This page contains no text.
The Baldwin LibraryUnivsnayFbtuyIRmB untkyid
MURRAY AND GIBB, EDINBURGH,PRINTERS TO HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICIAL
SI IIi II IoI.
HOME HEROINES:TALES FOR GIRLS AND BOYS.BYT. S. ARTHUR,Author of 'Lije's Crosses,' 'Orange Blossoms,' etcEDINBURGH:WILLIAM P. NIMMO.1873.
CONTENTS.PAG,SAINT BARBARA, IFOR FATHER'S HONOUR, .. 45GUILTY, OR NOT GUILTY, 56SAD EYES. .65LITTLE MARTYRS, 76THE LITTLE MAID OF ALL WORK, 97MARY CARSON, 113MISTRESS AND MAID, 60MY FATHER, 174GOING HOME, 192MESSENGERS OF DEATH, . 2104,
SAINT BARBARA.HAT a queer little body!' exclaimed onelady to another, as a girl passed throughthe room where they were sitting. Shewas leading a child by the hand, andcarrying another in her arms.' Our Barby,' was answered.'Where, in the wide world did you discover thisfunny specimen of humanity?' 'laughed the firstspeaker. She looks as if she had been copied from.one of Punch's caricatures.''Oh, we've had Barby for a long time; and I" don't know what we should do without her.'Now, Barbara was not very comely to look upon.Truly, as the lady had said, she was a queer littlebody. Almost dwarfish in stature, her head was solarge as to look out of all proportion. Not a featurein her face seemed rightly adjusted. One eye wasA
2 SAINT BARBARA.lower than the other, and set at a different anglefrom its neighbour; and both were singularly smallfor the size of her face, which was broad and round.Her nose was neither Roman nor Grecian, and yet itmade a prominent feature, and had a very decidedexpression. The mouth was large, but not coarse;the chin delicate and receding. Barbara's manner ofwalking could hardly be called graceful. Her short,round, thick person-she was all waist or none, asyou might choose to have it-swayed from side toside in a duck-like manner. There is a word whichexactly expresses the gait, but we will not use it.We are not holding 'little Barby' up to ridicule.'I know very well what I would do with her,'said the visitor.'What?''Send her to a menagerie, or anywhere else.''Why so ?' The lady looked a little serious.'Oh, because I wouldn't have such a hideous-looking creature about me. I would not like totrust my children with her. One glance at her faceand person is enough. No beautiful soul can beenshrined in so deformed a body. Depend uponit, nature never hangs out a sign like that, except inwarning.''We know Barbara,' was the confident, quietly-spoken answer.'You may think you know her. And so we
"SAINT BARBARA. 3thought We knew our kitten, until one day its sharpclaws were in baby's face.'S'W hat an elegant silk !' said the lady to her visitor,changing a subject that was growing unpleasant.'Where did you get it?''At Robinson's.''Has he more of the same style ?''Yes. There were two or three charming- patterns"when I selected this.'And then the conversation went ranging awayupon themes out of connection with our presentsubject-the humble, homely Barbara.It is just ten years since she entered Mrs. Gray-son's family. She was then only twelve years old..It was not much that Barbara could remember'of herparents. They were poor working people, who didnot manage to get along well; and Barbara's earliestmemories had not, therefore, many sunny gleams tobrighten them. She was not more than six when hermother died, leaving her, an unlovely child, to theunwilling charity of strangers. The six years thatfollowed were marked by many sufferings. The poorchild rarely had a kind word said to her by any one.Mrs. Grayson first saw her in her kitchen one coldwinter morning with a milk-pail in her hand.'Bless me.!' she exclaimed to the cook, after thechild went out. 'What a singular-looking girl!Who is she ?'
4 SAINT JARBARA.'Some oddity that our milk-woman has picked up,'replied the cook.'How long has she been coming here ?''About two weeks; but I'm really getting to likethe funny thing.'Once seen, Barbara's image was not likely to fadefrom the mind. Mrs. Grayson thought of her severaltimes during the day, and on the next morningdropped down early into the kitchen. Barbara camein from the frosty air just as Mrs. Grayson entered,her face almost purple with cold. She set down her"milk-pails and stood up between them, almost ascylinder-like in form as they, though by no meansproportionally taller. There was an almost ludicrousexpression of suffering on her singular face.'Why, you're nearly frozen, child,' said Mrs.Grayson.'Indeed, and it's bitter cold, ma'am,' replied thelittle girl, putting to her mouth ten red finger-tips,which protruded from the worn woollen gloves thatcovered her hands, and blowing with an energy thatmade her breath almost whistle against them.'What is your name ?' asked the lady.' My name's Barby, ma'am.''Barbara.'' Yes, ma'am; but they call me Barby.'' Have you a mother ?'' No, ma'am.'
SAINT BARBARA. 5'Nor father ?''No, ma'am.'Barbara's answers were made in a prompt, even,rather musical tone of voice, in which was no sign ofweakness."How long have you been carrying milk ?' askedMrs. Grayson.'Two or three weeks, ma'am,' replied Barbara.'Susan got sick and went away, and Mrs. Miller saidI must go out and serve the customers till she gotbetter.'And the child stooped as she spoke, and takingthe cover from one of her pails, began filling thecook's pitcher with milk. This done, she replacedthe cover,-and without stopping to be the recipient ofany further kind inquiries, braced herself up to thework of carrying the two heavy vessels, and wenttrudging away on her round of duty.' It's a shame,' said the cook, to put such work ona mere child. But some people have no mercy.'Mrs. Grayson sighed, and went in a thoughtfulmood from her kitchen.One morning, toward the end of January, when the"snow lay thick upon the ground, the cook tapped atMrs. Grayson's door, and said:'I wish, ma'am, that you'd just come down andlook at Barby.''What's the matter with her ?' asked the lady.
6 SAINT BARBARA.' Well, I think, ma'am, that you ought to see her,'replied the cook.'Very well. I'll be down in a moment,' said Mrs.Grayson, who hurried on her morning-wrapper, anddescended to the kitchen.There stood little Barbara between her milk-pails,just stooping to the task of lifting the heavy burdens.The cook had been trying- to keep her until Mrs.Grayson came down, but Barbara had no time tolose, for customers were waiting; and her sense ofduty, or fear of punishment-which may not beknown-was too strong to let her wait, even thoughthe hope of seeing the lady who had once spoken toher kindly was trembling in her heart.Mrs. Grayson saw at a glance that hardship orsickness had been making sad work with the child.The round, healthy face had changed to one of suf-fering and emaciation; and there was a shrunkenlook about her figure that contrasted strongly withits former plumpness. As she raised her eyes,Mrs. Grayson saw in them a look that moved hersympathy.' I wish, ma'am,' said cook, that you'd just lookat Barby's feet.''I can't stay a minute longer!' And Barbarastood up straight, lifting by the act her pails a fewinches from the floor. I'm late now; and peoplewant their milk.'
SAINT BARBARA. 7'Let them 'want it,' said cook, dogmatically,stepping forward as she spoke, and taking out ofBarbara's little hands the two heavy pails, which sheplaced on a table beyond her reach.'Oh, but Mrs. Miller will be angry!' urged thechild in distress. And then, you know, people wanttheir milk. They can't have breakfast until I getround.''Now, ma'am,' said the cook, 'just look at them"feet! Did you ever see the like of them in all yourborn days?'She had grasped Barbara by the arms and placedher on a chair, and now lifted one of her feet, whichwas covered with the remnant of a woollen stockingand an old slipshod leather shoe. Through rents andworn places in the wet stocking shone the fiery skin,which was cracked and ulcerated.'Bless my heart!' exclaimed Mrs. Grayson, sicken-ing at the sight. 'Take off the stocking, Jane,' sheadded.The stocking was removed, exhibiting the extentto which the foot was diseased. There were greatcracks in the heel, the edges of which were of a dark-purple, as if mortification were threatened. Thewhole foot was of a deep red colour, and the tenseskin shone as if polished.'Only chilblains, Mrs. Miller says,' remarkedBarbara. She did not speak in a tone of complaint.
8 SAINT BARBARA.'Let me see the other foot,' said Mrs. Grayson.Jane removed the old shoe and stocking, andexhibited a foot in even a worse condition.'How do they feel?' asked the lady.'Oh, ma'am, they itch, and burn, and hurt now,dreadfully,' replied the child.'Draw me a bucket of cold water, Jane.''Yes, ma'am.' And Jane turned away quickly.'Oh dear !' said the child in distress. Give me myshoes and stockings. All the people are waiting forbreakfast. I'll never get round in time, and they willbe angry.'' Put just enough hot water in to take off the chill.'Mrs. Grayson spoke to Jane, not heeding Barbara.'Will that do?''No; it is too warm. I merely want the chill off.''Do let me go !' urged Barbara. 'All the peoplewill be angry.''There, put your feet in,' said Mrs. Grayson, asJane set the bucket on the floor in front of the child.'Mrs. Miller'll beat me.' And tears ran over Bar-bara's face.'No, Barby,' said Mrs. Grayson kindly, 'Mrs. Millershall not beat you. I will see to that.''But you don't know her, ma'am, as I do.''I'll tell you what I do know, Barby,' said Mrs.Grayson, as she knelt on the floor by the singular-looking child who drew so strongly upon her sym-
""SAINT BARBARA. 9pathies, and held her feet in the water. 'I knowthat Mrs. Miller will never hurt a hair of your head.''But what will the customers do for their milk thismorning?' Barbara was as much troubled on thishead as on that which involved consequences toherself.'Do without it!' was the firm reply. 'You are notgoing from this house to-day.''Oh dear, ma'am, that won't do I dare not stay;I must go round with my milk.'It was in vain that Barbara pleaded for freedom togo forward in the way of duty. She was under thecontrol of those who were stronger than her, andquite resolute. After keeping the child's feet in coldwater for nearly ten minutes, or until they had ceasedto ache and burn, Mrs. Grayson dried them with asoft napkin until all moisture was removed.' Now stand up, Barby.'But, in attempting to bear her weight, Barbaracried out with sudden pain, while the blood startedfrom many gaping sores on her feet.'You see, Barby,' said Mrs. Grayson kindly, 'thatthere is to be no more serving of milk to-day. Jane,'she added, 'can't you take her up to the little roomnext to yours? There is a bed in it, you know.'The cook's heart was in all this. So she liftedBarbara in her strong arms and carried her up stairs,followed by Mrs. Grayson.
to SAINT BARBARA.'I think she has fever,' said Jane, as she placed heron the bed. 'Just feel how hot her hand is i''Yes; I noticed that,' replied Mrs. Grayson.'The child is very much fevered. In fact, she's sickenough to be in bed, instead of on the street carry-ing milk-pails; and in bed we must place her. So,do you take off her clothes while I go for one ofHelen's wrappers.''Indeed, ma'am,' objected Barbara to this, Ican't lie here; Mrs. Miller will be so angry; andwhat will the people do for their milk?' This wasthe question that troubled the poor child most of all.'Do without it, and who cares !' answered Jane,who was getting provoked at Barbara's great concern.for her customers.'I care,' said the child, speaking in a firm voice.'They expect me, and I've never disappointed them.Everybody's breakfast will be waiting.''Not everybody's,' replied Mrs. Grayson, smiling.'But don't let that trouble you. What can't be curedmust be endured.''I wish Mrs. Miller knew about it,' said Barbara,still pursuing the theme.'Where does she live?'Barbara gave the direction. It was not faraway.'I'll send her word to come and get her milk-pails,'said Mrs. Grayson.
SAINT BARBARA. IThis satisfied the child, who, now that this strainwas off her mind, was showing more and more exhaustion. Jane removed her soiled and scanty gar-Sments, and laid her under the bed-clothes.'I do believe I am sick,' said Barbara, in herartless way, lifting her eyes languidly and lookingat Mrs. Grayson. What a kind lady you are Godwill bless you for being good to poor little Barby.'Her voice, which was singularly soft and sweet,died faintly away, and her lids fell heavily over her"eyes. Mrs. Grayson, who was touched with pity forthe strange child, and who felt her interest increasingevery moment, laid her hand upon her forehead.It was burning; and the sunken cheeks bore thedeep blush of fever.Two weeks passed before Barbara was able tosit up. During the first week she was delirious fornearly three days; and the physician said that her lifewas in danger. In the beginning he feared that shehad an eruptive fever; and there was some anxietyon the part of Mrs. Grayson for her children. Butthis apprehension soon gave way; and then her twolittle ones, Jenny and Katy, made their way to Bar-bara's chamber, and spent most of their time there.At first her uncomely face repelled them, but, whenSshe spoke, the charm of her voice drew them to-wards her, and they began to like to go into theroom beside her.
