A cup of sweets, that can never cloy: or, delightful tales for good childrenBurt L. Standish / Young Adult
Produced by Dianna Adair, Mary Meehan and the OnlineDistributed Proofreading Team at https://www.pgdp.net (Thisfile was produced from images generously made availableby The Internet Archive)
A CUP OF SWEETS, THAT CAN _NEVER CLOY_: OR, DELIGHTFUL TALES FOR _GOOD CHILDREN_.
BY THE AUTHOR OF GODMOTHER'S TALES, &c. &c.
PRINTED FOR J. HARRIS, SUCCESSOR TO E. NEWBERY, AT THE ORIGINAL JUVENILE LIBRARY, THE CORNER OF ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD.
_E. Hemsted, Printer, Great New-street, Gough-square._
The Curious Girl.
Away she threw the peg--up went the cover of theBasket--and whizz--out flew a beautiful White Pigeon.
_Published Nov. 1st. 1803, by J. Harris corner of St. Pauls ChurchYard._]
_The Unsettled Boy_ 11
_Cecilia and Fanny_ 21
_Maria; or, the Little Slattern_ 40
_Frederick's Holidays_ 51
_The Little Quarrellers_ 60
_The Vain Girl_ 68
_The Young Gardeners_ 78
_The Whimsical Child_ 85
_Edward and Charles_ 94
_The Truant_ 104
_The Ghost and the Dominos_ 129
_The Reward of Benevolence_ 150
_The Trifler_ 171
_The Cousins_ 177
_The Travellers_ 189
_The Strawberries_ 200
A CUP OF SWEETS.
Arabella fancied there could be no pleasure in the world equal to thatof listening to conversations in which she had no concern, peeping intoher mamma's drawers and boxes, and asking impertinent questions. If aparcel was brought to the house, she had no rest till she had found outwhat was in it; and if her papa rung the bell, she would never quit theroom till the servant came up, that she might hear what he wanted.
She had been often desired to be less curious, and more attentive to herlessons; to play with her doll and her baby-house, and not troubleherself with other people's affairs: but she never minded what was saidto her, and when she was sitting by her mamma, with a book in her hand,instead of reading it, and endeavouring to improve herself, she wasalways looking round her, to observe what her brothers and sisters weredoing, and to watch every one who went out or came into the room.
She desired extremely to have a writing-master, because she hoped, that,after she had learnt a short time, she should be able to read writing,and then she should have the pleasure of finding out who all the letterswere for, which the servant carried to the post-office; and mightsometimes peep over her papa's shoulder, and read those which hereceived. One day perceiving her mamma whisper to her brother William,and that they soon after left the room together, she immediatelyconcluded there must be something going forward, some _secret_ which wasto be hid from her, and which, perhaps, if she lost the present moment,she never should be able to discover. Poor Arabella could sit still nolonger; she watched them from the window, and seeing that they wenttowards a gate in the garden, which opened into the wood, she determinedto be there before them, and to hide herself in the bushes near thepath, that she might overhear their conversation as they passed by.This she soon accomplished, by taking a shorter way; but it was notvery long before she had reason to wish she had not been so prying; forthe gardener passing through the wood with an ill-natured cur whichalways followed him, seeing her move among the bushes, it began to barkviolently, and in an instant jumped into her lap.
She was very much frightened, and, in trying to get away, withoutintending it, gave him a great blow on the head; in return for which hebit her finger, and it was so very much hurt, and was so long before itwas quite well again, that her friends hoped it would have cured her ofbeing so curious; but they were much mistaken. Arabella's finger was nosooner well, than the pain she had suffered, her fright, and thegardener's cur, were all forgotten; and whenever any thing happened, letthe circumstance be ever so trifling, if she did not perfectlyunderstand the whole matter, she could not rest or attend to any thingshe had to do, till she had discovered the mystery; for she imagined_mysteries_ and _secrets_ in every thing she saw and heard, unless shehad been informed of what was going to be done.
Some time after her adventure in the wood, she one morning missed herbrother William, and not finding him at work in his little garden, begandirectly to imagine her mamma had sent him on some secret expedition;she resolved, however, on visiting the whole house, in the hope offinding him, before she made any inquiry, and accordingly hunted everyroom and every closet, but to no purpose. From the house she went to thepoultry-yard, and from thence to the lawn, but William was no where tobe found. What should she do!--I will hunt round the garden once more,said she; I must and will find him, and know where he has been all thistime; why he went without telling me, and why I might not have beenintrusted with the secret. I will not eat my dinner till I find him,even if he does not return till night.
Arabella returned once more to the garden, where at length, in a retiredcorner which she had not thought of visiting, she found her brothersleeping under a large tree. He had a little covered basket by his side,and slept so soundly, that he did not move when she came near theplace, though she was talking to herself as she walked along, and not ina very low voice.
Now, thought the curious girl, I have caught him: he must have been along way, for he appears to be very warm and tired; and he has certainlygot something in that basket which I am not to see, and I suppose mammais to come here and take it from him, that I may know nothing of it.Mamma and William have always secrets, but I will discover this,however--I am determined I will.
She then crept softly up to the basket, and stopped down to lift up thecover, afraid almost to breathe, lest she should be caught; and lookingaround to see if her mamma was coming, and then once more at herbrother, that she might be certain he was still asleep, gently she puther hand upon the basket, and, without the least noise, drew out alittle wooden peg, which fastened down the cover. Now, thought she,Master William, I shall see what you have got here. Away she threw thepeg, up went the cover of the basket, and whizz--out flew a beautifulwhite pigeon.
A violent scream from Arabella awoke William, who, seeing the basketopen, the pigeon mounted into the air, and his sister's consternation,immediately guessed what had happened, and addressed her in thefollowing manner:
You see, my dear Arabella, the consequence of your curious andsuspicious temper: I wished to make you a present to-day, because it isyour birthday, but you will not allow your friends to procure you anagreeable surprise; for nobody in the house can take a single step, ordo the least thing, without your watching and following them. I know youhave long wished to have a white pigeon, and I have walked two longmiles in all this heat, to get one for you. I sat down here, that Imight have time to contrive how I should get it into the house withoutyour seeing it, because I did not wish to give you my present till afterdinner, when papa and mamma will give you theirs; and whilst I wasendeavouring to think on some way to escape your prying eyes, I was soover-powered with fatigue and heat, that I fell fast asleep; and I seeyou have taken that time to peep into my basket, and save me anyfarther trouble. You have let my present fly away: I am sorry for it, mydear sister, but you have no one to blame but yourself; and I mustconfess that I am not half so sorry for your loss, as I am for the fatewhich attends two poor little young ones which are left in the basket,and who, far from being able to take wing, and follow their mother, arenot old enough even to feed themselves, and must soon perish for want offood.
William's words were but too true; the poor things died the nextmorning, and Arabella passed the whole day in unavailing tears, regret,and sorrow.