The Holiday Book, by Francis C. Woodworth. (New York: Clark, Austin & Smith, 1853)
Frank and Susan under a tree.
By Theodore Thinker.
CLARK, AUSTIN & SMITH,
3 PARK ROW & 3 ANN-STREET.
By CLARK, AUSTIN & CO.,
In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United States for the
Southern District of New York.
FRANK AND SUSAN.
Frank and Susan, a brother and sister, went to school in the city of New York. Their parents lived in the city, and the children did not often go into the country. But a few years ago—I believe it was the same
year in which the cholera visited the city—they were told that if they would learn their lessons well, they might go into the country as soon as the vacation began, and that they might stay all the rest of the summer.
So, the very first day after their school was out for the summer, Frank and Susan went to Greenville, a beautiful place in the country, and there they
stayed until the frost began to nip the leaves of the trees, in the fall.
I cannot tell you half of what they saw and heard, that delighted them; and if I should tell the whole, some of you, who are more acquainted with the country than you are with the city, would say, “Why, Mr. Thinker, I’ve seen all that many a time.” So, instead of giving
you half a dozen chapters, all filled with what these two children saw and heard in and about the pretty village of Greenville, I will write you a book made up of pictures of holiday life; that is, I will give you just such stories as I think you will all like to read when there is no school, and during your holidays. This book I will call “The Holiday Book.”
Now I expect that you will love to read this book quite as well as you love to play; and, indeed, I shall put some riddles, and puzzles, and charades, and such things in it, so that, while you are reading them, and trying to find them out, it will be almost the same thing as play.
FRANK AND SUSAN AT GREENVILLE.
Would you like to know how Frank and Susan spent their time in the country? They did so many things, that it would be difficult to mention them all. But you may be sure of one thing—they did not spend all their time in playing. I suppose they liked
play as well as any children; but they found other ways of amusing themselves, once in a while, besides playing. I have seen some boys and girls, who seemed to think that they could not do any thing but play, when there was a vacation in their school, even if the vacation lasted all summer. Frank and Susan, however, did not have any such thoughts.
It was a very common thing for them, when their grandfather and grandmother, with whom they were staying, were willing, to go out into the woods, and hunt for flowers, and make the acquaintance of the birds and the squirrels.
They were both very fond of botany; and many a time, while they were at Greenville, they strayed into those beautiful
places where the flowers were very abundant, and, after collecting a great many different kinds, they sat down under the shade of some large tree, where they found out the names of the different flowers, by the help of a book written on purpose for boys and girls of their age.
In the picture of Frank and Susan, which I have given you,
they are reading a book, as you will see.
“Ah! that is the botany,” you say, “that they have taken out with them, so they might study out the names of the flowers they found.”
No, this time they have got another book. I can tell you what the name of it is, if you would like to know. It is Woodworth’s Youth’s Cabinet,
a magazine made on purpose for children. The day before that on which Frank and Susan made the visit to the old chestnut-tree, in the sheep pasture, where they are represented in the picture, their father came up from New York, and brought them one of these magazines, telling them that he was going to have a new one sent to them every month.
They found a great many things in this magazine which pleased them very much. The stories, the little pieces of poetry, the scraps of history, and the descriptions of wonderful things, delighted them so, that they could hardly take their eyes off from the book until they had read it through.
There was another part of the book that they liked. I
am not sure but they liked it better, indeed, than they did any thing else in it. That was the part which was devoted to enigmas, and riddles, and such things. How they did puzzle over some of those knotty (not naughty) riddles! How hard they tried to untie those knots! Susan did rather better with the riddles than her brother. I am not sure but girls generally
show more wisdom than boys in guessing riddles and puzzles.
I think I hear some of my little readers say, “I should like to see some of those puzzling things that Frank and Susan found in the Cabinet.”
I will print some of them for you; or, rather, I will print some as good as those were. I do not make them myself. My wit, if I have any, does not run
in that channel exactly. But I have some good friends who are quite at home in tying such knots; and when I told them I was about making a “Holiday Book” for children, and that I wanted to put some excellent riddles and enigmas into it, they sent me a few, which they gave me liberty to present to you.
