Charlotte Mary Yonge.

A storehouse of stories : storehouse the first online

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been so kind as to bring them ; and Mrs. Bell stepped out
to fetch it, but not finding it, she returned, and enquired
who had taken it. They every one denied having taken or
touched it. She replied, ' Somebody must have meddled
with it, for as it is not alive, it could not walk ; therefore
some of you must have touched it. As for you, Master
Crafty, you told a lie yesterday, and said you had not hurt
Joe West \ so I shall not believe what you say. And as
neither Ben Heady or Jack Sneak will confess their fault, or
are sorry for what they did last night, I suppose they would
do the same again ; therefore ; as you all three are naughty
boys, and deserve punishment, you shall none of you go
home till I find out who has taken the nosegay.'

All the rest of the children made their bows and curtsies,
and left the three naughty boys behind them, whom Mrs.
Bell then tied to their stools ; for she said, as she could not
tell who it was that had taken the nosegay, and as they were
all so naughty, she should keep them safe, that they might
not do any more mischief

Perhaps some of the little folks who read this book, may
be apt to think Mrs. Bell did not act justly and right to
keep and punish three children for the fault one only had
committed ; but they should remember, that this will always
be the case, and that those who are known to be guilty
sometimes of telling lies and being obstinate, will always


be suspected of doing the same again. Had Master Crafty
and Ben Heady been as good as the rest of the children,
Mrs. Bell would no more have thought of keeping them
than she did Frank West, or any of the others ; but knowing
they did not always speak the truth, and were cross, ill-
natured boys, as well as Jack Sneak, she was sure it must
be one of them, as no other child in the school would have
told a lie, or been so naughty upon any account. They
therefore all three very justly deserved to be punished for
their bad behaviour, though about the nosegay only one
happened to be guilty ; and so bad children will often suffer
when they may not deserve it, if by telling lies sometimes
they make people not know when to believe them.


At two o'clock in the afternoon, all the children who had
been home to dinner returned to school ; and Fanny Meek,
who had been confined above a month with a bad fever,
came again that afternoon.

You would have been surprised to have heard the joy all
her school-fellows expressed, as soon as she entered the
room ; and Mrs. Bell herself was as glad to see her. for she
was so good a girl that everybody loved her. ' O ! here is
Miss Jenny Meek ! ' said one. ' 1 am glad she is come again !'
said another. ' I hope 3^ou are quite well!' said a third.
' Now I shall be quite happy,' said a fourth. In short, all
the scholars rose up together, and tried who should show
most joy upon seeing her.

Mrs. Bell called her, and kissing her, said, ' I am glad
indeed, my dear, to see you once more amongst us, and hope
you wall have no more return of your illness : you cannot
think how sorry I have been to hear you was so verj'- bad;
but you look purely again.' ' I am,' said Jenny, ' quite well,
thank you, ma'am, and am sorry you have been uneasy upon
my account.'

She then enquired after the health of all her school-fellows;
and after kissing Miss Hannah Right and Sally Neatwood,


both of whom she was particularly fond, she took out her work,
which was a shirt for her father, and sat down between them.

Mrs. Bell then spoke to her little scholars in the following
manner: — 'You see, my dears, how much goodness is be-
loved; the moment Jenny came into the room you all rejoiced
to see her, and ran to welcome her return. I too, I assure
you, feel not less glad than yourselves, for she is so good a
child, and minds so much what is said to her, that I love her
as dearly as if she was my own daughter, and so must every-
body who knows her. To her father and mother her good
behaviour gives the greatest satisfaction and comfort, and I
dare say, when she grows to be a woman, she will be a good,
and therefore a happy woman; and though, perhaps, she
may not be rich (for it is nonsense to suppose that everybody
who is good must be rich), still she will be a good wife and a
good mother ; which those who are naughty children never
will be, whether they are rich or poor. Poor people, if they
are good, are as useful in the world as the rich, and those
who behave as they ought to do, though they are ever so
poor, will be much more comfortable and happy than
naughty people, though they may have as many guineas as
they are able to count. Master Crafty, therefore, need not
be so proud of being a young gentleman, for a naughty young
gentleman tied to a stool looks just as foolish, I think, as a
poor boy would do in the same situation ; and little honest
Frank West, Philip Trusty, Jenny Meek, and all my good
scholars, are worth fifty such gentlemen, in my opinion.'

