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her plate away with a trembling hand. a quiet landing-place at the top of the She felt she could eat nothing now; that house, where there was no fear of interrupshe had no right to anything further.
tion. Here, crouched up in a corner in “How's this?' was the anxious inquiry. shame and terror at her own wickedness,
' • Isn't my little girl well? or would she she wrung her childish hands together, and like something else better than grapes ?' moaned and sobbed aloud :
Then, afraid of drawing further attention Oh, what have I done? Perhaps God to herself, Eva made choice of some other will send some dreadful judgment upon me!' dainty, and fell to work upon it slowly, She almost expected a voice from Heaven for each morsel seemed to choke her.
to speak to her, and proclaim her condemOh, the bitterness of wrong-doing! And nation aloud. And who shall say that a yet this very bitterness is surely permitted voice from Heaven did not speak to her? in mercy, and is meant to check us in our It is in the lowest depths of our humiliation course of sin. But, alas! the broad path that Christ's call is sometimes heard clearest once entered upon, each forward step seems in the soul. And there surely came to poor to strengthen the desire for further advance; Eva at that bitter moment a gentle whisper, one fault but too often leads to another. urging her to lay her sin and misery at her At least, so it proved in Eva's case. Saviour's feet- to seek there for absolution,
Perhaps her mother had noticed some for renewed strength and peace. The sobs disarrangement in the dishes; possibly John grew more subdued; the little bruised heart had been suspicious, and had mentioned was healed of half its pain; the bowed head his suspicions to his mistress; or it might was raised at length; and very soon timid be merely that Mrs. Clare had rightly footsteps made their way downstairs, and guessed the cause of her little daughter's the repentant child stood by her mother's behaviour at dessert. However it was, the knee, confessing all the sad tale, and renext morning she called the child to her, ceiving earthly forgiveness and comfort. and taxed her with ber fault.
‘You prayed to God, Eva: that is the • Did you touch anything on the dinner- only way in which these matters can ever table yesterday before you came down to be set right. He showed you
He showed you what you dessert, Eva ?' was the grave inquiry. 'Be- must do--that the only possible amends cause I have reason to
did.' to be made for a fault is to confess and be Taken by surprise, confused and fright- sorry for it, and to try and do better in the ened, Eva, almost before she knew what future. Perhaps if you had prayed to be she was about, had stammered out a denial. delivered from temptation when you stood Nothing ?-you are sure?'
beside the dining-table yesterday, you might • Nothing, I am quite sure,' echoed Eva, have been able to resist. Even if you had this time in a loud, positive tone; and her prayed after you had taken what you knew cheeks flamed as she spoke, and her eyes you had no right to take, you might have filled with scalding tears.
been kept from further wrong—from the 'I am sorry I should have suspected you,' sin of falsehood. Depend upon it, my said her mother, unwilling to disbelieve so child, prayer is the surest safeguard for us decided a denial, and yet not quite satisfied all in this world of temptation, where we by her little girl's manner.
meet at every turn with tables spread with Eva dashed out of the room and
COMING FROM CHURCH. I HAD a great wish to see our dear old Surely times are changed! I have lived
home once more, and asked Mary as here longer than you, and never stopped we were coming from church to walk round any neighbour, especially coming from the that
way; but just as we arrived at a turn house of God.' in the path close to the house, a man- ‘Hush, mother dear,' said a gentle voice evidently the new master of the place at my side ; remember, “A soft answer addressed me rather roughly. * This is turneth away wrath ;" we must not allow not a public path, ma'am ; I can't allow ourselves to be vexed so easily after the strangers to trespass here.
comforting words we have just listened to.' 'Sir, we were returning from church, * Ah!' I replied, in a querulous tone, 'it and I thought there was no objection to is all very well for you to talk that way, our passing this way.'
Mary; but I'm a poor widow, with my only "Well, you cannot go on ; let me point son lying at the bottom of the sea, and out to you the shortest way to the high-road.' now I am not even allowed to look at what My face flushed as I replied,
was once my
I was going on in this fretful
when Ob ! how merciful God had been to me my daughter addressed the stranger.
in watching over my dear son through so 'Sir, pray excuse our intruding so near many dangers, and bringing him back safely! your house; I am
sure you will not be And how ungratefully I had fretted against angry when I tell you we lived here before His chastening Hand! Long, long shall I you came. My poor mother has been remember this happy Sunday, when, after almost broken-hearted at the loss of her all my troubles, I had sought comfort in the
This is the first time she has been House of God, and had found so much able to attend church since my father's more than I had dared to expect. death, and she had a great wish to see the
S. T. A. R. house in which we spent so many happy years.'
"SHE HATH DONE WHAT SHE The countenance of the farmer softened
COULD.' as he listened to this explanation.