Shall I tell you the names of
these good friends of children? I have a great mind to do so. One of them lives in the State of Michigan, and her name—but really I am afraid, after all, that she would not like it, if I should tell you. It begins with L, though. I will tell you as much as that. Another lives in Brooklyn, just over the East River, opposite my own city. This is Mrs. S. N. Another is
Mrs. H. L. W. Still another lady, who has sent me some very pretty puzzles for my young friends, was for many years a missionary among the Choctaw Indians, but is now living in one of the New England States—Miss L. S. H.
But I will bring on the puzzles, and say no more about the persons that made them.
Enigma No. 1.
I comprise but nine letters, yet am able to spell more than three times the number of words that there are letters in my name.
Would you like to hear me?
My 6, 5, 4, is a name of Deity.
My 5, 6, is a city destroyed by the Israelites.
My 4, 5, 6, 3, is a means of sending intelligence.
My 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, is a well-known author.
Studying out the riddles.
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My 3, 2, 4, 5, is an object of worship: also an animal.
My 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, is a branch of mechanical trade.
My 7, 8, is an adverb.
My 4, 5, 6, 9, is a name of the ocean or continent.
My 7, 8, 9, is a descendant.
My 4, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, is a word used formerly instead of a curse.
My 9, 8, is a negative.
My 1, 5, 6, 4, is to disable a limb.
My 8, 9, is a preposition.
My 6, 3, 4, 2, is part of a Popish recitation.
My 4, 2, 1, 5, is a familiar name for a parent.
My 8, 6, 3, is an article in common use, in pursuit of which life, health, and all else is risked—privation, peril, and anxiety encountered.
My 2, 6, 4, is what all must do to excel.
My 7, 8, 6, 3, is found in every land on the globe.
My 3, 6, 1, 5, is the capital of a republic.
My 4, 2, 9, is an animal of the biped species.
My 3, 8, 5, 9, is what few like to ask, and fewer still to grant.
My 3, 6, 8, 9, is a wild beast.
My 3, 8, 2, 4, is essential to the thrift of house plants.
My 7, 6, 2, 4, is the name of a populous kingdom.
My 5, 6, 3, is a name for pain.
My 7, 3, 6, 1, is applied to any thing having length without thickness.
My 7, 6, 8, 9, is the New Testament name of the ancient church.
My 4, 8, 5, 9, is an expression of distress.
My 3, 8, 6, 9, is a choice part of animal food.
My whole was once the favorite residence of an emperor.
My first is an object that city folks see,
Which goes on two legs, but ne’er upon three;
’Tis very much prized by the lazy and lame;
Although very useful, it has a short name.
My second is found
In Long Island Sound,
Yet ne’er in the water appears;
’Tis seen in the hair
Of the bat and the bear,
But never resides in their ears.
My third is a tool which fishermen use,
And one of all others they like not to lose;
Yet if you’ll invert it, ’twill bring to your view
The age of a child, perhaps older than you.
My whole is the name of a gem, that in truth,
Should be in the hands of very youth.
Now can you not my name surmise?
I’m something that you dearly prize.
Enigma No. 3.
I am composed of twenty-one letters.
My 3, 9, 1, 12, 11, is the name of an ancient city.
My 18, 20, 7, 21, is any thing and every thing.
My 8, 15, 19, 16, 13, is what Cupid is often called.
My 4, 5, 2, 6, is real estate.
My 10, 17, 14, is what people always are when it rains hard, and there is nothing between them and the sky but a thin umbrella.
My whole is of great importance to many, and is made a theme of endless speculation and discussion by a few—if not more.
Enigma No. 4.
I am composed of twenty-one letters.
My 2, 19, 8, 9, is a northern constellation.
My 6, 21, 17, is a vindictive goddess.
My 2, 11, 1, 9, 14, is a Roman poet, (related to Seneca.)
My 1, 4, 14, 18, 15, is a river in Africa.
