« PreviousContinue »
very good light, but when any one trusted attempted to get up, but her legs vere so to it instead of the lantern Lucas gave, it weak that they would not bear her. Almost could not be depended upon; and for this in a state of despair, she tried with all her cause- - because its light was not white and might to get out of the place. Then the clear, and things did not always appear in wicked man laughed at her, and mocked their right colours when it was used. Its her, and asked her if she liked being caught light, too, was not steady, and it was some- in his trap. But she answered him not, times like the Will-o'-the-wisp, shining out and made one more attempt to get out. at one moment and showing the road, and Now she tried to get away on her knees, at another time leaving one in utter dark- because she had no use in her legs below the Dess. In fact, it was a light which was knees, and she found to her delight that useful at times, but very often would lead she made some progress.
The deceiver those who trusted to it into bogs and laughed no more, but looked fearfully vexed, ditches, and some using it have met with and quite trembled in rage: some invisible terrible.deaths.
hand seemed to prevent him from touching Now poor Clauda had no light but this her. Her lantern, happily, was not lost, and to go by as she went with the deceiver, and she had not thrown aside her staff. So as it flickered a great deal she often made when she got out of the house she ventured false steps in the dark; and, poor child, when to hold the lantern to the staff, and being she got at last into the cottage she was so still afraid that she was poisoned, she said, lame that she could scarcely walk. When she Oh, I wish I could know what I have eaten!' tried to use her staff, strangely enough she and she read the words, “The fruit of disfound it bend, and thus become useless. So obedience.' Happily, however, she was not sad and sorrowful was she when she got quite poisoned; but still the fruit fearfully into the cottage, that she burst out crying. injured her constitution, and although she In a moment the deceiver tried all his managed to find her way back again into the powers to soothe her. The softest cushions narrow road, yet shenever regained the right were brought out, and she read upon them use of one leg. The leg she partly lost the use by the deceiver's light these words, Ease of was called Faith, and the other leg Love. and comfort. She sat upon them, but they Poor Clauda, however, bore all the weight of seemed full of thorns. He then brought her her disabled limb upon the staff, and with another, and the name written upon that that support she was in no danger of falling, was · Luxury. At first it seemed like the '
if she used her lantern to point out the road softest wool, but presently it grew hard as and leaned upon the staff.
She grieved a flint. Then, last of all, the food was very much, poor child, after her lost combrought to her, and she would have eaten panions; but she could not overtake them, freely; but she began to be afraid lest she and they were not allowed to stop for ner. should be poisoned after she had taken a However, she had very shortly a sweet little little, for she never had tasted anything so girl for a companion. This little girl came nasty. She now felt so ill that she thought to her in the most loving way possible, with she should have died, but the deceiver, who a face full of tenderness and eyes of pity put on his kindest looks, tried to comfort and compassion; and said, “Dear Clauda, my her. The seat now was so hard and pain- heart is full of pity for you, to see you so ful that she could sit no longer, and she lame. I ain come from your Home, as a
messenger from your friend Lucas, to com- 'I can cure you, dear Clauda, if good fort you and keep you company.'
Lucas bids me; but let me tell you,
that Now Clauda, having been lately deceived, nothing will tend so much to your cure as did not receive her directly, but quietly being often on your knees.' asked her name, and at the same moment
(To be continued.) held the lantern to the staff. The sweet little girl said, 'My name is Mercy: I am
MRS. LORIMER'S BABY. one of the daughters of the King of the blessed country.'
When Clauda found RS. LORIMER had a baby, the upon her staff the words 'God that showeth
tiniest little snowdrop of a thing: mercy,' she knew at once that her Lucas it came one chilly winter's morning and had sent this little companion to her, made its parents' hearts very glad for six and she fell upon her neck and kissed her. short months; and then, no one knew why,
'Dear Mercy,' said Clauda, 'I am glad it gradually faded, and drooped, and died. to see you, now that I know Lucas has sent They buried it in the large London you, and that you come from the blessed churchyard where its old grandfather lay, country. Now tell me how you know me and went home to their empiy house very 50 well, for you did not come to me as if sorrowful. you were a stranger but as a friend.'
