The Baldwin Library
RmBF do .
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
SHILLING JUVENILE BOOKS.
Uniform with this Volume in Size and Pice,
with numerous Illustrations,
THE STORY OF THE ROBINS.
RHYMES FOR THE NURSERY. By JANE
and ANN TAYLOR.
THE LITTLE WOODMAN.
ANNA ROSS; or, The Orphan of Waterloo.
LAMB'S TALES FROM SHAKESPEARE.
LAMB'S TALES FROM SHAKESPEARE.
ANNALS OF THE POOR.
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN FOR CHILDREN.
THE INDIAN COTTAGE
iir i i
I 1 'i ;
BASKET OF FLOWERS
PIETY AND TRUTH TRIUMPHANT
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS
BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILL
NEW YORK: 416 BROOME STREET
MONTHLY MAGAZINES FOR THE
EVERY BOY'S MAGAZINE .... 6d.
EVERY GIRL'S MAGAZINE ..... 6d.
LITTLE WIDE-AWAKE ........ 3d.
THE following beautiful and useful story was
first read in French, and the idea suggested
itself to my mind, that with some alterations
to make it convey lessons of clear and decided
evangelical truth, it would be a very interesting
little work for the libraries of Sunday-schools,
and every variety of youthful readers.
The story is very touching, and the lessons
taught are most useful and important. I have
never read lessons of practical piety drawn with
more simplicity from the beauties of nature
than they are in this little book. Indeed in
almost every chapter we find, addressed to the
youthful heart, sermons whose texts are the
flowers of the garden.
G. T. B.
I. THE EARLY HISTORY OF MARY 9
II. MARY AT THE CASTLE 27
III. THE DIAMOND RING LOST 40
IV. MARY IN PRISON 5I
V. THE TRIAL OF MARY 59
VI. VISIT TO THE PRISON 65
VII. THE JUDGMENT OF THE COURT. 72
VIII. A FRIEND IN NEED 82
IX. MARY AT PINE COTTAGE. 90
X. THE SICK CHAMBER 100
XI. DEATH OF MARY'S FATHER 113
XII. MARY MEETS WITH FRESH TRIALS 125
XIII. THE MOONLIGHT JOURNEY 132
XIV. THE CHURCHYARD MEETING 138
XV. THE COUNTESS'S NARRATIVE 143
XVI. STORY OF THE FINDING OF THE RING. 151
XVII. INJUSTICE ACKNOWLEDGED 160
XVIII. AN EVENING AT THE CASTLE 164
XIX. VISIT TO PINE FARM 169
XX. RESULTS OF LOVING THE WORLD 174
XXI. MARY'S SPIRIT OF FORGIVENESS ISO
XXII. MARY'S HAPPY AND USEFUL LIFE 185
XXIII. THE TOMB OF MARY'S FATHER 19
THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
THE EARLY HISTORY OF MARY.
-HE relation which
--a we are about to
give in this little
book, is about some
actions which oc-
curred a long time
ago, and in a coun-
S try far removed
From our own. This
will account for
some manners and customs which are not
altogether familiar to our young readers; but
IO The Basket of Flowers.
we shall endeavour to make the history so
plain and familiar that all who read may
understand the valuable instructions which it
is intended to convey. Human nature is the
same in all countries, and the operations of
Divine grace are the same in all countries;
and therefore the principles which will be
developed in this history, and the conduct
which will be described, are such as are in
constant operation everywhere about us. The
whole history is full of interest and of the most
valuable moral and religious instruction; one
which we are persuaded our young readers will
peruse with pleasure, and one from which they
may reap very great advantages.
JAMES RODE, who was the father of Mary,
was born of poor but respectable parents in
Germany. When he was young, he went to
learn the art of gardening, from the gardener of
the Count of Eichbourg. As he was a young
man of good natural understanding, and of an
amiable disposition, and distinguished for his
The Early History of Mary. 11
uprightness of character, he soon became a
great favourite with all; and instead of going
away after he had learned his trade, to follow it
elsewhere, the Count took him into his own
employment, and so faithfully did he dis-
charge his duties, that as he advanced in life
he was rewarded by the present of a little
cottage, and land sufficient to afford him a
decent maintenance by gardening. While he
was quite young, James Rode had been
brought to a knowledge of the truth as it is
in Jesus Christ. He had been born again
of the Spirit, and these are the reasons why
he had been enabled so faithfully to discharge
his duties. He married a young woman in the
neighbourhood, who was an orphan, but who
had tasted of the same precious gift of God;
and thus James showed his obedience to the
Divine precept, to marry only in the Lord;"
a precept which, being so much neglected,
brings a vast deal of unhappiness to multi-
tudes, both male and female. For several
years James and his wife travelled the pilgrim-
12 The Basket of Flowers.
age of life together; in their humble way so
adorning the doctrine of God their Saviour in
all things, as not only to win respect and
affection to themselves, but even to the reli-
gion which they professed. No matter how
humble the situation any real child of God
may occupy, if he is consistent in his walk
and conversation, he is a witness for the truth
of religion which no enemy can be able to
gainsay. Such were James and his wife; but
as there are no conditions of life, high or low,
from which affliction and death can be ex-
cluded, this pious couple were frequently called
in the providence of God to bear their portion
of that discipline by which a merciful God
secures to Himself the hearts of His real chil-
dren. Several of the offspring of this pious pair
were in faith consigned to the cold tomb,
"waiting for the general resurrection at the last
day, and the life of the world to come;" and,
at length, the mother herself, after a brief and
painful sickness, followed her children to the
same narrow house-the grave. She died, as
The Early History of Mary. 13
she had lived, in the full hope of everlasting
glory, founded on the promises of Him who is
" the resurrection and the life." The grief of
the husband was softened by the resignation
of the Gospel, and the blissful prospect of
meeting where friends who have loved the
Lord can never be separated either from Him
or from one another. When those we love
"die in the Lord," we may say,
Why should we mourn departed friends
Or shake at death's alarms ?
Death's but the servant Jesus sends
To call them to His arms!"
At the time which this history contemplates,
James Rode was more than
sixty years of age, and his
hair almost as white as the ..
snow upon the mountains.
Of his numerous family only
one daughter remained. Her -.
he had called MARY, after
her mother. This child was
but five years of age at her mother's death. By
I4 T/e Basket of Flowers.
all the neighbours she was called a beautiful
girl, and sometimes they were indiscreet enough
to call her so before her face-a very great
mistake, as all children are naturally prone to
vanity. What was really worth calling beauti-
ful was, that she dearly loved her father, and
was modest and obedient. Without these,
all external appearances are nothing worth.
When Mary came to be fifteen years of age,
her father gave her the entire charge of the
household concerns; and she took such good
care that everything about the house was kept
in the most perfect cleanliness, even the
kitchen utensils were always scoured so bright
that they might have been mistaken for new.
James Rode, as we have already said, was a
gardener. He made his living by the culti-
vation of fruits and vegetables, which once or
twice a week he carried to market in the town,
which was a very little way from his farm.
His great delight, however, was in the culti-
vation of flowers; and in this delightful occu-
pation Mary continually assisted him when she
The Early History of Mary. 15
could be spared from the household concerns.
She counted the hours devoted to this occupa-
of her life,
for her father
had the art
pleasure by s '
ing and en-
tertaining and, above all, his pious conversa-
Mary, who grew up as it were in the midst
of the plants, and for whom the garden itself
was a little world, had early discovered a
decided taste for flowers; and thus, in the
hours which she had at her disposal, she was
always sure of an agreeable occupation. She
cultivated the young plants with great care
The buds of every strange species were
16 The Basket of Flowers.
objects of delightful study. She busied her
young imagination in suggesting what kind of
flowers they would produce; she was hardly
able to wait till they were expanded, and then,
when the flower so impatiently expected ap-
peared in all its splendour, she was filled with
joy. The old gardener used to say, "Let
others spend their money for jewels and silks
and other vanities, I will spend mine for flower
seeds. Silks and satins and jewels cannot pro-
cure for our children so pure a pleasure as
these beautiful exhibitions of the wisdom and
the benevolence of God." In truth, there was
not a day which did not bring some new plea-
sure to the heart of Mary. It was rare that
any one passed the garden without stopping to
admire the beauty of the flowers; and even the
children of the neighbourhood, as they passed
by to school, never failed to peep across the
hedge, and were generally rewarded by Mary
with some little present of flowers as a token of
her good will.
James, as a wise father, knew how to direct
The Early History of Mary. 17
the taste of his daughter towards an end the
most ennobling. In the beauty of the various
flowers which adorned their garden-in the
charming variety of their forms-in the justness
of their proportions-in the magnificence of
their colours-and in the exquisite sweetness of
their perfumes, he taught her to see and admire
the power, the wisdom, and the goodness of
God. These were some of the great ends
towards which he directed all her pleasures;
and thus may emphatically be said to have led
From nature up to nature's God."
