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ation. Our readers may question this at first sight, but a little consideration will suffice to convince them that we state no more than the sober truth. Fretting is more frequently produced by what is feared than by what is suffered, by what the imagination borrows from the fature rather than by what the mind or body endures in the present. And who has a pen sufficiently graphic to paint the horrors that may be produced by a powerful imagination, when it is of a gloomy or foreboding nature? A friend of the writer's tells him that his imagination is his greatest foe. Many times has he sat in his study and buried his wife and every one of his seven children. He has seen them suffer and die, and has wept real tears over it all. Suddenly awaking, he has discovered it to be a trick of his old enemy, and has had to pinch himself or stamp the floor in order to assure himself of the blessed fact that it was only a dream. How many times he has seen his boys do wrong and get committed to prison, he does not remember; yet better boys never lived.
A recent writer gives the following amusing instance of the power of the imagination in making people fretful. Two ancient maiden ladies sat at an open window, looking out upon a beautiful landscape, but weeping most bitterly.
'Whatever is the matter?' said a friend on entering the room.
'Positively awful,' was the rejoinder.
We were thinking. And we thought, suppose we had been married, and one of us had been sitting by this open window with her little baby, and the baby had been reaching out of the window after the flowers, and had fallen into the water-butt below and been drowned!'
And then the salt sea of their sorrows flowed again like a rising tide. It was only by the aid of pocket-handkerchiefs, smelling-salts, and much persuasion that the visitor quieted the good ladies at all.
Though this may be putting the thing in a ridiculous light, it will perhaps help us to laugh off our foolish fears, and thus serve a good purpose. Many people fret because their imaginations make airy nothings appear to be sad realities; let us not be among the number.
We have enumerated the causes of fretfulness at some length, in the hope that to know the disease will help the cure; and fretfulness must be cured ere our characters can be either attractive or complete. In closing this Paper, let us suggest some remedies:
1. Think what it would be to have REAL sorrow.-Remember the sorrows of the past; look at the sorrows of other people. will be found that our own little trials, or dreaded woes, will grow
'small by degrees and beautifully less,' until they disappear.
2. Avoid worry. For worry is, after all, the cause of very much of our fretfulness. And worry is almost inseparable from a highlycivilized-or artificial-way of living. Sir Arthur Helps suggests that it would be well if some clever man would write an essay on the art of taking things coolly. That art may be learned in the teachings of Jesus and His Apostles. Are they not the expressions of the very thought our essayist suggests ?-In your patience POSSESS YE YOUR SOULS,' says our Lord; and, I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content,' says St. Paul when speaking of himself; and when advising others, We beseech you, brethren, that . . . ye study to be quiet.' What is the thought of the nineteenth-century writer but the teachings of the Saviour and the Apostle, 'done' into modern English? If our Lord taught the blessedness of a calm and quiet spirit in the far-off days in which He lived, and great men recognise the force of such teaching, and our urgent need to heed it now, surely it will be our wisdom to put it into daily practice without more ado. He who can go through the tumults of life without tumultuousness or being worried by them-will not have great difficulty in avoiding a fretful spirit. Come unto Me,' said Jesus, ' and I will give you rest.'
3. Cultivate contentment and cheerfulness.-They are not plants natural to the soil of humanity, and that is why we call attention to the fact that they must be cultivated. And they may be. In ungenial climes, unproductive soils, under forbidding skies, in a word, in soulgardens that seem most unpropitious to their growth, they are often brought to the most beautiful perfection. Their cultivation will well repay us. They will help us to live, to live well, to live long. They will beautify life, sweeten goodness, add grace to nobility, glorify love, brighten home, and rob even sorrow of half its terror. If we are Christians, we must cultivate them. To be cheerful and contented is a moral virtue, a Christian grace, a religious duty.
4. Seek a deep religious trust.—'I cannot choose my way, I would not if I could.' Just so. But if we do leave God to undertake for us, to guide us, to save us, surely we can trust Him to do it fullyall in all. Bringing us to the end, involves taking care of us by the way; the fact that God is conducting us to an eternal home, surely carries with it the assurance that He will be mindful of us while we are exposed to the dangers of our pilgrimage thither. Then why fret over the present? It is God's ordering. And why fret in reference to the future? God will be with us then, as He is with us now. "What time I am afraid, I will trust in THEE.'
A TALE OF THE LANCASHIRE MOORS.
BY MRS. ROBERT A. WATSON, AUTHOR OF BUILDING HER HOUSE.'
CHAPTER II.-SEEKING A HOME.
ROM its craggy heights, gained by long flights of worn stone. steps, the ancient parish church of Crotchdale looks down upon the river Croach winding quickly between the steep hills that narrow its course, and upon the irregular streets that run beside the river and up the hill-sides towards the moorland slopes and hollows beyond.
Five hundred years ago the Norman tower commanded from its eminence the lonely valley of a clear mountain stream; to-day its gray time-fretted face looks through wreaths of smoke upon a turbid river pent in by a mass of dwellings and factories, and the sound of its ancient bells is heard in a score of busy townships that lie in the valleys and on the uplands round about.
On a certain market-day in the month of November, the Burwood and Moor-edge carrier's cart stood as usual at the door of an inn near the foot of the church steps, in a street that fronted the river. The clock in the tower high above had just struck three, and the carrier was impatient to be off. His parcels were all in, but an expected passenger was not yet visible.