The Lorimers were rich people, and had * Dear Clauda,' replied her companion,‘I every comfort and luxury about them, but have long known you; I have been with you they would have given all up if only they ever since
might have kept the wee thing who lay so • Were you with me, then, when I went quietly in its grave-bed at St. Margaret's. into the deceiver's house?
But it was not to be; and the servants, • Indeed I was, and I grieved over you; crying softly themselves over the loss, put but I could not stop you. But did you not away all the baby toys and dresses and picnotice, that after you fell upon your knees tures, and straightened the large airy room the deceiver could not keep you longer where the little one had so often laughed in his house? Well, it was I who held and crowed, hoping thereby to make their him back from touching you.'
mistress forget her sorrow. • Are you going to stay with me a long But we read in Holy Scripture that a time, dearest Mercy?'
mother cannot forget her little child, and 'Just as long as you wish to keep me. I Mrs. Lorimer found it very hard to give it shall not go away unless you send me; but up; aye, even though she knew that it was I cannot promise to be with you unless you the kind Saviour Who loved little children keep in the strait path.'
who had it safe in His keeping. • Indeed I will never drive you away, I Mr. Lorimer was very much grieved, too, do love you so much. But can you not cure to lose his child; but men have to go out my leg? It is so wretched to hobble thus in the world and work even amidst their along the road.
I think surely you can grief, and this, though it seems hard at first, help me, for since you have been with me, really does them good, and helps to keep and since I know from whence you came, their minds from dwelling on their troubles: my limb has grown much stronger, although so a few days after baby's death Mr. LoriI can scarcely put it to the ground.' mer was back in the bank, looking a little
Baby's Grave at St. Margaret's. sterner than usual, but quite calm and back again in her arms.
The tidy empty business-like.
room cut her to the heart, and yet to see But Mrs. Lorimer the while was wan- the baby-possessions about, and no little dering through the empty nurseries, cry- hands to grasp them, would have been worse ing terribly for baby, and then trying, poor still. thing ! to believe that he was better off now, By-and-by she wandered out into the and that some day she should have him streets and hurried off to the churchyard ;
there she felt better, though more tears fell over the little grave with its flowery wreath.
London though it was, there was the blue sky above, and even the sunshine seemed to comfort and warm the poor mother; she prayed, too, to be made gentle and submissive under this great trial, and when she turned homewards her face looked quieter and happier.
But it was a long business, this getting used to live without baby; and though Mrs. Lorimer tried every day to seem cheerful before her husband, he found out how deeply she was suffering, and tried to think of something to divert her mind.
His first thought was to take her abroad, but this plan could not be managed, so he bought a beautiful country-house, and chose the loveliest shrubs and flowers with which to adorn it, and for a while Mrs. Lorimer was busy directing the arrangement of them. Baby had been a year in Heaven now, and his mother, with a sigh, had put off her black. So Mr. Lorimer fondly hoped she was more resigned to her loss. But in the country she was more alone, as her husband had to go daily to his bank in London, and just at this time it seemed almost worse for her to have no crowing happy little child to keep her company.
She longed for every baby she saw; tears came to her eyes when she watched her coachman's children at play in the fields, and when they made a wreath of flowers in their play it reminded her of the grave at St. Margaret's, and made her heart ache almost to bursting.
Poor Mr. Lorimer saw it all, and wondered what next be could do for his wife: he drew her from the window on pretence of speaking to her on some subject, but it was no use pretending, and perhaps it was
best that both should shed a few tears together over the recollection of baby-boy. Mrs. Lorimer was the first to speak.
‘Don't mind me, dear, I will be brave, she said. "I did not mean to be so repining; I think I am too idle, too much alone: I will get your nephews to be with me these holidays.'
