into her mouth, which Miss Bella gave her, than she said, she had never in her life tasted any thing so nice. She then asked her what was her name, when the girl, rising, and making her a low curtsey, said it was Marian.
"Well then, my good Marian," said Bella, "stop here a moment; I will go and ask my governess for something for you, and will come back directly: but be sure you do not go away." Marian replied, that she was now noways afraid of her, and that she should certainly wait her coming back.
Bella ran directly to her governess, and begged she would give her some currant jelly for a little girl, who had nothing but dry bread for breakfast. The governess, being highly pleased with the good-nature of her amiable pupil, gave her some in a cup, and a small roll also. Bella instantly ran away with it, and coming to Marian, said she hoped she had not made her wait, but begged her to put down her brown bread till another time, and eat what she had brought her.
Marian, after tasting the jelly, and smacking her lips, said it was very nice indeed; and asked Bella if she ate such every day. Miss replied, that she ate those things frequently, and if she would come now and then, she would always give her some.
They now became very familiar together, and Miss Bella asked Marian a number of questions, such as, whether she never was sick, seeing her now look so hearty, and in what manner she employed her time.
Marian replied, she did not know what it was to be sick; and, as to her employments, in winter she went to get straw for the cow, and dry sticks to make the pot boil; in summer she went to weed the corn; and, in harvest-time, to glean and pull hops. In short, they were never at a loss for work; and she said her mother would make a sad noise, if any of her little ones should take it into their heads to be lazy.
Miss Bella, observing that her little visitor went barefooted, which much surprised her, was induced to ask the reason of it; when Marian replied, that it would be too expensive for their father to think of finding shoes and stockings for them all, and therefore none of them had any; but they found no inconvenience from it, since time had so hardened the bottoms of their feet, as to make shoes unnecessary.
The time having slipped away in this kind of chit-chat, Marian told Miss Bella that she must be going, in order to gather some greens for her cow, who would want her breakfast by eight o'clock. This little girl did not eat up all her roll and jelly, but saved some part of it to carry home to her youngest sister, who, she said, she was sure would be very fond of it. Bella was vastly pleased to find Marian was so tender of her sister, and desired she would not fail to come again at the same hour the next morning. So, after a mutual good b'ye, they separated for the present.
Miss Bella had now, for the first time, tasted the pleasure of doing good. She walked a little longer in the garden, enjoying the pleasing reflection how happy she had made Marian, how grateful that little girl had showed herself, and how pleased her sister would be to taste currant jelly, which she had never seen before.
Miss Bella was enjoying the idea of the pleasure she should receive from her future bounties to her new acquaintance, when she recollected that she had some ribands and a necklace, which her mamma had given her a little time before, but of which she now began to grow tired. Besides these, she had some other old things to give her, which, though of no use to herself, would make Marian quite fine.
The next morning Marian came into the garden again, and Miss Bella was ready to receive her, with a tolerable good portion of gingerbread. Indeed, this interview was continued every morning; and Miss Bella always carried some dainties along with her. When her pocket failed her, she would beg her mamma to supply her with something out of the pantry, which was always cheerfully complied with.
One day, however, it happened that Bella received an answer which gave her some uneasiness. She had been begging her mamma to advance her something on her weekly allowance, in order to buy shoes and stockings for Marian; to which her mamma gave her a flat denial, telling her, that she wished she would be a little more sparing to her favourite, for which she would give her a reason at dinner-time. Bella was a little surprised at this answer, and every hour appeared an age till dinner-time arrived.
At length they sat down to table, and dinner was half over before her mamma said a word about Marian; but a dish of shrimps being then served up, gave her mamma an opportunity of beginning the conversation. "I think, Bella," said the lady, "this is your favourite dish." Bella replied it was, and could not help observing, how happy she supposed poor Marian would be to taste them, who she imagined had never so much as seen any. With her mamma's leave, she begged two of the smallest, to give to that little girl.
