Mrs. (Sophie Amelia) Prosser.

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the earth ; the opening buds closed again ; and the
young and tender green leaves curled up, looking
dry and withered.

" Why do you fly from me ? " said the east wind,
reproachfully, to the birds.

For answer, the chaffinch fluttered into a ibush;
the warblers kept close to their half-made nests ; the
robin hid under the window-sill ; and the sparrows
huddled into their holes.

" Ungrateful ! " howled the east wind. " Do I not
fill the sails of treasure-ships that bring balmy spices,
shining merchandise, and all the precious gifts of far-
off lands ? The gold and the silver, the gems of
earth and of ocean, are they not wafted by me to
these shores? Yet love never greets me. I find a


barren land and a reproachful silence wherever I

" Ah ! my stern brother," replied the sun, struggling
for a moment through a leaden sky, " read aright the
reason of your reception. Who brings the piercing
blast and destructive blight ? who hides the azure
of the heavens, and dims the beauty of the earth ?
who tries to vail me with impenetrable gloom, so
that I can no longer bid the world rejoice? Is not
this your work? Riches you may bring, but the
gifts of your hand can not atone for your harsh voice
and unloving nature. Your presence inspires terror,
whil> it spreads desolation ; and ' where fear is, love
is never seen.' "



' " WHAT can the vicar be thinking of? " said a pea-
cock that paraded the churchyard in melancholy
mood. " He certainly is a man of bad taste, or he
would consider me as the ornament of his parish."

Here he took as good a survey as he could of his
tail, which he then spread out, and strutted up and
down the middle path before the vicarage windows.

" There isn't a figure in the parish equal to mine.
As to dress, let them show any of their fashions that
come up to my plumes; and yet, as soon as I go^into
his garden, or even into the orchard, he sendf the
boy to hunt me out ; nay, he raced after me himself,
whip in hand. Very undignified indeed ! He must
be jealous; that's it, perhaps. He has only a few
scanty white hairs for feathers on his head, while I
have an exquisitely beautiful coronet. Poor man!
Or perhaps he thinks his family will get a love of
dress by looking at me ; that may be it. It can not
be my voice that offends him; for I never let him
hear it, as I know he is not fond of music, except


when I am flying away from his whip. Why does
he persecute me thus ? " And, turning his head in
every direction to show his colors, and carrying his
tail with much pomp, the peacock stalked again up
and down the middle path.

Now it happened that Drover, the shepherd dog,
had heard him soliloquizing as he was lying on the
churchyard wall ; and, just raising his head, he said,
" Do you really want to know ? "

The peacock turned, and, half offended at being so
unceremoniously questioned, answered, " Yes."

" Well, then," said Drover, " it's neither more nor
lesstfchan because you eat his gooseberries." Then
he put his head down and went to sleep again, or
rather into a waking doze.

The peacock was much mortified by this humbling
solution to the mystery. In his heart he was well
aware that it was the truth ; but while he knew it,
he wished to cover it to the world with reasons more
honorable to himself. He took care, when next he
meditated aloud, to go where Drover could not hear



" WHAT right has a vulgar fellow like you to walk
by us ? " said a handsome pointer, named Ruby, to
a shaggy shepherd dog, named Drover.

" The same right that you have to walk by me,"
answered Drover. "I suppose the road is broad
enough for us all."

" Yes ; but you ought to keep your distance, and
not try to have it believed you are one of us."

" I don't wish any one to believe I am one of you,
any more than you wish to have it thought you are
one of us."

" A likely thing that I should wish to be thought
one of you ! " said the pointer, with a sneer.

"And why not?" said Drover. "I see no such
mighty difference between us."

" Pshaw ! nonsense ! you are a poor plebeian cur,
that has to work for his hard fare ; you are a scrub,
to look at; you have no other bed than a loft or
a barn."