It was the custom of James Rode to con-
secrate to prayer the first and best hours of the
morning, and thus to let everything begin with
God. In order to accomplish this, and not
neglect his work, it was his constant habit
to rise early-a habit almost essential to a
spiritual frame of mind. The life of that man
is but poorly filled out, who cannot find one or
two hours to discourse with his Heavenly
18 The Basket of Flowers.
Father without interruption, and to occupy his
contemplations with the things which relate to
his everlasting peace. In those beautiful days
of spring and summer which characterized
the climate of his country, James would lead
his daughter to an arbour in the garden,
,. from whence
could be heard
h I '1 the morning
song of the fea-
". whence could
Shis be seen the
whole of the
flowers and sparkling with dew-the range of
vision taking in a rich plain shining in the rays
of the rising sun. It was in a situation so
favourable to devotion as this that he delighted
to converse with his tender charge of that
God who gave the sun his brightness, who
The Early History of Mary. 19
scattered o'er the earth the rain and the dew-
drops, who fed the birds of the air, and dressed
the flowers in their magnificent vestments. It
was here that he accustomed the young mind
of Mary to contemplate the Almighty, as the
tender Father of mankind,-as that Father, who
has manifested His love towards mankind in
all the works of His creation, but still infinitely
more in the gift of His dear Son to die for
perishing sinners. It was here that he taught
her her own condition as a sinner; that he
placed before her, in terms the most affec-
tionate, the need of a Saviour, and gently led
her to Jesus. It was here that he taught her to
bend her knees to the God and Father of our Lord
Jesus Christ; and it was here that he had the
happiness of perceiving that, like Lydia, the
Lord opened her heart to the reception of the
truth. These morning exercises, as might well
be expected, fixed more and more deeply on
her heart the sentiment of piety.
In the flowers which Mary most loved her
father was accustomed to point out the emblem
20 The Basket of Flowers.
of those Christian graces which adorn the
female character. Once, in the early part of
March, when, with transports of joy, she
brought the first violet, he said, "Let this
charming violet serve as an
image of humility, of reserve,
: and of a ready, though always
Discreet, disposition to oblige.
Its clothing has the colour ap-
Spropriated to modesty; it loves
to flourish in places retired
from common observation;
and from beneath the leaves
which cover it, it embalms the
air with the most delicate per-
fumes. So, my dear child, may you be, like
a violet, a lover of silence, disdaining the show
of gaudy colours, never seeking to attract
unnecessary notice, but seeking to do good
without parade, so long as the flower of your
life shall bloom."
At the time when the lilies and the roses
were altogether expanded, and when the garden
The Early History of Mary. 21
shone in all its splendour, the old man, seeing
his daughter elated with joy, pointed with his
finger to a lily, shining in the rays of the rising
sun, and said, "See in this lily, my daughter,
the symbol of innocence; observe how neat
and pure. Its leaves are of one whiteness,
which outvies that of the richest satin, and
equals that of the driven snow. Happy is the
daughter whose heart is also pure; for re-
member who has said that it is the 'pure in
heart who shall see God.' But the more pure
the colour, the more difficult to preserve it in
all its purity. The slightest taint can spoil the
flower of the lily; and it must be touched
even with the greatest precaution, lest it retain
the blemish. Thus also one word, one thought,
can rob the mind of its purity. Let the rose,"
continued he, pointing to that flower, be an
image of modesty. The blush of modesty is
more beautiful than that of the rose. Happy
is the daughter whom the least approach of
that which is indelicate will cause to blush, and
thus be put on her guard against the approach-
22 2 The Basket of Flowers.
ing danger. The cheeks which readily blush
will remain for a long time with their roseate
hue, while those which fail to blush at the least
indelicacy will soon become pale and wan, and
devoted to an early death."
The father of Mary gathered some lilies and
roses, and made of them
a bouquet, and putting it
into her hands, he said,
1, "The lilies and roses are
S brothers and sisters, and
nothing can equal the
beauty of bouquets and
garlands, where these
flowers are mixed. Innocence and modesty
are twin sisters, which cannot be separated.
Yes, my dear child, that innocence might be
always on her guard, God, in His goodness, has
given her modesty for a sister and companion
to anticipate the approach of danger. Be
always modest, and you will be always virtuous.
Oh, if the will of God be so, may you always
be enabled by His grace to preserve in your
The Early History of Mary. 23
heart the purity of the lily. The rose on your
cheek must fade, but it will be renewed again,
if you but attain to the resurrection of the just,
and then it shall flourish in immortal youth."
The morning flowers display their sweets,
And gay their silken leaves unfold ;
As careless of the noonday heats
And fearless of the evening cold.
Nipped by the wind's unkindly blast,
Parched by the sun's more fervent ray,
The momentary glories waste,
The short-lived beauties die away.
So blooms the human face divine,
When youth its pride of beauty shows;
Fairer than spring the colours shine,
And sweeter than the opening rose.
But worn by slowly rolling years,
Or broke by sickness in a day,
The fading glory disappears,
The short-lived beauties die away.
"Yet these now rising from the tomb,
With lustre brighter far shall shine;
Revive with ever-during bloom,
Safe from diseases and decline.
24 The Basket of Flowers.
Let sickness blast and death devour,
If heaven shall recompense our pains;
Perish the grass, and fade the flower,
If firm the Word of God remains."
The most beautiful ornament of the garden
was a dwarf apple-tree, not higher than a rose-
bush, which grew in a little circular hot-bed in
the middle of the garden. James had planted
it on the birthday of his daughter, and it gave
them every year the most beautiful golden-
yellow apples, spotted with red. One season
it was peculiarly promising and covered with
blossoms. Mary did not fail to examine it every
morning, and she would exclaim in ecstacy,
" Oh, how beautiful, how superb this mixture
of red and white! One would believe that the
little tree is but one great bunch of flowers."
One morning she came at the usual hour, but
the frost had withered all the flowers. They
were almost brown and yellow, and were fast
shrivelling up by the sun. At this dismal sight
poor Mary burst into tears. "As the frost
spoils the apple blossom," said her judicious
The Early History of Mary. 25
father, "so unholy gratifications mar the flower
of youth. Tremble, my child, at the possibility
of departing from o -
the way of recti-
tude. Ah, if the
time should ever
arrive when the
delightful hopes -.
which you have i e
authorised should -
vanish, not for a
year, like the hopes
of this tree, but for
your whole life, alas I should shed tears more
bitter than those which trickle from your eyes.
I should not enjoy a single hour of pleasure,
but my grey hairs would be brought with
sorrow to the grave." At thoughts like these
James himself could not refrain from tears, and
his words of affectionate solicitude made a deep
impression on the tender heart of Mary.
Brought up under the zealous and persever-
ing care of a father so wise and tender, Mary
26 The Basket of Flowers.
grew up among the flowers of the garden, fresh
as the rose-in purity like the lily-modest as
the violet, and giving the most delightful hopes
of future excellence, as a beautiful shrub in the
time of flourishing. In fact, she was a tender
sapling, but the planting of the Lord, that He
might be glorified.
It was with a smile of satisfaction and grati-
tude that the old man always viewed his beau-
tiful garden, of which the fruits repaid, and
amply repaid, his assiduous care. But he was
enabled to experience a satisfaction the most
profound, when he beheld his daughter, in
whom, by the grace of God resting on his own
pious labours, the religious education which he
gave her seemed to bring forth the most pre-
cious fruits to the praise and glory of God.
( 27 )
MARY AT THE CASTLE OF THE COUNT.
N almost all countries, the month
of May is remarkable for its
i. charms; so much so as to
justify the language of the
*' Sweet month,
,' If not thefirs/, thefitirest of the year."
S.t It was early in the charming
"- month of May, that Mary
went into a neighboring
wood to cut some branches
of the willow and twigs of the hazel. She
gathered them for the use of her father, for
when he was not busily engaged in the garden,
he occupied his time in making baskets, par-
ticularly ladies' work-baskets. He made it a
28 The Basket of Flowers.
point never to be idle, for industry is essential
to happiness and usefulness. It is melancholy
to consider how much time
,- .. is wasted both by young
and old. What our Saviour
said in relation to the food
with which He had mira-
Sculously fed the multitude
in the wilderness, is in a
very emphatic sense applic-
able to those little parts
of time which, because we
may not have immediate occupation, we are
apt to waste in idleness. "Gather up the frag-
ments that remain, that nothing be lost." It
is incalculable what might be gained to the
Lord's cause, if those who are called Chris-
tians would but in some useful form devote
to purposes of Christian benevolence those
"fragments" of time which are so generally
James Rode was never idle. He knew his
duty to God too well to waste any portion of
Mary at the Castle. 29
that time which God had given him, and for
which he knew he would have to render an
account. It is true that in the days in which
he lived there were none of those blessed plans
of Christian benevolence which are now so
vigorously in motion for the conversion of the
world, and therefore he had no such object in
view in the full occupation of his time. He
was industrious because it was his duty; and
he laboured in the house in basket-making
when he was not obliged to be in the garden,
because the habits of industry had grown with
his growth and strengthened with his strength.