She then asked the children which they had rather be —
poor and good, but obliged to work hard for their living, or
gentlemen and ladies, if they were to be naughty, spiteful,
and tell lies, like Master Crafty.

They all said they had rather be poor and good, than rich
and naughty. Miss Hannah Right likewise said, if she
thought she should be naughty, because she was a miss, she
would desire her papa and mamma to let her be brought up
the same as if she was a poor child.

' You are very much in the right,' said Mrs. Bell, ' if you
must be naughty for that reason — but that is not necessary;
many ladies and gentlemen are very good, and then their


riches are of great use, not only to themselves, but to other
people. Only think how much good your papa and mamma
do with their money; what numbers of poor families they
assist with victuals, drink, clothes, and books; and how many
of their children they put to school, who could not otherwise
afford to learn to read and work. When people behave like
them, and make such use of their money, they then are good
indeed, and gain the love of everybody : so I hope you all
understand it is not the being either rich or poor which
makes people good or bad, for everybody may be good who
will endeavour to be so; and I hope, Miss Hannah, some
time or other, to see yourself, Miss Polly, and Master John,
follow the example of your good parents, and behave like

When Mrs. Bell had finished this discourse, she heard the
children read, then calling Hannah Right she bid her read
a lesson out of the book she gave her in the morning, and
she began as follows :


Once there was a lady who had two children : they were
both girls : the eldest's name was Polly, and the youngest
Betsy. Their papa and mamma and all their friends took
great pains to teach them to be good, and make them happy :
they always gave them everything that was proper, and in-
dulged them to the utmost of their power ; that is, I mean,
indulged them in everything that was not wrong; for if they
had gone beyond that rule they would have been more likely
to have made them unhappy than happy.

These little girls said they were very fond of their parents,
and loved them dearly, and yet for all they said so, and knew
them to be so extremely kind to them, and take so much
pains with them, they did not \xy to make them happy; for
the only way children can help to make their friends happy
is to be good, and mind the advice that is given them; but
Polly and Betsy took no pains to be so, and if any of their
friends told them to do anything they did not happen to like,
they would cry directly, and stand and argue for a great while


togetlier. If they were told to go upstairs, when they wished
to stay below, they would cry ; or should they be told to stay
below they would cry to go up. If they wanted to take a
walk, and it did not suit to let them go, they would burst out
crying ; or if they were asked to walk when they happened
to wish to stay at home, they would cry again like babies ;
and what was very strange, Miss Polly, the eldest, was worse
than her sister, and would often stand and roar, and argue
with her mamma, though she ought to have set a better
example to her younger sister.

Another fault these children had was that of being very
greedy; and though they had always as much victuals and
drink as was proper for them, they always wanted to ha\e
exactly alike, and if either of them thought her sister had the
biggest apple or cake^ or even the larger bit of bread, they
would often cxy about it; in short, though in some respects
they were pretty good, for they did not fight, or quarrel, tell
fibs, or try to deceive, still, by their continual crying, and
not minding when they were spoken to, but arguing to have
their own way, they were so disagreeable that their parents
and friends grew tired of telling them of their faults, or trying
to make them good, as they found they did not endeavour
to improve by all the pains that were taken with them ; so
they let them follow their own silly fancies, stoop their heads,
and do what ugly tricks they pleased; and when they grew
up they were two as awkward, disagreeable women as ever
were seen, and very unhapjjy; for though they grew ashamed
to cry for trifles, as they did when children, yet they fretted
and found fault with everything that was not exactly as they
could have wished.

I hope these two ladies will be a warning to all children
who read this history, to be very careful not to he guilty of
the same faults, as such behaviour will certainly make them
as much disliked when grown up, whether they are girls or
boys: and let all children likewise remember that there is no
use in saying they love their friends, and sitting on their lajis
and kissing them, unless they are mindful of what is said to
them; for the only way to prove their love is to be good.

