SThe Baldwm Library
!' M, r dThe Ba L%
' h B Lr bmvera Iy
I rts-.u .L ..-. C i n. I" ,-. 'n.d
A CHILD'S PILGRIMAGE.
a QCoip0'r varijttfar.
A SERIES OF
ALLEGORICAL AND OTHER TALES
SKEFFINGTON & SON, 163, PICCADILLY.
ANGEL NORA (A Child-Angel's Visit to Earth) ... I
A CHILD'S PILGRIMAGE (A Child's Tragedy) ... 10
DULCIE'S MONEY Box (An Allegory) ... ... 25
WOUNDED IN THE HOUSE OF HIS FRIENDS (A Spiritual Romance) 31
LEO'S LAST SLEEP; OR, THE QUEST OF DEATH ... 46
THE MISSIONS OF LITTLE "PEACE" /An Allegorical Story) 57
THE GATE OF THE BLESSED CHILDREN; OR, INNOCENTS'
DAY ON THE PLAINS OF HEAVEN ... .. 65
THE SEARCH FOR THE ADMIRAL ... ... 79
MRS. LORRIMER'S FAIRING ... ... ... 86
PEEPING TOM'S NIGHTINGALE ... .. ... 94
(A CHILD-ANGEL'S VISIT TO EARTH.)
A CHILD-ANGEL stood by the Golden Gate of Paradise
and waited for the Master to pass by. Very fair was
the little Angel, so fair that her own playmates on earth
would scarcely have known her again. Her hair was
like yellow floss silk, her eyes were beautiful with content and love.
On earth she was known as Nora, but the Angels called her by a
wonderful new name.
The company of the blessed were singing a sweet and marvellous
song, a song in which the martyrs sang triumphantly, the confessors
clearly, and the children gladly; and their blended voices made
Suddenly there was a great calm, and in the midst of it the
Master stood in front of the Child-Angel, and looked down
2 %nirTI fara.
"Good Master," she said, and glanced up into His face. No
need there for spoken words to express the heart's desire-He
knew all she wished to say.
"Yes, you may go, dear child, and re-visit the earth for a season,"
He said; "but return at nightfall; and remember, when you be-
hold the pains and ills of man, that I alone am the Great Physician.
Then, in the twinkling of an eye, the little Angel (whom we will
call Angel Nora) found herself on earth once more.
How did she get there ? you ask. I cannot say, but I think that
her wings must have borne her quickly and suddenly down from
the sky, as we have felt ourselves borne in our dreams.
It was noontide on earth, and the bells were ringing as she
stood in the Lime Tree Walk in her native place-the ancient City
of Cornbury. The lindens were in full bloom, and now and then
the soft summer wind blew some of the blossoms over into the
graveyards which were on either side of the railed Church-walk;
and the Child-Angel smiled when she saw that one of the flowers
had fallen on her own little grass-grown grave, for the blossoms
were fadeless in Paradise, and its gates were open to all save Death.
I feel so faint," said a pale little boy, who was walking up and
down, leaning on a stick. "When it is morning I long for night,
and when it is night I long for the morning."
Snge'I ra. 3
"Perhaps you will not be tired long," she whispered as she
But the lad could not understand, his ears were closed to the
Angel's language; and when she fanned him with her wing he
thought it was the south wind blowing.
Carpenters and masons were busy at work repairing the grand
old Church of St. Lucy, and Nora thought of the Temple of God
which never needed repair, whose stones are the saints. At the
very end of the Lime Tree Walk stood a tall red-brick house, with
large gardens around it, and the little Angel knew that this had
been her earthly home.
"I will visit them all," she said. They will not see me, because
their eyes are sealed ; but their own Nora will be amongst them,
and carry back with her to Paradise the memory of how they
looked and spoke."
So she entered the house, and went upstairs into the nursery,
where she had once played with her brothers and sisters, and
looked eagerly around. Nothing was as she had known it, the blue
and white tiles round the fireplace were alone unchanged. She
stood by the hearth, and softly spoke the dear, never-to-be-forgotten
names, Bertha, Mary, Willie, Freddy, but no one came-no voice
responded to her call; only a baby cried from its cradle in the
corner, and the heavenly visitant wondered what was the matter, for
4 anigel para.
the heavenly babies never cried, they only smiled as they sat at the
feet of Christ's Mother, and twined wreaths of immortal flowers.
The presence of this little one sorely perplexed the Angel, be-
cause there was no infant in their house when her call came.
"But it may have been born since I left," she thought, and won-
dered if they had named it after her. Then she went up to the
cradle, and bent over it, and a strange thing came to pass. The
baby saw Angel Nora, for it crowed with delight, and lifted up its
dimpled arms, mutely asking her to take it. Then a lady, who
was not Nora's mother, but a stranger, entered the room, and took
the babe into her arms, and the little Angel left the nursery, and
once more glided down the broad staircase, whither a year ago she
had been carried to her long home.
Strange servants met her in the hall, strange voices sounded
from the rooms; so she passed into the quaint old garden, stood
by the sun-dial, and glanced around. Ah me! they all had gone:
"the old familiar faces gone with the snows of yester-year," and
the places of her own people knew them no more.
A man who was not her father was reading under the chestnut
trees; children who were not her brothers and sisters were play-
ing on the grass, and plucking cherries from the cherry trees.
Angels cannot grow faint like mortals, or Nora would have done
so, instead of that she sent up a cry and a prayer in one to the
gncil iora. 5
Master : Lord, if Thou wiliest it so, show me mine own people."
And He pitied her, and answered: Little daughter, thy prayer
is granted. I will guide thee unto thy father's house; but, first of
all, go, take thy stand in the porch of St. Lucy's Church."
In Paradise, to hear is to obey, so Angel Nora quitted the garden,
which had been to her parents as fair as the lost Garden of Eden;
and the children played on under the trees, not knowing that an
Angel had been amongst them unawares.
"Perchance I may behold my loved ones here," she said, as
she took her appointed place in the porch by the great west door,
and, all unnoticed, gazed on the passers-by as they came up the
One after another they went by-merchants, women, children,
mechanics, divines, people of every age and class-and none of
them knew that Angel Nora stood under the sculptured porch,
and watched them with her grave angelic eyes-eyes which at once
beheld and understood all things.
At last she saw a couple come side by side up the beautiful
walk, and she recognized her parents. But could this woman with
the silvering hair, the tear-dimmed eye, the hollow cheek, be her
own mother ? Before Nora was taken, her mother's locks were a
sunny brown, her eye was bright, her cheek was rosy, and she daily
walked in silk attire, and siller had to spare."
6 %ngel ara.
Could this careworn man, on whom failure and poverty had set
their never-to-be-mistaken seal, be her own father ? And even as
she asked herself these questions she answered "Yes !" for in
Paradise they never forget the beloved.
Side by side the couple paced the Lime Tree Walk together,
and the Child-Angel joined them all unseen. Her snowy wings
brushed them, and her little hands were placed upon their
shoulders, but they were all unconscious of the angelic touch and
presence. Once she overheard them say that they were thankful
their dear lost Nora did not know of their trials, and I could not,
if I would, tell you how deeply their Angel-daughter pitied them.
She longed to say, "Father, Mother, I have not lost my life, I
have found it."
How joyfully would she have borne them up with her to Paradise,
where they would have drunk of the river of the water of life, and
have eaten of the tree whose leaves are for the healing of the
Please, dear Master," she prayed, "take up these, my dear
ones, into Paradise, if but for one hour, for they have suffered
But the gentle voice replied, They must wait My time, little
daughter. Think how hard the earthly life would seem after even
one short hour in Paradise. Remember Gethsemane; think of
tngel gara. 7
Calvary;" and Angel Nora bent her golden head in submission,
and in spirit kissed the Master's feet.
Sometimes the Child-Angel saw friends whom she had known
on earth exchange warm and kindly greetings with her parents, and
she thought of her friends in Paradise, the friends whom mortals
call Guardian Angels, and whose mission is to save the fallen and
cheer the sad. Sometimes, alas they passed coolly by-these
friends of an hour-on the other side; and Angel Nora, who was
used to faces made beautiful by love and purity, saw selfishness
stamped upon their brows.
Why is this, dear Master ?" she questioned.
"And the answer came back straight from Paradise, They all
forsook Me and fled."
At last her parents entered a small house in one of the outlying
suburbs of Cornbury, and Angel Nora flitted in with them, and felt
the infinite wisdom, the infinite goodness which had prepared
her step by step for the changes which had taken place on earth.
So she sat by the hearth with folded wings, and watched. Yes,
those beloved ones were all there-sweet-faced Bertha, playful
Freddy, gentle Mary, thoughtful Willie, all the dear ones whom
even in Heaven she had yearned to see. And she longed, with an
exceeding great longing, to gather them all around her, and to
sing to them one of the marvellous songs of Paradise, and tell
S8 ingrI Arora.
them of the shining Throne of Jesus, whose splendour was so great
that archangels veiled their eyes; but she could not, for death had
built up a wall of silence between them and her. Their eyes were
sealed, their ears were closed to the angelic language.
She longed to gather some of the flowers of Paradise-the crimson
roses, beloved of martyrs; the fair white lilies, beloved of virgins and
children unspotted from the world; and to fill the hands of her
mother with the heavenly blossoms, so that the little room might
have been gladdened and beautified by their fragrance and immortal
beauty. But though the Child-Angel could do none of these things,
she could hear all her dear ones said, see all they did, and shed on
them a ray of heavenly light. More joyous was the laughter of the
children, brighter the mother's smile, the careworn look left for a
while the father's face, and Bertha-Nora's favourite sister-spoke
hopefully of happier days to come.
"Blessed be love," said Angel Nora, "they 'neither marry nor
are given in marriage' in Paradise; but the mightiest Angels love
the lowliest, even the little Angels like me," and she smiled, as
only the perfectly satisfied, the perfectly happy, can smile.
One after another they came quite close to her, their sweet,
unseen companion, and she laid her hands on them, but they never
returned the pressure of her soft angelic fingers, because it was
unfelt. She watched them take their scanty evening meal. She
anggl gara. 9
saw them place a chair at the table for one who was not there, and
knew that it was meant to show that she was not forgotten.
She heard herself spoken of as Our Nora," with reverence and
love, and knew that she, who had been the darling of the house,
was the unforgotten one; and then a voice, soft as the cooing of a
dove, said gently in her ear, Little daughter, I have need of thee
in Paradise; depart, it is nightfall."
So Angel Nora rose from her seat, and silently glided round the
room. She kissed her parents, she kissed the playful children, and
then she unfolded her little white wings, and was upborne to her
place in the Paradise of God.
And as the dear ones on earth sat and thought of her, a silence
fell upon them. They knew not why, for they had never heard
that those who have been visited by Angels unawares miss their
holy, healing influence when their presence is withdrawn.
And as the Child-Angel soared far above the dim old city, with
its shady gardens and gabled houses, the bells in St. Lucy's Tower
played "Angels ever bright and fair," and the sweet glad music
floated far and wide over Cornbury Town.
r fWilf4 (tilgrimage.
(A CHILD'S TRAGEDY.)
UNLIGHT fell on the town of Whitby, on its narrow
streets, and on the red-tiled houses of the fishermen,
which were perched like eagles' nests in the clefts of
the lofty rocks. Sunlight fell on the ships in the har-
bour, on boats from Scotland the canny, from Cornwall the rocky,
from the land of the midnight sun; on piles of silvery gleaming
fish heaped up on the old stone quay. Sunlight fell on the old
brown Abbey, where Hilda, the saintly, knelt and prayed, over
whose sacred pile no bird dare fly.
Sunlight fell on the ancient churchyard, God's acre, upon the
cliff, where the bold harpooner, who had sought the whale in far
Northern seas, slept side by side with the merchant, who had made
his gold in the fragrant Isles of Spice.
[ 1bi)iWo ji1irinaacr. 11
Sunlight fell, too, on a Saxon cross, and an infant's grave; on a
little stone, with the sad inscription-
SACRED TO LUCIE,"
"ONLY A LITTLE CHILD,"
and the mournful waves, as they sang their requiem at the foot of
that sea-girt cliff, seemed to say, "Only a mother's empty arms,
only a baby's empty cot."
Sunlight fell on the hazy sea, on the stately lighthouse towers,
the wooded hills, the brown and desolate moors which stretched
away on either side of the ancient town, and it fell on a field of
corn, and on the golden head of a little child-a fair young child
whom Greuze himself might have painted; a guileless little maiden,
whose innocent face was like that of an Angel who, censer in
hand, stands and sings by the Throne of God.
