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been owing, however, to the dulness of the weather. But, gentlemen, I must add that you are also all wrong. You are wrong to throw all the blame upon your neighbours, instead of taking it upon yourselves. Let me advise you, in future, first to correct your own faults, and then to consider your neighbour's failings. If each of you will follow my advice in this particular, I have no doubt our next concert will be a great improvement upon the last."

The Magpie bowed and flew away. But the Robin-redbreast could not help muttering to the Wren:

Very true and wise all he says,-only he omits to mention that he himself made various discordant sounds, in endeavouring to imitate some of the other birds, which certainly did not add to the harmony of our performances. It is a pity he does not practise what he preaches."

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cordant croaks,” remarked a Robin Redbreast.

“No more hoarse than usual,” responded the Raven, in his harsh tones. “I do not pretend to be musical; but you-you little birds -seemed to me to sing very badly."

“It was all the fault of the Tom-tits,” cried a Bullfinch ; and such a twittering arose at this accusation from all the Tom-tits that were present, that no one's voice could be distinguished.

“We shall never come to a decision at this rate," croaked the Raven.

Well, then, if it wasn't the Tom-tits, it was-the-the-Wrens," said the Bullfinch.

“As if such poor little insignificant birds had anything to do with the matter,” said the Blackbird, disdainfully. “I daresay you Bullfinches deserve a good share of the blame."

And another loud twittering of defence and accusation arose.

“ I'll tell you what,-it was the Woodpigeons,” cried the Sparrow.

"The Wood-pigeons !" repeated a Thrush in amazement. 'Surely their note is always soft and musical.”

Yes, but it was so melancholy that we all felt depressed, and therefore we did not sing so well as usual,” asserted the Sparrow.

“Sparrows feel depressed ! Ha! ha!” laughed the Raven.

“ Then it must have been the fault of some of the Finches,” said the Blackbird; whereupon another loud twittering protest arose.

"Gentlemen," said a Magpie, hopping into the circle, "allow me to inform you that you are all right and all wrong.”

Ask the Magpie ! ask the Magpie !” cried several voices. “ He knows all our different songs and notes. He can tell us where the fault lay.”

“Gentlemen, I am happily able to tell you,' said the Magpie. " And allow me first to repeat my assertion. You are all right and all wrong."

“Prove it,” cried the Sparrow.
Gentlemen, I am about to do so.

You are all right,-because the Raven's note is undoubtedly hoarse, the Wood-pigeon's note is undoubtedly melancholy, and the smaller birds were undoubtedly lazy. This may have

IV. A FRIEND IN NEED IS A FRIEND

INDEED. H DEAR, oh dear! what shall I do?” pitifully cried the Fly, as she strug.

gled to escape from the Spider's web, in which she had become entangled.

“ Will no one help me ? Must I be left here to die p”

Nobody made any answer to this appeal, and two or three flies of her own size flew hastily away.

“Oh, don't all leave me!" pleaded the unhappy prisoner. “If only some one would help me, I might escape; I am not tightly caught.”

“ You should take care, and not be caught at all,” said a Bluebottle, as he buzzed disdainfully past.

"I will— I will take every care in future if

you will only help me now to escape. Will you ? oh, will you p"

"Really, I don't see how you can ask it of me," responded the Bluebottle superciliously. "I might entangle or soil my own wings. You should have been more careful.”

"Oh, indeed I should," sighed the Fly. “But it does little good to tell me that now. Mr. Wasp-oh, Mr. Wasp—they say you can do a kind action occasionally; will you not

)

From “the mustard seed" as the emblem of the “kingdom of God," let us learn that great usefulness is not dependent on great opportunities, great wealth, or great wisdom.

It turns rather upon " the single eye,” and the whole-hearted offering of ourselves to God, prompting the question of our lives : “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do P"

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Fireside Fables.
BY AGNES GIBERNE, AUTHOR OF TIM TEDDINGTON'S DREAM."

(Continued from page 213.) II, EXAMPLE BETTER THAN PRE

Do. What was it, my dear ?" asked the СЕРТ.

Grey Oat unguardedly.

“Well, I didn't see, mother, why, if you OW, remember!" said the Grey Cat

took butter out of the larder, I mightn't take to her Kitten. “ You understand milk out of the pantry,” said the Kitten, takwhat I have been telling you. Never

ing care to keep at a respectful distance. take anything that does not belong to you.