It was while thus occupied that Mary read
to him in God's precious book, or he talked
to her about the concerns of her immortal
While Mary was in the woods gathering the
materials for her father's basket-work, she found
some beautiful specimens of the lily of the
valley, and she gathered enough of them to
make two bunches, one for her father, and the
other for herself. When she had finished her
30 The Basket of Flowers.
work she returned home by a nearer path across
an intervening meadow, and by so doing she met
the Countess of Eichbourg and her daughter
Amelia, who were taking an
afternoon walk. Mary had very
seldom seen either of them.
'They lived for the most part
S. of their time in the city, but
were now spending a few days
at their chateau. As she could
SI i not avoid meeting them, she
stepped a little on one side,
with true politeness,to let them
S pass. But when they saw the
beautiful bunches of lilies which
she had, they stopped to admire them, and
wanted to buy one. This Mary would not
allow. She begged that the ladies would each
accept a bunch; and this she did with such
unaffected grace and good nature, that they
could not refuse. The young Countess re-
quested her to gather more, and bring them to
the chateau every morning, which she promised,
Mary at tie Castle. 31
and which she faithfully performed during the
season in which the lilies were in bloom.
It is said, and the remark is justified by
experience, that some of the most important
circumstances of our life grow out of events
apparently of the most trifling character. It
proved so in the case of Mary, as the whole
history will fully evince, for to this accidental
meeting, as we usually speak, is to be traced
the most of what is deep and painful in this
little story.. But God overrules all events, and
it is abundantly proved that all things shall
work together for good to them that love
From Mary's regular visits to the chateau to
carry her morning bunch of flowers, as might
have been expected, an intimacy grew up
between her and the young Countess, for they
were nearly of the same age, and had many
similar tastes, though Lady Amelia was desti-
tute of that "one thing which is needful."
On the whole, it is better that there should
not be too much intimacy between those who,
32 The Basket qf Flowers.
from difference of fortune, or other accidental
circumstances, are compelled to move in very
different spheres. This remark, it is true,
applies only in a limited degree to this our
happy country. Still, friendships formed be-
tween those who in the providence of God are
placed under very dissimilar circunistances are
not much to be encouraged, and especially
when but one of the parties knows and feels
the influence of religion. Evil example is-
always more powerful than good, and there
are few who will not be led to envy that which
they suppose conducive to the happiness of
those who possess all that the world can give.
As the anniversary of Amelia's birthday was
drawing near, Mary determined to make her
some little present; but as to bunches of
flowers, she had given so many already, that
she wanted to think of something new. Dur-
ing the preceding winter her father had made
many work-baskets of superior elegance, but
the most beautiful he meant for Mary herself.
Cn it he had worked the design of the village,
lMary at the Castle. 33
and for that kind of work it was of remarkable
perfection. Mary determined to fill this basket
with flowers, and to offer it to the young
Countess as her birthday present. Her father
readily granted his permission; and still more
to embellish the beautiful basket, he put her
name in elegant willow-work on one side, and
the coat of arms of the Count on the other.
The expected day having arrived, early in
the morning Mary gathered the freshest roses,
the most beautiful stocks, pinks, and other
flowers of the richest colours. She picked some
green branches, full of foliage, and disposed the
flowers in the basket, so intermingled with
green leaves, that all the colours, though per-
fectly distinct, were yet sweetly and delicately
blended. One light garland, composed of
rose-buds and moss, was passed around the
basket, and the name of "Amelia" could be
distinctly read enclosed in a coronet of forget-
me-nots. The whole appearance of the basket
was really of uncommon beauty.
Mary then went to the chateau with her
34 The Basket of Flowers.
present, which she offered to the Countess
Amelia, adding the best wishes of her heart
for her young friend's happiness, both here and
hereafter. The young Countess was then sit-
ting at her toilet. Behind her was her dress-
ing-maid, busy at a head-dress, for the birth-
day feast. She received the pres-ent with
peculiar pleasure, and could hardly find terms
in which to express her delight, as she viewed
the charming flowers so tastefully arranged in
the basket. "Dear Mary,"
S said she, "you have robbed
your garden to make me
so rich a present; and as
i~ '. to the basket, I have never
: seen anything like it in
"all my life. Come, let us
go and show it to my mother."
She then took Mary by the hand,
Sand made her go up with her to the
S apartments of the Countess. "See,
mother," said Amelia, "if anything can equal
the present I have received from Mary. Never
Mary at the Castle. 35
have you seen so beautiful a basket, and
nowhere can you find such beautiful flowers."
The basket of flowers highly pleased the Coun-
tess. "In truth," said she, "this basket, with
its flowers yet wet with dew, is really charming.
It equals the finest efforts of the pencil. It
does honourob the taste of Mary, but more to
the kindness of her heart. Wait a little, my
child," said she, addressing Mary, while she
made a sign to her daughter to follow her into
"Amelia," said the Countess, Mary must
not be permitted to go away without some
suitable return. What have you to give her?"
After a moment's reflection she said, "I think
that one of my dresses would be best; for
instance, if you will permit me, my dear
mother, the one which has the red and white
flowers on a deep green ground. It is almost
new; and though a little too short for me, it
will fit Mary exactly, and she can arrange it
herself, she is so tasty. If it is not, therefore,
too much "
36 The Basket of Flowers.
The Countess interrupted her. Too much!
certainly not. When you wish to give any-
thing, it ought to be something serviceable;
and the green robe with the flowers will be
very appropriate." "Go now, my children,"
said the Countess, when they returned, "take
good care of the flowers, lest they fade before
dinner. I want the guests to admire the
basket also, which will be the most beautiful
ornament of the table. Amelia will thank you
for the present."
The young Countess ran to her room with
Mary, and told her maid to bring the robe.
Juliette (for that was her name), looking at her,
said, "Do you wish to wear that robe to-day,
Miss? No," said Amelia, "I intend to
make it a present to Mary." "Give that dress
away!" replied Juliette; "does the Countess
know that ? "Bring me the robe," said
Amelia, "and you need give yourself no
trouble about the rest."
Juliette turned herself round, that she might
hide her spite, and went away, her face burning
Mary at the Castle. 37
with anger. She opened the wardrobe with a
pull, and took from it the dress of the young
Countess. I wish I was able
to tear it to pieces," said the
wicked girl. This Mary has
already won the good graces of '
my young mistress, and now, 1
lo! she steals from me this
dress, for it ought to have been "'
mine when it was done with.
I wish I was able to tear out
the eyes of this little nosegay
girl. But I will be revenged."
What a dreadful and wicked spirit did Juliette
indulge. She ought to have been glad at
Mary's good fortune, but Juliette's heart was
wrong-she would never listen to good counsel,
and this little circumstance gave her occasion
to display her evil temper. Suppressing her
anger, however, she returned with a pleasant
air, and gave the dress to her mistress.
"Dear Mary," said Amelia, "I have had
presents to-day, much more rich than your
38 The Basket of Flowers.
basket; but none which gave me so much
pleasure. Receive this robe as a token of my
affection, and carry my best wishes to your
good father." Mary then took the dress, kissed
the hand of the young Countess, and left the
Juliette, jealous and enraged, continued her
work in silence. It cost her many a struggle
before she could finish the head-dress she was
preparing; but she could not totally dissemble
her wrath. Are you angry, Juliette ?" said
her mistress. I should have been very silly,"
answered Juliette, "to have been angry because
you choose to be generous." "That is a sen-
sible speech," rejoined the young Countess;
" I hope you may always feel as reasonable."
Mary ran home full of joy, but her father
had too much prudence to feel any pleasure
whatever in such a present. Gay dresses are
not appropriate to those who have been taught
to consider more of the inward man of the
heart than the outward adorning of the body.
" I would much rather, my love," said he, "that
Mary at the Castle. 39
you had not carried the basket to the chateau,
but it cannot be helped now. This dress is in
no sense valuable except as a present from
those whom we so highly respect. I fear that
this will but rouse the jealousy of others, and,
what is still worse, that it may fill your own
heart with vanity. Take care, my dear child,
that you run not into the greatest of these
two evils. Modesty and good manners are
more becoming to a young girl than the most
beautiful and costly garments. Remember the
book of God says, it is 'the ornament of a
meek and quiet spirit which, in the sight of
God, is of great price.'"
Dear young reader, beware of fondness for
dress. Neatness, according to the circum-
stances in which you are placed, is that which
is most consistent with the will of God, and
most calculated to gain the real respect of the
world. Many a young person has been lost
by the indulgence of a taste for dress, and
many a young professor of religion has, on this
very rock, made shipwreck of the faith.
( 40 )
THE DIAMOND RING LOST.
A' RY had
"-i-, _. the castle,
as no one had been in the room where she
had laid it down but Mary, suspicion naturally
fell upon her. The young Countess Amelia
immediately set out for the cottage, hoping
that she could induce Mary to restore it before
the knowledge of the theft had been spread
The Diamond Riig Lost. 41
Little did Mary think when she was trying
on the beautiful robe which Amelia had given
her, that she was suspected of being a thief,
and she was amazed at beholding the young
Countess enter her little room, pale, trembling,
and almost out of breath.
"My dear Mary," said Amelia, "what have
you been doing? My mother's diamond ring
is lost, and no one was in the chamber but
you. Give it back quickly, and nothing further
will be said."
Mary, as may well be expected, became
frightened, and turned pale as death. She
declared she had not seen the ring, and that
she had not moved from the place where she
sat when she went in. But all her declarations
could not convince Amelia, and she continued
to urge her to give up the ring. She told her
that it was of very great worth, and that she
must have taken it. Mary wept bitterly at
this suspicion. "Truly," said she, "I have
not the ring. I have never ventured to touch
that which did not belong to me, much less to
42 Tlze Basket of Flowers.
steal. My dear father has always taught me
James Rode was at work in the garden when
he saw the young Countess running with all
her might, and he returned to the house to
see what was the matter. When he learned
the whole, he was so entirely overcome that
he was obliged to seize hold of the corner of a
table and sink upon a
:, ; bench.
O. "My dear child," said
Sthe old man, "to steal
a ring of this price is
a crime which, in this
country, is punished with
death. But this is not
all: consider the command of God, 'Thou
shalt not steal.' One such action not only
renders you responsible to men, but to that
God who reads the heart, and with whom all
false denials amount to nothing. Have you
forgotten the holy commandment of God ?
Have you forgotten my paternal advice?
The Diamond Ring Lost. 43
Were you dazzled with the splendour of the
gold and precious stones ? Alas! do not deny
the fact, but restore the ring-it is the only
reparation you can make."
"0 my father!" said Mary, weeping and
sobbing, "be sure, be very sure, that I have
not the ring. If I had even found such a ring
in the road, I could not have rested till I
restored it to its owner. Indeed, I have it
Look at this dear young lady," said the old
man; "her affection for you is so great, that
she wishes to save you from the hand of
justice. Mary, be frank, and do not tell a
"My father !" said Mary, "you well know
that I never in my life stole even a penny,
and how should I take anything so valuable?
Oh, believe me, for I have never told you
"Mary," again said her father, "see my
grey hairs. Oh do not bring them down
with sorrow to the grave. Spare me so
44 The Basket of Flowers.
great an affliction. Tell me, before your
Maker, in whose kingdom there is no place
for thieves, tell me if you did take the ring."
Mary raised her eyes to heaven, filled with
tears, and in the most solemn manner assured
her father that she was entirely innocent.
The old man was now convinced of the
innocence of his daughter. "I do believe
you," he cried;- "you would not dare to lie
in the presence of God, and here before this
young Countess and myself. And since I
believe you innocent, take comfort and fear
nothing. There is nothing to fear on earth
but sin. Prison and death are not to be
compared to it. Whatever happens, then,
let us put our trust in God. All will yet come
right, for He says, I will make thy righteous-
ness as clear as the light, and thy just dealing
as the noon-day.'"
"Truly," said Amelia, "when I hear you
speak in this way, I also believe that you have
not the ring. But when I examine all the
circumstances, how is it possible ? My mother
The Diamond Ring Lost. 45
knows exactly the place where she put it
down; not a living soul was there but Mary;
and as soon as she went out, my mother
missed the ring. Who, then, could have taken
"That is impossible for me to say," replied
James. May God prepare us for this severe
trial. But whatever happens," said he, looking
up to heaven, "I am ready. Give me but thy
grace, O God; it is all I ask."
"Truly," said the young Countess, "I re-
turn to the chateau with a heavy heart.
This for me is but a sad anniversary. My
mother as yet has spoken to no one on the
subject but myself; but it will not be pos-
sible longer to keep the secret. She must
wear the ring to-day, for my father, whom
we expect from court at noon, will imme-
diately perceive she is without it. He gave
it to her the day I was born; and she has
never ceased to wear it on each succeeding
anniversary. She believes that I will bring
it back. Farewell! I will say that I con-
46 Thie Basket of Flowers.
sider you as innocent; but who will believe
me ?" She went out overwhelmed with sad-
ness, and her eyes filled with tears.
Mary's father seated himself upon a bench,
resting his head on his hand, with his eyes
fixed on the earth. The tears chased them-
selves down his wrinkled cheeks. Mary threw
herself at his knees, and said, "0 my father!
indeed I am innocent."
He raised himself and looked a long time
in her eyes, and then said, "Yes, Mary, you
are innocent. That look, where integrity and
truth are painted, cannot be that of crime."
my father!" added Mary, "what will
be the issue of this ? what is it that awaits us ?
If it but threatens me, I submit without pain;
but that you, my father, should suffer on my
account, is to me an idea insupportable."
Have confidence in God," answered her
father. "Take courage; not one hair of our
heads can fall to the ground without the
permission of the Lord. All that happens to
us is the will of God; it will therefore be for
The Diamond Ring Lost. 47
our advantage, and what can we wish more ?
Be not terrified-keep to the strictest truth.
When they threaten, when they promise, do
not depart from truth, not even the crossing
of a finger; wound not your conscience. A
clear conscience is a good pillow even in a
dungeon. Without doubt we shall be sepa-
rated: your father will no longer be there to
console you; think only to attach yourself
more closely to your Father which is in heaven.
He is a powerful protector of innocence, and
nothing can deprive you of His support."
Suddenly the door opened with a noise.
The bailiff entered, followed by other officers
of justice. Mary uttered a cry, and fell into the
arms of her father. Let them be separated,"
cried the officer, his eyes shining with wrath.
"Let the daughter be bound and cast into
prison. Let the father also be held in safe-
guard. Occupy the house and the garden;
search everywhere-allow no one to enter until
the sheriff has made the inventory."
The officers seized Mary, who clung to her
48 The Basket of Flowers.
father with all her force, but they tore her
from the arms of the old man and chained her.
She fainted, and in that state was
carried away. When they con-
ducted the father and daughter
across the street, a crowd accu-
mulated in their way. The story
of the ring had spread through
S the whole village; the neighbours
pressed around the little cottage
of the gardener as if it had been
on fire. People were heard to
pronounce judgments the most opposite. Not-
withstanding the bounty of Mary and her father
towards all, there were some to whom it gave
the highest pleasure to exercise the malignity
of their hearts. The comfort which James and
Mary had acquired by dint of industry and
economy had attracted much envy. "Now,"
said some, we can know where all these good
things came from; we were never able to under-
stand it until the present. If this is the method,
it is no great merit to live in abundance, and
The Diamond Ring Lost. 49
be better clad than their honest neighbours."
Nevertheless, the inhabitants of Eichbourg, for
the most part, showed a sincere compassion for
James and his daughter, and many a father and
mother were heard to say, "Truly the best
are liable to fall-who would have believed
this of these good people?" Others said,
"Perhaps it is not as is thought. May their
innocence be made to appear in the day of
trial; and when that comes, may God assist
them to escape the terrible evils which now
Here and there were seen groups of chil-
dren weeping. "Alas !" said they, "if .they
send these to prison, who will give us fruits
and flowers ?"
There are no circumstances in which the
afflicted do not find some one to sympathise.
But for the most part so "desperately wicked"
is the human heart, that we are ready to
believe all the ill we hear of others, even with-
out inquiry, and there are few who are willing
50 The Basket of Flowers.
to stand up the advocates of the distressed.
There is but one Friend who will never desert
those who are unjustly suspected, and it is He
of whom it is said, "There is a Friend who
sticketh closer than a brother."
( 5i )
MARY IN PRISON.
"' ARY was almost insen-
-) I1sible when they took
her to prison. When
"- she recovered from her
swoon, she wept, sob-
S, bed, clasped her hands,
and engaged in prayer.
At length, overcome
with terror, overwhelmed with sadness, and
fatigued from having shed so many tears, she
threw herself upon her bed of straw, and a
sweet sleep soon closed her heavy eyelids.
When she awoke, it was almost night. The
darkness prevented her from distinguishing a
single object. It was a long while before she
knew where she was. The story of the ring
52 The Basket of Flowers.
appeared to her as a dream, and at first she
thought herself on her own little bed ; she was
consoling herself with that idea, when she felt
that her hands were chained. Frightened by
the noise of the chains, she jumped from her
bed, and all the sad reality burst upon her
mind. "What can I do," said she, falling on
her knees, "but raise my heart to God?"
Mary then engaged in prayer. She prayed
for herself, but particularly for her dear father,
that the Lord would support him in the trouble
now brought upon him.
