MATTIE had come to spend a week with Uncle Will, Aunt Lucy, and little cousin Lutie, and she had gone to bed sleepy and tired, forgetting to look out at the weather. 

“O Uncle Will, did you think it was going to rain?" she asked, bringing a very dismal face into the dining room the next morning. I want to go to Sabbath school; and you have such a little school that it never opens when it rains, which I think is just shameful! I wanted to see Annie Oliver so much. Now I know I shall be homesick."

"I've no doubt that we shall find something for you to do all day," replied Mr. Gordon; "it is only idle people that are really unhappy."

"We can have a happy day indoors if you will help to make it happy," said Aunt Lucy. "Now you may put the chairs around the table and come to breakfast."

Mattie washed and wiped the breakfast dishes and made her own bed very carefully; then she forgot all about the rain while watching the washing and dressing of the baby; but she grew doleful again when she saw Uncle Will ride off to church on horseback.

"Suppose you hold baby while I read to you about what the rain does," suggested Mrs. Gordon.

"I know enough about what it does," answered Mattie sulkily; "it just spoils all my good time."

"But Prof. Longfellow tells us about the good time it gives to a great many people." 

"I don't believe rain ever made people have a good time," said Mattie, as she seated herself in a low chair, and Mrs. Gordon placed the baby in her arms.

"Listen and you will believe it," replied Mrs. Gordon, drawing the rocker close to the children, and opening a little blue book.

And then she began to read in a clear pleasant voice.

How beautiful is the rain.  

After the dust and heat, 

In the broad and fiery street,

In the narrow lane,

How beautiful is the rain!

How it clatters along the roofs,

Like the tramp of hoofs!

How it gushes and struggles out

From the throat of the overflowing spout! 

Across the window frame

It pours and pours;

And swift and wide,

With a muddy tide,

Like a river down the gutter roars

The rain, the welcome rain!

The sick man from his chamber looks

At the twisted brooks;

He can feel the cool

Breath of each little pool;

His fevered brain

Grows calm again,

And he breathes a blessing on the rain.

From the neighboring school

Come the boys

With more than their wonted noise

And commotion;

And down the wet streets

Sail their mimic fleets,

Till the treacherous pool

Engulfs them in its whirling

And turbulent ocean.

In the furrowed land

The toilsome and patient oxen stand,

Lifting the yoke-encumbered head; 

With their dilated nostrils spread,

They silently inhale

The clover-scented gale,

And the vapors that arise

From the well watered and smoking soil.

For this rest in the furrow after toil

Their large and lustrous eyes

Seem to thank the Lord,

More than man's spoken word.

Near at hand,

From under the sheltering trees,

The farmer sees

His pastures and his fields of grain,

As they bend their tops

To the numberless beating drops

Of the incessant rain.

He counts it as no sin

That he sees therein

Only his own thrift and gain.

Although the weather had not changed, sunshine from somewhere began to play all over Mattie's face long before Mrs. Gordon finished reading.

"Now, Mattie," said her aunt, closing the book and taking the restless baby, 

"What have I been reading about?"

"Why, I remember it all," said Mattie, commencing to talk so fast that her words rolled over each other. "I know just how many were glad it rained. From the neighboring school came the boys, that's one; sick man, two; patient oxen stand, three; and the farmer under the trees, four. I wonder if many people are glad that it rains today! Father will be glad of the rain on his garden, and Anna Conklin said their cistern was dry, and now it will get filled; and I'm sure Mrs. Moses, our sick neighbor, will be glad. Sarah, that's her daughter, will push her chair up close to the window, and her flowers will smell so sweet in the rain. She has suffered from the dry weather. I'm sure I'm willing to give up going to Sabbath-school if the rain will give her a comfortable day. And I'm much obliged to Mr. Longfellow for making me think of it. Aunt Lucy, what makes Mr. Longfellow think of so many things when he sees the rain? I only think how disappointed I am."

"Because his eyes are opened to see more things than yours can."

"But my eyesight is perfectly good," replied Mattie, stretching her hazel eyes very wide open.

"Suppose you should show a peach to Lutie, would she see it?"

"Of course she would, and try to snatch it," answered Mattie decidedly.

"What would a peach seem like to her?"

"Like something soft that she could squeeze, and I'm pretty sure she would try to put it into her mouth. That is all she would know about it."

"What would a peach seem like to you?"

"Why, ever so different," cried Mattie. 

"I should know what color it was, and its name, and I should know it grew on a tree from a beautiful pink blossom, and what time in the year it was ripe. And I know how men pick them in baskets and send them to market in the cars. I know all about peaches."

"Then what is the difference between you and Lutie? You both have good eyesight and you look at the same thing; but its appearance is entirely different to you." 

"Why, I guess Lutie sees things, but she does not understand all about them. 

When I see things I understand all about them."

"That is precisely the difference between you and Mr. Longfellow. You see nothing but the rain; but he understands so well what he sees that he thinks of the uses of rain when he sees the rain."

"I wish I could always see beautiful things in the rain."

"Do you know the names of the two books which God has given us to tell us about himself?"

"The Bible," replied Mattie, "but I don't know what the other can be unless it is the book of the rain."

"That is the name of one of the chapters; but the whole is called the book of Nature."

"Oh, I know all about nature," interrupted Mattie. "It is hills, and snakes, and bugs, and oceans, and the Mammoth Cave, and Niagara."

"Did you ever learn anything from either of these books?" asked Mrs. Gordon smiling.

"Of course I have," said Mattie. "Didn't I just learn about rain from the book of Nature? And I found out about being faithful in Mrs. Moses' Bible. I had learned it before; but I didn't know it meant washing dishes, and sewing, and being patient with Tommy."

"Then you really only saw it for the first time when you began to understand what it meant. Understanding is seeing with our minds and hearts."

"Then I really only saw the rain for the first time this morning, because I just begin to understand how good God is to send it, and the reasons why it comes," answered Mattie brightly.

"Shall I tell you a beautiful prayer to use when you wish to learn anything in either book?"

"Oh, yes," replied Mattie, as Mrs. Gordon arose to get a Bible. She opened the book and turned a few leaves, holding it so that Mattie could read the words: 

"That which I see not, teach thou me."

"I'll say that every day till I see everything in both books," said Mattie earnestly.

"And now I will read to myself and leave you to learn your Bible verses," said Mrs. Gordon, rising to put the baby in the cradle.  Mattie curled herself up on the lounge, and rocked back and forth while she learned the verses; but her eyes grew heavy, her head drooped lower and lower over her book, and the ticking of the clock sounded farther and farther away.

When Mrs. Gordon finished her paper and looked up to see what Mattie was busy with, she found her fast asleep.

Mattie did not hear Lutie cry, nor Uncle Will come in saying that he thought it would clear; she knew nothing until she opened her eyes and saw two squares of sunshine lying on the bright rag carpet.

"It is clear! It is clear! It is clear!" she shouted, springing at Uncle Will and kissing him as heartily as if she thought he had changed the weather. "I've had a delightful morning, but I'm so glad the sun shines."

"I saw Annie Oliver, and she said that they would stop and take you to Sabbath-school," said Uncle Will, releasing himself from her grasp.

"Oh, lovely!" cried Mattie, and so her rainy lesson was over. 

Ella A. Drinkwater.