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* I have lost my mother!' said the little girl, as well as the grief of her heart would permit her to speak. Another told her never to mind it, she would find her again by and by. Some said, "Do not cry so, child, there is nobody that will hurt you or run away with you.' Some pitied her, and others laughed at her: but not one offered to give her any assistance. . - 8. Such, my little pupils, is the conduct of most people. When any misfortune brings you into trouble, you will find enough ready to pity you, but few who will give you any material assistance. They will tell you, what you then know yourselves, that you should not have done wrong ; they will be sorry for you, and then take their leave of you.
9. The little girl, however, was soon relieved from her present terrible anxieties. A poor old woman, with eggs and butter in a basket, happened to be going to the same market, whither the little girl's mother was gone before her.
10. Seeing the little girl in so much distress, she went up to her, and asked her what was the matter with her. The little girl told her she had lost her mother. “And to what place, my dear,' said the old woman, ‘was your mother going when you lost her ? She was going to market,' replied the little girl. • Well, my dear,' continued the old woman, 'I am going to the market too, and if you will go along with me, I make no doubt but we shall find your mother there. However, I will take care of you till you do find her. She then took the little girl by the hand, and led her along the road.
11. The good old woman gave her a nice piece of plumcake, which she thankfully accepted: but her little heart was too full to permit her to think of eating at that time. She therefore held it in her hand, saying, that she would eat it by and by, when she had found her mother, which she hoped would be soon.
12. As they walked along, the good old woman endeavoured to amuse the little girl by telling her pretty stories, and inquiring of her what books she read. I very well know,' said the old woman, that young children are too apt to be fond of histories of haunted houses, of witches, ghosts, and apparitions, which tend only to fill them with idle fears and apprehensions, and make them afraid even of their own shadows.' But when the little girl told her that her books were the Bible, and other good books, she seemed perfectly satisfied.
13. They had hardly entered the market, when the rambling eyes of the little girl caught sight of her mother. She sbrieked with joy, and, like an arrow out of a bow, darted from the old
woman, and flew to her parent, who clasped her in her arms, and after tenderly embracing her, “How came you,' said she, • my little dear, to wander from me ? I have been so frightened as to be hardly able to contain myself.'
14. The little girl took hold of her mother's hand, but could not speak, till a torrent of tears gave ease to her heart. As soon as she was able to speak, “My dear mother,' said she, I stopped to look at a pretty little chaise drawn by six dogs, and in the mean time I lost you. I looked for you, I called for you, but I could neither see nor hear you. I sat down by the side of a bank : some, as they passed, pitied me, and others laughed at me; but none attempted to take care of me, till this good old woman led me by the hand, and brought me here.
16. The little girl's mother was very thankful to the good old woman for her tenderness and humanity to her daughter, and not only bought of her what eggs and butter she had left, but even left her a small present besides, which she a long time declined accepting, saying, she had done no more than what every good christian ought to do.
16. The little girl thanked the good old woman over and over again, and all the way home talked of nothing but her kindness. Nor did she afterwards forget it, as she would frequently go and pay her a visit, when she always took with her some tea and sugar, and a loaf of bread. The little girl's mother constantly bought all the eggs and butter the old woman had to spare, and paid her a better price for them than she could have got at market, saving her, at the same time, the trouble of going thither.
17. Thus you see, my young friends, what are the consequences of good nature and humanity. You must accustom yourselves early,not only to feel for the misfortunes of others, but to do every thing that lies in your power to assist them. Whatever may be your condition in life at present, and however improbable it may be that you may ever want, yet there are strange vicissitudes in this world, in which nothing can be said to be really certain and permanent.
18. Should any one of you, my little readers, like the little girl, lose yourselyes, would you not be happy to meet with so good an old woman as she did ? Though your stations in life may place you above receiving any pecuniary reward for a generous action, yet the pleasing sensations of a good heart, on relieving a distressed fellow-creature, are inexpressible.
|_Young Peoples' wishes exposed. 1. The present moment of enjoyment is all young people think of. So long as little Henry partook of the pleasure of sliding on the ice, and making snow up in various shapes, he wished it always to be winter, totally regardless of either spring, summer, or autumn. His father hearing him one day make that • wish, desired him to write it down in the first leaf of his pocketbook, which Henry accordingly did, though his hand shivered with cold.
2. The winter glided away imperceptibly, and the spring followed in due time. Henry now walked in the garden with his father, and with admiration beheld the rising beauty of the various spring flowers. Their perfume afforded him the highest delight, and their brilliant appearance attracted all his attention. Oh,' said little Henry, that it were always spring !' His father desired him to write that wish also in his pocketbook.
3. The trees which lately were only budding, were now grown into full leaf, the sure sign that spring was departing, and summer hastening on apace. Henry, one day, accompanied by his parents and two or three of his select acquaintance, went on a visit to a neighbouring village. Their walk was delightful, affording them a prospect sometimes of wheat yet green, waving smoothly like a sea unruffled by the breeze, and sometimes of meadows enamelled with a profusion of various flowers.
