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ing about," Lucy said to herself, and the idea pleased her vastly, for above all things she liked to think she was a lady born.
By degrees Lucy began to take it for granted that this was really the case, till one day, when Mrs. Coningham asked her if she could remember anything of her parents, she answered, readily enough
"My father was a bad man, but he was a gentleman."
Mrs. Coningham smiled at the oddness of such a speech from the lips of so young a girl
"I have heard Miss Pendleton say so," Lucy added, noticing the smile; and Mrs. Coningham replied: "Such circumstances make children unnaturally precocious. I am glad, though, that your parents were gentle-people, for I do not fancy it was the case with all Miss Pendleton's children."
"Oh, no," Lucy replied, with a great air of superiority, "I am sure it wasn't; most of the children there were very common."
Lucy had no longer a doubt in her own mind about the matter. She began to give herself great airs with the servants, who all disliked her, and said among themselves that she was no young lady by the haughty, stuck-up ways she
She was clever, and bright, and pretty. Mrs. Coningham was delighted to find how readily she took to lessons, and how anxious she was to push on. Her lively wit and aptitude for caricaturing people made her a bright companion; and altogether Mrs. Coningham thought she might congratulate herself upon the choice she had made.
So the weeks slipped by, and that old feeling of compunction and pity for the other Lucy had quite died away. If a memory of the child came to her mind, she made haste to get rid of it, or dismissed it with the reflection, "If this is to be my home, it is, and I can't alter it"-a kind of reasoning that not a few older people than Lucy often use to get themselves out of a difficulty.
When Lucy had been several months in her new home, Mrs. Coningham was thrown into great excitement by the unexpected news that her brother, of whom she had heard nothing for
many years, was coming home from Australia, and would stay at her house.
Lucy was greatly annoyed. She had a notion that he would be a fussy, disagreeable old man, and that she would not like him. Mrs. Coningham had told her that he was years older than herself, and what an ill-tempered, teasing sort of boy he had been; but when Lucy had forthwith proceeded to draw some ridiculous caricatures, Mrs. Coningham wa vexed, and gave her a pretty sharp reprima d.
So Lucy perceived that her importance would be greatly shadowed by the arrival of this guest, and she would be expected to be very civil and pleasant to him. She was meditating not very agreeably upon the coming change, when on a certain afternoon Mrs. Coningham's carriage, which had been despatched to meet the expected guest, drew up at the door, and Lucy perceived a dazzlingly pretty face looking out. of it.
She uttered an exclamation of surprise, which attracted the attention of Mrs. Coningham, who came to the window and perceived the same beautiful face.
Lucy, glancing up for explanation, observed that she had turned very pale, and that an angry light had come into her eyes. "I will never forgive him this deceit," she said, half to herself, and the next moment she went forward, with a haughty demeanour Lucy had never seen her wear before, to greet the new arrivals, whom the servant at once announced as Mr. and Mrs. Whitfield.
Lucy was a precocious and an observant child. She saw in a moment that Mrs. Coningham was greatly disturbed, and that the younger lady was rather inclined to enjoy her sister-in-law's discomfiture. Lucy thought she had never seen any one so beautiful or so magnificently dressed in all her life before; but she could not believe that the wrinkled, sour-looking old man who followed could be the husband of this lovely
"This is a surprise for you, is it not?" she said with a merry laugh. "I would not let David prepare you, and so here we are. And who is this? I had an idea that you had no children."
"This is Lucy," Mrs. Coningham replied,
with a glance at Lucy which intimated that she was to say nothing.
Before that evening was over Lucy had been fairly captivated by Mrs. Whitfield. She trotted out all her clever sayings and funniest caricatures, and received many compliments for her cleverness.
The next day Mrs. Whitfield came tripping into Lucy's bedroom with the artlessness of a child.
"How funny it is that Mr. Whitfield did not even know of your existence," she remarked. "He always told me his sister had no children."
"I have only lived here for three months," Lucy replied.
"Oh, how naughty and sly of her," Mrs. Whitfield replied. "She let me suppose you were really her own child. But I like you quite as much as if you were my own niece, you are such a jolly little girl. You must come and stay with me when we are settled, and I will
have you taught to ride, so that we can ride in the Park together. And, dear, I want you to come out this afternoon for a walk with me, for there are lots of things I wish you to tell me. Say you want to go, but don't say I asked you, for I am sure she does not like me, but quite the contrary," and here Mrs. Whitfield laughed with much delight.
"She can't dislike you," Lucy replied complimentarily.
"Oh, she can, and she does," laughed the young lady. "There would have been no Mrs. Whitfield if her consent had been asked; and, indeed, you cannot wonder. She will no longer be so rich; but what am I saying? I had really forgotten you were only a child. But you and I are friends, and you won't tell any naughty tales, will you."
Lucy readily promised, and thus entered into. a league against Mrs. Coningham, who, whatever her faults, had been always kind to her. (To be continued.)
A CONTENTED CHILD.
SUPPOSE we have all grumbled at our lot some time in our lives. Big folk as well as little folk, we have often thought that if we were only some one else we should be so much happier than we are. Now, this is not really the case, for every one of us, big and little alike, is just fitted for his particular place in the world, and if we could all change about as we sometimes think we should like to, we should find ourselves very uncomfortable.
Once upon a time there was a king of Sweden called Gustavus III. One day he was out riding some distance from Stockholm, when he felt very thirsty.
By-and-by he saw a peasant girl drawing water from a well, so he rode up to her, and asked her to give him a draught.
The child lifted her pitcher and held it to his lips. The king then saw that she was very pretty and gentle-looking, and he thought that she was fit for nicer work than drawing water, so he said, after thanking her, "If you will go
with me to Stockholm, I will try to find a pleasanter place for you."
