Part 3 out of 3
George gave a little kind of cough, that seemed to say, lie should not
feel for anything so much as his own pleasures.
"Besides," continued Frank, "I am always told, that only naughty
children _teaze_; and I should never be rewarded for impatience."
"Ah! that's all very fine," cried George; "but how is one to get one's
way without? I suppose that you would have me stay at home, and mope
with mother all the holidays, and never go outside the door. But that is
not the way I manage, I can tell you; for I often slip away, and run out
on the sly, and have a game with any boys I meet."
"What! without asking leave?" inquired Frank, looking at him
"To be sure I do," said George.
"Well; I should be quite frightened," replied Frank. "And the thought
that my mother might miss me, and be made uneasy, would be sure to spoil
"I never think about it," answered George; "for when I get a thing into
my head, nothing will turn me, as nurse often says to mother. I dare say
I shall see 'The Crystal Palace' in this way, at least, if I can find it
"Now, promise me that you will not attempt it," cried Frank,
affectionately; "and I will promise you that you shall go with me, in
grandma's carriage, which will be far more proper, and nice, you know.
Do you not think so?"
"Of course I do," said George. "And shall I _really_ go? and will
your grandma take me? and shall you fetch me, the _first_ day after
go home, do you suppose?"
"No; for the first day will be Sunday," replied Frank; "and then we
never even talk about such things."
"Well, Monday, then. Will it be Monday?"
"Monday, perhaps, or Tuesday; for we shall have so much to talk about on
Saturday, when I go home, that grandma may not have the time to settle
it. I often wish the holidays began upon a Thursday, or a Friday at the
latest, that I might have my chatter out before the Sunday comes."
"I never thought of such a thing before," said George. But the writer
fully sympathises with her little friend, and wishes that all pious
teachers would profit by his hint.
During the previous conversation, the two boys had been kneeling up,
upon a form, with their arms extended on the table, on which "The
Illustrated London News" was spread before them. It was often purchased
by their kind schoolmistress for their amusement and instruction. And
greatly did the pictures please them; though, for the present, they
profited but little by the printed news.
"Ten more horrid days before _this half_ is over," said George,
peevishly. "It seems an age. I count the very hours. But you think that
we are _sure_ to go on Monday, don't you?"
"Not sure," said Frank. "We must not be too sure of anything, my grandma
"Well, then, I dare say I shan't wait for you," said the impatient
George; "I do hate waiting, above all things."
"But you must try to be more patient," said Frank gently. "Does not your
poor mamma say so, to you?"
"Ah! very often; almost every day," cried George; "but what's the good
of that? for I keep hammering on, for anything I want. Oh! how I wish
the holidays were here just now; I am so wretched!"
"Dear me! and instead of that, I feel so happy," said dear Frank. "Ten
days will soon be gone, I think, and then--O then--Grandma will come,
and see my prize, and look so very pleased, and take me home with her!"
And Frank was right, my dear young reader, for the ten days soon passed
away, and very pleasurably too, as even George confessed. There were so
many extra sports provided--a magic lantern, and dissolving views for
the last evening, with cakes and crackers, and amusing recitations, and
all went very merrily to bed, looking forward to the following day, when
they should see their friends and homes once more.
Frank felt a little sorry when the carriage came, without grandma to
fetch him. He fairly jumped about within it, as though to make it carry
him the faster to her. He bounded from it when it reached the door, and
ran with outstretched arms into the drawing-room, where she was waiting
to embrace him, and to listen fondly to all he had to tell. She gazed
with tears of pleasure in her eyes, upon the handsome volume he
presented, as a proof of his good conduct and improvement; and wiped her
spectacles with care, to read the nice inscription on the title-page,
and told him, "in return for his attention and obedience, it would give
her pleasure to grant him many treats throughout the holidays."
Frank thought at once about the Crystal Palace: but looking up, he saw
his grandmother was pale and delicate, and therefore would not name it,
until she should seem to him a little better; for already had he learnt,
in some degree, to follow Him "who pleased not himself."
George Grant was rather glad to learn, that he was to go home by
railway, for having an indifferent character, and no prize whatever, he
did not long to see his mother's face, at least at school, lest painful
questions should be asked as to his conduct. Still he was happy when he
saw her, and made more noise about it, far, than Frank.
When asked, "if he had gained a prize," he looked a little sheepish; and
speaking in a sullen tone, began to make complaints about "unfairness in
the teachers," and said his "schoolmistress had favorites, he was very
sure," with many other things, equally untrue.
His mother listened to his list of troubles, and told him, that she
feared the fault lay nearer home, and that he had not taken all the
pains he ought, nor sought to profit by her kind instructions.