My 10, 11, 6, 19, is a dangerous place for intoxicated men who cannot swim.
My 5, 15, 20, 13, is a distinguished title.
My 16, 12, 3, 7, have been called “timid, busy, large, small, pretty, wicked, daring, clumsy,” etc.
My whole is a woman celebrated in history, with her title.
My first is great, and bright, and high,
Else were my whole not needed;
My second wandering from his eye,
Is by my first unheeded;
And I, upon a sultry day,
Am often seen along Broadway.
Charade No. 2.
My first is an adjective, sad to behold—
More terribly fearful to bear;
My third more brilliant may be than gold,
Though viewless and free as the air;
My fourth without wings will swiftly fly,
Yet never it goes ahead,
Nor touches it either the earth or the sky,
But follows wherever ’tis led;
My second is found in the other three;
My whole is an island that lies in the sea.
Charade No. 3.
My first is a very useful article in making books for children.
My second belongs to the first order of creation.
My third abounds on the eastern coast of the United States.
My whole is a desirable accomplishment.
Charade No. 4.
My first contains a family;
My second will outweigh
A thousand pounds of precious gold,
Try it whene’er you may.
My whole is worn by rich and poor,
Each sex and every station;
And, save some dark, uncultured tribes,
In every land and nation.
Your thoughts it silently conveys,
If thus you please to use it;
And, sent with tidings to a friend,
He seldom will refuse it.
Sometimes it bears the gallant ship
Across the ocean wide;
And sometimes holds it firmly moored,
And spite of wind and tide.
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A Picture to Help You in Guessing.
In my silvery sheen,
With visage so bright,
In garments so clean,
And of fabric so light,
I’m a fairy queen.
In my swift gliding car,
With my banner unfurled,
I have journeyed afar;
I have seen all the world,
And each glimmering star.
I’m a queen, and my throne
Is exalted so high,
To look down I am prone,
To look up I scarce try;
Yet I honor my crown.
Some call me quite green,
But no one can teach me;
My faults are all seen;
But none can impeach me—
Oh, no! I’m a queen.
Riddle No. 2.
I’m restless and uneasy,
Yet fastened in a socket;
And when I’m very weary,
I shut my door and lock it.
I’ve a gallery of pictures
As large as life, and true;
But, through my various humors,
They’re not exposed to view.
The readers of this riddle
To me are much indebted;
A fact which I have cause to think
They never have regretted.
I’m a busy little body,
And useful quite as small;
Oft lingering in the study,
Oft in the lordly hall.
My home is in the palace,
And in the hermit’s cell;
Sometimes my brimming chalice
A tale of woe will tell.
The day we most dislike of all;
A sound we love to hear;
The cause of our first parents’ fall;
Yet nothing far or near.
A liquor drank, that turns the brain;
A tool mechanics use;
A cause of death, in fear and pain;
Yet something to amuse.
Utensils daily, in our use,
A covering many wear;
A fair thing, hiding earth from view;
Yet sailing through the air.
My whole’s a name—few hear it not,
And heard, it scarce will be forgot.
Come, guess my name—I’m very small;
One syllable will tell it all;
In every house I find a spot;
He’s poor indeed, who owns me not.
Take but one letter from my name,
’Twill quickly bring to view,
What animals of all kinds claim—
Yes, even I and you.
And sad indeed would that dog be,
Who should be dispossessed of me.
Now take one letter more away,
And it will leave behind,
What has been proven, to this day,
A blessing to mankind.
Quite out of breath would that man be,
Who should be dispossessed of me.
Prepared aright, with viewless speed,
’Twill send a missile flying.
Tell what it is. “I can’t.” But try—
There’s naught, you know, like trying.
Riddle No. 5.
There is what seems, as I may say,
A wonder to the mind;
For we may take it all away,
A dozen times, or more, a day,
Yet leave it all behind.
Do you think you can find out the answers to all these puzzling things, little friend? Try them, and see. Some of them are rather hard; but industry and patience conquer almost every thing. When you get through untying these knots, I have a story to tell you about a boy who came very near being drowned, because he did not mind his father.
