This item is only available as the following downloads:
I 1""A. A -
The Baldwin Library
C ~ dS'i ______________________________
T~;~),s~,,~ ;;~ pJ-~s~~- ~K~u~p~sLg4~-of
:~ ~b~. ~ II~ME~ IE~~~P~c~srd\, B F6~oaridaL
~ ~BiYISa, ~_~;c,~p~~;~Y;AY;~~~o l~-,~"~~i: h~ ~Rm~j 't~~c~,
W T. JV.
I&T - P
~~3~~~2 at / d j
a - lw-
ROUTLEDGE'S "EXCELSIOR" SERIES
TWO SCHOOL GIRLS
By THE AUTHOR OF
"THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD"
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS
BROADWAY, LUDIATE HILL
ROUTLEDGE'S "EXCELSIOR SERIES.
THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD.
MELBOURNE HOUSE. By the Author of The Wide,
STEPPING HEAVENWARD, and AUNT JANE'S
QUEECHY. By the Author of "The Wide, Wide W world "
ELLEN MONTGOMERY'S BOOKSHELF. By the Author
of "The Wide, Wide World."
THE TWO SCHOOL GIRLS. By the Author of "The
Wide, Wide World."
HELEN. By Maria Edgeworth.
THE OLD HELMET. By the Author of "The Wide,
MABEL VAUGHAN. By the Author of "The Lamp-
THE GLEN LUNA FAMILY. By the Author of "The
Wide, Wide World."
THE WORD; OR, WALKS FROM EDEN
ALONE. By Marian Harland.
THE LOFTY AND THE LOWLY. By Miss M'Intosh.
THE TWO SCHOOL.-GIRLS.
CHAPTERS I. TO VII. 1
MARTHA AND HER KIND FRIEND RACHEL.
CHAPTERS I. TO VII. . .. 69
THE LITTLE BLACK HEN.
CHAPTERS I. TO VIII. . 121
THE WIDOW AND HER DAUGHTER.
CHAPTERS I. TO VII. . . 69
THE PRINCE IN DISGUISE.
CHATERS I. TO VI. . 0 . . 231
GERTRUDE AND HER BIBLE.
CHAPTERS I. TO VII. . 279
THE ROSE IN THE DESERT.
CHAPTERS I. TO VI. . 351
THE CARPENTER'S DAUGHTER.
CHAPTERS I. TO VIII. 389
THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
THE BIBLE CLASS.
BLESSED are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the king-
dom of heaven."
These words came from the lips of one of a group of
girls sitting in the corner of a handsomely-furnished room.
It was no other than the parlour of a school; but it was
Sunday night, and not lesson time. Yet they had books
open before them too, and seemed to be considering some-
thing. There were half a dozen of them; nobody else was
in the rooms, except the servants moving about to get tea
"( There," said the one who had read the words, that's
the first verse; and I don't understand it. I don't know
what is the kingdom of heaven;' and I don't know what
is 'poor in spirit;' and I don't know why the poor in spirit
Nor I," said another. "I think Bible lessons are
tiresome. They're the hardest to understand of all, or its
the hardest to make Mrs. Borrow think we understand
"You're mistaken in thinking that's the first verse,
though, Annie," sa z third, "because there are two
before it; and Mrs. Borrow will find so much to talk about
in them that I'm in hopes she won't have a chance to
puzzle me till the lesson's out."
No, nMry; she said the lesson was on the eatitudeg,"
2 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
"Well, you'll see. First, we shall have the private
history of all those multitudes, and where they came from;
and then we shall have a lesson on ancient public speaking.
I know I have been over that lesson five times with six
"I like Bible lessons," said a fourth speaker; "but I
know this one by heart."
"1 Yes, if that was all! but I don't understand this first
verse a bit, and never did; and if there is anything I
don't know, Mrs. Borrow is sure to ask me."
Ask Annie St. John-she can tell," said one of the
girls. There she is. Annie come here !-Annie Shaler
vants to know what this means, about the poor in spirit ?"
The little girl, a gentle-looking, bright-eyed child,
moved up to the edge of the circle and stood there.
Mrs. Borrow can tell better than I, Minnie," she said.
Annie, do you know yourself?" said Mary.
"I think I do. I believe I do."
Then sit right down here and don't be bashful, and
tell us all. You know you mean to be a preacher one of
thesee days yourseit; you may as well begin now, for
practice, with an easy audience."
Oh, stop! don't," cried another one, yawning, and
throwing aside her Bible; "we shall hear enough of it
by-and-by; don't preach now girls; it's tea-time. Stephen
is going to ring the bell. Oh, I wish tea-time would last
an hour longer than it does. I'm so tired!"
The bell sounded now, and the girls came dropping in
by twos and threes and greater numbers, and took their
seats round the rooms. The little party of Bible studies
pushed their Bibles behind them and sat up straight. It
was a gay, pretty lining the rooms had presently; young,
,bright faces, and fresh, bright dresses; for it was Sunday,
and most of the company were in the Sunday attire. Only
one or two showed less means or less fancy for that par-
ticular way of spending money. Then came Mrs. Borrow,
and took her seat at the tea-board. That happened to be
so .far from the corner whef Anie Shales and her corn-
THE BIBLE CLASS. 3
panions sat, that talk could go on softly, and no fear of
I'm hungry," said Minnie. ; I should like a real
Well, have patience and you'll have it," said a neigh-
Bread-and-butter and cold water !" said Minnie, turn-
ing up her nose. I wish I was home."
"1 Why, Minnie, you need not drink cold water unless
you like it," said Annie St. John; "you have what you
What have I to choose ?" said Minnie. "I'd rather
have water than shells or black tea."
"What would you take if you were at home ?"
Yes, let us have a notion what you mean by a real
good tea," said Mary Dawson, and then I'll give you my
"I'll tell you what we have every night at home.
There's coffee-that's what I want-and light biscuit, and
fancy bread, and nice light teacakes-and two or three
kinds of sweetmeats, and maybe ham, or beef, or something
of that kind. But coffee always."
Do you drink coffee ?"
Don't drink nothing else," said Minnie, expressively,
as she helped herself to bread.
Annie St. John, what do you have at home ?" said
Janet, leaning forward
I go to Sunday school," said Annie, simply. But this
answer of Annie, whose thoughts had been running upon
something else than their talk, raised such a tittering that
Mrs. Borrow from her end of the tea-table reminded them
they were getting out of bounds; so they were obliged. to
draw up and attend to bread-and-butter and cake, and be
quiet for the rest of the meal.
The despised bread-and-butter was disposed of,-and a
good deal of it too, for it was very good,-and plates and
cups took their departure; and then part of the little
company gathered into one room-all who were under
4 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
fifteen, and Mrs. Borrow took her place in a g eat arm-
chair at one side. She was a kind and sensible-looking
lady, and filled the arm-chair very pleasantly. Every girl
brought out her Bible now, and sat looking. respectfully
attentive; in some cases eagerly interested. Did not Mrs.
Borrow's eye mark every such case ? How precious they
are to a teacher nobody but a teacher knows.*
The lesson began. The chapter was read, Mrs. Borrow
making a few remarks by the way; then she began to
call upon the girls, very familiarly, for their thoughts or
notions on different parts. Questions and answers went
on freely; there was no stiffness on the part of the teacher,
and very little in most of the girls. At length Mrs.
Borrow asked, What is the kingdom of heaven?"
You know what a king is, Ellen Morris ?"
"What is his kingdom ?"
"The country he reigns over."
"With the people belonging to it. It would not be
much of a kingdom if it was a land without people. Now,
the kingdom of Jesus is not just like other kingdoms; for
we serve earthly kings with outward service; but we must
obey King Jesus in our hearts, or we do not belong to
him. Here he tells us that the children of his kingdom
are 'poor in spirit.' Annie Shaler, what means that ?"
I don't know, ma'am," said Annie Shaler. I never
understood it at all." a
Mrs. Borrow paused, and ran her finger up and down the
opening of her Bible.
Turn to the eighteenth chapter of Luke, Annie, and
read from the ninth verse to the fourteenth." It was the
parable of the Pharisee and the publican. Annie read it
Which of those men do you suppose was 'poor in
I suppose," said Annie, "it must be the publican,
"* See Frontispiece.
THE BIBLE CLASS. 5
because he was commended; but I do not understand the
words any better."
You see that the other man thought pretty well of
himself ? When he looked into his own heart and life he
saw, he thought, a great deal of good in them; a great
deal that would please the eye of God. Did he not ?"
Yes, ma'am-that is plain."
Then he felt rich in heart-don't you suppose he did?
with plenty to answer God's demands ?"
"And the publican, looking into himself, found nothing
there that he thought worthy to offer to the Lord; and he
Yes, ma'am-but- "
But what ? Speak out."
But I don't see, Mrs. Borrow, why it is blessed."
Because, Annie, coming to God in any other temper
than that, he has no blessing for you. And because, be-
sides, whoever thinks he has enough already will never be
a beggar at the door of the Lord's grace; and so will
remain really poor for ever. Now turn to the twenty-sixth
chapter of Leviticus, and I will read. The Lord had been
telling the children of Israel that if they disobeyed and
forgot him in times to come, he would punish them dread-
fully for it; then hear what he. says: 'If they shall con-
fess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with
their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that
also they have walked contrary unto me; and that I also
have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them
into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised
hearts be humbled, and they then accept the punishment of
their iniquity, then will I remember my covenant with
Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my
covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will re-
member the land.' Do you see, Annie Shaler ?"
But suppose they have not walked contrary' to him,
Mrs. Borrow ?"
"1 If anybody thinks so of himself, my dear, it proves
either that he is one of those few that have been sanctified
6 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
from their childhood, or that he is not one of these blessed
ones; that is all I can say. I am afraid he would be in the
case of the Laodiceans. Turn to the third chapter of the
Revelation, and read at the seventeenth verse.
"' Because thou sayest I am rich, and increased with
goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that
thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and
naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire,
that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou
mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do
not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou
"1 You see they were not poor in spirit, and so they did
not know the condition of their hearts, nor that they were
in want of everything."
Annie was silenced, but did not look satisfied.
"Mary Dawson, do you understand it?"
"Yes, ma'am, I believe so; but one must think very ill
of one's self to think so, Mrs. Borrow."
And you think that in some cases difficult?"
Mary did not answer, but Annie Shaler lifted her head.
She had a fine, generous, good face; it was plain she spoke
honestly. Yes, Mrs. Borrow; I should think it was in
some cases impossible."
In your own case, Annie, for instance ? Never mind,
-we will not call it want of modesty; we are trying to get
"-I should think very poorly of myself, Mrs. Borrow,
before I could think so."
Yes, but that is not the question. I spoke of the
Annie hesitated, and then said with a little modest
pride, My father and mother, Mrs. Borrow, do not think
so of me."
Because, I dare say, my dear, you have always pleased
them; but have you been a grateful and faithful child of
God ?-that is the question. Have you always obeyed his
Of course we are all sinners," remarked Mary Dawson.
THE BIBLE CLASS. 7
"9 And you see how a sinner must think of himself before
he can obtain any favour from God. Now read, Mary,
Janet, Ellen, and Sally, as I tell you. First, the thirty-
fourth Psalm, eighteenth verse."
"' ( The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken
heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.' "
Isaiah, fifty-seventh chapter, fifteenth verse."
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth
eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and
holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble
spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the
heart of the contrite ones.' "
Second Chronicles, seventh chapter, fourteenth verse."
'If my people, which are called by my name, shall
humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn
from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and
will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.' "
Isaiah, sixty-first chapter, first verse."
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because tho
Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the
meek: he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to
proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the
prison to them that are bound.' "
You know of whom this is spoken ?"
There was silence, till Annie St. John answered, Of the
Lord Jesus Christ."
"My dear girls, you see to what sort of people he came
-to the meek, to the broken-hearted, who feel as that
publican felt, to those who see themselves the captives of
sin and want a Saviour. But what has Christ to do with
those who do not want him, Annie Shaler ?"
They may admire him, and imitate him, ma'am."
Mrs. Borrow felt a great pain at her heart. She thought
of those words, Behold,. his soul which is lifted up, is not
upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith." The
girls had grown very grave and attentive.
In that case, Annie, Christ has no blessing for you.
He says himself that .he came to seek and to save that
which was lost. You do not feel yourself lost. My dear,
what do you read your Bible for ?"
8 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
"I suppose, Mrs. Borrow, because it is part of my
lessons," said Annie, bluntly.
Not because you love to read it ?"
No, ma'am," said Annie, rather faintly.
Who among you reads her Bible because she loves it,
or needs it ?"
The girls were all silent. Mrs. Borrow did not look at
them; she kept her eyes upon her book. Is there any
one of you," she asked again, who loves her Bible, and
reads it because she loves it, or because she needs it ?"
A low little voice behind Mrs. Borrow answered, I do,
ma'am." Mrs. Borrow looked round. It was Annie St.
John, a girl who had but lately entered the school.
"1 Do you read it because you love it? or because you
need it, Annie ?"
Both, Mrs. Borrow."
Why do you love it, my dear ? Will you speak this
once ? we are confessing to one another to-night."
Because I find there what I need so much, Mrs.
What do you need that you find there ? Speak,
Annie," Mrs. Borrow said, in a gentle, encouraging tone.
Annie hesitated, and when she spoke her voice trembled;
but she went slowly on.
It tells about Jesus, ma'am."
What do you need of him ?"
I want to be forgiven-and I want to be delivered from
sin--and I find there that Jesus has done both for me-or
that he has done one and will do the other."
Is that all, Annie ?"
No, ma'am. I find how to do God's will there."
"'This is the love of God, that we keep his command-
ments,' said Mrs. Borrow. Thank you. You may go,
For she had seen, almost without looking, that the blood
had rushed to the child's face with the effort and excite-
ment of speaking, and that she was just ready to burst into
tears. Annie profited by her permission, and made her
escape immediately. Mrs. Borrow looked round on the'
rest. They were variously impressed; for while some
faces, she saw, looked troubled, there were others that
Have I but one child in my house," said she, solemnly,
'that loves her Bible? only one among you all, that loves
and trusts in the Saviour of sinners ? only one, and that a
little one, that is willing to be the servant of Christ ? My
dear children, I will pray for you that you may be poor in
spirit; for till you are, you will never ask the Lord Jesus
to give you the riches of his forgiveness and love. Are
you vexed with me, some of you, for speaking so of you ?
' Behold, his soul, which is lifted up, is not upright in him:
but the just shall live by his faith.' And no one trusts in
another, so long as he trusts in himself. Let us pray to
be made poor."
Perhaps some of the girls joined in that prayer, perhaps
others did not; but they were immediately dismissed to
their rooms afterwards, and there was no opportunity for
any more talking.
SOMEHOW, Annie St. John fared none the better among
her companions for the occurrences of Sunday evening.
They could not quarrel with her, for she was a most in-
offensive child; they could not even thoroughly dislike her,
for she was always obliging and good humoured; and it was
impossible not to respect her diligent attention to her duties.
Yet most of them shunned her a little. They were of
opinion that Mrs. Borrow had in some way distinguished
her, or that she had distinguished herself, to their unjust
disadvantage; though Annie had only confessed her love
and allegiance where they refused theirs. It was accord-
ing to the old truth, He that doeth evil hateth the light;"
and Annie's single example was a trouble to their secret
10 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
Annie Shaler felt this particularly, not in her conscience,.
however, so much as in her pride. She was a diligent and
apt scholar, cleverer than Annie St. John, as well as a year
or two older, and had always kept, at home and at school,
a high standing for upright conduct and a becoming de-
portment. She thought herself quite as good a girl as
Annie St. John, and more worthy of being remarked as
such. She decided that Annie St. John was unduly
favoured, and was determined not to help the false impres-
sion by any favour of her own. She was civil tnd cold.
But the feeling grew.
One day the girls were at their arithmetic lesson. Both
Annies were in the same arithmetic class, though Annie
St. John was only quite lately brought there; and the
other Annie thought it was a mark of the same undue
favour. They were this day upon a difficult place in the
study, with, as Annie Shaler said, some beautiful hard ex-
amples" to do on the slate. Annie knew she could do them,
and not everybody else; so she called them beautiful."
In the course of the lesson each girl was called upon in
turn. The two Annies were sitting close together; there
was no order of precedence in the classes, and the St. John
was called upon first. It happened that Annie did not at
the moment understand that she was spoken to; she had
been stooping to tie her shoe when the teacher spoke, and
she rose up and did not answer. Annie Shaler was tempted
by the opportunity. There was a question to answer and
then to work out upon the slate-a nice and intricate ques-
tion, and a pet example of hers, which Annie had wished
she might have to do. She noticed that Annie St. John
did not speak, and deciding, as she said to herself, that she
could not, after a moment's pause she gave the answer her-
self, and went on to do the example on the slate in fine
style. The teacher, who was a resident in Mrs. Borrow's
house, and acting as under-governess, listened in silence;
and Annie supposed it was all right. When she had gone
back to her seat in triumph, Miss Morley said quietly,
" Was it your turn, Miss Shaler?"
"No, ma'am," said Anne, hesitatingly; but---"
MIS CHIEF. 11
"Did I ask you to do that sum ?"
"No, ma'am-but--- "
"Whom did I ask ?"
"Miss St. John," said Annie, colouring deeply, but I
Why did you answer for her ?"
She did not answer, ma'am, and I supposed- "
What did you suppose ?"
I supposed she did not know the answer."
"And you spoke in kindness to shelter her. Did you ?"
Annie's face was a sight to see, for the compressed
storm of pride and displeasure that was too plainly visible
on it. She did not speak.
"You were guilty of a great rudeness, my dear. Good
manners are quite as necessary to young ladies as correct
arithmetic. I desire that you will make an apology to
Miss St. John before we go any further."
A slight turn of her head, and indeed of her whole
person, from her little neighbour-an action which was
the involuntary expression of Annie Shaler's feeling at the
moment-was all the response she made to her teacher's
command. Miss Morley saw that her brow was gathering
blackness in its pride.
"Miss Shaler,.do you hear me? I desire that you will
immediately apologise to Annie St. John."
