Fanny's Rule, the fourth of six titles in Mary Jane (Reed) Hildeburn's Amy Hall series, offers an example of Hildeburn's writing style and the type of story found in the series. The two titles seen (Fannie's Rule and Three Cents) are small volumes (approximately 4" x 6") of 72 pages, with a frontispiece and one internal illustraion. In each, the story ends before the final page, and a short filler (in this case, "The Raindrop") that may or may not be Hildeburn's work occupies the final pages. The two stories seen do not have any shared characters, nor is there an indication they contain characters from other titles in the series.

As the title page shows, the work was published anonymously. The copyright notice is also of interest, for it indicates the work was deposited by William L. Hildeburn, Treasurer of the Presbyterian Publication Committee -- and (though it is not evident from the notice) the author's husband.

Frontispiece (Clara's Downfall) and Title Page of Fannie's Rule






"DR. LESLIE'S BOYS," &c., &c.






Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by


in trust for the


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District

of Pennsylvania




Stereotypers, Philada.




" I DO wish, mother, that I had something gold!" said little Fannie Wright.

"I thought you had a bright gold dollar laid away in a box in your drawer?" replied her mother.

"Yes, I have the gold dollar," said the little girl, "but that is only money, and not an—an—"

"An ornament, I suppose you mean," said her mother.

"Yes, that is what I mean, mother," replied Fanme. "The gold dollar is not an ornament; and Clara Drayton has such beautiful gold ornaments, that her father brought her from New York. She has a gold ring, with a red stone in it—a real ruby, she says—a pair of gold ear-rings, and a gold chain fastened with a gold clasp. Oh, mother, I wish you could only see how very pretty they are!"

Mrs. Wright looked up into Fannie's flushed face and bright eyes, and saw that she was very much in earnest.

"Can you tell me, little daughter," she asked, "what use Clara makes of her beautiful ornaments?"

"She wears them, and they make her look pretty," Fannie answered.

"Only yesterday," said Mrs. Wright, " I heard a little girl say that she would rather have the love of her friends than anything else in all the world."

"It was I who said that, mother," replied Fannie, " and so I would, but—but—" Fannie hesitated. She could not find the words to say just what she wanted, and her mother did it for her.

"But you think," she said, "that wearing ornaments would make your friends love you the better?"

"Yes, ma'am," replied Fannie.

"And do you love Clara any better since you saw her with her gold ornaments?" her mother asked.'

"No, indeed," Fannie answered, speaking very quickly now; "Clara made herself so very disagreeable when she showed them to me. She was just as cross as could be, and took the chain away before I had hardly time to look at it; and when I wanted to try whether the ring would fit my finger, she snatched it from me, exactly as if she was afraid that I intended to steal it."

"Then, you see," said her mother, "that it is quite a mistake to suppose that gold ornaments will make a little girl more lovable; and yet, Fannie, I know of something better than gold which you can take for your own, and which will be pretty sure to make your friends love you very dearly."

"What is it?" asked Fannie, looking eagerly up into her mother's face.

"It is a rule which Jesus has given to us," replied Mrs. Wright, "and these are the words:

'Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that
men should do to you, do ye even so to them.'

This is called the 'golden rule;' and if you will take care to follow it, I think you will find it the very best way to gain the love of all who know you."

Fannie did not answer, and her mother thought that she did not understand exactly; so she said, "Now, Fanny, suppose you learn this golden rule, by repeating it after me, and then I will talk to you about it."

So Fannie went over the words five or six times after her mother, until she knew them perfectly; and then Mrs. Wright explained the rule by telling Fannie that she must treat everybody just as she would like to be treated herself.

"I think I do," said Fanny.

"Always?" asked her mother.

"I guess so," answered Fannie.

"Who was it that squalled so loud while you were dressing this morning?" inquired Mrs. Wright.

"It was I who did it," replied Fannie, "but then it was all Nancy's fault. She held me so tight while she was combing my hair."

"And what made Nancy hold you so tight?" Mrs. Wright asked.

"Nothing much," said Fannie; " I only ran around the room a little bit."

