ESPECIALLY ARRANGED FOR COLORED PEOPLE
[illustration - SILAS X. FLOYD, AUGUSTA, GA. Corresponding Secretary National Association
of Teachers in Colored Schools.]
The New Floyd's Flowers
Short Stories for COLORED PEOPLE Old and Young
Revised and Enlarged with A B C's Supplement By Mrs. ALICE H. HOWARD
ENTERTAINING UPLIFTING INTERESTING
PROF. SILAS X. FLOYD, A. M., D. D.
Author of "The Gospel of Service and other Sermons," "Life of Charles T.
Walker, D. D.," "National Perils," etc ILLUSTRATED
AUSTIN JENKINS CO. BOOK AND BIBLE
HERTEL JENKINS & CO.
A. N. JERKINS
The entire contents of this
book are protected by the stringent new copy-right law, and all persons are
warned not to attempt to reproduce the text, in whole or in part, or any of the
specially posed illustrations.
Truly the boys and girls of to-day ought to be thankful that they are alive.
There never was such a golden age for childhood and youth as the present. To say
nothing of the rich opportunities for mental and spiritual development, what a
multitude of things have been provided for the innocent pleasure, the wholesome
recreation of the young people of to-day; inventions that remind one of the
magic of the "Arabian Nights"; tools of sport so perfect that one cannot imagine
how they could be bettered; fascinating games, all unknown in the days gone by;
hooks and papers upon which science, art and literary skill have lavished modern
resources — all these and many other wonderful things have fallen to the
lot of the favored boys and girls of to-day.
And now enterprising publishers of our grand country are going to put the boys
and girls of America — and especially the colored boys and girls of
America — under obligation to them, because they have decided to add to
the list of good books for children and youths already on the market. I use the
word "good" advisedly; for from the day that I was engaged to write this book I
have had in mind constantly the thought of making it such a book as would
tell for good. It is an old saying that "evil communications
corrupt good manners," but evil reading does more than this: for evil reading
corrupts good morals.
I have endeavored to put into this book of stories for children only such things
as might be freely admitted into the best homes of the land, and I have written
with the hope that many young minds may be elevated by means of these stories
and many hearts filled with high and holy aspirations. Our nation has a right to
expect that our boys and girls shall turn out to be good men and good women, and
this book is meant to help in this process.
SILAS X. FLOYD.
The publishers of this book have spared neither pains nor expense in trying to
make it as nearly perfect as a book of this kind can be. The typographical
appearance and the illustrations will speak for themselves.
We consider ourselves fortunate in having been able to secure the services of the
Rev. Dr. Silas X. Floyd as the author of this volume. Mr. Floyd's life work,
aside from his literary training, has made him the ideal man to speak to the
colored boys and girls of the South. Soon after graduating from Atlanta
University in 1891, Mr. Floyd became Principal of a Public School at Augusta,
Ga., and remained in that city for five years consecutively as a teacher. In
June, 1896, he was called from the school-room into the Sunday-school work,
having been appointed by the International Sunday School Convention as one of
its Field Workers throughout the South. He continued in this work for three
years, retiring from it to become Pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church, Augusta,
Ga., one of the largest churches in the South. After a year and a half in the
pastorate, he returned to the Sunday-school work, becoming Sunday-school
Missionary for Georgia and Alabama under appointment of the American Baptist
Mr. Floyd's work, as the record shows, has been conspicuously for and in behalf
of the children, and he is known far and wide as a competent writer and speaker
on topics concerning young people. He has contributed to the Sunday School
Times, the International Evangel, the New York Independent, The World's Work,
Lippincott's Magazine, and many other journals and periodicals. He is the author
of a volume of sermons published by the American Baptist Publication Society,
and listed in their catalogue as among their standard works, and is also the
author of the Life of the leading colored Baptist preacher in America, published
by the National Baptist Publishing Board. From the beginning of the Voice of the
Negro, Mr. Floyd has had charge of the Wayside Department as Editor. and his
work as a humorist and writer of negro dialect is known to many through that
In 1894, Atlanta University, his alma mater, conferred upon Mr. Floyd the degree
of Master of Arts, and in 1902, Morris Brown College conferred upon him the
degree of Doctor of Divinity.
|THE COWARDLY HERO
|A SPELLING LESSON
|THE TRUTH ABOUT LUCK
|AN EVENING AT HOME
|THE MAKING OF A MAN
|THANKSGIVING AT PINEY GROVE
|THE LOUD GIRL
|THE ROWDY BOY
|UNCLE NED AND THE INSURANCE SOLICITOR
|THE STRENUOUS LIFE
|HOW TO BE HANDSOME
|GOING WITH THE CROWD
|MARY AND HER DOLLS
|JAKY TOLBERT'S PLAYMATES
|A VALENTINE PARTY
|NO MONEY DOWN
|TOMMY'S BABY BROTHER
|THE SCHOOL OF THE STREET
|THE FOX HUNT
|A BOLD VENTURE
|THE ROAD TO SUCCESS
|KEEPING ONES ENGAGEMENTS
|A MIDNIGHT MISHAP
|OUR DUMB ANIMALS
|A PLUCKY BOY
|A HEART TO HEART TALK
|A GHOST STORY
|LIFE IN BATTLE
|HUNTING AN EASY PLACE
|THE BIG BLACK BURGLAR
|PIN MONEY MAKE WITH THE NEEDLE
|AIMING AT SOMETHING
|THE BLACK SHEEP OF THE REYNOLDS FAMILY
|THE HOLY BIBLE
|ANDREW CARNEGIE'S ADVICE TO YOUNG MEN
|DIRECTIONS FOR LITTLE GENTLEMEN
|THE RIGHT TO PLAY
|A CHRISTMAS PRESENT
|THE NICKEL THAT BURNED IN FRANK'S POCKET
|MONUMENT TO A BLACKMAN
|THE BAD BOY—WHO HE IS
|THE BAD BOY—HOW TO HELP HIM
|THOMAS GREENE BETHUNE ("BLIND TOM")
|NOT FIT TO KNOW
|THE RIGHT WAY
|KEEPING FRIENDSHIP IN REPAIR
|LITTLE ANNIE'S CHRISTMAS
|THE VELOCIPIDE RACE
|BENBENJAMIN BANNEKER, THE NEGRO ASTRONOMER
|"A LITTLE CHILD SHALL LEAD THEM"
|DIRECTIONS FOR LITTLE LADIES
|THREE WORDS TO YOUNG PEOPLE
|"A LAMP UNTO MY FEET"
|THE THREE BRIGADES
|"HOME, SWEET HOME
|EACH ONE OF US OF IMPORTANCE
|THE POETRY OF LIFE
|ON BEING IN EARNEST
|YOUNG PEOPLE AND LIFE INSURANCE
|THE LITTLE SAILOR CAT
|ADVICE TO LITTLE CHRISTIANS
|A WORD TO PARENTS
|THE UNSEEN CHARMER
|THE "DON'T-CARE" GIRL
|FREDERICK DOUGLASS TO YOUNG PEOPLE
|A GOOD FELLOW
|THE FUTURE OF THE NEGRO
|THE TRAINING OF CHILDREN
|THE TRUE STORY OF PHILLIS WHEATLEY
|MRS. ALICE HOWARD'S A B C BOOK
|THE BEST RIDE
|THE WAY TO END A QUARREL
|A LITTLE LOVE STORY
|I OWE A DUTY TO MY RACE
|DOGS OF THE GREAT WAR
|A GOOD BOY GETS WARM MITTENS
|THE FAITHFUL COLORED SHEPHERD
[illustration - STATE, WAR AND NAVY BUILDING, WASHINGTON
Most remarkable Office Building in the world. Right next door to the
Built of solid American Granite with over 500 rooms and over two miles
of marble halls. ]
[illustration - PRIZE WINNERS
Their Mother's Pets
Copyright Underwood & Underwood ]
[illustration - SUNSHINE SAMMY
Eight-year-old Sammy of moving picture fame is here seen leaving his
for the studio where he will "play for the world." Though only a child
he has attracted
world-wide interest and admiration.
Copyright Underwood & Underwood ]
[illustration - "GREAT HEAVENS, THE BRUTE IS MAD," GASPED EVANS.]
THE COWARDLY HERO
George Washington Jones was his name. Where he got it nobody
knew,—least of all himself. For two years he had sold newspapers one
block from the big St. Charles Hotel in New Orleans. Very slender, with
great big hungry eyes, this little colored waif presented a pitiful sight to
the crowds that hurried by. He was scorned by the other newsboys, who yelled
and jerred at him, causing him to shrink up even smaller and to glance
fearfully at his tormentors. for George was what the other boys called a
coward. He would not fight,—when attacked and imposed upon by his more
sturdy associates he would throw up his hands and cower down against the
ground like a whipped dog. All boys know what this means,—for months
he was the mark for all of the coarse jokes and abuse of the rather rough
lot of boys who were also engaged in the newspaper selling business
thereabouts. He had lived ever since he remembered with an old colored man
in a wretched attic over on the South Side,—the old man was a rag
peddler and permitted him to share his miserable quarters for the payment of
fifty cents every Saturday night. Poor food and poorer sleeping quarters had
their effect, and George soon developed a hacking cough that made people
turn their heads to see who it was
and then hurry on faster than ever. One cold
morning in December, while George stood shivering on his corner, scarcely
able to shout loud enough to attract the attention of the passers by, a lady
about to enter an automobile glanced at him, noted pityingly his emaciated
and half-starved appearance, and the cough that wracked his slight
frame,—she stepped up and asked him his name and address, which he
gave, gazing in spell-bound admiration at this beautiful, fairy-like
creature from a different world.
It so happened that this young lady's father was a very influential man, and
so in course of time the lady who had in the meantime called several times
at George's wretched quarters, with eggs and milk and other dainties,
prevailed upon him to arrange for George to spend the spring and summer in
So one bright day in April, George arrived at a big Louisiana plantation
where he was to have good food and clothes, and when able, to do odd jobs
and chores about the place to pay for his board. The Grahams were a couple
who had been married seven or eight years and who had a little daughter of
six who was a dainty and pretty little miss, somewhat spoiled, but naturally
kind and good-hearted. To George she was the most beautiful thing he had
ever seen, an angel, not to be thought of at the same time with earthly
things. lie soon became her devoted slave, following her
about and trying to think of something he could do that would
make her happy.
Now George did not change in the first few weeks of his stay with the
Grahams. Ile was afraid of the cows, of the horses, even of the geese that
ran around the yard. Little Louise, who had been raised in the country,
could not understand this feeling and did not hesitate to let George know
that she had nothing but contempt for his running wildly away from an
inoffensive cow who happened to turn her head in his direction.
"But, dearest," her mother said, "he has never even seen a cow before. To him
that cow is only an awfully dangerous thing with horns, a long tail and big
"Oh, but mamma, he is such an awful fraid cat,—whoever heard of getting
scared at a lot of silly geese?"
"Yes, I fear he is a hopeless coward," said Mrs. Graham, "but he certainly
does work well."
But the one thing that George feared above all other things was the dog that
lived on the Evans place next door. There was considerable excuse for this
fear, as the dog was a surly and somewhat dangerous brute, an immense Great
Dane, who had no love nor respect for any living thing except his master. He
seemed to take a savage delight in dashing to the fence and making strenuous
efforts to jump over and attack poor George whenever he had to pass by. On
George would shriek and dash wildly up the road,
screaming in terror,—he feared the Great Dane more than anything else
The days and weeks slipped by until the month of August. There had been a
long dry spell; everything was hot, parched and burning up, and it seemed as
if the earth was crying out for rain. Every one was cross and irritable and
although not meaning to be unreasonable, Mr. and Mrs. Graham took
considerable of their irritation out on our little colored friend
George,—he was ordered about and shouted at to move faster and scolded
and generally made the target for the ill humor of the entire household.
For some days the Great Dane had been acting strangely,—no one dared to
approach him, and on one occasion he even snapped at his master.
"Guess I'll chain him up until the rain sets in," said Mr. Evans. However,
the dog refused to be tied, avoiding his master and snapping whenever he
approached. Suddenly he gave a roar and sprang right at Mr. Evans'
throat,—the man tripped and fell, which was the best thing he could
possibly have done under the circumstances, as the dog ignored him, and,
snapping right and left, dashed out of the gate and down the road towards
the Graham place.
"Great Heavens! The brute is mad!" gasped Evans.
If any one has seen a dog go mad, he will testify that it is not a pretty
sight. The maddened animal
raced at top speed along the road; snapping wildly at sticks and
stones along the way, with froth and foam flying from his mouth, his mammoth
jaws closing and unclosing like the teeth of an enormous trap.
Straight down the road and straight through the gate that opened into the
Graham yard dashed the enormous Great Dane—he was a hideous sight to
the bravest; what he looked like to George no one will ever know. Graham,
sitting on the porch, realized in an instant what had happened, and sprang
to the dining-room to get his rifle,—right in the path was little
Louise, with her dolls, sitting around a little table, in the midst of a
party —she rose to her feet, the great frenzied brute but a few yards
distant, her face paling, her lips unable to utter a sound. Graham was
quick, but not quick enough,—the dog, would be upon the child before
he could possibly get ready to shoot, but quicker than Graham. quicker than
the dog, was George,—what he felt, what he suffered in those few
seconds, the Lord alone can tell—with a wild scream, he threw himself
right in the path of the maddened Great Dane. right at his throat, shrieking
and striking wildly with both clenched fists at the huge head and body of
the dog. With a snarl, the dog turned and caught the negro boy,—but it
was here that Providence took a hand, for he grabbed not George himself, but
his coat, worn and shabby from much use, and the coat came off in his
jaws,—before the dog could turn and renew
the attack, Mr. Graham shot twice rapidly from
the porch and the dog fell, writhing terribly in his death agonies.
White as a sheet, Graham ran quickly down the path and snatched Louise up in
his arms,—but Mrs. Graham, who had been an agonized eye-witness of the
near-tragedy, was almost as quick to reach George—throwing her arms
around him, she sobbed, "God bless you, George; that was the bravest thing I
And in this way, George, the despised and ignored newsboy, who had always
been called a coward, came into his own. Such is true courage. Poor boy, he
was afraid, fearfully, awfully afraid! But he did not hesitate to risk
everything to save the golden-haired little daughter of his employer.
George still remains on the Graham plantation, but you would scarcely know
him—he coughs no longer; he stands erect and is becoming strong and
sturdy; he has found himself, and no one will ever again have cause to say
to him, "You coward!"
THE GREAT SPELLING MATCH.
There was no doubt about it,—of all the little colored boys and girls
who went to the Peabody school, Margaret was the dullest. Her teacher said
so, her friends said so, her parents were of the same opinion, and if asked
[illustration - AN EXCITING MOMENT.]
would undoubtedly have frankly
acknowledged that her undisputed and proper place was at the foot of the
class. Her brother Charles, who was one year younger than she, had proudly
graduated from the fifth grade and was making rapid progress in the sixth.
He did not spend one-half the time studying that Margaret did, and yet when
it came time for recitations, he would stand up and recite in a manner that
warmed his teacher's heart and made him the envy of most all of his
schoolmates. If Margaret was backward in her studies, little Mable Green
certainly was not. Arithmetic, geography, writing, reading, she excelled in
all of them. She was a very bright little colored girl and a very good
looking one, too. Mable knew this just as well as all of the boys and girls
did,—she was not exactly foolish and vain, but she had been so praised
and petted by her school friends and teacher: that she was inclined to be a
little conceited, what we all would call "stuck up." Once a month a prize
was given for the scholar who stood highest in certain studies, and Mable
had twice been the successful pupil,—she had two highly prized silver
medals to show for her skill. Now one of the members of the school board was
a farmer about forty years of age, kind-hearted, but a little old-fashioned.
He believed in boys and girls knowing how to read and write and spell
correctly, but he did not care for what he called the "new-fangled" ideas of
some of the
other members of the board. He was very much opposed to a course
in music and elocution that was being considered by the school board, and
did not hesitate to let every one know how he felt about it. Now he knew
Mable and liked her—he was very much interested in the way in which
she stood at the head of her classes and wanted to do something to encourage
her in sticking to the old-fashioned forms of education. He thought over
this for a long time, and finally decided to hold a spelling match. Now you
all probably know what a spelling match is. Two sides are chosen who stand
up on opposite sides of the room, and the teacher give out words, commencing
at the head of the row,— any one who misses a word has to sit down,
and the last one to stand up wins the prize for his side, also is pronounced
the best speller and gets the personal prize.
The teacher was to pronounce the words, while the members of the hoard were
to give her lists of words from which to choose.
"What are you going to give for a prize, Mr. Edwards?" asked the teacher.
"Well, I thought I would give twenty dollars," replied the man. "Yes, I
rather plan to give a bright twenty-dollar gold piece."
The news spread like wild fire. Never had there been such excitement. This
was a small fortune,
and Mable's mother pinned a bright red
bow in her hair, and put on her prettiest frock,—Mable had already
considered the prize as won,—in fact, she had planned just how she
would spend it,—she was a good speller and felt confident that she
The night arrived, bright and crisp November weather, with a bright moon
overhead,—the little schoolhouse was packed. It was decided that all
children in the fifth, sixth and seventh grades would be allowed to compete.
Now, Margaret had been in a highly excited state ever since hearing of the
contest—strange to say, she was a good speller. It has often been
said, and quite correctly, too, that spelling is a gift,—that some
people spell correctly quite naturally, while no amount of study or practice
can make a good speller out of any one who was born with a head that ached
and throbbed at the mere thought of spelling. She had never had fifty cents
of her own in her whole life—twenty dollars in gold—it did not
seem possible that there could be that much money in the whole world.
Sides were chosen and Margaret was almost hidden by fat Reggie Andrews, who
stood next to her. Mable was right across the room from her, and smiled in a
somewhat scornful manner at the girl she thought was a "dummy."
The teacher began to pronounce the words and you could have almost heard a
pin drop; the first few times around but few scholars dropped out,
Reggie going down the third time on "mucilage." Margaret gave a
sigh of relief—Reggie had made her very nervous.
Nothing happened that amounted to much until the teacher began to give out
words containing "ie" and "ei." Now these words are very difficult unless a
speller knows the rule—"ie" is almost always used except after the
letter "c."—following this letter "c," it is always "ei." Margaret had
learned this rule in the second grade, and these words had no terror for
her—she was gaining confidence now and the audience began to sit up
and take notice. Soon but five were left standing, three on Margaret's side
and only Arable and one little colored boy on the other. It seemed for a
time that these five would have to divide the prize,—word after word
was spelled and no one missed—the audience was hanging spellbound on
every syllable, and the dignified members of the board were trying to act
naturally, although in reality, greatly wrought up.
"Exhaustible," suddenly said the teacher.
There was a moment's hesitation, and then Ann Houston, on Margaret's side
"Wrong; be seated," and with much sniffling and rubbing her eyes, Ann walked
sorrowfully to her seat.
The boy on Mable's side shuffled his feet, looked up, down and around the
room, and finally blurted out:
"Wrong!" and Bobbie joined Ann in sorrowful silence.
Rose Holcomb, the one remaining girl on Margaret's side, had become
rattled—she rolled her eyes wildly up and down and then
guessed,—she made a very had guess.
"E-c-h-o-s-t-i-b-l-e !" and Rose was also counted out and took her seat,
tossing her head and looking, indifferently around.
It was now Mable's turn, and she had sufficient intelligence to have
profited by the experience of Ann and Bobbie—had the word been
pronounced to her first, she would probably have misspelled it, but now she
spelled it out firmly and confidently, letter for letter, without a
Now Mable faced Margaret for the final test—both were greatly excited,
but their nervousness had passed—it was now that Margaret's natural
ability came to her aid. Word after word she spelled, and the crowd watched
her in amazement Here was the supposedly dull and backward pupil, the
recognized "foot of the class," standing up gallantly to the last against
Mable, the favorite, to whom everybody had conceded the prize as already
The largest cities in America, in South America and Europe, proper names,
animals,—the words became more and more difficult. Finally, the names
of flowers were given—Mable had studied botany and was familiar with
was now relying on her natural ability and nerve —all things come to an
end, and at last the teacher pronounced the name of the flower
Now it is a fact that there is probably no more tricky word in the English
language than this—it all depends upon where to place the letter "s."
Mable knew what fuchsias were,—knew all about the different parts, the
petals, the stem,—she had spelled the word correctly many times, but,
alas, she was a trifle hasty and exclaimed:
"Wrong!"—Mable burst into tears,—and with loud sobs ran to her
seat and threw herself down, her face buried in her arms.
All eyes were now on Margaret. She was strongly tempted to spell this
commencing "ph"—it seemed correct, but something told her that Mable
had been almost right. Almost, but not quite! Mable's dramatic finish had
given her time to think for a moment, and when the word was once more
pronounced she was ready—without hesitation she spelled slowly and
"Correct,—Margaret, you have won the prize."
Margaret's knees almost gave way under her—surely she must be
dreaming—it could not possibly be herself to whom the committeeman was
advancing with a light blue plush case—every one was clapping their
hands, and the boys had so forgotten themselves as to whistle through their
fingers and noisily stamp their feet.
[illustration - "MARGARET, YOU HAVE WON THE PRIZE."]
"It gives me great pleasure," said Mr. Edwards, "to give this twenty-dollar
gold piece to Margaret Hawkins, and to pronounce her the best speller in the
Poor Mable cried herself to sleep that night, but it was a good lesson for
her—it taught her to be more considerate of others, and that there
were something at which she could be beaten.
Every one treated Margaret with increased respect, and her success was also
good for her—she began to improve in her other studies, and as she
gained in confidence, gradually became, if not one of the best, at least a
very good scholar.
Mr. Edwards says his next prize will be given for the best all-around pupil
at the close of the term—and Mable is once more looking forward with
THE TRUTH ABOUT LUCK.
How often we hear some one say:
"My, but he's lucky!" or. "It's better to be born lucky than rich."
Boys and girls are too often in the habit of thinking that one of their
schoolmates are "lucky" because they always stand well in their classes and
frequently have spending money in their pockets.
It is not likely that "luck" had anything to do with it. They probably stood
well and were at
the head of the class in school because they
studied and tried harder than the other scholars, and had money to spend
because they spent their time out of school hours in working to earn it
instead of at play.
Some years ago I happened to find myself near the terminal of the great East
River Bridge in New York City. Two little boys were standing near one of the
large iron posts crying their afternoon papers. I tarried near them because
I was waiting for a particular car. One little fellow said to the other,
"How many papers have you sold today, Tommie?"
"Nearly one hundred an' fifty," was Tommie's quick reply.
"Yes; honor bright."
"Whoopee! but ain't you in big luck, Tommie?"
"Luck!" exclaimed Tommie, wiping the perspiration from his brow. "'There
ain't no luck about it; I've just been everlastingly at it since four
o'clock this morning—that's all!"
And that is the all of real success. Those who achieve success are
"everlastingly at" what they are trying to do. Tommie was right in declining
to have his hard and honest work cheapened by calling the result of it
"You are the luckiest chap I ever saw," I once heard a little boy about
sixteen years say to another boy of about the same age.
[illustration - "HOW MANY PAPERS HAVE YOU SOLD TODAY, TOMMY?"]
"Why do you say that?" asked the other. "Because you have had your salary
raised twice in the same year."
"Well," was the reply, "you may call it luck; but I don't. I have always
done my work the very best I knew how. I have never once in the whole year
been a single minute late in getting to the office, nor have I ever left a
single minute before it was time for me to leave. When I have worked
over-time, I have not made any fuss about it. My boss said when be raised my
salary last week that he had taken these things into account. So, I don't
see where the luck comes in."
"All the same," said the first boy, some bosses wouldn't have raised your
"Then I would have the satisfaction of knowing that I had done my duty."
Boys, I tell you that's right. Nine out of ten employers know that it is to
their advantage to show appreciation of faithful work and they show it. When
this appreciation comes luck has had nothing to do with it. The thing that
passes for luck is in nearly all eases the just reward of honest
Do not, therefore, start out in life with the expectation that some "lucky
turn" will bring you sudden honor or wealth or position without any effort
on your part. Substitute that fine old word "work" for that deceitful word
"luck," and base your hopes of future success and usefulness upon the
honorable labor that it is a Godgiven
privilege for every well and strong and right-minded boy to give
his heart and hands to performing.
AN EVENING AT HOME.
Boys and girls between the ages of eleven and seventeen ought to spend their
evenings at home, as much as possible. In these busy, bustling twentieth
century days, there are many families—so much the worse for
them—that scarcely know what it is to spend an evening at home
together. Not only the young people but the older people are "on the go."
The evenings are crowded with calls and invitations, which come from far and
near. It is nothing to go five or even ten miles to an evening concert or
social gathering, the trolley is so near, so cheap and so universal. But I
tell you, boys and girls, no matter what the pleasure or amusement
afforded—no matter what the instruction or culture
received—there are no social or similar opportunities good enough to
displace the home circle. The sooner young people realize this the happier
they will be.
Boys and girls ought to plan for some evenings at home. Let other things
have a share, but do not give up all the time to other things. Once a week
the young people ought to arrange for an evening at home. Decline everything
that evening, the same as you would for any
other engagement. Gather the family together. Make a special place for
grandma and grandpa. Sing merry songs; play innocent and amusing [illustration - AN EVENING AT HOME.] games; take time to tell the home folks about some of the things
that you do and that you have seen in the world; get acquainted with the
home folks; be delighted in their delight; by special
appointment, spend one or two cheerful hours with the folks at
home each week.
The young folks themselves should take the lead in this matter. A home is
not merely a place with four walls where people meet to eat and drink and
sleep securely beneath a roof. Nay, boys and girls, a house is reared to be
a home—the center where a family may gather into one; to be a serene
retreat where the tenderest affections may find rest; where love may have a
dwelling place, and the amenities of life gain ample scope; where parents
and children may press one another heart to heart; where sorrows and joys
may be freely shared in sacred confidence; in a word, where the great work
of training human beings for the duties of the present life, and the
perfection of another, may be begun and carried on.
There is one special reason for making much of the evenings at home that
young people are not likely to think of. Inevitably the family circle will
be broken up very soon. Perhaps not by death, but most certainly by change.
When Fred goes to college that is the beginning of new ties and new
associations, and the home privileges can never he quite so complete to him
again. The years of the complete unity of the home are very few indeed.
While these years are passing, young people especially should make the most
of them. My dear boys and girls, get the benefit of these years; get their
joys; store up
memories of home life, for they will be in
future years the most beautiful pictures of the heart. However some may
sneer at it, the memory of home and mother is a great power for
righteousness. It has saved many a person to God and native land and
"Be it ever so humble—
There's no place like home."
THE MAKING OF A MAN.*
Mr. Stamps, seated near the table, was glancing over the afternoon paper.
Mrs. Stamps, in an easy chair, was doing some fancy work. Little Bobby, six
years old, more or less, was playing with his toys on the floor. All at once
the precocious little boy stopped short in the middle of his sport and,
looking up at his mother, asked,
"Mama, who made the world?"
"God," replied Mrs. Stamps, sweetly.
"Who made the sea?" continued Bobby.
Mrs. Stamps answered, "God."
"Well," said Bobby, "did God make everything?"
"Yes, my son; the Lord made everything."
"And did he make everybody?"
*Published in the Voice of the Negro.
"Yes; the Lord made everybody."
Bobby was silent for a moment. Presently he looked anxiously at his father,
and then, turning to his mother, he asked,
"Mama, did God make papa, too?"
"Yes; God made papa also."
After a lengthy pause Bobby asked,
[illustration - BOBBY AND HIS "MAN."]
"Mama, do you think that I could make a man, if I was to try real hard?"
"You had better run out to play now, Bobby," said Mrs. Stamps, somewhat
nonplused by her son's curiosity.
Bobby left the room almost immediately. He went straight to the beach in
front of the house. and labored long and earnestly in piling up some wet
sand. Pretty soon he was joined in his work
by two other little boys. For some time the
three little fellows worked vigorously in piling up the mud. Mrs. Stamps
called her husband to the window, so that he might see what the boys were
"Wife," said Mr. Stamps, "I believe those little Satans are trying to make a
Toward sunset Bobby ran into the house and exclaimed with delight,
"Mama, we've got our man almost finished. We didn't have but one marble, and
we used that for one of his eyes. I came in to ask you to give me a marble,
so that we might put in his other eye."
"It's too late to bother now, Bobby," said Mrs. Stamps. "Wait until
to-morrow. morning; then I will give you a marble and let you finish your
The next morning, bright and early, Bobby went out to look for his man. Lo
and behold! the sea had washed the man away during the night. But, Bobby, of
course, did not suspect that. He thought that the man had gone away of his
own accord. So the little fellow spent the entire morning looking for his
man. He looked under the house; he looked in the stable; he went up to the
garret; he walked up and down the beach; he went into the
woods—looking for his man. But his man was nowhere to be found.
Two or three weeks later an African Methodist Episcopal Conference assembled
in Bobby's town.
Among the ministers present there happened to be a short,
chubby, tan-colored brother with only one eye. When Bobby spied him he
examined the man curiously and cautiously from head to foot. The examination
ended, Bobby concluded that that was his man. At once the little fellow left
his mother and went over and took a seat beside the man. Bobby's mother was
somewhat embarrassed. The man was evidently pleased, although, to be sure,
he himself was not. quite certain why he should be an object of special
interest to the little boy. The man went to the secretary's table to have
his name enrolled—Bobby went with him. He went into the vestibule to
get a drink of water—and Bobby followed him there. But all the while
the man was still in doubt as to the cause of the little boy's apparent
affection. By this time, thoroughly exasperated, Bobby's mother decided to
go home. She approached the pew in a very ladylike manner and said,
"Bobby, dear, come; we must be going home now."
"All right, Mama," said Bobby in dead earnest, "but you will please let me
take my man home with me—won't you? I just found him to-day, and you
know I've been looking for him for over two weeks!"
Then, for the first time, it suddenly dawned upon Mrs. Stamps what was the
matter with Bobby. In spite of herself she laughed heartily at the boy's
perversity. Finding that his mother
hesitated to reply, Bobby turned to the man
and said, "Come on: we're going home now. Why did you leave before I
Once upon a time the head clerk in a carpet store requested one of his
junior clerks to go to a patron's home to measure a room, and suggested that
he take along a five-yard sample. The junior clerk objected to "carting"
such a big bundle, as he said, all over town," and asked that one of the
boys he sent with it. The proprietor of the establishment, who happened to
overhear the remark, privately told the head-clerk to inform the proud young
fellow that a boy would be sent on after him with the roll. Shortly after
the young man reached the house, the proprietor of the establishment covered
him with confusion by appearing at the house in person with the roll of
carpet under his arm. Handing the bundle to the bewildered young man, the
"Here is the carpet, young man. I hope I have not kept you waiting for it.
If you have any other orders, I'll take them now."
A young woman of my acquaintance refused to carry home a yeast cake, though
it was needed at
[illustration - "HERE IS THE CARPET, YOUNG MAN. I HOPE I HAVE NOT KEPT YOU
once for the family baking and she was bound
directly homeward. She said that she wasn't a delivery wagon, and so the
yeast cake had to be sent to her home.
A great many foolish young people are so absorbingly regardful of their trim
appearance on the street that they will never under any circumstances carry
a basket or bundle, however much inconvenience they may cause others by
refusing to do so.
Now, it is not proper pride or self-respect which prompts people to act as
the young folks acted whom I have just referred to. It is silliness which
prompts them to act so. Any honest work is honorable that is honorably done,
and you will notice that young people of good social position and strength
of character are above such pettiness. Only inferior people act that way.
