SThe Baldwin Library
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TWO WAYS TO BEGINLIFE.
Two WAYS TO BEGIN LIFE
SERVICE AND INDEPENDENCE,
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY,
56, PATERNOSTER Row, 65, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD,
AND 164, PICCADILLY.
TWO WAYS TO DEGIN I.FE.
ClHAP. I. Harold and his Grandfather-Good advice-
Rolling stones gather no moss -A contrast-
Reuben's calculations Self-denial-- A request-
The runaway apprentice-Reuben's success-His
first place .5-16
CHAr. I.. Three years' interval-Ilarold's return-No
success Causes Reuben's proposal-A family
Bible-Grandfather's death-IIarold again leaves
home Reuben's master dies A trustworthy
clerk-An appointment abroad-Reuben and his
Mother prepare to leave-Harold again-Meeting
of the cousins Reuben's kindness A prodigal
SERVICE AND INDEPENDENCE.
CHAr. I. Dressmaking-Mrs. Harvey's experience-
The cottage visitor-Domestic service-A fancy for
dressmaking-Which is best?-Betsey and Susan
-A serious talk-Betsey goes to a dressmaker-
Susan gets a place 29-40
CHAP. II. Wet mornings-The two sisters-Betsey's
love of finery-Sets up for herself-Bad needlework
-A second apprenticeship-Home troubles-Mrs.
Roberts's illness-A careless nurse-Susan sent for
-A good daughter-Susan's advice 40-52
CHAP. IIr. The doctor's approval-Mrs. Roberts gets
better-Susan's plan-Returns to her place--A
visit from Betsey-Wanting to borrow-A sister's
counsel-Earnest talk-A good ending 53-64
Two TAYS TO BEGIN IFE,
"? ,Ti2, WisI I could invent something, that
-'_ :j I do," said young Harold, as he sat
with his elbows on the table, his
fingers sticking through his hair, and a look
of discontent pervading his countenance, as
he ended an account of a new invention
which was to astonish the world.
His aunt looked up at him for an instant,
and then went on with her work.
"I do, aunt, indeed I do; why doesn't some
clever thing come into my head as it does
into other heads, I wonder ?"
Thou hadst better invent a bit of industry
first, my lad," said a venerable-looking old
man who sat in an easy-chair by the fire;
"that would be the oest invention that could
come into thy silly head."
6 Two Ways to begin Life.
"Well, grandfather, there's no harm in
wishing, I suppose. And I do not see why
I should not invent something, and take out
a patent, and make my fortune, like Charley
Roget; he is not such a very clever fellow
after all: I can't think how he managed it."
"But I can, Harold; he was studying over
that subject many and many a year, early and
late; he saw there was something to be made
of it, and he tried and tried, and read and
thought, and at last he succeeded. It was
not so much cleverness, as industry, patience,
and perseverance that brought it about, and
he deserves his success; he is a good lad, and
may God bless him in his prosperity. Inven-
tions never come to empty heads and idle
hands, Harold; be you satisfied of that."
"Some people seem born to good luck
though," said Harold, grumblingly.
"There is no such thing as luck. What
was it that turned the fleece off a sheep's
back into the coat upon thine ? what brought
these coals out of the earth to make us a good
fire ? what changed the oak of the forest into
the chair thou art sitting on? Was it not
man's industry and hard work, after mind
had thought, and improved, and studied ?
Two Ways to begin Life. 7
There's nothing to be done without working
for it in this world, lad."
"But I don't see anything worth working
at. There's nothing I can improve upon;
people seem to have got all they want, I
think, and I'm sure I don't know what can
be had more."
"Thou mayst as well grumble a bit that
thqu didst not come into the world two or
three hundred years ago, when there was a
field for thy talents," muttered the old gentle-
man, rather impatiently, crumpling and flirt-
ing his newspaper. But where's Reuben all
this while ?"
"Up in the attic to be sure, sir, with his
big slate covered with queer marks, and his
head in some cloudy problem," said Harold,
Take care, Harold; he may seem to you
like a tortoise creeping along by dint of labour
and hard study; but I shouldn't wonder if ho
beats the hare after all."
"Well, I must wait till my luck turns up.
Then see if I don't settle you all."
"You must settle yourself first, lad; a roll-
ing stone gathers no moss. You have a good
master, and he'll put a good business into
8 Two Ways to begin Life.
your hands if you'll only stick to it. But
remember the good book says, 'An idle soul
shall suffer hunger,' and, 'If any would not
work, neither should he eat.'"
I work enough all day, sir; it's hard if I
may not rest a little when I come home."
Rest and welcome, Harold; but follow the
way that Providence has laid before thee, and
don't be coveting ways to get rich in a hurry,
and without industry. No good ever came of
them, but many a sorrow. It's Satan's own
pet plan to stir young men up with notions
such as yours; and if you give way to him
you'll come to trouble. Everything is smooth
and comfortable for you now, but let covet-
ousness and vain wishes get the upper hand,
and I wouldn't like to say what you may be
by this day twelvemonth.'
Mrs. Dalton said nothing. Harold was an
orphan, but the privations of that condition
had been mitigated to him by the protection
and love of his kind grandsire, who had taken
the tenderest care of him since the death of his
parents; and now that she had lost her hus-
band, and her father and nephew had come to
reside with her, the tenderness of maternal
love was added to the unusual advantages
Two Ways to begin Life. 9
enjoyed by one so early bereaved of his first
Leaving Harold to the good advice and
very needful remonstrances of his aged rela-
tive, she went softly up the long flight of
stairs and tapped at an attic door.
Reuben dear, had you not better come
down and rest your eyes a little ? Tea is just
Yes, thank you, mother," replied Reuben,
instantly opening the door; "only I'm just in
the middle of a calculation, and as soon as
I've done it I'll come down, if you can spare
me five minutes longer."
Oh dear, then, I have interrupted you,-I
am so sorry."
Never mind, mother, it's so nice and quiet
up here; if Harold will but keep away I shall
soon get into it again."
MArs. Dalton had no expectation that her
son would ever "invent" anything; but,
though not quick, she knew he would make
himself master of what it belonged to his duty
to know, and she was content. He was just
now stimulated to extra efforts to improve
himself, by the kind promise of a gentleman
to whom his father had been well known, and
10 Two Ways to begin Life.
who was anxious to benefit the widow and
the fatherless, that he would receive him into
his own employment, and put him forward in
life, as soon as his attainments warranted his
Reuben soon appeared at the tea-table, and
chatted pleasantly with his grandfather, until,
anxious to finish his work upstairs, he was
about to make his escape, when Harold seized
him by the arm. "Come," said he, "there's
just time for the cricket-ground before dark."
"Not this evening, Harold; indeed I can't
"Say you won't, and that's the real truth,"
said Harold, peevishly; "what a stupid you
are to be shivering up in your attic when you
might be enjoying yourself!"
"I don't think so; and if 'cannot' is not
just the right word, I must say won't; for I
am determined to do what I've set myself to
do, because it is right, and there's no enjoy-
ment in playing when one knows one ought
to be at work."
You make the 'ought' for yourself. No-
body orders you to work at this time of
"God's providence orders it for me," said
Two !Ways to begin Life. 11
Reuben, quietly, as he turned towards the
"Well, I shall go by myself," said Harold;
"and when I come back I want to speak to
you, so I shall come up to you whether you
have done work or not."
Harold was as good as his word, and burst
into a rude laugh as he abruptly threw open
his cousin's door, and found him close by the
small window of the low-roofed room, trying
to catch the last of the fading light, and still
poring over his book and slate. Reuben
looked a little annoyed as his thoughtless
visitor seated himself on a tall box, with his
hands in his pockets, whistling a tune and
beating time with his heels; but as he really
could scarcely see the figures any longer, he
closed his book with a gentle sigh, and sat
opposite his cousin, waiting to know the pur-
pose of his visit.
"I say, Ruby," begun Harold; "I want you
to stand my friend,-do you hear ?"
"Yes, I hear," said Reuben, half tempted
to laugh; "when have I stood anything
Well, listen to me. I don't like businc-e,
and I want to go abroad."
12 Two Ways to begin Life.
"To go abroad !" said Reuben, in astonish-
ment; "what, and leave poor grandfather,
after all he has done for you? it will break
"Nonsense; you always see such queer
difficulties about things. Perhaps I shall
come back with a fortune, and make him
comfortable for the rest of his life."
But if it would make him more comfortable
that you stayed at home, ought you not to do
it ? and think how he pinched himself to find
enough money to put you to the business you
chose. Oh Harold, indeed you must not go
"But indeed I must," said Harold, doggedly;
" and I want you to help persuade grandfather
that it will be all for the best ; your word will
go a good way with him. I know I never
shall get on here, but perhaps I may where
there are not so many people."
"But you have not learned enough yet to
get on anywhere. What do you mean to do ?"
I can't tell till I get out; I shall see what's
wanted, and strike while the iron's hot, before
anybody else can get before me."
I expect you'll do nothing but burn your-
self then," said Reuben, gravely; "and I can't
Two Ways to begin Life. 13
persuade grandfather to let you do what I'm
sure will come to no good."
"Then I shall have the less to thank you
for," said Harold, angrily; and finding that
no arguments could move his cousin's judg-
ment, he rushed down stairs to contrive how
best to proceed without his aid.
He considered that, as he felt a decided
repugnance to the occupation in life which he
had deliberately chosen for himself, his master
ought to cancel his indentures and set him
free at once. But it happened that his master
was a very decided person, who viewed the
self-will and self-sufficiency of the rising
generation with much mistrust, and was not
disposed to yield to such symptoms in the
person of his own apprentice. To industry
and application he promised all that a kind
master could do to advance his interests, but
to indolence and indifference he had nothing
to say but to point out duty and the laws.
There were only two things in Harold's
power,-to serve his time patiently, or to run
away; which last he did, to the great disgust
of his master, and the extreme distress of his
Mrs. Dalton, though grieved at the in-
14 Two Ways to begin Life.
gratitude and wilfulness of her nephew had
her own ideas about his fate; and a letter re-
ceived soon after his departure, announcing
his determination to try his fortune abroad,
led her to the conclusion that he had perhaps
done himself essential service in throwing
himself thus completely upon his own re-
sources whatever they might be, and hence-
forth, at least for the present, he must work
or starve,-the latter alternative not being at
all his probable choice, notwithstanding his
love of change, speculation, and idleness.
In a few months more, Reuben, with his
whole countenance lighted up into almost1
rapturous delight, came half tumbling down
stairs with his "big slate" in his hands-
"I've done them, I've done them all, mother,
grandfather,-I have finished every line and
every figure that Mr. E- told me must be
learned before he could take me into his
office; and now 1 am going to tell him I am
"Well done, my good lad," said his grand-
father, kindly; "and now you will have a
beginning in life that many a one would be
glad of. But don't forget, Reuben, who it is
that has given you grace to be steady and
Two Ways to begin Life. 15
persevering, and will help you still, and for
ever, if you depend on Him."
No, grandfather, I shall try not to forget,
for you know I am not clever nor quick at
learning; and I did humbly ask God's help
and blessing to keep me trying hard to get
on, that I may be of some use in tie world
"That's just it, my boy. It is God iho
guides his children into 'those good works
which he has before prepared for them to
walk in;' but they who make ways and works
of their own, and set Him at naught, find
'a hedge of thorns,' and divers snares and
"I think you look pale and worn, Reuben,"
said his mother; "had you not better take a
few days' holiday before you tell Mr. E- ?"
"Oh! no, mother, it has been the desire
of my heart ever since my poor father died,
to get into a respectable business, and cheer
you up, and make you comfortable; and now,
in time and with patience, I shall do it, God
helping me, dear mother, and I know you
pray that He will."
On the Monday morning of the following
week a desk and stool were assigned to Reuben
16 Two Ways to begin Life.
in the office of a much-respected surveyor and
architect, and he now found the benefit of the
drudgery he had worked through with the
slate his cousin used to laugh at. "Not
slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving
the Lord," said his grandfather, as he placed
his hand on his grandson's head, and solemnly
gave him the blessing he asked for, ere with a
happy heart he assumed the new dignity of
-- T -..... T ^
BOUT three years passed away. Harold
had not been heard of, and Reuben was
advancing in the office of his generous
friend far beyond his own modest expecta-
One morning, just as the family were sitting
down to their early breakfast, a loud authori-
tative knock at the door announced an arrival.
It was not the postman, Betty was quite sure
of that, as she hurried in great perturbation to
answer it; and she started back with an ex-
clamation of surprise as Harold, signing her
to be silent, walked in and pushed open the
A welcome home under any circumstances
is a pleasant thing, and Harold felt particularly
satisfied and self-important in the commotion
which his unexpected appearance excited.
His poor grandfather almost wept with joy,
for he was the only child of an only son, and
hope of his improvement had never left the
18 Two VWays to begin Life.
old man's heart. Mrs. Dalton was kind and
affectionate as ever; and Reuben was heartily
glad to see his cousin safe back again.
A little while, and having subsided into a
calm, they began to ask questions. "What
had he been doing for three years 2 Why
had he not written ?"
Of course he had written, and of course the
letters had been lost. And he had tried a
great many things, but somebody was always
before him; the people of the Antipodes were
much more clever, and more numerous than
he expected; he had seen a good many hard-
ships, the climate had not agreed with his
constitution, so at last he thought it advisable
to return home. He had worked his passage,
he added, not as a common sailor,-he had no
notion of that after all he had suffered on the
voyage out,-but as under steward in a large
ship, where he had fared pretty well among
the good things under his charge. Of what-
ever worldly goods he had been possessed he
brought nothing home; but for this he ac-
counted by declaring that he had been robbed
and cheated, whereupon he felt so many
scruples at the idea of settling among such un-
principled people, that he was sure his friends
Two Ways to begin Life. 19
would rather he gave up all expectation of
making his fortune abroad.
