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out to assure himself that the sun did shine “That little lad and his parents shame us all,” brighter than usual.
said Ned at last. The gentlemen both cast a puzzled and rather “Not if their example provokes us to love and unbelieving look over the boy's patched clothes, good works," said one of the ladies. “Suppose but his earnest manner had excited their curios we make up a sum sufficient to buy 'mamma' ity.
What do you think of it, Henry?" “Suppose you tell us all about it," said "It would spoil all, in my opinion. They have Ned.
made a sacrifice. Let them enjoy the luxury "Well, sir, you see, she is very old, eighty of doing good. But we can assist them in years old, mamma says, and we heard last week making the old lady comfortable. What are you that she had only wood enough to last a few thinking of, Ned?" days and very little to eat. It made us all feel “Of a plan that just occurred to me like an very bad, for you do n't know how good she inspiration. Hurrah! It 's just the thing if, always was to every body when she was strong. as I suspect, the lad's parents live in that brown Mamma had sold eggs and done odd jobs at dif-hut up the lane where aunt and I stopped to ferent houses till she had earned enough to buy leave that very bundle of work on Monday." a new cloak for herself, besides doing as much “That is the place. What is the plan?'' asked as ever for us all. It was ten dollars. Do you one of the ladies. understand, sir ?” asked Benny, who seemed to “A secret, Alice. You know, coz, that such think his auditors were not so much impressed things are never intrusted to the care of women." as they should be at the mention of such an
Yes, quite well. Go on."
The clear, cold day passed on, and another "I saw it all with my own eyes,” said Benny. sunset, as fair as the last was brightening the “Ten silver dollars! Well, mamma thought western sky. Benny had fed the chickens, as he about the old lady, and planned and contrived persisted in calling the maironly hens; he had for her, but nothing came of it till a day or two filled the wood-box by the stove, and brought in ago, when she happened to think that she could his basket of kindling-wood for morning; he had make over her old clouk and buy wood for held the pincushion while Nellie undressed her Madamı Bretton with the money. And she did, big rag dolly, and was now whistling a low sir, and it is a real beauty, and mamma looked accompaniment to the lullaby that the little girl prettier with it on this morning than"—the was singing as she rocked the said dolly to boy cast a shy, curious look at the ladies, who sleep. were listening with breathless interest—"than His father had not yet come to tea, and his any lady I ever saw."
mother had not returned from Madam Bretton's, What, Benny, prettier than Miss Alice here ?'' | where she had been all the afternoon. Benny "O, yes, sir, a great deal." Benny's manner was used to staying with his sister, and never was quite decided. “But that is not all, Mr. found it dull work to amuse her, but to-night be Ned. My sister Nellie and I opened our savings did wish that mamma would hurry home. He bank this morning, and we have bought some wanted to know what the old lady thought of tea, and sugar, and bread, and meat enough to her New-Year's gifts, especially the eatables last the old lady a week. O, is not New-Year's bought with the money he and Nelly had saved. day a happy day?"
“ Tickled half to death, I 'll bet," said he The boy's artless story had moistened every aloud; "and I do n't blame her. She don't get eye in the room with tears. Even Ned, fun- such a hanl every day.
But there comes papa, loving Ned, just returned to his native town and I have n't made the tea. Well, here it goes. after ten years' foreign travel, was obliged to A good strong cup for New-Year's day." turn to the window to conceal his emotions.
“No, Benny, make it just as usual." “So, you see," said Benny in conclusion, “You here, mamma? How did you come? " that Madam Bretton won't go to the town.” I've watched an hour and did n't see you. Did
“That is evident. Well, you are a happy little the old lady like the tea, and the rolls, and the fellow. Here is the pay for your mother's work bacon, and the butter, and—” and a dollar for yourself."
“Stop, stop, my son. One question at a time. “Thank you, sir. I will get butter with it to And, first, I am here. Next I walked down the put in the basket for the old lady.”
street as usual. Take care, Benny, you will They all stood at the window to watch the boy drop those cups." as, with renewed antics and whistling, he re “Mamma, what did she say to the wood ? traced his path toward home.
