The Baldwin Library
I mvUi wi
C7 L rZLA.
nV^ ^u T feA\Sl.s w
SUSAN PICKS UP THE GERAbNIUMo
4J! --. , ;. --x-'_ --. -- 1
STORY OF A GERANIUMS
Qlie C-1ii-_ ."i ,. of -1 .r1 ,
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY,
56, PATERNOSTER Row; 65, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD;
AND 164, PICCADILLY.
'i "-- *
I. THE QUEEN OF MOROCCO 5
II. TIIE LACE EDGINGS 14
II. A TIMELY VISIT 23
Iv. A TALK ABOUT EMULATION 3
v. THE INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL 41
VI. FALSELY ACCUSED 47
VII. TROUBLE AT HOME .- .
VIII. RIGHT AT LAST 59
STORY OF A GERANIUM,
-*. : i. r: were many pretty cot-
S .s in the village where
Sti: widow Grey lived, but
St. t one of them was prettier
S than her own, nor more
neatly kept. There was a
.. honeysuckle growing on the
"front wall, which it quite
-_ - hid; and it hung over the
door and the small latticed
windows. It was covered with blossoms, and
they had a very sweet smell. There was a
6 The S ..: of a Geranium.
sunny little garden at the back of the cottage,
which was well stocked with cabbages, turnips,
peas, and beans; and in one border might be
seen mignonette, lupin, and a few other flowers.
There was a beehive there also, and this part
of the garden belonged to Mrs. Grey's young
daughter Susan, who watered it every evening,
and pulled out the weeds whenever she could
spare time to do so. She was very fond of
flowers, and so was her brother, who worked for
a farmer in the neighbourhood.
lie kept the garden in very nice order by
dressing it when he came home after his day's
labour was over, and this he liked better than
going to divert himself with the other young
lads of the village. IIe would have liked much
to be a gardener, as his father had been, but he
could not leave his mother in order to learn.
His sister, though very young, took care of
the house, as their mother's health was not
good; and she also earned money by plain and
fancy work, in which her mother was able to
The Queen of Morocco." 7
Mrs. Grey was a woman who loved God, and
loved His word. She had always tried to teach
her children to do the same, according to the
command in Prov. xxii. 6, "Train up a child
in the way he should go," remembering the
promise which follows-" And when he is old
he will not depart from it."
It pleased God to bless the instructions of
this good mother to William and Susan. No
teaching can avail to turn the heart to God,
without the influence of the Holy Spirit, but
this is promised to all who ask for it, and we
may be sure that widow Grey did not neglect
doing so, in teaching her children, for her Bible
told her that though Paul may plant, and
Apollos water, God alone can give the increase.
Though the Greys knew that they were, like all
other children of Adam, sinners before God,
they knew also that the Lord Jesus Christ had
come into the world to save sinners; and trusting
to what he had done for them, and to nothing
else, for forgiveness, they had peace with God.
They were very happy in their humble cottage,
8 The Story of a Geranium.
for there was a great deal of love In it, and they
were kind to the people about them, never
missing an opportunity to help them by any
means in their power.
It was very pleasant to see them in the
evening, when William had returned from his
day's work, and they met together round their
little table for supper, which Susan always ar-
ranged in the neatest order; never forgetting a
nosegay of the flowers that she and her brother
were so fond of, as long as they were to be pro-
cured. When the frugal meal was ended, the
Bible was brought, and their hearts rejoiced to
read and speak of Him, "in whom we have
redemption through His blood, the forgiveness
One morning Susan set out for the next town,
"which was rather more than a mile from the
cottage, in order to make a few purchases which
were needed for their frugal housekeeping. She
carried a basket on her arm, and with a light
step and a light heart she moved along. The
day was very fine, and the birds sang merrily in
"The Queem of Morocco." 9
the hedges, which were themselves gay with the
golden blossoms of the furze, and wild roses;
primroses and cowslips growing on the banks.
We must not suppose that because little Susan
was a poor child, she had no taste to admire
the beautiful works of God. She felt great
delight in looking at all those things which, we
are told in the Bible, IIe has given to his people,
whatever may be their station in this world,
"richly to enjoy," and she remembered a pretty
poem, given to her by her Sunday-school teacher,
and, in the gladness of her heart, repeated it as
she walked :-
I praised the earth, in beauty seen,
With garlands gay of various green:
I praised the sea, whose ample field,
Shone glorious as a silver shield:
And earth and ocean seemed to say
Our beauties are but for a day.
O God, how good beyond compare !
If thus Thy meaner works are fair,
If thus Thy bounties gild the span
Of ruined earth and sinful man,
How glorious must the mansion be
Where Thy redeemed shall dwell with Thee!
10 The Story of a Geranium.
When Susan reached the town, and had
placed her little stock of groceries and other
purchases in the basket, she went into a mercer's
shop to buy materials for working a collar
which a lady had bespoken from her. The shop-
boy to whom she applied, asked her to wait for
a few minutes while he helped another customer.
This was a servant in livery, who held in his
hand a number of young geranium plants tied
together, having their roots wrapped up in wet
moss to keep them fresh. Flower-buds were
formed on most of them; through which, in
some, the bright blossoms were appearing.
A look at these geraniums was a treat to
little Susan; and as the man laid them on the
counter while paying for the goods which the
shopkeeper had made up for him, she had an
opportunity of seeing them more closely. She
leaned over them to do this, How very pretty,"
thought she, that pink leaf will be when it is
quite opened Then this scarlet flower, oh! it
will be beautiful."
The servant, on finishing his business, took
The Queen of Morocco." 11
them up and went away, and Susan, having got
her own purchases, did the same. She had not
gone far along the street when she saw the man
before her, still holding the bundle of plants in
his hand. She walked quicker in order that
she might take another look at them, but as she
drew near, saw something on the flag-way which
she stopped to pick up. It was one of the ge-
raniums that had fallen from the servant's hand.
The buds of this flower were still unopened-all
its beauty still shut up from view. Perhaps it
might prove even finer than those of which she
had had a glimpse. How very pleasant it would
be to plant it, and take care of it, and watch
its opening beauties! Such were Susan's first
thoughts; but she soon remembered that the
treasure which she had found was not her own,
and she instantly darted off to overtake the
person who had let it fall.
Her haste was so great that she forgot how
the basket which hung on her arm was in the
way of other passengers on the foot-path, till it
came right against an old gentleman who was
12 The i'h ; of a Geranium.c
walking slowly towards her, and who was nearly
thrown down by the shock. Susan begged his
pardon, and was hurrying on, but he would
not let her go so quietly. He caught her arm,
and said, "You careless little girl, did you want
to give me a fall ? You were very near it."
"No indeed, I did not, sir," cried Susan, "I
did not intend to hurt you, or to offend you.
Pray let me go on with this geranium which a
man has just dropped; I am trying to catch him
to give it to him."
"Nonsense," said the old gentleman, still
holding her, why did the careless fellow drop
it ? Throw it away: you ran the risk of killing
me to return a thing not worth a penny. Throw
it away, and be more cautious how you tread on
a gentleman's gouty foot again, or how you go
at such a rate on a crowded footpath."
lie released her arm from his hold, and off
she went again, following the object of her
pursuit down a street into which she had seen
him turn. It was in vain--he was no longer to
be seen, and no trace of him could she again
The Qucn of J .......,' 13
discover. As a last resource she returned to
the shop where she had met him; but there no
information could be obtained.
It was now time for Susan to go home, which
she did; and no sooner had she prepared every-
thing ready for dinner, than she planted her
geranium-for such she thought it might now
be considered-in a flower-pot. She watered it,
and placed it in a shady place. A label had
been tied to it which bore the name of the
geranium, and it was a very grand one-nothing
less than "The Queen of Morocco."
Under Susan's good care it suffered nothing
from having been transplanted, but grew rapidly.
As the buds opened, the large lower leaves or
petals of the flower looked just as if they were
made of velvet; quite black in the middle, and
softening off towards the edges into deep crimson.
Susan thought she had never seen any flower so
beautiful; and every evening, when William,
her brother, came home from work, she would
not let him sit down till he had seen what pro-
gress it had made since the evening before.
i.i-' i this time Mrs. Grey and her
'JL two children lived very hap-
IL 'pily, though they had but a
very small share of this world's
": goods. They had been taught
S rom the word of God, by means
.-f the Holy Spirit, who can guide
-. into all truth, the same useful
lesson that the apostle Paul had
been taught when he said, "I have learned,
in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be con-
tent." But God sometimes sees fit to send
trials even to those whom He loves, and always
for a good purpose, as we are told in the 12th
chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Poor
The Lace Edgings. 15
widow Grey was taken very ill, and it was a
great cause of sorrow to her children.
The sick woman required many little comforts
which they were not able to procure for her,
and this grieved them very much. William's
wages were only enough to get such things as
could not be done without; and Susan could do
but little work, not having her mother to help
her, and her time being taken up in nursing
that dear parent.
The meekness and patience with which Mrs.
Grey bore her sufferings, while it made her son
and daughter love her the better, also in-
creased the grief they felt at seeing her want
anything that might do her good. Still there
was great comfort, and encouragement too, in
seeing how entirely she put her trust in that
gracious Saviour who had died for her, and she
often made them sure that she felt just as the
psalmist did when he said, "Though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, I will
fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod
and Thy staff they comfort me."
10 ie'li ...; of a GerantUq.
One day when their money was all gone, and
their cupboard empty, Susan set out for the
town to carry home some edgings which a young
lady who lived there had ordered. She had sat
up the greater part of the night to finish them,
and as good payment had been promised, she
expected to bring back her basket well filled
with such things as her mother needed.
The morning was as fine, and the hedgerows
and banks as gay with wild flowers, as on the
day when she had found the geranium. The
birds sang just as merrily as ever; but little
Susan did not move along with the same light
step and cheerful heart.
"Everything about me is just as it was then,"
she thought, "and God, who made them, is
just as good still: Ile is 'the same yesterday,
and to-day, and for ever.' I wonder why I am
so cast down; I will try and think of some verse
that will make me feel happy again."
"We may be sure that the wisest or most
learned man in the world could not have thought
of a better way to make him feel hap)y again
The Lace Edgings. 17
when he was in trouble, than that which this
simple little girl adopted. The words of the
Lord Jesus soon occurred to her mind, "Take
no thought, saying, What shall we cat? or,
What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall
we be clothed? For your heavenly Father
knoweth that ye have need of all these things."
Susan felt comforted, knowing that she was
under the care of a kind Father who could
provide for all her wants as He saw fit. "I
wonder how I could be so cast down," she said
to herself. "I never will be so again, whatever
may happen;" and she went on with a quicker
But Susan was foolish to say this in her own
strength. It is true that she could not have too
much faith in what God has promised; but she
seemed to forget that we are told in the Scrip-
tures how faith itself is His gift, and that we
cannot have it of ourselves.
When Susan Grey reached the town, she
went to the house of Miss Parker, the young
lady who had ordered the edgings. Susan had
18 1ithe ... -, of a Gfraitium.
taken great pains, in doing them, to attend to
the directions which she had got; and she felt
sure they would be approved of. She was,
however, surprised to find that though Miss
Parker had seemed very anxious to have them
finished, she took very little notice when Susan
presented them to her. Her mind seemed quite
full of something that she was saying to another
young lady who had come to pay her a visit.
