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NYPL RESEARCH LIBRARIES



3 3433 08252066 3









H







THE



CHRISTMAS BOX;



OR,



COLLEC TION



OF



INSTRUCTION AND AMUSEMENT,



PHILADELPHIA :

THOMAS T. ASH, CHESNUT STREET,

Adam Wald'e, Printer.





4



:DX



CONTENTS.

Page.

THE Cottager. By J. F. Rollings, Esq 9

Fables, from the Italian. By Miss Agnes Strickland 10

Remember now thy Creator ib*

A visit to the Zoological Gardens. By Mrs. Hofland 13

The Wild Bee's Song. By Miss Agnes Strickland 29

The Sailor Boy's Grave. By the Hon. Mrs. Norton 31

The Negro Babes in the Wood 34

The Mischievous Boys. By Bernard Barton, Esq. 36

Julia ; or, the Careless little Girl. By Miss Roscoe 38

The Brigand. By J. F. Rollings, Esq .46

The Indian Bird. By Mary Howitt 47

Helen's Duck. By Miss Isabel Hill 52

Enigma . 67

The Mother's Lesson 70

Sketches of Natural History. By Mary Howitt . 72

The New Mama. By Miss Isabel Hill . . . . 76

The Redbreast, the Wren, and the Titmouse ... 89

The young Shipwrights. By Miss Isabel Hill ... 94
The Lamentations of Old Hospitality. By Mrs.

Sherwood 96

The Honest Dutchman. By William Howitt , . 115

To the American Snow-bird 124

The Quarries under Paris 126

The School-boy's Journey 131

Lines written on the last Leaf of a Friend's Album.

By Miss Mitford 151

The Natural Bridge in the State of Virginia . . . 152

The Cottager returning Home. By J. F. Rollings 154

The Youthful Partners. By Miss Strickland . . 156

Sister's Love, By Miss Agnes Strickland . . . 167

Domestic Chit Chat. By Mrs. Hofland .... 169

What Must be Must 179



PREFACE.

IN the preparation of this little Volume, the
Editor did not cease to remember that he was
providing for the entertainment of the young ;
and now that it is completed, he is encouraged
to hope that it will please intelligent children and
judicious parents.

It contains scarcely one article in which in-
struction is not conveyed uuder the guise of
amusement : certainly nothing which is contrary
to the purest moral and religious principle.
Many of the tales are designed to correct the little
errors and vices into which children fall, through
a natural proneness to form hasty conclusions :
a useful but neglected branch of education ; for

" Wayward humours in the boy,
Uncheck'd, the manly mind destroy."

Remembering that children consist of boys and
girls, the Editor has attended to the claims of each;
inserting here a story for the former, and there
another for the latter; but none so peculiarly fitted
for the one, as to be unsuited to the other.

The Editor cannot omit this opportunity of
returning his grateful thanks to the various indivi-
duals whose contributions, he ventures to say, con-
fer a high degree of value on the present volume.



THE COTTAGER.

BY J. F. HOLLINGS, ESQ.

To meet the wanton breeze of Spring,

Disporting lightly by,
To watch the morn's ascending wing,

Above the redden'd sky,
To mark high heaven its pomp disclose,

Before the sinking ray,
When twilight brings its shades, to close
. The long and peaceful day ;

To see the harvest's ears of gold

Beneath the sunbeam cast,
Or like a brightning ocean roll'd,

And waving with the blast,
To listen to the sounds which float

From thickets dun and sere,
When winds make faint the robin's note

Above the dying year;

To share the fondly-prized caress

Of childhood's glances fair,
To feel the thousand joys which bless

A parent's thornless care,
By that scarce heeded storm unbent,

On loftier paths which lies,
To slumber, watch'd by still Content,

And wake when Health bids rise :

Ah ! what an envied life were this !

How lost to grief or fear !
Methinks, if pure and spotless bliss

Could find a resting here,



10 FABLES FROM THE ITALIAN.

From scenes by pomp and wealth defiled
That heavenly guest would flee,

And dwell alone, O gentle child
Of wood and fell ! with thee.



REMEMBER NOW THY CREATOR.

THINK of thy Creator now,
In the freshness of thy youth ;

Pay unto the Lord thy vow,

Worship him with inward truth.

None that come will he reject,
None whom he receives, forsake ;

But in every hour protect,

While they sleep, and while they wake.

Should thine earthly parents leave thee,
Thou wilt have a Friend above,

Who, when outcast, will receive thee
To the dwelling of his love.



FABLES FROM THE ITALIAN.