George strove to justify himself, but failed in his endeavors to
convince his mother that he had been dutiful and diligent; but as her
strength was small, she gave up the debate, and listened languidly,
whilst he talked on unceasingly about "The Crystal Palace," and wondered
whether Frank would _ever_ think about his promise, and listened
for the sound of every carriage wheel that rumbled in the distance and
rushed up to the window, whenever any vehicle came down the quiet
street, and wearied both himself and all around him, by his useless
Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday too, thus passed away. But on Wednesday he
had grown quite insupportable, and his mother was compelled to banish
him from her own bedroom, and giving him a puzzle she had purchased,
requested him to go into the dining-room, and put them all together. But
George rejected all amusements but the _very_ one he wanted, and
went instead into the nursery, where he plagued the younger children,
took away their little toys, played with them so roughly, that he threw
them on the floor, made _them_ all fretful, and the maid so vexed,
that she told him he had grown quite tiresome, and "that she panted for
the time when he would be packed off to school again." Whereupon he flew
into a passion, which ended in a fit of sobbing and crying: the noise
awoke the baby, nurse grew very angry, and pushed him out into the
dining-room, bidding him stay there alone, and come no more near her.
Just at this very time Frank saw his dear Grandma appeared much better,
coughed much less frequently, spoke much more easily, and moved about
more freely. So he thought the time was come to talk about "The Crystal
Palace." He said "how much he wished to see it, when it was convenient,
and that he should also like to show it to George Grant, if she had no
objection, for that his parents had no time to take him to it."
Pleased with his consideration, his grandmamma immediately complied with
his request, and, as the day was very fine for winter, ordered the
carriage to be ready in two hours, and promised to go round and take up
his young friend.
Frank ran to smother her with kisses, and looking lovingly upon him she
exclaimed--"God grant that I may live to see my own dear boy a Crystal
"Now, Granny dear, that is a funny wish," cried Frank, "for why should I
be made of glass, instead of flesh and bones, I wonder?"
"Let us take a little time to talk about it, dear; fancy yourself at
school again, going to take an _object_ lesson," she replied.
"No, thank you, no!" said Frank, cutting a caper; "I would rather think
myself at home instead."
"Well, then, at home, but tell me the properties of Crystal."
Frank seated himself beside her on the sofa, looked up wisely into the
corner of the ceiling, and said, after a pause, "Is crystal glass,
"Why, not exactly, yet they have so many qualities in common, that you
may almost think of them as one."
"Glass, then, is clear, transparent, bright; what else, Grandma?"
"It is pellucid, that is, not opaque, or dark--it gives admission to
the light, and reflects it back again in all its beauty, brilliancy, and
purity. I do not wish to see my little boy a _green-house,_ or a
_glass-house_ merely, for then he would be brittle, and not
strong--easily damaged, if not broken up. But crystals are hard bodies;
they resist all injuries, they can bear a beating without breaking; for
they are regularly formed, and complete in all their parts. And crystal
glass is the firmest and the best, has fewest flaws and imperfections,
and can best sustain a storm."
"And so, for all these reasons, they call the great building we are soon
to see, a Crystal Palace, I suppose?"
"Exactly so. What more have you to add, my Frank?"
"Why, that for the same reason you wish to see me like it, I suppose,
that I may be transparent, pure, and strong, and have the light of
Goodness shining through me."
"It is indeed my earnest wish, and daily prayer, my dear; and doubtless
you can tell me, _Who_ alone can cause you to resemble this
beautiful and useful building? I know your Governess agrees with Dr.
Johnson, who once said that 'the end of all learning should be piety,'
and therefore I feel certain she has taught you how _true wisdom_
can be found."
"Oh yes, Grandma, she often tells us God alone can bless our learning,
and make it really useful to us, and that therefore we should ask Him
for the teaching of His Holy Spirit many times a day."
"And does my Frank attend to this advice?"
"Sometimes I do, and then I feel quite light and happy like; but when I
grow careless, and forget it, I am sure to get into some scrape or other
soon. So then, I am glad enough to go back to my old ways, and ask that
God would help me in the future."
"A safe and blessed practice, dear, and one that will preserve you from
all dangers. Prayer is our strength, our safety; and when we ask the aid
of God with _all our hearts_, we shall never ask in vain, you may
After a little pause, Frank broke into a peal of merry laughter.
"What is it that amuses you so much?" said Mrs. Grey.
"Why, Grandma, I was thinking," said he, colouring, and looking shy,
"what an enormous-looking fellow I should be, if I were like 'The
"Yes; then you would be 1800 feet in length, and 450 feet in breadth,
and noble trees would be sheltered by your arms, and you would be a kind
of modern Atlas, that the fables tell us could support the globe."
"I would rather be a little boy, than anything made of bricks and
mortar, though," said Frank, complacently.
"But there is no brick, or stone, or mortar, in the whole;--but all is
iron, wood, and glass--and the vast building is composed of very many
parts, each only eight feet square, but so great in number, that it is
longer than any street you know, for it covers 18 acres of ground, which
is nine times larger than your garden at the school, and all is
supported upon iron pillars of the same size and pattern. Yet this
immense erection is all formed of complete and distinct parts, not half
as large as the room we are now sitting in. Let this teach you, that
mere size is not necessary to completeness; but that a number of
beautiful and little parts, put well together, form a noble, grand, and
most effective whole."
