• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 The father and daughter
 The birthday present of May...
 The stolen ring
 Mary in prison
 The trial
 The father and daughter in...
 The sentence and its execution
 The friend in need
 The exiles find a home
 Pleasant days at the pine farm
 James's illness
 James's death
 The avaricious daughter-in-law
 Fresh troubles
 Help in time of need
 The Countess Amelia's story
 The ring found
 Virtue rewarded
 An evening at the huntig-lodge
 A visit tothe pine-tree farm
 Further occurrences at pine...
 Retribution
 A happy event
 The monument
 Back Cover






Group Title: Blumenkörbchen
Title: The Basket of flowers, or, Piety and truth triumphant
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00014932/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Basket of flowers, or, Piety and truth triumphant
Uniform Title: Blumenkörbchen
Alternate Title: Piety and truth triumphant
Physical Description: 191 p. : col. ill. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Schmid, Christoph von, 1768-1854
Evans, Edmund, 1826-1905 ( Engraver , Printer of plates , Printer )
Frederick Warne and Co ( Publisher )
Scribner & Co ( Publisher )
Publisher: Frederick Warne & Co.
Scribner, Welford & Co.
Place of Publication: London
New York
Manufacturer: Edmund Evans, Engraver and Printer
Publication Date: [1869?]
 Subjects
Subject: Children and death -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Girls -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1869
Genre: novel   ( marcgt )
Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
United States -- New York -- New York
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: translated from the original German edition ; with numerous coloured illustrations.
General Note: A translation of Das Blumenkörbchen by von Schmid.
General Note: Date of publication suggested by the Bodleian Library.
General Note: Printed within ruled border.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00014932
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA7317
notis - ALG9077
alephbibnum - 002228765
oclc - 05742901

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter 1
        Front Matter 2
    Half Title
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Preface
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Table of Contents
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
    The father and daughter
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
    The birthday present of May flowers
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    The stolen ring
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
    Mary in prison
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    The trial
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    The father and daughter in prison
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
    The sentence and its execution
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
    The friend in need
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
    The exiles find a home
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
    Pleasant days at the pine farm
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
    James's illness
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
    James's death
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
    The avaricious daughter-in-law
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
    Fresh troubles
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
    Help in time of need
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
    The Countess Amelia's story
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
    The ring found
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
    Virtue rewarded
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
    An evening at the huntig-lodge
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
    A visit tothe pine-tree farm
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
    Further occurrences at pine farm
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
    Retribution
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
    A happy event
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
    The monument
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
    Back Cover
        Page 193
        Page 194
Full Text





































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The Baldwin Library
University
6B of



























THE

BASKET OF FLOWERS.


----










THE


BASKET


OF FLOWERS;


OR,


PIETY AND TRUTH TRIUMPHANT.


TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL GERMAN EDIT I.OV.


wit itirrons f~nnlatrri "linttirntionQ.


LONDON:
FREDERICK WARNED & CO.,
BEDFORD STREET, COVENT GARDEN.
NEW YORK. SCRIBNER, WELFORD, & CO.



















































I, ONDON:

RINTE 1D BY EDMUND EVANS,

RAQUET COURT, FLEET STRRET.
















PREFACE.






THERE have been many editions of this popular

work, all of which have been received with favour

by the public. The original story is from the pen

of a German writer. Some of the English edi-

tions have been American translations, and some

(English) translations from the French edition of

the original work. Some of these have been

added to, and others curtailed, according to the

tastes or fancies of the various translators and

publishers.

So far as we can ascertain, there is yet no










Preface.


English translation of the German original, with-

out alterations and additions by French, Ameri-

can, and English writers.


The following volume is translated from the

German story, almost literally, except that here

and there a few verses from the best English

poets are given at the- close of the chapters,

where they are peculiarly suitable to the sub-

ject, and a few striking emblems and verses from

natural objects, or from Scripture, have been

added where it seemed necessary to do so. But,

on the whole, this edition will be found a much

more faithful translation of the original book than

any other yet published.


It seems almost unnecessary to remind the

reader, that various events in the following story


vi










Preface.


vii


may appear strange and improbable to English

readers, because the scenes described took place

at a time and in a .country very different from

their own.


















CONTENTS.







CHAPTER I.
PAGE
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER . .. 13


CHAPTER II.

THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT OF MAY FLOWERS 24


CHAPTER III.

THE STOLEN RING .. 33


CHAPTER IV.
MARY IN PRISON 43


CHAPTER V.

THE TRIAL .. 51


CHAPTER VI.
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER IN PRISON 57


CHAPTER VII.
THE SENTENCE AND ITS EXECUTION . ... 64











x Contents.




CHAPTER VIII.
PAGE
A FRIEND IN NEED 70


CHAPTER IX.

THE EXILES FIND A HOME. . 75


CHAPTER X.

PLEASANT DAYS AT THE PINE FARM. . 82


CHAPTER XI.

JAMES'S ILLNESS. 91


CHAPTER XII.

JAMES'S DEATH. 104


CHAPTER XIII.

THE AVARICIOUS DAUGHTER-IN-LAW . 116


CHAPTER XIV.

FRESH TROUBLES. 123


CHAPTER XV.

HELP IN TIME OF NEED . 131


CHAPTER XVI.

THE COUNTESS AMELIA'S STORY. . . 136











Contents.


CHAPTER XVII.

THE RING FOUND .


CHAPTER XVIII.

VIRTUE REWARDED


CHAPTER XIX.

AN EVENING AT THE HUNTING-LODGE


CHAPTER XX.

A VISIT TO THE PINE-TREE FARM


CHAPTER XXI.

FU-RTHER OCCURRENCES AT PINE FARM


CHAPTER XXII.

RETRIBUTION .


CHAPTER XXIII.

A HAPPY EVENT . .


CHAPTER XXIV.

THE MONUMENT. .


xi


PAGE
S144




53




S 58




S 163




170




76







S I89


. 189









THE

BASKET OF


FLOWERS.


CHAPTER I.
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER.

N the market-town of Eichburg in Germany, belonging
to a Count of this name, there lived, above one hun-
dred years ago, a sensible and pious man of the name of


~E~B~ --F~\
~-= .r
r-

:
ii r
:









The Basket of Flowers.


James Rode. When he was a poor lad, he came to
Eichburg to be under-gardener, and to acquire a know-
ledge of horticulture, in the gardens of the Count's
castle. The excellent qualities of his mind, the skill he
displayed in everything that he undertook, and his pre,
possessing appearance, bearing the impress of nature's
nobility, gained him the favour of his master and mis-
tress, who employed him in various subordinate offices in
the castle.
When the Count, who at this time was a young man,
went on his travels, James accompanied him as one of
his retinue. In the course of these travels, James made
diligent use of the means of improvement afforded him.
He learned much, gained a knowledge of the usages of
society, acquired elegant language and refined manners,
but what is still better, he brought back with him his
noble honest heart, uncorrupted by his intercourse with
the great world. The Count sought to .reward James's
faithful services by giving him a profitable situation;
James might have been made steward in a palace which
belonged to the Count in the capital; but the good man
looked back with pleasure to the tranquillity of a country
life; and as, just at this time, a small farm that had
hitherto been let on lease happened to be at the disposal
of the Count, James requested to be allowed to rent it.
The generous Count permitted him to have it for life,


I4









The Father and Daughter.


without paying any rent, and also gave him every year
as much grain and wood as sufficed to supply his house-
hold.
James soon afterwards married, and supported himself
and his family upon the produce and profits of this little
farm, that besides a nice house had a large, fine garden,
half of which was planted with the best sorts of fruit-
trees, and the other half was used for the cultivation of
vegetables and flowers.
After James had lived for many years happily with his
wife, who in all respects was worthy of him, she was
snatched away by the hand of death. His grief was
inexpressible. The good man, already somewhat ad-
vanced in years, seemed to become prematurely aged, his
form was bent, and his hair turned grey. His sole com-
fort in the world was his daughter, the only survivor of
several children, who, at the death of her mother, was but
five years old. She was named Mary, after her mother,
and was her very image.
Even when a child, little Mary was exceedingly beau-
tiful, and as she grew up, her pious mind, her gentleness,
modesty, and the unselfish kindness that she showed to
every one, gave a peculiar grace to her beauty, and en-
deared her more and more to her father's heart.


"How like a new existence to his heart,
Uprose that living flower beneath, his eye!


I


__ __~ ___


15








16 The Basket of Flowers.



Dear. as she was, from cherub infancy,
From hours when she would round his garden play,
To time when, as the ripening years went by,
Her lovely mind could culture well repay,
And more engaging grew from pleasing day to day."

There was so amiable an expression in her counte-
nance, that all who saw her loved her. Reared in a
good and happy home, she grew up a gentle, pious girl,
loving flowers and all the beauties of nature, and seeing
the hand of God in all his glorious works.
Mary was not quite fifteen, when she was required to
manage the affairs of her father's little household, which
she did to perfection. A speck of dust was never to be
seen in the neat sitting-room; in the kitchen, the cooking
utensils, and other articles were almost as bright as new;
and the whole house was a pattern of order and clean-
liness. With unwearied industry Mary assisted her father
to work in the garden; and the time she thus spent in
helping him was the happiest in her life, for her wise father
knew how to make labour a pleasure by means of cheer-
ful and instructive conversation.
Thus Mary grew among the flowers, and the garden
was her world. From childhood she had taken great
pleasure in rare and lovely plants, therefore her father
every year sent for seeds, roots, and grafts, of sorts that
she had never before seen, and he allowed her to plant










The Father and Daughter.


the borders of the beds in the garden with what she liked
best.
Mary had thus a constant and pleasant occupation
during her hours of leisure. She carefully tended the de-
licate plants, watched the blossoms that were new to her,
wondering what kind of flowers they would produce.
She could scarcely wait until the buds opened, and when
at length the long-looked-for flowers appeared in their
beauty, the sight gave her inexpressible joy. "This is
pure innocent pleasure," said her father, smiling. Many
people expend more money for gay dresses for their chil-
dren than I spend in flower-seeds, and yet they do not
procure so pleasant and harmless an enjoyment for their
daughters."
Every month, and even every week, Mary found new
sources of amusement in her garden. She often said with
delight, Paradise could scarcely have been more beau-
tiful than our garden." Few passed by without stopping
to admire the rare blossoms. The children of the village
on their way from school peeped through the fence with
longing eyes, and Mary often gratified them by giving
them a few flowers.
The wise father knew how to make a still nobler use
of his daughter's delight in flowers. He taught her to
see the wisdom, goodness, and almighty power of God in
the beauty of the blossoms, the variety of their forms,


17









The Basket of Flowers.


the distinctness of their varied features, their exact pro-
portions, their splendid colouring, and their delicious
perfume. He was accustomed to spend the first morning
hour of each day in devotion, and he always rose early
in order to be able to do this before he went to work.
He thought that there was little worth having in human
life, if, amidst his business, a man could not secure a few
hours for devotion, or at least could not command half
an hour in a day, in which he could commune undis-
turbed with his Maker, and elevate his mind by raising
his thoughts to heaven. In the beautiful days of spring
and summer he took Mary with him to shady spots in
the garden, from which, amidst the lovely songs of birds,
and the blossoms besprinkled with dew, they could see
an extensive view, bounded by the golden rays of the
rising sun.
Here James communed with God, who created the
sun to shine with friendly light and heat, who gives us
dew and rain, who bounteously feeds the fowls of heaven,
and richly clothes the flowers of the field. Here they
learned to know the Almighty as the loving Father of the
human race, who is gracious to all, whose tender mercies
are over all his works, and whose love is shown more
clearly than in all besides, by the gift of his only and
well-beloved Son. "God so loved the world that He
gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in


18








The Father and Daughter.


Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." James
taught Mary to pray to this loving Saviour as he him-
self prayed, with his whole heart. The devotions of the
morning hour bore much fruit, and tended to implant
child-like piety in Mary's youthful heart.
From the lovely flowers her father taught her to draw
sublime lessons of heavenly wisdom. One day in early
spring, when Mary joyfully brought him the first violet
that she had gathered, her father said,-" Dear Mary,
this lovely flower is an emblem of humility, modesty,
and unobtrusive benevolence. It is robed in celestial
blue, but grows close to the ground; it hides itself in
the 'shade, but fills the air with the sweetest perfume.
It is the emblem of a meek- and lowly heart, which
wears the genuine blue of heaven, and is made like
unto our Lord, who was meek and lowly. While it re-
tires from the world and thinks little of itself, it is pre-
cious in the sight of God; 'for He hath respect unto
the lowly.' (Ps. cxxxviii. 6.) Be thou, dear Mary, humble
and retiring like the modest violet. Do not desire to
be gaily dressed like a gaudy flower. Remember our
Lord's warning, 'Take heed that ye do not your alms
before men to be seen of them.' Seek not the applause
of men, but act from a nobler motive. Let it be your
earnest desire to live for God's glory, and let that be your
aim in all that you do."

B


i


i9










The Basket of Flowers.


When the garden was in its greatest beauty, and the
flowers were in full bloom, James pointed to a splendid
lily, on which the rays of the sun were shining, and thus
spoke to the delighted Mary:-
"This fair lily is the emblem of innocence; white is
always used to denote purity; and see, its blossoms are
white as new-fallen snow. But white is more difficult to
keep clean than any other colour; the least touch of
impurity destroys it. Alas none of us are by nature
pure in heart, yet there is a fountain wherein we may
wash and be clean. There is a white robe freely offered
to all. Blessed are they who have washed their robes and
made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Blessed
are the pure in heart.' Pray for this purity, dear Mary,
and avoid the least contact with evil. Go not in the
way of sinners; listen not to their words. Remember,
that a word, or eveh a thought, may soil the purity of
the mind.
"The rose," continued James, "is the emblem of mo-
desty. Lovelier than the rose is the colour that flushes
the cheek of a modest girl. The face that is never tinged
with a blush is the sign of a heart that has been soiled
by the world."
James gathered a bunch of roses and lilies, and made
them into a beautiful bouquet. Then giving it to Mary,
he said-


20











The Father and Daughter.


"The rose and the lily, emblems of purity and mo-
desty, are twin sisters that should never be separated.
God gave modesty to purity to be a warning when
evil is near. Fly from all, dear Mary, that can call
up a blush to your cheek. Avoid even the appearance
(of evil. May your heart be pure as the lily, and your
cheek as red as the rose. Lovely as these roses are,
they will fade and wither; but even when their leaves
are brown and dry, the sweet scent will remain. The
rose on your cheek may fade, dear Mary; outward
beauty may pass away; but true purity of heart will
endure for ever, and the beauty of the mind can never
decay."
The mqst beautiful ornament of the-garden was a dwarf
apple-tree, not. higher than a rose-bush, that stood in a
small circular bed in the middle of the garden. Mary's
father had planted it on the day in which she was born,
and the tree now bore every year golden, rosy-cheeke'd
apples. One season it flowered particularly well, and
was completely covered with blossoms. Mary went to
look at it every morning.
"Oh, how lovely!" exclaimed she, in an ecstacy of
delight. "What exquisite red and white! The tree looks
like one large bunch of flowers !"
One morning, when she went to look at it as usual, it
was withered; the frost had destroyed all its blossoms;


I


21











The Basket of Flowers.


they were already yellow, brown, and shrivelled, and
Mary wept at the sad sight.
"So is the bloom of youth destroyed by sinful plea-
sures," observed Mary's father; "like the nipping frost,
they blast and wither the fairest and most promising.
Oh my dear Mary, keep far from the polluting plea-
sures of the world. Tremble even to taste them. Oh,
my child! beware of them; venture not near the for-
bidden path; pray to be kept from evil. If the fair hopes
that I have of your bright future, not for one year only,
but for your whole life, should be thus blasted, I would
then weep more bitter tears than you are now shedding.
I should never again have a happy hour, and my grey
hairs would go down in sorrow to the grave."
Tears stood in James's eyes as he spoke, and his words
made a very deep impression on Mary.
Brought up under the care of so wise and loving a
father, Mary grew up amongst the flowers of their garden
as blooming as a rose, pure-minded as a lily, modest as a
violet, and with as bright hopes as a young tree when in
fairest blossom.
The old man had always contemplated with happy
smiles his favourite garden, the fruits of which so well
rewarded his industry; but he looked with far greater
pleasure on his sweet and gentle daughter, who, by the
blessing of God on his labours, rewarded the care he had

________________________: _________


_ _. I~


22











The Father and Daughter.


23


bestowed on training and teaching her, by bringing forth
still more precious fruits, even the fruits of the Spirit, to
the praise and glory of God.


"Domestic Love! not in proud palace halls
Is often seen thy beauty to abide;
Thy dwelling is in lonely cottage walls,
That in the thickets of the woodbine hide,
With hum of bees around, and from the side
Of woody hills some little bubbling spring,
Shining along through banks with harebell dyed;
And many a bird to warble on the wing,
When morn her saffron robe o'er heaven and earth doth fling."









7-


f_




































CHAPTER II.
THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT OF MAY FLOWERS.

ON a lovely morning in the beginning of the month
of May, Mary went into a neighboring grove, and
cut some twigs of willow and boughs of hazel, with which
her father, when he was not occupied in his garden, made
very pretty baskets. There she found the first lilies of










The Birthday Present.


the valley in blossom. She gathered some of them, and
made two nosegays-one for her father, and another for
herself. As she was passing along a narrow footpath
across a flowery meadow, on her way home, she was met
by the Countess of Eichburg and her daughter Amelia,
who usually lived in the city, but who were now spending
a few days in their castle at Eichburg.
As soon as Mary perceived the two ladies in white
dresses, and with green parasols, then not used by the
peasants, she stepped aside to 'make room for them to
pass, and stood respectfully waiting beside the footpath.
"What! are there lilies of the valley already in flower ?"
exclaimed the young Countess, whose favourite flower it
was.
Mary immediately offered a bunch of lilies to each of
the ladies. They accepted them with pleasure; and the
Countess drew out her purse of purple and gold, and
wished to make Mary a present. But Mary said, "Will
not your Excellency permit a poor girl, who has already
received so many benefits from your ladyship, to enjoy
the pleasure of giving a few flowers without thinking of
reward ?"
The Countess smiled kindly, and said that Mary might
often bring Amelia a bunch of lilies of the valley.
Mary did 'this every morning, and, so long as the lilies
of the valley lasted, went daily to the castle. Amelia


25










The Basket of Flowers.


found greater pleasure every day in Mary's visits, on ac-
count of her naturally good understanding, her merry dis-
position and artlessness, and her increasing popularity.
Mary was obliged to spend many hours in the society of
the Lady Amelia, long after all the May flowers had faded
away. The young Countess often showed that she wished
Mary to be always with her, and she therefore thought of
giving her a place in the household of the Count, so that
she might have her constantly near her.
The anniversary of Amelia's birthday was drawing near.
Mary was busied with a little rustic present for the occa-
sion. She had often before given a wreath of flowers;
she now decided on giving something else. During the
previous winter her father had occupied himself in making
beautiful work-baskets for ladies. He had given the most
beautiful of them all to Mary. He had obtained the pat-
tern of this in the city, and had succeeded remarkably
well in making it an exquisite piece of workmanship.
Mary resolved to fill this basket with flowers, and to offer
it as a gift to Amelia, on the anniversary of her birthday.
Her father gladly granted her request, and he still more
adorned the pretty little basket by weaving on it in deli-
cate workmanship the name of the Countess Amelia and
the crest of her family. When finished, the basket ivas
quite a masterpiece.
On the morning of the Countess Amelia's birthday,


L_ I


26










The Birtthday Present. 27



Mary gathered the loveliest roses, the most beautiful white,
crimson, and purple stocks, dark brown and yellow wall-
flowers, dark red, yellow, and clove carnations, and other
exquisite flowers of all colours. She arranged these in the
basket,-amongst elegant sprigs of green, with correct taste,
so that the colours contrasted well with one another. She
surrounded the edge of the basket with a light wreath of
rosebuds and moss, and she encircled the Countess Ame-
lia's name with a garland of forget-me-not. The fresh
rosebuds, the tender green moss, and the blue forget-me-
not looked beautiful on the white lattice-work of the bas-
ket. The whole looked so perfect, that even her grave
father praised Mary's good taste with a complacent smile,
and said, when she wished to take it away, Let it stand
there a little longer, that I may have the pleasure of
looking at it."
Mary carried the basket to the castle, and presented it
to the Countess Amelia, with her most respectful good
wishes. Mary found the young Countess seated at her
toilet. Her maid was standing behind her, dressing her
hair for the festival. The Countess Amelia was delighted
with the basket, and could not say enough in praise of
the exquisite workmanship of the gift and the beauty of
the flowers.
"You good child!" said she; "you must have quite
stripped your garden, to bring me so lovely a gift! And










The Basket of Flowers.


your father's work is so beautiful, so tasteful! I have
never seen anything more exquisite. Oh, come with me,
and let me show it to my mother!"
She arose, took Mary kindly by the hand, and led her
upstairs to her mother's room.
Oh, look, mamma !" exclaimed she, as she entered
the room, "what a lovely and inimitable present Mary
has brought me! I have never seen a prettier basket,
and there could not be more beautiful flowers."
The Countess also was much pleased with the basket.
"It is indeed very beautiful," said she; "I should like to
have a picture of it. The basket with the flowers still
wet with the morning dew, would make as fine a flower-
piece as has ever been painted by the great masters. It
does great credit to Mary's good taste, and still more
honour to her kind heart. Wait here a little, dear child,"
continued she to Mary, beckoning at the same time to
Amelia to follow her into the next room. Then she said
.to her daughter, "We must not allow Mary to go home
without a present. What do you think it will be best to
give her ?"
Amelia considered for a few moments. "I think," said
she, at length, "one of my dresses might be the best
thing; at least, dearest mother, if you will allow me to
give her the dress which has small red and white flowers
on a dark green ground. It is as good as new; I have only

--I


28










The Birt/day Present.


worn it once or twice, but I have outgrown it. It would
be a pretty Sunday dress for Mary. She is so neat-handed,
that she will alter it herself to make it fit her. If you do
not think it too much, I will give it to her."
"Do so," said the Countess; "when we give anything
to the working people, it ought always to be something
useful and suitable. The green dress with the pattern
of flowers will be an appropriate gift to the little flower-
girl."
The Countess went back to the room in which she had
left Mary. "Go now, children," said she, kindly, "and
take care of these flowers, that they may not fade before
dinner-time. We have company to-day, and the basket
shall take the place of the epergne, and be the chief
ornament of the dinner-table. I leave it to you, dear
Amelia, to thank Mary for it."
Amelia hastened back to her own room with Mary,
and desired her maid to bring the dress. Harriet (for
this was the maid's name) stood hesitating, and said-
"Your ladyship cannot surely intend to wear that dress
to-day ?"
"No," replied Amelia, "I mean to give it to Mary."
That dress !" returned Harriet, sharply. "Is her lady-
ship the Countess aware of it ?"
Bring the dress here," said Amelia, in a decided tone,
"and leave me to settle the rest."


