The cord of love

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Material Information

Title:
The cord of love
Cover title:
Cord of love, or, Robert Salter
Portion of title:
Robert Salter
Physical Description:
112 p., 1 leaf of plates : col. ill. ; 17 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Dammast, Jeanie Selina
Gall & Inglis ( Publisher )
Publisher:
Gall & Inglis
Place of Publication:
Edinburgh ;
London
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Love -- Religious aspects -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1875
Genre:
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
Scotland -- Edinburgh
England -- London

Notes

Statement of Responsibility:
by Jeanie Selina Dammast.
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002220195
oclc - 50638141
notis - ALG0384
System ID:
UF00026577:00001

Full Text
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At last an officer ot the frigate lying in the' harbour,passed ; " Please buy my ship," said Johnny, imploringly.The officer stopped and asked him if he had made it him-self, and poor Johnny poured out his artless tale to him.CORD OF LOVy.


T THECov of be.htBTJEANIE SELINA DAMMAST,AltHOB O " SHADOW AND BUNSHINE," " TOMMY'S MARBLE3,* "DOB THE SHOE-BLACK," &., &0., &.GALL & INGLIS.6 inbG rgE S onbnOS6 GEORGE STREET. 25 PATERNOSTER SQ.-


rCONTENTS.CHAr. I.-LOVE ON ANOTHER, 5SII..-LOYI THY NEIGHBOUR AS 'I'YSELF, 22SIII.LOVE THI LORD THY GOD, 43,, IV.-LOVE is STRONG AS DEATH, 58,, V.-LOVE YOUR ENEMIES, 80,, VL-GoD is LOE,' o 98" "i


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CHAPTER I.Love one another.""CHARLIE, Charlie, look here. What's thematter with this poor little fellow?" criedHarry Selwyn to his companion, as they werehurrying home from school one fine half-holiday, and came suddenly upon a little fellowwho appeared to be of their own age-someeleven or twelve years-and who lay on thestep of a door in an attitude that betokenedeither faintness or deep sleep, perhaps both.The little boy's cheeks were pallid, and hishigh cheek bones were so sharp that they


6 THE CORD OF LOVE.seemed coming through the skin with whichthey were covered, one hand lay across hisbreast, while the other fell listlessly on thestep that pillowed his head."I think he is dead," whispered Charlie," his breast is not moving, and I don't hearhim breathe. Come away, Harry, we can'tdo him any good."" Wait a moment, Charlie, I am sure I canhear him breathing, but it is very faintly. Poorlittle fellow, he looks starved; how glad I amI did not spend my penny," he added, as,taking one from his pocket he put it gentlyinto the child's hand. As he did so, the thinfingers closed over it, and a deep sigh brokefrom the boy."Well, I'm surprised at you giving himyour penny," cried Charlie in very evident as-tonishment; "why, you have talked of fiftythings you could buy with it, and now yougive it away to a strange boy that you knownothing about, I didn't think you were such afool."" I could not bear to keep it to spend on


LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 7myself. I have enough to eat always, but thatpoorlittle fellow looks starved," replied Harry,"I wish I knew where he lives, mother coulddo something for him, I'm sure."" Well, that's good," cried Charlie, " shehas five of you at home to keep, and now youwant her to take up a boy you never sawbefore; it's a pity you're not a nabob, Harry,you would soon have a houseful of beggarsabout you.""I don't want to be a nabob, and I wishyou would'nt speak so," said Harry. "It isnot kind of you, Charlie; you know the Bibletells us to love one another, and if you werelying there like that little boy, you would likesome one to pity you, and do what theycouldfor you.""I dare say I would; but I'd find very fewto do it, and as I'm not there, there's no usetalking about it.""We are told to do unto others as wewould wish them to do unto us," said Harry,gravely; " so you see, Charlie, we are boundto help every one in trouble."E.(^f^


8 THE CORD OF LOVE." Then we would have a fine time of it,"cried Charlie, "always doing something wedid not like for the sake of some one else,who would'nt do it for us, perhaps, if wewanted it. That won't do for me, Harry, I cantell you; so come on at once, or we sha'nt havea game to-day, all the boys are at play by thistime."" You may go if you like, Charlie, but Ican't leave this poor child until I see what isthe matter with him.""One would think you were a doctor withyour talk," said Charlie, contemptuously, " butstay if you like and welcome, I'm off," andwith a shout that rang through the street, hebounded away.The shrill cry awoke the poor boy, who,shivering as he moved, opened his eyes slowly,and gazed about him in a dull heavy way." Are you ill?" asked Harry, kindly, as,stooping down he took the poor child's handin his." Oh, yes, I'm so sick and weary," said thelittle fellow, drowsily.AJdsr


LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 9" Then, why are you here sleeping in thestreet? Have you a mother?"" Ah, that's why I came out," said theboy, rousing himself, " she's dying of hunger,and the baby too, and I have tried all day toget a penny or two to take home to them, butno one would give me a job, and at last Ibegged, but the people told me to go to thepoorhouse. Why, here's a penny," he criedsuddenly, as he opened his hand, "where didit come from I wonder! I must hurry and buysome bread with it for poor mother.""Where do you live?" asked Harry."In Panter's Lane-it's not far off.""No, I live in Chester Street, close by, socome with me first, and I'll see if mother hasany thing she can give you."With evident lassitude and pain the poorchild rose from the steps, and staggered, ratherthan walked beside Harry, the short distanceto Chester Street. Mrs Selwyn was a kindChristian woman, and having heard the littleboy's story she at once put on her bonnet andshawl, and taking a few necessary things with


10 THE CORD OF LOVE.her, she went with him to where his motherwas lying, as he had told her, literally " dyingof hunger."Panter Lane was a miserable place, and inone of the most wretched of the houses, MrsSelwyn found the boy's mother. She had totoil up a steep narrow stair, to the top of thehouse, and there, on a bundle of straw in thegarret, lay a young woman with a baby be-side her. Both were worn by starvation tothe veriest skin and bone, and as she gazed atthem compassionately, Mrs Selwyn wonderedhow they could still exist.Kneeling down beside the wretched crea.tures, she poured some milk into a cup, andheld it to the woman's lips, who began todrink it eagerly, but suddenly pushing itaway, she whispered, " The children-give itto the children."" They shall have some also as soon asyou drink this," said Mrs Selwyn, whosetears were flowing fast. Handing the boy thelittle bottle of milk she had brought withher, she told him to take some, and then,


LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 11with a tea-spoon tried to feed the baby, butit was too late, the poor little thing wasunable to swallow, and in a few momentsit was gone from a world of care to one ofjoys.Covering the little creature with an oldapron, Mrs Selwyn now devoted her entireattention to the mother, who seemed hardlymore than alive, and by slow degrees she wasable to give her a little nourishment. Thepoor thing cried bitterly when she found herlittle baby was dead, but nature was so ex-hausted that she soon sank into a profoundsleep; and having seen that little Robert hadsatisfied his hunger, Mrs Selwyn told him tolie down also and rest, promising to comeback before evening.On leaving the house, she went to a benev-olent doctor who lived near, and having toldhim the sad story, had the satisfaction of hear-ing him say that he would see the poor womanIn the evening; and thankful that God hadpermitted her to be of service to His sufferingcreatures, she sought her home, thinking what


12 THE CORD OF LOVE.she could do for the poor woman and herson.Mrs Selwyn had known much sorrow in herearly life, and the few years of happiness shehad passed with her husband were the onebright spot in her existence. Too soon it pas-sed away, and left her a sorrowful widow, withfive little children depending on her for theirdaily bread. Her husband had been a doctor,hard-working, and ill paid, so ill paid, thatwhen his widow examined into her resourcesafter the funeral, she found but ten pounds leftwith which to fight the battle of life for her-self and her little ones. Crushing down hergrief, she resolved to face the world bravely,and having thought over many plans, at lengthdecided on letting as many of her rooms asshe could spare, and taking a few day pupilsto educate. In both plans she was successful.Very soon all the rooms she had arranged forthe purpose were let, and her husband'spatients were glad to show their appreciationof his services and sympathy with his widow,by placing their children under her care.


LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 13Thus the God in whom she trusted took care ofher and her children, and proved himself thehusband of the widow, and the father of theorphans. Harry was only eight years old whenhis father died, but he still remembered hisloving smile, and the tenderness with whichhe had taught him from God's holy Word, andnow that that dear parent was removed fromhim, it was Harry's delight to show his motherall the love and duty due to both parents, andby his obedience and watchful care save herevery sorrow he could. During the past yearhe had attended a boy's school, and knowinghow many temptations he would meet, it wasa source of sincere joy to his mother that herchild was always anxious to seek her sym-pathy in all his little pleasures or perplexi-ties. Nothing was kept back from her, anaif he committed a fault, he could not knowrest until it was acknowledged to her, and hercounsel and forgiveness obtained. Like a clearmirror the soul of her child was open to hergaze, and she blessed God that no ignoblepassion or untruthful desire was reflected in it,


14 THE CORD OF LOVE.The love of God had already taken root deepin his heart, and as years passed by, she hopedto see it grow with his growth, and strengthenwith his strength, for Harry's was not a selfishlove, but one to be brought into his daily life,and acted in every scene of his existence. Herother boys, George and Willie, the twins, werestill very young, only five years f age; Marywas eight, and little Hessie fo'r, but all wereunited by the closest ties of affection, and astheir mother looked from one to the other ofthe little group, healthful, loving, and happy,her heart swelled with gratitude to the GreatBeing who had blessed her so richly.Charlie Thirwall was Harry's school friend,but why he selected him for his companion itwould be difficult to say, unless it was becausethe other boys avoided him. Charlie had anunhappy home, his father was passionate, andhis mother careless of her home and her chil-dren. Mr Thirwall, who was a lawyer in rathergood practice, liked to bring a friend homeoccasionally, and to have things nice for theirentertainment, and when he found the house


LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 15untidy, and dinner badly cooked, he vented hisanger, not only on his wife and servants, buton the children, if they came in his way.Finding he was punished when not to blame,Charlie disliked his father, and openly dis-obeyed his mother, for whom he had norespect, hearing his father address her inlanguage that was unfit for the lowest domes-tic. The boy became selfish, sly, and wilful,and an object of dislike at home and abroad.Harry was the only one who made him hiscompanion, and for him the unfortunate boyfelt perhaps as much love as he was capable offeeling, although he could not forbear a sar-casm on his poverty, or a jeer at his religion,whenever he had the opportunity.Mrs Selwyn did not fear that Charlie wouldobtain any influence over her son, but hopedthat, on the contrary, Harry might bring himto relinquish his selfish unfeeling ways; andthus trusting that the neglected boy mightgain some good by the companionship, sheencouraged it, and sometimes allowed Harryto invite his friend home to spend an evening.


16 THE CORD OF LOVE.He was to have spent the evening of the dayon which they discovered poor little Robert,with Harry, but when he had told the historyof the affair in the playground, and ridiculedHarry for what he called his "stuff and folly,"he felt rather ashamed to seek his friend; butwhile he was hesitating, Harry appeared, andimmediately he was surrounded by the boys,who began, from sheer thoughtlessness, tomake such inquiries, as, "How is the patient,doctor,"-" What fee did you get ? "-and soon. Harry gave a reproachful glance at Charliewho, he knew, was the cause of this piece ofmischief, but in another moment, turning to theboys, he said, "It is no laughing matter-thepoor boy and his mother, with her little baby,were all starving, yes, really dying of starva-tion; and when my mother got there the poorlittle baby was not able to take the milk shebrought, and it died in her arms; so you seehow dreadful a state the boy was in, and themother also might have died if some one didnot help her.""And that some one was you, Harry, you


LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 17are a good fellow, and no mistake, and it is ashame to tease you," cried one of the boys."No, it was my mother," replied Harry,"she is always ready to do what she can.""Well, your mother could not have knownanything about them but for you, so it is youthey may thank that they are pot all dead."" Mother says we should thank God for let-ting us be of use to His people," said Harry;"but are not you coming home with me,Charlie; it is time we were off, for mother hasto go out after tea.""I don't think I'll go this evening," saidCharlie, hanging back."Nonsense, man! they are all expectingyou, and I have something to show you be-sides, so come along," and taking Charlie'sarm, he nodded to the boys, and left the play-ground." Well, what Harry can see to like in thatsneaking tell-tale, I don't know for one," saidDick White. "It was mean of us to attackhim, just to gratify that spiteful selfish fellow;it would be long until he would spend a far-thing on any one but himself."' -*B


18 THE CORD OF LOVE." Oh, let them manage it be,ween them,"cried Jem Thompson, "and let us finish ourgame," and in another moment Harry andCharlie were forgotten in the excitement of agame of ball.When the doctor paid his promised visit inthe evening, he found Mrs Selwyn in thewretched garret before him, and after havingcarefully examined the woman, he took heraside, and said, " Hard work and want of foodhave brought her so low; it is only a chanceif she has still strength enough to rally fromthis state of prostration; but nourishmentregularly given, may do much for her. I sup-pose she has not any friends ?"" I do not know, but I will ask her son,"said Mrs Selwyn, beckoning Robert to her."Has your mother any relative or friend,my boy, who can help her ?"" She has no relative that I know of," saidlittle Robert, sadly, " and father is far away."" Oh, thiu, your father is living ?" said thedoctor. " Where is he, do you know ?""He was mate of a ship, sir-the Sarah-


LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 13going to Melbourne, but the ship has not beenheard of for a year, and all our money wasspent the time poor baby was born two monthsafter father sailed. Mother was a long timesk, and she thinks her money must havebeen stolen by the woman that minded her.When she got better, she tried to work, buthaving the baby to mind, she could not domuch; and since she got the bad news aboutthe ship, she lost heart entirely.""But have you no friend who would helpher ?" inquired the doctor."We don't know any one here, sir, for wecame only a short time ago to London.Mother thought she could get more work todo here, but she could not earn much morethan paid for the room;-so, sir, we were oftena day or two without food. Sometimes Iearned a few pence carrying parcels or hold-ing horses, but it was very uncertain, and thelast two days we had not even a crust to eatuntil that kind lady came."Robert's eyes filled with grateful tears as helooked at Mrs Selwyn. who '.ould not suppress


20 THE CORD OF LOVE.her emotion, as, turning to the doctor, shesaid, " I will do what I can, but I fear it can-not be very much. However, it will be betterthan nothing, and when the poor woman isable, perhaps I can get her something todo."" Yes, that will be all right; but she mustget better first," said the doctor, shaking hishead doubtfully. "However, we will do whatwe can. Count on me for five shillings aweek for her for the present," he added, put-ting that sum into Mrs Selwyn's hand, "andmy old servant can make her some strongbroth every day. In the meantime, I shallmake it my business to inquire into the truthof the boy's story as to his father being mateof the Sarah. What was your father's name,my boy ?"" Robert Salter, sir."" And who were the owners of the ship ?"Robert told him their addresses, and havingentered it in his pocket-book, the doctor said," Now, come with me, my boy, I want to giveyou a little wine for your mother, and be sure


LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 21you give her what you are told, regularly.You must take care of her, and if you do itwell, you may soon have her up and strongagain."" Oh! thank you, sir; indeed I will do mybest," cried Robert, with grateful joy beamingin his face." But you must take care of yourself, too,or you cannot mind your mother," replied thedoctor, looking sharply at his famished fea-tures. "Have you eaten anything yet ?"" Oh, yes, sir, the lady gave me bread andmeat."" Well, a good supper will do you no harmat all events," said the w6rthy doctor, " socome along until I see if I can find you one ;"and promising Mrs Seivyn that he would comeagain in the morning, he went away takingRobert with him.4-


CHAPTER II." Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.'FoR several days the kind doctor visitedhis patient regularly twice a-day, and had thesatisfaction of seeing poor Mrs Salter gradu-ally gain strength. He was greatly pleasedwith the tender watchfulness of little Robert,who, weak and ill himself, was unceasing inhis care of his mother. Mrs Selwyn alsospent as much time as she could spare fromher many duties, with the sick woman, andbought her many little things which shewould have grudged herself. During hervisits she had heard much of her formerhistory from Mrs Salter, and was rejoiced tohear that her feet were set upon the rock offaith, and that, in all her misery, she trusted inHim who said, " Fear thou not, for I amwith thee : be not dismayed, for I am thyGod. I will strengthen thee; yea, I will22


LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR. 2Shelp thee. Yea, I will uphold thee with thethe right hand of my righteousness." Thisdiscovery was a new and delightful bondbetween Mrs Selwyn and the poor woman,she was so anxious to assist, and as she sawher daily gain strength, she felt more hopethat a plan, by which she trusted she couldeffectually help her, might be brought tomaturity.In the meantime, Dr Wilmot had madethe inquiry as to the ship, and found that thestatement made by Robert was correct inevery particular. The owners spoke of RobertSalter as a steady, well-conducted man, whowould soon have risen to be captain; andthey regretted his fate very much, it beingsupposed that the ship had foundered at sea,and that every one on board had perished.Satisfied with what he heard, the good doctorbegan to turn over in his mind how he couldbe of permanent service to the poor womanand her son; and having at length decidedon a plan, he called one evening upon MrsSelwyn, to speak to her on the subject.?


24 THE CORD OF LOVE.Dr Wilmot was an elderly man, whosewife was many years dead. He had no chil-dren; and an old housekeeper, grown grey inhis service, managed his house, and took careof him and it with piaiseworthy vigilance.He had been a class-fellow and firm friend ofDr Selwyn, and since his death had done hisutmost to help his widow ih every way in hispower. It was by his recommendation shehad so soon succeeded in getting tenants forher rooms, and she knew that when Harrywas old enohgh, the doctor intended takinghim into his business; therefore, Dr Wilmotwas always a welcome visitor, and was re-garded with affection by the whole family." Well, here I am come to talk about yourfriends in Panter Lane," said the doctor,seating himself on the sofa beside Mrs Sel-wyn. " The woman is getting strong enoughto do something for herself now, but thedifficulty will be to get that something for herto do.""I have already thought of a plan," repliedMrs Selwyn; "but I do not know how to


LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR. 25accomplish it, as she cannot leave her littleboy."" Oh, never mind the boy; that's just whatI have come to speak to you about. I findhe has told me the truth in every way; so Iintend to take him into the house to live.He can go messages, take out the medicine,and make himself generally useful; so, nowfor your plan, as he is out of the way.""My idea was to take Mrs Salter to helpme in the house-work. I have been tryingto manage with a girl, who sleeps at home,but I have found her very untidy in herhabits, and, I am sorry to say, untruthful;and when I reproved her a few days ago, shetold me she intended to leave me, as she hada better place in view. So that by takingMrs Salter, I shall help myself in helpingher.""A very good plan," said the doctor, aftermusing a moment. "Yes, a capital plan,but you cannot do everything, you know. Shemust have some clothes; so, here's a sove-reign to help to get them; and the sooner.r *'.


23 Tn2 CORD OF LOVE.she and the boy are out of that wretchedplace the better. Well, Harry, my man,what are you staring at?" he added, laugh-ingly, as he saw Harry's eyes fixed attentivelyupon him." I was just thinking," said Harry, impul-sively, "how wrong people are when theyspeak ill of you.""Why, who has been speaking ill of menow ? " asked the doctor."I heard," said Harry, colouring, " thatyou refused to sign the petition for TomSykes, the other day.""And so I did, Master Harry, because Ichance to know that Tom Sykes could getwork to do if he chose, but he was too lazy,and I would never be a party to helping aman to live on charity that would be betterbestowed on a more worthy object. I knewhe would be very angry, and spread evilreports about me; but I am satisfied by know-ing that my motive in refusing him was a goodone, and that God will judge me correctly, nomatter what men may do."


LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR. 27" Ah, that is the great point, doctor," saidMrs Selwyn; "if we can look up to God, feel-ing that we have His approval, we need notcare for the opinion of men, although it isoften not only unpleasant, but injurious, to usto be misjudged by our fellow-creatures."" Yes, bit God can make it all straight, ifwe act with a single eye to His glory-that isthe difference between being men-pleasers andworking for God. If we only do good togratify ourselves, or for the approbation ofothers, we have nothing to fall back upon ifthings go wrong; but if love to God, and,through Him, to His creatures, is our guidingpower, then all will go well, no matter howpeople may misunderstand us, sooner or laterGod will honour our efforts, by making itplain that what we did was right. It is agood thing-a very good thing-Harry, myboy, to have a benevolent disposition, and tocultivate it to the utmost; but when the loveof God is shed abroad in our hearts, sanctify-ing every motive, then we become part ofGod's providence, and our actions are in ac-


28 THE CORD 0b LOVE.cordance with it, because we look to Him forHis blessing in all that we do. Rememberthis, my boy."" When Jesus said, Thou shalt love thyneighbour as thyself,' why did He call it aroyal law ?" asked Harry, thoughtfully." Look at the account of how the law wasgiven, and you will soon understand it, Harry.'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; Iam the Lord,' are God's words. You knowHe is Lord of lords and King of kings, there-fore His law may well be called a royal law.""It is a beautiful law, also," said MrsSelwyn. " How would the world get on if itwere neglected, I wonder. What scenes ofselfishness and misery there would be."" Yes, bad as society is now, what would itbe without that royal law ?" said the doctor;"but now let us finish our talk about theSalters. Do you know at all how the boy hasbeen brought up ? "" I am sure his mother has brought him upwell, for she is a sincere believer in Christ,"replied Mrs Selwyn.


