A cup of sweets, that ca.., p.5
A cup of sweets, that can never cloy: or, delightful tales for good children,
He was, at his own desire, taken back to school, where he entreated hismaster to pardon the little attention he had paid to his books, and theinstruction he had been so good as to give him; as also his elopement, afault he had, he said, repented of almost as soon as he had committedit.
The master readily forgave him upon his acknowledging his error, andassured him, that, though he always punished those who deserved it, heknew very well how to distinguish the innocent from the guilty, andthat, whilst he behaved like a good boy, he would have no reason to fearhis anger.
Rose was eight years of age when her sister Harriet was born: she wasextremely fond of the baby, watched its cradle whilst it slept, and wasnever tired of looking at it, and admiring its little features; but shecould not, without pain, observe, that she was no longer, as she hadbeen accustomed to be, the _sole_ object of her mamma's care andattention.
Harriet must not be left a moment! Harriet must not be disturbed! Andeven if her mamma had the head-ach, and Rose was not suffered to go intoher room, the little stranger was admitted. She concluded that she wasno longer loved by any body, for even the servants were, she fancied,more occupied with her little sister than with her, or any thing whichconcerned her; and before she was ten years of age, she was become sovery jealous and fretful, that she took no pleasure in any thing, norwas it in the power of any one to please or amuse her.
One day walking in the garden with her mamma, who carried the littleHarriet in her arms, and coming to a part of it where several tall andfar-spreading trees afforded them a pleasant shade from the heat of thesun, they stopped to enjoy its coolness. The gardener was ordered tobring them some cherries, and they sat down on the grass to await hiscoming: the little one, however, had no inclination to be so longstill, and her mamma, to please and keep her quiet, lifted her up, andseated her on the bough of a tree which spread above their heads.
Rose immediately changed colour; her countenance, which a moment beforewas tolerably cheerful, now became gloomy and sullen; she leaned hercheek upon her hand, and her eyes followed them, expressing nothing butdiscontent and jealousy.
Her mamma was not long before she perceived the angry glances thrownupon her, and asked her, in a tone of displeasure, what they signified?"I cannot help fearing," said Rose, "that you no longer love me, nowthat you have another little girl. I remember, when you played with meall day; I was then continually on your knee, and every thing you hadwas brought out to amuse me; the servants also thought of nothing buthow to give me pleasure; but now I go neglected about the house, andnobody minds me: it is true, I have every thing I want, and my papa andyou are always buying me toys and pretty things of one kind or another;and I have often some of my little friends, whom you allow me to inviteto drink tea, and spend the afternoon with me; but----"
"But," interrupted her mamma, "I no longer take you upon my knee like ababy, or carry you in my arms; nor have I strength sufficient to liftyou up, and place you upon the bough of a tree, to please and make youquiet, as I have done by your little sister. You forget, I imagine, thatyou are ten years old, and that if I were to treat you in the samemanner as I do a child of two, we should both be laughed at by everycreature who might happen to see us. Reflect, my dear Rose, and do notsuppose, that, because the helpless age of this little darling demandsmore care and attention than is necessary to you--because, being hernurse, I am obliged to have her often with me, when the company ofanother would be troublesome and inconvenient to me--do not fancy, mylove, from these circumstances, that you are less beloved by either yourpapa or myself; but that as you increase in years, we shall shew ouraffection to you in a very different way to that in which we now do; asat present we treat you much otherwise than we did when you were of theage of your sister Harriet.
"I have long observed, with much uneasiness and concern, the fretfulnessand discontent you have exhibited in your countenance at every mark oftenderness and care shewn to your sister. If you suffer this humour togrow upon you, it will be observed by every body, and you will then, inreality, be disliked and shunned by all your acquaintance, though atpresent it is only in your own fancy that you are so. Recollect yourselfin time, re-assume your cheerfulness, assist me in taking care of thissweet child, instead of being angry at the attention I shew her; and beassured that we feel an equal affection towards you both, though we donot think it proper to treat you, my dear Rose, as we do a baby of twoyears old."
"What an unlucky boy I am!" said Edmond, running towards his papa, whomhe had been seeking over all the house and gardens. "My grandmamma haschanged her mind about going to my uncle's, and, instead of taking mewith her to spend a fortnight at his house, when I had set my heart uponit, I must content myself at home, she says, and wait for anotheropportunity. Every thing goes wrong with me--it was but last week thatthe pigs got into my little garden, and destroyed every thing in it."
"Stop! stop!" interrupted his papa, "and, before you complain of yourevil destiny, recollect, that if you had not heard the pigs in yourgarden, and ran in haste to drive them out of it, you would not haveseen your little brother, whom you seized by the arm on the very edge ofthe pond, and who, in another moment, would probably have fallen intoit, and would have been drowned before any of the family had missed him.It is not impossible but that you may have cause to rejoice some timehence at what now appears to you such a mighty disappointment."