29










The Basket of Flowers.


Harriet turned hastily away to hide her vexation, and
went with a countenance flushed with rage. She angrily
pulled the dress out of the wardrobe of the young Coun-
tess. "Oh, if I only dared to tear it to pieces !" said
she-" that detestable gardener's girl! She has already
partly taken my place in the favour of my mistress, and
now she is robbing me of this dress; for the cast-off
dresses of my lady belong to me by right. I could tear
out the eyes of this hateful flower-seller!" Notwith-
standing, Harriet suppressed her anger as well as she
could, and put on a civil expression when she returned to
the room, and gave the dress to Amelia.
Dear Mary," said Amelia, "I have received many
more costly presents to-day, but not any that have pleased
me so much as the flower-basket. The flowers in this
dress are not so beautiful as yours, but I think that
you will like them as my gift. Wear this dress as a
remembrance of me, and give my best thanks to your
father."
Mary took the dress, kissed the hand of the young
Countess, and took her leave.
Harriet continued her work in silence, with feelings of
jealousy, envy, and anger burning in her heart. It cost
her no little self-command to conceal her ill-temper, and
she could not refrain from slightly showing it by pulling
Amelia's hair a little while she was dressing it.


30










The Birthday Present.


"Are you angry, Harriet ?" said Amelia, gently.
"I should be too foolish were I to be angry because
your ladyship is so kind."
That is a very sensible speech," said the Lady Amelia.
"I wish that you may always think as sensibly."
Meantime Mary hastened home with the beautiful
dress, her heart full of joy. But her prudent father was
not particularly pleased with the elegant present. He
shook his grey head, and said-"I had rather that you
had not carried that basket to the castle. I value the
dress, indeed, as the gift of our kind ladies, but I fear
that it may make other people envious of us, and what
would be much worse, that it may make you vain. Take
good care, dear Mary, that the last may not, at all events,
be the case. Modesty and proper behaviour are better
ornaments for a girl than the most beautiful and becoming
dresses. Remember what the Bible tells us about the
best ornaments of a woman. Whose adorning let it not
be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair and of
wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it
be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not
corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet
spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For
after this manner in the old time the holy women
also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves.'" (I Peter
iii. 3-5.)


31












The Basket of Fioa' ers.


" We sacrifice to dress, till household joys
And comforts cease. Dress drains our cellar dry,
And keeps our larder lean; puts out our fires,
And introduces hunger, frost, and woe,
Where peace and hospitality might reign."
COOPER.

"A sweet temper, and an open heart,
A loving breast, and animated eye-
These, these best dignify, and still endear
The meanest and the lowest. Many round
May overtop me with their pride and show,
But let me be what they but seem to be,
And seem, and be, the best. In my small sphere
Perfume the atmosphere around my path
With kind sweet words and loving happy looks.
If I am loving I shall be beloved;
And men shall bless the fragrance of my name,
And hail my presence and my absence mourn."
PARTRIDGE.

"The pompous flowers but dazzle, not delight,
Astonish while their worthier mates attract,
Admired by many, but by none beloved.
Fine features, symmetry, a large estate,
Taste, wit, and genius, admiration win."
PARTRIDGE.



Jtgt^
-N71- .;~r- c


32




































CHAPTER III.
THE STOLEN RING.
M ARY tried on her new dress; she then folded it up
carefully, and put it away in her box. Scarcely
had she done this, when the young Countess hastily en-
tered the cottage, pale, trembling, and out of breath.
"Oh, Mary !" exclaimed she, "what have you done ?










The Basket of Flowers.


My mother's diamond ring is missing! No one has been
in the room but you. Do give it to me quickly, or it will
be a dreadful business. Give it me quickly, and then the
matter may still be arranged."
Mary was so terrified that she became as pale as death.
" Ah, my lady," said she, "what can this mean ? I have
not the ring. I did not even see a ring in the room. I
never even left the place in which I stood."
"Mary," pleaded the Countess, I entreat you, for your
own sake, to give me the ring. You know not how valu-
able the one precious stone in it is. The ring cost nearly
a thousand crowns. If you had known that, you would
surely not have taken it. Probably you thought it only
a trifle of little value. But do give it to me now, and
all shall be forgiven you, as merely an act of youthful
folly."
Mary began to weep. "Indeed, indeed," said she, "I
know nothing about the ring. I have never even ventured
to touch anything that did not belong to me, far less to
steal it. My father has trained me too well ever to take
anything from anyone."
The father now entered the room. He had been work-
ing in the garden, and had seen the young Countess enter
the house, apparently in great haste. When he was told
why she had come, he exclaimed, apparently in great dis-
tress, "What is this ?" The good man was so agitated,


34










Tie Stolen Ring. 35



that he was forced to catch hold of the table for support,
and sank, half fainting, upon a bench.
"Child," said he, to steal such a ring as this is a crime
which, in this country, is punished with death. But this
is the least part of it. For such a deed we have to
answer not only to man, but to a far greater Lord-to the
highest Judge of all, who sees the secrets of all hearts,
and before whom no excuses or refuges of lies avail. If
you have so forgotten God's holy commands, and in the
moment of temptation have not remembered my fatherly
teachings; if you have suffered your eyes to be dazzled
by the splendour of gold and precious stones, and have
thus been led into sin, oh! deny it not, but confess it,
and give back the ring. This is the only way to make
amends for your guilt, and perhaps it may still be for-
given."
"Oh, father," said Mary, amidst tears and sobs, "I as-
sure you-I assure you-indeed, I saw nothing of the
ring. Ah if I had even found such a ring in the street,
I could not have rested until I had restored it to its
owner."
"See," continued her father, "that angel, the young
Countess Amelia, who has come here out of love to you,
to save you from the hands of justice-who wishes you
so well-who has just given you so valuable a present-
surely she does not deserve that you should tell her a lie










The Basket of Flowers.


-that you should seek to deceive her to your own de-
struction If you have the ring, confess it at once, and
the gracious Countess will, perhaps, by her entreaties,
avert from you the punishment you deserve. Mary, I
entreat you, be honest, and tell the truth."
"Father," said Mary, you know well that I have never
stolen the value of a farthing in my whole life I have
never even ventured to take an apple from a tree, or a
handful of grass from the meadow of a neighbour; how
much less could I have taken anything so precious. Be-
lieve me, dearest father; you know that I have never told
you a lie in my life !"
Mary," said her father, once more, "look with pity
upon my grey hairs! Bring them not with sorrow to the
grave! Spare me this deep agony! Confess it before
God, before whom I hope soon to appear, and who will
permit no thief to enter into the kingdom of heaven. As
in his sight, I ask you again, have you the ring? For
your own soul's sake I implore you to tell the truth !"
Mary looked with weeping eyes to heaven, clasped her
hands, and said solemnly, "God knows that I have not
the ring! As surely as I hope to be saved, so surely I
have it not!"
"Now," said her father, "I do truly believe that you
have it not, for you could not tell such a falsehood in the
very presence of God, before the noble Countess here,


I


36









The Stolen Ring.


and your own old father. And as I now firmly believe
you to be innocent, I am easy. Be at peace, too, dear
Mary, and fear nothing. There is but one real evil in
the world that we have to fear, and that is sin. Prison
and death are nothing to this. Whatever may become of
us, even if all men should forsake us, and be against us,
yet we have God for our friend, and He will certainly
rescue us, and sooner or later bring our innocence to
light."
The young Countess wiped away a tear, as she said,
"Good people, when I hear you speak thus, I really be-
lieve, too, that you have not the ring. But again, when I
consider all the circumstances, it seems to me next to
impossible that you should not have it. My mother dis-
tinctly remembers the very place on her work-table on
which she put down the ring before I went into her room
with Mary. No one else entered the room. Mary her-
self can testify that I did not even go near the work-table.
While my mother and I were speaking together in the
next room, Mary was left alone-before and after this
there was no one else there. After we had gone, my
mother closed the door to change her dress. As soon as
she had dressed, and wished to put on the ring again, she
found it gone. My mother herself searched the whole
room for it. She took the precaution not to ring for any
of the servants, and did not allow even me to enter the


37










The Basket of Flowers.


room till she had thoroughly searched it two or three
times. But all was in vain! Who, then, can have the
ring ?"
"That I do not understand," said Mary's father. "God
has appointed a severe trial for us. Yet, whatever may
be hanging over us," continued he, looking upwards to
heaven, "see, Lord, here am I! Thy will be done !
Only give me thy grace, 0 God, and it is sufficient for
me !"
"Indeed, I shall go home with a heavy heart," said the
Countess. "It is a melancholy birthday to me! It will
be a terrible affair. My mother has not yet said a word
about it to anyone but me, in order not to injure Mary.
But the matter cannot be concealed much longer. My
mother must wear the ring to-day. We expect my father
about midday from the capital, and if the ring is not on
her finger, he will immediately miss it, for it was his gift
to her when I was born, and she has always worn it on
my birthday. She is hoping and expecting that I shall
bring it back with me !"
There was a silence for a few minutes, then Amelia
said, sorrowfully, Farewell! I shall, indeed, assure them
all that I believe you to be innocent; but-will they
believe me ?"
She went mournfully to the door, with tears in her eyes.
Both father and daughter were so stunned with grief, that


38










. The Stolen Ring.


they did not move to open it, or to accompany her on
her way.
The father sat upon the bench, with his head leaning
upon his hand, looking on the ground as if lost in thought,
while tears flowed down his pale cheeks. Mary fell on
her knees before him, looked up into his face, weeping
bitterly, and said-
Oh, father, indeed I am innocent of the whole matter;
I assure you that I am innocent."
Her father raised her kindly, looked long and earnestly
into her blue eyes, and then said-" Yes, Mary, you are
innocent. Guilt could never wear so honest and so truth-
ful a look."
Oh, father," continued Mary, "what will be the end
of this ? What will become of us ? Oh, if I alone were
to suffer, I would bear it willingly; but that you, dearest
father, should suffer on my account, is more terrible to me
than all the rest."
Trust in God," replied her father, "and be und;sinayed.
Without his permission not a hair of our heads can be
touched. Whatever may happen, it is all ordered by God.
It is, therefore, all right, and for our good, and what would
we have more ? Do not, then, be terrified, and always
keep strictly to the truth. However they may threaten
you, whatever they may promise you, do not deviate a
hair's breadth from the truth, and wound not your own


39










The Basket of Flozeers.


conscience. A good conscience is a soft pillow, even in
a prison. We may now possibly be separated from each
other, your father will no longer be able to comfort you,
dear Mary! But cling the more closely and trustfully to
your Father in heaven. None can separate you from
Him, your Almighty Protector !"
The door was then suddenly thrown open, and the
officers of justice entered the room. Mary uttered a loud
cry, and threw her arms round her father.
"Separate them !" said the chief officer, his eyes flash-
ing with anger. "Put the daughter in irons, and take her
to prison. The father also must be held in custody,
at least for a time. Let the house and garden be well
watched, and let no one enter till we have searched it
thoroughly."
Mary still clung to her father, but the officers of justice
tore her from him by force, and put her in irons. She
fainted, and was carried away unconscious. As the father
and daughter were taken through the streets, a crowd of
people collected. The story of the ring had spread like
wildfire through the whole of the neighbourhood. The
crowd rushed round the gardener's cottage, as if the
building were on fire. The most conflicting opinions
were expressed, Kind as James and Mary had ever been
to all their neighbours, yet people were found that rejoiced
in their fall, and made the most malicious remarks on


40










The Stolen Ring.


that which had happened. As James and Mary had
prospered well through their own industry and frugality,
they had been envied by many less industrious.
"It is easy to see," said they, "where their wealth has
come from. Before this we could not understand it;
but now it is not difficult to see why they lived better
and dressed better than any of the other people in the
place."
However, most of the inhabitants of Eichburg truly
sympathized with honest James and his good daughter.
Many of the good townspeople thus spoke to each other:
"Alas! what wretched creatures we poor human beings
are! the best of us are not secure from falling. Who
would have thought it of these worthy people? Yet,
perhaps, they are not guilty, and if so, may God bring
their innocence to light! But, even if they have done it,
may God help them, that they may confess their sin and
amend, and escape the great miseries that threaten them.
May God in his mercy guard us all from sin, for without
his help we are not safe for a single day."
Many of the children of the place gathered in groups,
and stood weeping as Mary and her father passed. "Ah!"
said they, "if these good people are put in prison, honest
James will give us no more fruit, and kind Mary no more
flowers. It is wrong to put them in prison, and it ought
not to be done."


