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´╗┐Title: Fanny, the Flower-Girl; or, Honesty Rewarded. To Which are Added Other Tales
Author: Bunbury, Selina, 1802-1882
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Fanny, the Flower-Girl; or, Honesty Rewarded. To Which are Added Other Tales" ***

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by Al Haines.



FANNY, THE FLOWER-GIRL;

OR, HONESTY REWARDED.

TO WHICH ARE ADDED OTHER TALES.


BY SELINA BUNBURY.



FANNY, THE FLOWER-GIRL


"Come, buy my flowers; flowers fresh and fair. Come, buy my flowers.
Please ma'am, buy a nice bunch of flowers, very pretty ones, ma'am.
Please, sir, to have some flowers; nice, fresh ones, miss; only just
gathered; please look."

Thus spoke, or sometimes sung, a little girl of perhaps eight years
old, holding in her hand a neat small basket, on the top of which lay a
clean white cloth, to shade from the sun the flowers which she praised
so highly, and a little bunch of which she presented to almost every
passer-by, in the hope of finding purchasers; while, after one had
passed rudely on, another had looked at her young face and smiled,
another had said, "What a nice child!" but not one had taken the
flowers, and left the penny or the half-penny that was to pay for them
the little girl, as if accustomed to all this, only arranged again the
pretty nosegays that had been disarranged in the vain hope of selling
them, and commenced anew in her pretty singing tone, "Come, buy my
flowers; flowers fresh and fair."

"Your flowers are sadly withered, my little maid," said a kind,
country-looking gentleman, who was buying some vegetables at a stall
near her.

"Oh, sir! I have fresh ones, here, sir; please look;" and the child
lifted up the cover of her basket, and drew from the very bottom a
bunch of blossoms on which the dew of morning still rested.

"Please to see, sir; a pretty rose, sir, and these pinks and
mignonette, and a bunch of jessamine, sir, and all for one penny."

"Bless thee! pretty dear!" said the old lame vegetable-seller, "thou'lt
make a good market-woman one of these days. Your honor would do well to
buy her flowers, sir, she has got no mother or father, God help her,
and works for a sick grandmother."

"Poor child!" said the old gentleman. "Here, then, little one, give me
three nice nosegays, and there is sixpence for you."

With delight sparkling in every feature of her face, and her color
changed to crimson with joy, the little flower-girl received in one
hand the unusual piece of money; and setting her basket on the ground,
began hastily and tremblingly to pick out nearly half its contents as
the price of the sixpence; but the gentleman stooped down, and taking
up at random three bunches of the flowers, which were not the freshest,
said,

"Here, these will do; keep the rest for a more difficult customer. Be a
good child; pray to God, and serve Him, and you will find He is the
Father of the fatherless."

And so he went away; and the flower-girl, without waiting to put her
basket in order, turned to the old vegetable-seller, and cried,
"Sixpence! a whole sixpence, and all at once. What will grandmother say
now? See!" and opening her hand, she displayed its shining before her
neighbor's eyes.

"Eh!" exclaimed the old man, as he approached his eyes nearer to it.
"Eh! what is this? why thou hast twenty sixpences there; this is a
half-sovereign!"

"Twenty sixpences! why the gentleman said, there is sixpence for thee,"
said the child.

"Because he didn't know his mistake," replied the other; "I saw him
take the piece out of his waistcoat-pocket without looking."

"Oh dear! what shall I do?" cried the little girl.

"Why, thou must keep it, to be sure," replied the old man; "give it to
thy grandmother, she will know what to do with it, I warrant thee."

"But I must first try to find the good gentleman, and tell him of his
mistake," said the child. "I know what grandmother would say else; and
he cannot be far off, I think, because he was so fat; he will go slow,
I am sure, this hot morning. Here, Mr. Williams, take care of my
basket, please, till I come back."

And without a word more, the flower-girl put down her little basket at
the foot of the vegetable-stall, and ran away as fast as she could go.

When she turned out of the market-place, she found, early as it was,
that the street before her was pretty full; but as from the passage the
gentleman had taken to leave the market-place, she knew he could only
have gone in one direction, she had still hopes of finding him; and she
ran on and on, until she actually thought she saw the very person
before her; he had just taken off his hat, and was wiping his forehead
with his handkerchief.

"That is him," said the little flower-girl, "I am certain;" but just as
she spoke, some persons came between her and the gentleman, and she
could not see him. Still she kept running on; now passing off the
foot-path into the street, and then seeing the fat gentleman still
before her; and then again getting on the foot-path, and losing sight
of him, until at last she came up quite close to him, as he was walking
slowly, and wiping the drops of heat from his forehead.

The poor child was then quite out of breath; and when she got up to him
she could not call out to him to stop, nor say one word; so she caught
hold of the skirt of his coat, and gave it a strong pull.

The gentleman started, and clapped one hand on his coat-pocket, and
raised up his cane in the other, for he was quite sure it was a
pickpocket at his coat. But when he turned, he saw the breathless
little flower-girl, and he looked rather sternly at her, and said,

"Well, what do you want; what are you about? eh!"

"Oh, sir!" said the girl; and then she began to cough, for her breath
was quite spent. "See, sir; you said you gave me sixpence, and Mr.
Williams says there are twenty sixpences in this little bit of money."

"Dear me!" said the gentleman; "is it possible? could I have done such
a thing?" and he began to fumble in his waistcoat pocket.

"Well, really it is true enough," he added, as he drew out a sixpence.
"See what it is to put gold and silver together."

"I wish he would give it to me," thought the little flower-girl; "how
happy it would make poor granny; and perhaps he has got a good many
more of these pretty gold pieces."

But the old gentleman put out his hand, and took it, and turned it over
and over, and seemed to think a little; and then he put his hand into
his pocket again, and took out his purse; and he put the half-sovereign
into the purse, and took out of it another sixpence.

"Well," he said, "there is the sixpence I owe you for the flowers; you
have done right to bring me back this piece of gold; and there is
another sixpence for your race; it is not a reward, mind, for honesty
is only our duty, and you only did what is right; but you are tired,
and have left your employment, and perhaps lost a customer, so I give
you the other sixpence to make you amends."

"Thank you, sir," said the flower-girl, curtseying; and taking the two
sixpences into her hand with a delighted smile, was going to run back
again, when the old gentleman, pulling out a pocket-book, said, "Stay a
moment; you are an orphan, they tell me; what is your name?"

"Fanny, sir."

"Fanny what?"

"Please, I don't know, sir; grandmother is Mrs. Newton, sir; but she
says she is not my grandmother either, sir."

"Well, tell me where Mrs. Newton lives," said the gentleman, after
looking at her a minute or so, as if trying to make out what she meant.

So Fanny told him, and he wrote it down in his pocket-book, and then
read over what he had written to her, and she said it was right.

"Now, then, run away back," said he, "and sell all your flowers, if you
can, before they wither, for they will not last long this warm day;
flowers are like youth and beauty--do you ever think of that? even the
rose withereth afore it groweth up." And this fat gentleman looked very
sad, for he had lost all his children in their youth.

"O yes! sir; I know a verse which says that," replied Fanny. "All flesh
is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of grass--but
good morning, and thank you, sir," and away Fanny ran.

And now, before going on with my story, I must go back to tell who and
what Fanny, the flower-girl, was.

Mrs. Newton, whom she called her grandmother, was now a poor old woman,
confined to her bed by a long and trying illness, that had nearly
deprived her of the use of her limbs. But she had not been always thus
afflicted. Some years before, Mrs. Newton lived in a neat cottage near
the road-side, two or three miles from one of the great sea-port towns
of England. Her husband had good employment, and they were both
comfortable and happy.

Just eight years from this time, it happened that one warm summer's
day, Mrs. Newton went to look out from her cottage door down the road,
and she saw a young woman standing there, leaning against a tree, and
looking very faint and weak.

She was touched with pity and asked the poor traveller to walk into her
house and rest. The young woman thankfully consented, for she said she
was very ill; but she added, that her husband was coming after her,
having been obliged to turn back for a parcel that was left behind at
the house where they had halted some time before, and therefore she
would sit near the door and watch for him.

Before, however, the husband came, the poor woman was taken dreadfully
ill; and when he did arrive, good Mrs. Newton could not bear to put the
poor creature out of the house in such a state; she became worse and
worse. In short, that poor young woman was Fanny's mother, and when
little Fanny was born, that poor sick mother died, and Fanny never saw
a mother's smile.

The day after the young woman's death, kind Mrs. Newton came into the
room where her cold body was laid out on the bed; and there was her
husband, a young, strong-looking man, sitting beside it; his elbows
were on his knees, and his face was hid in his open hands.

Mrs. Newton had the baby in her arms, and she spoke to its father as
she came in; he looked up to her; his own face was as pale as death;
and he looked at her without saying a word. She saw he was in too much
grief either to speak or weep. So she went over silently to him, and
put the little baby into his arms, and then said, "May the Lord look
down with pity on you both."

As soon as the unhappy young man heard these compassionate words, and
saw the face of his pretty, peaceful babe, he burst into tears; they
rolled in large drops down on the infant's head.

Then in a short time he was able to speak, and he told Mrs. Newton his
sad little history; how he had no one in the whole world to look with
pity on him, or his motherless child; and how God alone was his hope in
this day of calamity. His father had been displeased with him because
he had married that young woman, whom he dearly loved; and he had given
him some money that was his portion, and would do nothing else for him.
The young man had taken some land and a house, but as the rent was too
high, he could not make enough of the land to pay it; so he had been
obliged to sell all his goods, and he had only as much money left as
would, with great saving, carry him to America, where he had a brother
who advised him to go out there.

"And now," said he, looking over at the pale face of his dear wife,
"What shall I do with the little creature she has left me? how shall I
carry it over the wide ocean without a mother to care for it, and nurse
it?"

"You cannot do so," said Mrs. Newton, wiping her eyes; "leave it with
me; I have no children of my own, my husband would like to have one;
this babe shall lie in my bosom, and be unto me as a daughter. I will
nurse it for you until you are settled in America, and send or come for
it."

The young man wept with gratitude; he wanted to know how he was to
repay Mrs. Newton, but she said for the present she did not want
payment, that it would be a pleasure to her to have the baby; and it
would be time enough to talk about payment when the father was able to
claim it, and take it to a home.

So the next day they buried the poor young woman, and soon after the
young man went away and sailed off to America, and from that day to
this Mrs. Newton had never heard anything of him.

As she had said, that poor little motherless babe lay in her bosom, and
was unto her as a daughter; she loved it; she loved it when it was a
helpless little thing, weak and sickly; she loved it when it grew a
pretty lively baby, and would set its little feet on her knees, and
crow and caper before her face; she loved it when it began to play
around her as she sat at work, to lisp out the word "Ganny," for she
taught it to call her grandmother; she loved it when it would follow
her into her nice garden, and pick a flower and carry it to her, as she
sat in the little arbor; and she, holding the flower, would talk to it
of God who made the flower, and made the bee that drew honey from the
flower, and made the sun that caused the flower to grow, and the light
that gave the flower its colors, and the rain that watered it, and the
earth that nourished it. And she loved that child when it came back
from the infant school, and climbed up on her lap, or stood with its
hands behind its back, to repeat some pretty verses about flowers, or
about the God who made them. That child was Fanny, the flower-girl; and
ah! how little did good Mrs. Newton think she would be selling flowers
in the streets to help to support her.

But it came to pass, that when Fanny was nearly six years old, Mrs.
Newton's husband fell very ill; it was a very bad, and very expensive
illness, for poor Mrs. Newton was so uneasy, she would sometimes have
two doctors to see him; but all would not do; he died: and Mrs. Newton
was left very poorly off.

In a short time she found she could not keep on her pretty cottage; she
was obliged to leave it; and the church where she had gone every Sunday
for so many years; and the church-yard where her husband was buried,
and little Fanny's mother; and the infant school where Fanny learned so
much; and the dear little garden, and the flowers that were Fanny's
teachers and favorites. Oh! how sorry was poor Mrs. Newton. But even a
little child can give comfort; and so little Fanny, perhaps without
thinking to do so, did; for when Mrs. Newton for the last time sat out
in her garden, and saw the setting sun go down, and told Fanny she was
going to leave that pretty garden, where she had from infancy been
taught to know God's works, the child looked very sad and thoughtful
indeed, for some time; but afterwards coming up to her, said,

"But, grandmother, we shall not leave God, shall we? for you say God is
everywhere, and He will be in London too."

And oh! how that thought consoled poor Mrs. Newton; she did not leave
God,--God did not leave her.

So she left the abode of her younger years--the scene of her widowhood;
and she went away to hire a poor lodging in the outlets of London; but
her God was with her, and the child she had nursed in her prosperity
was her comfort in adversity.

Matters, however, went no better when she lived with little Fanny in a
poor lodging. She had only one friend in London, and she lived at a
distance from her. Mrs. Newton fell ill; there was no one to nurse her
but Fanny; she could no longer pay for her schooling, and sometimes she
was not able to teach her herself.

All this seemed very hard, and very trying; and one would have been
tempted to think that God was no longer with poor Mrs. Newton; that
when she had left her cottage she had left the God who had been so good
to her.

But this would have been a great mistake. God was with Mrs. Newton; He
saw fit to try and afflict her; but He gave her strength and patience
to bear her trials and afflictions.

One afternoon her friend came to pay her a visit: she was going out a
little way into the country to see a relation who had a very fine
nursery-garden, and she begged Mrs. Newton to let little Fanny go with
her own daughter. Mrs. Newton was very glad to do so for she thought it
would be a nice amusement for Fanny.

The nurseryman was very kind to her; and when she was going away gave
her a fine bunch of flowers. Fanny was in great delight, for she loved
flowers and knew her dear grandmother loved them too. But as she was
coming back, and just as she was entering the streets, she met a lady
and a little boy of about three years old, who directly held out his
hands and began to beg for the flowers. His mamma stopped, and as Fanny
was very poorly dressed, she thought it probable that she would sell
her nosegay, and so she said,

"Will you give that bunch of flowers to my little boy, and I will pay
you for it?"

"Please, ma'am, they are for grandmother," said Fanny blushing, and
thinking she ought to give the flowers directly, and without money to
any one who wished for them.

"But perhaps your grand-mother would rather have this sixpence?" said
the lady. And Mrs. Newton's friend, who had just come up, said,

"Well, my dear, take the lady's sixpence, and let her have the flowers
if she wishes for them."

So Fanny held the flowers to the lady, who took them and put the
sixpence in her hand. Fanny wished much to ask for one rose, but she
thought it would not be right to do so, when the lady had bought them
all: and she looked at them so very longingly that the lady asked if
she were sorry to part with them.

"Oh! no, ma'am," cried her friend, "she is not at all sorry--come now,
don't be a fool, child," she whispered, and led Fanny on.

"That is a good bargain for you," she added as she went on; "that
spoiled little master has his own way, I think; it would be well for
you, and your grandmother too, if you could sell sixpenny worth of
flowers every day."

"Do you think I could, ma'am?" said Fanny, opening her hand and looking
at her sixpence, "this will buy something to do poor granny good; do
you think Mr. Simpson would give me a nosegay every day?"

"If you were to pay him for it, he would," said her friend; "suppose
you were to go every morning about five o'clock, as many others do, and
buy some flowers, and then sell them at the market; you might earn
something, and that would be better than being idle, when poor Mrs.
Newton is not able to do for herself and you."

So when Fanny got back, she gave her dear grandmother the sixpence.

"The Lord be praised!" said Mrs. Newton, "for I scarcely knew how I was
to get a loaf of bread for thee or myself to-morrow."

And then Fanny told her the plan she had formed about the flowers.