'You are late in starting to-day, Isaac,' said a voice behind him which he well knew-a voice belonging to a tall, well-made young fellow, with brown hair and beard, bright, brown eyes, and an expression at once sensible and pleasant.
'Aw knows that,' was the reply in the broad accent of the county. 'Aw's waitin' for a lass 'at's goin' to Moor-edge.'
'Moor-edge? Who is she?'
'They said 'at hoo were a cousin o' your own.'
I didn't know 'at I had a cousin hereabouts,' was the reply. 'Hoo's come fro' th' south, aw heard. Th' wumman hoo's stoppin' with said as her feyther an' her had tramped all th' way here. Th' owd mon wur failin', an wanted to get th' lass taken by some o' yo, but he died th' vary neet they got here, an' th' lass has been badly since, but th' wumman said 'at hoo wud go wi' me to-day.' 'My aunt Sarah's lass,' said the young man. died before he could reach us! reckon they've always been ill off. to? They must ha' 'Hoo didn't say. th' day's wearin'. Aw canno wait ony longer.'
And her father
Poor lassie! I'm sorry for her. I
'Well, I'm not going yet awhile. I'll tell the folks here that if she comes she can go with me. Will she have any traps?' 'Not mich, aw reckon. Folks 'at tak' th' road dunnot carry mony traps.'
That's true. What's her name, Isaac ?'
'Dunnot yo know your own cousin's name?'
'Not her first name. I never heard it, that I know of. I was hardly supposed to know that I had an aunt Sarah.'
Aw didn't ask her name. Aw can carry folk without knowin' how they're called.'
And with that, mounting his cart, he drove off.
The young man stood on the pavement thinking a while, then went into the inn, exclaiming to himself, How stupid! not to ask him where she is stopping.'
It was rather stupid, certainly, and the people of the inn could tell him nothing. He went away quickly to make a business call— leaving a boy to watch for the unknown cousin of whom he had so unexpectedly heard. When he came back he found a small, pale girl, dressed in rather poor mourning, waiting in the inn parlour. She looked at him as he entered, and he looked at her.
'Are you the lass that was going to Moor-edge with the carrier?' 'Yes,' she replied in a low voice, that told of much weeping lately. 'And he has gone, they say.'
'You don't know me. Did you ever hear that you had a cousin?' She nodded.
'Father told me that there was—'
A sob was coming. She pressed her hands tight together to keep it down. The young man went closer, and said with a smile:
'I'm your cousin Tom. Do you think you'll like me for a relation?'
She could not manage to smile in return, but there was a gratefu look in the pale face as she said:
'I think so. But the question is rather whether you and the rest will like me.'
'I'll answer for myself, at any rate,' was the cheerful reply; and for the rest-I'll explain things to you as we go along. I told Isaac I would drive you to Moor-edge. I'm just going home now. you got your traps here ?'
She said Yes,' and Tom delicately refrained from making more enquiry. When he assisted her into the dog-cart, he found that her goods consisted of two small parcels, no more than she could easily carry.
Until they were clear of the streets he did not say much, but when
the horse was slowly ascending the long bare road that took them out of the circle of hills within which Crotchdale lay, he began to talk, so directing his remarks that the new arrival should get some understanding of family affairs at Moor-edge.
His first question was about her name. She was called after her aunt Hephzibah, she said, but her home name was Effie.
'So much the better. Hephzibah is such a mouthful-and to tell the truth, one Hephzibah is enough in a family. Only I don't suppose you and aunt are much alike.'
'Don't you like her?' said Effie, wearily. It was hardly possible that life should look more dreary than it did, yet she was conscious of a slight additional gloom in the fear that this aunt, of whom her father had hoped more than of the rest, might be unwilling to receive her.
'Well, you should know that there's a dispute between my father and uncle on one side, and aunt Hephzibah on the other, about grandfather's property. The house she lives in, and an old factory beside it, are hers, she says, by the will; and my father and uncle say they are theirs, and they've been at law about it for a long while: it isn't settled yet. My father says aunt Hephzibah bothered grandfather to promise it to her against his will, and she says he always meant her to have it; and there it is! Aunt Hephzibah is so angry that she won't speak to any of us, and my father and uncle don't speak to her. Aunt used to be a member at the chapel, but she goes to church now.'
Tom did not add what was also a fact, that his father, who used to attend the Methodist services, although he was never a member, now went to no place of worship, and that he, Tom, was the only one of the Crabtree family in Moor-edge who lived a Christian life. Effie found this out afterwards. Her feeling during his narrative was one of disgust. Whatever was wanting in her home, there were always affection and harmony. She knew that her mother had been disowned and disinherited for her marriage, but Effie had no personal experience of family quarrels, and the prospect of them would have made her miserable if she had not been entirely miserable already.
'How sad!' she murmured, when Tom paused.
'Sad!—it's wretched! To think of people spending their short lives here in quarrelling about money or land, when they can't take a morsel of it away with them. I don't think aunt is right: in fact, come to that, they've all got some of what should be yours; but right or wrong, I'd let her keep it, if I could have my way, rather than quarrel so bitterly. We've got enough without it. But they won't listen to me. I've said once or twice that you ought to have a share