Project Gutenberg's Little Ferns For Fanny's Little Friends, by Fanny Fern

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Title: Little Ferns For Fanny's Little Friends

Author: Fanny Fern

Release Date: February 11, 2007 [EBook #20561]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by David Edwards and the Online Distributed
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Little Nelly










Published first in England by International Arrangement with the
American Proprietors, and entered at Stationers' Hall.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-three, by
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Northern District of New-York.


to my little daughter
"Little Ferns"
affectionately dedicated

"They reckon not by months, and years
Where she hath gone to dwell."

Transcriber's Note:

The stanza of poetry quoted in Scott Farm is from The Reaper and The Flowers by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This same stanza, with a slight variation, can be found in Woman's Endurance, by A. D. L., B.A., Chaplain in the Concentration Camp, Bethulie, O.R.C., PG EText-No. 16859. The complete poem, again with a slightly different first stanza, can be found in The Complete Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, PG EText No. 1365.


Dear Children:—

Aunt Fanny has written you some stories, which she hopes will please and divert you. She would rather have come to you, and told them, that she might have seen your bright faces; but as that could not be, she sends her little book instead. Perhaps you will sometime come and see her, and then won't we have a nice time telling stories?

Where do I live?

Won't you tell—certain true? Won't you tell Susy, or Mary, or Hatty, or Sammy, or Tommy, or even your pet Uncle Charley?

Oh, I can't tell!

"If I tell it to one, she will tell it to two,

And the next cup of tea, they will plot what they'll do;

So I'll tell nobody,

I'll tell nobody,

I'll tell nobody; no—not I!"

Fanny Fern.





She is not in the garden; I have searched under every bush and tree. She is not asleep in the summer-house, or in the old barn. She is not feeding the speckled chickens, or gathering buttercups in the meadows. Her little dog Fidele is weary waiting for her, and her sweet-voiced canary has forgotten to sing. Has anybody seen my little Nelly? She had eyes blue as the summer heavens, hair like woven sunbeams, teeth like seed pearls, and a voice soft as the wind sighing through the river willows.

Nelly is not down by the river? No; she never goes where I bid her not. She is not at the neighbors? No; for she is as shy as a wood-pigeon. Where can my little pet be? There is her doll—(Fenella she called it, because it was so tiny,)—she made its dress with her own slender fingers, laughing the while, because she was so awkward a little dress-maker. There is her straw hat,—she made that oak-leaf wreath about the crown one bright summer day, as we sat on the soft moss in the cool fragrant wood. Nelly liked the woods. She liked to lie with her ear to the ground and make believe hear the fairies talk; she liked to look up in the tall trees, and see the bright-winged oriole dart through the branches; she liked to watch the clouds, and fancy that in their queer shapes she saw cities, and temples, and chariots, and people; she liked to see the lightning play; she liked the bright rainbows. She liked to gather the sweet wild flowers, that breathe out their little day of sweetness in some sheltered nook; she liked the cunning little squirrel, peeping slily from some mossy tree-trunk; she liked to see the bright sun wrap himself in his golden mantle, and sink behind the hills; she liked the first little silver star that stole softly out on the dark, blue sky; she liked the last faint note of the little bird, as it folded its soft wings to sleep; she liked to lay her cheek to mine, as her eyes filled with happy tears, because God had made the world so very fair.

Where is our Nelly?

She is not talking with Papa?—no; he can't find her either. He wants to see her trip down the gravel walk to meet him when business hours are over, and he has nothing to do but to come home and love us. He wants her to ramble with; he wants that little velvet cheek to kiss when he wakes each morning.

Where is Nelly?

I am sure she loved Papa. It was she who ran to warm his slippers when his horse's feet came prancing down the avenue. It was she who wheeled the arm-chair to its nice, snug corner; it was she who ran for the dressing-gown; it was she who tucked in the pockets a sly bit of candy, that she had hoarded all day for "poor, tired Papa." It was she who laid her soft hand upon his throbbing temples, when those long, ugly rows of figures at the counting-room, had given him such a cruel headache. It was she who kneeled beside her bed and taught herself this little prayer. "Please, God, let me die before my Papa."

Where is Nelly?

My dear little pets, the flowers shed dewy tears over her bright, young head long time ago. God did "let her go before Papa," and then ... he took Papa, too. Here is a lock of raven hair, and a long, golden ringlet—all that is left of Nelly and Papa—but in that blessed land, where tears are wiped away, Aunt Fanny knows her "lost are found."


My Aunt Libby patted me on the head the other day and said, "George, my boy, this is the happiest part of your life." I guess my Aunt Libby don't know much. I guess she never worked a week to make a kite, and the first time she went to fly it got the tail hitched in a tall tree, whose owner wouldn't let her climb up to disentangle it. I guess she never broke one of the runners of her sled some Saturday afternoon, when it was "prime" coasting. I guess she never had to give her biggest marbles to a great lubberly boy, because he would thrash her if she didn't. I guess she never had a "hockey stick" play round her ankles in recess, because she got above a fellow in the class. I guess she never had him twitch off her best cap, and toss it in a mud-puddle. I guess she never had to give her humming-top to quiet the baby, and had the paint all sucked off. I guess she never saved up all her coppers a whole winter to buy a trumpet, and then was told she must not blow it, because it would make a noise.

No—I guess my Aunt Libby don't know much; little boys have troubles as well as grown people,—all the difference is they daren't complain. Now, I never had a "bran new" jacket and trowsers in my life—never,—and I don't believe I ever shall; for my two brothers have shot up like Jack's bean-stalk, and left all their out-grown clothes "to be made over for George;" and that cross old tailoress keeps me from bat and ball, an hour on the stretch, while she laps over, and nips in, and tucks up, and cuts off their great baggy clothes for me. And when she puts me out the door, she's sure to say—"Good bye, little Tom Thumb." Then when I go to my uncle's to dine, he always puts the big dictionary in a chair, to hoist me up high enough to reach my knife and fork; and if there is a dwarf apple or potatoe on the table, it is always laid on my plate. If I go to the play-ground to have a game of ball, the fellows all say—Get out of the way, little chap, or we shall knock you into a cocked hat. I don't think I've grown a bit these two years. I know I haven't, by the mark on the wall—(and I stand up to measure every chance I get.) When visitors come to the house and ask me my age, and I tell them that I am nine years old, they say, Tut, tut! little boys shouldn't tell fibs. My brother Hal has got his first long-tailed coat already; I am really afraid I never shall have anything but a jacket. I go to bed early, and have left off eating candy, and sweet-meats. I haven't put my fingers in the sugar-bowl this many a day. I eat meat like my father, and I stretch up my neck till it aches,—still I'm "little George," and "nothing shorter;" or, rather, I'm shorter than nothing. Oh, my Aunt Libby don't know much. How should she? She never was a boy!




There, Puss! said little Matty, you may have my dinner if you want it. I'm tired of bread and milk. I'm tired of this old brown house. I'm tired of that old barn, with its red eaves. I'm tired of the garden, with its rows of lilacs, its sun-flowers, and its beds of catnip and penny-royal. I'm tired of the old well, with its pole balancing in the air. I'm tired of the meadow, where the cows feed, and the hens are always picking up grass-hoppers. I wish I was a grass-hopper! I ain't happy. I am tired of this brown stuff dress, and these thick leather shoes, and my old sun-bonnet. There comes a nice carriage,—how smooth and shiny the horses are; how bright the silver-mounted harness glitters; how smart the coachman looks, in his white gloves. How nice it must be to be rich, and ride in a carriage; oh! there's a little girl in it, no older than I, and all alone, too!—a rich little girl, with a pretty rose-colored bonnet, and a silk dress, and cream-colored kid gloves. See—she has beautiful curling hair, and when she puts her pretty face out the carriage window, and tells the coachman to go here, and to go there, he minds her just as if she were a grown lady. Why did God make her rich, and me poor? Why did he let her ride in a carriage, and me go barefoot? Why did he clothe her like a butterfly, and me like a caterpillar?

Matty, come here. Climb into my lap,—lay your head upon my shoulder,—so. Now listen. You are well and strong, Matty?—yes. You have enough to eat and drink?—yes. You have a kind father and mother?—yes. You have a crowing little dimpled baby brother?—yes. You can jump, and leap, and climb fences, and run up trees like a squirrel?—yes.

Well; the little girl with the rose-colored bonnet, whom you saw riding in the carriage, is a poor little cripple. You saw her fine dress and pretty pale face, but you didn't see her little shrunken foot, dangling helplessly beneath the silken robe. You saw the white gloved coachman, and the silver-mounted harness, and the soft, velvet cushions, but you didn't see the tear in their little owner's soft, dark eyes, as she spied you at the cottage door, rosy and light-footed, free to ramble 'mid the fields and flowers. You didn't know that her little heart was aching for somebody to love her. You didn't know that her mamma loved her diamonds, and silks, and satins better than her own little girl. You didn't know that when her little crippled limb pained her, and her heart ached, that she had "no nice place to cry." You didn't know that through the long, weary day, her mamma never took her gently on her lap,—or kissed her pale face,—or read her pretty stories, to charm her pain away,—or told her of that happy home, where none shall say, I'm sick. You didn't know that she never went to her little bed at night, to smooth her pillow, or put aside the ringlets from the flushed cheek, or kneel by the little bed, and ask the dear All Father to heal and bless her child. You didn't know that she danced till the stars grew pale, while poor little Mabel tossed restlessly from side to side, longing for a cool draught for her parched lip.

"You won't be naughty any more?"—that's a darling. And now remember, my dear little Matty, that money is not happiness;—that fine clothes and fine carriages are not happiness;—and that even this bright, beautiful world, with its birds, its flowers, and its sunshine, is dark without a loving heart to rest upon. Thank God for kind parents and a happy home, 'Tis you who are rich, Matty; pray for poor Mabel.


Now, I suppose you think, because you never see me do anything but feed and sleep, that I have a very nice time of it. Let me tell you that you are mistaken, and that I am tormented half to death, although I never say anything about it. How should you like every morning to have your nose washed up, instead of down? How should you like to have a pin put through your dress into your skin, and have to bear it all day till your clothes were taken off at night? How should you like to be held so near the fire that your eyes were half scorched out of your head, while your nurse was reading a novel? How should you like to have a great fly light on your nose, and not know how to take aim at him, with your little, fat, useless fingers? How should you like to be left alone in the room to take a nap, and have a great pussy jump into your cradle, and sit staring at you with her great green eyes, till you were all of a tremble? How should you like to reach out your hand for the pretty bright candle, and find out that it was way across the room, instead of close by? How should you like to tire yourself out crawling way across the carpet, to pick up a pretty button or pin, and have it snatched away, as soon as you begin to enjoy it? I tell you it is enough to ruin any baby's temper. How should you like to have your mamma stay at a party till you were as hungry as a little cub, and be left to the mercy of a nurse, who trotted you up and down till every bone in your body ached? How should you like, when your mamma dressed you up all pretty to take the nice, fresh air, to spend the afternoon with your nurse in some smoky kitchen, while she gossipped with one of her cronies? How should you like to submit to have your toes tickled by all the little children who insisted upon "seeing the baby's feet?" How should you like to have a dreadful pain under your apron, and have everybody call you "a little cross thing," when you couldn't speak to tell what was the matter with you? How should you like to crawl to the top stair, (just to look about a little,) and pitch heels over head from the top to the bottom?

Oh, I can tell you it is no joke to be a baby! Such a thinking as we keep up; and if we try to find out anything, we are sure to get our brains knocked out in the attempt. It is very trying to a sensible baby, who is in a hurry to know everything, and can't wait to grow up.




It was a very hot morning in August, when little Floy stopped to look in at a city fruiterer's window. There were bright golden apples, nice juicy pears, plump bunches of grapes, luscious plums and peaches, and mammoth melons. In truth, it was a very tempting show, to a little girl, who lived on dry bread and milk, and sometimes had not enough of that. It was not, however, of herself that Floy was thinking, as the tears started to her large blue eyes, and she pushed back her faded sun-bonnet, and looked wistfully at the "forbidden fruit."

Floy once lived in a beautiful house in the country, with her papa and mamma. Grand old trees stood guard round the house, like so many sentinels, and many a little bird slept every night in the shadow of their drooping branches. Near the house was a pretty pond, with snow-white ducks, sailing lazily about, and two little spaniels—named Flash and Dash—who were as full of mischief as little magpies. Then there were three horses in the stable, and two cows, and hens and chickens, and a bearded nanny-goat, besides a little pink-eyed rabbit, who darted about the lawn, with a blue ribbon around his snowy neck. The trees in the orchard drooped to the ground with loads of rosy apples, and long-necked pears, and tempting plums and peaches; the garden bushes were laden with gooseberries raspberries, and currants, (red and white,) while under the broad green leaves the red ripe strawberry nestled.

Those were happy days for little Floy. How she rode the horses to the spring, using their manes for a bridle!—how she ran through the fields, and garlanded herself like a little May Queen!—how she sprang at night to meet Papa, who tossed her way up high above his dear curly head!

Now, though it was sultry midsummer, Floy lived in the hot, stifled city, up four pairs of stairs, in a room looking out on dingy brick walls, and gloomy black sheds. Her mamma was dressed in black, and looked very sad, and very tired; bending all day over that tiresome writing desk. Sometimes she looked up and smiled at Floy; and then Floy wished she had not smiled at all—it was so unlike the old smile her face used to wear in dear papa's life-time. Floy became very tired of that close room. There were no pretty pictures on the walls, like those in Floy's house in the country; the chairs were hard and uncomfortable, and little Floy had nothing to amuse her. Mamma couldn't spare time to walk much, and Floy was not allowed to play on the sidewalk, lest she might hear naughty words, and play with naughty children. Mamma's pen went scratch—scratch—scratch—from sunrise till sunset,—save when she took a turn across the floor to get rid of an ugly pain in her shoulders, from constant stooping. Floy was weary of counting the bricks on the opposite wall,—weary of seeing the milkman stop at seven o'clock, and the baker at nine,—weary of hearing the shrill voice of Mrs. Walker, (below stairs,) of whom mamma hired her room. Still Floy never complained; but sometimes when she could bear the monotonous, dull stillness no longer, she would slide her little hand round her mamma's waist, and say, "Please, Mamma, put up that ugly pen, and take me on your lap."

Floy was always sorry when Christmas, and New Year, and Thanksgiving came round; because it made mamma's eyes so red and swollen, and because she was such a little girl that she couldn't tell how to comfort her. She longed to grow up a big lady, that she might earn some money, so that mamma needn't work so hard; and it puzzled her very much to know what had become of mamma's old friends, who used to ride out so often to their pretty country house, in papa's lifetime, to eat strawberries, and to drink tea. She was quite sure she had met some of them once or twice, when mamma had taken her out to church—but somehow they didn't seem to see either mamma or Floy.

Floy was very careful of her two dresses, for fear they would get soiled, (ever since she woke one night, and found mamma washing them out, when she was hardly able to hold her head up.) She was afraid, too, that mamma often wanted the bread and milk she made Floy eat; and only said "she wasn't hungry," because there wasn't enough for her, and Floy, too.

Well, my dear children, it was the thought of all these things that sent the warm tears to Floy's bright eyes, as she looked in at the fruiterer's window that hot August morning.

Two years have gone by. It is August again. The sky is cloudless—the birds are singing—and little Floy's tears are all dried up. Her cheeks are plump and rosy; she has plenty to eat now; and another pair of shoes, when she has danced her toes out of those she has on. And mamma?—why, she can sit whole hours with her hands folded, if she likes, and go to sleep whenever she feels tired; for she has earned plenty of money for herself, and little Floy, too. Floy is glad of this, because mamma smiles now, and looks happier—and because all her old friends, who forgot all about her when she was poor, are so delighted now whenever they meet her. Floy thinks it is very nice all round. Dear, innocent little Floy!




Oh! Aunty, it has done raining! The sun is shining so brightly; we are going to the Lake to fish—Papa says so—you and Papa, and Bell, and Harry, and Emma, and Agnes, and our dog Bruno.

Of course, Aunty, who was always on hand for such trips, wasn't five minutes springing to her feet, and in less than half an hour Pat stood at the door with the carriage, (that somehow or other always held as many as wanted to go, whether it were five, or forty-five;) "Papa" twisting the reins over hats and bonnets with the dexterity of a Jehu; jolt—jolt—on we go, over pebble stones—over plank roads—past cottages—past farms—up hill and down, till we reach "the Lake."

Shall I tell you how we tip-toed into the little egg-shell boats? How, after a great deal of talk, we all were seated to our minds—how each one had a great fishing rod put into our hands—how Aunty, (who never fished before,) got laughed at for refusing to stick the cruel hook into the quivering little minnows used for "bait"—and how, when they fixed it for her, she forgot all about moving it round, so beautiful was the "blue above, and the blue below," until a great fish twitched at her line, telling her to leave off dreaming and mind her business—and how it made her feel so bad to see them tear the hook from the mouth of the poor fish she was so un-lucky as to catch, that she coaxed them to put her ashore, telling them it was pleasure not pain she came after—and how they laughed and floated off down the Lake, leaving her on a green moss patch, under a big tree—and how she rambled all along shore gathering the tiniest little shells that ever a wave tossed up—and how she took off her shoes and stockings and dipped her feet in the cool water, and listened to the bees' drowsy hum from the old tree trunk close by, and watched the busy ant stagger home, under the weight of his well earned morsel—and how she made a bridge of stones over a little streamlet to pluck some crimson lobelias, growing on the other side, and some delicate, bell-shaped flowers, fit only for a fairy's bridal wreath,—and how she wandered till sunset came on, and the Lake's pure breast was all a-glow, and then, how she lay under that old tree, listening to the plashing waves, and watching the little birds, dipping their golden wings into the rippling waters, then soaring aloft to the rosy tinted clouds? Shall I tell you how the grand old hills, forest crowned, stretched off into the dim distance—and how sweet the music of childhood's ringing laugh, heard from the far-off shore—or how Aunty thought 'twas such a pity that sin, and tears, and sorrow, should ever blight so fair a world?

But Aunty mustn't make you sad; here come the children leaping from the boat; they've "caught few fish," but a great deal of sunshine, (judging from their happy faces.) God bless the little voyagers, all; the laughing Agnes, the pensive Emma, the dove-eyed, tender-hearted Mary, the rosy Bell, the fearless Harry. In the green pastures by the still waters, may the dear Shepherd fold them.


Once in a while I have a way of thinking!—and to-day it struck me that children should have a minister of their own. Yes, a child's minister! For amid the "strong meat" for older disciples, the "milk for babes" spoken of by the infant, loving Saviour, seems to be, strangely enough, forgotten.

Yes, I remember the "Sabbath Schools;" and God bless and prosper them—as far as they go. But—there's your little Charles—he says to you on Saturday night,—"Mother, what day is it to-morrow?" "Sunday, my pet." "Oh, I'm so sorry, I'm so tired Sundays."

Poor Charley! he goes to church because he is bid—and often when he gets there, has the most uncomfortable seat in the pew—used as a sort of human wedge, to fill up some triangular corner. From one year's end to another, he hears nothing from that pulpit he can understand. It is all Greek and Latin to him, those big words, and rhetorical flourishes, and theological nuts, thrown out for "wisdom-teeth" to crack. So he counts the buttons on his jacket, and the bows on his mother's bonnet, and he wonders how the feathers in that lady's hat before him can be higher than the pulpit or the minister; (for he can't see either.) And then he wonders, if the chandelier should fall, if he couldn't have one of those sparkling glass drops,—and then he wonders if Betty will give the baby his humming top to play with before he gets home—and whether his mother will have apple dumplings for dinner? And then he explores his Sunday pocket for the absent string and marble, and then his little toes get so fidgety that he can't stand it, and he says out loud, "hi—ho—hum!" and then he gets a very red ear from his father, for disturbing his comfortable nap in particular, and the rest of the congregation generally.

Yes, I'd have a church for children, if I could only find a minister who knew enough to preach to them! You needn't smile! It needs a very long head to talk to a child. It is much easier to talk to older people whose brains are so cobwebbed with "isms" and "ologies," that you can make them lose themselves when they get troublesome; but that straight-forward, childish, far-reaching question! and the next—and the next! That clear, penetrating, searching, yet innocent and trusting eye! How will you meet them? You'll be astonished to find how often you'll be cornered by that little child—how many difficulties he will raise, that will require all your keenest wits to clear away. Oh, you must get off your clerical stilts, and drop your metaphors and musty folios, and call everything by its right name when you talk to children.

Yes, I repeat it. Children should have a minister. Not a gentleman in a stiff neck-cloth and black coat, who says solemnly, in a sepulchral voice, (once a year, on his parochial visit,)—"S-a-m-u-e-l—my— boy—how—do—you—do?" but a genial, warm-hearted, loving, spiritual father, who is neither wiser, nor greater, nor better than he who took little children in his arms and said, "Of such is the kingdom of heaven."


Dear little pet! She was going a journey in the cars with mamma; and her little curly head could not stay on the pillow, for thinking of it. She was awake by the dawn, and had been trying to rouse mamma for an hour. She had told her joy in lisping accents to "Dolly," whose stoical indifference was very provoking, especially when she knew she was going to see "her dear, white-haired old grand-papa," who had never yet looked upon her sweet face; although pen and ink had long since heralded her polite perfections. Yes, little pet must look her prettiest, for grand-papa's eyes are not so dim, that the sight of a pretty face doesn't cheer him like a ray of glad sunlight; so the glossy waves of golden hair are nicely combed, and the bright dress put on, to heighten, by contrast, the dimpled fairness of the neck and shoulders; then, the little white apron, to keep all tidy; then the Cinderella boots, neatly laced. I can see you, little pet! I wish I had you in my arms this minute!

Good bye! How the little curls shake! What a nice seat our tiny voyager has, by that pleasant open window, upon mamma's knee! How wonderfully fast the trees and houses and fences fly past! Was there ever anything like it? And how it makes her eyes wink, when the cars dash under the dark bridges, and how like the ringing of silver bells that little musical laugh is, when they dart out again into the fair sunlight. How cows, and horses, and sheep, all run at that horrid whistle. Little pet feels as though she was most a woman, to be traveling about, seeing so many fine things. On they dash!—it half takes her breath away—but she is not afraid; no, indeed! What little darling ever could be afraid, when its hand was in mamma's love clasp?

Alas! poor little pet!

Grand-papa's eye grow weary watching for you, at the little cottage window. Grand-mamma says, "the cakes will be quite spoiled;" and she "knits to her seam needle," and then moves about the sitting-room uneasily; now and then stopping to pat the little Kitty, that is to be pet's play-fellow. And now lame Tim has driven the cows home; and the dew is falling, the stars are creeping out, and the little crickets and frogs have commenced their evening concert, and still little pet hasn't come! Where is the little stray waif?

Listen! Among the "unrecognized dead" by the late railroad accident, was a female child, about three years of age; fair complexion and hair; had on a red dress, green sack, white apron, linen gaiters, tipped with patent leather, and white woolen stockings.

Poor little pet! Poor old grand-papa! Go comfort him; tell him it was a "shocking accident," but then "nobody was to blame;" and offer him a healing plaster for his great grief, in the shape of "damage" money.


"Pleasant sight, is it not?" said my friend, glancing complacently at a long procession of little charity children, who were passing, two and two—two and two—with closely cropped heads, little close-fitting sun-bonnets and dark dresses; "pleasant sight, is it not, Fanny?" Yes—no—no, said I, courageously, it gives me the heart-ache. Oh, I see as you do, that their clothes are clean and whole, and that they are drilled like a little regiment of soldiers, (heads up,) but I long to see them step out of those prim ranks, and shout and scamper. I long to stuff their little pockets full of anything—everything, that other little pets have. I want to get them round me, and tell them some comical stories to take the care-worn look out of their anxious little faces. I want to see them twist their little heads round when they hear a noise, instead of keeping them straight forward as if they were "on duty." I want to know if anybody tucks them up comfortably when they go to bed, and gives them a good-night kiss. I want to know if they get a beaming smile, and a kind word in the morning. I want to know who soothes them when they are in pain; and if they dare say so, when they feel lonely, and have the heart-ache. I want to see the tear roll freely down the cheek, (instead of being wiped slyly away,) when they see happy little ones trip gaily past, hand in hand, with a kind father, or mother. I want to know if "Thanksgiving" and "Christmas" and "New Year's" and "Home" are anything but empty sounds in their orphan ears.

I know their present state is better than vicious poverty, and so I try to say with my friend, "it is a pleasant sight;" but the words die on my lip; for full well I know it takes something more than food, shelter and clothing, to make a child happy. Its little heart, like a delicate vine, will throw out its tendrils for something to lean on—something to cling to; and so I can only say again, the sight of those charity orphans gives me the heart-ache.


"I hate you," Aunt Fanny, said a little boy, pouting and snapping his boots with the little riding whip in his hand; you laughed to-day at dinner, when I burned my mouth with my soup, and I never shall love you again—never!—said the little passionate boy.

Now, Harry, what a pity!—and my pocket handkerchiefs all in the wash, too! That's right—laugh;—now I'll tell you a story.

I've been to the State Prison to-day, and I almost wish I hadn't gone—such a sick feeling came over me when I saw those poor prisoners. Oh, Harry! how pale and miserable they looked, in those ugly, striped clothes, with their heads closely shaven, working away at their different trades, with a stout man watching them so sharply, to see that they didn't speak to each other; and some of them very young, too. Oh, it was very sad. I almost felt afraid to look at them, for fear it would hurt their feelings, and I longed to tell them that my heart was full of pity, and not to get discouraged, and not to despair.

Such little, close cells as they sleep in at night,—it almost stifled me to think of it,—and so dismal and cheerless, too, with an iron door to bolt them in. On Sunday they stay in their cells nearly all day, and some of the cells are so dark that they cannot see even to read the Bible allowed them: and there they lie, thinking over, and over, and over, their own sad thoughts. So you can't wonder that they dread Sunday very much, and are very glad to be put to hard work again on Monday, to get rid of thinking.

Then we saw them march into dinner—just like soldiers, in single file, with a guard close beside them, that they should not run away. I suppose they were very glad to eat what was laid on those wooden plates, but you or I would have gone hungry a long while first. In fact, I think, Harry, that prison food would choke me any how, though it were roast turkey or plum pudding. I'm quite sure my gypsey throat would refuse to swallow it.

Then we went into the Hospital for the sick prisoners. It is hard to be sick in one's own home, even, with kind friends around; but to be sick in a prison!—to lie on such a narrow bed that you cannot toss about,—to bear, (beside your own pain and misery,) the moanings of your sick companions,—to see through the grated windows the bright, blue sky, the far off hills, and the silver streams threading the green meadows,—to be shut in from the fresh breeze, that would bring you life and health,—to pine and waste away, and think to die, without one dear hand to press yours lovingly—oh, Harry!

One of the sick prisoners had a little squirrel. The squirrel was a prisoner, too. He was in a cage—but then sometimes he was let out; and to please me, the door was opened for him. Didn't he jump? poor squirrel! He had no soul—so he wasn't as miserable as his sick keeper; but I'm mistaken if he wouldn't have liked a nut to crack, of his own finding in some leafy wood, where the green moss lies thickly cushioned, and the old trees serve him for ladders!

On a bench in the Hospital was seated a poor, sick black-boy. "Pompey's" mother was a very foolish mother. She had always let him have his own way. If he cried for anything he always got it, and when he was angry and struck people, she never punished him for it; so Pompey grew up a very bad boy, because his mother never taught him to govern his temper. So one day he got very angry, and did something that sent him to the State Prison, where I saw him. And he grew sick staying so long in doors, and now he was in a consumption—all wasted away—with such hollow cheeks, that it made the tears come to my eyes to look at him. Oh how glad I was when the keeper told me that next Sunday his time would be up, so that he could go out if he liked. The keeper said, "He had better stay there, because they could take good care of him, and he had no friends." I guess the keeper didn't think that poor Pompey had rather crawl on his hands and knees out to the green fields, and die alone, with the sweet, fresh air fanning his poor temples, than to stay with all the doctors in the world in that tomb of a prison.

Harry! I wanted so much to go and shake hands with Pompey, and tell him how happy it made me to know that he was going to get out next Sunday, and that I hoped the sun would shine just as bright as ever it could, and all the flowers blossom out on purpose for him to see; and then I hoped that when his heart was so full of gladness he would feel like praying; and then I hoped no cruel, hard-hearted person would point at him and say, "That is a State Prison boy," and so make his heart all hard and wicked again, just as he was trying to be good.

And now, Harry, shake hands with me, and "make up." You know if poor Pompey hadn't got so angry, he wouldn't have been in prison; and as for Aunt Fanny, she must learn to be as polite as a French woman, and never laugh again when you burn your mouth with a "hasty plate of soup."


So the simple head-stone said. Why did my eyes fill? I never saw the little creature. I never looked in his laughing eye, or heard his merry shout, or listened for his tripping tread; I never pillowed his little head, or bore his little form, or smoothed his silky locks, or laved his dimpled limbs, or fed his cherry lips with dainty bits, or kissed his rosy cheek as he lay sleeping.

I did not see his eye grow dim; or his little hand droop powerless; or the dew of agony gather on his pale forehead; I stood not with clasped hands and suspended breath, and watched the look that comes but once, flit over his cherub face. And yet, "little Benny," my tears are falling; for, somewhere, I know there's an empty crib, a vacant chair, useless robes and toys, a desolate hearth-stone, and a weeping mother.

"Little Benny!"

It was all her full heart could utter; and it was enough. It tells the whole story.


It is very strange my teacher never says a kind word to me. I am quite sure I say my lessons well. I haven't had an "error" since I came to school six months ago. I haven't been "delinquent" or "tardy." I have never broken a rule. Now there's Harry Gray, that fat boy yonder, with the dull eyes and frilled shirt-collar, who never can say his lesson without some fellow prompts him. He comes in half an hour after school begins, and goes home an hour before it is done, and eats pea-nuts all the time he stays; he has all the medals, and the master is always patting him on the head, and smiling at him, and asking him "if the room is warm enough," and all that; I don't see through it.

My dear, honest, conscientious, unsophisticated little Moses! if you only knew what a rich man Harry Gray's father was; what nice old wine he keeps in his cellar; how easy his carriage cushions are; what nice nectarines and grapes ripen in his hot house; and how much "the master" is comforted in his inner and outer man thereby, you'd understand how the son of such a nabob couldn't be anything but an embryo "Clay," or "Calhoun," or "Webster,"—though he didn't know "B from a buzzard."

Are you aware, my boy, that your clothes, though clean and neat, are threadbare and patched?—that your mother is a poor widow, whom nobody knows?—that no "servant man" ever brought your satchel to school for you?—that you have positively been seen carrying a loaf of bread home from the grocer's?—and that "New Year's day" passed by, without your appropriating any of your mother's hard earnings to make "a present" to your disinterested and discriminating teacher? How can you be anything but the dullest and stupidest boy in the school? It is a marvel to me that "the master" condescends to hear you recite at all.

Stay a bit, Moses; don't cry; hold on a while. If your forehead tells the truth, you'll be President of the United States by and by. Then, "the master" (quite oblivious of Harry Gray,) will go strutting round, telling all creation and his cousin, that he had the honor of first teaching your "young ideas how to shoot!"

Won't that be fun? Oh, I tell you, Moses! Fanny has seen some strange specimens of human nature. Still she tells you, (with tears in her eyes,) that the Master above is the "friend of the friendless;" and you must believe it too, my little darling, and wait, and trust.


Wish my mamma would please keep me warm. My little bare legs are very cold with these lace ruffles; they are not half as nice as black Jim's woolen stockings. Wish I had a little pair of warm rubbers. Wish I had a long-sleeved apron, for my bare neck and arms. Wish I might push my curls out of my eyes, or have them cut off. Wish my dress would stay up on my shoulders, and that it was not too nice for me to get on the floor to play ninepins. Wish my mamma would go to walk with me sometimes, instead of Betty. Wish she would let me lay my cheek to hers, (if I would not tumble her curls, or her collar.) Wish she would not promise me something "very nice," and then forget all about it. Wish she would answer my questions, and not always say, "Don't bore me, Freddy!" Wish when we go out in the country, she wouldn't make me wear my gloves, lest I should "tan my hands." Wish she would not tell me that all the pretty flowers will "poison me." Wish I could tumble on the hay, and go into the barn and see how Dobbin eats his supper. Wish I was one of those little frisky pigs. Wish I could make pretty dirt pies. Wish there was not a bit of lace, or satin, or silk, in the world. Wish I knew what makes mamma look so smiling at Aunt Emma's children, (who come here in their papa's carriage,) and so very cross at my poor little cousins, whose mother works so hard and cries so much. Wish I knew what makes the clouds stay up in the sky, and where the stars go in the day time. Wish I could go over on that high hill, where the bright sun is going down, and just touch it with my finger. Wish I didn't keep thinking of things which puzzle me, when nobody will stop to tell me the reason for anything. If I ask Betty, she says, "Don't be a fool, Master Freddy!" I wonder if I am a fool? I wonder if Betty knows much herself? I wonder why my mamma don't love her own little boy? I wonder when I'm grown a man, if I shall have to look so nice all the time, and be so tired of doing nothing?


