ONE WAY AND THE OTHER.
The following sketches, from an American paper, are equally
applicable to certain families on this side the Atlantic: -
“Father,” said a woman to her husband one morning,
“the boys want some new shoes.”
“Want, want – always wanting!” said the man, in a cross
tone. “I’ve got no shoes; if you want them, get them.”
“I don’t know who should, if you can’t, ”answered
the wife, catching the spirit of her husband; and the spirit once caught,
she carried it down stairs into the kitchen, where she quickly saw that
breakfast was in a backward state.
“Sally,” she cried, “why in the world is not breakfast
ready?” The mornings are long enough.”
“This awful green wood!” cried Sally, who until now had been
doing her best; but catching her mistress’s tone, she quite lost
her temper. “The wonder is breakfast’s go at all,” she
muttered; while her mistress went out, and little Joe came in from the
“Tie me shoe, Sally,” said he; “the string has tripped
me up awfully.”
“Go away,” cried Sally, “and not pester me at breakfast
“Cross creature!” cried little Joe, pouting and pulling off
his shoe, which for mischief, or not knowing what else to do, he swung
at the cat lapping her milk. The shoe sent the cat one way and the saucer
another, and the milk in a puddle.
“You mischievous puppy!” cried Sally, giving little Joe a
shake, and sending him off to the sitting-room.
Joe, in a terrible pet, fell upon his little sister, who was playing with
a woolly dog, a little toy her auntie had given her, making it bark in
a wheezy tone no real dog was ever guilty of.
“Give it to me!” cried Joe, snatching it from her hand; where
upon Susy burst into an angry cry. Joe’s mother struck him for it,
and he set up a howl equal to any young cub in a bear’s den; so
that by the time breakfast was ready, the family sky was dark and squally
as it could well be; for crossness is catching, and “the beginning
of strife is as when one letteth out water.”
THE OTHER WAY.
“Father,” said a woman to her husband one
morning, “the boys want some new shoes.”
Yes, I suppose it is most time,” answers the husband; “but
I can’t so well spare the money just now. I wonder if I could not
black them nicely up, to make them answer a little longer. Let’s
“Do not trouble yourself with them, husband,” said the wife.
“Let me try and see what a gloss I can put on them; maybe they’ll
look as good as new,” and away she tripped down stairs into the
kitchen. “Sally,” she said, “you are a little behind
in breakfast, but I’ll help you. No wonder; the green wood troubles
you, I’m afraid.”
“Oh, no,” answers Sally, “I’ll have breakfast
on the table in a minute;” and Sally stirs about with cheerful briskness,
while little Joe comes in and asks to have his shoe tied.
“In a moment, deary,” answers Sally; “wait while I run
down and get some wood – your ma wants breakfast.”
“Let me go,” says little Joe, “I’ll bring you
some wood,” and away scampers the little boy, who soon comes back
with an armful. “There, Sally,” he says, “won’t
that help you?”
“Yes, deary,” cries Sally; “Now let me tie your shoe,”
and while she does it, Joe is looking at pussy’s lapping milk.
“Pussy’s had her breakfast,” said Joe, “and I’ll
take up her saucer, lest somebody should step on it and break it. Come,
pussy, go with me,” and he carries her into the sitting-room. “Pussy
has had her breakfast,” he said to his sister; “now, will
she think your woolly dog a real dog? Let’s show it to her.”
Susy puts down her plaything, a little woolly dog, and sure enough puss,
as soon as she saw it, bushed her tail and backed up her back, just ready
for a fight; but pretty soon she saw her mistake, and ran under the table,
as it afraid to be laughed at. How the children did laugh! “for
pleasant words are as honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the
He who never gives advice and he who never takes it are
alike unworthy of friendship.
THE GREATEST SEMINARY. – The fireside is a seminary
of infinite importance. It is important because it is universal, and because
the education it bestows being woven in with the woof of childhood, gives
form and colour to the whole texture of life. There are only a few who
can receive the honours of a college, but all are graduates of the hearth.
The learning of the university may fade from recollection; its classic
lore may moulder in the halls on memory; but the simple lessons of home,
enamelled upon the heart of childhood, defy the rust of years, and outlive
the more mature but less vivid pictures of after days. So deep, so lasting
indeed, are the impressions of early life, that you often see a man in
the imbecility of age holding fresh in his recollection the events of
childhood, while all the wide space between that and the present hour
is a blasted and forgotten waste. You have perchance seen an old and half-obliterated
portrait, and in the attempt to have it cleaned and restored, you may
have seen it fade away, while a brighter and more perfect picture, painted
beneath, is revealed to view. This portrait, first drawn upon the canvas,
is no inapt illustration of youth; and though it may be concealed by some
after design, still the original traits will shine through the outward
picture, giving it tone while fresh, and surviving it in decay. Such is
the fireside – the great institution furnished by Providence for
the education of man.