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Ding-dong, ding-dong. "Why, that can't be the school bell,” cried Susy, jumping up hastily.
“It is, though,” said Joe, “and your wits have been on a goose-chase for almost three quarters of an hour. I took your arithmetic away ten minutes ago, and you never knew it at all.”
Susy rose with flushed cheeks and tearful eyes, and held out her hand for the book,
All the way to school she studied, with the help of her good-natured brother ; but all in vain. The time was too short, , and at the close of her recitation, instead of hearing any praises, she caught a very sad look upon the teacher's face, and she was sent to take her place at the foot of the class.
But all these mortifications and privations seemed to have very little effect upon Susy. night, as she sat with a little piece of sewing her mother had given her, the needle fell from her fingers, and her eyes again fixed upon vacancy.
“What are you after now, Susy ?” cried Joe.
“Well, I'm thinking what if I had three pair of hands, and while one pair did the hemming, another could sew on these strings, and another could stitch down that seam, and we'd have it all done in no time at all.”
Well, I never heard the like of that !” exclaimed Joe. "It seems to me I'd learn to use one pair of hands before fretting for more. Now I believe I'll dream a little, too. Suppose people came into the world with the ends of their arms all smooth, without any hands at all; and suppose every time they were very good, or accomplished any great thing, a finger would
out. I suspect they'd be pretty thankful if they ever got ten of them. I wonder how many you'd have by this time! I know you'd dream you had two or three hundred, but I shouldn't be a bit surprised if you hadn't the first joint of a forefinger.”
Susy coloured, and bit her lip, but had not a
word to say.
It was long before she was cured of her bad habit of dreaming, but at last she was ; and she would set diligently to work, knowing that the best kind of fairies, to separate birds' feathers or do sums and write compositions, are Patience and Industry; and they are always ready to come, if any little girl or hoy really wants them.
THE LION AND THE MOUSE.
A LION was sleeping in his lair, when a mouse, not knowing where he was going, ran over the mighty beast's nose and awakened him. The lion clapped his paw upon the frightened little creature, and was about to make an end of him in a moment, when the mouse, in pitiable tone, besought him to spare one who had so unintentionally offended, and not stain his honourable paws with so insignificant a prey. The lion, smiling at his little prisoner's fright, generously let him go.
Now it happened no long time after, that the lion, while ranging the woods for his prey, fell into the toils of the hunters; and, finding himself entangled without hope of escape, set up a roar that filled the whole forest with its echo. The mouse, recognising the voice of his former preserver, ran to the spot, and, without much ado, set to work to nibble the knot in the cord that bound the lion, and in a short time set the noble beast at liberty; thus convincing him that kindness is seldom thrown away, and that there is no creature so much below another but that he may have it in his power to return a good office.
THE TIME-PIECE IN MY PARLOUR.
ABOVE the fire-place in my parlour stands a clock, and a pretty clock it is, richly ornamented with chasing and gilding. My time-piece is the admiration of all my visitors ; but, alas ! it has a defect, a radical defect,-it does not go! In vain do I wind it up, --the pendulum is motionless, the hands remain still: thus my clock is quite useless, and though a pretty object to look at, it is, in the most absolute sense of the word, a bad clock, simply because it does not fulfil the purpose for which I designed it. Well, this reflection occurred twice the other day : Are there not many people in the world who resemble my time-piece ? are there not many men, many women, and many children, who fulfil no better the end of their being ? God has created them to love him, to serve him, and to do his will; and if they neither love him, nor serve him, nor do his will, they do not fulfil the end of their being. And if they do not fulfil the end of their being, however pleasing they are in appearance or attractive in their manners, yet they are none the less bad, decidedly bad; for I repeat, that persons as well as things are bad, that do not fulfil the end of their being. God has not called us into life to amuse ourselves, or to rest in worldly enjoyments. He has placed us here to do his will. If any of my readers ask, How can I do the will of God? I shall tell you, my friend : It is by submitting yourself to your parents, and by respecting them ; by keeping yourself from evil companions; by seeking the good of others; by prayer ; by reading the Bible, and doing what that holy book requires from you. Above all, you do the will of God when you give your heart to Jesus, confiding in him as your only Saviour, and asking from him his Holy Spirit, without whose help you can do nothing aright.
Dear readers, think of these things; and may each of you, as in the presence of God, ask yourself this question, “Do I fulfil the end for which God has created me?"
THE ORPHAN BOY'S TALE,
Stay, lady! stay, for mercy's sake,
Poor foolish child! how pleased was I,
To force me home my mother sought-
The people's shouts were long and loud
“What is an orphan boy?" I said, -
Oh, were I by your bounty fed !