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gree, independent of society and liberty. Those hours which before he had to steal from business or sleep, to enjoy his books or his studies, were now all his own. No court intrigues; no unseasonable interruptions; no summonses from royalty; no busy progresses or brilliant pageants; no deliberations at the council, or discussions in the parliament; nothing of the excitement of war, or discovery, or peril, broke the even and tranquil tenor of his existence."

"I should think he grew very dull and very miserable in such a situation," observed Frederic Ashton.

"By no means,” replied his mother; " and here we behold the great advantage of having accustomed himself to think. Had Sir Walter never employed his mind until the period of his imprisonment, which continued sixteen years, he would then have been a wretched man indeed; but instead of sinking under his circumstances, which, contrasted with his early career of fame and glory, would have broken the spirit of an ordinary man, he roused himself to fresh action, and commenced, with his accustomed cheerfulness, his great work -The History of the World.

Now tell me, Frederic, do you not think it is worth any person's while to take the trouble of cultivating his mind; when habits of early reflection, and the expansion of thought which such habits produce, could do so much to enliven the gloom of a prison, and cheer the solitary moments of a man whom false friends and bitter enemies had deprived of all other enjoyments.

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"THE YOUTHFUL INSTRUCTER."

CHILD.

HARK! mother, hark! Is that the song of the thrush, or the blackbird? For I never can tell which it is, they are both so full of joy; they are pleased, I dare say, to be alive and awake again, when the bright morning comes; and to find the same beautiful trees and flowers all around them, which they saw before they closed their eyes to sleep last night.

MOTHER.

And not the birds only, my child; but even those very trees and flowers seem glad. And see how the lambs are skipping on yon sunny bank, and chasing each other among the furze and broom; while the sober herds look scarcely less pleased to browse among the buttercups and daisies, cropping the short sweet grass, and then lying down as if to think how peaceful and how pleasant are their lives.

CHILD.

And are not you happy, too, mother? Or, do you like the evening better than the morning?

MOTHER.

I believe you have guessed my thoughts; for to me the close of the day brings many pleasures, the morning many cares.

CHILD.

But do you not like to hear the cawing of the rooks, the sparrows chirping their "good morning" to each other, and the swallows, with softer voices, whispering what they want to say.

MOTHER.

Yes, all these are welcome and pleasant sounds, yet still I must prefer the evening, when the rooks come home from the fields, flapping their weary wings over the old elms-when the sparrows have ceased to chirp-and when the swallows have dipped their feathers for the last time in the willow-shaded brook.

CHILD.

The busy bees too, that buz out of their hive as if all the business in the world was done by them; the old hens that look so proud to teach their chickens how to take care of themselves; and the laborers going out to work-you have forgotten all these, mother.

MOTHER.

No, I have not forgotten them; but I would rather see the industrious bee laden with honey flying home to its hive; the hen gathering her chickens underneath her wings; and the laborer returning home from his work, his children meeting him at the garden-gate, his wife preparing his evening meal, and the smoke of their cottage-fire ascending among the dark-green trees.

CHILD.

But the song of the birds, mother, and all the

sweet flowers that burst forth with the morning, you must have forgotten them.

MOTHER.

No, my child, I remember all these. But I remember also, too well to forget its sweetness, the blackbird's evening song, when it seems to me to be rejoicing that another day has passed-another night has come.

CHILD.

Mother, dear mother! you must be mistaken; surely nothing in creation rejoices that another day has passed, a bright and beautiful day, with all its enjoyments, which none of us could call back, even if we would weep and pray for it.

MOTHER.

Yes, my dear child. Such is human nature, and such the precarious hold we have upon earthly enjoyment, that many of us do rejoice when a day is safely over- -when those we love best are gathered round us and at rest, and we feel that the protecting care of a heavenly Father extends over all.

CHILD.

And is this the reason, then, why you love the evening best; because it is safe and comfortable to retire to sleep?

MOTHER.

Not altogether as you have described it; but rather because I feel that the human family is like a flock of wandering sheep, under the care of a good shepherd; and that like these helpless and

foolish animals, they would be perpetually going astray, did not the same good Shepherd watch over them.

CHILD.

By day, as well as by night?

MOTHER.

Unquestionably. Yet the day has its temptations, from which the night is exempt; and as I have lived many years longer than you, I have learned to dread these temptations so much, that I am glad when the day closes, and my own little flock is gathered in for the night, and no lamb is missing from the fold. The sweet flowers too, that rejoice your young heart, I have seen so often blighted in their bloom; the birds that warble in the morning, I have seen so often wounded; and the skies that were cloudless when the sun was rising, I have seen so often dark and lowering before night; that I have learned to look with fear upon beauty, and to listen with apprehension to the language of happiness.

CHILD.

But for one flower that died, mother, did not a hundred spring forth? Or was the song of the morning less joyful because all the birds were not there? If the clear skies became cloudy, did not storms pass away? and did not the evening look brighter after the morning had been dark?

MOTHER.

With regard to external nature, my dear child, I believe you are right; for though we may waste

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