Part 2 out of 3
left alone--alone upon the quiet beach. The sun had set, for it was
late; the tide was ebbing, and now left the girls a beautiful smooth
path of sand for some little distance, on which the sound of their light
steps was scarcely heard, as they rapidly walked towards home.
"Who would think, Edith, that our six weeks' holiday would be at an end
to-morrow?" said Emilie.
"I don't know, Emilie, I feel it much longer."
"_Do_ you? then you have not been so happy as I hoped to have made you,
dear; I have been a great deal occupied with other things, but it could
scarcely be helped."
"No, Emilie, I have not been happy a great part of the holidays, but I
am happy now; happier at least, and it was no fault of yours at any
time. I know now why I was so discontented with my condition, and why I
thought I had more to try me than anybody else. I feel that I was in
fault; that I _am_ in fault, I should say; but, oh Emilie, I am trying,
trying hard, to--" and here, Edith, softened by the remembrance that
soon she and her friend must part, burst into tears.
"And you have succeeded, succeeded nobly, Edith, my darling. I have
watched you, and but that I feared to interfere, I would have noticed
your victories to you. I may do so now."
"My _victories_, Emilie! Are you making fun of me? I feel to have been
so very irritable of late.--My _victories!_"
"Just because, dear, you take notice of your irritability as you did not
use to do, and because you have constantly before your eyes that great
pattern in whom was no sin."
"Emilie, I will tell you something--your patience, your example, has
done me a great deal of good, I hope; but there is one thing in your
kind of advice, which does me more good than all. You have talked more
of the love of God than of any other part of his character, and the
words which first struck me very much, when I first began to wish that I
were different, were those you told me one Sunday evening, some time
ago. 'Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and
gave his Son a ransom for sinners.' There seemed such a contrast between
my conduct to God, and His to me; and then it has made me, I hope, a
little more, (a _very_ little, you know,) I am not boasting, Emilie, am
I? it has made me a _little_ more willing to look over things which used
to vex me so. What are Fred's worst doings to me, compared with my
_best_ to God?"
Thus they talked, and now, indeed, did the friends love one another; and
heartily did each, by her bedside that night, thank God for his gospel,
which tells of his love to man, the greatest illustration truly of the
law of kindness.
FRED A PEACEMAKER.
"Talk not of wasted affection, affection never is wasted.... its waters
returning back to their spring, like the rain shall fill them full of
refreshment"--_H. W. Longfellow_.
"Well Fred," said Emilie at the supper table, from which Mr. Parker was
absent, "I go away to-morrow and we part better friends than we met, I
think, don't we?"
"Oh yes, Miss Schomberg, we are all better friends, and it is all your
"My doing, oh no! Fred, that _is_ flattery. I have not made Edith so
gentle and so good as she has of late been to you. _I_ never advised her
to give up that little room to you nor to send poor Muff away."
"_Didn't_ you? well, now I always thought you did; I always kid that to
you, and so I don't believe I have half thanked Edith as I ought."
"Indeed you might have done."
"Well, I hope I shall not get quarrelsome at school again, but I wish I
was in a large school. I fancy I should be much happier. Only being us
five at Mr. Barton's, we are so thrown together, somehow we can't help
falling out and interfering with each other sometimes. Now there is
young White, I never can agree with him, it is _impossible_."
"Dear me!" said Emilie, without contradicting him, "why?"
"He treats me so very ill; not openly and above-board, as we say, but in
such a nasty sneaking way, he is always trying to injure me. He knows
sometimes I fall asleep after I am called. Well, he dresses so quietly,
(I sleep in his room, I wish I didn't,) he steals down stairs and then
laughs with such triumph when I come down late and get a lecture or a
fine for it. If I am very busy over an exercise out of school hours, he
comes and talks to me, or reads some entertaining book close to my ears,
aloud to one of the boys, to hinder my doing it properly, but that is
not half his nasty ways. Could _you love_ such a boy Miss Schomberg?"
"Well, I would try to make him more loveable, Fred, and then I might
perhaps love him," said Emilie.
"Ah, Emilie, your 'overcome evil with good' rule would fail there _I_
can tell you; you may laugh."
"No, I won't laugh, I am going to be serious. You will allow me to
preach a short sermon to-night, the last for some time, you know, and
mine shall be but a text, or a very little more, and then 'good night.'
Will you try to love that boy for a few weeks? _really_ try, and see if
he does not turn out better than you expect. If he do not, I will
promise you that you will be the better for it. Love is never wasted,
but remember, Fred, it is wicked and sad to hate one another, and it
comes to be a serious matter, for 'If any man love not his brother whom
he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen.' Good night."
"Good night, Miss Schomberg, you have taught me to like you," and oh,
how I did dislike you once! thought Fred, but he did not say so.
Miss Webster's foot got well at last, but it was a long time about it.
The lodgers went away at the end of the six weeks, and aunt Agnes and
Emilie were quietly settled in their little apartments again. The piano
was a little out of tune, but Emilie expected as much, and now after her
six weeks' holiday, so called, she prepared to begin her life of daily
teaching. Her kindness to Miss Webster was for some time to all
appearance thrown away, but no, that cannot be--kindness and love can
never be wasted. They bless him that gives, if not him that takes the
offering. By and bye, however, a few indications of the working of the
good system appeared. Miss Webster would offer to come and sit and chat
with aunt Agnes when Emilie was teaching or walking; and aunt Agnes in
return taught Miss Webster knitting stitches and crochet work. Miss
Webster would clean Emilie's straw bonnet, and when asked for the bill,
she would say that it came to nothing; and would now and then send up a
little offering of fruit or fish, when she thought her lodgers' table
was not well supplied. Little acts in themselves, but great when we
consider that they were those of an habitually cold and selfish person.
She did not express love; but she showed the softening influence of
affection, and Emilie at least understood and appreciated it.
Fred had perhaps the hardest work of all the actors on this little
stage; he thought so at least. Joe White was an unamiable and, as Fred
expressed it, a sneaking boy. He had never been accustomed to have his
social affections cultivated in childhood, and consequently, he grew up
into boyhood without any heart as it is called. Good Mr. Barton was
quite puzzled with him. He said there was no making any impression on
him, and that Mr. Barton could make none was very evident. Who shall
make it? Even Fred; for he is going to try Emilie's receipt for the cure
of the complaint under which Master White laboured, a kind of moral
ossification of the heart. Will he succeed? We shall see.
Perhaps, had Joe White at this time fallen down and broken his leg, or
demanded in any way a _great_ sacrifice of personal comfort from his
school-fellow, he would have found it easier to return good for his evil,
than in the daily, hourly, calls for the exercise of forgiveness and
forbearance which occurred at school. Oh, how many will do _great_
things in the way of gifts or service, who will not do the little acts
of kindness and self denial which common life demands. Many a person has
built hospitals or alms houses, and has been ready to give great gifts
to the poor and hungry, who has been found at home miserably deficient
in domestic virtues. Dear children, cultivate these. You have, very few
of you, opportunities for great sacrifices. They occur rarely in real
life, and it would be well if the relations of fictitious life abounded
less in them; but you may, all of you, find occasions to speak a gentle
word, to give a kind smile, to resign a pursuit which annoys or vexes
another, to cure a bad habit, to give up a desired pleasure. You may,
all of you, practice the injunction, to live not unto yourselves. Fred,
I say, found it a hard matter to carry out Emilie's plan towards Joe
White, who came back from home more evilly disposed than ever, and all
the boys agreed he was a perfect nuisance.
"I would try and make him loveable." Those words of Emilie's often
recurred to Fred as he heard the boys say how they disliked Joe White
worse and worse. So Fred tried first by going up to him very gravely one
day, and saying how they all disliked him, and how he hoped he would
mend; but that did not do at all. Fred found the twine of his kite all
entangled next day, and John said he saw White playing with it soon
after Fred had spoken to him.
"I'd go and serve him out; just you go and tangle his twine, and see how
he likes it," said John.
"I will--but no! I won't," Bald Fred, "that's evil for evil, and that is
what I am not going to do. I mean to leave that plan off."
An opportunity soon occurred for returning good for evil Miss Barton had
a donkey, and this donkey, whose proper abode was the paddock, sometimes
broke bounds, and regaled itself on the plants in the young gentlemen's
gardens, in a manner highly provoking to those who had any taste for
flowers. If Joe White had any love for anything, it was for flowers.
Now, there is something so pure and beautiful in flowers; called by that
good philanthropist Wilberforce, the "smiles of God," that I think there
must be a little tender spot in that heart which truly loves flowers.