When Miss Hannah had finished reading, Mrs. Bell said


she thought it was a very clever history, and she hoped all
her little scholars would try to remember and mind it. The
clock soon after struck five, and to all her good children she
gave (as she frequently did) a nice rosy-cheeked apple, and
sent them home : but Master Crafty, Ben Heady, and Jack
Sneak, she declared should not go till she found who had
taken the nosegay.

Master Crafty then said he was very ill, in hopes of making
her let him go home, and desired to be untied, as he was
sure he should be sick about the room if he did not go into
the air. Though she knew he was a naughty boy, she could
not suppose he would be so very wicked as to say he was ill
if he was not; she therefore took him into the yard, and sent
word to his parents that they might fetch him if they pleased,
for she did not wish for the trouble of nursing him.

Master Bill ditl not know that she had sent home, or he
certainly would have grown well; but he pretended he was
very sick till his papa came, who, the moment he saw his
son, took hold of him and shook him heartily. ' Bill,' said
he, ' don't think you shall get anything by saying you are
sick, except a very severe whipping, and that you shall have,
I assure you, and I dont doubt but it will cure your
sickness. One morning last week you told me you was ill,
because you wanted not to come to school ; but you must
not think I shall suffer you to have such illnesses — whipping
is the best cure in the world for them, and I will try its effi-
cacy upon you.'

He then made a rod out of a new broom of Mrs. Bell's,
which happened to stand by, and whipped him severely
indeed. ' Now,' says he, ' if you please, you may walk home,
and if you should have any more returns of your disorder,
you shall be physicked with the same medicine.'

Mr. Crafty then wished ]\[rs. Bell a good night, and said
he was sorry she should have hatl so much trouble with his

Mrs. Bell desired Master Crafty niight not come to her
school any more, unless he grew good, as she should not
choose he should keep company with her good scholars.
She likewise begged the favour of Mr. Crafty to call upon


Mr. Heady and Mr. Sneak, to desire them to come and speak
to her.

Ben's father came with Jack's \try soon: the latter (Mr.
Sneak) who was just returned from riding, had a horsewhip
in his hand, which he said should be laid across Jack's back
if he had done anything wrong. ' Why,' said Mrs. Bell, ' I
hope he has not; but a nosegay which Roger Riot brought
to-day for the litde girls has been taken away, and though
both Ben and he deny having taken them, I cannot help
fearing (as they will not own they were sorry for what they
did last night) that one of them has done it; and I sent for
you to talk to them, and make them confess the truth, if
you can.'

Mr. Heady and Mr. Sneak then endeavoured to convince
their sons what a shocking thing it was to tell lies, and that
it must quite ruin their characters, and make them be
scorned and despised by everybody. Ben still persisted
that he had not touched it, and Jack as positively declared
he had not taken it. 'Well then,' said Mrs. Bell, 'it must be
that naughty boy Master Crafty.'

Just as she said so. Jack took out of his pocket his hand-
kerchief to wipe his eyes, and flirted out some of the leaves
which had happened to fall upon the handkerchief he had
in his hand whilst he was hiding the flowers under the

' Now,' said i\Irs. Bell, ' I am sure it is you who have taken
them, for these are some of the leaves of the flowers. ' If so,'
said his father,' I'll make him pay for his crime ; I'll soon
give him w-hat he deserves, and take the skin off his back
for telling such a lie.'

Jack said he had not taken it, he had only hid the nose-
gay. 'And dont you call that a lie?' said Mrs. Bell; 'you
knew what I meant, and you tried to deceive me.' ' Your
fault is the same as a lie, and it shall be punished the same,'
replied his father. Then taking off his coat and waistcoat,
he horsewhipt him all the way through the village home,
whilst everybody who saw him agreed it was the right way
to serve such naughty children, who tried to deceive as he
did, by saying he had not taken the nosegay, when he knew

* A A


tliat he had hid it. When he got home, his father put him into
the same dark closet as he had the evening before, and there
kept him all night, for such a naughty child did not deserve
to go to bed.

Mrs. Bell told Ben Heady she was sorry she had suspected
him, and kept him all day without his dinner, as he hap-
])ened not to be guilty, but he must look upon it as the
consequence of his bad behaviour at Mr. Right's, and his
obstinate refusing to acknowledge his fault, which led her to
imagine he might be as bad that day as he had been the
night before. She then wished him good night, and advised
him to be a better boy, and let him go home with his father.


