Show your colours, and other true narratives

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Material Information

Title:
Show your colours, and other true narratives
Physical Description:
62, 2 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 16 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Knight ( Printer )
Religious Tract Society (Great Britain) ( Publisher )
Publisher:
Religious Tract Society
Place of Publication:
London ;
Manchester ;
Brighton
Manufacturer:
Knight
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Sisters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children -- Death -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Orphans -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Romanies -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1879   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1879   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1879
Genre:
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
England -- Manchester
England -- Brighton

Notes

General Note:
Date of publication from inscription.
General Note:
Frontispiece printed in colors.
General Note:
Publisher's advertisements follow text.
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002237480
notis - ALH7967
oclc - 61514788
System ID:
UF00047790:00001

Full Text
















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LONDON:
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY:
56 PATERNOSTER Row; 65, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD;
AND 164, PICCADILLY.
MANCHESTER : CORPORATION ST. BRIGHTON: WESTERN ROAD.

















CONTENTS.




SHOW YOUR COLOURS:

A SHORT SKETCH OF SPENCER THORNTON 5



MY TWO SISTERS.

1. EARLY DAYS 15

II. STRICKEN WITH FEVER 24

III. LILLY IN HEAVEN 34

IV. COMFORT IN SORROW 42



MINNA LEE, THE GIPSY GIRL.

I. MY SUNDAY SCHOLAR 4

uI. A WELL-LEARNT LESSON. 55












j~fh w giowr 49fbxhrs
OR,
A SHORT SKETCH OF SPENCER THORNTON.



nO was Spencer Thornton? is
Sa question you are perhaps
disposed to ask. When you
have read what is here said
about him, you will say, I
think, that he was a boy and
a man worth knowing.
He was born in the year 1813; was trained
by a pious mother; went first to a private
school, and then, when he was old enough, to
Rugby, where Dr. Arnold was head-master.
After that he went to college, studied for the
ministry, in due time entered upon his work
in life, and died suddenly when not much
more than a young man.
These were the circumstances-the outward






6 Show your Colous .
surroundings-of his life. What was he him
self ?
Well, he was not a particularly clever boy
not more so than five boys out of any six that
you might find in any school now-a-days; and
he did not become a great man. He was not
a great statesman or soldier or discoverer;
nor did he make much money by his enter-
prise in trade. But he was what is better
than all, and first of all, a true, honest, fearless,
Faithful Christian boy at school; and what he
was as a boy at school he was as a man, as
those who knew him best can testify.
Yet he was not a dull boy; what boys used
to call, and perhaps do now call, a "spoon."
No boy was more hearty and earnest in his
play, no boy enjoyed it more than he did;
many of them probably not so much, for a
clear conscience is a wonderful help both in
playing and working. And in his play, as
well as his work, Spencer Thornton was up-
right, honest, sincere, and good; honestly,
genuinely good, so that no boy dared to call
him sneak or hypocrite, because they knew
that such words could have no application to
him. In his presence bad boys felt ashamed
of their wickedness; and when he was one of






A Sketch of Spencer Thornton. 7
the eleven at cricket, or played with the rest
at their football matches, bad words were
rarely used. One of his schoolfellows said
about him afterwards, "I have known boys
check themselves when about to use bad
words if he was near."
Once a big boy was swearing, and Thornton
ventured to speak to him. The boy struck
him for his interference, as he chose to con-
sider it. What did Thornton do ? He offered
him a tract about swearing, and the boys who
stood round were so struck with his coolness
and forbearance that they respected him still
more. That was a higher proof of courage too
than if he had returned the blow.
So he soon became known to all the school
as "a religious boy," and he was not ashamed
of it. Why should he be? It was his honour,
not his shame, that he was so. From some of
them he had to endure reproach and ridicule,
but he did not shrink from his religion on
that account. If they could have said any-
thing evil of him that was true, he might
have been ashamed, but not for following
Christ. He stood up for the truth. He
showed his colour s!
His example and influence soon began to






8 Show your Colours:
tell upon the boys with whom he associated,
and even upon the whole school. Many
seemed to catch his spirit. He once wrote to
his mother with great joy to tell her that he
believed one of his schoolfellows had become
a true Christian; and this was not the only
case. He used to try in all ways to lead
them in the paths of true happiness, and that
is the same thing as saying, the ways of true
religion.
On Sunday, the morning service at the
school-chapel began at half-past ten, and was
over soon enough to allow those who wished
to do so, to go to the parish church in time to
hear the sermon. Spencer Thornton always
went, but he did not go alone. He persuaded
one and another of his schoolfellows to go
with him, and sometimes, his face lighted up
with joy, he would take as many as thirty.
Indeed about twenty became regular attend-
ants. Boys who were more clever than he was
had such confidence in his goodness, that they
used to look up to him as their leader and
friend. His daily life showed them what he
was; and when they saw him foremost in their
games, and never shirking his work, always
full of spirits, cheerful, active, generous, yet






A Sketch of Spencer Thornton. 9
never doing a dishonourable thing, or a bad
thing, or using a bad word, they learned to
respect him, as boys and men always will the
boy or the man who is not ashamed of his
religion. "Show your colours," he wrote
afterwards to a friend. He never was ashamed
of his. He was ever ready to confess Christ,
to let it be seen who was his Master and
Saviour, and under whose colours he fought.
But he was not always thrusting his religion
forward as if he was proud of it, and wanted
other boys to see how good he was. He
tried to find out the boys who seemed likely
to be led right, and to influence them. Some-
times he would find a boy who had been early
trained in religion, and try to keep him away
from the bad ones. At other times he would
meet with a boy in trouble, and try and help
him, that he might have the opportunity of
talking to him about the best things. Some-
times he would get a few to come and read
the Bible with him. And remember this, it
was not his cleverness, but his character, which
enabled him to do these things.
Dr. Stanley, Dean of Westminster, who was
his schoolfellow at Rugby, wrote about him
after his death thus: He left a very strong






10 Show your Colour :
impression on the boys of his religious good-
ness, to a degree beyond any other instance
of a similar kind that I can recollect. His
influence was never injured by anything like
softness or weakness. He was always straight-
forward, manly, and upright."
Dr. Arnold, the head master, said of him:
"I would stand to that man hat in hand;"
so much did he respect his character. He
always spoke of him as having been a blessing
to the school; and when he left he made him
a present of books, "in testimony of the im-
portance he attached to the religious influence
he had exercised while at Rugby," and wrote
to his parents, "My obligations to your son
are great, for he has done good to the school
to an extent that cannot be calculated. It is
far beyond common congratulations to be
blessed with such a son."
"I cannot tell you," he wrote to a friend,
"how much happier I am now, since it has
pleased God to turn my heart, than when I
was living in the love of sin."
He always rose early to secure time for de-
votion. In the winter he arose not later than
six o'clock, and the time from that hour to
eight was given to reading, study, and prayer.