Joe tended his as a parent would a child. His garden was his child, and
certainly it did his culture credit. Fred liked a garden too, and these
boys' gardens were side by side. They were the admiration of the whole
family, so neatly raked, so free from stones or weeds, so gay with
flowers of the best kind. They were rival gardens, but undoubtedly
White's was in the best order. John and Fred always went home on a
Saturday, as Mr. Barton's house was not far from L----. Joe was a
boarder entirely, his home was at a distance, and to this Fred Parker
ascribed the superiority of his garden. He was able to devote the whole
of Saturday, which was a holiday, to its culture. Well, the donkey of
which I spoke, one day took a special fancy to the boys' gardens; and it
so happened, that he was beginning to apply himself to nibble the tops
of Joe's dahlias, which were just budding. Joe was that day confined to
the house with a severe cold, and little did he think as he lay in bed,
sipping Mrs. Barton's gruel and tea, of the scenes that were being
enacted in his own dear garden. Fred fortunately spied the donkey, and
though there had been lately a little emulation between them, who should
grow the finest dahlias, he at once carried out the principle of
returning good for evil, drove the donkey off, even though his course
lay over his own flower beds, and then set to work to repair the damage
done. A few minutes more, and all Joe's dahlias would have been
sacrificed. Fred saved them, raked the border neatly, tied up the
plants, and restored all to order again; and who can tell but those who
thus act, the pleasure, the comfort of Fred's heart? Why, not the first
prize at the horticultural show for the first dahlia in the country,
would have given him half the joy; and a still nobler sacrifice he
made--he did not tell of his good deeds. Now, Fred began to realise the
pleasures of forbearance and kindness indeed.
There could not have been a better way of reaching young White's heart
than through his garden. Fred's was a fortunate commencement. He never
boasted of the act, but one of the boys told Mr. Barton, who did not
fail to remind Joe of it at a suitable time, and that time was when
White presented his master with a splendid bouquet of dahlias for his
supper table, when he was going to have a party of friends. The boys,
who were treated like members of the family, were invited to join that
party, and then did Mr. Barton narrate the scene of the donkey's
invasion, of which, however, the guests did not perceive the point; but
those for whom it was intended understood it all. At bed time that
night, Joe White begged his school-fellow's pardon for entangling his
kite twine, and went to bed very humble and grateful, and with a little
love and kindness dawning, which made his rest sweeter and his dreams
happier. Thus Fred began his lessons of love; it was thus he endeavoured
to make Joe lovable, and congratulated himself on his first successful
attempt. He did not speak in the very words of the Poet, but his
sentiments were the same, as he talked to John of his victory.
"There is a golden chord of sympathy,
Fix'd in the harp of every human soul,
Which by the breath of kindness when 'tis swept,
Wakes angel-melodies in savage hearts;
Inflicts sore chastisements for treasured wrongs,
And melts away the ice of hate to streams of love;
Nor aught but _kindness_ can that fine chord touch."
Joe Murray was quite right in telling Edith that a little of the leaven
of kindness and love went a great way in a family. No man can live to
himself, that is to say, no man's acts can affect himself only. Had Fred
set an example of revenge and retaliation, other boys would have no
doubt acted in like manner on the first occasion of irritation. Now they
all helped to reform Joe White, and did not return evil for evil, as
had been their custom. Fred was the oldest but one of the little
community, and had always been looked up to as a clever boy, up to all
kinds of spore and diversion. He was the leader of their plays and
amusements, and but for the occasional outbreaks of his violent temper
would have been a great favourite. As it was, the boys liked him, and
his master was undoubtedly very fond of Fred Parker. He was an honest
truthful boy though impetuous and headstrong.
Permission was given the lads, who as we have said were six in number,
to walk out one fine September afternoon without the guardianship of
their master. They were to gather blackberries, highly esteemed by Mrs.
Barton for preserves, and it was the great delight of the boys to supply
her every year with this fruit. Blackberrying is a very amusing thing to
country children. It is less so perhaps in its consequences to the
nurse, or sempstress, who has to repair the terrible rents which
merciless brambles make, but of that children, boys especially, think
little or nothing. On they went, each provided with a basket and a long
crome stick, for the purpose of drawing distant clusters over ditches
or from some height within the reach of the gatherer. At first they
jumped and ran and sang in all the merriment of independence. The very
consciousness of life, health, and freedom was sufficient enjoyment, and
there was no end to their fun and their frolics until they came to the
spot where the blackberries grew in the greatest abundance. Then they
began to gather and eat and fill their baskets in good earnest. The most
energetic amongst them was Fred, and he had opportunities enough this
afternoon for practising kindness and self-denial, for White was in one
of his bad moods, and pushed before Fred whenever he saw a fine and
easily to be obtained cluster of fruit; and once, (Fred thought
purposely,) upset his basket, which stood upon the pathway, all in the
dust. Still Fred bore all this very well, and set about the gathering
with renewed ardour, though one or two of the party called out, "Give it
him, Parker; toss his out and see how he likes it." No, Fred had begun
to taste the sweet fruits of kindness, he would not turn aside to pluck
the bitter fruits of revenge and passion. So he gave no heed to the
matter, only leaving the coast clear for White whenever he could, and
helping a little boy whom White had pushed aside to fill his basket.
Without any particular adventures, and with only the usual number of
scratches and falls, and only the common depth of dye in lips and
fingers, the boys sat down to rest beneath the shade of some fine trees,
which skirted a beautiful wood.
"I say," said John Parker, "let us turn in here, we shall find shade
enough, and I had rather sit on the grass and moss than on this bank.
Come along, we have only to climb the hedge."
"But that would be trespassing," said one conscientious boy, who went by
the name of Simon Pure, because he never would join in any sport he
thought wrong, and used to recall the master's prohibitions rather
oftener to his forgetful companions than they liked.
"Trespassing! a fig for trespassing," said John Parker, clearing away
all impediments, and bestriding the narrow ditch, planted a foot firmly
on the opposite bank.
"You may get something not so sweet as a fig for trespassing, John,
though," said his brother Fred, who came up at this moment.
"Man-traps and spring-guns are fictions my lad," said Philip Harcourt, a
boy of much the same turn as John, not easily persuaded any way; "Now
for it, over Parker; be quick, man," and over he jumped.
Then followed Harcourt, White, and another little boy, whose name was
Arthur, leaving Fred and Simon Pure in the middle of the road. The wood
was, undoubtedly, a very delightful place, and more than one fine
pheasant rustled amongst the underwood, and the squirrels leaped from
bough to bough, whilst the music of the birds was charming. Fred,
himself, was tempted as he peeped over the gap, and stood irresolute.
The plantation was far enough from the residence of the owner, nor was
it likely that they could do much mischief beyond frightening the game,
and as it was not sitting time, Fred himself argued it could do no harm,
but little Riches, the boy called Pure, who was a great admirer of Fred,
especially since the affair of the Dahlias, begged him not to go; "Mr.
Barton, you know, has such a great dislike to our trespassing," said
Riches, "and if we stay here resolutely they will be sure to come back."
"Don't preach to me," was the rather unexpected reply, for Fred was not
_perfect_ yet, though he had gained a victory or two over his temper of
"I didn't mean to preach, but I do wish the boys would come home, it is
growing late; and with our heavy baskets we shall only just get in in
"Halloo!" shouted Fred, getting on the bank. "Come back, won't you, or
we shall be too late; come, John, you are the eldest, come along." But
his call was drowned in the sound of their voices, which were echoing
through the weeds, much to the annoyance, no doubt, of the stately
pheasants who were not accustomed to human sounds like these. They were
not at any great distance, and Fred could just distinguish parts of
John and Harcourt were urging White, a delicate boy, and no climber, to
mount a high tree in the wood, to enjoy they said the glorious sea-view;
but in reality to make themselves merry at his expense, being certain
that if he managed to scramble up he would have some difficulty in
getting down, and would get a terrible fright at least. White stood at
the bottom of the tree, looking at his companions as they rode on one of
the higher branches of a fine spruce fir.
"Don't venture! White," shouted Fred as loudly as he could shout, "don't
attempt it! They only want to make game of you, and you'll never get
down if you manage to get up. Take my advice now, don't try."
"Mind your own business," and a large sod of earth was the reply. The
sod struck the boy on the face, and his nose bled profusely.
"There," said young Riches, "what a cowardly trick! Oh! I think White
the meanest spirited boy I ever saw. He wouldn't have flung that sod at
you if you had been within arm's length of him; well, I do dislike that
"I'll give it to him," said Fred, as he vaulted over the fence, but
immediately words, which Emilie had once repeated to him when they were
talking about offensive and defensive warfare, came into his mind, and
he stopped short. Those words were:--"If any man smite thee on thy
right cheek turn to him the other also," and Fred was in the road again.
"Well," said Riches, "we have done and said all we can, let us be going
home, their disobeying orders is no excuse for us, so come along
Parker--won't you? They have a watch, and their blackberries won't run
away, I suppose."
"Can't we manage between us, though, to carry some of them?" said Fred.
"This large basket is not nearly full, let us empty one of them into it.
There, now we have only left them two. I've got White's load. I've half
a mind to set it down, but no I won't though. You will carry John's,
Won't you, that's lighter, and between them they may carry the other."
They went on a few steps when they both turned to listen. "I thought,"
said Fred, "I heard my name called. It could only be fancy, though. Yet,
hush! There it is! quite plain," and so it was.
John called to him loudly to stop, and at that moment such a scream was
heard echoing through the woods, as sent the wood pigeons flying
terrified about, and started the hares from their hiding places. "Stop,
oh stop, Fred, White can't get down," said John, breathless, "and I
believe he will fall, if he hasn't already, he says he is giddy. Pray
come back and see if you can't help him, you are such a famous climber."
