“How beautiful you are to-day, Margaret, with your rosy cheeks and brown hair.”
“But that does not make me any better or prettier than you, because I am strong and you are not, or that my cheeks are red and yours are pale.”
Miles was just carrying little Dora over the steeping stones at the brook, when Herbert cried:
“O, if I could only run and leap like Miles; but I am very helpless.”
To which Margaret replied: “Never mind, brother; I will love you and take care of you all your life,” and she said these words with a sister’s love, as she put her arms around the neck of her helpless brother. She loved him the more, and aimed to please him by reading books to him which were his delight. This was a pleasant sight, and the brothers always admired Margaret for her attention to their helpless brother.
Young children like to have a small piece of land for a garden which they can call their own. And it is very pleasant to dig the ground, sow the seed, and watch the little green plants which peep out of the earth, and to see the beautiful buds and fresh blossoms.
Every boy and girl has a bit of garden, and we are told in the good book to take good care of it, and see that the weeds of vice do not spread over it, and to be sure and have it covered over with plants of goodness. This garden is the heart. Such things as anger, sloth, lying and cheating, are noxious weeds. But if you are active and industrious, and keep cultivating this little garden, and keep out all the bad weeds, God will help you to make a good garden, full of pleasant plants, and flowers of virtue. I have seen some gardens which look very bad, covered with briars and weeds, the grass growing in the paths, and the knotty weeds choking the few puny flowers that are drooping and dying out. Every thing seems to say—“How idle the owner of this garden is.” But I have seen other gardens where there were scarcely any weeds. The walks look tidy, the flowers in blossom, the trees are laden with fruit, and every thing says, “How busy the owner is.” Happy are you, dear children, if you are working earnestly in the garden of your hearts. Your garden will be clean, pleasant, and fruitful—a credit and comfort to you all your days.
I will tell you an anecdote about Mrs. Hannah More, when she was eighty years old. A widow and her little son paid a visit to Mrs. More, at Barley Wood. When they were about to leave, Mrs. M. stooped to kiss the little boy, not as a mere compliment, as old maidens usually kiss children, but she took his smiling face between her two hands, and looked upon it a moment as a mother would, then kissed it fondly more than once. “Now when you are a man, my child, will you remember me?” The little boy had just been eating some cake which she gave him, and he,