There was a bragging air about all he said,
which created doubts in the minds of his
hearers as to the truth of his statements; and
when indulging in the marvellous as they sat
together once more at his home hearth, Harold
was more than once indignant, as well as
slightly confounded, at the dead silence which
followed the narration of his surprising adven-
tures. Mrs. Dalton looked very close at her
work; Reuben looked now and then earnestly
in his cousin's face, wondering if he really
tried to do any good for himself; and his
grandfather tattoed on his little table with
But the kind old man was glad after all to
have the young man back again, and listened
patiently to his proposals for settling down to
some real and decided occupation. His former
master had filled his place with a steadier ap-
prentice, and Harold announced a new choice
with animated assurance of his fitness, and
confidence of success. He had been in a
printer's office during his absence abroad, and
was quite convinced that in due time, with
proper assistance to set up for himself, he
20 Two Ways to begin Life.
should be a first-rate printer and publisher
too. So Harold was introduced into an
establishment of the kind, where his self-
satisfaction, his ignorance of his own defici-
encies, and his assumption of knowing better
than anybody else, soon bade fair to deprive
the public of the benefit of his "Adventures
Abroad," with which he had contemplated
favouring it at some future day.
"Grandfather," said Reuben, one evening,
as he drew the old man's easy-chair to the
fire, and placed all he required within easy
reach, "I want just to speak to you before
Harold comes in."
"Well, my boy, what is it ?" said his grand-
father, with a deep sigh.
"You know you told me once that you
have a little money."
"Little enough now, Reuben, and likely to
be less before I die."
"And that in your will you have divided it
betweenn Harold and me."
"Yes, and you think Harold has had his
share already," said the old gentleman, look-
ing inquiringly at his grandson.
"Oh no, sir, that is not it at all. What I
wish to say is, that my employer is going to
Two Ways to begin Life. 21
give me a salary for my next two years, be-
cause he is so kind as to think that I am
useful to him, and I feel now that, with God's
blessing, I can support myself; so if you
please, grandfather, I would rather you left
it all to Harold, for he does not seem to be
getting on, and may want it more than I
shall. He need not know about it, however,
lest he should give up trying."
"Well, thou art a comfort to me, Reuben,"
said the old gentleman, taking off his specta..
cles, to wipe away the mist that seemed to
have gathered on the glasses; "and why
should I not leave thee a little remem-
brance, who deserves it so much more than
poor Harold has ever done ?"
"You can leave me this, sir, if you please,"
said Reuben, laying his hand on the large
Bible that always stood on his grandfather's
table at his side, I know something of its
value for its own sake, and should value this
particular one for your sake."
"Thou shalt have it, Reuben; and may it
speak to thee in the spirit as well as the letter,
and if thou take heed to it 'then thou shalt
make thy way prosperous, and shalt have
good success;' 'them that honour God He
22 Two Ways to begin Life.
will honour; and they that despise Him-
Ah, poor, poor Harold, the wealth of worlds
cannot make up to thee what thou losest by
Then they talked a little more, and the old
man consented to alter the disposition of his
remaining pittance according to Reuben's
wish. Only a few weeks afterwards his
strength declined rapidly; he took to his bed
and rose from it no more, but passed away
in perfect faith in that dear Saviour who had
fulfilled to him his loving promise to bear
"even to hoar hairs" the believing followers
of His word and way.
Mrs. Dalton was neither surprised nor dis-
appointed to find that, with the exception of
a remembrance for herself, all her father's
little property was left to Harold; but her
heart glowed with delight as she read the
terms in which the venerable Christian trans-
ferred his dear old Bible to her generous and
disinterested son. Neither was any one sur-
prised when Harold, declaring that he saw no
prospect of being appreciated as a printer,
turned everything he possessed into money,
and left the town, informing his friends
that he should set up respectably for him-
Two Ways to begin Life. 23
self in something, somewhere, when he found
an opportunity; but the what, where, and
when were still in the midst of futurity.
Reuben had served Mr. E- for about five
years, when, to his deep sorrow and regret, his
kind patron died suddenly, leaving a widow
and young children scantily provided for, and
no son old enough to take his place in a
steady and thriving business. Now came an
opportunity for the grateful clerk to repay in
kind the benefit that had been conferred on
him, and to be to his friend's family what
that friend had been to his mother and him-
self; another among the many proofs that
"with whatsoever measure ye mete, it shall
be measured to you again," and that nothing
done for the love of Christ shall in any wise
lose its reward.
The executors were relieved in the midst of
much perplexity by the modestly expressed
offer of Reuben, if they would trust his know-
ledge and perseverance, to carry on the busi-
ness in the name and on behalf of Mrs. E-,
until either her son should be old enough to
take it, or some better arrangement could be
made. They looked on the youthful but quiet
ingenuous countenance of the proposer, and,
24 Two Ways to begin Life.
knowing the opinion of him entertained by
his late employer, consulted seriously with
Mrs. E-, who felt satisfied to leave her in-
terests in the hands of one so industrious and
upright; and Reuben was finally entrusted
with this important and gratifying responsibi-
lity. Most of the friends of the late architect
rallied round the grateful and devoted youth;
and in a little time it was proved that he had
neither miscalculated his ability to conduct
the business, nor the probabilities of success
in his generous undertaking.
In due time, under Reuben's care and in-
struction, Mrs. E-'s eldest son took his place
in the office, giving fair promise to keep up
the credit of the old name, and the connexion
which his able manager had not only preserved
but increased during his persevering term of
And now Reuben resigned his honourable
post, having derived from it no benefit to
himself beyond his moderate and well-earned
salary, and declining all overtures concerning
a share in the business, which he considered
only sufficient to support and educate the
family in the station which they had always
filled in their native town.
Tco Ways to begin Life. 25
But the worthy executors and the deeply-
obliged widow could not allow his devoted
services to remain unrequited, and were busy
in Reuben's behalf where he least expected
patronage. His conduct and abilities were
laid before one who had influence in a high
quarter; and while he was seeking guidance to
choose between two situations which offered
some prospect of future advancement, Mrs.
E- and her son called to present him with
an appointment to superintend some govern-
ment works to be carried on in one of the
dependencies of the crown. The provision
was ample, the locality one to which his
mother could, without much difficulty, ac-
company him, and the work such as his
energy and persevering industry could carry
through with success.
All affairs being arranged, Reuben and his
mother were on the point of proceeding to
the port whence they were to embark, when a
letter arrived from Harold, of whose move-
ments they had heard nothing for several
years. He was now in distress, and solicited
assistance to save his family from starvation.
Perhaps there was nothing surprising in such
a disclosure ; perhaps, sooner or later, it was
26 Two Ways to begin Life.
just what his aunt and cousin expected to
hear; but now little time remained to be of
real service, even if there were hope of bene-
fiting one so reckless and undeserving.
The only possibility of accomplishing an
interview was to direct him to meet them at
the port, accompanying the request with means
for the journey, and giving the place and hour
most likely to prevent a disappointment.
True to his arrangement, Reuben on arriv-
ing hastened to the appointed spot, but looked
about in vain for any one in whom to re-
cognise the gay, careless, rather foppish-look-
ing cousin of whom he was in search. Just
as he was on the point of retiring, a man
walked inquisitively past; he might be in the
prime of life, though idleness, dissipation, and
probably care, had written their indelible
traces on what might once have been a
pleasant countenance; his dress was dirty,
slovenly, and coarse, and his whole aspect was
disagreeable and vulgar.
Reuben Dalton, well dressed, thoroughly
respectable in manners, appearance, and cha-
racter, tried, trusted, and honoured, seemed
to attract the gaze of the man, over whose
careless swaggering mien passed an instant
Two Ways to begin Life. 27
change, as both turned, gazed earnestly in
each other's faces, and "Harold," "Reuben,"
burst simultaneously from their lips.
