Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic]

Published for the Proprietors by V. WELLS GARDNER, 2 Paternoster Buildings, London.

[merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

a

WHAT A CHILD'S WORDS said that he was a linen-dealer. He bad
MAY DO.

just returned from a journey to Hamburg,

where he had sold his goods and was now (Continued from p. 115.)

returning to his home. HO is knocking there so But I can give you nothing to eat, for late ?

we have nothing ourselves,' said Martha. Open the door, my • Do not trouble yourself about that, good people,' cried a man's replied the stranger, who had taken off his voice, outside. 'I see with wide, thick cloak, and thrown it down on joy that there is still a the seat beside him; 'I have some prolight in your house, and visions still with me, and you will give me hear that you are still pleasure if you will join me in my meal.

awake. Open to me, for I always enjoy it better in company than I am well-nigh perishing from cold and when I eat alone.' hunger. Grant me a night's lodging in Then he drew from the bottom of his this terrible weather for money and for deep coat pocket a huge sausage, a large good words. I have lost my way, and have piece of cheese, and four white rolls. He now been wandering about for several hours cut them into slices, and then invited the in the darkness. If you are human beings weaver and his wife to sit down beside him and Christians you cannot refuse me.' without further ceremony.

At the same Why should we, indeed ?' cried the time he drew a bottle of brandy out of weaver, through the window. I will come the same capacious pocket, and handed it at once and open the door.'

to the weaver, after he had first drunk some Martha held back her husband for a of it himself, and said, moment, and said,

This has warmed and refreshed me on “I am afraid, Heinrich; who can it be the way. I should have perished otherwise at this late hour?'

from frost and damp. Drink a little of it; * One who has lost his way, as you hear,' there is enough for us all in the bottle.' he replied.

It was a thoughtless action to offer spirits ‘But, perhaps, on no good errand,' she to a starving man, but a generous disposisaid. “Night is no man's friend ; look well tion caused the stranger to forget what was before you open the door.'

prudent. The weaver did not want to be What is there to look at ?' asked her asked twice. He drank, and drank again, husband. • What can we have to fear? for it was long since he had tasted anything Robbers won't find anything with us. Who so pleasant. He and his wife, too, ate of else can it be but a poor journeyman ap- the good food so kindly offered them. prentice seeking for a shelter this wretched Soon after he sat down again in his old night?'

seat by the stove, deep as before in his With these words he left the room, opened thoughts, and did not forget every now and the door to the wanderer, and immediately then to take a draught of the brandy from after came back with him to his wife.

the bottle. He looked on the linen-dealer The stranger was a tall man, and his as one of those men whom he hated, because. dress showed that he was well off in the as he thought, they supported themselves world. His name was Burmann, and he by the labour of the poor weavers. His

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

BEFOR

mann,

money and property were stolen from the

MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE EAST. weavers. He therefore had a right to take it, and to kill the man who had the misery

BOOKS. of so many starving families on his con- EFORE the art of making paper was science. The weaver persuaded himself found out, people used to write on that this dealer had no family, and that the leaves or bark of trees, on tablets, or therefore no one would inquire after his

on parchment. Tablets were boards thinly fate. No one knew that he had lost his

spread with wax, on which the writer way and had come first to that village and scratched words with the sharp point of a to their house. It was quite impossible tool called a style.

tool called a style. Those matters which that the deed should be discovered. And they did not care to keep for a long time if any suspicion were aroused he was quite they wrote on the tablets, and when they clever and cunning enough to turn it off

were done with the writing they scraped off from himself. In the meantime Martha

the wax, and put on another layer ready to chatted with the stranger, and said, among be written upon. If they wished the writing other things,

to last, they wrote it on a roll of parchment, • How your family will rejoice to see you

with a pen made of a stout reed, for they home again for Christmas, and bringing did not know about quills, or steel pens. such good earnings with you, too!'

In old times books were always written, Not so, good woman,' answered Bur

and cost a great deal of money. But now 'I have never been married, and

our printed books are so cheap that even therefore I have neither wife nor child,

the poorest person can have a Bible and although I am now just sixty years of age. Prayer Book, and learn from them how to No one rejoices in my house when I come,

lead a holy life on earth, and be made fit to and no one grieves when I go. But it

live again in Heaven. sball be different soon. I am going to retire from business and settle down amongst

THE WRY GLASS. some honest folk. There I hope I may live a few years peacefully and happily, and perhaps God may help me to find some

HEN I was a little girl I good people to live with, so that I may

lived with my father, and not spend the remnant of my days quite

sisters, and brothers, in a ilone.'

large house, where we had * I heartily wish you may,' said the kind

many servants, and wore hearted woman. Then she continued, 'I am

fine clothes. My mother orry that I can only offer you a wretched

was dead, and my eldest rouch in a very small chamber.'

sister took care of us. I “That does not matter,' said the stranger. used to fancy she was very cross, and very I shall sleep well in any bed, for I am as fussy ;' but I know now that she was only ired as a chased stag.'

trying her best to make us obedient and (To be continued.)

orderly. I am sure we were wilful and untidy enough.

About six miles from our house lived Aunt Phoebe. I was her godchild and

a

[ocr errors]
[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »