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THE BLUE BAG. AMONG Josephine Day's beautiful playthings there was nothing to equal the blue bag which Mrs. Gawtrey gave her, at least to Sarah's eye. Oh, that little blue velvet bag ; such a beauty! and just such a one as she wanted. She wished Mrs. Gawtrey would give her one; she woul have cared a great deal more about it than Josephine ; and Sarah eyed it, and held it up by the strings, and danced it on her fingers, and made believe it was hers. After all it was Josephine's “Oh dear!” sighed the little Sarah. Many days went on, and every time she went to Josephine's house, she said, “ Oh dear!” wishfully over the bag. One afternoon, as she was going up the steps, to ask Josephine to take a walk, what should she spy dangling on the bush under the window, but the blue bag. Sarah darted her eyes at every window, nobody was looking; she seized the little blue bag, and put it into her pocket. Some one ther. crossed the entry and said Josephine was out, which Sarah was not sorry to hear. So she ran home, with the prize in her pocket. “I only picked it up,” she kept saying to herself; “there's no harm in that--only picked it up." Sarah then went by herself, took it out, held it up, put her kerchief in it, hung it on her arm, and examined it to her heart's content: it was such a beauty! But when she heard steps on the stairs, she snatched it off her arm, and hid it in her pocket. Her mother came into the chamber, but dearly as she loved her mother, what had just delighted her, she dared not ask her mother to delight in also. Oh no! and after a few kind words from her mother, Sarah slunk away into the garden. When night came, Sarah was at a loss to know how to dispose of the bag; her mother might go to her pocket, so it was not safe there; neither could she be sure of nobody's secing it in any drawer or closet. Somehow or other every spot seemed naked and open to people's eyes, at last she put it under her pillow, and here it was to her just like a thorn, for Sarah kept waking up and feeling after it all night. “Oh dear!' sighed the little girl in the morning, not as usual hastening to her mother's room. “Oh dear!” she sighed, dropping her eyes when Josephine entered the school-room, and feeling in her bosom for the bag hid there, “ Oh dear!" she sighed again, afraid to play, lest it should drop out ; and worse than all, when Josephine came, and putting her arm about her neck in her own loving way, told her how the house had been hunted to find the bag, and how her mother had reproved her, for her carelessness. “If I could only, only find it !” said Josephine pityfully.
At the close of the day, Sarah could not smile, there was a burden on her heart that grew heavier and heavier, and she hardly knew what to do. Her mother said something was the matter, but when she asked what it was, the little girl turned her back and said nothing; at the same time two scalding tears trickled down her cheeks. Every way she turned, and every where she looked, a blue bag hung in the air ; after she went to bed, and it was all dark, if she opened her eyes, there was the blue bag; and if she shut them there was the blue bag. The worst of all was, Sarah had a grief she could not speak of. Heretofore, all her little sorrows and perplexities, as well as her joys, her mother shared; now, the child was trying to bear the burden alone. “Oh, will not Jesus help me ? ” she cried aloud on her bed, tossing about. She tried to pray, but there was no heart in her prayer. Leaning on her arm, she lifted up her head and listened to distant footsteps in the entry. “Mother ? ” screamed the child,“ mother, mother!" The mother heard, and ran to the call. “My child !” she said,“ my child what ails you?" coming to the bedside and taking both of Sarah's hot hands in hers. “Oh, mother, I more than picked it up; I stole it!” thrusting her hand between the beds, and drawing forth the little blue bag. “ Mother, it is Josephine's bag ; mother, will God ever forgive me? Can I ever be happy again ?" and the child sobbed bitterly on her mother's shoulder. What a sad and solemn hour was this ! “Yes, mother, I know better-only but I kept saying its only picking it up but mother, it
was more, I knew it was more, when I was afraid to show it to you, and I knew it was more when I could not tell you how I felt. Mother, I am a thief, neither more nor less, and Josephine may take me to jail. Now I've told. I had rather tell; and mother, will God forgive me?”
The mother looked very pale ; she did not try to comfort her little one; she only took her by her side, and they knelt down together, to ask forgiveness of God, and to pray that Jesus would take away her sins. Early the next morning, the mother and her child went to Josephine's house, Sarah carrying the bag. “Mother," whispered the little girl, “its no matter what Josephine, or any body thinks of me, if I only confess my sin, and be forgiven. Is it not a great deal better?” As the child spoke, the mother thanked God in her heart, for this token of an humbled and repentant spirit. “Oh,” said Sarah, many, many times afterwards, and always with a tear in her eye, " I'am sure that is sin which you are trying to hide from your mother, and from God, and you can't smooth it over by any other name.”