It was indeed so, and thus met the cousins
after years of separation, the one reaping in
advancement and prosperity the fruits of
those long hours of persevering study with
the old slate in the little attic, accompanied
by "the blessing that maketh rich and addeth
no sorrow;" and the other, in almost the last
stage cf poverty and degradation, the fruit of
self-wL'l, idleness, and conceit, without needful
breai and without God in the world."
Thoughts of the good old man whose care
he had been, rushed to the hearts of Reuben
and hiv mother, as they listened to his tale of
sin and folly, heard how he had married one
as thoughtless as himself, and how he had
been reduced to any means of earning a few
pence to keep his wretched children from
starvation. What could bo done for him on
the instant was done, kindly and cheerfully,
and Reuben promised that if in his power to
give him employment in the new sphere of
.his own labour, he should be enabled to
follow, and be assisted in one more effort to
retrieve his miserable condition.
28 Two Ways to begin Life.
The moral of the story is told in inspired
"Seest thou a man wise in his own con-
ceits ? there is more hope of a fool than of
him (Prov. xxvi. 12).
"He that handleth a matter wisely shall
find good; and whoso trusteth in the Lord,
happy is he" (Prov. xv. 20).
"The hand of the diligent shall bear rule:
but the slothful shall be under tribute"
(Prov. xii. 24).
S 7i Y ,J
SERVICE AND INDEPENDENCE,
?Tii., neighbourhood which Mrs. Harvey
I w.-' -as in the habit of visiting for the
purpose of giving tracts to those who
would receive them, and for watching over
and comforting the sick and needy according
to the opportunity and ability that God per-
mitted to her, was a large and populous one.
Five times in one morning she had met with
cases of sickness and distress among young
persons employed in the business of dress-
making. Two were seriously ill from close
work and late hours; one had become pale,
languid, and deformed from long continuance
in one position before her growth was com-
pleted; another had been dismissed in dis-
grace by her employers, to the great sorrow
of her friends and the ruin of her own
30 Service and Independence.
prospects; and a fifth had become so vain,
dressy, and dissipated that her own earnings
were insufficient to support her expenses, and
a violent quarrel with her father had over-
whelmed the mother with grief and alarm,
and filled the heart of the thoughtless girl
with resentment and defiance.
On the previous day, Mrs. Harvey had paid
some visits among her acquaintances, and had
listened to the troubles and complaints of
several families who were thrown into dis-
order by the conduct of their servants. She
now pondered the two subjects in her mind,
and came to the conclusion that they were
too important in their bearing upon society
in general, and the welfare of individuals in
particular, to be passed by without some
effort to attempt, by any influence she could
exert, to remedy such evils, or, at least, to
avert them where she feared they were im-
Ready with the tract to be exchanged, in
her hand, and the smile of pleasure with
which she always welcomed the visitor's
approach, stood the comely person of Mrs.
Roberts, the wife of a respectable coachman,
and the mother of several children, among
Service and Independence. 31
whom were two girls who had long been in
Mrs. Harvey's Sunday class.
"I will come in and rest a little with you,
Mrs. Roberts," said the lady kindly; "I have
been thinking about your daughters, and
should like to tell you my thoughts."
"I am very much obliged to you, ma'am,
I'm sure," said the pleased mother, as she
dusted the best chair for her guest; "they
are good girls, though I say it as shouldn't
say it, and I hope they are regular and atten-
tive on a Sunday, ma'am."
Very; I have not come to find fault with
them; but they have grown so tall, and I
know you have taught them so many useful
things, that it struck me you would soon be
looking out for situations for them."
"Why, yes, ma'am, the master talks about
it sometimes; they must work, you know, as
their mother has done before them."
I thought so; and if I can be of any use
in getting them into respectable service, I
hope you will allow me to do so. I am
interested in all my Sunday class, Mrs.
Roberts, and would not willingly lose sight
of any of them, though they may not be able
to continue their attendance at school."
32 Service and Independence.
"Well, ma'am, indeed I'm very grateful to
you for such kindness, but I don't know
exactly; you see, Betsey has taken a fancy to
the dressmaking; she thinks she will be more
independent like, arid I don't know but what
they may go together to learn the business."
"I am sorry to hear this," said Mrs. Harvey;
"may I ask you to think seriously before you
decide upon it ? for you may not, perhaps, be
aware how.many dressmakers, needlewomen,
and shopwomen there are losing their health,
and earning a precarious living in their youth,
and sinking poor and friendless into early
graves; while the healthful, varied occupa-
tion of domestic servants is forsaken, and
their number and value sadly diminishing
through this very mistake about being more
Mrs. Harvey then described the circum-
stances she had just witnessed, to which the
mother listened with attention, and then
declared that her own judgment was in
favour of service. "But you know, ma'am,"
she added, "begging your pardon for the
freedom, all mistresses are not what they
should be, no more than servants, and some
expect more than flesh and blood can do.'"
Service and Independence. 33
"I am obliged to admit the truth of your
remark," replied Mrs. Harvey; "there are bad
mistresses as well as bad servants, and on
which side the mischief began it is not for
us to decide; but we must both remember
that all hearts are full of sin by nature, and
the fruit of an evil tree will make itself seen
in every rank in life. Only the grace of. God,
renewing and occupying that evil heart, can
make either servant or mistress conscienti-
ously and consistently do the duty of her
station. I should like to see your girls
engaged in the service of people who fear
and love God, and, by deserving to be valued,
they would soon find there are persons capa-
ble of appreciating the worth of a faithful and
"Indeed, ma'am, it quite troubles me some-
times to see young women out of place so
often, and they always lay the blame upon
the mistress. Then they have, perhaps, to go
into lodgings, and they run about here and
there, and do as they like, until they can't
bear to be under authority any more."
"Very true, but you are too sensible to
believe that the fault is always on the side of
the master or mistress. Too many parents
34 "Service and Independence.
unfortunately encourage rather than' check
the love of change, by receiving their chil-
dren's complaints, andil permitting them to
leave their places upon the slightest discon-
tent or cause of anno.,yance, as if their lot in
life were to be free f'rorai every cross. I know
one, once a most pleasing, promising girl,
who never stays anywhere for many months,
through the foolish fondness of a weak mother,
who tells her she has a home to come to
whenever she feels unhappy in her, place.
This home is but a pQbr one, and is shared
by six or seven younger brothers and sisters,
and the eldest daughter is an almost constant
burden where she might be a help and bless-
"I hope I should never be so foolish as
that," said Mrs. vR.ii-t.Is; "ahd I really will
speak seriously'to the girls about what they
aie going to do-for they must choose and
keep'to it afterwarrds. I know Betsey seems
not to like to be a servant at all, but Susan
will be sure to do what I tell her."
"Will she ?"' said Mrs: Harvey, earnestly
"then suffer me to remind you how great is
youri resp.n,.ibiliti- in guiding a dear child
dutifully willing to be guided. Oh I pray to
Service and Independence. 35
God for wisdow to direct your judgumeut and
control your feelings, co that you may do the
best in His sight for them both; not accord-
ing to the short-sighted opinions of a showy,
careless world, but according to the value of
their souls, and the best interests of their
Mrs. Roberts felt gratifi-d and thankful for
this word of true Christian kiuIlness, and
resolved that the subject should have deeper
and graver cousideratiou that she had been
previously dilsosed to bestow upon it.
