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it. I wondered much at the busy life the river led, and the great many things it could turn its hand to, in some of which I played a humble part. But these I pass for the present, and hurry on to the time when the river


carried me back to the arms of my mother from whom I had been separated so long.

My mother and I embraced each other with rapture.

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She tossed me up and caught me in her arms again, and rocked me in her cradling billows, and invigorated my frame with the old food that I had not seen since I left her. I spent several months with my mother; and, carried by winds and currents, I visited many distant parts of her domains.

At length, with her permission, I resumed my travels over the world, and rose one day into a large mass of clouds, which a south wind was driving before it. I and my neighbouring vesicles (for we were not exactly drops now) sailed before the wind for a considerable distance, and by degrees a very extraordinary change came over us. We gradually became of a dazzling whiteness, and assumed most beautiful forms, very various, but of perfect symmetry. I could not account for this change in our appearance, but supposed it might be connected with the intense cold we felt at the same time.

In this state we amused ourselves by dancing gracefully in the air, till, quite weary, we floated down and found a resting-place on a mountain of great beauty.

I call it a mountain ; but it was unlike those that I remembered beside my old home in the tarn. No green turf or blooming heather clothed its sides, and no dark fir-trees fringed its cliffs; but its peaks were sharp and glistening as a sword-blade, and clear as crystal. No eagle built its nest there, nor did any living creature venture to rest on the cold, solemn, majestic piles of ice that rose out of a sea of ice to pierce the deep sky. Nevertheless, we snow-flakes felt very much at our ease there, and remained many days and nights before a sunbeam came and took away our new-found beauty, turning us to drops of water once more.

I was resting in a pool near the summit of the iceberg, when one day I noticed a change in my situation. A strong wind blew, a loud cracking was heard, and my mountain loosened its hold of the ice-fields, and sailed away into the open sea.

As it drifted on it became gradually smaller, until at


last its highest point bowed beneath the waves, and I was restored once more to my mother's arms.

I must hasten to the end of my story.

Coming one day near a country very different from any I had hitherto visited, I rode on the foam of a billow far up on the rocky shore. I fell into a pool where lovely sea-weeds were growing, and many curious creatures sporting. When the sun came forth, his beam was stronger than any I had as yet felt, and on it I rose far above the rocky pool. Now it was that “Phoebus placed me in his bow,' and I shone there with a colour richer than the ruby's. Then came a terrible change. Clouds rose up on all

thunder shook them and lightning tore them, and the furious wind drove them before it, till down down I went again a great heavy raindrop, and plunged, with many of my companions, into a well in the court of a great Indian mansion.

The scene changes. A large room in an Indian city is filled with a motley company. At the upper end is placed a table covered with white linen; before it, on low seats, are ranged a little band of children, with dark faces and clean white dress. Behind these are various groups of dark-faced men, while a few white faces may

be seen here and there. Some of the company are clothed in garments of the highest luxury and refinement, while others seem hardly raised above barbarism-wild mountain men.

Presently a pale, reverend-looking man, in the costume of the West, enters, and takes his seat at the table. He reads aloud from a large book, and then speaks to the company of strange and good news. Then a handsome Brahmin comes forward, and turns to address the assembly. He speaks of his past life, and deplores it. He tells of years and talents wasted in the service of vain idols : he speaks of the coming of the stranger, and of his wondrous teaching, and of the struggle within him between the old and the new. He tells how the truth


won the victory, and that he now is resolved to spend his life in declaring it to his countrymen ; he has further only to ask that the seal of his new Master may be put

upon him.

The teacher rises, and asks an Indian gentleman to suffer a servant to bring a little water from his well. The heathen are surprised, for they had heard that these Christians used unclean things in celebrating their rites; but the request is politely complied with.

And there, fulfilling the holiest service to which water is consecrated on this earth, let us leave the 'gift of God.'1

RUTH. 1 Water is so called by the Arabs.



JAR away from town and shops two plumbers

were at work on a nice job, which needed all their skill. But a fine tool, which they could

not work without, slid down a pipe. The house was full of grown people, but no help could they give, their hands were as large as the plumbers' own. The children came by. They had often before gone to cheer the men at work by singing to them, and the men knew they would help them if they could. The first put her hand down the pipe; but it felt cold, and the tool at the bottom was sharp, so she drew back her hand. The. next was more brave; thrust her arm right down, gave one strong pull, and out came the tool. So the men worked on. Now there are things to be done for the Lord, which He pleases only to do by the small hands of His willing little children. Will you ask Him, just because you are so small in His sight, and in other's sight, to use you in His work ? From the 'Soul Gatherer.'

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