He took from another pocket, three little blank-books.
“One of these is for you: the others are for your brother and sister,” he said. “See, there is a blank space for every day in the week; and, Whenever you lay out any money, you must write down in the proper place what it was that you bought, and how much it cost.”
“And show it to you, papa?”
“Once in a while: probably, whenever I hand you your allowance, I shall look over your account for the week that is just past, and tell you what I think of the way you have laid out your money, in order to help you to learn to spend it judiciously.”
“Fortune is merry, And in this mood will give us any thing.”
There was a sound of small, hurrying feet in the hall without, a tap at the door; and Max’s voice asked, “May we come in?”
“Yes,” said his father; and instantly the door was thrown wide. Evelyn came in with a quiet, lady-like step, and Max and Grace more boisterously.
The captain rose, shook hands with Eva, set her a chair, and sat down again, drawing Gracie to his arms, while Max stood at his side.
“Oh! what are those for?” he asked, catching sight of the blank-books.
“This is for you, this for Grace,” the captain answered, bestowing them as he spoke, then went on to repeat substantially what he had just been saying to Lulu, and to replenish their purses as he had hers.
They were both delighted, both grateful.
Evelyn looked on, well pleased. “Now your allowance is just the same as mine, and I am so glad,” she said to Lulu. “I have never kept an account; but I think it must be a good plan, and I mean to after this.”
“There is another thing, children,” said the captain: “any money that we have, is only lent to us by our heavenly Father; and it is our duty to set aside a certain portion for giving to his cause.”
“How much, papa?” asked Max.
“People have different ideas about that,” was the reply. “In Old-Testament times, the rule was one-tenth of all; and I think most people should not give less now: many are able to give a great deal more. I hope each of you will be glad to give as much as that.”
He opened Lulu’s Bible, lying on the table, and read aloud, “’He who soweth sparingly, shall reap also sparingly; and he who soweth bountifully, shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver.’”
“I’ll give a tenth of all,” said Lulu. “I mean to buy a little purse on purpose to keep my tenth in, and I’ll put two of these dimes in it. That will be the tenth of the two dollars you’ve given me, won’t it, papa?”
“Yes,” he said.
“And I’ll do the same,” said Max.
“I too,” added Gracie.