Now I am going to tell you a story about little Clara. Those of you who live in the city will understand it; but some of my little readers may live in the country, (or at least I hope they do,) where a beggar is seldom seen; or if he is, can always get of the good, nice, kind-hearted farmer, a bowl of milk, a fresh bit of bread, and liberty to sleep in the barn on the sweet-scented hay; therefore, it will be hard for you to believe that there is anybody in the wide world with enough to eat, and drink, and wear, who does not care whether a poor fellow creature starves or not; or whether he lives or dies.

But listen to my story.

One bright, sunny morning I was walking in Broadway, (New-York,) looking at the ladies who passed, in their gay clothes—as fine as peacocks, and just about as silly—gazing at the pretty shop windows, full of silks, and satins, and ribbons, looking very much as if a rainbow had been shivered there—looking at the rich people's little children, with their silken hose, and plumed hats, and velvet tunics, tip-toeing so carefully along, and looking so frightened lest somebody should soil their nice clothes—when a little, plaintive voice struck upon my ear—

"Please give me a penny, Madam—only a penny—to buy a loaf of bread?"



I turned my head: there stood a little girl of six years,—so filthy, dirty—so ragged, that she scarcely looked like a human being. Her skin was coated with dust; her pretty curly locks were one tangled mass; her dress was fluttering in strings around her bare legs and shoeless feet—and the little hand she held out to me for "a penny," so bony that it looked like a skeleton's. She looked so very hungry, I wouldn't make her talk till I had given her something to eat; so I took her to a baker's, and bought her some bread and cakes; and it would have made you cry (you, who were never hungry in your life,) to see her swallow it so greedily, just like a little animal.

Then I asked her name, and found out 'twas "Clara;" that she had no papa; that while he lived he was very cruel, and used to beat her and her mother; and that now her mother was cruel too, and drank rum; that she sent little Clara out each morning to beg,—or if she couldn't beg, to steal,—but at any rate to bring home something, "unless she wanted a beating."

Poor little Clara!—all alone threading her way through the great, wicked city—knocked and jostled about,—so hungry—so tired—so frightened! Clara was afraid to steal, (not because God saw her—for she didn't know anything about Him,) but for fear of policemen and prisons—so she wandered about, hour after hour, saying pitifully to the careless crowd, "Only a penny—please give me a penny to buy a loaf of bread!"

Yes—Clara's mother was very cruel; but God forbid, my little innocent children, that you should ever know how hunger, and thirst, and misery, may sometimes turn even that holy thing—a mother's love—to bitterness.

Poor Clara! she had never known a better home than the filthy, dark cellar, where poor people in cities huddle together like hunted cattle; her little feet had never pressed the soft, green meadows; her little fingers had never plucked the sweet wild-flowers; her little eyes had never seen the bright, blue sky, save between dark brick walls. Her little head often pained her. She was foot-weary and heart-sore; and what was worse than all, she had never heard of heaven, "where the weary rest." Wasn't it very pitiful?

Well, little Clara kissed my hand when she had eaten enough—(it was so odd for Clara to have enough)—and her sunken eyes grew bright, and she said—"Now I shall not be beaten, because I've something left to carry home;" so she told me where she lived, and I bade her good bye, and told her I would come and see her mother to-morrow.

The next day I started again to find little Clara's mother. I was very happy going along, because I meant, if I could, to get her away from her cruel mother; to make her clean and neat; to teach her how to read and spell, and show to her that the world was not all darkness—not all sin, and tears, and sorrow; and to tell her of that kind God who loves everything that He has made. So as I told you I was very happy,—the sun looked so bright to me—the sky so fair,—and I could scarcely make my feet go fast enough.

Turning a corner suddenly, I met a man bearing a child's coffin. I cannot tell you why I stood still—why my heart sank like lead—why I could not let him pass, till I asked him what little form he was bearing away,—or why my heart told me, before he answered, that it was my poor little Clara.

Yes—it was she! I was too late—she was in the little coffin! No hearse—no mourners—no tolling bell! Borne along—unnoticed—uncared for—through the busy, crowded, noisy, streets. But, dear children, kind Angels looked pitying down, and Clara "hungers no more—nor thirsts anymore—neither shall the sun light on her, nor any heat."


Such a rich man as little Georgey's father was; so many houses, and shops, and farms as he owned; so many horses and carriages; such a big house as he lived in, by the Park, and so many servants as he had in it,—but he loved little Georgey better than any of them, and bought him toys enough to fill a shop, live animals enough to stock a menagerie, and jackets and trousers enough to clothe half the boys in New-York.

Georgey was a pretty boy; he had a broad, noble forehead, large, dark, loving eyes, and a form as straight and lithe as a little Indian's. His mother was very proud of him,—not because he was good, but because he was pretty. She was a very foolish woman, and talked to him a great deal about his fine clothes, and his curling hair; but for all that she didn't make out to spoil Georgey. He didn't care an old marble, not he, for all the fine clothes in Christendom; and would have been glad to have had every curl on his merry little head clipped off.

Georgey had no brothers or sisters. He was so sorry for that—he would rather have had such a playmate than all the toys his father bought him. His little heart was brim full of love, and his birds, and rabbits, and ponies were well enough, but they couldn't say, "Georgey, I love you;" neither could he make them understand what he was thinking about; so he wearied of them, and would often linger in the street, and look after the little groups of children so wistfully, that I quite pitied him. I used to think that, with all his money, he wasn't half as happy as little Pat and Neil Connor, two little Irish brothers who played hop-scotch every day under my window.

It was a very cold day in January. Jack Frost had been out all day on a frolic, and was still busily at work. He had drawn all sorts of pictures on the window panes, such as beautiful trees and flowers, and great towering castles, and tall-masted ships, and church spires, and little cottages, (so oddly shaped); beside birds that "Audubon" never dreamed of, and animals that Noah never huddled into the ark. Then he festooned all the eaves, the fences, and trees, and bushes with crystal drops, which sparkled and glittered in the sunbeams like royal diamonds—then he hung icicles on the poor old horses' noses, and tripped up the heels of precise old bachelors, and sent the old maids spinning round on the sidewalks, till they were perfectly ashamed of themselves; and then he got into the houses, and burst and cracked all the water pitchers, and choked up the steady old pump, so that it might as well have been without a nose as with one, and pinched the cheeks of the little girls till they were as red as a pulpit cushion, blew right through the key hole on grandpa's poor, rheumatic old back, and ran round the street corner, tearing open folks' cloaks, and shawls, and furred wrappers, till they shook as if they had an ague fit. I verily believe he'd just as quick trip up our minister's heels as yours or mine! Oh, he is a graceless rogue—that Jack Frost! and many's the time he's tipped Aunt Fanny's venerable nose with indigo.

Georgey didn't care a penny whistle for the fellow, all muffled up to the chin in his little wadded velvet sack, with a rich cashmere scarf of his mother's wound about his neck, and a velvet cap crushed down over his bright, curly head.

How the sleighs did fly past! with their gaily fringed buffaloes, and prancing horses necklaced with little tinkling bells. How merry the pretty ladies peeped from out their gay worsted hoods! Oh! it was a pretty sight,—Georgey liked it—everybody moved so briskly, and seemed so happy!

What ails Georgey now? He has crossed the street, stopped short, and the bright color flushes his cheeks, till he looks quite beautiful. Ah! he has spied a little apple girl, seated upon the icy pavement. The wind is making merry with her thin rags,—her little toes peep, blue and benumbed, from out her half-worn shoes,—and she is blowing on her stiffened fingers, vainly trying to keep them warm.

Georgey looked down at his nice warm coat, and then at Kate's thin cotton gown. Georgey never was cold in his life, never hungry. His eyes fill—his little breast heaves. Then quickly untwisting the thick, warm scarf from his little throat, he throws it round her shivering form and says, with a glad smile, That will warm you!—and bounds out of sight before she can thank him. Old Mr. Prince stands by, wiping his eyes, and says, "God bless the boy!—that's worth a dozen sermons; I'll send a load of wood to little Kate's mother."


Oh, May is a coquette! Don't trust her. She will smile on you one minute, and frown on you the next—toss you flowers with one hand, and hail stones with the other. I know her. Many's the time she has coaxed me out of a good, warm bed, wheedled me into the fields in a white dress and thin shoes, and then sent me home wet as a drowned kitten, with a snapping headache, to a cold breakfast.

Yes—I used to "go a-Maying."

Such a watching of the clouds and weather-cock the night before; such a fixing of sashes, and wreaths, and hats, and dresses; so many charges to Betty, the cook, to wake us up by daylight; such a wondering how mother and father could lie a-bed of a May morning;—such a tossing, and twisting, and turning, the night before; such a putting aside of muslin curtains, to see if it wasn't "most daylight;" such surprise when Aunt Esther came creeping up stairs, shading her night-lamp and saying, "it was only ten o'clock!" Such broken slumbers as we had—such funny dreams—and such a galvanic jump out of bed the next morning, when Betty gave us one of her pump-handle shakes. Then such a time washing, and combing, and dressing! such long faces when a great thumping rain drop fell upon the window! such a consultation as to the expediency of wearing our "best clothes;" such clapping of hands when the sun finally shone out again; such fears lest Anna Maria and Sarah Sophia's mother wouldn't let them come to meet us as they promised. Such a tip-toeing over wet sidewalks, out into the country; such a talk after we got off the brick pavements, as to which was the prettiest road; such a wondering what had become of all the flowers; such regrets that we didn't think to fill our pockets with crackers; such a picking out of pebble stones from thin shoes; such a drawing up of thin shawls over shivering shoulders; such a dismay when a great black cloud emptied itself down on our "best clothes;" such congratulations when our good-natured, rosy-faced, merry milkman meeting us, stowed and wedged us away amid his milk-cans, to bring us safely back to the city. Such a creeping in the back way, lest "that torment of a Tom" should laugh at us; such a coaxing of Betty to cook us a good, hot breakfast; and such a gaping and yawning in school for a week after.

Oh! you know all about it,—everybody knows that it is just as sure to rain on a May morning, as it is to thaw when your schoolmaster attempts to treat himself and you to a sleigh-ride on your hoarded ninepences!

So take my advice and turn your back on May—she is a fickle little gypsey. Ask the first Irishman you meet if June isn't the month to go a-Maying?—June, with her light, green robe, and violet-slippered feet, and sweet, warm breath, and rose-garlanded hair? ah, June is the month to go a-Maying! Pat will tell you so.


Tattered straw hat, buttonless jacket, and shoeless feet. That is a large basket for so young a lad as Jemmy to carry. He brushed the dew from the grass this morning by daylight; his stock in trade consisting of only a jack-knife and that basket; but "Uncle Sam" owns the dandelions, and Jim is a Yankee, (born with a trading bump,) and ninepence a basket is something to think of. To be sure he has cut his bare feet with a stone, but that's a trifle. See, he is on his way to the big house yonder, for the old housekeeper and her mistress have both a tooth for dandelions. Jemmy swings the tattered part of his hat round behind, and using a patch of grass for a mat, steps lightly up the avenue.

How still and mirror-like the little pond looks. How gracefully the long willow-tips bend to kiss the surface; how lazily the little gold fish float beneath. There is not air enough to shake the perfume from out the locust blossoms, and old Bruno has crawled into the shade, although the sun is not two hours high.

What a fine old house! and how many dandelions somebody must have dug to buy it!—Jemmy's arithmetic couldn't compute it; and that fine statue, too, on the brink of the pond, with its finger on its lip; (it's no use, is it Jemmy?) the birds won't "hush" for the daintiest bit of marble ever sculptured; nested to their minds; no taxes to pay;—nothing to do but warble. May no sportsman's gun send them quivering through the branches.

Now Jemmy has reached the kitchen door, and gives a modest rap. Smart "Tim," the footman, opens it, and with one application of his aristocratic toe, sends the dandelion basket spinning down the avenue! Jemmy's Yankee blood is up; his dark eyes flash lightning, he clenches his brown fist, sets his ivory teeth together, and brings his little bare foot down on the gravel-walk, with an emphasis; but he sees it is no use, he is no match for the pampered footman; and great rebellious tears gather in his eyes, as he picks up his scattered treasures, saying,—"Ninepence would have bought my book."

"Would it, Jemmy? Well—here it is—'the fairies' have sent it you."

What a pretty picture he makes, as he pushes back his thick locks, and flashes those great, dark, Italian eyes—it is worth a hundred ninepences to see such a beaming face.

After all, dear reader, one need not be a "Rothschild," to make a fellow creature glad. Happiness is a cheaper thing than we are apt to think.


Did you ever live in a hotel? I dare say you may have, (some time or other, when you have been on a journey.) Perhaps your home is in a hotel. I hope not; because a good, cozy, quiet house of one's own, away from noise and bustle, is so much better for little children—and grown people too.

Walter lived in a hotel, with his father and mother and two little sisters. Walter was very tired of it. His mother never staid in the nursery; she was always down in the drawing-room, talking to finely-dressed ladies; and, when his father came home from the store, he never played with his little boy, but went into the gentlemen's room, to smoke cigars.

The nursery was very small, and Walter's two little sisters cried a great deal—sometimes from pain, and sometimes because Betty, the nurse, got cross and shook them roughly, and took no pains to amuse them when their mother staid away such a long, long while. So, little Walter didn't fancy staying in the nursery much, and as he was not allowed to go into the drawing-room, for fear his shirt-collar might be tumbled, or his jacket on awry, or his boots have a mud speck on them, the poor child had nothing left to do but wander round the hall and lobbies, and see the chambermaids sweep the rooms, and hear the waiters swear at each other, and watch the stages and trunks and passengers come and go.

When Walter wearied of this, he'd creep into the "bar-room," and watch the clerk pour out brandy, and wine and whiskey for the gentlemen to drink. Walter liked to see them drink it, because it made them laugh so hard, and clap each other on the back, and tell such funny stories; and then, sometimes, they would call to him and feed him with the sugar and brandy in the bottom of the tumbler; and Walter thought it very sweet and nice, and made up his mind that when he grew to be a man, he'd have just as much brandy as ever he could drink.

Walter's mamma didn't think, as she sat there in the drawing-room, dressed like a French doll, that her little curly headed Walter was learning how to be a drunkard; no, she was a careless young mamma, and didn't think, (perhaps she didn't know,) how closely little children must be watched, to make them grow good men and women.

Sometimes Walter went down to peep into the kitchen. There is always a great deal going on in a hotel kitchen,—so many turkeys and chickens and birds and fish to fix for dinner. Walter liked to see them roast a little pig whole, and then put an ear of corn in his mouth and lay him on a plate—or make a lobster salad look like a turtle, or a boiled ham like a pork-upine! Then Pietro, the cook, was worth looking at, himself. He was a great six-footer of an Italian; with eyes—(my senses, how big and how black they were!) Walter thought he must look like the robbers that his uncle John, who had been across the seas, used to tell about. Then, Pietro had such big, fierce whiskers, too, and always wore a bright scarlet cap, with a long gilt tassel, and altogether, for a cook, he looked very picturesque—(Aunt Fanny knows that's a long word, but you must look it out in the dictionary.) When Pietro got angry with any of the waiters, I promise you he'd make his frying-pan fly across the kitchen as if it were bewitched, and then poor little Walter would fly up stairs as fast as his little fat legs could carry him.

But Pietro was not always cross, for all he looked as though he had been fed on thunder; no—he often tossed Walter a bunch of raisins, or a rosy apple; and it was quite beautiful when he did smile, to see his white teeth glitter. Sometimes, when he was waiting for some dish to cook, he would take Walter on his knee, and tell him of his own beautiful bright Italy, where the skies were as soft and blue as Walter's eyes, and where (if we might believe Pietro) one might dance and sing and eat grapes forever, without working for them; but when Walter looked up innocently and said, "then why didn't you stay there, Pietro?" Pietro would drop him as if he had been a red-hot potatoe, and hiss something in Italian from between his teeth, that poor little Walter could not begin to understand; but as he was a pretty sensible little boy, he always took himself off till Pietro felt better natured, and asked him no more questions.

One rainy day Walter had wandered all over the hotel, trying to get amused. The nurse had a friend call to see her, and she had given his little sisters all Walter's playthings, to keep them quiet, that they need not trouble her; and Walter's mamma told him, when he put his little head into the drawing-room, that "she didn't care what he did, if he didn't bother her;" so the poor little fellow was quite at his wits' ends to know what to do with himself. Finally it struck him that it would be fine fun to "play fish." So he went to one of his mother's drawers and got a long string, on the end of which he fastened a crooked pin; then he went way up—up—up—so many flights of stairs, to the very highest entry he could find, way to the top of the house; from there the stair-case wound round, and round, and round, like a cork-screw, down into the front entry, far enough to make you dizzy to look over.

Well, Walter let down his line, and then he reached over his little curly head to see how far it went. Poor, merry, bright-eyed little Walter!—how can I tell the rest? Over he went, beating and bruising his little head—down—down—till he reached the marble floor in the lower entry, where he was taken up—dead!

His young mamma cried very hard,—but that didn't bring back her poor, neglected little boy; but it made her a better mother. She loves to stay in the nursery now, with Walter's little sisters nestled in her lap; and sometimes when they smile, she will part the sunny curls from their little foreheads, and the tears will fall like rain drops on their rosy faces, as she remembers her poor, darling, mangled, little Walter.


I shan't ask you if you ever saw him, because I know that, like other cowards, he generally skulks out of sight; but I'm very sure if you could get a peep at him, you would find that he had a "cloven foot." But if I can't tell you who Mr. "They Say" is, I can tell you what he is.

It quite drives him frantic to see any person happier than himself, or more fortunate; and as sure as any one gets more love, or more money, than he has, he will knit his ugly brows to contrive somehow to give them the heart-ache. Sometimes he will do it in one way, and sometimes in another; sometimes he will do it by shrugging his shoulders, shaking his head, and looking as if he could say something dreadful bad about a person, if he only had a mind to. He has made many a poor woman, who had no brave arm to strike the coward down, weep her bright eyes dim, till she longed to lay her aching head with the silent company in the quiet church-yard.

You'd suppose that nobody who owned a heart, would ever choose the society of such a wicked villain. You'd suppose nobody who loved God, would ever listen to him, or repeat his false sayings; but, alas! people are so fond of hearing "something new," that they can't make up their minds to turn their backs upon him; so they sit, and smile, and listen, till he has nothing more to tell, and then they draw down their faces, and tell him he "ought not to talk so!"—just as if Mr. "They Say" didn't see that they were perfectly delighted with him? Certainly, he goes off laughing in his sleeve to think they suppose him such a fool.

Mr. "They Say" is a very great traveler. It is astonishing how much ground he can get over without the help of steamboats, cars, stages, or telegraph wires. He may be found in a thousand places at once—in every little village in the United States—in every house and shop and hotel and office. Editors are very fond of Mr. "They Say." They always give him the best chair in the office, for he is an amazing help to them. In fact, it is Aunt Fanny's opinion, that their newspapers would die a natural death without him. To be sure, he sometimes gets them into shocking scrapes with his big fibs; but they know how to twist and turn out of it.

Yes, Mr. "They Say" is a cowardly liar! He couldn't look an honest man straight in the eye, any more than he could face a cannon ball. He would turn as pale as a snow-wreath, and melt into nothing just about as quick.

Oh! Aunt Fanny knows all about him. So when he comes on her track, she looks straight at her inkstand, and minds her own business. She knows that nothing plagues the old fellow like being treated with perfect indifference. That's the way to kill him off!


How brightly the silver moon shines in that little bow window! Let us peep in. What do you see? A little girl lies there sleeping. She is very fair—tears are upon her cheeks—she sighs heavily, and clasps a letter tightly to her little bosom.

She is young to know sorrow. Life's morning should be all sunshine;—clouds come at its noon and eve.

Listen! some one glides gently into Nettie's room. It is a very old lady, but her form is drawn up as straight as your own, though her face is seamed with wrinkles and her hand trembles with age. She is stern and hard-featured. Should you meet her anywhere you would feel a chill come over you, as if the bright sun were clouded. You never would dare to lay your head upon her lap, and you would not think of kissing her, any more than you would a stone post.

See! she creeps up to Nettie's bed, and a heavy frown gathers on her wrinkled face as she spies the letter on her bosom. Now she draws it from between the child's fingers, reads it, mutters something between her closed teeth, and then burns it to cinders in the candle; then she shakes her head, and frowning darkly at little Nettie, glides, spectre-like, out of the room.

The same bright moon shines in at a window in the city. It is past midnight, but a lady sits there, toiling, toiling, toiling, though her lids long ago drooped heavily, and the candle is nearly burned to the socket. Why does she toil? Why does she sigh? Why does she get up and walk the floor as if afraid that sleep may overtake her?

Ah! a mother's love never dies out. That lady is Nettie's mother. She has something to work for;—she is trying to earn money enough (cent by cent) to bring home, and clothe and feed that poor little weeping, home-sick Nettie, who cried herself to sleep, with her mother's letter hugged to her bosom.

The old lady whom you saw burning Nettie's letter, was her grandmother. She was very jealous of Nettie's mother, because her son (Nettie's father,) loved her so well; and after he died she revenged herself upon her, by giving her all the pain she could. She promised if Nettie would come and live with her to be kind to her; and as Nettie's mother and little sister Ida hadn't enough to eat, Nettie had to go and live with the old lady. She cried very hard, and her mother cried too, and so did Nettie's little sister Ida; but the old lady promised that Nettie should come often and see them, and that they should come and see her. But she only said so to get Nettie away. After she got her she was very unkind to her, and used to tell her that her mother "was a foolish woman—not fit to bring her up"—and when Nettie got up to leave the room, because she couldn't bear to hear her talk against her dear mother, the old lady would shake her, and bring her back, and sit her down on the chair so hard as to make her cry with pain, and then force her to hear all she had to say.

You may be sure that all this made poor little Nettie feel very miserable. She had nothing to amuse her; she wasn't allowed to drive hoop, because it was "boy's play;" she wasn't allowed to go to walk, for fear she would "wear her shoes out;" she wasn't allowed to read story-books, for fear she "wouldn't study;" she wasn't allowed to play with dolls, because "it was silly;" she mustn't go visiting, because "it wasn't proper;" she mustn't have a playmate come to see her, because "it made a disturbance;" she couldn't have a kitten, because "animals were a nuisance;" she mustn't talk to her grandmother, because "little girls must be seen and not heard." So she sat there, like a little automaton, and watched the clock tick, and counted the times her grandmother put on and took off her spectacles, and thought of her mother and little sister till she bit her finger nails so that they bled.

Once in a great while, when Nettie had worried her self nearly sick, she got leave to go and see her mother. Then her grandmother always put on her worst clothes, to try to make her ashamed to go, and when she found that Nettie didn't care for her clothes, if she could only see her mother, she scolded and fretted and worried her, and gave her so many charges to come home at a particular hour, else she should be punished, that poor Nettie didn't enjoy her visit at all, but would start and turn pale every time she heard a clock strike, and get so nervous as to bring on a bad headache; and then, when she got home, the old lady would say that it was just like her mother to make her sick, and that she shouldn't go again.

Perhaps you'll ask if Nettie's mother never went to see her. You know it costs money to go in the cars, and Nettie's mother had no money, though she tried hard to earn it. Once in a while she could save up cents enough to carry her there; but she always had to carry something in her pocket for little Ida and herself to eat, for the old lady wouldn't offer them even a glass of water, because she didn't want them to come and see Nettie.

When they got there poor little Nettie would meet them at the door, with a troubled, frightened look upon her face; and without speaking a word, would lead them through the entry by the hand into her own little room; then she'd close the door, and after looking timidly about the room, jump into her mother's lap and kiss her hands and face, and cry and laugh, and hug little Ida; and Ida and her mother would cry too, and then Nettie would ask, sobbing, "if her mother hadn't earned money enough yet to take her away," and say that she'd rather starve with her mother, than live there, she was so wretched. And Nettie's mother would kiss her, and soothe her, and tell her how late she sat up toiling to get money; and then Nettie would cry for fear her mother would get sick, and then they'd all kiss each other, and almost wish that God would let them die (then) just as they were—together.

Again the silver harvest-moon shines down upon the silent city. Through a curtained window its rays fall softly upon a bed, where lies a lady sleeping. See! she smiles! What! Nettie's mother smile? Ah, yes; for Nettie's golden head is pillowed on her breast. Nettie's loving arms are twined about her neck. God is good;—the "barrel of meal" does not fail, nor the "cruse of oil." Well may Nettie's mother smile, now that all she craves on earth is in her clasping arms.


Such a selfish boy as Matthew was! You wouldn't have given a fig to play with him. He had carpenters' tools and books, and chequers and chess, and drawing materials, and balls and kites, and little ships and skates, and snow-shovels and sleds. Oh! I couldn't tell you all he had, if I talked a week.

Well, if you went in of a Saturday afternoon to play with him, he'd watch all these things as closely as a cat would a mouse; and if you went within shooting distance of them, he'd sing out,—"D-o-n-'t; t-h-a-t-'s m-i-n-e!" Of course it wasn't much fun to go and see him. You'd got to play everything he wanted, or he'd pout and say he wouldn't play at all. He had slices of cake, that he had hoarded up till they were as hard as his heart; and cents, and dimes, and half dimes, that he used to handle and jingle and count over, like any little miser. All the beggars in the world couldn't have coaxed one out of his pocket had they been starving to death.

Then Matthew was such a cry-baby. I love a brave boy. He'd go screaming to his mother if he got a scratch, as if a wild tiger were after him; and if you said anything to him about it, he'd pout, and stick out his lips so far that you might have hung your hat on 'em! It was like drawing teeth to get him to go across the room to hand you a newspaper. He ought to have had a little world all to himself, hadn't he?

Well, I used to pity him—there was nothing child-like about him. He always seemed to me like a little wizzled-up, miserly old man. He never tossed his cap up in the air, and laughed a good hearty laugh; he never sprang or ran, or climbed or shouted; no—he crawled round as if he had lead weights on his heels, and talked without scarce moving his lips, and wore a face as long as the horse's in your father's barn. Such a boy as he was! Had he been mine I should have tried to get some life into him somehow.

When his mother was told of his faults, she'd say, "Oh, he'll out-grow them by and by." I knew better. I knew that his selfishness would grow as fast as he did; and that when he came to be a man, he would be unfeeling to the poor, and make hard bargains with them, and wring the last penny out of their poor, threadbare pockets.

Poor Matthew! he'll never be happy; no—he never'll know the luxury of making a sad face bright, or of drying up the tear of the despairing; and when he dies he can't carry his money with him—he has got to leave it at the tomb door,—and who, do you suppose, will come there to mourn for him?

Oh, dear children, be generous—if you haven't but half a stick of candy, give somebody a bite of it. Perhaps some child will say "But I haven't anything to give." That's a mistake; that boy or girl isn't living who has nothing to give. Give your sympathy—give pleasant words and beaming smiles to the sad and weary-hearted. If a little child goes to your school who is poorly clad, patched, darned; nay, even ragged;—if the tear starts to his eye when your schoolmates laugh, and shun, and refuse to play with him—just you go right up and put your arms round his neck; ask him to play with you. Love him;—love sometimes is meat and drink and clothing. You can all love the sad and sorrowful. Then never say you have "nothing to give."


I wonder where all the little children are? I can't find any here in New-York. There are plenty of young gentlemen and ladies, with little high-heeled boots, and ruffled shirts, who step gingerly, carry perfumed handkerchiefs, use big words, talk about parties, but who would be quite at a loss how to use a hoop or a jump rope—little pale, candy-fed creatures, with lustreless eyes, flabby limbs, and no more life than a toad imbedded in a rock,—little tailor and milliner "lay figures," stiff, fine and artificial.

No; there are no little children here. I'm very sorry;—I love little children. I used to know some once, with broad, full chests; plump, round limbs; feet that knew how to run, and hands that could venture to go through an entry without drawing on a kid glove,—blithe, merry little children, who got up and went to bed with the sun; who fed on fresh, new milk, and stepped on daisies, and knew more about butter-cups and clover blossoms, than parties and fashions,—little guileless children, who danced and jumped and laughed for the same reason the birds sing—because they couldn't help it,—who didn't care any more than the birds, whether their plumage was red, green, yellow or brown, so that they could dart and skim and hop where they liked, warble when they had a mind, and fold their wings where they pleased, when weary. But these little city hot-house plants, shivering, shrinking, drooping—I had almost said dying, every time the wind blows—it quite makes my heart ache.

I think I must go hunt up their mammas, and beg them to give their little sensitive plants more air and sunshine, to make them hardy. Dear me! the mammas here are never at home. Some are in the great ladies' saloon (bright with gilding and mirrors,) in Broadway, sipping red "cordial," eating sugared wine drops and French cakes, and chattering with the gentlemen; some are at Madam Modeste's, planning a new ball dress, and talking about feathers and fashions; some are looking at a set of diamonds at the jewellers; and some are still in bed, although it is high noon, because they danced themselves so weary last night. So, poor little things, I suppose you must stay in your heated nurseries, bleaching like potato sprouts in a dark cellar, till Molly or Betty think best to let you out. Well, Aunt Fanny would be so glad to tie a little sun-bonnet on your head, put on a dress loose enough to run in, and take you off into the country a while. She'd show you little cups and saucers, made of acorns, that would beat all they have in the Broadway toy-shops, (and cost you nothing, either); and soft, green seats of moss, embroidered with little golden flowers, much handsomer than any the upholsterer could put in your mamma's drawing room, (and which never fade in the sunlight); then she'd show you a pretty picture of bright green fields, where a silver stream goes dancing through, where little fish dart beneath, where the heated cattle come to drink, and the little birds dip their wings, then are off and away!

Oh, such merry times as we'd have! I know where the purple geranium grows; where the bright scarlet columbine blushes, and where the pale wax plant hides under its glossy green leaf. I know where the blue eyed anemone blossoms; I know where the bright lobelia nods its royal scarlet head; (I know how to pull off my shoes and wade in after it, too); and I know how to make a wreath of it for your pretty little head. Oh, I know how to make your eyes shine—and your little heart happy. So tie on your sun-bonnet, and come with me,—the more the merrier. I don't believe your mammas will ever know you, when I bring you back.


Everybody called Rosalie a beauty. Everybody was right. Her cheeks looked like a ripe peach; her hair waved over as fair a forehead as ever a zephyr kissed; her eyes and mouth were as perfect as eyes and mouth could be; no violet was softer or bluer than the one, no rose-bud sweeter than the other. All colors became Rosalie, and whatever she did was gracefully done.

Yes, everybody thought Rosalie was "a beauty." Rosalie thought so herself. So, she took no pains to be good, or amiable, or obliging. She never cared about learning anything, for she said to herself, I can afford to have my own way; I can afford to be a dunce if I like; I shall be always sought and admired for my pretty face.

So, Rosalie dressed as tastefully as she and the dress-maker knew how, and looked up to show her fine eyes, and down to show her long eye-lashes, and held up her dress and hopped over little imaginary puddles, to show her pretty feet; and smiled to show her white teeth; and danced to show her fine form—and was as brilliant and as brainless as a butterfly.

Now, I suppose you think that Rosalie was very happy. Not at all! She was in a perfect fidget lest she should not get all the admiration she wanted. She was torturing herself all the while, for fear some prettier face would come along, and eclipse hers. If she went to a party and every person in the room (but one) admired her, she would fret herself sick, because that one didn't bow down and worship her.

Never having studied or read anything, Rosalie could talk nothing but nonsense; so, everybody who conversed with her, talked nonsense, too, and paid her silly compliments, and made her believe that all she needed to make her quite an angel was a pair of wings; and then she would hold her pretty head on one side, and simper; and they would go away laughing in their sleeves, and saying, "What a vain little fool Rosalie is!"

Now, Rosalie's cousin Hetty was as plain as a chestnut-bur. She had not a single pretty feature in her face. Nobody ever thought of calling Hetty a beauty, and she knew it! She was used to being overlooked; but she didn't go whining round and making herself unhappy about it,—not she. She just put her mind on something else. She studied, and read books, and learned a great many useful things; so, she had a great deal in her mind to think of, and went singing about as happy as could be, without minding whether anybody noticed her or not.

So she grew up sweet-tempered, amiable, generous and happy. When she went into company, strangers would say, "What a plain little body Hetty is." If they could not find anybody else to talk to, they'd go speak to her. Then Hetty would look up at them with one of her quiet smiles, and commence talking. She would say a great many very sensible things, and some queer ones, and they would listen—and listen—and listen—and by and by look at their watch and wonder what had made time fly so; and then go home, wondering to themselves how they could ever call such an agreeable girl as Hetty "homely."