A Sketch of Spencer Thornton. 11
What he was at school, he was at college,
and throughout his whole life. At college he
established and conducted a missionary prayer
meeting among the undergraduates. Going
there one evening, he met one of them and
asked him where he was going. "To a wine
party," was the reply. You had better come
to our missionary meeting," said Thornton.
He went, and the result was that from that
day he began a new course of life, and after-
wards became truly a "new man in Christ-
Jesus."
In due time he left college, and became a
curate at Wootton, under the Rev.'E. Bicker-
steth; and there his zeal and love won him
the love of his rector and of the parishioners,
particularly the poor.
His landlady said that she was converted
to God by the pious efforts of her young
lodger.
One circumstance which took place will
show how persevering he was in his work, and
how loving was his spirit. An old man whom
he had often in vain urged to come to church
was taken ill. Spencer Thornton went to his
cottage to see him, but the old man, hearing
his voice, called out from his bed, "I don't






12 Show your Colours:
want you here; you may go away." He did
go away, but the next day he came again,
and again the old man refused to see him.
Twenty-one days in succession did Spencer
Thornton go to the cottage, and with the
same result. But on the twenty-second day
the old man gave in, and allowed him to
come upstairs and pray and read with him.
The man recovered, and became one of the
most regular attendants at the house of God.
At twenty-four years of age he became
rector of Wendover; and the same spirit of
devotedness, with, if possible, a deeper tone
of piety, marked his ministry there. What
he was at Rugby he was here. His industry
and activity astonished even those who knew
him. He was always at work, always trying
to do good. Perhaps he even went too far,
and injured his health by it. "All work and
no play" is good neither for boys nor men.
But his heart was fully in all he did, and
perhaps he felt himself that the night was
coming when no man could work. At any
rate it did soon come. Twelve years he
thus laboured, and then, at the early age of
thirty-six, he fell suddenly in the street, from
disease of the heart, in passing through






A Sketch of Spencer Thornton. 1I
London, and died before any help could be
brought to him.
Now, lads and young men, is not this a
noble life ? Is there not a beauty in this life
of simple open-hearted cheerful piety ? And
what a long life it was if we reckon it by the
worth of it It was real love to Christ, real
devotion to Him. Therefore Thornton was not
ashamed of Him, and therefore he won the
respect of all who knew him. Depend upon
it you never gain anything by being ashamed
of Christ and His religion. Always show your
colours.
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in
the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in
the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of
the scornful. But his delight is in the law
of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate
day and night. And he shall be like a tree
planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth
forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall
not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall
prosper." Do not be afraid of reproach or
ridicule for Christ's sake. "Show your colours"
as Spencer Thornton did. That is the best
way of meeting the sneers of the irreligious.
Your schoolfellows, and when you leave school





14 Show your Colours.
your fellow-students, or your fellow-clerks, or
your shopmates, may jest and jeer, but they
will learn to respect you for it. And above all
show the true spirit of Christ; the spirit of
kindness, of justice, of cheerfulness, of open-
hearted manners; show that the religion of
Christ makes you better and happier than
others, more generous and forgiving and
obliging; let them find this out in your life
day by day, and they will love you, and
honour Christ in you.
Perhaps you will say, "Ah that's all very
well, but Spencer Thornton was going to be a
minister, and of course he ought to be better
than other boys." Stop a moment! what is
right for one boy or one man is right for
another. We all owe God all our service.
We all need to be renewed by His Holy
Spirit. We all need to be pardoned our sins
for Christ's sake. And if we can rejoice that
our sins are forgiven, ought we not to love Him
and serve Him with all our hearts and all our
lives, wherever and whatever we may be ?






15




3M I Piwo J isters;
OR,
THE DAYS OF MY YOUTH.


CHAPTER I.
EARLY DAYS.
AM an old woman now: my hair is
grey, my sight dim, my face pale
and shrunken, and my limbs are
so weak that I cannot walk with-
out a stick. There is very little
that I can do. Life's working-day
is passed for me, for I am old, very old.
As I sit by my bright fire, in my com-
fortable easy-chair, with a little table before
me, on which is placed my Bible and my
spectacles, I think upon the days of my youth.
Opposite to me, hanging against the wall, is
a large picture, representing two little girls.
The eldest, and prettiest, is my sister Alice;
the fair one, with laughing eyes and dark
curling hair, is myself. What a long time






16 My Two Sisters.
ago it is since those portraits were taken! I
remember dear mamma had them painted
secretly as a surprise for papa, to give to him
on his birthday.
My sister Alice was two years older than I;
she was clever and very pretty, and from
being constantly flattered and praised she was
rather vain and apt to think too much of her-
self. Besides her, I had another and younger
sister, named Lilly. Mamma was very fond
of her children, and liked to see us well-
dressed, and to hear us well spoken of.
Alice and I had a daily governess, and a
master for music and French; and being well
taught, it is not surprising that we knew as
much or more than many children of our age.
I remember we used to rise early, and practise
our music until eight o'clock, at which hour
we breakfasted in the nursery. We then
walked with nurse or played in the house
until our governess came. We always com-
menced our studies by reading a chapter from
the Bible; but as this was never explained or
rendered in any way interesting, we looked
upon it as a mere form, in which our hearts
took no part. At one we dined, while
mamma lunched; after which she used to






Early Days. 17

take us for a drive or a walk; but we were
always home in time for our afternoon
lessons, which lasted until five o'clock. We
then had tea and a game of play in the
nursery, until we dressed for dessert; and
oftentimes we were allowed to sit up quite
late, that we might play our duets or recite
French poetry, and this was especially the
case on company nights.
When we went to bed, we always kneeled
down to repeat a prayer, and many a time
have we fallen asleep in the very act of so
doing, for ours was only lip-service. On Sun-
days we accompanied our parents to public
worship once during the day. It was at one
of the old cathedral churches, full of monu-
ments and tablets, and beautiful arches and
painted windows, all of which occupied my
attention far more than the service, to which,
I regret to say, I scarcely ever listened; for
although I bowed my head reverently over
my handsome prayer-book, my eyes were
roving about the whole time. After an early
dinner we generally walked out until tea-time,
which was no sooner over than we had to
write exercises on scriptural subjects for our
governess to see the next day. Sunday was
c 27





18 My Two Sisters.
ever a long and dreary day to us. We saw
less of our parents and had less to amuse us
on that day than on any other, so that we
were always glad when bedtime came.
I was ten years old when we removed to a
new house. It was a lovely place. I have a
drawing of it now before me, which represents
a large, old-fashioned mansion, built of white
stone, standing in a park well filled with fine
old trees, under which the deer sheltered in
pretty groups. There was also an aviary full
of bright-plumaged birds, and a large pond
filled with gold and silver fish, and a pretty
fountain in the centre. The garden was quite
in the old style, with quaintly-shaped flower-
beds, long terraces ornamented with statuary,
and sunny slopes whereon we loved to play.
Through the purchase of this property,
papa became lord of the manor; he was also
appointed magistrate. The parish church was
a plain little building, so small as almost
to be hidden by the trees which surrounded
it, and rendered yet more insignificant by the
contrast of a large and handsome-looking
orphan-house for girls which was erected
close to it.
Tha first time we attended church, I re-






