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r CHILDREN'S BOOK 

$ COLLECTION 



LIBRARY OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 



** -i-f 

/ 



NEW BOOKS, 
BY THE AUTHOR OF PETER PARLEY'S TALES. 




I. Peter Parley's Rambles in England, Wales, Scot- 
land, and Ireland, with Tales, Sketches and Adven- 
tures : embellished with many Engravings. 

II. Peter Parley's Tales about Christmas and Holi- 
day Amusements ; Illustrated by beautiful Engrav- 
ings. 



NEW BOOKS. 

III. Peter Parley's Universal History, in two hand- 
some Volumes, and 200 fine Engravings. 

IV. Peter Parley's Common School History, de- 
signed to render the Study of General History, enter- 
taining and useful. 

V. Peter Parley's Cyclopedia of Botany, including 
Trees, Plants, and Shrubs. 300 Engravings. 

VI. Fireside Education, by the Author of Peter 
Parley's Tales ; designed to aid Parents and Teachers 
in training up Children, physically, morally, and men- 
tally. 




PETER PARLEY'S 
GIFT. 




THE SPOILED CHILD. 



PETER PARLEY'S 



GIFT, 




FOR 
MDCCCXXXIX. 



NEW YORK: 

COLMAN, AND WILEY AND PUTNAM. 
PHILADELPHIA: H. HOOKER. 

BOSTON: WEEKS, JORDAN & CO. 



ENTERED according to act of Congress, in the year eighteen hundred and 
thirty-eight, by S. G. GOODRICH, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court 
for the District of Massachusetts. 



CAMBRIDGE: 
FOLSOM, WELLS, AND THURSTON, 



CONTENTS. 



The Son of the Sea 1 

The Owl and Magpie : a Fable x , . 39 

A Riddle 43 

Amusing Story of a Judge . 44 

The Sage and Linnet : a Fable . . . . . . 62 

The Dainty Heron . . . ... . . 65 

Dr. D. and Farmer Marvin . . . . .." ,' ^ . 70 

The Fly and Snufftaker . . . . " . . ., ' 84 

The Monkey and Beaver : a Fable . . -V,'^. . 87 

The Balm Tree and Thorn : a Fable .... 89 

The Peach and Potato : a Fable . . . ... . 91 

Marion Fay 93 

The Bee and the Ant : a Fable 129 

The Chameleon and Porcupine : a Fable .... 132 

The Elephant and Fox : a Fable 135 



CONTENTS. 



The Spoiled Child . 

The Discontented Mole : a Fable 

The Violet and Nightshade : a Fable 

Stories about Shells 

The Fir-tree and Butterfly : a Fable . 

The Bee and Butterfly : a Fable . 

The Vain Search . 



139 
141 
145 
148 
157 
159 
161 







THE GIFT. 



THE SON OF THE SEA. 

CHAP. I. 

REASONS FOR TELLING THIS STORY. ABOUT THE SON OF THE SEA. 
His BIRTH AND OTHER MATTERS. 

I AM going to tell you the story of a sailor 
boy ; and my reason for telling it, is, that you 
may know how sailors live ; how many of them 
are brought up without instruction, and how 
they are often separated from all the means 
by which other people are saved from evil. I 
wish you to become interested in the wel- 
fare of seamen. I wish you to know, that, in 
spite of their rough, words and rough manners, 
they are men like ourselves, and that they 
1 



2 THE GIFT. 

often have tender and kind feelings and noble 
qualities. 

The little boy, of whom I am going to tell 
you, was born on board a ship called the Dol- 
phin ; his father and mother, who were poor 
people from Ireland, were going to Jamaica, a 
large island in the West Indies. 

The ship had a long passage, and, after the 
little boy was born, his mother died. His father 
took care of him for a time, but in a few days 
he died also. 

Now there was on board the ship a rough 
old sailor, who was called Bill. But, rough as 
he was, he had a kind heart. So he took the 
poor babe, and made a little swing, called a 
hammock, for him by his own bed. He then 
fed him with soft bread, and hushed him to 
sleep, as kindly as if he had been his mother. 

It would have pleased you to see this hardy 
old sailor, taking care of the little child. He 
held him gently in his hands, rocked him to 



THEGIFT. 3 

and fro, sang softly to him, and put the little 
fellow to sleep as sweetly as if he had been in 
his own cradle at home. 

When Bill was obliged to go upon the deck 
to work, he tied the boy in his swing very care- 
fully, so that he could not fall out. He also 
took care to come down and see him often, 
and, if he cried, he hushed him to rest. 

When the weather was rough, the ship would 
roll about very much, but the babe swung in his 
bed, as safely and quietly as a bird in a nest. 
He was too young to fear the storm, and so he 
fared very well. 

After a while, the vessel reached the island 
of Jamaica, but Bill would not let any one have 
the child. He went on shore and got some 
milk for him, and bought some pieces of linen ; 
and, as he had little to do, he spent his time 
in making them into shirts. He also made a 
little bed, and filled it with soft feathers. 

Now I have said before that Bill was a rough 



4 THE GIFT. 

sailor. He had a hand almost as hard as flint, 
and a voice that sounded rough as a tin horn. 
But his hard hand never was rough to the little 
creature that he had in charge ; and his voice, 
when he spoke to it, was softened into kindness. 



CHAP. II. 

How THE VESSEL SETS OUT FOR INDIA. BILL CALLS THE BOY, 
BUBBLE. AND SOME OTHER THINGS. 

THE vessel remained many months in Ja- 
maica, and then set sail for India. This was a 
long voyage, for it was necessary to cross the 
Atlantic Ocean, and the great Indian Ocean. 
But Bill wished very much to take the boy 
with him ; and, as he was a good sailor, the 
Captain permitted him to do as he liked. 

Now, you would hardly think that a child so 
young could live on board a ship, with none 



THE GIFT. 5 

but an old sailor to take care of him. But still 
the little boy did very well. He had no sweet- 
meats, and no paregoric, and no cake ; and yet 
he grew very strong, and soon became a great 
favorite with everybody. All the sailors grew 
very fond of him, and, surly as they were, they 
would any one of them run to him, and take 
good care of him, whenever he tumbled down, 
or met with any other accident. 

After leaving the West Indies, the vessel 
soon fell in with steady breezes, which blow for 
weeks together in one direction. These are 
called trade-winds. The weather was clear 
and warm, and the vessel glided on for many 
days, with all her sails set. Bill had not much 
to do, and so he spent much of his time in 
taking care of his little sailor. 

He gave him the name of Bubble, and by 
this title he was always called, on board the 
ship. He soon learned to walk, and in a little 
time he could climb like a squirrel. He was 



6 THE GIFT. 

often left to himself upon the deck of the ship, 
and he would amuse himself there for hours 
together. 

Sometimes he would lie down upon his back 
and look up to the clouds, that seemed to fly 
along like birds ; sometimes he would climb up 
to the round-top, and look out upon the waters, 
to see the whales sporting, or the porpoises 
tumbling like black pigs in the waves. 

Sometimes he would sit on the stern of the 
vessel, and watch the little birds that came 
hovering along in her track, to pick up the bits 
of meat and other things that were thrown 
overboard. Sometimes, at night, he would sit 
by the side of Bill, high upon the mast, and 
gaze at the stars, which there shone brighter 
than ever they do with us. 

Thus passed the life of little Bubble, until 
the Dolphin reached Calcutta, a large city in 
India. He had been so much accustomed to 
live in the ship, that he did not like to go on 



THE GIFT. 



the land. Bill took him into the city once or 
twice, but he was eager to get back, and, seem- 
ing to think the ship his home, he felt happy 
only when he was in it. 



CHAP. III. 

HOW THEY GO TO AN ISLAND IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN, AND HOW 

BUBBLE is STOLEN. 

I MUST now tell you that the Dolphin was a 
ship of war, with two hundred men on board. 
It carried forty guns, or cannon, and was bound 
on what is called a cruise around the world. 
By this, I mean, that she was to sail from one 
place to another, till she had passed entirely 
around the globe, just as a fly creeps around a 
great pumpkin. 

Well, after leaving Calcutta, the Dolphin 
sailed along, and, after a few weeks, came 



8 THEGIFT. 

near to a charming island in the Pacific Ocean. 
This island was shaded with beautiful trees, and 
small huts, or houses, were built along the shore. 

As the vessel came near the land, little Bub- 
ble got upon the round-top, and looked out to 
see what might happen. Pretty soon, he saw 
three long boats, or canoes, full of people, put 
out from the shore and come toward the ship. 

The men paddled their boats rapidly, and in 
a short time they came along side of the Dol- 
phin. They were strange-looking people, al- 
most naked, with skins of a brownish red color. 
In all, there were nearly a hundred of them. 

They brought many curious things to sell to 
the people in the ship. Among others, there 
were beautiful feathers, taken from the birds of 
paradise, which they had killed on the island. 
They also brought red and green parrots ; 
cockatoos, looking as if they wore caps on their 
heads ; sea-shells, of various forms and colors ; 
and the skins of very rare birds and beasts. 



THEGIFT. 9 

The Captain of the Dolphin gave the savages 
some beads and looking-glasses for some of 
the things they had to sell ; and they were 
very much delighted with their exchange. 
They then asked the Captain to go on shore 
and see their island. He accordingly went 
from the vessel to the land in a boat. 

Bubble did not wish to go on shore ; so leave 
was given him to stay in the boat, while the 
party went up among the huts. Soon after 
they were gone, one of the savages came slyly 
to the place, seized Bubble in his arms, and 
carried him into the woods as fast as he could 
run. 

The boy shouted for his friend Bill, but the 
savage laid his hand on his mouth, and stopped 
his noise. After a while, the Captain and his 
men came to the boat and found Bubble miss- 
ing. At the same time they saw the savages 
preparing to attack them with spears, bows 
and arrows. 



10 THE GIFT. 

Bill, as you may well suppose, was very an- 
gry at the loss of the boy ; and, having no doubt 
that some one had stolen him, and carred him 
into the bushes, he determined in spite of any 
danger to go and try to find him. He was well 
armed, having a broad sword at his side, and 
two heavy pistols in his belt. Taking the latter, 
one in each hand, and waiting not for orders, 
he rushed into the woods, where he thought he 
had heard the voice of his little sailor boy a 
short time before. 

He was immediately pursued by several of 
the savages with loud cries. At the same time 
an attack was made upon the boat, and the 
Captain thought it necessary to put off from 
the island. 

Bill saw the boat go, and saw the wild men 
in pursuit ; but he had caught sight of a man 
with little Bubble in his arms, and he seemed 
to hear them not. He soon came near the 
thief, who dropped the boy and plunged into a 
thicket. 



THEGIFT. 11 

The brave old sailor picked Bubble up, and 
turning sharply round upon his pursuers, dis- 
charged one of his pistols at the foremost man. 
He instantly fell to the earth ; and the rest, in 
a great fright, fled away for a moment, but soon 
gathered courage and returned. Bubble was 
clinging tight to Bill's neck ; but when he saw 
the savages coming back, he let go, and said 
to Bill, "Throw me away and run for your life, 
or they will kill you ! " 

" No, no, my boy," said Bill, " we 're among 
the breakers, but I think we '11 get off yet. 
Hold tight, lad ! hold tight ! and if we die, 
we '11 sleep in one hammock." 

At this moment, three or four stout savages 
came in front of Bill, and, flourishing their 
spears, yelled like so many fierce wild beasts, 
at the same time glaring in his face like tigers. 

Courage is a good thing in a time of peril, 
and Bill had a large stock of it in his stout 
heart. If he had any fear, it was for the boy, 



12 THE GIFT. 

whose heart he felt beating against his breast. 
However, he looked the savages full in the face, 
and in a low tone said to Bubble, "Hold on 
now!" At the same moment, he fired one 
of his pistols, and then with his broad sword 
sprung like a lion among the savages. 

One was killed by the pistol and another by 
the sword. The other, who was a giant of a 
man, sprung upon Bill, and pushed him with 
such force that he fell ; but in an instant he was 
up again, with the boy still clinging to his neck 
and held tight by his left arm. The savage 
was now frightened, and ran away. 

Bill ran toward the sea, and though he was 
a square-built, duck-legged sort of a fellow, 
and apparently very ill fitted 'for a race, his legs 
flew like drum-sticks, and he seemed to get 
over the ground like a deer. Soon he came to 
some high rocks, which overhung the water. 
Thus avoiding the crowd of savages which 
lined the shore where the boat had lain, he 



THE GIFT. 13 

leaped into the sea, and, supporting the boy 
above the waves, swam boldly toward the boat. 
The 'Captain saw the old sailor leap from the 
rocks, and, ordering his men to direct the boat 
towards him, he was soon taken in with his little 
charge. 

CHAP. IV. 

THE VESSEL CRUISES AMONG THE ISLANDS IN THE PACIFIC. ABOUT 
THE NORTHWEST COAST OF AMERICA. STORY OF A WHITE 
BEAR. A VISIT TO THE SANDWICH ISLANDS. BILL AND BUB- 
BLE ON SHORE. 

THE Captain was very angry at what had 
happened on the island, but he thought it best 
not to do any injury to the people. So he gave 
the necessary orders, and the ship sailed away. 

She continued on her cruise, and visited sev- 
eral islands in the Pacific Ocean. Some of 
these are very large, and are covered with in- 
habitants ; some of them are small, and have 
few people upon them. 



14 THE GIFT. 

The vessel stopped at many places, and the 
Captain traded with the people. Most of them 
treated him with kindness, supplying him with 
water and many delicious fruits. On some of 
the islands he got the bread fruit, which grows 
on trees, and is as large as a small melon. He 
also got cocoa nuts in abundance. 

Having crossed the Pacific Ocean, the Dol- 
phin reached the northwestern coast of North 
America. Here she was visited by many of the 
Indians, who came off from the shore in boats. 

Some of them approached the side of the 
vessel, and offered the Captain some skins of 
beavers, seals, otters, bears, and other wild ani- 
mals. These the Captain took, and gave the 
savages some beads, knives, rings, and other 
trinkets. With these they were greatly de- 
lighted, and in their joy they danced and 
shouted. 

Leaving this place, the vessel proceeded far- 
ther to the north, and here the sailors found it 



THE GIFT. 15 

very cold. There were great masses of ice 
floating in the sea, and one of them struck the 
vessel, and she came very near filling with 
water. 

The sailors, however, stopped the leak, and 
the ship went on her way. One day they came 
near the shore. It was covered with snow, 
and along the land the sea was frozen for miles. 

Here the sailors saw several white bears on 
the ice. They were very large, some of them 
being almost equal in size to an ox. But the 
sailors went with their guns to kill them. 

When they came near the animals, which were 
feasting on a dead whale, they fired their guns 
and wounded a young bear. Its mother would 
not leave the little one, but licked its wounds 
and mourned over it, and tried to get it away. 

All this time the sailors shot their bullets at 
the old bear, but, though wounded and bloody, 
she would not forsake her young one. At 
length, while she was licking its wounds, a 



16 THE GIFT. 

bullet pierced her heart, and she fell dead upon 
the ice. The sailors then went and cut up the 
bear, which was very large, and they found its 
flesh pretty good. 

The Dolphin continued to coast along the 
northern regions for some time, and then she 
turned about and sailed to the south. In a few 
weeks she reached the Sandwich Islands. 

Here the people came swimming around the 
ship like so many ducks. There were men 
and women, boys and girls, gliding and diving 
about, sometimes going quite under the vessel, 
and then popping out their black heads above 
the water on the other side. 

Little Bubble here went on shore with Bill, 
and some of the other sailors. But, though he 
was more than four years old, and could scam- 
per about the deck of the vessel, and climb the 
ropes to the top of the tallest mast, yet on the 
land he could hardly walk. He seemed to feel 
himself really unsafe, and clung close to Bill's 



THE GIFT. 17 

side ; and though not afraid of a tempest amid 
the raging billows, yet he shrunk in affright 
from the people and their pigs on the island. 
Having spent some weeks among these 
islands, the Dolphin stretched away to the 
south, and going around Cape Horn, she cross- 
ed the Atlantic Ocean, and finally reached 
England. 



CHAP. V. 

THE DOLPHIN GOES ON A LONG CRUISE. BUBBLE AT TEN YEARS 
OF AGE. ARRIVAL AT THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE. INTERVIEW 
WITH AN ENGLISHMAN. BUBBLE'S EDUCATION AND CHARACTER. 

THE Dolphin went into port, and there she 
remained for many months. Most of the sailors 
were discharged, but some remained, and among 
them were Bill and Bubble. 