His papa's words were soon verified: for not more than ten days hadelapsed after this conversation, when they received a letter whichfilled them with the severest affliction. A servant belonging to hisuncle had caught a dreadful putrid sore throat and fever, of which hedied almost immediately, and which had infected the whole family. Edmondheard with the utmost grief, that one of his cousins was no more, andthat the other lay in so dangerous a state, that his life was despairedof: and he did not fail to offer his unfeigned thanks to God for havingpreserved him from the danger to which he would have been exposed, ifhis grandmamma had not suddenly changed her intention of going to hisuncle's: he determined also, that he would never, in future, complain ofany trifling disappointments he might chance to meet with, or findfault, as he had too often done, with the arrangements of Providence;but conclude, that, however extraordinary many things might appear tohim, being ordered by Him who knows best what is fit for us, they must,some way or other, sooner or later, turn to our advantage and happiness.
Edmond, in the long walks he took with his papa, often met with thingswhich appeared to him very strange, and which (notwithstanding theresolution he had made, and the rule he had laid down never to findfault) made him thoughtful, and wish to know why they were permitted.
An old man, who was universally esteemed in the village, had beeninvolved in perplexity and trouble, as it appeared to him, veryunjustly. He was tenant to a rich man, and had been long andcomfortably settled in a prosperous way in a little farm, which lay in afertile and beautiful valley belonging to his large estate.
The rich man was hard-hearted and revengeful, and, taking a dislike topoor old Davis on some very trifling occasion, had turned him out of thefarm at so short a notice, that he had had the utmost difficulty to finda place to take shelter in. He had a great deal of trouble in removinghis cattle and his poultry, his corn and his hay-mows, and every thingbelonging to his farm; and said he was sure it would be a couple ofyears before he should be able to recover the expense and loss of time;and Edmond, who never went into the village without paying him a visit,and loved to chat with him and his old dame, never heard them talk ofit without thinking is was, at least, _a pity_ that he had met with sogreat a misfortune.
The winter was very severe, the snow fell fast, it was deep, and layvery long on the ground. Davis was obliged to take his cattle in fromthe fields, and feed them entirely on hay; his poultry required theutmost care and attention, and every thing in his garden was in dangerof perishing. "This is a sad winter for poor old Davis," said Edmond tohis papa; "I am afraid it will put him a
"I wish so too," replied his papa, "if it would have been more for hisgood to have remained there--but God knows best!"
The spring returned, the snow melted, torrents of water fell from thehills--the brooks swelled, and overflowed the meadows--every thing wasinundated: the farm in the valley was entirely destroyed, and all thecattle with which the rich man had stocked it were drowned. Davis, onhis hill, had felt the sharpness and biting frost of winter; he hadheard the wind roar, and the rain beat against his casement: but whenthe snow melted, he felt no ill effects from it, but turned out hiscattle, which he had sheltered whilst it lay on the ground, to feast onthe fresh herbage which had been preserved under it.
"I perceive now," said Edmond, "that I have been once more mistaken, andthat, instead of thinking Davis an object of pity, I should look uponhim as a fortunate man. If he had remained in the valley, his wholeproperty would have been destroyed, and he would have been a beggar: nowhe has but to be doubly attentive to his labour, and he will soonrecover the expense of his removal: he will then be just as well as hewas, and he might this day have been without a morsel of bread, or ashilling to purchase one."
THE GHOST AND THE DOMINOS.
Sophy Benson, when she was only eleven years old, could write, read,draw, and play on the piano-forte, better than any little girl of herage in the whole neighbourhood; she was obedient to her papa and mamma,affectionate to her brothers and sisters, and would do any thing tooblige her friends, except going up stairs after night, staying in thegarden alone a moment after the dusk of the evening, or going to bedbefore her sister. On these points, though she really wished to shew areadiness to do as she was desired, and had often attempted to do so,she never had been able to find resolution sufficient to carry herthrough with it; for she had heard of ghosts, giants, fairies, andmonsters of divers kinds, and was never an instant alone in the dark,without expecting to see one or the other; concluding, it must beimagined, that it was customary with those gentlemen and ladies to paytheir visits, each with a wax taper in their hands, to exhibit theirpersons by.
Sophy had a brother, a good-natured boy, one year younger than herself,whom she always contrived to get to accompany her when she had any thingto fetch from her chamber after night; but unfortunately, she hadrepeated so many terrible stories to him (to shew that she was notafraid without reason), that poor Harry soon became almost as great acoward as his sister; and they found, that whenever they had occasion togo out of the parlour after candlelight, it was necessary to procure athird person to be of their party, for they no longer thought themselvesin safety together.
It may be thought a fortunate circumstance, that the infection did notspread, or the whole family would soon have been obliged to move in abody; but there was little danger of any thing so ridiculous: it was, onthe contrary, much to be wondered at that a sensible girl, like SophyBenson, should have been capable of such a weakness, and that she nevergave herself time to reflect, that there could not be the smallestfoundation for the silly fears with which she had filled her head.
Her mamma had taken a great deal of pains to endeavour to convince herof the folly of indulging herself in such ridiculous fancies, but it wasto no purpose; her imagination was continually making her see strangesights, and hear extraordinary noises; and though she exposed herself tothe ridicule and laughter of her elder brothers and sisters, when hergiant proved to be a tree, and her dismal groans to be occasioned by thenoise of a door or a window-shutter on a stormy night: still she went onin the same way, and had made poor little Harry as foolish as herself.
