Images de page



was. Then opening the door of a closet, the lady brought out the very china basin which Jane had broken, and asked her if she had ever seen it before. Jane coloured and hesitated, but at last declared she had not. Then," said Mrs. P., you will not do for me; I find you are an artful girl. I know the cook with whom I have just parted is a wicked woman, and I could have pitied a poor child whom she had misled; but I cannot receive into my house one who thus persists in falsehood and deceit. You know you have been frequently at this house, employed in practices which, if you did not absolutely know were dishonest, you at least knew were to be concealed from me. These things I have accidentally found out since calling at your school yesterday; and they sufficiently determine me to have nothing to do with you." Jane attempted to excuse herself, and her mother pleaded hard for her, but in vain; the lady dismissed her, wishing that her disappointment might prove the means of breaking her bad habits. Poor Lucy was suspected as the talebearer, but very unjustly. The basin had been seen in the house of the cook's friend, to whom it was sent filled with rich sweetmeats, and was afterwards seen broken in Jane's hand by a broker on whom Mrs. P. had called in hopes of matching it; it brought the circumstance to his memory, and being mentioned to Mrs. P. led to the discovery of many other artful practices of Jane and

the cook.

Mrs. P. again repaired to the school, and asked the mistress if she had among her scholars a girl whom she believed to be incapable of falsehood. Yes, ma'am," replied Mrs. Stevens, I think Lucy is indeed such a girl. She has been in the school more than four years, and I have never



detected her in a falsehood, or even seen the least disposition to concealment, misrepresentation, or breach of promise. If there is any dispute among the children, Lucy's word soon settles it; and Ĭ believe there is no one who knows her but would readily take her word in anything, whether great or small." On this testimony Mrs. Portlock agreed to receive Lucy; and she was dismissed with many kind expressions of regard, and a handsome new Bible was given by the managers as a mark of approbation of her conduct.

Lucy remained with the family more than ten years, maintaining the same character for fidelity and truth. At last she was married to a worthy, steady young man, and is still kindly respected and noticed by her good mistress. Jane, on the other hand, was too much ashamed and mortified at what had passed to return to school; by which means she lost any reward or testimonial at leaving it, and found great difficulty in getting a place. But all the disgrace and disappointment she had endured did not cure her of her vile propensity. She got several places by her cleverness, and lost them by her deceit.

At last she was in a situation as nursery-maid, and when she was sent out with the children, instead of giving them a good walk in the fields, as her mistress bade her, she used to keep them pent up in some dirty confined house, while she was gossiping with her acquaintance. This went on for some time without being found out; but one day when she came home, a fine little boy about a year old looked ill and pale, and cried as if in great pain; and Jane was closely questioned as to whether he had met with any accident; she persisted in declaring that he had not, and the parents believed her; but as the child continued

to pine and appear ill, they at last determined to send for a doctor. When Jane knew this she ran away; for her conscience told her that she had neglected and injured the poor babe, and that she deserved the severest punishment. On examining the child, the doctor found that its back was dreadfully injured; and though every means was tried for its recovery, it continued languishing for some weeks in great misery, and then died. Jane was never afterwards heard of in her native town, and I cannot tell my young readers what became of her; but I hope from the characters and TRUE history of these two girls, which they have seen, that they will always remember that "the way of transgressors is hard."

"WHAT WILL YOU SAY THEN?" A YOUNG Sandwich Islander, when in America, spent an evening in company with an infidel lawyer, who tried to puzzle him with difficult questions. At length the native said, "I am a poor heathen boy. It is not strange that my blunders in English should amuse you; but soon there will be a larger meeting than this. We shall all be there. They will ask us all one question, namely, 'Do you love the Lord Jesus Christ?' Now, sir, I think I can say, Yes. What will you say, sir ?" All present were silent. The lawyer proposed that the native youth should pray. He did so, and poured out his heart to God. The lawyer sobbed aloud. When they separated, "What will you say, sir?" followed the lawyer home, and did not leave him until he was brought to the Saviour.

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors]


MY DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS,-Bright blossoming May has again broken over the head of the busy GLEANER and his increasing group of young friends, to whom he again bids a hearty welcome to every kernel his bundle contains.

What a month of promises is this! Thousands upon thousands of gay blossoms cover the trees, each one of them promising us an apple, or a pear, or a cherry, or a plum, or some other acceptable fruit. But, alas! what testing days and nights are before these now bright blossoms: how many of them will be nipped off by chilling nights, dried up by scorching heat, devoured by destructive insects, or in some other way perish between this time and autumn! If the blossoms could be counted in the spring, and the fruit counted in the autumn, it would furnish my young readers with a huge subtraction sum, leaving an immense quotient against the blossom numbers. Dear young friends, this is your age of bloom; you, many of you, promise well; your dear friends are ready to say about you, as Lamech did about Noah, "This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands." What bright hopes do children give to their loving parents; but, alas! the freezing, scorching, blighting influences of temptation often so destroy these fair prospects, that many a young man and young woman has wetted the cheeks of loving friends with the brine of bitter disappointment. Dear young friends, shun the path of temptation; seek only such associates and modes of spending your time as your parents approve.

« PrécédentContinuer »