Page images
PDF
EPUB

affection to her. “Oh! dear mamma," I said, endeavouring to put my little arms around her, “I love you so much, my pretty mamma, I do love you!"

Big tears began to gather in her eyes. I recollect them, for they flowed on my cheek, and mine rose in sympathy, though I knew no reason then, why they should.

At this my aunt would have drawn me away, uttering in a reproving way, “ Sister!" but my mother clung to me faintly.

“Not yet, not yet, Sarah," she said. "I shall never see her again in this world-let her stay a little longer."

“Let her stay,” said the physician, in a husky voice. “It can't hurt Mrs. Lennox."

My mother gave a glance of thankfulness to the last speaker, and then hugged me closer and closer, murmuring words of endearment, mingled with others of a different character, no doubt words of prayer. And I, awed and melted alike, feeling that there was something terrible in all this, yet unconscious above everything else of the delight of seeing my mother again, kissed and fondled her, now pushing her hair back under her cap, now stroking her face, and occasionally looking around on the spectators to see what it all meant.

“Now, sister," said my aunt at last, “ it must come to an end. God will provide for the poor thing, and we will do our best for her.” And she drew me away.

But my mother convulsively clasped me, and in broken language, mingled with sobs and tears, prayed.

Almighty God," she said, “ Sariour of the world, protect and bless my childmy fatherless and motherless babe .!" Then she kissed me, sobbed aloud, and, suddenly letting go her hold, burst into a torrent of tears; while my aunt hurried me from the room.- Ladies' Magazine.

“WHAT IS THE USE!” “ Tis no use, and I shall not try to learn it," said an impatient little boy, throwing his book down upon the table.

“What is of no use, Henry ? ” said his mother, who was watching him.

“ This hard lesson in geography, mother, about Egypt and Syria. I don't care anything about these places, nor who lives there, and never shall go there, so what is the use of learning about them? I believe people write hard books just to make children study them, and grow cross.”

"Now you are unreasonable, my son--but bring me the book, and let me look at this disagreeable lesson.”

“O mother, you won't think it hard-you don't have to study and learn lessons now.”

“My child, there are many lessons, and hard ones too, that are to be learned and practised each day, by every one.”

“You, know, mother, what they are ! will you tell me ?”

“We must learn to be like Christ, kind, gentle, patient, and useful-watchful over our temper, that we do not grow violent, sullen, or revengeful; study our own characters, and those of others, that we may know how to live a good example to others, how to do them good, and to profit by what we see excellent in them. These are not easy lessons, Henry, and old and young alike must learn them.”

"But not you, mother, you are so good now ?

“No, Henry, I have not done learning yet, and your inattention and perverseness this morning has given me a lesson. I have been grieved and almost angry at your want of appliication and impatience too, as I wished to devote this morning to other purposes. Of this, your conduct has deprived me; and I must learn to bear this little trial with patience, and try and persuade you to be more attentive in future."

“O mother, I am so very sorry!” said Henry, 'tears starting to his eyes. “I will try again now, and perhaps you can go.”

“Not this morning, my son; but now we will read this | lesson."

“But, mother, what use is it for me to study all this, if I never want to go to Egypt, and don't care who lives there ? ”.

“Sometime you may have occasion to go, when you are a man, and you would appear very foolish, if you, never having paid attention to geography, should tell your friends you should take the Hamburg steamer for Egypt, or, not having studied the history of the country, should suppose it was

governed by Queen Victoria. But do you not remember anything about Egypt; what an old country it is, and who lived there thousands of years before Britain or America was discovered ?"

“O mother, why Joseph and his brothers lived in Egypt,is this the very same place?”.

“Yes, the same.”

“O, I thought that was so long ago, but that nobody knew anything about the place now.”

“O yes, it is the same country it was then; and the same river, by the side of which Moses was hid in his basket of bulrushes, still fertilizes the whole land by its waters."

