Florie's Birthday Party.

LITTLE FLORIE would be eight years old tomorrow, and her fond mother had promised  her the company of six; to take tea and spend the afternoon. "You may invite just who you please, daughter," her mother said; and as soon as lessons were over, she went out, accompanied by her nurse, to invite the company. Ann, the nurse, thought of course that Florie would invite Fannie Morris, Jennie Snow, and two or three others with whom she often played. They lived in large houses on the next street, and thither Ann turned, expecting Florie to follow.

"Where are you going?" exclaimed Florie. "The company I am going to invite don't live there. Those girls have lots of fun, and many good times."

Proceeding in their walk, they came to an alley not very inviting in appearance.

"I am going to stop here," said Florie; and opening a rickety old door, she began to climb the stairs. Stopping at the top of the first flight, she knocked at the door on her right. "Come in," was faintly heard. Florie opened the door and walked up to a little girl about her own age and size, who was sitting on a chair, knitting. 

She held up her hand in the direction of Florie's voice, for poor Mary Gray was blind, the daughter of a woman who had done some sewing for Florie's mother. 

"Mrs. Gray, I came to see if you would allow Mary to take tea with me tomorrow; 'tis my birthday, and mamma has promised me a little party, and that I shall invite whoever I please. I will send for her, if you are willing." "How good you are, Miss Florie," the mother replied. "My poor child has but few pleasures, and I know she will enjoy her visit to you." "I will send for her, then, at three tomorrow." 

Bidding the mother and daughter good-by, she tripped down the stairs and hurried along to another house not far distant, where a large boot hung out for a sign. 

Nurse looked at Florie in amazement as she entered this little shop, where an old man sat mending shoes, and a poor little lame boy was propped up in a chair, trying to amuse himself with some bits of bright colored leather. "O Miss Florie!" exclaimed the child, "I am so glad you have come. Those roses you sent me a few days ago were beautiful, and I kept them just as long as I could, but they would die." 

"Never mind. Jamie; I have come to invite you to take tea with me tomorrow, and you shall have as many roses as you can carry home." The little lame fellow glanced at his poor, deformed feet, and then at his crutches. "Never mind, Jamie," the old shoemaker said; "I will carry you to Miss Florie's. I expect to go up in that direction tomorrow. "Florie now left for another home. Passing out of the alley and going into a little side-street, she stopped at the door of a neat but poor-looking house, which was   occupied by an old woman, formerly a nurse in Florie's family. "Bless you, Miss Florie, it does me good to see your bright face; no one has been to read the story of the Good Shepherd since you were hear, and my poor old eyes are of but little service now." "Well, nursie, tomorrow will be my birthday, and you are to come and take tea with me, and then I will read to you, if you wish." "The precious child!" said the old woman, "to think of poor old nurse." "Good-by, nursie; I am not through inviting my friends yet;" and beckoning to Ann, she walked on a few doors farther, and then stopped at another home of poverty.   A weak looking child came to the door, not much older than Florie, with a baby in her arms crying as loud as he could cry. "Why, Florie!" the child exclaimed, 

"who ever would have thought of seeing you!" "Where is your mother, Amy?" " She is washing; and the baby is so cross I can't do anything with him. I could not go to Sunday-school last Sunday because he was not well, and I am so sorry, for I knew my verses, every one." "Do you think your mother will let you come and take tea with me tomorrow? It is my birthday. "By this time a poor woman made her appearance, wondering what such a fine girl could want with her child. 

"Please, may Amy come to my house tomorrow afternoon? It will be my birthday; we are in the same Sunday-school class, and I would like to have her."   

“Certainly, miss, I have no objections;" and the mother and child were both pleased.

"Where next?" said Ann. "To Mrs. White's," said Florie; "there is no one there but little deaf and dumb Tommy; I am going to invite him." Florie ran in to Mrs. White's, made known her errand, and left, saying, "Bring him at three o'clock tomorrow."

"Now for home," said Florie; and hastening to her room the moment she arrived, she wrote a little note as follows: "Florie Swift sends her compliments to Mrs. Swift, and would be pleased to have her company tomorrow afternoon." "Ann, take this to mamma, please, and wait for an answer." Ann, soon returned with a small piece of paper, on which was written: "Mrs. Swift accepts the invitation for tomorrow afternoon."

The next afternoon was bright and clear, and as three o'clock drew near, Florie began to arrange her table for the guests in the arbor. A large dish of strawberries stood in the centre, on one side a large cake, and on the other a plate of biscuit,  and a small bouquet of choice flowers stood by each plate. "Your company is coming,” said Ann, who was assisting Miss Florie. Sure enough, there came old nurse with her walking-stick, and Jamie on the shoemaker's back. Ann had seated blind Mary, and soon Amy and the little mute Tommy appeared. Seating old nurse in a large chair brought out for her, she seated all the rest on her right and left. Mary smelled the flowers, and seemed to enjoy them. Mrs. Swift next appeared, looking somewhat astonished at the company  assembled. She greeted each one pleasantly, and took the head of the table. The good things soon began to disappear, being over, Mrs. Swift invited them to the parlor, where she played and sang for them. Each had a piece of cake before leaving, and a bouquet to take home. 

All seemed to enjoy their visit, and left, well pleased. After they had left, Mrs. Swift asked Florie why she had invited such a company. 

"Mamma, our teacher told us last Sunday that God said, Feed the hungry, lead the lame, and help the needy, or something like that. That is what it means anyhow. Did I do right, mamma?" "Yes, daughter, I was glad to see you do as you did. He who gives to the poor, lends to the Lord." 

American Messenger.