THE MISTRESS OF THE SILVER MOON. 25
her old hands and took it, and held it to her bosom, and rocked it, murmuring over it as if it were a sick baby.
When Curdie saw how distressed she was he grew sorrier still, and said,—
"I didn't mean to do any harm, ma'am. I didn't think of its being yours."
" Ah, Curdie ! if it weren't mine, what would become of it now ? " she returned. " You say you didn't mean any harm : did you mean any good, Curdie ? n
" No," answered Curdie,
" Remember, then, that whoever does not mean good is always in danger of harm. But I try to give everybody fair play; and those that are in the wrong are in far more need of it always than those who are in the right: they can afford to do without it Therefore I say for you that when you shot that arrow you did not know what a pigeon is. Now that you do know, you are sorry. It is very dangerous to do things you don't know about"
* But, please, ma'am—I don't mean to be rude or to contradict you," said Curdie, "but if a body was never to do anything but what he knew to be good, he would have to live half his time doing nothing."
"There you are much mistaken," said the old quavering voice. " How little you must have thought! Why, you don't seem even to know the good of the things you are constantly doing. Now don't mistake me. I don't