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the poor little fellow would wonder at never getting his tree, nor ever hearing of his letter again.
“But he may hear of it again,” said the rich lady, who had listened carefully to every word. “There is so much goodness of heart in the poor boy's love for his mother, that it deserves to be rewarded. He may hear of it again.”
So the lady remembered the name of the boy; indeed, she asked the man to give her the letter, which he did, and by its aid she sought and found out where Frantz lived. From some of the neighbours she heard how poor they were, and how little Frantz helped his mother all day cheerfully; and was the best boy in all the neighbourhood, and that Mrs. Hoffman had not now even the money to buy shoes, for that her landlord had required his rent, and she had to give the little sum laid aside to him. And the lady thought to herself that it would not be likely to spoil so good a boy to have a beautiful tree ; so she had one brought to her house, large and full of leaves it was; and she bought all kinds of beautiful and useful things to hang on it, and little rosecoloured tapers, to be placed among the branches; and on the table under the tree, were laid two pair of shoes, one pair for the mother, and one pair for Frantz, and a pair of thick blankets, and a large shawl, and a purse of money (for the lady knew that poor Mrs. Hoffman must have many wants that might be supplied by means of the purse), and, best of all, there was a large Bible.
If Frantz's dream had suddenly turned into reality it' could not have been more beautiful.
So day after day went on, and though Frantz knew not the fate of his letter, he never doubted that all would go well. It was pleasant to see the sunshiny face with which he was greeted every morning as “one day nearer | Christmas." And when at last Christmas morning came, bright and clear, there was a leaping, bounding heart in his bosom, and a light in his blue eyes that made his mother smile, though she scarcely knew where their next meal was to come from. The wheel kept on its whirling, and Frantz sat with his eyes fixed on the blue sky, as if he almost thought his expected tree would drop down from
it. Suddenly a low knock was heard at the low door, and a voice asked
“Is little Frantz Hoffman here ?"
And the little maiden, who had asked for him, told him to come with her, and his mother must come too.
Soon, very soon was the little party ready, and the maiden led them along gaily to a handsome house: she pushed open the door, and they entered in.
How lightly trod Frantz along the wide passage, for his heart whispered aloud to him! At the end stood a door, just ajar, and as the girl pushed it open, a blaze of light streamed out. Frantz caught his mother's hand, and drew her forward, exclaiming:
" It is my tree-my tree! I knew so well it would be ready!”
And sure enough, there stood the shining tree, all bright with lighted tapers and laden with sparkling fruit; and on high was an image of the beauiful Christ-child holding out his hand, and smiling so lovingly, and below was written, "FOR FRANTZ, BECAUSE HE LOVED HIS MOTHER.”
Arthur's Home Gazette.
THE FARMER’S HORSES. In the course of my travels one fine summer's day I overtook a farmer at the foot of a long steep hill, yoking his team of horses to a very heavy loaded cart. “ Come, Tom," said he to a very old horse,“ back in.” When he had yoked Old Tom, he then proceeded to yoke a fine spirited, prancing, mettled young horse, called “Billy.” The day was hot and sultry, there was scarcely a breeze stirring, nor a leaf of a tree, not even the Popular Tremula. It was one of those sort of days when you feel almost exhausted and overpowered with heat, even with doing nothing. My curiosity was excited to stay a little while and see how
Billy framed to draw. The farmer took up his long whip, and with a hoarse voice shouted out, “ Gee on!" Billy, full of spirit, started off in good earnest, evidently doing much more than his share of the work. Old Tom, as might be expected from his advanced age, had learned a little wisdom from past experience, moved very steadily along. They had not proceeded far up the hill before Billy began to foam at the mouth, and sweat profusely, whilst Old Tom, though warming a little, seemed but little affected in that way. I fancied that if Old Tom had been possessed of the gift of speech, he would have said to Billy at the foot of the hill, “Now, Billy, this is a long steep hill; be wise, and learn to draw steadily. Don't expend all your strength by drawing with all your might for awhile, for then from sheer exhaustion you will be unable to render me much assistance before we reach the top of the hill.” I could also fancy, when they had got some distance up the hill, Billy enveloped in a dense cloud of mist arising from every part of his body, resting 'himself, and when he had a little recovered his breath, saying, “ Eh, Tom, how far is it to the top of this hill ? ” Old Tom replying, “ A long way, Billy, and very steep. Learn to be wise, and draw steadily.” Billy, not much wiser as yet from experience, and profiting little or any from Old Tom's wise counsel, starts off again, and draws with all his might till he is well nigh exhausted, rests again, recovers his breath after awhile, and interrogates Old Tom again. “ Eh, Tom, how far is it yet to the top of the hill ?” Old Tom replies, " A long way yet, and very steep, Billy. Learn to be wise, and draw steadily.” After many restings, and many recoverings of breath, Old Tom and Billy reach the top of the hill, and rest a good long time. Billy breaks silence by saying, “ Eh, Tom, this is a dreadful steep hill, and a long way up. I am quite exhausted.” “I thought so," replies Old Tom, “ for I had much harder work towards the top of the hill. Learn to be wise, Billy, and draw steadily."