The recollection of her father caused a
torrent of tears to flow from her eyes. Grief
and pity stopped her utterance. She continued
for a long time thus to cry and sob. The
moon, over which until then large clouds had
thrown a thick veil, now appeared through a
little iron grating, penetrated to the cell, and
threw on the floor the shadow of the grating.
Mary could easily distinguish by moonlight the
four walls of her narrow prison; the large
bricks of which they were constructed; the
Mary in Prison. 53
white mortar which united the red bricks; a
projection in the wall breast high, placed in a
form occupying the place of a table; the
pitcher and clay porringer that were placed
there; at last the straw which served her for a
bed. From the time that light dissipated the
darkness that surrounded Mary, she felt her
heart somewhat soothed.
Besides this Mary perceived, with astonish-
ment, that some flowers seemed to shed over
her prison their sweet perfume. That morning
she had made a bouquet of rosebuds and other
flowers, which remained from the basket, and
had placed them in her bosom. It was they
which shed an agreeable odour. She untied
the bouquet, and contemplated it by the light
of the moon. "Alas!" said she, "when this
morning I gathered these rosebuds in my
garden, and these forget-me-nots, who would
have thought that the same evening I should
be the tenant of this gloomy dungeon? When
I wore these garlands, who would have ima-
gined that the same day I should be doomed
5 4 The Basket of Flowers.
to bear these iron chains? It is thus that all
earthly things are subject to change. It is thus
that man never knows in how short a time his
position may be entirely changed, and to what
unfortunate events his most innocent actions
may give occasion. Truly there is need that
we should daily commend ourselves to the pro-
tection of the Almighty." She again wept;
some tears fell upon her rosebuds and upon
her forget-me-nots. By the light of the moon
those tears might have been taken for dew-
drops. "He who forgets not to send the rain
and dew to moisten the flowers, will not forget
me," she said, and then the recollection of her
father drew tears from her eyes. "0 my dear
father! when I contemplate this bouquet, how
much advice that you have given me concern-
ing flowers presents itself to my memory.
From the midst of thorns I have taken these
rosebuds. Thus joys will arise to me from the
troubles I endure. Had any one attempted
prematurely to expand the leaves of this rose-
bud, it would have perished. It seems that
Mary in Prison. 55
God with a delicate finger has gradually un-
folded this purple cup, and His breath shed
over it a sweet perfume. He can disperse the
evils which afflict me, and make that good
which seemed but evil; I will patiently wait
His time. These flowers remind me of Him
who created them. Yes; I will remember Him
as He remembered me. These tender flowers !
they are blue as the heavens. May heaven be
my consolation under all that (
I suffer upon earth. Here are
some sweet peas, with small
delicate leaves, half red, half
white. This plant grows and -
winds itself around a support
which it needs, that it may not
creep in the dust; and there it
balances itself above the earth,
and displays its flowers, which
would be taken for the wings
of a butterfly. It is thus that
I will cling to God, and by His assistance
will raise myself above the dust and miseries
56 The Basket of Flowers.
of this life. It is particularly this mignonette
which diffuses this sweet perfume. Sweet
plant, you exhilarate by your odour the one
who tore you from the earth. I wish to resem-
ble you, and to show good even towards those
who, without any reason, have torn me from
my garden, to throw me into this prison. Here
is a little sprig of periwinkle, which resists the
winter, and preserves its verdure, even in the
most rigorous seasons. It is the emblem of
hope. I will also preserve hope, now that the
time of suffering has come. God who protects
the freshness and verdure of this plant from the
attacks of winter, of ice, and snow, will support
me also from the attacks of adversity. Here,
again, are two leaves of laurel; they remind
me of that incorruptible crown which is re-
served in heaven for all those who love the
Lord, and have suffered upon earth with sub-
mission to His will. It appears to me that I
already behold it surrounded with golden rays,
an imperishable crown of glory. Flowers of
the earth! you are short-lived, as its joys; you
Mary in Prison. 57
fade, you wither in an instant. But in heaven,
after the short suffering we experience here
below, an unalterable felicity awaits us, and
we will enjoy an eternal glory, if Christ the
Saviour is our hope."
Mary was consoled by thus talking to herself.
Suddenly a dark cloud covered the moon.
Mary no longer saw her flowers. Dreadful
darkness was diffused throughout the prison,
and grief re-entered her heart. But very soon
the cloud passed, and the moon re-appeared in
her first burst of beauty. "It is thus," said
Mary, "that clouds can be cast over us, but
they are dissipated in the end, and we re-
appear as brilliant as before. It is thus, if
a dark suspicion now tarnishes my charac-
ter, God will make me triumph over every
false accusation." Then Mary again stretched
herself upon her bundle of straw, and slept
with sweet tranquillity. An agreeable dream
soothed her heart, and afforded her peace.
She dreamed that she walked by moonlight in
a little garden quite new to her. It was
58 The Basket of Flowers.
situated in a wilderness surrounded by a dark
forest of oaks, which offered to her the greatest
enjoyment. The moon until then had never
appeared to her so beautiful nor so brilliant.
Illumined by her sweet light, the diversified
flowers, ornaments of this little garden, dis-
played a thousand charms, and filled the air
with the most agreeable perfume. She saw
her father with her in this wonderful garden.
The moon illumined his venerable and serene
countenance, animated by a gracious smile.
She ran to him and shed sweet tears on the old
man's bosom, with which her cheeks were wet
when she awoke. It was a dream, but it com-
forted her heart.
( 59 )
THE TRIAL OF MARY.
A R Y was scarcely awake,
when an officer came to
conduct her to the tribu-
nal. She trembled at the
sight of the dark room in
which the court was held. The judge
was seated in a large chair covered
".It with scarlet, and the clerk stood be-
fore an enormous table filled with
writings. The judge asked Mary a number of
questions, and she answered them all as truth
required. She wept much, but persisted in
declaring her innocence. Do not attempt to
make me believe this," said the judge. "-No
one but yourself entered the room-no one but
60 The Basket of Flowers.
you, then, can have the ring. You had better
"I cannot," answered Mary, weeping; "I
can never say anything but the truth. I have
not seen it, indeed I have not."
"The ring was seen in your hands," con-
tinued the judge; "what will you now say?"
Mary persisted that the thing was impossible.
The judge then rang a little bell, and Juliette
was brought in. Juliette, in the fit of jealousy
which the dress given to Mary had caused, and
in the guilty design of depriving her of the
favour of her mistress, had said to the people
of the castle that she had seen Mary take it.
In consequence of this falsehood, Juliette was
summoned as a witness, and lest she should
be caught in a lie, she determined to maintain
it, even in a court of justice. When she was
summoned, and the judge required her to
declare the truth before God, she felt her heart
beat quickly, and her knees trembled under
her. But this wicked girl listened neither to
the voice of the judge nor that of her con-
The Trial of Mary. 61
science. "If," said she to herself, "I acknow-
ledge now that I have lied, then I will be
driven away or perhaps imprisoned." She
persisted in her imposture, and addressing
herself to Mary, she said with effrontery, "You
have the ring, I saw you with it." Mary heard
this calumny with horror, but she did not
suffer passion to get the better of her judgment.
She could not, however, refrain from weeping,
and her tears almost choked her utterance.
" It is not true-you did not see me with the
ring. How can you assert so terrible a false-
hood, and thus cause my ruin, without my
having ever injured you? But Juliette, who
considered her own temporal interest, and felt
nothing but hatred and jealousy towards Mary,
remained insensible. She repeated her false-
hood with aggravated circumstances and details,
and then was dismissed by the judge. Mary,
you are convicted," said he. Every circum-
stance is against you. The maid of the young
Countess has seen the ring in your hands; tell
me, now, what you have done with it."
62 The Basket of Flowers.
Mary still asserted that she had it not. Ac-
cording to the cruel custom of those days, the
judge had her whipped until the blood came, in
hopes that she would confess. Mary screamed
and wept, and continued to repeat that she was
innocent, but in vain. Pale, trembling, and
torn with blows, she was again thrown into
prison. Her wounds gave her great pain.
Stretched on a bed of straw extremely hard,
she passed half the night without sleep. She
wept, groaned, prayed to God, who at last sent
her a sweet and soothing sleep.
The next day the judge had her brought
again before his tribunal. As severity had
answered no purpose, he endeavoured to draw
from her an acknowledgment by mildness and
flattering promises. "You have incurred the
penalty of death, you have deserved to perish
by the sword of justice; but confess where the
ring is, and nothing will be done to you. Con-
sider it well-the choice is between life and
Still Mary stood to her first assertion. The
The Trial of Mary. 63
judge, who had remarked how much she loved
her father, added, If you persist in concealing
the truth, if you will not spare your own life,
spare at least that of your aged father; would
you see his head, whitened by age, cut off by
the hand of the executioner? Who but he
could have induced you to tell a falsehood with
so much obstinacy ? Are you ignorant that
his life, as well as yours, is at stake ?" Terrified
at this threat, Mary nearly fainted. "Confess,"
said the judge, that you have taken the ring.
