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She remembered the promise, "As one whom a mother comforteth, so will I comfort you," and she found it fulfilled.
One day her cousins received an invitation to a picnic which they were very anxious to attend. Bertha heard them talking about it and heard their mother say, "I am very sorry girls, but I do not see how I can well spare you both, for I expect to be particularly busy in canning fruit just at that time, and I shall especially need your help.”
"Can't I assist you?" asked Bertha. the picnic, and I have been in the habit of
"You know that I am not invited to helping my mother with such work." The cousins looked at her in surprise. Certainly Bertha was returning good for evil, and they both felt this to be the case. Mrs. Gray wisely accepted the kind offer. Her daughters went on the excursion, and Bertha proved to be a cheerful and able assistant in the preparation of fruit for canning.
The next day both of her cousins were ill as a result of some imprudence at the picnic. Then it was that Bertha had the opportunity of showing them a number of small kindnesses-an opportunity which she did not fail to improve. Both girls were inclined at first to receive these attentions sullenly, but before the day was over they were both won over by the loving, forgiving spirit of Bertha, and each in her own way made an apology for past rudeness and unkindness. They remembered this, too, when they were well again, and the remainder of Bertha's stay with them was made very happy. The two cousins invited her to share in all their pleasures and even allowed her to participate in their tasks, so that she might feel exactly like one of the family.
It is not easy to overcome evil with good, but it is possible through God's grace.
Politeness to Hired Help.
Mrs. Alice Hamilton Rich, whose graceful pen never touches a theme without illuminating it, reminds us that our children should be courteous in their treatment of domestics. I do not myself like the word servants, though it is honorable enough when we think that our Lord himself did not scorn servants' work, and said, "I am among you as He that serveth."
Even good mistresses do not always require their children to be courteous to servants. Usually, if father and mother show the same courtesy to the maid that they do to the other members of the family, the children will naturally follow their example; yet even then it is well to look after the matter, lest in the absence of the parents the children impose upon the servants. A child needs precept as well as example.
A little discussion I overheard between two children will illustrate. They were telling each other how many there were in each family. "But you have forgotten Olga," said one of the little ones. "She doesn't belong to our family; she is only the girl." "But Hilma," naming the housemaid, "does belong to our family," replied the other. It is not difficult to see there was a difference in the place given the servants of the two households. Often the house of the employer is the only home of the servant girl. If in that household she is counted out, she is indeed homeless.
There are two reasons why children should be taught to be courteous to servants. It is due the servants, and the lack of such courtesy is unladylike and ungentlemanly on the part of the children. It is as harmful to the latter as unjust and unkind to the former. If I had only the thought of the good of my children in mind, I would see that they treated the servants not only with deserved courtesy, but with kindness as well.
An incident which came to my knowledge is in point. In a household where the key mentioned is in use there is a daughter of thirteen. She has been taught, and her own sweet nature is in harmony with the teaching, that the servants are a part of the family-entitled to thanks for service and the utmost consideration as to their rights in their own domains, the kitchen and dining-room. daughter, however, is a welcome visitor in the kitchen, and can "fuss" over the stove making candy, as girls like to do, to her heart's content. It is to this young girl that the maid brings her troubles, often before they reach her mistress. This daughter is always treated with the utmost respect by the servants, without undue familiarity, while there is a spirit of mutual helpfulness between them. Not long ago this young girl came to her mother, saying: "Mamma, Hilma has never been to the public library. May I go with her next Thursday and take her through the building to see the museum and art gallery?" The mother gladly assented and, as there would be too short a time to see so much, the child was excused from school early, and dinner hour changed from night to noon that Hilma might have a longer time, and the dear girl took as much pains for the housemaid as she would have done for an honored guest. Do you wonder that the grateful maid in her broken English said, "I am so glad that Miss Dorothy would go with me," and the emphasis upon the words "would" and "me" expressed her appreciation of the courtesy.
I well remember an incident which occurred in my own family. My boy was about eight years old and beginning to assert himself, as mothers know boys will. I had a new cook, and the little fellow in my absence went into the kitchen and ordered her to do something for him, and was really very disrespectful to her. When I learned of the matter, I required him at once to go to Christine, beg pardon and promise future good conduct, and I shall never forget the girl's
look of surprise. Some months afterward I learned that Christine had left her former mistress because she could not get along with the children, and came to me with fear and trembling because there were children in the house. We often hear it said, "I cannot keep my servant, she does not like children." not be that it is as much the fault of the children as of the servant?
Thick starred as is the sky at night with golden shining lamps, the Word of God glows with its stories of angel ministries. In the dim days, when as yet there was no open vision, these messengers of our King came and went, serene and unhurried, rebuking, sustaining, revealing, consoling, and always bringing a breath of heaven to earth, always showing how intimate and tender the relation between here and beyond, always proving how constant in the mind of God is the thought of His children, over whom He giveth His angels charge.
Should we go through the Bible, selecting and setting by themselves the passages wherein allusion is made to the angels and their errands, we should have a beautiful book of selections full of inspiration and encouragement for ourselves, in this time when we do not take the comfort we might from the knowledge of our Father's care, when we shut the angels out of our modern glaring day, and think of them as poetic beings, or beings above us of another order, but not as of God's continual errand-bringers, yet attending on us who dwell below and have need of their help. We lose much by our opacity and slowness of belief in this matter, for, to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear,
Still through the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still celestial music floats
O'er all the weary world.
They bend on heavenly wing,
It may be objected by those who take a literal view of all experience, and who hesitate to accept what they cannot at once weigh in the scales, analyze, define and classify, that we, at this period, neither realize nor expect angelic help. Perhaps not, regarded from the standpoint of those who appreciate only the tangible, and demand full rounded and concrete facts at every step. On the other hand, who of us has not had to deal with moods of depression, when an unseen and impalpable, yet terribly strong enemy bore us down, when out of the fog and