But after a while, she was again ordered to 
sea, and went upon a long cruise. Our little 
2 



18 THE GIFT. 

hero and his kind old friend continued on board; 
and, indeed, they were so much attached to the 
ship, that they would not leave her. 

Bubble, indeed, loved the Dolphin, as dearly 
as any little boy ever loved the home in which 
he was born. And no boy ever loved better to 
roam over the hills, and thread the thickets, and 
run along by the laughing brooks, than did little 
Bubble to ride over the bounding billows. 

He looked, indeed, upon the wide ocean with 
that sort of affection, which another child might 
have felt for his father's home-lot. He loved 
it in all its aspects, whether shining beneath a 
bright sun, or scowling amidst a storm. He 
loved it when a calm was over it, and it reposed 
in glassy stillness ; and he loved it when the 
wind swept across its tumbling and foaming 
surface, and drove the vessel like an eagle on 
her way. 

Thus the boy grew up a sailor, and a son of 
the sea. The land to him was that dreary 



THE GIFT. 



19 



waste which the ocean is to others. The ship, 
the good ship Dolphin, was his home, and the 
wave his boundless estate. 

At length the boy reached the age of ten 
years. He was very strong and active, and 
knew a great deal about sailing a ship. He 
could ascend to the top of the tall masts, in the 
fiercest storm, and the darkest night, and assist 
in taking in and securing the sails. He was 
also very expert in making ropes, in mending 
the rigging, and in all other business belonging 
to a sailor. 

He was likewise very handsome. His cheek 
was red, his mouth smiling, and his forehead, 
high and broad, was shaded with thick auburn 
curls. No one that saw him failed to feel an 
interest in him. 

At one time the ship stopped at the Cape of 
Good Hope, where there is an English' city 
called Cape Town. All the other sailors took 
every opportunity to go ashore, for it was pleas- 




20 THE GIFT. 

ant to them to have a frolic in the town, after 
tossing about so long upon the water. But 
Bubble went very seldom, and then only as 
duty required. 

One day, however, he was obliged to go on 
shore with Bill, to carry a package to a rich 
Englishman that lived in the city. The Eng- 
lishman seemed struck with the boy's appear- 
ance, and asked him several questions. Bubble 
replied in such a manner that the Englishman's 
interest increased, and he went on to inquire 
into his history. 

Bill told the story in his own queer fashion, 
but it was not the less interesting from the 
manner in which he told it. After he had done, 
the gentleman said kindly to Bubble, " Come, 
my boy, stay with me on the shore, and I will 
take care of you." 

Bubble shook his head, and the Englishman 
spoke as follows. "Nay, my good lad, do not 
refuse my offer. I have had two sons, and 






THE GIFT. 21 

they were both lost in the deep. Come, live 
with me, and I shall feel that the sea has given 
back to me a child. I am rich, and you shall 
be to me as a son." 

At this moment Bubble turned his eye upon 
Bill, as if to know what the old sailor would say. 
"Do it, my lad!" said the good old sailor, though 
it seemed as if he were choking. " Stay with 
the gentleman, and I will go and take care of 
the Dolphin." 

"No, no," said Bubble, turning to leave the 
place, " the gentleman is very kind, and I thank 
him, but you and I, Bill, cannot part. Beside, 
I will never leave the Dolphin. I love every 
plank, and beam, and spar in her. I love the 
sea, and I hate the land. I thank the gentle- 
man. He means me well, but I should be un- 
happy here. Let us go to the ship ! " 

They soon reached the vessel, and after a 
short time she proceeded on her way. Bill 
and Bubble seemed always to be together 




22 THE GIFT. 

whenever their duty permitted. They talked, 
laughed, sung, and told stories. 

Though Bubble had no other teacher than 
rough Bill, still he had learned to read. But I 
am sorry to say, that he read no good books. 
He had not even a Bible, and never saw one. 
The only books he had were Robinson Crusoe, 
Roderick Random, and the Sky -lark, a volume 
of songs. 

The latter he learned by heart, and many of 
the songs he sung well. And, in spite of all his 
disadvantages, he had many pleasing qualities. 
He had lived all his life with rude sailors, and 
had been used to their profane language; but 
Bill, though he swore terribly himself, had care- 
fully taught Bubble never to be guilty of this 
vice. The boy was also good tempered, and 
he was never guilty of a falsehood. 

There was another vice, common to sailors, 
that Bubble did not indulge in ; I mean drunk- 
enness. It is curious that sailor Bill, while he 



THE GIFT. ^ 23 

indulged in drinking himself, took care to warn 
his little friend against it. He used to talk to 
him on the subject as follows. 

"I 'm an old sinner myself, boy, and my 
voyage will be soon up ; so no matter for the 
old hulk. But you are young, and have a long 
life to live, and it 's best to look well ahead. 
Beware of drinking, Bubble ! The Bible tells 
us of the Evil Spirit, that 'goes about like a 
roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.' 
I suppose there is such a crittur, for the good 
book says so. But, of all the evil spirits that 
I 'm acquainted with, liquor is the worst, and 
it 's of man's making. 

"You need n't squint so, as if to say, that 
the roaring lion gets hold of me pretty often. 
That 's neither here nor there. It was the 
fashion to take grog when I was a boy, and 
nobody thought then that a ship^ would go 
through the water without it. It 's a modern 




24 THE GIFT. 

discovery, boy, that rum 's the d 1. But it 's 
true, for all that. 

"I 've seen my messmates quarrel, get angry, 
and commit murder; and it was because of 
liquor. I 've seen my messmates led into theft, 
and robbery, and it was because of liquor. If 
the judge had hung the knowing rogue who 
made it, or the knowing rogue who sold it, I 
think he 'd been more just, than in hanging 
him who drunk it. I 've seen my messmates 
grow old before their time, and die in misery, 
because of liquor. I Ve seen a messmate be- 
come insane, and be suddenly launched into 
t' other world, not as he should be, with all 
sails snug, but with studding-sails, and top-sails, 
and sky-scrapers, all flying; and it was because 
of liquor. I 've seen a messmate, in a gale of 
wind, ordered aloft to reef the top-sail, and be 
shaken into the water, like a leaf from a tree, 
never to bte seen more ; and it was because of 
liquor. 



THE GIFT. 25 

" In short, my boy, I 've made up my *mind, 
that liquor is the sailor's d 1 ; and if he keeps 
clear of that, he '11 generally make fair weather 
of life, and reach a good harbour at last. I 've 
heard Parson Taylor, of Boston, say, and he 's 
pretty 'cute, that c if you could get rid of rum, 
whiskey, and all the rest of the blue-ruin fam- 
ily, you 'd get rid of one half the misery, and 
two thirds of the crime, that take place both 
by land and sea.' So keep clear of it, my boy ! 
Beware of them landsharks who keep sailors' 
taverns, and get the good fellows drunk, be- 
cause they make a profit on the grog. If 
there 's any part of mankind who '11 never get 
into a good berth in t' other world, I 'm think- 
ing it must be they. A man who sells drink, 
just for the profit on 't, may have a cool head, 
but has a bad heart. If I had such a thing in 
me, I 'd tear it out and throw it to the first 
dog I met." 

Such were the rude lessons of Bill, and such 



26 THE GIFT. 

was our hero, Bubble, at the age of ten years. 
If he had faults, we must consider how few 
advantages he enjoyed. The land boys have 
kind parents, who send them to school, and see 
that they are instructed in their duty towards 
God and man. But, alas ! the poor sons of the 
sea, what privileges have they? Their lives 
are spent far away from schools and churches, 
and the good institutions which mould the 
characters of other men. Let us not judge 
them harshly, then, but ever do what we can 
to improve their condition. And let us con- 
sider how many more advantages we have, and 
how much better we ought to be. 

I say, then, that Bubble had faults. He was 
of a very hasty temper, and this often brought 
him into difficulty. But his repentance soon 
followed his fault, and his frankness led him 
always to confess his error. Of religion, he. 
knew but little. All he knew had been taught 
him by Bill. 






THE GIFT. 27 

The old sailor, during a calm, or sailing along 
with the trade-winds, would sit aloft for hours 
with the boy, and tell him tales, sometimes 
mingled with hints relating to his moral and 
religious duties. 

The truth is, that Bill had been brought up 
by a religious mother, and it was this education 
which had been the chief cause of his kind care 
of the poor orphan. Nothing renders the heart 
so deeply kind, nothing fits a person for sincere 
and lasting friendship, like early religious edu- 
cation. Indeed, I believe a person cannot be a 
friend, in a high sense of the word, who has 
not had a religious education. 

Well, as I have told you, Bill often sat up 
aloft with Bubble, and discoursed at large, as 
they sailed over the waters, upon various mat- 
ters. Among other things, he told him of the 
existence of a God, and his scheme of salvation 
for man, by means of the Saviour. He stated 
these things in his own rude way, and instruct- 



' 

28 THE GIFT. 

ed his listener in the duties of truth and re- 
pentance. 

To all this, the sailor boy listened with a 
flashing eye and an eager ear. He asked many 
questions, and often pushed his teacher so far, 
that he was obliged to confess that his learning 
did not enable him to furnish answers. But, 
under all these disadvantages, little Bubble 
acquired considerable knowledge, and we may 
believe that he had sufficient instruction to 
guide him in the way of duty, if his own heart 
had not sometimes led him astray. 



CHAP. VI. 

THE DOLPHIN GOES TO THE SOUTH SEA. THEY MEET WITH AN 
ISLAND, AND MEN UPON IT. A STORM. WRECK OF THE DOL- 
PHIN. A SAD SCENE. 

THE Dolphin stretched off to the south, and 
continued sailing in that direction for several 



THE GIFT. 29 

weeks. At length, she came in sight of a low 
rocky island, entirely destitute of trees, and 
without so much as a blade of grass. It was, 
in fact, strewn over with sand and pebbles, 
thrown up by the billows, except in the centre, 
where a few points of the rocks rose beyond 
the reach of the sea. 

As the ship was passing at a distance of 
three or four miles from this island, the Captain, 
who was looking out with his spy-glass, discov- 
ered something that looked like a man on shore, 
holding up a flag. He accordingly steered for 
the island, and when they came within a mile 
of it, something like a hut and several people 
appeared on the shore. The vessel came to 
anchor, and a boat was put off to the land. 

When it arrived, the people found about a 
dozen English sailors, in the most wretched 
condition. The weather was exceedingly cold, 
and the land was nearly covered with ice and 
snow. But the poor men were but half clothed, 



30 THE GIFT. 

and their feet were some of them bare. What 
clothing they had, consisted almost wholly of 
sealskins. Strange looking frights were they, 
indeed! The men said they were a part of 
the crew of a ship, that had come out from 
England two years before, for the purpose of 
catching seals. 

They reached the island in safety, but one 
night, when about half the men were ashore, 
and the rest in the ship, a terrible gale came 
up, drove the ship from her moorings, and cast 
her away upon a reef of sunken rocks, at the 
distance of two miles from the island. The 
vessel immediately went to pieces, and every 
individual on board was drowned. A few frag- 
ments of the wreck floated to the shore ; these 
were picked up by the men on the island, and 
converted into a cabin. 

It was, however, a miserable shelter. The 
men, now and then, killed a seal, which served 
for food, the skin being saved for clothing. 



THE GIFT. 31 

The greater part of their subsistence*, however, 
was derived from the birds which they killed 
among the rocks. 

The Captain kindly took the poor men on 
board his ship, who had now been eighteen 
months upon this desolate island. He however 
remained at anchor, as it was evening when the 
men came on board ; his intention being to send 
a party of men ashore the next day, to kill some 
sea-fowl. 

But soon after it became dark, the wind rose 
and seemed to threaten a tempest. The anchor 
was therefore taken in, and orders given to 
make sail. It soon began to snow, and before 
the ship was under we'gh, it blew a hurricane. 
It was soon found necessary to take in most 
of the sails that had been set. Bill and Bubble 
were sent aloft to reef the foresail, and as they 
were upon the yard close together, they fell 
into conversation. 

" I never liked the land," said Bubble, " and I 



32 THE GIFT. 

like that island less than any other piece of 
earth that I ever saw. The rocks rise upon 
its back as sharp as the teeth of a shark, and 
the reefs around it seem like the claws of a 
lobster, spread out in every direction, to catch 
whatever comes near them." 

" It 's not a place I should choose to live in," 
said Bill, " but you see, it saved the lives of 
these twelve men for eighteen months. It 's 
better to have a rock to stand upon, than go to 
Davy's locker, and feed the fishes." 

"I 'm not so sure of that," said Bubble; "I 
never knew any good come of the land. If it 
had not been for the island, the ship that these 
men came in had never run on to it and been 
dashed to pieces. I never went on shore in 
my life, but what some trouble happened to me. 
Do you remember, Bill, how that savage stole 
me out of the boat, on one of those islands in 
the Pacific. Well ! that was a warning to me, 
and I have determined never to quit the sea." 



THE GIFT. 33 

While this conversation was going on, the 
wind was rising, and the snow pouring down 
in myriads of flakes. The air, too, had become 
very cold, and the masts, ropes, and rigging 
were soon cased in ice. The ship leaned down 
upon her side, and, though she had now but one 
sail set, she began to fly through the water with 
great swiftness. Such, however, was the dark- 
ness, that nothing could be seen, and the Cap- 
tain soon became aware, that he was in great 
danger of running upon some of the reefs, that 
projected from the island. Scarcely had this 
thought occurred to him, when a sharp grating 
against the bottom of the vessel was heard, and, 
an instant after, she struck upon a rock. The 
shock was so violent that the three masts, with 
the entire rigging, bent forward and fell, with a 
terrible crash, upon the deck of the vessel. A 
scene of. dreadful confusion followed. Many of 
the men were killed, by the fall of the masts 
and rigging ; others slid from the icy deck and 
3 



34 T H E G I F T. 

fell into the water. In a short time, the waves 
broke entirely over the ship, sweeping every 
thing from the deck. In a few minutes more, 
large seams were opened in the hulk of the 
ship, and she almost immediately filled with 
water. Two boats, however, had been saved. 
One of these was quite large, and could 
hold a good many men. The Captain, per- 
ceiving that the vessel must soon go to pieces, 
got into this boat, and, with about forty men, 
set forth upon the boiling sea. They had not 
gone far, before it filled with water, and they 
all perished. There were now on the hulk 
but about a dozen men; these were sailors, 
clinging to the prow of the ship, which was 
still out of water. Bill and Bubble had been 
separated, and such was the darkness, that 
they could not see each other. But Bubble 
heard a voice at no great distance, which he 
knew to be that of his old protector. Sliding 
along the bulwark, to which he was holding 



THE GIFT. 35 

fast, he came near to Bill, and said in a low 
voice, "I told you no good ever came of the 
land." 

"Are you there, my dear fellow," said Bill; 
"thank God, you are alive. But the land is 
our only hope now. We must take to the 
boat, and, as the storm is abating, we may 
laugh at the sharks yet." 

" No, no," said Bubble, mournfully ; " I will 
stay here. I will not desert the poor Dolphin, 
in her hour of trouble. She has been a home 
to me during my life, and she shall be my home 
for ever. I could never sleep on the land and 
think of these timbers, sunk in the deep. I 
would rather rest with her spars, down among 
these rocks, than live in a palace. No, Bill, 
it 's hard parting ; but you must take to the 
boat, and leave me with the poor Dolphin." 
The boy then burst into tears. 

"Pshaw, lad," said Bill, putting one arm 
around Bubble, while he held on to the slip- 



36 THE GIFT. 

pery bulwark with the other, "don't mind it, 
don't mind it ; we '11 get safe ashore yet. 
There 's One above, who is always looking 
about, to take care of those who are in trouble. 
He can see us at this fag end of the world, as 
well as if we were on the top of it, at Ports- 
mouth dock. So take heart, my boy, and let 's 
get into the boat." 

"My good old friend," said Bubble, "don't 
think that I care for myself. I was shedding 
tears for the Dolphin, not for my poor carcase. 
I loved her better than all the world beside, 
save you. I never dreamed that she could 
be wrecked. Alas ! to see her masts and yards 
and ropes go over ! to hear the rocks burst 
through her sides ! to see her weltering here, 
as helpless as a harpooned whale ! It is too 
much; it is too much!" 

"It's a sad thing, no doubt," said Bill; "but 
after all, she was but wood and iron ; we can 
find another ship, and have many a fine sail yet, 



THE GIFT. 37 

if we can only get to land. So, come along 
with me, and let us to the boat." 

