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one of the most important things in his EVENINGS AT HOME; view. Every one of the children had their
reasons by which they prove their opinions. OR, WINTER IN SPITZBERGEN.*
They painted everything in such fair Continued from page 339, Vol. 2, New Series.
colours, that our friends could no more
be regarded as unfortunate, and it almost SIXTH EVENING.
seemed as if they were themselves deIt is a very pleasant business for active sirous of going to Spitzbergen. One and industrious childre to place them- sought to outvie the other the enumeraselves, in imagination, in those situations tion of the advantages of this residence, where they can show their industry and every one believed the three friends and use their activity. They imagine would be the most happy if they followed themselves in the situation of the person his advice. The whole discussion was of whom they have heard or read, they managed, and the contest connected therearrange busily everything which seems to with was carried on most pleasantly and them needful, and they feel in their kindly, as is the case always with children thoughts, as happy and joyous as if they well brought up. were the real actors. It was precisely Now the clock struck the hour in which thus with the four children, in respect their father was wont to go on with the to the story thus far, of Ivan's and his story, and as he now entered the room friends' misfortunes. They knew not accompanied by their mother, he found that these unfortunate people were in pos- the children in the most gladsome husession of many things to supply their mour. wants, and now they made a comparison FATHER. Now then! You are right of them with Robinson Crusoe and Fri- merry and happy! day, as these latter, by means of the vessel MARIA. Yes, we have to-day specia) which stranded near their shore, came reasons for being so. into possession of almost everything which Father. And why to-day in partithey had before needed.
cular? I thought you always had reason's Every one of the children advised, for joy. according to their views and inclinations, MARIA. We have been thinking how what appeared to them the most important our friends at Spitzbergen had begun to and necessary. Max held to it that it be truly fortunate. So we have, according would be best first of all to become to our best knowledge, been setting in accurately acquainted with the island, to order their whole household affairs. examine it with the paper and the map, in JULIA. And this makes us so merry. or
Father. Very well. But I must tel things.—Gustavus maintained it to be you, your friends were anything burt more suitable to take a gun and sword, merry ; on the contrary, they were so sad and by means of these first to secure for that they were cast down to despair as themselves quiet from the wild beasts, they never had been. before they thought of anything else.- Gus. But why was this? Maria was of the opinion, that they should MARIA. Probably they found fewer enlarge the whole dwelling, and place comforts than they had expected ? themselves in such a situation, that they FATHER. No, that was not the matter ; could at any time receive a visit without they found more than they looked for, a being put to the blush.—“All that is fine, great many things which might be very and very well,'
” said Julia, “but I would useful to them. It was an entirely diffirst have taken care of the kitchen and ferent thing which drove all their peace cellar : first of all provide the means of from their heart. living ; the other would afterwards have JULIA. I should like to know what it been attended to." Gustavus soon came could be ! You said, dear father, that to her opinion, for the subject of food was they found more than they looked for.
Father. I hoped you would yourself * From the German of C. Hildebrandt, by discover it. The history of those eleven unE. G. Smith.
fortunate Hollanders inust naturally have
had a very painful effect on the feelings of row affect every one, and especially at the their hearts and the quiet of their minds. first moment. Man then sees nothing but The question would force itself on them, his misfortune, and the picture of a sor“ Will it be better or otherwise with us rowful future banishes all hope, and drives than with those unfortunates ? Shall not all peace from his heart. we, as well as they, be forsaken and for- But soon the unfortunate collects himgotten by all the world, and be obliged to self again, and new hope springs up in end our sorrowful days here ?"
his soul. Instead of distressful fear there To this serious question the thought enters enlivening confidence in the help was added “What might not that unfor- of Almighty God, and the more innocent tunate man, whose corpse we buried, have and the better a man is, the sooner he undergone and suffered in his loneliness recovers his courage. The pilot was the before friendly death freed him from his first to come out of his despondency. He woes ? Who of us will be the last ? had more experience in the world than What sufferings shall we first have to both of his younger friends.