LOVE THY NEIGHBOTn. 29"Then it is to be hoped that she hastaught her son the right way. I hope myold Hannah will make the boy comfortable;you know what a fidget she is, and how manycrotchets are to be found in her brains-butshe has a kind heart, notwithstanding, and Ihope it will lead her to be kind to the littlefellow.""I hope so, too, doctor, for the poor boyhas known so much sorrow lately, that kind-ness will be doubly welcome to him. Haveyou spoken to Mrs Salter on the subjectyet?"" No, I waited until I consulted with you.Have you told her of your intentions ?"" Not yet," replied Mrs Selwyn." Well, then, you can tell her my plan, andyours at the same time, and let me knowwhen she is coming to you, and the boy cancome to me the same day. Of course I shallfind clothes for him, but I cannot see to itjust yet, for I am very busy."" He is smaller than Harry, and there is avery good nzit of Harry's, that he has out-


80 THE CORD OF LOVE.grown, which I think would just fit him, sohe can have them to go home in; thenHannah will not be frightened at his raggedappearance, and you need not trouble your-self to provide him with others until you seehow you like him."" That's a very good idea," cried thedoctor; "I never thought of Hannah when Iproposed his coming home in his rags. Shewould have raised an immediate outcry, andprobably never have liked him when forcedto submit to receive him. Yes, it is verywell thought of; but are you sure you cannotmake use of the clothes for the boys ? ""Quite sure, doctor," said Mrs Selwyn,laughing, " they are too small for Harry, andit will be some years before George or Williewould be large enough to wear them, so themoths would have them very likely if Robertdid not get them."" You are never at a loss for an excuse todo good," said the doctor, rising to go,muttering as he went out, '" Lay up foryour-selves treasures in heaven, where neither


LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR. 81moth nor rust doth corrupt.' Yes, that isthe best treasury; I wish there were morelike you, anxious to invest in it."Early the next day, Mrs Selwyn went tosee Mrs Salter, and told her Dr Wilmot'sintentions about Robert, and her own withregard to herself. Mrs Salter was overcomewith joy at the prospect opened before her,and could not sufficiently express her thank-fulness to God for His goodness, and to herkind friends for their thoughtful care for herand her' boy. Robert was delighted at theidea of going to live with the kind doctor,especially as Mrs Selwyn told him he was tospend every Sunday at her house with hismother. Rejoiced at the pleasure she hadbeen the means of giving, Mrs Selwyn re-turned home, after having given Mrs Salterthe doctor's present to spend in buying someclothes for herself, and arranging with herthat she should come to her in two days,Robert was to come with her, and afterdressing himself in Harry's outgrown suit,proceed to Dr Wilmot's.


82 THE COIRD OF LOVE.In accordance with this arrangement, MrsSalter and Robert went to Chester Street onthe day appointed, and were received with thegreatest kindness by the entire family. Evenlittle Hessie insisting on showing Robert herpicture-book, and giving him a paper of sweetsshe had been given herself.When Robert was dressed in Harry'sclothes, he looked so nice and so respectable,that Harry, who came in at the moment, didnot know him." You are just in time to take Robert toDr Wilmot's, Harry," said his mother, smilingat his surprise."Is that really Robert ?" cried Harry."Well, indeed, I am glad to see you lookingso well, and I shall go with you with thegreatest pleasure," he added, turning to him." Thank you, sir," replied Robert. "I feltrather strange at the thought of going by my-self."" Oh, you will not be strange long with DrWilmot, he is the kindest of the kind," criedthe children.


LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR. 88"Oh, I am not afraid of him,-only of goinginto a strange place, away from mother," saidRobert, the tears rushing into his eyes."But you will come to see your motherevery Sunday," said Mary, softly; "and youwill be glad all the week that you are helpingher, you know; so the time will not seemlong."" That is true," said Robert, brighteningup, "it will be a great thing to know that Iam helping her, instead of being a burden toher," and he looked gratefully at his littlecomforter as he spoke." Well, the sooner we go the better," saidHarry, "for Dr Wilmot goes out at threeo'clock, and we shall not catch him if we donot go at once."This shortened the leave-taking, and embracing his mother with all his heart, whilehe manfully tried to smother his grief at leav-ing her, Robert hastened away after Harry,who had left the room that he might notembarrass them by his presence."Do not forget to pray constantly to yourc


84 THE CORD OF LOVE.Father in heaven, my child, He will always benear you," were Mrs Salter's parting words,as Robert clung about her neck, and as he hur-ried along beside Harry, they still sounded inhis ears, encouraging him and comforting him.As they turned the corner, Charlie Thirwalland two of the boys met them, and stared atHarry's new companion with surprise. He wasquite unknown to them, for although Charliehad seen him once before, on the memorableday when he was found on the door-steps, hehad grown so stout and healthy-looking sincethen, and was so well dressed, that he neverimagined him to be the same boy." I say, Harry," he whispered, drawing himaside, "who is that fellow ?"" Robert Salter," replied Harry, forgettingthat the name would not help him to a solu-tion of the question; "but I cannot stop totalk now, we are in a great hurry."" Well, make haste and come after us, weare going to have a famous game of cricket,"cried Charlie, running off, and in a few minutesmore the two boys reached Dr Wilmot's, and


LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR. 85went into the surgery. For a moment thedoctor did not know Robert, but when he did,he welcomed him kindly, and calling his oldhousekeeper, told her to take charge of him."This is the new boy, I suppose," re-marked Hannah, surveying him with a rathersour look. "Well, Ihope you won't try any ofyour games like the last one, or you won't belong here, I can tell you.""He is a very good boy, Hannah, and willdo what you desire him, I am sure," said hermaster. " Go in with him, Harry, and stayuntil I come to talk to you just now."Taking the hint, Harry went into the dining-room, bringing Robert with him, and in a littletime the doctor came bustling in, and shuttingthe door, he said, "Now, boys, we must alwaystell the truth, let it cost us what it may, butthere is no necessity to tell all our privateaffairs to the world, unless there is some veryespecial reason for it." The boys rather won-dered at this address, but the mystery wassoon solved when the doctor added, " I havetold Hannah all that it is necessary for her to


36 THE CORD OF LOVE.know, that you, Robert, are the son of a manwho was mate of a ship, and that in conse-quence of the loss of the ship with the crew,ygur mother has gohe to live with Mrs Selwyn,and you have come here. There is no use intalking of the painful time you have passedthrough; indeed, the sooner you forget it thebetter, except as a reason for thankfulness toGod, who watched over you, and took care ofyou, in all your troubles, so let the past bepast,-you start for a new, and I trust hap.pier life now, and on yourself a great deal willdepend as to how you get on. Be obliging toevery one, and attentive to your duties, andwith God's blessing you will do well, but donot forget to ask His blessing, my boy, or youcannot expect it.""I know that, sir," said Robert in a lowvoice; but gaining courage, after a moment headded, " Indeed, sir, I will do my best to pleaseyou and Mrs Hannah, if you will only tell mewhat to do."" That's right my boy no one can do betterthan his best; and as a case in point, I will tell


LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR. I9you a little story of a fatherless boy, who livedin a sea-port town, and whose poor mother,like yours, was left destitute by her husband'sdeath. The little fellow longed to do some-thing to help his mother, but he was still soyoung that he could not find employment, ex-cept such as he made for himself in takingcare of his little sister while his mother wasabsent or busy. One day, while the little oneslept, a thought struck him, and taking up apiece of wood he carved it into a boat, andhoping to surprise his mother with even a pennyearned by himself, he went outside the doorand asked every passer by to purchase it.Some rude boys scoffed at him, turning theidea of its being a boat into ridicule, and thegirls only laughed, and said they did not playwith boats; but at last an officer of the frigatelying in the harbour passed. " Please buy myship," said Johnny, imploringly. The officerstopped, and asked him if he had made it him-self, and, overjoyed at having secured his at-tention, poor Johnny poured out his artless taleto him, and begged of him to give him a penny


88 THE CORD OF LOVE.for the ship if he thought it was worth it. Theofficer, who was a kind hearted man and a trueChristian,not only bought the ship, but relievedthe pressing wants of the family, who, on in-quiry, he found was really worthy of help; andwhen Johnny was old enough, he took him onboard his own ship, and adopting him as his son,advanced him from post to post, untilhe becamea midshipman. The boy's own good conductand the captain's friendship had thus placedhim in a position to make a rapid advance inhis profession, and in course of time he waspromoted to be a lieutenant, but just thenthere was a great sea fight, and Johnny's friendwas fatally wounded. Calling his adopted sonto him,he told him to bring him a certain box,and open it. To the lieutenant's surprise itcontained the boat he had made so long ago."What do you find there ? " asked the captain."Nothing but my boat.""You are mistaken, John," said the cap-tain; " under it you will find my will, in whichI have left you all I possess, and let the samespint of love that induced you to make the


LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR. 89boat, guide you in the disposal of the popertywhich will be yours." The captain soon afterdied, and John became a rich man, so you seeto what a position he rose by simply doing his"best," although that best did not appear ofmuch value, and now, as I have had my say, goand tell Hannah to find you something to do."As Robert was leaving the room, Harry ranto the door after him, and shaking him warmlyby the hand, told him to be sure and comeearly on Sunday, and then saying good-byeto the doctor, he hastened home to tell thenews of how Robert had been received, to hismother.Both boys understood, although the doctordid not express it in so many words, that hedid not wish, for Robert's sake, that Hannahshould know in what very miserable circum-stances he had been. She was a goodwoman in her way, but had a strong aversionto beggars, and to poor people in general,always suspecting them of being impostorsand cheats; therefore, if she had heardRobert's story in full, instead of enlisting her


40 THE CORD OF LOVE.sympathies for him, it would have imme-diately roused her antipathy, and led her totreat him with unkindness, and before manydays Robert saw enough of her character tomake him thankful to the good doctor for hiswarning.As Harry walked home he met CharlieThirwall, who had hurt his hand with a bat,and was going home. " I say, that's rather anice looking chap you were walking with,Harry, who is he ?" he called out as he camenear him.Perceiving that Charlie had not recognizedhim, Harry thought it as well to dct on thedoctor's advice, and be cautious, so merely re-plied, " He is a boy Dr Wilmot has taken intothe surgery, and his name, as I told you, isRobert Salter."" Oh, so he is only Wilmot's boy. I declareI thought he was a gentleman's son. Whatairs the fellow has," said Charlie, contemptu-ously, "I wonder you would be seen walkingwith him ""Well, I do not see any disgrace in it,"


LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR. 41said Harry, quietly; " besides, if his father hadlived he would have been a captain of a goodship now, so you see Robert is not to be de-spised so much as you think, Charlie."" It's very odd that his son should only bea doctor's boy, then," said Charlie, only halfconvinced. "How do you know that he wasgoing to be a captain ?"" Because Dr Wilmot told my mother so."" Well, I suppose he ought to know, butit's curious all the time," replied Charlie."I wonder how that cross old Hannah willget on with him."" Very well, I hope, for he is a good boy,and the doctor likes him.""And it is plain that you like him, too,"returned Charlie, sharply. "I wonder howyou have come to be such a friend with himall in a moment. I am sure your motherwould not allow you, if she knew it.""My mother does know it, and approvesof my friendship for him, Charlie," repliedHarry." " If she did not, you know I wouldnot act contrary to her vill."


42 THE CORD OF LOVE." Oh you are mighty obedient, especiallywhen it suits you to do so," retorted Charlie." I know who I like, and I don't care whethermy mother likes it or not; but I won't choosea doctor's dirty boy for my companion, I canpromise you."" I do not want you to do so either, Charlie.Every one is free to choose his own company,"replied Harry, mildly." Which means, that you choose that fel-low, I suppose," said Charlie. " Well, I wishyou joy of him, but you won't get me to joinyou, that's all, so you can keep to him if youlike;" and, turning down a side street, Charliestrutted away whistling to show how little hecared about it.


CHAPTER I11." Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, andwith all thy soul, and with all thy might.""WHAT'S your name, boy?" asked Hannah,gruffly, when Robert entered the kitchen."Robert Salter, ma'am.""Oh! Robert Salter, is it. Well, I wishyou had gone to sea with your father, and notcome bothering here, where you are notwished for. If the doctor wanted a boy-asof course he did-why didn't he take MrsMartin's son, or Richard Smith ?""I don't know, ma'am," replied Robert,humbly, fancying the question was addressedto him." And who said you did, pray ? " snappedHannah, " keep your answers in future till youare questioned-take my advice." As shespoke, she went to the fire-place to lift off aheavy pot, and in doing so, slipped, and wasin danger of being severely scalded, had not01


44 THE CORD OF LOVE.Robert rushed forward and put his hand onthe side of the vessel, so as to prevent itsturning over upon her." That was well done," said Hannah, givinga sharp look at him as she put the pot down;but, as if repenting her more gracious speech,she exclaimed at the same moment, "Ideclare, if the boy hasn't taken the wholeskin off his hand, and now he must go idleuntil it's well again. I never did see thelike of boys for getting into mischief; "-butwhile she grumbled on, she was busy apply-ing some oil and wadding to the blisteredhand, and having finished it to her satisfac-tion, laid it down with an emphatic " there,"that shewed her task was complete." Thank you, ma'am," said Robert, grate-fully, " it's quite easy now."" Of course it is; you keep it quiet, and itwill be all right in a day or two," repliedHannah, with another sharp glance at him."Can you read ""Yes, ma'am.""Well, as you can't be of any use now


LOVE THE LORD THY GOD. 45with your lame hand, there are some booksthere, and you may read what you like."" Oh! thank you, ma'am," cried Robert joy-fully, " I love reading," and hastening to thebookshelf, he was soon busy looking over thevolumes, and having selected one, he took aseat as much out of Hannah's way as hecould, and began reading.For nearly an hour there was silence in thekitchen, only broken by Hannah's culinaryoperations. At last, wondering how quiet theboy was keeping, she stole behind him to seewhat book it was in which he was so muchinterested, and to her intense surprise per-ceived it was the Bible. Looking moreclosely, her eye rested on the verse he wasreading-his finger was on it, and he seemedto have paused there, lost in thought. " Andlike unto him there was no king before himthat turned to the Lord with all his heart,and with all his soul, and with all his might,according to all the law of Moses, neitherafter him arose there any like him."" Well," said Hannah to herself, "he is


46 THE CORD OF LOVE.either the most artful boy that can be, or he'sa real good boy, and I don't know which it is,but I'll soon find out, that I'm determinedon," and then she added aloud, " Why didn'tyou take a story book, and keep the Bible forSunday ?"The suddenness of the question so close tohis ear, made Robert start, but looking upwith a smile, he said, "There are beautifulstories in the Bible, and I am very fond ofreading them.""What king was that you were readingabout now ?" asked Hannah." King Josiah, he was a very good king,although he began to reign when he was onlyeight years old; but the Bible says, " He didthat which was right in the sight of the Lord,and walked in all the ways of David his father,and turned not aside to the right hand, or tothe left.""Well, that's more than many a son doesthat has a good father," remarked Hannah."What kind of a father had you ?""My mother says he was a very good man,"


LOVE THE LORD THY GOD. 47'replied Robert; " but I do not remember hisways very well, for he never was long home ata time.""Did he go to church regularly when hewas with you?" inquired Hannah." Oh! yes, and he used to read the Biblefor mother and me at night; we had a Biblewith pictures in it, Daniel in the lions' den,and a great many others."" That was a family Bible, I suppose," r3-marked Hannah." Yes, it belonged to my grandfather, andI heard mother say all the marriages, andbirths, and deaths were in it."" Who has it now?" asked Hannah."I do not know," said Robert, growingsuddenly red in the face. He was on the pointof telling her that it had been seized for therent at a miserable lodging they had been un-able to pay for, and disposed of by the land-lord, but the doctor's warning checked hiswords." Humph, that's strange not to know wherea family Bible is," said Hannah, relapsing


48 THE CORD OF LOVE.into her ungracious mo)d. "I suppose youcan stir that sauce while I lay the table, andmind you don't let it burn," and taking up her,tray, Hannah bustled out of the kitchen.Left to himself, Robert began to think overhis reception, and it was quite plain to himthat Hannah was not very friendly in her feel-ings towards him. It was evident that shehad one or two favourites, for either of whomshe would have been glad to have procured thesituation, and his having interfered with herplans, and stepping into it without her havinga voice in the matter, was displeasing to herin a double way, so he saw he would have veryuphill work to gain a place in her favour. Thepoor boy felt greatly depressed as he thoughtof her sharp manner of speaking to him, andthe remembrance of his mother's tender waysand loving words quite overcoming him, heburst into tears. That he must bear his sor-row alone without being able to unburden hisheart to her, and hear her kind voice of sym-pathy, quite overcame him, and he sobbedaloud, but like a flash of light her last words


LOVE THE YLORD THY GOD. 49to him, "Do not forget to pray constantly toyour Father in heaven, my child, He willalways be near you," came across his memory,and in a moment he felt comforted. Thesoreness left his heart as he prayed earnestlythat God would indeed be near him and blesshim, giving him favour in the sight of thosearound him. He felt that the hearts of all areopen before God, and that He could turn themas He would; and with simple trusting faithhe besought the Lord that Hannah might likehim, and that she might speak kindly to him.Rough as his life had been of late, the poorboy had kept his heart fresh beneath thefostering care of his mother, and now that shewas absent from him, his soul rested lovinglyon the Saviour in whom he had learned totrust. Young as he was, Robert, like Harry,had studied his Bible well, and its lessonswere remembered in his everyday life; there-fore, whatever he did he felt that the eye ofGod was upon him, and he performed everylittle act of duty as to the great Father of all.While he was thus lost in thought, HannahD


50 THE CORD OF LOVE.came down stairs in a great hurry, exclaiming,"Here's master wanting his dinner at once,I do believe you have let that sauce burn, youstupid boy, you look as if you were half asleep,"and whisking it off the fire, she proceeded todish the dinner, pushing Robert out of her waywithno gentlehand. Fortunately the sauce wasall right, and grumbling because she had noth-ing to grumble at, Hannah went upstairs withthe dinner.In the meantime, Mrs Salter was gettinginto the ways of the house at Chester Street,and it was nice to see how kindly Mary wentfrom room to room with her, showing herwhat was to be done, while her mother wasbusy with her pupils. Harry had not repeatedHannah's ungracious speech, but rejoiced thepleased mother with an account of how kindlythe doctor had received Robert. This gaveher new courage, and she went about thehouse in a more cheerful frame of mind thanshe had felt since the day her little baby wascarried away from the wretched garret, to behidden from her sight on earth. The doctor


LOVE THE LORD THY GOD. 61had told her that if it had lived longer, itwould only have been dragging out a miser-able existence for a few months, or perhapsyears, as it never could have been healthyagain, and she blessed God that the poor littlething had been spared such prolonged suffer-ings, while she still felt the pang of separa,tion from the little, bright-eyed darling, shehad hoped to present to her husband on hisreturn home; but, alas, the loving husbandwas also gone, and she could not even knowhis resting-place. Often, on a stormy night,had she started from her hard pillow, in bitteragony at the thought that the one she lovedso dearly was at the mercy of the foamingwaves, tossed in their wild play from billow tobillow; but the soothing voice of the Com-forter would soon be heard in her sorrow-stricken heart, reminding her that even if thepoor frail body were exposed to the raging sea,the soul, its precious inmate, was safe for everin the sanctuary of the Most High.Robert's welfare had been an ever-presentthought with his mother, the anguish of hav-


52 THE CORD OF LOVE.ing him exposed to the evil influences sur-rounding him in Panter Lane, and in thestreets while trying to earn a few pence tobuy bread, had pressed sorely upon her triedspirit. He had been the child of many prayers,and her whole soul acknowledged the Lord tobe a prayer-hearing, prayer-answering God,when she thought of him now in a comfort-able situation, with so kind a master, and socarefully guarded from bad companionship.The happy prospect of having him with her tishare her Sabbaths was a great joy to hismother; and as she attended to her business,her heart went up in thanksgivings to the Giverof all Good in a language read by the Divineeye, and heard by the Divine ear, although itwas mute. Little did she think, while sheshe moved cheerfully about her work, thather son was even then fulfilling the injunc-tion she had given him, or the cause he hadfor leaning on an arm that is not of flesh,Very early her own heart had been given toGod, and when she thought over her own pastlife, she often had cause to thank God for that,


LOVE THE LORD THY GOD. 53the greatest of all His mercies. In everyaffliction, no matter how dark the trial or howcrushing the trouble, that clinging love thatbrought her closer to the Almighty to save,that holy faith that rested itself on His pro-mises, had been her unfailing stay and com-fort. " Humble yourselves under the mightyhand of God, that He may exalt you in duetime, casting all your care upon Him, for Hecareth for you,"-had long been a passageblessed to her soul; and could she have knownthat in this, his first trial of life without her,Robert was also learning to rest upon it, theknowledge would have been as balm to her:heart.When the day's work was done, and theschool dismissed, Mrs Selwyn brought MrsSalter into her little sitting room, and madeher feel herself one of the little home circle.She had heard from her, in the course of con-versation, that she was a member of a respect-able family in the west of England. All hernear relations were, however, dead; and onthe others, she had no claim. But her mode


64 THE CORD OF LOVE.of expressing herself, and the ease of hermanners, showed that she had been wellbrought up, and Mrs Selwyn felt that, in as-sociating her with her family, she was showingher a kindness which could not in any wayprove injurious to them. Very pleasant werethe hours thus spent in the loving home circleto Mrs Salter. The little girls.were amusingthemselves at the table ; Hessy with her doll,for which she was contriving new clothes ; andMary, in all the dignity of elder sisterhood,sewing the different garments; the twins,George and Willie, were busy with a puzzle-box; and Harry had a new book which he readaloud while his mother and Mrs Salter worked.The book was a record of mission work inMadagascar, and as Harry read of the horrorsundergone by the martyrs there, and of theirheroic endurances of torture and of death, thewonderful nature of their love to God was sodeveloped that his hearers sat in silent won-der and admiration of such constancy." Ah," said Mrs Selwyn as Harry pnusedfor a moment, " how we should bow our heads


LOVE THE LORD rH GOD. 53in shame before the face of the Most High,when we remember our shortcomings and thedeadness and coldness of our love for Himcompared with the burning zeal of those solately converted from heathenism. We, sur-rounded as we are by the richest blessings ofGod,with His holy Word in our hands, and freeto worship Him in the face of all men, forgetfulof His benefits, slothful in His service, andunwilling to deny ourselves in any way to fur-ther His cause; while those poor creatures,labouring under so many disadvantages, ob-liged to meet by stealth for the reading of theScriptures, and in constant danger of tortureand death if discovered, go steadily on spread-ing abroad the glorious tidings of the Gospelof Peace, and undauntedly meeting death inits most agonizing forms for the sake of Christ.This is, indeed, a love such as should be of-fered to the Great Being. This is loving theLord their God with all their hearts, and withall their soul, and with all their might. Wellmay we cry 'unclean' to our best effortswhen we compare them with love like this."