41












The Basket of Flowers.


" Child of sorrow, hush thy wailing;
One there is who knows thy grief,
One whose mercy, never failing,
Waits to give thy soul relief;
He, thy Saviour,
Faithful still, of friends the chief.

" Child of sorrow, do they leave thee,
Those on whom thy hopes have stayed ?
Jesus calls, and will receive thee,
With a love can never fade;
Hark! He bids thee
Seek the home for imineri.- made."
P. HUTTON










-: J-4; -" '" '


42





















































N. -I .j -


CHAPTER IV.

MARY IN PRISON.

/ ARY had been dragged to prison while still almost

unconscious. When left alone in her dungeon, she

came to herself by slow degrees, and as she remembered

her misery, she wept, sobbed, wrung her hands, and then

recollecting where alone she could find comfort, she prayed


I' ~B
Ic;-.
.t_
U;.
I -~


i. ,.
: . -liu~n~p~ ~2~ p I:;
...
~;
.-
.:I
?.~F~
\C.
i---~










The Basket of F/,waers.


earnestly, till at length she fell asleep exhausted, upon
her bed of straw. Soft sleep closed her weary eyelids.
When she again awoke, it was night. All around her was
dark, and she could see nothing. At first she knew not
where she was. The story of the ring came to her me-
mory like a dream. For a moment she fancied that she
was in her own bed at home. She was just beginning to
rejoice that her sad dream had been chased away by her
awakening, when she felt the weight of her fetters, and
their dismal clang awoke her to the fearful reality. She
started terrified from her hard bed.
Oh! what can I do," exclaimed she, as she sank on
her knees, "but raise these fettered hands to Thee, 0
gracious God ? Oh, deign to look into this prison, and
behold me on my knees before Thee! Thou knowest
that I am innocent! Thou art the refuge of the innocent!
Save me Have pity on me Pity my poor father! Oh,
give him comfort, and rather let me suffer double sorrow!"
A torrent of tears flowed from her eyes, as she thought
of her father. Sobs choked her voice, and she wept long
in silence.
The moon, which had long been hidden in the clouds,
now suddenly shone out in full splendour, and threw the
shadow of the grated window on the floor of Mary's dun-
geon. In its clear light, Mary could now see the four
walls of her prison-the rough stones of which it was


44










Mary in Pirison.


built-the white lines that marked where they were joined
together-the stone which, in one corner, served for a
table-the earthen pitcher and earthen plate which stood
on it, and the wretchedl bundle of straw, which served
her for a bed. Yet, as soon as the thick darkness had
passed away, Mary felt lighter at heart; the bright moon
seemed to her like an old friend.
Do you come, lovely Moon," said she to look again
upon me, who have loved you so much ? Oh! when you
shone into my room, through the quivering vine-leaves,
how much more beautiful you seemed than now, when
your rays beam through the dark grating of my prison
window! Are you mourning with me 1 Ah! I never be-
lieved I should see you thus! What is my father doing
now ? Is he waking:, and looking on you, and lmourlning
as I am Ah that I could see him but for a moment!
Lovely Moon, you are shining on hinm ow Oh, could
you but speak, you might tell him how Mary is weepiig
and mourning for his sorrow.
"But how foolishly I have been -sp eking in my
misery. Forgive me, 0 merciful God, for these idle
words Thou seest me. Thou seest my poor father.
Thou seest into both our hearts. Thy Almighty power
can help us, through prison walls and iron bars! None
can withstand Thee Oh, send comfort to my father in
his sorrow !" W


45










The/ Basket of Flouwers.


Mary was now surprised to perceive a pleasant perfume
in her prison. In the morning she had gathered some
half-open rosebuds, and other flowers; she had made
them into a little nosegay, and put them in her breast.
The sweet perfume came from these flowers.
"Are you there still, you dear little blossoms?" said
she, as she saw her nosegay, "and have you come with
me to prison, you innocent creatures ? You have not
deserved punishment, and it is my comfort that I deserve
it as little as you do."
She took the nosegay from her breast, and looked at it
in the moonlight. Ah!" said she, "when I gathered
these rosebuds this morning in my garden, and plucked
these forget-me-nots from the brook, who would have
believed that I should be in prison to-night ? When I
fastened the wreath of flowers round the edge of the
basket, who could have thought that to-night iron fetters
would be fastened round my wrists ? So changeable are
all things on earth, no one knows how speedily his posi-
tion may be altered, or to what melancholy events the
most innocent actions may lead. Truly all human beings
have good reason to commend themselves, every morning,
to the protection of God."
Again she wept; her tears dropped on the rosebuds
and forget-me-nots, and glittered in the moonlight like
dew. "He who forgets not the flowers, but refreshes


46










Mary in Prison.


them with rain and dew, will not forget me," said
she. Oh, most gracious God, send comfort into my
heart, and into the heart of my poor father, as Thou
fillest the cups of the thirsty flowers with the dew of
heaven."
Amid her tears, she thought again of her father. Oh,
my kind father !" said she, "when I look at this wreath,
how many of your words about the flowers come back to
my mind. These rosebuds have bloomed among thorns;
so may joy spring up amid my sorrows. \Vlho:'er- would
have tried to unfold this rosebud before its time, Voh!l
have destroyed it. God, who created it, has ordered that
its tender leaves should unfold themselves one by one,
and should breathe forth their delicious perfume. Thus
will He overrule my sufferings, so as to develop the
blessings that are sent to me in them. Therefore will I
patiently wait till his time come. These forget-me-nots
remind me of their Creator. Ah, gracious God, I will not
forget Thee, as Thou hast not forgotten me These deli-
cate flowers are blue as the sky above us. May heaven
be my comfort amid all earthly sorrows. Here are some
odoriferous sweet-peas, with their delicate red and white
blossoms! As this tender plant clings to the support
upon which it leans, and so climbs joyfully upwards, so
may I, borne upwards from earth as if on wings, rise unto
Thee, 0 God, and clinging to Thee, rise above all earthly


47










The Basket of Flowers.


sorrows. It is this mignonette which, more than all the
rest, diffuses its delicious perfume in my prison. Lovely,
gentle flower thou rejoicest even her whose hand plucked
thee. I will try to be like thee, and strive to feel kindly
to those who have torn me from my home and cast me
into prison, when I had (lone them no harm. Here is
a fresh sprig of periwinkle. This is green even in win-
ter, and in the most dreary season of the year keeps the
lovely colour of hope. Even now, in my time of -ii ...
I will not give up hope. -My God, who can preserve this
little plant fresh and green amid the storms of winter,
under ice and snow, will also preserve me amid the storms
of misfortune. Here are some laurel leaves. They remind
me of the unfading wreath prepared in heaven for those
who suffer heroically and patiently on earth. Oh, I ima-
gine I can see it now, this evergreen wreath of victory,
this glorious golden crown Flowers of earth, you are
passing like its joys, withering and fading away. But after
the brief sorrows of earth, there awaits us in heaven
above, a glory and blessedness which is eternal and un-
changeable."
A dark cloud now suddenly obscured the moon. Mary
could no longer see her flowers, and her cell became
fearfully dark. Again her heart sank within her. But the
cloud soon passed away, and the moon again shone out
in all her beauty. "Thus," said Mary to herself, "may









Mary in Prison.


innocence be under a cloud for a time, but at length it
shines forth again clear and bright. Thus, 0 my God,
wilt Thou at last make manifest my innocence, and clear
it from all false accusations, though now it is hidden by
the dark clouds of suspicion."
Soothed by these thoughts, Mary knelt in prayer, and
then lay down peacefully to sleep on her bed of straw. A
pleasant dream comforted her during her slumbers. She
thought she was walking in the moonlight in a garden
she had never seen before. It was surpassingly beautiful,
too lovely for words to describe, and it appeared to be
,surrounded by a wilderness in a gloomy forest of fir-trees.
She had never seen the moon so bright and lovely as it
appeared in her dream. All the flowers in the garden
seemed to bloom more beautifully in the soft moonlight.
Her father, too; appeared to her in this marvellous garden.
The moonbeamns shone on his cheerful, honest, smiling
face. In fancy she rushed towards him, and throwing
herself upon his neck, shed tears of joy, with which her
cheeks were still wet when she awoke.


"Of all the thoughts of God that are
Borne inward unto souls afar,
Along the Psalmist's music deep-
Now tell me if that any is,
For gift or grace surpassing this,
He giveth his beloved sleep.'










50 The Basket of Flowers.



"What would we give to our beloved?
The hero's heart to be unmoved-
The poet's star-tuned harp to sweep-
The senate's shout to patriot vows-
The monarch's crown to light the brows ?-
He giveth his beloved sleep.'

Sleep soft, beloved,' we sometimes say,
But have no tune to charm away
Sad dreams that through the eyelids creep:
But never doleful dream again
Shall break the happy s'umbers when
He giveth his beloved sleep.'

He men may wonder while they scan
A living, thinking, feeling man,
In such a rest his heart to keep;
But angels say-and through the word,
I ween their blessed smile is heard-
He giveth his beloved sleep.' "
E. B. BARRETT.







.-.- -.' -~ __


































CHAPTER V.
THE TRIAL.

