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'Happy !' said Mr Pig, of course I am. were as much admired and talked about as I am, you would know that I have a right to feel happy, and proud too!'

Proud !' repeated Mr Bray, 'of what?' Of what! Well-of-of-well, of course, of my appearance and all that. Being so fat, for instance, is considered a great beauty.'

But it must be vastly uncomfortable,' argued Mr Bray. 'On a hot day, for instance, to have to move about with that weight of flesh upon you must be dreadful; and you know you did suffer a great deal at the show. your pardon, I am sure ; but if you had not brought up these subjects yourself, I should never have thought of alluding to them, for, indeed, in my heart, I am sorry for you, my friend.'

‘Friend !' exclaimed Mr Pig. 'I beg leave to state that creatures occupying such very different positions in social life, cannot possibly call each other friend. You belong to the hardly-used, badly-fed working classes, while I belong to a far higher sphere ; for, as I told you before, I have nothing to do for my living; and I assure you I have cousins in Ireland who are treated with more deference than I am,—they may walk in and out of the human creatures' houses, and—' " Ah! yes, I know,' said Neddy. I have heard that,

' in Ireland, Mr Pig pays the rent. Still I would not change places with you nor your Irish cousins neither; but here comes my master. Will you be so kind as to let me have the turnips? I am really very hungry, and they will only be wasted. Do be so kind.'

No, I won't,' grunted the surly Pig, and he sank down again to take his ease on his soft couch of straw.

Neddy Bray's master was a costermonger in a small way. He had called at the farm to buy

poultry, fruits, and vegetables to sell at the neighbouring town-indeed he usually called every Wednesday. So Neddy found many opportunities of peeping over into Mr Pig's sty;

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but he never could get another word, civil or otherwise, from that surly creature, who seemed to be daily growing fatter and prouder too. So weeks passed on.

It was a fine morning in Christmas week, when the costermonger drove his cart down the lane, and stopped at the Holly-tree Farm. The children were at the door when it came in ; and while it was being loaded with fat fowls and other good things, Annie and Charlie were petting patient Neddy, and feeding him with a fine bunch of carrots. Neddy loved carrots, and his mild eyes looked even pleasanter than usual while he crunched the juicy roots. He was gaily dressed that morning, with scarlet rosettes on each side of his head, and long streamers too, and really looked what he was, a very handsome donkey.

• Papa,' said Charlie, 'I do wish I had a donkey like Neddy ; you know you promised me one last summer.' So I did, my boy; but I have not met with

any

since then that I thought suitable for children. I was looking at one, but I found that he kicked, while another was given to rolling, and

• I'll warrant, sir,' said the costermonger, 'that this here beast would do neither one nor other. He's the quietest creature, now, ever you saw; and I ought to know him by this time.'

* But you wouldn't like to sell him, perhaps,' said Charlie.

“Yes, sir, I would that. My business is getting over heavy for a donkey, so I'm thinking of selling this here, and I'll be glad to see him with some one as would take care on him ; for though I'm hard with him sometimes, the children at home are main fond of him.'

Hearing this, Charlie cast an imploring glance at his father. And Farmer Hodgson, wishing to please his son, soon made a bargain with the costermonger; and it was agreed that Neddy should go his rounds as usual that day, and be brought up to the farm in the evening. What a nice change for poor patient Neddy! He would still never be idle, but he would not have any more hard

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work, nor hard treatment neither. A few days after, with his coat nicely brushed and a new saddle on his back, he presented a most highly respectable appearance; but, as he was feeling very happy and contented while waiting in the yard for his young master and mistress, he was startled by hearing a violent screaming close to him, and looking round, he saw his proud friend Mr Pig struggling in the grasp of several men, who were carrying him off, much against his will. When Neddy perceived that one of the men wore a long knife hanging from his belt, he knew that his proud friend's hours were numbered. ‘Poor fellow,' brayed he, in his native tongue, 'I am sure I am sorry for him.' When the fat victim heard the wellknown voice, he turned round, and would have expressed his surprise at the evident improvement in Neddy's condition, but those who had charge of him would not give him a chance of saying a civil word, as they hurried him away to the slaughter-house. There he ended his days that morning, while Neddy Bray lived on to a good old age, mild and patient as ever, always beloved by his young master and mistress ; indeed, the good quiet donkey was quite the pet of the farm-yard.

Can we learn anything from this little tale? I hear my young friends inquire.

Yes, dears, I think you can; for to my mind it teaches a lesson to all, both high and low. It tells little boys and girls, who, being children of wealthy parents, have no need to work for their living, that, however rich they are, they must not be proud or idle, never rude or uncivil, to those beneath then, but be always ready to do a kind action, and help those who suffer in any way. To poor children, it teaches that though their lot may be a hard one in many ways, there is no path so dark that it may not be brightened by stray gleams of sunshine-heart sunshine-arising from that love to God which alone can produce contentment, and patient endurance of whatever He is pleased to order for them.

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THE TWO COUSINS.

CHAPTER I.

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Na turret chamber, in an old mansion,

two little girls were seated along with their nurse. The hearth had been newly swept, and a cheerful fire was burning inside the nursery fender, and everything had an air

of comfort. It seemed more so,

perhaps, when contrasted with things outside, for the prospect was anything but pleasant. Loud gusts of wind swept round

the house, and whistled past the projecting gables, and seemed sometimes as if the time

worn manor, called “The Oaks,' was at last to be laid in ruins. The rain and sleet beat against the diamond window-panes, and even penetrated through the casement, causing the old nurse to rise from her work oftener than she liked, to lay down an additional piece of carpet or old cloth to soak it up.

These two little girls are cousins. The eldest is called Rachel Swinton, and this has been her home ever since her mother died, which sad event happened when she was quite a baby. The other, who is a few months younger, and whose name is Susan Baird, is paying a visit to her cousin and grandmother. The old woman, sitting in a wicker-work chair, with a large basket of work by her side, is Jean Cairns, who has been nurse in the family for many years, and has had under her charge the mother and father of those two little girls, with several of their uncles and aunts, when they were children also.

Rachel was sitting beside the window, dabbling her fingers in the rain water, and trying to coax it into different channels along the clean nursery floor. This sort of work did not seem to improve the discontented mood she had

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