The story was told me by the Brooklyn lady whom I have mentioned before. I was so well pleased with the story, and thought it would teach such a good lesson to my young friends, that I asked her to write it down. She did so, and here it is.
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Little George in the Meadow.
There was once a little boy whose name was George. He lived by the side of a pretty river. His papa had a beautiful boat, called the “Swan;” and very often when George had been a good boy, his father would take him out in the boat.
George had been told that he must not get into the boat alone, because there was danger that some accident would happen to him.
One day, George wanted to go down into the meadow, and get some of the pretty wildflowers that grew on the banks of the river. His mother told him he might go; and he took his little basket with him, and
off he started for the meadow. He spent some time gathering pretty flowers; and then he went down and stood on the banks of the river, and threw stones into the water, for his dog Snap to fetch out. He soon got tired of that fun, and said to himself, “I think I will go and sit a little while in the boat. It will not do any harm, I guess, and I won’t stay long.”
Don’t you think it was very naughty in him to do what his kind papa had told him not to do? But you shall hear what happened to him, because he did not mind his papa.
While he was in the boat, the rope that had made it fast to the post got loose, and the boat began to float away down the stream. George called loudly for help; but there was
no one to hear him, and the boat kept going further and further from the shore.
Poor George! how sorry he was now that he had not minded his dear papa! He began to cry; but the boat kept going on, and was fast carrying him out to the wide sea. He thought he should never see his dear home any more. By and by he saw something black,
a long way off, coming into the river, from the sea. He was very much frightened, thinking that perhaps it might be a whale.
He kept looking at it, as it came nearer and nearer, when what was his joy to find that it was a boat coming toward him, with some fishermen in it! He shouted, and waved his pocket-handkerchief; for it was get-
ting dark, and he was afraid they would not see him. But they saw him, and came up to him. He told them who he was, and what had happened to him. The fishermen were very kind to him, and took him into their boat. They wrapped him up warm, with some of their clothing; for he had got very cold. Then they tied his boat fast to theirs, and
soon rowed poor little George back to his father’s house.
Oh! how glad he was to get home! He thanked the good fishermen, begged his dear papa’s pardon, and promised never to be so disobedient again. It was a very good lesson for George, and he never forgot it.
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“Oh, mother!” said Mary Random, “I want to go over and see Aunt Maggy, the fortune-teller.”
“Why, my dear,” her mother replied, “what good will it do you to go?”
“Oh, I want to have my fortune told.”
“Do you mean that you wish to know what is going to happen to you for years to come?”
“Yes, ma’am. Please let me go, won’t you, dear mamma? All the girls in school have been, almost.”
“Do you suppose that Aunt Maggy, as you call her, can tell what is going to happen to you?”
“The girls all say she can. A great while ago, she told—”
“My dear child, that woman knows no more about those things than I do.”
“Well, she says she does.”
“I know it; but she deceives people. She is not what she pretends to be.”
“Why, mother, Miss Julia Palmer, the school ma’am we had last summer, went over to
see Aunt Maggy the other day. What did she go for, if she did not believe that she would have her fortune told correctly?”
“Did Miss Julia go? Are you sure she went?”
“Yes, ma’am, I know she went. She went with Mary Morgan, and Fanny Gray, and two or three other girls.”
“And did Miss Julia have her fortune told?”
“Yes, ma’am; so Fanny Gray said. She told me all about it.”
“Well, what did she tell yu?”
“When they got to the house where Aunt Maggy lives, away down in the lane, toward the grist-mill, and when they saw her ugly face at the window, they were almost afraid to knock at the door. Fanny
said that Aunt Maggy was the worst-looking woman she ever saw in her life. But while they were standing just inside of the gate, and thinking whether they had better go into the old woman’s house, or take to their heels, and scamper off, Aunt Maggy came out, and asked them to walk in.