A child of ten, whose soul was too large for her body, whose
childish heart was daily and hourly breaking; breaking because
of her love for the dead; breaking because of her fear of the living.
A little pilgrim, whose feet were bleeding, who, in anguish of spirit,
was daily climbing the Angels' golden ladder which leads from
earth to the beautiful City of God.
She sat alone on a bank in the cornfield, mutely turning from the
thoughtless living, in tearful appeal to the tearless dead; to the
12 a fftii'l r'g rimnas.
passionless dead, who were lying, one in the depths of the Northern
sea, one in a grave on the top of a wave-girt cliff.
Vainly she cried, "Come back to me, father! return to me,
mother ;" only her cry broke the silence, never a voice responded;
but the Tempter, by whom naught is unnoticed, who waits for the
beggar as well as the king, crept up to the side of this poor little
latter-day Eve, and softly and quietly whispered his cruel, and
wily thoughts into her listening ear.
He said, Where is your father, the fisherman who took you a
sail in his pretty green boat ? Never again will he say to you, 'Will
you come with me, little lass ;' for 'deeper than eye beholdeth,
deeper than plummet soundeth,' he rests in the depths of the
desolate Northern sea.
"Where is your mother, your kind loving mother? Never
again will you lie on her bosom; never again will she sing you
to sleep, for a long and wasting illness quenched the light in
her eye, stole the bloom from her cheek, and so she was
carried up those many steps, steps worn by the feet of hundreds
of mourners, to the house that is narrow, the house that is
lonely, the long home where her requiem is ever sung by the
sighing, mournful sea.
Where is your playmate, your dear little kitten ? Never again
will it purr on your shoulder, never again will it creep on your knee,
e bilWd jBilarimage. 13
for the Esk, with a surging and rushing of waters, has borne it away
to the ocean.
"Fly from your uncle, who is so careless of you; never return
to him, nor to Xantippe his wife, nor to the cousins who tease
you. Seek the camp of the gipsies stationed at Ruswarp, lead a
wanderer's life, and be free !
"Compare your lot with that of Canon Redthorn's beautiful
daughter; that child who, though motherless, belongs to the band
of the happy; that glad little pilgrim whose helm-staff is a sceptre
of roses, whose garments are Tyrian purple and linen, not raiment
of hair-cloth and serge. Think of her father, the kind-hearted
Canon; think how he loves her; think how he leads her step by
step up life's golden stair."
Then the Tempter paused, and a Voice replied sternly, Depart;
thou hast turned this sad childish Gethsemane into a miniature
Mount of Temptation; thou art tempting My daughter beyond
what she is able. Get thee behind her. Leave her to Me."
And through the corn, which parted on either side for His
coming-parted as if blown aside by a tempest, though never a
breeze stirred a leaf on a tree-came a beautiful figure, robed as
a Shepherd, Who tenderly carried a beautiful little lamb-a lamb
whose fleece was as white as His vesture, as white as a snowflake,
white as the carded foam on the sea.
14 i CtiIm'g tilgrimiayf.
Calmly He stood by the side of the child, and she smiled up
into His face, with a smile that said, "Love me a little."
"Kind Shepherd," she said, with tears in her voice, have you
room for another, another wee lamb, in your fold-a lamb like
me ? Thou hast thought of my father, Thou hast thought of my
mother; Lord, in Thy Paradise, remember me also."
Then the loving eyes of the Shepherd grew deeper with pity as
He said, Tender little one, there is room in My fold for many a
lamb, and there is room for thee.
Is the road rough and hard, little Pilgrim? Think, was it
smooth, was it pleasant, for Me? Does the Cross hurt thee, little
Cross-bearer ? Think, was the burden easy and lightsome for Me ?
Do the tears burn, little mourner? Think how I wept for the
world and for thee.
"Return to thy home, little Pilgrim; be a lily midst thorns; be
a star in the darkness; soon I will return, and will take thee to
Myself; soon thine eyes shall once more behold the lamb that is
spotless-fit emblem of Me."
Then He paused, and looked on the beautiful white lamb, and
gazed on the beautiful child, and His look filled the soul with
rapture, and the heart with unspeakable love. And even as Lily
pleaded-" 0, take me back with the lamb, and with Thee," as
a rainbow that fades when it is brightest, as music that dies away
(L bil'6 19ilgrimagB. 15
when it is sweetest, the Vision vanished; only a voice said softly-
"Thy Lord will remember thee. Child, thou shalt be ever with
Me, and all that I have shall be thine."
Silent and white were the desolate moors and the beautiful pine
woods where King Frost and Queen Silence reigned jointly together.
Silent and white was picturesque Robin Hood's Bay; still and
dark were the fishermen's cottages. Only in Canon Redthorn's
house, high up on the top of a cliff, was a light steadily burning :
burning in the chamber of sickness, where a watcher sat silently
keeping his vigil, that last solemn vigil, which, in a few short hours,
can bow the form and silver the head on which long years of
happiness and tranquillity have scarcely left a trace of age.
Grey was the head of this servant of God, and patience, grave
sculptor, had chiselled the lines round his mouth, and left its mark
on his brow. Gazing upon him you thought of John the beloved,
of John the Ephesian Bishop, whose voice, like a silver-toned
clarion, rings clear and sweet through the ages, bidding his
children be faithful, and love each other for evermore. Gazing
upon him you knew that Christ walked always beside him; that
seldom, if ever, through lack of his charity, seldom, if ever, through
lack of his love, did his Master suffer afresh.
16 a Cbiti'aj Vilgritnage.
And now he sat by that little white bed, whereon Lily, on whom
he had taken compassion; Lily, the child whom his love had
adopted, was dying; and he cried-
Lily, my Lily, how can we spare you ? Merciful Jesus, have
mercy on her and on me."
And the wind, as it swept through the fir trees outside, seemed in
its wailing and sobbing to repeat-" Merciful Jesus, have mercy on
her and on me."
As gladly and freely as he succoured the starving, would the
Canon have given his life for the child; for as he watched those
pale quivering lips, they seemed to say to him-
"Think, I am love's willing victim, love's little martyr. But
for my sacrifice, willingly rendered, Effie, your darling, your joyous
Effie, would lie to-night as I do in the shadow of death."
And as he sat in that still chamber, memory painted a series
of scenes; scenes which, as in some swift panorama, flitted and
shifted before his eyes.
Once more he sat in his quaint little study, reading Augustine's
"City of God," and as he turned over its eloquent pages he
glanced at the window; glanced at the snow-storm falling outside ;
and saw hurrying along on the slippery pathway, hurrying up
to his own front door, a child whose face was blanched with
terror, and whose garments were thickly powdered with snow.
% iWW6 Jotrgrimage. 17
Snow lay on her curls, for her head was uncovered, and her little
arms: and her neck were bare. Fragile, but. fearless, she had braved
the tempest; nerved by love and courage had run through the storm.
"Is anything wrong,, dear?" he had asked her gently,, as he led
the wanderer into the house.
Effie," she answered. "Please go to Effie; never mind me.
lam only cold, but Effie can't move, she has hurt her ankle, and
is lying faint on Fylingdale Moor. Don't think of me, I am only
Lily. Let me show where I found poor Effie; I'll take you straight
to the ruined hut."
But before they had time to answer or question further, the poor
child herself grew white as the pillows on which they laid her-
white as the snow-covered moor whence she had with such difficulty
made her way. And when the searchers returned with Effie, she
who had saved her was very, very ill. The poor little chest was, as
it were, crossed with bands of iron.; every breath was a battle, and
painfully was the victory-the. drawing that poor feeble, breath-won.
And the next day, when but. for the poor hurt ankle, Effie was
nearly well again, the Canonasked her about. Lily's homeland friends.
Oh, father said Effie, "let me tell you all about it. Do you
remember those services you had in the little room on the Quay,
for the fishermen's children ? Whenever we: went, there was always
one little girl waiting for us; always: so pale and thin;. always
18 % ffriWSi Is3rrimage.
listening so eagerly; never ragged or dirty, but looking as if she
had no one to care for her. I knew she could have no mother, no
kind, good father," added the happy child, looking with eyes of
love and gratitude at him who was father and mother and all to his
beloved little daughter.
"And, father, I spoke to her one night, and she said her name
was Lily, and she lived with her uncle, Luke Thompson, the porter,
and that her aunt scolded her, and her cousins teased her, for
coming to your services, but she loved them so; she loved to hear
about Jesus, and to learn to sing the song of the Lamb with those
who loved Him and served Him here on earth, and who hoped
to live with Him for ever in Heaven.
"And, oh, her voice was like an Angel's when we sang those
hymns. Father, I thought she must be an Angel come amongst
us unawares; and always when I went to school she was waiting
at the street corner to see me pass, and when it rained she was
there all the same, with a duffil cloak wrapped round her; and at
last I spoke to her, and lent her some of my books, and felt it was
for Jesus' sake. And last night she paid me back-did she not,
"Indeed, my child, she did. How little I thought my Effie was
lying in the snow on the desolate moor; how little I dreamed that
Ralph, who knows every inch of the country, could ever have lost
(a-HLbilbe j.9lgrimase. 19
his way; and that my poor horse could have stumbled, and
thrown you out of the carriage; and that you should have been-left
there, you with your sprained ankle, and poor Ralph lying insen-
sible by your side--left in the snow to die. But, Lily, how did
Lily know ? How came she there ?"
Ah, how! Effie did not know. She only knew that Lily had
found her there, had dragged her to the ruined hut, had wrapped
her in the one good garment Lily possessed-the one thing that
remained to her of all her mother had provided, the rough, honest,
warm, duffil cloak-had made her way down to the town-with
what difficulty, with what struggling. God alone knew-to the
And now she was dying. She had laid down her life for her
friend. She told them little by little, when she could speak, how
that evening she had seen her Saviour with a white lamb in His
arms; how He had told her that Effie lay in the semblance of death
on the moor, and how death was soon to overtake her if she were
not saved, and had said, "Ye have done it unto Me;" and Lily
had gone, had saved Effie, and how-
"She shall never leave us; she shall be unto me as a daughter.
Jesus, merciful Saviour, leave her with us, if it be Thy will."
But day by day she grew feebler, hour by hour her pulse
throbbed more faintly, for quickly and surely the feet of the little
,20 UCtliI)'I Iticrinragm.
pilgrim were ascending with gladness, and with thankfulness, the
last few steps of life's golden stair.
Sweet as the frankincense offered to Jesus were the acts of
devotion and the words of affection to the thirsty soul of the suffer-
For joy had returned to that childish bosom, as a bird that has
been startled returns to its nest.
"I am so thankful, I am so happy," this was the Nunc Dimittis
'Sang it at midnight like a bird in the darkness; sang it at dawn
for a matin song.
Daily and hourly she waited and watched for the Shepherd,
looking round her room for the beautiful white lamb.
"Perhaps I shall see Him to-morrow," she murmured, "perhaps
I shall even behold Him to-day, for I know He will come from
His lovely green pastures for His own little lamb; will come to
fetch me, even me."
Though Death had cast on her his mystical shadow, scarce could
he terrify, scarce even could he startle the child whom stern
sorrow had looked in the face.
SGravely the doctor at last stood at the bedside, and glanced at
:the Canon with pitiful eyes. Gravely, with averted face, he whis-
:pered, It will so6n be over."
(A Cbilr'rS aiIgritnage. 21
Chiller grew those little feet, and colder, as they drew nearer to
the Sea of Death.
Great White Sea, that exacts its tribute from people of every race
Tribute from kings, and tribute from peasants; from fair young
children, and aged men.
Salt tribute of tears from the world's broken-hearted ones; from
the forsaken, the love bereft.
Vainly they wrapped her in fleecy blankets, paler and paler the
sweet face grew; vainly her adopted parent chafed in his own
those small wasted hands.
Vainly he longed with exceeding longing to die for the child
who had saved his child.
Sadly he thought of an olive garden whose shadows fell on the
Son of Man in His anguish, with the bloody sweat on His
For on the brow of his little darling stood drops that hurt him
in the beholding; her face was damp with thr dews of death.
And he knew that the chamber was swept and garnished, that soon
would enter the unseen guest.
How would the Master send for his Lily? Would He send an
Angel, or come Himself? Would father or mother stand beside
her, and invite her to the Supper of the Lamb and His Bride?
