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Example Above Precept


I had a slender wisp of a pupil, with the weakest little fingers in the world, burdened with four rings. I mildly remonstrated, but vanity was stronger than my persuasion, and the tiny fingers toiled on under their burden.

I had formed the habit of solemnly placing my bits of finery in their cases and going unbejeweled through the seven weeks of Lent. This year I followed out my childish habit, and then came my little girl for her lesson. Nothing was said, but her eyes were bright, and next lesson she placed her little hands in mine, saying, “See! I, too, have put away my rings. I am not going to wear them any more while I practice, only on Sundays.”

Could I explain away her belief,—take away from her the only reason which had made the doing of this worth the while to her? Of what use to tell her I had done it for my conscience rather than my fingers’ sake? That I had taken my two little rings from my great, strong fingers was sufficient reason for her to relieve her tiny ones.

My point was gained in most unexpected fashion; my Lenten observance had borne fruit oddly enough, and my little girl comes to her lesson with straight, white, ringless fingers, happy in doing as “teacher” does.


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You are reading Example Above Precept from the July, 1898 issue of The Etude Magazine.

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