Mrs. Bell welcomed them warmly; but she took possession of grandma, while the young folks amused themselves.
Such a lovely home as it was; full of curiosities, beautiful pictures, handsome statues and elegant furniture!
Some unexpected visitors came in the afternoon, and Bertha found her grandma quite the center of attraction. She overheard one lady say: “What a charming old lady! I feel like envying her relatives.”
As for Ada, she made no further remarks. Her sister had been shocked at her thoughtless levity, and had threatened to inform Aunt Bell, of whom she stood in awe; and so Bertha had a very pleasant visit.
She grew up with a sense of respect for old age; and Bertha Gilbert’s pretty manners were often remarked upon. If she met with people less refined than herself, or poorly educated, instead of ridiculing them, she tried to think of their hard lives and few advantages, and was most tender and gracious.
Let us all try to be kind to the poor and aged, for some of them are God’s choicest jewels.
* * * * *
“What made you stop right in the middle of your sentence, and then start talking about something entirely different?” The questioner laughed, and her friend joined as she replied to the puzzled query.
“If I think in time, I make it a rule never to say to-day the mean thing that can be put off until to-morrow,” she explained. “So to-morrow it is out of date, and does not get said at all.”
I once had the curiosity to look into a little girl’s work-box. And what do you suppose I found?
Well, in the first place, I found a bead-purse, about half done; there was, however, no prospect of finishing it, for the needles were out, and the silk upon the spools all tangled and drawn into a complete wisp.
Laying this aside, I took up a piece of perforated paper, upon which was wrought one lid of a Bible, and beneath it the words, “I love”—but what she loved was left for me to imagine.
Beneath the Bible lid I found a stocking, evidently intended for some baby foot; but it had come to a stand just upon the little heel, and there it seemed doomed to remain.
Near to the stocking was a needle-book, one cover of which was neatly made, and upon the other, partly finished, was marked, “To my dear—.”
I need not, however, tell you all that I found there; but this much I can say, that during my travels through that workbox, I found not a single article complete; and silent and dumb as they were, these half-finished, forsaken things told me a sad story about that little girl.
They told me that, with a heart full of generous affection, with a head full of useful and pretty projects, all of which she had both the means and the skill to carry into effect, she was still a useless child,—always doing but never accomplishing her work. It was not a lack of industry, but a lack of perseverance.