** I r.i.
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
rB A /
.^ -^ ..
THE FATHER AND DAUTGHTUri
BASKET OF FLOWERS.
FREDERICK WARNE AND CO.,
BEDFORD STREET, STRAND.
BASKET OF FLOWERS;
PIETY AND TRUTH TRIUMPHANT.
C WITH COLOm vED Igi STRATIO
WITY COLOURED ILL US TRAT10NS 8.
FREDERICK WARNED AND CO.,
DEDFORD STREET, STRAND.
THERE have been many editions of this popu-
lar work, all of which have been received
with favour by the public. The original story
is from the pen of a German writer. Some
of the English editions have been American
translations, and some (English) translations
from the French edition of the original
work. Some of these have been added to,
and others curtailed, according to the tastes
or fancies of the various translators and
So far as we can ascertain, there is yet no
English translation of the German original
without alterations and additions by French,
American, and English writers.
The following volume is translated from
the German story, almost literally, except
that here and there a few verses from the
best English poets are given at the beginning
or close of the chapters, where they are pecu-
liarly suitable to the subject, and a few strik-
ing emblems and verses from natural objects,
or from Scripture, have been added where it
seemed necessary to do so. But, on the
whole, this edition will be found a much more
faithful translation of the original book than
any other yet published.
It seems almost unnecessary to remind
the reader, that various events in the follow-
ing story may appear strange and improbable
to English readers; because the scenes de-
scribed took place at a time and in a country
very different from their own.
THE FATHER AND D:A GHTER........ .... .,. c...... V
THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT OF MAY FLOWERS ..., ,,o .. ..*.... 2
THE STOLEN RING ................... ..... ...... ,, ........ 26
MARY IN PRISON ....... ........... .. .................. ..... 32
THE TRIAL .... ......... ....... .. ...............Q............... 37
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER IN PRISON ................. 41
CH APTER VII.
-II1L SEN'TEN.CE AND ITS EXECUTION ,,,..........*.., ..... .. 4
A FRIEND IN NEED .......... ... .............,,. ...... 49
THE EXILES FIND A HOME.......... ........................ .... 53
rLEASANT DAYS AT TIE PINE FARM .....,,..,................... 58
JAMES'S ILLNESS ................ ..... ....., ....... ,..,.. .... 64
JAMIES'S DEATH ..... .............................. o................. 72
THE AVARICIOUS DAUGHTER-IN-LAW ........,,.....,,,,........ 79
FRESH TROUBLES ...... .............. .. .. ..... a 1................ 84
EELP IN TIME OF NEED............................................ 89
IHE COUNTESS AMELIA'S STORY.................................... 92
THE RING FCUND....$.......... ................ ..................... 97
VTTI UE REWARDED .... ...................... .. .............. 102
AN EVENING AT THE BUNTING LODGE .....,,,... .... ,o. .o, 105
A VISIT TO THE PINE-TREE FARM ...............1..... S............. 0
FURTHER OCCURRENCES AT PINE FARM ....,.............. 113
RETRIBUTION .................. ... ................ .... .. ... ...... 117
A HAPPY EVEN2T .......................... ............................ 120
CHE MONUMENT .I........ ... .. ..... ........ .,o, .; ?.c. 12
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER.
0 friendly to the best pursuits of man,
Friendly to thought, to virtue, and to peace,
Domestic life in rural pleasure passed !
Few know thy value, and few taste thy sweets."
TN the market-town of Eichburg in Germany,
belonging to a count of this name, there lived
above one hundred years ago, a sensible and
pious man of the name of James Rode. When
he was a poor lad, he came to Eichburg to be under-
gardener, and to acquire a knowledge of horticul
ture, in the gardens of the Count's castle. The ex-
cellent qualities of his mind, the skill he displayed in
everything that he undertook, and his prepossessing
appearance bearing the impress of nature's nobility,
gained him the favour of his master and mistress, who
employed him in various subordinate offices in the castle.
When the Count, who at this time was a young man,
went on his travels, James accompanied him as one of
his retinue. In the course of these travels James made
diligent use of the means of improvement afforded him.
He learned much, gained a knowledge of the usages of
society, acquired elegant language, and refined manners,
butwhat is still better, he broughtback with him his noble,
honest heart,uncorrupted by his intercourse with the great
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
world. The Count sought to reward James's faithful
services by giving him a profitable situation; James might
have been made steward in a palace which belonged t
the Count in the capital; but the good man looked back
with pleasure to the tranquillity of a country life, and as,
just at this time a small flrm that had hitherto been let
on lease, happened to be at the disposal of the Count,
James requested to be allowed to rent it. The generous
Count permitted him to have it for life, without paying
"any rent, and also gave him every year as much grain
and wood as sufficed to supply his household.
James soon afterwards married and supported him-
self and his family upon the produce and profits of this
little farm, that besides a nice house had a large, fine
garden, half of which was planted with the best sorts of
fruit trees, and the other half was used for the cultivation
of vegetables and flowers.
After James had lived for many years happily with
his wife, who, in all respects was worthy of him, she was
snatched away by the hand of death. His grief was
inexpressible. The good man, already somewhat
advanced in years, seemed to become prematurely
aged, his form was bent, and his hair turned grey. His
sole comfort in the world was his daughter, the only
survivor of several children, who, at the death of her
mother was but five years old. She was named Mary
after her mother, and was her very image.
Even when a child, little Mary was exceedingly beau-
tiful, and as she grew up her pious mind, her gentleness,
modesty, and the unselfish kindness that she showed to
every one gave a peculiar grace to her beauty, and
endeared her more and more to her father's heart.
"f How like a new existence to his heart,
Uprose that living flower beneath his eye.
Dear as she was, from cherub infancy,
From hours when she would round his garden play,
To time when, as the ripening years went by,
Her lovely mind could culture well repay,
And more engaging grew from pleasing day to day."
There was so amiable an expression in her counte-
nance, that all who saw her loved her. Reared in a
good and happy home she grew up a gentle pious girl
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER.
loving flowers and all the beauties of nature, and seeing
the hand of God in all his glorious works.
Mary was not quite fifteen, when she was required
to manage the affairs of her father's little household,
which she did to perfection. A speck of dust was never
to be seen in the neat sitting-room; in the kitchen the
cooking utensils, and other articles were almost as bright
as new, and the whole house was a pattern of order and
cleanliness. With unwearied industry Mary assisted
her father to work in the garden; and the time she thus
spent in helping him, was the happiest in her life; for
her wise father knew how to make labour a pleasure by
means of cheerful and instructive conversation.
Thus Mary grewy among the flowers, and the garden
was her world. From childhood she had taken great
pleasure in rare and lovely plants, therefore her father
every year sent for seeds, roots, and grafts, of sorts that
she had never before seen, and he allowed her to plant
the borders of the beds in the garden, with what she
Mary had thus a constant and pleasant occupation
during her hours of leisure. She carefully tended the
delicate plants, watched the blossoms that were new to
her, wondering what kind of flowers they would produce.
She could scarcely wait until the buds opened, and when
at length the long-looked for flowers appeared in their
beauty, the sight gave her inexpressible joy. This is
pure innocent pleasure," said her father, smiling. Many
people expend more money for gay dresses for their
children, than I spend in flower seeds, and yet they do
not procure so pleasant and harmless an enjoyment for
Every month and even every week, Mary found new
sources of amusement in her garden. She often said
with delight, Paradise could scarcely have been more
beautiful than our garden." Few passed by, without
stopping to admire the rare blossoms. The children of
the village on their way from school peeped through the
fence with longing eyes, and Mary often gratified them
by giving them a few flowers.
The wise father knew how to make a still nobler use
of his daughter's delight in flowers. He taught her to
16 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
see the wisdom, goodness, and almighty power of God
in the beauty of the blossoms, the variety of their forms,
the distinctness of their varied features, their exact pro-
portions, their splendid colouring, and their delicious
perfume. He was accustomed to'spend the first morning
hour of each day in devotion, and he always rose early
in order to be able to do this before he went to work.
He thought that there was little worth having in human
life, if, amidst his business a man could not secure a few
hours for devotion, or at least could not command half an
hour in a day, in which he could commune undisturbed with
his Maker, and elevate his mind by raising his thoughts
to heaven. In the beautiful days of spring and summer
he took Mary with him to shady spots in the garden,
from which, amidst the lovely songs of birds, and the
blossoms besprinkled with dew, they could see an exten-
sive view, bounded by the golden rays of the rising sun.
Here James communed with God, who created the
sun to shine with friendly light and heat, who gives
us dew and rain, who bounteously feeds the fowls of
heaven, and richly clothes the flowers of the field. Here
they learned to know the Almighty as the loving Father
of the human race, who is gracious to all, whose
tender mercies are over all his works, and whose love is
shown more clearly than in all besides, by the gift of his
only and well-beloved Son. God so loved the world
that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting
life." James taught Mary to pray to this loving Saviour
as he himself prayed, with his whole heart. The de-
votions of the morning hour bore much fruit, and tended
to implant child-like piety in Mary's youthful heart.
From the lovely flowers her father taught her to
draw sublime lessons of heavenly wisdom. One day in
early spring, when Mary joyfully brought him the first
violet that she had gathered, her father said, "Dear
Mary, this lovely flower is an emblem of humility,
modesty, and unobtrusive benevolence. It is robed in
celestial blue, but grows close to the ground; it hides
itself in the shade, but fills the air with the sweetest
perfume. It is the emblem of a meek and lowly heart,
which wears the genuine blue of heaven, and is made
tIt i FATHER AND DAUGHTER.
like unto our Lord, who was meek and lowly. While it
retires from the world and thinks little of itself, it is
precious in the sight of God; 'for He hath respect unto
the lowly' (Ps. cxxxviii. 6). Be thou, dear Mary, humble
and retiring like the modest violet. Do not desire to
be gaily dressed like a gaudy flower. Remember our
Lord's warning, Take heed that ye do not your alms
before men to be seen of them.' Seek not the applause
of men, but act from a nobler motive. Let it be your
earnest desire to live for God's glory, and let that be
your aim in all that you do."
When the garden was in its greatest beauty, and
the flowers were in full bloom, James pointed to a
splendid lily, on which the rays of the sun were shining,
and thus spoke to the delighted Mary-
"This fair lily is the emblem of innocence; white
is always used to denote purity; and see, its blossoms
are white as new fallen snow. But white is more
difficult to keep clean than any other colour; the least
touch of impurity destroys it, Alas! none of us are by
nature pure in heart, yet there is a fountain wherein we
may wash and be clean. There is a white robe freely
offered to all. Blessed are they who have washed their
robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
'Blessed are the pure in heart.' Pray for this purity,
dear Mary, and avoid the least contact with evil. Go
not in the way of sinners; listen not to their words.
Remember that a word, or even a thought may soil the
purity of the mind.
The rose," continued James, "is the emblem of
modesty. Lovelier than the rose is the colour that
flushes the cheek of a modest girl. The face that is
never tinged with a blush is the sign of a heart that has
been soiled by the world."
James gathered a bunch of roses and lilies, and made
them into a beautiful bouquet. Then giving it to Mary,
he said- -
"The rose and the lily, emblems of purity and
modesty, are twin sisters that should never be separated.
God gave modesty to purity to be a warning when
evil is near. Fly from all, dear Mary, that can call
up a blush to your cheek. Avoid even the appearance of
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS
evil. May your heart be pure as the lily, and your
cheek as red as the rose. Lovely as these roses are, they
will fade and wither; but even when their leaves are
brown and dry, the sweet scent will remain. The rose
Dn your cheek may fade, dear Mary; outward beauty
may pass away; but true purity of heart will endure
for ever, and the beauty of the mind can never decay."
The most beautiful ornament of the garden was a
dwarf apple-tree, not higher than a rose-bush, that stood
in a small circular bed, in the middle of the garden.
Mary's father had planted it on the day in which she was
born, and the tree now bore every year golden, rosy-
cheeked apples. One season it flowered particularly
well, and was completely covered with blossoms. Mary
went to look at it every morning.
Oh, how lovely !" exclaimed she, in an ecstacy of
delight. "What exquisite red and white. The tree looks
like one large bunch of flowers !"
One morning when she went to look at it as usual, it
was withered; the frost had destroyed all its blossoms.
They were already yellow, brown, and shrivelled, and
Mary wept at the sad sight.
So is. the bloom of youth destroyed by sinful
pleasures," observed Mary's father; "like the nipping
frost, they blast and wither the fairest and most pro-
mising. Oh! my dear Mary, keep far from the polluting
pleasures of the world. Tremble even to taste them.
Oh, my child! beware of them; venture not near the
forbidden path; pray to be kept from evil. If the fair
hopes that I have of your bright future, not for one year
only, but for your whole life, should be thus blasted, I
would then weep more bitter tears than you are now
shedding. I should never again have a happy hour,
and my grey hairs would- go down in sorrow to the
Tears siood in James's eyes as he spoke, and his words
made a very deep impression on Mary.
Brought up under the care of so wise and loving a
father, Mary grew up amongst the flowers of their
garden as blooming as a rose, pure-minded as a lily,
modest as a violet, and with as bright hopes as a young
tree when in fairest blossom.
THE FATIEIEl AND DAUGIITER. 19
The old man had\ always contemplated with happy
smiles his favourite garden, the fruits of which so well
rewarded his industry; but he looked with far greater
pleasure on his sweet and gentle daughter, who, by the
blessing of God on his labours, rewarded the care he had
bestowed on training and teaching her, by bringing
forth still more precious fruits, even the fruits of the
Spirit, to the praise and glory of God.
Domestic Love! not in proud palace halls
Is often seen thy beauty to abide;
Thy dwelling is in lonely cottage walls,
That in the thickets of the woodbine hide,
With hum of bees around, and from the side
Of woody hills some little bubbling spring,
Shining along through banks wi.h harebell dyed;
And many a bird to warble on the wing,
When morn her saffron robe o'er heaven aud earth doth flirg."
THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT OF MAY FLOWERS.
"The gorse is yellow on the heath,
The banks with speedwell flowers are gay,
The oaks are budding, and, beneath,
The hawthorn soon will bear the wreath--
The silver wreath of May."
N a lovely morning in the beginning of the
month of May, Mary went into a neighboring
grove, and cut some twigs of willow and boughs
of hazel, with which her father, when he was
not occupied in his garden, made very pretty baskets.
There she found the first lilies of the valley in blossom.
She gathered some of them, and made two nosegays-
one for her father, and another for herself. As she was
passing along a narrow footpath across a flowery meadow,
on her way home, she was met by the Countess of Eich-
burg and her daughter Amelia, who usually lived in the
city, but who were now spending a few days in their
castle at Eichburg.
As soon as Mary perceived the two ladies in white
dresses, and with green parasols, then not used by the
peasants, she stepped aside to make room for them to
pass, and stood respectfully waiting beside the footpath.
"What! are there lilies of the valley already in
flower ?" exclaimed the young Countess, whose favourite
flower it was.
Mary immediately offered a bunch of lilies to each of
the ladies. They accepted them with pleasure; and the
Countess drew out her purse of purple and gold, and
wished to make Mary a present. But Mary said, Will
not your Excellency permit a poor girl, who has already
received so many benefits from your Ladyship, to enjoy
the pleasure of giving a few flowers without thinking of
-THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT OF MAY FLOWERS. 21
The Couitess smiled kindly, and said that Mary
might often bring Amelia a bunch of lilies of the valley.
Mary did this every morning, and, so long as the lilies
of the valley lasted, went daily to the castle. Amelia
found greater pleasure every day in Mary's visits, on
account of her naturally good understanding, her merry
disposition and artlessness, and her increasing popu-
larity. Mary was obliged to spend many hours in the
society of the Lady Amelia, long after all the May flowers
had faded away. The young Countess often showed that
she wished Mary to be always with her, and she there-
fore thought of giving her a place in the household of
the Count, so that she might have her constantly near
The anniversary of Amelia's birthday was drawing
near. Mary was busied with a little rustic present for
the occasion. She had often before given a wreath of
flowers. She now decided on giving something else.
During the previous winter her father had occupied
himself in making beautiful work-baskets for ladies.
He had given the most beautiful of them all to Mary.
He had obtained the pattern of this in the city, and had
succeeded remarkably well in making it an exquisite
piece of workmanship. Mary resolved to fill this basket
with flowers, and to offer it as a gift to Amelia, on the
anniversary of her birthday. Her father gladly granted
her request, and he still more adorned the pretty little
basket by weaving on it in delicate workmanship the
name of the Countess Amelia and the crest of her family.
When finished, the basket was quite a masterpiece.
On the morning of the Countess Amelia's birthday,
Mary gathered the loveliest roses, the most beautiful
white, crimson, and purple stocks, dark brown and yel-
low wallflowers, dark red, yellow, and clove carnations,
and other exquisite flowers of all colours. She arranged
these in the basket, amongst elegant sprigs of green, with
correct taste, so that the colours contrasted well with one
another. She surrounded the edge of the basket with a
light wreath of rosebuds and moss, and she encircled the
Countess Amelia's name with a garland of forget-me-not.
