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THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
THE EXILES FIND A HOME.
BASKET OF FLOWERS;
^ide aib lr nurimpnaBn
TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL GERMAN EDITION
WITH COLOURED ILLUSTRATIONS.
FREDERICK WARNE AND CO.,
BEDFORD STREET, STRAND.
DALZIEL BROTHERS, CAMDEN PRESS, LONDON, N.W.
THERE have been many editions of this popular
work, all of which have been received with favour
by the public. The original story is from the
pen of a German writer. Some of the English
editions have been American translations, and
some (English) translations, from the French
edition of the original work. Some of these
have been added to, and others curtailed, ac-
cording to the tastes or fancies of the various
translators and publishers.
So far as we can ascertain, there is yet no
English translation of the German original, with-
out alterations and additions by French, Ameri-
can, and English writers.
The following volume is translated from the
German story almost literally, except that here
and there a few verses from the best English
poets are given at the close of the chapters,
where they are peculiarly suitable to the subject,
and a few striking emblems and verses from
natural objects, or from Scripture, have been
added where it seemed necessary to do so. But,
on the whole, this edition will be found a much
more faithful translation of the original book
than any other yet published.
It seems almost unnecessary to remind the
reader that various events in the following story
may appear strange and improbable to English
readers, because the scenes described took place
at a time and in a country very different from
Tr1E FATHER AND DAUGHTER. 0 r 1
THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT OF MAY FLOWERS 14
THE STOLEN RING 25
MARY IN PRISON 36
THE TRIAL. t 45
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER IN PRISON .
THE SENTENCE AND ITS EXECUTION. 60
A FRIEND IN NEED 67
THE EXILES FIND A HOME 73
PLEASANT DAYS AT THE PINE FARM. 81
JAMES'S ILLNESS 92
JAMES'S DEATH IO8
THE AVARICIOUS DAUGHTER-IN-LAW. o e e 121
FRESH TROUBLES 129
HELP IN TIME OF NEED 138
THE COUNTESS AMELIA'S STORY. 143
THE RING FOUND Ia2
VIRTUE REWARDED I62
AN EVENING AT THE HUNTING-LODGE 168
A VISIT TO THE PINE TREE FARM 173
FURTHER OCCURRENCES AT PINE FARM IS
RETRIBUTION z I87
A HAPPY EVENT. & & IQ2
THE MONUMENT o 201
BASKET OF FLOWERS.
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER.
IN the market town of Eichburg in Germany,
belonging to a Count of this name, there lived
above one hundred years ago, a sensible and pious
man of the name of James Rode. When he was
a poor lad he came to Eichburg to be under
gardener, and to acquire a knowledge of horti-
culture, in the gardens of the Count's castle. The
excellent qualities of his mind, the skill he dis-
played in everything that he undertook, and his
prepossessing appearance, bearing the impress of
nature's nobility, gained him the favour of his
2 The Basket of Flowers.
master and mistress, who employed him in various
subordinate offices in the castle.
When the Count, who at this time was a young
man, went on his travels, James accompanied him
as one of his retinue. In course of these travels
James made diligent use of the means of improve-
ment afforded him. He learned much, gained a
knowledge of the usages of society, acquired
elegant language and refined manners; but what is
still better, he brought back with him his noble,
honest heart uncorrupted by his intercourse with
the great world. The Count sought to reward
James's faithful services by giving him a profitable
situation; James might have been made steward
in a palace which belonged to the Count in the
capital; but the good man looked back with
pleasure to the tranquillity of a country life; and
as, just at this time, a small farm that had hitherto
been let on lease happened to be at the disposal of
the Count, James requested to be allowed to rent it.
The generous Count permitted him to have it for
life, without paying any rent, and also gave him
every year as much grain and wood as sufficed to
supply his household.
The Fat/er and Daughter. 3
James soon afterwards married, and supported
himself and his family upon the produce and
profits of this little farm, that besides a nice house
had a large, fine garden, half of which was planted
with the best sorts of fruit-trees, and the other half
was used for the cultivation of vegetables and
After James had lived for many years happily
with his wife, who in all respects was worthy of
him, she was snatched away by the hand of death.
His grief was inexpressible. The good man,
already somewhat advanced in years, seemed to
become prematurely aged, his form was bent, and
his hair turned grey. His sole comfort in the
world was his daughter, the only survivor of several
children, who, at the death of her mother, was but
five years old. She was named Mary, after her
mother, and was her very image.
Even when a child little Mary was exceedingly
beautiful, and as she grew up her pious mind, her
gentleness, modesty, and the unselfish kindness
that she showed to every one, gave a peculiar grace
to her beauty, and endeared her more and more to
her father's heart.
4 The Basket of Flowers.
"tHow like a new existence to his heart
Uprose that living flower beneath his eye I
Dear as she was from cherub infancy,
From hours when she would round his garden play,
To time when, as the ripening years went by,
Her lovely mind could culture well repay,
And more engaging grew from pleasing day to day."
There was so amiable an expression in her coun-
tenance, that. all who saw her loved her. Reared
in a good and happy home, she grew up a gentle,
pious girl, loving flowers and all the beauties of
nature, and seeing the hand of God in all His
Mary was not quite fifteen when she was re-
quired to manage the affairs of her father's little
household, which she did to perfection. A speck of
dust was never to be seen in the neat sitting-room;
in the kitchen the cooking utensils and other articles
were almost as bright as new; and the whole house
was a pattern of order and cleanliness. With un-
wearied industry Mary assisted her father to work
in the garden; and the time she thus spent in
helping him was the happiest in her life, for her
wise father knew how to make labour a pleasure
oy means of cheerful and instructive conversation.
The Fatler and Daughter. 5
Thus Mary grew among the flowers, and the
garden was her world. From childhood she had
taken great pleasure in rare and lovely plants,
therefore her father every year sent for seeds,
roots, and grafts, of sorts that she had never
before seen, and he allowed her to plant the
borders of the beds in the garden with what she
Mary had thus a constant and pleasant occu-
pation during her hours of leisure. She carefully
tended the delicate plants, watched the blossoms
that were new to her, wondering what kind of
flowers they would produce. She could scarcely
wait until the buds opened ; and when at length the
long-looked-for flowers appeared in their beauty,
the sight gave her inexpressible joy. "This is
pure innocent pleasure," said her father, smiling;
"many people expend more money for gay dresses
for their children than I spend in flower-seeds, and
yet they do not procure so pleasant and harmless
an enjoyment for their daughters."
Every month, and even every week, Mary found
new sources of amusement in her garden. She
often said with delight, "Paradise could scarcely
6 The Basket of Flowers.
have been more beautiful than our garden." Few
passed by without stopping to admire the rare
blossoms. The children of the village, on their
way from school, peeped through the fence with
longing eyes, and Mary often gratified them by
giving them a few flowers.
The wise father knew how to make a still
nobler use of his daughter's delight in flowers.
He taught her to see the wisdom, goodness, and
almighty power of God in the beauty of the blos-
soms, the variety of their forms, the distinctness of
their varied features, their exact proportions, their
splendid colouring, and their delicious perfume.
He was accustomed to spend the first morning
hour of each day in devotion, and he always rose
early in order to be able to do this before he went
to work. He thought that there was little worth
having in human life if, amidst his business, a man
could not secure a few hours for devotion, or at
least could not command half an hour in a day, in
which he could commune undisturbed with his
Maker, and elevate his mind by raising his thoughts
to heaven. In the beautiful days of spring and
summer he took Mary with him to shady spots in
The Father and Daughter. 7
the garden, from which, amidst the lovely songs of
birds, and the blossoms besprinkled with dew, they
could see an extensive view, bounded by the golden
rays of the rising sun.
Here James communed with God, who created
the sun to shine with friendly light and heat, who
gives us dew and rain, who bounteously feeds the
fowls of heaven, and richly clothes the flowers of
the field. Here they learned to know the Almighty
as the loving Father of the human race, who is
gracious to all, whose tender mercies are over all
His works, and whose love is shown more clearly
than in all besides by the gift of His only and well-
beloved Son. "God so loved the world, that He
gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever be-
lieveth in Him should not perish, but have ever-
lasting life." James taught Mary to pray to this
loving Saviour as he himself prayed, with his
whole heart. The devotions of the morning hour
bore much fruit, and tended to implant child-like
piety in Mary's youthful heart.
From the lovely flowers her father taught her
to draw sublime lessons of heavenly wisdom. One
day in early spring, when Mary joyfully brought
8 The Basket of Flowers.
him the first violet that she had gathered, her
father said, "Dear Mary, this lovely flower is an
emblem of humility, modesty, and unobtrusive
benevolence. It is robed in celestial blue, but
grows close to the ground; it hides itself in the.
shade, but fills the air with the sweetest perfume
It is the emblem of a meek and lowly heart, which
wears the genuine blue of heaven, and is made
like unto our Lord, who was meek and lowly.
While it retires from the world and thinks little of
itself, it is precious in the sight of God; 'for He
hath respect unto the lowly' (Psa. cxxxviii. 6).
