George Cupples.

Carry's Rose, online

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The Magic of Kindness.

A Tale for the Young.



Author of "The Story of Our Doll," "The Little Captain," Etc. Etc.


T. Nelson and Sons, Paternoster Row.
Edinburgh; and New York.


Caroline Ashcroft stood by the trellised arbour on the lawn, along with
Daisy, her pet lamb, watching for the approach of the carriage which had
been sent to the railway-station to meet her papa and her only brother,
Herbert. This was the first time that Caroline had been separated from her
brother, who had been sent to school at a distance some months before
this; and as she had no sister or companion of her own age, she had felt
very lonely during his absence. In honour of his return nurse had dressed
Caroline in her new white muslin; and Daisy, after being carefully washed
till her soft fleece was as white as snow, had been decorated with a
beautiful wreath of flowers. She was so anxious to pull it off, that
Caroline was obliged to hold her head very firm, in case she should eat it
up before Herbert arrived.

[Illustration: THE PET LAMB.]

"Now, Daisy," said Caroline to the lamb, "just have a few minutes more
patience. I'm certain I hear the sound of wheels. There!" she cried,
clapping her hands, as the carriage turned in at the avenue gate. Daisy,
feeling herself at liberty, ran away across the lawn, tossing her head
and tearing the wreath to pieces; but Caroline was so eager to catch the
first glimpse of Herbert, who she felt sure would be looking out of the
window for her, that she did not notice how soon her morning's labour had
been destroyed.

Caroline was a sweet-dispositioned child, affectionate and very
warm-hearted; at least nurse thought so, as she dressed her that morning,
and listened to her plans for Herbert's amusement during his holidays. She
had banished from her mind all recollection of his wayward temper, and the
delight he always seemed to take in tormenting her and teasing her in
every way in his power, and only thought how nice it would be to have him
at home once more.

"Ah, Miss Caroline," nurse had said, "I'm thinking you will be even more
pleased to see him set off for school again, unless he is much improved."

"But Herbert is a big boy now, nurse," Caroline had replied; "only think
what nice letters he writes from school, telling how he longs to be beside
us again, and always speaks so kindly of me. I know he will be good."

Nurse made no further remark, except to say "she hoped it would turn out
so;" for she did not want to cast a shadow over Caroline's happiness.
Certainly, when Herbert jumped out of the carriage, he seemed as glad to
see his sister as she was to see him; and though the wreath on Daisy's
neck was gone, he admired the white fleece very much, and said that they
would go together some day to gather wild flowers to make another. Then he
had so many amusing stories to relate about his adventures at school, that
Caroline thought there could not be a better brother found anywhere. Her
mamma had often said that Herbert had a good heart if he would just
control his temper, and had often told Caroline to be very gentle with
him, for nothing but gentleness would soften him.

It was late in the afternoon when Herbert returned, so that bed-time
arrived long before the stories were exhausted; and the brother and sister
parted for the night with the understanding that they should set out early
after breakfast for a long walk, and to pay some visits to old friends and
neighbours. The next morning, when Caroline awoke, the first thing she did
was to jump out of bed and run to the window to see what sort of a day it
was; when, much to her vexation, she found the rain was descending in
torrents. She was far more sorry for Herbert's disappointment than for her
own; for she remembered how he disliked a wet day, and how difficult it
always was for him to spend it comfortably. Still Herbert might not be so
foolish now, she thought, and she would try all she could to amuse him.

"Well, I must say this is too bad," said Herbert, as he entered the
breakfast-room the next morning.

"What is too bad?" inquired his mamma, as she poured out the coffee.

"Why, the rain, to be sure, mamma," replied Herbert. "Hasn't it stopped
our plans for the day?"

"They were of such consequence, I suppose," said Mrs. Ashcroft, laughing.
"Here have I been hearing from every quarter that rain is greatly needed
to help on the crops; and now when it has come, and all the farmers'
hearts will be filled with rejoicing, my boy is filled with dismay!"

"Oh, but, mamma, you must own it is very provoking to have a wet day the
very first one on my return," said Herbert.

