I WISH you could see what a beautiful skirt Delia Aikin is working, Aunt Eva. The pattern is two fingers deep, and there is such a pretty vine running all through. How I wish I could be as industrious as she is, and embroider as nicely. She has been at work on it all winter, and it will take her a month longer to finish it. She takes it to school and works during recess, and at home she scarcely does anything else. Her mother says she shall be glad

when it is done."

"What a pity so much industry and perseverance were not put to a better use, Katy. How many destitute families might have been clothed by half the stitches she is putting on a useless ornament. How her feeble mother's cares might have been lightened if she had devoted a part of her time out of school to assisting her. How many useful lessons she might have given to her little brothers this winter. I am afraid she will have a sad account to render of the hours wasted in such employment."

"Aunt Eva, I thought you were very particular about your clothing, and liked to see everything nice."

"So I do, Katy; but I think a neat hem is the nicest finish a skirt can have. An acquaintance of mine wore one of these beautifully worked skirts to a picnic party on the shores of our lovely lake.

The little points and eyelets were constantly catching bits of brush and sticks, giving its owner constant trouble and mortification. I presume it was quite ruined, and her temper was sadly ruffled.

The same lady spent six months in embroidering a collar, and after all, it was not as tasteful or even as stylish as those pretty linen ones your mother wears. Anything overloaded with ornament is never in good taste.

Neatness is the cardinal point about a lady's dress. Without it her appearance can never be pleasing, though she be clothed in satin and sparkles with diamonds. You know who has said, 'Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and wearing of gold, and putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.'

"I should not care much about learning this accomplishment of embroidery, Katy. The time spent in studying some useful work, as Natural History for example, would be much more profitable, and give you far more pleasure, I do not doubt, and that a far higher kind of pleasure too.

There is something narrowing and cramping to the mind in keeping it confined for hours over tiny spots on a bit of cambric. I never knew a young lady who devoted a great deal of time to such pursuits very intelligent in other respects. God has not given us a minute of time to waste. We should improve it all in cultivating the powers he has given us, and especially in learning all we can of his glorious character in his word and works.

How would you like to learn a lesson in Natural History every day while I am here? I have a finely illustrated book in my room. There is no study which has oftener caused me to exclaim, ‘O Lord, how manifold are thy works; in wisdom hast thou made them all.'"

Katy was delighted with the proposal, and set about the study that evening. The knowledge she gained from it of God's wonderful works and loving kindness to all his creatures was more valuable than all the embroidery her friend Delia could make in a lifetime, and the feeling of satisfaction that she was spending her time profitably made her far more happy.




S. S. Advocate.