The fresh rosebuds, the tender green moss, and the blue
forget-me-not looked beautiful on the white lattice-work
22 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
of the basket. The whole looked so perfect, that even
her grave father praised Mary's good taste with a com-
placent smile, and said, when she wished to take it away,
" Let it stand there a little longer, that I may have the
pleasure of looking at it."
Mary carried the basket to the castle, and presented
it to the Countess Amelia with her most respectful good
wishes. Mary found the young Countess seated at her
toilet. Her maid was standing behind her, dressing her
hair for the festival. The Countess Amelia was de-
lighted with the basket, and could not say enough in
praise of the exquisite workmanship of the gift and the
beauty of the flowers.
"You good child," said she, "you must have quite
stripped your garden, to bring me so lovely a gift! And
your father's work is so beautiful, so tasteful! I have
never seen anything more exquisite. Oh, come with
me, and let me show it to my mother!"
She arose, took Mary kindly by the hand, and led her
upstairs to her mother's room.
"Oh, look, mamma!" exclaimed she, as she entered
the room, what a lovely ahd inimitable present Mary
has brought me! I have never seen a prettier basket,
and there could not be more beautiful flowers."
The Countess also was much pleased with the basket.
"It is indeed very beautiful," said she. I should like
to have a picture of it. The basket with the flowers still
wet with the morning dew, would make as fine a flower-
piece as has ever been painted by the great masters. It
does great credit to Mary's good taste, and still more
honour to her kind heart. Wait here a little, dear child,"
continued she to Mary, beckoning at the same time to
Amelia to follow her into the next room. Then she said
to her daughter, "We must not allow Mary to go home
without a present. What do you think it will be best to
Amelia considered for a few moments. I think,"
said she, at length, "one of my dresses might be the
best thing; at least, dearest mother, if you will allow me
to give her the dress which has small red and white
flowers on a dark green ground. It is as good as new.
I have only worn it once or twice, but I have outgrown
THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT OF MAY FLOWERS.
it. It would be a pretty Sunday dress for Mary. She
is so neat-handed, that she will alter it herself to make it
fit her. If you do not think it too much, I will give it
Do so," said the Countess; "when we give any-
thing to the working-people, it ought always to be some-
thing useful and suitable. The green dress with the
pattern of flowers will be an appropriate gift to the little
flower-girl." The Countess went back to the room in
which she had left Mary. Go, now, children," said she,
kindly, "and take care of these flowers, that they may
not fade before dinner-time. We have company to-day,
and the basket shall take the place of the epergne, and
be the chief ornament of the dinner-table. I leave it to
you, dear Amelia, to thank Mary for it."
Amelia hastened back to her own room with Mary,
and desired her maid to bring the dress. Harriet (for
this was the maid's name) stood hesitating, and said-
" Your ladyship cannot surely intend to wear that dress
No," replied Amelia, I mean to give it to Mary."
"That dress!" returned Harriet sharply. "Is her
ladyship, the Countess, aware of it P "
Bring the dress here," said Amelia, in a decided tone,
"and leave me to settle the rest."
Harriet turned hastily away to hide her vexation, and
went with a countenance flushed with rage. She
angrily pulled the dress out of the wardrobe of the
young 'countess. "Oh, if I only dared to tear it to
pieces !" said she-" That detestable gardener's girl!
She has already partly taken my place in the favour of
my mistress, and now she is robbing me of this dress;
for the cast-off dresses of my lady belong to me by right.
I could tear out the eyes of this hateful flower-seller!"
Notwithstanding, Harriet suppressed her anger as well
as she could, and put on a civil expression when she
returned to the room, and gave the dress to Amelia.
Dear Mary," said Amelia, "I have received many
more costly presents to-day, but not any that have
pleased me so much as the flower-basket. The flowers
in this dress are not so beautiful as yours, but I think
that you will like them as my gift. Wear this dress as a
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
remembrance of me, and give my best thanks to your
Mary took the dress, kissed the hand of the young
Countess, and took her leave.
Harriet continued her work in silence, with feelings
of jealousy, envy, and anger, burning in her heart. It
cost her no little self-command to conceal her ill-temper,
and she could not refrain from slightly showing it by
pulling Amelia's hair a little while she was dressing it.
Are you angry, Harriet ? said Amelia, gently.
"I should be too foolish were I to be angry because
your ladyship is so kind."
"That is a very sensible speech," said the Lady
Amelia. I wish that you may always think as sensibly."
Meantime Mary hastened home with the beautiful
dress, her heart full of joy. But her prudent father was
not particularly pleased with the elegant present. He
shook his grey head and said-" I had rather that you
had not carried that basket to the castle. I value the
dress, indeed, as the gift of our kind ladies, but I fear
that it may make other people envious of us, and what
would be much worse, that it may makp you vain. Take
good care, dear Mary, that the last may not, at all events,
be the case. Modesty and proper behaviour are better
ornaments for a girl than the most beautiful and becoming
dresses. Remember what the Bible tells us about the best
ornaments of woman. 'Whose adorning let it not be
that outward adorning of plaiting the hair and of wearing
of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the
hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible,
even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in
the sight of God of great price. For after this manner
in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God,
adorned themselves." (1 Peter iii. 3-5.)
We sacrifice to dress, till household joys
And comforts cease. Dress drains our cellar dry,
And keeps our larder lean; puts out our fires,
And introduces hunger, frost, and woe,
Where peace and hospitality might reign."
THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT OF MAY FLOWERS. 25
" A sweet temper, and an open heart,
A loving breast, and animated eye-
These, these best dignify, and still endear
The meanest and the lowest. Many round
May overtop me with their pride and show,
But let me be what they but seem to be,
And seem, and be, the best. In my small sphere
Perfume the atmosphere around my path
With kind sweet words and loving happy looks.
If I am loving I shall be beloved;
And men shall bless the fragrance of my name,
And hail my presence and my absence mourn."
"The pompous flowers but dazzle, not delight,
Astonish while their worthier mates attract,
Admired by many, but by none beloved.
Fine features, symmetry, a large estate,
Taste, wit, and genius admiration win."
TIE STOLEN RING.
"Let the crush of wrong
Disclose my sweetness rather than my gall.
Come sorrow then, or joy; come woe or weal,
All shall subserve His purpose who ordained
The winter as the summer-night as day-
And formed my soul for glory. To enjoy
May be the blest prerogative of heaven;
On earth we still must suffer and endure."
ARY tried on her new dress; she then folded it
up carefully, and put it away in her box.
Scarcely had she done this, when the young
Countess hastily entered the cottage, pale,
trembling, and out of breath.
Oh, Mary," exclaimed she, "what have you done?
My mother's diamond ringis missing! No one has been
in the room but you. Do give it to me quickly, or it will
be a dreadful business. Give it me quickly, and then the
matter may still be arranged."
Mary was so terrified that she became as pale as
death. "Ah, my lady," said she, "what can this
mean? I have not the ring. I did not even see a
ring in the room. I never even left the place in which
"6 Mary," pleaded the Countess, I entreat you, for
your own sake, to give me the ring. You know not ho.v
valuable the one precious stone in it is. The ring cost
nearly a thousand crowns. If you had known that, you
would surely not have taken it. Probably you thought
it only a trifle of little value. But do give it to me now,
and all shall be forgiven you, as merely an act of youthful
Mary began to weep. "Indeed, indeed," said she, "I
know nothing about the ring. I have never even
ventured to touch anything that did not belong to me,
THE STOLEN RING.
far. less to steal it. My father has trained me too well
ever to take anything from anyone."
The father now entered the room. He had been
working in the garden, and had seen the young
Countess enter the house, apparently in great haste.
"When he was told why she had come, he exclaimed, in
great distress-" What is this ?" The good man was so
agitated that he was forced to catch hold of the table for
support, and sank, half fainting, upon a bench.
Child," said he, "to steal such a ring as this is a
crime which, in this country, is punished with death.
But this is the least part of it. For such a deed we have
to answer not only to man, but to a far greater Lord-to
the highest Judge of all, who sees the secrets of all
hearts, and before whom no excuses or refuges of lies
avail. If you have so forgotten God's holy commands,
and in the moment of temptation, have not remembered
my fatherly teachings; if you have suffered your eyes to
be dazzled by the splendour of gold and precious stones,
and have thus been led into sin, oh! deny it not, but
confess it, and give back the ring. This is the only way
to make amends for your guilt, and perhaps it may still
"Oh, father," said Mary, amidst tears and sobs, "I
assure you-I assure you-indeed I saw nothing of the
ring. Ah! if I had even found such a ring in the
street, I could not have rested until I had restored it to
"See," continued her father, that angel, the young
Countess Amelia-who has come here out of love to you
-to save you from the hands of justice-who wishes
you so well-who has just given you so valuable a pre-
sent-surely she does not deserve that you should tell
her a lie-that you should seek to deceive her, to your
own destruction! If you have the ring, confess it at
once, and the gracious Countess will, perhaps, by her
entreaties, avert from you the punishment you deserve.
Yary, I entreat you be honest, and tell the truth."
"Father," said Mary, "you know well that I have
never stolen the value of a farthing in my whole life I
have never even ventured to take an apple from a tree,
or a handful of grass from the meadow of a neighbour;
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
how much less could I have taken anything so precious.
Believe me, dearest father, you know that I have never
told you a lie in my life!"
"Mary," said her father, once more, "look with pity
upon my grey hairs Bring them not with sorrow to
the grave! Spare me this deep agony! Confess it
before God, before whom I hope soon to appear, and who
.will permit no thief to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
As in his sight, I ask you again, have you the
ring ? For your own soul's sake I implore you to tell
the truth !"
Mary looked with weeping eyes to heaven, clasped
her hands, and said solemnly, God knows that I have
not the ring! As surely as I hope to be saved, so surely
I have it not !"
Now," said her father, I do truly believe that you
have it not, for you could not tell such a falsehood in the
very presence of God, before the noble Countess here,
and your own old father. And as I now firmly believe
you to be innocent, I am easy. Be at peace, too, dear
Mary, and fear nothing. There is but one real evil in
the world that we have to fear, and that is sin. Prison
and death are nothing to this. Whatever may become
of us, even if all men should forsake us, and be against
us, yet we have God for our friend, and He will certainly
rescue us, and sooner or later bring our innocence to
The young Countess wiped away a tear, as she said,
"Good people, when I hear you speak thus, I really be-
lieve, too, that you have not the ring. But again, when
I consider all the circumstances, it seems to me next to
impossible that you should not have it. My mother
distinctly remembers the very place on her work-table on
which she put down the ring before I went into her room
with Mary. No one else entered the room. Mary
herself can testify that I did not even go near the
worn-table. While my mother and I were speaking
together in the next room, Mary was left alone-before
and after this there was no one else there. After we had
gone, my mother closed the door to change her dress,
As soon as she had dressed, and wished to put on the ring
again, she found it gone. My mother herself searched
THE STOLEN RING.
the whole room for it. She took the precaution not
to ring for any of the servants, and did not allow even
me to enter the room till sho had thoroughly searched
it two or three times. But all was in vain! Who, then,
can have the ring P"
"That I do not understand," said Mary's father.
God has appointed a severe trial for us. Yet whatever
may be hanging over us," continued he, looking upwards
to heaven, see, Lord, here am I! Thy will be done 1 Only
give me thy grace, 0 God, and it is sufficient for me !"
"Indeed, I shall go home with a heavy heart," said
the Countess. "It is a melancholy birthday to me! It
will be a terrible affair. My mother has not yet said a
word about it to anyone but me, in order not to injure
Mary. But the matter cannot be concealed much longer.
My mother must wear the ring to-day. We expect my
father about midday from the capital, and if the ring is
not on her finger, he will immediately miss it, for it
was his gift to her when I was born, and she has always
worn it on my birthday. She is hoping and expecting
that I shall bring it back with me!"
There was a silence for a few minutes, then Amelia
said, sorrowfully, "Farewell! I shall, indeed, assure
.them all that I believe you to be innocent; but-will they
believe me ?"
She went mournfully to the door, with tears in her
eyes. Both father and daughter were so stunned with
grief, that they did not move to open it, or to accompany
her-on her way.
The father sat upon the bench, with his head leaning
upon his hand, looking on the ground as if lost in
thought, while tears flowed down his pale cheeks. Mary
fell on her knees before him, looked up into his face,
weeping bitterly, and said,
"Oh, father, indeed I am innocent of the whole
matter; I assure you that I am innocent."
Her father raised her kindly, looked long and ear-
nestly into her blue eyes, and then said, "Yes, Mary,
Syou are innocent. Guilt could never wear so honest
and so truthful a look."
Oh, father," continued Mary, what will be the end
of this? What will become of us? Oh, if I alone were
80 SE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
to suffer, I would bear it willingly, but that you, dearest
father, should suffer on my account is more terrible to
me than all the rest."
"Trust in God," replied her father, "and be undis-
mayed. Without his permission not a hair of our heads
can be touched. Whatever may happen, it is all ordered
by God. It is, therefore, all right, and for our good,
and what would we have more ? Do not, then, be terri-
fied, and always keep strictly to the truth. However
they may threaten you, whatever they may promise
you, do not deviate a hair's breadth from the truth, and
wound not your own conscience. A good conscience is a
soft pillow, even in a prison. We may now possibly be
separated from each other, your father will no longer be
able to comfort you, dear Mary! But cling the more
closely and trustfully to your Father in heaven. None
can separate you from Him, your Almighty Protector !"
The door was then suddenly thrown open, and the
officers of justice entered the room. Mary uttered a
loud cry, and threw her arms round her father.
"Separate them," said the chief officer, his eyes
flashing with anger. Put the daughter in irons, and
take her to prison. The father also must be held in
custody, at least, for a time. Let the house and garden
be well watched, and let no one enter till we have
searched it thoroughly."
Mary still clung to her father, but the officers of jus-
tice tore her from him by force, and put her in irons.
She fainted, and was carried away unconscious. As the
father and daughter were taken through the streets, a
crowd of people collected. The story of the ring had
spread like wildfire through the whole of the neighbour-
hood. The crowd rushed round the gardener's cottage
as if the building were on fire. The most conflicting
opinions were expressed. Kind as James and Mary had
ever been to all their neighbours, yet people were found
that rejoiced in their fall, and made the most malicious
remarks on that which had happened. As James and
Mary had prospered well through their own industry
and frugality, they had been envied by many less
"' It is easy to see," said they," where their wealth
THE STOLEN RING. 31
has come from. Before this we could not understand it.
But now it is not difficult to see why they lived better
and dressed better than any of the other people in the
However, most of the inhabitants of Eichburg truly
sympathized with honest James and his good daughter.
Many of the good townspeople thus spoke to each other,
"Alas, what wretched creatures we poor human beings
are, the best of us are not secure from falling. Who
would have thought it of these worthy people ? Yet,
perhaps, they are not guilty, and if so, may God bring
their innocence to light! But, even if they have done it,
may God help them, that they may confess their sin and
amend, and escape the great miseries that threaten them.
May God in his mercy guard us all from sin, for without
his help we are not safe for a single day."
Many of the children of the place gathered in groups,
and stood weeping as Mary and her father passed.
" Ah !" said they, if these good people are put in pri-
son, honest James will give us no more fruit, and kind
Mary no more flowers. It is wrong to put them in pri-
son, and it ought not to be done."
"Child of sorrow, hush thy wailing,
One there is who knows thy grief,
One whose mercy, never failing,
Waits to give thy soul relief;
He, thy Saviour,
Faithful still, of friends the chief.
'Child of sorrow, do they leave thee,
Those on whom thy hopes have stayed
Jesus calls, and will receive thee,
With a love can never fade;
Hark, He bids thee.
Seek the home for sinners made."
MARY IN PRISON.
< Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage,
Minds innocent and quiet have
These for an hermitage."
-ARY had been dragged to prison, while still
Almost unconscious. When left alone in her
dungeon, she came to herself by slow degrees,
.. and as she remembered her misery, she wept,
sobbed, wrung her hands, and then recollecting where
alone she could find comfort, she prayed earnestly, till
at length she fell asleep exhausted, upon her bed of
straw. Soft sleep closed her weary eyelids. When she
gain awoke it was night. All around her was dark,
and she could see nothing. At first she knew not where
she was. The story of the ring came to her memory like
a dream. For a moment she fancied that she was in
her own bed at home. She was just beginning to rejoice
that her sad dream had been chased away by her awaken-
ing, when she felt the weight of her fetters, and
their dismal clang awoke her to the fearful reality. She
started terrified from her hard bed.
Oh, what can I do!" exclaimed she, as she sank on
her knees, but raise these fettered hands to Thee,
0 gracious God! Oh, deign to look into this prison,
and behold me on my knees before Thee Thou knowest
that I am innocent! Thou art the refuge of the inno-
cent! Save me! Have pity on me! Pity my poor
father! Oh, give him comfort, and rather let me suffer
double sorrow !"