A single word, a syllable-only say yes--and
you save your life and that of your father."
This temptation was great, and for sometime
Mary was silent. It was a moment of dreadful
trial. Satan suggested that she could say, I
took the ring, but I lost it on the road." No,"
thought she afterward; "no it is better to
adhere to the truth. It is a sin to lie. Let it
cost me what it will, I will not depart from the
truth, even to save my own and my father's
life. I will obey God, and trust Him for the
rest." She then answered in a loud but tremu-
64 The Basket of Flowers.
lous voice, If I say I had the ring, it would
be a lie, and though this falsehood should save
my life, I would not utter it. But," continued
she, "if blood must be shed, spare at least the
white hairs of my virtuous father. I should be
most happy to shed my blood for him."
These words touched the heart of the whole
body of bystanders. The judge himself, with
all his severity, could not help being moved;
he remained silent, and made a sign for Mary
to be conducted back to prison.
( 65 )
VISIT TO THE PRISON.
HE judge found himself
S in great difficulty in
coming to a decision.
"To-day is the third
day," said he, and we
have advanced no far-
ther than the first hour.
If I foresaw any possibility that the ring was in
other hands, I should believe this young girl
innocent. But all the circumstances are too
clearly laid down against her. It is impossible
that it can be otherwise. She must have stolen
the ring." He returned to the Countess, and
again questioned her as to the most minute cir-
cumstances; Juliette was also examined again.
He passed the whole day in reviewing the testi-
66 The Basket of Flowers.
mony, and weighing each word that Mary
uttered in her examination. In short, it was
already very late when he sent to the prison
for Mary's father to be brought to his house.
"James," said he, "I am known to be a rigid
man, but you cannot reproach me of having
ever intentionally injured any one. You will
believe, I hope, that I do not desire the death
of your daughter; nevertheless, all the circum-
stances prove she must have committed the
theft, and the law requires her death. The
testimony of Juliette gives full evidence of the
fact. Notwithstanding, if the ring was returned,
and the damage thus repaired, we might grant
Mary a pardon in consideration of her youth.
But if she persists with so much obstinacy in
her guilty denial, this excess of perverseness
must ruin her. Go to her, James-insist upon
her returning the ring, and I pledge my word
that then, and only then, she will not have to
abide the penalty of death, but will be dis-
charged with but a trifling punishment. You
are her father, and have unbounded power over
Visit to the Prison. 67
her. If you obtain nothing, what must be our
conclusion but that you are an accomplice, and
have participated in the crime ? And I repeat,
if the ring is not found, I pity your case."
"I will speak as you desire to my daughter,"
answered James, "but that she has not stolen
the ring, and that she will not acknowledge her-
self guilty, I know beforehand, although I will
employ every means of finding out; and if it is
necessary that she perish, notwithstanding her
innocence, it is a favour that I can behold her
once more before the dreadful event."
An officer was sent with the old man to the
prison of Mary; he set the smoking lamp upon
the little projection of wall which was in one
corner of her cell, and upon which was an
earthen plate containing the prisoner's supper,
with an earthen pitcher full of water. The
poor girl as yet had eaten nothing. She was
lying on her straw, with her face turned towards
the wall; she was dozing, but scarcely had she
"opened her eyes and perceived the pale light
of a lamp, than she turned over, and seeing
63 The Basket of Flowers.
her father, uttered a cry of joy, and raised
herself with a precipitation which caused her
chains to resound. Then, nearly fainting, she
threw herself upon his neck. The old man sat
down with her upon her bed, and pressed her
in his arms; both remained for some time
silent, and mingled their tears together. James
at length broke silence, and began to speak as
his commission required. Ah my father,"
said Mary, interrupting him, "you, at least,
cannot doubt my innocence. Alas !" continued
she, still weeping, "is there no one but what
thinks me guilty : no one, not even my father?
Believe, dear father, that I am innocent." "Be
composed, my dear child, I do believe you.
What I have done is in compliance with the
order I received." They again remained silent.
James looked at Mary, and saw her cheeks
pale and hollow with grief; her eyes red, and
swelled with weeping; her hair floated in dis-
order. "Poor child," said he, "God has put
thee to a severe trial, but I very much fear the
most cruel, the most dreadful sufferings are yet
Visit to the Prison. 69
to come. Alas! perhaps the head of my young
child will fall by the hand of the executioner."
"Ah! my father," said Mary, I care but little
for myself. But you "-- "Fear nothing for
me, my dear
"I run no
and without --.
allowing her -
father time to finish, "if that is the case, my
heart is relieved of a great weight; all is well;
my father, be assured I fear not death. I shall
find my God, my Saviour, and I shall see my
mother also in heaven. Oh what a happiness
will this be."
These words made a deep impression on the
heart of the old man, and he wept like a child.
"Well, God be praised," said he, clasping his
70 The Basket of Flowers.
hands-" God be praised for the submissive
disposition I find you in. It is hard, without
doubt, very hard, for a man bowed down with
.the weight of years, for a tender father, thus
to lose his only child, the child of his love,
and his only consolation-his last support,
and the joy of his old age. However," con-
tinued he, in a broken voice, may the will of
the Lord be done." A torrent of tears inter-
rupted these words. "Yet one word," said he
a moment after. "Juliette has deposed against
you. She has declared, on her oath, to have
seen the ring in your hands. It is her testi-
mony that condemns you, if you are to perish.
But you pardon her? Is it not so? you do not
take with you any feeling of hatred? Alas!
even upon this straw, in the bottom of this
dark cell, loaded with heavy chains, you are
still more happy than she in the palace of her
master. It is better to die innocent than to
live dishonoured. Pardon her, Mary, as thy
Saviour pardoned His enemies; do you par-
don her ? Mary assured him that she did.
Visit to the Prison. 71
"Well," said her father, who heard the officer
coming to separate them, "I recommend you
to God and His grace, and if you are not to
see me again,-if this is the last time I am per-
mitted to hold converse with you, my daughter,
at least I will not be long in following you to
heaven ; for I feel that I shall not survive this
parting." The officer warned the old man that
it was necessary to depart. Mary wished to
retain him, and held him in her arms with all
her strength; but her father was obliged to dis-
engage himself as gently as he could, and Mary
fell insensible on her bed. James was brought
again before the judge. As soon as he entered,
he raised his hands to heaven, and cried out
almost beside himself, "She is innocent." "I
am disposed," said the judge, "to believe it;
but unfortunately I cannot judge from your
testimony nor that of your daughter. I must
pronounce sentence from the nature of the tes-
timony, and according to what is prescribed,
even to the utmost rigour of the law."
THE JUDGMENT OF THE COURT.
,, S Illay well be imagined, all
were curious to know
J' ; what would be the issue
Sof this unfortunate
i affair inwhich Marywas
involved. Every well-
disposed person trem-
bled for her life, for at this time the crime of
theft was punished with great rigour, and the
penalty of death was often inflicted for the
theft of a sum not equal to the twentieth part
of the value of the ring. The Count wished
for nothing so much as to find Mary innocent.
He himself read all the testimony, and con-
versed for hours at the time with the judge,
without being able to convince himself of
The judgment of the Court. 73
Mary's innocence. The two Countesses, the
mother and daughter, begged, with tears in
their eyes, that Mary should not suffer death;
while her aged father spent days and nights
supplicating unceasingly the Lord that He
would be pleased to convince the world of the
innocence of his daughter.
Whenever Mary heard the officer enter with
his keys she thought that they were going to
announce to her the time of her death. Mean-
while the executioner was engaged in prepara-
tion for the punishment. Juliette in walking
saw him engaged in this work, and her heart
was overwhelmed with grief. Horror seemed
to deprive her of her presence of mind; and
when she sat down to supper she could touch
nothing, and every one saw that she was not
in her ordinary spirits. She went to bed, but
her sleep was disturbed, and more than once in
her dreams she saw the bloody head of Mary.
Her remorse gave her no rest, neither day nor
night, but the heart of this wicked creature was
too hardened to confess her falsehoods, and she
74 The Basket of Flowers.
was determined not to repair her fault by a
At length the judge pronounced the sentence.
In consideration of Mary's extreme youth and
(until now) unblemished reputation, the sen-
tence of death was changed to that of the
banishment of herself and father; for he con-
sidered her father, whether by the act, or
whether by the bad education he had given her,
had rendered himself an accomplice of her
crime. Their possessions were to be sold to
contribute as far as they could to the reparation
of the loss which the Count had sustained, and
to pay the expenses of the court. This sen-
tence was to be carried into execution the next
morning at the break of day.
