arm around her. Her meanings ceased while
their friend, in a low, calm voice, uttered his
petitions for their dying father. It was no
time for disguise or false coloring of any sort.
Mr. Norton had lived, as many live, believing
in the Bible and professing faith in Christ,
but making a very imperfect and insufficient
application of the precepts of Christianity to
his life. In the main, he was a moral, kind-
hearted, and well-intentioned man ; but, mis-
led by a silly ambition and an overweening
fondness for a favorite son, he had destroyed
him, deprived his younger children of their
rights, and defrauded his best friend.
Mr. Barclay, in the name of the dying man,
expressed his contrition for the evil he had
done, and suffered to be done ; — for the bar-
renness of his life compared to the fruits it
should have produced. He acknowledged the
equity of that law which deprived him of the
peace of the righteous in his death. And
then, even with tears, he besought the com-
passion that faileth not, the mercy promised
by Jesus Christ and manifested to many who
had backslidden and sinned grievously, but
who, like the prodigal son, had returned and
been received with outstretched arms. In
conclusion, he alluded to himself. He fer-
vently thanked God, that when he had come
from the home of his fathers, a stranger to a
strange city, he had been received, befriended,
and generously aided by his departing servant ;
and he finished with a supplication that he
might be heartily disposed, and enabled, to
\ DARK DAT. 101
return to the children the favors received from
Silence prevailed long after he ceased to
speak. Harry and Emily were locked in one
another's arm-. Mr. Norton continued in fer-
vent prayer. His eye- were raised and his
hands folded. His spirit was at the foot of
the cross, seeking peace in the forgiveness
and infinite compassion there most manifest.
When the old man's mental prayer was finished,
there was comparatively peace <>n his counte-
nance ; hut the spirit that struggles hack over
those self-erected harriers that have separated
it from God, cannot have, — must not expect.
— the tranquillity, the celestial joy, that is
manifested in the death of those who have
been faithful in life.
Mr. Norton murmured his thoughts in half-
formed sentences : " He is merciful ; — ' Come
unto me ' — I am heavy laden. — Harry is very
good ! — oh — oh, how good you are to me! —
Poor Emy, — she won't have to go to the alms-
house, — Avill she?"
3ir. Barclay turned his eye to the poor
child, and for the first time noticed her dress.
She had been wearied out with the party of
the previous evening, and had fallen asleep
without undressing ; and now her ornamented
pink silk frock, her rich necklace and ear-rings
were a painful comment on her father's words
"Such a dress on a poor child who has no
certain refuge but the alms-house ! " thought
Mr. Barclay. He felt the deepest pity for
her, but he was too honest to authorize false
hopes. " No," he said in reply to Mr. Norton,
" Emily shall not go to the alms-house, — she
shall not be a dependent on any charity, public
or private, if she is true to herself. I will see
that she is qualified to earn her own living."
" Oh, that is best, far best, — you'll see to her,
— that's enough, — and poor Harry too ? "
" Harry already earns his living. I will be
his guardian. Shall I, Harry ? "
" You always have been, sir," replied Harry,
grasping his hand.
" Yes, yes, — he has ; — God reward him, —
he, not I."
" Oh, father, I did not mean that, — indeed
I did not."
" Truth don't hurt me now," said the old
man ; " it's truth." And so it was.
A HOME FOR THE nOMELESS. 103
A HOME FOR THE HOMELESS.
O bright occasions of dispensing good,
How seldom used, how little understood !
The scene of life, not long after this, closed
on Mr. Norton, ami he was respectfully com-
mitted to the grave by those who regarded
him as more sinned against, than sinning. Per-
haps he was viewed in a different light by Mr.
Barclay. whose estimate of a parent's power
and responsibilities was different from, and
much higher than, most men's.
Mr. Barclay found John Norton's concerns,
on investigation, not quite bo bad ss he feared.
After settling the business and cancelling the
indorsements of "Norton ami Co.," the prop-
erty vested in his printing-presses and that in
the farm at Greenbrook remained. The press
was a means of future accumulation, and the
farm a polar star where he might still rest the
eye of hope. It certainly was a severe disap-
pointment to have the accumulations of years
of vigorous labor swept away from him by the
profligacy of others, — to have his dearest plans
thwarted at the moment of their accomplish-
merit ; but he bore the evil patiently, as became
a Christian who was forearmed against the
uncertainties of life. " We must now," he said
at the conclusion of a long conversation on
their affairs with his wife, " we must now show
our children, what we have often told them,
that it is not the circumstances of life that
make our happiness or virtue, but the temper
in Avhich we meet them."