Be thou, dear Mary, humble and retiring like the
modest violet. Do not desire to be gaily dressed
like a gaudy flower. Remember our Lord's
warning, Take heed that ye do not your alms
before men to be seen of them.' Seek not
the applause of men, but act from a nobler
motive. Let it be your earnest desire to live
for God's glory, and let that be your aim in all
that you do."
When the garden was in its greatest beauty,
and the flowers were in full bloom, James pointed
to a splendid lily, on which the rays of the sun
The Father and Daughter. 9
were shining, and thus spoke to the delighted
"This fair lily is the emblem of innocence;
white is always used to denote purity; and see,
its blossoms are white as new-fallen snow. But
white is more difficult to keep clean than any other
colour; the least touch of impurity destroys it.
Alas none of us are by nature pure in heart, yet
there is a fountain wherein we may wash and be
clean. There is a white robe freely offered to all.
Blessed are they who have washed their robes and
made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
'Blessed are the pure in heart.' Pray for this
parity, dear Mary, and avoid the least contact
with evil. Go not in the way of sinners; listen not
to their words. Remember that a word, or
even a thought, may soil the purity of the
"The rose," continued James, "is the emblem
of modesty. Lovelier than the rose is the
colour that flushes the cheek of a modest girl.
The face that is never tinged with a blush is
the sign of a heart that has been soiled by
10 The Basket of Flowers.
James gathered a bunch of roses and lilies, and
made them into a beautiful bouquet. Then giving
it to Mary, he said,-
The rose and the lily, emblems of purity and
modesty, are twin sisters that should never be
separated. God gave modesty to purity to be a
warning when evil is near. Fly from all, dear
Mary, that can call up a blush to your cheek.
Avoid even the appearance of evil. May your
heart be pure as the lily, and your cheek as red as
the rose. Lovely as these roses are, they will fade
and wither; but even when their leaves are brown
and dry, the sweet scent will remain. The rose
on your cheek may fade, dear Mary; outward
beauty may pass away; but true purity of heart
will endure for ever and the beauty of the mind
can never decay."
The most beautiful ornament of the garden was
a dwarf apple tree, not higher than a rose bush,
that stood in a small circular bed in the middle of
the garden. Mary's father had planted it on the
day in which she was born, and the tree now bore
every year golden, rosy-cheeked apples. One
season it flowered particularly well, and was com-
The Father and Daughter. II
pletely covered with blossoms. Mary went to look
at it every morning.
"Oh, how lovely!" exclaimed she, in an
ecstasy of delight. "What exquisite red and
white! The tree looks like one large bunch of
One morning, when she went to look at it
as usual, it was withered; the frost had de-
stroyed all its blossoms; they were already yellow,
brown, and shrivelled, and Mary wept at the sad
So is the bloom of youth destroyed by sinful
pleasures," observed Mary's father; "like the
nipping frost, they blast and wither the fairest and
most promising. Oh, my dear Mary, keep far
from the polluting pleasures of the world. Tremble
even to taste them. Oh, my child! beware of
them; venture not near the forbidden path; pray
to be kept from evil. If the fair hopes that I have
of your bright future, not for one year only,
but for your whole life, should be thus blasted, I
would then weep more bitter tears than you are
now shedding. I should never again have a happy
12 The Basket of Flowers.
hour, and my grey hairs would go down in sorrow
to the grave."
Tears stood in James's eyes as he spoke,
and his words made a very deep impression on
Brought up under the care of so wise and
loving a father, Mary grew up amongst the
flowers of their garden as blooming as a rose,
pure-minded as a lily, modest as a violet, and
with as bright hopes as a young tree when in
The old man had always contemplated with
happy smiles his favourite garden, the fruits of
which so well rewarded his industry; but he
looked with far greater pleasure on his sweet and
gentle daughter, who, by the blessing of God on
his labours, rewarded the care he had bestowed on
training and teaching her, by bringing forth still
more precious fruits, even the fruits of the Spirit,
to the praise and glory of God.
Domestic Love not in proud palace halls
Is often seen thy beauty to abide;
Thy dwelling is in lonely cottage walls.
That in the thickets of the woodbine hide,
The Father and Daughter. 13
With hum of bees around, and from the side
Of woody hills some little bubbling spring,
Shining along through banks with harebed dyed,
And many a bird to warble on the wing,
When morn her saffron robe o'er heaven and earth doth ding.
THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT OF MAY FLOWERS.
ON a lovely morning in the beginning of the month
of May, Mary went into a neighboring grove, and
cut some twigs of willow and boughs of hazel,
with which her father, when he was not occupied
in his garden, made very pretty baskets. There
she found the first lilies of the valley in blossom
She gathered some of them, and made two nose-
gays, one for her father and another for herself.
As she was passing along a narrow footpath across
a flowery meadow, on her way home, she was met
by the Countess of Eichburg and her daughter
Amelia, who usually lived in the city, but who
were now spending a few days in their castle at
rT r' am
t~ -T 'IT
THEBIRHDY PESNT F MY LOWRS
T/ze Birthday Present. I5
As soon as Mary perceived the two ladies in
white dresses, and with green parasols, then not
used by the peasants, she stepped aside to make
room for them to pass, and stood respectfully
waiting beside the footpath.
"What! are the lilies of the valley already in
flower ?" exclaimed the young Countess, whose
favourite flower it was.
Mary immediately offered a bunch of lilies to
each of the ladies. They accepted them with
pleasure, and the Countess drew out her purse of
purple and gold, and wished to make Mary a
present. But Mary said, "Will not your excel-
lency permit a poor.girl, who has already received
so many benefits from your ladyship, to enjoy the
pleasure of giving a few flowers without thinking
of reward ?"
The Countess smiled kindly, and said that Mary
might often bring Amelia a bunch of lilies of the
Mary did this every morning, and, so long as the
lilies of the valley lasted, went daily to the castle.
Amelia found greater pleasure every day in Mary'a
visits, on account of her naturally good under-
16 The Basket of Flowers.
standing, her merry disposition and artlessness,
and her increasing popularity. Mary was obliged
to spend many hours in the society of the Lady
Amelia, long after all the May flowers had
faded away. The young Countess often showed
that she wished Mary to be always with her, and
she therefore thought of giving her a place in the
household of the Count, so that she might have
her constantly near her.
The anniversary of Amelia's birthday was
drawing near. Mary was busied with a little
rustic present for the occasion. She had often
before given a wreath of flowers; she now decided
on giving something else. During the previous
winter her father had occupied himself in making
beautiful work-baskets for ladies. He had given
the most beautiful of them all to Mary. He had
obtained the pattern of this in the city, and had
succeeded remarkably well in making it an ex-
quisite piece of workmanship. Mary resolved to
fill this basket with flowers, and to offer it as a
gift to Amelia on the anniversary of her birthday.
Her father gladly granted her request, and he
still more adorned the pretty little basket by
The Birthday Present. 17
weaving on it in the most delicate workmanship
the name of the Countess Amelia and the crest
of her family. When finished, the basket was
quite a masterpiece.
On the morning of the Countess Amelia's birth-
day, Mary gathered the loveliest roses, the most
beautiful white, crimson, and purple stocks, dark
brown and yellow wall-flowers, dark red, yellow,
and clove carnations, and other exquisite flowers
of all colours. She arranged these in the basket
amongst elegant sprigs of green, with correct taste,
so that the colours contrasted well with one
another. She surrounded the edge of the basket
with a light wreath of rosebuds and moss, and she
encircled the Countess Amelia's name with a
garland of forget-me-not The fresh rosebuds, the
tender green moss, and the blue forget-me-not
looked beautiful on the white lattice-work of the
basket. The whole looked so perfect, that even
her grave father praised Mary's good taste with a
complacent smile, and said, when she wished
to take it away, "Let it stand there a little
longer, that I may have the pleasure of looking
18 The Basket of Flowers.
Mary carried the basket to the castle, and
presented it to the Countess Amelia, with her
most respectful good wishes. Mary found the
young Countess seated at her toilet. Her maid
was standing behind her, dressing her hair for the
festival. The Countess Amelia was delighted
with the basket, and could not say enough in
praise of the exquisite workmanship of the gift
and the beauty of the flowers.
"You good child !" said she; "you must have
quite stripped your garden to bring me so lovely a
gift. And your father's work is so beautiful, so
tasteful! I have never seen anything more ex-
quisite. Oh, come with me and let me show it to
my mother !"
She arose, took Mary kindly by the hand, and
led her up-stairs to her mother's room.
"Oh, look, mamma!" she exclaimed, as she
entered the room, "what a lovely and inimitable
present Mary has brought me! I have never seen
a prettier basket, and there could not be more
The Countess also was much pleased with the
basket. "It is indeed very beautiful," said she; "
The Birthday Present. 19
should like to have a picture of it. The basket,
with the flowers still wet with the morning dew,
would make as fine a flower-piece as has ever been
painted by the great masters. It does great credit
to Mary's good taste, and still more honour to her
kind heart. Wait here a little, dear child," con-
tinued she to Mary, beckoning at the same time to
Amelia to follow her into the next room. Then
she said to her daughter, "We must not allow
Mary to go home without a present. What do
you think it will be best to give her ?"
Amelia considered for a few moments. I
think," said she at length, "one of my dresses
might be the best thing; at least, dearest mother,
if you will allow me to give her the dress which has
small red and white flowers on a dark green ground.
It is as good as new; I have only worn it once or
twice, but I have outgrown it. It would be a pretty
Sunday dress for Mary. She is so neat-handed,
that she will alter it herself to make it fit her.
If you do not think it too much, I will give it
Do so," said the Countess; when we give
anything to the working people, it ought always to
20 The Basket of Flowers.
be something useful and suitable. The green dress
with the pattern of flowers will be an appropriate
gift to the little flower-girl.
The Countess went back to the room in which
she had left Mary. "Go now, children," said she,
kindly, "and take care of these flowers, that they
may not fade before dinner-time. We have com-
pany to-day, and the basket shall take the place
of the 6pergne, and be the chief ornament of the
dinner-table. I leave it to you, dear Amelia, to
thank Mary for it."
Amelia hastened back to her own room with
Mary, and desired her maid to bring the dress.
Harriet (for this was the maia's name) stood hesi-
tating, and said, "Your ladyship cannot surely
intend to wear that dress to-day ?"
"No," replied Amelia, "I mean to give it to
"That dress !" returned Harriet, sharply. "Is
her ladyship the Countess aware of it ? "
Bring the dress here," said Amelia, in a decided
tone, "and leave me to settle the rest."
Harriet turned hastily away to hide her vexation,
and went with a countenance flushed with rage.
The Birthday Present. 21
She angrily pulled the dress out of the wardrobe
of the young Countess. Oh, if I only dared to
tear it to pieces!" said she-" that detestable
gardener's girl. She has already partly taken my
place in the favour of my mistress, and now she is
robbing me of this dress; for the cast-off dresses
of my lady belong to me by right. I could tear
out the eyes of this hateful flower-seller!" Not-
withstanding, Harriet suppressed her anger as well
as she could, and put on a civil expression when
she returned to the room, and gave the dress to
"Dear Mary," said Amelia, "I have received
many more costly presents to-day, but not any
that have pleased me so much as the flower-basket.
The flowers in this dress are not so beautiful as
yours, but I think that you will like them as my
gift. Wear this dress as a remembrance of me,
and give my best thanks to your father."
Mary took the dress kissed the hand of the
young Countess, and took her leave.
Harriet continued her work in silence, with
feelings of jealousy, envy, and anger burning in
her heart. It cost her no little self-command to
22 T21e Bask et of Flowe rs.
conceal her ill-temper, and she could not refrain
from slightly showing it by pulling Amelia's hair a
little while she was dressing it.
"Are you angry, Harriet ? said Amelia, gently.
"I should be too foolish were I to be angry
because your ladyship is so kind."
"That is a very sensible speech," said the Lady
Amelia. "I wish that you may always think as
Meantime Mary hastened home-with the beau-
tiful dress, her heart full of joy. But her prudent
father was not particularly pleased with the elegant
present. He shook his grey head, and said, I
had rather that you had not carried that basket to
the castle. I value the dress, indeed, as the gift of
our kind ladies, but I fear that it may make other
people envious of us, and what would be much
worse, that it may make you vain. Take good care,
dear Mary, that the last may not, at all events, be
the case. Modesty and proper behaviour are better
ornaments for a girl than the most beautiful and
becoming dresses. Remember what the Bible tells
us about the best ornaments of a woman. 'Whose
adorning let it not be that outward adorning of
The B'irthday Present. 23
plaiting the hair and of wearing of gold, or of
putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man
of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even
the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is
in the sight of God of great price. For after this
manner in the old time the holy women also, who
trusted in God, adorned themselves'" (i Pet. iii.
We sacrifice to dress, till household joys
And comforts cease. Dress drains our cellar dry,
And keeps our larder lean; puts out our fires,
And introduces hunger, frost, and woe,
Where peace and hospitality might reign."
A sweet temper, and an open heart,
A loving breast and animated eye-
These, these best dignify, and still endear
The meanest and the lowest. Many round
May overtop me with their pride and show,
But let me be what they but seem to be,
And seem, and be, the best. In my small sphere
Perfume the atmosphere around my path
With kind sweet words and loving happy looks.
If I am loving I shall be beloved ;
And men shall bless the fragrance of my name,
And hail my presence and my absence mourn."
24 The Basket of Flowers.
--~~- |1 -------
"4 The pompous flowers but dazzle, not delight,
Astonish while their worthier mates attract,
Admired by many, but by none beloved.
Fine features, symmetry, a large estate,
Taste, wit, and genius, admiration win."
THE STOLEN RING.
MARY tried on her new dress; she then folded it
up carefully, and put it away in her box. Scarcely
had she done this, when the young Countess
hastily entered the cottage, pale, trembling, and
out of breath.
"Oh, Mary! exclaimed she, "what have you
done? My mother's diamond ring is missing! No
one has been in the room but you. Do give it to
me quickly, or it will be a dreadful business. Give
it me quickly, and then the matter may still be
Mary was so terrified that she became as pale
as death. "Ah, my lady," said she, "what can this
mean ? I have not the ring. I did not even see a
26 The Basket of Flowers.
ring in the room. I never even left the place in
which I stood."
'Mary," pleaded the Countess, "I entreat you
for your own sake, give me the ring. You know
not how valuable the one precious stone in it is.
The ring cost nearly a thousand crowns; if you
had known that, you would surely not have taken
it. Probably you thought it only a trifle of little
value; but do give it to me now, and all shall be
forgiven you, as merely an act of youthful folly."
Mary began to weep. "Indeed, indeed," said
she, "I know nothing about the ring. I have never
even ventured to touch anything that did not belong
to me, far less to steal it. My father has trained
me too well ever to take anything from any one."
The father now entered the room. He had been
working in the garden, and had seen the young
Countess enter the house, apparently in great haste.
When he was told why she had come, he exclaimed,
apparently in great distress, "What is this?" The
good man was so agitated that he was forced to
catch hold of the table for support, and sank, half
fainting, upon a bench.
"Child," said he, "to steal such a ring as this is
The Stolen Ring. 27
a crime which, in this country, is punished with
death. But this is the least part of it. For such a
deed we have to answer not only to man, but to a
far greater Lord-to the highest Judge of all, who
sees the secrets of all hearts, and before Him no
excuses or refuges of lies avail. If you have so
forgotten God's holy commands, and in the moment
of temptation have not remembered my fatherly
teachings; if you have suffered your eyes to be
dazzled by the splendour of gold and precious
stones, and have thus been led into sin, oh! deny
it not, but confess it, and give back the ring. This
is the only way to make amends for your guilt,
and perhaps it may still be forgiven."
"Oh, father," said Mary, amidst tears and sobs,
"I assure you-I assure you-indeed, I saw nothing
of the ring. Ah! if I had even found such a ring
in the street, I could not have rested until I had
restored it to its owner."
"See," continued her father, "that angel, the
young Countess Amelia, who has come here out of
love to you, to save you from the hands of justice-
who wishes you so well-who has just given you so
valuable a present-surely she does not deserve
28 The Basket of Flowers.
that you should tell her a lie-that you should
seek to deceive her to your own destruction! If
you have the ring, confess it at once, and the
gracious Countess will, perhaps, by her en-
treaties, avert from you the punishment you de-
serve. Mary, I entreat you, be honest, and tell the
"Father," said Mary, "you know well that I have
never stolen the value of a farthing in my life!
I have never even ventured to take an apple from
a tree, or a handful of grass from the meadow of a
neighbour; how much less could I have taken any-
thing so precious! Believe me, dearest father, you
know that I have never told you a lie in my life !"
"Mary," said her father once more, "look with
pity upon my grey hairs! Bring them not with
sorrow to the grave! Spare me this deep agony!
Confess it before God, before whom I hope soon to
appear, and who will permit no thief to enter into
the kingdom of heaven. As in His sight, I ask
you again, have you the ring? For your own
soul's sake I implore you to tell the truth !"
Mary looked with weeping eyes to heaven,
clasped her hands, and said solemnly, "God knows
The Stolen Ring. 29
that I have not the ring! As surely as I hope to
be saved, so surely I have it not! "
Now," said her father, "I do truly believe that
you have it not, for you could not tell such a false-
hood in the very presence of God, before the noble
Countess here, and your own old father. And as
I now firmly believe you to be innocent, I am easy.
Be at peace too, dear Mary, and fear nothing.
There is but one real evil in the world that we have
to fear, and that is sin. Prison and death are
nothing to this. Whatever may become of us, even
if all men should forsake us, and be against us, yet
we have God for our Friend, and He will certainly
rescue us, and sooner or later bring our innocence
The young Countess wiped away a tear as she
said-" Good people, when I hear you speak thus
I really believe, too, that you have not the ring.