Mary and her father passed before the castle
gate, conducted by an officer, when Juliette
came out. Seeing that the affair, contrary to
all expectation, had taken a different turn from
what she had anticipated, this cunning girl,
destitute of every good sentiment, regained her
gaiety. She had now accomplished exactly
The y'udgment of the Court. 75
what she wanted. She always feared that in
the end Mary would supplant her. This fear
was now dissipated. Her first aversion against
James's daughter revived, and she rejoiced at
her misfortune; in fact, her bad heart had
gained the ascendancy. The Countess, seeing
Mary's basket upon the sideboard, had said to
Juliette, "Take away that basket, that I may
never have it before my eyes. It arouses in me
recollections so painful, that I cannot behold it
but with grief." Juliette had taken it, and now
holding it out to Mary, she said, Stop, here's
your present, you can take it again; my
mistress wishes nothing from such people as
you. Your glory has passed away with the
flowers for which you were so well paid, and it
is a great pleasure for me to give you your
packages." She threw the basket at Mary's
feet, and re-entered the castle with a scornful
Mary took the basket in silence, with tears in
her eyes, and continued her way. Her father
had not even a cane to support his totter-
76 The Basket of Flowers.
ing steps. Mary possessed nothing but the
basket. She turned more than a hundred
times, her eyes wet
with tears, towards her
paternal roof, until the
cottage, the castle, and
SIeven the steeple of the
church were hidden
by a hill covered with
trees, and disappeared
From her sight. When
the officer had con-
-- ducted them to the
limits of the county, considerably advanced in
the forest, the old man, overwhelmed with
anxiety and grief, seated himself upon the moss
under the shade of an aged oak. "Come, my
daughter," said he, and as he spoke, he took
Mary in his arms, joined her hands in his, and
raising them to heaven, said, Before we go on,
let us thank God, who has taken us from a
narrow and obscure prison, and who allows us
to enjoy freely the sight of heaven and the
The Judgment of the Court. 77
freshness of the air,-that God who has saved
our lives, and who has returned you, my dear
child, to the embraces of your father." The
aged man then fell on his knees, and with deep
gratitude of heart commended them both to
the protection of their Heavenly Father. After
they had prayed thus together (for Mary
repeated from the bottom of her heart every
word which her father had uttered), they felt
a wonderful consolation; and a feeling of cour-
age and extraordinary joy was shed over their
hearts. At that moment God's providence
began to favour them. Anthony, an old hunts-
man with whom James had been in service
when he accompanied the Count in his travels.
had set out before daybreak to hunt a stag,
"God bless you, James," said he; "it does me
good to hear your voice; I am not then
mistaken, it is true that they have banished
you, but it is hard to see one's self obliged in
one's old days to quit one's country."
"As far as the arch of heaven extends,"
answered James, "the earth is the Lord's and
78 The Basket of Flowers.
everywhere the watchful kindness of the Lord
is upon us. Our country is in heaven." "Tell
me," answered the huntsman, in an accent of
pity, "have they banished you just as you are,
without giving you the necessary clothing for
such a journey?" He who clothes the
flowers of the field will know how to provide
for us also," answered James. Even so-you
are supplied at least with money?" said the
kindhearted huntsman. "We have a good
conscience, and with that we are richer than if
the stone upon which I sit was gold. My father
was a basket-maker, and he taught me his
trade besides that of gardening, in order that
during the winter I might have a useful
occupation. This has done more for me, and
has provided better for my future prosperity,
than if he had left me three thousand crowns.
A good conscience, health of body, and an
honourable trade, are the best and surest
fortune that we can have on earth." God be
praised," answered the huntsman, that you
can bear your misfortunes so well. I am
The Judgment of the Court. 79
forced to confess that you are right. It seems
to me that you have yet a good resource in
gardening; but where will you
go to get employment?" "Very
far," answered James, "where
we are not known, where God
will conduct us." "James,"
said the huntsman, take this
knotty cane; I supplied my-
self with it to assist me in
climbing up the mountain, but
I can get another-and here,"
continued he, drawing from his
pocket a little leather purse, "is some money
that I received in payment for some wood in
the hamlet where I passed the night."
"The cane I accept, and I will keep it in
remembrance of a generous man; but as for
the money, it is impossible for me to accept
it; it is a payment for wood, and it belongs to
the Count." "Good old James," said he, "do
not trouble yourself about that; the Count
has already received his money. Some years
8o The Basket of Flowers.
past a poor old man who had lost his cow
could not pay for the wood which he had
bought. I advanced him the sum, and thought
no more of it. Now he has extricated himself
from his difficulties, and yesterday, at the
moment when I least expected it, he returned
it to me with thanks-it is truly a present
which God sends you." Well," said he, "I
accept it, and may God return it to you. See,
Mary, with what goodness God provides for us
even in the commencement of our dreary
banishment. We have not as yet passed the
limits of the county, and see, He sends us
our good old friend, who has offered me a
travelling cane, and who has given us money.
I had not time to quit this seat before Heaven
has heard my prayer. So, my daughter, cour-
age; God will watch over us." The old
huntsman took leave of them in tears. Fare-
well, honest James," said he; "farewell, good
Mary," extending his hand to both, I always
thought you innocent, and think so still. Do
not despair. Do not let your probity fail you;
The Judgment of the Court. 8
yes! yes! whosoever does well, and has con-
fidence in God, may calculate on Divine
protection. May God be with you." The
huntsman left them, and bent his steps to-
wards Eichbourg. James got up, took his
daughter by the hand, and they continued their
way across the forest, not knowing at what
spot they would stop-for they had now no
friend but God.
( 82 )
A FRIEND IN NEED.
'- walked more
being able to find a night's lodging. The little
money which they had was nearly exhausted,
and they knew not where to obtain subsistence.
It cost them a great trial to solicit charity, but
they were obliged to submit to it. They pre-
sented themselves before a great number of
doors, but they met with scarcely anything but
A Fricnd in Need. 83
repulses, accompanied by abuse. Sometimes
they could only get a little piece of dry bread,
and some water from the nearest fountain.
Sometimes, indeed, they received a little soup
or some greens, and here and there some
remains of meat or pastry. After having
passed several days in this manner, they were
very glad to be allowed to sleep in a barn.
One day the road appeared endless, as they
travelled between hills and mountains covered
with trees. They had walked a long time
without seeing any village, when the old man
began to feel very weak. He fell, pale and
speechless, at the foot of a hill covered with
pines, on a heap of dried leaves. Mary was
overcome with feat and anxiety, and over-
whelmed with grief. In vain did she seek for
a little fresh water in the neighbourhood, she
could not find the least drop; in vain did she
cry for assistance, the echo alone answered her.
On whatever side she looked, no house was to
be seen. Almost worn out with fatigue, she
ran to the top of the hill, in hopes of having a
84 The Basket of Flowers.
i ~ :
I ."" _: ; .= # f ~
i... "-. ,_
~ .-,..,..,. .
I : -
_--v, ~~. ::-:::_-:-_-:-:--:...
,-:.- : _-.-_-.
;r:$__--_, :-.:g ~
-; - --- ,, i
i- ,;.._ -_----_ ,
A Friend in Need. 85
better view of the surrounding country; and
at last she discovered, behind the hill, and
quite at its foot,
a cottage, sur-
rounded by fields ..
and meadows, and
completely shut in ,
by the forest. She -.
ran down, and ar-
rived quite out of -; -." ,
breath. With tears "
in her eyes she *..
asked assistance in
a broken voice. In God's providence both the
peasant and his wife, who were advanced in
years, were kind-hearted people. The paleness,
and tears, and agony of the poor girl, touched
them. "Put a horse to the little waggon," said
the farmer's wife to her husband, "we will bring
this sick old man here." The farmer went out
to get his horse and to harness it, and his wife
took two mattresses, an earthen pitcher of fresh
water, and a bottle of vinegar.
S6 The Basket of Flowers.
As soon as Mary knew that the waggon
would be obliged to go round the hill, and
that it was a good half-hour's ride, she went
before with the water and vinegar the same
path by which she had come, and by this
means arrived sooner where she had left her
father. He had recovered a little, and was
sitting at the foot of a pine tree, and it was
with great joy that he saw the return of his
daughter, whose absence had caused him some
anxiety. As soon as the farmer and his wife
arrived, they placed him in the waggon, and
carried him to the farm, where they gave him
a neat little room, a closet, and a kitchen,
which were then unoccupied. The farmer's
wife made him a nice bed, and a bench was
sufficient for Mary, who would not quit her
The indisposition of James was but a weak-
ness occasioned by bad food, bad rest, and the
fatigue of the journey. The good farmer's
wife spared nothing to relieve the sick man,
and even sacrificed some of their usual gratifi-
A Friend in Need. 87
cations. These kind people had been in the
habit of going every year to a fair in the neigh-
bouring village, but they agreed this time to
remain at home, and to employ the money
which they would have spent in procuring
medicines and delicacies for the invalid. Mary
thanked them with tears in her eyes. "Oh!
then," said she, "there are kind people every-
where, and it is often in the most unlikely
places that we find the most compassionate
hearts." As the old man grew better, Mary
was constantly seated beside his bed; but she
did not sit there idle-she had her knitting
and sewing, and in these employment she
occupied herself with great industry for the
farmer's household. The farmer's wife was
enchanted with her taste for work, and her
modest and reserved demeanour.