Early Days. 19
member being quite struck by the appearance
of those children, as they came from the
vestry, walking in couples, with their neat
little white caps, tippets, and aprons, and
their pale, sad faces. Our pew was the
largest in the church. It had brass rods, and
a crimson curtain round it, which papa closed
as soon as the service commenced. I did not
like this, for I had hoped to have found
.amusement in looking about me; but as the
service progressed, there was something in
the simple, earnest manner in which it was
conducted that riveted my attention and pre-
vented wandering thoughts.
The sermon was from the text, "For here
we have no continuing city, but we seek one
to come." The clergyman was old, and had
the appearance of one who had passed through
deep sorrow. His manner was grave and
earnest, as if he felt the value of the souls
committed to his care, and yearned to save
them. For the first time I realized the truth
-that this is not our rest-that life is uncer-
tain, so that at any moment we may be re-
moved from all we love and value most. I
immediately thought of our new house, with
its beautiful grounds, our ponies, our toys and






20 My Two Sisters.
books, and all the pleasant things by which
we were surrounded, and asked myself, Of
what use are these, since we were not sure of
them from one moment to another? The,
thought distressed me, but again I listened
attentively while the preacher spoke of heaven,
that better home which God has prepared for
those who love Him. As he attempted to
describe some of its glories, my heart melted
within me, and the tears came to my eyes.
" No sin, no sorrow, no pain, no tears. A city
that had no need of the sun, neither of the
moon, to shine in it, for the glory of God did
lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
What a city must this be! and this is the one
we are to seek. But there must be a pre-
paration for it. Heaven is the region of
holiness, and God, who is the centre and
source of all its happiness, is most holy.
None, therefore, can be prepared for His pre-
sence and for the enjoyment of heaven until
they are made holy by the renewing and
sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit."
The rest of the sermon was unheeded by
me. My heart was filled with but one
thought: I was not holy; I could not see the
Lord; I could not go to heaven.






Early Day8. 21
When the sermon was finished, I peeped
into mamma's face, but there was no emotion
there. I then turned to Alice, who was
standing on a hassock smiling and bowing to
some one whom she knew. I took her hand
and whispered, "Oh, Alice, what a sermon !"
She looked surprised, and coldly answered,
"Yes, much too long; I am tired to death."
When I reached home I read the chapter
from which the text was taken, and then
another and another. The more I read the
more I wanted to read, for every word seemed
fraught with a new meaning. It was thus
that God in His infinite mercy touched my
heart, and opened mine eyes "to behold
wondrous things out of His law."
We went to church again in the afternoon,
and I liked the sermon even more than the
morning one, since it was addressed especially
to the young. As I walked home with Alice,
I told her how much I had enjoyed going to
church. She answered, "You are pleased
because it is something new; for my part, I
like the old cathedral service much the best."
"It is not the church, Alice, but the service
and sermons that I care for. I heard every
word of them, and they have put new thoughts






22 My Two Sisters.
into my heart. Oh! Alice, we have been
living without one serious thought of God.
He has given us all things, and we have given
Him nothing in return. We do not love Him,
we have never tried to please Him, never
thought how uncertain life is, and how unpre-
pared we are for death."
Alice turned to me in great surprise, saying,
"I never heard you talk like this before,
Bridget; what has come over you?"
"I cannot tell, sister; I never had these
thoughts until to-day; but I would not they
should leave me."
Alice spoke no more; so we walked on in
silence.
I grieve to say it, but at this time religion
was little regarded in our family, so that I had
no one to whom I could open my mind or
ask for direction. For weeks I remained rest-
less and unhappy, wishing to love and serve
God, yet so continually doing wrong that at
length I believed I should never be saved.
Mamma saw that I was unhappy, and asked
the reason. I remember bursting into tears
as told her how deeply I felt my sinfulness,
while I asked, in the language of the jailer of
Philippi, "What must I do to be saved ?"






Early Days. 23
Mamma was greatly surprised, and much
affected; but after talking to me for some
time, she could only advise me to read my
Bible and pray to God for direction.
At length I realized the promise, "Those
that seek Me early shall find Me." I do not
know how or when the blessed change came,
but gradually I felt peace, such as I cannot
describe, and joy exceeding any that earth
can give; while my heart was filled with love
and gratitude to my Saviour through whose
merits I hoped to be forgiven.
I spoke no more of religion, but I made it
my prayerful and earnest endeavour to show
forth its fruits in my daily life and conduct.












CHAPTER II.

STRICKEN WITH FEVER.

W E had been six months in our new home
when one lovely spring morning Alice,
Lilly, and I, accompanied by nurse, were busily
employed in working in our little gardens.
Alice and I had seeds and flower-roots,
which we planted; but Lilly, having picked her
little basket full of daisies, stuck them all
round her garden, not heeding that they were
rootless.
"Pretty, pretty, look, sisters," said the little
one, when she had emptied her basket. We
looked and smiled, while we told her that
flowers without roots would soon fade and
die.
"Never mind," she answered, "let stay.
Lilly so tired now." I turned to look at her;
she was pale, and her eyes were heavy. The
sun was hot, and in her way she had been
working very hard. "Would Lilly like to
come with me and watch the fishes ?" I asked,






Stricken with Fever. 25
thinking the cool air by the fountain would
revive her. She only answered by running
to me and putting her fat little hand in mine,
and together we crossed the lawn until we
reached the fish-pond. I soon found a shady
seat, and sitting down, took Lilly on my lap.
She did not seem to care for the fishes, but
remained quiet and still, looking up at the
sky. Suddenly she said, "Bridgy, dear, I
should like to go to heaven so much."
I was not surprised, for I had often talked
to her of heaven; indeed, she never seemed
happier than when listening while I repeated
hymns, or told her stories from the Bible.
"And what has put this thought into your
headjust now ?" I asked.
"I want to see Jesus. I want to thank
Him for all His pain for me."
"You can do that now, darling. When
you pray, Jesus hears you. He listens while
you speak to Him, therefore do not fear to
say all that is in your heart."
"I know; but I want to be quite close to
Him always; never to go away again; don't
you know, sister?"
Yes; but you must not wish to leave us."
"Why not, Bridgy ? it would only be for a





26 My Two Sisters.
little while, and then papa and mamma, and
you and Alice, come too."
I looked at her as she said this, and thought,
" Suppose she were to die," but I said nothing,
I only bent over her and kissed her. We
did not talk any more, as nurse came to
summon us to the house.
At tea-time on that same day, papa came
into the nursery. Lilly, who was still dull and
heavy, was seated on my lap.
Why, how is this ?" said papa; why are
you not in your own high chair, Lilly ?"
The child never raised her head from my
shoulder, but holding out her hand, said,
"Lilly tired, papa, so tired." Taking her
gently in his arms, he looked earnestly at her,
and soon saw that she was really ill. She
smiled as he looked at her, but did not seem
capable of holding up her head, which she
nestled into his breast.
"Miss Lilly has worked too long in her
garden to-day," said nurse, "and over-tired
herself."
"And what did you do, Lilly ?" asked papa.
"Did you plant beans, and potatoes, and
cabbages ?"
"No, papa, only daisies."