"Don't run away with idle fancies, friend," said


Drover ; " I am no poorer than you. I have, of my
own, four good legs and a tough hide, a stout voice
and a quick eye : I fancy you have no more. Then,
as to work, I have to guard the sheep from wolves,
and bring them safe home to the night-fold when
they have wandered, which is as honorable employ-
ment, to my mind, as running, with your nose on the
ground, after a poor partridge that is hardly a bite
when it is caught. My fare may be hard, but it is
plentiful. I am not kept on bread and milk at cer-
tain seasons, for fear my scent should be spoiled, as
you are, but get whatever is going from my master's
basket all days alike. When he has meat to give, he
always shares it with me. Scrub as I am, I am con-
sidered very handsome by our people ; and that's all
I care about. My master would not change me for
you, depend on it; and as 'to my bed, what does a
bed signify to one who can sleep anywhere ? How-
ever, I can tell you I am not chained in a kennel,
like you and your friends : I am at liberty to lie all
night on the warm hearth, where I can hear if a
thief should lurk on the outside."


Ruby couldn't say much; but, looking supercili-
ously at Drover, he answered, "It's very well that
you are satisfied with your condition : we are not all
born to the same situation of life. I did not mean
to hurt your feelings, and make you envious: no
doubt you are very respectable in your way, and I
am sorry for you that you are in such a condition."

" Pray keep your pity for those that want it. Let
me now tell you a few things. You have left out the
two great blessings of my life in which you have no
share. In the first place, I am free. I know my
work, and can do it : at all other times I can go in
or out, run or rest, enjoy the common or the wood,
sleep under the hedge, or play by the brook-side with
my friends. You go out to your work with a keeper,
or with the Squire, mighty fine company, of course,
and very genteel; but when your work is done, your
pastime is over; you are kept up till you are
wanted again, no liberty for you. You go, when
you go, for your master's pleasure, and never for any
thing else. Then, again, you have many companions
who are all as valuable as yourself, and your master


hardly knows you by sight. All his dogs together are
nothing to him but dogs. He would sell you all to-
morrow, if he heard of a better breed, or better
trained set. My master is my friend ; he loves me ;
I am his companion ; he talks to me, whistles to me,
and trusts me as if I were one like himself. I don't
believe he would think of selling me any more than
his wife or children. And I love him ; I love to hear
his step above-head in the morning ; I love to hear
him cry, ' Now, old boy \ ' when he goes to work ; I
love to watch by his coat and basket when he leaves
them to my charge ; I love to work for him ; I love
to watch for him, and I wouldn't leave him for all
the sops to eat, and kennels to lie in, and gentlemen
to hunt or sport with, in the wide world. Hark ! I
hear his voice. Good-morning ; I can't stay to hear
what you have to say." And off he was, with a
bound, his eyes glistening with delight, and his
shaggy tail tossing in the air.




" PUT the young horse in plough," said the farmer ;
and very much pleased he was to be in a team with
Dobbin and the gray mare. It was a long field, and
gayly he walked across it, his nose upon Dobbin's
haunches, having hard work to keep at so slow a

"Where are we going now?" he said, when he
got to the top. " This is very pleasant."

" Back again," said Dobbin.

" What for ? " said the young horse, rather sur-
prised; but Dobbin had gone to sleep, for he could
plough as well asleep as awake.

" What are we going back for ? " he asked, turning
round to the old gray mare.

" Keep on," said the gray mare, " or we shall never
get to the bottom, and you'll have the whip at your

" Very odd indeed," said the young horse, who
thought he had had enough of it, and was not sorry
he was coming to the bottom of the field. Great


was his astonishment when Dobbin, just opening his
eyes, again turned, and proceeded at the same pace
up the field again.

" How long is this going on ? " asked the young

Dobbin just glanced across the field as his eyes
closed, and fell asleep again, as he began to calculate
how long it would take to plow it.

" How long will this go on ? " he asked, turning to
the gray mare.

" Keep up, I tell you," she said, " or you'll have
me on your heels."

When the top came, and another turn, and the
bottom, and another turn, the poor young horse was
in despair ; he grew quite dizzy, and was glad, like
Dobbin, to shut his eyes, that he might get rid of the
sight of the same ground so continually.

"Well," he said when the gears were taken off, "if
this is your plowing, I hope I shall have no more
of it." But his hopes were vain ; for many days he
plowed, till he got, not reconciled to it, but tired of
complaining of the weary, monotonous work.


In the hard winter, when comfortably housed in
the warm stable, he cried out to Dobbin, as he was
eating some delicious oats, " I say, Dobbin, this is
better than plowing : do you remember that field ? I
hope I shall never have any thing to do with that
business again. What in the world could be the use
of walking up a field just for the sake of walking
down again? It's enough to make one laugh to
think of it."

