too fine for little wet cheeks to lie against, or loving little arms to press; whose face, in spite of many lines and the grey hairs above it, was never sour or unsympathetic when children’s eyes turned towards it; and whose hands were never too busy, too full, or too nice to welcome and serve the little sons and daughters who freely brought their small hopes and fears, sins and sorrows, to her who dealt out justice and mercy with such wise love. “Ah, that’s a mother!” thought Polly, as the memory came warm into her heart, making her feel very rich, and pity Maud for being so poor.

This it was that caused such sudden indignation at Fanny’s dreadful speech, and this it was that made quicktempered Polly try to calm her wrath before she used toward Fanny’s mother the disrespectful tone she so resented toward her own. As the swing came down after some dozen quick journeys to and fro, Polly seemed to have found a smile somewhere up aloft, for she looked towards Fan, saying, pleasantly, as she paused a little in her airy exercise, “I’m not angry now: shall I come and toss with you?”

“No, I’ll come and swing with you,” answered Fanny, quick to feel the generous spirit of her friend.You are an angel, and I’ll never be rude again,” she added, as Polly’s arm came round her, and half the seat was gladly offered.

“No, I am not, but if I ever get at all like one, it will be ‘mother’s preaching’ that did it,” said Polly, with a happy laugh.

“Good for you, Polly Peacemaker,” cried Tom, quoting his father, and giving them a grand push as the most appropriate way of expressing his approbation of the sentiment.

Nothing more was said; but from that day there slowly crept into the family more respect for grandma, more forbearance with her infirmities, more interest in her little stories, and many a pleasant gossip did the dear old lady enjoy with the children as they gathered round her fire, solitary so long.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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