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THE BOY-ARTIST.,A Zale for the voung.BY E77E AUTIIOR OF"HOPE ON," "KING JACK OF HAYLANDS," ETC." When my father and my mother fors:ke me, then the Lord will take me up.'PsA.M Ixxvii. 10.LONDON:T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW;EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK.1872.
@gfontnb.TIE BOY-ARTIST-I. THE PICTURE, ,. .. .. I .. 7II. THE RESOLVE, .. .. .. .. .. 20[II. THE FEVER, .. .. .. .. .. 29IV. THE FRIEND, .. .. .. .. 45V. THE INVITATION, .. .. .. ..57VI. TIE SURPRISE, .. 6VI1 THE SUCCESS, .. 8. .. 2* *. 8TOWN DAISIES-I. A LONELY LIFE, ... ** 87II. TRANSPLANTED DAISIES, .. .. 106
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THE BOY-ARTIST.CHAPTER I.THE PICTURE."" -, Madge, just stay as you are;there-your head a little moreturned this way."" But, Raymond, I can't possiblymake the toast if I do."" Never mind the toast; I shan't be manyminutes," said the boy who was painting inthe window, while he mixed some colours inan excited, eager manner." The fire is very hot. Mayn't I movejust to one side ?""No; it is the way that the firelight isfalling on your hair and cheek that I want.Please, Madge; five minutes."ar-._ i
S THE PICTURE." Very well," and the patient little sisterdropped the toasting-fork, and folded herhands in her lap, with the scorching blazeplaying on her forehead and cheek, andsparkling in her deep brown eyes.The boy went on with rapid, bold strokes,while a smile played over his compressedlips as he glanced at Madge every fewmoments." The very thing I have been watchingfor-that warm, delicious glow-that redlight slanting over her face;-glorious !"and he shook back the hair from his fore-head, and worked on unconscious of how theminutes flew by." Raymond, it is very hot."" There one moment more, please,Madge."One minute-two-three, fled by, andthen Raymond threw down his brush andcame over to his sister's side."Poor little Madge," and he laid hishand coaxingly on her silky hair. " Per-haps you have made my fortune."This was some small consolation forhaving roasted her face, and she went to
THE PICTURE. 9"FACES IN THE FIRE."look at the picture. "I'm not as prettyas that, Raymond."
10 THE PICTURE." Well, artists may idealize a little; maythey not ?"" Yes. What is this to be called ? "" Faces in the Fire."" Shall you sell it ?""I shall try."Raymond Leicester had not a prepossessingface; it was heavy, and to a casual observer,stupid. He had dark hazel eyes, shaded byan overhanging brow and rather sweepingeyelashes; a straight nose, and compressedlips, hiding a row of defective teeth; a highmassive forehead and light hair, which wasseldom smooth, but very straight. This hehad a habit of tossing back with a jerk whenhe was excited; and sometimes the dull eyesflashed with a very bright sparkle in themwhen he caught an idea which pleased him,-for Raymond was an artist, not by pro-fession, but because it was in his heart topaint, and he could not help himself. Hewas sixteen now, and Madge was twelve.Madge was the only thing in the world thathe really cared for, except his pictures."Their mother was dead, Madge could hardlyremember her; but Raymond always had
THE PICTURE. 11i CTHE COTTAGE IN THE COUNTRY.an image before him of a tender, sorrowfulwoman, who used to hold him in her arms,
12 THE PICTURE.and whisper to him, while the hot tearsfell upon his baby cheeks,-" You willcomfort me, my little son. You will takecare of your mother and of baby Madge."And he remembered the cottage in thecountry where they had lived, the porchwhere the rose-tree grew, the orchard andthe moss-grown well, the tall white lilies inthe garden that stood like fairies guardingthe house, and the pear-tree that was ladenwith fruit.He remembered how his mother had satin that porch with him, reading stories tohim out of the Bible, but often lifting hersad pale face and looking down the road asif watching for some one.And then there came a dark, dreary night,when the wind was howling mournfullyround the cottage and their mother laydying. She had called Raymond to her,and had pressed her cold lips on his fore-head, telling him to take care of Madge;and if his father ever came, to say that shehad loved him to the end, and she hadprayed God to bless him and to take care ofher children. Then she had died, and the
THE PICTURE. 13THE DYING MOTHER.neighbours told Raymond that he wasmotherless.I. heles
14 THE PICTURE.He recollected how the sun shone brightlyon the day that she was buried, and that heand Madge stood by the grave crying, whenshe was put down in the cold earth; andthat a man rode up to the paling of thequiet green churchyard, and threw the reinsover his horse's neck, and came with hurriedfootsteps to the grave just as the last sodwas thrown upon the coffin; and how thisman had sobbed and cried, and had caughtthem in his arms, and said, "My poor littlemotherless ones," and had kissed them andcried again so piteously and wildly, that theyclergyman had stopped in the service andhad tried to comfort him. And when thefuneral was over, and the neighbours weretaking the little ones home, how the manhad held them tightly and said, "No; minenow, never to leave me again. I am theirfather. Margaret, I will try to make up tothem what I withheld from you; is it toolate ?"This was the father whom their niotherhad spoken of with her dying breath; butwho had come too late to implore her for-giveness for having left her in want, while
THE PICTURE. 15he squandered his money upon his ownpleasure. But now, in the impulse of griefand remorse, he had determined to act dif-ferently, and returned to London with hischildren.Here they had lived ever since. Theirfather had returned to his old gay life, andleft the children very much to take care ofthemselves. Sometimes carelessly kind tothem, more often harsh and impatient, Mr.Leicester supposed that he fulfilled the vowwhich he had made about her children,beside his wife's grave.Raymond and Madge had no very definiteidea as to what their father did with histime. From time to time they changedtheir lodgings, always coming to somequieter ones, and now they had got to thehighest flight of a tall house in a veryshady street. Their father was not at homevery often, but they did not mind this much,and were very happy together.Raymond made a little money by drawingpictures for a cheap periodical, and withthis he bought materials for his darlingpursuit. Madge watched him and gloried
16 THE PICTURE.in him, and dusted the rooms, and laid thetable for meals, and mended his clothes, andthought hopefully of the time when Ray-mond should be a famous painter, and sheshould leave the dingy London lodging andlive in the fresh breezy country which herbrother told her about.Madge was not beautiful; her little facewas sallow and pinched: but she had twopretty things about her. One was her hair,which was of a rich warm brown colour,with a dash of chestnut in it, and when un-bound it fell in ripples nearly to her feet;the other was her eyes-large, lustrous,brown eyes-with an intense earnestness inthem, seldom to be seen in one so young.These eyes appeared in every one of Ray-mond's pictures, for they haunted him."Now, Raymond, come to breakfast,"Madge said when she had finished makingthe toast.He did not appear to hear her, for hewent to a little distance and surveyed hispicture with his head on one side.Madge poured out the tea, and then cameover to him, laid her hand on his which(S4B)
THE PICTURE. 17held the brush, and said entreatingly," Come."" Well, it is too bad," he said laughingly," first to make you roast your face, and thento keep you from eating your breakfast;"and he laid down his brush and pallette andcame to the table; but he ate hurriedly andsoon returned to his work.Madge put away the things and broughther sewing to the window, where she sat allthe morning watching Raymond's busyfingers. Then she went out to the colour-shop at the end of the next street, to buysomething which her brother wanted, and tosee if the picture he had left there was sold.Alas! it was still in the window alongwith several others; a few butchers' boys,working-men, and ragged little girls wereeagerly pressing their faces against the glasslooking at the pictures, but none of, themwere likely to be purchasers. Raymond'spicture was called "The Welcome." Therewas a cottage room, and an open door,through which a working man was coming.in, while a little girl sprang to meet him.The girl had Madge's eyes; but no one in(345) 2
18 THE PICTURE.BUSY FINGERS.that wondering throng knew that. Theywere saying how well the workman's dressand the tools which he carried were done.Madge went into the shop. Mr. Jefferywas talking to a gentleman who stood bythe counter; but he turned to serve her assoon as she appeared.She laid down her money and took her
THE PICTURE. 19tiny parcel, then said falteringly, while thecolour came into her pale cheeks, "Please,sir, is my brother's picture sold yet ?"" No, my dear, nor likely to be," said Mr.Jeffery, laughing."Poor Raymond," thought Madge, andas she turned away, she raised her hand tobrush away the tears which filled her eyes.The gentleman who had been standing,now stepped forward and opened the doorfor the little girl to go out.She raised her face timidly and said," Thank you, sir," in a soft, low tone, thenhurried off without trusting herself again tolook in at the shop window." Who's that, Jeffery ? ""A little girl who comes here very often,sir. Her brother paints a little, and he'sleft a picture here to try and get it sold."" I should like to have her hair and eyesfor a model," the artist said. "Jeffery, ifthat child comes again send her up to me;she would exactly do for my Ruth."But it was many and many a long day,before little Madge came to that shopagain.
