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For we are happy in our home as ever people
were, Yet sometimes father looks as if his heart was full
of care ;
When things go wrong about the house, then
mother vexed will be ; But neither of them ever spoke a cross word unto
And once, when all was dark, they came to kiss me
in my bed, And though they thought I slept quite sound, I
heard each word they said “Poor little thing! to make thee well we'd freely
give our all; But God knows best !” and on my cheek I felt a
warm tear fall.
And then I longed to sit upright, and tell them not
to fret, For that my pains were not so bad, I should be
stronger yet ; But as the words came to my lips, they seemed to
And then they drew the curtain close, and left me
as I lay.
And so I did not speak at all, and yet my heart
was full; And now, when I am sick and ill, for fear it makes To see my face so pale and worn, I creep to father's
side, And press it close against his own, and try the
pain to hide.
Then upon pleasant Sundays in the long, warm,
evening hours; Will father take me in his arms among the fields
And he 'll be just as pleased himself to see the joy
I'm in, And mother smiles, and says she thinks I look not
quite so thin.
11.—THE DEFORMED CHILD—(continued).
But it is best within the house when nights are
long and dark, Two of my brothers come from school, and two
come in from work; And they are all so kind to me, the first word they
To mother at the door will be, “ Has Bess been
well to-day ?” And though I love them all so well, one may be
loved the best, And brother John, I scarce know why, seems dearer But tired and cross as I may feel, when he comes in
than the rest;
at night, And takes me on his knee and chats, then every
, thing is right!
When once, I know, about some work he went
quite far away, Oh, how I wished him back again, and counted
every day; And when, the first of all, I heard his foot upon
the stair, Just for that once I longed to run and leave my
Then when I look at other girls, they never seem to
be So pretty as our Hannah is, or half so neat as
she; But she will soon be leaving us, to settle far
away With one she loves, and who has loved her well
this many a day.
I sometimes think, because I have few pleasures
and no cares Wherewith to please or vex myself, they like to tell
me theirs ; For sister talks to me for hours, and tells me
much that she Would never breathe uuto a soul unless it
One night, when we were quite alone, she gave the
fire a stir, And shut the door, and showed the ring that
William bought for her, And told me all about her house, and often has
she said, That I shall come and live with them, when she
and William wed.
But that I think will scarcely be, for when our
Hannah goes, What we shall do for want of her not one among
us knows; And though there is not much in me the place she
leaves to fill, Yet something may be always done when there is
but the will.
Then the kind doctor says, and he is very seldom
wrong, That I some day, when no one thinks, may grow
both stout and strong; And should I be, through all my life, a care unto
my friends; Yet father says there are worse cares than God
And I will think of this, and then I never can feel
dull, But pray to God to make me.good, and kind, and
And when I think on Him that died, it makes my
heart grow light To know that feeble things on earth are precious in His sight!
12.-INVASION OF THE SCOTS.
ad-vers-a-ries The war between the English and the Scots still lasting, Bruce sent his two great commanders, the good Lord James Douglas, and Thomas Randolph, Earl of Murray, to lay waste the countries of Northumberland and Durham, and distress the English as much as they could.
Their soldiers were about twenty thousand in number, all lightly armed, and mounted on horses that were but small in height, but excessively active. The men themselves carried no provision, except a bag of oatmeal; and each had at his saddle a small plate of iron called a girdle, on which, when they pleased, they could bake the oatmeal into cakes. They killed the cattle of the English as they travelled through the country, roasted the flesh on wooden spits, or boiled it in the skins of the animals themselves, putting in a little water with the beef to prevent the fire from burning the hide to pieces. This was rough