Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

and even

times, set her to work at the washing-tub, and you could not go near her without being snapped at. Old Nanny, the washerwoman, was fairly set down by her. Little Esther, who came with Old Nanny, was obliged to keep herself as mute as a mouse ; for myself, I was obliged to run out of her

way; my mamma found it necessary to give as few orders as possible.

In these fits of ill-temper Peggy had often forgotten herself so far as to speak in a disrespectful manner to my mamma; who failed not to reprove her afterwards for her fault. When rebuked, she appeared to be sorry; but no sooner did washing-day come round, than her offence was again repeated. It was quite as much as mamma could do to bear with her. Peggy could never be up to her elbows in soap-suds without becoming hasty in her temper, and impatient when the slightest hinderance took place. Whether sorting the clothes, washing, boiling, rinsing, or drying them, it was all alike : on washing-day Peevish Peggy gave a license to her tongue.

One day, when, after many hours' rubbing and scrubbing, the lines were well filled-when the sun was shining, the wind was blowing, and the clothes, heads and tails, were flying about in all directions_suddenly there came a shower. Out ran Peggy, hurry scurry, with a face red like the rising sun, and began to call about her, because the clothes were not taken fast enough from the lines. Old Nanny was scolded sadly ; little Esther was driven about without mercy; and I came in for two or thrco sharp remarks, which half affronted me. But the worst of it all was, that, in hurrying across the garden, Peggy shrieked out a very pert reply to her mistress, who was directing her how to proceed.

Oh Peggy! Peggy! into how many scrapes has that hasty tongue led you! When will you get the better of your sad failing!

After the bustle of the wash was over, my mamma, in a mild manner, once more reproved Peggy for her fault. Now it happened, at the time, that two persons in the village were in want of a good servant; and as this was known to Peggy, she felt very independent in her situation, so that, instead of acknowledging her error, she tried to justify herself, saying that she could get a better place any time at an hour's notice. So ill did she behave, that mamma, taking her at her word, told her she might consider herself at liberty.

It took Peggy but a very short time, in the temper in which she was, to pack up her box, and to find her way to the cottage of her poor mother. Her afflicted parent was sadly distressed to know that her daughter had left her place; but Peggy bridled up, saying, that she should soon be in a better : in this, however, she was sadly mistaken.

Away went Peggy, full of confidence, to offer herself to Mrs. Rudge, at the Grange ; but, unfortunately for her, Mrs. Rudge had happened to be passing our garden hedge, during the shower, when Peggy had shrieked out so pertly to my mamma; so that she told her she would not take an impertinent girl into her service, even if she would come to her without wages.

This was a very unexpected disappointment to Peggy; but she kept up her courage, thinking that if she had not obtained a place at the Grange, she might get quite as good a one at Mr. Gough's in the green lane. Mrs. Gough, however, was very particular in her questions about Peggy leaving her place; and while the conversation was being carried on, my mamma, altogether by accident, made a call. Peggy coloured, and hesitated, and twirled her fingers, not knowing what to say or do, and at last made her retreat, quite hopeless of obtaining the situation, and heartily ashamed of her disgrace. The end of it all was, that the very next day poor Peggy came back to us again to beg my mamma’s pardon for her misconduct, and humbly to request her to give her one more trial.

Since this took place, Peggy, on the whole, has behaved much better-putting a bridle on her tongue, even on washing-day. She has never once replied pertly to mamma, nor given me any offence willingly; and I do think, that if a shower were to come on to-morrow, when the clothes' lines were full, she would neither scold Old Nanny nor drive little Esther about, as she used to do.

My mamma says, that, when I was younger, she was sadly afraid that hasty speaking would become my besetting sin ; but that now she is greatly relieved from her fears. How thankful should I be on this account; and, indeed, how watchful over myself ought I to become. She once frightened me by saying,

A sword-wound may be healed by prompt endeavour,
But tongue-wounds sometimes fester on for ever.

66

Among the texts of Scripture that mamma gave me to commit to memory are the following :

There is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether," Psa. cxxxix. 4. “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles," Prov. xxi. 23. “I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue : I will keep my mouth with a bridle," Psa. xxxix. 1. a watch, O Lord, before my mouth ; keep the door of my lips," Psa. cxli. 3.

- Set

CHRISTIAN MISSIONS.

THE POWER OF THE WORD OF GOD. A MISSIONARY was once met by a poor Indian woman, in a wild part of Canada, who found out by his conversation that he was a preacher of the gospel, and she begged very hard of him to give her a Bible. She had heard it read enough to convince her that it was the book to satisfy the desires of her wounded spirit, and would not go away without it. The missionary had no Bible with him ; he had only his own pocket Testament, which he could not spare. Moved by her cries, he at last promised to lend her the Testament, on the condition of her meeting him at that spot one month afterwards, and returning him the volume. The month passed, and the missionary was on the ground at the time. He soon saw the woman walking slowly towards him, but with an air that plainly told she had bad news to tell. On being asked if she had the book, she said no. “ What have you done with it' Have you sold it for rump"

“No," said she; “I took it among my people, and read it to them ; and as I read they became so eager to possess it as to compel me to tear it apart, and to give each one a leaf; and here is my part of it," said she, pulling from her bosom a leaf torn from the Testament. How precious is the word of God to the awakened heathen. Is it precious to us?

THE EARNEST LISTENER. A pious clergyman had a careless and idle son, who left his home, went on board a vessel, and sailed to a foreign land. His sorrowful parents could only pray for him, and send him good advice when they wrote to him. The ship which contained their boy reached a distant port, and was there waiting to take in a fresh cargo, when the sailors went on shore and brought back with them a little native boy, who could play on some curious kind of music. He amused them for a long time, but at last he said, “ You must now take me on shore." The sailors told him that he must not go yet. "Ob, indeed I cannot stay any longer," replied the little black boy, " and I will tell you why. A kind Christian missionary has come near the vil. lage where I live. From him I have learned all I know about Jesus Christ, in whom I now wish to believe. This is about the hour when be meets us under the shade of a tree, to tell us more; I want to go to hear him." The sailors were quite overcome by the boy's cries, and at once rowed him ashore.

The clergyman's thoughtless son was struck with the words of the little heathen boy. He folt condemned by them. “Here am I," he

« AnteriorContinuar »