So you see, everybody learned to love her when they found out what a beautiful soul she had; and while Rosalie was pining and fretting herself sick because her beauty was fading, and her admirers were dropping off one by one, to flatter prettier faces, Hetty went quietly on her way, winning hearts and——keeping them, too.


How many of my little readers have seen the Crystal Palace, in New-York? Those of you who have, can skip these pages, while I talk to some of your little bright-eyed country cousins, who have never been there.

You know, my dear little daisies, that poor city children, who have to walk on brick pavements, and breathe bad air, ought to have something by way of a sugar plum, now and then, to make up for it. So, you mustn't pout because they have seen the Crystal Palace, and you have not.

You know John Bull got up a Crystal Palace in England, some time since, to which people of all nations sent articles of their own making,—not to sell, but to show the great crowd who came to look at them what they could do when they tried. It was a grand thing, because it made them anxious to finish off everything in the best possible manner; and as many of the articles were very useful, it did a great deal of good. Then, it brought thousands of people to see it, and that made Adam's sons and daughters better acquainted, and more sociable, and happier; so, it was a very excellent thing on that account.

Well, you know that we Americans are a very smart people, (ask your grandfather if we are not,) and we made up our minds that we would show John Bull, and Sandy, and Pat, a Crystal Palace of our own; and when an American says he will do a thing—it is done!

So, I was not at all astonished at what I saw last night;—such a beautiful building,—such a splendid glass roof—such a blaze of light, (for it was evening) my eyes were almost put out! I couldn't begin to tell you all the pretty things there were in it, but if you wish to know what I wanted more than anything else, it was a little marble statue (I suppose you would call it "an image") of a sleeping child. It had the prettiest, plumpest little dimpled limbs, you ever saw, and such an innocent little cherub face; I wanted to catch it up and run away with it.

There were a great many very beautiful statues there, some of which would have made you cuddle very close up to your mother, and hold her hand very tight; for instance, one statue representing a dead mother with a live baby lying on her breast, and a great, strong eagle fastening its claws in the little baby to carry it off. And then, there was a statue of an enormous bear, giving a poor man such a hugging—squeezing the very life out of him; he wouldn't have had to squeeze you at all to kill you, for the very sight of such a grizzly monster would have scared you to death in an instant.

Then there was a glass case full of swords, and dirks, and daggers, and all sorts of instruments to kill people; and you would have been as glad as I was, had you seen them hanging up there so harmlessly, instead of making widows and orphans, on the battlefield.

Then, there were beautiful pianos with silver keys, and rich sofas, and bedsteads, and chairs, and tables, and bureaus; and pretty, tempting work-boxes, full of all sorts of knick-knacks to tempt ladies to be industrious; and such dainty little writing desks!—oh, I can tell you, it was very hard work not to covet those.

Then the diamonds, and amethysts, and emeralds, and pearls, and rubies, fit for a queen's diadem;—they flashed in my eyes till I was almost blind—but I would rather have had that little image of the sleeping baby than the whole of them.

Then there were silks, and satins, and gauzes, and embroideries, and worsted jackets, and tippets, and gloves, and shoes fit for Cinderella.

Then there were dolls, (boys and girls) dressed up to show off the fashions. I should be sorry to see you finified up so. Then, there was a beautiful baby's cradle, lined with soft, white satin, with a rich lace curtain, fit for Queen Victoria's baby, or your mother's; and a tiny little robe and cap lying near it, delicate as a lily leaf.

Then there was a tall wax lady dressed in deep black, (black eyes too) to show off the mourning goods; and between you and me, I think she mourned quite as much as a great many persons who put on black.

Then there was a pyramid of perfumery—done up in bottles—enough to sweeten the handkerchiefs and dispositions of all the young ladies in New-York.

Then there were silver and gold tea-sets, and dishes and trays, and knives and forks, for rich ladies who like to be tied to a bunch of keys, and sleep with one eye open.

Then there were beautiful pictures, which many a poor artist had toiled and sighed over, and which I should like to give him a good bag of money for, and then hang them up in my parlor. Pictures are such pleasant, quiet company.

Then there were a great many machines, and instruments, and engines, of much importance, which grown up people would be interested in, but which I will not describe to you.

Well, these pretty things I have told you about were not all on the lower floor of the Palace. No; part of them were in the galleries. You could sit there and look down below upon the great statue of General Washington on horseback; upon Daniel Webster; and then, upon the Lilliputians that were walking around looking at them; then, you could shut your eyes and listen to the music, and fancy you were in some enchanted region, for it was quite like a fairy tale, the whole of it.


I am an old maid. Perhaps I might have been married. Perhaps not. I don't know as that is anybody's business.

I have a little room I call my own. There's a bedstead in it covered with a patched quilt, made of as many colors as "Joseph's coat," and an old-fashioned bureau with great claw feet, and a chair whose cushion is stuffed with cotton batting; a wash-stand, a table, and a looking-glass over it. At the side of the looking-glass is a picture of Daniel Webster, which I look at oftener than in the looking-glass—for I am an ugly old maid, and Daniel was one of a thousand.

Old maids like to have a good time, as well as other folks; so, I don't shut myself up moping in my little salt-box of a room. When the four walls close too tight round me, there are four or five families where I go visiting, sometimes to breakfast, (for I'm an early riser,) sometimes to tea, sometimes to dinner, and sometimes to all three;—sometimes I stay all night.

Everybody is glad to see me, because I pay my way. If the baby has the colic, I tend it; if Johnny wants a new tail to his kite, I make it; if Susy has torn her best frock, I mend it; and if Papa comes slily up to me and slips a dicky into my hand, I sew the missing string on, and say nothing.

I have lately made the acquaintance of a new family, by the name of Tompkins; and very pleasant people they are, too. They have a whole house full of children,—not one too many, according to my way of thinking. Louisas and Jennys, and Marthas and Marys, and Tommys and Johnnys, besides a little baby that its mother has never had time to name.

I love to watch little children. I love to hear them talk when they don't think I am listening. I love to read to them and watch their eyes sparkle. I love to play with them, and walk with them. They are often much pleasanter company than grown people—at least, so Kizzy thinks. But that is only an old maid's opinion.

I hadn't visited at the Tompkins' long, before I noticed that little "Luly," as they called her, was one by herself; that is, she was not a favorite with the rest of the family. At first I didn't understand how it was, and I felt very much like saying I didn't like it; for Luly seemed to be a nice little girl, and playful as a little kitty. She was always laughing, singing, and dancing—now in at one door, and now out at the other, like a will-o'-the-wisp, or a jack-o'-lantern. Why on earth they didn't like Luly, I couldn't see. Being an old maid, of course I couldn't rest easy till I found out the reason of this; and I soon did it, as you'll see, if you read on to the end of my story.

One day Luly came to me saying, "Tell me a story, there's a good Kizzy, I am tired of running round."

Well, I knit to my seam needle, and then I took her up on my lap and began:

Once there was a little girl whose name was Violetta. She had never kept still five minutes since she was born, and I suppose the shoemakers were very glad of it. She was as much like a little squirrel as a little girl could be—nibbling and scampering, scampering and nibbling, from sunrise to sunset.

When Violetta came into the room, everybody looked uneasy. If her papa was writing, he'd lay one hand over his papers, and push his ink-stand as far as possible into the middle of the table; mamma would catch up her work-basket and put it in her lap; her little brothers and sisters would all scrabble up their playthings, and run; even the little baby would crawl on its hands and knees as fast as it could, and catch hold of its mother's gown.

You might be sure if you laid a thing out of your hand, you never would find it in the same spot where you left it, if Violetta were in the room. She would run off with your scissors, your bodkin, your needlebook, and your spool of cotton; she would stuff your handkerchief in her pocket by mistake; she'd break the strings of your bag, trying to open it; she'd try your spectacles on to her kitten, and tie your new tippet on the dog Ponto's neck.

Then she would run into the kitchen and dip her fingers into the preserves, and upset the egg-basket, and open the oven door and let the heat all out when the pies were baking, and leave the cover off the sugar bucket, and dip into the milk to feed her kitty, and disturb the cream, and nibble round a loaf of fresh cake, just like a little mouse.

Well, of course everybody disliked her, and hated to see her come where they were. She never got invited anywhere, because nothing was safe from her little Paul Pry fingers; and when company came she generally got sent out of the room. It was a great pity, because she was really a pretty little girl, and a very bright one, too.

"Oh, Miss Kizzy," said Luly, "I never will do so any more, I——"

Why, Luly, I didn't say you did so; I was talking about Violetta.

"Oh, but it is just like me," said the honest little girl; "I have done all those things, Miss Kizzy—every one of them; but I didn't think it would make everybody hate me. I want to be loved, Miss Kizzy; but you don't know how dreadful hard it is for a little girl to 'keep still.'"

Yes I do, Luly; and you needn't "keep still," as you call it, but you mustn't meddle with what don't belong to you. I see how it is: you are a very active little girl, and want something to do all the time. I'll ask your mother to let you go to school—(Luly frowned)—to me, Luly!

"Oh, that's so nice," said Luly. "Don't get a bench—will you? Don't make me set up straight. Don't make me fold up my hands and keep my toes still, will you, Miss Kizzy?"

Well, Luly came to my school, and stood up or sat down, just as she liked. She was the only scholar I had, so I was not particular about that; but after she had learned to read, she would "keep still" for hours together without minding it, if you'd only give her a book.

Poor little Luly; she didn't mean to be naughty; she only wanted something to do. She is one of the best little girls now that ever carried a satchel.


My dear little readers: But a step or two from the famous Broadway, in New-York, where one sees so much riches and splendor, is a place called the "Five Points," where the wicked poor live, huddled together in garrets and cellars, half starved, half naked, and dirty, and wretched, beyond what you, in your pure and happy homes, ever could dream of. They were recently so numerous, so strong, and so cunning, that even the police were afraid to go among them, for fear they should get killed.

A good man by the name of Mr. Pease heard of this dreadful place, and went down there to see what he could do to make the people better. I had heard how much good he had done, and to-day I went down to the Five Points to see for myself.

Oh, I couldn't tell you half the misery that stared me in the face, as I passed through those streets. Slatternly women, huddled round cellar doors; dirty children, half naked, playing in the muddy gutters, and hearing words that may never, never be written for you to read.

Then, there were drinking shops, with such shocking odors issuing from doors and windows; and red-faced, blear-eyed men, half drunk, leaning against the barrels, and sitting on the side-walks; and decayed fruit, in windows so thick with dirt that one could scarcely see through them; and second-hand, faded dresses and bonnets for sale, swinging from out the doorways; and girls with uncombed hair and bare feet and bold faces, fighting and swearing; and old, gray-haired men, smoking pipes and drinking. I was quite sick at heart, and was glad to get into Mr. Pease's house, and find something doing to make things better.

Mr. Pease is a very sensible man, as well as a kind hearted one. Some people who had always had enough to eat, drink, and wear themselves, wished him only to pray for, and talk to these poor creatures, and give them tracts; but Mr. Pease knew that many of them were willing to work, and only stole because they could not get work to do, and must either steal or starve. So he knew it was no use to talk and tell them they must be good, so long as he didn't show them any way by which they could earn their living honestly.

So, like a sensible man, in the first place he took a shop, and got a great many coarse shirts to make, and told these poor women if they would come in and make them, he would pay them money, and then they needn't steal. And they came, too; for many of them were weary enough of such a wretched life. Nobody likes to be dirty, instead of clean; nobody likes to be despised, instead of loved; nobody likes a police-man's hand on his throat, instead of the twining arms of the good and pure.

No, indeed! Nobody likes to be afraid to look up at the holy stars, lest their bright eyes should see into their dark souls; nobody likes to drink till they are senseless as a beast, to stifle the sweet voice of conscience; nobody likes to be hungry, or thirsty, or sick and diseased, or so miserable that death would be a blessing.

No, no—no, no! my dear children. So, these poor creatures came flocking to Mr. Pease's shop, glad to work,—glad of a chance to be honest,—glad to see somebody, like Mr. Pease, who would reach out his hand and pull them out of this sea of sin, instead of standing on shore, with his hands folded, while they were drowning, reading them a tract. They saw that he was in earnest,—they saw that he didn't think himself too good to come right down and live in that dreadful neighborhood, if he only could help them. And then, when he had shown them how to put honest bread in their mouths,—when he had found the way to their hearts, (for these wretched creatures have hearts,)—then he talked to them of God and Heaven, till the tears rained down their cheeks,—then he asked them to promise him to "go and sin no more;" and they have kept their word, too. Isn't that good?

Another good thing Mr. Pease has done: he opened a school in this house of his, for the children in the neighborhood, and I asked him to take me in to see them. So, he opened a door, and there sat the little creatures on low benches;—some black as "Topsy;" some white as you are; some barefoot; some with shoes; some so small that their little feet didn't touch the floor from the low benches; some sickly looking and pallid; some rosy and bright; but all with clean hands and clean faces.

At a signal from the lady teacher, they all began to sing, "A brighter day will dawn to-morrow." I had to cry. I couldn't help it.

Some of the children had such pure, sweet faces, that as they sat there singing, with their soft eyes looking upwards, I felt as if I had almost rather they would die there, than go home through those dreadful streets, into those wretched cellars, and hear the shocking words I had heard, as I passed along through them.

I was so glad to learn from Mr. Pease, that some of these little children, who had no parents, lived there in the house with him, and that he kept the others in the day time, giving them their dinners at noon. Poor, little innocent children! I looked at one little face after another, and I couldn't make it right that they should have to live where they can't help sinning,—where they are taught to be wicked,—where they are whipped and beaten for not being wicked,—because rich people love silks and jewels too well, to give Mr. Pease money to find them bread and shelter, and take them away.

Oh, if the rich ladies and gentlemen who live in fine houses, had only seen those poor children as I did, and heard their sweet voices, I can't believe that they would suffer them to remain in such a sinful and wretched condition. Some of them have sent money, which has helped Mr. Pease to buy a place in the country, where he means to carry all the children he can get, away from that vile neighborhood.

Is not that nice? How I should like to see them running over the fields, when work is done; tumbling about under the trees, growing brown and rosy and healthy; listening, not to curses and oaths, but to the warble of some dear little bird, praising God in his own sweet way, for his share of light and air and sunshine!

And now, as you sit in your happy homes, where you hear only kind, good, pure words,—where you never tremble at your father's footfall, or creep under the bed for fear of your own mother,—where you are never hungry, or thirsty, or cold,—where you meet only loving smiles, and go to sleep with the hand of blessing on your bright young head,—oh, remember the poor little outcast ones still forced to live at the Five Points; and if you cannot give them money to help them away, fold your hands and pray God every night to "keep them from the evil that is in the world."


"I am so glad it is Saturday afternoon!"—and little Hatty tossed off her bonnet, and shook out her hair, and skipped up to her mother, who sat making the baby's new red frock,—"I am glad it is Saturday; I don't see the use of going to school, and I wish I never had to look into a book again;" and down little Hatty jumped, two stairs at a time, into the kitchen, to ask Bridget for an apple.

Bridget's red arms were up to the elbows in flour, making pies, and Hatty said she should like to help her. Bridget smiled at the idea of "helping" her. But she liked Hatty; so she tied a great check apron round her, tucked her curls behind her ears, and gave her a bit of paste, and a little cup-plate on which to make herself a pie. So Hatty rolled out the paste, keeping one eye all the while on Bridget, to see how she did hers; and then she greased her little plate so that the pie need not stick to it. When that was done, she filled up the inside with stewed apple, then she tucked it all in with a nice "top crust," then she worked it all round the edge with a tiny little key she had in her pocket: then she looked up and said,

"Bridget! I wish I were you; I should have such a good time tasting the apple-sauce, to see if it were sweet enough. I should like to go out to service, Bridget, and never see that hateful school any more."

Bridget didn't answer, but she turned away and took a long-handled shovel and poked her pies into the hot oven, and then Hatty heard her draw a great long sigh.

"What is the matter, Bridget?" said Hatty. "Is your crust heavy?"

"No," said Bridget,—"but my heart is. I was thinking how I wished I knew how to read and write. There's Patrick, my brother, way over in Ireland—the last time I saw him I wasn't taller than that butter firkin. Father and mother are dead, and Pat is just the pulse of my heart, Hatty! Well, when he writes me a letter, it's me that can't for the life of me read a word of it; and if I get Honora Donahue to read it, I'm not sure whether she gets the right sense of it; and then a body wants to read a letter more than once, you know; and so I take it up, my darlin', and turn it over and over, and it's nothing but Greek and Latin to poor Bridget. And so many's the time, Hatty, I've cried hours over Pat's letters, for reason of that. Then I can't answer them—cause you know I can't write—and in course I don't want to turn my heart inside out for anybody else to write it to Pat for me; and so you see, my darlin', it's a bother all round entirely,"—and Bridget shut to the oven door, and wiped her eyes with the corner of her check apron.

Hatty was a very warm-hearted little girl, and she couldn't bear to see Bridget cry, so she threw down the bit of paste in her hand; then starting to her feet, as if a sudden thought had struck her, ran quickly up stairs into the parlor, where her mother was sitting, talking with two ladies.

Hatty forgot that her face, and hands, and check apron, and even her curls, were all over flour, when she burst into the room, saying,

"Oh, Mamma!—Bridget and I have been talking, and Bridget—(great big Bridget!)—don't know how to read and write! and she has nobody to love but Pat—and Pat is in Ireland; and when he writes her a letter she can't read it, and she can't answer him, because she don't know how to write; and she hasn't seen Pat since—since he was as little as a butter firkin—and she is so unhappy—and, Mamma, mayn't I have an A-B-C book, and teach Bridget how to read and how to write?" And little Hatty stopped—not because she had no more to say, but because she was out of breath.

Hatty's mamma smiled, and said, "There was a little girl just your size, in here about an hour ago, who 'didn't see the use of going to school, and wished she might never look into another book so long as she lived.' Have you seen anything of her?"



Hatty blushed and said, "Oh, Mamma, I never will be so foolish again. I see now how bad it is not to learn when one is a little girl."

Well, the A-B-C book was bought, and very funny it was to see little Miss Hatty looking so wise from under her curls, and pointing out the letters to Bridget with a long knitting needle. It was very slow work, to be sure; but then Hatty was patient, for she had a good, kind heart; and how proud she was when Bridget was able to read Pat's letters! and prouder yet when she learned to answer them! and you may be sure that Hatty never was heard to say again that "she didn't see the use of going to school."


Did you ever see a China-man? I used to know one. His head was quite shaved, except a long braid, which hung down below his waist behind. I suppose it wasn't all his own hair; but that's none of my business. He had as much right to tie on a false tail, if he liked, as the gentlemen in Broadway have to wear false whiskers, and false moustaches.

Perched on the top of his head was a little skull-cap, just about big enough to fit your little baby brother. On his feet were wooden shoes, curled up at the toes like the end of an Indian canoe. He also wore blue and white stockings, and a blue Canton-crape wrapper.

Min-Yung (that was his name) had not been a great while in the United States. He was coaxed away from China, with many others of his countrymen, by some Americans, who imagined that they could make money by exhibiting them over here, in their different Chinese dresses, and making them play tricks, like so many monkeys. When they got them here, they found "it didn't pay"; that is, people didn't care to give money to go to see them. So they ran off, and left the poor Chinese, without a cent, to take care of themselves in a strange country. Was not that very mean?

Poor Min-Yung had pawned one of his dresses after another to pay for things he needed, till they were all gone, and he looked quite worn out and miserable. He couldn't speak but a word or two of our language, and I couldn't speak Chinese; but I saw that he was sick and unhappy. So I shook hands with him, and pointed to his forehead, and looked as pitiful as I knew how; and then he nodded his head, and pulled up his sleeve, that I might feel his pulse, and leaned his head on one side, to show me how forlorn and weary he felt.

I thought that, perhaps, he might be faint, and need something to eat, or drink; so I said "Tea?" for I knew that a China-man would be sure to understand that word.

You should have seen what a horrid grimace he made, and how he lifted up both his hands, as if to wave off an imaginary cup of tea! I always thought that the tea sent over to this country from China was a miserable humbug; so poor Min-Yung's horror at being asked to drink a cup of it, quite upset me, and I laughed immoderately. Min-Yung laughed, too; and understood by the way I shook my fore-finger at him, just as well as if I had said, "You know very well, my dear Min-Yung, that your countrymen make us swallow and pay for any sort of a mess which they choose to baptize by the name of 'tea.'"

However, Min-Yung ate some nice jelly, without being poisoned, and pocketed some money which was given him by a gentleman present, and then he dropped on one knee very gracefully, and kissed first the gentleman's hand, and then mine; and his little huckleberry eyes twinkled, as much as to say, "You see, I'm very grateful."

With good, careful nursing, Min-Yung got better. I think it made him almost well to speak kindly to him, for he had a good, affectionate heart. When he got quite well and strong, he wanted to "be my servant." I liked Min-Yung, but I had nothing for him to do; beside, I like to be my own servant. It would make me as nervous as a cat in a china closet, to have anybody always standing behind my chair. So, the gentleman who gave him the money, said he was going to California soon, and would like to have Min-Yung go with him, to wait upon him. Wasn't that kind?

It did not take the poor China-man long to pack his trunk, for the very good reason that he had nothing to put in it. So, in less than a week's time, his wooden shoes walked on board the ship "Dolphin," and away he went to California, and I didn't hear of him again for many a long day.

It seems that after his master had got through all his business in California, he asked Min-Yung if he would like to go back to his own country and see his old father and mother, and his sisters, with the twinkling little feet;—and Min-Yung said yes. So the gentleman gave him some money, and he started off, in his little skull cap, for the "Celestial City."

I often used to think of him, and wonder if he found his old father and mother alive; and if they were glad to see him; and often, when I turned out a cup of tea, I laughed aloud to think of poor Min-Yung's horrid grimace, when I offered him some.

One day a huge box came for me, directed "United States of America." I couldn't imagine what was in it. I thought of mummies, and stuffed monkeys, and "infernal machines;" and walked round the box at a respectful distance, with one eye on the door.

By and by the lid was knocked off; and now, what do you think I found in it?—a chest of "tea;" none of your sham doses, but tea that a Chinese Mandarin wouldn't have turned up his celestial nose at, and a lovely little Chinese work-box, and a pretty scarlet, Canton-crape scarf, all from that comical, good, affectionate Min-Yung.

Won't you and I call on him, when we go to China?


Tell you another story, Charley? Bless your blue eyes, how many stories high do you suppose I am?

Who made that jacket for you, hey?

"A tailor."

Do you like to see a man sewing, Charley? I don't. I don't believe that their great muscular arms were intended to wield a needle, especially when so many feminine fingers are forced to be idle for want of employment; so I never like to see a tailor.—Oh, yes, I do, too. I came very near forgetting Tom Willcut.

Who was he? I don't know, any more than you do. The first time I saw him, was in an old tumble-down building, where the wind played hide and go seek through the timbers; and where more men, women, dogs and children were huddled together, than four walls of the like size ever held before.

In one of the smallest of these rooms, I first saw Tom; sitting, with a white cotton cap upon his head, cross-legged on the floor, stitching away by the dim light of a tallow candle. A line stretched across the room, on which hung some coarse pea-jackets and trousers which he had finished, while at his side stood a rough table, with the remains of some supper, and two unwashed cups and saucers.

Two cups and saucers, thought I: pray, who shares this little room with that poor, pale tailor?

Ah, I see! In yonder bed, which I had not noticed, lies a woman, and on her breast a little wee baby. Well may Tom sit drawing out his thread, hour after hour, by that dim candle.

1 coughed a little bit. Tom shaded his eyes with his hand, looked up, and invited me in. That was just what I wanted, you know. Then, he dusted off a chair with the tail of his coat, and I sat down.

"Is that your baby?" said I.

"It is ours," said he, looking over, with a proud smile, at his wife.

I liked Tom from that very minute. Of course, his wife wanted to own half of such a nice little baby—and the first one, too—and it was very gallant of tailor Tom, to say "ours," instead of "mine:" it showed he had a soul above buttons. Ask your mother if it didn't.

Then I asked Tom if he got good pay for making those jackets. He clipped off his thread with his great shears, and, shaking his head, said, "My boss is a Jew, Missis."

What did he mean by that? Why, "boss" means master, and Jew, I am sorry to say, is but another name for a person who gets all the work he can out of poor people, and pays them as little for it as possible.

Tom's answer made me feel very bad,—he said it in such a quiet, uncomplaining way, as if, hard as it was, he had quite made up his mind to it, for the sake of that new baby and its mother.

I wanted to jump right up and take him by the hand, and say, "Tom, you are a hero!" but, I dare say he wouldn't have understood that. Your father, Charley, would probably call him a "philosopher," but you and I, who can't afford to use up the dictionary that way, will say he is a clever, good-hearted fellow.

When Tom was first married, he had a little shop of his own, and was "quite before-hand," as he called it; but one unlucky night it caught on fire, and burned up all his coats, and trousers, and jackets, and all the stuff he had laid in to make them of; and then his wife was taken sick; and, what with doctoring, and one trouble and another, although poor Tom was honest, temperate and industrious, he came down to that poor, miserable little room, after all.

But Tom was not a man to whine about his bad luck. No; he looked at that new baby, and made his fingers fly faster than ever, and wore a cheerful smile for his sick wife, beside. That's why I called him "a hero;" for, Charley, anybody can be courageous and endure a great deal when all the world are looking on and clapping their hands, and admiring them; but it is another thing, in an obscure corner, without food, without friends, without hope, to struggle—struggle—struggle on, fighting off Temptation, fighting off grim Want, day after day, with none to say, "God speed you."

That's why I said the poor tailor had a good, brave heart; that's why I honored him; that's why I prayed God a brighter day might dawn for him.

Did it? Yes! I tell you, Charley, never despair! no matter how dark the cloud is overhead, work on, and look up; the sun will shine through, by and by;—it did for poor Tom.

One day a gentleman called to see him, and asked him to go with him and look at some cloth for making jackets. Tom thought it was very odd;—he didn't remember that anybody ever asked his opinion before;—he didn't know what to make of it. However, he dropped his shears, pulled off his cotton cap, kissed his little baby, and followed the gentleman.

They went along through a great many streets, till they came to the business part of the town. The gentleman opened the door of a small shop, and Tom followed him in. There were cloths of all kinds on the shelves, and the gentleman took some down and asked Tom if they were the right sort for such jackets as he had been making; and Tom said it was "prime cloth."

And then the gentleman showed him a little room, divided off at the end of the shop, and asked Tom if it was light enough to work in, and Tom said it could not be better; and then the gentleman clapped him on the shoulder, and told him to go to work in it as soon as he pleased, for these were his goods, and that was his shop!

Poor Tom looked as if he were dreaming. He tried to speak two or three times, but failed. Then, great tears dropped over his cheeks, and he said, "God bless you, sir, but I don't know what to say."

"I'm very glad of it," said the gentleman, smiling; "because I don't want you to say anything; only go home and bring your wife and baby, because there is a nice parlor and bed-room overhead, and I want to see how they look in it."

Well, the amount of it was, that the poor tailor's wife was as crazy as the tailor himself; the baby crowed, and the little terrier dog barked; and, altogether, they had a moving time of it, that day.

I can't tell you the kind gentleman's name, because he never does a charity to have it published; but, sure I am, the recording angel has written it in the "Book of Life."


It was very weary, lying there so long. Betsey had counted all the squares, and three-cornered pieces, and circles, in the patch-work quilt upon her bed; she knew there were six more red than green ones, and that one of the circles was pieced seven times.

Yes, poor lame Betsey was very tired; not that she was unused to lying there, day after day, while her mother went out washing; but, somehow, this day had seemed longer and more tedious than any which had gone before. To be sure she had last year's almanac, and a torn newspaper, but she knew them both by heart. Betsey wished she "only had a little book," but she knew mother couldn't buy books, when she had not money enough for bread; so she twisted and turned, and rubbed her lame foot, and lay and looked at the mantel with its pewter lamp, and the shelf with its two earthen bowls, and its wooden spoons and platters, and the bench with her mother's wash tub on it and a square of brown soap, and the brown jug full of starch, and the old worn-out broom and mop. Betsey could have seen them just as well had her eyes been shut, she had looked at them so many times.

Did I tell you Betsey was "alone?" Oh no—there were four or five families in the some entry. There was Mrs. O'Flanigan with her six red-headed, quarrelsome children and a drunken husband, who beat her everyday till she screamed with pain; and then the six little Flanigans all screamed, too, till Betsey would put her fingers in her ears to shut out the dreadful sounds.

Then, there was Mrs. Doherty, who had twin babies and one room, and took boarders in the corners. Then, there was black Dinah, who got her living by scraping the gutters, and came home every night with a great tow-cloth bag upon her back, and emptied the old bones and rugs and papers on the floor of her room, and kept a broom handle to whip the little Flanigans, who ran in to steal them, when she went to the pump in the alley to get a drink of water.

Then, there was little Pat Rourke, who lived up the alley, and kept a little black dog named Pompey. When Pat didn't know what else to do, he would open Betsey's door, and put the dog in to worry her cat, and enjoy Betsey's fright.

Pompey would chase Pussy all round the room, and then Pussy would spit at him, and hump up her back and hide behind the wash-tub; and then Pompey would turn over the wash-tub, and seize Pussy by the neck; and then her eyes would turn all green; and then Betsey would scream and beg Pat to drive Pompey off; and then Pat would point to her lame foot and say, "Let's see you do it yourself, honey;" and then Betsey would hide her face under the coverlid and cry; and then Pat would run off, leaving the door wide open, and the cold air blowing right upon the bed. Yes, Betsey had all this to amuse her, besides the torn newspaper and the old almanac.

But why didn't her mother come home?—that was the question. It must be late in the afternoon;—Betsey knew that, for the sun had crept round to the west window long since. They must have a great wash to do up at the big house. Betsey hoped the lady wouldn't go out to ride in her carriage, and forget, as she sometimes did, to pay her mother; and she hoped the cook would give her some cold tea to warm for their supper, and perhaps a bit of meat, or some potatoes. The lady herself never gave Betsey's mother anything, except an old gauze ball dress "to make over for her little girl," which Betsey's mother sold for twenty-five cents, to buy some tea.

And then Betsey wondered if rich people were always born without hearts, and if her foot would always be lame, and she should never be able to help her mother, but must always be a burden; and then she thought it would be better if she died; and then she thought not, because when her mother came home at night ever so weary, she remembered that she always kissed her cheek, and called her "a little darling," and divided her piece of bread with her, and smiled just as sweetly as if she hadn't worked ever since the sun rose, for a mere penny.

Then Betsey was so weary that she fell asleep, and dreamed she was an angel. She was not lame any longer; she had bright wings, and a pure white robe, and a golden harp. There was no misery there, and night and day she sang, "Worthy, worthy, worthy the Lamb!" and thousands of bright winged angels echoed it back; and then—poor little Betsey woke, crying because it was only a dream, and found herself again in the little old room all alone,—all but Pussy, who was rubbing her lank sides against the bed post and the wicker chair, and looking wistfully up into Betsey's face, as much as to say, aint you very hungry, Betsey?

"Rein up—rein up! Stop your horses, I say! It's no use—she's down." "Move your omnibus,"—"Get out of the way, there,"—"Go ahead"—"What do you block up the street, for?"—"What's to pay?"—"Who's killed?"

"Only a beggar woman," said the omnibus driver, gathering up his reins; "she slipped on the wet pavements, yonder, and the horses went over her, and killed her. Can't be helped, you know,—there's enough beggars left—everybody knows that," and he whipped up his horses, and drove on.

Then a police-man picked up Betsey's dead mother and carried her to the watch house; while some little Irish boys ran off with her basket and ate up Betsey's supper.

There was nobody to take care of lame Betsey, so she was carried to the poor-house. It didn't matter much to her, when she found her mother was dead, where they took her. She was used to seeing misery; so the groans of the poor creatures on the hospital cots about her was nothing new. But she grew very weak, day by day, and couldn't eat the food they brought her; and one morning the old nurse found her lying with her little cheek in her hand, and a smile upon her face. Betsey's dream had come true: she was an angel!


What a blessed thing it is to have a good grandmother! Sophy had one. Sophy loved to go and see her.

It was in the country where Grandmother Scott lived, just a pleasant ride from Sophy's home; in a good, old-fashioned farm-house, with green moss growing out of the sloping roof, shaded by trees that looked a century old. It is autumn there now; so you see on the cellar door and under the front windows, crooked necked squashes and round yellow pumpkins, mellowing in the warm sunbeams. Strings of dried apples are festooned from chamber windows; and paper bags of catnip and spearmint and thoroughwort and penny-royal and mullen hang drying on the garret walls.

On "the buttery" shelves are broad pans of fresh, new milk, crusted with cream that would make a New-Yorker stare; and great round cheeses, and little pats of golden butter, stamped with a rose, and jars of pickled cucumbers, and pots of preserved plums, and peaches, and barberries, tied down with tissue brandy papers; and loaves of "riz cake," and plates of doughnuts, and pans of apple dowdy, beside an earthen jar of rich English plum cake.