" How do you like your oats ? " said Dobbin.

" Delicious ! " said the young horse.

"Then please to remember, if there were no
plowing, there would be no oats."



" I COULD soon finish you up," said some lemons to
a bottle of carbonate of soda.

" I could soon take the taste out of you" answered
the soda.

" Let us try our strength," said the lemons.

" With all my heart," said the soda ; and to work
they went, trying with all their might to extinguish
each other; fizz went the lemons; fizz went
the soda; and they went on fizzing, till there was
nothing of either of them left, and only a nauseous
puddle showed where the fight had been.




"MOTHER/' said a young blackbird, looking out of

his hole in the wall one cold winter's day, " what has

become of all the flowers ? "

" They are withered and dead, my son."

"And what has become of all the fruits, mother?"

" They are gathered and gone, my son."

" And the beautiful flies, mother, with the colored

wings, where are they?"

" Perished, all perished, my son."

"And the creeping things, mother, that we live

upon, where are they?"


" Safe under the earth, my son."

"Oh, mother, how dreary it is, then! we have
nothing at all left."

" Well," said the old bird, " it is dreary now ; but
look up at the sun that shines in the heavens, he
still remains to us, and, when his time comes to work,
will restore to us the flowers and the fruits and the
painted flies, and all our needful food : and therefore
let us wait patiently, my son ; for in him we have all
things, though now hidden from us."


FRISK, my lady's dog, had a way of standing on
his hind-legs and looking out of the window to see
what was going on in the world without. One fine
whiter morning, having finished an excellent break-
fast of bread and milk, and warmed himself thor-
oughly on the hearth-rug, he ran to his old place, the
window having been opened a little to let out the


smoke. He had just settled himself, when Growler
and Drover, two shepherd-dogs, met underneath the
window, their coats looking dingy against the white
snow, and rough and shabby with hard running,
while their breath floated in thick curling clouds on
the clear air.

"Good day, Drover, it's terribly sharp," said

" Ay, pretty well for that," said Drover.

" I have seldom known it to set in so bad as this
so early," said Growler.

" No, it is trying," said Drover, " especially in the
mornings : I can hardly feel my legs."

" Our sheep are just frozen," said Growler ; " and
as to the cows, their teeth pretty well freeze to the

" Poor brutes ! no wonder I heard old Dobbin cry
out that his shed was so cold he was as stiff as the
old barn-door that won't go on its hinges. What in
the world do all those poor creatures do that lie out
on the common, the stray donkeys and the gypsy


" What, indeed ! It make's one's teeth chatter to
think of them."

"Fie! fie!" said Frisk, looking down on them;
"I'm sure this is most seasonable weather; what
would you have? A fine, fresh, sparkling air, a
bright blue sky, and a healthy crisp frost, charm-
ing weather if you would only be sensible of it : you
should try for a contented mind, friends, and recom-
mend the same to the sheep, the cows, Dobbin, and
the stray donkeys ; for reflect, I pray you, it is, all of
it, what they are used to, and what they riiay always

Frisk said all this with much vivacity, his eyes
dancing with animation, and a smirk of satisfaction
on his face.

"Ah!" said Drover, looking up, "have you had

Yes," said Frisk.

" Pray where did you have it ? " asked Drover.

" By the fireside," said Frisk.

"So I thought," said Drover: "perhaps, if you
knew the meaning of hard quarters and short


commons, you wouldn't be quite so philosophical.
Change places with us for a few days, and then let
us see what sort of a sentiment you would send to
Dobbin and his fellow-sufferers."


" WHAT a dull life yours is!" said a racer to a mill-

'' Dull enough," said the mill-horse.

" You must feel uncommonly stupid ! "

" Stupid enough," said the mill-horse.

"Round and round, round and round, and
that, day after day! No wonder your head hangs
down, why, you're just a piece of machinery, and
no better."

The mill-horse didn't answer, but continued going
his round ; while the racer, who was tethered near,
repeated his remarks every time he came within

" I'm afraid I've offended you," said the racer.