12 SAINT BARBARA.The love of children was a living thing in theheart of Barbara; and- she was delighted to have.Jenny and Katy in her room. As soon as she wasable to sit up, she amused them by various little artsand devices which she had learned, and read to themout of the books which they brought to her. Inthe beginning of this intercourse Mrs. Graysonwatched Barbara very closely, and questioned thechildren minutely as to what she said to them. Shewas soon satisfied that all was right. That althoughshe had been brought up amidst rudeness, tempta-tion, and exposure to vice, she was untainted by theatmosphere she had been compelled to breathe; thatshe was pure in heart as one of her own little ones.* Barby,' said the lady to her one day, after shewas able to sit up in a chair for several hours at atime, 'how would you like to live with me?'A flash of light went over the little girl's face,and she looked at Mrs. Grayson in an eager, hopefulbewildered manner, as if she half thought herselfdreaming.'I'm in earnest, Barby. How would you like tolive with me ?''What could I do, ma'ain ?''My nurse is going away. Don't you think youcould take her place?'"I love Jenny, and Katy, and the baby,' was BDr.bara's answer.
SAINT BARBARA. 13' (That's one qualification,' said the lady.' And I'm strong when I'm well.'Mrs. Grayson thought oi the two great milk-pails,and was satisfied on that head.'And I'll do just what you tell me to do.''Very well, Barby, J think we may consider itSettled that you are to live with me as my nurse. Ifyou love the children, and are strong, and will do justwhat I tell you, I can ask no more.''But,' said Barbara, a troubled look coming intoher face, may be Mrs. Miller won't give me up.''Why not?''She says I'm bound to her. A lady asked meonce if I wouldn't come to her house and live. WhenI told Mrs. Miller, she got very angry, and said that", -if I dared to go away she'd bring me back.''Did you ever go anywhere with her, and putyour name, or mark, on a paper ?'- No, ma'am.''Then you're not bound to her.'"Oh yes, I am, though. She made me promise onthe Bible, a good while ago, that I'd live with her forfive years. And it isn't two years yet. I didn't wantto do it, but she made me.''Why did she exact this promise from you, Barby ?'S 'I don't know, ma'am, unless it was because I wasalways a-working and a-doing, and got through withalmost as much work as two girls.'
14 SAINVT BARBARA.'And you think yourself bound by that promise ?''Yes, ma'am. If Mrs. Miller won't give me up, Imust go back to her. I promised on the Bible, youknow.'' And to keep your promise you are willing to takeup your old hard work again of feeding and milkingcows, and carrying milk, instead of coming into thisnice house to nurse children whom you love?''Yes, ma'am, if Mrs. Miller won't give me up,'replied Barbara, firmly but sadly. 'I promised onthe Bible that I'd live with her five years, and I'veonly been there two years.'' But, if I understand it, Barby, Mrs. Miller forcedyou to make that promise.''She said she'd beat me if I didn't do it.''Then she compelled you.''But, ma'am, you see I needn't have promised forall her threats. I could have stood the beating, andheld my tongue, if she'd killed me. That's how itwas. So, as I've promised, I'm bound.'Struck with the child's mode of looking at thequestion, and still more interested in her, Mrs.Grayson determined to let matters take their coursebetween Barbara and Mrs. Miller, in order morethoroughly to test the character of this singular child.' I must send for Mrs. Miller,' she said, 'and havea talk with her. Perhaps I can induce her to giveyou up.'
SAINT BARBARIA. 5"Barbara was not sanguine; and Mrs. Graysonnoticed that her face wore a troubled look. Herheart had leaped at the promise of a better life, in-contrast with which the old hard life she had beenleading for years looked harder than ever.Mrs. Miller, who had already called several times'to ask about Barbara, but who had not been per-mitted to see her, was now sent for. The childshrank back and looked half frightened as the hard,coarse, determined-looking woman entered the roomin company with Mrs. Grayson, and fixed upon her apair of cold, cruel grey eyes. Something like a smilerelaxed her withered face as she spoke to Barbara.SI have sent for you,' said Mrs. Grayson, in orderto have a talk about Barby.'Mrs. Miller nodded." 'Is she bound to.you ?', Yes, ma'am.' Promptly and firmly answered.' Would you like to give her up, if I'd take her ?''No.' Mrs. Miller uttered the little word resolutely.' In what way is she bound?' asked Mrs. Grayson.'She's bound all right, ma'am-fast and sure,'replied Mrs. Miller, showing some impatience.S'And you can't be induced to part with her ?''No, ma'am.'S'Not for her good? I would like her for a nurse;and that will be so much easier for her, you know.'SShe's my girl, Mrs. Grayson,' replied the woman
16 SAINT BARBARA.to this; 'and I don't think it right for you to betrying to get her away from me. What's mine ismine.'' I'm sorry,' said Mrs Grayson; 'and particularly.on Barby's account. But, if you won't give her up,why-'She paused and looked at Barbara. There was anexpression of hopelessness upon the child's face thattouched her deeply.' No, I won't!' Mrs. Miller finished the sentence.'And now, ma'am,' she added, 'Barby has been atrouble to you long enough, and had better comeaway.'' She is not well enough to be moved for two orthree days yet,' said Mrs. Grayson.'I don't know about that,' replied Mrs. Miller.'She's strong. I reckon she can walk home with alittle help. Come, Barby.'Barbara made a motion to rise from her chair.'Barby can't go to-day,' said Mrs. Grayson, speak-ing in a tone of voice that meant quite as much asher words.'Not if I say so ?' interrogated Mrs. Miller.'Not even if you say so Mrs. Grayson spokefirmly, though she smiled, in order not to arouse thewoman's bad temper.'She's my girl, not yours,' said Mrs. Miller.'Sickness has made her mine until she is well
SAINT BARBARA. 17enough to be moved with safety,' was replied. AndI must insist upon the right which I possess.''When do you think she will be well enough?''In two or three days, I hope.''Say in three days ?''Yes.'SVery well, ma'am. Send her home on Saturday.''You'd better call on that day,' said Mrs. Grayson.'I shall be very busy on Saturday. Can't yousend her home?'SI would prefer you to call,' replied Mrs. Grayson."I'll be here, ma'am,' said the old woman, rising.' And see here, Barby,' addressing the little girl in asevere tone, 'don't let there be any shamming onSaturday. I shall be here for you very early.'During the next two days Barbara gained strength" slowly, and on Friday was able to go down stairsand about the house. The children were delightedat this, and kept with her all day. Mrs. Grayson"observed her closely, and was surprised to see herso cheerful, and so interested in all that pleasedJenny and Katy. She was very quiet in her manner,and from a certain soberness of countenance, anddrooping of-her eyes when not doing or saying any-Sthing, it was plain that she was not insensible to:the great change that awaited her on the morrow.Saturday came, and Barbara got up early, thoughstill weak from her recent sickness. When Mrs.B
r8 SAINT BARBARA.Grayson came down stairs, she found her all readyto go with Mrs. Miller, now momentarily expected.'And so you are going to leave us, Barby?' saidthe lady, looking at her kindly.'Yes, ma'am,' replied Barbara, with a little falter-ing in her voice.'We don't want you to go, Barby.''Thank you, ma'am.' Barbara looked grateful.'But I am bound to Mrs. Miller, and you know shesays I can't leave her.''Barby!''Ma'am!''Mrs. Miller has no right to keep you. You canleave her if you wish to do so.'But the little girl shook her head, and answered:'I am bound to her, you know.''Only by a promise which she forced you to make.She can't hold you for an hour if you choose to leaveher. You can stay here and become nurse to thechildren, and Mrs. Miller can't help it.''I promised on the Bible,' said Barbara, with greatseriousness; and that makes me bound.'Mrs. Grayson did not think it right to press, thematter any further. A child's conscience is a tenderthing, and already she had tested Barbara's sense ofduty nearly beyond the warrant of humanity.Mrs. Miller had promised to come round early in themorning, and she was as good as her word. In this
SAINT BARBARA. 19pause she came in. Barbara turned to Mrs. Grayson,and put out her hand to her, looking up thankfully,even with love in her homely face. She did notspeak. Her heart was too full. Mrs. Grayson tookher hand, and held it tightly.'Well, Mrs. Miller, so you're here for Barby,' saidthe lady.'Yes, ma'am. I said I'd come this morning.Come, Barby.'Barbara drew back her hand, making an effort todisengage it from that of Mrs Grayson. But theLatter did not relax her hold.'I think, Mrs Miller, you'd better let Barbararemain with me. She is not right well and strongenough yet, and may become sick on you hands.''Never you fear about that, ma'am. She is notgoing to get sick. Come, Barby'-the woman'svoice showed impatience-' I'm in a hurry!'"Barby,' said Mrs. Grayson, 'go up stairs for alittle while. I will call you when we want you.'Barbara hesitated, and looked at Mrs. Miller.'Jane, take her up stairs.'The cook had Barbara out of the room in atwinkling.Mrs. Grayson fixed her eyes on Mrs. Miller steadilyfor some moments without speaking.'I don't understand this, ma'am,' said the lattersharply.
20 SAINT BARBARA.'I wish to say a word or two about Barby that mayas well not be said in her presence,' replied Mrs.Grayson. 'Taking the condition in which I foundher a few weeks ago as the result of your way oftreating the poor child, I cannot see that it will bealtogether right for me to let her go back into the-cruel bondage from which sickness has released her.'Mrs. Miller's grey eyes flashed, while her cold,wrinkled face grew dark with anger. 'She's boundto me, and I'll have her, dead or alive!' she saidfiercely.'Bound only by a promise which you extorted fromher by threats, and which you wickedly made herconfirm by laying her hand upon the Bible.'Mrs. Grayson spoke with severity.'Who says so?' demanded the woman, confrontingMrs. Grayson with something of menace in her attitude.'One who will not lie,' said Mrs. Grayson, steadilyand bravely returning the almost threatening gaze thatwas fixed upon her. But we will not bandy fruitlesswords. Barby is not going back, Mrs. Miller. Evenif she were bound by law, I would be a witnessagainst you on the charge of cruel treatment, andhave the indenture broken. And now I make youthis simple proposition. In order to set the child'smind at rest, I will buy from you her services, oncondition that you release her from the promisesextorted by threats two years ago.'
SSAINT BARBARA. 21" What will you pay me ?' demanded the woman.Mrs. Grayson drew out her purse, and taking fromit a five-pound note, held it up between her fingers,saying, 'That.'The woman shook her head.-'Very well, that or nothing.' Mrs. Grayson putthe money back into her purse, and made a move-ment as if she were about to leave the kitchen.'I want my girl!' said Mrs. Miller, almost savagely.'Barby will never go back to your house !' ThereSwas a resoluteness in Mrs. Grayson's voice and man-Sner which left no doubt as to her being in earnest.'Your cruel abuse has cancelled all right to servicefrom her on any plea. I have offered you five poundsas an inducement to release her from a promise shegave you under compulsion two years ago, and whichSwei;hs upon the child's mind. If you receive the"money, well,-so much'gain to you; if not, I willtake measures to satisfy her that you broke faith bycruel treatment, thus setting her free.''If I must, I must,' said the woman, doggedly, atlast. Give me the money.''Jane.' Mrs. Grayson spoke to the cook, who had- returned. 'Bring Barby here.'The little girl came in with Jane, looking paler,and showing plainly the signs of a strong mentalConflict. It was clear that habitual self-control wasgiving-way.