Then, there's the sitting room, where the bright sun shone in, on a picture of General Washington, and a sampler of Grandma Scott's, representing a woman crying over a tombstone shaded by a pea-green willow; and black profile likenesses of all the Scott family cut by a traveling artist, hanging in spots over the fire place; and an old-fashioned clock, standing guard in the corner, with the picture of the rising sun on it, and Grandpa's spectacles, and loose copies of the "Scott-town Daily Bulletin" tucked in round the wood work at the sides; and great, comfortable-looking arm-chairs, with patch cushions; and a sideboard with a silver pitcher on it, presented to Grandpa Scott by the Agricultural Society and a china mug with a gold rim round it, and "Betsey" on the side, given by the minister to Grandma Scott when she was a little girl, for learning her catechism right; and a great big china closet, with a glass door, to show off the rows of china cups and saucers and flowered plates, all ready if the minister or the President should come to tea.

Then, out of doors, wasn't there a great barn for the children to play in?—with piles of hay, and ladders reaching up to the roof; and old Dobbin nibbling and munching oats in his stall; and Brindle, and her little two-day old, red and white calf cuddled down in a straw bed in the corner; and the little field mice darting over the barn floor; and the swallows twittering overhead among the beams and rafters; and the old grindstone that the children liked to turn; and the scythe and pitchfork that Grandpa charged them "not even to look at;" and the yellow ears of corn peeping out of their dry husks, in a pile in the corner, and the old rooster strutting round it, (followed by his hen wives,) now and then stopping short, with one foot lifted up, and cocking his eye at them from under his red cap, as much as to say, "Stir if you dare, till I give the signal!" Oh, I can tell you, that barn was a grand old place to play in, to frolic in, or to read and think in.

Then, there was the pig-stye under it, with such lazy great pigs, and such frisky little ones, with their tails curled up so tight that they lifted their hind legs right up, jumping round and tumbling heels over head over their mother, who lay half-buried in a mud-puddle, winking her pink eyes at the bright sun, and looking just as happy as if there wasn't a butcher in the world, or as if "the Governor and council" wouldn't sign her little piggies' death warrant with the Thanksgiving proclamation.

Thanksgiving! Oh, wasn't that an affair? Grandma Scott would mount her silver-bowed spectacles, strip her arms to this elbows, tie on a check apron, pin up her cap strings, and stew pumpkins and squashes and apples and quinces, and pound spices, and chop meat and suet, and roll out pie-crust, and heat the oven, and turn out so many pies and tarts and "pan-dowdies," and loaves of cake, that it would make your apron strings grow tight just to look at them!

Then, the first thing the hens in the barn-yard knew, they didn't know anything! but lay on the kitchen table with their yellow boots kicked up in the air, waiting to be singed, stuffed, and skewered. Poor things, they had laid their last egg, and swallowed their last kernel of corn, every rooster's daughter of 'em!

What a party of horses stamped their iron shoes in Grandpa Scott's barn on Thanksgiving morning! What a party of little children in bright autumn-leaf dresses and white aprons, went scampering through the house! What a fuss they all made over the littlest baby! What a fire (big enough to roast an ox whole) blazed in the great, wide, sitting-room fireplace!

How Grandpa Scott walked round, not knowing whether to laugh or to cry, patting this one on the head, chucking the other under the chin, and tossing a third up to the wall. How he looked all round, with his arms a-kimbo, and said if any grandpa in the United States had a prettier set of grandchildren than that, he'd like to see them; and how Grandma said, "Pshaw! Grandpa," because she was so proud of them herself that she didn't know what else to say!

And how Grandma looked as if she never would grow old, with her nice lace cap, and her own brown hair, with scarce a silver thread in it, curling round her happy face; and how Grandpa would whisper slily to the boys, "After all, your mother is handsomer than any child she ever had!"

How contented and satisfied Grandmamma looked, sitting at the head of her Thanksgiving table; plenty of chickens and turkeys boiled and roasted before her. What a time she had getting all the little Scott-ites seated to her mind, and napkins tucked properly under each chubby chin; how she would carve the turkey herself, because, when Grandpa got busy talking, he cut off the wings before he did the legs!

How she insisted upon "all just tasting some of that chicken-pie," when it was quite impossible to stow away another mouthful, because "she had no idea of making it for nothing."

How she would give the little wee baby a "wish-bone," though it could not hold it one minute in its limpsy little fingers; and how she would keep on passing round nuts, and oranges, and grapes, and apples, and wonder what had become of all their appetites.

And then how all the family would go back into the sitting-room after dinner; and how Tom, the family "Mozart," would sing "Home, Sweet Home;" and how Grandma Scott would rub her eyes with her handkerchief, and declare that the room smoked! And how all the grown-up boys and girls would begin to look hysterical; and how Maggie, who believed in "a time to dance," would jump up and seize sober Uncle Walter by the waist, and waltz round the room with him; and how Grandmamma would smile and say, "Will anything ever tame that girl?" Poor, merry Maggie! she's "tame" enough now, though Grandmamma didn't live to see the sorrow that it took to do it.

And bright-eyed Hal, and golden-haired Letty, and brave, handsome Walter, and cherry-lipped Susy, and dimpled little Benny,—and Grandmamma with her warm, big heart and cheerful smile; and Grandpapa with his silvery locks, and beaming eye, and kindly hand of welcome—oh, where are they all now?

Dear children,

"There is a reaper, his name is Death,

And with his sickle keen,

He cuts the bearded grain at a breath,

And the flowers that grow between."

Yes, other families have "Thanksgiving" now under the mossy eaves of the old farm-house—other strange little voices lisp "Grandpapa," "Grandmamma;" and long graves and short graves are in the old churchyard; and names look you in the face from marble tablets, that were once at Scott Farm—oh, such cherished "household words!"


People say that it is a sign of good luck to tumble up stairs. I am glad of it; for, what with my long skirts, and what with the broken stairway, and the pitch darkness, I did nothing but tumble. However, it's my motto never to give up; so, of course I gained the top at last, and, opening a door, found myself in a garret, piled up as high as my waist with old rags, and old papers, and old bits of bones.

"Go down, I say! Don't want you,—don't want anybody. I've got a dreadful pain——. Go down,—there's nothing here;—go down, I say," growled a voice, from a pile of rags in the corner.

I passed by this growling man, without noticing him; for, in the middle of the room was a woman, (oh, so miserable a looking creature!) with her hands crossed hopelessly in her lap, and so buried up in the piles of rags about the floor, that I could see nothing but her head and shoulders.

She was quite young,—not more than twenty. She was not that old man's wife, nor his daughter, nor his sister—but that was her home; and every day she went out with him and scraped the gutters, and refuse barrels, for old rags and papers; and then came back and emptied them out upon the garret floor at night, to pick them over. One whole year she had lived in that dirty den. How came she here? Listen, and I will tell you.

Mary once lived in the country, amid sweet, green fields, and clustering vines, and shady trees, and murmuring brooks. Her father was a good old farmer, as happy and contented with his few acres, as if he owned all Great Britain. Mary was his only child. Her mother died when she was a very little girl. Mary could not even remember how she looked; but her father often used to part her hair away from her white forehead, and say, "You are so like your mother, Mary"—and then Mary would run to the little mirror, over the dresser, and see a sweet pair of hazel eyes, and clusters of rich, brown hair falling over rosy cheeks and snowy shoulders; and then she'd toss her curls, and run back again to her father. Mary knew that her mother must have been very pretty.

Mary had an uncle, named Ralph. He was a bad man; but Mary's father was so good and honest himself, that it was hard to make him believe anybody was dis-honest. So he lent his brother large sums of money—(Ralph all the while promising to pay him at a certain time.) By and by, Ralph got away all his money, and the old farm, too, with all the cows and horses, and sheep and oxen; and then Mary's father worried so much that it made him very sick, and he soon died, leaving poor Mary without a penny in the world.

Uncle Ralph told her to go to the city, and he would find employment for her. But, after he got her there, he left her, and ran off; and poor Mary wandered about, quite heart-broken, till finally she found some coarse work to do, for which she was paid a trifle. She worked on with a brave heart, from day to day, for some weeks, till her employer died; and then, poor Mary knew not what to do,—nobody would employ her; and wicked people came and tempted her to sin, but Mary was good, and would not listen to them; and so she had to sell her clothes, one after another, as poor people do, till she had nothing left but the calico dress she had on. Even her under-clothes were gone, to pay the woman where she lived for her lodging. Alas! then poor Mary said, despairingly, "It is of no use for me to try to be honest any longer,"—and wicked people came again and tempted her, and nobody said, "Mary, struggle on, and I will help you; I will give you work to do." No; nobody said that; and everything looked dark and gloomy, and she forgot the little prayer she used to say at the old farmhouse, and made her home with wicked people; and the sweet, innocent look faded out from her soft blue eyes, and her heart grew hard—and wrong seemed right to poor Mary.

But sometimes Mary would wake at night, when all was still, and think of her childhood's home, under the linden trees; and of her good old father sitting in the porch, with the Bible on his knee, and the soft wind gently lifting the gray hair from his temples. Then she thought of the old church-yard, where her mother lay buried; and then she would press her hands tightly over her eyes, as if in that way she could shut out the torturing picture.

Mary could not bear such thoughts; they drove her almost wild. So, she drank wine (when she could get it) to drown her misery, and passed from one place of shelter to another, till at last she was glad of a home in the wretched garret where I found her.

When I spoke to Mary, she would not answer me; but looked me in the face as if she had been a stone image. She seemed to be afraid of the old man with whom she lived in the garret. Finding, after many earnest attempts, that I could do Mary no good, I left her; and soon after I heard that the old man had died, and that Mary had found a great many dollars in gold and silver, hid away in the garret, that he had earned picking up old rags.

So, Mary had all the old miser's money. But did it bring back the sweet, innocent look to her eyes? or take the misery out of her heart? No, no. She'd count over her gold, and say, with a horrid laugh, "It comes too late—too late!"

Oh! how I wished that all who give only——good advice! to a poor, tempted, starving, fellow creature, could have heard those dreadful words: "Too late,—too late!"


Tell you a story, Harry? Do you like to hear about poor people? Well, jump up into my lap. So;—now look straight into my eyes.

Last night I went to see some poor Italian emigrants. I threaded my way through dirty streets and alleys, and up rickety old staircases, where it was so dark that I had to feel my way, and where I coughed and choked at every step, with the tobacco smoke and bad air.

At last I opened the door of a small room, lighted with one window, where were a dozen persons—men, women and children. Some were seated on straw beds, which were lying upon the floor; some were sitting upon old boxes, and others were looking out the window (as if bewildered) upon the strange scenes in the street below.

Crouched upon the hearth, was a very old woman, with thin, gray locks, toothless gums, and bare bosom. She was stretching out her skinny hands over a few shavings that she had kindled into a blaze; while a little baby lay in a shawl beside her, rubbing its eyes, and crying at the smoke that was every instant puffed into its little face. On the opposite side of the hearth, was a little boy and girl, quite naked to the waist from whence hung a little dirty tunic to their bare knees. A tin pan of raw potatoes lay between them, which they were slicing off with a great knife, and greedily devouring, as if they were half-starved.

Harry, what do you think of that? How should you relish a raw potato for supper? How should you like to come from a warm, sunny country, into a cold, chilly climate, and be obliged to go half-naked because you had no money to buy clothes? How should you like not to be able to understand a word anybody there said to you, or not to be able to make them understand you? How should you like to have your mother, or your father, go wandering round, day after day, making signs to people, to try to get employment, and have to keep giving away one article of their poor clothing after another for a loaf of bread? How should you like to be turned out (even of that miserable room) into the street, some stormy night, by a cruel landlord? How should you like to see your mother sit down on a door step, in the dark, dark night, and droop her weary head upon her bosom and die?

Oh, Harry! all that had happened to the poor little boy and girl who were eating raw potatoes at the hearth. They were poor little orphans, and that old woman was their grandmother. They had all wandered about, from place to place, ever since they left the ship that brought them out.

They were pretty children, with great dark eyes, and curly hair, and such a bright smile when we spoke kindly to them. Their grandmother was all they had now to love; and she, poor woman, couldn't live long to take care of them, for the cold, and exposure, and anxiety, had almost killed her, too. So, she felt very anxious about what would become of little Pietro and Annita, when she was dead; and she kept patting them on the head, as if she was determined to make them as happy as possible while she lived.

Well, do you know, Harry, it struck me that Mrs. ——, who lives in New-York, might like to adopt the little orphans. She has no children of her own, and she loves children. That's why I took her with me to see the poor emigrants last night.

How she did cry when she saw the poor things eating raw potatoes! She turned round to me, and said, "Fanny, I must have those children. I'll take them right home, and I'll ——" then she couldn't stop to tell me the rest, but ran up to the grandmother, and asked her, in Italian, if she might not have Pietro and Annita.

At first, the poor old grandmother looked at them both, and said she couldn't give them up. Then she looked round that dismal room, and drew her torn shawl up over her shoulders; and then she called them both to her, and hugged and kissed them; and then, with the tears rolling down her cheeks, she took them by the hand and led them up to Mrs. ——, and told her to be "a kind mamma to them."

But poor little Pietro and Annita clung to their grandmother, and kissed her wrinkled face, and hung round her neck, and hid their little curly heads in her lap, for they had seen so many strange faces, and so much misery, that it had made them as shy as little rabbits, and they were afraid to venture away from grandmother. Mrs. —— spoke to them in Italian, and tried to coax them with promises of all sorts of pretty things. But it was of no use; they only shook their little curly heads, and ran back to their dear old grandma, who patted them both, and laughed and cried together.

Then, Mrs. —— said "she would take grandma, too:" and that she should help her to take care of Annita and Pietro. When the little rogues heard this, they wiped away their tears, and smiled, and showed their little white, glittering teeth, and kissed Mrs. ——'s hands, and said, "We will go."

So, we got a carriage, and took them all in, to Mrs. ——'s house in Fourth street, where they were washed, and dressed, and ate some nice hot supper; and before I came away, they were asleep in a cunning little trundle-bed, with their little curly heads nestled on the same pillow, and their little cheeks close together, and just as rosy as if they had never shivered, half naked, in that old smoky room.

And Mrs. ——'s husband, who is an artist, stood there over them, with his pencil in his fingers, taking a sketch of their little Italian faces; and by and by he will finish a beautiful picture of Pietro and Annita, in the old ragged dresses in which they were found; and if he paints their little dimpled shoulders and cunning little legs and feet half as pretty as they really are, I know you will say with me, that the "Little Emigrants" are worth looking at, and worth loving.


Tobacco! tobacco! If there's anything I hate worse than a dandy, it is tobacco. Such a headache as I have this morning, all for that vile pipe that Bridget Dolan's husband was smoking, when I went over to see her.

Charley, I believe if an Irishman hadn't a potato to put in his blarney-ing mouth, he would own a pipe and a puppy. Jim Dolan had both.

Now, Bridget Dolan was full clever enough to have been a born Yankee, and, of course, was a great deal too good for Jim Dolan. She had more children than you could count, if you were in a hurry, and a baby in her arms, year in and year out. For all that, she is never out of patience trying to keep their elbows and knees and toes in, and make up for what Jim wastes in smoking and drinking. I verily believe Bridget would fight anybody who said he was not the best husband in the world,—black and blue spots on her arms to the contrary. Well, if she has patience to put up with it, it is no affair of yours or mine; all I have to say is, that her name ought to be Job, instead of Dolan.

Last night I thought I would go over to see her; so, I lifted up my dress and waded through the alley, and after getting away from a drunken woman, who insisted upon having my bonnet, I reached Bridget's door in safety.

There they were, all in a heap, as usual,—Michael and Johnny, and Sammy and Pat, and Fanny and Katy, and Mike and the baby. Bridget's face shone like a new milk-pan, when I opened the door (she knows I pity her); she flew round and got me a wooden chair, scrubbed the baby's face with her apron, put one hand on Mike's hair to make it lie down, sent Snip, the dog, yelping under the bed, and asked me how I did; while Jim knocked the ashes out of his pipe, twitched a lock of hair that hung over his forehead, and scraped out his hind foot, by way of a bow.

Presently Johnny began to whisper to Sammy, and Sammy whispered to Mike, and Mike whispered to his mother; and then his mother got up and gave them something out of the closet, which they came and laid in my lap, with their eyes shining like a cat's in the dark. And when I held it up to the light, it turned out to be two new jackets, one for Sammy and one for Johnny, that their good, thrifty mother had made out of an old coat that somebody had given her.

Of course, I admired them; and of course, I buttoned the little boys up in them; and of course, they strutted round, as smart as little corporals; and Sammy shook his red head, and said he would "like to hear Brian Doherty call him a beggar now!"

Bridget smiled, and said, "It takes so little to make the poor lads happy;" and then, Johnny pulled at my gown again, and pointed up in the corner, and right between the windows, where nearly every pane of glass was broken out, stood a brand new cooking stove, with all its shining pots and pans and kettles, set in order on the top, as if the most magnificent dinner that ever was dreamed of, was hissing and stewing and broiling and baking and roasting inside.

As to Sammy, he lifted up all the lids, and poked his nose in, as if he could already smell the dinner. Mike spread out his little blue hands, as if some time or other they would get warm over it; Johnny shouldered the poker and showed me how they were going to rattle the coal out when somebody should give mother work enough to earn money to buy it, and the baby got well enough to let her do it. Then Sammy held the light, and we all walked in a procession, round and round the stove, and voted it a most magnificent affair.

But how did they get it? That's what I wanted to know. Stoves cost money. Sammy saw I was dying to know, so he whispered in my ear, loud enough to be heard in South America, "Mammy earned it shaking carpets, she did."

I turned round and looked at Jim Dolan. If I could have had my own way, I would liked to have put a petticoat and a bonnet on him, and marched him up to the looking-glass!—a great, able-bodied, idle six-footer! I don't think much of a man that will let his wife support him. Do you?

All the way home I was thinking over what poor Bridget said: "It takes so little to make the poor lads happy." I want you to think of that, children, when you pout because the potato is not put on the right side of your plate; or, because little Minnie has climbed into your chair at the table; or, because the apple dumplings are not sweet enough for your dainty little tooth; or, because the tailoress put six buttons instead of seven, on your new overcoat.

Johnny and Sammy would toss their caps up in the air and go wild with joy, if they had all the nice things you have. Poor little fellows! I loved them, because they were so proud of their mother. Oh, children! there's nothing in the wide earth like a mother. All the friends in the world couldn't make up to you for her loss. There's no arm but God's so true and safe to lean upon; there's no heart but His so full of love and pity, so long-suffering and forgiving.

Love your mother, little ones.




"Frontier life!" I think I hear my little readers echo, knitting their brows; "frontier life,—I wish Fanny Fern wouldn't write about things we don't understand."

Suppose I should tell you a story to make you understand it? How would you like that?

Mitty Moore's father took it into his head that he should like frontier life. So he traveled hundred and hundreds of miles—way off where the sun goes down, to find a place in which to settle. The roads were rough and bad. Sometimes it would be a long while before they reached a place where travelers could get drink and food; and Mitty's little bones would ache, and she began to think with "Paddy," that the end of the journey was cut off.

At last Mr. Moore found a place to his mind; and they all halted, with the old baggage wagon, in the woods; and Mitty, and her little brothers and sisters, jumped out and stretched their limbs, and looked way up into the great tall trees to try to see the tops, which seemed to pierce the clouds.

They made a sort of pic-nic dinner, out of some provisions stowed away in the old wagon; after which Mitty's father and eldest brother pulled off their coats, stripped up their shirt-sleeves, and went to work to make a "clearing," as they called it, for a log house—felling the trees, and cutting and burning the underbrush.

It took them a long while to hew down those fine old trees. I'm glad I didn't see it done, for I should have sung out, with General Morris,

"Woodman! spare that tree!

Touch not a single bough,"—

for, a house, you know, can be put up by any carpenter who owns a set of tools, but it takes many a long year of dew and sunshine to make those grand old trees tower up to heaven.

However, it was all fine fun for Mitty, who sat on an old stump, with her chin resting in her hands, watching to see the stout old trunk stand like a rock against their heavy blows; then lean a little; then creak, as if it were groaning with pain that its green branches must so soon wither; then totter; then fall, crashing to the earth, like the "giant" before little "David." Mitty liked it, though it was rather dangerous sport; for, if the tree had fallen upon her pretty little head, she never would have tossed back her bright curls again.

Mitty was just the right sort of a Mitty for a little frontier girl. She seemed to know just when to hand her father the axe, or the hatchet, or the pick-axe; and just when they could rest a minute to take a drink of water, or a mouthful of bread and cheese. She didn't talk to them when they were busy, but amused herself making little log houses, with chips, for her dolly. She didn't scream or run, if a snake or a rabbit went over her foot; she was not all the time conjuring up bears, and tigers, and raccoons, or catching hold of her father every time she heard a little squirrel squeal;—not she—she loved everything; and her soul looked out as fearlessly from her sweet blue eyes, as if pain and danger and death had never followed the Serpent into Eden.

Now, I suppose you are wondering what people so buried in the woods did for stores, and shops, in which to buy things, and for meeting-houses and newspapers.

In the first place, when they went there, they made up their minds that silk dresses and ice-creams didn't grow on frontier bushes! and they soon became astonished to find how many things there were that were not at all necessary to their happiness, which they had always felt they could not do without.

They kept a cow, and she found them in milk; they kept hens, and the hens kept them in eggs; they kept a pig, and the pig made no objection to being cut up, whenever they got ready to eat him; then, they brought meal and flour enough with them, to last till they could plough the land, and raise corn and wheat of their own, which they intended doing as soon as the log house should be raised over their heads.

Oh, they got on famously. It was good, healthy work, this digging, and hewing, and ploughing. It made the muscles on their arms stand out like whip cords; it bronzed their pale faces, and made their eyes bright, and gave them a good appetite for their bread and milk; and when they went to bed, they didn't stop to see if the seam of the sheet was exactly in the middle, or to count the feathers in the pillows under their heads. They had neighbors (off in different directions); some four miles away; some two; some six, and some eight. Not city neighbors who shut themselves up in their great jails of houses, and wouldn't care if a hearse stood before your door every day in the year. No, indeed! They were warm-hearted country folks, with hearts as big as their pumpkins. If you were out of meal, or molasses, or sugar, or tea, you were welcome to borrow of them till you could spare time to send to "the settlement" for some. That's the way they lived. The men folks had too many trees to cut down to keep tackling up the old oxen every five minutes, and go "gee-hawing" over to the stores, every time the women wanted an Indian cake. No; they borrowed of each other till somebody had time to go to the store or to mill; and then, whoever went, took all their errands and did them up in a bunch, to save time. They went by the "golden rule."

People who live in the woods, where the trees are all the time whispering of God, and the little birds singing of Him, don't feel like being quarrelsome, and disobliging, and ugly; no, they leave that to city people, who live in such a whirl that they never remember they have a soul till Death comes after it.

Well, as I was saying, they helped one another. Orphy Smith, Mr. Moore's next neighbor, took his bag of corn one day, to carry it to mill. Mitty was very glad, because they had been out of meal some days, and she was rather tired of potatoes. So she made up her mind, and her mouth, that when Orphy came back, they would all have "a prime supper." But Orphy didn't come back that night, or the next morning, either; but, late the next afternoon, he came crawling back, with the meal, and told them that "he should have been home with it long ago, if that pesky wheel hadn't come off his wagon, and it hadn't taken such a powerful long time to blacksmith it on again."

How glad little Mitty was to see that bag of meal! and what a nice time she had of it that night, sitting on a little cricket before a blazing hickory fire, and eating the buttered cakes that her mother handed down to her from the table. Oh, you city children couldn't get up such a frontier appetite for your fricassees, and mince-pies, if you tried a lifetime.

"They didn't have any newspapers there."

Ah! there you have me! More especially as I had as lief go without my breakfast as without my newspaper; but, then, I can tell you, that there were things all the time happening there on the frontier, that many a newspaper editor would have given his scissors and easy chair to have got hold of, for his paper. I'll tell you about some.

One night Mitty lay in her little bed of straw and husks, almost asleep, when she heard her father at the door, singing out, "H-a-l-l-o-o! h-a-l-l-o-o!" as loud as ever he could; and then a faint voice, way off, caught it up, and echoed back, "H-a-l-l-o-o! h-a-l-l-o-o!" Then Mitty's father lit a great bright torch, and moved it, flaming, back and forth before the door; and in a little while a poor, weary, frightened traveler, who had got lost in the dark woods, heard the voice that had answered to his, and saw, by the torch, where to come to find Mr. Moore; and in less than an hour after, he was snoring away under Mr. Moore's roof, with a good, comfortable supper tucked under his ribs while the bears had to go without any.

Bears? Certainly!—I didn't mention the gentlemen before, for fear it would make your mother trouble when it came your bed-time; but, nevertheless, it is a naked fact that bears live on the frontier.

One day a woman came in to Mr. Moore's, crying and "taking on" in a most pitiful manner. Mitty couldn't understand (the woman sobbed so much) what it was all about; but she concluded that something special was to pay, because her mother let her brown bread all burn to a crisp in the oven, while she was listening to her. Then her mother ran out in the cornfield, with her cap strings all flying, after her father; and Mr. Moore dropped his hoe, ran to the house and caught up a great tin horn, and stood at the door, blowing with all his might; "Too—hoo—too—hoo—too—hoo;" and then Orphy Smith, the next neighbor, caught up his horn, and blew, too; and then the next, and the next; and, in a very short time, all the neighbors knew that Mr. Moore wanted them to come to his log house, just as fast as their horses legs could carry them.

So, in they flocked,—Orphy Smith, and Seth Jones, and Pete Parker, and Jesse Jenkins, and Eph. Ellet, and a whole host more; and Mitty's father told them that Desire Dibden's child (whose father had been killed by the Indians,) was lost in the woods; and that was enough to say;—every man of them started off through the door, as if he had been shot out of a pop-gun, to help find the child.

Certainly;—didn't I tell you that "farmers had hearts?" When a child gets lost in the city, the fat old town crier (if he is paid for it) "takes his time" and his bell, and crawls through the street, whining out sleepily, "C-h-i-l-d l-o-s-t;" and the city folks pay about as much attention to it, as if you told them that a six-days' kitten had presumptuously stepped into a wash-tub.

You didn't catch the nice, big-hearted farmers acting that way; they didn't say it was none of their business,—that their corn wanted hoeing, and their hay wanted stacking, and their meadows wanted ploughing! The sight of that poor weeping mother was enough. They started right off in companies, to scour the woods for the poor, little, lost boy, hoping to find him before night-fall.

There sat poor Desire, in the chimney corner, sobbing and wringing her hands, and rocking her body to and fro. She wouldn't eat, though good, kind, motherly Mrs. Moore, baked, on purpose for her, some of her most tempting cakes; she wouldn't drink, though Mrs. Moore handed her a nice hot cup of tea. She did nothing but cry fit to break her heart; while sensible little Mitty whispered to her mother to know "if she hadn't better go out of the way, for fear the sight of her, safe in her mother's log house, might make poor Desire cry the harder."

Dinner time came; but the men didn't come back. Supper time;—then evening came on, dark and chilly, and Desire's lips grew paler every minute: still, no tidings yet of the boy. Through the long night she listened—listened—listened, till every gust of wind made her tremble like the leaves. Morning dawned,—noon came again,—then night. Then, indeed, at last they heard the tramp of heavy feet.

Desire sprang from her chair and ran toward the door, then back again to her seat, with her hands pressed tightly on her heart; then back to the door, as if her straining eye could pierce the darkness. It did, God pity her! What did she see? Her little Willy, quite dead, lying on a litter, carried by Mr. Moore and Orphy.

Poor little Willy! They had tracked him to an old shanty, in the woods, where he had gathered some dry leaves and slept. There was the mark of his little form upon the leaves. Then they tracked him out into the woods, along, along, farther than one would have thought his little feet could have carried him; and then they found him, with his little head leaning against a tree, quite dead from exhaustion and hunger.

Poor Desire! There wasn't one of those nice old farmers who wouldn't have given his farm to bring that little sleeper back to life. They took his mother's cold hands in theirs, and chafed them, and bathed her temples, and wept (strong men as they were) to think of the bitter waking she would have. But God was merciful;—she never did wake in this world. In Heaven she found her boy.


"Well, I declare! here it is New Year's morning again, and cold as Greenland, too," said Uncle Jolly, as he poked his cotton night-cap out of bed—"frost an inch thick on the windows, water all frozen in the pitcher, and I an old bachelor. Heigho! nobody to give any presents to—no little feet to come patting up to my bed to wish me 'A happy New Year.' Miserable piece of business! Wonder what ever became of that sister of mine who ran off with that poor artist? Wish she'd turn up somewhere with two or three children for me to love and pet. Heigh-ho! It's a miserable piece of business to be an old bachelor."



And Uncle Jolly broke the ice in the basin with his frost-nipped fingers, and buttoned his dressing gown tightly to his chin; then he went down stairs, swallowed a cup of coffee, an egg, and a slice of toast. Then he buttoned his surtout snugly up over them, and went out the front door into the street.

Such a crowd as there was buying New Year's presents. The toy-shops were filled with grandpas and grandmas, and aunts and uncles and cousins. As to the shopkeepers, what with telling prices, answering forty questions in a minute, and doing up parcels, they were as crazy as a bachelor tending a crying baby.

Uncle Jolly slipped along over the icy pavements, and finally halted in front of Tim Nonesuch's toy shop. You should have seen his show windows! Beautiful English dolls at five dollars a-piece, dressed like Queen Vic's babies, with such plump little shoulders and arms that one longed to pinch 'em; and tea sets, and dinner sets, cunning enough, for a fairy to keep house with. Then, there were dancing Jacks, and jumping Jennys, and "Topsys," and "Uncle Toms" as black as the chimney back, with wool made of a raveled black stocking. Then, there were little work-boxes with gold thimbles and bodkins, and scissors in crimson velvet cases, and snakes that squirmed so naturally as to make you hop up on the table to get out of the way, and little innocent looking boxes containing a little spry mouse, that jumped into your face as soon as you raised the lid, and music boxes to place under your pillows when you had drank too strong a cup of green tea, and vinaigrettes that you could hold to your nose to keep you from fainting when you saw a dandy. Oh! I can tell you that Mr. Nonesuch understood keeping a toy shop; there were plenty of carriages always in front of it, plenty of taper fingers pulling over his wares, and plenty of husbands and fathers who returned thanks that New Year's didn't come every day!

"Don't stay here, dear Susy, if it makes you cry," said the elder of two little girls; "I thought you said it would make you happy to come out and look at the New Year's presents, though we couldn't have any."

"I did think so," said Susy; "but it makes me think of last New Year's, when you and I lay cuddled together in our little bed, and papa came creeping up in his slippers, thinking we were asleep, and laid our presents on the table, and then kissed us both, and said, 'God bless the little darlings!' Oh! Katy—all the little girls in that shop have their papa's with them. I want my papa," and little Susy laid her head on Katy's shoulder and sobbed as if her heart were breaking.

"Don't, dear Susy," said Katy, wiping away her own tears with her little pinafore; "don't cry—mamma will see how red your eyes are,—poor, sick, tired mamma,—don't cry, Susy."

"Oh, Katy, I can't help it. See that tall man with the black whiskers, (don't he look like papa?) kissing that little girl. Oh! Katy," and Susy's tears flowed afresh.

Uncle Jolly couldn't stand it any longer;—he rushed into the toy shop, bought an armful of play-things helter-skelter, and ran after the two little girls.

"Here, Susy! here, Katy!" said he, "here are some New Year's presents from Uncle Jolly."

"Who is Uncle Jolly?"

"Well, he's uncle to all the poor little children who have no kind papa."

"Now, where do you live, little pigeons?—got far to go?—toes all out your shoes here in January? Don't like it,—my toes ain't out my shoes;—come in here, and let's see if we can find anything to cover them. There, now, (fitting them both to a pair,) that's something like; it will puzzle Jack Frost to find your toes now. Cotton clothes on? I don't wear cotton clothes;—come in here and get some woolen shawls. Which do you like best, red, green, or blue?—plaids or stripes, hey?

"'Mother won't like it?' Don't talk to me;—mother's don't generally scratch people's eyes out for being kind to their little ones. I'll take care of that, little puss. Uncle Jolly's going home with you. 'How do I know whether you have got any dinner or not?' I've got a dinner—you shall have a dinner, too. Pity if I can't have my own way—New Year's day, too.

"That your home? p-h-e-w! I don't know about trusting my old bones up those rickety stairs,—old bones are hard to mend; did you know that?"

Little Susy opened the door, and Uncle Jolly walked in,—their momma turned her head, then with one wild cry of joy threw her arms about his neck, while Susy and Katy stood in the door-way, uncertain whether to laugh or cry.