I have not done anything to her," said Annie Shaler,
No, indeed-" began Annie St. John.
Hush! You have offended against good manners,
Annie Shaler-now make all the reparation in your power,
and ask Miss St. John's pardon."
"I will not !" said Annie Shaler, furiously; "I have
done nothing to ask her pardon."
Do you refuse to obey me ?-Ellen Morris go on with
the next question; and Mary Dawson, go to Mrs. Borrow
and ask her to have the goodness, if she is disengaged, to
Mrs. Borrow made her appearance in the midst of
Ellen's ciphering. When she had got through, Miss
12 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
Morley explained what was the matter; Annie St. John
was sitting with bowed heart, very sorry for all the dis-
turbance, and Annie.,Shaler with a bowed head, angry and
mortified, almost past her power of bearing it. Mrs.
Borrow heard the whole story, and then, as in duty bound,
upheld the authority of her governess.
"A Annie Shaler, you must obey orders. You must make
an apology to Miss St. John for taking the words out of her
mouth. If you are conscious of having acted innocently,
there certainly will be no difficulty in doing that. And
then you must ask pardon of Miss Morley for having dis-
obeyed her, and answered rudely. But you will not make
either apology now; it must be done to-morrow morning
before breakfast, in presence of the whole family. For the
present, I excuse you. You may go."
Annie Shaler profited by this dismissal, but she went
with a proud step and an uplifted stubborn head, which her
governess marked with pain. The lesson was finished in
the class without much spirit; and, as the girls scattered
their several ways, Annie St. John heard several expres-
sions of opinion that showed which way the feeling of her
companions was setting. "' Mean 1" Shameful !" Hard !"
echoed from different parts of the hall as she was going
up-stairs; and she thought by their manner that some of
the girls rather vented a part of their displeasure on her
-the most innocent cause of it. Very disagreeable, Annie
thought it was; but she had nothing to do with it, and
strove to put away the thought of the whole matter.
In the evening, before tea, there was an interval when
the girls did what they liked. They had the freedom of
the school parlours, light and warm, and they were ac-
customed to gather there for all sorts of quiet amusement
during that three quarters or half an hour. Some read,
some chatted, some did fancy work, some played games.
This evening, Annie St. John, who had to make up by
diligence for the superior abilities of her school-fellows, had
brought her Latin grammar into the parlour. She had a
difficult lesson to learn, and knew she was going to have
little enough time. She put herself on a footstool at thQ
corner of the fire and went hard at her declensions. A
high-backed sofa stood near; beyond it, in the shelter of
the window-curtains, a group of girls were talking together.
It's a shame ?" said one. It's all Miss Morley's
ugliness. She knew better."
What will you do, Annie? Poor Annie !" said Mary
Dawson. Will you ask the Great Bear's 'forgiveness ?"
I suppose I shall have to do so," said Annie; though,
if it wasn't the middle of term, I would leave the school
first !-I can't go now."
I shouldn't mind asking pardon of the Great Bear,'
so much as of the little sheep," said Ellen Morris.
"Ain't you ashamed, Ellen?" said Janet Macaulay.
But Mrs. Borrow calls her a lamb, so I suppose you
are not much out of the way. That's a little sheep, isn't it ?"
Poor Annie St. John These remarks stung her. She
forgot her Latin, and put her head down on her book; her
heart was bitter. She could not help hearing what the
There isn't anything of the sheep about me," said
Annie Shaler. If she had had any more heart than that,
why didn't she get up and say that she didn't know how
to do that example ?"
Because I did know," said Annie St. John, getting too
sore and angry to be wise. "I did know. I could have
answered. I was ready with my answer, only I didn't
know I was called." She had risen and come to the girls,
and pulled aside the window-curtains to speak to them.
Here's a pretty business !" said Mary. Our sheep
is changing into a goat. Look out, girls-I expect she'll
butt at us directly."
You are wrong to say so," cried Annie, with eyes
firing, "it is wicked and unkind, and you ought not to do
it; and you know it !"
She'll strike out directly," said Mary, in a quiet tone.
It's wicked !" repeated Annie, and I haven't done
anything to deserve it. I knew my answer and could have
said it perfectly, and Annie Shaler said what she didn't
know was true,"
14 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
"When ? when ?" said the other Annie.
Just now-when you said I couldn't answer."
You've got to beg my pardon now," said Annie
Shaler, scornfully. I'll see what Mrs. Borrow will say
to this. Nobody shall tell me I don't tell the truth."
I said you didn't know it was true," said Annie St
John; and you didn't."
Very well! we'll see."
"Mrs. Borrow's lamb is coming on finely," remarked
The words struck Annie's heart, whose anger had been
a momentary flash, and who was already cooling down. She
let the curtain fall and crept back to her seat; but her head
sank upon her grammar, and she forgot there was any such
language as Latin. The talk went on behind the curtain.
"To have to beg that little piece of hypocrisy's pardon !"
said Annie Shaler.
It's all Miss Morley's fault," said Janet; "she's as
stiff and stuck-up as she can be; and she can't see with
her own eyes, either."
I've got to beg her pardon; and I wish I could pay
her off for it," said Annie Shaler.
So do I !" and So do I!" said the girls.
How could we do it, all of us?" said Mary; "come,
let's see. I have a grudge or two against the 'Great
Bear;' I should like to deprive that constellation of some
of her stars."
What does she care about most ?" said Ellen.
Anything that helps her out with her stiffness and
pomposity," said Janet. Girls, I have it! -"
That new French cap that Mrs. Borrow gave her;
she's as proud of it as she can be, and thinks, when she has
got that on, she's about right. To-morrow evening she'll
put it on because somebody's coming to tea, you know, and
we must all be dressed.'
Well, what then ?" said two or three impatiently.
"If we could manage to switch it off her head just as
she is all ready and coming into the parlour I--
But you can't. How can you ? You can't, Janet."
Don't be too sure of that," said Janet. "I've done
harder things before now."
But I can't see how you can do it, Janet," said Ellen
Very likely. I didn't say you could."
There's two or three ways," said Mary Dawson.
This is mine," said Janet. Put your heads closer,
girls, is anybody near?"
They peeped out from the curtains and found they were
as yet safe. Nobody was very near but Annie St. John,
and her they did not see behind the high-backed sofa.
The thing is to get the cap off her head when she is all
rigged, and to put it where she won't find it again in a
Yes, and I can't imagine how you will," said Ellen.
Listen, then. When Miss Morley is dressed she will
step out from her room, naturally, and place her little feet
on the stairs, preparatory to walking down into the
parlour. Probably she will go down several stairs."
"What then ?"
Then she will turn about and go back," said Janet,
chuckling, having found herself suddenly headbare."
But how, Janet ?-how will she ? how can you?"
You know her room opens on the landing-place--good
for us. I'll be at the banisters just over her head. I'll
have a hook on a pole, and as she gets under me my pole
yill pay its respects to her cap. She won't see it again
very soon; and the fun is-Oh, the fun, girls !-she won't
be able to imagine how she lost it !"
A burst of laughter here shook the group, till the
shaking reached the window curtains, and the curtain-rings
began to clatter.
Hush, girls," said Mary, that won't do."
But what is to make her stop on the stairs ?" said
Annie Shaler. She won't stop, and you can't do anything
unless she stops."
You shall do that," said Janet.
16 THE TWO SOHOOL-GIRLS.
Yes. When she comes out of her door you must run
up the stairs ; and just where she ought to stop, you must
sit down on the stair to tie your shoestring."
But my slippers haven't any strings that tie; they
You can put strings to them, can't you? Don't begin
to be stupid just now, Annie Shaler."
". But how should I know when she is coming ? I could
not stand at the foot of the stairs looking up to see."
No, of course; but some of us can be up-stairs looking
down to see, and when her door opens we'll begin to sing,
' Lo, the conquering hero.' You'll be about the parlour-
door, and just then you will want something up-stairs."
Annie St. John, from her low seat by the fire, heard
part of this dialogue; too much for her comfort. Some
words and sentences were spoken so low as not to reach
her; but from the rest she gathered too surely that some
mischief was in the talk, and even what was the nature,
though not the whole particulars, of the mischief intended.
It troubled her grievously. For a- moment she had a
thought of going to the girls to implore them to think
better of what they were about; then she recollected that
by her own late passion and rash words she had lost the
power to speak to them with any chance of doing good.
"They would not listen to her, and would silence her with
abuse. Annie did not feel that she would mind that now
if she could do anything by braving it; her passion was
long ago gone, but so was her opportunity. She knew it,
and grieved to the heart with a grief that seemed to
become more bitter the more she thought about it: she
slowly went away out of the room.
Oh, shame, shame, shame !" she thought to herself, as
her foot went heavily up the stairs. "That I, who have
promised to follow Jesus, should give way so How cams
I to do it just then? I have borne as much, or nearly as
much, before without feeling so. What a wicked, naughty,
obstinate heart mine is to bear so little for Jesus's sake.
And now I have dishonoured his name before those girls;
they will think, and why shouldn't they? that religion
"isn't anything real, and that pretending to love Christ is a
sham, and nothing in it. They will think less of religion,
and be less likely to become Christians themselves, because
they have seen me act so to-day. And why shouldn't they ?
I have done harm to the honour and service of the Lord
among them. Oh, what shall I do ? How can I mend it ?"
Annie went to her corner of the house and hid herself in
a book-closet where she used to go for an undisturbed
place to pray. She sat down on the floor, and cried and
sobbed her little heart out. At last she came sorrowfully to
the conclusion that the evil she had done was done, and
could not be undone, and that only the great King whose
cause she had hurt could repair the hurt. Annie crept to
his feet and laid her sore trouble before him, and prayed
to be forgiven, and that he would keep her from falling
into temptation, and teach her the way she should go to
please and honour him. It was a long while she was in
her book-closet, and when she came out she knew that her
eyes were swollen, and she did not like to go down among
the rest of the family. She turned up the gas and sat
down to get her Latin lesson.
Annie St. John! there you are!" said a pleasant
voice, and Annie looked up and saw Miss Morley. "Why
were you not at tea! Mrs. Borrow wants to see you in her
With a great pain at her heart Annie went down stairs.
Miss Morley! and the evil those girls were plotting against
her She knew not exactly what form it had taken, but
the tone and expression of some words that reached her had
made her sure it was a form of real purpose, and to-
morrow evening she had heard, too, in a way that fixed
the point of time. What could she do ? Successful or
unsuccessful,'how dreadful it would be! So Annie went
down to the study. If it were only mother !" thought
her little heart, as she got to the door, "then I could ask
her what to do."
Mrs. Borrow was there alone, in the bright light of gas
18 THE TWO SCHOOL-GItRLS.
and fire, surrounded with papers and books. She asked
first whether Annie was well, and then why she had not
been at tea. Annie hesitated, and her governess waited.
"1 I couldn't come at tea-time, Mrs. Borrow, and I didn't
like to come afterwards. I was studying my lesson for
Mr. Shelf when Miss Morley found me."
What were you doing at tea-time ?" "
Annie hesitated, and her lip trembled; out it came:
I had been doing wrong, ma'am, and I was troubled-
I couldn't come down."
Doing wrong, Annie What wrong have you done,
my child ? Will you tell me ?"
I got angry, Mrs. Borrow, and spoke as I ought not to
have spoken." Annie looked very sorrowful.
Got angry Annie How came that ? Come here and
let me know about it."
Then Annie burst into tears. I was vexed, Mrs.
Borrow, at some words I heard the girls say; and I was
proud and impatient, and I spoke very badly." Annie
wept silently with her face covered, and she did not see
how much sympathy and sorrow too was in Mrs. Borrow's
face for her.
"Annie, I am sorry to hear that. Come here-" and
she passed her arm round the child, and drew her to her
side,-" how came you to fall into temptation ?"
I don't know, ma'am," sobbed Annie.
"I have seen you bear disagreeable things before; how
came it that you failed to-night ?"
I don't know, Mrs. Borrow."
Shall I tell you ?"
You forgot that you are just a poor weak little child,
with no power of your own to do anything good, and you
looked away a little from the Lord Jesus, and were not de-
pending on his hand to hold you. Was not that it, Annie ?"
whispered Mrs. Borrow; "you were not 'poor in spirit'
The child sobbed softly.
You have asked the Lord t-o forgive you ?"
You have prayed him to keep you by his grace from
doing so again ?"
Oh yes, ma'am !"
You know he hears prayer, Annie. He will forgive
and keep you if you trust him."
But, Mrs. Borrow," said Annie, lifting up her head
and stopping her tears, I have done harm-I have done
harm by my anger and words."
To the girls ?"
Yes, ma'am. They will think-you know what they
will think, Mrs. Borrow."
Yes, I know. You can't help that, Annie. We
cannot forget ourselves and forget our Master without dis-
honouring him and doing harm to his cause. That is a
bitter part of our punishment."
But, Mrs. Borrow," said Annie, looking distressed,
"can't I do anything ?-can't I do anything to make it
better? to take away the bad I've done ?"
You can ask forgiveness of any one you wronged by
your words. That shows you repent of them."
I would have done that immediately, only I knew that
just then they would not hear me. Would it do any good,
Mrs. Borrow, if I were to ask their forgiveness, and tell
them I am sorry, to-morrow morning ?-before them all ?"
Mrs. Borrow thought a minute. Did all hear you ?"
No, ma'am; only four or five."
"Then the others would not understand it. I think not,
Annie. I think I would only go to those four or five. But
I would go to them."
"Yes, ma'am; I will."
And go asking the Lord to help you; for they may
not receive your apology graciously, and you must not dis-
honour his name again, Annie."
Mrs. Borrow felt sure, from the humbled, gentle,
sorrowful face that was raised to bid her good night, that
she had no reason to fear on that score just then.
"What lesson is that you are studying ?"
"My Latin verbs-for Mr. Shelf."
20 THE TWO SClIOOL-GIRLS.
Does that lesson come early to-morrow ? Is it ready ?"
"Yes, ma'am, it comes early. It is not ready yet."
"- Sit down here if you like, in that warm corner, and
study. I shall not disturb you, and you will not disturb
me. Have you had anything to eat, Annie ?"
No, ma'am; I don't want anything."
And Annie very gratefully and very gladly put herself
down in the corner to study her lesson; knowing that she
was safe there from discovery as from interruption: none
of the girls came to that room unless sent for. And Mrs.
Borrow, seeing that she looked pale, presently gave her
an apple and a piece of sponge-cake, only bidding her take
care of the crumbs. And there is no denying that study-
ing went easier after that. But as Annie studied, and
ate her apple, and nibbled her sponge-cake, every now and
then came the thought of Miss Morley and some trouble
preparing for to-morrow evening. She did not know how
to do anything, either to prevent, or to warn that lady of
the mischief intended for her.
MISS MORLEY'S CAP.
ANNIE watched the next morning with a beating heart
for what was to come before breakfast. After prayers,
Mrs. Borrow called all the girls to order, and arranged
them in one room together. Herself and Miss Morley
were seated in two arm-chairs each side of the folding
"Now, Miss Shaler."
Annie Shaler looked very black; but nevertheless, at
the summons she rose from her seat and stepped forward.
If it had depended on her own will, she felt as if to get
cut words of apology to Annie St. John would have been
an impossibility; but it was not left to her choice. A
form of words had been prescribed by her governess, which
MISS MOihLEY S CAP. 21
she was obliged to use; so, looking exceedingly gloomy
and uncomfortable, and with pride evidently struggling,
she spoke without lifting her eyes from the floor:
"I ask pardon of Miss St. John for having behaved
impolitely to her in class yesterday."
Annie St. John felt a longing desire to spring forward
and make her own more humble apology, for wrong more
deeply felt, but it was no time. Annie Shaler had turned
towards Miss Morley, and was beginning to speak.
"Come forward-come near, Miss Shaler," said Mrs.
Borrow. You cannot speak to Miss Morley civilly from
such a distance. Come near, that she may hear you."
Annie Shaler advanced through the room, a quick
angry flush crossing her face, and stood before her gover-
I ask forgiveness of Miss Morley for having answered
her rudely and disobeyed her orders in class yesterday. '
Please, ma'am, forgive me."
The words were spoken with great difficulty and un
willingness; but at Miss Morley's answer, "I do with
pleasure, my dear," and as Annie Shaler turned to go back
to her seat, her face looked black with pride and fury.
No wonder that when she sat down she hung her head
also; she was conscious it was not fit to meet Mrs. Bor-
row's eye. Annie St. John felt there was a thunder-storm
in the air.
But breakfast immediately came, and after breakfast
the duties of the day began their course-a course which
left no minute unfilled. Dinn.er-time came, and what
with walking, and studying, and reciting, and practising,
Annie had not the least chance to speak to her offended
schoolmates, It lay on her heart till it was done. At
the table she stole a look, as she could now and then,
toward Janet and Mary, and Annie and Ellen, to see what
was the prospect for the evening. Bad; she saw it was
bad. She could not tell how she saw it; there was some-
thing in the quiet, busy air with which they were all fort
eating their dinner, not talking and laughing, but with
an occasional grave meeting of eyes together, which told
22 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
Annie's heart as plainly as possible that the mischief was
going on. Annie never knew how her own dinner tasted
"Young ladies," said Mrs. Borrow, before they rose
from table, I hope to see a friend here at tea-a lady,
to whom I shall be happy to introduce you. At eight
o'clock I shall expect you to be in the parlour."
The dinner had been late that day, and Annie knew
there wasn't much time; and she had her English gram-
mar lesson to study. It was always a hard lesson to
Annie; so after dinner she went at it pellmell.' So hard
she studied that she almost forgot about everything else;
but when Annie knew that her rules and parsing were all
right and ready, and she got up to dress, the thought of
what was coming fell like a blow upon her.
She was in a great hurry to be dressed and downstairs
as soon as possible, that she might watch against evil,
and, if she had the least chance, do something to avert it.
Annie's dressing was a simple affair. Her mother was
poor, and she had no fine things to put on. Her best
dress now for the evening was a white cambric muslin,
with a sash of red ribbon. It was very plain, and looked
proper and neat. Annie saw that her hair was brushed
into beautiful order, and her shoes and stockings all right;
then her frock and her sash were soon put on, and she ran
down stairs. It was near eight Q:clock already.
