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THE FLOWER POT.

(A Dialogue between Emma and her Mother)

Emma. What a delightful day we had yesterday! how very kind Mrs. S. was to us, and what a sweet place she lives at. The house is so pretty, and the walks winding in the little woods above the house, where you have the view of the town, and the rocks are so very delightful!

Mamma. I am glad you enjoyed every thing so much, and you were pleased with your young companions too.

Emma. Oh, very much. I have been thinking all the morning which I liked best of the three, Theodosia, or Harriet, or Agnes.

Mamma. I do not know which is Harriet and which is Agnes?

Emma. Oh, Harriet is the very good-humoured looking girl, rather dark, who had such a pleasant way of speaking; and Theodosia has black eyes and is very lively; and Agnes is very fair and has blue eyes. I cannot tell which of them I should most wish to be like. I do not know whether blue eyes or black eyes are the prettiest, or a very fair complexion, or a dark one with a great color.

Mamma. I suppose you are thinking of the remarks Mr. S. made yesterday evening, remarks not much to the purpose, for outward beauty is of very little consequence; but for my part I think that a face rather long, and eyes neither dark nor blue, suit you best.

Emma. Why so, mamma?

Mamma. Because, my dear, it is what you have, and we are all best as we are; and now tell me, did not Mr. S. shew you his stuffed birds, and his shells, and his butterflies? His collections are very curious.

Emma. Oh yes, I was much pleased with them; but I liked his living creatures best. The French partridges, with their brown wings and beautiful blue and white spotted feathers; and the ducks from Holland, with their soft heads and variegated feathers; and particularly the heron, mamma, which knows the dinner hour, and always comes to the window at that time as much as to say he should like some dinner too; he perched upon a rail just as they say the Indian fakurs do,

and looked so little as if he were alive, that I really thought at first he was another stuffed bird, and then he began to stretch out his grey limbs, and shake his fine feathers, and put out his neck, so that he rose to almost double his height.

Mamma. How much more interesting are these natural curiosities than the mere toys with which houses are so much adorned now, they always furnish subjects for useful and profitable conversation, and may often be made subservient to the highest purposes.

Emma. And we had a great deal of pleasant conversation, mamma. I do think all the little girls are very good, though they are very unlike one another: Agnes is very grave and thoughtful, and does not say much; and Harriet is very contented and cheerful; and Theodosia is the most lively. I really do not know which I most wish to be like.

Mamma. You think a great deal of being like these little girls, but why should you? You may learn what is good from each, and yet be very different from them all the time. The important question is not what the natural talents or advantages of each of us are, or whether one talent is superior to another, but whether we are each making a good use of those which God has given us.

Emma. But still, mamma, is not one person more to be admired than another? Are not some talents much more desirable than others?

Mamma. There are some qualities which are most dis. cernible upon first acquaintance, and some which are not known till you are intimate with the possessor; but it does not follow that the first are more valuable than the last; one person may be handsome, and another may be lively, and another may be entertaining; another may be none of these things and yet be very useful; one person may be agreeable in one way and another in another. All good gifts come from God, and let us see that we use them all to his glory; and then we shall find that where that is the case, all people will be useful and valuable in their several ways, though they may be very different.

(Emma continues thoughtful and silent some time.)

Mamma. Do you see, my dear, how the flowers are withered

in the china pan. I wish you would gather some fresh ones

now the rain is over.

Emma. What shall I gather, mamma?

Mamma. O, what you please, only bring no wild or blighted ones, and gather them from the new borders, where the soil is good. I have given you directions enough now.

Emma (smiling.) I suppose by wild flowers you mean weeds, mamma. I think I should not have gathered weeds.

Emma goes out, and presently returns with a basket full of flowers which she sets before her mother, with a china vase. Mamma. What shall I choose of all these? Sort them out for me, Emma, and give them to me.

Emma. First, these roses, mamma, to catch the eye, and mix the crimson and white and red; they set each other off. Mamma. Come, give me something else.

Emma. Here is jessamine; the jessamine leaf is the most elegant of all leaves.

Mamma. But how much you have gathered of that little insignificant flower!