Mrs. Newton was very sorry to think her dear child should be obliged to
stand in a market place, or in the public streets, to offer anything
for sale; but she said, "Surely it is Providence has opened this means
of gaining a little bread, while I am laid here unable to do anything;
and shall I not trust that Providence with the care of my darling
child?"

So from this time forth little Fanny set off every morning before five
o'clock, to the nursery garden; and the nursery-man was very kind to
her, and always gave her the nicest flowers; and instead of sitting
down with the great girls, who went there also for flowers or
vegetables, and tying them up in bunches, Fanny put them altogether in
her little basket, and went away to her grandmother's room, and spread
them out on the little table that poor Mrs. Newton might see them,
while the sweet dew was yet sparkling on their bright leaves.

Then she would tell how beautiful the garden looked at that sweet early
hour; and Mrs. Newton would listen with pleasure, for she loved a
garden. She used to say, that God placed man in a garden when he was
happy and holy; and when he was sinful and sorrowful, it was in a
garden that the blessed Saviour wept and prayed for the sin of the
world; and when his death had made atonement for that sin, it was in a
garden his blessed body was laid.

Mrs. Newton taught Fanny many things from flowers; she was not a bad
teacher, in her own simple way, but Jesus Christ, who was the best
teacher the world ever had, instructed his disciples from vines and
lilies, corn and fruit, and birds, and all natural things around them.

And while Fanny tied up her bunches of flowers, she would repeat some
verses from the Holy Scriptures, such as this, "O Lord, how manifold
are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of
thy riches." And afterwards she would repeat such pretty lines as
these:--

  "Not worlds on worlds, in varied form,
     Need we, to tell a God is here;
   The daisy, saved from winter's storm,
     Speaks of his hand in lines as clear.

  "For who but He who formed the skies,
     And poured the day-spring's living flood,
   Wondrous alike in all He tries,
     Could rear the daisy's simple bud!

  "Mould its green cup, its wiry stem,
     Its fringed border nicely spin;
   And cut the gold-embossed gem,
     That, shrined in silver, shines within;

  "And fling it, unrestrained and free,
     O'er hill, and dale, and desert sod,
   That man, where'er he walks, may see,
     In every step the trace of God."


"And I, too, have had my daisy given to me," poor Mrs. Newton would
say, with tearful eyes, as she gazed on her little flower-girl; "I too
have my daisy, and though it may be little cared for in the world, or
trodden under foot of men, yet will it ever bear, I trust, the trace of
God."

But it happened the very morning that the gentleman had given Fanny the
half-sovereign in mistake, Mrs. Newton's money was quite spent; and she
was much troubled, thinking the child must go the next morning to the
garden without money to pay for her flowers, for she did not think it
likely she would sell enough to buy what they required, and pay for
them also; so she told Fanny she must ask Mr. Simpson to let her owe
him for a day or two until she got a little money she expected.

Fanny went therefore, and said this to the kind man at the garden; and
he put his hand on her head, and said, "My pretty little girl, you may
owe me as long as you please, for you are a good child, and God will
prosper you."

So Fanny went back in great delight, and told this to Mrs. Newton; and
to cheer her still more, she chose for her morning verse, the advice
that our Lord gave to all those who were careful and troubled about the
things of this life "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;
they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you that
Solomon in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore,
if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow
is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, oh ye of
little faith?"

And then she repeated some verses which both she and Mrs. Newton liked
very much.

  "Lo! the lilies of the field,
  How their leaves instruction yield!
  Hark to nature's lesson, given
  By the blessed birds of heaven.

  "Say with richer crimson glows,
  The kingly mantle than the rose;
  Say are kings more richly dressed,
  Than the lily's glowing vest!

"Grandmother I forget the next verse," said Fanny, interrupting
herself; "I know it is something about lilies not spinning; but then
comes this verse--

  "Barns, nor hoarded store have we"--

"It is not the lilies, grandmother, but the blessed birds that are
speaking now--

  "Barns, nor hoarded store have we,
  Yet we carol joyously;
  Mortals, fly from doubt and sorrow,
  God provideth for the morrow."

Poor Mrs. Newton clasped her thin hands, and looked up, and prayed like
the disciples, "Lord, increase our faith!"

"Eh!" said she, afterwards, "is it not strange that we can trust our
Lord and Saviour with the care of our souls for eternity, and we cannot
trust Him with that of our bodies for a day."

Well! this was poor Mrs. Newton's state on that day, when the gentleman
gave Fanny the half-sovereign instead of sixpence, for her flowers.

When the little flower-girl came back from her race with her two
sixpences, she found the old vegetable-seller had got her three or four
pennies more, by merely showing her basket, and telling why it was left
at his stall; and so every one left a penny for the honest child, and
hoped the gentleman would reward her well. The old man at the stall
said it was very shabby of him only to give her sixpence; but when she
went home with three sixpences and told Mrs. Newton this story, she
kissed her little girl very fondly, but said the gentleman was good to
give her sixpence, for he had no right to give her anything, she had
only done her duty.

"But, grandmother," said Fanny, "when I saw that pretty half-sovereign
dropping down to his purse, I could not help wishing he would give it
to me."

"And what commandment did you break then, my child?"

"Not the eighth--if I had kept the half-sovereign I should have broken
it," said Fanny, "for that says, thou shalt not steal--what commandment
did I break, grandmother; for I did not steal?"

"When we desire to have what is not ours Fanny, what do we do? we
covet; do we not?"

"Oh! yes--thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods," cried Fanny,
"that is the tenth commandment; and that half-sovereign was my
neighbor's goods, and that fat gentleman was my neighbor. But,
grandmother, it is very easy to break the tenth commandment."

"Very easy indeed, my dear," said Mrs. Newton, with first a faint
smile, and then a deep sigh, "therefore," she added, "we ought always
to pray like David, 'Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity.'"

There is a very common saying, that when things are at the worst they
mend. It is hard to say when matters are at the worst; poor Mrs. Newton
knew they might yet be worse with her; but certainly, they were very
bad; and a few days after this, as Fanny was tying up her flowers as
usual, she lay on her bed thinking what she was to do, and praying that
God would direct her to some way of providing for the poor child.

While she was thinking and praying, tears stole down her face; Fanny
saw them, and stopped her work, and looked sorrowfully at her--

"Now you are crying again, grandmother, she said," and that's what
makes me break the tenth commandment, for I can't help wishing the
gentleman had given me that half-sovereign. But I will say the verses
again to-day about the lilies and birds; for you know I said that
morning--

  'Mortals fly from doubt and sorrow,
  God provideth for the morrow,'

and when I came back with my three sixpences, you said God _had_
provided for the morrow, for you had only two or three pennies in the
house when I went out."

"And how many pennies, pray, have you in the house to-day?" said a
rather gruff voice at the door.

Mrs. Newton and Fanny started; but there, standing at the door, Fanny
saw the fat gentleman who had given her the half-sovereign.

"So you have been wishing for my gold, you little rogue," he said,
looking as if he meant to frighten her. "Never mind," he added,
smiling, "you are a good child, and did what was right; and I always
meant to bring it back to you, but I have been kept rather busy these
few days past. There it is for you, and try not to break the tenth
commandment again." Then turning to Mrs. Newton, he said, "We should
not expect rewards, ma'am, for doing our duty, but if children do not
meet with approbation when they do right, they may be discouraged, and
perhaps think there is no use in being good: for they are silly little
creatures, you know, and do not always recollect that God will reward
the just one day if men do not."

"Oh! sir!" said poor Mrs. Newton, but the tears streamed down, and she
could not say a word more. And there Fanny sat gazing on the
half-sovereign, as if she was half stupefied.

"Well, take up that bit of gold, and do what you like with it," said
the fat gentleman; "and then run off to sell your flowers, for we must
not be idle because we have got enough for to-day. But do what you like
with that money."

Fanny rose up from her seat, and looking very much as if she was moving
in her sleep, with her wondering eyes fixed on the shining piece that
lay in her hand, she walked slowly over to Mrs. Newton, and putting it
into hers, said,--

"May I go to the grocer's now, grandmother, and get you the tea for
your breakfast?"

"Yes, my love," said Mrs. Newton, kissing her, "and take care of this,
and bring back the change carefully." Then turning to the gentleman,
she said, "I am not young, sir, and I am very, very poorly; I find it
hard to go without my tea, but it is a luxury I have been obliged
latterly to forego."

"But could you not get tea on credit, from the grocer?" said the
gentleman.

"Oh! yes, I believe so; but there would be no use in getting credit;"
said Mrs. Newton, "for I am not certain of being better able to pay
next week than I am this week; and when I have not the money to pay for
what I wish to get, it is better to do without it, than to add to one's
anxieties by running in debt. Do you not think so, sir?"

"Ma'am," said the old gentleman, sitting down, and resting his large
silver-topped stick between his knees, "it is of very little
consequence what I think; but if you wish to know this, I will tell you
that I think very well both of you and your little girl, who, as I have
heard, for I have made inquiries about you both, is a dependant on your
bounty. You have trained her up well, though I wouldn't praise the
child to her face; and so take as much tea as you like till you hear
from me again, and your grocer need be in no trouble about his bill."

So after the fat gentleman had made this rather bluff, but
honest-hearted speech, and poor Mrs. Newton had wept, and thanked him
in language that sounded more polite, the good old gentleman told her
his whole history.

He began the world very poor, and without relations able to assist him;
he was at last taken into the employment of a young merchant in the
city; he had a turn for business, and having been able to render some
important services to this young man, he was finally, to his own
surprise, and that of every one else, taken into partnership.

"During all this time," said he, "I was attached from my boyhood to the
daughter of the poor schoolmaster who first taught me to read; I would
not marry her while I was poor, for I thought that would be to make her
wretched instead of happy; but when I was taken into partnership I
thought my way was clear; I went off to Bethnal Green, and told Mary,
and our wedding-day was settled at once. Well, we were glad enough, to
be sure; but a very few days after, my partner called me into the
private room, and said he wanted to consult me. He seemed in high
spirits, and he told me he had just heard of a famous speculation, by
which we could both make our fortunes at once. He explained what it
was, and I saw with shame and regret, that no really honest man could
join in it: I told him so; I told him plainly I would have nothing to
do with it. You may think what followed; the deeds of partnership were
not yet signed, and in short, in two or three days more I found myself
poor Jack Walton again--indeed, poorer than I was before I was made one
of the firm of Charters and Walton, for I had lost my employment.

"Often and often I used to think that David said, he had never seen the
righteous forsaken; yet I was suffering while the unrighteous were
prospering. It was a sinful, and a self-righteous thought, and I was
obliged to renounce it; when, after some time of trial, a gentleman
sent for me--a man of wealth, and told me his son was going into
business on his own account; that he had heard of my character, and of
the cause of my leaving Mr. Charters; that he thought I would be just
such a steady person as he wished his son to be with. In short, I began
with him on a handsome salary; was soon made his partner; married Mary,
and had my snug house in the country. Mr. Charters succeeded in that
speculation; entered into several others, some of which were of a more
fraudulent nature, failed, and was ruined. He ran off to America, and
no one knows what became of him. I have left business some years. I
purchased a nice property in the country, built a Church upon it, and
have ever thanked God, who never forsakes those who wish to act
righteously.

"It pleased God to take all my sweet children from me--every state has
its trials--the youngest was just like your little flower-girl."

Mrs. Newton was much pleased with this story; she then told her own,
and little Fanny's. The fat gentleman's eyes were full of tears when
she ended; when he was going away he put another half-sovereign into
her hand, and saying, "The first was for the child," walked out of the
house.

A short time afterwards, a clergyman came to see Mrs. Newton--she was
surprised; he sat and talked with her some time, and seemed greatly
pleased with her sentiments, and all she told him of herself and Fanny.
He then told her that he was the clergyman whom Mr. Walton, on the
recommendation of the bishop of the diocese, had appointed to the
church he had built; that Mr. Walton had sent him to see her, and had
told him, if he was satisfied with all he saw and heard, to invite Mrs.
Newton and the little flower-girl to leave London, and go and live in
one of the nice widows' houses, which good Mr. Walton had built, near
the pretty village where he lived.

Then there was great joy in poor Mrs. Newton's humble abode; Mrs.
Newton was glad for Fanny's sake, and Fanny was glad for Mrs. Newton's
sake, so both were glad, and both said--

  "Mortals fly from doubt and sorrow,
  God provideth for the morrow."

But the only difference was, that Mrs. Newton said it with watery eyes
and clasped hands, lying on her bed and looking up to heaven; and
Fanny--merry little thing!--said it frisking and jumping about the
room, clapping her hands together, and laughing her joy aloud.

Well, there was an inside place taken in the B---- coach, for Mrs.
Newton and Fanny; and not only that, but kind Mrs. Walton sent up her
own maid to London, to see that everything was carefully done, as the
poor woman was ill, and help to pack up all her little goods; and, with
her, she sent an entire new suit of clothes for the flower-girl.

They set off, and when they got near to the village the coachman
stopped, and called out to know if it were the first, or the last of
the red cottages he was to stop at; and Mrs. Walton's maid said, "The
last,--the cottage in the garden." So they stopped at such a pretty
cottage, with a little garden before and behind it. Mr. Walton had
known what it was to be poor, and so, when he grew rich, he had built
these neat houses, for those who had been rich and become poor. They
were intended chiefly for the widows of men of business, whose
character had been good, but who had died without being able to provide
for their families. He had made an exception in Mrs. Newton's case, and
gave her one of the best houses, because it had a pretty garden, which
he thought others might not care for so much.

They went inside, and there was such a neat kitchen, with tiles as red
as tiles could be; a little dresser, with all sorts of useful things; a
nice clock ticking opposite the fire-place, and a grate as bright as
blacklead could make it. And then there was such a pretty little room
at one side, with a rose tree against the window; and a little shelf
for books against the wall; and a round table, and some chairs, and an
easy couch. And there were two nice bedrooms overhead; and, better than
all these, was a pretty garden. Oh! how happy was the little
flower-girl; and how thankful was poor Mrs. Newton! The first thing she
did was to go down on her knees and thank God.

Then Fanny was to go to the school, for Mrs. Walton had her own school,
as well as the national school; but Fanny did not know enough to go to
it, so she was sent to the national school first, and afterwards she
went to the other, where about a dozen girls were instructed in all
things that would be useful to them through life--whether they were to
earn their bread at service, or to live in their own homes as
daughters, wives, or mothers.

But every morning, before she went out, she did everything for her
dear, good grandmother. She made her breakfast; she arranged her room;
and she gathered some fresh flowers in the garden, and put them on the
table in the little parlor. Oh! how happy was Fanny when she looked
back, and saw how nice everything looked, and then went out singing to
her school--

  "Barns, nor hoarded store have we,
  Yet we carol joyously;
  Mortals flee from doubt and sorrow,
  God provideth for the morrow."

But God will not provide for the morrow, where people will do nothing
to provide for themselves; and so Fanny, the flower-girl, knew, for
surely God had blessed the labor of her childish hands.

Thus passed time away; and Fanny, under the instruction that she had at
church, at school, and at home, "grew in grace, and in the knowledge
and love of God, and of Jesus Christ our Lord."

Good Mrs. Newton was much better in health, and used to walk about
sometimes without any support but Fanny's arm, and so time went on till
Fanny came to be about fifteen; and then Mrs. Newton, who was not
always free from "doubt and sorrow," began to think what was to become
of her if she were to die.

So one day, when kind Mr. Walton, whom Fanny used once to call the fat
gentleman, came in to see her, Mrs. Newton told him that she was
beginning to feel anxious that Fanny should be put in a way of earning
her own bread, in case she should be taken from her.