22 a Cbillal' tflgrimase.
And he murmured softly, Merciful Father, send gently for Thy
loving child; let the lips which no wine of life have touched, freely
drink of the water of life with Thee."
:Then the silence deepened; her eyelids quivered, and partly
veiled her beautiful eyes-eyes whose blue grew intense and darker
as the Shepherd she loved and the white lamb drew near.
"Please, raise me," she whispered; "hold me tightly, dear
father; let me hold your hand now." And the man who loved
her, whose heart was almost breaking, raised on his arm her
golden head-that golden head, whose waving tresses were the
colour of fully ripened corn. And he heard again the Dies Ire-
for he stood in thought by the grave of his fair young wife.
First, Paula," he said, "then my little Lily ; thus one by one
do my dear ones pass away."
And he clasped yet more closely the child whom he loved, and
laid her aching head on his breast, pillowed her head where his
heart was throbbing fast with love and with pain for her.
And lo! in that hour of all hours most lonely-that hour which
heralds the coming of morn-Christ came as a Shepherd, and whis-
pered gently, "There is room in My Fold, little lamb, for thee."
And the fleece of the lamb grew whiter and whiter as it nestled
upon the Shepherd's arm; nestled where Lily had longed to nestle;
nestled where she was so soon to lie.
Z e za i iS itgriiiese. 23
And the earthly watcher whispered and said, Do not fear,
my little darling, you will be safer with Christ than you are with
me;" for he felt that the fragile figure trembled, as shakes and
quivers an aspen leaf.
And the Shepherd Who willed that the struggle should end, said,
"Child, it is time to come with Me." And He bent o'er the form
which seemed steadily sinking-sinking down through the bed of
death. And the Canon, who saw the white eyelids quiver, lifted
her higher upon his arm.
But the Shepherd, Who read her eyes' deep meaning, threw Iis
strong right arm round that little form, the arm of love which alone
protecteth, which alone leads captive the conqueror death !
And He gently laid His hand, as the Great Physician, on the chest
which ached as it heaved for breath ; on the little breast, that was
always painful because of those terrible iron bands-those iron
bands which first crossed and hurt it, when she threw round Effie
her duffil cloak.
And He softly whispered, "Rise up now, My beloved, and
come away ; there is a little place near the lamb for thee-a
little place where the grass is greenest, where the river is clearest,
the birds sing sweetest; a little place where My tender lambs
rest in perfect peace near My Bride and Me; a little place
where no griefs can enter, where thy childish troubles are all
24 9 Gbitl'b 19ilgrimagr.
forgotten. Come back with the lamb, come back with Me."
And she turned her eyes on the sorrowing Canon, and tried to
return his farewell kiss. That last kiss which is saddest of all
Then the blue eyes grew dimmer and dimmer. With a long-
drawn sigh and a smile she passed to her perfect rest. With a sigh
for the dear one on whose breast she was lying; with a smile for
the white lamb who stood by her side.
And the Canon murmured, "My beautiful darling, it is hard for
me, but it is well for thee."
And the mutely-eloquent lips seemed to answer, Kindest of
friends, all is well. 'Tis sweet to die for one's own loved country,
sweeter still to die for one's friend. 'Tis well to die ere the battle
is hottest; to win a little crown ; to gain a little palm of victory.
'Tis well, ere the little feet have wandered, to be safely sheltered
within the fold. 'Tis well to be sheltered, 'tis well to be folded
with the Lamb, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me."
Then the Canon asked that world-old question, "When and how
shall I again meet my beloved?"
Mystical question of countless mourners, When and how? "
And those pale lips seemed to answer, "By the green pastures
by the river of crystal; hark now, my father; by the throne of
God and of the Lamb you shall meet your beloved."
3ulctie' Amonep 33ox.
S ULCIE stood and pondered in her Uncle Bishop
Bernard's room; pondered until her pretty white
brow was wrinkled, and her pretty eyes were troubled.
The Bishop's room was very pleasant on that wintry
day. The stained-glass windows cast a cheerful light on all within;
beautiful saintly faces smiled on the wainscotted walls; a snow-
white orchid, whose blossom resembled a fluttering dove, stood
on the oaken table; and a large fire was burning in a basket on
the marble hearth. It looked the very home and abode of
peace. Peace seemed written on -the brow of the good old man
who sat in his arm-chair musing ; it was typified in the pure
and wax-like flower ; it was present everywhere except in one
Her uncle had just told his niece that she would have to go to
26 iuulti-e'S aon~y 330ar.
school for a year, and the petted child rebelled. No one but him-
self knew the pain it caused the kind old man to make his darling
do anything against her will, for Dulcie was an orphan, the only
child of his only brother, and his heart clung to her.
"Yes, you must go, dear child," he said, "for a year's training
in this special school is needful, or you will not live your future life
as my niece should do."
His tone was firm, though gentle; so the very next morning
Dulcie put on her warmest pelisse, and, accompanied by a servant,
went down the street to the new school.
"What a strange place uncle has sent me to!" she thought;
"it is very near us, but I never noticed it before."
And it was strange. The school-house stood on the edge of a
moor; it was built of rough, white pine wood; there was no trace
of ornamentation about it. And it was stranger within than with-
out. All the pupils seemed to come unwillingly; some of them
were pretty, some plain ; some rich, some poor; some in velvet
frocks and feathered hats, some in poor patched clothes, aye, even
rags; but all were alike in one respect-they hated coming to
school. As for their teacher, she was a woman with hair as white
as the Bishop's, but there the resemblance ended. Dulcie's uncle
was a man whom you could picture to yourself as being young
once upon a time, but this schoolmistress looked as if she had
Bultiric'd Sioney 35oy. 27
never had any youth; only her eyes were very beautiful, for tears
and laughter met in them.
What a strange school it was to be sure Instead of learning
languages and accomplishments, the scholars were taught to feel
and to think for others; to help them to bear their burdens or to
carry them for those whose strength failed. The boys and girls
who were richly attired had as much to do as those who were in
rags. For instance, one of Dulcie's first tasks was to help a bare-
footed child to lift a large log of wood, and put it on the hearth;
later on she was told to help the same child to fill a scuttle with coal.
"Please excuse me, I cannot," said Dulcie, as she glanced at her
little white hands.
I will do it alone," said the poor girl; I am used to it. My
father is a miner; his hands are always black "
Her patient voice struck the Bishop's niece with shame, and she
filled the scuttle nearly all herself.
Quite away from the rest, on a back form, sat a deformed pupil
with eyes like an Angel's, or like stars when the night is darkest, and
to all the other scholars' amazement the mistress asked her to sing.
Then whilst all were quiet she sang, and Dulcie, who loved music,
thought that so Eve must have sung in Paradise before she plucked
the tempting apple; or rather, so must the Angels sing on the
plains of Heaven, where the fields are always green.
28 buftie'rl fione 330ar.
She went up to the girl, and asked her what she would like best
in all the world ?
"To learn music properly," the timid voice replied, and Dulcie
walked away pondering.
By and bye, their teacher herself brought the children their mid-
day meal. She gave the rich ones cake and the poor ones only
bread. But this seeming injustice, in reality was strictest justice,
for Dulcie's slice of plum-loaf tasted like very dry bread, and a boy
near her, in a ragged jerkin, declared that his piece of brown bread
was as sweet as cake.
"What an odd school thought the child. "What could
Uncle Bernard be thinking of? He says he went to a school like
this for years Does everyone have to, I wonder ? "
In an hour or two the pupils were dismissed, with Good bye,
children keep strong for to-morrow."
"Keep strong! said Dulcie, "not keep bright, or merry, but
just strong. Did such a strange schoolmistress ever live before ?
What is her name ?" she asked one of the pupils, and he replied,
" Her name is Mistress Sorrow, and her school is open to all."
Six months passed by, and one of the most lovable pupils in the
rough pine school-house was Bishop Bernard's niece: because pity
for others had come and nestled like a dove in her heart.
Again it was Spring-time in the Northern city; the mill chimneys
muflt'# :fKllnrg N3ay. 29'
were all smoking again, and their smoke meant firing, food, and
shelter for many hundreds of souls. The lilac walk was fragrant
with purple blossoms; the grass-which sloped down to. the very
edge of the placid lake, on which the swans sailed up and down,
like small white ships-was green as emeralds. And Dulcie herself,
thought the Bishop, was a type of spring, as she stood in the midst
of his room, with some narcissus in her hand.
"Uncle," she asked suddenly, "may I tell you a secret ?"
"Surely, little one; surely."
Well, you know the deformed child, Maudie, at my school. She
wants to learn singing-properly; but she has no money-poor
little Maud. So I have saved up some of my pocket money, in a
safe place in your room; and I believe I have got enough for a
quarter's lessons now."
And where is Dulcie's money box ? asked the old man, gently.
She took him by the hand, and led him to a small statue of the
Child Jesus in His Mother's arms, which always stood on a bracket
in a corner of the room, and, lifting it up, showed him two
pounds, in gold, hidden away underneath it.
"I see," said the Bishop, kindly; "I see; the Child Jesus has
kept your savings for you, to spend on His sorely smitten child. But
who taught you to think of others, my bonnie bairn? "
"Dame Sorrow taught me, Uncle Bernard; and I mean to do
30 IBulcfie' aolanl 38oy.
something for her pupils all my life. Will she always keep school,
do you think; or will she retire like the Miss Underwoods,'and
give up teaching some day ?"
The Bishop opened the window, and a smile flitted over his fine,
keen face, as he answered, "She will never give up teaching, my
darling she opened her school when our first parents were banished
from Eden; she will keep it when you and I are deaf to the
pealing of yonder bells; she will keep it when the old Bishop
shall be a memory only; she will keep it till there are new heavens,
and a new earth. And then-"
It will be no longer hard on the little ones," said Dulcie, softly.
No longer hard on the little ones," echoed the Bishop.
Loun"t00 in tbhe ;0ou!e of 1
(A SPIRITUAL ROMANCE.)
OME unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,"
sweetly sang the choir in the old Parish Church of
Aston, on All Saints' Day.
Come unto Me," mutely said the Christ high upon
the painted windows, "and I will give you rest."
Lord, we pray Thee, grant us rest from earthly cares, if but
for one short year," said the two little match sellers, brother
and sister, who had crept just inside the great Church door to try
to find an hour's warmth and quiet.
Very beautiful was the ancient Church on that high Holyday;
many tinted-as is the rainbow round the Throne of God-were
the painted windows; white as the souls of children unspotted by
the world were the flowers which made His Temple like a garden
32 E~pounertr in tbe ~nuow of Wi0 FrirntfI,.
planted by Himself; sweet as the prayers of the just was their
perfume. From the ancient walls around them, carved in marble
and in stone, the faces of their dead and gone ancestors-ancestors
though they knew it not-looked down on the little outcasts.
Lacys, with many children round them, raised marble hands to
Heaven, and implored their Saviour Christ in the "hour of death
and in the Day of Judgment" to deliver them.
Childless Lacys, who had never heard sweet lisping voices call
them father or mother, likewise lifted clasped hands to God, and
asked Him to remember them.
Still on the Altar stood the jewelled vases, which the generous
love of some dead and gone Lacy had given, in order to hold the
offerings of fair flowers. And the Altar itself was made exceeding
beauteous by a velvet cloth, on which fingers, long since cold, had
worked in silk the emblems of the Passion of our Lord.
In the high oaken pews, fair, rosy-cheeked children, clad in costly
fur and velvet, nestled close to their mothers' side.
In the chancel, the white-robed singing boys stood in their carved
oaken stalls, and sang as if God had given them but one work to
do on earth, namely, to chant His praises. "Come unto Me,"
they sang again, and in the midst of the chanting and the pealing
of the organ, the little wanderers.-Gabriel and Bertha-began to
weep. most bitterly. For before them, on a painted window, in
Wounlrer in tljc 3nuue of fiW jfrieLtro. 33
bright and glowing colours, was pictured the finding of Moses and
the Folding of Christ's Lambs. There Pharaoh's beautiful dark-
faced daughter stretched out her arms to receive the babe her
maidens had found amongst the Nile's green rushes.
There our Lord Himself, as the kind and tender Shepherd,
gathered His little ones in His arms. Fatherless, motherless,
homeless, and hungry, the two young outcasts felt as if they alone
were outside the fold, forgotten of God, unfound of Christ. And
they prayed again, even more earnestly, Dear Lord Christ, take
us, we pray Thee, to dwell with Thee in Paradise: or give us
peace on earth, if but for one short year."