The children were made acquainted with
the unfortunate turn in their affairs, and the
necessity of the indefinite postponement of
their removal to Greenbrook. This they all
took to heart ; but no event can make children
long unhappy. Some ten days after old Mr.
Norton's interment, the Barclays were assem-
bled round a well-lighted table. Mrs. Barclay,
with a large work-basket before her, was put-
ting in that stitch in time which absorbs so
large a portion of the life of the mother of
half a dozen children. Charles and Wallace
were seated on each side of her, drawing,
acquiring at a leisure hour some knowledge of
an art for which a man in almost every pursuit
has some occasion. Alice was basting hems
and ruling copy-books for the little girls' next
day's work. Mary was dressing a doll for her
youngest sister, grand mamma knitting in the
corner, and Aunt Betsey making a very pretty
A HOME FOR THE HOMELESS. 105
dress for her pet ; and finally Mr. Barclay was
reading aloud the Life of Franklin, and making
now and then such remarks as would tend to
impress its valuable instruction on his children.
He was interrupted by an involuntary excla-
mation from Alice of "Ob dear mel"
" What is the matter, Alice?"
•■ Nothing, only I can never make these red
lines straight, in my arithmetic book. I wish
Harry Norton was here, he does them bo
"I wish he was here too," echoed Mary;
"this doll's arm torments me so, — I cannot
make it stay on."
"1 was just thinking," said Wallace, U I
would give any thing to have him come in, to
show me how to stump this foreground."
"Oh! that's easy enough, Wallace," -aid
Charles; "but I never can do these arches
without his help; 1 wonder he does not
" He cannot come, Charles, and leave Emily
" Why cannot Emily come too?"
"Dear me! I am sure nobody wants her,"
" And why not ? I wonder."
"Because she is so hateful."
" Mary, my dear child ! — that's a hard word
for you. Come here, and tell me what makes
poor Emily so hateful. "
" Because, sir, she is."
" Mary dear," said grandmamma, " your
Bible tells you not to bring a ' railing accusa-
Grandmamma's gentle admonitions were sel-
dom disregarded by the children. Mary looked
crest-fallen, when Aunt Betsey came to her aid.
" Mary is quite right," she said ; " Emily Nor-
ton is the most disagreeable little upstart that
ever I came across."
"But how is she disagreeable? Come,
Mary, let us know. I suspect there is some
prejudice in the case. It is very important to
poor little Emily that you should have no
prejudices against her."
"I don't think they are prejudices," mur-
mured Alice in an under voice.
" I know they are ! " exclaimed Wallace.
" I think they are too," said Charles.
"Oh yes, boys: you think, because Miss
Emily has such beautiful hair and eyes, and
so forth, that she must be good."
" No, Alice," replied Charles, " it is not that ;
but I cannot believe that Harry Norton's own
sister can be such a horrid creature."
" Dear me, Charles ! I did not say she was a
horrid creature, but I do say she is as different
from Harry as night from day."
A HOME FOR THE HOMELESS. 107
u My dear Alice, you speak very confidently,
considering how little you know of Emily."'
"Ah, father, that is the very thing. Mi^s
Emily don't choose to know us. The first
day we went to Smith's drawing-school, Sarah
Scott asked her if she knew ns. She said she
knew our names. Sarah said something about
our looking lady-like ; Miss Emily drew up her
little scornful mouth, — you need not smile,
father, for those were Sarah's very words, —
and said we might look so, hut were not SO,
for 'sister said' nobody visited mother, — only
think what a falsehood, sir, — and she advised
Sarah not to get acquainted with us for she
said 'sisfrr did not want her to.' Now, sir, do
you think it is all prejudice ? "
"Not all, my dear; but if we examine the
matter, we may find that a part of it i-. In
the first place, I suspect the scornful mouth
was an addition of Sarah Scott's; that young
lady has a very lively imagination; and a
sweeter-tempered mouth than Emily's, one
farther removed from an expression of scorn,
I never saw."