Mr. Walton listened to her, and then he said,--

"You are very right and prudent, Mrs. Newton, but never mind that; I
have not forgotten my little flower-girl, and her race after me that
hot morning; if you were dead, I would take care of her; and if we both
were dead, Mrs. Walton would take care of her; and if Mrs. Walton were
dead, God would take care of her. I see you cannot yet learn the little
lines she is so fond of--

  "'Mortals flee from doubt and sorrow,
  God provideth for the morrow.'"

Well, not very long after this conversation came a very warm day, and
in all the heat of the sun came Mr. Walton, scarcely able to breathe,
into Mrs. Newton's cottage; he was carrying his hat in one hand, and a
newspaper in the other, and his face was very red and hot.

"Well, Mrs. Newton," said he, "what is all this about?--I can't make it
out; here is your name in the paper!"

"My name, sir!" said Mrs. Newton, staring at the paper.

"Aye, indeed is it," said Mr. Walton, putting on his spectacles, and
opening the paper at the advertisement side,--"see here!"

And he began to read,--

"If Mrs. Newton, who lived about fifteen years ago near the turnpike on
the P---- road, will apply to Messrs. Long and Black, she will hear of
something to her advantage. Or should she be dead, any person who can
give information respecting her and her family, will be rewarded."

Mrs. Newton sat without the power of speech--so much was she surprised;
at last she said, "It is Fanny's father!--I know, I am sure it can be
no one else!"

Mr. Walton looked surprised, for he had never thought of this; he was
almost sorry to think his little flower-girl should have another
protector. At length he said it must be as Mrs. Newton thought, and he
would go up to London himself next day, and see Mr. Long and Mr. Black.
So he went; and two days afterwards, when Fanny had returned from Mrs.
Walton's school, and was sitting with Mrs. Newton in the little shady
arbor they had made in the garden, and talking over early days, when
they used to sit in another arbor, and Fanny used to learn her first
lessons from flowers, then came Mr. Walton walking up the path towards
them, and with him was a fine-looking man, of about forty-five years of
age.

Mrs. Newton trembled, for when she looked in his face she remembered
the features; and she said to herself, "Now, if he takes my Fanny from
me?--and if he should be a bad man?" But when this man came nearer, he
stepped hastily beyond Mr. Walton, and catching Mrs. Newton's hands, he
was just going to drop on his knees before her, when he saw Fanny
staring at him; and a father's feelings overcame every other, and with
a cry of joy he extended his arms, and exclaiming "my child!'--my
child!" caught her to his breast.

Then there followed so much talk, while no one knew scarcely what was
saying; and it was Mr. Walton, chiefly, that told how Fanny's father
had had so much to struggle against, and so much hardship to go
through, but how he had succeeded at last, and got on very well; now he
had tried then to find out Mrs. Newton and his dear little Fanny, but
could not, because Mrs. Newton had changed her abode; how, at last, he
had met with a good opportunity to sell his land, and had now come over
with the money he had earned, to find his child, and repay her kind
benefactor.

Oh, what a happy evening was that in the widow's cottage! the widow's
heart sang for joy. The widow, and she that had always thought herself
an orphan, were ready to sing together--

  "Mortals flee from doubt and sorrow,
  God provideth for the morrow."

Mrs. Newton found that Mr. Marsden, that was the name of Fanny's
father, was all that she could desire Fanny's father to be:--a
Christian in deed and in truth; one thankful to God and to her, for the
preservation and care of his child; and who would not willingly
separate Fanny from her, or let her leave Fanny.

As he found Mrs. Newton did not wish to leave kind Mr. Walton's
neighborhood, and that his daughter was attached to it also, Mr.
Marsden took some land and a nice farm-house, not far from the Manor
House, where Mr. Walton lived. He had heard all about the
half-sovereign, and loved his little flower-girl before he saw her.

So Mrs. Newton had to leave her widow's house; and she shed tears of
joy, and regret, and thankfulness, as she did so; she had been happy
there, and had had God's blessing upon her and her dear girl.

But Fanny was glad to receive her dear, dear grandmother into her own
father's house; her own house too; and she threw her arms round the old
lady's neck, when they got there, and kissed her over and over again,
and said, "Ah! grandmother, do you recollect when I was a little girl
tying up my flowers while you lay sick in bed, I used to say so often--

  "'Mortals flee from doubt and sorrow,
  God provideth for the morrow.'"

They had a large garden at the farm-house, and Fanny and Mrs. Newton
improved it; and Mrs. Newton would walk out, leaning on Fanny's arm,
and look at the lilies and roses, and jessamine, and mignonette, and
talk of past times, and of their first garden, and their first flowers,
and of their first knowledge of the God who made them; who watches the
opening bud, and the infant head; who sends his rain upon the plant,
and the dew of his blessing upon the child who is taught to know and
love Him. And Fanny's father, when he joined them, talked over his
trials and dangers from the day that his poor wife lay dead, and his
helpless baby lay in his arms, and then he blessed the God who had led
him all his life long, and crowned him with loving-kindness.

Three years passed, and Fanny, the little flower-girl, was a fine young
woman. A farmer's son in the neighborhood wished to get her for his
wife; but her father was very sorry to think of her leaving him so soon
for another home.

He spoke to Fanny about it, and said,--"My dear girl, I have no right
to expect you should wish to stay with me, for I never was able to
watch over your childhood or to act a father's part by you."

And Fanny answered, with a blush and smile, "And I, father, was never
able to act a daughter's part by you until now, and therefore I think
you have every right to expect I should do so for some time longer. I
have no objections to be Charles Brierley's wife, and I have told him
so; but we are both young, and at all events I will not leave you."

"Now," said Mrs. Newton, who was sitting by, "instead of that young man
taking more land, which is very dear about here, would it not be a good
plan if he were to come and live with you, Mr. Marsden, and help you
with the farm."

And Mr. Marsden said, "That is the very thing; I will go and speak to
him about it; and Fanny and her husband can have the house, and farm,
and all, as much as they please now, and entirely at my death."

So it was all settled; and Fanny was married at the village church, and
Mr. and Mrs. Walton were at the wedding. Good Mrs. Newton lived on at
the farm-house, and when Fanny's first child was born, it was put into
her arms. Then she thought of the time when Fanny herself was laid in
the same arms; and she blessed God in her heart, who had enabled her to
be of use to one human creature, and to one immortal soul and mind,
while she passed through this life to the life everlasting.

Joy and sorrow are always mingled on this earth; so it came to pass
that before Fanny's first child could walk alone, good, kind Mrs.
Newton died, and was buried. As a shock of corn cometh in, in its
season, so she sank to rest, and was gathered into the garner of her
Lord. But--

  "The memory of the just
  Is blessed, though they sleep in dust;"

and Fanny's children, and children's children, will learn to love that
memory.

Many a day, sitting at work in her garden, with her little ones around
her, Fanny let them gather some flowers, and talk to her about them;
and then they would beg, as a reward for good conduct, that she would
tell them about her dear grandmother and her own childish days; and
much as children love to hear stories, never did any more delight in a
story, than did these children, in the story of Fanny, the Flower-Girl.



Convenient Food.


Little Frances was crying; her sister Mary hearing her sobs, ran in
haste to inquire what had happened; and saw her sitting in a corner of
the nursery, looking rather sulky, as if she had recently received some
disappointment.

"What is the matter, dear little Frances? why do you cry so?"

Frances pouted, and would make no reply.

"Tell me, dear Frances; perhaps I can do something for you."

"Nothing, Mary," she sobbed, "only"--

"Only what, little Frances? It cannot be _nothing_ that makes you cry
so bitterly."

"Only mamma would not give--" she looked a little ashamed, and did not
finish her sentence.

"_What_ would she not give?"

"Nothing."

"Nothing!" Frances shook her elbows, as if troubled by Mary's
inquiries, but the tears continued flowing down her cheeks.

Just at that moment their sister Anne came into the room, singing in
the joy of her heart, with a piece of plum-cake in her hand, holding it
up, and turning it about before her sisters to exhibit her
newly-acquired possession, on which Frances fixed her eyes with eager
gaze, and the tears flowed still faster, accompanied with a kind of
angry sob.

"Frances! what is the matter that you are crying so? see what I have
got! you will spoil all the happiness of our feast."


At the word _feast_, Frances' tears seemed arrested, and her mouth
looked as if she were going to smile. She left the corner, and
immediately prepared to do her part for the feast, setting a little
square table, and then, drawing her own little stool, seated herself in
readiness as a guest.

"Stay," said Anne, "we will make some little paper dishes and plates,
and divide the cake;" so saying, she began the operation, and laying
down the paper dishes, "there at the top, see! there shall be two
chickens, at the bottom a piece of beef, at one side some potatoes, and
at the other some cauliflower;" breaking her cake into small pieces to
correspond to her imagined provision.

Frances looked very impatient at the long preparation, and as Anne
seated herself, inviting Mary to partake, Frances stretched out her
hand to take the beef for her own portion.

"No, no, Frances, you must not help yourself, you know; wait until we
all begin in order."

Frances very reluctantly withdrew her hand, and, whilst she waited,
betrayed her impatience by a little jerking motion of the body, that
threw her breast against the table, as if she would beat time into
quicker motion.

"O we must not forget William!" Anne exclaimed; "where is he? he must
taste our feast; stay here, Mary, with Frances, and I will go and find
him."

Away she ran, and left poor Frances in a fret at this additional delay,
but she began to amuse herself by picking up the small crumbs that had
been scattered on the stool, and at last proceeded to touch the beef
and chickens.

"Do not do so, Frances," Mary said, in a reproving voice.

Frances colored.

"Do not sit _looking_ on, if you are so impatient; employ yourself, and
get a seat ready for William."

"_You_ may get it, Mary."

"Very well; only do not meddle with Anne's feast."

Mary had to go into another room for the seat, and whilst she was away,
Frances quickly helped herself to half of the pieces which were on the
dishes, and, when Mary returned, resumed her position as if nothing had
happened. Mary was so busy in arranging the seats, that she did not
observe what had been done.

Presently Anne came back, accompanied by her brother William; hastening
to her place, and looking on her table, she started with surprise, and
seemed to say to herself, as she gazed, How came I to make a mistake,
an think my pieces of cake were larger? but the expression of her face
called Mary's attention, who at once said,

"Anne, I am sure you placed larger pieces on your dishes."

"Indeed, I thought so, Mary; who has taken any?"

"I do not know."

"O you are only _pretending_, and you have been hiding some."

"No, Anne; I would not have said I do not know, if I had _hid_ it."

"No, no more you would, dear Mary. Never mind," she said, glancing a
look at Frances, not altogether without suspicion, "it is only to
_play_ with, it does not signify whether it is much or little.

"William, shall I help you to a little chicken?"

"O no, Anne, you have forgot, help the _ladies_ first; and beside, you
ought to have placed me at the bottom of the table to carve this dish.
What is it?"

"Beef, William."

"O beef, very well. Come, Miss Frances, let me sit there, and you come
to the side of the table."

In haste to begin the eating part of the play, she rose immediately to
change places, when, to her disgrace, a quantity of crumbs, which had
lodged unobserved in a fold of her frock, fell out, and disordered the
neatness of the table.

"There!" said William, "we have no question to ask who took the liberty
to lessen the dishes."

"For shame, William, I--"

"O Frances, take care what you say, tell no falsehoods; I will tell one
truth, and say you are a greedy girl."

Frances began to cry again, "For shame, William, to call me names."

"I call no names, I only say what I think, and how can I help it, when
it is only just now you cried so, because you said mamma had given me a
larger piece of cake than yourself; for you must know," he continued,
turning to Mary, "we have both had one piece before, and she half of
mine to make her quiet; and then she cried again because a piece was
put by for you and Anne, and she cannot be contented now, though Anne
shares hers amongst us. If this is not being greedy, I do not know what
greedy means. It is no names, it is only saying what a thing is."

"Now I know another thing," said Anne; "when mamma called me to receive
my piece of cake, she said, 'And you shall take a piece also to Mary,'
but when she unfolded the paper, there was only _one_ piece; mamma did
not say anything, but I think she _thought_ something."

At this remark, Frances redoubled her crying, but, for the sake of a
share of the present feast, did not attempt to leave the party. No more
was said, and the feast was concluded in good humor by all except the
conscious greedy girl, and they then all went into the garden together
to finish their hour's recreation before they were called again to
their lessons.

There was a little plantation of young fir-trees at one corner of the
garden, intended to grow there for shelter from the north-west wind:
the grass was so high amongst them, that the gardener had orders to go
and carefully mow it down. He was engaged in the business when the
children ran out to see him work.

"Hush! hush!" he exclaimed, as they approached, "I have just cleared a
bough from the grass, and see what's there!"

All curiosity, they went forward on tip-toe, and were directed to
something lodged on the spreading branch of a young larch.

"A bird's nest!" said William.

"A bird's nest!" they all repeated. "But what is in it, I cannot tell."

"Look steadily," said the gardener, "and you will find out."

It was difficult to trace what it was; something all in a heap, brown
naked skin; alive, as might be known by the heaving breathing. William
putting his finger to touch them, immediately four wide mouths
stretched open, with little tongues raised, and the opening of their
throats extended to the utmost.

"Look at the little things," said William; "they thought their mother
was come when I touched the branch, and they have opened their mouths
to be ready to receive what she would put in.

"They are _blind_!" said William.

"Yes, they cannot have been hatched more than two days."

"Will they take what the mother gives them?" asked William.

"Yes," said the man, "they trust her, and swallow down what she puts
into their mouths."

"I wish the mother would come," said Anne.

"But she will not whilst we are here," William replied.

"Touch it again, William," said Frances.

William touched the edge of the nest "See!" said he, "they think the
mother is come, they stretch, their months still wider."

"Hark!" said Mary, "what an impatient noise they make: they look ready
to stretch themselves out of their nest, and as if their little mouths
would tear."

"Poor little things! do not disappoint them, give them something," said
Anne.

"We have not proper food for them," said William.

"I will run and fetch some crumbs," said Mary.

Mary soon returned with a piece of bread, and giving it to her brother
as the most experienced, he broke it into extremely small crumbs, and,
again touching the nest, awakened the expectation of the young birds:
they opened their mouths wide, and as he dropped a small crumb into
each, they moved their tongues, trying to make it pass down into their
throat. "Poor little things, they cannot swallow well, they want the
mother to put it gently down their throat with her beak."

"See! see!" said all the girls, "they want more, give them more."

William dropped his crumbs again.

"More, more, William; see! they are not satisfied."

"I dare not give them more for fear of killing them, we cannot feed
them like the mother. We will stand still at a little distance, and you
will see them go to sleep." When all was quiet, the little nestlings
shut their mouths, and dropped their heads.

"I should like to see the mother feed them."

"You would see how much better she would do it than we can; perhaps, if
we could conceal ourselves behind that laurel, she would come, but she
will be very frightened, because all is so altered now the grass is cut
down, and her nest is exposed; but I dare say she is not for off, she
will be watching somewhere."

They took William's hint, and retreated behind the laurel; they had not
waited ten minutes, before the hen bird flitted past, and, darting over
the larch, as if to inspect whether her little brood was safe, she
disappeared again. In a few minutes more, she returned, skimming round
to reconnoitre that all was safe, she perched upon the nest. Instantly
the little nestlings were awake to the summons of her touch and chirp,
and, opening their mouths wide, were ready for what she would give. She
dropt a small fly into the mouth of one of them, and, having no more,
flew away to provide for the other hungry mouths as fast as she could.
As soon as she was gone, they again shut their mouths, and dropt their
heads in silence.

"What a little bit she gave them," said Frances.

"Yes," answered William, "but she knows it is _plenty_."

