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The One Calico Dress

The One Calico Dress image
Parent Issue
Day
30
Month
December
Year
1864
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

You were not bof yesterday," snid the gentle teacher of u little villuge Fchool as she placed hei hand kindly on the curly heud of one of her pil pils. It was recesa time, but the girl addressed had not gone to frolic away the ten minuten, nor even left her seat, but was engaged in what seernod a fruitless attempt to mako herself mistress of a sum n long división. Her iauö and neok ei imsoned at the remark of her teacher, but lookiug up Beemed soinewhat reassured by the kind glauce that met her, nnd answered, " No ina'am, I was not, but sister Nellie was." ' I remfinber there was a little girl who called hert-elf Nellie Gray, came yeoterday, but l did not know that she was your sister. But why did you not come ? Ywu eeein to love ttudy verj' much." " It wasn't because I did nut wnnt to," was the eaniest reply, and theu she pfiiiped, and the deep rose flush ag.iin tinted the fair brow, "but - but," continned she, alter a moment of painful considoration, " inother cannot spare both of lis eonvenkmtly, and so we are going to take turne. I am coming to school one day aud sisier Nellie xt, and to-night I am g"ing to teach Nellie all I have learued to-duy, and to morrow night she wil! toach me ill that she leai ris while here It is the only way we can think of getting along, and we both study very hard, so that we can sometime kep school ourselves m take care ol motlier, for siie hus lo work very hard to take care of us." With geuuine dolicacy Miss M. forbore to question the cliild any turther, but wat down beside her, and in a moment exi lained the rule whioh waa (uzzling her yourig brain, so that the difficult sum was eaily tinwhed. " You had better go out now in the ir for a moment, you have ntudied ' Tery hard to-day," said the teacher, as the little girl put aaide her s.ate. " I would ratlier not, I might tear mj dress, I'U stand by the window and watch the rest playing." ' There was a peculiar tone in the voice of the pupil as she eaid, " 1 might tear my dress," that Miss M. was led instinetively to notioe it, It was nothiDg but a nine-penny print of a deep pink bue, but it was neatly made, and had naver as yet been waehed. Aüd while looking at it, she remembered that during the vvhole pre vioua fortnight that M ry Gray had altended school regularly, sbe had never seen her wear but oue dress. "She is a thoughtful littltTgirl," said ahe to herselt, " aud does uot want lo rnake her poor mother my troublo. I wish I had more such acholara." On the next morning Mary was absent, but her sister JNelhe occupied her s#at. There waa something so interesting in the two little sisters, one eleven and the other eighteen months young er, agreeing to attend school by turns that Miss M. could uot help observing ♦hem rery closely. ..She observed in both the same clone attention to their studies, and as Mary had tarried vvithio during the playtirue, so did Nellie ; and upon speaking to her as she did to her sister, she reoeived, too, the same answer - "I might tear my d.ess." The reply caused Miss M. to notioe the garb oí the sister. She saw at nce it was off the same piece as Mary's, and upon scrutinizing it very closely, ehe became certain it was the same dress. It did cot 8t so closely on Nellie, and ehe was evidently ill at ease when ■ she noticed the teacher looking at tbe pink flovrers that were set so thickly on the white ground. The discovery was one that could not fail to interest a heart so truly be nevolent as was that which pulsated in tbe bosom of the teacher of the little TÜlage school. She ascertaiued the resideace of their nnther, and, though sorely shortened h'erself by a narrow purse, that same night, havingfound at the ouly store in tha placo a few yards of the same material, purchased a dress for little Nellie, and sent it to her in euch a way that the donor could not asily be dotected. Very bright and happy looked Mary Gray as she eutered the school-room at i) early hour. She waited only to place her books m neat order on her desk oro she approached Miss M. and whispered in a voice that laughed in pite of all hor efforts to make it low and deferential, " After this week siater Nellie is coming to school every day, and O, I urn so glad !" " That is very good ncws," replied th taacher kiadly. ' But can your uiotbei' spare yon both ?" " O, yes, she can now. Something's bappened she did uot expect, and she is as glad to have us come as we are to do so." She hesitated :i tnomeut, but her young hetn-t was fiüed to the brim, and told the 'eacher ihis littk story about Nellie and herself: She and her sister were the ouly children of a very poor widow. who was obliged tO' keep them out of school all the winter because they uo etothea to wear ; but she told them, if they could earn enough by doing odd chores for the neighbors to buy each of tbem a dress, they might go in the spring. They had each saved nearly enough to buy a calicó dress. Nellie was taken sick, and s the mother had no monay beioreh:ind, her own little Ire&sure had to be expendud n thu purchase oí medicine, i " O, I did feul fio bad when the school opened and Nellit could notgo becauso she had no dress. Ia tófd mother I would not ga eitlier, bot she said I had botter, for 1 could teaeh sister som, and ttoat would be better thaa no 6ohooling. I Btood it íor a fortnight, and then got ino'hor to let Mellie go ono day and me tho noxt. O, if I oi:ly knew who it was, [ would got down on my knbfs to tliem, so would Nulliu. But we don't knovv, and so wi've d(Mie all we could for thi-m, and praycd for thein, and O, Mis M , we nre 8o glad !' And on the following Monday ültle Nellio, in a new pink drens, eutcied the ohool-room, her fuco radiunt as a roe in tbe aunsbine, and approaching tho teacliar's tablo oxclaimed in tones as musicul as thcso of a f'reod f'ou ntain, ' I nm cominir to school every day and j O, I ara so glad I" Miss M. feit, as she had never done befiore, that it was moru blessed to give than to receivu. íhe ff.tfinpu Jpk

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Subjects
Old News
Michigan Argus