ONE day, as a group of merry schoolchildren were enjoying themselves very much, sliding down hill, an old man came along, walking very feebly, and supporting himself by the aid of a cane. As he came near the children, he paused, and stood there leaning upon his staff, while in one hand he held a heavy satchel, the weight of which seemed almost more than he could bear. 

Soon he spoke to a boy near him, whose shiny broadcloth coat and gay scarf and gold watch-chain contrasted strangely with the old man's threadbare garments. 

"Young gentleman will you tell me if I am on the direct road to B? 

"No," curtly replied the boy, giving a disdainful look at his questioner. "No, you are not." 

"Then will you please be kind enough to direct me rightly?" said the old man, timidly. 

"Oh, I can't bother! Get out of the path, won't you? I can't spend my time on old ragamuffins." 

And then the rude boy, thinking he had said something very witty, laughed at his own folly, and turned to ascend the hill. 

The old man hesitated a moment, as if to say something more, but, lacking courage, he sadly turned away. 

"Can I do anything for• you, sir?" said another boy, who had witnessed the scene from a little distance, and now hurried to the old man's side. "If I can, I shall be very glad to." 

"Thank you, sir," said the old man, in broken accents. "If you will please tell me how to get on the direct road to B, I shall be very thankful." 

"I am sorry," said the boy, "but you have missed your way. You should have turned at the corner, back here by the mill, —nearly a mile away." 

"So far as that!" said the old man, sadly. 

"Well, well, there is nothing to be done but to plod my way back again." 

The boy looked at the merry group of school-fellows, a little bit away, hesitated a moment, and then said to the old man: "If you please, sir, I will go with you. I shall have time to go there and back before school begins. Just put your satchel on my sled, and I can draw it easily; and, if you will lean upon my arm, perhaps you can walk without getting so tired." 

"Thank you, kindly, lad; but I dislike to take 'you from your sport. I was once a boy like you, myself,—many years ago, though." 

"Oh, that's nothing, sir! I can slide down hill tomorrow. Come, let me take your satchel." And, after carefully fixing it upon the sled, the lad offered his arm to the old man, and started off, regardless of the jeers of his schoolmates, who were watching the strange proceeding. 

Clayton Howard, the boy who had spoken so rudely to the old man, thought himself a gentleman, because he dressed nicely, could make a graceful bow, and was very polite to guests, especially ladies, in his mother's parlor. 

Philip Gleason, the boy who so kindly accompanied the old man on his journey, was looked down upon by Clayton, because his parents were poor, and he dressed plainly, and was not as well versed in the manners of polite society. 

But, after all, which was the real gentleman? 

—Dellie May.