Lillie's Birthday.

LILLIE MAYNARD awoke one cold February

morning to the consciousness that she was

fifteen years old. Yes, it was her birthday.

She lay still awhile reviewing the past and

making good resolutions for the future, and

wondering if she would receive any birthday


Before breakfast was ended, the postman

brought a letter for Lillie. It contained ten

dollars done up in a sheet of paper on which

was written, "A birthday gift from your

affectionate Uncle Peter."

"You can have that blue merino you

wanted so much, now," remarked her mother,

"and your wardrobe does need replenishing


"Not so badly as yours does." "Nonsense

Lillie," she replied, "you must not think of

spending your birthday gift on me. I would

go to Brown & Hooker's this morning, if I

were you, and get that pretty shade of blue

before it is all gone."

Lillie said nothing, but the thoughts of 

possessing the merino was quite tempting, and

 an hour after, she was passing down the street

 to the store her mother had mentioned.

"I would dearly love to buy that blue merino,

but I won’t so there. I will not be so selfish.

Mother needs a new dress much more

than I do, and I can buy her a nice one and

still have something left for myself." Thus

thinking, she entered the store and selected a

nice drab wool delaine which she knew would

just suit her mother's taste. She had just

three dollars left, and she thought, "Now I

will go to the bookstore and buy the book I

have wanted so long." She had just turned

her steps in that direction when she was 

accosted by a little beggar girl thus:

"Please give me a penny, miss."

Now Lillie possessed a very tender heart,

and it was very hard for her to refuse such a

request; moreover the little one before her

did not look like an impostor. Real want

was plainly visible in those thin, pinched

 features and shrunken limbs. "Why do you

beg?" she asked in a gentle voice. "O miss,

cause I's starving. We all is. Ma's drefful

sick, and can't get anything for us to


"Where do you live?" Lillie asked.

"Only a little way," and the child pointed

down a dark alley.

Lillie hesitated, but not long. She felt assured

of the child's truthfulness, and telling

her to lead the way, she followed. They soon

reached a dilapidated old house, and following

her guide up two rickety flights of stairs,

Lillie found herself in a small, unfurnished

room. In one corner, on a heap of straw, lay

a woman apparently in the last stages of

consumption, and crouched about the room six

pale, thin, ragged urchins.

"What can I do for you, my poor woman?"

Lillie asked, approaching the prostrate figure

on the straw.

"Nothing for me," was the reply. " I am

dying fast; but if you will only get bread for

my starving children they have eaten nothing

since yesterday morning."

Much shocked, Lillie hastened to a baker's

shop which was near, and buying a large supply

of food, ordered it sent to the suffering

family. This took all her money, but she

also ordered a load of coal, telling the coal

 dealer to present his bill to a well-known 

benevolent gentleman with whom she was 

somewhat acquainted. When she returned, she

found the poor family enjoying the luxury of

a good fire around which the children, now

no longer hungry, were gathered, stretching

out their little blue fingers to the grateful

blaze, while the sick woman sat up, drinking

a cup of hot tea which one of the children had

made for her.

"God will bless you for what you have

done," she said, with tearful eyes; "I cannot."

"He has already blessed me in doing it," Lillie

answered with a bright smile. "But you must

have a doctor. I am going to see a very good

gentleman in your behalf. He delights to

help others, and will see that you want for

nothing. I will come again soon," and followed

by their grateful thanks she hastened


It was afternoon before she entered her

own door, and she found her mother almost

frightened about her long stay.

"Lillie, dear, where have you been so

long?" she said. " You have got your dress

I see," she added as she glanced at the parcel

in Lillie's hands. "Let me see it." Lillie

opened it and disclosed her purchase to


"Why, Lillie, what does this mean?" asked

Mrs. Maynard in astonishment; "you don't

want a dress like this."

"I know it, mother," she replied quietly;

"it is for you.

"For me? You naughty child! How could

you do so? I've a mind to scold you well."

Nevertheless, Mrs. Maynard looked very lovingly

at the "naughty child."

"Mother, " said Lillie, "you know I do

not really need a new dress, and you do very

much, and it gives me far more pleasure to

give you this than it would to lavish the

money all upon myself."

"You are a dear, unselfish daughter," said

Mrs. Maynard, and she kissed her very tenderly.

"But this didn't take all your money,

did it?" Then Lillie told her of the poor

family she had visited. "O mother," she

said, "I did so wish I had a hundred dollars

to help them with. But I told Mr. H

about them, and he will make them comfortable."

"You may well dispense with costly attire,

my Lillie, for you have that which is of far

more value a loving, self-forgetting spirit,"

said Lillie's fond mother.


[Dear children, while you may admire those

beautiful traits of character which Lillie 

manifested in denying self to honor her mother,

and the noble spirit in providing for the hungry

and destitute, you may cultivate them in

your own hearts, and great will be your reward

in Heaven.]