Lucy is older than Meg, and she had looked on all the time to see what Meg would do. When Lucy saw her begin to wash and be good, she said:—
“Why is it, mama, that you and dada can do just as you like about everything, but we children have to do as you tell us all the time? I don’t think it is fair. I wish we could do as we like, too.”
Mania did not speak for a moment. In her heart she said, “Lord help me to make this plain to my little girls.”
“Did Meg have to wash?” she asked them.
“Yes,” said Lucy. “If not, she would have to—”
“Bear the punishment,” said mama. “You say, Lucy, that dada and I do just what we choose, and that is quite true. But if we choose to do wrong, then we have to be punished too, and the punishment is far worse than any that dada or I can give you, for it comes from God.
“Little children do not always know right from wrong, so in order to help them and make right easy, God gives them parents and teachers to praise them when they are good”—and here mama laid her hand on Meg’s head—“or else to punish them when they are naughty.
“My two little girls may do just as they choose, as long as they choose to do what is right, and then when they are big and there is no mama to tell them all the time what to do, I hope they will do right of themselves.”
* * * * *
In a little village lived a poor old woman with a pretty granddaughter. One day the aged woman went out without her crutch, but her granddaughter was near to serve her as a support. It continued thus for a long time. To the promenade, to church, or market, the good old grandame no longer used her crutch, but leaned on her granddaughter. There was much prattling about this in the village, and all wondered. At last they found out the cause. The granddaughter, in a fit of passion, threw her grandmother’s crutch in the fire, and the old woman was too poor to buy another. The hasty girl cried and repented, and the frail old woman pardoned her; but, to make reparation, her grandchild never quitted her for an instant, and served as a faithful crutch, till she saved up money enough to buy a substantial new crutch, on which were these words, “Repentance and restoration.”