Imatges de pÓgina

“Let dogs delight to bark and bite,

For God has made them so ;
Let bears and lions growl and fight,

For 'tis their nature too.

But children you should never let

Such angry passions rise ;
Your little hands were never made

To tear each other's eyes.”

[ocr errors]

After which he inade them stand in a corner of the room, without their breakfasts ; neither did they get anything to eat all the morning; and what was worse, their

papa and mamma, looked very gravely at them. When John came in to lay the cloth for dinner, Mr. Fairchild called the three children to him, and asked them if they were sorry for the wicked things which they had done.

"Oh! yes, papa ! yes, papa! we are sorry,” they said. “Do you remember, Lucy—do you remember,

Emily," said Mr. Fairchild,“ what words you used

_ to each other?

Yes, papa,” they answered : we said that we did not love each other; but we did not mean what we said.”

“ Yes," answered Mr. Fairchild ; you did mean what you said at the time; or else why did you pinch and strike ?"

“Oh, papa !” answered Lucy, “because we were

"And suppose," said Mr. Fairchild, “that you had had a knife in your hand, Lucy : in your anger you might have struck your sister with it, and perhaps have killed her.”

“Oh! no, papa ! no, papa!" said Lucy : “I would not kill my poor sister for all the world.

Mr. Fairchild. “ You would not kill her now, I am sure, for all the world, because you are not now angry with her ; nor would you pinch her now,

[ocr errors]

angry then,



I am


not say.

sure ; but when hatred and anger seize upon persons, they do many shocking things which they would not think of at another time. Have you not read how wicked Cain, in his anger, killed his brother Abel ? And do you not remember the verse, 1 John ii. 15 : · Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer, and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him !'”

“Oh! papa, papa !” said Emily, we will never be angry again.' My dear Emily,” said Mr. Fairchild, “ you must that

you will never be angry again ; but that you will

pray to God, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, your great Redeemer, to send his Holy Spirit into your heart, to take away these wicked passions.'

“Papa," said Lucy," when the Spirit of God is in me, shall I never hate any more, or be in wicked passions any more ?"

My dear child," answered Mr. Fairchild, “ the Lord Jesus Christ says, ' By this shall men know that ye are my disciples, if ye

have love one towards another.' (John xiii. 31.) Therefore, if you are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of God is in you, you will love everybody, even those who hate and use you ill.”

Then Mr. Fairchild kissed his children, and forgave them ; and they kissed each other; and Mr. Fairchild


them leave to dine with him as usual. After dinner Mr. Fairchild said to his wife :

“I will take the children this evening to Blackwood, and show them something there, which, I think, they will remember as long

as they live : and I hope they will take warning from it, and earnestly for new hearts, that they may love each other with perfect and heavenly love."

you are going to Blackwood,” said Mrs. Fairchild, "I cannot go with you, my dear, though I

[ocr errors]

pray more

- If

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

approve of your taking the children. Let John go with you to carry Henry part of the way: for it is too far for him to walk."

“What is there at Blackwood, papa ?” cried the children.

Something very shocking,” said Mr. Fairchild. “ There is one there,” said Mr. Fairchild, looking very grave, “who hated his brother."

Will he hurt us, papa ?” said Henry.

No,” said Mr. Fairchild ; "he cannot hurt you When the children and John were ready, Mr. Fairchild set out. They went down the lane nearly as far as the village ; and then, crossing over a long field, they came in front of a very thick wood.

“This is Blackwood,” said Mr. Fairchild, getting over the stile : “ the pathway is almost grown up; nobody likes to come here now.”

“What is here, papa ?” added the children ; " is it very shocking? We are afraid to go on.”

“ There is nothing here that will hurt you, my dear children,” said Mr. Fairchild. “ Am not I with

you think I would lead my children into danger ?

No, papa,” said the children: “but mamma said there was something very dreadful in this wood.”

Then Lncy and Emily drew behind Mr. Fairchild, and walked close together : and little Henry asked John to carry him. The wood was very thick and dark; and they walked on for half a mile, going down hill all the way. At last they saw by the light through the trees, that they were come near to the end of the wood ; and, as they went further on, they saw an old garden wall; some parts of which being broken down, they could see, beyond, a large brick house, which, from the fashion of it, seemed as if it might have stood there some hundred years, and now was fallen to ruin. The garden was overgrown with

you; and do

[ocr errors]



grass and weeds, the fruit-trees wanted pruning, and it could now hardly be discovered where the walks had been. One of the old chimneys had fallen down, breaking through the roof of the house in one or two places; and the glass windows were broken near the place where the garden wall had fallen. Just between that and the wood stood a gibbet, on which the body of a man hung in chains; the body had not yet fallen to pieces, although it had hung there some years. It had on a blue coat, a silk handkerchief round the neck, with shoes and stockings, and every other part of the dress still entire ; but the face of the corpse was shocking, that the children could not look upon it.

“Oh! papa, papa! what is that ?” cried the children.

That is a gibbet,” said Mr. Fairchild : “and the man who hangs upon it is a murderer-one who first hated and afterwards killed his brother! When people are found guilty of stealing, or murder, they are hanged upon a gallows, and taken down as soon as they are dead; but in some particular cases, when a man has committed a murder, he is hanged in iron chains upon a gibbet, till his body falls to pieces, that all who pass by may take warning by the example.”

Whilst Mr. Fairchild was speaking, the wind blew strong and shook the body upon the gibbet, rattling the chains by which it hung.

“Oh! let us go, papa !” said the children, pulling Mr. Fairchild's coat. “ Not yet,” said Mr. Fairchild : “I must tell

you the history of that wretched man before we go from this place.”

So saying, be sat down on the stump of an old tree, and the children gathered close round him.

When I first came into this country, before any of you, my children, were born,” said Mr. Fairchild,


[ocr errors]

“ there lived, in that old house which

you see before you, a widow lady, who had two sons. The place then, though old fashioned, was neat and flourishing ; the garden being full of fine old fruit-trees, and the flower-beds in beautiful order. The old lady kept an excellent table, and was glad to see any of her neighbours who called in upon her. Your mamma and I used often to go and see her; and should have gone oftener, only we could not bear to see the manner in which she brought up her sons. She never sent them to school, lest the master should correct them, but hired a person to teach them reading and writing at home: this man, however, was forbidden to punish them. They were allowed to be with the servants in the stable and kitchen, but the servants were ordered not to deny them anything ; so they used to call them names, swear at them, and even strike them : and the servants did not dare to answer them, lest they should lose their places : the consequence of which was, that no good servant would stay, to be abused by wicked children.

“From quarrelling with the servants, these angry boys proceeded to quarrel with each other.

James, the eldest, despised his brother Roger, because he, as eldest, was to have the house and land ; and Roger, in his turn despised his brother James. As they grew bigger, they became more and more wicked, proud and stubborn, sullen and undutiful. Their poor mother still loved them so foolishly that she could not see their faults, and would not suffer them to be checked. At length, when they became young men, their hatred of each other rose to such a height that they often would not speak to each other for days together : and sometimes they would quarrel, and almost come to blows, before their mother's face.

“One evening in autumn, after one of these quarrels, James met his brother Roger returning from

« AnteriorContinua »