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Who stole a nest away
Coo-coo! coo-coo! coo-coo !
Bob-o-link ! bob-o-link !
Chuck, chuck, said the Hen!
Chirr-a-chirr! chirr-a-chirr !
“I would not rob a bird !”
A little boy hung down his head
From “ HYMNS AND RHYMES." NO TURN FOR HOUSE-WORK. Ruth DAVIES was a tall stout girl of twelve, and she had just left school with an excellent character. Her father was a labouring man with a large family ; her mother was an active bustling woman, as she had need to be, with so many to do for and so little coming in, for Davies's wages were but from 17s. to 188. a week, and living near London a third of that went for rent. .
"I think," said her father, “that it's time Ruth should be earning something ; don't seem to me as if she helped you, mother, as much as she might.”
“Well,” said Mrs. Davies, "you see she never had any turn for house-work, and it's less trouble to me to do a thing myself, than to teach a girl that don't much want to learn, and she's not a bad one, husband, as girls go; don't want to get out in the evening and rake about the streets as so many do, and she'd always the best of characters in school.”
At this moment in came Ruth.
“We were just speaking about you, my child,” said her father, “and thinking it's time you should be doing something, and not live on the family cupboard.”
“Oh I should like to go to service very much,” said Ruth cheerily. “I was just going to tell you I hear Mrs. Stammers of the shop, wants a girl to hold her baby, and it's the very thing I should like. I've no turn for house-work; but I'm so fond of babies."
“Well, dear,” said her mother, “if that's all you'll have to do, to hold the baby, I hope you may get it;
but you can't go after the place in that frock—all out at tho gathers; if you would but mend your things up a bit you would save many a shilling."
“Oh, I'm sure hetty Hopkins will lend me a frock and hat to go after the place; and if I get it, why I must have some new clothes, somehow."
Ruth borrowed her friend's garments, and Mrs. Stammers engaged her for that day week. She was in high spirits at her prospects. There was a perambulator, and the baby was to be taken every day to Kensington Gardens, whioh were near, and what could be pleasanter ?
“But now about your clothes,” said her mother. “If I do scrape together a few shillings for a gownpiece, can you make it? You were said to be such a good hand at your needle at school, though I never do see you do anything in the mending way at home.”
“Mend! I should think not, for I never was taught-how should I? But you know I got the stitching prize, and governess said I could whip and gather and seam nicer than any of them.”
“But about a new frock; can't you run it up yourself?”
“Why, mother, what are you thinking of? Who is to cut it out, in the first place? I never even see anything cut out. I should just spoil it. It must be put out to be made."
“Well, perhaps Cook, where I wash, may forward me 2s. 6d. of my money ; but, dear me, I wonder sometimes what the girls do do at school, they are of no great use at home. However, as I said to father, you are a good girl in the main, and we'll do all we can for you.”
So Ruth went off to her place; so late in the evening that she had only her bread and cheese supper to eat, and then to go to bed amongst the chil. dren, of which there were four. Soon after seven Mrs. Stammers appeared.
“Why, Ruth, not up yet? Mr. Stammers must be at his office at eight. I hoped you would have lit the fire by this time.”
“Please, ma'am,” said Ruth, “I thought I was only to hold the baby; I never had any turn for house-work.”
“Dear me, child, don't lie there talking such nonsense to me. The children are your chief care, but how are you to wash and dress them while you are in bed ? I'll say no more to-day, but you must be alive to-morrow.”
Mrs. Stammers kept a small stationer's shop; she got through as much work in five minutes as other people did in ten ; but, unlike Ruth's mother, she made those around her work also.
Glad enough was Ruth when she was told to put little Bertie, the baby, into his carriage and take him, and the two least of the others to the Gardens. There Ruth soon made acquaintance with other girls who, like her, possessed babies and perambulators—those excellent machines for neglecting babies. No doubt they are good things for long distances, and enable the children to get to fresher air, and pleasanter playgrounds than if they had to be carried, but it requires more care and thought than most girls pos