Remember, my dear little friends, that it matters but little what great thing we undertake. Our glory is not in that, but in what we accomplish. Nobody in the world cares for what we mean to do; but people will open their eyes to see what men and women and little children have done.
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“How much did you ever make by complaining?” asked a man of his “disgruntled” granddaughter. “Come, now, be honest with yourself, and think it all out and see if you do not lose by grumbling.”
Finding fault is indeed an unprofitable occupation. It “snarls you up inside,” as the little boy said of his hot temper, and so puts you out of joint with the world that you are sure to find something more to grumble about, and so it goes from bad to worse all the while.
[Illustration: “Get away!”]
“Please’m, only a penny. I’m most froze and starved!”
The carriage stood at the edge of the sidewalk, and Mrs. Linley was just going out with her two children to buy some Christmas gifts. Nellie was all scarlet and ermine, her sweet, happy face framed in with golden curls, and Master Frank not a whit behind in elegance, though a trifle more haughty, as you could tell by the wide distance he gave the miserable little beggar.
“Get away!” said Mrs. Linley, with a disdainful sweep of the hand.
The woman and the child looked at each other—one of those glances that stamp a face upon one’s memory. Mrs. Linley was always afraid of street trash. They might have fever, or small pox, or some other infection, lurking in their rags.
The carriage drove on. The children were happy, generous, well-behaved, and belonged to a Christian family. They were going to prove all this now. Besides gifts for mama and papa, and some little cousins, half a dozen poor children were to be remembered.
They spent all the pleasant, sunshiny middle of the day going from shop to shop. What hosts of tempting things! A perfect Santa Clause revel everywhere. It was like a glimpse of fairy-land.
Frank and Nellie laughed and talked, ran to mama with a hundred pretty things, but did not tease.
They had quite a load in the carriage. And oh! wouldn’t lame Johnny Ashton be delighted with his books, and the wheel-chair mama had bought him, and Susy Dorr would be the happiest of the happy in her new plaid dress, and her teacups and saucers.
“Poor children love to play just as well as rich children, don’t they, mama?” said grave, sweet Nellie.
“I hope you will never forget, my dear, that we are all created alike, and that all the poor little ones are just as precious in God’s sight.”
“And it is so nice to make them happy!”