"How contented the others seem to wait till she comes again!"

"Yes, Mary," William again answered, unable to resist the comparison
which had come to his mind, "they did not take the little bit away from
the other. Shall we wait till she comes again?"

"O do."

"Very well, I want to see whether the one that was fed first will take
away the bit the others got."

The allusion made a little laugh, but, seeing that Frances understood
and felt that it applied to her, Anne said, "Do not let us tease
Frances; it is better to tell her at once what her fault is, than to
seem to like to hurt her."

"Indeed, dear Anne, I have not spared to tell her, her fault, as she
knows very well, for she has often given me reason, but I cannot make
her ashamed of such things; and I know mamma is very uneasy to see it
in her."

Frances looked grave, but did not cry; turning pale, however, she said,
"O Mary take me out of this laurel--I am so sick!"

Mary hastened to take her into the freer air, but all in vain. The
sisters were alarmed, and took her in to their mamma; who received her
gravely, without expressing any concern for her indisposition.

"What can we do for Frances, mamma? Will you let her have your smelling
bottle, or shall I run and get some sal volatile?"

"Neither, my dear Mary; it is an indisposition caused by her own
selfish appetite, and probably the relief may be obtained by her
stomach rejecting what she so improperly forced upon it. We will wait a
short time, and if not, I will give her something less palatable,
perhaps, than plum-cake, but necessary to remove it."

Frances was too ill to make any remark; she became paler still, and
then quickly flushed almost a crimson color, her eyes were oppressed,
and her eyebrows contracted, and she impatiently complained,

"O my head! how it beats! What shall I do, mamma?"

"Bear the consequences of your own inordinate appetite, Frances, and
learn to subject it to the wholesome rules of temperance."

"O the nasty plum-cake! I wish you had not given me any, mamma."

"You _once_ thought the plum-cake _nice_, and you would not be
contented with the small portion I knew to be sufficient and safe for
you."

"O my head! I think it is very cruel, mamma, that you do not pity me."

"I do pity you, Frances, and will take care of you now that I see you
require help, as I perceive that you will not have any relief without
medicine."

Frances began again to cry, "O, I am so sick! I cannot take medicine. I
am sure I cannot."

"Come to your room, Frances; I shall give you something proper, and you
had better lie down after you have taken it; you will, perhaps, drop
into a sleep, and be well when you awake again." Her mamma took her
hand and led her up stairs, and Frances knew very well it was in vain
to make any objection, as her mamma always made a point of obedience.
The medicine was administered, although for some time Frances refused
to look at it. When she laid down, her mamma placed the pillow high
under her head, and, drawing the curtain to shade the light, left the
room that she might be perfectly quiet. And when she returned to the
drawing-room, she inquired of the other children what they had been
doing, and received a full account of the feast, and the bird's nest,
and all the little circumstances of each.

It was time to resume their studies, and, except that Frances was not
in her usual place, all things proceeded as before. When the lessons
were finished, they entreated their mamma to go with them, and see the
bird's nest."

"It is _so_ pretty, mamma!" said Anne; "and they know when the mother
comes, and they take what she puts into their mouths."

"We will first inquire after Frances," she answered; "if she is well
enough, she can accompany us."

"I will run up, if you will be putting on your bonnet and shawl, mamma."

"Very well, I hope you will find her recovered, we will wait your
return."

Anne soon returned,--"She is gone! I do not see her anywhere!"

"Gone! In perhaps we shall find her at play in the garden."

In this expectation they all went out, and as they drew near the spot
where the nest was, they saw Frances looking very eagerly into the
nest, and seeming to be in some agitation, then she threw something out
of her hand, and ran away as if wanting not to be seen.

"She is about some mischief," William said, and ran forward to the
nest. But what was his grief to see one of the little birds dead on the
ground, two others in the nest with pieces of bread sticking in their
mouths, gasping, unable to swallow or reject it, and the fourth with
its crop gorged, and slowly moving its little unfledged head from side
to side, struggling in death.

Full of sympathy with the little sufferer, and indignant with Frances,
he exclaimed, "Provoking girl! she has stuffed the little creatures as
she would like to stuff herself; and I believe she has killed them all."

The lively interest the other children had in the nest, impelled them
to hasten to the spot, and their lamentations, and even tears, soon
flowed.

"William, William, cannot you do anything for them? do try."

"Well, stand still and do not shake my arm--so saying, he began the
attempt, and drew the bread carefully out of the distended mouths of
the two.

"Now the other! the other, William!"

"That I cannot help," he answered: "see! she has forced it down, and we
cannot get it back again; it is dying now."

Anne picked up the dead one from off the ground, and stroking it with
her forefinger, "Poor little thing!" she said, "was she so cruel to
you!"

It was not long before they heard a rustling in the tree near the
place, and then a chirp of fright and distress. "Ah!" said their mamma,
"there is the mother! poor things, we will go a little distance to let
her come to the nest; perhaps she will be able to save the two."

They all withdrew, and the little parent bird was soon on her nest,
fluttering and chirping to awaken the dead and dying little ones, till
at length she sorrowfully brooded down on her nest, and spread her
wings over them, occasionally chirping as if to solicit an answer from
her little brood.

"Oh!" said Mary, bursting into tears, "I cannot bear it! cruel Frances,
to be so unkind to the little birds!"

"Go and find Frances," said their mamma, "and bring her to me."

"I will go," William answered, "I think I know where she will hide
herself."

It was not long before William returned, leading Frances, who very
reluctantly yielded to accompany him.

"Come here," said her mamma, stopping the accusations she saw were
ready to overwhelm the offending little girl; "come here, and let me
talk to you about this sad thing you have done to the little birds. Do
you see what you have done by your ill-judged kindness?"

"Kindness! mamma," they all exclaimed.

"Yes, dear children, she has been very faulty, but I believe she meant
to be kind, and through ignorance did this thing which proves the death
of the birds. _You_ would not have done it, William, because you have
already learnt there is such a thing as a necessary prudence to deal
out your morsels with wisdom, and in a measure suited to the age and
the capacity of the birds, and also that their food should be of a
wholesome kind suitable to their nature. Nothing of this did Frances
know, and it seems she had not learnt wisdom from the circumstances she
had herself so lately fallen into.

"It reminds me of the scripture, which teaches us to profit: 'Open thy
mouth wide, and I will fill it.' These little birds first attracted
your attention by their _open mouths_, which they had stretched to
receive what their poor mother was preparing to put into them. As one
lighted on the edge of their nest, they instinctively opened their
little yellow-edged beaks; she delighted to see them do so; and they,
taking with content what she had provided for them, with the utmost
confidence swallowed it down. She had a bit for every one of them in
turn and they waited patiently until it was given them. All was well
whilst they were nourished with parental tenderness and prudence, and
none other meddled with them, or ventured to give them other things,
which they, being blind, received and knew not the hand that gave, nor
the consequences of eating food not such as their parent would have
provided.

"Here you see Frances, neither prudent nor aware of consequences, has
stuffed these little birds with improper food, both in quality and
quantity. The consequences are fatal; one is dead, another is dying,
and it is very uncertain whether the others also will not die. She fed
them without measure, and their crops and throats were gorged so as to
stop their breathing. They took it greedily, because they knew not the
fatal consequences.

"Frances, you are a greedy girl. You had been suffering for this
offence, and had not the wisdom to leave it to me to apportion your
food. You opened your mouth wide, but you must remember it is not
written that _you_ are to fill it according to your own desires. 'I
will fill it,' saith the Lord. He knows what is good for us, and he
will measure his bounty according to his own wisdom."

Frances began to look ashamed and sorrowful.

"I was to you," her mamma continued, "in the affair of the cake,
endeavoring to fulfil this my duty, but you rebelled against my
discretion, and would covet more than was right. You _helped yourself_,
you gorged your stomach. You were cross and peevish, and ill, and when
the medicine had relieved you, as it was designed, you, without
reflection, sallied forth and suffocated the little birds. You could
not feed them as the _mother_ would. You could not find in the air and
on the ground the little insects, and small worms and little grains
which were their proper food, and you should have left it to their own
mother to fill their opened mouths. _She_ would have made no mistake
either in the quality or quantity _convenient_ for them."

"O," Mary said, "how that reminds me of the scripture in Proverbs xxx.
8: 'Feed me with food _convenient_ for me.'"

"Yes, my dear girl, it's a scripture of great importance and often does
it impress my mind in combination with the other I mentioned, Ps.
lxxxi. 10: 'Open thy mouth wide, and _I_ will fill it,' in their
spiritual application, when I am providing for you, and dividing out
your portions, and considering what diet is most suited to your
constitution, and limiting the quantity of dainty or rich luxuries not
_convenient_ for you. I am also frequently led to apply it to myself,
and to offer my petition to the Lord that he will graciously judge for
me, both temporally and spiritually to _fill_ my mouth, and feed me
with food _convenient_ for me."

"I think too, mamma, that there is some meaning belonging to this in
our Lord's teaching us to pray, 'Give us this day our daily bread,'
Matt. vi. 11."

"Assuredly, my dear child, and I am rejoiced to find you are led by
this subject to compare spiritual things with spiritual.

"You see how the word of God interprets itself, and we are taught to go
direct to the bounteous hand who giveth liberally, but never wastefully
Our daily bread is sufficient for the day, and we must wait on him
still for the daily bread of the succeeding day; so we are instructed
to open our mouths wide to ask the Lord to fulfil his promise and to
fill them, and to be contented with convenient food."

"O Mamma, you cannot think how many scriptures seem to come to my mind,
and to give me a clearer understanding. You know the manna which was
given in the wilderness, was _convenient_ food when it was gathered
daily as the Lord commanded, but when they laid it up, you know it was
no longer _convenient,_ for it stunk and bred worms.  Does not this
teach us to trust God as well as not to _disobey_ him?"

"May this ready application of the word of God proceedeth from that
grace, my child, which teaches you, like Job, to esteem the word of God
more than your necessary food, for you will also remember what our Lord
said to the tempter, 'It is written, Man does not live by _bread
alone,_ but _by every word_ that proceeded out of the mouth of God.'
But we are too apt to forget this, and to imagine that we can provide
well for ourselves by fulfilling the desires and lusts of the flesh,
and by so doing, we are likely to be brought to _forget_ God, the
bountiful and wise Supplier of all our wants."

"I remember the text, mamma, which has in it, 'Feed me with food
_convenient_ for me; and in another part, 'lest I be full and deny
thee,' Prov. xxx. 9; and this little bird's nest has helped me to
understand it better."

"May the Holy Spirit engrave it on your heart, for it will often remind
you of the thankful contentedness with which you ought to wait on the
Lord."

"Yes, mamma," William said, "but there is no harm, you know, in opening
the mouth _wide_."

"No, William, certainly no _harm_, for it is a _duty_. 'Open thy mouth
wide,' is an injunction of God, but it is immediately subjoined and
strictly said, 'and I will fill it.' Therefore bear in mind the double
instruction. Neither take the filling on yourself, nor be ready to
swallow every crude and unwholesome morsel which the ignorant or the
wicked would present to you. Do you remember a certain day last week
when something happened?"

William looked anxious to recollect what his mamma alluded to, and in
less than a minute he shook his head, and said, "Ah, mamma, that is too
bad, you mean when Mrs. Arnot called, and you were out."

"Yes I do, William; you all opened your mouths wide, and _she_ filled
them. Her sweet things did not prove _convenient_ food. You see,
therefore, we should learn to discriminate between a heavenly Father's
provision, and that of a stranger, whose busy interference may cost you
your life. I was not many minutes away from my little nest, when a
stranger came, and, by mistaken kindness made you all ill.

"Frances, have you never read that scripture: 'Put a knife to thy
throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.'"

Frances cried, and, sobbing, said, "I do not know what it means?"

"What can it mean, my dear Frances, but parallel with those, 'If thy
right eye offend thee, pluck it out if thy right hand offend thee, cut
it off. It is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, than,
having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire,' Matt.
xvvi. 29, 30. ii. 8, 9. It means that spirit which will sacrifice the
lust of the heart, and deny itself, though it should be a present
mortification. The _throat_ of an inordinate or diseased appetite is to
be cut, and its carnal desires crucified."

"Was it not something of this kind that Isaac fell into when he sent
Esau to hunt venison, and make him savory meat, such as his soul loved?
Gen. xxvii. 4."

"Yes, William, and this very thing he desired presented the temptation
by which he was deceived. And you might have mentioned, too, how Esau
himself yielded to his appetite, and sold his birthright for a mess of
pottage, Gen. xxv. 29. When we yield to these propensities of the
flesh, we lay a snare for our own souls, and expose our weakness to an
adversary, ever ready to take advantage of our infirmity. It is a
common fault in children to desire with greedy appetite such food as is
pernicious, and to wish for more than even a mouth opened wide
requires--till at length they learn to lust after _forbidden_ things.
And what does it lead to? Frances, you began to pick and steal, and
your own iniquity chastised you:--you were sick and ill."

Frances hid her face in her frock.

"Ah mamma," said Anne, "I shall be afraid of wanting anything, as I
used to do; and I hope I shall remember how much better you can feed
me, than I can feed myself."

"I wish I may too," said William. "If Eve had but waited for the Lord
only to fill her mouth, she would not have eaten that which brought sin
and death."

"Tell me, Frances, if you feel the force of all we have learnt from the
little birds, and your own mistaken idea of what would be good for
them?"

Frances did not answer.

"But you know, my child, you were guilty of another fault; when the
medicine was offered, which was likely to do you good,--you _refused_
to open your mouth, and was long before you would let me fill it, so
you see we must leave it all to the Lord to give us much or little,
bitter or sweet, just as he knows to be _convenient_ for us."

"Yes," Mary said, "these poor little birds will long teach us a lesson.
We may imitate them to open our mouth wide, but we must be warned by
what happened to them, to let the _Lord_ only fill them."

"Let us look again at the nest." They approached, and frightened the
mother so, that she flew off.

"See, see! William," said Anne, "the two little things are opening
their mouths again. O how beautiful! let us never meddle with them any
more. Only remember, 'Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.' Now,
Frances, do not cry any more: come, we will bury these little dead
birds."

Frances wiped her eyes, and Anne giving her a kiss, they went away to
do as she proposed. After they had made a little coffin, they put the
two little dead birds into it Then William got a spade, and dug a grave
just large enough to hold the little coffin: and, as he lowered it into
the grave, Mary wiped away the tears which gathered in her eyes. When
William had filled up the grave, they all returned to their mamma, who
said--

"My dear children, do not let us dismiss this interesting subject
without a closer application. My dear Frances, come near to me, and
hear what I have to say."

Frances drew near with some timidity. Conscious of her faults, and
expecting the word of truth to be directed to her heart, she had at
that moment rather have escaped from it. But her mamma, taking her
hands into hers, and sitting down on a garden stool that was nigh, she
felt that the words would be words of love, aid her heart beginning to
soften, the tears were ready to flow, for she knew that her mamma would
speak to her of Jesus and of his blood, which was shed for sinners.

"Do you know quite well, my child, that among the fruits of the Spirit
enumerated, Gal. v., there is one called TEMPERANCE?"

"Yes, mamma," she replied.

"Are you not also conscious, my dear child, that your desire of
indulging your appetite is quite contrary to this holy fruit?"

"Yes, mamma."

"Then what are you to do in order to overcome the one, and to obtain
the other?"

"I must ask the Lord Jesus to give me the Holy Spirit."

"Yes, my child, to him must you come for all help, and he will not send
you empty away. Here is a subject on which you must indeed open your
mouth wide, in earnest prayer, and wait on the Lord for his gracious
answer. 'Ask, and ye shall receive,' he says, and after showing how an
_earthly_ father will act towards his child that asks for bread, how
does he conclude?"