22 SAINT BARBARA.'Barby,' said Mrs. Grayson, 'you are not goingback to Mrs. Miller's. She gives you up tome.'There was no start, nor sudden lighting up of herface, nor marked expression of joy.'Is it so, Mrs. Miller?' queried the lady.'Yes,' growled rather than spoke the old hag, if wemust call her so.Barby sat down without speaking, covered herface with her hands, and remained as still as astatue.'There!' Mrs. Grayson held out the note. Thewoman seized it eagerly, and left the house withouta word.' Barby,' said Mrs. Grayson, kindly.But Barby did not stir.' Barby!'No response or movement.'See, Jane! Quick !' exclaimed Mrs. Grayson, inan excited tone.The cook sprang forward, and was just in time tocatch Barby as she fell over from the chair on whichshe was sitting.Long repressed excitement, followed by a suddenreaction, had proved too much for the feeble child,not yet recovered from a prostrating sickness. Shehad fainted.'Is it really true, ma'am,' asked Barbara, looking
"SAINT BARBARA. 23- up at Mrs. Grayson, half an hour afterward, from thebed where they had laid her, 'that I am going tolive with you ? Or was I only in a dream ?'' It is true, Barby. Mrs. Miller has given you upto me.'The child continued to look at Mrs. Grayson forsome moments, with an expression of love andreverence on her face, as one mighp look at an angel.Then she kissed her hand, and turned away to hidethe signs of feeling which she could not control.Here is the story of little Barby's' introductionto this lady's family, where she had been living forten years when the reader was introduced to her asa 'queer little body,' looking for all the world as if-'she had been copied from one of Punch's. carica-" tures.'Mrs. Grayson, with all her good sense and goodfeeling, had a vein of ambition as well as pride inher mental constitution, and these drew her intofashionable life and inspired her with social emula-tions. As Barbara gained in years, strength, andintelligence, her position in the household of Mrs.Grayson, as nurse to her children, became one of'the highest responsibility. Her pure, deep love forthee little olive plants, and her innate sense of rightSand duty, caused' her, after the first strong emotionsdf gratitude began to subside, to give up her life totheir good. The mother's fondness for society took
24 SAINT BARBARA.away largely from her interest in her children, andleft them for the most part with Barbara, and subjectto her influence. Homely as she was, to the vergeof caricature, awkward in her movements, and withsomething that struck you on the first glance as ludi-crous in her whole appearance and manner, thesechildren had a respect and an affection for her whichgilded over what was plain even to repulsion in theeyes of strangers, and made her seem to them almostbeautiful.Mrs. Grayson meant all that her words implied,when she said, I don't know what we should dowithout her.' And yet, with all her native kindnessof heart and high estimate of Barbara's qualities, shewas proving, in her way, almost as hard upon her asMrs. Miller has been. Not cruel, exacting, unkind,and brutal, like the latter- -compelling exhaustivelabour by force and punishments-but so neglectingher own duties as to let more than a double sharefall upon Barbara. In sickness and in health, thispatient, loving, earnest girl was the untiring nurseand companion of the children-six in number at thetime she first passed under the reader's notice. Forher there were no days of release from the routineof care and duty. Cook, chamber-maid, and waiter,all had their afternoons, once a week, and their half-Sundays. But the children could never spare Barby.Nor had Barby any wish to be spared. An afternoon
"SAINT BARBARA. 25"to herself, weekly, or a half-Sunday, was not in allher thoughts. How could such a thought findentrance when the heart had no desire? Whatwould the dear children, who so loved and dependedon her, do, if she were away taking rest or seeking",pleasure ? No, no; there were no half-days norholidays for Barby. The mother could make herdaily round of calls, and have her daily ride for"health' and mental recreation, and the mother couldspend evening after evening at opera, ball, or party,but E.-rby the nurse must never leave her preciouscharge. The mother could forget her sick child inthe .ltractions of public and social life; but thepatient, loving, devoted, conscientious nurse neverlor a ; ngle instant of time !No wonder that Mrs. Grayson said, I don't knowwh.it we should do without Barby.'But human flesh is not imperishable. The nervesand muscles are not wrought of iron. You may taxthe mind and body too far. The student, enamouredol" his books; the artist seeking to throw upon can- 3s or cut in marble the beautiful ideals that charm"his in.gination; the sterner mathematician, bendingSmall the powers of his mind to the elucidation of pro-. posatioin and theories; the ascetic thinker, seekingthe way to heaven through a denial of nature's legiti-- mate wants,-these, and other devotees, may destroythemselves, as to natural life, through a neglect of its
e6 SAINT BARBARA.orderly demands, and thus become, in the eyes ofthe world, martyrs to art, science, or religion. And,so may the humble nurse-thinking only of thechildren who need her care-waste her strength, andbecome a martyr to her undying love. But she willnot get into the calendar of saints, for her life ishidden from public view. There is nothing abouther that the world recognizes as heroic.So wasted the vital powers of little Barby,' underthe exhausting, never-ceasing duties that fell to herlot. You rarely saw her without a baby in her arms;and few nights of unbroken sleep blessed her wearyeyelids. If the children were sick, fretful, or restless,it was Barby, not the mother, who sat up through thedreary hours; and none thought to relieve her fromduty on the next day, that Nature might have achance to win back her departed strength. Shenever complained, never spoke of weariness, nevertold of the hundreds and -hundreds of wakeful hoursshe passed, while all the household, except some sickor fretful little one, was sleeping.SHave you noticed Barby's cough?' said the familyphysician, one day, to Mrs. Grayson.'Not particularly. She has a slight cold, I believe,'replied Mrs. Grayson. Then observing that thedoctor looked serious, she added:SWhy did you ask ? Is there anything peculiar inher cough ?'
SAINT BARBARA. 27' Yes; it isn't a common cough. You'd better seethat she doesn't expose herself.'' I thought she'd only taken a little cold,' remarkedMrs. Grayson. She's often up at nights with the chil-"- dren. Do you think she requires medicine, Doctor?'S'It is always best to take things in time,' thedoctor replied."Shall I send for her?'" 'Yes; I think it will be well for me to ask her af fc questions.'So Barby was sent for. She came down from thenursery with a great chubby baby in her arms, and"two little ones holding to her dress.SBarby,' said the lady, 'the doctor wants to askyou about your cough.''Me! My cough?'SShe spoke in evident surprise.'Yes, Barby,' said the doctor, kindly; I noticed'to-day that you coughed frequently, and I thought I"would ask you about it before I went away.''Oh, it's nothing,' replied Barbara; 'nothing atall; only a little tightness here '-laying her handacross her breast.'How long has it been troubling you ?''I've had it a good while.''And it grows worse ?'"Not much.''Have you a pain in your breast or side ?'
28 SAINT BARBARA.'Yes, sir; always a little in my right side; but Idon't mind it.''How do you sleep ?''Sound enough,.when I once fall asleep.'' How soon do you get to sleep ?''Never much before one or two o'clock.''How comes that, Barby ?' queried the doctor.'Willy frets a great deal in the first part of thenight, and I have to be up and down with him.''But you sleep soundly after that ?''Yes, sir; until about five o'clock, when littleGeorgy wakes.''And you get up then ?''Not always. I can generally manage to keep himin bed. But the dear little fellow is fast asleep,byseven o'clock in the evening, and it's no wonder he-is awake bright and early. I often feel condemnedbecause I don't get up with him; but I wake in sucha sweat, and feel so weak, that I can't always forcemyself.''Wake in a sweat ?'' Yes, sir.'' Always ?'' Always, now.''You never told me this, Barby,' said Mrs.Grayson, in some astonishment.' I never thought of telling you, ma'am. It isn'tanything to complain of,' replied Barbara.
SAINT BARBARA. 29" How long have you had these night-sweats?'isked the doctor.'For two or three months.'',That will do, Barby,' said he, in a kind tone of/voice. I will send you some medicines. Thiscough and these night-sweats must be broken.'The doctor and Mrs. Grayson looked at each other"in silence, while Barby retired from the room.'I am taken by surprise,' said Mrs. Grayson, seri-,ously.S' Rather a bad state of things, madam,' respondedthe doctor, with gravity. That girl must be lookedto, or she will slip away from you one of these fine"' days in a twinkling.'' Not so bad as that, Doctor !''Yes, just as bad as that; so you'd better look toit that she dosen't lose quite so much rest. Naturewon't bear up under the exhausting demands towhich it has been subjected.'SMrs. Grayson said that she would make someditfiernt disposition of things in order to give Barby"more time for sleep. And the doctor went away,promising to send a package of medicine."A new prima donna, with an unpronounceablename, was advertised to appear at the opera thatvery evening, and Mrs. Grayson was going to hearher. And so, naturally enough-or, we might say,unnaturally enough-she forgot, in thoughts of her
30. SAINT BARBARA.own pleasure, the pressing needs of her patient self-denying nurse. No different disposition of things, aspromised, was made, by which Barby could get afew hours of refreshing sleep during the first partof the night. Not even a thought of her humbledependant found its way into Mrs. Grayson's minduntil, on going to her chamber, between one andtwo o'clock in the morning, she heard Willy's fretfulcries in the nursery, with interludes of coughing fromBarby.'There!' she said to herself, reproachfully; 'if Ihaven't forgotten that girl! I meant to have madesome arrangement by which she could get more sleep.I must see to this without fail to-morrow.'Quieting conscience with this good resolution,Mrs. Grayson retired, and soon lapsed into profoundslumber, though Willy fretted on, and Barby coughedfor an hour longer.Attention having been called to Barby with somuch seriousness by the doctor, Mrs. Graysonobserved her closely on the next morning, and saw,with concern, what she might have seen at any timewithin the previous two or three months, if she hadlooked carefully, that her face was pale, her eyesdull, and her whole appearance that of languor andexhaustion.'How 'do you feel, Barby ?' she asked.'Very well, ma'am,' was answered.
SAINT BARBARA.. Then your looks and words do not agree,' said"Mrs. Grayson. 'How did you sleep ?''Pretty well.''-Did you cough through the night ?''A little.''What time did Georgy wake up this morning ?''About the usual time.''Say five o'clock ?''Thereabouts, ma'am.'' Did you have to get up with him ?'SYes, ma'am. I don't think the dear little fellowwas quite well.'S'How long were you up with him ?''Off and on, until day.''What of the night-sweats you told the doctorabout ?' Did you have them ?''Yes, ma'am. I always have them.' Well, this won't do, Barby,' said Mrs. Grayson.'The doctor says you mustn't lose so much rest. Ishall have to make some arrangement to relieve youof either Willy or Georgy at night. You must getmore sleep, earlier or later.'Barby did not reply. As she stood, with her eyesupon the floor, her name was called from the nursery.'Yes, dear,' she answered, and hurried back to heicharge.SSo' ended the interview. But the nurse was notforgotten. Several times through the day Mrs. Gray.
32 SAINT BARBARA.son thought of her, and turned over the ways' andmeans of relieving her from the exhausting demandsnightly made upon her strength. Difficulties naturallypresented themselves. The children were used toBarby, and so much attached to her, that it was notprobable either Willy or Georgy, the troublesome onesat night, would submit to being taken from her room.The experiment was made on Willy, in order to.give Barby a chance to gain sleep during the firstpart of the night. But he rebelled, of course; and,instead of fretting between sleep and wakefulness,screamed to the full capacity of his lungs. This wasworse for Barby than the care of Willy; so, afterenduring the baby's cries for half-an-hour, she couldhold out no longer. Leaving her bed and throwingon a wrapper, she went to Mrs. Grayson's room, -niid -took, almost by force, the screaming little one fr9mher arms. No sooner were her tender, loving tonesin his ears than Willy's cries changed to murmurs ofdelight, as-he nestled his head down upon her bosopn.' Dear pet lamb They sha'n't take him from hisBarby !' And with these assuring words she ran backwith the hushed child to the nursery, and laid him' inhis crib beside her bed.So that experiment proved a failure, and was notattempted again. The next trial was with Georgy,the five o'clock boy. After he was asleep, he wasremoved to his mother's room. Mrs. Grayson did
SAINT BARBARA. 33not get home from a party until past one o'clock. Itwas two before she was lost in sleep. At five she wasawakened by Georgy, who wanted to get up."Georgy can't get up now,' said the mother, halfasleep and half awake.'Barby! Where's Barby? I want Barby!' criedthe child, in a voice that expressed both passion andsurprise.' Hush! be still. You can't go to Barby!'But the mother might as well have spoken to thewind. Georgy only cried the louder.' Do you hear, sir ? Stop crying this instant I'No impression.'You Georgy!'The tempest raged more fiercely.'Stop this instant, or I'll punish you !'The threat may not have been heard. It certainlywas not heeded. Mrs. Grayson felt too uncomfort-able, under the double annoyance of broken sleep and"stunning cries, to be able to keep a very close rein onpatience.'Did you hear me?'She had left her bed and'gone over to the oneoccupied by Georgy.' Hush this moment, sir I won't have such goingson !'Mrs. Grayson was unheeded. Patience could holdout no longer. The hand which she had uplifted inc
34 SAINT BARB. I'.-I.threatening came down upon the rebel with a sm.rt-ing stroke.'Oh, no! Please, ma'am, don't do that!' And ahand caught her arm that was a second time upraised.It was the hand of Barbara.'Please, don't !' pleaded the distressed nurse, whohad left her bed and come to the door of Mrs..Grayson's chamber on the first sign of trouble. Shehad not stopped to throw on a wrapper, but, inher thin night-clothes, moist with the perspirationthat made sleep a robber of strength instead of, asweet restorer, ran down stairs and along the cold'passage to the chamber where the strife she dreadedhad commenced.'Go back to your room, Barby !' said Mrs. Gray,son, with anger in her voice. How dare you inter-fere!''Barby! Barby! oh, Barby!' cried the child, in avoice of anguish. 'Take Georgy Oh, take Georgy !'Hurt by the tone and words of Mrs. Grayson,Barbara retired slowly toward the door; seeing which,the child stood up screaming after her wildly, andfluttering his little hands as ifthey were wings to bear.him to his beloved nurse. The tender heart of Bar-bara was not proof against this appeal, and she re-turned with hesitating steps.'Didn't I tell you to go to your room?' exclaimedMrs. Grayson passionately.
