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representing it in some of its true characters to the attention both of parents and children. With this influence on my mind, I desired that Mary would follow the little fruit-girl, and tell her to come again the next day with another supply of fruit, when she should have her basket.
This matter settled, the young people sat round the table to enjoy the treat which Mary had provided them; and Isabella, who had seated herself close to Mary, began to ask some questions of her concerning the little girl.
Her name is Jane; she is a very dear little girl, and lives with her father, who is a gardener; her mother is lame, and can do very little of active business, therefore she takes in plain work; she has one sister and two brothers, and they are such a pretty family; you would like to know them, I am sure.
Very pretty, are they? inquired Anna.
If you thought I meant pretty in the face, I must answer, I do not think them any thing particular in beauty ; but they behave so prettily, they love each other so much, they are so industrious and neat, and clean,-that is what I meant by pretty; and that little Jane is like a mother to her brothers and sister.
Isabella looked much interested, and said, As I am going to stay with you to-night, Mary, will you take me to see them in the morning ?
With pleasure, Isabella, and if we rise an hour sooner, I shall have time after I have learnt my lessons.
The conversation then became very general, and the time being come when the young people were severally to return to their homes, the party was quickly broken up.
They, however, left me ruminating on the best practical method I could devise of laying before those on whom I might possess some influence, the peculiar duties of the fifth commandment; and committing my desire to providential direction, I walked the next morning across the fields to the house of my friend the father of Mary.
He was a man well disposed, and earnestly desirous of conducting his family on the strictest principles of moral duty. His wife was of the same mind; and they had the blessing of seeing their only child, Mary, walking in the most orderly course of regular attention to their desires. They set the example of order and method in all they themselves did, and they were happy in the good consequences of their example on their whole household.' But there was still a want which I had often deplored, and had frequently endeavored to point out, without ever having had the success to convince them that any thing more could be wanted, than was produced by the constant observance of the duties before them, in their retired situation in life.
I arrived just as the usual course of the morning instructions were ended, and found Mary, with her young guest Isabella, busy in putting away their books.
After the little movement of friendly salutation was over, I inquired of Mary if she had been able to fulfil her desire of visiting little Jane's family; to which she replied,
Oh, yes; but we were not wise in the time we chose for our visit ; they were all so busily engaged, that Isabella could not get a sight of them all together.
I saw Jane and her father together, Mary, in the garden, but I was disappointed; they looked so grave and busy, and were talking so seriously all the time. I thought that if little Jane loved her father so, she would have been hanging about him, and saying tender things to him. I never liked to let my dear papa's hand go out of mine, and he used to pat my cheek and look at me so sweetly! but now, I cannot hold his hand any
A rising sob stopt the utterance of the last word.
Mary, who was an affectionate girl, was affected by these words of her friend, and went up to her to kiss away her tears; and her father remarked,
You should not give way to such strong feel. ings, my dear Isabella ; remember, the test of love is obedience. I had rather Mary obeyed all her rules, than that she should be spending her time in useless expressions.
This remark put a check upon the flow of feeling. Isabella turned away her head to avoid further observation, and Mary, as though called to recollection, returned to the engagement from
which I had interrupted her ; but a change of complexion, which rapidly passed over her face, from a sudden blush to a pale hue, indicated that it was not without a struggle that the emotion was so immediately subdued. Her father, however, looked satisfied; and her' mother, rising from her chair, said,
Now, my dear girls, if you are not tired with your early walk, you may go out with me into the garden.
The proposal gave pleasure, as an 'evident relief of mind, and whilst they were preparing, I said to my friend, As
you have been confined some hours with your young pupil, you would most probably enjoy the air yourself, and to me nothing is more agreeable than to be out.
I thank you, if you really prefer it, as it is my custom at this time to walk, I will avail myself of your permission.
Being agreed, we were all together in the garden at once, and drawing most at that time to the company of the young people, I took one in each arm, and endeavored to communicate a little cheerfulness to them, by setting off down one of the wide walks with a brisk step.
O, stop ! said Isabella, let us stop here; I am out of breath! O, what a delightful smell here is! What does it come from? O, I see, that beautiful woodbine which is running up that lilac tree.
Our attention being directed to this object of admiration, I took an advantage from it, saying, Observe it well, Isabella ; how it twines about the branch that supports it.
I do, I always admire the woodbine.
Ah! it is like me and my papa ; dropping her voice as she made the comparison, seeing Mary's parents drawing near.
Isabella, it is worth your minute inspection; trace its windings from the root upwards.
She began to do so. It is difficult, she said, it is so intermixed with the branches of the lilac; and putting her hand to it, she continued, I actually cannot distinguish it here from the lilac. O, she exclaimed in an extasy of sentimental feeling, how like to me and my dear papa ! they are like one !
Do not stop there, Isabella, observe further.
O, it now begins to be less luxuriant; here are a few fine young twining branches without support, but the head of the plant is thick and short, and bushy.
You perhaps do not see the reason. Observe, there is above this strongly united part an evident decay of both the lilac and the woodbine. They have twined lovingly together, but the end will be the destruction of one or both. Now remark, there is no sentiment or true love in this strict union. The woodbine seeks that which is naturally needful for its own support, whilst its shoots are young and tender ; but then they strengthen and thicken, and whilst increasing, it occupies the room necessary for the growth of the branch