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A Red Wallflower by Susan Warner

'I moved Hutchins and his family into a better lodging


'Another,

but not more hard to answer. The Bible rule is, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it--"'

'Will you, ought you, to do all that you find to do?'

But Pitt went on, in a quiet business tone: 'In that same court I found, some time ago, a man who had been injured by an accident. A heavy piece of iron had fallen on his foot; he worked in a machine shop. For months he was obliged to stay at home under the doctor's care. He used up all his earnings; and strength and health were alike gone. The man of fifty looked like seventy. The doctor said he could hardly grow strong again, without change of air.'

'Mr. Pitt!'--said Betty, and stopped.

'He has a wife and nine children.'

'What did you do?'

'What would you have done?'

'I don't know! I never thought it was my business to supplement all the world's failures.'

'Suppose for a moment it were Christ the Lord himself in either of these situations we have been looking at?'

'I cannot suppose it!'

'How would you feel about ministry _then?_'

Betty was silent, choked with discomfort now.

'Would you think you could do enough? But,

Miss Frere, He says it _is_ Himself, in every case of His servants; and what is done to them He counts as done to Himself. And so it is!'

Looking again keenly at the speaker, Betty was sure that the eyes, which did not meet hers, were soft with moisture.

'What did you do for that man?'

'I sent him to the seaside for three weeks. He came back perfectly well. But then his employers would not take him on again; they said they wanted younger men; so I had to find new work for him.'

'There was another old woman you told me of in that dreadful court; what did you do for her?'

'Put her in clover,' said Pitt, smiling. 'I moved Hutchins and his family into a better lodging, where they could have a room to spare; and then I paid Mrs. Hutchins to take care of her.'

'You might go on, for aught I see, and spend your whole life, and all you have, in this sort of work.'

'Do you think it would be a disagreeable disposition to make of both?'

'Why, yes!' said Betty. 'Would you give up all your tastes and pursuits,--literary, and artistic, and antiquarian, and I don't know what all,--and be a mere walking Benevolent Society?'

'No need to give them up, any further than as they would interfere with something more important and more enjoyable.'

'_More enjoyable!_'

'Yes. I think, Miss Betty, the pleasure of doing something for Christ is the greatest pleasure I know.'

Betty could have cried with vexation; in which, however, there was a distracting mingling of other feelings,--admiration of Pitt, envy of his evident happiness, regret that she herself was so different; but, above all, dismay that she was so far off. She was silent the rest of the drive.


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