Mrs. Adams, for such was her mamma's name, seemed unwilling to grant her request, urging, that she was afraid she would do her favourite more mischief than good. "At present," said her mamma, "she eats her dry brown bread with an appetite, and walks barefooted on the gravel without complaining. Should you continue to feed her with dainties, and accustom her to wear shoes and stockings, what would she do, should she by any means lose your favour, and with it all those indulgences? She will then lament that she had ever experienced your bounty."
Miss Bella hastily replied, that she meant to be a friend to her all her life, and only wished that her mamma, in order to enable her to do so, would add a little to her weekly allowance, and she would manage it with all the frugality possible.
Mrs. Adams then asked her daughter, if she did not know of any other children in distress; to which Bella replied, that she knew several besides, and particularly two in a neighbouring village, who had neither father nor mother, and who, without doubt, stood much in need of assistance. Her mamma then reminded her, that it was somewhat uncharitable to feed Marian with sweetmeats and dainties, while other poor children were starving with hunger. To this Bella replied, that she hoped she should have something to spare for them likewise: but, at all events, she loved Marian best.
However, her mamma advised her to give her sweet things seldomer, and instead thereof something that would be of more use to her, such as an apron or a gown. Miss Bella immediately proposed to give her one of her frocks; but her mamma soon made her sensible of the impropriety of dressing up a village girl, without shoes or stockings, in a muslin slip. "Were I in your place," said her mamma, "I would be sparing in my amusements for some time, and when I had saved a little money, I would lay it out in buying whatever was most necessary for her. The stuffs that poor children wear are not very expensive." Bella followed mamma's advice. Marian was not, indeed, so punctual in her morning visits; but Bella made her presents that were far more useful than sweetmeats.
Miss Bella, besides frequently giving Marian an apron, a petticoat, or such like, paid a certain sum every month to the schoolmaster of the village, to improve her in reading. Marian was so sensible of these kindnesses, that she grew every day more tenderly fond of her kind benefactress. She frequently paid her a visit, and was never so happy as when she could do any little matters to oblige her.
Marian came one day to the garden gate to wait for Bella's coming down to her; but she did not come, and she was obliged to go back again without seeing her. She returned two days successively, but no Bella appeared, which was a great affliction to her little heart, and she began to fear she had inadvertently offended her. "I have, perhaps," said she to herself, "done something to vex her: I am sure, if I knew I had, I would ask her a thousand pardons, for I cannot live without loving her."
While she was thus reflecting, one of Mrs. Adams's maids came out of the house; when poor Marian stopped her, and asked her where Miss Bella was. "Miss Bella!" replied the woman, "she is ill of the small-pox; so ill, indeed, that there are no hopes of her recovery!" Poor Marian was all distraction, and, without considering what she did, flew up stairs and burst into Mrs. Adams's room, imploring, on her knees, that she might be permitted to see her dear Miss Bella.
Mrs. Adams would have stopped Marian; but the door being half open, she flew to her bedside like an arrow out of a bow. Poor Bella was in a violent fever, alone, and very low spirited; for all her little companions had forsaken her. Marian, drowned in tears, seized hold of Bella's hand, squeezed it in hers, and kissed it. "Ah! my dear Miss," said she "is it in this condition I find you! but you must not die; what would then become of me? I will watch over you, and serve you: shall I, my dear Miss Bella?"
Miss Bella, squeezing Marian's hand, signified to her, that staying with her would do her a great favour. And the little maid, with Mrs. Adams's consent, became Bella's nurse, which she performed the part of to admiration. She had a small bed made up for her, close beside her little sick friend, whom she never left for a moment. If the slightest sigh escaped Bella, Marian was up in an instant to know what she wanted, and gave her, with her own hands, all her medicines.
This grateful girl did every thing she could to amuse her friend. She ransacked Mrs. Adams's library for books that had pictures in them, which she would show to Bella; and during the time that her eyes were darkened by her disorder, which was for near a week, Marian exerted herself to the utmost to divert her. When Bella grew impatient at the want of sight, Marian told her stories of what happened in the village; and as she had made a good use of her schoolmaster's instructions, she read whatever she thought would be amusing and diverting to her.
Thus Marian was not only her nurse, but philosopher also; for she would sometimes say to her, "God Almighty will have pity upon you, as you have had pity on me. Will you let me sing a pretty song to divert you?" Bella had only to make a sign, and the little maid would sing her every song she had learnt from the village nymphs and swains, endeavouring by this means to soften the affliction of her generous friend.
At length she began to open her eyes, her lowness of spirits left her, the pock dried up, and her appetite returned. Her face was still covered with red spots; but Marian looked at her with more pleasure than ever, from the consideration of the danger she had been in of losing her; while the grateful Bella, on the other hand, regarded her with equal tenderness. "In what manner," she would sometimes say, "can I think of requiting you, to my own satisfaction, for the tender care you have taken of me?"
Miss Bella, as soon as she found herself perfectly recovered, asked her mamma in what manner she could recompense her faithful and tender nurse; but Mrs. Adams, whose joy on the recovery of her daughter was inexpressible, desired Bella to leave that matter to her, as she likewise was equally in her debt.
Mrs. Adams gave private orders to have a complete suit of clothes made for Marian; and Bella desired that she might have the pleasure of dressing her the first time she was permitted to go into the garden. The day arrived, and it was indeed a day of rejoicing throughout the whole family: for Bella was beloved by all the servants, as well as by all her acquaintance.
This was a joyful day to Miss Bella, who had the double satisfaction of seeing her health restored, and of beholding her little friend dressed out in her new clothes! It is much easier to conceive than to express the emotions of these two tender hearts, when they again found themselves in the garden, on the very spot where their acquaintance first commenced. They tenderly embraced each other, and vowed an inseparable friendship.
It is evidently clear, from the story of Bella and Marian, how advantageous it is to be generous and humane. Had not Bella, by her kindness, attached Marian to her interest, she might have sunk under the severe indisposition, from which the kind attentions and the unremitting assiduities of Marian were perhaps the chief means of restoring her.
One day, as Mr. Glover was returning home after taking a ride over his estates, and passing by the wall of a burying-ground belonging to a small village, he heard the sound of groans and lamentations. As he had a heart that was ever open to the distresses of others, he alighted from his horse to see from whence the voice proceeded, and got over the inclosure.
On his entering the place, he perceived a grave fresh filled up, upon which, at full length, lay a child about five years old, who was crying sadly. Mr. Glover went up to him, and tenderly asked him what he did there. "I am calling my mother," said he; "they laid her here yesterday, and she does not get up!"
Mr. Glover then told him, that his poor mother was dead, and would get up no more. "I know," replied the poor child, "that they tell me she is dead, but I do not believe it. She was perfectly well when she left me the other day with old Susan our neighbour; she told me she would soon come back, but she has not kept her word. My father has gone away too, and also my little brother; and the other boys of the village will not play with me, but say very naughty things about my father and mother, which vexes me more than all. O mammy, get up, get up!"
Mr. Glover's eyes were filled with tears; he asked him where his father and brother were gone to. He replied, that he did not know where his father was; and as to his little brother, he was the day before taken to another town, by a person dressed in black just like their parson. Mr. Glover then asked him where he lived. "With our neighbour Susan," said he. "I am to be there till my mother comes back, as she promised me. I love my other mammy Susan very well; but I love my mammy that lies here a great deal better. O mother! mother! why do you lie so long? when will you get up?"
"My poor child," said Mr. Glover, "it is in vain to call her, for she will awake no more!"—"Then," said the poor little boy, "I will lie down here, and sleep by her. Ah! I saw her when they put her into a great chest to carry her away. Oh, how white she was! and how cold! I will lie down here and sleep by her!"
