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You know I can't bear tears. You shall have

money enough for these people, and any other beggars you like."

"But they are not beggars;" returned Alice, with a slight shade of vexation.

"Well, well, I don't want to dispute about names. They are all the same, whatever you call them. Anything else you would like?"

"No, thank you, I don't want anything;" looking down disconcerted and pouting slightly. Alice was hurt and annoyed to find her benevolent enthusiasm checked by her father. Few things injure more deeply than to hear others speak slightingly or contemptuously of our undertakings. It is the same as denying the soundness of our judg


"There, don't look so cross, Alice," said Mr. Littleton soothingly. "I didn't mean to offend you. I only meant to say I suppose it never entered your childish head to inquire about the character of these people, before you took it upon yourself to support them. Perhaps they have been idle and vicious, and if so, their poverty is their own fault, and you ought not, you know, to encourage vice and idleness."

"Yes, but then, you know, they are so poor and so hungry; and besides, if they have been idle and

and I

vicious, they can't help now what is past; don't think I ought to punish them for it. And then," continued she coaxingly, "you have often called me an idle creature, and, indeed, I know I don't do much; so ought I to refuse them help because they have been idle when I have been idle myself as well?"

"But God has placed them in a position which renders it their duty to work," said Mr. Littleton. "Your position is different."

For a moment the worldly man bowed before the noble simplicity of his high-minded child, when, her face slightly raised, and her fine eyes dilated, she said with thrilling expression: "But did not God give us wealth to help them in their need?"

Mr. Littleton, in his pride, recognized no other hand than his own in the erection of his princely wealth, and consequently deemed it his natural right to have and hold his possessions for his own enjoyment alone. The duty of benevolence was unknown to him; but still there was something in his daughter's manner which inspired him, for the moment, with awe. Experience, also, had made him watchful against the deceits of the world, and he was right in being so; but still he could not but acknowledge in his child the presence of a spirit superior to his own.

"Well, well, Alice," he said, "I promise you whatever you like for these poor people. Now are you satisfied?"

The prospect of changing tears into smiles, and hunger and nakedness into plenty and comfort, soon dispelled the shadow from the young girl's face. She covered her father with grateful childlike caresses, saying: "Thank you, papa dear, you are always such a nice, dear, good old gentleman, aren't you?"

"Be a little more peaceable," said he, freeing himself with difficulty. "You are like some wild animal. Take a chair and sit down; I have something to tell you seriously."


Thy slave, my lord father, obeys thee;" and Alice sat down on a footstool before him, and looked up with innocent curiosity into his face.

"Alice," he continued, "you are now nearly sixteen, and have reached an age when, according to the phrase of society, you should come out. I intend that this ceremony shall take place on your attaining your seventeenth year. Invitations shall be issued for the end of next month, and on that day I shall introduce you to my assembled acquaintance as mistress of this house."

His daughter's eyes sparkled at the words. She would have given full vent to her delight, but he

checked her, and with a serious expression said: "Listen to me farther, Alice, and do not interrupt me. Introduction to society is introduction to many enjoyments, but to many dangers. I am wealthy; you know it. Richer than most men, and you are young and inexperienced in the world. My wealth will attract around you many admirers; men with handsome faces and smooth tongues, who will seek your friendship, perhaps your love. Beware how you grant the first, and grant the second not at all. Do not let your simplicity be deceived by their empty words. Acknowledge, nay, accept their attentions with the strictest politeness; but distrust them, Alice, distrust them. Remember that their words and deeds are the offspring of self. It is the dazzle of my gold which draws them, and not regard for us. If to-morrow found us pennyless, it would find us without a friend in, perhaps, any one of them. Trust to your father, child, who will tell you when and where to bestow your esteem. Do you understand me?”

The prospect of the new and promised life so near at hand filled her with delight. Her face beamed with pleasure. Her father's first words had driven every other thought from her head. She was soon to behold, in all their brilliant reality, the scenes on which her childish fancy had often

dwelt. A confusion of rolling carriages, gay music, splendid rooms and dancing lights, filled her mind, and at the same time all the impatience of her spirit awoke. Five minutes earlier she had not expected the happiness which her father's words threw open to her; but now she saw that happiness so near at hand, she could not help thinking impatiently of the few intervening weeks which prevented her from seizing it at once. A month at any other time would have been regarded with unconcern, but now the days and weeks lengthened out before her, growing longer and longer as she looked, until they seemed to stretch away into an eternity; but still she was overjoyed by the enchantment which lay at the end, and which was rendered the more alluring by distance. Busy with imagination, she had scarcely understood her father's advice; but when he had finished speaking she joyfully promised to submit in all respects to his guidance.

Mr. Littleton stroked his child's rich hair as she sat at his feet resting her arms on his knees, and looking up, full of happiness and innocence, into his face. Again the smile of gratified pride played about his features as his thoughts hurried away to the future. Before him was a young and beautiful tree sprung from himself. All that could preserve its vigour and foster its growth and comeliness was

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