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THE DISHONEST BOY. “Get out of my shop directly !” said Mr. Thompson to Harry Joues, “you shall not stay in it another minute. Go and tell your father to come here directly !”
“ Do forgive me, sir !" muttered the boy, “I dare not go home, I am sure; father will beat me so when he knows. O do forgive me, sir ! do forgive me !"
“I cannot allow a boy who has taken money out of my till to stay in my shop for one minute. You must go home, and bear your punishment, which you ought to have thought about when you was stealing this sixpence. Here I have it. I marked it, that I might know it. I must shew it to your father. I suspected you had taken money before, and I thought I should find you out. I am sorry for
shall not stay; so go.”
Poor Harry was in a sad mess. He would gladly have worked for a month for nothing, and so paid for the sixpence he had stolen twenty times over, if his master would have permitted him. How to go home he knew not. He dare not meet his father. You might have told, if you had seen him as he went creeping along the street, with his head down, that something was the matter.
Home he did not go, but turned into another street, and wandered out into the fields. But everything seemed to condemn him. Nothing looked as it used to do. The fields, and trees, and flowers, which once seemed to welcome him
“ We are glad to see you, Harry,” now appeared as if they were ashamed of him, and he thought they said to him, “Ah, Harry ! what have you been doing ?”
So it was, you will remember, with our first parents when they had done wrong. They did not meet God as they used to do, but were afraid and hid themselves amongst the trees of the garden.
And so it always is, that when any one does wrong it makes him feel ashamed, and he does not know what to do with himself.
THE DISHONEST BOY.
Poor Harry did not know what to do with himself; and so, after wandering about for some time, he laid himself down on the grass and wept.
At last he thought,-Father will have got his dinner by this time, and be gone to his work again : I will go and tell my mother all about it; she will not be in such a passion as father would. He would beat me directly, but mother will hear me, and I'll tell her all about it. O dear, how unhappy it will make her ! but I must tell somebody, and who can I tell better than my mother?
So he got up and walked towards home; but O how his heart beat as be entered the door and found his mother sitting by the fireside, nursing the baby, her eyes red with tears, and her countenance sad.
For Mr. Thompson, finding that Harry's father did not come, and suspecting that the boy had not gone home, had sent a message to say that Thomas Jones, the father, must come to his shop as soon as he had got his dinner, as he wanted to see him on particular business.
And so the father went, wondering what was the matter, and afraid to think that his boy had been doing something wrong. But when he got there, bis fears were confirmed, and he returned home with a heavy heart, to tell his wife what a sad thing their boy had been guilty of. Mr. Thompson refused to take the boy hack; for, he said, he dare not trust a boy again who had once been guilty of taking money ; and so Thomas Jones was obliged to put his boy out to work at hard labour where there was nothing that he could steal. For when he tried to get such a place for him as he had before, he was always asked, “Will his last master give him a good character ?” Now Harry's father knew that Mr. Thompson could not do that; for he said to him, when he sent for him, “ I am sorry for you and your wife, Thomas Jones, but you must not ask me to give your boy a character: I should do very wrong if I did. I might have your boy before a magistrate. I will not do that, for your sake; but I shall have no more to do with him."
Harry's father and mother did not fail to tell him that by doing this wicked thing he had sinned against God, as well as against them and his master; and it is hoped that he thought of this, and humbled himself before God on account of it; for he became more careful, and steady, and industrious : but it took several years before he could recover his lost character.
Many boys who read this will, perhaps, like Harry Jones, go out to situations where they may have to be trusted with the care of money, or other valuable things ; let them remember that honesty is always the best policy, and that a good character is worth more than money.
THE UNRULY BOY.
“ Fifty years ago," said the venerable Jeremiah Flate, “I was master of the Orphan Asylum, in Stutgard, and had a whole room full of children to instruct. It was my custom to pray every morning for meekness and patience in the fulfilment of this arduous duty. One day, as I was walking up and down among the children, I observed a boy, about twelve years of age, leaning with both his elbows upon the table ; I reproved him for this improper behaviour, and walked on. The next time I passed, he was doing the same thing, and I was obliged to repeat my desire that he should take his arms off the table. He obeyed me for the moment; but when I returned for the third time, I found bim angry and perverse, and could read in his face that he was determined to despise my orders. I was much annoyed, but restrained myself, and prayed inwardly for strength to exercise patience towards this poor child, even as my God has been patient towards me. My ill-humour vanished immediately, I became calm, and was able to continue instructions. The boy obstinately remained in the same attitude, but I took no notice of him. When school was over, I sent for him into my study, praying, in the mean time, for wisdom and composure of mind. He stamped in, and banged the door after him in a violent passion. “Why did you bang the door so vio