BY MISS AGNES STRICKLAND.
THE SHEEP AMONG THORNS FROM BERTOLA.

A foolish sheep, one day, must need
Forsake the green and flowery mead,
Moved by a strange desire to take
A ramble in a thorny brake:



FABLES FROM THE ITALIAN. 11

Yet scarcely there had set her feet,
Before she wished to make retreat ;
But this design was not effected
So easily as she expected.

The surly thorns had caught her wool,
And 'twas in vain to stamp and pull :
She only got the more entangled
Amongst the briers that round her dangled.

Now sorely scratched and sadly vex'd,
Bleating, and panting, and perplexed,
She stood, when to her great surprise,
The thorns began to moralise :

" Wool among thorns ! When came it nigh us,
And was not soundly mulcted by us ?
Who e'er approach'd us and departed,
That has not for his folly smarted ?

" As well might you expect to go,
Unwetted, where the billows flow :
Or vainly deem you might return
From handling fire, without a burn :

" As to suppose your fleece could be
Among the brambles and go free ;
For who e'er ventured near a thorn,
And did not for his folly mourn ?"



I
1 2 FABLES FROM THE ITALIAN.



THE BOY AND THE FIRE FLIES. FROM THE SAME,

An inexperienced boy, one night
Through lonely paths returning,

Had ta'en, to guide his steps aright,
A lantern brightly burning,

And safe he travelPd by its ray,

Until, before him glancing,
He saw, along the doubtful way,

The sparkling fire-flies dancing.

Then he discarded, with disdain,

His lantern calmly beaming,
To follow this resplendent train,

In fitful radiance gleaming.

But, ere a second step he took,

He found his folly humbled ;
The flying lights his path forsook,

And in a ditch he tumbled.

Then bitter anger he express'd
Against these guides beguiling ;

Who thus the simple boy address'd:
" Nay, cease this vain reviling !

" The blame remains with you alone ;

And half the ills men reckon,
Proceed from leaving lights well known,

To follow some false beacon."



13
A VISIT TO THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS.

BY MRS. HOFLAND.

"I THINK, my dear," said Mr. Delafield to his
lady, on the morning of August 4th,* ' as the
day is very pleasant, you had better take Henry,
Emily, and Charles, to the Zoological Gardens.
What do you think of it ? Shall I order the car-
riage ?"

These questions were reiterated by the eyes of
all the young persons here named, whilst the
words " Oh ! mama, are you well enough ? Can
you go ? Will you be so good ?" sprang anxi-
ously from their lips.

Mrs. Delafield readily consented to their wishes,
observing that the late weather, though too warm
for many people, had suited her ; and she would go
with pleasure, since their papa's engagements for-
bade them to hope that he could spare sufficient
time.

At eleven the carriage was joyfully entered
and away they drove, all eagerly talking of what
they wished, or what they expected, to see.

* On the day here specified, M. Baron Cuvier first
visited the Zoological Gardens ; having arrived in London
the preceding evening.

2



14 A VISIT TO THE

Henry, who was nearly fourteen, and had been at
Exeter 'Change last year, was anxious to see new
and rare animals only ; whilst his brother Charles,
who was only nine years of age, earnestly wished
to see lions and tigers ; " because they were grand
and terrible, and he had seen pictures of them."
Emily, who was about twelve, a gentle, affection-
ate girl, desired, above all things, to visit curious
birds : the British, because ** she knew and loved
them ;' the foreign, because " she had read about
them."

When our young friends foued themselves in
an extensive and beautiful garden, they were at
once charmed and disappointed ; for they had ex-
pected to see lines of caged wild beasts, intermixed
with plants ; and they now ran into the opposite
expectation, of a garden inhabited by them ; and
Charles, with some solicitude, inquired if the ani-
mals ran about, in so beautiful a place, without
doing injury to the flowers. " Could tigers be
so far tamed that they never spoiled the garden?"

Before there was time to give an explanatory
negative, one beast (which they all knew to be
the European Brown Bear) was seen exactly be-
fore them, climbing up a huge pole, and so eagerly
looking towards them, that Charles and Emily felt
a momentary check to their pleasure, and instinc-
tively shrank towards their mother. Henry went



ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS. 16

manfully forward ; and, on perceiving that his
sister looked pale, told her not to be frightened ;
for, " although the bear was a good climber, he
was no jumper ; or, at least," he added, " the
poor fellow cannot spring upon you ; for he has
no purchase from whence to spring ; so don't be
so silly as to fear him." " I will not," said Emily,
moving forward ; " because I know, if there were
any danger, mama would not have brought us ;
but I confess I had rather he did not poke out his
head so far." " And look ! there is another huge
black one coming up after him !"