CHAPTER II.THE RESOLVE.HAT same evening, when it was toodark for Raymond to paint, he andMadge sat by the fire talking."It's not much good trying anymore; is it, Raymond ?"" Trying what ? "" Why, your painting, to be sure.""Nonsense, Madge, I must paint; it'smy life to paint."Madge gave a long deep sigh, too longand deep for a child of her age." Raymond, what's my life ?"" Woman's life is to glory in man," saidRaymond grandly." Oh !" said Madge, with an unbelievinglaugh, "there's more than that in it; there's
THE RESOLVE. 21a great deal of work, too, I can assureyou.""I daresay," Raymond answered care-lessly; "but, Madge, you must never talkof my giving up painting, because I shoulddie if I did.""Should you? 0 Raymond, don't."" No, I won't until I have done somethinggreat-something to make you proud of me-something which shall make my name tobe remembered ;" and the boy's eyes flashednow, but it was too dark for any one to'see it.Madge liked to hear him say these kindof things, though she was not an artist her-self, only a patient, loving little girl, whothought there was no one in the world likeRaymond, and she put out her hand andlaid it softly upon his, as if she would layher claim to that by which his fame was tocome.They sat in silence for some time-Ray-mond looking into the fire, and thinking ofhis future; Madge looking at him, and won-dering if she should ever see him as famousas she felt sure he ought to be.
22 THE RESOLVE.The door was opened suddenly, and theirfather came in. Even with streaks of grayin his hair, and deep lines upon his face, Mr.Leicester was handsome; and he had a gay,dashing air, that heightened the charm of hisappearance. He carelessly kissed Madge,and laid his hand on Raymond's shoulder,then sat down by the fire." It's cold to-night, children.""Yes, father; shall I get tea ? ""Not to-night, sweet Madge. I must beoff soon; I have an engagement. I onlylooked in to see how you were getting on.""Very well," said Raymond gruffly."Oh that's right; I'm glad to hear it."There was a long pause, then Mr. Leicestersaid abruptly, " Raymond, lad, I've foundsome work for you at last."Raymond started. He had long agofound work for himself, and did not wantany other." Stephens and Johnson will shortly havea vacancy, and then you can go to them assoon as you like."" What do you mean ?""Why, that they want a shop-boy."
THE RESOLVE. 23Raymond stood up proudly. "I'm agentleman, father.""Come, come, never mind that. Weknow all that; but I don't want heroics.You must either work or starve."" I'm working.""Pooh, pooh! A little desultory dab-bling in painting; let me tell you, MasterRaymond, that is not my idea of work.""But, father, I must paint; I could notlive if I did not.""Nonsense; that is all the ridiculousideas that you get up here. When you areshaken out in the world you will lose them."Raymond's hands were raised to his face,and he was shivering with excitement.Madge came to her father's side, and putone hand on his shoulder."Father, Raymond is a painter. If youwere to send him to a shop, he would be apainter still. You cannot crush out what isbound up in his heart. Is it not better forhim to rise to fame by painting? Some dayhe will be your glory and mine."Mr. Leicester shook her hand off."You don't know what you are talking
24 THE RESOLVE.about. Little girls should hold their tongues,and learn to be silent."Madge shrank back immediately, and herfather went on fiercely. " I'll tell you whatit is, children; I'm off to-night to the Conti-nent, and that's all the cash I can leaveyou," and he produced three sovereigns. " Ican't find bread enough for all of us. Ray-mond must work. I shall be gone for amonth. The place will not be ready forhim before that. When I return he mustgo immediately."Madge breathed more freely-there wasa month's reprieve, and she stretched outher hand to Raymond. He clutched it,and held it in a vice-like grasp."Father," he said at last, and his voicewas low and hoarse, " I want to ask yousomething."" Well ?"" You are not coming back for a month.If during that time I can sell one of mypictures, and can hand you over a reason-able sum of money, may I go on painting ?"His father thought for a moment, thenlaughed. "Yes, safe enough. Perhaps
THE RESOLVE. 25you'll know what it is to be hungry beforethe month's out, and will be glad enough toleave off your dabbling."Then he stood up-patted Madge's head-went to the door, and came back again asif seized with a new impulse-shook handswith Raymond, and kissed his little daugh-ter's forehead. "Good-bye, children; takecare of yourselves," and he went away.Then Madge came to Raymond's side, andhe laid his head upon her shoulder with alow piteous cry." Hush, darling, hush," she whispered."It will all come right, don't fear. Let ustrust God; he has given you this talent forpainting, and he will teach you how to useit. There's a whole month, and who knowswhat may happen in that time You maybecome famous." She went on earnestly ;but he took no notice-only pressed hishands tighter and closer over his throbbingforehead."Raymond, I know you will be an artist-a great one-some day," whispered Madge."Never, never, if I am to be ground downin a shop," he groaned.
26 THE RESOLVE.k' !!THE LITTLE COMFORTER."You will, you will," she answered, throw-ing her arm round his neck. " If you keep
THE RESOLVE. 27up a brave, strong heart, and are not discour-aged. Nobody can do anything if they loseheart.""But to be always, always working, andto have no success. O Madge, it is so hardand bitter !""No success Why, Raymond, if you'donly heard how the errand-boys praised theway you had done the workman's basketof tools in the Welcome. It was a successin itself."In spite of himself Raymond laughed,and Madge was satisfied. She went onbrightly. "Some day I shall be so proudto be the sister of Mr. Raymond Leicester,the great painter, whose picture will be oneof the gems in the Royal Academy someyear or other; and we shall glory in you.""Not he-never ; he would never care.""Oh, he would-he would; and if hedidn't, you would be mine-all mine," sheadded softly, as she laid her hand on his arm.Raymond looked up suddenly. " Madge,you are a witch, I think. I wonder whatthose men do who have no sisters-poorfellows;" and then he kissed her.
28 THE RESOLVE.There was a glad light in Madge's eyesthen. He so seldom did this, except forgood-night and good-morning, that she knewwhat it meant. She was very silent for afew minutes, then sprang up, exclaiming,"Now we must have tea, and then youhave your etching to do, and I am going topay up the rent, and then I'll read to you,and do my sums."
CHAPTER III.THE FEVER.SND Raymond did work. MadgeS watched him with hopeful pride,and seldom stirred from his side.Their small store of money wasnearly gone, and there seemed butlittle likelihood of a fresh supply.Raymond's hopes were bound up in thepicture he was then engaged upon. If onlyhe could finish that, he felt sure that hecould sell it. There was a feverish light inhis eyes, a burning flush upon his cheeks,while he worked. He spoke seldom; butMadge saw him raise his hand sometimes tohis forehead as if in pain. The picture wasnearly done, and Raymond looked up for aminute one morning, and saw that the sun
80 THE FEVER.was shining brightly down on the sea ofroofs and chimney-pots which for the mostpart constituted the view from their garretwindow, and then he said to Madge, "Goout, and get a breath of fresh air; it is stiflingwork for you to be always up here."" Shan't you want me to mix your colours,Raymond ?""No; go. I should rather you went."She put on her bonnet, and then stoodfor one moment looking at his work. " Iwish you would come with me; it would doyou good, and rest you."Raymond gave a wearying sigh. "Norest for me yet, Madge. I must toil onuntil this is done. I can't rest when I goto bed. I am thinking all night when willthe morning come, that I may be at workagain. No, no; there is no rest until thisis sold. Do you know that in a day or twowe shall be penniless and starving ? "Madge looked up at him with a smile."No, Raymond, we shan't be left to starve;don't fear."Raymond looked doubtful, and went onwith his work, and Madge went out.