Did you tell her that Mason had offered to say
it, and that I and Bob Peters are going to bring it, he offered to do it, and the children will pack it up stairs and pile it up for her? Did n't she it under the eaves for you. It will be here think that pat of butter looked nice, mamma? directly. And here is a trifle from my little Do tell me every thing."
ones, just to show that we do n't forget your “How can I? You won't let me speak. goodness to us. They saved their pennies inNellie, love, place papa's chair at the table, and stead of buying candy. John and I encouraged when we are all seated I will answer Benny's them to do so, for candy spoils the teeth, you questions. Papa would like to hear about it know.” too."
"The old lady gave one amazed look at the "Yes, to be sure I should," answered a hearty contents of the basket, and then turned directly voice from the little back room where John was round and kneeled down by her chair in the washing his hands at the sink.
I knew she was thanking God, and I “Will you make haste, papa, please?” urged hurried to put all the things in the cupboard out the impatient boy, who could hardly wait till the of sight, for I did n't want her to thank me.” blessing of God was invoked upon their humble “Why not, mamma? She ought to, I am meal before he broke out afresh.
sure." “Now, mamma, please tell us. What did the “Ah, Benny, her silent tears of gratitude said old lady say when—"
more than any words." “Be quiet, Benny," said his father. “Now, "But what did she say after all, mamma?'' Ellen, begin at the beginning and tell us the “She had no time to say any thing, for whole story. Perhaps you would like to rest directly a sled loaded with bags, and barrels, first."
and boxes stopped at the door, and a clear, loud "I am not tired, thank you. When I went in voice asked if Madam Bretton lived there. I I thought Madam had for her a rather anxious ran down stairs to reply, and met a tall, smiling. look. She did n't look exactly worried, only a looking gentleman in the entry. little sad. So I asked what was the matter: “I want to speak to Madam Bretton.'
“Nothing very bad,' she replied, 'but I heard "She lives up stairs, sir.' to-day that Edward Abbott has come home. He “I have a load of groceries here. Where owns this bouse, you know, and he will be shall I put them ?' anxious to rent it. The lower rooms have been "A new tenant coming in, I suppose ?' I said. empty for a year now.'
"Well, yes, I hope so. Are you Benny "" That is strange,' I answered, 'for they are Strong's mother? such convenient, 'nice rooms. I never come in "Yes, sir.' here without wishing we could afford to hire “I thought so. The same eyes and smile. them.'
Here, Tom, put all those things into this room "I wish you could, my dear. Two of the for the present. Now, ma'am, if you please, let chambers go with that tenement. I have only us see the old lady.' this room and that place under the eaves where “He was up the stairs introducing himself beI keep my wood. I have been thinking that Mr. fore I had crossed the entry, for my heart failed Abbott will not like to have the rooms empty.' me as I thought that his probable errand was to
"But if a family should move in you would warn the old lady out. But I followed as soon be better off. It is n't safe for you to live here
as I could. alone. I feel very anxious about you when we “My name is Edward Abbott,' I heard him have such storms as this last. What if you say. 'Do you remember me? You used to call should be taken suddenly ill ?'
me Neddy when I was a boy and teased you. "'I was not thinking of that, Ellen. A You have not forgotten me, I hope.' strange family might want the whole house, and “No, sir. Your features are too like your I can no longer pay the rent even of this little father's for me to forget them. He was my room. Do n't look so troubled, my dear. It husband's chum in college, and afterward they will all work together for my good; and surely I, were dear friends. It was a long time ago, sir, who have so often proved the goodness of my too long ago for you to remember, but you look Father in heaven, should not distrust him now. now as he did then.' He will provide.'