A torrent of tears flowed from her eyes, as she
thought of her father. Sobs choked her voice, and she
wept long in silence.
The moon, which had long been hidden in the clouds,
now suddenly shone out in full splendour, and threw
the shadow of the grated window on the floor of Mary's
dungeon. In its clear light, Mary could now see the
four walls of her prison-the rough stones of which it
was built-the white lines that marked where they
were joined together-the stone which, in one corner,
served for a table-the earthen pitcher, and earthen
plate which stood on it, and the wretched bundle of
straw, which served her for a bed. Yet, as soon as the
thick darkness had passed away, Mary felt lighter at
heart, the bright moon seemed to her like an old friend.
"Do you come, lovely Moon," said she, "to look
again upon me, who have loved you so much? Oh!
when you shone into my room, through the quivering
vine-leaves, how much more beautiful you seemed than
now, when your rays beam through the dark grating of
my prison window Are you mourning with me ? Ah,
I never believed I should see you thus! What is my
father doing now ? Is he waking, and looking on you,
and mourning as I am ? Ah, that I could see him but
for a moment! Lovely Moon, you are shining on him
now! Oh, could you but speak, you might tell him how
Mary is weeping, and mourning for his sorrow.
"But how foolishly I have been speaking in my
misery. Forgive me, O merciful God, for these idle
words! Thou seest me. Thou sees my poor father.
Thou seest into both our hearts. Thy Almighty power
can help us, through prison walls and iron bars! None
can withstand Thee! Oh, send comfort to my father in
his sorrow !"
Mary was now surprised to perceive a pleasant per-
funie in her prison. In the morning she had gathered
,some half-open rosebuds, and other flowers; she had
made them into a little nosegay, and put them in her
breast. The sweet perfume came from these flowers.
"Are you there still, you dear little blossoms ?" said
she, as she saw her nosegay, "and have you come with
me to prison, you innocent creatures? You have not
deserved punishment, and it is my comfort that I de-
serve it as little as you do."
She took the nosegay from her breast, and looked at
MARY IN PRISON.
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
it in the moonlight. Ah," said she, when I gathered
these rosebuds, this morning, in my garden, and plucked
these forget-me-nots from the brook, who would have
believed that I should be in prison to-night ? When I
fastened the wreath of flowers round the edge of the
basket, who could have thought that to-night iron fetters
would be fastened round my wrists? So changeable
are all things on earth, no one knows how speedily his
position may be altered, or to what melancholy events
the most innocent actions may lead. Truly all human
beings have good reason to commend themselves, every
morning, to the protection of God."
Again she wept; her tears dropped on the rosebuds
and forget-me-nots, and glittered in the moonlight like
dew. He who forgets not the flowers, but refreshes
them with rain and dew, will not forget me," said she.
" Oh, most gracious God, send comfort into my heart,
and into the heart of my poor father, as Thou fillest the
cups of the thirsty flowers with the dew of heaven."
Amid her tears, she thought again of her father.
"Oh, my kind father," said she, "when I look at this
wreath, how many of your words about the flowers come
back to my mind. These rose-buds have bloomed among
thorns; so may joy spring up amid my sorrows. Who-
ever would have tried to unfold this rose-bud before
its time, would have destroyed it. God who created it
has ordered that its tender leaves should unfold them-
selves one by one, and should breathe forth their delicious
perfume. Thus will He overrule my sufferings, so as to
develop the blessings that are sent to me in them.
Therefore will I patiently wait till his time come. These
forget-me-nots remind me of their Creator! Ah, gracious
God, I will not forget Thee, as Thou hast not forgotten
me! These delicate flowers are blue as the sky above
us. May heaven be my comfort amid all earthly sorrows.
Here are some odoriferous sweet-peas with their delicate
red and white blossoms! As this tender plant clings to
the support upon which it leans, and so climbs joyfully
upwards, so may I, borne upwards from earth as if on
wings, rise unto Thee, O God, and clinging to Thee, rise
above all earthly sorrows. It is this mignonette which,
more than all the rest, diffuses its delicious perfume in
my prison. Lovely, gentle flower, thou rejoicest even
her whose hand plucked thee. I will try to be like thee,
and strive to feel kindly to those who have torn me from
my home and cast me into prison, when I had done
them no harm. Here is a fresh sprig of periwinkle.
This is green even in winter, and in the most dreary
season of the year keeps the lovely colour of hope. Even
now in my time of suffering, I will not give up hope.
My God, who can preserve this little plant fresh and
green amid the storms of winter under ice and snow, will
also preserve me amid the storms of misfortune. Here
are some laurel leaves. They remind me of the unfading
wreath prepared in heaven for those who suffer heroically
and patiently on earth. Oh, I imagine I can see it now,
this evergreen wreath of victory, this glorious golden
crown! Flowers of earth, you are passing like its joys,
withering and fading away. But after the brief sorrows
of carth, there awaits us in heaven above, a glory and
blessedness which is eternal and unchangeable."
A dark cloud now suddenly obscured the moon.
Mary could no longer see her flowers, and her cell be-
came fearfully dark. Again her heart sank within her.
But the cloud soon passed away, and the moon again
shone out in all her beauty. Thus," said Mary to her-
self, may innocence be under a cloud for a time, but at
length it shines forth again clear and bright. Thus, O
my God, wilt Thou at last make manifest my innocence,
and clear it from all false accusations, though now it is
hidden by the dark clouds of suspicion."
Soothed by these thoughts, Mary knelt in prayer,
and then lay down peacefully to sleep on her bed of
straw. A pleasant dream comforted her during her
slumbers. She thought she was walking in the moon-
light in a garden she had never seen before. It was
surpassingly beautiful, too lovely for words to describe,
and it appeared to be surrounded by a wilderness in a
gloomy forest of fir-trees. She had never seen the moon
so bright and lovely as it appeared in her dream. All
the flowers in the garden seemed to bloom more beau-
tifully in the soft moonlight. Her father, too, appeared
to her in this marvellous garden. The moonbeams
shone on his cheerful, honest, smiling face. In fancy she
MARY IN PRISOl.
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
rushed towards him, and throwing herself" upon his
neck, shed tears of joy, with which her cheeks were still
wet when she awoke.
Of all the thoughts of God that are
Borne inward unto souls afar,
Along the Psalmist's music deep-
Now tell me if that any is,
For gift or grace surpassing this,
'He giveth his beloved sleep.'
What would we give to our beloved ?
The hero's heart to be unmoved-
The poet's star-tuned harp to sweep-
The senate's shout to patriot v,\ws-
The moni :-rhll's crown to light the brows ?
'He giveth his beloved sleep.'
"' Sleep soft, beloved,' we sometimes say,
But have no tune to charm away
Sad dreams that through the eyelids creep:
But never doleful dream again
Shall break the happy slumbers when
'He giveth his beloved sleep.'
"He men may wonder while they scan
A living, ihinkinLi, feeling man,
In such a rest his heart to keep;
But angels say, and through the word,
I ween their blessed smile is heard-
He giveth his beloved sleep.'"
E,. BA BIEAR T
For slanders I of many heard;
Fear compass'd me while they
Against me did consult and plot
To take my life away.
But as for me, O Lord, my trust
Upon Thee I did lay;
And I to Thee, Thou art my God,
Did confidently say."
CARCELY had Mary awoke when an officer of
justice came to the prison to take her before
the Court. A cold shudder came over her as
she entered the dark gloomy room, of which the
vaulted roof and the small hexagonal panes of the old
fashioned windows, attested the great antiquity. The
magistrate sat as judge, in a large arm-chair, covered
with red cloth; the clerk sat pen in hand before a large
writing-table blackened by age. The magistrate put
many questions to Mary, and she answered them all
truthfully. She wept, mourned, and protested her inno-
cence. But the judge said, You cannot deceive me so
far as to make me believe what is impossible. No one
was in the room but you; no one can have the ring but
you; therefore confess it at once."
Mary pleaded and wept. She repeated her protesta-
tions. I cannot, and I know not how to speak other-
wise. I know nothing whatever of the ring; I have not
seen it, and I have it not."
"The ring has been seen in your hands," said the
judge, sternly. "What answer can you make to this ? "
Mary still insisted that it was impossible. The judge
rang a little bell, and Harriet was put into the witness-
box. To account for her appearance we must tell what
had taken place in the meantime at the castle.
In the excess of her anger and envy on account of the
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
dress, and with the wicked intention to deprive Mary of
the favour of her mistress, Harriet had said to several
persons in the castle, "No one can have the ring but
that wretched girl, the gardener's daughter. When I
saw her coming down stairs she had a ring set with
precious stones in her hand. She hid it, and looked
frightened, when she saw me. I thought it was very
suspicious. I did not wish to be rash, and therefore said
nothing about it. Perhaps, thought I, they may have
given her the ring, as they have given her so many
presents before. If she had stolen it, I knew it would
soon be missed, and then it would be time enough to
speak. I am very glad that I did not chance to go into
the Countess's room at the time. Such wicked creatures
as that hypocritical girl may cause honest people to be
They took Harriet at her word, and she was sum-
moned to give eviderice before the court. When she was
put into the witness-box, and the judge warned her to
speak the truth, as in the presence of God, her heart
throbbed, and her knees trembled beneath her. But the
wicked young woman neither gave ear to the words of
the judge, nor to the voice of her own conscience. She
thought, If I now confess that I have told a lie, I shall
be dismissed in disgrace, or perhaps imprisoned. She
therefore persisted in her false statement, and said boldly
to Mary, "You have the ring, I saw it in your hand."
Mary was horror-struck when she heard this false-
hood, but she did not return railing for railing. She
only wept, and could scarcely articulate these words, in
a voice stifled with sobs-" It is not true. You did not
see the ring in my hand. How can you so perjure your-
self, and make me so miserable, who have done you no
But Harriet could not be turned from her purpose;
she was looking only to her own temporal advantage,
and her heart was full of envy and hatred of Mary. She
repeated her false accusation, and added several additional
circumstances, and, having been cross-examined in vain,
was at length dismissed.
You are convicted," said the judge to Mary. "Your
guilt is clear. Every circumstance is against you. The
young Countess's maid saw the ring in your hand. Now
confess what you have done with it."
Mary assured him that she had it not; that she had
never seen it. According to the barbarous custom of
the time, the judge ordered her to be flogged, to force
her to confess. Mary screamed and wept, but with
prayer to God for strength and help, she repeated her
protestations of innocence; but these availed not. She
was most cruelly maltreated.
Pale, trembling, bleeding, and exhausted, she was
taken back to prison. Her wounds gave her great pain.
She lay tossing sleeplessly half the night on her hard
bed of straw. She wept and groaned, but at length she
found relief in prayer. This strengthened and soothed
her, and ere long she sank into a refreshing slumber.
The next day Mary was again brought before the
court. As severity had failed to move her, the judge
now endeavoured to induce her to confess by gentle and
kind promises. "Your life is forfeited," said he; "you
have been found guilty, and by the law you deserve to
die. But if you will confess where the ring is, you shall
be set free. What you have already suffered shall be
considered sufficient punishment. You shall be allowed
to go home in peace with your father. Consider well,
and choose, between life and death! I mean kindly to
you. I am advising you for your good. Of what use
will the stolen ring be to you if you are put to death ? "
All persuasions were vain; Mary continued to assert
The judge, who had observed her great love for her
father, continued thus: "If you persist in silence, and if
you do not value your own young life, think at least of
your old father Could you bear to see his hoary head
fall bleeding beneath the axe of the executioner P Who
but he could have persuaded you to persist so obstinately
in falsehood ? Do you intend that it should cost him his
Mary was so terrified when she heard these words,
that she nearly fainted.
"Confess," said the judge, "that you have taken the
ring. A single syllable, the little word, 'yes,' may save
your own life, and that of your father! "
TIE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
This was a sore temptation to Mary. She stood long
silent. The thought came into her mind that she might
say she had taken the ring, and had lost it on her way
home. But she resisted the evil thought. No," said
she, within herself, "it is better through everything to
keep fast to the truth. To tell a lie would be a great
sin! For no bribe would I commit such a sin, not even
if by so doing I could save both myself and my father.
I will obey thee, 0 my God, and leave all in thy hands,
trusting in Thee to save us." She then said aloud, in
a tone of deep emotion, If I were to say that I have the
ring, it would be a lie; and I will not tell a lie even to
save myself from death. But," continued she, if blood
must flow, let it be mine only. I implore you to spare
my good father. Have pity on his grey hairs. I would
gladly die to save him."
All present were affected by these words. They touched
the heart even of the judge, stern and severe as he W::.
He said no more, but made a sign that Mary should be
reconducted to prison.
"6 Commit thou all thy griefs
And cares into his hands,
To his sure truth, and tender care,
Who earth and heaven cumnnaLd.-.
Put thou thy trust in God,
In duty's path go on;
Fix on his word thy steadfast eye,
So shall thy work be done.
"s Through waves, and clouds, and storrms
He'll gently clear thy way;
Wait thou his time, thy darkest ni .',
Shall end in brightest day."
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER IN PRISON.
Home feelings are to mortals given,
With less of earth in them than heaven;
And if there he a human tear
Frcm passion's dross refined and clear,
A tear so limpid and so meek,
It would not stain an angel's cheek,
"Tis that which pious fathers shed
Upon a duteous daughter's head!"-ScoTT.
TIE judge found himself not a little embarrassed.
"It is now the third day," said he, on the fol-
S lowing morning, to his clerk, and we are no
Further advanced than we were the first hour.
If I could see any possibility that any one else could
have taken the ring, I would be inclined to believe
that girl innocent. Such obstinacy at so tender an age
is a thing quite unheard of. But the evidence is too
strong against her. She must have stolen the ring. It
cannot be otherwise."
He went to see the Countess, and questioned her
again about every little circumstance. He also re-
examined Harriet. He sat nearly all day considering
the report of the trial, and weighed every word that
Mary had uttered. At length, late in the evening, he
sent for Mary's father, who was ushered into his room.
"James," began he, "I have been always known to
be a severe man. But no one can say that I have ever
done an unjust action. I think that you must be quite
sure, that I do not wish to condemn your daughter to
death. But she has been found guilty of theft, and,
according to law, she must die. Her guilt has been fully
proved by the evidence of the lady's maid. If, indeed,
the ring could be found and restored to its owner, she
might be pardoned on account of her youth. But, if
she persists so obstinately in falsehood, she must be old
in wickedness, though young in years, and I can hold out
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
no hope of pardon. Go, then, to her, James, persuade
her to restore the ring, and then I promise you that if
she does this, she shall not be put to death, but the
punishment will be commuted into one less severe. You
are her father. You have very great influence over her.
If you cannot induce her to confess, what can anyone
think but that you are in collusion with her, and are an
accomplice in her crime. I repeat once more, if the ring
be not produced, it will go hard with you."
The father replied, "I will, indeed, speak with her,
but I know already, that she did not steal the ring, and
therefore, she has nothing to confess. However, I shall
do all in my power, and if my innocent child must die, I
esteem it a great mercy to be permitted to see her once
The officer conducted the old man in silence to Mary's
cell, placed a small lamp on the stone table in it, on
which stood an earthen pitcher containing water, and a
plate on which was Mary's supper, that was still un-
touched. The officer then quitted the cell, and closed
the door, leaving the father and daughter together.
Mary was lying on her straw couch, in a half slumber,
with her face turned to the wall. When she opened her
eyes and saw the glimmer of the lamp, she turned round,
perceived her father, uttered a loud cry, and sprang from
her bed so hastily, that her chains rattled, and she fell half
Sfainting, on her father's neck. He seated himself on the
straw beside her, and folded her in his arms. They sat
some time in silence, and mingled their tears together.
At length the father began to speak of the commission
that he had received, Oh, father !" interrupted Mary,
"1 surely you cannot doubt that I am innocent! Oh, my
God!" continued she, weeping. "Does every one be-
lieve me to be a thief, even my own father Oh, father!
believe my word, I assure you that I am not a thief."
"Be calm, my dear child, I do believe you," said her
father, but I have been commanded to question you."
Both were again silent.
Her father looked earnestly at Mary. Her cheeks
were pale and care-worn, her eyes red and swollen with
weeping, her long, fair hair, which fell round her like a
mantle. was rough and dishevelled. My poor child,"
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER IN PRISON.
said he, God has laid a heavy burden on you! And I
fear-I very much fear, the heaviest, the most terrible,
is yet to come Ah, perhaps-perhaps, they will even cut
off this dear young head !"
Oh, father," said Mary, I do not think of myself,
but of your grey head. O God, grant that I may not
have to see it fall on the scaffold 1"
"Fear nothing for me, dear child," said her father.
"They will not harm me; but you, my darling, are in
great danger. Although I have, still some hope, yet I
believe their cruelty may go so far as to take your life."