"I see, Grandma," said Frank, smiling archly; "so you mean, that though
_I_ am but very little, and all that, yet I may be complete and
"You understand me thoroughly, my dear; for were any of these parts
defective, the whole would be incomplete, and we might never have the
pleasure of walking for miles, on a wet day, under the cover of 'The
Crystal Palace,' as I hope we shall do during the next Christmas
holidays. So you see, that small things are of great importance, after
"I thought it was to be a great bazaar, and not a garden, Grandmama,"
"And you are right, for in the first instance it is destined to receive
specimens of the industry of _the whole world_ and a novel and a
grand idea it is,--for which we have to thank Prince Albert, who is not
only almost the highest person in the land, but also one of the wisest
and the best; and often should we thank God for giving us so good a
Queen and Prince, so very different to many that you read about in
"Yes, Grandma, I read in 'Peter Parley' of many wicked kings;--but will
this bazaar be larger than the Pantheon?"
"Very much larger than I can make you comprehend, until you see it; for
it will be twenty _miles_ to walk over, and when the great
'_Exposition_,' as it is called, is ended, it will be filled,
perhaps, with graceful shrubs and lovely flowers, flourishing all
through the winter, where we may enjoy ourselves for hours daily, and
quite forget the frost and snow outside."
"It is quite delightful to think of, I declare, Grandma. I believe that
I shall like it better then, than now."
"Both will be very charming, dear. But, perhaps the _first_ will be
the most instructive; for there will be goods from _every country in
the world_--specimens of natural productions,--the arts and
manufactures,--of every invention that the ingenuity of man has
constructed; and of almost all the glorious things that God has given
us, in this lovely world."
"Why, Grandma, there never was anything so grand and beautiful before!"
"Nothing, upon so large a scale; but bazaars are not a novelty. They
have long been common in the Eastern countries, such as Egypt, Persia,
India, and Turkey. In these countries, the shops are not spread abroad
through many streets, as we now see them, but are collected in one spot,
and are arranged in heads or classes, according to the various kinds of
trades, or articles for sale.
"In fact, the word 'Bazaar' means market; and these markets are usually
built with high brick roofs, and cupolas, that will admit but little
light. They have their passages all lined with shops on each side, and
each exactly like the other. All of them are raised above the path on
which the customers are standing, and are open to the air, having no
walls, but such as separate the various shops. This plan was found
convenient, in climates where the heat forbids exertion. It saved the
purchasers much trouble and fatigue; for exercise is not as pleasant, or
as healthy there, as here."
"I fancy that I should not like such places very much, Grandma," said
Frank; "for I do love a walk with you uncommonly, and more especially
when you are going shopping, as you sometimes do, one sees so many
pretty things, that one never heard or thought about before."
"And I am pleased to take you, Frank, because you never trouble me to
purchase what may be too expensive or unsuitable;--neither do you stand
looking on the toys and pretty things, with greedy, longing eyes, that
tell as plainly your desires as words could do." "Because, Grandma, I
know that you will give me all that you think proper, and so the sight
quite satisfies me. But I may not be so quiet on the matter when we see
the Great Bazaar;--I wonder that they only have them in the East,
"They do, at times, my dear--and the first Bazaar in Europe, or
'_Exhibition of Industry_,' as it was called, took place in France,
and was held in the Palace of St. Cloud, a beautiful and royal
residence, which was emptied for the purpose."
"A second and a larger followed, the next year, and displayed all the
manufactures and the curiosities then known in Paris--and these excited
so much interest that Bonaparte, who then reigned in France, had a
building erected expressly for the purpose, in the _Champs de
Mars_. It was made of wood, and lined with the old flags that he had
just brought home from his war in Italy, and decorated with his
banners,--and so these sad trophies of the wickedness of man, and of his
anger, hatred, and revenge, were turned to a good purpose at the last.
"Then some years afterwards, there were wooden galleries placed around
the quadrangle of the Palace of the Louvre, to receive similar
contributions; and people were still so pleased by them, that a
"The fourth was on a larger scale, for Bonaparte had then become an
Emperor, and wished all things he did to be _Imperial_, or very
"A building, therefore, was erected for the purpose, by the side of the
river that runs through Paris. Can you recollect its name?"
"The Seine, Grandma."
"Yes. It was built beside the Seine, facing the _Champs Elysee_,
and was then considered very beautiful.
"A fifth, a sixth, and seventh followed, in the course of time; but I
will not dwell upon them now, but only add that--
"The eighth was held by Louis Phillippe, who then reigned in France--for
Bonaparte had died in St. Helena--banished from his throne and his
adopted country, and brought to see the folly of his mad ambition; and
this Bazaar was held in the _Place de la Concorde_, a suitable
locality for such an object,--for _Concorde_, you know, means peace
and harmony, instead of war and fighting."
"A pleasanter and better thing is peace than war, I think, Grandma,"
said Frank. "I wish there was no quarreling at all."
"I join you heartily, my dear, and hope the time will shortly come when
wars shall cease for ever. But the building raised by Louis Phillippe in
La Place de la Concorde, consisted of four pavilions, joined by
galleries together; and as many as 2500 persons sent in their
"But the ninth surpassed all former ones,--covered 120,000 feet of
ground--consisted of eight large apartments, with a noble hall, and
spacious galleries. It cost nearly L15,000, and had 3300 exhibitors this
"All this success at length induced the men of Manchester to make a
similar display--and their example was soon followed by the men of
Leeds, and many other of our largest towns.