THE FEVER. 31She felt very lonely and sad as she wan-dered through the crowded, busy streets, andgazed into the faces of the passers-by, allwere so completely wrapped up in their ownconcerns. None knew her history; nonewould care to know it. What did it matterto any one of that moving throng if she andRaymond died ?Almost unconsciously she bent her stepsin the direction of the colour-shop. Onehurried glance she cast at the window,and then turned away with a sickeningheart.Raymond's picture was still there.She went home, and ascended the longflight of stairs with a slow, hesitating step.For a moment she paused at the door oftheir own room; she heard a groan within,and hastily went in. Her first glance wasdirected to the easel in the window; butRaymond was not there. Another lookdiscovered him lying on the floor with hishead pressed against the ground."Raymond, Raymond " she cried as shethrew herself down by him. "Dear Ray-mond, what is the matter ? "
32 THE FEVER.THE COLOUR-SHOP WINDOW." 0 Madge, my head, my head! I couldnot bear it any longer."He raised it for a moment, and Madge
THE FEVER. 33caught a sight of his fevered cheeks andheavy tired eyes. She thought for an in-stant what was best to be done, then randown-stairs to call their landlady. Now,Mrs. Smiley was in the midst of her cookingoperations, and as she bent over her largesaucepan, she did not like being interruptedby the sudden appearance of one of her toplodgers." What do you want? Don't you see I'mbusy? " she said roughly, as she turned a veryred face round from the fire to Madge.But Madge, in her terror for Raymond,gained courage. " If you please, ma'am, docome and see Raymond; he is so ill, and Idon't know what to do.""And who's to take this saucepan off, Ishould like to know, or baste the meat ? Doyou think I'm to be at the beck and call oftop-flight lodgers, who only pay five shil-lings a-week, and that not regular. I cantell you then that you're in the wrong box,young woman, so you'd best be off."Madge turned to go, but still stood irre-solute, and Mrs. Smiley, looking round toenforce her injunction, caught a sight of her(345) 3
84 THE FEVER.: '47 lrAN I'NGRACIOUS LANDLADYwistful, terrified face. The little girl wentaway as directed; but as soon as she was
THE FEVER. 35gone, Mrs. Smiley opened the door of theback-kitchen, and called out, "Here, youPolly, come up here, and keep an eye onthis dinner. Now keep basting the meatproperly; for if it's burnt, I'll baste youwhen I come back;" and then she followedMadge up-stairs. She found her kneelingbeside Raymond, supporting his head uponher shoulder."Well, Mr. Raymond, so you don't findyourself very well !"A groan was her only answer, and Madgelooked imploringly at her." You'd best go to bed, sir, I'm thinking.---Miss Madge, my dear, you're in for a bitof nursing. I'm afeard it's a fever that'son him."Mrs. Smiley's character was changed.She had children of her own, and therewere soft spots in her heart still, thoughthe outer coat, formed by her worldly busi-ness, was hard and rough. She had knownwhat sickness was, and she was rather askilful nurse, so from that time whateverspare minutes she had were devoted to Ray-mond.
36 THE FEVER.Poor little Madge! The days that fol-lowed were very sad ones. Her brothergrew worse and worse, and she sat by hisbedside listening to his wild ravings ofdelirium, in vain endeavouring to soothehim, or to allay his burning thirst.Their scanty supply of money was ex-hausted; and many little comforts whichRaymond needed, his sister was unable toprocure for him. "I must do something;this cannot go on," she thought; and thenan idea flashed into her mind, which shelonged to carry out. She went over to theeasel, and took down Raymond's picture.It was very nearly finished. "I will goand see if Mr. Jeffery will buy it," she said;and covering it under her little cloak, sheset out.Very timidly she presented herself at thecounter, and produced her picture. Mr.Jeffery looked at it. "This is not finished,"he remarked."No, sir; Raymond was too ill to finishit.""I cannot take it in this state," said thepicture-dealer. " It will never sell."
THE FEVER. 37NO HOPE." Then you can do nothing for us ? " askedMadge sadly.
38 THE FEVER."Nothing. Stay, though; " and he beganturning over the leaves of his memorandum-book. "Yes, you are the child. Well, Mr.Smith-Mr: Herbert Smith-the greatartist, wants to see you. Here, take thisdirection and give it to him when you findhis house;" and Mr. Jeffery hastily wrote afew lines upon a piece of paper, and handedit to Madge.Mr. Herbert Smith, the great artist.Yes she had heard Raymond speak of hispictures-she would go; there was a gleamof hope before her ; she would take Ray-mond's picture to him; he could not fail todiscover how clever it was-Raymond couldonly be appreciated by master minds, andthis was one of them. It was a dull wetday, and the streets looked dark and dingy;the rain was driving in her face, and herheart was with Raymond in the garret,where he was tossing in restless fever; butthe brave little maiden went on steadily,until she reached Mr. Herbert Smith'sdoor.She rang at the bell, and asked to see theartist. The servant, well accustomed to
THE FEVER. 39receiving every variety in the way of visitorsto his master, models, &c., &c., ushered herup a long stair into the studio.Why, there sat the gentleman who had oncelooked so kindly at her in the picture-shop;she had often wondered who he could be."A little girl to see you, sir," said theservant, and then withdrew. Mr. Smithwas reading his newspaper, seated in aneasy-chair, arrayed in dressing-gown andslippers, with a cigar in his mouth, and acup of fragrant coffee by his side.He turned round impatiently, but whenhe saw Madge, his expression changed toone of easy good-humour."Mr. Jeffery-please, sir, he told me tocome to' you," said little Madge, while shelooked down on the ground.". Oh, yes, I remember; and so you havecome to give me a sitting ?""A what, sir ? ""A sitting, my child; to let me paintyour eyes and hair."" Please sir, I came to show you this;Raymond's ill;" and she held out thecherished picture.
40 THE FEVER.A ,THE GREAT ARTIST." Ah, yes; lay it down. I'll look at itpresently; but, meanwhile, I must lose no
THE FEVER. 41time in transferring you to canvas. Now,then, take your place, so; your head a littlemore turned to the light." And in a fewminutes, with easy, rapid strokes, the artistwas progressing in his work." And what is your name, my little girl ?"he asked presently."Madge Leicester," she replied softly."Your eyes have grown sadder than theywere when I last saw you, Madge " Theywere very sad then, for large tears weregathering in them, and rolling down thethin white cheeks.She raised her hand and dashed themaway."What is it all about ?" said Mr. Smith." 0 Raymond, Raymond !" she faltered." Is Raymond your brother ? ""Yes."" Have you a father and mother ?""My mother is dead, and my father isaway, and Raymond is ill.""Poor child, where do you live ? "Madge told him."And does no one care for you ? "" Oh yes, Raymond does."
42 THE FEVER."But I mean, does no one do anythingfor you ? "" Yes, Mrs. Smiley is minding him whileI'm out!""How did you come to leave him to-(lay ? "A quick flush came to Madge's cheek; shewas ashamed to confess their poverty; butafter a moment she added, " I wanted tosell Raymond's picture.""Does Raymond like painting? "Madge's face lit up with a sudden bright-ness. "Yes, yes he loves it-he delightsin it-he says it is his life.""Poor boy, he does not know what up-hill work it is; he thinks it is mere fancyplay, I suppose ? "" I don't think he does, sir."" Has he ever had teaching ? ""Only a few lessons from an artist whohad the down-stair rooms in the last housewhere we lodged."Mr. Smith came over suddenly, and un-fastened Madge's hair; it fell in goldenripples all over her neck. The light wasshining upon it, and the sunbeams danced
THE FEVER. 43about it, making it in some places to re-semble-" In gloss and hue, the chestnut, when the shellDivides threefold to show the fruit within;"and in others there were luxuriant massesof rich deep brown, clustering in curlsabout her shoulders. For a moment theartist stood lost in admiration; then hesilently resumed his work. It was an en-joyment to him, as Madge could see fromthe pleasant smile that played around hislips, and the kindly look in his eyes, whenhe glanced at her; but the poor, little,anxious sister was only longing for the timeto be over, that she might return to Ray-mond's side; and when at last Mr. Smithlaid down his brushes and pallette, saying," I will not keep you longer to-day," shesprang to her feet joyfully."Will you come again soon, Madge ?" heasked."Yes, sir, if I can !"" Well, this is for your first sitting; " andhe held her out half-a-crown. For a mo-ment she hesitated, then she thought ofRaymond, and the nourishment he so much
44 THE FEVER.needed, and she took it. "And about thepicture, sir ? " she asked wistfully." Oh, yes, about the picture," said Mr.Smith, taking it up; but at this moment hewas interrupted; the servant announced avisitor, and he had only time to add, "Iwill tell you about the picture the next timeyou come, little Madge; good-bye;" andthen she had to go away.Back through the dreary streets, to thatdreary home; back to that garret room, tothat lonely watching, to that brother wholay so near the borders of the grave, thoughMadge knew it not. How often we pass inthe crowded thoroughfare some sad sufferinghearts, hurrying back to scenes such as these;it may be that they touch us in the crowd,and yet we know nothing of the burdenwhich they carry; God help them Let usthank him if we have light hearts ourselves;and let us remember that each load that welighten leaves one less sad face and heavyheart in the world about us.