The tears now started from the eyes of Mr. Glover, for he could no longer conceal them, but stooping down, took the child up in his arms, and tenderly kissed him, asking him what was his name. "When I am a good boy, they call me Jackey; and when I behave amiss, they say, you Jack." Mr. Glover, though in tears, could not help smiling at the innocence and simplicity of this answer, and begged Jackey to conduct him to the house of the good Susan.
The child very readily consented, and, running before him as fast as his legs would carry him, conducted Mr. Glover to Susan's door. Susan was not a little surprised, on seeing Jack conduct a gentleman into her cottage, and then running to her, hid his little head in her lap, crying, "This is she! this is my other mammy!" Mr. Glover, however, did not keep her long in suspense, but related to her what he had just seen, and begged Susan to give him the history of the parents of this little boy.—Susan desired the gentleman to be seated, and then related to him the following particulars:
"The father of this poor child is a shoemaker, and his house is next to mine. His wife, though a handsome, was not a healthy woman; but she was a careful and good housewife. It is about seven years since they were married, always lived together on the best terms, and undoubtedly would have been perfectly happy, had their affairs been a little better.
"John had nothing beyond what his trade produced him; and Margaret, his wife, being left an orphan, had only a little money which she had scraped together in the service of a worthy neighbouring curate. With this they bought the most necessary articles of household furniture, and a small stock of leather to begin business with. However, by dint of labour and good management, they for some years contrived to live a little comfortably.
"As children increased, so did their difficulties, and misfortunes seldom come alone. Poor Margaret, who had daily worked in the fields during hay-time, to bring home a little money to her husband at night, fell ill, and continued so all the harvest and winter. John's customers left him one after another, fearing that work could not go on properly in a sick house.
"Though Margaret at last grew better, yet her husband's work continued to decline, and he was obliged to borrow money to pay the apothecary; while poor Margaret continued so weakly that nobody thought it worth their while to employ her. The rent of their house and the interest of the money they had borrowed were heavy loads upon them; and they were frequently obliged to endure hunger themselves, in order to give a morsel of bread to their poor children.
"To add to their misfortune, the hardhearted landlord threatened to put poor John in jail, if he did not pay the two quarters' rent that were due; and though he is the richest man in the place, it was with the greatest difficulty that they could obtain a month's delay. He declared if they did not at the end of that time pay the whole, he would sell their furniture, and put John in prison. Their house was now a picture of melancholy and patient distress. How often have I lamented my inability to assist the distresses of this honest couple!
"I went myself to their landlord, and begged of him, for God's sake, to have some compassion on these unfortunate people, and even offered to pawn to him all I was possessed of in the world; but he treated me with contempt, and told me I was as bad as they were. I was obliged, however, being only a poor widow, to bear the insult with patience, and contented myself by easing my heart with a flood of tears.
"I advised poor Margaret to make her distresses known to the worthy clergyman, with whom she had so long lived with an unblemished character, and to beg of him to advance them a little money. Margaret replied, that she supposed her husband would not like that proposal, fearing that their friend might suspect their necessities proceeded from mismanagement.
"It is but a few days ago since she brought me her two children, and begged me to take care of them till the evening. Her intention was to go to a village at a little distance, and endeavour to get some hemp from the weaver to spin, with a view to get something towards the debt. As she could not persuade herself to wait upon the clergyman, her husband had undertaken it, and had accordingly set off on that business. As Margaret was going, she clasped her two children to her breast and kissed them, little thinking it was to be the last time she should ever see them.
"Soon after she was gone, I heard some noise in her house, but supposed it might be only the flapping of the door. However, the evening came on, and my neighbour did not come to fetch her children as usual. I therefore determined to go to her house, and see if she was come home. I found the door open and went in; but how shall I express my horror and astonishment, when I found poor Margaret lying dead at the foot of the stairs!
