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less, uncomfortable aspect. A pretty, but very dirty little child, with curling matted locks, was fretting, not playing, outside the door, and Helen thought that whining, moaning voice must make sad discordant music to the poor sick mother's ear. So, going up to the child, she attracted its attention by a few kind words, and taking its little hand, she opened the door and went in. The poor invalid was sitting in an arm-chair, and her face brightened when she saw her visitor. Helen looked round the room. There was no fire in the grate, a brick floor, and not so much as a mat to put her fect upon, and yet there was about the invalid herself a look of better days; but an imprudent marriage with a husband who had never been steady, and now, in addition to his other transgressions, had taken to drinkingthis, with her own long and wearying illness, had brought her into the desolate condition in which Helen now found her.
“Oh, that I had a purse of money!" thought she, “how soon I would change the
aspect of all this ;” and then quick upon this thought came another, “Let me use what I have-strength, sympathy, power of comfort -not mourn for what I have not."
“You are hungry and cold,” said she, “and it is not well for you to be left alone, so ill as you are. Where are the elder children?”
“At school, miss. I am glad to send them while I can; when they come home they will light the fire and get me some tea.”
“Why should she wait,” thought Helen, “ when I have hands and can do it ?” and taking off her shawl she said, “I will light your fire, and get you some tea, and when you are a little more comfortable I will read to you. Come, little one, and show me where to find some wood;" and without waiting for any objection, Helen went with the child round to the back of the cottage, and brought in some brushwood and furze and little logs of wood. She soon made a cheerful blazo, and filling the kettle she put it on the fire. From the scanty supply of tea in the cupboard she took one spoonful, and cutting a slice of bread she toasted it herself; then, placing the little repast before the poor woman, she took the little child on her knee, and began in a low sweet tone to read the thirteenth chapter of St. John.
To the sensitive ear of sickness the tone of voice in reading is a matter of real importance, and often will the most precious and consoling truths lose half their power to comfort, because the shrill, loud tone of the reader jars so painfully on the poor listeners ear. Helen read, and the child on her knee fell asleep, and the invalid was soothed into comparative comfort. Now she began to open her heart to her sympathizing visitor, and to confide to her some of the anxious thoughts which in her loneliness came crowd. ing upon her. She told her how her past sins seemed a burden too heavy for her to bear; how the fear of death came ever and