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Walter took up his book, and began looking through it; but he soon broke out again—"Pshaw! just as I thought; nothing but "early piety,' early piety.? Why, couldn't she have sent me some story about wars, or pirates, or even Indians ? I am tired to death of early
“ You will never trouble your friends with it, my son,” said Mrs. Harrison, who had just entered the room.
Walter started and blushed; he did not know, that his mother was so near. But he replied, sullenly, “I wish I might not trouble them in any way any longer. would be better for all if I were dead and buried; for I'm of no use in the world, and nobody loves me.'
After having said these unkind words, Walter took his ball-club, and went out to the village green, where the boys were already at play.
Charlie soon followed; not to mingle in the sport,
for he was not strong enough for that, but he loved always to watch his brother, and felt proud of his skill and strength.
After about a half-hour's play, many of the boys set out for home, as a hard storm seemed coming on.
The clouds were rolling up thick and black, the lightnings flashed, and the thunder broke overhead. Walter Harrison, who had appeared half angry in all his play, was now leaning against the side of the church, within a yard or two of the lightning-rod. The boys called to him to come away, as he was in a dangerous place; but Walter would not stir. Charlie ran up to him, and begged him to go home; but he only said, “I don't care if the lightning does strike me. again, I'm of no use in the worldnobody loves me. You may run home, if you are afraid.” “I am not afraid for myself, brother,”
I tell you
said Charlie, his lip quivering; “ but I will go home and beg mamma to come
Charlie had not run half across the green, when there came a great blaze of lightning, and a heavy crash of thunder, which seemed to shake the very ground. The boys who were looking toward the church said that they saw the lightning roll down the rod like a ball of fire, and disappear in the earth ; and that, at the same instant, Walter fell to the ground. They ran to him at once, raised him
up, and carried him home. The poor boy's eyes and mouth were open, but he seemed quite dead. The doctor was sent forcame immediately—took Walter from the bed, laid him on the floor, and began pouring cold water upon him by the bucketful. Mrs. Harrison had been strangely calm at first; but when Walter began to show some little signs of life, the joy was more than she could bear,
and she fainted away. She went from one fainting fit into another; and when Walter was at last so much restored as to ask for her, she was lying quite insensible. Then first he knew how deeply and dearly his mother loved him. Little Charlie threw himself down by Walter, in the water, which was flooding the room, and the brothers kissed one another, and cried for joy. many days before Walter was entirely well; but, when he did get about, everybody noticed a great change in him. He was more kind and pleasant; far less jealous and passionate, he was happier, and made others happier, then
then ever before. He was so sure now that his mother truly loved him; and he knew, he said, that he could never again be jealous of his little brother. But alas ! Walter did not know himself. When he was fourteen, and his brother-still called “ Little Charlie”—about twelve, a wealthy uncle came from Boston for a brief visit. As this gentleman had no family, it was thought that Walter, who had been named for him, would be the heir to his fortune.
For this very reason, Walter was too proud to pay him any court;. indeed, he hardly paid him proper respect and attention, and was generally silent and reserved in his presence. Mr. Rogers did not understand this manner; he thought Walter sullen and cold, and, though he could not but see that he was an honest, intelligent boy, he was not, on the whole, pleased with him. But, like all other visiters, he was quite charmed with little Charlie; and he had not been long gone from the village, before there arrived from Boston a beautiful white pony, handsomely saddled and bridled, “ For Master Charles Harrison." In a letter to his sister, Mr. Rodgers' said, “ Thinking that a daily ride may benefit my little invalid