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Mary Erskine   By: (1803-1879)

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[Illustration: MARY ERSKINE'S FARM]

MARY ERSKINE

A Franconia Story,

BY THE AUTHOR OF THE ROLLO BOOKS.

NEW YORK: HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS. FRANKLIN SQUARE.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1850, by HARPER & BROTHERS, In the Clerk's Office for the Southern District of New York.

PREFACE.

The development of the moral sentiments in the human heart, in early life, and every thing in fact which relates to the formation of character, is determined in a far greater degree by sympathy, and by the influence of example, than by formal precepts and didactic instruction. If a boy hears his father speaking kindly to a robin in the spring, welcoming its coming and offering it food, there arises at once in his own mind, a feeling of kindness toward the bird, and toward all the animal creation, which is produced by a sort of sympathetic action, a power somewhat similar to what in physical philosophy is called induction . On the other hand, if the father, instead of feeding the bird, goes eagerly for a gun, in order that he may shoot it, the boy will sympathize in that desire, and growing up under such an influence, there will be gradually formed within him, through the mysterious tendency of the youthful heart to vibrate in unison with hearts that are near, a disposition to kill and destroy all helpless beings that come within his power. There is no need of any formal instruction in either case. Of a thousand children brought up under the former of the above described influences, nearly every one, when he sees a bird, will wish to go and get crumbs to feed it, while in the latter case, nearly every one will just as certainly look for a stone. Thus the growing up in the right atmosphere, rather than the receiving of the right instruction, is the condition which it is most important to secure, in plans for forming the characters of children.

It is in accordance with this philosophy that these stories, though written mainly with a view to their moral influence on the hearts and dispositions of the readers, contain very little formal exhortation and instruction. They present quiet and peaceful pictures of happy domestic life, portraying generally such conduct, and expressing such sentiments and feelings, as it is desirable to exhibit and express in the presence of children.

The books, however, will be found, perhaps, after all, to be useful mainly in entertaining and amusing the youthful readers who may peruse them, as the writing of them has been the amusement and recreation of the author in the intervals of more serious pursuits.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER

I. JEMMY

II. THE BRIDE

III. MARY ERSKINE'S VISITORS

IV. CALAMITY

V. CONSULTATIONS

VI. MARY BELL IN THE WOODS

VII. HOUSE KEEPING

VIII. THE SCHOOL

IX. GOOD MANAGEMENT

X. THE VISIT TO MARY ERSKINE'S

ENGRAVINGS.

MARY ERSKINE'S FARM FRONTISPIECE.

CATCHING THE HORSE

THE LOG HOUSE

MARY BELL AT THE BROOK

THE WIDOW AND THE FATHERLESS

MRS. BELL

MARY BELL AND QUEEN BESS

MARY BELL GETTING BREAKFAST

THE SCHOOL

GOING TO COURT

THE STRAWBERRY PARTY

THE FRANCONIA STORIES.

ORDER OF THE VOLUMES.

MALLEVILLE.

WALLACE.

MARY ERSKINE.

MARY BELL.

BEECHNUT.

RODOLPHUS.

ELLEN LINN.

STUYVESANT.

CAROLINE.

AGNES.

SCENE OF THE STORY

The country in the vicinity of Franconia, at the North.

PRINCIPAL PERSONS

MARY ERSKINE.

ALBERT.

PHONNY and MALLEVILLE, cousins, residing at the house of Phonny's mother.

MRS. HENRY, Phonny's mother.

ANTONIO BLANCHINETTE, a French boy, residing at Mrs. Henry's; commonly called Beechnut.

MRS. BELL, a widow lady, living in the vicinity of Mrs. Henry's.

MARY BELL, her daughter.

MARY ERSKINE.

CHAPTER I.

JEMMY.

Malleville and her cousin Phonny generally played together at Franconia a great part of the day, and at night they slept in two separate recesses which opened out of the same room. These recesses were deep and large, and they were divided from the room by curtains, so that they formed as it were separate chambers: and yet the children could speak to each other from them in the morning before they got up, since the curtains did not intercept the sound of their voices... Continue reading book >>




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