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him; and when he came through the little gate out of the fields she ran as hard as she could till she got to him, and was quickly lifted up into his arms with her smiling face and sunny curls turned close to his. The rest ran in to beg mother to let them sit up a little longer, and, having got consent, soon followed. Emma seized one hand, Lucy the other, while Willie pushed behind, till they got him to the seat under the old elm tree down the garden, and then with one consent begged for a “tale and a good long one.” So he began to tell them the “Adventures of Jacquot and his mouse and monkey." Lucy stood on one side, with an arm round his neck, Emma on the other, little Ada lay in her lap, and Willie sat on the ground at his feet, all ready and willing to hear the tale, and if you, my readers, will pay attention, you shall hear it too.
“Now, Willie, have you ever seen an Italian boy ?”
“Oh! yes, James, I saw one last summer against the West Bridge, and he had such a funny monkey, which stood on a little table and pretended to fight his master with a tin sword; and when anything was given him to eat by the spectators he soon put it in his mouth, and then taking off his cap made a bow and chattered his thanks."
“Well, then, I need not tell you that an Italian boy is a great deal like other boys, and I am sure he has got feelings as tender as any of us; I have often been sorry to see a lot of boys get round and teaze one while he was playing bis hurdy-gurdy, or dancing and singing to the music of the funny squeaking little instrument which he played, and they all the time mocking and hindering him from getting
the few halfpence he watched so eagerly for. I hope you will never do so, Willie; for we cannot think how painful it is to strangers unless we were in their places.
In beautiful Italy there is a country named Piedmont, in the kingdom of Sardinia; perhaps you have heard your father talk of the Sardinians who have been helping us to fight the Russians. But what is a great deal more pleasing to those who hate war, is that the people of Sardinia are getting tired of the Roman Catholic religion, and a great many are now reading the Bible, and learning that the only way by which they can be saved is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; whose blood cleanseth us from all sin. They are beginning to see it is no use praying to the saints, as the Catholics call them, to help them to get to heaven. Do you
think it is, Lucy ?" “No, James; for Jesus Christ says, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by
“That's right, Lucy, praying either to saints or the Virgin Mary will not help us. We must come to Hirn who said, 'I am the way.'—'I am the Good Shepherd, my sheep hear my voice and follow me.' And again, ‘Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.' Even if the saints could help us, we do not want their help when we can ask the Lord Jesus to save us, and he has promised he will even "unto the very uttermost.' Dont you forget to remember in your prayers those countries which are yet in darkness, and are ignorant of the only true God. Pray that they
may see the great light, even the light of the glorious gospel of the blessed God.”
“Well : in a lonely valley just at the foot of that great range of snow-capped mountains called the Alps, which divide Piedmont from France, lived Jacquot, his father, mother, and several brothers and sisters. As he stood outside their little cottage, he could see Mount St. Bernard, which you very likely read about in the Children's Magazine' some time since, and about those noble dogs which the monks, who live in a monastery at the top of the mountain, send out to search for travellers, who, overcome by cold and fatigue, have lain down and fallen asleep in the deep snow, where they would die if no help came.”
“I remember it," said Emma, "and the dogs carry a little basket in their mouths with food and drink in it, for the lost and fainting traveller."
“ Yes: and many a man who has fallen into the sleep of death on this snowy mountain, while his little ones and their mother were at home wondering why he did not come, and afraid lest some evil had befallen him, has been aroused by these animals, and helped forward to reach his home and little ones, and tell them how he has been saved from death by these means.
To go on with my tale—the Piedmontese are so poor, that when they have a large family the eldest boy has to set out to obtain his own living, and this is the reason why we see so many in England. Some start with a white mouse, or marmot as they call them, which is put in a cage and taught to play many little tricks to obtain halfpence to keep his
master alive, and find him a poor lodging at nights among other boys like himself; and often, perhaps, the little wanderer, when he lays his weary head on his pillow, weeps as he thinks he is far away from home, and his father and mother, and brothers and sisters. He thinks of them at home in his own native valley, and can fancy he sees them gathered round the table at supper time, talking about him and wondering where he is. No wonder he feels sad sometimes. He may perhaps never see them all again. Very often he will have nothing to eat, or he may be ill, and then he will have no kind mother to watch over him and nurse him till he gets well again; but he will be amongst strangers whose language he cannot understand, with no other friend or companion than his little marmot or his monkey.
One night, when Jacqnot's brothers and sisters were in bed, he sat on a little stool by his mother's side, his head leaning in her lap, and her hand on his brow, when his ather said, 'Jacquot, you have always been a good boy, and we love you very much, but you are now getting old enough, and it is time you went out to seek your living, for we are very poor and cannot afford to keep you any longer.' His mother did not speak at first, but drew him closer to her, and, bending down, kissed him as the tears filled her eyes to think of parting with him perhaps for ever. But at last she told him to be a good boy, and trust in God, who would keep him and bless him if he did right, and perhaps spare him to come back to them again in a few years. Jacquot cried bitterly—and no wonder, for he was not yet in his teens—to leave all whom he loved and go as a stranger
into a strange country. But the thought that if he could earn some money he should come back again and be able to help his another and father, shone into his heart like a sunbeam, and after talking about it a little longer be kissed his mother and father and went to bed. Very soon he fell asleep, for trouble lies lightly on the young mind, and he dreamed he had caught a pretty little marmot, with which he strolled through France, and which played so many funny tricks that the villagers gave him plenty of money. Morning came and he awoke. After breakfast he and his father set off to catch some little mice, of which there were plenty hid in holes in the wheat fields. Sometimes there are so many that they will eat up whole fields, and make a path across others almost as well trodden as a foot-path. The farmers who lose their wheat often offer a reward to the lads of the village for killing them, and many ways are tried to catch them, but that which is the most successful is putting some rags, charcoal, leather, and sulphur in a pan, and blowing the fumes into the mice holes with a pair of bellows and thus suffocating them.”
But just as cousin James had got thus far, Willie's mother came to the gate and called them to go to bed, for it was a great deal past nine o'clock. At first there was some little murmuring to be obliged to leave oft, but when cousin promised them he would come down another evening soon and go on with the tale they were satisfied. So, my readers, you too must have patience and wait awhile if you would hear more about Jacquot and his mouse and monkey.