Stricken with Fever. 27
"Daisies You must have something better
than that, little one; shall papa buy you some
pretty flower-seeds ? "
"No, thank you, papa, I shall not want
them."
"Why not, Lilly?"
Fixing her eyes upon his face, she replied,
"I think I am going away, papa." Then,
seeing his serious, earnest look, she added,
"But only for a little while, and then you
come, and mamma, and sisters. I want to go,
papa."
"I do not understand you, my child: where
is it you wish to go ?"
"To heaven, papa."
Oh Miss Lilly," said nurse, "how can you
talk so ? but it is all along of Miss Bridget, sir,
who is ever talking to her of such things."
"Silence, nurse," said papa, while he bent
over Lilly and asked her, "Are you tired of
staying with mamma, and papa, and sisters;
are you tired of your pleasant home, and all
your nice and pretty things ? "
"No, papa, but heaven is better. I often
have pain: Bridgy says there is no pain there.
I often cry, but there are no tears there; and
I am very often naughty, but in heaven every






28 My Two Sisters.
one is good. Besides, I want to see Jesus.
I love Jesus, papa, and I am sure Jesus loves
me."
"You had better not talk any more," said
papa, "it will make your head worse. Suppose
you try and sleep, and papa will walk about
the room with you, as he did when you were
a baby."
"Yes, papa, that will be nice."
At this moment, Alice slipped away. I
knew that she was gone to tell mamma what
had passed, for in a few minutes she returned
with her. Mamma was dressed for dinner,
and as she entered Lilly turned her head and
said, "Dear mamma." After speaking in a
low tone to papa about her, mamma told
Alice and me to go to the playroom, desiring
we should remain there until we were sent for.
Alice was very quiet, but I could not help
weeping, and once I said, "Oh! sister, if Lilly
were to die what should we do ?"
You are always thinking of gloomy
things," she replied. "I do not see much the
matter with Lilly."
"But, Alice, it is not usual for her to be so
dull and heavy."
"It is the weather, I think. I have had a







Stricken with Fever. 29
headache all day, and I feel so tired I shall be
quite glad to go to bed." Saying which she
threw herself upon the sofa and shut her eyes.
The day was closing; I took a book and went
to the window, but it was too dark to read,
so I watched the night-clouds spread over the
sky. Presently the stars appeared, so few at
first I could count them, and then a host I
could not number. As I gazed upon them, I
thought of Him who "telleth their number,
and calleth them all by their names."
Suddenly Alice spoke to me, saying, "How
very cold it is, Bridget." I went to her, and
found her face and hands burning.
"You are not well, Alice," I said; "shall I
call mamma ?"
"No; it is nothing at all, a night's rest will
restore me; but I think I had better go to
bed, I feel so strange."
I sat by her, holding her hand. Again she
spoke, Bridget, if Lilly were to die do you
think she would go to heaven ?"
"Yes."
"And if I were to die, do you think I
should?"
Oh! Alice, what a question. How can I
answer it? "






30 My Two Sisters.
"And yet how readily you replied when I
asked the same of Lilly."
Yes, Alice, but Lilly--" I stopped.
"I know what you would say, Bridget.
Lilly loves God, and tries to please Him.
She loves to hear of Him, to think of Him, to
pray to Him; I am different from her, and
this is why you cannot answer me."
But why should you be different, Alice ?
what is it that prevents your loving God ? "
"My own heart. There have been times
when, moved by the sermons we have heard, I
have wished to become what our clergyman
calls 'one of God's own children;' but some-
thing has whispered, there is plenty of time
yet, put it off until you are a little older."
Oh Alice, and you listened to and obeyed
that wicked thought, when all the time God
was speaking to you."
"It is true, Bridget, and I am sorry for it
now. I feel ill, and I am frightened lest I
should die, for I have no hope of heaven."
"Alice," I exclaimed, dear Alice God is
yet speaking to you, or you would not have
these thoughts. Oh! turn to Him now, ask
Him to forgive you all your sins, and to pre-
pare you for life or death."






Stricken wtth Fever. 31
"Bridget, it is useless trying; I cannot pray
now, my head and thoughts are all confused.
To-morrow I will, indeed I will, but to-night
I cannot."
At this instant mamma came in. She was
very sad, and told us that the doctor had
been to see Lilly, and feared she had symptoms
of scarlet fever. We were therefore to be kept
apart from her; in fact, she had arranged for
us to go to London for a few weeks on a visit
to Aunt Edith, and we were to start on the
morrow.
Mamma then proposed our spending the
remainder of the evening in our playroom,
adding, that we had better go to bed early, a2
a long journey was before us.
Alice did not say one word about her
headache, and I did not, as I saw mamma so
sad and anxious.
After she had left us, Alice started up,
saying, "If we are to go to-morrow, I must
put my things together. I know mamma will
let me take any frocks and ornaments I like,
and Aunt Edith sees so much company."
Long after I was in bed I heard the voice
of Alice talking with mamma's maid, and
settling with her to take the smartest and






32 My Two Sisters.
prettiest things she possessed. It was very
painful to see her so wholly occupied with
vain and worldly thoughts.
On awaking the next morning, to my
great surprise, I found papa by my bed-side.
My first thought was of the journey, and
thinking I had slept too late, I exclaimed,
"Is it time to go, papa, that you are here ?"
"Will you come with me and ask no
questions ?" he replied, as he wrapped me in
a large shawl. I looked into his face; the
expression was so sad that I had no courage
to speak. I only held out my arms to show
that I was willing to go. He carried me to
the school-room. There was a large fire there,
and Burton, mamma's maid, stood ready with
my clothes. Oh! papa, what is the matter ?"
I asked, "why am I to dress here ?"
"Your sisters are both ill, Bridget."
"Not Alice, papa: oh do not say Alice."
"Yes, darling, Alice is ill also, very ill, I
fear; and now listen to me, Bridget. We
would if possible save you from all danger
of infection; therefore you must be content
to remain in this room, and see only papa and
Burto.."
"Oh, papa, papa !" I cried, while I clung to






Stricken with Fever. 33
him, weeping, "let me see Alice, please do,
papa, if only for a few minutes."
My child, I cannot; besides, she is insen-
sible; she would not know you, Bridget," he
whispered. Now is the time for you to show
your love to God. Children who love God
are obedient to their parents. It is your
mamma's wish and mine that you submit
patiently, and if you can, cheerfully, to all we
may think best for you. Will you try and do
this?"
"Yes, papa, with God's help I will." He
then kissed me, and left the room.















D2






334





CHAPTER III.
LILLY IN HEAVEN.

SCANNOT, even at this distance of time,
dwell upon what I suffered when first
papa left me in the school-room with Burton.
I wept and refused to be comforted, for I
thought of Alice, ill and insensible.
I remembered our conversation the pre-
vious evening, and her words, If I should die,
I have no hope of heaven." Flinging myself
upon my knees, and unheeding Burton's
presence, I prayed aloud, entreating God to
save her. I prayed and wept by turns, until,
exhausted by my feelings, I rested my head
on the chair against which I was kneeling,
and quietly sobbed.
Some one lifted me gently, and laid me on
the sofa; it was papa. Burton had fetched
him without my knowing it.
He did not speak, but sat quietly by me,
holding my hand, until I fell asleep. I did
not wake for two hours, but he was still there.