"Betsey," said she, soon afterwards, to -her
eldest daughter, "it is time you began to do
something for yourself, now that you have
had all the schooling your father thinks right
for you; and I think Mrs. Harvey, who is so
kind' to you, would try to get you a nice
"-Oh .dear I no, thank you, mother; I
thought you meant to let me learn the
"Well, you see there are so many girls at
that now-a-days, and. I, don't see that they
make much hand at it; one gets ill, and
another ,gets. into, imichief; aud ii- a good
pace you would be both safe and wel" :
36 Service and Independence.
"Oh! mother, so I can as a dressmaker
Why, in time I might have a nice shop of my
own, and take apprentices, and serve the best
ladies in the town, and make my fortune;
wouldn't you like that, mother ?"
"Well, my dear, most likely I shouldn't
live to see you do it; it takes a good many
steps, and a deal of quiet, steady ways, to get
a fortune honestly these times; and what of
it when your hair has gone grey, and you are
weary and worn out? Money is for this
world, child, and when you've got it you are
just going into another. No, no, Betsey, I'm
not to be overruled by the fortune."
"Well, I will call it getting my living then,
mother, and one can but do that in service."
"Yes, you may do something more in ser-
vice; suppose you give satisfaction, and stay
in a family; they like you, and you like
them, and feel as if you belonged to them;
you make friends, and they make you a
home, and you serve them more for love
than money at last."
"What, and live in service all one's life,
"-Well, perhaps not all your life; at least I
didn't, but I saved some-money in a good
Service and Independence. 37
many years, and your father did the same, and
it set us up comfortable when we married;'
and you know how kind our master and
mistress are to us; and I declare I love the
faces of the dear young ladies almost as well
as yours. Now I should like to know why
you can't make as good and honoured a ser-
vant as your mother, Betsey."
"Oh mother, please don't talk about it;
I've set my heart on going to the dressmak-
ing. I shall come home to you every night,
instead of being tied to a mistress for ever.
I'm quite sure I should never do any good in
service at all."
"That's very foolish talk, Betsey," said Mr.
Roberts, who came in just then; "I'm sure
you didn't learn such notions at home. Any-
body can do good, if they will, just where
God in His providence puts them."
"Well, Susan," said Mrs. Roberts, turning
to the younger daughter, who was setting the
supper table, while Betsey was twisting the
trimming of her bonnet into some more
fashionable style, "what do you say about
going to service?"
"I should like you to decide it, mother; 1
must say I don't like to be tied to a mistress,
38 Service and Independence.
and be quite away from home altogether, any
more. than Betsey; but we had better not
both be dressmakers, I should think. So if
you wish it, I'll try service."
"But it must be really trying to do your
best, Susan. I shall never listen to little
paltry complaints about some fellow-servant
being out of temper, or a hard day's work, or
because mistress is angry about something."
":"But you won't make me stay where I'm
ill-treated, mother ?"
"I will be careful where you go, Susan,
first, and then:never fear being ill-treated."
"But if people are cross with me what
must I do?"
"You can do two or three things. If you
deserve it, bear it meekly, and don't commit
the fault again; if you don't, you can get out
of their way till they come round again; and
if you must speak, give the 'soft answer' that
S'turneth away wrath,' and never speak the
'grievous words' that 'stir up anger.'"
"You know, Susan," added her father, "it
takes two to make a quarrel; and if any one
wants to begin one with you, it can't be done
if you say nothing. But see here, now, I'll
read this chapter to-night, that just tells all,
Service and Independence. 39
about it better far than I can." And the
good father read from the first Epistle of
Peter, and the second chapter, those holy
precepts of Christian forbearance, based on
the example of Him who daily endured the
contradiction of sinners.
"But, father," said Susan, half inclined to
shed tears at the thought, "I shall never have
a minute to call my own, never come to see
you, perhaps, but always be obliged to dojust
as I'm ordered, whether I like it or not, while
Betsey will be-"
"Never mind what Betsey will be doing,
my dear, if you are doing your duty. Your
mother promises you to be careful where
you go to service; and if the fat il-y has a lady
at the head of it who knows what the Lord
Jesus said about doing to others as you would
they should do to you, she will let you come
to see your parents at proper times, and
rightly prevent all gadding about the streets;
and as to having time to yourself, at Squire
B-'s, you know, wife, the servant-maids have
the time after eight o'clock till bed l-time to
do their owl needlework and what not, and,
perhaps, it may be the same where Susan
may go. And as for doing as you are bid,.
40 Service and. Independence.
Susan, if you can just remember that you
should be God's servant first, under the obli-
gation to serve Him who died for you, that
you may show your love and gratitude, I
don't believe you'll find it hard or sorrowful
to obey those He places over you, because it
will be in reality obeying Him, So don't be
down-hearted, my dear, but make up your
mind to do right, with God's good Spirit to
teach and help you, and fear nothing but
The result of this discussion was that
Susan was received into the family of an
intimate friend of her kind Sunday-school
teacher, as under nurse, and Betsey was
apprenticed to a milliner and dressmaker in
" .fY, dear Betsey, are you sure you are
well wrapped up ?" said Mrs. Roberts,
anxiously, as her daughter passed her
to go out as usual to her work, the third or
fourth wet morning of a rainy week I am
Service and Independence. 41
sadly afraid you will get a very bad cold.
Oh; how often I wish you had a comfortable
"house over your head, like Susan, instead of
going out all weathers in this way."
"I can't help it, mother, one must get a
living, you know; and if Susan needn't go
out in bad weather when she don't like, she
can't get out in the fine as I can, when she
would like; so I don't care for the rain while
I can be independent."
"The girl's a goose, with her independence,"
said Mr. Roberts, who was at his breakfast
within, and heard his daughter's silly speech;
"where is it, I wonder ? She doesn't look half
so well either as she did six months ago, and
I saw Susan yesterday looking as rosy and
comfortable as any girl need look, and dressed
so tidily--none of Betsey's finery about her;
and I didn't feel ashamed of her either, as I
did of Betsey last Sunday, with her frippery."
"Father's such an old-fashioned man," said
Betsey to herself, as she put up the umbrella
at the door; "he knows nothing about the
fashions, and of course I do. I wish he'd get
us a decent umbrella; I can't bear this ugly
cotton thing. I'll have a silk one as soon as
ever I can." And th'e dressmaker paddled
42 Service and Indepeulenwce.
away in the rain to her employer's, where,
with six or eight other young women who
had all come in as wet and uncomfortable as
herself, she sat down at once to her work, in a
small confined room.
Time.passed on. Susan kept her place; and
Betsey having assured herself and her parents
that she knew sufficient of her business to
begin for herself, was allowed to take in some
needlework at home, which she thought much
more "independent than going into families
to work by the day, a plan her mother would
have preferred as a beginning. But inde-
pendence like Betsey's usually extends to the
authority of parents as well as to that of
mistresses; so friends interested themselves
for the young workwoman, her hands were
full of work, and so was her mother's little
parlour of pieces, patterns, and litters of all
kinds, and her carpet of pins, broken needles,
and thread ends; urtil Mrs. Roberts declared
that Betsey made more trouble than any one
in the house,,and a younger sister thought it
hard to be always obliged to. wait upon her.