But again, when I consider all the circumstances,
it seems to me next to impossible that you should
not have it. My mother distinctly remembers the
very place on her work-table on which she put
down the ring before I went into her room with
Mary. No one else entered the room. Mary her-
30 The Basket of Flowers.
self can testify that I did not even go near the
work-table. While my mother and I were speaking
together in the next room, Mary was left alone-,
before and after this there was no one else there.
After we had gone, my mother closed the door to
change her dress. As soon as she had dressed, and
wished to put on the ring again, she found it gone.
My mother herself searched the whole room for it.
She took the precaution not to ring for any of the
servants, and did not allow even me to enter the
room till she had thoroughly searched it two or
three times. But all was in vain! Who, then, can
have the ring ?"
"That I do not understand," said Mary's father.
"God has appointed a severe trial for us. Yet,
whatever may be hanging over us," continued he,
looking upwards to heaven, see, Lord, here am I!
Thy will be done! Only give me Thy grace, 0
God, and it is sufficient for me!"
"Indeed, I shall go home with a heavy heart,"
said the Countess. "It is a melancholy birthday
to me! It will be a terrible affair. My mother
has not yet said a word about it to any one but me,
in order not to injure Mary; but the matter cannot
The Stolen Ring. 31
be concealed much longer. My mother must wear
the ring to-day. We expect my father about mid-
day from the capital, and if the ring is not on her
finger he will immediately miss it, for it was his
gift to her when I was born, and she has always
worn it on my birthday. She is hoping and expect-
ing that I shall bring it back with me!"
There was a silence for a few minutes, .then
Amelia said sorrowfully, Farewell! I shall indeed
assure them all that I believe you to be innocent;
but-will they believe me!"
She went mournfully to the door, with tears in
her eyes. Both father and daughter were so
stunned with grief, that they did not move to open
it, or to accompany her on her way.
The father sat upon the bench, with his head
leaning upon his hand, looking on the ground as if
lost in thought, while tears flowed down his pale
cheeks. Mary fell on her knees before him, looked
up into his face, weeping bitterly, and said,-
Oh father, indeed I am innocent of the whole
matter; I assure you that I am innocent."
Her father raised her kindly, looked long and
earnestly into her blue eyes, and then said, "Yes,
32 The Basket of Flowers.
Mary, you are innocent. Guilt could never wear
so honest and so truthful a look."
"Oh, father," continued Mary, "What will be the
end of this ? What will become of us ? Oh, if I
alone were to suffer, I would bear it willingly; but
that you, dearest father, should suffer on my account
is more terrible to me than all the rest."
"Trust in God," replied her father, "and be un-
dismayed. Without his permission not a hair of
our heads can be touched. Whatever may happen,
it is all ordered by God. It is therefore all right,
and for our good, and what would we have more?
Do not, then, be terrified, and always keep strictly
to the truth. However they may threaten you,
whatever they may promise you, do not deviate a
hair's breadth from the truth, and wound not your
own conscience. A good conscience is a soft pillow,
even in a prison. We may now possibly be sepa-
rated from each other, your father will no longer be
able to comfort you, dear Mary; but cling the more
closely and trustfully to your Father in heaven.
None can separate you from Him, your almighty
The door was then suddenly thrown open, and
The Stolen Ring. 33
the officers of justice entered the room. Uttering
a loud cry, Mary threw her arms round her father.
Separate them !" said the chief officer, his eyes
flashing with anger. Put the daughter in irons,
and take her to prison. The father also must be
held in custody, at least for a time. Let the house
and garden be well watched, and let no one enter
till we have searched it thoroughly."
Mary still clung to her father, but the officers of
justice tore her from him by force, and put her in
irons. She fainted and was carried away uncon-
scious. As the father and daughter were taken
through the streets a crowd of people collected.
The story of the ring had spread like wildfire
through the whole of the neighbourhood. The
crowd rushed round the gardener's cottage, as if
the building were on fire. The most conflicting
opinions were expressed. Kind as James and
Mary' had ever been to all their neighbours, yet
people were found who rejoiced in their fall, and
made the most malicious remarks on that which
had happened. As James and Mary had prospered
well through their own industry and frugality, they
had been envied by many less industrious.
34 The Basket of Flowers.
"It is easy to see," said they, "where their wealth
has come from. Before this we could not under-
stand it; but now it is not difficult to see why they
lived better and dressed better than any of the
other people in the place."
However, most of the inhabitants of Eichburg
truly sympathized with honest James and his good
daughter. Many of the good townspeople thus
spoke to each other:-"Alas! what wretched crea-
tures we poor human beings are! the best of us
are not secure from falling. Who would have
thought it of these worthy people ? Yet, perhaps,
they are not guilty, and if so, may God bring their
innocence to light! But even if they have done it
may God help them, that they may confess their
sin and amend, and escape the great miseries that
threaten them. May God in his mercy guard us
all from sin, for without His help we are not safe
for a single day."
Many of the children of the place gathered
in groups and stood weeping as Mary and her father
passed. "Ah !" said they, "if these good people
are put in prison, honest James will give us no more
fruit, and kind Mary no more flowers. It is wrong
The Stolen Ring. 35
to put them in prison, and it ought not to be
Child of sorrow, hush thy wailing;
One there is who knows thy grief,
One whose mercy, never failing,
Waits to give thy soul relief;
He, thy Saviour,
Faithful still, of friends the chief.
"Child of sorrow, do they leave thee,
Those on whom thy hopes have stayed ?
Jesus calls, and will receive thee,
With a love can never fade;
Hark! He bids thee
Seek the home for sinners made."
MARY IN PRISON.
MARY had been dragged to prison while still almost
unconscious. When left alone in her dungeon she
came to herself by slow degrees; and as she remem-
bered her misery, she wept, sobbed, wrung her hands,
and then recollecting where alone she could find
comfort, she prayed earnestly, till at length she fell
asleep exhausted upon her bed of straw. Softsleep
closed her weary eyelids. When she again awoke
it was night; all around her was dark, and she
could see nothing. At first she knew not where she
was; the story of the ring came io her memory
like a dream. For a moment she fancied that she
was in her own bed at home. She was just be-
ginning to rejoice that her sad dream had been
chased away by her awakening, when she felt the
Mary in Prison. 37
weight of her fetters, and their dismal clang awoke
her to the fearful reality. She started terrified from
her hard bed.
"Oh! what can I do," exclaimed she, as she
sank on her knees, "but raise these fettered hands
to Thee, 0 gracious God ? 0 deign to look into
this prison, and behold me on my knees before
Thee! Thou knowest that I am innocent; Thou
art the refuge of the innocent! Save me! have
pity on me! Pity my poor father Oh, give hint
comfort, and rather let me suffer double sorrow !"
A torrent of tears flowed from her eyes as she
thought of her father ; sobs choked her voice, and
she wept long in silence.
The moon, which had long been hidden in the
clouds, now suddenly shone out in full splendour,
and threw the shadow of the grated window on the
floor of Mary's dungeon. In its clear light Mary
could now see the four walls of her prison-the
rough stones of which it was built-the white lines
that marked where they were joined together-the
stone which, in one corner, served for a table-the
earthen pitcher and earthen plate which stood on
it, and the wretched bundle of straw which served
38 The Basket of Flowers.
her for a bed. Yet, as soon as the thick darkness
had passed away, Mary felt lighter at heart; the
bright moon seemed to her like an old friend.
"Do you come, lovely moon," said she, "to look
again upon me, who have loved you so much ?
Oh! when you shone into my room through the
quivering vine-leaves, how much more beautiful
you seemed than now, when your rays beam through
the dark grating of my prison window! Are you
mourning with me ? Ah I never believed I
should see you thus! What is my father doing
now? Is he waking, and looking on you, and
mourning as I am ? Ah that I could sec him but
for a moment! Lovely moon, you are shining on
him now! Oh! could you speak, you might tell him
how Mary is weeping and mourning for his sorrow.
"But how foolishly I have been speaking in my
misery! Forgive me, 0 merciful God, for these
idle words! Thou seest me. Thou seest my poor
father. Thou seest into both our hearts. Thy
almighty power can help us through prison walls
and iron bars! None can withstand Thee 1 Oh
send comfort to my father in his sorrow!"
Mary was now surprised to perceive a pleasant
Mary in Prison. 39
perfume in her prison. In the morning she had
gathered some half-open rosebuds and other
flowers; she had made them into a little nosegay,
and put them in her breast. The sweet perfume
came from these flowers.
"Are you there still, my dear little blossoms ? "
said she, as she saw her nosegay, "and have you
come with me to prison, you innocent creatures ?
You have not deserved punishment, and it is my
comfort that I deserve it as little as you do."
