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*This is not the first needle that you have lost this week, Rosamond.' "No, mamma.' "Nor the second."—" No, mamma.' "Nor the third."- Rosamond was silent, for she was ashamed of having been so careless as to lose four needles in one week.
Indeed, mamma," said she, after having been silent for some time, "I stuck it very carefully into my work yesterday I think I am not quite sure."
"Nor I either," said her mother, "I cannot be sure of that, because I know you have the habit of leaving your needle loose, hanging by the thread, when you leave off work."
"But I thought I had cured myself of that, mamma: look here, mamma, I can show you in my work the very holes where I stuck my needle; I assure you it falls out after I have stuck it in, because I shake my work, generally, before I fold it up."
"I advise you to cure yourself of shaking your work before you fold it up; then the needle will not drop out; then you will not spend a whole morning, crawling upon the ground to look for it."
"I am sure I wish I could cure myself of losing my needles, for I lost, besides my needle a very pleasant walk yesterday, because I had no needle, and I could not sew on a string of my hat and the day before yesterday I was not ready for dinner, and papa was not pleased with me and do you know, mamma, the reason I was not ready for dinner was that you had desired me to mend the tuck of my gown?"
"Rosamond, I do not think that was the rea
Yes, I assure you it was, mother; for I could not come down before I had mended that tuck, and I could not find my needle, and I lost my time looking for it, and I found it just as the dinner was set upon the table."
Then, Rosamond, it was your having lost the needle, that was the cause of your being late for dinner; not my desiring you to mend your gown."
"Yes, mamma, but I think the reason that my sister Laura keeps her needles so safely is, that she has a housewife to keep them in, and I have no housewife, mamma, you know; would you be so very good, mamma, as to give me a housewife, that I may cure myself of losing my needles ?"
"I am glad," said her mother, "that you wish, my dear, to cure yourself of any of your little faults; as to the housewife, I will think about it."
A few days after Rosamond had asked her mother for a house wife, as she was watering her flowers in the garden, she heard the parlour window open; she looked up, and saw her mother beckoning to her-she ran in-it was a little while after dinner.
"Look upon the table, Rosamond," said her mother," and tell me what you see.' 99 "I see two plums, mamma," said Rosamond, smiling, "I see two nice ripe purple plums." you sure that you see two nice ripe purple plums ?"
"Not quite sure, mamma," said Rosamond, who at this moment, recollected the purple jar; "but I will, if you please, look at them a little nearer." She went up to the table, and looked at them."May I touch them, mamma?” “ Yes, my dear."
Rosamond touched them, and then exclaimed, "one is quite hard, and the other is softone is a great deal colder than the other-one smells like a plum, and the other has no smell at all—I am glad I was not quite sure, mamma; for I do believe that one of them is not a plum, but a stone-a stone painted to look like a plum."
'You are very right," said her mother," and I am glad you remembered the purple jar; now eat the real plum if you like it." Rosamond ate the plum; and she said it was very sweet and good.
Whilst she was eating it she looked very often at the stone that was painted to look like a plum; and she said, "How very pretty it is! It is quite like a real plum-I dare say nobody would find out that it was not a real plum, at first sight. I wonder if my sister Laura, or my brother George, would find it out as soon as I did. I should like to have that stone plum,
"If you had given me my choice, I would rather have had it, than the real plum which I have eaten; because the pleasure of eating a real plum is soon over. I should have a great deal of pleasure in showing that stone plum to Laura and my brother; and I should like to have it for my own, because it is very pretty and
curious. I should much rather have had it than the plum which I have eaten, had you been so good as to have given me my choice."
"Well, my dear, as you have eaten the 'plum, you cannot tell exactly which you would have chosen." "Oh yes, mamma, I am sure, almost sure, I should have chosen the stone plum. If you were to offer me a real plum, or this," said Rosamond, taking the stone in her hand, “I should choose this."
Rosamond was looking so earnestly at the stone plum, that she did not, for some minutes, see a housewife which her mother had placed upon the table before her. "A housewife!-a red leather housewife, mamma!" she exclaimed, as soon as she saw it, and she put down the stone plum.
Her mother placed the plum and the housewife beside one another, and said to her, "take your choice of these two, my dear; I will give you either the stone plum or the housewife, whichever you like best."
"I hope, mamma," said Rosamond, with a very prudent look-"I hope I shall not make such a silly choice as I did about the purple jar; let us consider the plum is the prettiest, certainly; but then, to be sure, the housewife would be the more useful; I should not lose my needles, if I had that housewife to keep them in. I remember I wished for a housewife, and asked you for one the other day, mamma. I am very much obliged to you, for getting this for me. Did you get it on purpose for me, mamina?"
"It does not signify, my dear, whether I did or not-consider which of these two things you
prefer." "Prefer means like best; I prefer the housewife-I should not be so apt to lose my needles, and I like to cure myself of my little faults. I was very happy when you smiled, and praised me, the other day; and when you said you were glad to see that I wished to cure myself of my little faults; and I dare say, mamma, that you will smile a great deal more, and be a great deal more pleased with me, when I really have quite cured myself of my faults."
"I cannot promise, my dear," said her mother, "that I should smile a great deal more, but I should be much more pleased to see that you had really cured yourself of a bad habit, than I was to hear you say that you wished to improve yourself."
"I choose the housewife, mamma, and I will put my needles into it; then, I hope, I shall not lose them so often. This housewife will last, and be of use to me a great while; and I should soon get tired of the stone plum, and forget it, as I forgot my little coach, after I had had it two or three days. I think I have chosen better than I did about the purple jar."
"I think you have, my dear little girl," said her mother.'
Some weeks after Rosamond had chosen the housewife, her brother came to her and said, "Rosamond, can you lend me a needle ?" "Yes, said Rosamond, "I can lend you a needle; I have never lost one since I have had this housewife."
She took a needle from her housewife, and lent it to her brother; and he thanked her,