Annie went eagerly through the rooms to see if Miss
Morley were there. But she was not. Mrs. Borrow was
there, with her friends-the two ladies who had come to
pass the evening with her; and she presented Annie to
them. They were pleasant and kind-spoken, and for a
minute or two, while talking to them, Annie forgot again
what was on her mind; but the moment they let her go
she ran off to see who was come downstairs.
There were several of the girls, that was all. Round
the door opening into the hall, which stood open, were
Annie Shaler, Ellen Morris, and Mary Dawson, lounging
and talking, half in and half out of the door. Now is
MISS MORLEY'S CAP. 23
my time," thought Annie St. John, so she went up to
them. They might answer her disagreeably, but she did
not mind. She would do what she could to mend the
mischief her anger had done.
"Annie Shaler -and Ellen, and Mary," she said,
humbly, I spoke to you very improperly last night. I
am very sorry. Will you forgive me, and forget it ?"
Annie Shaler turned away and took no notice. Ellen
and Mary looked with indifference at the little apologist.
What's the use ?" said Ellen; "you'll do just the
same thing another time. You ain't any better than other
I don't care what you do," said Mary, more carelessly.
" You haven't offended me, child."
Annie St. John drew back. She had done what she
could. She stood near, to see what would be next. The
girls were coming down and coming in constantly; but the
three kept their places by the door, rather watching the
staircase. It had struck eight.
Miss Morley is behind time," remarked Mary.
Yes," said Ellen, "that is my fault, I took the
opportunity after dinner to ask her to explain to me those
rules as she had promised, and I kept her so long that
she hasn't had time to put on her cap. It was what Mrs.
Borrow would call 'inconsiderate' in me, wasn't it ?"
The eyes met. There was no laughing, but Annie St.
John's heart beat. What could they mean?
Do you know where Miss Morley is ?" said Mrs. Bor-
row, coming to the door.
I suppose she is dressing, ma'am. She hasn't come
Go up to her room, Mary, and ask her if she is ready.
Tell her it is past eight o'clock."
Good !" whispered Mary, as Mrs. Borrow's back was
turned; and she ran upstairs. Hardly knowing why,
Annie St. John also came to the door, unnoticed by the
other two, who were watching the stairs. The rest of the
family were all in the parlour. There was a minute of
24 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
breathless expectation. They heard Mary's knock at Miss
Morley's door; after a little, they heard the door open
and steps coming. The steps stopped.
What's all this?" said the voice of Miss Morley.
The lights are gone out! Susan! come and light this
gas. Where's Susan?"
Susan was not at hand, it seemed, and the steps came
on again. Just then a clear, shrill voice up-stairs struck
up the air, Lo, the conquering hero comes!" Annie
Shaler started and ran half-way up the stairs, where, as
agreed, she plumped down to tie her shoe, in the middle
of the flight. Miss Morley was just above her.
Who put out the gas lights, Annie Shaler ?" she
Annie St. John never could remember what she saw
next. She did not see how, from the darkened hall above,
the pole with the hook was stealthily let down upon Miss
Morley's devoted cap. Nothing was easier than to cap-
ture it, for it was very light and gauzy-; and even the fact
that it was pinned to Miss Morley's head did not save it.
The hook had taken fast hold. But, in drawing it up, a
hasty motion swung the gauze and lace over one of the
hall burners, and in an instant it was all a wreath of flame.
Janet, who held the pole, lost her presence of mind; she
dropped the pole, she knew not where, and ran off. The
next thing was a succession ofghrieks, more and more
violent, which brought all the people in the parlours out of
them and to the spot immediately.
It was not Miss Morley on whom the punishment had
fallen. The instant she felt the cap leave her head she had
started back, unwilling to face anybody in that disordered
condition. For that moment the cap hung suspended in
Janet's hand; then it fell, cap and all blazing, on Annie
Shaler, who was still crouching at her shoe and had not
dared look up. The pole happily missed her head, but
lodged the burning cap well in the folds of her light dress.
It fired instantly, and the terrified child rushed first up-
stairs and then down stairs, wild with fright and pain.
At the bottom of the stairs she was forcibly caught by 1Mrs,
MISS MORLEY'S CAP. 25
Borrow, who threw her down on the floor and muffled the
flames with all the mats and rugs which lay in the hall.
It saved Annie Shaler's life; but before this was done
there was another cry from the stairs, echoed by a shout
from all the people in the hall,-" Oh, there's another one
on fire !"
It was Annie St. John. She had been the first one
from below who had seen the blazing cap. As it fell, she
had instinctively run up to save her namesake from the
danger she saw descending on her; but, too late for that,
she was in time to get on fire herself, whether from the
burning gauze which she had been trying to extinguish,
or from Annie Shaler's frock as she rushed past her in her
delirious flight down the stairs, could never be known.
But the white cambric had caught the flame, and every-
body was so busy with Annie Shaler that it was some time
before it was known that help was wanted in another
Annie St. John was very badly burned. Her screams,
poor child, had been taken for screams of sympathy or fear
on Annie Shaler's account; and she was past speech when
Mrs. Borrow, horrified, came to her. Annie Shaler had
not ceased to cry, Oh, I am killed! I am killed! Send
for my father send for my mother Send for them send
for them !"
What shall I do !" exclaimed Mrs. Borrow. Stephen I
Somebody send Stephen for Dr. Mansfield directly." And
herself took the helpless form of little Annie in her arms,
and carried her up the rest of the flight of stairs and into
the first room. She had extinguished the fire, but not
before she had seen that the child's hurts must be very
serious. She laid Annie on a bed, and then went back to
Annie Shaler, and with help brought her up and laid her
on an opposite bed. All the girls, with the servants, and
Mrs. Borrow's friends, had followed and trooped into the
room with her.
"Have you got cotton batting ?" said one of the ladies.
" Ootton batting and sweet oil. Put that on, my dear."
Treacle is good, Mrs. Borrow," said Miss Morley;
26 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
" poured right on, without waiting a minute. Shall I get
"1 All of you girls leave the room," said the governess.
" Go down stairs to the parlour. And all of the servants
go, except Jane and Patience."
Flour's good, mum," said the cook, anxiously;
" wheat flour, clapped right on-it stops the smart won-
derful, and takes out the fire. Will I bring some up to
No; Jane will bring it. Go, Jane-and the treacle
and oil. Patience, you know where to look for cotton bat-
ting. Go, girls, and be quick."
While they went, Mrs. Borrow proceeded, with the help
of her two friends, to undress the two little sufferers.
They found Annie Shaler much hurt and in very great pain;
but Annie St. John was in a dangerous condition: the
skin came away in many places with her clothes. In sor-
rowful distress Mrs. Borrow waited for the doctor.
He came at last; but he gave no comfort beyond what
his services gave. He dressed the burns, and Mrs. Bor-
row was left with directions what to do. She and her two
friends-nobody else was allowed to be in the room. Miss
Morley she had sent down stairs to keep order.
Annie Shaler had been silent, only groaning or crying,
while the doctor was there and attending to her. When
he was gone, and all had been done that could be done at
the moment, and the two ladies had sat down in silence by
the two bedsides, Annie Shaler turned and fixed her eyes
on Mrs. Borrow. They looked as if they were asking a
Do you feel easier, my dear ?" said the lady tenderly,
noticing the look. Annie's words startled her.
"' Am I going to die ?" she said.
"^ No, my dear; I hope not. Do you feel easier at all,
my poor child ?"
"You hope not ?" gasped Annie. You are not sure ?"
"There i no occasion for you to distress yourself, my
dear Annie. You are badly hurt, but I see no reason to
MISS MORLEY'S CAP. 27
fear that you will not get over it well, in good time. You
must try and be patient."
You are not sure ?" repeated Annie.
Nobody is sure of anything in the future, my dear-
God has that in his hand. But there is no cause for you
to distress yourself. I think and hope you will do very
She spoke very quietly. But the long, deep-drawn
breath with which the girl turned away her head, pierced
Mrs. Borrow's heart, as it seemed to come from the bottom
of Annie's. She sat thinking what she should say. Annie
had always seemed like a child that fear could not cross;
proudly satisfied with herself and her deservings. What
was in her mind now ? Mrs. Borrow was afraid to say
anything, for fear of getting her into a more excited state.
Yet sleep was impossible, so long as the pain of her burns
continued so severe; and Annie's quick, labouring breath
told that it was hard to bear. Was it the pain of her
burns only? Mrs. Borrow wondered; and her heart ached.
"Are you suffering very much, my dear ?" she asked
softly, bending over the child. An inarticulate groan of
pain answered her.
"I It is very hard to bear, dear Annie! but it will not
last always-that is one comfort."
What will not last always ?" the girl asked, quickly.
The pain, I hope."
Is the danger over when the pain begins to go ?"
I do not think the pain is necessarily any evidence of
danger at all, Annie. A little burn, comparatively, will
give a great deal of pain, where there is no such thing as
Again she was answered by that deep, unsatisfied breath
from Annie. Mrs. Borrow sat down to think. Could she
say "( Trust in Jesus," to a child who had always scorned
and rejected the notion that she needed any goodness but
her own ? If she had thought Annie Shaler really in dan-
ger, nothing would have hindered her; but now she did
not feel that this was the time, at any rate, and she re-
28 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
mained silent. It was a weary, long night. Annie Shaler
did not speak unless spoken to; and when Mrs. Borrow
went over from her to the other bed, where her friend kept
watch, it wrung her heart to see that Annie St. John was
beyond speech. She lay in a stupor, moaning now and
then; and very doubtful, Mrs. Borrow thought it, whether
she would ever speak again. She wished the two children
had not been brought into the same room; but she could
not change that now; and, indeed, she wanted both of them
under her eye all the time, and would hardly let anybody
else touch either of the children to do anything for them.
So Mrs. Borrow and her friend watched through the
night; and Annie Shaler watched too, in pain too great to
let her close her eyes. Often as Mrs. Borrow looked to
see if relief had come in sleep, she found Annie's eyes wide
open, the red spot of excitement or pain on her cheek, her
breath coming and going short and quick; and when once
again, toward morning, she ventured the question, "Are
you any easier, my dear ?" the answer was a short, No;
don't ask me." But when the dawning light began to
look grey at the windows, the hoped-for respite came.
Either the applications had wrought comparative ease, or
pain was tired out. Annie Shaler slept. Mrs. Borrow
went and stood by the other bed. There was no change
Where is her mother ?" said Mrs. Mackenzie, her friend,
who sat by Annie St. John.
In Boston. She is poor, and a widow; and lives by
keeping a boarding-house there. She has rescued Annie
from that by putting her with me."
"Will you send for her ?"
She is ill at this moment-too ill to come."
Both ladies were silent.
"1 Where are the parents of the other one ?"
Travelling in Europe. Wealthy people, with plenty of
means, and this only child."
Again there was silence. The morning light grew
brighter and brighter at the windows, but came cold and
MISS MORLEY'S CAP. 29
grey into the room, where the gaslights had bestowed their
false cheerfulness. Annie Shaler slept on.
What sort of a child is she?" whispered Mrs. Mac-
kenzie, who had come over with her friend to look at her.
Fine, naturally; good abilities; good and noble points
of character; full of energy and fire. She would make a
noble woman, if she took the right turn."
She is fine looking; but this one looks good," said
Mrs. Mackenzie, returning to the other bed. Poor little
Mrs. Borrow did not speak, as she saw the pale, gentle
face, where the long eyelashes lay so sadly on the cheek,
and had not been lifted up yet.
The house woke up to its usual stir and bustle. Mrs.
Mackenzie went down to breakfast. Mrs. Bcrrow would
not move till the doctor arrived. At length he came, and
comforted her concerning Annie Shaler; who, he said,
there was every reason to hope would do well. She must
be very carefully seen to, and kept quiet in mind and body.
But at Annie St. John's bedside the doctor said nothing.
Annie opened her eyes while they were dressing her burns :
she closed them again without speaking.
"How do you feel this morning ?" said the doctor, as he
noticed the movement. The eyes opened again for a
moment, and that was all the answer he got. Mrs. Bor-
row did not like the expression of his face, and followed
him out of the room.
What is her condition, Dr. Mansfield ?"
You think so ?"
No doubt of it," said the doctor. There's no telling
-she may get up. The other one will, I think, with care.
Mrs. Borrow went back with a heavy heart, and stood
by the bed; revolving that whatever was possible to the
utmost of good nursing, with the blessing of heaven, Annie
St. John should have. She was called by a voice from the
30 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
"Mrs. Borrow," said Annie Shaler, looking at her with
sharp, watchful eyes, "what does the doctor say about
He thinks you will do well, my dear," Mrs. Borrow
What did he say about me out in the hall?"
He said that-he said he thought you would do well,
with care-which you shall have Annie."
What else did he say ?"
"Nothing about you. Why do you ask, my dear ?"
"But why did you go out with him to ask about me,
Mrs. Borrow ?"
It was very unwonted for Mrs. Borrow to be questioned
thus by any one of her pupils, and as strange from Annie
Shaler's mouth as from almost any other. But Mrs.
Borrow saw the power of feeling in the girl's mind which
made her overleap all usuai bounds; and passing it by, she
simply answered, I did not go to ask about you, Annie.
I went to ask about Annie St. John."
Is she worse than I ?"
Annie looked in Mrs. Borrow's face for a moment, then
turned away with a heavy sigh.
What is the matter, Annie? What troubles you?"
asked heb governess, gently.
I am in pain enough," said Annie.
Is that all, my dear?"
This question got no answer. Annie lay still and kept
her tongue still; only after a minute she said, I wish
mother was here !" It was a wish so impossible to
answer, that Mrs. Borrow drew back and did not attempt
it. Annie's confidence could not be forced. She must wait
mIN TROUBLE. 81
MRS. BORRow waited and watched the weary length of
the next day, with no comfort from either child. Annie St.
John lay in the same state, and the doctor was ominously
silent and gloomy about her. Mrs. Borrow read quite
enough in his face; she did not have courage to ask any
questions. Even over Annie Shaler she fancied the doctor
looked less bright than at first, or was more anxiously par-
ticular. Annie Shaler did not talk much more than her
poor little neighbour; but Mrs. Borrow saw that she used
her eyes as eagerly as ever, both upon Dr. Mansfield and
herself, and that the child was in distress more than from
the pain of her burns. But Annie would not talk about it.
She said almost nothing. So the day passed, and the
second night; but during the second night Mrs. Borrow
thought she saw signs of mending. When the doctor
came in the second morning he said so too.
Ah, yes !" said he-" here's a better colour to things.
This is hopeful. I shouldn't wonder, now, if she could
speak, if she had the heart. It's pretty severe for a little
one," went on the doctor, as he was attending to one of the
burns, which was a terrible one, on Annie St. John's side.
As he spoke, the mute lips parted with a sigh, but then the
lips stopped and closed again, unable to articulate. Now
let us see to the other," continued he, going over to
Shaler's bedside, and he made careful and gentle examina-
tion of her condition.
"' Getting along very well, my child,-getting along
very well. You feel better to-day, don't you? Keep
quiet and be patient-you haven't either of you hurt your
face-that's a blessing. You've got good nursing, and I
have no doubt you'll be up again by-and-by. But, Mrs.
Borrow, I wouldn't let either of them go to class-meeting
just yet awhile."
32 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
With a heart too full of thankfulness to speak, Mrs.
Borrow followed the doctor out.
That one's not doing as well as I expected," he re-
Is she not ?" exclaimed Mrs. Borrow. "What can I
do for her?"
Nothing,-nothing,-just go on as you are. I trust
she'll eventually come round all right."
So the doctor went; but Annie Shaler's keen ears had
caught his first words. Mrs. Borrow found her restless
and uneasy evidently, all day long; but she could win her
to no free speech as to what was the matter. Annie St.
John was decidedly better, and mended all that day.
At evening Mrs. Borrow, who had until then scarcely
left the sick room, went down stairs to see to some need-
ful business. Coming back in half an hour, she stepped in
softly and sat down at the foot of Annie St. John's bed,
that she might not disturb the children, if they were
asleep. Mrs. Mackenzie left the room at the same time,
and Annie Shaler could not see Mrs. Borrow, who was
hidden from her by the bed curtains. For a time, there
was deep silence; only the gentle breathing of the children
and the slight, soft noise of the fire in the grate. At last
Annie Shaler spoke, cautiously and eagerly:
Annie St. John ? "
What ?" said little Annie's weak voice.
There was silence again for some minutes, before the
first speaker was ready to go on. Then she ventured again:
What ?" said Annie St. John.
Aren't you tired, lying there ?"
Yes, a little."
Does it hurt you much ?"
Yes, a good deal."
Annie, how soon do you suppose you'll be up again ?"
I don't know," said Annie St. John, after a slight
pause. I think,-perhaps never."
Oh, Annie !" said the other, in a changed tone, "do
you think that ?"
IN TROUBLE. 33
"I have thought so," said Annie St. John. "I think it is
"What makes you think so ?"
I don't know-I feel as if it was very likely."
"Annie (a long pause). "Are you afraid ?"
Of what ?"
Of that,--of not getting up again ?"
No," said Annie St. John; I am not afraid."
"But, Annie !-do you mean what I mean, when 1
speak of not getting up again ?"
"I mean dying," said Annie St. John. "I think it is
very likely I shall die."
And you are not afraid ?"
"No. Why should I be ? I can't be afraid."
Oh, Annie !" said the other, half raising herself on
her elbow, though the pain made her fall back again, do
tell me how you can be not afraid."
"Why, Annie, if I die, it will be because Jesus will
take me; and I am not afraid to go to him."
But how can you not be afraid ? I don't understand."
There was a tremulous eagerness in Annie Shaler's voice.
It contrasted with the tones of the other, which were faint
and low, but quiet and peaceful as a bird.
I love the Lord Jesus," was the answer," and I know he
loves me. I cannot be afraid of what he will do ?"
"But what makes you love him ?" asked the other
restlessly; what makes you feel different from what
He is my Saviour," answered little Annie. "He died
upon the cross to save me, and I know he will do it. And
I love him for that, and for everything else."