56 THE CORD OF LOVE." What power there is in those words,'with all thine heart, and with all thy soul,and with all thy might,'" said Mrs Salter." With all the heart, above all earthly affec-tions; with all the soul, above all spiritualties; and with all the might of both soul andCody concentrated in one flood of love gushingfrom the whole being, and reaching upwardsto the throne of God. Oh! how far short ourpoor weak taper light of love is to that pureflame that should burn steadily on the altarof every heart "" I think I love the Lord with all my heart,"said Mary, softly."Oh! Mary, is it better than mamma?"asked George."I heard mamma telling Mary she was tolove God better than she did her," whisperedWillie."Yes, my children, better even than welove ourselves ; we must love the great Godwho made us, and who, after our sin and in-gratitude for all His good gifts, loved us somuch as to give His own Son up to death on


LOVE THE LORD THY GOD. 67the cross, that we might live for ever in glory.Tell me, George, would I, do you think, giveyour life to save the life of Charlie Thir-wall ?""Oh! no, mamma, I am sure you wouldnot," cried George." And besides that, George is a good boy,and Charlie Thirwall is a very bad boy,"added Willie." Now, you see my children how much Godloves us when He gave His only Son to diefor us, and that when we were rebels againstHis authority and disobedient to His law,the Apostle says, God commended His lovetowards us, in that while we were yet sinnersChrist died for us.' It is no wonder that, inspeaking of such love as this, and exhortingus to give all our love and obedience in returnfor it, the apostle calls it our 'reasonable ser-vice.' "" Oh! yes, mamma, reasonable and joyful itshould be," said Harry, who was much movedby his mother's words. " I pray to God thatHe may fill my heart with such a love


68 THE CORD OF LOVE.for Him, that it will not be able to containit.""Let us all join in the prayer, my dearchild," replied his mother, as, prostrating her-self with her family, at the footstool of theMost High, she offered up their united prayersfor that love that passeth knowledge, and herthanksgiving to Him who had given themthe desire to devote themselves to Him inbody, soul, and spirit.CHAPTER IV."" Love is as strong as death, but jealousy is cruel asthe grave."FoR some weeks Robert attended steadilyto his duties at Dr Wilmot's, making himselfuseful in the house, and when sent out of amessage, or with medicine, doing his businesswith all the speed possible, ot loitering byihe way to look in at shop windows, or to hold


LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATH. 59conversations with idle boys. He rememberedthe divine command to those in the service ofothers,-" Servants, be obedient to them thatare your masters according to the flesh, withfear and trembling, in singleness of yourheart as unto Christ. Not with eye-serviceas men-pleasers; but as the servants ofChrist, doing the will of God from the heart,with good-will doing service, as to the Lord,and not to men,"-and feeling that in pleas-ing his master, he was pleasing God, he took adelight in performing his work well and quickly.Dr Wilmot gave him frequent tokens ofhis approval in many a kind word of praiseand encouragement, and by sending him to anevening school, which was a source of greatjoy to both Robert and his mother. Roberthad very good abilities, and was anxious toimprove himself, and it was a real pleasure tohim to have the opportunity for so doing;while to his mother it was a gift from God,for if her means even had permitted of herpaying for his (ttending school, he could nothave done so without his master's consent,it


60 TUE CORD OF LOVE.and not only was that consent voluntary,but the worthy doctor was himself payingboth for books and tuition.Hannah hardly knew whether to be vexed orpleased at those proceedings, but the latter feel-ing often predominated, for Robert had seizedevery opportunity for trying to gain her goodwill, by doing all in his power to save hertrouble, and to take such of the work as hecould, so as lessen her labour. Before shewas down in the morning, he had the firelighted and the kettle boiling. The brasseswere polished to perfection, and the dining-room dusted; so that she had little to doexcept to prepare breakfast. This assist-ance was a great help to Hannah, who wasrather stiff from constant rheumatism, andglad to be spared the duties that Robert per-formed for her, but still she did not thankhim for undertaking them,-that would havebeen committing herself too far, she thought;but her manner, by degrees, became kinder,and she gave him the benefitbf her remarks,without many of those sour speeches she had


LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATI. 61so constantly indulged in during the first daysof his sojourn in the house.While Robert had been gaining favour withthe doctor and Hannah, his mother hadgrown to be considered as a valued friend inthe primitive household of Mrs Selwyn. Asday followed day, she proved more useful inthe family; and having a peculiar aptitude forteaching, she began to take her place in theschool-room after she had finished her homeduties, and proved a very efficient helper toMrs Selwyn, whose school was increasing.Robert spent every Sunday with her, and onthese occasions Mrs Selwyn took care thatthe mother and son should have some hoursin which to enjoy the company of each other,alone and undisturbed.These were precious hours to their lovinghearts, when all their mercies were goneover together, and mutual plans formed forbuilding up their faith and love, and for thebetter performance of their duties to thosewho were so kind to them; nor was the hus-band and father forgotten in those moments


62 THE CORD OF LOVE.of full sympathy; how often the sorrowfultidings of his loss were gone over, and howeagerly the faintest shadow of hope thathe had escaped, was cherished; but as timewore on, and no news arrived to strengthenthe idea that he might still return, they spokeless of the probability, although the thoughtthat it might be so still lived in both theirhearts.Charlie Thirwall had frequently tauntedHarry during this time with his love for " lowcompany," and never failed to ask him beforethe boys such questions, as, " How his friend,Dr Wilmot's boy, was going on," or "whetherhe had any company on Sunday beside thedoctor's servant."To all this, Harry, so to speak, "turned adeaf ear;" and although he could not helpfeeling annoyed by the pertinacity with whichCharlie continued to pursue his attacks, henever gave expression to the feeling.Charlie had ostentatiously announced hisintention of keeping aloof from Harry, whilehe continued to associate with Robert;d'


LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATH. 63but finding himself still an object of dislike tothe other boys, none of whom would have himas an intimate companion, he soon began toregret having so openly made known his de-termination, and having sought in vain, byridicule, to detach Harry from his adherenceto Robert, and being too proud to submit witha good grace to share his friendship, he beganto think of some way of revenging himself onboth him and his friend, and those who dili-gently seek an opportunity soon find it.Charlie's seat in school was next that ofHarry, and he knew that Harry kept a littlebook in which he noticed anything that hap-pened from one day to another, in fact, it wasa kind of diary, although Harry did not dignifyit by that name. This little book Harry keptin his desk, and as Charlie had often observedhow carefully he guarded against any one see-ing its contents, he resolved to possess him-self of it, and make its restoration the price ofHarry abandoning the friendship of Robert.Watching his opportunity one day whileHarry was helping a little boy to understand


64 THE CORD OF LOVE.a puzzling sum, Charlie slipped his handquietly into his desk, and seizing the littlebook, speedily transferred it to his pocket.The school brokeup soon after, and hasteningaway to his own home, Charlie run up to hisroom, and began eagerly to examine his prize.Turning over the leaves slowly, the bad boysneered at the pure, holy thoughts of Harryrevealed in every page, sometimes his heartwas poured out in penitence for some offencegrievous to him, but a subject for scoffing to thecallous boy, whose eyes rested mockingly onthese touching expressions of self-abasement.Again, a passage full of joy and peace'in be-lieving, would meet his view, exciting his ridi-cule of the holy feelings so utterly incompre-hensible to him; but at last he came upon apage that rivetted his entire attention. Hiseyes flashed with malignant pleasure, his breastheaved, and his cheeks became scarlet withexcitement. The passage that gave him suchwicked joy ran thus :-" This day threemonths, for the first time I saw Robert Salter.How little I thought, when I found the poor


LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATH. 65fellow lying weak and starving on the door-steps, that he would so soon be my dearest boy-friend, trying, like me, to reach the kingdomnot made with hands, eternal in the heavens."Turning rapidly over the leaves, Charliefound many entries in which the utter miseryand destitution of Robert and his motherwere noticed with expressions of sincere pity,and with an evil delight he marked the places,resolved to turn them to account as a meansof gratifying his revengeful feelings. Beforevery long, a plan for.carrying out his wishesmatured itself in his mind, and putting onhis cap, he took his way towards Dr Wilmot'shouse. He knew the doctor's hours for visit-ing his patients, as he had often heard Harrymention them, and going into a confectioner'sshop, the window of which commanded a viewof the doctor's house, he amused himself eat-ing good things, while he watched for his exit.He was beginning to get tired of waiting,when, to his joy, the door opened, and DrWilmot appeared at it with Robert, to whomhe gave a fow final directions before dismissingE


66 THE CORD OF LOVh.him with the basket of medicine, and havinglooked after him for a minute as he walkedrapidly down the street, closed the hall-door,and went briskly in the opposite direction.Robert looked particularly well in a suit ofnew clothes the doctor had given him, andwhich, to Hannah's great disgust, were madelike Harry's, instead of being decorated withrows of buttons, as she thought they shouldhave been.Since the clothes had come home in themorning, Hannah had been in a state of ex-treme irritation, and could not give Robert akind word or look. All the anger that shedared not show before her master, had beenvented on the poor boy during the day, until,thoroughly disheartened, he was glad to goout of the house to escape the sharp wordsshe showered upon him.Thus it was, at a most unfortunate time forRobert,that thecruel boywho borehim somuchill-will, without any cause, found the meansfor doing him an injury with one already notwell disposed to him. When Charlie had


LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATH. 67watched both Robert and the doctor out ofsight, he went down the street not to be seencrossing directly to the doctor's door, andturning back up the other side, he rang thesurgery bell, well knowing that there was noone but Hannah to answer it. As he expect-ed, she opened the door, and Charlie, one ofwhose little sisters had been ill, and under DrWilmot's care, made an excuse of'the circum-stance to inquire if her medicine was ready." I don't know anything about the medi-cine," said Hannah, crossly; " but I supposeif it was ready, Mister Robert has taken itround to your house."The tone in which she said "MisterRobert," was quite enough to show Charliethat the soil was already prepared in whichto plant his evil seed, so, shrugging hisshoulders, he said, "I wish the doctorWould not send that boy to our house, I onlywonder he could bring him here, or that youcan bear with him, Hannah.""Why, what do you know about him "inquired Hannah, with surprise.


68 THE CORD OF LOVE."I know more than is good of him," re-plied Charlie, " and the doctor did a badthing the day he took him into his house.""It was against my will he ever came, Ican tell you," cried Hannah, " and if it wasn'tthat he was such arespectable boy, I wouldn'thave put up with it, after promising MrsMartin to speak for her son.""Respectable boy! what do you call re-spectable ?" demanded Charlie, in pretendedsurprise." Why, his father was mate of a large ship,and would have been captain by this time, onlyhe was lost at sea," replied Hannah."And is that all you know about him,"cried Charlie, in a tone of pretended pity,"well, I'm astonished!"" Come into the parlour, Master Thirwall,and tell me all about him," exclaimed Hannah,getting quite excited. "I always thought therewas some mystery about that boy, and nowI'm convinced of it," and shutting the surgerydoor, she conducted Charlie into the parlour,impatient to hear the expected scandal. "Now,


LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATH. 69tell me who he is, at once, there's a good boy,'she said, as Charlie pretended to be sorry hahad said anything on the subject, as the doctorhad kept her in ignorance of it. His hesitationto speak out only sharpened Hannah's curio-sity, and at length, as it compelled to tell itagainst his will, the wily boy said, " Well, ifyou promise me solemnly not to mention myname, or say I was here, I will tell you all Iknow about him.""I promise you, that, come what will, youshall not be mentioned," cried Hannah, onthorns for him to begin."Well, now, remember your promise, for youwould get me into great mischief if you said Itold you," said Charlie, and then, lowering hisvoice, he added, "that boy was a little streetvagabond in rags and tatters when HarrySelwyn and I saw him one day in the street;you know what a fool Harry is, and how easilyhe and his mother are gulled. Well, youngartful told him a heap of lying stories, andso persuaded him that he was starving, thatnothing would please Master Harry but to


70 THE CORD OF LOVE.bring his mother to see the boy's mother inPanter Lane."" Panter Lane! " interrupted Hannah, " why,that's a nest of rogues and vagrants.""Well," said Charlie, catching at the idea,and pray what do you think the young chap isbut a rogue and a vagrant; his father a cap-tain, a likely story indeed You know what oddfancies the doctor has, and how easy itis to takehim in, and Mrs Selwyn and Harry told himsuch wonderful stories of this fellow and hismother, that they half persuaded him to believethem, or at all events, he pretended to do so, asan excuse for bringing the boy here, but itwas'nt fair to you, Hannah, to impose him onyou without telling you the truth, was it?"" Fair! it was infamous !" cried Hannah ina towering rage; " I knew the brat would be atrouble to me, with all his smooth words andcreeping ways."" He was a trouble to you before you eversaw him," remarked Charlie, maliciously. "'Ioften wondered how quietly you took it makingall these broths and jellies you took to Mrs


LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATH. 71Selwyn, how little you knew they were for the'captain's wife and son,'" and Charlie laughedaloud at how she had been taken in.Hannah was stung to fury by Charlie'slaugh, and the jeering tone in which he spoke,but unfortunately it was against the innocentRobert her wrath was directed."For them was it?" said she, bitterly. " Ihave been nicely cajoled. Master did not saywho they were for, but of course I thoughtthey were for the Selwyns when I took themthere, a pack of deceivers together, young andold, hiding it from me that they were smugglinga young thief into the house. Why, we are notsafe in our beds, he may let in his gang anynight and murder us. I thought it was'nt fornothing my gentleman got up so early in themornings, no doubt he has been making awaywith the things, though I did'nt miss them, butwait until I do," she added shaking her clench-ed hand, "just wait, you Robert, until I missan atom, and see if I don't pay you out forthe way you have tricked me."At this moment there was a ring at the


72 THE CORD OF LOVE.surgery bell, and telling Charlie to remain inthe parlour, Hannah went to answer it.While she was absent, Charlie looked roundthe room, and saw, amongst other things, abasket with some silver forks and spoonslying on the sideboard. Instantly Hannah'swords, "wait until I miss an atom," rushedinto his mind, and without pausing to think,Charlie seized a tea-spoon, and concealed itin his pocket. Scarcely had he done so whenshe came back, and told him he had better gonow while the coast was clear, as she expectedRobert back every moment.When Charlie was once more in the street,he began to think on what he had done, andsuddenly he remembered that his act was thatof a thief. In his eagerness to bring destruc-tion on the innocent, he had himself becomeguilty of the crime he wished him to be sus-pected of. While these thoughts went throughhis mind, the spoon in his pocket felt likelead. He would have given anything to haveit safe back again in the basket, but he darednot return to the house, as he feared Robert


LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATH. 73would be back; and if he even were not, hedid not know what excuse to make for return.ing, or how he could get an opportunity for re-placing the stolen spoon. Thus, finding him.self caught in his own snare, he was com-pelled to go home with the evidence of hisguilt in his pocket. He ran up to his room,and taking out the spoon, was about to hideit in one of his drawers, but immediately thefear that it might be discovered there, pre.sented itself, and he sat down on the side ofhis bed to think what he had best do with it.He could not leave it about in the house, for thecrest on the spoon was a peculiar one-a birdescaping from a cage-and he knew that if itwere seen, inquiries would at once be made asto where it had come from. Again and againhe almost resolved to take it back; but as thetime passed, he became more averse to the idea,fearing it might already have been missed.At last he put it back into his pocket, as theonly safe place he could think of for keeping it,and was thus compelled to have it alwaysabout him as a torment and a reproach, not


74 THE CORD OF LOVE.that he felt the least compunction for anytrouble into which he might be the means ofbringing Robert. No, that was the drop ofpleasure to sweeten his annoyance, and as hedwelt on it, his other feelings subsided, andhe began to rejoice that he had been so suc-cessful in plotting for his downfal.In the meantime, Robert having deliveredthe medicine at the different houses, returnedhome, still in a dejected state of mind fromHannah's ill humour during the day, and tohis horror, as soon as he got into the hall,he found himself in the grasp of a policeman.Hannah had gone to the sideboard to laythe table for dinner as soon as Charlie hadtaken his departure, and she immediatelymissed the spoon; there were but two tea-spoons kept out for the doctor's use, and bothhad been in the basket when she gave it toRobert, to leave on the sideboard on his wayout. She recollected his evident hurry to getout, and at once set it down to the fact thathe had taken the spoon, and was anxious tomake away with it as speedily as possible.


LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATH. 70Thus the poor boy's desire to leave the homewith his master, in order that he might escapea fresh volley of abusive language from her,gave confirmation to her suspicion that he hadcommitted the theft. She knew that she hadnot removed the spoon from the basket, andthe doctor had been out. Of course, theidea of Charlie having taken it never wouldhave entered her imagination had she even re-membered having left him alone in the room,and acting on the belief that he was a thief,and, from Charlie's information, looking onhim as an old offender, she had brought in thepoliceman, and gave the poor boy into hischarge the moment he entered the house.Robert was thunderstruck at the accusation,and indignantly asserted his innocence, de-claring that he had placed the basket on thesideboard, exactly as he had received it fromher."Then, of course, I am the thief, I stolethe spoon before I gave you the basket,"vociferated Hannah, in a fury of passion; andwhile she was giving the policeman a history


76 THE CORD OF LOVE.of the supposed offender, in which fact wasblended with untruth, so as to mingle with itmost naturally, enlarging on his early charac-ter as a thief, and the associate of thieves andvagabonds, Dr Wilmot let himself in with hislatch-key, and was amazed to see Robert inthe hands of a policeman.Rushing to him, the poor boy began withsobs and cries to protest his innocence, butHannah pushed him back, insisting on beingheard first, and then she poured out her wholestory to the bewildered doctor, ingeniouslyrepresenting him, by inuendoes on his secresy,as the cause of the mischief. Avoiding, withgreat care, giving the date at which she hadreceived her information, she affirmed thatshe knew the boy's bad character from an au-thority not to be doubted, and gave that as areason for having always been so sharp uponhim. She said she had hoped he would havetaken advantage of her master's kindness, andgiven up his vicious courses, and led a newlife; but that when she missed the spoons,which she had put into the basket the moment


LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATH. 77before she gave it into his hand, she saw hewas just as badly inclined as ever, and hadletermined to catch him, if possible, with theipoon in his possession.Utterly unable to account for the disappear-ance of the spoon, which Hannah so positivelyasserted had been in the basket, and surprisedat her knowledge of Robert's former life, al-though she had added so much evil to it whichhe believed to be untrue, the doctor was un-able to suggest any solution of the mystery,he could not bring himself to believe for amoment that Robert took the spoon; but, onthe other hand, he could not imagine how ithad been removed from the basket. After afew moments' thought, he told the policemanthat although he could not understand thematter, he believed Robert to be innocent ofthe charge Hannah had made against him,but that he was sure she did not make it fromany motive but a sincere conviction of hisguilt. He expressea a nope that the missingspoon might be found somewhere about thehouse; and dismissing the policeman, he de-


78 THE CORD OF LOVE.sired Robert to come into the surgery, leavingthe indignant Hannah to expend her wrath invery unmeasured language, which, however,she took care not to do until her master wasout of hearing.Almost suffocated with passion, Hannahrushed down to the kitchen, where, sinkingon a chair, she sobbed with spite and vexa-tion combined. Her dislike to Robert had atfirst been of a negative quality, graduallygrowing more feeble as his thoughtful wayswon upon her; but now, that as she fancied hehad stolen her master's favour from her, andmade him take for granted his innocence of acrime of which she firmly believed him to beguilty, she hated him with an intensity thatcan only be understood when it is rememberedthat Hannah was an old and faithful servant,who, for thirty years, had been the doctor'sfactotum, doing as she pleased, without anyone to contradict her. She never had alloweda female servant to be engaged, preferring todo all the work herself, rather than have anyone in the house who might share her sway;


LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATH. 79and until now, the boys employed by thedoctor had been found out and recommendedby her, so that she had felt aggrieved from thefirst about Robert, in consequence of his hav-ing obtained the situation without her patron-age, especially as she had had two boys inher mind's eye who were eligible for the post,and whose parents would have been under anobligation to her if she had selected one ofthem. These long rankling feelings now de-veloped themselves in a bitter hatred of theboy who had come into the house against herwill, and who was now kept in it against herfirm conviction that he was a thief; and,vowing to be revenged upon him if possible,Hannah proceeded to dish her master's dinner,in a state of mind not to be envied.


CHAPTER V."Love your enemies."IN a very troubled state of mind Dr Wilmotsought Mrs Selwyn's house after dinner.When he entered the little sitting room, ageneral sound of welcome greeted him, andalthough Mrs Salter's voice was not to be dis-tinguished, her grateful looks spoke as loudlyas Willie's vociferous pleasure. The doctortook his seat in the circle, but he was evi-dently ill at ease; and with natural delicacy,perceiving that something disturbed him, MrsSalter withdrew." I wish you would send away the childrenfor a few minutes, I have something to say toyou," said Dr Wilmot in a low tone to MrsSelwyn.Greatly surprised at the mystery of hismanner, Mrs Selwyn dismissed the childrenfrom the room, and then the doctor pouredforth the whole story to her astonished ears.80


LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. 81"Surely, doctor, you cannot believe thatRobert is guilty! " cried Mrs Selwyn." No, I do not believe that he is guilty, andstill I do not know what to think," said thedoctor, sighing. " It is a puzzling affair."" Believe anything that is wild or impro-bable before you admit the possibility thatRobert would commit a theft!" exclaimedMrs Selwyn, warmly. " I would as soon sus-pect my Harry."" The strange part of it is, that Hannahseems well acquainted with every circum-stance of his life. I am quite sure that shehas not gotten her information through anyof us, for she has heard so much evil of him,that I cannot account for its being mixed upwith what we know to be true; but whoeverhas been the informant, it was some one wellacquainted with the boy.""But, surely, you do not believe the evilspoken against him, doctor ? " asked MrsSelwyn, rather indignantly." I declare I do not know what to think.I never was more puzzled in my life," replied


82 THE CORD OF LOVE.the doctor. " It is a deceitful world-atleast the people of it are very deceitful-andit is hard to know whom we may trust. Yousee we have only their own word for anythingMrs Salter or Robert have told us, and it isnot likely they would tell anything bad ofthemselves; and it is plain that the personwho told Hannah knew them well, for she isacquainted with the miserable state they werein, and all about them that we know, and, inaddition, she has heard much terrible evilthat we did not know,-that Robert was athief, and an associate of thieves and vaga-bonds, so that, really, I am greatly per-plexed.""You have proved that they told you thetruth about Mr Salter," said Mrs Selwyn,reproachfully." Yes, that is true; but he might be a veryproper, respectable person, and his wife andson the very opposite," said the doctor." I tell you, Dr Wilmot, I should assoon suspect myself and Harry of evil as MrsSalter and her son, and I beg of you not to(


LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. 83permit yourself to be led astray by Hannah'sinformant, who is evidently an enemy oftheirs," said Mrs Selwyn, solemnly." I assure you I am very far from wishingto think anything to their discredit," assertedthe doctor, "but you must allow the wholething has a strange appearance."" Stranger appearances have been fullyaccounted for," replied Mrs Selwyn ; " butin any case it is only fair that Mrs Saltershould be informed of what has occurred."And going to the door, she told one of thechildren, who was passing at the moment, tosend Mrs Salter to her.Utterly unaware of why she was summoned,the poor woman entered the room with herusual modest, retiring demeanour, whichwas quickly exchanged for the extremity ofdistress and agitation, when Mrs Selwyn,making her take a chair beside her, told her,with much indignant sympathy, of the accusa-tion that had been made against Robert, andthe aspersions that had been cast upon themby an unknown person.


84 TIE CORD OF LOVE." My child, my poor child, I must go tohimat once," cried Mrs Salter. " His tender heartwill be torn with grief, alone as he is:"-thensuddenly stopping, she added, in a contrite,subdued voice, " Oh, my God, thou Father ofall; forgive me-no, he is not alone, for Thouart with him. Thou canst support himunder this false charge. Oh, madam, indeed,it is false. I have seen my child fainting withhunger in the midst of food, and he nevertook a crumb that was not given him. How,then, could he rob his benefactor, when he hasnot even the excuse of hunger for the act. No,no, it is not true; my Robert is not a thief."The truthful anguish of her words, and herhumble reverential trust in God, carried con-viction to the wavering mind of the doctor,and, taking her hand, he said, "I am per-suaded, Mrs Salter, that Robert is truly inno-cent. Circumstances for a moment shookmy confidence in him; but now I firmly be-lieve that, notwithstanding all that has takenplace and been said, he is incapable of such acrime."


LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. 85"I thank you, sir, for saying so," said hismother, "but I cannot allow my child to re-main under a cloud. Your servant must givethe name of her informant."" Put on your bonnet, Mrs Salter, and Ialso will get ready to go with Dr Wilmotto his house. We must sift this matter morethoroughly," said Mrs Selwyn."If I had only the means, I would removeRobert until the matter is made clear," saidMrs Salter, sorrowfully." He shall come here," replied Mrs Selwyn,promptly. "Do not be uneasy. I shall re-ceive him as my own child."" He shall not leave my house," said thedoctor, decisively. " If he did so, it wouldonly accomplish the design of his enemy,whoever it is, and give a colour to the reportwhich would be sure to go abroad that Ibelieved he was guilty, and had sent himaway. No, Robert must live it down wherehe is."It will be a difficult position for so younga boy," said his mother, sighing bitterly; " bat


86 THE CORD OF LOVE.God will help him, and may He bless you,sir, for your kindness."In a very short time the doctor reached hisown house, accompanied by Mrs Selwyn andMrs Salter; and Hannah was rather alarmedwhen she heard that the elegant lady-likewoman before her was Robert's mother; butwhen she was asked to name the person whohad spoken so untruthfully, she positively re-fused to give the required information. Itwas in vain for the doctor to request the ob-stinate woman to tell the person's name, evenwhen he commanded her, as her master, todo so; she was stubborn in her refusal." Then, Hannah," said Mrs Selwyn, withseverity, " you are breaking God's command-ment by assisting one who bears false wit-ness against his neighbour, and you haveborne the false witness yourself on that falseauthority."Hannah evidently winced under this re-mark, but still she remained firm.Finding that nothing was to be extractedfrom her, Mrs Selwyn was about to go away,


LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. 87but while she lingered, in order that MrsSalter might speak a few more soothing com-forting words to Robert, who was talking withher apart, a knock was heard at the door, andHarry came in. Looking hastily round him,he exclaimed, while he shook Robert's hand,warmly, " I am so glad to see you are well.I was afraid something had happened to youwhen I heard, on my return home, that DrWilmot had been at the house, and mymother and yours were gone home withhim."" Something has happened, Harry," saidhis mother, and then, with much indignantfeeling, she related the unjust accusationsthat had been made against Robert." I know who told Hannah," cried Harrywhen he had heard the story to an end. "' Iam afraid I know only too well. It wasCharlie Thirwall. Tell the truth, Hannah,"he added, turning quickly to her, " was itnot Charlie?""I won't be questioned any more, MasterHarry," cried Hannah, turning very red.


88 THE CORD OF LOE."Why should you think it was Master Thir-wall?"" Ah Hannah, you can't deny it. Youdare not tell a lie," cried Harry." No, Master Harry, I dare not tell a lie, butI can hold my tongue," said Hannah, stoutly."Well, so you may, Hannah, but silencegives consent," said Harry."' How do you know that it was CharlieIhirwall, Harry ?" asked the doctor. " I willtell you, sir. I was busy helping a little boywith his sum to-day, when I saw Charlie puthis hand quietly into my desk and take outsomething. I did not mind it at the time, for Ithought it might be my pencil he was takinga loan of, and I knew he would be too proudto ask me for it; but as soon as school wasover, he went away quickly, and when I lookedinto my desk, before locking it, I missed a littlebook that I keep memorandums in, and writemy thoughts in sometimes. Well," addedHarry, blushing, " I would not wish any one tohave read my book, no one likes to have hissecret thoughts read by another."


LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. 89"Indeed, no," remarked the doctor, whilethe rest of the party listened eagerly for more." But unfortunately, amongst other things."continued Harry, "I entered down the day Imet Robert, and in several places wrote withsorrow about his being so poor, and obliged tolive in Panter Lane; and then I also wrote myjoy at his being taken by you. It is plain to me,that for whatever purpose Charlie took thebook, at first to annoy me I suppose, he madea worse use of it on finding in it who Robertreally was, for I never had told him that hewas the boy we saw in the street, knowinghow h3 would jeer him about it. Of coursehe added all the part about his being a thief."" He said that, when I said Panter Lanewas the haunt of thieves and vagrants," brokein Hannah, who had become quite interested."Exactly, just like him," said the doctor,not making any remark on Hannah's admis-sion, although he could not refrain from givinga triumphant glance at the rest of the party." I know he has my book, for one of theboys saw it in his hand; and I know he was


90 THE CORD OF LOVE.here to-day, for I saw him sneaking up to thesurgery door, and Hannah letting him in.""It's no use denying it any longer, as youknow all about it. It was Master Thirwallthat told me," said Hannah; "but he mademe promise him solemnly I would not tell hetold me, or that he was here at all.""What excuse had he for coming here ?"demanded the doctor." He came to ask for his sister's medicine,sir," replied Hannah." His sister's medicine the young rascal,why she has been well this fortnight. It isplain he came here with the full purpose toinjure that poor boy. You see, Hannah, howwrong it is to take up a prejudice. If he hadnot seen that you were inclined to believe him,he would not have ventured to tell such lies.""Well, sir, I can't but feel you areright," said Hannah, all the good in her dis-position asserting itself, when she saw howfalsely Charlie had spoken, and how he hadplayed on her to injure a boy whose onlyfault was that he had been poor. " And if


LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. 91Robert will overlook what's past, I'll try tomake amends to him in future for it."This was a great concession from Hannah,who was very proud in her obstinate way, anaRobert instantly leaving his mother's side,went over to her, and kissing her, said,"Do not say any more Hannah, I will tryall in my power to please you, and wewill find the spoon somewhere yet, you willsee."The hearty kiss and the warm manner ofthe boy quite melted Hannah's rugged nature,and giving him a kiss in return, she said," Never mind the spoon, if I have to buy onein the place of it, it's no matter; you had nohand in it, I'm persuaded."Robert's mother then shook hands withHannah, and taking a hint from Mrs Selwyn,she went down stairs with her and Robert,and by telling her of her former happy life,and the sorrows that had befallen her, quiteenlisted her sympathy. While she was thusengaged, the doctor, with Mrs Selwyn andHarry, went to Mr Thirwall, who lived in


92 THE CORD OF LOVE.the next street, and having told him of themischievous use made by his son of Harry's.*book, requested him to cause its immediaterestoration to its owner.Ringing the bell furiously, Mr Thirwallordered the servant who answered it, to sendCharlie tohim, and in another moment he washeard running down the stairs, for he was soafraid of his father that he hurried to obey hiscommands, but when he entered the room andsaw its occupants, he turned as if to fly froirthem." Come in, sir," shouted his father. "Whereis young Selwyn's book? Hand it out thismoment."For an instant the wretched boy attemptedto deny having it, but as his father strode to-wards him, evidently determined on searchinghis pockets, he hastily produced it in an agonyof terror, lest the spoon should be discovered." Leave my sight, and go up to your roomuntil I come to you," thundered his father.The boy slunk away, not daring to lookround him, but Harry coming forward, begged


LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. 93of Mr Thirwall not to punish him, saying heforgave Charlie from his heart, and that hewas sure Robert also forgave him." Here is your book, and you are a goodboy to plead for such a young rascal," saidMr Thirwall; " but you must let me judgewhat is the best way to keep him from suchconduct in future."Not venturing to say any more, Harry fol-lowed his mother and the doctor to the door,glad to have his little book safe again, andhoping Mr Thirwall would not be very severewith Charlie; but no sooner were they gone,than taking a cane in his hand, Mr Thirwallwent upstairs, and gave his son good cause toremember the wickedness of which he hadbeen guilty, and the punishment he receivedfor it.The terrible correction frightened him, butit could leave no salutary effect, for his fatherdid not point out the evil of which he hadbeen guilty, and the hardened mind of Charlieonly viewed the punishment as an explosionof his father's temper.


94 THE CORD OF LOVE.For some months life flowed on happily anatranquilly at Mrs Selwyn's and the doctor's, MrsSalter becoming every day more useful in thehousehold, and admitted more fully as a mem-ber of the family, sharing in all its joys, and ofsorrow, fortunately, they were spared tasting;but her own heavy grief-the loss of her lovinghusband-preyed on her heart, and she becamethinner and weaker as time passed on, andthe lingering ray of hope that had supportedher died out in her heart, but she did not giveway to vain repinings, the path of duty layplain before her, and she walked in it unfal-teringly, seeking with humble thankfulnessto enjoy the blessings God had left her, andchief of these was Robert,who, now happy andcomfortable, had made rapid progress in hiseducation, and showed such a desire for thestudy of medicine that already a plan for hisfuture welfare began to frame itself in-the doc-tor's mind.The spoon-the cause of so much sorrowand anxiety-had never been found, and itwas a source of wicked pleasure to Charlic--


LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. 95the guilty Charlie-to call out to Robertwhenever he met him, " Where is the spoonyou stole, thief ?"Hard as Robert felt it to endure this lan-guage from one who had already tried toinjure him so much, he forbore all retaliation,Not so Hannah, who heard Charlie's insultinglanguage one day as she opened the door forRobert, and rushing out with the hearth-brushin her hand, she beat him until he roared formercy.The winter had fully set in, and every poolwas covered with ice. There was a large pieceof water very deep in one part, not far from DrWilmot's house, which was quite at the end ofthe suburb where he resided, and on this theboyswere veryfondof sliding after school hours.A thaw had, however, set in for a day or two,and the master had forbidden the boys goingon the ice.They all saw the reason of the command,and were content to obey it, except Charlie,who indulged his usual perversity, and per-sisted in sliding as usual; but just as he got


96 THE CORD OF LOVE.over where the water was deepest, a cracklingsound was heard, and with a loud cry he dis-appeared below the ice.There was great confusion and rushingabout amongst the boys, but not one of themdared to venture on the treacherous ice, untila boy who was passing by, hearing what hadoccurred, went softly on his face and hands to-wards the opening where the gaping chasmhad received Charlie.Just as he reached it, the unfortunate boyrose to the surface, and grasping him firmlyby the collar, Robert--for he it was-calledto the boys to get a rope, and throw it tohim.He had seen Charlie's foolhardiness andthe sudden punishment it met with, and hadthus come to the rescue of his enemy, but itwas doubtful if he should be successful insaving him; for, instead of remaining still, theterrified boy continued plunging desperately inthe water, almost dragging himself from thegrasp Robert had of his collar, in every des-perate effort to climb on the ice, which gave


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The Baldwin Library Rm~u if "Y



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18 THE CORD OF LOVE. Oh, let them manage it be,ween them," cried Jem Thompson, "and let us finish our game," and in another moment Harry and Charlie were forgotten in the excitement of a game of ball. When the doctor paid his promised visit in the evening, he found Mrs Selwyn in the wretched garret before him, and after having carefully examined the woman, he took her aside, and said, Hard work and want of food have brought her so low; it is only a chance if she has still strength enough to rally from this state of prostration; but nourishment regularly given, may do much for her. I suppose she has not any friends ?" I do not know, but I will ask her son," said Mrs Selwyn, beckoning Robert to her. "Has your mother any relative or friend, my boy, who can help her ?" She has no relative that I know of," said little Robert, sadly, and father is far away." Oh, thiu, your father is living ?" said the doctor. Where is he, do you know ?" "He was mate of a ship, sir-the Sarah-



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66 THE CORD OF LOVh. him with the basket of medicine, and having looked after him for a minute as he walked rapidly down the street, closed the hall-door, and went briskly in the opposite direction. Robert looked particularly well in a suit of new clothes the doctor had given him, and which, to Hannah's great disgust, were made like Harry's, instead of being decorated with rows of buttons, as she thought they should have been. Since the clothes had come home in the morning, Hannah had been in a state of extreme irritation, and could not give Robert a kind word or look. All the anger that she dared not show before her master, had been vented on the poor boy during the day, until, thoroughly disheartened, he was glad to go out of the house to escape the sharp words she showered upon him. Thus it was, at a most unfortunate time for Robert,that thecruel boywho borehim somuch ill-will, without any cause, found the means for doing him an injury with one already not well disposed to him. When Charlie had



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LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 13 going to Melbourne, but the ship has not been heard of for a year, and all our money was spent the time poor baby was born two months after father sailed. Mother was a long time sk, and she thinks her money must have been stolen by the woman that minded her. When she got better, she tried to work, but having the baby to mind, she could not do much; and since she got the bad news about the ship, she lost heart entirely." "But have you no friend who would help her ?" inquired the doctor. "We don't know any one here, sir, for we came only a short time ago to London. Mother thought she could get more work to do here, but she could not earn much more than paid for the room;-so, sir, we were often a day or two without food. Sometimes I earned a few pence carrying parcels or holding horses, but it was very uncertain, and the last two days we had not even a crust to eat until that kind lady came." Robert's eyes filled with grateful tears as he looked at Mrs Selwyn. who '.ould not suppress



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62 THE CORD OF LOVE. of full sympathy; how often the sorrowful tidings of his loss were gone over, and how eagerly the faintest shadow of hope that he had escaped, was cherished; but as time wore on, and no news arrived to strengthen the idea that he might still return, they spoke less of the probability, although the thought that it might be so still lived in both their hearts. Charlie Thirwall had frequently taunted Harry during this time with his love for low company," and never failed to ask him before the boys such questions, as, How his friend, Dr Wilmot's boy, was going on," or "whether he had any company on Sunday beside the doctor's servant." To all this, Harry, so to speak, "turned a deaf ear;" and although he could not help feeling annoyed by the pertinacity with which Charlie continued to pursue his attacks, he never gave expression to the feeling. Charlie had ostentatiously announced his intention of keeping aloof from Harry, while he continued to associate with Robert; d'



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16 THE CORD OF LOVE. He was to have spent the evening of the day on which they discovered poor little Robert, with Harry, but when he had told the history of the affair in the playground, and ridiculed Harry for what he called his "stuff and folly," he felt rather ashamed to seek his friend; but while he was hesitating, Harry appeared, and immediately he was surrounded by the boys, who began, from sheer thoughtlessness, to make such inquiries, as, "How is the patient, doctor,"-" What fee did you get ? "-and so on. Harry gave a reproachful glance at Charlie who, he knew, was the cause of this piece of mischief, but in another moment, turning to the boys, he said, "It is no laughing matter-the poor boy and his mother, with her little baby, were all starving, yes, really dying of starvation; and when my mother got there the poor little baby was not able to take the milk she brought, and it died in her arms; so you see how dreadful a state the boy was in, and the mother also might have died if some one did not help her." "And that some one was you, Harry, you



