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There, exclaimed George, with a half reproachful look at his mother, I said it was sure to rain !
Ah, George, let not the practical application of our conversation be lost. Beware lest the commandment be of none effect ! obedience be the acquiescence of love!
He colored instantly, but with a beautifully open frankness, went up to his mother, and said, It shall not be Corban, mother; it is my duty to submit, I desire to honor you!
The glistening eye of his mother spoke a pleasure which she forbore to utter, but she said with peaceful sweetness, There is a compact between us, my dear boy, formed on the love and law of our God and Father in Jesus Christ; we are bound to each other, and we feel our yoke easy and light, because it is the yoke of Jesus.
It will rain all night, brother.
I believe it will, he cheerfully replied, and perhaps all to-morrow too.
It was with peculiar pleasure that I opened my eyes the following morning upon a clear and brilliant day. All nature seemed in animation ; and I felt myself roused to an unusual activity, which, when we met at the breakfast table, I betrayed by proposing the question to my sister, If she would permit us to go that morning to the gardener's cottage.
She smiled, but made no answer.
Louisa and Charles looked towards their mother, waiting a reply, but George took up his roll and began to cut a slice off from it. He was, however, soon conscious that all eyes were turned on him.
He looked up at his mother with perfect confidence, saying, Just as you please, mother, I will not be " FREE," and, if you prefer it, will wait till the evening.
Many mothers would have instantly been induced to consent to the morning walk, aş
I expected she would ; but she answered,
Very well, George, then we will defer it until the evening
Very well, he readily answered.
I own I was surprised at her determination, but soon perceived its wisdom; she thus put the profession of her boy to the proof whether it were principle, and she also did that which was very important,-proved her own confidence in his sincerity.
As matters stood, I found I should not have my companions until evening, and determined to spend my morning in calling on my friends and seeking opportunity for further conversation on our interesting subject. On my way I passed through the village, and met two boys, who scarcely seemed advancing, so slow was their tardy step. I soon understood why, by seeing
a man'look out of his cottage door, who, gathering up a bit of dry dirt from the ground, threw it after the boys, saying, in a tone something like what is used to dogs,
Get away, you idle dogs, get away to school.
They moved a degree quicker, without looking back, but as soon as they came to a corner they turned to see if their father was watching them ; and finding themselves unobserved, instead of turning to the right, which would have led to the school, they crossed quickly to the left and went into the fields.
I was impelled to follow them; they ran quickly along the field, and getting through a gap in the hedge, with which they seemed well acquainted, I lost sight of them. It was not long, however, before I came up with them, for they had seated themselves under a tree and were sitting in silence. One was pulling up the grass by the roots, and the other with a little pocket knife was chipping out pieces of the bark of the tree.
You are hard at work, my boys, I said ; who set you to these jobs ?
They made no reply, but proceeded in their employment, as if rather ashamed, and yet unwilling to be constrained to cease.
I'll tell you what, lads ; You see this field be
longs to me, and I may as well set you your work, Now do you go on and clear all this spot round the root of the tree of every bit of grass that is growing there; and you, cut out this bark half way round the tree a yard high, and dress off all these small branches which are growing in the way.
No sooner had I said it, than they both changed their employment; the one began to cut the skin off his hand, and the other to twist the piece of grass he held as though he were intending to form it into some useful thing.
Why do you stop ? Go on.
They looked to the right and to the left, as if they longed for an escape.
I believe it is one reason, but I can tell you another, - because you did not like to do any thing called work. And I can tell you something else, -it was for these two reasons you did not go to school. You thought your father did not mean what he said, and you do not like work. This is both folly and wickedness. That employment was no hardship so long as you were doing it to please yourselves ; and what would your father say if he knew you were playing truant ?
He wouldn't say aught, he only wanted us out of the way because uncle Tom was come.
But what would he have said after, when you went home ?
Nought, he wouldn't ha' asked where we'd been.
Suppose I tell him?
I was struck by this reasoning, so without rule or principle, and betraying such an inconsistent and careless bringing up.
Now answer me three questions. You ought to love work ?
Yes,--they unwillingly said.
You ought to think your father meant what he said ?
Let us try if you cannot mend your ways. Come along with me and I will take you to school. I took hold of their hands, but they stiffened their elbows so strongly that I could not raise them easily.
Come, boys, if your ideas were but changed to think that it was meant you should go, and to like work, you would be much happier there than under the tree in school-time.
One point I gained ; they found I did mean what I said, and though they would not give their hand, I took them by the shoulder, and thus constrained them to move on the way they should go; and I could not help thinking of the necessity for parents to exert this kind of con