Superior people do not act so, because they are well aware that they cannot
be compromised by doing straightforwardly, without fuss or apology, whatever
needs to be done. Yet, I admit, that it seems to be human nature that
whatever is distasteful or supposedly menial should be done by somebody
else. When young people, or old people for that matter, are tempted to be
foolish in such things they should remember the lesson of humility that
Christ taught his disciples, when in that warm Oriental country, where only
sandals are worn, He performed the necessary service of washing the
feet. For us to be above our business—for us to think
ourselves too good or too dainty to soil our hands with honest
toil—for us to feel that it is a lowering of our dignity to carry a
bundle through the street, is to prove by our conduct that we are not up to
the level of our business, that we are possessed of a great amount of false
pride, and, in a higher sense, it shows that we have a foolish and wicked
distaste of true service. There is nothing low, nothing degrading, nothing
disgraceful, in honest labor, in honest work of any kind, whether it be to
boil an egg properly, to sweep a floor well, to carry a bundle or package
through the streets, or bring a pail of water. In fact, if somebody were to
say that "chores" done or undone are the making or the unmaking of boys and
girls, it would be a homely way of putting an important truth. Bringing up
coal or bringing in wood, weeding the garden bed, running errands, washing
dishes, sewing seams, dusting furniture, doing any odd jobs where there is
need, cheerfully, faithfully—these lead to the highway of greater
opportunities and are the usual avenues to the only manhood and womanhood
that is worth having. My young friends, the castle of your noblest dream is
built out of what lies nearest at hand. It is the uncommonly good use of
common things, the everyday opportunities, that makes honored lives, and
helps us, and helps us to help others, along the sunroad. "He that is
faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much."
"Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty
spirit before a fall."
THANKSGIVING AT PINEY GROVE.
The people of the Piney Grove settlement, both white and black, had been
free for nearly a generation. The whites had been freed from the curse of
being slave-holders, and the blacks had been freed from the curse of being
held in bondage. But never in the history of this little town, in the very
heart of the so-called "Black Belt" of Georgia, had the people known
anything about the proper observance of Thanksgiving Day until 189—.
And in that year the revolution was brought about by a young colored woman
named Grace Wilkins.
Grace Wilkins was the only daughter of Solomon and Amanda Wilkins. Solomon
and his wife were farmers—plain, simple, ordinary country folk. Amanda
was literally her husband's helpmeet. She went along with him every morning
to the field, and, in season, chopped as much wood, picked as much cotton,
hoed as much corn, pulled as much fodder, and plowed as much as her husband
did. Up to her fourteenth year Grace had been reared on a farm, and had
learned to do all the things that any farmer's child has to do—such
[illustration - GRACE BEFORE GOING TO SCHOOL.]
as milking cows, feeding hogs and chickens, hoeing cotton and
corn, picking cotton, pulling fodder and the like. In her fourteenth year,
acting upon the advice of an uneducated colored preacher, her parents sent
Grace away from home to attend one
of the great normal and industrial institutes for the training of the black
boys and girls of the South. At first her mother and father were filled with
forebodings. It was the first time that they had ever allowed their daughter
to be away from them,
and they missed her so much and longed
for her so constantly that they thought that they had made a mistake in
sending her off to "boardin' school." Ignorant and superstitious neighbors,
though they knew as little about such matters as did Solomon and Amanda,
were loud in saying that "Sol" and "Mandy" would live to regret the step
they had taken in sending Grace away from home. The only rays of sunshine
that came in to brighten these periods of mental unrest and gloom on the
part of Mr. and Mrs. Wilkins were found in the letters which they received
regularly from their daughter. Grace invariably informed her parents,
whenever she wrote, that she was "well an' doin' well." Thus reassured from
time to time, Solomon and Amanda managed somehow to undergo the terrible
strain of having their daughter absent from them for eight months. But
meantime they were firmly of the opinion that, once they got their hands on
her again, they would never allow Grace to return to school.
With glad and thankful hearts Mr. and Mrs. Wilkins joyously embraced their
daughter when she came home at the close of her first year in school. With
keen and genuine interest, they listened to her wonderful accounts of the
great school and of the great man at the head of it. Grace dressed
differently and talked differently; and her mother said, speaking one day in
confidence to her husband shortly after Grace's return. "Dat gal's sho got a
new walk on her!"
Grace Wilkins brought back a toothbrush with her from school. That was
something which she had never had before. She used that toothbrush every
morning and night. That was something that she had never done before. She
was now careful to keep her hair well combed every day. That was something
that she had been accustomed to do on Sundays only or on special occasions.
She washed her face two or three times a day now, as her mother and father
noticed. Before she went to school she had been in the habit of giving her
face, as the old people say, "a lick and a promise" early each morning.
Besides, Grace kept the house cleaner than she had kept it before. She
brought home with her a brand new Bible which she read regularly at home and
always carried to church and Sunday school. She also had a song book called
"Jubilee Songs and Plantation Melodies," and it gladdened the hearts of the
good "old folks at home" to hear their daughter sing from a book some of the
very songs that they had sung all their lifetime and which were so dear to
All these things and others made a deep and abiding impression upon Solomon
and his wife. And finding that withal their daughter was just as loving and
kind as she had been before, and that she was just as industrious and
faithful as formerly, Mr. and Mrs. Wilkins were not long in deciding that
their daughter should go back to that school another year, and that they
would work hard and stint themselves in order that they might
keep her there until she had finished
the normal course.
So back to school Grace Wilkins went— that year, and the next year,
and the next. It was the proudest day in Solomon's and Amanda's lives when
they sat in the magnificent chapel of the school and heard their daughter
read her graduation essay on "The Gospel of Service." Glad tears welled up
in their eyes when they heard the principal call their daughter's name, and
then saw Grace step up to receive her certificate of graduation.
Coming hack to Piney Grove to live, "Miss Gracie"—everybody called her
that after graduation—established a little school which she called
"The Piney Grove Academy." It was the first public school for colored
children ever opened within the corporate limits of the little village.
Before that the schools were district schools or county schools, which were
taught about in different places for only three or four months in the year,
mainly during the summer. Miss Gracie began her school the first day of
October. By special arrangement she used the first three months for the
public term allowed by the state, and supplemented that with a. five-months
term, for which the pupils were required to pay fifty cents each per month.
The plan worked well, the parents joining in heartily in the movement, and
the Piney Grove Academy soon became the model school for the surrounding
[illustration - GRACE'S GRADUATION.]
Among other things Miss Gracie had learned at school what was the import of
our national Thanksgiving Day. At the opening of the second
year of the Piney Grove Academy she
decided that she would inaugurate an annual Thanksgiving service.
Accordingly on the opening day of the second year Miss Gracie informed the
pupils of her plan, and told them that she would begin the very next day to
prepare a suitable program for the exercises. Afterwards Miss Gracie secured
the cooperation of the village pastor—the same man who had been
instrumental in having her parents send her away to school. Through him she
was permitted to talk to the people at the church two or three times about
the proposed celebration. She was careful to tell them that the Thanksgiving
festival was meant specially to be a home festival in addition to being a
time for the people to come together in their accustomed places of worship
to thank God for the blessings of the year. She urged them, therefore, as
far as they were able without going to unnecessary expense, to have family
dinners and bring together at one time and in one place as many members of
the family as possible. She explained to them how this might be done
successfully and economically, and with pleasure and profit to all
concerned. She also urged them to be planning beforehand so that nothing
might prevent their attending church Thanksgiving Day morning. She was going
to hold the exercises in the church, because her little school was not large
enough to furnish an assembly hall for the people who would be likely to be
On Thanksgiving Day nearly everybody in town
went to the exercises. Many white people attended, including the
county school commissioner and the school trustees. It was the first
Thanksgiving service that any of them had ever witnessed.
The program was made up, for the most part, of choice selections from negro
authors, composers, orators, and so forth. A selection from Frederick
Douglass on "Patriotism" was declaimed; one from Booker T. Washington's
Atlanta Exposition speech was also delivered. Paul Laurence Dunbar's poem
entitled "Signs of the Times" (a Thanksgiving poem) was read by one of the
pupils, and also "The Party," another of Dunbar's pieces, was rendered. "The
Negro National Hymn," words by James AV. Johnson and music by his brother,
Rosamond Johnson, was sung by a chorus of fifty voices. At the opening of
the service the president's Thanksgiving proclamation was read and
appropriate remarks were made by Miss Wilkins. The closing remarks were made
by the Rev. John Jones, the village pastor. The remarks of Mr. Jones were in
the congratulatory mood. He was naturally proud of Miss Gracie's
achievements, because he had had something to do with putting her on the
road to an education. He spoke of the teacher as the leaven that was
leavening the whole lump, and the applause which followed the statement
showed plainly the high esteem in which the teacher was held by all the
people. Everyone enjoyed the service. None of the villagers had ever seen
anything like it before.
After singing "America" all of them
went away happy, many of them, in obedience to Miss Gracie's previous
counsel, going home to eat for the first time, well knowing what they were
doing, a Thanksgiving dinner.
At the home of Miss Wilkins there was an excellent spread of 'possum,
potatoes, rice, chicken, pickles, macaroni, bread, a precious Thanksgiving
turkey, and the inevitable mincemeat pie. Besides Miss Gracie, there sat at
the table that day her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Solomon Wilkins, John and
Joseph Wilkins, brothers of Solomon who had come from a distance, Mary
Andrews, a sister of Mrs. Wilkins, who also came from a distance, Grandma
Wilkins, Grandma and Grandpa Andrews, the Rev. John .Jones, his wife, his
daughter, and his only son, Jasper Jones.
Jasper had gone to school at T———one year after Gracie
went, and, of course, was one year later in finishing the course there. On
this Thanksgiving Day, nevertheless, he had been out of school long enough
to have successfully established himself in the business of poultry raising
Just before the dinner party was dismissed the Rev. Mr. Jones arose and
"There is another little ceremony you'all is invited to witness befo' you go
out to see the baseball game. I am authorized by these credentials which I
hol' in my hands to unite in the holy bonds of matrimony Miss Grace Wilkins
and Mr. Jasper
Jones. If there is no objection, these two persons will please
stan' up, an' I'll tie the knot."
Of course there were no objections. The knot was tied. And when the
villagers learned of the occurrence not long afterwards they had additional
reason for believing that they were right when they voted that Piney Grove
had never seen the like of such a Thanksgiving Day, and that Miss Gracie
Wilkins was one of the best women in all the world.
THE LOUD GIRL.
I do not know of a more sorrowful spectacle than that of a girl who is loud
in her dress, loud in her manners, and loud in her speech. It is a great
mistake for a girl to suppose that this loudness will be mistaken by her
friends and acquaintances for smartness. The desire to be regarded as bright
and witty has led many a girl into the folly of being loud in her manners.
She often cherishes the illusion that the attention such manners attract is
combined with admiration, when the truth is that those who witness her
strange conduct are simply wondering how it is possible for her to throw to
the winds that charm of all girlhood—modesty.
One afternoon not long ago I saw a group of girls of the loud type. They
came into the street car in which I was sitting. They all wore
boys' hats. One wore a vivid red jacket with brass
buttons, and another had on a brass belt. A third one had on a most
conspicuous plaid skirt. This third one had a box of bonhons, and when the
three [illustration - BLAB-MOUTHED AND NOISY.] were seated she opened the box and offered it to her companions,
saying as she did so, in a voice loud enough and shrill enough to be heard
in every part of the car:
"It's my treat; have some, chums!"
Upon this invitation one of the girls dived down into the box like a hungry
bear, and held up a piece of the candy in triumph and then dashed it into
her mouth with a great guffaw. "O, Mame!" said one of the girls, "if you
ain't just horrid to go and take the very piece I wanted!"
"Mame" laughed and, taking the candy from her mouth, offered it to the other
girl, saying as she did so:
"Well, here it is, Lulu!"
"Lulu" struck the candy from "Mame's" hand, and it flew across the aisle
into the lap of a lady sitting opposite the girls. This set all three of the
girls to giggling and tittering, and they seemed in danger of convulsions
when the owner of the box of candy let it fall and a part of the candy
rolled out on the floor.
The conductor came forward and picked up the box and candy and handed them
to the owner. She giggled out her thanks, and "Lulu" said: "Why didn't you
give him a gumdrop for his trouble?"
This seemed to impress the other girls as a most brilliant witticism, and
they fell to tittering violently over it.
Presently a gentleman came in and stumbled slightly over the feet of one of
the girls thrust out into the aisle.
"I beg your pardon," said the gentleman, as he lifted his hat. whereupon the
three girls grinned
[illustration - MODEST AND QUIET.]
and giggled and giggled and grinned immoderately, and one of
"Boxy, you had better ride out on the platform, where there is more room for
"Roxy," then struck "Lulu" for making this speech. "Lulu" pretended to be
much offended and flung herself over to the other side of the car, where she
made a grimace at the other girls.
The conduct of these girls during the half hour that they were on the car
was such as caused every father and mother who saw them to regard them with
pity. The loud girl, my dear readers, is always an object of pity. She
should be a sorry object for her own contemplation. An old writer has said:
"You little know what you have done when you have first broken the bounds of
modesty; you have set open the door of your fancy to the devil, so that he
can represent the same sinful pleasure to you anew."
Now, the loud girl may be entirely innocent of any actual wrong-doing, but
she is regarded with dislike, distrust, and even disdain, by the better
class of people. She acquires a reputation for rudeness and coarseness, and
the people of refinement will not associate with her. Her character suffers,
no matter how innocent she may be of any intention of doing wrong. Delicacy,
modesty, is the certain sign of sweetness, purity and gentleness of
character, just as indelicacy is the certain sign of a lack of these
THE ROWDY BOY.
You can tell him wherever you see him. There are certain marks or appearances
which he carries about with him and which are never absent. For one thing
you, will find him with a cigarette stuck in his mouth, and a cigarette is
one of the deadliest poisons in the world for boy or man. He wears his hat
on the side or cocked back on his head. Frequently he stuffs both hands in
his trousers' pockets. He doesn't attend school regularly; sometimes he
starts for school and ends at the bathing pond or the baseball park. Ile is
late at Sunday school, if he goes at all, and he stands 'round on the
out-side at church while the service is going on inside. He steals rides on
trains and on trolley cars, and on passing vehicles of all descriptions. Ile
is saucy and impudent to older people, and is always ready and willing to
quarrel or fight with his mates. He is what the boys call a "bully."
The loud girl and the rowdy boy are two things of which we have seen enough
in this world. They are things; they are hardly worth the dignity of being
called human beings.
I saw one of these rowdy boys in his own home not a great while ago. His
mother said to him:
"Johnnie, you must always take off your hat whenever you come into the
"Good Good gracious alive," he said, "I can't do
anything right. What is the use of grabbing off your hat every
time you come into your own house?" His mother looked sad, but said nothing.
Presently [illustration - HE STUFFED BOTH HANDS IN HIS TROUSERS' POCKET.] she discovered that her little boy had brought some mud into the
house on his shoes. In her sweetest tones she said: "Johnnie, you must go to
the door and wipe
your feet now. See how you are tracking up the floor
"Well," said the rowdy boy with a snarl, "can't the old floor be scoured:
You must think this old house is gold."
Now, I am a preacher, boys, and, being a preacher, of course I am what is
called a "man of peace," but I tell you that that was one time I came pretty
near wishing that I wasn't a preacher so that I might have given that boy
what he deserved. I was sorry, for the time being, that he wasn't my son. No
manly little boy will ever talk to his mother in any such way. I suppose
that boy thought it made him appear to be a very important personage, but he
was very much mistaken. Don't be rowdy, boys; don't be rough; don't be rude.
You were made for better things.
Early in the morning two little boys came to the market place. They arranged
their little stands and spread out their wares, and sat down to wait for
customers. One sold watermelons and fruit, and the other sold fish and
oysters. The hours passed on and both were doing well. By-and-by Sammie had
only one melon left on his stand. A gentleman came along and said:
"What a fine, large melon! I think I will buy that one. What do you ask for
it, my boy?"
"This is my last melon, sir; and though it looks [illustration - "HOW MUCH FOR THE MELON?"] fair, there is an unsound spot on the other side," said the boy,
turning the melon over.
"So there is," said the man. "I don't believe I'll take it. But," he added,
looking straight at the
boy, "is it very good business for you to point out the
defects of your goods to customers?"
"Perhaps not, sir," said the boy with becoming modesty, "but it is better
than being dishonest."
"You are right, my boy; always speak the truth and you will find favor with
God and man. I shall not forget your little stand in the future."
Then turning to the other boy's stand the man asked:
"Are those fresh oysters?"
"Yes, sir," said Freddie, "these are fresh this morning— just
The gentleman bought them and went away.
"Sammie," said Freddie, "you never will learn any sense. What did you want
to show that man that spot on the melon for? He never would have looked at
it until he got home. I've got an eye to business, myself. You see how I got
rid of those stale oysters—sold them for just the same price as fresh
"Freddie," said the other boy, "I wouldn't tell a lie, or act one either,
for twice the money we have both earned today. Besides I have gained a
customer and you have lost one."
And it turned out just as Sammie said. The next day the gentleman bought a
large supply of fruit from Sammie, but he never spent another penny at
Freddie's stand. It continued that way through all the summer. At the close
of the season. he took Sammie into his store, and, after awhile, gave him a
share in the business.
UNCLE NED AND THE INSURANCE SOLICITOR.*
Life insurance is something that every married man should carry. In fact, it
is a fine investment for a young man to take out a ten- or twenty-year
payment policy in some good company, which can be made in favor of his
father or mother in the event of his death. or obtained in cash ten or
twenty years later by himself.
The following story tells of an insurance agent trying to insure the life of
an old colored man—the story is amusing, but only as a story. We do
not advise any one to follow Uncle Ned's example.
Charles Turner, an agent of the Workingmen's Industrial Aid Insurance
Company, called upon Edmund Grant, an elderly colored man, with a view to
getting him to insure his life.
"Good morning, Uncle Ned," said Mr. Turner. "Good morning, Mr. Turner," said
the old man, raising his hat and making a low bow.
"Uncle Ned, do you carry any insurance?" inquired the agent.
"Do I carry what?" asked Uncle Ned.
"Do you carry any insurance? Is your life insured?" asked the agent.
"Bless the Lord, yes. indeed, sir," replied the colored man: "long, long
"In what company?" asked the solicitor.
[illustration - "THAT'S JUST WHAT MY RELIGION DOES!"]
"I'm a Baptist, sir,—a deepwater Baptist," answered Uncle Ned.
The agent realized that the old man had not understood him, but, anyhow, he
"How long has it been since you joined?"
"I joined the same year the stars fell," replied the old man.
The solicitor knew that the old man referred to the year when the great
meteoric display of shooting stars took place, and said:
"That's quite a long time ago. Does your company pay any dividends?"
"Mr. Turner," said Uncle Ned, with a smile, "that question is out of my
reach,—just what do you mean?"
"Why, Uncle Ned," said Mr. Turner, "a dividend is interest paid on your
money; and if you have been paying your money into one company for more than
thirty years, surely you ought to have been receiving your dividends long
before now, especially if it's an old-line company."
"Well," said Uncle Ned, "it surely is the oldest line company that ever was.
The Lord set it up himself way back yonder on Calvary's tree. But I haven't
ever heard of any interest or dividends—nothing of the
kind And you haven't heard me talk about
paying in money for thirty years,—You know you haven't. Salvation's
free, man,—salvation's free! You know that as well as I do."
"Oh, I see," said Mr. Turner; "I see that I have misunderstood you. You're
talking about your soul's salvation."
"I certainly am," answered the old man.
"Well, I came here to talk to you about insuring your life in case of death
or your body in case of accident or sickness," replied the agent.
"Accidents, sickness and death come to all of us," said Uncle Ned very
solemnly. "There's no way of getting away from death."
"That's so," replied the agent patiently; "insurance companies cannot
prevent sickness and death any more than you can, Uncle Ned, but insurance
companies can and do help you to bear your burdens in time of trouble."
"That's just what my religion does," said the old man, with great
"But we do it in a different way," persisted the agent.
"How do you do it?" asked Uncle Ned.
Then the agent went on to explain all about insurance, the benefits, the
premiums, accident benefits, sick benefits, etc., dwelling particularly on
the fund that would be paid in the event of the old man's death. Uncle Ned
listened with a great deal of interest, and after he had finished,
"Mr. Turner, who do you say the money goes to when I die?"
"To your wife," answered Mr. Turner, "or to your children, or any one else
"Well, Mr. Turner, let me ask you one question: Don't you think that would
help the other fellow more than it would me?"
"What other fellow?" asked the agent.
"My wife's second husband," replied Ned. "You know as well as I do that if I
was to die and leave five or six hundred dollars to her that some other
colored gentleman would be trying to change her name before I got cold in
The agent could not suppress a smile, and Uncle Ned went on:
"Women are mighty curious: if I went into this thing, I wouldn't dare let
Dinah know about it. She is a mighty fine and loving wife right now, but if
she knew there was all that money waiting for her when I died, wouldn't she
be sort of looking forward to the time when she would get it to spend? Why,
Mr. Turner, she might even be tempted to put something in my tea, and the
first thing I knew some morning I'd wake up dead. I don't want anything to
do with this insurance. The Baptist Church is good enough for me."
When Mr. Turner gave it up and laughingly left him, he heard Uncle Ned
"I'm a Baptist bred and a Baptist born,
And when I die, that's a
THE STRENUOUS LIFE.
They were having a rough-and-tumble time of it and Pansy was getting some
pretty hard blows. She took them all good-naturedly, nevertheless, and tried
to give as good as she received, much to the delight of her little boy
friends. A lady who was standing near, afraid for the little girl, chided
the boys and said:
"You shouldn't handle Pansy so roughly—you might hurt her."
And then Pansy looked up in sweet surprise and said with amusing
"No; they won't hurt me. I don't break easy."
It was a thoroughly childlike expression, but it had more wisdom in it than
Pansy knew. She spoke out of a little girl's experience with dolls, some of
which, as she had learned, broke very easily. Pansy knew how delightful it
was to have a doll that didn't break so easily. Though she was not a homely
girl by any means, and though she was not a wicked little girl, yet she
wanted it understood that she was not like a piece of china. That was why
the other children liked her so much—because she knew bow to rough it
without crying or complaining at every turn. Pansy was not a cry-baby.
There is all the time, my dear boys and girls, a great demand everywhere all
through life for
people who don't break easily—people who know how to take
hard knocks without going all to pieces. The game of life is sometimes
rough, even [illustration - "I DON'T BREAK EASY."] among those who mean to play fair. It is very trying when we have
to deal with people who break easily, and are always getting hurt and
spoiling the game with their tears and
complaints. It is so much better when we have to deal with people who, like
little Pansy, do not break easily. Some of them will laugh off the hardest
words without wincing at all. You can jostle them as you will, but they
don't fall down every time you shove them, and they don't cry every time
they are pushed aside. You can't but like them, they take life so heartily
and so sensibly. You don't have to hold yourself in with them all the time.
You can let yourself out freely without being on pins as to the result.
Young people of this class make good playmates or good work-fellows, as the
case may be.
So, boys and girls, you must learn to rough it a little. Don't he a china
doll, going to smash at every hard knock. If you get hard blows take them
cheerily and as easily as you can. Even if score blow comes when you least
expect it, and knocks you off your feet for a minute, don't let it floor you
long. Everybody likes the fellow who can get up when he is knocked down and
blink the tears away and pitch in again. Learning to get yourself accustomed
to a little hard treatment will be good for you. Hard words and hard fortune
often make us—if we don't let them break us. Stand up to your work or
play courageously, and when you hear words that hurt, when you are hit hard
with the blunders or misdeeds of others, when life goes roughly with you,
keep right on in a happy, companionable, courageous, helpful
spirit, and let the world know that you don't break easily.
A boy or girl who is pleasant and agreeable everywhere except at home is a
humbug. I know one boy who is a good deal of a humbug, although you would
never think so if you were to see him in any place outside of his home. He
is good-looking, neat and tidy, and carries himself like a little man. I do
not know of a boy who can tip his hat more gracefully to a lady, or who can
say, "I beg your Pardon," or "excuse me, please," more pleasantly than he
can. But, for all that, he is a humbug.
I visited his home the other day. I heard his mother speak to him.
"Alexander," she said.
"Well, what do you want?" he asked in a voice which plainly indicated his
"I want you to do something for me."
"Oh, you are always wanting me to do something just when I want to be doing
something else," said Alexander, and this time he was whining.
In departing on his errand Alexander accidentally ran against his little
sister in the hall. I expected to hear him say, "I beg your pardon" in
the pleasant way that I knew he could say it, but he
snapped out instead:
"Oh,get out of the way, can't you?"
When he returned from the postoffice, Alexander's mother was out in the yard
trimming the [illustration - "OH, GET OUT OF THE WAY, CAN'T YOU?"]
flowers. While Alexander was reporting to her she happened to
drop her scissors. I expected to see her polite and dutiful son pick them
up, as he was close by when the scissors fell; but the boy paid no attention
to the scissors. When his mother said, "Please pick up my scissors for me,
Alexander," he said:
"What did you drop 'em for?"
I spent the best part of one whole day at Alexander's home, and never once
during all that day did I hear him speak politely to his mother or sisters,
nor did he observe the ordinary rules of courtesy and good behavior in their
presence. He was continually grumbling and complaining and finding fault. So
I think I have a right to say that this boy is a good deal of a humbug. Any
boy is a humbug who is polite and gracious to others and in every way
discourteous and disagreeable at home. Don't you think so, too?
HOW TO BE HANDSOME.
Do you want to he handsome? I'II tell you how.
First, look well to your health. Eat regularly and simply, and take proper
rest, in order to be healthy. Do not crowd the stomach. The stomach can no
more work all the time, night and day, than a horse; it must have regular
rest. The body must have proper rest also. Do not keep late hours. Go to bed
early. If you have work which must be done, it is a good deal better to rise
early in the morning and do it than it is to sit up late at night and
Secondly, good teeth are essential to good looks. Brush the teeth regularly
with a soft brush morning and night, especially at night. Be sure to go to
bed at night with clean teeth.
Thirdly, look well to the ventilation of your bedrooms. No one can have a
clear skin who breathes bad air. Fresh air is a preventive of a multitude of
diseases. Bad air is the cause of a great many premature deaths.
Fourthly, cleanliness of the entire body is of vast importance. Some one has
said that "Cleanliness is next to godliness," and some one else has added,
"And soap is a means of grace." Handsome people not only eat regularly and
simply; they not only sleep reguarly and look well to
proper ventilation; but handsome people will take regular
Fifthly, more than all else, in order to look well you must wake up the mind
and soul. When the mind is awake, the dull, sleepy look passes away from the
eyes. Keep thinking pleasant and noble thoughts; do not read trashy novels
or books; read books which have something good in them. Talk with people who
know something. Be often in the company of those who know more than you do.
hear lectures and sermons and profit by them. If we listen and understand
and heed, the mind and soul are awakened. So much the better if the
spiritual nature is aroused. Sometimes a plain face is really glorified with
the love of God and of man which shines through it.
Lastly, keep a strong and vigorous body by taking plenty of wholesome
outdoor exercise, and do all the good you can.
Why not begin to grow handsome today?
Patience is one of the marks of a high character. It might well be called the
habit of closing the mind against disagreeable and annoying conditions. To
acquire this habit so effectually as to lade even from one's self any sense
of suffering or offense from contact with such conditions is what the truly
cultivated aim at. Life, it is true, is full of trying. things; but to let
the mind dwell upon them only serves to increase their offense to the
feelings. or the senses.
There are people, of course, who are incapable of self-concentration, and
whose imagination, if left free to gad about, seems always to fix upon and
exaggerate every element of disturbance. They live in what is called an
elementary stage of moral discipline, and are perpetually fretting about
things they cannot help. They are never able to shut down the will against
any unpleasantness. They permit merely accidental conditions to exercise a
kind of tyrannical sway over them, which, it their minds were once bent to
the practice of putting up with things, would cease to present any annoyance
It is difficult, no doubt, to acquire this habit. but this is what patience
means in its highest sense. It is spiritual endurance and its chief power
not so much in adding to the number of our joys as in lessening
the number of our sufferings. It is, therefore, a mark of power over one's
self and a means of power over others. With patience the outward success or
failure of a man is a small thing compared with that success which he has
achieved within himself. And that kind of success—the success which
enables a man to laugh at failure and rise superior to discouragements and
difficulties—that kind of success is a means of help and inspiration
to all those about him.
If we consider the works of nature we shall see that nature's most
beneficent operations are the results of patience. Anything which grows must
have time, and the best things in the
[illustration - PATIENCE.] world are generally those things which demand the longest time for
their growth and development. The rank and short-lived weed reaches its full
development in the shortest possible time, but the oak, which is to stand
for centuries, demands the sunshine and the storm of years before its
strength is fully developed.
Now, boys and girls, one of the hardest demands which nature makes upon
people (especially upon young people, full of strength and energy and
ambition) is to wait for the results of growth. No man becomes instantly
strong morally; he must grow into strength. However great his ambition and
his zeal may be, no man becomes a scholar in a year. It takes time, and lots
of it. No man reaches at a single bound the full development of his whole
nature. He grows into strength. A good soldier cannot be made without war,
nor can a skillful seaman be made on land.
So in the race of life we must fight hard for all we get and be patient.
Whatever else may be true, or may not be true, only patient and continued
efforts—not hasty efforts—lead to success.
Before me lies a block of wood. It is full of knots. It seems to me I can
never split it. But I bravely make the attempt. The first blow makes little
impression. The axe springs back with a hound. Again and again I strike.
Then a tiny crack appears. A few more licks—and the block yields. I
have succeeded. Can you tell me which blow did the work? Was it not the
first blow and the last and all between? You have tried something and
failed. Try again. If you fail, try once more. And on and on, keep trying
until you win the victory.
Eyes like the violet—in them I see
All that is fair, that is holy to me!
Eyes that shed fragrance, so constant, so true.
Pure as a clear drop of morning dew.
Eyes like the violet, gently along
Lead me to vespers—to prayer and to song.
Eyes like the violet, let me I pray
Live within range of thy glances all day!
GOING WITH THE CROWD.
"But all the girls went, mother. I didn't like to be the only one left out.
Besides, when I said I wouldn't go they all laughed at me and said that I
was a coward."
It was Wednesday morning, before school time, and Anna was dreading to go
back to school—dreading to meet her teacher. The day before a circus
had been in town. At recess, while the children were on the playground, they
heard the noise of the band, and one of the girls said:
"Let's go and see the parade."
"All right," said Anna. "I'll go and ask the teacher if we may."
"No; don't ask her—she might say no. We can get back before the bell
rings, and she will never know that we left the grounds."
Anna and one or two other girls held back. They all knew that it was against
the rules to go off the playground at recess without permission.
"Oh, come on! Come on!" insisted one of the girls. "You're afraid; you're
afraid! Come on! Don't be such a coward; all the rest are going."
And so Anna went.
When the girls saw the parade pass one point they wanted to see it once
more, and away they went through the cross street to get to another corner
ahead of the procession. School was forgotten; and when they did remember,
recess time was long past and it was too late to go back.
The next morning, as Anna stood in the kitchen talking it over with her
mother, her little heart was very heavy. She knew she had done wrong; she
dreaded to go to school; and she was very unhappy.
"Perhaps," said her mother, "if you had been brave about not going, the
other girls would have stayed on the school grounds too. Or, if you had
asked the teacher, I think she would have let you all go. But whether she
did or not, it is never safe to do a thing just because 'all the rest do
it.' Going with the crowd is not a good plan unless you are sure that the
crowd is going in the right direction. The only wise thing for you to do is
to be sure you are right, and then stick to it and never mind what the crowd
"I didn't mean to do wrong," said Anna, as the tears started in her
[illustration - "MOTHER, I'M SO HAPPY. TEACHER FORGAVE ME!"]