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LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 21 you give her what you are told, regularly. You must take care of her, and if you do it well, you may soon have her up and strong again." Oh! thank you, sir; indeed I will do my best," cried Robert, with grateful joy beaming in his face. But you must take care of yourself, too, or you cannot mind your mother," replied the doctor, looking sharply at his famished features. "Have you eaten anything yet ?" Oh, yes, sir, the lady gave me bread and meat." Well, a good supper will do you no harm at all events," said the w6rthy doctor, so come along until I see if I can find you one ;" and promising Mrs Seivyn that he would come again in the morning, he went away taking Robert with him. 4-



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50 THE CORD OF LOVE. came down stairs in a great hurry, exclaiming, "Here's master wanting his dinner at once, I do believe you have let that sauce burn, you stupid boy, you look as if you were half asleep," and whisking it off the fire, she proceeded to dish the dinner, pushing Robert out of her way withno gentlehand. Fortunately the sauce was all right, and grumbling because she had nothing to grumble at, Hannah went upstairs with the dinner. In the meantime, Mrs Salter was getting into the ways of the house at Chester Street, and it was nice to see how kindly Mary went from room to room with her, showing her what was to be done, while her mother was busy with her pupils. Harry had not repeated Hannah's ungracious speech, but rejoiced the pleased mother with an account of how kindly the doctor had received Robert. This gave her new courage, and she went about the house in a more cheerful frame of mind than she had felt since the day her little baby was carried away from the wretched garret, to be hidden from her sight on earth. The doctor



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LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 9 Then, why are you here sleeping in the street? Have you a mother?" Ah, that's why I came out," said the boy, rousing himself, she's dying of hunger, and the baby too, and I have tried all day to get a penny or two to take home to them, but no one would give me a job, and at last I begged, but the people told me to go to the poorhouse. Why, here's a penny," he cried suddenly, as he opened his hand, "where did it come from I wonder! I must hurry and buy some bread with it for poor mother." "Where do you live?" asked Harry. "In Panter's Lane-it's not far off." "No, I live in Chester Street, close by, so come with me first, and I'll see if mother has any thing she can give you." With evident lassitude and pain the poor child rose from the steps, and staggered, rather than walked beside Harry, the short distance to Chester Street. Mrs Selwyn was a kind Christian woman, and having heard the little boy's story she at once put on her bonnet and shawl, and taking a few necessary things with



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CHAPTER I. Love one another." "CHARLIE, Charlie, look here. What's the matter with this poor little fellow?" cried Harry Selwyn to his companion, as they were hurrying home from school one fine halfholiday, and came suddenly upon a little fellow who appeared to be of their own age-some eleven or twelve years-and who lay on the step of a door in an attitude that betokened either faintness or deep sleep, perhaps both. The little boy's cheeks were pallid, and his high cheek bones were so sharp that they



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LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 15 untidy, and dinner badly cooked, he vented his anger, not only on his wife and servants, but on the children, if they came in his way. Finding he was punished when not to blame, Charlie disliked his father, and openly disobeyed his mother, for whom he had no respect, hearing his father address her in language that was unfit for the lowest domestic. The boy became selfish, sly, and wilful, and an object of dislike at home and abroad. Harry was the only one who made him his companion, and for him the unfortunate boy felt perhaps as much love as he was capable of feeling, although he could not forbear a sarcasm on his poverty, or a jeer at his religion, whenever he had the opportunity. Mrs Selwyn did not fear that Charlie would obtain any influence over her son, but hoped that, on the contrary, Harry might bring him to relinquish his selfish unfeeling ways; and thus trusting that the neglected boy might gain some good by the companionship, she encouraged it, and sometimes allowed Harry to invite his friend home to spend an evening.



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80 THE CORD OF LOVE. grown, which I think would just fit him, so he can have them to go home in; then Hannah will not be frightened at his ragged appearance, and you need not trouble yourself to provide him with others until you see how you like him." That's a very good idea," cried the doctor; "I never thought of Hannah when I proposed his coming home in his rags. She would have raised an immediate outcry, and probably never have liked him when forced to submit to receive him. Yes, it is very well thought of; but are you sure you cannot make use of the clothes for the boys ? "Quite sure, doctor," said Mrs Selwyn, laughing, they are too small for Harry, and it will be some years before George or Willie would be large enough to wear them, so the moths would have them very likely if Robert did not get them." You are never at a loss for an excuse to do good," said the doctor, rising to go, muttering as he went out, '" Lay up foryourselves treasures in heaven, where neither



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LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATH. 69 tell me who he is, at once, there's a good boy,' she said, as Charlie pretended to be sorry ha had said anything on the subject, as the doctor had kept her in ignorance of it. His hesitation to speak out only sharpened Hannah's curiosity, and at length, as it compelled to tell it against his will, the wily boy said, Well, if you promise me solemnly not to mention my name, or say I was here, I will tell you all I know about him." "I promise you, that, come what will, you shall not be mentioned," cried Hannah, on thorns for him to begin. "Well, now, remember your promise, for you would get me into great mischief if you said I told you," said Charlie, and then, lowering his voice, he added, "that boy was a little street vagabond in rags and tatters when Harry Selwyn and I saw him one day in the street; you know what a fool Harry is, and how easily he and his mother are gulled. Well, young artful told him a heap of lying stories, and so persuaded him that he was starving, that nothing would please Master Harry but to



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CHAPTER II. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.' FoR several days the kind doctor visited his patient regularly twice a-day, and had the satisfaction of seeing poor Mrs Salter gradually gain strength. He was greatly pleased with the tender watchfulness of little Robert, who, weak and ill himself, was unceasing in his care of his mother. Mrs Selwyn also spent as much time as she could spare from her many duties, with the sick woman, and bought her many little things which she would have grudged herself. During her visits she had heard much of her former history from Mrs Salter, and was rejoiced to hear that her feet were set upon the rock of faith, and that, in all her misery, she trusted in Him who said, Fear thou not, for I am with thee : be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee; yea, I will 22



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LOVE THE LORD THY GOD. 45 with your lame hand, there are some books there, and you may read what you like." Oh! thank you, ma'am," cried Robert joyfully, I love reading," and hastening to the bookshelf, he was soon busy looking over the volumes, and having selected one, he took a seat as much out of Hannah's way as he could, and began reading. For nearly an hour there was silence in the kitchen, only broken by Hannah's culinary operations. At last, wondering how quiet the boy was keeping, she stole behind him to see what book it was in which he was so much interested, and to her intense surprise perceived it was the Bible. Looking more closely, her eye rested on the verse he was reading-his finger was on it, and he seemed to have paused there, lost in thought. And like unto him there was no king before him that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses, neither after him arose there any like him." Well," said Hannah to herself, "he is



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LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATH. 73 would be back; and if he even were not, he did not know what excuse to make for return. ing, or how he could get an opportunity for replacing the stolen spoon. Thus, finding him. self caught in his own snare, he was compelled to go home with the evidence of his guilt in his pocket. He ran up to his room, and taking out the spoon, was about to hide it in one of his drawers, but immediately the fear that it might be discovered there, pre. sented itself, and he sat down on the side of his bed to think what he had best do with it. He could not leave it about in the house, for the crest on the spoon was a peculiar one-a bird escaping from a cage-and he knew that if it were seen, inquiries would at once be made as to where it had come from. Again and again he almost resolved to take it back; but as the time passed, he became more averse to the idea, fearing it might already have been missed. At last he put it back into his pocket, as the only safe place he could think of for keeping it, and was thus compelled to have it always about him as a torment and a reproach, not



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LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 11 with a tea-spoon tried to feed the baby, but it was too late, the poor little thing was unable to swallow, and in a few moments it was gone from a world of care to one of joys. Covering the little creature with an old apron, Mrs Selwyn now devoted her entire attention to the mother, who seemed hardly more than alive, and by slow degrees she was able to give her a little nourishment. The poor thing cried bitterly when she found her little baby was dead, but nature was so exhausted that she soon sank into a profound sleep; and having seen that little Robert had satisfied his hunger, Mrs Selwyn told him to lie down also and rest, promising to come back before evening. On leaving the house, she went to a benevolent doctor who lived near, and having told him the sad story, had the satisfaction of hearing him say that he would see the poor woman In the evening; and thankful that God had permitted her to be of service to His suffering creatures, she sought her home, thinking what



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r CONTENTS. CHAr. I.-LOVE ON ANOTHER, .5 SII..-LOYI THY NEIGHBOUR AS 'I'YSELF, 22 SIII.LOVE THI LORD THY GOD, ..43 ,, IV.-LOVE is STRONG AS DEATH, ..58 ,, V.-LOVE YOUR ENEMIES, ..80 ,, VL-GoD is LOE,' ., o 98 "i



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112 THE CORD OF LOVE. My Father loves thee-and in me "He stoops to hear thy whisper'd pray'r, Turn from thy sins-from darkness fleeBelieve-and cast away thy care." And does my Saviour deign to speak, In mercy's soft entreating voice, Command my bonds of sin to break, And bid me with His saints rejoice? O! yes, I hear the accents sweet, With harmony they fill the air, And welcome me to Jesus' feet, To leave my load of sorrow there. Blest Saviour! to thy cross I fly, Release me from my grief and sin, To thee for light and help I cry, Oh! wash my soul and make it clean, Be Thou my guide to Zion's hill, Protect my soul from every snare. I hear my Saviour say He will, What love can with His love compare ? O Lord! accept me for Thine own, Inspire my heart with love divine, Repeat in mercy's softest tone, That I, a guilty wretch, am Thine. And when the shades of death surround, And fill my soul with anxious care, O whisper still the heavenly sound, That Thou, the God of Love, art there I THE END.



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LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR. 88 "Oh, I am not afraid of him,-only of going into a strange place, away from mother," said Robert, the tears rushing into his eyes. "But you will come to see your mother every Sunday," said Mary, softly; "and you will be glad all the week that you are helping her, you know; so the time will not seem long." That is true," said Robert, brightening up, "it will be a great thing to know that I am helping her, instead of being a burden to her," and he looked gratefully at his little comforter as he spoke. Well, the sooner we go the better," said Harry, "for Dr Wilmot goes out at three o'clock, and we shall not catch him if we do not go at once." This shortened the leave-taking, and em bracing his mother with all his heart, while he manfully tried to smother his grief at leaving her, Robert hastened away after Harry, who had left the room that he might not embarrass them by his presence. "Do not forget to pray constantly to your c



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6 THE CORD OF LOVE. seemed coming through the skin with which they were covered, one hand lay across his breast, while the other fell listlessly on the step that pillowed his head. "I think he is dead," whispered Charlie, his breast is not moving, and I don't hear him breathe. Come away, Harry, we can't do him any good." Wait a moment, Charlie, I am sure I can hear him breathing, but it is very faintly. Poor little fellow, he looks starved; how glad I am I did not spend my penny," he added, as, taking one from his pocket he put it gently into the child's hand. As he did so, the thin fingers closed over it, and a deep sigh broke from the boy. "Well, I'm surprised at you giving him your penny," cried Charlie in very evident astonishment; "why, you have talked of fifty things you could buy with it, and now you give it away to a strange boy that you know nothing about, I didn't think you were such a fool." I could not bear to keep it to spend on



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LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 7 myself. I have enough to eat always, but that poorlittle fellow looks starved," replied Harry, "I wish I knew where he lives, mother could do something for him, I'm sure." Well, that's good," cried Charlie, she has five of you at home to keep, and now you want her to take up a boy you never saw before; it's a pity you're not a nabob, Harry, you would soon have a houseful of beggars about you." "I don't want to be a nabob, and I wish you would'nt speak so," said Harry. "It is not kind of you, Charlie; you know the Bible tells us to love one another, and if you were lying there like that little boy, you would like some one to pity you, and do what theycould for you." "I dare say I would; but I'd find very few to do it, and as I'm not there, there's no use talking about it." "We are told to do unto others as we would wish them to do unto us," said Harry, gravely; so you see, Charlie, we are bound to help every one in trouble." E.(^f^



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84 THE CORD OF LOVE. Father in heaven, my child, He will always be near you," were Mrs Salter's parting words, as Robert clung about her neck, and as he hurried along beside Harry, they still sounded in his ears, encouraging him and comforting him. As they turned the corner, Charlie Thirwall and two of the boys met them, and stared at Harry's new companion with surprise. He was quite unknown to them, for although Charlie had seen him once before, on the memorable day when he was found on the door-steps, he had grown so stout and healthy-looking since then, and was so well dressed, that he never imagined him to be the same boy. I say, Harry," he whispered, drawing him aside, "who is that fellow ?" Robert Salter," replied Harry, forgetting that the name would not help him to a solution of the question; "but I cannot stop to talk now, we are in a great hurry." Well, make haste and come after us, we are going to have a famous game of cricket," cried Charlie, running off, and in a few minutes more the two boys reached Dr Wilmot's, and



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LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATH. 65 fellow lying weak and starving on the doorsteps, that he would so soon be my dearest boyfriend, trying, like me, to reach the kingdom not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." Turning rapidly over the leaves, Charlie found many entries in which the utter misery and destitution of Robert and his mother were noticed with expressions of sincere pity, and with an evil delight he marked the places, resolved to turn them to account as a means of gratifying his revengeful feelings. Before very long, a plan for.carrying out his wishes matured itself in his mind, and putting on his cap, he took his way towards Dr Wilmot's house. He knew the doctor's hours for visiting his patients, as he had often heard Harry mention them, and going into a confectioner's shop, the window of which commanded a view of the doctor's house, he amused himself eating good things, while he watched for his exit. He was beginning to get tired of waiting, when, to his joy, the door opened, and Dr Wilmot appeared at it with Robert, to whom he gave a fow final directions before dismissing E



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42 THE CORD OF LOVE. Oh you are mighty obedient, especially when it suits you to do so," retorted Charlie. I know who I like, and I don't care whether my mother likes it or not; but I won't choose a doctor's dirty boy for my companion, I can promise you." I do not want you to do so either, Charlie. Every one is free to choose his own company," replied Harry, mildly. Which means, that you choose that fellow, I suppose," said Charlie. Well, I wish you joy of him, but you won't get me to join you, that's all, so you can keep to him if you like;" and, turning down a side street, Charlie strutted away whistling to show how little he cared about it.



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GOD IS LOVE. 101 "The bad boy must have taken the spoon while I left him alone for a moment to answer a ring at the door," said Hannah when she got to that part of the terrible story, "and to think of his doing it only to ruin that poor fellow who has risked his life for him " How risked his life ?" asked the horrified father, who had been, until then, too shocked to speak. Why, don't you know that only for him your son would have been drowned," exclaimed Hannah. When all the boys stood there shouting, but not doing anything to help, Robert went boldly to rescue him, although he knew that it was the enemy that had made his life bitter for nearly a year. Poor fellow! What a noble heart he has to forgive him all the evil he did him. No later than last week, I heard him, with that very spoon, I suppose, in his pocket, calling out, Where is the spoon you stole, thief?' after the poor boy. What a bad heart he must have had to do it."



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76 THE CORD OF LOVE. of the supposed offender, in which fact was blended with untruth, so as to mingle with it most naturally, enlarging on his early character as a thief, and the associate of thieves and vagabonds, Dr Wilmot let himself in with his latch-key, and was amazed to see Robert in the hands of a policeman. Rushing to him, the poor boy began with sobs and cries to protest his innocence, but Hannah pushed him back, insisting on being heard first, and then she poured out her whole story to the bewildered doctor, ingeniously representing him, by inuendoes on his secresy, as the cause of the mischief. Avoiding, with great care, giving the date at which she had received her information, she affirmed that she knew the boy's bad character from an authority not to be doubted, and gave that as a reason for having always been so sharp upon him. She said she had hoped he would have taken advantage of her master's kindness, and given up his vicious courses, and led a new life; but that when she missed the spoons, which she had put into the basket the moment



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LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. 91 Robert will overlook what's past, I'll try to make amends to him in future for it." This was a great concession from Hannah, who was very proud in her obstinate way, ana Robert instantly leaving his mother's side, went over to her, and kissing her, said, "Do not say any more Hannah, I will try all in my power to please you, and we will find the spoon somewhere yet, you will see." The hearty kiss and the warm manner of the boy quite melted Hannah's rugged nature, and giving him a kiss in return, she said, Never mind the spoon, if I have to buy one in the place of it, it's no matter; you had no hand in it, I'm persuaded." Robert's mother then shook hands with Hannah, and taking a hint from Mrs Selwyn, she went down stairs with her and Robert, and by telling her of her former happy life, and the sorrows that had befallen her, quite enlisted her sympathy. While she was thus engaged, the doctor, with Mrs Selwyn and Harry, went to Mr Thirwall, who lived in



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108 THE CORD oF LOVE. spars, to keep themselves afloat until assistance came, and then after a long voyage in an outward bound ship they had been wrecked, and spent some months on an almost desert coast. Again they had been seen by a vessel, bound for Australia, and there at last they had been landed, destitute of everything. Salter wrote home at once informing his wife of his safety, but owing to her removal and constant changes of abode, his letter had never reached her; and then he went with some of his companions to the gold fields, from which he had now returned a wealthy man. He had sought his wife in many places, but could not find any trace of her; and stricken in heart he had come to London to advertise for her, when, by the providence of God, Robert had recognized him. Much as he grieved over the bitter trials of his wife and child, and the sorrowful death e' the little one he had never seen, he felt that the mercies of God were far beyond the sorrow they had all undergone; and as he knelt beside



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)5-"H. a "ars ii; ,I .I pg



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92 THE CORD OF LOVE. the next street, and having told him of the mischievous use made by his son of Harry's.* book, requested him to cause its immediate restoration to its owner. Ringing the bell furiously, Mr Thirwall ordered the servant who answered it, to send Charlie tohim, and in another moment he was heard running down the stairs, for he was so afraid of his father that he hurried to obey his commands, but when he entered the room and saw its occupants, he turned as if to fly froir them. Come in, sir," shouted his father. "Where is young Selwyn's book? Hand it out this moment." For an instant the wretched boy attempted to deny having it, but as his father strode towards him, evidently determined on searching his pockets, he hastily produced it in an agony of terror, lest the spoon should be discovered. Leave my sight, and go up to your room until I come to you," thundered his father. The boy slunk away, not daring to look round him, but Harry coming forward, begged



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94 THE CORD OF LOVE. For some months life flowed on happily ana tranquilly at Mrs Selwyn's and the doctor's, Mrs Salter becoming every day more useful in the household, and admitted more fully as a member of the family, sharing in all its joys, and of sorrow, fortunately, they were spared tasting; but her own heavy grief-the loss of her loving husband-preyed on her heart, and she became thinner and weaker as time passed on, and the lingering ray of hope that had supported her died out in her heart, but she did not give way to vain repinings, the path of duty lay plain before her, and she walked in it unfalteringly, seeking with humble thankfulness to enjoy the blessings God had left her, and chief of these was Robert,who, now happy and comfortable, had made rapid progress in his education, and showed such a desire for the study of medicine that already a plan for his future welfare began to frame itself in-the doctor's mind. The spoon-the cause of so much sorrow and anxiety-had never been found, and it was a source of wicked pleasure to Charlic--



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84 TIE CORD OF LOVE. My child, my poor child, I must go tohim at once," cried Mrs Salter. His tender heart will be torn with grief, alone as he is:"-then suddenly stopping, she added, in a contrite, subdued voice, Oh, my God, thou Father of all; forgive me-no, he is not alone, for Thou art with him. Thou canst support him under this false charge. Oh, madam, indeed, it is false. I have seen my child fainting with hunger in the midst of food, and he never took a crumb that was not given him. How, then, could he rob his benefactor, when he has not even the excuse of hunger for the act. No, no, it is not true; my Robert is not a thief." The truthful anguish of her words, and her humble reverential trust in God, carried conviction to the wavering mind of the doctor, and, taking her hand, he said, "I am persuaded, Mrs Salter, that Robert is truly innocent. Circumstances for a moment shook my confidence in him; but now I firmly believe that, notwithstanding all that has taken place and been said, he is incapable of such a crime."



