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CONTENTS.PAGEI. SYBIL'S SACRIFICE,. III. THE BRAVE DAUGHTER: A STORY OF THEPLAGUE IN LONDON, 28III. THE YOUNG DOCTOR OF MUNICH: A TRAVELLER'SSTORY,. 68IV. THE ONLY SON,. 934. CLOTHILDE: A STORY OF THE FRENCH REVOLU-TION, 100VI. THE WANDERER,. IO
*LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.PAGEThe Widow's Retirement and Resignation, 8Erskine prepares Sybil for a Sacrifice by the Grave of. p er Mother, I6y* Bi Leven pleads his right to the hand of the Daughter, 24reet Scene during the Plague of London, 3An.Apparition, guilt-appalling,. 60A pious Votive-offering,. 7o Karl and his patient Instructor, .85Karl Swoons away: a Reaction, 90A Victim to Filial Disobedience, 98An Executioner of the Revolution, 102The Wanderer descries a Home, 112His Mother's Greeting,. 8
I.SYBIL'S SACRIFICE.CHAPTER I.MONG the many men of talent and geniuswho adorn the English bar, Mr Erskine, awealthy judge and magistrate in London,was at one time distinguished for his superior intellectand the strict sense of honour which ruled his everyaction. Deeply versed in the science of law, giftedwith a keen penetration, equal only to his love ofstudy, and indefatigable in the exercise of his duties,this gentleman was an honour to his profession andan oracle among his friends.Esteemed and respected by the public, his homewas made happy by his own virtues and those of hisfamily. His circle was a small one, and consistedonly of his wife, whom he loved with the tenderestaffection, and one daughter, Sybil, who was seeminglydestined to equal her mother in grace and kindness.A
2S YBIL 'S SA CR1FICCE.Mr Erskine would have preferred to live in retire-ment. The pleasures of the world had very littleattraction for him. However, for the sake of his wife,he would occasionally indulge in those amusementswhich are happiness to some people, much as if theywere necessary evils. He went into society, andresigned himself to the task of making himselfagreeable; but when it was all over, he would returnjoyfully to his own quiet, but truly happy home, whichwas only rendered dearer to him by the contrast withthe outer world.One evening he had promised to accompany MrsErskine to a ball, and he wished to keep his promise.But we shall see presently of what serious results thistrifling circumstance was the cause.Mr Erskine was at that time engaged with an im-portant law-plea. It was concerning the inheritanceof fifty thousand pounds, the possession of which wasdisputed by two relatives. The one was a rich foreignmerchant, who had come to London for the purposeof having the matter settled, and who dazzled the cityby his splendour and wealth, and flattered himselfthat he was making an impression on his judges byhis grandeur. The other was a poor widow, so timidthat she was hardly able to resist the opposition of
S YBIL'S SA CRIFICE.3her rich kinsman, and so poor that the loss of thislaw-plea would leave her and her daughter in thedeepest want and misery.All Mr Erskine's sympathies would have gone forthe widow, if a judge has any right to have "sym-pathies " at all. He had given the affair his utmostattention, and studied all the outs and ins of the casewith the greatest care; and the day after the ball hewas to read his report of it in court.In thinking of the important duty he had to fulfil,he was on the point of renouncing the ball. Thisidea haunted him for a long time; it seemed thatthose precious hours which were to be frittered awayin pleasure were claimed by duty; that they would be. more usefully employed in studying the affair uponwhich the fate of a family depended than by minglingin the giddy throng, whose mirth would bewilder hisbrain, while it could not reach his heart. But just ashe was engaged with these reflections, Mrs Erskineentered his study, all ready dressed for the greatevent, and radiant with the anticipated pleasure shewas about to partake of. He did not wish to dimher joy, and so, laying aside all his scruples, MrErskine prepared to accompany his wife.-i The report, however, which was to be read next
4S YBIL 'S SACRIFICE.day before the court, was scarcely commenced. Hecalled an old clerk to his aid, who very often servedhim in the capacity of secretary, and who, by hishonesty as well as by his intelligence, merited his fullconfidence. He installed him in his own study,placed all the deeds relating to the affair before him,explained them to him, showed him what books toconsult, entrusted the beginning of the report to him,and begged him to finish it."I am going to look after my wife," said MrErskine; "do you, my friend, look after my work.When I return to-night I shall find you here, andyou will commit your work to me; and to-morrow,like the peacock in the fable, I shall present myselfin court dressed in your feathers."The old clerk smiled at his patron's pleasantry, andset himself to his work with all vigour and earnest-ness.Mr Erskine did not weary during the ball, for hiswife was happy; but the thought of this lawsuitcrossed his mind two or three times, and troubledhim a little. In the midst of this gay and brilliantthrong, who crowded those splendid glittering rooms,blazing with light and beauty-in the midst of allthis wealth, this sparkling of diamonds, rich flowers,
S YBIL 'S SA CRIFICE.5and the happy sounds of mirth and joy, he thoughtof the poor widow who, in her modest dwelling,waited anxiously for the dawning of the morrow,and, for one moment, this thought troubled him."I would, perhaps, have acted more wisely," hesaid to himself, "if I had remained at home andfinished the report myself; if my secretary forgetsany of the circumstances; if he does not see thematter in the same light as I; if he grows weary orlets any of the papers stray, we are lost. I wouldlike to leave early and help him to finish his work."He was about to put his desire into execution, butas he approached to ask his wife to retire from thescene, he saw her the centre of an admiring group,and he hesitated to shorten her happiness; he hadnot even the heart to express his wish; and so heremained and endeavoured to distract his thoughts.But the presence of the rich foreign merchant, whowas one of the guests, was painful to him; and thethought of the poor widow, spending her night inanxious prayer, ever and anon returned to him.But everything comes to an end in this world, andso did this ball, and Mr Erskine returned to his home-at four o'clock in the morning.The secretary was fast asleep in the study, but
6SYBIL'S SACRIFICE.beside him were the deeds seemingly in the mostperfect order, and the report finished. Whateverdesire Mr Erskine may have had to search into thematter before him, with this experienced man, wasfrustrated, for he could only get the shortest repliesto his questions. As for himself, he hardly cared torouse the tired and sleepy secretary, for he was har-assed and weary with his own unaccustomed fatigue.The sounds of music still floated in his ears; hiseyes were still dazzled by the brilliant lights, lustrousdiamonds, rare flowers, and the rich plumes of thebeautiful guests. The image of the foreign merchantin the midst of this gay scene haunted him, andappeared to follow him like an importunate phantom.It was with the greatest difficulty that he collectedhis ideas sufficiently to hastily read over the report,which he was about to give to the world as his ownwork.However, he succeeded so far: by degrees hisideas were cleared, and calmness returned to hisbewildered senses. The report appeared to him tobe perfectly plain and reasonable; the logic wassound, and the conclusions unmistakable. Thematter seemed clear as light; but it was the foreignerwho would gain the day.