"And then, once more, in the year 1844, the French announced another
'_L'Exposition de l'Industrie Francaise'_--which gained great
praise from all who visited it.
"Next, '_The Free-Trade Bazaar_' excited universal interest, and
was held in Covent Garden Theatre, in the year 1845, when tens of
thousands went to see and purchase the beautiful commodities displayed.
"And last of all was the Exhibition held a year ago in Paris, which
exceeded all that had ever been attempted. The area of the former
building was increased so much, that it now amounted to 221,000 feet,
making it about one-third as large as the enormous Crystal Palace now
erected in Hyde Park.
"It was formed of wood and zinc, and cost L16,000; but will speedily be
eclipsed by the one we are about to look at. And so you have a little
history of these various plans, which will give you a greater interest
in our own, I think."
"It will, indeed, Grandma," said Frank; "for, like a stupid fellow, I
thought that this was the beginning of the whole."
"And very natural, my dear; for distant objects never impress the mind
like what is visible and present. But other nations soon followed France
and England, and Belgium and Bavaria were among the earliest, and
_Munich_ had the honor of completing the _first permanent_ or
lasting building, devoted only to the purposes of an industrial
exhibition for native goods, in 1845."
"But _ours_ is for all the world, I think you said, Grandma?"
"Yes, dear, for every nation; and a wonderful assemblage there will be
of all things useful, beautiful, and curious. Rare carvings from China,
splendid shawls from India, gorgeous carpets from Persia, all elegant
and tasteful things from France, all native manufactures from Russia and
the North, all specimens from New Zealand, California, and the Countries
of the South. In fact, all the nations of the earth, and the islands of
the sea, will unite with our own dear countrymen in making a display of
their talents and their treasures."
"And of them all, what shall _I_ like the best, Grandma?" said
Frank, bewildered by the catalogue.
"It is not possible that I can know your taste, my dear," said Mrs.
Grey, smiling at the simple question; "and yet I can imagine that an
enormous _globe_ will interest you most. It is to be made by Mr.
Wyld, and will be fifty-six feet in diameter, so tell me how great will
its circumference be?"
"One hundred and sixty-eight, Grandma," said Frank so readily, that he
had a kiss in consequence.
"Well, this great globe will cost L5000, which is more money than you
can comprehend at present; but you _can_ fancy how beautiful it
will look, with all the mountains raised upon it, and all the seas and
rivers clearly marked, and all the nations seen distinctly, and with no
mistake about their boundaries, which sometimes puzzle little folks to
find, and all the cities and large places plainly visible, without the
need of looking for them long and carefully; in short, a year or two of
the study of Geography mastered in an hour."
"But how shall I get at it?" asked Frank, with an air of disappointment.
"It will be so far above my head: look here, Grandma, I only reach as
high as _this_," said he, posting himself against the wall, "and
this globe will be higher than the ceiling, I should think?"
"It will be higher than the house, my dear, but, to remedy the
difficulty, there will be galleries all round it, and staircases to
mount them, so that there will be no danger, and nothing to prevent the
sight, and I think you will find it a great treat."
"Grandma!" said Frank, drawing a deep breath, "it seems too much to
think about, it will be so very grand and lovely. I really must be very,
very good _next half_, or else perhaps you will not let me see it,
"Fear not, my child; you _will_ be good, if you ask of God to make
you so, for Jesus' sake, as many times a day as you are told to do at
school. And now I see the carriage waits, so let us go."
"I really think _you_ are a _perfect_ Crystal Palace, dearest
Grandmama," said Frank, when Mrs. Grey had given orders to the coachman
to drive round and call for Master Grant, "for you are always good, and
kind, and happy."
"Alas! my child, my defects are most deplorable, and my faults are very
many, and I daily have to say, as well as you, 'O Lord! make haste to
"I cannot fancy it, I do assure you," said the little doubter; "you seem
to _me_ so very, very good."
"And so I may, and yet never be a Crystal Palace, Frank; for only the
child of God, and the believer in Jesus, can be really one. Many, I
fear, mistake in this great matter, and are thought true Christians by
others and themselves, when they only seek the praise of men, and not
the favor and the love of God. We must try ourselves by this test, dear,
and alter everything that is not done to please our kind and heavenly
Father. Besides, you know, there never has been more than one
'_perfect_' Crystal Palace in this world, from the beginning. Can
you tell me who it was?"
"Adam, I suppose, Grandma."
"Well, Adam truly was a Crystal Palace when he was _first_ created,
but he soon became opaque, and lost his purity, transparency, and
beauty, all at once. How did he do this, dear?"
"Yes, by wilful disobedience. He did not try to keep the _one_
command of God, nor did he ask for help to do so, but indulged his
foolish, wicked wish instead; and so, because he pleased his greedy eye,
his whole body became full of darkness (Matt. vi. 23), and he was no
longer the temple of the living God." (2 Cor. vi. 16.)
"Jesus was the only _perfect_ Crystal Palace, then, Grandma? I
should have thought of that before."
