Page images



[blocks in formation]

Bertha at her Window

Baby's Grave at St. Margaret's 103
Bessie and Ellen pursued by the Bull 177
Blasphemy Punished

Baked Potatoes.

Be Kind


Matty in the Waiting-room


Matty and her Bible.


Matty and the Invalid Girl


Matty in the Green Fields


Making the Child's Scrap-book 48

Morning, or Is it only a Landscape ? 53

Mother and Child


Mrs. Haig at little Tim's Grave 80

Miss Lucy and Jane


Martin and Mrs. Fortescue


Martin Black by Welland's Bedside 117

Measuring the Baby .

Money well placed

Mary on her way to the Morrisons

Mr. Pnge and the Roundheads

Milly looking at the patch of light
on the Nursery-wall

Milly accompanied Mr. Maudsiey to
visit the Sick.

Mr. Maudsley and Milly : :

"No, thank yon, ma'am: I'm dread-
ful late as it is


[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]


When Trouble is greatest God's Help
is nearest



What'ails jou?' asked Harry 121

William hung his Head'


Woe is me! I am lost!' said the
Norwegian Bride


'Who sent you out to beg?" asked

the Gentleman


"Why does the Robber tremble?" 336

"We praise Thee, O God'


"Wiat pretty fresh Primrosesi' 392

Women Grinding at a Mill

* Yes,' said Rose, hanging down her
head with a sense of shame

*Young ran, I say unto thee, Årise 320


[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small]


[ocr errors]

MATTY'S BIBLE. • Thy woril is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.'— 1's.cxix. 105.

'Thy testimonies also are my delight and my coun. sellors.'- Ver. 24.


OOR little Matty sat crouching

on a door-step, to get what small shelter she could from the rough storm which was blowing that bitter winter morning. It was scarcely light yet, and the streets were dull and silent; now the workpeople had all passed to the different mills, and the faotory-bells had left off ringing.

Matty pulled the scanty tippet tighter round her, to shelter her bare arms from the cold, and began to think where she should


when the rain had blown over a little. Yesterday she had gone to her aunt's: bat Mrs. Fowl had enough children of her own; she took in washing and lodgers, and Matty was much less handy than her own little ones, as she had no notion of hushing the baby or making the porridge. Mrs. Fowl had told the child very decidedly that she mustn't come there again in a hurry; and Mr. Fowl, on his return from work, had sworn that if Jim Gubbings didn't know how to keep his own brats clear of other folks' premises, he would teach him.

Jim Gubbings, Matty's father and Mrs. Fowl's brother, was not a very desirable connexion in any way.

He was an idler and drunkard, and, to make matters worse, had, since the death of Matty's own mother some two or three years before, married a woman not very much more respectable than himself. Matty was now more neglected than ever, and passed her days

pretty much in the streets, Mrs. Gubbings working along with her husband and his elder children in Huntley's shop,' as the factory hands' called their employer's large cotton manufactory. Matty-the only one of the family who did not go to work - was locked out of her home by her stepmother every morning with the rest, and left to dispose of herself as she might till noon, when all returned to partake of such a meal as could be hastily prepared and eaten during the dinner hour. Afterwards the house was again locked up, the elder ones of the party going back to their work, and Matty being once more left to find shelter where she could—this time, until the mills loosed’ in the evening.

Once her father had suggested a different arrangement : Couldn't th'chilt keep up th' fire, an' get th' dinner ready?' But he had been silenced at once :- And where's th' use o' all th' waste o' coal? Besides, hoo'd be settin hersel' o' fire, or eatin' up all th' vittals, or summat. Best keep her safe t'other side oth' door; hoo'd only be i' mischief. And as for gettin' th' dinner ready ; hoo's no better nor a baby at doin' ought.'

The last part of the speech was true enough. Matty had never had any younger brothers and sisters to care for; and her own mother, who had been ailing and slatternly, had not brought up any of her children to habits of order and management, while now, wandering about all day in the streets, there was less chance than ever for the poor little girl to learn anything useful. She onght to have been sent to school --that was quite evident to any one who cast a thought upon the matter; but Mrs. Gubbing's chose to be thrifty in this matter, though she was wasteful enough in some others. Why should she be called upon to squander her earnings

on one of Gubbings' youngsters ? she had even have forgotten her altogether by this demanded indignantly of a neighbour who time : any way she could surely manage once ventured a hint on the subject. to slip in, and get a warm' for a few Gubbings spent all his at the beer-shop, minutes. The prospect carried her along and but for her, it would be hard to say the streets at a brisk pace: but the nearest how a home for any of them would be kept station, indeed the only one she knew, lay together at all. And the remark—the at some distanoe from her home, and the latter part of it, at least—would not well little cramped feet were weary as their bear contradiction. The family ought to owner crept under the colonnade which have been well-to-do, with so many work- ran along the front of the station, and being hands in its number, and the good rate gan a stealthy inspection of the place. . All of factory wages; but what can be looked seemed pretty quiet; there was no train in for when the father is a spendthrift and at the time, and Matty gained the seconddrinker, and the children are suffered to class waiting-room without being noticed. follow their own courses ? And the courses Oh! the comfort of the large fire, though chosen by Jack and Jenny Gubbings did it had not yet thoroughly burned up. Oh! not seem likely to lead to any good. Jack the charm of watching the little jets of got into bad company, while Jenny spent flame come leaping out from the oozing her money almost entirely upon tawdry gas-bubbles among the black coals, and the finery, and cared for nothing so much as glowing cavern below, growing redder and flaunting about in the streets with other redder. Why, it was even a satisfaction to showily-dressed girls of her own age.


see the steam drawn in from her owu wet Mrs. Gubbings was right so far-it was she frock towards the grate.

Surely little who chiefly kept the household together. Matty must have had a nature capable of

And now to come back to little Matty, keen observation and enjoyment, to find sitting all alone upon a door-step in the pleasure and interest in the occupation of pouring rain.

Her feet and hands were standing before a newly-lighted fire, drying quite benumbed, and her skirts thoroughly her damp clothes—a nature that would have wet, before the storm had abated, and she brightened into active intelligence and joycould leave her imperfect sheltering-place. ousness under even moderately favourable But, for all that, she trotted down cheer- circumstances. But the poor little creature fully into the muddy street, her face light- stood almost alone in the world, notwithing up with a sudden new thought in her standing her so-called home and her near brain. She had once made her way into a relations. None gave her love, or care,

, waiting-room at one of the railway stations, or teaching. She had a shelter at night; and she thought of the large fire blazing a scant portion of daily food; her sister's there with an eager longing to enjoy such cast off clothes—and that was about all. warinth once again. It was true she had And she knew nothing of a kind Father in been roughly ordered off by a porter, and Heaven, Who watches over all His children, threatened with I don't know what punish- and Who will surely not leave little Matty ment if she ever ventured to return; but for ever without a knowledge of His lovo Matty was used to rough usage and sharp -without a sense of His friendly presence words, and she refleoted that the porter and protection. might be away at the 'public,' or possibly

(To be continued.)

[graphic][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »