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Title: Little Frankie and His Cousin

Author: Madeline Leslie

Release date: August 24, 2010 [eBook #33522]
Most recently updated: January 6, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Emmy and the Online Distributed Proofreading
Team at (This file was produced from
images generously made available by The Internet
Archive/American Libraries.)











QUESTION BOOKS on the Topics of Christ's Sermon on the Mount.
Vol. I. For Children.      Vol. II. For Youth.
Vol. III. For Adults.
Lectures on These Topics, in press.

Tim, the Scissors Grinder.
Sequel to "Tim, the Scissors Grinder."
Prairie Flower.
The Bound Boy.
The Bound Girl.
The Two Homes; or, Earning and Spending.
The Organ-Grinder, in press.

QUESTION BOOKS. The Catechism tested by the Bible.
Vol. I. For Children.       Vol. II. For Adults.


THE DERMOTT FAMILY; or, Stories Illustrating the Catechism.
Vol.I. Doctrines respecting God and Mankind.
" II. Doctrines of Grace.
"III. Commandments of the First Table.
"IV. Commandments of the Second Table.
"V. Conditions of Eternal Life.

Vol.I. Cora and the Doctor.
"II. Courtesies of Wedded Life.
"III. The Household Angel.

Vol.I. The Motherless Children.
"II. Play and Study.
"III. Howard and his Teacher.
"IV. Trying to be Useful.
"V. Jack, the Chimney Sweeper.
"VI. The Young Housekeeper.
"VII. Little Agnes.













117 Washington Street.






In another little book I have given you an account of Frankie when he was a baby, and have spoken of some things which he said and did when he began to talk and to walk.

In this book I shall tell you[8] more about him, and also about his cousin Nelly, who came to pass some months in his father's house, while her parents visited Europe.

Nelly was six years old, while Frankie was but just past his fourth birthday. Nelly was a pale, delicate child, with light flaxen hair, which curled in ringlets about her face. Her features were very small; but her eyes were bright and sparkling,[9] and her motions quick and graceful.

Sally, the nurse, used often to say that Nelly looked like the great wax dolls which were put up in the shop windows; but her cousin Willie laughed, and said, "Nelly flies about so, I can't tell what she does look like."

When Nelly was a baby, she had learned to suck her finger; and since that time she had never been taught to give up[10] the habit. Before her mother went to Europe, Mrs. Gray showed her that the poor little finger was wasting away, and would never grow like the others, unless Nelly would stop sucking it. But the lady only laughed, and said, "I have not the heart to forbid her, she takes such a world of comfort with it."

Mrs. Gray said no more, but she determined to break up the habit before Nelly left her.[11]

The little girl was to have a small room, opening out of her aunt's chamber. There her trunks were carried for Sally to unpack, and put the clothes into the wardrobe and drawers.

"Come in here!" said Nelly to her little cousin, "and we will take out the playthings. This trunk is full of them."

Frankie's eyes grew very round and large as Sally selected the right key, and displayed a[12] great variety of toys packed as closely as possible into the large trunk.

"Goodness me!" exclaimed nurse, holding up both hands. "Why, you'll be able to set up a toy shop, miss."

"I have more at home," said Nelly. "Maria couldn't get them all in."

Maria was the name of the colored woman who had taken care of Nelly ever since she was[13] a tiny baby. She had wished to come with her to Mrs. Gray's, and cried bitterly when she knew that she could not. But her aunt was sure that if Maria was there, Nelly would be too much indulged, that is, she would have her own way, and would be spoiled. She loved her little niece, and was sorry that her brother's wife did not take more pains to teach her little girl to be good and kind. She hoped Nelly would[14] learn, while her mother was away, to wait upon herself, and to be generous and truthful.

When Sally had unlocked the trunk of playthings for the little miss, she went on unpacking the other one. She took out the dresses, and laid them on the bed. There was a pink muslin, and a blue tarleton, and a white one with the skirt tucked up to the waist. Then there were two silks, and one or two delaines,[15] and ever so many French calicoes.

Mrs. Gray came in at this moment, and Sally exclaimed, "Where I am to put all these dresses, ma'am, is more than I can tell. The wardrobe won't hold half of them."

The lady glanced toward the bed, and said, "You may hang the best ones in the parlor-chamber closet."

By this time Frankie had[16] helped his cousin to take out the toys; and they were spread all over the floor, so that neither his mamma nor nurse could walk at all without stepping on them.

"Why, Nelly," said her aunt, "what a quantity of playthings you have there!"

"May we play with them here?" asked Frankie.

"I am afraid you will be in Sally's way," replied mamma.[17]

"She can wait, then, till we are done," said Nelly, taking up a large dolly.

"No," said her aunt; "nurse has a great deal to do; and first of all she wants to clear up this room. See how untidy it looks, with the clothes all lying about."