"He says, 'How much _more_ will your _heavenly_ Father give the _Holy
Spirit_ to them that ask Him!'"

"Will you then, my dear Frances, profit by this gracious instruction,
and will _you_ ask for the Holy Spirit?"

"Yes, mamma, I will try."

"Do you believe the Lord will give you the Holy Spirit when you ask?"

"He _says_ He _will_, mamma."

"That is enough, my child; what the Lord says is yea and amen. It is
written, 'Hath he said, and will he not do it?'"

"Yes, mamma, I know God is _Truth_, He cannot lie."

"But you know also, my dear Frances, when the Holy Spirit is given, he
takes up his abode in the heart, and he _acts_ in the soul, and will
not dwell there without producing his holy fruit; and tell me now what
is the fruit you particularly want to overcome this sinful desire of
appetite which prevails in your heart."

"Is it not _temperance_, mamma?"

"Yes, and if He comes into your heart, he will give it you, and
moreover teach you to _repent_ of your sins; for consider, my Frances,
sin is an offence against him, and needs to be repented of. Do you
repent?"

"I am very sorry, mamma."

"But repentance is more than sorrow; it will make you ashamed before
God, and make you feel yourself vile; and it will also make you
carefully watchful against the temptation; it will make you anxious to
quit the sin, and clear your soul from its power; it will make you
indignant against it, and urge you to seek that strength from the
Spirit, which will resist the sin, and overcome it. When, therefore,
you ask for the Holy Spirit, be _willing_ that the Lord should _fill_
you. Be ready to _exercise_ the mighty gift for _all_ his offices, to
convict you of sin, to lead you to true expectations, and to strengthen
you to overcome your sin, giving you that grace which is specially
opposed to the leading sin of your heart."

"I wish I had this gift; for my sin makes me very unhappy: I know it is
wrong."

"Do not stop in _wishes_, dear child, go and _pray_; '_Ask_, and ye
shall receive.' 'Open your mouth wide' in the full utterance of all
your distress, and of all you desire; pray for what you _want, name_
it; pray for _repentance_, and for _temperance_. Pray that the _lust of
your appetite_ may be _crucified_, and pray that the blood of Jesus,
the Lamb of God who taketh away sin, may be sprinkled upon your guilty
soul, and cleanse it from all sin. He giveth liberally, and upbraideth
not. He is angry only when we neglect his promises and his gifts.

"It is not long since, dear Mary, that you and I conversed on this
text, 'My people would not hearken to my voice, Israel would none of
me: _so I gave them up to their own heart's lusts_,' Psa. lxxxi. A
dreadful judgment! what would become of _you_, dear Frances, if you
were given up to the dominion of your appetite?"

"But, my dear mamma," Mary said, "do you not remember the end of that
psalm, what a sweet verse there is?"

"Repeat it, dear girl, and let little Frances hear it!"

"'_Had_ they hearkened and obeyed, then should he have fed them with
the finest of the wheat, and with honey out of the rock should I have
satisfied them.'"

"O my children," said their mamma, "here is spiritual food for the
spiritual appetite! You know who is the Bread of Life, and who is the
Rock of our salvation. Turn unto him your whole heart, and though you
feel the burden of the body of this death, you shall soon be able to
thank God, who, through Jesus Christ our Lord, will deliver you."

  "Poor Esau repented too late,
     That once he his birth-right despis'd,
  And sold for a morsel of meat,
    What could not too highly be priz'd.
  How great was his anguish when told,
    The blessing he sought to obtain
  Was gone with the birth-right he sold,
     And none could recall it again!

  He stands as a warning to all,
     Wherever the gospel shall come!
  O hasten and yield to the call,
     While yet for repentance there's room!
  Your season will quickly be past;
     Then hear and obey it to-day,
  Lest when you seek mercy at last,
     The Saviour should frown you away.

  What is it the world can propose?
    A morsel of meat at the best!
  For this are you willing to lose
    A share in the joys of the blest?
  Its pleasures will speedily end,
    Its favor and praise are but breath;
  And what can its profits befriend
    Your soul in the moments of death?

  If Jesus, for these, you despise,
    And sin to the Saviour prefer,
  In vain your entreaties and cries,
    When summon'd to stand at his bar:
  How will you his presence abide?
    What anguish will torture your heart,
  The saints all enthron'd by his side,
    And you be compelled to depart.

  Too often, dear Saviour, have I
    Preferr'd some poor trifle to thee;
  How is it thou dost not deny
    The blessing and birth-right to me?
  No better than Esau I am,
    Though pardon and heaven be mine
  To me belongs nothing but shame,
    The praise and the glory be thine."



I.


The Little Pavior.


"Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and
whether it be right,"--PROVERBS, xx. 11.

Happy the child who is active, intelligent and obliging, and who takes
pleasure in serving those that are about him! Happy above all is the
child, who, fearing and loving the Lord, shows himself thus zealous and
obliging, from a feeling of piety, and a desire to please God.

Such was Francis, and this we shall soon see, from the following
narrative:

Francis, who was about eight years old, was spending the month of June
with his Grandpapa in the country.

His Grandpapa lived in a pretty house, roofed with slates, and
surrounded with a verandah, in which were seats, and between each seat,
some flower-pots. Jessamine and roses entwined themselves around the
verandah, and adorned it with elegant festoons of flowers.

Behind the house was a yard, where chickens, turkeys, and guinea-fowls,
were kept; and in the front, looking towards the west, was laid out a
fine garden, well provided with evergreens, such as holly, yew, and
pine-trees, and amongst these, also, many birch and ash-trees
flourished.

At the bottom of the garden, which sloped a little, flowed a pure, but
shallow stream, which was crossed by means of a wooden bridge,
surrounded with elders and large hazels.

This was a delightful dwelling-place, but those who inhabited it, were
still more delightful than the beautiful garden or the smiling groves.
For it was the beauty of piety which was found in them, united with
that gentleness and amiability of character, that humble spirit of
cordiality, which our Saviour enjoins upon all his true disciples.

These inhabitants, so good and so amiable, were the Grandpapa and
Grandmamma of Francis, and their domestics, who, with them served the
Lord, and lived in that peace, which His Spirit gives to such as
delight in His Word.

This dear Grandpapa then, since he was pious, was charitable, and took
particular pleasure in visiting his aged neighbors, especially the poor
peasants, to whom he always carried comfort and encouragement from that
gracious God, with whom he himself daily endeavored more and more to
live. He used generally to pay these charitable visits in the middle of
the day; after having read the Holy Bible for the second time, in a
retired summer-house in the garden, near which a little gate opened
upon a footpath, which, passing through the orchard, led to the village.

Francis, who was already acquainted with his Grandpapa's habits, never
came to disturb him while he was in the summer-house, and whenever he
saw his Grandpapa going out of the little gate he took good care not to
follow him.

But in about an hour or two, he would go to meet him, sometimes towards
the road, at others, as far as the bridge over the stream;--his
Grandmamma was never uneasy, because she knew that Francis was a
prudent boy, and that God watched over him, as one of the lambs of the
good shepherd.

Grandpapa then, had just finished reading; he had put on his hat and
taken his cane, and had gone out through the gate.

Francis, who was sitting before the house, under the pretty green
verandah, saw him pass behind the garden hedge, and was already
thinking of going to meet him at the end of an hour, when to his great
surprise he saw his Grandpapa pass again behind the hedge, and then
enter the garden through the little gate, walking apparently with much
difficulty.

"What is the matter, dear Grandpapa?" cried Francis, springing towards
the garden.--"Oh! how you are covered with mud! It must be that rude
Driver who wanted to fawn upon you. He has always such dirty paws."

"You must not scold Driver, but _me_," mildly replied his Grandpapa,
"for I incautiously, and most imprudently, walked upon that part of the
path which has been inundated by the water from the fountain."

"Grandpapa, did you fall?" asked Francis, quite alarmed.

"Yes my boy, your Grandfather fell like a heedless man.... But thanks
to our gracious God, who ever takes care of us! it was nothing; I was
only a little frightened. You see, Francis, you must not forget that we
only stand, because God supports us."

So saying, his Grandfather entered the house, and with the same
serenity related his accident to his wife, who bestowed every attention
upon him.

Whilst his Grandfather was resting himself, and Francis had ascertained
that he had not suffered much, he hastened to look at the spot where
his kind Grandpapa had slipped and fallen. It was a little bit of the
path, perhaps about three paces long, covered with the water which was
issuing from the fountain, and which being of clay, had become very
slippery.

The trench round the fountain had been already deepened more than once,
in order to turn its course from that part of the orchard, but as the
ground was rather low, the water always returned.

Francis examined all this, and tried to find out what could be done to
remedy the evil, in a more durable manner.

"_I know!_" he cried at last. "I must make a pavement here, a little
higher than the path is at present!"

"Come! cheer up! 'Where there's a will,' says Grandpapa, 'with God's
help there's a way.' To work, to work! 'For he who does nothing makes
little progress,' says also, my dear Grandpapa."

It may be here well asked, how a little child, eight years of age,
could even conceive such a project, and much more how he could have had
sufficient strength to accomplish it.

But Francis was not a thoughtless or inattentive child; on the contrary
he observed on his way _to_, and _from_ School, and when he walked out
with his Papa, everything that workmen did.

It was thus that he had often noticed how the Paviors first laid down
the stones, and then pressed them together, and as we shall soon see,
he found no difficulty in what he was going to attempt.

"First and foremost," said he, "the tools!" and immediately he ran off
to look for a little wheel-barrow which his Grandpapa had made for him;
with the spade, the trowel, and the iron rake, which were at his
disposal.

When the tools were collected, Francis, having taken off his jacket,
traced out the portion to be paved.

"Now," said he, "I must take away two or three inches of earth, that
the stones may fit in."

He then took away the earth, and piled it up on the upper side of the
path, in order to compel the water to pass by the drain.

"Now," he said, "I must find some sand; where is there any? Oh! behind
the hen-house; the masons, who plastered the walls of the yard over
again, have left a large heap of it there"--and then he quickly ran
with his wheelbarrow, once, twice, and even three times, and soon had
as much as was necessary. He spread it out, and arranged it, and then
pronounced the great word of all his work, "_Stones!_ No stones, no
pavement! I must have at least fifty of them!" He ran about, searched
and gathered, near the fountain, round the house, and along the wall of
the yard, and soon brought back four wheelbarrows full of nice stones,
well shaped, and not too large.

But there were not enough, for he was obliged to put five or six
abreast. Where are there any more to be found?

"In the brook," cried he! "It is rather far off, but I shall soon be
there!" And indeed in about a quarter of an hour, he had collected all
the proper materials.

Then should he have been seen at work! The trowel in his right hand, a
stone in his left; the sand which he placed between each stone, and the
blows which forced it down, these things succeeded each other rapidly,
and were often repeated; till at length, at the end of the third hour,
the slippery bit of foot-path was no longer in existence, but in its
stead was to be seen a pavement slightly raised, which could never be
wetted by the overflowing of the fountain.

"That will not do well," said Francis, when he had finished, and was
walking over the pavement; "it is uneven, Grandpapa will hurt his feet
upon it." And so saying, he ran to the woodhouse in the yard, and
returned, bending under the weight of the mallet, with which Thomas
used to strike the axe and wedges, when he split the large pieces of
oak.

"Here is _my_ rammer," said Francis, laughing, as he thought of those
used by the paviors; and holding the mallet perpendicularly, he struck
with the butt-end, first one stone, and then another, until at length
the pavement was completed! It was solid, even and clean, and Francis,
repeating in truth, "Where there's a will, with God's help, there's a
way," gave thanks in his heart to that good heavenly Father, who gave
him both the idea and the will to do this act of filial love, and
enabled him to accomplish it.

Some sand and a few stones remained; Francis took them up and carried
them back near to the house. Then he cleared away the rubbish, and
having put on his coat again, returned joyfully to replace his tools in
the green-house.

All this was done after dinner, between the hours of three and six. The
evening passed quietly away. Grandpapa had not received any bruises,
and he could not sufficiently thank the Good shepherd, the Lord Jesus,
who had, as it were, "carried him in his arms," and "kept all his
bones."

Grandmamma joined in his praises and thanksgivings, and these two
faithful servants blessed the Lord together, whose mercies are over all
his works.

"To-morrow, please God," said Grandpapa to Francis, "I shall go and see
old George. He must have expected me to-day! But be assured, my dear
Francis, that your Grandpapa will walk no more like a giddy child; and
if the path is still slippery, I shall place my foot prudently upon it."

Francis said he hoped the path would be better; and however that might
be, that the Lord would preserve him thenceforth from slipping, and
above all, from falling.

Grandpapa made Francis read the Bible as usual to the whole household.
He spoke piously of God's paternal care for our bodies as well as for
our souls, and in his prayer he gave abundant thanks to the Saviour who
had so graciously preserved him.

The morrow came. Grandpapa had quite recovered his accident of the
preceding day, and after reading in the summer-house, he got up to go
and see old George.

Francis, who was observing him from beneath the verandah, no sooner saw
him come near the little gate, than he ran round the house to hide
himself behind a hazel bush, a short distance from the pavement, in
order to see what his Grandpapa would do.

Grandpapa walked on towards the orchard, and as soon as he set his foot
on the path, he prepared to proceed very carefully. He took three or
four steps, and then suddenly stopped, and raising his hands,
exclaimed, a "pavement! a pavement here already! How does this happen?
Who could have done this? It must be my faithful Thomas!"--he
continued--"I must thank him for it;" and he called out loudly,
"Thomas! Thomas!" Thomas, who was in the cow-house, heard his voice,
and ran to him in alarm.

"Have you tumbled again, sir," he asked anxiously?

"On the contrary," said Grandpapa, "thanks to _you_, Thomas, for having
made this good substantial pavement so quickly and so well; it is
really excellent," said he, stamping upon it with his foot, and walking
over it in every direction. "It is solid, and even, and slopes on
either side! I am very much obliged to you, Thomas."

"Alas! sir," said the man, "it is not I who did it--how vexed I am that
I did not think of it what stupidity!"...

"Who is it then?" asked Grandpapa, "for this has been done since
yesterday, and surely these stones are not mushrooms! Who could have
thought of this?"

"I think I know who it is, sir," answered Thomas, "for yesterday in the
afternoon I saw master Francis going down to the brook with his
wheelbarrow. I could not think what it was for, but now I understand."

"Francis! did you say," exclaimed Grandpapa; "how could that child have
done it even if he had wished? Are these stones only nuts, that _that_
dear boy's little hands could have been able to knock them into the
ground?"

"Do you wish, sir, that I should look for him and bring him here?"
asked Thomas.

Francis could no longer remain concealed. He ran from behind the bush,
and threw himself into his Grandpapa's arms; saying, "Dear Grandpapa,
how happy I am to have been able to succeed."

"It is _you_ then, indeed, my son!" cried Grandpapa, as he shed tears
of joy. "God bless your filial piety towards me! May He return you
two-fold all the good you have done my heart. But how did you manage?"

"You have often told me, dear Grandpapa, that 'Where there's a will,
with the help of God, there's a way,' and I prayed to God, and was able
to do it."

"Well then, dear Francis," said Grandpapa, solemnly, "I promise you,
that every day of my life, as long as I shall walk here below, when I
pass over this pavement, which your affection has made for me, I will
say to God 'O Lord, prevent Francis from falling in his way! May thy
goodness _pave_ for him the path of life, whenever it becomes
slippery.'"

Francis understood, and respectfully received this blessing; and whilst
his Grand father paid his visit, the little pavior went and told his
Grandmamma, what he had been able to do, and how God had already
blessed him for it.



II.


The Silver Knife.


"Then said Jesus unto him: Go and do thou likewise."--LUKE, x. 37.

_Mary_.--(After having searched about the dining-room,) "Who has seen
my silver knife? William, John, Lucy, you who are amusing yourselves in
the garden, have you seen my silver knife?"

_William_.--(Going up to the window, and in a sententious tone of
voice,) "'Disorder,' says an ancient writer, 'occasions sorrow, and
negligence, blame.'"

_Mary_.--"Admirable! But that does not apply to _me_, for it is
scarcely an hour since I laid my knife on this very table, which
certainly belongs to us."

_Lucy_.--"Are you quite sure of it, Mary!"

_Mary_--"Yes, indeed, there is no doubt of it, for Sophy asked me to
give her a pretty little red apple, as usual, before going to school. I
went immediately to the fruit-room for it, and as it was a little
spoiled, I cleaned it with my silver knife, which I laid on this table,
whilst I was kissing her. I am therefore quite sure of it."

_John_.--(Frowning,)--"For my part, I confess, I don't like all these
strangers who come about the house. For instance, that little _Jane_,
who sells lilies of the valley, and strawberries, and so on--I very
much distrust her sullen look; and who knows, if perhaps...?"

_Lucy_--"Fie, fie, brother, to suspect that poor little modest gentle
child, who supports her sick mother by her own industry! Oh! it is very
wrong, John!"

"What is the matter?" said their Father, who had heard this dispute
from the garden, where he was reading under the shade of a tree.

Mary related her story, and finished by saying,--"Well, if it be God's
will, So-be-it! My beautiful knife is lost!"

"Yes, my dear girl," answered her father, "What God wills, is always
best. But it is His will that I should watch over, my household. I must
therefore know what has become of your knife. Did you ask Elizabeth if
she had taken care of it, when she cleaned the room?"

Mary ran to the kitchen, and enquired of Elizabeth.

"Your silver knife! Miss," said the servant, coloring. "Have you lost
that beautiful knife, which was given you on your birthday?"

"I ask you, if you have taken care of it," answered Mary. "I laid it
this morning upon the table in the dining-room, near the window."

_Elizabeth_.--(with astonishment,)--"Near the window! Oh!--I know where
it is, now. About half an hour ago, when I went into the dining-room,
to ... put ... down ... some plates, I saw the great magpie, which
builds its nest up in the large elm-tree, at the end of the garden,
sitting on the window-ledge. It flew away as soon as it saw me; but it
had something white and shining in its beak. Oh! yes, I remember now!
it was the silver knife!"

"The magpie," exclaimed Mary, "with my knife in its beak!"

"Oh! Miss," replied Elizabeth, "there is no thief like a magpie. When I
was at home, one of their nests was once pulled down, and nine pieces
of silver were found in it, and a whole necklace of pearls! Oh! magpies
are terrible birds, and you may be sure that your knife is in their
nest."

Mary returned to her father in the garden, and related to him all that
Elizabeth had said, but added, "For my part, I don't believe a word of
it!"

"And why not?" exclaimed John, sharply, "Elizabeth is quite right!
Nothing steals like a magpie. Everybody says so. Come! let us to work!
A ladder, a cord, and a long stick! Down with the nest!--Papa, will you
allow me to climb the tree!"

_Lucy._--(Holding John by the arm.)--"Brother, how _can_ you think of
it? The elm is more than eighty feet high! Papa, I beg of you, not to
allow it."

_Father_.--(Calmly.)--"No one shall get up the tree and risk his life,
for a thing which certainly is not there."

"There is no thief like a magpie," repeated John, looking at the nest,
which might be seen through the higher branches of the tree; "but I
confess it would not be easy to reach it. These branches are very long
and very slender!"

William, who had said nothing as yet, but had been walking backwards
and forwards, with his head down, and his hands in his pockets, turned
suddenly round to Mary, and said, "I have been thinking we can soon
know if your knife is in the nest. We only want a polemoscope for that.
Hurrah! long live optics!"

"A lemoscope!" said Lucy, "What is that? Is it a long hook?"

_William_.--(Smiling rather contemptuously.) "Poor sister! What
ignorance!"

_Father_--"William, speak kindly--tell your sister what this instrument
is, and what you want to do with it."

_William._--(Scientifically.)--"In war, when a besieged garrison wishes
to know all the movements of the enemy, without being seen, they erect
behind the walls, or the ramparts, a mirror, placed at the end of a
long pole, and inclining towards the country. You understand, then,
that everything that takes place outside, is reflected in the mirror,
and can be seen from within, or in another mirror placed at the bottom
of the pole, and sloping inwards. This, Lucy, is what is called a
polemoscope--that is to say, an instrument for observations in war."

"Thank you, William," said Lucy, "but what are you going to do with it?"

_William._--"The thing is quite plain. I am going to fasten a small
mirror on a light pitchfork, inclining it downwards. This pitchfork I
shall fasten firmly to pole; then some one will climb, dear papa,
without any danger, as far as the strong branches reach; from thence he
can draw up the pole and its mirror, with a long string, and by raising
the mirror above the nest, he will enable us to see, with the aid of
your telescope, all that the nest contains. This is my plan, and I
think it is not so bad!"

_Father_.--(Smiling.)--"Dear William. It is a great pity, however, that
you are so blind. There are two things you have not considered. One is,
that the branches which cover the nest, are very thick and tufted.
Therefore, your mirror, even if it reached their summit, would only
reflect the leaves, and consequently neither the nest nor the knife;
and the other thing which you do not observe, is this, that the
magpies, by an admirable instinct, which God has given them, build
their nests, not like a basin, as you supposed, but in the form of a
ball; so that the nest is covered with a vaulted roof, formed of sticks
closely interwoven, which shelters the bird and its brood from bad
weather, and above all, from the cruel claw of the kite or hawk."

"I am much obliged to you, dear papa," said William. "What a pity," he
added, with a sigh; "for my plan would otherwise have been infallible."

"Let us seek a better one," said their father. "Mary, go and see if you
have not left your knife in the fruit-room. Perhaps it was yesterday,
that you peeled the apple for Sophy."

"I will do so," said Mary, and she went into the house for the key of
the fruit-room.

She soon returned, exclaiming, "The key is not in its place, and I put
it there this morning."

"Miss Mary is mistaken," said Elizabeth, coming out of the kitchen; "I
see the key in the door."

"Papa," said Mary, "I recollect, when I put the key in the cupboard,
this very morning, Sophy looked at it, and said, 'It is certainly the
prettiest key on the bunch.'"

"Let us go to the fruit-room," said the father, directing his steps
thither. "I fear this will prove a sad affair."

"What is this, too," cried Mary, examining the shelves, "the big key of
the cellar here Where did it come from? And this key covered with
cheese, from one end to the other!"

"Let us go to the cellar!" said the father. "I believe we shall find
out more there than we can here."

They opened the door, and found the brilliant silver knife, not in the
magpie's nest, but sticking in a cheese, from which a large portion
appeared to have been detached.

The children were amazed, and their Father much grieved.

"Here is your knife, Mary," said John, who first saw it. "Certainly,
there is no need of a looking-glass to find it."

"You must not joke, my children," said the Father; "this is a very sad
business. I am thankful it has taken place in the absence of your dear
Mother, and I forbid you writing her anything about it. This must
concern me, and me alone."

_William_.--(Indignantly.)--"It amounts to a theft, a falsehood!"

_Lucy_.--"But who has done it, William? Did not Mary leave her knife
here?"

_William_.--"Who saw the Magpie carrying it off in his beak?"

_Mary_.--(To Lucy.)--"Do you not understand that it was poor Elizabeth,
who came here with my knife, which she took off the table where I left
it, and who, after having cut a piece of cheese with it, went to the
fruit-room, no doubt to steal some apples also."

_John_.--(Angrily.)--"Papa, Elizabeth has acted deceitfully--will you
allow her to remain with you? One of the Psalms, the 101st, I think,
says, 'He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house.'"

_The Father_.--(Gravely.) "It is said also in Holy Scriptures, my son,
that 'mercy rejoiceth against judgment,' and perhaps, John, if any of
us, had been brought up like poor Elizabeth, we might have done even
worse than this."

"I am quite vexed," said Mary, "Oh! why did I not take more care of
that wretched knife!"

_William._--"But, Mary, it was not your knife left upon the table,
which tempted her to take two keys secretly out of the cupboard, and
which made them the instruments of this theft. For Papa," continued he,
"it _is_ a theft, and a shameful one too! These stolen keys are no
small matter!"

_The Father_.--(Calmly.)--"I know it my children, and it grieves my
heart, that one of my servants, who daily hears the word of God read
and explained, should so far have forgotten the fear of the Lord! This
is what saddens me, and wounds me deeply."

_Lucy_.--"Elizabeth has not long been our cook, and probably she never
heard the word of God before she came here. Poor girl I she is perhaps
very unhappy now,--and I am sure, she will repent and turn to God."

_The Father_.-"That is right, my dear child, I rejoice to hear you
plead the cause of the unhappy, and even of the guilty, for as I said
before, 'mercy rejoiceth against judgment.'"

"I was therefore wrong," said John, "and I confess it ... for certainly
I scarcely pitied her.... I did wrong I and now I think as Lucy does."

"And I also," said William, "'Clemency governs courage,' says a Grecian
historian, and ..."

_The Father._--(Very seriously.)--"But, my dear William, what have the
pagans of old and their morals to do here? My son, you know it is the
word of God which rules our conduct, and which commands us to suffer
and to forgive."

_Lucy._--"Papa, will you allow me to repeat a passage, which I learnt
by heart last Sunday?"

_The Father._--"Repeat it, Lucy, and may God bless it to us all!"

_Lucy._--"'Execute true judgment, and show mercy and compassion every
man to his brother.' It is in the seventh chapter of Zechariah."

"I too, was wrong then," said William, "very wrong! for it is the
wisdom of God alone, that enlightens us."

"True, my son," said his Father, "may God always remind you of this. I
am going to speak to Elizabeth," he added, "as for you, my children, do
not say a word about it, and above all, bless the Lord, for having made
known to you his grace and holy law. Pray to him together, that my
words may have their due effect upon the mind of this poor guilty
creature."

The Father went out to look for Elizabeth, and the children repaired to
William's room, who, having knelt down with them, prayed to the Lord to
take pity upon her, and to touch her heart, and he ended the prayer in
the following words:--"In thy great wisdom, O Most Gracious God, and in
thine infinite compassion, through Jesus Christ, grant unto each of us
true repentance, and a sincere change of heart, and may this affliction
be turned to the glory of our Saviour Jesus."

The children then returned to their several occupations, and not one of
them ever thought of judging Elizabeth, or even speaking harshly of her.

We may add, that the exhortation of her charitable master, produced
sincere penitence in Elizabeth, and that the poor girl was not sent out
of the house; for "mercy pleaded against judgment."

It is thus that God deals with us! Oh! which of us can tell how often
he has received pardon from the Lord!



III.


The Modern Dorcas


"The night cometh when no man can work."--JOHN, ix.

Oh! my sister! my sister! What a lesson may we learn from the death of
our dear Amelia! She was but sixteen years old like myself, and only
two years older than you are, but how much had she done for the Lord. I
saw and heard her, when Jesus came to call her to himself; I was in the
churchyard when they placed her body in the grave! Oh! what a solemn
warning! and now I feel humbled before God, and I pray Him to pour into
my heart the same Spirit which He bestowed so abundantly upon our
friend, as well as that lively faith, which although Amelia 'is dead,
yet speaketh,' as it is said of Abel, and which shall speak through her
for many years to come!

I wrote to you less than a fortnight ago, that Amelia was unwell; but
how little I then thought it was her last illness! Oh! how uncertain
our life is, dear Esther, and how much wiser we should be if we would
only believe so!

On the seventh day of her illness, her mother said to me, "Anna, your
friend is going to leave us; the danger of her disorder increases every
hour, and we must give her up to God!"

I wept much and bitterly, and could not at first believe it; but when I
was alone with Amelia, the next day, she said to me, with that calm
peacefulness which never left her, "I am going away from this world,
Anna; yes, dear Anna, I am going to depart; I feel it, and ... I am
preparing myself for it!"

I tried to turn away her thoughts from this subject; I told her that
she was mistaken, and that God would certainly restore her; but she
stopped me with firmness of manner, and said, "Do you envy my
happiness, Anna? Do you wish to prevent me from going to my Heavenly
home, to my Saviour, unto his light and glory?" The entrance of her
father and the Doctor prevented my reply, and I left the room in tears.

"You must not cry," said her mother to me. "We must pray, and above
all, seek profit from the occasion. The time is short! Her end is at
hand! But," added this servant of Christ, "_that_ end is the beginning
of a life which shall have no end!"

Three more days passed away. On the fourth, we had some faint hope, but
the following day, all had vanished, and towards evening, Amelia
declared, that the Lord was about to take her.

"Yes, my dear parents, my excellent father and mother," she said, with
a beam of heavenly joy on her countenance, "I am about to leave you;
but I do not leave my God, for I am going to see Him, 'face to face.'"

"My dear parents," she continued, affectionately, "rejoice at my
departure; I am going to Heaven a little before you, it is true, but it
is _only before you_, and you know it; and the Apostle says, that, 'to
be with Christ is far better.'"

I was present, Esther, and was crying.

"Why do you cry, Anna?" she said, "Are you sorry to see me go to my
Father's house?"

"But, Amelia, _I_ lose you; we all lose you; and ..."

"I do not like to hear you say that, Anna; do not repeat it, and do not
think of it. Our Saviour says that, 'He who believes on Him shall not
see death;' and I am certain, that my soul is about to join those of
His saints who have already departed this life, for His grace has also
justified _me._"

"Ah!" said her aunt, who had not left her bedside for two days, "you
have always done the will of God, dear Amelia; you are therefore sure
of going to Him."

"Dear aunt," she replied, with sorrow on her countenance, "I assure you
that you grieve me. I have been during the whole of my life, but a poor
sinner, and have by no means done what you say; but.... God Himself has
pardoned me, and it is only, my dear aunt, because the blood of Jesus
has washed away my sins, that I shall see God."

It was thus, my sister, that Amelia spoke at intervals almost the whole
night. Her voice at length became weaker; and towards morning, after a
slight drowsiness, she said to her father, "Papa, embrace your child
once more." She then turned to her mother, and said, "My dear mamma,
embrace me also, and ... may Jesus comfort you all!"

A few minutes after, our darling friend fell gradually asleep, and her
last breath died away like the expiring flame of a candle. She
experienced nothing of the agony of death. Truly, dear Esther, Amelia
knew not what death was!

But oh! how I have myself suffered! and how difficult it is to tear
one's self thus forever here below, from such a friend as she was!

Nevertheless, my sister, God knows we have not dared to murmur. I wish
you had heard the prayer that Amelia's father offered up, when his
daughter had ceased to breathe! Oh! it was the spirit of consolation
itself which spoke! And since that solemn hour, what piety, what
strength and peace of mind, Amelia's mother his displayed! I am sure
you would have said, that the Lord was present, and that He was telling
us with His own voice: "Amelia triumphs--she is in _My_ glory!"

I wished to be in the churchyard when our friend, or rather, when her
body of dust, was committed to the grave. There were many persons
present, but especially poor people; some old men, and several
children, came to take their last leave of her.

A grey-headed and feeble old man was standing near the grave, leaning
with his two hands on a staff, and with his head depressed. He wept
aloud, when the clergyman mentioned Amelia's name, as he prayed, and
gave thanks to God. He then stooped down, and taking a little earth in
his hand, said, as he scattered it over the coffin: "Sleep, sweet
messenger of consolation! Sleep, until He whom thy lips first
proclaimed to me, calls thee to arise!" And with this, he burst into
tears, as they filled the grave.