SYBIL'S SACRIFICE.9"Poor woman " sighed Mr Erskine, as he finished.It was now eight o'clock; he snatched a hasty break-fast, sadly collected the deeds, took up his report ofthe case, and hurried away to the court.The widow anxiously awaited the verdict whichwas to decide her fate. Mr Erskine discovered herpale eager face in the crowd of spectators, and sighedagain; but he had a duty to perform, and he couldnot avoid it. It was with a firm but regretful voicethat he read aloud his report: by its conclusions, thepoor widow lost the case.The stranger merchant departed to his native landwith this new accession to his wealth, and the widowretired into a humble garret, where she employed hertime in working for her own living and that of herdaughter.In a very few months afterwards, Mr Erskine losthis wife.CHAPTER II.Six years went past, and Time, the great healer ofall our wounds, and which brings balm to our troubledhearts, had somewhat softened the keen grief whichthis melancholy loss had caused. Mr Erskine loved
IOS YBIL'S SA CRIFICE.Sybil, his only daughter, more than ever, for she hadnow become, not only in her charming features, butalso by her amiable character, the living image of hermother. Sybil was sought in marriage at this time bya wealthy young nobleman, Lord Percy Leven.The illustrious name of his ancient family, and hislarge fortune, were his smallest recommendations toMr Erskine's favour, who, as well as his daughter, knewhow to appreciate his noble and amiable character.This alliance was very soon to be concluded, andMr Erskine considered himself the happiest of men.One day, immersed in business, and occupied by aquestion of law, he wished to seek for some light onthe subject in some volumes he had not opened formany years: he removed many ponderous tomesfrom his library shelves. Behind some books, whichhad been allowed to lie idle for a long time, he dis-covered a paper. This astonished him not a little,for one of Mr Erskine's ruling principles was, thatorder is not only a precious quality, but a virtue, andeverything in his house was in its proper place.He took up the paper and looked at it attentively.During this examination a mortal coldness spreadthrough his veins; a cloud dimmed his sight, and helet the paper fall from his hands. He gathered
SYBIL 'S SACRIFICE.Irtogether all his strength, seized it again, and readit from beginning to end. And then he was certainof the misfortune that had befallen him.This paper was an authentic and unmistakable evi-dence, from which it clearly resulted that the fortuneadjudged to the stranger, some years before, in reality,and without a doubt, belonged to the widow.But how had the paper got there ? was the question.Doubtless, on the night of that unfortunate ball he hadallowed it to escape his notice, when he entrusted.the rest of the deeds to the care of his secretary; or,perhaps this man had lost it in making some searchand consulting those very books. There was noother means of explaining the mystery, for the secre-tary had now been dead two years. And, besides,what good could any explanation do now?Thus Mr Erskine's neglect had caused the ruin ofa family !If a thunderbolt had fallen at his feet, he wouldhave been less bewildered, less stunned than he wasby this discovery. Conscience did not say to him,as it might perhaps have said to some gifted with aless stern sense of virtue and honour, that the fault wasa common one. So pitiable an excuse was impos-sible, and never crossed Mr Erskine's mind. He well
12SYBIL'S SACRIFICE.knew that the decision come to by the court on thiscase had only been brought about by his report, forit was from his report that his colleagues had formedtheir verdict.A very different idea struck him. He thoughtthat, guilty of such extreme carelessness, he hadalmost acted as a prevaricator of the truth; that sucha piece of forgetfulness was equivalent to a subtrac-tion, and that his negligence had, in this instance, allthe appearance of crime. At this thought he shud-dered. Although his fault had only been witnessedby God, who had power to read every thought of hisheart, he experienced for one moment the confusionof an innocent man who, by his imprudence, hasgiven wicked people the opportunity of supposinghim guilty.Then his thoughts returned to the unhappy victimof his neglect, deprived for six long years of a fortunewhich belonged to her, and condemned to endure allthe anguish and hardship of want and misery.With this, a sudden thought darted to his mind, andspread a ray of comfort and consolation on the darkclouds of grief which overshadowed him. " Can Inot repair my fault yet ? " he asked himself.He seated himself at his desk. He calculated
S YBIL 'S SA CRIFICE.13minutely the value of the property, the inheritance ofwhich had been disputed, the interest during sixyears, and the interest upon the interest."Altogether, I have deprived this poor widow ofsomething very like a hundred thousand pounds.And now that I know the wrong I have done, Iam a thief if I do not try my best to repair it."He then made another calculation: how muchwould his fine estate in Devonshire be worth? Athow much would his richly-furnished London housebe valued ? To those sums he added twenty thou-sand pounds, which he had kept in reserve for Sybil'smarriage portion, and he trembled with fear and hopeas he completed his computation.At last it was finished, and the sum total of hisfortune was known-one hundred thousand pounds.He breathed calmly, and his oppressed heart wasonce more free."I shall preserve my honour by repairing the evilI have done. I can no longer dread reproach eitherfrom God or my conscience; for to-morrow thereparation will be completed. I shall restoreto this unfortunate family, with the wealth whichbelongs to them, the joy and peace of whichI have so long deprived them. I renounce
14SYBIL'S SA CRIFICE.without regret a fortune which I could not retainwithout crime. I have never been proud of beingrich, and I trust I will have no pride in being poor.I shall accomplish this duty which justice and honourimpose upon me without any feeling of vanity; and Iwill ask for no help from man-neither their assistance,which would humiliate me, nor their praises, which Ido not deserve."It was, however, necessary to descend from thenoble heights of his virtue to family considerations.It was then that Mr Erskine experienced a grievousstruggle, for he fancied he was robbing his daughterby this step. His resolution, however, was notshaken, but, he could not help regretting, for hersake, the loss of all his wealth, which seemed sucha small sacrifice in his own eyes.Had he reared her amidst wealth and luxury onlyto reduce her to poverty and want ? for very soon allthat would remain to him would be his dead wife'sfortune, which was a very modest one. And thismarriage, which would have brought such happinessto the father and daughter, would now be impossible.What would Sybil say? How would she be able toresign herself to such a change in her destiny, to sucha grievous sacrifice ?
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SYBIL'S SACRIFICE.17Tormented by those bitter thoughts, Mr Erskinedid not leave his study all day; he would not receiveany one, and sat up all through the long midnighthours, pleading as his-excuse that he was busy.CHAPTER III.THE next morning, Mr Erskine called his daughterto his side."Come, my dear Sybil," said he, with a solemn-voice and sorrowful smile; "come with me to yourmother's grave and pray for a moment."They went to the beautiful quiet cemetery on foot,and on their way they passed Lord Leven's house.This young man had now become the greatest causeof anxiety to Mr Erskine, for he knew how much hisdaughter loved him, and he trembled for the futurethat was before ler.The father and daughter acquitted themselves of,the pious duty they had come there to fulfil. MrErskine asked pardon for the wrong he had sounwittingly done, and entreated heaven to softenthe blow which was about to fall upon his youngand innocent daughter, that might perhaps blighther happy life for ever.B
iS YBIL'S SA CRIFICE.Then they returned to their home, and Mr Erskineled his daughter to his library, seated himself besideher, and spoke thus:"Some person whom you know very well, my dearSybil, is placed in a very delicate position, and, witha motive which I will afterwards explain to you, hewishes to have your advice. He is a magistrate, andby his fault he has ruined an honest family. For along time be was quite ignorant of the fact-indeedhe has only known it for some hours; but his fault,as well as the unfortunate circumstances whichhave resulted from it, are still unknown to the world.He wishes to know what you think he should do,and he consults you through me: so, speak, mydaughter."" I pity him with all my heart," said Sybil, "for hemust have suffered much for the sorrow he has soinnocently been the cause of. But there is no needof hesitation; he ought immediately to repair hisfault-that is to say, he ought to restore to thisfamily, without delay, all that he has deprived themof.""But the sum is an enormous one: it is equal tohis whole fortune, and if he hands it over to strangers,he sacrifices his own children."
SYBIL'S SACRIFICE.r9" His children! If they have any sentiment ofhonour, would they accept from their father afortune which does not belong to them? If theyhave so little heart as to manifest their regret, thenI shall pity their poor father more than ever: he willhave lost more than his fortune."" My dear Sybil, is this, then, your honest advice ?"asked Mr Erskine. " You think his duty is to makeimmediate restitution?""Yes, dear papa, most undoubtedly I do.""Ah, well, my daughter, come to my heart, andcomfort me; for this unhappy magistrate who hasneglected his duty-this father who has ruined hisdaughter, is I !"Then Sybil threw herself into her father's arms,and while she covered him with caresses, she said tohim all the tenderest things her filial love couldinspire. The fortune which was to be snatched awayfrom her, the happiness which she had thought sonear, did not occupy her for one instant. She hadno other thought than that of helping her father inthe accomplishment of his sacrifice, and of makingit as light as possible to him.In this moment, Mr Erskine enjoyed a proudpleasure, superior to all those which fortune could
20S YBIL 'S SA CRIFICE.give him, and he almost ceased to reproach himselfwith a fault which had brought him so much happi-ness. But, nevertheless, his sad reflections from timeto time damped his joy."And this marriage is, alas! no longer possible,"said he to Sybil. "Without any fortune, withouteven the hope of one in the future, our delicacy offeeling would not permit us to think of it for amoment. It-is indeed a great misfortune, for he isso truly noble and worthy.""Do not speak to me of marriage, dear father,"replied Sybil. " I do not know whether I am sorryyet or not; I hardly like to think of it at all. Allthat I know, my father, is that your daughter has nowbecome necessary to make your old age happy:I will never leave you, and I shall be called MissErskine all my life. You have given me this name,and I do not wish to change it."And so this noble, generous girl devoted herselfentirely to her father. She admired his virtue, thoughshe never thought that it was equalled by her own.The same evening they both agreed that theirhouse, their pretty estate, and all their wealth, wouldbe placed at the disposal of the poor widow. Allthe wealth and splendour which surrounded them
S YBIL'S SA CRIFICE. 2 rhad already become distasteful to them, and theylonged to enter upon their new and humble life.Next day, Mr Erskine wended his way to thewidow's home, explained to her the error that hadbeen committed, and announced to her in whatway he intended to repair it.The prospect of prosperity did not dazzle this poorwidow, whom adversity had not discouraged. Shecarefully examined the deed which Mr Erskine pre-sented to her; she assured herself that it wasunmistakable, and that the sacrifice so nobly offeredby the magistrate was a just one." Sir," said she, gently and calmly, as if she wereonly occupied by some very ordinary affair, " your con-duct does not surprise me; but what you wish toaccomplish as an act of justice, I can only accept inthe light of a benefit. You were quite free to keepyour fortune, and I have the right to refuse it; how-ever, I accept this favour at your hands. Only be asgenerous with me, and, as I have shown myself agree-able to yield to your wishes, allow me to ask you toshare it with me."-Mr Erskine had foreseen this offer, but he was tooproud to accept it. There was a struggle for gene-rosity between those two individuals, both so distin-
22S YBIL 'S SA CRIFICE.guished for their lofty character, in which Mr Erskineremained conqueror.That same evening, he installed the widow and herdaughter in his splendid house, and he and Sybil wentand took possession of a very small home in the suburbs,but which the latter thought both pretty and conve-nient, and quite large enough for their wants. Thisdevoted daughter anticipated all her father's wishes,and made herself happy because it was her duty to beso, and because she could not testify any regret withher new position without tacitly reproaching her fatherand causing him sorrow.What more was necessary to those two noblehearts? The reward of their virtue was in them-selves, and they needed no other.CHAPTER IV.HEAVEN, which often grants to virtue only theinward reward of peace and satisfaction, which re-mains a secret from the outer world, wished for thisonce to make an exception to the general rule. Itwished to honour the world's prosperity by grantingits riches to this family; and this is how it happened.
