Charles Albert White.

Willie Rogers; or, Temper improved online

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WILLIE ROGERS,



TEMPER IMPROVED.



Second SHCtCon.



BOSTON:
SAMUEL G. SIMPKINS.

1845.



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CONTEiqTS.



Evil for Evil, 1

A Quarrel, 6

A Warning, 10

Punishment not Vengeance, 14

A NEW Playmate, -18

Tyranny, 28

Generosity, 34

Going to Bed, 44

Spending Pocket-Money, 60

School Trials, - - - - 65

Becky's Temper Fit, - 65

A Reconciliation, 75

Non-Resistance, 80

Honor and Duty, 86

A False Reproach, 91

Perseverance, 97



Entered according to act of Congress in the year 1843,

By Samuel G. Simfkins,

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.



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WILLIE ROGERS,



TEMPER IMPROVED.



EVIL FOR EVIL.



* Why, Willie! what a face! And what is
the matter with that little thumb that you are
hugging so closely ?'

* Naughty, oaughty old puss!' cried Willie,
in a loud, cross voice — 'you need not hide un-
der the sofa, Mrs. Puss; I shall take my papa's
long whip, and drive you out. You must be
put into the dark closet, naughty puss!'

*Come here, Willie,' said his mother. *Do
you see this curious insect on the window.?'

'Oh! mother! it is a wasp. Are you not
afraid?'

'No. If I do not hurt him, he will not hurt
1

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2 WILLIE ROGERS,

me.' Just then the wasp, in buzzing about,
happened to come down on Willie's neck.
' Stand perfectly still, my child,' said his moth-
er, 'and he will not sling you.'

Willie obeyed, but with a very anxious face.
Presently the little creature crawled from his
neck to his sleeve, and then buzzed away to the
window again. Willie's mother opened the
window, and brushed him out with her hand-
kerchief.

'How glad he is to be free again,' she said.
^He could not find anything to eat on my
Willie's shoulder.'

'He is an ugly thing! I am glad he is
gone,' cried Willie. ' Why did you not knock
him down, and step on him, mamma? Becky
always does.'

'Does Becky do right always?'

'I guess not, indeed! But she says she
will not let the wicked wasps come to sting
me, — no, she won't! And so she puts her
foot on them; but sometimes she takes the
tongs, and pinches them, or puts them into the
fire.'

' And my kind-hearted little boy does not
like to see her do it, I hope.'



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^No, mother; so I don't. But I thought it
was right, because — '

'Because wasps have stings?'

'Yes.'

' But you see they do no harm, if you let
them alone.'

' But I might hurt one without intending to
do it.'

' True. Once I took hold of die window
curtain, so; and a little wasp that happened to
be on the other side of it, let me know very
quickly that he was there, by a sharp prick on
my finger. I dropped the curtain, and down
fell the wasp at my feet. I did not hurt him.
A little vinegar soon made my finger well
again.'

' But, mother! ought you not to have killed
him, that he might not sting anybody so again?'

' If the wasp could speak, what would he
say to that?'

' I don't know. What would he?'

'Pretty well, too, Mr. Willie Rogers, if
I must be killed lest you should hurt me acci-
dentally.'

' Well — I wish there were no wasps in the
world.'



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4 WILLIE ROGERS,

* Pretty well, too, Mr. Willie Rogers; I wish
there were no Beckies, and no Willie Rog-
erses.'

' Very fair, Mr. Wasp!' cried Willie, laugh-
ing, and capering about. ^Oh, ho! See moth-
er! puss has corne out from under the sofa,
and is lying down in the sunshine. How com-
fortable she looks, stretched out on the carpet!
Look, mother; my thumb bleeds a little, still,
where she scratched me. See that little red
bead!'

'Naughty, cross old puss!' said his mother,
frowning and pouting. Willie looked up in her
face with a droll smile.

'Did I look so, mother? Let me see my
face in the cover of your work-box. Oh! I
can't scowl, because I am laughing. I can't
help laughing all the time to think how you
looked, making a great lip, so! There — just
so, mother!'

'Did you not think it becoming?'

