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Title: The Friends; or, The Triumph of Innocence over False Charges

Author: Unknown

Release date: November 14, 2013 [eBook #44178]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Chris Curnow, Sue Fleming and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive)



Chapter I   4
Chap. II   17
Chap. III   30
Chap. IV   48
Chap. V   74


--'may Heaven bless & direct you'! 3
Henry & George visiting the poor Cottager 56
--its all found out!--the thief is found out. 75
'What shall I do? I will leave the School' 91

page 11.
—"may Heaven bless & direct you"!

London, Published by Harvey & Darton, 56 Gracechurch Street,
10th Dec. 1822.






A Tale,









In one of the pleasant villages in the beautiful county of Kent, was situated a boarding-school of considerable celebrity. It had, for many years, been distinguished for possessing an excellent master, in the person of the Rev. Dr. Harris, who, by his amiable manners and sound knowledge, had obtained the friendship of the surrounding gentry; while his fatherly interest in behalf of the affairs of the poor, caused him to be universally beloved. He was curate of [4]the parish, as well as school-master; and his parishioners and scholars were alike the objects of his tender regard and anxious solicitude.

His family consisted of a wife and two daughters, who were equally respected by all who had the pleasure of their acquaintance. Mrs. Harris was, indeed, every way worthy of her amiable partner; and her greatest pleasure consisted in doing good. Although frequently herself in a very weak state of health; yet, neither the inclemency of the weather, nor the distance, deterred her from going, in person, to visit, to comfort, and to assist those of her fellow-creatures who were in distress. It was quite enough for her to know that any of her poorer neighbours were in want, to command her immediate aid; and, by thus setting them a good Christian example, she was better enabled [5]to assist her amiable husband in enforcing the mild and wholesome doctrines of religion.

Her lovely daughters, too, Juliana and Eliza, were of sufficient ages to be her companions in these charitable visits; and their hearts panted for the power to do good, and longed to receive and to deserve such blessings as were bestowed, with grateful lips, upon their beloved mother, whenever she passed the cottages of the poor. They pitied their wants and sufferings, and participated and rejoiced in their happiness; and frequently expressed a desire for riches, to enable them to relieve their misfortunes. Upon such occasions, Mrs. Harris never failed to impress upon their young minds this valuable truth: that wealth does not always afford the best means of doing good. She used to say, that those children who sincerely wish to do an [6]act of charity, seldom want the means of doing something to relieve the necessities and soothe the afflictions of those who are pining in wretchedness; for even a kind consoling word, with a very little personal attention, was often esteemed more valuable, and even proved to be more useful, than money, to those whose spirits as well as bodies were pressed down by distress. Added to this advice, this excellent lady seldom let an opportunity pass of enforcing the most strict and pious attention to their religious duties. Her motto was:

"Teach me to feel another's woe,
To hide the fault I see:
That mercy I to others show,
That mercy show to me."

The school was at the extremity of the village, and attached to the parsonage-house. [7]The situation was retired and beautiful. At a little distance stood the village church, in all its ancient simplicity, except that it had, for some years, been nearly covered with ivy; the most pleasing decoration that it is possible for Nature to bestow upon a country place of worship. Its green and glossy leaf, whether viewed by the soft glow of moon-light, or by the broad glare of sun-shine, is always an object of admiration.

The number of scholars was about forty; and in this, as in other schools, boys of various dispositions were to be found. Some possessed all the good temper and vivacity that could be wished; and their faults were seldom of so serious a nature as to demand more than a slight reproof: while others were morose, passionate, envious, and disobliging; imposing upon their [8]younger school-fellows at every opportunity, and perplexing those of their own age by frequent interruptions in their sports and lessons.

Amongst the number of those who were generally beloved by their school-fellows, were Henry Wardour and George Harrington, the sons of two respectable tradesmen, who were partners in a very lucrative business in London. George had been so unfortunate as to lose his mamma when he was scarcely five years of age; and as he was the only child, Mrs. Wardour, who had always entertained great esteem for his parents, requested of his papa to allow her the pleasure of instructing him with her son Henry. To an offer so kind and advantageous, Mr. Harrington could have no objection; but fearing that the task would become irksome, and be too great an exertion for his [9]friend, he endeavoured to persuade her from her purpose; when she replied: "The trouble, Sir, I beg you will not think about: it will be nothing. While teaching my own son, I shall feel a pleasure in imparting the same instruction to yours. Besides, I promised my dear friend Mrs. H. when on her death-bed, that I would be a parent to her son; therefore, Sir, I beg you will grant my request." Mr. Harrington consented, and deferred his plan of sending George to a preparatory school; and he was admitted at once into the house of Mrs. Wardour.

Henry, who was about eight months older than his friend, looked upon this arrangement with unusual joy. As he had no brother, George had hitherto been his frequent play-fellow; and the knowledge that he was now [10]about to live in the same house, to eat, drink, sleep, and play with him, gave him a pleasure which he had never before felt.

Thus, from so early an association, their friendship became deeply rooted; and as Mrs. Wardour was a lady well qualified for the task she had imposed upon herself, the lads made considerable progress in their education, and continued to do so until they were eleven or twelve years of age, when their kind preceptress was attacked with a severe sickness. In this state she had continued upwards of a month, when her husband, seeing no immediate prospect of her recovery, and fearing the lads might lose all the learning they had received while under her care, prevailed upon her to let them be sent to school. To this she at length consented; and the school of Dr. Harris having been [11]strongly recommended, they were put under the superintendence of that gentleman.

Before leaving home, however, their parents gave them their parting blessing; and Mr. Wardour, pressing them affectionately by the hand, told them they were now about to begin a little world for themselves: "therefore," said he, in an earnest and impressive manner, "may Heaven bless and direct all your actions, so that you may grow up to be honest, brave, and good men. And remember well what I now say: if ever I hear that you are quarrelsome, you will displease me much; but if I find that you are unjust in your dealings towards your school-fellows, I shall punish you severely. Above all, be friends to one another." With this advice, and a determination to attend to it, our little friends bid their parents farewell.


The dispositions of Henry and George were somewhat different, and yet they continued to be sincere friends. Henry was mild, good-natured, and patient. George was good-natured, but hasty and passionate; and though Mrs. Wardour took great pains to impress upon his youthful mind the danger he was continually in, from not being able to control his temper, she never succeeded in teaching him that mildness so much admired in her own son. But in every other respect he was truly amiable; and if, in his passion, he was ever led into any serious error, he never failed to beg pardon of those whom he had offended, and always made every amends in his power.

