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CHIRP THE FIRST. The winter of 1878 was certainly an unusually dreary one, and so thought a remarkably fine young Blackbird, as he perched one morning on the bare bough of a spreading lime-tree, whose last brown leaf had fallen to the ground some weeks before. With the exception of the Scotch firs and other fortunate evergreens, there was nothing to be seen on all sides but leafless branches standing out sharply against the cold, grey sky.... more...

INTRODUCTION Mother Carey All-mother! Mater Cara! I have never seen you, but I hungered so to know you that I understood it when you came, unseen, and silently whispered to me that first time in the long ago. I cannot tell the children what you look like, Mother Carey, for mortal eye hath never rested on your face; and yet I can offer them a portrait, O strong Angel of the Wild Things, neither young nor old—Oh! loving One that neither... more...

CHAPTER I. EXPLANATION OF TERMS. Defining terms. The word excellence here used as nearly synonym with holiness. What is meant by calling the work a Guide. The term Woman— why preferable, as a general term, to Lady. The class to whom this work is best adapted. It has been said, and with no little truth, that a large proportion of the disputes in the world might have been avoided, had the disputants first settled the meaning of the terms... more...

INTRODUCTION. The young are often accused of being thoughtless, rash, and unwilling to be advised. That the former of these charges is in a great measure just, is not denied. Indeed, what else could be expected? They are thoughtless, for they are yet almost strangers to the world, and its cares and perplexities. They are forward, and sometimes rash; but this generally arises from that buoyancy of spirits, which health and vigor impart. True, it... more...

LETTER I. CONTENTMENT. It is, perhaps, only the young who can be very hopefully addressed on the present subject. A few years hence, and your habits of mind will be unalterably formed; a few years hence, and your struggle against a discontented spirit, even should you be given grace to attempt it, would be a perpetually wearisome and discouraging one. The penalty of past sin will pursue you until the end, not only in the pain caused by a... more...


I. A CHRISTMAS DREAM, AND HOW IT CAME TRUE. "I'm so tired of Christmas I wish there never would be another one!" exclaimed a discontented-looking little girl, as she sat idly watching her mother arrange a pile of gifts two days before they were to be given. "Why, Effie, what a dreadful thing to say! You are as bad as old Scrooge; and I'm afraid something will happen to you, as it did to him, if you don't care for dear Christmas," answered... more...

CHAPTER I. RESPONSIBILITY. In large cities there are so many persons guilty of crimes, that it is necessary to have a court sit every day to try those who are accused of breaking the laws. This court is called the Police Court. If you should go into the room where it is held, you would see the constables bringing in one after another of miserable and wicked creatures, and, after stating and proving their crimes, the judge would command them to... more...

KING ALFRED AND THE CAKES.   Many years ago there lived in Eng-land a wise and good king whose name was Al-fred. No other man ever did so much for his country as he; and people now, all over the world, speak of him as Alfred the Great. In those days a king did not have a very easy life. There was war almost all the time, and no one else could lead his army into battle so well as he. And so, between ruling and fighting, he had a busy time... more...

INTRODUCTION 1. It is the duty, and ought to be the pleasure, of age and experience to warn and instruct youth and to come to the aid of inexperience. When sailors have discovered rocks or breakers, and have had the good luck to escape with life from amidst them, they, unless they be pirates or barbarians as well as sailors, point out the spots for the placing of buoys and of lights, in order that others may not be exposed to the danger which... more...

CHAPTER I—ANCIENT ENGLAND AND THE ROMANS If you look at a Map of the World, you will see, in the left-hand upper corner of the Eastern Hemisphere, two Islands lying in the sea.  They are England and Scotland, and Ireland.  England and Scotland form the greater part of these Islands.  Ireland is the next in size.  The little neighbouring islands, which are so small upon the Map as to be mere dots, are chiefly little bits... more...