"Go you," said Bubble, taking Bill's hand, 
and giving it a convulsive pressure. " Go you, 
for you have a mother, and for her sake, go ! 
but leave me here. I have no friend on the 
land. You have been a father to me, and 
God bless you, Bill. I stay by the Dolphin. 
Farewell ! " 

Bill knew that words were vain, and there- 
fore determined to get the boat ready, and then 
come and take the boy on board by main force. 
But by this time, the other sailors were in the 
boat, and were on the point of shoving off. 
Bill had only time to get on board, when she 
was cast loose, and immediately separated from 
the wreck, by the swaying surf. Bill com- 
manded the men to put back, he told them 
that Bubble was on the wreck, he strove, he 
begged ; but in vain. At length he leaped into 
the water, and the men in the boat saw the re- 



38 



THE GIFT. 



turning wave throw him upon the wreck. Bub- 
ble immediately came to him, and the last that 
was seen of the two friends, they were clasped 
in each other's arms. The men in the boat 
were tossed about during the night, but in the 
morning found themselves near the land. The 
vessel had entirely disappeared, save some small 
fragments, that floated upon the waves. They 
landed, and, after some months, were taken off 
by a ship, that came to the island in search of 
seals. 




THE GIFT. 



39 



THE OWL AND MAGPIE: A FABLE. 




THERE are some persons who are very fond 
of talking, and nothing pleases them so much, 
as a good listener. If any one has the patience 
to hear them, they will often rattle on for a long 
time, seeming not to consider how tedious it is 
to every person but themselves. I will tell a 



40 THE GIFT. 

fable, which may warn my young readers against 
making this mistake. 

I suppose you have heard of the magpie, a 
gay, chattering bird, with black wings and a 
long tail, very common in England. One day, 
a bird of this sort was picking about to see 
what she could find ; there was a castle close 
by, the gate of which was open. First looking 
round, and seeing that nobody was near, she 
then ventured to pop into the court ; after pick- 
ing up a few seeds, and poking about for a 
time, she discovered an owl sitting upon the 
trunk of a fallen tree. 

The magpie is a sociable bird, and lets no 
occasion slip for a little chat with a neighbour. 
So she approached the owl, and began to talk 
with him, in a very free and familiar manner. 

I need not say that in fables, birds and beasts 
are always imagined to have the faculty of 
speech. I cannot tell you precisely what the 



THE GIFT. 41 

magpie said to the owl, but I will give the sub- 
stance of her discourse as accurately as possible. 

"Most Wise Owl! I approach you with rev- 
erence. It gives me pleasure, to address my- 
self to such a sober, quiet, and respectable 
personage as yourself. I trust you will be 
happy in making my acquaintance. My name 
is Magpie. I am the principal gossip of the 
village, and can tell you all the news. I neecl 
not tell you, Mr. Owl, that I am a great favorite. 
I flatter myself, too, that I am handsome. Look 
at the length of my tail; observe the shining 
of my breast and wings ! " 

At this point of the interview, the owl opened 
his mouth to yawn, but the conceited magpie 
fancied that he was going to pay her some 
compliment. Accordingly she hastened to say, 
" Stop, stop, Mr. Owl, none of your soft speech- 
es. I hate flattery. I was saying, that I could 
tell you all the news of the village." The mag- 
pie then proceeded to tell all the scandalous 



42 THE GIFT. 

tales of the crows, jackdaws, magpies, and other 
birds of her acquaintance, which she could re- 
collect. She then began to talk of herself, 
which was her favorite theme. She continued 
to prattle away for more than an hour, during 
which time the owl sat perfectly still. 

How long the loquacious bird would have 
continued the discourse, I cannot tell ; but a 
large rat at length came out of the wall, and 
frightened her away. She, however, left the 
castle greatly delighted with the owl, and en- 
joying the pleasant idea, that she had made 
a most agreeable impression upon that sage 
and solemn bird. 

But conceit is very apt to make people think 
better of themselves than others do. So it hap- 
pened in the present case. "I am very thank- 
ful," said the owl to himself, as soon as the 
magpie was out of sight, " that this old, twitter- 
ing bird is gone. How impertinent of her, to 
come in, just as I had eaten that mouse, and 



. 



THE GIFT. 43 

was quietly taking a doze after dinner. Really, 
these everlasting talkers are great bores. They 
seem to me as if their tongues itched, and they 
tried to allay the sensation by keeping them in 
perpetual motion." 



A RIDDLE. 

IN heaven and earth you will seek me in vain, 

Yet in morn, noon, or night, my visage is plain ; 

I make up at least one half of the moon, 

Yet 't is easy to put me all into a spoon ; 

I live in a boot, yet the fact is so, 

That I 'm half in a cow and half in a crow ; 

In every goose I am found for ever, 

In a flock of geese, you will meet me never ; 

In every room I 'm always met, 

Yet into a house I never could get ; 

The Bible I shun, yet dwell in each book, 

And though I 've no eyes, I live in each look. 



44 THE GIFT. 



AMUSING STORY OF A JUDGE. 

A GOOD many years ago, there lived in 
Dutchess County, New York, a gentleman by 
the name of Crane. He was very wealthy, and 
highly respected for his public and private vir- 
tues, especially for his charitableness to the 
poor; but he always dressed in a plain garb, 
and would hardly ever wear any overcoat, 
whatever the weather might be; and it was 
seldom that he rode when he went abroad, 
although he owned many good horses. On the 
establishment ofHhe Supreme Court, he was 
appointed a judge of one of the circuits. 

On the morning of the day in which the court 
was to begin, the Judge set out before day- 
break, and walked gently on through hail, rain, 
and snow, to the appointed place. On arriving 
at Poughkeepsie, cold and wet, he walked to a 



THE GIFT. 45 

tavern, where he found the landlady and ser- 
vants were making large preparations for the 
entertainment of the judges, lawyers, and other 
gentlemen, whom they expected to attend the 
circuit court. 

The Judge was determined to have some 
sport, and in a pleasant tone addressed the 
landlady. "I have no money and was obliged 
to come to court, and I have walked through 
this dreadful storm twenty miles. I am wet 
and cold, dry and hungry. I want something 
to eat before court begins." The landlady put 
herself into a majestic posture, and, with a 
look of contempt, said to the Judge, " You say 
you are wet and cold, dry and hot ; how can 
all that be?" 

"No, my dear madam," says the Judge, "I 
said that I was wet and cold, and if you had 
been out as long as I have been in the storm, I 
think you would likewise be wet and cold. I 
said that I wanted something to drink and eat." 



46 THE GIFT. 

"But you have no money, you say;" retorted 
the landlady. " I told you the truth," says the 
Judge, "the whole truth, and nothing but the 
truth ; but, were I as rich as Cro3sus, I would 
be willing to work for something to eat and 
drink ; and were I as poor as Job, in his utmost 
calamity, and had my health and strength as I 
now have, I could willingly go to work a little 
while, if I could only get a good bite of good 
victuals." 

" Well, old daddy," says she, " how much do 
you want to drink 1 " " Half a gill of good bran- 
dy, madam," says he. " Very well," said she ; 
"I will give you half a gill, and some cold vic- 
tuals, if you will go into the back yard, and cut 
and split three armfulls of wood, and bring it 
into the kitchen, where the servants want to 
make a good fire to dry the gentlemen's great 
coats when they come ; and after you get your 
victuals, I shall want you to go away." 

The Judge drank his brandy, went into the 



THE GIFT. 47 

wood -yard, and soon cut and laid by the kitchen 
fire, the required quantity of wood. The land- 
lady placed a cold luncheon before him, re- 
marking, that there it was. "And it is almost 
as cold as myself," said he, "but not half so 
wet, for there is neither tea, coffee, nor choco- 
late to wet it." 

"Beggars must not be choosers," said she. 
"I am not begging of you, madam, but have 
paid the full price demanded." "I told you," 
said she, "I would give you cold victuals, and 
there is cold boiled ham, cold pork and beef, 
and cold potatoes, and if you want any thing hot, 
there is mustard and pepper, and here is good 
bread, good butter and cheese, and all good 
enough, for such an old ragamuffin as you are." 

"It is all very good," said he, pleasantly, 
"but, madam, be so good as to let me have 
some new milk, warm, right from the cow, to 
wet this good victuals." "The cows are not 
milked," said she. " Then let me have a bowl 



48 THE GIFT. 

of cold milk," said he. "I would not send the 
servants in this storm to the spring house to 
skim it for you," said she. 

"Dear madam," said he, with a pleasant 
smile, " I have a good wife at home, older than 
you are, who would go out in a worse storm 
than this, to milk the cows and bring the milk 
to the poorest man on earth, at his request ; or 
bring the milk from the spring house, cream 
and all, without skimming, to feed the most 
abject of the human race." 

" You have a very good wife at home ?" says 
she. " Indeed I have," said he, " and she keeps 
my clothing clean and whole ; and, notwith- 
standing you called me an old ragamuffin, I am 
not ashamed to appear abroad in the clothes I 
wear, in any good company." " Well, I must 
confess," says she, "that when you have your 
broad-brimmed hat off, you look middling well ; 
but I wish you to be off, for we want the fire 
to dry the gentlemen's great coats and umbrel- 



THE GIFT. 49 

las by ; and among the rest, we expect Judge 
Crane." 

" Judge Crane," says he, " who is Judge 
Crane?" "The circuit Judge," says she; "one 
of the supreme judges, you old simpleton." 
" Well," says he, " I will bet a goose that Judge 
Crane has not had, and will not have, a great 
coat on his back, or an umbrella over his head 
to-day." "I care nothing for your bets," said 
she, " eat and be off ; I tell you Judge Crane 
is to be here, and we have no room for you." 

"I don't care," said he, "one rye straw more 
for Judge Crane than I do for myself, and it has 
got to be so late, that if he has to come at this 
time of the day, he would be more likely to go 
to the court-house, and stay until dinner time. 
I know something about the old codger, and 
some people say he is a rusty, fusty, crusty old 
fudge." 

" Pretty talk, indeed ! " said the landlad}% 
" about the supreme judge. Now eat and be 
4 



50 THE GIFT. 

off." "I tell you," said he, "Judge Crane is 
not the supreme judge, and if he were, he is no 
more fit to be judge than I am." " Well now, 
be off with yourself," said she. 

"Don't be in so great a hurry," said he, 
mildly, " I wish to know who is landlord here, 
and to know where he is." " He is the high 
sheriff of the county, and won't be home till 
night; if he were here, you would not stay 
long." "Well, madam," said he, "give me a 
cup of cider to wet my victuals, if you won't 
give me milk." " Not a drop," says her lady- 
ship. 

The Judge, who had got pretty well warmed, 
and wished for his breakfast, now put on a stern 
countenance, and positively declared he would 
not leave the room and fire till he pleased. 
"But," added he, "if you will grant my re- 
quest, I will eat and be off." 

The cider was immediately brought, and the 
judge partook heartily of the collation before 



THE GIFT. 51 

him. He then took his broad-brimmed hat, 
and quietly walked to the court-house, where 
he found good fires and clean floors, and, during 
the court hours, he presided with dignity and 
propriety. 

When the Judge withdrew, the landlady 
anxiously looked after him for some time, sup- 
posing him to be some poor man, summoned 
up to court as a witness, or some culprit, or 
some vagabond, who might give her further 
trouble, and expressed to her servants a desire 
that they would see that he did not disturb the 
gentlemen and the judges that might put up 
there. 

To this some of the girls answered, that, if 
he did come, they would return upon him some 
of the expressions, which he used respecting 
Judge Crane. " Let me see," says one, " rusty, 
crusty " "yes, and Trusty old judge," says 
another. 

When the court was adjourned, the day 



52 THE GIFT. 

being stormy and cold, the judges and lawyers 
poured into the sheriff's tavern, where they 
were sure of good fires and good fare. 

Judge Crane went to a store and purchased 
a valuable shawl and put it in his pocket on 
the inside of his coat ; he then walked slowly 
to the tavern. While he was thus detained, 
the landlady entered the dining-room, and 
earnestly inquired if Judge Crane had come; 
but the answer was, "Not yet, madam, and 
perhaps he may not come." 

The landlady, who was anxious to pay the 
highest respect to the supreme judge, retired 
to the kitchen, not a little disappointed. 

In the mean time, the Judge arrived, and 
being, at proper times, very sociable, and at all 
times fond of cheering the minds of those pres- 
ent, he began to tell some lively anecdotes, 
which set the whole company into a roar of 
laughter. 

At this instant, one of the waiting maids en- 



THE GIFT. 53 

tered the room, to inform the gentlemen that 
they might sit down to dinner. She did her 
errand, and hastened back to her mistress with 
the tidings that " the old fusty fellow, with his 
broad-brimmed hat on, was right among the 
bare-headed gentlemen, talking as loud as he 
could, and all the judges and lawyers were 
laughing at him." 

" Then go," says she, " and whisper to the 
old man, that I wish him to come into the kitch- 
en." The errand was done, accordingly, and 
the Judge, in a low tone of voice, said to the 
girl, " Tell your mistress, I have a little business 
to do with some of these lawyers, and when 
that is done, I '11 be off in the course of two or 
three days." 

The girl returned, and faithfully rehearsed 
the message, and added, that she believed the 
old fellow was drunk, or he would not have 
said, "as soon as my business is done, I '11 be 
off in two or three* days." 



54 THE GIFT. 

"Well, Betty," says the mistress, "go back 
and stand by the head of the table, and when 
the gentlemen begin to sit down, do you whis- 
per to some one of them, that I wish a vacant 
place left at the head of the table for Judge 
Crane, and then do you hasten back and see 
that John has the cider and other things in 
good order." 

Betty again repaired to her post, at the head 
of the table, and softly informed a gentleman 
of the request of her mistress. " Certainly," 
said the gentleman; and Betty hastened back 
to assist John. The gentlemen now sat down 
to an excellent repast, and after a short address 
to the Throne of Grace, delivered by Judge 
Crane, the company carved and served round 
in the usual form. 

But as the Judge was of a singular turn in 
almost every thing, and had taken a fancy, that, 
if a person eats light food, and that which is 
more solid, at the same meal, the light food 



THE GIFT. 55 

should be eaten first; he therefore filled his 
plate with some pudding made of milk, rice, and 
eggs, and placing his left elbow on the table, 
and his head near the plate, began to eat ac- 
cording to his custom, which was very fast, 
although he was not a great eater. 

Some of the gentlemen near the Judge, fol- 
lowed his example, as to partaking of the pud- 
ding before the meat. A large, deep vessel, 
which contained that article, was nearly empti- 
ed, when Mary approached with two additional 
tureens of gravy, according to the command 
of her mistress, and, as she set down the last 
near the Judge, he says to her, in an austere 
manner, "Girl, bring me a clean plate to eat 
some salad on." 

The abrupt manner in which he addressed 
her, so disconcerted the poor girl, that she did 
not observe that any one excepting the Judge 
had partaken of the pudding, nor did she know 
what he meant by salad ; but she observed that 



56 THE GIFT. 

the large pudding pan was empty, and then 
hastened back with the utmost speed to her 
mistress, and addressed her thus. 

" Oh, ma'am, that old fellow 's there yet, and 
he is certainly crazy or drunk, for he is down 
at the table, and has eaten more than a skipple 
of the rice pudding already, and he told me, as 
if he was lord of the manor, to bring him in a 
clean plate to eat salad on." "Bless me, where 
can we get salad this time of year? And the 
gentlemen have not done carving, and not one 
has begun to eat meat yet, I dare say. Oh, 
I '11 clear him out," said the mistress, and she 
started for the dining-room. 

The Judge was remarkable for not giving 
unnecessary trouble to anybody where he put 
up, and generally ate whatever was set before 
him, without making any remarks, and seldom 
made use of more than one plate at a meal ; 
but at this time he observed near him a beauti- 
ful dish of raw white cabbage, cut up and put 



THE GIFT. 57 

into vinegar, which the low Dutch at Pough- 
keepsie call cold slaw, and which he called 
salad; and he wished for a separate plate to 
prepare some of it to his own taste. 

The carving and serving of the meat were 
not yet finished when he expected a clean 
plate; and when the landlady arrived at the 
door, and fixed her keen eyes sternly on the 
Judge, he, turning his eye that way and observ- 
ing her, mildly said, "Landlady, can I have a 
clean plate to eat some salad on?" 

" A clean plate and salad ! " retorted the 
landlady, indignantly, " I wish you would come 
into the kitchen until the gentlemen have dined; 
I had reserved that seat for Judge Crane." 