By this failing in George's temper, Henry was too frequently a sufferer; for he was always obliged to give up whatever play-things [13]the other wished for, which he generally did with readiness and good temper, although he was oldest of the two. But this was only the case when they were very young; for, from the time that they had left home, and had been put under the care of Dr. Harris, they were, if possible, greater friends than ever; and George had so far succeeded in mastering his temper, as seldom to be in a passion, and never with his friend Henry. He still, however, possessed that nobleness and high spirit, which mostly checked him in doing a wrong action, and always prompted him to interfere in behalf of any of his school-fellows whom he thought were unjustly treated; in which he was ably seconded by his friend Henry.

In personal appearance there was little similarity. Henry was weak, pale, and delicate: [14]George, strong, fresh-coloured, and vigorous. Many a time had Mrs. Wardour watched over her weakly but truly beautiful boy, with an anxious eye, fearing that she should never be able to rear him to manhood. But since he had been with Dr. Harris, his health had much improved. His face, which had before been pale, was now tanned with the heat of the sun; and the fresh country air had given an additional brightness to his fine dark eyes: while the healthy round face, and plump appearance of George, seemed to improve in a like degree.

In short, these boys, by their politeness and good-nature, rather than by their appearance, were beloved by all their school-fellows, except a few of the malicious, envious dispositions, who only disliked them because they sometimes [15]resisted their impositions, and detected their falsehoods.

With their master's family they were also more intimate; and though Dr. Harris never made any distinction, or showed any partiality to one boy more than to another, yet it was not so with his two daughters, Juliana and Eliza. They had their favourites; and though Henry and George were nearly the last comers, and had not been more than three months in the school, they had so won upon the young ladies, (who were nearly of the same age as themselves,) by their cheerfulness, and polite attention in gathering pretty flowers, cleaning their bird-cages, &c. as to be their decided favourites.

Mrs. Harris had also entertained a regard for Henry, from the moment she first saw him, as he strongly resembled a late son of hers, [16]who was unfortunately drowned when about his age.

And it was well for Henry that he possessed so many friends; for in the difficulties he afterwards had to contend with, he stood in great need of them; and as my little readers are now pretty well acquainted with their characters, they shall hear in what those difficulties consisted. But before entering upon the principal circumstances in this little history, it will be necessary to acquaint my young friends with a trifling affair that took place about a month or six weeks after the arrival of Henry and George. By their interference upon this occasion, they put an end to an evil, a species of fagging, which had been practised unknown to the master; while they at the same time roused the bad dispositions of some of the elder boys, as will be seen in the sequel.



It had been a custom in Dr. Harris's school to admit an aged woman, once a week, to call with cakes, lozenges, and other sweetmeats; and as she was very poor, each lad was allowed, and indeed expected, to lay out a penny with her. This they did very willingly, not merely because she generally had a good assortment of those things which little boys are fond of, but because she was cheerful, civil, and obliging; and frequently took in good part, the tricks they so often played upon her. She used also to bring her grand-daughter Emma [18]with her, for the purpose of taking the money, and carrying her basket, which was a pleasing duty to this little girl, for she dearly loved her grandmother.

This well-intended plan of compelling the boys to spend their money in the school-room, though of benefit to Dame Higgins, (for that was her name,) at length caused a violent irruption, by giving the elder boys an opportunity of imposing upon the younger ones; when, if they had been allowed to have spent their half-pence in the village, they might have evaded the impost which was laid upon them. The old woman used to arrive regularly every Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, which were half-holidays; and Dr. Harris, fearing that if all were admitted at one time, she might be confused, had ordered that they should pro[19]ceed by rotation, but only six at a time; consequently, the biggest boys always entered first, and then waited at the other door till the rest came out with their cakes, fruit, or sweetmeats. Now, so much power had the elder boys, (particularly Brown, Greene, and Walker,) over the rest, that they regularly exacted from them either a plum, a cake, a pear, or something of what they had purchased.

Soon after Henry and George had arrived at the school, and they were passing through the door which led into the play-ground, with their cakes, they were stopped, amongst the rest, and asked by Walker for a bit of something; and as they saw most of the boys gave one thing or other, and being themselves good-natured, they readily bestowed their portion; and this was repeated for three or four weeks.


About this time little Ned Hooper, a lad much liked by most of the boys for his mirth and good humour, came up to George, with a tear in his eye, and said, "Look here! see what these fellows have left me, out of what I bought: they have taken above half," added he, showing a few lozenges, "and all because I said they ought to be ashamed of themselves for so doing."

"Ashamed, indeed!" cried George, with indignation; "and are those all they have left you?"

"Yes; and they had as many from me last week, but I did not say any thing about it," said Ned.

"Why did you give them any this week, if they had so many from you the week before?" asked Henry.


"Because I am not strong enough to prevent them, or they should not have one from me. But it is so with all us little boys. They take some of our gingerbread or fruit from us every week." And he then walked away crying.

Some of the other boys who stood round, confirmed what little Ned had said, and told George and Henry that they would be obliged to submit to the same, as long as those tyrants were in the school; for they had taken from them ever since they had been there. They then went and fetched little Ned, who had just finished the lozenges they had left him, and then cheerfully joined in the play as though nothing had happened.

Not so our two young friends, who were much hurt to see their little school-fellows imposed upon; and endeavoured to find out some [22]plan by which they might put an end to so shameful a practice. They at first thought of offering them a certain quantity from amongst all the boys; but afterwards determined upon stopping it altogether, by a combination amongst their school-fellows. "For why," said George, in an animated tone, "should one boy be allowed to act unjustly towards another, merely because he is older or stronger? It is 'might overcoming right;' and therefore I think we should be justified in resisting these tyrants, as they are properly called, by every means in our power."

They then joined the rest at play, having resolved to make them acquainted with their determination before the next arrival of Dame Higgins.

This opportunity soon offered; for about four o'clock the same afternoon, Greene, [23]Walker, Brown, and those with whom they generally associated, left the school to take a walk through the town. Henry observed all the boys whom he had seen at the door, when they passed with their cakes, leave the play-ground; and mentioned to his friend George, that it would be a good time to ask their school-fellows whether they would join in their resistance. Henry, therefore, collected them together; and George informed them that he had a plan to submit, how they might preserve their cakes from the tyrants; which occasioned an expression of great joy among the little boys, who thought they saw in their two new school-fellows, worthy and trusty champions.

"What is it?" "How shall we do it?" was asked by many an anxious and eager boy, who [24]had long wished to have some one whom they might look up to as their leader.

