Part 2 out of 2
Up in the morning early,
By daylights earliest ray,
With our books prepared to study
The lessons of the day.
Little Jane, for her industry and good scholarship, obtained quite a
number of "rewards of merit," which her school mates said she justly
deserved. There is one of them with these lines:
For conduct good and lessons learned,
Your teacher can commend;
Good scholarship has richly earned
This tribute from your friend.
On one day, she came running home very much pleased with her card,
which her teacher gave herself and her little sister Emma, for their
good conduct and attention to their studies. The card contained these
See, Father! mother, see!
To my sister and me,
Has our teacher given a card,
To show that we have studied hard.
To you we think it must be pleasant,
To see us both with such a present.
Every good boy and girl will be rewarded, and all such as are
studious, and respectful to their teachers, will always get a reward.
* * * * *
God never allowed any man to do nothing. How miserable is the
condition of those men who spend their time as if it were _given_
them, and not lent.--_Bishop Hall_.
* * * * *
Now the golden ear wants the reaper's hand,
Banish every fear, plenty fills the land.
Joyful raise songs of praise,
Goodness, goodness, crowns our days.
Yet again swell the strain,
He who feeds the birds that fly,
Will our daily wants supply.
As the manna lay, on the desert ground,
So from day to day, mercies flow around.
As a father's love gives his children bread,
So our God above grants, and we are fed.
* * * * *
Think in the morning what thou hast to do this day, and at night what
thou hast done; and do nothing upon which thou mayst not boldly ask
God's blessing; nor nothing for which thou shalt need to ask his
* * * * *
There is a company of girls met together, and what can they be talking
about. Hark! "Now I will tell you something, if you'll promise never
to tell," says Jane. "I will, certainly," replied Anne. "And will you
promise _never_ to tell a single living creature as long as you live?"
The same reply is given, "_I will never tell_."
Now Jane tells the secret, and what is it? It turns out to be just
nothing at all, and there is no good reason why every body should'nt
know it. It is this--"Lizzy Smith is going to have a new bonnet,
trimmed with pink ribbon and flowers inside." Anna thinks no more of
her solemn promise, and the first school-mate she meets, she opens the
secret, with a solemn injunction for her not to tell. By and by the
secret is all out among the girls--the promises are all broken. Now,
children, remember your word--keep it true, and never make a promise
which you do not intend to keep, and always avoid telling foolish
* * * * *
AGNES AND THE MOUSE.
One brilliant Christmas day, two little girls were walking towards a
neighboring village, when they observed a little creature walking
about the road. "Surely," said Mary, "it is a large mouse;" and it did
not seem to be afraid, so they thought from its tameness, it must be
hungry. "Poor little thing," said Agnes, "I wish I had something to
give you." She took a few almonds from her pocket and went gently
along towards the mouse and put it close by its side. The mouse began
to nibble, and soon finished it. Agnes then put down two or three
more, and left the mouse to eat its Christmas dinner. I think you
would have enjoyed seeing the mouse eating the almonds. I hope you
will always be kind to poor dumb animals. I have seen children who
were cruel to dumb animals. This is very wrong, and such children will
never be respected, nor can thy expect to be befriended.
* * * * *
THE TWO ROBINS.
A few summers ago I was sitting on a garden seat, beneath a fruit
tree, where the works of nature looked very beautiful. Very soon I
heard a strange noise among the highest branches of the tree over my
head. The sound was very curious, and I began to look for the cause. I
shook one of the lower branches within my reach, and very soon I
discovered two birds engaged in fighting; and they seemed to gradually
descend towards the ground. They came down lower and lower, tumbling
over one another, and fighting with each other. They soon reached the
lowest branch, and at last came to the ground very near me. It was
with some difficulty that I parted them; and when I held one of them
in each of my hands, they tried to get away, not because they were
afraid of me but because they would resume the conflict. They were two
young robins, and I never before thought that the robin had such a bad
spirit in its breast. Lest they should get to fighting again, I let
one go, and kept the other housed up for several days, so that they
would not have much chance of coming together again.
Now, children, these two little robins woke in the morning very
cheerful, and appeared very happy as they sat on the branch of the
tree, singing their morning songs. But how soon they changed their
notes. You would have been sorry to have seen the birds trying to hurt
If children quarrel, or in any degree show an unkind temper, they
appear very unlovely and, forget that God, who made them, and gives
them many blessings, disapproves of their conduct. Never quarrel, but
remember how pleasant it is for children to love each other, and to
try to do each other good.
* * * * *
Every hour is worth at least a good thought, a good wish, a good
* * * * *
THE PLEASANT SAIL.
Down by the sea-coast is the pleasant town of Saco, Where Mr. Aimes
has resided for many years. Once a year he had all his little nephews
and nieces visit him. It was their holiday, and they would think and
talk about the visit for a long time previous to going there. Their
uncle took much pleasure in making them happy as possible while they
were with him. He owned a pleasure sail boat which he always kept in
good order. On this occasion he had it all clean and prepared for the
young friends, as he knew they lotted much on having a sail. As his
boat was small, he took part of them at a time and went out with them
himself, a short distance, and sailed around the island, and returned.
In the picture you see them just going out, with their uncle at the
helm, while three of the nephews are on the beach enjoying the scene.
But I must tell you children to be very careful when you go on the
water to sail. There are some things which it is necessary for you to
know, as a great many accidents occur on the water for the want of
right management. When you go to sail, be sure and have persons with
you who understand all about a boat, and how to manage in the time of
a squall. Always keep your seats in the boat, and not be running about
in it. Never get to rocking a boat in the water. A great many people
have lost their lives by so doing. Sailing on the water may be very
pleasant and agreeable to you if you go with those who understand
all about the harbor, and are skilled in guiding the boat on the
* * * * *
THE SAILOR BOY.
Yarmouth is the principal trade sea-port town in the county of
Norfolk. Fishermen reside in the towns and villages around, and among
the number was a poor man and his wife; they had an only son, and when
ten years old his father died. The poor widow, in the death of her
husband, lost the means of support. After some time she said to her
boy, "Johnny, I do not see how I shall support you." "Then, mother, I
will go to sea," he replied. His mother was loth to part with Johnny,
for he was a good son and was very kind to her. But she at last
consented on his going to sea.
John began to make preparations. One day he went down to the beach
hoping to find a chance among some of the captains to sail. He went to
the owner of one and asked if he wanted a boy. "No," he abruptly
replied "I have boys enough." He tried a second but without success.