"Yes, Jesus was God, and God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.
(1 John i. 5.) Jesus was _the light_ of the world, and He promised
all His children that they should not walk in darkness, but should have
the light of life." (John viii. 12.)
"So, then, Grandma, the real followers of Jesus _are_ Crystal
Palaces, but _not perfect_ Crystal Palaces;--that is what you mean,
"It is, my dear. But is this the house where George Grant lives? I see
that James has stopped the horses."
"I do not know, indeed, Grandma; he only came to school at Michaelmas,
and I know but little of him; yet, as he wished so very much to see the
Crystal Palace, I thought that you would take him."
"You thought right, Frank, and James shall ask his mother's leave, or
rather, perhaps, it will seem kinder if we alight ourselves and do so."
"Thank you, Grandma," cried Frank, "I am sure that he will not be
disappointed now, as he expected, for no one can refuse _you_, when
you ask a favor."
Mrs. Grey smiled at his affectionate enthusiasm, and bade him follow
Mrs. Grey inquired for Mrs. Grant, and learnt with sorrow that she was
too unwell to be seen by any visitors; she therefore sent a kind and
civil message, requesting her permission to convey her little son to see
the Crystal Palace, and promising to bring him home quite safely in two
hours. The servant left them in the drawing-room, which, though not
shabby, looked dusty and uncomfortable, and seemed to want the care and
presence of a mistress, and to prove, besides, that those who
_served_ had not the fear of God within their hearts, or they would
have done their duty faithfully, and kept it in far better order, though
their poor lady was laid aside by illness.
The maid returned in a few minutes, and brought the grateful thanks of
Mrs. Grant, with regret that she could not come down to see her guests,
and then left the room to get her little master ready.
Mrs. Grey sat waiting long and patiently, whilst Frank trotted round the
room, tried every chair and sofa,--examined every ornament about
it,--and placed himself at last before the window, to watch the
passers-by, for his amusement, saying at the time, "It seems as if
George never meant to come, Grandma."
"I must confess that they are very long in bringing him, my dear," said
Mrs. Grey; "but sickness in a house occasions often much confusion, and
therefore we must have more patience."
"How long have we been here, Grandma?" said Frank, after a long silence,
as Mrs. Grey had taken up a book, and he would not interrupt her
reading: "it seems almost a day to me."
"It is almost an hour, indeed," replied his Grandmama, looking at her
watch; "and as the horses are more restive and impatient than my little
Frank, and cannot so easily be taught their duty, I will ring, and ask
the reason of so much delay."
The maid appeared all fright and bustle, and said that, from the attic
to the kitchen, she had sought for Master George, in vain.
Mrs. Grey was quite concerned, and said, "She feared some dreadful
mischief had befallen him, and hoped his poor mamma would not be told."
The girl then changed her tone, and appeared more angry than alarmed,
and said, "It was only one of his old tricks," and that "she wished he
might be flogged when he was found."
Frank felt his eyes brimful of tears, and looked beseechingly at Mrs.
Grey, as if to ask her powerful mediation. She read his thoughts, and
"Beating will do but little good, unless he can be first convinced of
its necessity, which does not often happen."
"There's no one _here_ can take that trouble, ma'am," said the
maid, peevishly; "I do assure you, Master George teazes us all, beyond
endurance. I'm sure I wish the time were come for him to be sent back to
school--for there is no peace within the house whilst he is in it."
"Dear me," thought Frank, "how very sorry I should he if Grandma's
servants said the same of me;--but they are all so very kind,
instead--and seem so glad to see me, and so pleased at all my treats. I
think this maid is rather cross, and feel afraid she often scolds poor
"I fear that waiting longer will be useless, then," said Mrs. Grey; "but
I wish that you would bring the little truant up to me, when he returns,
for I should like to have some conversation with him."
"He will not like to show his face to you, ma'am, I should think," said
Mary; "he will be mad enough when he comes back, let him be where he
may--and it just serves him right," she added, as if rejoicing in his
disappointment. "I declare I cannot say that I am sorry, for he has led
me such a life about this 'Crystal Palace,' that, what with the illness
of my _missus_, and the noise of the children, added to my usual
work, I'm driven almost wild. I wonder who would ever have the plague of
them--not I, if I could help it!"
"Then suffer me to say, that you act a most dishonest part in taking
such a situation," said Mrs. Grey, with dignity.
Mary bridled up, and "hoped she always did her duty--and was sure that
her character could bear the strictest scrutiny--and that she had had
the care of twenty times more property in many of her former places."
"I bring no charge against you as a thief," said Mrs. Grey; "you quite
misunderstand my meaning. You may be very careful of the tea and
sugar--you may never waste your master's money--you may keep the
children clean, and neatly mend their clothes--you may even make them
say their prayers each night and morning--but if they do not see you
_love_ them--if you take no pleasure in their sports--feel no
delight in their society--no joy when they are good--no pain when they
are naughty--you will never gain a proper influence, and should not
enter into a situation that you cannot fitly occupy. This is the
dishonesty I spoke of, and not purloining goods or money."
"I did not rightly understand you ma'am," said Mary, still looking hot
"But now you do. I think you feel the force of what I said?"
