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Arkansas ladies' journal. (Little Rock, Ark.) 1884-1886, December 06, 1884, Image 10

Image and text provided by Arkansas State Archives

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn90050096/1884-12-06/ed-1/seq-10/

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ChHdren’A sa£e. a
The Light That is Felt.
A tender child of summers three,
Seeking her little bed at night,
Paused on the dark stair timidly.
‘‘Oh, Mother! Take my hand,” said she,
“And the dark will all be light.”
We older children grope our way
From dark behind to dark before;
And only when our hands we lay,
Dear Lord, in Thine, the night is day
And there is darkness nevermore.
Peach downward to the sunless days
Wherein our guides are blind as we,
And faith is small and hope delays;
Take Thou the hands of prayer we raise,
And let us feel the light of Thee!—
John G. Whittier in St. Nicholas for Nov
A Little Waif.
During the winter of 1863-4, I was
teaching in C , a little town in Ken-
tucky. Those who can remember so far
back, will recollect what a severe winter it
was. C was situated on the bank of
the Ohio river. My room was on a cor
ner, so I had the full benefit of any and
every breeze which swept around my cor
ner; and sometimes the winds se«med to
whistle the tune of “O’er the Hills and
and far away,” to an accompaniment of an
harp which I had placed on the sill
of one of the windows.
The Christmas-tide was approaching, and
my room-mate, the music teacher, and I
were sittiug cosily near our cheerful fire of
“Breckinridge” coal, enjoying its glow and
warmth, and chatting about scenes and in
cidents which had occured at home, and as
young people will do, longing to be with
our loved ones again for the Christmas fes
The mail packet whistled, rounded to
the levee, discharged her budget of mail,
then sped on her way up the river; we
heard it unconsciously, noting it as only one
of the usual midnight sounds, and went on
In a little while we heard the voice of a
child singing, a sound so unusual, that our
attention was attracted. We went to the
window to see who it could be at that hour
of the night. We were familiar with the
voices of nearly every child in the town
and wondered that any should be abroad.
There was not light enough to distinguish
objects, but as the soun 1 came nearer, we
knew it was the voice of a boy, and could
understand some of his words. He was
improvising, telling his sad story, which
was this: He and his father were on
their way to L ,to spend the holidays
with relatives and friends from whom they
had long been separated; they looked for
ward with great pleasure to the reunion,
and had so many plans to fill every moment
of their visit. But now he was lost, with
out money, friends or food, among strangers
in the night time, and no shelter from the
At one of the railway stations, he had,
with a boy’s restless impulse, stepped off
the car to see something at some distance
from the road, and becoming interested in
what was going on, forgot how far he was
from the cars, when the locomotive
whistled, he ran as fast as he could,
but the train moved on, carrying the father
unconsciously far away from his son, whom
he supposed would soon return to his seat
by his side.
The little fellow knew not what to do
nor where to go. Some one kindly gave
him something to eat and told him that
the packet would soon come then he could
go on her up to L and meet his father.
He was afraid to ask for a free passage on
the boat, so he slipped through the crowd
and found a hiding place among the
freight on board the boat.
After the boat started he kept quietly
in his place for several hours, and was be
ginning to feel safe and hopeful, when he
was discovered by some of the men, who
reported him to the Captain. He was very
angry and spoke very roughly to the boy,
and at the next landing, which happened
to be C , put him off and told him to
take care of himself the best that he could,
for he would not have any small boys
smuggled on his boat to get into mischief.
This was the sad story he gave us in
answer to our questioning, and with a sigh
he sat down on the door step. The poor
little fellow was so tired, and kept saying,
“I wish the daylight would come. I’m so
tired and sleepy.”
We asked what his name was and what
his age.
“Willie Graham, and I am twelve years
old,” was his answer.
Miss T and I both had little
brothers near his age and of course our
sympathies were fully aroused, so we went
down stairs to ask the Principal of the
school to give him shelter for the night.
He was one of the kindest of men and
readily granted our request. He went out
to the door to ask him in, but during our
short absence the little waif had gone on
his way and we could hear nothing about
him, though we enquired of every one in
the neighborhood. No one had seen him
! and no one had heard him.
Mr. H. laughed at us and said We had
been dreaming, but we knew that it '
no dream and regretted that we had
told the little boy to wait until we
back; we had not felt at liberty to ask hi 1Q
in without first asking permission, and o Ur
opportunity was lost, and Mr. H- •
the kindness of his heart was as sorry as We
Every year as the Christmas time recurs
I find myself thinking of the little stranger
wondering what his fate was, trying to
imagine that after all some one befriended
him and restored him to his father, and the
reunion of relatives and friends was ren
dered doubly happy by the return of the
lost one.
Perhaps he learned a good lesson from
his experience on that trip, and did not
yield to any temptation to stray off on his
journey home.
He may have lived to be a man and he
may be telling this same story to his chil
dren to-night as they gather around his
knees, hoping that they may never have
any such experience in their lives.
Such is the story of my little waif, and as
the years go on, perhaps it will trouble me
no more, since I have related it to the
Home Life.
Every woman should look “well to the
ways of her household,” and possess a,
thorough understanding of all the details
which make up the minutie of housekeeping*
So that if the servants leave her to her own
resources, she can herself prepare a com
fortable meal for the ‘family, and not be
compelled to sit down in despair because
the cook has taken her departure. How
much unhappiness results from not being
competent to take the helm in such unfor
seen cases. The science of housekeeping
is an art which has been sadly neglect.
Mothers have trained their daughters to the
greatest perfection in almost every other
art, while this most useful and important
one no attention in many families. And
to-day daughters are filling homes without
the slightest knowledge of the most essen
tial element of making that home one of
enjoyment and lasting happiness. Wholly
dependent upon servants, are they truly fit
ted for life’s responsible duties? Wealth is
uncertain; “Riches may take wings and fly
away,” and leave us to our own devices.
How important, then, that our daughters
should have a thorough education in the
culinary department, so that when they g°
out to homes of their own, they can be the
presiding genius which controls all the
wheels of action, and causes everything t 0
move on quietly and harmoniously, regaw
less of financial panics and the iueltint
away of fortunes.

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