"Stay a while, little girl," she said, "I will
look at your work presently;" and then she
went on addressing her friend. "And so, dear
Eleanor, you have not heard the news: then I
must tell it to you. Lady Walton has returned
to the Park, sooner than was expected. She is
as active and busy as ever; intending to pro-
mote everything good and useful. She has al-
ready announced that in about a month she
will give a fPte for all the girls who have at-
tended her working-school. They are to bring
with them specimens of their work, and rewards
are to be given to the best. Lady Walton has
kindly declared that we young ladies, who have
The Lace Edgings. 19
managed the school during her absence, shall be
invited to it; and she will, of course, have a
party of her own friends there, so that it is
likely we may make some nice new acquaint-
The young lady to whom all this was told
did not seem to enjoy it so highly as Miss Par-
ker, who was telling it; she did not speak till
the other asked, "Don't you think it will be
delightful, Eleanor ?" and then she said, "It
will be pleasant to see the little school-girls
enjoying themselves, and to have their industry
rewarded; but, Jane, I cannot say that I care
for getting acquainted with great people. You
know the apostle says, Mind not high things,
but condescend to men of low estate.' "
"Oh! but if people are good and religious,"
answered Miss Parker, "their being of superior
rank would be no reason for not knowing them.
The school-girls are to have their dinner under
the large chestnut trees in the park, and when
we have seen them partake of it, we are to go
in to lunch. Will it not be very pleasant?"
20 The Si., ,' of a Geranium.
"I dare say," replied Eleanor; "but do not,
dear Jane, keep this little girl waiting on my
account: she may be in a hurry, and I am not."
"Oh, I was forgetting her. These edgings
-I am told this pattern is quite out of fashion
now," said Jane, throwing them back on the
"I did them just as you desired me, Miss
Parker," said poor Susan, looking surprised and
"Yes, you have done them pretty well; but
I heard yesterday that nobody wears them now.
And why did you not bring them the day that
you promised P You may remember that I was
so anxious to get them then, I told you I would
not take them at all if there were any delay."
"Indeed, ma'am, I would have done so, but
poor mother was taken ill, and I was not able
to finish them till very late last night," replied
How ready people always are with excuses!"
said Miss Parker. "I heard that you were
a pious little girl, who, of course, would not
The Lace Edgings. 21
tell untruths, and that made me anxious to get
you employment; I am sorry to find I was
Here the young lady asked, "Is this the
little girl you mentioned in such high terms
lately, Jane, and seemed anxious to serve-the
daughter of the widow Grey ? "
"The same," replied Miss Parker. "I am
sorry to be obliged to change my opinion. Here,
Susan, take these things back again; and let
this be a lesson for the future to make you
regard your word. As I don't wish to be too
hard upon you, I will give you another job as
soon as I can get a pattern of Lady Walton's,
which I have been promised."
Miss Willis, for such was the visitor's name,
observed that as the little girl put up the re-
turned work, tears ran down her cheeks, and
said, "Perhaps, dear Jane, you are judging too
hastily. If this poor little girl's story be true,
which we have no reason to doubt, her mother's
illness acquits her of all blame for not being
able to finish the work."
22 The Story of a Geranium.
"Indeed it is all quite true, ma'am," cried
Susan; "mother is ill, very ill, and could not
do any of the work; and I had to take care of
her, and do many other things, so that I was
not able to finish it sooner."
"Well, well, I will go to your house the first
day that I can spare time, and see how she is-
and perhaps take the new patterns," said Miss
Parker, whose late desire to patronize the Greys
had been driven from her mind by thoughts of
Lady Walton and her promised fete.
/... : V inm.l C it i,.-l It.
'I V. USAN went away, looking very
sad, and Miss Willis said to her
'friend, "Forgive me, dear Jane,
i if I ask you one question, and
beg of you to think a little
S before you answer it. Would
you have been so hasty in judg-
ing this poor girl, and in returning the work
because it was not finished sooner, if something
had not changed your mind about the fashion
of the pattern ? You know that our hearts are
deceitful: examine yours, my friend, and then
tell me if it was entirely a wish to teach Susan
Grey a lesson on truth that made you return
Jane coloured, and looked a little angrv: but
24 The Story of a Geranium.
though she had many faults, she had also some
right feelings; and when convinced she had
been wrong, was always ready to own it. Be-
sides, there was something so kind and gentle
in Miss Willis' voice and manner, that it touched
"I do believe you are right, Eleanor," she
said; "I may have judged Susan more hastily
than I should have done, had I still wished for
the kind of trimming she brought. Yet she
certainly ought to have finished it at the time
she promised. Her not doing so makes me feel
doubts as to her character for truth, and you
will own that we ought to guard as much as we
can against the danger of being imposed on."
"Certainly," her friend replied; "but I am
sure from this poor girl's manner she was telling
the truth; and, dear Jane, is it not better, and
pleasanter too, to judge our fellow-creatures,
whenever we can, with that charity which
'beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth
"Of course," answered Miss Parker; "and I
A T.' .,. Visit. 25
will, as I said, walk out to Mrs. Grey's cottage
the very first day I can get time, to find out if
she is really ill."
Why not go at once ? "inquired Miss Willis.
"Because I must be so busy about the school,
getting the girls to prepare some specimen of
work each, ready for this party that we are to
have at the park. Will you come to the school
with me now ? "
"I cannot," said Eleanor, "I have business
elsewhere;" and she took leave of her friend.
Miss Willis' business was to visit the widow
Grey, and try if she could be of any service to
her and her family. She had first heard of them
from Jane Parker; but knowing how that young
lady was apt to take violent likings to people,
she had inquired from others about the Greys-
Susan's tears and sorrowful face as she left Miss
Parker's room, had touched Miss Willis' kind
heart; and having provided herself with a few
little things which might be of use to a sick
person, she set out for Mrs. Grey's cottage.
When she got there everything was so quiet
28 The ;,,:f. e of a Geran[i m.
that she thought it likely the widow might be
asleep; and not wishing to run the risk of dis-
turbing her, by knocking, Miss Willis entered the
door, which was open, and sat down in the neat
kitchen. She soon heard sobs which came from
an inner room; and then the voice of Susan
"Don't blame me, mother dear, don't blame
me. I was sure I should have brought home
my basket filled with the things that you want;
and here it is, empty; and now I can't make
you a cup of tea, or gruel-and you so ill. Oh !
my own dear mother, how can I help being
angry with Miss Parker ?"