SCARCELY had Mary awoke, when an officer oi jus-
tice came to the prison to take her before the Court.
A cold shudder came over her as she entered the dark
gloomy room, of which the vaulted roof and the small
hexagonal panes of the old-fashioned windows attested


ANi









Th/ Basket of Flowers.


the great antiquity. The magistrate sat as judge, in a
large arm-chair covered with red cloth; the clerk sat
pen in hand before a large writing-table blackened by
age. The magistrate put many questions to Mary, and
she answered them all truthfully. She wept, mourned,
and protested her innocence. But the judge said, "You
cannot deceive me so far as to make me believe what is
impossible. No one was in the room but you; no one
can have the ring but you; therefore confess it at once."
Mary pleaded and wept. She repeated her protesta-
tions. "I cannot, and I know not how to speak other-
wise. I know nothing whatever of the ring; I have not
seen it, and I have it not."
"The ring has been seen in your hands," said the
judge, sternly. "What answer can you make to this ?"
Mary still insisted that it was impossible. The judge
rang a little bell, and Harriet was put into the witness-
box. To account for her appearance, we must tell what
had taken place in the meantime at the castle.
In the excess of her anger and envy on account of the
dress, and with the wicked intention to deprive Mary of
the favour of her mistress, Harriet had said to several
persons in the castle, No one can have the ring but that
wretched girl, the gardener's daughter. When I saw her
coming down stairs, she had a ring set with precious
stones in her hand. She hid it, and looked frightened,









The Trial. 53



when she saw me. I thought it was very suspicious. I
did not wish to be rash, and therefore said nothing about
it. Perhaps, thought I, they may have given her the ring,
as they have given her so many presents before. If she
had stolen it, I knew it would soon be missed, and then
it would be time enough to speak. I am very glad that
I did not chance to go into the Countess's room at the
time. Such wicked creatures as that hypocritical girl may
cause honest people to be suspected."
They took Harriet at her word, and she was summoned
to give evidence before the Court. When she was put
into the witness-box, and the judge warned her to speak
the truth, as in the presence of God, her heart throbbed,
and her knees trembled beneath her. But the wicked
young woman neither gave ear to the words of the judge
nor to the voice of her own conscience. She thought, If
I now confess that I have told a lie, I shall be dismissed
in disgrace, or perhaps imprisoned." She therefore per-
sisted in her false statement, and said boldly to Mary,
"You have the ring; I saw it in your hand."
Mary was horror-struck when she heard this falsehood,
but she did not return railing for railing. She only wept,
and could scarcely articulate these words, in a voice stifled
with sobs-" It is not true. You did not see the ring in
my hand. How can you so perjure yourself,.and make
me so miserable, who have done you no harm !"


AS*'










The Basket of Flowers.


But Harriet could not be turned from her purpose;
she was looking only to her own temporal advantage, and
her heart was full of envy and hatred of Mary. She re-
peated her false accusation, and added several additional
circumstances, and, having been cross-examined in vain,
was at length dismissed.
"You are convicted," said the judge to Mary. "Your
guilt is clear. Every circumstance is against you. The
young Countess's maid saw the ring in your hand. Now
confess what you have done.with it."
Mary assured him that she had it not-that she had
never seen it. According to the barbarous custom of the
time, the judge ordered her to be Il. -....- I, to force her to
confess. Mary screamed and wept, but, with prayer to
God for strength and help, she repeated her protesta-
tions of innocence; but these availed not. She was most
cruelly maltreated.
Pale, trembling, bleeding, and exhausted, she was taken
back to prison. Her wounds gave her great pain. She
lay tossing sleeplessly half the night on her hard bed of
straw. She wept and groaned, but at length she found
relief in prayer. This strengthened and soothed her, and
ere long she sank into a refreshing slumber.
The next day Mary was again brought before the Court.
As severity had failed to move her, the judge now en-
deavoured to induce her to confess by gentle and kind









The Trial.


promises.. "Your life is forfeited," said he; "you have
been found guilty, and by the law you deserve to die;
but if you will confess where the ring is, you shall be set
free. What you have already suffered shall be considered
sufficient punishment. You shall be allowed to go home
in peace with your father. Consider well, and choose
between life and death. I mean kindly to you. I am
advising you for your good. Of what use will the stolen
ring be to you if you are put to death ?"
All persuasions were vain; Mary continued to assert
her innocence.
The judge, who had observed her great love for her
father, continued thus:-" If you persist in silence, and if
you do not value your own young life, think at least of
your old father Could you bear to see his hoary head
fall bleeding beneath the axe of the executioner l Who
but he could have persuaded you to persist so obstinately
in falsehood ? Do you intend that it should cost him his
life ?"
Mary was so terrified when she heard these words, that
she nearly fainted.
"Confess," said the judge, "that you have taken the
ring. A single syllable-the little word, 'yes'-may save
your own life, and that of your father !"
This was a sore temptation to Mary. She stood long
silent. The thought came into her mind, that she might











The Basket of Flowers.


say she had taken the ring, and had lost it on her way
home. But she resisted the evil thought. "No," said she,
within herself, "it is better through everything to keep fast
to the truth. To tell a lie would be a great sin. For no
bribe would I commit such a sin, not even if by so doing I
could save both myself and my father. I will obey Thee,
0 my God, and leave all in Thy hands; trusting in Thee
to save us." She then said aloud, in a tone of deep emo-
tion, "If I were to say that I have the ring, it would be
a lie; and I will not tell a lie even to save myself from
death. But," continued she, "if blood must flow, let it be
mine only. I implore you to spare my good father; have
pity on his grey hairs. I would gladly die to save him."
All present were affected by these words. They touched
the heart even of the judge, stern and severe as he was.
He said no more, but made a sign that Mary should be
reconducted to prison.

"Put thou thy trust in God,
In duty's path go on;
Fix on his word thy steadfast eye,
So shall thy work be done.

"Through waves, and clouds, and storms,
He'll gently clear thy way;
Wait thou his time, thy darkest night
Shall end in brightest day."










r.; 2


CHAPTER VI.
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER IN PRISON.
IHE judge found himself not a little embarrassed.
"It is now the third day," said he, on the following
morning, to his clerk, "and we are no further advanced
than we were the first hour. If I could see any possibility
that anyone else could have taken the ring, I would be










The Basket of Flowers.


inclined to believe that girl innocent. Such obstinacy at
so tender an age is a thing quite unheard of. But the
evidence is too strong against her. She must have stolen
the ring. It cannot be otherwise."
He went to see the Countess, and questioned her again
about every little circumstance; he also re-examined Har-
riet. He sat nearly all day considering the report of the
trial, and weighed every word that Mary had uttered.
At length, late in the evening, he sent for Mary's father,
who was ushered into his room.
James," began he, "I have been always known to be
a severe man, but no one can say that I have ever done
an unjust action. I think that you must be quite sure
that I do not wish to condemn your daughter to death;
but she has been found guilty of theft, and, according to
law, she must die. Her guilt has been fully proved by the
evidence of the lady's-maid. If, indeed, the ring could be
found and restored to its owner, she might be pardoned on
account of her youth. But if she persists so obstinately
in falsehood, she must be old in wickedness, though young
in years, and I can hold out no hope of pardon. Go,
then, to her, James, persuade her to restore the ring, and
then I promise you that if she does this, she shall not be
put to death, but the punishment will be commuted into
one less severe. You are her father; you have very
great influence over her. If you cannot induce her to










The Father and Daughter in Prison.


confess, what can anyone think, but that you are in collu-
sion with her, and are an accomplice in her crime. I re-
peat once more, if the ring be not produced, it will go
hard with you."
The father replied, "I will, indeed, speak with her; but
I know already that she did not steal the ring, and there-
fore she has nothing to confess. However, I shall do
all in my power, and if my innocent child must die, I
esteem it a great mercy to be permitted to see her once
more."
The officer conducted the old man in silence to Mary's
cell, placed a small lamp on the stone table in it, on which
stood an earthen pitcher containing water, and a plate on
which was Mary's supper, that was still untouched. The
officer then quitted the cell, and closed the door, leaving
the father and daughter together.
Mary was lying on her straw couch, in a half slumber,
with her face turned to the wall. When she opened her
eyes and saw the glimmer of the lamp, she turned round,
perceived her father, uttered a loud cry, and sprang from
her bed so hastily that her chains rattled, and she fell,
half fainting, on her father's neck. He seated himself on
the straw beside her, and folded her in his arms. They
sat some time in silence, and mingled their tears to-
gether.
At length the father began to speak of the commission










The Basket of Flowers.


that he had received. "Oh, father !" interrupted Mary,
" surely you cannot doubt that I am innocent! Oh, my
God!" continued she, weeping, "does everyone believe
me to be a thief, even my own father ? Oh, father be-
lieve my word; I assure you that I am not a thief."
"Be calm, my dear child, I do believe you," said her
father; "but I have been commanded to question you."
Both were again silent.
Her father looked earnestly at Mary. Her cheeks were
pale and care-worn, her eyes red and swollen with weep-
ing, her long, fair hair, which fell round her like a mantle,
was rough and dishevelled. "My poor child." said he,
"God has laid a heavy burden on you And I fear-I
very much fear-the heaviest, the most terrible, is yet to
come Ah, perhaps-perhaps they will even cut off this
dear young head!"
"Oh, father," said Mary, "I do not think of myself, but
of your grey head. O God, grant that I may not have to
see it fall on the scaffold !"
"Fear nothing for me, dear child," said her father.
"They will not harm me; but you, my darling, are in great
danger. Although I have still some hope, yet I believe
their cruelty may go so far as to take your life."
"Oh !" exclaimed Mary, joyfully, "if you are safe, the
heaviest load is off my mind. All is well I assure you,
my dear father, that I do not fear death. I am going to










The FRather and Daughter in Prison. 61



God, to my Saviour! I shall meet my mother in heaven.
Oh, how joyful it will be !"
These words deeply pierced the heart of the old father.
He wept like a child. "God be praised," said he, at
length, clasping his hands, "God be praised, my darling,
that I find you so composed. But it is hard, very hard,
for an old, worn-out man, a loving father, to lose his only,
his dearly-beloved child, the only comfort, the last sup-
port, the crown and joy of his old age! Yet," sobbed
he, in a broken voice, "0 Lord, thy will be done Thou
requires a heavy sacrifice from a father's heart, but I sur-
render her, if it be thy will! Into thy hands I commit
her, my dearest on earth. I trust in Thee; Thou wilt
order all things for the best! Ah! dear Mary, it is better
that you should die innocent, than that I should ever live
to see you led into sin. Forgive me, my dear child, for
saying this. You are indeed good, very good, worthy to
be among the angels in heaven; but the world is wicked,
very wicked, and fall is possible, for even angels fell. If
it be God's holy will that you should die, my darling,
better that you should-die innocent. You will be trans-
planted, like a pure white lily, from this rude world to the
better land, and, cleansed from all sin in the Saviour's
blood, you will be with Him in Paradise."
A torrent of tears choked his utterance. "Yet one
thing more," said he, after a little while. Harriet has










62 Tihe Basket of Flowers.



given evidence against you. She asserted upon oath that
she had seen the ring in your hand. If you are put to
death, her evidence will have caused it; but, dearest Mary,
you forgive her, don't you? You have no ill-feeling to-
S wards her? Ah, my child, even in this dark prison, loaded
Switch chains, you are happier than she is, living in ease
and luxury in the castle of the Count. Better, far better,
is it to die innocent like you, than to live like Harriet
with a guilty conscience. Forgive her, Mary, as your
Saviour forgave his murderers. Is it not true that you
forgive her, and that you take all this affliction as coming
from the hand of God ?" Mary assured him that she fully
forgave her.
The gaoler's step was heard in the passage. "Now,"
said her father, I must go. I commend you to God and
his mercy. I commit you into the hands of the Redeemer,
who died for you. Should we never meet again, my child,
should this be the last time that I look upon you on earth,
we shall not long be parted, for I shall soon follow you to
heaven! For this blow-I feel, I know, that I cannot
long survive it!"
The gaoler now came in, and warned the father that he
must go. Mary wished to keep him, and threw her arms
round him. He gently disengaged himself. She sank
back unconscious on her straw!
James was again brought before the judge. "Before










The Father and Daughter in Tr-ison.