*0h, mother — what a funny woman you
are!'

' But why, Mrs. Puss, should you scratch
a kind little boy like my Willie?'

Puss could not answer, so Willie spoke for



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OE TEMPER IMPROVED. O

her. ' Why, I pulled her tail, because she
would not play with my marble ; and she
mewed — '

' That was her way of saying, "Oh! you
hurt me, Willie.'"

^ And I pulled it again, and then she turned
round and put her claw on my thumb as quick
— oh, how quick!'

^And that was her way to punish you a
little, for hurting her on purpose.'

* Now you love me again, don't you, pussy?'
said the litde boy, lying down, and rubbing his
cheek over her smooth fur. Pussy purred,
and rubbed her head against him in return.



A QUARREL.

One day Mrs. Rogers heard a loud scream
in the kitchen. She threw down her work,
and ran out. Did she not think her little Willie
was hurt, — that he was scalded, perhaps, or
burnt? Oh, no! She knew that it was not a
scream of pain. Was he in danger, or fright-
ened? No; it was not a scream of terror.
1*

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6 WILLIE ROGERS,

She soon came in, leading Willie, with his
face very red, and covered with tears. She
opened the closet door. Willie took a cricket
from under the sofa, carried it into the closet,
and drew the door after him. Presently he
pushed it open. ' Naughty, ugly Becky,' he
began —

' I will fasten the door, my son,' said his
mother, quietly, ^ and when you are ready to
have it opened, you can knock, you know, and
I shall be glad to come and open it for you.'

Willie understood very well what this meant.
He sat sobbing for some time. Then came
some long sighs, and at last he called out to his
mother, but without asking to be let out,
* mother! will you not let me talk to you.^
Becky—'

' Not about Becky, till you are quite your-
self again.'

*Well, I won't then. But I know who
ought to be in the closet as well as I. I don't
love her at all.'

Mrs. Rogers said nothing. If she had spoken
she would have said, * You do not feel quite
like a good boy, yet.' But she thought he
knew it very well, without being told.



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A long time passed, but all was slill id the
closet. She listened, and at last opened the
door. There lay Willie, sound asleep! She
took him up gently, and laid him on the sofa.
He had not lain there long, before be was
waked by pussy's little rough tongue, licking
his cheek.

' Oh, you roguish puss,' said Willie's moth-
er, when she saw she bad waked the sleeper.
Willie stretched himself, and gaped, looking
very stupid and sleepy. So Mrs. Rogers laid
down her work, and went and took him into her
lap, and laid his head on her shoulder. Presently,
Becky came in to lay the table. She looked
surprised to see Willie in his mother's arms.

' I am very sorry you are sick,' she said, as
she looked at his heavy, half-shut eyes; * Poor
little Willie! can I do anything for you.?'

Willie laughed, and said, 'No, thank you.
Doctor Becky.' And presently he jumped
down, and began to help her spread the crumb-
cloth, and trundle out the table. Becky smiled,
and called him a nice little man, adding, ' this
is much better, is n't it, than kicking and slap-
ping me?'

Willie looked very sad at this, and went



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8 WILLIE ROGERS,

slowly back to bis motber, and climbing up into
ber lap, bid bis face on ber sboulder.

' Now you may tell me if you wisb, wbat
made you so angry witb Becky.' Mrs. Rogers
did not say tbis till Becky bad gone out of tbe
room.

Willie was silent.

' Wbat did Becky do.^ I can trust you, now
tbat you are not angry; I know you will tell
me tbe wbole trutb. Who was wrong?'

^ I was. But I was in fun at first.'

' Wbat did you do?'

^ Becky was wasbing tbe floor, and I ran all
over it, to make tracks; and Becky told me
not to — but I did it again. Tben sbe ran after
me, to catcb me, and put me out of tbe kitcb-
en. I ran all about, and wben sbe caugbt me,
sbe burt my arm, and — and — '

* Is tbat all?'

' And so I screamed, and — I am very sorry
— I kicked and slapped ber, to make ber let
me go.'