John now began to weep. After some time he saw on the quay the captain
of a trading vessel to St. Petersburg, and John asked him if "a boy
was wanted." "Oh, yes," said the captain, "but I never take a boy or a
man without a character." John had a Testament among his things, which
he took out and said to the captain, "I suppose this won't do." The
captain took it, and on opening the first page, saw written, "_John
Read, given as a reward for his good behaviour and diligence in
learning, at the Sabbath School_." The captain said, "Yes, my boy,
this will do; I would rather have this recommendation than any other,"
adding, "you may go on board directly." John's heart leaped for joy,
as, with his bundle under his arm, he jumped on board the vessel.
The vessel was soon under weigh, and for some time the sky was bright,
and the wind was fair. When they reached the Baltic Sea a storm came
on, the wind raged furiously, all hands were employed to save the
vessel. But the storm increased, and the captain thought all would be
lost. While things were in this state the little sailor boy was
missing. One of the crew told the captain he was down in the cabin.
When sent for he came up with his Testament in his hand and asked the
captain if he might read. His request was granted. He then knelt down
and rend the sixtieth and sixty-first Psalms. While he was reading the
wind began to abate, (the storms in the Baltic abate as suddenly as
they come on.) The captain was much moved, and said he believed the
boy's reading was heard in Heaven.
* * * * *
OR, HONESTY REWARDED.
At St. Petersburgh, the birth day of any of the royal family is
observed as a time of great festivity, by all kinds of diversions.
When the vessel in which John Read shipped arrived, he was allowed to
go on shore to see the sport on that occasion. In one of the sleighs
was a lady, who at the moment of passing him lost a bracelet from her
arm, which fell on the snow. John hastened forward to pick it up, at
the same time calling after the lady, who was beyond the sound of his
voice. He then put the bracelet into his pocket, and when he had seen
enough of the sport, went back to the ship.
John told the captain all about it, showing him the prize which he had
"Well, Jack," said the captain "you are fortunate enough--these are
all diamonds of great value--when we get to the next port I will sell
it for you." "But," said John, "It's not mine, it belongs to the lady,
and I cannot sell it." The captain replied, "O, you cannot find the
lady, and you picked it up. It is your own." But John persisted it was
not his. "Nonsense, my boy," said the captain, "it belongs to you."
John then replied "But if we have another storm in the Baltic," (see
story preceding.) "Ah, me," said the Captain, "I forgot all about
that, Jack. I will go on shore with you to-morrow and try to find the
owner." They did so; and after much trouble, found it belonged to a
nobleman's lady, and as a reward for the boy's honesty, she gave him
eighty pounds English money. John's next difficulty was what to do
with it. The captain advised him to lay it out in hides, which would
be valuable in England. He did so, and on arriving at Hull, they
brought one hundred and fifty pounds.
John had not forgotten his mother. The captain gave him leave of
absence for a time, and taking a portion of his money with him, he
started for his native village. When he arrived there, he made his way
to her house with a beating heart. Each object told him it was home,
and brought bygone days to his mind. On coming to the house he saw it
was closed. He thought she might be dead; and as he slowly opened the
gate and walked up the path and looked about, his heart was ready to
break. A neighbor seeing him, said, "Ah, John, is that you?" and
quickly told him that his mother still lived--but as she had no means
of support, she had gone to the poor-house. John went to the place,
found his mother, and soon made her comfortable in her own cottage.
The sailor boy afterwards became mate of the same vessel in which he
first left the quay at Yarmouth.
* * * * *
NO PAY--NO WORK.
"Little boy, will you help a poor old man up the hill with this
load?" said an old man, who was drawing a hand-cart with a bag of corn
for the mill.
"I can't," said the boy, "I am in a hurry to be at school."
As the old man sat on the stone, resting himself he thought of his
youthful days, and of his friends now in the grave; the tears began to
fall, when John Wilson came along, and said,--"shall I help you up the
hill with your load sir?" The old man brushed his eyes with his coat
sleeve, and replied, "I should be glad to have you." He arose and took
the tongue of his cart, while John pushed behind. When they ascended
the top of the hill, the old man thanked the lad for his kindness. In
consequence of this John was ten minutes too late at school. It was
unusual for him to be late, as he was known to be punctual and prompt;
but as he said nothing to the teacher about the cause of his being
late, he was marked for not being in season.
After school, Hanson, the first boy, said to John, "I suppose you
stopped to help old Stevenson up the hill with his corn."
"Yes," replied John, "the old man was tired and I thought I would give
him a lift."
"Well, did you get your pay for it?" said Hanson, "for I don't work
"Nor do I," said John; "I didn't help him, expecting pay."
"Well, why did you do it? You knew you would be late to school."
"Because I thought I _ought_ to help the poor old man," said John.
"Well," replied Hanson "if you will work for nothing, you may. _No
pay, no work_, is my motto."
"To _be kind and obliging_, is mine," said John.
Here, children, is a good example. John did not perform this act of
kindness for nothing. He had the approbation of a good conscience--the
pleasure of doing good to the old man--and the respect and gratitude
of his friends. Even the small act of benevolence is like giving a cup
of cold water to the needy, which will not pass unnoticed. Does any
body work for nothing when he does good? Think of this, and do
* * * * *
THE TREE THAT NEVER FADES.
"Mary," said George, "next summer I will not have a garden. Our pretty
tree is dying, and I won't love another tree as long as I live. I will
have a bird next summer, and that will stay all winter."
George, don't you remember my beautiful canary bird? It died in the
middle of the summer, and we planted bright flowers in the ground
where we buried it. My bird did not live as long as the tree."
"Well, I don't see as we can love anything. Dear little brother died
before the bird, and I loved him better than any bird, or tree, or
flower. Oh! I wish we could have something to love that wouldn't die."
The day passed. During the school hours, George and Mary had almost
forgot that their tree was dying; but at evening, as they drew their
chairs to the table where their mother was sitting, and began to
arrange the seeds they had been gathering, the remembrance of the tree
came upon them.
"Mother," said Mary, "you may give these seeds to cousin John; I never
want another garden."
"Yes," added George, pushing the papers in which he had carefully
folded them towards his mother, "you may give them all away. If I
could find some seeds of a tree that would never fade, I should like
then to have a garden. I wonder, mother, if there ever was such a
"Yes, George, I have read of a garden where the trees never die."
"A _real_ garden, mother?"
"Yes, my son. In the middle of the garden, I have been told, there
runs a pure river of water, clear as chrystal, and on each side of the
river is the _tree of life_,--a tree that never fades. That garden is
_heaven_. There you may love and love for ever. There will be no
death--no fading there. Let your treasure be in the tree of life, and
you will have something to which your young hearts can cling, without
fear, and without disappointment. Love the Saviour here, and he will
prepare you to dwell in those green pastures, and beside those still
* * * * *
Every neglected opportunity draws after it an irreparable loss, which
will go into eternity with you.---_Doddridge_.