Lilly in Heaven. 35
"You will take your breakfast now, Bridget,"
he said.
Yes, papa."
And you will try, for my sake, to be quiet,
and not give way to your feelings." I could
not answer, but I lifted my quivering lips to
his in token of obedience.
After I had breakfasted, he left me, but
returned in an hour's time, bringing with him
a number of beautiful books. They were all
more or less of a religious character; and he
desired me to look them over, and keep such
as I liked. I remember choosing an illus-
trated edition of "The Pilgrim's Progress,"
which I had never before seen, and in which
I soon became interested.
Thus the day wore on, and in the evening
papa came again. This time he brought a
large doll, saying that Lilly had expressed a
wish for one a few days before, and he thought
it would be a nice amusement for me to dress
it against her recovery.
I was pleased to do this, and Burton pro-
vided me with abundance of silks and
ribbons, also helping to make its clothes.
For three days I saw no one but papa and
Burton, and during this ':.i T heard very






36 My Two Sisters.
little of my sisters, as papa evidently did not
like speaking of them; but I hoped they were
going on well, while I did not cease praying
for them.
On the fourth morning, papa came in later
than usual. I had finished dressing the doll,
and it looked so pretty that I held it up to
him as he entered, saying joyfully, "Look,
papa, dear; dolly is finished. Will not Lilly
be pleased ?"
I shall never forget the expression of his
face as I looked up; it frightened me. Papa,"
I exclaimed, "dearest papa, what has hap-
pened ? Are you ill? Have you, too, taken
this dreadful fever ?"
"No, Bridget. But your little sister- "
"Yes, papa. Is she worse?"
"Not worse, my child. Better, far better
for her; but most sad for us. Lilly's wish is
granted. She is in heaven."
I sat down, and covered my face with my
hands. I did not think of our loss, but only
of her gain. Lilly in heaven! Was it indeed
true ? I tried to see her, in my mind, clothed
in glorious apparel, with a harp in her hand,
mingling with the sinless ones, and singing
hymns of praise to Him who loved her, and






Lilly in Heaven. 37
washed her from her sins in His own
blood.
Lilly in heaven What a happy thought!
How could I grieve when she was so blest ?
I bowed my head, and thanked God for taking
her, while I prayed to be prepared to meet
her in glory. A deep sob disturbed me; it
was from papa. His firmness had given way,
and he was weeping bitterly.
In the course of the day I heard some par-
ticulars of dear Lilly's death. From the time
she was first taken ill until just before she
died she had been insensible. Mamma was
sitting by her, watching her flushed face and
hard laboured breathing, when suddenly she
opened her eyes, and looked wonderingly
around her. "You are better, darling," said
mamma, gently, as she leaned over and kissed
her brow.
"Have I been ill, then?" asked Lilly.
"Yes, my child; very ill. But I hope now
that you will get better."
Lilly made no reply for some minutes,
during which she looked up earnestly at
mamma. At last she softly said: "Don't be
sorry, mamma. But I feel I am going away-
going to live with Jesus and the holy angels







38 My Two Sisters.

for ever." Mamma's tears fell fast, but Lilly
did not notice them. Putting up her little
hands, she began repeating a prayer which I
had taught her; but in the midst her voice
failed, and with one gentle sigh her happy
spirit departed, to be for ever with Jesus.
Thus gently did my little sister pass away
from earth. I could not weep for her that
first day of her death. I could only think of
her as my sister in heaven, my little angel
sister.
"She is gone to her Saviour, oh, sweet happy thought,
Salvation for her by His life-blood He bought;
She is gone to be crowned with the angels above,
And join them in praising the Saviour they lobe.
She has taken farewell of sin, sorrow, and pain,
She is gone where they never can'grieve her again;
Her home is in heaven, with angels above,
She joins them in praising the Saviour they love.

We may weep for our loss, we rejoice at her gain;
Like her we would pass from sin, sorrow, and pain,
And we long for the time when with angels above
We shall join them in praising the Saviour they love."

That same evening I received a note from
mamma. I have it now, worn, crumpled, and
faded. Still I can read it, and these are the
words it contained






Lilly in Heaven. 39
"MY DARLING CHILD,
Your papa has told you of dear Lilly's
peaceful death. I am in great sorrow; will
you ask God to help me, so that I may be
patient under this heavy trial? I long to see
you, but dare not, lest you too may take the
fever, for I have been constantly with your
suffering sisters. Dearest Alice is still very
ill. May God in His great mercy restore her.
My dear child, we think it right to send
you from home for a time. To-morrow
morning your papa will take you to Brighton,
and leave you there under the care of some
kind friends. We hope that you will submit
cheerfully, since it will be a great consolation
to us to know that you are well and happy.
Ever, my darling child,
"YOUR LOVING MOTHER."
It was the first time mamma had written to
me, and as I kissed the trembling lines I re-
solved to try and submit cheerfully to all she
required of me.
The next morning I was ready when papa
came for me. He looked pale and troubled,
and led me downstairs without saying a word.
When we were seated in the carriage, 1 looked






40 My Two Sisters.
up at the house. Every window was closed but
one, and mamma was standing by it. I cried
out, "Mamma, dearest mamma!" and she
answered again, but the wind prevented her
words reaching me. However, she stood kiss-
ing her hand, and waving her handkerchief
until we were out of sight.
Our way lay close to the little churchyard.
Some men were there preparing a grave; and
as we passed they removed their hats, and
looked at us with sorrowful interest. It was
my sister's grave they were digging.
It was a sad journey, and a long one, for
the evening had closed in by the time we
arrived at Brighton. We were most kindly
welcomed by Mr. and Mrs. Adams, and were
ushered into a room where a bright fire and
well-spread table awaited us.
Mrs. Adams looked ill, and was dressed
in mourning. I noticed this as she untied
my bonnet and cloak, and chafed my cold
hands, but she was cheerful and very kind.
When I went to bed she accompanied me,
and I remember her remarking my tired
and dejected look.
"It is not that I am tired," I replied; "but
I cannot help thinking of Alice. What






Lilly in Heaven. 41
should I do if she were to die ?" And at this
sad thought my tears fell fast.
Drawing me gently to her, Mrs. Adams said,
"God will comfort and support you, my dear
child. Only trust Him with all your heart."
"I do; at least I try to do so," I replied.
"But I have not the same cause for comfort
and hope for Alice as I had for Lilly. Lilly
loved God; and I believe that she is now
with Him in glory. I cannot but rejoice in
her happiness; but the thought of Alice
brings only sorrow."
I then told Mrs. Adams all I could recollect
about her, as well as our conversation the
night before she was taken ill. And when I
had concluded, she kindly kneeled with me,
and together we prayed for Alice, that God
might bring her to know and love the Saviour,
so that whether living or dying she might
be one of His dear children.
The time while I remained at Brighton
passed pleasantly, and I hope profitably, and
my health and spirits improved greatly.
I heard daily from home, but after the first
letter nothing was said of Alice. I grieved
over this, almost fearing lest she too might
be taken.