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44 THE CORD OF LOVE. Robert rushed forward and put his hand on the side of the vessel, so as to prevent its turning over upon her. That was well done," said Hannah, giving a sharp look at him as she put the pot down; but, as if repenting her more gracious speech, she exclaimed at the same moment, "I declare, if the boy hasn't taken the whole skin off his hand, and now he must go idle until it's well again. I never did see the like of boys for getting into mischief; "-but while she grumbled on, she was busy applying some oil and wadding to the blistered hand, and having finished it to her satisfaction, laid it down with an emphatic there," that shewed her task was complete. Thank you, ma'am," said Robert, gratefully, it's quite easy now." Of course it is; you keep it quiet, and it will be all right in a day or two," replied Hannah, with another sharp glance at him. "Can you read "Yes, ma'am." "Well, as you can't be of any use now



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LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR. 2S help thee. Yea, I will uphold thee with the the right hand of my righteousness." This discovery was a new and delightful bond between Mrs Selwyn and the poor woman, she was so anxious to assist, and as she saw her daily gain strength, she felt more hope that a plan, by which she trusted she could effectually help her, might be brought to maturity. In the meantime, Dr Wilmot had made the inquiry as to the ship, and found that the statement made by Robert was correct in every particular. The owners spoke of Robert Salter as a steady, well-conducted man, who would soon have risen to be captain; and they regretted his fate very much, it being supposed that the ship had foundered at sea, and that every one on board had perished. Satisfied with what he heard, the good doctor began to turn over in his mind how he could be of permanent service to the poor woman and her son; and having at length decided on a plan, he called one evening upon Mrs Selwyn, to speak to her on the subject. ?



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LOVE THE LORD £rH GOD. 53 in shame before the face of the Most High, when we remember our shortcomings and the deadness and coldness of our love for Him compared with the burning zeal of those so lately converted from heathenism. We, surrounded as we are by the richest blessings of God,with His holy Word in our hands, and free to worship Him in the face of all men, forgetful of His benefits, slothful in His service, and unwilling to deny ourselves in any way to further His cause; while those poor creatures, labouring under so many disadvantages, obliged to meet by stealth for the reading of the Scriptures, and in constant danger of torture and death if discovered, go steadily on spreading abroad the glorious tidings of the Gospel of Peace, and undauntedly meeting death in its most agonizing forms for the sake of Christ. This is, indeed, a love such as should be offered to the Great Being. This is loving the Lord their God with all their hearts, and with all their soul, and with all their might. Well may we cry 'unclean' to our best efforts when we compare them with love like this."



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GOD IS LOVE. 99 Mrs Selwyn, who fully sympathized in her joy, hastened with her to Robert's bedside, where they knelt together, and thanked God for his deliverance from death. Leaving Harry (who had been absent from home on some business for his mother, and who, on hearing what had occurred, had followed them to the doctor's), to sit beside Robert, they went into the next room to look at Charlie, whose wilfulness had been the cause of all that had taken place. For him also they returned thanks to that God who had so mercifully spared his life, and prayed that the life so spared might be made useful in His service. A solemn "Amen" was uttered as Mrs Salter concluded the prayer, and, turning, they saw Mr Thirwall standing looking at his son, while his breast heaved with emotion. As he gazed upon the still pallid face of his child, he realized the awfulness of death, and how near he had been to losing his eldest child, whom, notwithstanding his severity to him, he fondly loved, and bowing his



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LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATH. 59 conversations with idle boys. He remembered the divine command to those in the service of others,-" Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart as unto Christ. Not with eye-service as men-pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with good-will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men,"-and feeling that in pleasing his master, he was pleasing God, he took a delight in performing his work well and quickly. Dr Wilmot gave him frequent tokens of his approval in many a kind word of praise and encouragement, and by sending him to an evening school, which was a source of great joy to both Robert and his mother. Robert had very good abilities, and was anxious to improve himself, and it was a real pleasure to him to have the opportunity for so doing; while to his mother it was a gift from God, for if her means even had permitted of her paying for his (ttending school, he could not have done so without his master's consent, it



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40 THE CORD OF LOVE. sympathies for him, it would have immediately roused her antipathy, and led her to treat him with unkindness, and before many days Robert saw enough of her character to make him thankful to the good doctor for his warning. As Harry walked home he met Charlie Thirwall, who had hurt his hand with a bat, and was going home. I say, that's rather a nice looking chap you were walking with, Harry, who is he ?" he called out as he came near him. Perceiving that Charlie had not recognized him, Harry thought it as well to dct on the doctor's advice, and be cautious, so merely replied, He is a boy Dr Wilmot has taken into the surgery, and his name, as I told you, is Robert Salter." Oh, so he is only Wilmot's boy. I declare I thought he was a gentleman's son. What airs the fellow has," said Charlie, contemptuously, "I wonder you would be seen walking with him "Well, I do not see any disgrace in it,"



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LOVE THE YLORD THY GOD. 49 to him, "Do not forget to pray constantly to your Father in heaven, my child, He will always be near you," came across his memory, and in a moment he felt comforted. The soreness left his heart as he prayed earnestly that God would indeed be near him and bless him, giving him favour in the sight of those around him. He felt that the hearts of all are open before God, and that He could turn them as He would; and with simple trusting faith he besought the Lord that Hannah might like him, and that she might speak kindly to him. Rough as his life had been of late, the poor boy had kept his heart fresh beneath the fostering care of his mother, and now that she was absent from him, his soul rested lovingly on the Saviour in whom he had learned to trust. Young as he was, Robert, like Harry, had studied his Bible well, and its lessons were remembered in his everyday life; therefore, whatever he did he felt that the eye of God was upon him, and he performed every little act of duty as to the great Father of all. While he was thus lost in thought, Hannah D



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46 THE CORD OF LOVE. either the most artful boy that can be, or he's a real good boy, and I don't know which it is, but I'll soon find out, that I'm determined on," and then she added aloud, Why didn't you take a story book, and keep the Bible for Sunday ?" The suddenness of the question so close to his ear, made Robert start, but looking up with a smile, he said, "There are beautiful stories in the Bible, and I am very fond of reading them." "What king was that you were reading about now ?" asked Hannah. King Josiah, he was a very good king, although he began to reign when he was only eight years old; but the Bible says, He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the ways of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand, or to the left." "Well, that's more than many a son does that has a good father," remarked Hannah. "What kind of a father had you ?" "My mother says he was a very good man,"



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104 THE CORD OF LOVE. I feel it, I believe it," said Mr Thirwall, "and with God's help I will seek Him until I find Him." And those who seek Him shall in nowise be cast out," said the doctor, who had joined them unperceived. The next day, Robert, who had a robust constitution, was able to be up, and although he could not be of any use to Charlie, he was often in his room. The poor boy was not naturally very strong, and the long immersion in the cold water, combined with his terror, had produced fever. His mother was with him, but her fright and anxiety rendered her nearly useless, and Mrs Salter was the doctor's best help in his efforts to save the life that flickered so faintly. While the poor boy still lay in the shadow of the valley of death, Robert was able to go out and attend school; and one day as he walked rapidly towards home, he saw a gentleman standing at the corner of the street, apparently undecided which way to turn, and as he stood so, Robert got a full view of his



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20 THE CORD OF LOVE. her emotion, as, turning to the doctor, she said, I will do what I can, but I fear it cannot be very much. However, it will be better than nothing, and when the poor woman is able, perhaps I can get her something to do." Yes, that will be all right; but she must get better first," said the doctor, shaking his head doubtfully. "However, we will do what we can. Count on me for five shillings a week for her for the present," he added, putting that sum into Mrs Selwyn's hand, "and my old servant can make her some strong broth every day. In the meantime, I shall make it my business to inquire into the truth of the boy's story as to his father being mate of the Sarah. What was your father's name, my boy ?" Robert Salter, sir." And who were the owners of the ship ?" Robert told him their addresses, and having entered it in his pocket-book, the doctor said, Now, come with me, my boy, I want to give you a little wine for your mother, and be sure



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LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR. 27 Ah, that is the great point, doctor," said Mrs Selwyn; "if we can look up to God, feeling that we have His approval, we need not care for the opinion of men, although it is often not only unpleasant, but injurious, to us to be misjudged by our fellow-creatures." Yes, bit God can make it all straight, if we act with a single eye to His glory-that is the difference between being men-pleasers and working for God. If we only do good to gratify ourselves, or for the approbation of others, we have nothing to fall back upon if things go wrong; but if love to God, and, through Him, to His creatures, is our guiding power, then all will go well, no matter how people may misunderstand us, sooner or later God will honour our efforts, by making it plain that what we did was right. It is a good thing-a very good thing-Harry, my boy, to have a benevolent disposition, and to cultivate it to the utmost; but when the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, sanctifying every motive, then we become part of God's providence, and our actions are in ac-





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LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR. I9 you a little story of a fatherless boy, who lived in a sea-port town, and whose poor mother, like yours, was left destitute by her husband's death. The little fellow longed to do something to help his mother, but he was still so young that he could not find employment, except such as he made for himself in taking care of his little sister while his mother was absent or busy. One day, while the little one slept, a thought struck him, and taking up a piece of wood he carved it into a boat, and hoping to surprise his mother with even a penny earned by himself, he went outside the door and asked every passer by to purchase it. Some rude boys scoffed at him, turning the idea of its being a boat into ridicule, and the girls only laughed, and said they did not play with boats; but at last an officer of the frigate lying in the harbour passed. Please buy my ship," said Johnny, imploringly. The officer stopped, and asked him if he had made it himself, and, overjoyed at having secured his attention, poor Johnny poured out his artless tale to him, and begged of him to give him a penny



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78 THE CORD OF LOVE. sired Robert to come into the surgery, leaving the indignant Hannah to expend her wrath in very unmeasured language, which, however, she took care not to do until her master was out of hearing. Almost suffocated with passion, Hannah rushed down to the kitchen, where, sinking on a chair, she sobbed with spite and vexation combined. Her dislike to Robert had at first been of a negative quality, gradually growing more feeble as his thoughtful ways won upon her; but now, that as she fancied he had stolen her master's favour from her, and made him take for granted his innocence of a crime of which she firmly believed him to be guilty, she hated him with an intensity that can only be understood when it is remembered that Hannah was an old and faithful servant, who, for thirty years, had been the doctor's factotum, doing as she pleased, without any one to contradict her. She never had allowed a female servant to be engaged, preferring to do all the work herself, rather than have any one in the house who might share her sway;



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36 THE CORD OF LOVE. know, that you, Robert, are the son of a man who was mate of a ship, and that in consequence of the loss of the ship with the crew, ygur mother has gohe to live with Mrs Selwyn, and you have come here. There is no use in talking of the painful time you have passed through; indeed, the sooner you forget it the better, except as a reason for thankfulness to God, who watched over you, and took care of you, in all your troubles, so let the past be past,-you start for a new, and I trust hap. pier life now, and on yourself a great deal will depend as to how you get on. Be obliging to every one, and attentive to your duties, and with God's blessing you will do well, but do not forget to ask His blessing, my boy, or you cannot expect it." "I know that, sir," said Robert in a low voice; but gaining courage, after a moment he added, Indeed, sir, I will do my best to please you and Mrs Hannah, if you will only tell me what to do." That's right my boy no one can do better than his best; and as a case in point, I will tell



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LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 17 are a good fellow, and no mistake, and it is a shame to tease you," cried one of the boys. "No, it was my mother," replied Harry, "she is always ready to do what she can." "Well, your mother could not have known anything about them but for you, so it is you they may thank that they are pot all dead." Mother says we should thank God for letting us be of use to His people," said Harry; "but are not you coming home with me, Charlie; it is time we were off, for mother has to go out after tea." "I don't think I'll go this evening," said Charlie, hanging back. "Nonsense, man! they are all expecting you, and I have something to show you besides, so come along," and taking Charlie's arm, he nodded to the boys, and left the playground. Well, what Harry can see to like in that sneaking tell-tale, I don't know for one," said Dick White. "It was mean of us to attack him, just to gratify that spiteful selfish fellow; it would be long until he would spend a farthing on any one but himself." -*B



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72 THE CORD OF LOVE. surgery bell, and telling Charlie to remain in the parlour, Hannah went to answer it. While she was absent, Charlie looked round the room, and saw, amongst other things, a basket with some silver forks and spoons lying on the sideboard. Instantly Hannah's words, "wait until I miss an atom," rushed into his mind, and without pausing to think, Charlie seized a tea-spoon, and concealed it in his pocket. Scarcely had he done so when she came back, and told him he had better go now while the coast was clear, as she expected Robert back every moment. When Charlie was once more in the street, he began to think on what he had done, and suddenly he remembered that his act was that of a thief. In his eagerness to bring destruction on the innocent, he had himself become guilty of the crime he wished him to be suspected of. While these thoughts went through his mind, the spoon in his pocket felt like lead. He would have given anything to have it safe back again in the basket, but he dared not return to the house, as he feared Robert



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70 THE CORD OF LOVE. bring his mother to see the boy's mother in Panter Lane." Panter Lane! interrupted Hannah, why, that's a nest of rogues and vagrants." "Well," said Charlie, catching at the idea, and pray what do you think the young chap is but a rogue and a vagrant; his father a captain, a likely story indeed You know what odd fancies the doctor has, and how easy itis to take him in, and Mrs Selwyn and Harry told him such wonderful stories of this fellow and his mother, that they half persuaded him to believe them, or at all events, he pretended to do so, as an excuse for bringing the boy here, but it was'nt fair to you, Hannah, to impose him on you without telling you the truth, was it?" Fair! it was infamous !" cried Hannah in a towering rage; I knew the brat would be a trouble to me, with all his smooth words and creeping ways." He was a trouble to you before you ever saw him," remarked Charlie, maliciously. "'I often wondered how quietly you took it making all these broths and jellies you took to Mrs





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LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATH. 71 Selwyn, how little you knew they were for the 'captain's wife and son,'" and Charlie laughed aloud at how she had been taken in. Hannah was stung to fury by Charlie's laugh, and the jeering tone in which he spoke, but unfortunately it was against the innocent Robert her wrath was directed. "For them was it?" said she, bitterly. I have been nicely cajoled. Master did not say who they were for, but of course I thought they were for the Selwyns when I took them there, a pack of deceivers together, young and old, hiding it from me that they were smuggling a young thief into the house. Why, we are not safe in our beds, he may let in his gang any night and murder us. I thought it was'nt for nothing my gentleman got up so early in the mornings, no doubt he has been making away with the things, though I did'nt miss them, but wait until I do," she added shaking her clenched hand, "just wait, you Robert, until I miss an atom, and see if I don't pay you out for the way you have tricked me." At this moment there was a ring at the



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102 THE CORD OF LOVE. Ah, Hannah, we are all the same by nature," said Mrs Salter, softly, pitying the father, who, with his head bent with shame, was obliged to hear such words spoken of his eldest son. "I am sure Robert never could act like that," cried Hannah, warmly. We would all act so if it were not for the grace of Him who loved us, and gave Himself for us, and shall we, poor worms of the dust, presume to glorify or magnify ourselves over our fellow-worms, when all we are and have is of God's free grace," said Mrs Salter, solemnly. "I thank God that He has per. mitted Robert to save a life so valuable to those who love the poor boy, and I trust that this mercy may be blessed to us all." While she spoke, Mr Thirwall's thoughts had gone out on a bitter track. He felt with awful force what would have been the fate of his son had he perished in his sins, and grasping Mrs Salter's hand, he exclaimed, Oh, never can I repay the debt of gratitude I owe your noble boy. God is indeed merci-



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48 THE CORD OF LOVE. into her ungracious mo)d. "I suppose you can stir that sauce while I lay the table, and mind you don't let it burn," and taking up her, tray, Hannah bustled out of the kitchen. Left to himself, Robert began to think over his reception, and it was quite plain to him that Hannah was not very friendly in her feelings towards him. It was evident that she had one or two favourites, for either of whom she would have been glad to have procured the situation, and his having interfered with her plans, and stepping into it without her having a voice in the matter, was displeasing to her in a double way, so he saw he would have very uphill work to gain a place in her favour. The poor boy felt greatly depressed as he thought of her sharp manner of speaking to him, and the remembrance of his mother's tender ways and loving words quite overcoming him, he burst into tears. That he must bear his sorrow alone without being able to unburden his heart to her, and hear her kind voice of sympathy, quite overcame him, and he sobbed aloud, but like a flash of light her last words



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88 THE CORD OF LOVE. for the ship if he thought it was worth it. The officer, who was a kind hearted man and a true Christian,not only bought the ship, but relieved the pressing wants of the family, who, on inquiry, he found was really worthy of help; and when Johnny was old enough, he took him on board his own ship, and adopting him as his son, advanced him from post to post, untilhe became a midshipman. The boy's own good conduct and the captain's friendship had thus placed him in a position to make a rapid advance in his profession, and in course of time he was promoted to be a lieutenant, but just then there was a great sea fight, and Johnny's friend was fatally wounded. Calling his adopted son to him,he told him to bring him a certain box, and open it. To the lieutenant's surprise it contained the boat he had made so long ago. "What do you find there ? asked the captain. "Nothing but my boat." "You are mistaken, John," said the captain; under it you will find my will, in which I have left you all I possess, and let the same spint of love that induced you to make the



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LOVE THY NEIGHBOTn. 29 "Then it is to be hoped that she has taught her son the right way. I hope my old Hannah will make the boy comfortable; you know what a fidget she is, and how many crotchets are to be found in her brains-but she has a kind heart, notwithstanding, and I hope it will lead her to be kind to the little fellow." "I hope so, too, doctor, for the poor boy has known so much sorrow lately, that kindness will be doubly welcome to him. Have you spoken to Mrs Salter on the subject yet?" No, I waited until I consulted with you. Have you told her of your intentions ?" Not yet," replied Mrs Selwyn. Well, then, you can tell her my plan, and yours at the same time, and let me know when she is coming to you, and the boy can come to me the same day. Of course I shall find clothes for him, but I cannot see to it just yet, for I am very busy." He is smaller than Harry, and there is a very good nzit of Harry's, that he has out-



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T THE Cov of be.ht BT JEANIE SELINA DAMMAST, AltHOB O SHADOW AND BUNSHINE," TOMMY'S MARBLE3, "DOB THE SHOE-BLACK," &., &0., &. GALL & INGLIS. 6 inbG rgE S .onbnOS 6 GEORGE STREET. 25 PATERNOSTER SQ.-



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LOVE THE LORD THY GOD. 53 the greatest of all His mercies. In every affliction, no matter how dark the trial or how crushing the trouble, that clinging love that brought her closer to the Almighty to save, that holy faith that rested itself on His promises, had been her unfailing stay and comfort. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you,"-had long been a passage blessed to her soul; and could she have known that in this, his first trial of life without her, Robert was also learning to rest upon it, the knowledge would have been as balm to her: heart. When the day's work was done, and the school dismissed, Mrs Selwyn brought Mrs Salter into her little sitting room, and made her feel herself one of the little home circle. She had heard from her, in the course of conversation, that she was a member of a respectable family in the west of England. All her near relations were, however, dead; and on the others, she had no claim. But her mode



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60 TUE CORD OF LOVE. and not only was that consent voluntary, but the worthy doctor was himself paying both for books and tuition. Hannah hardly knew whether to be vexed or pleased at those proceedings, but the latter feeling often predominated, for Robert had seized every opportunity for trying to gain her good will, by doing all in his power to save her trouble, and to take such of the work as he could, so as lessen her labour. Before she was down in the morning, he had the fire lighted and the kettle boiling. The brasses were polished to perfection, and the diningroom dusted; so that she had little to do except to prepare breakfast. This assistance was a great help to Hannah, who was rather stiff from constant rheumatism, and glad to be spared the duties that Robert performed for her, but still she did not thank him for undertaking them,-that would have been committing herself too far, she thought; but her manner, by degrees, became kinder, and she gave him the benefitbf her remarks, without many of those sour speeches she had



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LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATH. 77 before she gave it into his hand, she saw he was just as badly inclined as ever, and had letermined to catch him, if possible, with the ipoon in his possession. Utterly unable to account for the disappearance of the spoon, which Hannah so positively asserted had been in the basket, and surprised at her knowledge of Robert's former life, although she had added so much evil to it which he believed to be untrue, the doctor was unable to suggest any solution of the mystery, he could not bring himself to believe for a moment that Robert took the spoon; but, on the other hand, he could not imagine how it had been removed from the basket. After a few moments' thought, he told the policeman that although he could not understand the matter, he believed Robert to be innocent of the charge Hannah had made against him, but that he was sure she did not make it from any motive but a sincere conviction of his guilt. He expressea a nope that the missing spoon might be found somewhere about the house; and dismissing the policeman, he de-



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28 THE CORD 0b LOVE. cordance with it, because we look to Him for His blessing in all that we do. Remember this, my boy." When Jesus said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,' why did He call it a royal law ?" asked Harry, thoughtfully. Look at the account of how the law was given, and you will soon understand it, Harry. 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; I am the Lord,' are God's words. You know He is Lord of lords and King of kings, therefore His law may well be called a royal law." "It is a beautiful law, also," said Mrs Selwyn. How would the world get on if it were neglected, I wonder. What scenes of selfishness and misery there would be." Yes, bad as society is now, what would it be without that royal law ?" said the doctor; "but now let us finish our talk about the Salters. Do you know at all how the boy has been brought up ? " I am sure his mother has brought him up well, for she is a sincere believer in Christ," replied Mrs Selwyn.