"Why, we were thinking," said George, "that it is a shameful thing for so many of us to submit to be robbed by so small a number of boys, merely because they are a little bigger than ourselves; and therefore Henry and I have determined to refuse giving another cake or sweetmeat, provided you will support us."

"We will, we will," they cried. "And they shall soon find out they are not to rob us when they please," cried little Ned. "But how do you intend to do it," he asked, laying hold of George's hand.

"Why to-morrow," said he, "Dame Higgins will be here again; and I have no doubt but that the same demand will be made of us as heretofore; but Henry and myself, with some [25]others, will immediately follow them, and when they make their request, we will refuse to comply, and hold them at bay till the rest arrive, when we will boldly resist, and force our way into the play-ground."

To this plan their school-fellows readily assented, and promised not to say a word about it, for fear they should make the tyrants acquainted with their intention. They then went to their sports, which were not unfrequently interrupted in their progress by the consideration of their forthcoming resistance.

At length the important day arrived, which, as usual, brought Dame Higgins to the school. The morning had passed in rather a confused manner; and a constant buzzing and whispering was heard throughout the little assembly. "I don't mind a thrashing," said little Ned, in [26]a whisper to George, "if I can preserve my cakes, and disappoint those greedy fellows." He had no sooner uttered the words, than the well-known voice of Dame Higgins was heard, and his determination was put to the test; for the elder boys hastened, as usual, to her basket, purchased what they wanted, and took their stations at the next door. Henry, George, and Ned, accompanied by three of the most resolute boys, immediately followed, and, as was agreed upon, refused to give a single sweetmeat; they were therefore stopped in their passage through the room, when they were happily joined by their comrades. They now determined to force their way through, and had just made a grand rush, when, to their surprise and mortification, Dr. Harris appeared before them. They shrunk back with amazement: Greene and his com[27]panions through shame, and Henry and his friends from fear.

The Doctor seeing their confusion, called upon Greene, who was the eldest boy, to explain the cause of it; but Greene was silent. "What is the reason of this disturbance?" he again asked. "I insist upon knowing. Some one tell me immediately."

Henry, who was not at all desirous of informing Dr. Harris of the affair, would now willingly have made his retreat, had not little Ned, with some others, stepped forward at the time, which reminded him it was their cause, and not his own, that he was to plead. The master now mentioned his name, and demanded of him the cause of the riot. He therefore plainly stated the case, and told every thing [28]connected with it; and when he had finished, many a little boy took courage to tell his piteous tale, of what he had lost by the tyranny of the elder scholars, and begged their master would prevent it in future.

"As to the cakes," said little Ned, (taking off the hairy cap he used to wear, and looking at Dr. Harris as seriously as his little merry face would allow,) "as to the cakes, I'll be bound to say, there are as many in their boxes as would fill a cake-shop."

The boxes were immediately searched, and although not quite so many were found as little Ned supposed, yet there were sufficient to convince their master of the truth of the statement he had just heard. He therefore gave them a severe punishment, in the pre[29]sence of the little boys whom they had been so long in the habit of ill-treating; and distributed all the apples, sweetmeats, and other things which he found, including about seven hundred marbles, to the joyous crowd, who were congratulating each other upon their victory.



Henry and George now stood very high in the estimation of the great majority of their school-fellows. They were caressed, honoured, and looked upon as their first boys; while Greene and his friends were treated with contempt and derision. They had no longer the power to command and overawe the rest, with a blow or a black look. Their power had ceased; but, unfortunately, the chastisement they had received, instead of convincing them of their error, had only roused their evil dispositions; and they now anxiously looked for [31]an opportunity to avenge the punishment they had received, through the interference of Henry Wardour, against whom, in particular, they had an inveterate spite. Nor did they long wish in vain; for, in a very short time, another occurrence took place, of a far more serious nature, and which had nearly thrown Henry into a severe illness. It was nothing less than a suspicion of theft. His bed-fellow, whose name was Scott, when he arose one morning, discovered that his box had been broken open, and his purse, which had contained a new sovereign and two or three shillings, had been emptied of its contents, and then replaced under his Sunday clothes. Scott missed the money while looking for some trifling article in his box; and having mentioned the thing, the boys collected round him to [32]hear his account of the matter. There were also some boys who came out of another room up stairs, and among them Greene and Walker, who, having heard what Scott had to say, at once declared, that it was impossible for any one but the boy who slept in the same room, to have stolen the money.

George, who heard this direct charge against his friend Henry, instantly fired up, and, in his passion, flew upon Greene, who had made the charge, and struck him; when a scuffle ensued, the noise of which brought out Dr. Harris, who, upon hearing an account of the loss from Scott, told him that he was very likely to have mislaid the money somewhere; and that he had no doubt but that, if he made search for it, he would soon find it. George, with whom he was extremely angry for his rashness in striking [33]Greene, was immediately ordered into the school-room, and punished by having a long lesson given him to learn. Before he went, he turned round to Dr. Harris, and said that he was sorry for having struck Greene; but he should have been ashamed of himself, if he had stood quietly by, and heard his friend accused in his absence, of so shameful a crime. "I am sure," he added, with his usual vehemence, his face reddening, and his hand closely clenched, "that Henry is not guilty; and Greene ought to be ashamed of himself, for making such a charge against him."

Greene, who stood behind the other boys wiping his face, which was a little bruised by the blow he had received, then said, "that he should not be surprised if Master George himself had had something to do in it; for he [34]seemed very much offended by what he had said."

"You are a mean-spirited fellow," said George; "and——"

"Silence! silence, boys!" cried Dr. Harris. "How dare you make such accusations against each other! The money may have been mislaid, and will, no doubt, be found. I desire that a strict search may be made: until that is done, let me not hear another word about it. I never had a thief in my school; and if I ever find a boy out in such practices, he shall meet with the severest punishment I can inflict."

Every eye was now anxiously looking out for Henry Wardour, who had obtained leave of Mrs. Harris, to accompany her daughters, to gather some flowers at the gardeners, and to go on another little errand or two. For so [35]much was Henry beloved by this good lady, that she had made him her little messenger; and whenever she wanted to send any thing into the town, he was sure to be the lad chosen so carry it. Dr. Harris was made acquainted with his absence this morning, but wished for his return, that he might question him as to this unpleasant affair.

The business, however, which Henry had been sent upon, detained him until after school had commenced; and, having hastened with his breakfast, and brushed his clothes, he immediately entered the school, when all eyes were directed towards him. Henry being a very bashful lad, could not bear this unusual stare; and fearing, at the same time, that Dr. Harris had been saying something about his long ab[36]sence, he blushed deeply, as he hung his hat upon the peg and took his seat.