"Can't we go up in Willie's play room, then?" asked the little boy.

"Yes, my dear; there is a large case up there, which will[18] make a nice play house for Nelly. You can have one shelf for the parlor, and put these little sofas and chairs in it. Then have another for the closet, and set out the cups and saucers. You and your cousin may carry them up stairs; and when Margie comes home, she will love to help you arrange them."

"O mamma, see this pretty carriage!" cried Frankie.

"That's a pedler's wagon,"[19] said Nelly. "There is the front seat for him to sit on, and the top comes way over to keep off the rain. The horses can take out too. When I first had it, I used to play 'get to the tavern, and put them up in the barn.'"

"O Nelly!" exclaimed the little fellow, "let us play that as soon as we get up stairs."

"I'm tired," said Nelly, sitting down on the floor, and putting her finger in her mouth.[20]

"I'll carry the things up then," said Frankie, running into the next room for a basket. "See, I'm real strong."

"If you are tired, you had better go and lie down on the lounge," said her aunt.

"No," said Nelly; "I want to stay here, and see Sally put away my clothes."

Nurse did not take a fancy to the little girl; that was very plain. She kept muttering to herself all[21] the time she was arranging the drawers, and was quite vexed that her darling, as she called Frankie, should be doing the work while Nelly sat idly looking on.

At last, when her mistress had left the room, she asked, "Do you never work any, miss?"

Nelly shook her head.

"Well, I expect your aunt will teach you to wait upon yourself," said Sally; "you'd be[22] a great deal happier if you had something to do."

"Maria does every thing for me," said Nelly, still holding her finger in her mouth. "If I don't like to stay without her, I shall send for her to come. Mamma said I might."

"Indeed!" said nurse, laughing. "We'll see what your aunt says to that. Here, darling," she called out to Frankie, "let Sally help you carry that heavy[23] basket. I'm afraid you can't get it through the door alone."

"Yet I can," said Frankie, "cause I belong to the Try Company."

"I guess your cousin had better join it too," said nurse to herself.

Sitting and reading




"Mamma," said Frankie one day, "you promised to tell me a toly."

"So I did," said mamma; "and what shall it be about?"

"Bout Moses."

"Moses in the bulrushes?" asked mamma.

"No; bout Moses and the olange."[25]

The lady thought a minute before she could remember what he meant. Then she smiled, and said, "O, yes, I'll tell that. Do you like to hear stories, Nelly?" she asked.

"I don't know," answered Nelly. "Maria sometimes tells me pretty ones."

"Well, you may bring the cricket, and sit down by Frankie. I think you will like to hear about Moses," said aunty. "He[26] was just as old as you are, Nelly; and like you, he was an only child. His father and mother were very fond of him, and loved to do every thing to make him happy. I don't mean that they always let him have his own way, or allowed him to do what was wrong, for that would have made him grow very selfish and wicked.

"The day before he was six years old, his mother thought[27] she would let him have a party. So she asked his father to bring from the city some oranges, and figs, and nuts, that the little folks might have a feast.

"When papa had gone to town, which he did every day, because his store was there, she went to the kitchen, and helped the cook make some light sponge cake for Moses to have for his party.

"The little fellow knelt in a chair close by the table, and[28] watched her sift the sugar and beat the eggs; then, when she put in the lemon, and took a clean spoon to taste a little to know whether it was seasoned right, Moses said, 'I should like to taste too.'

"By and by the cake was done, and smelled so good that Moses asked for a piece; but his mother told him to wait until his cousins were there to eat it with him.[29]

"Then the carriage came up to the door, and James, the hostler, rung the bell to let his mistress know he was ready to drive her out. She dressed her little boy in his new suit, and told him he might go with her.

"They drove first to aunt Mary's, and mamma invited George and Walter, and little Katy. Then they went a mile farther, to uncle John's, where Susy, William, and Grace gladly promised[30] to come. On their way home, they called upon three of their neighbors, where the number was increased to eleven.

"When his father came home from the city, he brought a basket in one hand, and two large bundles under his other arm.

"Moses ran to meet him, and said, 'Let me carry the basket, papa. It isn't too heavy for me.'

"Before he put it on the table, he peeped in, and said, 'O, what[31] nice oranges, papa!' The little boy was very fond of oranges.

"That night Moses went to bed very happy. He longed for the time when his young companions would come, and lay awake nearly an hour, thinking what a very pleasant party his would be.

"The next morning he was up long before his mother, and ran down stairs to see if breakfast was ready. The table was[32] not yet laid; and he went into the large store closet to see where his mother had put the oranges and cake. There was the basket upon the first shelf, and on lifting the lid he saw that the oranges were still in it. How fresh and good they smelt! He put in his hand and took one out. 'O, what a large one!'