By the great care which they had taken of
James, and for the excellent food which they
had given him, he was so far restored as to
be able to sit up; and as idleness had always
been insupportable to him, he began again to
resume his basket-making. Mary, as before,
88 The Basket of Flowers.
gathered for him branches of willow and hazel
twigs, and his first production was a pretty
little convenient basket, which he offered to
the farmer's wife as a token of gratitude. He
had exactly guessed her taste. The basket
was elegant, but strong and solid; branches of
willow, strained with deep red and interwoven
in the cover, formed the initials of the farmer's
wife, and the date. The border was formed of
green, brown, and yellow branches, represent-
ing a thatched cottage, on each side of which
was a pine tree. This pretty basket was the
admiration of the whole house. The farmer's
wife received the present with great joy, and
the allusion made to her farm, which was called
" Pine Cottage," gave her peculiar pleasure.
When James felt himself quite recovered, he
said to his hosts, "We have been long enough
a burden to you-it is time I should go and
seek my fortune elsewhere." "What is the
matter with you, my good James?" said the
farmer, taking him by the hand. I hope we
have not offended you. Why, then, would
you wish to leave us? The year is already
A Friend in Need. S9
very far advanced. Do you not see the leaves
on the trees, how yellow they are turning ?
Winter is at our doors. Do you wish to be
sick again ? James assured them he had no
other motive for leaving them than the fear of
"Troublesome, indeed said the farmer;
"don't distress yourself about that-in the
little room where you are you cannot incom-
mode us in any way, and you gain enough to
supply your wants." Yes, yes," added the
farmer's wife, "Mary alone earns enough with
her needle and her knitting; and you, if you
wish to continue to exercise the trade of
basket-maker, be easy. Not long since, when
I went to the pine mill, I took with me your
pretty basket. All the countrywomen that
were there wished to have one like it. I will
undertake to procure customers. You will not
soon be in want of work." So James and
Mary consented to remain, and their hosts
expressed a sincere pleasure at this determi-
( 90 )
MARY AND HER FATHER AT PINE COTTAGE.
i'. AES and Mary then fixed
themselves in their habita-
t" ion, their rooms furnished
S J, in the most simple style,
S..,,; and only with what was
"necessary. Mary thought
herself very happy in being
again able to prepare the repasts of her father,
and they led together a life of contentment.
While James was making baskets, and Mary
occupied with knitting and sewing, they
amused each other with familiar conversation.
Sometimes they spent their evening in the
front room; and it was with great pleasure
that their hosts, with the other inmates of the
house, listened to the judicious reflections and
Mary at Pine Cottage. 9
instructive recitals of father James, as they
called him. Winter, with all its severity,
passed with them in the most agreeable
Quite near their house was a large garden,
which was not the best kept in the world;
the farmer and his wife had too much to do
in the field to give the necessary time to
gardening, and besides it was an art with
which they were not familiar. James under-
took to make of it a pretty flower garden. He
had made his preparations during the autumn,
and scarcely had the warmth of spring dissi-
pated the winter's snow when he began his
work, assisted by Mary. The garden was
divided into compartments; the beds planted
with all sorts of vegetables, and bordered with
gravel-walks. Mary had no rest until her
father brought from the village (where he was
in the habit of buying the seeds of vegetables)
rose trees, tulip and lily roots, and various
kinds of garden shrubbery. She cultivated
the most beautiful flowers, and among them
92 The Basket of Flowers.
were some which had never been seen in this
deserted and isolated place. The garden soon
exhibited such verdure and richness that the
valley, until now overgrown with dark forest
trees, assumed quite a smiling appearance.
The neighboring orchard also appeared to
thrive much better under James's hand, and
brought forth fruit in greater abundance.
The blessing of Heaven was upon everything
he undertook. The old gardener had regained
his good humour; he began again to make his
remarks on the flowers, and had always some-
thing new to say. During the first spring days
Mary had sought for violets along the thickets
which bordered their rustic ground. She
wished, as usual, to offer the first bunch of
them to her father. At last she found some
beautiful ones, which had a delightful perfume,
and ran, transported with joy, to present them
to him. "Very well," said her father, "seek,
and ye shall find; but listen," continued he,
"it is to be remarked that these charming
flowers, these beautiful flowers, delight to grow
Mary at Pine Cottage. 93
among brambles, and it is here that we can
find a lesson for ourselves. Who would have
thought that in coming to this dark valley, all
covered with woods, and this thatched cottage,
that we should here find happiness ? Well, so
it is,-there is no situation in life so thorny
but that we may therein discover a peaceful
happiness hid among the thorns. Have
always, my child, a firm trust in God, and
to whatever adversity you may be exposed,
inward peace will never forsake you."
One day the wife of one of the villagers
came from the city to buy some flax of the
farmer, and brought her little boy with her.
While she was engaged in examining the flax,
in choosing and bargaining, the child, having
found the garden gate open, had gone in, and
began to plunder a full-blown rose-bush, but
he scratched himself terribly with the thorns.
The mother and the farmer's wife ran to him as
soon as they heard his cries. James and Mary
ran also. The child, with his little bleeding
hands, exclaimed against the rose-bush for hav-
94 The Basket of Flowers.
ing deceived him by its pretty flowers. It is
sometimes thus with us big children also," said
James. There is no plea-
sure which has not its -.'"
thorns as well as its roses. i
We run towards it as if to :'
seize it with both hands. .
One is led away by a .. ,
taste for dancing or for
play, another by a taste for .
drink, or other vices still C_
more shameful. Then we ,.'. -"".
begin to weep and lament,
and to detest pleasure. '"
Do not let us, then, be foolishly dazzled by
outward show. Man is endowed with a soul to
save; we should not blindly abandon ourselves
to our propensities, but ought, without ceasing,
to use all diligence to gain eternal life."
One beautiful morning which succeeded a
two days' rain, Mary and her father went into
Sthe garden, and found the first lilies in bloom,
Mary called all the people of the house, who
Mary at Pine Cottage. 95
for a long time were curious to see them in
bloom They were in an ecstasy of admira-
tion. "What purity! what whiteness such
neatness entirely without blemish, not a
spot!" "No, not one," said James, agitated;
"and could it please Heaven that the con-
sciences of men were as exempt, it would be
a pleasing sight for God and angels. A pure
heart only can claim connection with Heaven.
How straight is the stem; how gracefully and
nobly it raises itself, as a finger that points
upwards. I am happy to see this flower in
the garden. There ought not to be a garden
in the country where the lily is not found.
Inclined as we are continually to lean towards
earth, we are prompted to forget heaven. The
lily, which is so upright, seems to teach us, that
in the midst of our troubles and labours, we
should raise our thoughts towards the celestial
kingdom, and aspire to something better than
the productions of earth. Every plant," con-
tinued he earnestly, even the most delicate
herbs, have a tendency to raise themselves, and
96 The Basket of Flowers.
if there are any too weak for self-support,
as are these beans, and this hop which we
see in the midst of this hedge, it entwines
itself and clambers around this pole. It is un-
worthy of man that he alone in his desires and
his hopes should wish to grovel for ever in the
James was one day employed in placing
young plants in a new-made bed, Mary was
weeding at a little distance from him. "This
double labour," said the father, "should be
the only occupation of all our life. Our heart
is a garden which the good God has given us
to cultivate. It is necessary that we should
unceasingly apply ourselves to the cultivation
of the good and the extraction of the evil
which might there take root. Otherwise it is
but uncultivated ground. But let us scrupul-
ously fulfil these two duties, and to this end
let us implore the assistance and blessing of
that God who makes the sun to shine, the
dew and rain to fall, the plants to grow, and
the fruit to ripen. Then will our hearts be a
iMary at Pi'e Cottage. 97
most delicious garden, and we shall possess a
paradise within ourselves.
Three springs and three summers had glided
away, and the happy days they had spent at
Pine Cottage had almost caused them to for-
get their past misfortunes. But at the return
of autumn they saw the chrysanthemums dis-
playing their red and blue flowers, the last
ornaments of the garden. The leaves of the
trees were clothed in variegated shades, and
the garden was preparing for repose during
the winter. James felt sensibly the diminution
of his strength, and felt more than once very
uncomfortable. He, however, concealed his
feelings from Mary, fearing to distress her;
but all his observations on the flowers were
of a melancholy cast, and Mary, who noticed
it, felt it from the bottom of her heart. One
day she observed a rose which appeared to
be waiting until autumn to bloom. She
wished to gather it, but the leaves fell off in
her hand. "So it is with man," said her father.
" In youth we resemble a rose newly opened,