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CHAPTER V. "Love your enemies." IN a very troubled state of mind Dr Wilmot sought Mrs Selwyn's house after dinner. When he entered the little sitting room, a general sound of welcome greeted him, and although Mrs Salter's voice was not to be distinguished, her grateful looks spoke as loudly as Willie's vociferous pleasure. The doctor took his seat in the circle, but he was evidently ill at ease; and with natural delicacy, perceiving that something disturbed him, Mrs Salter withdrew. I wish you would send away the children for a few minutes, I have something to say to you," said Dr Wilmot in a low tone to Mrs Selwyn. Greatly surprised at the mystery of his manner, Mrs Selwyn dismissed the children from the room, and then the doctor poured forth the whole story to her astonished ears. 80



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12 THE CORD OF LOVE. she could do for the poor woman and her son. Mrs Selwyn had known much sorrow in her early life, and the few years of happiness she had passed with her husband were the one bright spot in her existence. Too soon it passed away, and left her a sorrowful widow, with five little children depending on her for their daily bread. Her husband had been a doctor, hard-working, and ill paid, so ill paid, that when his widow examined into her resources after the funeral, she found but ten pounds left with which to fight the battle of life for herself and her little ones. Crushing down her grief, she resolved to face the world bravely, and having thought over many plans, at length decided on letting as many of her rooms as she could spare, and taking a few day pupils to educate. In both plans she was successful. Very soon all the rooms she had arranged for the purpose were let, and her husband's patients were glad to show their appreciation of his services and sympathy with his widow, by placing their children under her care.



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96 THE CORD OF LOVE. over where the water was deepest, a crackling sound was heard, and with a loud cry he disappeared below the ice. There was great confusion and rushing about amongst the boys, but not one of them dared to venture on the treacherous ice, until a boy who was passing by, hearing what had occurred, went softly on his face and hands towards the opening where the gaping chasm had received Charlie. Just as he reached it, the unfortunate boy rose to the surface, and grasping him firmly by the collar, Robert--for he it was-called to the boys to get a rope, and throw it to him. He had seen Charlie's foolhardiness and the sudden punishment it met with, and had thus come to the rescue of his enemy, but it was doubtful if he should be successful in saving him; for, instead of remaining still, the terrified boy continued plunging desperately in the water, almost dragging himself from the grasp Robert had of his collar, in every desperate effort to climb on the ice, which gave



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CHAPTER VI. God is love. THE worthy doctor went to Mrs Selwyn's as soon as the boys were safe, and himself broke the news of Robert's gallant conduct and near escape from death to his mother. For a little while the poor woman was quite overcome by the intelligence. The thought that her darling child had been in such terrible peril, caused her to feel the anguish of what might have been, but for God's mercy. But soon the joyful thought, that he had saved a life-and that the life of one who was his enemy-swept over her soul with a feeling of exquisite delight, and she gave thanks to the Great Being who had put it in her son's heart to so nobly return good for evil at the risk of his own life. 98



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52 THE CORD OF LOVE. ing him exposed to the evil influences surrounding him in Panter Lane, and in the streets while trying to earn a few pence to buy bread, had pressed sorely upon her tried spirit. He had been the child of many prayers, and her whole soul acknowledged the Lord to be a prayer-hearing, prayer-answering God, when she thought of him now in a comfortable situation, with so kind a master, and so carefully guarded from bad companionship. The happy prospect of having him with her ti share her Sabbaths was a great joy to his mother; and as she attended to her business, her heart went up in thanksgivings to the Giver of all Good in a language read by the Divine eye, and heard by the Divine ear, although it was mute. Little did she think, while she she moved cheerfully about her work, that her son was even then fulfilling the injunction she had given him, or the cause he had for leaning on an arm that is not of flesh, Very early her own heart had been given to God, and when she thought over her own past life, she often had cause to thank God for that,



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LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR. 85 went into the surgery. For a moment the doctor did not know Robert, but when he did, he welcomed him kindly, and calling his old housekeeper, told her to take charge of him. "This is the new boy, I suppose," remarked Hannah, surveying him with a rather sour look. "Well, Ihope you won't try any of your games like the last one, or you won't be long here, I can tell you." "He is a very good boy, Hannah, and will do what you desire him, I am sure," said her master. Go in with him, Harry, and stay until I come to talk to you just now." Taking the hint, Harry went into the diningroom, bringing Robert with him, and in a little time the doctor came bustling in, and shutting the door, he said, "Now, boys, we must always tell the truth, let it cost us what it may, but there is no necessity to tell all our private affairs to the world, unless there is some very especial reason for it." The boys rather wondered at this address, but the mystery was soon solved when the doctor added, I have told Hannah all that it is necessary for her to



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LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 13 Thus the God in whom she trusted took care of her and her children, and proved himself the husband of the widow, and the father of the orphans. Harry was only eight years old when his father died, but he still remembered his loving smile, and the tenderness with which he had taught him from God's holy Word, and now that that dear parent was removed from him, it was Harry's delight to show his mother all the love and duty due to both parents, and by his obedience and watchful care save her every sorrow he could. During the past year he had attended a boy's school, and knowing how many temptations he would meet, it was a source of sincere joy to his mother that her child was always anxious to seek her sympathy in all his little pleasures or perplexities. Nothing was kept back from her, ana if he committed a fault, he could not know rest until it was acknowledged to her, and her counsel and forgiveness obtained. Like a clear mirror the soul of her child was open to her gaze, and she blessed God that no ignoble passion or untruthful desire was reflected in it,



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82 THE COIRD OF LOVE. In accordance with this arrangement, Mrs Salter and Robert went to Chester Street on the day appointed, and were received with the greatest kindness by the entire family. Even little Hessie insisting on showing Robert her picture-book, and giving him a paper of sweets she had been given herself. When Robert was dressed in Harry's clothes, he looked so nice and so respectable, that Harry, who came in at the moment, did not know him. You are just in time to take Robert to Dr Wilmot's, Harry," said his mother, smiling at his surprise. "Is that really Robert ?" cried Harry. "Well, indeed, I am glad to see you looking so well, and I shall go with you with the greatest pleasure," he added, turning to him. Thank you, sir," replied Robert. "I felt rather strange at the thought of going by myself." Oh, you will not be strange long with Dr Wilmot, he is the kindest of the kind," cried the children.



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LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. 95 the guilty Charlie-to call out to Robert whenever he met him, Where is the spoon you stole, thief ?" Hard as Robert felt it to endure this language from one who had already tried to injure him so much, he forbore all retaliation, Not so Hannah, who heard Charlie's insulting language one day as she opened the door for Robert, and rushing out with the hearth-brush in her hand, she beat him until he roared for mercy. The winter had fully set in, and every pool was covered with ice. There was a large piece of water very deep in one part, not far from Dr Wilmot's house, which was quite at the end of the suburb where he resided, and on this the boyswere veryfondof sliding after school hours. A thaw had, however, set in for a day or two, and the master had forbidden the boys going on the ice. They all saw the reason of the command, and were content to obey it, except Charlie, who indulged his usual perversity, and persisted in sliding as usual; but just as he got



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LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. 89 "Indeed, no," remarked the doctor, while the rest of the party listened eagerly for more. But unfortunately, amongst other things." continued Harry, "I entered down the day I met Robert, and in several places wrote with sorrow about his being so poor, and obliged to live in Panter Lane; and then I also wrote my joy at his being taken by you. It is plain to me, that for whatever purpose Charlie took the book, at first to annoy me I suppose, he made a worse use of it on finding in it who Robert really was, for I never had told him that he was the boy we saw in the street, knowing how h3 would jeer him about it. Of course he added all the part about his being a thief." He said that, when I said Panter Lane was the haunt of thieves and vagrants," broke in Hannah, who had become quite interested. "Exactly, just like him," said the doctor, not making any remark on Hannah's admission, although he could not refrain from giving a triumphant glance at the rest of the party. I know he has my book, for one of the boys saw it in his hand; and I know he was





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GOD IS LOVE. 111 India, labouring among the greatest outcasts of the human race, as a missionary, full of zeal and love, he works for his Master. Nor do his parents grudge him to the great work he has chosen; too deeply do they feel God's love to their own ransomed souls to draw back their son from his sacred mission of proclaiming that love to perishing sinners. From God they received him back as from the dead, a proof of His tender mercy and loving kindness; and they have yielded him to God, to do His reasonable service, and spread abroad His truth to others as sinful as he was himself when God stretched forth His hand and saved him. Thus did they realize the words of Holy writ: I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love:" and feeling that cord of love encircling them, they all looked forward with joy to the time when its every link would be made perfect in the presence of that God whose name is LOVE. Come unto Me, my name is Love, Within my circling arms recline, And I will lead thy soul above," The Saviour cries, for I am thine.



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68 THE CORD OF LOVE. for Him, that it will not be able to contain it." "Let us all join in the prayer, my dear child," replied his mother, as, prostrating herself with her family, at the footstool of the Most High, she offered up their united prayers for that love that passeth knowledge, and her thanksgiving to Him who had given them the desire to devote themselves to Him in body, soul, and spirit. CHAPTER IV. "" Love is as strong as death, but jealousy is cruel as the grave." FoR some weeks Robert attended steadily to his duties at Dr Wilmot's, making himself useful in the house, and when sent out of a message, or with medicine, doing his business with all the speed possible, ot loitering by ihe way to look in at shop windows, or to hold



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LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR. 89 boat, guide you in the disposal of the poperty which will be yours." The captain soon after died, and John became a rich man, so you see to what a position he rose by simply doing his "best," although that best did not appear of much value, and now, as I have had my say, go and tell Hannah to find you something to do." As Robert was leaving the room, Harry ran to the door after him, and shaking him warmly by the hand, told him to be sure and come early on Sunday, and then saying good-bye to the doctor, he hastened home to tell the news of how Robert had been received, to his mother. Both boys understood, although the doctor did not express it in so many words, that he did not wish, for Robert's sake, that Hannah should know in what very miserable circumstances he had been. She was a good woman in her way, but had a strong aversion to beggars, and to poor people in general, always suspecting them of being impostors and cheats; therefore, if she had heard Robert's story in full, instead of enlisting her



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GOD IS LOVE. 105 face, and after a moment's hesitation he rushed to him, exclaiming, "Father, 0 father, can it be you !" The gentleman turned quickly, and seeing a tall nice lad of some thirteen or fourteen years of age, he said, You must mistake, my boy, I am not your father." "Oh, sir! are you not Robert Salter?" asked Robert, while, with straining eyes, hb gazed upon the gentleman's face. Yes, that is my name," said the gentle man, becoming agitated in his turn. "Then I am Robert, your Robert," cried the boy. "Oh, how my poor mother will rejoice !" Can you be my Robert, my little Robert," cried the gentleman, as he gazed eagerly upon him. Then all the father rising in his heart, he held him to his bosom as though he could never let him go, but still clasping him fondly he said, Lead me to your mother, my boy. What sorrow she must have endured, and how has she existed ? How is it that I see you so well clad, and such a boy that any father may be proud of you ?"



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LOVE THE LORD THY GOD. 67 the cross, that we might live for ever in glory. Tell me, George, would I, do you think, give your life to save the life of Charlie Thirwall ?" "Oh! no, mamma, I am sure you would not," cried George. And besides that, George is a good boy, and Charlie Thirwall is a very bad boy," added Willie. Now, you see my children how much God loves us when He gave His only Son to die for us, and that when we were rebels against His authority and disobedient to His law, the Apostle says, God commended His love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.' It is no wonder that, in speaking of such love as this, and exhorting us to give all our love and obedience in return for it, the apostle calls it our 'reasonable service.' " Oh! yes, mamma, reasonable and joyful it should be," said Harry, who was much moved by his mother's words. I pray to God that He may fill my heart with such a love



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LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR. 41 said Harry, quietly; besides, if his father had lived he would have been a captain of a good ship now, so you see Robert is not to be despised so much as you think, Charlie." It's very odd that his son should only be a doctor's boy, then," said Charlie, only half convinced. "How do you know that he was going to be a captain ?" Because Dr Wilmot told my mother so." Well, I suppose he ought to know, but it's curious all the time," replied Charlie. "I wonder how that cross old Hannah will get on with him." Very well, I hope, for he is a good boy, and the doctor likes him." "And it is plain that you like him, too," returned Charlie, sharply. "I wonder how you have come to be such a friend with him all in a moment. I am sure your mother would not allow you, if she knew it." "My mother does know it, and approves of my friendship for him, Charlie," replied Harry." If she did not, you know I would not act contrary to her vill."



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LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. 81 "Surely, doctor, you cannot believe that Robert is guilty! cried Mrs Selwyn. No, I do not believe that he is guilty, and still I do not know what to think," said the doctor, sighing. It is a puzzling affair." Believe anything that is wild or improbable before you admit the possibility that Robert would commit a theft!" exclaimed Mrs Selwyn, warmly. I would as soon suspect my Harry." The strange part of it is, that Hannah seems well acquainted with every circumstance of his life. I am quite sure that she has not gotten her information through any of us, for she has heard so much evil of him, that I cannot account for its being mixed up with what we know to be true; but whoever has been the informant, it was some one well acquainted with the boy." "But, surely, you do not believe the evil spoken against him, doctor ? asked Mrs Selwyn, rather indignantly. I declare I do not know what to think. I never was more puzzled in my life," replied



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110 THE CORD OF LOVE. and Captain and Mrs Salter, Mrs Selwyn, and Mr and Mrs Thirwall are now elderly, if not old people. Their children have grown up about them, and now, in their old age, they rejoice to see them all that their hearts could wish them to be. Sweetly has love been blended in all God's dealings with them, and from the least to the greatest-from the oldest to the youngest-they honour and adore His holy name. Harry and Robert now occupy the place of Dr Wilmot, and the sound of youthful voices is heard in the old house, on the door of which the joint-names of Drs Selwyn and Salter appear. Harry is not married, and his mother still resides with him; and her daughter Mary, who is the devoted wife of Robert Salter, the boy into whose heart she had whispered encouragement and comfort so long ago. The twins-George and Willie-are in good situations, and Hessie is Mary's best helper in the house, and with her children. But where is Charlie ? Far away in



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LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. 93 of Mr Thirwall not to punish him, saying he forgave Charlie from his heart, and that he was sure Robert also forgave him. Here is your book, and you are a good boy to plead for such a young rascal," said Mr Thirwall; but you must let me judge what is the best way to keep him from such conduct in future." Not venturing to say any more, Harry followed his mother and the doctor to the door, glad to have his little book safe again, and hoping Mr Thirwall would not be very severe with Charlie; but no sooner were they gone, than taking a cane in his hand, Mr Thirwall went upstairs, and gave his son good cause to remember the wickedness of which he had been guilty, and the punishment he received for it. The terrible correction frightened him, but it could leave no salutary effect, for his father did not point out the evil of which he had been guilty, and the hardened mind of Charlie only viewed the punishment as an explosion of his father's temper.



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82 THE CORD OF LOVE. the doctor. It is a deceitful world-at least the people of it are very deceitful-and it is hard to know whom we may trust. You see we have only their own word for anything Mrs Salter or Robert have told us, and it is not likely they would tell anything bad of themselves; and it is plain that the person who told Hannah knew them well, for she is acquainted with the miserable state they were in, and all about them that we know, and, in addition, she has heard much terrible evil that we did not know,-that Robert was a thief, and an associate of thieves and vagabonds, so that, really, I am greatly perplexed." "You have proved that they told you the truth about Mr Salter," said Mrs Selwyn, reproachfully. Yes, that is true; but he might be a very proper, respectable person, and his wife and son the very opposite," said the doctor. I tell you, Dr Wilmot, I should as soon suspect myself and Harry of evil as Mrs Salter and her son, and I beg of you not to (



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LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. 87 but while she lingered, in order that Mrs Salter might speak a few more soothing comforting words to Robert, who was talking with her apart, a knock was heard at the door, and Harry came in. Looking hastily round him, he exclaimed, while he shook Robert's hand, warmly, I am so glad to see you are well. I was afraid something had happened to you when I heard, on my return home, that Dr Wilmot had been at the house, and my mother and yours were gone home with him." Something has happened, Harry," said his mother, and then, with much indignant feeling, she related the unjust accusations that had been made against Robert. I know who told Hannah," cried Harry when he had heard the story to an end. "' I am afraid I know only too well. It was Charlie Thirwall. Tell the truth, Hannah," he added, turning quickly to her, was it not Charlie?" "I won't be questioned any more, Master Harry," cried Hannah, turning very red.



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LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. 97 way in his hands; and just as the men, led by Dr Wilmot, arrived with ropes, he dragged Robert into the water. Through his frantic struggles for a moment it seemed as though both boys would be lost, but a plank was procured, and providentially they were rescued, although quite insensible. Hurrying on before, to have everything in readiness, the doctor ordered them to be brought to his house, which was close at hand, and he soon had the satisfaction of seeing them both sleeping comfortably in warm beds, with, he trusted, all danger over, froi the terrible peril in which they had been. G



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100 THE CORD OF LOVE. head upon his bosom, the strong man wept aloud. With silent sympathy Mrs Selwyn and Mrs Salter were about to withdraw, when Hannah entered the room to remove Charlie's clothes, for the purpose of drying them. As she raised them in her hand, something fell on the floor with a ringing sound, and Mr Thirwall stooped to pick it up. As he did so, the eyes of all rested upon it-it was the long missing spoon! Hannah turned white, and trembled when she saw it, and clasping her hands, she exclaimed, To think that the doing of an act of love and mercy should be the means, under God, of poor Robert clearing himself fully. Oh, Charlie Thirwall, you have much to answer for " What spoon is that ? Why do you speak so ?"' asked Mr Thirwall, in great agitation, and regardless of Mrs Salter's request that she would not repeat the story, Hannah, whose spirit was roused, beckoned them out to the lobby, and told the tale in all its sad deformity.



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LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATH. 70 Thus the poor boy's desire to leave the home with his master, in order that he might escape a fresh volley of abusive language from her, gave confirmation to her suspicion that he had committed the theft. She knew that she had not removed the spoon from the basket, and the doctor had been out. Of course, the idea of Charlie having taken it never would have entered her imagination had she even remembered having left him alone in the room, and acting on the belief that he was a thief, and, from Charlie's information, looking on him as an old offender, she had brought in the policeman, and gave the poor boy into his charge the moment he entered the house. Robert was thunderstruck at the accusation, and indignantly asserted his innocence, declaring that he had placed the basket on the sideboard, exactly as he had received it from her. "Then, of course, I am the thief, I stole the spoon before I gave you the basket," vociferated Hannah, in a fury of passion; and while she was giving the policeman a history



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LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATH. 67 watched both Robert and the doctor out of sight, he went down the street not to be seen crossing directly to the doctor's door, and turning back up the other side, he rang the surgery bell, well knowing that there was no one but Hannah to answer it. As he expected, she opened the door, and Charlie, one of whose little sisters had been ill, and under Dr Wilmot's care, made an excuse of'the circumstance to inquire if her medicine was ready. I don't know anything about the medicine," said Hannah, crossly; but I suppose if it was ready, Mister Robert has taken it round to your house." The tone in which she said "Mister Robert," was quite enough to show Charlie that the soil was already prepared in which to plant his evil seed, so, shrugging his shoulders, he said, "I wish the doctor Would not send that boy to our house, I only wonder he could bring him here, or that you can bear with him, Hannah." "Why, what do you know about him inquired Hannah, with surprise.



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CHAPTER I11. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." "WHAT'S your name, boy?" asked Hannah, gruffly, when Robert entered the kitchen. "Robert Salter, ma'am." "Oh! Robert Salter, is it. Well, I wish you had gone to sea with your father, and not come bothering here, where you are not wished for. If the doctor wanted a boy-as of course he did-why didn't he take Mrs Martin's son, or Richard Smith ?" "I don't know, ma'am," replied Robert, humbly, fancying the question was addressed to him. And who said you did, pray ? snapped Hannah, keep your answers in future till you are questioned-take my advice." As she spoke, she went to the fire-place to lift off a heavy pot, and in doing so, slipped, and was in danger of being severely scalded, had not 01



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GOD IS LOVE. 103 ful, for the soul of my child, as well as his body may now be saved. But what right have I to speak ? I am unworthy of such mercy. I never have taught my child aright, or thought at all of God or His kingdom." "God is love Oh, Mr Thirwall, let us not doubt that this sore trouble is sent to you in love, not only for the soul of your son, but for yours, and those of all your family," said Mrs Salter, as her tears fell fast. "Pardon me for speaking now, but now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation. Believe me, that your sorrow will be turned into joy unspeakable if you will only respond to the tender love of the Saviour. Oh, remember the words ol the Great Jehovah, I have loved thee with an everlasting love, with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.' In infinite love and compassion, God has revealed His love to you through the danger of the son you love so well. As a father pitieth his children, so does He pity those who fear Him, and He is waiting now to do you good for ever, and to receive you into Ihe arms of His everlasting lovs."



