[No copyright notice; appears to have been copyrighted 1871, although the 1898 edition is about half the length of the earlier one.]
Note: Multisyllabic words in this book are hyphenated throughout the original text.
WHAT I HAVE TO SAY
I WANT a gift for some dear pets of mine -- a nice gift. What shall it be?
I think I will make a book for them; not a big book, with hard words in it, but one that they will like to read, and can read, by them-selves.
What shall I tell the boys and girls, in my book?
I will tell them of Rose Dale, a dear lit-tle girl; and of Tom and Ned Dale. I will tell of their work, and of their play, what fun they had, and all that.
If I have more to tell than will fill one book, of the size my pets like best, why, I can just make more -- two, three, or four books.
We can put them in a neat case or box; and we will call them The Rose Dale Books.
THE SWEET HOME.
ROSE was six and a half years old at the time I shall tell you of; so she felt like a big girl, for Tom was but five, and Ned was not much more than three.
These three dear lit-tle ones lived with their pa-pa and mam-ma, in a nice place, just out of town. Rose was born in the town. That was her home at first.
But, one day, when Rose was not more than two years old, Mr. Dale came home, and said to his wife, "My dear, I have seen such a nice place, not more than two miles out of town; it is just the place we want for a home."
Rose's mam-ma was glad. She said at once, "0, do buy it, and let us go and live there! We will keep a cow, and our dear Rose can have nice, fresh milk, that will do her good; and we can have a gar-den; and we will keep hens, too, and have new-laid eggs." So they took the place, and went at once to live on it. It was a sweet home, to be sure!
Lit-tle Rose was so glad to be there! But I must tell you more of this.
It was in the warm days of May that the Dales moved; just as the buds were out, and the grass was green, and all was sweet.
Rose ran out in the yard, and in the gar-den, in high glee. She did not need a nurse with her all the time, as she did in town.
Here you may see Rose, in the gar- den, as hap-py as a bird. She did not pick the flow-ers, if her mam-ma told her not to, for, lit-tle as she was, she knew how to mind.
See how she lifts little Ned, to smell of the rose.
It is a white rose. Her pa-pa used to call her his White Rose, when they lived in town, she was so pale. But now the lit-tle girl grew so fat and well, and ran out doors so much, pa-pa said she was his Wild Red Rose.
The first time that Rose went out to see the man milk the cow, Ruth took her lit-tle cup out, and told him to milk some in-to it, to see what Rose would say.
Rose took a sip, and she did not stop till all the sweet, warm milk was gone.
Then she looked up at the cow, and said, "Ta, ta, Moo!" That was her way to say, "Thank you, cow." She did not know, till then, where the good milk came from, that she liked so much. The lit-tle boys, Tom and Ned, were both born here. They loved this dear home, too, as much as Rose did. They all said that it was just the best place in all the world.
IN-DOORS AND OUT-OF-DOORS.
I HAVE not said much of Tom and Ned, but you will hear of them now.
"What did they have to play with?" you ask; "and what did they find to do? Why did they love their home so much?"
"Why did they love their home?" Well, first and best, their dear pa-pa and mam-ma lived there. Is not that just why you love your home ? I know it is!
Jane, too, who took some care of them, was a nice, kind girl; and Ruth, the cook, was as kind as she could be to all of them.
In-doors, these lit-tle ones had a nice play-room. It was a bit of a room, next to the one that their mam-ma sat in, to sew.
Rose and the boys liked to have the door o-pen when they were at play, so that they could call to their mam-ma, and she could see all the fun.
Boys and girls like to have some one to see them play: do not you?
In this play-room Rose had her dolls, and her doll's bed, and box, and a tea-set to play tea with. She used to set out her tea things on the doll's box, and play it was a ta-ble.
In the front of this book you may see Rose and Tom at this ta-ble.
Tom had a fine rock-ing horse, that would go real fast; and a whip to make him go.
Tom had more toys, but he cared more for his horse than for all the rest. Aunt Kate gave him the horse.
Some-times Ned thought he would like to ride on Tom's horse, and Tom would help him on. But Ned's legs were so short, his feet did not reach so that he felt safe, and he did not like to go fast. He liked best to play he was "Mike," and take the horse to the barn when Tom had been out to ride.
Ned had a cart, and a Jack-in-a-box, and a No-ah's ark, and a soft ball, that did no harm when he threw it.
They had nice books, too, in a small case, in this room; it was hung low on the wall, so they could all reach it.
Out of doors, O, I can-not tell you, all at once, of all the things they liked to see and to do.
There was old Dick, pa-pa's horse; and Suke, the kind, good cow, who gave them milk each day; and the hens and chicks to feed; and Tray, the dog, to run a race with them. Rose and Tom did not play all the day. 0, no! They had some work to do.
They each had to read to mam-ma, and spell, and say a verse. And Rose had to sew, each day, for half an hour.
Tom could not read hard words yet; but he said, "I mean to read all the words soon, as Rose does."
Rose could read quite well, for a lit-tle girl; she would read such a book as this right off. I dare say you can too, lit-tle Bright-Eyes!
Tom read one page of his First Book for his task, each day.
Wee Ned did not read: he was too small: he could not keep still to look at the words, and his mam-ma did not want him to, yet.
He had a card with the let-ters on it: big ABC, and the rest.
Some-times he would ask his mam- ma, or Rose, to tell him 'what they were.
One day he took the card to Puss, as she lay on the rug, and said, "Now, Miss Puss, say B."
But all Puss did was to wink at him, and then shut her eyes. She did not care a fig for ABC.
