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your Honour," said the counsel, addressing the Court, "is there anything further necessary to show the force of my objection ? This witness should be rejected. She does not know the nature of an oath."
"Let us see," said the Judge. "Come here, my little girl." Assured by the kind tone and manner of the speaker, the child stepped toward him, and looked up confidingly in his face, with a calm, clear eye, and in a manner so artless and frank, that it went straight to the heart.
"Did you ever take an oath?" inquired the Judge. The little girl stepped back with a look of horror, and the red blood mantled in a blush all over her face and neck as she answered, "No, Sir." She thought he meant to inquire if she had ever blasphemed. "I do not mean that," said the Judge, who saw his mistake. "I mean, were you ever a witness before?" "No, Sir; I was never in a court before," was the answer. He handed her a Bible, open. "Do you know that Book?" She looked atit, and answered, "Yes, Sir; it is the Bible." "Do you ever read it?" he asked. "Yes, Sir, every evening." "Can you tell me what the Bible is ?" inquired the Judge. "It is the
Word of the great God," she answered. "Well, place your hand upon the Bible, and listen to what I say;" and he repeated slowly and solemnly the oath usually given to witnesses.
"Now," said the Judge, "you have sworn as a witness. Will you tell me what will befall you if you do not tell the truth ?" "I shall be shut up in prison," answered the child. " Anything else?" asked the Judge. "I shall never go to heaven," she replied. "How do you know that ?" The child took the Bible, and turning quickly to the chapter containing the commandments, pointed to this one -"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." "I learned that before I could read," she said.
"Has any one talked to you about your being witness in court here against this man?" inquired the Judge. 66 Yes, Sir," she replied. "My mother heard they wanted me to be a witness, and last night she called me to her room, and asked me to tell her the ten commandments; and then we knelt down together, and she prayed that I might understand how wicked it was to bear false witness against my neighbour, and that God would help me, a little
child, to tell the truth as it was before Him. And when I came up here with father, she kissed me and told me to remember the ninth commandment, and that God would hear every word that I said." "Do you believe this?" asked the Judge, while a tear glistened in his eye, and his lip quivered with emotion. Yes, Sir," said the child, with a voice that showed that her conviction of its truth was perfect. "God bless you, my child," said the Judge; "you have a good mother. This witness may be heard," he continued ; "were I on trial for my life, and innocent of the charge against me, I would pray God for such a witness as this. Let her be examined."
She told her story with the simplicity of a child, as she was; but there was a directness about it that carried conviction of its truth to every heart. She was closely cross-examined. The counsellor asked her many troublesome and awkward questions, but she varied in no way from her first statements. It needs to be added that the man was found guilty, and that he was sent to prison for two years.
HALF-DONE," "ALMOST DONE," AND "DONE."
HAVE three children to name over again," said Mrs. D-one day, "and I shall name them 'Half-Done,' 'Almost Done,' and 'Done.''
Jasper slunk behind his mother's chair with a guilty look. He, I am sure, was "Half-Done;" for, as quick as lightning, he thought of his pigeon-house, begun as soon as he had his new box of tools, and never roofed; of his aunt's flower-ladder, which only had the sticks, and that was all; of the latch he began to mend, and left; of his geometry, which he missed, because it was only half-learned; of the mittens which he lost, because they were only half in his pocket; and, worse than all, of Peter, the horse, that ran away and broke the gig, because he was only half-harnessed. Jasper, I say, instantly thought of all these things, and shrunk back, feeling certain that" Half-Done was his name. If all he thought was true, did he not deserve it?
"You mean me," said Lucy. "Mean you for what?" asked her mother.
"For Almost Done,' " said Lucy, blushing. "I was almost
done dressing when breakfast was ready. I was almost at school when it began. I had almost done my letter to papa when it was time to send it. I had almost finished that nice book when Jane came for it. O, dear!" sighed Lucy, "Almost Done' is quite as bad as HalfDone;' and a great deal more provoking, because, you see, just a little more trying would have done it. But who of us is 'Done ?""
"Who is?" asked mother. "Arthur!” cried Lucy and Jasper at once. "Arthur does; Arthur finishes.”
Arthur looked up, surprised and pleased, as his brother and sister willingly accorded the credit due to him. How many times they had seen him, small boy as he was, ciphering for an hour together, rubbing out and writing figures over and over again, until at last he would bring his little fist, whack! down on the table, shouting, "It is done!"
Yes, Arthur was "Done." "He is a finisher," said Jasper, " and I wish I was.'
"Think, Jasper," said his mother, "how it would be to carry half-done into everything -the bread half-done, your dinner half-done, the table half
set, your new coat from the tailor's half-done; sweeping, washing, sewing half-done."
"Please don't, mother," said Jasper. "Let me think about it." Is there not reason to fear that the boy or girl who is given to trifle and put off in matters of comparatively little moment, will grow up careless and indifferent regarding concerns of the greatest importance ? A sluggard will never be foremost in business, and " intending to do it will never accomplish anything. Let my young reader beware of "Half-Done" and "Almost Done."
GOD IN THE HEART.
POOR wounded boy was dying in an hospital. He
was a soldier, but a mere boy for all that. The lady who watched by his bedside saw that death was very near, and placing her hand upon his head, she said to him, "My dear boy, if this should be death that is coming upon you, are you ready to meet your God ?" The large dark eyes opened slowly, and a smile passed over the young soldier's face, as he answered, "I am ready, dear lady; for this has long been His kingdom," and as he spoke he placed