"My father died just a month before I was “That is true,' said I, suddenly recollecting born, which makes my recollections of him my errand. “Why, only think, I came over this rather indistinct, you see.' afternoon to tell you that a person, who do n't “I wish, John, that I could give you an idea wish to be known, is going to send yon dry wood of the fun that twinkled all over his face as he enough to last all winter. And Mason is to cut I spoke."
“No need, Ellen, no need, I knew him when “No, indeed. I think," said Benny, hesita. he was a lad."
ting for a word to express his full appreciation “He told Madam that he came in on an of the day, "I think it's tip-top.” errand.
“Do you? I agree with you. Is your father "I understand,' she replied. “You own this in ?" house, and I've wanted to see you about it ever “Yes, sir. And mamma too. And she says, since I heard of your return. I have no money sir, that the old lady is going it prime. An't to pay the rent longer, and I ought to move out you glad you helped ?'' directly. Still I have thought that perhaps I “An't I! You see, my boy, that it takes you might stay here and pay for it by being useful to and me to finish up things properly; so whenever the family below if one should move in. I could you need help in such a case you must call on mend for them, or wash dishes, or do most any me.” of the lighter chores about the house. Do n't “So I will. I should be glad to," said Benny you think I could, sir?'
with much carnestness. "And I
guess it won't “Mr. Abbott bad walked to the window, and be our fault, sir, if folks are not pretty comfortapretended to be watching the unloading of the ble after this." sled. It was empty now, and he turned sud- Here John, wondering at the child's tardiness, denly round.
came out to invite his visitor in. " "No, ma'am,' said he, 'I do n't think you "I can stop but a moment, Mr. Strong. could. You are too old and too good for a came to ask a favor of you." household drudge. Bother the rent,' he con- "I shall be glad to oblige you, sir, if I can." tinued, speaking up very loud, though I'm sure John looked with admiration into the kindly his eyes were full of tears, 'I do n't want any face, which, though browned and roughened by rent. Do you take me for a heathen? You can exposure to different climates, was still manly stay here till the day after forever if you want and handsome. to. Mrs. Strong, those things below are for her. "You have grown old, Mr. Strong, since I Mr. Henry Clark and the ladies at his house saw you last. Ten years have wrought many sent them. At least they provided the most of changes, but you are not much older than myself, them. You will know how to dispose them con- I think." veniently for her use.'
“Two years older. I am thirty-three. We “All this time he had been backing toward are both older than we were when I helped build the door, through which he vanished with a the west wing of Squire Clark's house with you hasty 'good day to you both,' before we could and Miss Alice to oversee the work.” collect our wits to utter a word of thanks. Ned colored and laughed. “I do n't realize There we stood, staring at each other and laugh it. I do n't feel a day older. But you, Mr. ing and crying like little children.”
Strong, are really getting old too fast.” “I believe you," said John, drawing his coat “I have had to work hard, sir, and what with sleeve across his eyes.
sickness in my family and the hard times, I have "Well, the wood came, and Mason came to had anxiety enough to wrinkle my forehead a cut it; so I got him to help me arrange the little. But we are all well now, and business is things. I wish I had brought home a list of looking up; so we think the future looks quite them to show you. Flour, and salt pork, and promising. Perhaps I shall grow young again." two fine hams, butter, and cheese, and pota- “I hope so. Now for my errand. I bave had toes—0, I can't think of half—but the old lady several chances to-day to rent the house where is provided for till spring, and I am so glad, so Madam Bretton lives, but I do n't like to put thankful! That Mr. Abbott is a true nobleman, strangers in with her. How would the honse John. He has such a bright, cheerful look, it suit you? I should like you for a tenant very does one good to look at him, and well, bless much. I want some one there who will look me!”
after the old lady a little. She tells me that her “What is it, Ellen? What do you see?” husband and my father were intimate friends.