Mrs. Grey replied in a weak tone: "My
child, I am sure, by what you tell me, that the
young lady did not mean to be either cruel or
wrong. Don't you remember how we are de-
sired to judge not ?"
"Yes, mother; but- "
"But what, my child?"
"What am I to do, mother?" poor Susan
exclaimed, with a fresh burst of grief.
A Timely Visit. 27
"Put your trust in Him who so graciously
said, 'Consider the ravens: for they neither sow
nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor
barn; and God feedeth them: how much more
are ye better than the fowls ?' was Mrs. Grey's
reply. After a few minutes' silence, she con-
tinued, "You know the pretty verse, Susey,
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage talk;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head."
Miss Willis, though she had heard this con-
versation with the greatest interest, did not like
to stay any longer listening to what it was not
intended she should hear. She went and tapped
gently at the door of the little bed-room. Come
in, please," said the sick woman, who thought
it was one of her neighbours; and the lady
Mrs. Grey and her little girl, who sat weep-
ing at her bedside, looked surprised; but Miss
Willis spoke with so kind a voice and manner,
28 The f.,j of c Geranium.
that her presence soon appeared to give them
comfort, and they begged of her to sit down.
"I met you a little while ago at Miss Par-
ker's," she said, addressing Susan.
Oh, mother," cried Susan, "this is the kind
lady who said she was sure I would not have
broken my promise if I could have helped it."
The sick woman smiled on Miss Willis,
saying, "Our dear Lord's words were, 'Blessed
are the peacemakers.'"
"I hope you will excuse me for coming in as
I did," said Miss Willis; "I thought you might
be asleep, and feared making any noise which
might disturb you. Without intending to be a
listener, I heard you speak to your daughter in
a way that proved how entirely you put your
trust in God, and it gave me great pleasure
"Why should I not put my trust in Him,
ma'am?" replied Mrs. Grey. "He that spared
not His only Son, but delivered Him up for us
all, how shall He not with Him also freely give
us all things ?"
A T' -, i7 Visit. 29
The widow seemed to grow weaker from the
exertion of speaking, and Miss Willis made no
answer; but she lifted up her heart in prayer to
God, that Hle would give her "like precious
faith as this poor woman enjoyed. She then
said to Susan, "After you went away from Miss
Parker's, I remembered that a friend of mine
was lately wishing for some edgings such as
those which were returned to you. I am now
come to purchase them for her."
"Oh, ma'am, how good and kind you are! "
cried the little girl, wiping away her tears, while
her face was lit up with joy. She was not long
in getting the work, which Miss Willis paid
for; and then Susan, out of the abundance of
her heart, said, "I will go back to the town at
once. I can get something fit for dear mother
"It is too late for you to walk there again,"
said Miss Willis, in a low voice not to let Mrs.
Grey hear her. "As I feared this might be the
case, I brought a few articles that may be of
use to your mother for the present." She then
30 Thec j. of a Gerai iu7m.
produced a little basket which she had hid under
Here is some arrowroot," she said, "and a
lemon also; and a small quantity of tea, some
biscuits, and a few other things; so you had
better prepare whatever she would like; and
I will, if your mother allows me, come to see
her again, for I should like to know more of
one who seems to love and trust God as she
Miss Willis then went away, followed by the
blessing of the fatherless and the widow, whom
she had visited in their affliction.
It was not long before Miss Willis went again
to the cottage. She found it very pleasant to
see how Mrs. Grey, in all her sickness and
trouble, had comfort and support in the promises
which God has given us in His word. The
widow was never weary of speaking about Him
who had shed His blood for her.
She loved to tell to all around,
What a good Saviour she had found;
and Miss Willis liked just as much to hear it.
The love of God to poor sinners in sending
His Son to die for them is a subject which, as
we are told in Scripture, even the angels desire
to look into," so it is no wonder that sinners
themselves who are saved should like to talk
and to think about it. We wish our young
readers also to remember that the prophet
Malachi says, They that feared the Lord spake
often one to another: and the Lord hearkened,
and heard it, and a book of remembrance was
written before IHim for them that feared the
Lord, and that thought upon His name."
Miss Willis' father was a physician, and she
asked him to call at Mrs. Grey's cottage as he
was going to the village. He did so, and was
very kind to Mrs. Grey, and gave her some
medicines which did her a great deal of good.
It was great joy to William and Susan to see
their dear mother grow stronger and better.
Miss Willis also took Susan several orders for
fancy work, which she did very nicely, and
pleased the ladies who employed her so well,
that they gave her very good pay.
32 The Story of a Geranium.
The Greys were very thankful for this happy
change; first to God, whose fatherly care they
felt in everything, and next to the kind young
lady who had been the means of bringing them
Meanwhile summer had advanced, and every-
thing about the cottage looked cheerful. Susan's
sweet-pea and lupin were very fine, and our old
acquaintance, the Queen of Morocco, had grown
very large, and was now in full blossom. It
was kept in a sunny back window where Miss
Willis, in her frequent visits to the cottage, had
not happened to see it, till, one day, Susan
brought it to show to her. Though Miss Willis
was fond of flowers, she was not so good a judge
of them as to know whether this geranium was
a rare one, and, on that account, very much to
be valued. But, like all persons of real taste,
she admired it, not from fashion, but on its own
account, and said she had never seen anything
more beautiful than the rich velvet of its dark
Susan's face glowed with delight, and sho
A Timely Visit. 33
cried, "Will you, dear Miss Willis, will you
be so very good as to accept this plant? Oh!
it would make me so happy to have you think
it worth accepting."
There is sometimes as much kindness in
taking as in giving. Miss Willis knew that it
would be so in this instance, and she made
little Susan happy by accepting the geranium,
and assuring her that she was very glad to get
it for a flower-stand which her father had given
her a few days before, and to which it would be
a great ornament.
Z ^alk about mttulation.
