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This comparison did not exactly suit the tone of feeling which had been excited. The lesson was good, but from being so abrupt and ill-timed, failed to call forth a pleasing sympathy. A smile passed over the faces of the young people, but it was not from the heart, and faded away into the softer expression of intelligent conviction which had before animated them with deepest interest.
As I found by the hold which Isabella and Mary again involuntarily took of my arm, that I had gained some little interest in their feelings, I drew them on a little further, continuing the strain of conversation on the right-placing and direction of the heart's affections, with the necessity we all have to watch both the spring and motive from which they act, and then took leave.
As I returned homewards I endeavored to form some plans, which by the most easy and unaffected incidents, might lead on to the illustration of the duties of children to parents; and to this important object determined to devote myself for some time, trusting to be led into such scenes and circumstances as might aid my purpose. And as in all these things I find the poorer elasses afford me more immediate opportunities, both from the easy access we can gain to their domestic scenes, and from the disguises of natural character being less systematic, I turned my thoughts to trace out a few families in my neighborhood, among whom I expected to find the full development of my object. The reflection to which I was led on these indelible words of the enduring commandment of God, “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee,” made me feel as though they were written on the palms of my hands, and I felt my heart commenting upon them in the words of the apostle, Eph. vi. 1--3, “ Children, obey your parents in the Lord : for this is right. Honor thy father and mother ; which is the first cominandment with promise ;--that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” My mind was thus fully occupied until the arrival of little Jane, according to appointment, was announced. I desired that she might bring in the fruit herself, and that the other basket might be ready for her.
She came in, and looked surprised at not finding the same party of young people for whom she had brought the fruit the evening before.
Come here, Jane ; tell me when you gathered this fruit ?
Very early this morning, Sir.
If you please, Sir, my father ordered me to gather it before the dew was off, because the fruit is always better for being gathered before
the sun is on it. Look, if you please, Sir, she said, turning aside some of the leaves, the bloom is on it now.
Was your father with you when you gathered it?
No, Sir, he told me what to do last night; he had to go out very early this morning before the time, and when he came back it would have been too late.
Then you did not forget your father's desires ?
had forgotten it?
He wouldn't have been pleased, Sir.
She seemed surprised at my question, but after a pause said, He expects us to do what he orders, when he's away as well as when he's at home.
Would you have been displeased with yourself if you had forgotten?
Yes, Sir, I should have been very sorrowful. Why would you ?
Because my father would have been so sorrowful.
Because the fruit would not have been so nice for his customers ?
Yes, Sir, but not all for that.
Because he thinks we do not love God when we do not do as he bids us, and then he says, we cannot love him.
The empty basket was now brought in, and the servant said, If you please, Sir, this case was thrown in the basket amongst the dead leaves.
It was Anna's morocco case, and on opening it I found the picture within.
You saw this picture yesterday, Jane?
That young lady has forgotten it; what will she do now to remember her father ?
She can remember her father without it, Sir. If you please, may I take my baskets, Sir ? Are you in a hurry, Jane?
Yes, Sir, if you please to excuse me, my mother wants me back as soon as I can.
I immediately took out the fruit, and giving her back her baskets, said, Make haste then, my
She dropped a cortesey as she said, Yes, Sir, thank you, Sir ; and I saw her from my window running homewards, looking neither to the right hand nor the left; and I could not help saying, Certainly, Mary is right in calling this little girl a dear little girl.
The morocco case seemed to point out an opportunity, and as there was still time, I put it in my pocket, intending to take it to its owner; and on my way called on Maria to accompany me in my visit; her parents cheerfully granted her to my care, and we proceeded.
We found Anna deeply engaged with her mother in examining a box of curious things, which seemed to be a new possession, and she called us to the table to examine them with her. As she unwrapt the several articles she said,
Papa was disappointed that he could not reach home so soon as he expected, and he has sent me all these things to please me till he does come; see, Maria, what pretty things they are. She ran on for some time in terms of admiration ; but she was evidently looking for some other thing, which did not meet her eye ; at last, in a pouting disappointment, she struck the side of the box with her finger, saying,
Provoking papa ! he has not kept his word.
Maria was engaged in examining some shells, and appealed at that moment to Anna, This is a very beautiful shell ; do you know its name?
Ó, never mind the shell, she answered, I have no pleasure at all now in any thing ; it was very provoking of papa to forget what he promised.
Perhaps he will bring it with him, Maria answered.
I shall not care about it then.
Anna threw herself down in her chair ; O, I don't care for any thing now.
No, but you will then, Anna.
No, I shan't; I dare say he has forgotten it altogether.
Maria looked somewhat shocked, and as if to recall good feelings, she said, Oh! you had better look again at your beautiful picture, and when you see those eyes, and that mouth that