Walker, who sat at the further end of the same desk, seeing Henry somewhat confused, cried out, loud enough for some of the boys to hear him, "Look at him!" When George, who sat near, turned round, and said, "Well, what do you see?" "Why, guilt in his face," added Greene.

This conversation would probably have continued, had not Dr. Harris, who had hitherto been engaged at his desk, suddenly arose from his seat, and walked down the school; when, observing Henry in his place, he, with a smile on his countenance, beckoned him to follow to his desk, which Henry immediately obeyed, though with a trembling step.

This was a moment of great interest. Every [37]eye was attracted to the top of the school; and a tear of joy stood in George's eye, as he saw Dr. Harris affectionately take his friend by the hand, and whisper something to him. It was at this moment too, that every boy in the school took upon himself to translate the looks and actions of Henry and his master. They observed every change in Henry's countenance, with an anxiety equal to the love they bore him; for very few, if any of his school-fellows, for a moment thought him guilty of the charge brought against him by Greene; although four or five of them, whose jealousy had been roused by the general respect in which Henry was held, and who still remembered their own disgrace by his interference, readily seconded the accusation, in the hope that, by so doing, they would lessen the esteem which Mrs. Harris and [38]her daughters appeared to have for him. The tyrants, indeed, were noted as the enemies of Henry and George; and this charge coming from, and being strenuously supported by this party, led the rest of the boys to examine their probable motive.

During this long interview with Dr. Harris, Henry was alternately depressed and surprised. At one moment a tear would be seen to start in his eye, and at another he seemed about to appeal to his school-fellows, when he was soothed by the kindness of his master, who told him to calm his fears, and return to his seat for the morning, assuring him of his assistance to clear up the matter.

As Henry walked down the school, with a dejected countenance, his eye instinctively turned toward his friend George, who had been anx[39]iously observing him during the whole time his master had been conversing with him. It seemed to George to say, "I am charged with a serious fault, and I shall stand in need of all the help you can afford me;" and a careless observer might, in a moment, have seen, by the friendly and benignant smile upon George's face, that he would surely have it.

During the whole of the morning's school-hours, Henry found it impossible to attend to his lessons. His mind was so absorbed in the approaching examination, which his master had told him should take place directly after twelve o'clock, that his sums were all done wrong, and his copies badly written. Nor was he the only boy in the school who was in this state of mind. His friend George felt for him, and appeared as anxious about it, as though he himself had [40]been charged with the theft. The last words of Mr. Wardour occurred to his thoughts: "Above all, be friends to one another;" and the impressive manner in which it was said, was still fresh upon his memory. "Be friends to one another!" he exclaimed to himself: "ay, I will be his friend, because I am sure he is mine; and because I am sure, also, that he is innocent of this suspected robbery."

Little Ned too was restless all the morning, and longed for the time to arrive, when Henry would once more be enabled to put the tyrants to the blush. His little merry heart was, for once, depressed; but he had strong hopes that it would all end in the discomfiture of Greene and his friends.

Doctor Harris had as yet refrained from stating the circumstance to his family; but as [41]the hour was near at hand when he determined to have a general search, he thought it best to make them acquainted with it, though with little hopes of gaining any information from them. When Mrs. Harris heard the tale, she treated it with indifference, and said that she had no doubt but that the money would be forthcoming; for it was her opinion, that some of the boys had taken it merely to tease Scott, whom she stated to be rather too fond of hoarding. The daughters thought the same, and were quite unhappy to think that their little favourite should be suspected. Juliana, indeed, was about to hasten to the school-room, in the hope of affording him some consolation, but was requested by her papa to remain where she was.

At length the school broke up; and, by the [42]command of Dr. Harris, search was made in every part, not merely amongst the boys, but also amongst the servants; but, unfortunately, without finding the new coin. The boys were now all assembled with the family, and Dr. Harris commenced his examination, by asking Scott when he last saw his money. "Last Sunday morning, Sir," he replied; "and Henry was with me at the time." This Henry corroborated, by saying it was true, and that he saw him put it in his purse again; when Greene stepped forward and said, that he believed no person but Henry knew of Scott's possessing this new coin; and that he, therefore, was the only person that could have taken it.

At this direct charge Henry stood for some time amazed; and then bursting into a flood of tears, vehemently protested against the truth of [43]his assertion, and dared him to the proof; when Walker, who stood close by Greene and Scott, said, "It is of no use for you to deny it, Master Wardour, as I know those that can prove they saw you take the money." Henry was for a moment speechless; when George said it was false, and demanded, with more than common earnestness, that he would bring forth his accusers, and let him meet them face to face.

This request was repeated by the rest of the boys, who feared they might have said something, in an unguarded moment, which Walker had construed into an assertion of Henry's guilt. Dr. Harris also requested Walker to name the person who saw him take the money; when he replied, that he knew no more than what Greene had told him, who said he saw Henry steal it.


Mrs. Harris now stepped forward, and earnestly entreated Greene, in common justice, if he had any proof that Henry took the money, or knew any thing of it, that he would instantly make it appear. At this Greene was a good deal confused; and after first of all acknowledging that he had said so, he then as plainly said that he knew nothing about it, but was sure that nobody else could have taken the money. Mrs. Harris, who was a sincere lover of justice, possessing too a great deal of discrimination, inveighed in very strong terms against charging a boy with theft, and casting aspersions upon his character, without any foundation whatever. "He has now been a considerable time in the school," she added, turning to her husband, "without ever having created any suspicion of his honesty, or without doing the slightest act [45]upon which to ground such a charge. Besides, I have frequently trusted him with money to fetch various articles for me, and he has always acted with the strictest honesty; and," raising her voice, "I will myself be bound for his innocence upon this occasion, for there is not a more honest lad in the school; and it is my belief, that some of those who throw out hints of suspicion against Master Wardour, are much more likely, from their general character, to have robbed Scott than he is."

Greene now slunk behind the rest of the boys; and in consequence of this tone being taken by this excellent lady, Walker apologized for having accused Henry of so great a crime, and added, that he should never again believe what Greene said.


"You may go, Master Henry," said Dr. Harris, in the kindest manner possible, "and I have no doubt that the thief will be found out; and then those who have accused you will have cause to be ashamed of themselves."