HiE day on which Lady Walton
S was to treat the pupils of her
M 4 working-school was now very
near. Miss Willis took a great
S interest in the success of Susan Grey,
Swho was to exhibit some of her
work there, as she had gone to the
school for a time. The nicest piece of work
was to be rewarded with a sum of money,
which, though not a large one, would be of
great use to people who were as poor as
Mrs. Grey and her children; and other rewards
were to be given for other work.
Susan had fixed upon a handkerchief of the
finest cambric, which she embroidered all round.
Her kind friend Miss Willis had taken care to
A Talk about Emulation. 35
get her a pretty new pattern; and often, when
she visited the cottage, would make tea or broth
for Mrs. Grey, or read some nice book for her,
that Susan might go on with her work.
One day, when she was engaged in some of
these good offices, while the little girl was busy
with her needle, Miss Willis said, "You have
done that difficult stitch very neatly, Susan. I
have every hope that you will gain the first
prize on Tuesday next."
Oh do you think so, ma'am?" said Susan.
"Well, perhaps I shall. None of the girls
know this new stitch that you were so good as
to teach me."
"Do you know, Miss Willis," said Mrs. Grey,
"that when I was reading yesterday the 5th
chapter of the Epistle to the Galatians, I saw
'emulations' put down among the works of the
flesh, along with 'wrath, strife, envyings,' and
other things, which they that do 'shall not
inherit the kingdom of God.' Now, ma'am, I
was wishing to ask you if you think there is
danger that these little girls will learn these
36 The Story of a Geranium.
wrong 'emulations' by trying who can do the
Miss Willis seemed to consider this question
for a while before she answered it. She was
very humble, and always felt cautious about
giving her opinion. At last she said, "I believe
there is danger, Mrs. Grey, that whatever we
do, we may be led into something wrong. Our
hearts are very deceitful; and then, we are told
in Scripture that our adversary the devil, as a
roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he
may devour.' This means, I should think, that
he is always watching to lead us into sin, even
when we are doing what is not in itself sinful.
Now, it seems to me, that as there is nothing
wrong in these little girls doing fancy work to
support themselves and their families, there can
be nothing wrong in their trying to do it as well
"Then you do not think that emulation is
wrong in itself, ma'am ?" said Mrs. Grey.
I should think not," answered Miss Willis,
opening the Bible at the 11th chapter of the
A Talk about Emulation. 37
Epistle to the Romans, "because I find the
apostle here saying that he tried by any means
to provoke to emulation his own people, the
Jews, to receive the gospel as the Gentiles had
done. But indeed I should wish our little
Susan to watch her own heart well on this occa-
sion, for fear ill-will, or envy, or any other
wrong feeling might arise there."
Susan coloured, and she looked at her mother
and her kind friend. Tears came into her eyes,
and she said, "Oh! I do believe that wrong,
very wrong feelings have come into my heart
already about this work. I should be ashamed
to tell them even to you, my two best friends."
"God knows them, my dear child," her
mother replied; "and what is your fellow-
sinners knowing them compared to that ? Are
we not commanded to confess our faults one to
another, and to pray for one another ?"
"Well, mother, I have felt very anxious to
gain the first prize," said Susan, while the tears
fell down her cheeks, "not only that I might
be able to help you, but-but, because I was
38 The Story of a Geranium.
proud to think I should be talked of as the best
of all the workers. "But I have more to tell,
Miss W*illis," cried the little girl, her sobs
scarcely allowing her to speak, "I am afraid
you will never like me again; but indeed,
indeed, I never thought, till this moment, how
wicked it was," and she stopped.
"We have all need to say as king David
did," observed her mother, "'Who can under-
stand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret
faults.' But what were you going to say,
"That when Ellen Green cut her finger last
week, I felt-just at first, mother, only just at
first-a little bit-as if I was glad-for she is a
very good worker; and the thought just came
into my mind that she could not finish what she
is doing before Tuesday. But indeed it was
only for a moment; and I was glad then when
I found she was not much hurt. But now I
feel how wicked even this was."
"I trust it was God who made you feel it to
be so," Miss Willis answered; ",and that His
A Talk about Emulation. 39
Holy Spirit, whose office it is to 'convince the
world of sin,' will give you grace to struggle
against wrong feelings for the future, the
moment they arise in your mind."
"But will God forgive me?" asked Susan,
in a low voice, and looking down.
"My child," replied her mother, "do you
not remember that most gracious, that comforting
word, 'If any man sin, we have an advocate
with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
and he is the propitiation for our sins.'"
"Yes, mother; and believe me-and you too,
Miss Willis; for indeed I think I am sincere
when I say it-I would rather give up going
to the park on Tuesday, and all hope of gaining
any of the prizes, than that it should lead me
to do or to feel what is wicked."
"We do believe you, my dear little girl,"
replied Miss Willis; "and though I would by
no means advise you to give up this chance of
having your industry encouraged and rewarded,
still I would ask you to let what we have now
been speaking of lead you to watch your own
40 The Story of a Geranium.
heart closely, and to pray for grace to do and to
feel what is pleasing in the sight of God. There
is no occasion on which we shall not find tempta-
tion to commit sin: but when we are doing
what is not in itself wrong-as is, I think, the
case in this instance-we may ask for help from
above, and shall be sure to get it. I hope you
think I am right in this advice, Mrs. Grey ?"
"Indeed I do, ma'am; and I sincerely thank
you for giving it to my little girl; I am sure
she will not forget it."
We are glad to be able to say that Mrs. Grey
was not mistaken in this. As Susan prepared
for the exhibition in the park, she not only
tried, but prayed to be kept from jealousy, envy,
or any other wrong passion. This kept her
mind very calm; and when Tuesday came,
though wishing to succeed, she felt quite ready
to be satisfied whatever the decision might be.
Zht Jnbuotrial Srhorol.
-,' : ITE day of trial was as fine as
c would be wished for; and no-
thing could be more elegant
"f ; than the preparations which
. . . had been made in the park for
the various guests. Several
S'' tables were placed under some
'-i fine old chestnut and syca-
more trees. One of them was covered with a
feast, of which the children of the Industrial
School were to partake when the business of
the day was over. On another were fruits, and
other light refreshments suited to the warmth
of the weather, for the ladies who had taken
an interest in the school, and others whom
42 The Story of a Geranium.
Lady Walton had invited to examine and judge
of the work.
