“SUSAN WILL BE HAPPIER IF I GO WITH HER.”
Mary Wilson is a little girl only nine years old. She loves her mother very dearly, and she is always happy to be with her.
Mrs. Wilson lives in the country, not far from a pretty village, to which she occasionally goes to make a few purchases or call on a friend. She sometimes takes Mary with her, who always enjoys such a walk. She trips along by her mother’s side, sometimes taking her hand, and sometimes stooping down to gather a wild-flower which blossoms by the roadside; and then perhaps she runs on and watches the brook that trickles down the hill, on its way to the river. Her smiling face and sparkling eyes show she is happy.
One day when she was all ready, with her white sack and blue sun-bonnet on, to accompany her mother along the bank of the river to the village, Susan Grafton called for her to go with her in another direction, on an errand for Mrs. Grafton. Mary was greatly tried. She wished very much to go with her mother, but Susan did not like to go alone. What to do she did not know. Tears were in her eyes, as she told her mother her trouble and asked her what she should do. Mrs. Wilson left the decision entirely to Mary. After a short struggle she smiled through her tears, and said, “I should rather go with you, mother, but Susan will be happier if I go with her. I think I had better go with her.”
Mrs. Wilson kissed the quivering lip of her daughter, and told her she had done right in thinking of Susan’s happiness. Her heart ascended in prayer to God for his blessing on her dear child, that she might ever be unselfish and self-sacrificing.
Would not most children be happier than they now are, if, like Mary, they tried to make others happy, and were willing to deny themselves for the sake of their companions?
Although Mary was so much grieved to lose her walk with her mother, she was far happier that afternoon than she would have been without an approving conscience.
Will you not pray, dear children, for a kind, unselfish heart?
“How much money have you in the bank?” I heard a gentleman inquire of a boy. “A dollar and a half,” he replied. I looked up, and saw before me a slender, bright-looking lad, about fourteen years old. The pantaloons he wore had evidently belonged to a full-grown man, and were rolled up at the bottom to make them short enough for the present wearer. His coat had been cut short in the skirts, and the sleeves hung loosely about his hands. His shirt was not particularly clean, neither was it very dirty. His face, however, had been nicely washed, so that there was nothing repulsive about the fellow. The gentleman talked with him a few moments. I was quite interested in the conversation and learned from it that he was one of the news-boys of New York.