By and by, in two or three years more, Ned will learn to read, so that he may grow up a wise man.
But Puss can-not learn. She will not know how to read, if she gets to be a grave old cat.
BOYS AND GIRLS MUST BE KIND.
WERE Rose, and Tom, and Ned kind, in their play?
Yes, most of the time; but some- times they for-got.
One day Tom said, "Now, play I was a bear. Run, Rose! Run, Ned! Here I come. Urr! Urr!"
Tom did this, you see, to be like a bear. Rose took up her dolls and ran. She got up on a chair, and said, "Ha! ha! old Bear, you can-not get me, or my chil-dren!"
But Ned said, "O, don't, Tom! don't play bear! I 'fraid!"
Tom did not mind this; he just went on: "Urr! Urr! Here I come. Look out, now; the bear may eat you all up!"
At this poor Ned be-gan to cry. O, how he did cry! And mam-ma came, in haste, to see what was the mat-ter.
"Tom," said she, when she saw the play, "why do you vex Ned so?"
"I did not hurt him a bit, mam-ma," said Tom. "I just said, 'Urr!' and he saw who it was. He was a goose to cry!"
"Well, but he is a lit-tle boy; and if you saw he did not like your play, why did you not stop, and play some-thing else? You would not like to have some big boy vex you in that way, I know."
"No, ma," said Tom. "One day when I went down the road to see Mike at work, a great, big, rude boy met me, and he said he would bite my ears off if I went past him. So I had to run back home."
"Then you can tell just how Ned felt when you were a bear. That boy did not mean to bite off your ears, a-ny more than you meant to bite Ned."
Tom hung down his head. "I thought he did," said he.
Mam-ma went into her room, and took a book from the stand. Rose and Tom knew what book it was: it was the Bi-ble.
She said, "Come here, my son, and let me see if you can read this verse."
Tom came and stood by her side. He had to spell some of the words, but he made it out, with a lit-tle help; see now if you can; this was the verse:-
"Be of one mind; live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you."
"My lit-tle ones want the God of love to be with them--do they not?" said mam-ma.
"0, yes, we do," said they all.
"Then you must try to 'be of one mind;' that is, each one must try to like and to do what the oth-ers like; and you must be kind to each oth-er."
"I will not play bear a-ny more, if Ned does not want me to," said Tom.
He gave Ned a kiss, and then Ned gave him such a hug that they both fell on the floor. But this did not hurt them a bit; it was fun.
I hope Tom kept that good verse in his mind; and I hope you will, too, my dear pets: for it will help you to be good and kind, so that God will love you.
UP IN THE MORN-ING.
"COME, Rose, come! It is day now, and it is time to get up," said Jane. "Come, Tom, jump, now, like a man! Now, Ned-dy, boy, we will see who will be dress-ed first!"
"Ah! but you dress Ned, Jane; so that is not fair."
"Yes, it is; for Ned is not so big as you, and then he has more things to put on. I will help you, too, if you need it."
Out came Tom, and Rose, and Ned, on to the floor. Tom and Rose had each a cot, and Ned slept in a crib, in the same room; it was a nice, large room, next to their mam-ma's bed-room.
Now, how they did try, each of them, to be first!
Soon Tom call-ed out, "Here I go; I am dress-ed first!" And he ran to the door.
"Wait a bit, child," said Jane; "I must wash your face and hands."
"And, Tom, we must not forget to pray," said dear Rose, softly.
Tom was a good boy, and came back, and when Jane was done with him, he and Rose knelt down to pray.
Ned saw them, and he ran and knelt down too, by Tom.
Jane said the words of the pray-er, as his mam-ma did, and then he said it, too: this was Ned's pray-er:-
"0 God, bless me, and make me a good boy; and keep me safe this day. Bless all my dear friends, too, this day; for Jesus' sake. A-men."
"Now go down and kiss pa-pa and mam-ma," said Jane; and off they ran.
Such a bright, warm day as that was! It would have been too bad to waste it in bed.
Rose and Tom and lit-tle Ned were soon out in the gar-den, and in the yard, at play.
Ruth came out to feed the hens and chicks. "0, Ruth, let me feed the dear, dear lit-tle chicks," said Ned.
So Ruth gave him the pan of soft, wet meal, and let him go to the coop, and call, "Chick, chick!"
Out came the lit-tle chicks, in great haste, to get the meal. But the old hen did not like the looks of a small boy with the pan; she flew round the coop, and call-ed, "Chick, chick," as loud as she could.
"Old hen," said Ruth, "be still. You need not fear that our boy Ned will hurt your chicks."
This old hen had five chicks. She had nine at first, but one was sick, and soon died. The oth-er three were lost, one by one. Ruth said a rat or a cat must have kill-ed them; but Rose was sure that her cat, dear old Tab, would not have done such a bad thing; 0, no!
When the clock said Nine, mam-ma came to the door, and said, "Come, Rose and Tom; it is time now for lessons."
"0, dear!" said Rose; "it is so nice out doors, I wish we need not have les-sons to-day!"
"It would not be a good plan to give them up; they would seem all the more hard and dull the next time. Work first, and then play, and if you do your tasks with a good will, you may soon be out at play once more."
So said mam-ma, with a smile, and Rose and Tom drove off the cross look, and smiled too.
"I must go say my card too," said Ned, "kick as I can, so I can come out to play."
He said "kick" for "quick"; he could not say that word. Rose gave all her mind to her book, and so did Tom, and soon all the les-sons were done, and done well. Then they had a grand time at play!
They had a long race with Tray, and Tray beat them all. Here is Tray. Does he look as if he could play and race with a child? I think he does.