Maude And Lizzie.

THERE was great excitement in Mrs. Raymond's family when Uncle John wrote from Paris that he was coming home for a month, and would take one of the girls back with him, to pass six months with their Aunt Julia, and take lessons in music and French with their cousins. Uncle John was a partner in a large dry-goods house, and resided in Paris, selecting silks, velvets, and other rich materials, to send across the water. 

The little cousins spoke French fluently, to the wonderment of Maude and Lizzie Raymond, who had shed tears innumerable over the "horrid verbs" and other difficulties of the language.

Mrs. Raymond was very glad of an opportunity for the girls to have such an addition to their education, for she was very poor, and could give them few advantages. She knew the choice would lie between Maude and Lizzie, as the three little ones were still too young to leave home, even to visit kind Aunt Julia.

"I think John will take Maude," she thought, "she has so much musical talent, and is so pretty. Dear little Lizzie is a home flower, so helpful and domestic. There is nothing brilliant about Lizzie, but I should miss her terribly if she left me."

Uncle John came in the summer days, when the children were having a vacation from school, and Mrs. Raymond, never very strong, was resting a little from the task of teaching, for she earned a support as a music-teacher.

As the visitor came up the garden-walk to the house, he heard voices in the parlor, and paused a moment before entering.  Maude was speaking:

"You know, Lizzie, my music is far in advance of yours, and I have improved very much in my French since Uncle John was here last, so I feel quite sure he will take me to Paris. You don't care much about it, do you?"

"O Maudie! Not care! If you go, I shall not grudge it to you, and one of us certainly ought to stay and help mother."

"Certainly, and you are worth twice as much as I am in the house. I really believe you like dish-washing, stocking-darning, and house-cleaning."

"Somebody must do such things," said quiet little Lizzie. "I love music too, Maudie, and I hope soon to be able to take a few of mother's pupils, and save her some of the long walks in bad weather."

"I hope to do something better than drudge as mother does," said Maude. "If l get this chance for a Parisian finish, I shall try to have a position in some large seminary."

"Will you dust Uncle John's room now, Maudie? I have so much to do today. It is all ready, but some dust may have gathered since I put it in order yesterday."

"Oh! Lizzie! You run in. I want to practice that last piece of music. One of the passages is so difficult, and I want to play my very best for Uncle John."

"I can't stay here any longer then!"

The next moment the piano was opened, and Uncle John entered, to find Maude   practicing diligently. He was a kind uncle, but not a man that talked much. After the   welcome was over, and his pretty lot of presents distributed, he quietly studied his little nieces, showing no partiality, but giving both a kind and fatherly love.

Lizzie was not much with him, but Maude was his almost constant companion. She was a very showy and brilliant pianist, and her French was very fair; so she played and chattered, quite confident that she was impressing her uncle with her accomplishments, and would win him to take her to Paris. If he asked for Lizzie, he was sure to hear she was making the beds, sweeping rooms, cooking the dinner, or engaged in some other domestic duty.

"I could not enjoy your visit so much," Mrs. Raymond said to her brother, "if Lizzie did not take so much care off my hands. I cannot afford to keep any servant but a half-grown girl for rough work, but Lizzie is a great help."

"Let me see, how old are the girls?" Uncle John inquired.

"Maude is sixteen, Lizzie fifteen."

"Maude does not seem to assist much in the pudding-making business."

"I make her take her share generally, but she is so anxious to be with you, that Lizzie takes her work too. It is their own arrangement."

"Then Lizzie does not care to be with me?"

"Lizzie is always ready to sacrifice herself for Maude or me, dear child," said the mother. "Tell me, John, what you think of Maude's music?"

"She plays well, in good time, correctly and brilliantly. She will make an excellent teacher. Does Lizzie play well? I have not heard her."

"She is shy. You would never hear her if she knew you were listening. Stay here, on the porch, and I will send her to practice."

An hour later Uncle John went to find his sister.

"Why did you not tell me?" he said eagerly. "Lizzie is a born musician. Every note she strikes has a soul of its own. She made me cry me, old as I am. She wants teaching, culture, and she will play wonderfully. Give her to me for a few years. I will place her in our best school with my Grade. If she brings the same patience to her studies as she shows in her home life, she will surely excel. You will miss her, but it will be for her advantage. Maude will be able to take some of your pupils in the fall, and she could take a few French scholars. Let her help you at home too. I have entirely disapproved of her selfishness, in throwing all the domestic care upon her sister, and had decided to give the patient, self-sacrificing girl a holiday, even before I heard her play."

So the choice fell upon Lizzie, greatly to her own astonishment. She went to Paris and remained until the war brought her uncle's family to America again. In her home today, she is still the dutiful, tender daughter, lightening all her mother's cares, and earning a handsome income as a teacher of music and French. Maude has secured a position in a seminary, but her salary hardly suffices for her own finery, and she is now, as ever, quite willing to throw her own share of filial duty upon Lizzie. 

The Methodist