The nephews were just big schoolboys, not at all really companions for Mrs. Lorimer, but it was kind of her to have them, as they had no home in which to spend their holidays, and they tried to be gentle and good to the sorrowful aunt who had lost her baby.
They enjoyed themselves mightily, fishing, and riding, and cricket-playing, and it was some relief for Aunt Amy to arrange these pleasures for them.
The holidays were nearly over, when one day Gerard, the eldest boy, who was studying the newspaper at breakfast, suddenly exclaimed,
I say, auntie, here's an odd thing! listen-“ Baby found in a hole in a wall !”;
Here Regie, his brother, kicked him so hard under the table, that Gerard turned very red, muttering that it was nothing; would auntie pass the toast ?
But auntie stroked his cheek and smiled at Regie, to show she felt their consideration, and then said in a very firm voice,
Go on, dear Gerard; I should like to hear about the poor baby-found in a wall, did you say ?'
So Gerard read the account,-a policeman had found a little child of six months old, hid in a hole in a wall in the suburbs of London, deserted, and crying feebly from cold and hunger.
Only the nigbt before last, when we were warm in bed !' said Mrs. Lorimer.
• Awful shame of its mother to leave it,' said Regie.
"Sent to the workhouse, I suppose,' said | possible. Only, if you can give us someMrs. Lorimer. Well, well, London is a thing to eat, you will do us great kindness, sad place. Now, dear, what are the plans for we are very hungry and much fatigued.' for to-day?'
Oh, my poor friends !' she replied, “I But through all that day Mrs. Lorimer wish I had the best things in the world to could do nothing but think of that tiny offer you; but I have nothing but the con
; baby, just the age of hers when it left her, tents of this little saucepan you see here lying unowned and. uncared for in a work- on the fire, and it is quite a chance that it house. At night she told her husband is there now, for I haven't it every day : so that she wanted to have it for her own. I am sure they must have made a mistake He hardly thought it would do, but he in sending three of you to an old woman promised to send money and have the child
like me. I will give up my bed to you, cared for better in the workhouse, but but I have only that, and it is not large Mrs. Lorimer pleaded the more to have enough for three, nor comfortable either it to bring up.
for brave soldiers tired as you must be. I There was a long article in the news- have only this little room, and if that is paper next day about the cruel mother enough for you I will sleep upon a chair.' who could leave her child to perish by the Never mind, good mother, we will wayside, or at best to be reared by the make the best of it. I see, indeed,' said hands of a workhouse nurse; and many the sergeant, they made a mistake in sendpeople felt grieved about the poor little ing us here: but if you will keep us we will waif, but few troubled themselves more be content with what you can offer us. about it, cr knew that even then it was Here is some money to add something to on its way to a home of love and comfort. the saucepan; get it for us as quickly as (To be continued.)
you can, and we shall be much obliged.'
* Thank God for having sent me such
brave, honest men!' said thegood old woman. HOSPITALITY AND
"I will make as much haste as possible.' CHARITY.
She went out and soon came back with N the movements of troops enough to make a good meal, which she
which took place in France shared with her guests. She had not had during the war, a regiment such a good supper for so long that she arrived in a town where became quite talkative over it, so that the the soldiers had to be bil- tired soldiers were at last obliged to ask her leted on the inhabitants. permission to go to bed. The sergeant had A sergeant and two grena- the mattress, and the two soldiers the pal
diers received their tickets liasse, while the old woman persisted in for the same house, where they presented having no other bed than a chair. I shall
' themselves. A good old woman came to be able to sleep to-morrow,' she said, 'while open the door to them, and she appeared you will be obliged to march-who knows at first much alarmed at seeing them. where ? Alas! perhaps you may be killed.
• Make yourself easy, good mother,' said Oh, how many prayers I will say for you!' the sergeant; 'we are not bad sort of people, Next morning the three soldiers took and we will give you as little trouble as a kindly farewell of their old hostess.