"The basket was so full, he thought there must be more[33] than twelve; so he stood up on a box, and began to count them. 'Yes, there are,' he said to himself; 'there are twelve, and one more.'

"Then he took the largest, and laid it on the next shelf, while he put the others back again into the basket, wishing all the time that he could have it for his own. He knew that he should have one at the party, but he couldn't wait. 'I want one now,' he said.[34]

"He sat down on the box, and began to smell the large orange which he had left out. Then he made a small hole in the peel, and began to suck the juice through it. It tasted so sweet, he could not get his mouth away. So he squeezed and sucked, and sucked and squeezed, until the juice was all gone, and nothing remained but the skin and the pulp.

"'O, dear! I'm sorry I've eaten it,' he whispered; 'I didn't[35] mean to. I only thought I would suck it a little. How quick it all came out!'

"Just then he heard cook come into the room to set the table for breakfast, and he knew his mother would soon be down. He began to be very unhappy, and to wish he were back again in his little bed. Then he remembered it was his birthday; but some how the thought of his party gave him no pleasure."[36]

"I guess Satan was whispering to him," said Frankie. "If I had been there, I would open the door, and say, 'Satan, go wight out.'"

"Who is Satan?" asked Nelly, who had been listening with great interest.

"Satan's naughty man," said Frankie. "He don't love good boys."

"He is the evil spirit," replied aunty, "who tries to make boys[37] and girls, and men and women too, behave naughty and sin against God."

"Does he live in Moses' house?" asked the little girl.

"He is every where, my dear," said the lady, "trying to make people do mischief. He was there in the closet with Moses, and when the little boy's naughty heart said, 'I would steal one of my mother's oranges and eat it,' he said, 'Yes; no one will know[38] it, and if your mother asks you about it, you can tell her a lie, and say you didn't touch it.'"

"I wouldn't take your olange, mamma," said Frankie, putting his arms round his mother's neck and kissing her. "I would ask you, 'May I?'"

At this moment a lady called to see mamma, and she said, "You may go and play now, and I will finish the story about Moses some other time."




That night Frankie was quite sick, and his mother, after being up with him several times, lay down by him in his trundle-bed. He was very much pleased at this, and put up his little hot hand on her face. The fever made him quite wakeful, and he wanted to talk. She began to repeat the little rhyme,[40]

"Once there was a little man,
Where a little river ran,"
when he said, "Mamma, please tell me 'bout heaven."

"Do you want to go to heaven?" she asked.

"Yes, mamma, when I die; but I can't go 'lone. I want you to go with me. Won't you please to ask God to let us take hold of hands and go wight up to heaven together. That would be a pretty way; wouldn't it?"[41]

Mrs. Gray bent over her darling boy and kissed his cheek. She whispered a prayer to God to preserve her dear child from death for a long time to come.

Pretty soon he spoke again: "How can you get up to heaven, mamma?"

"God will send his angels, my dear, and take me there."

"I 'fraid they can't lift you, mamma, you so heavy. But you can go up on the barn, and then[42] they can get you up there; can't they?" In a minute, he asked, "Does God have horses in heaven, mamma?"

Toward morning, he sank into a quiet sleep, and did not awake until Willie and Margie had gone to school. When he opened his eyes, his mamma was standing over him with a cup of milk and water in her hand.

"Frankie feel better," he said, starting up to receive her kiss.[43]

As he still felt weak, his mamma held him in her lap, where he could look at Ponto, who was washing his paws on the rug. Presently Nelly came in, carrying a wax doll nearly as large as herself. She was a little afraid of Ponto, and when he went and put his nose on her arm, and tried to lick her hand, she cried, "Get away, you ugly dog! I hate you, I do!" and she struck him with the doll.[44]

Ponto growled, and turned away to Frankie. The little fellow slipped down from his mother's lap, and clasped his arms around Ponto's neck. "O, you good dog," he said, "I love you, I do."

Ponto knew very well what this meant, and he rapped with his tail as hard as he could on the rug. Then Frankie made the dog lie down, and he laid his head upon him.[45]

Ponto was delighted to have his little master use him for a pillow; so he lay very still indeed. I suppose he thought Frankie wished to go to sleep.

Then Mrs. Gray told Nelly how the good dog had pulled Frankie out of the water, and how much they all loved him. But Nelly only said, "I hate dogs, I do, they're so ugly and cross;" and then she put her finger in her mouth again.[46]

"Mamma," said Frankie, "I want to hear 'bout Moses 'gen. Pease, mamma, tell me toly 'bout Moses."

"Well," said mamma, "I'll get my sewing and tell you the rest of the story." So Frankie lay with his head on Ponto, and listened to mamma. Nelly sat in her little chair, and sucked her finger and tended her doll. "I told you," said the lady, "that Moses began to wish he had not[47] touched the orange; but it was of no use to wish that now, for there it was all squeezed and sucked, and what should he do with it?