"I know all about it, Fannie," said her mother; "and I will show you just how it was. Nancy was in a great hurry this morning, for she had a large ironing to do, which she was anxious to finish early, so that she might spend as much time as possible with her sick sister. She told you this, but instead of helping her by keeping very still, and doing all that you could toward dressing yourself, you ran around the room, giving her a great deal of trouble to catch you, and keeping her in the nursery even longer than usual. Now suppose you had been in Nancy's place, would you like to have been treated in that way?"

Fannie began to think that she might have made a mistake, and she held down her head and looked rather ashamed; but wishing to excuse herself, she said, "It was not of Nancy that I spoke, but of boys and girls like myself."

"And what little girl was it," replied her mother, " that went up to her sister's room, and rummaged through her writing-desk, and drew lines of ink over some note paper which she knew was highly prized?"

"I only did it in fun, mother," said Fanny, casting her eyes down toward the ground, and blushing as she spoke.

"You spoiled Lucy's paper and meddled with her writing-desk," Mrs. Wright answered; "and doing it in fun did not make the mischief any easier to bear. You wanted to tease your sister, and yet you know that nobody likes to be teased."

Fannie did not speak, and her mother went on:

"And who was it that tormented her brother while he was reading an interesting book, until he was obliged to go off into a cold, uncomfortable room, where he would be able to read in peace ?"

Any one could have told that it was Fannie who had done this, by just looking at her face.

"Then, too," continued Mrs. Wright, " I heard a little girl only yesterday saying unkind things about her little cousin; and I think, if she had kept the Saviour's golden rule, that she would not have spoken any worse of her cousin than she would have done of herself."

"Oh dear!" sighed Fannie; "it must be very hard to keep the golden rule. I am afraid that I shall never be able to do. it."

"There is no need to fear, my dear child," replied her mother; " the Lord never tells us to do anything that we cannot do with his help. You must pray to him to show you how to keep his rule, and you must try to do your very best."


"I THINK Fannie is large enough now to commence going to school," said Mr. Wright one morning at breakfast.

"Yes," replied Mrs. Wright, "I was thinking the same thing myself, and I shall call and see Miss. Abbott about it this morning."

After breakfast, Fannie's mother started upon her errand, and in Abbott's parlor she met Mrs. Drayton, who was making arrangements to send Clara.

"I am very glad indeed, Mrs. Wright," she said, " to find that you intending to send Fannie here to school, for she and Clara will such nice company for each other."

On the next Monday after this the two little girls commenced attending school for the first time. Fannie was very much pleased with Miss Abbott, and she liked the looks of nearly all the scholars. Clara and she had seats next to each other, and they walked home together alone, for they lived but a short distance from the school.

Fannie was bright and active at home, but shy and quiet among strangers, and she stepped very soberly along the street. Clara, on the contrary, although not remarkable for her brightness either at home or abroad, was a bold child, proud and fond of showing off the finery which she usually wore. She had an idea that her own clothes were more handsome than those of any other person's, and she always seemed to be anxious to have them. seen and admired. On the way home from school they met some children very plainly dressed, coming toward them with school-books in their hands.

"Just see what coarse, common clothes those girls are wearing!" said Clara, as soon as they came in sight. "Only look what old-fashioned talmas they have on, and what dowdy hoods! I am sure I should be ashamed to go into the streets in such very poor clothes."

"But perhaps they are too poor to buy better things," suggested Fannie; "and I do not think it is kind to blame them because they are not fine."

"I don't care how poor they are," replied silly little Clara; "if I could not get good clothes to wear, I would stay in the house altogether if I were in their place."

Then, as she finished speaking, she spread out the ends of her red scarf in hopes of attracting the notice of the children.

One of the little girls paused as she drew near and looked straight at Clara.

"She is admiring my beautiful clothes, and wishing she had them," thought Clara.

"Why, Jane! look here!" called out this girl to a companion; "do see what a big mouth this girl has! and such a cross face! Ugh! she must have eaten short-snaps for breakfast."

"Or else got out of bed the "wrong way this morning;" suggested the girl whom she called Jane.

