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are a father and daughter. The latter is standing by a parrot's cage, and its little grey tenant, perched on her wrist, is feeding out of her hand. Alice Littleton, then nearly sixteen years old, was in all the pride and bloom of youth and innocence. Her tall form and well-developed bust gave her an appearance womanly beyond her years, and every movement showed the natural grace, dignity, and beauty of her figure. But still Alice had barely passed that interval between girlhood and womanhood which is, perhaps, the most interesting period of woman's life. The playfulness and simplicity of the child linger still, but kept in check by the coming dignity of the woman; whilst the charms of womanhood still in the bud, but ever expanding with the warm glowing life within, fill the imagination with a rich picture of beauty to come. On the other hand, the traces of childhood still remaining, permit and invite a nearer approach and more familiarity than superior years allow. Alice's large blue eyes showed the depth and variety of her feelings. They would sparkle with indignation at another's wrongs, and weep with tenderness and sympathy at another's sorrows. Her varying expression was a faithful index of her mind, and the purity of her glance was equalled only by the purity of her young and simple heart. True, Alice had

not escaped the usual weaknesses of her sex; but her faults had been carefully stunted and her virtues fostered and cultivated. Mrs. Littleton had died

during her daughter's childhood, after having lived long enough to discharge those tender cares which extreme infancy requires at a mother's hands; and Mr. Littleton, after his wife's death, was remarkably fortunate in the choice of a nurse and instructress for Alice. Under the care of this excellent woman, the child's mind grew with her years. Mrs. Turner (such was her name) endeavoured to fill her opening understanding with the knowledge of wisdom rather than the knowledge of books. Education, she said, is not book-learning alone; it includes that, but it includes much more. Education should make us good men and women; exemplary members of society. Languages and history are of little value compared with benevolence, forbearance, and charity. Therefore, thought she, I will strive to make my young charge first of all wise, good, and beloved, and after that accomplished. With this view, and helped by the consistency of her own character, she slowly and gently subdued the fickleness and selfishness of childhood. Her authority was mild, but firm and invariable; it had never wavered since the first moment Alice had been put under her charge; so that the child's

mind became settled in time on a fixed and solid basis. Alice naturally loved her governess with all the warmth of an unspoiled and pure heart, and her love was lasting and strong, because its foundation was respect. Besides this, Mrs. Turner endeavoured to teach her human nature. Man, she said, is a musical instrument of most delicate structure, but harsh and out of tune because generally handled with ignorance and want of judgment. They are most admired and beloved who understand its nature best, and touch it with the greatest harmony. Friendship, she taught, is a rare and precious possession, and as such should be guarded with jealous care. It is a sensitive plant which a word or a breath will injure, and when once wounded seldom recovers its strength. It dwindles more or less slowly away, or, what is worse, rots to envying and bitterness. Hatred is often the dead body of love. Every service merits its reward, and should that reward remain ungiven, no man has a right to expect similar services in future. If then you wish friendship to remain undisturbed, render to your friends strictly and carefully a reward for their friendship. Study by honest but well-considered word and deed to please friends always in preference to strangers, to whom you do not owe so much. Never neglect a friend,

and never speak to or of him without due care and thought. He may bear with us, but he must be hurt, though, perhaps, he will not confess the wound even to himself. Our friends expect, sometimes almost unconsciously to themselves, our best attention for the very friendship's sake. Alice, too, was early warned to beware of vice. Vice, said her instructress, is beautiful at a distance; but, if approached too near, its fascination seizes us, and then we are drawn on inevitably to sorrow and remorse. Virtue, on the other hand, is at first unattractive, modest, and shy. It is often passed by unnoticed, and the frequent insults it suffers from vice have made it timid and retiring. Vice woos


; virtue we must woo. Mrs. Turner's time and thoughts were solely and wholly devoted to her charge. Alice had profited by the lessons given; and as she grew in years her warm heart, gentle manners, simple character, and great beauty, won the admiration and love of all who approached her.

Such was Alice Littleton. Her lips were pursed up, and her features wore a sweet expression, half play, half earnest, as she stood playing with her bird on the morning in question. Her rich auburn hair was arranged with extreme neatness and simplicity, and her dress set off the figure of its wearer. The sleeves were short and loose, leaving uncon

cealed her fair and well-rounded arms, and a pretty little foot peeped out beneath her skirt. At the breakfast-table sat Mr. Littleton. He was a man in the prime of life, of powerful and well-knit frame. His face was manly and marked with the lines of thought and care. His nose was large and slightly curved, and the restless searching glance of his deep-set eyes showed the strong will and fixed purpose within him. Sprung from small beginnings, Mr. Littleton had by talent and industry won a distinguished position in society. He was the son of poor parents, and when still very young had entered the service of a mercantile house in some inferior capacity. His talent and application were soon observed, and he quickly mounted step after step, until his employers found that his presence was necessary for the wellbeing of their business. He was accordingly taken into partnership, married shortly afterwards the daughter of one of the members, and in a few years, by deaths and retirements, found himself, when still young, head of one of the largest houses in London. But Mr. Littleton wanted that true greatness of soul which grants to every fellow-creature its full due of gentleness and charity. Rapid success had hardened his heart and inflated him with pride and self. He regarded men as his servants, and the

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