"When the cook had set the table, she rang the bell, and presently his father and mother came down to breakfast.

"'Where's Moses?' asked his mamma; 'I expected to find him at the table.'

"'He came down early,' said[48] the cook; 'but I have not seen him for a good while.'

"'Won't you see if he is out doors?' said the lady.

"Moses knew it was of no use for him to wait any longer; so he came out laughing.

"'Why, what were you doing, my dear?' asked the lady.

"'I was hiding,' said the boy."

"O, that was a naughty lie!" exclaimed Frankie.

"Yes, dear, when children do[49] one naughty thing, they almost always do another. Moses had stolen his mother's orange, and now he told a lie to hide it. His mother did not think he would act so wickedly. She asked, 'Do you remember, Moses, this is your birthday.'

"'Yes, mamma.'

"'You have a very pleasant day for your party,' said his father; and then Moses began to talk about what he should play[50] when his company came. 'Shall you have the supper first?' he asked.

"'No, my dear. I shall wait until you have played a while.'

"After breakfast the lady swept and dusted the parlors, to have them ready for the party. Then she sat down to her sewing, while she heard Moses read and spell. After this he went out doors to play with his hoop.

"In the middle of the afternoon[51] she began to arrange for her little feast. First, she took the nut-cracker and cracked the large walnuts, the almonds, and the filberts, and put them in the glass dishes ready to set them on the table. Then she cut the cake into square pieces, and grated sugar over them. After that, she put the figs into plates, and then brought out the basket of oranges.

"All this time, Moses had been[52] kneeling in his chair by the table, watching her as she worked. He looked very sober. He was thinking about the orange, and wished he had not taken it.

"When his mother began to take the oranges from the basket, he felt as if he should cry, he was so afraid she would find out what he had done.

"'Why,' said the lady to herself, 'here are only twelve. I asked him to get thirteen.' She[53] counted them over again. All at once she looked at Moses, and said, 'I hope you have not eaten one of mother's oranges, my dear.'

"'No,' said the little boy, 'I haven't touched one.'"

"O, dear!" said Frankie. "I'm afraid God won't love Moses any more, he is so naughty, and tells so many lies."

Frankie jumped up when he said this, and Ponto took the[54] opportunity to turn himself over. He had lain very still before, for fear of disturbing his little master.

"'What did you want thirteen for?' asked Moses. 'You said there would be twelve at the party.'

"'Because I meant to send one to Sarah Christie. Joseph and Belle are coming, but Sarah is sick, you know; so I meant to send her one. I suppose your[55] father forgot it; but I'm very sorry.'"

Mrs. Gray was going on to tell the rest of the story, but she saw that Frankie looked very pale, and she stopped.

"I want to womit," said he, and she ran quickly to get the bowl. Then she gave him some medicine, and put him into bed, while she sent Nelly to play out doors until he awoke.




In a few days Frankie was quite well again, and able to play merrily with Nelly, who had sadly missed him in her out-door exercise.

The little girl had not been long with her aunt before the lady saw that the right training of her niece would require much skill and patience. Nelly had[57] never been taught to obey, and could not be made to understand why she should not have her own way, as she had done at home. There was another thing which made her aunt feel very badly. She found that, young as Nelly was, she had already learned to deceive, and no one could trust her word a moment. Then she was selfish, and while she would not oblige her cousins by lending them her books or[58] toys, she was very angry if they did not at once yield theirs to her, when she asked for them.

She was so pert and uncivil in her talk, that Sally, and even Jane, disliked to have her about; and at last her aunt was obliged to shut her in her own room, she spoke so impudently to the servants. Instead of asking the nurse to do her a favor, as the other children did, she used to say, "Go right up stairs quick,[59] Sally, and get my bonnet;" and once, when Sally did not start, she said, "You're an ugly girl," and struck her in the face.

Nurse started forward to hold her hands, when at this moment Mrs. Gray entered the room.

Nelly was ashamed that her aunt had heard her, for she loved her aunt better than any one in the house; but when the lady took her hand firmly to lead her up stairs, she screamed and struggled[60] to get away. "I don't like to stay here," she cried; "this is an ugly house. I wish my mamma would come home and take me away."

Mrs. Gray led her to a chair in her own room, and going out locked the door after her. But Nelly kicked and pounded the door so hard, and threw over the chairs, that her aunt was obliged to call Sally to help her tie the naughty girl to a chair.[61]

She was very sorry to do this, and the tears were in her eyes; but Sally was right glad to have the child punished as she deserved. Indeed, she had told Jane the day before that she did not see how mistress had so much patience with the naughty child.

