« ÎnapoiContinuați »
must buy,” said Mrs. Ford; “ but it shall be bought with your money."
“Mine?” cried Maggie, “ I spent all my savings-bank money on my birthday.”
“So you did ; then you must earn some more. I want a dress ripped to pieces to alter, and if you will do it neatly for me, I will pay you enough to buy the head.”
More busy afternoons soon acomplished this, and Maggie herself took the doll to the store, fitted on the shoulders a head with eyes as blue and curls as bright as her own, and found enough left of her money to also buy a pair of blue kid boots for the dolly.
“ Isn't she a beauty, mamma?" she cried, when the head had been carefully fastened on. “Now, may I dress her There is a piece of my blue delaine in my drawer, and you have given the dress to little Mollie Craig, so I won't want the piece to mend it; and I have a nice piece of edging Aunt Carrie gave me that will trim the underclothes. I should like to dress her.”
“Will this make an apron ? " said Mrs. Ford, holding up a small piece of black silk. I saved it for your new doll.” “Oh! I had rather put it on Nellie's.” “ It is yours, dear. Do just as you please with it.”
“ I can make a hat out of the pieces of straw you gave me when you took your old bonnet apart; the pieces that were in the trimming will make two or three doll's hats, and I can make a little sacque of the declaine, like the ladies' walking suits."
“She will be a very stylish dolly, I am sure," said Mrs. Ford, smiling. “Don't hurry too much.” “Oh! no, indeed. I want this to be the very
nicest dress I ever made.
Very proud and very happy was Maggie when the doll was dressed at last, and very pretty the miniature little lady looked in her neat walking-dress, stylish little hat, and blue
or do you
boots. It was hard to wait all night and until school-time the next morning before taking the doll to school, and when Maggie started at last, she had to dance along nearly all the way, she was so happy.
The bell had not rung when she arrived, and a group of little girls were in the yard, walking about and talking, as Maggie came to the gate. Her eyes singled out at once a little girl who stood apart from the rest, looking wistfully at the dolls who were having an airing before being put to sleep in the luncheon-baskets till recess time,
She was a pretty little girl, but, as Maggie had said, her dress showed the want of a kind mother's care, though it was not poor nor ragged.
Nellie,” said Maggie softly to this little girl, think this is a pretty doll?” “O Maggie! what a beauty! Who
it to you?” “I made it myself— that is, I made the body and the clothes, but I bought the head.”
“Made it? I never thought of that, Will you show me how to make one?”
Certainly I will. But, Nellie, I did not make that for myself. It is for a present to you!”
“ To me? You made it for me? Oh! thank you!” “I am so glad you think it is pretty.”
“ It is beautiful. I will call it Maggie. But," and the child looked very grave,
are you sure you don't want it yourself !”
“Very sure," said Maggie, laughing merrily. “Why, all the pleasure there was in making it was in knowing it was for you. Oh! there is the bell,” and kissing Nellie, Maggie followed in the line of little girls going into the school-house.
“ Mamma,” said Maggie, gravely, after she had told her mother of Nellie's pleasure, and the admiration of the other school-girls, “why was I so very happy this morning ? I never had a present in my life that made me so glad as it did to give Nellie the doll."
“ It is because our kind, heavenly Father has given us a deeper, holier joy in unselfishness than in any other feeling he puts in our hearts, Maggie. All pleasure comes from his goodness in giving us the power to enjoy it; but if we give others pleasure, God himself has given his blessing to our hearts. Can you tell me what words in the Bible assure us of this, dear?”
Maggie thought a moment, and then said in a low, reverent tone:
“ It is more blessed to give than to receive.""
The Little Peacemaker.
cow, Carlo, what say you to taking our
ride upon our trusty old Duchessa will y do her good.”
It was Bice, the wife of an Italian sloveni peasant, who spoke these words to her
husband, as she stood at her cottage door, with her bright little girl at her side.
“ What say you, Rosina?” asked the smiling father; “have you a mind for a ride?"
The little girl clapped her hands for joy. “Oh, if we are going to the farmer's for the fodder,” she cried, “then we will pass by Aunt Barbara's cottage. May I go in and see her, father, and carry her one of mother's little goatmilk cheeses that she always likes so much?”
Rosina saw with surprise a shade of sadness gathering upon her father's sun-burnt face; and when she turned to look at her mother, Bice was brushing a tear from her eye.
“ You cannot go to your aunt, Rosina,” said Carlo, and his voice sounded almost stern to his child.
“ Is poor Aunt ill?” asked the little girl, for she saw that her mother was greatly distressed.
“ Ask no questions, my child,” said Carlo. Then, turning to his wife, he went on, “ She cannot understand, poor lamb, why a woman should quarrel with an only sister, who never meant to give her cause of offence."
Rosina heard her father's words with increasing wonder. She knew that her Aunt Barbara had a peevish and angry temper, but she could not think how she, or any one else, could possibly quarrel with that gentle mother, who had always taught Rosina to love and forgive. The child did not, however, venture to ask any more questions, though her heart was sad at the idea that any one could by unkindness bring a tear to her mother's eye.
“ Perhaps, after all, Carlo,” said Bice, looking up earnestly into the face of her husband, “ it might be as well for you to let our little one run in and see her aunt, as you are passing her very door. Barbara has always been kind to Rosina, it might"_Bice's voice dropped to a whisper as she added, “It might do good, it could scarcely do harm.”
“ It would look like an attempt to make up with her," said Carlo rather proudly ; “and after her insolent conduct to you, I would not choose to take the first step.”
“I would take not the first step only, but go the whole way, if I could but win back my sister to love me,” said Bice clasping her hands. “Oh, Carlo, Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God!"
“I never knew any one more ready to forget and forgive than you are, Bice," said her husband ;“ it is all the greater shame to Barbara that she quarrels with such a sister. But she is a woman who would snap at any one who chanced to stand in her light. However, as you wish it, our little
Rosina shall run in and wish her aunt good-day; a child shouid never be mixed up with the disputes of older people.”
“ And may I carry aunt one of your nice cheeses ? " whispered Rosina, standing on tiptoe, and drawing down her mother towards her, that she might breathe the words in her ear.”
“ Alas! Rosina, my darling, she would now accept nothing from me!
“ Not even a kiss?" whispered Rosina.
The mother's heart was too full for reply, for, notwithstanding Barbara's unkindness, she was dear to her only sister. Bice could only lift her darling up in her arms, and half cover her rosy face with kisses.
“ Half of these are for your own little girl, half are for Auntie,” said "simple Rosina ; and she resolved to be a trusty messenger, and deliver faithfully what she considered to be tokens of love and forgiveness.
Carlo started on his way to the farm, leading the patient and trusty Duchessa, while Fidele, the dog, ran by his side. The day was warm and bright, sunshine lay in the valley and gilded the distant hills, but Rosina sat on the ass more quiet and silent than usual-she had scarcely a word even for her old friend Fidele. Carlo might have missed her merry prattle, had not his own thoughts been painfully occupied with the family quarrel. He little guessed what was passing through the mind of the child scarcely four years of age.
Barbara, it is true, had hitherto been always kind to Rosina; the child had seen her angry with others, but had never had a harsh word herself. Yet Barbara's temper was such that Rosina's love for her had always been mixed with some fear. What the child had just heard and seen had increased that feelingof fear to a painful degree. Rosina quite dreaded having to go alone into the presence of her aunt, the stern black-eyed woman, whose unkindness had made even her mother cry. Rosina would far rather have