She took the nosegay from her breast, and looked
at it in the moonlight. "Ah! said she, when I
gathered these rosebuds this morning in my garden,
and plucked these forget-me-nots from the brook,
who would have believed that I should be in prison
to-night ? When I fastened the wreath of flowers
round the edge of the basket, who could have
thought that to-night iron fetters would be fastened
round my wrist ? So changeable are all things on
earth, no one knows how speedily his position may
be altered, or to what melancholy events the most
innocent actions may lead. Truly all human
beings have good reason to commend themselves
every morning to the protection of God."
40 The Basket of Flowers.
Again she wept; her tears dropped on the rose-
buds and forget-me-nots, and glittered in the
moonlight like dew. He who forgets not the
flowers, but refreshes them with rain and dew, will
not forget me," said she. 0 most gracious God,
send comfort into my heart, and into the heart of
my poor father, as Thou fillest the cups of the
thirsty flowers with the dew of heaven."
Amid her tears she thought again of her father.
"Oh, my kind father! said she, "when I look
at this wreath, how many of your words about the
flowers come back to my mind! These rosebuds
have bloomed among thorns; so may joy spring
up amid my sorrows. Whoever would have tried
to unfold this rosebud before its time would have
destroyed it. God, who created it, has ordered
that its tender leaves should unfold themselves one
by one, and should breathe forth their delicious
perfume. Thus will He overrule my sufferings,
so as to develop the blessings that are sent to me
in them. Therefore will I patiently wait till His
time come. These forget-me-nots remind me of
their Creator. Ah, gracious God, I will not forget
Thee, as Thou hast not forgotten me! These
Mary in Prison. 41
delicate flowers are blue as the sky above us.
May Heaven be my comfort amid all earthly
sorrows. Here are some odoriferous sweet-peas,
with their delicate red and white blossoms. As
this tender plant clings to the support upon which
it leans, and so climbs joyfully upwards, so may I,
borne upwards from earth as if on wings, rise unto
Thee, 0 God, and clinging to Thee, rise above all
earthly sorrows. It is this mignonette which, more
than all the rest, diffuses its delicious perfume in
my prison. Lovely, gentle flower! thou rejoicest
even her whose hand plucked thee. I will try to
be like thee, and strive to feel kindly to those who
have torn me from my home and cast me into
prison, when I had done them no harm. Here is
a fresh sprig of periwinkle. This is green even in
winter, and in the most dreary season of the year
keeps the lovely colour of hope. Even now in
my time of suffering I will not give up hope. My
God, who can preserve this little plant fresh and
green amid the storms of winter, under ice and
snow, will also preserve me amid the storms of
misfortune. Here are some laurel leaves. They
remind me of the unfading wreath prepared in
42 The Basket of Flowers.
heaven for those who suffer heroically and patiently
on earth. Oh, I imagine I can see it now, this
evergreen wreath of victory, this golden, glorious
crown! Flowers of earth, you are passing like its
joys, withering and fading away. But after the
brief sorrows of earth there awaits us in heaven
above a glory and blessedness which is eternal and
A dark cloud now suddenly obscured the moon.
Mary could no longer see her flowers, and her cell
became fearfully dark. Again her heart sank
within her. But the cloud soon passed away, and
the moon again shone out in all her beauty,
Thus," said Mary to herself, "may innocence be
under a cloud for a time, but at length it shines
forth again clear and bright. Thus, O my God,
wilt Thou at last make manifest my innocence,
and clear it from all false accusations, though now
it is hidden by the dark clouds of suspicion."
Soothed by these thoughts, Mary knelt in prayer
and then lay down peacefully to sleep on her bed
of straw. A pleasant dream comforted her during
her slumbers. She thought she was walking in
the moonlight in a garden she had never seen
Mary in Prison. 43
before. It was surpassingly beautiful, too lovely
for words to describe, and it appeared to be sur-
rounded by a wilderness in a gloomy forest of fir
trees. She had never seen the moon so bright
and lovely as it appeared in her dream. All the
flowers in the garden seemed to bloom more
beautifully in the soft moonlight. Her father, too,
appeared to her in this marvellous garden. The
moonbeams shone on his cheerful, honest, smiling
face. In fancy she rushed towards him, and
throwing herself upon his neck, shed tears of joy,
with which her cheeks were still wet when she
"Of all the thoughts of God that are
Borne inward unto souls afar,
Along the Psalmist's music deep,-
Now tell me if that any is
For gift or grace surpassing this,-
'He giveth His beloved sleep' ?
What would we give to our beloved ?
The hero's heart to be unmoved-
The poet's star-tuned harp to sweep-
The senate's shout to patriot vows-
The monarch's crown to light the brows ?--
He giveth His beloved sleep.'
44 The Basket of Flowers.
Sleep soft, beloved,' we sometimes say,
But have no tune to charm away
Sad dreams that through the eyelids creep;
But never doleful dream again
Shall break the happy slumbers when
SHe giveth His beloved sleep.'
He men may wonder while they scan
A living, thinking, feeling man,
In such a rest his heart to keep;
But angels say-and through the word,
I ween, their blessed smile is heard,-
SHe giveth His beloved sleep.'"
E. B. BARRETT.
'-e~aPB 31;-,j~ -- -'AI1TIHIIIEIHBWtR( TRIL.l ~ ~
SCARCELY had Mary awoke, when an officer of
justice came to the prison to take her before the
court. A cold shudder came over her as she
entered the dark gloomy room, of which the
vaulted roof and the small hexagonal panes of the
old-fashioned windows attested the great antiquity.
The magistrate sat as judge in a large arm-chair
covered with red cloth; the clerk sat pen in hand
before a large writing-table blackened by age.
The magistrate put many questions to Mary, and
she answered them all truthfully. She wept,
mourned, and protested her innocence. But the
judge said, "You cannot deceive me so far as to
make me believe what is impossible. No one was
46 The Basket of Flowers.
in the room but you; no one can have the ring
but you; therefore confess it at once."
Mary pleaded and wept. She repeated her
protestations. I cannot, and I know not how to
speak otherwise. I know nothing whatever of the
ring; I have not seen it, and I have it not."
"The ring has been seen in your hands," said
the judge, sternly; "what answer can you make
to this ?"
Mary still insisted that it was impossible. The
judge rang a little bell, and Harriet was put into
the witness-box. To account for her appearance
we must tell what had taken place in the mean-
time at the castle.
In the excess of her anger and envy on account
of the dress, and with the wicked intention to
deprive Mary of the favour of her mistress, Harriet
had said to several persons in the castle, "No one
can have the ring but that wretched girl, the
gardener's daughter. When I saw her coming
down-stairs, she had a ring set with precious stones
in her hand. She hid it, and looked frightened
when she saw me. I thought it was very sus-
picious. I did not wish to be rash, and therefore
The Trial. 47
said nothing about it. Perhaps, thought I, they
may have given her the ring, as they have given
her so many presents before. If she had stolen it,
I knew it would soon be missed, and then it would
be time enough to speak. I am very glad that I
did not chance to go into the Countess's room
at the time. Such wicked creatures as that hypo-
critical girl may cause honest people to be sus-
They took Harriet at her word, and she was
summoned to give evidence before the court.
When she was put into the witness-box, and the
judge warned her to speak the truth as in the
presence of God, her heart throbbed, and her knees
trembled beneath her. But the wicked young
woman neither gave ear to the words of the judge
nor to the voice of her own conscience. She
thought, "If I now confess that I have told a lie,
I shall be dismissed in disgrace, or perhaps im-
prisoned." She therefore persisted in her false
statement, and said boldly to Mary, "You have
the ring; I saw it in your hand."
Mary was horror-struck when she heard this
falsehood, but she did not return railing for railing.
48 The Basket of Flowers.
She only wept, and could scarcely articulate these
words, in a voice stifled with sobs, "It is not true.
You did not see the ring in my hand. How can
you so perjure yourself, and make me so miserable,
who have done you no harm ? "
But Harriet could not be turned from her pur-
pose; she was looking only to her own temporal
advantage, and her heart was full of envy and
hatred of Mary. She repeated her false accusa-
tion, and added several additional circumstances,
and, having been cross-examined in vain, was at
"You are convicted," said the judge to Mary.
"Your guilt is clear. Every circumstance is against
you. Theyoung Countess's maid sawthe ringinyour
hand. Now confess what you have done with it."
Mary assured him that she had it not-that she
had never seen it. According to the barbarous
custom of the time, the judge ordered her to be
flogged, to force her to confess. Mary screamed
and wept, but, with prayer to God for strength
and help, she repeated her protestations of inno-
cence; but these availed not. She was most
The Trial. 49
Pale, trembling, bleeding, and exhausted, she
was taken back to prison. Her wounds gave her
great pain. She lay tossing sleeplessly half the
night on her hard bed of straw. She wept and
groaned, but at length she found relief in prayer.
This strengthened and soothed her, and ere long
she sank into a refreshing .slumber.
The next day Mary was again brought before
the court. As severity had failed to move her,
the judge now endeavoured to induce her to confess
by gentle and kind promises. "Your life is for-
feited," said he; "you have been found guilty,
and by the law you deserve to die; but if you will
confess where the ring is, you shall be set free.
