Jemmy Stubbins, or the Nailer Boy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 32 pages of information about Jemmy Stubbins, or the Nailer Boy.
to the anvil, he might work all day, and in the evening he might get together all the nailer children that lived within a mile, and teach them how to read and write.  There was the little Wesleyan chapel within a rod of their own door, lying useless except on Sundays.  It would be just the place for an evening school for fifty or even a hundred little children, whose parents were too poor to send them to the day-schools of the town.  And wouldn’t they like to look in and see Josiah with his primer in hand teaching their neighbors’ children to read in this way; with his clean smock-frock on, setting copies in the writing-books of the little nailers?  Josiah, who was standing between my knees, looking sharply into the fire with his picture book in his hand, turned suddenly around at this idea and fixed his eyes inquiringly upon my own.  The thought vibrated through all the fine-strung sympathies of parental affection.  The mother leaned forward to part away the black hair from the boy’s forehead, and said softly to his father, that she would take the lad’s place at the anvil, if they should want his wages while at school.  This was the crisis of my errand; and, in my imagination, I tried to catch the eyes of the children in “Our School Room” in America, as I went on to say, that they would not be willing to have Josiah go to school in his old worn out clothes, to be laughed at or shunned by well-dressed school-mates; nor that he should stay at home for want of decent and comfortable clothes.  I knew what they would say, if they were with me; and so I offered to fit him out at the tailor’s shop with a good comfortable suit, as a part of the Christmas present from his young friends on the other side of the ocean.  The little ones were too timid to crow, but they looked as if they would when I was gone; and the nailer and his wife almost cried for joy at what the children of a far-off land had done for their son.  For myself, I only regretted that I could not share at the moment with those young friends all the pleasure I felt in carrying out their wish and deed of beneficence.  I hope it is not the last time that I shall be associated with them in these little adventures of benevolence.

Perhaps I have made too long a story of my second visit to the nailer’s cottage.  I will merely add, that it was agreed that I should proceed into the town, a distance of a mile and a half, to make arrangements for the boy’s schooling, and be joined there by him and his father.  So, bidding adieu to the remainder of the family, I continued my walk into the town, of Bromsgrove, and soon found a kind-hearted school teacher who agreed to take the lad and do his best to forward his education.  Having met several gentlemen in the course of my inquiries, they became interested in the case, and went with me to the inn, where the lad and his father were waiting for me.  Thence we all proceeded to a clothing shop, where the little nailer was soon fitted with a warm and decent suit.  One of the company, a Baptist minister, to whose congregation the Schoolmaster belonged, promised to call in and see the boy occasionally, and to let me know how he gets on.  I hope Josiah will soon be able to speak for himself to the children in “Our School Room.”  On Monday after Christmas, he made his first entry into any school-room, for the object of learning to read.

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Jemmy Stubbins, or the Nailer Boy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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