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band, and I dare say she won't want a large creature who merely cumbered the earth. salary.'

Poor Bertha ! This was indeed a sad thought So Bertha, lonely and bewildered at the to take possession of her as she sat one sudden loss of mother, and little sister, and evening idly pulling to pieces a spray of worldly goods all at once, answered the ivy she had gathered, because it reminded first call, and went to Widebridge.

her of the old farm. The Steeles had no room for her in their Satan was attacking her as he had done house ; indeed, careful Mrs. Steele thought | Job of old, but he was not to prevail. it better not' to encumber herself alto- 'If only I had some one to work for gether with the friendless girl, but she beside myself, thought Bertha, 'I should took trouble to see that the humble room feel less dreary. If only Janie had been where Miss Moore was to live was in a left! But there is no one.' decent house, and then, provided the little What came from Bertha's lips as a comSteeles picked up French quickly, and plaint went up to the throne of God as a John and Marmaduke were steady over prayer. their Latin Grammar, she thought no more And the answer came in this wise. of the daily governess.

In the house opposite to the one in The Steele children were not a pleasant which Bertha lived were also many lodgers, set; the boys were rough and rude, the and high up in the attic, facing Miss girls pert, conceited, and so ashamed of Moore's room, little faces often peeped out Miss Moore's country bonnet, that they -grimy little faces a-top of torn and dirty would not walk out with her, as Mrs. Steele pinafores, faces often tear-streaked from had intended that they should. So lessons the rough treatment of a drunken mother. over, Bertha went slowly back to her lodg- Bertha saw a good deal of what went on ing, and when she had corrected the exer- opposite, and felt a dull sort of compassion cises which she brought away with her, and for the wretched children. put in the few stitches her wardrobe re- One was a sick child, too, a boy who sat quired, she had the whole evening in which at the window, with a flushed face, gasping to think of mother and Janie. Aye! and for breath most part of the day and night. of father too, dead seven years ago; un- Asthma,' said the neighbours, 'takes conscious in his quiet grave of the strange,

him in the breath; he'll never do no good sad life his pet daughter was leading.

in the world. For no one cared now whether she lived No! little Tim Haig would never do a or died, was happy or miserable. Not the man's part in the world, those wasted lodging-house keeper, she could easily fill hands would never harden with toil; he her place if she went away—not the little must always be a burden to some one, and Steeles, the governess was rather an object lest some day the drunken mother should of aversion to them, and even Mrs. Steele, so far forget her instincts as to neglect or with her activity and observant powers, ill-treat the poor suffering creature, let us would soon be able to find another instruc- pray God to take him to Himself. tress for her children if this one failed.

Not so fast, if you please! Little Tim No, no one wanted her, and all the has something to do in the world before powers and energies of her mind went to God takes him. find daily bread and coarse clothing for a

(To be continued.)

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Published for the Proprietors by W. WELLS CARENER, 2 Paternoster Buildings, London.

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SATURDAY night!

FIRST STEPS.

SHE HATH DONE WHAT SHE EAR little Daisy, though not near

COULD.'
To watch thy life unfold, I own

(Continued from p. 55.) 'Twas pleasant news of thee, to hear

ATURDAY night! A bad night in Thou hadst been seen to walk alone!

town-alleys, not always a happy time I would I had been there to see

in the country either. The little Haigs were The joy of thy delighted eyes —

waiting and watching for mother to come To hear the ringing laugh of glee

home, and yet they were trembling, poor Which heralded thy new surprise.

children ! fearful of the state in which she

might be. The sick boy was the eldest of Doubtless the cost was many a fall

the lot, and he was but ten years old. (Wise cautions these against conceit)

They were cold and hungry, and it was I will not underrate withal

doubtful if mother would bring tea and The triumph of thy baby-feet.

bread with her, or only blows and angry Not I, for well I know indeed

words. The children hardly knew what What failures first attempts attend;

to think when eight, nine, ten struck, and What trials of patience must precede

no mother came at all. They shivered, The point where difficulties end.

