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His mother did not happen to come into the room till it was nearly all melted, and in consequence his clothes were almost as wet as if he had been out into the river. She reproved him for his folly, made him · change his clothes, and told him he must not go out again that forenoon.
After he had changed his clothes he took his station by the window, and watched the falling and driving snow, earnestly desiring to sound the banks which were forming in an eddy caused by the position of the house and the wood-shed.
The time passed slowly; he began to think that his mother was unjust in keeping him in for wetting his clothes, and foolish in thinking his wet clothes would do him any harm. As he stood indulging these thoughts, which were just as bad in the sight of God as if he had spoken them, the sun suddenly shone out, and the storm appeared to be about to cease.
“O dear,” said he, “I am afraid it is going to stop snowing."
“ I hope it is,” said his mother. “ There is snow enough for good sleighing."*
William was almost angry with his mother for expressing a desire that the storm should cease. He contented himself by saying to himself, “ I hope it will not stop.” He was not aware that by so doing he was guilty of the sin of disrespect towards his mother.
“ Our wishes will not make any difference with respect to the continuance of the storm,” said his mother.
“I know it,” said William ; and if we could have looked into his heart we should have seen that he was a little vexed with the good Lord because his wishes were not consulted in the matter.
His father came in at this moment, and saw from the expression of his son's countenance that he was somewhat out of humour.
* Sleighs are used in America, that slide along on the snow and frozen ground.
“ What is the matter, my son ?” said he.
"It is going to stop snowing," said William, in a tone which one would naturally use in describing an injury received. “ You regard it as a great calamity, do
?” “I do not want it to stop.” “Why not?” “ I want the snow deeper to play in.”
“ You would have the Lord change his plans to suit your fancy, I suppose ? ”
Ι William felt the rebuke and was silent, though he was not convinced of his sin and folly.
In about an hour, William's father had his horse and sleigh brought to the door, and told his son that he might ride with him. He drove to the outskirts of the village, and stopped before a lonely hut. “What are you going to stop here for, father ? ”
I have business here." William wondered what business he could have in such a house. They entered. On a bed in one corner of the only room in the house there was a sick woman, who had her knitting in her hands.
There were openings and cracks in the walls, through which the snow had blown in great quantities. There was quite a little heap at the foot of the bed. The poor woman was suffering from a paralysis of her lower limbs, and hence could not remove the snow.
There were a few sticks of green wood in the huge fire place ; they smoked, but did not burn. The room was very cold. The water-pail that stood on a table in the middle of the room was frozen over hard.
“ Where is John ?” said William's father.
“I sent him to the shop to get a little meal for breakfast."
“ Have not they had any breakfast yet ? ” whispered William to his father.
“ He was ill yesterday,” said the woman, “ so ill that he could not hold up his head, but he is better to-day. I did not dare to let him go out till the storm was over.
I hope he will be back soon. I managed to get a pair of stockings done, and I told him to take them to Mr. Brown, and tell him to let us have as much meal as he thought they were worth."
While she was yet speaking, John came in. He was not much older than William. He was pale and thin, and his face was almost blue with the cold. He had a small tin pail filled with meal; he was about to mix some of it with water, before he attempted to warm himself, The truth was, he was suffering more from hunger than from cold.
William's father went out to the sleigh and brought in a basket which William had not noticed. It contained some bread and cold meat, and some tea and sugar. He gave John a piece of bread and meat, and he ate it eagerly. He then went to his sleigh again, and brought in a board that covered the sleigh box or seat, and split it up, and by that means caused the green wood to burn. After giving John some directions, and offering some words of encouragement and consolation to the sick woman, he took his leave.
The ride home was a silent one. William asked no questions, and his father thought it best to leave him to his own thoughts.
Just as they reached the house, he said to his son, “ It would have been better to have had the storm continue all day, would it ?
“No father,” said William promptly, but with a feeling of shame.
Why not ?" you would have had deeper snow to play in.”
“Yes, father, but when I said I wished it to keep on snowing, I did not think how it might affect other folks."
“I hope you will remember the lesson you have learned this morning.”—N. Y. Observer.
OLD I DON'T CARE.
BY OLD WINSFORD.
(A New Year's Gift.) He who is governed by the influence of “Old I Don't Care ” is a sturdy character, possessing an unbending and apparently unbendable will. Incalculable have been the scrapes which such have got themselves into; but it has occasioned them but little concern; for in reply to corrective remarks from their friends, they usually sum up their arguments with the fool's reason, “I don't care." I remember one of this stamp. Great were the pains bestowed upon his education, for his parents whose education had been neglected, felt interested in his welfare. He was sent to an excellent school, and the master might be said to have done his duty to the utmost ; but who can make a Demosthenes, or an admirable Crichton, from one only dist ished by such qualities as are seen in “Old I Don't Care.” I have watched his progress now for many years, for we were young together, and I cannot but think that something profitable may be learned from one so erroneous in judgment, and wayward in practice. I think too that he derived a considerable amount of wilfulness from his parents; for they were very self-willed, particularly his father who had lost situation after situation
of a profitable character, for no other earthly reason than | his recklessness, for it was a rule with him never to care for anything. ven when the consequences of his perverseness were pointed out to him, in a manner clear as day, and which to any other person would not have failed to produce the desired effect, he rejected good advice, in a word, he went by the rules of contrary. He would sometimes enter upon employments for which he was not at all fitted, and embark his little capital in businesses for which he had no earthly qualification, and which nothing but his immense assurance would lead him to engage in ; and failure after failure produced no impression or amend. ment, and even then the undes advi was treated as impertinence, and all interest taken in his welfare as un
called for interference. His constant language was, “I don't care."
Now the son is the very image of his father, and pertinaciously treads in his steps. He is no longer a youth, but a man, and like Cain a vagabond on the face of the earth, shunned by all respectable people, and what his end will be is not difficult apparently to foretell. His lot is now poverty, misery, and shame, and I fear in the end will be eternal death; for he is still as reckless as ever, and says he does not care what the consequences may be, for he will have his way, and “there is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof is death.”
When the spirit of “I don't care” enters a youth, he then becomes impatient of control and impervious to reason; in fact, a complete personification of the evil one himself; and what can there be expected by such an one, but suffering, disgrace, and ruin! I well remember one who was proverbial for this unamiable and ruinous propensity. He neither cared for God nor man, and how could he care for himself, or expect others to respect him or care for him, for it is too much to expect others to respect us, if we do not respect ourselves. No pain, trouble, or anxiety that he inflicted on others, no, not even on his parents, occasioned him the slightest concern. Real gentility is distinguished by the care it has for others; but he manifested none of that amiable and delightful quality. He was a strong wellbuilt youth, just such an one as the recruiting sergeant would not fail to fix his eyes upon, and regard as suitable for what is called the service of his country; and as he did not care for temptation, he was soon enticed into a public-house, and took a few glasses of liquor, apparently very generously offered, and when a little elevated with the delusive draught, the fatal shilling which was to produce such a change in his future career was given and accepted. It was now too late to recede. In a short space of time he was sworn in as a soldier, free, able and willing to serve his king, and defend his country. Unspeakable was the grief of his parents; particularly that of his mother, who never imagined that she had nursed him for