* * * * *
You have read of that remarkable man, Mr. Usher, who was Archbishop of
Armagh. I will tell you something about his early childhood. He was
born in Dublin, in the year 1580, and when a little boy he was fond of
reading. He lived with his two aunts who were born blind, and who
acquired much knowledge of the Scriptures by hearing others read the
Scriptures and other good books. At seven years of age he was sent to
school in Dublin; at the end of five years he was superior in study to
any of his school fellows, and was thought fully qualified to enter
the college at Dublin.
While he was at college he learned to play at cards, and he was so
much taken up with this amusement that both his learning and piety
were much endangered. He saw the evil tendency of playing cards, and
at once relinquished the practice entirely. When he was nine years
old, he heard a sermon preached which made a deep impression on his
mind. From that time he was accustomed to habits of devotion. He loved
to pray, and felt that he could not sleep quietly without first
commending himself to the care of his Heavenly father for protection.
When he was fourteen years old, he began to think about partaking of
the Lord's supper. He thought this act to be a very solemn and
important one, and required a thorough preparation. On the afternoon
previous to the communion, he would retire to some private place for
self examination and prayer. When he was but sixteen years of age, he
obtained such a knowledge of chronology as to have commenced the
annals of the Old and New Testaments, which were published many years
after, and are now a general standard of reference.
When his father died, he being the eldest son, the paternal estate was
left to him to manage. But as he feared it would occupy to much of his
time and attention, he gave it entirely to his brother and sisters,
reserving only enough for his books and college expenses. At the age
of twenty he entered the ministry, and seven years after was chosen a
professor in the University of Dublin. In 1640, he visited England at
the time of the commencement of the rebellion; all his goods were
seized by the popish party, except some furniture in his house, and
his library at Drogheda, which was afterwards sent to London. He bore
his loss with submission, but he never returned to Ireland. He had
many trials to endure on account of the troublous times in England,
(it being the time of civil wars.) In 1646 he received a kind
invitation from the Countess of Peterborough to reside in one of her
houses, which proposal he accepted and lived in one of them till his
death, in 1665. By the direction of Cromwell he was buried in
* * * * *
A GOOD ACT FOR ANOTHER.
A man was going from Norwich to New London with a loaded team; on
attempting to ascend a hill where an Indian lived he found his team
could not draw the load. He went for the Indian to assist him. After
he had got up the hill he asked the Indian what was to pay. The Indian
told him to do as much for some body else.
Some time afterward the Indian wanted a canoe. He went up Shetucket
river, found a tree, and made him one. When he had finished it he
could not get it to the river; accordingly he went to a man and
offered to pay him if he would go and draw it to the river for him.
The man set about it immediately, and after getting it to the river,
the Indian offered to pay him. "No," said the man; "don't you
recollect, so long ago, helping a man with a team up the hill by the
side of your house?" "Yes." "Well, I am the man; take your canoe and
* * * * *
A BOY REPROVED BY A BIRD.
The sparrows often build their nests under the eaves of houses and
barns. A young lad saw one of the sparrows conveying materials for her
nest, which she was building under the eaves of a cottage adjoining
his father's house. He was told not to disturb it. But birds eggs form
a temptation to many boys. At a favorable opportunity the lad climbed
up to the roof of the cottage and carried away the nest with the eggs
in it. Among the materials of which the nest was composed was a piece
of paper with some printed verses on it. The boy pulled it out and
found it to be a page of one of Dr. Watts' hymns, which had been
picked up in the yard by the poor bird for strengthening her nest.
The boy unfolded the paper and read:----
"Why should I deprive my neighbor
Of his goods against his will?
Hands were made for honest labor,
Not to plunder nor to steal."
The lad says, in his after years, "I never forgot the lesson presented
to me by that leaf of paper which had been fixed to the nest of the
poor sparrow." Let young people remember that when they do wrong they
will get reproved, and it may be by the means of a bird.
* * * * *
Little Charles knew nothing about an echo. As he was playing by
himself in the field, he cried out, "Ho, hop!" and immediately a voice
from the woods near by answered, "ho, hop!" Being surprised at this,
he called out, "who be you?" The voice answered, "who be you." Charles
thought this very strange, and cried out "you're a stupid fellow,"
and "stupid fellow," was the reply from the woods.
Charles began to be much displeased, and called several abusive names,
and every name he called, came back to him. "I never met with such
insolence," said he, "but I'll revenge myself;" and he ran up and down
among the trees, trying to find the supposed offender, but he could
see no one. Vexed and disappointed, he hastened home and told his
mother that a bad boy had hidden in the woods and called him all sorts
His mother smiled and shook her head. "Now you have been angry at
yourself, Charles, for you must know that you heard nothing but your
own words repeated. As you have seen your own face reflected in the
water, so you have now heard your own voice echoed." Had Charles spoke
kind words he would have heard kind words in return. It is often true
that the behavior we meet with from others, is but an echo of our own.
If we speak kind words we shall have kind words in return.
* * * * *
LIZZY AND HER DOG.
I wish to relate to you a very affecting story about a good girl who
died when she was thirteen years old. She was an interesting young
girl, and possessed great intellectual powers. She was also very fond
of the works of nature, especially of flowers, and would often say,
"How good God is to make these beautiful flowers for us to enjoy."
Soon it was very evident to her friends that disease was preying on
her delicate constitution. She bore all her sickness with calm
submission, and when she died she appeared to all who knew her to be
prepared for heaven. While she was sick, her parents did every thing
to make her comfortable and happy. They had a dog which Lizzy set a
great deal by, and with him she used to play in the house and in the
garden. When Lizzy was so sick that she could not play with him, he
would come and lay himself down at her bed side, and appeared to be
very sad on her account. When she died [and] was buried, the dog
followed with the parents in the funeral, to the grave-yard where
Lizzy was laid away. One day, about five months afterwards, I went
with her father to see the grave of Lizzy.
As we went into the grave-yard, we walked slowly along, reading the
names of persons buried there, while the dog followed us. We soon
missed the dog, supposing he had wandered into some other part of the
cemetery. But when we came within a few yards of Lizzy's grave we saw
him sitting at its head, leaning against the stone which was erected
in memory of the lovely daughter. It was a very affecting scene--the
attachment of the dog, as well as the power of his memory. Dogs are
faithful creatures, and we can never bear to see them abused. Be kind
to them and they will be kind to you.
* * * * *
JULIA'S SUNSET WALK.