SAINT BARBARA. 35SYes, ma'am; but I can't go. Let me takeGeorgy, won't you, please ?'"The voice of Barbara was low, imploring, andhusky with feeling; her face pale and distressed.'Barby! Barby! Take Georgy!'The odds were against Mrs. Grayson, and sheyielded. Georgy sprang into the arms of his nurse,who, with tear-covered face, bore him from the room.'I think, ma'am,' said the chamber-maid, soon- after breakfast, 'that you'd better go over and seeBarby.'" 'See Barby Why ? Is anything the matter with.her?''She's in bed yet.''In bed !''Yes, ma'am. And I think she's very ill.'Mrs. Grayson waited to hear no more, but wentover quickly to the nursery, where she found Bar-bara in bed.'Are you sick, Barby?' she asked, kindly, layingher hand upon the girl's forehead, which she foundhot with fever.'Yes, ma'am,' answered Barby, in a dull, half-unconscious manner.SHow long have you felt sick ?''I had a chill this morning.''After you came from my room ?'S'Yes, ma'am.'
36 SAINT BARBARA.'Have you any pain ?''I feel so tight here, in my breast, that I canhardly breathe.'' Is there pain as well as tightness ?''When I take a long breath.'And then Barby lay very still and heavy.There was no mistaking the fact. Barby wasseriously ill. Some little resistance was made by thechildren on attempting to remove them from herroom; but they yielded when told by their mother,_with a hushed, serious voice, and a sober counte-nance, that 'Poor Barby was sick,' and must be kept:very quiet.When the doctor, who was immediately called;saw the sick girl, his looks betrayed concern; andwhen questioned earnestly by Mrs. Grayson on leav-ing her room, he said that it was an attack of acutepneumonia.'Then she is in danger?' said Mrs. Grayson, apallor overspreading her face.'In great danger, madam,' was the emphatic reply.'What is to be done ?' asked the lady, turning herhands within and around each other, like one inpain and bewilderment of mind.'You must keep her perfectly quiet, and give themedicines I leave in the order prescribed,' said thedoctor.'Will you call in again to-day?'
SAINT BARBARA. 37' Yes. I will see her before night.''And you think her really in danger ?'Mrs. Grayson's voice betrayed great anxiety.'No good can arise from concealing the fact,madam. Yes, the girl is in danger, as I have alreadytold you.''Don't neglect her, Doctor !' Mrs. Grayson'svoice choked. Oh, if we-lose Barby, what will we-do ?'True, true, kind-hearted, but not always con-siderate lady! what will you do without this humble,unattractive, unobtrusive little body, whose face,figure, and movements excite mirthfulness or ridiculein strangers? You have forgotten Barby in yourfashionable pleasures-forgotten her with a cruelforgetfulness, through which have been sapped thevery foundations of her life; and now, we fear, con-sideration has come too late. What will you dowithout Barby ? Did you only think of yourself andyour children in this extorted exclamation ? Perhaps- yea, perhaps nay. The human heart is very selfish-very.'Iwill not neglect her, madam!'Did the doctor mean anything by this emphasis ofthe pronoun? Doubtless, for he looked steadily atMrs. Grayson until her eyes fell. He had not beenin attendance for years in her family without com-prehending the position and duties of Barby.
38 SAINT BARBARA.Reader, we will have no concealments with you-this sickness is unto dea'h Yes, even so !A mysterious Providence.Nothing of the kind The burdens of Barby weretoo heavy for her, and she has fallen by the way;fallen to rise no more-fallen, just at the period whenher heart was most in her duty, and those to whomshe ministered most in need of her loving, patientcare. Ah! if she had been rightly considered; ifthere had been for her, in the heart of Mrs. Grayson,a tithe of the regard in which Barby held herchildren, this sad martyrdom would not have takenplace, But she did not mean to wrong Barby.None knew her better or valued her more. Did notBarby owe everything to her? See from what a lifeof cruel hardships she had rescued her. True-alltrue. Yet does this mend the wrong? Your housewill burn down as surely from a thoughtlessexposure to fire as through the torch of an in-cendiary. Destruction waits not to ask the whyor the wherefore.Day after day the fatal disease progressed with asteadiness and rapidity that set medical skill atdefiance; and when at last it became apparent toall that the time of Barby's departure was at hand,a shadow of deep sorrow fell upon the householdof Mrs. Grayson.What would they all do without Barby? She
7,I -'liRm i 3
SAINT BARBARA'.. 39had grown into the whole ecor.:-i,,,, of tliri;.s ; v.j;a.pillar in the goodly frame-wuik :.f that dnmetLi,temple; and how was she to be taken away withouta loss of strength and symmetry ?But death waits not on human affairs. The feet ofBarby were already bared for descent into the riverwhose opposite shore touches the land of immortalbeauty; and in spite of skill, care, regret, and sorrow,the hour of her departure drew near, until it was athand.True to the last, Barby's thoughts dwelt alwayson the children; and she felt the disabilities ofsickness as an evil only in the degree that it robbedthem of the care-she felt to be so needful to theircomfort and happiness. If she heard Willy cry,or Georgy complain, she grew restless or troubled.Every day she had them brought to her bedsidethat she might look at them, and utter, were it everso feebly, a word of love.'-Dear, dear! Won't I be well soon, Doctor?What will the children do-?'How many times was this said even after hope hadfailed in the physician's heart At last the time camewhen- concealment from Barbara of her real state wasfelt to be wrong, and the duty of communication de-volved upon Mrs. Grayson.'Barby!' she said, as she sat alone by her bed-side, forcing herself to speak because she dared not
40 SAINT BARBARA.any longer keep silence. 'Barby I' She repeatedthe name with so much feeling that the sick girllifted her dull eyes feebly to her face and lookedat her earnestly. Barby, the doctor thinks youvery ill.''Does he ?' The tones were untroubled.'Yes; and we all think you ill, Barby.''I know I'm very weak and sick, ma'am.' She_<sighed faintly.'If you should never get well, Barby ?'' That is, if I should die.' There was no tremor inher feeble voice.' Yes, Barby. Are you willing to go ?''If God pleases.' She said this reverently, as hereyelids closed.'And you are not afraid to die ?'The eyes of Barby opened quickly.'No, ma'am,' she answered, with the simplicity of achild.'You have a hope of heaven, Barby?' Mrs.Grayson tried to speak calmly, but her voice didnot wholly conceal the flutter in her heart.'Children go to heaven ?''Yes.''I love children.'She said no more. Tl at was her answer. After apause Mrs. Grayson saidSThe doctor thinks you will not get well.'
SAINT BARBARA. 41' As God wills it,' was her calm response.'You have done your duty, Barby.''I have tried to, ma'am, and prayed God to forgiveme when I failed.''You have read your Bible often?''Every day.' A light gleamed over her counte-nance.'You loved, to read that good book?' said Mrs.Grayson.' Oh yes. I always felt as if God's angels were nearme when I read the Bible. Will you read me a chapternow? I haven't heard even a verse since I was sick.'Mrs. Grayson took from a table Barby's well-wornBible, and read, with as firm a voice as she couldcommand, one of the Psalms of David. She did notattempt to make a selection, but opened the bookand read the first chapter on which her eyes rested.It was the twenty-third."The Lord is my shepherd ; I shall not want. Hemaketh me to lie down in green pastures : he leadethme beside'the still waters. He restoreth my soul:he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for hisname's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valleyof the shadow of death, I will fear no evil : for thouart with me ; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me ii, the I pi..::nce ofmine enemies: thou anointest my :l-ad wit olI ; mycup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall
42 SAINT BARBARA.follow me all the days of my life : and I will dwell inthe house of the LORD for ever.'Mrs. Grayson shut the book and looked at Barby.There was light all over her wasted countenance, andher dull eyes had found a new lustre.' It is God's word,' said the sick girl, smiling as shespoke; 'and I always feel when it is read as thoughhe was near by and speaking to me.'She closed her eyes again, and for a little while layvery still. Then her lips moved, and Mrs. Graysonbent low to catch the murmur of sound that floatedout upon the air.'Though I walk through the valley of the shadowof death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me.'All was still again. Mrs. Grayson felt as she hadnever felt before. It seemed to her as if she werenot alone with Barby, and she turned, under thestrong impression, to see who had entered the room.But not to mortal eyes were any forms visible. Andyet, the impression not only remained but grewstronger, and with it came a sense of deep peacethat lay upon her soul like a benediction from heaven.All'things of natural life receded from her thought,taking with them their burden of care, anxiety, andgrief.In this state of mind she sat for many minuteslike one entranced, looking at the face of Barby,which actually seemed to grow beautiful. Then
SAINT BARBARA. 43there came a gradual awakening.' The consciousnessof other presence grew feebler and feebler, untilMrs. Grayson felt that she was alone with Barby.No Barby had gone with the angels who came tobear her upward. Only the wasted and useless bodywas left behind, never more to enshrine in its rough.casket that spirit of celestial beauty.'Is it over?' said the doctor, who called on thenext day to see his patient.'Yes, it is over,' replied Mrs. Grayson, tears oftrue sorrow filling her eyes.'How and when did she die ?'Mrs. Grayson told the simple but moving story ofBarby's departure.'And went right up to heaven !' said the doctor,turning his face partly away to hide the signs offeeling. Then he added: 'I must take a last look atBarby.'- And they moved to the room where her body, allready for burial, was laid. On the wall of this room"hung a likeness of the nurse, surrounded by thechildren to whom her life had been devoted withsuch loving care. It was a most faithful likeness,giving all her living expression-for the sun haddone the work of portraiture. After looking at thesoulless face of the departed one for a few moments,the doctor turned to the almost speaking portrait,and gazed at it for some time. Then taking a pencil
44 SAINT BARBARA. .from his pocket, he wrote these two words in a boldhand on the white margin below the picture:-'SAINT BARBARA.'And turning away, left the apartment without aword.In Mrs. Grayson's nursery, richly framed, hangs .this picture of 'SAINT BARBARA;' and the childrenstand and look at it every day, and talk of her inhushed tones, almost reverently. Of her it may withtruth be written, Blessed are the dead who die. inthe Lord. Yea, saith the Spirit, for they rest fromtheir labours, and their works do follow them.'Though absent in body, she is yet present in spirit,by thought and love, with the children she so ten-derly cared for while in the flesh; and her influence isever leading to good states, and prompting to rightactions.SBlessed Saint Barbara! The world knows younot, and the Church has failed to enroll you in thecalendar of her worthies. But you are canonized forall that; and your memory is sacred in the hearts ofchildren. Blessed Saint Barbara! If our dim eyes -could penetrate the veil, we should see you clothedin immortal beauty I
1'' 132'FOR FATHER'S HONOUR.'0 much gone I might have known howit would be !' said Mr. Sterling, lookingup from the morning paper, with a mostunpleasant expression in his face.'What is gone ?' asked his wife.'My money is gone,' answered Mr. Sterling,fretfully.'What money?''The money I was foolish enough to lend Mr.Granger.''Why do you say that?''He's dead,' replied Mr.Sterling, coldly.'Dead !' The wife's voice was full of surprise andpain. Sorrow overshadowed her face.'Yes, gone, and my money with him. Here's anotice of his death. I was sure when I saw him goaway that he'd never come back, except in his coffin.Why will doctors send their patients from home to die ?'46
46 FOR FATHER'S HONOUR.' Poor Mrs. Granger Poor little orphans 1' sighedMrs. Sterling. What will they do ?'"As well without him as with him,' was the unfeel-ing answer of her husband, who was only thinking ofthe fifty pounds he had been over-persuaded to loan'i -the sick clergyman, in order that he might go southduring the winter. He's been more of a burdenthan a support to them these two years.l'Oh, Harvey! How can you speak so?' remon-strated Mrs. Sterling. 'A kinder man in his familywas never seen. Poor Mrs. Granger She will be 'heart-broken.''Kindness is cheap and easily dispensed,' .coldly,replied Mr. Sterling. He would have been of moreuse to his family if he had fed and clothed-thembetter. I reckon they can do without him. If I hadmy fifty pounds again, I wouldn't--'But he checked for shame-not from any better"feeling-the almost brutal words his heart sent up:to his tongue.Not many hundred yards away from Mr. Sterling'shandsome residence stood a small, plain cottage, witha garden in front neatly laid out in box-borderedwalks, and filled with shrubbery. A honeysuckle,twined with a running rose-bush, covered the latticed-portico, and looked in at the chamber windows, giving -beauty and sweetness. The hand of taste was seeneverywhere ; not lavish, but discriminating taste. Two