"Oh!" exclaimed Mary, joyfully, "if you are safe,
the heaviest load is off my mind. All is well! I assure
you, my dear father, that 1 do not fear death. I am
going to God, to my Saviour! I shall meet my mother
in heaven. Oh, how joyful it will be!"
These words deeply pierced the heart of the old
father. He wept like a child. God be praised," said
he, at length, clasping his hands, God be praised, my
darling, that I find you so composed. But it is hard-
very hard, for an old, worn-out man, a losing father, to
lose his only, his dearly beloved child, the only comfort,
the last support, the crown and joy of his old age!
Yet," sobbed he, in a broken voice, 0 Lord, thy will be
done! Thou requires a heavy sacrifice from a father's
heart, but I surrender her, if it be thy will! Into thy
hands I commit her, my dearest on earth; I trust in
Thee, thou wilt order all things for the best! Ah! dear
Mary, it is better that you should die innocent, than that
I should ever live to see you led into sin. Forgive me,
my dear child, for saying this. You are, indeed, good,
very good, worthy to be among the angels in heaven;
but the world is wicked, very wicked, and fall is possible,
for even angels fell. If it be God's holy will, that you
should die, my darling, better that you should die inno-
cent. You will be transplanted, like a pure, white lily,
from this rude world to the better land, and, cleansed
from all sin, in the Saviour's blood, you will be with Him
A torrent of tears choked his utterance. "Yet one
thing more," said he, after a little while. "Harriet has
given evidence against you. She asserted upon oath
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
that she had seen the ring in your hand. If you are put
to death, her evidence will have caused it; but, dearest
Mary, you forgive her, don't you ? You have no ill-feel-
ing towards her ? Ah, my child, even in this dark
prison, loaded with chains, you are happier than she is,
living in ease and luxury in the castle of the Count.
Better, far better, is it to die innocent like you, than to
live like Harriet with a guilty conscience. Forgive her,
Mary, as your Saviour forgave his murderers. Is it not
true that you forgive her, and that you take all this
affliction as coming from the hand of God Mary
assured him that she fully forgave her.
The jailer's step was heard in the passage. Now,"
said her father, "I must go. I commend you to God
and his mercy. I commit you into the hands of the Re-
deemer who died for you. Should we never meet again,
my child, should this be the last time that I look upon
you on earth, we shall not long be parted,.for I shall soon
follow you to heaven For this blow! I feel-I know
that I cannot long survive it!"
The jailer now came in, and warned the father that he
must go. Mary wished to keep him, and threw her arms
round him. He gently disengaged himself. She sank
back unconscious on her straw!
James was again brought before the judge. "Before
Almighty God, in whose presence we stand, I assure
you," said he, raising his right hand as he entered the
room, she is innocent. My child is not a thief."
I would willingly believe it," said the judge, "but,
alas! I am not permitted to pass sentence according to
the protestations of you and your daughter, I must de-
cide according to the evidence, and act as it is my duty
to do, according to the letter of the law."
Of all the knots which Nature ties,
The secret, sacred sympathies,
That, as with viewless chains of gold,
The heart a happy prisoner hold;
None is more chaste, more bright, more pure,
Stronger stern trials to endure;
"None is more purged of earthly leaven,
More like the love of highest heaven,
Than that which binds, in bonds how blest,
A daughter to a father's breast 1"-J. W. CUNNIGHAin
THE SENTENCE AND ITS EXECUTION,
Scripture is the only cure of woe;
That field of promise, how it flings abroad
It's odour o'er the Christian's thorny road!
The soul, reposing on assured relief,
Feels herself happy amidst all her grief,
Forgets her labour as she toils along,
Weeps tears of joys, and bursts into a song."
ERYONE in the castle, and in Eichburg, was
anxious to know what would be Mary's fate.
All that felt kindly towards her, feared for her
"life, for at that time theft was punished with
extreme severity. Many had been punished with death
for stealing a sum of money not the twentieth part
of the value of the ring. The Count wished nothing
more earnestly than that Mary should be proved inno-
cent. He attentively perused the minutes of the trial,
and had many consultations with the magistrate; but
could not convince himself of her innocence, because it
seemed nearly impossible that anyone else could have
taken the ring. The two countesses, mother and daughter,
implored with tears in their eyes, that Mary might not be
put to death. Her old father, in his prison cell, prayed
to God day and night without ceasing that He would
make manifest Mary's innocence. Mary, left alone in her
cell, when she heard the jailer's footstep or the clank of
his keys, supposed he was coming to announce to her
the sentence of death. The executioner had begun to
prepare the place of execution, and to clear it from the
weeds with which it was overgrown.
One day when Harriet was walking near the place,
she saw him employed at this work, and it seemed as if a
dagger had pierced her heart. She felt the stings of
remorse, and that night at supper in the castle, she could
eat nothing, and looked so pale and mieerable that her
TIE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
agitatt!n was observed by all the servants. That night
she could not sleep, and Mary's bleeding head haunted
her dreams. Her guilty conscience gave her no rest day
or night. But the worthless girl was too much under
the dominion of her evil passions to listen to the voice of
conscience; she was not sufficiently noble-minded to
atone, so far as possible for her crime, by an honest con-
fession of the truth.
At length the judge passed sentence. Mary, on account
of her theft, and her obstinate denial of it, was pro-
nounced deserving of death; but in consideration of her
youth and formerly unblemished reputation, her sentence
was commuted to imprisonment for life in the house of
correction. Her father, who was considered a participa-
tor in her guilt, either as actually her accomplice, or
as having caused it by the bad way in which he had
brought her up, was banished for ever from the province.
All their possessions were confiscated, and were ordered
to be sold to pay the law expenses. The Count
succeeded in obtaining a mitigation of this sentence.
Instead of being sent to the house of correction, Mary
was to accompany her father in his exile, and to spare
them all noise and publicity, as much as possible, it was
settled that Mary and James should be conducted across
the boundary early in the morning of the following
As Mary and her father passed before the castle-
gate, accompanied by the police officer, Harriet came out
to meet them. Since the affair had taken this turn, this
heartless woman had recovered her levity and good
spirits. The thought of Mary's death had haunted her,
and caused her to feel remorse, but that Mary should be
banished was the very thing she desired. She had always
feared that Mary one day or other might take her place
in the castle. She had now no cause for fear, but the
hatred and jealousy she had felt were as strong as ever
in her wicked heart. A few days before, the Countess
Amelia had observed Mary's basket standing on a side
table in her room, and'had said to Harriet, Take the
basket out of my sight. It awakens such sorrowful
remembrances, that I cannot look at it without pain."
Harriet had taken it away, and now brought it out
TRIH SENTENCE AND ITS EXECUTION.
in her hand. Take back your fine present," said she to
Mary,( "my lady will receive nothing from such hands.
Your finery has all gone with the faded flowers, for which
you managed to get so well paid. It gives me the
greatest pleasure to give you back your basket." She
threw the basket at Mary's feet, went back to the castle
with a mocking laugh, and closed the gate violently
With tears in her eyes, Mary silently lifted the basket,
and went on her way. Her father had not even a staff
for the journey. She had no earthly possession but the
basket. She looked back weeping again and again, to
gaze upon the home she was leaving, till it disappeared
from her view, and at length, the castle, and even the
top of the church spire, were hidden from her sight by a
wooded hill. After the police officer had conducted Mary
and her father to the boundary of the province, and had
left them in the forest, the old man, worn out with grief
and pain, sat down on a moss-covered stone, under the
shade of an old oak-tree.
"Come, my daughter," said he, as, taking Mary's
hands in his, he raised them to heaven, "before all things,
let us thank God for having delivered us out of the dark,
noisome prison, and permitted us once more to enjoy the
fresh air under the open sky, let us thank Him that He
has saved our lives, and has restored you to me, my
James looked up to the sky, which could be seen
clear and blue through the green oak-leaves, and he
prayed with a loud voice, Our Father which art in
heaven! Thou only comfort of thy children on earth, Thou
Almighty Refuge of the oppressed! accept our united
thanks for our merciful deliverance from chains and
bonds, imprisonment and death! We thank Thee for all
the benefits that Thou hast bestowed upon us in the home
that we are leaving. How could we go without first look-
ing up to Thee with grateful hearts! Before we tread
the soil of a place in which we are strangers, we ask thy
blessing and guidance. Deign to look down on a poor
father and his weeping child. Take us under thy
Almighty protection. Be our guardian and guide in the
rough paths which may be before us. Lead us among
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
good people, incline their hearts to have compassion upon
us. In thy wide world let us find a little corner in which
we may spend in quietness the remaining days of
our pilgrimage, and then die in peace. I believe that,
although we know it not, Thou hast already prepared
this place for us. With this hope, and trusting in Thee,
we go on our way comforted. Strengthen and guide us
for our Lord Jesus Christ's sake."
After both had prayed thus, for Mary's heart echoed
her father's words, wonderful peace and joy filled their
hearts, and they were prepared to go on their way with
taust and hope.
"When winter-fortunes cloud the brows
Of summer friends, when eyes grow strange,
When plighted faith forgets its vows,
When earth and all things in it change;
O Lord,thy mercies fail me never,
Where once Thou lov'st, thou lov'st for ever.
"In all extremes, Lord, Thou art still
The mount whereto my hopes do flee;
Oh, make my soul detest all ill,
Because so much abhorred by Thee;
Lord, let thy gracious trills show
That I am just, or make me so.
"Fountain of light and living breath,
Whose mercies never fail nor fade,
Fill me with life that hath no death,
Fill me with light that hath no shade;
Appoint the remnant of my days
To see thy power, and sing thy praise."
A FRIEND IN NEED.
Many sounds were sweet,
Most ravishing, and pleasant to the ear;
But sweeter none than voice of faithful friend-
Sweet always-sweetest heard in loudest storm.
Some I remember, and will ne'er forget-
My early friends, friends of my evil day;
Friends in my mirth, friends in my misery, too;
Friends given by God in mercy and in love-
My counsellors, my comforters, and guides;
My joy in grief, my second bliss in joy."
"HILE the father and daughter were still sitting
under the tree, Anthony, the Count's old
forester, came through the wood. He knew
James well, as they had been in attendance on
the Count when he was travelling. He had been out
early that morning in pursuit of a stag.
"Good morning to you, James," said he, "how
goes it with you? I thought I heard your voice,
and I find I have not been mistaken. Have they
really been so cruel as to banish you ? It is very hard,
in your old age, to be forced to leave your own dear
"The earth is the Lord's," replied James; "and
wherever we may be under the blue sky, we are in his
sight, and his love is ever around us. But our home is
Can it be true," said the forester, kindly, "that they
have had the still greater cruelty to cast you out without
anything but the clothes you have on ? Why, you are
not even sufficiently clad for such a journey."
"He who clothes the flowers will also clothe us,"
TIE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
And about money ?" again asked the forester.
" Have you got any with you ?"
"We have a good conscience," answered James, and
we are richer with that than we should be without it,
even if this stone on which I am sitting were of pure
gold, and belonged to us."
"But tell me," said the forester, "have you really
not a penny ?"
This empty basket at my feet is our only earthly
possession," said James; what do you think it may be
"A florin," said the forester, looking perplexed
- "a florin, or perhaps a dollar. But what is
"Well," said James, smiling, "then we are rich, if
God grants me health and struiilgth, and the use of my
hands. I could make at least a hundred such baskets in
a year; and with an income of one hundred dollars we
might certainly manage very well. My father, who was
a basket-maker, insisted that I should learn basket-
making as well as gardening, in order to give me useful
employment in winter. I thank him for it now. He has
done more for me, and provided better for me than if he
had left me three thousand florins, which would have
given me a yearly income of a hundred dollars, and
allowed me to be idle. A sound mind in a sound body,
and a respectable trade, are the best and surest riches on
Now, God be praised," said the forester, that you
can take it in this way. I quite agree with you. I think,
too, that your skill as a gardener will assist you. But
tell me, where do you intend to go now ?"
Very far away," said James, where no one knows
us. God will guide our steps."
"James," said the forester, take this strong, thick
crab-stick with you. Fortunately, I brought it with me
this morning, because it is somewhat difficult for me to
get up yonder hill without it. And here is a little
money," continued he, taking a small leather purse out
of his pocket. "I received it yesterday evening in the
village, in payment for wood."
"I will gladly accept the staff said James, and
A FRIEND IN NEED.
keep it in remembrance of an honest man. But I cannot
take the money. As it is payment for wood, it belongs
to the Count."
Honest old James," said the forester, "make your
mind easy about that; the money is already paid to the
Count. I advanced it, many years ago, to a poor man
who had lost his cow, and could not pay for the wood he
had bought. I thought no more about it till yesterday
evening, when quite unexpectedly he paid me the money
with many thanks, as he is now in better circumstances.
God has sent the money just at the right time for
"I will thankfully accept it," said James. God will
reward you for your kindness. See, Mary," continued he,
to his daughter, how graciously God has provided for
us at the very outset of ourjourney. Even before we had
crossed the boundary, he has sent our good friend here,
who has supplied me with money and a staff to support
me on the way. How soon God has answered our
prayer! Be of good courage, and fear not; God will
continue to care for us."
The old forester now took leave of them with tears
in his eyes. "Farewell, honest James-farewell, good
Mary," said he, while he first shook hands with tha
father, and then with the daughter. "I have always
thought you honest people, and I think so still. You
will get on well yet, no fear; honesty is sure to thrive.
Yes, yes; he who does right, and trusts in God, will
never be forsaken. Take that assurance with you, as
mny parting word, and may God guide and protect
The forester turned away, deeply moved, and went
towards Eichburg. Then James stood up, took his
daughter by the hand, and walked on with her along
the high road through the forest-forth into the wide
Parted friends may meet again,
When the storms of life are past,
And the spirit, freed from pain,
Basks in friendship that will last.
52 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
"Worldly cares may sever wide,
Distant far their path may be;
But the bond by death untied,
They shall once again be free.
"Parted friends again may meet,
From the toils of nature free;
Crowned with mercy. Oh! how sweet
Will eternal friendship be!"
C. W. THOMSON.
THE EXILES FIND A HOME.
"6 Thou who did'st sit on Jacob's well,
The weary hour of noon,
The languid pulses Thou canst tell,
The nerveless spirit tune.
"From darkness here and weariness,
We ask not full repose;
Only be Thou at hand to bless
Our trial hour of woes.
Is not the pilgrim's toil o'erpaid
By the clear rill and palmy shade ?
And see we not, up earth's dark glade,
The gate of heaven unclose ?"
"A Y after day Mary and her father wandered on,
till they had reached a distance of more than
"sixty miles from their old home. During all
that time -they had not been able to find a place
in which they could remain with the hope of getting
work; and their small sum of money was exhausted.
They fared very ill. The mere thought of asking alms
was unspeakably painful to them, but at length they
were forced to do so. At many a door they were
repulsed with harsh words, and at many another a dry
crust was thrown to them with a grudge, and they had
nothing to drink with it but a little water from the
nearest stream. Sometimes a little soup or cold veget-
ables were given them in an earthen plate; still more
rarely a small quantity of broken victuals or pastry. But
Mary could often see that the smallest and worst pieces of
the left food were picked out for them. For many days
they never tasted anything warm, and at night they were
thankful to find shelter in a barn.
One day, when the road on which they were travelling
led them between woods and hills, far from any village or
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
even scattered houses, the old man was suddenly taken
ill. Pale and speechless, he sank down on the fallen
spines of the fir-trees at the foot of a hill covered with
wood. Mary was nearly beside herself with terror and
anguish. In vain she looked all around for fresh water;
she could not find a single drop. In vain she called
aloud for help; the echo alone replied. Far and wide
there was no human habitation to be seen. With
trembling limbs Mary hastily climbed the hill, that
she might be better able to see all around. Then at
length she perceived on the opposite side of the hill a
farm-house, which stood alone on the edge of the
wood, surrounded by ripening corn-fields and green
She ran as fast as she could, and reached the house
almost breathless. With streaming eyes, and a voice
broken with sobs, she implored for help, The farmer
and his wife, both rather aged, were good, killd-lhoirted
people. They were touched by Mary's grief, her pale
face, her tears, and her an11gish.
The farmer's wife said to her husband, Put a
horse in the light cart; we can soon bring the sick man
The farmer went to harne.ns the horse, and bring out
the cart. The farmer's wife got ready a few blankets, an
cariithen jar of cold water, and a bottle with a little
As soon as Mary heard that the cart-road round the
foot of the hill was very bad, and much further than the
path across the hill, she at once set off to return by the
way she had come, that she might be sooner with her
father. She took with her a pitcher of water and a little
When she reached the spot where she had left her
father, he had sor what revived. He was sitting up
under a fir-tree, and was heartily glad to see Mary,
whose absence he had remarked with pain, when he
recovered consciousness. The light cart soon after
arrived, and he was gently laid in it and carried to the
The farmer had a neat back room, with a back
kitchen, and small room beside it, forming a little separate
THE EXILES FIND A 1OME.. 5o
lodging, whkhil now chanced to be empty. He kindly
cleared this for the sick man. The farmer's wife pre-
pared a comfortable bed for him. Mary was glad to
sleep on a mattress on the floor. She was contented
with anything, if she could only make her father com-
fortable. James's illness proceeded entirely from ex-
haustion, caused by the want of food, the discomfort
that lhe had endured, and the fatigue of the long
The good farmer's wife gave all which she could offer
to refresh and restore the poor old man. She spared
neither meal nor eggs, milk or butter--even a few fowls
were willingly given to make strong soup for her sick,
The farmer brought in almost every day a young
pigeon from his dove-cote. There," said he to his wife,
with a smile, since you do not spare your poultry, I
must do something too."