"Perhaps so, ma'am," said Mary, with reluctance.
"When, formerly, I had to hire a nurse," said Mrs. Grey, "my first
"Are you very, _very_ fond of children? Do you love them tenderly
and constantly? Have you patience with their provoking little ways? Are
you calm and gentle, when you must rebuke or punish them? And do you
strive to make them good, as well as merry?
"These were my questions," she continued; "and those who could not
conscientiously say _Yes_, ought not, I said, to take the charge of
children. For _love alone_ will lead us to make sacrifices, and
children constantly require us to give up our own ease and
self-indulgence, and devote ourselves unceasingly to all their wants. A
nurse should feel herself a _temporary_ mother, and should make her
every thought tend to her children's welfare. It is a high and honorable
post, and has a rich reward, when well sustained. You must excuse me,
therefore, if, with such opinions, I spoke, as you might think, too
freely on the subject."
Mary was mollified by so much condescension, and, curtseying, said:--
"Oh, never mind, ma'am; no doubt you said it for my good; but could you
have to do with Master George, I do believe that he would even try
_your_ patience. There is no rest or quiet in him; he never will be
satisfied with what he has, but is always worrying for what he has not
got. Nothing will pacify him; and we often are obliged to shut him up
alone for hours together, he is so very troublesome."
"You had better, far, _employ_ him," said Mrs. Grey, "and so keep
him out of mischief, for solitude is only useful to the thoughtful and
"But he does not love his book, ma'am, and is only pleased with
rioting," said Mary. "So what is to be done with such a boy?"
"No doubt he is a very troublesome and trying child," said Mrs. Grey;
"and I hope that God will give you grace and strength to bear with him,
and set before him _quietly_ his numerous faults. I have always
found this plan the most successful, and I advise you to begin it."
Just at this moment Mrs. Grant appeared. Surprised at hearing so much
conversation in the drawing-room, she had left her easy chair, and
having reached the landing-place, she leant against the banisters, and
listened to the conversation we have just recorded.
Delighted with the wisdom and the kindness of the observations, she felt
obliged to make a desperate effort and go to thank the visitor who gave
such good advice.
She looked so weak and delicate, that it was evident she had no power to
contend with her unruly son, and much less to inflict upon him the
Frank stood before her, wondering in his little heart how any boy could
vex or tease so gentle and so sweet a mother.
"I should like to sit upon a stool beside her," said he to himself, "and
read some pretty book, and talk it over afterwards, and put her pillows
smooth, and watch when she seemed tired, and then hold my tongue awhile,
and let her fall asleep. I would walk on tip-toe in her room, and never
talk too loud to make her head ache, and run of all her errands, and so
try to save the servants trouble. Mary would not grumble then, I hope. I
must persuade poor George to turn over a new leaf, and see if he is not
more happy by it."
Mrs. Grant spoke very nicely to him; told him her little boy was very
fond of him, and gave him a good character, and that she hoped he would
be like him very soon. She regretted that her own ill-health prevented
her from giving him the indulgences he wanted, and that his father was
too busy in providing for his welfare, to spare him any time. She bade
him prize his own more happy lot, and seemed to wish to make all
possible excuses for the unkindness and undutifulness of her only son.
Fearing she would suffer from fatigue, Mrs. Grey took leave, promising
to come again and give her little boy some other treat, if he improved
Frank felt dull and disappointed just at first, but when he reached the
lively, bustling scene, where stood the Crystal Palace, he soon forgot
his short-lived troubles in astonishment and joy.
His Grandmama explained the use of every part, showed him the columns
and their sockets, the girders and the ribs, the sheets of glass, all
four feet long, the gutters and the water-pipes, the frames and
ventilators, the bolts, the rivets, and the nuts; the central aisle and
transept, each seventy-two feet wide, and more than sixty high, running
along the length and breadth of the whole building; the galleries,
running too along the sides, with the ingenious plans adopted to keep
the whole well aired, and have it neither hot nor cold. But as we hope
to have a very full account prepared for the use of our young friends,
by the time that they come home again at _mid-summer_--when the
whole will be completed, and filled with all its varied stores--we will
say no more at present on the subject, but reserve it for their study,
just before they make their visit to the Crystal Palace, in their next
Frank and his Grandma were highly gratified; and having both expressed
their thanks to the kind friend who had given them an order of
admission, they were walking back towards the carriage, when a rush, a
hubbub, and a frightful screaming, stopped them in their way. Frank
turned very pale, for he fancied that he knew the voice. Alas! it was
too true--poor George had fallen down from off a scaffolding, and had
put out his collarbone, and broken several ribs!
