Lewie Or, The Bended Twig
Cousin Cicely AKA Sarah Hopkins Bradford (b. 1818)
Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Graeme Mackreth and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
[Illustration: BROOK FARM (Frontispiece)]
THE BENDED TWIG.
BY COUSIN CICELY, AUTHOR OF THE "SILVER LAKE STORIES," ETC. ETC.
"Train up this child for me, and I will give thee thy wages."
"Mother! thy gentle hand hath mighty power,
For thou alone may'st train, and guide, and mould,
Plants that shall blossom with an odor sweet,
Or like the cursed fig-tree, wither and become
Vile cumberers of the ground."
AUBURN AND ROCHESTER: ALDEN &BEARDSLEY. 1856.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1853, by ALDEN BEARDSLEY &CO. In the Clerk's Office for the Northern District of New York.
It seems to be thought that a preface or introduction of some sort is absolutely necessary to a book; why, I do not know, unless it be that it looks rather abrupt to begin one's story without a word as to the why or wherefore of its being written. This in the present case can be said very shortly.
The principal events in the following story, the loved and petted child being, as it seemed, given back to life in answer to the mother's importunate cry; the indulgence under which he grew up, and the fatal consequences of that indulgence upon a temper such as his; are taken from real life, and may be used as sad warnings to those who shrink from the present trouble and pain, of rightly training the little ones God has given them.
The story of the Governess is a true one in every particular; names only being altered; I believe there are none remaining now whose feelings will be pained by this sad history being made public, so far as this little book may make it so, but there are one or two I know, and perhaps more, now living, who will smile if the chapter entitled "Ruth Glenn" meets their eyes, when they remember the disturbed nights years ago at a certain city boarding school. If she to whom I have given this name should ever see these pages, I hope she will forgive me for thus "telling tales out of school," in consideration of the high station to which by my single voice I have raised her, and the pleasant memory she leaves behind.
Many other little scenes and incidents interwoven in, the story, are from life.
And now I can only close my preface as I have closed the book, in the earnest hope that it may have the effect of leading some mothers to train rightly the little shoots springing up around the parent tree, restraining their wandering inclinations, and teaching them ever to look and grow towards Heaven.
Page The cross baby brother-The patient sister-The novel-reading mamma-The broken work-box-Undeserved punishment-The lock of papa's hair-Old Mammy-The cold north room-"Never alone"-Aunt Wharton-Lewie sick-A pleasant change for the little prisoner 11
Bridget's rage-Mammy's story-The runaway match-The dead father-The cheerful home at Brook Farm-Cousin Emily-The ice palace-Christmas secrets-The mother's agony-Life from the dead 28
Preparations for Christmas-The needle-book-Santa Claus himself expected-Old Cousin Betty-Loads of presents-Christmas Eve-Appearance of Santa Claus-"Who can he be?"-Cousin Tom-Poor Emily's grief 58
Cousin Betty-Absence of mind and body-A habit of dying-The shadow on the wall-Cousin Betty's ride on Prancer-Training day-Cousin Betty a captain of militia-Cousin Betty's stories 67
Agnes and Mr. Wharton on their way to the Hemlocks-The novel-reading mamma again-Lewie better-Agnes must stay-A lay sermon to Mrs. Elwyn-The needle-case-The bitter disappointment 77
Lewie roving the woods and fields again-Capricious and fretful still-The birth-day party at Mr. Wharton's-Preparations for tableaux-Another disappointment for Agnes-The sweetest tableaux of all