I then began to moralise a little on the matter, and thought in this way. Old folks are like old horses, they have learnt steadiness from past experience. They give
wise counsels and sage advice to young folks, which are but little heeded. Young folks in general are like young horses, they are unsteady and unwise ; they will have their way. They spend their money very foolishly; seldom or ever reflecting that the money thus spent would be very useful to them, if they had it, when they have to climb the long steep hill of this life. Some very foolishly spend all their spare money every Saturday evening at the Old Red Lion. They must have their merry meetings like other young folks. They will have their way. Others equally foolish but more vain, periodically spend all they have in very expensive apparel, costly clothing, and frivolous things to adorn the body with. Others spend their hard-earned savings in sensual gratifications, extravagance, and waste. Others attend the fairs, spend the little they have in a very unwise way, and return home penniless. Few lay a little by for a rainy day, or to help them up the long steep hill of this life. Time flies awayConnections are formed, wisely or unwisely, and these individuals marry, and become surrounded with a youthful progeny. The long steep up-hill of life is before them. Like young Billy they ascend the bottom of the hill in good earnest, nothing daunted. Just as naturally as the harvest follows seed time, little boys and girls grow bigger and bigger, and perhaps additions are made to their number. They require more food, more clothing, they have to send them to school; books require buying, school charges must be paid, rent-day comes, trade bad, work scarce, and only one pair of hands to provide the means and satisfy the demands of an increasing family. Hard work this; the up-hill of life is before them. A long way yet, and very steep.
Now, when I had moralised thus far, a kind of irresistible inclination took possession of my mind to proceed a little farther. When up came the picture before my mind of the husband and wife, and a numerous family, surrounded with difficulties, increasing necessities, and pressing wants, without the means of procuring any thing beyond the bare necessary food for their daily subsistence. A little matter now from the parish, or from the “ Old folks," in
whatever shape it is presented, is very gratefully accepted. The toiling, hard labouring, almost desponding husband takes a glance at his past history. A new and sudden light beams over his mind. A discovery is made. The follies of his youth, his thoughtlessness, improvidence, and the time and the money too spent at the Old Red Lion, week after week, for a series of years, recur to his mind. Then follows a rapid random sort of calculation of the amount. But what appears the strangest thing of all is, that the discovery has never been made before, that all this money, if he had been but just so wise as to have taken his old father's counsel, would have helped them very nicely up the long steep hill of this life. With a significant shake of the head and a deep sigh, he says, “ Ah well, so it is, old folks give wise counsels. Young folks but little heed them!” “It is just so," says the wife, who has already made the same discovery, "If I had but taken my old mother's advice instead of spending my money on costly apparel and frivolous things, how much better would it have been. And if we had both been so wise as to have taken care of our money, what a nice sum, put together, it would have made, and how Seasonably it would have helped us just now. Well, so it is. One generation passeth away, and another cometh. Old folks give wise counsels to their children which are but little heeded. Young folks become old, they in their turn give wise counsels to their children, which are just as little heeded.”
WILLIE, THĘ MODEL BOY. His parents were poor, but they were industrious, careful, intelligent, and pious. They had often thought of the language of Jehovah concerning Abraham, and they were anxious to emulate the Patriarch's example. At an early age, Willie was dedicated to God. Often did his parents present him in their arms of faith and prayer at the throne of heavenly grace, and there sought for “wisdom to direct in training their little offspring in the way that he should go.” In describing him, I will pass by a few of the first years of his life, during which—example often told its