Fred could not refuse, and in less than five minutes he was on the spot,
but it was too late. The branch had given way, and the boy lay at the
foot of the tree senseless, to all appearance dead. There was no blood,
no outward sign of injury, but--his face! Fred did not forget for many
years afterwards, its dreadful, terrified, ghastly expression. What was
to be done? They were so horror-struck that for a few minutes they stood
in perfect silence, so powerfully were they convinced that the lad had
ceased to breathe, that they remained solemn and still as in the
presence of death.
To all minds death has great solemnities; to the young, when it strikes
one of their own age and number, especially. "Come," said Fred, turning
to Riches, "come, we must not leave him here to die, poor fellow. Take
off his neck-handkerchief, Harcourt, and run you, Riches, to the stream
close by, where we first sat down, and get some water. Get it in your
cap, man, you have nothing else to put it in. Quick! quick!"
"Joe! Joe!" said John, "only speak, only look, Joe, if you can, we are
so frightened."--No answer.
"Joe!" said Fred, and he tried to raise him. No assistance and no
resistance; Joe fell back passive on the arm of his friend, yes,
friend--they were no longer enemies you know. Had Fred returned evil for
evil, had he rushed on him as he first intended when he received the sod
from White, he would not have felt as he now did. The boys, who, out of
mischief, to use the mildest word, tempted him to climb to a height,
beyond that which even they themselves could have accomplished, were not
to be envied in _their_ feelings. Poor fellows, and yet they only did
what many a reckless, mischievous school boy has done and is doing every
day; they only meant to tease him a bit, to pay him off for being so
spiteful all the way, and so cross to Fred when he spoke. But it was no
use trying to still the voice which spoke loudly within them, which told
them that they had acted with heartless cruelty, and that their conduct
had, perhaps, cost a fellow-creature his life.
"Will you wait with him whilst I run to L---- for papa?" said Fred.
"What alone?" they cried.
"Alone! why there are four of you, will be at least when Riches comes
"Oh no! no! do you stay Fred, you are the only one that knows what you
"Well, which of you will go then? It is near two miles, and you must
run, for his _life_--mind that." No one stirred, and Riches at this
moment coming up with the water, Fred told him in few words what he
meant to do, and bade him go and stand by the poor lad. That was all
that could be done, and "Riches don't be hard on them; their consciences
are telling them all you could tell them. Don't lecture them, I mean;
you would not like it yourself."
Off ran Fred, and to his great joy, spying a cart, with one of farmer
Crosse's men in it, he hailed it, told his tale, and thus they were at
L---- in a very short space of time. Terrified indeed was Mrs. Parker at
the sight of her son driving furiously up in farmer Crosse's
spring-cart, and his black eye and swelled face did not tend to pacify
her on nearer inspection. The father, a little more used to be called
out in a hurry, and to prepare for emergencies, was not so alarmed, but
had self-possession enough to remember what would be needed, and to
collect various articles for the patient's use.
The journey to the wood was speedily accomplished, but the poor lads who
were keeping watch, often said afterwards that it seemed to them almost
a lifetime, such was the crowd of fearful and wretched thoughts and
forebodings, such the anxiety, and hopelessness of their situation.
There in the silence of the wood lay their young companion, stretched
lifeless, and they were the cause. The least rustle amongst the leaves
they mistook for a movement of the sufferer; but he moved not. How did
they watch Mr. Parker's face as he knelt down and applied his fingers to
the boy's wrist first, and then to his heart! With what intense anxiety
did they watch the preparations for applying remedies and restoratives!
"Was he, was he dead, _quite_ dead?" they asked. No, not dead, but the
doctor shook his head seriously, and their exclamations of joy and
relief were soon checked.
Not to follow them through the process of restoring animation, we will
say that he was carefully removed to Mr. Barton's house, and tenderly
watched by his kind wife. He had been stunned by the fall, but this was
not the extent of the mischief. It was found upon examination that the
spine had received irreparable injury, and that if poor White lived,
which was doubtful, it would be as a helpless cripple. Who can tell the
reflections of those boys? Who can estimate the misery of hearts which
had thus returned evil for evil? It was a sore lesson, but one which of
itself could yield no good fruit.
It was a great grief to Fred that his presence, in the excitable state
of the sufferer, seemed to do him harm. He would have liked to sit by
him, and share in the duties of his nursing, but whenever Fred
approached, White became restless and uneasy, and continually alluded,
even in his delirium, to the sod he had thrown, and to other points of
his ungrateful malicious conduct to his school-fellow. This feeling,
however, in time wore away, and many an hour did Fred take from play to
go and sit by poor Joe's couch.
He had no mother to come and watch beside that couch, no kind gentle
sister, no loving father. He was an orphan, taken care of by an uncle
and aunt, who had no experience in training children, and were
accustomed to view young persons in the light of evils, which it was
unfortunately necessary to _bear_ until the _fault_ of youth should have
passed away. Will you not then cease to wonder that Joe seemed to have
so little heart? Affection needs to be cultivated; his uncle thought
that in sending him to school and giving him a good education, he was
doing his duty by the boy. His aunt considered that if in the holidays
she let him rove about as he pleased, saw to the repairs of his clothes,
sent him back fitted out comfortably, with a little pocket money and a
little _advice_, she had done _her_ duty by the child. But poor Joe! No
kind mother ever stole to his bedside to whisper warnings and gentle
reproof if the conduct of the day had been wrong; no knee ever bent to
ask for grace and blessing on that orphan boy; no sympathy was ever
expressed in one of his joys or griefs; no voice encouraged him in
self-denial; no heart rejoiced in his little victories over temper and
pride. Now, instead of blaming and disliking, will you not pity and love
the unlovable and neglected lad?
He had not been long under Mr. Barton's care, and after all, what could
a schoolmaster do in twelve months, to remedy the evils which had been
growing up for twelve years? He did his best, but the result was very
little, and perhaps the most useful lesson Joe ever had was that which
Fred gave him about the Dahlias.
EDITH'S VISIT TO JOE.
Fred and Edith were sitting in the Canary room one Saturday afternoon,
shortly after the event recorded in the last chapter; Edith listening
with an earnest interest to the oft-repeated tale of the fall in the
"How glad you must have felt, Fred, when you thought he was dead, that
you had not returned his unkindness."
"Glad! Edith, I cannot tell you how glad; but glad is'nt the word,
either. On my knees that night, and often since, I have thanked God who
helped me to check the temper that arose. Those words out of the Bible
did it: 'If any man smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other
also.' Emilie told me that text one day, and I said I did'nt think I
could ever do that, but I was helped somehow; but come, Edith, let us
go and see Emilie Schomberg, I have'nt seen her since all this happened,
though you have. How beautifully you keep my cages Edith! I think you
are very clever; the birds get on better than they did with me. Is there
any one you would like to give a bird to, dear? For I am sure you ought
to share the pleasures, you have plenty of the trouble of my canaries."
"Oh, I have pleasure enough, and their songs always seem like rejoicings
over our reconciliation that day ever so long ago; you remember, don't
you, Fred? but I should like a bird _very_ much to give to Miss
Schomberg; she seems low-spirited, and says she is often very lonely. A
bird would be nice company for her, shall we take her one?"
"It would be rather a troublesome gift without a cage, Edith, but I have
money enough, I think, and I will buy a cage, and then she shall have
"We will hang it up to greet her on Sunday morning, shall we?" Thus the
brother and sister set out, and it was a beautiful sight to their
mother, who dearly loved them, to see the two who once were so
quarrelsome and disunited now walking together in _love_.
Emilie was not at home, and they stood uncertain which way to walk,
when Fred said, "Edith, I want some one to teach poor Joe love; will you
go with me and see him? You taught me to love you, and I think Joe would
be happier if he could see some one he could take a fancy to. Papa said
he might see one at a time now, and poor fellow, I do pity him so. Will
you go? It is a fine fresh afternoon, let us go to Mr. Barton's."
The October sky was clear and the air bracing, and side by side walked
Fred and Edith on their errand of mercy to poor neglected Joe, their
young hearts a little saddened by the remembrance of his sufferings, "Is
not his aunt coming?" asked Edith.
"No! actually she is not," replied Fred. "She says in her letter she
could not stand the fatigue of the journey, and that her physicians
order her to try the waters of Bath and Cheltenham. Unfeeling creature!"
Thus they chatted till they arrived at Mr. Barton's house. Mrs. Barton
received them very kindly. "Oh, Miss Parker, she said, my heart aches
for that poor lad upstairs, and yet with all this trial, and the
wonderful providential escape he has had, would you believe it? his
heart seems very little affected. He is not softened that I can see. I
told him to day how thankful he ought to be that God did not cut him off
in all his sins, and he answered that they who tempted him into danger
would have the most to answer for."
Ah, Mrs. Barton, it is not the way to people's hearts usually to find
fault and upbraid them. There was much truth in what you said to Joe,
but truth sometimes irritates by the way and time in which it is spoken,
and it seems in this case that the _kind_ of truth you told did not
exactly suit the state of the boy's mind. Edith did not say this of
course to the good lady, whose intentions were excellent, but who was
rather too much disposed to be severe on young persona, and certainly
Joe had tried her in many ways.
"I will go and see whether Joe would like to see Edith may I, madam,
asked Fred?" Permission was given.