“Ah! I see," said the Tortoise-shell. “I If will suffer for it. You have

understand now. you

Take care, Mrs. Grey Cat, escaped undetected this time, but you are not

that, with all your talking and teaching, you likely to do so again. Think of my words,

don't, by the mere force of example, turn out and always be honest."

your child an arrant thief, probably ten times “I'll be sure," said the Kitten, who was

worse than you are yourself." longing for a romp with a ball that lay And the Grey Cat slunk away without a

word to say for herself. “ It is such a shocking thing to steal,” pursued the Grey Cat. " It becomes such a habit. If you don't conquer it now, you will

III. WHO TO BLAME. never overcome it when you are older. You HE feathered songsters of the forest will grow up a confirmed thief; be disliked

No were in a eat state of excitement. by every one; and break my heart.”

And no wonder. For the daily con"I won't," said the Kitten, looking much cert which took place amongst the trees impressed.

all through the summer months, delighting “ You see, habits of that kind always grow every ear with its sweetness and melody, upon one,” said the Grey Cat again. "Don't had for once proved a failure, and much peryou agree with me?” appealing to the old plexity was excited as to the cause. Tortoise-shell.

So a meeting was at once convened of the “Very much so," replied the Tortoise-shell. principal songsters to discuss the question, “ You don't mean to

say that

your little one and to discover on whom the blame rested. is addicted to stealing ?”

But this was not an easy thing to find out, Not often,” said the Kitten deprecatingly. for every one endeavoured to shift the blame “Only just a little milk once or twice." from his own shoulders to those of his

« A little is as bad as a great deal, if it neighbour, doesn't belong to you,” said the Tortoise-shell, "I can inform you to whom part of our who was the model of an honest, well-behaved failure was owing,” remarked the Blackbird, cat.

who was a personage of importance, more on “Just what I have been saying,” observed account of his size than of his musical powers: the Grey Cat. “It is very sad--a melan- “The Sparrows were twittering most dis. choly fact to contemplate. I can't imagine gracefully out of tune." how a kitten of mine can have so forgotten “It seemed to me that somebody whistled herself, or what can have put it into her most disgracefully out of tune," muttered a head.”

pert Sparrow, who had hopped unasked into “I could tell you that easily enough,” said the assembly. the Kitten, who was rather apt to be pert. “ The Raven made some very hoarse dis

66

66

been owing, however, to the dulness of the weather. But, gentlemen, I must add that you are also all wrong. You are wrong to throw all the blame upon your neighbours, instead of taking it upon yourselves. Let me advise

you, in future, first to correct your own faults, and then to consider your neighbour's failings. If each of you will follow my advice in this particular, I have no doubt our next concert will be a great improvement upon the last."

The Magpie bowed and flew away. But the Robin-redbreast could not help muttering to the Wren :

“Very true and wise all he says,-only he omits to mention that he himself made various discordant sounds, in endeavouring to imitate some of the other birds, which certainly did not add to the harmony of our performances. It is a pity he does not practise what he preaches."

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cordant croaks,” remarked a Robin Redbreast.

“No more hoarse than usual,” responded the Raven, in his harsh tones. “I do not pretend to be musical; but you-you little birds -seemed to me to sing very badly.”

“It was all the fault of the Tom-tits,” cried a Bullfinch; and such a twittering arose at this accusation from all the Tom-tits that were present, that no one's voice could be distinguished.

We shall never come to a decision at this rate," croaked the Raven.

Well, then, if it wasn't the Tom-tits, it was-the-the-Wrens," said the Bullfinch.

“As if such poor little insignificant birds had anything to do with the matter,” said the Blackbird, disdainfully. "I daresay you Bullfinches deserve a good share of the blame."

And another loud twittering of defence and accusation arose.

“I'll tell you what,-it was the Wood. pigeons," cried the Sparrow.

“The Wood-pigeons !” repeated a Thrush in amazement. Surely their note is always soft and musical."

Yes, it was so melancholy that we all felt depressed, and therefore we did not sing so well as usual,” asserted the Sparrow.

"Sparrows feel depressed! Ha! ha!” laughed the Raven.