The company were struck with astonishment, 
and fixed their eyes alternately on the landlady 
and on the Judge, and sat or stood in mute 
suspense; when the Judge replied, "You re- 
served this seat for Judge Crane, did you, land- 
lady?" "Indeed I did," says she. "It was 



58 THE GIFT. 

very kind," he then answered ; " but if you will 
step to the door and see if he is coming, or send 
one of the servants to call for him, with your 
permission and the approbation of these gentle- 
men, with whom I have some business to do, 
I will occupy this seat till you have found the 
Judge." 

"Find the Judge!" said she, with emphasis; 
" go look for him yourself, not send me nor my 
servants. I gave you your breakfast this morn- 
ing for chopping a little wood, because you said 
you had no money ; and I expected you would 
go away, and now you must come here to dis- 
turb these gentlemen at dinner." 

Here the whole joke burst upon the minds 
of the persons present, who fell into a loud fit 
of laughter. After the tumult had a little sub- 
sided, the Judge mildly asked, "Did I chop 
wood to pay for- my breakfast ? " " Indeed you 
did," said she, " and said you had no money." 

"I told you the whole truth," replied the 



THE GIFT. 59 

Judge, "but I have a shawl here worth more 
than ten dollars, which I just now bought, and I 
will leave it with you in pawn, if you will only 
let me eat my dinner with these gentlemen." 
Here the gentlemen were biting their lips to 
keep from laughter. 

" How did you buy a shawl worth more than 
ten dollars without money 1 " "I bought it on 
credit," says he. "And where did you find 
credit to that amount ? " said she. " I brought 
it from home," said he. " That 's a likely story, 
and something like your abuse of Judge Crane 
this morning," said she. "How could I abuse 
the Judge if he was not present 1 " asked he. 
"Why," replied she, "you called him rusty, 
fusty, fudge, and old codger, and said you 
did n't care a rye straw more for him than 
you did for yourself." 

Here the whole company were in an uproar 
of laughter, again. But as soon as it had sub- 
sided a little, one of the gentlemen asked the 



60 THE GIFT. 

landlady how she knew that the gentleman she 
was addressing was not Judge Crane? "He 
Judge Crane ? he looks more like a snipe than 
a crane." 

Here the loud laughter burst forth a third 
time. After a little pause, the Judge said, " I 
must confess I am not a bird of very fine 
feathers, but I am a crane, and a crane is often 
a very useful instrument; I was a very good 
one in your kitchen this morning." 

Before she had time to reply, some of the 
gentlemen, with whom she was acquainted, 
assured the landlady that she was talking with 
the presiding Judge. Astonished and confound- 
ed, she attempted some excuse, and hastily 
asked his pardon for her rudeness. 

The Judge had, by this time, unobserved, 
taken the shawl from his pocket, and with a 
subdued smile, advanced a few steps towards 
the landlady, saying, " It is not my province to 
pardon, but it is my business to judge ; I there- 



THE GIFT. 61 

fore decree that you and I shall hereafter be 
friends ; and I judge also that you will, without 
hesitation, receive this shawl as a present. 

So saying, he gently laid it over her shoul- 
ders, adding, "Take it, madam, and do not at- 
tempt to return it, for it was purchased on pur- 
pose for a present for you." She hastily retired 
in confusion, hardly knowing what she did, but 
taking the shawl with her, of course bearing no 
malice toward the Judge. 

And here were three parties who had each 
two good things. The landlady had a good 
shawl, and a good lesson to meditate upon, 
which was this, be not too hasty in judging 
ill of a person from a rough outside : the gen- 
tlemen had a good dinner, and a good joke to 
talk over ; and the Judge had good intentions 
in the joke, and ability to follow up the lesson 
given. 






THE GIFT. 



THE SAGE AND LINNET: A FABLE. 




A WISE old man, one summer's day, 
Was walking in a lonely wood, 

And there, upon a leafless spray, 
A linnet sang in solitude. 

The old man spoke ; " Come, pretty thing, 
Pray tell me why you nestle here ? 

And why so cheerly do you sing, 

When all around is dark and drear ? 



THE GIFT. 63 

" Why spurn the meadow and the field, 

Where blushing flowers invite thy stay, 
And many a raptured bird would yield 
Its willing praises to thy lay ? " 

The linnet answered, " Hath a sage 
Come here to learn of me the truth ? 

And must I tell to hoary age 

A lesson fit for blooming youth ? 

" Of all the gifts that Heaven doth mete 

In mercy to its creatures dear, 
There 's none to me so pure, so sweet, 
As peace ; and, Sage, I find it here ! 

" 'Mid garnished fields, and meadows gay, 

There 's many a falcon, many a snare ; 
I shun them all ; and, far away, 
Poor, yet content, my lot I share. 

" The listening of my gentle mate 

Repays me for my happiest song, 
And oft, from dawn to evening late, 
I sing, nor find the hours too long. 



64 



THE GIFT. 



"Yon rippling stream my cup supplies ; 

The wild flowers yield for me their seed ; 
This bowering fir, from winter skies, 
Is all the shelter that I need. 

"Then do not scorn my humble lot, 

Nor deem that wealth alone is bliss, 
For peace within the humblest cot, 
With calm content, is happiness." 




THE GIFT. 



65 



THE DAINTY HERON. 




Two little girls once went out into a field 
to gather flowers. Here they found buttercups, 
dandelions, violets, and many other pretty blos- 
soms. One of the children was pleased with 
every thing, and began to pick such flowers as 
she met with. 
5 



66 THE GIFT. 

In a little while, this girl had collected quite 
a bunch of flowers, and though some of them 
were not very handsome, yet all together, they 
made a beautiful bouquet. 

The other child was more dainty, and deter- 
mined to pick no flowers but such as were very 
beautiful. She disdained to gather the dande- 
lions, for they were so common ; and she would 
not pluck the buttercups, for they were all of 
one color, and did not take her fancy. Even 
the blue violets were not good enough for her. 

Thus, the little pair wandered on through 
-the field, till they were about to return home. 
J$y this time the dainty child, seeing that her sis- 
ter had a fine collection of flowers, while she had 
none, began to think it best to pick such as she 
could get. But now, the flowers were scarce ; 
not even a dandelion, a buttercup, or a violet, 
was to be found. At length, the little girl beg- 
ged a single dandelion of her sister, and thus 
tHey returned home. 



THE GIFT. 67 

When the two children went to their mother, 
she asked how it happened, that one had so 
pretty a bouquet, while the other had but a 
single flower. The children told their story, 
and their mother then spoke to them, as follows. 

" My dear children : let this little event teach 
you a useful lesson. Jane has been the wiser 
of the two. Content with such flowers as 
came in her way, and not aiming at what was 
beyond her reach, she has been successful in 
her pursuit, and has brought back a beautiful 
bunch of posies. But Laura, who could not 
stoop to pick up buttercups and dandelions, 
because she wanted something more beautiful" 
than could be found, collected nothing from the 
field, and was finally obliged to beg a dandelion 
of her sister. 

"Thus it will always happen, my children, 
in passing through life. If you are content with 
simple pleasures and innocent enjoyments, such 
as are scattered freely along your path, you will, 



68 THE GIPT. 

day by day, gather enough to make you con- 
tented and happy. If, on the contrary, you 
scorn simple pleasures, and innocent enjoy- 
ments, and reach after those, which are more 
rare and difficult to be obtained, you will meet 
with frequent disappointment, and at last be- 
come dependent upon others. 

" Seek not, then, my children, for costly 
enjoyments or extravagant pleasures. Be in- 
dustrious in gathering those which are lawful, 
and which are adapted to your situation. In 
this way, you will cultivate a contented spirit, 
and secure your own peace. If, on the other 
hand, you disdain enjoyments that are suited 
to your taste and capacity, you will be hard 
to please, and perpetual discontent will dwell 
in your bosom. Thus you see, that one course 
will result in something better than riches, 
while the other will bring evils that are worse 
than poverty. 

" To impress all this on your minds, let me 



THE GIFT. 69 

tell you the fable of the delicate heron. This 
long-legged bird was once standing on the 
edge of a brook, the waters of which were so 
clear that he could see every thing that was 
swimming by. Pretty soon a trout came along, 
but the heron thought that he would wait for 
something better. Then came a perch, but 
this was not good enough. Then other fishes 
swam along, but still, the dainty bird could see 
nothing that suited his palate. So he kept 
standing by the brook, until, at length, all the 
fishes were gone. 

" The heron now grew very hungry, *and 
would have been glad to take any one of the 
fishes he had seen. Finally, as the evening 
was drawing nigh, he was obliged to make a 
poor supper upon a snail, that he found in 
the grass." 



70 THE GIFT. 



DR. D. AND FARMER MARVIN. 

ABOUT eight miles in a southerly direction 
from Northampton, there is an ancient tavern, 
called "Pomeroy's, on the Plain." It is a low, 
brown house, built at various times, and appears 
to have grown up by the occasional addition of 
a kitchen or a parlour, according to the increas- 
ing wants or fortunes of the proprietor. It is, 
or was a few years since, surrounded by a 
broad forest of pines, and, after dragging for 
miles through a path of deep sand, the hospita- 
ble sign of General Washington, on horseback, 
on one side, and a decanter of wine, discharg- 
ing its red contents into a glass, on the other, 
meets the eye of the traveller, exciting emotions 
not unlike those which arise in the breast of a 
wanderer over an Arabian desert, when he 
discovers the long-sought fountain in the dis- 
tance. 



THE GIFT. 71 

It was in the Autumn of 1810, that a stout 
farmer drove, with a wagon and two horses, 
under the shed of this hospitable inn. He was 
a man about sixty, broad-shouldered, tall, gaunt, 
and a little bent; but his cheek betokened 
health, and his sparkling black eye, kindling 
behind his coarse grey eyebrows, while it re- 
minded one of a red squirrel in a hedge, indi- 
cated a mind of great natural activity. 

The farmer having tied his horses, went to 
the inn, at the door of which he was met by 
the landlord, a man of seventy years, tall, 
slender, and solemn, looking as if he had seen 
great things in his day ; his long, white locks 
hanging from beneath a low-crowned hat, the 
brim of which was enormously broad, and sup- 
ported by cords running to the sides of the 
crown, like the shrouds of a ship, extending 
from the hulk to the mast. 

The innkeeper greeted the farmer as an ac- 
quaintance, calling him by the name of Marvin. 



72 THE GIFT! 

The latter requested a night's lodging, which 
was of course granted. The horses were now 
carefully attended to ; and, it being a chill even- 
ing, a bright hickory fire was kindled in the 
parlour. This was a low, long, narrow room, 
with a good carpet, an ample rocking chair, 
and a comfortable, old-fashioned sofa. A small 
table was set, and a great display of beefsteak, 
ham, eggs, coffee, sweetmeats, and pies, served 
on a cloth as white as snow, in clean dishes, 
and by a blushing, black-eyed girl of seven- 
teen, made the farmer as well satisfied with the 
world and himself as if he had been forty years 
younger. 

But just as he was about to make havoc with 
the viands, he heard the wheels of some light 
vehicle driven up smartly to the door. At 
the same minute, he heard a sonorous voice 
addressing the innkeeper. In a short time, a 
large, round-faced man, in spectacles, having the 
dress and air of a clergyman, but mingled with 



THE GIFT. 73 

somewhat more than is usual of the manners 
of a gentleman, and man of the world, entered 
the room. There was a lofty bearing about 
him, that spoke of authority, but it was soft- 
ened by the gracious bow, and smile of benig- 
nity, with which he saluted the farmer. 

But Marvin, be it known, was no friend to 
either clergyman or gentleman. He gloried in 
being a friend to liberty, and he believed that 
these characters were both enemies to it. It 
was habitual for him, therefore, to harp upon 
priestcraft and republican simplicity, making all 
vice to lie in the one, and all virtue to consist 
in the other. 

It was, therefore, with positive dislike thai^ 
his eyes returned from scanning the stranger, 
but it soothed his feelings to find, by the addi- 
tion of a few dishes to the table, and an am- 
plification of its stores, that he was to have 
the company of the stranger at his meal ; for 
the farmer esteemed himself a good argufier, 



74 THE GIFT. 

and an overmatch, particularly as he happened 
to be on the right side of the question, for any 
priest or aristocrat in the country. He there- 
fore looked forward to a decided triumph, and 
inwardly chuckled at the foreseen discomfiture 
of the parson. 

The meal was now ready, and the two trav- 
ellers approached the table. The farmer sat 
down, but the stranger stood a moment, and 
then said, mildly but firmly, " Shall I say grace, 
Sir 1 " The farmer, a little abashed, instantly 
arose, and the clergyman, in a few simple 
words, supplicated the blessing of Heaven upon 
their meal, upon their friends, and all mankind. 
The clear articulation, the musical voice, and 
the strikingly solemn manner of the speaker, 
affected the farmer against his will, and after 
he sat down to the table he stole some keen 
glances at h'is companion through his eyebrows, 
before he began his meal. 



THE GIFT. 75 

There was a pause of a few minutes, when 
the following dialogue began. 

Stranger. We seem to have found a com- 
fortable place, after the fatigues of travelling. 
We might be worse off, than under our friend 
Pomeroy's roof. 

Marvin. Aye. Have you travelled far to- 
day ? 

Stran. No. About thirty miles. 

Mar. You come from Hartford way, I sup- 
pose ? 

Stran. Yes. 

Mar. Do you reside there 1 

Stran. I live at New Haven. 

Mar. At New Haven ? Do you know oL 
Pope D.? 

Stran. I know Mr. D., Dr. D., if it is him 
you mean? 

Mar. Aye ; it 's the same. The clargy call 
him Doctor; we, hereabouts, call him Pope. 
That 's a priest-ridden State of yours ; and 




76 THE GIFT. 

Pope D. is as cunning as the d 1. I should 
like to see him ; I 'd give him a piece of my 
mind. 

Strati. Well, now, what would you tell him, 
if you should meet him? 

Mar. Why, I 'd sarve him with his own 
sauce. I 'd preach him a sermon, about sartain 
people who go about in sheep's clothing, and 
devour widow's houses ! 

Stran. Well, Sir ; these are grievous charg- 
es, and if Pope D., as you call him, were such 
a character as you describe, no one would take 
more pleasure in giving him a sharp lashing 
than myself. But, Sir, do you speak of this 
individual from your own knowledge? 

Mar. I have never seen him, but I have 
heard so much of him, that I could tell him at 
first sight. 

Stran. Well, Sir, I am familiar with the 
person of Dr. D., and I should like to hear 
you describe him? 



THE GIFT. 77 

Mar. Why, Sir, I expect he is a pretty 
considerable large man, gaunt and hungry as 
a wolf, with a long nose, sunken cheeks, and 
a smooth, whining voice. That 's the sort of 
picture I have of him, in my mind's eye. 

Stran. And a sorry picture it is. Do you 
imagine the character of Dr. D. to be as ugly 
as this portrait of his person ? 

Mar. Worse, Sir ; worse, a thousand times ! 
Why, Sir, he ? s at the head of the clargy, and 
the clargy rule the whole State of Connecticut 
with a rod of iron. We are bad enough in 
Massachusetts, but things are a great deal worse 
in your State. I was there a few years ago, 
but I got out of it as quick as I could. When 
I crossed the line and got into this State, I felt 
as if I had got rid of a load ; and I knelt down 
and thanked the Lord, that he had delivered 
me out of that priest-ridden State. 

Stran. Your opinions seem to be very de- 
cided, and, doubtless, you have well considered 



78 THE GIFT. 

the ground upon which they rest. No man, 
it would seem, could desire to think ill of others. 
You have, therefore, I suppose, been compelled 
by facts well ascertained, to form these unfa- 
vorable opinions of Pope D., the clergy, and 
the people of Connecticut. Will you be so 
kind as to state to me the facts, upon which 
your opinions respecting these matters are 
founded 1 

Mar. Facts, Sir ! what do you want of 
facts to prove a thing that everybody knows ? 

Stran. Excuse me, my dear Sir, but I must 
be permitted to say, that I am myself so ill 
informed as to be ignorant of what you affirm 
to be matter of notoriety to everybody else. 
I should like, therefore, some proof of the truth 
of your opinions, before I adopt them. You 
charge an individual with base hypocrisy. You 
charge that individual, in connexion with some 
hundreds of others, with a conspiracy against 
the rights, peace, and happiness of their fellow- 



THE GIFT. 79 

citizens. Now, Sir, I presume that you would 
not bring these grievous accusations against 
any one, without being able to support them 
by facts within your own knowledge. 

