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SUSIE's mistake about the text in the copybook had certainly not added to the comfort of her schooldays. Emma Perkins, and another girl named Fanny Simpson, seemed to take a pleasure in telling her of it. I think one reason why they did so, was that Susie had been praised by her governess for answering some question in which both Emma and Fanny had failed. Susie, a little vain, perhaps, of knowing more than they did, had once or twice boasted of it to others;
No. 194. FEBRUARY, 1861.
and the two girls, ashamed at being excelled by one so much younger than themselves, tried to vex Susie by bringing up her old mistake before her.
Oh, how much it lies in the power of boys and girls to make each other ill-tempered and unhappy. How şad it is that they should eyep delight in doing so! It shows what sinful hearts even the youngest have, and what need we each of us have of forgiveness and help from above.
Susie came home from school one morning in a very contrary mood. Emma Perkins had been more disagreeable than usual. She had tried to mimic Susie's look and tone when she had spoken to her governess about Jane's copy, and little Bessy Wilson, who was standing by, had laughed when Emma did. Now Bessy was one of Susie's particular friends. too bad of her to join in such a thing. Susie was so indignant that she hardly knew what she said,
It seemed to poor little Susie as if everybody was against her. She thought she should soon dislike going to school, if Emma continued so tiresome, and if Bessy deserted her. She was out of temper when she got home. The least thing displeased her. But, to do Susie justice, she soon came round again when not opposed ; and before dinner was finished, she was laughing as heartily at one of John's droll speeches, as if there had been no such persons as Emma and Fanny in all the town.
It was half-holiday that day. Jane was going to help her mother with some ironing, for she was a handy girl, and liked to be busy in the house. Susie had nothing particular to do, and she thought she
She was very
would look for a piece of silk and some card to make a pincushion with, when Mrs. Morris stopped her as she was going up-stairs, and said, “Susie, I have been planning a nice walk for you this afternoon."
“ A nice walk, mother P” said Susie, a little doubtfully.
“Yes, I want you to carry this basket to Aunt Mary."
Susie brightened in a moment. She was always ready to go to Aunt Mary's. And no wonder, for all who knew Aunt Mary loved her. lively and cheerful, and yet gentle in her manners. She had a kind look and a kind word for every one within her reach ; and she had always something to tell which would amuse and interest them. She lived in a pretty cottage, part of which was occupied by an old woman and her husband, and she added a little to her small income by doing plain and fancy needlework for some of her neighbours. Aunt Mary was a true Christian; she loved her Saviour, and tried to serve him; and this made her so happy herself, and so wishful to make other people happy:
Susie loved her very much, and could tell any of her little troubles to her better than to any one else ; for although her mother was very kind to her, and always blamed the other children for teasing her, she did not understand Susie's feelings, nor enter into them so fully as Aunt Mary did. Aunt Mary seemed to know how Susie felt, and tried to help her out of her troubles.
It was with a light heart that Susie, with the little basket in her hand, ran along the narrow lanes that
led to her aunt's cottage. Would you like to peep into the basket and see what it contains ? Just these things: a little seed-cake; some tea and sugar out of the shop; half a-pound of fresh butter, and a mincepie. The children seldom went empty-handed to Aunt Mary's, for Susie's parents had a pretty good business, and could afford to send her small presents.
Susie had nearly reached her aunt's cottage, when she began to run very fast, and did not stop until she was within the little garden gate. She was quite out of breath when she got into the house, and her aunt asked her why she had made such haste.
“I saw Jem Horton coming across the field, aunt, and I knew that if I didn't hurry he would be here as soon as I should. There, he is going past the railings now. How glad I am that I missed him !"
* IIe little thinks what an escape you have had, Susie,” said Aunt Mary, smiling. “But I hoped you had got over your dislike to him before now."
“Oh no, aunt, I shall never do that.”
“Do not say so, Susie. 'Never' is a long time. I should not at all wonder if Jem and you were to become very good friends some day.”
Susie shook her head. “I am sure we shall not, Aunt Mary; and I would not be if I could.”
Susie was much more sure about things than she ought to have been. Aunt Mary did not try to persuade Susie differently: it is best sometimes to be silent; she knew her little niece was often mistaken in her opinions, and she hoped she would be so in this
But the subject came up again at tea-time. At least
“ It is
Jem's name was mentioned, together with two or three of her schoolfellows. For a few questions about Susie's progress at school led her to tell her aunt how vexed she had been that morning with Emma and Bessy, and how frequently she was teased by them and others about that unfortunate word she wished to put into Jane's copy. Susie spoke very warmly; and Aunt Mary saw with sorrow that she was cherishing feelings in her heart which could only make both herself and others unhappy.
very unkind of them, Susie,” she said, “ to keep repeating an old story like that, on purpose to annoy you; they ought to be ashamed of such conduct. Does Mrs. Ashley know about it po
No, aunt, or else she would scold them. But I could not tell her what they say, because then they would call me a tell-tale, and I should not like that. They would tease me all the more, too, afterwards. I wish sometimes that I might stop away from school altogether; the girls are so disagreeable."
“I am sorry they are, Susie ; but perhaps they will grow better in time. Try and not mind them. Do not let them make you dislike school; that would be a pity, when you are getting on so nicely; and there are troubles, you know, to be found at home as well as at school."
“Yes,” said Susie, sorrowfully, “I know that, aunt: I I cannot tell how it is, but they don't seem to like me 60 well as they did at first. Jane is not nearly so kind, and Harry won't play with me unless he chooses the game, and that is not fair. And John finds such fault, and says I am a cross little thing."