and cried, and finally crept into bed faint But at the news, dear child, I must

with hunger and watching. No mother Make prayer, that Heaven thy steps may

came next morning either a brilliant, lead,

chilly Easter morn--and in the house Lest thou in self too much shouldst trust,

opposite it was said, that in a drunken Or lean upon some broken reed,

brawl of the ensuing night, one Charlotte As disappointing true delight

Haig had struck and wounded to death As now, when fearless of a fall, ,

some wretched companion, and had been Thou striv'st to catch the sunbeam bright

taken up by the police. And then they

. From paper-flowers upon the wall.

spoke of the children. Some one's Lizzie

had run across and reported them frightened, Though earth beset with sin and strife and hungry, and crying. From these first steps which thou hast Bertha heard it all, and having no selfish trod,

fears, and a heart not altogether made of Heaven grant than mine thy future life stone, she took her little tea-pot and the May be a closer walk with God!

remainder of her small loaf of bread across Be highest faith, my child, thine own; Lean on the Father's loving hand;

She should go easier to church, she said For we can never walk alone

to herself, if she was sure those children In safety to the Promised Land !

were not starving. ROWLAND BROWN. They were not an interesting little band,

pale, and pinched, and very dirty; the only ' He shall give His angels charge over thee, pleasant-looking one was the sick boy, whom to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear

she had so often seen pressing his face against thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot the dingy window-pane, watching the bits against a stone.'-Ps. xci. 11, 12.

of pale blue sky that the great fleecy April

the way.

clouds now and then disclosed. Something in his face attracted Bertha, but not till she had fed all the ravenous youngsters did she stay to wonder, reflect, and then feel sure, that it was a shadow of bright Janie's looks that lingered on the countenance of this hapless little fellow.

Bertha never went to church that Sunday, she could not leave the helpless party; the police came in and out, officials from the prison and the workhouse, curious neighbours--and all seemed to consider her the person to consult.

The mother's case was a bad one: in a drunken rage she had struck blindly out, and her victim was dying. Meantime, Mrs. Haig was in custody.

Bertha explained to the various officials that she was no relation, and could in no way take charge of the children, so it was settled to remove them to the workhouse next morning. Bread and milk was provided for them that night, and Bertha, wishful to do a little to improve their condition, washed the little things before she put them to bed.

When all was quiet, she repeated Janie's evening hymn by the one straw bed which held her flock; she always said it to herself at bed-time, and something prompted her to let these children be soothed by it too. Tim was the only one who took any notice. "Say some more,' he pleaded, and then Bertha took heart, and sang another little hymn of her childhood.

In the pause that followed Tim asked,

*You're not a-going to send us to the house?

And Bertba explained, that while their mother was away they must go there, as there was no one to look after them.

‘Mary, and Tom, and Susy, they don't mind it,' said poor Tim ; 'we've all been afore: but it hurts me.'

•What hurts you?' asked Bertha, kindly.

* The stairs, and the rough lads. I breathes heavy going up,' said poor Tim, ‘ and the lads they mock me and hustle me.

Could I bide with you?' The upturned face caught the little dead sister's glance, and Bertha stooped down and kissed it with a sigh.

• I wish I could keep you, Tim,' she said; .but I'm poor, too, and I have no home to take you to.'

'I was in a hospital once,' said Tim, quite resigned to the refusal ; "they was real kind to me, and I had jam, and they sung hymns o' nights like you.'

A new light flashed across Bertha's mind. She was sorely loth to let this sick, perhaps dying child, be turned in among a rough herd of creatures who made a mock of his sufferings. If only she could manage something better! She must think.

Just before leaving the Chestnut Farm neighbouring cottage had been taken by some good people, with the intention of establishing a small hospital there; Bertha had watched the preparations with interest, and she remembered in the last sad days of death and trouble at the Farm, that she had seen pale faces at the upper windows of the building; and she remembered, too, that she had noticed ‘Moorside Cottage Hospital' painted over the door.

If only Tim Haig could be got there ! The fresh country air would surely bring him round. But how was it to be managed ? Money would be required, and suppose that forthcoming (Bertha's thoughts flew instantly to a tiny brown purse in her workbox, with a very small store in it for rainy days), would they let Tim in, a wretched child, with a drunken mother, who might even be a murderess? She thought and thought till her brain grew dizzy.

(To be continued.)

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