Almighty God, in whose presence we stand, I assure you,"
said he, raising his right hand as he entered the room,
"she is innocent. My child is not a thief."
"I would willingly believe it," said the judge; "but,
alas! I am not permitted to pass sentence according to
the protestations of you and your daughter; I must de-
cide according .to the evidence, and act as it is my duty
to do, according to the letter of the law."


Of all the knots which Nature ties,
The secret, sacred sympathies,
That, as with viewless chains of gold,
The heart a happy prisoner hold;
None is more chaste, more bright, more pure,
Stronger stern trials to endure;
None is more purged of earthly leaven,
More like the love of highest heaven,
Than that which binds, in bonds how blest,
A daughter to a father's breast!"
J. W. CUNNINGHAM.





: i 4-~


63















































:h
Ei~.
CS --T~ r- Q
'
.~.. i.
.r
r..
i.:..~.Sjidl


CHAPTER VII.

THE SENTENCE AND ITS EXECUTION.

EVERYONE in the castle, and in Eichburg, was

anxious to know what would be Mary's fate. All

that felt kindly towards her feared for her life, for at that

time theft was punished with extreme severity. Many had

been punished with death for stealing a sum of money not









The Sentence and its Execution.


the twentieth part of the value of the ring. The Count
wished nothing more earnestly than that Mary should be
proved innocent. He attentively perused the minutes of
the trial, and had many consultations with the magistrate;
but could not convince himself of her innocence, be-
cause it seemed nearly impossible that anyone else could
have taken the ring. The two Countesses, mother and
daughter, implored with tears in their eyes that Mary
might not be put to death. Her old father, in his prison
cell, prayed to God day and night without ceasing, that
He would make manifest Mary's innocence. Mary, left
alone in her cell, when she heard the gaoler's footstep or
the clank of his keys, supposed he was coming to an-
nounce to her the sentence of death. The executioner
had begun to prepare the place of execution, and to clear
it from the weeds with which it was overgrown.
One day, when Harriet was walking near the place, she
saw him employed at this work, and it seemed as if a
dagger had pierced her heart. She felt the stings of re-
morse, and that night at supper in the castle she could
eat nothing, and looked so pale and miserable, that her
agitation was 'observed by all the servants. That night
she could not sleep, and Mary's bleeding head haunted
her dreams. Her guilty conscience gave her no rest day
or night. But the worthless girl was too much under the
dominion of her evil passions to listen to the voice of con-


65










T,2e Basket of F1' cvrs.


science; she was not sufficiently noble-minded to atone,
so far as possible, for her crime, by an honest confession
of the truth.
At length the judge passed sentence. Mary, on account
of her theft, and her obstinate denial of it, was pronounced,-L
deserving of death; but, in consideration of her youth and
formerly unblemished reputation, her sentence was com-
muted to imprisonment for life in the house of correction.
Her father, who was considered a participator in her guilt,
either as actually her accomplice, or as having caused it
by the bad way in which he had brought her up, was
banished for ever from the province. All their possessions
were confiscated, and were ordered to be sold to pay the
law expenses. The Count succeeded in obtaining a miti-
gation of this sentence. Instead of being sent to the house
of correction, Mary was allowed to accompany her father
in his exile; and to spare them all noise and publicity, as
much as possible, it was settled that Mary and James
should be conducted across the boundary early in the
morning of the following day.
As Mary and her father passed before the castle gate,
accompanied by the police officer, Harriet came out to
meet them. Since the affair had taken this turn, this
heartless woman had recovered her levity and good spirits.
The thought of Mary's death had haunted her, and caused
her to feel remorse, but that Mary should be banished


__ ~


66









The Sentence and its Execution.


was the very thing she desired. She had always feared
that Mary, one day or other, might take her place in the
castle. She had now no cause for fear, but the hatred
and jealousy she had felt were as strong as ever in her
wicked heart. A few days before, the Countess Amelia
had observed Mary's basket standing on a side-table in
her room, and had said to Harriet, Take the basket out
of my sight. It awakens such sorrowful remembrances,
that I cannot look at it without pain."
Harriet had taken it away, and now brought it out in
her hand. "Take back your fine present," said she to'
Mary; "my lady will receive nothing from such hands.
Your finery has all gone with the faded flowers, for which
you managed to get so well paid. It gives me the greatest
pleasure to give you back your basket." She threw the
basket at Mary's feet, went back to the castle with a
mocking laugh, and closed the gate violently behind her.
With tears in her eyes, Mary silently lifted the basket,
and went on her way. Her father had not even a staff
for the journey. She had no earthly possession but the
basket. She looked back weeping again and again, to gaze
upon the home she was leaving, till it disappeared from
her view, and at length the castle, and even the top of the
church spire, were hidden from her sight by a wooded hill.
After the police officer had conducted Mary and her father
to the boundary of the province, and had left them in the


67










The Basket of Flowers.


forest, the old man, w-Ton out with grief and pain, sat
down on a moss-covered stone, under the shade of an
old oak-tree.
Come, my daughter," said he, as, taking Mary's hands
in his, he raised them to heaven, "before all things, let
us thank God for having delivered us out of the dark,
noisome prison, and permitted us once more to enjoy the
fresh air under the open sky; let us thank Him that He
has saved our lives, and has restored you to me, my
dearly beloved child."
James looked up to the sky, which could be seen clear
and blue through the green oak-leaves, and he prayed
with a loud voice, "Our Father which art in heaven!
Thou only comfort of thy children on earth! Thou
Almighty Refuge of the oppressed accept our united
thanks for our merciful deliverance from chains and bonds,
ipnlrisonment and death! We thank Thee for all the
benefits that Thou hast bestowed upon us in the home
that we are leaving. How could we go without first look-
ing up to Thee with grateful hearts ? Before we tread the
soil of a place in which we are strangers, we ask thy
blessing and guidance. Deign to look down on a poor
father and his weeping child. Take us under thy almighty
protection. Be our guardian and, guide in the rough paths
which may be before us. Lead us among good people,
incline their hearts to have compassion upon us. In thy











The Sentence and its Execution.


wide world let us find a little corner in which we may spend
in quietness the remaining days of our pilgrimage, and
then die in peace. I believe that, although we know it not,
Thou hast already prepared this place for us. With this
hope, and trusting in Thee, we go on our way comforted.
Strengthen and guide us, for our Lord Jesus Christ's sake."
After both had prayed thus, for Mary's heart echoed her
father's words, wonderful peace and joy filled their hearts,
and they were prepared to go on their way with trust and
hope.

When winter fortunes cloud the brows
Of summer friends, when eyes grow strange,
When plighted faith forgets its vows,
When earth and all things in it change;
O Lord, thy mercies fail me never,
Where once Thou lov'st, Thou lov'st for ever.

In all extremes, Lord, Thou art still
The mount whereto my hopes do flee;
Oh! make my soul detest all ill,
Because so much abhorr'd by Thee;
Lord, let thy gracious trials show
That I am just, or make me so.

Fountain of light and living breath,
Whose mercies ever fail nor fade !
Fill me with life that hath no death,
i Fill me with light that hath no shade;
Appoint the remnant of my days
To see thy power, and sing thy praise."
QUARLES.
,-a.t._ .,I 5,


69




































CHAPTER VIII.
A FRIEND IN NEED.

W HILE the father and daughter were still sitting
under the tree, Anthony, the Count's old forester,
came through the wood. He knew James well, as they had
been in attendance on the Count when he was travelling.
He had been out that morning in pursuit of a stag.










A Friend in Veed. 71



Good morning to you, James," said he; "how goes
it with you ? I thought I heard your voice, and I find I
have not been mistaken. Have they really been so cruel
as to banish you ? It is very hard, in your old age, to be
forced to leave your own dear home."
"The earth is the Lord's," replied James, "and where-
ever we may be under the blue sky, we are in his sight,
and his love is ever around us. But our home is in
heaven."
"Can it be true," said the forester, kindly, "that they
have had the still greater cruelty to cast you out without
anything but the clothes you have on ? Why, you are
not even sufficiently clad for such a journey."
"IHe who clothes the flowers will also clothe us," re-
plied James.
"And about money?" again asked the forester. "Have
you got any with you ?"
"We have a good conscience," ansir\ced James, "and
we are richer with that than we should be without it, even
if this stone on which I am sitting were of pure gold, and
belonged to us."
But tell me," said the forester, have you really not a
penny "
"This empty basket at my feet is our only earthly
possession," said James; "what do you think it may be
worth ?"









The Basket of Flowers.


"A florin," said the forester, looking perplexed-""a
florin, or perhaps a dollar. But what is that ?"
Well," said James, smiling, "then we are rich. If God
grants me health and strength, and the use of my hands,
I could make at least a hundred such baskets in a year;
and with an income of one hundred dollars we might cer-
tainly manage very well. My father, who was a basket-
maker, insisted that I should learn basket-making as well
as gardening, in order to give me useful employment in
winter. I thank him for it now. He has done more for
me, and provided better for me, than if he had left me
three thousand florins, which would have given me a
yearly income of a hundred dollars, and allowed me to be
idle. A sound mind in a sound body, and a respectable
trade, are the best and surest riches on earth."
"Now, God be praised," said the forester, "that you
can take it in this way. I quite agree with you. I think,
too, that your skill as a gardener will assist you. But tell
me, where do you intend to go now ?"
Very far away," said James, where no one knows us.
God will guide our steps."
"James," said the forester, "take this strong, thick crab-
stick with you. Fortunately, I brought it with me this
morning, because it is somewhat difficult for me to get up
yonder hill without it. And here is a little money," con-
tinued he, taking a small leather purse out of his pocket;


~


72










A Friend in Need.


"I received it yesterday evening in the village, in pay-
ment for wood."
"I will gladly accept the staff," said James, "and keep
it in remembrance of an honest man; but I cannot take
the money. As it is payment for wood, it belongs to the
Count."
"Honest old James," said the forester, "make your
mind easy about that; the money is already paid to the
Count. I advanced it, many years ago, to a poor man
who had lost his cow, and could not pay for the wood he
had bought. I thought no more about it till yesterday
evening, when quite unexpectedly he paid me the money
with many thanks, as he is now in better circumstances.
God has sent the money just at the right time for you."
"I will thankfully accept it," said James. "God will
reward you for your kindness. See, Mary," continued he
to his daughter, how graciously God has provided for us
at the very outset of our journey. Even before we had
crossed the boundary, He has sent our good friend here,
who has supplied me with money and a staff to support
me on the way. How soon God has answered our prayer!
Be of good courage, and fear not; God will continue to
care for us."
The old forester now took leave of them, with tears in
his eyes. "Farewell, honest James-farewell, good Mary,"
said he, while he first shook hands with the father and


73








The Basket of Flowers.


then with the daughter. "I have always thought you
honest people, and I think so still. You will get on well
yet, no fear; honesty is sure to thrive. Yes, yes; he who
does right, and trusts in God, will never be forsaken.
Take that assurance with you, as my parting word, and
may God guide and protect you!"
The forester turned away, deeply moved, and went to-
wards Eichburg. Then James stood up, took his daughter
by the hand, and walked on with her along the high road
through the forest-forth into the wide world.

Parted friends may meet again,
When the storms of life are past,
And the spirit, freed from pain,
Basks in friendship that will last.

Worldly cares may sever wide,
Distant far their path may be;
But the bond by death untied,
They shall once again be free.

Parted friends again may meet,
From the toils of nature free;
Crowned with mercy-oh! how sweet
Will eternal friendship be!"
C. W. THOMSON.


74







































CHAPTER IX.
THE EXILES FIND A HOME.

