SOME years ago, there lived in an old cottage on the bank of a small stream in New Jersey a good old colored woman who was known to all the neighbors as "Aunt Patty." Aunt Patty had lived to see husband and children all laid in the village graveyard; and now, in her old age, with failing eye-sight and hands stiff with rheumatism, she was waiting patiently till the Lord should give her rest.

The overseer of the poor had visited her many times, with the request that she should return to the county of which she was a native, in order to enter the poorhouse there, and be cared for properly.  But Aunt Patty always pleaded so earnestly to be left in peace in her own home, that finally he consented to let her stay, and gave her an allowance of one dollar a week. This went far toward the bare necessities of life, but would permit of no luxuries; and some kind ladies looked in from time to time to see if Aunt Patty had coal for her fire, and warm flannels for the bitter winter weather.

One of these ladies once asked Aunt Patty how it happened that everything in the cottage was so neat and clean, when Aunt Patty's rheumatism made it almost impossible for her to stir.

"O Miss Mary," replied the old woman, "bless your heart! Don’t you know it's Tim Kearney that clears up for me and puts everything to rights?"

"And who is Tim Kearney?"

"Oh, his father lives down the road a piece, and there's no end of young ones, and a cross stepmother. And Tim, he comes up to see his old auntie, and get a little bit of quiet; and I teach him to read, and he chops my wood, and I give him a baked potato before he goes home."  Miss Mary knew Tim by sight, a big, rough, red-headed Irish lad, about fifteen years of age; but how kind the heart was beneath this unpromising exterior she had never suspected.

When Christmas came, Miss Mary took a big basketful of things to Aunt Patty, and at the bottom lay a new calico dress to gladden the old woman's eyes. When she called again three weeks later, her first words were,—

"Aunt Patty, if you will give me your calico dress, I will get it made for you." Aunt Patty's face beamed with smiles as she hobbled across the room to the clothes-press, and with a triumphant; "Lor' bless you, honey, it's all done!  "shook out the dress, finished—skirt, waist, and all.

As soon as Miss Mary could speak for astonishment, she asked how all this had been done, for surely the poor, stiff hands of Aunt Patty had never made these neat seams, and stitched on the bands of trimming so evenly:- Aunt Patty, who was in such ecstasies of delight that she could hardly speak, at last managed to exclaim,—

"It's Tim, ma'am, it's all Tim! He has taken every stitch in it."

And so it was. Tim, for love of Aunt Patty, had learned to sew, and under her direction, had cut out and made up her new dress as well as any dressmaker could have done. Love truly wrought a miracle when those rough hands learned to guide a needle, and that wild boy sat quietly by Aunt Patty's side, night after night, after a hard day's work in a brickyard, and stitched away at the calico dress while she told him Bible stories or sang some stirring Methodist hymn.

In the Caucasus they have a proverb that "heroism is but patience for one moment more;" and to my mind Tim was a hero, when he stuck like a man to his uncongenial task. Aunt Patty is at rest now in the little green graveyard, and the joy has gone out of Tim's heart because he can no longer - work for her. But do you not think that he will make a better man because of his true, unselfish love for good old Aunt Patty?




Christian Weekly.






EACH one of a thousand acts of love costs very little by itself; and yet, when viewed all-together, who can estimate their value? Not the doing of half-a-dozen great favors in as many years, but the little everyday kindnesses, none of which seems of much consequence considered in itself, but the continued repetition of which sheds a sunlight over the whole neighborhood. It is so, too, in a family.

The child whose good offices are always ready when they are wanted—to run up stairs or down, to rock the cradle, or to run on an errand, and all with a cheerful look and a pleasant temper—has a reward along with such good deeds. If a little girl cannot take her grandfather on her lap as he takes her on his, she can get his slippers, or put away his book, or gently comb his thin locks; and, whether she thinks of it or not, little kindnesses that come from a loving heart are the sunbeams that lighten up a dark and woeful world.