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I Didn’t Think Of That!
by [?]

MR. LAWSON, the tailor, was considered a very good member of society. He was industrious, paid what he owed, was a kind husband and father and a pleasant and considerate neighbour. He was, moreover, attached to the church, and, by his brethren in the faith, considered a pious and good man. And, to say the truth, Mr. Lawson would compare favourably with most people.

One day as Mr. Lawson stood at his cutting board, shears in hand, a poorly dressed young woman entered his shop, and approaching him, asked, with some embarrassment and timidity, if he had any work to give out.

“What can you do?” asked the tailor, looking rather coldly upon his visitor.

“I can make pantaloons and vests,” replied the girl.

“Have you ever worked for the merchant tailors?”

“Yes, sir, I worked for Mr. Wright.”

“Hasn’t he any thing for you to do?”

“No, not just now. He has regular hands who always get the preference.”

“Did your work suit him?”

“He never found fault with it.”

“Where do you live?”

“In Cherry street,” replied the young woman.

“At No.–.”

Mr. Lawson stood and mused for a short time.

“I have a vest here,” he at length said, taking a small bundle from a shelf, “which I want by tomorrow evening at the latest. If you think you can make it very neatly, and have it done in time, you can take it.”

“It shall be done in time,” said the young woman, reaching out eagerly for the bundle.

“And remember, I shall expect it made well. If I like your work, I will give you more.”

“I will try to please you,” returned the girl, in a low voice.

“To-morrow evening, recollect.”

“Yes, sir. I will have it done.”

The girl turned and went quickly away. As she walked along hurriedly, her slender form bent forward, and there was an unsteadiness in her steps, as if from weakness. She did not linger a moment, nor heed any thing that was passing in the street.

A back room in the third story of an old house in Cherry street was the home of the poor sewing girl. As she entered, she said, in a cheerful voice, to a person who was lying upon a bed which the room contained–

“I have got work, sister. It is a vest, and it must be done by to-morrow evening.”

“Can you finish it in time?” inquired the invalid in a faint voice.

“Oh, yes, easily;” and as she spoke, she laid off her bonnet and shawl hurriedly and sat down to unroll the work she had obtained.

The vest proved to be of white Marseilles. As soon as the invalid sister saw this, she said–

“I’m afraid you won’t be able to get that done in time, Ellen; it is very particular work. To stitch the edges well will alone take you many hours.”

“I will sit up late, and get a fair start to-night, Mary. Then I can easily finish it in time. You know a vest is only a day’s work for a good sewer, and I have nearly a day and a half before me.”

“Yes; but you must remember, Ellen, that you are not very fast with your needle, and are, besides, far from being well. The work, too, is of the most particular kind, and cannot be hurried.”

“Don’t fear for me in the least, Mary. I will do all I have engaged to do,” and the young woman, who had already arranged the cut-out garment, took a portion of it in her lap and commenced her task.

The two sisters, here introduced, were poor, in bad health, and without friends. Mary, the older, had declined rapidly within a few months, and become so much exhausted as to be obliged to keep her bed most of the time. The task of providing for the wants of both fell, consequently, upon Ellen. Increased exertion was more than her delicate frame could well endure. Daily were the vital energies of her system becoming more and more exhausted, a fact of which she was painfully conscious, and which she, with studious care, sought to conceal from Mary.