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Alice had had in bringing on her illness was almost more than she could bear. She recovered at last, to find her eldest daughter a different person, humble, and thoughtful, and affectionate, and though not neglecting her home lessons, always making much more effort to do her home duties.



I'll tell you a story, children,

A story you've never heard,-
Of a woman who lived in a hovel,

Whose life was saved by a bird ;-
A woman so poor and lonely,

With nothing to make life sweet,
Working, and toiling, and working,

And never enough to eat.

Walking for work to the village,

And wearily home again,
She saw a wicked boy-robber

Putting a bird to pain.
She had but a little sixpence

To get her dinner that day;
But she saved the bird from the robber,

And gave her one sixpence away.

And she made the bird her darling,

She was so poor and alone, That she thought it a lovely wonder

To have a bird of her own. She hung the cage in her hovel,

And tended the bird with care ; Aud often when she was hungry

The bird had enough and to spare.

Weary and weary with walking,

Out of her way she would go
To gather the fine fresh groundsel

Birds are so fond of, you know.
And, oh! the poor little pennies,

That used to get her some bread, Must go for the seed and sugar

With which her bird-king is fed

The bird sang out sweet and eager

Whenever he saw her come, A beautiful song of welcome,

Making the hovel a home! It flew around and about her;

It sang what it could not speak; It perched on her head and shoulder,

Or laid on her lips its beak.

So the wind blew rather softly,

The sun shone rather more bright, And love was the little secret

That gave to her life some light.

And you with whom love is plenty,

Oh, is not your pity stirr'd
For a woman made less unhappy

By only loving a bird ?

And when she was faint with hunger,

Weary, and wasted, and ill, And lay on the floor of the hovel,

Clay-cold, and white, and still,
And the bird was singing above her,

And flying about and around,
And perching on head and shoulder,

And hearing no loving sound ;

O bird, of what were you thinking ?

O bird, shall we never know ? You fluttered your wings in terror,

Your pretty eye glittered so! You fluttered and ruffled your feathers,

And sang with a frightened cry, And then you rushed through the window

Away between earth and sky.

And every creature that met you

You called with a piercing call, And ruffled and fluttered your feathers,

And tried to appeal to them all. But never a one would heed you,

For how could they guess or know That the bird was asking their succour For the woman who loved it so ?

The young were so gay and idle,

With hearts so eager and light; And the grown-up people so busy,

Planning from morning till night; And all were thinking and speaking

Of things they had seen and heard ; And all of themselves or each other,

With never a thought for the bird.

Back flew the bird in its terror,

Back to the hovel again!
And ’tis asking all whom it passes,

And ’tis asking them all in vain ;
And near the hovel it met her,

The girl with the innocent grace, And the hand that was always ready,

And the sweet little pitying face.

And it fluttered and flew about her,

And cried a despairing cry, And flew away to the hovel,

And back to the girl did fly.
And the girl looked up with wonder,

But able to understand,
For the quick perceptive spirit

Still goes with the comforting hand.

So the two went into the hovel,

And life went in with them there; For death could not hold the creature

Of whom a bird took such care.

And all who heard the sweet story

Did comfort and aid impart,
With work for the willing fingers
And love for the kindly heart.



DEEP, deep, down in the sea, miles and miles further down than you ever went, is the palace where Whale, the King of the Fish, lives. Such a beautiful cool palace, made of rock, and fitted up inside with coral !

Now in case no fish ever asked you to dine, or to drink salt water with him, I am going to tell you about the ball which King Whale gave when the Prince of the Whales came of age.

Whales usually live in great state, and do not care to see their neighbours; but the queen persuaded the king that solitude is no better for fish than for man or beast, and at last he gave in and said that he would give a ball. Then all was bustle in the sea. You never saw such waves as were kicked up. The dust on the land is nothing to them. In fact, two or three ships were wrecked in consequence.

Salmon, the butler, said that he could not pretend to get through the waiting without more help. All the shells wanted cleaning, and several of them were chipped.

As soon as Salmon's wishes were known, a good

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