FOR weeks little else had been talked of by the children in Mr. Newton's home, but the picnic at Grove Hill. And so it had been in almost every family in the village. 

The teacher had promised the children that if they were faithful and studious through the long summer term, on the last day they should all go to the woods together. And now the time had almost come; and at every recess and noon might be seen groups of boys and girls, — the girls chattering together like a lot of magpies about the dresses they were to wear and the nice cakes and other goodies their mammas were to make for them. 

The boys in turn were planning a little more quietly but just as earnestly about the swings, the rustic seats, and the tables, which it was to be their part to prepare; and I will not say but a few words were said about the fire-crackers and torpedoes with which they meant to celebrate the day—only of course they were not going to scare the girls with them. Of all the girls none were more interested than Minnie Newton, and among the boys none had more to say than her brothers, Fred and Parker. 

At last the morning so long looked for, came; and the children were up early to see if the sun was going to rise clear. Minnie and her brothers were busy getting ready to be off, when papa came out and called his little girl, saying that her mother would like to see her. She went softly into the bedroom, where she found her mother moaning with pain. "Minnie," said she, " mamma has one of her bad nervous headaches; and though I am sorry about it, I am afraid you will have to stay home from the picnic today and mind the baby and get papa's dinner." Minnie did not cry just then, but as she went out the door again and saw a group of schoolmates coming with the teacher, and her brothers ran to join them, she could keep back the tears no longer. Down the garden path she ran, to a rustic seat under the trees where she would not be seen. Sitting down here, she sobbed as if her heart would break. 

Her tabby cat had come with her, and now tried her best to comfort her little mistress; but she would not be comforted, and kept saying to herself some very naughty things about her papa and mamma. 

All at once she seemed to hear these words as plainly as if they had been spoken in her ear, 

"He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." It must have been her conscience that spoke so loud to Minnie, for she had learned this verse only the Sabbath before. Someway she did not feel like crying any more, and pretty soon she got up and walked to the house; and after bathing her tearful eyes, went in to her mother, a bright cheerful little girl. All day she sang about her work, and at night when papa came and found her mamma better, and called her his little housekeeper, she felt more than paid for staying at home. And when the boys came, bringing her a basket of nuts and pretty things from the woods, she almost thought she had had a happier day than as if she had gone to the picnic. "But" said she to herself as she went to bed that night, "it would never have been if I had not learned that verse." 

E. B.