CHAPTER IV.THE FRIEND.WEEK passed, and Mr. Smithsaw nothing more of Madge. Ray-mond had become worse, and shenever left him.It was Saturday evening, aboutfive o'clock, when Mrs. Smiley wascalled up from the kitchen by hearing thata gentleman wanted to speak to her. Shecame up, smoothing down her apron withher hands, which were not of the cleanest."Do two children of the name of Leicesterlive here ?""Yes, sir, surely; at least there weretwo of 'em a couple of hours ago, but Ican't rightly say whether the lad's alivevet."
46 THE FRIEND."What! is he so ill, then ? ""Ay, ay, sir, ill enough, I warrant.""I will go up to them.""Very well, sir; I'm sure if you're afriend that'll do something for them, I'mright glad to see you, for they sorely needone.Mr. Smith, for it was he, followed Polly'sguidance to Raymond's room, then thank-ing her, he knocked at the door himself, andentered.Madge was leaning over the sick boy,holding a glass of water to his lips; and asshe looked round, Mr. Smith thought hehad never seen a face so strangely andsadly altered as hers. It had lost nearlyall its childishness-it looked so old, andwomanly, with a weight of care in it thatwas pitiable to see; and yet, with all this,it was so calm and still, so composed,that any one would have imagined thather one thought was how to nurse herpatient. And so it was. Madge felt thata great deal depended upon her fortitudeand self-control. Had she lost this, shecould not have attended upon Raymond;
THE FRIEND. 47and though she was only a weak little girlin herself, God gave her the strength sheneeded. She did not spend her time in idlyfretting, or in gloomy thoughts about thefuture; she just did the duties that came inher way, one by one, and left the rest trust-fully to God.One glance was sufficient to show Mr.Smith how ill the boy was. The wildnessof the fever was past, and he had sunk intoa state of almost complete lethargy."Madge," said the artist, "I came to seewhy you had not come again to me."Madge only pointed to Raymond's sharp-ened features resting on the pillow; it wasexcuse enough."He is very ill," said Mr. Smith. " Inever saw any one looking more ill."" Mrs. Smiley says he is dying," saidMadge in a low tone of forced calm; andshe repeated the last words sadly to herself,"dying, 0 Raymond !"" When was the doctor -here ? ""We have had no doctor, sir.""Why not? That has not been wise,Madge."
48 THE FRIEND.THE ARTIST'S VISIT." We could not afford it, sir."" There was the parish doctor."" There was the parish doctor."
THE FRIEND. 49" knew nothing about him, sir; and Ihad nobody to tell me."" Poor child, poor child : " and the artistwas feeling the boy's pulse. Raymondopened his eyes, and seeing a man by hisside, said faintly, "I've failed, father-I'll goto the shop-it's not done "" Hush, hush, my boy; we must not talknow." And then Mr. Smith beckonedMadge into the next room. She followedhim silently, and for a moment or two hernew friend stood looking into her pale,troubled face. Then he laid his hand onher head, and there were tears in his eyesas he spoke." I have a little daughter at home, Madge,who is about your age; and if she were introuble-; " suddenly his voice faltered, andhe added hurriedly, "may God grantthat my Lilian may never be left as youare."Madge lifted her eyes to his face, thenclasping his hand, she said, " Oh, sir, saveRaymond; I will love you always, if youwill save him. Oh, do not let him die !""Keep up your brave little heart; I willk1;'; 4
50 THE FRIEND.do my best. Madge, if your brother lives,he will some day be a great artist."Again that glad, joyful light came intoMadge's eyes, which the artist had seenthere once before. "I know it I knowit!" she cried. " Did you like the picture,sir?""Yes, my child. I saw unmistakablesigns of genius in it. I am buying it my-self. little Madge; will you receive thepurchase-money ? ""No, no; wait till Raymond can haveit himself. He must live!-he will, hewill! "" Hush, my child; there is One above whoonly knows about that; he must do as seem-eth to him best. Now, Madge, go back tohim; I will go and get a friend of mine tocome and see him."Madge did as he bid her; and in about anhour Mr. Smith returned with a doctor.He looked very grave when he had ex-amined his patient, and then beckoned Mr.Smith away." I have very little hope of him," he saidsorrowfully : " the prostration of strength is
THE FRIEND. 51fearful; I fear he will never rally; buthe must have stimulants now, and plentyof nourishment;-we must do what wecan.""Yes," said Mr. Smith warmly; "and ifyou save him, Morton, you will have savedone who will be a great man some day.That boy has an artist's soul within him;he will rise to fame."" I should like to save him for the sakeof that little patient maiden who is watchinghim. What a touching face the child has,and how she seemed to be hanging on everylook of mine ""Poor little Madge, she loves him betterthan herself."For a few days, Raymond hung betweenlife and death; then Dr. Morton's face lookedeven graver than before. Madge saw thathe had no hope.On Sunday evening, she was sitting be-side her brother, watching the flutteringbreath, which seemed every instant as ifit must cease altogether; when suddenlyRaymond opened his eyes. "Madge.""Yes, dear."
52 THE FRIEND." I've been asleep a long time, and I'm sotired.""You must try to sleep again, darlingRaymond."A bewildered look passed over the boy'sface, then he said eagerly, "Madge, am Igoing to die ?"She put her face close down to his, andsaid gently, "We must not talk now, dear;try to sleep again."He was silent for a few minutes, then thewords came thick and fast." Madge, I've not been a good brother toyou; I meant to have been, but I havethought and thought of nothing but myself.I ought to have gone to the shop. I oughtnot to have let you want. 0 Madge if Imight but live, if I might but live !" andthen tears fell one by one down the thin,pale cheeks, and dropped on Madge's hand."Please, dear Raymond, lie quiet; thedoctor said you must be very quiet.""But, Madge, it doesn't signify ; I'mdying, I know I am, and I must speak toyou!" he said, raising his voice, and speak-ing with all the energy of those who know
THE FRIEND. 63that they are soon to be silent for evermore;" what will you do ? what will become ofyou ""Don't fear for me, dear brother," an-swered Madge, who was crying bitterly."No, you love and fear God, and he willtake care of you; I know he will! 0 Madge,I wish I had loved him as you have; butI've been a bad boy, and now it is too late,too late ;-if I might but live " The wordswere spoken in a low, vehement whisper,and a smothered groan followed them." Raymond, our dear Saviour loves you.Think of him, do not think about yourself,"and Madge's face became calm as she spoke.A smile came over her brother's counte-nance, he closed his eyes and feebly pressedher hand. Then he lay very still and mo-tionless. Once only his lips moved. Madgethought he said, "Mother " Then all wassilent as the grave, except the ticking of theclock in the next room. Madge seemedcounting every swing of the pendulum.They seemed like the last grains of sand inthe hour-glass of her brother's life, and hisbreath was getting shorter. At length she
54 THE FRIEND.could hardly find out whether he breathedor not. She thought of what the doctorsaid to Mr. Smith: "If he does not rally,there will probably be a short period ofconsciousness before he dies, and then hewill go off quietly." She supposed thatperiod was over now, and Raymond wouldnever speak to her again,--Raymond, herpride, her glory. He was slipping awayfrom her, and soon she should have nobrother. Poor little Madge Years after-wards she could recall that scene morevividly than any other in her life-the lookof everything around her; the lazy fliescreeping up the window-pane, and one ortwo which were buzzing about her head; theglass standing on the chair by Raymond'sside, which she had held to his lips but afew minutes before, and which she knew hewould never drink from again; the way inwhich she had smoothed the bed-clothes andmoved his pillow; and that still, white face,so inexpressibly dear to her, that restedupon it. There was a step beside her, andlooking round she saw Mrs. Smiley. Thegood woman started as she saw Raymond.
