UNCLE JAMES watched the boys as they played a game of marbles in front of the house. At least Ned and Harry were playing, and talking loudly and excitedly, but Will leaned against the fence with his hands in his pockets and a very discontented look upon his face. The boys were so eager and interested in their play that they did not at first notice Uncle James. But as Harry won the game, and stooped to gather up the marbles, he caught sight of his uncle.

"O Uncle James!" he exclaimed, "this is the sixth game I've won straight along."

"Yes," said Will in an aggrieved tone, "and you and Ned have got all my marbles away from me." Harry laughed, and shook his marble-bag. "I only had five marbles when I began to play, and I've got a dozen now."

"Sorry to see my nephews gambling," said Uncle James quietly.

"Gambling!" exclaimed Ned, looking up from the ring he was rearranging; "who's gambling?"

“If Harry strikes a marble to a certain point, he takes that marble, does he not?" asked Uncle James.

"Yes, sir; but that isn't gambling."

"Isn't it? What do you think gambling really is?"

"Why, men put up a lot of money, and take chances to win it with cards or dice."

"And when some boys put up a lot of marbles, and take chances to win them away from each other, what do you call that?" Will laughed, but Ned and Harry were silent.  Uncle James went on,—

"If you, Harry, had but five marbles when you began to play, and by chance have won away all Will's and part of Ned's, except so far as the value is concerned, you might as well have been playing for money.

"Gamblers proceed on exactly the same plan.  You boys shoot a marble to a given point; the gambler depends on a certain number on his dice or cards. The principle is the' same, my boys, whether you work with marbles or money. Games of chance are dangerous, however innocently you may begin. After you have played for 'keeps' in marbles a while, a game of cards or billiards with a small stake of money may be very apt to follow. Men rarely become gamblers all at once, and many, no doubt, can trace their evil career back to even such a simple beginning as playing marbles for 'keeps.'"  Uncle James knew the boys too well to talk any longer; he turned and went away. Ned dug in the ground with his boot-heel, Will whistled, and Harry industriously sorted the marbles. He put aside five, and tossing the rest to Ned and Will, said,--"Here, boys, pick out your own.  I'm done gambling, if that's what we were about."


The Child's Paper.