As the stranger finished this sentence, he 
lifted his spectacles from his nose and laid them 
upon the table, fixing his full, dark eye upon 
the farmer. The latter stole a sidelong glance 
at him, but seemed too busy with his plate and 
the piece of steak that was in his mouth, for 
an immediate reply. The stranger proceeded : 
"However, Sir, I have no disposition to ques- 
tion your opinions, but permit me to tell you 
a story. In Boston, some years since, there 
was a man who had been blind from his birth. 
Having never seen the light, he was of course 
destitute of all ideas of color, yet he fancied 
that he had as precise notions of color as any 
other person. Being asked to describe some 
of the principal colors, he said that green was 
like the sound of the Old South bell, and red, 



80 THE GIFT. 

like the crowing of a cock. Now, Sir, this may 
illustrate the folly of being positive upon sub- 
jects with which we are necessarily unacquaint- 
ed. We are never safe in any opinion which 
does not rest upon knowledge. But I need not 
say these things to one so intelligent as yourself." 
The farmer here sat back in his chair, and 
his reddening countenance indicated either 
confusion or resentment. This did not escape 
the observation of the stranger, over whose 
face could be seen the dimpling play of sup- 
pressed mirth. It seemed no part of his de- 
sign to enter into controversy, so he dex- 
terously changed the conversation, by mak- 
ing some inquiries about the road to North- 
ampton. This led to other inquiries about the 
state of the crops and the modes of agriculture 
in the vicinity. The farmer was soon drawn 
out by the stranger, and he showed himself a 
sagacious and well-informed man, in respect 
to his profession. The stranger, too, entered 



THE GIFT. 81 

into the subject with ardor, and showed that, 
if he had little practical skill, he was certainly 
a nice observer, and possessed a mind stored 
with reading and reflection, upon every thing 
that related to the life of a husbandman. The 
manner, too, in which he expressed himself 
was exceedingly pleasing. The tones of his 
voice were rich, his language simple but ele- 
gant, and every word was uttered with that 
distinct articulation which carried it home to 
the heart. The farmer's aversion to the stran- 
ger at length began to melt like wax in the sun, 
and it was not long before he listened with 
interest. As the stranger proceeded, this in- 
terest was changed to admiration. At a late 
hour the travellers parted, with expressions of 
mutual regard. 

Early in the morning they met, and, after a 

hearty breakfast, shook hands and bade each 

other farewell. The farmer left the stranger, 

and while he was paying his bill to the land- 

6 



82 THE GIFT. 

lord, asked him if he knew the person who 
was in the parlour. 

" Know him 7 " said the landlord, " to be sure 
I do; that's Dr. D., of New Haven." 

" That Dr. D. !" said the farmer, that Pope 
D. ! " He said no more, but went straight back 
to the parlour, and, going up to the Doctor, ex- 
tended his hand, and said ; " Sir, will you for- 
give me?" 

" Forgive you, for what ? " said the Doctor. 

"Mr. Pomeroy tells me, Sir, that you are 
Dr. D. of New Haven. I have done you wrong, 
Sir, and myself too. You told me a story of a 
blind man, who was very positive upon the sub- 
ject of colors, which, of course, he could not un- 
derstand. I have been equally positive in a case 
where I was equally ignorant. I now see the 
force of your remark, that no opinion is safe 
unless it rests upon facts. I have indulged 
notions of you, which I now see to be wholly 
unfounded. I have been blinded by a preju- 



THE GIFT. 83 

dice, which had never been indulged, if I had 
followed your maxim. I hope, Sir, you will 
forgive and forget my rude speech last night." 

The Doctor made a suitable reply, and, at the 
urgent invitation of the farmer, promised to pay 
him a visit at his own house in Berkshire, be- 
fore his return. This promise was fulfilled, and 
the acquaintance thus begun between Farmer 
Marvin and Dr. D. resulted in a friendship, 
which lasted till the latter was laid in the grave. 




84 



THE GIFT., 



THE FLY AND SNUFFTAKER. 




I WILL tell you a curious fable of a snuff- 
taker and a fly. The former was sitting upon 
a bank, regaling himself with a pinch of snuff, 
when a fly came along and chanced to light 
upon his nose. The man was very much an- 
noyed at this, and angrily brushed off the fly. 
Whereupon the insect addressed him as fol- 
lows : 

m 



THE GIFT. 85 

" Pray, what does all this mean, Mr. Snuff- 
taker ? Here you are putting into your nose, 
every two or three minutes, a thousand parti- 
cles of that poisonous weed, called tobacco. 
This is very hurtful, for it injures the voice, 
debilitates the nerves, and, at length, injures 
the mind. Yet all this seems to give you great 
satisfaction. But, when I chance to light on 
the outer side of your nose, which does you 
no harm, and only tickles a little, you fly into a 
furious passion. How is it that you cannot bear 
a trifling inconvenience, while, at the same time, 
you take pleasure in doing yourself serious 
mischief?" 

"I thank you, Mr. Buzz," said the snufftaker, 
" for your hint. You have placed this matter 
in a light in which I never viewed it before. It 
seems that we are very apt to become angry 
and discontented because of little inconvenien- 
ces that are accidental, while we bring upon 
ourselves important and lasting troubles for the 
sake of some vain gratification." 



86 THE GIFT. 

Now I think even young people may turn 
this fable to good account ; for they will often 
complain of little troubles which cannot be 
helped, while they voluntarily bring upon them- 
selves serious mischiefs, in pursuit of their own 
pleasures. A child will often fret at the slight 
scratch of a pin, at the same time that he will 
greedily devour sweetmeats, though warned by 
his parents that headache or colic will be the 
result. I have known a boy to complain of 
fatigue, and say that the weather was too cold, 
when required to go of an errand ; while under 
the same circumstances, he would cheerfully 
walk two or three miles to a river or lake, for 
the purpose of skating, and spend several hours 
in this amusement, quite regardless of the biting 
winter wind. If any of my little readers are 
ever tempted to be thus inconsistent, let them 
correct such folly, by adverting to the fable of 
the fly and the snufftaker. 



THE GIFT. 



87 



THE MONKEY AND BEAVER: A FABLE. 




A MEDDLING monkey went a visit to pay, 
To a hard-working beaver, one fair summer day : 
Like most idle people, he freely did chat, 
And made his remarks upon this thing and that. 
In vain was the hint of the busy old beaver, 
That she 5 d like it better if he would leave her, 
For she had her task ; it must be all done, 



88 THE GIFT. 

And her house put in order 'ere set of the sun. 
But, in spite of all caution, the monkey went on, 
Till the patience of poor Mistress Beaver was gone ; 
Then flapping her tail and showing her claw, 
To the monkey, abashed, she laid down the law. 

" Mister Monkey, I 'm busy to-day, as you see, 
So your room 's more welcome than your company. 
Farewell ! and remember, that we honest beavers, 
Have a thorough dislike of all idle deceivers. 
If you 've nothing to do, pray find some poor elf, 
As worthless, as useless, as vain as yourself ; 
With her spend your time, but never I warn ye, 
Come here to disturb me with gossip and blarney." 

Away went the monkey, a flea in his ear, 
But he left us a lesson, and I '11 tell it here. 
There 5 s nought more vexatious, ill-mannered, and rude, 
Than for those who are idle, uncalled, to intrude 
On those who are busy ; thus doing a crime, 
By stealing their treasures, in stealing their time. 



THE GIFT. 



89 



THE BALM TREE AND THORN : A FABLE. 




A THORN bush, growing by the side of a 
balm tree, thus addressed its stately neighbour. 
"I observe that people frequently come and 
bore holes into your sides, for the purpose of 
extracting balsam; and all this you patiently 
bear. This appears to me very silly, for the 
great maxim of life I hold to be this ; Look out 



90 THE GIFT. 

for number one. Accordingly, I put out sharp 
thorns in every direction, and if any one ven- 
tures to touch me, I repay his impertinence by 
giving him a good scratching." 

" Your rule," replied the balm tree, " is very 
different from mine. 'Love thy neighbour as 
thyself? seems to me a far nobler maxim, than 
' Look out for number one. 9 Your scheme of 
caring only for yourself, would afford me no 
gratification. But I derive exquisite satisfaction 
from imparting, for the relief and benefit of 
others, a portion of that which Providence has 
bestowed upon me. I am persuaded that mine 
is the wiser course, and that it yields far more 
happiness than yours." 




THE GIFT. 



91 



THE PEACH AND POTATO: A FABLE. 




A PEACH fell one day from a tree, and chanc- 
ed to fall near a potato. The blushing and del- 
icate fruit was greatly mortified at finding him- 
self so near his rusty neighbour, and observed ; 
" If I had it in my power to move, I would not 
remain here, and be seen in company with such 
a poor, rusty thing as a potato." 



92 THE GIFT. 

The latter mildly replied; "I admit, neigh- 
bour Peach, that you have a fairer covering and 
a more delicious flavor than I ; but do I really 
deserve this contempt at your hands 1 Remem- 
ber that I furnish substantial food during the 
whole year, while you only afford transient 
gratification for a few weeks. I give sustenance 
to thousands, while you only regale the palates 
of a few. If usefulness be the test of merit, 
the humble potato may, therefore, claim supe- 
riority over the rich and luscious peach." 

We should always judge of people, and re- 
spect them, according to the good they do, and 
not according to their dress or appearance. 




THE GIFT. 93 

MARION FAY. 
CHAP. I. 

ABOUT forty years ago, there lived on the 
banks of the Ohio, a farmer by the name of 
Fay. His house was situated a few rods from 
the river, and about two miles below Marietta, 
then an infant village, settled by some people 
from Massachusetts. 

The farmer had two children, one twelve 
years old, named Henry ; the other about eight, 
named Marion. With these and his wife, he 
had emigrated from Massachusetts two years 
before. His present dwelling was a log hut, of 
small size, surrounded with the wide forest, 
except that about two acres of ground were 
cleared, immediately around it. 

It was in the afternoon of a summer day, that 
little Marion went down to the boat, which was 



94 THE GIFT. 

drawn up on the bank of the river, at the dis- 
tance of a few rods from the house. This boat 
was shaped like the body of a cradle, with a 
covering over one end of it, and Marion was 
fond of making a baby-house of it. 

But she had often been warned against doing 
this by her mother, who was afraid that the 
boat might get loose, and drift down the river, 
with the little girl in it. She had been particu- 
larly instructed not to go to the boat on the day 
when our story commences, for there had been 
heavy rains, and the stream was rising fast. 

But Marion thought that her mother was 
over timid, and as the boat was secured by a 
rope, she conceived there could be no danger, 
and, in spite of her mother's caution, stepped 
into it. Here she began to amuse herself by 
putting together a number of sticks to imitate 
a fire, and collecting small stones in a row 
around it, to represent people warming them- 
selves. 



THE GIFT. 95 

At length, weary with her play, she sat down 
beneath the cover of the boat, and leaning her 
head in one of the corners, fell fast asleep. 
Here she remained for more than an hour, 
during which time, the rising waters lifted the 
boat from the sand, and loosed the rope from 
its fastening. The boat then gently glided 
away, and, with its sleeping inmate, went down 
the stream. 

After a while, Marion awoke, not from fright, 
for there was no motion in the boat. The first 
thought that came to her mind was, that she 
must have been a long time absent from the 
house, and then a consciousness of having dis- 
obeyed her mother, oppressed her bosom with 
a sense of pain. She arose, and was about to 
spring over the side of the boat, when she was 
startled at discovering her situation.. She was 
nearly in the middle of the broad Ohio, and she 
perceived at once, by the retreating forests on 



96 THE GIFT. 

either side, that she was rapidly drifting down 
the current. 

At first, she thought it must be a frightful 
dream, and rubbed her eyes smartly to ascer- 
tain whether she was awake. When she per- 
ceived that it was a reality, she threw up her 
hands, and screamed in agony. But there was 
no answer to her cry. " Father, Mother, Hen- 
ry, help ! " cried she, with all her might. There 
was a faint echo from the sloping hills, shaded 
with forests. The little girl listened, and hoped 
for a moment that it was the answer of friends 
to her call. 

But this hope soon died away. The boat 
floated on and on, speeding with the swollen 
current ; the gliding banks of the stream assur- 
ing her of the swiftness with which she was 
proceeding farther and farther from her home. 

At length, exhausted, she sank down in the 
boat, covering her face with her hands, and 
weeping till the tears burst through her fingers. 



THE GIFT. 97 

In this situation she remained for some time, and 
when she looked out again, she perceived, with 
increased alarm, that the evening had begun to 
cast its shadows over the scene. It was already 
dark beneath the forests on the western side 
of the river, and only a faint purple lighted up 
the top of the lofty ridge, that formed the op- 
posite shore of the stream. 

"What shall I do! what shall I do!" said 
Marion, bursting into a fresh flood of tears. 
Again she sat down and buried her face in her 
hands, and at last, overpowered, she sank down 
in the boat, and went to sleep. 

How strange is it, that often, at home, secure 
beneath the shelter of the paternal roof, a father 
and a mother within call, frightful dreams will 
visit us in our sleep ! How sweet is it to wake 
from such a vision, and find ourselves in secu- 
rity and peace ! 

How strange is it, when we are in real trouble, 
that sweet, delusive fancies will come, seeming 
7 



98 THE GIFT. 

to assure us that the evil is past, and that we 
are once more happy and at home. So it was 
with poor Marion; as she lay in the boat, 
chilled by the night air, wet from the water that 
had collected in the bottom of the boat, her 
matted hair hanging over her pale face, still a 
pleasant dream was passing in her mind. 

She fancied that she had been rescued, that 
she had reached her home, that she had con- 
fessed her disobedience to her mother, and felt 
a mother's kiss of forgiveness upon her cheek. 
She dreamed that her father smiled on her, in 
thankfulness of heart for her deliverance ; that 
Henry sat by her, holding one of her hands in 
both of his, too full of joy to speak ; that even 
old Brag, the shaggy watch-dog, her companion 
in many a woodland ramble, looked into her 
face with a seeming smile, and wagged his tail 
in delight ; and puss, soft, purring puss, crept 
into her lap, rubbing herself back and forth 



THE GIFT. 99 

against her arm, seeming thus to insist upon 
sharing in the general joy. 

Such was Marion's dream ; but, alas ! it was 
only a dream. She awoke, and all was dark- 
ness around her. She rose to her feet, and 
called for her mother with that wailing cry, 
which betokens the extremity of sorrow. Her 
voice was drowned by the surly moan of the 
flowing waters. She sat down again in the 
boat, and gave herself up to despair. She 
looked around. It was all darkness, save that 
the images of the stars flickered upon the 
surface of the river. She looked above. A 
thousand orbs met her view, but there was 
something about their loneliness and their dis- 
tance, that made her feel more sensibly her own 
condition, her solitude, her separation from 
home, and her desolation of heart. 

She did not indeed appreciate the full extent 
of her danger. She knew not the rapidity with 
which she was drifting down with the tide; she 



100 THE GIFT. 

knew not the many long miles that now lay 
between her and her parents ; she knew not 
the probability that the boat would run against 
some snag and be upset ; nor did she foresee, 
that, if this fatal catastrophe did not happen, she 
might continue to float with the heedless waves, 
till she would perish for want of food. But 
she knew enough almost to stupify her mind, 
and sat for a long time gazing vacantly at the 
stars. 

At length, she saw a silvery light rising over 
the eastern hills, and soon the moon was in full 
view. It was but a narrow bow, but still it 
lighted up the scene. It was also the same 
moon at which she had often gazed from her 
own home, with a mixture of wonder and de- 
light. It seemed to her, therefore, almost like 
a friend. It was at least something that she 
had seen before, distant, indeed, yet familiar. 

As she gazed upon it, an emotion like hope 
stole into her little heart, and now, for the first 



THE GIFT. 101 

time, the idea of that good Being who dwells 
above, and watches over his creatures with a 
vigilance that does not permit even a sparrow 
to fall to the ground unnoticed, came into her 
mind. Her lips began to move, and with her 
face toward the moon, as if addressing that 
beautiful orb, she poured out her pathetic pray- 
er to God, that he would take care of her in 
her extremity. 

Her tears flowed fast, her voice quivered, and 
there was a deep sadness upon her pale face. 
Yet there was something of consolation in 
her heart at the moment, which painted itself 
in a smile around her lips. Her feelings gradu- 
ally became soothed, and again she fell asleep. 



CHAP. II. 

IT was many hours before Marion awoke. 
The sun was shining fair and bright. The boat 



102 THE GIFT. 

was still. She started and looked around. Dur- 
ing her sleep it had run upon a small island, 
and there it rested. Marion got out with some 
difficulty, for though the weather was warm, 
she was chilled, from sitting so long in the wet 
boat, and she was exhausted from anxiety. 

