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OR, DISOBEDIENCE PUNISHED.
PF I might have what I liked, I should prefer a 19 magic lantern,” said little John Wilmot, « like
the one we saw in London last Christmas, when we were at Uncle Tom's ;” “and I should like a wax doll,” said his sister Emma, “the same as
those pretty ones, mainma, you told us were in the Lowther Arcade Bazaar.”
“Very well, my dears, only be good children, and we shall see what can be done."
This little conversation took place between Mrs. Wilmot and her two children, John and Emma Wilmot; John, the eldest, was a fine rosy-cheeked boy of five years old; and his sister Emma was about a year younger : the remarks referred to a promise made by their papa, that if they continued good children he would bring each of them a present from Liverpool for Christmas, and this being the day before that joyful festival, many were the guesses the children had made as to what papa would bring home with him.
Mr. Wilmot was a merchant in Liverpool, but resided at a little village on the other side of the river Mersey, at a very pretty cottage situated on the slope of a hill over. looking that fine river. This cottage had a beautiful garden, and in summer time the children used to spend much time there. Mrs. Wilmot had given to each of them a little bit of ground to cultivate, as well as flowers to plant, -on condition that they remembered their names whenever she asked them. Now, our little friend John Wilmot, was at times very disobedient and hasty-tempered, and would often do things he was very sorry for directly after. He frequently, for instance, when his mamma gave him seeds to plant in his garden, and told him not, on any account, to touch them after they were put in the ground, used to go the next day and dig them up, to see how they were getting on; and the consequence was, his little garden was nearly always in confusion, through not minding what was said to him.
On the day we are now describing, Mrs. Wilmot and the children were sitting in the parlour looking on to the garden, and John called out for his mamma to see what a fine day it was, and asked her to take them out for a walk this afternoon, to meet papa at the ferry.
“ Very well, my dears.” said Mrs. Wilmot, “as you have learned your lessons, I will do so; go and ask Ann to put on your things ; but you must promise me, John, before we go, that you will keep by our side, and not get into mischief.”
"Oh, yes, mamma, I will do what you wish,” replied John.
Ann was not long dressing them, so when they were ready they started for their walk.
Now, at the ferry was a steamboat, that took persons from different parts of the Cheshire shore to Liverpool, and back again ; and the nearest ferry from Mr. Wilmot's house was at the pretty village of Tranmere. There being a fine frosty, air, and the ground quite crisp, they trudged away as merry as larks. They had to cross two fields, and then get over a stile into the lane; where there were little frozen puddles, and it was with great difficulty that little John could be kept by his mamma's side. He wished to imitate the boys he had seen slide.
However, when they arrived at the pier, the ferryboat had not yet come in : but there was plenty to engage their attention : for the noble river was crowded with fine steam. boats and different other vessels ; and on the other side of the water was Liverpool, with its domes, spires, and docks; and while their mamma was pointing out to them the principal buildings, the ferry steamer came alongside.
Mrs. Wilmot was the first to point out to the children their papa as he was landing; and he noticed that he had a curiously-shaped parcel under his arm.
After a little surprise at meeting his little folks, the party turned homeward. John took Emma's band, and walked first; and Mr. and Mrs. Wilmot followed. John was very quiet at first, but at last he said to his sister, “Emma, do you think papa has brought our presents in that parcel he has under his arm?”.
And as he asked her, he gave a side-glance at his papa, as if puzzled at the shape of the parcel, for he did not think it large enough for the presents he expected. “You ask papa, Emma, what he has in the parcel, will you?"