"After trying in vain to recover her, I fetched the surgeon, who shook his head, and said all was over. The coroner's inquest brought in their verdict accidental death; but, as her husband was missing, ill-natured people raised suspicious reports. Her death, however, was easily to be accounted for; she had returned to her house, to go up to the loft for a bag to hold her hemp, and as her eyes were still dimmed with tears, she had missed her step in coming down, and fallen from the top of the stairs, with her head foremost, on the ground. The bag that lay by her side showed this to have been the case.
"I made an offer to the parish officers to keep the two children myself, not doubting, but that the goodness of God, even a poor widow as I was, would enable me to support them. The worthy curate came yesterday to see the unfortunate Margaret, and great indeed was his affliction when I related to him what I have been now telling you. I then told him, that John was gone to him; but I was much surprised, when he declared he had seen nothing of him. The two children came up to him; and little Jack asked him, if he could not awake his mother, who had been a long time asleep. This brought tears into the eyes of the good curate, who proposed to take the two children home to his own house and bring them up under his care; but as I could not consent to part with both these innocents, it was at last agreed, that he should take the younger and leave me the elder.
"He asked little Jack if he should not like to go with him. 'What, where my mother is?' said Jack, 'oh! yes, with all my heart!' 'No, my little man,' replied the curate, 'I do not mean there, but to my handsome house and garden.'—'No, no,' answered Jack, 'I will stay here with Susan, and every day go to where my mother is; for I would rather go there than to your handsome garden.'
"This worthy curate did not choose to vex the child more, who went and hid himself behind my bed-curtains. He told me he would send his man for the younger, who would be more trouble to me than the elder child, and before he went, left me some money towards the support of this.
"This, Sir, is the whole of this unfortunate business. What makes me exceedingly uneasy at present is, that John does not return, and that it is reported in the parish, that he has connected himself with a gang of smugglers, and that his wife put an end to her life through grief. These stories have obtained such credit in the village, that even the children have got it; and whenever poor Jack attempts to mix with them, they drive him away as though he were infectious. Hence the poor little fellow is quite dull, and now never goes out but to pay a sad visit to his mother's grave."
Mr. Glover, who had silently listened to this melancholy tale, was deeply affected by it. Little Jack was now got close up to Susan; he looked at her with fondness, and often called her his mother. Mr. Glover at length broke silence, and told Susan she was a worthy woman, and that God would not fail to reward her for her generosity towards this unfortunate family.
"Ah!" said Susan, "I am happy in what I have done, and I wish I could have done more; but my only possession consists in my cottage, a little garden, in which I have a few greens, and what I can earn by the labour of my hands. Yet for these eight years that I have been a widow, God has not suffered me to want, and I trust he never will."
Mr. Glover reminded her, that keeping this little boy must be very inconvenient to her, and that she would find it difficult to supply him with clothes. She answered, "I leave the care of that to Him who clothes the fields with grass and the trees with leaves. He has given me fingers to sew and spin, and they shall work to clothe my poor little orphan. I will never part with him."
Mr. Glover was astonished at this good woman's resolution. "I must not suffer you alone," said he, "to have all the honour of befriending this poor orphan, since God has bestowed on me those blessings of affluence which you do not enjoy. Permit me to take care of the education of this sweet boy; and, since I find that you cannot live separate, I will take you both home with me, and provide for you. Sell your cottage and garden, and make my house your own, where you may spend the remainder of your life amidst peace and plenty."
Susan gave Mr. Glover a most affectionate look, but begged he would excuse her accepting his offer, as she was fond of the spot on which she was born, and had lived in so long. Besides, she added, she could not suit herself to the bustle of a great house, and should soon grow sick, were she to live upon dainties in idleness. "If you will please," continued Susan, "now and then to send him a small matter to pay for his schooling, and to supply him with tools when he shall take to business, God will not fail to reward you for your bounty. As I have no child, he shall be as one to me, and whatever I possess shall be his at my death."