And their cry reached Him in the highest Heaven, where it is
for ever All Saints' Day, because the Saints are there for evermore.
And He greatly pitied the sorrowful children. Even in Paradise He
marked their pale pinched faces, and counted each tear as it fell
on the stony pavement, for the sound of their weeping was louder
to Him than the singing of the Angels and the alleluias of the Saints.
For He knew that as the happiness of the blessed is too great
for the heart of man to conceive, so likewise is the grief of His
miserable children too deep for any save Himself to understand;
therefore He passed through one of the twelve great doors of
Heaven, each of which is a single pearl, and stood before them in
the beautiful Norman Church.
34 oaunrVet in tI)r 1otze af fiL jWrieri.
Not as the thorn-crowned Cross-bearer, clad in purple, scourged
with many scourges, His face more marred by grief than any man's,
appeared He now, but as the King of Angels and of men, clothed
in fine linen, white and fair, His sacred wounds still showing like
spots of crimson light.
I was a pilgrim and a stranger on earth," He said; foxes had
holes, and the birds of the air had nests; but the Son of Man had
no place wherein to lay His head. I came unto Mine own, and
Mine own received Me not. But because your faith is great I
will give you riches in place of poverty, pleasure instead of pain,
not for one short year only, but for many years."
Then the gentle voice ceased speaking, and filled with love and
gratitude almost too great for words, the children murmured,
Good Master, tell us what, in return, can we do for Thee ?"
"You can minister unto Me," said the loving voice in reply;
"but within the space of three years you will deny Me twice; and
twice will turn Me uncomforted from your doors."
Then they answered, with one accord, as the great Apostle
answered of old, "Not so, dear Lord, not so; rather would we
die for Thee this very hour than live to deny Thee thus."
And the kind Lord Christ smiled down upon them, placed His
hands in blessing on their heads, and even whilst He blessed
them vanished from their sight.
touneVr in t*e Noaude of Ri fJrienVS. 35
And when they looked around them they found that the Priest
had left the Altar, the singing boys had gone from the chancel,
the two children were all alone in the ancient Church; only the
memory of that glorious vision remained; so they crept close
together for warmth and company, leant their heads against a
cushioned seat, and soon fell fast asleep.
When they awoke it was getting dusk, strange shadows stole along
the great stone aisles, and the saints and martyrs on the painted
windows were growing as dim as their memories too often do
Only the marble Lacys could be plainly seen as they looked
down in stern unbroken calm on their small descendants.
The children's limbs were stiff and cramped, and they were faint
from want of food, having eaten nothing since early morning, and
it was now nightfall.
Are you very hungry, Bertha ?" said Gabriel; but I know you
are; eat this," and he offered her a stale untempting crust, which
he had hidden away under his ragged jacket in readiness for the
day of need. But his little sister refused the gift with tears.
Eat it yourself, dear Gabriel," she replied; you need it more
than I. I only want to see our Lord again, and hear His voice
"I am not quite sure if we ever really saw Him, Bertha," said
36 WounVore in tbr)e au.4e of %iq jFrienlre.
the boy, sadly; "and even if we did He has gone away, you
know, and will not come again. Anyhow, you and I are quite
alone here now save for them, and as he spoke he pointed to the
sculptured Lacys on the walls.
But the girl refused to believe that the marble knights and
dames were her sole companions, and that the living Christ had
not been with her.
"Not so; I know He came," she said. "I know it because
I felt so glad when I beheld Him, and now I feel so sorry here."
And as she spoke she laid her hand beneath her torn and faded
cape, where her sad and tender little heart was beating, and raised
her large dark eyes, so bright with love and faith, in mute appeal
to her brother's face.
"If He did come He will keep His promise, Bertha," said the
boy, gravely; "but even if He did not, I wish that He would
take us to Himself; for it is so hard to sell our matches, and if
we cannot sell enough to buy bread, you know, there is nothing
but starvation before us."
She could only answer, "It is time for us to go;" and, hand
in hand, they walked away from the beautiful silent Church out
into the noisy, restless streets of Birmingham. Those streets
which held such countless thousands, but which had so little
room for them. Those streets in which money was spent
Mouaunrtet int te l iatte of Iirq dricutire. 37
like water, but which only gave a few poor pence to them.
And meantime up and down each court and alley, in noisy
workshops, amidst the whirr of countless wheels and the throbbing
of countless engines, the busy searchers went looking for the heirs
to a great unclaimed estate; not knowing that, like.Him Whose
inheritance was the great wide world itself, the children for whom
they searched stood homeless in the damp November night.
SNOW fell fast in Birmingham, and made the streets so
white and noiseless that it seemed like a town just fresh
from the hand of God. But only for a season, for in
an hour or two-just when it looked its loveliest, just
when the snow was deep enough to make snow men and snow-
balls-the ruthless snow ploughs came, and swept it away.
But outside the town; away in the country, where trees took the
place of factory chimneys, and the homes of birds were more
numerous than the homes of men, the soft white carpet was
allowed to lie untouched upon the ground. Keen and cutting was
the wind, and there, was a frost so sharp that slides seemed almost
to make themselves for the eager boys.
38 W rzttnrlb in tfc il oaude of %ii j frilnti.
Bitterly cold was the weather; so cold that God's feathered
creatures huddled themselves up in their soft warm nests, and
the village housewives kept their tiny children inside the cottages
to rock the babies' cradles, instead of letting them play in the
Just outside the village stood a stately mansion, in the midst of
a pleasant park, and this was now the earthly home of the children
to whom Christ Himself had spoken; the children whom the hand
of the law had established in their rightful places, and had restored
to their own inheritance.
And the terrible past, when, like their Lord Himself, they had
not where to lay their heads; when they hungered, and no man
fed them; thirsted, and no one gave them to drink; were weary
and footsore, and none offered rest or shelter; all this was but as
the remembrance of a troubled dream in the night.
Never again would they have to peep through plate-glass windows
at feasts which they might not share; never more would they vainly
look with longing eyes at the beautiful things in the shop win-
dows; for the weaver wove bright silks and ribbons, the toymaker
made his prettiest toys, for the children who had once been the
neglected, but were now the courted of men. And the fluttering
doves in the dovecotes, the timid deer in the park, the lowing kine
in the meadows, seemed to exist only to minister to the pleasures
MoautIeBt in tle 1aute af ati % ffrieitri. 39
of the children who once had nothing but a parcel of matches which
they could call their own.
Beautiful in the sight of their friends were the little brother and
sister, but, alas far from beautiful in the sight of Christ.
For love of self and of pleasure had stolen into their hearts, and
spotted the whiteness of their'souls, even as rust dims the polished
Sometimes, it is true, an Angel troubled the waters of their souls,
and they awoke from the sleep of selfishness, and said one to the
other, "What can we do for Him Who has given us all these
At such times their feet were swift to hasten on errands of mercy,
and their tender fingers bound up the wounds of Lazarus when he
lay sick and dying outside their gates. But rarer and rarer became
this ministering unto Christ; and even now, though His poor were
waiting to be fed in village and in town, for work was scarce and
wages were low, they thought of pleasure first, of the dear Lord
"I cannot wait," said Gabriel, when a servant told him that a
boy outside, who seemed very cold and very poor, asked to see
him for a moment only. And as he spoke he took his skates in
his hand and buttoned his fur-lined coat.
"No, I cannot see him," he repeated; tell him to come another
40 aDouniruir in tblr JImite of Ii^ PFrillq.
day. The lake is frozen now, but a thaw may soon set in," and he
left the pleasant room where his sister Bertha sat filling King
Charles the Martyr's bowl with hothouse flowers.
Once, in the days which seemed so long ago, Bertha would have
hastened to do that which her brother had left undone, but now
she sat quite still and unconcerned. And even as she took a spray
of flowers to put in the China jar the form of the beggar boy
flitted past the mullioned window.
His face was pale with grief and cold, the snow-flakes fell on his
uncovered head; his robe was thin, his feet were bare.
"Another time, if he should come, I will relieve him," said Bertha
to herself, and as she spoke the forlorn one looked in once more
upon her, and upon her ear fell the words, "I was an hungred,
and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink:
I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in: naked,.and ye clothed
She hurried after him, but he had disappeared like a leaf borne
away by the wind; only, where he had stood on the frozen snow,
were spots of crimson blood, and Bertha knew that they were made
by the bleeding feet of Christ.
Would that I had died with Thee, rather than have seen Thee
go uncomforted away," she said, and kissed the ground whereon
the beggar boy had stood.
Meounirr~ in the ?I ure of iM Frirnir. 41
Bertha walked softly and carefully for many months: her hand
was open to the needy, her ears regarded their prayers.
But as time went on the memory of the beggar boy grew fainter,
and when the June roses bloomed, it was as though he had never
been. The roses faded, the hay was gathered in the meadows, the
apples and pears hung ripe in the orchards, the corn stood yellow
in the fields, and behold it was Autumn !
Out on the lawn under the cedar trees, Bertha, or rather her
guardians in her name, had gathered her friends together.
Like the spirit of joy, in her pretty white frock and scarlet
ribbons, her dark eyes sparkling, her black curls dancing, she
flitted from one child-guest to another, and in her hand she bore
a dish of purple grapes.
Suddenly in the midst of them there stood an aged man, who
must have entered all unnoticed by the wicket gate. His silvery
hair fell in long loose locks upon his shoulders; he was bent and
stooping, and his knees trembled. Right in front of Bertha he
stood, and fixed his eyes upon the dish of grapes.
"I have come from afar," he said; "I am athirst and fainting; I
pray you give me to eat of these."
Touched by the drooping form and quivering voice, she put out
her hand to give him a bunch of the fruit, but before she could do
so, a gay voice called, Bertha, Bertha," and she hastened away,
42 eS~inunrtc in flte .aueiE of #i% dfrienut.
and forgot the suppliant; and when she found herself under the
cedars once more, the aged wayfarer had departed all unnoticed
as he came.
But when the guests had gone, and they two were alone, her
brother told her that he feared she had denied her Lord.
For as he returned from the village, he had seen, as he rode
hastily by, the form of an aged man pass through the wicket
gate. And sadly, slowly, -solemnly, the wanderer, as if speaking
to himself, had said, I have trodden the wine-press alone;
lo, I was thirsting, and ye gave me not to drink." And on
his silvery hair there had seemed to rest for a moment the long
brown points of a crown of thorns.
Only for an instant did Gabriel behold him, for even as he
called, Lord, Lord, when did we thus deny Thee ?" the vision
had vanished and he was left alone.
Side by side they knelt together, repentant brother and repentant
sister, as they once had knelt in the ancient Norman Church.
Hand in hand they prayed, Dear Lord Jesus, give Thy children
yet one trial more. We pray Thee visit us but once again; and
until Thou comest we will minister to all Thou sendest, so that we
may not miss Thee, but are sure to take Thee in."
And from that hour the children watched for His coming night
tonuntreb in the 3foute of %iS jfriCntt. 43
He may come at midnight, or at sunrise," said Gabriel. We
cannot tell when the hour of His coming will be ; only let us be
ready-ready even to give Him our all, my sister, as we would
have been willing to give Him not half, but the whole of our
morsel of bread when He came to His little outcast children in
And so they watched and waited, until snow lay on the ground
And Christmas time drew near.
And on Christmas Eve, as they stood by the lofty window, they
saw a woman with a baby in her arms walk up the dusky avenue.
"She must have come a long and weary way," said Bertha;
"see how her footsteps flag, and she scarce can hold the child.
Let us go and meet her."
Down the avenue, where the frost hung sparkling on the leaf-
less trees, went the children together. Together they greeted the
wanderer, together drew her into the house, and seated her by the
hearth. Gabriel brought her meat and wine, and his sister took
the infant on her knee. She warmed its bare cold feet in both her
hands. She laid her own soft cheek against its softer one, and
pressed its small fair head to her childish breast.
"He is hungry," said his mother softly, "and I have no food
to give him."
44 flunmtBel in tijc fomite of tJi qF rirenbr.
Quickly the children brought him milk, quickly the little brother
warmed it on the fire, and the little sister laid the babe on her knee
and fed him. Then the face which had been as white as new-
fallen snow grew rosy, the dimpled hands and feet curled up with
pleasure, the little rosebud mouth closed contentedly; perfectly
happy, the babe looked on the children and smiled up in their faces.
And in that smile they knew that they had found their Lord.
