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the wood, laurel bushes in the very regality of bloom, are very beautiful to you; but they are colour and form only. They seem strangers to you. You have no memories reposed in them. They bring back nothing from time. They point to nothing to come. But a wild briar starts a deeper feeling. It is the country cousin of the rose, and that has been your pet. You have nursed it and defended it; you have had it for companionship as you wrote ; it has stood by your pillow while sick; it has brought remembrance to you, and conveyed your kindest feelings to others; you remember it as a mother's favourite ; it speaks to you of your own childhood,--that white rose-bush that snowed in the corner by the door, or that generous bush that blushed red in the garden with a thousand flowers, whose gorgeousness was among the first things that drew your childish eye, and which always comes up
before you speak of childhood. You remember, too, that your mother loved them. As you walked to church she plucked off a bud and gave you, which you carried, because you were proud to do as she did; remember how, in the listening hour of sermon, her roses fell neglected on her lap, and how you slily drew one and another of them; and how, when she came to, she looked for them under her handkerchief, and on the floor, and then, spying the ill-repressed glee of your face, smiled such a look of love upon you, as made a rose for ever after seem to you as if it smiled a mother's smile. And so flowers, that at evening fill the air with odour (floral nightingales whose song is perfume), greet you as dear and intimate friends. You almost wish to get out, as you travel, and inquire after their health, and ask if they would send any messages to their town friends. But no flower can be so strange, or so new,
that a friendliness does not spring up at once between you.
You gather them up along your rambles, and sit down to make their acquaintance on some shaded bank, with your feet over the brook, where your shoes feed their vanity as in a mirror. You sort them ; you question their graces; you enjoy their odour; you range them on the grass in a row, and look from one to another ; you gather them up, and study a fit gradation of colours, and search for new specimens to fill the degrees between two violent extremes. All the while, and it is a long while if the day be gracious, and leisure is ample, you are conscious of various sug. gestions and analogies of life darting in and out of your mind. This flower is just like such a friend; that one makes you think of mignonette, and mig. nonette always makes you think of such a garden and mansion, where it enacted a memorable part; and that flower conveys some strange and unexpected resemblance to certain events of society; and so your pleased attention strays through a thousand vagaries of fancy, or memory, or vaticinating hope.
Yet these are not home flowers. You did not plant them; you have not screened them; you have not watched their growth, plucked away voracious worms, or nibbling insects, and seen them in the same places, year
your care and love. Around such there is an artificial life, an associational beauty, a fragrance and grace of the affections, that no wild flowers can have.
It is a matter of constant gratitude that this finest gift of Providence was the most profusely given. Flowers cannot be monopolized. The poor can have them as much as the rich. It does not require such an education to love and appreciate them, as it would to admire a picture of Turner's, or a statue of Thorwaldsen’s. And, as they are messengers of affection, tokens of remembrance, and presents of beauty, of universal acceptance, it is pleasant to think that, in them, all men recognize a brief brotherhood. It is not impertinent to offer flowers to a stranger. The poorest child can proffer them to the richest.
A hundred persons turned together into a meadow of flowers would be drawn together in a transient brotherhood. It is often affecting to see how serviceable are flowers to the necessities of the poor. If they bring their little floral gift to you, it cannot but teach you to think that their grateful affection longed to
express itself as much as yours. You have books, or gems, or services, that you can render as you will. The poor can give but little, and do but little; were it not for flowers they would seem shut out from the exquisite pleasures which spring from sincere gifts. I never take one from a child, or from the poor,
that I do not thank God in their behalf for flowers! . And then, when death enters a poor man's house! It may be the child was the only creature that loved the unbefriended father-really loved him, loved him utterly; or, it may be, it is an only son, and his mother a widow, who, in all his sickness, felt the limitation of poverty, and did what she could, but not what she would, had there been wealth. The coffin is pine. The undertaker sold it with a jerk of indifference and haste, lest he should lose the selling of a rosewood coffin, trimmed with splendid silver screws. The room is small: the attendant neighbours are few. The shroud is coarse. Oh! the darling child was fit for whatever was most excellent, and the heart aches to do for him whatever could be done to speak love. But it takes money for fine linen-money for costly sepulture. But flowers, thank God, the poorest may have. So put white buds in the hair, and honeydew, and mignonette, and half-blown roses on the breast; if it be in the spring, a few white violets will do; and there is not a month till November that will not give you something. But if it is winter, and you have no single pot of roses, then, I fear your
darling must be buried without a flower, for flowers cost money in the winter.
And then, if you cannot give a stone to mark his burial-place, a rose may stand there, and from it you may, every spring, pluck a bud for your bosom, as the child was broken off from you. And if it brings tears for the past, you will not see the flowers fade and come again, and fade and come again, year by year, without learning a lesson of resurrection, when that which perished here shall revive again, never again to droop or die.
J. F. L.
PRAY FOR THE CHILDREN.
We pray for little children,
They sorely need our prayers,
They meet with many snares.
Orphan, or rich or poor,
From his abundant store.
We pray for heathen children,
Who in nature's darkness sit,
Truth's lamp may soon be lit;
For all 'neath heaven's wide dome,
In heathendom at home.
There are thousands of these children
In our over-crowded land;
We meet on every hand.
Neglect and want and evil,
Are the tales too plainly told
And prematurely old.
Which sin doth sadly mar;
Consider what they are.
And in them unawares,
To sow the baneful tares.
From the fearful thrall of sin ;
Strive we their souls to win,
They may better play their part,
Their sinfulness of heart.
And work as well as pray ;
And keep the perfect way.
CHRIST'S WILLINGNESS TO SAVE. I HAVE often been struck with the different manner in which Christ replied to the request of the father of the lunatic, and to that of the leper. The former doubting His power said, “ If Thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us," Mark ix. 22. Jesus, though intending to grant his desire, waited to show him that faith on his part was the only thing wanting ; but when the leper put forth the prayer, “ If Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean," Matt. vii. 3; the doubt of His willingness struck so tender a chord in the Saviour's breast, that immediately He pụt forth his hand and touched him, saying, “I will, be thou clean.”