THE FRIEND). 55Then drawing Madge away, she said ten-derly, " Poor lamb, come in here now;" andshe tried to induce her to leave the room."No, no! I must stay," Madge saidvehemently, and she sprang to Raymond'sside. "Mrs. Smiley, he isn't dead.""Then he looks like it. Come away,Miss Madge."" But he isn't. He breathes still."Yes, there was just a feeble pulsation, sofeeble that it was hardly discernible, but itbrought new hope to Madge's heart. Shemoistened his lips with a stimulant, thenknelt beside him, with her eyes fixed uponhim in intense anxiety. The momentsseemed like hours. But at last there camea little short sigh, and then the breathingbecame more soft and regular. The lines ofthe face were relaxed, and Raymond wassleeping peacefully." If he sleep, he will do well," were wordsspoken long ago. And so it was.When the doctor came again, he pro-nounced his patient better, and told Madgethat he might recover.That night, about twelve o'clock, as she
66 THE FRIEND.was sitting beside the bed, keeping watch,Madge heard a low, weak voice saying hername. She bent down her head, andRaymond whispered, "Madge, I have hadsuch a happy, beautiful dream, about mypainting. Ask GOD that I may live.""Perhaps your dream will come true,darling, for the picture is sold," she answeredgladly. Then she feared that she had saidwhat was unwise, and that she had excitedhim. But she was satisfied when she sawthe quiet smile of satisfaction that stole overhis features."Now rest, dear Raymond," she added,as she kissed him, "you will yet live to bemy glory."
CHAPTER V.THE INVITATION.k" HAT a pleasant sight it was to seeSMadge's face, when Raymond wasable to sit up. It was still quiet"and calm, but there was a deepgladness in it that was beautiful;and the thoughtful care for her brother, theway in which every wish or desire of his wasforestalled, showed plainly that her love hadrather been increased than diminished bythat long nursing. She made allowance forall the fretfulness of convalescence, which isso prevalent after severe illness-especiallyin men or boys, who feel the depression ofextreme weakness peculiarly trying-andwas always patient and bright. One dayRaymond, after watching her for some
58 THE INVITATION.minutes gliding about the room and makingthings comfortable for him, said to her," Madge, which is the best life, yours ormine ? ""Mine at present; and yours is going tobe," she answered, with her own quiet smile."I've begun to doubt that. Do youknow, I've nearly come to the conclusionthat I would change with you, and that yourunselfish life is more noble than all the fameand glory I could heap together."Madge stopped in her work, and lookingearnestly at her brother, replied,-" If that fame and glory is the only ob-ject of your life, Raymond, it is not what Ithought and hoped it was going to be.""What do you mean ?" he asked, halflaughing at her gravity." I can't put it as plainly as I want, to do;but, Raymond, I mean that your paintingwill not be only for your own glory, if youuse it rightly."Raymond was silent, and his face becamevery thoughtful. "Madge," he said pres-ently, " I don't want that arrowroot. Comeover here."
THE INVITATION. 59"Wait one moment, dear. I know myduty as nurse better than that. If I leavethis too long it will get quite thin, and thenyou will call it' horrid stuff,' and not taste it."Raymond laughed. "You are gettingquite tyrannical, Madge. You take an un-fair advantage of my weakness."" I must make the most of my brief autho-rity," she answered merrily; and in anotherminute she had brought the little tray tohis side. "Now what is it, Raymond ?""Well, Madge, I've been thinking a greatdeal, and I've come to the conclusion thatit's right for me to go to the shop. I can'trise to fame in painting without some teach-ing, and I can't get that, and I must earnmoney for you."S "But, Raymond, that picture is sold.You know Mr. Smith brought the moneythe other day. Why should not others besold also ?""And what are you to do meantime, littlewoman ?"Madge was amused at the grave elder-brother tone, and answered, "As I havedone before. But let us consult Mr. Smith."
60 THE INVITATION." Very well; but he can't know both sidesof the question. Nobody but an artist couldunderstand what it is to me to give uppainting-not even you, Madge."Now Mr. Smith had charged Madge tokeep it a strict secret from Raymond thathe was an artist. He wished to watch himquietly, for there was a little scheme of bene-volence in the good man's head, which hewanted to carry out if possible. Many atime had Madge found herself on the pointof telling Raymond about the sitting, andMr. Smith's studio, and the lovely picturesabout it; but she kept her counsel bravely,and had her reward. Raymond often ques-tioned her as to how she had made acquaint-ance with Mr. Smith, but she always toldhim it was through Mr. Jeffery, and turnedthe conversation; and by degrees his curio-sity abated, he became content to receivehim as an old friend, and learned to lookforward to his visits as one of his greatesttreats.But with this secret in her possession, itwas hardly to be wondered at that Madgesmiled when Raymond deplored Mr. Smith's
THE INVITATION. 61probable want of sympathy in his favouritepursuit; but she only said, "He must havesome taste for painting, or he would nothave bought your picture.""You little flatterer! he probably didthat because he had a fancy for you."At-this moment Mrs. Smiley entered theroom. She was the bearer of a letter whichhad just been left by the postman.It bore a foreign post-mark, and the chil-dren knew that it was their father's hand-writing. It contained but a few lines,evidently written in haste." MY DEAR CHILDREN,-I have got an appointment abroad,which will detain me for a long time,-for how long I can-not say. I wish I could have you with me-but this is im-possible. I send you 5. It is all I can do at present.Raymond must give up his dabbling, and set to work like aman. I hope you will get on well. Ishall see you some day.--Your affectionate father, RAYMOND LEICESTER."And this was all! They had lookedforward to his coming home. They hadwatched for him day by day. In Ray-mond's heart there was a strange yearningto see the face of his only living parent;to know if he would be glad that he. had
62 THE INVITATION.been restored, when he was so near death;and these few hurried words were all! Theyread them through several times. ThenMadge clasped her hands, and hid her facewith a low cry."Don't, Madge, don't," said Raymond,though his own voice was trembling withemotion. " I cannot bear to see you likethat."" 0 Raymond, will he never come back? "" Yes; don't you see he says that he will,some day. Meanwhile, we will do our best."" You will never leave me, Raymond ? ""Never, if I can can help it," he said, lay-ing his long thin fingers on her hair." Poor father Raymond, I did want tosee him so much."" So did I."They did not speak much more. Forsome time they only sat holding each other'shands, and thinking mournfully of the future.Everything seemed very dark and gloomythat evening, both within and without. Aheavy rain was falling, and the sight of wetroofs and chimney-pots gleaming in the twi-light is never very enlivening. Raymond at
THE INVITATION. 63last gave a long, deep sigh, at the sound ofwhich Madge started up."That won't do, Raymond. I'm forget-ting my duty as nurse, and it is very badfor a patient to get vapourish I Oh, here'sMr. Smith!"He came in, in his own pleasant, friendlyway, but his quick eye soon discovered thatsomething was wrong, for Madge's quietlittle face was troubled, and Raymond lookedtired and moody.Mr. Smith sat down, and began in a livelytone,-" Well, Raymond, my boy, how havethings gone to-day ? are you any stronger? "" Not much, sir," he answered mournfully."And I don't expect you will be, whileyou are up here. You want change of airto set you up."" I must get well as soon as possible," hesaid, with a very determined look."You must not be in too great a hurry.People want a great deal of patching upafter an illness like yours."" I must be at work! " said Raymond."Yes, when you are well. What is thecause of this extreme impatience? You
(14 THE INVITATION.were quite content yesterday to lie back inyour chair and let Madge nurse you and petyou to her heart's content."Raymond answered by holding out hisfather's letter. Mr. Smith read it silently.He made no remark when he had finishedit, but handed it back to the boy."And now, sir, what are we to do ?""Get well and strong, my dear boy, inthe first place."" But about the shop, sir ? My fathersaid the place was ready, and I could takeit."" You are not fit for it at present.""At present! " Then Mr. Smith thoughthe ought to go when he was well! Thethought was very bitter, and Raymond benthis head in his hands, and tears came drop-ping one by one through his fingers. Theycame from his extreme weakness, and hewas very much ashamed of them, so muchashamed that he did not look up until hehad banished them. Then Mr. Smithspoke :-"Little Madge, do you think Raymondis well enough to have a change ?"
