Willie's Violets.

WILLIE GLOVER is a lad of thirteen years who was crippled three years ago by a fall from the hatchway of a large factory where he was at work. He lay for many long weary months in a hospital, and then returned home, knowing that he must never hope again to stand erect or use his feet. It was a very poor home, a room in a crowded tenement-house, in the great city of New York; and Willie knew that an idle child must be a terrible burden upon his widowed mother, who was not very strong herself. 

So he tried hard to think of some employment that would enable him to earn a living,   and finally decided upon the same work that his mother did, shoe binding. In the poor, close room, the two sat day after day, busily stitching away, and earning food and shelter, but little more.

In the next room in the crowded house, a young gentleman had taken lodgings, and working at his profession, that of an artist, while the two humbler neighbors stitched at the shoe binding. A friendly greeting had often passed between Mrs. Glover and Mr. Hudson, and sometimes the latter would drop in for a word or two with Willie; but the very poor have but little time for gossip, so all the Glovers knew of their neighbor was that he was as poor as themselves, though he worked hard at his pictures.

The spring was opening after a long, hard winter, when one morning Willie's Sunday-school teacher, who never forgot her former scholar in his affliction, came to see him, and bring him a small box containing a root of violets. It would be hard for a country boy to realize what those blue-eyed flowers were to the crippled lad, who could see nothing from his room window but a dirty, narrow street and brick walls. 

They seemed to him like a little bit of the blue sky that the high houses shut away from him. He would put the box near him as he worked, stopping often to bury his face in the cluster of blue blossoms, and dream he was in the country while he smelled their sweet perfume.

They were to him what walks, drives, and toys, are to strong, healthy, or rich children,   and he loved the little blossoms, as they unfolded for his eyes, as more fortunate   children love their pets or playthings.

He had been the owner of this wonderful box of pleasure for more than a week, when, one morning, his mother told him Mr. Hudson was very, very ill.

"I can hardly afford the time," said the widow, "to nurse a stranger; but he will die if somebody does not care for him. So if you do not mind being alone, Willie, I will go in and stay with him. I'll leave both doors open, so if you want me, I will hear you call."

"I shall not want you," said Willie. "Is he very sick indeed, mother?"

"I fear so."

"Does-he know you?"

"Oh! Yes. He is not delirious."

"Then" Willie gave a great, gasping sigh, "take him my box of violets. They will make him better."

"Your violets, Willie! I thought you loved them too well to give them away?"

"But he is sick, and" here Willie was nearly ready to take back his words; so he said: "Take them quick, mother, and tell him they are a present, with my love. I have nothing else I can send him."

For nearly two weeks the young artist lay very ill; then, when death seemed near, he said to his kind nurse:

"Mrs. Glover, will you go to my mother for me?"

"I did not know your mother was here!"

"I have not been a good son," said the young man, in a low tone, "and I left her in anger, to try to seek my own fortune. 

But I am dying, and I want to hear her say she forgives me. Will you send her to me?"

Gladly the widow went upon the errand, and brought the mother to her child.

"Such a grand lady, Willie," Mrs. Glover told her son, "and such a splendid house! 

She came in a carriage, and has a doctor in there now, who is ordering wines and medicines, and all sorts of expensive things."

The mother was evidently rich, and, in the fear of a separation by death, forgave her son for his former wild life, and nursed him faithfully till he was able to return to his old home.

But the story I wanted to write was about the box of violets. Upon the day when the grand carriage stood in the narrow, dirty street, to take Mr. Hudson home, the gentleman himself came to bid Willie good-by, and in his hands he held the violets. 

"They have comforted me, Willie," he said, 

"and taught me more than one lesson. 

I will be a better man yet for having had them beside me during my illness."

He put the box in its old place and left the room, after thanking Mrs. Glover for all her care. But the violets would not thrive. Their roots had been disturbed, and they drooped and died. Willie tried in vain by care to make them vigorous again, and shed more than one tear over them as they faded away.

"Take them up, mother," he said one day, "and see if a little fresh earth will do them any good."

"I am afraid not," Mrs. Glover said, "but will try."  Gently she loosened the earth, and then lifted the poor dead roots in her hands. A cry of wonder burst from her lips, and then great tears of joy fell upon the box, for there, among the grains of earth in the box, were broad gold pieces, as many as could be hidden under the thin layer of dirt.

"O Willie! I thought he was ungrateful! I did not nurse him for pay, but I hoped he would give me some little keepsake, when I found he was so rich. I was a little hurt when he seemed to forget it, and now see the fortune he has left us!"

So the little act of kindness to the sick neighbor they thought poorer than themselves brought comforts and rest to the widow and her son, hidden under the leaves of Willie's violets. 

The Methodist

Things You Will Not Be Sorry For.

FOR hearing before judging. 

For thinking before speaking. 

For holding an angry tongue. 

For stopping the ear to a tattler. 

For refusing to kick a fallen man. 

For being kind to the distressed. 

For being patient to all. 

For doing good to all men.