Imatges de pÓgina
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1. But it is not mine,' said Jane. ". Not yours.!' said Kate, whose then is it?'

Whose then is it !' asked Jane ; why, little Sally's, to be sure. I would not rob the


babe of a penny-worth. I have heard it said that God is very jealous of any one's doing an hurt to a fatherless child. I cannot read, to be sure, myself ; but I remember our parson giving out these words as his text : “ Remove not the old land-mark, and enter not into the fields of the fatherless." (Prov. xxiii. 10.)

". Then you think,' said Kate, ' that I shall make this flannel for Nancy?' « « To be sure, I do,' said Jane.

• But indeed I shall not,' answered Kate: 'such flannel as this, indeed, to be made


for such a dirty little brat as that!'

«« For shame! for shame!' said Jane : 'why you are not honest, Kate.'

I have an old petticoat,' answered Kate, my own, which I shall make up for Nancy; and it will serve her every bit as well as this new flannel. I don't see why you are to call me dishonest for that.'

“Take my advice, Kate;' said Jane : use the flannel for the child to the best advantage, but don't take any of it for yourself: it will not bring a blessing with it. I tell you it won't: for “ goods unjustly gotten," my husband says, and he has it from the Bible, shall not profit thee in the day of calamity.” (Ecclus. v. 8.)

Kate made no answer, but kept turning the flannel about, and measuring it with her fingers ; and as soon as Jane was out of the house, she locked it up in her chest, with her store of stuffgowns and quilts, and her new red cloak.

“ When Jane went honie, she cut out one little slip for Sally ; and, putting the rest of the stuff by,

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she worked so hard, sitting up late and rising early, that she got the slip made, and the bonnet and handkerchief, by the next Saturday night; and the next Sunday morning she sent the little girl, with her husband, to church-for she could not go her. self, on account of her little boy—bidding her to present herself among the other children, when the clergyman called the children to catechise them : for the clergyman was a very worthy man, and took great pains with the poor children; catechising them every Sunday morning, round the pulpit, after service.

“ When the clergyman saw little Sally standing with the other children, he asked her many questions, such as, whether she had a father and mother—and where she lived—and whether she could read. A few days afterwards, the clergyman came to Jane's house, with his daughter. Jane was knitting, and rocking her little boy's cradle with her foot. • Good morning, good woman, said the clergyman: 'where is the neat little girl who came from your house to be catechised last Sunday?'- Sir,' said Jane, rising, and making a low courtesy, “the little girl is gone out to pick sticks in the coppice: we are poor people, and I am forced to make her work.'- Then I am afraid,' said the clergyman, that you cannot spare her to come to school for three or four hours every day. My daughter has a little school, which she visits every day; and she has a great desire to take your little girl into it.'-'Sir, answered Jane, the little girl is not mine ; she is a poor orphan: but I would not on that account stand in her way. I am much obliged to you, Sir, and to Miss, for her kindness: I will endeavour to

her. “ The clergyman and his daughter praised Jane for her kindness to the poor orphan, and said ; • God will reward you: he, who is the Father of the father



171 less, will reward you.' So they took their leave. But as they went out of the gate, they saw Kitty sitting at the door, with Nancy, and the clergyman's daughter was so kind as to offer to take Nancy into her school also; but Kate answered, That she had so much to do that she could not spare the child. These are hard times, Sir,' said she to the clergyman; and poor folks are glad to make the best of their time to earn a penny.'

So little Sally went every day to school, whilst poor Nancy was kept at home in ignorance.

“. Jane looked to see if Kate made up her old flannel petticoat for Nancy; but all the winter months passed away, and the spring came on, and still Nancy had no warm petticoat. At length Jane said to Kate, You promised to make up your old petticoat for poor Nancy; but I have never seen her wear it. - Why,' answered Kate, ' I don't think I can spare it now: for, to tell you the truth, about September next I expect to have a little one of my own, and I shall want the new flannel to wrap the little one in ; and so sha’n't be able to spare my own petticoat.'-. Oh, Kate ! Kate!' said Jane, this is not right. Give the poor child her own flannel, and don't be covetous.' · What!' answered. Kate," you would have me to be as great a fool as you are! There's Sally dressed as fine as a lady every day, going backwards and forwards to school, whilst you are drudging at home: and you want me to do the same by Nancy! I wish you would go home and mind your own affairs, and leave me to myself: I warrant I know what I am about, as well as you.'-From that time, Kate would never speak to Jane again.

“ 'What Kate said was very true: she expected a little one in the autumn, and she was determined to keep the flannel to wrap it in. Moreover, all the spring and summer, in hay-making and harvest

time, she worked as hard as she could, to gather as much money together as possible before the birth of her child; and being very much fatigued with work, she neglected (for some months) to look into her chest, and to air ber stuff gowns and petticoats and scarlet cloak.-At length the time came when her child was born. An old woman from the town, called Nurse Bourne, came to attend her. The child was a very fine boy: and when the nurse had dressed it, she asked for a bit of flannel to wrap it in. Kate gave her the key of the chest, and bid her open it, and she would find a piece of flannel in the box. The nurse did as she was bid ; but as soon as she opened the box she cried out, “O dear! O dear! what is here? Every thing, I fear, is spoiled! Dear, dear, what a pity!'- What is the matter?' cried Kate, in grea terror. The nurse began to pull the things out one by one and what a sight was there for poor Kate to see! The moth had been in the flannel which the little girl had brought from the lady, although nobody knew it ; and had it been used immediately, it would never bave been found out; bụt from having been laid by, and not looked into for some months, the moth had spread from the flannel to the woollen stockings, and from them to the stuff gowns and petticoats and the new scarlet cloak: so that there was not one thing in the box, which was not eaten through and through, making good the words of Scripture: Lay not: up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.' (Matt. vi. 19.)

“ Not to make my story too long-Poor Kate took this misfortune so much to heart, that a day or two after her child's birth she was seized with a fever, which proved her death: and her little child would no doubt have gone after its mother to the

little ones.

grave, if Jane had not kindly weaned her own little Tommy, who was more than a year old, and taken the


little motherless babe to nurse; and she brought it up ever afterwards amongst her own

Thus the covetousness of Kate was.' the cause of her death. And as it was with her, we may always find with ourselves,—that things unjustly come by never do any service : they always bring some canker or moth with them.

After Kate's death, Nancy went to live in the house of a farmer in that neighbourhoed; but little Sally continued to live with Jane. She went to school at all times when Jane could spare her. She learnt to read well, and to repeat the Catechism; and she soon could sew and knit so well, that she mended and made all the clothes of the family: but, what was better than all this, she learned to know that dear Saviour who died for her; and was able, when she came home in an evening, to talk about him to Dobson and Jane: and, with God's blessing, she talked to so much purpose that Dobson left off drinking in the alehouse, which he used to do aforetime once or twice a week, and spent every evening at home, where he used to make Sally teach him to read.- Jane had always had some notion of serving God; but now, from hearing her husband and Sally read the Bible, she got clearer notions of what religion is: she learnt that her heart was sinful; and that she could in no wise save herself, but she must be saved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; For there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.' (Acts iv. 12.) She learned, also, that those who possess real faith, keep God's commandments.

“ You cannot think what a change there was in Dobson's family when the father of it was brought to the knowledge of God. Dobson used to say,

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