What you have already suffered shall be considered
sufficient punishment. You shall be allowed to
go home in peace with your father. Consider
well, and choose between life and death. I mean
kindly to you. I am advising you for your good.
Of what use will the stolen ring be to you if you
are put to death ?"
All persuasions were vain; Mary continued to
assert her innocence.
The judge, who had observed her great love for
50 7he Basket of Flowers.
her father, continued thus:-" If you persist in
silence, and if you do not value your own young
life, think at least of your old father! Could you
bear to see his hoary head fall bleeding beneath
the axe of the executioner ? Who but he could
have persuaded you to persist so obstinately in
falsehood ? Do you intend that it should cost him
his life ?"
Mary was so terrified when she heard these
words, that she nearly fainted.
Confess," said the judge, that you have taken
the ring. A single syllable-the little word 'yes'
-may save your own life, and that of your father!"
This was a sore temptation to Mary. She stood
long silent. The thought came into her mind that
she might say she had taken the ring, and had
lost it on her way home. But she resisted the evil
thought. "No," said she, within herself, "it is
better through everything to keep fast to the
truth. To tell a lie would be a great sin. For no
bribe would I commit such a sin, not even if by so
doing I could save both myself and my father. I
will obey Thee, 0 my God, and leave all in Thy
hands trusting in Thee to save us." She then
The Trial. 51
said aloud, in a tone of deep emotion, "If I were
to say that I have the ring, it would be a lie; and
I will not tell a lie even to save myself from death.
But," continued she, if blood must flow, let it be
mine only. I implore you to spare my good
father; have pity on his grey hairs. I would
gladly die to save him."
All present were affected by these words; they
touched the heart even of the judge, stern and
severe as he was. He said no more, but made a
sign that Mary should be reconducted to prison.
"Put thou thy trust in God,
In duty's path go on;
Fix on His word thy steadfast eye,
So shall thy work be done.
Through waves, and clouds, and storms,
He'll gently clear thy way;
Wait thou His time, thy darkest night
Shall end in brightest day."
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER IN PRISON.
THE judge found himself not a little embarrassed.
"It is now the third day," said he on the following
morning to his clerk, "and we are no further
advanced than we were the first hour. If I could
see any possibility that any one else could have
taken the ring, I would be inclined to believe that
girl innocent. Such obstinacy at so tender an age
is a thing quite unheard of. But the evidence is
too strong against her. She must have stolen the
ring; it cannot be otherwise."
He went to see the Countess, and questioned
her again about every little circumstance; he also
re-examined Harriet. He sat nearly all day con-
sidering the report of the trial, and weighed every
The Father and Daughter in Prison. 53
word that Mary had uttered. At length, late in
the evening, he sent for Mary's father, who was
ushered into his room.
James," began he, "I have been always known
to be a severe man, but no one can say that I
have ever done an unjust action. I think that you
must be quite sure that I do not wish to condemn
your daughter to death; but she has been found
guilty of theft, and, according to law, she must
die. Her guilt has been fully proved by the
evidence of the lady's-maid. If, indeed, the ring
could be found and restored to its owner, she
might be pardoned on account of her youth. But
if she persists so obstinately in falsehood, she must
be old in wickedness, though young in years, and
I can hold out no hope of pardon. Go, then, to
her, James, persuade her to restore the ring, and
then I promise you that if she does this, she shall
not be put to death, but the punishment will be
commuted into one less severe. You are her
father; you have very great influence over her.
If you cannot induce her to confess, what can
any one think but that you are in collusion with
her, and are an accomplice in her crime ? I repeat
54 The Basket of Flowers.
once more, if the ring be not produced, it will go
hard with you."
The father replied, "I will indeed speak with
her; but I know already that she did not steal
the ring, and therefore she has nothing to confess.
However, I shall do all in my power, and if my
innocent child must die, I esteem it a great mercy
to be permitted to see her once more."
The officer conducted the old man in silence to
Mary's cell, placed a small lamp on the stone
table in it, on which stood an earthen pitcher
containing water, and a plate on which was Mary's
supper, that was still untouched. The officer then
quitted the cell and closed the door, leaving the
father and daughter together.
Mary was lying on her straw couch in a half-
slumber, with her face turned to the wall. When
she opened her eyes and saw the glimmer of the
lamp, she turned round, perceived her father, uttered
a loud cry, and sprang from her bed so hastily that
her chains rattled, and she fell, half fainting, on her
father's neck. He seated himself on the straw be-
side her, and folded her in his arms. They sat some
time in silence, and mingled their tears together.
The Father and Daughter in Prison. 55
At length the father began to speak of the com-
mission that he had received. "Oh, father! "
interrupted Mary, "surely you cannot doubt that
I am innocent!-Oh, my God!" continued she,
weeping, "does every one believe me to be a thief,
even my own father? Oh, father! believe my
word; I assure you that I am not a thief."
"Be calm, my dear child, I do believe you," said
her father; "but I have been commanded to
question you." Both were again silent.
Her father looked earnestly at Mary. Her
cheeks were pale and careworn, her eyes red and
swollen with weeping; her long fair hair, which fell
round her like a mantle, was rough and dishevelled.
"My poor child," said he, "God has laid a heavy
burden on you. And I fear-I very much fear-
the heaviest, the most terrible, is yet to come.
Ah, perhaps-perhaps they will even cut off this
dear young head! "
Oh, father," said Mary, "I do not think of
myself, but of your grey head.-O God, grant that
I may not have to see it fall on the scaffold! "
"Fear nothing for me, dear child," said her
father. "They will not harm me; but you, my
56 The Basket of Flowers.
darling, are in great danger. Although I have
still some hope, yet I believe their cruelty may go
so far as to take your life."
"Oh!" exclaimed Mary, joyfully, "if you are
safe, the heaviest load is off my mind-all is well!
I assure you, my dear father, that I do not fear
death. I am going to God, to my Saviour. I
shall meet my mother in heaven. Oh, how joyful
it will be! "
These words deeply pierced the heart of the old
father. He wept like a child. "God be praised,"
said he at length, clasping his hands, "God be
praised, my darling, that I find you so composed!
But it is hard, very hard, for an old worn-out man,
a loving father, to lose his only, his dearly beloved
child, the only comfort, the last support, the crown
and joy of his old age. Yet," sobbed he, in a
broken voice, "O Lord, Thy will be done! Thou
requires a heavy sacrifice from a father's heart,
but I surrender her if it be Thy will! Into Thy
hands I commit her, my dearest on earth. I trust
in Thee; Thou wilt order all things for the best.
Ah! dear Mary, it is better that you should die
innocent, than that I should ever live to see you
The Father and Daughter in Prison. 57
led into sin. Forgive me, my dear child, for saying
this. You are indeed good, very good, worthy to
be among the angels in heaven; but the world is
wicked, very wicked, and a fall is possible, for
even angels fell. If it be God's holy will that you
should die, my darling, better that you should die
innocent. You will be transplanted like a pure
white lily from this rude world to the better land,
and, cleansed from all sin in the Saviour's blood,
you will be with Him in paradise."
A torrent of tears choked his utterance. "Yet
one thing more," said he after a little while.
"Harriet has given evidence against you. She
asserted upon oath that she had seen the ring in
your hand. If you are put to death, her evidence
will have caused it; but, dearest Mary, you forgive
her, don't you ? You have no ill feeling towards
her ? Ah, my child, even in this dark prison,
loaded with chains, you are happier than she is,
living in case and luxury in the castle of the
Count. Better, far better is it to die innocent like
you, than to live like Harriet with a guilty con-
science. Forgive her, Mary, as your Saviour
forgave His murderers. Is it not true that you
58 The Basket of Flowers.
forgive her, and that you take all this affliction as
coming from the hand of God." Mary assured him
that she fully forgave her.
The gaoler's step was heard in the passage.
"Now," said her father, "I must go. I commend
you to God and His mercy. I commit you into
the hands of the Redeemer, who died for you.
Should we never meet again, my child, should this
be the last time that I look upon you on earth, we
shall not long be parted, for I shall soon follow you
to heaven. For this blow-I feel, I know that I
cannot long survive it I"
The gaoler now came in, and warned the father
that he must go. Mary wished to keep him, and
threw her arms round him. He gently disengaged
himself. She sank back unconscious on her straw.
James was again brought before the judge.
"Before Almighty God, in whose presence we
stand, I assure you," said he, raising his right hand
as he entered the room, "she is innocent. My
child is not a thief."
"I would willingly believe it," said the judge;
"but, alas! I am not permitted to pass sentence
according to the protestations of you and your
The Father and Daughter in Przson. 59
daughter; I must decide according to the evidence,
and act as it is my duty to do, according to the
letter of the law."
"Of all the knots which nature ties,
The secret, sacred sympathies, .
That, as with viewless chains of gold,
The heart a happy prisoner hold ;
None is more chaste, more bright, more pure,
Stronger stem trials to endure;
None is more purged of earthly leaven,
More like the love of highest heaven,
Than that which binds, in bonds how blest,
A daughter to a father's breast "
J. W. CUNNINGHAM.
THE SENTENCE AND ITS EXECUTION.
