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CHILD’S NEW STORY BOOK;
OR TALES AND DIALOGUES FOR LITTLE FOLKS.
1849. [Publication date on cover: 1850]
I’ll watch thy dawn of joys, and mould Thy little hearts to duty,–
I’ll teach thee truths as I behold Thy faculties, like flowers, unfold
In intellectual beauty.
[Illustration: The Little Ship.]
The Little Ship.
“I have made a nice little ship, of cork, and am going to let it sail in this great basin of water. Now let us fancy this water to be the North-Pacific Ocean, and those small pieces of cork on the side of the basin, to be the Friendly Islands, and this little man standing on the deck of the ship, to be the famous navigator, Captain Cook, going to find them.”
“Do you know that the Friendly Islands were raised by corals?”
“I suppose they were.”
“Do you know where Captain Cook was born?”
“He was born at Marton, a village in the North Riding of Yorkshire, in England.”
* * * * *
[Illustration: The Little Girl and the Shell.]
The Little Girl and the Shell.
When I went to visit a friend, the other day, I saw a little girl with whom I was much pleased. She sat on a low seat by the fire-side, and she held in her hand a pretty white sea-shell, faintly tinted with pink, which she kept placing against her ear; and all the while a settled calm rested upon her face, and she seemed as if she were listening to the holy tones of some loved voice; then taking it away from her ear, she would gaze upon it with a look of deep fondness and pensive delight. At last I said,
“What are you doing, my dear?”
“I am listening to the whisper.”
“What whisper?” I asked.
“The whisper of the sea,” she said. “My uncle sent me this shell, and a letter in which he said, ‘If I placed it against my ear I should hear the whisper of the sea;’ and he also said, he would soon come to us, and bring me a great many pretty things; and mamma said, when we heard the whisper of the shell, we would call it uncle Henry’s promise. And so it became very precious to me, and I loved its sound better than sweet music.”
* * * * *
[Illustration: Robert and John.]
Robert and John.
One fine May morning, Robert and John were told by their mamma to go to school. So they put on their caps, and having kissed their mamma, were soon on their way. Now, first they had to pass through a pleasant lane, with tall elm trees on one side, and a hawthorn hedge on the other; then across two fields; then through a churchyard, and then up a little grove, at the end of which was the school-house. But they had not gone more than half the way down the lane, when John began to loiter behind, to gather wild flowers, and to pick up smooth little pebbles which had been washed clean by the rain, while Robert walked on reading his book. At last, John, calling after his brother, said, “I do not see what is the use of going to school this fine morning; let us play truant.”
“No,” replied Robert; “I will not take pleasure, for which I know I must suffer in after hours.”
“Nonsense about that,” said John; “I will enjoy myself while I can.”
“And so will I,” replied Robert; “and I shall best enjoy myself by keeping a good conscience, and so I will go to school.”
“Very well, Robert, then tell the master that I am ill and cannot come,” said John.
“I shall do no such thing, John,” replied Robert; “I shall simply tell the truth, if I am asked why you are not with me.”
“Then I say you are very unkind, Robert,” said John.
“You will not go with me, then?” asked Robert, with a tear in his sweet blue eye.
“I shall go up into this tree,” said John; “and so good morning to you.”
Poor Robert gave one long look at his brother, heaved a deep sigh, and went on his way. And naughty John sat in the tree and watched him, after he had crossed the stile, walk along the smooth broad pathway that led through the field, then enter the church-yard, and stoop to read a verse on a tomb-stone; then take out his kerchief, wipe a tear from his eye, look upward to the cloudless heaven, and then he was gone. And John sat still in the tree, and he said to himself, “Oh! that I were as good as my brother; but I will go down and follow him.”
So he went down from the tree, leapt over the stile, ran along the fields, and did not stay to gather _one_ cowslip, though each one made him a golden bow as he passed. And when he went into the school-room, though he was only five minutes later than his brother, he told his master the whole truth, and how naughty he would have been, had it not been for a kind little thought, which came into his mind, and bade him try to be as good as his brother.
* * * * *
[Illustration: The Frosty Morning.]
The Frosty Morning.
“Oh! this clear frosty morning! it makes one feel all life and glee. I declare I have been running about the garden till I am all of a glow; and there you sit by the fire, Emma, looking quite dull. Come with me, and I will show you how the little pond is frozen over.”
“No,–it is so cold, I do not like to go.”
“Oh! put on your bonnet, and tie your shawl round your neck, and, believe me, you will be warm enough.”
“No, I will not go, and so you need not teaze me any more.”
“O! _I_ will go with you, brother Edwin; _I_ am not cold.”
“Yes, do, there’s a dear little Ellen, and I will show you the long icicles which hang on the front of the arbor; and let us just run to the field, as I want you to see the hoar frost on the grass, and to feel it crisp under your feet. Is it not a lovely morning, sister Ellen?”
“It is indeed, dear brother.”
* * * * *
[Illustration: The White Rabbit.]
Susan’s White Rabbit.
Oh! Mary, I have got such a darling white rabbit as I think you never saw. I do believe it is the sweetest little rabbit in the world; for I only had it given to me this morning, and yet it will eat clover from my hand, and let me stroke it, or do any thing I please. And James says that he will make a little house for it, which cousin Henry will paint very nice. And papa says, that I must call my little pet, _Snowdrop_, because he is as white as the drifted snow; and mamma says, that its two little bright eyes are like rubies. Do you not think, Mary, as I do, that it is the sweetest little rabbit in the world?
* * * * *
[Illustration: The Pet Robin.]
The Pet Robin.
My brother Frederick has a robin, and he calls him a dear little pet, he sings so sweetly. Oh! you cannot think how well he knows Freddy. You should see him early in the morning, when we first come down stairs, or at any time when we come in from a walk, how he runs to one corner of his cage, to look at us: and when Fred whistles and says, “My beauty! my fine fellow!” he stands up so straight, to listen to his kind little masters voice, and then begins jumping and hopping from one end of the cage to the other, just as I have seen happy little children jump and hop about in their sports.
Sometime ago he was ill, and we were sadly afraid he would die; he used to sit from day to day, with ruffled feathers and drooping wings; his food was left untasted, and his pleasant voice was seldom heard; but in two or three weeks he began to grow better, and to eat his food as usual, and to pick amongst the green grass of the little sod we had placed in his cage. Oh, how happy we all were then, especially Frederick, who took care of him, and watched over him with the greatest love and tenderness. Indeed, he was well repaid for his care and anxiety, when his little pet once more began to jump about as blithely as ever.
And now, you see, he is quite well, and we treasure his little songs more than ever we did before, for we never knew how sweet they were until we were deprived of them.
And thus it is, dear children, with many blessings we possess; they become so common to us, that we cease to be thankful for them, and know not their value until they are taken away. We forget who is the Author and Giver of all good; we forget that it is through the mercy and loving kindness of GOD, that we receive food and clothing, and every blessing we possess.
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