“Then it must have been the fault of some of the Finches,” said the Blackbird; whereupon another loud twittering protest arose.

"Gentlemen," said a Magpie, hopping into the circle, "allow me to inform you that you are all right and all wrong."

Ask the Magpie ! ask the Magpie !” cried several voices. “He knows all our different songs and notes. He can tell us where the fault lay."

"Gentlemen, I am happily able to tell you," said the Magpie. "And allow me first to

. repeat my assertion. You are all right and all wrong."

“Prove it,” cried the Sparrow.

“Gentlemen, I am about to do so. You are all right,-because the Raven's note is undoubtedly hoarse, the Wood-pigeon's note is undoubtedly melancholy, and the smaller birds were undoubtedly lazy. This may

have

6 Will

IV. A FRIEND IN NEED IS A FRIEND

INDEED. H DEAR, oh dear! what shall I do?" pitifully cried the Fly, as she strug

gled to escape from the Spider's web, in which she had become entangled. no one help me ? Must I be left here to die p"

Nobody made any answer to this appeal, and two or three flies of her own size flew hastily away

“Oh, don't all leave me!" pleaded the unhappy prisoner. “If only some one would help me, I might escape; I am not tightly caught.”

“You should take care, and not be caught at all," said a Bluebottle, as he buzzed disdainfully past.

“I will-I will take every care in future if

you will only help me now to escape. Will you ? oh, will you ?"

“Really, I don't see how you can ask it of me,” responded the Bluebottle superciliously. "I might entangle or soil my own wings. You should have been more careful.”

“Oh, indeed I should,” sighed the Fly. “But it does little good to tell me that now. Mr. Wasp-oh, Mr. Wasp,they say you can do a kind action occasionally; will you not

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From “the mustard seed as the emblem of the "kingdom of God," let us learn that great usefulness is not dependent on great opportunities, great wealth, or great wisdom.

It turns rather upon “ the single eye,” and the whole-hearted offering of ourselves to God, prompting the question of our lives : “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do ?"

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N

near.

Fireside Fables.
BY AGNES GIBERNE, AUTHOR OF TIM TEDDINGTON'S DREAM."

(Continued from page 213.) II. EXAMPLE BETTER THAN PRE

"Do. What was it, my dear ?" asked the CEPT.

Grey Cat unguardedly.

“Well, I didn't see, mother, why, if you POW, remember !” said the Grey Cat took butter out of the larder, I mightn't take

to her Kitten. “ You understand milk out of the pantry,” said the Kitten, tak

what I have been telling you. Never ing care to keep at a respectful distance. take anything that does not belong to you.

“Ah! I see,” said the Tortoise-shell. “I If you do, you will suffer for it. You have

understand now. Take care, Mrs. Grey Cat, escaped undetected this time, but you are not

that, with all your talking and teaching, you likely to do so again. Think of my words,

don't, by the mere force of example, turn out and always be honest."

your child an arrant thief, probably ten times “I'll be sure," said the Kitten, who was worse than you are yourself." longing for a romp with a ball that lay And the Grey Cat slunk away without a

word to say for herself. “ It is such a shocking thing to steal,” pursued the Grey Cat. “It becomes such a habit. If you don't conquer it now, you will

III. WHO TO BLAME. never overcome it when you are older. You HE feathered songsters of the forest will grow up a confirmed thief; be disliked

were in a

'eat state of excitement. by every one; and break

my
heart."

And no wonder. For the daily con“I won't,” said the Kitten, looking much cert which took place amongst the trees impressed.

all through the summer months, delighting “You see, habits of that kind always grow every ear with its sweetness and melody, upon one,” said the Grey Cat again. "Don't had for once proved a failure, and much peryou agree with me?” appealing to the old plexity was excited as to the cause. Tortoise-shell.

So a meeting was at once convened of the “Very much so," replied the Tortoise-shell. principal songsters to discuss the question, “You don't mean to say that your little one and to discover on whom the blame rested. is addicted to stealing ?”