" Oh, no," answered the mill-horse ; " but my quiet
life has this advantage in it, it gives me time to
think before I speak."

u And have you been thinking while I have been
talking ? "

" Yes," answered the mill-horse ; " and I'll tell you
what I've been thinking, you're a very fine fellow,
and I am contemptible in your sight; but I know
which of us would be the most missed. Depend on
this, if I and my breed were to take our departure,
and no other substitutes could be found, folks would
do without racing, and take you and your breed into
our places."



"No wonder my master calls me sensible," said
Drover, who began to be proud of himself; "he told
the farmer yesterday he wouldn't part with me at
any price, and I'm sure he wouldn't. Well! I've
earned my character ; for, as he says, i I'm never
idling when my work is ready ; ' I never was caught
worrying a sheep, as old Growl did, when he got in
a passion. I never thieve if I am left ever so long
without breakfast. No : no one can touch my char-
acter ; I have that to reflect on, and it gives my meal
an extra relish to think I deserve it. Besides, I
know my work so well ! When did I ever miss find-
ing a stray sheep, or when did I ever let a suspicious
dog come near my master's coat and basket ? Why,
I know a rogue at a glance ; and he must have more
wit than most who could take me in. Ha, ha ! take
me in, indeed ! " and he diverted himself with the
thought, as he munched his breakfast.

He was just preparing for the last bone, the
largest and the best, when a slight noise made him


look beside him, and there, outside the wicket, sat an
ill-looking, half-starved mongrel, with a ragged ear
and one eye.

"-It's the tinker's dog," muttered Drover, " a poach-
ing thief; what does he want, staring at me while I
am eating?"

But he could not order him away, as he was on
the queen's highway.

However, it so spoiled his breakfast, that, in as po-
lite a tone as he could manage, he begged him to
understand his behavior was very unmannerly.

"Ah, sir," said the tinker's dog in a melancholy
whine, " if you only knew what a pleasure it is to see
you eat, you would not wish me to go."

"Pooh, nonsense!" said Drover; "you won't make
me believe you care to see any one eat but yourself."

" That, naturally, is the highest gratification ; but
when it is out of the question, there is consolation in
beholding the happiness of others ; " and the tinker's
dog began to whimper.

"Be off," said Drover; "you are a thief and a
poacher, and you know it ; you are half starved, and


you deserve it ; and take my word for it, if you do
live in spite of starvation, it will only be to be
hanged at last."

"Oh, sir," said the tinker's dog, "how very discour-
aging ; but the truth is, I came to you for a little ad-
vice ; and, however severe you may be, I will thank-
fully listen. Pray go on, sir, with that beautiful
bone ; I would not hinder you from it for a moment.
I smelt it from the end of the lane."

Drover was much mollified. "Advice, indeed!
How long will you follow it?" he asked.

" Only try me, sir," said the tinker's dog, giving a
sly look with his one eye at the bone.

" Well, then, leave off your bad ways, that's my
advice, and live honestly and work."

" Oh, sir, if I am only so fortunate as to get over
this fit of hunger, I'll quite surprise you," said the
tinker's dog.

" Give up fighting."

" Ah, sir," he replied, shaking his ragged ear, and
turning his blind side to him, " see what fighting has
done for me."


" And poaching," said Drover.

"Poaching!" was the answer; "why, I was out all
last night, and had a narrow escape from being shot.
I lay close till the morning, and then, when my mas-
ter found I came home with nothing, he nearly
kicked my ribs in, and that's all we had for break-
fast: isn't it time I was sick of poaching? If I could
only get through this sad business, and have the
countenance and advice of a respectable member of
society like yourself, I should, as I said, surprise you.
But as it is, I must go, after I have had the pleasure
of seeing you finish a breakfast you have so richly
deserved, and die in a ditch, an example of the
folly of bad ways."

"There," said Drover, quite overcome, and stand-
ing away from his best bone, " you may have it."

" Oh, impossible ! " said the tinker's dog, wriggling
through the fence and seizing the bone, with his one
eye fixed on Drover, as full of admiring gratitude as
it would hold.

"You can be quick," said Drover, who was still
hungry, and while he heard the tinker's dog eat-


ing, for he didn't look at him couldn't help wishing
he had come for advice when his breakfast was over.