But worse still, there were complaints of
the needlework,' which, in some cases had
come altogether unstitched; and a servant,
Service anw Independence. 43
whose bet. gown she had spoiled, came in
great indignation to protest against her con-
ceit in pretending to do what she knew too
little about, and refused to pa y the charge.
Mr. Roberts'took the complainant's part, and
insisted on the return of his daughter to
some respectable employer, that she might
be further instructed in the various depart-
ments of her chosen occupation.
In the meantime all the habits of neatness
and order in which her mother had endea-
voured to train her in childhood were neglected
and forgotten. She had no time, she said, to
put things in their places; all the time she
could spare to work for herself was consumed
upon outside show. She was no help in
making .for her little brothers and sisters,
for -he cut out so carelessly, and put together
so. slo\'culy, that Mrs. Roberts preferred her
own stout work, and never ceased to regret
that she had allowed a child of hers to be a
dressmaker rather than a servant. It was
true that Betsey might not have made a good
servant, auid might have disappointed her in
that also; but the probabilities of her becom-
ing useftil and steady were far greater under
regular duties and household discipline.
44 Service and Independence.
The motive, too, Mrs. Roberts felt was
wrong. There must be dressmakers, and
that, like other necessary occupations in life,
is respectable and honourable in its place,
affording support to individuals and families
perhaps unable to obtain a livelihood in any
other way, and many young dressmakers are
thoroughly domesticated; but this business is
often a snare and temptation when seized
upon by young girls of the humbler classes
from the mischievous desire to cast off autho-
rity, and to disfigure their persons by a style
of dress wholly unsuited to their station and
circumstances, None with such motives can
well prosper and become truly independent in
the best sense of that much misused expres-
sion; they commonly descend to sorrow, dis-
appointment, and poverty, instead of rising, as
many a faithful servant has done, to comfort,
competence, and a happy domestic life.
But a time of trial arose for the sisters.
Mrs. Roberts was taken seriously ill, and her
husband in great anxiety looked to Betsey to
attend upon her, and take her place in his
little household. "You-know, Betsey," said
he, "you always said that if anything hap-
pened af home, you could give your time at
Service and IThdependence. 45
any minute, while poor Susan could not, and
for once I feel there was something in your
argument. So now, my good girl, get things
a bit straight, and mind what the doctor
orders for your poor mother, and do it nice."
Betsey said there was a great deal of needle-
work on hand, and she did not think she
could be spared.
"I mean to call myself and ask for a few
days' leave, my dear; and when the reason is
respectfully told, I'm sure your mistress will
let you attend to a sick mother."
"My mistress, indeed I" thought Betsey;
"she has no right to hinder me: but it's very
tiresome for all that; I don't like to be kept
indoors with all these disagreeable children."
But she kept her thoughts to herself, and
began to do as she was requested, or at least
to make some attempt at it. Alas for the
family dependent for their comfort on an
elder sister whose hands have long been
accustomed only to her needle, and whose
heart is absorbed by self, and who have
thought domestic duties to be beneath their
notice. Alas for the poor invalid whose gruel
is made by one accustomed to make only
bonnets and gowns. The poor children got
46 Service and Independence.
scalded and scolded, and the cries and con-
tentions downstairs added to the sufferings
of their mother above. The gruiel was burned,
or boiled over, and made a terrible dust and
a suffocating smell; the bed was not made,
the hearth was unswept, and Betsey was so
"bothered," she said, "that nothing went right
either night or day."
At last Mr. Roberts, in utter despair, called
to speak to Susan's mistress. "I am very
sorry, ma'am," said he, after relating the
necessity of his r.-que;st, to take Susan from
a good place, but I can't'tell how long it may
be before my wife is wi-llenough to be about
again; and if you could be so kind as to suit
yourself soon, I shall be thankful to have her
"I cannot think of trying to get another
servant while there is any -hope of Susan's
return," said her kind mistress. "We will do
the lbst we can, Mr. Robetfs, until we see-
how your wife gets on Uihcr Susan's good
nursing. -I am' truly sorry for your anxiety,
and wish I had known that it wni in my
power to relieve a portion of ith.-.fo:re. We
all value your daughter fat toe'highiy,, either
to deny her the privilege of attending on a
Service and Independence. 47
mother she so dearly loves, or to wish to fill
her place here by any stranger who might
offer. She shall be with you this evening,
and I know you will find her very useful."
And Susan, with a thankful heart, went
home. The little ones were delighted to see
her, and said they should not be scolded now,
and Betsey went out' for a walk because she
said she had been penned up in that house
long enough, and it did not agree with her at
all. Perhaps not, for while the windows were
unopened, and the rooms never cleaned, no
doubt the house was unwholesome.
It was a clean candlestick that stood on
the invalid's little table at her bedside that
night, a clean cupful of nicely made gruel
that invited her to tast,' and after sitting up
for a few minutes at her daughter's request, it
was on a smooth bed and a soft pillow that
she rested for the first time for a week. In
fact, Susan's quiet natural way of doing every-
thing proved that she had profited by her
time in service, nnd had acquired habits and
qualities which reirldreil her valuable wher-
ever she went, but Bspecially so at home just
now. Her situation had riot been without, its
trials, for the upper- nurse was often cross ',d
48 Service and Independence.
exacting; but Susan remembered her father's
advice, and never irritated her by rude answers.
She knew that her first best service was due
to God, that He had appointed her station in
life, and that to do her duty in it was to serve
and honour Him, and the best proof she could
give of her love to the Saviour who had par-
doned her as a sinner, and adopted her as a
child, at the cost of His own precious blood.
Susan could go every Sunday, and some-
times in the week, to the house of God; she
could pay her visits at home at reasonable
times; she could keep her clothes in repair,
and had placed a little money in the savings'
bank, so that if sickness came upon her she
need not have been burdensome to parents,
who had several other children needing all
their means to feed and clothe them; and she
felt as independent as any respectable young
woman need desire to be whom God has
placed under lawful and gentle authority.
She had duties to perform, but who is happy
that has not? A human being under no
authority, recognizing no appointed duty,
and assuming liberty to waste life and time,
health and money, at the impulses of the
hour or minute, is one of the most pitiable
Service and Independence. 49
objects under the sun. So far from being
independent, he is dependent on every pass-
ing circumstance for his transient pleasures,
and the disposal of his time; he is a miser-
able unit in the world; no eye watches for
his coming, no heart cares for his absence;
and while dependent on everybody with
whom he comes in contact, no one depends
with hope, or love, or gratitude on him.
By the blessing of God, a contented mind,
regular exercise, pure air, and wholesome
diet, had preserved to Susan the most per-
fect health, and she had grown into a well-
behaved, neat-looking young woman at the
time she was summoned to her mother's
bedside. Her affectionate attentions, and
thoughtful care, joined to the assurance that
her husband and children were now comfort-
ably cared for, proved of unspeakable benefit
to Mrs. Roberts, and Susan's mistress was
continually sending some acceptable present
in the way of nourishing food which might
not have been procured otherwise.