He had slily left his home, according to his threat at school; had asked
his way at last to Kensington--all weary, hot, and frightened--and then
had found, too late, that there was "_no admission but on
Determined not to be defeated in his plans, he contrived to climb over
the fencing at a private corner, by the help of some loose stones that
lay beside it, caught his jacket on a nail, and tore it from the
shoulder to the wrist, and looking all around in great alarm, beheld
Frank Grey, a little way before him, walking with a lady and a
gentleman, switching his little cane, and looking up delighted in their
He took another glance at his torn coat, saw that his shoes were muddy,
and his hands all dirt, and blood, and scratches, and remembered--worse
than all--oh! far, far worse!--that he was there by stealth--a naughty,
wilful, disobedient boy, who dared not look upon his friends, because
his conscience told him how he was degraded. So, anxious to avoid his
little play-mate, he rushed up a ladder leading to the scaffolding, to
hide himself--missed his footing in his hurry, and fell down on to the
ground from a great height.
Oh! how his shrieks and groans did wound the heart of our dear Frank! He
wanted to push through the crowd, and get to him; but he was ordered
back by a wise doctor, who had just arrived, and who had his patient
placed upon a plank, and carried to the hospital hard by.
Mrs. Grey begged that her carriage might be used; but the doctor civilly
declined, and said that "it was most important that the little fellow
should be given up to him; but that his mother had been sent for, just
before, and was the _only_ person who might see him."
Oh! how dear Frank sobbed, as the shrieks rent the air!--- and as they
grew fainter and fainter in the distance, his Grandmama ordered the
servant to lift him to the carriage, that he might be taken quickly
Frank snoozed up close beside his Grandmama, and sat so silent that she
hoped he slept, exhausted by his tears and pity; but, lifting up his
eyes, at length he said--
"Grandma, I fear poor George is not a 'Crystal Palace.' Is he?"
"Not now, my dear, but he may yet be one; and if he live to come again
to school, you must never tell him of this day's disgrace; for neither
boys nor men are goaded into goodness; but you must try, and pray, to
win him back to Jesus, and make him love and wish to imitate that
gracious Saviour, who, when himself a little boy, was said to grow in
favor both with God and man (Luke ii. 52)."
"I will, indeed; indeed, I will!" said Frank, weeping afresh; and so, to
turn his thoughts, his Grandmama proposed that they should call on Mrs.
Scott, and ask after her health.
Frank willingly agreed, for Harry Scott had always been a favorite with
him, though many years his senior. He was a noble, generous, and
condescending lad, who liked to play with little fellows, and not to
teaze and banter them, as too many of them do. Frank never was more
happy than when he was allowed to have a game with Harry. But now he had
not seen him for six months, and then only once or twice, as Harry and
his mother were going to the sea for change of air.
What, then, was his surprise and sorrow, to be told, that he had now
been very ill five months, and that it was not at all expected that he
ever would be better, until he went to dwell in the New Jerusalem--that
_'Noblest Crystal Palace',_--"descending out of heaven from God,
having the glory of God: and whose light is like unto a stone most
precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; with gates of
pearl, and angels for the porters; with streets of gold, and a pure
river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne
of God and of the Lamb."--Rev. xxi. and xxii.
Poor Frank began to cry again, and think that he could hardly bear this
second trial. But Mrs. Scott looked cheerful, to his great astonishment,
and begged that they would walk up stairs, and see her son, who knew of
their arrival, and would be glad to see them.
Frank had mixed feelings as he listened to the invitation. He longed to
see dear Harry, and yet he was afraid of a sick chamber, and pictured it
all darkness and distress; and feared that he might hear again such
groans and shrieks as George had uttered.
He held his Grandma's hand quite tight, as he went with her along the
hall, and felt disposed to ask her not to go further, when they got to
the first landing; but then, remembering that Harry had expressed a wish
to see them, he thought it would be selfish and cruel to refuse; and so
he walked on bravely, though his little heart went pit-a-pat, and
sometimes seemed about to jump into his throat!
But when the door was opened, all his dread had gone! The room was light
and cheerful, the shutters were unclosed, and the blinds were up. A
cheerful fire blazed and crackled, and dear Harry lay beside it on a
sofa, looking lovely and lovingly as ever on him!
He put out both his hands to welcome him, and Frank saw that they were
very, very, very thin! Indeed, they looked almost transparent, they were
so white, and small, and delicate. Frank gave a little cough to stop a
sob, and stooped down to kiss him tenderly. But Harry gently put him
back, for he knew his cough was coming, caused by the opening of the
door. Long, long it lasted: the perspiration poured from his pale
forehead, and was dried upon his burning cheek; and the phlegm was
rattling in his throat, and yet would not come higher, and Frank really
feared he would be choked!
But soon the coughing ceased, and, smiling sweetly, he lay awhile quiet
and exhausted. Frank never took his eyes from off his face, and thought
it looked more beautiful than ever he had known it; and whilst he stood
and wondered what could make him look so calm amidst such suffering,
Harry once more opened his sweet soft hazel eyes, and said:--
"I hope, dear little Frank, I have not frightened you. I tried to stop
my cough on your account, and it made it worse than usual."
Poor Frank now stooped again to kiss him, but could not restrain his
tears another moment, yet kept repeating, "Oh! pray forgive me, Harry! I
do not mean to fret you; but indeed I cannot help it. Do forgive me; do
forgive me, Harry dear!"