For the smile of the infant was the smile of the Master
Who had blessed them in Church, and in it was the promise
of eternal life.
And the woman rose from her seat by the fire, no longer travel-
stained and weary, but beautiful and majestic as when the Prince
of Peace sat enthroned upon her knee. Fair as when in Bethle-
hem's stable she first enfolded in a close embrace her Saviour and
And the infant Christ stood by her, not as a baby, but as a
Then the children cried with one accord, "Stay with us, Master;
be our guest; do not leave us lonely here again. Stay with us:
we would minister to Thee for evermore."
Then the child said gently, "Now I know that ye love Me; for I
was hungry, and ye fed Me : houseless and a stranger, and ye took
tlouTntrEt in tJe Iflaue of uiq JrienirS. 45
And even as they bent their heads and answered, "Yea, Lord,
Thou knowest that we love Thee," they were left alone.
For when they lifted their faces, the Child-Christ and His
Mother, those holy Christmas guests, had disappeared.
And the Carol Singers at their door were singing, IN EXCELSIS
Roea Ka-t klerv,
OR, THE QUEST OF DEATH.
T was Spring-time in England, and Easter (like a welcome
friend) had come early, with its hands full of flowers.
Up and down the white paved streets of Leamington
passed a busy, careless throng, and amongst them,
all unseen, walked that servant of God whom men call Death.
Stern and grave of aspect was God's appointed messenger, yet
his eyes were very pitiful, and to some there was healing in the
touch of his dusky wings, and his kisses were sweeter than honey
and the honeycomb. But to others they were bitter as the vinegar
and gall which were held to the lips of the dying Christ.
And none of that careless crowd perceived him, or they would
have drawn on one side in sudden terror and dismay.
The husband would have thrown his arm around his wife, and
cried, "Pass us by, 0 Death The mother would have clasped
ILto' lKat ~ltcp. 47
her child to her trembling breast, and prayed, Spare my lamb,
kind Death." For he-the consoler, the healer of wounds-was
too often the dreaded one-dreaded, though he was sent of God;
dreaded, though the Christian's motto was RESURGAM.
Sometimes, it is true, an aged man or woman met him with a
smile, but too often his only greetings were mournful faces and tears.
But he was the minister of God, and he knew right well that
oftentimes he was not Death the divider, as mortals termed him,
but Death the re-uniter. For he took the hand of the sorrowing
widow and tenderly placed it within that of the husband, from whom
she had long been severed. And he took the hand of the sorrowing
orphan and laid it with infinite tenderness in those of her parents.
And Death knew that at such times he was an Angel of mercy,
though clad in dark raiment instead of in white.
As an Angel of mercy he had taken the spade from the hand of
the toiling Adam ; and had closed the eyes of the weeping Eve ere
they were both laid to rest under the palm trees which girdled the
outskirts of Paradise.
As an Angel of love and compassion he took the crown from the
aching brows of kings, and the heavy cross from the shoulders of
the poor, and now he waited to perform his Master's bidding in this
pleasant Warwickshire town.
For he had been bidden to seek the one who would most gladly
48 Eea' q ilagt 'Mecy.
welcome him, who would most surely hail him as a friend. And
the Angel Death knew not whither to go.
Once he paused by an open door, for within the house he heard
the voice of Rachel weeping for her children, and refusing to be
comforted, so he lingered with his foot on the threshold.
But the voice of his Master said, "Pass on, My servant; this
woman, who weeps o'er the long since dead, will soon answer her
baby's smile." And the Angel Death passed on. Up and down
the sunny Parade, up and down the white flagged pavement, he
went on his lonely quest.
And to whomsoever he passed it grew suddenly cold, as when a
north wind blows up from the sea. Pale women, whose eyes spoke
of buried hopes, grave men, whose dreams were yet unfulfilled, fair
children, whose toys were broken or lost; all these in their turn
passed by him, and by the side of each his shadow rested.
Rested for an instant, but did not abide, for his Master had
bidden him seek one whose hope would never be realized, whose
dream would never be fulfilled, whose toy would never be found or
And he knew full well that the hopes of the pale-faced women
would rise from their tombs hereafter, that the dreamers would find
their dreams reality, that the toys of the children would be mended
EO'# 9Kadt 4T1es-. 49
So he passed along, till a voice by his side said, Pause, for thy
quest is ended." And he paused in a narrow street.
Paused in front of a little Italian boy, who had pillowed his head
on a doorstep and fallen fast asleep. Boy, did I call him? Ay, but
he was more than a mere boy; he was a living, breathing monument
of eternal Rome.
For even as Death took his place beside him, he stirred in his
sleep, and whispered "Rome."
In dreams he trod the eternal city, and- the dust which, powdered
his feet and sprinkled his clothes was whitened by the bones of
Apostles and Martyrs ; it was the hallowed dust of Rome.
In dreams he no longer made his little performers, his tiny white
mice, run and dance, dance and run up the sides of their cage (a
small white army obedient to the word of command), but he sat
in the far-off city at the feet of a great artist, and painted like a
In the flesh his hands touched the English stones, but in spirit
those sunburnt hands touched the time-grey walls of Rome;
In the flesh the wallflowers fell from his listless grasp as he
slumbered, but in spirit he beheld them, growing and waving,
nodding and blowing, on the crumbling walls of the eternal city.
And behold if Death, the Passionless, could have felt an earthly
passion, he would have pitied the lad with the velvet cheek and
50 IL.o'q ILat Stlep.
the sad, dreamy smiles; for the little exile's heart was broken-
broken for love of Rome. Only our Lord knew how, day by day,
hour by hour, he pined for his native place. He pined for his
mother, Conchita, the laundress, who years ago had been taken
to a land where her own garments were sprinkled with hyssop, and
made whiter than snow.
He pined for his father, the muleteer, who had long since ceased
to drive his mules.
He pined for his grandfather, Pietro, the model-Pietro, the
last leaf on the tree which had sheltered his home; Pietro, the
venerable, who, when his white beard swept his breast, and his
eye grew dim, had been taken by a greater than Isaac, a
mightier than Moses, to join the company of the Patriarchs
And when Pietro was taken, Leo's uncle, Sandro, the organ-
grinder, had brought him to England. To England, whose dust
was diamonds, whose streets, in the eyes of the poor Italians, were
paved with untold gold.
From city to city, from village to village, this exiled uncle and
nephew had wandered on, the one with his organ, the other with
his mice, and their fortune was yet unmade.
From sunny Brighton, whose blue sky reminded the exiles of
the deeper blue that arched over Italy, they had wandered on,
until they found themselves in the heart of the Midlands, and
here he whom the Lord had need of was found by the Angel
messenger, sure-footed, patient Death.
And as it happened on this fair Spring day, Sandro had gone on
to Warwick, and left Leo in Leamington to await his return.
In Leamington, where on a whitened doorstep he had eaten his
roll and wished (alas vainly) that it could be turned into a melon ;
had glanced round a brickfield and wished it could be changed into
Then, tired and sleepy, he had lain down to rest amidst the
unfinished houses, where he was found of Death.
And even as the still, dark Angel stood watching, two urchins,
intent on mischief, stole up from a neighboring street.
Noiselessly they slid back the door of the cage and took out
three tiny white mice, and glancing at Leo's waistcoat, they slipped
their fingers into the pocket and drew out a folded slip of paper.
Noiselessly and unseen, save by God and Death, they turned
away down a neighboring street, not knowing that for fun they
had wounded an exile, through love of mischief had added yet one
more sorrow to a broken heart.
For when Leo awoke from his sleep and found that his furry
favourites-his little, bread-winners-were missing, and that the
address of his artist friend was likewise gone, his heart seemed
52 ilde'a tagt '41rep.
doubly broken. Vainly he called over the names of his pets-
Beppo, Tina, Maso, Fina-only Fina responded to its name.
And even as it scampered up and down its cage, seeking in vain
for its lost companions, Christ, the Consoler, spoke once more to
"Take him to-night, and take him gently, 0 Death," He said,
and the Angel bowed his head.
Bowed his head, and with slow, majestic footsteps kept step with
the lad when he rose and walked down the sunny Parade.
Step by step, inch by inch, the two kept pace together; and
throb by throb, beat by beat, the hearts of each pulsated together.
For the heart of Death never beats too quickly, and broken hearts
beat always slowly, and little Leo's heart was broken.
Over the tops of the tall elm trees the rooks went sailing, like
little dark-hued ships with pinions for sails, black as night, or as
the wings of Death." And as they floated and sailed, sailed and
floated over that sea of green, they cawed to their young ones
down below in their nests. And every time they said Caw, Caw,
Caw," Leo thought they said, "Rome, dear Rome." And his
burdened spirit longed greatly to be free, and to fly away to his
own beautiful home, even as the rooks flew on to other trees in the
And at length the child and his unseen friend stopped where
ilet'la lat t5leqr. 53.
the sunlight played on the fountain, and the fountain played in
the sunlight. There Leo leant on the railings, and paused for a
few moments' rest-rest from thoughts that pierced him like
arrows, rest from troubles within and without. And the musical
plash of the beautiful fountain, the soothing drip and fall of its
waters, were a wound to his soul and its balm in one.
For he thought that he saw once more his mother, Conchita,
near the fountain which flowed from a marble lion's head.
He thought that he rested once more in her arms, and played
with her coral necklace and the golden ear-drops in her ears. He
thought that he.heard once more the cooing of doves, as they flew
from their dovecote in the narrow street which was once his home.
And even as he thought that he was running to welcome his
father the muleteer, a little boy went by, and as he passed he said
to his companion, a lad of his own age, I'll ask father, he knows
everything." And Leo awoke from his day-dream, to remember
that he was fatherless, despoiled, and an exile. And he gazed
after the retreating form of the little lad long and wistfully, for had
he not a father's arm to lean upon; a father's heart to appeal
to? And Leo, in his dumb despair, felt that for bread he had
been given a stone; for drink the water of affliction.
Then, with feet like lead, he turned away, and wandered out of
54 LCo'S Uanit ZIeyp.
Out of the town where the band was playing, and the loiterers
Out of the town, where sorrow and care seemed as much out of
place as a spot in Carrara marble, as a frown on a beautiful
Out of the town till he came to some arches, under which he lay
down to sleep; for his eyelids drooped, and his eyes were heavy.
And he longed for sleep, and forgetfulness, as an infant longs
for its mother.
Let me sleep, good Lord, for an hour," he prayed. "Let me
sleep, and awake in Rome."
Then he placed his head on a stone for a pillow, and Death, as
the caretaker, cast over it a fold of his darksome robe.
For he knew that the tired heart of the little wanderer beat each
moment more and more faintly and slowly, and that the time was
very nigh when the silver cord was to be loosened and the golden
So he stood and watched by the sleeping boy. Stood and watched
till the stars peeped out, and the sky resembled a pall of black,
embroidered in golden thread.
Then the voice of his Master said: "The hour has come, My
servant." And lo Death lifted his strong right hand (which the
hand of God alone controls), and he laid it softly and tenderly on
tral'r tanit %Teri. 55
the faint, fluttering heart, and Leo passed peacefully through his
last earthly sleep to his everlasting home.
Then God Himself let his prayer be fulfilled for He touched his
eyes, and said, "Leo, awake! arise !" And, behold, he opened
them in the Heavenly City, in God's own eternal Rome. A Rome
where the walls can never crumble, where the flowers can never fade!
A Rome where the martyrs remember the panther and the lion,
the sword and the shame, but to rejoice and triumph the more.
A Rome where the music is softer, sublimer, sweeter than that
played by the silver trumpets in the earthly city at Eastertide. A
Rome where Christ, as the Great High Priest, clad in His white
garments, gives His blessing to His triumphant Church for ever.
A Rome where the smallest child at His blessed feet is mightier
than the mightiest of the Caesars..
A Rome where it is for ever Easter, where sickness, grief
and pain can never enter in. As a bird that had broken through
its snare, as a bud that has opened into blossom, as a soul that has
burst from its house of clay, Leo, the homeless, Leo, the exile,
Leo, the heart-broken, stood within the golden gates of this
And as he entered, even as he stood just within the eternal
walls, the beautiful Angels, who stood near the Throne, the Angels,
with radiant faces and with white wings gleaming, were saying-
56 ilco'% Kiadt Ie)zp.
and the sound of their voices was as the sound of many waters-
"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches,
and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing."