It was a beautiful June day, just at the sun's setting, when Julia
Eastworth went to visit the resting place of a dear grandmother. While
she was in the grave-yard, meditating on the loss of one of her best
earthly friends, she saw a lady dressed in mourning busily engaged in
doing something near a rose bush that grew at the foot of a little
mound, at a short distance from where she stood. Julia walked along
and came near where she was, and laid her hand gently upon the woman
and said, "Madam, is this your little mound?"
"Oh, no, my child; it is my dear Elise's grave."
"And is it long since you laid her here ma'am?" said Julia.
"Only a few weeks," was the reply; "there were buds on this rose bush
when I brought it here."
"And was it her's?" asked Julia, as she stooped down to inhale the
rich fragrance of the beautiful flower.
"Yes, my child, it was a dear treasure to her. My Elise was a good
child, she was my Idol, but my Heavenly Father has seen best to remove
her from me. I only cared to live that I might be useful to her in
giving her such instructions as might be a blessing to her. I almost
adored her, but she is gone from me, and I am alone. I know she is
happy, because she was good."
"And have you always lived here in our town?" asked Julia.
"Oh, no! I am from Italy. When my child was but two years old, I left
my native shores, and with my only relative, my father, followed my
young husband, who is an American, to his own land. We settled in the
State of Virginia, and a short time ago he died and left me with a
charge to take care of our dear Elsie. She had her father's hair and
complexion, and inherited his delicate constitution, We were poor, and
I labored hard, but I cared not, if I could only make my child
comfortable and happy. She was not like me; her mind was full of
thoughts of beauty; she would often talk of things with which I could
not sympathize; the world seemed to her to be full of voices, and she
would often say, 'How beautiful _heaven_ must be.' Her nature was
purer and gentler than mine, and I felt that she was a fit companion
of the angels. But she is now gone to be with them, and I hope soon to
Julia bid the lady good bye, and went towards her home. As she walked
slowly along, she thought to herself, "Elsie with the angels!" and she
dwelt upon the theme till her mother, seeing her rather different in
her conduct, asked her the cause, when she replied, "Oh, mother! I
want to dwell with the angels."
* * * * *
FLORA AND HER PORTRAIT.
"And was there never a portrait of your beautiful child," said Anne
Jones, to a lady whom she met at the grave where her child had been
lain a few weeks.
"Oh, yes! but I may never have it," replied the woman as she stood
weeping at the grave.
Anna did not understand the mother's tears, but in a few moments she
became calm, and continued to explain.
"Not many weeks before my child's illness, as we were walking together
in the city, an artist observed my daughter and followed us to our
humble home. He praised her countenance to me, and said her beauty was
rare. In all his life he had never seen face to compare with it, nor
an eye so full of soul, and begged to have me consent to his drawing
her portrait. After many urgent entreaties, my dear child consented.
For several mornings I went with Flora to the artist's room, though I
could ill afford the time, for our daily bread was to be earned. When
he was finishing the picture, Flora went alone. One day she returned,
and flinging into my lap her little green purse, she said: 'The
picture does not need me any more, and I am very glad, for my head
aches badly. They say the portrait is very like me, mother.'
"I resolved to go and see it the day following, but when the time came
that I first looked upon it, my dear child began to fade in my arms,
until she died. And here she is buried. Since then I go to the
artist's room to see her portrait, and there, full of life and beauty,
she stands before me, and I have permission to see it every day.
"But I am about to leave this country for our native land. My aged
father has long wished to return to his own country, and we shall soon
sail with our friends for Italy. I must leave the dear child here. But
if I can purchase the picture of the artist, I shall be happy. We are
poor; but by the sale of some little articles, we have raised money
enough to buy the picture, at the price which the artist demands for a
"When I went to buy it, you know not how I felt, when the artist,
notwithstanding all my pleadings, denied my request. His apology was,
that he had taken it for some purpose of his own; some great
exhibition of paintings; what, I could not fully comprehend. He would
not sell it. Day after day I have been to him, but in vain. And now
the time of our departure will soon come, and duty demands that I
must go with my father, and I must leave my dear Flora, and portrait
She then laid her face upon the grave and wept. Anna's eyes were
filled with tears, and for some moments she did not speak. At last she
thought--"I know the artist." And then touching the mother, who was
almost insensible, she said, "Madam, it may be that I can do something
for you; describe to me the picture. I think I must have seen it at
this same artist's room."
The mother then gave the description, and after Anna had gathered from
the mother all needful information, her name, and residence, and time
of sailing, then giving her own address, and speaking to her words of
consolation and hope, she arose and left the stranger at the grave of
her child. The next story will tell you how the picture was obtained.
* * * * *
THE PORTRAIT OF FLORA PURCHASED.
Anna started for her home, and when she had arrived, she slowly
ascended to her room, flung herself upon her couch, and buried her
face among its cushions.
"Edgar," (for that was the artist's name, and Anna knew him,) "Edgar
is cold hearted." She did not meet the family at tea that evening, but
when her mother came to inquire if she was ill, she related all the
sad story of the childless mother, and asked what could be done. The
next morning, Anna and her father went to see the artist. He was not
in attendance, but one to whom they were well known brought forward
the picture, at Anna's request, and which she had before seen. While
they were looking at it, the artist came in.
"Pardon me, sir," said Anna's father, "for examining your beautiful
picture during your absence, but my daughter has a very earnest desire
to possess it. Is it for sale?"
Edgar replied, "I have painted this picture for the coming artist's
exhibition, and, therefore, I have made no design as to its disposal,
but it would be an honor to me to have you and Miss Anna its
purchasers. I would wish, however, previously to its being given up,
that it might be exhibited, according to my intention, at the rooms,
which open on Monday next."
Mr. H. hesitated: the vessel, which was to carry away the sorrowing
mother, was to sail in a little more than two weeks: they must have
the picture at that time, if ever; and he said to the artist, "I am
aware that this is a beautiful painting, and I will pay you your
price, but I must be allowed to take it at the expiration often days,
if at all."
Edgar reflected a few moments, and being well aware that, in the
mansion of Mr. Hastings, his elegant picture would be seen by persons
of the most accomplished manners, and of excellent taste, concluded to
sell the picture. The bargain was made and Anna and her father
departed, leaving the artist somewhat elated at the thought of having
Mr. H. the owner of his picture.
That night Edgar dreamed that Flora, who had been buried a few weeks,
and of whose image his picture was the exact resemblance, stood before
him, pleading him to have pity on her lonely mother: he dreamed her
hand clasped his, and he awoke trembling.
He raised himself upon his elbow, and pressed to his lips some flowers
which were left on his table, and then rejoiced that the ocean would
soon be between him and the wearisome old woman who had so long
annoyed him about the picture.