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S YBIL'S SA CRIFIICE.25Lord Leven heard of all that had come to pass,and was both surprised and angry." What have I done," he asked himself, " that MrErskine should treat me with such coldness ? Couldhe ever suspect me of feeling any change of sentimenttowards his daughter because the only wealth shecan now bring to me is the glory of such a nobleaction!"Full of generous wrath) he hastened to Mr Ers-kine's house. He forced himself within the door,closed to all those from whom they might expectwhich was either useless reproaches or idle and im-prudent praises."Sir," said the young man to the father, "whenyou promised me Miss Erskine's hand, when she con-descended to inform me that her choice was in accord-ance with yours, I believed that events, whatever theymight be, would never have power to change a deter-mination founded upon love and esteem. If you hadbeen created a peer of the realm, would you havedrawn back your word? No! Ah, well! no morecan you do so now, under the pretext that you areno longer a rich man. Have I less right to yourdaughter's hand than this widow has to your for-tune? Furthermore, sir," he added, warmly, "you
26S YBIL 'S SACRIFICE.are unjust towards me; you give rise to suspicions inwhich you seem to share yourself. Will the publicnot already give me credit for having renounced yourdaughter's hand because you have renounced yourfortune? How can they know whether it was youwho wished to break your word, or I who was aboutto violate mine? And it is you, sir, who have beenthe cause of all this !-you, for whom I have alwaysprofessed such a deep respect, such a true affection I"Then, seeing that Mr Erskine appeared moved, headded, quickly-" Oh let me call you my father Give me backher whom I love so much, and whom I admire asmuch as I love Do not let my wealth be any hin-drance: is it my fault that I am rich ? Lay aside thispride, which threatens to ruin me and perhaps hertoo! Can she fear to owe too much to her futurehusband? It is on my side that all the obligationswill be. I sometimes felt as if I were her equal, butnow I feel that she is far above me."The stern magistrate could no longer resist suchnoble entreaties. Sybil very soon became LadyLeven, and her devotion to her husband did not inthe least diminish that which she had promised to herfather.
SYBIL 'S SACRIFICE.27Thus Mr Erskine found the sweetest reward of hisnoble conduct in the happiness of his daughter.But do not let us abuse this example. Let us re-member that our love of virtue should always bedisinterested; and may this old maxim be the prin-ciple upon which we regulate our life-" Let us do our duty, happen what may I"
II.THE BRAVE DAUGHTER.A STORY OF THE PLAGUE IN LONDON.CHAPTER i.DITH FALKLAND was a good and amiablegirl. She had the misfortune to lose hermother when she was very young, and soonafter, she was sent away from her home, and fromthe father she loved so fondly.But what was the cause of this separation ? you willask.Mr Falkland's eldest son had married a wicked,selfish, ambitious woman, who, establishing herselfin the house of her father-in-law, took the reigns ofgovernment into her own hands. After the death ofher young husband, she still preserved her authority,and abused it so much, that she persuaded Edith's.
THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.29father, over whom she had a great ascendancy, tosend his daughter away from her home. And so MrFalkland, yielding to the entreaties of his unamiabledaughter-in-law, sent Edith to live with an old auntat York, under the pretext of taking care of her inher old age, but really with the expectation that theyoung girl would one day inherit all her large fortune.Edith was no sooner out of the house than herwicked sister-in-law set herself to work, and did allshe could to alienate her from her father's heart; andfor the purpose of furthering her designs, she sup-pressed all the letters that passed between them.And so Mr Falkland naturally inferred from hisdaughter's unaccountable silence that she was cherishing resentful and bitter feelings against him; andas for Edith, she could only believe that her fatherhad become indifferent to her, and no longer lovedher.But yet she could not quite believe it: her pureand tender heart struggled against such a painfulthought, and she tried hard to cast it from her, andbelieve in her father's love; but it made the younggirl very miserable to be so cruelly neglected by heronly parent on earth.Edith was soon roused from the melancholy she
30 THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.had fallen into, by the deafening report which spreaditself through the whole of England: it was, that aterrible plague had broken out in London.This report proved to be only too true. It was inthe autumn of 1665 that this terrible plague burstforth in London, which desolated the southern partof this vast city, and in less than a month's timecarried off a hundred thousand inhabitants.At York, as throughout the whole of England, thefatal news was communicated with much caution andreserve. The authorities and the editors of the news-papers agreed to conceal the calamity as much aspossible, or, at least, to soften matters and lightentheir gravity.But this horrible plague spread with such frightfulrapidity, and the reports became so alarming, that itwas soon quite impossible to prevent the news of itspreading, and in spite of all the precautions theyhad taken to conceal the truth from Edith, it verysoon reached her.The young girl was at first almost stunned withterror; but her love soon rose above all other feel-ings, and gave her a strength and courage beyondher years. Her resolution was immediately taken,and, without any deliberation or hesitation, she deter-
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THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.33mined to do her duty, and hasten to her father,whatever the consequences might be.Edith foresaw the objections her proposal mightmeet with from her aunt, but the brave girl felt herentreaties must prevail, and as there was no time tolose, she sought her at once."The plague is in London, dear aunt !" said thegirl, her white face and trembling lips speaking allthe dread and agony she was trying to conceal." My father is there, and my place ought to be at hisside. If he is exposed -to contagion, I must try tokeep him safe from it; and if he is ill, I shall nursehim. No other person in all the wide world has somuch right to care for and to be near him as I, andto none can this duty be so sacred. I will set outthis evening on my journey.""Edith, I forbid you doing such a mad action !"said the old lady, sternly."0 aunt what else can I do?" pleaded the girl."If I wrote, I might never get an answer; and whileI was waiting for one, who knows what might hap-pen! You say my father has perhaps left London,and that he is in safety; but how can I be sure ofthis? I cannot bear this suspense, and, to put anend to this horrible uncertainty, I must go imme-c
34 THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.diately. Do not fear for me, aunt. I will not rashlyput myself in the way of danger; and if I hear onthe way that my father has left London, I shallreturn immediately to you. If he is still there, Iwill do my duty "Her aunt seeing that argument was of no avail,and that Edith's resolution was not to be broken,could only yield to her strong will, for, in her heart,she admired the girl's devotion."My dear child," said she, "you are rushing wil-fully into a danger from which others flee; and, alas !who knows if I may ever see you again in this world "And the old lady's eyes were full of tears at thethought of the bright young girl going amidst scenesof sorrow and sickness from which she might neverreturn."Recollect, Edith, religion itself teaches us thatwe should not unnecessarily expose ourselves todanger," continued the aunt. " If you think it yourduty to expose your life for the sake of your father,you must, at least, use all the precautions to preserveyou from infection which prudence can dictate."Whilst the brave girl made a few hasty preparationsfor her journey, her aunt collected some bottles ofmedicine and other little articles that might be useful
THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.35to her. The old lady's tears flowed plentifully as shefolded her niece to her heart, and promised to prayfor her day and night. Then calling upon heavento bless the girl's mission, and committing her tothe protection of Him who doeth all things well,she let her niece depart.Edith set out on her journey, accompanied by aservant and an old nurse, who were quite willingto follow their young mistress's footsteps so far, butthey had solemnly declared that they would notpenetrate into those quarters of the town where theplague raged. Edith did not expect this from them;for though she had a right to expose her own life,she knew she had none to theirs.As they approached London, they met crowds offugitives all eagerly departing from the scene of death.Rich and poor, old and young, men, women, and chil-dren, were all hastening from the city, which seemed toyawn behind them like some great sepulchre. Eachhad carried away what was most precious to them,though there were many dear ones left behind in thearms of death, whom nothing could now arouse fromtheir silent sleep; and so they gazed with mingledterror and astonishment upon the little party ad-vancing towards the city of destruction.