The girl smiled, and thanked him for his kind offer.
"But if you please, sir, I do not wish to leave the work which God has given me to do. Besides, I have a mother who is bedridden, and how could she get on without me?”
"Take me to your mother," said the king.
Then the child led him to a wretched hut, where the poor woman lay on a bedstead covered with straw. Gustavus began to pity her for her great poverty and sickness, but she replied
"Ah, sir! what you say is right enough, but you forget what a daughter I have. She is a jewel worth any price."
Gustavus then turned to the child, and begged her to go on caring for her mother; he left a purse of money with her to get some new furniture, and afterwards settled a certain sum on the woman, which should go to her daughter after her death. E. M. W.
PUSSY'S LETTER TO NAN.
GEAR MISS NAN,-I have got Tom the gardener's boy to guide my paw to write to you now that you are away from me for a time. He is my only friend now you are gone. No one in the house cares for me; Jane flaps her dusters in my face and says, "Get away, get away;" and cook drives me out of the kitchen.
I have not tasted a drop of cream since you went; cook says "skim milk is good enough for cats." She says cats ought to live upon mice. and I have caught one, but mice are not so nice to eat as the bits of chicken and fish that you gave me. I live on any scraps I can get, for half the time Jane forgets to put my food for me, and so I am sorry to say that I have to steal sometimes, which I do not like to do, for you know that I am a very good and honest cat. But to-day when cook was not looking I ran into the pantry and took a piece of meat off a dish, and was going away when cook saw me, and cried, "Oh, you thief, you thief! That is how the meat goes!" and she tried to catch me to beat me, but the window was open and I went through it into the garden.
Alas! just outside was Master John with his three dogs, and as soon as they caught sight of me they all began to bark and run after me. I had such a race all down to the end of the garden, and I felt sure that they would catch me. I got quite out of breath, and just as the nearest dog was going to pounce upon me I reached the great pear-tree, and I flew up into the boughs.
Master John came up to the tree and I mewed as loudly as I could, but he did not call off his dogs; he only laughed to see them jump so high, and said—
"Well done! well done!"
nursery for little Master Bob and little Miss Rose to play with. And they pulled my tail and pinched my ears and hugged me so tight that I thought I should choke. They hurt me so much that I was ready to scratch them. But then I thought they do not mean to hurt me, though some one should teach them better. Besides, they are my dear Miss Nan's own little sister and brother, and so I would not hurt them. But, dear Miss Nan, I wish nurse would teach them that it is very cruel to tease me and hurt me. But perhaps she thinks that as I am only a cat I do not feel anything. But this is a great mistake; I feel as much as she
But my troubles were not over, for to get out of the way I ran into the shoe-cupboard, and there I curled myself up and went to sleep. But when I awoke I found that nurse had shut the door, and so I could not get out.
I mewed very loudly, but no one heard me ; then I tried to go to sleep, but I could not do so, for I was so sad and so hungry. I did so wish that you were at home, for you would have come and let me out and have let me sleep in the arm-chair in your room. Do, please, Miss Nan, come home as soon as you can, for it is so very, very hard to have no friend but Tom. Tom is very good to me and gives me some of his dinner, and I sit on shoulder and rub my face up against his cheek. But, dear Miss Nan,
shall be SO glad to see you, and I do hope you will
At last he and the dogs went away, and I crept down and went to the house, for I thought I would hide under your bed, and there I should be quite safe and could go to sleep and dream that you had come home, and that I was quite happy again. But nurse saw me and picked me up and took me into the again from
ever go away
A GAME OF ROMPS.
HE squirrel said to
the dormouse brown,
"Where are you go
You'd better climb up
this old beech
And we'll have a fine game of play."
The little black yes of the dormouse winked.
No sooner said, than away they go,
Up again, jumping from bough to bough,
'Twas all very well for a little while,
And by-and-by the poor dormouse squeaked, "Hold hard! I've had quite enough."
But squirrel was spiteful, and wouldn't leave off,
And the more the dormouse cried,
So a game that in merry sport began,
And the squirrel and dormouse together ate
Now boys, and girls, when you're all at play,
'Tis better a little you should give way,
A game should never grow rude and rough,
ASTLEY H. BALDWIN.
RUSSELL ESCOTT'S VICTORY.
A SCHOOL STORY.
USSELL ESCOTT was the only boy
who had failed to solve the equation, and he would have to stay in until it was done. The fact is, nearly all the rest of the class had copied the sum, which was rather a difficult one, from George Grainger, who was one of the cleverest of the fellows at Denmark House. But Escott had declined to do this, whereat George Grainger was not a little annoyed, regarding Escott's refusal as casting some sort of reflection on him for permitting the others to copy the sum. Indeed, the whole class were somewhat incensed at what they chose to consider an ill-natured freak on Escott's part.
"Wishing you a jolly afternoon!" cried Will Grieve as he passed out of the schoolroom. Russell sat alone in his place, while the class hurried pell-mell through the door.
"You'll have it done by tea-time. There's nothing like perseverance," called out Norman.
"If you find out what x equals you'll have a yz (wise head)," said George Grainger. This famous joke was received with a roar of laughter. Thus each boy as he passed out flung his jeer at poor Russell. He tried to feel indifferent to their ironical and unfeeling speeches, but was not very successful. At this moment he was feeling very sore and bitter, as you might have seen from his face. Especially was he chagrined at the part George Grainger had taken against him. George and he had once been very good friends, but lately they had been coming into close rivalry in school-work-with the frequent unhappy result. A certain coldness was springing up between them, chiefly, it must be said, through George's fault. George had long been accustomed to being first in all school-work, and could now ill brook a rival.
It was Saturday afternoon, and nearly all the fourth form at Denmark House started for the Wester Water for a swim. Russell Escott bent