"My sister is here, Joe, you have often heard me mention her, would you
like to see her?"
"Oh, I don't know, my back is so bad. Oh dear me, and your father tells
me I am to lie flat in this way, months. What am I to do all through
the Christmas holidays too? Oh! dear, dear me. Well, yes, she may come
With this not very gracious invitation little Edith stepped upstairs,
and being of a very tender nature, no sooner did she see poor Joe's
suffering state than she began to cry. They were tears of such genuine
sympathy, such exquisite tenderness, that they touched Joe. He did not
withdraw the hand she held, and felt even sorry when she herself took
hers away. "How sorry I am for you!" said Edith, when she could speak,
"but may I come and read to you sometimes, and wait upon you when there
is no one else? I think I could amuse you a little, and it might pass
the time away. I only mean when you have no one better, you know."
Joe's permission was not very cordial, he was so afraid of girls'
_flummery_, as he called it "She plays backgammon and chess, Joe, and I
can promise you she reads beautifully."
"Well, I will come on Monday," said Edith, gaily, "and send me away if
you don't want me; but dear me, do you like this light on your eyes?
I'll ask mamma for a piece of green baize to pin up. Good bye."
As she was going out of the room Joe called her back. "I have such a
favour to ask of you, Miss Parker. Don't bring that preaching German
lady here of whom I have heard Fred speak; I don't mind you, but I
cannot bear so much preaching. Mrs. Barton and her together would craze
me." Edith promised, but she felt disappointed. She had hoped that
Emilie might have gained an entrance, and she knew that Emilie would
have found out the way to his heart, if she could once have got into his
presence; but she concealed her disappointment having made the required
promise, and ran after her brother.
"I don't like going where I am so plainly not wanted, Fred," said she on
their way home, "Oh, what a sad thing poor White's temper is for himself
and every one about him."
"Yes Edith, but _we_ are not always sweet-tempered, and you must
remember that poor White has no mother and no father, no one in short to
love." Edith found at first that it required more judgment than she
possessed to make her visit to Joe White either pleasant or useful.
Illness had increased his irritability, and so far from submitting
patiently to the confinement and restriction imposed, he was quite
fuming with impatience to be allowed to sit up and amuse himself at
How ingenious is affection in contriving alleviations! Here Joe sadly
wanted some one whose wits were quickened by love. Mrs. Barton nursed
him admirably; he was kept very neat and nice, and his room always had a
clean tidy appearance; but it lacked the little tokens of love which
oft-times turn the sick chamber into a kind of paradise. No flowers, no
little contrivances for amusement, no delicate article of food to tempt
his sickly appetite. Poor Joe! Edith soon saw this, and yet it needs
experience in illness to adapt one's self to sick nursing. Besides she
was afraid, she did not like to offer books and flowers, and these
visits were quite dreaded by her.
"Will you not go and see Joe, Emilie?" asked Edith, one day of her
friend, as she was recounting the difficulties in her way. "You get at
people's hearts much better than ever I could do."
"My dear child," said Emilie, "did not Joe say that he begged you never
would bring the preaching German to see him? oh no, dear, I cannot
force my company on him. Besides you have not tried long enough,
kindness does not work miracles; try a little longer Edith, and be
patient with Joe as God is with us. How often we turn away from Him when
He offers to be reconciled to us. Think of that, dear."
"Fred is very patient and persevering; I often wonder, Miss Schomberg,
that John, who really did cause the accident, seems to think less about
Joe than Fred, who had not any thing to do with it."
"It is not at all astonishing, Edith. It requires that our actions
should be brought to the light of God's Word to see them in their true
condition. An impenitent murderer thinks less of his crime than a true
penitent, who has been moral all his life, thinks of his great sin of
ingratitude and ungodliness."
Christmas was at hand; Christmas with its holidays, its greetings, its
festive meetings, its gifts, its bells, and its rejoicings. That season
when mothers prepare for the return of their children from school, and
are wont to listen amidst storms of wind and snow for the carriage
wheels; when little brothers and sisters strain their eyes to catch the
first glimpse of the dear ones' approach along the snowy track; when the
fire blazes within, and lamps are lit up to welcome them home; and hope
and expectation and glad heart beatings are the lot of so many--of many,
not of all. Christmas was come, but it brought no hope, no gladness, no
mirth to poor White, either present or in prospect. The music and the
bells of Christmas, the skating, the pony riding, the racing, the brisk
walk, the home endearments were not for Joe--poor Joe. No mother longed
for his return, no brother or little sister pressed to the hall door to
get the first look or the first word; no father welcomed Joe back to the
hearth-warmth of home sweet home. Poor orphan boy!
Joe's uncle and aunt wrote him a kind letter, quite agreed in Mr.
Parker's opinion that a journey into Lincolnshire was, in the state of
his back and general health, out of the question, were fully satisfied
that he was under the best care, both medical and magisterial, (they had
never seen either doctor or master, and had only known of Mr. Barton
through an advertisement,) and sent him a handsome present of pocket
money, with the information that they were going to the South of France
for the winter. Joe bore the news of their departure very coolly, and
carelessly pocketed the money, knowing as he did that he had a handsome
property in his uncle's hands, and no one would have supposed from any
exhibition of feeling that he manifested, that he had any feeling or any
care about the matter. Once, indeed, when a fly came to the door to
convey Harcourt to the railway, and he saw from the window of his room
the happy school-boy jumping with glee into the vehicle, and heard him
say to Mr. Barton, "Oh yes, Sir, I shall be met!" he turned to Fred who
sate by him and said, "No one is expecting _me_, no one in the whole
world is thinking of me now, Parker."
Fred told his mother of this speech, a speech so full of bitter truth
that it made Mrs. Parker, kind creature as she was, shed tears, and she
asked her husband if young White could not be removed to pass the
Christmas holidays with them. The distance was not great, and they could
borrow Mr. Darford's carriage, and perhaps it might do him good. Mr.
Parker agreed, and the removal was effected.
For some days it seemed doubtful whether the change would be either for
poor White's mental happiness or bodily improvement. The exertion, and
the motion and excitement together, wrought powerfully on his nervous
frame, and he was more distressed, and irritable than ever. He could not
sleep, he ate scarcely any thing, he rarely spoke, and more than once
Mrs. Parker regretted that the proposal had been made. In vain Edith
brought him plants from the little greenhouse, fine camellias, pots of
snow-drops, and lovely anemones. They seemed rather to awaken painful
than pleasing remembrances and associations, and once even when he had
lain long looking at a white camellia he burst into tears. It is a great
trial of temper, a great test of the sincerity of our purpose, when the
means we use to please and gratify seem to have just the contrary
effect. In the sick room especially, where kind acts, and gentle words,
and patient forbearance are so constantly demanded, it is difficult to
refrain from expressions of disappointment when all our endeavours fail;
when those we wish to please and comfort, obstinately refuse to be
pleased and comforted. Often did Fred and Edith hold counsel as to what
would give Joe pleasure, but he was as reserved and gloomy as ever, and
his heart seemed inaccessible to kindness and affection. Besides, there
were continual subjects of annoyance which they could scarcely prevent,
with all the forethought and care in the world.
The boys were very thoughtful, for boys; Mrs. Parker had it is true
warned them not to talk of their out-of-door pleasures and amusements
to or before Joe, and they were generally careful; but sometimes they
would, in the gladness of their young hearts, break out into praises of
the fine walk they had just had on the cliff, or the glorious skating on
the pond, of the beauty of the pony, and of undiscovered walks and rides
in the neighbourhood. Once, in particular, Emilie, who was spending the
afternoon with the Parkers, was struck with the expression of agony that
arose to Joe's face from a very trifling circumstance. They were all
talking with some young companion of what they would be when they grew
up, and one of them appealing to Joe, he quickly said, "oh, a sailor--I
care for nobody at home and nobody cares for me, so I shall go to sea."
"To sea!" the boy repeated in wonder.
"And why not?" said Joe, petulantly, "where's the great wonder of that?"
There was a silence all through the little party; no one seemed willing
to remind the poor lad of that which he, for a moment, seemed to
forget--his helpless crippled state. It was only Emilie who noticed his
look of hopelessness; she sat near him and heard his stifled sigh, and
oh, how her heart ached for the poor lad!
This conversation and some remarks that the boy made, led Mr. and Mrs.
Parker seriously to think that he entertained hopes of recovery, and
they were of opinion that it would be kinder to undeceive him, than to
allow him to hope for that which could never he. Mr. Parker began to
talk to him about it one day, very kindly, after an examination of his
back, when White said, abruptly, "I don't doubt you are very skilful.
Sir, and all that, but I should like to see some other doctor. I have
money enough to pay his fee, and uncle said I was to have no expense
spared in getting me the best advice. Sir J. ---- comes here at Christmas,
I know, to see his father, and I should like to see him and consult him,
Sir, may I?" Mr. Parker of course could make no objection, and a day was
fixed for the consultation. It was a very unsatisfactory one and at once
crushed all Joe's hopes. The result was communicated to him as gently
and kindly as possible.