George, little Ned, and a great number of his school-fellows, now crowded round Henry, congratulating him upon his victory, as they were all anxious to see him fairly acquitted of the charge. Eliza and Juliana also joined the little throng, and, by their caresses, endeavoured to rally him into his usual good spirits, which they continued to do for some days after. As, however, no discovery was made about the money, he felt himself very uneasy, and could not but think that many of the boys looked upon him as a thief; especially as insinuations [47]were sometimes thrown out by the elder boys, which made him very miserable; and those who had first accused him, would frequently ask, in his hearing, "Who stole Scott's money?"



A fortnight had now nearly elapsed, and the affair began, in some measure, to wear off. Indeed, it was seldom mentioned, except by those boys who appeared, from the commencement, so desirous of obtaining a verdict against Henry. His school-fellows, generally, were anxious to play with him, and endeavoured to rouse his spirits by every means in their power. They never commenced a new game, but he was solicited to join them; and they never went for a walk, but he was anxiously requested to accompany them. All their endeavours [49]however, were fruitless: they could not make him what he was before this charge was brought against him. He evidently had something preying upon his mind; for instead of being one of the most lively boys in the school—one who had hitherto shown a desire to join in any good-natured frolic—he was now become quite serious, and even melancholy. In vain did his friend George use every exertion: he who before could have persuaded him to any thing, and to whose advice he had always paid a great regard, now entreated him, in vain, to cheer his drooping spirits. Mrs. Harris, with her two daughters, also endeavoured to laugh him out of what they called his sulky mood; but he replied, that he could not help it; that he should never again be happy till it was discovered who it [50]was that stole Scott's money; and that its being lost while he was his bed-fellow, certainly threw a suspicion upon him that he could not get over, and to labour under which made him truly miserable.

Dr. Harris felt a great deal of uneasiness about the matter, not merely because he saw Henry labouring under so serious a charge, but that an affair of such a nature should remain so long undetected, and that he should hitherto have been foiled in his attempts to clear up the mystery. In this state he continued, when, one morning, after he had returned from his usual early walk, and was crossing the lawn that led from the school to the parsonage-house, he observed a poor woman, rather shabbily dressed, looking in at the school-room window. Not appearing to find the object of her search, she [51]was turning towards the house, when she encountered the person of the Doctor.

"Who are you looking for, good woman?" asked he.

"I—I want," apparently somewhat disturbed by meeting the master, "I want to see one of the little boys, Sir," she said, curtsying very low.

"What little boy do you want? and what do you want him for?"

"I don't know his name, Sir; but he wears a short blue jacket and nankeen trowsers, and a white hat, Sir. He has black hair, and he is a very handsome boy, Sir."

"Is his name Henry," said Dr. Harris.

"I think that was the name the other lad called him by, Sir; for there was another fresh-coloured little gentleman came to the cottage with him."


"What did they come to your cottage about, my good woman?"

"Oh, Sir, I and my poor dear sick husband ought to be very thankful for the help they gave us. And I now want to see them, to thank them for their goodness, and to tell them that my husband will, by God's mercy, be able to go to work very soon. That's all I wanted, Sir," she said, again curtsying, though with some degree of alarm; for she feared that her peeping about for the boys might have offended Dr. Harris.

"What did they do for your sick husband then?" asked Dr. Harris. "I do not think they had the power of rendering you much assistance."

"Oh yes, Sir, they had," she replied: "Master Henry gave us, altogether, sixteen shillings. [53]And I am sure, that if he had not helped us, we should all have been starved. But the Lord is always very good, and sends something to those who are in want."

At this recital Dr. Harris felt amazed; and the circumstance of Scott's money being lost, immediately recurred to his memory. "It must be so," he said to himself: "these boys, anxious to do a service to this poor family, have taken Scott's money from his box, where I suppose they thought it was lying useless, and appropriated it to relieving their wants.—Step in doors, my good woman," he said, as he hastened across the lawn: "step in: I wish to ask you a few questions."

Martha Watson, (for that was the name of this poor woman) now repented having come to the school at all, as she feared, from the anxiety [54]in Dr. Harris's face, that the boys might get scolded for coming to the cottage without leave of their master; and she followed him to the house with a faltering step.

The servant having opened the door, Dr. Harris led the way into a little room, which was his study, and desired Martha Watson to enter, when he closed the door, and they both sat down. "Where do you live, pray?" asked the Doctor.

"In one of those poor cottages, Sir, in the lane that leads on to the common."

"You say these boys gave you sixteen shillings: I wish you would tell me what it was that first induced them to come to your cottage, and every thing you know about them."

Martha Watson now felt very uneasy, and anxiously asked whether they had done any [55]thing wrong, which she the more feared, as she had not seen them for some time past. Dr. Harris begged of her to answer his question, and assured her that there was no cause for her alarm.

She then related to him the following circumstance: "About a month ago, Sir, as my little son Jack, who is about six years old, was coming from Farmer Miles's, with a pitcher full of milk, and making all the haste he could to get home with it for his daddy's supper, these two young gentlemen were hastening off the common, and in their hurry to turn the corner of the lane, they did not see little Jack, but ran against him. So, Sir, they ran so violently, that they knocked him down, spilled the milk, broke the pitcher into a hundred pieces, and cut poor Jack's arm, which bled very much indeed."


"They did not do him a very serious injury, I hope," said the Doctor.

"No, Sir; only cut his arm a little. Finding, however, that Jack was afraid to go home alone, they came with him to our cottage, when they told me the whole affair, and said how sorry they were they had spilt the milk and broke the pitcher; and did all they could to pacify little Jack. When they found how poor we were, and saw my dear husband sick in bed, they asked me many questions: how long he had been ill, what money we had, and many others; and when I told them that he had kept his bed for five weeks, and was not then able to get up; and that we had no money, but the little I and my eldest girl could earn in the fields, they talked together a little while, and the young gentleman in the white hat said, that he would see me again in about an hour, and pay me for the pitcher and the milk, and give me something for my husband."

Henry & George visiting the poor Cottager. See page 56


"Did they return then in about an hour?" said Dr. Harris.

"No, Sir; they did not call again till next morning, when they asked me whether my poor husband was better, and how Jack's arm was. One of them pulled out of his pocket a guinea, and——"

"A guinea!" exclaimed Dr. Harris, interrupting the woman: "are you positive it was a guinea?"

"I am sure it was a golden coin, Sir; because they asked me to change it. But that was impossible, for I had no money at all in the house."

"Well, my good woman, and what did they do then?" asked Dr. Harris, evidently much agitated.


"Why, Sir, finding I had no money, they went into the town and got the golden coin changed, and gave me ten shillings of it. In a few days, Sir, they came again, and gave me six more shillings."