(Continued from p. 71.) So you are the people who lived here HE went about her work with so bright formerly! That indeed alters the case; and a face that even Mrs. Steele noticed I shall tell you why I was on the watch to it, and thought that Miss Moore was getprevent any one passing the house to-day. ting over her troubles. But first, did you say your son had been Bertha's great desire now was to make drowned?'
money, for her tiny stipend would not suffice Yes, the ship he was in went to the to keep both her and her boy, as she began bottom.'
to call Tim to herself. The rainy-day fund Well, yesterday a young man arrived would not last for long. here, saying he had met with a shipwreck, Fortune favoured her here. Mrs. Steele but escaped with some others of the crew was invited to an evening party, and required on a raft, and after many hardships and a lace cap made up.
The milliner who adventures made his way to his former home. usually did such work being ill, Bertha Much disappointed at finding it occupied good-naturedly offered to try her hand, and by strangers, he told me his story, and re- succeeded so well that Mrs. Steele declared quested a night's lodging ; but this morning, nothing had ever turned out so becoming feeling ill from over-fatigue, he begged of me to her as the cap in question. This emnot to allow any one in the neighbourhood boldened Bertha to stammer out that she to know of his arrival until he was able to wanted to make a little more money, and search out his mother and sister, and an- could Mrs. Steele give her any work to do nounce his own safety. Now, if you will in an evening. After that she needed no come into the house, you shall see this occupation, and could hardly afford time young man.
to keep her own clothes in order, she was Mother,' whispered Mary, as we entered so busy trimming hats for the little Steeles, the well-known door, 'I asked God to give and working embroidery for Mrs. Steele you comfort to-day, but I little thought He and her friends in the town. True, her would be so good as to do it in this way.' pay was not large, but it contented Bertha. “Willy! my
Willy!' I cried, clasping the She begged a holiday once to see little long-lost boy in my arms, “I never thought Tim, going over in the carrier's cart; and, to see you again!'
in spite of sad recollections, it was a day of
real joy to her. He was lying peaceful and • Couldn't you care for mother and the contented in his cot, and though the nurses little ones?' shook their heads over his case,' he was Yes, indeed, there would be many left in very happy, and greeted Bertha as an old the world who needed care when this poor friend.
child was in Heaven. But a drunken woman At Midsummer her holidays of four weeks and helpless infants, could Bertha do aught long would enable her to come to Mooreside for them ? For Tim's sake she would try. pretty frequently, and on mentioning this The unhappy woman was in prison, but to the lady superintendent of the little the victim of her blind anger had not died, hospital, she received a kind invitation to so her sentence was not so heavy as it would come and stay there, taking the place of a have been. nurse who wanted a holiday,-a plan that Bertha resolved to seek her out when she filled Bertha's heart with joy and gratitude. returned to Widebridge, and she felt easier
When the time came, Mrs. Steele was at heart when she had promised Tim to care surprised at Bertha refusing her advan- for her and the little ones. tageous offer to take her to the sea with A few more days of bodily suffering and them; of course stopping her salary, as it patient looking for release, and Tim was at was the holidays.
rest. • So much more cheerful for her than Bertha felt her loss sorely, while she going back to Mooreside,' she said to her could not but thank the good God Who had husband; but perhaps it is as well, for her allowed her to be at hand at the last. It clothes are hardly fit for the Parade.' was a comfort to have his parting look, and
Mrs. Steele was right, the somewhat to be present when the sweet words of the rusty black dress would look most fit by Burial Service were read over him. little Tim's bedside.
A little time still remained before she And there it went. But Bertha's smile need return to Widebridge, but for Tim's faded and her heart sank as she entered poor mother she need never have gone back, the peaceful room: she was only just in for she was offered a permanent place in time-Tim, her boy, was dying. She had the little hospital; in that time she employed procured for him comfort and peace, but her spare moments in planting flowers on she could not buy back life for the little Tim's grave, and weeding and arranging sufferer.
the plot of ground where her dear ones lay. And those beside him told her that it was She had been so busied early one mornbest so. Tim, wise beyond his years, saw ing, and had gone to fetch something that the cause that made the tears swell in her
she needed, when on her return she was eyes, and he bade her not to fret, he was shocked to find a wretched-looking woman going where every one would be good to lying outstretched on little Tim's grave. It him.
needed no one to tell her it was Mrs. Haig. Poor Bertha, she could not help the bitter Only out of prison the night before, the cry But I shall be left alone again; I
poor creature had sought her children, and have no one to care for!'
hearing some rumours of the boy's death at Tim look puzzled a moment, then taking Mooreside had made her
Mooreside had made her way there. The
. her hand, and turning his wistful face to
living were as nought to her beside the dead. her, asked,
(Concluded in our next.)