Clara was full of rage and disappointment. She did not understand exactly what "short-snaps" were, but supposed them to be something not very nice, and the remark about her way of getting out of bed in the morning she knew was not meant to be complimentary. She was found fault with and treated rudely where she. had expected to be praised and envied.

"You are nothing but horrid and disgusting beggar-children!" she exclaimed in a thick, broken voice, for she was nearly choking with anger.

Fannie was quite frightened, for she expected that the girls would turn upon them. One of them did seem inclined to continue the quarrel, but the girl who had first spoken held her back, saying, "Oh, never mind, Susie, she is nothing but a proud little upstart, and not worth noticing."

Then they went on their way, laughing out, "Ha! ha! ha!" as loud as they could.

Fannie did not breathe freely until they had turned the corner and were out of sight, and then she was able to listen to the abuse which Clara was pouring out upon them. She called them "miserable beggars! horrid creatures!" and a large number of other not very pretty names. She was smarting under the treatment which she had received, and felt very uncomfortable. Her finery did not seem to add to her happiness, just then, at least.

"You ought not to have called them beggars" said Fannie, when Clara stopped talking to take breath.

"I always call poor girls like those, beggars," replied Clara.

"But that is not right," said Fannie; " no one should be called beggar unless they beg."

" I don't care," Clara answered, in her foolish way: " I shall call them just what I please. They were rude to me, and you are very mean, Fannie, to take their part."

This speech provoked Fannie. She thought that the rudeness was not all on one side, and that Clara herself had not behaved any better than the little strangers; but she did not say this to Clara, who was in such a very bad humor as scarcely to notice which way she was walking.

There was a part of the curbstone raised much higher than the rest at a corner of the street nearest to their homes. Fannie saw that Clara was too full of her angry feelings to observe it, and she was about pointing it out to her, when a naughty thought prevented it.

"Clara has no business to make herself so cross and disagreeable," she said to herself;" she has eyes, and can see just as well as I can, if she chooses to look."

The next instant Clara had fallen, and lay sprawling in the gutter, screaming away with all her might. Fanny tried to help her up, and while she was doing so a gentleman came forward and lifting Clara placed her upon the pavement.

"Poor child!" he exclaimed; "I hope she is not hurt."

It was wonderful to see what a change that fall had made in Clara's appearance. There was plenty of mud in the gutter, and the bright scarf of which she had been so proud, and her pretty little hat and coat and fine braided merino dress, were all more or less spattered with the dark mud.

And worse than this, there was a deep gash in her forehead, from which the blood was dripping down over her face and clothes.

"Does she live far from here?" the gentleman asked.

"No, she lives over there," said Fannie, pointing across the street.

"Well, my dear, I suppose you will show us the way," said the gentleman.

"Yes, sir," replied Fannie, going instantly forward.

The gentleman followed, leading Clara, who now looked very much worse than the children whose plain dresses she thought not fit to be seen in the street. Fannie saw them safely into Mr. Drayton's house, and then went on to her own home. She was very much frightened lest the cut in Clara's forehead might be so bad that she would die from it; and her conscience told her that she might have prevented the fall if she had chosen to do so. Her brother George met her in the hall.

"Well, Fan," he called out as soon as he saw her, "how much Greek did you learn this morning? and how many whippings did you get?"

Then seeing how frightened Fanny looked, he went up to her and putting his arm around her, said, kindly,

"What is the matter, little sister?"

Instead of answering him, Fanny burst into tears, and hearing the noise, her mother came running out of the sitting-room to see what had happened. Fannie told her about Clara's fall and how much she feared that the cut in her forehead might kill her. Mrs. Wright tried to comfort Fannie, and sent George into Mr. Drayton's house to inquire after Clara. He soon returned with the news that she was not very badly hurt, although the cut was so deep that it would leave an ugly scar, even after it had quite healed.

In the evening, when Fannie was alone with her mother, the whole story came out—Clara's rude and foolish behavior toward the little girls whom they had met, and the disappointment and anger which kept her from seeing the raised curbstone.