4. The innocent lambs skipped about, and the colts pranced around their dams. But what was still more pleasing, this season produced for Henry and his companions a delicious feast of cherries, strawberries, and a variety of other fruits.
So pleasant a day afforded them the most exquisite delight, per and their little hearts were filled with joy.
5. Do you not think, Henry, said his father, that summer has its delights as well as winter and spring ? Henry replied, he wished it might be summer all the year, when his father desired him tp enter that wish in his pocket-book also.
6. The autumn at length arrived, and all the family went into the country to gather fruit. It happened to be one of those days that are free from clouds, and yet a gentle westerly wind kept the air cool and refreshing. The gardens and orchards were loaded with fruits, and the fine plums, pears, and apples, which hung on the trees almost to the ground, furnished the little visiters with no small amusement and delight.
7. There were also plenty of grapes, apricots, and peaches, which tasted the sweeter, as they bad the pleasure of gather
ing them. This season of rich abundance, Henry, said his father, will soon pass away, and stern and cold winter succeed it. Henry again wished, that the present happy season would always continue, and that winter would not be too hasty in its approaches, but leave him in possession of autumn.
8. Henry's father desired him to write this in his book also, and ordering him to read what he had written, soon convinced him how contradictory his wishes had been. In the winter, he wished it to be always winter ; in the spring he wished for a continuance of that season; in the summer, he wished it ne. ver to depart; and when autumn came, it afforded him too many delicious fruits to permit him to have a single wish for the approach of winter.
9. • My dear Henry, said his father, I am not displeased with you for enjoying the present moment, and thinking it the best that can happen to you; but you see how necessary it is that our wishes should not always be complied with. God knows. how to govern this world much better than any human being can pretend to. Had you last winter been indulged in your wish, we should have had neither spring, summer, nor autumn ; the earth would have been perpetually covered with snow. The beasts of the field, and the fowls of the air, would either have been starved or frozen to death; and even the pleasures of sliding, or making images of snow, would have soon become tiresome to you. It is a happiness, that we have it not in our power to regulate the course of nature : the wise and unerring designs of Providence in favour of mankind, would then most probably be perverted to their own inevitable ruin.
The four little Girls and their Mother. 1. A PRUDENT and affectionate mother had four daughters, . whose names were Emilia, Harriet, Lucy, and Sophia, whom, she loved with the greatest tenderness. Her principal wish was, that they might be virtuous and happy, and that they might enjoy all the comforts of life with tranquillity. They each experienced an equal share of her indulgence, and each received the same treatment, either as to pardon for errours, punishments, or rewards.
2. Her endeavours were crowned with the happiest suc. cess, and her four little girls became the most obedient and best of children. They told one another of their faults, and as readily forgave offences ; they shared in each other's joys, nor were they ever happy when separated.
3. An unforeseen event, however, disturbed this happy trade
quillity, just at the very moment they began to taste its charms, which served to convince them how necessary it was to be guided by their prudent mother.
4. This good woman was obliged to leave her children for a time, to attend to some unsettled affairs at a distance. She left them with much reluctance, and even sacrificed her interest, in some measure, to the desire of speedily adjusting her affairs, and in the course of a month, returned in safety to her little flock, who received her with the warmest expressions of joy : but the alteration she perceived in her children very much surprised and alarmed her.
5. She saw it frequently happen, that if one asked the slightest favour of another, she was ill-naturedly refused, and thence arose tumults and quarrels. That gayety and cheer. fulness which had used to accompany all their sports and pastimes were now changed to a gloomy perverseness ; and, instead of those tender expressions of love and friendship which had constantly dwelt in all their conversations, nothing was now heard but perpetual jarrings and wranglings. If one proposed a walk in the garden, another would give some reason why she wished to remain in the house ; and, in short, their only study seemed to be to thwart each other. • 6. It happened one day, that not contented with showing each other how much they delighted in perverseness, they mutually distressed themselves with reciprocal reproaches.
7. Their tender mother beheld this scene with the greatest uneasiness, and could not belp shedding tears on the occasion. She did not then think it prudent to say any thing to them, but retired to her room, in order there to think of the most proper means of restoring peace and harmony among her unhappy children.
8. While she was turning these afflicting thoughts in her mind, all her four young daughters entered her apartment with a peevish and uneasy look, each complaining of the ill-temper of the rest. There was not one, but what charged the other three with being the cause of it, and all together begged their mother would, if possible, restore to them that happiness they once possessed.
9. Their mother put on a very serious countenance, and said, I have observed, my children, that you endeavour to thwart each other, and thereby destroy your pleasures. In order, therefore, that no such thing may happen again, let each take up her corner in this room, if she choose it, and divert herself in what mander she pleases, provided she does not in