"Come here, come here," said Uncle Jolly; "I didn't know I was so near the truth this morning when I called myself your Uncle Jolly; I didn't know what made my heart leap so when I saw you there in the street. Come here, I say; don't you ever shed another tear;—you see I don't,"—and Jolly tried to smile, as he drew his coat sleeve across his eyes.

Wasn't that a merry New Year's night in Uncle Jolly's little parlor? Wasn't the fire warm and bright? Were not the tea cakes nice? Didn't Uncle Jolly make them eat till he had tightened their apron strings? Were their toes ever out of their shoes again? Did they wear cotton shawls in January? Did cruel landlords ever again make their mamma tremble and cry?

In the midst of all this plenty, did they forget "papa?" No, no! Whenever little Susy met in the street a tall, princely man with large black whiskers, she'd look at Katy and nod her little curly head sorrowfully, as much as to say—"Oh, Katy, I never—never can forget my own dear papa."



I have made up my mind, that there is nothing lost in New-York. You open your window and toss out a bit of paper or silk, and though it may be no bigger than a sixpence, it is directly snatched up and carried off, by a class of persons the Parisians call, "Chiffoniers" (rag-pickers)! You order a load of coal, or wood, to be dropped at your door;—in less than five minutes a whole horde of ragged children are greedily waiting round to pick up the chips, and bits, that are left after the wood or coal is carried in and housed; and often locks of hair are pulled out, and bloody noses ensue, in the strife to get the largest share. You will see these persons round the stores, looking for bits of paper, and silk, and calico, that are swept out by the clerks, upon the pavement; you will see them watching round provision shops, for decayed vegetables, and fruits, and rinds of melons, which they sell to keepers of pigs; you will see them picking up peach stones to sell to confectioners, who crack them and use the kernels; you will see them round old buildings, carrying off, at the risk of cracked heads, pieces of decayed timber, and old nails; you will see them round new buildings, when the workmen are gone to meals, scampering off with boards, shingles, and bits of scaffolding. I thought I had seen all the ingenuity there was to be seen, in picking up odds and ends in New-York, but I hadn't then seen Michael Rafferty!

Michael Rafferty, and Terence Rourke, who was a wood sawyer by profession, lived in a cellar together; the little Raffertys, and little Rourkes, with their mammas, filling up all the extra space, except just so much as was necessary to swing the cellar door open. A calico curtain was swung across the cellar for a boundary line, to which the little Rourkes and little Raffertys paid about as much attention, as the whites did to the poor Indians' landmarks.

At the time I became acquainted with the two families, quite a jealousy had sprung up on account of Mr. Rafferty's having made a successful butter speculation. Mrs. Rourke, in consequence, had kept the calico curtain tightly drawn for some weeks, and boxed six of the little Rourkes' ears (twelve in all,) for speaking to the little Raffertys through the rents in the curtain.

All this I learned from Mrs. Rafferty, as I sat on an old barrel in the north-west corner of her cellar. "It was always the way," she said, "if a body got up in the world, there were plenty of envious spalpeens, sure, to spite them for it;" which I took occasion to remark to Mrs. Rafferty, was as true, as anything I had ever had the pleasure of hearing her say.

Just then the cellar door swung open, and the great butter speculator, Mr. Michael Rafferty, walked in. He nodded his head, and gave an uneasy glance at the curtain, as much as to say "calicoes have ears." I understood it, and told him we had been very discreet. Upon which he said, "You see, they'll be afther staling my thrade, your ladyship, if they know how I manage about the butther."

"Tell me how you do it, Michael," said I; "you know women have a right to be curious.

"Well," said he, speaking in a confidential whisper, "your ladyship knows there are plenty of little grocery shops round in these poor neighborhoods, where they sell onions, and combs, and molasses, and fish, and tape, and gingerbread, and rum. Most of them sell milk, (none of the best, sure, but it does for the likes of us poor folks.) It stands round in the sun in the shop windows, your ladyship, till it gets turned, like, and when they have kept it a day or two, and find they can't sell it," (and here Michael looked sharp at the calico curtain,) "I buys it for two cents a quart, and puts it in that churn," (pointing to a dirty looking affair in the corner,) "and my old woman and I make it into butter." And he stepped carefully across the cellar, and pulled from under the bed, a keg, which he uncovered with a proud flourish, and sticking a bit of wood in it, offered me a taste, "just to thry it."

I couldn't have tasted it, if Michael had shot me; but I told him I dare say he understood his trade and hoped he found plenty of customers.

"I sell it as fast as I can make it," said he, putting on the cover and shoving it back under the bed again.

"What do you do with the buttermilk?" said I.

He looked at Mrs. Rafferty, and she pointed to the bright, rainbow ribbon on her cap.

"Sell it?" said I.

"Sure," said Michael, with a grin; "we are making money, your ladyship; we shall be afther moving out of this cellar before long, and away from the likes of them," (pointing in the direction of the curtain); "and, savin' your ladyship's presence," said he, running his fingers through his mop of wiry hair, "Irish people sometimes understhand dhriving a thrade as well as Yankees;" and Michael drew himself up as though General Washington couldn't be named on the same day with him.

Just then a little snarly headed boy came in with two pennies and a cracked plate, "to buy some butther."

"Didn't I tell your ladyship so?" said Michael. "Holy Mother!" he continued, as he pocketed the pennies, and gave the boy a short allowance of the vile stuff, "how I wish I had known how to make that butther when every bone in me body used to ache sawin' wood, and the likes o' that,—to say nothing of the greater respictability of being in the mercantile profession."

Well, well, thought I, as I traveled home, this is high life under ground, in New-York.




Do you like Indians? Our forefathers didn't admire them much. They had seen too many scalps hanging at their belts, and had heard their war whoops rather too often, to fancy such troublesome neighbors. They never felt as if they were safe, and wouldn't have thought ever of going to meeting without a loaded musket. I suppose that's the way the fashion originated for men to sit at the bottom of the pews, and women and children up at the other end. The men wanted to get on their feet quickly if a posse of Indians yelled at the door. Ah! men were men, then, from the tips of their noses to their shoe-ties; they didn't wear plaid pants, and use perfume and Macassar, as they do now-a-days.

And the women, too! they were not ashamed to be seen in calico dresses, and did not go about the country making orations and wearing dickeys. I had rather see an Indian, any time, than such a woman.

Sometimes the men were obliged to go away from home, and then they left a loaded gun where their wives could use it, in case the Indians came while they were absent. The Indians are very cunning. They used to watch their chance; and often, when a man came back to his home, he would find it a pile of smoking ruins, and his wife and children killed, or, what was worse, carried away captives.

You wouldn't have relished living in those days, would you? What do you think you would have done had the Indians come into your door?—scampered under the bed, or seized the gun and defended your mother? It is hard telling, isn't it? I'm very glad you are not obliged to live in such days. The poor Indians had also their story of wrong to tell. God will judge both rightly.

The sun shone brightly one autumn afternoon into a room where two little children were playing, in a pretty little village in the State of South Carolina. "Robert," said little Nina, to a dark-eyed boy of twelve years, "I'm tired of staying in this unfurnished room; it isn't pretty. Hasn't mother most done baking, Robert? Can't we go into the kitchen? I'm afraid of the Indians, too, without mamma."

Robert took his little sister in his arms, and stroked her little black head, and kissed her cheek, and then he drew himself proudly up, saying, "Nina? Do you see that gun? Well, it is loaded, and I know how to use it."

"Oh, Robert!" said Nina, "hush! Is not that mamma screaming? Oh, Robert, hide me—the Indians—the Indians!"

Robert had just time to seize his gun, when a tall Indian opened the door, and receiving the contents of it in his face, fell, quivering, to the floor.

Bald Eagle, the chief of the party, heard the report of Robert's gun, and rushed in with a dozen Indians. Robert, with his eye flashing, was standing over the dead Indian, with one arm round his little sister, who was clinging to his jacket.

Bald Eagle admired bravery; so, when the other Indians seized Robert by the hair to tomahawk him, for killing their comrade, he said, "No;—the pappoose is brave enough to make a chief. He shall go home with Bald Eagle and be his son."

The Indians frowned, for they thirsted for somebody's blood. They seized hold of Nina's long curls to kill her; but Robert clung to the old chief's knees, and, though he didn't think much of girls or women, Bald Eagle said, "She shall live—to please the boy."

The Indians lowered their tomahawks, for they didn't dare to disobey Bald Eagle, and led Nina and Robert out of the house, which had been set on fire and was beginning to burn.

As they passed the kitchen door, Nina gave a loud scream, for there lay her mother, across the threshold, quite dead. The old chief lifted his tomahawk, frowning at her fiercely from beneath his nodding plume, and Robert whispered, "Hush, Nina, or they will kill you, too;" and Nina stifled her sobs, and permitted the Indians to lead her away.

What a weary, weary march they had of it, through the forest; and how Nina shrunk when the Indians lifted her up to carry her in their arms; how she looked imploringly at Robert, and how he smiled and nodded, and tried to make her feel as if he would protect her always. How frightened she was when Bald Eagle tied a cord to Robert's hands every night, and fastened the end of it to his wrists before he went to sleep; and how she used to lie awake and look at those grim old Indians, sleeping there on their blankets, and think of her mother, till it seemed as though God must be dead, or such wicked men wouldn't be alive.

After many, many miles had been traveled over, they reached the Indian camp, where the squaws and pappooses and old men lived. The old squaws walked round Nina, and turned her about, and then they gave her some food which she couldn't eat, because she wanted to cry so much; and they gave her a blanket, to wrap round her, and taught her how to sew beads on bags and moccasins, and put a pair of pewter earrings in her ears, and combed her hair all back, and named her "The Little Fawn," and tried to make a little Indian of her.

Bald Eagle was very fond of Robert. He named him "The Young Eagle;" and gave him a bow and arrow, and a gun; and took him out hunting; and every time he shot a bird, or wounded a deer, he would pat him on the head and say: "Good,—by and by scalp the pale faces."

Robert never contradicted Bald Eagle, but appeared as if he were quite contented, and tried to shoot as well as he could, to please him; and so Bald Eagle gave him much more liberty to run about, and thought every thing he did was about right.

But Robert had a great many thoughts passing in that little head of his, that Bald Eagle knew very little about. He couldn't look at Nina's little pale, sorrowful face without resolving to get away as soon as he could. It made his heart ache to see her wrapped in that ugly blanket, sitting there sewing beads, instead of learning to read and spell and write; and whenever he got a chance he would whisper something in her ear that would make her smile, and nod her little head, and press his hand confidingly.

Bald Eagle had a brother-in-law named "Winged Arrow," because he could run so fast. He was a white man that had been taken captive by the Indians some years before, and had married Bald Eagle's sister. Robert liked him,—perhaps, because he was a pale face; perhaps, because he thought he might pity him and Nina enough to help them get away some time; so, he used to stay all he could with Winged Arrow, and bring him game that he shot; and Nina worked a pair of moccasins for his squaw; and Winged Arrow was a very good friend to them.

One day he and Robert were out hunting together, and Robert told him how much he wanted to get away with Nina; and then Winged Arrow told him that he was getting tired of Indian life, too; and that very soon there was to be a hunting party, when all the Indians would go away for two days, leaving Nina and Robert with the squaws and some old chiefs, and that he (Winged Arrow) was to go, too. But he said that he would pretend to hurt his foot just as they started, so as to be left behind; and then he would manage to get away with Nina and Robert.

Robert didn't jump up and down and clap his hands;—no; he had lived among the Indians too long for that; he just nodded, as gravely as if he were sitting with Bald Eagle over a council fire, and they separated and went into the wigwam.

Well, the hunting day name, and Winged Arrow managed to get left; and after the Indians had all gone, Nina, who sat making moccasins, asked the old squaw to let her play with Robert outside the wigwam. At first, she said no; but Winged Arrow said he would watch them; so she gave them leave.

They played about some time, running in and out of the wigwam, and then going off, gradually, farther and further. By and by Winged Arrow joined them, and getting out of sight, he caught Nina in his arms, and made good his name never stopping to breathe till they were miles and miles away from the encampment.

Toward nightfall of the second day, they halted for a few minutes, when a dog bounded past them, that belonged to the tribe. Winged Arrow knew that unless the dog was instantly killed, he would run back and betray them. He did not dare to shoot him with his rifle, on account of the noise; so he told Robert to fire an arrow at him; and then Winged Arrow knocked him in the head with his gun, and hid him under the bushes.

Then Winged Arrow put his ear to the ground and listened; then he caught up Nina and ran (telling Robert to follow) till they came to a stream in which they all waded for some distance, to throw their followers off the trail. Then Winged Arrow stepped out and put Nina up in a great tree, and Robert and he got up in another. Before long Bald Eagle and several other Indians came along, listening and peeping, and finally halted under the very trees where they were; and some of the Indians proposed building a council fire and staying there all night, but Bald Eagle objected; so they rested a while and then moved on.

You may be sure that the children were in a dreadful fright, and very glad, when they came down, to be on the Indians' trail, instead of having them on theirs.

Winged Arrow made up his mind to take the children to Charleston, where the American army was; so, they traveled cautiously on, not meeting any more Indians, till they reached the American camp in safety.

Robert and Nina were so glad to get among white people again, even though they were strangers. The General was very kind, and promised to protect them.

It was not long before Bald Eagle found them out. He really loved Robert, and was quite determined to have him back. When he saw him again, although he was an Indian, he almost cried for joy.

The General asked Robert if he wished to go back with Bald Eagle. Robert put his arms around Nina and said, "No!" Bald Eagle looked very sorrowful, but the General wouldn't let him have the children; so he had to go away home, to his old squaw, without 'em.

Winged Arrow found kind friends who gave him some work to do, and he and Robert and Nina lived together very happily. You never would have guessed, had you seen Nina in her little calico dress and white apron, with her curls hanging about her face, that she had ever made moccasins, or worn a blanket in an Indian wigwam.

As to Robert, if your father could have heard his speeches, he wouldn't have been sorry that "a chief" was spoiled, to make a lawyer.


I was taking a walk, some mouths since, when I saw a carriage driving at a furious rate over the pavements. Inside was a woman, with a handkerchief bound under her chin, spotted with blood, and in her lap a little girl with her arm in a sling, and drops of blood upon her collar and face.

The woman was pretty, spite of the blood-stained handkerchief about her face, and was caressing the frightened girl upon her lap in such a gentle, womanly way, that I concluded she must be her mother. On the box, with the coachman, was a police officer. What could it all mean?

I will tell you.

Some years ago, in one of the handsomest houses in New-York, lived a lady and her husband, and a little girl named Rosa. They had plenty of money, plenty of servants, and, of course, plenty of friends. They had a fine carriage and horses, and every day you might have seen Mrs. Simon, dressed like a queen, seated upon the velvet cushions, with black John, the coachman, upon the box, and black Peter, the footman, standing behind, while little Rosa, as gay as a little paroquet, peered out from her little plumed hat, laughing merrily at all the fine sights she saw.

The shop-keepers flew round as if they had St. Vitus' dance, when Mrs. Simon's carriage stopped at their door, with the glossy, sleek-coated horses and their silver-mounted harness, and the liveried servants. They bowed and smirked, and skipped round, and pulled little "Cash's" ears for not getting her "change" quicker, and offered to send home any, and all, and every bundle she chose to order, quicker than chain lightning, if it were only a paper of No. 6 needles.

When she got into her carriage again, and rode down Broadway, whiskered gentlemen on the pavement hoisted their beavers, and bent themselves as low as their corsets would possibly allow, and ladies nodded, and showed their pretty little teeth, and declared that Mrs. Simon was "a perfect little love."

From all this show and luxury, she came down to an empty purse, and a widow's weeds. Her husband lost all his property at once. Money was all the poor man had ever cared for. He had not the courage to live and look his misfortune boldly in the face, but took his own life, (like a coward,) and left his dainty wife and child to bear alone the cross that his manly shoulders couldn't carry.

Well, Mrs. Simon buried her husband, and then looked about her for her friends; but alas! they had all fled, like butterflies, with the sunshine. Her fine house, furniture and carriage and horses, were all taken from her, to pay her husband's debts; and she wandered forth, no one knew whither.

My dear children, it is a very sad thing to be proud and poor. Mrs. Simon was very proud. She could not make up her mind to work. She fancied, poor mistaken woman, that it would degrade her. She didn't see that all whose opinion is worth caring for, would respect her the more, for her striving to earn bread for herself and her child.

So she sat and cried, and worried herself almost sick, instead of looking at little Rosa, and then stepping out, with a brave heart, and saying: I have been rich; I am now poor:—I want some work to do. She couldn't bring her mind to that; so, as I told you, she disappeared, nobody knew whither, and the world went on just the same without her.

Other gay carriages rolled up and down Broadway, with the glittering harness, and sleek horses, and pampered servants; bearing ladies as gay and as pretty as Mrs. Simon. None of them asked what had become of their old friend; they were all too busy about their own affairs; frolicking and dancing away their lives, just as if they were to live that way forever.

Where was Mrs. Simon? If you had looked into a house where wicked people dwell, who live by breaking all God's commandments, there you would have found her and little Rosa.

Was she happy there? Can any body be happy who makes up his mind to do wrong? No; poor woman; she dreaded nothing so much as her own thoughts; and sometimes when Rosa bounded into the room, she would start us if a serpent had stung her. She didn't think when she went there, that sickness and death would come to her in that wretched place; but they did. And what was to become of little, innocent Rosa? Must she die and leave her there? The thought of it made great drops of agony start out on her pale face. She looked about her. There were none there who feared either God or man, and her moments were fast numbering. She called to her bedside one of the inmates who had been kind to her—a young girl, whose heart was not hard and stony. She said to her, with her hands clasped,

"Promise me, before I die, that you will get Rosa away from this wretched place—quick—promise!"

"I will, I will!" said the young girl, wiping the death-damp from her forehead.

The grave closed over poor Mrs. Simon and her errors; and poor little Rosa sobbed as if she had been the best mother in the world; and then the young girl, of whom I have spoken, whispered to Rosa that she would be kind to her,—and so she was; for Mrs. Simon's death had made her think of a great many good thoughts, and she wanted to get away, too, and live where God was feared.

Now you know who were in the carriage that was driving away with the police officer. It was that young girl and little Rosa. The man in whose house she lived, caught her going away with the child, and cut her with a knife that such people always carry. That's why the blood was on her cheek, and on Rosa's dress. And then, in the struggle to get Rosa away, he broke her little arm with his rough grasp; so she had it "in a sling." Perhaps they might not have got away at all, had not a police-man heard their screams and helped them off. The man in whose house they had been, was sent to "The Tombs" (a place in New York for such people,) and then he was sentenced to the Penitentiary; and Rosa was very glad to hear that, because she trembled all over for fear he would get her again.

Dear little Rosa! the fright, and her grief, and the broken arm together, threw her into a fever; and for a long while it was feared she would die; but you will be glad to know that she got well, and that I have seen her since, with her face as full of sunshine as if a cloud had never passed over it; and that I have heard her, with some other little children, in a school, saying: "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not;" and you can't tell how happy this made me, after hearing her sad story.

Are you not glad that there are good, true, kind hearts left in the world, who remember that Jesus said, "Feed my lambs"?


My Dear Mamma Grimalkin:  How could you let Miss Nipper take me away from you? I am so miserable, that I have not run around after my tail once since I came here. There's nothing here to amuse me, not even a fly in the room to catch, for Miss Nipper won't have one about. There she sits, knitting—knitting—knitting—in the chimney corner. If she'd only drop her ball now and then, it would be quite a pretty little excitement for me to chase it round, you know; but she never drops her ball, nor her handkerchief, nor even leaves an old shoe round for me to toss about—and as to playing with her apron strings, I should as soon think of jumping into the cradle of Queen Victoria's baby.

I should like to hop up in the chairs now and then, by way of variety, but I don't dare,—or up on the window seats, to see what's going on in the street; but she won't let me. Goodness knows she needn't be afraid my paws are dirty, for I haven't been over the threshold since I came here, for a breath of fresh air; beside, every morning she souses me head over heels in a tub of water, till I hear all sorts of sounds, and see all sorts of sights; and then roasts my brains out drying me between the andirons. Ah, it's very well for people to talk about "leading a dog's life of it." I say, let 'em try a cat's.

Now I am about old enough to begin to go into society a little, and there are a plenty of well-bred cats here in the neighborhood, with beautiful voices, who give free concerts every moonlight night, but Miss Nipper won't let me stir a paw. I don't think I shall stand it much longer; for the other day, when she went out of the room, I hopped up on the table, and noticed that my whiskers had begun to grow considerable large, and that set me to examining my claws. You understand!

How does Tabby do? Have you weaned her yet? Don't she ever feel sorry, now I am away, that she used to nurse so much more than her share? She needs to have you cuff her ears now and then, that Tabby. She never had any sisterly affection for me, although one of my eyes was a week longer getting open than hers. I shan't forget it in a hurry. I often think it over, as I lie here on the hearth-rug, listening to the everlasting click, click of Miss Nipper's knitting-needles. Oh, it's a very hard case, Mother Grimalkin, for a kitty with such a warm heart, and such a frisky disposition as I have, to do nothing but think such miserable thoughts, and lie here staring the ashes in the fire-place out of countenance.

Miss Nipper is so stingy of her milk, too, that my ribs are all pricking through my fur; besides, you will be concerned to learn that I'm growing up as ignorant as a young Hottentot: for how can I learn to catch mice, boxed up in a parlor without any closets? Answer me that, and please write soon to your afflicted son,

Tom Grimalkin.




Some time ago, (no matter when;—little folks shouldn't be curious!) I was riding in an omnibus with some half-dozen well-dressed ladies, and white kidded gentlemen.

At a signal from somebody on the sidewalk, the driver reined up his horses, and a very old man, with tremulous limbs and silvery locks, presented himself at the door for admission. The driver shouted through the sky-light, "Room for one more, there, inside;"—but the gentlemen looked at the old man and frowned, and the ladies spread out their ruffled skirts, for his hat was shabby, and his coat very threadbare. He saw how it was, and why there was "no room," and meekly turned about to go down the steps, when a fine-looking young man, who sat next to me, sprang to the door, and seizing him by the arm, said, "Take my place, sir; you are quite welcome to it. I am young and hearty; it won't weary me to walk"—and kindly leading the old man to the vacant seat, he leaped from the steps and walked briskly down the street, while I looked admiringly after him, saying to myself, "That young man has had a good mother."

We drove on, and the more I looked at the old man's silver hairs, and fine, honest face, the more indignant I felt, at the way he had been treated. Whether he read my thoughts in my countenance, or not, I can't say; but, after most of the passengers had got out, he moved up to me and said, "Good boy—good boy—wasn't he? My dear, (and here his voice sunk to a confidential whisper,) I have got money enough to buy out all the upstart people that filled this omnibus, twenty times over, but I like this old coat and hat. They are as good as a crucible. Help me to find out the true metal. Good morning, my dear. Thank you for your pity, just as much as if I needed it"—and the old man pulled the strap, got out of the omnibus, and hobbled off down street.

Some time after, I advertised for lodgings, and was answered by a widow lady. I liked the air of her house, it was so neat and quiet; and then, the flowering plants in the window were a letter of recommendation to me. Your cold-hearted, icicle people never care for flowers; (you may write that in the fly-leaf of your primer.) But what particularly pleased me, at Mrs. Harris', was the devotion of her son to his mother. I expected no less, because the minute he opened the door, I saw that he was the same young man who gave up his seat in the omnibus to the old gentleman.

John did all the marketing and providing as wisely and as well as if he were seventy, instead of seventeen. He wheeled his mother's arm-chair to the pleasantest corner; handed her her footstool, and newspaper, and spectacles; offered her his arm up stairs and down, and spent his evenings by her side, instead of joining other young men in racing over the city to find ways to kill time.

It was a beautiful sight, in these days, when beardless boys come stamping and whistling into their mother's presence, with their hats on, and call her "the old woman."

I spent a pleasant autumn under Mrs. Harris' quiet roof. And now, winter had set in, with its nice long evenings. John came in to tea, one night, with his bright face over-clouded. His mother was at his side in an instant. John's master had failed, and John was thrown out of employment!

Then I learned, that it was only by the strictest economy, and hoarding of every cent of John's small salary, that the house rent was paid and the table provided.

And now, so the widow said, the house must be given up, for John might be a long while getting another place; clerkships were so difficult to obtain; and they must not think of running in debt.

It was such a pity. We were all so comfortable and happy there, in that cozy little parlor, with its sunny bow window full of flowers, and its bright Lehigh fire, and softly cushioned chairs; that cozy parlor, where the little round table, with its snowy cloth, had been so often spread; and the fragrant coffee, and delicate tea-biscuit, and racy newspaper had been so often discussed; where John, in his slippers and dressing-gown, with his dark hair pushed off his broad forehead, read to us page after page of some favorite author, while the wind was welcome to whistle itself dumb outside the threshold, and old Winter to pile up the snow at the door till he got tired of it.

It was hard!

John walked up and down the floor, with his hands crossed behind, and Mrs. Harris went round the room, hunting after her spectacles, when they were comfortably reposing on the bridge of her fine Roman nose.

A knock at the door!

A note for John!

"Enclosed, find $500, to pay Mr. John Harris' house rent for the coming year.

A Friend."

John rubbed his eyes, and looked at his mother; his mother looked at me; and I looked at both of them; and then we laughed and cried, till we nearly had regular hysterics.

But who was the "Friend"? That was the question. We were all born Yankees, and did our best at "guessing;" but it didn't help us. Well, at any rate, it was very nice, all round. I hadn't to be routed. No, nor John, nor his dear old mother. And pussy purred round as if she had as much reason to be glad as any of us; and the canary trilled so sharp a strain that we were obliged to muffle his cage and his enthusiasm, with John's red silk pocket-handkerchief.

Mrs. Harris and I had not got our feminine tongues still, the next day, when John came back, in the middle of the forenoon, with another riddle, to drive our womanly curiosity still more distracted. He was requested to call immediately—so a note, he had just received, read—at Mr. —— & Co's, and "accept the head clerkship, at a salary of $1,400 a year; being highly recommended by a person whose name his new employers decline giving."

That was a greater puzzle still. John and his mother had rich relations, to be sure; but, though they had always been interfering in all their plans for making a living, they never had been known to give them anything except—advice, or to call on them by daylight; and it wasn't at all likely that the "leopard would change his spots," at that late day. No; it couldn't be John's rich relatives, who were always in such a panic lest upper-tendom should discover that their cousins, the Harrises, lived in an unfashionable part of the town, dined at one o'clock, and noticed trades-people and mechanics.

We were too sensible to believe in fairies, and who the mischief was emptying the "horn of plenty" in that way at our feet, was the question.

When we woke the next morning, we found in the back yard, a barrel of apples, a barrel of flour, a keg of butter, and a bag of buckwheat flour; labelled, "For Mr. John Harris, —— street."

John declared, (after pinching himself to see if he were really John,) that he fastened the gate inside the very last thing before he put on his night-cap. Mrs. Harris said somebody must have climbed over and unfastened it; and I jumped right up and down, for a bright thought had just struck me, and I was determined to hold on to it, for I didn't have a bright thought every day.

"What now?" said John, as I capered round the room.

"Oh! nothing," said I, "only it takes a woman, after all, to find out a secret—and to keep it, too," I added, snapping my fingers at him.

That day I thought it would do me good to ride about in an omnibus. I tried several. It didn't make much difference to me whether they went up street or down, or where they finally stopped. I was looking more at the passengers.

By and by I saw the person I wanted. Said I, in a whisper, sitting down beside him, "House rent—clerkship—flour—butter—crackers and buckwheat; all for giving you a seat in an omnibus!"

Didn't I know that "the fairy" was the nice old man with silver locks? Didn't he bribe me to hold my tongue, by telling me that he would come and drink tea with me, so that he might get a peep at John and his mother? Didn't he come? and didn't I look as much astonished when he called, as if it hadn't been all settled two days previous? But how was I to know that Mrs. Harris would turn out to be an old love of his? How was John to know, when he felt such an irresistible impulse to be kind to the old man, that his hair had grown white loving his mother? How was the old man to know why he loved John so well, and thought him one of the finest young men he had ever seen? How was I to know that I was to turn out to be what I always so mortally hated—a feminine match-maker?


Little Gertrude wanted to have a party. Sarah and Julia Smith had had one, and Eliza Doane, and the twin Smith girls, and their little cousin Mary Vose; (parties were very delightful things, why shouldn't she have one?) Gertrude's mother was a sensible woman; she did not approve of children's parties; but she had found out that it was sometimes the cheapest way to teach her little daughter by experience, that her mother always knew best; so Miss Gertrude had leave to "have a party!"

How her tongue did run! "She should not ask Louisa Loft because she did not invite her; she should not ask Louisa Thompson, because she borrowed her 'Arabian Nights' and tore out one of the pictures; she should not ask Janie Jones, because she heard her call her new bonnet 'a perfect fright;' she should not ask George Sales, because he was such a glutton he would eat up all the bon-bons."

As to "supper," she would like oysters, of course; "escalloped oysters," with wine in them, and two pyramids of ice cream, one vanilla and one lemon; and some Charlotte Russe, and some Jersey biscuit, and all sorts of cakes, and sugar drops with "cordial" inside, and "mottoes" for the little beaux to give the little belles, &c., &c., &c.

Then her dress—that required a great deal of thought; her pink dress was too shabby to be thought of a moment; her blue one had neither tucks, nor flounces; (and who ever heard of a party dress with a plain skirt?) her buff one was not gay enough; in short, she had been seen in all those dresses—she ought to have a bran new one—a cherry silk, for instance, with swan's down round the neck and shoulders; that would be charming. Mary Scott told her, that her Philadelphia cousin had a dress like that, and looked lovely in it.

As to the time for the party she thought a week from that day would suit all the dress-makers—next Thursday week; then there were the notes of invitation—should they be written on plain or embossed paper? gilt-edged or not gilt-edged? These important questions puzzled Gertrude hugely.

Thursday came—and so did "the cherry dress and the swan's down." The dress-maker pinched Gertrude into it, and Gertrude, catching her breath between the hooks and eyes, said "it fitted beautifully;" the little satin slippers were also laced and rosetted to her mind, and her kid gloves properly ruche-d and bow-d and her hair curled by Mons. Frizzle, till she looked like his wife's little poodle dog "Apollo."

The bell began to ring! Gertrude ran once more to the glass before the door should open; it was all right, all but one curl on the left temple that had veered round a little too much to the north-east, and which had to be re-arranged.

In they came.

The two Misses Tarleton first, dressed in a cerulean blue, to set off their "lint locks" and fair complexions, with their two hands encased in white kids, crossed over their two sashes, and an embroidered pocket-handkerchief, starched very stiffly, between their little fingers. Close upon their satin slippers came Miss Jenny Judkins, whose father was "rich." Miss Jenny wore a black velvet waist trimmed profusely with black bugles, that sparkled under the chandelier enough to put your eyes out. Her skirt was pink satin trimmed with black lace flowers, and her hair was drawn back tightly from the roots at her forehead, and confined by tri-colored bows with long streamers like the pennants of a ship. Gertrude felt very much afraid that Miss Jenny would be voted "the belle."

Time would "give out" should I undertake to do justice to all these young ladies, beside I must not omit the young gentlemen. I am not quite sure that I have done right to keep them so long in "the gentleman's dressing room."

In the first place, allow me to introduce you to Mr. Augustus Anthony, who has been in the hands of Mons. Peruke for the last hour, as you will perceive by his perfumed locks; the bows of his little silk necktie, you please notice, are of the proper fashionable size, and his jacket richly embroidered. His brother John, "just from college," fixed his watch chain; so there's no use in my criticising that. Then, there's Master George Harrison, Jr., with his patent pumps and silk stockings, and his sister Jane's diamond ring outside his buff glove on the third finger. He has frequent occasion to point about the room with that hand, you notice!

Next comes Master Simpkins, who is very bashful, and stood tweeddling his thumbs, all of a cold sweat, before he ventured in; he knew that his toes ought to turn out, instead of in, but that was a defect that couldn't be rectified in a minute, and so he made up his mind to shuffle in behind Peter, the black waiter, who just passed in to arrange the candelabras.

Well, they commenced dancing and all "went merry as a marriage bell" for an hour, when Miss Tarleton was discovered crying, because "Master Simpkins had trod on her blue dress and torn off one of the flounces"—and Miss Jane Judkins was very red in the face, because one of Mr. Augustus Anthony's jacket buttons had caught in a fine gold chain upon her neck, and a little gold cross had snapped off, nobody knew where, that belonged to her sister Julia, who made her promise "certain true not to lose it;" and Miss Smith had burst her kid glove right across the hand, and couldn't think of dancing after such a disaster.

Gertrude ran to her mother in great trouble, proposing that harmony should be restored by the supper table. It looked very gay—that supper table, with its lights, and bouquets, and fancy confectionary; it seemed almost a pity to put it in confusion; but Mr. George Sales did not incline to that opinion; so he very quietly seized a dish of oysters and commenced helping himself out of it, quite oblivious of "the presence of the ladies."