FOR FATHER'S HONOUR. 47years before there was not a happier home than thisin all the pleasant town of C- Now the shadow" of death was upon it.'Poor Mrs. Granger Poor little orphans !' Wellmight Mrs. Sterling pity them. While her mercenaryhusband was sighing over the loss of the paltrymoney, the young widow lay senseless with her twolittle ones weeping over her in childish terror. Thenews of death found her unprepared. Only a weekbefore she had received a letter from Mr. Granger, inwhich he talked hopefully of his recovery. I amstronger,' he wrote. 'My appetite is better; I havegained five pounds in flesh since I left home.' Threedays after writing this letter there came a suddenchange of temperature; he took cold, which wasfollowed by congestion of the lungs; and no medicalskill was sufficient for the case. The body was notsent home for interment. When the husband andfather went away, two or three months before, hisloved ones looked upon his face for the last time inthis world.Love and honour make the heart strong. Mrs.Granger was a gentle, retiring woman. She hadleaned upon her husband very heavily; she had clungto him as a vine. Those who knew her best, felt most"anxious about her. 'She -has no mental st.iminpjthey said. She cannot stand alone.'But they were mistaken. As we have just said
48 FOR FATHER'S HONOUR.love and honour make the heart strong. Only aweek after Mr. Sterling read the news of the youngminister's death he received a note from the widow.'My husband,' she said, 'was able to go south in'the hope of regaining his health through your kind-ness. If he had lived, the money you loaned him, -would have been faithfully returned, for he was a man'of honour. Dying, he left that honour in my keeping,and I will see that the debt is paid. But you willhave to be a little patient with me.''All very fine,' muttered Mr. Sterling, with a slightly"curling lip. 'I've heard of such things before. Theysound well. People will say of Mrs. Granger, " Whata noble woman What a fine sense of honour shehas!" But I shall never see the fifty pounds which Iwas foolish enough to lend her husband.'Very much to Mr. Sterling's surprise, and not alittle to his pleasure, he discovered about threemonths afterwards, that he was mistaken in his esti-mate of Mrs. Granger. The pale, sad, fragile little woman brought him the sum of five pounds. He did.not see the tears in her eyes as he displayed her hus-band's note, with its dear familiar waiting, and made.tti -]: n, with considerable formality, an endorsement*- [,t -,- sum paid. She would li: ,eX jen many drops"f er heart's blood to have t,-cn $ble to clutch thatdocument from Mr. Sterling's hands. His possessionof it seemed like a blot on the dear lost one's memory.
: FOR FATHER'S HONOUR. 49' Katie Granger is the queerest little girl I everknew,' -said Flora Sterling to her mother, on theevening of the very day on which this first paymentwas made. Mr. Sterling heard the remark, and lettinghis eyes drop from the newspaper he was reading,turned his ears to listen.'I think her a very nice little girl,' replied themother.'So she is nice,' returned the child; 'but then sheSis so queer.'' What do you mean by queer?'SOh, she isn't like the rest of us girls. She saidthe oddest thing to-day. I almost laughed out; butI'm glad I didn't. Three of us-Katie, Lillie Bonfield,and I-were walking round the square at recess time,-when Uncle John came along, and taking out threebright penny pieces, he said, " Here's a penny foreach of you, girls, to buy sugar-plums." Lillie and Iscreamed out, and were starting away to buy them inSan instant; but Katie stood still with her share ofS-Te money in her hand. "Come along!" I cried."She didn't move, but looked strange and serious."Aren't you going to buy candy with it?" I asked.Then she shook her head gravely, and put the penny"in her pocket, saying (I don't think she meant ipe.. to hear the words), "It's for father's honour;" anileaving us, went back to the schoolroom. What didshe mean by that, mother? Oh, she is so strange t'D
5o FOR FATHER'S HONO UR.'Her mother is very poor, you know,' replied Mrs.Sterling, laying up Katie's singular remark to bepondered over.' She must be,' said Flora, for Katie has worn thesame frock at school every day for a long, long time.'Mr. Sterling, who did not let a word of this conver-sation escape him, was far from feeling as comfortableunder the prospect of getting back the money he hadadvanced to Mr. Granger as he had felt an hour be-fore. He understood the meaning of Katie's remark,' It's for father's honour,' the truth flashing at oncethrough his mind.There was another period of three months, andthen Mrs. Granger called again upon Mr. Sterling;and gave him five pounds more. The pale, thin facemade a stronger impression on him. It troubled himto lift the coins that her small fingers, in which theblue veins shone through the transparent skin, hadcounted out. He wished that she had sent themoney, instead of calling. It was on his lips toremark, Don't trouble or pinch yourself to pay fasterthan is convenient, Mrs. Granger;' but cupidity,whispered that she might take too large an advantageof his considerate kindness, and so he kept silent.'No, dear, it's for father's honour; I can't spend it.'Mr. Sterling was passing a fruit-shop, where twochildren were looking in at the window, when thissentence struck upon his ears.
FOR FATHER'S HONO UR. 5'An apple won't cost but a penny, Katie; and Iwant one so badly,' answered the younger of the twochildren, a little girl not five years of age.'Come away, Maggie,' said the other, drawing hersister back from the window. Don't look at themany more-don't think about them.''But I can't help thinking about them, sisterKatie,' pleaded the child.It was more than Mr. Sterling could stand. Everywant of his own children was supplied. He boughtfruit by the barrel. And here was a little childpleading for an apple, which cost only a penny butthe apple was denied, because the penny must besaved to make good the dead father's honour. Whoheld that honour in pledge? Who took the sumtotal of these pennies, saved in the self-denial oflittle children, and added them to his already brim-ming coffers ? A feeling of shame burned the cheeks"of Mr. Sterling.'.Here, little ones !' he called, as the two children"went slowly away from the fruit-shop window. Hewas touched with the sober look on their sweet youngfaces as they turned at his invitation.'Come in, and I'll get you some apples,' hesaid.Katie held back, but Maggie drew on her hand,eager to accept the offer, for she was longing for thefruit.
52 FOR FATHER'S HONOUR.'Come!' repeated Mr. Sterling, speaking verykindly.The children then followed him into the shop,and he filled their aprons with apples and oranges.Their thankful eyes and happy faces were in hismemory all day. This was his reward, and he foundit sweet.Three months more, and again Mr. Sterling had avisit from the pale young widow. This time she hadonly four pounds. It was all she had been able tosave, she said; but she made no excuse, and utteredno complaint. Mr. Sterling took the money, andcounted it over in a hesitating- way. The touchthereof was pleasant to his fingers, for he lovedmoney. But the vision of sober child-faces wasbefore his eyes, and the sound of pleading child-voices in his ears. Through over-taxing toil, and thedenial of herself and little ones, the poor widow hadgathered this small sum, and was now paying it intohis hands, to make good the honourable contract ofher dead husband. He hesitated, ruffling in a halfabsent way the edges of the little pile of bills thatlay under his fingers. One thing was clear to him:he would never take anything more from the widow.The balance of the debt must be forgiven. Peoplewould get to understand the widow's case; theywould hear of her self-denial and that of her childrenin order to pay the husband's and father's debt--in
FOR FATHER'S HTONO UR. 53"order to keep pure his honour; and they would ask,naturally, who was the exacting creditor? Thisthought affected him unpleasantly.Slowly, as one in whose mind debate still went on,Mr. Sterling took from his desk a large pocket-book,and selected from one of the compartments the note-on which Mrs. Granger had now made three pay-ments. For some moments he held it in his hands,looking at the face thereof. He saw written downin clear figures, the sum, Fifty Pounds. Fourteen ofthis had been paid. If he gave up or destroyed theslip of paper, he would lose thirty-six pounds. It wasa severe trial for one who loved money so well, toS come up courageously to this issue. Something fellin-between his eyes and the note of hand. He didnot see the writing and figures of the obligation, buta sad, pleading little face; and with the vision of thisface came to his ears the sentence: 'No, dear; it'sfor father's honour.'The debate in Mr. Sterling's mind was over. Takingup a pen, he wrote across the face of Mr. Granger'snote the word 'Cancelled,' and then handed it to thewidow.'What does this mean?' she asked, looking be-wildered.' It means,' said Mr. Sterling, 'that I hold noobligations against your husband.'Some monients went by ere Mrs. Granger's thoughts
54 FOR FATHER'S HONOUR.became clear enough to comprehend it all. Thenshe replied, as she reached back the note :'I thank you for your generous kindness, but heleft his honour in my keeping, and I must maintain itspotless.''That you have already done,' answered Mr. Ster-ling, speaking through emotions that were new to him.' It is white as snow !'Then he thrust back upon her the four pounds shehad just paid him.'No, Mr Sterling;' the widow said.SIt "shall be as I will!' was the response. 'Iwould rather touch fire than your money. Everyshilling would burn upon my conscience like livingcoals !'' But keep this last payment,' urged the widow. Ishall feel better.''No, madam! Would you throw fire upon myconscience ? Your husband's honour never had astain. All men knew him' to be pure and upright.When God took him, he assumed his earthly debts,and did not leave upon you the heavy burden of theirpayment. But he left with you another and mostsacred obligation, which you have overlooked in part.''What?' asked the widow, in an almost startledvoice.'To minister to the wants of your children; whomyou have pinched and denied in their tender years-
FOR FATHER'S HONOUR. 55Giving of their meat to cancel an obligation whichdeath had paid. And you have made me a party inthe wrong to them. Ah, madam !'-Mr. Sterling'svoice softened very much-' if we could all see -rightat the right time, and do right at the right time, howmuch of wrong and suffering might be saved I"honour your true-hearted self-devotion; but I shall beno party to its continuance. As it is, I am yourdebtor in the sum of ten pounds, and will repay it inmy own way and time.'Mr. Sterling made good his word. Under Provi-dence, this circumstance was the means of breakingthrough the hard crust of selfishness and cupiditywhich had formed around his heart. He was notonly generous to the widow in after years, but a doerof many deeds of kindness and humanity to which hehad been in other times a stranger.' <It
,'- 'j '^s, --^ ^j^^ "-''^:?, .- ,GUILTY, OR NOT GUILTY.E had not been drawn by the Sheriff-werenot legally a Jury: there had been noformal submission of a case for ourdecision. But we were a tribunal f6rall that, and had a neighbour on trial. He was notpresent, of course : before such tribunals the accusedis never summoned to appear, either in person or bycounsel. He is tried and condemned, or acquitted,without a hearing.The case under consideration was a serious one,involving the crime of wife-murder. A woman,,beloved of all who knew her, had slowly faded andwasted in our eyes, until, like a withered autumn-leaf,she had dropped upon the river of death, and floatedfrom our sight. Her husband had exhibited analmost unmanly-sorrow at the grave; and so drawntoward himself a more than usual degree of observa-tion. We were talking sadly of our departed friend--56
GUILTY, OR NOT GUILTY 57of her virtues, her graces, her sweetness of temper,her devotion to all duties, and patient self-denial,":when one referred to her husband, saying:' I do not wonder that his heart was nearly broken., I shall never forget that burial scene as long as Ilive.'To this there came an impatient reply:'It was all a sham !'"There followed startled looks, and a rapid exchange.of meaning glances. The last speaker added:'Or, if the emotion were real, it sprang fromremorse, not sorrow.'Immediately the jury were formed, involuntarilyand without regard to the legal number. Witnessescame, unsummoned, to the court.'It is a clear case of wife-murder,' said one,:speaking out boldly. 'I knew Mary Green well.We were friends at school. I was her bridemaid,and have been intimate with her ever since hermarriage; and my testimony is, that if her husbandhad treated her with considerate kindness, she wouldhave been alive to-day. But he was selfish, exacting,mean, and unsympathizing. He not only permitted'her to take up burdens too heavy for her strength, butCruelly added to these burdens; and when, weary toSfaintness, she stumbled by the way, or uttered a com-Splaint, he gave her frowns instead of smiles. I know!SI have seen' it all; and I bear my testimony against