*I do not see tbat Becky was much to
blame — '

* Wby did you not let me tell you wben I
was in tbe closet?'



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* Because you began so — "naughty, ugly
Becky!" — and I knew you would lay all the

' blame upon her. Little boys, and even grown
people, are never just when in a passion.'

'And now I rather think, mother, that
Becky did not mean to hurt me at all.'

' If she did, would that make it right for you
to hurt her in return.^'

' No— for I know I must not return evil for
evil.'

* How long must I keep you from going into
the kitchen to play?'

*0h, mother! why must not I go into the
kitchen?'

* Ask yourself, my honest little boy.'
' Because Becky makes me mad.'
'No — guess again.'

* Because, if Becky makes me mad, I return
evil for evil. But I will try not to, any more.'

' I am afraid you will forget to try. I can-
not trust you.'

' But, mother, how can I try, if I stay all
the time with you? For you are always kind.
I am always a good boy, or a pretty good boy,
with you.'
. ' Well, my dear Willie, you have given me



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10 WILLIE ROGERS,

a good reason. I will allow you to go into the
kitchen again. Hark! Becky is coming with
the tea. Open the door for her — run — quick!'
Willie opened the door, and then ran out to
the kitchen to bring in the cream and the but-
ter, smiling very lovingly upon Becky. He
seemed to be silently asking her forgiveness,
and Becky understood him just as well as if he
had said, * Becky, I am sorry.'



A WARNING.

At tea, Willie's father pinched his cheek
softly, saying, 'Been good to-day, Willie
boy?'

Willie's face was crimson in a moment. He
looked down into his plate, his lip quivered,
and tears began to shine under his long eye-
lashes. He wished his father would not ask
any further just then.

* Any news to-day?' asked Mrs. Rogers.

* Tom Walker has procured for himself a
handsome beating, if that may be considered
news,' said Mr. Rogers, banding her his cup.



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OR TAMPER IMFROTED. « 11

Tom Walker was a man who lived near, in
the handsomest house in the town. His pas-
sionate temper was well known, even to Willie.

Willie wondered what procured meant, and
what kind of beating it was that might be
called handsome.

*Oh! I am sorry for him!' exclaimed Wil-
lie's mother.

* Why — I don't pity him. It is his own
fault. He struck a tall, two-fisted Irishman
who was working for him, and the fellow pum-
melled him black and blue, that's all. I was
half glad of it. I hope it will be a lesson to
him.'

' But it will do no good.'

^ At least he will learn to keep his hands off
of other people.'

^ As he did not learn that when he was a
boy, I am afraid he never will, nor the Irish-
man either,' said Mrs. Rogers. Willie caught
her eye, and smiled.

' Did he have any mother.^' asked Willie.

^ Not such a mother as yours,' said his fa-
ther, laughing. * Willie, how you would laugh,
if she were to tell you to whip the naughty
table, because you had bumped your little pate
against it.'



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12 WILLIE ROGERS,

*Did his mother do so?'

'Oh, I don't know — ^but I think it very
likely, for I have seen him, since he was a man
grown, stamp and kick against an innocent door,
in which he carelessly pinched his 6ngers.
I shall not tell you what he said to the door.'

' A great man talk to a door! what a funny-
man. What did he say ?'

* I said I could not repeat it.'

*But what could it be.^ Was it naughty y
ugly doorV

^ Something more foolish than that. He
swore at the door.'

' SiooreV repeated Willie, looking puzzled.
^Swore^ father?'

His father did not seem to hear him; he look-
ed very thoughtful, and Willie turned his eyes
to his mother's face.

' I cannot explain it to you now, Willie,'
she said. ' Indeed,' she continued, speaking
to her husband, ' it seems hardly possible for
the mind of a child to conceive of such an un-
natural mixture of folly and impiety as the
practice of swearing exhibits.'