42





CHAPTER IV.
COMFORT IN SORROW.
HAD been at Brighton nearly a fortnight,
when, one morning, Mrs. Adams came
into the room with an open letter in her hand.
"Your parents are coming to-morrow," she
said.
S"Oh, what joy I" I exclaimed, jumping up
to kiss her for the good news; "and Alice, is
she coming with them ? "
Mrs. Adams paused for a minute, and then
replied, "No, Alice cannot come."
"But how is it that mamma can leave
her?" I asked.
"Your mamma is ill and suffering, Bridget,
and is coming here for change of air and
scene. I trust she may soon recover; but
much will depend on you."
"Only tell me what tp do," I answered,
"and I will ask God to help me to do it."
My poor child," said Mrs. Adams, tenderly,
"you are very young for the task that is







Comfort in Sorrow. 48
before you. You will have to hide your own
sorrow, to be composed and even cheerful, in
order to comfort your parents. There is also
a new trial before you, and a heavy one: can
you bear that I should tell it to you ? "
I crept close to Mrs. Adams, clasping my
hands tightly together. My heart beat vio-
lently. I tried to speak, but could not; it
was my look that asked the question I could
not utter in words, "Is Alice dead ?"
"Yes, darling, your sister Alice is dead;
your parents have now no other child but
you."
"I hid my face while I whispered, "How
did she die?"
She was only ill six days, and died without
word or look of consciousness."
Oh I what a pang shot to my heart when I
remembered our last conversation. Death had
come to her. Was she prepared to meet it ?
I cannot further dwell upon my great
sorrow. It was a day and night ever to be
remembered by me; yet God, in His mercy,
gave me strength so to bear it that I was
enabled to meet my parents the next day with
a composed, if not a cheerful face.
Dear mamma was sadly changed in appear-






44 My Two Sisters.
ance; she was pale, thin, and sorrowful be-
yond all description.
My child, my only child !" was her greeting
to me; and as she pressed me to her breast,
she whispered, Do you know all, darling ?"
"Yes, mamma-all," I answered, while I
mingled my tears with hers.
From that time for many weeks I scarcely
ever left mamma's side. I read to her from
my little Bible, repeated hymns, and talked
to her of that home where sorrow is known
no more. And while her heart was softened
under her great affliction, God moulded it to
His will. Old things passed away, and behold
all things had become new! As it has been
beautifully expressed, "With the new heart,
God gave her a new eye to see His glory, a
new ear to hear His word, a new hand to do
His work, a new foot to run in His way, and
a new song to tell His praise."
SMy dear readers, you will think this a very
sorrowful story, but it is true. The longer
you live, and the more you see of life, the
more you will know how much sorrow there
is in the world. There are none so happy but
they have had some grief and shed some tears;
it is in heaven alone that sorrow never comes.






Comfort in Sorrow. 45

Afflictions are not sent as a proof of God's
anger, but rather as an evidence of His love.
He would have all our hearts, therefore He
takes our idols from us, and gathers up our
loved ones safe in heaven, that where our
treasure is there our hearts may be also.
Would that I could impress upon the
minds of all my youthful readers the blessed-
ness arising from seeking God early and with
the whole heart. Remember the promise,
"Those that seek Me early shall find Me."
Think upon the privilege here offered to you,
that of having access to God at all times; to
be able to tell Him all that troubles you, all
your weaknesses, all your tears, and to receive
from Him in return strength for the hour of
temptation, love to comfort and sustain you
through life's toilsome way, and grace to pre-
pare you for the inheritance promised to the
children of God-an inheritance glorious, in-
corruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not
away. The main lesson I have to give you is
in the words of your hymn-
"Death comes in unexpected forms,
At unexpected hours;
To-morrow we may never see,
To-day alone is ours."







46 My Two Sisters.

Oh come, then, to Christ and ask Him in
earnest to give you a new heart and His Holy
Spirit.

"Thee we adore, Eternal Name,
And humbly own to Thee
How feeble is our mortal frame,
What dying worms are we.
Dangers stand thick through all the ground,
To push us to the tomb !
And fierce diseases wait around,
To hurry mortals home.
Great God! on what a slender thread
Hang everlasting things !
The eternal states of all the dead
Upon life's feeble strings.
Waken, 0 Lord, our drowsy sensa,
To walk this dangerous road;
And if our souls are hurried hence,
May they be found with God."






47





tuinna )Eep, th-e 45ipsq 45iy,


CHAPTER I.
MY SUNDAY SCHOLAR.

WISH you could have seen Minna
Lee as I saw her one bright sum-
mer morning, running in the tall
grass, away down in the lower mea-
dow where the tribe had encamped.
Pretty little frolicsome thing, even the dark
brown gipsy men became wondrously gentle
to her, when she came running to them on
their return in the evening, shouting, "Here's
the daddies!" Poor child, they were all
"daddies" to her, for she was fatherless, and
they all loved her.
It was the full summer-time when the
gipsies came and pitched their tents in our
croft; and papa said they must be sent away,
but I knew he did not mean it because our






48 Minna Lee, the Gipsy Girl.
dear lost mother, who is in heaven, had
always been kind to them, when in past
summers they had encamped on our land;
and he held everything and everybody almost
sacred for whom she had cared, so I went
to papa and told him, how not one of the
tribe would touch anything that belonged to
us for our dear mother's sake, so at last he
promised me that they should not be dis-
turbed; in fact, that they might remain where
they were. I knew from the first he never
meant them to go.
Bramley Vicarage, my home, was situated
in the west of England, and was a most
charming place. The house, which was one-
storied, and covered with roses and jessamine,
stood in its own flowery grounds; but as that
part of it in which my own apartments were
situated have to do with my story, I will
describe them more particularly. They con-
sisted of bed, dressing, and morning roous,
the latter opening on to a charming flower-
garden, which, from its perfect seclusion, was
called "The Retreat."
These rooms had belonged to my darling
mother, and were now mine. Here once in
every month I received the girls of my Sun-






My Sunday Scholar. 49
day-school class, to a sort of treat, the prin-.
cipal feature of which was a lesson in hymn-
singing accompanied by me on the piano,
It was the day after I had seen little Minna
Lee among the tall grass, that I was sitting
surrounded by my girls, when my attention
was drawn to a little dark bright face peep-
ing through the roses which shaded the door
leading to the garden; but the little face was
withdrawn the moment I looked up. This
garden, I should have said, could be ap-
proached from the road, without entering the
other parts of the grounds.
I took no notice at first of the child's
presence-for it was Minna Lee, but I ordered
the books away, and opened the piano, to
give the singing lesson, and soon the sweet
childish voices arose in a song of praise to
Almighty God, which was borne on the soft
summer air far over garden and meadow,
and, mingling at last with the sweet hum of
birds and insects, was lost in the drowsy
stillness of the summer afternoon.
As I expected, when I looked round again
Minna Lee was standing just outside the door,
her earnest look and half-open mouth tell-
ing how powerfully she was affected by the
S27





50 Minna Lee, the Gipsy Girl.
music. So when we stopped before beginning
another hymn, I turned to the little girl,
wfho, now that the spell of the music was
broken, seemed ready to scamper off as be-
fore, but I invited her by a smile and an
extended hand, in which were a few ripe
cherries, these last being all-powerful to a
child. After looking shyly at me for a mo-
ment, she entered with her finger on her lips,
and taking the fruit, sat down on a stool
near me, and began to munch her cherries
"Won't they sing again?" said Minna.
"Should you like to hear them again?" I
asked.
"Yes, please," was the short answer.
So seating myself I called my girls to my
side, and again their voices filled the air with
melody, and again it was evident that the
gipsy child loved sweet sounds, and felt happy
in hearing them.
When the singing was over, a chapter was
read from the Bible, previous to tea being
served on the lawn; we all then went into
the garden, whilst the maids, assisted by some
of the biggest girls, laid the tables.
When they were ready I told all to stand,
and grace was sung, after which tea began.