The Monday morning came and with it the portrait of Flora, which had
been admired at the exhibition rooms the previous week. A simple frame
had been prepared for it, and for a few moments Anna gazed on the
picture, and with a love for the buried stranger, looked for the last
time into the deep dark eyes which beamed on the canvass.
The ship Viola, bound for the port of Naples, lay at the wharf, the
passengers were all hurrying on board, the flags were flying, and all
wore the joyous aspect of a vessel outward bound. A carriage drawn by
a pair of horses came down to the vessel. Mr. Hastings and Anna
alighted, and were followed by a servant, who took the safely cased
portrait in his arms, and accompanied them on board the ship. They
soon met the mother of Flora, and Anna took the picture and presented
it to her, and promised to care for the rose buds which bloomed at
Flora's grave. Mr. H. received from the gallant captain a promise to
take special charge of the Italian widow, and her aged father, and to
care for the valued picture of Flora. Thanks and farewells closed the
scene, when Anna, with her father, returned home. There she found a
note from Edgar, the artist, requesting permission to call on Anna
that evening. She wrote a reply, saying that a previous engagement
would forbid her complying with his request, at the same time
enclosing a check for $200, saying, "My father requests me to forward
this check to you in payment for the portrait of _Flora Revere_."
* * * * *
THE SAINT'S REST.
We've no abiding city here:
This may distress the worldling's mind,
But should not cost the saint a tear,
Who hopes a better rest to find,
We've no abiding city here;
We seek a city out of sight.
Zion its name; the Lord is there;
It shines with everlasting light.
Hush, my soul, nor dare repine;
The time my God appoints is best;
While here to do his will be mine,
And his to fix my time of rest.
* * * * *
A GOOD MOTHER.
Mrs. Savage was the eldest sister of Matthew Henry. When she was a
child she had a great many advantages for the improvement of her mind.
When only seven years of age, she could translate the Hebrew language,
and when ten years old, she could write out her father's sermons. She
possessed a very amiable disposition, and was very kind and benevolent
to all who needed the comforts of life. She was a Christian, and when
she became a mother she began the work of educating her children
herself. She had a large family of nine children, and as she had
treasured up in her memory many hymns and verses which she had learned
when a child, she was able to teach the same to her children. She was
so kind and affectionate that every body loved her. Her children took
much pleasure in hearing their mother repeat to them the hymns and
texts of Scripture which she had learned.
Some children are very careless, and indifferent to their parents'
advice; such ones will regret it in their riper years. But Mrs.
Savage's little boys and girls loved their mother, and were very
obedient to her commands. When evening came, before they retired to
bed she would call her little children around her (as you see in the
picture,) and they would kneel down and say their evening prayer. A
pleasant sight, indeed, to see our dear children remembering their
Creator in the days of their youth. Mrs. S. was "useful, beloved,
meek, humble, and charitable." She lived a happy, cheerful life; she
was an ornament to her Christian profession, a "good mother." She died
suddenly at the good old age of eighty-eight.
* * * * *
MOTHER'S LAST LESSON.
"Will you please teach me my verse, mamma, and then kiss me and bid me
good night," said little Roger, as he opened the door and peeped into
the chamber of his sick mother. "I am very sleepy, but no one has
heard me say my prayers." Mrs. L. was very ill, and her friends
believed her to be dying. She sat propped up with pillows and
struggling for breath, her eyes were growing dim, and her strength was
failing very fast. She was a widow, and little Roger was her only
darling child. He had been in the habit of coming into her room every
night, and sitting in her lap, or kneeling by her side, while she
repeated some Scripture passages to him, or related a story of wise
and good people. She always loved to hear Roger's verse and prayer.
"Hush! hush!" said the lady who was watching beside the couch. "Your
dear mamma is too ill to hear you to night." And as she said this, she
came forward and laid her hand gently upon his arm as if she would
lead him from the room. "I cannot go to bed to night," said the little
boy, "without saying my prayers--I cannot."
Roger's dying mother heard his voice, and his sobs, and although she
had been nearly insensible to everything around her, yet she requested
the attendant lady to bring the boy and lay him near her side. Her
request was granted, and the child's rosy cheek nestled in the bosom
of his dying mother.
"Now you may repeat this verse after me," said his mother, "and never
forget it: 'When my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take
me up.'" The child repeated it three times--then he kissed the pale
cheek of his mother, and went quietly to his little couch.
The next morning he sought as usual for his mother, but she was now
cold and motionless. She died soon after little Roger retired to his
bed. That was her last lesson to her darling boy---he did not forget
it. He has grown to be a man and occupies a high post of honor in
Massachusetts. I never can look upon him without thinking about the
faith so beautifully exhibited by his dying mother. It was a good
* * * * *
THE GOLDEN CROWN.
A teacher once asked a child, "If you had a golden crown, what would
you do with it?" The child replied, "I would give it to my father to
keep till I was a man." He asked another. "I would buy a coach and
horses with it," was the reply. He asked a third. "Oh," said the
little girl to whom he spoke, "I would do with it the same as the
people in heaven do with their crowns. I would cast it at the
* * * * *
EARLY AT SCHOOL.
One Sabbath evening a teacher was walking up and down in the porch
before his house, in one of the South Sea Islands. The sun was setting
behind the waves of the ocean, and the labors of the day were over. In
that cool, quiet hour, the teacher was in prayer, asking a blessing on
his people, his scholars, and himself. As he heard the leaves of the
Mimosa tree rustling, he thought the breeze was springing up--and
continued his walk. Again he heard the leaves rattle, and he felt sure
that it could not be the wind. So he pushed aside the long leafy
branches of the trees, and passed beneath. And what did he find there?
Three little boys. Two were fast asleep in each other's arms, but the
third was awake.
"What are you doing there, my children?" asked the teacher. "We have
come to sleep here," said the boy. "And why do you sleep here; have
you no home?" "Oh, yes," said the lad, "but if we sleep here, we are
sure to be ready when the school bell rings in the morning." "And do
your parents know about it?" "Mine do," said the lad, "but these
little boys have no parents; they are orphans."
You know the nights in the South Sea Islands are not cold and damp
like ours, but as the teacher thought a heavy rain would fall in the
night, he roused the orphans, and led the three little boys into the
large porch of the house where they might rest in safety. He was happy
to find that they were some of his scholars, and that they loved their
school. What would these little Islanders think if they could look
from their distant homes into some of our schools and see how many
late comers there are!
* * * * *
THE PLUM BOYS.
Two boys were one day on their way from school, and as they were
passing a cornfield, in which there were some plum trees, full of
nice, ripe fruit, Henry said to Thomas, "Let us jump over and get some
plums. Nobody will see us, and we can scud along through the corn and
come out on the other side."