58 GUILTY, OR NOT GUILTYhim. For years she has been fading and failing;yet he gave her no respite. She was simply theslave of his convenience; and he exacted service tothe last.'' Mr. Green is an honourable and a just man,'spoke out a witness in his favour, as this accuserceased. 'I have had good opportunities of knowinghim-have seen his integrity put to trial.''Have you seen him in his home?' was queried.'No.''It is of his home-life that we are speaking.'A pause followed.'A man,' continued the last speaker, 'may beupright in his dealings with men; may be just tothe uttermost farthing ; may not depart from integritywhen sorely tempted-and yet be a miserable tyrantat home. Now, I have observed Mr. Green in hisfamily, and can testify that he was not a considerateand loving husband-that his conduct towards hiswife was bad.''In what respect?' queried one. 'Was he ill-natured ?-passionate ?-abusive ?-neglectful ? Howwas his conduct bad ?''He was neglectful, for one thing,' answered theother. Now, every true woman knows that neglectand indifference are, in certain cases, as sure todestroy life as a slowly working poison.''Did he neglect her? I never imagined that'
GUILTY, OR NOT GUILTY. 59* Not as some men neglect their wives. There wasr.i'tlinc. of that coarse, brutal indifference that wesoimetnes see; but still neglect. She was too muchoat of his thought. He treated her as if she were.o0 no account beyond the sphere of household andm.itcrn-il duty; as if she were only a useful piece ofmachinery, working for his comfort-feeling nothing,": and desiring nothing. Did you ever see them to-gether at a place of public amusement ?'None answered in the affirmative.S'I have seen him often at the theatre and opera,but rarely in company with his wife. He didnot go alone. He was always in attendance on,some lady; usually a relative or friend visiting in hisfamily.''I can speak to the point on that head,' remarkedanother, coming in with her testimony, and manifest-ing considerable warmth of feeling. 'I have spent,days at a time with Mrs. Green. We were friends oflong standing; and I loved her dearly. It was justas you have heard. Mr. Green never seemed toimagine that his wife needed change, recreation, andamusement, like other people. Once, while I was inthe family, the wife of Mr Green's cousin made themSa visit. She was a handsome, lively, companionablewoman, who had left three children and a husband,at home to the care of domestics, while she enjoyed"herself for a few weeks at the east. Mr. Green gave*i.
60 GUILTY, OR NOT GUILTY.up all his leisure to her entertainment. He droveher out to see the notable places in and around thecity, and took her to the opera or the theatre asoften as two or three times in the week.'""Won't Mrs. Green go with us?" inquired thecousin, when the first drive out was proposed.""Oh, no, you needn't ask her. She never goesanywhere," replied Mr. Green, before his wife hadtime to answer.'' I looked at Mrs. Green. She smiled faintly, andsaid, in her quiet, patient way: "I'm very muchoccupied this afternoon."""She's always occupied," remarked Mr. Green.I did not make out whether he meant apology orsarcasm. But there was no mistaking the indifferenceof his manner. I looked from the fresh, healthycountenance and bright eyes of the cousin, to thethin, pale face and languid eyes of his wife, and myheart grew angry. For her, change, fresh air, andthe exhilaration of a ride, were as necessary to healthand life as food; and he had not even asked her toaccompany them: nay, when the cousin inquired ifshe were not going, he had been in haste to answerfor her in the negative.' I did not ride out with Mr. Green and his cousin,though the compliment of an invitation was extended.Mrs. Green put on a faint show of satisfaction at theenjoyment her relative was to have; but after they
" GUIL TY, z OR NOT GUILTY 61'were gone, I saw tears in her eyes, and noticed a"change in her manner. Her face was paler, andtheie uwas an expression about her mouth that I didnot clearly understand ; but it was indicative of men-tal pin.' -" Are you not well ?" I asked. She had laid herhead down suddenly on a small work-table by whichshe w.s sewing. She did not answer immediately.When hle did reply, I perceived that her voice was(l.st rLci :' My head aches badly.""" How long has it been aching?" I inquired.' " For half an hour or so."'" You should have ridden out," I said. But she"nude no response. A little while afterward I sawher sliter. Putting one of my hands on hers, I waschilled by its coldness. The touch made her- shiveragain. She was in a nervous chill. Through a littlepersuasion, I got her into bed, and put hot water toher fect. In the course of half an hour she was. better; but the headache remained.'Mr. Green and the cousin came back from theirride with every evidence of having enjoyed them-selves. Both were in high spirits. I wondered, as Ilooked at the cousin's bright, healthy face, and thenat Mrs. Green's-shadowy countenance-so pale andSthin-if her husband did not take note of the dif-ference-if there was no tenderness and compassion
62 GUILTY, OR 'NOT GUILTYin his heart-if he did not see that she was driftingaway from him -'' Pushed away, rather !' spoke out one of the com-pany sharply. Pushed out upon the river of death,as a boat is thrust from the shore !'' I accept your better figure of speech,' said theother. Yes, the hand that should have held her tothe shore thrust her out upon the dark river, and wewho loved her have lost her.''May it not have been her own fault?' was nowsuggested. You know some women bury themselvesamid their household and motherly cares, and resistall their husbands' efforts to draw them out intosociety. They shut themselves away from the brightsun, and fresh, health-giving air-away from socialand public life-and droop and fade, self-immolated,in their homes. A husband is not responsible, andshould not be blamed for this.'' If our sweet friend who has left us'-such was thereply-' had possessed a colder heart, and been lessloyal to duty, she might have been alive to-day. Butshe had a mind of exceedingly delicate organization,and was hurt by touches that would have fallen lightlyas a feather upon most hearts. Mr. Green ought tohave known this. She was his wife-a true, devoted,faithful- wife. If she was so buried in home dutiesthat she failed for lack of sunshine and air, the faultwas his. Mr. Green is a close man, as we say-a
GUILTY, OR.NOT GUILTY 63arviig, money-loving man. He was liberal to him-" self, but never to his wife. If expenditure was for his"appetite, pleasure, or convenience, there was no stint;: if for his wife, or general household use, he doledit out with a niggardly hand. He was perpetuallydescanting on the waste of servants, the cost ofliving, the ruinous increase of price in everything.The consequence was, that Mrs. Green, who felt that:his homilies were for her ears, and meant as a rebuketo what he considered her extravagances, kept for'most of the time but one servant, though she hadLittle children, and was always worked beyond herStrength. She had neither time nor heart to go out.S'A domestic slave-a household drudge-an im-"prisoned nurse-with a husband for master and.. driver; and she a woman of the finest mental or-ganization, and a heart thirsting for love, and thatTender consideration so sweet to the soul: is it anywonder that she died ? I marvel, knowing her as Idid, that she lived so long.'Other evidence bearing on the case was given, allgoing to show that Mr. Green, through years of petty'home exactions, indifference, and neglect, had beenthe cause of his wife's early dtath. Daily he saw her-bearing burdens beyond a woman's strength; daily" her cheeks grew whiter. Her flesh wasted, her eyes-became heavier, her steps feebler, her lips and voicesadder; and yet the cruel tyrant never relented, never
64 GUILTY, OR NOT GUILTY.relaxed, until the silver cord was loosened, and thegolden bowl broken at the fountain !The testimony, given in some cases with a painfuldetail of circumstances, was overwhelming; and theverdict, rendered without a dissenting voice, was'Guilty.' That is, guilty of wife-murder. ,So far as the evidence is before the reader, he canmake his own decision, and say Guilty or Not Guilty,according to his estimate of the case. If he be ahusband with a pale-faced, stay-at-home, over-workedwife, he will find, in what we have recorded, a hintfor his future government, that, if observed, may putoff for many years the day of sorrow and bereavement.
SAD EYES.HE face was fair; the lips soft and ruby;the cheeks warm with summer flushes; butthe large, brown eyes were sad. It wasnot a painful, but a tender sadness, that" lay like a thin veil over their brightness. You hardlyNoticed it at first; but the shadow in Mrs. Percival'seyes grew more and more apparent, the oftener youlooked into them. They were full of light when shespoke-dancing, rippling light; but this faded outwith a quickness that half surprised you, making theshadow that came after it the more noticeable." What can it mean ?' said one friend to another.They were speaking of Mrs. Percival and her sadeyes. Is that peculiar look hereditary-a meretransmitted impression of the soul upon the body-or is it the sign of an inward state? Do you knowanything of her early history ?'E
66 SAD EYES.'Something.''Is she happy in her marriage ?''I am afraid not.''Then it must be her own fault,' was answered.'Perhaps it is.''Every one speaks well of Mr. Percival. I haveseen a great deal of him, and hold him in very highregard.'' In no higher regard than he is held by his wife,who knows, better than any one else can know, hisworth as a man.''And yet you said just now that you did not thinkher married life a happy one.''There is a shadow upon it. As the wife of Mr.Percival, she is not, I fear, in her true place.''Are you serious in this ?'' Entirely so.''While to me it seems that she is just in her trueplace. Both are well educated, social, and attractive;and both seem governed by high moral principles;and both have noble aims in life. Their deportment.towards each other, so far as I have noticed it, isuniformly kind; and I have observed the reciproca-tion of little attentions while in company, not usualamong married partners. They are superior to mostof those around us, and, as I read them, eminentlyfitted for each other.'To this it was replied:
SAD E YES. 67"The very elevation of character to which you"refer makes this union the more inharmonious-the'lack of fitness the more fatally apparent. Lowernatures may feed on husks, but these cannot; may-be satisfied witl a compact that secures externalgood, but these must have interior likeness.'' Which does not, as you believe, exist in the caseof Mr. and Mrs. Percival.''I am very sure it does not. Hence the sad eyesthat look out into the world so hopelessly.'This was said of Mr. and Mrs. Percival. Let usgo back a few years, and come near them in thetime when this union was formed. There had beentoo great an ardour of pursuit on the side of Mr.Percival. The beautiful girl who flashed across his"way so dazzled him by her mental and personalcharms, that he resolved to secure her hand, nomatter what difficulties might intervene. And hesoon found an obstruction in the way. An artistnamed Liston, a young man of genius, but modestand shrinking, as such men usually are, had alreadybeen attracted by this lovely girl; and she wasmeeting his slow and timid approaches with suchtender invitations as maiden delicacy would permit.The more she saw of him, the more he charmed her.He was so different from other young men, intowhose society she was thrown; so unworldly; sosingle of heart; so noble in all the aspirations td
68 SAD E YES.which he gave utterance. In her eyes, he seemedto stand apart from the world; to be of anotherquality-more refined, more intellectual, purer. Sheloved him, so far as she dared give liberty to herfeelings, seeing that he held himself at a furtherdistance from her than some ventured to approach,In him, the faint ideal of her soul's companion stoodforth embodied. When he drew near, she movedinstinctively to meet him, the pulses of her interiorlife beating quicker and stronger. When he stoodafar off, it seemed as if a thin veil of shadow hadfallen around her.The quick eyes of Henry Percival soon discoveredthe truth. He saw that the maiden was deeplyinterested in the young artist, and also that Listonworshipped her at a- distance, fearing to approach,lest the beautiful star in whose light his soul foundlight should veil itself as a rebuke to his advances.And seeing this, he resolved to press in boldly, towin the maiden for himself; to carry off the prizeanother was reaching out to grasp. Percival had beenmore in the world than Liston, possessed a morecultivated exterior, understood men and things better,was more self-confident. Whatever he undertook todo, he strained every nerve to accomplish. Difficultiesonly stimulated new effort. From a boy up he hadmoved steadily to the accomplishment of his ends, witha vigour and persistence 'that usually brought success.