Mrs. Parker was a mother, and her sympathy for poor Joe was more lasting
than that of the younger branches of the family. She went to him on the
Sunday evening following the physician's visit to tell him the whole
truth, and she often said afterwards how she dreaded the task. Joe lay
on the sofa before the dining room window, watching the blue sea sit a
distance, and thinking with all the ardour of youthful longing of the
time when his back should be well, and he should be a voyager in one of
those beautiful ships. He should have no regrets, and no friends to
regret him; then he groaned at the pain and inconvenience and privation
of his present state, and panted for restoration. Mrs. Parker entered
and eat down by him.
"Is Sir J. C---- gone, Ma'am?"
"Yes, he has been gone some minutes."
"What does he say?" asked the lad earnestly. "He said very little to me,
nothing indeed, only all that fudge I am always hearing--'rest,
patience,' and so on."
"He thinks it a very serious case, my dear; he says that the recumbent
posture is very important."
"But for how long, Ma'am? I would lie twelve months patiently enough if
I hoped then to be allowed to walk about, and to be able to do as other
"Sir J. C---- thinks, Joe, that you never will recover. I am grieved to
tell you so, but it is the truth, and we think it best you should know
it. Your spine is so injured that it is impossible you should ever
recover; but you may have many enjoyments, though not able to be active
like other boys. You must keep up your spirits; it is the will of God
and you must submit."
Poor Mrs. Parker having disburdened her mind of a great load, and
performed her dreaded task, left the room, telling her husband that the
boy bore it very well, indeed, he did not seem to feel it much. The bell
being already out for church, she called the young people to accompany
her thither, leaving one maid-servant and the errand boy at home, and
poor Joe to meditate on his newly-acquired information that he would be
a cripple for life. Edith looked in and asked softly, "shall I stay?"
but the "No" was so very decided, and so very stern that she did not
repeat the question, so they all went off together, a cheerful family
The errand boy betook himself to a chair in the kitchen, where he was
soon sound asleep, and the maid-servant to the back gate to gossip with
a sailor; so Joe was left alone with a hand-bell on the table, plenty of
books if he liked to read them, and as far as outward comforts went
with nothing to complain of. "And here I am a cripple for life,"
ejaculated the poor fellow, when the sound of their voices died away and
the bell ceased; "and, oh, may that life be a short one! I wish, oh, I
wish, I were dead! who would care to hear this? no one--I wish from my
heart I were dead;" and here the boy sobbed till his poor weak frame was
convulsed with agony, and he felt as if his heart (for he had a heart)
In his wretchedness he longed for affection, he longed for some one who
would really care for him, "but _no one_ cares for me," groaned the lad,
"no one, and I wish I might die to night." Ah, Joe, may God change you
_very_ much before he grants that wish! After he had sobbed a while, he
began to think more calmly, but his thoughts were thoughts of revenge
and hatred. "_John_ has been the cause of it all." Then he thought
again, "they may well make all this fuss over me, when their son caused
all my misery; let them do what they will they will never make it up to
me, but they only tolerate me I can see, I know I am in the way; they
don't ask me here because they care for me, not they, it's only out of
pity;" and here, rolling his head from side to side, sobbed and cried
afresh. "What would I give for some one to love me, for some one to wait
on me because they loved me! but here I am to lie all my life, a
helpless, hopeless, cripple; oh dear! oh dear! my heart _will_ break.
Those horrid bells! will they never have done?"
* * * * *
At the very moment when poor Joe was thinking that no one on earth cared
for him, that not a heart was the sadder for his sorrow, a kind heart
not far off was feeling very much for him. "I shall not go to church
to-night, aunt Agnes," said Emilie Schomberg, "I shall go and hear what
Sir J.C.'s opinion of poor Joe White is. I cannot get that poor fellow
out of my mind."
"No, poor boy, it is a sad case," said aunt Agnes, "but why it should
keep you from church, my dear, I don't see. _I_ shall go."
So they trotted off, Emilie promising to leave aunt Agnes safe at the
church door, where she met the Parkers just about to enter. "Oh Emilie,"
said little Edith, "poor Joe! we have had Sir J.C.'s opinion, and it is
quite as had if not worse than papa's, there is so much disease and
such great injury done. He is all alone, Emilie, do go and sit with
"It is just what I wish to do, dear, but do you think he will let me?"
"Yes, oh yes, try at least," said Edith, and they parted.
When Emilie rang at the bell Joe was in the midst of his sorrow, but
thinking it might only be a summons for Mr. Parker, he did not take much
notice of it until the door opened and the preaching German lady, as he
called Emilie, entered the room. When she saw his swollen eyes and
flushed face, she wished that she had not intruded, but she went frankly
up to him, and began talking as indifferently as possible, to give him
time to recover himself, said how very cold it was, stirred the fire
into a cheerful blaze, and then relapsed into silence. The silence was
broken at times by heavy sighs, however--they were from poor Joe. Emilie
now went to the piano, and in her clear voice sang softly that beautiful
anthem, "I will arise and go to my Father." It was not the first time
that Joe had shown something like emotion at the sound of music; now it
softened and composed him. "I should like to hear that again," he said,
in a voice so unlike his own that Emilie was surprised.
She sang it and some others that she thought he would like, and then
said, "I hope I have not tired you, but I am afraid you are in pain."
"I am," said Joe, in his old gruff uncivil voice, "in great pain."
"Can I do any thing for you?" asked Emilie, modestly.
"No _nothing_, nothing can be done! I shall have to lie on my back as
long as I live, and never walk or stand or do any thing like other
boys--but I hope I shan't live long, that's all."
Emilie did not attempt to persuade him that it would not be as bad as he
thought--that he would adapt himself to his situation, and in time grow
reconciled to it. She knew that his mind was in no state to receive such
consolation, that it rather needed full and entire sympathy, and this
she could and did most sincerely offer. "I am _very_ sorry for you," she
said quietly, "_very_ sorry," and she approached a little nearer to his
couch, and looked at him so compassionately that Joe believed her.
"Don't you think that fellow John ought to be ashamed of himself, and I
don't believe he ever thinks of it," said Joe, recurring to his old
feeling of revenge and hatred.
"Perhaps he thinks of it more than you imagine," said Emilie, "but don't
fancy that no one cares about you, that is the way to be very unhappy."
"It is _true_," said Joe, sadly.
"God cares for you," however, replied Emily softly.
"Oh, if I could think that, it would be a comfort," Miss Schomberg, "and
I do need comfort; I do, I do indeed, groaned the boy."
Emilie's tears fell fast. No words of sympathy however touching, no
advice however wise and good, no act however kind could have melted Joe
as the tears of that true-hearted girl. He felt confidence in their
sincerity, but that any one should feel for _him_, should shed tears for
him, was so new, so softening an idea, that he was subdued. Not another
word passed on the subject. Emilie returned to the piano, and soon had
the joy of seeing Joe in a tranquil sleep; she shaded the lamp that it
might not awake him, covered his poor cold feet with her warm tartan,
and with a soft touch lifted the thick hair from his burning forehead,
and stood looking at him with such intense interest, suck earnest
prayerful benevolence, that it might have been an angel visit to that
poor sufferer's pillow, so soothing was it in its influence. He half
opened his eyes, saw that look, felt that touch, and tears stole down
his cheeks; tears not of anger, nor discontent, but of something like
gratitude that after all _one_ person in the world cared for him. His
sleep was short, and when he awoke, he said abruptly to Emilie, "I want
to feel less angry against John," Miss Schomberg, "but I don't know how.
It was such a cruel trick, such a cowardly trick, and I cannot forgive
"I don't want to preach," said Emily, smiling, "but perhaps if you would
read a little in this book you would find help in the very difficult
duty of forgiving men their trespasses."
"Ah, the Bible, but I find that dull reading; it always makes me low
spirited, I always associate it with lectures from uncle and Mr. Barton.
When I did wrong I was plied up with texts."
Emilie did not know what answer to make to this speech. At last she
said, "Do you remember the account of the Saviour's crucifixion, how,
when in agony worse than yours, he said, 'Father forgive them.' May I
read it to you?"
He did not object, and Emilie read that history which has softened many
hearts as hard as Joe's. He made but little remark as Emilie closed the
book, nor did she add to that which she had been reading by any comment,
but; bidding him a kind good night, went to meet Aunt Agnes at the
church door, and conduct her safely home.
There is a turning point in most persons' lives, either for good or
evil. Joe White was able long afterwards to recall that miserable Sunday
evening, with its storm of agitation and revenge, and then its lull of
peace and love. He who said, "Peace, be still," to the tempestuous
ocean, spoke those words to Joe's troubled spirit, and the boy was
willing to listen and to learn. Would a long lecture on the sinfulness
and impropriety of his revengeful and hardened state have had the same
effect on Joe, as Emilie's hopeful, gentle, almost silent sympathy? We
think not. "I would try and make him lovable," so said and so acted
Emilie Schomberg, and for that effort had the orphan cause to thank her
through time and eternity.
Joe was not of an open communicative turn, he was accustomed to keep
his feelings and thoughts very much to himself, and he therefore did not
tell either Fred or Edith of his conversation with Emilie, but when they
came to bid him good night, he spoke softly to them, and when John came
to his couch he did not offer one finger and turn away his face, as he
had been in the habit of doing, but said, "Good night," freely, almost
The work went on slowly but surely, still he held back forgiveness to
John, and while he did this, he could not be happy, he could not himself
feel that he was forgiven. "I do forgive him, at least I wish him no
ill, Miss Schomberg," he said in one of his conversations with Emilie.
