Page images
PDF
EPUB

for

pay for food and clothes, and other necessaries you

all. Sally. But why is not papa as rich as Mr. Pemberton ?

Mrs. M. Mr. Pemberton had a large fortune left to him by his father ; but all the money your papa has he gains by his own industry.

Sally. But why should not papa be as rich as any body else ? I am sure he deserves it as well.

Mrs. M. Do you not think that there are a great many people poorer than your papa who are quite as good ?

Sally. Are there.

Mrs. M. Yes, to be sure. Do not you know what a number of poor people there are, all round us, who have very few of the comforts we enjoy ? What do you think of Jones the la

I believe you never saw him idle in

borer ;

your life.

Sally. No; he is gone to work long before I am up, and he does not return till almost bed-time, unless it be for his dinner.

Mrs. M. Well; how do you think his wife and children live ? Should you like that we should change places with them?

Sally. Oh, no! they are so dirty and ragged.

Mrs. M. They are indeed poor creatures, but I am afraid they suffer worse evils than that.

Sally. What, mamma ?

Mrs. M. Why, am afraid they do not often get as much food to eat as they want. And then in winter they must be half frozen for want of fire, and warm clothes. How do

you

think you could bear all this?

poor as

the young

Sally. Indeed I do not know. But I have seen Jones's wife carry great brown loaves into the house. I can remember once eating some browu bread and milk, and I thought it very good.

Mrs. M. I believe you would not much like it constantly ; besides, Jones's children can hardly get enough of that.

But you seem to know al. most as little of the

French princess did.

Sally. What was that, mamma ?

Mrs. M. There was one year so little food in France that numbers of poor people were starved to death. This was mentioned before the king's daughters. “ Dear me," said one of the young princesses,“ how silly that was , why, rather than be starved, I would eat bread and cheese." She was then told that the greatest part of the people in France, scarcely ever eat any thing better than black bread all their lives ; and that many would there think themselves very happy to get enough of that. "The young princess, was sorry for this ; and she paried with some of her fine things that she might help the poor.

Sully. I hope there is nobody starved in our country.

Mrs. M. I hope not; if any cannot work for a living, it is our duty to assist them.

Sally. Do you think it was wrong for Miss Harriet to have all those fine things? The money which they cost might have relieved many poor people.

Mrs. M. Miss Harriet has money enough to be charitable to the poor, and to indulge herself in such things as she likes. Might not the children of Mr. While, the baker, and Mr. Shape, the tailor, ask if little Sally Meanwell should be indulged in her pleasures ? Are you nou better dressed than they are, and is not your baby house better furnished than theirs ?

Sully. Why, I believe so; I remember Polly White was very glad of one of my old dolls, and Nancy Shape cried for such a sash as mine, but her mother would not let her have one.

Mrs. M. Then you see, my dear, that there are many who have fewer things to be thankful for than you have. Every thing ought to suit the station in which we live, or are likely to live. Your papa and I are willing to lay out part of our money for the pleasure of our children ; but it would be wrong in us to lay out so much, that we should not leave enough to pay for your education, and some other necessary articles. Besides, you would not be happier if you had a coach to ride in, and were better dressed than you are now.

Sally. Why, mamma ?

Mrs. M Because the more of such things that we have, the more we want. Which, think you, enjoys most a ride in a coach, you, or Miss Harriet?

Sally. I suppose I do.
Mrs. M. But if you were both told you

should never ride in a coach again, which would think it the greatest hardship? You could walk, you know, as you have always done before ; but she would rather stay at home, I believe, than expose herself to the cold wind, and trudge about in the wet and dirt.

Sally. I believe so too; and now, mamma, I see that all yoư have told me is very right.

Mrs. Meanwell. Well, my child, make your. self contented and cheerful in your station, which you see is so much happier than that of many children. So now we will talk no more on this subject.

EVENINGS AT HOME.

SUNDAY MORNING.

It was Sunday morning. All the bells were ringing for church, and the streets were filled with people, moving in all directions. Here, numbers of well dressed persons, and a long train of charity children were thronging in at the wide doors a handsome church; there, a number equally gay in dress were entering an elegant meeting house. A Roman Catholic congregation was turning into their chapel ; every one crossing himself, with a finger dipped in holy water, as he went in.

The opposite side of the street was covered with Quakers, distinguished by their plain and neat attire, who walked without ceremony into a room as plain as themselves, and took their seats, the men on one side, the women on the other, in silence. A spacious building was filled with an overflowing crowd of Methodists, while a small society of Baptists assembled in the neighbourhood.

Presently the services began. Some of the churches resounded with the solemn organ, and the murmuring of voices following the ininister in prayer; in others a single voice was heard ; and in the quiet asseinbly of the Quakers, not a sound was uttered.

Mr. Ambrose led his son Edwin round these assemblies ; he observed them all with great attention, but he did not so much as whisper lest he should interrupt any one.

When he was alone with his father, " Why,” said Edwin,“ do oot all people agree to go to the same place, and to worship God in the same way ?"

“And why should they agree?" replied his father. “Do you not see that people differ in a hundred other things? Do they all dress alike, and eat and drink alike, and keep the same hours, and use the same diversions ?

“In those things they have a right to do as they please," said Edwin.

They have a right too,” answered his father, “to worship God as they please. It is their own business, and concerns none but themselves."

“ But has not God ordered particular ways of worshipping him?"

“ He has directed the mind and spirit with which he is to be worshipped, but not the man

That is left for every one to choose. All these people like their own way best.”

The several congregations now began to be dismissed, and the streets were again overspread with persons going to their own homes. It chanced that a poor man fell down in the street in a fit of apoplexy, and lay for dead ; his wife and children stood round him, crying and lamenting in the bitterest distress.

ner,

« PreviousContinue »