The Flowers Of Pleasure.

ONE beautiful morning, Mrs. Marion sat in

her drawing-room by her work-table. Her

six children surrounded her. The two sons

were occupied in reading and writing; two

daughters were making embroidery, and two

were playing with their dolls. The gardener

entered with a basket of flowers, which he

placed on the table as a gift to the children,

immediately all pressed around the table,

 uttering cries of joy. The mother also came

near to admire the handsome collection, but

she was more pleased with the pleasure painted

on the faces of her children than even with

the gift.

Suddenly the stems began to tremble and

shake as if they had life, and, lo! A viper raised

its hissing head above the crown of flowers.

The frightened children fled in confusion, but

the gardener slew the dangerous reptile.

He had gathered the flowers and come to

present them the evening before; but not finding

the family in, he had placed the basket

back in the garden that the dew might keep

them fresh, and the viper crawled in and

coiled himself there during the night.

The mother gathered the scattered group

of children around her, and said:

"The fright you have just suffered, my dear

children, may teach you a lesson which may

be useful through the whole journey of life.

I hope you will ever keep it in mind. It is

thus that corruption and wickedness conceal

themselves under the pleasures and joys of

this world. When you are tempted by seductive

pleasures, remember that the serpent

conceals itself under the flowers." 

Young Pilgrim.