Mrs. Gray did not intend to hurt Nelly. She only meant to fasten her hands and feet to the chair so as to prevent her doing[62] any more mischief. She took large towels from the washstand to do this; but Nelly kicked and screamed, and at last made a great scratch on her aunt's face. After that Sally took the child in her arms, and held her so tight she could not move.

When they had fastened her firmly to her seat, they went out, and left her to think of her bad conduct.

Mrs. Gray went into her closet,[63] and asked God to direct her what to do in order to make Nelly a good, obedient child.

After an hour she went back, and said, "Are you sorry, my dear, that you have been so naughty?"

"I don't love you. I want to go to Maria," was the only reply.

Her aunt sighed, when she found the little girl was not at all subdued, and she went out again.[64]

If Nelly could have put her finger in her mouth, it would have been no punishment for her to stay there, for she could lie back in the chair and go to sleep.

When her uncle came home to dinner, he found Willie, and Frankie, and mamma, sitting silent and sad in the parlor, while from above stairs came the sound of loud and angry crying. The lady wept as she told her husband[65] how naughty Nelly had behaved. "I had no idea," she said, "that she had so bad a temper."

"Shall I go up and talk with her?" asked the gentleman.

"If you think it best," replied mamma; "but I fear it will do no good. I have already been to her three times."

"Well, perhaps I had better leave her with you, then. I hope this will be a good lesson to her."[66]

After dinner, Mrs. Gray carried a plate full of pudding to Nelly, and offered to feed her with it; but the stubborn child refused to eat. She made up faces at her aunt, and said many naughty words, which I should not want any little boy or girl to hear.

The lady came out of her room looking very pale and anxious, and at last began to cry. She was quite discouraged, and[67] thought she would write to her brother, and tell him she could do nothing with his child. But if I do so, she thought, Nelly will be ruined. If she grows up with such a bad temper, is so untruthful and selfish, she will be a trial to herself and to her parents; and what is more than that, she can never have the blessing of God. "I will not give up yet," she said, aloud. "I will try her a little longer."[68]

She then went down stairs, and told Frankie he might go out doors and play with his wheel-barrow; but the little fellow said, "I want to stay with you, mamma. Nelly makes my head ache." Poor child, he did not feel like play while his cousin was so naughty.

It was almost time for tea, when the lady, having once more asked God to direct her, entered the little chamber where[69] her niece was sitting. Nelly was quiet now; but her lips stuck out with an ugly pout.

"My dear child," said the lady, sitting down near her, "it makes us all very unhappy to have you up here by yourself, when you might be playing and enjoying yourself with your cousins. When you came to live with us, we thought it was so pleasant to have a dear little girl running and dancing about the house![70] But now it seems sad because we know by your naughty temper you have not only offended us, but you have displeased God. I wish you would let me untie your hands, and see you my darling little Nelly once more."

"I'm sorry now," said Nelly, her lip quivering. "I will be good, aunty." The tears ran down the little girl's cheeks, but this time they were not angry tears.[71]

Her aunt made haste to untie the towels, and took Nelly in her arms.

"I love you now," sobbed Nelly; "I love you dearly."

"And I love you, my dear, or I could not have kept you here so long," said her aunt, kissing her again and again. "I came a great many times to the door, and longed to take you from this great chair, and hear your happy voice once more; but I[72] knew it would be wrong in me to do so until you were ready to say you were sorry, and to promise to be a good girl. You have offended God, my dear child. Shall I ask him to forgive you?"

"Yes, aunty."

Mrs. Gray then knelt with Nelly by the chair, and prayed God to forgive all her sins, and to help her to keep her new resolution to be good.




After tea Nelly had a fine romp with her cousins on the lawn. Margie and Ponto were there too; and papa and mamma sat on the front steps, laughing and enjoying their sport. As the children ran round and round, the lady saw that Nelly's apron was unbuttoned, and that it troubled her as she played.[74] She called, "Nelly, come here a minute."

The little girl stopped at once, and then ran to her aunt. Before this, when any one called her, she would say, "I can't come now;" or, "In a minute I will." The lady was very much pleased to see that the child obeyed promptly. When she had fastened the apron, Nelly clasped her arms about her aunt's neck, and kissed her. Her uncle smiled,[75] and said, "You look very happy now, Nelly; I wish your mamma could see your rosy cheeks."

"Come, Nelly, it's your turn now," shouted Willie from the lawn.

A few days after this, Mrs. Gray sat busily sewing, while Frankie made a barn with his blocks, in which to put up the pedler's cart, and Nelly was undressing her doll. The sleeve did not come off easily, and as[76] she pulled it roughly it tore. The little girl was angry, and began to cry.

"What is the matter?" asked her aunt.

"Dolly's dress is ugly, and it's all torn."

"Should you like to have a needle, and mend it, my dear?"