All the rest of Mrs. Bell's scholars, as usual, assembled in
Mr. Right's field, and very happily spent the evening in play,
Avhilst Ben Heady was obliged to stay on the other side and
only peep through the hedge.

He much wished to be with them, yet he was so silly that
he would not ask pardon, though he knew he had been in
the wrong; and this is the case with many other foolish
children, who first commit a fault, and then are ashamed of
owning it and asking forgiveness. But how simple is such
behaviour ! The part they should be ashamed of is the
crime, not the confessing it, and asking pardon : people
should never be ashamed of doing or saying what is right;
and it certainly is always right to beg forgiveness of those we
have either hurt or oftended.

The next morning all the good little children rose early
and eat their breakfasts, that they might be ready to go to
school. Each one wished to be the first, for Mrs. Bell
always gave to the one who was first three plums and a little
biscuit, by which she encouraged them to come early, and
by that means they had much more time for their learning
than they would have had if they had dawdled and played
till ten or eleven o'clock, as some idle children like to do
before they begin their business.


Frank West and Jenny Meek happened to live next door
to each other; and as they were both good children, they
used to Hke to walk to school together.

As they were going along they saw a little chimney-sweeper
who was sitting upon the ground, holding his hand to his
head, and crying sadly: they were bodi grieved to see him look
in such distress, and Frank asked him what was the matter?
' Oh !' said he, ' my head is so bad I don't know how to bear
it' ' Pray what is the matter?' said Jenny. ' My master,'
replied the boy, ' sent me two or three miles off this morning
before breakfast, and when I came back I asked for some
victuals, but he told me breakfast was over, and I must go
without. I was very hungry, very hungry indeed ! and as I
passed by a baker's shop I took a roll, and began eating it.
The master of the shop saw me, and ran after me, and
called me thief, and said I deserved to be hanged; but if I
was not hanged he would break my neck for me ; so he
kicked me down, and I fell against a scraper, and cut this
hole in my forehead.'

He then took down his hand and showed them a sad cut,
which was bleeding very fast. 'Poor boy!' said Jenny,
'can't we do something to help him?' 'Yes,' said Frank,
'to be sure we can; I can give him a halfpenny my mother
gave me to-day to buy a ball.' ' And I have got a silver
penny,' said Jenny, ' my aunt gave me last Friday; I will
give him that, and then he may buy some bread; but what
shall we do with his forehead 1 ' 'I will fetch some water
in my hat,' said Frank, 'and wash the dirt out of it with my
handkerchief 'And I,' returned Jenny, 'have got a nice
bit of pink ribbon Mrs. Right gave me for a back-string to
my doll; I can bind it up with that.' Frank then ran and
fetched some water, and washed it very tenderly with the
corner of his handkerchief, and Jenny as kindly tied it up
with her ribbon; they afterwards gave him the little money
they had, and advised him to go to Mr. Right's another time
when he was hungry, and not take it out of a shop. The
poor boy returned them a thousand thanks for their kind-
ne-s. and away they ran to school as fast as they could.

When they had got there, they were astonished to find all


their school-fellows before them; for they had not considered
how much time they had spent with the poor chimney-

'Good morning to you, my dears!' said Mrs. Bell. 'What
can have made two of my best scholars so late this morning?
In general you are very early; how happens it you are now
so late?' They then told her all that had passed between
them and the chimney-sweeper.

When she heard the account, 'Poor child!' said she, 'he
is much to be pitied, and I think you both behaved very
kindly to give him all the help you could. I dare say, my
dears, the thoughts of having been able to comfort such a
poor unhappy boy will give you much more pleasure than if
you had spent your money to buy a ball or any other play-
thing; and though your doll, Jenny, has lost her back-string,
I am sure it must rejoice you that you have put it to so
much better use.' ' Indeed, ma'am, it does,' replied Jenny,
' and we both agreed we never felt so happy in all our lives as
we did to help the poor boy.'

' People, my dear,' answered Mrs. Bell, ' always feel happy
when they do good and try to make others so: to give com-
fort and happiness to our fellow-creatures is the surest way
to have pleasure ourselves.'

When Mrs. Bell had done speaking. Master Tom Rigid
said, 'To be sure the boy was to be pitied ;' but he thought
he deserved to have his head broke for being so naughty as
to steal a roll; and added, if I had met him I should have
told him so, and not have given him my money.' ' Then,'
said Mrs. Bell, ' you would not have behaved half so well
as Frank and Jenny did. You say he deserves it for stealing;
to be sure that was very wrong, and you see what the con-
sequence has been ; but before you speak so crossly about
him, you should think how hard he worked, and how much
he suffered from hunger. You, Master Rigid, dont know
how great the pain of hunger is ; you never was hungry in
your life; as soon as you begin to feel the want of food you
have it given you directly; but the poor chimney-sweeper
had been up very early, had had a long walk, and been
working hard, and then was told by his master that he must


go without victuals. Only think how you should like to be
served so; and perhaps he had not much yesterday, for such
poor children often have very little, not so much in the
whole day as you can eat at dinner; and it is a sad thing to
be very hungry. You dont like even to be what you call
so, that is, to feel as if you wished for something to eat;
but when people are really hungry it gives them great pain
in their stomachs, makes them very sick, and their heads
ache terribly: besides, another excuse we may make for the
chimney-sweeper, which could not be made for any of
you, is, that he had never been taught what was right or

' He may, perhaps, have heard that people should not
f teal ; but he has had no kind friend to take pains with him,
and tell him how very naughty it is. If any of us were to
steal, or take what does not belong to us, we should deserve
to have our heads broken, because we do know how great a
sin it is ; but the poor chimney-sweeper did not know that :
we should therefore consider all these things, and not so
crossly say he deserved it, and we would not give him any
of our money ; for the want of money was the cause of his
committing the crime. Had he had the halfpenny and
silver penny sooner, which Frank and Jenny so kindly gave
him, he would not, I dare say, have been guilty of it;
and I hope he will follow their good advice, and, the ne.xt
time he is in distress, go to Mr. Right, who, I dare say, will
not only give him food, but also talk to him, and teach him
what is right and what is wrong.'

Just as Mrs. Bell finished these words, she saw Miss Polly
Right was crying, and, asking what was the matter, INIiss
Polly told her that the wristband she had to unpick she had
given to Dolly Quick to undo for her, and she cut the edge
of the wristband and the sleeve into twenty holes. 'And
pray,' said Mrs. Bell, ' what business had you to give it to
Dolly Quick? Why did not you do it yourself, as I told you 1
Had you minded what I said to you, this mischief would
not have happened.' ' But I was tired, ma'am,' replied Miss
Polly, ' and Dolly said she would help me.' ' She seems to
have helped you,' said Mrs. Bell, ' in the same way the boy


helped the girl to carry her eggs to market.' Tkliss Polly in-
quired how that was, and Mrs. Bell told her the history was
in her sister's book, and she might read it if she pleased.
Miss Hannah then lent her sister the book, and she read the
following story.


A few miles from Woodstock there lived a farmer, whose
wife took great pains to breed all sorts of poultry. She had
hens, turkeys, geese, and ducks, and such a quantity of
chickens, little turkeys, goslings, and young ducks, you would
have been quite astonished had you seen them ; and when
she first went into the yard of a morning to feed them, they
all came running together to her, and made such a, noise
they could be heard at a quarter of a mile distance.

She fed them so properly, and kept them so clean and
neat, that her poultry, when she carried it to market, was
liked better than any other, and almost all the families who
lived within a dozen miles of her bought all their eggs and
chickens of her.

Among the rest of her customers was one INIrs. North, who
used very frequently to buy of her, and one time she desired
she might have twenty new-laid turkey eggs sent her to set,
that she might have some young turkeys of her own. The
farmer's wife promised she should, and the next morning
looked out twenty of the finest she had, and put them into
a basket with some straw, to prevent their being broken by
touching one another too hard. She then gave them to her
daughter Sukey, and charged her to take great care of them ;
'and be sure,' said she, 'dont let anybody else take them,
but carry them all the way yourself, and dont shake them.'

Online LibraryCharlotte Mary YongeA storehouse of stories : storehouse the first → online text (page 32 of 43)