"Ah, sir," said he, with his mouth full of gristle,
" you have saved my life. Such a bone ! believe
me, I shall never forget it,"

" Well, then," said Drover, " now let me tell you
what I think of your way of life."

" You have told me," said the tinker's dog, licking
his lips and looking toward the fence.

" Well, but how to mend it," said Drover, in some
surprise at his altered tone.

"You have mended it wonderfully with that
bone," said the tinker's dog. " I am quite another
thing;" and he made for the fence.

"Ay, but you wanted some good advice," said Dro-
ver, discomposed.

" Quite a mistake of yours," said the tinker's dog,
who had now wriggled himself through. " I wanted
some breakfast, and I knew very well the way to get
it was to ask for advice. Sensible as you are, I can
see farther with one eye than you can with two.
But, not to be ungrateful for that excellent bone, let


me give you a piece of advice. Never trust repent-
ance that comes from a hungry stomach, nor take
compliments from a beggar ; " and away he ran.

"I hope my master won't hear of this," said Dro-
ver, looking ashamed.


" SPRING is coming," said a celandine, peeping from
under a hedge.

"Is it really?" said a thrush; "then I must look
after my nest. But who told you so ?"

"The sun. When he came this morning, he looked
so lovingly on me, that I opened at once to see him,
and a soft breath of air was playing all around : be-
sides, the violet is quite ready to show her pretty
face, and I can smell her perfume even here."

The thrush shook his head. " Is spring coming ? "
he said to the violet.

" Yes," said the violet.


" How do you know ? " asked the thrush.

" By the soft dew that hung on me this morning,
which the sun kissed away. Wait till to-morrow,
and you shall see all my buds open."

" Is spring coming ? " said the thrush to a daisy,
that showed her bright round face on the turf.

" No, I think not," said the daisy ; not yet."

"How so?" said the thrush; "celandine and violet
assure me it is."

" Celandine and violet are young and inexperi-
enced," said the daisy. u I have weathered the win-
ter, and know well that it is not over. The sun
kissed me ; and the south wind blew at Christmas ;
but I knew full well it was not to be depended upon;
and, although he was kind this morning as he was
then, and a breeze just as gentle blew, winter is not
past, take my word for it."

The thrush told the celandine and violet what the
daisy said.

" Mere croaking," said celandine.

" Some people are given to forbode," said the vio-


The thrush hopped about: he wished to believe
them, but couldn't help thinking the daisy was right.

That night a sharp frost set in, and killed the cel-
andine and the violet, and a deep snow soon buried
them. The thrush could hardly find a hip or a haw
for his dinner. When the snow melted, the daisy
was there on the turf. The sun was shining and the
south wind blowing ; the thrush, half starved, was
pecking about for worms.

"You'll believe me now, won't you?" said the
daisy. " Take my advice, and don't begin to build
yet : there will be more whiter before spring comes."

The thrush hopped over the graves of celandine
and violet, and sang a little twittering requiem, and
then flew back to his hole to wait for building-time.



"BE a rose," said the rose to a little fairy, who
wanted to change herself into a flower. " I am the
queen of the garden: look at my exquisite color;
smell my matchless perfume; look at my form, so
full, so delicately soft. Oh, be a rose ! "

" Be a lily, " said the lily. " The rose is a beauty,
and she knows it," she added in a whisper ; " but I
can tell you, she is very subject to blight of several
sorts, and often has to be washed with tobacco-water
and other odious things. Look at me;" and she
proudly bent her head to show her golden orna-

"Be a dahlia," said the dahlia: "the lilly is well
enough ; but the snails are so fond of her leaves, that
she often sits awkwardly on a bare stalk, top-heavy.
Look at my velvet face, so correct in its form, so rich
in its texture. Oh, be a dahlia ! "

"Be a convolvulus," said a brilliant azure and
crimson and purple-blossomed one that was climbing


up some trellis-work : " dahlia is as stiff as the stick
she is tied to, and she has no scent whatever. More-
over, it is whispered among the flowers that she is of
low origin ; being, in fact, nothing more than a kind
of potato. Look at my grace and beauty. When
the morning dew hangs on my purple blossoms, and
the sunbeams tremble in it, I am glorious to behold."

The fairy stood irresolute. The convolvulus had
not overrated her charms; but favorites have no

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