This story, which we have taken from the pages of the Christian Treasury, is instructive; and we trust our young friends will learn how great a sin is covetousness. God has said, “Thou shalt not covet;" Sarah's first wrong step was in coveting the pretty blue bag of her friend. This prepared the way for the excuse by which she thought to avoid the sin of stealing. We must always endeavour to restrain the desire to have that which we know to be another's, and which we apprehend they are unwilling or unable to dispose of. We should try to feel pleasure in the fact that others possess what we have not, or at least be contented with our lot, and if these things are necessary for our happiness, we shall sooner or later obtain them in a lawful way. We need say but "ittle more. Let no one smile at the sufferings here depicted, or think it was a trifling affair to occasion so much distress. The bag itself was of little worth, but the act of taking it was as sinful as if it had been a bag of gold. “It is a sin to steal a pin no sin is trifling-it breaks God s law. God sees all we do, and however we try
to hide sin, or cover it with false excuses, he is displeased at sin, and “ we can't smooth sin over by any other name. The uneasiness of this little girl shows us the evil of a guilty conscience. We cannot enjoy any possession when we are afraid of detection ; false pretences are a miserable subterfuge. Conscience will be sure, sooner or later, to criminate us, and make us wretched. We had better, therefore at once confess our faults ; and nothing will so truly quiet the reproaches of conscience as the confession of our sins to God, and reparation of any injury which we have done to another.
duty is to restore them, nor think that we can truly call them our own, when we know to whom they belong. May our readers ever possess a tender conscience, that will detect sin under all its disguises.
“Quick as the apple of an eye,
O God, my conscience make;
And keep it still awake.
“O may the least omission pain
My well-instructed soul,
Which makes the wounded whole."
A DAY AT WINDSOR CASTLE.
BY OLD WINSFORD. WHAT! Windsor Castle still! Are we not yet got through it? Patience, my young friends, patience! Old Winsford will bring you out soon, for a palace, it seems, would be a prison, if you were always to be shut up in it, You have health and strength, my young friends, prize that. And have you not your liberty ? Many a bird would gladly exchange its curiously fashioned cage for the mountain air and the grove. David was, probably, happier when tending the sheep, than when seated in his palace. He knew little of envy until he was in a position to be
envied. His sweetest psalms were composed not in the palace, but under the canopy of heaven.
Another door is opened, and we find ourselves in the Guard Chamber in Windsor Castle. This apartment is 78 feet long, and 26 broad at one end, and 21 at the other. In it are several highly-wrought suits of ancient armour, tastefully arranged. Some whole-length figures are clad in the armour of the personages whose names are written on the bracket upon which they are respectively placed. These consist of suits of armour once belonging to the Duke of Brunswick, 1530 ; Lord Howard, 1588 ; Earl of Essex, 1596 ; Henry, Prince of Wales, (eldest son of King James I.), 1612; Charles, Prince of Wales, (Charles I.), 1620; and Prince Rupert, 1635. At the south end of the room is a portion of the foremast of the Victory,—which was Lord Nelson's flag ship at the memorable battle of Trafalgar, completely perforated by a cannon-ball, during that sanguinary encounter. On each side of this relic is placed one of the two brass field-pieces taken during the late campaign on the Punjaub from the Sikhs; with two other small pieces of brass ordinance, formerly belonging to Tippoo Saib, Sultan of Mysore, and taken at the capture of Seringapatam. One of these latter is most elaborately and tastefully embossed, and inlaid with gold; the other is plainer and rather smaller. Both are mounted on mahogany carriages of English manufacture. Here, also, are placed the busts of the Dukes of Marlborough, and Wellington, and of Lord Nelson, by Chantrey. The two former have suspended over them the small banners, by the presentation of which, on the anniversaries of the battles of Blenheim, and Waterloo, they respectively hold the estates voted to them by parliament. Over the fire-place, in a glass case, is Benvenuto Cellini's shield of silver, inlaid with gold, presented by Francis I. of France to King Henry VIII. Around the extreme edge are some Latin verses, of which the following is a translation :-" This circling border, though but small itself, contains within its circuit vast ambition ;-ambition which overturns kingdoms and lays low empires. It abolished from amongst men the life and