"But, my dear Fannie," said her mother, "when you saw the state she was in, why did you not caution her about the curb?"

"Because she called me mean and was so very cross and disagreeable," replied Fannie.

"Oh, my dear child," said her mother, "I am so sorry that you did not choose to follow the golden rule by doing for Clara just as you would like to have had her do for you. If you had, this accident might never have happened."

"But she called me mean, mother," said Fannie.

"And yet, my dear," Mrs. Wright answered, " this does not make any' difference as to your duty in keeping the golden rule. Our Saviour did not mean that you should only treat those who are kind and pleasant as you would like to have them treat you, but even the cross and disagreeable. You know, Fannie, that Jesus loved his enemies and did good to those that hated him, and in telling us to follow the golden rule he wanted to make us as much as possible like himself."

"Oh, mother," exclaimed Fannie again, "the golden rule is too hard for me and I shall never be able to keep it."

"Did you ask God before you started for school this morning to help you to keep it? and did you really try with all your might to do so yourself?" asked her mother.

"No, ma'am," replied Fannie.

"Then you need not expect to keep this or any other law of the Lord Jesus until you do so," said Mrs. Wright.

Fannie did not answer, and after a few moments of silence her mother continued:

"Suppose Clara's head had been so badly hurt by the fall that she should have died in consequence; what a dreadful thing it would have been for you, who might have prevented it if you had chosen to do so!"

"Oh, mother," said Fannie, "I am sorry that I behaved so badly, and I think God was very good in keeping Clara from being killed."

"Then, my dear child," said her mother, " as soon as you go to your own room you ought to thank God for his goodness, ask him to forgive your sin and teach you how to obey this golden rule and all the rest of his commandments. The Bible tells us that if we love God we will love our brother also. Think of God's love to you, and of his love to those around you, and let his love move you to love them and to do good to them."

I am very glad to tell you, my young friends, that Fannie Wright followed her mothers advice. She knelt down by the bedside and prayed to God; and although not using perhaps the very same words that the clergyman or her mother would have done, yet saying from the heart such things as God would understand and hear.


CLARA DRAYTON was obliged to stay away from school for two or three weeks while the cut on her forehead was healing; and in the mean time Fannie had become acquainted with all of Miss Abbott's scholars.

Each morning Fannie prayed to God to help her to treat everybody just as she would like to be treated herself, and she did not forget her prayers after she left her room, but tried to act as she had prayed. She was a lively, pleasant child in manners, and very soon she became quite a favorite with her companions. They very often had quarrels with each other, but all sides were friendly with Fannie. Yet there was one thing that troubled her. Nearly every day she met the plainly-dressed girls, who had offended Clara, and she saw by their behavior that they thought that she felt toward them just as Clara did. They would stare at her rudely, turn up their noses and imitate her walk, and sometimes call her "little proudie." When she spoke of this at home, her mother said,

"Take no notice of these little things, my dear; but do not forget the golden rule, and if you have the opportunity of doing them a good turn, do not let it slip."

Fannie remembered her mother's advice, and one morning, just after the girls passed her, she saw a school-book lying upon the pavement.

"It belongs to one of them," she said to herself, and picking it up she ran hastily after them.

When she had overtaken them, quite out of breath with running, she laid her hand very gently on the shoulder of the girl nearest to her, saying,

"One of you dropped this book, I think."

"It is mine," said the girl, whose name was Jane; '"and I am glad you found it, for I would not have lost it for a great deal."

Fannie handed it to her, and as she took it Jane looked up in Fannie's face in a confused way for a moment, and then said, rather awkwardly,

"I thank you."

Fannie was going away, but she turned back for an instant to say very mildly,

"The little girl who was with me coming from school on the first day when I saw you, fell and cut her head, and is not yet able to go out. I do not think that she ought to have called you beggars, because you are not beggars, you know; and I do not think that she would have done so if she had not been so very angry that she hardly knew what she was saying. But I have no hard feelings toward you, and when we meet in the street after this, will you please not to make faces at me any more?"