"Did they ever call after that time?"

"Once, Sir, which was about ten days ago; and as I have not seen them since, I made free to call here this morning; because I am sure they would be glad to hear that my poor dear husband was getting better, and would soon be able to work. If the young gentlemen had not been so kind to us, I don't know what we should have done. I am afraid my poor husband must have died for want of proper things. But the Lord will reward them for their kindness; and I am sure they are good boys."

Dr. Harris congratulated the cottager upon [59]the restoration of her husband to health, and said that Mrs. Harris should visit her family; and that he would also tell Henry and George that she had called to thank them; but that it was not convenient for her to see them just then. Having again asked her where she resided, he bade her good morning, and she immediately returned home.

When Martha Watson had gone, Dr. Harris joined his family at the breakfast-table, and related the whole of the affair to them, adding his conviction of Henry's guilt, and that he was sorry to find he had been so deceived by him. George too, he said, was equally guilty; for he had been a party in giving away the stolen property. "I shall write to their parents this evening," he added; "for I am at a loss to know how to punish such duplicity and wickedness."


Mrs. Harris and her daughters, although staggered by the statement which the Doctor had made to them, suggested the propriety of calling in Henry and George. "For," said Mrs. Andrews, "although it looks very suspicious, I never can believe them guilty until it is plainly proved."

"I think this is sufficient proof," he said, rather angrily; for he felt vexed to think of the trouble this affair would give to their parents.

"True; so it is, my dear," answered his wife, "if not contradicted; but I hope that they will be able to give such an explanation as will be satisfactory to us all."

"And that I am sure they will," said Eliza, rising from her chair; "and pray, papa, let me call them in."

The servant at this moment entered the [61]room to take away the breakfast-things, when Dr. Harris desired her to send in Master Wardour and Master Harrington.

The boys had but just taken their seats in the school-room, when the servant summoned them into the parlour. Henry, who still continued in the same desponding mood, felt gratified by hearing that he was wanted there; but it was only a momentary pleasure. He at first thought he might be wanted to accompany Eliza and Juliana to the garden, or be commissioned by Mrs. Harris to go into the town for her; but when he found that George was also wanted, and that they were to go together, he felt convinced of some fresh trouble; for he was not the same cheerful boy he used to be. Fear seemed to have taken possession of his whole frame; when George, thinking he ob[62]served a tear starting in his eye, grasped his hand with the warmth of sincere friendship, and cheered him up by saying, "Now for it, Henry: it is all settled, and we are wanted to hear the good news;" and they went, hand in hand, into the parlour.

After making their obedience, they walked up to the table; and Dr. Harris, with a look somewhat more stern than usual, said, "Henry, do you know a woman named Martha Watson, who lives near the common?"

"Yes, Sir," said George, "I know her: a very poor woman."

"I asked Henry," said Dr. Harris; "and I expect that he will answer me."

But poor Henry, from some cause or other, was, at the moment, unable to reply. George, therefore, seeing his friend at a loss, immedi[63]ately gave the answer; and Henry, recovering his self-possession, now gave a direct answer to every question that the worthy master put to him, and proceeded to explain how they became possessed of so much money. "George and I," he said, "were one day walking through the town, when we met a gentleman on horseback, who had lately seen our parents in London. He told us that he was going to call upon us at the school; but as he had met us, that would do as well. He then gave us a new coin, which is called a sovereign; and after staying with us about a quarter of an hour, he shook hands with us, and rode off."

"And the same evening," added George, "we had the misfortune to run over little Jack Watson, and break his pitcher. We then thought it our duty to see him safe home, [64]and to pay for the pitcher and milk. When we got to the cottage, we saw the poor man stretched on a wretched straw mattress, where he said he had been above a month; and the tear rolled down his cheek when he looked round the room, and saw five little children, who were all anxiously waiting for the milk which we had been so unfortunate as to knock out of little Jack's hand. Indeed, Sir," George continued, "we never before saw so much wretchedness; and Henry said, that as we had plenty to eat and drink, and pocket-money besides, we might as well get the new coin changed, and give them some of it, saying, he wished we had more. I agreed to give nearly all my share; and the next morning we went to the cottage, and gave most of the money to the poor people."


"But why did you not tell me or Mrs. Harris of this distressed cottager, and also that you had had so much money given to you, Henry?"

"Because, Sir, you had given strict orders that no boy should enter a place of sickness, for fear of bringing away a fever. We should not have gone there; but we had hurt poor Jack, and he was afraid to go home, after having lost all the milk. He said his mother would not believe him, if he told her that some one had broken the pitcher."

The plain and unassuming manner in which the boys told their tale, threw an unusual cheerfulness round the whole family. Dr. Harris felt himself satisfied with the account which they had given; while Mrs. Harris and her daughters were overjoyed to find that the boys could give [66]an explanation so very creditable to their feelings. "It is not," said the lady, when the boys had left the room, "because my belief in their ability to give an explanation is confirmed, that I feel this satisfaction; but that they should have shown themselves so susceptible of the finest feelings of our nature. That they should have pitied and relieved the wants of their suffering fellow-creatures; and that, too, without ostentation or parade, convinces me, at once, that neither of them would be guilty of the charge made against Henry. And I sincerely wish that some light may be speedily thrown upon this unpleasant and mysterious affair, or I shall have great cause to fear the consequences with regard to his health."

Dr. Harris then left the table for the school-room, heartily concurring in every word that [67]his amiable lady had uttered. Upon entering, he found the boys in deep consultation; for, immediately upon the return of Edward and George, they were questioned by their school-fellows as to the result of so long an interview. George, who would, from modesty, have readily refrained from stating a circumstance so creditable to himself, as well as to his friend, had he not feared a wrong construction would have been put upon his silence, immediately related the whole of what had passed in the parlour. The majority of the boys felt a little disappointed that nothing more conclusive had transpired; not perceiving, that boys who were capable of giving away their money in the manner that Henry and George had done, were unlikely to rob another of the little he possessed.


Greene and a few others, however, with a malignity that spoke an interested motive, did not fail to turn this statement into ridicule. Greene in particular, who had displayed great anxiety and uneasiness during the absence of Henry and George, at the conclusion of the tale which the boys had requested George to relate, burst into loud and excessive laughter, and exclaimed, "This is one of the finest tales I ever heard. Is it likely, in the first place, that any gentleman would give them a sovereign? Did any of you ever receive so much at one time; and that, too, from a poor traveller? And is it likely that, if they had had it given to them, as they wish us to believe, that they would have parted with it in the manner they say they have? It is all a made-up story. I don't know where Scott's money [69]is; but I think, if it has been given to the poor cottagers, he ought to have the credit of it."

