IT seems to me that's a very small thing!" said a clear-faced boy, with just a shade of impatience in his voice.

"Yes; but trust me, my son; it only seems so. In this world nothing is small, nothing is unimportant!"

The two passed on, but the words stayed behind.

"Nothing is small, nothing is unimportant! " 

Let us follow a "little thing" on its travels for one day, and see to what it led. 

Frank Walden was very much out of sorts one morning. He had a headache, for one thing; he had found trouble with his lessons, and his teacher had given him a sharp reproof the night before. He came home angry, went to bed angry, and rose in the morning feeling himself an injured boy. He did not like his breakfast, and he resented deeply the half-laughing comments of his father and sister upon his gloomy face and manner. Nellie, his gentle little sister, followed him into the hall. 

She held something tightly in her hand.

"See, Frank, I saved this for you, 'cause I love you so," and she gave him a sudden hug, and slipped a red candy heart into his hand. Then the little feet pattered down the hall, and Frank put on his hat, and started for school. But a little glow had been kindled in his heart, and as he went down the walk he stopped suddenly before a rose-tree. "I don't want Miss Elmer to think I'm sulky," he thought, and he cut half a dozen of the lovely roses and buds, and laid them on her desk with a pleasant "good-morning." Now Miss Elmer was conscious that she had been unduly severe with Frank the day before. But she had a great deal to try her, and this morning her nerves were unstrung. She had a difficulty to settle with a very troublesome boy, and when, Frank came with his roses and smile and pleasant words, she was just saying to herself, "I believe I will send him home, and have done with it!" Joe Hendy was very trying; but when he came a few minutes later to receive his sentence, to his surprise Miss Elmer said, with a serious but kindly smile, "I think, Joseph, we had better try again. Suppose we put ourselves on one side? Two are stronger than one."

Joseph went to his seat with a new thought in his heart. It worked there all the morning, and it has not stopped working yet. He did put himself on Miss Elmer's side, the side of order and right, and every one says, "What has got hold of Joe Hendy?" Miss Elmer is very glad that she did not send him home, and wonders what changed her mind. She says she acted upon an impulse. Frank acted upon an impulse in cutting the roses, and dear little Nellie started it all, by her sweet impulse of love and tenderness! Such a little thing! But nothing is little, nothing is unimportant. We might follow this little thing much farther, but then we could never come to the end of the story, for it will never end.

And just so, it may be, nay, it must be, with many and many a thing to which we never give a second thought. We drop our hasty words, we indulge our sudden tempers, and never once think how the waves of influence we start will go widening and widening forever! It is a startling thought, and it is not strange that it is an unwelcome one. We do not wish to hurt others by our influence, but we are thoughtless and careless, and so we just go on in our own way. Oh, let us stop and think about these things!

Wellington was a great general, and won great victories; but it is said that his successes were due to the fact that he looked, in person, after such small matters as soldiers' shoes, biscuits, horse fodder, and the like.

Nelson, the great naval commander, was not above little things. Especially was he scrupulous in regard to time. He would on no account break an engagement, nor would he be behind time if it was a possible thing to be prompt. He himself said that he owed all his success in life to this habit of looking after the minutes.

It was a very little thing that insured the discovery of this continent. The sailors, faithless and discontented, rose up in mutiny against Columbus. Glancing over the ship's side, he saw sea-weed floating by. Such a little thing! Yet it was enough to convince them that land must be near. But Columbus would not have seen this little thing if he had not kept open eyes. It is the people who do not see that stumble along and make so much mischief. We must form the habit of looking after the little things. To do this, we must know that they are of importance. We must take this truth into the heart and think about it, and let it influence our words and actions. This will make us think twice before we speak; it will keep us from acting rashly, and save us, oh, how often, from the regretful, "I didn't think!"

Oh, the little things! They are the great things, if we can but learn to look at them in the light of the next world!

S. S. Classmate.


A BOY who is polite to his father and mother is likely to be polite to everybody else. A boy lacking politeness to his parents may have the semblance of courtesy in society, but is never truly polite in spirit, and is in danger, as he becomes familiar, of betraying his real want of courtesy. We are all in danger of living too much for the outside world, for the impression which we make in society, coveting the good opinions of others and caring too little for the good opinion of those who are, in a sense, part of ourselves, and who will continue to sustain and be interested in us notwithstanding these defects of deportment and character. 

We say to every boy and to every girl, Cultivate the habit of courtesy and propriety at home in the sitting-room, the dining room, and the kitchen, as well as in the parlor, and you will be sure in other places to deport yourself in a becoming and attractive manner. When one has a pleasant smile and a graceful demeanor, it is a satisfaction to know that these are not put on, but that they belong to the character, and are manifest at all times and under all circumstances.