"I don't suppose I need be very fond of him. Am I required to be that?"
"What does the Bible say, Joe? 'If thine enemy hunger feed him, if he
thirst give him drink.' '_I_ say unto you,' Christ says, '_Love_ your
enemies.' He does not say don't hate them, he means _Love_ them. Do you
think you have more to forgive John than Jesus had to forgive those who
hung him on the cross?"
"It seems to me, Miss Schomberg, so different that example is far above
me. I cannot be like Him you know."
"Yet Joe there have been instances of persons who have followed his
example in their way and degree, and who have been taught by Him, and
helped by Him to forgive their fellow-creatures."
"But it is not in human nature to do it, I know, at least is not in
"But try and settle it in your mind, Joe, that John did not mean to
injure you, that had he had the least idea that you would fall he would
never have tempted you to climb. If you look upon it as accidental on
your part, and thoughtlessness on his, it will feel easier to forgive
him perhaps, and I am sure you may. You are quite wrong in supposing
that John does not think of it. He told Edith only yesterday that he
never could forgive himself for tempting you to climb, and that he did
not wonder at your cold and distant way to him. Poor fellow! it would
make him much happier if you would treat him as though you forgave him,
which you cannot do unless you _from your heart_ forgive him."
THE CHRISTMAS TREE.
The conversation last recorded, between Emilie and Joe, took place a few
days before Christmas. Every one noticed that Joe was more silent and
thoughtful than usual, but he was not so morose; he received the little
attentions of his friend more gratefully, and was especially fond of
having Emilie talk to him, sing to him, or read to him. Emilie and her
aunt were spending a few days at the Parkers' house, and it seemed to
add very much to Joe's comfort. This Emilie was like a spirit of peace
pervading the whole family. She was so sure to win Edith to obey her
mamma, to stop John if he went a little too far in his jokes with his
sister, to do sundry little services for Mrs. Parker, and to make
herself such an agreeable companion to Emma, and Caroline, that they all
agreed they wished that they had her always with them. Edith confessed
to Emilie one day that she thought Emma and Caroline wonderfully
improved, and as to her mamma, how very seldom she was cross now.
"We are very apt to think other persons in fault when we ourselves are
cross and irritable, this may have been the case here, Edith, may it
"Well! perhaps so, but I am sure I am much happier than I was, Emilie."
"'_Great peace_ have they that love God's law,' my dear, 'and nothing
shall offend them.' What a gospel of peace it is Edith, is it not?"
The great work in hand, just now, was the Christmas tree. These
Christmas trees are becoming very common in our English homes, and the
idea, like many more beautiful, bright, domestic thoughts, is borrowed
from the Germans. You may be sure that Emilie and aunt Agnes were quite
up to the preparations for this Christmas tree, and so much the more
welcome were they as Christmas guests.
"I have plenty of money," said Joe, "but I don't know, somehow, what
sort of present to make, Miss Schomberg, yet I think I might pay for
all the wax lights and ornaments, and the filagree work you talk of."
"A capital thought," said Emilie, and she took his purse, promising to
lay out what was needful to the best advantage. Joe helped Emilie and
the Miss Parkers very efficiently as he lay "useless," he said, but they
thought otherwise, and gave him many little jobs of pasting, gumming,
etc. It was a beautiful tree, I assure you; but Joe had a great deal of
mysterious talk with Emilie, apart from the rest, which, however, we
must not divulge until Christmas eve. A little box came from London on
the morning of the day, directed to Joe. Edith was very curious to know
its contents; so was Fred, so was John; Emilie only smiled.
"Joe, won't you unpack that box now, to gratify us all?" said Mr.
Parker, as Joe put the box on one side, nodded to Emilie, and began his
breakfast. No, Joe could not oblige him. Evening came at last, and the
Christmas tree was found to bear rich fruit. From many a little
sparkling pendant branch hung offerings for Joe; poor Joe, who thought
no one in the world cared for him. He lay on his reclining chair looking
happier and brighter than usual, but as the gifts poured into his lap,
gifts so evidently the offspring of tenderness and affection, so
numerous, and so adapted to his condition, his countenance assumed a
more serious and thoughtful cast. Every cue gave him something. There is
no recounting the useful and pretty, if not costly, articles that Joe
became possessor of. A beautiful tartan wrapper for his feet, from Mrs.
Parker; a reading desk and book from Mr. Parker; a microscope from John
and Fred; a telescope from Emilie and Edith; some beautiful knitted
socks from aunt Agnes; a pair of Edith and Fred's very best canaries.
When his gifts were arranged on his new table, a beautifully made table,
ordered for him by Mr. Parker, and exactly adapted to his prostrate
condition, and Joe saw every one's looks directed towards him lovingly,
and finally received a lovely white camellia blossom from Edith's hand,
he turned his face aside upon the sofa pillow and buried it in his
hands. What could be the matter with him? asked Mrs. Parker, tenderly.
Had any one said any thing to wound or vex him? "Oh no! no! no!" What
was it then? was he overcome with the heat of the room? "No, oh no!"
but might he be wheeled into the dining room, he asked? Mr. Parker
consented, of course, but aunt Agnes was sure he was ill. "Take him some
salvolatile, Emilie, at once."
"No aunt," said Emilie, "he will be better without that, he is only
"And is not that just the very thing I was saying, Emilie, child, give
him some camphor julep then; camphor julep is a very reviving thing
doctor! Mr. Parker, won't you give him something to revive him."
"I think," said Emilie, who understood his emotion and guessed its
cause, "I think he will be better alone. His spirits are weak, owing to
illness, I would not disturb him."
"Come," said Mrs. Parker, "let us look at the tree, its treasures are
not half exhausted." Wonderful to say, although Joe had given his purse
to Emilie for the adornment of the tree, there still were presents for
every one from him; and what was yet more surprising to those who knew
that Joe had not naturally much delicacy of feeling or much
consideration for others, each present was exactly the thing that each
person liked and wished for. But John was the most astonished with his
share; it was a beautiful case of mathematical instruments, such a case
as all L---- and all the county of Hampshire together could not produce;
a case which Joe had bought for himself in London, and on which he
greatly prided himself. John had seen and admired it, and Joe gave this
prized, cherished case to John--his enemy John. "It must be intended for
you Fred," said John, after a minute's consideration; "but no, here is
my name on it."
Margaret, at this moment, brought in a little note from Joe for John,
who, when he had read it, coloured and said, "Papa, perhaps you will
read it aloud, I cannot."
It was as follows:--
I have been, as you must have seen,
very unhappy and very cross since my accident; I have
had my heart filled with thoughts of malice and revenge,
and to _you_. I have not felt as though I could forgive
you, and I have often told Emilie and Edith this; but
they have not known how wickedly I have felt to you,
nor how much I now need to ask your forgiveness for
thoughts which, in my helpless state, were as bad as actions.
Often, as I saw you run out in the snow to slide
or skate, I have wished (don't hate me for it) that you
might fall and break your leg or your arm, that you might
know a little of what I suffered. Thank God, all that is
passed away, and I now do not write so much to say I
forgive you, for I believe from my heart you only meant
to tease me a little, not to hurt me, but to ask you to pardon
me for thoughts far worse and more evil than your
thoughtless mischief to me. Will you all believe me, too,
when I say that I would not take my past, lonely, miserable
feelings back again, to be the healthiest, most active
boy on earth. Emilie has been a good friend to me, may
God bless her, and bless you all for your patience and
Pray do not ask me to come back to you to night, I
cannot indeed. I am not unhappy, but since my illness
my spirits are weak, and I can bear very little; your
kindness has been too much.
The contents of the little box were now displayed. It was the only
costly present on that Christmas tree, full as it was, and rich in love.
The present was a little silver inkstand, with a dove in the centre,
bearing not an olive branch, but a little scroll in its beak, with these
words, which Emilie had suggested, and being a favourite German proverb
of hers. I will give it in her own language, in which by the bye it was
engraved. She had written the letter containing the order for the plate
to a fellow-countryman of hers, in London, and had forgotten to specify
that the motto must be in English; but never mind, she translated it for
them, and I will translate it for you. "Friede ernaehrt, unfriede
verzehrt." "In peace we bloom, in discord we consume." The inkstand was
for Mr. and Mrs. Parker, and the slip of paper said it was from their
grateful friend, Joe White. That was the secret. Emilie had kept it
well; they rather laughed at her for not translating the motto, but no
matter, she had taught them all a German phrase by the mistake.
Where was she gone? she had slipped away from the merry party, and was
by Joe's couch. Joe's heart was very full, full with the newly-awakened
sense that he loved and that he was loved; full of earnest resolves to
become less selfish, less thankless, less irritable. He knew his lot
now, knew all that lay before him, the privations, the restrictions, the
weakness, and the sufferings. He knew that he could never hope again to
share in the many joys of boyhood and youth; that he must lay aside his
cricket ball, his hoop, his kite, in short all his active amusements,
and consign himself to the couch through the winter, spring, summer,
autumn, and winter again. He felt this very bitterly; and when all the
gifts were lavished upon him, he thought, "Oh, for my health and
strength again, and I would gladly give up _all_ these gifts, nay, I
would joyfully be a beggar." But when he was alone, in the view of all I
have written and more, he felt that he could forgive John, that in short
he must ask John to forgive him, and this conviction came not suddenly
and by chance, but as the result of honest sober consideration, of his
own sincere communings with conscience.