A long endure ? Who will give him a helping course of years had taught him that no hand in sickness, and share with him in misfortune is so great as fear makes the his last struggle of death ?” You see, same appear to us in the first moment; my dear children, these were questions he had in his varied life, full of danger, which might make the stoutest heart to often enough experienced that God's comtremble.
passion never leaves the unhappy wholly Even the old pilot became disquieted; without means of aid, and that the man peace fled from his heart, and that calm acts in the wisest manner, and provides composure with which he had hitherto for his peace, when he carefully notices borne all his unexpected misfortune, the good left to him, and leaves its result, vanished from his mind. Sadly sat the which lies not in his power, to the guidbrave man, together with his sorrowful ance of his Creator. and downcast companions in calamity. In the midst of his deep anguish, the None of them cast a look further on the pilot recollected the comforting words of paper ; no one troubled himself further as the Bible, “I will not leave thee nor forto its contents. They looked with indif- sake thee.” These beautiful, tranquillizference on the newly-discovered supply of ing words a friend had once uttered to household stores, and with contempt on him as he stood beside the grave of his the hut and cavern. They called their parents; and as he at that time had exfriends happy who had perished in the perienced their consoling power, so they waves, or on the wreck in the ice. They were not wanting now in their beneficial had escaped and now were over with their effect upon him. Inspirited by new sufferings; they probably had a dreadful courage he roused up. moment of dying, but it was only a “ Friends !” he began, “it is not our moment, while to themselves, as it seemed, fault that we are here in this barren spo? there yet remained years of suffering to of the earth : the prosecution of our be endured. Every prospect of deliver- business has brought us here. But we ance had vanished, for they could not have sinned against God and ourselves, count on a miracle.
when we lost confidence in God, and MARIA. But, dear father, they did allowed our spirits to sink. Up to the wrong in this conduct.
work! We must thus think of rendering Mother. And so much the more our lot as tolerable as possible. We will wrongly, as they must have known that labour ; this is the surest means to conpersons had already begun to undertake quer our disagreeable feelings.” longer voyages into the regions of the “ You are right,” replied Gregory; North Pole. How easy it was for a ship“ but what shall we do first ?" to come hither !
“We will search through the whole FATHER. Very true, our friends did
This is indeed in itself a busiwrong ; but they are excusable. You ness which will divert us, and certainly we must take men only as they are, and not shall discover many things which are of as they should be. Misfortune and sor- great value.”
With these words the pilot took the Max. I believe they ought to consider lamp, and scarcely had he advanced a few themselves as the lawful possessors of the steps before he cried out, “ Did I not tell | articles found, because they belonged to you we should find many useful things ?”
If they remained bere they were MARIA. And what did he then dis- of no use to any one; and in time they cover ?
would have been destroyed. Father. A large beautiful ship's lan- Julia. It was here as in the case of the tern, which, although it had not been ship from which Robinson Crusoe took used for a long time, yet was in the best possession of everything he wanted. The condition. “A beautiful article,” said ship was wrecked, no inan was to be found the old pilot, examining the lantern ; on it, the next storm would have split it will put it into a stand, and it will give us in pieces, and the things would have been essential service!” Some handfulls of lost. dried moss and leaves, which they found in Father. This view is correct. As for the cavern, cleaned and soon polished the our friends, there was no obligation furlantern. The pilot's handkerchief fur- | ther than that if they ever came among nished a wick, bear's fat supplied the other men, they should seek out the capplace of oil; and in a few minutes the tain's heirs and repay the value of what beautiful ship’s lantern, clear as crystal, they had found and used.
From our hung at the entrance, giving light to the friends' honest mode of thinking, it may hut and cavern.
be supposed that they did not think of “Our former inhabitants here must doing otherwise. have been industrious and active men,” Besides, they found many pieces of said the pilot, looking around him ; “ they money, and solid gold, which as it was, in have laboured and enlarged the place their present state of circumstances, here finely."