Several of the boys then joined him in the loud laugh with which he concluded this base insinuation. Poor Henry was again driven back into his low-spiritedness, and gave, first a look of contempt at Greene, and then cast his eyes upon George, as his only refuge and support against this fresh and unexpected attack. It is difficult to say how Greene would have fared, had not Dr. Harris at this moment entered the school; for George was never more indignant, nor never felt a greater inclination to tell Greene what he thought of his cowardly conduct, than he did at this moment. Little Ned, however, did not fail to whisper in his ear as he passed, that which [70]was at all times an unwelcome sound: "Who stole the cakes?" said he, loud enough for the rest of the boys to hear. Greene looked vexed, and went to his seat.

Some time passed away, and nothing transpired to clear up this mysterious affair; while the few enemies that Henry had in the school appeared to increase, from the construction which Greene and some others had put upon George's explanation concerning the money. Henry, unable to bear up against the stigma, not only grew melancholy, but began to lose his appetite, and looked very thin and ill. Mrs. Harris really felt somewhat alarmed, and said every thing she could to comfort him; but, alas! it was all in vain. Scott also, to do him justice, did every thing in his power to relieve him, but without avail; and Henry began to think [71]he should fall a victim to a false accusation, for he had no sleep by night, nor ease by day.

Dr. Harris now proposed to send for his father, which he did; and he arrived in a few days. Dr. H. made him acquainted with the whole affair, from first to last; and Henry was sent for into the parlour. His father was shocked at his appearing in such ill health, and the agony of his feelings was intense at the cause of his illness. He entreated him, by the love he bore towards him and his mother, to confess the truth. "If, my dear boy," he said, "you have, in an unguarded moment, been led into an error, the only reparation is openly to confess it. In that case I will pay the boy the money, and you shall receive my forgiveness."

Henry assured him that he knew nothing at [72]all of the money—that it made him very unhappy indeed—that he had had no sleep for the last three or four nights—and that he had lost his appetite; when, throwing his arms round his father's neck, he burst into an agony of tears, and could only exclaim, "I am innocent! I am innocent!"

Mrs. Harris having pacified Henry, said that it would perhaps be best for Mr. Wardour to take him home for a short time; but to this Henry himself objected, as he knew very well that there were boys who would turn that to his disadvantage. His father, therefore, procured him some medicine, to calm his spirits and allay the slight fever which he appeared to have; and then went to transact some business at a short distance from the village, promising to see him again [73]in a few days, and determining, in his own mind, to take Henry home with him, should nothing transpire in the mean time to free him from this accusation.



The time had now arrived when Henry was to be freed from his troubles, and to obtain a satisfactory victory over malignity and base design. On the evening after his father had taken leave of him, and when he, in company with his friend George, was sitting at his bed-room window, admiring the beauties of the setting sun, and enjoying the calmness of the surrounding scenery, an unusual noise was heard upon the stairs. Henry instantly rose from his seat and opened the door, when in rushed little Ned, breathless, and almost speechless. He had his hairy cap in his hand, and had contrived to run one of his legs through his long pin-afore, as he made his way up the stairs. His face was far more red than usual, and full of anxiety.

—its all found out!—the thief is found out. page 75.


"What is the matter, Ned?" said Henry as he entered: "you seem in a hurry."

"In a hurry!" Ned replied, gasping for breath: "in a hurry! Why, it's all found out!" said he, waving his cap over his head.

"What is found out?" asked George, laughing heartily at Ned's grotesque appearance. "Look at your leg through your pin-afore."

"Never mind," said he: "Kitty will mend that. But it is all found out! the thief is found out." As he uttered these words, he [76]seized Henry by the hand, who, with George and himself, hastened down stairs, Ned repeating all the way, "It's all found out! I have found him out!" He dragged them both into the school-room, where most of the boys were assembled. Dr. Harris, who was disturbed by the noise, also followed; and, upon his entering, Ned called out, with a loud voice, "I charge you, Charles Greene, with stealing Scott's money, and will prove it!"

Greene started, as though he had seen something unnatural. "I,—I," was all he could articulate, and he turned as white as possible.

"Yes," says Ned, "I have just been into Dame Birch's, the pie-woman, who said that you had then been to pay the money you owed her, and that she was very glad she had got clear of you."


He then related to Dr. Harris, the conversation he had had with the pie-woman about ten minutes before. "As I was walking to the shop, Sir," he said, "I saw Greene take his leave, when he was busily thrusting something into his pockets, I went into the shop, and Mrs. Birch told me that Greene had just paid her the remainder of his debt. I asked what debt it was; and she told me that it had been owing a long time: that, about a month ago, he went there and changed a sovereign, and paid her eight shillings out of fourteen he owed her; and that he wished the whole of the sovereign had belonged to himself, but it did not; for one of the other boys was to have half, as he had been with him when he had found it."


Greene, who had by this time in some measure recovered from his first shock, here interrupted Ned by saying, "I never told her so: I said my father gave it to me, which he did. He told me that my uncle from London had called and left it for me."

Ned declared he had told Dr. Harris the truth, and every word that Dame Birch had said, except that she added, "I believe I should never have got the money, if I had not threatened to go to his master."

Dame Birch was now sent for, and confirmed what little Ned had stated; and in answer to a question from Dr. Harris, why she allowed the boys to get so much in debt? said, that she could not help it with Greene, for he would have what he chose; but that it was not all for cakes: part of it [79]was payment for two squares of glass, which he broke when fighting, one day, with another boy.

During the interview, Henry and George, and one or two of their school-fellows, hastened to Mr. Greene's house, (for he fortunately lived at a short distance from the village,) to have his son's account either confirmed or denied. On their reaching the door, they knocked with great authority; and upon the servant's opening it, they demanded to see his master immediately, as they had some very important business with him. The servant informed Mr. Greene of their visit, and he came out of the parlour and demanded what business they could have with him; when George said, "Sir, we have taken the liberty to call upon you, to know whether you gave [80]your son Charles a sovereign about a month ago.

"Gave him what?" said the old gentleman: "gave him a sovereign! Not I, indeed: I hope I know better what to do with my money. His mother might have given him six-pence or so; but we should never think of giving him any thing like a sovereign."

He then returned into the parlour, and they heard him ask Mrs. Greene, if she knew of Charles's having a sovereign about a month ago, when she answered, "No, my dear."

This was quite satisfactory to Henry and his friends; and without waiting any further ceremony, they started off for the school.