"I know that, my dear," said her mother, "but you were more afraid of being
teased than you were of doing wrong. I hope you will remember from this day
forward that the brave girl is not the girl who dares to do wrong, but the
brave girl is the one who does what she knows to be right, in spite of the
taunts and jeers of her playmates."
"What shall I tell my teacher?" asked Anna in a low voice, as she dropped
"Oh," said her mother, kissing her, "you go right straight to your teacher
and tell her that you have done wrong, and that you are sorry for it. Ask
her to let you say so to the whole school. Be sure to beg her pardon, and
promise not to do so again."
Little Anna did as her mother told her. That afternoon, when she came back
from school, she ran into her mother's arms and said:
"Mother, I'm so happy. Teacher forgave me, and I mean to be good."
And the smile on Anna's face spoke plainly of a happy heart.
MARY AND HER DOLLS.
Was there ever a time when the first doll was born? Was there ever a time
when little boys and girls, especially little girls, did not love dolls and
did not have something of that nature to play
with? It would appear that dolls, or playthings somewhat like
unto dolls, are as old as babies themselves—that is to say, boys and
girls, that ever since there have been little children in the [illustration - MARY AND HER DOLLS.] world there have been little things for them to play with. And I
never saw a sane person in my life who regrets that it is so. It is not only
amusing, it is inspiring to see the little children making
merry with their dolls and their toy
animals and their little express wagons and their wooden guns and their toy
steam engines and their whistles and their balloons and their brownies and
their jumping-jacks and their hobby-horses and a hundred and one other
Mary had put away her dolls for the night and was cleaning the doll house
when papa came in.
"How many doll babies have you now, Mary?" he asked.
"I have five dolls now, papa," said Mary, "but only one is a baby—that
is little Flossie. Robbie and Nell are three years old now; Mattie is two
and Jerusha is one year old. Flossie is now the only little baby."
The Rev. Dr. Smithson smiled.
"Well," he said after a time, "five dolls make a big family, I think."
"I don't," said Mary quickly. "Rolla Mays has thirteen girls and two boys in
her doll family, and I haven't but five in all!"
"I shouldn't think," said Dr. Smithson, "that Rolla would know what to do
with so many."
"Why, papa, of course she does!"
"Mary," said Dr. Smithson, looking thoughtfully at his little daughter, "I
have a little girl in my Sunday school class who hasn't a single doll. I
thought you might like to give her one of yours. You could spare
"Oh, papa, I couldn't—not a one," exclaimed Mary.
"Not one—when this poor little girl hasn't any?"
"Oh, papa, I love my dolls so—how can I give them away?"
"You'd have four left—wouldn't that be enough?"
Mary thought a long while before speaking. She looked distressed.
"Papa," she said at last, "Mrs. Grant was over here the other day, and she
said that she wished you and mamma would give me to her because she didn't
have any little girl of her own. You've got five children yourself,
papa—but would you give any of 'em away just because you would have
Dr. Smithson took his little daughter in his anus and kissed her.
"No, dear," he said; "papa wouldn't give any one of his children away. You
may keep all of your dollies, and we'll think of some other way to help poor
The next morning Mary said:
"Papa, I have thought it all out for Hattie. You know I have been saving up
a little money to buy me a little iron bank—but I can wait for that. I
have saved up fifty cents—don't you think that will be enough to buy a
nice little dolly for Hattie, and let me keep my babies?"
Dr. Smithson knew that Mary had long been planning for the bank. So he
"Are you quite sure that you want to spend your money in this way?"
"Yes, papa, I'm very sure," said Mary with a smile, though there was a hint
of sadness in her eyes.
Dr. Smithson and Mary bought Hattie a pretty doll. Hattie was overjoyed when
she saw it. Mary went back home, glad that her papa had understood how she
loved her dolls, and glad to find that not one of her beloved children was
JAKY TOLBERT'S PLAYMATES.
"Well, Jonnie, where are you going this morning!" asked Mrs. Jones as her
little boy started towards the gate.
"I'm goin' over to Jaky's, mamma; you know I must go over to Jaky's every
"What do you find at Jake's to make you so anxious to go over there every
day almost before you are out of bed good?"
"Oh, mamma, Jaky has the nicest playmates over to his house you 'most ever
"Who else goes over to Jaky's besides you?" asked Mrs. Jones.
"Jaky don't have no reg'lar visitor but me," said Johnnie proudly. "Me an'
Jaky is the whole thing."
"Well, you are saying a good deal for yourself when you say that Jaky has the
nicest playmates in the world—don't you think so?"
"I didn't mean me," explained Johnnie. [illustration - "I'M GOING OVER TO JAKY'S, MAMMA."]
"Jaky's playmates ain't folks
at all. Jaky's playmates is animals— just animals, but I do believe
that they have got as much sense as some folks I know."
"What kind of animals'?" asked Jones, becoming interested.
Then Johnnie went on to explain. He said:
"Jaky's got chickens and dogs and cats and birds. He's got names for all of
'em, and they all know their names and they just run to Jaky when he calls
them. The chickens and birds, too, will just walk right up and eat out of
Jaky's hand. And his trained dogs and cats are just the funniest things I
ever saw. His little dog, Trip, can carry a gun and obey the commands,
"Carry arms!" "Present arms!" "Parade rest!" just like a little soldier. One
time at a fair he saw trained dogs and horses, elephants, and even lions.
Then he decided that he would train some animals himself. And, mamma, he has
done well. Why, he's got a cat that can spell some words. Jaky printed some
letters of the alphabet on separate cards, and he's got a cat that will pick
out the right ones every time. One of his little dogs can play the fiddle.
It may seem strange, but he certainly can do it. He can hold the fiddle, and
draw the bow across it just the right way, and he can play a little tune.
Jaky calls it a dog tune, and I think he ought to know.
"You just ought to see Jaky's chickens—he's got six of 'em. He calls
them and they all come
running. Then he holds out his arm, and calls them by name, and
they will jump up on his little arm, one after the other, and will sit there
until Jaky tells them to jump down. And Jaky is so kind to his two birds
that they won't fly away when he lets them out of their cages for a little
while. He can take them up in his arms and pat them gently, and then he puts
them down, and they will lie still right by Jaky until Jaky calls them by
name and tells them to go into the house — that is, I mean, into their
"By the way, mama, I forgot to tell you. Jaky is getting up an animal show,
and he says that I am to be his manager. He's going to print the cards
to-day. He's going to call his circus, "JAKY TOLBERT'S GREAT ANIMAL SHOW
—THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH," and he's going to make me the manager of
his circus. Won't that be fine? You'll come and see it—won't you?
We're going to charge only one cent for you to come in. Oh, it's going to be
great, and I don't want you to miss it."
"To be sure, I'll come," said Mrs. Jones. "Tell Jaky I'm glad to hear about
how much he loves the dumb animals—every manly boy ought to love and
"I tell you," said Johnnie, as he hurried out of the gate, "Jaky will fight
anybody who hallooes at one of his pets or mistreats one in the least. He's
just as kind to them as he can be. Don't You forget the show. It'll come off
A VALENTINE PARTY.
It was one week from St. Valentine's Day, and the Berry children had already
provided a number of the tokens, comic and otherwise, which they meant to
send to their friends. Jack produced a grotesque and awfully exaggerated
caricature of a withered, stoop-shouldered old woman, with some cruel lines
of doggerel printed beneath it.
"I'm going to send this to old Mrs. Gray," said Jack, as he exhibited the
Nearly all the children laughed, and said that the picture and the words
beneath it would just suit the old woman. Mrs. Gray was an old and
povetry-stricken widow woman, and many of the children of the little village
took delight in playing tricks on her on Hallowe'en and Valentine nights. In
this way, the children, especially the boys, had made her life so miserable
that the old woman often said that she hated even the sight of a boy. In the
midst of the merriment over the proposed venture of Jack Berry, it was
Lillie Berry who spoke up, saying,——
"Jack, I tell you what I think. I think we ought to give Mrs. Gray a genuine
surprise next week. She has had so many ups and downs in this life, I really
believe that we can give her a little pleasure if we give her a
true—true surprise. Of
[illustration - Old Mrs. Gray.]
course, all the boys and girls will be
invited to join in, but it is not going to be like a regular party, but
something like the 'surprise' parties or donation parties that we sometimes
give the preacher; we'll just put the things on the doorstep and run, the
way we do with valentines, you know. What do you say to that, Jack ? And
what do the rest of you think?"
Very quickly the Berry children agreed with what Lillie had said, and
immediately they set about planning for the valentine party.
The night of February fourteenth was clear, cold and moonless. Across the
fields in the darkness, a throng of merry young children, with a wagon or
two (little goat wagons) piled high with baskets and bundles and wood,
slipped silently toward the little house where old Mrs. Gray sat shivering
over her scanty fire. A sudden knock at the door aroused Mrs. Gray from her
musing. She hobbled painfully to the door. Opening it, she saw by the light
of the tallow candle a basket of rosy apples and another of potatoes.
Nothing else was in sight.
A second knock followed almost as soon as the door had closed on the two
baskets which were hurriedly drawn inside. This time a can of kerosene oil
held a lonely vigil on the doorstep.
"I haven't had a drop in my lamp for two weeks," Jack heard the old lady
say, as she peered out eagerly into the darkness before closing the
As she was busy filling her lamp, she was interrupted by a third knock, which
resulted in a basket filled with groceries in parcels in all shapes and
sizes. Great tears stood in Mrs. Gray's eyes, and a great lump arose in her
At last knock number four revealed the real saint Valentine—a group of
laughing boys and girls, every one of whom carried an armful either of pine
or oak wood for the stove.
"Where shall we put it?" asked Jack Berry, as eager now to help as he had
been the week before to tease. Mrs. Gray was rubbing her eyes, and wondering
if she could possibly be awake and in her right mind.
"Wish you many happy returns of Valentine's Day!" said Lillie Berry, as she
slipped into the withered hand a small purse containing the valentine money
of the boys and girls; and before the bewildered woman could say more than a
fervent "God bless you," her guests had melted away in the darkness, and she
was left to weep tears of thankfulness among her new possessions.
"NO MONEY DOWN."
Boys and girls, I suppose you are quite familiar with what is known as buying
things on the instalment plan. You have seen people in your own
neighborhood— perhaps in your own homes— buy
things that way. Chairs, tables,
bed-steads, rugs, pictures, things for the kitchen and things to wear, and
many other things are bought that way. Most people think they are getting a
great bargain when they are able to buy things by paying a small amount in
cash as the first payment— say fifty-cents or a dollar— and then
pay the balance in small weekly or monthly payments. And especially do some
of our mothers and fathers think that they are getting a great bargain, if
they are able to buy things they want for "no money down" and so much a
week. In such matters, my dear boys and girls, your parents are making a
terrible mistake and are setting you a wrong example. They lose sight of the
fact, when they fall into the habit of buying anything and everything on the
instalment plan or on the "no money down" plan, that a day of reckoning is
sure to come; that the time comes when they must pay for everything that
they have been led into buying. Thoughtful people— wise people—
prefer to pay "money down" when they buy anything; and this habit of paying
as they go helps them in at least two ways. First, it saves money in their
pockets, and, secondly, it keeps them from running in debt.
Children, these men who come to your homes with great packs on their backs
always charge you double for whatever they may sell you on the "no money
down" plan—no matter what it is! That is why they are willing to make
the terms so
"easy," as they say. In the end they profit by their schemes,
and nobody else does profit by their schemes except these peddlers. You
ought to avoid them as you would a wild beast. You do not know now, boys and
girls, what a terrible thing debt is. I honestly hope that you may never
know, and if you will take the advice of older and wiser persons I am sure
you will always be free from the bondage of debt.
Not long ago. I saw two women standing at the window of one of these "no
money down" or "hand-me-down" stores. One said to the other—
"I just believe I'll get me a new cloak this winter. My cloak didn't cost
but three dollars, and it is so old and shabby that I am ashamed to wear it
in the street. Look at that beauty over there in the corner. Only ten
dollars and 'no money down'."
"Yes;" said her companion, "but I guess the money will have to come down
"Oh, of course; but, you know, I won't have to pay it all at once. I could
probably get it for fifty cents a week."
"Well, why don't you just save the fifty cents a week until you have enough
to pay 'cash down' for the cloak, and in that way you would save, I am sure,
three or four dollars; because you can buy that same cloak for six dollars
or seven dollars in cash."
"Oh," said the woman, "I'd never save it as I
would if I had the cloak and knew that I
just had to pay for it."
"But, Delia, the cloak would not really be yours until you had paid for it,
and I would feel kind of cheap wearing a cloak that didn't belong to me. If
I were you I would stick to the old cloak until I could pay the money down
for a new one. That's what I would do."
And that is exactly what anybody should do who wants a new cloak. It is what
people should do, no matter what they want. I know a boy fifteen or sixteen
years old who had the courage and the manliness and, the honesty to wear a
very shabby old overcoat all of last winter rather than buy one on the "no
money down" plan. It is his plan always to "pay as he goes," and be debtor
to no one.
I heard the other day of a young fellow who goes two or three blocks out of
his way to avoid passing certain stores because he owes the proprietors of
those stores money that he cannot pay. That boy, I know, is miserable night
and day. Mr. Longfellow, in his "The Village Blacksmith," tells us that the
honest old blacksmith could look "the whole world in the face," because he
did not owe anybody anything— he was out of debt. And boys and girls,
if you are level-headed, you will fight shy of the "no money down" plan. By
choosing the "money down" plan, you will save your self-respect and your
TOMMY'S BABY BROTHER
For several months Deacon Tadpole's little son, Tommy, had made constant and
repeated reference to the fact that he had no little baby brother or sister
to play with. One day, when he was feeling unusually sad over his
misfortune, he said to his father,—
"Papa, I ain't got no little baby brother to play with—you might at
least buy me a little pony."
"Papa can't buy a pony, son;" said the deacon. "A pony costs too much. I
thought you wanted a little brother or sister."
"I do," said Tommy, "but if I can't get what I want I'm willing to take what
I can get."
"But, you would rather have a little brother than a pony, wouldn't you?"
asked Mr. Tadpole.
Tommy thought awhile and then said he thought he would rather have a little
baby brother than to have a pony.
"You see," he said, "it costs so much to keep a pony, and we would have to
build a stable for him, wouldn't we, papa?"
"Yes," answered his father, "and we haven't got any room in the backyard for
"And we'd have to buy hay, too," said the child.
"Yes," said his father. "Well, I'd rather have the little brother."
So the matter was left in abeyance until a month ago, when little Tommy was
told one morning that a little brother had come to him.
[illustration - "PAPA, WON'T YOU BUY ME A LITTLE PONY?"]
He was delighted. He danced around in the hall and made such a racket on the
stairs that the nurse threatened to have him sent away. When he was
permitted to see the baby, Tommy went into ecstasies. He wanted to kiss the
baby, and cried because they wouldn't let him hold it in his arms.
But Tommy's enthusiasm for the new baby began to wear off in about a week's
time. It was always, "Sh-sh ! Sh-sh ! You'll wake the baby," or "Tommy, you
must be more quiet!" or "You can't come in this room now!"
In fact, the little baby brother seemed to he interfering with little
Tommy's fun to such an extent that be decided to go to his father and see if
some new arrangement could not be made. Tommy found his father in the
library. He ran to Deacon Tadpole and climbed upon his knee, and said:
"Papa, I don't believe I want my little brother any more. I can't have any
fun with him. I'll tell you what let's do. Let's trade him for a pony."
"Oh, we couldn't do that," said the deacon.
Tommy was silent for a time. Then he said:
"Well, I don't suppose we could find anybody that would want to trade a pony
for him, but don't you think you could trade him for a goat?"
Every boy and girl in America ought to go to school. The public school is one
of the best institutions connected with the life of our nation. But did you
ever hear of a little girl who went to school to herself? I have, and I want
to tell you about it.
We will call her Tootsie.
There was no school-house, and no teachers; nothing only just little
Tootsie; not even her dolls; just simply Tootsie sitting all alone on the
couch near the window. That was all there was to this little school, so far
as anybody could see.
But Tootsie said she had a large school, with some sixty pupils. Sometimes
she would say that her scholars had been naughty and that they would have to
stay in at recess; and then again she would say that they had been promoted
to a higher grade; she often talked to her pupils as if they were real live
people, telling them how they should stand and how they should sit and
giving them permission to be excused, and so on. So you see it seemed in
Tootsie's mind very much more like a real school than it could to us.
Every morning, when Tootsie's sister would start for school, Tootsie would
watch her until she was out of sight, and then she would go and sit down on
the couch. Not having a true-true
school book, she would take her Christmas story books. At first
she would only look at the pictures and try to think what the story about
them must be. Then she would ask mamma or grandma, or whoever happened to he
nearest, what the words of the picture-story were. She would then say the
words of the story over to herself and look [illustration - TOOTSIE] at the picture. Next day she would read over the words of the same
story as far as she could remember them, and when she came to a word that
she did not know, up she would jump and go and ask some one what it was.
When she had learned a story herself, she would then talk to her sixty
imaginary scholars about it, showing
them the picture and explaining the story to them just as though the
children were all there before her in her little school room.
In this way Tootsie went through one after another of her story books,
picking out the stories that had pleasing pictures.
But the nice thing of it all was that Tootsie was really learning to read.
and she did get so that she read real well; for she knew just what she was
reading about, and often, when she would find a story that was funny, she
would laugh right out even if she was at school, and then she would find
mama or grandma and read the funny part to them.
Maybe one reason why Tootsie learned so fast was because her school was just
like play to her and not like work. Of course, it is easier to play than it
is to work. But could you think of any better thing to play than to play
keeping school? Why not try it? It helped Tootsie wonderfully, and I believe
it would help many other boys and girls. What do you think about it?
THE SCHOOL OF THE STREET.
Little Joe, ten years old, had followed his business as a newsboy and
bootblack in Smutville for three or four years, and, of course, had turned
out to be a first-class little citizen of the street. He could curse and
swear, and drink and smoke, just the same as any old hardened sinner.
One day, after Joe had finished one of his daily fights with some other
small boy, a kind-hearted gentleman stepped up to him and said,—
"My little man, do you go to school?"
"Nope," said Joe.
"Do you go to Sunday-school?"
"Well," said the gentleman, "what do you expect to do when you are
"I ain't going to wait till I'm grown –I'm going to be a jockey; that's what
I'm going to be."
"How would you like to be bank cashier or president of a great bank?
Wouldn't you like that better?"
"Yep," said the boy, "but a poor boy can't get no job like that—now
you know he couldn't."
"Oh, yes; he could if he were to prepare himself for it. But a poor boy, and
no other boy, will ever he a great business man if he is going to live
in the street—cursing and swearing and
fighting and, it may be, stealing, and having no higher ambition than to be
a jockey "
"Are you a parson?" asked the boy, becoming interested.
"No, but I am interested in little boys. I am the secretary of the Young
Men's [illustration - LITTLE JOE.] Christian Association and we have a boys' department. I want you
to join it. I have found out about your habits and your surroundings; I was
told of the death of your mother and father; and I made up my mind to come
and ask you to come over to the Young Men's Christian Association and live
with us. You may continue to sell your papers and black boots, but, you see,
living with us, you can go to school at night, and some day you will have a
good education—and you might be a bank cashier."
Little Joe took this good man's advice and went to live in the Y. M. C. A.
building. He did not turn out to be a bank cashier or president, but what
was better, Joe turned out to be a General Secretary of one of the largest
Y. M. C. A.'s among the colored people of this country, and in that way
has been instrumental in saving a great many other boys from
But Joe would never have amounted to anything if he had not been taken away
from the wicked influences of the street, and placed on the road to higher
things. The worst school in this world that any boy can go to is the school
of the street. The school of the street turns out the most impure, the most
dishonest and the most illiterate boys, and those boys and girls who ever
rise to be anything or anybody in the world are the ones who leave the
influences of the street in due time, as Little Joe did. The street offers
most of its work and most of its attractions at night, as many boys can
tell. The life of the street leads to no career that is worth following. The
good careers are made by those whom the street has not had a chance to
spoil, or by those who are taken out of the streets before they become
There is no greater error than the common notion that it is a good thing to
let a boy run the streets and become "hard" and "tough" and "have his wits
sharpened" and make "a little man" of himself, as some foolish people say. A
boy learns more downright mischief in one night in the street than he can
unlearn in the home in six months. And so, what will the teaching of the
home, the public school and the Sunday-school amount to, if we are going to
give our boys in their young and tender years the freedom of the streets? If
now and then a street boy—that is to
say, a boy hardened in the
ways of the street—does get a good place, in most cases he will lose
it and fall back to the old, free life of the gutter. The boys who succeed
are the boys who get away from, or who are taken away from, the influences
of the street and who are surrounded by better and more wholesome
influences. Those who remain under the influences of the street become in
the course of time members of the great army of beggars, tramps and
criminals. It is a great pity that there should be so many stories going the
rounds which tell about newsboys and messenger boys and so on rising to be
bank clerks and telegraph-operators and so forth. On the whole, these
stories are misleading, and for the reason that they seem to give the
impression to many innocent boys and to many thoughtless parents that the
surest way to give a boy a good start in life is to send him out into the
streets to "rough it" and fight his way to the front over beer bottles,
games of chance, the race-track, and the pool room, to the accompaniment of
vulgar jokes, profane swearing and evil associates. I repeat: The school of
the street is the worst school in the world, and the sooner boys get out of
it the better it will be for them.
A FOX HUNT.
Uncle Hambright used to pride himself upon his ability to invent amusing
games for the children. Sometimes he found it hard to think of anything new,
but the demands of the children were so insistent and his desire to please
them always was so intense that it often happened that Uncle Ham-bright
could almost make a way out of no way.
Dinner-time was fast approaching. All the morning, the half-dozen little
children, who were spending the day with Uncle Hambright at the
Sunday-school picnic, had been playing every conceivable sort of game and
had been enjoying every imaginable kind of story told iii Uncle Ham's
inimitable way,—but still the children were not satisfied. "Just one
more story," or "Just one more game," or "Give us your best game now for the
last before dinner,"—the children clamored one after another.
"Very well," said Uncle Ham. "You all wait until I come back, and then we'll
Uncle Ham went and told his sister and her husband, the parents of the
little children, to take the dinner-baskets far into the woods to the place
which they had already agreed upon as the spot where the dinner-table should
be spread. Coming back to the children, Uncle Ham said,—
"Now, we are ready. Come close and listen while I explain."
With anxious hearts and eager faces, and clapping their glad hands, the
children gathered around Uncle Ham.
"Now," said he, "I have a piece of chalk here in my hand. I am [illustration - UNCLE HAMBRIGHT.] going to make something like this wherever I go along." While he
was speaking he made a round ring on the fence close by. He put marks for
the ears and feet and a mark for the tail. Then he continued: "This is the
fox. I'm going to make foxes along the path that I take into the
woods—sometimes these foxes may be on fences, sometimes on trees,
sometimes on rocks, or anywhere I wish to place them. Whenever you find a
fox you will know that you are on the right road, and you must be sure each
time to follow in the direction that the head of the fox points. Then you
won't lose your way. You must give me a little start, because I must be out
of sight before you all begin the hunt. At the end of the hunt, if you
follow carefully, you will find a large present waiting for each one of you.
You may help yourself to whatever you like, and then we shall all come back
together, because, you know, I will be
at the end myself waiting for you when you come."
It seemed that the ten minutes start that the children had agreed to give
Uncle Hambright would never come to an end, so eager were they to begin the
hunt. By-and-by the time came, and they were off. The first few foxes had
been drawn on the board-walk, so the hunters had easy sailing for a little
while. Pretty soon, however, one of the girls discovered a fox on a tree,
and the head of the fox pointed right into the woods. At first the children
halted. The eldest girl said finally, after studying a few
"Let's go on; Uncle Hambright wouldn't take us where anything could hurt us,
and, besides, he, said he would be waiting at the end."
Thus re-assured, all of them plunged into the woods. Once in the woods the
little foxes drawn on trees and stumps carried them right along by the side
of a babbling brook for a long distance. Sometimes they would find one fox,
and then they would find it very hard to locate the next one. It was great
fun for them to scurry about in the woods, examining trees, stumps, rocks
and everything, hunting for the foxes. Finally one of the little girls found
a fox on a fence. The head of the fox pointed upwards. The little child
"This little fox seems to be pointing to heaven; I'm sure we can't go up
"Oh, no;" said the oldest girl, again coming to the rescue,—"I think
that that little fox leads over the fence—that's all."
So, over the fence they jumped and continued the chase.
The course proved to he zig-zag now for a few [illustration - "WAIT HERE UNTIL, I RETURN."] minutes, and the children found the foxes more and more difficult
to locate. They felt safe again, when the foxes were found on stones or
up the side of a hill. The woods began to thin out, and the
children were no longer timid. Up the hill they went with a merry laugh and
a shout. Once on top of the hill, they lost their course again. After a
time, they found a fox, though, and that fox pointed straight down the hill.
The children bravely followed. At the foot of the hill, they came suddenly
upon an open space, and close by there was a great big fox marked upon a
piece of black paste-board and standing right over a bubbling spring of
"Uncle Hambright must have meant for us to stop here," said one.
"Maybe, he meant for us to stop and get some water," said another.
One or two of the fox-hunters stopped and drank some water. Then the oldest
"Come on now, let's look for another fox; I guess we are most through
About twenty yards away from the spring, the children came to another open
space that was well shaded. What was their delight and surprise to find
there stretched out before them on a large white table cloth, laid on the
bare ground, a sumptuous picnic-dinner. And in the middle of the table there
was a true-true stuffed fox with a large red apple in his mouth. For a few
moments the children stood around the table in bewilderment. But they were
not to be kept in suspense a great while. Pretty soon, Uncle Hambright and
mama and papa came out of the woods nearby, and such
a laugh as went around that picnic-dinner was never
heard before or since!
At the close of the meal, the children all voted that that was the best game
that Uncle Ham had played during the day.
A BOLD VENTURE.
"Mr. Slocum, good morning, sir; I came around to ask you to lend me five
Mr. Slocum, Manager of the Harlem Steamboat Company, looked up from his desk
in surprise when he heard this abrupt announcement.
"What's that?" he asked curtly.
"Lend me five dollars," said the little boy who had first addressed him.
"Who are you?" demanded Mr. Slocum.
"I'm nobody," said the boy,—"nobody, but I want you to lend me five
Mr. Slocum, who was generally said to be a hard man to deal with, was
surprised at the boy's presumption, yet, nevertheless, he was secretly
pleased at the boy's frank and open manner.
"Do you know what borrowing money means?" asked Mr. Slocum, rising and
looking down upon the diminutive figure standing before him. The boy was
barefooted, held his hat in his hand, and his hair was nicely combed. Mr.
"Don't you know when a person borrows money he is supposed to
pay it back?"
"Oh, yes," said the boy; "I know that. You lend me the money, and I'll pay
it back all right. I only want it for three months. I'll pay it back."
There was something about the boy's face and [illustration - "LEND ME FIVE DOLLARS!"] general deportment that won Mr. Slocum's favor. He ran his hand
into his pocket, pulled out a five-dollar bill and handed it to the boy.
"Thank you, sir," said the boy, as he turned to go,—"thank you, sir;
I'll pay it back."
Three months later, the same little boy entered Mr. Slocum's office.
"Here's your five dollars, Mr. Slocum," said the little boy. "I'm much
obliged to you, sir."
"Who are you?" as Mr. Slocum, as he reached out and took the money.
"I'm nobody," said the boy.
"Well, why do you bring me this money?"
"Because I owe it to you," explained the little fellow.
The boy told Mr. Slocum of the loan made three months before, and made Mr.
Slocum recall the transaction. Mr. Slocum asked him to have a seat.
"Well, what did you do with that money?" asked Mr. Slocum.
"Well," said the boy, "I was hard up when I called on you. Me and my ma had
been selling papers for a living up to that time, but somehow we had got
behind with our expenses. House rent was due, and we didn't have nothing to
eat. I had to find a friend somewhere. So, after trying two or three places
where I was known and failing to get any help, I decided to drop in here and
see you. You know the result. Well, I paid may rent for a week; rented a
little stand for my ma to sell papers on the corner, while I continued to
hustle in the street. That five dollars you lent me give me good luck, and
I've been going right up ever since. Me and ma are living in a better place
now; we've got a plenty to eat; and we've got a plenty of fine
customers. I told you when I came here before that I was nobody
then, but I'm somebody now, Mr. Slocum,—anyhow, I feel so—and I
want to thank you again for the help you gave me."
The boy's story pleased Mr. Slocum very much. It is needless to say that he
took an interest in that boy, and continued to befriend him.
This happened many years ago. Today Tommy Tolliver—that was the boy's
name—is the Assistant General Manager of the Harlem Steamboat Company,
and a very well-to-do man. Mr. Slocum says that there is nobody in the world
like him. Tommy's mother died some years ago, but she lived long enough to
see her little boy taken out of the streets, put to school, and started on
his career of usefulness.
THE ROAD TO SUCCESS.
The world is constantly looking for the man who knows the most, and it pays
little regard to those who are proficient in the usual degree in the same
things. One must excel, or, in other words, know more than his associates in
order to succeed notably. The world will bid high for you if you know more
than other men.
So that boys and girls who are preparing themselves for the duties of life
should not aim simply at being as good as somebody else, but they should aim
at being the best that it is possible to be in any chosen line of life or
business. I have noticed in my short life-time that there is a great
tendency on the part of young people to cut short their education. Being
able to shine in the intellectual [illustration - THE ROAD TO SUCCESS.] and social worlds with the small attainments made in some college
or normal school or industrial school, the average young negro man is
content to stop with a diploma or certificate from one or another of these
institutions. They will never realize what injury they have done themselves
by so doing until it is too late. On the other hand, there is another large
class of young people that stop short even before they have finished the
course in even any one of the normal or industrial schools. They must go out
to work; they know enough to make a living; what's the use of so much
anyhow? This is the way some of them talk. This is what some of
them believe. Boys and girls, no man or woman with such low ideals will ever
reach the topmost round of the ladder of lame. Such boys and girls will
always play a second-rate part in the great drama of life. The boys and
girls who are going to the front—the boys and girls who are going to
have the leading Parts—are the boys and girls who are willing to take
time to prepare themselves. And preparation means hard work; and not only
hard work, but hard and long-continued work. A person can learn a good deal
in one year; a person can learn a good deal in two years; but nobody can
learn enough in one or two years, or in three or four Years, to make it at
all likely that he will ever be sought by the great world.
Aside from the rudimentary training, it ought to take at least ten years to
make a good doctor, or a good lawyer, or a good electrician, or a good
preacher. Four of these years ought to be spent in college; and four in the
professional school; and the other two ought to be spent in picking up a
practical or working knowledge of the calling—whatever it may be. The
young doctor obtains this practical knowledge in hospitals and in practice
among the poor. The electrician obtains it by entering some large electrical
industry or manufactory, in which a thoroughly practical knowledge of
mechanical engineering and electricity can be secured. It is true that some
distinguished in these callings without this long preparation of which I
have spoken; yet it is, also, true that they would have been better
off—they would have been more likely to have become eminent—if
they had taken the longer course. College is a little world which every one,
other things being equal, ought to enter and pass through before launching
in the great world.
KEEPING ONE'S ENGAGEMENTS.