When all was finished, and the funeral procession had departed, the
poor people who were present approached the grave, sobbing, and
repeating, "Sweet messenger of goodness! Our kind friend, our _true_
mother!" And two or three of the children placed upon her grave
nosegays of box and white flowers.

"Alas," said a young girl, "she will never hear me read the Bible
again, nor instruct me how to live!"

Another cried loudly, "Who will now come to visit my sick mother, and
read the Bible to her, and bring her comfort and assistance."

And there was a father, a poor workman, with two little boys, who,
holding his children by the hand, came and placed himself near the spot
where the head of Amelia was laid, saying to them, "Here, my poor
children, under this sod, rests that sweet countenance which used to
smile upon you, as if she had been your mother! Her lips have often
told you, that you were not orphans, and that God was better to you
than a parent.... Well, my dear children, let us remember what she used
to say: 'God has not forgotten us, and He will sustain us!'"

I was with my brother, who himself wept with all his heart, to see the
sincere grief of these poor people. He whispered to me, "I have a great
mind to speak to them, and ask them what Amelia used to do for them." I
had the same wish; so we approached a group which surrounded the grave,
and asked them when they had become acquainted with Amelia.

"For my part," answered the old man, already spoken of, "this messenger
of peace visited me two years ago, for the first time. I lived near a
family to whom she had brought some worsted stockings, for winter was
just setting in, and so my neighbor mentioned me to her, as a poor
infirm old man. She desired to see me, and had she been my own
daughter, she could never have shown me more respect and kindness! She
procured me a warm quilt that same evening, and on the morrow, towards
the middle of the day, she came with her excellent mother to pay me a
long visit.

"You must know, sir," continued the old man, to my brother, "I was then
very ignorant, or rather my heart was hard and proud towards God. I had
no Bible, and did not care about one. Well, this dear young lady not
only brought me one, with her own hands, but came to read and explain
it to me, with great patience, at least three times a week, during the
first twelve months.

"God took pity on me," added the old man, in a low voice, "and last
year I began better to understand the full pardon which is in Christ
Jesus, and was even able to pray with Miss Amelia.

"She used sometimes to call me, 'My old father,' but it was I who ought
to have called _her_ the _mother_, the true mother of my soul.

"Just one month ago, she came to me for the last time; she gave me with
a sweet smile, these worsted gloves, which she had knitted herself, and
then recommended me with much respect and kindness to thank our Lord,
who sent them me! This was the last of that sweet lady's charities to
me!"...

Upon this, the old man turned away weeping, and as he walked slowly on,
he frequently looked back upon the newly-covered grave.

"The same thing happened to me," said the workman. "The mother of these
two little children died ten months ago; we were in want of everything,
then, and I knew not even how to dress these children. Believe me,
Miss," he added, addressing me with feeling, "when the mother is gone,
all is gone!... but our gracious God did not forsake us, for He sent us
his angel; I say His angel, although she is at present much more than
an angel!... Is she not indeed a child of God in heaven? ... but, in
short, she clothed these two little ones, and I am sure she did not
spare herself in working for them; the clothes they now wear were made
chiefly by that dear young lady's hands. Then she used to come and
visit us; she often made my two children go to her house, and always
gave them good advice. She also sent them to school, and although it
was certainly her mother who paid for them, yet it was Miss Amelia who
taught them to read at home, and who, almost every Sunday, made them
repeat their Bible lessons.

"Ah, Miss," he continued, "all that that dear young lady did for us,
for our souls as well as for our bodies, will only be known in heaven,
and at the last day. For my part, and I say it here over her grave, and
in the presence of God, I am certain, that when the Lord Jesus shall
raise us all up again, the works of Miss Amelia will follow her, and we
shall then see that while upon earth she served God with all her heart.

"No," he added, as he wiped away the tears from his children's eyes, "I
would not wish her to return from the glory which she now enjoys, at
the same time I cannot conceal from you, that my heart mourns for her,
and that I know we have lost our consolation, our benefactress, our
faithful friend!"

"Who has not lost one?" exclaimed a poor woman, at whose side stood the
little girls who had planted the flowers; "I know very well that Miss
Amelia's mother will take her place, she is so good and kind! but it
was no little joy to receive a visit from that sweet and amiable young
lady, so good, so pious, and so full of joy. Oh! what should I have
done with my husband, so long confined to his bed, if this messenger of
goodness had not procured work for me, and recommended me to the ladies
who now employ me. And then again, what were we, until Miss Amelia
spoke to us? How much she had to put up with when I refused to read the
Holy Scriptures! and yet she was never weary of me. Oh! no; she came
day after day, to exhort and to teach me, and blessed be God, we begin
now to know something of what the Saviour has done for us.

"And," added she, drawing the little girl towards her, "I shall go on
with my dear children, reading and learning that word of God, which was
Miss Amelia's greatest joy.

"Come, come, my friends," she said, in a persuasive tone, "_we_ must
also die, and be put each in his turn, under this ground; but as our
benefactress is not dead ... (no, she is not dead, for the Lord has
said it!)--so also shall not we die, if we follow in her steps."

The poor woman then wished us good day, and moved away with her
children. We all walked on together, still speaking of Amelia. My
brother took the names and addresses of many of the poor people, with
whom he had just been conversing, and spoke a few words to them of
comfort and encouragement.

As soon as we were alone, he showed me the list of names, at the head
of which was that of the old man, and he said, "Here is a blessed
inheritance which Amelia has left us. She has done as Dorcas did: her
hands have clothed the poor, and her lips have spoken comfort to them.
Dear Anna, Amelia was not older than we are; let us remember this, for
we know not when the Lord shall call us."

How wise and pious this dear brother is! We have already been able to
pay together, two of Amelia's visits. Her mother, to whom we related
all we had heard, gave us further particulars of what the pious and
indefatigable Amelia used to do. Ah Esther, her religion was not mere
"lip-service." The Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ assisted her, and
she might have said with truth, I show "my faith by my works."

Let us take courage, then, my dear and kind sister! we lament our loss
in Amelia's death, but on her own account I lament her not. I can only
contemplate her in the presence of God, and of her Saviour, and I
rejoice to think of her delight when she entered the region of heaven.
How beautiful it must be, Esther, to behold the glory of that heaven!
to hear the voices of saints and angels, and to know that God loves us,
and will make us happy forever.

Think, sister, of the meaning of--_forever!_

Amelia's father, whom I saw a few hours ago with her excellent and
pious mother, said to me, in speaking of their darling child, "For my
own joy and comfort I should have wished to have kept her with us; but,
my dear Anna, even if I could have done so, what would have been all
our happiness, compared with that which she now possesses in the
presence of her God."

But do not suppose, my sister, that Amelia, with all her piety, was
less prudent with regard to the things of this world, than faithful
regarding those of heaven. Her mother has shown me her books, and her
different arrangements, all of which indicate that discretion spoken of
in Scripture, carried out in the most minute particulars.

First, as respects order and cleanliness in everything belonging to
her: it would be impossible to imagine a more proper arrangement than
the one she made of each article, both in her wardrobe, her
writing-table, her work-box, and her account-book.

She had not much money to devote to her works of charity, but her
industry made up for her limited means; for instance, in opening the
Bible which she generally made use of, I found in it, four or five
pages written with a great deal of care; and her journal informed her
mother, who read it, of the reason of this circumstance. It runs thus:

"As old Margaret has but one Bible, some of the leaves of which have
been lost, I have given her mine, which is quite complete, and have
taken hers, adding to it some sheets of paper, upon which I have
written the passages which were deficient. Thus I have saved the
expense of a new Bible; and it is the same thing to me."

Amelia's diary is very remarkable; her mother has allowed me to read
many portions of it, and to copy out what relates to her usual manner
of employing each day. I send it to you, dear Esther, and you will
find, as I have done, that the Spirit of God always teaches those who
trust in Him, how precious _time_ is here below. The following is what
our dear friend wrote upon this subject.

"_January 1st_, 1844--Nearly eighteen centuries, and a half have passed
away, since our Saviour took upon himself the form of human flesh for
our salvation. Those years seemed long as they succeeded each other,
but now that they are gone, they appear as nothing.

"Families, and nations, and the mighty generations of mankind, which,
in times gone by, peopled the earth, have all passed away. Nothing
remains of them here below!

"But such is not the case in heaven,--I should rather say,--in
eternity. There, all these nations still exist, no man can be absent,
but must appear before the Sovereign Judge, to answer for the use which
he has made of his time.

"How short that time is! Where are the years that David lived, and
where are those which Methuselah passed in this world? their whole
duration seems, at this distance, in the words of St. James, 'Even as a
vapor that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.'

"It will therefore be the same with me. I know not how long I shall
live here below, perhaps I shall see but a portion of this year, and
shall enter into glory before it is concluded; or perhaps I shall yet
see many more years. This the Lord knows, and I ought not to consider
that such knowledge would be of any importance to me, since that which
constitutes my _life_, is not its length or duration, but the use which
is made of it.

"It is to Jesus, then, that all my life must be devoted, without him I
can do nothing. 'My life is hid with Christ in God.' He has 'bought me
with a price,' I ought, therefore, 'to glorify God in my body, and in
my spirit, which are God's.'

"Truly to live is to know, that my thoughts and actions are all
directed to the glory of Jesus, whether upon earth by faith and hope,
or in heaven by the sight and by the glory of God.

"But here below, I have only time at my disposal; that is to say, days
composed of hours or rather, I have in reality but a single day to make
use of. Yesterday is no longer mine, and to-morrow, where is it? I have
it not yet, and perhaps shall never see it.

"Lo my earthly life is 'to-day.' What must I do then with 'to-day,'
that God may be honored and glorified in it? for after all, if I have
the happiness of counting the year 1844, as dating from a Christian
era, and not from that of a false prophet with the Mahomedans, nor yet
of a false God, with the poor Indians, it must be to Jesus Christ, from
whose birth I count my years, that those years should be dedicated.

"Here I am, therefore, in the presence of my Saviour, of whom I implore
the Spirit of wisdom and prudence to guide me in the employment of this
my day, since in reality I have but one, and that is, 'To-day.'

"But I cannot do better than walk in the footsteps of my Redeemer, and
in his conduct and conversation whilst on earth, I observe these three
things: Temperance, piety, and charity, to all of which he wholly
devoted himself, and has thus left me an example to follow.

"I will therefore imitate him first in his temperance. He rose early in
the morning--he eat frugally--he worked diligently--he wearied himself
in well-doing: in a word, he exerted the whole strength of his mind and
body in the cause of truth, but never in the cause of evil.

"These, therefore, must be settled rules, moderate sleep, moderate
repasts, moderate care and attention to the body; active employment,
always to a useful purpose, profitable to my neighbor, and never
interfering with my duties at home.

"In the next place, I must imitate Jesus in His _piety_. His Father's
will was as His daily food. What a thought! To live wholly to God, and
as He himself teaches us in His Holy Word. To do this, I must know His
Word; I must study it, meditate upon it, and learn it by heart. Besides
reading, I must pray, for prayer is the life both of my heart and soul
with God. What glory is thus permitted to me, a poor sinner, that I
_ought_, and that I _can_, live to Him, love Him, and devote myself to
Him! It is heaven already begun on earth; for in heaven my soul will
enjoy no other happiness than that of knowing God, and living to His
glory. This thought fills me with joy, and I am encouraged by it to
consecrate myself wholly to Him, as did my Lord and Saviour.

"Lastly, I will, by the grace of God, imitate Jesus in his _charity_.
How many souls there are about me to love, to comfort, to enlighten and
to assist. But I can only do it in the measure which God himself has
assigned to me. At my age, and but a girl, subject to the wishes of my
parents, I ought only to desire to do good in proportion to the means
with which the Lord has furnished me. But I must, in so doing, endeavor
to overcome selfishness, idleness, the love of ease, avarice, hardness
of heart, pride, and indifference, and I must love my neighbor as
myself. Oh! what an important undertaking, and how many excuses and
deceits this kind of charity will encounter and overcome.

"But I will look to Jesus, and pray to him; I will implore the secret
guidance of his Spirit; and since he is faithful, he will not leave me
alone, but will lead me, and enable me to walk day by day, I mean
'to-day,' in his sight, and in communion with him, who is so full of
love and gentleness."

This, my dear Esther, is what I have copied from Amelia's journal. You
see the light in which our friend regarded her life on earth, and how
much importance she attached to one _day_--a single day.

As I read what she had written, I felt my soul humbled before God, and
I trembled to think of the useless way in which I had hitherto spent my
time.

You see in particular what Amelia felt on the subject of piety; what
love her soul had for God! and this is what produced in her that
active, sincere, and constant charity.

You cannot form the least idea of the work, of kindness and benevolence
which she was enabled to accomplish. That passage, "The memory of the
just is blessed," is truly applicable to her.

Amelia was justified in her Saviour, for she trusted in him, and thus
was she also justified before God, by her faith in Jesus. The spirit of
Jesus led her in "all her way," and in whatever family she appeared,
her actions and words manifested a heavenly mind.

Her name is remembered with blessing in the hearts of all who knew her;
her counsels, her instructions, her example, and her acts of
benevolence, are continually spoken of by those who witnessed them, and
it is thus that she left behind a sweet savor of holiness, like a ray
of heavenly light.

Dear Esther, here is an example placed before us; it has been the will
of God that we should know her, that we might be charmed with her
excellence, and that the happiness both of her life and death, might
tempt us to imitate her.

No, no, my sister, she is not dead; she is rather, as the poor workman
said, at her grave, "a child of God in heaven." As _she_ followed
Jesus, let us also follow her, and let her memory be thus a blessing to
us both.

God be with you, my dear sister. I long to see you, that we may pray
the Lord together, to make us like his faithful, holy servant, the dear
and pious Amelia.

Yours, &c.,

ANNA.



IV.


The Tract found by the Way-Side.


"Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a
vessel for the finer." --Prov. XXV. 4.

Every one knows in these days what is meant by a _religious tract_. It
is a little printed pamphlet, which is sold at a very low price, or is
still oftener given away, or dropped in the streets and lanes, that
those who either purchase, or accept, or find them, may read the truths
of the Gospel, and the good advice which they contain.

This is an old-fashioned way of imparting instruction, both to high and
low. It was in use, for instance, as early as the first days of the
Reformation, when some faithful Christians of Picardy, in France,
assembled together to read the Holy Scriptures, on which account they
were exposed to persecution, death, and above all, to be burnt alive.

These true disciples of the Lord Jesus composed and distributed, with
considerable difficulty, some little pamphlets, in which were taught
the doctrines of salvation by Christ alone, and in a form which enabled
the poor and ignorant to read and understand; for it was impossible for
them at that time to procure a Bible, which was not only a scarce book,
but cost a large sum of money: indeed, almost as much as a thousand
Bibles would cost in the present day, and which, besides, they could
not carry home and read quietly to themselves, as they were able to do
with a simple tract.

At a later period, and chiefly for the last fifty years, this method
has been adopted in almost all countries where true Christian churches
and societies have been established; and even now, millions of these
tracts, adapted to all ages and conditions of men, are published and
distributed every year.

It is, however, but too true, that many tracts thus distributed are not
_religious tracts_; that is to say, the substance of them is not in
conformity with the truth of scripture. Many are published for the
purpose of upholding false religion and wicked principles, and which,
consequently, do great mischief to those who read them.

And if it be asked, "How can a good tract be distinguished from a bad
one?" we thus reply to this very natural question.

A _good tract_ is that which leads us to the Bible; which speaks of the
love of God in Christ; and which encourages the reader to be holy from
a motive of love to God.

