BLTC Press Titles

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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

A. Conan Doyle

The Bhagavad Gita


The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois

Paradoxes of the Highest Science

Eliphas Levi

Little threads

by Elizabeth Prentiss


Day after day passed, however, and every morning the baby screamed. As it grew older and stronger, its mother was less frightened when it cried, but it was painful to hear such an uproar, and she began to dread the hour for washing and dressing it.

"What ean be the reason the baby cries so?" she asked the nurse every morning, till at last, tired of saying,

"Perhaps she won't cry so, next time;" poor Ruth cried out,

"Why, it's the temper, ma'am!"

"Its temper!" said its mother, much as tonished. "Why, I should as soon think of talking about the temper of one of the cows in your father's farm-yard!"

"And you might well do that, ma'am, for cows has tempers of their own as well as babies and otter folks. There was old White Spot, now. She couldn't cry and scream like- this baby, but she could kick over a pail of milk equal to any body. And did it many a time when she was put out."

The baby's mother hardly knew what to think. Combe on Infancy did not say a word on this subject. She thought she would write to her own mother, who lived not far off, and beg her to tell her whether little babies really did cry because they were angry, and ask her advice about a great many other things just as important. There was. a small spot on the child's forehead, and. she wanted to know if that

. would be likely to go away, of itself. And how soon would the baby begin to "take

. notice?" And what playthings had she better be buying, to be ready for it when it was ready for them % And, oh! how would it do to tie up a raisin in a rag and stop the baby's mouth with that while they were washing it? For Ruth said she was sure that would do so nicely!


The baby grew older and grew stronger, but it did not grow better. The truth. is, it had a very strong will of its own. As long as it could have its own way, it was pleasant and sweet, but the moment other people undertook to have their way, it began to scream.

As soon as it became old enough to understand what was said to it, and that was very soon, its mother resolved never to give it things for which it cried. She told Ruth so. But one day she went into the nursery and there lay Miss Baby fast asleep on the bed, with a china vase on each arm.

"Why, Ruth, what does this mean ?" she asked.

"The baby cried so for the vases that I could do nothing with her," replied Ruth. "It was time for her nap, and I did all I could to get her to sleep, but she cried herself nearly into fits for the vases. So at last I had to give them to her. She dropped right off to sleep then, like a lamb."

"Never do so again, Ruth. You may spare yourself a little trouble for the time, by giving a child what it cries for. But in the end you increase your trouble tenfold, and strengthen the child in its resolution to have its own way."

When the baby awoke, it did not miss the vases, which its mother had replaced on the shelf, but when it was ready to go to bed that night it looked at them, and stretched out its arms towards them, saying plainly by its gestures: "I am going to sleep with those pretty things in my arms."

"No, baby can't have them," said Ruth. "Baby must go to sleep."

Baby's answer was a fearful scream, which was heard in the dining-room where her papa and mamma were taking tea.

"Hark!" said her papa. "1 hear the baby. She has either had a fall, or there are a dozen pins sticking in her."

"No, that is not a cry of pain," replied her mother. "It is a cry of anger. And I think I know what it means. However, Til go up and see."

She ran up-stairs and found poor Ruth walking up and down with the child, looking hot and tired.

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