Master Anthony was more gallant—he, under the influence of Miss Jane Judkins' tri-colored bows and velvet spencer, valiantly attacked, knife in hand, a fortress of ice-cream, and having freighted a gilt-edged saucer with it, was in the act of presenting it to her, with a dancing-school bow, when he unfortunately lodged the contents of the saucer on her pink skirt and lace flounces. Gertrude retired to the dressing-room with the afflicted Miss Jane, offering her all the sympathy that such a melancholy occasion called for.

When Gertrude returned to the supper room she had the pleasure of hearing Miss Taft remark, that it was "the stupidest party she ever attended; and as to the supper, it was positively shabby—only two pyramids of ice-cream! but then she had heard her mamma say that Gertrude's mother had never been to parties much, so she supposed she really didn't know any better; she (Miss Taft) intended to have a party herself, when she was twelve years old, which event was to come off in a month or two, and then they'd see a party worth dressing for."

Poor Gertrude, after all the pains she had taken, her pretty supper table "shabby," her party "stupid," and her mamma—"didn't know any better!" She was perfectly miserable—her head ached violently, and had it not been for shame, she would have cried outright.

The "ladies and gentlemen" having surfeited themselves at the "shabby supper table," had one more dance, in which nobody was suited with their partners, and several declared, pouting, that they would not dance at all, "because the music was so miserable;" and then they cloaked and hood-ed themselves, and the "rich" Miss Judkins rolled off in her father's carriage, much to the dissatisfaction of some of the other young ladies, who walked home with their little pinafore admirers, cutting up Miss Gertrude's party in a manner that showed they had not listened in vain to the remarks of their mammas about the parties they had attended.

As to Gertrude herself, when the last little foot had pattered out of the entry, she threw herself, weeping, into her mamma's lap, quite worn out with excitement and mortification.

Gertrude's mother considers the money laid out for that "party," and the "cherry silk dress," as one of the most profitable investments she ever made; for, although Miss Gertrude is now a wife and a mother, with a house of her own, she has never been known since that night, to "have a party," or to express the least desire to go to one. For, my dear children, "grown-up parties" are not a whit more profitable or satisfactory than the little miniature one that caused Gertrude so much trouble and unhappiness.


Morning again! and New-York is beginning to stir. Lazy creatures! they should have been up hours ago. That old rooster over the way has crowed himself hoarse, trying to start them all out: and he is not as smart as he might be, for I saw the first streak of dawn myself, before he was off his perch.

Now the carts begin to rumble by, with "fresh sweet milk," labelled on the sides. Lucky they tell us of it, for we never should find it out ourselves by tasting. There go the dray-carts, with baggage from the just-arrived cars; then follows a carriage with the owners of the baggage. How hollow-eyed they look, traveling all night. They are evidently thinking of eggs and hot rolls. There go the boarding-house women, basket in hand, to secure their dinner: hope they won't spoil it with bad cooking-butter! There go the shop girls, shrouded in thick brown veils: poor things! they got up late and couldn't stop to comb their hair. There come the market carts from the country, laden with cabbages, and turnips, and beets, and parsnips, and apples, and nobody knows what else beside.

There comes a little boy, screeching "R-a-d-i-shes;" and a little girl just behind him, shouting "Bl-a-ck-ber-ries," and a man in the middle of the street, yelling "Tin-tin-tin—tin ware for sale." Oh dear! I shall have to stuff my ears with cotton wool. I'm as crazy as a Fourth-of-July orator who has forgotten his speech.

There come some business men, chewing the last mouthful of their breakfast as they button the first button of their overcoats and hurry down street. There go the laundresses with their baskets of clean clothes,—hope they haven't ironed off all the shirt-buttons. There's a man with a parcel of old umbrellas on his back: it would puzzle "a Philadelphia lawyer" to find out what he is shouting. Never mind, he makes a noise in the world; so I suppose he is satisfied. There go two or three women with slip-shod feet;—ugh! And there's a little girl fresh from the country, (you may know that) for her eyes are as bright as stars, and her cheeks look like June roses. She has a bunch of flowers in her hand, but they are no prettier than herself;—she is a perfect little rose-bud (if her shoes are clumsy and her bonnet old-fashioned.) If you'll excuse me I'll run down a minute and speak to her.

Well, I declare! she says her name is "Letty Hill," and she has come into town to see Aunt Hopkins; and her aunt, and she, and her little cousin Meg Hopkins, are all going to Barnum's Museum, (Uncle Hopkins isn't going with 'em, because he says Burnum's a humbug;) and she is going to wear a clean white apron, that is stowed away safe in her carpet bag, with blue ribbon strings on it. She don't know whether she shall stay over night, or not; her mother told her she might, if Aunt Hopkins asked her, and she hopes she will ask her, because she and Meg Hopkins want to tell ghost-stories, and play "tent" with the sheets after they get into bed. She has a whole ninepence in her pocket, which Jake (the man on the farm) gave her, and she intends to buy out some of the Broadway shop keepers with it before she sees Clover Farm again. She hopes Aunt Hopkins will have mince pie for dinner, and make it real sweet, too; and she hopes Cousin Tom Hopkins will be at home, because he always gives her sixpences. There she goes, tripping along. God bless her! She don't care whether there's a revolution in Europe or not.

Look over there at that street pump; isn't that a pretty sight now?—that little girl in the short frock, with bare legs, and feet as plump as little partridges. She has set down her basket, and stopped to get a drink of water. The pump handle goes very hard. She concludes to put it to a better use,—she will make a swing of it. So she lifts it way up, and then seizing hold with both hands, swings herself down upon the sidewalk. Ah! she has alighted in a puddle! She looks at her little fat feet, and makes up her mind she will take a bath; so she pumps out the water, and holds first one little plump foot under, then the other, till they are as white and polished as marble, and her little pink-tipped toes look all too dainty to touch the dirty sidewalk. Now, she sees me looking at her, and blushing scampers off.

"Sweep, ho—sweep, ho! want any chimneys swept, ma'am?"

"No, indeed! not if that poor child behind you has got to crawl up the chimney to do it. Why, he can't be more than five years old."

"He's used to it—it don't hurt his complexion."

Very like, poor little African; but it would hurt my feelings; besides I haven't got any chimney—no, nor a house;—don't own anything, I'm happy to say, but a bandbox and a tooth-brush; don't care a snap of my thumb for the "first of May" in New-York; it don't move me!

There's a little boy, under the window, holding up his hand for a penny. He's trying to cry; but it is very hard work. Never mind, Johnny, or Sammy, or whatever your name is, don't shed a tear for me, for mercy's sake; but there's a penny for making up such an awful face. I'll send you to puzzle the barber in the avenue, who advertises to "cut hair to suit the countenance!"


What in the world is that?—a poor old man, almost bent double, drawing a little wooden horse upon the pavement, and laughing and talking to it as if he were seven years old, instead of seventy! How white his hair is; and see—his hat is without a crown, and one of the flaps of his coat is torn off. Now one of the boys has pelted him with a stone, that has brought the blood from his wrinkled cheek; another asks him "how much he will take for his hat," while all the rest surround him, shouting, "Old crazy Uncle Tim—old crazy Uncle Tim!"

Come here, boys, won't you?—and let poor Uncle Tim go home, while I tell you his story.

Uncle Tim used to be the village shoemaker, hammering away at his lap-stone in that little shop with the red eaves, as contentedly as if he owned a kingdom. He always had a pleasant smile and a merry story for his customers, and it was worth twice the money one paid him, to see his sunshiny face and hear his hearty laugh.



But the light of Uncle Tim's eyes was his little daughter Kitty. Kitty was not a beauty. No—her little nose turned right up, like a little dogs; her hair was neither soft nor curly; and her little neck and arms were almost as brown as the leather in her father's shop,—still, everybody loved Kitty, because she had such a warm, good heart, and because she was so kind to her honest old father.

Uncle Tim had no wife. She had been dead many years. I shouldn't wonder if Uncle Tim didn't grieve any, for she was a very cross, quarrelsome, disagreeable person, and made him very unhappy.

Little Kitty was his housekeeper now, although she was only seven years old. She and her father lived in a room back of the shop, and Uncle Tim did the cooking, while Kitty washed the dishes, made the bed, and tidied up the small room with her own nimble little fingers. When she had quite done, she would run into the shop, steal behind her father, throw her chubby brown arms about his neck, and give him a kiss that would make him sing like a lark for many an hour after.

While his fingers were busy at his lap-stone he was thinking—not of the coarse boots and shoes he was making, but of little Kitty—how he meant to send her to school—how he meant she should learn to read and write, and know a great deal more than ever he did, when he was young—and how he meant to save up all his money in the old yarn stocking, till he got enough to put in the bank for Kitty,—so that when he died she needn't go drifting round the world, trying to earn her bread and butter among cold, stony-hearted strangers.

Uncle Tim found some time to play, too. When it came sundown, he and Kitty, and the old yellow dog Jowler, would start off on a stroll. It was very funny to see little Kitty fasten down the windows with an old nail, before she started, like some old housekeeper, and put the tea-kettle in the left-hand corner of the fire-place, and take such a careful look about to see if everything was right, before turning the key. When they got out into the fields they both enjoyed the fresh air as only industrious people can. Every breath they drew seemed a luxury; and as to Uncle Tim, I don't know which was the younger, he or Kitty. I am sure he went over fences and stone walls like a squirrel; and as to Kitty, her merry laugh would ring through the woods till the little birds would catch it up and echo it back again.

Then, when they reached home, they had such a good appetite for their brown bread and milk. Oh! I can tell you, Uncle Tim and Miss Kitty wouldn't have thanked Queen Victoria for the gift of her scepter, they were so happy.

One day Kitty asked Uncle Tim to let her go huckleberrying. She said she knew a field where they were "as thick as blades of grass." Uncle Tim couldn't go with her, because Sam Spike, the blacksmith, was in a hurry for a pair of boots to be married in, and of course Sam couldn't wait for all the huckleberries in creation; so Tim staid at home, humming and singing, and singing and humming, while Kitty tied on her calico sun-bonnet, slung her basket on her little brown arm, and trudged off with her dog Jowler.

Jowler was very good company. Kitty and he used to have long conversations about all sorts of things. Kitty always knew by the way he wagged his tail whether he agreed with her or not. When any other dog came up to speak to him, he'd look up into Kitty's little freckled face, to see if she considered the new dog a proper acquaintance, and if she shook her head, he'd give him a look out of his eyes, as much as to say, "It's no use," and trot demurely on after Kitty.

Well, Jowler and she picked a quart of huckleberries, and then Kitty started for home, Jowler carrying the basket in his mouth part of the way, when Kitty spied any flowers she wished to pick. When she had plucked all she wanted she concluded to take a shorter cut home across the fields, and down on the railroad track. So they trotted on, Kitty singing the while.

By and by they reached the track. Kitty looked,—there were no cars coming as far as she could see. To be sure there was a curve in the road just behind her, (round which the eye couldn't look,) but she wasn't afraid. Just then Jowler dropped the basket and spilt her huckleberries. Kitty was so sorry,—but she stooped down to gather them up, when a train of cars whisked like lightning round the curve on the road, and poor little Kitty was crushed to death in an instant!

Jowler wasn't killed—faithful Jowler,—he trotted home to Uncle Tim, who sat singing at his work, and leaped upon him, and whined, and tugged at his coat, till Uncle Tim threw down the blacksmith's boots and followed him, for he knew something must be the matter. Perhaps Kitty had fallen over a stone wall, and lamed her foot—who knew? So Jowler ran backwards and forwards, barking and whining, till he brought Uncle Tim to the railroad track.

Was that crushed mass of flesh and bone little Kitty?—his Kitty?—all he had in the wide earth to love?

Uncle Tim looked once, and fell upon the earth as senseless as a stone. Ever since he has been quite crazy. All he cares to do is to draw up and down through the road that little wooden horse that Kitty used to play with, hoping to coax her back to him.

Poor old Tim! Would you throw another stone at him, boys? Would you hunt the weary old man through the streets like some wild beast? Would you taunt, and sneer, and shout in his ears, "Old crazy Tim"—"Old crazy Tim?" Oh, no—no! Pick a flower and give him, as Kitty used; take his hand—poor, harmless old man—and walk along with him; maybe he'll fancy that you are little Kitty, (who knows?) and smile once more before he dies. Poor Uncle Tim!




What a holy and beautiful thing is a mother's love!

Every morning, about eight o'clock, I have noticed, limping past my window to school, a little lame girl. A woman goes with her; supporting her gently by the arm and carrying her satchel of books.

The girl is very poorly clad. Sometimes her dress will be patched with two or three different colors; but it is always very clean; and I have observed that her stockings, though coarse, are always whole, and that her shoes are neatly tied up. The woman who goes with her looks tidy, too; though she wears a rusty black bonnet, of an old-fashioned make, and a faded shawl.

Cicely's little school-mates bound past her; skipping, hopping, jumping and running, as if they could not exercise their legs enough. The lame girl looks at them, smiles a sad, quiet smile, and looks up tearfully in her mother's face. The mother answers back with a look so full of love, and lays her hand upon her child's arm, as much as to say, "I love you all the more, because you are a poor, little helpless cripple."

And so they travel over the icy pavements to school; (stepping very carefully, for it would be a sad thing if Cicely should slip and fall;) until, at last, they reach the school house.

What a blessing are free schools! What a difference it makes in the life of that poor girl, to be able to read! How many weary hours of pain will a nice book beguile! And, beside, if one has not a cent in the world, if one has a good education, it is worth as much as money in the bank,—and more, too, because banks often turn out great humbugs, and then people lose all the money they have placed in them.

Cicely was not always poor. She can remember (just as you can a dream, when you first rub open your eyes in the morning) a great big house with richly carpeted halls, and massive chandeliers, and rich sofas and curtains, and gilded mirrors, and silver vessels, and black servants.

She remembers that her father carried a gold-headed cane, that he used to let her play horse with; and that he used to sit a long while at the table with gentlemen, drinking wine and eating fruit after dinner; and that often, he would ring for the nurse to bring her in, to show her to the gentlemen when her curls had been nicely smoothed and her little embroidered frock put on; and that then he would stand her up on the table and make her sing a little song, and that the gentlemen would clap their hands and laugh, and grow very merry about it.

Then she remembers that one day there was a great running to and fro in the house; and she saw her father lifted from a carriage in the arms of two gentlemen, and that blood was flowing from his side; and then her nurse caught her up, and carried her into the nursery, and she didn't go down stairs or see her papa again for many days; and she remembers that one day, getting tired waiting for him to come up and see her, she crept down by herself to his room, and found him lying on the bed, with his hands crossed over his breast, and only a linen sheet thrown over him, though it was very cold weather; and she said, "Papa?"—but he didn't answer; and she got a chair and climbed up in it to put her hand on his face, to wake him, but he was as cold as the marble image in the hall; and then her nurse called, "Cicely!—Cicely!" and seemed frightened, when she found her there; but wouldn't tell her why her papa laid there so still, or why he wouldn't speak to his little girl.

And then she remembers going away from the big house, and bidding good-bye to her black nurse; and ever since that they had lived in poor places, and people spoke harshly to them; and though her mamma never answered them back, she sighed heavily, and sometimes leaned her head on her hand and wept.

And one night it snowed in on the bed, and Cicely caught cold and had a fever, which left her with the dreadful lameness that I told you about; and then Cicely's mother groaned because she had no money; for she thought some of the great doctors, if they were well paid for it, might think it worth their while to try and cure Cicely.

Cicely's limb was less painful now than it had been for two years, although it was quite useless; but her mother, as I told you, helped her to limp to school. Cicely kept hoping it would get quite well, and she wanted to learn as fast and as much as she could; because she thought if she got all the medals, the Committee might say, "Cicely, we must have you for a teacher here, some day."

Yes; why not? Stranger things than that have happened; and then, perhaps, she could earn enough to (and here Cicely had to stop to think, because there were so many things they wanted,)—earn enough to buy a pair of warm blankets for their bed; and enough to have a cup of tea Sunday nights; and enough to keep a fire and a light through the long winter evenings, and not have to go to bed because they were so cold, and because candles were so dear.

Yes; Cicely was looking forward to all that, when she limped along to school. She thought it would be so delightful to empty her purse in her kind mother's lap, and say: "Dear mother, you needn't work any more. I will support you, now."

Oh, what a nice thing hope is! Sometimes, to be sure, she leads us a long dance for nothing; but I am very certain that were it not for hope, we shouldn't be good for much. Many a poor groaner has she clapped on the back, and made him leap to his feet and set his teeth together, and spring over obstacles as if he had on "seven league boots." She is a little coquettish, but I like her. She has helped me out of many a hobble.

Well, as the great speakers say, this is a digression. Do you know what that is? It is leaving off what you are about, to dance off to something else—just as I did up there about hope. Now I'm going on!

One day the committee came to Cicely's school, to hear the scholars recite; and Cicely stood up in her patched gown as straight as she could, and recited her lessons.

One of the gentlemen who came in with the committee asked, "Who is that young girl who said her lessons so well?"

"Cicely Hunt?" he repeated, after the teacher,—"Cicely Hunt! She was not lame; and then—why—no—it can't be: the thing is quite impossible," and he leaned back in his chair, and looked at Cicely.

After school was over he said to her, "Do you sing, Cicely?"

"Not now," said Cicely, blushing. "I used to sing, a long while ago, when I was little."

"When, Cicely?"

"I sang to—to—my papa," said Cicely—tears springing to her eyes. "I used to sing, 'Blue eyed Mary,' for the gentlemen who dined with papa."

Then the gentleman (pretending to look out the window) wiped his eyes, and turning to the teacher, they whispered a long while together, now and then looking at Cicely.

That evening, when Cicely and her mother were warming their fingers over a fire of shavings, somebody knocked at the door.

Cicely blushed, when she saw the same gentleman she had seen at the school coming in, and looked anxiously about the room.

But Mr. Raymond was not looking at the room. I doubt if he saw anything, his eyes were so full of tears; but he held Cicely's mother by the hand several minutes, without speaking, and led her back to the chair with as much deference as if she had been a Duchess; and then Cicely found out, as they talked, that he was one of her father's old friends, and that, as sometimes happens, even between friends, they had a quarrel, and that then they were both mistaken enough to think that the most gentlemanly way to settle it, was to fight a duel; and that Mr. Raymond wounded her father, and had to go away as fast as possible, because there was so much noise about it, and that he had been very unhappy ever since, and would have given all he had to have brought him to life again, and that when he returned to his native city he had searched everywhere for Mrs. Hunt and Cicely, without finding them.

Well, now he wanted to support Cicely and her mother, but Mrs. Hunt did not like that. She forgave him the sorrow he had brought upon her because he had suffered so much; but she did not wish to be supported by him. However, she allowed him to find her a better place to live in, and get her some scholars to teach, who paid her high prices, and by and by Cicely helped her, and so they supported themselves; which is a far pleasanter way of living than to be dependent.

Cicely was never entirely cured of her lameness; but a physician made her much more comfortable; so she could walk by herself, with the help of a crutch; and Mrs. Hunt's last days, after all, were her best days; for, we should never know, my dear little pets, how brightly the sun shines, if it were never clouded.


I was sitting at my window one fine morning, at a farm house in the country, enjoying the sweet air, the soft blue clouds, and far-off hills, and watching the hay-makers in their large, straw hats, as they tossed the hay about, piled it upon the cart, or "raked after," or drove along home through the meadow, crushing the sweet breath from the clover blossoms that lay scattered in their path; and enjoying the song of the little robin in the linden tree opposite, who was thrilling my heart with his gushing notes.

A hand organ! What a nuisance! I fancied I had left them all behind me in the city, where one has such a surfeit of them. A hand organ in the country! where the little birds never make a discord, or charge us a fee, either! I'll get up and shut the window, or run off into the back woods, where such a thing as a hand organ was never heard of.

I got up to put my threat into execution, when my eye was attracted by the musicians. There was a coarse, stout, sun-burned Irish woman, with an immense straw hat flapping over her freckled face, tied with a gaudy ribbon under her three chins, singing, "I'd be a butterfly!" At her side, stood a little girl about six years old, holding an inverted tambourine, to catch windfalls in the shape of pennies.

The little creature was as delicate as a rose leaf; her eyes were large and of a soft hazel; her skin fair and white, and her hair waved over her graceful little head as sweetly as your own. Her hands were small and white, and her coarse shoes could not hide her pretty little feet. She was not that woman's child; I was sure of if; for her voice was as sweet as a wind harp.

"How far have you come, to-day?" asked I of the Irish "butterfly."

"From the city, sure," said she; "would your leddyship give me a saxpence?"

I'd have given her five times that amount, if she wouldn't have sung to me again. So I tossed her the "saxpence," and asked if the child had walked from the city (four miles) too?

"Sure," said the woman, looking a little confused. "Biddy would be afther going with her mother wheriver she went."

Her mother? I didn't believe it. That child had been delicately brought up, as sure as my name was Fanny. All my motherly feelings were roused in an instant.

"If that is the case," said I, carelessly, "I suppose she is hungry, and her mother, too; if you will let her go down in the orchard with me, I will bring you back some nice ripe apples."

The little girl looked timidly at the woman, who took a good look at me out of her bold, saucy, black eyes, and asked, "Is it far you'll be going?"

"Just to yonder tree," said I, pointing down the meadow; "but if you think it will weary her to go, I will bring them to her myself."

"You can go with the lady," said the woman, giving her a look that the child seemed to understand, "and I will just sit on the fence and look afther ye."

"Is that your mother?" said I, stooping to pluck a daisy at the little one's feet.

"Y-e-s," she said slowly, but without looking me in the face.

"No she is not," said I. "Don't be afraid of me; if you want to get away from her I can help you. Didn't she steal you away?"

The child nodded her head, without speaking, and looked timidly over her shoulder, to see if any one was near to hear me.

"Is your own mother alive?" I asked.

She nodded her head again, and her sweet little lip quivered.

"Hush!" said I, "don't cry. I'll get you away from her. Keep quiet. Don't talk any more now. Just pick up the pears in your apron, that I knock off this tree."

I climbed the pear tree and peeping over the fence, saw good honest "Jim," the "man of all work" at the farm, sitting down in the shade to rest, with old Bruno curled up at his feet.

I tossed a pear at his red head. Jim looked up. I put my finger on my lip, saying, "Creep round by the fence, Jim, and get up to the house; go in at the back door and wait till I come up. Don't say a word to anybody. I'll tell you why when I get back."

Jim gave me a sagacious nod, and commenced going on all fours behind the fence.

Little "Biddy," as her pretended mother called her, filled her apron with the pears and we started across the field to where Bridget still sat, perched upon the garden fence, with her hand organ unstrapped at her feet.

I emptied the pears in her lap, and she thanked me in her uncouth way, between the big mouthsful, and sat down on the grass with Biddy.

Presently I asked her if she would like some ginger beer; of course she said yes, and of course I had to go into the kitchen to get it, and of course I found Jim there, and telling him my story in a dozen words, he brought his hand down with a thump on his waistband, exclaiming,


When Jim said that you might know he was going to do something terrible!

Well, I went back with the beer, and just as Bridget was tipping the glass up to her thick lips, Jim bounded behind her like a panther, and held her arms tight while I took little Biddy and scampered into the house.

Having locked little Biddy safe in my chamber, I returned and picked up off the grass, two silver spoons of Jim's mother's, that Bridget had taken from the parlor closet while we were getting the pears.

That gave us a right to shut her up in jail—to say nothing of her carrying off poor little Biddy—and you may be sure that Jim was not long in sending her there, spite of her vociferations that, "If there was law in the counthry she'd have the right of him yet, for meddling with an honest woman like Bridget Fliligan."

"Thank you for telling us your name," said Jim, coolly; "it is just what we wanted to know."

But it is time I let out my little prisoner, poor little Edith, (that was her real name.)

"Is she gone a great way off? Can't she get me ever?" said the frightened child, peeping round the room as if she expected to see her jump out of the closet, or spring from under the bed. "Will you keep hold of my hand all the time when it comes night? Can't they get me then?"

"No, no, my darling—never, never. Come here and sit on my knee. Now, tell me, how came you to live with Bridget?"

"I was going to school," said Edith, "and I stopped to look at some pretty pictures in a shop window, when this Bridget came up to me and said, 'Which of them do you like best, dear?'—and I said, 'The little boy asleep on the dog's neck;' and she said, 'If you will come round the corner with me, I will give you one just like it;' and I said, 'No; I shall be late at school, and my mamma wouldn't like it;' and then she said it wouldn't take but a minute, and she led me into an alley, and when she got there she threw her shawl over my head, and ran with me; and when she took the shawl off, I was in a house with some Irish people, and Bridget said, 'I've got her!—she will do nicely, sure, to play the tambourine. Won't the pretty face of her bring the shillings?'

"And then I cried, and begged them to take me back to mamma; and Bridget held up a great stick, and said, 'Do you see that?' and then she took off the clothes I had on, and put on these, and brought the tambourine, and told me how to play it; and when my fingers trembled so that I couldn't, she shook me, and pulled my hair, and said I should have nothing to eat till I learned to do it; and I begged and begged her to take me home. I told her mamma would cry all night, and papa, too, and little Henry,—but she hurt me with the stick so (pulling up her sleeve, and showing me the blue spots on her arms); and then I was afraid she would kill me, and so I tried to learn, because I thought if I minded her, perhaps she would let me see mamma;—but she never did; and I slept in the cellar with her nights, and in the day time, before light, she takes me out into the country to play. See, my feet are very sore"—(and she pulled off the heavy, coarse shoes and showed me the blisters on them.)

"Won't you take me to see my mamma, quick?" said Edith, putting her little arms round my neck, as if she were afraid I would feel hurt because she wanted to leave me so soon.

"Just as fast as old Dobbin can carry you, my darling," said I, "if you will only tell me where to find her."

Little Edith began to cry.

"Perhaps she is dead," said she, sobbing.

"Oh, I hope not," said I, (the thought of restoring the little one had been so delightful to me); "cheer up, my darling,—now tell me where to find your father. What does he do for a living, Edith?"

"He has a shop," said Edith, "and knives, and forks, and scissors, and iron things in it."

"Oh, I know; he is what we call a hardware merchant."

"Yes," said Edith, "that's it."

"Well, where's the shop?"

"In the city," said Edith, "in —— street. My papa's name is —— Grosvenor, Esquire."

"Well, we'll find him, Jim and I. Here's the horse and wagon, my little musician, so jump in."

Jim whipped up, and away we jolted into town, little Edith clinging tightly to my arm, for fear of Bridget.

Two hours and we were in —— street. I went into a confectioner's with little Edith, while Jim drove to her father's store.

Edith grew very impatient—a bright red spot came upon her cheek—and she walked often to the window and looked out.

In about half an hour I saw Jim coming back up the street, and at his side a fine looking, tall man, of thirty.

"There's Jim," said I to Edith—

"And papa! and papa!—oh, it is papa—my own papa"—and she rushed to the door with the speed of an antelope.

How can I describe to you that meeting, when I couldn't see it for my tears? but I heard kisses and sobs, thick and fast, and the words, "Dear papa," and "My blessed, lost Edith."

Well, nothing would do, but Jim and I must go home and see mamma, too, who had never been outside of the door since her poor little girl was taken away.

We drove to the house—Edith, and I and Jim, staying below stairs, while Mr. G—— went to prepare his wife for the joyful news.

Presently we heard a heavy fall upon the floor. The joy was too intense. Edith's mother had fainted! She opened her eyes—it was not a dream! There was her little lost darling before her! She held her at arm's length—she clasped her to her breast—she kissed my hands—then she ran weeping to her husband—then back to Edith, till the pantomime became too painful.

"Je-ru-sa-lem!" said Jim.


Last evening I was walking in Broadway. The shop windows were brilliant with gas, and bright silks, and satins, and jewels were all spread out in the windows in the most tempting manner; all was gayety, bustle, hurry, drive, and confusion; omnibuses, carts, carriages, drays, military, music; people flocking to concerts, shows, and theatres; people flocking in town, and people flocking out; fashions in one window—coffins in the next; beggars and millionaires, ministers and play-actors, chimney-sweeps and ex-presidents, all in a heap.

I sauntered along dreamily, looking at them all, and wondering where all those myriads of people ate, and drank, and slept; how they had all laughed and wept; how soon they would all die off, one by one, without being missed, while strangers, just as busy, would fill their places, and die in turn, to give place to others.

Over my head the stars shone on, just as brightly as they did ages ago, when Bethlehem's babe was born—just as they will ages hence, when nobody will know that you or I ever thrilled with joy, or sighed with sorrow, beneath them.

But I am not going to preach to you;—the panorama made me think; that's all. Well, I sauntered along, and presently came in sight of a broker's window, (ask your papa what a broker is,) in a basement, quite down upon the pavement. The window seat was covered with black velvet, and on it lay little glittering heaps of money, in gold and silver;—some quarters—some half-dollars—some dollars—some five dollar and some ten dollar pieces.

I shouldn't have looked twice after them, but, crouched down upon the sidewalk, so close to the broker's window that his face almost touched it, was a little boy about ten years old. His ragged little cap was pushed carelessly back; his long, dark hair fell round his face, and his eyes were fixed upon that money with an intensity of gaze, that seemed to render him perfectly unconscious of the presence of any one about him.

I touched my companion's arm, and we stopped and looked at the boy some moments, and then passed on. But I couldn't go away, I wanted so much to know what that little boy was thinking about. So we went back again, and watched him a few minutes longer. He had not moved from his position. There he sat, with his little chin in his hand, building air castles.

"What are you thinking about, dear?" said I, touching him gently on the shoulder.

He started, and the bright color flushed to his very temples. I fancied that I had frightened him, or wounded his feelings. Perhaps he imagined that I thought he was trying to steal that money. So I said quickly, "Don't be afraid of me; I only felt curious to know what your thoughts were. I love little children. Now tell me—you were wishing all that bright money was yours, were you not?"

"Yes," said he, veiling his great dark eyes with their long lashes.

"I thought so," said I; "and now, supposing you had it, what would you do with it, my darling?"

Now, very likely you think he told me of the kites, and tops, and balls, and horses, and marbles that he would buy with it.

No—he looked up earnestly in my face for a minute, as if he would read my thoughts, and then he said, with his great eyes swimming in tears, "I would give it all to my mother."

I didn't care whose boy he was—he was mine then. So I just kissed him, and tried to keep from crying myself, while I asked him where he lived.

He told me in —— Court; and then we took hold of his hands and went home with him.

Such a home!

A little low room, with one small window, and no furniture in it, except an old rickety bedstead, upon which lay a woman about thirty years old, wasting away in a consumption.

Her large eyes glittered like stars, and on each cheek burned a bright red fever-spot. An old shawl was thrown on the bed for a counterpane. She had neither sheets nor blankets, and the chill night air blew through the broken window-panes, making her cough so fearfully that I thought she must die then.

Little Angelo crept to my side, and pointing to the bed, said, "That's why I wanted the money."

Well, this was her story, which (in broken English) she told us (between her coughing spells): About a year before, she came over to this country from Italy with her husband. He was a very bad man, and as soon as he landed from the ship he ran off with all their money, and left his wife to take care of herself and little Angelo.

They wandered all about, and came near getting into some very bad places, (which was what her naughty husband wished her to do, I suppose.) Sometimes they slept in old sheds, and behind barrels, or anywhere where they could find a shelter for the night out of harm's way. Poor Mrs. Cicchi was delicate, and could not bear such cruel exposure. She took a violent cold, and that brought on a quick consumption; and now there she lay, in that miserable room, in a strange country, dying!

Poor little Angelo! well might he look wistfully at the money in the broker's window.

Mrs. Cicchi told us that Angelo was a good boy, and would much rather work than beg, if he could get anything to do. She said his father made images in Italy, and that Angelo was always trying to do it too, whenever he got a bit of clay; and sometimes she thought he could get a living in that way when she was dead, if he had any friends; but, "poor boy!" she said, and turned her face to the pillow. "Poor boy! oh, how can his father forget him?"

We comforted her, and told her that Angelo should be taken care of, and then she wiped away her tears, and said she "could die happy"—and she did die a few days after; for cold, and hunger, and trouble had done more mischief, than the doctor who was sent to her could undo, with all his skill.

How poor Angelo clung to her dead body! How he kissed her hands and face, and sobbed, "My poor, poor mother!" He grieved so much that we almost feared he would die too.

By and by he listened to me. I told him that his mother was always near him, though he could not see her; and that every time he thought a good thought, or put away an evil one, she sang a sweeter song. Angelo liked that! His great dark eyes glittered through his tears; he smiled and kissed my hand;—often he sits still and listens, as if he heard his mother's song.

Angelo is a good boy. When he is out of school he works with an image maker. It is all play to him, he likes it so much. The old man stares to see him go on, but don't say anything. I know very well what he is thinking: he thinks that one of these days Congress will send Angelo an order for a statue for the Capitol!