The girls stood still, and looked first at Fannie and then at each other; and after a while the one who had charged Clara with having eaten "short-snaps" for breakfast, said,

"No, we won't make any more faces at you; for we do not want to treat you badly or hurt your feelings, now that we see you are so good, and not a bit proud."

"Oh thank, you!" replied Fannie; "I am trying to follow the golden rule myself, and I want everybody else to do so too."

"Follow what?" asked one of the girls.

"The golden rule," answered Fannie; "the rule our Saviour gave us in the Bible: ' Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so unto them.' You know this means that we are never to do anything to anybody that we would not like to have done to ourselves."

Then, thinking that it was quite time for her to be on her way to school, she bade them " good-bye" and left them, still standing looking after her.

"Isn't she a nice little thing?" said Jane.

"Yes," replied the other girl—" so much nicer than that stuck-up friend of her's that fell in the street. I do not wonder that she should fall, for she holds her head too high to see which way her feet are going. Pride must have a fall, you know, girls."

They all laughed at this as if they thought it a very smart speech, and then walked on toward their own school-house.

They did not understand the truth exactly, or they would have seen plenty of pride in their own hearts. There is more than one kind of pride; Clara's pride was one sort, and theirs was another sort just as wrong.

When Fannie went home she told her mother the story of finding the book, and of the conversation which she had held with the girl; and when it was finished, she said,

"I am very much afraid, mother, that these girls do not go to Sunday-school, because they looked so strangely at me when I spoke to them of the Saviour's golden rule."

"If that should be the case, then what ought you to do ?" inquired her mother.

Fannie did not appear to know exactly, and she did not answer.

"Suppose you did not go to Sunday-school, what would you like to have done for you?" Mrs. Wright asked.

"I should like to have some one take me there," replied Fannie; "but then, mother, I cannot take these girls with me to Sunday-school. They are all larger than I am."

"I am not so sure, Fannie," her mother answered, " but that you and I together might do it. I have an errand to-morrow, which will take me out about the time that you generally start for school. I shall walk with you, and if we meet them, I will ask them about going to Sunday-school."

The next morning, as Fannie and her mother were on their way, they met the girls, and Mrs. Wright found upon questioning them that they did not attend Sunday-school. She then inquired where they lived, and promised to call on their mothers, and gain permission for them to go to the Sunday-school of the church to which she belonged. She did this before returning home, and the very next Sunday Fannie had the pleasure of seeing the girls—four in number—come into the school-room, where they soon became very regular and well-behaved scholars.


THE morning when Clara again commenced going to school she still wore a strip of plaster on her forehead, which seemed wonderfully interesting to the children. As soon as she entered the door every eye was instantly turned toward her, and even when the lessons were being said the attention of the pupils would now and then wander from their books to Clara. This would have made Fannie feel uncomfortable, but Clara was very well pleased with it. She liked to be looked at, and was glad of anything that brought her into notice. There were some tender-hearted little girls, who pitied her, and at recess these crowded around her, and in kind words told her how very sorry they were that she had met with such a sad accident, but that they hoped she would suffer no more pain from it. There were others who were only very curious about the cut; and these asked very many questions, as to whether it bled much, what the doctor said, and how it looked when the plaster was not on it.

Clara listened to what each one had to say with an affected air, that looked very funny, and in answering the questions, she pointed every now and then to her forehead with the left hand, upon which she wore not only the ruby ring, but also a new one, twisted around in the form of a snake with a bright green eye. Presently, Mabel King, who was rather larger than the other girls, said,

"I never knew before, Clara, that you were left-handed. What a pity it is! I wonder that you do not try to break yourself of the habit."

"I am not left-handed at all!" exclaimed Clara, very quickly.

She did not like to have such a charge made against her, and then there was an odd twinkle in Mabel's eye that caused Clara to think it was done for the purpose of making fun of her.

"Then why do you use your left-hand instead of your right every time you have any pointing to do?" inquired Mabel.

Clara blushed scarlet, and she saw now that the girls were all certainly laughing at her. She did not know how to answer, but, fortunately for her, Miss Abbott just then rang her bell to call the scholars to order. Fannie was near by, hearing and seeing all that was going on, and she felt that she had rather never have any rings than take Clara's place at that time.