"Well, won't he save everybody ?"
"Oh, no Haven't you read the Bible, Annie Shaler?
He says: Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast
out'-but you must come to him."
What do you mean? I don't understand what you
mean by coming to him. How can I?"
Annie lay still a little while, and Mrs. Borrow questioned
with herself whether she ought not to interrupt the con-
34 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
versation; and yet she dared not. If the troubled child
would speak but to her little companion, and hear the
truth but from her, Mrs. Borrow could not stop them just
How can I ?" repeated Annie Shaler. Mrs. Borrow
was surprised at the answer.
"1 When you want what he has to give, then you'll know
how to come to him."
"I What has he to give ?" was asked almost impa-
Forgiveness," said little Annie,-" when we know
that we have sinned against him and are willing to sin no
more. He will forgive us, because he died to buy our
pardons. That is one thing."
Do you think he has forgiven you ?"
I know he has," said little Annie.
How can you know ?"
Because I love him and trust in him, Annie Shaler;
and he has promised."
There was no answer.
What has he promised ?"
He has promised, that whoever believes on him shall
never be ashamed. I am tired, just now, Annie Shaler."
"1But, Annie !" said the other, one word more I want
you to tell me. Why do you feel differently from me?
haven't I been as good and done my duty as well as you ?"
I am not good at all," said little Annie, wearily,-
There was stillness in the room then; only Mrs. Borrow
could hear the stifled impatience or suffering of the breath
that Annie Shaler drew as she turned upon her pillow.
" Blessed are the poor in spirit," thought Mrs. Borrow,
"for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." She sat still for a
long time after, thinking about the two children, and what
was her best course with one of them.
All the next day she could see that Annie Shaler's
IN TROUBLE. 85
mind was busy; her eyes were restlessly looking into
something, or showed that her thoughts were; but if Mrs.
Borrow spoke to her she could get nothing but a word of
answer, short and reserved.
Do yo.u feel more easy to-day, Annie ?"
"Yes, ma'am-a little."
What can I do for you to rest your thoughts ?-any-
Shall I bring something and read to you ?"
Mrs. Borrow hoped that yes" would have been the
answer; but, after a second's hesitation, there w.as a
decided No, ma'am," which stopped her efforts. Anhie
must be left to herself.
Mrs. Borrow was comforted in the course of the day by
seeing that both her patients were easier and stronger;
and at evening she ventured to leave the room a while,
though Mrs. Mackenzie was not there. Her presence was
needed down stairs, and the two children had just had what
refreshment they could take, and wanted no care just then.
Their poor little faces looked brighter and better, each on
its pillow, than she had seen them yet. One pair of eyes
watched her going eagerly.
Is she gone?" Annie Shaler said, after a minute or
two of silence. She lay where the curtains of the other
bed hindered the door from being seen.
Yes," answered Annie St. John.
You are sure ?"
I heard her go down stairs."
"Annie, can you talk a little ?"
"Oh, yes," was the answer, less feebly and wearily
given than the evening before.
"Annie, I want to know why you and I feel so differ-
About what ?" said the gentle voice from the other
"I want to know why I feel afraid and you dcn't ?" It
was said with a little difficulty, but out it came.
36 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
I am not afraid, because I trust in Jesus. I can't
be afraid, because I know he has forgiven me, and he will
take care of me. I can't be afraid."
You mean, you think he will make you well?"
Oh, no! I don't know about that. I thought I
shouldn't get well; but he'll do what is best."
"But why do we feel so differently?" said Annie
Shaler, with pain in her voice. I don't feel so. And,
Annie, I don't see but I have been as good as you have."
Oh, it isn't that 1" said little Annie. I am not
good. It isn't that. I have no goodness at all."
Why, yes, you have," said the other. Why do you
say so ? You know you have been one of the very best
girls in school, and nobody could find the least fault with
you. You were never cross, or disobedient, or careless
about your lessons, or did anything wrong. But then, I
Oh, but Annie, it isn't that," said Annie St. John.
"You don't understand. God wants us to. love him; and
if we don't give him that, he don't care what else we do.
And my heart never loved him, nor did anything to please
him, till he helped me and taught me. So that if I have
any goodness now, it is his goodness. I should do wrong
every minute, if he didn't help me."
Well, why aren't you afraid, then ?"
"I have trusted in Jesus," saij Annie, folding her
hands and looking happy, and I know he will wash away
all my sins in his blood."
"1 I don't understand you a bit !" said the other, imp-a-
"I am sorry," said little Annie.
"But why don't I ?"
"I guess it's because you think you're good," said
What has that to do with it? And how can I help
I don't know how you can help it. I wish you'd ask
Mrs. Borrow. She could tell you better."
IN TROUBLE. 37
"I won't ask Mrs. Borrow. I'd rather talk to you about
it What has that to do with it, Annie ?"
Because, if you are good, you don't want a Saviour,
Annie Shaler. But when you know that you haven't a bit
of goodness, and are miserable, and good for nothing, and
lost, then you'll understand what Jesus has done for you."
"What has he done ?"
"Why, Annie Shaler, don't you know ?"
I don't know. Maybe I do. I want you to tell me."
That was what he died for upon the cross : that your
sins and mine, and everybody's sins, might be forgiven. I
get so tired talking, Annie Shaler !"
One word more. What had his dying to do with
Because," said Annie, "the Bible says, the wages of
sin is death;' and Jesus took our wages for us. When
you know you're a sinner you'll be glad of it, Annie Shaler.
I am. I hope you will be."
Annie's words grew fainter and fainter, and Annie Shaler
knew that fatigue in her weak state had brought on drow-
siness again. She was forced to cease her questioning;
but Mrs. Borrow was so struck, when she came up-stairs,
with the girl's eager, thoughtful, anxious eyes, that she
could not help making another attempt to win her confi-
How do you feel to-night, Annie ?"
"What are you thinking about so busily, my dear ?"
Annie started a little, but answered, One must be
thinking of something."
And you will not tell me what it is-that occupies you?
Can't you make a friend of me, Annie ?"
"Yes, ma'am; but-I don't want to talk about any-
thing in particular."
Mrs. Borrow was silenced.
88 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRL8,
THE LITTLE SWISS COTTAGE.
ONE or two days more passed, and it happened that the
children had no further opportunity of talking alone. Both
were mending fast; and the doctor no longer looked
gloomily even over Annie St. John, though he still recom-
mended keeping her quiet. The children had not yet,
either of them, been able to leave their beds. Just at
dusk, in the evening of the second day, Mrs. Borrow, whG
had been out of the room for some time, came back, and
called Jane to light the gas. Then she came up to the
side of Annie Shaler's bed, and stood looking at her.
"Who do you think is down stairs-and wants to see
you ?" she said, slowly.
There must have been more light in Mrs. Borrow's face
than she was aware of, for she had meant to make her
communication very gradually, or else the want of the
girl's heart sharpened her apprehension; for, with a shriek
of joy and eagerness that rang through the room, she cried
out, "My mother! my mother !"
Hush !" said Mrs. Borrow. What made you think
I meant your mother?"
"1 I know it! I know it Where is she ? Let her cone
Be quiet," said Mrs. Borrow; don't excite yourself.
Now if you will command yourself and be very quiet, I will
bring her to you."
Quiet! The start and the spring with which Annie
Shaler threw her arms around her mother's neck were the
fit prelude to the outburst of sobs that followed-tumul-
tuous, convulsive, Mrs. Shaler looked shocked at Mrs.
Borrow, as the tight clasp of the arms around her neck,
and the throbbing of the breast that lay upon hers, told
of the degree in which the want of that resting-place had
THE LITTLE SWISS COTTAGE. 39
Oh, mother! how did you come I"
Mrs. Shaler could hardly speak. She kissed Annie,
and embraced her, and her lips trembled very much.
How came you here, dear mother ?"
"We were obliged to come, my dear, suddenly. I did
not know that I had two reasons for coming."
They remained still a little while in each other's arms.
And how is she now?" said the mother at length,
looking to Mrs. Borrow.
Doing nicely," said Mrs. Borrow, quietly. She will
be up again, we hope, in a day or two now."
"My poor darling," said Mrs. Shaler. "How did it
happen, Annie ?"
"I'll tell you another time, mamma. Oh, mamma !-- "
Something had started anew Annie's sense of relief in
her mother's presence. Her exclamation testified to it.
Suppose I send you your tea," said Mrs. Borrow,
" and you can take it with your mother."
Yes, do; and send me some too, if you please, Mrs.
Borrow," added Mrs. Shaler. "I should like mine best
here-if you will be so good."
Certainly," Mrs. Borrow said, and was turning away,
when her eye fell on Annie St. John. Annie was lying
quite still, but by the bright light of the gas-burners
Mrs. Borrow saw the glitter of tears under each closed
eyelid. She bent over the bed and spoke the child's name
The eyelids unclosed and showed Mrs. Borrow the eyes
swimming. Annie !" she whispered again. The child
turned over from her, and put her hands to her face, and
Mrs. Borrow saw that the tears were coming fast. She
leaned down yet nearer, and put her hand upon one. of
those that were trying to cover the tears. "Annie," she
whispered, I will be the best mother I can to you, my
child." Annie clasped her hand fast. I know just how
you feel; I know how it is. You know your mother would
have been with you, only the Lord did not let her come.
Maybe it was because he wanted you to trust him the
40 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
Yes, ma'am," said little Annie. "I know-and I am
very happy, and I do trust him-only "
Mrs. Borrow softly kissed her, and went down to order
the tea. Mother and daughter, at the other side of the
room, were too busy with each other to notice anything
that had passed between Mrs. Borrow and Annie St. John.
They hardly remembered anybody else was there.
The tea came, and Annie Shaler was bolstered up in bed
to enjoy it.
I have got a box full of pretty things for you, Annie,"
said Mrs. Shaler. They will come just in the right
time now, will they not ? my poor darling! And you
have suffered terribly, have you not ? Your face is quite
Annie looked up gratefully from under the hand with
which her mother was caressing her brow; but there was
the shadow of trouble in her face too. It was trouble that
her mother.did not know of, and trouble that was not gone.
Yes, mamma; it was very bad for a day or two."
"And how happened it, Annie ?"
Oh, I'll tell you some other time, mamma. What are
those things in the box you have brought for me ?"
"All sorts of things; pretty things that your father and
I picked up in almost every place we came to. We picked
them up for you, and they were regularly stowed away in
what we called 'Annie's box.' "
Picked up ? how, mamma ?"
"( Why, in the shops," said Mrs. Shaler, laughing, and
from people selling in the streets. They are not such things
as grow in the ground or lie upon itf Some of those I got
for myself, and you would value them one day; but not
Where is the box, mamma?"
In the custom house, I suppose, or on the way to it.
You must wait a day or two."
It id not come before Mrs. Shaler was obliged to leave
her daughter again. She could do it, for Annie was now
almost well enough to get up; and she must do it, for her
own mother, to attend whose sick bed she had been sum-
THE LITTLE SWISS COTTAGE. 41
moned across the sea, called for her presence. So Mrs.
Shaler stayed with Annie but one entire day, while her hus-
band attended to some necessary business. During that day
Annie had hardly a chance to speak to her mother of that
which lay upon her mind; for somehow, though she would
speak with Annie St. John alone, she would not talk to her
mother in Annie St. John's hearing. All day she watched
for a chance, and seized it at evening, when nobody else
was there, and Annie St. John had fallen asleep. It was
dusk, and the gas not lit- yet. Annie was sitting up in bed
with her hand lying on her mother's breast.
I wanted you dreadfully a while ago, dear mamma,"
she said, softly.
My poor Annie And I was on the sea, never dream-
ing that you wanted me so."
It wasn't merely because of the pain," Annie went on;
" Mrs. Borrow took good care of me; but-I was afraid,
"Afraid of what ?"
Mamma, my burns were so bad, and I felt so badly, I
thought perhaps I shouldn't get over it."
"1 My dear child," said her mother, tenderly, you were
in no danger. Mrs. Borrow tells me the doctor was not
alarmed about your case at any time."
"Yes, mamma; but then, you know, I couldn't know
Well, Annie, what had you to be afraid of? even if
it had been so, as you feared ?"
I was afraid, mamma."
And why, my dear ? of what ?"
I was afraid-I didn't feel ready-to die, mamma."
My dear, you were nervous-that is not uncommon.
That was all the trouble. Mrs. Borrow ought to have
given you something quieting, something sedative. That
was what you wanted."
"But, mamma, I didn't feel ready to die; and that
could not have been nervousness. I did not feel ready."
Willing, do you mean, my dear ? that could not have
been expected of you. Your life is full of everything
42 THE TWO SOHOOL-GIRLS.
pleasant, you could not have been expected to wish to
No, mamma, that is not what I mean. I didn't feel
Fit, my dear ?"
Yes, mamma-not as if I was exactly what I ought
to be. Mamma, I didn't feel safe." And Mrs. Shaler
felt, by the tones of Annie's voice and her manner, that her
words were more light than her thoughts on the subject.
It must be some strange notions you have got in your
head in this house !" she said. I have heard that Mrs.
Borrow is peculiar in her sentiments-but she had no
business to interfere with yours, and I thought she was too
much of a lady to do it. My dear Annie, who could be
more ready than you, who have always been such a correct
and good child? What have you to charge yourself
with ? You have always been all that your father and I
desired; Mrs. Borrow certainly can ask no more."
It isn't Mrs. Borrow, mother." And Annie sighed,
for her mother's words somehow did not satisfy her. I
like Mrs. Borrow very well; she has been very kind; she
hasn't said anything she ought not to say. But, mamma,
if my good life is all that is wanted, what am I to with the
Admire, and love him, and imitate his example, Annie.
He came to set us an example of perfect living; and we
ought to copy it as much as we can."
Her daughter was silent and uneasy; for she had a
latent feeling that her life had not been quite immaculate
-a little lurking fear that something might be needed to
stand between her and the justice of a just God. Annie
saw this very dimly; she hardly saw it; she rather felt
a want which her mother's words left unfilled. They were
both silent a few minutes, Mrs. Shaler and her daughter.
"But, mother, little Annie St. John over there-she's
asleep-who was worse burned than I-she was perfectly
willing, and felt quite ready and not afraid to die; and she
said it was because she trusted in Christ, and not because
she had been good."
THE LITTLE SWISS COTTAGE. 43
"I Well, my dear, perhaps she had reason. I can't
pretend to judge for other -people's children; but for you
I know you have nothing to fear. Your life has been
Not entirely, mamma."
"Perfect, absolutely perfect, nobody is, of course; but
that isn't required of us. If we are as good as human
nature can be, it is enough. That little girl, I dare say,
has those wild, strange, and I think erroneous opinions,
which lead people into all sorts of strange speaking and
action. I should be very sorry you got them, Annie; and,
if your father thought there was any danger of it, he would
take you away from the school."
Annie thought she did not wish that.
Mamma, you remember that what the Bible says about
'Blessed are the poor in spirit?' "
Yes; it is part of the sermon on the mount."
What do you think it means ?"
"It is one of the Christian graces, my dear, which we
are commanded to cultivate. There are a number of them,
But what does it mean ?"
I am not a theologian, my dear; I am not accustomed
to explain these things. It is part of the description of a
Christian character--- Mrs. Shaler broke off suddenly,
for Mrs. Borrow entered the room. There was no op-
portunity to renew the conversation, for she went away
early the next morning.
Annie Shaler was allowed to get up that day; and a
soft, nice easy chair was brought into the room for her.
Annie St. John lay in bed still, though she was fast getting
better. The first thing to be observed of the older Annie,
was that she paid her little companion more and kinder
attention by far than she had ever bestowed upon her
before. And the next thing was, that she was curiously
studying her school Bible, which she had made one of the
servants bring her. In a corner of her easy chair, with its
back screening her from Annie St. John and everybody
else, in her warm dressing-gown wrapped up, Annie Shaler
44 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
sat and studied her school Bible. But every day she asked
two questions-how soon the other Annie might get up ?
and whether her box had come ?
Two good things came together: the morning her box
arrived, Mrs. Borrow declared Annie St. John might get
up in the afternoon and have tea at a little round table
with Annie Shaler. Annie Shaler had not left the room,
because she was unable yet to bear a dress on.
Then, Annie," said the delighted Annie Shaler, I
won't open my box till you are up, and we can look at it
Whether her self-command would have lasted so long
is doubtful, perhaps; but as, in fact, the box did not fairly
reach the room till afternoon, it was no great stretch of
patience to wait a little while longer; and, meanwhile,
Annie Shaler feasted her eyes with the outside of the box,
and all the black markings on it. Nothing but a common
deal box, and the marks were great splashy directions or
stamps of one sort and another; but its owner seemed to find
them exceedingly entertaining. Then Jane and Patience
wheeled into the room another soft easy chair, and the
little round table was moved into place between the two
chairs, and Patience set it for tea with -Mrs. Borrow's little
white tSte-a-tete set. And then Mrs. Borrow herself came
to help, and with great care and tenderness Annie St. John
was assisted out of bed and wrapped in her double-gown
and placed in the second easy chair before the fire. They
were to have tea first, Mrs. Bfrow said, and unpack the
Are you hungry, Annie saidad Annie Shaler. "I
feel as if I couldn't eat; and yet I am hungry, too."
Let her be as hungry as she can," said Mrs. Borrow,
" she won't have strength to look over your box, Annie,
unless she can eat."
I'll try to make her eat, then, ma'am."
I shall trust her to you to take care of," said Mrs.
Borrow; 1"I am obliged to go out for a while; but I hops
to spend part of the evening with you by-and-by, and see
THE LITTLE SWISS COTTAGE. 45
the box, too. Patience will see that you have everything
Mrs. Borrow went off. Patience had gone down stairs
for the tea also, and the two children were left alone. Full
of hope and delight and eagerness, Annie Shaler sat in her
easy chair and looked across at her neighbour. The yellow
flush on the western sky, towards which Annie St. John
was looking, cast its light on her face; her eye was not
sparkling like that of her companion, but so soft, and quiet,
and deep in its fixed expression, that Annie Shaler
"1 What are you thinking about, Annie?" she asked
curiously, for that Annie had no box in waiting.
