SUPPOSE you really love those rough, teasing brothers of yours, but don't you think you might show it a little more pleasantly? I can tell you I know all about boys. 

I was brought up in a house full of them. I have enough in my own house this very minute to keep things from getting dull and stupid. I know just how rough, and noisy and heedless they are; how they forget to wipe their feet on muddy days, throw their caps and scarfs on the floor, and leave their books in the queerest places, to be hunted up in the last minute before school-time. I know how they come in with a whoop, and clatter upstairs like so many fire-engines, the moment the baby goes to sleep; and how they are always leaving the door open, and cutting, and burning, and blowing themselves up.

But for all that, we could not spare them from our homes very well, could we? And isn't there something wrong in the family when sisters call their brothers "nuisances"? Yes, that's the very word she used, and I've remembered it these halfdozen years; for the speaker was a pretty, delicate little girl, and I was a good deal astonished to hear her say, "A boy in a family of girls is a perfect nuisance."

The "nuisance" came home from school presently; a hearty, good-natured-looking boy of eleven or twelve, whistling with all his spare breath. He stopped suddenly as he saw me, and came forward awkwardly enough, to speak to me, for he was evidentlyunaccustomed to meeting company. 

Unfortunately his foot came in contact with his elder sister's dress, soiling it slightly.

"You clumsy thing!" was the impatient exclamation, "you ought to be kept in a cage."

I looked from the crimson face of the "nuisance," and tried to fancy how sweetly that sister would have assured an older gentleman that it was of no consequence at all, and was entirely her own fault for taking up so much room. In an armchair, one of the younger sisters was curled up, examining with great interest a new magazine. An exclamation of delight brought her brother to her side, and he was soon absorbed in the engravings, looking over her shoulder.

"Wait just a second," he begged, as she was turning a page.

"Oh, you always want to see something," said the sister, fretfully. "I hate to have any one look over my shoulder."

So it was from morning until night. There was not a place in that house, so far as I could see, where the boy was wanted, or a person who wanted him; and I wondered if the dear mother knew how it was, and whether it would not make her heart ache to see it. If the sisters walked, or rode, or sang, or played croquet, no one ever said, "Come, Johnny." And I really suppose they thought he did not care for their laughing, and teasing, and snubbing, just because he was a boy, and was too brave to show that he cared. I found out another thing, too, and that was that the "nuisance" was very convenient when the pony was to be harnessed, the pitcher' to be filled with cool water, a big bundle to be carried down town, or a disagreeable errand to be done; yet I never heard any one say,"Thank you, Johnny; it was kind in you to take the trouble."

No doubt he would have stared if they had said so, but I think he would have liked it, and I think it would have helped him to be polite himself.

"Why didn't you thank that boy for bringing your hat?" I asked of a pleasant little girl.

"Why," she exclaimed, "that's our Tom! "as if that were reason enough for not being polite to him.

"I wish I had a sister," said a boy to his companion, in my hearing. "It must be so nice to have sisters of your own."

"That's because you don't know," said his companion. "I tell you they plague a fellow the worst way, and the bother of it is, you have to take it, because they are girls."

That made me think of a little fellow whom I once charged with cruelty for pulling out the long legs of a grasshopper.

"Don't hurt him," was his defense; 

"an't a mite of juice in 'em. An' he don't squeal, neiver course if it hurt him, he'd say somefin 'bout it."

These brothers of yours will not always say when you hurt them by unkind, careless words, but they feel it all the same, and it hurts in another way, by gradually chilling their love for you, and making them hard-hearted and careless of the comfort of others.

I tell you, girls, you cannot afford to lose your brothers in this way. You need them, and they need you. Many a boy has gone into bad company, and yielded to evil, degrading influences, simply because there were no stronger, purer influences at home to draw him away from it. Make your brothers your companions and friends, and never be afraid or ashamed to show your love for them. 



"You are going the wrong way, Frank," said an anxious friend, who sought to lead the young man into the narrow path. 

"Time enough yet," was the careless reply.

Oh, thought I, how does Frank know that there is yet time for him! True, there may yet be time; but every moment should be treasured, and carefully used in forming a good character. The young are apt to look forward for many years, and think that the preparations for eternity may safely be put off until some future time. From the experience of those who have followed this course, we conclude that it is never safe to put off this work. Many a youth on his deathbed has mourned a harvest past, and a summer ended. Dear young friends, learn wisdom before it is too late!

The Lord says, "Son, give me thy heart," and no better time can be found than the sunny days of youth, when the heart is fresh and buoyant, and the cares of life rest lightly. We have no promise of time, not for a single hour; but even if we had the assurance of many years, the time would be none too long to prepare for the coming of the Lord. Do not put off the day, but commence the preparation now, and may God help you to make thorough work.