What would happen if everybody should begin tomorrow to keep all his
promises and fulfill all his engagements? I think it would make a new world
at once. There is great need that the attention of young people should be
called to the importance of keeping engagements. Much of the confusion and
annoyance and trouble of this world would be done away with if people would
learn to keep their promises. The oft-repeated excuse, "I forgot," is not
reasonable. If the memory is in the habit of playing tricks with you, then
you ought to make notes of your engagements, write them down in some way, so
that you will not forget them. Arnold of Rugby said: "Thoughtlessness is a
crime," and he was right. The great
Ruskin has also uttered strong words in condemnation of
thoughtlessness in youth. He said: "Rut what excuse can you find for
willfulness of thought at the very time when every crisis of [illustration - KEEPING ONE'S ENGAGEMENTS.] future fortune hangs on your decisions? A youth thoughtless! when
the career of all his days depends on the opportunity of a moment. A youth
thoughtless! when his every act is a foundation-stone of future conduct, and
every imagination a
fountain of life or death.
Be thoughtless in any after years rather than now, though, indeed, there is
only one place where a man may be nobly thoughtless—his deathbed. No
thinking should ever be left to be done there." And, then, boys and girls
should remember that promptness should always accompany the fulfilling of an
engagement, otherwise the engagement is not really kept. A person's time is
a valuable possession, which should be respected by all. Who has not been
exasperated by some one with apparent indifference keeping (?) an engagement
a half or three-quarters of an hour late! And often a whole train of
troubles will follow in the wake of tardiness. The punctual boy or girl in
this life is the one who advances most rapidly. The punctual boy or girl
will make a punctual man or woman. A promise-breaker, or one who is late in
keeping his appointments, cannot in the true sense of the term be considered
a first-class person.
A MIDNIGHT MISHAP.*
Uncle Ned returned from his 'possum hunt about midnight, bringing with him a
fine, fat 'possum. He built a glowing fire, dressed the 'possum, pared and
split the sweet potatoes, and pretty soon he had the "'possum an' 'taters"
in the oven. While
*Published in Lippincott's.
the meal was cooking Uncle Ned amused himself with his favorite old banjo.
When the 'possum had been baked brown and crisp he took it out of the oven
and set it on the hearth to give it time to cool. Mentally congratulating
himself upon the glorious repast he thought soon to enjoy, he sat silently
for awhile in the old armchair, but presently he was snugly wrapped in the
arms of "tired nature's sweet restorer—balmy sleep."
It happened that two young fellows who were pretty well acquainted with Uncle
Ned's habits had been stealthily watching about the house waiting this
particular chance. As soon as they were convinced that the old man was safe
in the arms of Morpheus, they crept into the house and hurriedly helped
themselves to Uncle Ned's supper, including even the coffee and bread. When
they finished the hasty meal, by way of attempting to cover up their tracks,
they smeared Uncle Ned's [illustration - A MIDNIGHT MISHAP.]
hands and mouth with the 'possum
gravy and then beat a retreat.
After a time Uncle Ned aroused from his peaceful slumber. It is needless to
say that he had dreamed about his supper. At once he dived down to inspect
the viands, when, lo and behold, the hearth was empty! Uncle Ned steadied
himself and studied awhile.
"Well," said he finally, "I must 'a' et dat 'possum; I must 'a' et dat
'possum in my sleep!"
He looked at his hands. They were greasy. He smelt his hands. As he did so he
"Dat smells like 'possum grease! I sho must 'a' et dat 'possum."
He discovered grease on his lips. Out went his tongue.
"Dat tas'es like 'possum grease," he said. He got up. He looked about the
house. There was no sign of intruders. He rubbed his stomach. He resumed his
seat, and, giving up all for lost, he said:
"Well, ef I did eat dat 'possum, hit sets lightah on my appertite dan any
'possum I evah et befo'."
In 1893 the World's Columbian Exposition, or World's Fair, was held in
Chicago in commemoration of the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery
of America. A negro man, the Hon. Frederick
Douglass, attended that exposition and delivered an address on negro day.
Speaking of this great man's visit the Advance, one of Chicago's great
religious papers, said:
"It was fine to see at the Congress on Africa the tall form and magnificent
head of the grand old man, Frederick Douglass, now seventy-five Years of
age, perfectly erect, kindly, majestic, the 'ancient fires of inspiration
welling up through all his being yet'; affable to all; finding it still to
be as natural to be eloquent as to speak at all; sympathetic to the core
with the people of his own race, yet none the less loyal to the common
interests of all the people of his country; neither blind to the obstacles
in their path and the cruel social injustice and meanness to which they are
often exposed, nor, on the other hand, unmindful of the friends they have in
the South as also in the North, or above all to the over-shining care and
purpose of God Himself, with the 'far-off divine intent' that so clearly
takes in the future of both the American and African continents. Few
Americans have had a more conspicuously providential mission than Frederick
Douglass. And hardly anything in this remarkable congress was more eloquent
or more convincing than his personal presence."
Frederick Douglass was born a slave, and his life as a slave was one of
peculiar hardship. Of it he himself says in his autobiography:
"I suffered little from any punishment I received,
except from hunger and cold. I could get enough
neither of food or clothing, but suffered more from cold than hunger. In the
heat of summer or the cold of winter alike, I was kept almost in a state of
nudity—no shoes, jackets, trousers, or stockings—nothing but a
coarse tow linen shirt reaching to the knee. That I wore night and day. In
the day time I could protect myself by keeping on the sunny side of the
house, and in bad weather in the corner of the kitchen chimney. The great
difficulty was to keep warm at night. I had no bed. The pigs in the pen had
leaves, and the horses in the stable had straw, but the children had
nothing. In very cold weather I sometimes got down the bag in which corn was
carried to the mill and got into that. My feet have been so cracked by frost
that the pen with which I am writing might have been laid in the gashes."
With regard to his food he said that he often disputed with the dogs over
the crumbs that fell from his master's table.
Now this man, born so lowly and surrounded by such circumstances, turned out
to be in the course of time by hard work and self-application one of the
most influential American citizens and one of the greatest orators that this
country has ever known. Among other sigh offices of trust and
responsibility, he was once marshal of the District of Columbia, recorder of
deeds of the District of Columbia, and United States minister to Hayti.
He died February 20th, 1895, at his home in Anacostia, D. C., at the age of
seventy-seven years. A monument to his memory has been erected in Rochester,
N. Y., where he once lived.
What Frederick Douglass made of himself is possible for any American boy with
grit. Every boy and girl in America should read the life of this pre-eminent
negro and strive to emulate his virtues. His memory is worthy to be honored
to the last day of time.
OUR DUMB ANIMALS.
Domestic animals—like horses, eats and dogs—seem to be almost as
dependent upon kind treatment and affection as human beings. Horses and dogs
especially are the most keenly intelligent of our dumb friends, and are
alike sensitive to cruelty in any form. They are influenced to an equal
degree by kind and affectionate treatment.
If there is any form of cruelty that is more reprehensible than another, it
is abuse of a faithful horse who has given his whole life to the service of
the owner. When a horse is pulling a heavy load with all his might, doing
the best ha can to move under it, to strike him, spur him, or swear at him
is simply barbarous. To kick a dog around. to he tin cans to his tail, or
strike him with sticks,
just for the fun of hearing him yelp or seeing
him run, is equally barbarous. No high-minded man, no high-minded boy or
girl, would do such a thing. We should never forget how helpless, in a large
sense, dumb animals are—and how absolutely dependent upon the humanity
and kindness of their owners. They are really the slaves of man, having [illustration - OUR DUMB ANIMALS.] no language by which to express their feelings or needs.
The poet Cowper said:
I would not enter on my list of friends,
Though graced with polished manners and fine sense,
Yet wanting sensibility, the man
Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm."
Every boy and girl should be willing to pledge himself to be kind to all
harmless living creatures, and every boy and girl should strive to protect
such creatures from cruel usage on the part of others. It is
noble, boys and girls, for us to speak for those that cannot speak for
themselves, and it is noble, also, for us to protect those that cannot
A PLUCKY BOY.
The boy marched straight up to the counter. "Well, my little man," said the
merchant, "what can I do for you?"
"If you please," said the boy, "I came in to see if you wouldn't let me work
The boy was not yet ten years old, and he was small for his age. But there
was something in his speech, or manner that held the man's attention.
"Do some work for me, eh?" said the man. What kind of work could you do? You
can hardly look over the counter."
"Oh, yes; I can," said the little fellow, as he stood on tiptoe and peeped
over the counter. Out of sheer curiosity the merchant came from behind the
counter, so as to get a good look at the boy.
"Oh," he said, "I see you've got copper taps on your shoes; I suppose your
mother couldn't keep you in shoes if they didn't have taps on them!"
"She can't keep me in shoes anyway, sir," and the little boy's voice
"How old are you?" asked the merchant.
"I'm older than I look; folks say that I'm small for my age."
"Well, what is your age?"
"I'm going on ten," said Davie, with a look of great importance. "You see,"
he continued, "my mother hasn't anybody but me, and thls morning I saw her
crying because she could not find five cents in her pocketbook, and she
thinks she must have lost it—and it was—the—last cent
—that she had—in the world; and—I—have—not
—had—any—breakfast, sir." The voice again hesitated, and
tears came into the little boy's eyes.
"Oh, don't cry, my little man; I guess I van help you to a breakfast. Here,
take this quarter!!" He pulled a quarter from his vest pocket and handed it
to the boy. The boy shook his head.
"Mother wouldn't let me beg," was his simple answer.
"Humph!" said the merchant. "Where is your father?"
"We never heard of him, sir, after he went away. He was lost in the steamer
City of New York."
"That's too had. But you're a plucky little fellow, anyhow. Let me see," and
he looked straight down into the boy's eyes, and the boy looked straight up
at him. Turning to the head man, after awhile, the merchant said:
"Palmer, is cash boy No. 5 still sick?"
"Dead, sir; died last night," was the reply. "I'm sorry; but here's a boy you
might use. Put him down in No. 5's place. We'll try him for [illustration - THE BOY MARCHED STRAIGHT UP TO THE COUNTER!] awhile, anyhow. What's is your name, my little man?" he asked,
turning again to the boy.
"Well, Davie, we'll give you three dollars a week to start with; you come
tomorrow morning and I'll tell you what to do. Here's a dollar of Your wages
in advance. I'll take it out of your first week's pay. Do you
"Yes, sir; I understand, and I thank you. too. I'll be back in the
Davie shot out of the store, and lost no time in getting home. The old creaky
steps in the old ram-shackle house fairly sang with delight as the weight of
the little boy hurried up them.
"I've got it, mother;" exclaimed Davie. "I'm a cash boy! The man's going to
give me three dollars a week, and he says I've got pluck, too; and here's a
dollar to get some breakfast with, and don't you cry any more, for I'm going
to be the man of this house now."
At first the mother was dumfounded; then she looked confused; and then she
looked—well, it passes my power to tell how she did look as she took
Davie in her arms and hugged him and kissed him, the tears streaming down
her cheeks. But they were tears of joy and thankfulness!
A HEART-TO-HEART TALK.
"Henry, I asked yon to remain after school a few minutes because I wanted you
to help me rearrange the desks and furniture, but I had another reason for
asking you to remain, and I think it is more important than the one I have
The desks had all been arranged according to
the teacher's notion, and Henry Holt had gathered up his books
to go home. It was then that his teacher, Miss Ada Johnson, addressed
"Won't you sit down here a minute, David?" she continued. "I wish to speak to
you a minute or two."
David quietly took a seat. He was one of the [illustration - A HEART-TO-HEART TALK.] largest boys in school, and had been giving an unusual amount of
trouble during the day. In fact he had been a source of annoyance ever since
the new teacher had taken charge.
"David," the teacher went on, "I wonder if you realize how hard you have made
it for me in school today? Is there any reason why we cannot
be friends and work together? And I wish to
be a friend to you, if you will let me. You could help me so much and you
could help your schoolmates so much if you only would. I want to ask you if
you think your conduct has been manly today? Has it been kind?"
David said nothing, but hung his head.
"I heard before I came here that you were an unruly boy. People say that you
will neither study nor work, and some people say that you are a very mean
boy. Some of these things may be true, David, I am sorry to say, but I want
to tell you that you are the only hope of a widowed mother, and I want to
say, also, that I think that you are breaking her heart." The teacher's
voice faltered at the last words.
"I know that your father," the low voice went on, "was a brave and noble man;
and when I hear people say, 'It is a good thing that Henry Oliver died
before he knew what his son was coming to,' I think what a pity it is that
they cannot say, 'How sad it is that Henry Oliver died before he could know
what a fine, manly fellow his son would be, and what a stay and comfort to
The boy's head dropped to the desk in front of him, and he began to sob. The
teacher went over to him and said gently:
"You can be all this. It is in your power to be all that your father would
have you, all that your mother would have you. Will you not turn
over a new leaf now, not only in your behavior and work in
school, but in your whole life as well?" David raised his head.
"I am with you—I'll do it, teacher," he replied, a new resolve shining
in his face. All that day he did some of the most serious thinking of his
life. And he kept his promise.
The years have been many since then. The little teacher has long since passed
to her rest, but David Oliver is a living monument to the power of a few
searching words, the potency of a little personal interest and kindliness
manifested at a critical time.
A GHOST STORY.
Uncle Mose, an old-time colored man, once said in a company of people who
were talking about ghosts that he wasn't afraid of any ghost that ever
walked the earth.
"No, sah; not me," he said; "I'se got my fuss time to be skeered uv anyt'ing
Whereupon Noah Johnson told Uncle Arose that he would bet him a load of
watermelons that he couldn't spend one night in the "Widder Smith's house."
Now, the Widow Smith's house was said to be haunted, or, in other words, it
was filled with ghosts.
"Des name de night," said Uncle Mose. "I'll stay dar; no ha'nts won't bodder
wid me. No, sah; no ha'nts won't bodder wid me, an' yo' watermillions is des
ez good ez gone already!"
The details were arranged; judges were appointed; and Uncle Mose was to stay
in the haunted [illustration - "HUH! HUH! THERE DON'T SEEM TO BE BUT TWO OF US HERE
TO-NIGHT."] house that very night. He got him some pineknots to keep a good
blaze in the old-fashioned fireplace, carried along an extra plug of
tobacco, secured a large drgoods box to be used for a chair, and then he set
out for the house.
He made a blaze and seated himself on the pine box. For a time he sung a
number of old plantation
songs for his own amusement, as well as to keep him company.
About midnight, feeling somewhat drowsy, Uncle Mose got up, took a light and
went on a tour of inspection. He examined every room in the house. His
search revealed nothing unusual. He wound up his search chucking to
"I sho is makin' dis load uv watermillions easy. Noah Johnsing didn't know
who he's foolin' wid. I'm a man myse'f; I ain't afeared uv nothin'—I
Down he sat on the box, and pretty soon he was dozing. It was not very long
before he suddenly awoke. He was at once seized with strange and sudden
fear. He was too frightened to move. Al-though he did not look around, the
was conscious that there was another presence in the room. his hair stood on
ends. e felt a cold chill run up and down his back. By that time he knew
that the object in the room, whatever it was, was moving towards him. Still
he did not move, because he could not. The ghost (for that was what all the
people said it was) stood over Uncle Mose for a little while, and then
quietly sat down on the hox beside him. Uncle Mosey looked straight into the
fireplace, but his heart was beating like a runaway horse. The silence in
the room at that moment was like unto the silence of death. Everything was
still and solemn. Uncle Mosey could almost hear his own heart beating. The
ghost finally broke the silence by saying, with a loud sigh:
"Huh! Buh! There don't seem to be but two of us here tonight!"
It was then that Uncle dose looked around for the first time. As he did so he
"Yas; an' f'um dis out dah won't be but one!" And with that he jumped through
the window, taking a part of the sash with him.
The judges had been waiting in the open air near the house, so as to watch
the proceedings. They called to the fleeing Uncle Mose, as he passed them,
and ordered him to stop. They said that they were all there and would
protect him. But Uncle Mose, as he kept on running, hallooed back:
"I'll see y'all later!"
He ran at the top of his speed for more than a mile, for he was well nigh
scared to death. By-and-by, from sheer exhaustion, he was compelled to stop
for a little rest. He was wet with perspiration from head to foot, and his
clothes were as limp as a wet dishrag. But the poor old man had no sooner
seated himself on a stone by the roadside than up jumps the ghost and sits
down beside him once more.
"Huh!" said the ghost. "You seem to have made pretty good time tonight."
"Yas," said Uncle Mose; "but what I base done ain't nothin' to what I 'se
gwinter do!" And up he jumped and lit out once more.
He had not gone far on his second trip before an old rabbit ran out of the
bushes and took out down
the road ahead of him. Uncle Mose hallooed at the rabbit and
"Git out uv de way, rabbit, an' let somebody run what kin run!"
On and on the poor old man, almost scared to death, ran and ran. Perhaps he
would have been running until now but for a very unfortunate accident. About
five miles from the Widow Smith's house he came in contact with the limb of
a weeping willow tree that hung across the road. The poor old fellow,
already tired out, was knocked speechless and senseless. Toward the break of
day the judges, who had followed him, found him lying on the ground doubled
up near the tree. Dim consciousness was slowly returning when they picked
him up. They rubbed him, and walked him around for a little while, and soon
he was able to move himself.
The first thing Uncle Mose said was:
"Tell Noah not to min' 'bout dem watermillions. I staved in dat house des ez
long ez I could keep my conscience quiet. My ole mammy allus tole me dat hit
wuz a sin an' a shame to bet, an' now I b'lieves hit!"
And to this day, boys and girls, if you want to see a really mad man, you
just ask Uncle Mose if he ever saw a ghost.
[illustration - A GROUP OF HAPPY SCHOOL CHILDREN IN THE SUNNY SOUTH.]
Everybody loves the cheerful boy or girl, the cheerful man or woman; and
everybody ought to love such people. I wish all the boys and girls in
America would organize one grand SUNSHINE SOCIETY, whose chief object should
be the promotion of good feeling, good cheer, peace and happiness among all
the people everywhere. But, first, a boy or girl, man or woman, must have
sunshine in their own souls before they can communicate sunshine to others.
And, boys and girls, it would greatly assist us in securing sunshine in our
souls if we looked at our mercies with both eyes, as I might say, and at our
troubles and trials with only one eye. What we enjoy in this world is always
a good deal more than that which we do not enjoy; but we do not magnify our
blessings sufficiently. We do not make as much of them as we ought. We do
not rejoice because of them as we ought. We ought to keep daily a record of
God's goodness and kindness and patience and love. The Lord's mercies are
new every morning and fresh every evening; but we do not realize that they
are so, because we do not stop to count them up; we do not think about them.
If we stopped to weigh the mlatter I think we should find more in our lives
to be happy about than to be sorry about. Our
good fortunes always outweigh our misfortunes; and we
should find it so if we only acquired the habit of remembering God's
goodness to us as well as the disappointments and sorrows and afflictions
which are for us all.
Then we should study contentment. We should study to be content. We must
cultivate the habit of being satisfied with what we have at present, and we
should not worry about those things which we do not possess. Worry because
of things they did not possess has made countless thousands mourn. Let us
enjoy what we have. Let us make the most of what we have. And let us not
worry about things which we do not possess. No matter how miserable our own
lot may be, there is always some one whose lot is more miserable still.
Worry kills more people than work. In fact worry unfits a man for work. The
man who has learned the philosophy of being content in whatsoever state he
is is the man who is and will be happy. One of the things in this world that
pays a hundred-fold is contentment, and there is nothing that casts so much
blight and mildew upon life's fairest flowers as discontent.
Again, it would help us to keep cheerful if we kept steadily engaged in some
work of usefulness. Let us go about doing good. Let us go about seeking
opportunities of doing good. hoing good makes the heart healthy, and
heart-health makes sunshine, happiness and good cheer.
A little thought will convince you, boys and
girls, that your own happiness in this world depends very
largely on the way other people bear themselves toward you. The looks and
tones at your breakfast table, the conduct of your play-mates, the faithful
or unreliable people that you deal with, what people say to you on the
street. the letters you get, the friends or foes you meet—these things
make up very much of the pleasure or misery of your day. Turn the thought
around, and remember that just so much are you adding to the pleasure or
misery of other people's days. And this is the half of the matter that you
can control Whether any particular day shall bring to You more of happiness
or of suffering is largely beyond your power to determine. Whether each day
of your life shall give happiness or suffering to others rests with
yourself. And there is where the test of character comes. We must be
continually sacrificing our wills to the wills of others, bearing without
notice sights and sounds that annoy us, setting about this or that task when
we would rather be doing something else, persevering in it often when we are
very tired of it, keepingg company for duty's sake when it would be a great
joy to us to be by ourselves; and then there are all the trifling and
outward accidents of life, bodily pain and weakness, it may be, long
continued, losing what we value, missing what we desire, deceit, ingratitude
and treachery where we least expected them; folly, rashness and willfulness
in ourselves. All these little worries which
we meet each day may lie as stumbling blocks across our
way, or we may make of them, if we choose, stepping stones of grace.
I want all the little boys and girls who read this book to be joy-makers, to
be burden-bearers, to be among those who shall assist in filling the whole
world with good cheer. It is our duty to cheer and comfort others; it is our
duty to make the world not only better but happier—happier because
better—for our having lived in it. To all the other beatitudes might
well be added this one: Blessed are the cheerful people, for they shall
in-inherit the earth.
LIFE A BATTLE.
Boys and girls, I want to repeat to you now some words which. were delivered
long ago by the Hon. Schuyler Colfax, a man who was once the vice-president
of the United States. These words are wholesome, and should be read and
considered by parents and school teachers and by children themselves all
over our land:
"Above all things, teach children what their life is. It is not breathing,
moving, playing. sleeping, simply. Life is a battle. All thoughtful people
see it so. A battle between good and evil from childhood. Good influences,
drawing us up toward
the divine; bad influences, drawing us down to the brute.
Midway we stand, between the divine and the brute. How to cultivate the good
side of the nature is the greatest lesson of life to teach. Teach children
that they lead these two lives: the life without and the life within; and
that the inside must be pure in the sight of God as well as the outside in
the sight of men.
"There are five means of learning. These are: Observation, reading,
conversation, memory, reflection.
"Educators sometimes, in their anxiety to secure a wide range of studies, do
not sufficiently impress upon their scholars the value of memory. Now, our
memory is one of the most valuable gifts God has bestowed upon us, and one
of the most mysterious. Take a tumbler and pour water into it; by-and-by you
can pour no more: it is full. It is not so with the mind. You cannot fill it
full of knowledge in a whole lifetime. Pour in all you please, and it still
thirsts for more.
"Knowledge is not what you learn, but what you remember.
"It is not what you eat, but what you digest that makes you grow.
"It is not the money you handle, but that you keep, that makes you rich.
"It is not what You study. but what you remember and reflect upon, that makes
"One more suggestion:
"Above all things else, strive to fit the children in your charge to be
useful men and women; men and women you may be proud of in after-life. While
they are young teach them that far above physical courage, which will lead
them to face the cannon's mouth; above wealth, which would give them farms
and houses and bank stocks and gold; is moral courage—that courage by
which they will stand fearlessly, frankly, firmly for the right. Every man
or woman who dares to stand for the right when evil has its legions, is the
true moral victor in this life and in the land beyond the stars."
These brave and true words were spoken by Mr. Colfax long years ago. They
were true then; they are no less true now. Every boy in America should
treasure them in his heart. Every girl in America should commit them to
memory and make them the rule of her life. Mothers and fathers, school
teachers and preachers, and all who have the care of the young in any way
would do well to study these wise counsels and reflect upon them and strive
to impress upon those for whom they are laboring.
If you would win the victory in the battle of life, my young friends, you
must watch the little things. It is said that there is a barn upon the
Alleghany Mountains so built that the rain which falls upon it separates in
such a manner that that which falls upon one side of the roof runs into a
little stream that flows into the Susquehanna
and thence into Chesapeake Bay and on into the Atlantic Ocean;
that which falls upon the other side is carried into the Alleghany River,
thence into the Ohio, and onward to the Gulf of Mexico. The point where the
waters divide is very small, but how different the course of these waters!
So it is with people, young or old. A very little thing changes the channel
of their lives. Much will depend upon the kinds of tempers you have, boys
and girls. If you are sour and cross and crabbed, no one will love you. If
you are kind and cheerful, you will have friends wherever you go. Much will
depend upon the way in which you improve your school days; upon the kind of
companions you have; and upon the kind of habits you form. If you would win
a great victory in fighting the battle of life you must look well to the
[illustration - ON ONE OF NEW YORK'S MANY PLAYGROUNDS.]
AN IDLE BOY.
An idle boy one idle day
Played with a gun in an idle way:—
And now the grasses idly wave
Above his idle little grave.
HUNTING AN EASY PLACE.
A nicely dressed young man, fifteen or sixteen years old, who had just
finished his course in the high school, stepped into the office of the
president of the Smutville Short Line Railroad.
"Well," said the president, looking up from a mass of correspondence, "what
can I do for you, sir?"
"I have just finished my course in the high school," the young man began
nervously, "and I thought that I might be able to secure a desirable
position with your company. I came in to talk with you about it."
The president asked the young man to have a seat.
"So," said the president, "you want a desirable place, eh?"
"I do, sir," said the young man, his heart beating high with hope.
"A place," continued the president, "that would pay you something like a
hundred dollars a month,"
"Something like that," said the young man eagerly.
"I guess you would like it very well, too, if I could arrange it so that you
could report for work at nine o'clock in the mornings and get off every
afternoon at three or four o'clock. In other words, you want something easy.
I can see by looking at you that you are not accustomed to hard work, and
you could not fill a place that required you to report at six o'clock every
morning and work until six every afternoon. Do I size you up correctly?"
"I think so, sir," was the reply.
"In plain English then, you are looking for a soft place with the Short
"I am, sir."
"Well, sir," said the president, smiling for the first time, "I regret to
inform you that there is only one such place on our railroad. I occupy that
place myself, and I am not thinking of resigning."
The young man's face flushed.
The president continued: "I hope you will not think that it is going beyond
what is right and proper for me to say, but I must tell you, young man, that
you have started out in life with the wrong notion. No brave and strong
young man is going about looking for an easy place. The brave and true man
asks only for work. And the men who are occupying what you call the easy
places in this life today are the men who have climbed into them by hard
work. You are very much mistaken
if you think that they have stepped into them from the high
school. In fact, and you'll find it out soon enough for yourself, there are
really no soft or easy places in this world, and the [illustration - "I HAVE JUST FINISHED MY COURSE, IN THE HIGH SCHOOL."] man who goes about seeking such places stamps himself at once as a
failure. Nobody will ever employ such a boy, and such a boy would be no good
if he were employed. Let me, as a friend, advise you, young man, that the
next place you go to to
apply for a job, you ask for a chance to
begin at the bottom. If it happens to be a railroad, ask to be given a
chance to do anything—firing an engine, or cleaning cars, or laboring
in the round-house. Be willing to begin low down in the business, and, if
you're made out of the right stuff, you will fight your way to the front. I
started in with the Short Line as a day laborer myself, and if I had not
done so I would not be at its head today. You advertise your own folly when
you go and ask a sensible business man to put you at the start at the head
of something. You must be-gin at the bottom and work up to the top. That is
the rule everywhere, and you will not, I am sure, prove an exception to
Let us hope, boys and girls, that this young man left the president's office
a wiser young man. Be sure not to follow his example. Don't go around
hunting for easy places.
AT THE ZOO.
Father and son, making the rounds of the Zoological gardens, paused
before a cage containing a beautiful zebra. "Oh, papa," exclaimed the
little boy, "see that donkey with a baseball sweater on!"
THE BIG BLACK- BURGLAR.
One cold winter night, about midnight, my good wife called to me, saying:
Dan! Dan! Get up! Get up!"
"What's the matter?" I asked, with much alarm.
"Somebody's in the dining-room; I heard them rattling the dishes just
a minute ago."
"I don't hear anything. wife." I said slowly.
"There's somebody in these sure; I heard them myself. Do get up, Dan,
before they take everything we've got."
"I haven't got a gun or any kind of weapon," I said, still
fighting for time.
"Well, get up and make a noise - walk around heavy-that's frighten
'em and make 'em leave."
I got up quietly, turned up the lamp, and looked about me with a
"Be quick," said my wife.
"In a minute," said I.
I tipped around to the wall on, the side of the bed, and took down an old
iron sword, which had done duty in the Mexican war, and which we had
preserved as an heirloom.
"Hurry, hurry, Dan!" said my wife.
"All right," I said with meekness.
I took the sword in one hand and the lamp in the other, and moved gently
toward the door, which opened from our bed-room into the diningroom.
Pausing at the door, I said,--
"Hallo! Hallo, in there!"
The response came from my wife in bed.
"Open the door, Dan; open the door!" Humbly I placed the lamp on the
floor close by the door, caught a tight grip on my old war-piece, and
then quickly shoved the door wide open. I intended, of course, after
getting may bearings, to pick up the lamp and enter the dining-room on a
tour of inspection. But, I assure you, there was no time for any such
careful procedure. As soon as the door was opened and the light went
streaming into the dining-room, something fell to the floor with a
terrible thud, and quicker than it takes to tell it a great big black
something, that looked to me like a buffalo or elephant, came bounding
toward me. It was all so sudden that it
[illustration - Hunting the Burglar ]
surprised me, and I fell back trembling. Over went the
lamp. It broke. Out came the oil. It took fire, and pretty soon the
Lambrequin close by took fire. Down I snatched it. I reached for the
first thing handy, and tried to smother the fire on the floor. In doing
so, I stepped on a piece of glass and cut my foot. I burnt my hands
terribly. My night shirt caught on fire. I ran to the bed and sat down
in order to quench the blaze. This shows I still had some presence of
mind left, although, as a matter of fact, this new extinguishing process
scorched my legs awfully.
When all was quiet again, and I lit another lamp in order to take an
inventory, my bedroom was a sight to behold! I found that in the
struggle, my old army sword had been plunged amidship into the hand-
some mirror of our dresser, and hall also made havoc of a reproduction
of Millets' Angelus.
I discovered, also, that I had used my
brand-new $50 overcoat to extinguish the fire, and that many of the
handsome photos of our friends that stood on the mantle had been ruined.
Altogether that one night's experience cost me in the neighborhood of
$100, not to mention my own personal injuries' It was a terrible night,
I tell you. And far off in one corner, I saw, crouching in abject fear,
the cause of all my troubles-the burly black burglar. And what do you
think it was? It was nothing in the world but an old black Tom Cat, who
had been a member of our family for many years!
PIN-MONEY MADE WITH THE NEEDLE.
Surely all young girls ought to know how to sew, and, not only sew, but
all girls, I think, ought to love the purely feminine occupation of
sewing. Since I am sure that many of the little girls who will read this
book know how to sew, I am going to tell you about some little sewing
that my wife did.
In 1913 the Ladies' Home. Journal, of Philadelphia, offered a prize of
fifty dollars for the best way to make pin-money at home. You know,
girls, that pin-money means pocket change or spending
money. Many hundreds of women all over the world sent in suggestions to
the Ladies' Home Journal, each one hoping, I am sure, that her
suggestion would win first prize. The following letter sent to my wife
will tell you just how her suggestion was received:
"THE LADIES' HOME JOURNAL,
"Philadelphia. February 5, 191 "Dear Madam: "It gives me much pleasure to
tell you that among the hundreds of letters received in response to the
offer made in our January magazine in connection with The Editor's
Want-Box, Mr. Bok has chosen your offering as the one entitled to the
first prize of fifty dollars. He congratulates you upon your success and
thanks you for the interest you have shown. Our Treasurer will send you
a check within a week. Very truly yours, "Wm. V. Alexander, "Managing
Editor. "Mrs. Ella Floyd."