It feels so good to be up," said little Annie, and I
am so happy. I have so much to make me happy."
"I What ?" asked Annie Shaler, more frankly than
politely, for in the contrast between them she could not
see how Annie St. John should be happy at all. But little
Annie took the question just as simply as it was put.
I was thinking just then of a beautiful hymn Mrs.
Borrow read to me the other night."
What about it ?"
I only remember a few words, but somehow, looking
at the sky, they seemed to come to me."
"What words were they ?"
Only a little bit," said Annie St. John:
All things that can satisfy,
Having Jesus. those have I.'"
"I don't see what that means," said Annie Shaler, a
little impatient, and a little uncomfortable, too; for Annie
St. John's quiet, happy face put her in mind of the con-
versations and troubles of a few days ago; which indeed
she had not forgotten, only just now the box was uppermost
in her mind. She was surprised to see tears slowly gather
in Annie St. John's eyes.
"I am sorry you don't," said the little girl. When
you love Jesus, then you will know what it means. I know
46 THE TWO SOHOOL-GIRLS.
he loves me, and will take care of me, and give me every-
thing that I want. And I am so glad he lets me live,
now; that I was only burned so badly, and not my life
Why, I thought you were willing to die," said Annie
So I was, if God had chosen that; but I would rather
live longer first and grow up to do something. And then
my mother-she wants me."
So gentle, so tender, so sweet, were Annie's words and
look, that Annie Shaler was almost confounded. Annie
St. John had something which she had not; that was the
conclusion again forced very disagreeably upon her mind.
But then the door opened, and Patience appeared bearing
a tray, and a sweet pleasant smell spread itself into the
Oysters 1" cried Annie Shaler,-" roast oysters Isn't
Mrs. Borrow ordered it, Miss Shaler," said Patience.
"She said they would be good for Miss St. John and
"1 To be sure they will !" said Annie Shaler. I am as
hungry as if I had had no dinner. Oh, Annie, I wish yoA
were hungry I Don't the smell of the oysters make you
hungry a little bit ?"
"1 To be sure it does," said Patience. She'll want one
when I have got it ready for her. Now, Miss Shaler, will
you pour out your own tea?"
Annie Shaler prepared cups of tea for herself and Annie
St. John, while Patience opened the oysters and waited
upon them; and Annie St. John made a fair little supper,
between them both; while Annie Shaler devoured oysters
and slices of bread and butter in a way that showed she
was devouring a box at the same time. Then Patience
cleared all away, and the round table was free for other
operations. And cheered a good deal by her share of the
oysters and bread and butter, quiet and happy, Annie St.
John was quite ready to enter into the great business of
the evening. What eager faces leaned over towards the
THE LITTLE SWISS COTTAGE. 47
box I What came first were layers and coverings of paper
and packing-cotton. Patience had got off the wooden
The first thing to look at was a quantity of pictures--
the little coloured prints that travellers buy everywhere,
showing nearly all the course of the journey Mr. and Mrs.
Shaler had taken in Europe. These were laid aside; they
could wait; it would take too long to look them all over
now. Next came out a match-box and a work-box of
Scotch plaid ware-from Edinburgh. A little work-box,
just holding thimble and scissors and bodkin and wax, &c.,
in small compass. The children thought these were very
beautiful, their gay colours and bright polish.
"1 How pretty a dress like that would be 1" said Annie
I had a dress like the other one," said Annie St. John.
" Very like-not exactly."
These are real Scotch, you know-" said Annie Shaler
" These are the real colours of the tartan of those two
clans. This is the Macbeth plaid;-you remember about
Macbeth, in Scottish history ?"
Well, do you suppose Macbeth wore a dress like
I suppose so; of course he did. Now, let us see the
next thing. Oh, mamma! Oh, how beautiful! Mamma,
I knew I wanted one of those pins." It was a Scotch
pebble shawl-pin. Annie Shaler explained its form and
material to her little companion, to whom it was all new;
and ended by sticking it upon her breast, being unwilling
to have it farther away just then. It looks very pretty
there," said Annie St. John. I hardly ever saw such
pretty things, I think."
From London there was a little Morocco case of scissors,
of different sizes; and a leaf-cutter with a handle of carved
bog-oak; and an'elegant silver napkin ring. From Paris
there were gloves, and ribbons, and bottles of perfumery,
and the prettiest sun-bonnet in the world, and a fan, and
trinkets too many to tell. Then getting farther down in
the box, they came to a beautiful little dish of filagree
48 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
work. This was greatly admired, though neither of the
children knew where it had come from. Annie Shaler
pronounced it silver-that was all she knew. Then came
out a square pasteboard box. This was carefully opened,
and its contents, a miniature house in Swiss carving, set
upon the table.
Oh, how beautiful !" Annie St. John exclaimed, in
delight, Oh, how lovely! Just look at that staircase!
-and that little railing round the house !-and those
windows! Oh, what is it?"
"It is a Swiss chAlet. Lovely little thing !"
"A shally ?" said Annie, what do you mean ?"
A Swiss chelet-it's the sort of cottages the Swiss
live in; on the mountains, or among them,-in the Alps,
The Swiss? said Annie; do they live in cottages like
that? I never saw anything so pretty. Oh, did the
Waldenses live in houses like that ?"
"Just like," said Annie Shaler, exactly like; if they
were Swiss. What do you mean by the Waldenses ?"
The Waldenses ?-don't you know ?"
No; are they Swiss?"
Yes; or they lived there, in some of the valleys among
those mountains. Those were the people that knew the
Bible by heart so."
"Why, they were persecuted," said Annie St. John,
" and killed upon the mountains, because they would not
give up their religion. But they loved Jesus, and would
obey God and not man; and so they were hunted, and
driven, and murdered in every cruel way-hundreds and
thousands of them." s
But why did they know the Bible by heart ?" said
Annie Shaler, diving down into her box.
They were so poor and persecuted; they couldn't get
Bibles, or keep them if they had them, without great diffi-
culty: so' they used to get the Bible by heart, and then it
couldn't be taken away from them, you know. I think it
was such a good way. And then, in their meetings, instead
THE LITTLE SWISS COTTAGE. 49
of reading the Bible aloud, as we do, first one would get
up and repeat out of his heart some chapters, and thee
another, and so on."
Out of his head, you mean."
I don't know," said the other Annie. I think they
kept it in their hearts."
But I don't believe anybody could get the whole Bible
by heart," said Annie Shaler. I don't believe anybody
I don't know," said Annie St. John; perhaps, if one
could get it any other way, one would find out how to keep
it in one's memory. But I don't know about that. I only
know they used to have and keep a great deal of it so; and
then one person could repeat part, and another person an-
other part, you know."
Were they obliged to do it ?"
"Obliged !" said Annie St. John; "no. Nobody
obliged them. Only their persecutors took their written
Bibles away; and they loved the Bible, and so they kept
it the best way they could."
Annie Shaler thought the Waldenses and Annie St.
John must have belonged to the same set of incomprehen-
sible people. But just then she could not stop to think
about it. She had taken out of her box some beautiful
mosaics, and Annie St. John and she wondered long over
the marvellous beauty of colouring and skill of adjustment
which had made stones and coloured glass paint such pic-
tures. But I like the Swiss chalet best of everything,"
said the former, turning to it lovingly again.
There was a pair of imitation Etruscan vases, which
the girls thought rather ugly, and Annie Shaler wondered
why her mother had put it in. There was a bit of Bohe-
mian glass, which moved her to ecstacies of pleasure.
Annie St. John did not share in these. She thought it was
pretty, and her eyes and thoughts went back to the Swiss
cottage. To think that out of such pretty little homes,
the persecuted inhabitants of the mountains had been
forced to flee; that just such ones had been burned over
their heads---reddened with their blQod; thbt in such cet-
t h (J r h e'--~ d u
50 THE TWO SOHOOL-GIRLS.
tages they had knelt to pray, and busied themselves in
learning the chapters of the Bible by heart. And their
houses were burned to ashes, and the people had suffered
their martyr death; and long ago it was over; and now
and ever since their spirits had been safe and happy in the
presence of Jesus Annie's fancy saw a whole history in
the little piece of Swiss carving; and her heart prayed
that she might love the Bible like them, and be faithful
through every trial like them, and go like them to be
happy in the kingdom of heaven for ever.
I am so glad I have seen that little Swiss cottage,"
PROUD IN SPIRIT.
PERHAPS it was as well that Mrs. Borrow's business
kept her away during the whole evening. The children
had quite enough to do in looking over all the things in
the box, and looking them over the second time as their
rich little owner packed them away. By that time it was
the hour for them to go to bed; for of course it took a
great while to admire and talk about every individual thing.
The next night Mrs. Borrow said she had nothing to
prevent her spending part of the evening with them. So,
after, she came up. Annie St. John was stronger this
time, and enjoyed the talk they had over the box. Mrs.
Borrow could tell the girls a great many interesting things
which they had not known before. And about the Swiss
chAlet in particular,.when Annie asked her, she told them
a great deal about the history of the Waldenses, and their
sufferings. She got the map Ind showed where their
valleys and districts lay in and about the Alps; she told
how once the inhabitants of a valley, when they heard
their persecutors were coming with an army of soldiers,
fled away to dens and caves in the mountains where the
soldiers could not find or follow them; but where they
PROUD IN SPIRIT. 51
were found or suspected to be, the soldiers piled wood and
brush at the mouth of the cavern and set fire to it, and
suffocated them with the smoke, so that altogether three
thousand people were supposed to have died in that perse-
cution. And, again, how some learned French doctors,
coming down to examine them and see what sort of people
they were, and whether they deserved hanging and burn-
ing, heard some of the children in the schools question
and answer each other upon things in the Bible; and the
French doctors declared they had never understood so
much of the Scriptures before as from the mouths of those
children. That was in another place, and at another
But doctors don't study the Bible much, do they ?"
said Annie Shaler.
"1 Doctors, in those days, did not mean physicians, but
men of great knowledge and learning," said Mrs. Borrow,
But how could children understand better than learned
doctors ?" said Annie Shaler.
Do you remember what Jesus said,-' I thank thee,
0 Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, that thou hast hid
these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed
them unto babes ?' "
Yes, ma'am," said Annie Shaler, looking puzzled.
Nobody can understand the Bible aright, except by
the teaching of the blessed Spirit of God himself; and he
does not help the proud, who think they are wise, but the
simple and the meek, who are willing to confess themselves
fools and ignorant, and in need of his teaching. 'He re-
specteth not any that are wise in heart.' "
"But, Mrs. Borrow --"
"I am afraid you wouldn't like what I was going to
Never mind whether I would like it; you had better
speak it out."
How can a man think himself a fool when he feels he
52 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIILS.
"He cannot; that is what I say," answered Mrs.
Annie Shaler looked unsatisfied.
God resisteth the proud,' my dear,-whether it be
those who are proud of their goodness or proud of their
wisdom. If you think you have enough of your own, he
will let you find out by-and-by what a miserable supply
Annie Shaler looked gloomy. Her mother had said
Mrs. Borrow had peculiar notions; but the talk about the
Waldenses had brought back Annie's remembrance of her
fears and troubles when she was ill a few days ago. Which
was right?-her mother, or her governess ?"
Mrs. Borrow, may I speak what I think ?"
I wish you would, my dear; I will be equally candid
Mrs. Borrow, when I have always tried to do right,
and my father and mother say I have done right; and
since I have been here I have tried to do my duty and to
please you;-how can I think myself wicked, without
saying what I do not feel?"
"' We are talking of thinking, not saying, Annie. Do
you love the Lord Jesus Christ?"
Annie hesitated, but she was a truthful child; and
spoke, though unwillingly. No, ma'am."
Does anybody deserve your love as well ?"
Again very unwillingly Annie answered, No, ma'am, I
Can God be satisfied with a heart which has no love
for him, and, whatever it does, does nothing for his plea-
Doesn't it please him to have anybody do right?"
"What is right? that is the question. Would your
mother be satisfied with all your good behaviour, if she
could see that you had not one particle of affection for her
No, ma'am, of course."
Wpuld she call you a good child?"
PROUD IN SPIRIT. 53
No, ma'am, I don't think she would."
And you expect God to be satisfied with the love and
service which is all paid to another, or to yourself?"
I thought, he was pleased with what is good in itself,"
said Annie, again.
Let us ask God's word for an answer," said Mrs.
Borrow. Have you a Bible here ?"
Annie produced it.
Turn to Galatians, the third chapter. Read the tenth
verse." Annie read.
Cursed is every .one that continueth not in all things
that are written in the book of law, to do them.'"
"1 My dear, have even you done that?"
Annie was silent, looking at the words. Mrs. Borrow
bade her turn to the second chapter of James, the tenth
verse, and read that. Annie obeyed.
Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend
in one point, he is guilty of all.' "
What do you think, Annie? You see what God
thinks 'good in itself.' Do you think, by that text, your
life will stand ?"
Then what can please him ?" said Annie.
"Jesus says, 'He that loveth father or mother more
than me, is not worthy of me.'"
But, Mrs. Borrow "
Well, Annie ? Go on."
I don't see how that is possible."
The Waldenses did, did they not?"
Annie was mute. She thought Annie St. John knew,
It comes to this, my dear-' Except a man be born
again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.' Your heart
must be changed, before you can know what that love of
Jesus means. I cannot show it to you, nor Annie, nor
anybody-only the Spirit of God can do it."
But what is one to do then, Mrs. Borrow ?"
"' Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be
54 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
", But I don't know what you mean !" exclaimed Annie,
who was struggling with disagreeable feelings that nearly
made her burst into tears; I supposed I did that already."
Believed in Christ ?"
How do you believe in him, Annie ?"
"Why, ma'am!-I don't disbelieve him. I believe
ery word he said-of course. I believe all that is in
Suppose you came to the shore of a river which you
must cross. Somebody stands there, who says to you,
'You cannot cross the river-nobody knows the ford but
myself, and the stream is too deep and strong; it would
carry you away. But if you will let me take you in my
arms, I will carry you safely over and land you where you
would be.' If you believe in this person, what would you
"Let him carry me over," said Annie Shaler, slowly,
"And how if you say, 'I believe in you perfectly; but
I will go over on my own feet-I am not afraid?' "
Mortified, half angry, and troubled, Annie Shaler ex-
claimed, Do I do so, Mrs. Borrow ?"
My dear, what are you trusting to, for the crossing of
that dark river which you were afraid of a little while ago ?"
What made you think I was afraid ?" she said, colour-
I saw it. What were you trusting to, Annie ? Annie
St. John knew she had given herself to Jesus, and that in
his arms the stream could not hurt her. How was it with
Two tears, hot and bitter, forced themselves out of
Annie Shaler's eyes. The conversation had taken a turn
which hurt her pride,-or it hurt her pride to feel herself
in the wrong and be found so; and that little Annie St.
John stood on better ground than she did; while a keen
remembrance of the pain of that fear of days ago, when
she did not know how she could cross the river, came to
add to her confusion. She hung her head-she could not
help it; but her answer was, I do not understand you."
PROUD IN SPIRIT. 55
"Take your Bible once more, Annie, and let us see what
it says about Jesus that we must believe. Turn to the
tenth chapter of John and find the fifteenth verse."
Shall I read it ?"
'As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the
Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.' "
Mark that place, Annie. Now let me ask: Have you
ever fully believed that the Lord Jesus gave his life for
"I didn't know it, Mrs. Borrow; and I don't under-
stand it now."
"Look at another place. Find the first epistle of
Timothy, and read the fifth verse of the second chapter."
"1' There is one God, and one Mediator between God
and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ran-
som for all.'"
You know what a ransom is, Annie ?"
I don't know, ma'am."
Yes, you do. Think-in your history reading-don't
you know what a ransom means ?"
"I Oh yes! it is the price paid for captives or prisoners,
to get them out of the enemy's hands and give them their
Precisely. And we are the captives of sin, and we
cannot set ourselves free; and we are prisoners of justice,
shut up to everlasting death; and instead of our lives,
Jesus gave his own, that we might be free. Because he
is so glorious and great, being the glorious Son of God,
his death is great enough to answer to God for the sins
of the whole world. Now look at one more place, and
then Annie St. John must go to bed. Turn to the Reve-
lation, the fifth chapter, and ninth verse. It is the song
of the happy in heaven."
"'And they sang a new song, saying, Thou art worthy
to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou
wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out
of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.' "
My dear, what is redeeming ?"
56 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
I don'+ know, ma'am-not exactly."
And yet you use the word very commonly. I have
seen you play at forfeits, haven't I ?"
'.' Yes, ma'am-often."
Don't you remember what redeeming your forfeits
It is doing something or other to get them back."
Very well; just remember that to get you back from
death and sin, to get you back to heaven and his own
people and happiness-the blessed Saviour gave his own
life. 'Thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.'
And, Annie St. John, we can understand what the apostle
meant when he said, 'The life that I now live in the flesh,
I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and
gave himself for me.' "
Oh, yes, ma'am."
Our redeemed lives are not our own now, but his -all
his-to be used for him, every bit of them."
Oh, yes, Mrs. Borrow. That was "
That was what, dear ?"
"That was one thing I was so glad to live for. I want
to do something for Jesus !"
Well, you must go to bed now, to get strength to do
"1 Mrs. Borrow, wouldn't you tell us that hymn first ?"
That I repeated to you a few evenings ago ?"
Yes, ma'am; if you please."
ll give you a part of it, Annie. I must go.
"( I'll not leave Jesus-never, never !
Ah, what can more precious be?
Rest and joy and light are ever
In his hand to give to me.
All things that can satisfy,
Having Jesus, those have I.
"' Love has bound me fast unto him,
I am his and he is mine;
Daily I for pardon sue him,
Answers he with peace divine.
On that rock my trust is laid,
And I rest beneath its shade.
THE EXAMINATION. 57
"u' ?ow he leads me wonderfully,
Right and left, through sun and rain;
Yet I know, and trust hbn truly,
It is always for my gain.
Yes, his wonder-road, indeed,
Always heavenward doth lead.
