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LITTLE CHARLIE'S WILL.
WALTER and Charlie Harrison were the sons of a sea-captain, and lived in one of the fine old seaport towns of M
These boys were as unlike as two brothers could well be. Walter was a rough, plain boy, large of his age, and rather clumsy, with a passionate, jealous temper, which gave his friends a great deal of trouble. But he had some noble qualities; he was as brave as a young lion, faithful, diligent, perfectly honest and truthful, and sometimes, very tender in his feelings. Charlie, some two years younger than Walter, was a delicate
beautiful, sweet-tempered boy, who loved everybody, and, in return, was greatly beloved. He was fair, pale, and slight, with blue eyes and golden curls. Walter said he looked like a girl, and sometimes laughed at his delicacy; but, for all that, he was jealous of the poor child's beauty -even of his weakness.
Captain Harrison was most of the time at sea, and his gentle wife found it difficult to control the impatient spirit, or correct the even more unamiable moodiness, of her eldest son. If she reproved him sternly, he would often accuse her of being partial to her youngest and hand
that she petted and indulged Charlie so much, that he could not be disobedient, or give her any trouble; he himself, he said, would be good, if he were so treated.
Walter really thought himself slighted and unloved, because he knew he was very plain, and he saw his sickly brother
cared for constantly. He never seemed to think how ridiculous it would look in his mother to be nursing and petting a stout, healthy boy, who was one of the strongest wrestlers, and the best hand with the ball, in all the town,
Walter, with all his fine health, was often silent and sullen, while his brother was seldom prevented by his illness from being cheerful and talkative.
So it was very natural for visiters to notice Charlie the most, and, as they supposed he needed amusing, to send him books and make him presents. All this “partiality” was shown to his brother, Walter said, because he happened to have a fair face; while he did not know how to put himself forward. Charlie was grieved at this, and always wished to share his gifts with his brother, but Walter could never be persuaded to accept anything.
One time, when Charlie was about ten years old, his mother had a visit from a pious maiden aunt, who spent some weeks in the family. During Miss Hannah Perkins' stay, she became much attached to quiet little Charlie; but as Walter gave way to his temper two or three times before her, and made sport of some of her queer ways, she did not like him overmuch, though she thought he might be made a good boy of, with proper management. She wondered how his mother could let such fits of passion and such naughty tricks pass without severe punishment. If he were her child, she said, she would soon whip that bad temper out of him. But Mrs. Harrison believed that one blow would put more evil passion into the heart of such a proud boy as Walter than she could ever get out.
She never failed seriously to reprove his faults and wrong actions; and she knew (what she told no one), that Walter would always come to her, after an outburst of impatience or bad feeling, and ask her forgiveness. She knew that he loved her, his father, brother, and little sister, intensely: so she was patient, and prayed God to soften the heart and subdue the temper of her unhappy child.
A short time after aunt Hannah returned home, she sent the boys each a book. Charlie's happened to be opened first. It was a handsome illustrated copy of "Robinson Crusoe.” Walter then eagerly opened his own, which was rather gaily bound. It was “ The Memoirs of a Sunday-school Scholar.” Walter flung it down, saying angrily, “What did the old maid send me this for, I wonder? I have had enough of such things out of the Sunday-school library. She did not send you
such a humdrum sort of a book, Charlie. I suppose she thought you were pious enough without.”
“O brother,” said Charlie, “don't talk so hard. I am sure aunt Hannah meant very kindly by us both.”'