Willy raised his eyes to his mother, and bowed his head in token of assent, and then burst into tears. The mother was a Christian, and putting her arm around the neck of Willy, and with the other hand clasping her daughter, she calmly said to them, “Weep not, dear children, you will find friends; God is the father of the fatherless. Keep in mind that his eye is upon you; be honest and virtuous, faithful and believing, and all things will work together for your good.”
The dying mother could say no more; her breath grew short, and stretching out her arms, she cried, “My dear children, I must leave you: let me kiss you—God bless and keep—”
Her arms fell from around them, the words died away on her lips, and her weary soul departed.
After the funeral of this mother, the moon shone brightly into the desolate chamber, and revealed a beautiful scene, that of a sister’s love.
Anna sat near the window, and little Willy lay his weary head in her lap. They were now without father or mother. Sleep had stolen upon the weary eyes of Willy. Anna smoothed back the dark hair which hung over his brow, then carefully raised his slender frame in her arms and laid him upon his bed. Then seating herself beside him she thought of her mother’s last request to take care of Willy.
“Yes,” she exclaimed, “I must begin to-morrow. I will go out and try to get some work, for poor Willy must remain at school. Dear boy,” she exclaimed, “I will never see him suffer.” You will, in the next story, find
ANNA SEEKING EMPLOYMENT.
It was a wearisome day to poor Anna, as she walked from square to square, calling at the houses for employment. Some received her kindly, and patronised her themselves, and promised to interest their friends in her behalf, while others, alleging that she could not earn as much as a woman, endeavored to beat her down a few shillings in her price. But among all, Anna found means of subsistence for many months. But soon her constitution began to grow weak, and her friends thought it best for Willy to give up his school awhile, and to obtain some place as errand boy, and for Anna to pursue a more active life.
Soon Anna found herself in a new home, doing the work of a family which devolved on her. She kept a diary, and she would often go away in her own little room, and scribble a few lines in her book. Here is an extract from her writings:—
“To-day I am very tired, and yet but very little has been accomplished. I know I could do well enough if I was allowed to regulate my work, or if there was only order in the arrangement. There is certainly a great want of system in this family; I am never allowed to finish one piece of work before I am called off to another, and then blamed because I did not do the first in time.
“One wants me to put the dough in the pans, and before I get my hands clean, another calls me to go and get some wood; another tells me to go to the store for some thread; another cries out, Anna! Anna! and away I am sent to the third story after a book. Do they think a girl like me is never tired? Ah, me! I must seek another place. I love little children, and I think I should do for a child’s nurse; I will advertise.”