36 THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.The faces of those fugitives were the images of de-spair; many were bathed in tears, and uttered inar-ticulate cries of distress as they pursued their hastyflight, while others cast anxious and sorrowful glancesbehind them, as if they were accusing themselves ofhaving left behind them the beings whom they lovedbest on earth, or reproaching themselves with theselfishness of their flight. There were those alsoamong that terror-stricken crowd whose pale cheeks,blue lips, and hollow eyes, told the sad tale that,all unconscious as they might be, they were bearingwith them the terrible evil which they were so eagerto avoid.The spectacle was a melancholy one, but far fromweakening Edith's courage, it only redoubled it. Sheremembered her aunt's advice and good counsel notto rush heedlessly into danger, or rashly expose her-self to infection; and so, instead of immediately goinginto the heart of the city, she halted at a place whereshe might be likely to get sure and certain accountsof all that had taken place. Meanwhile she de-spatched one of the servants into the little town ofSouthwark, where the plague had not yet penetrated,to make inquiries about her father, and bring her backall the tidings she could get of this fearful pestilence.
THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.37After some hours' absence, the servant returned andinformed Edith that it had not yet penetrated into thegreat suburb of Southwark, which was separated fromthe rest of London by the Thames. Edith, there-fore, immediately repaired to this village, whither hertwo followers consented to accompany her.The streets were filled with groups of people, whowere relating to each other the frightful ravages com-mitted by the plague, to which they added horribledetails of crime and cruelty, committed, not only by acrowd of villains and thieves in their thirst for rob-bery and pillage, but, still worse, by the watchmenand nurses, greedy for the spoil of the unfortunatevictims who had no longer power to defend them-selves. Edith listened to the tales of horror, andshuddered as she heard them, but felt that her pre-sence was more needful than ever.The plague had for some days been devastating ina frightful manner the parish of St Giles-in-the-Field,in which quarter her father's house was situated. Hadhe left London? Was he attacked by the deadly dis-ease? Were his family and servants near him? werequestions Edith asked herself tnd all around her.But no one could tell.She then resolved to satisfy herself. As soon as
38 CTHE BRA VE DA UGHTER.night approached she left her servants in Southwark,and, by dint of a large bribe, succeeded in procuringa man with a coach and horse, who promised to con-duct her to this fatal spot; and having passed theriver, she penetrated into the quarter invaded by theplague.CHAPTER II.EDITH saw nothing but the utmost desolation andterror on her way.It was in the beginning of August, with nota breath of wind to cool the burning air, and not adrop of rain had fallen for more than two months.The heat was intense and overpowering: even thevery horse which dragged the rickety old carriage inwhich Edith was seated seemed exhausted by itsexertions. They stopped at a small hotel, some littledistance from St Giles-in-the-Field, which was situatedin an open space, having no communication with theneighbouring buildings, and therefore as healthy. asone could expect at such a time. Edith remainedthere for a short time to rest the horse and makefurther inquiries after her father. Alas! her fearswere only too well confirmed! Mr Falkland had
THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.39been attacked by the plague; his worthless daughter-in-law had left him to his fate, and, profiting by hismisfortune, had carried off a quantity of money, silverplate, jewels, and all that she could lay her hands on,under the pretence that, like others, their family wasgoing to leave London. The servants had fled fromthe house at the first approach of the plague; onefaithful old servant alone remained near the unfor-tunate Mr Falkland.Edith's grief was great when she heard those tid-ings, but she congratulated herself on having obeyedwithout hesitation the voice which had called her toher father's side, who had, alas! been so cruelly be-trayed and forsaken. She had thought of resting herefor a short while, but now her only wish was to benear him, and she set about placing all her parcelsin the carriage again."What are you doing, miss?" inquired her host,who had been watching her in amazement. " Do youreally believe that you will be allowed to enter yourfather's house ? You will not be permitted to do so.All communication is prohibited with those miserablecreatures who have been seized with the plague; noone is allowed to go out of the house, and no one isallowed to enter numerous watchmen are appointed
40 THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.to see that those strict but necessary orders are putinto execution."Edith had never heard of those regulations before;but, in spite of all the good advice her kind host gaveher, she was only more and more anxious to accom-plish her design; and instead of her courage failing,it only grew stronger with every fresh disappointment.A few minutes more and she was hastening towardsher desolate home, with the good man's prayersringing in her ears.When Edith arrived at St Giles-in-the-Fields, shecould scarcely recognise the place she had left onlytwo years before. All the houses were shut up, andmost of the doors bore a red cross with this inscrip-tion: " Lord, have mercy upon us!" telling all tooplainly that the dire calamity had reached those dwell-ings. The streets were deserted, and the pavementwas covered with long grass and rank weeds, whichflourished and spread themselves everywhere, nowthat all was silent and there were no busy feet tocheck their growth. Now and then a pale facewould look out of the darkened windows, and thetrembling lips would feebly utter the words, "Prayfor us !"Men bearing red wands in their hands, an indica.
THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.41Ttion that it was dangerous to approach them, slowlytraversed the streets, uttering the horrible cry, whichmade every one shudder, "Bring out your dead!"Behind them came the dead-carts, on which theyhastily heaped the unfortunate victims of the plague,and bore them rapidly away to bury them in theirsilent graves, without a prayer, or a blessing, or anyreligious ceremony whatever, which might have beensome sad but small consolation to those who re-gretted their loss.Edith shuddered with fear when she saw the firstof those funeral cars approach, she hardly dared toconfess even to herself the terrible idea that hadcome to her. " How do I know but what this car,already laden with so many victims, does not con-lain my dear father's body?" was the thought thathad taken possession of her mind. The idea almostmaddened her, and she entreated the driver to re-double his speed: to tell the truth, he obeyed verywillingly, for he was eager to make his escape fromthe fatal place.The clock of St Giles's had just struck nine whenEdith arrived in the street in which her father's housewas situated. The windows looked on to the street,but the house itself formed the corer of a narrow
42 THE BRAVE DAUGHTER.lane. It was here that Edith asked her guide to sether down, in order to avoid attracting attention. Assoon as she was on her feet she hastened to the door,and there she saw the terrible red cross: quite nearat hand stood a watchman charged with preventingany one from going out or in an infected house.Edith was quite at a loss how she could persuadethis man to infringe upon his orders, which he wasobliged to execute under the severest penalties.However, she resolved to address him; he wouldat least be able to tell her if her father still lived,and she might possibly be able to inspire him withsome pity for a daughter who had hastened to hersick, perhaps dying, father. She dared not offerhim money; for she trembled lest he might be oneof the thieves of whom she had heard, and that, ifhe saw she had money in her possession, he mightkill her as well as her father.Edith had brought a small lantern in the carriagewith her, which she now held in her hand; for atthat time London was not lighted with gas as it isnow, and many of its streets were very dark andgloomy even in a summer evening. She was dressedin black from head to foot, with the exception of awhite veil similar to that worn by nuns. She had
THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.43adopted this precaution in order that her fathermight not recognise her, for she feared that hersudden arrival might perhaps affect him too deeply.And so she hoped that he might imagine she was oneof those Sisters of Charity who were at this time sodistinguished for their gentle kindness and unselfishhumanity.The darkness, the unexpected apparition-aboveall, the paleness of the features standing out in sucha ghastly contrast to the black clothes, and thelantern which she held in her hand, made thewatchman start and tremble. He thought he wasgazing upon some supernatural vision, and thestrong man's heart for a moment failed him. Andso Edith stood white and silent before the door ofher home, face to face with this man, who lookedat her with such an expression of startled fear. Asingle word from him would put an end to thehorrible anxiety which tortured her. But she mustfirst ask the question, and as she tried to do so, hervoice died away on her lips."Are you wanting anything?" asked the watch-man at last, whose fear was now dissipated, and who,by the brightness of the lantern, read on the girl'sface all the anxiety to which she was a prey.
44 THE BRA VIE DA UGHTER."Mr Falkland?" asked Edith, with a feeblevoice, speaking the only word she had power topronounce."Yes," answered the watchman, "this is his househere."" Does he still live?""I cannot tell; but I think so; I hope so.""God be praised !" cried Edith, with a sob.The watchman seemed to be touched with com-passion, and spoke very gently to the tremblinggirl."But you must not deceive yourself," added he,in a kind voice; "there is no great hope. Theservant who remained beside him must be dead,for I have neither seen nor heard anything for somehours. The doctor who attended Mr Falkland didnot think he could cure him, and he has now fallena prey to the disease himself."But notwithstanding all that was terrible in thesetidings, Edith felt her courage rise, and her heartgrow braver than ever."I entreat you to allow me to go into the house.I have come more than a hundred miles to be nearhim. I have come to nurse him, to save him-I amhis daughter !"
THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.45" His daughter !" exclaimed the watchman. "Ah,young lady, I would allow you if I could; but no, Icannot, I dare not. I am forbidden to do it, and itis impossible.""Take pity upon me," implored Edith; "do notrefuse me, I entreat you. Open the door for me,and do not prevent a daughter from seeing herfather, perhaps from saving him. I implore you,in the name of the God above, in whose hands areall things, and in the name of your mother, if, hap-pier than I, you still possess one.""Ah yes," said the watchman, with tears in hiseyes, " I still have my dear mother, and if she wasin danger, I would give my life for hers. No, I havenot strength to refuse you any longer. Enter, then,"said he, looking round to see if there was no oneto observe him, "and may the blessing of Heavengo along with you !"The watchman opened the door, though notwithout some difficulty, for something lying behindseemed to impede its progress; and Edith was dis-mayed and horrified, upon entering, to recognise thebody of the faithful old servant, the only being whohad proved true to her father in his great extremity,now lying stiff and cold on the hard stone floor of
46 THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.the hall. Edith overcame her emotion as best shecould; and, whilst the watchman called upon theconductors of the dead-cart to take away the corpse,she hastened to her father's room. When she arrivedat the door, she stopped one moment to listen, butnot a sound was to be heard. So Edith turned thehandle softly, and slipped into the silent chamber.CHAPTER III.THE room was dark and gloomy, and, to judge fronmthe heaviness of the atmosphere, the windows hadnot been open for many days. Edith approachedthe bed with a beating heart, and listened an-xiously for some moments. Then she heard the sickman breathe, and a faint murmur even escapedhis lips. Life, then, was not extinct! There wasstill some hope! And she had only arrived in time.Edith did not stay to think; she must act, and therewas no time to lose. She returned to the door, fromwhich the dea--cart had just departed, bearing awaythe body of their tried and honest servant, who hadperished in fulfilling her duty,-not her duty as aservant, but the duty which we all owe to oneanother by the laws of love and kindness.
THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.47Edith showed the watchman the place where shehad left the carriage, and begged him to bring herall the different parcels she had left in it, and firstof all, to hand her the basket of medicines her aunthad so thoughtfully put together for her beforeleaving York. The watchman requested her notto show herself at the door while she waited, forfear of it being known that he had disobeyed hisstern injunctions, which forbade him to allow astranger to approach an infected dwelling. A fewseconds more, and he brought Edith the box forwhich she was waiting so impatiently.She returned to the sick-chamber with the helpshe had brought to the stricken man. It was adreary look-out for the young girl, and she had onlyherself to rely upon. But she never wavered; shehad asked help from above, even from her Father inheaven, and her faith in Him remained bright andunclouded. Gathering together all her courage, shelighted a candle, and, approaching the bed, gentlydrew back the heavy curtains.Till now, Edith had not seen her father's face,but when her eyes rested on the dear features, andshe observed how wasted they were, and how sadlychanged, she could not help uttering an exclamation
48 TI.E BRA VE DA UGHTER.of horror. The cry seemed to touch a chord in thesick man's heart, and awake him from a kind oflethargic sleep. He turned his head uneasily, andmoaned a few words, which Edith could not catch,and then the eyelids once more closed wearily, andall was still again,Edith took hold of the hand which lay on thecoverlet, and, feeling the skin was hot and dry,and the pulse beating irregularly, she resolved togive her patient a sudorific draught.This task was by no means a difficult one, for thepoor sick man offered no resistance, and immediatelydrank what she presented to his lips. Then sheopened the window to admit the cool soft eveningair. This soon made the close atmosphere of thesick room fresher and less unhealthy, and when shehad arranged the pillows and smoothed the bed-clothes, Edith thought her unconscious patientseemed to rest more comfortably and contented.Edith employed the whole of that night in watch-ing the invalid, and putting the house into somethinglike order. She arranged a large airy room for herfather's reception, whenever he was able to leavehis own, which she fondly hoped would not be verylong. She put clean linen on the bed, and did
THE BRA VE DA UGHTER. 49everything she could think of to have things readyand comfortable. She watched over her fatherattentively, and provided for all his wants. It wasimpossible for the sick, helpless man to eat; a littlewine and water was all that sustained his strength.And so the night passed, and the day following, and,as Edith tended her patient, each moment strength-ened and brightened her hope.The watchman had come in the morning andtaken away the key of the house, promising to returnagain at nine o'clock at night.The sick man had passed the day tranquillyenough. He had given no sign of returning con-sciousness, but he was quiet and peaceful, and hadseveral gentle refreshing sleeps.Towards eight o'clock in the evening, while Edithwas sitting impatiently watching the flight of time,and wearying for the hour to approach when shewould again see her kind friend the good watchman,Mr Falkland awoke."Martha !" he called, in a voice stronger than hisdaughter had hoped to hear at first. At this littleword, Edith trembled with joy and hope, and quicklydrawing down her long veil to hide her features, sheadvanced to the bed.D
5THE BRA VE DA UGHTER." I am here, sir," said she, speaking very low, lestthe sound of her voice might betray her."Poor Martha!" said Mr Falkland; "I am sothankful to see you again, for I was so afraid youwould go away like the rest, and leave me here allalone to die. But no, no! I remember now. Yes;I was afraid you were going to die, for you have beenill too, have you not ?""Yes, sir, very ill; but I am better now, and Ihope you will soon be well again too."" I do not much care, Martha, whether I ever getwell or not. What have I to live for? I have noone to love me now; no one, alas No; they haveall gone, and I am here alone But, Martha, whatdo you think about it yourself? It seems to me Iam a little better, and the air of this room feels somuch fresher and purer since I went to sleep. Ithink I can remember of some one often giving medrinks when I was so thirsty and could not speak;was it you, Martha? It could not be my daughter-in-law; oh, no, no it must have been you, Martha,"said the sick man."Yes, sir," answered Edith, hardly able to controlher emotion.She would fain have thrown her arms round her
THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.5Ifather's neck, and pressed her warm kisses of love andgratitude on his forehead, as she told him how shehad come to watch over and care for him, and neverleave him again; but she durst not, for fear of agitat-ing and exciting him beyond his strength. Edithknew full well that life and death trembled in thebalance, and so she stifled her feelings and calmedher bursting heart as well as she could."Will you give me something to eat, Martha?"asked Mr Falkland, presently.Edith brought forward the food she had readywaiting for him, fed him, and then shook up thepillows for the night.All this time the sick man had been watching herattentively." I cannot see you very well yet, Martha," said MrFalkland again. " My sight is very weak, and I feelas if I were looking through a cloud.""It will all come in good time, sir, doubtless;and, in the meantime, we must praise and thank Godfor having preserved your life ""Yes, Martha, you are right. If He spares me,thanks are due to Him alone. We all cling to life,even at the very last, and I think I would be gladenough to get well, though I have nothing to love
52 THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.and comfort me in my old age. It is all my own fault,though, Martha; yes, my own fault. But I have some-thing to tell you, Martha; if I die, you must-But I will tell you that afterwards, for I am tirednow." And even as he spoke, he fell asleep.A few moments afterwards, nine o'clock struck.Edith heard the house door open, and soon after agentle knock announced the arrival of the excellentwatchman."What tidings?" asked he; and the good manreceived the answer joyfully."And how is your mother?" asked Edith, in herturn."Very well; perfectly well as yet. When I go tosee her, I take good care to change my clothes first,for fear of carrying the infection. I have told herof you ; she admires you; she loves you and praysfor you with her whole heart."As he finished those words, Mr Falkland movedagain, and the watchman retired." Martha," he called, " whose voice is that I heardspeaking just now ?"" It was the watchman, sir; a good, honest, faith-ful man. When you are well, you must reward himfor his devotion."
THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.53"Reward him, Martha? How will I ever re-ward him? There is one person, though, whowill reward him, if she ever knows he has doneanything :for 'me; she will reward you likewise,Martha.""Who, sir?""Who? My daughter! Did you not know I hada daughter?" asked Mr Falkland; and heaving adeep sigh, he fell into a peaceful slumber.He awoke again about three o'clock, and Edithunderstood from the sound of his voice that he hadgained new strength."Martha," said he again, "what was I speakingto you about when I fell asleep? Ah, yes, I re-member; I was telling you that my daughter wouldreward you. .Yes- I am certain she will; for thoughI have not-received a single line from her -$irice sheleft me, I- am sure she still loves me, and will'bevery, very sorry when she hears she has no longer afather."As Edith listened; to- her father's words she gavea convulsive sigh, which seemed to startle and sur-prise Mr Falkland."What is the matter with you, my good Marthi?"asked he.