It was now Harry's turn to be affected, and he could scarcely refrain
from weeping, with his feeling little friend; but resolutely mastering
his emotion, he began:--
"I asked you up to see me, dearest Frank, not to distress you, but to
comfort you, and cheer you, and prepare you for my death, which will
very shortly happen. I know you love me, and will grieve to lose me: and
_I_ feel sorry too, sometimes, to leave all those I love so
well--but then I go to others dearer still, even to God and Jesus, my
_own own_ Saviour!"
Little Frank began to dry his tears, and smile upon his happy friend.
"I have been to see 'The Crystal Palace,' Harry, and it is _so_
large and grand!" said he, hoping to amuse him.
"No doubt it will be, when completed, quite like a scene in fairy-land,"
said Harry, calmly; "but before that time arrives, angels will have
fetched me to one of the 'many mansions' that Jesus has prepared for all
who love him. (John xiv. 1, 2.) And think what palaces of light and
glory _they_ will be, dear Frank!"
"No doubt they will," said Frank, but looked as if he had no wish to see
them either, for the present.
Harry read his little thoughts, and said, "You are glad you are not in
my condition too. You would rather stay on earth with Grandmama, and all
the nice things that surround you here."
"Why, yes, I must confess I would," said Frank; "but I hope _that_
is not wrong? Is it anything against me, Harry?"
"By no means, Frank. And when I was in health like you, I felt the
"Oh! I am glad of _that_" said Frank, relieved.
"But now that this earthly house of my tabernacle is dissolving, it is
very sweet to feel that I have a building of God, a house not made with
hands, eternal in the heavens, (2 Cor. v. 1); and I want to tell you how
you may have one too."
"I should like to know, I'm sure," said Frank.
"Yes. It is the one _thing needful_, dear; and all the time, and
trouble, and labor, spent in getting ready to take possession of it,
will be well repaid, the very moment that we see it. And however fair
that house may be I shall be fitted to inhabit it, which is another
comfort; for Jesus will present me faultless before his presence, with
exceeding joy. (Jude, 24.) He has loved me--suffered for me--saved me,
and preserved me to this hour; and now he is going to take me to
himself. There I shall see his glory; there I shall love him, and obey
him, and adore him, as all the blessed spirits do who are already
"I can hardly wonder that you wish to go," said Frank, catching the
inspiration of his friend.
"No; it is far more wonderful that so many wish to stay."
"And yet this is a very pleasant place," said Frank. "I always feel it
so when I am good."
"And God means it for a very pleasant place, my dear. He has given us
the mountain and the glen, the forest and the grove, the lake and the
waterfall, the fruits and the flowers, the beasts and the birds, and all
that is beautiful and good for us! And when I think of these, I repeat
my favorite verse, and say--
"O God! O Good beyond compare!
If thus thy meaner works are fair--
If thus thy bounty gilds the span
Of ruined earth and sinful man,
How glorious must the mansion be
Where thy redeemed shall dwell with thee!"
"I am glad that it is proper to be happy," said Frank, thoughtfully; "I
used to tell George Grant at school I thought it was; but he said that
all good people must be dull and sad, and called them '_spoonies_.'"
"Then you must show him his mistake, dear, and let him see you always
cheerful; because you are obedient, industrious, affectionate, and
"I wish I _was_ a Crystal Palace, I am sure, from the bottom of my
heart," said Frank.
"A what! my dear?" asked Henry in surprise.
"Tell him what I mean, Grandma; you can explain it better, far, than I
can do," said Frank.
"No; try yourself, instead."
"I really can't, Grandma, though I do _quite_ understand it; so
tell him, if you please."
Mrs. Grey explained the previous conversations, with which the reader is
acquainted, and at the conclusion, Frank exclaimed:--
"And, Harry dear, it is delightful to see that God has made of you a
'Crystal Palace,' I am sure."
Poor Harry shook his head at first, and said, "A very little palace,
dear, I am afraid."
"But Grandma says, that little things may be complete, and beautiful,
and luminous," said Frank.
"Well, shall I tell you, then, how it has been formed?" said Harry.
"Oh, do!" said Frank; "that will be kind."
"Then tell me what is _all_ glass made of?"
"Of flint and sand," said Frank.
"Exactly; and how are they melted down to glass?"
"By a great fire, called a furnace," replied Frank.
"Just so; and in this very furnace of affliction has my heart of flint,
and my loose sand of character, that would not fix itself to any good,
been melted down by God, to what you see. Let Him have _all_ the
praise, dear boy."
Harry now laid back his head, and looked fatigued.
Frank turned towards his grandmama, to see if she observed it, and would
take her leave.
Harry watched them both, and stretching out his arms, embraced Frank
tenderly, and said:--"You will live to be a 'Crystal Palace,' darling.
Only promise me one thing, before you go, that you will never, never
cease to pray about it."
Mrs. Scott now rose, and wished them hastily to leave the room, for she
saw her son was very faint; and before Frank and Mrs. Grey had left the
house, Harry had gone to take possession of his mansion!
His Grandmama did not inform him, for she thought it would too much
excite him; but after sitting silent in the carriage for a time, Frank
"Grandma! I never will forget one word that dearest Harry said to me;
nor will I cease to pray that both George Grant and I may each become a
_living_ 'Crystal Palace.'"