Whenever she was alone, either in the house or garden, a moment laterthan she liked to be, her heart immediately began to beat, and she flewlike lightning to seek protection; her hands clasped, her elbowssqueezed close to her sides, and her head hung down--and in this way,every object she glanced her eyes upon appeared to her fancy somethingextraordinary: had she but summoned resolution to take a second look,she must have laughed at her own folly.
One evening she came screaming into the parlour, and assured her mammathat she had had the greatest difficulty to escape from a hideouscreature, who, with outspread arms, was on the point of seizing her, andbegged the door might be locked immediately. Her mamma, and herbrothers and sisters, laughed immoderately at her strange story, whichmortified her extremely; but they could not prevail on her to _shew_them where she had seen the terrible creature: she could, however, tellthem the exact spot, though she endeavoured to dissuade them fromventuring to go to it; but she could not prevail on any of them to befrightened, and they soon discovered the monster, with its outspreadarms, to be nothing more than the horse on which the servant had beenbeating her papa's coat.
One evening, when the moon shone bright and fine, and Sophy and Harryhad a very great desire to fetch a box of dominos which was in thenursery, and which they well knew they should not have, unless they wentthemselves to fetch it, after sitting half an hour, whispering andendeavouring to assume sufficient courage for so great an undertaking,they at length determined to go, for they were tired of having nothingto amuse themselves with, and had still a long winter evening beforethem.
Quaking through fear, and holding as fast as they possibly could by eachother's hand, they ascended the stairs, got into the passage which ledto the nursery, and were just going to open the door, when Sophyrecollected, that if Harry was seen by her maid, she should be finelylaughed at, and asked if she dared not venture to take a step withouthaving him to protect her; she therefore begged he would wait at thedoor whilst she went into the nursery to fetch the dominos; but Harrywould not hear of such a thing, and said he would not stay in thepassage alone on any account whatever.
Sophy was so desirous of appearing courageous to her maid, that shetried every means she could think of to engage Harry to wait for her;told him she would not be a moment, that the moon shone as bright asday--but all was to no purpose, till by promising to give him her littlebox of colours, and her ivory cup and ball, she at length prevailed uponhim to consent.
She walked into the nursery with an air of unconcern and boldness not atall usual to her; but it was quite lost, for Mary was not there and sheknew not how to venture so far as a closet at the other end of it, totake out the box of dominos, but was on the point of calling Harry tocome to her, when thinking the maid might be in the next room, shewished, if possible, to save her credit. With trembling steps sheadvanced towards the closet, reached it without any _terrible accident_,and having opened the door, began to grope about for the box: it wasneither on the first shelf nor the second, and passing her hand alongthe third, it fell upon something colder than stone.
Afraid of being laughed at, she determined not to scream, but with theutmost expedition quitted the nursery, without thinking of the dominos,and went to join her brother; but she had no sooner reached the passage,than she saw (too plainly she saw it to believe it to be the effect offear) a figure dressed in long white robes, having one arm extendedtowards her, entirely covered with black, and in a low tremulous voice,it called "Sophy, Sophy, Sophy."
This was the most alarming and terrible adventure she had ever met with;and if she had command enough over herself not to scream when shetouched the unaccountable cold thing in the closet, she now could shewno such fortitude; but sinking on the floor, for her knees could nolonger support her weight, she screamed so loud, that the poor ghost,who had been as much terrified as herself, throwing aside his whiterobes, ran towards her for protection, crying, "Sophy, Sophy! my dearSophy! is it you?--Oh dear! I thought it was all over with me; I havebeen almost smothered since you left me, and really thought I was goingto be buried alive."
Mary, who heard the bustle, now made her appearance with a light, and,perceiving what had happened, became extremely angry, asking them ifthey imagined she had nothing to do but to wash their linen, to have itpulled about the dirty passage. "And here is my black silkhandkerchief!" exclaimed
Harry looked extremely foolish, when he discovered that the only dangerwith which he had been menaced, was that of taking cold by having beencovered with wet linen. The truth was, that, when his sister left him,he was so much afraid of being alone, that though he longed for thecolours, and the cup and ball, he thought he was paying much too high aprice for them, and almost repented of his promise. Willing, however, togain the two things he most wished for, he determined to bear the lonelysituation he was left in, but fancied if he could get away from thedoor, and place his back against the wall, he should be much safer, andmore out of the way of danger.
Endeavouring by these means to secure himself, and shutting his eyes,that he might not see any thing disagreeable by the light of the moon,whose beams reflected different objects along the wall, he unfortunatelystepped upon the end of a line, on which Mary had hung to dry the wholelabour of the day, and having entangled his feet in it, by some means orother gave it such a jerk, that the nail sprung out, and in an instantpoor Harry was half smothered under the weight of a quantity of wetlinen, which he concluded (agreeably to the wonderful and surprisinghistories his sister had recounted to him) could be nothing less thansome giant, who was going to bury him alive.
A cup of sweets, that can never cloy: or, delightful tales for good children by Burt L. Standish / Young Adult have rating 3.6 out of 5 / Based on18 votes