I think so myself.

Dear little Angelo! his father will be very glad to own him by and by. Oh, I can tell you, good luck is an excellent "town crier," to find people with bad memories!


I wonder how you treat the servants in your mother's house? Do you order them round, as if they were so many dray-horses?—or do you speak pleasantly to them when you desire they should wait on you? I know there are a great many bad servants, but there are a great many good ones, too.

I am going to tell you about one.

Her name was Chloe Steele. She lived with a lady by the name of Mrs. Kumin. Fannie Kumin was fifteen years old when Chloe came to live with her mother. Chloe loved to do little services for Fannie, because she was so smiling and good natured. She never rang the bell, just to warn Chloe that she was her mistress; and when she called her for anything, always tried to remember everything she wanted, at once, that she need not make her take any extra steps, up and down stairs.

Chloe noticed this, and felt grateful for it, and was always very careful to regard all her little wishes. She tidied up her little bed-room very carefully, and always ran out in the garden and cut a little bouquet to place in the vase upon her toilette table, to make her room sweet and pleasant for her.

Fannie didn't require much waiting upon; she preferred being her own waiter, (like a sensible little girl.) It was very well she did so, because in a couple of years after Chloe went there to live, she was left an orphan, and when the estate was settled up, it was found that little Fannie had no money to live upon.

Chloe said, "don't be troubled, Miss Fannie; I am used to work. I'll find you a boarding place, and then I'll go out to service, and pay your bills. I can get high wages for a housekeeper's place, and you will live like a lady. It would break my heart to see Master's daughter work for her living."

Fannie said, "You are a dear, good Chloe, but I could not be happy to live that way;—no—I must go to work, and that will keep me from thinking of my troubles. I should become very miserable if I sat still, with my hands folded, and thought only of so many sorrowful things. No, no, dear Chloe—I shall teach in Mrs. ——'s school; and you will see, the education that my dear mother has given me will be just as good as so much money."

So Chloe said no more about supporting her, because she saw that she really would be happier to support herself; but she insisted upon washing and ironing her clothes for her, and the day that she carried them home, all nicely folded in a basket, was the happiest day in the week to poor Chloe.

Chloe had taken a little room to herself, and cooked her own food. All blacks are born cooks, I believe, and many a tempting little dainty she stowed away of a Saturday night, to take up to school to Fannie. Sometimes it would be a loaf of cake; sometimes a pie or two; sometimes a few oysters, nicely cooked; for she said "it was poor fare enough teachers had in boarding schools, and who knew but Miss Fannie might get quite run down, on that and the hard work together."

Then she would go round her room, picking up the stockings and mending them, and brushing her little gaiter boots; and then she would take the comb out of her long hair and part it nicely, and brush it and dress it all over as well as Madame Marmotte, the French hair dresser, could do.

If Fannie took cold, she'd come and make her some hot tea, and soak her feet in mustard water, and leave her some nice hot lemonade to drink when she went away; and if she had a letter to put in the post-office, or was expecting one, then Chloe was on hand to do the errand, just as promptly as an express man.

Now she did all this out of sheer love for Fannie, and because she had been kind to her in her mother's house, and never put on airs and ordered her about, as some children do.

By and by, Miss Fannie took it into her head to get engaged to be married.

Chloe didn't half like it;—she was jealous. She was "afraid Massa Hale wouldn't make a good husband enough. Miss Fannie ought to have a very nice one, because she was such a fine young lady;" and Chloe shook her woolly head, till her gold hoop ear-rings rung again, and advised Miss Fannie to "wait a leetle longer." "Time enough yet, when she was only eighteen, plenty more gemmen; no hurry yet for Miss Fannie."

But Fannie had her own way that time, too, and married "Massa Hale;" and when Chloe found there was no help for it, she said she would go and be her cook, "just to look after the dear child a bit, and see that she had everything she wanted," and that nothing was wasted.

You ought to have seen her in "Miss Fannie's" kitchen, (for she still kept on calling her Miss Fannie;) with her gay bandanna handkerchief twisted round her wool, and her neat check apron tied round her waist, moving round among the shining pots, and pans, and kettles, as important as if she were the great Mogul; turning out pies and hoe cakes, and flap-jacks, (and every other Jack, too, for Chloe had no beaux dangling after her, I promise you.)

If "Miss Fannie" put her head into the kitchen, she'd tell her it was no place for her,—to go right up stairs, and sit in the parlor like a lady, and not be worrying her little head about the cooking and such matters; that she'd send up a dinner pretty soon that would make Massa Hale open his eyes; and she didn't care if he brought the President home with him to dine!

Chloe was scrupulously honest;—she took care of everything just as carefully as "Miss Fannie"—never wasting, never giving slily away tea or sugar, or bread, or meat, or coal, to her acquaintances, as I'm sorry to say many unprincipled servants do.

So "Massa Hale" began to like her, as well as "Miss Fannie," and many a nice calico dress, or handkerchief turban, found its way mysteriously into Chloe's trunk.

After a while, Chloe had another Miss Fannie to look after. Was there ever a baby like that? Certainly not—except the original Miss Fannie. Chloe forgot her pots, and pans, and pickles, and preserves, and hoe-cakes; and said that "somebody else must do the cooking, or else that baby never would thrive; for what did Miss Fannie know about babies, she would like to know?"

So Chloe washed her hands, and walked up into the nursery, and when she said that little Fan must have some peppermint, she had it; and when she objected to its wearing caps, they were taken off; and when she said it was time for her to go to sleep, she went to sleep, as a matter of course.

Chloe sent its mother out to take the air, and told her it was no use for her to trouble her head about the baby, because it was a thing she knew nothing about;—in fact "Miss Fannie" never was allowed to peep into its cradle without Chloe's express permission.

But the time was coming when Sorrow's dark shadow should cross the happy threshold. Death laid his icy finger on the little baby's lip, (with scarce a moment's warning,) just as it had twined itself round all their hearts with its winning little ways.

Who comforted poor Fannie then? Who arrayed the baby's dainty little limbs for burial? Who placed the tiny flowers between its waxen little fingers? Who folded away from the weeping mother's sight the useless caps and robes? Who spoke words of cheer, while her own heart was breaking?—who, but Chloe?

Ah, dear children, never say that servants are without feeling; never say it spoils them to treat them like human beings. They all have their trials—humble though they be—and (often, God knows,) few joys enough.


"Oh, stop! stop! Pray don't beat that child so," said I to a strapping great woman in front of my window. "What has she done? What is the matter? Don't strike her."

"Well, then tell her not to meddle with me again," said the virago, shaking a stick at the child. "I got to that barrel of cinders on the sidewalk, first, and had put my stick in it, to see if I could get anything out worth saving; of course, if I came first, I had the first right to what I could find; and then she came up and put her stick in it, without saying 'by your leave.' I'll teach her better manners"—and the stick descended again on the child's shoulders.

"Run in here, run in here," said I. "I'll take care of you;" and I opened the door for her. Poor little thing—all tears, and rags, and dirt; her little bare feet cut and bruised with the stones, and her hair streaming all over her face. You would have pitied her, too. She gazed about the room, looked at the fire, then wistfully at the breakfast table, from which I had just risen.

"You shall have some," said I, giving her a cup of hot coffee and some egg and roll; "eat away, as much as ever you can."

She didn't need a second invitation, but swallowed the food as if she were famished. She put on the shoes and stockings I gave her, and then she told me that her father was killed on the railroad; that her mother had four little children beside herself; that they lived in a cellar in —— street, where the water often came in and covered the floor; that her mother had a dreadful bad cough; that her baby brother was very sick, and that they had nothing to eat except what they got begging.

"Why did you hunt in that old barrel?" said I.

"To find bits of coal, to burn. Sometimes the servants in the big houses don't sift it, and then we find a great many pieces to carry home and burn. Oh dear! that was such a nice barrel, that the women beat me for coming to!"

"Never mind the barrel," said I; "do you want this? and this? and this? and this?"—giving her some old dresses, "and this loaf of bread, and this bit of money for your mother?"

"Oh yes—yes. She will be so glad!" And off she skipped, down street, drawing her ragged shawl over her head.

Directly after, thinking of an errand I wished to do, I put on my bonnet and walked out.

I had passed several blocks, when I came to an alley where I heard voices. The speakers had their backs turned to me, but I could see them. It was the child who had just left me, and the woman who had beat her for meddling with the barrel of cinders.

"You did it well," said the woman. "I couldn't have made believe cry better myself. I knew she'd call you in. Did she give you all these? and these? and these?" (holding up the dresses.) "That's good. I can sell them to the second-hand clothes shop there, for money;—you may have that bit of money she gave you, to buy yourself a string of beads, because you cried so well. Which story did you tell her, hey?"

"The one you told me this morning"—said the child; "all about the cellar, and the water in it, and how father was killed on the railroad track. Didn't she give me a good breakfast, though?" And the child stretched up her arms and yawned.

Well, I was not sorry that I gave her that breakfast, or those clothes, or that money; I was sorry to see a little child so deceitful; but, do you know it is better sometimes to be mistaken than never to trust?—better sometimes even to lose a little, than with icy words to crush from out a despairing heart, the last hope of a tempted, starving, fellow creature!

That's the way I comforted myself, dear children, as I walked along home.


Rain, rain, rain! How the drops come down! I wonder if anybody beside myself will get out doors to-day?

Ah, yes! There's a little boy, not much bigger than Tom Thumb. He's a little merchant, as true as the world, and has a box strapped on his back. Now he wants to sell me something.

"Corset lacings?" Never use such things, my dear.

"Paste blacking?" Wear patent leather.

"Ear-rings?" I leave those to the Indians.

"Combs? hooks and eyes? pins? needles? tape? scissors? spools?"

Oh, you little rogue—come in here; where did you come from, hey?

"I am an Englishman."

No, you are not.

"Well, my father was. I was born in Hamburgh."

That's it; now, how came you to be selling these things?

"I'm doing it to try to pay my own board. I pay ten shillings a week. My brother has gone to California. By and by, perhaps, he will come home, and send me to school. Buy anything, to-day, ma'am?"

Of course I shall. I haven't seen such an enterprising young man since I left off pinafores. I'll buy all the pins you have; for since I came here to New-York, I see so many things to make me sigh, that my hooks and eyes keep flying off like Peggotty's buttons. There—run along, now, and don't you come this way again, with that little glib tongue, and those bright eyes, or you'll empty my purse entirely!

Oh dear! oh dear, he is knocked down crossing the street; he's killed!

No he is not!—

Yes he is!—

No—he's up—safe and sound. Now he rubs the mud out of his eyes, and says, just as coolly as if he had not barely escaped with his skin.

"Where's my box?"

"Never mind the box," say the crowd, "as long as you are not hurt."

"But I do," said the little Dutchman, "for that's the way I get my living, selling these things. Oh dear—the box is broke, and everything is spoiled."

"Make up a purse for him," says a gentleman, passing round his hat.

Coppers, and shillings, and quarters, and half dollars flow into the hat, and finally a dollar bill.

"There," said the gentleman, smiling, "now take that home to your mother, my boy."

"My mother is dead," sobbed the child.

"Pass round the hat again," said the gentleman—a tear in his eye.

The crowd responded with another handful of coppers and shillings and quarters.

Ah, little Hans, who is it who saith, "Leave thy fatherless children with me; I will preserve them alive?"


"What a funny new cook Mamma has!"

"Yes, and how she starts every time the bell rings, as if somebody were coming to catch her, and what a wild look she has in her eyes. She makes good cake, though, don't she, Louise? a great deal better than black Sally's;—and then Sally had such a temper! Do you remember how she sent the gridiron across the kitchen, after the chamber-maid, because she had mislaid the dish-cloth?—how I did laugh!"

"I remember it. But what do you suppose makes this new cook act so oddly when the bell rings? I heard Mamma say she was 'one of the nervous sort.' It would be good fun to play a trick on her and frighten her; wouldn't it? You know the dark entry by the parlor door, Louise?"


"Well, you know there are plenty of old clothes, and things, hanging up there, and she has to pass by them, when she goes up and down stairs."


"Well, suppose we hide behind those coats, and just as she comes along, both of us make a spring at her?—won't that be fun?"

"Capital!" said Louise, "but won't Mamma punish us?"

"Of course, if she finds us out; but we mustn't get found out. What is the use of having feet, if you can't scamper with them? Betsey of course will be too frightened to see who did it, and before anybody else comes, we shall get out of the way."

The new cook, "Betsey," whom these two little sisters were talking about, was a widow. Her husband was an industrious, temperate man, a carpenter by trade. He loved Betsey very much, and they lived in a snug, comfortable little house, which they hoped to be able to buy some day, when Tom had earned money enough at his trade.

Betsey made Tom a good wife. If he worked hard in the shop, she worked hard in the house. Everything was just as neat as a new pin. You might have eaten off her floors, they were scrubbed so white and clean. There were no finger marks on her doors or windows, no broken panes of glass, with paper or rags stuffed in, to keep out the air, and her closets and cupboards would bear looking at, in the brightest sunlight that ever found its way into a kitchen. Her dishes and tumblers never stuck to your fingers; her table never had on soiled table-cloths; her walls were never festooned with cobwebs; her hearth never was littered with ashes. Well might Tom work cheerfully for such a wife; for he knew that every penny he saved, and gave her, was put to the best possible use. It didn't go for tawdry finery, I can tell you; and she knew how to turn a coat for Tom, or re-line the sleeves, or seat a pair of pants, as nicely as a tailor.

Tom was a good looking fellow. He had a fine broad chest, and a straight, well formed figure; a large, clear, black eye, and a fine Roman nose, besides a set of teeth that would have made a dentist sigh. The truth was Tom was one of Nature's gentlemen; he always did and said just the right thing, and made everybody about him feel perfectly satisfied with the world in general, and himself in particular.

Well, they lived together as contented as two oysters. Tom didn't grit his teeth when a carriage rolled by with a rich man in it, or when another man passed him in a finer suit of broadcloth than his own. Not he. He stepped off to his shop, on the strength of Betsey's nice coffee and biscuit, as grand as the President. Why not? He owed nobody a cent, and that's more than many a man can say, who would knock you down as quick as a flash, if you should intimate he wasn't a gentleman.

One fine day, Tom proposed to Betsey to go a fishing, he said she needed something of that sort, by way of change, for she was quite worn out. Betsey said, "No, Tom, I am well enough; besides, the water will make me sick; but I want you to go; you and Phil Dolan; you need it more than I, a great deal."

Tom didn't like to go without Betsey; he didn't believe in husband's frolicking about, and leaving their poor tired wives to mend their old duds, at home. No; he knew that there is no woman, be she ever so kind and good, who does not sometimes want to see something beside a mop, a gridiron, and a darning needle; so Tom said, "No, I'll think of some pleasure you can share with me."

But Betsey persuaded him to go without her. She fancied, (good kind soul,) that Tom was looking less well than usual, and the thought of his getting sick, made her quite miserable; so Tom said he'd go. Then Betsey got Tom his fishing tackle, and put him up some biscuit, for he and Phil intended to get out on a little island to make some chowder; and then Tom——kissed her; (as true as you are alive, though she was his wife!) and then he went for Phil, and they got into a little boat, and floated off down the river.

Betsey worked away, thinking all the time how much good the fresh air on the water was doing Tom. She got along very well through the forenoon; cleaning up the house, and putting things in place, till dinner-time; then how lonesome it was not to have Tom's handsome face opposite her! and nobody to say, "Betsey, dear, here's your favorite bit;" or, "Betsey, dear, where's your appetite to-day?" It made her so dull, that she couldn't eat her dinner.

I am sorry to say that Betsey had no darling little girl or boy, to climb up in her lap, and talk to her about papa. Betsey was sorry too, and so was Tom.

Well, the afternoon wore away. It was five o'clock;—time Betsey had begun to get tea, for Tom would soon be home. Let's see!—she would make some flap-jacks. Tom was fond of flap-jacks. She'd make him a real strong cup of coffee: he liked that better than tea. She would cook him a bit of beef steak too, for she knew that fishing always gave people a good appetite. So she stepped around briskly, and spread her snow-white table-cloth, and put on her cups and saucers, and plates, and the castor—(yes, the castor on the tea table! for they didn't care a pin for fashion); and when she had cooked her supper, she looked at the clock. Yes, it was quite time he was there; and then she looked out the front door, just as if she could look him home.

An hour went by—an hour after the time he said he'd come; and Tom always punctual to the minute, too. Betsey grew nervous. Somebody rang the bell. She flew to the door. (Tom never rang the bell.) It was only a boy inquiring for the next neighbor. Betsey pulled a little wrinkle out of the table-cloth, set Tom's chair up to the table, and peeped into the coffee-pot. It was all right. He would soon be there. But somehow she couldn't keep still a minute. She had a great mind (if she were not afraid of being laughed at) to run down to Phil Dolan's brother's, to see if Phil had got back.

There's the bell again! Betsey trembled so she could hardly get to the door, though she couldn't tell why.

It is Phil's brother.

Why don't Betsey speak to him? Why don't he speak to Betsey? Why are his lips so ashen white?

Poor Betsey! she knew it all; though he has not spoken a word.

Tom is drowned.

Phil lifts Betsey from the floor, chafes her hands, and speaks to her pitifully. Betsey does not answer: she does not even hear him.

By and by she comes to herself and opens her eyes. She sees the little supper table. She looks at Phil, and then she puts her hand over his mouth, and says, "Not yet, not yet."

Phil's kind heart is wrung with pity. He knows they will soon bring in Tom's dead body. He loved Tom. Everybody loved him. It was only that very morning that he left home so bright, so full of life. Poor Tom!

Dear children, you can imagine how poor Betsey hung, weeping, over her husband's dead body; how dreadful it was to see the earth close over it, and to leave her dear little happy home, and go out among strangers, with such a sorrowful heart, to earn her bread.

She heard that Minnie's mother wanted a cook; she called and Minnie's mother engaged her; and now, perhaps, you'd like to hear the end of the trick the two little girls were planning to play on poor, heart-broken Betsey. You know now why she started whenever a bell rang, and why her nerves were in such a state.

"Now is the time," said Minnie; "Betsey has just gone in after the tea-waiter. Quick! get behind the coat, Louise."

Betsey soon came out with the tea-tray of dishes, and Minnie and Louise jumped at her, from behind the coats, seizing rudely hold of her arm.

Betsey uttered a loud scream, and fell to the bottom of the stairs, with the tray of dishes; while Minnie and Louise, terrified at the broken dishes, ran off up chamber, to hide under the bed.

Minnie's mother had not gone out, as she supposed, and was the first to find Betsey, whose face was badly cut with the broken dishes, and who was taken up quite senseless.

The doctor came and bandaged Betsey's head, and said she might die. Their mother nursed her through a brain fever, and in her delirium, Betsey raved about her husband, and told, in fragments, all that her poor heart had suffered.

Minnie's mother, without saying a word to her little girls about their naughtiness, led them into the room and let them hear poor Betsey call for "Tom—dear Tom," to come and "pity and love her, and take the dull, weary pain out of her heart." And then they wept, and wanted to do something for Betsey, if it were only to bring her a glass of water to moisten her lips. After a long time, when their kind mother got nearly worn out with watching and nursing, Betsey got better. When she had quite recovered, their mother took her for a sempstress, and gave her a nice little comfortable room up stairs, with a fire in it, all to herself; and Minnie and Louise used to sit and read to her, and tell her over and over again, with their arms around her neck, how sorry they were they had been so wicked, and gave her nice books to read evenings, and tried to make poor Betsey's lonely life as happy as ever they could.


Did you ever hear of an Intelligence Office? Well, it's a place where servant girls go, to hear of families who wish to hire help. They pay the man who keeps the office something, and then he finds a place where they can work and earn money.

In one of these offices, one pleasant summer morning, twenty or more servant girls were seated,—some of them modest looking and tidily dressed, others bold and slatternly.

Wedged among them, in a dark corner, was a little girl about thirteen years old. Her face was pale, and her features, which were small and delicate, were half hidden by her thick, black hair. Her little hands were small and white, and from under her dress (which had evidently been made for some one else, as it was much too long and too wide for her) peeped as cunning a little pair of feet as you ever saw.

Little Letty—for that was her name—looked frightened and distressed. She had never been in such a place before, and it made her cheeks very hot to have those rude girls stare at her so. Then, the air of the room was very close, and that made her head ache badly; and she felt afraid that nobody would hire her, because she was so little. Her mother had died only a week before, and Letty had a drunken father,—so, you see, that, young as she was, she had to earn her own bread and butter.



By and by, a woman came in. Some people, I suppose, would have called her a lady, as she had on a silk dress, and a great many shiny chains and pins. Letty's mother was a lady, although she was poor. She had sweet, gentle manners, and a soft, low voice. Letty did not like Mrs. Finley's looks; she wore too many bows and flounces; and then her voice was loud and harsh, and her forehead had an ugly frown on it, that didn't go away even when she smiled and tried to look gracious. No, Letty didn't like her, and she almost hoped she wouldn't take a fancy to her, much as she needed a place to live in.

But Mrs. Finley liked Letty's looks; so she sailed across the room, with her six flounces, and asked her so many questions, in such a loud voice, that Letty was quite bewildered; then she heard her say to Mr. Silas Skinflint, who kept the office, that she would take her, and that it was a very nice thing that her mother was dead, for mothers were always bothering.

"Very nice that her mother was dead!"

Poor, little, desolate Letty couldn't bear that. She hid her little face in her hands, and began to sob pitifully; but Mr. Skinflint tapped her on the shoulder with his cane, and told her that nobody would hire a cry-baby; so Letty sat up straight, and choked her tears down, and at a signal from Mr. Skinflint took up her little bundle and followed Mrs. Finley.

On she went, past a great many fine shops and fine houses, Letty keeping close behind her. Letty's head felt quite giddy, and she was very faint, for her naughty father had gone off, and poor Letty had had no breakfast that morning.

After turning a great many squares, Mrs. Finley went down a very narrow street, where a great many noisy, dirty children were playing on the sidewalks,—where a great many women were leaning (on their red elbows) out of the windows, and a great many coarse, rough men were sitting on the steps, smoking pipes, in their shirt sleeves.

At one of these houses Mrs. Finley stopped, and Letty followed her up the steps, through the entry, and into the parlor. A table stood in the middle of the floor, covered with dirty breakfast dishes, where myriads of flies were making a meal. A little baby with a pink nose and bald head, was playing on the floor with a head-brush and a skillet; while a boy, about Letty's age, was mopping out a sugar bowl with his fingers, and two little girls, in yellow pantalettes and pink dresses, were trying to hide away a dress cap of their mother's, which they had been cutting up for their dollies. On a side table were Mr. Finley's "shaving things," a dirty dickey, and sundry little bits of paper with floating islands of soap-suds, left there by his razor.

"Well—here we are at last," said Mrs. Finley, fanning herself with a great newspaper. "You see, Letty, there's plenty to do here. Now I'm going up stairs, to put on a calico long-short, and take a nap; and you are to wash these dishes, and put them in the closet; clear away the table; sweep the room and dust it; wash these children's faces, and keep them quiet; put some water in the tea-kettle and set it boiling; tend the door, and keep a look out for the milk-man.

"Ma'am?" said Letty, looking bewildered.

"M-a-'a-m"—mocked Mrs. Finley, "where's your ears, child? let's see if I can find 'em," and she gave Letty's little ear a smart pull.

"Please, ma'am, it is all so new to me," said Letty, trying to keep from crying; "will you please tell me where to find the broom to sweep with, or the water to wash the dishes, and which closet I am to put them in, and where's the towel to wipe the children's faces?"

"Oh—my—senses!" said Mrs. Finley, "what a little fool;—use your eyes a little more and your tongue less, and you'll find things, I guess; and now let me see every thing right end up when I come down stairs. Do you hear?"

"Yes, ma'am," said Letty, drawing a long sigh as Mrs. Finley closed the door.

"Came from the poor-house, didn't you?" said Master John Finley, cracking a whip over Letty's head. "Well, I'm glad you've come here at any rate; I haven't known what to do with myself all vacation. It will be prime fun, I'm thinking, to tease you, you little scared rabbit; and I'll tell you, to begin with, that my name is Mr. John Finley, and that I'm my mother's pet, and that whatever I say is pretty likely to be done in this house;—so you'd better be careful and keep on the right side of me," said the wicked boy, as he gave her arm a knock, and sent the waiter of dishes out of her hand upon the floor.

"Oh! Master John," said Letty; "see what you have done—oh!"—and Letty wrung her little white hands.

"See what I've done?" said John. "I like that, Miss Letty, or Hetty, or whatever you call yourself; but what's that string round your neck for?—what's on the end of it, hey?"—and he gave it a rude twitch, snapped it in two, and picked up a little locket that Letty wore in her bosom.

"Oh, Master John," said Letty, "give it back, do,—it's all I have to make me happy now,—my mamma gave it me when she died. She used to wear it once when she was rich. Oh, Master John, don't, please, take it away from me."

"Look here! cry-baby," said John, putting the locket in his jacket pocket, "you never'll see that locket again. I shall say, too, that you broke all those dishes, and if you contradict it, I'll take that locket to a police-man, and tell him you stole it. Won't you look pretty going to jail with your long black curls? Answer me that, Miss Hetty Letty?"

Letty only answered by her sobs.

"What's all this?" said Mrs. Finley, opening the door; "one might as well try to sleep in Bedlam. Merciful man! who broke all those dishes? John Madison Harrison Polk! who broke all those dishes, I say?"

"I told her she'd catch it, mother, when you came down," said John; "see if she dare deny it?"

"Letty," said Mrs. Finley, seizing her by the shoulders and giving her a shake, "did you break that breakfast set?"

Letty thought of John, and the police-man, and the jail, and was silent.

"John," said Mrs. Finley, "go bring me your father's horse-whip from behind the kitchen door."

"Oh, Mrs. Finley," said Letty, growing very white about the mouth, and trembling violently all over; "don't whip me; my mamma never whipped me. Oh, mamma—mamma!"

Down came the heavy whip on Letty's fair head and shoulders;—"There—take that, and that, and that!" said Mrs. Finley, "and remember that I didn't take you into my house to quarrel with my children, and break up dishes; and now take yourself up into the dark garret, and get into bed, and don't you get up till Mr. Finley comes home to dinner, and let's see if he can manage you."

Letty pushed her hair from before her eyes, and staggered to the door; then, up the stairs where they told her, into the garret; then, she groped her way to bed; then, she laid her head on the pillow; but she didn't cry—no—not even when she thought of her mamma,—the tears wouldn't come; but her head was very hot, and her hands burning. There she lay, hour after hour, talking to herself about a great many things; and had it been light enough you would have seen how flushed her cheeks were, and how very strangely her eyes looked.

"The child has a brain fever," said the Doctor to Mrs. Finley.

"No wonder," said the wicked woman, "she had such a dreadful fall down the cellar stairs. You see how she bruised her face and neck."

The Doctor looked very sharp at Mrs. Finley—so sharp that she stooped down, pretending to pick something from the floor, that he needn't see her blush.

"I don't know how I am to nurse a sick child," grumbled Mrs. Finley; "there's John Madison Harrison Polk, and Sarah Jenny Lind, and Malvina Cecelia Victoria, and Napoleon Bonaparte, four children of my own to look after. It's a hard case, Doctor."

"Not so hard a case as little Letty's," said the kind Doctor. "Those bruises never came from falling down stairs, Mrs. Finley; that child has been cruelly abused. I may tell of it, and I may not,—that depends upon whether she lives or dies; but I am going to take her home to my own house, and see what good doctoring can do for her. She looks like my little dead Mary, and for her sake I'll be a father to her."

So Letty was carried on a litter to Doctor Harris' house; and there, for a great many weeks, she lay in her little bed, quite crazy—her beautiful hair shaved off, and her little head blistered to make her well. The Doctor's wife was a sweet, kind lady;—she thought, too, that "Letty looked like her little dead Mary," and often, when she held her little burning hand, the tears would come to her eyes, and she would pray God to let her live, for she had no child to love now, and she wanted Letty for her own little girl.

Well, after a long, long while, Letty's senses came slowly back. She put her little hand to her forehead and tried to remember what had happened;—she didn't know what to make of the nice, pretty room, and soft bed with its silken curtains;—she thought she was dreaming, and rubbed her eyes and looked again, and then hid her face in the sheet for fear she should see Mrs. Finley, or John, or the police-man;—and then Mrs. Harris put her finger on Letty's lip and told her not to talk now, because she was sick and weak, but that she was always going to live with her, and be, not her servant, but her own dear little girl; and then Letty kissed Mrs. Harris' hand, and shut her eyes, and went to sleep as quietly as if she were on her mother's bosom.

By and by, little by little, she got strong and well again; her checks grew plump and rosy; her hair came out in little black, curls all over her head, and she was just the happiest little girl—as happy as you are when you climb on your mother's lap and kiss her, as if you never wanted to stop.

She had a little room of her own, close by her new mother's, with a cunning little bed, and wash-stand, and bureau, and rocking chair. She had plenty of playthings, too,—(not little Mary's, for mothers can't give away their little children's playthings when they are dead.) Letty had playthings of her own;—but sometimes, Mrs. Harris would unlock a little trunk, and show her a little cake, all dried up, with the marks of tiny little teeth in it; and a slate on which was a word left unfinished by little Mary; and a little chest of doll's clothes, with such nice little womanly stitches in them; and a little fairy thimble; and then the tears would fall into the trunk as she locked it up again, and then Letty would throw her arms about her neck and say, "Don't cry—Letty loves you."

And now, my little darling readers, there is one verse in the Bible which Aunt Fanny wants you to remember; it is this:

"When thy father and thy mother forsake thee, then the Lord will take thee up."


"Joseph," said his mother, "I want you to run over to Aunt Elsie's and borrow a pair of flat-irons; she said she would lend them to me, till I could get some from the settlement."

"Yes, mother," said little Joe; "and I can whittle my stick going along. I'm afraid Bill Sykes will get his arrows made first; and if I ain't but eight years old, he shan't beat me at anything."

So Joe perched his cap on the top of his head, and started off through the woods, with his jack-knife for company.

"Aunt Elsie" was a widow, who lived just half a mile from Joe's mother's. Everybody loved her, she was so motherly, and so ready to do a kindness; every man, woman and child in the neighborhood, would have run their feet off for her, if it would have done her any good.

Yes, Aunt Elsie was a regular sunbeam; and yet she had known sorrow and trouble enough, for, as I told you, she was a widow; but she looked forward to a better home than any this world can furnish, and so she bore her trials just as one would the little wearinesses and discomforts of a journey, when every hour is bringing him nearer and nearer to his own dear fireside, with its loving hearts.

Well, little Joe went whistling and whittling along, thinking of Bill Sykes and his arrows. Half a mile was no great distance to go; he might finish one arrow going along; that is, if his jack-knife didn't break, or if he didn't whittle off one of his fingers by mistake. He wished the wood wasn't quite so hard: he wondered whether Bill Sykes would make his arrows of hickory: he wondered whether Bill's brother Tom, wouldn't make them for him—just as like as not, now, he would, and then Bill would be sure to have the best ones: too bad! Joe wished he had a brother, too; he wished——ph-e-w! What's that?

A bear! as sure as you are alive! (and may not be long.) What's to be done now? Joe was a nice fat little boy, and the bear might be hungry. He wasn't afraid: pooh!—no. A little backwoods boy afraid? They are made of different stuff than the little ruffled-collar boys that tag about with the nursery maid at their heels, in Broadway.

Joe examined his jack-knife, and took another look at the bear, as he lay behind the bushes. Old Bruin was fast asleep.

All right;—Joe's mother wouldn't have to wait for her flat-irons; so he stepped carefully along (not to disturb Bruin's nap) and reached Aunt Elsie's, with a whole skin.

Aunt Elsie was very glad to see Joe, for she loved children, and always ran to the cupboard to get them a piece of wholesome frontier pie, or gingerbread, or bit of hoe-cake; but Joe said he couldn't stop; because his mother had her clothes already sprinkled and folded ready for the irons, and had told him to hurry back as fast as ever he could.

Did he tell Aunt Elsie about the bear? Do you suppose a frontier boy would take refuge under a woman's apron?

No, sir!

If you should mention such a thing to him, he would tuck up his pinafore, roll up his jacket sleeves, and show you his little brown fists, in a trice!

No, sir; he never alluded to the bear, but taking a flat-iron in each hand, went whistling along as if no such animal had ever walked out of Noah's ark into the back woods.

Well, he had got through "Hail Columbia," and "Auld Lang Syne," when he spied Bruin again; and this time he was wide awake, too.

He began whistling Yankee Doodle; first, to show his independence, and secondly, because he knew if anything would take the nonsense out of the letter B, it was Yankee Doodle!

"I'll iron him with these flat-irons, anyhow," said Joe to himself, "if he comes here to eat me." But whether the bear wasn't hungry, or whether he didn't like the looks of the flat-irons, or whether Joe's house was a little too near, or whether it was all three, I can't say; all I know is that he never touched a paw to him, and Joe and his flat-irons arrived home in perfect safety.