Thomas said, "I cannot. It is wrong to do so. I would rather not have
the plums than to steal them, and I think I will run along home."
"You are a coward," said Henry, "I always knew you were a coward, and
if you don't want any plums you may go without them, but I shall have
some very quick."
Just as Henry was climbing the fence, the owner of the field rose up
from the other side of the wall, and Henry jumped back and ran away.
Thomas had no reason to be afraid, so he stood still, and the owner of
the field, who had heard the conversation between the boys, told him
that he was very glad to see that he was not willing to be a thief. He
then told Thomas that he might step over the fence and help himself to
as many plums as he wished. The boy was pleased with the invitation,
and soon filled his pockets with plums which he could call his own.
Honesty will always get its reward.
* * * * *
THE FIRST DOLLAR.
I will tell you an affecting story about a young lad by the name of
Emerson Terry, who lived in Hartford, Ct. He was very kind to the
poor, and could never see the sufferings of his fellow beings without
making an effort for their relief. Here is one instance of his
kindness and liberality:
While he resided in Bristol, his father, Dr. Terry, took little
Emerson with him to ride into Hartford that he might see the city.
Emerson had one dollar, and it was the first dollar he ever earned. He
took the dollar with him, thinking to buy something with it in the
city. While they were riding along on the way, they overtook a poor
fugitive slave seeking his freedom in the North. Mr. Terry kindly took
the wayfaring man into his carriage when the poor man related to him
his sufferings and poverty, and also his trust in God. Young Emerson's
heart was touched, when, of his own accord, he drew out his _first_
and _only_ dollar and gave it to the poor fugitive. When he returned
home he told his mother what he had done, with a satisfaction that
indicated his pleasure in being able to relieve a suffering stranger.
How noble was this act. He felt willing to forego the pleasure of
spending his dollar for himself, for any pleasing toys that he might
help a poor wanderer on the earth. When he was fifteen years of age,
he was drowned in the Connecticut river. He was beloved and respected
by a large circle of acquaintance. He was noted for his kind
disposition, tender feelings, and lovely spirit. He sleeps in peace,
and we all hope to meet him in heaven.
* * * * *
THE SHEPHERD AND HIS BIBLE.
A poor shepherd, living among the Alps, the father of a large family,
for whose wants he provided with great difficulty, purchased an old
Bible from a dealer in old cloths and furniture. On Sunday evening, as
he was turning over the leaves, he noticed several of them were pasted
together. He immediately began to separate the pasted leaves with
great care. Inside of these leaves he found carefully enclosed a bank
bill of five hundred dollars. On the margin of one of the pages was
written these words: "I gathered together money with very great
difficulty, but having no natural heirs but those who have absolutely
need of nothing, I make thee, whosoever shall read this Bible, my
We cannot promise our young friends that they will find money in the
leaves of their Bibles, but you may be assured that if you study its
pages, and follow its precepts, you will find wisdom, which is better
than silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
* * * * *
REVELATION OF GOD'S HOLY WORD.
Ye favored lands, rejoice
Where God reveals his word:
We are not left to nature's voice
To bid us know the Lord.
His statutes and commands
Are set before our eyes;
He puts the gospel in our hands,
Where our salvation lies.
His laws are just and pure,
His truth without deceit;
His promise is for ever sure,
And his rewards are great.
* * * * *
There are many plays in which children may amuse themselves so as to
benefit both the mind and body. Exercise is very essential to the
health, and all children should accustom themselves to such exercise
as will give elasticity too all the muscles of the body. Some
children often play too hard, and others, before they get through
playing, get to quarrelling. Children never appear so badly as when
they quarrel with each other. Joseph and William, Jane and little
Susan, are out in the garden playing "hide and seek," around the
summer house. William became a little contrary, because everything in
the play did not suit him, and declared he would run away. Children
should never let anger rise in their bosoms because of some small
mistake on the part of others. They should always overlook all
mistakes, forgive all injuries, and learn to love each other when at
play, as well as when at school. Good children will play together,
without getting angry, and it is a pretty sight to see such children
all happy in each other's society and enjoying their pleasant pastimes
with cheerful and happy hearts.
Our evil actions spring like trees,
From small and hidden seeds;
We think, or wish some wicked thing,
And then do wicked deeds.
Whoever dares to tell a lie,
Whoever steals a pin,
Whoever strikes an angry blow,
Has done a deed of sin.
* * * * *
GEORGE AND HIS GUINEA.
Little George Ames went with his aunt to attend a missionary meeting.
After the minister had ended his sermon, as he sat in the pew he
whispered to his aunt, saying, "I wish you would lend me a guinea and
I will give it to you again when we get home." His aunt asked him what
he wanted of his guinea; he told her he wished to put it in the box
when it came round, to assist in sending the gospel to the heathen
children. She replied, "a guinea is a great deal of money, George; you
had better ask your mother, first." As George's mother lived very near
the church, he went home immediately, and said, "Mother, will you let
me have my guinea to give to the mission?" George's mother saw that he
was very much interested for the heathen children, and says to him,
"supposing you give half of it." "No," said George, "I want to give it
all." "Well, my dear, you will remember you cannot give it and have
it too." She then gave him a one pound note, and a shilling. But
George said he would rather have a guinea. "Why," said his mother,
"what difference can it make? it is just the same amount." "Yes," said
George, "but that one pound will seem so much for a little boy to
give. If I had a guinea, I could put it in between two half-pence and
nobody would know anything about it." His mother was pleased with his
proposal, and George having got his guinea returned to the church and
put it in the box as he intended.
Little George is now dead, and there is no danger of his being puffed
up by what he has done. You may learn from this act of George, how to
do some good to poor heathen children. You should be willing to deny
yourselves some pleasures in order that you may benefit others. And if
you do good out of a pure motive you will be blessed in the deed.
* * * * *
THE JEW AND HIS DAUGHTER.
A Jew came to this country from London, many years ago, and brought
with him all his property. He had a lovely daughter of seventeen; with
her he settled in a charming retreat on the fruitful banks of the
Ohio, in the Western part of Virginia. He had buried his wife before
he left Europe, and he knew no comfort but the company of his beloved
daughter. She possessed an amiable disposition, and was well educated;
she could speak several languages, and her manner pleased all who knew
her. Being a Jew, he brought up his daughter in the strictest
principles of his faith.
It was not long after that his daughter was taken sick. The rose faded
from her cheek, her strength failed, and it was certain that she could
not live long. Her father was deeply affected. He tried to talk with
her, but could seldom speak without weeping. He spared no expense to
have her get well. One day he was walking in the wood near his house
when he was sent for by his dying daughter. With a heavy heart he
entered the door of her room, and he saw that he was now to take the
last farewell of his daughter.
