His look of love, his sure fidelity,
Bids us be gentle with so small a friend ;
And much we learn from acts of gentleness.
178 THE HOUSE SPARROW
Doth he not teach ? Ay, and doth serve us too.
Who clears our homes from many a noisome
Insect or reptile ; and when we do mark
With what nice care he builds his nest, and
His offspring from all harm, and how he goes,
A persevering, bold adventurer,
'Midst hostile tribes, twenty times big as he,
Skill, perseverance, courage, parent love,
In all these acts we see, and may do well,
In our own lives, perhaps, when need doth ask
To imitate the little household bird."
Untiring follower ! what doth chain thee here ?
What bond's 'tween thee and man ! Thy food
As theirs who wing the woods, thy voice as
Thy wants, thy power the same, we nothing do
To serve thee, and few love thee ; yet thou
About our dwellings, like some humble friend,
Whom custom and kind thoughts do link to us,
And no neglect can banish.
So, long live
The household Sparrow ! mav he thrive for ever !
THE HOUSE SPARROW. 179
For ever twitter forth his morning song,
A brief, but sweet domestic melody !
Long may he live ! and he who aims to kill
Our small companion, let him think how he
Would feel if great men spurned him from their
Or tyrant doomed him, who had done no wrong,
To pains or sudden death. Then let him think,
And he will spare the little trustful bird ;
And his one act of clemency will teach
His heart a lesson that shall widen it,
For nothing makes so bright the soul, as when
Pity doth temper wisdom.
THE RESTLESS BOY.
BT MRS. OPIE.
THERE is nothing more trying to the patience
of preceptors or companions of children, than
restlessness ; than the wish to be where they
are not, and the signs of their being weary of
what they are employed upon.
This trying restlessness, and desire of change,
was never more obvious than in Merrick Mor-
rison a little spoiled boy, whom his kind uncle
and aunt, Sir George and Lady Pemberton, had
received into their family to spend his holidays,
because a fever had broken out in his own ; and
not a day passed that did not convince them
what an unsuitable companion he was for their
children. They would have thought him a dan-
gerous example also, had they not observed,
that Edward and Harry, their amiable twins,
were quite as much aware of Merrick's defects
as they themselves, and were equally tired of his
company ; though they were too well educated
THE RESTLESS BOT. 181
to make his faults the subject of conversation,
and too well taught not to do all in their power
to amuse their guest.
For this purpose, as soon as their lessons were
over, during which Merrick usually yawned an-
noyingly loud over the book which Sir George
insisted on his reading, that he might not spend
all his time in idleness, they used to challenge
Merrick to different athletic exercises ; to swam
the rope, as it is called ; to jump over a bar ; to
run races ; or to dig with them in their garden,
and play at battledore and shuttlecock ; but he
wag soon tired of each amusement in its turn,
and usually said, after a while " Come, I ana
tired of this ; let us go to something else !" It
was the same thing if they took a walk to see a
fine prospect. The moment they had reached
it, Merrick cried out " Come, let us go to ano-
ther view ; I am tired of this !" And though his
companions expressed their delight in the pros-
pect before them, he did not let them rest till
they followed him whither his impatient spirit
led ; and when there, he was as eager to quit
what he had so eagerly desired to reach. On
these occasions, Henry could scarcely keep his
contempt to himself; but Edward's feeling was
more that of pity for the poor boy's bad education,
and this led him sometimes to endeavour to pre-
182 THE RESTLESS EOT.
vail on him to control his restless impatience,
and try to enjoy the present scene, as he anc
Harry did. But in vain. Merrick would eithei
yawn while he spoke, or tumble on the grass, 01
whistle, to show how entirely he disregarded hk
As change of any kind was delightful to Mer-
rick, he jumped for joy when he heard that his
uncle and aunt were going to remove to a house
which they had oa the coast, in order to receive a
brother of Sir George's, who had been out with
a navy captain of his acquaintance, on a cruize
for the benefit of his health, and he was to be
landed there, as the vessel would pass that shore
on its way into harbour.