A third table was covered with the specimens
which were to be examined. It was very plea-
sant to walk about under the thick boughs of
these trees, on the soft green carpet of grass
that was spread at their feet. Music had also
been provided, which sounded very sweet in the
At length the work was to be looked at, and
Miss Willis' kind heart beat quickly when she
saw the cambric handkerchief done by her little
favourite, Susan Grey, in the hands of the ladies
who were to judge of its merits. Her ear
caught the words, "How very neat !"-" Beau-
tifully worked!" and other expressions of
praise; and great was her joy when she learned
soon after that the first prize was to be given
This little girl had been always so obliging
and kind to her young companions that they all
seemed pleased at her success. Even those who
had felt hopes of gaining it themselves, now
The Industrial School. 43
gathered round her, wishing her joy; and one
of them was heard to say, "Well, Susan Grey,
since it was not myself who got the prize, I am
very glad it was you."
When all the work had been looked at, and
other, though smaller, rewards given, the con-
duct of the school-girls was next inquired into;
and so much was said in favour of Susan, that
a lady very finely dressed, and who had come
in a grand carriage, declared she must have the
pleasure of making a present to so good a girl,
and would do so in the evening. Miss Willis
looked at Susan to see how she bore all these
honours, and was very glad to find that she did
not seem puffed up by them, but was the quietest
of the whole group.
After seeing the children seated at their
repast, and enjoying for some time the look of
their merry faces while they partook of it, the
company went into the house to lunch. When
this was over they walked about the library
and drawing-room, amusing themselves with
books and prints, and in various other ways.
44 The Story of a Geranium.
Jane Parker and Eleanor Willis were looking
at a fine painting which was hung on the wall,
when Lady Walton, and the lady who had pro-
mised the reward to Susan, drew near.
"Miss Willis," said Lady Walton, "excuse
me; but my friend, Mrs. Dennis, says she has
been all day admiring a geranium in your
bouquet, and hopes you will allow her to look
at it more closely."
Miss Willis at once presented her flowers,
and as the ladies moved off with them to a
window, she heard Mrs. Dennis exclaim, "It
is, it really is what I told you. It is the Queen
They soon returned, and, with many apolo-
gies, requested Miss Willis to tell them where
she had got this geranium, as it was a new and
very scarce one. She said that Mrs. Dennis
had a particular reason for asking the question,
and hoped Miss Willis would have no objection
to answer it.
"Not the least, ma'am," said Miss Willis,
and she then told how it had been given her by
The Industrial School. 45
the little girl to whom the first prize for fancy-
work had just been adjudged.
"May I ask if this girl told you where she
got it?" Mrs. Dennis inquired.
"No, ma'am," replied Miss Willis, "I never
thought of asking her. Though I admired the
beauty of the flower very much, I had no idea
that it was so new or so rare as to be of much
At Mrs. Dennis's request a messenger was
sent to Susan. The school-girls were playing
on the lawn; they had made Susan the queen
of the day, in honour of her having gained the
first prize, and had made a crown of wild-
flowers, which was placed on her head. Per-
haps few real queens are often as happy or as
merry as this poor little girl was, while she sat
upon a throne of newly-mown hay, with her
young followers all about her. In the midst
of their sport a footman was seen crossing the
lawn towards them. When he came near he
called out-" If Susan Grey is there, let her
come with me to the house."
46 The Story of a Geranium.
"Don't be long away from us, Susie; we
can't go on with our play till you come back,"
cried one of the children.
"Ah! Susie," said Ellen Green, who went
with her to meet the servant, "that grand lady
is going to give you the present she promised,
and I hope it will be a good one."
Susan thought of the cut finger. "Dear
Nelly, you are very kind to me-a deal kinder
than I deserve, and so is every one."
She followed the servant to the house, a little
frightened, but still thinking that she was sum-
moned for the purpose of giving her the pro-
mised reward, or perhaps to receive an order for
'HEN Susan was taken into the
Sdrawing-room full of fine people,
j she was greatly abashed. She
cast a look all round to see if
there was any one she knew, and
"" her eyes rested upon her good
friend Miss Willis. That young lady gave her
a smile as kind as ever, but Susan perceived
that it was still a sad one, and that Miss Willis'
face had an anxious and uneasy look. This
did not add much to the poor girl's courage;
but when Mrs. Dennis, in rather a harsh voice,
said, "We sent for you that you should tell us
truly where you got this scarce and beautiful
geranium, the Queen of Morocco, which you
gave to Miss Willis."
48 The Story of a Geranium.
Susan shook from head to foot, and was
scarcely able to stand. She tried to speak, but
felt as if there were something in her throat
which would not let a word come out.
The ladies shook their heads, and she heard
Mrs. Dennis say the words, "Conscious guilt."
This, however, instead of adding to her fear,
had a different effect. It reminded her that
she had, instead of what that lady so hastily
adjudged, "conscious innocence" to support
her. When we are accused of anything wrong,
it is indeed a happy thing to feel, and gives us
comfort and patience to bear false charges, that
we have the answer of a good conscience
This thought gave Susan courage at once;
she found herself able to speak, and said, "I
will tell you how I got the geranium, ma'am;
and when you hear it, I don't think you can
say that I did anything wrong."
"Well, I hope so, but-let me hear it, how-
ever," said Mrs. Dennis.
Susan related the history of this unlucky
Falsely Accused. 49
plant, the Queen of Morocco, as well as shq
"was able; but when we consider her fright and
her bashfulness, and, above all, that she knew
she was suspected of having done something
wrong, we cannot wonder that she spoke in
a way that might give those who heard her
reason for thinking she was not telling truth.
"When she had ended her story, Mrs. Dennis
said, "Well, she has arranged it all cleverly.