THE INVITATION. 65"There is no place for him to go to, sir,"she answered, while there was a quick throbof pain in her heart at the thought of beingseparated from him." I have a country-house in the Isle ofWight. Will you both come and pay mea visit there, and see my little daughterLilian ? "Madge's face lit up instantly. "Ray-mond, do you hear ? The country-thecountry-and the beautiful sea-and youwill get strong there ""But I don't know how we could do it,sir ?" said Raymond doubtfully, but in atone of gladness which showed how muchhe liked the proposition."You must let me be your father for thetime, and I will see to it all," replied Mr.Smith kindly. "Mrs. Nurse, don't youthink it would be the best thing possiblefor your patient ? ""Oh, yes," she answered gladly."Then you must be ready by the end ofnext week," said Mr. Smith; "and considerthat it is a settled thing. Lilian will be insuch delight."(345) 5
CHAPTER VI.THE SURPRISE.EAPOINT was beautifully situatedS on a headland, which commandeda view of the boundless sea on oneside, and on the other a panoramicview of the fertile Isle of Wight.And this was the summer home of theartist's little daughter. Her governess,Miss Mortimer, had charge of her, but herfather came backwards and forwards to seeher constantly; for Lilian was all that wasnow left to him in this world to love excepthis art, and the days when he came were thebrightest of his little girl's life. She knewthat he would take her long rambling walks,and let her clamber about amongst the rocksand little bays and creeks in which she de-
THE SURPRISE. 67lighted; and that, when she was tired, therewas always a comfortable resting-place readyfor her in that father's arms; and loving, ten-der words, which she never heard from anyone but him. In his little daughter theartist found his ideal of childish beauty re-alized. The exquisitely shaped oval face;the large eyes of dark blue, through whichthe loving little heart looked out- at him, andin which, though generally sparkling withfun and merriment, there was sometimes adreamy intentness, as if they beheld a worldmore beautiful than any which his art or im-agination created; the perfectly formed noseand mouth; the arched forehead, shadedwith golden brown hair; the delicate com-plexion; and the witching charm of thegraceful little figure, were a perpetual feastto the artist-father. Miss Mortimer com-plained bitterly that nothing would makeLilian behave with the due propriety of ayoung lady; but to her father there was awinsomeness in her free, gay manner, thatmade up for her wild spirits, which some-times carried her past the bounds which theworthy governess laid down for her.
68 THE SURPRISE.It was one of those glorious evenings inearly summer, when all nature is bathed inthat soft golden light which precedes sunset,and little Lilian was watching for her father'sarrival; for it was Friday, and he generallycame on that day to stay till Monday.The eager child had not long to wait;she heard the well-known footstep on thegravel, and she bounded out of the door."Well, my Lilian.""Well, papa." And the soft arms werethrown about his neck as the father stoopedto kiss his little daughter."All right here, Fairy ? "" Yes, all right. And Miss Mortimerhas got so many good things about me totell you; and isn't it fine ? Won't you takeme for a beautiful long walk, papa ?""Yes, darling. Shall we go now? 1will just speak to Miss Mortimer, and thenwe will set off; and I will ask them to defertea until we return."" Beautiful " said Lilian. " I will goand get my hat. Miss Mortimer is in theschool-room, papa."Mr. Smith walked across the grass, and
THE SURPRISE. 69EAG(ER WATCHING.entered the school-room by a folding glass-door that opened upon the lawn. Lilianreturned presently; her shady straw hatfastened with blue ribbons, a little basket
iO THE SURPRISE.on her arm, and her face glowing with plea-sure and excitement."Now, Miss Mortimer, you said youwould tell papa about my lessons to-day."The governess, a tall staid lady of aboutfifty, whose face betokened that her mindwas full of grammars and dictionaries, spileda little, and answered, "I have been in-forming your father of the marked improve-ment which you have lately made in yourstudies."" Yes, Lily, I have heard all about it,"said Mr. Smith, looking down fondly intothe bright little face that was raised to his." And I have been telling Miss Mortimer ofa treat that I have in store for you."" What is it, papa ? " she cried eagerly." Oh, I am not going to tell you, until weget to your favourite seat among the rocks.""Then don't let us lose another minute,papa," said Lilian, and they set off.Away over the breezy hill-side whichoverhung the sea; away through the furze,the gorse, and the large brake-ferns; awayuntil they had left the pretty villa farbehind them, and found themselves in the
THE SURPRISE. 71small sheltered bay where Mr. Smith's boat,the IVhite Lily, was .oored. ;"It is very calm may we go out for alittle way, papa ?""Yes, dear," said the artist, as he un-fastened the padlock which moored theboat. Then he placed Lilian in the stern,and sprung in himself, taking the oars, andpushing away from the strand.The setting sun shed a flood of glory overthe quiet bay, with its brilliantly colouredrocks, and its shore covered with whitepebbles, and fell upon the little boat thatdanced over the rippling sea, lingering lov-ingly on the beautiful face of the artist'schild as she bent forward to claim the pro-mised secret."Now, papa, what is the treat? ""Well, Lily, you know I have told youabout Raymond and Madge.""Yes, papa; and I was going to haveasked how Raymond was, and whether heliked the fruit I sent him, only the thoughtof the treat put it all out of my head."" He is much better, darling. And whatwould you say if you were soon to see him ? "
72 THE SURPRISE." Oh, papa ""I have asked Macdle and him to come; ,o--: -I ,A BEAUTIFUL SCENE.here, that he may recover his strength; andI have come on to make all preparations.They will be here to-morrow.""Oh, joy, joy !" cried Lilian. " Mayn'tI have a whole holiday, pqpa ?"" Yes, to-morrow you shall; and after thatMadge shall do her lessons with you.""And Raymond too, papa ? "" No, darling. Raymond will do his les-sons with me."
. THE SURPRISE. 73" Shall you teach him to paint beautifulpictures as you do, papa ? ""Yes, I hope so," replied the artist,smiling.Lilian drew a long sigh of contentment." I do wish it were to-morrow Will youtake them out in the boat, papa ? ""Raymond will not be well enough atfirst; but by-and-by, I hope, we shall havesome grand excursions.""And that dear little Madge that youhave told me about; oh, papa, I shall loveher so much! Do you think she will loveme ? "The fond father thought within himselfthat it would not be very easy for her tohelp doing so; but he only answered, " Ithink she will, Lily."And thus they talked in the pleasantevening light, until the red sun had dippeddown behind the hills on the further coast;and then Mr. Smith moored the boat, andthe father and daughter walked home in thered glow which the sun had left behind it.The rest of the evening passed away veryslowly to Lilian, she was looking forward so
74 THE SURPRISE.eagerly to the morrow; and it was not untilshe had planned and replanned every kindqf pleasure that was likely to be given to her,during the visit of her friends, and wonderedover and over again what they would be likethat sleep came over her; and before sheknew anything more, the much longed-formorning had arrived.Mr. Smith had gone to meet the childrenat their landing-place; and about twoo'clock Lilian heard the sound of thecarriage-wheels coming near. Then a fitof shyness came over her; and she hungback, so that it was not until she heard herfather's voice calling her that she went tothe door, just in time to see him helping outof the carriage a tall, delicate-looking boyof about sixteen, followed by a quiet-lookinglittle girl of twelve." Here are your new friends, Lily; comeand speak to them," said Mr. Smith.Then Lilian stepped forward, and shookhands with Raymond, and kissed Madge.Madge returned the kiss; but she seemedintent on watching Raymond, as if she hadno other thought than to take care of him.
THE SURPRISE. 75"I will take Raymond to his room, andhe had better lie down for a while," saidMr. Smith.The boy smiled faintly, but he was tootired to speak; so his friend and Madgehelped him to the pretty room which hadbeen prepared for him, overlooking thesea.He lay on the bed with his eyes fixed onthe water; but very soon, overcome withthe fatigue of the journey, he fell asleep;and when, a little while after, Madge stolesoftly into the room, she found him slumber-ing peacefully. For an instant she bentover him, and the dark earnest eyes werefilled with tears of thankfulness that he wasspared to her, and was likely to recoverhealth and strength in this beautiful home.Then little Madge drew the curtain acrossthe window to exclude the light from hiseyes, and left the room as quietly as she hadentered it.She found Lilian waiting for her at thefoot of the stairs; and before long the twochildren had become quite confidential, andwere rapidly making friends.