Those who faithfully go forward,
In his changeless care shall go;
Nothing's doubtful or untoward
To the flock who Jesus know.
Jesus always is the same;
True and faithful is his name.'"
Annie Shaler listened with her head bent down, so that
Mrs. Borrow could not see her eyes. And when Mrs.
Borrow was gone, and Annie St. John was undressing,
before it came to her turn, she opened her Bible again to
look at that verse in Revelation, and read a little of what
went before and came after. And she could not help the
secret wish starting up in her mind, that among all those
of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation"
r- who would sing that song in that day of glory, there
might be found a little girl whose name was Annie Shaler.
FOR some reason or other, Mrs. Borrow had delayed
sending Annie Shaler into the schoolroom until Annie St.
John was well enough to go too; though there was a week
or two that the former might have been at work just as
well as not, before Annie St. John could wear a dress.
The two still kept their room together, where Mrs. Borrow
furnished them with books, and pleasant things, and every-
thing except work. It was a very fine time, both the girls
thought; for Annie Shaler wanted nothing if she had an
entertaining book to read; and the other one was too
feeble still to wish for either harder work or harder play
58 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
than her kind governess provided her with abundantly,
The time came at last when she should go down stairs.
It was a grand occasion. The girls were all so glad to
see them, and it was so very pleasant to be among them
again, and see the old faces, and talk. It was evening;
and they all enjoyed their tea together, and after tea
Annie Shaler had down her box of beautiful things, and
showed them for the admiration of the company. All went
well. Miss Morley was there, and as kind and smiling as
if she had never had a French cap at all. But Annie
Shaler in her heart, and a little in her manner, rather
shunned her fellow conspirators. They did not shun her.
"Mrs. Borrow has never said a woi d about it," whis-
pered Mary Dawson, one time when she and Annie were
standing together by the table. Has she to you ?"
"Do you think she knows anything ?" asked Mary.
"( I can't tell."
She hasn't said or looked one word," said Mary.
Queer, isn't it ?"
More queer than pleasant, Annie Shaler thought; and
this one thing was the only jar in the agreeableness of the
evening. She tried to forget it.
The next day was Saturday-no school; and a great
many plans of pleasure were afoot. Prayers and breakfast
were over, and everybody was in full tide of spirits and
business; when, just as they rose from table, Mrs. Borrow
requested them all to meet her for a few minutes in the
schoolroom. Annie Shaler's heart sank down as far as it
could go. She knew-she thought she knew-what was
coming. How should she meet it ? She had asked herself
that question fifty times already, and never came to a cer-
tain answer. She walked to the schoolroom, not looking
at one of the other guilty girls, and wishing herself a hun-
dred miles away. Mrs. Borrow took her place at the desk.
Young ladies," she said, I have until now put off
making an inquiry, which it is proper should now be made,
before we enter upon our old course of business and plea-
sure all together. Do any of you know anything of the
THE EXAMINATION. 59
origin of the accident which nearly lost the lives of Annie
Shaler and Annie St. John ?"
Annie Shaler's breath, it seemed to her, nearly stopped.
She could not look at anybody. She listened with all her
ears; but not a breath of answer did she hear. Mrs.
Borrow made a long pause.
I request it of you," she repeated, that if any young
lady can throw any light on this subject, she will do it.
It is necessary that the matter should be explained; it is
due to you, and to your parents, and due to myself, that it
should be thoroughly cleared up. I intend it shall be.
But, in the first place, I ask your help."
A profound silence reigned again. Nobody evidently
was disposed to volunteer anything she knew.
Annie St. John, do you.know anything about it ?"
Yes, ma'am," came faint and trembling from poor
Annie's lips, to the great amazement of several others, who
thought the secret all their own.
Annie Shaler ?"
Yes, ma'am." But this answer was firmer, if it was
dogged. Annie Shaler wished she could have sunk through
the floor, or disappeared utterly in any impossible way;
but she answered. Mrs. Borrow went on putting the
question round the room to every one. Mary and Ellen
answered as the two Annies had done; Janet and another
who was privy to the matter denied any knowledge of it.-
Mrs. Borrow had gone all through the school, and got
only those four answers in the affirmative. There was
another pause of stillness. Annie Shaler felt as if her
heart would stop beating, she almost wished it in her
agony. Mrs. Borrow looked all round, at all their pale
faces; then fixed on the one nearest her.
Annie St. John, what do you know about this matter?
Come forward here, dear, and stand before me."
Annie St. John, too, had been feeling very badly ever
since the Yes had been forced from her by Mrs. Bor-
row's question. She couldn't help saying yes at the instant;
and yet she began to ask herself immediately, what did she
know, after all ? Still more, what could she tell ? Yet to
60 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
have answered "oNo" would not have been truth. She
trembled as she awaited her examination, and now stood
before Mrs. Borrow looking more troubled than some of
the guilty ones.
"What do you know, Annie ?"
I hardly know anything, Mrs. Borrow," she said,
pleadingly. If you would please be so good as not to
ask me The little I do know came by overhearing some
things that were said, that were not meant for me to hear,
and that nobody knew I heard. I ought not to repeat
them, I think, if you please."
Who spoke the words ?"
If you would please, ma'am, not ask me !" said poor
Annie. There is a particular reason why I should not
tell, that you would say was a good one, Mrs. Borrow."
Can you tell me what that reason is ?"
"Yes, ma'am,-only,-that would tell something."
"Very well. I will trust you. Stand aside for the
present. Annie Shaler, I shall ask you next. What do
you know ? Come here, if you please, and stand where
Annie St. John stood."
Annie Shaler did not feel the floor, as she slowly walked
forward to Mrs. Borrow's desk. Her face was all colours,
but more dark than coloured. The. clouds seemed to
struggle with each other on her brow, showing the tempest
at work. Annie felt so; storm-tossed. She, who had
always held her head so high among her friends and school-
fellows, for high character and upright dealing,-what was
she going to say? what were they going to think of her ?
where would be her proud standing ? She remained be-
fore Mrs. Borrow, silent, choked her face spotted with
livid colour. Look at her !" wIispered one girl softly to
her neighbour. What a fool!" muttered Janet Mac-
Annie Shaler, what do you know about this sorrowful
business ?" The tone of Mrs. Borrow's voice, sorrowful,
not defiant, helped Annie to speak. But she did not raise
her eyes from the foot of the desk.
I know all about it, ma'am."
THE EXAMINATION. 61
Will you tell me what you know ?"
It was my doing in the first place, because I said 1
wished I had a way to be revenged on Miss Morley. Then
the plan was made."
Why did you wish to be revenged on Miss Morley ?"
Because of what had happened that day or two, which
I laid to Miss Morley. Then the plan was made."
"What was the plan ?"
To get Miss Morley's cap from her head, after she was
dressed, and when she was going down stairs. To make
her stop long enough on the stairs, I was to be there, in
the way, before her, tying my shoe. I was there-but in
taking the cap off it caught fire, I suppose."
Who arranged this plan ?"
There was no answer.
"Did you arrange it ?"
I consented to it," said Annie Shaler.
Who officiated in taking Miss Morley's cap from bhr
How many of your companions had a share in this
No answer at first; then Annie said, "' I have told my
own part; I can't do any more."
One question more, and I have done What pleasure
did you propose to yourself in the destruction of Miss
Morley's cap? Did you suppose she had not another, and
so would be obliged to lose the pleasure of seeing my friends
that evening ?"
Annie Shaler's lips formed the word No; the sound
did not get out.
I suppose the pleasure to you was to be in just propor-
tion to the injury inflicted on her. If you had reflected a
little, which partners in crime seldom do, you would have
perceived that you were taking a great deal of trouble and
running a good deal of risk for very little purpose. It
could be but the work of a moment for Miss Morley to put
on another cap; and even if she was intended never to seo
her stolen qe again, tht expense woild have hbee bor ,
62 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
It is always worth while, young ladies, to count the cost
beforehand of any plan of wrong-doing, and see what the
gain and the loss respectively will be. Count the cost of
the danger-the shame-the loss of character-the sink-
ing in self-respect,-even if your doing be never found out;
the strengthening yourself for more and further evil-doing;
the disobeying and hardening of conscience; and, above
all, over all, and after all,-the displeasure and just judg-
ment of God. If not repented of and forgiven, each sin,
every hidden sin unknown to men, will find you out and
meet you in the face, one day that is coming ;-and that
before all the world, too. There is nothing covered, that
shall not be revealed.' In this case, a very dreadful
punishment has overtaken the actors in what seemed a
little scheme of naughtiness; no less punishment than a.
very painful escape from death in the case of one of them,
and the near incurring the guilt of the death of an innocent
person. I do not wish to ask you any more now, Annie
Shaler. You may return to your seat."
Annie Shaler could not do that. She had stood still
listening to Mrs. Borrow, while the storm in her heart grew
more fierce every minute; and now when dismissed she
still kept her place for a second or two; then, as she
moved to obey, the storm broke. Her-self-command gave
way. Pride, anger, mortification, dreadfully keen and
deep, raged with a secret and tenderer sort of sorrow that
almost broke her heart. She paused, half turned as if to
go to her seat, and burst into an agony of tears. It was
such an evident agony, the very hair of her head and
shoulders testified to such bitter humiliation of soul, her
sobs were so deep, that the whole school were still with a
kind of awe; and nobody moved; till presently, without
asking, or having power to ask, leave, Annie Shaler went
out of the room. There was an awed silence still; but
Annie St. John was weeping heartily for sympathy. Mrs.
Borrow waited till the sound of Annie Shaler's sobs had
died away along the passages; then she looked up with a
very grave face. "Mary Dawson," she said, come here
and tell me the truth, as Annie. Shaler has done."
THE EXAMINATION. 63
Mary came forward.
"Were you one of the conspirators ?"
Yes, ma'am. I am ashamed of it, Mrs. Borrow. I
did not rightly think what I was doing."
That is of course. Do you think you have been suffi-
ciently punished for your want of thought ?"
I have been very sorry, ma'am."
"I believe you. Your father and mother's child, Mary
Dawson, cannot so soon have forgotten the noble lessons of
home, as not to have felt some sorrow and some self-re-
proach all these past weeks. Have you anything to tell
me of your share in this business ?"
No, ma'am. I had no share, besides knowing of it,
and helping it on with my careless words."
May I trust that for the future you will take a differ-
ent part in my house than to abet such things ?"
You may believe it, Mrs. Borrow. I will indeed,"
Mary answered, with feeling. Mrs. Borrow motioned her
away and called Ellen Morris.
What did you enter into this business for, Ellen ?"
I am very sorry, Mrs. Borrow !" said Ellen, shedding
I won't ask whether you have been sorry before this
morning. But, Ellen, this must be the last time in my
house that such behaviour is known of you. Were you the
one deputed to pluck the cap from Miss Morley ?"
No, ma'am. Indeed I am sorry."
Was Mary Dawson the one ?"
No, ma'am. Indeed, Mrs. Borrow, you may believe
"Who was the one ?"
It was another one," said Ellen,
Another one who has denied that she had any know-
ledge of it ?"
Who was that one ?"
Ellen hesitated; then, moved by fear and spite, and an
unwillingness that Janet of them all should be the one to
get clear, she said, Janet Macaulay."
64 THE TWO' SCHOOL-GIRLS.
Do you confess it ?" said Mrs. Borrow, turning to
'' Why did you take such a task upon yourself?"
ILwas the only one that could do it," replied Janet.
What had moved your ill-will against Miss Morley ?"
"Nothing, ma'am; I had no ill-will against her."
"Then it was a work of pure pleasure with you, for its
own sake? Miss Macaulay, I think a young lady who is
capable of finding pleasure in unprovoked mischief, and of
denying it afterwards, unworthy to remain in my house.
You may write home to your father and mother that you
will be with them in a few days; and I will write and tell
them why. I have no more for which I need keep you
further, young ladies, at this time. You may go to your
pleasure. I am sorry it has been so disagreeably in-
Mrs. Borrow gave them time to scatter and go out to
their various errands of business and amusement, and then
she went in search of Annie Shaler. Annie was found on
a low seat at the foot of her bed, with her head buried in
her hands. Mrs. Borrow touched her gently.
I want you, Annie," she said, come to my study."
There was no answer nor movement of the bowed form,
and Mrs. Borrow went to the study and waited for her.
Annie came in a little while, but had no'sooner got within
the door than she sank down on a chair in such an agony
of sobs as when she had quitted the schoolroom. She
shook all over with the violence of her feelings. Mrs.
Borrow gave her time, and waited before speaking. But
Annie spoke first, choked but eagerly. I must go
I want to speak to you, Annie. Come here-nearer
"( I must go home !" repeated Annie. I want to go."
Why, my dear ?"
I can't stay. I must go now, Mrs. Borrow."
Come here, and sit nearer the fire, Annie,"
P' No, ma'am,--I want to go home,"
THE EXAMINATION. 65
"And I want to speak to you," said Mrs. Borrow,
gently; but coming to Annie's side and taking her hand
she led her forward to the place she had indicated. "My
want must be attended to first. Annie, what is the
I want to go home, Mrs. Borrow !"
What is the matter ?"
You know, ma'am. I can't stay here--I can't !"
My dear, you must try and be reasonable. I cannot
send you home without the permission of your parents,
and with your grandmother so ill as you know she is."
I will take the responsibility," said Annie, lifting her
head and showing her poor swollen face; but she wiped
the tears away and spoke eagerly. I will take the re-
sponsibility. My mother would be willing, I know. I ar-
going to-day." But with some fresh thought, Anni
broke down again and sobbed as if her heart would break.
"Why is all this deep distress?" said Mrs. Borrow,
after a little pause; and what pain is it, that you can
bear anywhere but here? I want you to examine and see,
Annie. What is. it that grieves you ?"
You know," Annie could scarcely get out.
I know what cause you have, if you mean your wrong-
doing and its consequences; but that cause you have had
all these weeks, Annie, and you have not been so troubled
I have been sorry, Mrs. Borrow."
I don't doubt it ; but not with a sorrow that was very
hard to bear. Have you learned anything new of yourself,
Annie, that you did not know."
Mrs. Borrow I don't know how I came to do that. I
never did anything like it before. It was not like me."
Alas! my dear, there is your error; and that is just
what you need to know-that it was exactly like you. Not
like the outside Annie Shaler that you have known-well-
behaved, dutiful, diligent, courteous; but like the heart of
Annie Shaler, which you did not know-proud, self-
sufficient, self-willed, with the seeds of all evil lying in it
66 THE TWO SCHOOL-GIRLS.
ready, and only wanting a favourite time to burst into
growth and fruit that would surprise even you."
If I thought so-if I could think so of myself, Mrs.
Borrow," said Annie, a little indignantly, I should hate
myself! It wasn't like me at all."
You profess to believe the Bible, Annie. Do you re-
membered those words, Whosoever shall offend in one
point, he is guilty of all'? To offend at all, shows the
same heart of disobedience and enmity to God which
would in any other circumstances do anything else dis-
pleasing to him. Opportunity and cultivation only are
But I have not enmity against him," said Annie.
"That is not my judgment, my dear; it is the judgment
of God. He reckons all his enemies who are not his
servants. There are but two sides to be upon. '.He that
is not with me is against me.' Annie, I should think this
sorrowful business, sorrowful as it is, a happy one for you,
if it brought you to the knowledge of yourself."
Mrs. Borrow, I want to go home."
I cannot stay here."
What is the reason, my dear? Will the wrong you
have done be less a wrong, if you can escape from the
place where it was done ? will your sorrow or self-reproach
for it be less ?"
"What will you gain by going away?"
I can't stay," said Annie I can't stay! I must go
home. I will not stay here a day longer."
Then it is not the displeasure of God you think of, but
the eyes of your schoolmates-is it not so ? It is not have-
ing offending him, it is not even having injured your
friends; it is the hurt to your pr'de that you do not stand
before the world-your little world-as you have been ac-
customed to stand. Is that it, Annie ?"
Annie sobbed, Mrs. Borrow thought, with a gentler
sorrow mingling with her passion; but her first words were
THE EXAMINATION. 67
again, "I must go home, Mrs. Borrow-I must go home.
Do let me go !"
I would rather you stayed and took a new stand, Annie
-a stand, to fear God and to fear none else; to please
him, and never to calculate whether pleasing him will
please anybody else or not. Real respect, and real deserv-
ing of it, are sure to come in the train of such a course of
action; but you will care little for it if you have 'the
honour that cometh from God only.' Oh, my child,
Mrs. Borrow spoke very earnestly, and Annie wept
You have been very kind to me," she said, at last;
" I thank you very much. Perhaps some time I will come
back; but I must go now, Mrs. Borrow, I must! Let me
go at once."
Mrs. Borrow sent her to her room, and after an hour or
two tried again what she could do; but it was found so
impossible to manage this desire, which indeed seemed
desperate, that, though with much inconvenience to herself
and much regret for Annie's sake, Mrs. Borrow yielded. A
way was found for her to go; and Mrs. Borrow and Annie
St. John saw her drive off in the carriage.
"Will she come back ?" asked Annie St. John, sadly.
"I don't know, my dear; I fear not."
"Wasn't she really sorry, Mrs. Borrow."
"Yes, my dear; but with the 'sorrow of the world
which worketh death.' I saw no repentance."
HER KIND FRIEND RACHEL.
There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel's veins,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.
Miss RACHEL," said little Martha Still, "I've learned
my hymn, every verse; and I think it's quite beautiful;
but I don't know what it means. And mother says she
don't. And mother said I was to tell you I'd have brought
the eggs before, only I was ill."
Miss Rachel was rather an oldish lady, dressed in a
rich black silk gown. On her head was a white lace cap,
so fine and thin that it looked like a spider's web, and on
her hands were black lace mittens. She wore high-heeled
shoes, with bright buckles and black rosettes, a little black
silk apron with pockets, a bright gold watch and chain,
and on her nose was a pair of gold spectacles. These she
pulled off, and looked at Martha.
"So. you've been ill, you little thing ?" she said.
"Well, how do you do now? You don't look very
"I don't know what flourishing means," said Martha,
"but mother says I aint quite stout yet."
