ALL the boys and girls in the schoolroom sat erect, with folded hands, and looked at their teacher. He held an open letter in his hand, and this was what had called them to order:—

"Scholars, you may lay aside your books and give attention to me. I have something to read to you. This letter is addressed to 'School-room

No. 4.' Listen!

"All who would like to spend a day in roaming around my grounds, gathering nuts and mosses, and anything else they can find, are invited to be ready in the schoolroom at nine o'clock on Thursday morning, when my hay wagons will come for them.


Your friend,




The reading of this letter made a sensation.

The girls looked at one another and laughed; the boys puckered their lips in the shape of a hurrah,' and swung their arms, and little Peter Bacon, who was apt to be the first speaker, said,—

"If you please, sir, can't we give him three cheers?"

"Yes," said the smiling teacher.

And they did.

But the boy I wanted to tell you about was Reuben Parsons. He neither smiled nor cheered.

More than that, when Thursday morning came, instead of being up early to get himself ready to spend a day at the great handsome farmhouse, he sat glumly down in a corner of the room, tossed over a book or two, and wished he had something that was worth doing.

"Why, Reuben Parsons!" his sister Emma said, rushing into the room ready dressed. "Did you know it is almost nine o'clock, and your hair isn't even combed?  I don't believe they will wait a minute after nine o'clock. You aren't going?

Why not? Are you sick?"

"I don't go to places where I ain't invited."

This was Reuben's surly answer. But his sister was only the more astonished.

"Why, Reuben Parsons! What do you mean?

Don't you belong to room No. 4?"

Of course he did, Reuben snarled. What was the use of her asking such 'silly questions, he would like to know?

Well, didn't he hear the letter read, and didn't it say,—

"Whoever wants to spend a day there" And didn't he want to go?

It was likely he wanted to go, Reuben said.

A fellow wouldn't be so foolish as not to want to go to such a place when he could; but that was neither here nor there; he wasn't invited.

There wasn't a single word about him in that letter from beginning to end, and the long and short of it was, he wasn't going a step.

For a full minute Emma stood and looked at him; then she spoke her mind,—

"Well, I think you are just the silliest boy I ever heard of in my life!"

You think so too? You don't believe there was ever a boy who acted so like a simpleton as he did?

Well, to tell you the truth, I don't know that there ever was about going to a nutting party.

I just imagined it.

But I'll tell you what made me think of it. I had a talk the other day with this same Reuben Parsons. It was about going to spend his life in a beautiful city. I tried to remind him of the many invitations he had received, and how very rude he was in paying no attention to them; and don't you think he told me that he never had been invited in his life!

I found the verse in the Bible that says "whosoever will," but he said that wasn't his name; that it didn't say anything about Reuben Parsons in the Bible. Then I was tempted to tell him that I knew what his name was. It wasn't Reuben Parsons at all, but "Whosoever Won't."

Do you know what I mean by that?




The Pansy.