The farmer and his wife had been wont every year
to go to an annual festival, held in a neighboring
village. This year, after a consultation with each
there they resolved to remain at home, and to
set apart the money which they would otherwise
spend at the festival, to buy some good old wine for the
Mary thanked them with grateful tears. She
thanked God, who, in their great need, had guided them
to such kind and hospitable people. God be thanked,"
said she, "there are kind people everywhere; but the
kindest hearts are often found under rough exteriors, in
plain country hl-mn-."
Lary scarcely ever left her father's side. She was
ahl\vis near to answer when he called, yet her clever
hands were never idle. She was a very good needle-
woman and knitter, and she worked constantly for the
kind farmer's wife. She wa-ted not a moment. Her
new friend was much pleased with her industry, and her
quiet, gentle, and modest behaviour.
Old James was quickly restored by the good food and
nursing which he now received, and he was soon able to
be out of bed.
As soon as his tr.i,.h1 had, to some extent;
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
returned, it was impossible for him to be idle. Mary
was sent to fetch hazel-branches and willows from
the wood, that he might begin his basket-making. His
first work was an offering of gratitude-a neat useful
hand-basket for the farmer's wife. He contrived exactly
to suit her taste. The basket was beautifully shaped and
firmly made. He dyed some willow twigs of various
colours, and wove in the cover of the basket, in dark red
letters, the initials of his kind friend's name, and the
date when she had so hospitably sheltered him. On the
sides of the basket a pattern was woven, in yellow",
green, and brown willows, representing the farm-house,
with its brown walls, thatched roof, and a few green
pine-trees near it. This allusion to the name of the
farm, which was called "Pine Farm," pleased the
farmer's wife. She was greatly delighted with the
pretty and useful gift, and all who saw it admired it very
When James had quite recovered his health, he said
to his kind friends at the farm-
I have been long enough a burden to you; it is full
time that I should take my staff and wander on
But the farmer took his hand kindly, and said-
"What has come over you, dear James! I hope we
have not offended you in any way. Why do you wish to
leave us? You are usually a sensible man; this new
whim is not like you."
The farmer's wife wiped away a tear with her apron,
as she said-" Oh, stay with us! It is late in the season
already! See, the leaves on the trees and hedges are
yellow, and winter is at the door! Do you really wish
to be ill again ?"
James assured her that he only wished to go because
he was afraid of being a burden to them.
"Make your mind easy about that!" said the farmer;
how is it possible that you can be a burden to us ?
You are not in our way in your little back room there,
and you earn all that you need."
"Yes indeed!" said the farmer's wife, "Mary alone
earns it all by her sewing and knitting. And if you,
James, will go on with your basket-nmaking, you will
THE EXILES FIND A HOME. 57
have plenty to do. I took your pretty basket with me
last week when I went to the christening of the miller's
child. There was a large party, and they all admired
my basket, and wished to have one like it. I will get
you plenty of orders, if you like. You need not want
James and Mary agreed to remain where they were so
kindly welcomed, and both the farmer and his wife were
heartily glad of it.
When all within is peace,
How nature seems to smile I
Delights that never cease,
The livelong day beguile.
"C It is content of heart
Gives nature power to please;
The mind that feels no smart
Enlivens all it sees;
Can make a wintry sky
Seem bright as smiling 3May,
And evening's closing eye
As peep of early day."
PLEASANT DAYS AT THE PINE FARM.
"God made the country, and man made the town.
What wonder then that health and virtue, gifts
That can alone make sweet the bitter drauglht
That life holds out to all, should most abound,
And least be threatened in the fields and groves ?"
A3M[ES and Mary now settled themselves in
S their little rooms, and pr)elpred to begin house-
keeping. A few articles of necessary furniture,
and a few kitchen utensils were provided.
Mary was much pleased to have once more a fireside of
her own, and to be able to cook her father's meals in
comfort. Both father and daughter were contented and
happy. They had many a pleasant talk while James was
making baskets, and Mary was busy with her sewing
and knitting. On many an evening they were invited
into the front room, where all the farmer's household
were assembled; and all were pleased to listen to
James's amusing stories and pleasant conversation.
Winter wi h its storms passed quickly and pleasantly
away amid these useful occupations.
Near the farm there was a large piece of garden
ground, which had been allowed to lie waste. The farmer
and his wife had not time to attend to it, because they
were so constantly busy on the farm; and even if they
had been able to spare the time, they did not understand
gardening. James undertook to make a good garden of
this useless piece of ground.
He cleared and dug it well in autumn, and as soon as
the snow melted in the early spring, he and Mary worked
hard in it, both early and late. He fenced it round, laid
it out in beds, filled it with useful vegetables, and such
PLEASANT DAYS AT TIlE YINE FAm.M.
flowers as the bees love, and gravelled the walks. Mary
took the flower-beds under her especial care, and when
her father went to the neighboring town, to bring seeds
and plants for the vegetable garden, she persuaded him
to bring also rose-bushes, lilies, auriculas, wall-flowers,
stocks, and other pretty flowers.
So blooming a garden had never before been seen in
this remote place, and it became famous in all the valley,
and in the neighbouring villages. The orchard also
prospered under James's care, and bore better fruit, and
larger crops. A blessing seemed to rest on all that
The old gardener was again in his element. As in
the old times at Eichburg, he began to teach Mary les-
sons from the flowers and plants growing in profusion
around them. There was scarcely a flower or a green
leaf that did not seem to give him a text for a fresh
In the early days of spring, Mary looked for violets
-nder the hedge which bordt ced one side of the garden,
that she might bring her father the first opening flowers,
as she had been accustomed to do. One day she joyfully
presented him with a beautiful sweet-smelling nosegay-
"Well," said her father, smiling as he took the pretty
bunch of blue flowers, who seeks well is sure to find.
But listen," continued he, "it is worthy of notice that
this lovely little flower, the sweet violet, often grows
under thorns, and this seems to me to apply to our own
ease. Who could have believed that, in this lonely
valley, and under this old moss-covered thatch, we should
find so much comfort and joy ? There is no path in life
so thorny, but we may find some quiet pleasures hidden
under the thorns, if we seek for them. Be meek and
humble in heart, my child, and even amid many sor-
rows, God will send you that peace which the world can
neither give nor take away."
A tradesman's wife from The town came one day to
buy flax from the farmer's wife, and brought her little
boy with her. While the flax was being examined, and
the price of it settled, the boy, left to himself, escaped
through the open door into the garden, and ran eagerly
to a bush, covered with full-blown roses, to gather
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
flowers, but in his haste he fell, and was sorely pricked
by the thorns. His loud cries brought both his mother
and the farmer's wife to his help; James and Mary too
came to see what was the matter. The boy was standing
crying passionately, with face and hands bleeding, and
loudly abusing the ugly, deceitful rose-bush.
There are many children of larger growth like him,"
said James. "Like the rosebush, every worldly pleasure
is surrounded by thorns, and many rush eagerly to grasp
them. One seeks his amusement in dancing and gam-
bling, another in intoxication, or even worse. The
pleasure soon passes away, leaving a cruel sting, and the
pleasure-seeker stands like this boy weeping and lament-
ing, and accusing, as the cause of his misery, what he
has most loved. Even innocent pleasures should be
moderately used, and, while we admire the beauty of the
rose, we must not grasp it too eagerly. God has given
man reason for his guide, that he may learn to be tem-
perate in all things. He must not blindly follow his
own pleasure, but try to find his pleasure in the path
One lovely summer morning, after several days' rain,
Mary went with her father to the garden, and found the
first lilies in full blow, looking lovely in the rising sun.
She ran to call the people in the farm, who had been
anxiously waiting to see the lilies in blossom. All ad-
mired them much.
What a dazzling white, how pure and spotless they
are," said the farmer's wife.
Yes, truly," said James earnestly. Oh, that the
souls of men were as pure and spotless as the lilies, then
would they enjoy the greatest possible happiness. Is it
not said that 'the pure in heart shall see GodP' I have
often before taught you, dear Mary, that none are pure
by nature, and you know well how we can become pure,
in no other way than through the cleansing blood of
Christ. Thus washed, we shall shine for ever in robes as
white and spotless as the lily blossoms."
How beautifully straight is the slender stem," said
the farmer; "how erect and upright it stands."
"It is like a finger-post pointing upwards to heaven,"
said James, "I delight to look at it. Such lilies should
PLEASANT DAYS AT THE PINE FARM.
"be in every country garden. We, working people, are
obliged to grub so much in the ground, that we some-
times forget to look upwards. This lovely, upright
flower, with its white cup open to the rays of the sun,
ought always to remind us that amid all our toil and
hard labour, we too should be looking upwards and
seeking for better things than earth can give. All
plants," continued James impressively, even the most
delicate, have a natural tendency to grow upwards, and
those which are too weak to rise by themselves, are sc(
formed that they cling to something stronger, and so
climb higher and higher. The honeysuckle, the ivy, the
sweet peas, and the hops, even the wild convolvulus in
the hedge, are all ever clinging and striving to raise
themselves from the ground. It would be very sad if
man, with his high aspirations, hopes, and wishes, should
creep on the earth, instead of rising upwards to heaven.
If we prize this world and its vanities too much, we shall
always be grovelling on the ground, for 'where the
treasure is, there will the heart be also.' But let us
cling to Christ, and rise upwards by his help. Let us
set our 'affections on things above, not on things on the
earth,' and so shall we be ever rising higher and higher,
and shall rejoice in the glorious life-giving rays of the
Sun of righteousness."
One day James was planting out young seedlings in
the same bed which Mary was weeding. This two-
fold work, my dear daughter," said he, "is like our life-
work here below. Our hearts are like gardens, which
God has given us to tend. We must ever be busy in
uprooting the evil, and sowing the good seed, or the
garden will soon be a wilderness. By nature, weeds
grow therein more luxuriantly than flowers. As the seed
Iam now sowing cannot thrive, unless the weeds are
cleared away and the soil is prepared to receive the re-
freshing rain and dew, so the good seed sown in our
hearts cannot spring up unless God send the gracious
influences of his Holy Spirit, like the refreshing rain, to
cause it to grow and bear fruit abundantly. The soul
thus blessed becomes like a well-watered garden, bring-
ig forth abundantly the precious 'fruits of the
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
Three springs and summers had glided pleasantly
away, since James and Mary first came to the Pine Farm,
and they had almost forgotten the sorrows of the past,
These years had been well and usefully spent in active
industry, lightened by many innocent pleasures, not the
least of which to Mary was her father's instructive con-
versation. At the return of autumn, when the midday
sun cast longer shadows, the last ornaments of the
garden, the red and blue asters, were in bloom, and the
many-coloured foliage of the trees showed the approach
of winter, James's health began visibly to decline. He
felt his strength daily diminishing. He tried to con-
ceal his feelings of illness from Mary, fearing to distress
her; but his teachings from the flowers were of a melan-
choly cast, often leading to thoughts of death, and his
words made Mary feel sad.
One day Mary, as she was gathering flowers, saw a
rose, the last lingering blossom on the tree, but when
she wished to gather it, its leaves fell off, and were scat-
tered on the ground, around her. So is it with man,"
said her father. "In youth we are like a newly-opened
rose; but like the roses we wither and fade, our season
of bloom is very short, and quickly passes. Do not prize
therefore, my dear child, the vain fragile beauty of the
body, which will soon pass away, but strive after the
beauty of the soul, the ornament which can never fade.
One evening, when they had been gathering in the
crop of apples, James was standing on a ladder, under
one of the trees, and handing down the apples to Mary,
which she was carefully laying in a basket. Then he
said, Hear how the autumn wind whistles among the
trees, plays with the yellow leaves, and blows about my
grey hair! I am in the autumn of life, dear Mary, and
one day, if you are spared, your autumn will also come.
Try to resemble this tree which you see rich in good
fruits, and may you also bring forth fruit abundantly,
so that you may be approved by the Lord of the harvest."
When Mary was sowing seed for the following spring,
her father said, "Even so, my daughter, must we one
day be laid in the earth, and covered with the earth
But be comforted! As the corn of wheat which is laid
in the earth rises to new life, and as the seed of the fair
PLEASANT DAYS AT THE PINE FAIIR.
flower also springs up fresh from its grave, so shall we
one day rise to a new and glorious life from the darkness
of the tomb. Think of this, dear Mary, when at some
future day you may have to follow me to the grave. As
the seeds that you sow there spring up and blossom,
may you regard them as the emblem and the pledge of
my resurrection and immortality."
Mary looked anxiously at her father, and she could
not but see that he was greatly changed. Two large
tears rolled slowly down her cheeks, and she shuddered
at the thought that she must lose him. Dark fore-
bodings filled her heart.
"When the spark of life is waning,
Weep not for me ;
When the languid eye is straining,
Weep not for me;
"When the feeble pulse is ceasing,
Start not at its swift decreasing,
"Tis the fettered soul's releasing;
Weep not for me.
"' When the pangs of death assail me,
Weep not for me;
Christ is mine-He cannot fail me,
Weep not for me.
Yes! though sin and doubt endeavour
From his love my soul to sever,
Jesus is my strength for ever--
Weep not for me."
V,1. langour and disease invade
This trembling house of clay,
'Tis sweet to look beyond the grave,
And long to soar away.
Sweet to 'l,,k in:\v ri,, nd attend
The whispers of his love:
Sweet to look upward to the throne
Where Jesus reigns above."
TINTER set in with unusual severity. Hill and
Salalley were covered with snow, and good old
James suffered from the cold. He became so ill
____ -i as to alarm Mary, who entreated him to allow
a doctor to be sent for from the neighboring town,
and the kind-hearted farmer went himself in his sledge
to fetch him. After the doctor had seen and prescribed
for the sick man, Mary accompanied him to the door.
She asked him whether she might venture to hope
that her father would recover. The doctor told her that
for the present her fhtlherwas not in danger, but that, at his
advanced age, he could not answer how the illness would
end. Mary feared the worst from this doubtful answer,
and she sank down on a chair where the doctor had left
her, and wept bitterly. After a time she became more
composed, wiped away her tears, and tried to appear
calm before her father, that she might not alarm or dis-
Mary attended her beloved father with the tenderest
care. She did everything for him that was in her power.
She watched all night long by his bed side. When
others offered to take her place, lest the constant watch-
ing should be too much for her, if, yielding to their per-
suasions, she consented to lie down for a few moments,
she could not close her eyes. If her father even coughed,
she started up; if he moved, she was at once by his side
JAMES S ILLNESS.
to see what he wanted. She prepared and served the
most nourishing food to him with the tenderest love,
She arranged his pillows, she read to him, she prayed
for him without ceasing. Often while he slept she stood
by him with clasped hands, and looking up to heaven,
said, Oh my God, spare him to me still, even for a few
years !" She often remained up half the night sewing or
knitting to earn money to provide comforts for him. Yet
frugal as she was in her own wants, she would have spent
the last farthing she possessed to purchase anything that
might do him good.
The pious old man, although he had somewhat revived
for the present, yet felt that his "sickness was unto death."
Notwithstanding, he was calm and composed, and spoke
cheerfully of his approaching death. Poor Nlary could
not bear this, and when her father spoke of his death,
she said, amid her tears,
Oh, do not speak of it, dearest father I dare not
even think of it! What would become of me? Ah,
your poor Mary would then have no friend on earth !"
"Weep.not, dear child," said her father, taking her
hand kindly. If I am taken away, you have still a
Father in heaven. He has promised to be a 'Father to
the fatherless.' Remember what David says in the
Psalms,' When my father and my mother forsake me,
then the Lord will take me up.' Your Father in heaven
will be ever with you, even if your father on earth is
taken from you. How to provide for your food and
clothing is among the least of my cares. The birds of
the air are fed, and so will God feed you! Man wants
but little here below, nor wants that little long.' Ah!
far different cares weigh upon my mind. My only
anxiety is that you should remain as gentle, pious, and
innocent as, thank God, you are now. My beloved
daughter, you know not how corrupt and wicked the world
is, and what evil men there are in it. Alas, it is too true
that there are men who would think it merely a jest.to
deprive you, poor girl, of innocence, honour, peace of
mind, and the whole happiness of your life. They may
call you childish if you speak to them of the fear of God,
the voice of conscience, the commandments of God, and
of endless eternity. But if they regard not these things,
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
flee from such men, dearest Mary. Remember they are
those whom the Bible commands us to shun. However
much they may flatter you, and call you beautiful,
hovering round you like the butterfly round the flowers,
yet listen not to them, and mind not what they say.