Stout 1" said Miss Rachel, "I should think not.
70 MARTHA AND RACHEL.
You are just about as big as my little finger. And so you
don't know what the hymn means, eh ?"
No, ma'am, please," said Martha, dropping a courtesy.
" And mother says she don't."
I fancy not," said Miss Rachel. "If your mother had
known it in the true way, she'd have been pretty apt to
teach you. Then I suppose you and I have got to talk it
"Please, ma'am," said Martha, with another courtesy.
Sit right down here," said Miss Rachel, pushing out
a little bench from under her feet. "People that have
been ill must not stand up, child. Now, how are we going
to manage ? We can't talk over that hymn in one day.
How many verses are there, child ?"
Seven," said Martha. There's all my fingers on one
hand, and two on the other."
Seven," said Miss Rachel. Well, it will take us just
seven days to talk it over."
Seven whole days!" said little Martha. "That's a
great while !"
Well, child," said Miss Rachel, how much can you
stand at once, do you think? Suppose I should say to
you, 'Martha, there's a nice loaf of bread for you,' would
you swallow it down whole, or take a slice at a time ?"
"Why I'd take a slice at a time," said Martha, opening
her eyes very wide.
Very good," said Miss Rachel. "'That hymn is bigger
than any loaf of broad you ever saw, child."
Is it?" said little Martha, looking straight up into
Miss Rachel's pleasant grey eyes. But, then, ma'am-
I meant- and Martha looked into the fire now, to see
what she did mean.
What is it ?" said Miss Rachel.
Why, ma'am," said Martha, you know I don't bring
the eggs but once every week-so it would take seven
weeks, Miss Rachel! And then if I was ill again and
couldn't come, that would make eight-and if we had a
great snowstorm it would make nine. Ain't that a good
while, Miss Rachel ?"
THE FOUNTAIN. 71
"You've got a sensible little head of your own, child-for
all it's so small," said Miss Rachel, patting Martha's heaa
as she spoke. Yes, nine weeks is a long time. An.
then if I should die in the meanwhile, you might never
know what the hymn means."
Die !" cried Martha. Oh, Miss Rachel 1"
Why not, child ?" said her friend. I must die some
time, you know, Martha."
Oh, but not yet, please," said Martha, looking fright-
ened. Dying's dreadful."
Dreadful?-not a bit of it, to me," said Miss Rachel.
" All my best friends are in heaven, and Jesus is ready to
take me when I go; why should it be dreadful ? Heaven
is a great deal better place than earth, child."
Heaven ?" said Martha, looking up doubtfully. Will
everybody that dies go to heaven, Miss Rachel ?"
Ah, there you come to another point," said the old
lady. It is dreadful to die, an unforgiven sinner."
Martha sat looking into the fire, her eyes so full that
she didn't know what she was looking at; and presently
there came up a sort of choked sob from her little breast.
"I was so afraid-last week-when I was ill," she said.
"What made, you afraid ?" said Miss Rachel.
"I didn't know what would become of me !" said Martha,
rubbing in the tears with her little pocket-handkerchief.
Mother said I needn't be afraid-but I couldn't help it."
You felt just as if you were going into a dark room
and didn't know what was there ?" said Miss Rachel.
Yes, ma'am. Worse than that," said little Martha,
'cause I was so afraid something was there to hurt me.
Should I have gone to heaven if I had died last week, Miss
Let us talk a little about that," said Miss Rachel.
"Heaven is a beautiful, glorious place, where the light of
God's countenance shines for ever and ever. And 'he
cannot look upon sin '-he will not have anybody there who
is not holy and good."
I'm not all good !" said little Martha, weeping.
"' What makes you think so ?" said Miss Rachel.
72 MARTHA AND RACHEL.
I know it 1" said Martha. I disobey mother some<
times, and I'm cross; and oh, Miss Rachel, once I told a
Well, how is it abouc the great Lord, our heavenly
Father?" said Miss Rachel. "Do you love to do the
things that will please him? do you try as hard as you can
never to displease him ?"
I never think about him at all, much," said Martha,
drawing a long sigh. Only just when I was sick-and
then I thought he was in the room all the time."
"1 And you were afraid of him ?" said Miss Rachel.
Yes, ma'am, please," said Martha; ever so much."
Why, how was that ?" said Miss Rachel. When I
am ill, child, it is the sweetest thought in the world to me
that God is in my room. I don't know how I could bear
it, if he should leave me for a single minute."
I s'pose you are so much better than me, Miss Rachel,"
said little Martha, meekly.
I am a sinner, child, just as much as you are," said
I thought sinners were bad people ?" said Martha.
Sinners," said Miss Rachel, are people who have
broken God's commandments, and who cannot possibly
keep one of them without his help. Now the Bible says,
'there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good and
sinneth not.' It says, too, Martha, that in heaven there
is 'a great multitude, which no man could number, of all
nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues;' but it
says in another place, that the heavenly gates will not let
any one in 'that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh
abomination, or maketh a lie.' Now, how do you suppose
that great multitude got there ? for they were all sinners
Are they inside the gates ?" said Martha.
Ay !" said Miss Rachel, with a flush coming over her
face; "' and they shall go no more out!' "Well, little
one, how do you think they got there ?"
"I don't know," said Martha, sighing. "I didn't know
THE FOUNTAIN. 73
there were gates, ma'am, Do you think you'll get through,
Miss Rachel ?"
I am sure of it, child," said Miss Rachel. Yet,
mind, not because I am not a tinner-not because my heart
is by nature one bit better than yours, or than that poor
man's whom they took off to prison yesterday."
Why then ?" said Martha.
"Ah, that is the very question," said Miss Rachel;
"4 and now we are ready for our hymn."
"Does that tell about it ?" said Martha.
Yes," said Miss Rachel. The first verse tells how
you may get there, and the second will show why I am
sure that I shall. But now, little Martha, you must rest
first, and have something to eat; because you've been ill
and have had a long walk."
So Miss Rachel got up and laid down her book and her
gold spectacles, and then she went off to the pantry and
brought out a tumbler of sweet milk and a large slice of
cake; and she wheeled up a great easy chair, and sat
Martha in it; and the chair was so big, that at first
Martha thought she was lost among its cushions; but you
can't think how nicely it rested her, after all, with the help
of the'cake and the milk.
Then Miss Rachel went on with her talk, first making
Martha repeat a verse of her hymn; but, as it is set down
at the beginning of this chapter, I need not write it again
"Now, what is the first thing that verse tells about ?"
Miss Rachel began.
"It tells about a fountain," said Martha.
"Yes," said Miss Rachel; "and they are just some of
the most blessed words that ever were written. You see,
Martha, it says, There is '-once God said to the people,
'There shall be a fountain;' but now we may say 'there
is.' Well, what sort of a fountain is it? like any one you
ever saw ?"
Oh no, ma'am !" said Martha.
Why not ?" said Miss Rachel.
74 MARTHA AND RACHEL.
Because tbhs is filled with blood !" said Martha. "All
the other fountains have water."
Yes," said Miss Rachel. "And it is filled, do you
see, Martha-not half full, but filled. Never forget that,
child-if the whole world should come to it, it would still
be full. And whose blood is it that has filled this foun-
Immanuel's," said Martha. So the verse says."
Do you know who that is ?"
Immanuel," said Miss Rachel, is one of the names
of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is called Jesus, because he
is the Saviour; and sometimes he is called Immanuel,
because he is God as well as man-for Immanuel means,
' God with us.' And when he, the mighty God, came
down to earth and dwelt among us, then he was called
Immanuel. Do you know what he came for, Martha ?"
Martha looked into the fire, and thought as hard as she
Did he come to fill the fountain, Miss Rachel ?"
Yes, my dear, that was just what he came for. God's
holy law had been broken, and some one must be punished
for it. And when the Lord Jesus looked down and saw
the poor miserable sinners who had broken the law, and
thought of their being punished for 'ever, then he pitied
them; and he came from heaven and shed his own blood,
that they might live and not die. And because he was
Immanuel, God as well as man, therefore the fountain is
full-do you understand, child ?-the blood of Immanuel is
enough for all the world of sinners."
It's called a flood in the next line," said Martha, gazing
into the fire, and thinking in good earnest.
Yes," said Miss Rachel; once God brought in a flood
upon the ungodly to destroy them, but this flood is to save
them. What does the hymn say this flood does for sin-
They lose all their guilty stains in it," said little
What does that mean ?"
THE FOUNTAIN. 75
I don't know, ma'am, please," said Martha.
Sin, my dear," said her friend, is a very black, wicked
thing. It makes our hearts all dark, it makes our lives
all spotted with evil; and when all that we do is written
down in God's book of remembrance, our sins make the
page so dreadful that no man could bear to look at it.
But when we lay ourselves down by this fountain and let
the flood roll over us, then the stains disappear. Our
hearts are washed and made clean, and we no longer love
sin and disobedience; and when God looks upon that great
book of remembrance, Jesus stands by.
"' Then methinks I hear him praying,
Father! save them- I have died;
And the Father answers, saying,
They are freely justified.' "
And then all the dreadful things are gone away from
the page ?" said Martha.
They are all covered up-blotted out with blood from
this fountain. And now, little one, that is the end of the
And I shall have to wait for the next !" said Martha,
"Why, child," said Miss Rachel, we have talked long
enough for once-you are as tired as you can be."
I don't feel a bit tired," said Martha, and it's a great
while to next week."
An immense while," said Miss Rachel, patting Martha
on the head. Suppose you stay here with me for the
next six days, and have a verse each day ?"
Oh, Miss Rachel!" cried Martha, starting forward out
of her big chair.
Would you like it?"
But, though Martha's eyes were sparkling like diamonds,
she seemed not to have any words.
"But I haven't got any night-gown," she said, at last.
Well, I have," said Miss Rachel. So that point is
"Would mother let me ?" said little Martha again.
76 MARTHA AND RACHEL.
She will, if she's a wise woman," said Miss Rachel,
" for it would do you a great deal of good; and I'd send
you home with red cheeks, instead of this skim-inilk
"I think she would," said Martha. Debby's at home
to mind the baby. May I run home and see, Miss Ra-
Run home and see !" said Miss Rachel. "I think
one three miles' walk is enough. You lie down on my
sofa there and go to sleep, child, and I'll send Peter down
to hear what your mother says."
Oh, thank you, dear Miss Rachel!" said little Martha,
and she curled herself right down on the sofa, as she was
bid; but, though Martha thought she was far too happy
and excited to sleep, yet there never was anything half so
coaxing as those sofa cushions and the soft shawl that Miss
Rachel spread over her; and Martha had to go to sleep at
once, just to please them.
Miss Rachel sent off Peter to find out if Mrs. Still
would let Martha stay with her for a week, and then she
came back to her sitting-room again; and, lo and behold,
the child was already fast asleep. So Miss Rachel stood
and looked at her.
Little Martha had a good honest face, though she was
not at all pretty, and just now she was very pale and thin;
and everything about her was just as neat as wax. Her
dark calico frock fitted nicely, and had a little white ruffle
round the neck, and her stockings were white and well
mended, and, though her shoes were not new, they were
brushed and blacked and carefully tied; and her brown
hair was as smooth and shining as could be, except just
where the sofa cushion had tumbled it. Miss Rachel
stood by her for a little while, and then she drew up the
shawl closer, and went back to her seat. And Miss Rachel's
old cat jumped up on the sofa, and went to sleep on Martha's
new calico frock.
Martha slept for a long time; and when she woke up,
Miss Rachel told her that it was tea-time; and that her
mother would let her stay as long as Miss Rachel would
THE DYING THIEF. 77
keep her, and she would be a good girl. So Martha thought
to herself, if it depended upon her, she would stay a good
Then Jane, the maid, brought in tea, and set it on the
round mahogany table; and the table was polished so brightly
that Martha could see her face in it, and all the spoons and
plates could see their backs, if they chose. And Miss
Rachel had the prettiest little silver teapot and blue cups
and saucers; and the bread and butter and baked apples
and toast, were altogether the best things Martha had ever
tasted. And don't you think, for all her fine sleep in the
afternoon, Martha grew sleepy again after tea !-and then
Miss Rachel took her into her own room, and put her into
a little white bed, all by herself. But Martha had the
strangest- dream there! for she thought she saw Miss
Rachel kneeling by her little white bed, and praying that
Martha's own heart might be washed all clean and white
in that precious and wonderful fountain.
THE DYING THIEF.
The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day;
And there have I, as vile as he,
Washed all my sins away.
WHEN Martha opened her eyes next morning, she could
not think where she was !-and then all of a sudden it
came into her mind that this was Miss Rachel's house, and
that that was Miss Rachel's bed, though Miss Rachel her-
self was not in it. And, at first, Martha felt very lonely,
and wanted to see the baby and mother,-and then she
remembered that she was going to have a verse of the hymn
every day, and that the second verse came next.
Then Miss Rachel came in. But she did not begin to
talk about the hymn right away, as Martha thought she
would, and yet she said a great many pleasant things; sd
78 MARTHA AND RACHEL.
little Martha grew as bright as the sunbeams that came in
at the window, and was just as ready for her breakfast as
could be. She had not felt so well before for a long
When breakfast was over and all cleared away, Miss
Rachel took up the newspaper, and gave Martha a little
book to read in the meanwhile. And the book was so
interesting that Martha forgot all about Miss Rachel and
her hymn and everything else, but her book, and never
raised her eyes from it till she had finished the last page.
Miss Rachel was looking at her.
Well, little one," she said, do you like your book ?"
Oh, ever so much !" said Martha.
Those children have gone to heaven," said Miss
Rachel; but they could never have got there if that
fountain had not been filled. Now let us see what our
second verse says."
It tells about a thief, first," said Martha.
Yes, so it does," said Miss Rachel, and a wonderful
man he was, too. What does it tell about him ?"
It says he rejoiced to see the fountain," said Martha.
Well, what does rejoiced' mean ?"
Why, it means ever so glad, don't it, ma'am ?" said
Ever so glad !" repeated Miss Rachel,-" yes, that is
just what it means! Think, Martha,-he was a thief, and
he was dying; and instead of having a pure heart, it was
all dark and foul with sin,-and with that heart he was
going before God's great white throne of judgment. Then
suddenly he saw the wonderful fountain 'opened for sin
and for uncleanness.' Don't you think he might well be
ever so glad ?'"
Yes, indeed," said Martha. And did he go right to
it, Miss Rachel ?"
Yes," said Miss Rachel, "he went right to it. He
never stopped to think whether there was time,-he never
stopped to think whether his heart was too black to be
made clean: he saw the fountain filled with blood, and it
THE DYING THIEF. 79
put all else out of his head. He went right to it, and
found that the blood of Jesus could cleanse even him."
What a beautiful story !" said little Martha. I wish
I had it in a book !"
"11 Why, so you have," said Miss Rachel. It is in the
"I Is it ?" said Martha. But I haven't got a Bible,
"1 Well, you shall not have a chance to say that again,"
said Miss Rachel. And she got up and went to her little
closet, and from there she brought out the prettiest little
Bible ever you saw, with gilt leaves and a blue cover.
Now, child," she said, whenever you fail to know
what blessed words God has written for his people, just
remember it isn't because you haven't got them."
* 1 Is it all for me?" said little Martha, with a face of
wondering joy, as she took the Bible.
"All for you," said Miss Rachel. "I should not like to
give anybody part of a Bible. Turn over to the latter part
of the book, Martha Still,-farther on-till you see St.
Luke' written at the top of the page."
Here it is, ma'am," said Martha.
And now turn on till you find the twenty-third chap-
ter," said Miss Rachel, "and begin at the thirty-third
verse, and read it out to me."
And Martha read:-
"' (And when they were come to the place which is called
Calvary, there they crucified him, and the two malefactors,
one on the right hand and the other on the left.' "
Stop there, child," said Miss Rachel. -" 'They cruci-
fied him'-that is, the Lord Jesus Christ. They set up a
great cross of wood, and they nailed him to it,-that was
the way he bore the punishment for us; that was the way
the fountain was opened for our sins. And on each side
of him there was another cross, to which was nailed a ma-
lefactor-that is, an evil doer-some wicked man who had
broken the law himself; but Jesus was nailed there because
we had broken it. Go on, child."
80 ^ MARTHA AND RACHEL.
'Then said Jesus, Father forgive them, for they know
not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast
lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers
also with them derided him, saying, he saved others; let
him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.'"
Ah !" said Miss Rachel, he saved others just because
he would not save himself! He bore the shame and the
suffering and the death, just that we might have glory and
'And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him,
and offering him vinegar, and saying, If thou be the King
of the Jews, save thyself.' "
You see, child," said Miss Rachel, he could have
saved himself from all that dreadful day, for he was the
Lord from heaven; but it was his people he wanted to
'And a superscription also was written over him in
letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE
KING OF THE JEWS.'
'And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed
on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
But the other answering, rebuked him, saying, Dost not
thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation ?
And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of
our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.' "
"Do you understand all that, little one?" said Miss
Rachel. The men who crucified the Lord Jesus mocked
him, because he said he was the Son of God; they charged
him with blasphemy, and set up over his head in scorn
those words which said he was King of the Jews. And
one of the evil-doers that was crucified with him, felt just
as they did; and scoffingly told him to save himself and
them, if he was Christ. But theaother evil-doer rebuked
the one who spoke so, and acknowledged that he was a
sinner, and deserved to die; but this man' (Jesus), said
he, 'hath done nothing amiss.' And when he looked on
the Lord Jesus, and saw the fountain opened, and the blood
shed which only could take away sin,-I suppose; child,"
said Miss Rachel, putting her hands up to her fao,. I
THIE DYING THIEF. 81
suppose his heart was like to break with joy and sor-
"Was he the dying thief?" asked little Martha, softly.
Yes, child," said Miss Rachel. Read on."
"' And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when
thou comest into thy kingdom.' "
There," said Miss Rachel, there is the chief thing.