She was at first obliged to creep along the 
sandy shore, and it was not till after several 
efforts that she was able to stand. She then 
began to look around her, but her head became 
giddy, and she sank upon the ground. She 
soon revived, and walked up a slope to some 
bushes. The sight of some berries reminded 
her that she was hungry. She ate a few of 
them, and was refreshed. She also found some 
fruit of the pawpaw, which was now ripe, and 
she ate it with great relish. 

She then walked on, and pretty soon came 
to an Indian wigwam, made of sticks, leaves, 
and turf. It was, however, deserted, and seem- 
ed to be in a state of decay. She sat down by 



THE GIFT. 103 

it, but as the evening was now approaching, 
she crept in, and laid herself down upon the 
leaves. She soon fell asleep, and did not wake 
till morning. The day was again bright, warm, 
and beautiful, and the little girl went forth, and 
made her breakfast from the pawpaw tree. She 
then went to look again at her boat, but it was 
gone ; the rising tide having borne it away. 

This seemed to her like a new misfortune, for 
the last thing that belonged to home had now 
departed, and more than ever she felt her soli- 
tude and destitution. She sat down and wept, 
and the flow of tears brought relief. With a 
lighter heart, she rose and walked back to the 
cabin. She then went farther into the island, 
which seemed to be covered over with groups 
of bushes. It was small in extent, and she 
had soon surveyed the whole of it. 

Two or three days now passed away without 
incident. Young as Marion was, she compre- 
hended her situation, at least to some extent. 



104 THE GIFT. 

She did not know the distance she had come 
from her father's house, but she knew that it 
must be many miles. She also knew that no 
house was near, for, at that time, the towns, 
villages, and cities, which now border the Ohio, 
did not exist; the shores of that broad river 
were then only skirted by the boundless forest. 

What, then, was to be her fate? The steam- 
boats, which now plough the western waters, 
making almost every river boil like a pot, were 
then unknown. Nor was any species of water- 
craft common upon the Ohio, save the canoes 
of the Indians that dwelt along its borders. 
Marion looked out upon the river, day after day, 
but not a solitary boat did she see floating upon 
its surface, save that one evening she saw, or 
fancied that she saw, a boat with two men in it, 
passing up the stream. She was afraid, how- 
ever, that the men were Indians, and rather 
shunned than courted their notice. 

I have said that Marion was a child, yet trial 



THE GIFT. 105 

rapidly ripens the judgment. She had now 
been a fortnight from home. Thrown upon her 
own resources, she had set about making her- 
self as comfortable as she could upon the island, 
hoping that her father might come in search of 
her, or that some passing boat might take her 
up. But these hopes were formed only to meet 
with disappointment. Severe trials were yet 
before her. 

The morning was cloudy, and Marion was 
still asleep, when three Indians landed upon the 
island, and went straight to the wigwam, as if 
accustomed to the place. Apparently, they had 
thrown off their usual caution, and one of them 
was about to enter the hut, when his eyes met 
those of Marion, just waking from her repose. 
He started back, bent his unstrung bow, drew 
an arrow from his quiver, and placed it upon 
the string. * He made a sign to his companions, 
and they did the same. They then passed 
cautiously around the wigwam several times. 



106 THE GIFT. 

keenly examining the ground. They then went 
to the shore, and made the entire circuit of the 
island. 

Seeming to be satisfied that no one beside 
themselves and the little white girl was upon 
the island, they went back to the wigwam. 
Marion had seen the Indians at the entrance, 
and, greatly alarmed, buried herself in the leaves. 
But the savages soon discovered the artifice, 
and one of them going to Marion, brushed away 
the leaves, took her by the arm, and drew her 
out into the open air. 

The Indian spoke to her, but in a strange 
tongue. She fell down upon her knees, beg- 
ging him to save her, and promising that her 
father should pay him handsomely, if he would 
take her home. But he did not understand her. 
The Indian saw, however, that she was in dis- 
tress, and understood that she appealed to his 
mercy. But savages are not kind-hearted. 
Mercy with them is no virtue, and they look 



THE GIFT. 107 

upon gentleness and humanity with contempt. 
Their looks, therefore, as well as their harsh 
tones and angry gestures, when they spoke to 
Marion, or conversed between themselves, led 
her to expect nothing but cruelty. 

After a little while the Indians signified to 
Marion that she must go with them. As she 
hesitated, one of them pushed her rudely for- 
ward in the direction of the canoe. Thus 
compelled, she went along, and the party soon 
reached the canoe. One of the Indians placed 
an oar in the stern of the little vessel, and, cleav- 
ing the waters like a duck, it soon shot to the 
western side of the river. The boat was taken 
out of the water, and hid in the bushes. 

The savages then plunged into the forest, 
Marion being forced to follow them. Her feet 
were bare, and the path was exceedingly rough. 
But she was accustomed to forest rambles, and 
naturally of a hardy and active frame ; though 
debilitated by the want of suitable food, and 



108 THE GIFT. 

the weariness of anxiety, she still kept up cheer- 
ily with the savages, for the distance of half a 
dozen miles. She then became exhausted, 
and several times fell to the ground. 

The savages seeing the impossibility of her 
proceeding farther without rest, now halted. 
After a little consultation, two of them depart- 
ed; the other made a sign to Marion to sit 
down, and moving to the trunk of a fallen tree, 
he sat down upon it himself. Here he remained 
for about an hour, almost as motionless as the 
prostrate log upon which he sat. He then rose 
and went forward, beckoning Marion to follow. 
She obeyed, and proceeded through the tangled 
f<Mjest as well as she could. 

In about two hours she heard voices at a 
short distance, and, looking from the brow of a 
hi 1, she saw, in the edge of a spreading prairie, 
several wigwams and a number of Indians. She 
and he- conductor soon reached this Indian 
settlement. 






THE GIFT. 109 

The number of people here seemed to be 
about three hundred. There were men, wo- 
men, and children. They appeared to be ap- 
prized of her coming, for several of the older 
men were collected together, and to them she 
was first conducted. One of them, a grey old 
man, addressed her, but she could not under- 
stand a word of what he said. The Indians 
then conversed together for a long time, and at 
last the assembly broke up. 

Marion was now taken to one of the wig- 
wams, and committed to the charge of some of 
the Indian women. Several of them gathered 
around, gazing at her with the most intense 
curiosity. They seemed greatly astonished at 
her white skin, and the calico frock which she 
wore. Pretty soon other women came, and 
then girls and boys of all sizes. Every one 
must have a look, every one must touch her 
white skin. One of the boys pinched her so 
sharply that she uttered a cry. This was con- 



110 THE GIFT. 

sidered a good joke, and several of the boys, 
one after another, pinched her arms till they 
were black and blue. 

After a long time, Marion was left alone with 
the Indian women in the wigwam. In a short 
time, the grey old Indian, whom I have men- 
tioned, came in, for this it seems was his hut. 
Marion was then permitted to lie down upon 
a bed of deer skins, and soon she fell fast 
asleep, nor did she wake till late the next 
morning. 

Feverish from excessive toil, and her feet 
torn with briers and sharp stones, she could not 
rise from her bed. The Indian woman gave 
her some water in a gourd shell. With this, 
Marion quenched her thirst, and again lay down 
upon her bed. Here she remained the whole 
day and the succeeding night. In the morning, 
she was better, and the Indian woman gave her 
some pounded corn mixed with water, for food. 



THE GIFT. Ill 

From this time she recovered rapidly, and, in 
a few days, was quite well. 

She was now called upon to perform sundry 
little offices for the Indian woman and the old 
chief. She became, in short, their slave, and 
for a long time was the constant subject of the 
jibes and sneers of all the Indian children of 
the village. Every species of malicious trick 
was practised upon her by the Indian boys, 
and in this they were neither checked nor 
rebuked. 

Marion had much to bear, and often the 
memory of her happy home would come upon 
her, and the tears would gush freely down her 
cheeks. But youth is ever elastic, and Marion 
was of a cheerful turn. She was also quick- 
witted, and apt to learn. She soon caught the 
language of the Indians, and gradually adapted 
herself to their habits. She became changed 
in her personal appearance ; even her white 
skin assuming somewhat of the tawny com- 






112 THE GIFT. 

plexion of the Indians. As she grew more 
like them, their contempt subsided, and her 
own dislike of them gradually wore away. 

Months, years passed by, and Marion was a 
favorite among the Indians. She was almost 
reconciled to her lot, and the memory of father, 
mother, brother, and that far home upon the 
banks of the Ohio, was dimmed, as if with the 
mist, that obscures the hills in the distance. 



CHAP. III. 

WE must now go back to the day of Mari- 
on's departure, in the boat, from the dwelling- 
place of her parents. She had already been 
gone two hours, when her absence was remark- 
ed by her mother. She then called for her, 
but no answer was returned. Concluding that 
the little girl was on some ramble in the woods, 
she felt no particular anxiety. 



THE GIFT. 113 

But evening at length approached, and the 
mother became uneasy. At length, Mr. Fay 
and Henry, who had been to the village of 
Marietta, returned. The boy thought he could 
soon find his sister in the woods. He went to 
all her accustomed haunts, and made the forests 
echo with her name. But he was obliged, after 
an hour's search, to come home without her, 

It was now dark, and the family were in a 
state of great alarm. They did not think of 
the boat, but imagined she must have got lost 
in the woods. Henry and Mr. Fay spent the 
whole night in a vain search for her, threading 
the forest in every direction. Again and again 
they called, listening with beating hearts, anx- 
iously hoping to hear the voice of the wanderer 
in reply. But no answer was returned, save 
the hollow echoes of the hills and valleys. 

They came home sick at heart, and then it 
was that Henry remarked the absence of the 
boat. He was confident from this moment, that 
8 



114 THE GIFT. 

Marion had been carried away in it. His 
parents yielded to this conclusion slowly ; but 
Henry knew the habits of his sister well, and 
they all, at length, settled down in the opinion 
that Henry had adopted. Still, the conclusion 
seemed uncertain ; for how -could the boat be 
detached from its fastening? and why did not 
Marion, on finding that she was going down the 
stream, call to her mother, who might easily 
have heard her cry 1 

In this painful uncertainty, Mr. Fay went to 
Marietta. The opinion of the people there 
was, that Marion must have wandered in the 
woods, till she had got lost, for it seemed to 
them very improbable that she could have been 
carried down the river in the boat. They, 
therefore, concluded to have a search in the 
forest, and accordingly, twelve men and boys 
set out for that purpose. For three days they 
ranged the hills -and valleys in every direction, 
until they had passed over the whole territory 



THE GIFT. 115 

within several miles. The pursuit was fruitless, 
and the men returned home, leaving the family 
of the lost Marion, in the gloom of that anxious 
sorrow, which ever attends uncertainty. 

The father and mother spoke few words, but 
their countenances showed the melancholy that 
dwelt within. But Henry could be neither 
silent nor inactive. Again and again he urged 
his father to get a boat, and go down the river, 
and, finally, he insisted that he would set out 
alone, if no one would accompany him. Thus 
urged, the heart-stricken father procured a boat, 
and, leaving his wife at Marietta, went down the 
river with Henry. 

They had [nearly reached the island where 
Marion was, when they met a boat with two 
huntsmen, who had been down the river. 
These men told them, that they had seen a boat 
two days before, such as Mr. Fay described, 
bottom upwards, floating down the stream. He 
then concluded that farther search was vain. 



116 THE GIFT. 

Henry was still anxious to proceed and find 
the boat, but his father insisted upon returning, 
and the boy, giving up his sister for lost, mood- 
ily yielded to parental authority. 

They returned, and the family were again 
gathered in their home. But to Henry it was 
home no more. The companion of his sports 
and his rambles was gone. The woods which he 
once loved, the shady valleys, the deep-tangled 
thickets, the dashing waterfalls, which had be- 
come dear and familiar both to him and Marion, 
had lost their charm. But still, he visited them 
often, and, even when months had passed away, 
he would plunge into the woods and listen in- 
tently as some squirrel stirred the leaves, seem- 
ing to think that the sound came from the 
returning footstep of his sister. 

But time softens the deepest sorrow; and 
though Marion was not forgotten, yet, after a 
few months, she was seldom mentioned. The 
parents had now buried all hopes of seeing 



THE GIFT. 117 

their child, and, leaving her fate to God, they 
went on, saddened, but not gloomy, in their 
accustomed paths of duty. Henry, too, recover* 
ed his spirits, and though his fancy was so often 
busy in weaving possible adventures for his 
sister, as to give his mind a romantic and dreamy 
cast, still he was again a cheerful and happy 
boy. 



CHAP. IV. 

FOUR years had now passed since Marion's 
departure. The village of Marietta had some- 
what increased, and several small settlements 
had been made along the banks of the river. 
News at length came to Marietta, that the Indians 
had made an attack upon one of these, burning 
the corn fields, driving off the cattle, and slaugh- 
tering the inhabitants. As farther hostilities 
were feared, it was thought necessary to send 



118 THE GIFT. 

an immediate force to chastise the depredators. 
About sixty men were, therefore, speedily de- 
spatched in four boats, and these proceeded 
down the river. 

Having gone about sixty miles, they landed 
on the western side, opposite to a small island 
in the middle of the river. The Indians, whom 
they wished to attack, were understood to have 
their encampment upon the borders of a prairie, 
about six miles distant. 

The party was headed by Mr. Fay, who had 
seen service in the revolutionary war, and had 
shared in the glorious victory at Bennington, 
under the gallant Stark. His^son Henry, now 
a manly youth of sixteen, was of the party. 

After consultation, the little band plunged into 
the woods, being directed in their route by a 
friendly Indian, who knew the country. They 
had proceeded about three miles, when, as they 
were passing at the foot of a ridge, an arrow 
whistled from the overhanging rocks, and, enter- 



THE GIFT. 119 

ing the side of one of the men, instantly killed 
him. A moment after, the wild war-whoop of 
the savages burst from the shaggy hills on every 
side. Mr. Fay's party were completely sur- 
prised, and, for a short time, were paralyzed. 

They soon collected together, however, and 
began to look around them. Seeing that their 
leader was undaunted, they gathered courage, 
and this was not a little increased by what im- 
mediately followed. Standing behind a tree, 
he pointed his long fowling-piece toward one 
of the high rocks, that overhung the valley. 
This directed the eyes of the party to that 
point. 

At first, nothing but an eagle's feather was 
seen above the edge of the rock, that seemed 
to stand against the sky. It gently rose, moved 
forward, and a dark round mass presented itself 
to view. The men knew this to be the head 
of an Indian, and they turned their eyes with 
intense interest upon the movement of their 



120 THE GIFT. 

captain. He waited but a moment, to be sure 
of his aim. His finger contracted, and the 
bullet sped to its mark. There was a wild 
shriek, and a tall Indian leaped over the rock, 
and fell almost at the feet of the men, his brain 
severed by the fatal bullet. 

Several shots from the white men now fol- 
lowed, and the Indians were seen to leave their 
lurking places, and fly. Fay's men immediate- 
ly joined in pursuit. In vain their leader called 
them back. They were soon scattered along 
the valley, and up the sides of the hills. Henry 
was among the foremost. The Indians, seeing 
that the party was dispersed, concealed them- 
selves in the thickets. Choosing their time, 
they burst from their lurking-places, and struck 
down two of the men, with their arrows. One 
of them sprung suddenly upon Henry, forced 
his gun from his hand, and a fierce personal 
conflict ensued. The Indian, however, was an 
overmatch for the lad, and as the latter had 



THE GIFT. 121 

fallen, he placed his knee on his breast, and was 
about to despatch him with a club, which he 
held in his hand ; but, at this moment, one of 
the chiefs came up and commanded him to 
desist. The boy's hands were then hastily tied 
behind him, and he was forced to go along with 
them. 

It was now evening, and the party of Indians, 
consisting of about sixty warriors, had drawn 
together. They pushed forward, and by a cir- 
cuitous course reached their village in an hour. 

In the morning, the warriors had again de- 
parted, but Henry was left bound, hand and 
foot, under the charge of the women. He was 
confined to a wigwam, in which there sat an 
aged savage, bowed with years and the decay 
of nature. There was also a dark-haired girl, 
who seemed to look upon the young prisoner 
with peculiar interest ; but she spoke not, nor 
was she indeed permitted to approach him. 
He was kept apart from every one, and vigi- 



122 THE GIFT. 

lantly watched, by the wife of the old Indian. 
The outer side of the hut was also guarded by 
several women and boys. 