“They did not go in, though. They stayed in the yard, under
the great willow-tree. Fanny said she could almost hear her heart beat, at first, she was so much afraid of the fortune-teller. She was sorry she did not stay at home. Aunt Maggy does look like a bad woman, doesn’t she? The other day, I met her in the street, opposite the shoemaker’s shop, and I started and ran, she looked at me so strangely. She had on
a straw hat, as large as a bushel basket, I should think; and there was an old pipe twisted into the band. I wonder if the old creature smokes?”
“I presume she does. Don’t you remember when you went up to Captain Prall’s with me, to see little Emily, when she had the scarlet fever?”
“Oh, yes, I remember it well. What a cold day it was! That
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Mary and her mother walking out.
was the time we saw a fox running across the road, and two dogs chasing him, as fast as they could run. I wonder if the dogs ever caught the fox, mother?”
“I don’t know how that was. The dogs were a long way behind the fox, when they crossed the road. But you remember we went into the store that day, to buy some nice things for Emily Prall?”
“Oh, yes, ma’am, we bought s[o]me raisins, and some loaf sugar, and some lemons; and how little Emily Prall did like the lemonade you made for her!”
“Yes. But do you recollect that Aunt Maggy, (as you call her—though I should not like such a woman for my aunt;) do you recollect that she was in the store?”
“Yes, and she was buying something.”
“Well, I saw what she was buying. It was tobacco. No doubt she smokes; and she does a great many things worse than that. I think she is quite as bad as she looks. Really, I should hardly think you would tease me to go and see such a woman as you describe; and I am sure it seems strange that
you should want to have her tell your fortune.”
“Oh, mother, I should not go alone. Fanny didn’t go alone, you know.”
“But you haven’t told me what the fortune-teller said. I want to know something about that, before I give my consent for you to go over to her house. Whose fortune did she tell first?”
“Miss Julia’s. None of the girls dared to let the old woman take hold of their hand, till they saw that the school ma’am was not afraid.”
“Well, how about Miss Julia’s fortune?”
“Aunt Maggy took hold of her hand, and looked at it very carefully, for a long time, without saying any thing. Then she looked in Miss Julia’s face,
and told her that she saw exactly what would happen to her. ‘You will be a great lady, one of these days,’ said she. ‘You will not keep school any more, then. You will have lots of silver and gold, and you will ride in a fine carriage. But you will see trouble first. A very dear friend, who lives a great way off, will die. You will be very sick. Some people
will think you are going to die. But you will not die. You will live till you get married to a rich husband, and have all these fine things. You will live a good while after that, too. When you are rich, you will do good with your money; and you will remember poor Maggy, and give her a whole purse full of gold.’ And the fortune-teller said a great many things
more. She told Miss Julia that her—”
“Well, never mind the rest. We have had nonsense enough for one day, I should think. You cannot go to the fortune-teller’s. It will do you no good, and may do you harm to go. I wonder that Miss Julia could have been so foolish as to go; and I wonder still more that she should have taken those
little girls with her. It is not the place for girls and boys. You will see this is plainly as I do, when I tell you something about this woman, and also something about fortune-telling, which you never knew before.
“I knew Maggy before you was born. She used to work for me, once. I kept her until I found she was a bad woman, and then I turned her away.
Before she went away, however, she stole a great many things from the house. We got a few of them back again. But the silver spoons which she stole, we never could get. She stole from other people, too. At last, she became so troublesome, that the neighbors began to think it would be necessary to have her taken up, and sent to prison. But she begged very
hard when she was told what the people thought of doing, and promised to do better if they would forgive her, and not put her in prison. So the neighbors thought they would try her again. If she did not steal any more, they told her, they would not put her in prison.
“Then the old woman took up the trade of fortune-telling.
She gave out that she had made a bargain with some wicked spirits, and that they had agreed to tell her a great many secrets about the future history of the people who lived in the neighborhood. All the neighbors had to do, according to her story, if they wanted to learn what was going to happen to them for years to come, was just to come to her house,
and pay her a quarter of a dollar, or half a dollar, I am not sure which.”
“It was only a quarter of a dollar, mother—that was all Miss Julia paid.”