"There would be no danger," said Mrs. Dela-
field, " if a dozen came : you see the creatures
are come up to beg cakes, of which we must sup-
ply our share. The Bear is capable of being
rendered very docile, and would take bread out of
your hand safely ; so will many other animals in
these gardens : but I need not tell you that it must
not be offered to any of the cat species, which you
will see hereafter."

*' Oh ! no," cried Henry; " a poke to make them
grumble, is better than a biscuit for those gentry.
I should like them to roar lustily, I confess ; not
if it would frighten Emily, neither."

" I am glad to hear the latter part of your sen-
tence, Henry, as it offers some salvo for the fool-
ishness of the former. A boy of your age ought



1 6 A VISIT TO THE

to guard one of Charles's from playing tricks with
the animals, which you have both been cautioned
against ; not induce him to commit the very
faults in question."

" But surely? mama, if one wishes to see a tiger
in his natural state, and to form a just idea of his
power, one should excite him a little ? I would
not do much, but I should like to see his dreadful
teeth, his glistening eyes, his terrific bound, and "
" All this, my dear, you must be content to re-
ceive from description. A beast of prey, con-
stantly fed and constantly confined, may preserve
his strength and his beauty ; but the dreadful
energies of his nature can but be partially retain-
ed, and certainly never safely called into action.
The bad temper provoked in this terrific class of
animals, by children in their ignorance, and young
men in the coxcombry of useless courage, renders
them so malevolent and fierce, as to occasion
great danger to the poor men who attend on them.
Having said this, I know I need say no more.
Your understanding, and your humanity, will alike
guarantee the propriety of your conduct."

Henry just took up his mother's hand, and let it
fall again, in silence ; but his heart thanked her
for reasoning with him as a man, instead of re-
proving him as if he were a child, crying, as other
adies did on every side, " Don't go there,



ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS. 1



i*



William !" " You frighten me to death, Tom !"
" I will never bring you out again, you naughty
boy !" &c. &c.

At this moment, Emily, turning to the left, saw
what she termed a " palace cage " of Macaws and
Cockatoos. Nothing could exceed the brilliance
of their blue, and yellow and red, and yellow plu-
mage, contrasted with the dazzling white of the
Cockatoos. They were incessantly climbing
about the cage, and hastening to present their
hooked bills for cakes and fruit, many of them
using short words in the drollest manner ; and in
their gorgeous colours, perpetual motion, and
familiarity, were so attractive, that Mrs. Delafield
was obliged to remind her family that " they had
much more to see," as a glance at the lawn as-
sured them. Knowing, however, that her daugh-
ter would find that portion of the gardens most
attractive, she gave Henry liberty to wander
where he pleased, and to take Charles along with
him.

The permission was gratefully accepted, but not
immediately acted upon ; for, such were the at-
tractions of the lawn, that they each wished they
might live there all their lives. The evident en-
joyment of the aquatic fowls, now plunging and
diving in the stream, now flapping their wings

2*



18 A VISIT TO THE

exultingly, now scrambling for the biscuits
thrown into the water, was altogether so amus-
ing and so novel a scene, so calculated to awaken
the buoyancy of young spirits, that it was un-
doubtedly a difficulty in our young friends to for-
bear transgressing bounds, by joining in the
frolics of creatures so happy.

Emily was, in the mean time, attracted by the
stately forms of the Storks, the heavy bodies and
measured steps of the Emus, the exquisite beauty
of the scarlet Ibis, and the delicately pencilled
wings of a beautifully crested bird from Africa,
the name of which she could not find in the cata-
logue. Fond, however, as she was of this in-
teresting portion of the creation, she could not
forbear following her brothers, whom she saw, at
a little distance, caressing and feeding a large
and beautiful animal, which she rightly conceived
to be the Llama.

With this gentle and elegant animal Henry was
in raptures, because it was absolutely new to him;
nor, on entering the pretty building which it
generally shared with the Dromedary, was he less
pleased with the faithful traveller of the desert, to
whose patient toil and strength man is so deeply
indebted. Whilst scanning his huge bulk and
unsightly proportions, he contrasted his appear-



ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS. 19

ance with his true value, and justly concluded,
" that no personal beauty can compare with virtue
and utility."

But Charles had left them, and he was too
young to be trusted alone : therefore all followed,
and his voice soon led them to him.

" Look, Emily ! look, mama ! what a pretty little
bull ! and he is as tame as a dog ; he has eaten the
last cake I had. That hump on his back is quite
handsome ; it makes his head look as if it were
finished up with a kind of helmet."

"These pretty creatures," said Henry, "are
Zebus ; and Charley is not wrong in calling the
male a little bull, for Buffon believes them to be
of the race of the Bison, of which we saw a speci-
men in the Regent's Park last summer. In fact,
they resemble both the cow and the goat. I
believe, with one exception, they were never in
England before. But that wild boy has got to
the Owls, and I must follow him."

But it was with the Ravens Charles was busy ;
for never did two creatures hop so funnily after
gingerbread as these. To the rest of our party
the solemn Owls, especially the pair of brown
ones with red eyes, were far the most attractive.
Henry wondered not that the ancients termed the
Owl " the bird of wisdom ;" but Emily considered
the physiognomy of this bird far from prepossess-
ing. To the great satisfaction of their mother,



20 A VISIT TO THE

both appeared well read in its natural history, and
capable of defining it accurately.

They next reached a beautiful assortment of
British birds ; but, at a little distance, there ap-
peared so large and so joyous a company, that the
boys could not forbear adjourning thither ; and
Emily, conscious that however kind her mama
might be in allowing their departure, she yet
wished to be near them, resigned her pets, and
willingly followed to the resort of the Monkeys.

Whilst Charles distributed nuts freely to every
candidate for his favour, Henry pointed out to his
sister every variety of the animals before them.
u There go the Ceylon Monkeys ! and observe the
long ring-tailed one coming forward ! There
bounds the Sooty Monkey ! and look at the Dog-
faced Baboon ! and see ! here is the Barbary Ape !
do look at him, Emily."

" I have seen quite enough of him. I had rather
look at the little greenish one than all the rest put
together : it is so agile, so good-natured and play-
ful, so totally different from the gamboling things,
that look like withered old men making fools of
themselves. Monkeys, at best, are hideous
caricatures of men : I don't like them at all."

" I see you only half like this place ; so I will
take you farther. There is no tearing Charles
away yet from such playfellows."

Mrs. Delafield gave an assenting smile ; and



ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS. 21

her elder children passed on to the dwellings of
the Eagles, Kites, and Falcons. Emily was de-
lighted to see the latter, which, she knew, were
formerly a source of amusement to nobility and
royalty fed from the hands of fair ladies, and
sent out on their quarry by knights ; but she did
not wish to be the possessor of any creature so
fierce and cunning, as all the tribe ; and, as the
Harpy Eagle evidently made her shudder, Henry
hastened her away, to visit those wild beasts which
had been, from the first, his principal attraction.

Emily gazed with fearful delight on the Leop-
ards and Panther, the restless Puma, and Royal
Tiger, as they lay stretched in their dens; and,
having heard of the magnanimity of old Nero, the
Lion, paid him unusual respect, admiring his flow-
ing mane and benign countenance, wondering at
the thickness of his legs, the length of his mane,
and the deep brilliance of his opening eyes. From
this she was hurried, by her brother, to the Striped
Hyena, the Ocelet, and the Opossum, which hides
its young in a large natural pocket, resembling, in
that particular, the Kangaroo, to which it is also
related in form, the fore legs being very short, the
hind ones very long; but Emily justly observed,
" it was not half so beautiful as that innocent and
cheerful-looking creature."

The Rein-deer, the Jackals, the Coati Mundi,



22 A VISIT TO THE

and others, had, by turns, engaged their attention;
but nothing had delighted them so much as two
exquisitely beautiful small Antelopes, which they
were leaving with regret, when a loud shriek, from
a distant part of the gardens, alarmed them both ;
for, though they heard many young voices, the
sound of Charles's seemed louder than the rest.
Henry seized his sister's hand ; and they ran as
quickly as possible to wards the monkeys' residence.
Just as they drew near, they perceived a lady and
gentleman supporting their beloved mother into a
chair, and Charles was crying aloud. Their alarm
became excessive : they rather flew than ran to-
wards her. " Don't frighten yourselves so much,
my dear children," said Mrs. Delafield ; " I am
scarcely hurt at all : the tearing of my collar is
the worst part of the business."

" No, no," cried Charles ; " that is not the
worst : a monkey darted down, and bit mama's
shoulder, as she was walking through the place
behind; and we all saw it, but we could not help it."

" I am very sorry, mother, that I left you," said
Henry, " very sorry indeed."

" So am I," said Charles, sobbing; " for I know
it was all owing to me; and if you had been here,
I should not have done it."