54 THE BRA VE DA UGHTER." You spoke of your death, sir, just now. I cannotbear the idea."" But you know, Martha, we must look forward towhat may happen, and try to bear it patiently. Iwould like to live a little longer, perhaps, but if I donot, I am sure my daughter will reward you for allthe kind care you have taken of me. I am so gladyou have got over your illness so easily, and now yourun no risk from being beside me, for one cannottake this terrible disease twice, they say. And nowI congratulate myself on having sent my dear Edithaway from me. I know her so well; she would nothave wished to leave me here, and how anxious andfearful I would have been for her! But, thank God,she is hundreds of miles from here, and pretty safe.She will not know that her poor father is in danger,and I hope she will not hear of it till I am quite wellagain, or till-she has no father left on earth.""Do you think she would come to you if sheknew you were so ill?""Do I think it? Ah, Martha, you do not knowmy daughter, and how she used to love me, if you asksuch a question."How sweet those words were to Edith's heart. Allthe long weary months she had believed herself
THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.55neglected and forsaken, were all forgotten in the joyof the present moment." I have never received any letters from her," con,tinued Mr Falkland, "not one word of love sinceshe left me. But I am beginning to see throughthings a little better now, and I am convinced shehas written to me two or three times, only her poorlittle letters have been kept from me by some one-we won't say who."" Oh, yes," exclaimed Edith, too deeply moved tocontain herself, "she has written to you often, veryoften.""How do you know that?" asked Mr Falkland,quickly."I only think so, sir, after all you have told me.""Yes, yes, she loved me very much,-I know that;and how have I rewarded her love ? Ah, how blindI have been, unhappy father that I am !"Edith was trembling all the while for the conse-quences of this excitement, and she now insisted thatthe invalid should be silent. The sick man yieldedto her remonstrances, and presently he was sleepingas peacefully as a child.
56 THE BRA VE DAUGHTER.CHAPTER IV.SEEING her father resting so tranquilly, Edith, whowas worn out with fatigue and overcome with emotion,laid herself down to snatch a few moments' repose.She had hardly closed her eyes since she left York-shire, and now stood in great need of rest.The sick man's sleep was generally restless andbroken, but this night was an exception, and he sleptas he had not slept for long."Martha," said he to his nurse next morning, "Iam going to entrust you with an important commis-sion. In a cabinet, in the next room, you will find asmall wooden box ornamented with steel; no onewould dare to touch it when I fell ill, because theyknew that two days previously I had shown it to myman of business, and that he took a note of the con-tents. Inside of it are diamonds and other familyjewels, and also a considerable sum of money bothin bank-notes and gold. All that belongs to mydaughter. As soon as I have closed my eyes, youwill place that box in Mr Williams' hands,-that is thelawyer's name,-and then you will go to York. Youwill see my dear Edith, and you will say to her fromme that I was so happy she was not here at this time
THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.57of danger and death, but that I regretted having senther away from her home. Tell her also that I wasconvinced she had not done wrong; that I havealways loved her the same as ever; and that, in mylast hour, I gathered together all the little strength Ihad left to bless her."This was too much for Edith's full heart, andburying her face in the bed-clothes, she sobbed vio-lently." My good Martha, do not weep," said Mr Falkland."Edith will love you, I am sure, and she will lookafter your-future; but we will put an end to this con-veisation, which is so painful to both of us."During the day Edith remarked with pleasure thather father's sight was gradually improving, a veryevident proof of the return of strength. She saw itwould soon be very difficult for her to conceal whoshe really was; he was too weak yet to bear anygreat emotion with safety, or she would not havehesitated to make herself known; but another motivealso detained her. Her father would be anxious atseeing her thus exposed to the infection of this terriblemalady, and this anxiety might perhaps retard hisconvalescence. And so she resolved on continuingto pass herself off for Martha as long as it was pos-
58 THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.sible; but, as we shall presently see, her secret wasnot to last very long.Towards midnight, just as twelve o'clock hadstruck from the church of St Giles, Edith hearda noise at the back part of the house, which lookedinto the garden. Her father had just fallen asleep,and his regular breathing was the only sound thatbroke upon the stillness of the silent midnighthours. Edith listened attentively for a few minutes,her heart beating so loudly all the while that itseemed to deafen everything else. But at last therewas no doubt that some one had entered the housefrom the small garden behind.A terrible thought came to Edith's mind. Perhaps.it was one of those thieves who went about robbingthe dead and the dying! She heard footsteps crossthe hall and ascend the staircase. Motionless withfear, and almost breathless, she did not know what todo. One thought alone presented itself to her. Shedarted towards the cabinet, and seized the little boxof which her father had spoken. She thought if shegave it up willingly, the robber would perhaps sparethe sick man's life and her own.At the same moment a furtive step crossed the land-ing, and the door was quietly and cautiously opened..
TIHE BRA VE DA UGHTER.61" Who is there ?" asked the sick man, waking outof his sleep.Edith advanced from the inner chamber, the doorof which led into her father's room. It was verynarrow, and, like the rest of the chamber, coveredwith tapestry. The apartment was lighted only bythe feeble rays of a lantern which the robber carriedin his hand, and this now shone full in the younggirl's face.This apparition seemed to strike him with a super-stitious terror. On seeing-Edith-advanee all at onceupon him, with her long white veil floating behindher, and her pale features looking white and ghastlyby the light of the lantern, it seemed to the guiltyman as if the wall -itself had opened and displayedto his view the guardian spirit that watched over thetreasure he had come with the intention of stealing,and he hurried from the room, rapidly descended thestaircase, and fled.Thus saved in a most unexpected manner, Edithquickly returned the box to its place, though she stillfeared the robber's return. She was about to openthe window and call upon her old friend the watch-man, when an exclamation from the sick man arrestedher attention. The light of the lamp she was carrying
62 THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.shone full in her face, for in her haste and fear shehad forgotten to replace her veil, and so Mr Falklandhad at last recognised her."0 God! it is indeed she! It is my daughter IAh my dear Edith, come to me!" cried the sickman, holding out his arms.She would have thrown herself on his breast, butall at once Mr Falkland repulsed her with a gestureof horror."No, no, no Alas my daughter, it would be afatal embrace."At the same moment the street-door opened, andsome one entered."God be praised," said Edith, " it is the watchman!He will defend us if the thief returns."It was indeed the watchman; and when he learnedthe new danger to which Edith had just been exposed,and the miraculous manner in which she had escapedit, he congratulated her most heartily."Those wretches," said he, "are generally armedwith poniards, and if their unfortunate victims stillbreathe, they quickly put an end to their lives, for fearof afterwards being recognised and handed over tojustice. But fear nothing from henceforth. Thisthief will certainly not dare to return; but to assure
THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.63you of your safety, and make you feel more secure,we will barricade the door that leads into the garden."The watchman then called one of his companions,and together they rendered the fortress impenetrable." Besides all that," said Simson, " I will attach alittle bell to the window here, and if any one disturbsyou, you have only to ring it. I will not be far dis-tant, and whenever I hear it I will hasten to yourhelp."Thus fully reassured, and seeing that the emotioncaused by her presence had apparently not beenattended by any evil consequences, Edith felt almostoverwhelmed by the weight of blessings which hadbeen so bountifully showered upon her.Her father was soon able to be transported into thecomfortable room she had made ready for him. Thistask the good watchman and his comrade took uponthemselves, and it was a real pleasure to their kindhearts to help this devoted daughter, who had sobravely endangered her own life for the sake of hersick father.Edith's joy was at its height when she saw the dearinvalid fairly installed in the new bed, with its cleanwhite curtains, breathing the pure fresh air, and show-ing all the symptoms of convalescence. She could