76 THE SURPRISE.In the evening Raymond was allowed tocome down-stairs, and to lie on the sofa inthe pretty drawing-room.Lilian came to his side with a handful ofbright-coloured geraniums and white roses." Papa says you like pretty things; and hetold me I might bring you these."Raymond took them with a bright smile."They were not as beautiful as the child whogave them, glowing as the colours were." Are you better ? " said Lilian."Yes, much better, thank you; I shallsoon be quite well."" Do you like being here ? "" Very much; and so does Madge," heSanswered, laying his hand on hers as she"knelt beside him."We are going to have great fun whenyou are well again; and I am to haveshorter lessons; and Madge is. going to dolessons with me; and you will do lessonswith papa. He says so."Raymond lay very still, sometimes look-ing out at the sea, sometimes at the "airyfairy Lilian," by his side, sometimes at thebeautiful pictures around the room. "I
THE SURPRISE. 77wonder who painted that one!" he said,pointing to a likeness of a lovely lady andchild."D) 1 `Ii :RAYMOND AND LILIAN."It is mamma and me," said Lilian, alittle sadly; and then pointing to one thathung near it, she said, " I like that picturebetter than any.""Whose is it ? "
78 THE SURPRISE."It is done by the great artist, HerbertSmith," she answered, laughing.Raymond looked at it with eager delight;and at this moment Lilian's father enteredthe room."Chatterbox, I hope you are not tiringRaymond;" and he looked kindly and in-quiringly at the invalid."Not the least, sir ; I was thinking thatyou are fortunate to possess so many of thepaintings of Herbert Smith. How beauti-ful they are !' and the young artist's eyekindled with enthusiasm.His new friend smiled." I am very fond of painting, Raymond.""You must be, sir, from the way youhave talked to me about it, and from yourhaving such beautiful pictures. Do youpaint yourself ""Why, Raymond," said Lilian, "don'tyou know-; " but a warning look from herfather stopped her saying anything more.She only looked over at Madge, with herlarge blue eyes full of laughter.Then her father bent down over the boy,and said, " I paint a great deal, Raymond."
THE SURPRISE. 79"Oh, I am so glad!" said Raymondeagerly. "Then you will not think itwrong of me to want to be an artist.""So far from thinking it wrong, Ray-mond, I am going to help you in it. I amgoing to get you taught."A bright flush came over Raymond's faceas he looked up for an explanation."Who will teach me, sir ?""Mr. Herbert Smith."Raymond started up. "Do you knowhim, sir ? Do you know Mr. Smith, thegreatest artist that is living? Is he arelation of yours ? ""Raymond, I am Herbert Smith," saidhis friend kindly.A look of wondering doubt passed overthe boy's face, which quickly changed to oneof intense veneration, almost of reverence,at feeling himself in the presence of thismaster mind. Then, as the thought of allhis friend's former kindness came over him,and of this great privilege before him, hecovered his face with his hands; and thetears, which he vainly tried to conceal, fellthrough his thin fingers.
80 THE SURPRISE.~S-2 ---~---S=ITHE SURPRISE.Madge bent down over him. "Raymond,dear Raymond, look up. Do not be sadnow, it is all joy."" I am so glad, I cannot help it, Madge,"
THE SURPRISE. 81said Raymond. "All my brightest dreamscoming true. I shall be an artist yet."Mr. Smith turned away his head, his heartdeeply moved by the boy's delight; butLilian could not restrain her gladness."And did you not know that papa wasthe great Herbert Smith?" she asked."What fun Did you know, Madge ? ""Yes," said Madge, looking shyly intoRaymond's face." 0 Madge, how could you let me go ontalking to Mr. Smith about my poor littlepaintings without telling me."" He told me not to tell you," she said."Yes," said Mr. Smith; " I wanted, Ray-mond, to watch you for a little while, beforeyou knew who I was. I wanted to see ifyour whole heart was really devoted topainting, and that you were likely to rise inyour profession, before I offered you assist-ance. I am satisfied; and now shake hands :if you are willing to endure a life of labour,I think I can promise you success."" I am willing for anything," said Ray-mond. And to Madge he whispered, "Youshall glory in me some day, little sister."(345) 6
CHAPTER VII.THE SUCCESS.SND the day came, after years ofpatient labour.The morning sun shone inbrightly upon a room, in one ofthose pleasant villas which aboundin the suburbs of London. Aparty were assembled at breakfast-an old,infirm man, and his son and daughter. Theold man was Mr. Leicester, and the othertwo were Raymond and Madge. Theirfather had come back to them, brokendown in health and spirits. Raymond methim accidentally in the streets of London,and brought him to the little home wherehe and Madge lived, and they had cared forhim tenderly ever since.
THE SUCCESS. 83We last saw Raymond and Madge almostas children; we find them now grown up.Raymond's character has deepened. He isa great artist, and a great man also-for,added to the depth and strength of mindwhich the mastery of one subject gives,there were many noble traits in him-andmany men now feel themselves privilegedif they call Raymond Leicester theirfriend.Madge has the same character, and nearlythe same face, as she had when a child.She is still Raymond's fireside genius, anda dutiful, tender daughter to her father.But we were speaking of that sunshinymorning when they were at breakfast. Anewspaper lay by Raymond's side, andwhen he had sipped his coffee he unfoldedit. "The Academy is open, Madge," hesaid quickly; then ran his eye down thelong columns.Madge looked up eagerly, and saw thedeepening colour in his cheek as he read.She took up the paper as he laid it down,quickly found the place, and her heartbounded as she read:-
84 THE SUCCESS.THE NOTICE IN THE NEWSPAPER."But, without doubt, the picture which attracts most-notice is the one which Mr. Raymond Leicester exhibits.We feel, as we study it, that we are gazing on the work of agreat man, and a deservedly famous artist. He has notbelied the early promise of his youth ; and that man musthave but little taste and good feeling who can move away,-after the contemplation of this masterpiece, without feelingthat he is the better for having seen it," &c.The tears blinded Madge, so that she couldread no more. But what more was there
THE SUCCESS. 85for her to read ? The wish of her life wasfulfilled. Raymond was a great artist-theworld proclaimed him so-and he was herbrother, her pride, and her glory." Little Madge," and Raymond's handrested with its caressing touch upon herhead, "I feel that I owe it all to you.""No, no," she answered, laying her handupon his. " No, not to me-to Mr. Smith.""Noble-hearted man!" said Raymondwarmly; and then his voice sunk so lowthat only Madge could hear it. "I will goand ask for Lilian to-day.""God speed you !" said Madge, smilingthrough her tears; "and papa and I will goand look at your picture in the Academy."Anybody who had been in the RoyalAcademy that morning would have seen afeeble old man leaning on the arm of hisdaughter, lingering near the picture roundwhich every one thronged. Madge wasfeasting on their praise of it, and repeatingchosen bits to her father, who was veryproud of his son now. It was a happy dayto Madge, as she looked at the picture, andfelt that Raymond was worthy of the praise
86 THE SUCCESS.)IN THE IOYAL ACADEMY.that was bestowed upon it. She thankedGod in her heart that he had spared Ray-mond's life, and allowed her to see this day.Raymond gained Lilian for his wife, buthe is " Madge's glory " still.
TOWN DAISIES.CHAPTER I.A LONELY LIFE.R. VALENTINE SHIPTON wasone of the wealthiest farmers inDilbury; and yet every one pitiedhim. He did not ask them to doso, but they could not help it, heseemed so lonely and forlorn in the world.Nobody loved him, unless it might be thebig cat which slept by his fireside; and evenshe did not care very much about him, sothat she was left undisturbed in the pos-session of her own corner. Every day Mr.Shipton walked out and took a survey ofhis premises, gave directions to his men, and
88 A LONELY LIFE.then returned to his large, old-fashioned,dreary-looking parlour, and smoked his pipeover the fire in the winter, or in his frontporch in summer. Every Sunday he tookdown his best hat from its peg, and his largered Prayer Book from the shelf, and walkedto the village church; but he never spoketo any one either going or returning, andeven the little children shrunk away fromhim as he passed them.No one ever came across the threshold ofDilbury Farm, except the tenants to paytheir rent to him, or his men to receive theirwages; and Mr. Shipton never went awayexcept to the neighbouring fairs, and thenhe always returned in the evening, lookingmore moody than ever.Picture then the astonishment of the oldwoman called Betty, who cooked his dinner,when her master, one evening in December,suddenly came into the kitchen, and takinghis pipe from his mouth, said,-" Betty, I'mgoing to London to-morrow, and most likelyI shall be away for a fortnight! ""To London, master why, that be manymiles off!"