Never accept a present from them, and never believe
their promises. Satan himself has appeared in the form
of an angel of light; and a poisonous serpent often lurks
among flowers. For your protection, God has given you
a true badge of innocence, holy modesty; if anyone sug-
gest an evil thought or says a word that is not innocent,
you will feel the glow of modesty rush into your cheeks.
Take warning from this guardian of innocence Neglect
it not, that it may not leave you for ever. As long as
the blush of modesty remains, if you listen to its warn-
ing, you are safe from temptation. But as soon as you
slight this warning, even in the least degree, if you yield
even once, you are in danger of being lost for ever! -
Oh! Mary, there will be an enemy in your own heart.
There will be moments in your life in which you may
feel a desire for what is evil, and in which you may easily
persuade yourself that you are not very wicked, even if you
break the strict rules that have been imposed upon you.
But take warning, and engrave the counsel of your dying
father deeply on yourheart! Do, speak, eventhink, nothing
for which you must blush were it done or spoken in your
father's presence. My eyes will soon be closed for ever.
I shall no longer be able to guard you, but think that
your heavenly Father is everywhere present, and sees the
secrets of your heart. You would be ashamed to show
any evil feeling to me, your father on earth; fear infinitely
more to give offence to Him, your Omniscient Father in
"Dearest Mary, remember my advice. If temptation
should ever assail you, think of me, remember my pale
face, my grey hair, the tears that are falling over my
wasted cheeks. Come, put your hand into mine, cold
and withered as it is, that will soon be laid in the dust.
Promise me never to forget my words. In the hour of
temptation try to imagine that you feel the clasp of my
cold hand, holding you back from the brink of the abyss.
"My darling girl, you look upon my pale and care"
JAMES S ILLNESS.
worn features with tears of sorrow. Oh, see now that
all on earth is passing.away. Once I was as fresh and
blooming as you are now. One day you will be as pale
and wasted as I now am, lying on my dying bed, unless it
please God to take you away still earlier. The joys of my
youth have faded like the flowers of the past spring, the
place whereof knows them no more. They have vanished
like the dew on the early blossoms, which glitters for a
moment and is seen no more. But noble deeds are like the
precious stones, which have an enduring value; virtue and
a good conscience are like the noblest of precious stones,
the diamond, which is indestructible. Strive to obtain
this jewel! the good that I have done is now my only joy,
and my faults and failures are my only pain. Keep close
to God, dear child, trust ever in Him, walk as in his pre-
sence. In Him I have found my sweetest joys, and in
Him, also, the best and only consolation in my sorrow.
"Believe me, Mary, I speak the truth! If it were
otherwise, I would tell you. I have seen the world as
much as most men, when I was travelling with the Count.
In all the large cities, in which there was anything beau-
tiful or attractive to be seen, I was permitted to visit it.
I enjoyed all the pleasures of the world, for I saw and
heard as well as the young Count did, the gay masque-
rades, the noisy music, the merry talking, and the jests;
and of the delicate food and costly wines there remained
always more than I could consume. But worldly plea-
sures such as these left my heart empty. I assure you
that during one quarter of an hour of quiet devotion in the
bower of our garden at Eichburg, under this thatched
roof, or even here on my dying bed, I have enjoyed more
inward peace and pleasure than all these vain delights af-
forded me. Seek thy joy in God, dear Mary, and thou
wilt find it in rich abundance.
"You know well, my dear child, that during my long
life I have not been without many sorrows. Ah, when
your dear mother died, my heart was like the dry and
thirsty ground which is burnt up by the heat of the sun,
and is longing for rain. Even thus did I long for com-
fort, but I found it in God. Oh, my child, there will
certainly be days in your future life when your heart,
too, will be like the dry and thirsty ground; yet be un.
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
dismayed. Not in vain does the earth thirst for rain,
God sends it in his own good time. Seek comfort in God,
He will strengthen and refresh your heart as the parched
and cracked earth is refreshed by the mild and gentle rain.
"Dearest child, always keep your firm confidence in
God's holy providence. God causes all things to work
for good to them that love Him; He leads them through
the path of sorrow to endless joy.
Do you remember, dearest Mary, what bitter sorrow
you felt when on our journey I sank down on the high
road unable to move? Yet this illness was the very
means used by God to prepare for us this peaceful home,
where we have been so happy for more than three years.
But for this sicknesswe should probably either have passed
the door of our kind friends, or our misfortunes would not
have excited their compassion. They might perhaps have
given us a cup of milk and a piece of dry bread, and
then have let us go on our way. But for this sickness
we should not have learned to know these dear friends,
and should not have loved them so much. All the plea-
sures that we have here enjoyed, all the good that we
have done here, and the many hundred days of content
and pleasure that we have lived here have been blessings
that have sprung from that attack of sickness. Thus,
dear Mary, in the most melancholy occurrences of our
life we can see the grace and mercy of God. As God
scatters his flowers on mountain and valley, in the wood
and by the brook, even on the moor and in the marsh,
with a liberal hand, so that we may everywhere see the
evidences of his goodness and loving-kindness; even so
has He ordered all the events of our lives according to his
infinite wisdom, his love and compassion, so that every
attentive mind may remark this and find comfort and
"Amongst our greatest sorrows we must reckon the
accusation brought against you of theft. While you
were lying in chains and bonds condemned to death, and
we, in your prison-house were weeping and mourning to-
gether, t111 -'I.rr ,- were certainly bringing great bless-
ings, and I think that these blessings are now visible. At
the time whenthe young Countess distinguished you above
all other girls in the neighbourhood, honoured you with
JAM E: S ILLNESS.
her company, gave you so beautiful a dress, wished to
have you always with her-then, you thought, did you
not P-that you were happy. But how easily amongst the
honours, pleasures, and luxuries of this world might you
not have become vain, frivolous, worldly-minded, and
forgetful of God. God has been gracious to you, He has
ordered it otherwise, and sent misfortunes to us. In
prison, in misery, and, at length, on our weary wander-
ings, we have learned to know Him better, and have been
brought nearer to Him. In this remote place, far from
the distractions and disquietudes of the world, He has
prepared a better place for us. Thou bloomest here like
a flower in the solitary wilderness, safe from all dangers.
God, the true and faithful one, will order all things
for your good. I truly believe that He has heard my
prayer, and will yet bring your innocence to light, even
if I should not live to see it. It is not necessary to
make my mind easy, because I am already convinced
that you are innocent. Yes, dear Mary, happiness and
joy will spring forth to you even out of the sorrows that
you have endured; although earthly happiness is but a
small consideration, and the great reason why God sends
sorrow to us will never be known until we are in heaven,
for it is through much tribulation that we must enter
Grieve not then, pious soul, if thou art brought into
poverty and overwhelmed with anxieties, but believe
that God will graciously care for you, and that you need
have no care. Wherever his holy providence may lead
you, and however hard may be the lot which has been
appointed for you, believe that trials are sent to render
you still more virtuous and happy.
"As a gardener transplants young plants from
the seed-beds, when he finds it best for them, and as he
does this at the time best suited to make them thrive
and grow; so God removes each human being from this
world to the next, at the time and in the circumflfi iies
that are best for his or her eternal good. All things work
together for good to his people. He graciously removes
me to a land of pure delight where I shall be perfectly
blessed. And be assured, dear child, that this event
which you feel to be so heavy an affliction to you will be
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
over-ruled for good. As in all your past sorrows, so
will it ever be. My sickness and death, distressing now,
will be turned into a blessing. 'No chastening for the
present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous, nevertheless
afterwards it yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteous-
ness ur'to them that are exercised thereby.'
My loving child when I even mention death, you
burst into tears afresh! Oh, weep not! Look not upon
death as so terrible, rather look upon it as a source of
joy to a Christian. Let me remind you of some of the
lessons that I taught you in our old garden at Eichburg.
Remember our seed-beds in spring. How weak and
insignificant the little green shoots looked when they
first sprang up in the narrow bed. From their appear-
ance then you could not have told what magnificent
flowers they would become, or what rich fruits they would
one day produce. But if they had remained crowded
together in the little seed-beds, they would neither
have produced flowers nor fruits. They would not have
had room to grow. The gardener never intended them
to remain there to decay and rot; no, he merely left
them there till they were ready to be transplanted to the
open garden, in which under the beautiful blue sky,
enjoying the fresh air and the golden sunshine, and
refreshed with the rain and dew of heaven, they might
grow and blossom in beauty and luxuriance. Remember
how pleased you were when I transplanted the little
seedlings, and how you ofsen urged me not to delay it
because the poor plants were getting sickly and required
removal. You were glad when you saw them planted
out in the garden, and you used to say, How much
better they are now; I think I see an improvement in
them already.' We poor human beings are like these
weak little seedlings, and our earth is like the close
moist seed-bed. Here on earth is not our abiding place !
Here we are like these feeble, miserable plants. But we
shall become something better and more glorious when
God shall transplant us into his great, and glorious, and
beautiful garden above."
"Weep not for me, dear child. For me it is far
better to depart and be with Christ. It is good for me
to put off this vile body in which I have suffered so
much, and to be free for ever from sin, and pain, and
woe Dear Mary, do you not remember the extreme joy
we felt in our blooming garden in the lovely mornings in
spring? Heaven may be compared to a Paradise, an
infinitely glorious garden in which reigns an eternal
spring. I am now going to this better country. Oh, be
a pious girl, keep ever close to Christ, and trust in Him,
and we shall one day meet again in heaven! Here we
have suffered many trials and sorrows together, and
must part in tears. But there we shall meet to dwell
together in joy and blessedness, and never to part again!
There shall I see your mother again! Oh, how I rejoice
at the thought! Oh, Mary, seek to be prepared to join
us! If you should be in prosperity, forget not amid the
fleeting joys of earth the glory that is prepared for us
in heaven. Weep not, then, my beloved child, but rather
rejoice in the hope that is set before you!"
Thus the pious father made use of the last days of
his life to comfort his daughter whom he was obliged to
leave alone in the world; and thus he warned her to
beware of the evils and temptations that would surround
her in the world. Every word that he uttered was like
a good grain of corn that fell into good ground. I
have made you sorrowful, dear child," said he, and have
caused you to shed many tears, But these tears are
needful. What is sown amid tears, takes deeper root
and thrives better, like the grain of corn that is sown
amidst the soft and gentle showers of spring." They
that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
"Where calm the spirit sinks to ease,
Lulled by angelic symphonies!
Oh, then to think of meeting there
The friends whose grave received our tear!
"The child long lost, the wife bereaved,
Back to our widowed arms received;
And all the joys which death did sever,
Given to us again for ever.
"0 Lamb of God, by sorrow proved
The Friend of man, the Christ beloved,
To Thee this v-eetest hope we owe,
Which warms our shivering hearts below."
Hi. K. W rr,
"It matters not at what hour of. the day
The righteous fall asleep ; death cannot come
To him untimely who is fit to die;
The Iess of this cold world, the more of heaven ;
The briefer life, the earlier immortality."
S soon as the illness of her father had appeared
alarming, Mary had gone to Erlenbrunn to see
the clergyman of the parish to which the Pine1
Farm belonged. She told him how ill her
father was, and entreated that he would come to see
him. The clergyman, a worthy man, and a good minister,
visited him often, had much edifying conversation with
him, and never left the farm without saying a few words
of comfort and encouragement to Mary.
One afternoon when he came as usual, he found the
good old man much weaker. James told Mary to leave
the room for a little while, because he wished to speak
with the clergyman alone.
When after a short time she was again called into
the room, her father said to her-" My dear M\ary, I do
not think I shall ever be able to be up again, and: the
clergyman has kindly promised to administer the Holy
Communion to me to-morrow morning."
Mary had not thought her father in such great
danger. She saw that he thought death ai.r. achi!n!,
and she could not restrain her tears. But by a great
effort she recovered her composure.
"You are right, my dear father," said she. "What
can we do better, when we are in trouble, than seek tAe
comfort which God has promised to give in his holy
The rest of that day and most of the evening was
"spent by James in silent prayer: he spoke little, and
seemed to be communing with his own heart. Next day
he received the Communion from the hands of the minis-
ter with indescribable joy. Faith, love, and the hope of
eternal life, shone in his venerable countenance; tears
of deep emotion flowed over his withered cheeks. Mary,
kneeling by his sick bed, wept and prayed. A small
congregation had been formed in James's sick room.
The farmer, his wife, and several of their workpeople
joined in the holy service. All seemed deeply affected;
some were moved even to tears.
Now," said Mary, after it was all over, my heart
seems lihltcr, and I am much comforted. Truly both in
life and death, religion is the support of the soul;
in God alone can we find peace and comfort in afflic-
James continued to get weaker every day, and lie
felt that death was slowly approaching. The farmer and
his wife did cvrylthlin' in their power for him, for they
regardi d him as their best friend, and blessed the hour
that he had come into the house. 3Many times every
day, either one or other came into his little room to
see how he was, and if he wanted anything. On these
occasions, Mary's frequent question was, "Oh! don't
you think that he may yet recover ?"
Thinking it better to prepare her for the future, the
farmer's wife once said to her, My dear girl, I much
fear that he will not survive the spring."
From that time Mary looked with fear and trembling
from her little window into the garden. Hitherto she
had always rejoiced in the return of spring. But now
she looked sad when she saw the first delicate leaves
appear on the hedges, and the swelling buds on the trees;
she dreaded the approach of spring, and the early song
of the birds that she once loved so much, caused her
pain. The earliest snowdrops and primroses were an
unwelcome sight. Ah!" she said, "all around me is
springing into new life! must my dear father alone die,
while all seems reviving? Is there no hope for him?
Yes," continued she, raising her eyes to heaven, we
are commanded not to sorrow 'as those that have no
hope;' our Lord Jesus Christ has said, 'He that be-
lieveth in me shall not die.' lie is merely putting off
TIE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
this earthly house of clay, to rise to a new and better life
in heaven above !"
The pious old man often wished Mary to read aloud
to him. She read with reverence and feeling, and her
voice was sweet and clear. Towards the end of his
illness, the passages he heard with most pleasure were
the last words and the last prayer of our Lord Jesus.
One night Mary was watching silently beside him.
The moon was shining into the little room through the
window so clear and bright that the feeble glimmer of the
iight-light could scarcely be seen.
"Mary," said her father, read to me once more the
beautiful prayer of our Lord."
She lighted a candle and read it.
"Now give me the book," said he, "and hold the
candle for me a little."
Mary gave him the book, and held the lighted candle
See," said he, "this shall be my last prayer for you."
He laid his finger on the place, and prayed in a broken
voice, while he changed the words a little, so as to suit
himself and his daughter-
"Oh, heavenly Father! I have not long to remain
in this world; but this, my child, will be left for a time
in this world. I believe and trust that I am going
to Thee, 0 Father! Thou, Holy and Almighty God,
preserve my child from sin and evil, for Thy name's sake.
While I have been with her in this world, I have endea.
voured in Thy name and with thy strength to guard her
from it. But now come I to Thee. I pray Thee not that
Thou shouldest take her out of the world, but that Thou
shouldest keep her from the evil of it. I implore Thee
to sanctify her through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.
.Oh, heavenly Father! Grant that she, whom Thou hast
given to me on earth, may one day come to meet me
where I now hope to be with Thee, in heaven. These
things I ask in the name and for the sake of our Lord
Jesus Christ. Amen."
While James prayed, Mary stood by his bedside,
holding the candle in her trembling hand, and when he
concluded, she joined in his earnest amen," as well as
her sobs would permit.
"Yes," continued her father, "my dear daug"`er,
there shall we see Jesus in the glory which was given
Him by God before the foundation of the world, and there
in that better land we shall meet again."
He laid his head back on the pillow, and lay quiet for
a little, grasping the book in his hand. It was a Bible,
which he had bought with the first money that he had
been able to save after he had been driven from Eichburg,
deprived of everything he possessed.
"Dear Mary," said he, after resting for a little, I
thank you again for all the love which you have shown
me during my last illness. You have well and faithfully
kept the fifth commandment. Remember the promise
given to those who love and honour their parents. I
believe, dear Mary, that it will be fulfilled to you, and I
trust God will provide for you, though I must leave you,
to all outward appearance, poor and helpless. I can
give you nothing but my blessing and this book. Trust
in God, dear daughter, and this blessing will not be in
vain. The blessing of a father who trusts in and pleads
God's promises, is a greater blessing to good children
than the richest inheritance. Take this book as your
father's last gift. It cost only a few pence, yet if you
will read it diligently, and follow its directions carefully,
it is a greater treasure than gold or silver. If I could
leave you as many pieces of gold as there are leaves on
the trees in spring, you could buy nothing better with all
this money. For it is the Word of God, which has a
power to make all happy who believe it. Our Lord says
-'The words which I speak unto you, they are Spirit
and they are life.' Read it every morning; try to find
time for this amid all your toil and labour, even if you
have time but for one text; learn it and meditate on it
in your heart all day. If you do not quite understand
any part of it, pray that the Holy Spirit may enlighten
you. I have always read it with prayer for this help.
