McGuffey Reader and Poetry Story 24


  1. “O Miss Roberts! what coarse-looking hands Mary Jessup has!” said Daisy Marvin, as she walked home from school with her teacher.
  2. “In my opinion, Daisy, Mary’s hands are the prettiest in the class.”
  3. “Why, Miss Roberts, they are as red and hard as they can be. How they would look if she were to try to play on a piano!” exclaimed Daisy.
  4. Miss Roberts took Daisy’s hands in hers, and said, “Your hands are very soft and white, Daisy–just the hands to look beautiful on a piano; yet they lack one beauty that Mary’s hands have.  Shall I tell you what the difference is?”
  5. “Yes, please, Miss  Roberts.”
  6. “Well, Daisy, Mary’s hands are always busy. They wash dishes; they make fires; they hang out clothes, and help to wash them, too; they sweep, and dust, and sew; they are always trying to help her poor, hard-working mother.
  7. “Besides, they wash and dress the children; they mend their toys and dress their dolls; yet, they find time to bathe the head of the little girl who is so sick in the next house to theirs.
  8. “They are full of good deeds to every living thing. I have seen them patting the tired horse and the lame dog in the street. They are always ready to help those who need help.”


  1. “I shall never think Mary’s hands are ugly any more, Miss Roberts.”
  2. “I am glad to hear you say that, Daisy; and I must tell you that they are beautiful because they do their work gladly and cheerfully.”
  3. “O Miss Roberts! I feel so ashamed of myself, and so sorry,” said Daisy, looking into her teacher’s face with tearful eyes.
  4. “Then, my dear, show your sorrow by deeds of kindness. The good alone are really beautiful.”

Continue to Lesson 25