Now, then, Merrick was all for the sea and
the cliffs ; and he was so impatient to be gone,
that he even assisted his cousins to pack up,
though there was scarcely any thing that he fold-
ed or packed, which had not to be folded or
packed over again ; however, as Edward kindly
said, " the will to be useful must be accepted for
the deed." And, having tumbled his own things
into his trunk, Merrick came down, two stairs at
a time, when he heard the joyful sound of
* Come, boys, come ; the carriage is at the
When they reached their new abode, Merrick
THE RESTLESS BOY. 183
could not rest till he had fun down to the sea ;
and as he, was sure he should not leave the shore
till it was quite dark, his cousins, who were fond
of drying sea-weed, and picking up stones to
class, as they were versed in natural history, took
their tin cases with them, and a basket to hold
the stones ; but Merrick, restless as the billows
which he looked upon, became tired of the sliore
in a very short time ; and, as he had never been
used to consider any one but himself, his most
obliging cousins were forced to give up their pur-
suits almost as soon as they were begun, and to
follow Merrick to the garden.
The next day their uncle Pemberton was ex
pected ; and, as Merrick had never seen a large
ship, he was in great joy at the idea of seeing
one, and he was constantly wearying each of the
family in turn with " Well, but when will the ship
come ? I am so tired of looking for it I say,
when will it come V
" That must depend on the wind and tide,
Merrick, and perhaps it may not come till
" Oh, deav uncle ! I shall be tired to death of
waiting till then."
" Not if you are employed like your cousins,
Merrick. Read Lazy Lawrence ; here it is,
and I think it might do you good."
184 THE RESTLESS BOY.
" Yes, uncle, I will."
But the interesting tale was soon thrown aside,
and Merrick got up to leave the room.
" Whither are you going, Merrick ?"
" To the stable, uncle, to Tom ?"
" What do you want with him ] I dp not allow
my sons to go into the stable, or to play with
" Oh, I only want to see the horses rubbed
" Then I beg you to stay where you are, as
you are not intended for a groom ; and here is a
book of prints to turn over ; when your cousins
have finished their lessons, they shall walk with
So poor Merrick was forced to sit down again,
and turn over the prints ; but he did it so care-
lessly, that his uncle was obliged to take the book
away, lest it should be spoiled.
At last, the lessons were over, and his cousins
at liberty ;^but which way should they go ?
Merrick was all for the sea and the shore now ;
and he was so amused with jumping over the
little channels made by the waves, and throwing
stones into the billows, that he was less impa-
tient to go to a new scene than usual, to his
cousins' joy, who were therefore able to pick up
a large quantity of stones, and sea-weed, and
THE RESTLESS BOY. 185
who were in hopes that the vessel bearing their
uncle to them would now appear in sight very
soon, is they- saw Sir George and Lady Pem-
berton on the cliff, watching for it, with a tele-
scope. To their great mortification, however,
Merrick at last grew tired of his new sport, and
would not let them alone till he had made them
go up the cliff again ; arid when there, he would
go and explore a thick copse, some way up the
road from the cliff, where he had been told there
were fine nuts and blackberries. In vain did his
cousins assure him, that if they went they might
possibly not see the ship come in ; he said, if
they would not come, he would go alone : and,
as his uncle and aunt were not sorry to accustom
their dear boys to make little sacrifices of their
will to oblige others, Edward and Harry were ad-
vised by them to go with their guest ; adding, that
as there were vipers in one part of the copse, they
must warn Merrick not to go near it. The obe-
dient boys, therefore, gave up their own will, and
accompanied the self-willed Merrick.
The copse was indeed full of blackberries and
nuts ; and the greedy Merrick did not know
which to begin upon first ; but recollecting that
he could put the nuts into his pockets and eat
them at home, but could not so easily carry away
blackberries, he ate them first, wondering that his
186 THE RESTLESS BOY.
cousins, from fear of staining their mouths and
clean shirts, should deny themselves such a
" But we expect to be called to see the ship,
and my uncle, every moment," said Harry, " and
had rather not make ourselves unfit to be seen."
" Nonsense ! I do not believe the ship will
come at all ; and these berries are so nice, and
this is such a nice wood : I shall not go, though
you do, but stay here and enjoy myself."
" But you never saw a large ship, Merrick !"
" No, nor do I ever desire it, unless I have
nothing better to do."
At this moment, Harry cried out, " Hark ! I
am sure T heard a shout !" and instantly ran off
to the cliff. Edward would fain have followed
him ; but Merrick, having now satisfied himself
with blackberries, had now plunged into the
copse, and had mounted a very tall nut bush,
which seemed to have the ripest fruit, and from
which Edward had vainly warned him, as being
near the spot at which the vipers had been seen.
