Did you ever notice an infant as it lay peacefully sleeping in the crib seeing a smile come over its features like gentle ripples moved by a lazy wind? Poets say it is the “whispering to the angel’s fur away,” but watching the nervous twitching of its mouth we are led to believe that other causes than this causes the titillation.
There are smiles of various degrees, kinds, and sorts. For instance, the hotel clerks have a smile, bland and inviting, for the incoming guest, cherubic for the paying one, a heavenly one for the ladies, and one of us fierce as the buzz saw for the beat.
A lady will smile upon her husband even when he treads upon the trail of her dress. The editor smiles when greenbacks pour in, and the politician when he meets a constituent.
As a young friend was standing with us noticing the people on the sidewalk, a very stylish young lady passed. “What beautiful hands Miss has!” exclaimed our friend. “What makes them beautiful?” “They are small, white, soft, and exquisitely shaped.”
“Is that all that constitutes though beauty of the hand? — is not something more to be included in your catalogue of beauty, which you have not mentioned, to make the hand desirable?” “What more would you have?”
“Are they charitable hands? Have they ever fed the poor? Have they ever carried the necessities of life to the widow and the orphan? ls their soft touch over smoothed the irritation of sickness and the agonies of pain?
Do the poor bless those rosy tipped fingers as their whatever supplied by them? “Are they useful hands? Have they been taught that the world a playground or theatre of display, or a mere lounging place? Do those delicate hands ever labor? Are they ever employed about the domestic duties of life—though homely, ordinary employments of the household? Or does the owner leave all that to her mother, while she nurses her delicate hands in idleness? “Are they modest hands? Will they perform their duties without vanity?
Or do they pander to the pride of their owner by their delicacy and beauty? Does she think more of their display than the improvement of her mind and character, and the salvation of her soul? “Are they humble hands? Will their owner extend them to grasp the hand of that old schoolfellow who sat at the same desk with her and on the recitation bench, but who now must earn her living by her labor?
Or will they remain concealed in their exclusiveness, in her aristocratic muff, as she sweeps by her former companions?” “Are they holy hands? Are they ever clasped in prayer, or elevated in prayer? Does she remember the God who has made her to differ from so many other girls and l devote her life, her heart, her hands to service? Does she try to imitate the Savior by going about doing good? Or are her hands too delicate, too beautiful to be employed in good works? These are the qualities that make a hand beautiful.”