Still he felt very desolate, still he could scarcely believe in Emilie's
assurance, "You may have God for your friend," and something of this he
told Miss Schomberg, when she came to sit by him for awhile. She had but
little faith in her own eloquence, we have said, and she felt now more
than ever how dangerous it would be to deceive him, so she did not lull
him into false peace, but she soothed him with the promise of Him who
loves us not because of our worthiness, but who has compassion on us out
of his free mercy. Herein is love indeed, thought poor Joe, and he
meditated long upon it, so long that his heart began to feel something
of its power, and he sank to sleep that night happier and calmer than he
had ever slept before, wondering in his last conscious moments that God
should love _him_.
Poor Joel he had much to struggle with; for if indulgence and
over-weening affection ruin their thousands, neglect and heartlessness
ruin tens of thousands. The heart not used to exercise the affection,
becomes as it were paralyzed, and so he found it. He could not love as
he ought, he could not be grateful as he knew he ought to be, and he
found himself continually receiving acts of kindness, as matters of
course, and without suitable feeling of kindness and gratitude in
return; but the more he knew of himself the more he felt of his own
unworthiness, the more gratefully he acknowledged and appreciated the
love of others to him. The ungrateful are always proud. The humble,
those who know how undeserving they are, are always grateful.
THE NEW HOME.
Let us pass by twelve months, and see how the law of kindness is working
then. Mrs. Parker is certainly happier, less troubled than she was two
years ago; Edith is a better and more dutiful child, and the sisters are
far more sociable with her than formerly. The dove of peace has taken up
its abode in the Parker family. How is it in High Street? Emilie and
aunt Agnes are not there, but Miss Webster is still going on with her
straw bonnet trade and her lodging letting, and she is really as good
tempered as we can expect of a person whose temper has been bad so very
long, and who has for so many years been accustomed to view her fellow
creatures suspiciously and unkindly.
But Emilie is gone, and are you not curious to know where? I will tell
you; she is gone back to Germany--she and her aunt Agnes are both gone
to Frankfort to live. The fact is, that Emilie is married. She was
engaged to a young Professor of languages, at the very time when the
Christmas tree was raised last year in Mr. Parker's drawing room. He
formed one of the party, indeed, and, but that I am such a very bad hand
at describing love affairs, I might have mentioned it then; besides,
this is not a _love story_ exactly, though there is a great deal about
_love_ in it.
Lewes Franks had come over to England with letters of recommendation
from one or two respectable English families at Frankfort, and was
anxious to return with two or three English pupils, and commence a
school in that town. His name was well known to Mr. Parker, who gladly
promised to consign his two sons, John and Fred to his care, but
recommended young Franks to get married. This Franks was not loth to do
when he saw Emilie Schomberg, and after rather a short courtship, and
quite a matter of fact one, they married and went over to Germany,
accompanied by John, Fred, and Joe White. Mr. Barton, after the sad
accident in the plantation, had so little relish for school keeping,
that he very gladly resigned his pupils to young Franks, who, if he had
little experience in tuition, was admirably qualified to train the young
by a natural gentleness and kindness of disposition, and sincere and
stedfast christian principle.
Edith longed to accompany them, but that was not to be thought of, and
so she consoled herself by writing long letters to Emilie, which
contained plenty of L---- news. I will transcribe one for you.
The following was dated a few months after the departure of the party,
not the first though, you may be sure.
L----, Dec, 18--
I am thinking so much of you to-night
that I must write to tell you so. I wish letters
only cost one penny to Frankfort, and I would write to
you every day. I want so to know how you are spending
your Christmas at Frankfort. We shall have no Christmas
tree this year. We all agreed that it would be a melancholy
attempt at mirth now you are gone, and dear Fred
and John and poor Joe. I fancy you will have one
though, and oh, I wish I was with you to see it, but
mamma is often very poorly now, and likes me to be
with her, and I know I am in the right place, so I
won't wish to be elsewhere. Papa is very much from
home now, he has so many patients at a distance, and
sometimes he takes me long rides with him, which is
a great pleasure. One of his patients is just dead,
you will be sorry to hear who I mean--Poor old Joe
Murray! He took cold in November, going out with
his Life Boat, one very stormy night, to a ship in
distress off L---- sands, the wind and rain were very
violent, and he was too long in his wet clothes, but he
saved with his own arm two of the crew; two boys about
the age of his own poor Bob. Every one says it was a
noble act; they were just ready to sink, and the boat in
another moment would have gone off without them. His
own life was in great danger, but be said he remembered
your, or rather the Saviour's, "Golden Rule," and could
not hesitate. Think of remembering that in a November
storm in the raging sea! He plunged in and dragged
first one and then another into the boat. These boys
were brothers, and it was their first voyage. They told
Joe that they had gone to sea out of opposition to their
father, who contradicted their desires in every thing, but
that now they had had quite enough of it, and should
return; but I must not tell you all their story, or my
letter will he too long. Joe, as I told you, caught cold,
and though he was kindly nursed and Sarah waited on him
beautifully, he got worse and worse. I often went to see
him, and he was very fond of my reading in the Bible
to him; but one day last week he was taken with inflammation
of the chest, and died in a few hours. Papa says he
might have lived years, but for that cold, he was such a
healthy man. I feel very sorry he is gone.
I can't help crying when I think of it, for I remember
he was very useful to me that May evening when we
were primrose gathering. Do you recollect that evening,
Emilie? Ah, I have much to thank you for. What a
selfish, wilful, irritable girl I was! So I am now at times,
my evil thoughts and feelings cling so close to me, and
I have no longer you, dear Emilie, to warn and to encourage
me, but I have Jesus still. He Is a good Friend
to me, a better even than you have been.
I owe you a great deal Emilie; you taught me to love,
you showed me the sin of temper, and the beauty of peace
and love. I go and see Miss Webster sometimes, as you
wish; she is getting very much more sociable than she was,
and does not give quite such short answers. She often
speaks of you, and says you were a good friend to her; that
is a great deal for her to say, is it not? How happy you
must be to have every one love you! I am glad to
say that Fred's canaries are well, but they don't _agree_ at
all times. There is no teaching canaries to love one
another, so all I can do is to separate the fighters; but
I love those birds, I love them for Fred's sake, and I love
them for the remembrances they awaken of our first days
of peace and union.
My love to Joe, poor Joe! Do write and tell me how
he goes on, does he walk at all? Ever dear Emilie,
There were letters to John and Fred in the same packet, and I think you
will like to hear one of Fred's to his sister, giving an account of the
Christmas festivities at Frankfort.
I am very busy to-day, but I must
give you a few lines to tell you how delighted your letters
made us. We are very happy here, but _home_ is the place
after all, and it is one of our good Master's most constant
themes. He is always talking to us about home, and
encouraging us to talk of and think of it. Emilie seems
like a sister to us, and she enters into all our feelings as
well us you could do yourself.
Well, you will want to know something about our
Christmas doings at school. They have been glorious I
can tell you--such a Christmas tree! Such a lot of
presents in our _shoes_ on Christmas morning; such dinings
and suppings, and musical parties! You must know every
one sings here, the servants go singing about the house
like nightingales, or sweeter than nightingales to my
mind, like our dear "Kanarien Vogel."
You ask for Joe, he is very patient, and kind and good
to us all, he and John are capital friends; and oh, Edith,
it would do your heart good to see how John devotes himself
to the poor fellow. He waits upon him like a servant,
but it is all _love_ service. Joe can scarcely bear him out
of his sight. Herr Franks was asked the other day, by
a gentleman who came to sup with us, if they were brothers.
John watches all Joe's looks, and is so careful
that nothing may be said to wound him, or to remind
him of his great affliction more than needs be. It was a
beautiful sight on New Year's Eve to see Joe's boxes
that he has carved. He has become very clever at that
work, and there was an article of his carving for every
one, but the best was for Emilie, and she _deserted_ it.
Oh, how he loves Emilie! If he is beginning to feel in
one of his old cross moods, he says that Emilie's face, or
Emilie's voice disperses it all, and well it may; Emilie
has sweetened sourer tempers than Joe White's.
But now comes a sorrowful part of my letter. Joe is
very unwell, he has a cough, (he was never strong you
know,) and the doctor says he is very much afraid his
lungs are diseased. He certainly gets thinner and
weaker, and he said to me to-day what I must tell you.