SAD E YES. 69"She shall be mine!' So he declared, in hisheart, though he fully understood the relation whichListon and the maiden bore to each other; so heresolved, when he knew that love had grown up"between them, and that she was to the young artistas the very apple of his eye.It happened in this case as it happens in manyothers. As the bold lover advanced, the less con-fident one retired. Percival drew very near, drapinghimself in sunshine; while Liston stood afar off, inshadow, looking from his dim obscurity with sadeyes. upon the only being he had met who embodiedhis ideal of a woman. If he had drawn near, if hehad given the maiden clearly intelligible signs ofwhat was in his heart, Percival would have soughther hand in vain. But she seemed in his eyes sopure and noble, so elevated above common mortals,and himself of such little worth, that he dared notapproach and enter the lists as an openly declaredsuitor. The ardour of Percival had no abatement.He pressed his case with an ilnpetuosity that boredown all obstructions, almost extorting from thedoubting and bewildered girl a promise to becomehis wife. If Liston had not shown apparent indif-ference-had not held himself aloof-this promise,repented of almost as soon as made, would neverhave been given. Had she known that her image-was in his heart, treasured and precious, Percival's
70 SAD EYES.suit would have been idle. But she did not know,and in her blindness she went astray, losing herselfin a labyrinth from which she never escaped.The effect on Liston, when it was known thatPercival and the maiden he so worshipped wereengaged, was very sad. He lost, for a time, allheart in his work-all interest in life. An intimatefriend, who knew of his attachment, and understoodthe meaning of his altered state, divulged the secret;and so it became public property, finding its way tothe maiden's ears.' Do you know,' said a gay friend, 'that you arecharged with a serious crime?'' I have not heard of the accusation. What is thecrime ?' she answered, smiling.'The crime of breaking a heart.''Ah! whose heart?' There was a change in the.expression of her face; the smile dying out.'Liston's.''Why do you say that?' she asked, catching herbreath, and showing pallor of countenance.' Oh, haven't you heard anything about it ? Why,it's the talk all around. He was dead in love withyou, it seems, but hadn't the courage -to say so;proving the truth of the old adage, that " faint heartnever won fair lady." And now he's moping about,and looking so wo-begone, that everybody is pityinghim.'
SAD EYES. 71*I'm sorry that he should have pain on myaccount,' was answered, with as much indifferenceas could be assumed. Not a very serious case, Iimagine.'' Oh, but it is; he fairly worshipped you,' repliedthe friend. 'Do you know that an asylum is talkedof?''Don't, don't say anything more, if you please!It's all gossip and exaggeration, of course ; but stillof a kind I must not hear. You forget that I am tobe married in a few weeks.'The laughing light went out of the gay friend'scountenance; for she saw more than she expectedto see.A few weeks passed, and the wedding nightarrived,, when the pale-faced maiden, true to herpromise, but false to her heart, took up the burdenof wifehood, staggering under the weight as it camedown upon her shoulders. The young husband,when he kissed her almost colourless lips, and,gazing into her pure face, said, 'Mine!' lookedinto sad eyes, and felt that his ardent word but halfexpressed the truth-that she was not, and nevercould be, all his own. He too had heard of Liston'sattachment, and of the effect produced on him whenthe fact of the engagement became public, and some-thing more than a feeling of triumph found its wayinto his heart. There was at first a vague sense of
72 SAD EYES.uneasiness, followed by doubts and questioning.Smarting suspicion crept in. He became keen-eyed.But all he discovered was a thin veil drooping downover the countenance of his betrothed, and diminish-ing the splendours of its sunshine. In his eagernessto grasp the angel whose beauty had fascinated hisgaze, he had rubbed a portion of lustre from herwings.But she had taken her place by his side; and noallurement could have drawn her thence, though shewalked in perpetual shadow, and though sharp stonescut her feet at every step. She was too strong inpurity and truth, to waver from the line of duty.The path might be difficult, but she would not turnaside, even though she failed. She had the courageto die, but not to waver.' Mine !' said Percival, when his kisses were laidon the almost irresponsive lips of his bride; and evenas he said it, away down in his innermost convictions,another voice answered: 'Not mine!'So their wedded life began. It took nearly a yearfor Liston, the artist, to recover from his disappoint-ment. A few times during this period he met Mrs.Percival, and read in her inward-looking eyes thatshe was not a happy wife; and more than this heread, penetrating by quick-sighted perception theveil in which she had enveloped herself. After thisperiod he was master of his soul again, and dwelt in
SAD A " YES. 73his heart. But all who met him noticed, and manyspoke of, a subdued sadness in his eyes. Yearspassed, and though he went into society, Mr. Listondid not marry. As an artist, he rose steadily, andsome of his works attracted much attention. Amongthem was a personification of 'Hope,' in the singlefigure of a woman exquisitely beautiful, yet showing"in every feature of the tenderly pure face, trial andtriumph.'Have you seen Mr. Liston's "Hope," at theAcademy ?' asked a friend, addressing Mrs. Percival,a few days after the painting had been placed onExhibition.' Not yet,' was answered.- 'You must see it. Every one is charmed. And,do you know, it bears a remarkable likeness to your-self? I've heard several persons speak of this. BySthe way, is it a compliment or an accident? It issaid that he is one of your old admirers.'The friend laughed, and in laughing, so dimmedher own vision, that she did not see the strange,startled look, that came for an unguarded momentinto Mrs. Percival's eyes.In company with her husband, Mrs. Percival wentto see the Hope' of Mr. Liston. Something in theideal figure held her as by fascination. Mr. Percival-recognised the likeness, and with a sense of uneasi-ness. Many times he turned his eyes from the
74 SAD EYES.painting to the countenance of his wife. Its expres-sion was not satisfactory. There was more in it thanadmiration for a fine picture. From the painting hesaw her once turn half round, suddenly, as if spokento; but no voice had reached his ear. He turnedalso in the same direction, and looked into theartist's face, but did not encounter his eyes, for theywere resting on his wife.The act of Mrs. Percival was but momentary. Sheturned again to the picture, at the same time placingher hand on the arm of her husband, and, by amovement, intimating her wish to leave that part ofthe gallery. Mr. Percival did not fail to observe thathis wife's interest in the Exhibition was from thistime partial and forced.'Are you not well ?' he asked, in his usual kindbut half-constrained manner.'My head is aching,' she answered, forcing a smile.'Shall we go home?''If you have stayed long enough,' was replied.And so they went away, not again venturing tolook at Mr. Liston's Hope,' and not again visitingthe Academy while it was there.The eyes of Mrs. Percival were just a little sadderafter this, and so were the artist's eyes; and the heartof Mr. Percival was just a little heavier. But allthree were pure enough, true enough, and strongenough to bear the burdens this great error had laid
SAD EYES. 75upon them, though in bearing there was pain thatmade life wearisome.Alas for these sad eyes See well to it, maiden,that in accepting some boldly wooing lover, you donot, like Mrs. Percival, commit one of life's saddesterrors, and so look out with dreary eyes upon theworld through all your coming years.And see to it, over-ardent young man, that in theeagerness of pursuit you do not make captive onewho can never be wholly your own. See to it thatSyou do not rob another of the good designed for him,and at the same time rob yourself of the highestblessing in life. The soul-lit eyes that so charm to-day, may haunt you with accusation through all thecoming years; the face so bright and beautiful, weara perpetual veil of shadows. In the name of all that-the heart holds sacred, beware of an error here !t_-'.,
LITTLE MARTYRS.NEW 'Book of Martyrs' is yet to bewritten, and one that will appeal asstrongly to human sympathy as theterrible record of suffering made byFox. It will not exhibit the writhing victim ofcruel bigotry in the midst of consuming fire, brokenon the wheel, or tortured by the rack ; nor takethe reader a long journey into the middle ages ofdarkness and superstition, where all things lie in akind of dreamy indistinctness. It will be a bookof the present time, and record, the sufferings ofchildren-not of men and women-of children inhomes of luxury, as well as in homes of penury;children of Christian parents, as well as childrenof the vile and the vicious. If faithfully written,it will exhibit an aspect of human life quite as painfulto contemplate as that presented to us in the oldBook of Martyrs.76
LITTLE MARTYRS. 77The task is not ours to write such a book. Wecould not linger over the details, nor torture other- hearts than our own. The work must be done byone of sterner stuff. It will include two classes ofmartyrs-those sacrificed to neglect and cruelty, andthose who tall victims to false ideas and mistakennotions of duty and discipline.How sad it is to think, that among helpless childrenthere is so much wrong and suffering, and that allover our graveyards and cemeteries green moundsswell up from the level earth to mark the spots wheresleep the little martyrs of our homes !You look at us, bereaved mother, with a sober faceand rebuking eyes, as if we meant you; as if, in ourbelief, the low-creeping flowers that cover with green-ness and deck with spring-blossoms the resting-placeof your beloved child, but marks the spot where thebones of a martyr are laid ; and you repel the accusation of cruelty implied in our words.' Well, perhaps you are meant.'And now there is a flash of indignation as wellas rebuke in your face, and we hear you say that itwas by scarlet fever that your baby died-that nomother ever cared for a child more tenderly than youcared for this lost darling.But, for all that, the little hillock in the graveyardon which your tears have fallen so many times, swellsgreenly above the grave of an infant martyr. Bear
78 LITTLE MARTYRS.with us a little while, as we revive some memories ofyour past. You recollect that fine theory of yoursabout cold water.You look at us wonderingly.Didn't your mother and kind-hearted Aunt Maryremonstrate, over and over, against the cold bathto which that tender babe was subjected everymorning? We need not remind you how theshrinking child clung to you and screamed, indread of the icy plunge. But you were weddedto a false idea, and sacrificed a helpless infant toyour blind persistence. Somewhere you had heardit said that babies should have a cold bath everymorning, to harden and make them healthy; aridignoring your mother's experience, and the plaincommon sense of the matter, you sent a cold chilldaily to the heart of that shuddering little one, re-ducing the vital forces, and leaving, in consequence,many unguarded avenues where disease might gainan entrance. Don't you remember the blue lips, thecold little feet and fingers, the still languor, that oftenfollowed these daily chilling ablutions ? Ah, sad-hearted mother! that was all wrong. The tenderflesh of an infant loses heat too rapidly for exposurelike this. How often did Aunt Mary plead for justone cupful oi hot water in the cold brimming basinto take off the chill, as she said How often didyour mother say, 'Daughter, you will kill that
LITTLE MARY YRS. 79child !' But you heeded them not, being wise inyour own conceit.And now, let us remind you of that wintermorning, when floating in baby's bath-tub werebits of ice. You felt well and strong. The warmblood tingled in your finger-tips, and glowed allover your body; but baby had been restless throughthe night, and now seemed dull, and inclined tosleep. But you would wake him up with a laughingdip in the accustomed bath. Poor little sufferer! Itwas a cruel thing in you to plunge his warm body-deep down into the icy fluid Was there no pity inyour heart? You laughed and talked to him gaily.But was not this like mocking at his misery ?Well, there was no healthy reaction after this.He lay quieter than usual, or fretted, at times, allday. At night he was a little feverish. Ah therewas a fatal epidemic in the air, and you had takenaway the power of resistance. He would havepassed the danger safely but for this fatal bath.That threw the trembling balance against him, andhe died of scarlet fever.You don't believe it !-Neither belief nor unbelief can alter the fact.'It is cruel to say all this, even if true. Whylacerate a heart already bleeding ?'If, by causing pain in your heart, we can save otherbabes from martyrdom, our duty is clear. And so
80 LITTLE MARTYRS.we have told you the truth, hard though it is to beborne.'But no such sin lies at my door,' we hear fromthe lips of another.You speak confidently.'I had a tenderer heart than that. My darling's.bath was always warm. But he went from me, by thedoor of death, heavenward.'Stricken down in the budding of life by his mother'spride and vanity.Nay, do not flush so warmly! Turn away thoseindignant eyes.'You have spoken hard and cruel words against -me.'Let us see if they do not involve the truth. Thatis what we are searching after. We must not pauseto ask who the truth will hurt. The past is crystallizedinto unchangeable facts, and for use in the present itis right to hold these facts up in the clear sunlight.No, grieving mother, you did not sacrifice yourchild to ignorance and self-will. But you laid him'on-,another altar-the altar of pride and vanity. Youare silent from astonishment at so overwhelming acharge. Be calm, and let us talk together. He' wasa beautiful child, and you were so proud of him !'Yes, I see it in your eyes. There was never- aprouder mother than you, and pride was stronger'than love.