"Why, there he is himself, and he is coming It was a long time ago, to be sure-you know straight up the lane to our door."
my father was an old man when he married-but Benny ran to open the door before the gentle. I feel as if she had a claim on my affection and man had time to rap.
care. Now, if you could go in there I should “Ah, it is little Ben-evolence, is it?" said Ned. feel quite easy. I could shift the responsibility "No, sir. It's Benny Strong."
on to your shoulders. If she happened to get "Well, how goes the New-Year? Are you out of pepper or saleratus you could let me tired of it yet?”
know and save me the trouble of investigating
her affairs. Do n't say no, Mrs. Strong. I into the low trundle bed for the night, the little know it is cold weather, but I could send per- girl raised herself on her elbow and inquired, sons to assist you about moving."
“What will Madam Bretton say when she "Ellen is not thinking of the trouble of mov knows we are coming, Benny ?" ing," replied John. “We have not so much to "Say? I do n't know. 0, I guess," said the move as to make it a burden. Besides she has
boy after a pause, “she 'll do as she did to-dayalways desired to live in that house. But we kneel down and thank God." have found it difficult to pay the rent of this, and I am afraid we should not be able to pay Your house rents for twice the sum we
RUINS OF TIME.
BY MARY A. HARLOW.
"What of that? I meant you to understand
N the beginning, after the old lady. John Strong, you are not above giving or receiving a kindness. You will ence the first families of men, there was already really oblige me by agreeing to my terms and abundant material for that decay and death moving into the house at once. When will you which has since been visited without interrupbe ready to move, Mrs. Strong ?"
tion upon all things earthly. The seasons then "To-morrow.”
wrought their annual changes, bringing forth the "That is right. Shall I send some help?'' blossom and the green leaf, autumn's chill winds,
"No, sir. But you must let us thank you, for and the snowy mantle of winter. Beauty, too, indeed we appreciate-"
bloomed beneath that orient sky where God had “Yes, yes, I know. Excuse me for hurrying placed the germ of life for countless millions; away."
but the fairest in their turn yielded to the power " Indeed, sir," persisted Ellen, following him of decay. to the door, “I must say one word. We shall be Thus through succeeding centuries has Time quite rich and—”
kept up his ceaseless march, leaving as trophies "Good evening. A happy New-Year to you of his strength many a moldering pile, reared both. Come, little Benny. The moon is coming long ago by the pride and ambition of men. up clear and bright. Let us take your sled here, The past imparts to us many sad and instructand coast a little on the hill-side yonder. See ive lessons. From the first era in the history how it sparkles! It makes a boy again. I of earthly greatness through the long interval would ask you all to join in our sport, but Benny of ages we encounter only the graves of heroes and I do n't want any old folks with us, do we, and the ashes of thrones. Each succeeding Benny?"
ruin adds a fresh knell to the sad cadences "He was not in a hurry after all," said Ellen of departed glory. We reach the present and as she stood at the window watching them. “Do stand upon the threshold of the future. Another come, John, and see them slide. The sled shoots solemn death-note! How eloquently it speaks down the hill like an arrow. Do n't you hear of that day but little distant when we shall have them laugh and shout ?''
glided into the past, our names forgotten, and, "Yes."
perchance, our happy country pointed out as an “He is only two years younger than you are, example of departed grandeur! John. I wonder how you would look in a frolic Ah, let it ring! It is meet that we should like that."
sometimes be aroused from life's absorbing pur“I would soon show you, Ellen," he replied, his suits, from its dreams of glory and renown, and eges lighting up as he watched the sport, “but led to consider the insecurity of our title either if we are to move to-morrow, there are many to personal or national greatness. The fate of things that I must arrange to-night."
generations long passed away may seem of little “No, no, John. Sit down here and take moment to us aside from the lessons they teach Nellie on your knee and let us talk of God's of our own mortality and weakness, yet as comgoodness."
posed of fellow-beings, the workmanship of God, For a long hour they sat in the moonlight they merit our respect and pity. We symrecalling with grateful hearts their past experi
genera are now known to be of a vegetable ences of God's care and loving-kindness toward
vracter; although previously Professor Ehrenthem. They made many resolutions for the
'g had thought them worthy a place in the future, humbly trusting in divine grace
imal kingdom. sirength to keep them. When all was at last
Advancing one step further, we come to antill, and Benny and Nellie were snugly tucked
her order of the algals known as confervæ.