A _bad tract_ is therefore that which does not speak of the Bible;
which tells us that salvation may be obtained by human merit, and which
consequently would persuade us to be religious from interested motives:
that is to say, to obtain pardon by means of our own good works.

Those tracts, too, which speak of man's happiness as if it came from
man alone, and not from God, and which consequently deny the truth of
God's word: these must also be called _bad tracts_, and must therefore
be carefully avoided.

The good that is done by the distribution of good tracts, can scarcely
be believed. There are many families, even in prosperity, who never
tasted real happiness until some of these evangelical writings found
their way amongst them. The following anecdote is an interesting proof
of this:

The family of a vinedresser, in the Canton of Vaud, in Switzerland,
was, unhappily, as well known in the village in which he lived, for his
bad conduct, as for his impiety. The father, whose name we will not
mention, was a proud and hard-hearted man, both intemperate and
dissolute; and his wife, who thought as little of the fear of God as
her husband did, was what might be called a _noisy babbler_.

The pastor of the village had often, but vainly, endeavored to lead
these unhappy people to a sense of religion, but he was always received
by them with scoffing and ridicule.

The family was composed of the vinedresser's three children. The
eldest, Mark, was as haughty as his father, and although he was only
fourteen years of age, he was already able to join in the disorders of
his drunken and gaming companions. He was entirely devoid of any sense
of religion. His sister, Josephine, who was rather more than twelve
years old, possessed a more amiable disposition. The pastor's wife took
much interest in this child, who could not help seeing that her parents
were not guided by the Spirit of God. Peter, the youngest, was but ten
years of age, but his brother's wicked example counteracted all the
good which he might have received from that of his more amiable sister.

About the end of May, there was to be, in a village not far distant, a
match at rifle-shooting. It was a public fete, at which all the people
in the neighborhood assembled.

On the morning of this day, Mark had answered his father with great
insolence, at which he was so much enraged, that he punished him
severely, and forbad him, besides, to go to the fete. The father went
thither himself, and Mark, after a moment's indecision, determined not
to heed the command he had received, but to follow him to the
shooting-match.

He therefore took advantage of his mother's absence, who, according to
her usual custom, was gone to gossip with some of her neighbors, and
notwithstanding the remonstrances of Josephine, he hastened over fields
and hedges, to the scene of the match.

"What is this?" cried he, picking up a little pamphlet, with a cover of
colored paper, which was lying on the path near the opening in the
hedge. "Oh! it is one of those tracts they leave about everywhere; it
will do very well to load my gun;" and so saying, he put the tract into
his pocket, and ran on as before.

But when he approached the village where they were shooting, dancing,
playing, and making a great noise, he suddenly stopped, for he
recollected that if he should meet with his father, who was there, he
would certainly beat him, and send him home again, in presence of all
the people who might be assembled; besides, his brother Peter was there
also, and he might see him, and tell his father. He therefore kept at a
distance, behind a hedge, not daring to advance any farther.

"Supposing I read this book!" said he, at last, after having vainly
racked his brain to find out how he could be at the fete without being
discovered. "There is nothing in it but nonsense, I know beforehand;
however, it will occupy me for a while."

This tract was called "The Happy Family," and Mark became so much
interested in it, that he not only read the whole, but many parts of it
twice over.

"How odd it is," said he, when he had finished reading; "I should never
have thought it could be thus; this Andrew and Julia, after all, were
much happier than we are, and than I am, in particular. Ah!" added he,
as he walked on by the hedge-side, looking on the ground, "possibly
Josephine may have spoken the truth, and that, after all, the right way
is the one which this lady points out."

As he thought over the little story he had been reading, he retraced
his steps towards his own village, at first rather slowly, but soon at
a quicker pace, and he entered his father's house very quietly, and
without either whistling or making a noise, as he generally did.

"You have not then been to the fete," said Josephine.

_Mark_.--(A little ashamed.)--"I dared not go, I was afraid my father
would beat me."

_Josephine_.--"It would have been better, Mark, if you had been equally
afraid of offending God."

Mark was on the point of ridiculing her, as he always did, but he
recollected Andrew and Julia, and was silent.

_Josephine_.--(Kindly.)--"But is it not true, Mark? would it not be
better to fear God, than to be always offending him?"

_Mark_.--(Knitting his brow.)--"Yes, as Andrew and Julia did! would it
not?"

_Josephine_.--(surprised.)--"Of whom do you speak, Mark? Is it of "The
Happy Family," in which an Andrew and a Julia are mentioned. Have you
ever read that beautiful story?"

"Here it is," said Mark, drawing the tract from his pocket, and giving
it to his sister.

_Josephine_.--"Yes, this is it, exactly! But brother, where did you get
it, for it is quite new; did you buy it of a _Scripture Reader_."

"Did I _buy_ it?" said Mark, sullenly. "Do you suppose I should spend
my money in such nonsense as _that?_"

_Josephine_.--"Then how did you get it? Did any one give it you?"

_Mark_.--(Slyly.)--"Ah! they have often tried to give me some, but I
tore them to pieces, and threw them away, before their faces!"

_Josephine_.--"So much the worse, Mark! for the truth of God is written
in them, and it is very sinful to tear the truth of God in pieces."

_Mark_.--(Rudely.)--"But you see I have not torn this, for it is quite
whole! And as you are so anxious to know how I came by it, I found it
on the ground, near the road, and just beyond the brushwood."

_Josephine_.--"Ah! then I know where it came from. The Pastor's son,
and the two sons of the schoolmaster, have got up a Religious Tract
Society, who distribute them in all directions."

_Mark_.--(Reproachfully.)--"And pray why do they scatter them about in
this way? Can't they leave people alone, without cramming every body's
head with their own fancies. Let them keep their religion to
themselves, and leave other people to do the same."

_Josephine_.--"Do you think, Mark, that Andrew and Julia did wrong to
listen to their father and grandmamma, and to follow the precepts of
the Bible in preference to the ridicule of scoffers."

_Mark_.--(Softened.)--"I did not say _that_.... I think Andrew and
Julia were right; but ... come give me back the Tract; I want to look
at something in it again."

Mark then went away, carrying the Tract with him; and shortly after,
Josephine saw him sitting in the garden, behind a hedge of sweet-briar,
reading it attentively.

"Where's that good-for-nothing Mark?" demanded the vinedresser, when he
returned home at night half tipsy. "Did he dare to venture to the
shooting-match? I was told that he was seen sneaking about the
outskirts of the village! where is he now?"

"He went to bed more than an hour ago," answered his mother, "and was
no more at the shooting-match than I was, for I saw him reading in the
garden."

"Mark, _reading_!" replied his father. "What could he be reading? It
would be a miracle to see him with a book in his hand. An idle fellow
like him, who never did learn any thing, and never will!"

The vinedresser's wife was silent, and after putting poor little Peter
to bed, who was quite tired and weary, she managed to get the father to
bed also, and peace reigned for a season in this miserable abode.

Mark, however, who was not asleep when his father returned, had heard
himself called a good-for-nothing idle fellow, and he trembled from
head to foot, when he found he had been seen in the neighborhood of the
village.

"What a good thing it was," said he to himself, "that I did not go on!
It was certainly God who prevented me!" added he, half ashamed of the
thought because it was so new to him; but he determined no longer to
resist it.

On the morrow, to the great surprise of his father and mother, Mark got
up in good humor; he answered his father without grumbling, and when he
was desired to go and work in the field, Mark hastened to take his hoe
and spade, and set off, singing merrily.

"What has happened to him?" asked the father. "One would scarcely
believe it was he! Wife, what did you say to him yesterday, to make him
so good-humored this morning?"

"I never even spoke to him," said his wife, dryly. "You know how
whimsical he is."

"I wish he may remain in his present mind!" said the vinedresser; and
thereupon he went off to the ale-house, to talk with his neighbors of
the best shots of the preceding day.

Josephine related the history of the little tract to the good pastor's
wife, who advised her to meet Mark on his return from the field, and to
speak to him again of what he had read.

"Is it _you_, sister?" said Mark, in a happy tone of voice, as soon as
he saw her. "It is very good of you to meet me."

Josephine, who never received such a welcome from him before, was quite
delighted, and going up to him, she said, affectionately, "I want very
much to talk with you again about Andrew and Julia."

_Mark_.--(Seriously.)--"And so do I. I should like very much to
resemble them."

_Josephine_.--(Quickly.)--"Do you mean what you say, Mark? Have you
thought of it again since yesterday?"

_Mark_.--(Still serious.)--"I have thought so much about it, that I am
determined to change my habits. Yes, Josephine, I think you are right,
and that, after all, religion is better than ridicule."

The conversation continued as it had commenced, and when Mark returned
home, he went up and kissed his mother, who was just laying the table
for dinner.

"What's the matter?" said she, with some surprise; "you seem in very
good spirits, today."

"Nothing is the matter, good mother, but that I wish to alter my
conduct," replied Mark, seriously.

"To alter your conduct," cried little Peter, as he looked up in his
brother's face, and began to titter.

"And you, too, little Peter," said Mark, "you must become good, also."

"What a funny idea," cried the child, laughing. "_What_ has made you
turn schoolmaster, all at once? and, pray, when am I to begin?"

"We shall see by-and-bye," said Mark, kindly. "In the meantime, come
and help me to tend the cow."

"There is something behind all this!" said the mother and she blushed
to think that this change had not been occasioned by anything she had
said or done to him, herself.

When the father returned from the ale-house, they all sat down to
dinner, and as usual, without saying "_grace_." Josephine said hers to
herself, and Mark, who recollected Andrew and Julia, blushed when he
took his spoon to eat his soup.

After dinner, when they were out of the house, Josephine said to Mark,
"What a pity it is, brother, that papa does not pray before each meal."

"All _that_ will come in time, Josephine," said Mark; "I never prayed
myself, and yet ... I must now begin directly. But what shall I do?
Papa will be very angry if he sees me religious."

"I do not think he will," said Josephine, "for I heard him say to
mumma, this morning, that he should be very glad if your conduct
improved."

Mark blushed, but did not reply. He returned to his work without being
desired to do so, and his father, who was quite astonished, said to his
wife, "There is something very extraordinary about Mark. I wish it may
last."

"You wish it may last!" said his wife; "how can you wish that, when you
do not care to improve yourself."

"And you, my poor wife," said the vinedresser, "do you care to change
any more than I do? I think as to that matter, we cannot say much
against each other."

"Well, at all events," said his wife, "I am not a drunkard."

"Nor am I a tattler," replied the husband. "And for this reason let us
each think of our own fault, and if Mark is disposed to reform, do not
let us prevent him; for, my poor wife, _our_ example is not a very good
one for him."

Josephine, who was working at her needle, in the adjoining room, could
not help overhearing this confession of her father, and she felt the
more encouraged to uphold Mark in his good intention.

She therefore went again to meet him, and repeated to him all she had
heard. "I think," added she, "you will do well to relate what has
happened to our father and mother, and read them the little tract."

"Not yet," said Mark, "for my principles are not sufficiently strong.
It is but an hour since the ale-house keeper's son laughed at me,
because I told him I would not play at nine-pins with him, during
working hours. He asked me if I was becoming a Methodist, and I did not
know what answer to make. However, I trust I am already improving, and
I have read the little tract again for the third time."

"Oh!" said Josephine, "we ought to read the Bible, and we do not
possess one."

"True," said Mark, somewhat surprised. "I never thought of _that_. We
have really no Bible in the house! Indeed, this must not be," he added,
looking on the ground, and striking it with his spade.

"What shall we do, then?" said Josephine, "for it would be very nice to
have one."

Mark became thoughtful, but said nothing. From that day his conduct was
always regular, and his habits industrious, so much so, that his
father, who was never in the habit of showing him much kindness, said
to him, at the dinner table, and before all the rest of the family,
"Well, my good Mark, tell us what has happened to you; for it is very
pleasant to us to see how well you now behave. Tell us, my boy, what
has been the cause of this improvement."

"It was from this book," said Mark, drawing it out of his pocket, where
he always kept it.

"What book is it?" said his mother, scornfully. "Is it not some of that
horrid trash, that"...

"Be silent," cried the father. "If this book has done good, how can it
be horrid trash? Do sour grapes produce good wine?"

"But," replied the mother, bitterly, "I will not have any of those
books and tracts in this house."

"Well, for my part," said the vinedresser, "I will encourage all that
teach my children to do what is right. Mark has worked well for the
last eight days; he has not occasioned me a moment's vexation during
the whole of that time, and as he says that this book has been the
means of his improvement, I shall also immediately read it myself.
Come, Mark, let us hear it. You can read fluently; come, we will all
listen. Wife, do you be quiet, and you too, Peter; as for Josephine she
is quite ready."

Mark began to read, but he could not proceed far; his father got up and
went out, without saying a word, and his mother began to remove the
dinner-things.

But as soon as the family re-assembled in the evening, the father said
to Mark, "Go on with your reading, Mark, I want to hear the end, for I
like the story."

Mark read, and when he came to that part of the tract, in which the
Bible is mentioned, the vinedresser looked up to a high shelf on the
wall, where were some old books, and said, "wife, had we not once a
Bible?"

"Fifteen years ago," she answered, "you exchanged it for a pistol."

The vinedresser blushed, and listened with out farther interruption
until Mark had done reading. When the tract was finished, he remained
silent, his head leaning on his hands, and his elbows on his knees.
Josephine thought this was the time to speak about the Bible, which she
had so long wished to possess, and she went up to her father, and stood
for some time by his side without speaking.

Her father perceived her, and raising his head, he said to her, "What
do you want, Josephine, tell me, my child, what do you want to ask me?"

"Dear papa," said the child, "I have long desired to read the Bible,
would you be so kind as to buy me one?"

"A Bible," cried her mother, "what can _you_ want with a Bible, at
_your_ age?"

"Oh! wife, wife," said the vinedresser, much vexed, "when will you help
me to do what is right?" "Yes, my child," he added, kissing Josephine's
cheek, "I will buy you one to-morrow. Do you think there are any to be
had at the pastor's house?"

"Oh! yes, plenty," cried Josephine, "and very large ones too!"

"Very well then," said the father, as he got up, and went out of the
house, "you shall have a very large one."

"But," said his wife, calling after him, "you don't know how much it
will cost."

"It will not cost so much as the wine I mean no longer to drink!"
replied the father, firmly.

He kept his word. The Bible was purchased on the morrow, and the same
evening the father desired Mark to read him a whole chapter. The
ale-house saw him no more the whole of that week, and still less the
following Sunday. His friends laughed at him, and wanted to get him
back. He was at first tempted and almost overcome, but the thought of
the Bible restrained him, and he determined to refuse.

"Are you gone mad, then?" said they.

"No," replied he, "but I read the Bible now, and as it says, that
drunkards shall not 'inherit the kingdom of God,' I listen to what it
says, and I desire to cease to be a drunkard."

"You see," said Josephine to Mark, as they accompanied each other to
church, "how good God has been to us. We have now a Bible, and it is
read by all at home."

_Mark_.--"Have you been able to tell the pastor's son how much good his
tract has done us?"

_Josephine_.--"I told his mother."

_Mark_.--"And what did she say?"

_Josephine_.--"She said, 'God is wonderful in all his ways,' and that,
'He which hath begun the good work in us, will perform it until the day
of Jesus Christ.'"

_Mark_.--(Feelingly.)--"Who could have thought that when I went as a
rebel to that Fete, that God was there waiting to draw me to himself.
But, dear Josephine, there is yet much to be done."

"But," said Josephine, "where God has promised he is also able to
perform. He has told us to pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us do so, and you will see that God will renew our hearts, and make
us wise and good."





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