"My father," said the child, "do you love me?" "Yes," he replied, "you
know that I love you." "I know, father, you have ever loved me. You
have been a kind father, and I tenderly love you. Grant me my dying
"What is it, my child? ask what you will, though it take every
farthing of my property, it shall be granted. I _will grant_ your
"My dear father, I now beg of you never again to speak lightly of
Jesus of Nazareth; I know that he is a Saviour, and that he has made
himself known to me, since I have been sick, even for the salvation of
my soul. I entreat you to obtain a Testament that tells of him and
that you may bestow on him the love that was formerly _mine_." She now
ceased speaking, her father left the room, when her soul took its
flight to God who gave it. After her decease the parent purchased a
Testament and read about Jesus of Nazareth, and is now a devoted
Christian. Good children may be made blessings to their parents and
* * * * *
TRUE BENIFICENCE.--Mark Antony, when very much depressed, and at the
ebb of his fortune, cried out, "I have lost all, except what I have
WASHINGTON AND THE SOLDIER.--A British soldier said, "It was once in
my power to shoot Gen. Washington." "Why, then," said an American,
"did you not do it?" "Because," he replied, "the death of Washington
would not have been for our benefit, for we depended upon him to treat
our prisoners kindly."
YES AND NO.--John Randolph, in one of his letters to a young relative,
says: "You must expect unreasonable requests to be preferred to you
every day of your life; and you must endeavor to say _no_ with as much
facility and kindness as you would say _yes_."
OSCEOLA.--It is said that the name of Osceola was given to that famous
chief by an old lady in a frontier village, who had newly arrived in
the country, and had never seen an Indian. When she seen him she burst
forth in utter astonishment--"Oh see! Oh la! What a curious looking
SIGISMOND.--This Emperor was once reproached by some courtiers for
being favorable to his foes--to whom he replied, "Do I not effectually
destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?"
* * * * *
What is told in the ear is often heard a hundred miles.
Riches come better after poverty, than poverty after riches.
Who aims at excellence will be above medirocity; who aims at medirocity
will fall short of it.
No remedies can revive old age and faded flowers.
A truly great man never puts away the simplicity of a child.
He who toils with pain will eat with pleasure.
A wise man forgets old grudges.
* * * * *
Those that dare lose a day are dangerously prodigal; those that dare
misspend it, desperate.--_Bishop Hall_.
Truth enters into the heart of man when it is empty, and clean and
still; but when the mind is shaken with passion as with a storm, you
can never hear the voice of the charmer, though he charm never so
* * * * *
COMFORT AND SOBRIETY.
Let me here give you a few maxims to commit to memory:----
Avoid and shun the sources of misery.
Be sure not to _indulge_ your appetite.
Strong drink excites a person to do wrong.
Remember you are never out of temptation.
A _life of virtue and temperence_ will secure to you money and time;
will give you health, and prosperity, peace, character, respect, and
Our hands and our hearts we give
To the temperance pledge, declaring
That long as on earth we live,
All its bountiful blessings sharing,
We will taste not and touch not the bowl
That burns with intoxication,
And will lend our assistance to roll
The temperance ball through the nation.
* * * * *
THE TRUSTY DOG.
I am glad to introduce to you, the noble dog whose picture is before
you. He was an old and tried friend of mine, and I could tell you a
great many things about him. He was more trust-worthy than many a
little child that I have known; for though circumstances have thrown
me in the way of many beautiful children, some of the little ones with
whom I have met, were not so truthful and trusty as they ought to have
[Illustration: "Erie," the trusty dog.]
But I must not forget the work I commenced; and run off into telling
you stories of bad children rather than of the good dog. I know that
you are already interested in this noble fellow, by this fine portrait
of him. Hasn't he a beautiful face. It is as kind and good natured a
dog as you ever saw. Now you want to know his name; and, perhaps some
of you are feeling curious by this time, to know what he is doing with
that great basket which he holds in his mouth, I will first tell you
his name, and then come to the question of the basket. His name was
"Erie." Mayhap you never knew a dog by this name. It is very peculiar
to call a dog "Erie," but, as this was an extraordinary wise dog, he
deserved a name somewhat different from ordinary dogs.
Now I will proceed to my story which is true, and may be believed as
well as wondered at.
"Erie" had great many wonderful tricks. He seemed to understand what
was said to him, and would obey promptly any person in whom he had
confidence, when they told him to do anything which was in his power
to do. You could trust him to carry any article which he could hold in
his mouth, He would take it to any place you might name, where he was
accustomed to go, and give to the person you told him to give it to,
and never to any other, under any circumstances. If he could not find
the person to whom the article was sent, he would surely return it to
you with a knowing look which seemed to say, "I tried to do my errand
but couldn't." He was usually very good natured, but on such
occasions, when he was entrusted with the care of anything; he did not
like to be interfered with, and if any one attempted to touch anything
which he held in his mouth he would growl at them in a most ferocious
manner, as if he would say, "Take care, this is not yours, and I shall
treat you harshly if you undertake to carry off what belongs to
His master used to love hunting very much, and "Erie" almost always
went with him. At such times he was very fond of carrying the game bag
in his mouth. There was a closet in the house where his master kept
his guns powder, flasks, and all things necessary for hunting. One day
Mr. A. left for [the] woods with his gun, while the dog was absent
from home. He had gone about a mile, when he thought of his powder
flask which in the haste of leaving home he had forgotten. He turned
back regretting that he had taken so many unnecessary steps, when his
eye fell upon "Erie" running toward him with great speed holding the
powder flask in his mouth. The dog had returned home and finding his
master gone, had examined the closet, the door of which had been left
ajar, and found the gun gone while the flask was left; he seemed to
know this ought not to be, and seizing the flask in his mouth he
pursued his master and carried him the important article.
Mr. A. taught him to carry meat home from the market, and he was never
known to eat it, or allow any other dog to take it from him.
This was very convenient for the family. Often when Mr. A. was in
haste, he would write a note telling the butcher what meat to send him
for his dinner. This note he would put into the bottom of the meat
basket, and give the basket to "Erie," telling him which market he was
to go to, and reminding him to be sure and come back quickly. In a few
moments the dog would return with the dinner as safely as a child
could have done.
One day as he was going home from the market, the basket was heavy,
having in it a large piece of meat. "Erie" grew very tired and set the
basket down on the pavement to rest his mouth a moment. At this moment
a large black dog was passing, who, smelling the meat, thought he
would like a piece for his own dinner; so walking up to the basket he
attempted to thrust his nose in and help himself. "Erie" gave one of
his ferocious warning growls, which said as plain as words, "Take
care, take care." At first the other dog retreated a little, but being
very hungry he again approached the basket.