Emma. O, the heart's-ease. It is insignificant, mamma; but it is one of my particular favorites. I am never tired of looking at it, it will bear more examination than those fine roses. Just look, mamma, at the fine purple velvet at the back of the flower, with these delicate pencilled stripes of yellow, and the brown wings on each side.

Mamma. I have put it in to please you; and now give me a great deal of mignionette to please myself.

Emma. But my flower, mamma, is prettier than your's. Mamma. I don't deny that, but then its fine smell makes amends for a dress that is not very showy.

Emma. And here are some choice carnations to please papa, and the florists, and here—

Mamma. I have enough; you must dress another flower pot with the rest, and then you may consult the taste of every body else.

Emma. And my flower pot will be as pretty as your's, mamma, and prettier too I think; for here are geraniums out of the green house.

Mamma. Perhaps it may; but I have got Theodosia, and

Agnes, and Harriet, and Emma, besides a Sophia, and a Jane, and a Mary Anne.

Emma. Mamma, what do you mean?

Mamma. You can find no set of little girls so different from one another as these flowers are, and yet who will say that each of these flowers is not as lovely in its way as the other; and who would wish them to be all alike? Do not they set each other off, and make each other look more beautiful, while they mix together in friendly terms, and we would not part with the one that is least beautiful amongst them, because its fine perfume makes full amends for its defect in gaiety of color.

Emma. And yet, dear mamma, some flowers are prettier than others.

Mamma. That is true. Theodosia may be prettier than Emma; or it may be that our living flowers may be all pretty in the eyes of some persons; and they may all look the better when placed by the side of the other; or it may be that none are pretty there. Immortal plants have beauty in their souls, though their bodies may have none, or though their earthly beauty may fade; and if a fine perfume, even in a perishing flower whose chief excellence is beauty, will make us overlook a plain exterior, how much more must this be the case in those works of creation, of which the body, the mere outside, is by far the least important part; as far less important as time is less than eternity,

Emma. I begin to understand you, dear mamma.

Mamma. Let then Emma and Theodosia, and Agnes and Harriet, be contented with the faces and figures, the talents and the understanding, which God has given them; and still more let them be satisfied with that situation in the garden in which the great Husbandman has seen good to plant them; and each, I am sure, will do well in her place, and be lovely and agreeable.

Emma. But may we not imitate other persons, mamma? Mamma. Gather honey like the bee from every flower you see, my child, whether rose, carnation, jessamine, or mignionette; yet do not wish to be altogether different from what you are. Discontent is natural to every body, particularly I

think to young people; when they see something pleasing in the appearance and person or situation of a young stranger, they wish that they were in their circumstances; but this often proceeds from unbelief and mistrust of God's goodness towards themselves, and its effects are mistrust and ingratitude. There is perhaps less real difference between one human being and another, if we fairly contrast their advantages and disadvantages, than we at first suppose: the principal differ-· ence is one that results from ourselves, and not from God's appointment.

Emma. And what is that difference, mamma?

Mamma. It is, my love, whether our natural gifts and talents are cultivated and improved; whether we dig about the roots and manure them, or prune or graft them according to the Master's will, or whether we neglect them, leave them to grow wild, and do not endeavor to preserve them from nipping frosts or chilling winds. In short, my love, in plain language, whether we do or do not labor by industry and all lawful human means to improve our natural talents, praying for God's blessing upon them and consecrating them to his service. This it is that makes the important difference between one human being and another; and if it is our real and sincere object to do this, we may depend upon it, that whatever we are by nature, we shall, through divine grace, become useful, pleasant, and happy in our stations; we shall adorn our christian profession, and glorify God.

Emma. Thank you, dear mamma, I will try not to wish again to be either Agnes, or Theodosia, or Harriet.

Mamma. No, only try to make Emma as lovely and useful as she can be by those only means which Providence has pointed out, and we may not unsuitably apply here the same holy direction which is given on the subject of our salvation, "Work out your own improvement with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in you to will and to do."

Emma. I think, dear mamma, I shall never dress a flower pot, without thinking of this conversation.

Mamma. And you may think of it too when you walk in a garden, where there are flowers for beauty, and herbs for medicine and for food. All the works of creation, whether

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