The Nile, mother, do you mean, the great river? I know just where it is on the map; and is this the very same, where the little baby was left all alone, and his sister stood out of sight to watch him? O, I am so glad to know it, I shall like Egypt now, mother. But what is the use to study Latin and French, and all the big books Fanny and George have; and Arithmetic too, such very hard sums? I don't think I shall study them if I do go to Egypt when I am a man."

“You ought to understand Arithmetic, that you may tell how many miles you have travelled, how much money you have spent, how far you were from home, the day of the month, the time when you returned. Unless you learn to understand Grammar, you will not write intelligible letters home to your friends,--you will make sad mistakes which will greatly mortify you and us all very much. The French language is spoken in other countries, much more than the English, and though you might possibly contrive to travel through Europe without speaking any language but English, yet you would be deprived of many agreeable acquaintances, and many sources of useful information. So, my son, you must certainly study French, if you mean to be a traveller.”

“O mother, dear, how much we have to learn-and it is all of use, too. But I can never study so much."

“It has not to be done all at once, my child; years are given you to acquire this knowledge, if you choose to improve the time."

"Then, mother, I will read this lesson over three times

more; then I must know I can say it, but I have learned a great many lessons, too, besides what are in the book, haven't I?”

“ Yes, my son, and your mother too, I hope, and we will try and remember them, so that they may be of use to us another time.”—Christian Register.

THE RICH MAN'S TWO HOUSES. I once knew a rich man who determined to have a very - large and beautiful house built for himself. He bought a lot

of ground and took great pains to have the house built in the best manner. There were many spacious rooms and wide halls. It was planned so as to be warm in winter and cool in summer. No expense was spared to have it as comfortable and as complete a dwelling as could be made. No doubt he looked forward to many years of enjoyment in his new and elegant house.

At the same time that this large house was preparing for himself and his family, he had another built for them. And there was a great difference between the two. For the second house had but one small room for the whole family, and that room was mostly under ground. It had, indeed, strong walls, and was built of marble, but it had no windows, and but one small door, and that was made of iron. What a contrast there was between the wide and lofty mansion, so bright and handsome, and the low building under the willow tree, which one would scarcely notice! Yet these two houses were built for the same people. The one was for the living family ; the other for the dead. For the low house under the tree is the vault into which their bodies are to be placed, as one after another shall be called away from life.

The vault was soon finished, and it was ready long before the large house. And into which of them do you think the rich owner himself went first to take up his abode ? Strange as it may seem, he was ready for the vault before the fine dwelling was ready for him; and many months before the spacious rooms of the new house were fit to be inhabited, its

[ocr errors]

builder was laid in the narrow, dark, and cold apartment, which he will not leave until the earth shall give up its dead at the last day.

This is a fact which ought to fix the attention of the young. To you, everything in life seems bright and happy, and promising great enjoyment, and you forget its end, or imagine it is too far off to be thought of.— The house of the living is so large and beautiful, that it hides from our sight the house of the dead. But remember, that like the man I have been telling you of, you may have to lie down in the silent grave before you have entered upon the pleasures of life which you are expecting. If you will be wise, you will live and act in such a manner as to be prepared both for life and death; to enjoy the one, and not to fear the other.—The Saviour has declared: “Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” This is true in the most important sense possible. The true believer, whose sins are pardoned, and who is accepted in Christ, has the promise of a house which is not made with hands, but is eternal; not in this perishing world, but in the heavens. And the passage from this life to that, is not to die as the world speaks of death; it is to fall asleep on earth, and awake with God.

ON SHOWING KINDNESS TO THE AGED.

Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the Lord. Lev. xix. 32.

The excellent Dr. Adam Clarke says, that “ the Egypians, according to Herodotus, were particularly remarkable for the reverence they paid to old age. “For if a young person meet his senior, he instantly turns aside to make way for him; if an aged person enter an apartment, the youth always rise from their seats ;' and Mr. Savary observes that the reverence mentioned by Herodotus is yet paid to old age on every occasion in Egypt. Among the ancient Romans, it was considered a crime worthy of death not to rise up in the presence of an aged person, and acting a contrary part was

« PreviousContinue »