" So it is, sir, commonly, but you don't know
how girls can twist and spoil their mouths
when there are no grown people by. Besides,
if Sarah did add that about the mouth, and I
own she is apt to add and alter when she tells a
story, I am sure she did not make the rest ; foi
whenever Emily meets Mary and me in Broad-
way, her eyes are suddenly staring every way ;
whatever else she sees, she never sees us."
" And," added Mary, " she is always dressed
just like a grown-up lady. Oh, she does look
too proud ! "
Mr. Barclay waited a moment as if expect-
ing something more, and then asked, "Is this
all, my children ? "
" All in particular, sir," replied Alice.
" I am sure it is quite enough ! " said Aunt
" Alice," said her father, " Sit down on my
knee, — here is another for you, Mary. Now
let us see if we cannot find some apology for
" She will not care whether we do or not."
" Oh, my children ! poor Emily has too
much reason to care for your good opinion,
" "Why, sir, now? don't she go and live with
Mrs. John Norton ? "
" No. Poor Emily has no home now."
" No home, father ! "
The thought touched all their young kind
hearts, and Emily was at once placed in a new
aspect. Mr. Bai*clay took advantage of the
favorable moment to proceed. " What do you
A HOME FOB THE HOHBU l09
suppose, Alice, Mrs. Norton meant by telling
Emily that nobody visited your mother?"
"I suppose she meant what she said, sir."
•• Not at all, my dear. She meant that none
of her visiting acquaintance visited us. Mrs.
Norton calls all the people out of her circle
" What a silly woman ! "
" Very silly, my dear ; and I am sure if you
leflect on it, you will very soon think with
me, that Emily was more to bo pitied than
blamed for the notions she got from this woman,
into whose hands she fell when she w
very young. Her father, you all know, was
not the wisest man in the world. She had no
mother. Harry ivas too young to guide her.
Mrs. John Norton flattered her vanity, removed
her entirely from her early associates, indulged
her in every idle wish, and would have proba-
bly ruined the poor child, had it not pleased
Providence to remove her from her influence.
Mrs. Norton has gone baek to her uncl<
live again in idle dependence upon him, and
has shown how little real affection she had for
Emily ; for she has given herself no concern as
to what is to become oi' her, though she knows
she has not a penny, nor a relation to take
care of her. M
The children looked sad and pitiful
" She is young enough, I believe," continued
Mr. Barclay, " to be admitted either into the
orphan's asylum or the alms-house/'
" Both very good places for her," said Aunt
" Aunt Betsey ! " exclaimed Charles ; " Emily
Norton go to the alms-house ! "
" Harry's sister go to the alms-house, —
awful ! " cried Alice. " Do, father, let her
come and live with us."
w Alice, are you beside yourself? " asked Aunt
Betsey. " After your father has been all but
rained by old Norton, to think of his taking
upon himself the support of Emily ! "
Mr. Barclay went on, without directly an-
swering either Alice or her aunt. "I have
seen a great deal of little Emily since her
father's death, and do not believe it will be
difficult to give her right notions. Poor child,
her heart is melted, and takes any impression
you please to put upon it. She is any thing
but proud now, Mary ; and the fine clothes
that offended you so much, are all gone."
"Yes. I told her the greatest honor that
children in their case could do to a father's
memory, was, as far as possible, to pay his
debts ; and I told her what exertions and sacri-
fices Harry had made. She immediately went
A HOME FOR THE nOMELESS. Ill
upstairs, and packed up all her finery, — her
little trinkets, and every ornamental thing; she
had in the world, and begged me to have them
sold to pay the chambermaid, who had com-
plained bitterly of the loss of the wages due
"Did she, father? " said Mary; " her watch,
her gold chain, and her real enamel buckle V"
" Yes, my dear, those, and every article but
her necessary clothes."
"I always thought," said Wallace, "that
Emily had something noble in her."
"I felt sure of it," said Charles.
"Most persons, my dear boys, have some-
thing noble in them, if you but touch the right
spring to set it in motion. I think poor little
Emily has line qualities, but her character will
depend much on the circumstances in which
she is placed, tin- she is easily influenced."
"I like persons who are easily influenced,"
said Wallace, as if thinking aloud. This was
true, and a common disposition enough it is,
with those who are strong willed, and who
seem born, like our friend Wallace, to influence
"I called in on Harry and Emily as I came
home to tea," continued Mr. Barclay. "Their
house is in complete order for the auction
which is to take place to-morrow. Harry has
worked like a beaver, and with the help of one
man and one woman and little Emily, who has
done all she could, every thing is ready."
