A cup of sweets, that ca.., p.1
A cup of sweets, that can never cloy: or, delightful tales for good children, p.1
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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.
THE UNSETTLED BOY.
"I do not think, at last, that I shall like to be a surgeon," saidGustavus to his papa, as he trotted by his side on his little poney."Edward Somerville is to be a clergyman: and he has been telling me thathe is to go to Oxford, and then he is to have a living, and will have anice snug parsonage-house, and can keep a horse, and some dogs, and havea pretty garden; whilst I shall be moped up in a town, curing wounds,and mending broken bones--I shall not like it at all."
"It was your own choice," answered his papa; "but if you think youshould like better to take orders, I am sure I have no objection."
Three months after this conversation, Gustavus being invited toaccompany some friends to see a review, he returned home with his littlehead so filled with military ideas, that he was certain, he said,nothing could be so delightful and so happy as the life of an officer;and that travelling about and seeing different places was better thanall the snug parsonage-houses in England. But, not many months from thattime, going with his papa to Portsmouth, to visit his elder brother, whobelonged to the navy, he was so struck with the novelty of the scene(having never seen a man of war before), thought there was so muchbustle and gaiety in it, that it must be the pleasantest life in theworld, and earnestly requested that he might be allowed to go to sea.
His papa now thought it time to represent to him the folly andimprudence of being so unsettled. "My dear boy," said he, taking himaffectionately by the hand, "if you continue thus changing your mindevery three months, you will never be any thing but an idle fellow, andyour youth will be lost in preparations for different professions; or,should you remain long enough fixed to have entered into any line oflife, you will not be long before you will desire to quit it foranother, of which you will probably be entirely ignorant, and by thatmeans ruin your fortune, and expose yourself to ridicule.
"You make me recollect two boys I once knew, and whose story has oftenbeen the subject of conversation, in a winter's evening, at the house ofan old clergyman, from whom I received the first principles of thevirtuous education my father had the goodness to bestow upon me.
"Robin was the son of a farmer who lived in the village; his uncle kepta grocer's shop in the next market town, and had a son named Richard.They were very clever boys, both understood the business they had beenbred to extremely well, and, at the age of sixteen, were become veryuseful to their parents; but about that time they took it into theirheads to grow tired of the employment they were engaged in, and to wishto change places with each other; Robin fancying that he should likeextremely to be a grocer, and Richard, that nothing could possibly be sopleasant and agreeable as working in the fields.
"The two fathers, who wished for nothing so much as the happiness oftheir children, were much grieved at this whim; for they very well knew,that all they had been learning could be of no use to them, if they werenow to change their situations, and would be exactly so much time andlabour lost, and every thing was to begin again; but Robin and Richardthought differently, and said they could not see that there was anything to learn.
"Their fathers desired they might change places for one month, andagreed that if in that time they saw no reason why they should notremain, the one to learn the business of a farmer, and the other toserve in a grocer's shop, they would willingly consent to indulge themin their inclination; and accordingly, on the day on which Richard wassent out to work in a large turnip field, Robin, decorated with a pairof white sleeves, and an apron before him, was placed behind his uncle'scounter.
"The first day he did nothing but grin and stare about him, dip hisfingers in the jars of honey, and fill his pockets with currants,raisins, and figs, and he thought it pleasant enough; but the moment hewas set at work, he found himself so aukward, that, if he had not beenashamed, he would have begged to return immediately to his plough andhis spade. Notwithstanding his earnest endeavours, he could not by anymeans contrive to tie up a pound of rice, for when he had folded thepaper at one end, and, as he thought, secured it, he let it run out atthe other; and something of the same kind happening to every thing heundertook, the shop was strewed from one end to the other with rice,tea, and sugar; and his uncle told him he was only wasting his goods,and doing mischief, without being of the smallest use. If he was sentout with any parcels, he was sure to lose his way, and ramble aboutwhole hours together, till somebody was sent in search of him. No onepitied him; he was the jest of the whole family; and, before half themonth was expired, he begged in the most earnest manner, that he mightreturn to the farm.
"Richard, who had never been much exposed either to heat or cold,desired his uncle would excuse his working till the cool of the evening;but the farmer laughed at him, and asked him if he thought that would bethe way to get his work done. He was therefore obliged to go out andattempt something, but his whole day's work might have been done in acouple of hours by a country boy of twelve years of age, and would alsohave been much better done, for poor Richard did not know what he wasabout.
"At five o'clock he said he must go and get his tea; but his uncle toldhim they never drank any such slops, and promised him a good mess ofporridge for his supper, if he made haste to finish his work.
"Richard _could not_ work; he had done nothing right, and the next dayhe found it worse and worse; he did not know even how to handle a spade,much less how to make use of it. He sauntered about, with his armsacross, the whole long summer's day, doing nothing, yet tired anduncomfortable: he had nobody to speak to--he could not find one idleperson; even his aunt, when he went to seek her, was busy in her dairy,and told him to go and mind his business, and not lounge about anddisturb those who were inclined to work.
"Every creature he saw had some employment which they understood, andappeared to take pleasure in, whilst he, unable to do the same, andweary of wandering alone, from the garden to the field, and from thefield to the garden, wished a thousand times he had never quitted hisfather's shop, where, being able to act his part as well as otherpeople, he felt himself of some consequence: now he was nobody, he wasin every one's way, and all were tired of him.
"Robin and Richard were glad to return to their own homes, and re-assumetheir former employments, in which they prospered so well, that theynever after felt the least inclination to quit them, and are at thistime living in ease and plenty, respected and esteemed by their friendsand neighbours."
CECILIA AND FANNY.
Cecilia went to spend a month with her aunt in the country. She was verymuch pleased at being in a place where she could run in the garden andin the fields as much as she liked, but she would have been much happierif her sister had been with her; and Fanny, who fancied she should haveno pleasure in any thing without the company of her dear Cecilia, wastired of her absence, and longed for her return, before she had been twodays gone.
They could both write tolerably well, and Cecilia, the week after herarrival at her aunt's, addressed the following letter to her sister:
"MY DEAR FANNY,
"I wish mamma could have parted with us both at the same time, that we might have rambled about together in my aunt's beautiful gardens, and in the fields and meadows which surround the house: but I believe I am wrong in forming such a wish, for she would then be left quite alone, and that I do not desire on any account; if I did, I should appear very selfish, and as if I thought of nobody's pleasure except my own, and that I should be extremely sorry for.
"I am sure you will like to know that I am very happy at my aunt's, and how good and kind she is to me. All the long border behind the summer-house is to be called our garden, and it is now putting in order for us; and when neither of us are here, my aunt says the gardener shall take care of it: it is full of beautiful rose-trees and flowering shrubs; and Thomas is planting many more, and sowing mignonette, and other seeds, so that when you come here, you will find it quite flourishing.
"My aunt sends me very often with Biddy to walk by the sea-side, and I have found a number of very pretty shells and sea-weeds, which I shall bring you, and a great many curiosities which I have picked up on the beach. I never saw such things before, and I am sure you never did. We never see any thing where we live but houses and pavement--here I have seen the mowers and the haymakers, and I know how to make hay, and how butter is made, and many other things.
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