Then, too, in the course of each day, or
more frequently, some portion of the Holy
Scriptures were read, telling of the love of
God in the gift of his Son to be the Saviour
50 Service and Independentce.
of the world, and of the grace of Jesus Christ
in receiving all those who come to Him in
faith. Or perhaps the passage of Scripture set
forth the power of the Holy Spirit in bringing
sinners to repentance, and then sanctifying
and comforting the heart in times of sorrow.
In this way precious hours were spent.
"I do think mother is better," said Betsey,
a night or two after her sister's arrival, and
the house is quite another thing; I'm so glad
you came, for nobody minded me at all.
Father seemed so vexed too; why, he actually
went out without his breakfast one morning
because it wasn't ready just to the minute.
I'm sure he could have waited; but he took
a crust and said, Oh Betsey,'-just as if it
was my fault that the kettle wouldn't boil."
"Why didn't it boil ?" said Susan, smiling.
"Why, the fire wouldn't burn, to be sure.
Then I had forgotten to get the water in the
night before, and Johnny wouldn't run for
some-they're very naughty children, I assure
you; and though they hindered me at every
turn, they got laughing together when any-
thing went wrong, the ungrateful things; so
I punished them; and then when I went up
stairs I found mother crying."
Service and Independence. 51
"Johnny and Jane should have been at
school out of your way," said Susan.
"Yes, but they wouldn't go because I had
no clean pinafores for them; and then the
teacher came at dinner time to know the
reason, and we were all in such confusion I
was ashamed to let her come in."
"Well, I'll wash their pinafores to-morrow,"
said Susan, "they shall not have that excuse
for being in the way. But you couldn't do
everything, sister; and, you see, I'm used to
work. So never mind about your past trou-
bles; only I would help a little, and then
you'll know what is to be done another time."
Betsey said she had done enough at house-
keeping to last a long while.
"But oh, dear Betsey," exclaimed Susan,
" what a tear there is in your petticoat! and
it's all in rags round the hem. Do leave it
to-morrow, and I'll mend it for you."
Oh, but I can't spare it; I'll just cobble
it up as well as I can in the morning, for I'm
tired now. I've no time to work for myself;
but it can't be seen under my dress, can it ?"
"Well, perhaps not, but then you know it's
there. I can't bear rags, but I don't mind a
neat patch. Mistress thinks our minds are
52 Service and Independence.
sadly out of order when our clothes are
allowed to get into rags."
"Your mistress's opinion is nothing to
me," said Betsey, with a toss of the head.
" You remember I've no one to order me, and
am independent, as you are not."
"But how are you independent? I don't
see that you are any better off than I am."
"How ? why I have all my spare time to
myself. I can go where I please, and dress
how I please, except when father interferes;
and I see and know a great many people who
wouldn't notice me if I was a-," she hesi-
tated and glanced at the bright, kind face of
the sister looking so tenderly upon her.
"A servant, you mean," said Susan. "But
our parents were servants, Betsey. Should
their children be ashamed of the rank they
have held with respect and usefulness? I
would rather be a servant and valued, as I
hope I shall be if I deserve it, than a dress-
maker to have for my friends people who
despise the honest industry of service. Take
care, dear Betsey, or you will find yourself
sadly disappointed in your independence
" THms is all right, this is as it should be,"
S said the doctor, as he came to pay
his professional visit one day, and
found Mrs. Roberts sitting up for the first
time since her illness, excepting the few
minutes during which her bed was made.
The room had been aired, the invalid looked
so comfortable in the nice clean cap and
shawl that Susan had prepared for her, and
little Jane was sitting at her side taking a
lesson in knitting. "Well now," added he,
kindly, I think you will do very well if we
can manage one thing more. Have you any
relations or friends in the country?" and he
looked towards Susan for an answer.
"Oh yes, sir," she replied, "we have an
aunt who keeps a little farm in Wales."
"But it's a long way off, you know, my
dear," interposed Mrs. Roberts, who guessed
the reason for the inquiry, and who dreaded
causing any further expense to her good hus-
band, or privation to her family.
54 Service and Independence.
Well, but if you could go and pay a visit
there, or anywhere else that you prefer, it
will set you up directly, and you will soon be
as strong as ever. You just need a little
change to complete your recovery."
"Oh no, sir, thank you; I shall do very
well now, thank God, for all the kindness you
ind others have shown me. I don't need
anything more, and I would rather not go
"Well, you know best about that, only you
would get strong so much sooner. And now
I must tell you that I mean to share with
your daughter here, under God's blessing, the
credit of your recovery, which was very
doubtful at one time, and I wish all my
patients had just such a nurse."
"Ask for his bill, Susan dear," whispered
her mother, as the kind old gentleman was
leaving the room. Mother will be glad to
have your bill if you please, sir, and if you
think she will not want any more attend-
ance," added Susan, respectfully, as she fol-
lowed him down stairs.
"The bill, oh very well;" and he turned
back again, while Susan occupied herself
below. "You want your bill, my good
Service and 1Independence. 55
friend, I hear," said he, sitting down again,
and drawing little Jane towards him, and
bidding her listen to what he had to say, that
she might know how good it was to be a
dutiful and affectionate daughter. "I am not
a rich man, and I feel it my duty to make a
charge; but as I conscientiously believe that
if my advice had not been carried out as it
has been by your sensible and attentive
daughter, it would have been of compara-
tively little use, I intend, from regard to her,
and respect for the manner in which you
have brought her up, to charge you precisely
half of my just and usual demand; and if the
difference might help you to take a little
journey I shall be very glad. Allow me to
say that your daughter is just what a modest
young Englishwoman in her station of life
ought to be, and the mistress who secures her
services is almost as happy as you are as her
mother. I grieve to think there are so few
In the meantime Susan had meditated on
the journey. "It is the expense," she
thought, that dear mother objects to;" and
her heart bounded with delight at the re-
membrance of her little savings.
56 Service and Independence.
"Your mother might venture to go away
in a week if you can persuade her," said the
doctor as he passed through to the door;
"and as for the bill you need not be dis-
tressed about that. Perhaps your father can
pay it by instalments between this and the
year's end. If I call again it will be only as
"So Susan has settled it all, I hear," said
Mr. Roberts, as the next day he assisted his
wife down stairs, and placed her in the long
vacant seat she used to occupy, and where
the hearts of all her children rejoiced once
more to see her.
"Settled what ?" she asked, after lifting up
her own heart in devout thankfulness to God
for all her blessings.
"Why, the journey and all about it; and
the letter went off to my sister by post this
"Oh dear, I am so sorry, for I shall not
think of going; I don't need anything of the
sort. I shall get well quite fast now, and I
am so happy to be with you all again."
But Susan had been to her mistress, with
whom she had taken counsel, and received
permission to remain at home during her
Service and Independence. 57
mother's absence without the fear of losing
her situation; for though they all missed her,
the lady said, no one thought of wishing to
have her place filled up. And then as the
bank required too long a notice before the
withdrawal of any sum, she advanced the
money herself that nothing might delay the
departure of Mrs. Roberts for the country.
And now, with a beating heart and beaming
face, the happy girl placed the savings of
three years in her mother's lap, and besought
her for all their sakes to use it for this most
desirable purpose, and to get well and strong
as soon as possible.
Poor Mrs. Roberts was quite overcome;
she could not speak, but there fell upon the
brow of her child that most precious token of
her tender love-
"The tear that pious parents shed
Upon a duteous daughter's head."
