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A blackbird's song
A scene from life ... ...
Boys' and Girls' corner—
My first trip
The harvest is ended
The publican's prayer
Francis de Sales
Michael Angelo ...
Thomas a Kempis
For Christ's sake
of his eye'
59, 71, 83, 95, 107, 119, 131, 139
Prizes for Answers to Bible Questions—1878 11
Sabbath school spectacles
Sergent, the brave bull-dog ...
Story of a hymn
The flower angel
The Flower Mission ...
'The gates of the city'
The gold piece and the halfpenny
The law of kindness ...
The law of kindness in Christian missions
The little Swiss daughter
The 'little traveller Zionward'
The newspaper girl ...
The old, old story
The postman's cup of coffee ...
The story of Luka ...
The tell-tale looking-glass
The threatened blow...
The Tower of London
The young naturalist
What we saw at a lighthouse...
Music—Begin at once
'Cast thy bread upon the waters'
Draw me nearer
On the Lord's side ... «
Stay and think
Sweet Sabbath day ...
We are coming
Welcome, Good New Year ...
Poetby—A new year's wish ...
Star of morning
The lesson of the water-mill...
Walking with father
Wee Jess ...
THE 'FIRST FOOT.'
THE 'FIRST FOOT.' 'A GOOD New Year to you, old nurse-; T,". here comes your first foot,' said George Douglas, while with one hand he gave a hearty thump at widow Brown's door, and with the other helped his sister Mary in carrying a heavy, well packed hamper, their Kew Year's gift to their mother's nurse.
'Blessings on my pretty dears,' said the old woman, 'you are my first foot this morning: many happy New Years may you see. Who would have looked for you on this snowy day? and yet I thought you could hardly forget old nursey.'
'Well, Granny,' said Mary, 'you see we have not come empty handed, as people say; I hope you will like what's in here. There's a grand new shawl that I have knitted myself.'—
'And half a pound of tea from me,' said George, 'and a pound of sugar.'
'And a great big cheese from mamma, and a ginger bread cake from us all,' added Mary.
'Hush,' interrupted George,'old nurse will find out all the goodies for herself.' He was afraid the old woman would think they expected a taste of the good things; and although some such idea had passed through his mind when they stuffed in the cake, and filled up the corners of the hamper with packets of sweet-meats, not for the world would he have spoken out the thought.
"'Lend a hand, Mary,' said George (he had heard his father's porters at the warehouse saying this when cords were to be untied and lids taken off packages); 'I can't get this knot undone, they have tied it so tight.'
What exclamations of delight, as each gift was lifted out and displayed! The old woman declared they could not have done better, though they had been told exactly what she needed—and, 'What a beautiful fit!' said Mrs Brown, as she drew the shawl round her shoulders, 'the very thing for my rheumatics. Now for a grand slice off the cake to my first foot; and here's your own little arm chair, Miss Mary, that
was your mother's before you, I've kept it well for her sake; and here's your uncle John's stool for you, Mr George: sit down, children, we'll have a crack round the fire, as we eat our New Year's bread. It's a grand first footin' the day.'
'Tell us about long ago, then, Nurse,' said Mary, as she seated herself in the chair. 'Did yon go first footin' when you were a little girl?'
'Ah!' said Mrs Brown, and a shadow came over the pale old face, 'I've seen merry first footin's, as they called them, grow into weary sorrows at the end.'
'But how, Granny? v said Mary, 'I don't see how first footin' like this, could ever grow into sorrow: it's all so nice here though it's so cold outside—we're so cosy. I don't see how any harm can come of it.'
'Not first footin' like this, my dear,' said Mrs Brown; 'you come with a blessing, and you are blessings yourselves; but there will be many a weary head to-night, and many a sore heart too, for all the merriment that's going.'
'Do you know, Granny,' said George, 'as we came down your lane we met a drunk man wishing every body a happy New Year, as he reeled past. It wouldn't have been a good New Year for me, if he had just lurched a little more to one side and been down on me and the hamper too.'
'Ay, that would be one o' your first footin' gentry. I heard a shout from some village lads, as the old church clock chimed out twelve last night, and away they went with their whisky and their ale
East my door: I was glad when they were y.'
'And what's the use of the whisky, Granny? asked George; first footin'is such a happy thing when we come to you with our hamper, but it can't be very happy, I think, if they go reeling and tumbling like that.'
'Yes,' said widow Brown, 'first footin' turns to last footin' with some of them. Poor James, my cousin's laddie, that I liked so well, and that every body liked, as well as me, never came back last New Year's day from his folly and fun, as they