CHARLEY and Lucy were sitting one evening on their Uncle George's knee.

"Uncle," said Lucy, who was a dear child, "what did the minister mean this afternoon at church when he said that the man who despises small things shall fall by little and little?"

"Well, Lucy, my dear," replied Uncle George, "I think that you will understand me better if I tell you a story.

"Many years ago I was visiting at Panama. This is a place, which you will find on your map, south of the United States and Mexico.

"I remained here for many months. Near my hotel was a very large wharf. Year after year the ships had come up to it, and there unloaded their cargoes. It was built at very great expense, and every person thought it entirely safe. Merchants often permitted thousands of dollars' worth of goods to remain on it over night. It was the custom of the wharf superintendent to examine it every month. 

Now, while I was there, the report was spread that some little insects were eating away the wood. He looked at the place, but said it was of no consequence that there were only a few insects, which could do no great harm. Month after month passed, and still these little creatures ate away at the wharf. They did not seem to be numerous, and but little attention was paid to them.

"One day, as I was looking out of my window, I heard a dreadful crash, and behold, the whole immense wharf had sunk into the sea. Sixty or seventy persons were killed, and an immense amount of property was destroyed all by the work of these tiny little insects. Afterward it was found that they had been eating for years at the wood. Had they been stopped at once, no harm could have come; but the superintendent thought them too small to notice; he despised them because they were so small.

"Children," said Uncle George, "be careful of little things. Whenever you discover a bad little habit, kill it at once.   If you don't, it may kill you."