“ And if I do not err," utterly useless, they allowed to lie unIvan interrupted him, “there are some touched. For this reason, they were yet chests yonder, which probably contain more rejoiced at the contents of another many things that may be useful to us!” chest. There they found mathematical In fact they found three chests, which, and other instruments, a number of books, furnished with padlocks, stood on a plat- and among these, two, the sight of which form, and were soon opened by the aid of filled the old pilot with the greatest
delight. With tears of the most thankful MARIA. And what did they find in joy, he pressed these books--a Russian
Bible, and a Russian Hymn-book-to his Father. One of these chests must have heart. How they should have come into belonged to the captain or some other the captain's chest (as he was a Hollander) voyager of consequence. They found a they could none of them conceive. But considerable store of fine shirts, linen the good pilot saw in this a proof that cloth, and articles of dress.
God would not forsake him, but by His Gus. A valuable booty !
word, would maintain confidence in his Maria. But had they a right to take heart, and fix it deeper there. possession without anything further ? MOTHER. And in this faith the honest
Gus. Why, what a question! Was not man was right. Here no one could say our friend in need of them?
that blind chance governed events. MARIA. Whether this, however, gave Father. The little business of unpackhim a right, I do not know; nor whether | ing the chests, which wore away some Ivan and his friends generally had the hours, had this advantage, that our friends right to look on everything which they were thereby diverted from their troubled found there as their property.
thoughts, and became much more cheerFATHER. Here indeed they had a right. ful. Indeed, Gregory, whose more lively But not because they needed the articles spirit a slight circumstance would irame--for otherwise anyone who finds any- diately put into a joyful mood, brought thing could retain it under such a pre- his friend Ivan so far, that he with him tence—but for other reasons. Max, what put on the captain's uniform, and even do you think they were ? .
the pilot himself was obliged to admit
that it fitted, and became them both very circumstances, Gregory could not think well.
of carrying into execution his plan ; he Besides these things, they found still had by his rashness exposed himself to another chest, which was filled with tea the greate-t danger of his life. Had he and sugar, as also a little keg of tobacco. gone to that valley, how could he have
Julia. But, father, the owner must, in found his way back again ? The storm that case, have been a very good econo- would have blown him off from the ridge mist, to have left, after so many years, of the mountain, or he would have pitched such a supply
into an abyss, and been lost without any FATHER. Certainly. Besides, we may rescue. This consideration, however, suppose that the stores brought must frightened him less; but how must hé have been very considerable, and several have felt at the moment, when in the of the unfortunates may have died soon feeble twilight he saw, only a few steps off after their arrival. Further, the pilot from him, a monstrous black bear, which, found many cups, and cans, and kettles. roaring and growling, was making his way
JULIA. Then a tea-drinking was not long through the trench to the side on which wanting!
the hut stood ! FATHER. So too thought the merry
Gus. He wished to find some tea, or Gregory. A cup of tea, a darling drink perhaps, would invite some of his fellows with sailors, appeared to him too agree to it. But did not Gregory boldly attack able a thing, and he was not long in re- him ? minding his friends of it.
There was FATHER. What ! unarmed as he was ? wanting only one indispensable thing, This would have been the utmost madness, namely, water. Gregory offered to go to and have placed his life evidently in the the fountain, which, as you know, gushed greatest danger. Who then could accuse out of the rock in the valley. So he him of cowardice, when he, already hastened there, but he came back, quickly startled greatly by the frightful weather, and completely troubled.
was utterly discomposed by the appearance Max. Now?- What was the matter of the beast? His friends were not much once more ?
less affrighted when with troubled counFather. Gregory had scarcely opened | tenance he returned back to the hut, and the door of the hut, than he observed the told of the unbidden guest. As usually most dreadful storm which he had ever was the case, the old pilot was the first to knowy). The snow came down in thick recover himself. “ We cannot alter the masses; the trench which surrounded the weather,” said he, “we must take that as hut was already entirely filled with snow it comes ; as for Sir Shaggy-coat, the bear, heaps, and the snow continually fell in such we must set ourselves to work to put an immense quantities, that it seemed as if end to him, if we do not wish to have the whole valley would be covered, and more guests of the same sort.” Without the hut itself, with the inhabitants, would saying anything further, he took his gun be buried under the mass. Fearfully standing in the hut, opened the door, and howled the tempest over the valley, and came out at the right moment to see how the masses of snow were hurled, roaring the bear had almost clambered up on the and dashing together, from the neighbour- margin of the trench, and his body was ing rocks.
already half over it. A single spring and Max. How came this frightful storm to the guest would have reached the door. burst out so all at once ?