" What did you do ?" said Emily, angrily.

" I meant no harm ; but I was offering him a



ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS. 23

nut, and then taking it back jokingly ; and I hap.
pened to hold it up just then, and my hand being
the height of mama's shoulder, down he pounced
and hurt her instead of me : and I arn sure, quite
sure "

Charles cried anew, and was walking off; but
his sister caught his hand, and said gently, " You
are quite sure you would rather have been hurt
yourself; and so am I, Charles; so don't go away.
Compose yourself, and stand still; or you will add
to mama's anxiety: and see! she is getting better
every minute."

Mrs. Delafield soon arose, and, taking Henry's
arm, walked towards the pretty cell of the Otters;
and, as she did so, she extended her pardon to the
self-accusing culprit, whose fault she had not in
the least suspected. Charles could not so easily
forgive himself: he kissed and clung to the hand
she gave him; but could not suppress his tears,
when he looked in her face, or upon her torn tip-
pet, until Henry engaged him in watching the mo-
tions of the Otter, which was then catching fish in
the pond surrounding its habitation.

The rest of the gardens were now visited very
soberly; but, on the arrival of the young folks at
the second inclosure for aquatic birds, again their
spirits rose in sympathy. Even the fond solicitude
of Emily, the watchful care of Henry, and the con-



24 A VISIT TO THE

trition of Charles, vanished before the exhilarating
influence of beholding the happiness of these crea-
tures. The beauty of the tame Swans, the varieties
of the Geese, Shieldrakes, and Ducks, the elegance
and beauty of some birds, the familiarity of others,
and the delight, which all so evidently enjoyed in
their pleasant retreat, awoke in their young bosoms
corresponding joy. They felt the presence of the
Creator in the perfection of his works; and, in
their innocent exultation, there was the spirit of
devotion, felt with more profound reverence and
deeper tenderness in consequence of the late alarm
given to their feelings, and the ardent affection it
had awakened for their mother.

" I think," said Henry, after a pause, " there
ought to be an inscription placed somewhere in
the gardens, where every eye might read-

' These are thy glorious works, Parent of good !'

for surely never were so many admirable things
concentrated in one place."

" Yet I no longer wish to live here," said Emily;
" though I should like to walk here every day."
" Nor I," exclaimed Charles; " for who knows
but I might do more mischief than I have done?
and I am sure I would not have such a fright again
for a dozen monkeys of my own, and a couple of



ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS. 25

those tall ostriches into the bargain." " I declare
that is Papa coming."

The little boy blushed even to painfulness as his
father approached; and, instead of running to meet
him as he was accustomed to do, he suffered his
brother and sister to detail their observations and
pleasures, whilst he stood at a distance appearing
to examine the flowers. When, however, they went
to pay a farewell visit to the Bear, and Mr. Dela-
field had given his arm to his mother to return
home, Charles stepped towards him, and again be-
gan a confession of his folly and its consequences,
with a penitent assurance, " that he should hence
forward observe better what was said to him;
since it was a plain case that even monkeys did
not like to be teazed or trifled with."

"The doctrine is very true, Charles," said his
father, " whether applied to the nursery, or the
school-room; but I am sorry it cost your good
mama a fright: however, I trust the remembrance
of it will make the more indelible impression of
its truth upon your mind. But whom do I see
advancing towards us? Emily ! Henry ! come
hither this moment."

His children were instantly at his side.

" You are very fortunate, my dears, in the day
of your visit: it has enabled you to see not only



26 A VISIT TO THE

many of the greatest curiosities in natural history,
but the greatest historian of Nature's wonders that
ever has yet existed, or most probably ever will
exist."

" Dear papa," cried Henry, " whom can you
mean? You could hardly say more if the Baron
Cuvier himself were in the gardens."

" Very true, my boy; this is the Baron Cu-
vier advancing towards us, accompanied by his
amiable and highly intelligent step-daughter, Ma-
demoiselle Duyauvel. Ah ! you may well look
surprised and half alarmed; but it is the fact: the
Baron is not a person one can possibly forget. But
I must quicken my steps to greet him: as it was
my greatest pleasure in Paris to attend one of his
soirees, so must it be my greatest in London to
welcome him, and solicit his visit to my house."

So saying, Mr. Delafield walked quickly for-
ward, and addressed a gentleman of so cheerful
and benign a countenance, that the children had
some difficulty in believing that wisdom and learn-
ing could assume a character so attractive and
endearing. In a few moments the little group
found themselves clustering around him, listening
to every word he uttered as to the voice of an


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