" Oh dear ! " said Alice, heaving a deep sigh,
" how sadly they must feel ! "
" No, Alice, they do not, and they ought not.
It is family love and happy domestic inter-
course that attaches us to the inanimate
objects of our home. This table around which
we have so many pleasant gatherings, — the
sofa, — grandmamma's rocking - chair, — the
baby's cradle, are all so many signs, which, as
often as you look upon them, call forth delight-
ful feelings. No books or maps will ever look
to you like those we have read and studied
together. But suppose our parlor emptied of
all it now contains, and costly furniture put in
it, such as would make us appear genteel in
other people's eyes; suppose we never entered
it but to receive morning calls, or evening
company : our vanity might be gratified, but
do you think the furniture would excite any
sensations worthy of the name of happiness?"
"No, sir, — no," was the general verdict.
"The case I have supposed is just that of
Harry and Emily, — the family moved into a
new house when John Norton was married, —
all the old furniture was sent to auction, and
new was bought. Harry has passed most of
A HOME FOR THE HOMELESS. 113
his evenings with us, and poor little Emily,
when they had not company at home, has
been left alone with her father, who did not
know how to amuse or instruct her, or with
the servants, who were very unfit companions,
for Mrs. John Norton was never nice in the
selection of her servants, and was continually
changing them. This evening, I found Harry
and Emily in the little breakfast room. There
was a light on the table, and a book from
which Harry had been reading to his sister ;
but they had drawn near the fire. They were
sitting on the same chair. Emily's arm was
round his neck, and she was listening to what
he was saying with such a tender, confiding
"I wonder what he was saying, father,"
" Something of their separation, I believe,
"But why need they be separated, father? —
why can't they both come and live with us?"
It had been a settled matter, from the
moment of Mr. Norton's death, that Harry
was to come into the family.
" Are you crazy, Alice ! " asked Aunt Betsey.
" I am sure I don't think Alice crazy at
all," said Mary. "There are two beds in our
room, and Haddy sleeps with Alice, and I
should like of all things to have Emily sleep
" And it is exceedingly important," said
Wallace, as wise as Socrates on the occasion,
" that Emily should live in a good place,
because, father says, her character depends so
much on circumstances."
" And where can she go, if she don't come
here ? " asked the tender-hearted Charles.
The children had arrived at the very point
Mr. Barclay desired.
" Your right dispositions, my dear children,"
he said, " gratify me ; but you must remember
that it is on your mother that the burden of an
increased family must chiefly fall. Consult
her. If she is willing to extend the blessing
of a home to both these orphan children, at the
cost, as must needs be, of much labor and self-
denial to herself, she will set us an example 01
disinterestedness and benevolence that we
will try to follow."
The children now all clustered round their
mother. To Mrs. Barclay, sound in health,
serene in temper, and of most benignant dispo-
sition, no exertion for others seemed difficult ;
and with one of her sweetest smiles she said,
that, as far as she was concerned, she should
be most happy that Harry and Emily should
not be separated. The children clapped their
A HOME FOR THE HOMELESS. 115
hands, and returned to their father, shouting,
" It's all settled."
" Not quite so fast; there is something yet
to be considered. Fou all know that we allow
ourselves a fixed sum for our annual expenses.
If we indulge in the luxury of doing thi> kind-
ness to Emily, we must all give up something.
You and Mary, Alice, must give up the danc-
ing-school that has been running in your heads
for the last six weeks, and Charles and Wal-
lace cannot have a drawing-master."
This suggestion seemed for a moment to
abate the zeal of the young lolks ; but Alice.
who was always the first to clear away obstruc-
tions, said, after a little reflection, "Oh! well,
never mind the dancing-school. T have thought
of a nice plan, — Emily is Mr. Chanaud's best
scholar, — she can give us lessons in the garret.
It is a good place for dancing, and we shall
not disturb grandmamma there." 1
"And as to the drawing, sir,"' said Charles,
"With a little of Harry's help we can teach
ourselves; and when we have such a good
motive for it, we shall take twice as much
pains as if we had a master."
