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48

THE JUVENILE REPORTER.

Missions to China, and other things, the goodly sum of £18 12s. 11d. The Reporter hopes the Association may go on and prosper, and that the scholars will not forget the lessons they got when they went to see the Panorama of the Holy Land. The names of the collectors will appear next month.

The Reporter has a very kindly feeling to a number of good little “busy bees” at Mr. Alexander's school in Chelsea, who have gathered over £15 for the support of a poor little black girl in Calcutta, and the Mission to China. At North Shields, too, he has got some friends, who have been showing their friendship in good deeds, which are always better than good wishes.

The Reporter wishes very particularly to state, that all the cards not yet sent in should be returned immediately. There is no time to be lost. And yet the work is not done. We are short £100 of the sum needful to support a missionary in China. Reader! are you not to blame for this ? Perhaps you have done nothing—at any rate not so much as you might have done. But the Conmittee are about to appoint a missionary, in hopes that more will be done next year. Cards will be ready next month, and it is hoped all will go to work in earnest.

LESSONS FOR THE SABBATH AND THE SCHOOL.

SUBJECT.

TO LEARN.

TO READ,

Question Mar. s Peter delivered XX. Acts xii. 11. Acts xii. 1-19.

from Prison. 15 The Death of XXI. Acts xii. 22, 23|Acts xii. 20—25.

Herod. 22 Elymas the Sor- XXII. & Acts xiii. 10. Acts xiii. 4-12.

XXIII. 29 The Miracle of XXIV. Acts xiv. 10, 11 Acts xiv. 1-28.

Lystra. Apr. 5The Philippine xxv. Acts xvi. 30, 31 Acts xvi. 14-40.

Jailor. 12 Paul at Athens. XXVI. Acts xvii. 11, 12 Acts xvii. 10-31.

cerer.

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THE VERY LAST PENNY, THIRTY years ago there was seen to enter the city of London, a lad about fourteen years of age. He was dressed in a dark smock frock, that hid all his under apparel, and which appeared to have been made for a person evidently taller than the wearer. His boots were covered with dust from the high road. He had an old hat with a black band,

APRIL, 1857.

50

THE VERY LAST PENNY.

which contrasted strangely with the covering of his head. A small bundle, fastened to the end of a stick and thrown over his shoulder, was the whole of his equipment. As he approached the Mansion House he paused to look at the building, and seating himself on the steps at one of the doors, he was about to rest himself; but the coming in and going out of half a dozen persons before he had time to finish untying his bundle, made him leave that spot for the open space, where the doors were in part closed.

Having taken from the bundle a large quantity of bread and cheese, which he seemed to eat with a ravenous appetite, he amused himself with all the eager curiosity of one unaccustomed to see such sights.

The appearance of the youth soon attracted my curiosity, and gently opening the door, I stood behind him without his being in the least conscious of my presence. He now began rummaging his pockets, and after a great deal of trouble brought out a roll of paper which he opened. After satisfying himself that a large copper coin was safe, he carefully put it back again, saying to himself, in a low tone, “Mother, I will remember your last words, a penny saved is twopence earned.' It shall go hard with me before I part with you, my old friend."

Pleased with this remark, I gently touched the lad on the shoulder. He started, and was about to move away, when I said

My good lad, you seem tired, and likewise a stranger in the city."

“Yes, sir,” he answered, putting his hand to his hat. He was again about to move forward.

“ You need not hurry away, my boy,” I observed. deed, if you are a stranger, and willing to work, I can perhaps help you to get what you require."

« InTHE VERY LAST PENNY.

51

The boy stood mute with astonishment, and colouring to such an extent as to show all the freckles of a sunburnt face, stammered out

" Yes, sir."

“I wish to know," I added, with all the kindness of manner I could assume, "whether you are anxious to find work, for I want a boy to assist my coachman."

The poor lad twisted and twirled his bundle about, and after placing his hand to his head, managed to utter an awkward answer, and said he would be very thankful.

I mentioned not a word about what I had overheard with regard to the penny, but inviting him into the house, I sent for the coachman, to whose care I entrusted the new

comer.

Nearly a month had passed after this meeting and conversation had occurred, when I resolved to make some inquiries of the coachman, regarding the conduct of the lad.

" A better boy never came into the house, sir ; and as for wasting anything, bless me, sir, I know not where he has been brought up, but I really believe he would consider it a sin if he did not give the crumbs of bread to the birds every morning."

“ I am glad to hear so good an account," I replied.

And as for his good nature, sir, there is not a servant among us that doesn't speak well of Joseph. He reads to us while we sup, and he writes all our letters for us. Oh, sir, he has got more learning than all of us put together ; and what's more, he doesn't mind work, and never talks about our secrets after he writes our letters."

Determined to see Joseph myself, I requested the coachman to send him to the parlour. “I understand, Joseph, that you can read and write."

52

THE VERY LAST PENNY.

"Yes, sir, thanks to my poor dead mother." “You have lately lost your mother, then ? "

“A month that very day when you were kind enough to take me into your house an unprotected orphan," answered Joseph.

Where did you go to school ?” “Sir, my mother has been a widow ever since I can remember. She was a daughter of the village school-master; and having to maintain me and herself, with her needle, she took the opportunity of her leisure moments to teach me not only how to read and write, but to cast up accounts."

" And did she give you that penny which I saw you unroll so carefully at the door ? "

Joseph stood amazed, but at length replied with great emotion, while a tear stood in his eye

“ Yes, sir, it was the very last penny she gave me."

Well, Joseph, so satisfied am I with your conduct, that not only do I pay to you a month's wages willingly for the time you have been here, but I must beg of you to fulfil the duties of collecting clerk to our firm, which has become vacant by the death of a very old and faithful assistant."

Joseph thanked me in the most unassuming manner, and I was asked to take care of his money, since I had promised to provide him with suitable clothing for his new occupation.

It will be unnecessary to relate how, step by step, this poor country lad proceeded to win the confidence of myself and partner. The accounts were always correct to a penny; and whenever his salary became due, he drew out of my hands no more than he absolutely needed, even to a penny. At length he had saved a sufficient sum of money to be deposited in the bank.

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