DDAY after day Mary and her father wandered on, till
they had reached a distance of more than sixty miles
from their old home. During all that time they had not
been able to find a place in which they could remain with
the hope of getting work; and their small sum of money


r








The Basket of Flowers.


was exhausted. They fared very ill. The mere thought
of asking alms was unspeakably painful to them, but at-
length they were forced to do so. At many a door they
were repulsed with harsh words, and at many another a
dry crust was thrown to them with a grudge, and they
had nothing to drink with it but a little water from the
nearest stream. Sometimes a little soup or cold vegetables
were given them in an earthen plate; still more rarely a
small quantity of broken victuals or pastry; but Mary
could often see that the smallest and worst pieces of the
left food were picked out for them. For many days they
never tasted anything warm, and at night they were thank-
ful to find shelter in a barn.
One day, when the road on which they were travelling
led them between woods and hills, far from any village or
even scattered houses, the old man was suddenly taken ill.
Pale and speechless, he sank down on the fallen spines of
the fir-trees, at the foot of a hill covered with wood. Mary
was nearly beside herself with terror and anguish. In
vain she looked all around for fresh water; she could not
find a single drop. In vain she called aloud for help; the
echo alone replied. Far and wide there was no human
habitation to be seen. With trembling limbs Mary hastily
climbed the hill, that she might be better able to see all
around. Then at length she perceived on the opposite
side of the hill a farm-house, which stood alone on the


76








The Exiles find a Home.


edge of the wood, surrounded by ripening corn-fields and
green meadows.
She ran as fast as she could, and reached the house
almost -breathless. With streaming eyes, and a voice
broken with sobs, she implored for help. The farmer and
his wife, both rather aged, were good, kind-hearted people.
They were touched by Mary's grief, her pale face, her
tears, and her anguish.
The farmer's wife said to her husband, "Put a horse in
the light cart; we can soon bring the sick man here."
The farmer went to harness the horse and bring out
the cart. The farmer's wife got ready a few blankets,
an earthen jar of cold water, and a bottle with a little
vinegar.
As soon as Mary heard that the cart-road round the
foot of the hill was very bad, and much further than the
path across the hill, she at once set off to return by the
way she had come, that she might be sooner with her
father. She took with her a' pitcher of water and a little
vinegar.
When she reached the spot where she had left her
father, he had somewhat revived. He was sitting'up
under a fir-tree, and was heartily glad to see Mary, whose
absence he had remarked with pain when he recovered
consciousness. The light cart soon after arrived, and he
was gently laid in it and carried to the farm.


__


77









The Basket of Flowers.


The farmer had a neat back room, with a back
kitchen, and a small room beside it, forming a little
separate lodging, which now chanced to be empty.
He kindly cleared this for the sick man. The farmer's
wife prepared a comfortable bed for him. Mary was
glad to sleep on a mattress on the floor. She was con-
tented with anything, if she could only make her father
comfortable. James's illness proceeded entirely from
exhaustion, caused by the want of food, the discom-
fort that he had endured, and the fatigue of the long
journey.
The good farmer's wife gave all which she could offer
to refresh and restore the poor old man. She spared
neither meal nor eggs, milk or butter; even a few fowls
were willingly given to make strong soup for her sick,
weary guest.
The farmer brought in almost every day a young pigeon
from his dove-cote. "There," said he to his wife, with a
smile, "since you do not spare your poultry, I must do
something too."
The farmer and his wife had been wont every year to
go to an annual festival held in a neighboring village.
This year, after a consultation with each other, they re-
solved to remain at home, and to set apart the money
which they would otherwise spend at the festival, to, buy
some good old wine for the invalid.


~


78









The Exiles find a Home.


Mary thanked them with grateful-tears. She thanked
God, who, in their great need, had guided them to such
kind and hospitable people. "God be thanked," said
she, "there, are kind people everywhere; but the kindest
hearts are often found under rough exteriors, in plain
country homes."
Mary scarcely ever left her father's side. She was
always near to answer when he called, yet her clever
hands were never idle. She was a very good needle-
woman and knitter, and she worked constantly for the
kind farmer's wife. She wasted not a moment. Her new
friend was much pleased with her industry, and, her quiet,
gentle, and modest behaviour.
Old James was quickly restored by the good food and
nursing which he now received, and he was soon able to
be out of bed.
As soon as his strength had to some extent returned,
it was impossible for him to be idle. Mary was sent to
fetch hazel-branches and willows from the wood, that he
might begin his basket-making. His first work was an
offering of .gratitude-a neat useful hand-basket for the
farmer's wife. He contrived exactly to suit, her taste.
The basket was beautifully shaped and firmly made. He
dyed some willow-twigs of various colours, and wove in
the cover of the basket, in dark red letters, the initials
of his kind friend's name, and the date when she had so


_____


79







The Basket of Flowers.


hospitably sheltered him. On the sides of the basket a
pattern was woven, in yellow, green, and brown willows,
representing the farm-house,'with its brown walls, thatched
roof, and a few green pine-trees near it. This. allusion to
the name of the farm, which was called "Pine Farm,"
pleased the farmer's wife. She was greatly delighted with
the pretty and useful gift, and all who saw it admired it
very much.
When James had quite recovered his health, he said
to his kind friends at the farm-"I have been long enough
a burden to you; it is full time that I should take my staff
and wander on further."
But the farmer took his hand kindly, aid said--" What
has come over you, dear James ? I hope we have not
offended you in any way. Why do you wish to leave us ?
You are usually a sensible man; this new whim is not like
you."
The farmer's wife wiped away a tear with her apron, as
she said-" Oh, stay with us It is late in the season
already! See, the leaves on the trees and hedges are
yellow, and winter is at the door! Do you really wish
to be ill again ?"
James assured her that he only wished to go because
he was afraid of being a burden to them.
Make your mind easy about that !" said the farmer;
"how is it possible that you can be a burden to us? You


8o








The Exiles find a Home.


are not in our way in your little back room there, and
you earn all that you need."
"Yes, indeed !" said the farmer's wife, "Mary alone
earns it all by her sewing and knitting. And if you,
James, will go on with your basket-making, you will have
plenty to do. I took your pretty basket with me last
week, when I went to the christening of the miller's
child. There was a large party, and they all admired my
basket, and wished to have one like it. I will get you
plenty of orders, if you like. You need not want work."
James and Mary agreed to remain where they were so
kindly welcomed, and both the farmer and his wife were
heartily glad of it.

When all within is peace,
How nature seems to smile!
Delights that never cease,
The livelong day beguile.
"It is content of heart
Gives nature power to please;
The mind that feels no smart
Enlivens all it sees;
Can make a wintry sky
Seem bright as smiling May,
And evening's closing eye
As peep of early day."
COWPER.




































CHAPTER X.
PLEASANT DAYS AT THE PINE FARM.

J AMES and Mary now settled themselves in their little
rooms, and prepared to begin housekeeping. A few
articles of necessary furniture and a few kitchen utensils
were provided. Mary was much pleased to have once
more a fireside of her own, and to be able to cook her







Pleasant Days at the Pine Farm.


father's meals in comfort. Both father and daughter were
contented and happy. 'They had many a pleasant talk
while James was making baskets, and Mary was busy
with her sewing and knitting. On many an evening they
were invited into the front room, where all the farmer's
household were assembled; and all were pleased to listen
to James's amusing stories and pleasant conversation.
Winter with its storms passed quickly and pleasantly away
amid these useful occupations.
Near the farm there was a large piece of garden ground,
which had been allowed to lie waste. The farmer and his
wife had not time to attend to it, because they were so
constantly busy on the farm; and even if they had, been
able to spare the time, they did not understand gardening.
James undertook to make a good garden of this useless
piece of ground.
He cleared and dug it well is autumn, and as soon as
the snow melted in the early spring, he and Mary worked
hard in it, both early and late. He fenced it round, laid
it out in beds, filled it with useful vegetables and such
flowers as the bees love, and gravelled the walks. Mary
took the flower-beds under her especial care, and when
her father went to the neighboring town, to bring seeds
and plants for the vegetable garden, she persuaded him
to bring also rose-bushes, lilies, auriculas, wallflowers,
stocks, and other pretty flowers.


83







The Basket of Flowers.


So blooming a garden had never before been seen in
this remote place, and it became famous in all the valley,
and in the neighboring villages. The orchard also pros-
pered under James's care, and bore better fruit and larger
crops. A blessing seemed to rest on all that he did.
The old gardener was again in his element. As in the
old times at Eichburg, he began to teach Mary lessons
from the flowers and plants growing in profusion around
them. There was scarcely a flower or a green leaf that
did not seem to give him a text for a fresh lesson.
In the early days of spring, Mary looked for violets
under the hedge which bordered one side of the garden,
that she might bring her father the first opening flowers,
as she had been accustomed to do. One day she joyfully
presented him with a beautiful sweet-smelling nosegay.
Well," said her father, smiling as he took the pretty
bunch of blue flowers, "who seeks well is sure to find.
But listen," continued he; "it is worthy of notice that this
lovely little flower, the sweet violet, often grows under
thorns; and this seems to me to apply to our own case.
Who could have believed that in this lonely valley, and
under this old moss-covered thatch, we should find so
much comfort and joy? There is no path in life so
thorny, but we may find some quiet pleasures hidden
under the thorns, if we seek for them. Be meek and
humble in heart, my child, and even amid many sorrows,


84









Pleasant Days at the Pine Farm.


God will send you that peace which the world can neither
give nor take away."
A tradesman's wife from the town came one day to
buy flax from the farmer's wife, and brought her little
boy with her. While the flax was being examined, and
the price of it settled, the boy, left to himself, escaped
through the open door into the garden, and ran eagerly
to a bush covered with full-blown roses, to gather flowers,
but in his haste he fell, and was sorely pricked by the
thorns. His loud cries brought both his mother and the
farmer's wife to his help, James and Mary too came to
see what was the matter. The boy was standing crying
passionately, with face and hands bleeding, and loudly
abusing the ugly, deceitful rose-bush.
"There are many children of larger growth like him,"
said James. "Like the rose-bush, every worldly pleasure
is surrounded by thorns, and many rush eagerly to grasp
them. One seeks his amusement in dancing and gam-
bling, another in intoxication, or even worse. The plea-
sure soon passes away, leaving a cruel sting, and the
pleasure-seeker stands like this boy, weeping and lament-
ing, and accusing, as the cause of his misery, what he has
most loved. Even innocent pleasures should be mode-
rately used, and, while we admire the beauty of the rose,
we must not grasp it too eagerly. God has given man
reason for his guide, that he may learn to be temperate


85-








The Basket of Flowers.


in all things. He must not blindly follow his own plea-
sure, but try to find his pleasure in the path of duty."
One lovely summer morning, after several days' rain,
Mary went with her father to the garden, and found the
first lilies in full blow, looking lovely in the rising sun.
She ran to call the people in the farm, who had been
anxiously waiting to see the lilies in blossom. All ad-
mired them much.
"What a dazzling white! how pure and spotless they
are !" said the farmer's wife.
"Yes, truly," said James, earnestly. "Oh, that the souls
of men were as pure and spotless as the lilies, then would
they enjoy the greatest possible happiness! Is it not said
that 'the pure in heart shall see God?' I have often
before taught you, dear Mary, that none are pure by
nature, and you know well how we can become pure, in
no other way than through the cleansing blood of Christ.
Thus washed, we shall shine for ever in robes as white
and spotless as the lily blossoms."
"How beautifully straight is the slender stem !" said the
farmer; "how erect and upright it stands !"
"It is like a finger-post pointing upwards to heaven,"
said James; "I delight to look at it. Such lilies should
be in every country garden. We, working people, are
obliged to grub so much in the ground, that we some-
times forget to look upwards. This lovely upright flower,