"Well, perhaps it is vexatious, when we think of you as an individual,
and banish from our minds the thousands it will benefit."

"Now, you are laughing at me, mamma," said Herbert sulkily.

"Nay, my son," said Mrs. Ashcroft, "I am sorry for you. But let me see if
nothing can be done to make a wet day pleasant in-doors. I'm sure Carry
will do her best to help."

"Might we make soap-bubbles, mamma?" said Caroline; "you said I might try
to do it some day with the pipe uncle gave me."

"Well, I daresay you may, dear, if you put on an apron, and don't wet

After breakfast Caroline was not long in getting the soap and water ready,
which she carried off to the school-room; and though Herbert at first
called it a babyish game, and stood apart by the window watching the rain,
he could not help joining his sister in the end.

"Oh, if you had only seen what lovely ones uncle made," said Caroline,
"and how beautifully he tossed them up, making them float up to the very
roof without bursting sometimes!"

"That is not a very difficult process, I should say," replied Herbert.
"Give me the pipe, and I will show you I can do it as well as uncle."

[Illustration: BLOWING BUBBLES.]

Caroline at once gave up the pipe, and good-naturedly held the dish while
Herbert blew the soap-bubbles; and even he became fascinated with the
sport, and sat blowing away so long that lunch-hour arrived and poor
Caroline hadn't had a chance to make another, though she wanted to do it
ever so much.

As the day advanced, and the novelty of being at home wore off, Herbert
began to return to his old habit of teasing his inoffensive sister. They
were sitting beside their mamma, who was sewing, while she listened with
as much delight almost as Caroline did to Herbert's stories of his life at
school. Caroline was on the floor dressing her doll, while Herbert sat on
a low stool at his mother's feet; but unable to behave himself longer, he
rolled over on to the floor, and, with his head in Caroline's lap,
snatched the doll out of her hands.

"Oh, do give me my doll," said Caroline, as gently as she could; "see, her
poor arm is broken, and the sawdust is coming out."

"What a baby you are, Carry!" said Herbert, paying no attention to her
request. "No girl of your age plays with dolls nowadays. Stop; let me show
you how the jugglers do. They toss up a ball on their feet so," and
Herbert flung the doll up in the air and caught it upon his feet, then
sent it spinning to the roof again, while he laughed at Caroline's look of


Their mamma now interposed, and bade Herbert give the doll back at once,
telling him at the same time that he ought to be ashamed of himself for
tormenting his sister in such a way, and warned him that though it was his
holidays she would punish him most severely if he annoyed her again.
Herbert went off to his own room and got into bed, where he lay till
dinner-time. It was doubtful, however, whether he or Caroline really
suffered most.

"O mamma, it was my fault," she said, while the tears stood in her eyes;
"I know Herbert was just in fun; I daresay he would not have done it any
harm if I had trusted it to him. He has often said it was the sight of my
frightened face that made him wish to go on; for it looks so funny to see
me so frightened, he says, about such a trifle."

"That may be all very true, dear," said her mamma, "but I do not like to
see Herbert giving way to such a disposition. It has grieved both papa and
me many a time to see our boy growing up with that constant wish to tease
and torment any helpless creature he meets, more especially his own
sister. We sent him to school to see if it would do him good; but I fear,
if it has checked him it has not cured him. I should like to see my boy
grow up manly and courageous; for it is only a cowardly disposition that
tries to tease a little girl or torment a dumb animal."

Still Caroline could not help being sorry for Herbert, and when she saw
him looking, as she fancied, very dull during dinner, she slipped away
after him, thinking that he must be very unhappy, though all the time he
was just indulging himself in a fit of the sulks. At first he was
inclined to treat Caroline's advances to friendship in a surly manner,
but a glance at her earnest, gentle eyes made him feel ashamed of himself;
and being at the same time tired of his solitude, he at length consented
to play a game at bagatelle. He even went so far as to say, "Well, after
all Carry, you are a good little thing; I do annoy you terribly, which is
not fair, because you are so forgiving. Well, to make up for it, I'll be
very kind to you to-morrow."