" Well, my good children, we will all take it
into consideration, and if we are of the same
mind to-morrow night, Emily shall come to us
This conversation had not, as may well be
supposed, occurred without much consultation
between Mr. and Mrs. Barclay. They thought
they could not do a more certain good, than
by extending the advantages of their home to
the young Xortons. They hoped this might
be an acceptable expression of their gratitude
to Providence for their domestic blessings.
They knew their children had some preposses-
sions against Emily, and Mr. Barclay had
undertaken to turn the current of their feelings
in her favor. In this he had so fir succeeded,
that her entrance into the family was a favor
accorded to them ; and thus, instead of coming
among them an object of their prejudice and
distrust, they henceforth considered themselves
as Emily's champions and protectors. Each
one was anxious to shelter her infirmities, to
set her in a favorable light, and to make her
new home as happy as possible.
When all the family had retired excepting
Mrs. Barclay and her sister, Aunt Betsey
jerked round her chair, put her feet on the
fender, and gave vent to her pent-up feelings.
By the way, it should be said in Aunt Betsey's
favor, that fretting was her safety-valve; she
thus let off her petty irritations, and in conduct
she was not less humane than most persons.
"You are the oddest people," she began,
A HOME FOR THE HOMELESS.
-that I ever came across; with seven children,
and the Lord knows how many more you may
have, the old lady and myself, and only Mar-
tha for help, to undertake these two children
that have no claim on earth upon you. Claim !
the children of your greatest enemy, the man
that has all but ruined you, and in sueh an
underhand way too, — a pretty reward for
knavery ! I hope you mean to put up a sign,
William Barclay & < o.'s orphan asylum, or
alms-house I "
Mrs. Barclay was too much accustomed to
her Bister's railing to be disturbed by it.
•'If it were more the practice, Betsey," she
mildly replied, " for those who have homes to
extend the blessing to those who have them
not, there would be little occasion for orphan
asylums, and the charity now done by the
public, would be more effectively done in
« I see no advantage whatever in turning
private houses into alms-house- and such sort
of places. I always thought home was a sacred
place, from which it was a duty to shut out
every thing disagreeable and unpleasant."
Fortunately Aunt Betsey's self-love pre-
vented her perceiving how hard this rule would
bear upon herself. Her brother-in-law had
given her a home, simply because her temper
was so uncomfortable, that no other member
of her family was willing to receive her, —
none other could have borne and forborne
with her, — none other would have made
allowances for the trials of her single and soli-
tary condition, and by always opposing a
smooth surface to her sharp corners, have
gradually worn them down.
" It is a duty, as you say, Betsey," replied
her sister, « to exclude every thing permanently
disagreeable from the family; for home should
resemble heaven in happiness as well as love.
But we cannot exclude from our earthly homes
the infirmities of humanity. There are few
persons, no young persons, who, if they are
treated wisely and tenderly, will not be found
to have more good than evil in them. In the
Nortons, I am sure, the good greatly prepon-
derates. Our children, we think, will be bene-
fited by having new excitements to kindness,
generosity, and forbearance."
"Well, if your children must have these
excitements, as you call them, why under the
sun don't you find some folks to take in, besides
the children of the man that robbed you of all
you've been toiling for and saving, for this
dozen years and more?"
" O Betsey ! it does seem to me that, see-
ing, you see not. I don't mean to hurt you,
A HOME FOE THE HOMELESS. 119
— but how can you help feeling Mr. Barclay's
nobleness, his truly Christian spirit in this
matter? how he has returned good for evil,
and overcome evil with good!" Aunt Betsey
said nothing, and Mrs. Barclay proceeded,
,l Our children, I am sure, cannot but profit by
such an example."
"But they don't need it. You are both of
you always teaching them."
"'Example is better than precept,' Betsey."
" Well, let that rest. But I should like to
know how you can afford to set such exam-
"As to that, the way is clear enough. Har-
ry's earnings will pay his board and all his
other expenses. He will only be indebted to
us, for what, he says, he esteems above all
other things, a home in our house.' 1
"But little Miss Emily cannot be boarded,
clothed, and schooled for DOthing."
u Certainly not; but the expense of feeding
a little girl in a family where there are
three abundant meals a day is really trifling.
The cost of Alice's clothes has never exceeded
thirty dollars a year; Emily's will not cost
"No, to be sure. You will not have to buy
new for her. She is so much more slender