It is really very sad to see one so young guilty
of such deceit."
The other ladies looked as if they thought
the same, except Miss Willis, who said, "I
have known this little girl and her mother for
some time, Mrs. Dennis, and I believe her to
be so good, and so well brought up, that she
would not be guilty of deceit. May I, ma'am,
make so free as to ask why you do not believe
what she has told us ?"
"Certainly, Miss Willis; and I am afraid
that when I tell you my reason for thinking
she has not spoken the truth, you must be of
the same opinion yourself."
50 The Story of a Geranium.
Mrs. Dennis then told her that she had seen
this geranium in the greenhouse of a gentleman
who prized it greatly; and she had, for a long
time, been trying to get a cutting of it from
him. It was so scarce, and so beautiful, that
he did not like to give it; but, at last, as she
was able to oblige him with some other rare
flower, he promised to do so. He had sent her
a young plant of this geranium, tied up with
some others, by the train; and she had sent
her servant for them to the station to bring
them to her. When they blossomed, Mrs.
Dennis was surprised and vexed not to see
the Queen of Morocco among them. Her friend
assured her that he had sent it, and then she
applied to the servant who had brought the
flowers from the station, and whose account
she could rely on. This man told her that
he had gone into a mercer's shop, laying the
geraniums on the counter while he made some
purchases. When he turned about to take:
them up again, he saw a little girl bending
over them in a way which he did not like;
Falsely Accused. 51
he was now quite certain that she had stolen
the Queen of Morocco, as there was no other
way of accounting for its loss.
"May not your servant have dropped it in
the street, Mrs. Dennis, as Susan Grey relates
the matter ?" said Miss Willis.
"Oh no," replied Mrs. Dennis, "I am quite
sure my friend made up the parcel too well for
such a thing as that to happen; but my servant
is here, we can ask him about it"
The servant was sent for, and when he came
Mrs. Dennis said, "James, look at this little
girl, and tell me if you have ever seen her
He fixed his eyes on Susan. "Well, ma'am,
I think-yes, I am quite sure, this is the very
same girl who stole the geranium when I laid
the parcel down on the counter in the shop."
"I did not-indeed I did not," cried poor
Susan, "I was only looking at them, and never
touched them till I took up that which you
dropped in the street."
The man assured his mistress that he did not
6 The Story of a Geraniunl.
think he could have let one of the plants fall,
as the parcel was well tied. But even if I did,"
said he, "you would, if you were an honest
child, have run after me and given it back."
"And I did, sir, I did run," she replied;
"but I went so fast that I hit up against a
gentleman, and he was very angry, and stopped
to scold me; and before he let me go you were
gone so far that I could not find you again."
"A very likely story," said the servant,
smiling; and Susan had the sorrow to find
that every one present thought as he did, except
Miss Willis, who said, "I cannot blame you,
ladies, for thinking this poor little girl guilty,
for I must own that appearances are against
her, and you do not know her character, nor
the way she has been brought up. I firmly
believe she has told nothing but the truth; and
I must say so, even though I may run the risk
of your thinking that I presume too much in
giving my opinion."
Susan was now told that by her bad conduct
she had lost all claim to the promised rewards.
Falsely Accused. 53
"Because," said Lady Walton, "I wish to en-
courage truth and honesty among the school-
girls, even more than nice fancy work."
With tearful eyes and a heavy heart Susan
left her judges, to return home.
"Ah! Eleanor," said Miss Parker to her
friend, when they also had left the party, "you
see I was right when I warned you to guard
against the danger of being imposed on. You
know I found oat this poor child in a breach of
promise before; and indeed you must have a
large share of that charity which 'believeth all
things,' if you can believe her story of finding
that geranium plant in the street."
"I have not, dear Jane, half so much of that
same charity as I would wish to have," replied
her friend. "Let us both strive and pray that
we may feel it, and act according to it, more
and more every day that we live."
Meantime Susan was on her way home,
longing to tell her troubles to her dear mother
and brother, but still dreading the grief it would
cause them to hear all that had happened.
Vrrouble at Mome.
HEY were seated at their evening
meal; and when Susan came in,
they cried, "Joy! dear Susan.
iWe wish you joy! One of the
neighbours called to tell us that
"you had gained the first prize.
We were all so pleased to hear
"it; and we want you to tell us
The poor girl sat down with-
out speaking; she was pale and trembling, and
burst into tears. When able to speak, she
told the cause of her grief. Her mother was
very much shocked; but she had the habit, when
anything distressed her, of looking at once to
that gracious God who is always ready to give
Trouble at Home. 55
help to His people. To Him she now lifted up
her heart in prayer, and she grew quite calm
when she remembered what ought to give us
courage and comfort under every trial; that His
word assures us He will make "all things work
together for good to them that love Him."
Mrs. Grey then took her little girl into her
arms, and pressing her to her fond heart, re-
peated these words of king David, "Why art
thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou
disquieted within me? Hope thou in God; for
I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my
countenance, and my God."
Susan's sobs now ceased. She remembered
the advice which the apostle Peter has given to
those who are in trouble, and she tried to follow
it -"Humble yourselves therefore under the
mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in
due time: casting all your care upon Him; for
He careth for you."
The story of Susan's disgrace-like all other
bad stories-was much added to in going about.
56 The Story of a Geranium.
People who heard it did not think it right to
encourage her by giving her work, when, as they
thought, they could easily give it to more de-
serving girls. Susan's spirits also sank a good
deal under this trial, so that when she did get
any work, she could not finish it so quickly, nor
so nicely, as she used to do.
Mrs. Grey, though she bore everything with
such meekness, began to fail in health again.
This was not want of submission to God's will.
When He is pleased to send trials to His people,
we have no reason to think He intends that
they should not feel them. The apostle says,
in his Epistle to the Hebrews, "Now no chasten-
ing for the present seemeth to be joyous, but
Through all this, Miss Willis was their con-
stant friend, and assisted them in every way
that she could; but as she was by no means rich,
she could do little in supplying the wants which
Mrs. Grey again began to feel, as she grew, by
slow degrees, ill and weak.