The day passed, and no tidings came from 
the war party. But there was a bustle in the 
village, as if preparations were making for flight. 
Henry could also perceive anxiety on every 
countenance. It was in vain to ask questions, 
for none seemed to understand his language, 
and no one heeded his inquiries. Brooding 
over his painful situation, he composed his mind 
as well as he could, and waited for the result. 



CHAP. V. 

NIGHT came, and a death -like silence spread 
over the village. The old man was asleep on 
his bed of skins on one side of the wigwam, 
and Henry lay on the other. He could not 



THE GIFT. 123 

sleep, and such was the excited state of his 
nerves, that, although it was exceedingly dark, 
he could distinctly see every object around him. 

Beside himself and the old man, he imagined 
that no one was in the hut. But, at length, he 
heard a slight rustling, and, from beneath a heap 
of skins, he saw a dark form rise slowly, and 
creep toward him. At first, he was alarmed, 
and was about to prepare for defence. For 
this purpose, he rose a little, and looked steadi- 
ly at the object of his apprehension. He now 
saw that it was a female, and the idea crossed 
his mind, that it was the Indian girl, whom he 
had before noticed. 

With the stealthiness of a cat, she approach- 
ed him, and whispered in broken English, "No 
speak! no noise!" She then took a sharp 
stone and sawed the cords of bark asunder, 
that bound his feet and hands. " Come ! " said 
she, " follow me : no speak, walk like panther." 
She crept to the low entrance of the wigwam, 



124 THE GIFT. 

which was open, and looked warily out. She 
then went forward, and rose upon her feet. 

Henry followed. He was standing by her side, 
as she pointed to several Indian women and 
boys that were sleeping round upon the ground. 
Stepping lightly between and over them, she 
led the way, and the young soldier treading in 
her footsteps, followed with a beating heart. 
They were soon at some distance from the 
wigwam, but others were around. The maiden 
proceeded, however, with a noiseless step, and 
was soon within the cover of the forest. 

Henry now caught her hand, and was about 
to kiss it in thankfulness, but she drew it sud- 
denly away, and whispered, " Still, still ! no 
speak, no noise!" She continued to go for- 
ward, winding among the bushes, and, with 
wonderful dexterity, avoiding the branches of 
the trees which might create a rustling sound, 
and stepping upon the 'dry leaves in such a 
manner, as to cause scarce the slightest noise. 



THE GIFT. 125 

Henry imitated his guide, and they proceeded 
in silence, for at least an hour. 

The dawn had now commenced, and the 
objects around were distinctly visible. Henry 
remarked that they were in the midst of a deep 
forest, and knew that they must be at a con- 
siderable distance from the Indian village. He 
could not conceive that there was any immediate 
danger, and his heart would permit him no 
longer to be silent. " My dear girl," said he, 
"you have saved my life. Oh! how many 
thanks do I owe you ! " 

The maiden started, and gazed in his face, 
with a look of mingled anxiety and joy. She 
was about to answer, when the crackling of a 
fagot was heard at a little distance, and in a 
moment an Indian sprung from the ground, 
close by their path, and, rushing forward, seized 
Marion by the arm. She instantly knew him 
to be one of the warriors of the village. 

Looking at her reproachfully, he pointed to 



126 THE GIFT. 

Henry, seeming to intimate, " So, maiden, you 
would betray us, and take away our prisoner!" 
He then drew an arrow from his belt, and was 
placing it on the string, when the girl sprang 
from his side, and rushed into the arms of 
Henry, exclaiming, "Brother, brother, save poor 
Marion ! " 

At this moment, the Indian's arrow flew from 
the bow, and entered her side. The savage 
then rushed toward Henry, and was about to 
strike him to the earth with a club, when the 
sharp sound of a musket rung through the 
woods, and the Indian fell to the earth, pierced 
by a bullet. A moment after, the yell of the 
savages was heard on every side ; several arrows 
whistled over Henry and Marion, and the crack- 
ing of muskets resounded through the woods. 
In a few minutes, the savages fled in terror ; at 
least half of their number having been slain. 

In a short time, some of the white men came 
to the spot where Marion lay. Henry bent 



THE GIFT. 127 

over her, and called anxiously for his father. 
He soon came up, and Henry exclaimed, " It is 
Marion ! it is Marion ! " She was sadly wound- 
ed, but she instantly knew her father, and, 
springing from the ground, she flew to meet 
him, and threw her arms around his neck, say- 
ing, " Dear father, it is true, it is true ; I am 
Marion ! " 

The remainder of the story I need not tell 
in detail. It is sufficient to say, that Henry and 
two of the men proceeded to bear the wounded 
girl to the boat, while the rest of the party pur- 
sued the flying Indians. Having proceeded to 
their village, which they found deserted, they 
returned at evening to the boats. Marion was 
taken home, and soon recovered from her 
wound. 

I need not describe the joy, that once more 
lighted up the hearts of the family in the log 
house, upon the banks of the Ohio ; nor need I 
tell of the pleasure, with which the news of 



128 THE GIFT. 

Marion's return was heard, in the village of 
Marietta. 

I cannot, however, close my story without 
remarking, that the severe trials of Marion, and 
the sufferings of her friends, were the conse- 
quence of her disobedience. Alas ! how bitter 
are the sufferings, which young people are often 
called to endure, because they will not listen to 
good counsel. If poor Marion's story may have 
given my young readers some pain, I hope it 
may, at least, persuade them never to spurn a 
mother's warning to follow their own fancies. 







THE GIFT. 



129 



THE BEE AND THE ANT: A FABLE. 




AN ant and bee had some warm words with 
each other, as to which might claim the highest 
praise for usefulness. In order to settle the 
dispute, they agreed to call on Apollo, who was 
then a shepherd, tending the flocks of a Gre- 
cian king, called Admetus. 
9 



130 THE GIF-T. 

Having stated the question at issue, Apollo 
preceded to pronounce judgment in the fol- 
lowing words. " You are both excellent exam- 
ples of industry, but this is of two kinds ; the 
industry of one has no other object, and no 
other result, than to benefit self; the other kind 
tends not only to benefit self, but to bestow 
happiness upon others. It is this species of 
industry which belongs to the bee, for he pro- 
duces honey beyond his own wants, and thus 
dispenses a great deal of enjoyment to others. 
I must, therefore, give my decision in favor of 
the bee." 

This fable contains a beautiful and useful 
moral. We see some persons who are indus- 
trious, frugal, and prudent, but all their earnings, 
and all their savings are for themselves. There 
are others who are equally industrious, careful, 
and provident, but in providing for themselves, 
they are always ready and willing to bestow 
something ugon others ; and are not only wil- 



THE GIFT. 



131 



ling to part with their substance, but can give 
up their own prejudices, and forego their own 
pleasures, for the benefit of those around them. 
How noble and generous is such virtue; how 
poor, narrow, and selfish is the character of 
those, who, like the ant, only care for them- 
selves ! 




132 



THE GIFT. 



THE CHAMELEON AND PORCUPINE: A FABLE. 




A CHAMELEON once met a porcupine, and 
complained that he had taken great pains to 
make friends with everybody, but, strange to 
say, he had entirely failed, and now he could 
not be sure that he had a sincere friend in the 
world. 

" And by what means," said the porcupine, 



THE GIFT. 133 

" have you sought to make friends 1" " By flat- 
tery," said the chameleon. "I have adapted 
myself to all I met ; humored the follies and 
the foibles of every one. In order to make 
people believe that I liked them, I have imitated 
their manners, as if I considered them models 
of perfection. So far have I gone in this, that 
it has become a habit with me, and now, my 
very skin takes the hue and complexion of the 
thing that happens to be nearest. Yet all this 
has been in vain, for everybody calls me a turn- 
coat, and I am generally considered selfish, 
hypocritical, and base." 

"And no doubt you deserve all this," said 
the porcupine. " I have taken a different 
course, but I must confess that I have as few 
friends as you. I adopted the rule to resent 
every injury, nay, every encroachment upon my 
dignity. I would allow no one even to touch 
me, without sticking into him one or more of 
my sharp quills, I determined to take care of 






134 THE GIFT. 

number one, and the result has been, that, while 
I have vindicated my rights, I have created an 
universal -dislike. I am called Old Touch-me- 
not ; and if I am not as much despised, I am 
even more disliked, than you, Sir Chameleon." 
An owl who was sitting by, and heard this 
conversation, putting his head a little on one 
side, remarked as follows : " Your experience 
ought to teach two valuable lessons. One is, 
that the world looks upon the flatterer with 
contempt and aversion, because he seeks to 
secure some selfish object, by making dupes of 
others ; and the other is, that he who resents 
every little trespass upon his rights and feelings, 
is sure to be shunned and dreaded by all who 
are acquainted with his disposition. You, Sir 
Chameleon, ought to know by this time, that 
honest candor is far better than deceitful flat- 
tery. And you, Neighbour Porcupine, ought 
never to forget that good-humor is a better de- 
fence, than an armory of poisoned quills." 



THE GIFT. 



135 



THE ELEPHANT AND FOX: A FABLE. 




I AM sorry to say, that a great many people 
listen with more pleasure to a lively tale, that is 
full of cunning, wit, and scandal, than to a wise 
discourse, which teaches truth and inculcates 
virtue. This may be illustrated by the fable of 
the elephant and fox. 



136 THE GIFT. 

These two animals fell into a dispute, as to 
which had the greatest powers of persuasion, 
and, as they could not settle the matter them- 
selves, it was agreed to call an assembly of the 
beasts, and let them decide it. These were 
accordingly summoned, and when the tiger, 
porcupine, dog, ox, panther, goat, and the rest 
of the quadruped family had all taken their 
places, the elephant began his oration. He 
discoursed very eloquently upon the beauty of 
truth, justice, and mercy, and set forth the enor- 
mity of falsehood, cunning, selfishness, and cru- 
elty. A few of the wiser beasts listened with 
interest and approbation ; but the leopard, tiger, 
porcupine, and a large majority of the audience 
yawned, and showed that they thought it a very 
stupid piece of business. 

But, when the fox began to tell his cunning 
knaveries, they pricked up their ears, and listen- 
ed with a lively interest. As he went on to 
relate his various adventures, how he had rob- 



THE GIFT. 13:7 

bed hen-roosts, and plundered geese and ducks 
from the poultry yard, and how by various cun- 
ning artifices he had escaped detection, they 
manifested the greatest delight. So the fox 
went on, sneering at the elephant and all others 
who loved justice, truth, and mercy, and recom- 
mending to his listeners, to follow the pleasures 
of thievery and plunder. As he closed his dis- 
course, there was a loud burst of applause, and 
on counting noses, the majority was found to be 
in favor of the fox. 

The assembly broke up, and some months 
passed away, when, as the elephant was quietly 
browsing in the woods one day, he heard a 
piteous moan at a little distance. Proceeding 
to the place from which the sound came, he 
there found the orator fox, caught in a trap, 
with both his hinder legs broken, and sadly 
mangled. "So," said the fox sharply, though 
he was nearly exhausted with pain, "you have 
come to jeer at me, in my hour of trouble." 



138 



THE GIFT. 



"Surely not," said the elephant. "I would re- 
lieve your pain if I could, but your legs are 
broken, and there is no relief for you, but in 
death." " True," said the fox, mournfully, " and 
I now admit the miserable folly of those princi- 
ples which I have avowed, and the practice 
which resulted from them. I have lived a gay 
life, though even my gayety has been sadly 
shadowed, by perpetual fear of what has now 
come upon me. Had I been satisfied with an 
honest life and innocent pleasures, I had not 
thus come to a miserable end. Knavery, arti- 
fice, and cunning may be very good topics with 
which to delude those who are inclined to be 
vicious, but they furnish miserable rules to live 
and die by." 




THE GIFT. 139 



THE SPOILED CHILD. 

HAVE you ever heard of a spoiled child. No 
doubt you have ; but do you know what a 
spoiled child is ? I will tell you. 

If a child is permitted to do as he likes, and 
is not made to obey his parents, he usually be- 
comes passionate, mischievous, and disagreea- 
ble, and is then called a spoiled child. 

There was once a little boy, whose name was 
Mark. He was an only child, and his parents, 
being rich, granted him every indulgence. At 
length, little Mark thought himself the most 
important being in the world. 

If he wanted a thing, he teased, fretted, and 
cried till he got it. If he wished to do a thing, 
nobody could prevent him from doing it. If he 
was commanded to do any thing, he refused, or 
obeyed, as it suited his pleasure. 

Such was little Mark, and though he was a 
handsome boy, and always prettily dressed, yet 



140 THE GIFT. 

he was so troublesome, that almost everybody 
disliked him. 

Still, his mother continued to indulge him. 
When she was asked why she did so, she said 
she did not like to cross the boy's humor. Thus 
she went on, permitting him to do what he 
pleased, until one day, "when his father and 
mother were at table, after dinner, Mark was in 
a chair by himself. Pretty soon, he crept out 
of it and got upon the table. 

His mother told him to get down, but he said 
he would not. He then got upon his feet, but 
immediately slipped down upon his knees, turn- 
ing over the dishes of fruit, breaking the de- 
canters, and ruining his mother's new dress. 

This event, which seemed so disastrous, was 
very fortunate for little Mark ; for, from this pe- 
riod, his father and mother determined to take 
a new course, and oblige him to obey them. 
This plan they carried into effect, and the 
spoiled child was at length made obedient ; 
though it cost him many hearty " crying spells." 



THE GIFT. 



141 



THE DISCONTENTED MOLE- A FABLE. 




A YOUNG mole having crept out into the sun, 
one day, met with its mother, and began to 
complain of its lot. 

"I have been thinking," said he, "that we 
lead a very stupid life, burrowing under the 
ground, and dwelling in perpetual darkness. 



142 THE GIFT. 

For my part, I think it would be much better 
to live above board, and caper about in the sun- 
light like the squirrels." 

" It may seem so to you," said the wise old 
mole, " but beware of forming hasty opinions. 
It is an old remark, that it takes all sorts of peo- 
ple to make a world. Some creatures live upon 
the trees, but nature has provided them with 
claws, which make it easy and safe for them to 
climb. Some dwell in the water, but they are 
supplied with fins, which render it easy for them 
to move about, and with a contrivance by means 
of which they breathe where other creatures 
would drown. Some creatures glide through 
the air, but they are endowed with wings, with- 
out which, it would be vain to attempt to fly. 
The truth is, that every individual is made to 
fill some place in the scale of being, and he best 
seeks his own happiness in following the path 
which his Creator has marked out for him. We 
may wisely seek to better our condition, by 



THE GIFT. 143 

making that path as pleasant as possible, but 
not attempt to pursue one which we are unfitted 
to follow. You will best consult your interest, 
by endeavouring to enjoy all that property be- 
longs to a mole, instead of striving to swim like 
a fish, climb like a squirrel, or fly like a bird. 
Content is the great blessing of life. You may 
enjoy this in the quiet security of your shelter- 
ed abode ; the proudest tenant of the earth, 
air, ofl ; sea, can do no more." 

The young mole replied ; " This may seem 
very wise to you, but it sounds like nonsense to 
me. I am determined to burrow in the earth 
no more, but to dash out in style, like other gay 
people." So saying, he crept upon a little 
mound, for the purpose of looking about, and 
seeing what course of pleasure he should adopt. 
While in this situation, he was snapped up by a 
hawk, who carried him to a tall tree, and de- 
voured him without ceremony. 

This fable may teach us the folly of that 



144 THE GIFT. 

species of discontent, which would lead us to 
grasp at pleasures beyond our reach, or indulge 
envy toward those who are in the possession of 
more wealth than we. We should endeavour 
to fulfil the duties of that situation in which 
we are placed, and not grumble that some other 
lot is not assigned to us. We may lawfully 
seek to better our condition, but this should 
be done rather by excelling in that profession 
which we have chosen, than by endeavouring 
to shine in one for which we are unfitted. 




THE GIFT. 



145 



THE VIOLET AND NIGHTSHADE : A FABLE. 




A MODEST little violet once grew by the side 
of a flaunting nightshade. This latter flower 
was in full bloom, and, proud of its splendor, 
could not forbear looking down with contempt 
upon its humble neighbour ; at the same time, 
it spoke as follows : 

"Pray what are you doing down there, my 
poor neighbour Violet ? It seems to me that you 
10 



146 THE GIFT. 

must have a dull time of it, living such a hum- 
ble life as you do. It is quite different with me. 
Do you observe my proud leaves, and splendid 
blossoms ? It is really delightful to possess such 
rare beauty, and be conscious of the power to 
extort admiration from all we meet. How hard 
it must be to dwell in obscurity, and be treated 
with indifference or scorn." 