And the last new comer, the newly-made Angel, the little
stranger within those golden gates, folded his hands in lowly
adoration, and exclaimed, "Blessed be God for the Angel of His
compassion, even for His servant, DEATH, THE CONSOLER."
fjbe (eigttont of Uftttle "j1catc."
(AN ALLEGORICAL STORY.)
HEN our Blessed Lord ascended to His home, He left
behind Him His handmaid Peace.
Little Peace, who was born on a Christmas morning,
at the self-same hour as our Saviour Christ. Little
Peace, who never grew older, though empires vanished away like
dreams, and thrones decayed. Sweet Peace, whose eyes were
dovelike, whom the good men of every nation loved.
Over the earth, on various missions, Christ sent His fair little
She stood by the slave when his fetters galled him, and whispered,
"Think there is freedom and rest above."
She stood on the deck of a sinking vessel; she cheered and
comforted both the captain and crew.
58 Srbc :igeanlle of Little "IBrare."
She took the hands of the fainting women, and pressed them
gently within her own.
She stood by the side of the frightened children; she kissed their
eyelids, and lo they slept.
She stood by the side of a pair of lovers, and said, you will never
be parted now."
She stood, as she stood aforetime, near the Mount of Ascension,
over eighteen hundred years ago.
Unchanged, she looked even as when Christ to His sad disciples-
bequeathed her, His fair little handmaid Peace. And she stood on the
deck midst the terror of storm, rain, and tempest, trying to whisper
soft words of strength and comfort to the lovers, the parents, the chil-
dren, the merchants, as they yielded themselves to the sea's embrace.
Next, she entered a long, low schoolroom, where the silence was
great and the light was dim. And she heard a miserable school-
boy painfully plodding through each mood and tense of a Latin verb.
It was only the simple verb, "To suffer," so easy to conjugate,
so hard to learn.
I hate this verb," said the little schoolboy, I only wish I could
die and go to some land where there's never a verb to learn, and
no hard tasks to struggle with."
But," said Peace, "you must learn to suffer before you can
enter the land of rest."
Cbe ftlkioilns of K~ittle "119earrc." 59
And the lad, being comforted by her gentle voice, resolutely took
up his ink-stained grammar, and ere long began to master the hard,
troublesome verb. And his voice rang clearest in "Dulce Domum,"
when the scholars sang it together at night.
Then Peace was wanted in Holy Russia; she was wanted sorely
on a battle-field.
She stood by the side of an English soldier, she laid her hand on
his panting breast, which heaved with pride and anguish, with love
of the absent, with strife for life.
"Think," she said, "it is sweet, in dying, to know that although
the shot and steel have not spared you, even in death you have
nobly won the Victoria Cross."
And even as her gentle voice fell on his ear, the General came,
across whose breast he had flung himself as the cruel sword-
stroke descended, and said, "My noble fellow, you have given
your life for mine, God bless and comfort you; your Queen and
country shall hear of your true heart, of your noble courage, and
I myself will see that the dear ones in your cottage home shall
never be left uncared for, and it may be that the Queen will allow
the Victoria Cross, which is yours, to be sent to them, to tell the
whole village how brave a heart it had sent forth to the battle."
Then a clear bright light from the far-off land came into the
soldier's dying eyes, and even as he kissed the hand of the great
60 Cb)c Vt eialveo of ilttle Peace."
General he fell asleep in the soft arms of God's sweet messenger
Next, she stood by a Russian soldier, who was sorely wounded
And she heard the mew of a little kitten he had buttoned up in
his long grey coat; for the kitten was hungry, and mewed for
freedom, mewed for the fresh air and for food.
And its master thought of his home by the Baltic, of his
daughter Olga, and of little Paul.
Then a surgeon came, with a Sister of Mercy; and they dressed
his wounds, while Peace supported him on her arm.
And the soldier whispered, Your touch, my Sister, is as soft as
the down on a sea bird's breast."
And he lived to tell his little Olga of the wonderful Battle of
Inkermann, and of the dovelike spirit who comforted him on the
battle-field, while Christ's handmaid sat unseen by the fire, and
heard them talk of the blessings of Peace; whilst the kitten
gambolled about on the hearthrug in a beautiful collar of green
Then Peace arose, and, travelling as fast as lightning flashes-
for her feet were shod with the love of God-came to an English
Cathedral city, and stood in the midst of a beautiful white-
)e ti lidiaasn nf ILittle "jBater.". 61
And she passed into a frescoed chamber, and stood by the bed
of a dying Bishop.
Peace knew well that voice, which so long had spoken its
grave warnings, its earnest counsels, so long had entreated, prayed,
and taught, and she knew that it would soon be silent in death,
for the evening shadows were closing round, and the twilight fell
on his brow.
And his Chaplain sat by the bedside reading in a saddened tone,
subdued and low.
He read of men who had reaped what they had sown, in that
land whose reapers are the white-winged Angels; where actions
and lowly deeds of love are the garnered corn, in the treasure house
of the great Lord of the Harvest.
And the dying man lay still and listened, but ever and anon he
looked with earnest longing round the room. None knew what the
dying Prelate wished and sought for. None, save God's gentle but
For her Lord, when He sent her to visit that couch of pain, had
bidden her calm and comfort the soul of His well-beloved servant.
So she stole to his side, and said, Alice, thine own Alice, is
waiting for thee; up there, where she has waited and watched
And this was the message that the tired spirit of God's servant
62 ebe SiiSians a of ILittiT "1crame."
longed for with such an exceeding longing, and as the gentle words
fell on his ear, like the dew on the parched earth, his dimming eye
grew strangely bright, with a far away light, and his voice grew loud
and clear as he answered, Ah yes, I remember, as she remem-
bers; why should I keep her longer waiting? We will praise
together the Lord Who loved us: together we'll sing the Magnificat."
But with the first notes the Bishop's voice faltered and fell. Then
the Chaplain shut the book he was reading, and Peace closed
the Bishop's eyes.
Then she passed away from the silent palace, and came to a
house in a narrow street.
A house where all things were at sixes and sevens, where con-
fusion reigned from morning till night. \Vhere nobody ever found
what he wanted, but that which was not required always seemed to
thrust itself in the way.. Where, if you looked for the baby's rattle,
you would find it hidden in the father's shoe, and if the father
sought his necktie it would be discovered in the baby's cot.
Before Peace came into this noisy household its mistress was
making an oatmeal cake, and its master sat in grim dejection by
the side of his cheerless unswept hearth.
The uncared-for children were. lbud and noisy, they clamoured
for supper, they clamoured for sweetmeats, and said they were not
yet ready for bed.
bre :if ionia of i-ittir "ljear." 63
"I wish day would come," said the tired workman, '"for the
noise of the mill is nothing to this."
Then Peace crept up to the side of the woman, and whispered,
"Try to remember Auld Lang Syne. In the happy days of his
early love-the days now so distant-what did he call an earthly
Paradise? where did he say was earth's fairest place? Did he not
say that his home was fairest, and his cheerful bright-eyed little wife
its, sweetest ornament ? did he not call it his little Eden ? What is
it now? Why even the noisy mill is better, and has become his
home and his workshop in one !"
And Peace stayed by the woman's side, whispering gently in
her ear other sweet memories of the olden 'days when love was
young; and the cross temper and the cold thoughts began to melt
through the sunshine of those loving words.
Then little Peace put the broom in the wife's nimble fingers, and
watched her sweeping the hearth and floor. She helped her to
quiet the troublesome children; she sang them to sleep as they lay
in bed. Then she sat with the husband and wife at table, and
smiled as they ate the oatmeal cake.
For the husband said, Well, to-night we're downright happy;
for to-night, at least, my lass, we've peace."
Ah, they little knew who had sat beside them, nor of the Angel
presence which had brightened that little room.
64 Ube Siissions of LittIe "1earce."
And in many ways like these did the little Heaven-sent messenger
do the loving will of her Master, filling with restful thoughts the
sorrowing hearts, the way-worn and weary souls, and brightening
with the light of Heaven the lot of many of earth's workers. She
would cause tired and rebellious spirits to look at the evening
star, and from its calm, clear light a blessed sense of repose would
often fall upon their doubting unrestful hearts.
And of those whom she thus helped and cheered through the
journey of life, or at the dark hour of its close, many followed
the example taught by her all-pervading, though unseen, presence,
and learning to obey the command, Seek peace and ensue it,"
were fulfilled with the benediction of their loving Master,
" BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS, FOR THEY SHALL BE CALLED
THE CHILDREN OF GOD."
Ste Oate of tbte lef1r obtlvren,
OR, INNOCENTS' DAY ON THE PLAINS OF HEAVEN.
T was Winter on earth on that day which is kept as
the Feast of the Holy Innocents, and the hoar frost
clung to the leafless trees, and silvered the window-
panes; but it was Summer in Paradise, for no snow
ever falls on those fair green pastures, no cold can enter there,
"neither can frost, or hail, or any storm."
For it was the home of the blest, where was perpetual calm; and
the dwellers therein were not troubled by grief and change, nor by
sound of any tempest, for old things had passed away-all things
had become new to the inhabitants of "Jerusalem the Golden,"
the beautiful City of God.
And under the shade of the fadeless palm-trees-those stately
palms of Paradise which never grow old and withered-walked the
massacred children of Bethlehem : those children whose delicate
66 eite (ate of tre W s1tesf ejiltren.
feet had trodden such stony paths-who had suffered so young for
their Lord; those infants whom the children of Christendom have
enshrined in their hearts as the Holy Innocents.
And close beside them-in a little white robe, as spotless as his
own young life had been, crowned with a wreath of roses as crimson
as the blood he had shed, walked Christ's baby-martyr, Cyriac-
the little victor who had so long ago suffered martyrdom for his
Lord in Imperial Rome.
His tender body had been scourged with many scourges and
lacerated with cruel rods; but his agony was long since over;
his torture had long since been patiently endured, and our
Lord Himself as Incarnate Love had exalted him to a place
of honour; as Incarnate Pity had wiped the tears from his
eyes; as Incarnate Mercy had given him back to his once tor-
mented and sorely afflicted mother-who, even now, smiled sweetly
upon him as she walked beside him in the Paradise of God, and
listened whilst he sang a little song-a little song, which gladdened
the hearts of those who heard it, which was at once.melodious and
tender, because it was so full of triumphant joy and exultant sweetness.
Now you will ask me what was the name of this wonderful song
which St. Cyriac sang so sweetly, where had he learnt it, and who
was his teacher ?
It was the hymn of the Blessed Martyrs, and the Angels spoke
ire (gate of tihe 33foigrtr CbTlrrcn. 67
of it as the wonderful new song; it had been learnt in the place of
his torture, at the hour of martyrdom; and his Teacher was Christ
And this it was which made that simple song at once so solemn
and so sweet, for those who sang it had learnt it amidst trials of
cruel mockings and torments, in caves and dens of the earth; they
had learnt it dying on the cross; amidst scorching flames; with the
breath of the lions coming hot on their cheeks; under the edges of
keen tempered swords.
They had learnt it because they persisted in crying "Ave Jesus,"
instead of "Ave Casar;" they had learnt it with trembling hands and
shaking knees; they had learnt it praying that they might be found
worthy to receive a golden crown, even the crown of eternal life.
And as the Baby-Martyr finished singing his little song, the voice
of his Master said, Cyriac."
And Christ's little Martyr approached with reverence the
Throne-that Great White Throne-whereon, surrounded by His
Saints and Angels, was seated the King and Crown of Martyrs,
our Blessed Lord Himself.
And He looked at the kneeling-boy, and said, Cyriac, my
beloved, thou must stand by the Gate of the Blessed Children to-
day, and-welcome the little ones whom I have bidden "Come
68 EiT)e ate of the 38IdrtE Cbilrrmn.
And Cyriac, bending in lowliest adoration, replied, "Yea, Lord,
Thy servant heareth," and rising, took his appointed station at
that beautiful gate of pearl, which is known in Heaven as the
Gate of the Blessed Children, because those children whom we
call the newly dead, but whom the Angels name the newly born,
pass through it on their way into the Holy City; and he held in
his arms white lilies with stamens of scarlet like flaming fire, and
waving branches of palm, which he had gathered on his way, in
readiness for the expected children.
And he held the fair white blossoms and pale green branches
as you may have seen a reaper holding a sheaf of freshly-gathered
For the fragrant lilies, which were typical of purity and of love,
were to be bestowed upon those who, through love of Christ, had
kept themselves pure in an evil world, and the beautiful fresh
green palm branches were to be given to the infant conquerors
who, in their lives, had overcome temptation, or had risen
triumphant over pain.
