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The Anemone Hepatica
by [?]

TWO friends were walking together beside a picturesque mill-stream. While they walked, they talked of mortal life, its meaning and its end; and, as is almost inevitable with such themes, the current of their thoughts gradually lost its cheerful flow.

“This is a miserable world,” said one; “the black shroud of sorrow overhangs everything here.”

“Not so,” replied the other; “Sorrow is not a shroud. It is only the covering Hope wraps about her when she sleeps.”

Just then they entered an oak-grove. It was early spring, and the trees were bare, but last year’s leaves lay thick as snow-drifts upon the ground.

“The Liverwort grows here, one of our earliest flowers, I think,” said the last speaker. “There, push away the leaves, and you will find it. How beautiful, with its delicate shades of pink, and purple, and green, lying against the bare roots of the oak-trees! But look deeper, or you will not find the flowers; they are under the dead leaves.”

“Now I have learned a lesson that I shall not forget,” said her friend. “This seems to me a bad world, and there is no denying that there are bad things in it. To a sweeping glance, it will sometimes seem barren and desolate; but not one buried germ of life and beauty is lost to the All-seeing Eye. I, having the weakness of human vision, must believe where I cannot see. Henceforth, when I am tempted to complainings and despair on account of the evil around me, I will say to myself, ‘Look deeper, look under the dead leaves, and you will find flowers.'”