God alone can teach you rightly to understand it. All
that is most essential in it is clear and simple to the under-
standing of all. Hold fast by it, follow it, and you will not
be left without a blessing. A short text meditated on with
prayer is full of wise teaching. These few words-
'Consider the lilies of the fild,' have taught me more
6 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
wisdom than all the books which I read in my youth.
The deep meaning contained in these words has been
the source of many innocent enjoyments; and, amid
many sorrows which would otherwise have filled my
heart with anxious care, and made me faint-hearted and
desponding, it has inspired me with a cheerful and happy
About three o'clock in the morning, James said, "I
feel very ill, Mary. Open the window a little."
Mary opened it. The moon was no longer to be seen,
but the stars were sparkling brilliantly in the dark
See how beautiful the sky is," said James. "What
are the fading flowers of earth, when compared with the
unfading stars of heaven ? I am going where nothing
will ever fade or pass away. Oh, what joy! I am going
to my Saviour Keep close to Him, dear Mary, and so
we shall meet again."
Saying these words, he sank back upon his bed, and
he slept away gently and quietly. Mary thought it was
only a swoon; she had never before seen death. No one
had believed that her father's death was so near; but
Mary was struck with a look she had never seen before
-that once seen is never forgotten-and she hastened
to awaken the people in the house. They quickly came
into the chamber of death, and saw that James was gone.
When Mary heard that he was really dead, she kissed
his pale face, and embraced his cold remains, weeping
Oh, my good, good father," said she, "I can now
never reward you for all you have done for me! Oh, I
can do no more for you! Thanks, thanks for all the
kind words and precious advice that those pale lips have
given me! With heartfelt gratitude I kiss the cold, stiff
hand which has bestowed so many benefits upon me-
has laboured so hard for me-has chastised me with such
fatherly kindness in the days of my childhood! I now
see, for the first time, how good it was for me! Oh,
thanks, thanks, for all your goodness! Forgive me, if I
have grieved you through my childish thoughtlessness!
Oh, may God reward him for all his love to me! Oh
UQdp let my death be like the death of this righteous
JAMIES S DEATIT,
man! How brief is this earthly lifo! Iow blessed that
there is an eternal life in heaven!"
All present wept. At length the farmer's wife, by
persuasion, and entreaties, succeeded in inducing Mary
to leave the room.
Mary would not be prevented from returning to sit
beside the corpse of her father, where she read, and wept,
and prayed until the morning dawned. Before the coffin
was closed, she looked once more on the much-loved form.
"Ah!" said she, "do I look for the last time on this
venerable face ? How pleasant it looks, as if he were
smiling; almost as if it were lighted up by the first rays
of the future glory! Oh, farewell, farewell, my good
father !" sobbed she. I hope-1 believe that your spirit
is now at rest in heaven !"
She had made a bouquet of rosemary, of golden prim-
roses, and dark blue violets, and put it into the hand of
the good gardener, who had sown and planted so many
"These first blossoms of the newly-reviving earth
will be an emblem of his speedy resurrection," said she;
"and this ever-green rosemary an emblem of my qon
stant and living remembrance of him."
While they were nailing down the coffin, each stroke
of the hammer seemed so deeply to pierce her heart, that
she almost fainted away. The farmer's wife took her
into another room, and entreated her to lie down for a
little to rest.
Mary followed the funeral of her father in a deep
mourning dress, which had been given her by a kind
friend in the village. She was as white and pale as a
corpse, and every one pitied the poor orphan who was
now left alone without either father or mother.
As Mary's father was a stranger in Erlenbrunn, his
grave was dug in a corner of the churchyard, near the
wall. It was overshadowed by two tall fir-trees. The
clergyman gave a touching address to the people pre-
sent, on these words of our Lord Jesus Christ, Except
a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth
alone; but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit." He
spoke of the death unto sin, and the new life unto holi-
ness, shown forth in the example of the worthy old man.
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
He showed that each individual believer must die unto
sin before he can rise to new life in heaven. He told
them how meekly and patiently the good old man had
borne his affliction, thus proving that he was bringing
forth the fruits of the Spirit, among which are meekness,
patience, and long-suffering.
He said a few comforting words to the bereaved
orphan, and told her to remember that God is the Father
of the fatherless. He thanked the kind-hearted people
of the village for all their goodness to the departed, and
entreated them to continue to be kind to the bereaved
daughter, because, as he reminded them, Christians are
especially called to visit the fatherless in their affliction.
Mary visited the much-hallowed grave whenever she
went to church at Erlenbrunn, and as often as she could
spare time in the evenings. There she wept and prayed.
Homeless as she was, the grave that contained the dust
of all she loved seemed like a home. She loved the quiet
of the lonely churchyard. Nowhere else," said she,
"can I so well pray in peace. Here worldly things seem
to disappear from my view, and I have a longing for my
heavenly home." She never left the grave without
making pious resolutions to live only for the glory of
God, with the blessed hope that, believing in the same
Saviour in whom they trusted, and following their holy
footsteps, she might join her parents before the throne
Nay, shrink not from the word 'Farewell,
As if 'twere friendship's final knell!
Such fears may prove but vain;
So changeful is life's fleeting day,
Where'er we sever, Hope may say,
We part to meet again i'
Even the last parting earth can know
Brings not unutterable woe
To souls that heavenward soar;
For humble Faith, with steadfast eye,
Points to a brighter world on high,
Where hearts, that here at parting sigh,
May meet to part no more !"
TIE AVARICIOUS DAUGHTER-IN-LAW.
"Fittest is, that all contented rest
With that they hold: each hath his fortune in his breast.
It is the mind that maketh good or ill,
That maketh wretch'd or happy, rich or poor;
For some that hath abundance at his will
Hath not enough, but wants in greater store;
And other, that hath little, asks no more,
But in that little is both rich and wise;
For wisdom is most riches, fools therefore
They are, which fortune do by vows devise,
Sith each unto himself his life may fortunize."
R"OM the time of James's death Mary was con-
stantly sad. All wore a gloomy look as if the
flowers had lost their fresh colours. The dark
pine trees round the farm seemed black and
dismal, as if clothed in mourning. Time at length soft-
ened Mary's grief for the loss of her father, but she had
soon fresh sorrows to endure.
Great changes had taken place at the Pine Farm since
the death of her father. The farmer and his wife had
given up the farm to their only son, a good, quiet man,
who had recently married a young woman who was
rather pretty, and very rich for one in her station. She
was governed by two ruling passions, vanity of her
fancied beauty, and the love of money. Avarice and
conceit had so stamped themselves upon her counte-
nance, that her face, though pretty, wore a repulsive
expression. Whatever she thought was agreeable and
pleasant to her father and mother-in-law she was deter-
mined should not be done. When they gave up the
farm, the old couple had stipulated that their son should
provide for them for the rest of their days, but this con-
80 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
tract was fulfilled by their daughter-in-law in the most
penurious and niggardly manner. She annoyed them in
a thousand ways, and seemed to grudge every morsel
they ate. The good old people withdrew into the little
back room that James had formerly occupied, and very
seldom entered the front parlour.
The young husband fared no better. The shrew to
whom he was married abused him in the coarsest terms
numberless times a day, and continually taunted him with
the large fortune she had brought him. If he did not
wish to pass the day in wrangling and strife, he was
obliged to suffer in silence. She would not even permit
him to hold any intercourse with his old parents, because
she feared that he might find out how much she secretly
oppressed them. It was only in the evening, after his
work was over, that with a beating heart he ventured to
go to see them. He generally found them seated together,
mourning over the past, and he sat down with them, and
confided his sorrows to them.
Yes, yes," said the old farmer, "such is the way of
the world. "You, mother, were dazzled by the glitter
of the gold, and you, my son, were caught by the rosy
cheeks and bright eyes of your wife; I was to blame
because I yielded my better judgment too easily to your
entreaties. We have all three been punished; we ought
to have followed old James's advice. When this marriage
was spoken of during his life-time, the sagacious old man
did not at all approve of it. I still remember his words,
and have often thought of them since. Do you remem-
ber, mother, you once said 'ten thousand florins are
worth having. It is a pretty sum of money' ? But James
said, 'Don't call it a pretty sum. The flowers that you
see from the window in the garden are a thousand times
prettier. You should rather call it a heavy sum; for it
is certain that it would need strong shoulders to carry
it, without weighing down to the ground him who tries
to carry it, and crippling his energies, and making him a
sordid, worldly-minded man. Why should you strive so
earnestly for money? You have never as yet felt the
need of it. You have always had what you wanted, and
something over. Believe me, superfluity is no blessing;
too much is as bad as too little. Useful_ and necessary
as rain is, too much of it would destroy the healthiest
plants in the garden.' As well as I can remember, these
were James's words; I can almost fancy I hear him
speaking. You, my son, once said, 'She is a beautiful
creature, as blooming as a rose!' But prudent James
replied, A flower is not merely beautiful, it must have
some other good qualities united to its beauty. From
flowers we receive many valuable gifts, such as rich per-
fume, pure wax, and the sweetest honey. A fair form
without virtue is like a rose made of paper; it is very
like the real flower, but it is a miserable, lifeless thing,
without perfume and freshness, without wax or honey.'
So spoke honest James, but we would not listen to him,
and now we feel the effects of disregarding his counsel.
This marriage, that we once esteemed so fortunate, we
now see to be our greatest misfortune. May God grant
us grace to bear this affliction patiently, for it cannot be
helped now. What can't be cured, must be endured."
Thus the father, mother, and son, often conversed to-
gether in the little back room.
Poor Mary now fared very ill. As the old people
occupied the little back room, she had been obliged
to give it up to them; and though there were several
good rooms unoccupied, yet, out of ill-will to Mary, the
young farmer's wife put her into the worst room in the
house, annoyed her in every imaginable way, and tor-
mented her as no words can describe. The whole day
there was strife. Mary could never work enough tN
please her hard task-mistress, and nothing that she did
gave satisfaction. The poor orphan felt only too acutely
that she was considered as an unwelcome intruder. The
old people could afford her no assistance; they could not
even help themselves. She very often thought of leaving
the place, and going elsewhere. But the puzzling question
arose, whither could she go ?
Mary asked the advice of the worthy clergyman. This
excellent man said to her-" You cannot remain much
longer at the. Pine Farm, my good Mary. Your late
estimable father gave you a superior education, and had
you instructed in all that is necessary for the manage-
ment of a household in the middle class; but at the Pine
Farm they require from youT the rough work of an un-
THE AVARICIOUS DAVGIITER-IN-LW,*
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
educated peasant girl. They overwhelm you with hard
labour which is beyond your strength, and is not suitable
for you. Notwithstanding, I do not advise you to start
off at once, and wander at random about the world. I
think that the best thing you can do is, to remain here
at present, to work as much as you can without hurting
your health, to pray, to trust in God, and to wait patiently
till it pleases God to deliver you out of your troubles.
He who caused you to be brought up in another circle
will also be pleased to restore you to the circle which
you were forced to leave. I will try to find a situation
for you in a respectable Christian family. Pray without
ceasing, and trust in God; He will preserve you in trial,
and will make all things work together for your good."
Mary thanked the clergyman for his judicious advice,
and promised to follow it.
Her father's grave was the dearest spot on earth to
Mary. She had planted a rose-bush on it. "Ah! said
she, as she watered it with her tears, "if I might be per-
mitted to come often here, my tears would so moisten
the ground that the rose-tree would always be green and
The rose-tree was now adorned with green leaves,
and the dark crimson buds began to open. "My father
was right," said Mary, when he said that human life
was like a rose-tree. Sometimes it seems withered and
bare, with nothing to be seen on it but thorns; but if
we wait awhile, the time returns when it is clothed with
fresh foliage, and covered with lovely roses. It is now
my time of thorns, but I will be undismayed. I will
believe your words, 0 my good father. Perhaps your
proverb will be fulfilled in my experience, 'Patience will
"God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will.
THE AVARICIOUS DAUGHTER-IM-LAW.
"Ye fearful saints fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread,
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
"Judge not the Lord, by feeble sense,
But trust Him for his grace;
Behind a frowning Providence
He hides a smiling face.
" His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour:
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
"Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And He will make it plain."
"W When gathering clouds around I view,
And days are dark, and friends are few;
On Him I lean, who, not in vain,
Experienced every human pain;
lie sees my griefs, allays my fears,
And counts and treasures up my tears.
FIE fifteenth of July had been wont to be a happy
day to Mary, for it was the birthday of her be-
loved father. This year, when the. morning
sun shone bright and warm into her room, she
greeted it with tears instead of smiles. In former times,
she had been accustomed to prepare some little pleasure
for her father on this day; she gave him a present that
she had privately prepared, cooked some dish that he
liked, and tastefully adorned the table with flowers. She
tried to find out whether she could not still show her
love to him in some way. The country people in the
neighbourhood were wont to adorn with flowers the
graves of their beloved friends, especially on their birth-
days. Mary knew this, for they had often asked her for
flowers, which she always willingly gave to them. This
gave her the idea of placing flowers on her father's grave.
The ill-fated basket, which had been the cause of all her
misery, was standing in the room, and her eye fell upon
it at the moment. She took it in her hand, filled it with
the loveliest flowers, and prettiest green leaves from the
garden-set off to Erlenbrunn an hour sooner than the
time for divine service, and placed the basket on her
father's grave. Her tears dropped on the flowers, and
glittered like dew on the fresh leaves. My dear, good
father," said she, "you strewed the pathway of my early
life with flowers; I can never rep,:y you for all your love
and care. But I will at least adorn your grave with
FRESH TROUBLES. Z0
flowers She left the basket standing on the grave;
she was not afraid that any one would take away either
the flowers or the basket. The country people rather
regarded it with sorrowful reverence. They cordially
blessed the good daughter, and sympathized in the
respect she paid to the good father she had loved so
On the following day while the farmer and his work-
people were busied among thle hay in a distant part of
the farm, a piece of linen was missed, which had been
laid out to bleach, on the bleaching green near the house.
The young farmer's wife did not miss it till the evening,
and as like all avaricious people, she was very suspicious,
she immediately blamed Mary. Honest James had made
no secret of the story of the ring, and had confided all
the circumstances connected with it to the old people.
The son, who had thus become acquainted with it,
thoughtlessly and most indiscreetly told the story to his
wife. In the evening, when Mary, with a rake on her
shoulder and an earthen pitcher in her hand, appeared
in the house among the other servant girls, the young
farmer's wife met her in a furious rage, accosted her with
the most insulting words, and told her to produce the
piece of linen.
Mary modestly said, that it was impossible she could
have taken the piece of linen, because she had been all
day in the hayfield, along with the other work-people.
She thought that while the farmer's wife had been cook-
ing the dinner, some stranger might easily have carried
off the linen. This had been really the case. But the
farmer's wife would not listen to reason, and screamed
out in a fearful passion, "You thief! Do you think I
don't know that you stole a ring, and narrowly escaped
the sword of justice ? Go out of my house this moment \
I will not keep such as you under my roof!"
The young farmer said, You will surely not send
her away so late! The sun is already set! Let her have
her supper this evening, since she has worked for us the
whole day in the heat. Give her a bed, at least for this
She shall not stay one hour," screamed the virago,
" and you had better hold your tongue. or I will stop
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
your mouth for you in a way you won't like." The poor
man saw that anything he could say would only make
matters worse, therefore he was silent. Mary made no
answer to the railing and passionate woman. She
quietly packed up her few possessions, and took her
little bundle under her arm. Before leaving the Piner
Farm she protested that she was innocent of the crime
of which she had been accused, and begged to be per-
mitted to bid farewell to the good old people, and thank
them for all their kindness. "Certainly you may see
them," said the young wife with a sneer, and if you
would take them both with you, it would be doing me a
favour. Death seems in no hurry to come for them."
The good old couple had heard the uproar, and were
weeping for Mary's sake. They kindly comforted her,
and offered her all the money they had, which amounted
only to a florin. Go, dear child," said they, and may
God be with you! The blessing of your father will rest
upon your head, and God will protect you. Remember
us kindly, we are sure that all will go well with you."
Mary went away in the twilight, with her little bundle
under her arm, and slowly ascended the narrow footpath
that led across the wooded hills. She wished to visit
her father's grave once more. When she came out of
the wood, the evening bells were ringing in the village,
and before she reached the churchyard it was dark. But
she did not fear to wander among the graves at night;
she went to the little grassy hillock which marked the
spot where her father was buried, and sat down there to
The full moon shone bright between the two dark
pine trees, and its pale silver beams lighted up the roses
and the basket of flowers which still stood upon the
grave. The evening breeze rustled gently in the
branches of the pine trees, and stirred the leaves of the
rose tree on the grave. This was the only movement, all
else around was still and silent.