Mr. Glover, finding she did not choose to quit her habitation, told her, he should every month send her what would be sufficient for her support, and that he would sometimes come and see them himself. Susan lifted up her hands to heaven, and bid Jackey go and ask the gentleman's blessing, which he did. He then threw down his purse on the table, bid them a farewell, and mounting his horse, took the road that led to the parish in which the worthy curate lived.
On Mr. Glover's arrival there, he found the worthy curate reading a letter, on which he had shed some tears. He explained the cause of his visit to this worthy divine, and asked him, if he knew what was become of the father of the two little unfortunate children. The curate replied, that it was not a quarter of an hour since he received a letter from him to his wife. "It was," said the curate, "inclosed in one to me, and contains a small draft for the use of his wife; he requests me to deliver it to her, and to console her for his absence. As she is dead, I have opened the letter, and here it is; be so kind as to read it." Mr. Glover took the letter, the particulars of which were as follow:
He hoped his wife would not give herself any uneasiness on account of his absence. As he was going to the clergyman's house, he began to think that it could be of no use to go thus a begging, and, if he should borrow money, he was not sure he should be able to pay it, which he thought would be as bad as thieving. At this instant a thought struck into his head, that he was young and hearty, stout and able-bodied, and therefore could see no harm if he entered on board a man of war for a few years, where he might stand a chance of getting a fortune for his wife and children, at least get enough to pay all his debts. While he was thinking of this matter, a press-gang came up, and asked him if he would enter, telling him that they would give him five pounds bounty. The thought of receiving five pounds fixed his determination at once, and he accordingly entered, received the money, and sent every farthing of it to his wife, with his love and blessing, and hoping they would all join in their prayers to God for him. He hoped the war would soon be over, and that he should then return with inexpressible joy to his dear wife.
Mr. Glover's eyes swimmed with tears all the time he was reading the letter. When he had finished it, "This man," said he, "may indeed be justly called a good husband, a tender father, and an honest man. There is an expressive pleasure in being a friend to such characters as these. I will pay John's debts, and enable him to set up his trade again. Let his money be kept for the children, to be divided between them, as soon as they shall be at an age to know how to make use of it, and I will add something to this sacred deposit."
So greatly was the worthy curate affected, that he could make no reply; and Mr. Glover perfectly understanding the cause of his silence, squeezed him by the hand, and took his leave; but he completely accomplished all his designs in favour of John, who at length returned, and enjoyed an easiness of circumstances beyond any thing he had before experienced.
Nothing now disturbed John's felicity, but the sorrowful reflection of having lost his dear Margaret; she had experienced part of his misfortunes, but had not lived to share in his felicity; and John's only consolation is perpetually to talk about her to Susan, whom he looks upon as a sister to him, and as a mother to his children. Little Jack frequently visits his mother's grave; and has made so good a use of Mr. Glover's generosity, in improving himself, that this excellent gentleman intends placing him in a very desirable situation. John's younger son has likewise a share in his favours; and whenever Mr. Glover's mind is oppressed, a visit to this spot, where such an affecting scene passed, and where he has been enabled to do so much good, never fails to raise his spirits.
My readers will from hence learn, that God always assists those who put their trust in him. It is on Him we must rely on every occasion, and he will not desert us, provided we ourselves also try to surmount difficulties by patience and industry.
LEONORA AND ADOLPHUS.
A young widow lady, whose name was Lenox, had two children, Leonora and Adolphus, both equally deserving the affections of a parent, which, however, were unequally shared. Adolphus was the favourite, which Leonora very early began to discover, and consequently felt no small share of uneasiness on the occasion: but she was prudent enough to conceal her sorrow.
Leonora, though not remarkably handsome, had a mind that made ample amends for the want of beauty; but her brother was a little Cupid, on whom Mrs. Lenox lavished all her kisses and caresses. It is no wonder that the servants, to gain the favour of their mistress, were very attentive to humour him in all his whimsies. Leonora, on the other hand, was consequently slighted by every one in the house; and, so far from wishing to study her humour, they scarcely treated her with common civility.