When Herbert came to bid his mamma good-night in her room, he had quite
forgotten that she had been angry with him during the day. He was very
much surprised, therefore, when, instead of kissing him, she pushed him
back from her knee, saying, "I fear I have no good-night kiss for you, my
boy, at present."

"Why, mamma, what have I done?" said Herbert, the tears starting to his
eyes, for he knew that if his mamma refused to kiss him she must indeed be

"You surely have not forgotten how displeased I was with you this forenoon
for teasing your sister!" said Mrs. Ashcroft in a tone of severity.

"But, mamma, Carry has forgotten it now; and I told her I was sorry," said
Herbert eagerly. "I'm sure all I did to her couldn't hurt her so very

[Illustration: HERBERT AND HIS MAMMA.]

"Perhaps not, my son," said Mrs. Ashcroft; "but you remember the reason
why we sent you away to school was to see if this bad habit of teasing
could be cured. If I had thought you were to begin the very first day you
were at home, I should have allowed you to stay at school during the
holidays also."

"But there wasn't one boy stayed behind at school this half," said
Herbert; "you surely wouldn't have left me all alone, mamma!"

"Indeed I would, Herbert," replied his mamma firmly; "and what is more, if
you persevere in this bad habit, I shall speak to papa as to whether it
would not be advisable to send you back to school even yet."

Herbert could not help seeing that his mamma really meant what she said,
and this threat frightened him so much that he wept bitterly. "Mamma," he
said, "if you will only forgive me this once, I will try very hard not to
tease Carry all the time I am at home."

"Well, my boy," said Mrs. Ashcroft kindly, "we will give you one more
trial, and I hope you will not only try very hard, but ask God to help you
to be a good boy."

Herbert, before he went to his own room, opened his sister's door very
carefully to see if she were in bed. Carry did not hear him, she was so
intent looking out of the window at the rain. "I like to see the rain,"
she was saying to herself; "but I do hope it will pour itself out during
the night, for Herbert's sake; it is very hard for him, poor fellow."

[Illustration: WATCHING THE RAIN.]

Herbert pulled to the door very gently, and retired to his own room, with
the feeling stronger than ever that his sister was really "a good little

[Illustration: NEPTUNE.]

The next morning was as bright as a morning could well be, with everything
out-of-doors looking fresh after the rain, so that when breakfast was
over, Herbert and Caroline, with the large dog Neptune, lost not a moment
in setting out for a long ramble into the country. At first Herbert seemed
to remember his words of the previous evening, and was very kind to
Caroline, helping her carefully over the stepping-stones at the river,
instead of frightening her as he used to do. Then he always held open the
gates of the different fields they passed through, shutting them after
her, instead of making her do it. He even stopped throwing stones at a
wounded bird in a field when he saw it distressed her, though he laughed
at her for being such a simpleton as to care for a half-dead bird. This
recalled to his mind a circumstance that had happened at school, when he
and some of his schoolfellows had gone for a walk into the country one
half-holiday; and he began to relate how they had caught a pigeon sitting
on its nest up a tree, and how, regardless of its fluttering and piteous
cries, they had carried it off, and its nest also. Then he told with much
laughter how they had unearthed a mole, and how they had tied it to a
stick and made it a target to fling stones at, till it had died by inches;
no doubt, as Caroline supposed, having suffered great torture. Losing all
command of herself, she cried out, "O Herbert, how could you, could you be
so cruel! It is quite true what mamma says, you are nothing but a coward,
to hunt a dumb creature, a poor blind animal, so."

[Illustration: A MISCHIEVOUS PAIR.]

At these words Herbert flew into a passion, and told Caroline she might
find her way home the best way she could, for that he would not walk any
more with her; and away he ran, with Neptune at his heels. When he was a
few yards off, he turned and cried out, "I hope you won't meet with Farmer
Brown's bull, that's all; and that you won't find the stepping-stones
difficult, now that your coward isn't there to help you."

Caroline thought that he was only doing this to frighten her, and
expecting he would return in a short time, she sat down by the brink of
the river, wondering how boys could be so cruel to God's creatures. Boys
were taught by their parents to be kind to animals, just as their sisters
were; yet, as they grew up, they forgot all about it, - at least, very many
of them did; and they seemed to try who would do the most cruel thing.
She sat trying to think of a plan to make her brother Herbert kind and
gentle; and again it came into her mind how by her own hastiness she had
made him angry just when he was doing everything to please her. "It was so
very dreadful of him to hurt the poor blind mole," she said aloud; "I
could not help speaking out; only I need not have called him a coward. I
might have shown him how bad his conduct was in a gentler way; but, as
nurse and mamma say, I am always so hasty."

Caroline having sat a long time, began to think that Herbert really did
not mean to come for her; and fearing her mamma would be alarmed if she
did not return with Herbert in time for dinner, she turned back along the
path they had come, walking as fast as she could. After passing through
two fields, and managing to open and shut the gates with some difficulty,
she was alarmed by hearing a loud roar, which she guessed must come from
Farmer Brown's bull. She nearly fell down with terror, for the bull had a
very bad character for goring people, and had only the week before hurt a
little boy very seriously. Collecting all her courage, she crept round by
the side of the hedge. Fortunately the bull had his head turned in the
opposite direction, so that she managed to pass him and get out of the
field without being seen by him. At the stepping-stones she stopped,
afraid to venture over; but a man came up, who kindly offered to take her

Going round by a field-path that led to her home past Farmer Brown's farm,
she saw a little girl sitting under a tree, whom she at once guessed must
be little Martha, the farmer's only child. She was gazing up at a flight
of pigeons that went fluttering over the houses before they lighted down
upon the roof of the barn. Caroline had often seen Martha at church, and
once or twice nurse had taken her to the farm, when she had gone to see
Mrs. Brown; so she stopped to ask the little girl what she was looking at
so earnestly.

"I'm looking at the pigeons, miss," said little Martha, rising to drop a
courtesy to the young lady from the Hall.

"They seem to be all pure white," said Caroline, sitting down on the roots
of the tree, and bidding Martha take her seat again. "They are very

[Illustration: LITTLE MARTHA.]

"Yes, miss, they are pretty," said Martha, looking with pride at her
favourites; "but they are not all white; there be two of them blue, and
I'm so sorry for it."

"Why, what makes you sorry for the blue ones?" said Caroline, smiling.
"Don't you like blue ones?"

"Oh yes, I like them very much," said Martha, "but father doesn't; and
he's going to shoot them to-night."

"Oh, how cruel of him," said Caroline; "you must ask him not to do it,
Martha. They cannot help being blue, you know."

Martha looked a little distressed at the idea of her kind father being
considered cruel by the young lady, but she didn't know very well how to
answer her. "Father doesn't mean to be cruel, miss," said Martha; "but he
likes all the pigeons to be white; and if a blue one comes he shoots it. I
will ask father not to shoot them, and perhaps he won't."

"Oh yes, please do ask him," replied Caroline; "and tell him if he only
could catch them, and send them down to me, I would give him my new
shilling papa gave me on my birth-day. Tell him to be sure and not to
shoot them."

Martha went off at once to look for her father, but as he had gone away to
a distant part of the farm, Caroline had to be content to await his
return, and leaving the matter in Martha's hands for the present,
proceeded on her way homewards.

When she arrived at home, she was very glad to find that her mamma had not
returned from town; so that, unless Caroline told her, she could not know
of Herbert's bad behaviour; and Caroline was determined to keep it secret.

If Mrs. Ashcroft saw that the children were not such good friends as they
had been that morning, she took no notice of it, and during dinner spoke
more to their papa than to them. But towards the end she turned to
Caroline and said, "Who do you think is coming to pay you a visit of a few
days? Well, I shall tell you, as I see you cannot guess. Your two cousins,
Lizzie and Charles."