"My dear father," said Mary. "Oh that you yet
lived, and that your poor Mary could tell you her griefs!
Yet I ought not to say so; I ought rather to thank God
that you are taken away from this new sorrow! You
are where neither sorrow nor suffering can ever reach
you more! Would that I was with you! Ah, I was
never so unhappy in my whole life before! Even when I
saw the moon shining through the iron grating of my
prison, I had the comfort of feeling that you, dearest
father, were alive, feeling with me and praying for me.
But now the moon is shining on your grave. At the
time when I was driven out from my home, I still had
you with me, my true protector and friend. Now I have
no friend left; poor, forsaken, suspected of being a thief
when I am innocent, and a desolate stranger in a strange
country; I have no home, and am alone in the world!
I must leave even this little spot of earth, which seems
to belong to me since you have been laid there; and the
last comfort of weeping over your grave must now be
taken away from me."
0 gracious God!" said she, as somewhat more
composed she sank upon her knees, "my kind heavenly
Father, look down on a poor, forsaken orphan, who is
weeping on the grave of her last earthly friend, and have
pity on me! When our need is greatest, thy help is
ever nearest. My grief could not be greater, and my
heart is ready to burst with sorrow! Oh show me that
thine arm is not shortened that thou canst not save.
Make manifest thy mercy in saving me, forsake me not,
for I have no friend but Thee! Oh take me to thyself
in heaven where my good parents are! Oh send, I be-
seech Thee, a little drop of comfort into my fainting
heart! When the thirsty flowers are drooping and
fading after the glowing heat of noonday, thou sendest
the refreshing dew to revive them in the cool moonlight!
Oh, have pity! Have pity on me!" Her hot tears flowed
afresh down her cheeks;
"What shall I do ?" said she, after thinking for
a while, and where shall I go ?" I am afraid to seek a
shelter in any house at such a late hour! If I were to
tell why I had been turned out, probably no one would
like to take me in."
She looked around her. Near the wall of the church-
yard, and close to her father's grave, there was an old
moss covered stone, and as the inscription had been long
worn out, and it was in the way, it had been put on one
side and used a seat. I will rest on this stone," said
88 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
she, "and spend the night beside my father's grave.
Perhaps I am here for the last time, and shall never see
this precious grave again. In the morning at break of
day, I will go forth, trusting in God; wherever his Pro-
vidence may lead me."
"When mourning o'er some stone I bend,
Which covers all that was a friend;
And from his voice, his hand, his smile,
Divides me for a little while;
Thou Saviour, mark'st the tears I shed,
For Thou didst weep o'er Lazarus dead.
And oh! when I have safely past
Through every conflict but the last;
Still, still, unchanging watch beside
My painful bed-for Thou hast died;
Then point to realms of cloudless day,
And wipe the latest tear away."
HELP IN TIME OF NEED.
C Hope on, though woes be doubled,
Hope, and be undismayed;
Let not thine heart be troubled,
Nor let it be afraid.
Up, up, the day is breaking,
Say to thy cares, Good night!'
Thy troubles from thee shaking,
Like dreams in day's fresh light.
Thou wearest not the crown,
Nor the best course canst tell;
God sitteth on the throne,
And guideth all things well."
ARY sat down on the moss-covered stone, in the
dark shadow of the overhanging fir-branches,
and hid her face in her pocket-handkerchief,
Which was already wet with her tears. Her
soul was deeply moved, and she prayed earnestly and
fervently to God for help.
Oh, sobbed she, that God would send an angel to
show me where I should go!"
She had sat thus some time, when she thought she
heard a gentle voice calling her, Mary, Mary !" She
started up affrighted, and looked round. She clearly
saw standing near her in the moonlight a fair and lovely
form, with eyes beaming with heavenly kindness, cheeks
of the most delicate pinik, like an opening peach-blossom;
flowing golden hair, falling in graceful curls on her
shoulders; clothed in a light dress, as white as snow.
Mary sank trembling on her knees before the figure,
exclaiming, Has God really sent an angel to help
"Dear Mary," said the kind voice, "I am not an
angel, but a human being like yourself, yet I have come
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
to help you. God has heard your earnest prayer. Look
at me. Is it possible that you do not remember me P"
Oh, yes !" exclaimed Mary. "How is it possible
that I did not know you at first ? It is the Countess
Amelia. How have you come here, my gracious lady ?
-here, in this desolate place, at this hour of the night,
so many miles from your own home !"
The Countess Amelia gently raised Mary from the
ground, folded her arms round her, kissed away her
tears, and said, Dear, good Mary, we have done you
great injustice. You were ill-rewarded for the pleasure
you gave me by the gift of the pretty basket. But your
innocence is now clear. Oh, can you forgive us ?-will
you forgive my parents and me ? We will do all we can
to atone for our cruel mistake, and make you forget all
you have suffered. Do forgive us, dear Mary."
Oh! do not speak of forgiveness, gracious lady,"
said Mary. weeping. Considering the circumstances,
you dealt very gently with us. It never even came into
my mind to cherish any evil feelings against you. I
always thought with gratitude of your kindness. What
gave me most pain was, that you, dear lady, and your
kind parents, must have thought me wicked and un-
grateful. I desired nothing more earnestly than that
one day you should be convinced of my innocence. God
has granted this earnest wish and prayer. Thanks be
The Countess embraced Mary kindly, and bedewed
her face with tears. Then she looked down at the grave
at her feet, clasped her hands, and said, in a sorrowful
voice, "Oh, worthy, excellent man, whose mortal form is
lying here-whom I have known and loved from my
earliest childhood-who made the first cradle in which I
lay, and whose last gift to me, on my birthday, was this
basket that is now standing on the grave-oh! would
that you were yet alive, that I might see your face once
more, and entreat your forgiveness for the injury which
we unjustly did you! Oh, if we had but acted less
rashly, and had more confidence in your long-tried
fidelity, honest old servant, perhaps your body would
not now have been lying here-perhaps you would have
been still alive and with us as you usedto be! Oh that
HELP IN TIME OF NEED.
I could have heard you forgive me! In the name of my
parents, I here make a solemn vow at your grave, that
the atonement that we can no longer make to you we
will make doubly to your daughter. It shall be our care
to make her happy. Oh, Mary, did your father for.
give us P"
My gracious lady," said Mary, "my father never
felt the least resentment towards the family he had so
much loved. He remembered them every day, in his
morning and evening prayers, as he had been wont to do
at Eichburg. He blessed them on his death-bed; and
shortly before he died, he said to me, 'Mary, I firmly
believe that the noble family at the castle will one day
acknowledge your innocence, and recall you from banish-
ment. If this should be the case, then tell the noble
Count and gracious Countess, and that angel the Lady
Amelia, whom I have often carried in my arms when she
was a child, that to my last hour my heart was full of
veneration, love, and gratitude towards them.' I assure
you, gracious Countess, that these were his very
On hearing these words, the Lady Amelia could not
restrain her tears. At length she said, Come, Mary,
let us sit down a little on this stone. I cannot leave the
grave till I tell you how God has made manifest your
innocence, and how earnestly we desire to atone to you
for all you have suffered."
"The hours of pain have yielded good,
Which prosperous days refused;
As herbs, though scentless when entire,
Spread fragrance when they're bruised.
"The oak strikes deeper as its boughs
By furious blasts are driven;
So life's vicissitudes the more
Have fixed my heart in heaven.
"All-gracious Lord! whatever my lot
In other times may be,
I'll welcome still the heaviest grief
That brings me near to Thee."
TIHE COUNTESS AMELIA'S STORY.
Father! Thy faithful love,
Thy mercy, wise and mild,
Sees what will blessings prove,
Or what will hurt Thy child.
And what Thy wise foreseeing
Doth for Thy children choose,
Thou bringest into being,
Nor suffrest them to lose.'
OD is surely with you, dear Mary, said the
Countess Amelia, while she sat down beside
Mary on the stone. "I have been brought
here in a wonderful way to help you. I
must tell you how it happened. It seems all quite
simple and natural, yet in the chain of little circum-
stances which hwve resulted in bringing me here,
we may trace tho over-ruling hand of Divine Provi-
From the tire when your innocence was discovered
I could not rest. You and your father were ever present
to my thoughts. Believe me, dear Mary, I shed many
tears on your account. My parents caused search to be
made everywhere for you, but we could not obtain any
intelligence as to where you were. Three days ago I
came with my father and mother to a hunting-lodge,
belonging to the Prince, not far from the village. It had
not been inhabited for twenty years, except by a forester
put in to take care of it. You know that my father is
the keeper of the Royal forests, and he has lately had
some disputes to settle about the boundaries. He has
been all day engaged with two other noblemen, who are
concerned in the affair. My mother has been obliged to
entertain their wives and daughters. I am glad that
she did not require my assistance, as I do not like these
THE COUNTESS AMELIA'S STORY.
formal parties. After the hot day we have hiad, the
evening was so cool and pleasant, the sunset so lovely,
the hills around, with their picturesque cliffs appearing
between the dark pine-trees, formed so charming A
picture, and so enchanted me, that I begged my mother's
permission to take a short walk. I was accompanied by
the daughter of the forester.
"We passed through the village; the gate of the
churchyard stood open. The grave stones were gilded
by the rays of the setting sun. From my childhood I
have always had a fancy for reading the inscriptions on
tomb-stones. I am much moved when I read that a
youth or a maiden has been cut off in the bloom of life; and
I feel a kind of melancholy pleasure when I find that an
old man or woman has reached a very advanced age.
Even the rhymes, although their meaning is generally
better than their composition, have often suggested to
me many good ideas, and taught me many a useful lesson.
We therefore went into the churchyard.
"After I had read many of the inscriptions, the
forester's daughter said to me, 'Now I will show you
something really beautiful. It is the grave of a poor
man, on which there is neither tomb-stone nor inscrip-
tion, but which has been decked with flowers by his
daughter, who fondly loved him. Do you see under the
dark shade of yonder pine-trees, a rose-tree covered
with roses, and a pretty basket of flowers placed on the
I went to the place, and stood petrified with
astonishment! At the first glance I recognized the
basket which had been frequently in my thoughts since
you left Eichburg. I examined it more closely; it was
certainly the same. The initials of my name and the
crest of my family left no room for doubt. I questioned
the forester's daughter about you and your father. She
told me that you had been living at the Pine Farm, and
related to me some particulars of your father's last illness,
and of your deep affliction at his death. I hastened to
the parsonage to see the clergyman who visited your
father. I found him a very kind and worthy man. He
confirmed all that I had been told, and said much in your
praise. I wished to go immediately to the Pine Farm;
94 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
'but while I was conversing with the clergyman the
time passed so quickly that it was already dark.
"' What is to be done ?' said I. 'It is certainly too
late to visit the farm to-night, and to-morrow at break of
day we are to leave this neighbourhood.'
"Then the clergyman sent for the schoolmaster, and
asked him if he would kindly go to the farm and bring
you to the parsonage.
"'Mary, poor desolate girl!' said the schoolmaster,
'I need not go so far to fetch her. She is in the church-
yard weeping and mourning over her father's grave.
Poor child, I fear that she will lose her senses through
grief. I saw her through an opening in the church-
tower, when, after the ringing of the evening bell, I
went to wind up the clock, that if possible I might keep
the old machinery going, at least, as long as the noble
family remain at the Lodge.'
"The clergyman wished to accompany me to your
father's grave, but I begged him to allow me to go alone,
that I might speak to you freely, without witnesses.
I earnestly entreated him to be so kind as to go
to my parents, who might be anxious about me,
and tell them where I am, and prepare them to see you
return with me. You see now, dear Mary, how it was
that I appeared to you so suddenly. By the inter-
position of Providence, the basket has been the means of
re-uniting us at your father's grave."
Yes," said Mary, clasping her hands, and looking up
thankfully to heaven, God has done it all. He has had
compassion on my tears, and has heard my prayers in my
most extreme need. Oh, how graciously, how lovingly
has He dealt with me! Some say, indeed, that God does
not now send angels to succour those in suffering. But
I know from experience that He still sends angels-noble
souls, full of compassion and kindly feeling, who, like the
Countess Amelia, take an active part in relieving the
distressed. God sends messengers such as these, and
guides their footsteps at the right time to the very
place in which they are needed, and where their
presence gives comfort and joy, as if an angel had
Amelia here interrupted Mary, and said, "I have yet
HE COUNTESS AMELIA'S STORY.
one more circumstance to tell you, dear friend, respecting
this story, which I have felt very deeply, and which has
inspired me with reverence and awe for the holy provi-
dence of God, who overrules all that we do when we
are least thinking of it. Harriet, the greatest enemy
whom you have on earth, had been plotting and con-
triving how to deprive you of my love, with the hope of
getting into greater favour herself. On this account she
invented the wicked falsehood she told, and her malicious
plot seemed for a time to have been completely successful.
But in the end, as you shall hear, this very falsehood was
the cause of her losing her place and our confidence for
ever, and of making you still dearer to our hearts. She
sought to separate you for ever from me; she exulted in
your banishment for life; in the last outbreak of her
wickedness and malice, she threw the basket that you
had given me at your feet, with a mocking smile; but
it was exactly this malicious action-little as she could
have thought it at the time-which was the cause of
uniting us again, for it was by means of the basket that
I have found you here. Is it not true that no enemy can
injure those who love God, for God overrules for the
lasting good of his people all the evil that wicked people
try to inflict upon them, and so that while our worst
enemies are striving to injure us and plotting our de-
struction, they are actually working for our good against
their will. That good comes out of evil, is a certain
But now that I have told you all this," continued
the Countess, will you now tell me, dear Mary, why
you came to the grave at so late an hour, and wherefore
you were weeping so very bitterly ?"
Mary related the circumstances of her unjust dis-
missal from the farm.
Oh !" said the Countess, in surprise, "this is another
wonderful instance of God's providence. When you
were in the deepest need, and in sore distress were im-
ploring help from God, He answered your prayers
by guiding my steps to this spot at the right moment.
iere you see a fresh proof that God brings good out of
evil. When the wicked farmer's wife turned you out of
her house, as she thought, to suffer misery and want, she
THE BASKEt OF FLOWERS.
little imagined that her cruelty would be the means or
guiding you to me and my good parents, who will do
their best to make you happy."
"But now," continued Amelia, it is time that we
should go home. My parents are ex pecting me. Come
with me, dear Mary, I shall not willingly part with you
again, and to-morrow you shall go with us to Eichburg."
Mary could not help feeling a pang at the thought
that she might perhaps never see her father's grave
again. She lingered as if unable to leave the place. The
Countess gently took her by the arm, saying kindly,
"Come away, dear Mary, and bring the basket of flowers
with you ; it will be a lasting remembrance of your good
old father. Instead of the basket of flowers with which
your filial love has adorned his grave, we shall order a
more lasting monument to be erected. You shall come
back and see it, but come away in the meantime. I am
sure that you must be anxious to hear how the ring
was found, and on the way I shall tell you all
They left the churchyard arm in arm, and wended
their way towards the old castle in the soft moonlight.
"Dear as thou wert, and justly dear,
We will not weep for thee;
One thought shall check the starting tear,
It is that thou art free.
And thus shall Faith's consoling power
The tears of love restrain;
Oh who that saw thy parting hour,
Could wish thee here again I
"Triumphant in thy closing eye,
The hope of glory shone;
Joy breathed in thy expiring sigh,
To think the fight was won.
Gently the passing spirit fled,
Sustained by grace Divine-
Oh! may such grace on me be shed,
And make my end like thine !"
THE RING FOUND.
Trnst God to govern all!
No king can rule like Him;
How wilt thou wonder when
Thine eyes no more are dim
To see these paths which vex thee,
How wise they were and meet;
The works which now perplex thee,
How beautiful, complete !"
'HE way to the castle led through an avenue of
tall old lime-trees. After the Lady Amelia and
Mary had walked together along this road, for
a little way in silence, overcome by varying
emotions, the young Countess said,
"I must now tell you how the ring was found.
This year we went earlier in the season than we used to
do to the Castle of Eichburg, because business obliged
my father to be there. It was about the beginning of
March. When we arrived the weather was pleasant for
the season, but it soon changed, and during one night in
particular there was a terrible storm of wind and rain.
o you remember the very tall pear-tree in the garden
at Eichburg ? You know it was very old, and scarcely
bore any fruit; on that stormy night it had been so bent
and broken by the wind that it seemed ready to fall. My
father, therefore, ordered it to be cut down. All the ser-
vants were called out to help to hold the ropes to prevent
its destroying the other trees in its fall. My father and
mother, my brothers and I, and, indeed, almost all in the
castle, went into the garden to look on.
When the tree had fallen with a great crash, my two
little brothers rushed to seize a magpie's nest which wa.
near the top of the tree, and had long excited their
youthful curiosity, though they had never been able to