EVERY one in the castle, and in Eichburg, was
anxious to know what would be Mary's fate. All
that felt kindly towards her feared for her life, for
at that time theft was punished with extreme
severity. Many had been punished with death for
stealing a sum of money not the twentieth part of
the value of the ring. The Count wished nothing
more earnestly than that Mary should be proved
innocent. He attentively perused the minutes of
the trial, and had many consultations with the
magistrate; but could not convince himself of her
innocence, because it seemed nearly impossible
that any one else could have taken the ring, The
two Countesses, mother and daughter, implored
THE SENTENCE AND ITs EXECUTION.
The Sentence and its Execution. 61
with tears in their eyes that Mary might not be
put to death. Her old father in his prison cell
prayed to God day and night without ceasing,
that He would make manifest Mary's innocence.
Mary, left alone in her cell, when she heard the
gaoler's footstep or the clank of his keys, supposed
he was coming to announce to her the sentence of
death. The executioner had begun to prepare
the place of execution, and to clear it from the
weeds with which it was overgrown.
One day, when Harriet was walking near the
place, she saw him employed at this work, and it
seemed as if a dagger had pierced her heart. She
felt the stings of remorse, and that night at supper
in the castle she could eat nothing, and looked so
pale and miserable, that her agitation was observed
by all the servants. That night she could not
sleep, and Mary's bleeding head haunted her
dreams. Her guilty conscience gave her no rest
day or night. But the worthless girl was too
much under the dominion of her evil passions to
listen to the voice of conscience ; she was not suf-
ficiently noble-minded to atone, so far as possible,
for her crime, by an honest confession of the truth.
62 The Basket of Flowers.
At length the judge passed sentence. Mary, on
account of her theft, and her obstinate denial of it,
was pronounced deserving of death; but, in con-
sideration of her youth and formerly unblemished
reputation, her sentence was commuted to im-
prisonment for life in the house of correction.
Her father, who was considered a participator in
her guilt, either as actually her accomplice or as
having caused it by the bad way in which he had
brought her up, was banished for ever from the
province. All their possessions were confiscated,
and were ordered to be sold to pay the law
expenses. The Count succeeded in obtaining a
mitigation of this sentence. Instead of being sent
to the house of correction, Mary was allowed to
accompany her father in his exile; and to spare
them all noise and publicity, as much as possible,
it was settled that Mary and James should be
conducted across the boundary early in the morning
of the following day.
As Mary and her father passed before the castle
gate, accompanied by the police officer, Harriet
came out to meet them. Since the affair had
taken this turn, this heartless woman had recovered
7he Sentence and its Execution. 63
her levity and good spirits. The thought of
Mary's death had haunted her, and caused her to
feel remorse, but that Mary should be banished
was the very thing she desired. She had always
feared that Mary, one day or other, might take
her place in the castle. She had now no cause for
fear, but the hatred and jealousy she had felt were
as strong as ever in her wicked heart. A few days
before, the Countess Amelia had observed Mary's
basket standing on a side table in her room, and
had said to Harriet, Take the basket out of my
sight. It awakens such sorrowful remembrances
that I cannot look at it without pain."
Harriet had taken it away, and now brought it
out in her hand. Take back your fine present,"
said she to Mary; "my lady will receive nothing
from such hands. Your finery has all gone with
the faded flowers, for which you managed to get
so well paid. It gives me the greatest pleasure to
give you back your basket." She threw the basket
at Mary's feet, went back to the castle with a
mocking laugh, and closed the gate violently
With tears in her eyes Mary silently lifted the
64 The Basket of Flowers.
basket and went on her way. Her father had not
even a staff for the journey. She had no earthly
possession but the basket. She looked back
weeping again and again, to gaze upon the home
she was leaving, till it disappeared from her view,
and at length the castle, and even the top of the
church spire, were hidden from her sight by a
wooded hill. After the police officer had con-
ducted Mary and her father to the boundary of
the province, and had left them in the forest, the
old man, worn out with grief and pain, sat down
on a moss-covered stone under the shade of an
old oak tree.
Come, my daughter," said he, as, taking Mary's
hands in his, he raised them to heaven, "before
all things let us thank God for having delivered
us out of the dark, noisome prison, and permitted
us once more to enjoy the fresh air under the open
sky; let us thank Him that He has saved our
lives, and has restored you to me, my dearly
James looked up at the sky, which could be
seen clear and blue through the green oak-leaves,
and he prayed with a loud voice, "Our Father
The Sentence and its Execution. 65
which art in Heaven! Thou only comfort of Thy
children on earth! Thou Almighty Refuge of the
oppressed! accept our united thanks for our mer-
ciful deliverance from chains and bonds, imprison-
ment and death! We thank Thee for all the
benefits that Thou hast bestowed upon us in the
home that we are leaving. How could we go
without first looking up to Thee with grateful
hearts ? Before we tread the soil of a place in
which we are strangers, we ask Thy blessing and
guidance. Deign to look down on a poor father
and his weeping child. Take us under Thy almighty
protection. Be our guardian and guide in- the
rough paths which may be before us. Lead us
among good people, incline their hearts to have
compassion upon us. In Thy wide world let us find
a little corner in which we may spend in quietness
the remaining days of our pilgrimage, and then die
in peace. I believe that, although we know it not
Thou hast already prepared this place for us
With this hope, and trusting in Thee, we go on our
way comforted. Strengthen and guide us, for our
Lord Jesus Christ's sake."
After both had prayed thus-for Mary's heart
66 The Basket of Flowers.
echoed her father's words-wonderful peace and joy
filled their hearts, and they were prepared to go on
their way with trust and hope.
"( When winter fortunes cloud the brows
Of summer friends when eyes grow strange,
When plighted faith forgets its vows,
When earth and all things in it change;
O Lord, Thy mercies fail me never,
Where once Thou lov'st Thou lov'st for ever.
"In all extremes, Lord, Thou art still
The mount whereto my hopes do flee;
O make my soul detest all ill,
Because so much abhorred by Thee;
Lord, let Thy gracious trials show
That I am just, or make me so.
"Fountain of light and living breath,
Whose mercies never fail nor fade,
Fill me with life that hath no death,
Fill me with light that hath no shade;
Appoint the remnant of my days
To see Thy power and sing Thy praise."
A FRIEND IN NEED.
WHILE the father and daughter were still sitting
under the tree, Anthony, the Count's old forester,
came through the wood. He knew James well, as
they had been in attendance on the Count when
he was travelling. He had been out that morning
in pursuit of a stag.
Good morning to you, James," said lie; "how
goes it with you ? I thought I heard your voice,
and I find I have not been mistaken. Have they
really been so cruel as to banish you ? It is very
hard, in your old age, to be forced to leave your
own dear home."
The earth is the Lord's," replied James, and
wherever we may be under the blue sky, we are in
63 The Basket of Flowerf
- -7- C2 ---rr-- r
His sight, and His love is ever around us. But our
home is in heaven."
Can it be true," said the forester, kindly, "that
they have had the still greater cruelty to cast you
out without anything but the clothes you have on ?
Why, you are not even sufficiently clad for such a
He who clothes the flowers will also clothe us,"
"And about money ?" again asked the forester.
"Have you got any with you ?"
We have a good conscience," answered James,
"and we are richer with that than we should be
without it, even if this stone on which I am sitting
were of pure gold, and belonged to us."
But tell me," said the forester, "have you really
not a penny ?"
"This empty basket at my feet is our only
earthly possession," said James; "what do you
think it may be worth ?"
"A florin," said the forester, looking perplexed
"a florin, or perhaps a dollar. But what is
"Well," said James, smiling, "then we are rich.
A Friend in Need. 69
If God grants me health and strength, and the use
of my hands, I could make at least a hundred such
baskets in a year; and with an income of one
hundred dollars we might certainly manage very
well. My father, who was a basket-maker, insisted
that I should learn basket-making as well as
gardening, in order to give me useful employment
in winter. I thank him for it now. He has done
more for me, and provided better for me, than if
he had left me three thousand florins, which would
have given me a yearly income of a hundred
dollars, and allowed me to be idle. A sound mind
in a sound body, and a respectable trade, are the
best and surest riches on earth."
"Now God be praised," said the forester, "that
you can take it in this way. I quite agree with
you. I think, too, that your skill as a gardener
will assist you. But tell me, where do you intend
to go now ?"
"Very far away," said James, "where no one
knows us. God will guide our steps.
"James," said the forester, "take this strong,
thick crabstick with you. Fortunately, I brought
it with me this morning, because it is somewhat
70 The Basket of Flowers.
difficult for me to get up yonder hill without it.
And here is a little money," continued he, taking a
small leather purse out of his pocket; I received
it yesterday evening in the village, in payment for
I will gladly accept the staff," said James, "and
keep it in remembrance of an honest man ; but I
cannot take the money. As it is payment for
wood, it belongs to the Count."
