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Each of the Four Numbers of 100 Choice Selectionscontained

" in this volume is paged separately, and the Index is made to correspond therewith. See EXPLANATION on first page of Contents,

The entire book contains nearly

1000 pages.


No. 6.

All's for the best! be sanguine and cheerful,

Trouble and sorrow are friends in disguise ;
Nothing but folly goes faithless and fearful,

Courage forever is happy and wise ;
All's for the best-if a man could but know it,

Providence wishes us all to be blest ;
This is no dream of the pundit or poet,

Heaven is gracious, and all's for the best !
All's for the best! set this on your standard,

Soldier of sadness, or pilgrim of love,
Who to the shores of despair may have wandered,

A waywearied swallow, or heart-stricken dove.
All's for the best! be a man, but confiding,

Providence tenderly governs the rest,
And the frail bark of his creature is guiding

Wisely and warily,--all's for the best.
All's for the best! then fling away terrors,

Meet all your fears and your foes in the van,
And in the midst of your dangers or errors,

Trust like a child, while you strive like a man.
All's for the best! unbiassed, unbounded,

Providence reigns from the east to the west,
And by both wisdom and mercy surrounded,
Hope and be happy, for all's for the best!

As the Parson sat at his books one day

A rap at his door heard he;
The Parish Collector had called to pay

The Society's quarter fee.
A hundred dollars, and fifty more,

Were counted the parson's due,
Though small sum this, for half a score,

To victual and clothe and shoe.
But the day had come, and for youthful sport

The parsonage ne'er displayed
A day like that, when this scant support

Was about to be promptly paid.
The children danced, and giggled, and grinned,

And wriggled like eels in oil ;
And smiles broke forth on the visage thinned

By fasting, and tears, and toil.
The Parish Collector sat him down,

And out of his pocket took
The tithes he'd gathered about the town,

Crammed into his pocket-book.
It was not much of a cram at that,

Though honey and milk indeed ;
Not milk enough for a starving cat,

Nor honey enough for need.
But such as it was, without much risk,

The Collector poured it out;
He spread it round on the parson's desk,

And scattered it all about;
But little of shining gold was there,

And less from the silver mine;
And bank bills—they were exceeding rare!

Alas! for the poor divine.
First came a note for a little sum,

Which the poor man late had given
To a rich parishioner, near his home,

Whom he hoped to meet in heaven; Ten dollars was all-not much, I know,

But an order followed the note, With butcher's bill, and a bill or so

For butter and bread, to boot.

The doctor had drawn for his small amount,

The grocer had filed his claim,
And all intended their bills should count

Whenever his pay-day came.
The good collector reckoned them up;

The minister stood aghast !
'Twas a bitter drug in his brimming cup

To think he had lived so fast.
Who knows what pain the Parson endures

As the good man hands them o'er,
And says with a hem, “Sir, these are yours,

And they should have been paid before ;
For a scandal it is to religion, sir,

Which the world can never forget, When a man of ease like a minister,

Is unable to pay a debt.
And here, besides, is a lot of cash,-

Three fives and a lusty ten;
Your daughters in satin now may dash,

And your boys dress up like men.
But allow me to say, good Parson Gay,

You'd better just lay aside A little of this for a rainy day

By a walk instead of a ride. “For money is scarce, and the times are hard,

And you, sir, are getting gray, And you may not fare as you here have fared

Should the people turn you away. We've given you here a large support,

And the farmers all complain That the crops this year will be dreadful short

If we don't soon have some rain.
“We can't long pay such enormous sums

As we have to pay you now,
For you know the pay-day often comes,

And the Squire has lost a cow;
And one of old Goodwin's sheep is dead,

And he feels poor this year;”
The tender shepherd here turned his head,

To drop-for the sheep-a tear!
Of this the Collector no note took;

He gabbled his story through, Then slowly folded his pocket-book,

And looked as if he knew.

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He took his hat with a cheerful smile,

Rejoicing in duty done;
Then rode away to his home, a mile,

At set of December's sun.
The Parson rose as he left the room,

And bowed with a smile of grace;
But his heart resembled a ruined tomb

In spite of his smiling face.
He closed his door, and resumed his chair,

Till, amid his griefs and fears,
He seemed half choked for a breath of air,

Then burst in a flood of tears.
He thought of his children's needy feet,

His barrel of meal was gone;
And the question arose, What shall we eat?

What raiment shall we put on?"
He thought of the ravens, how they're fed,

How the lilies' garments grow;
But when was a raven's rent unpaid ?

Or a lily arrayed for snow ?
With tender emotions all astir

In the Parson's heaving breast,
His children's mother-he thought of her

How she, who had done her best,
Still needed a hood, and cloth, and thread,

A dress, and a thicker shawl;
Till, pressed in spirit, he knelt and prayed

To the glorious Lord of all.
The evening came, and he met his wife,

And his blooming children nine;
Yet naught they saw of the inward strife

That harassed the sad divine.
He sat serene in the central seat,

And his wife sewed near his side;
His children hovered about his feet,

And he to be cheerful tried.
But when he went to his nightly bed,

To sleep till the waking morn,
He felt, as he pillowed his aching head,

That he wished he had ne'er been born,
And all that night was his pillow drowned

With the tears no eye could see But His who once for the thankless groaned

And bled upon Calvary's tree.

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