The Sisters.

A MOTHER  called her two little girls to her 

room  one pleasant morning, and said,  "I'm 

sorry,  but  one  of  you will  have  to stay  at 

home  today,  my  dears,  for Jane's father

is  sick,  and I promised  her that she should 

go  to see  him;  and  I  cannot take the  care 

of  Eddie  all  day."

Of  course  she  could not.  You had only 

to  look into her pale face,  and on her thin 

weak  body,  to  know that.

As her two  little girls,  Fanny and Alice 

were standing  before her when she said this 

she  saw  their  countenances fall.  ''I wish

it were  not  so,"  the mother  added  feeble: 

"but I would be in bed, sick, before the day 

was  half  over,  if I were left  alone with   

Eddie.  Someone has to  look  after him  all the 


Fanny pouted and scowled, I am sorry to 

say,  and  Alice  looked  sober  and    

disappointed.  They went  from  their  mother's 

room without speaking.  When so far away 

that  she  thought  her  voice  could  not  be 

heard  by  her  mother,  Fanny  said,  in  a 

sharp,  resolute  tone,  from which  all  kind 

feeling  had  died  out:

"I'm  not  going  to  stay  at  home,  Miss 

Alice!  You can make up your  mind  to 


Alice did  not  reply,  but  she  sat  down 

quietly.  Her disappointment was  keen,  for 

some  little  girls  in  the  neighborhood  had 

made up  a small  picnic party and were 

going to  have a  pleasant  day in  the woods.

"It will be as  mother  says,"  she spoke 

out,  after thinking for  a  while.

"I'm the oldest, and have the best right 

to  go,"  answered Fanny,  selfishly.  "And 

what's  more,  I'm  going;"  and  she   

commenced putting on  her things.

A few  tears  crept into  the  eyes  of Alice, 

it would  fall  upon  her  to  stay  at  home. 

Fanny  was  selfish  and  strong-willed,  and 

unless  positively ordered  by her  mother to 

remain  at home and let her sister go, would 

grasp  as  her  own  the  pleasure  to  which 

Alice  had  an  equal right with herself.  If 

the  decision were  referred to  her mother,  a 

contention would spring up,  and then Fanny 

would  speak  and  act in  a way to  cause  her 

distress of mind.

"If mother should  make Fanny stay at 

home,"  Alice  said,  in  her  thoughts,  "she 

would pout,  and fling,  and  act so  ugly that 

there'd be  no  comfort with her;  and mother 

isn't strong  enough to  bear it."

The  tender  love  that Alice  held  in  her 

heart  for  both  her  mother  and  dear little 

two-year-old  brother Eddie,  was  all-pervading. 

and  soon  turned  her  thoughts  away 

from  the picnic  and  its promised  delights, 

of  the pleasures  and loving  duties of home.

"I'm going to stay,"  she  said,  coming 

back  into  her mother's  room with  a  bright 

face and  cheerful voice.

"Are you, dear?"  It was all she said, 

but  in  her  tone  and looks there was  a   

precious  heart reward for Alice.

"He has been so sweet  all  day!" said

Alice, coming in where her mother sat by  a 

window  with the cool  airs  of  the late  after- 

noon  fanning her wasted  cheeks.  She had 

a weary look.

"And you  have  been  sweet,  too,  my 

darling!" answered  her  mother,  in  a  very 

tender  voice,  as she laid her hand on  Alice's 

head.  "I don't  know what I should have 

done without  you.  It has been  one  of  my 

weak  days.  But you look  tired,  dear, "she 

added.  "Sit down in  that easy chair and 

rest yourself.  Come, Eddie."

And she held out her hands for the  child, 

but he  clambered into  Alice's lap,  and laid 

his  cunning  little  head  against her bosom. 

Both were tired, loving sister  and  pet 

brother.  It seemed hardly a minute before 

they were asleep;  and  as the mother,  with 

her  eyes  that were fast growing dim, looked 

at the tranquil  faces  and  quiet  forms,  she 

thanked God for such  a precious gift.

Bang!  Went the door, starting the mother 

from  peaceful thoughts,  and  arousing Alice 

from the light slumber  into  which  she had 

fallen.  In came  Fanny, all in disorder, and 

threw herself  into  a  chair,  looking  the   

picture of  unhappiness.

"Have you had  a pleasant time?"  asked 

the mother,  speaking with  a  kind  interest 

in her voice.

"I've  had  a  horrid  time!"  answered 

Fanny, flinging out the words angrily.  "I 

never saw such  a  mean  set  of  girls in my 

life.  They wouldn't do anything I wanted 

to  do,  nor go anywhere I wanted  to  go."

"That was bad," said the mother.  "And

suppose  you wouldn't  do  anything they 

wanted to  do, nor  go anywhere they wanted 

to go?"

Fanny did  not reply.

"How  was it,  my  child?"  urged  the 


"Hadn't  I  as  much  right  to  have my 

way  about  things  as  any  of  them?"   

demanded  Fanny.  "There was  that  Kate 

Lewis I can't bear her.  If she said,  'Let 

us  do  this,  or  let  us  do  that,'  every one 

agreed in  a minute."

"You with the rest?"  said the mother.

"Indeed, I did not!" replied Fanny,    

impatiently.  "That Kate Lewis  can't  lead 

me  about  by  the  nose,  as  she  does  other 

girls.  I have  a mind of  my own."

"Perhaps," answered  the  mother,    

seriously,  "you  would  have  come  nearer to 

the  truth, my  child,  if  you had said  a  self- 

will of your own.  I find, from your account 

of things,  that you wanted  everything your 

own  way,  and  because  the  rest  would  not 

give up to you, you made yourself disagreeable 

and unhappy,  and so lost  all the pleasure 

of  the  day.  I'm afraid  you were  not 

in just the best state of mind for  enjoyment 

when  you left home  this morning."

This  was  too  much  for  Fanny,  already 

feeling so  miserable;  she broke  out  into  a 

fit of sobbing and crying.

In what different conditions of mind were 

the two  girls at the close of this day!  Alice, 

wakened  from  a  brief,  but  refreshing, 

sleep  by  the  entrance  of  Fanny, sat, with

tranquil heart  and peaceful face, looking  at 

her unhappy sister, who had selfishly claimed 

the  day for pleasure, not caring how wearily 

it might pass for  her,  and  pitied  her    

miserable  condition,  while  Fanny cried  from 

very shame  and wretchedness.

Dear  little  readers,  need  I  ask any  of 

you,  even the  youngest,  what  made  all this 

difference?  You  have  come  to  know, 

through  some  painful  as  well  as  pleasant 

experiences,  that  happiness  waits  not  on 

any selfish  demand, but  creeps lovingly into 

every heart, which, forgetful of its own ease, 

or  comfort,  or  pleasure,  seeks the comfort 

and blessing of  others.

Do not forget this, dear  children.  Keep 

it always  in mind,  and it  will not only save 

you  many  unhappy  hours,  but  put  warm 

floods  of sunshine  and joy into your hearts. 

Children's Hour.