HALLOWED BE THY NAME.
BY ELLEN E. MACK.
ments she revealed the greatness of the Roman character. Her people, both the high born and the lowly, were affected by the very emotions which we experience. All had their joys, hopes, fears, and aspirations. There was the tie of blood and of friendship, plighted faith and heroic love. The marriage peal was welcomed with rejoicing, and the solemn death-knell echoed by the sighs and groans of broken hearts. There, too, was beauty and chivalry, coveting alike earth's fame and adulation; but those brave hearts that quailed not in the fiercest battle, those beautiful forms celebrated in the poet's song, for centuries have been ashes. It is difficult to grasp the truth that to generations long departed life was as real and earnest as to us, and more difficult even to sigh for them in anticipation of similar destiny.
Other races have left no historian but some solitary monument, or the ruins of deserted cities, to tell that they lived, flourished, and were forgotten. Travelers in eastern Asia inform us that they sometimes behold vast towers, bearing neither date nor inscription, yet evincing the skill and refinement of their designers. But to discover their names were as fruitless as to seek their footprints in the desert sands.
What emotions must fill the heart while standing before such an evidence both of the power and weakness of humanity! History is full of similar records, but the mind only faintly comprehends their truthfulness, so distant and unreal do they appear. But here stands unconcealed a living proof of human destiny. Here is the monument of art, beauty, and power. One spacious grave is sufficient to compass the pride and ambition of thousands of hearts.
Then is life, with its mixture of tears and sorrows, hopes and enjoyments—life so allied to death, vain and unsatisfactory? Ask of him who beholds every cloud spanned with the bow of promise. Ask of the devoted Christian, who, with the
eye of faith, looks joyfully to the blessed resurrection. Ask of the book of God, whose golden pages declare that only through the trial of earthly life can the soul be purified for the unchanging joys of heaven. Ask of Nature, ever-varying Nature, who scatters her blossoms over the whole earth, then without pity blights her glorious work, and prepares for another revival over the decay of fragrance and beauty.
Benny ran to open the door before the gememan had time to rap.
“Ah, it is little Ben-evolence, is it?'' said Ned. “No, sir. It's Benny Strong."
"Well, how goes the New-Year? Are you tired of it yet?"
This holy Sabbath morning,
Alone beside the wood, Warmed in the soft spring sunlight,
In happy mood I stood: The tender grasses springing
In verdure at my feet, Deepening upon the hill-side,
Brightening the lone retreat: A sweet and solemn anthem
Sweeping through the trees, And sweet, wild, echoing bird-notes
Borne upon the breeze: A sacred Sabbath spirit
Brooding in the air, And rest and holy quiet
Was wafted to my ear,
Chiming sweet and clear. 'T was like a holy fiat
Unto my spirit lone;
Beside a cold, gray stone.
In dimming moisture came;
Hallowed be thy name!" “ Amen!” the passing zephyr
Responded in my ear; “0, praise the Lord with gladness!"
Tho wild bird warbled near. Far up light's shining pathway
The heavenly host exclaimBowing in adoration
“ Hallowed be thy name!"
THE BEAUTIFUL HAS VANISHED.
BY NELLIE L. BUTTERFIELD.
SLEEP, sleep, my darling, now;
The flowers strewn o'er thy breast, Or twined around thy childish brow, Are not moro spotless, love, than thou
In all thy beauty rest. First blossom of my love,
And dear as life to me, Yet in the land of rest above Thy wings are folded now, sweet dove;
I can not weep for thee.
Thine is eternal life;
Thou hast not felt the strife.
And, hovering near me, oft My spirit feels thee, gentle one; I wait but till my work is done
To join thee up aloft.