And outside the gateway Cyriac beheld the topmost rungs of a
tall, straight ladder, which reached from the earth to Heaven.
Some there were who called this golden staircase the Ladder of
Life, but the Angels named it after themselves-The Angels'
Cre 4Sats of ttbE 381f^Etr C tbirrcn. G9
Therefore, upon this stairway the Boy-Angel fixed his eyes, for
he knew that all those whom he was stationed there to welcome
would most surely have to ascend it, as he himself had ascended it
very long ago.
And I hear you asking, "Who was the first to climb up the
Golden Stair?" Well, it was a very little pilgrim, indeed. Such a
tiny climber was he that St. Cyriac himself had to lean forward and
to help him up the last few steps of the ladder.
He was, indeed, simply a very beautiful baby boy, clad in a
short white gown-a little white gown which reminded the Child-
Martyr of the tunic he wore when he walked next his. mother
through the streets of ancient Rome.
The lovely boy, who looked as if he had just awoke from a
pleasant slumber, full of beautiful dreams, approached the Angelic
doorkeeper with the most cheerful confidence, and lifted up his fair
young face to be kissed, and Cyriac bent down and kissed him as
tenderly as if he had been his own little brother.
I wonder if that sorrowing woman, who wept so bitterly and so
unceasingly beside an empty cot in a darkened room, would have
been consoled if she could have seen her treasure, her little
Hugh, kissed by that radiant Angel at the gateway of the City ?
Could she have seen this, would she not have straightway arisen,
strengthened and comforted? Would she not have said, So-the
70 EIje Gate of tfe SIeiet CbtiIrren.
Angels in Heaven love my darling, and shall the heart of his
mother hold no love for the Lord of the Angels? Behold, all that
I have hath He taken, yet all that He hath is mine."
There was no need here for Cy iac to wonder what to bestow on
the lovely boy, for he had won a palm branch, because he knew
not fear, and had merited a lily by his love; therefore, Cyriac took
both from his sheaf, and committed him to the care of St. John
the Beloved, who was passing down one of the streets of the City.
And the Seer of Patmos took him gently by the hand and led him
beside the crystal river, and under the trees of Paradise, where he
saw the blessed children at play; but the wonderful sights, the
surpassing glory, of that marvellous City had not power to awe the
soul of the innocent child, because his heart was as full of love as
the honeycomb is of honey; and he trod the pavement of glass
and fire as serenely and confidently as he would have trodden his
nursery floor at home.
And his Saintly Guardian, beholding such perfect love and confi-
dence, turned to the Saints around him and exclaimed, Of such
is the Kingdom of Heaven," and the listening Angels smiled upon
happy little Hugh, and repeated, softly, "' Yea, of such is the
Kingdom of Heaven."
And in the meantime the Angel Cyriac was standing at the top
of the Ladder of Life, in readiness to welcome the other new-
CEe Oate af tre lr.Ibrls QilbrrIT.r. 71
comers, who this time were two little girls, who had climbed the
ladder side by side, hand in hand.
One of these was a Princess whom Death, or rather, Heavenly Love
disguised and robed as Death, had taken away from her downy bed,
as a bird is taken from its nest of wool and hay; and the other was a
poor little flower seller, who had sold penny bunches of violets and
primroses in the streets of London when Spring-flowers were in
season, and when they were out of season she had stood at street
corners and sold matches, with many a doubt and many a fear.
And the little Princess, Maud, whom her earthly parent had
loved so dearly, came up to Cyriac and said, "Fair little Angel, I
pray you tell me, shall I meet my father within this beautiful
palace, and are you one of the guards of the City ?" (For you
must know that little Maud's father, the King, was dead, and his
daughter had yearned to meet him.)
Then St. Cyriac replied, Christ is the King of this City, my
sister-a City of which all the guards are Angels; but it may be
that you will find your father waiting to greet you inside the gate,"
and he gave her a lily, because of her love.
And the little child who had been a flower girl, whose life had
been full of grief, temptation, and numberless trials, who had
known hunger and cold, sickness and want, was exceeding glad
when she saw the lovely flowers in the arms of the beautiful boy,
72 Srilr Gatr af fibP NUMtSs fitrfrrn.
for she perceived that they were fairer and sweeter than any sold
in the London streets-fairer and sweeter than earthly violet, lily,
So she approached St. Cyriac, and said, in a whisper, Little
Child-Angel, will you tell me where you have found. and have
gathered these beautiful flowers ?"
And he answered: "They grow in the Garden of God, where
they cannot wither or fade; enter, I pray you. and pluck them
yourself." And as he spoke he gave her a branch of palm, for the
Boy-Angel had been taught by Eternal Wisdom, therefore he knew
that this little child was unspotted from the world, and that of her
it could be said: Blessed is she that overcometh," for her name
is written in the Lamb's Book of Life.
Then the Princess held out her hand to the flower girl, and they
entered the Courts of Paradise side by side; and the gentle St.
Agnes took charge of them, and gathered for them handfuls of
The next to ascend the Ladder of Life was a little shepherd-boy,
who had met with his death on a northern moor in the act of
guarding, or rather, I should say, searching for, his sheep; for,
whilst seeking a missing lamb, he had given way to weariness,
and, benumbed with cold, had fallen fast asleep in the snow, and,
behold, when he awoke he found himself standing at one of the
Elbe Gatr of tbE 38ITr#trb eliilrrn. 73
Gates of Paradise, instead of on that white far-spreading moor.
But he still seemed doubtful and bewildered, and, walking up to
St. Cyriac, said: "Dear little boy, where is the lamb? Is it found?
And Cyriac smiled as he answered, Yes, little brother, the
lamb is found : for you yourself are the lamb, and Christ Himself
has found you; enter into the one safe fold, my brother." And
he gave him a palm branch, for he had been faithful even unto
death, and committed him to the care of David, the Shepherd
King, who took him to walk in green pastures, and talked to him
of the surpassing love of the Good Shepherd, Who had given His
life for His sheep.
And Cyriac said to himself, I have only one palm branch and
one lily left; I must go and gather more;" but even as he turned
away he gave one last look at the Angels' ladder, and saw ascend-
ing it, very joyfully, very eagerly, a beautiful little girl, so he waited
in patience to receive this little pilgrim.
My little sister, you seem to be very happy," he said, when
she had gained the top of the stairway, and stood at the gate beside
him-for he perceived that she could scarcely speak through excess
of joy and happiness.
"Yes, I am very happy, little Angel," she replied, "for I have
come to meet my sister Hilda, who died three years ago. I have
been very lonely without her, dear Angel, but I shall never be so
74 i5jre ate of the 1I3lre4i GbiIbrrn.
again; for only last night she stood by my bed, and smoothed my
pillow, just as she used to do ; and she whispered, 'Fear not, my
Rosamond, you must climb 'the Angels' ladder, even as I have
climbed it; you must pass through the Gate of the Blessed Children
if you would come to me in Paradise.'
"Tell me, kind Angel, have I climbed the Angels' ladder? Is
this gate of pearl and gold the Gate of the Blessed Children, and
is Paradise inside it, where I shall meet my sister, where we can
never part again?"
And the heart of Cyriac was filled with love and compassion as
he gave her both the palm branch and the lily, for she had trusted
as the Martyrs trust; she had loved with the burning love of the
Saints; and even as he gave them he heard the voice of the
Master, saying, Cyriac, My beloved, you may quit the Gate of
the Blessed Children for a while."
Then the Child-martyr said, "Come with me, my trusting little
sister; come with me, and I will take you where all the blessed are
kneeling round the Throne;" and he led her into the City, up to
the very feet of Christ.
They were all there rejoicing in the sight of the Beatific Vision;
not an Angel was missing, not a soul was wanting, for our Lord
held all those countless souls in His mighty hand as easily as He
held the waters of the sea in the hollow of it.
Cbe Sate of the Mlerteztr CblHirrin. 75
Ring upon ring they spread in a mighty circle around Him:
Apostles and Martyrs, children and Prophets, fathers and
mothers, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, Angels who
had never fallen from their high estate, knelt side by side with
men and women who had sinned and suffered, who had repented
and been forgiven. Not one link in the heavenly chain was
wanting. They knelt in an unbroken circle and worshipped and
adored their Lord.
This was the feast of the Martyrs, when they worshipped Him
as their Crown. This was the triumph of Confessors, when they
adored Him as their strength. This was the feast of His
Virgins, who loved Him as their Heavenly Bridegroom; and
this was the feast of His little children, who adored Him as
And little Rosamond, the last new-comer, who had obtained an
entrance into those celestial mansions, felt exceeding glad as she
knelt, wi:h folded hands, by the Martyr Cyriac upon Innocents'
Day, in the plains of Heaven.
For even as she bowed her head in adoration, a maiden, whose
eyes were as dark and tender as her own, knelt down. beside her,
and they twain worshipped Christ together on the beautiful plains
of Heaven, re-united at last, never to be parted again.
And little St. Cyriac beheld, with unspeakable joy, all those
76 dCte rate of t)cr WIrr1s CdbiIfrrcn.
whom he had welcomed at. the Gate of the Blessed Children
kneeling around the Throne.
The fearless boy, the sweet child-cherub, Hugh, had crept quite
close to Christ, and was seated in holy confidence just near His
knee ; and the little Princess was restored to her father ; the little
flower girl was at peace in the Garden of God, and the shepherd
boy who had died at his post of duty on the moor was gladdened
by the sight of the Spotless Lamb.
Behold, these are they that came out of great tribulation, of
whom the world was not worthy ; behold, these are they who are
blessed for evermore, ALLELUIA !" sang the four-and-twenty
elders, who stood beside the Throne.
Of whom the world was not worthy !" repeated the Angelic
choir; and the Angel who stood at the Golden Altar and swung
his silver censer, laden with the prayers of the Saints, repeated,
"ALLELUIA !" and the three Archangels, Michael, Gabriel, and
Raphael, who stood by Christ's side, with their white wings folded,
And Cyriac, the Palm-giver, glanced at the Gate of the Blessed
Children, which shuts not day nor night, and repeated,
" ALLELUIA !" to our Gracious Saviour, Who hath said--
SUFFER THE LITTLE ONES TO COME UNTO ME."
jti~iPctttanwut l ~Storreo~
Tte *tarcb for tOr mtiral.
L ITTLE Tom wore a white serge suit, beaded with blue,
and called himself a sailor, but he was only a little
landsman, who had never been to sea.
For his father, the Admiral, had sailed away to the
Arctic Regions, in command of an expedition, when Tom was only
three years old, and ever since then, his mother would scarcely let
him move out of her sight.
Every night his old nurse, Hester, took him on her knee, and
told him how, six years ago, her master had shaken hands with her,
and said "Nurse, take care of my little man;" had tossed him up
high in the air, and promised to bring him back a white bear skin;
had held his wife in a long embrace, and then sailed away to the
Polar Seas, from whence he had never returned.
Every day little Tom used to run down to the Park gates, and
look up and down the long high road to see if he could see
80 Ibc tearcrr for tie S~rmiral.
the Admiral coming down it, with the white bear skin in his hand.
And every day his mother's beautiful face grew paler, and her
wedding ring hung more loosely on her hand.
For never a sound nor a sign reached them from that desolate
land where King Winter reigns with undisputed sway.
Every day after dinner, when he sat on the rug at his mother's
feet, Tom asked the same unvarying question, Mamma, what will
papa bring you when he comes back from that great white land ?"
and she always replied, He will bring me back himself, my dear."
And little Tom secretly wondered why his father couldn't kill two
bears, and bring a skin for his mother as well.
Many times a day Nurse Hester called Tom a baby, and a
troublesome one too, but, young as he was, he knew that there was
something wrong in the house. But he was a wise little fellow, and
only tried to console them all.
He never asked what Hester meant when she said that the master
would return when apples and cherries grew on one tree.
He never asked what his mother meant when she stood beside
his father's picture, and he overheard her say, "Yet God can bring
you back to me, Henry; back from the snow and cold, back from
the icebergs, and the frozen seas."
But he gave up hanging his stocking on a bedpost, ready to hold
the bear skin, if his father came back in the night.
be gearcl) for tbe OImiral. 81
And he gave up sailing his toy ship, and determined to be a
soldier like his Uncle Will. Because," reasoned little Tom, wisely,
" Soldiers never get lost, they always seem to come back, and tell
how they shot tigers in India."