He spoke of his longings to travel (to go to Australia was
always his fancy.) "And now, Fred," he said, "I never
think of going _there_, I am thinking of a longer journey
_still_." "A longer journey, Joe!" I said, "Well, you have
got the travelling mania on you yet, I see." He looked
so sad, that I said, "What do you mean Joe?" He
replied, "Fred, I think nothing of journeys and voyages
in this world now. I am thinking of a pilgrimage to the
land where all our wandering's will have an end. I
longed, oh Fred, you know how I longed to go to foreign
lands, but I long now as I never longed before to go to
_Heaven_." I begged him not to talk of dying, but he said
it did not make him low spirited. Emilie and he talked
of it often. Ah Edith! that boy is more fit for heaven
than any of us who a year or two ago thought him
scarcely fit to be our companion, but as Emilie said the
other day, God often causes the very afflictions that he
sends to become his choicest mercies. So it has been
with poor White, I am sure. I find I have nearly filled
my letter about Joe, but we all think a great deal of him.
Don't you remember Emilie's saying, "I would try to
make him lovable." He is lovable now, I assure you.
I am sorry our canaries quarrel, but that is no fault of
yours. We have only two school-fellows at present, but
Herr Franks does not wish for a large school; he says he
likes to be always with us, and to be our companion, which
if there were more of us he could not so well manage. We
have one trouble, and that is in the temper of this newly
arrived German boy, but we are going to try and make
him lovable. He is a good way off it _yet_.
I must leave John to tell you about the many things I
have forgotten, and I will write soon. We have a cat
here whom we call _Muff_, after your old pet. Her name
often reminds me of your sacrifice for me. Ah! my dear
little sister, you heaped coals of fire on my head that day.
Truly you were not overcome of evil, you overcame evil
with good. Dear love to all at home. Your ever affectionate
"Hush, dears! hush!" said a gentle voice, pointing to a shaded window.
"He is asleep now, and we must have the window open for air this sultry
evening. I would not rake that bed to-night, John, I think."
"It is _his_ garden, Emilie."
"Yes, I know"--and she sighed.--
"It _is_ his garden, and his eye always sees the least weed and the
least untidiness. He will be sure to notice it when he is drawn out
"John there may be no to-morrow for Joe, he is altered very much to-day,
and it is evident to me he is sinking fast. He won't come down again, I
"May I go and sit by him, Emilie?" said the boy, quietly gathering up
his tools and preparing to leave his employment.
"Yes, but be very still."
It was a striking contrast; that fine, florid, healthy boy, whose frame
was gaining vigour and manliness daily, whose blight eye had scarcely
ever been dimmed by illness or pain, and that pale, deformed, weary
sleeper. So Emilie thought as she took her seat by the open window and
watched them both. The roses and the carnations that John had brought to
his friend were quietly laid on the table as he caught the first glimpse
of the dying boy. There was that in the action which convinced Emilie
that John was aware of his friend's state and they quietly sat down to
watch him. The stars came out one by one, the dew was falling, the birds
were all hurrying home, children were asleep in their happy beds; many
glad voices mingled by open casements and social supper tables, some few
lingered out of doors to enjoy the beauties of that quiet August night,
the last on earth of one, at least, of God's creatures. They watched on.
"I have been asleep, Emilie, a beautiful sleep, I was dreaming of my
mother; I awoke, and it was you. John, _you_ there too! Good, patient,
watchful John. Leave me a moment, quite alone with John, will you,
Emilie? Moments are a great deal to me now."
The friends were left alone, their talk was of death and eternity, on
the solemn realities of which one of them was about to enter, and
carefully as John had shielded Joe, tenderly as he had watched over him
hitherto, he must now leave him to pass the stream alone--yet not alone.
Emilie soon returned; it was to see him die. It was not much that he
could say, and much was not needed. The agony of breathing those last
breaths was very great. He had lived long near to God, and in the dark
valley his Saviour was still near to him. He was at peace--at peace in
the dying conflict; it was only death now with whom he had to contend.
Being justified by faith, he had peace with God through the Lord Jesus
Christ. His last words were whispered in the ear of that good elder
sister, our true-hearted, loving Emilie. "Bless you, dear Emilie, God
_will_ bless you, for 'Blessed are the peacemakers.'"
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Sinai, and Petra. With Twenty-seven Engravings on Steel, from Sketches
taken on the Route, a Map, and numerous Woodcuts. Third Edition.
Super-royal 8vo. cloth gilt, 12s.; morocco gilt, 21s.
* * * * *
WALKS ABOUT JERUSALEM, ILLUSTRATED BY TWENTY-FOUR ENGRAVINGS ON STEEL,
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* * * * *
SCRIPTURE SITES AND SCENES, FROM ACTUAL SURVEY, IN EGYPT, ARABIA, AND
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gilt, post 8vo.
* * * * *
Just published, post 8vo. price 10s. 6d. bound in cloth,
DEALINGS WITH THE INQUISITION AT ROME.
BY DR. GIACINTO ACHILLI.
Extract from the Work.--"It is to unmask and expose Popery, as it is at
the present day, that I undertake the writing of this work ...I should
be sorry for it to be said or thought, that I undertook it to gratify
any bad feeling; my sole motive has been to make the truth evident, that
all may apprehend it. It was for hearing and speaking the truth that I
incurred the hatred of the Papal Court; it was for the truth's sake that
I hesitated at no sacrifice it required of me; and it is for the truth
that I lay the present Narrative before the public."
* * * * *
EDITED BY DR. CUMMING. 18mo. cloth, price 1s. 6d.
MATTHEW POOLE'S DIALOGUE BETWEEN A POPISH PRIEST AND AN ENGLISH
Wherein the principal Points and Arguments of both Religions are truly
Proposed, and fully Examined.
New Edition, with the References revised and corrected.
* * * * *
Second Edition, enlarged and improved, 12mo. cloth, price 2s. 6d.
ROMANISM IN ENGLAND EXPOSED.
A Series of Letters, exposing the Blasphemous and Soul-destroying system
advocated and taught by the Redemptorist Fathers of Clapham. By C.H.
"We strongly recommend this publication, which is particularly valuable
just now."--_Royal Cornwall Gazette_.
"We recommend the work to the serious and earnest attention of our
readers as one of unusual interest, and as discovering the active
existence, in our very midst, of a system of idolatry and blasphemy as
gross as any recorded in the History of Popery."--_Bell's Weekly
* * * * *
Also, by the same Author, price 1s.
Letters to Viscount Fielding on his Secession.
* * * * *
WORKS BY THE REV. JOHN CUMMING, D.D.
* * * * *
1. Published this day, in fcap. 8vo. price 9s. cloth, elegantly gilt or
13s. morocco extra,
PROPHETIC STUDIES: OR, LECTURES ON THE BOOK OF DANIEL.
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Two Indices. In Two vols. price 9s. each, cloth gilt; or 26s. morocco
APOCALYPTIC SKETCHES; OR, LECTURES ON THE BOOK OF REVELATION. Delivered
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APOCALYPTIC SKETCHES, THIRD SERIES; OR, LECTURES ON THE SEVEN CHURCHES
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state of the Apcetolic Churches.
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LECTURES FOR THE TIMES: AN EXPOSITION OF TRIDENTE AND TRACTARIAN POPERY.
5. Now complete, in One Volume, containing 688 pages, price 6s. cloth
A CHEAP EDITION OF THE CELEBRATED PROTESTANT DISCUSSION Between the Rev.
JOHN CUMMING, D.D. and DANIEL FRENCH, Esq. Barrister-at-Law, held at
Hammersmith, in MDCCCXXXIX.
"No Clergyman's library can be complete without it."--_Bell's
"A compendium of argument."--_Gentleman's Magazine._
"The subject _pro_ and _con_ is all but exhausted."--_Church and State
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particularly all Clergymen, Ministers, and Teachers; a more thorough
acquaintance with the great Controversy may be acquired from this volume
than from any other source."
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"IS CHRISTIANITY FROM GOD?" A Manual of Christian Evidences for
Scripture Readers, Sunday School Teachers, City Missionaries, and Young
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"The topics contained in this volume are treated with intelligence,
clearness, and eloquence."--_Dr. Vaughan's Review_.
"As a popular compendium of Christian Evidence, we thoroughly recommend
"It bears the impress of a clear and vigorous understanding. Dr. Cumming
has done great service to the cause of Divine Revelation by the
publication of it."--_Church of England Journal_.
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OUR FATHER; A Manual of Family Prayers for General and Special
Occasions, with short Prayers for spare minutes, and Passages for
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THE COMMUNION TABLE; Or, Communicant's Manual: a plain and practical
Exposition of the Lord's Supper.
9. Just published, price 4_s_. cloth gilt,
OCCASIONAL DISCOURSES. VOL. II. CONTENTS.
1. LIBERTY. 2. EQUALITY. 3. FRATERNITY. 4. THE REVOLUTIONISTS. 5. THE
TRUE CHARTER. 6. THE TRUE SUCCESSION. 7. PSALM FOR THE DAY. 8.
10. DR. CUMMING'S SERMON BEFORE THE QUEEN. Sixteenth Thousand, price
SALVATION: A Sermon preached in the Parish Church of Crathie, Balmoral,
before Her Majesty the Queen, on Sunday, Sept. 22d, 1850.
* * * * *
Second Edition, revised and corrected, with an Index,
CHEMISTRY NO MYSTERY:
Being the Subject-matter of a Course of Lectures by Dr. Scoffeon. In
12mo. cloth lettered, price 5s.
* * * * *
Third Edition, revised and corrected,
BAKEWELL'S PHILOSOPHICAL CONVERSATIONS. Illustrated with Diagrams and
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