In the mean time Greene, having ascertained that they were gone to his father's to make enquiry, had confessed that it was he who [81]had stolen the money out of Scott's box; and when they returned, he was surrounded by all the boys, who were upbraiding and taunting him with his villany. His own friends too were against him; and, from shame and agitation of mind, he looked most wretchedly.

It is impossible to describe the scene which now took place in the school-room. Henry, whose mind was relieved from the depression occasioned by this disgraceful charge, was caressed and congratulated by every boy in the school. Mrs. Harris kissed him affectionately, and said she felt confident of his innocence from the first, and had never despaired of its being made evident. Juliana and Eliza were also amongst the first to bestow their approbation upon his conduct. George [82]and little Ned were delighted beyond measure to see their friend once more made happy, and hoped soon to have him as the chief in their youthful sports.

But it was far different with Greene, who now felt all the wretchedness of one convicted of theft, and detected in basely attaching the disgraceful charge to an innocent and praiseworthy lad. He had taken his seat at the extremity of the school-room, and was hiding his face in his hands; and though a boy of wonderful spirits and strong nerve, was now bathed in tears, and sobbing aloud. Dr. Harris, who had been giving him a very severe lecture, still stood over him, impressing upon him the necessity of retiring into his room, to seek from God that forgiveness in prayer and repentance, which, he too much [83]feared, would not be easily obtained from his offended and disgusted school-fellows. He now, therefore, arose, and made his way towards the door, in doing which he had again to encounter the execrations and pointed fingers of the boys, who cried, as he passed them, "Go, thou thief!" and followed him until they saw him enter the house.

Henry, however, was the only lad who did not upbraid him; for, though Greene had behaved in so disgraceful a manner towards him, he could not but feel distressed to see him appear almost brokenhearted. He still remembered, in the midst of his joy, that but a few hours had elapsed since he felt all the wretchedness of one supposed to be guilty of theft. "What then," [84]he said to himself, "must be the feelings of him who stands convicted of the crime, and therefore has not the consciousness of innocence to support him? I cannot find in my heart to upbraid him," he said, as he took George and Ned by the hand and led them across the lawn.

They continued their walk until bed-time, when they returned, and Henry again experienced the sweets of a good night's rest, the sure reward of integrity.

"What shall I do?" "I will leave the School" page 85

Greene, on the contrary, was now distressed beyond measure: his night was restless and unrefreshing; and as the time was fast approaching when he must again face his master and his school-fellows, remorse and dread had taken possession of his mind, and he felt as if he had not strength to [85]dress himself. "What shall I do?" he exclaimed, as he again threw himself across the bed: "I cannot enter the school-room, nor face my school-fellows; for I know they must despise me. I, who have hitherto taken the lead in the school, and have done as I chose with the boys, am now to be pointed at and spurned by the least in the place. I will leave the school directly," he added, rising from the bed, and making another attempt to dress: "I will leave the school directly, and hasten to my uncle's in London." With this rash determination he concluded, when, taking up his jacket, he discovered, upon the back of it, that which had before escaped his notice, the words "THIEF" and "LIAR," in large characters. This fresh assault cut him to the heart. He dropped the coat, and fell [86]upon his knees at the foot of the bed, praying aloud to his Maker for forgiveness, and promising never to offend in the like manner again. He concluded by exclaiming, in great agitation: "Where shall I find a friend to plead for me? and to whom, among my school-fellows, can I now look for support?"

"To me! to me!" cried Henry, who was passing his chamber at the time, and whose kind heart overflowed with pity at the distressed bewailings of this repentant boy. "I will be your friend, and seek forgiveness from your school-fellows. Though you have grossly injured me, I cannot, must not bear malice. Dr. Harris tells us we should forget and forgive."

"And do you forgive me, Henry?" he exclaimed: "can you forgive one who has acted so basely towards you?"


"I can and do," he answered, "and will beg of Dr. Harris to forgive you also." He then seized him by the hand, and, half undressed as he was, with his coat under his arm, and his eyes swollen with crying, he drew him to the school-room, where Dr. Harris had just taken his seat. As he made his way towards the desk, the boys were greatly surprised, and wondered when they heard Henry ask Dr. Harris to forgive him. "I found him, Sir," continued Henry, "upon his knees, asking forgiveness of the Almighty, and making promises of future amendment. I therefore, as far as I am concerned, heartily forgive him, and I hope, Sir, you will do the same."

Dr. Harris then addressed Greene in his most impressive manner, telling him that he was glad to find he was made sensible of his [88]error; and was also happy to see him so full of contrition: adding, "that, as it is the sincere wish of Henry, to whom you ought to be for ever grateful, I am willing to think no more of this matter. But it is not to me, so much as to your school-fellows, you need look for forgiveness; and to them you ought to apply, as being the parties offended."

Henry then took him down the school, and by his earnest entreaties and pathetic address, obtained his pardon.

Greene now retired, and in a short time returned to his lessons, somewhat happier than when he arose, but still depressed by shame.

The next day Mr. Wardour returned, and had the felicity to find his son restored to health and happiness. When he heard of his acquittal, and of his noble conduct in obtaining [89]pardon for Greene, he pressed him to his bosom, and almost shed tears of joy. He then exhorted him to be always grateful for this providential discovery of his innocence, and to let all the future actions of his life be governed by the same noble principles as he had followed upon this trying occasion. After making a present to George and little Ned, for their friendly conduct towards his son, he obtained a holiday for the whole school, and took his leave.

Mr. Greene, upon hearing of his son's conduct, would have severely punished him, had not Dr. Harris assured him of his contrition, and begged of him to inflict no further chastisement than he had already received from his little school-follows. He therefore contented himself with making Scott a handsome present.


Mrs. Harris and her daughters had been lately busy in relieving the family of poor Martha Watson, whom the late circumstances had brought under their notice. The husband, by this good lady's well-timed attendance, had now recovered his health, and had gone to work, while the children were clothed and made decent in their appearance; and their mother never failed to bless the names of Henry and George, and to thank that Providence which had directed them to her cottage.

Greene still continued in a gloomy state, when he was happily relieved from it by his uncle prevailing upon his father to let him go a voyage to the East Indies with him; and, in less than a month, he departed from that place, which had now become [91]irksome to him; but not without first being well convinced, that "honesty is the best policy."

Henry and George still continued to be beloved by their school-fellows; and each remained happy in the possession of a good conscience.


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Transcriber's Note:

Some punctuation has been silently altered.

The following words have been changed.

dètermined is now determined

Goerge is now George