Hattie's New Dress.

HATTIE was a young lady of sixteen, and

an only daughter of a widow who was in 

moderate circumstances. She was the light and

joy of her mother's household. Great pains

had been taken with the cultivation of her

mind, and the mother had used the utmost

economy in her widowhood that she might

give her daughter an education that would

be serviceable to her when her means were all

gone. Hattie possessed a sweet and amiable

disposition, and it had won her many

friends at the union school of which she was

a member; and although they were her superiors

in wealth and social position, she was

often invited to their homes.

At the close of the winter term one of her

school-mates, Mary S., had persuaded her

mother to make her a party, that she might

invite her class-mates to her house, and cement

the friendship that had already begun

at school. The girls had been very studious

during the winter term, as the weekly reports

of the village paper testified, and Mary's

mother gratified her wish, and sent invitations

to those whom she wished her daughter

to recognize. Among the number was

Hattie. How elated she was when she received

the invitation, written on a delicate

card and enclosed in a beautiful envelope!

It was her first invitation, and she said, "I

am sure mother will let me go, for Mary's father

is a lawyer of good reputation, and she will

be pleased to have me invited in such genteel

society." With a merry heart she

showed her mother the card of invitation,

and watched her closely as she read. A

glow of satisfaction lighted up the features

of the mother for a moment, but it was soon

exchanged for one of sadness. She did not

like to pain the sweet child before her, but

she said in gentle words, "I am sorry, my

daughter, that you cannot go to Mary‘s

party, for I cannot dress you in such style as

you desire; and I am sure you would not go

with your old dress. My means are limited,

Hattie, and I have not the money by me to

get you a suitable costume. It pains me

to deny you, for I would be glad to

gratify you if it were in my power. If I

could get the means, I would cheerfully get

you a new dress and let you go."

Hattie did not reply, for her heart was too full.

She knew her mother would do all she could,

and she had no right to ask more. Two days

had passed away and her mother had managed

to save enough from her weekly earnings,

with the help of her eldest son, to get

a dress. She gave the money to Hattie, and

told her she might make her own selections.

She started at a rapid rate to the store, for

she had but a short time to make her dress in,

and she wanted to improve every moment.

As she neared the store, she saw a pattern

in the window that pleased her well, and she

stepped in to inquire the price. As she did

so she met little Nettie Wood, the daughter

of her mother's washer-woman, coming out,

and upon seeing Hattie she sobbed aloud, Oh!

Hattie, mother is sick and I am afraid she

will die," and she whispered softly "and we

have had nothing to eat to-day."

"Why, Nettie, how is this ?"

"Well, I will tell you. Mother has been

sick a week, and there is no one to earn 

anything, and we have eaten all she had in the

house, when she was taken ill."

Hattie looked for a moment at the beautiful

dress pattern in the window, but her

mind was made up. She said, "'I will go

with you, Nettie, and see your mother."

She did so, and found Mrs. Wood in a very

feeble state. She had nothing in the house

to eat as Nettie had said, and the anxiety

and care she had for her destitute family, 

together with a threatened fever, had worn

her to a shadow.

Hattie felt, as she looked at the children,

that her visit was timely, and that the money

her mother had given her with which to buy

her a dress, could be spent in a far better

way. She soon left the destitute family with

Nettie and procured necessaries for them,

and with a promise of a speedy return, she

hurried home to tell her mother what she

had done. The mother commended the

noble act of her daughter, and with a heart

big with emotions, she knelt down and thanked

God that her child was being lead in the

channel of sacrifice, and asked him to watch

over and control all her thoughts and actions.

The day of the party dawned brightly, and

Hattie, with a basket of delicacies, started on

her errand of love and mercy, and she said

to herself as she walked along, "I know I

should not enjoy the party half as much as I

have the consciousness of having done something for Mrs. Wood."

She spent the night with her patient, and

did all she could for her; and when morning

came, she hastened home to tell her mother

the happiness she felt in having been of service

to her humble neighbor. Said she, "I would not 

give the happiness I have experienced,

for all the beautiful dresses I ever

saw; and oh! mother, the Lord has filled

my heart with love; and I no longer have a

desire for parties; but I want to be a humble

child of God, and always be found his


Mrs. Wood improved much under Hattie's

treatment and kind attentions, and was soon

able to provide for her family.

May you, dear reader, follow the example

that Hattie has given in sacrificing self for

the good of others, and finally be rewarded

with a crown of life.