Infomotions, Inc.Fanny, the Flower-Girl, or, Honesty Rewarded / Bunbury, Selina



Author: Bunbury, Selina
Title: Fanny, the Flower-Girl, or, Honesty Rewarded
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): fanny; newton; josephine; mamma; frances; mary; nest; william; god
Contributor(s): Conington, John, 1825-1869 [Translator]
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Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 29,375 words (really short) Grade range: 9-11 (high school) Readability score: 68 (easy)
Identifier: etext6757
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Title: Fanny, the Flower-Girl

Author: Selina Bunbury

Release Date: October, 2004  [EBook #6757]
[Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule]
[This file was first posted on January 23, 2003]

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Language: English

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Avinash Kothare, Tiffany Vergon, Charles Franks, and the Online Distributed
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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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