The check came all right, girls, and may wife thought, as she said to me,
that in winning the prize she had found a new way to make pin-money
-that is, by telling others how to make pin-money at home.
Two hundred of the little articles were after-wards published from time
to time in The Ladies' Home Journal. The first article of the series ap-
peared in the magazine for January,
1914, and my wife's little story, which won first money, was at the head
of the list. I am going to give here the whole of the little article, as
published in The Ladies' Home Journal. Of course, I am proud that she
won the prize, and I hope other young ladies by-and-by may be the happy
winners in such contests. And here is the article:
"When one's pin-money is all gone but twenty-five cents the question
comes as to the way to replenish it. One day when I found that I had
only that amount T invested it as follows:
- 1 yard of lawn 10
- 1 yard of lace 10
- 1 spool of cotton 05
"The same day I made three baby caps as daintily as I could with these
materials. The next day I sold them for twenty-five cents each, and then
I had seventy-five cents. I then bought
- 1 yard of lawn 15
- 2 1/2 yards of lace 25
- 2 yards of ribbon 25
- 2 tiny buckles 05
- 1 spool of cotton 05
"With these materials I made two baby caps, somewhat larger than the
first ones, and trimmed
more prettily. I found no trouble in selling them for
$1.50. Straightway I invested the sum in lawn, lace, ribbon, etc., and
as I had done so well with the caps T thought I would try my hand on [illustration - PIN MONEY MADE WITH THE NEEDLE.]
little bonnets. I made two. A friend offered me $5 for them before
they were finished. I accepted
her offer and from that day to this
I have never been troubled about pin-money.
"In four weeks' time 1 made and sold twenty caps and eleven bonnets. The
material for the caps cost me $2.50-twelve and a half: cents for each. I
sold them for twenty-five cents each. The material for the bonnets cost
me $8.25, or seventy-five cents each. I sold them for $2.50 each. So I.
netted $21.75 for my work. The time which I_ devoted to this enterprise
was that which ordinarily I would have used in calling or in running up
bills for my husband to pay.
"Since the first four weeks of which I have spoken in detail I have made
more expensive caps and bonnets for babies from six months to about
three years old. The last one I made was of silk. beautifully trimmed,
tucked and hemstitched. I sold it for $6, making a clear profit of $3.
My husband says I'll so( n be in position to organize a trust."
If there is one idea for which more than any other the public school
system should stand, it is the idea of self-help. Self-help is the best
kind of help in the world, and one cannot learn this lesson too early in
life. Even little children-three, four, five, six and eight years
old-should be taught to work. Any little child is just as capable of
doing the little things in work as he is in play. Why
[illustration - A game of marbles in the Shadow of the Washington
should not the little girl be taught to trim and
wash the dress of her doll? Why should not the little children be taught
to sweep up the dirt that they have scattered in play? Why should they
not be taught to remove the dishes from the table, brush up the crumbs,
set back the chairs, pick up chips, put the kindling wood in its place,
bring the potatoes in from the garden, help to pick over the berries,
and so forth? We might argue this question from now until doom's day,
and nobody, I think, would be able to give any good reason why children
should not be taught to do the little things. Little children who are
accustomed to having everything done for them by others are very soon
beset with the rust of laziness and the canker of pride. Whereas, on the
other hand, if children are taught to help themselves as soon as and as
much as they are able, it will tend to improve their faculties, and
will, at the same time, have a good influence upon their
Childhood and youth are periods of life which materially influence all of
its following periods, and whether the earlier years of one's life be
passed in idleness and indolence, or in well-directed industry, is a
point on which greatly depends the worth or the worthlessness of human
character. Where is the man who guides his affairs with discretion, or
the woman that looketh well to the ways of her household, and yet was
not in some measure imbued with industrious and provident habits in
early life? On the other hand,
who that has been treated until the age of fifteen or
twenty like a helpless infant, and had every [illustration - Washing Dollies' Clothes] want supplied without being put to the necessity of either
mental or bodily exertion, was ever good for anything afterwards?
The tendency of the age is by far too much in the direction of keeping
our young boys solely for the purpose of loafing about the streets, or
standing around the soda fountains on Sunday—and our young girls for
parties, social entertainments, picnics, excursions and the like. So
that by the time our boys and girls reach manhood and womanhood, they
despise honest labor and are afraid to engage in real hard work. A young
woman may know how to read and write—may understand grammar, history,
and geography—may sing sweetly and play the piano well; but, whatever
else she may know or may not know, if she does not know how to bake a
hoe-cake of bread, make her little brother or sister a pair of pants or
a plain dress, she is only half educated. In fact, every young woman
should not only know how to perform every duty connected with a
household, but every young woman should take some part in household
work. No girl need tell me that she really loves her mother if she is
willing to leave to her mother the work of washing the dishes, sweeping
and scouring the floors, caring for the little children, doing the
Monday washings, the house cleaning, and the like, while she devotes
herself to pleasure, novel reading, social calling, butterfly parties,
or playing rag-time music or singing rag-time songs.
The home and the public school are the two great agencies which are
jointly engaged, or which should be jointly engaged, in teaching
help themselves. If children are taught, as boys and girls,
to think for themselves, speak for them-selves and act for themselves,
when they are old they will not forget the precious lesson, and will be
less likely to become burdens on the community. The highest ambition of
every American man and woman should be to be of some useful service to
the world ; and the first step will be taken toward this noble end when
we have thoroughly learned the value and importance of the lesson of
self-help. First, learn to help yourself, and then yon will be able to
see more clearly how to help others.
AIMING AT SOMETHING.
It is true, boys and girls, that it is what yon hit, not what yon aim
at, that counts; but, nevertheless, it is a very important thing to take
the right aim. The man who aims deliberately at the center of the target
stands a better chance, a hundred to one, than the man who shoots
without taking aim. So, in life, that boy or girl who has a purpose-who
is aiming at something-will be more successful than those boys and girls
who have no plans and who aim at nothing.
It is not sufficient, in the moral world, to aim at something, but every
boy and girl should aim at the best things. The best and highest things
in this world are the unseen things, the eternal things, the things that
will last forever. Money is a good thing, but there is something higher
than money' A high position in the business or professional or political
world is a good thing, but there is something
higher and better than office and
position. Character is the grandest, the highest and best thing in this
world. -Vv-e include in this one little word "character" a world of
things. Honor, up-rightness, speaking the truth, dealing fairly with
people, being willing to help the lowly and unfortunate, paying your
debts promptly, these things, and many other things like them, are
included in the one word "character." And these are the things that are
worth while in this world. These are the things that [illustration - AIMING AT SOMETHING.] every boy and girl should aim at. It may not be possible for
every boy and girl to become a millionaire; it may not be possible for
every boy and girl to fill high offices in this world, or
succeed in large business enterprises; but one thing is
certain: every boy can be a good and true boy, every girl can be a noble
and beautiful girl. Beautiful as to conduct, as to words and deeds. I
mean. Good boys are the fathers of good men. Pure girls are the mothers
of pure women. For, what, after all, is a boy? And what is a girl? What
is a man? What is a woman? I will tell you. A boy is a little
man—that's all; and a man is a grown-up boy. A girl is a little
woman—-that's all; and a woman is a grown-up girl.
It is important, then, that boys and girls should aim at the right
things, the good, the true and noble things early in life. What boys and
girls aim at, in nine cases out of ten, they will reach as men and
women. And to help you in taking the proper aim early in life, I. am
going to give you something to aim at. Let every boy and girl make this
little motto his rule of life:
Know something know it well;
Do something—do it well;
And be Somebody!
"THE BLACK SHEEP"' OF THE REYNOLDS FAMILY.
Will Reynolds was "the black sheep" of the Reynolds family. He knew it
and felt it, because he had been frequently slighted and treated with
contempt by his relatives. The only person
who never lost faith in him was his mother. She always felt that there
was something good in her wayward son, and often said that it would show
itself some day. But Will's mother died in the early stages of his
backslidings. Will's father married the second time, and the boy,
finding it impossible to get along with his stepmother, left home. He
went from bad to worse. Being arrested on the charge of drunkenness and
vagrancy, he sent to his two brothers, who were prosperous brokers in D.
St., asking them to pay his fine. Word came back that they would not
interfere in his behalf. His brothers sent word that he had brought the
trouble upon himself and he must get out of it the best way he could.
Will was sent to the Work House for six months. And nobody's hand was
raised to help him.
While he was serving his time, his only sister, a young woman not. yet
grown, died. He knew nothing of it until about a month after it
occurred, and then he read the account in an old newspaper which he had
borrowed from a fellow prisoner. The news of his sister's death deeply
affected him. His sentence was shortened by one month on account of his
good behaviour. The first thing he did, on coming to the city, was to
visit the family lot in Myrtle Hill Cemetery. He carried with him some
wild flowers and green leaves, being too poor to purchase a floral
offering from the dealers iii such things. With uncovered head, he knelt
placed these tokens of respect on the graves of his mother
and sister. This done, he stood in silence for a moment, and then wept
like a little child. While riveted to the spot, he made a solemn vow [illustration - HE CARRIED WITH HIM SOME NICE FLOWERS'] that he would quit the old life and make a man of himself.
"It's in me," he said to himself. "and m going to prove it."
Slowly he turned away from the sacred place. He went directly to the
offices of his brothers. He had been furnished with a new suit of
clothes, according to custom, upon leaving prison, and so made quite a
decent appearance. He found his oldest brother, John B. Reynolds, seated
at a desk in the front office. He entered at once and said,
"Well, John, I suppose sister is dead?"
"How dare you," exclaimed John, rising to his feet,"how dare
you to speak of Annie as your sister, you jailbird, you miserable
convict! Get out of here this minute! Leave this room at once, and
never set foot in it again!"
There was fire in the man's eye as he spoke. Will attempted to speak, but
was not permitted. With tears streaming down his cheeks, he left the
room. He had gone to tell of his new determination and ask for another
chance, and this was the reception which he met. On his way down the
steps, he came face to face with his other brother, Thomas Reynolds.
Thomas tried to pass without speaking, but Will intercepted him.
"Tom," he said, "I'm your brother still. I'm not asking help
now; I only came to tell you that I'm going to (10 better. I thought
you would be glad to hear it."
"I want to hear nothing from you," said Thomas. "You've
disgraced us forever, and you can go your way; we don't want
anything to do with you; we don't want to see you again!"
Will went forth into the street weeping.
Thirty years have come and gone since Will was driven away
from the offices of his brothers. What changes have these years
Soon after leaving prison Will was a constant visitor at the Railroad
Men's Branch of the Y. M. C. A. Through the Secretary of the
Association, lie soon secured a place as a day laborer in the machine
shops of the Big Bend Railroad. After securing regular employment, he
went to live in the Y. M. C. A. building. At the close of his first
Year's service with the railroad, he was promoted from a common laborer
and made an apprentice. After four or five years, he had learned the
trade and was receiving the daily wages of a machinist. After twelve
years with the company, he was made the Master Machinist. At the end of
fifteen years' service, he was made Superintendent of Construction. Five
years later he was made a Division Superintendent. At the expiration of
more than twenty-five years of faithful service, Will Reynolds was able
to write after his name, "General Manager of the Big Bend Railroad." Re
had, also, been married for several years, and was the father of five
Will's father and brothers lost sight of him for nearly twelve years, or
until the papers announced his appointment as Master Machinist of the
Big Bend Railroad. They suddenly awoke to find that their conclusions
that he had probably long since died a drunkard's death, or had gone off
tramp and had been killed, or was again
serving a sentence in prison somewhere—were wrong.
The same week that Will was made Superintendent of Construction of the
Big Bend Railroad, the newspapers spread all over the country the news
that Col. Oliver P. Reynolds had committed suicide. According to their
way, the newspapers gave all the sickening details of the tragedy,
together with the whole family history. They said that Col. Reynolds had
been driven to suicide by his wife. They said that she was much younger
than he; that she was extravagant; that she was a leader in gay society;
they told how, on her account, Col. Reynolds had driven his son away
from home fifteen years before; they declared that the old man's life
had been a hell to him; and that his wife had brought him almost to the
verge of bankruptcy, and, in order to escape facing open disgrace, he
had murdered himself.
When Will heard of his father's death, he hastened at once to the city,
but was denied admission to the family residence, and had to attend the
funeral in the little church around the corner not as a member of the
family but merely as an outsider.
We are not concerned in this story with the fate of Will's stepmother.
But, as to Will's brothers,—well, the crash came eight or ten years
after the death of Col. Reynolds, or a short while before Will became
the General Manager of the Big Bend Railroad. John B. Reynolds and
olds, members of the firm of John B. Reynolds &
Bro.. had been arrested and placed in the
Tombs, charged with misappropriating $175,000 of trust [illustration - "WELL, JOHN, I SUPPOSE SISTER IS DEAD?" ] funds. Again the family history was rehearsed in the
newspapers. The papers did not fail to recall the suicide of Col.
Reynolds, nor did they
fail to tell how these two brothers had
earlier in life turned their backs on a younger brother.
Will read the papers, and, saying to his wife, "Well, Mary, perhaps
they'll be glad to see me this trip," he went immediately to
offer his services to his brothers.
He had prophesied correctly. John and Thomas were very glad to see him.
They had no friends among those high in financial circles because they
had for many years conducted their business in such a way that business
men had no confidence iii them. They had no credit and could get nobody
to go on their bonds. Will took in the situation at a glance. He had
been thoughtful enough to bring along with him the leading attorney of
the Big Bend Railroad, and he put matters straight-way into his hands.
Bail was arranged, the brothers were released, and the lawyer then
turned his attention to the prosecutors. It was discovered that almost
half of the amount stolen was the property of Simon B. Nesmith,
President of the Big Bend Railroad. When Will Reynolds and the lawyer
found that their own superior officer had been so heavily hit by .John
B. Reynolds & Bro., they came near fainting. Fortunately Nesmith
when he heard the whole story agreed not to prosecute, and not only said
that he would be satisfied with any settlement that the Railroad's
Attorney might arrange but also volunteered to see the others concerned
and use his influence in having them do likewise.
In a short time matters were adjusted, and John Reynolds and Thomas
Reynolds were saved from prison. But they lost all their earthly
possessions and their brother, "the black sheep" of the family, had to
secure them for the sum of $40,000 besides.
John B. Reynolds and Thomas Reynolds came to their senses. It was their
time to cry now. Amidst great sobs they said,—"We treated you
wrongly, brother Will; we ought to have helped you many years ago;
we are so sorry we didn't; and it was such a small matter,
But Will said,—"Don't talk about the past: I'm your brother still.
Go mid do as I did. Start over and make men of yourselves—you'll
have enough time. That's all I ask."
THE HOLY BIBLE.
I heard a minister say the other day that a mother had not necessarily
done much for her boy because she had bought him a nice Bible and put it
in his trunk, when he was about to leave home to seek his fortune in the
world. I think it wrong for anybody—minister or what not—to indulge in
such loose and flippant talk. The effect is bad
always bad, and no hair splitting, and no
higher criticism, and no curiously ingenius explanations can mend the
matter. As for me, give me the old-fashioned mother who sends her son
out into the world with a Bible in his trunk, and give me the
old-fashioned boy who reads that Bible every night with tears in his
eves, as he thinks of the old folks at home and of their simple lives
devoted to .Jesus Christ. Give me the man, woman or child, whose hands
touch the Bible reverently, instead of slinging it about as a dictionary
or some common dime novel. (live me the plain old fellow who quickly
takes leave of that circle in which critics are proceeding to ably
explain away certain chapters of the Bible.
As for me, I want no new theories about the Bible—new versions—new
criticisms. No man has a right to weaken the faith of others. No man has
a right to knock away the staff that supports the crippled wayfarer. And
no man has a right to tell an aged mother that it does no good to give
her boy a Bible unless he can suggest a better substitute. Destroy the
old-fashioned idea concerning the Bible, and we shall have a nation of
infidels defying God, defying the law, and repeating the licentiousness
and horrors of the French Revolution. We should make the Bible first in
all things. Make the Bible first in the family, in the Sunday-school and
church, make it first in state and society, and we shall have a Republic
that will grow brighter and brighter as
[illustration - CARNEGIE LIBRARY, WASHINGTON D.C.
the years come and go, and then we "shall go out with
joy, and be lead forth with peace: and the mountains and the hills
shall break forth before us into singing, and all the trees of the
field shall clap their hands."
COLORED PEOPLE ARE WELCOME
Andrew Carnegie, Greatest Philanthropists of the Age, who has climbed
from the position of messenger boy and telegraph operator to become
America's richest steel manufacturer, a. Multi-Minionaire, has given
practically every large city that would accept it, a Library for the
general public, averaging in value $500,000'00. His gifts have had
enormous money value, but the value to humanity cannot be estimated.
"Do not make riches, but usefulness, your first aim, and let your
chief pride by that your daily occupation is in the line of progress
and development; that your work, in whatever capacity it may be, is
useful work, honestly conducted, and as such ennobles your
"Whatever your salary be, save a little; live within your
means. The man who saves a little from his income has given the
surest indication of the very qualities that every employer is
"The great successes of life are made by
concentration. Do not think you have done your full duty when you
have performed the work assigned you. You will never rise if you
only do this.
"You hear a good deal about poverty nowadays, and
the cry goes up to abolish poverty, but it will be the saddest day
of civilization when poverty is no longer with us. It is from the
soil of poverty that all the virtues spring. Without poverty. where
will your inventor, your artist, your philanthropist, come
"There are three classes of young men in the world. One
starts out to be a millionaire. Another seeks reputation, perhaps
at the cannon's mouth. A third young man, who will be successful, is
he who starts out in life with self-respect and who is true to
himself and his fellow-men. He cannot fail to win."
DIRECTIONS FOR LITTLE GENTLEMEN.
- 1. The essential part of good breeding is the practical desire to
afford pleasure and to avoid giving pain. Any boy possessing this
desire requires only opportunity and observation to become a little
- 2. Never be guilty of what are called practical jokes; that is to
say, never place a pin in a chair so that somebody may come along
and sit on the pin's point; never pull back a chair when a person
is about to sit down, and in that way cause such a person to fall on
the floor. No little gentleman will play such tricks.
- 3. Whenever a lady enters a room, it is proper for boys to rise,
if they are seated, but you must never offer a lady a chair from
which you have just risen, if there is another chair in the
- 4. Never engage in conversation while a person is singing. It is
an insult not only to the singer but to the company.
- 5. Always take off your hat when assisting a lady to or from a
- 6. If in a public place, you pass and re-pass persons of your
acquaintance, it is only necessary to salute them on the first
- 7. Do not wear anything that is so conspicuous
as to attract attention; and,
particularly, avoid the ruffian style.
- 8. Do not lose your temper. Particularly if [illustration - DIRECTIONS FOR LITTLE GENTLEMEN']
you are playing innocent games for amusement and happen
to lose; avoid the exhibition of anxiety or vexation at lack of
- 9. In all your associations, keep constantly in view the old
adage, "too much familiarity breeds contempt."
THE RIGHT TO PLAY.
The right to play is one of the divine rights of men and women, of boys
and girls, and is just as essential to the peace, happiness and
prosperity of the world as is the right to pray. Never be afraid or
ashamed, my young friends, of honest, Vigorous, healthy play. Dominoes,
lawn tennis, baseball, football, ping-pong, golf, foot-racing, leaping
and jumping, boxing and wrestling, pole-vaulting, punching the bag,
swinging dumb-bells or Indian clubs, and a hundred other things are
perfectly sane and wholesome amusements for old or young. To refrain
from all forms of amusements is just as destructive of happiness and
injurious to character as is the other extreme of indulging too freely
in pleasures and pastimes. Puritan austerity and unrestrained excess arc
alike to be condemned. But a certain amount of play—play of the right
kind and within proper limits—is a divine right of young people. Young
people must have fun and relaxation, and, if they do not find it in
their own homes, it will be sought in other and perhaps dangerous
For myself, I believe that anybody is an enemy to young people who
desires to repress and crush out the naturally buoyant spirits of
childhood and youth, and he is a benefactor of humanity who makes it a
part of his business to see that proper places of amusement are
provided for the young people. Aside from the physical advantages of
play, there are moral advantages also. A man who helps to keep his body
in good condition by regular exercise is, in that way, beyond a doubt,
adding to the number of his days; that is to say, he will live longer
than the man who doesn't play. But beyond and above that, he is a
happier man while he lives; he gets more joy and satisfaction out of
life than the other fellow. Sane and healthy play tends to blot out the
remembrance of cares and hardship ; it gives our minds something else to
think about. But young people must be careful not to become absorbed in
these things. I believe in play; I believe in pleasure, in fun. But when
I see young people, or old people for that matter, devoting all their
time to wheeling, foot-balling, card parties, the giddy whirl of the
dance, the bacchanalian hilarity of the dram shop, and so on, I am
forced to say that things which may be right when taken in moderation,
and as a relief from the overtaxing burdens of life, are wrong when they
become the chief object for which one lives.
A forsaken little kitten wandered up and down the street on the day
before Christmas. It had no home; it had no name; it had no ribbon
around its neck; and it had no saucer of nice milk in one corner.
It began to grow dark, and colder too, and the stars came peeping out,
and the first flakes of a real Christmas snowstorm began floating down
through the air. The kitten mewed a trembling little mew, which told as
plainly as it could that it was very hungry, and it fluffed out its fur
to keel) itself warm.
Now, somewhere along that street, up on top of a house (hiding behind a
chimney where he couldn't be seen), was Santa Claus, getting everything
in shape before starting on his evening round. When old Santa saw that
lonesome little kitten strolling around he smiled—yes, old Santa Claus
smiled. He smiled because he knew that two blocks up the street a little
girl was standing with her nose pressed against the window, looking out
into the deepening night.
He had seen her as he went by. And he had also seen the poor little
supper laid out for two on the table, and heard her say to her mother,
in a quavering voice:
"A whole day for fun, fireworks and noise to-morrow!" exclaimed
Frank, as he buttoned his white apron about him the day before the
Fourth of July. A great trout was thrown down on the counter by Ned
Tant, one of Frank's playmates.
"YOU HAVE FORGIVENESS, FRANK."
"Here's a royal trout, Frank. I caught it myself. You may have it for
ten cents. Just hand over the money, for I'm in a hurry to buy my
fire-crackers," said Ned hurriedly.
The deacon was out, but Frank had made purchases for him before, so the
dime spun across to Ned, who was off like a shot. Just then Mrs.
"I want a nice trout for my dinner tomorrow. This one will do; how
much is it?" she asked as she careful examined it.
"A quarter, ma'am," and the fish was transferred to the lady's
basket and the silver piece to the money drawer.
But here Frank paused.
He thought to himself: "Ten cents was very cheap for that fish. If I
tell the deacon it cost fifteen cents he'll be satisfied, and I
shall have five cents to invest iii firecrackers."
The deacon was pleased with Frank's bargain, and when the market was
closed each went his way for the night.
But the nickel buried in Frank's pocket burned like a coal. He could eat
no supper, and was cross and unhappy. At last he could stand it no
longer, but, walking rapidly, tapped at the door of Deacon Hepworth's
The old man was seated at a table, reading the Bible. Frank's heart
almost failed him, but he told the story and with tears of sorrow laid
the coin in the deacon's hand.
Turning over the leaves of the Bible, the old man read:
"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper,
out whoso confesseth and forsaketh them
shall have mercy."
"You have forgiveness, Frank," he said. "Now go home and
confess to the Lord, and remember you must forsake as well as
confess. Here, you may keep this coin as long as you live to remind
you of your first temptation."
A MONUMENT TO A BLACK MAN
In the city of Columbus, Georgia, there was erected in the year 1904 a
monument to the memory of a colored man named Bragg Smith. Mr. Smith
lost his life in the autumn of 1903 in an effort to save the life of the
city engineer of Columbus, who had been buried under an excavation in
the street. A large crowd of colored men
was at work digging deep trenches in which were to be placed pipes for
running water about the city. In some way the sides of the narrow trench
had not been properly supported by planks or otherwise, and by-and-by a
great stretch of dirt caved in. Unfortunately the city engineer, a white
man, was caught underneath the falling dirt. Bragg Smith did not stop to
say: "Oh it's a white man; let him die!" but at once jumped down
into the ditch and tried to pull the white man from under the heavy
dirt. It was while he was engaged this work that the dirt fell from both
sides a second time, and Bragg Smith, in his effort to save the life of
the white man, lost his own life. The Bible says: "Greater love hath
no man than this, that a man will lay down his life for a
The city council at its first regular meeting after the accident voted to
erect a suitable monument to the memory of Mr. Smith. The monument was
dedicated in April, 1904. The monument is of Vermont and Georgia
marbles, and bears on one side this inscription:
"Erected by the City of Columbus to mark the last resting place of
Bragg Smith, who died on September 30, 1903, in the heroic but
fruitless effort to save the life of the city engineer."
On the other side appears this quotation from Alexander Pope:
"Honor and fame from no conditions rise: Act well your part; there
all the honor lies."
THE BAD BOY - WHO HE IS.
My dear children, I am happy to say that all boys who are called bad boys
are not bad boys. There is quite a difference between a bad boy and a
merely mischievous boy. A boy is not necessarily bad because he makes
unearthly noises about the house, or now and then twists the cat's tail
just to hear her mew, or muddies his clothes in an effort to catch
crawfish. He is not bad just because he likes to "play fantastic" on the
fourth day of July. So many people complain of their boys being bad when
they are only mischievous—that is to say, when they are only full of
life. Some people think that a good boy is one that has a pale face and
looks sickly; one that wears a sanctimonious look and moves along
through the world as though he were afraid to put one foot in front of
the other. That isn't my kind of a boy. I do not think that kind of a
fellow is a boy at all—he is 'most a girl! A boy who never enjoys a romp
in the woods, who never climbs the apple tree before or after the apples
are ripe, who never plays ball, who will not shoot marbles, etc.—this
sort of a boy usually dies young, or he grows up to be a "male woman." I
mean by that, that he grows up to be a man who acts like a woman; and
that kind of man is hardly fit for anything.
But there are some bad boys, I am sorry, to say—really bad boys, bad in
heart and in deed. I have seen some on the chain gangs; I have seen some
hanging around the street corners—especially [illustration - PLAY FANTASTIC ON THE FORTH OF JULY.] on Sundays, with no clean clothes on; I have seen them
smoking cigarettes—and a cigarette is something which no manly boy will
use; I have seen them in saloons, drinking, playing pool and
playing cards; I have sometimes seen them
shooting dice in the street for money. There are probably one thousand
boys in the jails, reformatories and in the penitentiaries in the single
state of Georgia. To form anything like an adequate estimate of the
total number of bad boys in the South we must add to the above number
the boys imprisoned in the other states; and, also, that much larger
number who have never been imprisoned because they happen never to have
been arrested, or who have been arrested and have had their fines paid
in money; and, finally, we must add those who have already served their
time and arc again at large. So, you see, there are many thousands and
thousands of bad boys in the world, and they are very easily found. Are
you a bad boy or a good boy? Isn't it better to be a good boy than to be
a bad boy?
Almost anybody can make something out of a boy who is naturally good,
but it takes one of very Christlike power and patience to make anything
out of a really bad boy. Yet all boys may be re-claimed, reformed,
saved; at least so I believe. And the first step in making a good man
out of a bad boy has to do with the boy's body. The Holy
Bible tells us that our bodies are the temples—the dwelling
places—of the Holy Ghost, and every boy, and every teacher of every boy,
in the home or day school or Sunday school, should give more time and
attention to the body in order to make it a fit place for such a holy
being. It is as true now as of old that plenty of soap and water will
exert a wholesome influence in making bad boys good. Some one has said
that cleanliness is next to godliness, and somebody has added that soap
is a means of grace. A boy who is taught to bathe regularly and who is
taught to keep his clothing neat and clean at all times will in that way [illustration - THE BAD BOY]
learn the great lesson of
self-respect quicker than in any other way; and, in my judgment, the
shortest way to the purification of a boy's habits, a boy's morals, a
boy's character, is to teach him first to keel) his body pure. Keep it
pure not only by baths and clean clothes, but keep it pure and sweet by
keeping it free from whiskey and tobacco in every form. Exercise,
regular and systematic exercise, whether as work or play, will go a
great way towards keeping the body clean and healthy. Every boy is
mistaken, every parent is mistaken, who thinks that labor is unworthy,
or that any kind of honest work is degrading. The body needs to be kept
alive and vigorous by the frequent use of all its parts, and there is no
better way to keep the body vigorous than by doing some kind of
work-work that requires the use of the hands and legs and muscles, work
that stimulates the blood and makes it flow freely through the body.
Another step in the process of making a good man out of a bad boy has to
do with the mind. The body grows not alone by exercise, but the body
grows by what we put into it: time food we eat and the water we drink,
etc. We might say, I think, that the body grows on what it feeds on. It
is the same way with the mind: the mind grows on what it feeds on. If we
feed our minds on obscene pictures, on bad books, on vulgar stories,
told by our-selves or our associates, we cannot expect to have minds
that are keenly alive and active for good.
Our thoughts control us, boys and girls, whether we understand the
process by which they control or not. Our thoughts control us. If our
thoughts are pure and sweet and noble, we will be pure and sweet and
noble. If our thoughts are impure, vile and ignoble, we will be impure,
vile and ignoble. Our thoughts rule us. So every boy should guard well
his thoughts; every boy should guard well what he puts into his mind.
Every boy's mind feeds on what he puts into it, and every boy's mind
grows on what it feeds. It goes without saying, then, that a boy should
not read "blood and thunder" detective stories, stories about the "James
Brothers" and other outlaws and bandits; nor should a boy read filthy
so-called "love stories." All such literature should be shunned, as a
boy would shun deadly poison. A boy who desires to become a good man
should read only those things which will give him confidence in himself
that he can and may become a good man—good for the service of God and
the service of his fellow-men. Bad company must also be left behind If a
bad boy wants to become a good boy. Those boys who tell smutty jokes and
stories should not be allowed to associate with that boy whose eyes have
been opened and who wants to feed his mind on good and wholesome food.
Character, boys, in its last analysis depends chiefly on three things:
Heredity, environment and will. Now you cannot do much to change your
inherited tendencies—the tendencies you receive from mother and father
at birth, but you can do much in
offsetting, in overcoming these tendencies. You can also do much with
the aid of a generous and enlightened public to change your surroundings
if they happen to be bad. I confess that your mothers and fathers, your
teachers and pastors ought to do much more in this regard than you; but
if they will not exert themselves to get you out of evil surroundings,
then, as you value your own life and time and possibilities, by the help
of God, try to get out yourselves. The will is very largely influenced
by your surroundings. Hence you can see the importance of having good
books and good associates.
But whatever you do, boys, do not forget Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world. The highest part of your nature is
your spiritual nature, and, while you are building up the body and
building up the mind, do not for-get to build up your soul. If others
will not assist you in this greater matter you can help yourselves. The
Master said: "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid
THOMAS GREENE BETHUNE ("BLIND' TOM")
I suppose there is not a little colored girl or boy in America who has
not heard of the wonderful "Blind Tom," one of the greatest musicians of
the world. I wish that every boy and girl might have seen him and hoard
him give one of his remarkable performances with the piano. I had that
high favor and privilege myself. During his life on the stage, or for
more than forty years, "Blind Tom" was seen probably by more people in
the world than any one living being. His stage career was closed
somewhere in 1900. Everywhere, in this country and Europe, those who
observed him most closely, and attempted to understand him, pronounced
him a living miracle. unparalleled, incomprehensible, such as had not
been seen before in the world, and probably never would be seen
Thomas Greene Bethune, better known to the public as "Blind Tom," was
born within a few miles of the city of Columbus, Georgia, on the
twenty-fifth day of May, 1849. He was of pure negro blood, and was born
blind. He was little less than four years old when a piano was brought
to the house of his master, for he was
born a slave. As long as any one was playing he was contented to stay in
the yard and dance and caper to the music. Sometimes he was permitted to
indulge his curiosity by being allowed to run his fingers over the keys.
