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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 67 pages of information about Our Gift.

“Perhaps,” said Mrs. Spaulding, “you did not take a proper occasion, or she may have been very busy about something else.  You ought always to endeavor to take a proper time for everything.  At the same time,” she continued, “I am sorry to say that there are some mothers who think children cannot be talked to, and reasoned with, till they are of age.  This is a mistaken idea.  Children have reasoning faculties, and the sooner we begin to converse with them accordingly, the sooner will those faculties be developed.  With this view, we ought always to encourage them to give us their confidence on all occasions, gratify their curiosity, and allow them to talk upon every subject to us.  If we do not act thus, they will soon abstain from that frank manner with which children ought always to lay open their whole hearts to their parents.”

“O yes,” cried Mary; “there is Emma Woodbury,—­I do not believe she ever asks her mother’s advice.”

“No,” said Clara, “and there is Jane Clifton’s mother,—­”

“Stop, my dears,” interrupted Mrs. Spaulding, “these remarks of yours remind me that there is another subject, about which I should like to have a conversation with you; and if your mother, Mary, will give you permission to come home with Clara, after school to-morrow afternoon, I will tell you what it is.”

“O yes, I know she will,” replied Mary.  “Indeed, yesterday, I should not have thought of asking her; but now, after what I have heard from your lips, I shall not do anything, or go anywhere, without asking her consent.”

“I am glad,” responded Mrs. Spaulding, “that you remember this lesson so well.  Now, Mary, you had better go home; and may neither of you ever think otherwise than seriously, of the divine command, to ’honor thy father and thy mother;’ and remember that few persons have ever come to harm when they grew up, who in their youth obeyed it.”

UNCHARITABLE JUDGMENT.

CONVERSATION II.

“Cast out the beam from thine own eye, then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

Mary’s mother cheerfully gave her leave to go home with Clara, the next day.  She knew and highly esteemed Mrs. Spaulding, and was very glad that her daughter should be intimate with her family.

Mrs. Spaulding greeted the girls with a smile and a kind word; then said, “Mary, you began last evening to make a remark about Emma Woodbury.  Will you tell me what you were going to say?”

“Certainly,” replied Mary; “I was going to say that Emma scarcely ever asked the advice of her mother, or her consent to do anything or go anywhere; and I know a great many girls who act in the same way.”

“And I,” added Clara, “intended to say that Jane Clifton’s mother was one of those whom you spoke of, as never conversing with children in a rational and reasoning manner.”

“I guessed as much,” said Mrs. Spaulding.  “I told you,” she continued, “there was another point upon which I wished to say a few words to you.  Can you think what it is?”

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