"Miss Willis," said Susan to that young lady,
Trouble at Home. 57
as one day she walked with her about the little
garden at the cottage, "I hope it is not wicked,
ma'am, but I cannot help wondering sometimes
what good is likely to come out of my being
accused falsely of what I do not deserve."
"I cannot tell, Susan," replied Miss Willis,
"and perhaps we may never find it out while
we are in this world. You remember what our
Lord said to His disciples, 'What I do thou
knowest not now; but thou shalt know here-
after.' One thing, however, we do know now,
Susan, and it ought to be enough for us; We
know that all things work together for good to
them that love God.'"
"I have sometimes thought, ma'am," answered
Susan, that may be if this had not all happened
I might have grown very proud of gaining the
prize; and of the notice which it is likely the
ladies might have taken of me; and all the nice
work they would have given me to do. Perhaps
God allowed this trouble to come on me to
"Perhaps so, my young friend," said Miss
58 The Story of a Geranium.
"Willis. "One thing is certain, that He allowed
it to come on you for some wise reason, and
what it is we need not try to guess. Be sure
of this, Susan, that
"Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain."
j ight at |azt.
'"t' NE day Susan was sur-
-, j ) \ praised by getting a
"4.'-,: Y ji message desiring her to
-it attend a meeting of the
-. N \ ladies who managed
;.-,- the working school, on
'. the following morning.
It was to be held at the
park; and remembering
all that had happened the last time she went
there, we cannot wonder that the little girl felt
very unwilling to go. Her brother, too, was
against it; but their mother advised her to try
what the ladies wanted of her, saying, "Perhaps
they have found out that they wronged you,
my child, and wish to tell you so."
60 The Story of a Geranium.
Susan always followed her mother's advice,
so she went to the park at the hour which the
messenger had named. There were a good
many ladies met together in the drawing-room,
as well as those who managed the school.
Among them was Mrs. Dennis, the lady who
had lost the Queen of Morocco; and Susan
gained some little courage when she saw that
her kind friend, Miss Willis, was there also.
"Susan Grey," said Lady Walton, when the
little girl came into the room, "we have sent
for you because a piece of work has been ordered
which none of the other young workwomen
will undertake. There are stitches in it which,
they say, you can do, and that they do not
know. Now we hope your future conduct will
prove that you are sorry for what has happened;
and, if so, we will sometimes employ you."
Susan felt disappointed. She laid down the
piece of cambric which had just been put into
her hand, and said, "I would rather not, ma'am,
I was not guilty of what was said of me."
But here Miss Willis spoke. "You had
Right at Last, 61
better take the work which the ladies are so
good as to give you, Susan. We cannot blame
them for thinking you guilty, appearances being
so much against you. I trust they will yet find
that they are mistaken in their opinion of you."
"Indeed it would give us great pleasure to
do so," one or two of the ladies replied.
Susan was receiving directions about the piece
of work which she now undertook, when an old
gentleman came into the room. He was Lady
Walton's uncle; and, looking round at the com-
pany, said, smiling, "Well, ladies, I suppose
you are all very busy to -day-sitting in
judgment on these flounces, and collars, and
At the sound of his voice, Susan Grey had
fixed her eyes on his face, and, while he spoke,
continued to examine his features. She then
looked down at his feet. On one of them she
perceived the loose slipper indicating gout, and
his identity was established. She sprang towards
him, and catching his hand for fear he would
go away, she cried out,
62 The Story of a Geranium.
"Oh, sir, won't you tell the ladies all about
it ? Won't you clear me to them ?"
She could not go on-but Miss Willis at once
came forward, and briefly told the whole matter
to the gentleman. He was able, and quite
willing to prove the truth of all that the little
girl had said, and he now did so with much
We have only to add that every one was glad
to hear it, although the ladies were a little
ashamed of having judged her too hastily.
They now seemed anxious to make up in every
way that they could for having caused her so
much pain. The sum of money which she was
to have had as a reward for her skill in the art
of fancy-work was given to her, and Susan re-
turned home with a thankful and happy heart.
The good news was received by Mrs. Grey in
the same way as she had heard the bad; that is,
she saw the hand of her heavenly Father in it.
In the evening their friend, Miss Willis,
visited them to share in their joy, as she had
before shared their trouble; and to join them
Right at Last. 63
in praise to Him who "doth execute the
judgment of the fatherless and widow."
While she was with them Mrs. Dennis called
at the cottage. She said that she came to say how
sorry she felt for having accused Susan of what
she had not done, and to insist on now giving
the reward which she had before promised for
good conduct, and which it gave her very great
pleasure now to find that the little girl fully
This lady greatly admired the cottage and
garden. "I am glad to find you are fond of
flowers, Susan," she said. "I will send you a
neat little stand for your window, and some
pretty geraniums, in place of the Queen of Mo-
rocco, which Miss Willis was so good as to return
to me when she found I was the first owner
But who dresses this nice garden for you P You
could not keep it in such order yourself. It
must be done by some stronger person, and one
who has a real taste for such work."
Miss Willis, who never lost an occasion for
aiding those who wanted help, answered Mrs.
64 The Story of a Geranium.r
Dennis' question. She said that the garden was
kept in order by Susan's brother, who, though
only a labourer on a farm in the neighbourhood,
loved greatly to take care of shrubs and flowers,
and did so when he came home in the evening
from his daily work.
Mrs. Dennis replied that her gardener was
just then in want of a helper, and desired that
William Grey should go to her place the next
morning. He did so, and was at once hired to
assist in the garden, to his great delight. This
not only suited his taste, but enabled him to help
his mother far more than he had ever been able
to do before.
Everything now seemed to prosper with the
widow and her family; and as they had trusted
in God in the time of trouble, so it might be
said that they now served Him with joyfulness,
and with gladness of heart for the abundance
of all things.
LONDON: KNIGHT, PRINTER, MIDDLE STREET, E.CI