"Erie" seemed really to reason about the matter. He knew that the
other dog was determined to steal the meat which was especially
entrusted to _his_ care. It was as if he thought to himself, "Now if I
stop to fight with this dog, some other dog may come and run away with
my meat, my only safety is flight," so seizing up the basket he fled
as fast as his legs could carry him toward home. The large dog pursued
him a little way, but "Erie" out-ran him and reached home in safety,
As soon as he had deposited the basket in the hands of his mistress,
he turned and ran down street again as fast as he could, in search of
the thieving dog, whose dishonesty he seemed to think he must punish.
After searching a long time he found him playing with a number of
other dogs, and I never saw a dog take a worse whipping than "Erie"
Now my dear children as you read this story, ask yourselves if you are
as honest and trustworthy as this noble dog was. You know that you may
be much better than he; for God has made you wiser and given you power
to do much, more than any animal.
* * * * *
THE UNCERTAINTY OF LIFE.
Josiah Martin was a young man of whom any mother might have been
proud. He was an only child, and had been the support of his widowed
mother for five years; though at the time when we first knew him he
was not twenty.
And this was not all. He was so frugal, and industrious, that he was
able, besides providing for himself and mother, to contribute largely
toward the support of his aunt Eleanor and her daughter, who were very
poor, and without his help, might have suffered oftentimes for want of
the necessaries of life.
In return for his care, he had a wealth of love bestowed upon him by
mother, aunt and cousin, who often said, and often felt in their
hearts, that Josiah was as good a boy as ever lived. He enjoyed
perfect health, and had naturally a merry heart, so that every day of
his life, he was as happy as the birds. He expected to continue so,
through many long years: and never thought of dying until he got to be
an old man.
One pleasant summer morning, he rose early and prepared to leave home
to be absent a week. He had agreed to go and help Mr. Brown about
harvesting, and the farm being five miles from where his mother lived,
he could not come home before Saturday night. He bade his mother an
affectionate good morning, and started cheerily on his way. The road
ran by aunt Eleanor's door, so he thought he would just peep in, and
see how she was and tell her that he should not see her again for
The old lady did not seem as well as usual, and "wished heartily," she
said, that Josiah wasn't going away.
"Why, I shall be back," said he "in six days, and can come sooner, if
any of you need me."
"You should not speak so positive about it," said aunt Eleanor, "you
may never come back again."
"Oh fye, auntie, you've got the blues this morning! I shall be back
just as sure as Saturday night comes."
"Don't be too certain my boy; life and death are not in our hands; you
may be called any hour."
"Now auntie, don't get gloomy about such a hale stout boy as I am;
who never saw a sick day in his life, and don't know what pain is. Why
see how strong I am," and laughingly he bent down, and lifting his
cousin with one arm and his great dog with the other, he tripped
lightly over the threshold. "There, auntie," he cried, "I could carry
off your whole establishment, almost as easy as Samson did the gates
Though the old lady smiled at the moment the cloud came back again to
her face, and through the open door she watched him as long as her
misty eyes could distinguish him in the distance.
As merry, as strong, and as full of life as ever, the young man went
to his work that morning. Arrived at the harvest field, he took off
his coat and went in among the laborers, saying that he thought he
could outwork them all that day, he felt so vigorous. The sun was
exceeding hot, the air sultry and close, and the laborers, in spite of
their determination and strength, grew very weary when the sun was
high in the heavens. About eleven o'clock, a boy came from the house
and brought them a jug of cold water. Josiah took it first, and drank
of it until they all called to him to stop. He did not heed them, but
being very thirsty, drank until he was satisfied; then stooped to set
the jug on the ground, and fell down beside it a corpse.
Thus suddenly, in the prime of his young life, was he called into
eternity. In a moment from perfect health, he passed to death.
I seem to hear you saying, little reader, "This was very sudden; but
surely such unexpected deaths are rare, I shall not die in that way."
That you cannot tell, you must go in the time that God appoints, it
may be before another sunset. But whether it be sooner or later that
you are called home to heaven, would you not love to leave with your
friends the memory of as good a life as this of which you have been
reading. On the neat white slab that shows where Josiah sleeps it
says, "Here lies a good boy, who blessed the world while he lived in
it." Go ye little readers and do likewise.
* * * * *
'Tis well to walk with a cheerful heart
Wherever our fortunes call,
With a friendly glance, an open hand,
And a gentle word for all.
Since life is a thorny and difficult path
Where toil is the portion of man,
We all should endeavor, while passing along,
To make it us smooth as we can.
* * * * *
THE FIRST DECEPTION.
When I was a boy, and attended school, I was like a great many other
boys, more inclined to play and read story books than I was to study
my lessons; it was a rule at our school to carry a book home every
night and study the lesson for the following day; but I would avoid
this by some deception, and of course the next morning my recitation
would be very imperfect.
One morning I awoke quite early, and I remembered that we were to have
a very difficult lesson on that morning, and I had neglected it that I
might join in a game of foot-ball. It was too late then to commit it
to memory, and I felt ashamed to go to school without it, for I knew
that I should be punished, and be obliged to remain in at recess to
make up the lesson. I did not want to play truant, for I was fearful
of detection, so I went to my father and feigned headache, and plead
that I might remain at home that day. The wish was granted, and for a
moment I felt relieved, but at breakfast or dinner, I was not allowed
to eat anything; I was obliged to remain in doors all day, although
the sun was shining brightly out of doors, and with a conscience
restless and reproving me all the time, I passed a wretched day.
My father, always kind and attentive to his children, would lay his
hand upon my head and pity me, so that my heart ached when I thought
how wickedly I was deceiving him. The day passed, and I went to my
bed, but I could not sleep. I had told my father a lie, and the
thought of it lay like a weight upon my heart. I slept a little, but
it was a troubled and unhappy sleep. When I arose in the morning, I
went to my father, and with tearful eyes confessed my deception. He
was surprised and grieved. I stood before him with my head hung down,
feeling thoroughly ashamed. I asked forgiveness of him and it was
granted. I was then told to go to school and tell the teacher of my
fault, and promise never to attempt such a wrong again.
I have grown a man since then, but the memory of that error is still
fresh in my mind. It was the last time I ever attempted to deceive my
father. I have no father or mother now, but the lesson which that day
I learned, will guard me through life from any attempt at deceiving
those to whom I am indebted for kindness and love. If any little boy
should read this story, let him be mindful and avoid all temptations,
which, if yielded to, will cause him in after years many bitter pangs
and hearty remorse.