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this event helped to form it, and very soon afterwards Bibles were to be found in almost every part of Wales. I do hope, dear children, that you will not only read but study, and pray over the Bible, so that you may become wise unto salvation.
THE FOUR SEASONS.
There is no day throughout the year,
Oh, give us hearts to understand
THE LAUGHING JACKASS. The laughing jackass is a bird of the same family as the kingfishers. Its feathers are very beautifully marked with brown and black, with a gloss of green. It is about a foot and a half in length.
This bird is a native of Australia, where its gurgling notes, yah-yah-yah, seem, according to some, like the laugh of the human voice, or, as others say, like the sound of a braying ass ; so, between the two it has obtained its strange name. It begins in a low note,
and rises until it makes the wood ring with its merry laughter or braying.
It is a great destroyer of small snakes and mice, which its strong bill enables it to kill in a moment. It is often caught, and confined in a cage, where it will sit sometimes very quietly, with its sharp eyes on the " look-out," and then break out on a sudden into its yah-yah-yah.
THE EMPTY WELL. “On, Julia, I do so wish Thursday was come,” said Fanny Colson to her sister, as they sat at work together; “I scarcely know what I am doing, my head is so full of the party : an open-air party must be delightful; see, I have liemmed this handkerchief on the wrong side. But, Julia, are not you very foolish to have refused Mrs. Evans' invitation ?” “I hope not, Fanny : you know mamma is not strong
and if we both went, she might be lonely, and that would make us unhappy even at the party. I shall try to be happy at home, and will be glad to think how much you are enjoying yourself.” “ There is no fear about that, Julia : of course I shall enjoy myself then; but really I cannot do so now, with longing that the day had come."
Thursday came, as all long-looked-for days come at length; and at an early hour Fanny drew back the little white curtain of her bed, expecting that the cheerful sun-beams would peep in and wish her good morning. Alas, what a dismal sight! the rain pattered on the roof, and ran down the window-panes in long melan.
choly streams, while not even one little patch of blue sky bore the promise of fine weather by-and-by. Fanny gazed mournfully at the white frock and pink sash that lay near, all ready for use, then again at the clouds, and burst into tears. Her sobbing awoke Julia, and, starting up alarmed, she cried, “Dear Fanny, what is the matter p”.
“How can you be so cruel as to ask me that question ?” replied the weeping girl, pointing to the window;
“I am determined to go at any rate, but the fun will all be spoiled.” “Do not cry so, dear sister; you know it was God sent the rain, and we must not be angry at his will. Let us both pray that he would, for Christ's sake, put his love into our hearts, then we shall be happy on fine days and wet.” Who said I was angry, Julia ? but I will not, cannot be happy, unless I go to the party."
Quite unexpectedly, a smart breeze sprang up an hour or two after breakfast, sweeping away all traces of the lowering tempest from the sky, as well as the tears from Fanny's cheeks. Things being so much improved, she got permission from her mamma to join the party at their neighbour's house, but was warned not to go in thin shoes, lest she might renew the cough which had been so troublesome last winter. It was hard to obey. Yes, she would wear those pretty brown slippers, as she had intended.
The day passed away merrily; a large little party can find amusement anywhere, and the kind hostess devoted her time to making her guests happy. But in Fanny's case she did not succeed. The little girl knew she had done wrong in disobeying her good
mother; and, though she laughed as loudly as the other children, a weight of sin hung about her heart. Towards evening, too, she began to feel really ill; the damp grass had given her cold, and she reached home with aching head and trembling limbs.
Next morning she was suffering too much to conccal her illness, however anxious to disguise its cause; but, in reply to the doctor's, inquiries, the truth came out, that Fanny had been foolish and disobedient.
Disease made rapid progress for some days, and during this time of anxiety, Julia was the most tender of nurses. What joy and gratitude filled the house when the invalid was pronounced out of danger, and, a week or two after, allowed to take her place again in the parlour by her mother's side. Fanny's strength had not yet returned ; so, after trying to amuse herself first with one thing, then with another, she laid them all wearily by, and begged her mother to tell her a story, as she used long ago. Mrs. Colson, anxious to seize every opportunity of impressing Bible truth on her children, replied, “ Yes, dear Fanny, with pleasure; I shall tell you a little story, and you can try to discover its meaning." “Oh, do, mamma, I like guessing." So, when Fanny had settled herself comfortably in an easy chair, and declared all ready, Mrs. Colson began :
“There was once a large company of travellers who set out early one morning to cross a long, hot, sandy desert. Some were young, and some old, some rich, and others poor. They all said that they were journeying to a beautiful land of rest, where they might repose under the shade of spreading trees, and drink the cool