"O, yes, aunty."

"May I sew some too?" asked Frankie.

"Yes, darling, you may mend[77] this stocking." She then threaded a needle for the little girl, and showed her how to put the stitches through, and afterwards gave Frankie a darning needle with some yarn. He had often sewed before, and he liked the business very much. There was no knot in the thread, and so he pulled it through and through. But he thought it was sewing for all that.

Nelly sat steadily at her work[78] for a minute; but at last she threw it on the floor, and said, "I hate sewing, it's so hard."

"Let me see it, dear," said aunty.

Nelly picked it up, and put it into her hand.

She laughed when she looked at it, and Nelly laughed too; and then Frankie said, "O, what funny sewing!"

"I'll baste you some easier work," said her aunt; "and you[79] shall have a little thimble to put on your finger. Then you will like to sew."

Nelly had behaved much better since she was punished, so that her uncle, aunt, and cousins loved her better than ever. Still there were many things in which they hoped she would improve.

One day her aunt found her sitting on the piazza alone, eating something, and as soon as she[80] saw some one coming, she put it hastily in her pocket. It was not more than an hour before she complained of a bad pain in her stomach.

"What have you been eating, my dear?" asked her aunt.

"Nothing," said Nelly.

"Are you sure?" and the lady looked earnestly in her face.

"Yes, I am very sure," answered Nelly.

Mrs. Gray sent Sally for some[81] warm peppermint water, and then laid the child on the lounge.

For some time she lay quite still, sucking her finger; but when her aunt glanced toward her to see if she were asleep, she noticed that Nelly looked very pale about the mouth; and presently she jumped up, and carried her to the closet, where she threw up a great quantity of raisins, which she had stolen from her aunt's box.[82]

She continued very sick all that night, and in the morning the doctor came, and said she must take a large dose of castor oil.

The sight of oil always made the lady very sick, and so her uncle said he would give it to her. He poured it out, and mixed it with a little hot milk, and held it to her lips. But she would not take it. He tried to persuade her, promised her a[83] ride, told her she would be very sick if she did not obey the doctor, but all was of no use. She shut her teeth, and would not touch it.

Then Sally tried her skill. "I'll make your great dolly a new dress," she said; "come, now, be a good girl, and then I'll tell you how Frankie took his medicine." It was all in vain; Nelly still shook her head, and refused to obey.[84]

Mrs. Gray then took the child in her lap, and spread a large cloth under her chin, at the same time telling Sally to bring a cup of blackberry jelly from the store closet. "Now, my little Nelly," she said, "you must take this to make you well. If you will open your mouth and swallow it all down like a good girl, I will give you some nice jelly to take the taste out, for it is very bad. But if you don't[85] take it before I count three, I shall hold you and force it down your throat."

Then she began to count,—"one, two,"—but before she could say three, Nelly caught the spoon and swallowed the medicine, and then took some jelly so quickly, that she hardly tasted the oil.

"That was a right good girl," said her uncle. "I couldn't have taken it any better myself."[86]

When Nelly was well, her aunt kindly talked with her of the great sin which she had committed. "You have done just as naughty Moses did," she said. "First, you stole the raisins, as he stole the orange; and then you told a wicked lie to hide it from me, as he did to hide his sin from his mother." Then she told Nelly, "God hears all we say, and sees all we do. We can hide nothing from him;[87] and he says in his holy book, 'liars shall have their portion in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.'"

Nelly cried; and promised over and over again to be a good girl, and she really tried to improve. She saw how happy her cousins were, and how every body loved them, and she said to herself, "I mean to try to be just as good as I can."




When little girls or boys try to do right, every body loves to help them. Mrs. Gray knew that for six years her little niece had been indulged in every wish, and that she had never been taught to restrain her ill humor. She could not, therefore, expect her to be cured at once of all her bad habits; but she was[89] much pleased to see that Nelly grew every day more amiable, more ready to give up her own wishes, and to try to make others happy. Sometimes, in playing with Frankie, she would forget, and say an unkind word; but the moment she saw the eye of her aunt fixed mournfully upon her, she would say, "I'm sorry, Frankie."

When she said this, the dear child always put up his little red[90] lips to kiss her, and say, "I sorry, too, Nelly." Sometimes he would add, "God is sorry, too."

It was very rainy one morning, and the children were obliged to keep in doors. Frankie had for some time been amusing himself by hiding a ball, which he made Ponto find and bring to him in his teeth, while Nelly shouted and danced at every new discovery, saying "I never saw such a funny dog before."[91]

At last they grew tired of this, and even Ponto began to think they had played this game quite long enough; so Frankie sat down on the floor, and putting one arm around the dog's neck, said, "Mamma, I want to hear a toly."

"You said some time you would tell us some more about Moses," exclaimed Nelly.