Having been kept so long at home by her accident, Clara was still almost a stranger in the school, and yet her companions there were inclined to be friendly with her. She wore handsome dresses and pretty fancy aprons very much trimmed, besides the rings and ear-rings and bracelets; and such things are always attractive to children, and sometimes, too, with older persons. As I told you before, Clara was very fond of being noticed, and she was proud and pleased to see that every one was willing and even anxious to become acquainted with her.

While Clara was at home, Fannie had been making friends in the school, and now she very often found Clara receiving the attention which had once been given to herself. I do not wonder that Fannie should feel troubled and hurt at this, for she had a very warm heart; but I am sorry to say that she was envious of Clara, which was very wrong. Envy is sinful in itself, and it sometimes leads to very wicked crimes. It was envy that made Cain kill his brother Abel. Fanny never had any secrets from her mother, and it was not long before Mrs. Wright knew pretty much all that was in her heart.

"My dear child," she said, "you must not keep these sinful thoughts in your heart. You must ask God to take them all away. If you do not have kind feelings toward Clara, you will never be able to treat her, as you are taught to do, by the 'golden rule.' "

Fannie prayed and thought a great deal about this, and tried very hard to keep from feeling envious when she saw Clara so much more noticed than herself. In a little while she was able to do this, for God helped her. And before many days had passed away she found a change was taking place in the minds of the scholars.

They were beginning to find out that Clara's finery did not do very much toward making her an agreeable companion. She was ill-natured, proud and selfish, and would never put herself out in the least to help another; and one with such a disposition as this can never long be a favorite. One day she wore her chain, with some of those pretty little trinkets called "charms," hanging from it.

"Oh, Clara," said Effie Bay; "do let me look at your chain."

Effie was a very small child, almost too small to go to school, but she lived with Miss Abbott, who was her aunt. Her father and mother were both dead, and being a very sweet little thing, the girls not only pitied her, but loved and petted her, and tried all they could to make her happy.

When Clara heard her ask to look at the chain, she turned away her head and did not answer, and Effie, thinking that she had not heard or understood, said once more,

"Do please, Clara, let me see those pretty things that are on your neck?"

"No, I will not, for you will be sure to break them," Clara answered in her quick way, and still keeping her back turned toward the child.

The little thing put up her lip and seemed just ready to cry, for her feelings were easily hurt Fannie noticed this and felt sorry for her.

"Oh, Clara," she said, "do let Effie see your chain. I do not think she will hurt it. Then you know the 'golden rule' tells us to do to others as we would like to have them do to us; and if you were in Effie's place I am sure you would not like to be snubbed in this way."

"I don't care anything about the golden rule, as you call it," replied Clara, rudely; "I will do just exactly as I please."

It was the hour of recess, and Mabel King, who was never very far away from Effie, if she could help it, now came up to where they stood.

"What is the matter with Effie?" she asked hastily, seeing tears in the child's eyes."

Clara did not speak, and Mabel looked to Fannie for an answer. She hesitated for a few moments, and then said,

"Effie wanted to look at Clara's chain, but Clara was afraid that she might break it."

Fannie did not blame Clara's behavior, as she felt inclined to do, because she wished to keep the golden rule, and she knew that she did not like to be blamed herself. When she had finished speaking, Mabel turned to Effie, and putting her arm around the little one's neck, kissed her, saying.

"Never mind, Effie darling, come with me. Come into the room with me and I will draw for you some pictures on my slate. There shall be two of them. One of a dear little girl named Effie, not crying, but smiling and very happy. The other of a cross, selfish girl (I will not tell her name), but she shall wear ear-rings so large as to prevent her from hearing when favors are asked of her, and a chain around her neck so heavy that it is a hard load to carry; just like the one which the poor man in prison, whose picture I drew yesterday, was forced to drag around his cell."

Illustration caption: Never Mind, Effie Darling

Effie went away with her friend quite comforted, for she liked Mabel's slate-pictures very much; but poor Clara was angry and troubled.

