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Hatty and Marcus or, First Steps in the Better Path   By:

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First Steps in the Better Path.




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1859, by


In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York.

EDWARD O. JENKINS, Printer & Stereotyper, No. 26 Frankfort Street.

[Illustration: AUNT BARBARA.]



Hatty Lee had been on a visit to her grandmother, and now she was coming home.

Mrs. Lee had hard work that morning to keep her young people in order, for Hatty was a favorite with her brothers and sister, and they were wild with delight at the idea of seeing her again.

Hatty was only ten years of age, and Marcus, her brother, thought because he was two years older he was almost a man, and quite able to give Hatty advice on all subjects. He pretended a great contempt for girls, but the fact was he had missed his little playmate sorely, and was full of glee at the thought of her return. He showed his pleasure in a noisy way that made the house not very comfortable for any one else.

Old Aunt Barbara had twice put her head out of her bed room door, to tell him he was the “roughest, rudest boy in the world, and would drive her crazy if he did not behave himself;” but Marcus still ran up stairs, jumping up three steps at a time, with his heavy shoes, and sliding down the balusters, hallooing as he went, as if he were riding a race in an open meadow.

Meggy, a mischievous little girl of six, joined her shouts with those of Marcus, while Harry, her next brother, was busy collecting all his new playthings in the hall, that he might show them to “sister Hatty” as soon as she arrived.

As drums and trumpets were among his favorite toys, they of course had to be brought out, and thoroughly tried to prove that they were in perfect order.

While all this tumult was going on in the hall, Mrs. Lee was vainly trying to hush the continual cries of her little baby, who, though only five weeks old, seemed to have remarkably strong lungs for its age, and to promise to resemble the rest of the family in his willingness to use them.

Mrs. Lee was not very strong, and she was getting quite worn out with the screams of the baby, when old Aunt Barbara came stepping into the nursery, and declared that she was certain if she could take the child a moment, she could quiet it.

Aunt Barbara put the baby on her lap, and began to say to it some of the queer old rhymes she had heard in her childhood, seventy years ago. It is not likely that the baby understood aunt Barbara’s funny stories, and wanted to listen,—but this is certain, it stopped crying, and soon closed its eyes and fell into a sweet sleep.

When there was silence in the nursery, the noise in the hall sounded all the louder. Mrs. Lee stepped to the door quickly, as if she were going to speak severely to the children, but something within her whispered that they had no idea of the pain their frolic was giving, and that it was joy about their sister’s return that made them so unusually full of glee. When Mrs. Lee reached the head of the stairs, her face had a sweet motherly expression, and before she spoke, she could not help smiling to see little Harry blowing away at his trumpet with all his might, and marching up and down the hall as if he were a fat little soldier on parade, while they jumped up and down, and screamed with delight, to see how fast Marcus could move on his smooth backed horse.

Mrs. Lee knew that in their present state of mind it would be next to impossible to keep the children perfectly quiet, and she resolved to employ them about something, that they might not waste their energy in making a noise... Continue reading book >>

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