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64 THE CORD OF LOVE. a puzzling sum, Charlie slipped his hand quietly into his desk, and seizing the little book, speedily transferred it to his pocket. The school brokeup soon after, and hastening away to his own home, Charlie run up to his room, and began eagerly to examine his prize. Turning over the leaves slowly, the bad boy sneered at the pure, holy thoughts of Harry revealed in every page, sometimes his heart was poured out in penitence for some offence grievous to him, but a subject for scoffing to the callous boy, whose eyes rested mockingly on these touching expressions of self-abasement. Again, a passage full of joy and peace'in believing, would meet his view, exciting his ridicule of the holy feelings so utterly incomprehensible to him; but at last he came upon a page that rivetted his entire attention. His eyes flashed with malignant pleasure, his breast heaved, and his cheeks became scarlet with excitement. The passage that gave him such wicked joy ran thus :-" This day three months, for the first time I saw Robert Salter. How little I thought, when I found the poor



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106 THE CORD OF LOVE. Oh, father, it is a long story, and a sad one, but there was a bow in the cloud, and God has delivered us from all our troubles." "Blessed be His holy name," cried LM Salter. "Ah, Robert, I often thought your mother's religion was too exalted, too enthusiastic; but now I know it is real and soul-satisfying, and I bless God that you are His follower while you are still so young." At this moment they reached the doctor's door, and leading his father into the diningroom, where Hannah poured forth praises of his wife and son, Robert sped swiftly upstairs to break to his mother the blissful, marvellous news, that his father had returned. When he reached Charlie's room he found her reading the Bible beside the bed, and stealing gently to her side, he took her hand and brought her into his own little room. The watchful eye of the mother detected in a moment that something had occurred that deeply agitated her son; and seeing that she had observed it, he said at once, "Mother dear, can you bear a great joy ? You have



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LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. 83 permit yourself to be led astray by Hannah's informant, who is evidently an enemy of theirs," said Mrs Selwyn, solemnly. I assure you I am very far from wishing to think anything to their discredit," asserted the doctor, "but you must allow the whole thing has a strange appearance." Stranger appearances have been fully accounted for," replied Mrs Selwyn ; but in any case it is only fair that Mrs Salter should be informed of what has occurred." And going to the door, she told one of the children, who was passing at the moment, to send Mrs Salter to her. Utterly unaware of why she was summoned, the poor woman entered the room with her usual modest, retiring demeanour, which was quickly exchanged for the extremity of distress and agitation, when Mrs Selwyn, making her take a chair beside her, told her, with much indignant sympathy, of the accusation that had been made against Robert, and the aspersions that had been cast upon them by an unknown person.





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LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATI. 61 so constantly indulged in during the first days of his sojourn in the house. While Robert had been gaining favour with the doctor and Hannah, his mother had grown to be considered as a valued friend in the primitive household of Mrs Selwyn. As day followed day, she proved more useful in the family; and having a peculiar aptitude for teaching, she began to take her place in the school-room after she had finished her home duties, and proved a very efficient helper to Mrs Selwyn, whose school was increasing. Robert spent every Sunday with her, and on these occasions Mrs Selwyn took care that the mother and son should have some hours in which to enjoy the company of each other, alone and undisturbed. These were precious hours to their loving hearts, when all their mercies were gone over together, and mutual plans formed for building up their faith and love, and for the better performance of their duties to those who were so kind to them; nor was the husband and father forgotten in those moments



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68 THE CORD OF LOVE. "I know more than is good of him," replied Charlie, and the doctor did a bad thing the day he took him into his house." "It was against my will he ever came, I can tell you," cried Hannah, and if it wasn't that he was such arespectable boy, I wouldn't have put up with it, after promising Mrs Martin to speak for her son." "Respectable boy! what do you call respectable ?" demanded Charlie, in pretended surprise. Why, his father was mate of a large ship, and would have been captain by this time, only he was lost at sea," replied Hannah. "And is that all you know about him," cried Charlie, in a tone of pretended pity, "well, I'm astonished!" Come into the parlour, Master Thirwall, and tell me all about him," exclaimed Hannah, getting quite excited. "I always thought there was some mystery about that boy, and now I'm convinced of it," and shutting the surgery door, she conducted Charlie into the parlour, impatient to hear the expected scandal. "Now,



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23 Tn2 CORD OF LOVE. she and the boy are out of that wretched place the better. Well, Harry, my man, what are you staring at?" he added, laughingly, as he saw Harry's eyes fixed attentively upon him. I was just thinking," said Harry, impulsively, "how wrong people are when they speak ill of you." "Why, who has been speaking ill of me now ? asked the doctor. "I heard," said Harry, colouring, that you refused to sign the petition for Tom Sykes, the other day." "And so I did, Master Harry, because I chance to know that Tom Sykes could get work to do if he chose, but he was too lazy, and I would never be a party to helping a man to live on charity that would be better bestowed on a more worthy object. I knew he would be very angry, and spread evil reports about me; but I am satisfied by knowing that my motive in refusing him was a good one, and that God will judge me correctly, no matter what men may do."



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8 THE CORD OF LOVE. Then we would have a fine time of it," cried Charlie, "always doing something we did not like for the sake of some one else, who would'nt do it for us, perhaps, if we wanted it. That won't do for me, Harry, I can tell you; so come on at once, or we sha'nt have a game to-day, all the boys are at play by this time." You may go if you like, Charlie, but I can't leave this poor child until I see what is the matter with him." "One would think you were a doctor with your talk," said Charlie, contemptuously, but stay if you like and welcome, I'm off," and with a shout that rang through the street, he bounded away. The shrill cry awoke the poor boy, who, shivering as he moved, opened his eyes slowly, and gazed about him in a dull heavy way. Are you ill?" asked Harry, kindly, as, stooping down he took the poor child's hand in his. Oh, yes, I'm so sick and weary," said the little fellow, drowsily. AJdsr



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86 THE CORD OF LOVE. God will help him, and may He bless you, sir, for your kindness." In a very short time the doctor reached his own house, accompanied by Mrs Selwyn and Mrs Salter; and Hannah was rather alarmed when she heard that the elegant lady-like woman before her was Robert's mother; but when she was asked to name the person who had spoken so untruthfully, she positively refused to give the required information. It was in vain for the doctor to request the obstinate woman to tell the person's name, even when he commanded her, as her master, to do so; she was stubborn in her refusal. Then, Hannah," said Mrs Selwyn, with severity, you are breaking God's commandment by assisting one who bears false witness against his neighbour, and you have borne the false witness yourself on that false authority." Hannah evidently winced under this remark, but still she remained firm. Finding that nothing was to be extracted from her, Mrs Selwyn was about to go away,



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14 THE CORD OF LOVE. The love of God had already taken root deep in his heart, and as years passed by, she hoped to see it grow with his growth, and strengthen with his strength, for Harry's was not a selfish love, but one to be brought into his daily life, and acted in every scene of his existence. Her other boys, George and Willie, the twins, were still very young, only five years f age; Mary was eight, and little Hessie fo'r, but all were united by the closest ties of affection, and as their mother looked from one to the other of the little group, healthful, loving, and happy, her heart swelled with gratitude to the Great Being who had blessed her so richly. Charlie Thirwall was Harry's school friend, but why he selected him for his companion it would be difficult to say, unless it was because the other boys avoided him. Charlie had an unhappy home, his father was passionate, and his mother careless of her home and her children. Mr Thirwall, who was a lawyer in rather good practice, liked to bring a friend home occasionally, and to have things nice for their entertainment, and when he found the house \



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88 THE CORD OF LOE. "Why should you think it was Master Thirwall?" Ah Hannah, you can't deny it. You dare not tell a lie," cried Harry. No, Master Harry, I dare not tell a lie, but I can hold my tongue," said Hannah, stoutly. "Well, so you may, Hannah, but silence gives consent," said Harry. "' How do you know that it was Charlie Ihirwall, Harry ?" asked the doctor. I will tell you, sir. I was busy helping a little boy with his sum to-day, when I saw Charlie put his hand quietly into my desk and take out something. I did not mind it at the time, for I thought it might be my pencil he was taking a loan of, and I knew he would be too proud to ask me for it; but as soon as school was over, he went away quickly, and when I looked into my desk, before locking it, I missed a little book that I keep memorandums in, and write my thoughts in sometimes. Well," added Harry, blushing, I would not wish any one to have read my book, no one likes to have his secret thoughts read by another."



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LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATH. 63 but finding himself still an object of dislike to the other boys, none of whom would have him as an intimate companion, he soon began to regret having so openly made known his determination, and having sought in vain, by ridicule, to detach Harry from his adherence to Robert, and being too proud to submit with a good grace to share his friendship, he began to think of some way of revenging himself on both him and his friend, and those who diligently seek an opportunity soon find it. Charlie's seat in school was next that of Harry, and he knew that Harry kept a little book in which he noticed anything that happened from one day to another, in fact, it was a kind of diary, although Harry did not dignify it by that name. This little book Harry kept in his desk, and as Charlie had often observed how carefully he guarded against any one seeing its contents, he resolved to possess himself of it, and make its restoration the price of Harry abandoning the friendship of Robert. Watching his opportunity one day while Harry was helping a little boy to understand



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74 THE CORD OF LOVE. that he felt the least compunction for any trouble into which he might be the means of bringing Robert. No, that was the drop of pleasure to sweeten his annoyance, and as he dwelt on it, his other feelings subsided, and he began to rejoice that he had been so successful in plotting for his downfal. In the meantime, Robert having delivered the medicine at the different houses, returned home, still in a dejected state of mind from Hannah's ill humour during the day, and to his horror, as soon as he got into the hall, he found himself in the grasp of a policeman. Hannah had gone to the sideboard to lay the table for dinner as soon as Charlie had taken his departure, and she immediately missed the spoon; there were but two teaspoons kept out for the doctor's use, and both had been in the basket when she gave it to Robert, to leave on the sideboard on his way out. She recollected his evident hurry to get out, and at once set it down to the fact that he had taken the spoon, and was anxious to make away with it as speedily as possible.



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LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR. 25 accomplish it, as she cannot leave her little boy." Oh, never mind the boy; that's just what I have come to speak to you about. I find he has told me the truth in every way; so I intend to take him into the house to live. He can go messages, take out the medicine, and make himself generally useful; so, now for your plan, as he is out of the way." "My idea was to take Mrs Salter to help me in the house-work. I have been trying to manage with a girl, who sleeps at home, but I have found her very untidy in her habits, and, I am sorry to say, untruthful; and when I reproved her a few days ago, she told me she intended to leave me, as she had a better place in view. So that by taking Mrs Salter, I shall help myself in helping her." "A very good plan," said the doctor, after musing a moment. "Yes, a capital plan, but you cannot do everything, you know. She must have some clothes; so, here's a sovereign to help to get them; and the sooner .r *'.



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LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATH. 79 and until now, the boys employed by the doctor had been found out and recommended by her, so that she had felt aggrieved from the first about Robert, in consequence of his having obtained the situation without her patronage, especially as she had had two boys in her mind's eye who were eligible for the post, and whose parents would have been under an obligation to her if she had selected one of them. These long rankling feelings now developed themselves in a bitter hatred of the boy who had come into the house against her will, and who was now kept in it against her firm conviction that he was a thief; and, vowing to be revenged upon him if possible, Hannah proceeded to dish her master's dinner, in a state of mind not to be envied.



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GOD IS LOVE. 109 his dear ones, the solemn words of thanksgiving he uttered found an echo deep and lasting in their hearts. It was many weeks before Charlie was able to be about again, but in the long days, while strength was returning to him, Harry and Robert delighted to sit with him and read to him; and when the light of health once more dawned upon him, it found Charlie a changed boy-changed in heart and spirit. With courage worthy of a martyr he insisted on telling the assembled school the wrongs of svhich he had been guilty; and to the credit of the boys, it must be told that from that day Charlie Thirwall was honoured amongst them; never by word or look did they remind him of the unhappy past, but in every way they treated him as they did their favourite Harry, and Harry's friend Robert, who finished his education with them. Many years have passed since the schooldays of Harry, Charlie, and Robert. The good doctor has gone to his home in heaven



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GOD IS LOVE. 107 taken sorrow from the hand of God; nerve yourself now to receive His proof of mercy and love." "Oh Robert, can it be ? Is it your father?" faltered the trembling woman, while her whole soul shone in her eyes. Yes, mother, it is my father, God-the God of love-has given him back to us," said Robert, slowly. Giddy with the sudden rush of joy, Mrs Salter turned to the door to seek her husband, but her failinglimbs refused to support her while she tried to reach it, strong arms en circled her, and her head rested on the bosom of her husband. Their joy was too sacred to be intruded upon, even Hannah felt this, for closing the door, she retreated into a dark corner, and in secret wiped away the tears of joyful sympathy. The good doctor and Mrs Selwyn shared deeply in the joy of the re-united family. It was true that the vessel had foundered in .mid ocean, but Robert Salter, with two of the seamen, had managed, by the help of a few



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At last an officer ot the frigate lying in the' harbour, passed ; Please buy my ship," said Johnny, imploringly. The officer stopped and asked him if he had made it himself, and poor Johnny poured out his artless tale to him. CORD OF LOVy.



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90 THE CORD OF LOVE. here to-day, for I saw him sneaking up to the surgery door, and Hannah letting him in." "It's no use denying it any longer, as you know all about it. It was Master Thirwall that told me," said Hannah; "but he made me promise him solemnly I would not tell he told me, or that he was here at all." "What excuse had he for coming here ?" demanded the doctor. He came to ask for his sister's medicine, sir," replied Hannah. His sister's medicine the young rascal, why she has been well this fortnight. It is plain he came here with the full purpose to injure that poor boy. You see, Hannah, how wrong it is to take up a prejudice. If he had not seen that you were inclined to believe him, he would not have ventured to tell such lies." "Well, sir, I can't but feel you are right," said Hannah, all the good in her disposition asserting itself, when she saw how falsely Charlie had spoken, and how he had played on her to injure a boy whose only fault was that he had been poor. And if



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10 THE CORD OF LOVE. her, she went with him to where his mother was lying, as he had told her, literally dying of hunger." Panter Lane was a miserable place, and in one of the most wretched of the houses, Mrs Selwyn found the boy's mother. She had to toil up a steep narrow stair, to the top of the house, and there, on a bundle of straw in the garret, lay a young woman with a baby beside her. Both were worn by starvation to the veriest skin and bone, and as she gazed at them compassionately, Mrs Selwyn wondered how they could still exist. Kneeling down beside the wretched crea. tures, she poured some milk into a cup, and held it to the woman's lips, who began to drink it eagerly, but suddenly pushing it away, she whispered, The children-give it to the children." They shall have some also as soon as you drink this," said Mrs Selwyn, whose tears were flowing fast. Handing the boy the little bottle of milk she had brought with her, she told him to take some, and then,



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56 THE CORD OF LOVE. What power there is in those words, 'with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might,'" said Mrs Salter. With all the heart, above all earthly affections; with all the soul, above all spiritual ties; and with all the might of both soul and Cody concentrated in one flood of love gushing from the whole being, and reaching upwards to the throne of God. Oh! how far short our poor weak taper light of love is to that pure flame that should burn steadily on the altar of every heart " I think I love the Lord with all my heart," said Mary, softly. "Oh! Mary, is it better than mamma?" asked George. "I heard mamma telling Mary she was to love God better than she did her," whispered Willie. "Yes, my children, better even than we love ourselves ; we must love the great God who made us, and who, after our sin and ingratitude for all His good gifts, loved us so much as to give His own Son up to death on



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LOVE THE LORD THY GOD. 47' replied Robert; but I do not remember his ways very well, for he never was long home at a time." "Did he go to church regularly when he was with you?" inquired Hannah. Oh! yes, and he used to read the Bible for mother and me at night; we had a Bible with pictures in it, Daniel in the lions' den, and a great many others." That was a family Bible, I suppose," r3marked Hannah. Yes, it belonged to my grandfather, and I heard mother say all the marriages, and births, and deaths were in it." Who has it now?" asked Hannah. "I do not know," said Robert, growing suddenly red in the face. He was on the point of telling her that it had been seized for the rent at a miserable lodging they had been unable to pay for, and disposed of by the landlord, but the doctor's warning checked his words. Humph, that's strange not to know where a family Bible is," said Hannah, relapsing





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2 ; r



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24 THE CORD OF LOVE. Dr Wilmot was an elderly man, whose wife was many years dead. He had no children; and an old housekeeper, grown grey in his service, managed his house, and took care of him and it with piaiseworthy vigilance. He had been a class-fellow and firm friend of Dr Selwyn, and since his death had done his utmost to help his widow ih every way in his power. It was by his recommendation she had so soon succeeded in getting tenants for her rooms, and she knew that when Harry was old enohgh, the doctor intended taking him into his business; therefore, Dr Wilmot was always a welcome visitor, and was regarded with affection by the whole family. Well, here I am come to talk about your friends in Panter Lane," said the doctor, seating himself on the sofa beside Mrs Selwyn. The woman is getting strong enough to do something for herself now, but the difficulty will be to get that something for her to do." "I have already thought of a plan," replied Mrs Selwyn; "but I do not know how to



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LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR. 81 moth nor rust doth corrupt.' Yes, that is the best treasury; I wish there were more like you, anxious to invest in it." Early the next day, Mrs Selwyn went to see Mrs Salter, and told her Dr Wilmot's intentions about Robert, and her own with regard to herself. Mrs Salter was overcome with joy at the prospect opened before her, and could not sufficiently express her thankfulness to God for His goodness, and to her kind friends for their thoughtful care for her and her' boy. Robert was delighted at the idea of going to live with the kind doctor, especially as Mrs Selwyn told him he was to spend every Sunday at her house with his mother. Rejoiced at the pleasure she had been the means of giving, Mrs Selwyn returned home, after having given Mrs Salter the doctor's present to spend in buying some clothes for herself, and arranging with her that she should come to her in two days, Robert was to come with her, and after dressing himself in Harry's outgrown suit, proceed to Dr Wilmot's.



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LOVE THE LORD THY GOD. 61 had told her that if it had lived longer, it would only have been dragging out a miserable existence for a few months, or perhaps years, as it never could have been healthy again, and she blessed God that the poor little thing had been spared such prolonged sufferings, while she still felt the pang of separa, tion from the little, bright-eyed darling, she had hoped to present to her husband on his return home; but, alas, the loving husband was also gone, and she could not even know his resting-place. Often, on a stormy night, had she started from her hard pillow, in bitter agony at the thought that the one she loved so dearly was at the mercy of the foaming waves, tossed in their wild play from billow to billow; but the soothing voice of the Comforter would soon be heard in her sorrowstricken heart, reminding her that even if the poor frail body were exposed to the raging sea, the soul, its precious inmate, was safe for ever in the sanctuary of the Most High. Robert's welfare had been an ever-present thought with his mother, the anguish of hav-



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64 THE CORD OF LOVE. of expressing herself, and the ease of her manners, showed that she had been well brought up, and Mrs Selwyn felt that, in associating her with her family, she was showing her a kindness which could not in any way prove injurious to them. Very pleasant were the hours thus spent in the loving home circle to Mrs Salter. The little girls.were amusing themselves at the table ; Hessy with her doll, for which she was contriving new clothes ; and Mary, in all the dignity of elder sisterhood, sewing the different garments; the twins, George and Willie, were busy with a puzzlebox; and Harry had a new book which he read aloud while his mother and Mrs Salter worked. The book was a record of mission work in Madagascar, and as Harry read of the horrors undergone by the martyrs there, and of their heroic endurances of torture and of death, the wonderful nature of their love to God was so developed that his hearers sat in silent wonder and admiration of such constancy. Ah," said Mrs Selwyn as Harry pnused for a moment, how we should bow our heads



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LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. 85 "I thank you, sir, for saying so," said his mother, "but I cannot allow my child to remain under a cloud. Your servant must give the name of her informant." Put on your bonnet, Mrs Salter, and I also will get ready to go with Dr Wilmot to his house. We must sift this matter more thoroughly," said Mrs Selwyn. "If I had only the means, I would remove Robert until the matter is made clear," said Mrs Salter, sorrowfully. He shall come here," replied Mrs Selwyn, promptly. "Do not be uneasy. I shall receive him as my own child." He shall not leave my house," said the doctor, decisively. If he did so, it would only accomplish the design of his enemy, whoever it is, and give a colour to the report which would be sure to go abroad that I believed he was guilty, and had sent him away. No, Robert must live it down where he is. "It will be a difficult position for so young a boy," said his mother, sighing bitterly; bat