"I'm so glad you are come, Joe," said his mother, taking the irons and putting them over the fire to heat. "I've a heap of work to do, and besides I felt uneasy like, after you went off alone through the woods, for fear you might possibly meet a bear."

"I did," said Joe, quietly whittling away at his arrow.

"Did? Sakes alive! Where? how? when? Did he bite you?" and she caught him up by the waistband and held him up to the light, and turned him round to see where he was damaged.

Joe told her all about it, and she flew and bolted all the doors, and every now and then she'd set down her flat-iron, and putting her arms a-kimbo, say, "Sakes alive! 'spose that bear had ate him up?" That night she insisted on his eating a whole pie for supper, gave him two lumps of white sugar, and put an extra blanket on his bed, and all night long she was traveling back and forth in her night cap, from her bed to his, to feel if Joe was safe between the sheets.

Now, while Joe's asleep, if you like that story, I will tell you another about Aunt Elsie.

One day she went to her door and blew her horn, as if all creation was let loose; (you know I told you that when frontier folks want to call the neighbors together that's the way they manage.)

Well, there was a general stampede to see what was to pay with Aunt Elsie. Some said the bears must have run off with her little girl;—some said an Indian might have strayed into her log hut, and frightened her;—some said the house might be on fire, and they all said they'd stand by Aunt Elsie as long as there was a timber left of them, whatever was to pay. Zeke Smith said, (Zeke was an old bachelor,) that "he'd thought for a great while, that it wasn't safe for Elsie to live there alone without some man to protect her;" and Jim Brown who was a widower, said "it was a lonesome piece of business and no mistake;" and they all rushed through the woods to see which should pitch into the house first and help her the fastest.

Well—what do you think was to pay when they got there?

Her old cow was choking with a turnip!

Now I'm going to tell you one more backwoods story while I'm about it.

A great roaring fire was burning in Zeke Smith's log house; and all the Tims, and Joes, and Bills, and Jacks, and Sams had come in to see him. They peeled chestnuts and threw the shells into the fire, and the shells cracked and snapped, and the blaze lit up all their weather-beaten, bronzed faces, and they drank cider out of a great mug, and talked about one thing and another that you and I don't care about; and then Zeke Smith said he lost a sheep last night.

"So did I," said Pete Parker.

"I lost two hens," said Joachim Jones.

"I lost a ram," said Bill Bond.

"Don't say so!" said Zeke. "Well, that is a loss. There's a bear about,—that's certain; and it's just as certain that we are the boys to kill him. I should like to see a bear get out of the way of my rifle!"

"Or mine"—

"Or mine," said they all.

Well, they agreed to start the next morning, by daylight, to hunt up the bear. They fixed their rifles the night before, and in the morning got up bright and early, and got into their great boots, and buttoned up their coats and strided off, with provisions in their pouches, for they were determined not to come back without him.

On they tramped, over bush and bog and briar; the dogs running before and scenting round among the bushes. All day, no luck. Night came on, and still no luck; so they "camped out," and started fresh again the next morning.

About dark the dogs scented the bear, sure enough,—and what a monstrous fellow he was—black as Topsy, too! Never mind, his time had come now. He ran up an old stub, and sat perched on the top. They pointed their rifles—took aim—not a rifle went off! and Bruin sat grinning at them.

Wern't they furious? I wouldn't undertake to repeat what they said, 'cause it wouldn't answer. The bear came down from the stub, and ran off into a swamp; so they had the hunt all over again. They primed their guns anew and picked the flints (for percussion locks had not then been invented,) so that their rifles would be sure to go off; for you may be certain that they wouldn't have that story told in "the settlement," for a barrel of their best cider. So taking their newly-primed rifles, off they started again, with their teeth set together, looking as fierce as so many Hospidars. If Bruin had understood what stuff a disappointed backwoodsman is made of, he would have kept out of their way—but he didn't; and as their rifles this time had the genuine "stand and deliver" in 'em, there was nothing left for him to do, but to cross his paws and surrender.

Didn't they drink cider and crack nuts over the old fellow's remains? Certainly; they never would have showed their heads at "a raising" again, I can tell you, hadn't they captured him.


Well, I don't know as there is any use in my sitting here at the window any longer. Bricks and mortar, mortar and bricks! and little strips of yards not big enough to swing a cat round in. You may, perhaps you will, ask with the Frenchman, "Vat for you want to swing a cat round?"

But there's a choice even in those yards. Now just look at them—there is one, that, small as it is, has its little circular grass plat, with a hedge of china asters about it, and a little vase in the middle, from which hang tendrils of the pretty mountain myrtle; a woodbine creeps over the fence and my favorite tree (the willow) is struggling for life in yonder corner, and prettier than all, out dances a little fairy, with shining locks neatly parted, and a clean white pinafore tucked round her chubby little figure. See her tip-toe round the grass plat, with eyes as blue as the morning glories she is plucking. How glad I am she has a mother who teaches her to love the beautiful, and provides her that pretty little garden.

Now just look in the next yard—it is just the same size as the other, but poor mother earth lies buried under great flat paving stones; while strewed over them are old bits of china, and carpeting, and old keg covers, and old barrels with the hoops dropping off, and an old tail-less rocking-horse, and a child's chair, trying in vain to stand on three legs, and a Buffalo skin that is sadly in need of some of "Bogles Hyperian."

There's a little child dancing out that door, too; now he stands poised on one foot, and takes a survey of the yard; unpromising, isn't it, dear? Nothing pretty to look at, is there? Aunt Fanny is sorry for you; if she could get you up here she'd tell you a story. I know very well what you would tell her; that mamma lies in bed asleep—although it is ten o'clock; that papa has eaten his breakfast alone and gone down to the store; and that Betty and Sally have it all their own way, not only in that slovenly looking yard, but all over the house, (so long as they don't trouble your mamma.) Poor little fellow—I hope some country cousin will have mercy on you, and introduce you to her cows and hens and chickens and hay and flowers—yes, and to her brown bread and milk, too, for you look like a little hot-house plant.

I wonder who lives over there? I'll just look at them through my quizzing glass. In the first place, that's a "single lady's" room (I am afraid she'll box my ears if I call her "an old maid," and if there is anything I am afraid of it is a mouse and a mad woman.)

Just look over there. There's a little tin, pint pail out on the window sill, and a stone pot. I'll bet you sixpence she "finds herself" (I know nobody finds old maids). There now, didn't I tell you so? See,—she moves a little table up to the window and holds the table-cloth close up to her eye-lashes, to see if there's a speck of dirt on it, and then twitches, and pats, and pulls it into line and plummet order; then she places thereon a small tea tray, with only one cup and saucer. I declare it makes me feel quite melancholy! Then she throws up the window, lifts the cover off the tin-pail, and turns about a thimble full of milk into a lilliputian pitcher; then she nips out a bit of butter about the size of a nutmeg, and puts it on a little cup plate; and placing a small roll and a little black teapot on the table, she sits down to her solitary meal. Now she clasps her hands and bows her head—and now I am sorry for what I've said about her, because I see she is a good, religious woman, else she wouldn't ask a blessing. I hope she will get it; and I hope somebody will ask her out to tea two or three times a week, and take her now and then of a long evening to a lecture, or a concert, or a panorama, or anywhere else she fancies going. Don't you?

There's an old bachelor's room;—fussy old thing! he has been one good hour trying to tie that cravat bow to suit him; now he has twitched it off his neck in a pet, and thrown it on the floor; if his wash woman don't "catch it," for not putting more starch in it, my name isn't Fanny. Just see him trim his whiskers—(red ones, too!) I could warm my hands by them, freeze me if I couldn't! Now that breastpin has got to find its latitude; that you see will be a work of time. He has got it in the wrong place, to begin with; well, I suppose he will get down to his store, by the time he has lost a dozen customers, or so—he is too busy shaving himself, to go down there to shave them! that's a settled point.

Look now at that window!—a young mother comes to it with a little new baby,—its little neck is as limpsy as your doll's; and its hands look just like those your cook fries when she makes fancy doughnuts. She loves it, though; just as well as if it wasn't as red as a brick, and bows up its little worked sleeves, and combs its five hairs, and thinks it a "perfect beauty." She has got her work cut out for the winter, hasn't she? The times that baby will have to be taken up and put down—washed—dressed and undressed—nursed, rocked and trotted—laid on its back, and laid on its stomach—and laid on its side. Just as if I didn't know!—I could tell her a great many things she don't know about taking care of that baby.

Young mothers are very experiment-y. Do you know what that means? Well, they worry a baby out of a year's growth, for fear it will worry; your mother knows all about it—ask her if she didn't do just that way with you till Grandma and Aunt Charity taught her better? First babies are poor little victims. I can remember how I used to be plagued! Stifled alive for "fear I should get cold;" trotted up and down when there was a great pin sticking into my shoulder—and held so close to the candle to be looked at, that I came near being blind as a mole. It's a wonder to me that I am here now, writing this juvenile book; if I hadn't been a baby of spirit, I should have keeled over, and died of sheer torment long before I got into short clothes.

Well, there's another window. An old lady sits at it; not so very old, either, for she's as brisk as a musquito. Her head flies round if any one opens the door, as if it were strung on wires. I don't believe she has any fire in her room, for she keeps hitching round after the sun all day—and when he bids her good afternoon, she comforts her shoulders with a blanket shawl; then, her lamp is always out long before I go to bed, and nobody who has a good fire, ever wants to go to bed and leave it; they'll find a thousand things to do—a letter to write, or a book to read, or some chestnuts to eat; or, if they haven't anything else to do, they will sit and look at the fire. I am sure I've been forced to look at more disagreeable objects than that, for many an hour.

There's a woman at another window, writing, or rather she has got her table before her, and her inkstand, and the pen between her fingers; all that she wants is a few ideas; see, she rolls up her eyes like a pussy in a fit, and looks up, and looks down, and makes a love knot on the paper with her pen, and coaxes her temples with her fingers; but it's no use, there's nothing there! So she may as well get off her stilts and darn her stockings.

There are two little girls at another window playing with their dollies. Now I like that—it's a good thing—it teaches them how to sew, and to cut out little garments, and to contrive and fix up things, so that when they have live dollies it will come handy to cut out their frocks. I always like to see little girls play with dollies, and big girls, too, if they want to; it is better than a novel; better than a thousand other things that girls do now-a-days, who fancy themselves ladies as soon as they twist up their ringlets with a comb. Heigh-ho, it makes me sigh to think there are so few children in 1853.

Over there at another window in the same block, is a very sad sight. A drunken husband! See how patiently his poor wife is trying to coax him not to go out. She is fearful he may fall in the street, and get hurt, and then she feels ashamed to have him seen in such a plight; now she gently removes his hat—then he puts it on again; now her arm is about his neck—but only to have it rudely pushed aside, poor woman. I hope she believes in God, and knows how to lean upon Him.

Now her husband has gone, and she sits down and covers her face with her hands, and weeps. They are bitter tears—she thinks of the time he took her proudly away from a happy home, and promised she should be dear to him as his own life blood. Perhaps she cannot go to that home now—perhaps her father and mother (happily for them) have not lived to see her joy so soon turned to sorrow; or, if she could go there, she loves her husband still too much to leave him. She hopes each morning that he will come home and love her at night—and she tidies up the hearth, and makes the fire bright, and keeps his supper warm, and wipes away her tears, and braids her hair in shining plaits as he once loved to see it, and looks often at the little mantel clock, and then out the window. By and by she hears his step; oh, it is the same old story—he reels, cursing, into her presence—perhaps aims at her a blow.

Her little child lies there sleeping. She is glad he is not old enough to know his father's shame. Sometimes she even prays the babe may die. She knows, were she taken away, how much it must suffer. Then, she remembers the time when its father was steady and kind and industrious, and she thinks of those who roll about in carriages, on the money taken from her husband's pocket, and that of other poor victims like him. And then the angry flush mounts to her temples, and she says, "Is there no law to punish these wicked rumsellers?" Poor thing! that wailing cry has gone up from Maine to Georgia—from many a houseless wife and shivering child!

God hears it! I had rather be in their place than the rumseller's.

Well, now it is quite dark, and I must light my lamp and shut my shutters, or some of those folks may be peeping in and taking notes of me!—who knows? Wouldn't that be a joke?


It was very weary on ship board. Julien and Victor had spied out all there was to be seen the first week they set sail, and the sailors had told them all the stories they could possibly think of. Mrs. Adrian (their mother) was too sick to leave the cabin, and the little boys were getting very impatient to reach shore.

How would America look? What sort of houses did they have there? What sort of children? Would they be good play-fellows? These were the things little Julien and Victor were thinking about.

Their father was thinking of the price of provisions, and about house rent, and the probabilities of his finding customers for his tailoring work; and whether they should all have to live in the shop, and whether his sickly wife would thrive under the changeable climate, and whether they should make a home, or always be like "strangers in a strange land."

And their mother; she was thinking of the gray-haired old father who had blessed her for the last time, and of the sunny homes of England, with their wealth of shrub and tree and blossom, and of a dear little girl whom she left sleeping in a quiet church-yard, between whom and herself the swift blue waves were building up a wall of separation.

Land ho! shouted the old tars.

Land ho! echoed the merry little boys.

And this was America! this New-York! How very odd and strange everything was! How anxious the people all looked! How slender!—how pale!—and what a hurry they all seemed to be in! How they jostled about, as if they were afraid they shouldn't get their share of terra-firma! How the cab-men and porters and hack-drivers were just as independent as the gentlemen and ladies they worked for! and how showily and gaily the ladies dressed, just to take a promenade.

It was all very funny.

The children and their mother looked with all their eyes; they could not make up their minds whether they should like it or not; but that was not the first thing to be considered; they must first decide where to live.

Mr. Adrian concluded to go to B——, about two days' journey by the railroad. So their trunks were taken from the ship and carried to the baggage cars. Little Julien and Victor had nice seats by the window, and it was very delightful to see the green fields after having seen nothing but the dashing billows for so many weeks. They felt as glad as Noah's dove did, when she spread her wings from the door of the ark, after "the waters were abated." They threw their limbs about, whenever the cars stopped for the great "iron horse" to lay in some wood for his supper, as if they were determined to make up for the time they had been cramped on ship-board.

"Things are not so very cheap after all, over here in America," said Mr. Adrian, with a sigh, as he took possession of the room that was to serve them for shop, parlor, kitchen and bed-room. "Well, we must be patient and industrious; I will put up my sign to-day, and if you and the children (turning to his wife) are only in good health, I shall have courage to work."

So the sign was put up: "John Adrian, tailor, from England—all orders promptly and neatly executed." Then John took out his shears and "goose," crossed his legs and seated himself with a jacket to make, in front of the window, where pedestrians could see that he was at his post, ready for orders.

Julien and Victor, the rosy little Englishmen, didn't fancy much the small room they lived in. It was almost as much of a prison to them as the vessel; they liked better to play in the streets. Their mother looked out the window at them, with a sigh, for her children had been carefully brought up, and she shuddered at the bad words they were hearing, and the groups of idle, noisy, vicious children, swarming about the neighborhood. Oh, how should she keep her little boys pure and unspotted?

Three weeks had passed by. Little Julien came in, one day, from his play, when his mother met him at the door, saying, "Run, Julien, quick—quick—for the doctor."

"Where, mother—where shall I find him?"

"Oh! I don't know," said the distracted woman, chafing her husband's temples; "ask somebody—quick, dear Julien, for the love of God!—the death dew is on your father's forehead."

"Cholera," said the doctor. "I can do nothing for him, my poor woman; the disease is raging fearfully here; he cannot live an hour."

"Nothing to be done?" said the poor wife, fixing her eyes on her dying husband, and watching his spasms; "nothing to be done? Oh, sir, don't tell me that."

But even while she spoke the dark shadow fell. The loving eyes grew glassy; the hand she held relaxed its hold, and that "change," so subtle, so fearful, (that all have seen yet none may tell,) flitted over his face.

Death came for more than one victim, to that doomed house. First one little head drooped, then another, then the soft eyes closed, and the little lip said, quiveringly, "It is all dark; kiss us, dear mother;" and Mrs. Adrian was a childless widow.

Dear children, God be praised that the world is not all a desert—that there are hearts that feel, eyes that weep, and hands that minister to the sorrow-stricken. Mammon has left some hearts that he has not shrivelled, some eyes that he has not blinded, some hands that he has not fettered.

Poor Mrs. Adrian! She knew that there were strangers about her, and that their voices were kind, and their hands busy straightening the dear limbs, and smoothing the cherished locks, and placing them reverently in "the narrow house;" she knew that the hearse came at their bidding, and bore her dead away; she knew that they led her back to that forsaken room, and held the tempting morsel to her grieved lip, and she felt their warm tears drop upon her cheek, and their kind hands upon her throbbing forehead; but it was all like a dream to her.

Oh, my dear children, where could she have turned in that dark hour if not to Heaven? What if she had said, with the unbeliever, "There is no God?" How could she try to lean on reeds that bent and broke beneath her? Oh, no, no! when sickness and trouble come, our hearts must have a God. Heaven only can bring healing to a heart so stunned with pain; and there the poor English woman sought it.

Did God ever forsake those who threw themselves on His great loving heart for comfort?


If Mrs. Adrian could not smile, she did not weep. True, she looked for rosy little faces she never more might see; listened for tripping little feet she never more might hear; but, dear children, peace came gently down upon her heart, like dew upon the closed flowers, and she said, with bowed head, "'Tis well."


Dear children: There is the bell for church; but Sunday is not Sunday, here in New-York. I wish I were going to church in the country with you, where everything is quiet, and sweet, and holy,—where people go to church to worship God, and not to see and to show the fashions. No, it is not Sunday here, if the bells do say so.

Why? Because there's a woman, at the corner of that street, spreading out on her stall, apples and candy, and bananas, and oranges, and cookies, and sugar-toys, and melons, and cocoa-nuts, and ginger beer; because there's a cigar shop—(the shutters, closed to be sure,) but with the door wide open, and the owner already beginning to trade with customers; because, there's a man selling bouquets, and a confectioner's saloon open, and people eating ice-creams in it; and little ragged news boys, who have been screeching ever since day-light, "New York Herald—Times—Sunday Despatch—dreadful collision and lass o' life—Times, Despatch, and Herald"—and drunken men whom you meet at every few blocks, and people going everywhere but into the church doors.

Well, you go into a city church,—it is not like yours in the country, where the blessed sunlight shines cheerfully in, and the sweet breeze wafts through the open windows the breath of clover blossoms and new mown hay; where the minister preaches to poor people, who are not forced to carry a dictionary to church; where people don't frown and hastily button the pew door when a stranger comes in; where neighbors smile kindly on each other, and never gather up the folds of their dress lest it should sweep against a shilling de-laine; where good "Old Hundred" and "St. Martins" are sung, instead of twistified, finical, modern tunes, that old-fashioned folks can't follow; where the minister is not too stately to pat the little children on the head coming out the porch, or to give them a pleasant smile to make them feel that they are part of his parish; where they all walk home, not over crowded, dusty pavements, but under the leafy trees, with hearts filled with a quiet joy, seeing "the cattle on a thousand hills," the springs which run among the hills, "and the birds which build their houses in the branches;" where the golden sun goes down, not on the bloated drunkard and noisy Sabbath breaker, but on the hale old man "of silver hairs," teaching the cherub on his knee to lisp the evening hymn—upon kneeling groups under cottage roofs, where envy and hatred and ill-will find no resting place for their swift and evil feet. That is what Aunt Fanny calls Sunday.

Children, there is one thing I like in New-York: almost all the churches have "the ivy green" clambering over the windows and turrets, and pretty willow trees drooping their graceful branches about the doorways. I love to see it, because I love the beautiful, and because it is pleasant to get even a glimpse of nature in the artificial city. But I don't like the stained glass windows. I don't like to see the congregation with green eyes and pink noses and blue cheeks and yellow lips. It excites my troublesome bump of mirthfulness, (and that's wrong, you know, in church;) beside, I catch myself examining the windows, to see if there are any two of them alike, and counting the red and pink and blue diamonds, and squares, and wondering whether, were they transposed this way and that way, the effect would not be better. And then I know that most of those windows are so arranged that they can't be opened, to let in the fresh air, and that gives me a stifled feeling, and I involuntarily untie my bonnet strings, and draw a long breath, to see if my breathing apparatus is all right!

No, I don't like these modern improvements (?) in churches: in fact, to tell you the truth, I had rather worship, like the old Covenanters, among the green hills—the blue sky for a roof, the gnarled old tree trunks for pillars, the branches for galleries, and the birds for an orchestra; and unless the minister preached because his heart was so full of love to God that he couldn't help preaching, I should rather hear my Maker preach to me, in the soft whisper of the leaves, the happy hum of the tiny insect, and the low, soft murmur of the stream.

Now, my dear children, don't mistake me. It is our duty to go to church; and it is wrong to think of anything else in church but worshipping God; but there's so much display, and show, and fashion now-a-days, in the churches—so much to distract the thoughts—so much hollow pretension to piety, that I sometimes feel, as I told you, that I would rather worship amid the green hills, like the old persecuted Covenanters. Oh! there was heart in their worship! they sang every hymn as if they might sing the next one in Heaven.

So ought we! Are you tired of my sermon?

Well, what do you think I saw here in New-York to-day? A boy of eight years old walking in the street, with his hands in his jacket pockets, smoking a cigar! I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry at the little monkey. Finally, I laid my hand on his shoulder and said,

"You don't like that nasty cigar, I hope, my dear child." He blushed, and taking it out of his mouth, said,

"Yes, I do, but I'll throw it away if you want me to."

"Thank you," said I, "for your politeness, but it is not of myself I was thinking. I can easily get out of the way of it, you know, but it is such a shocking bad habit to get into; so young as you are, too. Oh, you have no idea how much it costs to smoke. You must always offer a friend one, else he will call you 'a stingy fellow.' Why, my dear boy, only think, it will take all your pocket money to buy cigars. You forget that by and by, you will want a store in Broadway, full of goods, and clerks to sell them, and a house to live in, and may be a wife, too; ah, you needn't laugh, for I don't believe you'll be able to get a wife if you keep on smoking till you get old enough to be engaged. By that time you'll be so stupefied, that nobody will have you!

"Yes, and many a time when you want a pair of new boots, you'll have to do without them because you can't possibly go without your cigar, and you haven't money enough for both. Now, I'd just like to know if a smart little fellow like you is going to be made such a slave of, by a miserable little dirty roll of tobacco?"

Well, he said he would not smoke any more, but I've been afraid ever since to turn a corner, for fear I shall see the precocious young man walking behind a cigar.

Oh, the country is the place for boys,—on a nice farm, where there is ploughing, and hoeing, and digging, and sowing, and reaping going on; where they can jump upon a horse, without any saddle, and ride him to water, with his mane for a bridle; where they can help build fences, and help make hay, and help milk cows, and drive them to pasture; where they can go blackberrying, and strawberrying, and chestnuting, and everything but bird-nesting. I wouldn't like to leave my purse in the way of a boy who went bird-nesting. I should know he had a bad heart.

Yes, the country is the place for boys. There are no oyster saloons there; no cigar shops for them to loitre round; no gangs of bad, idle boys to teach them all sorts of mischief;—plenty going on in the country to amuse them innocently—terrible rattlesnakes to be slaughtered; woodchucks to be hunted; hawks to be shot (who make mince-meat of the poor little chickens); maple sugar and cider to make; husking frolics to go to. Just as if I didn't know what was best for boys, if I am a woman. I tell you, some of the greatest heroes in the world have had women for mothers.


Hal Hunt lived at the "Seven Corners;" he was just six years old last Fourth of July; and as "independent" as you might suppose, with such a birth-day to boast of.

He was on the gun-powder order, I can tell you; bound to make a fizz wherever he went, always popping up in odd places, and frightening nervous old ladies, and little two-year-olders, who had ventured away from their mothers' apron strings. Every cat and dog, for ten miles round, made for the nearest port when Hal and his torn straw hat loomed up in the distance.

Hal never was in a school room in his life; but it didn't follow that he did no studying for all that. On the contrary, he sat there, on the steps of his father's grocery store, with his chin between his little brown palms, doing up more thinking than the schoolma'am would have allowed, except in recess.

Hal was very fond of Natural History;—in fact, he had about made up his mind, that as soon as he owned a long-tailed coat, he would own a menagerie. Pigs, geese, hens, ducks, cows, oxen, nothing came amiss to him that went into Noah's ark. He expected to have a grand time when he got that menagerie—setting them all the cars, and hearing them growl behind their bars.

One day he sat on the door-step running it over in his mind, when the old rooster, followed by his hens, marched in a procession past the door.

There was the speckled hen, black and white, (with red eyes) looking like a widow in half mourning; there was the white one that would have been pretty, hadn't she such a turn for fighting that her feathers were as scarce as brains in a dandy's head; there was the black one, that contested her claims with the white hen, to a kernel of corn, and a place in the procession next the rooster, in a manner that would have delighted the abolitionists.

Hal watched them all, and then it struck him, all of a sudden, that he had never seen a hen swim. He had seen ducks do it, and swans, and geese, but he never remembered to have seen a hen swim.

What was the reason? Didn't they know how? or wouldn't they do it?

Hal was resolved to get at the bottom of that problem without delay; so he jumped up and chased one round till he fell down and tore his jacket, and the hen flew up in a tree.

Then he tried for the speckled widow; she of course was too sharp for him.

At last he secured the brown one, and hiding her under his jacket started for the "creek," about a quarter of a mile off. He told the hen, going along, that if she didn't know how to swim, it was high time she did, and that he was going to try her any how; the hen cocked up her eye but said nothing, though she had her thoughts.

The fact was she never had been in the habit of going out of the barn-yard, without asking leave of the rooster, who was a regular old "Blue Beard;" and she knew very well that he wouldn't scratch her up another worm, for a good twelve-month, for being absent without leave. So she dug her claws into Hal's side, every now and then, and tried to peck him with her bill, but Hal told her it was no use, for go into that creek she should.

Well, he got to the creek at last, and stood triumphantly on a little bank just over it. He took a good grip of his hen, and then lifted up his arm to give her a nice toss into the water.

He told her that now she was to consider herself a duck, instead of a hen, (what a goose!) then over he went splash into the water himself. The question was not now whether the hen could swim, but whether he could; he floundered round and round, and screeched like a little bedlamite, and was just thinking of the last fib he told, when his brother Zedekiah came along and fished him out.

Hal prefers now to try his experiments on his father's door-step; as to the hen, poor chicken-hearted thing! she didn't dare to show her wet feathers to her lordly old rooster; so she smuggled herself into neighbor Jones' barn-yard and laid her eggs wherever it suited the old farmer, for the sake of her board.


I suppose that every boy and girl who reads my "Little Ferns," has heard or read of martyrs. You have all owned a primer with the picture of "John Rogers," who was burned alive for being a good man; then, you remember "Stephen," of Bible memory, who was stoned to death, for the same reason.

In 1853, when Religion walks in satin slippers, perhaps you think that no martyrs can be found. Dear children, Aunt Fanny sees them every day; bearing tortures worse than the fire, or the rack, and opening their burdened hearts to God alone.

But it is not of these that I would speak now. I am going to tell you of a little boy martyr.

"Knud Iverson" was a little Norwegian, a countryman of the famous "Ole Bull," the great violinist.

Knud's parents had come over from Norway to this country, and settled in Chicago. (You will find that place if you look in your Atlas, and I should like to have you find it, because I want you to remember all about this dear little boy.)

Knud had been early taught how to be a good boy. His parents' words did not pass into his ears to be forgotten. Knud remembered everything they said; and, what was better, he practiced it. They were quite sure that when Knud was out of their sight, he behaved just as well as if their eyes were on him. Can your father and mother be as sure of you?

Knud loved to go to Sabbath school; he never was absent from his class once. He was not frightened away by a drop of rain, or a warm sun; he loved to go. His mother did not have to say to him, "Come, come, Knud! don't you know it is time you were preparing to go to school?" or, "Come, come, Knud! it is time you were looking over your Sunday school lesson." No; he was always ready; his lesson in his head, and love for God in his heart; and away he trudged, cheerful and happy, to gladden the eyes of his kind teacher by being promptly in his place.

Perhaps you think because Knud loved to pray that he didn't love to play. Not at all. You didn't know that good boys enjoy play much better than bad ones, did you? Well, they do; because their consciences are not troubling them all the while, as those of bad boys are.

Yes, Knud loved to play; but he could never play with bad boys, or help them to do wrong. And he wasn't a coward, either, as you will see. He spoke right up, and told them kindly what he thought, and begged them not to do evil, either.

One day he was walking peaceably along, thinking happy thoughts, when a party of bad boys came up to him, saying: "Knud, we know where there is some splendid fruit, and we want some, and what is more, we are determined to have some; and we want you to go with us and help us to get it."

"What, steal?" said Knud; fixing his clear, pure eyes on the naughty boys. "Steal! I would not do it for all the world."

"But you shall," said a great, strong boy, bigger than Knud.

"You shall?" echoed all the other boys, "or, we will drown you, Knud; yes, drown you in the river, just as sure as you stand there."

Knud looked at them. He saw that they were in earnest. They were stronger than he, and Knud knew that they could kill him, for there was nobody near to help him. His father and mother were not within call. Knud loved his father and mother; he thought this world a very fair and pleasant one, with its birds, its sunshine and its flowers; but, did he tremble and drop on his knees before those wicked boys and say, "Don't kill me—don't—I will do anything if you won't kill me!"

No, no; dear, noble, courageous little fellow! He stood up and faced them all, and said, "I cannot steal; no—not even if you kill me!"

You would have thought that they would have put their arms about his neck and begged his forgiveness, but they were little monsters. I cannot bear to think there are children with such bad hearts, because we look to see them innocent, and good, and pure. But you will weep when I tell you that they seized Knud and dragged him down to the river and plunged him in, and that the waters closed over the sunny little head, that is now wearing a martyr's crown.

You pity Knud? I pity his murderers.

Do you think that they can sleep peaceably at night? No; in their dreams they hear the plashing waves, and see a pallid, upturned face, with pure and pleading eyes, from which they turned away!

Ever at their side, at golden morn, and busy noon, and dewy eve, a little form, unseen by other eyes, shall follow—follow—follow. Ever in their startled ears, a little childish voice, that no noise may drown, no earthly power may hush, shall ring, "Oh, I cannot steal, not even if you kill me! I cannot steal!"


I went with a friend, the other day, to look at some "rooms to let." She liked the rooms, and the man who owned them liked she should have them; but when she mentioned she had children—he stepped six paces off—set his teeth together—pulled his waist-coat down with a jerk, and said—"Never—take—children,—ma'am!"

Now, I'd like to know if that man was born grown up?

I'd like to know if children are to have their necks wrung like so many chickens, if they happen to "peep?"

I'd like to know if they haven't just as much right in the world as grown folks?

I begin to feel catamount-y about it!

I'd like to know if boarding-house keepers, (after children have been in a close school-room for five or six hours, feeding on verbs and pronouns,) are to put them off with a "second table," leaving them to stand round in the entries on one leg, smelling the dinner, while grown people (who have lunched at oyster shops and confectioner's saloons) sit two or three hours longer than is necessary at dessert, cracking their nuts and their jokes?

I'd like to know if, when they have a quarter given them to spend, they must always receive a bad shilling out of it at the stores, in "change"?

I'd like to know if people in omnibuses are at liberty to take them by the coat collar, lift them out of a nice seat, take it themselves, and then perch them on their sharp knee-bones, to jolt over the pavements?

I have a great mind to pick up all the children, and form a colony on some bright island, where these people, who were made up in a hurry, without hearts, couldn't find us; or if they did, we'd just say to them when they tried to come ashore—Never take grown-up folks here, sir! or, we'd treat them to a "second dinner,"—bill of fare, cold potatoes, bad cooking butter, bread full of saleratus, bones without any meat on them, watery soups, and curdled milk—(that is to say, after we had picked our nuts long enough to suit us at dessert!) How do you suppose they'd like to change places with "children" that way?

Now here's Aunt Fanny's creed, and you may read it to your mother if you like.

I believe in great round apples and big slices of good plain gingerbread for children.

I believe in making their clothes loose enough to enable them to eat it all, and jump round in when they get through.

I believe in not giving away their little property, such as dolls, kites, balls, hoops, and the like, without their leave.

I believe in not promising them a ride, and then forgetting all about it.

I believe in not teasing them for amusement, and then punishing them for being "troublesome."

I believe in not allowing Bridget and Betty to box their ears because the pot boils over, or because their beaux didn't come the evening before.

I believe in sending them to school where there are backs to the benches, and where the schoolma'am has had at least "one offer."

I believe no house can be properly furnished with out at least a dozen children in it.

I believe little children to be all that is left us of Paradise; and that any housekeeper harboring a person who "don't like them," had better count up her silver, without loss of time!


The End

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