A LONELY LIFE. 89"I know it is, Betty; and mind you lockup the house every evening at six o'clock,and never allow any one across the door-step."Betty was too much astonished to makeany answer, she only smoothed down herapron very vigorously, and gazed at hermaster as if he were slightly demented.Then a sudden idea occurred to her, and shegasped out, " Then, master, you'll want yourbest shirts put up; and I must see to it, andget the ruffles done up quick."Farmer Shipton gave her no answer, butturned round and left the room."Sure it's some mistake," said old Bettymusingly, as she put her irons in the fire;"he'll change again before to-morrow."But Mr. Shipton did not change; andthe next morning early his gig was atthe door, his old-fashioned portmanteauwas put into it, and presently the old manhimself got in and drove off as fast as theold mare was disposed to go. This part ofthe journey was all very well, and thefarmer felt in better spirits than usual; thesky was bright and clear above him, and
90 A LONELY LIFE.the gig went on smoothly enough over thewell-made road to the station. But thetrain was an invention which Mr. Shiptonutterly despised, and when he found himselfseated in the railway carriage, and in quickermotion than he had ever experienced before,he felt inclined to stop at the first stationand go back to Dilbury at a more reason-able pace. However, he had a motive forgoing to London, and so he resisted his in-clination, and was whirled on until he ar-rived at the great metropolis. After a mostconfusing search for his portmanteau, hediscovered it being whisked off by anotherman; but having succeeded at last in ob-taining possession of it, and taking his placein an omnibus, he was soon rattling awayover the paved streets in the direction ofIslington. The omnibus deposited him atthe corner of a street, and there he founda boy who was willing to carry his luggageto a small and retired row of houses whichwas his destination."Which house ?" said the lad when theyhad reached Crown Row. Farmer Shiptonstopped, drew his spectacles from out of
A LONELY LIFE. 91their hiding-place under his waistcoat, placedthem on his nose, and then felt in his pocketfor a leather pocket-book, which generallylived there. When he had opened it, heturned over the papers one by one-receiptsfor money, farm accounts, bills, &c.-until hecame to two letters tied together. Thesehe drew out. One of them was written ina trembling, almost illegible hand, and theother had a deep black edge to it-it was tothis one he referred, and then folding it upagain and replacing them both in the pocket-book, he turned to the boy and said,-"No. Five, boy-but stay, I want alodging first; I must leave my box some-where before I go out visiting.""No. Five-and here be lodgings to let,"said the boy with a grin."The very thing," said the old farmer,rubbing his hands; and then he added tohimself, "Now I can watch the state ofthings quietly, without saying anything toanybody; I'll see what these folks are madeof."He knocked at the door and it wasopened by a tidy little girl, whose face
92 A LONELY LIFE.would have been pretty if the fresh air ofthe country had brought the roses into it;at least so Farmer Shipton thought, as shedropped a courtesy to him." Lodgings to let here ? " he inquired inhis own gruff, surly tone."Yes, sir."" Got a room that would do me ?""Yes, sir; I think so.""Mother at home, girl, or your missus? ""Mother is, sir; will you please to walkinside ?""Put down the box, lad, and here's yoursixpence ;-shameful charge to make; why,in the part I come from, a bigger lad thanyou would have got no more for a wholeday's work; but it's my belief this Londonis made up of thieves and fools! Here's astaircase dark as midnight! Why, they saycountry folks come to town to be enlightened-but it doesn't seem much like it! Thievesand fools-thieves and fools. Thieves todo the fools, and fools to be done by thethieves! " Thus grumbling, he got up thefirst flight of stairs, and paused at a doorwhich the little girl who guided him opened.'
A LONELY LIFE. 93And here we must pause for a moment, justto say that Farmer Shipton, for reasonsbest known to himself, dropped his nameoutside the door, and entered that room asMr. Smith.A middle-aged woman, dressed in ratherrusty black, and wearing a widow's cap,stood up as he appeared, and laid downsome very fine needlework, which she wasengaged upon. A girl about a year youngerthan the little maiden who had opened thedoor, was sitting on a low stool by hermother's side, cutting out a paper-pattern;and a boy of about nine years old wasstretched on the rag-mat fast asleep. Theroom was scrupulously neat, but very poorlyfurnished; and the old farmer looked roundkeenly as he stood on the threshold."Hum!" he said to himself, "no extra-vagance here, most certainly!" but aloudhe said, "I want a lodging; are there anyto be had ? ""I have got a nice bedroom, sir; I'llshow you," said the widow; "and you canhave a small sitting-room down-stairs; but Ionly own the upper flight of this house."
94 A LONELY LIFE."Hum! one room would do !-can Iboard with you ? ""Well, sir, our lodgers don't generallydo that, but-""Can't take the room unless I do," heinterrupted; "I've not come to London tosquander my cash, I can tell you."There was a struggle in the widow'smind; she sorely wanted money, and shemight not have another chance of lettingthe room. This grumpy old man mightprove pleasanter on further acquaintance;at anyrate he might not be so disagreeableas many another; and with one glance ather little sick boy upon the rug, the mothermade up her mind and decided to take herlodger as a boarder.Mr. Smith was quite satisfied with hisroom, and though he pretended to grumbleat the price asked for it, he really thoughtit moderate; so he unpacked his portman-teau, laid the shirts which Betty had doneup so speedily and well in a drawer, andthen sat down once more to read the letterswhich he had consulted before knocking atthe door of No. 5. Shall we read them,
A LONELY LIFE. 95too ? It may, perhaps, give us some clueto the old man's secret.The first, as we said before, was writtenin a trembling hand, and hardly legible :-" MY DEAR FATHER,-If I had strength and health to doit, I would come to you, and never leave off asking yourpardon until you had given it. Father, I am dying, andthese few words are the prayer of a dying man. It waswrong to leave you, even though I didn't like the country,and longed for the great city-it was wrong to leave you allalone in your sorrow. If Val had lived he would have been"a better son to you than me-may God forgive me. Youwill get this, father, when perhaps it is too late; but if youhave any pity, any love left for your boy, come to me oncemore-once more, father I am leaving my wife and fourchildren quite unprovided for; will you be a father to them?I do not ask it for my sake, but for their helplessness-thefatherless and the widow-"Here the trembling hand had failed, anda blot of ink showed that the pen had fallenfrom the writer's hand; it was taken up toadd,-" Come to me, dear father, and foi give your dying son." ALAN SrIIPTON.The father had not gone, and the nextletter was from the widow:-"DEAR SIR,-My husband is dead-almost his last wordswere, 'Will father come in time?'-he longed to see you
96 A LONELY LIFE.once more. He suffered very much at the last, but he wasvery happy, and I look forward to meeting him again in theland where there is no more parting. I have moved tosmaller rooms with my children, at No. 5 Crown Row,Islington, where I have taken the top flight in the house,and hope to find a lodger to take the one room which we8hall not occupy. I shall be able to earn sufficient money,I hope, by dressmaking to support myself and my threeyoungest children-my eldest boy Alan has gone to sea. Iwish I could think that my dear husband ;'ad your entireforgiveness.-I remain, sir, yours dutifully," ELLEN SHIPTON."The date of this letter was a year old,and the farmer had written underneath it,"Hypocrites! I know town folks betterthan they think !"Why then was he reading it over ? Whywas he in this house under the name of Mr.Smith? Why had he after so many monthscome to seek out these unknown relations ?It was because the old man's heart waslonely-because underneath his gruff ex-terior he had a kindly heart-because helonged to have some one who would care forhim and comfort his old age. This was whyhe had left his country home to come up tothe great city. He had determined to findout his son's family, with the purpose of
A LONELY LIFE. 97adopting one of the children, if he foundthat the faults which he believed to be in-herent in all children of the town weresuch as he could get rid of without muchtrouble to himself; but he thought it wouldbe easier to watch them if they did notknow who he was; for, as he said to him-self, "they are quite cunning enough todeceive me-town children always are."And now having given you this little insightinto the old man's mind, let us return to thewidow's room and make acquaintance withher and her children."Mother," whispered Ellen, the little girlwho had opened the door to the stranger,"is he really to be with us all day ? Howhorrid it will be ""Hush, my dear; don't let us think ofthat, let us think of the money we shall get,and all the good it will do our little Maurice.Poor child how pale he looks there on therug!""He looks like father did," said Janet,the second daughter, who was cutting outthe pattern by her mother's side. A shudderpassed through Mrs. Shipton's frame, and(345) 7
98 A LONELY LIFE.for one moment she raised her hand to herface with an expression of pain."Janet, don't say that," whispered Ellen." It hurts mother."Janet looked up. "Mother, dear, I didn'tmean it. I didn't mean so bad. Mauriceis better than he was, isn't he ? He hadquite a colour this morning, and was not sotired as he was yesterday; and by the timeAlan comes home, I expect he will be quitewell."Her mother put her work down for aminute, and laid her hand upon Janet's fairhair-" My good little girl, I didn't think youmeant to pain me, and I know how you loveyour little brother. You both help mebeautifully in taking care of him, and if it'sGod's will I think he will get quite well-but he sadly wants care. If your. deargrandmother was alive, I'd send him intothe country to her for a little bit, to my oldhome. I know that fresh air would soonmake him well again."" Mother, I'd like to see your home. Thehouse with the roses growing over it, and