“Very well, a quarter of a dollar. As soon as they gave her that sum of money, she said she would tell them all they wanted to know. A good many foolish people, at different times,
have been to her house, to have their fortunes told. She is a cunning old creature. Sometimes, after a simple girl has given her the quarter of a dollar, she looks in the person’s hand, and then talks to herself awhile, and finally says that the spirits will not answer her then; that she must come again. The foolish girl does come again. Then the old woman makes
her visitor pay another quarter of a dollar. She has been known to get as much as three or four dollars from one poor servant girl, before she got through telling the whole of the girl’s fortune. And that is not the worst of it. Many who have been to her to have their fortunes told, actually believe every word she says; and the silly things that Maggy puts
into their heads make them proud, and dissatisfied with their condition.”
“But does Aunt Maggy steal now, mamma?”
“Most of the neighbors think that she does. A great many things are missed, which it is thought are taken by her. But she is so sly, that no one sees her stealing. She is not too good to steal. You may be
sure of that. She gets drunk, and tells lies, and uses very bad language. Any one who does such things cannot be too good to steal. My dear daughter, would you like to go over to Aunt Maggy’s, and have your fortune told?”
“No, ma’am, I don’t want to go near her. What a fool I was to want to have my fortune told!”
A Dialogue between Theodore and his friend Henry.
Henry. Mr. Thinker, I saw a man with a hand-organ to-day, and it was the queerest thing of the kind that I ever came across.
Theodore. Ah! and what was there about the organ that was so queer?
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H. Why, when the man turned the crank, it played “Yankee Doodle,” and “Home, sweet Home,” and “Hail, Columbia!” and ever so many tunes.
T. Well, what then? Almost any hand-organ will do as much as that, when anybody turns the crank.
H. Oh, I hadn’t got half through telling about it. While
it was playing a tune, some little soldiers, made of wood, marched around on the top of the hand-organ, and they had guns and swords in their hands, and they kept tune with the music. There were some little girls and boys, too, standing in another place on the organ, and they danced while the man was playing.
T. That was worth seeing,
I should think. Did the man have a monkey with him?
H. No, sir. But last Saturday, when I went down town, I saw a man with a hand-organ, and he had a monkey, which he held with a chain.
T. I suppose the monkey did some rather funny things, did he not?
H. Oh, yes, sir. He made me laugh all the time I was
looking at him. He had a tin pan, which he passed round to all the boys and girls, so that they might throw some pennies into it. Then he took the pan, and put it on his head, for a hat. I wonder how the man could teach the monkey so many tricks.
T. I have seen this man with his organ a good many times; and I know a chapter in his
history which contains a good lesson. I will recite it to you.
Homer Baldwin (for that is the name of the man you saw with the hand-organ) was a pretty good boy when he was of your age. But, in some way or another, he got into bad company. Before he was sixteen years old, he had learned to like rum, and brandy, and such kinds of liquors; and more than
once, before that time, though his parents kept a close watch over him, he got so drunk that he could scarcely stand.
One night, after his father and mother had gone to bed, he stole out of the house softly, so that nobody could hear him, and went to a house on the next block from the one where his father lived. There were two young men in this house,
who had a room together, and whose habits were very bad.
Homer and his companions.
Homer had been invited to come to their room. They were going to have a “high
time,” they said. They did not have a high time, I should think. They drank hot whiskey, until they all became drunk. Homer was not used to hot whiskey, and he became worse off than the other two. That night, he tumbled down stairs, he was so drunk, and broke his arm. From that time to this he has never had the use of his left arm.
H. Why, I did not see but he had two arms.
T. You would not perceive that he had lost the arm, unless you noticed very carefully. He has a sleeve on the left arm, just such a sleeve as there is on the other arm. But that arm had to be cut off, near the shoulder. It was hurt so badly, that it mortified, and so he lost it. That scar which you saw
over the eye, was made by the wound he received when he fell.
I tell you what it is, my boy, the best thing you can do, when you are asked to drink brandy, or rum, or gin, or wine, no matter how much you are urged—the best thing you can do, is to let such stuff alone.