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pieces dropped from his jacket pockets, or his aunt's missing bracelet was found in his boot.
“Such things always wear off,” she said. so Children outgrow them.”
But they grew with Harry's growth, and strengthened with his strength.
Had the first small sins been punished, and serious talk and reproof been administered, all might have been well; but the unhappy child, while his person was daintily cared for and his comfort so kindly considered, was morally as entirely left to himself as any little street beggar.
To be sure Mrs. Rose taught him to pray ; but she never explained to him what that nightly bending of the knee meant. To Harry it was a mere repetition of words.
She went to church, and would have been shocked had any one suggested that she did not know the “ Ten Commandments;" but she never taught her boy that “Thou shalt not steal,” was a divine command, either theoretically or practically.
She never did. And so Harry Rose grew up a handsome boy, educated and accomplished, but with no knowledge of his own failing. The family verdict was that Harry was perfect, and he agreed in it fully; and with this opinion he went with the highest recommendations into the countinghouse of X- · & W
Harry's father was not a rich man, and the boy's salary was sufficient to supply his wardrobe and furnish him with any proper recreation. But the boy had tastes which were expensive, and a disposition to dissipation. Always sly, he did these things away frorn his parents ; but he could not manage without money. He had stolen from his parents at home ; now in a position of confidence, he was enabled to rob his employers. He began with shillings and ended with sovereigns. There detection overtook him. The firm kindly forgave the boy, because of his youth and his parent's grief. Mr. Rose paid the money back, and
Harry pretended penitence; and even now he was not reasoned with as a great sinner, but as one who had been very foolish.
“ So young yet," said Mrs. Rose to her husband. “He really must have forgotten that he had no right to it, and that he meant to put it back.”
And soon Harry was in another situation.
The story of his crime had not been made public, and again he was trusted ; and now he seemed trustworthy. Years went by—he grew up to be a man and married. He was placed in the most confidential position in the house. Vast sums of money passed through his hands. He was respected and admired, and beloved, not for a brief space of time, but for ten long years. Then a man of thirty, with the responsibilities of father and husband, Harry Rose was one day missing from his place of business and from his home.
That he had been foully dealt with was the first belief of all who knew of his disappearance, and the excitement and sympathy were intense; but in a few days the truth was discovered. He was a defaulter to an immense amount. He had committed a robbery, which stood almost alone in the pages of the history of crime. And this was only the climax to a course of deceit and depredation commenced with his fifth year in the establishment.
He escaped. His plans had been artfully laid, and the money was about his person.
Detectives were sent upon his track in vain ; and in a foreign land he lavished his ill-gotten wealth in riotous living, while his parents and his young wife suffered all the agonies of shame and grief, and his name was a disgrace to the son who had just learned to lisp it.
But successful as he had been, Providence did not forget his crime. His riches took to themselves wings. He lost large sums at the gaming tables in bad company. He became poor, and still in terror of the arm of justice, and with a mind enfeebled by dissipation, he found it impossible to retrieve his fortune. From the town where he had dwelt in luxury he wandered away almost a beggar, and in his middle life, for very want of bread, shipped as a common sailor on board a vessel which stood in need of hands.
In that vessel he found a Portuguese sailor-a wild fellow, without common prudence--who, putting a sailor's trust in every one, openly informed his mates that he had, in a belt about his waist, a large sum of money which was to be given to his mother on his return home. He had great pride in the gift, and in the good opinion his family would have of him when he made it, and chatted of it frequently. Alas, the wretched man who listened was one to whom gold was a temptation not to be resisted.
He dreamt of that leathern belt, which held the treasure, at night, and thought of it by day. At last, as they lay in an American port, the fiend's whispers grew too strong for him. He lifted his gray head from his hammock and peeped into that of the Portuguese. There lay the black curls over the bronzed brow, and the great white teeth glittered in the open mouth, and the black lashes veiled the bright eyes.
He was sound asleep, and it would be easy to unbuckle the belt; or to cut it off-that would be more quickly done.
And the old man let himself out of his hammock and crept to the side of the Portuguese. He drew his knife and cut away the portion of the belt where the money jingled, and had thrust it in his breast, when the young man awoke and grappled with him.
The Portuguese was young but unarmed, and bewildered by the surprise of the moment and that sharp knife in the hand of Harry Rose. “ The money !-my mother's
money -give it back !" cried the youth. But Harry Rose could not give up the
his knife and drove it into the poor fellow's breast and fled.
He found a boat and rowed himself to shore, and set the boat adrift and struck through the city streets seeking for a place to hide himself. But those on the ship had been alarmed. They found the Portuguese dead in his hammock, with his belt, his precious belt, of which he talked so much, cut away, and the strange sailor missing. He was pursued and captured with the money about him, and bloodstains upon his clothes.
And in the city where he was born, and where his old mother dwelt, he met the fate of the murderer. Before he died he made full confession of all his crimes.
There are people who go to see men hung. Those who gratified that horrible curiosity that day, heard the grayhaired man upon the gallows speak these words:
“I began by stealing a penny from an old woman's toyshop till. If I had been punished then, I believe I should not have stolen again; but it was made light of, and I went on and here I am. But with my last breath I want to ask you to watch your children, and no matter how slight a crime seems, in one of them, to weed it out with all your strength, that it may not bring them to my end at last.”
And then the black cap was put on, and Harry Rose looked on the world no more.
And his is not the only instance which warns us from what small beginnings great crimes spring.
The theft of only a cent may end in burglary or highway robbery; the lisper of a white lie may come to forget truth and honour utterly; and the fist, ready with baby blows, grown large and strong in manhood, may commit murder
Weed your children's hearts even‘as you would your garden beds, or rank things will grow there apace and choke the flowers.
The Prince's Follower.
with sleepless eyes out of the curtainless
up his mind to get up to another hungry day. So he lay very quietly watching the heavy mist curtains gradually roll away, till the sky became beautifully blue and clear, and the old elm trees waved their golden arms in the yellow autumn sunshine.
“Oh, how I wish it was real gold,” sighed poor Ben, “s and all those lovely leaves sailing off now and then were bright, golden dollars! Oh, how I would run out and fill my cap full, and then down to the baker's, to buy some of that beautiful white bread and butter !-oh, we'd have butter too, and a little tea, perhaps, for dear, sick mother ; but oh, dear me,” sighed Benny despondingly, “they're nothing but yellow, withered leaves.”
Then he shut his eyes and thought of the time when his father was alive, and they lived in such a pleasant place, and had a garden full of roses, and a beautiful brown cow. How long ago it seemed, and how long it was even since his mother had been sick, and could earn no more money by sewing. Yesterday (and Benny's cheeks were crimson.) was the first day that he had ever tried to beg. There might be kind people in the world, but he didn't much believe it. “At any rate, how angry all the big, well-fed cooks looked when he knocked at the kitchen doors, and sometimes they would slam them so quickly that they nearly pinched his fingers. In one kitchen, he remembered, te