For when he saw the fountain, he came right to it. The
others called the Lord a king in scorn, but this poor dying
thief knew him in his heart for the king of kings.' And
all he asked was, that Jesus would remember him. He
did not say, Lord, I do not deserve to go into thy holy,
glorious kingdom; but only, Lord, when thou comest there,
remember me. That was all he asked, he believed so
fully in the infinite love of Jesus, in the infinite power of
his blood, that he just laid his heart at Jesus' feet, and
said, Lord, remember me !"
And did the Lord remember him ?" asked little
Child," said Miss Rachel, the Lord Jesus never for-
gets. The poorest, weakest little heart that is given to
him is safe. See now what he answered:
"' And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, to-
day shalt thou be with me in paradise."
"Then he went right to heaven !" said little Martha.
Yes," said Miss Rachel, that very day. But how
did he get past those golden gates, do you think, child ?-
here he was a poor dying thief."
"1 But he went to the fountain-and Jesus took him,"
Yes," said Miss Rachel. "He had good reason to be
'ever so glad.' Well, child, now for the rest of your
verse. The first part tells of the thief eighteen hundred
years ago,-the second part has been said and sung by
many a poor sinner-' as vile as he '-since that time. I
told you the first verse would tell how you might get to
heaven, and the second verse why I feel sure that I shall."
Then you've been to the fountain, Miss Rachel ?" said
little Martha, looking at her with strange interest.
82 MARTHA AND RACHEL.
Yes, child," said her friend,-" I went to it more than
forty years ago. And it's full yet, Martha, and it seems to
me more precious and beautiful than it did then. And
now, little one, I want you to go to it too."
I don't know how, please, ma'am," said little Martha,
with the big tears dropping down her cheeks.
The Lord Jesus does not show himself to our eyes any
more," said Miss Rachel, but he hears every word that
we say to him; and you must beg him to wash away all
your sins in his precious blood, and give you a clean heart.
And you must never forget the fountain, child. Look at
everything else through that. If you are tempted to do
some wrong thing, just remember the fountain,-and the
blood of Christ, with which it is filled, will make the sin
look so black that you will not want to have anything more
to do with it; for, but for sin that blood would never
have been shed. And when something God has told you
to do seems hard and disagreeable, look at the fountain;
and when you think what the love of Jesus did for you,
you will be glad to do anything for him."
Yes, ma'am," said little Martha, with her serious face,
"1 I think so too."
And when you are sick, Martha," said Miss Rachel,
" then most of all think of the fountain See how that
poor thief did not fear to die, and never asked Jesus to
keep him alive, as the other evil-doer wanted, but only
that the Lord would receive him into his kingdom. Every
drop of that blood that Jesus shed is like a stepping-stone
in the dark river of death, that so his people may go
through as on dry land. And on them the second death
hath no power.' And where Jesus is, there shall also his
Then Miss Rachel rose up and took little Martha by the
hand, and they both went down into the garden.
Now, Miss Rachel's garden was large, and full of
pleasant flowers and trees. There was a high wall all
round it, and at each end there was a large arbour, covered
over with all sorts of beautiful climbing plants; and in
each arbour there were seats and a table. And from one
THE DYING THIEF. 83
arbotr to the other, through the whole length of the
garden, there ran a broad smooth gravel walk, on which
the little birds came down and hopped about, and where
(I am sorry to say) Miss Rachel's old pussy sometimes
tried to catch them. However, puss was not there to-day,
but the birds were in great numbers, and each one singing
and chirping with all his heart. Miss Rachel sat down
in one of the arbours, and told little Martha that she might
run up and down the broad gravel walk, and pick any
flowers that she chose; only she must pick them carefully,
so as not to break the bushes, and she must not frighten
the birds. And you may be sure that Martha would not
have frightened the birds for anything in the world, they
were so beautiful and so tame. And the flowers were
wonderful! There were great red roses, that could hardly
hold up their heads-they were so heavy; and their breath
was so sweet that it put little Martha almost out of her
wits. She stood there before the rose-bush, and could not
get away; till Miss Rachel called out to her:
Run about, child! it will do you good. Don't stand
still all the time."
And then Martha ran on, and came to a white lily; and
the lily was so white and so pure that she had to stand
still again to look at that. Then there were blue-eyed
violets, and little rosy, warm-hearted pinks, and then beau-
tiful dark blue spiderwort, with its long slender leaves.
Martha thought that most of the flowers were altogether
too handsome to pick, but she stooped down to get a violet
-there were so many of them. Indeed, there were so very
many, that Martha couldn't tell which one to choose; for
while one of the little blue things looked up in her face and
said, Pick me !" another hung down its head and was
altogether so lovely that she wanted that too. So she
picked them both. It was just as delightful as it could be,
to run up and down that smooth walk, among the flowers
"Well, little one," said Miss Rachel, when at last
Martha came back to the arbour, "what have you found ?"
84 MARTHA AND RACHEL.
"Oh, everything that's beautiful !" said little Martha,
You've found a pair of red cheeks," said Miss Rachel,
" that's one thing. Did you find my red roses ?"
Oh, yes, ma'am," said Martha; I think they arc
Well now, child," said Miss Rachel, do you go and
pick me the very reddest of them that you can find, and the
very whitest lily in the whole garden; and I want a green
leaf that is just as fresh and bright as it can be, and
another that is all dry and withered up. Now let us see
what a good looker you are."
"Which shall I look for first, please ma'am ?" said
Just which you like, child," said Miss Rachel; and
away went Martha.
I think I'll hunt for the dry leaf first," said Martha to
herself; Oh, here's one now-right under this, rose-
bush,"-and Martha picked up the dry leaf, and then ga-
thering up the corners of her little check apron, she laid
the leaf carefully in. Then she went on to get the green
What have you got there, in your apron ?" said the
summer wind, playing around Martha. Let me see !"
But Martha only held her apron the closer. What have
you got? what have you got ?" repeated the wind, taking
hold of the little apron and giving it a good shake.
" Nothing but a dry leaf?--Whew !"-and the wind sent
a breath right into the apron and blew the leaf away! So
Martha had to begin again. However, at last, she found
them all,-the dry leaf, and the green leaf, and the red, red
rose, and the pure white lily,-and came back to the arbour
with her apron full of treasures. And such red cheeks as
little Martha had then !
"You are quite a good looker, little one," said Miss
Rachel, when Martha had spread out all the flowers and
leaves on the little arbour-table. Which is the prettiest,
THE DYING THIEF. 85
"The red rose, please," said Martha. But the white
lily's beautiful, too."
And which is the ugliest?" said Miss Rachel.
Oh, the dry leaf !" said Martha. And I don't think
the green leaf's very pretty, but it's nice."
The green leaf is one of those useful things that are
beautiful only in a quiet way," said Miss Rachel. Now,
little one, look at your flowers and leaves all the time, and
see if you can understand these verses about them:
"Here in my garden, Lord, I see,
Wonders and beauties made by thee;
Some sweet, some glorious, all fair,-
Showing thy wisdom, power, and care.
O what is man! that thou dost make
All things so lovely for his sake!
For what am I among the host ?
Which doth my soul resemble most?
"Here is a lily- shining white,
As if a very child of light.
No soil, no blemish, and no stain
-On its pure radiance doth remain:
Sprung from the lowly garden bed,
Up, toward the heavens it lifts its head.
This saint-like flower, without a spot,
Alas, my soul resembleth not!
"Here are green leaves-so fresh, so new,
As if just wet with heavenly dew.
Each on its little stem doth grow,
They from the larger branch below;
And leaf and stem and branch fulfil
From hour to hour, thy blessed will.
Such is the man, whose feet still tread
The way where thy commands have led.
Here is a crimson rose-Oh, see,
Its red leaves dyed most wondrously!
The cruel thorns upon its stem,
See, but beware thou touch not them.
Such was the colour of that flood
Poured out for sinners-Jesus' blood s
But when our guilt Immanuel bore,
A crown of sharper thorns he wore.
"By nature, Lord, I know with grief,
I'm a poor fallen, worthless leaf:
86 MARTHA AND RACHEL.
Shrivell'd and dry, and near to death,
Driven by sin as with a breath.
But if by grace I am made new,
Washed in the blood of Jesus too;
Like to a lily I shall stand,
Spotless and pure, at his right hand."
Little Martha listened to every one of the words Miss
Rachel spoke, and said she understood them all; and then
she took up the dry leaf, and the green leaf, and the white
lily, and the beautiful red rose, and followed Miss Rachel
into the house.
THE RANSOMED CHURCH.
Dear dying Lamb, thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power,
Till all the ransomed Church of God
Be saved, to sin no more.
"DID you ever see a lamb, little one ?" said Miss
Oh, yes, ma'am, please," said Martha. There's some
on the hill behind our house."
"Well," said Miss Rachel, you see in this verse we
have another of the names of Immanuel. In old times, a
great while ago, the people used to sacrifice lambs unto
God; that is, they used to bring them to some place where
there was an altar, and kill them there, and burn them upon
Kill the lambs?" said Martha. "Oh, that was
And so perhaps God meant it should be," said Miss
Rachel; for he ordered them to do it, Martha,-he
wanted them to remember every day, that nothing but
blood could wash away their sins. And some of the people,
I suppose, really thought that the blood of these lambs
could do it; but others knew it was only for a sign of the
great sacrifice that should by-and-by be offered. And
THE RANSOMED CHURCH. 87
when Jesus came, he was called 'the Lamb of God, which
taketh away the sin of the world.' "
"1 Because his blood really could," said Martha. And
then all the little lambs that had been killed, just told the
people that he was coming."
"That was all," said Miss Rachel. "For you see,
Martha, the blood of animals, or of mere men, could never
atone for our sins,-it is not worth enough, it is not good
enough: but the blood of Jesus, that was most precious;
for he was 'the lamb without blemish and without spot.'
And so, he was wounded for our transgressions.' Now,
what does it say of his blood in this verse ?"
It says it shall never lose its power," said Martha.
So the fountain is not only always just as full, but
always just as precious," said Miss Rachel. "It shall
never lose its power-till when, child ?"
Till all the ransomed Church of God
Is saved, to sin no more.'"
Do you know what the church of God is, child?" said
I've seen the white church down in the village, please,
ma'am," said little Martha.
Yes, but that is quite a different thing," said Miss
Rachel. The church in the village is a big house with a
steeple to it; and all the people that go there every
Sunday, and call themselves Christians, they are called a
church too; but the real church of God is all those people
-everywhere in the whole world, and in all the different
ages and countries-who really serve God with their whole
hearts, and him alone. And they are the ransomed
Please, ma'am, I don't know what that means," said
Some years ago," said Miss Rachel, there was a man
in the western part of Africa who was called John. He
had been a heathen and a cruel, bad man; but now several
good missionaries had come there to tell the people of
Jesus, and this poor heathen heard and believed. But as
88 MARTHA AND RACHEL.
soon as he began to serve the true God, then his old com-
panions began to hate him."
Then they did not believe ?" said Martha.
No, indeed," said Miss Rachel; and many of them
hated even the missionaries and the town where they lived.
There was a country of Africa not very far from this town,
called Dahomey; and there the people were dreadfully
cruel and wicked; for the king of Dahomey used to go off
with his armed men and burn houses and villages, and
kill some of the people, and carry off the rest to sell for
But why did they let him?" cried Martha. Why
didn't they fight too ?"
So they did," said Miss Rachel, "but the King of
Dahomey was stronger than they. Of course he did not
like the missionaries, and at last he laid a plan to attack
Was there nobody in it but missionaries ?" asked
Oh yes," said Miss Rachel,-" there were a great
many of the poor native people, and among the rest this
man John; and as soon as they heard that the King of
Dahomey was coming, they got ready as fast as they could
to fight and defend their town. The news came to them
on Sunday, and you can think how frightened they were;
only those that were Christians knew, that though the
King of Dahomey had twice as many mten as they had, yet
that the Lord was far stronger than even he."
And did the Lord help them?" said little Martha.
Oh, Miss Rachel! I hope they didn't all get killed !"
Yes, child," said Miss Rachel, the Lord helped them.
First, he helped them to fight bravely, and then he gave
them the victory. For six hoursthey fought; and many
of the women went back and forth carrying water to the
soldiers, and never seemed to think of the bullets that were
flying about. And then, toward evening, the King of
SDahomey was fairly driven back, and went away to his own
THE RANSOMED CHURCH. 89
", And then the other people were all as happy as they
could be, I suppose?" said Martha.
They were very glad, child," said Miss Rachel, and
very thankful,-even the heathen men among them said
that only the God of the missionaries could have given
them such a deliverance. But there was a great deal of
sadness too, Martha, for many of their own people were
killed and wounded. This John that I had told you of
had been seen to fight very bravely all day, but after the
battle he could not be found."
And was he killed ?" said Martha.
They thought so," said Miss Rachel. They thought
one of the headless bodies left away on the road where the
King of Dahomey retreated, was his; but a year after,
they heard that he was a captive, shut up in a prison in
They'd carried him away with them!" said Martha.
Yes," said Miss Rachel, "and you may think what
trouble his poor wife was in. And do all they could,-for
the missionaries and others tried in every way,-John was
not sent home."
And is he there now ?" asked Martha.
Yes," said Miss Rachel, I believe so. And his wife
has never heard from him but once. How do you think
she heard that time ?"
"u Why, perhaps he wrote a letter," said Martha.
Not at all," said Miss Rachel; he didn't know how
to write, and had neither paper nor pen. But one day a
messenger brought to his poor wife a stone, a piece of
charcoal, a pepper-pod, a grain of parched corn, and a piece
of rag, all tied up together."
That's the very funniest thing I ever heard of!" said
little Martha, laughing. "I should think he must have
been crazy, Miss Rachel."
Not a bit of it," said Miss Rachel,-" that was only a
long message; and it meant, that he was firm as a rock,
but that his hope of getting home was as dark as charcoal;
and he longed to escape, till his skin was as hot as pepper,
90 MARTHA AND RACHEL.
so that corn might be parched on it,-and his clothing was
all come to rags."
Did it really mean all that?" said Martha. I think
he was a very clever fellow. But why couldn't he get
away !-what did that king want to keep him for ?"
I suppose," said Miss Rachel, the King of Dahomey
kept John a prisoner, till some one should offer a large
ransom for him,-a great sum of money to buy him back."
A ransom!" cried Martha,-and then she sat very
Child," said Miss Rachel, we are all prisoners of sin,
and condemned to death by God's holy law,-and then the
Son of God said, Deliver them, for I have found a ransom.' "
And that was his own blood !" said little Martha,-
" Oh, Miss Rachel!"
Yes, little one," said Miss Rachel, "' he gave his life
a ransom for many.' He has paid the price for us, and
now, if we are willing to belong only to him who has bought
us with his blood, then we shall be part of the ransomed
Church. And so from year to year, and from age to age,
sinner after sinner comes to Jesus and says, I am thine,
save me !'-and till the last one has come-till the whole
ransomed Church is gathered in heaven-that blood shall
never lose its power. And do you see, child, what sort of
salvation it is ?"
Yes, ma'am," said little Martha; they'll be all good,
won't they ?"
All good,-the Church shall be purified till it is 'with-
out spot or wrinkle, or any such thing,'-itill every heart
is as clean and white as that lily. They shall be 'saved
to sin no more.' "
They'll be very happy then," said little Martha, sighing.
Ay," said Miss Rachel, and they are very happy now
in the hope of it. Every day, now, sin is losing its power
over their hearts; every day they are growing more and
more like Jesus,-but then every day they shall be more
and more glorious-then they 'shall be like him. for they
shall see him as he is.' This is what the Bible says:
'The ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion,
THE RANSOMED CHURCH. 91
with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they
shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall
What a beautiful verse of the hymn this one has
been !" said Martha.
Yes," said Miss Rachel, and the two last words are
as blessed as they can be. The whole ransomed Church
say unto God,' If I have done iniquity (that means sin,
little one), I will do no more.' And then the Lord says to
them, that their sins and iniquities he will remember no
more.' .And by-and-by, Martha, it shall be said to each
one of them, thou shalt weep no more.' 'There shall be
no more death,'--'there shall be no more curse,'--'neither
shall there be any more pain; for the old things are passed
away, and all things are become new.' 'The sun shall no
more be thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the
moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto
thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.' And if
you want to have part in that new heavens and new earth,
which will be so beautiful that this heavens and this earth
shall no more be remembered nor come into mind,'-then,
little one, you must come to the fountain, and wash and be
clean; for it is the pure in heart that shall see God."
Little Martha did not say a word, but she sat looking at
the fair white lily that was in a glass on the table before
"1 Yes," Miss Rachel repeated, looking at the lily too,
"'white robes shall be given unto every one of them.'
See the power of his blood, child !-that is the very reason
he was called by the name of Jesus, because 'he shall
save his people from their sins.' But it was only as the
dying Lamb that he could do that."
"It's so wonderful to think of !" said little Martha,-
" and all the lambs people had to kill just to make them
remember he was coming! How could they forget it,
"4 Ah, child," said her friend, some of them forget it,
after all. There was a time, Martha, when the Lord was
angry with the nation among whom some of his people
92 MARTHA AND RACHEL.
dwelt, and said that he would go through the land and
smite many of them unto death. But he said to his own
people, that each family should take a lamb and kill it, and
sprinkle the blood upon the door-posts of the house; and
then he said, 'when I see the blood, I will pass over you,
and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you.'
And this was all for a sign that Jesus should come, and to
show forth beforehand the power of his blood. For if by
faith the blood of the Lamb of God be sprinkled upon us,
God's anger and his justice will pass us by, and we shall be
safe. That blood can never lose its power.
And so they call his blood precious," said little
Martha, rubbing off the tears that kept starting into her
Yes, little one," said Miss Rachel, "the Bible says,
'Unto you therefore that believe, he is precious.' And all
the sorrow and trial and pain and persecution that the
ransomed Church of God may meet with here on earth-
even death itself-they overcome, 'by the blood of the
"That's so beautiful about being ransomed, Miss
Rachel," said little Martha. I think sin's just like the
King of Dahomey."
E'er since, by faith, I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.
You may suppose, by this time, little Martha was very
eager to have her heart washed and made new; but though
she prayed for it every day, it seemed to Martha as if her
heart was not a bit better than it used to be. Indeed,
whereas she would have thought once, perhaps, that a very