"My chain is not a heavy load," she said, looking proudly down at the bright golden links; "and it is not one bit like the horrid iron chains which men wear in prison."

A number of girls had crowded around by this time, and they heard enough to guess the whole story pretty correctly. There was not one among them all who had not at some time seen Clara show out her selfishness, and none were inclined to pity her.

"Mabel did not mention the name of the person who wore the chain, Clara," said one of the girls to her; " and how could you possibly think that she meant you?"

" 'A guilty conscience needs no accuser,'" replied another, who, although not very large, was considered pretty smart.

She had only learned this proverb a few days before, and she was watching for the first opportunity to repeat it.

"I am not one bit sorry for Clara, and it serves her exactly right," said Fannie to herself as she looked at Clara's flushed and unhappy face.

Then suddenly remembering the golden rule, she was afraid that she had done wrong in thinking this. She thought over the matter in her mind somewhat in this way: "Suppose I was in Clara Drayton's place—but no, I could not be in her place, for I would have let Effie look at the chain as long as she pleased."

Here Fannie's mind grew a little confused, from not knowing just how to arrange the matter; but presently it cleared, and she began again:

"At any rate, it was not right in me to be glad to see Clara in such a scrape, even if she did do wrong. I am often wrong myself, I know that. Well, then, let me think what I should like to have some one do for me when I have been naughty. Ah yes, I know now; I should like to have them pray for me that the Lord would make me good. So I will pray for Clara, that she may have a new heart, without the least bit of pride in it, and full of kindness to Effie and everybody."


I MIGHT tell you, my dear little readers, a great deal more about Fannie Wright and Clara Drayton, but I think enough has been said already to show you that gold ornaments do not make those who wear them either happier or more useful or more agreeable—that those who wish to be happy and useful and beloved should obey the laws which God has laid down for them.

At the close of the school-term, when Miss Abbott gave reports to the two little girls, they were found to be very different. Clara's contained a large number of bad marks, not only for misconduct, but also for inattention to her lessons. Girls whose thoughts are taken up with finery and nonsense are not generally good scholars. Fannie had a few bad marks for talking during study-hours—three, I believe—but all the rest were good.

When Clara understood this she grumbled sadly, and even went so far as to complain to Miss Abbott. There must be some mistake about it, she said. She did not see why she should not have as good a report to carry home as Fannie.

"There is no mistake at all," replied Miss Abbott; "I could not give. you a report like Fannie's, because your behavior is so very different from hers. While Fanny has been constantly trying to be obedient to me and amiable and useful to her school-mates you have only sought to please yourself, without the least regard to the feelings of others; never seeming to care whether your actions were right or wrong, so that they suited yourself. If you are so very blind as not to see your own faults, others are not."

Clara stood listening to this lecture with angry face and pouted lips. She had laid her report upon Miss Abbott's table, and did not want to take it up again to take home.

"Come, Clara," said her teacher, "if you do not care to take this paper home with you, I can easily send it to your mother. I do hope, my dear child, that you may learn a lesson from it, and that the next one you receive may be even better than Fannie's. If it is not, you will have no one but yourself to blame. Ask God to make you willing and anxious to do only that which is right, to serve him with your whole heart, and do your duty to all whom you may chance to meet, and I am sure you will never again be obliged to carry home with you such a report as you have to-day."

I am very.sorry that Clara Drayton tried not to hear this good advice, and that she had not the least desire to profit by its teachings. According to the last accounts that I had from her, she was still the same proud and selfish little girl that she was when I first introduced her to you, and just as little loved by her young companions.

On the other hand, I am happy to say that Fannie Wright is growing better and more of a favorite than ever. The first wish of her heart is to do as the Lord would have her. She still takes the golden rule as her guide in her conduct toward others. She has stopped the naughty practice of teasing her brother, and her sister might now safely leave her writing-desk unlocked, quite sure that Fannie would never meddle with it.

