“But I think,” continued he, “that it will certainly clear up to-night. I will go and ask father if he does not think so too.”
They both went together back into the parlor to ask the question.
“I cannot tell, my children, whether it will or not. I see no indications, one way or the other. I think you had better forget all about it, and go to doing something else; for if you spend all the afternoon in watching the sky, and trying to guess whether it will clear up or not, you cannot enjoy yourselves, and may be sadly disappointed at last.”
“Why, we cannot help thinking of it, father.”
“You cannot, if you stand there at the back door, doing nothing else; but, if you engage in some other employment, you will soon forget all about it.”
“What do you think we had better do?” said Lucy.
“I think you had better go up and put your room and your desk all in order, Rollo; Lucy can help you.”
“But, father, I have put it in order a great many times, and it always gets out of order again very soon, and I cannot keep it neat.”
“That is partly because you do not put it in order right. You do not understand the principles of order.”
“What are the principles of order?” said Lucy.
“There are a good many. I will tell you some of them, and then you may go and apply them in arranging Rollo’s things.
“One principle is to have the things that are most frequently used in the most accessible place, so that they can be taken out and returned to their proper places easily.
“Another good principle for you is to distinguish between the things which you wish to use, and those you only wish to preserve. The former ought to be in sight, and near at hand. The latter may be packed away more out of view.
“Another principle is to avoid having your desk and room encumbered with things of little or no value, as stones you have picked up, and papers, and sticks. The place to keep such things is in the barn or shed, not in your private room.
“Then you must arrange your things systematically, putting things of the same nature together. Once I looked into your desk after you had put it in order, and I found that, in the back side of it, you had piled up hooks, and white paper, and pictures, and a slate, and a pocket-book or two, all together. You thought they were in order, because they were in a pile. Now, they ought to have been separated and arranged; all the white paper by itself in front, where you can easily get it to use; the pictures all by themselves in a portfolio; and the books should be arranged, not in a pile, but in a row, on their edges, so that you can get out any one without disturbing the others. Those are some of the principles of order.”
“Well, come, Rollo,” said Lucy, “let us go and see your things, and try to put them in order, right.”