Just then Willie felt something pulling his
gown. It was puss. She was standing on her
bind feet; and with one paw on his chair, she



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carded his gown with the other, to call his no-
tice. Willie jumped down, and ran to the
closet for a little saucer which his mother had
given him for puss. It was one which had be-
longed to a flower-pot, and it bad a foot to
stand upon, like a wine-glass, or vase. Into this
his mother poured some cream, and a little
water, and gave it to Willie. He did not set
it down upon the carpet, where it might be
overset, or stepped on. No, pussy knew better
than to expect that* Off she ran to the door,
with her head and tail up, and her back arched.
Willie moved slowly, and she came back to
meet him, and whirled round him two or three
times, rubbing hard against his legs. At last
she made him look away from the milk, and a
few drops were spilt over the side, ran down
upon the foot, and dropped upon the carpet.

'There, puss!' he began in an impatient
tone, but he stopped himself, and, as his mother
came and opened the door to help him, he said,
pleasantly, ^ I could not help spilling a little,
mother, I was so afraid I should tread on pussy.'

* There is no great harm done,' said his
mother, in a kind tone; ' I will excuse you as
readily as you have forgiven puss.'
2

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14 WILLIE ROGERS,



PUNISHMENT NOT VENGEANCE.

'Come, Willie, it is bedtime,' said Mrs.
Rogers, holding open the heavy yard gate.
'Come, dome.'

But Willie, who was playing he was a colt,
only shook his head, kicked up his heels, and
cantered away.

'Well — well! suppose I shut the gate, and
leave you out there all night.'

' I am not afraid of the dark,' shouted Wil-
lie; God will take care of me.'

' La, Miss Rogers,' cried Becky, from the
kitchen window, ' I'll catch him, and fetch
him in quick.'

' No, I thank you. How often have I told
you, Becky, that force is unnecessary, and
worse than unnecessary.'

' Well, I think you 've the patience of Job.
I 'd never stand there waiting.'

Willie was capering, and caracoling, and trot-
ting in a circle all this time, with his eye on his
mother.

' My arm aches, Willie, holding this heavy
gate.'



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He flew to her in a moment, put his hand
into hers, and went up to bed without a mur-
mur, though he was not at all sleepy.

'Oh! mother!' cried he, as he sank down
into his comfortable little bed, ' I did not know
how tired I was. Bed feels so soft, I am glad
to lie down in it, after all.'

' Don't you wish all little tired boys could
rest on such a good bed?'

* Oh yes. Mother, why does not God give
the little poor boys all the things I have? I
wish he would!'

* My dear little boy, you may pray that he
will give them the comforts they need.'

Willie clasped his hands, and repeated his
usual prayer, adding with a full heart, a peti-
tion for poor children.

' Won't you stay and talk with me a little
while, dear mother?' asked he, as she was about
to leave the chamber.

^I suppose the lamps are not yet lighted
below,' said his mother, sitting down upon the
bed. ' I can spare a few minutes in the twi-
light, though I am very busy, working for a
certain little boy.'

^ I know who.'



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16 WILLIB ROGERS,

^ Don't you think then, he ought to have
come in directly, when I called him?'

* Oh — I was only in fun.'

*Is it good fun to be disobedient?'
^ Oh mother, I was not disobedient! I was
playing I was a horse whom his master could
not catch. Did you think I was disobedient?'

* Why — ^no— not exactly. But it was so
much like it, that Becky was very much vexed.
I felt impatient, myself, having to wait so long
to b^ obeyed. She thought I ought to punish
you.'

*That is just like Becky. She always
wants to return evil for evil.'

' Do you think punishment is returning evil
for evil?'

^ I think Becky's punishing is.'

^ What is the difference between hers and
mine?'

* Why — I know, but I cannot tell.'
'Shall I tell you?'

* Yes; but will you, if you please, tell me
first what my punishment is to be for not coming
directly?'

' My sweet boy, I am not going to punish
you at all. It was not I, but Becky, that



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thought Master Willie ought to suffer for keep-
ing me waiting at the street door.'

' I am sorry I did, mother.'

^ I am convinced of it, my dear little affec-
tionate boy. I knew you would not give me
any uneasiness wilfully.'