64 THE BRAVE DA UGHTER.find no words to express her gratitude to God, torender Him thanks for all His goodness and it wasonly by silence and tears that she could testify allthe thankfulness she felt.And now the days went rapidly by-time seemedto fly past on wings, and to be always too short to thishappy father and loving daughter, who had so muchto tell and to ask each other.Every evening the kind watchman paid them avisit, and supplied them with all necessary articlesof food.On the tenth day the invalid was pronounced to becompletely cured. Edith's nursing had indeed beenmost effectual, and her father was again restored tocomparative health and strength. Edith shudderedas she thought what might have become of him if shehad not listened to the voice of duty, and hastened tohis side. Sick, helpless, and alone, where would he.have been ? It was joy enough to see her father wellagain, but it was a.still greater joy to think that, underGod, he owed his life to her. Those were Edith'sthoughts as she went to rest that night, and sheenjoyed a sweeter repose than she had tasted forlong.The next morning she awoke with feelings of
THE BRA VE DA UGHIER.65unmingled joy. She had now the double certaintyof his safety and the assurance of his love.This joy, however, was not without a care. Thedifferent shocks Mr Falkland had sustained had beentoo violent for his present state of weakness. He wasseized with another illness-a long fever-which,though it did not inspire his nurse with any fears forhis life, still delayed the progress of his recovery andincreased his feebleness. Edith was anxious to re-move her father as soon as possible from the infectedair of London to some quiet country nook, wherethe pure air and warm sunshine would soon restoreall his former energy.The wished-for time came at last. By the watch-man's intercession, Edith obtained a certificate froma doctor, appointed by Government, testifying to herfather's complete convalescence, and giving him per-mission to leave London and go where he pleased.Before leaving the city, where the plague still ragedfearfully, Edith wished to pay a visit to the motherof the kind watchman who had befriended her. Herfather accompanied her, and bestowed upon thishonest woman and her excellent son a sufficient sumto enable them to live in comfort for the rest of theirdays.E
66 THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.Mr Falkland very soon regained his former vigour,thanks to his daughter's tender care; and he livedmany happy years afterwards.The wicked daughter-in-law never again appearedbefore Mr Falkland, and if she had, he would nothave consented to see her; but, at Edith's request,he granted her a considerable income.Some little time after, Mr Falkland had the happi-ness of giving his daughter a husband who seemedworthy of her. He was a man of rank and wealth,and, in addition to those gifts, he possessed a nobleheart. This husband was justly proud of his wife'sbrave conduct, and, to perpetuate her memory, hehad two portraits of her painted by the most cele-brated artist of the day.In one of those portraits Edith was represented,dressed in black, with her white veil floating roundher, just as she had appeared before her father when,under poor Martha's name, she had nursed himwith the tenderest care. The other represented herat the door of her father's house, lantern in hand,begging the watchman to allow her to enter. Inthe background of the picture the fatal dead-cart isseen approaching.Those two pictures, which are of great beauty and
THE BRA VE DA UGHTER.67value, still decorate the walls of the stately castlewhich is yet in possession of Edith's descendants.One of our friends, while making a tour throughEngland, having been struck with admiration bythose two paintings, asked and obtained an explana-tion of them, and has transmitted to us the simpleand touching little story which we have now givento our readers.1 ~~~~~~~~~~
III.THE YOUNG DOCTOR OF MUNICH.A TRAVELLER'S STORY.CHAPTER I.N the pretty valley of Altenotting, on theconfines of Bavaria, stands a little chapel,called the "Chapelle de la Dame Noire,"which is reverenced throughout the whole of Ger-many, and pilgrims come from far and wide to visitit.I had been travelling for some years in Germany,and amongst other celebrated places, I paid myrespects to the Chapel of Altenotting. The buildingis of a round form, and surrounded by arcades. Theouter walls are covered with pictures, which representsome of the evils which flesh is heir to-such as fire,shipwreck, battles, sickness, and death. I entered
THE YOUNG DOCTOR.69the chapel. The interior was lighted by an infinitenumber of silver lamps, whose bright rays falling onthe golden and jewelled ornaments and devices,formed a beautiful and brilliant contrast to theobscurity of the exterior arcade. Under a lamp,the red flame of which darted from two silver heartstwined together, knelt a number of devotees.Above the altar stands the famous effigy of thevirgin, carved in ebony, and sparkling with diamonds.Around her are the richest offerings, heaped togetherwith the most lavish profusion-sceptres, crowns,golden cups, jewelled crosses, and beautiful vases ofevery shape and variety in silver and bronze. I wasfairly dazzled by the splendour of the scene, andwhile I examined all those rich things, my attentionwas attracted by the sound of a voice a few stepsfrom me, addressing a prayer to the virgin in accentsof the most profound and reverent gratitude.The voice belonged to an old gray-haired man,who from his dress appeared to be a Bavarian farmer.He was returning thanks for deliverance fromsome great affliction-what, I could not exactly makeout; but his words excited my curiosity. I feltmyself irresistibly attracted towards this old man.His silver locks crowning the wrinkled forehead, the
70 THE YOUNG DOCTOR.fire which still darted from his aged eyes, the soundof his trembling voice, and the sobs which escapedfrom his full heart, overflowing with happiness andgratitude, all served to interest me deeply. I fol-lowed him from the chapel. In his hand he held apainting, which he was about to add to the numberwhich already adorned the chapel; and, in presenceof a numerous crowd, he placed it under the arcade.I advanced and asked to see this pious offering.The old man was represented as undergoing someoperation in the hands of an oculist, and was sur-rounded by all his family, who, from their kneelingattitude, seemed to be offering up their prayers forthe success of the operation. The oculist was a veryyoung man, whose features expressed a more livelyand tender interest than is generally evinced by thosemen, whose feelings are often hardened by a constantfamiliarity with suffering. The picture was well exe-cuted and full of interest, and I gazed at it long andearnestly."Who is this fortunate surgeon whose efforts havebeen so blessed by heaven ?" I asked, at length." He is not a surgeon, sir," answered the old man,in a tone of mingled pride and love. "No; he isno oculist you see there it is my Karl, my son "
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THE YOUNG DOCTOR.73"Your son?" I asked, with some surprise."Yes; that young man who is trying to hidehimself in the crowd. There he is, he who, by God'shelp, has restored his father's sight !""I am a stranger to you and your country," said Ito him, "but I can admire virtue wherever I go, andof whatever nation it may be. To every true-bornEnglishman, every noble and generous man is abrother. Let me have the pleasure of your acquaint-ance, young man, I beg of you, and tell me all thatyou have done."Karl appeared confused and troubled by thisspeech: he blushed, and wished to draw back amongthe crowd, but he felt himself detained by a gentlepressure of the hand. It'was the venerable priest ofAltenotting, who, attracted by our conversation, hadjoined us."I shall tell you, sir, the story, which will, in somemeasure, explain to you the father's trouble and themodesty of the son. I am not over good at thatsort of thing," added the kind old priest, "but Ihope Karl will finish the tale which I am going tocommence."And the silent crowd listened eagerly to a tale,every circumstance of which was already known to.