" Nay, neighbour Nightshade," said the violet, 
in reply, "do not trouble yourself on my ac- 
count. However humble my lot may be, I am 
at least content. Though I have not your 
splendor, and cannot expect to dazzle the eyes 
of anybody, still I have the power by my per- 
fume to afford gratification to those who are 
fond of simple pleasures ; and if I can do no 
great good, I am also incapable of doing harm. 
You are, doubtless, very splendid, but I am told 
that you have a mischievous disposition, and 
poison those who come within your reach. If, 
therefore, I cannot emulate your magnificence, 
I at least have the advantage of being innocent." 



THE GIFT. 147 

While the two flowers thus communed with 
each other, a mother with two children chanced 
to be passing by. The children both noticed 
the nightshade, and were about to pluck its 
blossoms, when the lady told them to beware. 
"That flower," said she, "though beautiful to 
the sight, is a deadly poison. Remember, my 
children, that what is beautiful to view, is often 
dangerous to the touch. Do you see that little 
violet, modestly crouching at the side of the 
gorgeous nightshade. To my mind, it is much 
the most pleasing of the two, for it is not only 
very pretty, but it has a sweet breath, and is 
perfectly harmless." 

"Let this little scene be a lesson to you. 
When you see any one who is either rich or 
beautiful, and who is yet unkind, ungenerous, 
or wicked, remember the deadly nightshade. 
When you see one who is innocent, pure, and 
true, though humble and poor, remember the 
fragrant, but unpretending violet." 



148 THE GIFT. 



STO 



RIES ABOUT SHELLS. 



IN summer it is very pleasant to go about 
the hills and valleys to study plants and flowers ; 
but in winter, when we are shut in by snow 
and storms, we must find amusement and in- 
struction at home. For such a time, there is a 
pleasant resource in Conchology, to which the 
following story relates. 

Mama. Come here, Emily, and tell me about 
your visit to your cousin. Have you had a 
pleasant afternoon. I think you must have en- 
joyed yourself, she is so kind to little girls, and 
has so many pretty things to show them. 

Emily. Yes, mama, I have spent a delight- 
ful afternoon. I have seen a great many curi- 
ous things, but that which pleased me most was 
what my cousin Anna calls a CABINET OF 
SHELLS. Oh ! they were beautiful, and all ar- 



THE GIFT. 149 

ranged in order, mama. There were large ones, 
and small ones, and then they had such beauti- 
ful colors ; pink, brown, red, and yellqw. Oh ! 
I should never be tired of looking at them ! 

Mama. It is indeed pleasant, my dear, to 
look at shells, but you would take much more 
pleasure in looking at them, if you understood 
something about them. 

Emily. I do know a little about them, mama. 
My cousin told me where they were found. 
She said, that the greatest part of them came 
from the sea, but that some of them are found 
on the land, and some in ponds and rivers. 

Mama. Did she tell you, Emily, what these 
shells were called, that were found in these 
different situations 1 

Emily. No, mama ; she said she had not 
time then to tell me about them, and remarked 
that I had better ask you. Pray, mama, will you 
teach me some of the names, for I cannot think 
there is any thing else to tell me about ? But I 



150 THE GIFT. 

am afraid I should never remember them, there 
is such a variety. 

Mama. Well, my dear, I have half an hour 
to spare, and as you seem so anxious to learn, 
I will tell you something about shells. In the 
first place, I must teach you the names of those 
that are found on the land. They are called 
terrestrial shells, from the Latin word terra, 
earth. Those that live in ponds and rivers are 
called fluviatile shells, from the Latin fluvius, 
a river. Those inhabiting the sea are called 
marine shells, from the Latin mare, the sea. 

Emily. This will be easy to remember. 
But, mama, why do you say those that live in 
the sea? Surely shells do not live; I should 
not think a shell had any more life than a stone. 

Mama. Not the shell itself, my dear, but 
each one contains a living animal, and what will 
surprise you more, the creature makes the shell 
himself. 

Emily. Oh, my dear mama, you must in- 



THE GIFT. 151 

deed be joking. How can an animal make a 
shell ? 

Mama. It is, indeed, almost inconceivable, 
Emily ; but we know it to be a fact. Are you 
not curious to know what kind of animal it is 
that is so skilful an architect ? 

Emily. Yes, indeed, mama; it must be a 
very singular creature. Does each shell have 
a different sort of animal in it ? 

Mama. No, my dear, they are all alike in 
their forms and habits. They are called mol~ 
lusca, from the Latin word mollis, soft, as their 
bodies are very soft. They are also cold, fat, 
and slimy. 

Emily. Oh, mama, what disagreeable crea- 
tures they must be. But what makes them 
cold ? living in the water, I suppose. 

Mama. No, that is not the reason, for you 
know they do not all live in the water. But 
they are cold, because, instead of having warm, 
red blood, as we have, they have only a white, 



152 THE GIFT. 

cold substance in their hearts and veins. They 
have no bones like most other animals, but their 
shells, which are fastened in some places to 
their bodies, answer for their support. 

Emily. Well, mama, I am very curious to 
know how such cold, fat, boneless and bloodless 
creatures can make so hard a substance as a 
shell. 

Mama. That I will now tell you. The skins 
of all the mollusca are filled with glands, which 
are vessels containing a fluid, different and dis- 
tinct from the blood. This is found to be car- 
bonate of lime, and gelatine, which is a glutinous 
substance. Of both these materials the shell 
is made. 

Emily. Does the animal make the shell with 
his mouth, or feet, mama 1 

llfama. With neither, my dear. The fluid 
exudes or presses out from the skin of the mol- 
lusca, and, hardening by the air, becomes a shell. 
When it first leaves the egg, the animal is very 



THE GIFT. 153 

minute, and the shell he forms is, of course, 
small ; but, as the creature increases in size, it 
makes its shell larger by continued layers of 
the fluid. Do you understand all this, Emily ? 

Emily. Pretty well, mama ; but I do not 
quite know how the mollusca makes his shell 
larger, when he is inside of it. I should think 
as his additions must always be inside, that that 
part of the shell which he lives in would be 
constantly made smaller, rather than larger. 

Mama. Give me that shell that stands on 
the mantle piece, Emily, and I will show you 
plainly how this wonderful little architect in- 
creases the size of his house. Do you see this 
opening ? What do you think is the use of it ? 

Emily. For the animal to breathe through, 
I suppose. 

Mama. You are right ; it is for that purpose. 
This part of the shell is called the aperture or 
mouth. When, therefore, the animal finds his 
house too small for him, he presses out some of 



154 THE GIFT. 

the fluid from his glands, upon the edge of the 
mouth, and leaves it to dry. Then he presses 
out more and more, till he has made it as much 
larger as is necessary for his comfort. Then, 
in order to thicken the shell, he makes additions 
inside. 

Emily. How very wonderful it is, that these 
poor worms have the power of mending their 
shells when broken by any accident ! 

Mama. It is, indeed. If it were not for 
this kind arrangement of Providence, many of 
these poor creatures would perish, as they are 
exposed to the perpetual dashing of the waves, 
and are frequently thrown violently against the 
rocks. 

Emily. Can you discover by the appearance 
of a shell, mama, whether it has been either 
mended, or enlarged ? 

Mama. Let us examine the one I have in 
my hand. Yes, look here at this ridge or seam. 



THE GIFT. 155 

This is the place where the addition was made. 
You see it runs the whole length of the shell. 

Emily. Oh ! yes. I think I now understand 
the process of making and mending the shell. 
But there is still another thing that puzzles me. 
What gives the shells their different marks and 
colors ? 

Mama. The skin of the mollusca, beside 
the glands, containing the fluid for making the 
shell, is furnished with pores, filled with matter 
of different colors. This stains the shell, before 
it is hard, in a regular manner, and when it has 
hardened, the color remains fixed in the shell. 

Emily. Thank you, mama ; I think I under- 
stand. You have taught me a great deal, but I 
want to know more. I wish you would tell me 
all about shells, though it would take you a 
great while, I know. 

Mama. It would indeed, my dear. To un- 
derstand shells well, it is necessary to study 
them attentively and closely. There are many 



156 THE GIFT. 

curious facts and stories about them. All these 
have been collected into books by learned men. 
These have arranged them into a beautiful sys- 
tem or science, called Conchology. Thus, by 
conchology you will remember that we mean 
the history of shells, and of the mollusca that 
live in them. 

Emily. I have often heard people speak of 
conchology, but I never knew before what the 
word meant. I shall be glad when I am old 
enough to study conchology, for I like what 
you have told me very much. 




THE GIFT. 



157 



THE FIR-TREE AND BUTTERFLY: A FABLE. 




ON a bright winter day, a gaudy butterfly 
crept from its hiding-place, and began to sail 
about, glancing hither and thither with great 
vivacity. But soon it felt the biting breath of 
winter, and, unable to continue its flight, it set- 
tled upon the ground, and perished amid the 
snow. 



158 THE GIFT. 

A tall fir that stood near, and witnessed the 
fate of the butterfly, thus moralized upon the 
event. "How ill-fitted are those who merely 
think of pleasure, to contend with the adversi- 
ties of life. It is true, that we have a season of 
summer, but winter surely succeeds, and wis- 
dom warns us to be provided for it. And so if 
life affords us seasons of enjoyment, we know 
that care, trial, and disappointment will, soon or 
late, come to visit us. We should, therefore, 
strengthen ourselves by reflection, and the 
practice of virtue, so that we may bear the trials 
that are allotted us, with fortitude and peace." 




THE GIFT. 



159 



THE BEE AND BUTTERFLY: A FABLE. 




A BUTTERFLY once boasted to a bee, of the 
pleasant life he led, in flying about from one 
flower to another, and gathering perfume from 
them all. " This may seem a happy life to you," 
said the bee, " but to me it would be idle dissi- 
pation. There is more true enjoyment in use- 



160 THE GIFT. 

ful industry, than in wanton pleasures. I have 
ever before me a plan ; and it is delightful to see 
my schemes, day by day, approach their accom- 
plishment. In seeking my own happiness, I 
promote that of others, and thus derive a double 
bliss from my exertions. Every moment that I 
am at work, I am filled with the idea that I am 
contributing to make that home happy where 
my friends and kindred dwell, and providing for 
our comfort when the summer is past, and the 
frost of winter no longer permits us to go abroad. 
How poor, in comparison with mine, are the 
fleeting pleasures of the butterfly, who lives but 
to gratify himself, and, wasting his time in the 
enjoyments of to-day, perishes to-morrow, be- 
cause he has failed to provide for its necessi- 
ties." 






THE GIFT. 



161 



THE VAIN SEARCH. 




MY little reader, did you ever get lost injhe 
woods ? Perhaps not ; but many children have. 
I knew a boy and a girl, named James and 
Fanny, who lived upon the slope of a mountain, 
more than a mile from a village. 

A large part of the space between their house 
11 



162 THE GIFT. 

and the village, was covered by forests, but 
these children were accustomed to go to school 
and to church through the woods, and their 
parents never felt any anxiety about them. 

One morning, they set out to go to school ; 
it was August, and the weather was warm and 
beautiful. In descending the mountain, they 
came to the brow of a hill, from which they 
could see a small blue lake. 

This was surrounded by the forest, and seem- 
ed to be at no great distance. James had often 
seen it before, and wished to go to it, but, on 
the present occasion, he could not withstand the 
temptation to pay it a visit. Accordingly, he set 
out, having persuaded Fanny to accompany him. 

They pushed on through the tangled woods 
for some time, in the direction of the lake, and 
at length, supposed they must be very near to 
it, but on coming to a little eminence, and catch- 
ing a glimpse of the blue water between the 
* trees, it still seemed as distant as before. 



THE GIFT. 163 

They were not discouraged, however, but 
again went forward for some time. At length, 
Fanny said to her brother, that they had better 
return and go to school. James replied, that it 
was too late to get to school in season, and he 
thought the better way was to make a holiday 
of it. They would return home at the usual 
time, and their parents would know nothing 
about it. 

"I don't like that plan," said little Fanny, 
" for our parents expect us to go to school, and 
if we do not go, we disobey them. Beside, if 
we spend the day in play and say nothing about 
it, and let our parents think we have been at 
school, we deceive them, and that is as bad as 
telling a lie." 

" Oh, nonsense ! " said James ; " we '11 tell 
them we got lost, or something of the kind. 
Don't you be afraid. I '11 manage that matter, 
so come along." 

Little Fanny went forward, but she was sad- " 



164 THE GIFT. 

at heart ; and James, too, conscious of disobedi- 
ence and deception in his heart, felt unhappy ; 
but he put on a brave face, and sang, or whist- 
led, as he proceeded. 

Again the two children came to such a posi- 
tion that they could see the little lake, and, 
strange to tell, it seemed about as far off now, 
as when they first set out to visit it. 

The fact was, they had been deceived ; for 
the lake was much farther than it appeared to 
be. They had already spent two hours in their 
attempt to reach it ; and, after some consultation, 
they concluded to give up their enterprise, and 
go back. 

But now their task commenced. They had 
pursued no beaten path, and they had nothing 
to guide them in their return. The sky, which 
had been so clear in the morning, was now 
overshadowed with thick clouds. Uncertain of 
the course they ought to pursue, they still went 
* forward, with trembling and anxious haste. 



THE GIFT. 165 

Coming at length to the foot of a cliff, they 
paused, being overcome with fatigue. James 
sat down and buried his face in his hands. 

"What is the matter?" said Fanny. "We 
have lost our way, and shall never find our 
home again," said James. " We have lost our 
way, no doubt," said Fanny, " but I hope and 
trust we shall find our way out of the woods. 
This is come upon us, James, because of our 
disobedience." 

" I know it, Fanny," said James, " but it was 
my disobedience, and not yours, and I am so 
unhappy because my wickedness has brought 
you into trouble ; and beside, I intended to de- 
ceive our parents. I cannot but wonder now, 
that I should have thought of such a thing." 

"Well, James," said Fanny, "let this be a 
lesson to us both ; and now we must proceed, 
and try to find our way out of the wood." Ac- 
cordingly, they went forward with great dili- 
gence ; but having rambled about for nearly four 



166 THE GIFT. 

hours, supposing all the time they were going 
toward their home, they came back to the very 
spot, beneath the cliff, where they had sat down 
and rested themselves before. 

They were now quite discouraged, and al- 
most broken-hearted. They had picked some 
blue-berries in their rambles, so that they were 
not very hungry; but their fatigue was so great, 
that, after lying side by side upon the sloping 
bank, for a while, they both went to sleep. 

It was about midnight, when Fanny awoke. 
She had been dreaming that she and her broth- 
er had wandered away, and got lost in the 
forest ; that, overcome with fatigue, they had 
thrown themselves down on the earth at the 
foot of a cliff, and fallen asleep, and that they 
were awakened from their sleep by hearing the 
call of their father, ringing through the solitude. 

It was at this point of her dream, that Fanny 
awoke. For a moment she was bewildered, 
but soon recollected where she was. She cast 



THE GIFT. 167 

her eye about, and saw that no shelter was over 
her, but the starry canopy of heaven. 

She looked around, and could see nothing 
but the ragged outline of the hills against the 
sky. She listened, and seemed to feel that the 
voice heard in her dream was a reality, and that 
she should hear it again. But she now heard only 
the solitary chirp of a cricket, and the mournful 
shivering of the forest leaves. 

She sat some time, almost afraid to make the 
slightest noise, yet feeling such a sense of deso- 
lation that she must wake up her brother. 

She was stretching out her hand for the pur- 
pose of waking him, when she seemed to hear 
the call of her father, as she had heard it in her 
dream. She listened intently, her little heart 
beating with the utmost anxiety. 

She waited for several minutes, when, full and 
clear, and at no great distance, she heard her 
father call "James!" The little girl sprang to her 
feet, and screamed, with all her might, " Here, 
here we are, father ! " James was soon awakened, 



168 THE GIFT. 

and, with some difficulty, the father came down 
the cliff and clasped his children in his arms. 

I need not say, that this painful adventure was 
remembered by James and Fanny, long after 
they had ceased to be children ; and they were 
both accustomed to say, that it was of impor- 
tance to them through life, in impressing upon 
them the necessity of obedience to parents, and 
the wickedness of all attempts to deceive them. 

Let me remark to my youthful readers, that 
if pleasure ever tempts them to forsake the path 
of duty, I hope they will remember, that, like 
the blue lake which seemed so beautiful and 
near to the eyes of our little wanderers, and 
which was yet inaccessible to them, it will prob- 
ably disappoint their efforts to obtain it. 




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