One night the parlor and piano had been left open. Before day the young
ladies of the family awoke and were astounded to hear Blind Tom playing
one of their pieces. The family gathered around him to witness and
wonder at his performance, which they said was marvellously strange.
Notwithstanding that this was his first known effort at a tune, he
played with both hands and used the black as well as the white keys.
Pretty soon he was allowed free access to the piano, and began to play
off-hand everything he ,heard. As young as he was, he soon mastered all
of that and began composing for himself. The record of his public life
is too long for me to give, but that Blind Tom was known and honored
around the world is known to everybody.
But feeling that every colored boy and girl should be justly proud of
Blind Tom's record, I will give some words from the book of Hon. James
M. Trotter, himself a colored man. His book is called "Music and Some
Highly Musical People." He says:
"Blind Tom is unquestionably the most wonderful musician the world
has ever known. He is an absolute master in the comprehension and
retention of all sound. You may sit down to the
pianoforte and strike any note or chord or dis- cord,
or a great number of them, and he will at once give their proper
names, and, taking your Place, reproduce them. Complete master of
the pianoforte keyboard, he calls to his melodious uses, with most
consummate ease, all of its re- sources that are known to skillful
performers, as well as constantly discovers and applies those that
are new. Under his magnetic touch this instrument may become, at his
will, a music box, a hand organ, a harp, or a bagpipe, a "Scotch
fiddle," a church organ, a guitar, or a banjo; it may imitate the
"stump speaker" as he delivers his glowing harangue; or, being
brought back to its legitimate tones, it may be made to sing two
melodies at once, while the performer, with his voice, de-livers a
third, all three in different time and keys, all in perfect tune and
time, and each one easily distinguishable from the other! He
remembers and Plays fully seven thousand pieces. Some persons, it is
true, have had the temerity to say that Blind Tom is an idiot. Out
with the idea! Who ever heard of an idiot possessing such power of
memory, such fineness of musical sensibility, such order, such
method, as he displays: Let us call him the embodiment of music. the
soul of music, and there let our investigations rest, for all else
is vain speculation. No one lives, or, so far as we know, has ever
lived. that can at all be compared with him."
NOT FIT TO KNOW.
Susan and Mamie and Lillian and Marjorie were always close friends. They
usually went together and played together and it was very unusual to see
one of them without the others. At school they always made it a rule to
lunch together and play together. One day at recess they were standing
in a little group all by themselves when Frances joined them.
"What are you talking about, girls?" asked Frances in cheerful
"I'm telling them a secret," said Susie, "and we will let you
know, too, Frances, if you'll promise not to tell any one."
"I'll promise you not to tell anybody but my mother," said
Frances,"for I have made it a rule to tell my mother
"No; you can't even tell your mother," answered Susie; "you
must not tell any one in the world."
[illustration - "FRANCES."]
"Well, then, I refuse to hear it," said Frances, as she walked
away, "for what I can't tell my mother is not fit for me to
Don't you think Frances was right, girls? I think so. As soon as little
boys and girls begin to listen to words and stories which they would be
ashamed to repeat to their mothers they are on the road to temptation,
and nobody can tell how soon they will reach the end, which is always
disgrace and death.
I wish all the boys and girls who will read this book would make the
reply of Frances their motto "What I cannot tell my mother is not fit
to know." Stick to this rule through thick and thin, and you
will avoid many- of the snares and Pitfalls by which many of your
companions and Playmates sink into shame and sin. Don't read a note that
you would be afraid to have your mother read. Don't look at a picture
that you would be ashamed to have your mother see. Don't 'Peak any word,
and don't allow any to be spoken to you, that you would not like to have
your mother hear. A girl's best friend is her mother. A boy's best
friend is his mother. And, boys and girls, be very sure that if a thing
isn't fit for your mothers to know it isn't fit for you to know.
Henry Oliphant always considered himself lucky whenever he was able to
get a ride on the street cars without paying for it, or get a glass of
soda water or be admitted to some public place, where an admission fee
was charged, without paying the price. He was bragging one day to some
of his boy friends that he had not paid anything to witness the school
exhibition the night before. Frank Sewall was brave enough to chide him
for having done so. Frank was a plain-spoken boy, and Henry didn't like
what Frank had said. He thought what he had done was all right, while
Frank had said that it was all wrong. Anyhow, Henry decided to get his
father's opinion on the matter.
"Father," he said, when night had come, "I got in the hall
last night for nothing."
"How was that?"
"I just walked by the doorkeeper and he didn't ask me for any
"Did the doorkeeper see you?"
"Well, father, that was his business; he was put there for that
purpose; he ought to have seen me."
"But I asked you, Henry, whether the door-keeper saw you. I want you
to answer that question."
"I don't know, sir."
"Do you think he saw you?"
"I don't know, sir."
"Well, Henry, if he had seen you, don't you think he would have asked
you for your money or a ticket?"
[illustration - "FATHER," HE SAID. WHEN NIGHT HAD COME, "I GOT IN THE - HALL LAST
NIGHT FOR NOTHING"]
"I guess so, father; but he didn't ask me for anything."
"Well, now, Henry, you know that a charge of ten cents was made at the
door, and that no one
had a right to enter who had not paid the ten
cents. You did go in without paying. Now, whether the doorkeeper saw you
or not, do you think that that was quite honest on your part? Was that
the right way for you to act?"
'"Well, I would have paid him if he asked me. I wasn't the
"I guess the man who stole our wood last week would have paid me if I
had seen him and asked him; but we called that stealing."
"But, father, I did not take anything from the doorkeeper."
"Who gave you the money with which to pay your admission?"
"Where is that money now?"
"I have it; but I didn't take it from the door-keeper."
"But you kept it from him, Henry. It belongs to the doorkeeper. He
gave you its value. My son, the right way is, whenever you buy
anything, whether it be a ride or a glass of soda water or
permission to see a concert, whenever you buy anything you ought to
pay for it. If you don't you are no better than a common robber. You
must go today and give Mr. Hall that ten cents."
KEEPING FRIENDSHIP IN REPAIR.
I sometimes think that boys and girls, and even old people, are often
careless in the matter of their friendships—not careless in the matter
of selecting friends, though I am sure there is room for improvement
along that line—but careless in trying to keep the good friendships we
have already formed. We ought to keep our friendships in repair.
Perhaps you think that our friendships are not things which need to be
kept in repair. How foolish it is to think so! Does a garden need to be
weeded? Does an old fence need to be kept in repair? Do we paint our
houses only once in a century? What about the musician-does he not need
to keep in practice? Supposing that you never kept your muscles in
repair by constant use or exercise-how long would you be strong or
healthy? And do you think that your friendships, because they are in a
way intangible-you cannot see them, handle them or taste them-do you
think that they grow and thrive of their own accord, and, therefore, do
not need to be kept in repair? Slights, snubs, angry words, unpleasant
conduct, long continued lack of association, long continued lack of
familiar intercourse, and coldness, even where the meetings are
[illustration - IS EVERYBODY HAPPY? SURE WE ARE.]
boys and girls, will kill the warmest friendship and choke
the tenderest love. So we ought to he careful to keep our friendships in
repair. If we had no friends in this world, no playmates and companions,
no kindred spirits into whose keenest sorrows and highest joys we
entered with deep and full sympathy, and who did not enter into our
sorrows and joys in the same way-if we had no friends in this world,
with all of its wealth and splendor, we should not desire to live very
much longer. But to have friends and to be friendly goes a long way
towards making the world a beautiful and blessed place to live in.
How, then, may we keep our friends? Easy enough—by cultivating them; and
we cannot keep [illustration - THE TWO PATHS]
them in any other way. We should
take time to be friendly. Little notes, little presents, little visits,
little social entertainments, little kindnesses-these things, and things
like them, go a great way in cementing our friendships, in tying people
to us, as it were, with hooks of steel. We should not neglect these
means of keeping our friendships in repair. Always give your friends a
cordial welcome in your homes, and at your little children's parties;
let them feel, make them feel, that their coming adds to your pleasure
without increasing your burdens. Don't be selfish and narrow; be
broad-minded and liberal. Keep your friendships in repair, and then see
if you do not find your horizon broadened, your life sweetened, and the
weary weight of this sad old world lightened.
LITTLE ANNIE'S CHRISTMAS.
Christmas morning came.
Daylight was just peeping into the room.
Poor little Annie, the cripple, awoke and turned her eyes towards the
corner where she had hung her stocking the night before.
Surely, she thought, as she watched it, there could not be very much in
it, because it didn't seem to be any larger than it was when she had
hung it up. After awhile she crept slowly to where it
She did not take her crutches, for fear she would disturb her mother, who
slept in the same bed with her. It was hard for her to move around [illustration - "SHE PUT OUT HER THIN LITTLE HAND AND FELT IT."] without her crutches, but she persevered and finally she
reached her stocking.
She put out her thin little hand and felt it. Yes. there was something in
it! Then she put her hand
inside and tool: out something which
seemed round and soft. She took it out and looked at it. It was a little
cake. Poor little Annie smiled, and put her hand back into the stocking.
This time she found something which was done up in paper. She opened the
paper and found a whole dozen of gumdrops. How brightly her little eyes
flashed! She was only six years old and she had never had so much candy
at one time in all her life.
By-and-by her mother awoke. She raised her head and saw Annie's happy
face. "Poor girl," she thought, "how happy I would have been
to have bought something else for her, but I wasn't able. I hope she
will be happy with what she has."
"See, mother," cried Annie, "I have twelve gumdrops and a cake.
We will eat half of the gumdrops today and save the other half for
to-morrow. You'll eat three and I will eat three."
"No, Annie," said her mother, "you must eat every one by
Annie smiled, but did not say anything.
Little Annie's mother was a widow, and she was very, very poor; there
were many times when they had only a little dry bread and water for the
day's food. For this bright Christmas season there were many things
besides food which she would like to have bought for her poor little
crippled child; but she did not have any money to pay for playthings or
After breakfast on this Christmas day Johnny
Ray came to see them. He brought with him a good thick
shawl for Annie's mother and four pairs of warm stockings which his
mother had sent for Annie, and, also, a large package of nice candy.
Little Annie's mother cried for joy.
Little Annie was too happy to speak. She had never dreamed of having so
much candy at one time!
THE VELOCIPEDE RACE.
One bright day Archibald mounted his velocipede and rode out into the
long green lane, where he could ride for along distance without
interruption. He had left his coat in the house because he knew that
riding would make him very warm.
When he reached the lane the velocipede moved along so smoothly that
Archibald was very happy. By the time he had gone nearly a half mile he
was tired and stopped for a rest.
Pretty soon he heard a noise coming from be-hind, and he wondered what
rider it might be on the same track that beautiful spring morning. He
looked up and saw John Smith coming, riding a large velocipede and going
as fast as he could.
Archibald quickly mounted his wheel and started on a swift run, trying to
overtake the fly-
[illustration - THE VELOCIPEDE RACE.]
flo.1922.2010.215.jpg ing John. Before
they reached the end of the road they saw Clara Hempton, standing by the
fence with her little velocipede. Clara watched the boys as they flitted
past. She thought that she could keep up with John, but she was not sure
that she could ride as fast as Archibald.
While she was meditating Archibald cried out: "Clara, you wait until
we finish this race, and then we three will go back
Archibald reached the end first, but John was not very far behind.
When Clara reached them Archibald said:
"Now we will all have a fair start and see who will reach the other
So they all started on a line. Archibald knew that he was the largest and
could go the fastest, but, as he had won the other race, he did not ride
this time as fast as he could. He thought this was the right way to give
the others a fair chance.
Clara and John reached the other end of the lane at exactly the same
time, with Archibald a short distance behind them.
John and Clara were greatly delighted because they had won the race from
the big boy, Archibald. Archibald was pleased because they were pleased.
This was not the only time that Archibald had proved that he was a good
and kind boy, and that he was thoughtful of little children younger than
From this little story of the velocipede race many other little boys and
girls may learn a good lesson, I hope, that will do them good all
Faults are the easiest things to find in all this world. A fault is
something that can be found without looking for it. And I guess no
little boy or girl in all the world knows anything that is
easier to find than something that he or she
doesn't have to look for. Well, faults are things that we can find
without looking for them; so faults are the easiest things to find in
all the world. Yet, boys and girls, the habit of fault- finding, or the
habit of finding fault, is one of the worst habits that anybody could
form. It stamps the person who is so easy to find fault with every-
thing and everybody as be- ing a mean, low, envious, evil-hearted
person. It is better to look for some- thing to praise, than it is to
look for something to blame. Yet there are some people who are so
constituted that they do not see any good in any- thing. When it is
cold, it is too cold. When it is hot, it is too hot. They don't like
"vici kid" shoes; they want patent leathers. The singing at church or
Sunday school last Sunday was just horrid. Old Mary Jones ought to be
taken out of the choir. The preacher preaches too long, or the deacon
prays too loud. The school teacher isn't any good. So they go on from [illustration - FRAGILE FINDINGS]
day to day, finding fault with everything and everybody.
Nothing pleases them; nothing de-lights them. If by any chance or
mischance they should get to heaven they would, I believe, find fault
with the way the Lord has arranged things up there. They are miserable
people to have around-these good-for-nothing, lazy and trifling
fault-finders. If you try real hard, boys and girls, you can find
something good in everything and in everybody. That is one reason why we
do not always see the good in people or things-we don't look for it. We
can find out what is bad can find out the bad things without looking for
them, but if we want to see the good things we must be on the lookout
for them. If we are on the lookout-if we make up our minds that we are
going to see the good, and only the good, we are always sure to find
There was an old woman once who was noted for being able to say something
good about every-thing and everybody. She was never heard to speak evil
of anything or anybody. Once upon a time a gambler died in the city
where she lived. He was a miserable sinner, and nobody liked him and
nobody had a good word to say for him, even after lie was dead. Aunt
Maria, the good old lady, went to see him after he had been put into his
coffin. The people who were present wondered what good thing Aunt Maria
could possibly say about the dead sinner. Aunt Maria entered the room
walked around on tiptoe. After awhile she raised
her head and said:
"Friends, I tell you, he makes a mighty nice looking corpse."
Wistfully down the street she strolled,
From side to side her eyes she rolled,
Till far away her eyes she cast
On the grateful form of a man at last.
She smoothed her hair and she quickened her pace,
Hoping she'd meet him face to face;
But when she reached him she felt awful sore:
'Twas a figure of wax in front of a store!
In the olden times parents used to rule their children, but in these days
and times there are many people who believe that the children rule their
parents. So many misguided parents in these days and times believe in
sparing the rod and spoiling the child. Boys don't get many whippings at
home nowadays, and if a boy happens to get a good flogging at school it
will cause a big row, and sometimes cause the teacher to be threatened
with arrest. Whenever my teacher used to whip me I was always afraid to
mention it at home for fear of getting another. I heard a man say the
other day: "Never whip a child; raise your boy
[illustration - I JUST WISH I COULD HAVE MY WAY WITH THOSE BOYS FOR ABOUT Two
on love and kindness and reason!" Yes; and when
that boy is twelve or thirteen years old somebody will have to go to him
and talk to him and try to persuade him not to whip his father or
I was at church the other day and I saw two boys about ten or eleven
years old. After service they lit their cigarettes and went marching off
as big as Trip. A man of the old school looked
at them for awhile, and then, turning away, he said:
"I just wish I could have my way with those boys for about two
I didn't say anything, but deep down in my heart I sympathized with the
old man, and felt that both of time youngsters ought to have had a good
Some girls are almost as bad as some boys. Girls are most too fast in
these days. As soon as they get their dresses to their shoetops they are
gone. They go crazy over their clothes, for they think that they must
keep in the fashion. They read too much trash, for they think that is
the way refined and cultured people do. Old-fashioned modesty is at a
discount. The girls don't wait for the boys to come now-that is, many of
them don't; they go after them. I have seen some girls running around in
these new-fashioned night gowns, and they call it a Mother Hubbard
party. If their mothers don't allow them to go with the boys they will
slip around and meet them some-where anyhow. And where they are allowed
to go with the boys they generally go to extremes. What business has a
little girl-ten or twelve or fourteen years old-to be locked-arms with a
little stripling of a boy, going home at night from church or some
social entertainment. It always disgusts me whenever I see it. Worse
than a mannish boy is a womanish girl. What business has a little girl,
or a larger one, to allow
a man to throw his arm around her waist in the round dance?
It is immodest, to say the least, and there is not a good mother in the
land who approves it. A girl who goes to a promiscuous ball and waltzes
around with promiscuous fellows puts herself in a promiscuous fix to be
talked about by the dudes and rakes and fast young fellows who have
encircled her waist. Slander is very common, 1 know, especially slander
of young ladies; there are not many young ladies who escape it; but the
trouble about it is that it is not all slander-some of it is the
In the olden times when folks got married they stayed married, but
nowadays the courts are full of divorce cases. The land is spotted with
what are called "grass widows," and in many a house-hold there is hidden
grief over a daughter's shame. Why is it? What causes it? Lack of proper
training and care of the young. Habits are great things -good habits or
had habits. If girls are reared to clean their teeth and keep their
fingernails clean they will keel) them clean all their lives. If boys
are reared to chew tobacco and smoke they will never quit. The same
about loving and courting and getting married. Much depends upon
training, upon habits. Young flirts make old flirts. Young devils make
BENJAMIN BANNEKER, THE NEGRO ASTRONOMER.
The little colored boys and girls of America should be proud to know, as
I suppose the little white boys and girls will be surprised to learn,
that the first clock of which every portion was made in America was made
by a colored man.
The colored children will also be glad to know, I think, that among the
earliest almanacs pre-pared for general use in this country were those
which were published for several years by this same colored man. His
name was Benjamin Banneker. I have found a good and true account of this
wonderful man in The Atlantic Monthly for January, 1863. I am going to
give a good portion of that account in this book, because I believe
every colored person in America should be acquainted with that man's
history. The account says:
"Benjamin Banneker was born in Baltimore County, Maryland, near the
village of Ellicott's Mills, in the year 1732. There was not a drop
of white man's blood in his veins. His father was born in Africa,
and his mother's parents were both natives of Africa. What genius he
had, then, must be credited to that race. When he was approaching
manhood he went, in the intervals of
toil, to an obscure and remote country school. At this
school Benjamin acquired a knowledge of reading and writing, and
advanced in arithmetic as far as `Double position.' Beyond these
rudiments he was his own teacher. Young Banneker had no books at
all, but in the midst of labor for a living he so improved upon what
he had gained in arithmetic that his intelligence became a mat-ter
of general observation. He was such an acute observer of the natural
world and had so diligently observed the signs of the times in
society that it is very doubtful whether at forty years of age this
African had his superior in Maryland.
"Perhaps the first wonder amongst his comparatively illiterate
neighbors was excited, when, about the thirtieth year of his age,
Benjamin made a clock. It is probable that this was the first clock
of which every portion was made in America; it is certain that it
was purely his own invention as if none had ever been made before.
Ile had seen a watch, but never a clock, such an article not being
within fifty miles of him. He used the watch as a model for his
clock. lie was a long time at work on the clock,-his chief
difficulty, as he used often to relate, being to make the hour,
minute, and second hands correspond in their motion. But at last the
work was completed, and raised the admiration for Banneker to quite
a high pitch among his few neighbors.
"The making of the clock proved to be of great importance in
assisting the young man to fulfill
his destiny. It attracted the
attention of the Ellicott family, who had just begun a settlement at
Ellicott's Mills. They were well-educated men, with much mechanical
knowledge, and some of them Quakers. They sought out the ingenious
negro, and lie could not have fallen into better hands. In 1787 Mr.
George Ellicott gave him Mayer's 'fables," Ferguson's "Astronomy,"
and Leadbetter's "Lunar Tables." From this time astronomy because
the great object of Banneker's life, and in its study lie almost
disappeared from the sight of his neighbors. He slept much (luring
the day, that he might the more devotedly observe at night the
heavenly bodies whose laws he was slowly, but surely, mastering.
"Very soon after the possession of the books already mentioned,
Banneker determined to com-pile an almanac, that being the most
familiar use that occurred to him of the information lie had
acquired. To make an almanac then was a very different thing from
what it would be now, when there is an abundance of accurate tables
and rules. Banneker had no aid whatever from men or rules; and Mr.
George Ellicott, who procured some tables and took them to him,
states that he had already advanced very far in the preparation of
the Iogaritlnns necessary for the purpose.
"The first almanac prepared by Banneker for publication was for the
year 1792. By this time his acquirements had become generally known,
and among those who were attracted by them was
Mr. James McHenry. Mr. McHenry wrote to Goddard and
Angell, then the almanac-publishers of Baltimore, and procured the
publication of this work, which contained from the pen of Mr.
Mc-Henry, a brief notice of Banneker. When his first almanac was
published, Banneker was fifty-nine years old, and had received
tokens of respect from all the scientific men of the country. Among
others, Thomas Jefferson, then Secretary of State under George
Washington, wrote him a most flattering and complimentary letter. In
his letter Jefferson said, `Nobody wishes more than I do to see such
proofs as you exhibit, that Nature has given to our black brethren
talents equal to those of other colors of men, and that the
appearance of a want of them is owing only to the degraded condition
of their existence both in Africa and America.'
"Banneker continued to calculate and publish almanacs until 1802.
"Mr. Benjamin H. Ellicott, who was a true friend of Banneker, and
collected from various sources all the facts concerning him, wrote
in a let-ter as follows: 'During the whole of his long life he lived
respectably and much esteemed by all who became acquainted with him,
but more especially by those who could fully appreciate his genius
and the extent of his acquirements.'
"Banneker's head was covered with a thick mass of white hair, which
gave him a very dignified and venerable appearance. His dress was
in-variably of superfine drab broadcloth, made in
the old style of a plain coat, with
straight collar and long waistcoat, and a broad-brimmed hat. His
color was not jet black, but decidedly negro. In size and personal
appearance, the statue of Franklin at the library in Philadelphia,
as seen from the street, is a perfect likeness of him.
"Banneker died in the year 1804, beloved and respected by all who
knew him. Though no monument marks the spot where he was born and
lived a true and high life, and was buried, yet history must record
that the most original scientific intellect which the South has yet
produced was that of the pure African, Benjamin Banneker."
The above is the story of that wonderful black man told in splendid terms
of high and well-deserved praise by a white man. Every little black boy
in America may well be fired with inspiration to do something beyond the
ordinary by reading the story of Banneker's life.
"A LITTLE CHILD SHALL LEAD THEM."
It is truly astonishing what a boy can do when once 1)e has made up his
mind to do his best. Dr. Len. G. Broughton, the famous pastor of the
Tabernacle Baptist church, Atlanta, Ga., in a little book, which he
calls "The Modern Prodigal," has told a very pathetic story about a
little boy. It is
so true to life, and so typical of what a black or white
boy may do under similar circumstances, if he only decides for the true
and the right, that I have decided to reproduce the little story in this
book. It is well worth reading. Dr. Broughton says:
"Not long after I entered the ministry, I went to a certain town to
hold a series of meetings. It was one of these good old Southern
towns, the in-habitants of which banked on aristocracy and fed their
souls upon the glory of departed days. They had never known what it
was to be spiritually warm. The first night I was there I preached
to a great audience. It was in my early ministry, when I made many
propositions. The first one I made that night was for any one to
stand who wanted prayers offered for their friends. As soon as I
made it a little boy got up and walked out in the aisle, where he
stood looking me square in the face. I said, `God bless you, little
man,' and he sat down. I then asked any one who wanted the prayers
of God's people to rise. That boy got out in the aisle again and
looked me in the face, and again I said, `God bless you.' I asked if
there was anybody present who was willing to accept Jesus. That boy
stood up again and looked me in the face, and again I said, `God
bless you.' Nobody else stood up that night, and I began to think I
had struck about the hardest and coldest crowd I had ever run up
"The next night I preached as hard as I knew
how to sinners, and when
I finished, I asked any-body who wanted to be prayed for to stand
up. The same little rascal popped out into the aisle, as he had done
the night before, and stood looking at me until I saw him and said,
`God bless you.' I thought I'd vary the thing a little, so I asked
if anybody present was willing to come forward and give me his hand
as an indication that he would accept Jesus. That same boy came
shuffling out of his seat, straight down the aisle and gave me his
hand. I saw smiles on the faces of some in the congregation. Nobody
but the boy showed any interest, and I went off somewhat
disheartened. The third night I preached, and when I asked all who
wanted prayer to rise, that boy popped out into the aisle. The
people had begun to regard it as a joke, and they nudged each other
with their elbows, while a broad smile flared from one side of the
house to the other. When I asked anybody who was willing to accept
.Jesus to come and give me his hand, that boy came, and the
congregation smiled broader than before. After the meeting the
deacons came to me and told me that the boy must be stopped, as he
was a half-idiot, and was throwing a damper on the meeting. I said:
'Stop nothing! How are you going to throw a damper on an
For the whole of that week that boy was the only person in the house who
showed any interest in the meeting. Then he wanted to join the church.
The pastor was absent, and I was to open
the doors of the church. The deacons came to me and said I
must not receive that boy, as he didn't have sense enough to join the
church. I said: `Look here, brethren, I won't take this
responsibility on my hands. I'm going to put that boy on you, and if
you choose to reject him, his blood he upon your hands.' At the
conclusion of the morning service, I invited all who wanted to unite
with the church to come forward. That boy came. I asked him if he had
accepted Christ for his personal Saviour. That's all I ever ask. He said
he had. `Brethren,' I said, `you hear what this boy has to
say. What will you do with him?' An ominous silence fell on the
congregation. After a time, from 'way back by the door, I heard a
muffled and rather surly, `I move he be received.' Another
painful silence followed, and then, from the middle of the church, I
heard a muffled, `I second the motion.' When I put the motion,
about a half dozen members voted `aye' in a tone so low that it seemed
as if they were seared. I gave the boy the right hand of Christian
welcome awaiting baptism, and then dismissed the congregation.
"The next day the boy went out to see his old grandfather, a man
whose whitened head was blossoming for the grave, and whose feet
were taking hold upon the shifting sands of eternity.
'Grand-father,' said he, `won't you go to church with me to-night
and hear that preacher?' We always feel kindly towards those who are
afflicted, you know,
and are willing to please
them; so the old man agreed to go.
"That night I saw the boy and the old man sitting away back by the
door. When the sermon was finished, one of the members of the church
arose and said: `I have a request to make. We have with us tonight,
Mr. Blank, one of our oldest and most respected citizens, but he is
out of Christ. I want special prayer offered for this my special
friend.' With that he laid his hand upon the head of the old man,
down whose furrowed cheeks the tears were streaming. The next night
I saw the old man sitting about half-way down the aisle. When all
who wanted to accept Jesus were invited to come forward and give me
their hands, I saw the half-idiot boy coning down the aisle leading
the old man by the hand.
"That little boy's father kept a saloon. The following day the child
went there, and climbing up over the high counter, he peeped down
upon his father and said: `Papa, won't you go to church with me
to-night to hear that preacher?' `You get out of here, child,' said
the father; `go out of here; don't you know you mustn't come in
here?' Strange, strange, how fathers will keep places where their
children cannot go! `But, papa,' continued the boy, `won't you go to
church with me to-night?' `Yes; I'll go, but you get out of
"That night the man came with the half-idiot boy, and sat about where
the old man had sat the night before. When I asked all who would
Jesus to come forward, he walked down the aisle and
gave me his hand. He asked if he could make a statement, and when I
said 'Yes,' he faced the congregation and said: 'My friends, you all
know me, and I want to say that so long as I live I will never sell
another drop of whiskey, for I have given my heart to God to-night,
and from this day forward I propose to serve him.'
"The meeting warmed up at last, the town was set on fire for God.
Every saloon keeper was converted and every saloon was closed. The
feeling spread and a saloon seven miles in the country was closed
and the keeper was converted to God.
"At the close of the meeting I sat on the front seat and saw the
pastor lead three generations into the baptismal waters, the old man
in front, his son behind him, and last in line the little half-idiot
boy. The only mistake that was made, to my mind, was that the boy
who had led the others to Christ should not have been first in line.
Where is the little half-idiot boy now? He has grown much brighter
within the last few years, and is now going to school. He says he
wants to be and will be a missionary.
"What a lesson for the young to-day. Persistent self-surrender, ever
doing the best we can, is a never failing way that leads to
DIRECTIONS FOR LITTLE LADIES
- 1. A little lady always says, "I thank you" whenever anybody
assists her in any way, and always says, "If you please," whenever
she makes any kind of request.
- 2. A little lady is never loud and boisterous on the streets, in
public places, or at home. Some-times girls are so rough that they
are called "Tom-Boys." No Tom-Boy ever was a true little
- 3. A true little lady will always see that her linen is clean and
spotless -collars and cuffs, aprons and dresses, handkerchiefs, and
all articles of clothing. Every true little lady hates dirt.
- 4. A little lady will not be guilty of idle gossip. She will not
tattle; will not go around hunting all the evil things that are said
or known about other little ladies. She closes her ears tight
against the slanderers of the town.
- 5. A little lady will love the Sunday-school and the church. She
will love the society of good people and the society of good books.
She will have higher notions of life than that life is some-thing to
be spent in a merry round of pleasure.
- 6. A true little lady loves her mother, and she will show that she
loves her mother in various ways. She will help her about the
She will be fond of going out in company with her
mother often. She will not think that anybody else's mother is or
can he better than her own mother.
[illustration - DIRECTIONS FOR LITTLE GIRLS]
- 7. Every true little lady will be a Christian. She will early give
herself to Jesus. She will de-
light to help the poor; to
visit the sick, carrying the cheer and comfort and something good to
eat and flowers and many other things. She will love everybody. Do
THREE WORDS TO YOUNG PEOPLE.
The first word is, Be true. The second word is, Be trustworthy. The third
word is, Dare to do right.
First : Be true! Be what you seem to be or what you pretend to be; do not
be a hypocrite; be firm and steady in adhering to friends, promises or
principles. Be a true boy; be a true girl.
Secondly: Be trustworthy! Be worthy of trust; be reliable; make your word
your bond. Conduct yourself in such a way that people can depend on
Thirdly: Dare to do right! Whatever comes or doesn't come, stand by what
you believe to be right, even if you have to stand alone. Be honest,
upright, faithful, sincere, abhor that which is evil, cleave to that
which is good.
True boys and girls are scarce; they are not easily found; they do not
grow on trees. But, to tell you the truth, we need good boys and girls,
true boys and girls, much more than we do edu-
cated boys and girls. All education without character is a
Let me give you one or two reasons why you should be true, trustworthy,
and brave for the right. In the first place, for the sake of your
influence. Every boy and girl in this world has some influence. Every
boy in this world, white or black, rich or poor, high or low, is helping
his friends and playmates to grow better or worse, higher or lower in
the scale of being. Every girl in this world is likewise helping or
hindering others. If we are harsh and unkind, cruel and unjust-in every
wrong, every baseness, meanness, selfishness, we are harming not
ourselves alone but the whole great family of man. On the other hand,
when we speak fearlessly a brave, true word, when we perform cheerfully
a hard and trying task, whenever we are faithful, honest, ear-nest,
patient, pure, trustworthy, whether we know it or not, we are
strengthening the unseen impulses which make for nobility and higher
man-hood and womanhood throughout the world. In the economy of God, by
his infinite wisdom, the humblest life reaches forward to the highest
and the highest life reaches backward to the lowest.
