"BUT, Miss Laura," said Meg, rather mournfully to her Bible-class teacher, "it seems as if I must give up trying to be good. Everything hinders me so at our house,—mother's sick so often, the children are so much trouble, how can I do my work heartily? And it's such common, every-day work. Now, if I only had something like real good work to do—"

"Dear Meg," said Miss Laura, smoothing the drooping head before her, " most of us have common, every-day work of some kind; that is most often the work our Lord' gives us. You think, perhaps, if you were teaching a class of heathen girls, you could serve the Lord Jesus better than by making bread or amusing the little ones. But you see that is just the very thing he has put in your hands to do. And surely, Meg dear, it is worth trying to do. Don't forget to ask him to help you even in the commonest work; and try to remember, when you are doing it, that that is just the work he wants you to do."

"I'm afraid I do forget too often," said Meg thoughtfully. "You help me ever so much, Miss

Laura. But it is getting late; and I must go now; Ellen will be tired looking after the children, and the boys will want their supper." Meg hastened down the street, thinking over what her teacher had said. She nodded her head very decidedly as she stepped across the threshold of her home.

"Well! I thought you never would come, Meg," was Ellen's impatient greeting, as Meg entered the sittingroom. "Tot and Rob have been as cross as could be, and mother's headache's worse; I'm just as tired as I can be!"

"Say, Meg!" called a voice at the foot of the stairs, "are we going to have any supper? I'm hungry as a hunter."

"When were you ever anything else? "answered Meg rather impatiently. "If you ever were, I didn't know of it."

"There ain't no bread for supper," affirmed Sam decidedly.

"No bread!" exclaimed Meg. "Why, I looked into the bread-box before I went out; and there was a loaf and a half."

"Well," said Sam hesitatingly, standing first on one foot, then on the other, "you see me and Jimmy got awful hungry, and Ellen wouldn't find us anything left from dinner--and the Brown boys came home with us from school, and—so—and—"

"And so you went to work and ate up every-thing you could put your hands on," said Meg angrily, throwing off her bonnet and gloves.

"There was a moment or two's silence, during which an angry spot burned on Meg's cheek.

Then there was a little rustle in the sickroom.

"Meg," called a feeble voice.

"Yes, mother," said Meg more softly.

"Send Ned to the baker's, daughter; it is too late for you to go to baking. I was afraid the boys were in mischief; but be patient, dear." "I think you might set the table, Ellen," said Meg, as she passed Ellen in the dining room.

"The fire is out, and I must make it up for mother's drink."

"It wouldn't have been out if you had not stayed so long at Miss Laura's," returned Ellen;

"and I'm just worn out with those children."

"Oh dear, dear!" sighed Meg, as she opened the stove door; "how can I be good and cheerful when Ellen's so cross, and the boys make me so much extra work? To think of their eating up all the bread!"

"I'll make the fire, Meg," cried a voice at her elbow, and there was Jimmy, bright and willing, with a basket of kindlings.

The fire was soon burning briskly; and Meg found that Ellen must have repented of her cross speech; for there was the table neatly set, and Ellen singing good-naturedly to Rob, who was awake, and must be amused by some one.

"Maybe it's I that am cross, after all," said Meg to herself.

Mother was not better the next day, and so many things fell on Meg's hands. Ned was teasing, Ellen indifferent, Tot and Rob fretted after mother, and Sam and Jimmy seemed to invent the most ingenious methods of getting in the way, and increasing work for their elder sister.

But Meg toiled bravely; she kept the sickroom dark and quiet, she tried not to notice Ellen's provoking ways and speeches, or the boys' tiresome pranks.

It was not always easy to do so; for everybody knows that great romping boys are not

usually very thoughtful of others' comfort. And, sometimes, when something more provoking than

usual occurred, Meg had hard work to prevent herself bursting out in a fit of impatience, or else

sitting down in a flood of discouraged tears.

Ellen, too, did not seem to notice the brave struggle, which her sister was making to do her work

well and patiently, and Meg suffered almost as much from Ellen's speeches as from the boys' doings.

Just at nightfall, when she had seen Tot and Rob safely in bed, and told the stories of Moses and Joseph over and over until the sleepy eyes shut, she stole into her mother's room.

"You are so tired, daughter," said her mother sympathetically. "I know how hard it is for you, Meg, but you are doing so well."

"I don't know, mother," said Meg wearily; "if I could only be patient! I do try, but the least thing puts me out, and makes me forget."

"We all forget too often, dearie. But just as surely as we try to do our work heartily, as unto the Lord, he will help us over the hard places.

He never fails, Meggie." Meg swallowed a sob, and thought, "I ought not to think no one wants to help me; mother does, and I know Jesus won't fail."

Then Meg ran away to her own room, and though she knelt down, she could only say: "Lord Jesus, I do want to work for thee right here at home; oh, help me!" when some one called, "Meg!" and she had to run down again.

"I wouldn't have called you, Meg," said Ned, "but the food came, and I didn't know where to put it."

"I'll attend to it," said Meg cheerfully.

"But I'll carry the basket for you," said Ned, picking it up.

"Thank you," said Meg gratefully. "You're a dear fellow, if you are such a tease." Meg lay down very weary that night, but with a sweet consciousness that if much of her work was not as she wished it might have been, she was really trying to do it unto the Lord.

True, things were very contrary, mother was still sick, there was much care to fall into the hands of a sixteen-year-old girl. Ellen's moods were very trying, the boys would tear their clothes, and make

all manner of unexpected work for hands and feet.

It was all very homely work,—sweeping rooms, making bread, keeping quiet in and worry out of

the sick-room; but Meg was striving to say truly and earnestly, "This is the place the Lord wants me to work, just here at home, and I must try to do it heartily."

Where is your work; my young reader, and are you doing it heartily, as unto the Lord?



Lucy Randolph Fleming.