But this was not an easy thing to find out, “Not often,” said the Kitten deprecatingly. for every one endeavoured to shift the blame “Only just a little milk once or twice.” from his own shoulders to those of his

A little is as bad as a great deal, if it neighbour, doesn't belong to you,” said the Tortoise-shell, “I can inform you to whom part of our who was the model of an honest, well-behaved failure was owing,” remarked the Blackbird, cat.

who was a personage of importance, more on “Just what I have been saying,” observed account of his size than of his musical powers: the Grey Cat. “It is very sad-a melan- The Sparrows were twittering most dis. choly fact to contemplate. I can't imagine gracefully out of tune." how a kitten of mine can have so forgotten “It seemed to me that somebody whistled herself, or what can have put it into her most disgracefully out of tune," muttered a head.”

pert Sparrow, who had hopped unasked inio “I could tell you that easily enough,” said the assembly. the Kitten, who was rather apt to be pert. The Raven made some very hoarse dise

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been owing, however, to the dulness of the weather. But, gentlemen, I must add that you are also all wrong. You are wrong to throw all the blame upon your neighbours, instead of taking it upon yourselves. Let me advise you, in future, first to correct your own faults, and then to consider your neighbour's failings. If each of you will follow my advice in this particular, I have no doubt our next concert will be a great improvement upon the last.”

The Magpie bowed and flew away. But the Robin-redbreast could not help muttering to the Wren:

* Very true and wise all he says,-only he omits to mention that he himself made various discordant sounds, in endeavouring to imitate some of the other birds, which certainly did not add to the harmony of our performances. It is a pity he does not practise what he preaches.”

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66

cordant croaks,” remarked a Robin Redbreast.

“No more hoarse than usual,” responded the Raven, in his harsh tones. “I do not pretend to be musical; but you-you little birds -seemed to me to sing very badly."

“It was all the fault of the Tom-tits,” cried a Bullfinch ; and such a twittering arose at this accusation from all the Tom-tits that were present, that no one's voice could be distinguished.

“We shall never come to a decision at this rate,” croaked the Raven.

“ Well, then, if it wasn't the Tom-tits, it was-the-the-Wrens," said the Bullfinch.

As if such poor little insignificant birds had anything to do with the matter,” said the Blackbird, disdainfully. "I daresay you Bullfinches deserve a good share of the blame."

And another loud twittering of defence and accusation arose.

“ I'll tell you what,-it was the Wood. pigeons," cried the Sparrow.

“The Wood-pigeons !” repeated a Thrush in amazement. “Surely their note is always soft and musical."

Yes, but it was so melancholy that we all felt depressed, and therefore we did not sing so well as usual," asserted the Sparrow.

“Sparrows feel depressed ! Ha! ha!” laughed the Raven.

6. Then it must have been the fault of some of the Finches," said the Blackbird; whereupon another loud twittering protest arose.

Gentlemen," said a Magpie, hopping into the circle, "allow me to inform you that you are all right and all wrong."

“ Ask the Magpie ! ask the Magpie !” cried several voices. “ He knows all our different songs and notes. He can tell us where the fault lay.”

“Gentlemen, I am happily able to tell you," said the Magpie. And allow me first to repeat my assertion. You are all right and all wrong."

“Prove it," cried the Sparrow.

Gentlemen, I am about to do so. You are all right, because the Raven's note is un. doubtedly hoarse, the Wood-pigeon's note is undoubtedly melancholy, and the smaller birds were undoubtedly lazy. This may have

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66

IV. A FRIEND IN NEED IS A FRIEND

INDEED. H DEAR, oh dear! what shall I do?" pitifully cried the Fly, as she strug

gled to escape from the Spider's web, in which she had become entangled. “ Will no one help me ? Must I be left here to die p"

Nobody made any answer to this appeal, and two or three flies of her own size flow hastily away.

“Oh, don't all leave me!" pleaded the unhappy prisoner. “If only some one would help me, I might escape; I am not tightly caught."

“You should take care, and not be caught at all,” said a Bluebottle, as he buzzed disdainfully past.

"I will-I will take every care in future if you will only help me now to escape. Will you ? oh, will you ?”

“Really, I don't see how you can ask it of me," responded the Bluebottle superciliously. “I might entangle or soil my own wings. You should have been more careful."

“Oh, indeed I should,” sighed the Fly. “ But it does little good to tell me that now. Mr. Wasp-oh, Mr. Wasp—they say you can do a kind action occasionally, will you not

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