LITTLE MARTYRS. 81'Not true 'SLet us see. If love had been stronger than pride,yould he have gone forth with naked legs on thosefrosty December days? A red spot burns on yourcheek. If love had been stronger than pride, wouldthat little white bosom, and those fair round arms,have been so often bared to the winds that tossed hisglossy curls-cold winds, whose chill crept nestlingin among the sensitive air-passages, leaving there theseeds of inflammation and obstruction? Didn't thedoctor say to you on one occasion, Madam, that isnot safe?' and didn't you smile at his warning, andlet the child go out half-naked, though the air waspressing in from the cold north-east, laden withmoisture ?Not true Think again. And didn't his anxiousgrandmother, around whose warm heart the child hadentwined himself, remonstrate over and over again?But he looked, to your eyes-or, to speak moreaccurately, he looked to you through other people'seyes-so handsome in that highland costume, that itwas not to be thrown aside. Don't you rememberhow, on one cold day, nurse brought him home fromhis grandmother's, with his legs bundled up in a pairof thick woollen gaiters, and how provoked you wereabout it ? Just think of what a ridiculous figure hemust have cut What did the peoplethink?' Thosewere your very words. There was no thought of theF
82 LITTLE MARTYRS.child's health or comfort, only of how he looked toother people! Think over all this calmly, and say ifit be not so.And now that busy memory is at work, just call tomind that clear, bright day in March, when the sunshone out with such a spring-like promise. Howlovely looked your darling as you held him up, freshand ruddy, from his morning bath-a warm bath!'The day is so fine, pet must go out.'So you tell nurse to get herself ready, while youdress him for a walk in the open air. But how didyou dress him? Nurse said, 'Indeed, ma'am, I thinkit's too cold yet for bare little legs.''Oh, he'll be warm enough,' you reply confidently.'Hadn't he better have a scarf round his neck,ma'am?'But that sweet white neck and bosom are toobeautiful to be hidden from admiring eyes, and soyou will not consent to the scarf.Well, when he came home after an hour's absence,how lovely he did look! What bright eyes andglowing cheeks But he was just a little hoarse.We need not go on. All the rest is too deeplyimprinted on your memory. There was a suddenand violent attack of croup at midnight, and in lessthan twenty-four hours the seal of death was on hispallid countenance.Over the way the blinds have just been closed.
LITTLE MARTYRS. 83Why ? Because the baby is dead. Dear little baby!How often have we looked at its pale, puny face, heldclose to the window pane! The doctor went thereoften, for the baby was sick a great deal; and nowonder, for the mother was a devotee of fashion. Shenever came down to the common work of nursing heroffspring. They never pillowed their heads on herwhite bosom, nor drew delight from the rich treasuryof her breasts. No, no, for she was a woman offashion, and the leader of a set. And so this delicatechild was given over almost entirely to the care of ahired nurse,-a woman who put away her own babethat she might receive wages for giving nourishmentto the child of another,-a woman of gross'appetitesand a selfish nature.The babe did not grow strong and beautiful, as awell-cared-for baby should grow. We see in imagina-tion its thin white face at the window opposite, andthe old pity comes stealing into our heart. Last weeka strange rumour ran through the neighbourhood.The baby was seriously ill, and it was said that thenurse had given it an overdose of laudanum. It wasalso said that, on being closely pressed, she hadowned to the fact of a frequent nightly administrationof anodynes. No wonder the baby was puny andsickly.The pale thin face was never seen again at thewindow, nor the little hands playing feebly with the
/84 LITTLE ,MARTYRS.tassels. In a day or two the earth will be heapedabove a little coffin, in which the mortal remains ofan infant martyr will sleep in that rest from whichthere is no awaking, while the immortal spirit willhave arisen and passed upward to the habitation ofangels.Will the mother, as she looks her last look on thewaxen face of her dead babe, realize, in anything likean adequate degree, the sad truth that it died thedeath of a martyr, first having borne the slow tortureof sickness brought on by her cruel neglect? Wefear not; she is a selfish woman of the world; herheart is iced over. Alas! that to such should becommitted these precious little ones.It was once our fortune-no, our misfortune-tolive for a few months in the same house with awoman who had a mania for dosing her children withmedicines. Poor little things What a sad timethey had of it The mother actually had a medicinechest I Not homceopathic-oh, no there was nosuch good luck in store for her unfortunates-buta regular calomel and jalap box, with scales forweighing out the crude poisons, and a measuringglass for determining the size of liquid doses. Shewas her own family physician, and so deeply inte-rested in the profession, that she was for ever tryingto extend her practice beyond the circle of her oivnsickly, cadaverous little ones.
LITTLE MARTYRS. 85Through colic, teething, whooping-cough, measles,influenza, and the whole catalogue of ordinarydiseases incident to childhood, she carried most ofher children safely; that is, they survived the doubleattacks of disease and medicine, and, by naturallygood constitutions, came through the trying ordeal-though not unscathed. On these occasions shewould point to their skinny forms and wan faces astrophies of her skill, never for a moment dreamingthat they were the miserable wrecks of her blindfolly.As intimated, all did not come safely through.There was one little girl with feebler vitality thanthe rest-a pale, pitiful, wee thing, who always lookedat you as if she were asking sympathy. Her lips didnot swell out roundly, into a sweet expression thattempted you to kiss them, but were drawn in andheld closely together, as if guarding the sensitivepalate from some disgusting assault. If you gaveher anything to eat-a cake or a sugar plum-shewould look at it narrowly before venturing it near herlips, and her first mouthful was ever taken with duecaution. If her infantile memory could have beenexplored, we doubt if the first impression of delightthat recorded itself as she drew the sweet draughtfrom her mother's bosom, would have been foundfree from a sense of nausea so distinct as to send ashudder along her nerves.
86 LITTLE MARTYRS.Poor little one How well she knew the tasteof rhubarb and senna, of magnesia and squills!Sweetmeats were an offence- to her; for had shenot been made, scores of times, to swallow nauseousdrugs, or choking pills, concealed in their delusiveattractions? In the hollow of her little arm werethree scars, where the cruel lancet had drawn awaythe life-blood, which had never found its way backto her cheeks. The skin of her tender bosom hadmore than once been scalded off by blisters, whileher temples bore the marks-of cupping. The marvelwas, that she had survived so long all these assaultsupon her life.' Don't you feel well, dear?' we said to her oneday, as we came into the parlour and found her lyingon the sofa.'Not very well, thank you, sir;' and she raised her-self up in a weary way.' What's the matter?''I don't know, sir.''Does your head ache ?''A little bit; but don't tell mamma, please, sir.''Why not tell your mother, dear ?'" Cause she'll give me nasty medicine.'We felt the full force of this reason.'You don't like to take medicine,' we said.The child's stomach heaved from nausea createdby the thought. She gave no other reply.
LITTLE MARTYRS. 87SPlease don't tell mamma, sir. I'11 lie here a little"bhile, and then I'll be better. I don't want to takeany medicine, it is so bad.'And the poor child laid herself down on the sofa,and shut her eyes in such a sad way that our-heartwas touched. For more than half an hour we lingeredin the parlour, every now and then questioning thechild as to how she felt.'Better,' she would always answer; and then add-' Don't tell mamma. I can't take bad medicinenow.'But mamma entered while we were yet in theparlour.'I'm not sick,' said the little one, getting upquickly.Professional instinct was alive.' What's the matter?' The mother drew to her childat once.'Nothing at all, mamma. I'm not sick.''You're not? Let me feel your hand.'The poor child thrust her hand behind her.' Give me your hand !' The mother spoke almostseverely.'My hand isn't hot, mamma.''Yes, it is, hot. I declare! the child has fever.Does your head ache?'' No, mamma.'And yet, only a little while before, she told us
88 LITTLE MARTYRS.that her head ached. Fear led her to equivocation-and direct falsehood, poor child !'Come up stairs,' said the mother, taking her armand leading her from the room. I caught a glance ofher anxious, almost fearful face, as she went out, andit haunted me for days.A little while afterward her imploring cries of No,--no, mamma! I can't take it! Don't! don't! oh,don't!' rang through the house. Then there was astruggle, and sounds of choking and strangling,followed by a low, moaning cry, that smote sadly onthe ear, and continued until silenced by angry threats.' How is Alice?' was inquired early in the evening,for it had gone forth that the child was sick.'She isn't at all well,' the mother answered, butI've given her medicine, and hope to see her betterin the morning.'That hope was not realized. The horning foundAlice too sick to rise. The dose of rhubarb whichhad been forced upon her reluctant stomach, had notonly irritated the mucous membrane of the wholealimentary canal, but, by means of the absorbents,had been thrown into the blood, and conveyed to allparts oi the feeble system-destroying the tremblingbalance of health. If she had been perfectly well, anassault like this would have been attended by dis-turbing consequences, but under a morbid conditionit had a most disastrous effect
Home Heroines-Page 89.
LITTLE MARTYRS. 89'Hadn't you better send for the doctor?' suggestedone and another.'I've given her more medicine this morning.S he'll be better after that acts freely.'. More medicine poor child !But she was not better, and the doctor was sentfor. He did not approve of giving much medicine.Experience, philosophy, and observation had taughtShim that nature was the great restorer. So he pre-scribed bathing in warm water, and a quietingdraught.'But, doctor, she is a sick child,' urged the mother.' I know she is,' was answered.'Won't time be lost ?''For what reason?' asked the doctor." You are really giving no medicine.'-. I fear she has already had too much. GiveStature a little chance. I want to gain time.'And the doctor went away. But the mother wasnot satisfied. She had no faith in the let-alonesystem. So she tried her hand again; and this timemore energetically. She was successful-in throwingher child into convulsions; and then there was agreat excitement in the house.When the doctor called in on the next morning,he pronounced the case hopeless. There was con-gestion of the brain. Before night, little Alice was,dead, and numbered with the martyrs of our homes.
90 LITTLE MARTYRS.How proud you were of that dear little fellow,whose mind' opened in advance of his years! Attwelve months he could repeat a dozen differentnursery ditties. When two years old he knew all theletters in the alphabet by sight, and could put themtogether into words. At three he could spell remark-ably, and at four years of age read almost anything.-You encouraged the precocity, by showing him off,to your friends. We don't wonder you were proud ofhim, for he was a bright, beautiful, intelligent child;and so companionable, with his thoughts beyond hisyears. He cared more for books than plays; and sohis toys were books. We never saw him riding abouton a stick for a horse, or trundling a hoop. He hadaspirations altogether above these, at the ripe age ofseven.What a fine intellectual face he had! Amplebrow; dark glittering eyes, full oi thought andfeeling; a mouth as composed and expressive ofpurpose as a man's. There was no vain intrusivenessabout him; no seeming consciousness of his intellec-tual superiority over other children oi his age. Ifyou talked to him, he would answer as he thought;but how mature were his thoughts Books were hisdelight, and he grew daily more and more fascinatedwith them. Milton and Shakspeare at seven! Whatwere you thinking of, to feed his imagination withthese 1