74 THE YOUNG DOCTOR.them, but which they all seemed both willing andhappy to hear again. Their glances turned withinterest, sometimes on the speaker, sometimes onthe old man and his son, and often upon me, as ifthey were enjoying the emotion I must naturally befeeling; for they were all doubly proud of a miracu-lous cure which rendered glory to their chapel, andof an action which reflected honour on the wholevalley.The following chapter is, as near as possible, thestory related by the old priest.CHAPTER II."'l'r IS old man, Wilhelm Stroer, brought up from theearliest years of his childhood in the fear of God andthe love of his parents, has reared and educated hisown young family upon the same principles. He hastransmitted to his children the virtues he inheritedfrom his parents-a noble heritage, which is worthmore than all the riches and splendours of rank. I canspeak thus before him without any fear of puffing himup with pride and presumption, for they are feelingstotally unknonvn to his pure heart. Wilhelm Stro-r
TIME YOUNG DOCTOR.and his son are models of excellence to all our humblevalley. Is not this true, my friends?"A unanimous shout of assent rang through the air,and the priest continued-"God, whom we ought to thank. and praise at alltimes, whether He grants or refuses our requests, hasabundantly blessed Wilhelm's labours. His barns andcellars are overflowing with the gifts which Providencehas showered upon him so lavishly, his flocks are con-tinually increasing, and all the desires of his heart havebeen fulfilled. Perhaps he was too proud of his tem-poral prosperity and of the good conduct of hischildren; perhaps he had forgotten to attribute allhis happiness to the Great Being who gave it tohim, and from whose unerring hand come all ourjoys and sorrows. Whatever may have been thecause, God sent affliction to him; but it is not forerring mortals like us to judge the Almighty. By andbye a veil spread itself over his sight, which day byday grew darker, and enveloped him in an impenetrablegloom. Soon he could only discern the brightness ofthe sun as through a thick cloud, and the dear fea-tures of the loved ones around him were shrouded ina mist; and this darkness, which was always increas-ing, threatened to become an eternal night. How
76 TI1lE YOUNG DOCTOR.often has he come, conducted by one of his sons,to prostrate himself in this chapel, and pray forhelp It was from Heaven alone that he looked foraid; he obstinately refused all other assistance." Wilhelm, have recourse to medical skill,' I saidto him over and over again; take the advice of someexperienced surgeon. Yes, it is God alone who cancure you, but, in order to do so, He will employ thehand of man. Take care; it is tempting the Almightyto refuse the help of man.'"' Ah, well,' he answered, let His will be done !I do not believe in the skill of doctors, and the veryidea of placing myself in their hands makes meshudder. If it is God's will that I be blind, I willbless Him still, and kiss the rod which smites me.'"You recollect, Wilhelm, that you spoke thus?"said the priest, breaking off to address himself to thegood old man. "Your sentiments were honourable,my friend, but you were wrong nevertheless."" I remember it as well as if it had been yesterday,"answered Wilhelm; "but do you recollect what I saidto you afterwards? 'The doctor who will operate onWilhelm Stroer has not yet taken his degree !' Andwas I not'right after all ?"Every one smiled as they looked at Karl, who
THE YOUNG DOCTOR.77shared the general hilarity; and the priest con-tinued-"While Wilhelm Stroer saw the cloud which dark-ened his sight thicken around him, and his steps be-coming more and more uncertain every day, his familyabandoned themselves to the deepest alarm and grief.Karl, above all, the youngest of his sons, thought byday and dreamt incessantly by night of the misfortunewhich threatened his father. Often he had begged andentreated of him to call in the help of art and science,but all of no avail. Often he had called upon Heavento change his father's resolution or arrest the progressof the disease, but his prayers remained unanswered." With the father's misfortune the son's melancholyincreased every day." One early autumn evening Karl entered my garden,as I was standing gazing at the sun going down to hisrest amidst a mass of purple and golden clouds. Hiseyes wandered sadly over the magnificent panoramawhich spread itself around us in all its beauty, and onthe glowing heavens, all glorious and resplendent withthe rays of the setting sun. The air had never seemedclearer, the light purer, nor the verdant tints of naturemore admirably shaded."'Ah, sir!' said Karl to me, with a sigh, 'how
78 THE YOUNG DOCTOR.beautiful nature is and yet I reproach myself withthe pleasure I feel in contemplating it. I am almostashamed of tasting a joy that my father, to whom Iowe everything, cannot share in. Blind! ah, whata calamity-what a grief for him He will never seeus any more. It is for our sakes he will most regretthe loss of his sight. Oh I would sacrifice my lifeif it would restore to my father this precious gift fromHeaven.'"The boy buried his head in his hands, and Icould see the hot tears dropping one by one throughthe closed fingers." 'Keep up your heart,' said I; 'sooner or lateryour father will be obliged to resign himself to thecare of a doctor. If we succeed in overcoming hisobstinacy, we will not have far to go for a doctor.Ten leagues from here, at Munich, the famous Schil-ling resides, whose marvellous cures have for longbeen the admiration of all Europe.'"'At Munich-Schilling !' exclaimed Karl, quickly.'You think, then, sir, that there is a possibility ofhim curing my father. It is then quite true that theoculist's art has some power. Tell me-oh tell mequickly -all that you know about this wonderfuldoctor.'
THE YOUNG DOCTOR. 79" I repeated to the boy all that had been told meof Doctor Schilling, and of the astonishing successthat had attended his efforts, Karl listening to me allthe while with the most profound attention." Will the science of this skilful man die with him,do you think ?' he asked all at once. 'Perhaps hewill not care to communicate the secrets of his pro-fession to any one.'"' You are wrong, my friend,' I replied. Likeall men of superior genius, Schilling's kindness andhumanity are as great as his other talents; he loveshis profession for the profession itself, and for thegood it enables him to do to his fellow-creatures, andnot for the wealth and glory he derives from it. Hehas a few disciples-small in number, it is true-butwell-chosen.'"' And would he admit the son of a farmer amongthe favoured few ? The very proposition of sucha thing would doubtless seem presumptuous to him.'"' You are wrong again, my boy. If you inviteSchilling to come to your house, he will follow youas willingly into your humble farm as he would intothe stateliest castle in the land.'"' He come here that would be useless, I fear.My father would obstinately refuse to place himself
80 THE YOUNG DOCTOR.under his care. No, sir, no; it is quite another ideaI am thinking of. I must go to Munich. DoctorSchilling will teach me his art, and then I will returnand cure my father-yes, cure him Oh he will notrefuse to yield to me; he will not repulse a hand thatis dear to him,-a hand which you yourself will askHeaven to bless. Come, sir-come to the chapel, andpray God to grant me success in my undertaking.Bless me this evening; I shall set out to-morrow.'"I was utterly confounded. A young man, com-paratively ignorant, and till now so timid and retiring,was he capable of carrying out such a brave resolu-tion, I asked myself. I pointed out the many diffi-culties he would have to encounter. How was heto obtain permission to attend the learned doctor'sclasses ? How would he be able to understandthem with his imperfect education? How would hishands, accustomed only to hard labour and roughwork, acquire the lightness and expertness necessaryfor such nice experiments ? How would he be ableto live in this capital and conform himself to the re-fined tastes and habits of his fellow-students ? Howwould he console and deceive his father, for Wilhelmmust suspect nothing of the truth, or all would beimpossible and useless ?
THE YOUNG DOCTOR.8i"But Karl listened to all those representationsunmoved. God himself had inspired him with thefaith which hopeth all things. I gave him my pro-mise of secrecy, took upon myself the task of explain-ing his absence to his family, as best I might, and hedeparted."His father, greatly distressed at his absence,shook his head sadly when I tried to give a plausibleexcuse for Karl's departure. Very soon he becamequite blind; and as he sat in his old arm-chair, hewould bitterly lament the loss of his youngest son-his Benjamin, as he called hirm. go" 0 Karl, Karl, it is in a moment like this that youhave left me,' the old man would cry. Now thatI can no longer see you, I am to be deprived also ofthe consolation of hearing your voice! Amid thedarkness of night which surrounds me, it is now invain that I seek for my youngest child to guide mysteps. He has left me here alone !'"Noble boy! Thus, unmerited suspicions andcruel reproaches heaped upon him by the wholevalley, and credited even by his father himself, werethe only reward of his virtue: he had no other con-fidant than me, no other witness but God."But he must now give you some details of hisF
82 THE YOUNG DOCTOR.stay at Munich, and you will like better to receivethem from his own lips."Karl protested for some time, but at last yieldingto my entreaties, he finished the story which the oldpastor had commenced.CHAPTER III."I PASSED fifteen months at Munich. I dared notask my family to provide me with money for a journeythe cause of which I could not explain, and so inorder to live, I was obliged to employ part of myprecious time, which was all too short for my difficultstudies, in the performance of little services whichwould bring me some small remuneration. Notwith-standing all my privations, however, I managed tolive, and my entreaties obtained me permission fromDr Schilling to enrol myself as one of his followers."It is hard enough work, sir, that of studying inthe midst of want and misery, of enduring the agoniesof hunger at the same time as the torments ofthought, and of forcing one's self to undergo a hardday's work when they are worn-out and exhausted bythe fatigues of the night. For many long wearymonths such has been my fate; but I do not com-
THE YOUNG DOCTOR. 83plain of it. I hardly thought of it then; the onlythought which ruled all my actions, and took posses-sion of my whole being, rendered me insensible toall others."What was hardest of all to me was, that thelearned lessons of my master were hardly accessibleto my feeble intellect. The more I tried to expandthe resources of my mind to understand them, theless I seemed to succeed. Then I saw for the firsttime that what my good friend the pastor had toldme was true, and that in order to make any progressin a science, it is necessary to learn it at an earlyage. My class-fellows immediately understood whatDoctor Schilling said to us, precisely because theyknew Latin and Greek. Accustomed from child-hood almost to reason and draw conclusions, theywould seize a meaning and draw an inference whereI could only hear sounds which utterly perplexed andbewildered me."But my kind master paid as much. attention tome as to the rest of his pupils, and comprehendingmy difficulty, he had pity upon me. While speakingto my fellow-disciples, he thought much of me andmy feeble powers, and, in the course of his lessons,he descended from the height of his theories to the
84 THE YOUNG DOCTOR.weakness of my intelligence. He read my embarrass-ment in my eyes, and would say:-' Let us com-mence again: there is one among you who has notquite understood all that I have said.' Meanwhile,almost melted to tears by so much kindness, andashamed at seeing all their looks fixed upon me, Iredoubled my attention, and the good doctor wouldrepeat the same instruction in another and simplerlanguage which I could understand. Oh, what amaster! how talented and how kind !"Unfortunately for me, his pupils, with whom Iwas in a small measure compelled to associate, werevery far from resembling him. Hundreds of timestheir behaviour would have induced me to abandonmy resolution, had not God himself sustained mycourage."They were ashamed and irritated at seeing meamong their number, and they openly conspired toforce me to fly. Insults and threats,-nothing wasspared; but when they saw that my resolution wasinvincible, they renounced their violence, and con-tented themselves with jeers and scoffs."I listened to all their railing jests upon the poorpeasant who wished to transform himself into adoctor with something very like indifference. My
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