My Sunday Scholar. 51
Minna sat by me, as the least child present;
and after looking round with surprise on her
little face for some seconds, she turned to
me saying, "Who is God bless? and what do
they read for ?"
"God is He who made you, my child," said
I, "and gave us these good things to eat and
to drink. He it is who keeps you from harm
by night and by day, and who loves you if
you are good, and is very grieved if you are
naughty."
Oh," said Minna, "am I good, and is Jack
good ?"
"Who is Jack?" I asked.
"Oh, he's Jack, and I love him,-he brings
me cherries,-and-and little tiddy birds too."
The first part of the child's answer was plain
to me, so I left the subject for the present.
Just at this moment I espied this same
Jack looking over the hedge in search of
Minna, so, thinking her mother might be
anxious about her child, I bade her hold up
her pinafore, into which I put some cakes
and fruit, and taking her by the hand, led
her to where her friend Jack waited for her.
"May Minna come again another day and
hear the sing-song ?"






52 Minna Lee, the Gipsy Girl.
"Yes, Minna, you may, if mother likes," I
replied.
"Oh! Minna will be sure to come; good-
bye, lady;" and running by the side of Jack,
she went towards the tents.
The great ignorance of the gipsy child
made me feel very sad, and I made up my
mind that I would not let that bright intel-
ligence and keen mind run to waste. Ac-
cordingly the next morning I crossed the
garden, and passed through the grounds of
the croft where the tents were. The women
were some cooking, others washing at the
brooklet, and all willing to know what I
wanted among them. Minna soon saw me,
and called to her mother, "It's the lady,"
upon which both came towards me.
A few words told my mission, and Judith
Lee, who had been better taught than the
other women of her tribe, through a missionary
who had visited them, joyfully gave her con-
sent that her child should be taught with
my other girls of the Sunday-school.
The child's love of beautiful things and
charming sounds was very great; and, helped
by these and a quick ear, before the summer
months were quite past, Minna Lee understood






My Sunday Scholar. 53
who God was, and also knew the "old, old
story of Jesus and His love," and, with a
quickness beyond her years, would answer
questions which girls who were two years
older could not. How quickly she learnt, and
how different she became from the little wi.i
gipsy girl of three or four months previous,
still never losing her arch child-like gaiety, I
can scarcely describe. So passed that happy
summer-time, and it was with deep regret
that I saw the whole band pass from our
village on their way to their winter quarters.
After that time I did not see Minna for
three summers. I was beginning to think
that my chance for seeing her again was
small, when one morning as I was sitting in
my garden, enjoying the sweet warm air and
pleasant sunshine, my brother Tom came
running to tell me that my friends the gipsies
were once more encamped in the old croft.
I knew that Minna would be sure to come
up to the vicarage to see me, and I was not
disappointed; for that same afternoon I was
sitting on the lawn, when I heard a quick
light step, and looking round I beheld my
little friend, but now grown into a slender girl
of nine years.







54 AMinna Lee, the Givsy Girl.

I asked her many questions about herself,
to which she replied in a manner which
greatly pleased me; but that which proved
beyond a doubt that what I had taught her
had not been lost, was her modestly-expressed
wish that she might occupy her old place in
my class.
I assured her of my pleasure in her doing
so, but suggested that she should first ask her
mother, to which she replied that her mother
was dead, but that her aunt had taken her
under her care.
From that time Minna was one cf my best
scholars; her voice, which was very sweet,
always led the younger ones. Her regular
attendance at the Sunday-school, however,
greatly offended her people; but as her mother
had died a Protestant, the whole tribe thought
it was best not to interfere.



r .
^ ~






55





CHAPTER II.
A WELL-LEARNT LESSON.

HE gipsies had been in the croft nearly a
month, when there was a commotion in
the kitchen of our vicarage on account of
the eggs disappearing, morning after morning,
from the poultry-yard in a most singular
manner never known before. My brother
Tom told me of the fact, just as Minna had
returned from an errand to the village for me,
and he afterwards remarked, what I had not
noticed, that she turned very pale when she
heard it.
Another person, one of the gardeners, said
he had heard Minna singing close to the
poultry-yard, on more mornings than one.
Indeed, I saw, to my great displeasure, that
one and all of those who had never liked my
gipsy-pupil were wishing to make her the
guilty person; but I was sure of her inno-
cence.
The only one of the tribe in our croft whom






56 Minna Lee, the Gipsy Girl.
I did not like, was Jack-the boy of whom
Minna had spoken-and I determined to
have my ears open and watch. Meanwhile,
my little pupil was eyed with bad feeling by
all, even my father; and she, quick to see
this, young as she was, kept away from the
vicarage, a circumstance which, against my
own judgment, made me uncomfortable.
Going to the school-house one day, I met
Minna just coming from the back of the
church, and a little behind her was Jack, the
gipsy-boy-a lad about twelve or thirteen.
She evidently tried not to let me see
her, for her eyes were red and swollen with
crying; but I advanced so quickly that she
had not time to get away; and saying that I
wanted to speak to her, I asked her to confide
her trouble to me. But, before I could get an
answer, my father came from the vicarage
grounds, and, with a sternness quite unusual
to him, told me that another robbery had
been committed, and turning to Minna, told
her to go home to her aunt; and at the same
Time desired me to waste no more time on an
ungrateful child, who could so badly requite
me for all the trouble I had taken with her;
saying which, he returned to the house.






A Well-learnt Lesson. 57
Minna had turned away, sobbing bitterly,
and I, who had an affection for the clever,
intelligent girl, resolved to find out who was
the robber, and thus save my little scholar.
Accordingly that evening at dusk, I sta-
tioned myself in a thickly-wooded part of the
garden, in which there was an old arbour,
from which I had a good view of the poultry-
yard and kitchen-garden. I had not been
long there before I heard the sweet soft
sound of Minna's voice, singing the evening-
hymn, but with such a sorrowful tone in it,
that I felt sure that there must have been
tears in the singer's eyes.
Whilst I listened and watched, I saw Jack
come creeping along under the hedge that
separated the croft from the paddock; but after
stopping to listen, and hearing Minna's voice,
boy as he was, he uttered a wicked oath, and
asked her why she did not go home.
"No, Jack; I came here to save you from
doing what is wicked. Do you not know that
even the gentleman, and I am afraid Miss
Edith also, suspects me of stealing the eggs ?
I do not want to tell of you, but I must, if
you are so bad as to take that which is not
ours."