"Honest old James," said the forester, "make
your mind easy about that; the money is already
paid to the Count. I advanced it, many years ago,
to a poor man who had lost his cow, and could not
pay for the wood he had bought. I thought no
more about it till yesterday evening, when quite
unexpectedly he paid me the money with many
thanks, as he is now in better circumstances. God
has sent the money just at the right time for you."
"I will thankfully accept it," said James. God
will reward you for your kindness. See, Mary,"
continued he to his daughter, how graciously God
has provided for us at the very outset of ourjourney.
Even before we had crossed the boundary, He has
sent our good friend here, who has supplied me
A Fricnd in Need. 71
with money and a staff to support me on the way.
How soon God has answered our prayer! Be of
good courage and fear not; God will continue to
care for us."
The old forester now took leave of them, with
tears in his eyes. "Farewell, honest James-
farewell, good Mary," said be, while he first shook
hands with the father and then with the daughter.
" I have always thought you honest people, and I
think so still. You will get on well yet, no fear;
honesty is sure to thrive. Yes, yes; he who does
right and trusts in God will never be forsaken.
Take that assurance with you as my parting word,
and may God guide and protect yol."
The forester turned away, deeply moved, and
went towards Eichburg. Then James stood up,
took his daughter by the hand, and walked on with
her along the high road through the forest--forth
into the wide world.
"Parted friends may meet again
When the storms of life are past,
And the spirit, freed from pain,
Basks in frienckhip that will last.
72 The Basket of Flowers.
"Worldly cares may sever wide,
Distant far their path may be;
But the bond by death untied,
They shall once again be free.
"' Parted friends again may meet,
From the toils of nature free;
Crowned with mercy-oh, how sweet
Will eternal friendship be !"
C. W. THOMSOn.
THEgU EXILE FIND A OME
TIE EXILES FIND A HOME.
DAY after day Mary and her father wandered on,
till they had reached a distance of more than sixty
miles from their old home. During all that time
they had not been able to find a place in which
they could remain with the hope of getting work;
and their small sum of money was exhausted.
They fared very ill. The mere thought of asking
alms was unspeakably painful to them, but at
length they were forced to do so. At many a door
they were repulsed with harsh words, and at many
another a dry crust was thrown to them with- a
grudge, and they had nothing to drink with it but
a little water from the nearest stream. Sometimes
a little soup or cold vegetables were given them in
74 The Basket of Flowers.
an earthen plate; still more rarely a small quantity
of broken victuals or pastry; but Mary could often
see that the smallest and worst pieces of the left
food were picked out for them. For many days
they never tasted anything warm, and at night
they were thankful to find shelter in a barn.
One day, when the road on which they were
travelling led them between woods and hills, far
from any village or even scattered houses, the old
man was suddenly taken ill. Pale and speechless,
he sank down on the fallen spines of the fir trees
at the foot of a hill covered with wood. Mary was
nearly beside herself with terror and anguish. In
vain she looked all around for fresh water; she
could not find a single drop. In vain she called
aloud for help; the echo alone replied. Far and
wide there was no human habitation to be seen.
With trembling limbs Mary hastily climbed the
hill, that she might be better able to see all around.
Then at length she perceived on the opposite side
of the hill a farmhouse, which stood alone on the
edge of the wood, surrounded by ripening corn-
fields and green meadows.
She ran as fast as she could, and reached the
The Exiles find a Home. 75
house almost breathless. With streaming eyes,
and a voice broken with sobs, she implored for
help. The farmer and his wife, both rather aged,
were good, kind-hearted people. They were
touched by Mary's grief, her pale face, her tears,
and her anguish.
The farmer's wife said to her husband, "Put a
horse in the light cart; we can soon bring the sick
The farmer went to harness the horse and bring
out the cart. The farmer's wife got ready a few
blankets, an earthen jar of cold water, and a bottle
with a little vinegar.
As soon as Mary heard that the cart-road round
the foot of the hill was very bad, and much further
than the path across the hill, she at once set off to
return by the way she had come, that she might be
sooner with her father. She took with her a pitcher
of water and a little vinegar.
When she reached the spot where she had left
her father, he had somewhat revived. He was
sitting up under a fir tree, and was heartily glad to
see Mary, whose absence he had remarked with
pain when he recovered consciousness. The light
76 The Basket of Flowers.
cart soon after arrived, and he was gently laid in it
and carried to the farm.
The farmer had a neat back room, with a back
kitchen, and a small room beside it, forming a little
separate lodging, which now chanced to be empty.
He kindly cleared this for the sick man. The
farmer's wife prepared a comfortable bed for him.
Mary was glad to sleep on a mattress on the floor.
She was contented with anything, if she could only
make her father comfortable. James's illness
proceeded entirely from exhaustion, caused by the
want of food, the discomfort that he had endured,
and the fatigue of the long journey.
The good farmer's wife gave all which she could
offer to refresh and restore the poor old man. She
spared neither meal nor eggs, milk nor butter ; even
a few fowls were willingly given to make strong
soup for her sick, weary guest.
The farmer brought in almost every day a young
pigeon from his dovecote. "There," said he to
his wife, with a smile, "since you do not spare your
poultry, I must do something too."
The farmer and his wife had been wont every
year to go to an annual festival held in a neigh-
The Exiles find a Home. 77
bouring village. This year, after a consultation
with each other, they resolved to remain at home,
and set apart the money which they would other-
wise spend at the festival to buy some good old
wine for the invalid.
Mary thanked them with grateful tears. She
thanked God, who in their great need had guided
them to such kind and hospitable people. "God
be thanked," said she, "there are kind people
everywhere; but the kindest hearts are often found
under rough exteriors, in plain country homes."
Mary scarcely ever left her father's side. She
was always near to answer when he called, yet her
clever hands were never idle. She was a very
good needlewoman and knitter, and she worked
constantly for the kind farmer's wife. She wasted
not a moment. Her new friend was much pleased
with her industry, and her quiet, gentle, and modest
Old James was quickly restored by the good
food and nursing which he now received, and he
was soon able to be out of bed.
As soon as his strength had to some extent
returned, it was impossible for him to be idle.
" 78 The Basket of Flowers.
Mary was sent to fetch hazel branches and willows
from the wood, that he might begin his basket-
making. His first work was an offering of grati-
tude-a neat, useful hand-basket for the farmer's
wife. He contrived exactly to suit her taste. The
basket was beautifully shaped and firmly made.
He dyed some willow twigs of various colours, and
wove in the cover of the basket, in dark red letters,
the initials of his kind friend's name, and the date
when she had so hospitably sheltered him. On the
sides of the basket a pattern was woven, in yellow,
green, and brown willows, representing the farm-
house, with its'brown walls, thatched roof, and a
few green pine trees near it. This allusion to the
name of the farm, which was called Pine Farm,"
pleased the farmer's wife. She was greatly
delighted with the pretty and useful gift, and all
who saw it admired it very much.
When James had quite recovered his health he
said to his kind friends at the farm, I have been
long enough a burden to you ; it is full time that I
should take my staff and wander on further."
But the farmer took his hand kindly, and said,
"What has come over you, dear James ? I hope
The Exiles find a Home. 79
we have not offended you in any way. Why do
you wish to leave us ? You are usually a sensible
man; this new whim is not like you."
The farmer's wife wiped away a tear with her
apron as she said, "Oh stay with us. It is late
in the season already. See, the leaves on the trees
and hedges are yellow, and winter is at the door.
Do you really wish to be ill again ?"
James assured her that he only ivished to go
because he was afraid of being a burden to them.
"Make your mind easy about that," said the
farmer; "how is it possible that you can be a
burden to us ? You are not in our way in your
little back room there, and you earn all that you
Yes, indeed," said the farmer's wife; Mary
alone earns it all by her sewing and knitting. And
if you, James, will go on with your basket-making,
you will have plenty to do. I took your pretty
basket with me last week, when I went to the
christening of the miller's child. There was a large
party, and they all admired my basket, and wished
to have one like it. I will get you plenty of orders,
if you like ; you need not want work."
So The Basket of Flowers.
James and Mary agreed to remain where they
were so kindly welcomed, and both the farmer and
his wife were heartily glad of it.
"When all within is peace,
How Nature seems to smile !
Delights that never cease,
The livelong day beguile.
"It is content of heart
Gives Nature power to please .
The mind that feels no smart
Enlivens all it sees ;
Can make a wintry sky
Seem bright as smiling May,
And evening's closing eye
As peep of early day."
PLEASANT DAYS AT THE PINE FARM.
JAMES and Mary now settled themselves in their
little rooms, and prepared to begin housekeeping.
A few articles of necessary furniture and a few
kitchen utensils were provided. Mary was much
pleased to have once more a fireside of her own,
and to be able to cook her father's meals in
comfort. Both father and daughter were contented
and happy. They had many a pleasant talk while
James was, making baskets, and Mary was busy
with her sewing and knitting. On many an
evening they were invited into the front room,
where all the farmer's household were assembled;
and all were pleased to listen to James's amusing
stories and pleasant conversation. Winter with