He, therefore, from a sense of duty, staid with
Merrick ; but very earnestly begging him to
make haste, as he believed, from the redoubled
shouts, that the vessel was in sight. But he
.begged in vain, and would have lost his long ex-
pected pleasure from Merrick's selfishness, had
THE RESTLESS BOY. 187
not he heard his father's voice, calling " Ed-
ward !" too loudly, authoritatively, and impati-
ently, for him to dare to disobey the call ; and
urging Merrick to come down directly and
follow him, he also ran to the cliff. When he
reached it, he saw the vessel had cast anchor on
purpose to set his uncle on shore ; and a beauti-
ful scene it was, for the sands and cliffs were
lined with spectators, waving their handkerchiefs
to those whom they knew on board ; but Edward
had not time to look long ; he was summoned
to the shore, to go off with Harry and his father,
in the boat which was to land their uncle. When
they had reached the vessel, and had welcomed
their beloved relation, Edward and Henry were
invited to go on board, and sail with the captain
into the harbour. This was such a delight ! but
Edward, while about to ascend, stopped, and
said, " But poor Merrick !"
" Ay, poor Merrick, papa !" echoed Harry.
" Never mind him," said Sir George, " he
considers no one but himself; and from what I
have observed to day, he deserves this mortifica-
tion. So away with you, my good dear boys ; I
am glad of the pleasure that awaits you !"
It was indeed a pleasure of a new and lively
kind. The gallant vessel with all her colours
flying, scudded rapidly before the gale ; while
183 THE RESTLESS BOY.
Edward and Harry waved their hats and hand-
kerchiefs to their friends on the shore, till they
could behold them no longer ; but in the midst
of their own pleasure, the kind-hearted boys
could not help Saying, " Poor Merrick ! I wish
he had been here !"
In the midst of this waving of hats and hand-
kerchiefs, Merrick reached the shore ; but in a
terrible condition ! Though Edward urged him
to follow directly, or the vessel would be gone,
he would not quit the nut bush till he had filled
his pockets. In descending, he fell down, and
while stretching out his hand to assist himself to
rise, he put it on a snake, which bit one of his
fingers, and frightened him so much, that he ran
to the cliff, crying with pain and alarm, and his
face and shirt quite purple with the juice of the
As those who heard him cry, thought it was
merely tiecause the boat was gone without him,
his disfigured looks only excited loud laughter ;
and little Mary Pemberton could not help saying,
" Oh, cousin ! what a frighcful figure you are !"
which so enraged the poor suffering boy, that he
gave her a slap on the face, to the great indigna-
tion of her mamma. But her resentment instantly
changed into pity when she saw Merrick's hand,
and suspected what had happened.
THE RESTLESS EOF. 189
" Poor child !" said she, " you have been bit-
ten, if Mary had known that, she would not have
said what she did. Come hither, my dear
look at your poor cousin's hand he has been
bitten by a viper."
The good-natured child instantly dried the
tears Merrick's blow had occasioned, and said,
" Poor dear Merrick, I am very sorry !" Merrick
could not bear this, as he was a good-hearted
boy though a spoiled one, and he burst into tears
of a better kind than those which he had shed
before, and eagerly returned the kiss which his
aunt desired Mary to give him.
But when he saw the carriage drive round,
which was to go to fetch Edward and Harry from
the harbour, he declared he would go in it, for
he would not lose all his fun. And it was with
difficulty that his aunt could pacify him, and pre-
vent his endeavouring to jump in, till the surgeon
whom she sent for arrived, who. said, that such
wounds were often attended with fever, he must
therefore advise his patient's being put to bed ;
and as Merrick now discovered that he had also
sprained his ancle in his fall, Lady Pemberton
had no longer any difficulty in procuring obe-
When Edward and Harry returned, full of the
pleasure which they had experienced, Merrick
190 THE RESTLESS BOY.
was just awaking from a restless sleep, and so
unwell, that his spirits were quite subdued. He
said to Lady Pemberton, who had been watching
beside him, " How kind you are, aunt ; so very
kind ! arid I am so sorry I struck Mary."