But perhaps you are saying that I am taking too much for granted. Perhaps
you think that it is not true that there is not one of the very least of
the great human family who is not every day exercising some personal
influence for good or evil upon the world. If you think so, boys and
or older people, you are mistaken.
No human being can escape from the world's atmosphere. Though you fly to
the uttermost parts of the sea or hide in the depths of the dense city,
some life is affected by your life. Not only some life is affected by
your life, but many lives are affected by your life. It is a thought of
this kind that Charles Dickens beautifully expresses in his story called
"David Copperfield." He says:
"There is nothing-no, nothing-beautiful and good that dies and is
forgotten. An infant, a prattling child, dying in his cradle, will
live again in the better thoughts of those who loved it, and plays
its part, though its body be burned to ashes or drowned in the
deepest sea. There is not an angel added to the hosts of heaven but
does its blessed work on earth in those who loved it here. Dead! Oh,
if the good deeds of human creatures could be traced to their
source, how beautiful would even death appear. For how much charity,
mercy, and purified affection would be seen to have their growth in
No, children, it is no idle dream, no fancy story that I tell when I say
that the humblest member of the human family, as well as the highest, is
exercising daily, whether he is conscious of it or not, some influence
for good or evil upon the world. Viewed in this light who can measure
the possibilities-the divine possibilities-that are wrapped up in little
boys and girls? Viewed in this light, how the slightest action, the
our little duties, takes on new importance! It was with
this thought in mind that James A. Garfield said: "I feel a profounder
reverence for a boy than a man. I never meet a ragged boy on the street
without feeling that I owe him a salute, for I know not what
possibilities may be buttoned up under his shabby coat." Yes, boys and
girls, by every brave and cheerful effort that we put forth we are
reforming, uplifting, renewing, inspiring, hearts and souls we never
heard of, never knew, the whole world becoming stronger for every bit of
moral courage we create, sweeter for every kindly look we give, and
holier for every good deed we do. And, of course, the contrary is true.
When we fail, when we come short, when we sin, the consequences are not
ours alone-they extend to all humanity. We are all, white and black,
rich and poor, old and young, male and female, children of one family.
Just as the quivering circles from a pebble thrown into a lake stretch
on and on from shore to shore, so the silent impulse of a single life
thrills from heart to heart until the very edges of humanity are
There is another reason still why we should be true, trustworthy, brave.
That reason is that somebody else takes us as his ideal-his standard.
Poor as we are, weak as we are, as unworthy as we are, somebody else is
looking up to us-especially those of us who have been favored with
educational advantages and opportunities. And you know that the failure
of one who is invested
in another's mind with ideal
qualities is a failure beyond the actual. That is one reason why people
say that, as a rule, a preacher's children are the worst children in the
world. As a matter of fact, they are not the worst children in the
world; but, being the children of preachers, everybody expects more of
them than of others,-they are taken as ideals, as standards-that's all.
And what might be excused in others will not be excused in one who is
taken as an ideal. Nathaniel Hawthorne, one of America's greatest
writers, in speaking of this truth says in his story called "The Marble
"The character of an individual beloved one having invested itself
with all the attributes of right-that one friend being to us the
symbol and representative of whatever is good and true,-when he
falls, the effect is almost as if the sky fell with him, bringing
down in chaotic ruin the columns that upheld our faith. We struggle
forth again, no doubt bruised and bewildered. We stare wildly about
us, and discover-or it may be we never make the discovery-that it
was not actually the sky that has tumbled down but merely a frail
structure of our own rearing, which never rose higher than the
housetops, and has fallen because we founded it on nothing. But the
crash, and the affright and trouble are as overwhelming, for the
time, as if the catastrophe involved the whole moral world.
Remembering these things, let them suggest one generous motive for
walking heedfully amid the defilement of earthly ways. Let
us reflect that the highest path is pointed out by the
pure ideal of those who look up to us, and who, if we tread less
loftily, may never look so high again."
Now, I have said my three words. You see they have stretched themselves
out to a great length, but I hope the boys and girls who read this book
may profit by them. Strive to be true, strive to be trustworthy, strive
to be brave. In the long run the prizes of this world, and of that which
is to come, are won by boys and girls of strong moral character, not by
those who are merely learned or rich. But, of course, I believe in
education and I believe in money. I think you ought to strive to obtain
both-both are useful, and both are necessary; but, with all your
getting, boys and girls, be sure to get those things which will reach
beyond this world and which will count for more than money or good looks
or education or any such thing when the world is on fire, when the moon
shall be turned into blood, when the trumpet sounds, and all must go to
stand before the Great King to give an account of the deeds done in the
"A LAMP UNTO MY FEET."
Once upon a time, so it is said, a little ragged boy was carefully
printing these words with a stick upon the ground, "Thy word is a
lamp unto my feet."
On looking up from his work, the little fellow was surprised to find a
kind-looking old man watching him.
"Where did you learn that, my boy?" asked the man.
"At Sunday-school, sir."
"What's your name?"
"So, Crawford, you learned that text at Sunday-school. Do you know
what it means?"
"What is a lamp"
"A lamp? Why, sir, a lamp is a thing that gives light!"
"That's correct. Well, what is the word that the text speaks of?"
"The Bible, sir."
"That's right. Now, how can the Bible be a lamp and give light?"
"I don't know," said the boy, "unless you light it and set it
"There's a better way than that, my lad.
pose you were going down some lonely lane on a dark
night with an unlighted lantern in your hand, and a box of matches
in your pocket, what would you do?"
"Why, I'd light the lantern."
[illustration - "A LAMP UNTO MY FEET."]
"Why would you light it!"
"To show me the road, sir
"Very well. Now suppose you were walking behind me some day, and saw
me drop a quarter; what would you do?"
"Pick it up and give it to you, sir."
"Wouldn't you want to keep it yourself?" Crawford hesitated; but
he saw a smile on the
old gentleman's face, and, smiling
himself, he finally said:
"I should want to, sir; but I shouldn't do it."
"Because it would be stealing."
"How do you know?"
"It would be taking what wasn't my own, and the Bible says we are not
"Ah!" said the old man, "so it's the Bible that makes you
honest, is it?"
"If you had not heard of the Bible you would steal, I suppose?"
"Lots of boys do," said Crawford, hanging his head.
"The Bible, then," continued the old man, "shows you the right
and safe path-the path of honesty, does it?"
"Like the lamp!" exclaimed Crawford, seeing now what all the old
man's questions meant. "Is that what the text means?"
"Yes, my boy," the man answered, "there is always light in the
Bible to show us where to go and what to do. Don't you think it
would be a good thing to take the Bible, the good old lamp, and let
it light you right through life?"
"Do you think you will be safer with it?"
"Because if I'm honest I will never go to prison."
"And what else?" asked the man.
Crawford thought awhile. By-and-by he said,-"If I mind the Bible I
shall go to heaven when I die."
"Yes, and that's the best reason for taking the lamp. It will light
you right into heaven."
There are three brigades, or three little companies, which I think might
to be organized among the boys and girls in every Sunday-school in
America. Can't you form them in your Sunday-school? It is a very simple
matter. It will not cost any money: only a little time and fore-thought,
and a will to do. One brigade is called the Rainy-Weather Brigade, and
all the little boys and girls who join this company pledge them-selves
to go to Sunday-school every Sunday, when they are not sick, even if it
is raining. The second brigade is called the Front Seat Brigade, and all
the members of this company pledge themselves to occupy front seats in
the Sunday school during the opening exercises before they pass to their
classes. The third brigade is called the On-Timers' Brigade, and the
children in this brigade pledge
themselves to be present on time at the opening
You can see at once how helpful these little brigades are in every Sunday
school (where they exist) to the officers and teachers. Some children [illustration - MEMBERS OF THE RAINY-WEATHER BRIGADE.] will not go to Sunday school when it is raining or when it
threatens to rain; some will not go for-ward and occupy front seats when
they do go; and there are others who are always tardy. What a blessing
it would be if all the little children would organize these brigades at
once in their schools, and try to get every scholar to join each one of
"HOME, SWEET HOME."
Go with me, boys and girls, to the gay streets and gilded saloons of the
great city of Paris far across the sea. Here is said to be the centre of
all the world's follies and pleasures. It is at night.
An American, who has left his home and native land to view the splendors
of the wicked city, is passing along the street. He has beheld with
de-light its paintings, its sculpture, and the grand and graceful
proportions of its buildings. In the midst of his keenest happiness,
when he was rejoicing most over the privileges which he possessed,
temptation assailed him. Sin was presented to him in one of its most
bewitching garbs, and he yielded to the voice of the siren. He drank
wildly and deeply of the intoxicating cup, and his draught brought
madness. Reason was overthrown and he rushed out, all his scruples
overcome, care-less of what he did or how deeply he became immersed in
the hitherto unknown sea of guilt.
The cool night air settled damp and heavy upon his heated brow. Walking
on and on, not knowing or caring where he went, by-and-by strains of
music from 'a distance met his ear. Pretty soon, following in the
direction from which the sounds came, he was able to distinguish the
words and air of the piece. The song was well remembered. It
[illustration - HOME, SWEET HOME.]
was "Home, Sweet Home." Clear and sweet the
voice of some singer, using his native tongue, rose and fell on the air;
and the poor wild man stopped and listened to the soft cadences of that
Motionless he stood until the last note floated away, and he could hear
nothing but the ceaseless murmur of the great city. Then he turned away
slowly, with no feeling that his manhood was
shamed by the tear which fell as a bright evidence of the
power of song, and also as an evidence that be, the guilty sinner, was
not yet absolutely lost beyond recall.
The demon of the wine cup had fled, and reason once more asserted her
right to control. As the soft strains of "Home, Sweet Home" had floated
to his ear, memory brought up before him the picture of his own "sweet
home." He saw his gentle mother and heard her speak, while honest pride
beamed from her eye; she seemed to speak again of her son, in whose
nobleness and honor she could always trust. His heart smote him as be
thought how little he deserved such confidence. He remembered her last
words of love and counsel, and the tearful farewell of all those dear
ones who gladdened that far-away home with their presence. The tide of
remorse swept over his soul as he thought of what the sorrow of those at
home would have been could they have seen him but an hour before.
Subdued and penitent he retraced his steps, and with his vow never to
taste of the terrible stuff that could so excite him to madness there
was mingled a deep sense of thankfulness for his escape from further
degradation. The influence of home had protected and shielded him,
although the sea rolled between.
How strong such memories are to prevent the commission of crime! How
powerful is the spell of home! How important, then, is it to make home
pleasant and lovable! Many a time a cheerful
home and smiling face will do more to make
good men and good women than all the learning and eloquence that can be
used. It has been said that the sweetest words in our language are
"Mother, Home and Heaven"; and one might almost say that the word "Home"
included the others. Who can think of home without remembering the
gentle mother who sanctified it by her presence? And is not "Home" the
dearest name for heaven? Oh, then, may our homes on earth be as green
spots in the desert, to which we can retire when weary of the cares of
life and drink the clear waters of a love which we know to be sincere
and always unfailing.
"Mid pleasures and palaces
Though far we may roam,
Be it ever so humble
There's no place like Home."
LITTLE SOLDIER Boys.
[illustration - EACH ONE OF US OF IMPORTANCE]
Never think yourself, whoever you are, of small importance. Never think
that it is of little account whether you are good or bad, or what your
example is to others. Each mere particle of dust, every tiny grain of
sand, the minutest atom, is an active agent in the whole universe. So
each one of us is of importance in our sphere, however isolated and
insignificant that sphere may appear to be.
A few particles of dust in a watch will stop its motion; small barnacles
on a ship's bottom will hinder its journey; and a little shifting sand
in the great river will change its current. So, little boys and girls
exercise their influence for weal or woe upon the world. Don't you
believe for once that the world is moved only by the great forces, the
great men and the great enterprises. Little folks and little things
likewise help to move the world along. Great generals are necessary; but
what would they be without the soldiers behind them?
Every boy has his part to do in the great work
of the world, and every girl has her
part to do. Every boy and girl is of importance; how important nobody
knows, and perhaps never shall know until eternity reveals it. There
ought to be in this truth great encouragement and great comfort to all
who think that they are insignificant and have no work to do in this
busy world. Perhaps in the distant future many a man who estimated
himself great shall be found to have been insignificant, because of
unfaithfulness to his trust; and many another man who perhaps thought
himself of little worth will find himself glorified because he did what
THE POETRY OF LIFE
Poetry is more than verse-making, m o r e than the jingle of words, more
than tile sing-song of meter.
Sunshine and flowers, brightness and joyousness, the harmonies of the
passions and the inspiration of love-these are the poetry of life.
Without poetry, life is a tread-mill; a veil of tears; a dreary waste.
Even religion is only a crucifixion-a death to sin-if we have not the
resurrection into the new life of joy.
Many of us make hard work of life by bending our backs too much. We get
dirt in our eyes by keeping them too near the dust, and we get
narrow-minded and selfish by our narrow radius of vision.
To become truly rich we must stand in the dignity of our manhood; walk in
the integrity of our calling; and run in the rhythm of a poetic nature.
Out of harmony is out of sphere. The dignity, integrity and poetry of
life are all lost by inharmony; only the ashes of disappointment are
left; but with these we can dance at our work, and turn irksome duties
into joyous privileges. Instead of moping in the valley of the shadow of
death, we may live in the sunshine, where beautiful flowers and luscious
fruits and delicious sweets grow.
Yes; yes; we might as well live in light as in darkness; make life a
joyful song as a funeral dirge; live amid glory as shame. With a radiant
countenance, a beaming eye, and a loving hand, we can do more work and
have more to do; we can get more out of life and have more life to
enjoy; we can scatter more sunshine and have more left for
Christ came to bring to every toiler, heaven. Let us get into it quickly.
It is here-and here only-that we find the poetry of life.
ON BEING IN EARNEST.
Of ten men who fail in life, nine men fail for want of zeal, earnestness,
courage, where one man fails for want of ability. This half-heartedness,
this lack of zeal, this timidity, this shrinking from duty and hard
tasks is seen on all sides and among all classes. But I tell you, boys
and girls, that the least enviable people in all the world are those who
think that nothing is particularly worth while, that it does not matter
much how a thing is done if it is only done with; who dwaddle along in a
shabby sort of a way, considering only their own ease, with little sense
of responsibility, and with no shame in being shirks. Every boy should
make up his mind to live a round, full, earnest, in-tense life. Every
girl should do the same. Don't be satisfied, boys and girls, to be
jellyfishes, with only a capacity for drawing in nourishment and
lingering on until your time comes to die. Be vertebrates, people of
backbone, purpose, aim, enthusiasm, earnestness.
At a public dinner President Roosevelt asked Governor Odell of New York
if he knew anything worth doing that was not hard in the doing, and the
governor could think of nothing. As a rule perhaps there is nothing, and
yet things once hard in the doing become easy as skill is gained by
Be in earnest, be faithful and resolute, and it will act like a tonic,
giving light to the eyes, springiness to the step, and buoyancy to the
heart. Don't be overcome by your circumstances. No
[illustration - BEING IN EARNEST.]
matter how distracting a man's surroundings may be, he may yet be able to
focus his powers completely and to marshal them with certainty if he
makes up his mind to do it. If things go hard with the self-mastered man
or boy, he will be able to trample upon difficulties and to use his
stum- bling-blocks as stepping-stones. If a great misfortune overtake
him he will simply use it as a starting point for a new departure, a
turning point for more determined effort. He may be weighed down with
sorrow and suffering, but he always starts anew with redoubled
determination to do the thing he has set his heart upon doing. He will
not be discouraged; he will not give up; he will fight it out to the
end. Put him in prison, and he will write the "Pilgrim's Progress."
Deprive him of his eye-sight and he will write the "Paradise Lost."
It was the spirit of earnestness which fired the soul of Martin Luther at
the Diet of Worms, who, after being urged to recant, said: "Here I
stand; I can do no other; God help me!" It was this spirit which
characterized William Lloyd Garrison, the champion of the abolition of
slavery, who, when be was urged to stop fighting slavery, ex-claimed:
"I will not equivocate, I will not re-tract, I will not be moved
one inch, and I will be heard." So be in earnest, boys and
girls, at home, at school, at work and at play. It will help you a
YOUNG PEOPLE AND LIFE INSURANCE.
Every little boy and girl, and, of course, every man and woman, of the
colored race in America should carry a life insurance policy of some
kind in some reliable company. In this matter the old people, as in some
other things, ought to set the example for the young, but there are some
reasons, growing chiefly out of their previous condition of slavery, why
our mothers and fathers have not, as a rule, taken very largely to the
business of having their lives insured. But because our parents have
been negligent in this matter there is no reason why the younger
generation should be. Life insurance is a good thing, boys and girls-one
best things in the world. American life insurance companies
alone pay to policy-holders or estates of policy-holders over one
hundred million dollars annually. Only a very small and almost
insignificant portion of this vast sum goes. into the hands [illustration - TAKING OUT A POLICY.] of colored people, and for the reason that very few colored
people carry life insurance policies.
Now use a little common sense about this mat-ter. Whatever is good in
life insurance for other races is good for our race; whatever in life
insurance benefits other races will benefit our race. In
business as in education, whatever
is good for a white man is good for a black man. I would, therefore,
urge every boy and girl to join a life insurance company, and where your
mothers and fathers are not insured I would urge you to do your utmost
to persuade them to join at once.
For one reason, a life insurance policy is not ex-pensive. You might as
well talk of the expense of buying bank stock, or the expense of putting
your money into a savings bank or any other safe place as to speak of
the expense of keeping up a life insurance policy. It is accumulation
and not expense. Every dollar put into life insurance is a dollar saved
to yourself or your estate.
For another reason life insurance is a good business investment.
Carefully collected statistics on file in Washington City prove that
investments in life insurance are much safer and yield much larger
returns than money placed in a savings bank. When you are older you will
perhaps be able to make these comparisons for yourself. For the present
you can take my word for it.
A third reason, life insurance is cheap. You can in an instant create a
capital of $1,000, though you may be ever so poor, by laying aside only
a few cents a week. Young people chew up and drink up and smoke up and
frolic up more money every week than would be sufficient to protect them
against the rainy days that must come to every-body.
And, then, life insurance has a character value.
It makes a young man a better man; it makes a young woman a
better woman; that is to say, it makes them more economical, more
business-like, happier, and, I believe, it will make them live
It is high time that black boys and girls were learning these things and
acting upon them. When God commanded us not to serve money as a false
god He did not say that money could not serve us, and I beseech the boys
and girls, and the old people too, to exercise the same foresight and
the same good sense about life insurance that other races exercise.
THE LITTLE SAILOR CAT.
In September, 1893, grouped on the Fall River Line pier at the foot of
Warren Street, New York, there stood a party of twenty-three sailors
waiting for the Puritan to take them on to Boston. The central figure in
the group-a short, thickset man, with bronzed and grizzled
moustache-stood erect with arms folded over his chest. Upon the solid
foundation thus made nestled a little white kitten. The man and the
kitten were the Boston contingent of the crew of the steamship City of
Savannah, which had been wrecked the week before on Hunting Island, off
the South Carolina coast.
The story of the beaching of the steamship and
of the taking off of her crew by the
City of Birmingham had been told in all the newspapers, but nothing had
been said about the cat, so the Boston Herald said. Before the shipwreck
the cat was nothing more than an ordinary ship's cat, and the captain
had named him Mascot; but that was the end of his distinction. After the
disaster, nevertheless, all the sailors swore that the kitten was as
good a sailor as any of them.
"He's a wonder," said the short, thickset man, surveying the cat
proudly; "nobody thought of him in the rush, but he got there just
the same. He climbed the rigging in that gale like an old tar and
held on for hours. He wasn't a bit frightened either. Only he would
`caterwaul' when he got hungry. We were on board of the boat fifty
hours after she struck before the sea was such that we could be
taken off in boats. At night the captain ordered all the crew into
the rigging and made us stay there. We each took a piece of rope and
lashed ourselves on, so as to keep from falling off when asleep.
That's what the captain said the string was for, but I never slept
at all. I don't think many others did. The cat got along without any
rope, and she was there in the morning all right. When we got away
at last, nearly crazy with thirst and so faint that we could hardly [illustration - THE LITTLE SAILOR CAT.]
climb down the '.Jacob's ladder' into the Birmmgham's
boats, that little fellow climbed out of his nest in the rigging and
wanted to go too. We were glad to take him."
ADVICE TO LITTLE CHRISTIANS
- 1. Be punctual and regular at all the services of your
- 2. Give close attention to the pastor in the public service. Good
hearers make good preachers.
- 3. Whenever you are aided by a sermon tell the pastor about it. In
this way you will help him more than you think possible.
- 4. Do not neglect morning and evening prayer at home. Pray daily
for God's blessing upon the preaching and other labors of the
- 5. In the world let your light so shine before others that they
may be led to glorify your Father which is in heaven. Let your light
- 6. Invite your friends to attend divine services. A drawing
congregation is as good as a drawing preacher. Call for your friends
- 7. Remember day by day that you are not your own, but have 'been
"bought with a price," and that you are Christ's servant. Watch and
- 8. If any service is required of you in the church or in the
Sunday school, do not shirk it; always say: "I will try for
- 9. In the prayer meeting speak briefly and to the point. If you
pray, ask only for what you want. Be short and direct. "Ask and
ye shall receive."
- 10. Never subscribe more than you are able to pay, and be sure to
pay whatever you promise. Whether much or little, give it
cheerfully. "God loveth a cheerful giver."
- 11. Having found eternal life, use all appropriate means to
develop Christian character. Prayer, reading the Bible, attending
church and Sunday school, reading good books and Christian
news-papers, keeping the best company-all these will help
A WORD TO PARENTS.
Children are a gift from God. Children are a heritage from the Lord. It
depends largely on parents whether they become a heritage of honor and
delight or of sorrow and shame. It is not simply incumbent upon parents
that their children be well cared for. fed and clothed, properly
educated and so forth; out more than this, they are to be brought up "in
the nurture and admonition of the Lord." This being true, then, the
highest aim of rearing children is not simply that they may win success
and command respect in the world. Respect and success are greatly to be
desired and sought, but beyond them and beyond everything else is the
highest and chiefest aim of parental love and care; that their children
may honor and command the righteousness of God in the life that now is
and magnify the glory of God in the life that is to be. This is the mark
and prize of their high calling.
[illustration - "THE DRUMMER BOY AND HIS DOG."]
Admitting this, then, the early conversion of children is all-important.
But if they are to be early converted, is it not wise-nay, absolutely
essential-that mothers and fathers prepare the way by restricting their
natural impulses by which they are led to desire indulgence in the gay
vanities of life? Is it not positively wrong for parents to indulge that
pernicious and destructive delusion, which some allow, of permitting
their children to have their own evil way in the hope that in due time
they will in some way see their error and turn to the right path of
their own accord? Father, you are a Christian. Mother, you are a
Christian. Now, in your home, in the management of your children, are
you doing the best you can to show what a Christian family should be?
How is it, my friends? I leave that question with you.
THE UNSEEN CHARMER.
Carl Brickermann, a collection clerk in an up-town bank, in his
accustomed daily routine found it necessary, among other things, to call
by telephone the downtown brokerage firm of Hopegood Co. One day he
missed the familiar feminine voice which had usualIy responded to his
calls. But the new voice seemed sweeter and much more passionately
penetrating. For two or three days Brickermann was puzzled, not only
because of the change at the other end of the 'phone, but also because
of the strange and unaccountable fascination which the new voice
possessed for him. At length one day, almost in desperation, he turned
aside from his regular business inquiries to ask:
"Where's the other girl!"
"Which other girl?" asked the mellifluous voice over the
The one who used to answer the "phone for the Hopegoods,"
"Promoted," came the response, with a merry little laugh.
"And you have her old place?" asked Brickermann, somewhat
"Yes; for awhile," said the same still, small voice at the other
end, and it sounded more and more sweetly to the would-be masher.
"Well," said Brickermann, laughing the while, "I used to know
her quite well, and I should like to meet you face to face, if you
don't mind. I am so charmed with the music of your voice I am sure [illustration - "Is Er-Er-Mr. Hopegood In?"] I should be perfectly entranced with the magic of your
A merry peal of laughter from the other end greeted this sally. The young
"I used to come down some days about four
o'clock to see Margie. Will you, my
Unseen Charmer, grant me the same high favor?"
"Why, certainly! Come any day," answered the sweet voice which had
so strangely bewitched the young man. In ecstasy Brickermann shouted
"I'll be down this afternoon."
Brickermann hung up the receiver, and, chuck-ling with delight, he turned
to his other duties with the alacrity that a young spring chicken
displays when it suddenly discovers a big fat worm.
By three-thirty o'clock he had arranged his toilet, and stood before the
mirror giving the finishing twirl to his budding moustache. He brushed
his clothing the second time, brushed his hat, and, figuratively
speaking, arrayed in purple and fine linen, he sallied forth. He boarded
an elevated train bound for the downtown district. On his way down he
tried to picture to himself the kind of a girl he should meet at the
Hopegoods. Would she be tall or short of stature'? Blonde or brunette?
Above twenty-one years of age or only sweet six-teen? The quick arrival
of the train at Park Place put a period to Brickermann's reverie. He
went tripping across a few blocks to the place where all of his hopes
had been centered during the past few hours-in fact, days. Arrived
there, he stepped into the front office where "Margie" had formerly
presided. It was the same snug and cosy room, but he failed to behold
there the eagerly expected young lady. Instead he ran amuck a chubby
boy, with a ruddy face and curly hair, and perhaps not more
than fourteen or fifteen years old, sitting in " Margie's" place.
Brickermann was visibly embarrassed. He did not know where to begin or
what to say. He twitched nervously at the glove which he carried in his
hand, and finally he stammered:
"Is-er-Mr. Hopegood in?"
"No, sir," said the boy. "Can I be of any service to
Brickermann's face turned blood red, and great drops of perspiration
stood out upon his forehead. The accents of the little boy startled him,
for they were the same that had been wafted to hint almost daily along
the wire and with which lie thought he had been enamored. In the midst
of his con-fusion he managed to say, hoping almost against hope that his
identity had not been discovered:
"Well, er--er--I'll call again."
And, without waiting to hear the Unseen Charmer speak again, lie hastily
retired with as good grace as was possible under the circumstances.
Boys and girls, we are all American citizens, the last one of us. This
is our country, as much as it is the country of any other race, and we
should love it and fight for it as our fathers
have loved, fought and died for it on many a battle-field. We may be the
descendants of Africans, but we are citizens of the United States. This
is our home-our country. Let us believe it, in spite of what some
foolish people say. Therefore I am going to give you one or two
sentiments which you should learn early in life in order to stimulate
- 1. May the honor of our country be without stain.
- 2. May the glory of America never cease to shine.
- 3. May every American manfully withstand corruption.
- 4. May reverence for the laws ever predominate in the hearts of
the American people.
- 3. The sons and daughters of America, may their union be cemented
by love and affection, and their offspring adorn the stations they
are des-tined to fill.
- 6. May the growth of the American union never be prevented by
- 7. The boys of America, may they be strong and virtuous, manly and
- S. The girls of America, may they prove to be such in heart and
life as will make them worthy mothers of a strong and noble
- 9. Health to our president, prosperity to our
People, and may Congress direct its endeavors to the
- 10.- May Peace o'er America spread her wing, And Commerce fill her
ports with gold; May Arts and Science comfort bring, And Liberty her
THE "DON'T-CARE" GIRL.
About the worst girl in all this world is the girl 'who doesn't care what
people think or say about her conduct; the girl who goes to every "hop,"
to every party, who stays out late at night with the boys, who hangs
over the gate and talks to them, and who cuts a number of' foolish
capers, and then when any one speaks to her, shoots her bead 'way up in
the air, and turns up her nose, if she can, and says boldly: "Oh, I
don't care; nobody has any-thing to do with me!" She is the worst. girl
in the world, and she will never come to any good end. Every girl who is
a law unto herself in regard to all that she says or does is certain not
only to bring upon herself the condemnation of those whose good opinion
it is worth while to have, but she will most certainly incur the
punishment of a just God. And sometimes, I am sorry to say, I think that
when a girl proudly declares that she doesn't care for the good opinion
she does so because she knows that she
has already lost all right to that good opinion.
It is wrong, boys and girls, to undertake to run roughshod over the
so-called prejudices of the pub- [illustration - THE "DON'T-CARE" GIRL.] lie. It is a foolish thing to take delight in trying to shock
people by your boisterous and unladylike and unbecoming conduct. Every
really wise and mce girl does care a good deal for the good opin-
ion of others, and particularly for the good opinion of
persons older than she is. She recognizes the fact that the laws of
conventionality and of good society are based upon what is right and
what is proper, and that no girl can with propriety set them at
Some girls go so far as to say that they "don't care" what their own
fathers and mothers think. The wild girl who says this is setting at
defiance not only the human parental law, but also the law of God, which
plainly commands children to obey their parents.
Haven't you ever seen a "don't-care" girl? She is nearly always reckless
in manner and speech; she is bold and defiant; she is impudent beyond
mention; and she is very fond of ridiculing girls who do care a great
deal what others think about them.
No matter whose children they are-no matter what schools they have
attended-these "don't-care" girls are no good, and good girls ought not
to associate with them Every day such flippant girls are treading on
dangerous ground, and some day, unless a merciful God prevents it, she
will come to open disgrace and die and go to torment. I am hoping to see
the day when all the "don't-care" girls will have passed out of
existence, and then all our girls will be of the refined and womanly
kind who do care a great deal about their con-duct, their manners and
their morals. I don't want my daughter to associate with any other
As the potter moulds the clay,
Slowly, gently, day by day,
Till at length he brings to pass
Beauty from a shapeless mass;
So, dear Lord, with patient art,
Take Thou, now, my forward heart,
And, O Lord, in love divine,
Mould and make me wholly thine
FREDERICK DOUGLASS TO YOUNG PEOPLE.
Shortly before he died Frederick Douglass made a tour through the South.
Among other places he visited Atlanta University. At that place he made
an address to the young people. It is so full of hope and help that I
wanted to place it where every ambitious black boy and girl in America
can see it. It has never been published before, except in the Bulletin
of Atlanta University. Mr. Douglass said:
"My young friends: I see before me an assemblage of young people,
full of the blood of youth, just entering upon the voyage of life.
It is an interesting spectacle to me, as to us all, to meet such an
assembly as I see before me this morning in an institution of
learning, of knowledge, and of ethics and of Christian graces. I
pleasure in what I see to-day. There is no language to
describe my feelings. It was no mere image that John saw and
described in the apocalypse. [illustration - FREDERICK DOUGLASS.] It was a new heaven and a new earth indeed. When a fugitve
I look back upon the slave T recollect the evils and cruelty of
hunting. No mountain was so high,
no valley was so deep, no glen so secluded, no place so sacred to
liberty that I could put my foot upon it and say I was free! But now
I am free! Contrasting my condition then and now the change exceeds
what John saw upon the isle of Patmos. A change vast and wonderful,
that came by the fulfilling of laws. We got freed by laws,
marvellous in our eyes. Men, brave men, good men, who had the
eourage of their convictions, were arrested and subjected to
persecutions, mobs, lawlessness, violence. They had the conviction
of truth. Simple truth lasts forever!
"Be not discouraged. There is a future for you and a future for me.