'And, mother, you never punish me for
making a noise when you have the headacb.
I don't always mean to, but I forget. And
to-day, when I stepped on your foot, and hurt
you, and soiled your nice stocking, you only
said, 'Oh, careless Willie!' and I felt dread-
fully. I love you, mother, dearly, but I don't
love Becky very well.'

'But /do.'

' Why, I heard you tell Mrs. yester-
day, that Becky had not a good temper.'

* Poor Becky, must she therefore have no-
body to love her? Nobody to help her, when
she is weary with hard work — nobody to feel
for her when she is in pain — ^nobody to thank
her for her kindness? Poor Becky!'

' / will, mother — ^yes, I do love her.'

' And to-morrow she will get up early and
make our breakfast, while we, who have not had
so much to make us tired, ar^ sleeping soundly.'
2*



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18 WILLIE ROGERS,

^ And perhaps she will bake me a little cake,
mother; she does sometimes.'

* Yes, she loves to give you pleasure; and if
she does speak sharply to you, when she is out
of humor, you can learn not to be angry, can't
you?'

* Yes — I promised to try, you know. I am
not going to be like the wasp, nor like puss.
They do not know they must not return evil
for evil.'

* Well! that is a good thing to remember.
My Willie will not be a little wasp. So if I
see him inclined to be waspish, I shall just
buzz a little, to remind him.'

'Oh how funny it will be! But I do not
mean you shall have a chance, very soon,' said
Willie, as his mother kissed his cheek and
bade him good night.



A NEW PLAYMATE.



It was a cold winter evening, two or three
years after this, that Mrs. Rogers came in froia
abroad, and laid aside her hood and cloak*



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Her husband looked up from his book and said,
* Where is Becky? Did you come home
alone?'

' I left Becky, for I thought I could do with-
out her a few days — '

^ My dear wife, I must say, I think it was
thoughtless in you, to undertake so much, this
severe cold weather. You will be sick yourself,
I prophecy. It was ill-judged, kind though it
was.'

^ I had half a mind to bring home the little
girl, too — ^ihey are in such distress there. I
think poor Sally will not live many days.'

* How old is the little thing?'

* Two years younger than Willie.'

^ It is a pity she is not old enough to be put
out at service.'

* Yes, it is a pity. But — '

*• There is nobody to take charge of her, and
she must go to the workhouse, I suppose — or,
stay — shall we find her a boarding-place?
The town will allow something, and I will pay
the rest.'

' Sally was a faithful girl when slie lived with
us.'

*Very.'

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20 WILLIE ROOE&Sy

^Kind in sickness — ^very kind, when we
thought we were to lose our little Willie.'

^ Well, what then? I see my plan does not
come up to your wishes.'

* You remember what you were saying yes-
terday, when I said Willie was a thoroughly
good-tempered little fellow.'

^I said that he had no temptation to be
otherwise, now that he and Becky understood
each other so nicely. There is no one to cross
bis path, to interfere with his plays, or put him
out of his way.'

^ And therefore he is in a fair way to grow
selfish. My plan is, to take this little girl into
the house as a companion for him.'

^ It will be a great care to you.'

^ Ah, well, somebody must take care of a
motherless child, you know, and why not I ? '

^ Do as you please — I do not object,' said
Mr. Rogers, turning back to his book with a
smile.

^ Oh, that smile seems to say I shall soon be
tired of my undertaking.'

' Oh, no. But do you not foresee some
trouble with Becky? '

^ She is kind-heartedt Besides, it will not



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OR TEMFB& IMPROVED. 21

do always to wait for it to be perfectly conve-
nient, before we resolve to do a kind action.'

^ I am sure Willie cannot learn any selfish-
ness from his mother,' said Mr. Rogers. ^ Let
little Sarah come; I, for one, will give her a
w^elcome.'

A few days after this, Becky came home^
bringing the little orphan. Willie's heart was
full of pity for her, for he had been told that
she had lost her mother. He ran to meet her,
with open arms, but the litde stranger turned
away from him, and clung to Becky. Willie
gazed at her with a sorrowful look, but presently
began to feel inclined to smile, and ran off into
the parlor to his mother.

* Oh, mother,' he cried, * Sarah is come.'


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