"So I will," said mamma. "I told you that his mother counted the oranges, and found there were[92] but twelve. 'I'm sorry,' she said to Moses, 'because I wanted one for Sarah Christie; but I suppose your father forgot to get it, and I'll send her one another time.'

"'You can give her some figs,' said Moses.

"'So I can,' replied his mother; and then she went on cutting the peel and tearing it down a little way, so that, when they were put into the large glass dish, they looked like great yellow flowers.[93]

"'O, how pretty they are!' said Moses.

"His mother then set all the dishes on the sideboard, and covered them over with a clean table cloth. After tea, she said, 'I will set them out on the table, and then when the children have done playing, they can come here and eat them.'

"When Moses' father came home from the city, the lady said, 'I'm sorry you forgot to[94] get thirteen oranges. There were only twelve in the basket.'

"'There were thirteen when I brought them home,' said papa; 'I am sure of it, because I counted them myself, and they were nice ones too; I had to give three cents apiece for them, though they are quite plenty now.'

"'I don't know where the other can have gone,' said mamma, looking very sober, as a painful suspicion flashed through her.[95]

"'I hope Moses wouldn't take one without leave,' said the gentleman.

"'I asked him,' replied mamma, 'and he said he hadn't touched them.'

"'Where is he?' asked papa, 'I will ask him. I don't care at all about the orange, because I can easily get another; but somebody must have taken it, and I am afraid it was our little boy.' The gentleman then[96] went to the door and called, 'Moses! Moses!'

"Presently Moses came, and his father took him in his lap, and said, 'Tell me, my dear, have you taken an orange from the basket?'

"'No, papa,' said the boy, his face growing very red. 'I told mamma I hadn't touched them.'

"The gentleman couldn't think that his darling child would tell a lie; so he put him down to the[97] floor, and inquired, 'Have you asked cook?'

"'No,' said mamma; 'I am quite sure she wouldn't meddle with my things.'

"'Just then, cook came in with the cloth for supper, and mamma said to Moses, 'I shall have time, I think, to dress you before tea. Run up quick to my room, and I will get a clean ruffle, and baste it in your new sack."

"While she was doing this, he[98] pulled off his sack and pantaloons that he had worn every day, and threw them on the floor. Then his mother washed his face, and neck, and arms, and hands, very clean, and brushed his hair smoothly off his forehead, so that he looked very nicely indeed. And all the time Moses was talking about his party, and telling what a pleasant time he should have.

"'It's your birthday,' said his[99] mother, kissing him, 'and you must remember to be a very good boy. Be kind to your dear little cousins and playmates, and let them play with any of your toys. Here, let me hang up your clothes, and we will go down to tea.'

"She took the pantaloons from the floor, and said, 'Why, Moses, what have you stuffed into your pocket? Here is your handkerchief wet through.' She[100] pulled out first an India rubber ball, and then—O, what do you think?—why, the lost orange, all sucked and gone except the peel.

"'O Moses!' was all the poor mother could say. She sank into a chair, and covered her face with her hands; but the tears trickled down through her fingers.

"The little boy began to cry; he wished his mother had not found him out, because it made[101] her feel so badly. Presently the tea bell rang; but the lady never stirred from her seat. She was mourning over her son, and thinking what she ought to do to punish him for his great sin.

"'Supper is ready,' called out papa from the stairs.

"'Don't wait for me,' answered the lady; 'I can't go down.'

"'What is the matter?' asked the gentleman, springing up the stairs and coming into the room.[102]

"Mamma began to weep again. She could not speak, but she held up the skin of the orange, and glanced toward Moses, who was sitting in a chair by himself crying bitterly.

"'So he did take it, after all,' said papa, in a stern voice.

"'I'm sorry, papa,' sobbed the boy.

"'What a wicked boy you must be, to steal and lie, and on your birthday too,' said his[103] father, 'when we were trying to make you so happy!'

"'I never will do so again,' said Moses.

"'You must be punished, so that you will remember it,' said his father.

"'Stay here,' said his mother; 'I will send cook up with some supper for you.'"




"She sat down at the table, and poured the tea, but she could not eat. Her heart was too sorrowful. She arose, and returned to the chamber, where Moses was eating a slice of bread and butter. When he had finished it, she said, 'Wipe your hands on the towel, and take off your clothes.'[105]

"'Are you going to whip me, mamma? I never will be so naughty again,' exclaimed the boy, beginning to cry louder than ever.

"'No,' said his mother, 'I am going to put you to bed.'

"'I can't see my party, then,' screamed Moses, catching hold of his mother's dress.

"'Nor eat any of the good things, my child. You have been a wicked boy, and broken[106] God's holy commands; and I must punish you. You don't know how you've made mother's heart ache,' said the lady, trying to keep back her tears. 'I did not think you could be so naughty. When I know how displeased the dear Saviour must be, I tremble for you.'