" What!" cried Harry and Edward, who now
entered the room, " did Merrick strike Mary ?"
while the conscious culprit hid his face in the
" Yes ; but he had provocation," said their
mamma, '" and he is very sorry for it ; so never
let the circumstance be mentioned again."
" There there do not cry so, Merrick,"
said Harry, going to the bedside, " we are very
sorry that, you were not with us."
" And we are still more sorry that you are
bitten," said Edward ; " but you know T was
forced to leave you when papa called me. How-
ever, I had warned you from those bushes."
" Yes, I know the fault was all mine," said
Merrick, sobbing ; " but I hope I shall never be
so served again."
" Mamma," cried Harry, laughing, " this has
been a day of events."
" And of mishaps," added his mother.
*' And quite sufficient to make a story of, mam-
ma ; therefore as you know no story is complete
without a moral, you must make one, for poor
THE RESTLESS BO7. 191
Merrick's and our benefit, out of our adventures,
and his misadventures."
" Do mamma, pray do," said Edward.
" Yes, do aunt," cried Merrick.
" Well, then, my dear, in the first place, if
Merrick was.in the habit of knowing how tc im-
prove his tiine^ he would not be so restless and
impatient, and be always wanting to be where he
" In the second place, if he had been used to
consider others, rather than himself, he would
not have required you to leave the shore, where
you were rationally employed, to go nutting and
blackberry hunting, mere animal gratifications,
to amuse his idleness and pamper his palate, and
that too at the risk of losing the promised en-
joyment of all three.
" In the third place, had Merrick been wise,
and considerate enough of others' wishes to re-
main on the shore, he would not have fallen
down and sprained his ancle ; would not have
been bitten by a viper ; would not have been
tempted to the fault of slapping his little cousin's
face ; and would not have lost the pleasure of
going with you on board the vessel, and sailing
into the harbour."
" Very true, mamma but the moral."
" Why, this is the moral, dear children, and I
102 THE SCHOOL-HOI'S.
hope it will sink deep into Merrick's heart more
especially : that employment is the only way
to make our time pass pleasantly, and enable us
to enjoy the present moment ; that greediness,
and the indulgence of mere appetite, commonly
end in disappointment and disgrace ; and th&c
those who require the sacrifice of other's plea-
sure to their own, are sometimes justly punished
by finding the result to be, disappointment, pri-
vation, and suffering to 'hemselves."
BT MRS, IIOFLAXD.
" MY dear little boy," said George Parker to
Henry Sterndale, " you have been very kind
ind useful to me ever since I arrived at this
place, and I wish very much that"
Here the speaker, a young West Indian, and
fi'!l three years older than the child he addressed,
(who was a clever little fellow in his tenth yeai,)
suddenly made a full stop, and his dark but intel
ligent countenance was suffused by a deep blush
on observing which, Henry said,
THE SCHOOL-BOYS. 193
' What do you wish ? I am sure I will do any
thing to oblige you, for you have been very
generous to me, and that is more than I can say
of any other of our great boys."
" I wish much that you would be my little slave
all the time we are at school together, for I love
you better than any other little boy."
Henry's blood mounted more quickly to his
face from anger, than that of George had done
from timidity, and he answered indignantly
" I would not be your slave, nor that of any
grown up man, for all the world. No ! not even
" I beg your pardon, I did not mean slave ;
lhat was not the word ; but I was told when I
came here, that I should have a little boy who
yould help me, and to whom I must in return be
" I suppose they said you would have a fag."
" Yes, that was it, that was what I wanted."
" Well, I have no objections to be your fag,
for it is better to have one master than many, and
the boys here, because I am a free boy, (by which
I mean I don't belong to anyone of them,) have
a great trick of ordering me about on all occa-
sions. Yes ! I will be your fag with all my
heart, but pray be careful never to use that word
slave to a free-born British boy like me, or there
will be an end of all friendship between us.
Why, man, it would set our blood a boiling in
December, to be mistaken for one of your West
" I shall never mistake you for one of those
poor things," said George, as he stroked up the
light ringlets that fell about the fair face of Henry,
" so you don't need to speak in such a loud
voice, and even if you were one, and bought with
my own money, I should neither use you ill, nor
suffer any other boy to do it. All that I mean
is, that I am a stranger, and find myself very ig-
norant compared to those who are much younger
than rne, and I want some one to help me, as you
have already done, for which I would be grate-
Little Henry was an orphan, placed at school
by a relation, who unwilling to pay the expences
of so genteel an establishment as the one his
pride and not his affection had pitched upon, sub-
jected the poor child to many mortifications.