-86








Pleasant Days at the Pine Farm.


with its white cup open to the rays of the sun, ought
always to remind us, that amid all our toil and hard labour
we too should be looking upwards, and seeking for better
things than earth can give. All plants," continued James
impressively, "even the most delicate, have a tendency
to grow upwards, and those which are too weak to rise
by themselves, are so formed that they cling to something
stronger, and so climb higher and higher. The honey-
suckle, the ivy, the sweet-peas, and the hops, even the
wild convolvulus in the hedge, are all ever clinging and
striving to raise themselves from the ground. It would
be very sad if man, with his high aspirations, hopes, and
wishes, should creep on the earth, instead of rising up-
wards to heaven. If we prize this world and its vanities
too much, we shall always be grovelling on the ground,
for 'where the treasure is, there will the heart be also.'
But let us cling to Christ, and rise upwards by his help.
Let us 'set our affections on things above, not on things
on the earth,' and so shall we be ever rising higher and
higher, and shall rejoice in the glorious life-giving rays of
the Sun of righteousness."
One day James was planting out young seedlings in
the same bed which Mary was weeding. "This twofold
work, my dear daughter," said he, "is like our life-work
here below. Our hearts are like gardens, which God has
given us to tend. We must ever be busy in uprooting


87








The Basket of Flozoers,


the evil, and sowing the good seed, or the garden will
soon be a wilderness. By nature, weeds grow therein
more luxuriantly than flowers. As the seed I am now
sowing cannot thrive unless the weeds are cleared away,
and the soil is prepared to receive the refreshing rain and
dew, so the good seed sown in our hearts cannot spring
up unless God send the gracious influences of his Holy
Spirit, like the refreshing rain, to cause it to grow and
bear fruit abundantly. The soul thus blessed becomes
like a well-watered garden, bringing forth abundantly the
precious 'fruits of the Spirit.'"
Three springs and summers had glided pleasantly away,
since James and Mary first came to the Pine Farm, and
they had almost forgotten the sorrows of the past. These
years had been well and usefully spent in active industry,
lightened by many innocent pleasures, not the least of
which to Mary was her father's instructive conversation.
At-the return of autumn, when the midday sun cast longer
shadows, the last ornaments of the garden, the red and
blue asters, were in bloom, and the many-coloured foliage
of the trees showed the approach of winter, James's health
began visibly to decline. He felt his strength daily dimi-
nishing. He tried to conceal his feelings of illness from
Mary, fearing to distress her; but his teachings from the
flowers were of a melancholy cast, often leading to
thoughts of death, and his words made Mary feel sad.


88









Pleasant Days at the Pine Farm.


One day Mary, as she was gathering flowers, saw a rose,
the last lingering blossom on the tree; but when she
wished to gather it, its leaves fell off, and were scattered
on the ground around her. "So is it with man," said her
father. "In youth we are like a newly-opened rose; but
like the roses we wither and fade, our season of bloom is
very short, and quickly passes. Do not prize, therefore,
my dear child, the vain fragile beauty of the body, which
will soon pass away, but strive after the beauty of the soul,
the ornament which can never fade."
One evening, when they had been gathering in. the
crop of apples, James was standing on a ladder under
one of the trees, and handing down the apples to Mary,
which she was carefully laying in a basket. Then he
said-"Hear how the autumn wind whistles among the
trees, plays with the yellow leaves, and blows about my
grey hair! I am in the autumn of life, dear Mary, and
one day, if you are spared, your autumn will also come.
Try to resemble this tree, which you see rich in good
fruits, and may you also bring forth fruit abundantly, so
that you may be approved by the Lord of the harvest."
When Mary was sowing seed for the following spring,
her father said, "Even so, my daughter, must we one day
be laid in the ground and covered with the earth. But be
comforted! As the corn of wheat which is laid in the
earth rises to new life, and as the seed of the fair flower


89









90


The Basket of Flowers,


also springs up fresh from its grave, so shall we one day
rise to a new and glorious life from the darkness of the
tomb. Think of this, dear Mary, when at some future
day you may have to follow me to the grave. As the
seeds that you sow there spring up and blossom, may
you regard them as the emblem and the pledge of my
resurrection and immortality."
Mary looked anxiously at her father, and she could not
but see that he was greatly changed. Two large tears
rolled slowly down her cheeks, and she shuddered at the
thought that she must lose him. Dark forebodings filled
her heart.

"When the spark of life is waning,
Weep not for me;
When the languid eye is straining,
Weep not for me;
When the feeble pulse is ceasing,
Start not at its swift decreasing,
'Tis the fettered souls releasing;
Weep not for me.

When the pangs of death assail me,
Weep not me;
Christ is mine-He cannot fail me,
Weep not for me.
Yes! though sin and doubt endeavour
From his love my soul to sever,
Jesus is my strength for ever-
Weep not for me." DALE.


































CHAPTER XI.
JAMES'S ILLNESS.

W INTER set in with unusual severity. Hill and val-
ley were covered with snow, and good old James
suffered from the cold. He became so ill as to alarm
Mary, who entreated him to allow a doctor to be sent for
from the neighboring town, and the kind-hearted farmer








The Basket of Flowers.


went himself in his sledge to fetch him. After the doctor
had seen and prescribed for the sick man, Mary accom-
panied him to the door. She asked him whether she
might venture to hope that her father would recover.
The doctor told her that for the present her father was
not in danger, but that, at his advanced age, he could not
answer how the illness would end. Mary feared the worst
from this doubtful answer, and she sank down on a chair
when the doctor had left her, and wept bitterly. After a
time she became more composed, wiped away her tears,
and tried to appear calm before her father, that she might
not alarm or distress him.
Mary attended her beloved father with the tenderest
care. She did everything for him that was in her power.
She watched all night long by his bedside. When others
offered to take her place, lest the constant watching should
be too much for her, if, yielding to their persuasions, she
consented to lie down for a few moments, she could not
close her eyes. If her father even coughed, she started
up; if he moved, she was at once by his side to see what
he wanted. She prepared and served the most nourishing
food to him with the tenderest love. She arranged his pil-
lows, she read to him, she prayed for him without ceasing.
Often while he slept she stood by him with clasped hands,
and looking up to heaven, said, "Oh, my God! spare him
to me still, even for a few years !" She often remained


92









James's Illness.


up, half the night sewing or knitting, to earn money to
provide comforts for him. Yet, frugal as she was in her
own wants, she would have spent the last farthing she
possessed to purchase anything that might do him good.
The pious old man, although he had somewhat revived
for the present, yet felt that his "sickness was unto death."
Notwithstanding, he was calm and composed, and spoke
cheerfully of his approaching death. Poor Mary could.
not bear this, and when her father spoke of his death, she
said, amid her tears-
"Oh, do not speak of it, dearest father! I dare not
even think of it! What would become of me ? Ah! your
poor Mary would then have no friend on earth !"
"Weep not, dear child," said her father, taking her
hand kindly. "If I am taken away, you have still a Father
in heaven. He has promised to be a 'Father to the
fatherless.', Remember what David says in the Psalms,
'When my father and my mother forsake me, then the
Lord will take me up.' Your Father in heaven will be
ever with you, even if your father on earth is taken from
you. How to provide for your food and clothing is among
the least of my cares. The birds of the air are fed, and
so will God feed you. 'Man wants but little here below,
nor wants that little long.' Ah far different cares weigh
upon my mind. My only anxiety is, that you should re-
main as gentle, pious, and innocent as, thank God, you are


93









The Basket of Flowers.


now. My beloved daughter, ybu know not how corrupt
and wicked the world-is, and what evil men there are in it.
Alas! it is too true that there are men who would think it
merely a jest to deprive you, poor girl, of innocence,
honour, peace of mind, and the whole happiness of your
life. They may call you childish if you speak to them of
the fear of God, the voice of conscience, the command-
ments of God, and of endless eternity; but if they regard
not these things, flee from such men, dearest Mary. Re-
member, they are those whom the Bible commands us to
shun. Hoivever much they may flatter you, and call you
beautiful, hovering round you like the butterfly round the
flowers, yet listen not to them, and mind not what they
say. Never accept a present from them, and never believe
their promises. Satan himself has appeared in the form
of an angel of light; and a poisonous serpent often lurks
among flowers. For your protection, God has given you
a true badge of innocence-holy modesty; if anyone sug-
gests an evil thought or says a word that is not innocent,
you will feel the glow of modesty rush into your cheeks.
'fake warning from this guardian of innocence Neglect
it not, that it may not leave you for ever. As long as the
blush of modesty remains, if you listen to its warning, you
are safe from temptation. But as soon as you slight this
warning, even in the least degree-if you yield even once
-you are in danger of being lost for ever!


94









James's Illness.


"Oh! Mary, there willbe an enemy in your own heart.
There will be moments in your life in which you may feel
a desire for what is evil, and in which you may easily per-
suade yourself that you are not very wicked, even if you
break the strict rules that have been imposed upon you.
But take warning, and engrave the counsel of your dying
father deeply on your heart! Do, speak, even think, no-
thing for which you must blush were it done or spoken
in your father's presence. My eyes will soon be closed
for ever; I shall no longer be able to guard you; but
think that your heavenly Father is everywhere present,
and sees the secrets of your heart. You would be ashamed
to show any evil feeling to me, your father on earth; fear
infinitely more to give offence to Him, your omniscient
Father in heaven.
"Dearest Mary, remember my advice. If temptation
should ever assail you, think of me, remember my pale
face, my grey hair, the tears that are falling over my
wasted cheeks. Come, put your hand into mine, cold
and withered as it is, that will soon be laid in the dust.
Promise me never to forget my words. In the hour of
temptation, try to imagine that you feel the clasp of. my
cold hand, holding you back from the brink of the abyss.
My darling girl, you look upon my pale and careworn
features with tears of sorrow. Oh! see now that all on
earth is passing away. Once I was as fresh and blooming


95







' The Basket of Flowers.


as you are now. One day you will be as pale and wasted
as I now am, lying on my dying bed, unless it please God
to take you away still earlier. The joys of my youth have
faded like the flowers of the past spring, the place
whereof knows them no more; tl'ey have vanished like
the dew on the early blossoms, which glitters for a moment
and is seen no more. But noble deeds are like the pre-
cious stones, which have an enduring value; virtue and a
good conscience are like the noblest of precious stones,
the diamond, which is indestructible. Strive to obtain thi
jewel! The good that I have done is now my only joy,
and my faults and failures are my only pain. Keep close
to God, dear child, trust ever in Him walk, as in his
presence. In Him I have found my sweetest joys, and in
Him, also, the best and only consolation in my sorrow.
"Believe me, Mary, I speak the truth If it were other-
wise, I would tell you. I have seen the world as much as
most men, when I was travelling with the Count. In all
the large cities, in which there was anything beautiful or
attractive to be seen, I was permitted to visit it. I enjoyed
all the pleasures of the world, for I sawand heard as well
as the young Count did the gay masquerades, the noisy
music, the merry talking, and the jests; and of the delicate
food and costly wines there remained always more than
I could consume. But worldly pleasures such as these
left my heart empty. I assure you that during one quarter


__


96




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