"'I didn't mean to eat the orange, mamma; it smelled so good, I only thought I would suck it a little.'[107]

"'If you had told me that at first, I would gladly have forgiven you,' said mamma; 'but you told wicked lies to hide your sin. You forgot that God was looking at you all the time, and knew all that was in your heart. You must pray to him to forgive you, and to make you a good boy.'

"Moses cried so that he could hardly stand. His mother took off his clothes, put on his night[108] gown, and helped him into bed. Then she knelt by his bed side, and prayed that the means used to punish him might help him to remember what a great sin lying is. She asked God to forgive him, and help him from that hour to be an honest, truthful boy.

"Moses slept in a small room, next to her own, and as the lady thought some of the little party might run up there, she locked[109] the door, and went herself down the back way.

"Pretty soon the bell rang, and Moses stopped crying to listen. He heard happy voices of children running through the hall. Then they asked, 'Where's Moses?' But he could not hear what his mother answered.

"In a few minutes a carriage drove up, and there was another ring of the bell. This time it was his cousins, and he heard[110] them laughing and talking together.

"Before half an hour all the company had assembled. Some of the little girls went up to the front room, and he could hear his mother's voice as she went with them. She was talking very kindly, but he thought she did not feel happy, it was so sad.

"O, what a long evening that was! He could not go to sleep, for every few minutes there was[111] a merry burst of laughter from the room below; and he knew that his papa was teaching them some pretty games. Every time he heard this he began to cry again. And then he wondered whether his mother would tell them why he was not there, and what they would say.

"At last he heard them all walk out into the dining room, and papa's voice saying, 'I will take Katy because she is the[112] youngest.' Now he knew they were going to sit at table and eat the nice fruit.

"'O, dear!' he sobbed, 'how sorry I am!' And then, for the first time, he began to think how wicked it was to deceive his dear parents, who had been so kind to him all his life. 'I made mamma cry,' he said softly. 'I'm sorry for that, too.'

"As soon as Satan heard Moses say that, he ran away and[113] hid; and the good Spirit came, and whispered to Moses, and presently he got out of his bed, and knelt down by his low chair, and prayed softly. But Jesus heard what he said, and looked into his heart, and saw he was really sorry he had been a wicked boy, and then God forgave him.

"Pretty soon the children all came rushing up the stairs to put on their clothes, for the carriages[114] had come to take them home. Moses was not crying now. He lay quiet and still; and he heard them say, 'Good by! good by! Please give my love to Moses;' and then the door was shut, and the house all still again.

"When mamma came up stairs she carried the light into her little boy's room to see if he was awake. His eyes were wide open, and as soon as he saw her, he[115] said, 'You might give my orange to Sarah Christie, mamma, because I wasn't down there to eat it.'

"Then mamma put up her handkerchief quick to wipe the tears from her eyes; and she went up to the bed and kissed her boy, for she knew that he had repented of his sin.

"'I am sorry, very sorry,' he said, pulling her face down to his; 'I prayed hard to God to[116] forgive me, and make me good. Will you forgive me, mamma?'

"'Yes, my darling. I will gladly forgive you, and I hope this may be a lesson to you as long as you live.'"

Nelly looked very sober while her aunt was telling this story. She began to see how naughty she had been, and to hope that God would forgive her too.

As soon as his mother had finished, Frankie said, "O, I'm[117] so glad Moses became a good boy! Did he ever steal or tell lies again?"

"No, my dear, I am happy to tell you that from the hour when he so heartily repented of his great sin, and so earnestly asked God to forgive him, he became an honest and truthful boy. But I have talked a long time, and can only add one incident, which occurred nearly six months later than the birthday party.[118]

"Moses had a cousin whose name was Eugene. He lived in a city many hundred miles distant. He was also an only child; but unlike Moses, he had been foolishly indulged in every desire of his heart, until he had become exceedingly selfish, wilful, and passionate. Eugene accompanied his parents on a visit to his aunt, and though younger than his cousin, began at once to tyrannize over him.[119]

"One day a loud cry was heard from the play room, and presently Eugene came running to his mother, complaining that Moses had broken his little wagon, and then had struck him with his Indian bow.

"'How is this, Moses?' asked his mother; 'did you strike your cousin?'

"The little fellow fixed his large, earnest eyes full upon hers, as he exclaimed, 'O, no,[120] indeed, mother! Eugene knows I did not touch him. We were playing together, when the wagon wheel hit the trunk and broke it. Then he got angry, and pinched me on my arm.

"'I don't mind that,' he added, as his aunt pointed to a large red spot near his elbow; 'but I'm dreadfully sorry he didn't tell the truth.'"

Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Page 108, word "to" added to text (next to her own)