Then the resolute pilot approached, fired, Father. It is commonly connected in and the next moment the beast, struck by those regions with the entrance of the the ball, sunk bleeding to the ground. half-year's night; and it was exactly on Max. Was he dead ? this day, that the sun for the first time in FATHER. That the brave marksman the year, did not rise above the horizon. could not know, and it would have been That night had now begun, and it began inost unpardonable for him to have taken the more gloomy, as the thick, and full it for granted. In order to be certain in snow clouds hindered the faint twilight of the matter, he drew out his long pocketthe heaven from being seen. In these i knife, and cut the monster's throat.
Besides this shot, the report of which the severe labour, they went about that rung through the open door of the hut, other business of which they promised and penetrated even to the inmost portions themselves such great success—to search of the cavern, gave occasion to an im- through the cavern. Every one of them portant discovery. Ivan, who was load- took with him a burning lamp—they had ing his gun, and stood at the entrance, found many articles of this kind among heard how the report, like a rolling peal of the things left by the former inhabitantsthunder, struck on the walls of the his tinder-box, and an axe; for their guns cavern, and for a considerable time re. they did not need in this business. verberated, and then died away gradually Like a large desolate church, or hall, the at some distance. He justly concluded, cavern extended before them ; high stout therefore, that the cavern, before the pillars, formed naturally from the rock, entrance of which stood the hut, must projected into the cavern, which bore up run far under the rocky mountain. This the roof of the broad vault, almost out of view he imparted to his friends, who were the reach of sight. The floor was smooth naturally of the same opinion. From and covered with sand, and many footthis opinion they drew another conclusion. prints showed that the former inhabitIt might be supposed that the former in- ants must have been very busy in this habitants, accurately acquainted with this cavern. cavern, had arranged and used it, and The rock itself consisted of the hardest hence too it was to be expected that many granite; some places in it shone glittering, things would be found here, by the pos- others were covered by a dark obscurity, session of which the condition of our and the shadows of our friends showed friends would be considerably bettered. themselves in peculiar shapes and forms, They therefore concluded to undertake a on the bare stone of the walls. But what atclose investigation of the cavern, as, tracted the special notice of the explorers, besides, the weather made every sort of was the sight of many remains of reindeer, business in the open air impossible. which lay gathered up in a corner.
But once more!” said the pilot, Maria. Why was this so very remark. must first bring our prey into safety ; able ? These remains were certainly thrown otherwise there inight be a guest to take there by the former inhabitants. charge of him !" So they all three of FATHER. True. But even this made them went out to the trench, in which lay the matter worth their attention. The the bear covered up by the snow, without reindeer is the greatest blessing for the giving a sign of life. It cost them indeed inhabitants of those higher northern much trouble to heave up the beast over regions. It is used, as the horse is with the margin of the trench ; but they worked us, for drawing burdens and for travel ; with united strength, and finally accom- its flesh is an extremely nutritious food, plished it, and carried the bear into the its milk yields butter and cheese, its hide hut , where they skinned him, and cut up and even its entrails are of use. All
“Now,” said the pilot, after these things occurred especially to the they had ended this work, “our booty pilot. He concluded, and very justly, will last us for some weeks'; and Heaven that the former inhabitants must have had will further take care of us. We shall many of these beasts,--and now arose-not die of hunger!”
Julia, what wish was it ? Gus. This man pleases me more and JULIA. To have a stable full of these, more on account of his courageous spirit. as tame animals.
Mother. And me still more, because Father. Good. This would have given he is constant in his feelings, so active, many fine pieces of meat, many pans of and yet joins to it so unbounded a con- milk, and many pieces of butter. fidence in God. It is a noble thing when MARIA. And then these beasts would a man so thinks and acts!
afford (what yet must be considered) much Father. And in this situation precisely, labour and work. men needed most this confidence FATHER. Very well observed. In
short, there were so many things, which After they were somewhat rested from the pilot recollected. But there
poor in God.