Caroline was very much pleased to hear this, for she loved her cousins
very much; but her brother did not, for Charles was a well-behaved boy,
one or two years younger than Herbert, and would never join in any of his
tricks against the girls. When they arrived next morning, they went off at
once to see Caroline's pet hen and chickens; and though Herbert went with
them, he stood aside with his hoop dangling on his arm, and with a look of
contempt on his face at his cousin Charlie's delight at the sight of the
chickens. Living in a town as Charles and Lizzie did, everything belonging
to the country was new and delightful; and it was not till all the
poultry-sheds, and rabbit-hutches, and the very stables and cow-houses had
been visited, that Charles would consent to join Herbert in a game on the


"I never saw any one like you, Charles," said Herbert, with a sneer; "one
would think you never had seen a hen or a cow before. If you were at our
school they would call you 'lady;' for you clap your hands just as a girl
does over these things. I like horses and dogs, but who cares for a hen
and chicks?"

"Well, now," said Charles, "can there be a prettier sight than a hen with
her chickens peeping out under her wings?"

Herbert made no reply, and the boys now set about having a game at
cricket, the girls good-naturedly agreeing to join in it, though they ran
some risk of being hurt; for Herbert often tried to strike the ball in
their direction, that he might enjoy the fun of seeing them run out of its
way lest it should hurt them. However, nothing of the kind happened; but
both Lizzie and Caroline were very glad when their brothers proposed to
put away the bat and wickets, and have a game at hide-and-seek down at the
great stack-yard. All that day and the next Herbert made himself very
agreeable, and a very happy time the four children had. On the third day
they paid a visit to old Mary Watkins, who lived in a little cottage on
the borders of Mr. Ashcroft's property, and was a great favourite both
with the children and their parents. Old Mary had not been very well, and
Caroline and Lizzie were to take her some strong soup and some jelly, and
they were all to be allowed to stay and drink tea with her, if she was
able to have them. This was always considered a great treat, and no one
enjoyed it more than Herbert; for old Mary had such lots of stories to
tell, especially about her two sons, who were both sailors, but who had
not been heard of for some years. When they reached Mary's cottage, they
found the old woman quite pleased to see them; and as she was not able to
set her best cups out on the tray with the large ship in full sail painted
on it, the girls were allowed to do it for her. The boys were very active
also in getting water from the spring to fill the kettle, which they
lifted up on to the large hook that hung so strangely down the chimney
over the fire.

Mrs. Ashcroft had taken care to send a good supply of provisions in
another basket, in case Mary should not be prepared for such a large
party; and they made a most hearty tea after their long walk. When the
cups had been washed and put away, and the tray admired once more before
it was placed up against the wall, there was still time to hear a good
many of Mary's best stories before the hour fixed for their return home.

The next day the children were obliged to keep within doors, as it was
very wet; and, as usual, Herbert came in to breakfast looking as gloomy
as the weather, while his cousin Charles evidently intended to make the
best of matters, and was quite cheerful.

"Come, girls," he cried, when they had gone up to the empty schoolroom,
"let us have a game at playing at school. Don't you remember how we
enjoyed it last time?"

Herbert flung himself down on the floor in a pet at the idea of being
asked to play such a childish game; but though he tried hard to enjoy his
favourite book, and not to listen to their mirth, when Lizzie purposely
made such absurd mistakes, he was compelled at last to join in the
laughter, and then in the game itself. Afterwards they played a game at
bagatelle, but it took all their patience to stand Herbert's whims and
tricks. He did not interfere with Lizzie, for she was on his side, but
when Caroline and Charles were going to play, he would stagger up against
them and cause them to play badly; or, if he saw that the ball was likely
to go into a large number, he would slyly lift up the board and make it
roll away.

"You said the other day that they would call me 'lady' at your school,"
said Charles, "but I know what they would call you at ours."

[Illustration: THE SCHOOLROOM]

"What's that, pray?" replied Herbert, coming up close to his cousin with a
scowl on his face and his hand clenched behind his back.

Charles was not in the least afraid of Herbert's threatening appearance,
but answered stoutly, - "They would call you 'cheat;' and of the two names
I'd prefer 'lady.'"

Herbert was neither restrained by the fact that his cousin was a guest in
the house nor by the difference in their age, a double reason for treating
him with forbearance.

Before Caroline had time to prevent him, Herbert had struck Charles a

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Online LibraryGeorge CupplesCarry's Rose, → online text (page 1 of 3)