His clothes were generally much shabbier than
those of any other boy ; he had no home at the
holidays whither he could invite any of his
school-fellows, and what was worst of all, he had
scarcely ever any pocket money ; and though
he had learnt manfully to resist the temptations
of cakes and oranges, he had by no means ac
THE SCHOOL-BOYS. 195
quired the power of enduring the sneers which
the vulgar and unfeeling indulged in, on witness-
ing his poverty. At these moments his indigna-
tion rose, whilst his heart bled with sorrow ; and
as he sought to hide his emotions in solitude, he
had hitherto mingled so little with his compani-
ons, that he had not made that connection with
any which was generally resorted to, by which
the youngest claimed a protector, and the elder
obtained an assistant, or servant.
This circumstance had been favorable to our
little friend's improvement, for he had often spent
that time in reading which others gave to play,
and in consequence he was much in favour with
the more judicious part of the teachers ; but
their kindness did not, of course, advance him in
the good graces of his school-fellows, who look-
ed upon him as a person below their grade in so-
ciety, and compelled to learn in order to supply
his wants. Pride of circumstances is peculiar to
narrow minds, and, therefore, all children are
given to it because they are all ignorant, until
properly informed by those who have the care of
their education ; and it too often happens that
this information is neglected, for points in fact
of much less moment.
Young Parker was not aware of this ; he came
a stranger, and although the son of a very weal-
196 THE SCHOOL-BOYS.
thy man, since his father had no title, nor was
spoken of as related to rank, the little community
did not recognise him at first as entitled to consi-
deration ; and in the kind-hearted, though re-
tiring little Henry, he perceived the first person
who recognised his claims to kindness as a
stranger. When he became sensible of his own
deficiencies, and Henry's willingness to save
him from shame or blame, his affection increased
tenfold ; and it is certain that although he made
a great blunder in his offer, yet it was in the
mode only, for from the time of their bargain, his
purse and his power were alike at Henry's ser-
vice ; and when his ample stores were known,
all the rest were quite willing to share his friend-
ship and his presents.
Henry soon found that his generous friend had
good abilities, but great idleness, and he set him-
self, by every means in his power, to excite the
former and conquer the latter. For this purpose,
whenever George wanted him to write an exer-
cise, or do any thing else for him, he used to
show him how to do it, but positively refuse to
prepare it ; and so far from accepting gifts for his
services, he uniformly refused taking from him
even an apple till the task was finished, " when"
he would say, " we can eat them together in
pleasure." George would sometimes be so vex-
THE SCHOOL-BOYS. 197
ed with his firmness, as to be ready to abandon
the contract he had made, but the remembrance
of the little boy's real utility and affection pre-
vented him. In time he began to feel the plea-
sure resulting from having conquered his diffi-
culties, subdued his indolence, and acquired the
knowledge necessary for his station in life ; and
whilst he found himself the equal of Henry, he
yet never forgot that it was to his influence he
owed the advantage he had gained.
George remained at school till he was nearly
eighteen, as his father wished to give him every
advantage, but Henry was removed when he
was in his fifteenth year, as his uncle desired to
make him early useful ; and being a tall, manly-
looking boy, as well as an industrious and clever
one, he soon became of importance in the count-
ing-house of his wealthy relative, who was a
The boys were thus effectually divided in per-
son, but their hearts long clung to each other,
and very hard did poor Henry think it, when his
uncle (who was a severe, cold-hearted bach-
elor) forbade all correspondence with his West
Indian friend, as a foolish and expensive waste of
time and money.
Years passed on ; the uncle died, and after
denying his nephew during life almost every in-
198 THE SCHOOL-BOYS.
dulgence, left him, at twenty-three, a large for-
tune and extensive business, of which he was the
uncontrolled possessor. Perhaps the sudden
acquisition of so much property and liberty might
have been injurious to one so young, and hither-
to so closely confined in circumstances, if he had
not at a very early period found a better channel
for disposing of his wealth and occupying his
leisure, than in the dissipation and pleasures of
One morning as he sat at breakfast, his ser-