58 Minna Lee, the Gipsy Girl.
"Oh," replied Jack, "how good we are!
that's the Sunday-going dodge, is it? Ah,
well! I. like eggs, and so does Jem and
Simeon like to have them."
"Then I will go now and tell Miss Edith.
Don't you know that she first taught me the
meaning of 'Thou shalt not steal ?' and I am
so sorry for you, Jack, that you do not know
how wicked it is, that I have come here every
evening; and although my heart is so sorry, I
sing to let you know that I can see you if you
take the eggs; but God sees you too."
The arrival of some of the farm-servants
sent master Jack to the right-about for that
night; and my dear little girl had also saved
the eggs, for the maid at that moment came
to collect them. I was deeply moved at the
conduct of the gipsy-girl, and returned to the
house to tell my father what I had heard.
Next evening, not only myself, but he also,
took up our station in the old arbour; and
before we had been long there Minna's voice
rang out, soft and sweet, on the evening air.
"That child's voice is very good," said my
father. "Poor thing I am sorry I spoke so
crossly to her yesterday, but I really believed
her guilty."






A Well-learnt Lesson. 59
"I never did," I replied, "for Minna's per-
fect truthfulness is such that I could never
doubt her honesty-a lie she abhors "
The childish voice still floated pleasantly
over the meadow, when another, and that, too,
a young voice (but ah how different) said-
"Now, Miss Psalm-singer, perhaps you will
cease that noise, for eggs I want, and eggs I
mean to have!"
Minna's tones rose in kindly protest, but
all to no avail. Jack, pushing past her, got
into the poultry-yard by a gap he had himself
made, and in a few seconds he returned with
his cap full of the stolen eggs.
When Minna saw that he had really got
possession of them, she rushed forward to
make a last appeal that he would put the eggs
back, when the ground on which she stood,
being loose with stones, her foot slipped and
she fell on to the lower part of the field, with
a loud cry of pain.
My father and I, who had watched the whole
scene, and had prepared for it from that
which passed the night before, came quickly
to the spot; and whilst I raised Minna, and
laid her gently on the grass-for she had
fainted-my father secured Master Jack, with






60 Minna Lee, the Gipsy Girl.
the stolen property under his coat. He at
once sent him on to the house, and he was
locked up in the strong-room.
I would not leave poor little Minna until I
had seen her safe with her aunt. But I was
troubled, and wept much more than I can say,
when the next morning I was told that she
was very ill, and would I be so kind as to go
and see her ?
A few minutes, and I was on my way to the
tents. I need not tell my dismay when on
arriving her aunt told me that in her tumble
the night before the poor child had broken
her leg !
When I went into the tent where she was
lying, the tears came into her eyes, but she
controlled herself, and told me that she had
suffered more than she could say from Jack's
bad doings; she did not like to' tell of him,
and, besides, it was dangerous to do so.
She lay still for some time, and then turning
to me, she began to thank me for what I had
done for her.
I should have been locked up in'that room,
perhaps, instead of Jack, if you had not
taught me to know wrong from right, dear
Miss Edith. I remember when I was a little






A Well-learnt Lesson. 61
thing he wanted me to get in and bring him
two eggs from the nest; but you had been
teaching us a lesson on the Commandments,
and Jane Davis had taken her sister's thimble
on the same day that the lesson was on Thou
shalt not steal;' and when you told us that
although you could not see what we did, God
saw us, and the thief would not go to God
when he died, poor Jane took the thimble
from her pocket and gave it to you, crying that
she would never do it again. I was quite a
child then, Miss Edith, but I never forgot
that lesson; and when I knew that Jack took
the eggs, I used to go and get in his way and
sing, that he should know I was there, hoping
that he would be afraid to do so as I saw him,
but he would. And now you know all, dear
teacher, pray ask the gentleman to forgive
him, for he was never taught right from
wrong, as you taught me."
I promised Minna I would do my best, and
left her.
** *
Jack was forgiven, but the whole tribe were
angry with him, for his old grandfather, who
came to my father to thank him, assured him
that not one of them had ever laid hands on






62 A Well-learnt Lesson.

anything that belonged to us; and reminded
him of what he had forgotten, that my mother
had visited and comforted his wife, when she
lay dying, years ago.
The whole tribe soon after this left to join
another band who were going to other lands;
and when Minna told me this, she looked into
my face with such a yearning wish to stop
with me, that, bidding her wait awhile, I
sought my father, and having gained his con-
sent to my wish, I returned to Minna, who
was anxiously awaiting the answer. In a few
words I invited her to remain with me as
my little maid, an offer she joyfully accepted;
and now we are bound together by the ties of
love and respect, for Minna never forgets that,
but for me, she might have been the guilty
plunderer of the eggs, and without a knowledge
of the God who made her. I have the thank-
ful joy in my heart of having helped to bring
the little gipsy-girl a believer to the foot of
the cross.




LONDON: KNIGHT, PRINTER. BARTHOLOMEW CLOSE.












IJi^-hQ Y aiftle )Oat" 11 ms.

NEW SIXPENNY BOOKS.

Printed mn Large type, with Coloured Frontispieces.
z8mo., cloth boards. 6d. Uniform with this volume.
I. The Book of Books: The Story of the
English Bible.
2. Springfield Stories.
3. Little Dot.
4. yohn Thompson's Nursery, & other Stories.
5. Two Ways to Begin Lifc.
6. Ethel Ripon; or, Beware of Idle Words.
7. Little Gooseberry, and other Stories.
8. Fanny Ashley, and other Stories.
9. The Gamekeeper's Daughter.
So. Fred Kenny ; or, Out in the World.
S1. Old Humphrey's Study-Table.
12. Jenny's Waterproof and Nelly's Home.
13. The Holy Well: an Irish Story.
14. The Travelling Sixpence.
15. The Three Flowers; or, Which is Best.
i6. Lost and Rescued.






t Stferiets of Sixptnn gooka.

17. Light-bearers and Beacons.
18. Little Lottie; or, The Wonderful Clock.
19. The Dog- of St. Bernard, & other Stories.
20. Isaac Gould, the Waggoner.
21. Uncle Rupert's Stories for Boys.
22. Dreaming and Doing, and other Stories.
23. Many Ways of Being Useful.
24. Rachel Rivers; or, What a Child may Do.
25. Lessons Out of School.
26. Setma, the Turkish Captive.
27. Show your Colours, and other Stories.
28. True and False Friendship.
29. Always Too Late, and other Stories
30. Soldier Sam.
31. School Pictures Drawn from Life.
32. Stephen Grattan's Faith.
33. David the Scholar: a Scotch Story.
34. Tired of Home.
35. Setting out for Heaven.
36. The Stolen Money, and other Stories.
37. Helen's Stewardship.
38. Pat Riley's Friends.
39. Olive Crowhurst: aw Story for Girls.
.40. The White Feather.
LoNDoN: THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SocarTY, PATreNOSTRn Row





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