The Daisy Chain or Aspirations HTML version

Chapter I.20
Think how simple things and lowly,
Have a part in Nature's plan,
How the great hath small beginnings,
And the child will be a man.
Little efforts work great actions,
Lessons in our childhood taught
Mould the spirit of that temper
Whereby blessed deeds are wrought.
Cherish, then, the gifts of childhood,
Use them gently, guard them well,
For their future growth and greatness
Who can measure, who can tell!
The first shock of Tom's misdemeanour passed away, though it still gave
many an anxious thought to such of the family as felt responsible for him.
The girls were busily engaged in preparing an Easter feast for Cocksmoor. Mr.
Wilmot was to examine the scholars, and buns and tea were provided, in
addition to which Ethel designed to make a present to every one--a great
task, considering that the Cocksmoor funds were reserved for absolute
necessaries, and were at a very low ebb. So that twenty-five gifts were to be
composed out of nothing!
There was a grand turn-out of drawers of rubbish, all over Margaret, raising
such a cloud of dust as nearly choked her. What cannot rubbish and willing
hands effect! Envelopes and wafer boxes were ornamented with pictures,
bags, needle-cases, and pincushions, beautiful balls, tippets, both of list and
gay print, and even sun- bonnets and pinafores were contrived, to the
supreme importance and delight of Mary and Blanche, who found it as good
or better than play, and ranged their performances in rows, till the room
looked like a bazaar. To provide for boys was more difficult; but Richard
mended old toys, and repaired the frames of slates, and Norman's
contribution of half-a-crown bought mugs, marbles, and penny knives, and
there were even hopes that something would remain for bodkins, to serve as
nozzles to the bellows, which were the pride of Blanche's heart.
Never were Easter gifts the source of more pleasure to the givers, especially
when the nursery establishment met Dr. Hoxton near the pastrycook's shop,
and he bestowed on Blanche a packet of variegated sugar-plums, all of which
she literally poured out at Ethel's feet, saying, "I don't want them. Only let me
have one for Aubrey, because he is so little. All the rest are for the poor
children at Cocksmoor."