The resistance encountered now predicates hope. The negro degraded,
indolent, lazy, indifferent to progress, is not objectionable to the
average public mind. Only as we rise in the scale of proficiency do
we encounter opposition. When we see a ship that lies rotting in the
harbor, its seams yawning, its sides broken in, taking water and
sinking, it meets with no op-position; but when its sails are spread
to the breeze, its top-sails and its royals flying, then there is
resistance. The resistance is in proportion to its speed. In Memphis
three negro men were lynched, not because they were low and
degraded, but because they knew their business and other men wanted
"I am delighted to see you all. Don't be despondent. Don't measure
yourselves from the white
man's standpoint; but measure yourselves by the depths
from which you have come. I measure from these depths, and I see
what Providence has done. Daniel Webster said in his speech at the
dedication of Bunker Hill monument: `Bunker Hill monument is
completed. There it stands, a memorial of the past, a monitor of the
present, a hope of the future. It looks, speaks, acts!' So this
assembly is a monitor of the present, a memorial of the past, a hope
of the future. I see boys and girls around me. Boys, you will be men
some day. Girls, you will be women some day. May you become good men
and women, intelligent men and women, a credit to yourselves and
"I thank you for what I have experienced to-day and I leave you
reluctantly, and shall always carry with me the pleasantest
impressions of this occasion."
A GOOD FELLOW.
He was a good fellow.
He spent his money like a Prince.
There was nothing too good for him to do for those with whom he kept
He lived rapidly, and had no thought of to-morrow. He burned the candle
of life at both ends.
To-day lie is dead,--and those vampires who sucked his life's blood and
helped him to spend his money have no time to give him one thought.
Ah, how insincere and empty is the title of "good fellow" when it is
applied to the man whose money is always on tap for those who are
desirous of having a good time! And how corrupt and undesirable are the
so-called friendships which spring from a lavish expenditure of money!
Boys, the roof over your heads covers the best friends you could
possibly have on earth. Those who slap you on the shoulder and say
hilariously, "Good boy!" are seldom ever worth their salt. They like you
for what they can get out of you-that's all!
Real happiness in this world comes, if at all, from living right and
doing right. If you are a good fellow. in the sense of giving everybody
a "good time" with your hard-earned means, I warn you that, when your
money gives out, all your friends will desert you, and when you die
they will be the last ones to come near you, and may even
laugh at what a fool you made of your-self!
THE FUTURE OF THE NEGRO.
My dear boys and girls, I have written nearly one hundred stories for
this book and I have not said one word about the so-called Race Problem.
I have done this on purpose. I believe that the less you think about the
troubles of the race and the less you talk about them and the more time
you spend in hard and honest work, believing in God and trusting him for
the future, the better it will be for all concerned. I know, of course,
that the sufferings which are inflicted upon the colored people in this
country are many and grievous. I know that we are discriminated against
in many ways-on common carriers, in public resorts and even in private
life. The right to vote is being taken away from us in nearly all the
Southern states. Lynchings are on the increase. Not only our men but our
women also are being burned at the stake. What shall we do? There are
those who say that we must strike back-use fire and torch and sword and
shotgun ourselves. But I tell you plainly that we cannot afford to do
that. The white people have all the courts, all the railroads,
all the newspapers, all the telegraph
wires, all the arms and ammunition and double the men that we have. In
every race riot the negro would get the worst of it finally. But there
is a higher reason than that. We cannot afford to do wrong. We cannot
afford to lose our decency, our self-respect, our character. No man will
ever be the superior of the man he robs; no man will ever be the
superior of the man he steals from. I would rather be a victim than a
victimizer. I would rather be wronged than to do wrong. And no race is
superior to the race it tramples upon, robs, maltreats and murders. In
spite of prejudice; in spite of proscription; in spite of nameless
insults and injuries, we cannot as a race, afford to do wrong. But we
can afford to be patient. God is not dead. His chariots are not
unwheeled. It is ordained of God that races, as well as individuals,
shall rise through tribulations. And during this period of stress and
strain through which we are passing in this country I believe that there
are unseen forces marshalled in the defense of our long-suffering and
much-oppressed people. "They that be with us are more than they that be
with then." What should we care, then, though all the lowlands be filled
with threats, if the mountains of our hope and courage and patience are
filled with horses and chariots of Divine rescue?
My last words shall be to parents. Many parents neglect the training of
their children until the boys and girls have grown to be almost men and
women, and then they expect all at once to develop them into
well-rounded characters, as if by magic. Others fix upon a definite time
in life-say, ten or twelve years old-before which time they say it is
unnecessary to seek to make lasting impressions upon the minds of
children, all unconscious of the fact that the character may have been
long before that period biased for good or evil.
I say it deliberately-it is a deep and abiding conviction with me, that
the time to begin to shape the character of children is as soon as they
begin to know their own mothers from other mothers, or as soon as they
become awake to the events which are taking place around them. The
farmer who has the notion that his child can wait, does not dare to let
his corn and cotton wait. He has observed that there are noxious weeds
which spring up side by side with the seed he has planted, and,
marvelous to say, the weeds out-grow the plants. They must, therefore,
be cut down and kept down, or else they will ruin the crop.
Side by side with your tender babe in arms there are growing now, dear
mothers, the poisonous tares. They are rooted already in the child's
heart, and, unless they are stricken down pretty soon, they will
dominate the child's life. And, of course, there is only one way to
destroy evil-that is, to plant good in its stead. If there is one
untenanted chamber in your child's heart, inhabit it, I pray you, with
nobler and purer thoughts which before long shall bring forth fruit unto
God. Satan does not wait, I assure you; he never allows a vacancy to
remain unoccupied in any-body's heart, old or young. He rushes into
empty hearts and idle lives and sows tares thicker than the strewn
leaves of autumn. It is an old and senseless and barbarian custom which
has taught us that the child can wait or must wait. If any-body must
wait at table to be served, it is usually the little child, who may be
the hungriest of all; if some one must remain away from church or
Sunday-school, it is often the youngest child, who, perhaps needs most
to go; if some one must be kept out of the day-school, it is the
smallest child, of course; and during the year that he remains idle he
may receive impressions and learn lessons that will mar his whole future
life. Let us have done with this barbaric practice. Make room for the
children; give them not only the first place but the.best place.
In almost any city in the South any Sunday in the year you will find
more children-more boys
and girls-outside of the Sunday-schools than you will find
inside. There is a loud and crying call sounding from the past and from
the future and bidding mothers and fathers to be more diligent in the
matter of having their children embrace opportunities of growth and
spiritual culture which are almost within a stone's throw. If mothers
and fathers will not hear and obey this clarion call T believe that they
will be brought to account for it iii the day of judgment. Not only so,
but in the years to come they will be compelled to wail out their sorrow
over prodigal sons and daughters who might have proven to be ornaments
to society and to the church if their parents had devoted half the care
upon them that they upended upon colts and calves, kittens and pup-pies
that grew up with them!
In all earnestness I implore those to whom God has given winsome little
children to begin early, as early as thy find it possible, to train
their young lives for God and heaven. Let their little voices learn
early to lisp the precious name of Jesus and be attuned to sing His
praise. If you leave them this legacy-than which there is none
greater-there will come peace and joy to your old age, and the light of
heaven, like the golden glow of a radiant sunset, will rest on your
And now, as I close these stories, there comes to me across the
intervening space of silence and of tears fond memories of a sweet and
mother. I cannot remember when she
began to talk to me of Jesus nor read to me the word of God. I remember
well when she taught me how to read, and the old-fashioned blue back
spelling-hook is as plainly before me now as in those long past (lays.
But, long before that, I had heard her read the Bible and raise her
voice in prayer for all whom she loved. And to-day those memories live
when a thousand busy scenes of after life lie dead. And when old age
comes on-if God should spare me to be old- the memory of my mother's
words and her reverential prayers will be the brightest of all the joys
that shall light up the evening of my life.
Somewhere in Africa nearly 175 years ago a band of children were playing
on the sea-coast. They were youngsters of seven and eight who were so
en-grossed in their childish games that they did not notice the
appearance of a boat with a number of white men in it. When they did
become aware of this it was far too late, for the men had stolen up to
them and seizing several had rushed off to the boat in which they were
carried to a ship anchored not far away.
Among the children who were captured and led off to such a cruel fate was
a little girl of six or seven years. She was a slender, delicate little
thing who had never gone far from her mother's side. Picture then her
fear and anguish when she found herself torn away from everything and
everybody whom she had ever known, on her way to a strange land full of
queer looking people who were going to subject her to she knew not what
experiences and hardships.
After a long and stormy voyage, during which the little girl was very
seasick, she arrived, thin and wretched, with only a piece of carpet
about her fragile body, in Boston, where she was offered in the streets
for sale. This was in 1761.
[illustration - PHILLIS WHEATLEY]
Of course the best thing that could have happened to this little child of
misfortune would have been to be left with her mother in Africa. As that
could not be, it is pleasant to realize that the next best lot was hers.
A well-to-do tailor, John Wheatley by name, happened to be in that
neighborhood that day. He had long been looking for a slave girl to be a
special servant for his wife and his twin children, Mary and Nathaniel.
He spied the wretched little African maiden, and despite her thinness
and her miserable appearance, or maybe on account of it, it occurred to
him that this was just the kin∞d of child to whom to give a home. So he
bought her for a few dollars and took her to his house to live.
The Wheatley family was a kind one. They received the little stranger
gladly, named her Phillis Wheatley and proceeded to make her acquainted
with the strange new world to which she had come and to the part which
she was to play in it. In particular little Mary Wheatley became very
fond of her slave playfellow and between her and Phillis there seems to
have developed a strong attachment. At first Phillis' place in the house
was simply that of servant, though partly because of her extreme youth
and the considerateness of the Wheatleys it seems likely that her duties
were not very arduous. But before long, owing to what was considered a
remarkable tendency in a slave child of such tender years, her lot
became very tolerable indeed.
This was what happened. One day Mary Wheat-ley came across Phillis busily
engaged in making letters on the wall with a piece of charcoal. Phillis
had already shown herself apt at picking up the
spoken language, but that she should display an interest in
writing was a new idea to the Wheatleys and gave them much pleasure.
From that day on Mary constituted herself Phillis' teacher. They
progressed from letters to words and from words to complete sentences.
And behold the keys to the treasure-houses of the world were in little
Phillis' hands, for she had learned to delve into books. Short of
granting her her freedom, the Wheatleys could not have bestowed on her a
She seems to have been of an extraordinarily studious disposition. Mostly
her mind took a literary bent, for she read all kinds of books in
English and even mastered Latin enough to become acquainted with some of
its masterpieces. It is not surprising then that a mind so eager to take
in should at last become desirous of giving out. And so we have the
remarkable phenomenon of Phillis the little slave girl, totally unversed
in the ways and manners of western civilization, passing through a
period of study and preparation and developing into Phillis the
Her chosen medium of self-expression was through poetry. In 1767, at the
age of 13, she had written a poem to Harvard University which was even
then in existence. This was passed about among the "intellectuals" of
New England, and was the occasion of much genuine astonishment and
admiration. And well it might be, for it was written in a lofty vein and
was full of fine sentiments, such as one would hardly expect from the
pen of a little girl. In 1768 she wrote a poem to His Majesty King
George of England-America was still a colony in those days,
we must remember-and in 1770 she
wrote an elegiac poem or a lament on the death of George Whitefield, a
As the years went on the number of her poems grew. Their reputation grew,
too,, not only at home but abroad. In 1772 her health became impaired
and the Wheatley household did a wonderful thing. Nathaniel had to go on
a business trip to England and it was arranged that Phillis the prodigy
and poet should accompany him, for the sake of the sea-voyage. Imagine
her astonishment when on arriving in England, she found that her fame
had already preceded her! London society took her up and could not make
enough of her. She was courted and petted to an extent which might well
have turned a less well-balanced head than hers. In particular she was
made a special protegee of a Lady Huntingdon and a Lord Dartmouth who at
that time was Lord Mayor of London. Through their persuasion and
influence she collected a number of verses which she had been writing
for the last six years and actually had them published,to our great good
The quaint title reads: "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral.
By Phillis Wheatley, Negro Servant to Mr. Wheatley of Boston. Dedicated
to Lady Huntingdon." The particularly interesting thing about this book
is that as so many people doubted the ability of a girl so young and of
slave origin to write such verse, it contains a certificate attesting to
the authenticity of the poems, and the signatures of many prominent
The certificate says in part:
"We whose Names are under-written, do assure the World that the Poems
specified in the following page, were (as we verily believe) written
by Phillis, a young Negro Girl, who was but a few Years since.
brought an uncultivated Barbarian from Africa, and has ever since
been, and now is, under the Disadvantage of serving as a Slave in a
family in this Town. She has been examined by some of the best
Judges, and is thought qualified to write them."
Those days in London were probably the happiest and brightest of Phillis'
brief life. But while yet abroad she received the news of the precarious
state of Mrs. Wheatley's health. And so, although arrangements had been
made for her to meet the king. she hastened back to America, just in
time to see her mistress once more before she died.
Poor Phillis! After Mrs. Wheatley's death she seems to have fallen on
"Evil times and hard."
For Mary Wheatley was married and of course lived apart from her.
Nathaniel Wheatley had his own affairs and here was Phillis all alone in
the world. Naturally enough she turned to marriage and be-came the wife
of John Peters, a Negro, "who kept a shop, wore a wig, carried a cane,
and felt himself superior to all kinds of labor." Historians disagree on
his real calling. Some say he was a grocer, others a baker, a man of all
work, a lawyer and a physician. All agree,. however, that he lost his
property during the War of the Independence and that he and Phillis
became very poor. Sad to relate, all agree also that he did not try very
hard to relieve their condition.
Finally he allowed himself to be
arrested for debt, and poor Phillis was in a sorry plight indeed.
She was a proud woman. She would not seek help of either Mary or
Nathaniel Wheatley. Nor at their death would she approach their friends.
Fortunately at Mrs. Wheatley's death she had been set free and this gave
her a chance to earn an independent livelihood. She dragged out a
miserable existence in a colored boarding house doing work for which she
was little fitted. Her pride and misery, made her very retiring. So that
when she died in December, 1784, few would have known of her death had
it not been for the notice which appeared next day in the Independent
Chronicle. It read:
"Last Lord's day, died Mrs. Phillis Peters (formerly Phillis
Wheatley, aged thirty-one, known to the literary world by her
celebrated miscellaneous poems. Her funeral is to be this afternoon
at four o'clock, from the house lately improved by Mr. Todd, nearly
opposite Dr. Bulfinch's at West Boston, where her friends and
acquaintances are desired to attend."
Phillis Wheatley possessed undoubted poetical ability. It is true that
viewed from our modern standards she seems stilted, even affected in
style, but we must remember that with few exceptions such was the
tendency of those days. Undoubtedly she was the possessor of a fine
vocabulary and a really broad grasp of classical and literary allusions
and figures. But these are hardly in themselves the reasons why colored
Americans should hold Phillis Wheatley in such high esteem. There are
others more striking. In the first place, she is the first Negro in
America to win prestige for purely intellectual
attainments. And she won it, oh, so well ! Secondly, her
writings influenced and strengthened anti-slavery feeling. When the
friends of slavery made as a reason for holding human beings in bond-age
the statement that Negroes were mentally inferior, the foes of slavery
pointed with pride to the writings of this girl who was certainly the
peer of any American poet of those days. Lately, Phillis Wheatley showed
by her writings that she favored the cause of the colonists rather than
that of England. Thus she proved that the sympathies of Negroes are
always enlisted in the fight for freedom even when, as Roscoe Jamison,
not her blood but her poetical descendant, wrote "their own is yet
In those brief years Phillis made a gallant showing. In all she wrote
five volumes of poems and letters and received the recognition of
England's peerage, of America's George Washington, and of many other
possessors of honored and famous names. We are sensible of a deep
gratitude toward this little lonely figure who came from Africa
determined to give voice to her precious dower of song, even though she
had to express it in a far country and in a stranger's tongue.
[illustration - MRS. ALICE HOWARD Author of A. B. C. Book for Negro Boys and Girls
and Other Short Stories Following This Page.]
I feel safe in saying that every child in the United States between the
ages of three and ten receives among its toys and especially at the
Holiday season, an A, B, C Book, many of which are a reflection on the
child of color. In almost every instance N stands for Nig, a black dog
or cat ; Ned, a Negro boy, a waiter, and so on. First hand observation
of these facts shows the urgent need and place in the home for a book of
this class which our boys and girls need not be ashamed of. Race pride
is legitimate and praiseworthy. It is developed through knowledge and
understanding of the history, traditions, achievements, and
characteristics of the race. Things that have been looked upon as a
detriment and drawback can through' the right teaching to our children
be turned into an asset and thus lay the foundation for the love of, and
the loyalty to our RACE.
Washington, December 8, 1921.
[illustration - JEWELS OF THE HOME]
A, B, C Book For .Negro Boys and Girls
A Stands for Afro-American,
The Race that proved its worth;
One more true, more noble
Cannot be found on earth.
B Is for brave black heroes
Who crossed the ocean blue,
To make the whole world safer For mankind; that means you.
C Stands for conquer,
They did with much toil,
And planted Old Glory first "On enemy soil."
D Is for Duty,
Our watchword so dear.
We have always been ready To answer: "I'm here."
E Is for Envy,
A foe we must fight,
To gain for our children
Plain Justice and Right.
We whose Names are under-written, do assure the World
that the Poems specified in the following page, were (as we verily
believe) written by Phillis, a young Negro Girl, who was but a few Years
since, brought an uncultivated Barbarian from Africa, and has ever since
been, and now is, under the Disadvantage of serving as a Slave in a
family in this Town. She has been examined by some of the best Judges,
and is thought qualified to write them."
Those days in London were probably the happiest and brightest of Phillis'
brief life. But while yet abroad she received the news of the precarious
state of Mrs. Wheatley's health. And so, although arrangements had been made
for her to meet the king. she hastened back to America, just in time to see
her mistress once more before she died.
Poor Phillis! After Mrs. Wheatley's death she seems to have fallen on
"Evil times and hard."
For Mary Wheatley was married
and of course lived apart from her. Nathaniel Wheatley had his own affairs
and here was Phillis all alone in the world. Naturally enough she turned to
marriage and be-came the wife of John Peters, a Negro, "who kept a shop,
wore a wig, carried a cane, and felt himself superior to all kinds of
labor." Historians disagree on his real calling. Some say he was a grocer,
others a baker, a man of all work, a lawyer and a physician. All agree,.
however, that he lost his property during the War of the Independence and
that he and Phillis became very poor. Sad to relate, all agree also that he
did not try very hard to relieve their condition.
Finally he allowed
himself to be arrested for debt, and poor Phillis was in a sorry plight
She was a proud woman. She would not seek help of either Mary or Nathaniel
Wheatley. Nor at their death would she approach their friends. Fortunately
at Mrs. Wheatley's death she had been set free and this gave her a chance to
earn an independent livelihood. She dragged out a miserable existence in a
colored boarding house doing work for which she was little fitted. Her pride
and misery, made her very retiring. So that when she died in December, 1784,
few would have known of her death had it not been for the notice which
appeared next day in the Independent Chronicle. It read:
"Last Lord's day, died Mrs. Phillis Peters (formerly
Phillis Wheatley), aged thirty-one, known to the literary world by her
celebrated miscellaneous poems. Her funeral is to be this afternoon at
four o'clock, from the house lately improved by Mr. Todd, nearly
opposite Dr. Bulfinch's at West Boston, where her friends and
acquaintances are desired to attend."
Phillis Wheatley possessed undoubted poetical ability. It is true that
viewed from our modern standards she seems stilted, even affected in style,
but we must remember that with few exceptions such was the tendency of those
days. Undoubtedly she was the possessor of a fine vocabulary and a really
broad grasp of classical and literary allusions and figures. But these are
hardly in themselves the reasons why colored Americans should hold Phillis
Wheatley in such high esteem. There are others more striking. In the first
place, she is the first Negro in America to win prestige for purely
attainments. And she won
it, oh, so well! Secondly, her writings influenced and strengthened
anti-slavery feeling. When the friends of slavery made as a reason for
holding human beings in bondage the statement that Negroes were mentally
inferior, the foes of slavery pointed with pride to the writings of this
girl who was certainly the peer of any American poet of those days. Lately,
Phillis Wheatley showed by her writings that she favored the cause of the
colonists rather than that of England. Thus she proved that the sympathies
of Negroes are always enlisted in the fight for freedom even when, as Roscoe
Jamison, not her blood but her poetical descendant, wrote
"their own is yet denied."
In those brief years Phillis made a gallant showing. In all she wrote five
volumes of poems and letters and received the recognition of England's
peerage, of America's George Washington, and of many other possessors of
honored and famous names. We are sensible of a deep gratitude toward this
little lonely figure who came from Africa determined to give voice to her
precious dower of song, even though she had to express it in a far country
and in a stranger's tongue.
[illustration - MRS. ALICE HOWARD
Author of A. B. C. Book for Negro Boys and
Girls and Other Short Stories Following This Page. ]
I feel safe in saying that every child in the United States between the ages
of three and ten receives among its toys and especially at the Holiday
season, an A, B, C Book, many of which are a reflection on the child of
color. In almost every instance N stands for Nig, a black dog or cat ; Ned,
a Negro boy, a waiter, and so on. First hand observation of these facts
shows the urgent need and place in the home for a book of this class which
our boys and girls need not be ashamed of. Race pride is legitimate and
praiseworthy. It is developed through knowledge and understanding of the
history, traditions, achievements, and characteristics of the race. Things
that have been looked upon as a detriment and drawback can through' the
right teaching to our children be turned into an asset and thus lay the
foundation for the love of, and the loyalty to our RACE.
Washington, December 8, 1921.
[illustration - JEWELS OF THE HOME]
A, B, C Book
For Negro Boys and Girls
A Stands for Afro-American,
The Race that proved its worth;
One more true, more noble
Cannot be found on earth.
B Is for brave black heroes
Who crossed the ocean blue,
To make the whole world safer
For mankind; that means you.
C Stands for conquer,
They did with much toil,
And planted Old Glory first
"On enemy soil."
D Is for Duty,
Our watchword so dear.
We have always been ready
To answer: "I'm here."
E Is for Envy,
A foe we must fight,
To gain for our children
Plain Justice and Right.
[illustration - ALL ABOARD FOR WASHINGTON, D. C.]
F Stands for Freedom.
May her voice be raised
In defense of the millions
Who remain semi-slaves.
G Is for Go;
Forward not back.
The ones who press onward
Will win on this track.
H Is for Hillside,
Each one must climb
To strengthen the limbs
And broaden the mind.
I Stands for Idler,
Who fell by the way,
Content to pick flowers,
By night and by day.
J Is for Justice,
A God-given right.
We're created equal,
Black, yellow and white.
K Is for Kindness.
Full brothers are we.
Each leaf, twig and branch
Sprang from the same tree.
[illustration - Copyright International News Reel Corporation
TELLING HER THE
STORY OF LINCOLN ]
L Stands for Lincoln,
Bravest of men.
L He blotted out slavery
With the stroke of his pen.
M Stands for Milestones.
We've passed fifty-two.
Each has a history
Wondrous and true.
N Stands for Nations War.
A thing none can forget.
Tho try we may to close the scene,
It lingers with us yet.
O Is for onward marching.
Our goal we must reach.
No time have we for idle tales,
No time have we to preach.
P Stands for Power,
Of body or mind.
Possessed of the two
We cannot stay behind.
Q Is for Question.
Who gave men the right
To trample other races
Because their skin is White?
[illustration - A LAWN PARTY IN WASHINGTON]
R Stands for Race-pride.
We've learned to love our Race.
We do not want to change our hair
Nor the color of our face.
S Stands for Something Steadfast
On which our Race must build.
We can then look back with pride,
When the "Cup of life" is filled.
T Is for Truth, our weapon
With which we always win,
Tho we must drink a bitter draught
Up to the battle's end.
U Stands for United,
Divided we fall.
"In union there is strength,"
Best motto for us all.
V Stands for Victories
America has won.
We did much to make her
A bright place in the sun.
W Stands for Washington,
Not George but Booker T.,
Who was Father and Founder
Of grand old Tuskegee.
[illustration - DOLLY'S HUNGRY
Copywright O. Keller ]
X Stands for Ten Commandments
That each of us should keep,
So all the world may better grow,
A higher plane to reach.
Y Stands for Yielding,
A thing we dare not do,
But work and hope, then fight and pray
Our righteous battle thru.
Z Stands for Zealous.
Thus may we ever be,
Then at the end our work will bring
A glorious victory.
THE BEST RIDE
Brother rides a cycle
And Sister rides a Ford,
Daddy rides a street car
And says he feels so bored.
Lieutenant sails an airship,
Our hired man drives a horse—
But that's so plain and common,
Nothing could be much worse.
Ships ride on the ocean,
So I've often heard:
Some things ride on pretty wings,
Like our canary bird.
Some like the choo-choo train
Because it's big and strong—
It shrieks and whistles loud
And hurries right along.
Each one rides the way he likes—
And that I like to see;
Ford and airplane may be grand,
My goose will do for me.
I owe a duty to my Race,
A debt I must repay.
So I'm resolved to start right here
And keep it up each day.
First I will always truthful be
No matter what the case.
For falsehood always crumbles
And leaves one in disgrace.
Next I will be industrious,
With eager hands and mind.
No man who put these powers in play
Was ever left behind.
And then, alas, I also wish
A soldier brave to be,
But not upon the battlefield
With sword and gun you see.
I'll only battle for the Right,
When crushed beneath the Wrong.
I'll always fight to raise the Weak
When trampled by the Strong.
Then last and best of all. I'll be
A martyr to my Race,
If that will give and hold for them
Their rightful, honored place
[illustration - READY FOR THE PARTY]
[illustration - OUR FAITHFUL FRIENDS
Cuts loaned by Polk Miller Drug Co.,
DOGS IN THE GREAT WORLD WAR
During the Great War many dogs were trained in American kennels and sent to
France for special duties. They were selected mostly from the medium size
breeds, such as Collies, Airedales and Police Dogs.
In the performance of duty the Red Cross and Army Dog not merely proved
himself most valuable under varied conditions, but won such great admiration
for the courage and faithfulness displayed as to evoke a system whereby many
of them received decorations for distinguished service.
They well deserved the recognition accorded them. Frequently exposed to
heavy shell firing, the Red Cross dogs searched through fields and woods for
wounded. In the saddle-like blanket strapped across the back they carried
first-aid packets, water and chocolate for men in distress.
When the unfortunate soldier was found, he could partake of the temporary
relief until the intelligent dog carried back some article, usually a
handkerchief or hat, to the Red Cross workers. The dog then led the way back
to the soldier.
During the course of battle the Army Dogs were used to carry machine gun
ammunition and water and food to isolated posts, cut off from their base by
heavy artillery fire. This condition often lasted for several days and the
Army Dog was the only means of communication.
They were unflinching under the most severe conditions and faithful
messengers with a remarkable
instinct for location,
seldom getting lost or failing to return to their posts of duty.
In the hours of the uncertain night the Army Dog was wakeful and alert to
sounds in No Man's Land that weary soldiers could not hear. It required the
vigilant dog with his keenness for scenting to detect first the approach of
strangers and give the silent alarm of trench raiding parties.
This little citation of the facts of the service of dogs in the war is
merely to remind some of us that now, even more than ever, is the proverbial
dog entitled to claim the everlasting friendship and companionship of
mankind, and above all, due careful and thoughtful attention in health and
A GOOD BOY GETS WARM MITTENS
There was once a little boy who wanted a new pair of warm, red mittens to
keep his hands warm in the wintertime, so he asked his grandmother if she
would knit him a pair. But the grandmother had no skeins of red yarn.
"You will have to go to the shopkeeper," she said.
So the little boy went to the shopkeeper for the yarn.
"Will you give me some skeins of red yarn so my grandmother can knit me a
pair of red mittens to keep my hands warm ?" the little boy asked the
The shopkeeper looked on his shelves, where there were tins of tea, and jars
of peppermint sticks, but no yarn. Then he shook his head.
"You will have to go to the dyer," the shop-keeper said.
So the little boy went to the dyer.
"Will you dye some yarn red so that the shop-keeper may sell it to me, and
my grandmother can knit me a pair of red mittens to keep my hands warm," the
little boy asked the dyer.
[illustration - THE DYER LOOKED IN HIS POT]
The dyer looked in his dye pot, where yarn was being dyed green, and blue,
and violet, and brown, and yellow ; but there was no yarn in the pot of red
"You will have to go to the spinner for white yarn," the dyer said.
So the little boy went to the mill, where great wheels turned round and
round, guided by the spinner.
"Will you give me some white yarn," he asked, "so the dyer may dye it red,
and the Shopkeeper may sell it to me and my grandmother can knit me a pair
of red mittens to keep my hands warm?"
But the spinning-wheels were quiet. There was no wool to spin into yarn.
"You will have to go to the sheepfold," the spinner said.
So the little boy went to the sheepfold, where
there were mother sheep,
and baby lambs, and a shepherd to care for them.
"Will you cut me a fleece of wool ?" the little boy asked the shepherd, "so
the spinner may spin it into yarn, and the dyer may dye the yarn red? Then
the shopkeeper may sell it to me, and my grand-mother can knit me a pair of
red mittens to keep my hands warm."
"I will," said the shepherd, and he cut a thick white fleece from the back
of a mother sheep.
Then the little boy took the fleece of wool to the spinner, who started his
wheels and spun the wool into white yarn. The dyer dyed the white yarn red,
and the shopkeeper sold some skeins of the red yarn to the little boy. Then
the grandmother got out her shining knitting-needles and knitted the little
boy a pair of red mittens.
[illustration - CARRYING GRANDMA'S GROCERIES]
They kept the little boy's hands warm in the winter, but they did more I
than that, oh, very much more! They helped him to bring home the basket of
groceries for his grandmother, and shovel a path from the street to the
shopkeeper's door. The red mittens
[illustration - Mme. C. J. Walker
helped the little boy to
carry measures of food to the sheep, and draw his little sister on her sled,
and bring wood into the house for his mother. They helped to keep others
warm and happy, too, as well as the little boy himself.
Madam Walker, before her premature death,
accumulated more than one million dollars by her own business methods;
her home on the Hudson River, New York City, being worth
Copywright International News Reel
SHE—WHEN WE'R GROWN LET'S GET MARRIED.
HE—M-A MABY SO!]
[illustration - Copywright O. Keller
THE YOUNG SCHOOL
THE FAITHFUL COLORED SHEPHERD BOY
It is more important in a boy or girl to be faithful than popular. Let me
tell you a story about a colored boy living in Texas. His name was Jim
Douglass, and he was a shepherd boy, like David before becoming King of
One day Jim had his flock of sheep in a field near a forest, where there
were wolves and other kinds of animals, and there came along a man with a
gun on his shoulder, and running behind him was a dog. He stopped and said
to Jim: "If you will go to the store and get something for me and my dog to
eat I will watch your sheep until you come back; and I will pay you for
going." The offer was very tempting to the boy, but he thought of his sheep
and his duty toward them. He thought to himself that may-be the stranger
came to steal the sheep; or that may-be he wouldn't keep the wolves from
"No, I don't think my father would want me to go," he answered.
"But," said the hunter, "your father will never know anything about it, for
I do not know him, and there is no one else to tell him."
"O, yes," said Jim, "I would tell him, for I always tell him what happens
and I would have to tell him that I left the sheep with a stranger."
When the hunter saw that Jim would not go for him, he took his name and
address and started off for the store.
Several years later when Jim had grown to be a man he received a letter from
the hunter who owned a large farm. He asked Jim to be the manager of his
important business. Jim accepted and through
flo.1922.2010.317.jpg the same faithfulness that he had shown
when a shepherd he became an accomplished manager.
It pays to be faithful always.
[illustration - Frederick Douglass Monument at Rochester, N. V.]