Finding herself frequently alone and neglected, and taken little notice of by any one, she would privately shed a torrent of tears; but she always took care, that not the least mark of discontent should escape her in the presence of any one. Her constant attention to the observance of her duty, her mildness, and endeavours to convince her mother that her mind was superior to her face, had no effect; for beauty alone attracts the attention of those who examine no further than external appearances.
Mrs. Lenox, who was continually chiding Leonora, and expecting from her perfections far beyond the reach of those more advanced in years, at last fell sick. Adolphus seemed very sorry for his mother's illness; but Leonora, with the softest looks and most languishing countenance, fancied she perceived in her mother an abatement of her accustomed rigour towards her, and far surpassed her brother in her attention to her parent. She endeavoured to supply her slightest wants, exerted all her penetration to discover them, that she might even spare her the pain of asking for any thing. So long as her mother's illness had the least appearance of danger, she never quitted her pillow, and neither threats nor commands could prevail on her to take the least repose.
Mrs. Lenox, however, at length recovered, which afforded inexpressible pleasure to the amiable Leonora; but she soon experienced a renewal of her misfortunes, as her mother began to treat her with her usual severity and indifference.
As Mrs. Lenox was one day talking to her children on the pain she had suffered during her illness, and was praising them for the anxiety they had shown on her account, she desired them to ask of her whatever they thought would be the most pleasing to them, and they should certainly be indulged in it, provided their demands were not unreasonable.
First addressing herself to Adolphus, she desired to know what he would choose: and his desire was to have a cane and a watch, which his mother promised he should have the next morning. "And pray, Leonora," said Mrs. Lenox, "what is your wish?"—"Me, mamma, me?" answered she, trembling, "if you do but love me, I have nothing else to wish for!"—"This is not an answer;" replied the mother, "you shall have your recompense likewise, miss, therefore speak your wish instantly."
However accustomed Leonora might have been to this severe tone, yet she felt it on this occasion more sensibly than ever she had before. She threw herself at her mother's feet, looked up to her with eyes swimming in tears, and instantly hiding her face with both her hands, lisped out these words: "Only give me two kisses, such as you give my brother."
What heart could fail to relent at these words? Mrs. Lenox felt all the tender sentiments of a parent arise in her heart, and, taking her up in her arms, she clasped her to her breast, and loaded her with kisses. The sweet Leonora, who now, for the first time, received her mother's caresses, gave way to the effusion of her joy and love; she kissed her cheeks, her eyes, her breasts, and her hands; and Adolphus, who loved his sister, mixed his embraces with hers. Thus all had a share in this scene of unexpected happiness.
The affection which Mrs. Lenox had so long withheld from Leonora, she now repaid with interest, and her daughter returned it with the most dutiful attention. Adolphus, so far from being jealous at this change of his mother's affection for his sister, showed every mark of pleasure on the occasion, and he afterwards reaped a reward of so generous a conduct; for his natural disposition having been, in some measure, injured by the too great indulgence of his mother, he gave way in his early days to those little indiscretions, which would have lost him the heart of his parent, had not his sister stepped in between them. It was to the advice of this amiable girl that Adolphus at last owed his entire reformation of manners. They all three then experienced, that true happiness cannot exist in a family, unless the most perfect union between brothers and sisters, and the most lively and equal affection between parents and children, are constantly and strictly adhered to.
FLORA AND HER LITTLE LAMB
A poor countryman's little daughter, whose name was Flora, was one morning sitting by the side of the road, holding on her lap a pan of milk for her breakfast, into which she was breaking some bits of coarse black bread.
While Flora was thus busily employed at her breakfast, a farmer was passing the road with his cart, in which were about twenty lambs, and these he was going to carry to the market for sale. These pretty little lambs were tied together like so many criminals, and lay with their legs fastened with cords, and their heads hanging down. Their plaintive bleatings pierced the heart of poor Flora, but they had no manner of effect on the hardhearted farmer.