Nancy's sick sister is well now; but her mother is old and so feeble as to be confined to her bed, and the pretty gold dollar which was so precious to Fannie is no longer in the box in her drawer. I will tell you what has become of it. Fannie found out that Nancy's mother was very poor, and that the sister who was sick, being obliged to take care of her, could not earn anything, and all Nancy's wages were not enough to support them. This troubled Fannie very much, and while she was wondering what she could do to help them, she remembered her dollar; so went instantly to her mother and said,

"I would like very much to buy something for Nancy's mother with my gold dollar."

Mrs. Wright was astonished to hear this, for she knew how highly Fannie prized her dollar.

"Are you very sure, my dear, that you would like to do this?" she asked.

"Yes, ma'am," Fannie replied, very seriously, "because it will be obeying the golden rule. If you were poor and old and sick and needed things, and a little girl should buy something for you with a gold dollar, I am sure I should like it very much."

"I am quite satisfied, my dear," said Mrs. Wright. "You and I will take a walk this afternoon to see Nancy's mother, and in this way we can find out what she wants most. Then we will go to the stores together and make our purchases, and between us I think we may be able to make her comfortable and Nancy very happy."

And this was the way. that Fannie's gold dollar came to leave its snug hiding-place in the little box and find its way into the cash box of a grocer at the corner of the next street It was not an ornament, but it became very useful in making others happy.

Jesus, see a little child
Humbly at thy footstool stay;
Thou, who art so meek and mild,
Stoop and teach me what to say.
Though thou art so great and high,
Thou dost view with smiling face
Little children when they cry,
" Saviour, guide us by thy grace."

Show me what I ought to be,
Make me every evil shun;
Thee in all things may I see,
In thy holy footsteps run.
Jesus, all my sins forgive;
Make me lowly, pure in heart;
For thy glory may I live,
Then be with thee where thou art!


WHAT a little thing a drop of water is! And yet all the little drops put together make the soft rain, which pours down on the thirsty ground, and makes the plants to grow and flowers and fruits to abound on the earth.

Now, you can be like these little rain-drops. You can do good to others. You can cheer and refresh those around you. You can help to send showers of blessing where they are needed.

"But I am so young," or "I am so poor," you. say; " I do not think I can be of any use in the world." Oh yes, you can. Only you must not expect to do something very great and very grand. You must be willing to do little things. One rain-drop cannot water the whole field, but it can wet a rose-leaf or a blade of grass. So, though you may not be ministers in your own land or missionaries abroad, you can read a chapter to a blind man, or go on an errand for a poor woman, or put a penny into the missionary box, or give a tract to some one who is far from God.

A lady, who was ill and dying, was surrounded by many comforts. She had presents of jelly and fruit sent to her by kind friends. But there was a bunch of flowers at her side which she seemed to prize more than all. " That," she said, "is the best gift I have received during my illness. It was brought me by a little girl." She took it in her trembling hand and smelt it, and looked at it until she was too weary to hold it longer. It was the last thing she noticed before she went to that happy land where there are "never-withering flowers."

Was not that little girl's visit to the sick-room soft and gentle and refreshing as that of a little rain-drop ? She had not much to give, but how welcome her simple nosegay was there!

Are you trying to be unselfish and useful, or are you keeping all your best things to yourself? Oh seek to be as a bright, sparkling little rain-drop, to gladden some dull home or to soften some hard heart.

Such a rain-drop is little Mary. She was told one day of a poor woman, eighty-six years of age, who lived by herself in a garret.

"Oh, mother," said the little girl, "please let me carry her over some dinner every day; we have always so much left, much more than she could eat." She begged so earnestly that her mother consented; and then little Mary each day carried a basket with a supply of food in it to the poor woman; and many an apple or pear of her own was slipped into the basket. Sometimes she took the Bible and read her some chapters, for the poor woinan waa almost blind, and it comforted her much to hear the blessed Word of life. Sometimes Mary took her doll's frocks, and sitting by her side, worked, and chatted to amuse her.

Mary was useful. You too may be useful if you will only be on the watch for a chance to be kind or helpful to some one. Can you not be a rain-drop?



Copyright 2011 by Deidre Johnson . Please do not reproduce without permission

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