So Mrs. Roberts went to visit her relatives,
and derived all the benefit anticipated from
so thorough a change of air and scene. She
returned in a few weeks, to resume all her
active duties, and Susan was released from
her late cares and responsibilities at home.
58 Service and Inidep)endence.
In the meantime changes had been occur-
ring in her place of service. The upper nurse
was leaving, and the entire charge of the
nursery, with advanced wages, was offered to
Susan, in whom her mistress said she felt
the fullest confidence.
And here Betsey found her one summer
evening, when she called unexpectedly to see
her at a little past eight o'clock. The room
was beautifully clean, suitably furnished, and
perfectly quiet, for the children were gone to
bed, and Susan sat at work at a print gown
she was making for herself.
"How nice and comfortable you look,
Susan!" she exclaimed; "have you got this
all to yourself?"
Yes, after the children are asleep; and this
is my time for doing my own needlework if
I wish; and if I want company I can go to
the kitchen, or ask the housemaid to bring
her work and sit with me."
Ah, but I suppose you mightn't come out
and walk with me."
"I don't think mistress would object if I
wanted to go home for a peep at father and
mother; but I was there only the evening
before last, and I don't want to go now."
Service and Independence. 59
"Why, surely you don't tell where you're
going. Come and have a walk with me."
"No, thank you, Betsey, I promised mother
that I would never go about the streets for
the sake of gossiping with anybody, and
while we can talk so comfortably here why
should we want to go out ?"
"Why, isn't exercise proper for you ?"
"Yes, I have been out twice to-day with
"Oh, that's to please other people. I walk
to please myself; but if you can't do that, I
don't mean to stay long out of the fresh air."
Now the window, which was open, looked
down upon a garden, and the scent of flowers
came pleasantly in on the evening breeze, so
that there was certainly no want of fresh air;
but the human heart is seldom at a loss for
plausible excuses for self-indulgence. Betsey,
however, had not come merely to enjoy a
chat with her sister, as soon became apparent.
Well, I can't stay long," said she after a
pause, during which she had watched her
sister's busy fingers, and wondered how it
came to pass that she could make a gown.
"But I want you to do me a favour, Susan;
will you, there's a dear sister ?"
60 Service and Indelpendence.
To be sure I will if I can," said Susan,
cheerfully, "what is it ? Is it to bind that
petticoat for you that I wanted so much to do
when I was at home ? or I'll tell you what
will be better, change it for one of mine; I'll
run and fetch one this minute, and then I
can mend yours and wear it myself."
No, no, it's nothing about that," said
Betsey, half smiling and half vexed at her
sister's simplicity, and she looked out of the
window with a heightened colour as she added,
" I want you to lend me a little money, Susan,
if you will; it will be six weeks before I can
have any more of my own, for I only get it
quarterly now I'm in a regular employment."
But, dear Betsey, it is only six weeks since
you received the last, and you didn't give me
back what I lent you before, as you promised
to do then."
"Well, I can't help it now," said Betsey,
impatiently; "if I had any money of course I
shouldn't ask you this favour. Can you lend
me seven shillings this evening ?"
"Indeed I'm afraid not," said Susan, taking
out a small key and unlocking a small work-
box which had been given to her by the
family for a Christmas present, "for I asked
mistress to keep back the best part of my last
Service and Independence. 61
quarter, thinking to help pay the doctor's bill
for mother, and you know of course my wages
didn't go on while I was away, so it wasn't
so much as usual; and I was obliged to have
this new gown." And she counted out of her
little purse only five shillings and sixpence.
"I'll take that," said Betsey, looking sadly
disappointed, "it will be something towards
it; but couldn't you ask for some of what you
left in your mistress' hands ?"
I would rather not; and if you take this
I shall not have a penny left for myself."
"Well, perhaps you won't want it, you are
so saving and dress so plainly. You forget
that, as I'm not in service, there's no occasion
for me to dress as you do."
Is it for your dress, dear Betsey, that you
want this money? and do you think that
because you are not in service you should
not dress within your means?"
Well, it's very disagreeable to be in debt
certainly; people who lend always seem to
think they've a right to lecture you if they
choose. It is to pay a little debt that I want
this seven shillings, for the young lady who
lent it me has got so rude that I can't bear it
any longer, and I thought you could help me
out of her power."
62 Service and Independence.
"And was it for something to wear ?"
"Yes, but it doesn't matter to you what it
was. She persuaded me to have it, and
offered to lend me something towards it. I
owe something at our shop besides that I
want very much to pay, and it must go out of
my next quarter's money, I suppose. I don't
know how it is, but I never can save a penny
"Oh, Betsey!" exclaimed her sister earnestly,
"do go home and tell our dear mother all
about it. She knows best, she can advise you
what to do; you will be so unhappy until you
are out of debt."
"No, I can't tell her about it. I must do as
well as I can; and I begin to think I shall
not stop here much longer. I am sometimes
unhappy, and I don't feel settled, and per-
haps I shall go to America or Australia, or
somewhere. They say dressmakers are very
well paid there, and are treated like ladies."
Susan stood looking at her sister in mute
amazement during this extraordinary confes-
sion. It seemed as if a great gulf of trouble
had suddenly opened before her, and she
thought of Betsey, so helpless in everything
but one branch of needlework, so easily led
into temptation, so unfit to battle with the
Service and Independence. 63
trials or hardships of life, cutting asunder
the restraints and affections of country and
home, and casting herself friendless and un-
provided on the chances of employment
amidst the ungodly population of a distant
"Oh, Betsey," she exclaimed, the tears rush-
ing to her eyes, "I only know one thing to
say that could stop all this. If you would
but ask God to give you His Holy Spirit,
that your eyes may be opened to see the folly
and danger of an evil course, and that you
may be led by faith to Jesus Christ, and find
forgiveness through His precious blood, which
cleanseth from all sin, then would you have
a right mind about being independent; He
would teach you that it is only in doing His
will that we can be happy, and only where
He places us that we can have rest. You
must be saved from sin, dear sister, before
you will be contented anywhere; and then
you would keep out of all these troubles, and
see the real good way to be independent is to
be humble, and industrious, and honest. Do
not be angry, Betsey; but indeed it is happier
to be a servant in a plain gown, and owing no
man anything, than a dressmaker in the
fashion and in debt. I have everything to
61 Service and Indepndenece.
make me happy here; you have nothing yet
to make you happy anywhere."
The sisters talked together for a long time;
and Susan at last prevailed on Betsey to go
at once with a humble spirit and tell all her
troubles to their sensible, kind mother, and
made her promise to try if a different course
of conduct might not procure happiness in
England before she set out to seek it abroad.
With prayer, humility, and the grace of God,
the result is certain.
"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of
me," said the Lord; "for I am meek and
lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto
your souls" (Matt. xi. 29). "A man's pride
shall bring him low, but honour shall uphold
the humble in spirit" (Prov. xxix. 23). And,
" Whosoever shall exalt himself shall be
abased: and he that shall humble himself
shall be exalted" (Matt. xxiii. 12).
"- KNIGHT, PRINTER, BARTHOLOMEW CLOS
LONDON : KNIGHT, PRINTER, BARTHIOLOMEW CLOSER.