Read SIXTH LETTER of The Little Nightcap Letters. , free online book, by Frances Elizabeth Barrow, on

“A LETTER for Miss Bella Curtis,” shouted the postman; “four cents.”  It was quite a thick letter this time, and Bella had to pay twice two cents for it.  How much was that?  If you will give me a kiss I will tell you — two and two make four.

But, dear me! she was just as glad to get it — and I do believe if she had had four dollars she would have given every speck of it for one letter.  Why, certainly!  A letter from your MOTHER? — you would do so, too.  Of course you would, you sweet little Ba-be-bi-bo-BOO!!!

So it was taken to Edith, and if you had been an hundred years old, you would have felt quite young again — only to have watched Bella’s eyes while the letter was read — diamonds don’t sparkle half as much, and I for one would rather have had her bright eyes to look at, than a whole bushel of diamonds, each as big as my head.

The delightful letter commenced thus: 



“I have your sweet little letter, and I am so much obliged to you for telling papa such nice things to write to me, that I have sent you a long, long answer in return, which I hope will please you.

“I left Savannah yesterday.  When I was leaving, I kissed little Richard, and said:  ‘Good-bye, Richard; don’t forget Aunt Fanny.’

“‘I forgot you already,’ he shouted.  Then I kissed Sallie, the twin-girl, and she said so sweetly:  ’Aunt Fanny, can you remember where Bella lives?  If you can find her house, go and tell her I am coming to see her — next day before to-morrow.’

“Wasn’t it funny that she should think I had been so long away from you, my little darling, that I had forgotten where you lived?

“Do you remember a story I once read to you, about ‘Good Little Henry,’ in a book called ‘Nightcaps’?  Well, strange to say, I know this Henry, and love him very much.  He is now almost a young man, and just as good as ever; yes! better than ever, for he is the comfort and joy of his father and mother.  Only think, dear Bella! that from a good and lovely little child he has grown better and lovelier every year, till now he is almost a man.  God loves Henry; and He has helped him to be good, and He will love you and help you to be good, if you will ask Him.

“I tell you all this now, because in looking over my writing-desk a moment ago, I came upon an amusing story Henry wrote to me, about some little cousins of his.”

Of course you would like to know what he wrote, and here it is: 

“One day my dear Aunt Sarah was sitting up-stairs with the children, when the front door bell rang, and the servant came up and said:  ’Mr. Robinson wants to see you, ma’am.’  So aunt put on her best collar, and a little lace cap, and down she went.

“‘My!’ said Loulou, ‘I should like to see him, too.’

“‘So should I,’ said Bolton, whose pet name is ‘Pepper.’

“‘Dear me!  I, too,’ cried Anna, whose pet name is ‘Tot.’

“‘And me! me! me!’ said little Walter, jumping up and down.

“So Loulou, in a great state of delight, rushed up to the washstand and washed her face and hands; then she took Pepper and scrubbed him well — rubbing his nose almost off to get his face dry — and dressed him in all his best Sunday clothes, and told him to sit down in his little chair, perfectly stiff and straight, till the rest were ready; and down little Pepper sat, and hardly dared to wink, for fear of getting his clothes tumbled.

“Then she took little Tot, and polished her face, and brushed her hair as hard as she could, and Tot never cried the least bit, when Loulou accidentally turned the brush round and gave her a thump with the back of it; but just sat down by Pepper when her dressing was over, and kept as still and looked as grave as if she were in church.

“And now Loulou took dear little Walter in hands, and made him as fine as you please; and then they all marched down stairs on tip-toe, trembling with expectation.

“They opened the parlor door and entered very softly, and stared with all their eyes.  But where was he?

“There was nobody there but their mamma, and a very quiet-looking gentleman in a plain black coat, and a pair of spectacles, set on the very end of his nose, who appeared to be showing her some curious coins.

“The children stood perfectly still for a moment.  They seemed to be struck dumb.  Then Loulou exclaimed: 

“’Why, mamma, we have come down on purpose to see ROBINSON CRUSOE!! all dressed in fur, with his monkeys and parrots, and Man Friday.  Where is he, mamma? where has he gone?’ and they looked again in every corner of the room.

“How her mamma did laugh! and how Mr. Robinson did laugh! when they found that the children thought that Robinson Crusoe had come to see them; but Loulou and the rest of the dear little children were dreadfully disappointed.  Wasn’t that a pity?

“And now I have a great secret to tell you; I am so much better, and I want to see you s — o much, that I mean to return home in the steamship which leaves on Saturday.  This is Thursday — you will get this long letter next Monday — and on Tuesday have ready at least a hundred kisses, and fifty squeezes for your loving