And at last there came a day and hour when poor loving little
Tom made up his mind to be a hero, and go in search of the
Admiral, just as the Admiral himself had gone in search of the
North West Passage.
"Think how pleased mamma will be," he said to himself, "if I
bring papa and the lovely bear skin back."
So on the very next day after he had made this resolve, he climbed
out of bed in the morning, before anyone was up, scrambled into
his sailor suit, with gold buttons-the suit whose pockets had been
stuffed with biscuits overnight, to serve as refreshments by the way
-crept through the long galleries and down the stairs as quietly as
a little mouse who has stolen some cheese, slipped out at a side
door, and was soon in the pleasant green lanes.
But you must not think that Tom had slipped away without
giving notice, or leaving a trace behind him.
On the contrary, he had left a note on the nursery table, in which
he had written :-
"Dear MAamma,-I am going to find papa and the bear skin, and
will bring them both back with me to-night. Hester can't call me a
82 be tiearrb) for tbe Simiral.
baby now. I send you three kisses, and Uncle Will one. Please
don't be vexed with your loving Tom."
Having done this, he felt that he was free to go on his search for
It was pleasant to hear the birds sing, pleasant to lie down by the
brook side, and watch the little fish, pleasant to climb up the steep
banks, without hearing "Come down directly child, or you will
surely break your leg, and what will your mother say then ?" And
it was simply delightful to feel for once just like a man, and do what
one liked. Men were always supposed by little Tom to do only
what they liked. Only little boys, like himself, had to do things
they disliked. To go to bed, for instance, at eight o'clock, and lie
with your eyes open; and have your allowance of pudding limited.
But he mustn't stop to play. or Uncle Will would most surely
catch him ; and besides, what a long, long way he had to go! Why,
he had heard them say at home that the seaport town of Whitford,
in which he meant to commence his search for the Admiral, was
quite three miles away. Could he do it ? Was he a good walker ?
Tom doubted it. His uncle was one, he knew, for he had heard
him say that he walked miles and miles a day ; but then, he was a
great big man, and a very giant in the eyes of his nephew, and
doubtless had the seven-leagued boots at his command. But then
his own mamma went miles also, and she was a little woman, only
Ube fpard) for fte S~miral. 83
just tall enough, for so old Hester told him, to reach the Admiral's
heart. Surely, if she could walk so far, he, Tom, could walk still
farther. So he hurried on, and soon found himself in the narrow
streets of the old seaport town.
The ruined Abbey stood on the top of a steep cliff; red-tiled
houses seemed toppling one over the other; the harbour was full
of ships; the quays were full of seamen from every clime under the
sun. Dark-bearded sailors, with gold rings in their ears; Greek
skippers, with black, uncertain eyes, and white teeth gleaming as
they laughed ; Swedes and Norwegians, fair and stalwart. All these
he met in the winding streets.
And one after another he stopped them, and after politely lifting
his sailor hat, entreated them to take him on board the ship
Reliance, to his father, Admiral Wharton. And one after another
they failed to understand him, and thought that he knew not what
he said. And when he tried to explain, it only made matters
worse. What was he to do ? The ships were there, dozens of them
in the harbour, therefore his own papa must be in one of them ; but
no one would take him to him. And just as a kindly Scotchman
was trying to make out what he meant, somebody laid a firm hand
upon his shoulder; somebody said, in a loud and hearty voice,
"Caught at last, my little man." and he found himself held fast and
tight in the arms of Uncle Will, who at once bore the struggling
84 EIe crarrl for tlje 91miral.
hero away from the seaport town. And thus ended his search for
But when little Tom was safe in his bed that night, and supposed
to be quite asleep, he made up his mind that he would never be a
soldier, because soldiers seemed to have nothing to do but look
up poor little boys ; he would far rather be like his own papa.
And before many months were over, he was told that the
Relief Expedition had at last found the Admiral and the sur-
vivors of his crew. And little Tom was the happiest boy in
England. And there came a never-to-be-forgotten day when
Uncle Will escorted his sister and nephew into the seaport town
from which he had once borne Tom. And as for Tom himself, he
was almost beside himself with pleasure. Was this a real carriage
made by a mortal coachmaker, with only, dear old John the coach-
man driving it ? Or was it a fairy chariot on its way to Fairyland ?
What did his uncle mean by saying, "Bear up, Margaret, bear up,
joy never kills !" to his own mamma? And why was her sweet,
fair face so pale? And even as he asked himself these questions,
the carriage stopped near a quay, and somebody lifted him out.
In the harbour a splendid ship was lying, and even before they
told him, little Tom knew that it was his father's.
Over the plank he tripped, and his mother took him by the hand
down into the cabin, whilst Uncle Will stayed up on deck. "Now
Eble .rarrb for the %timiral. 85
I shall see papa, and the white bear skin," said little Tom to him-
self. And what he really saw was this, and if he lives to be ever
so old, he will never forget it-
He saw his mother, whom he had always known so calm and
self-possessed, tremble as much as he had done when his uncle
caught him playing with a gun. He saw her walk up to a man in
a naval dress, and with both hands extended, murmur, Henry."
And he saw the man, whom he guessed was his father, take the
trembling figure in his arms, and heard him say, My patient
Margaret, you are safe in the safest place at last." And the woman
who had carried her cross in silence for so many years, the depth
of whose sorrow had been told only to Christ, smiled, and said,
"This is our true wedding day : such joy was worth waiting for."
Then she drew forward little Tom, who had all this time been
quietly looking for the bear skins, saying, "This is little Tom, dear
Henry." And when his papa replied, "Yes, 'our baby,' he quite
forgot to be offended, and climbed up into his father's arms, and
whispered in his ear, Did you kill two bears, or one, papa, and
please where are the skins ? "
And as his own dear newly-found papa pointed for answer to two
white fleecy rugs on the cabin floor, Uncle Will called down the
gangway, May I come now ? Well, little Tom, has the search
for the Admiral ended ?"
irm Lorrimer', fairing.
NCE upon a time, when the world and your grand-
mother were thirty years younger, I lived in a quaint
old town in the Midlands, called Cornbury. n old
town -which-was full of toil and traffic,- whereje-
r click-clack of the many looms was answered by the chiming of
the bells. Even now, dear children, I look back upon my life
in that city as to a green spot in the wilderness; though I
came from the North Countree, and had left my dear parents,
lying in a village churchyard in Yorkshire. I Your grandfather was
the custodian, or keeper, of St. Lucy's Hall, an ancient public
building which was the pride of Cornbury. He had the keys, and
saw to the safety of the old Hall, and I kept it clean, and dusted
the old armour, brushed the tapestry, and made things straight
generally. My husband had been a soldier, and even then liked
SUM. Itarriiner's jaitring. 87
to be called Sergeant Lorrimer. His arm was stiff, but, as he
often said himself, his hand was open, and he was one of the
kindest men I ever knew; but to have seen and known him at his
very best you should just have seen him with the little ones.
I had not been long settled in the old Midland town before I
found that the event of the year, by which all matters-past,
present and future-were reckoned, was Cornbury Fair. ,--Long- "
absent friends visited their relatives, lasses and lads were- married,
new dresses were made for, dainty bonnets worn at, the great
Fair. /I shall never forget its first coming round after our settle-
ment in the city-it was so entirely different from the little North
Country fairs, where the young men and women went to be hired
with- bunches of southernwood as breast-knots. All day long the
roads were alive with caravans and wayfarers coming into the town.
The bells rang their merriest, the folks wore their best, and Corn-
bury Fair had began.
It was a fair Spring evening when I went to buy my sailor son,
Jack, a fairing.' You must think that you see me going, in my best
black satin gown and drawn silk bonnet, my dears, and then you
can bear me company along the narrow streets, sweet, many of
them, at least, with the perfume of the lilac trees overhanging the
When I reached Coles' Meadow, in which the Fair was held, the
88 l1re. Eorrimrr'e 5Fairinig.
fun was at its height. All the world seemed to have become
children f6r a time. The noise and shouting were rather too much
for me, so I bought Jack and his father a pair of handsome
tobacco jars, and made my way to a quieter part, where the shows
Here was the wild beast show, the once famous Wombwell's, and
at some distance from it stood a small theatre, where a little girl
was dancing on a wooden platform outside. A girl of seven years
old or so, with pale golden curls, and-the -face of an Angel. A girl,
the colour of whose eyes reminded me of my own little Belle's,
whom I lost when she was a baby only. I thanked God, as I stood
there and watched that other one dance and twist and make strange
contortions, that my child had never lived to be as weary as this
one appeared; never lived to look as broken-hearted as poor little
Golden Curls, for thus I had mentally named her.
I wish I could give her a fairing; I wish I could make her smile,"
I said to myself, and before the words had well left my lips the
opportunity came. A man iri the attire-of a Charles II.- cavalier-
came forward and held up a hoop for her to jump through, and
she refused. In vain he said, "Come Peri, jump; now, Peri,
now." She still declined to move. Perhaps the childish limbs,
being composed of flesh and blood, not india-rubber, ached sadly;
or perhaps she needed some more breathing time. This her gipsy
Sftlr%. iLarrtincr'! airing. 89
master did not understand, it seemed, for at any rate he walked up
to her and struck her lightly with his small whip. Her red lips
quivered, her soft eyes looked no longer soft, and she turned aside
to weep. I could bear it no longer. I walked up to the man and
gave him half-a-crown, on condition of his not touching her again.
He took it with a gruff All right," but still kept near the child,
so I could not speak to her; but she evidently understood, for
she kissed her hand as I went by. After this I quitted .the Fair,
meaning to pay it a visit on the morrow and see my little Peri.
But on that very next day, as it happened, Lorrimer had to go away
on business, leaving me to keep the Hall in his absence.
Be sure you go round it the last thing at night, Martha, and
look in all the ante-rooms before locking them up." These were
his parting injunctions, and they were carefully fulfilled. When I
took the keys from their nail and went to lock up I first of all
visited the Justice Room, where the portrait of Queen Mary was
treasured. There all was safe; the pictured treasure was secure in
its tarnished frame. So I said Good night, your Majesty," and
locked the door, glad that that portion of my task was done, for the
old Hall was gloomy at night, and I fear that your grandmother
was rather a timid woman. As I crossed the largest room, or Hall,
I thought that I heard something like a sob proceeding from the
other ante-room at the extreme end, and I felt nervous, but tried to
90 tir. ilaorrinmer'l airing.
banish fear by thinking of my Jack, who was coming back from
China, and how he would laugh away my tears, and call out,
" Don't be afraid of the old iron pots, mother !" for that was what
he called the ancient helmets over the music gallery. So I went
on bravely, gained the low oak door of Queen Elizabeth's Waiting
Room, and paused outside it listening. Yes, someone was inside
it-someone in trouble, seemingly, by the piteous wailing sobs. I
pushed open the door and entered. A ray of moonlight fell through
the stained-glass windows on a childish form lying face downwards
on some faded cushions. Even when I went close up to her she
did not move, only whispered, Mamma, mamma, I want to go to
sleep on your knee." When you are older, my darlings, you will
know that every mother feels as one (or ought to do so) to all
poor and afflicted children. Therefore, I bent down and said,
" Dearie, your mother has sent me to you; come, kiss me." She
laid her poor wet cheeks to mine and put her trembling arms round
my neck, whilst she whispered, in broken sentences, "I am not
that man's little girl at all; I belong to my own papa and mamma.
I am not Peri, I am Olive Bassett, and, oh I'm so hungry." I
quite believed this, for the little figure in cotton velvet and tar-
nished tinsel was sadly small and thiri.
"Where do you live, dear; and how did this man get hold
of you ?" I asked.
:fr%. Earrimer's ~Fairitg. 91
We live at Leeds. Papa's a doctor there; and the gipsies stole
me one day when I was gathering primroses, a long time ago."
And how did you manage to escape, my child ?"
I heard that the big elephant had got away from \Vombwell's,
so I thought I would try and get away, too, even if I met the
elephant, for I'm not as afraid of him as of Sharp George, you
Poor broken little soul, what I did not know I guessed, and that
was enough. So I carried her to our own pleasant sitting-room,
and gave her some bread and milk.
I have often heard you sing, In the days when I went Gipsying,
a long time ago," and speak of the enjoyable life the gipsies must
lead : a.life of perpetual dancing under green trees, and feasting on
jugged hare and roast fowl. But you should have heard little Olive
tell her adventures, and you would have seen your mistake. No
dances except on the stage at fairs, no dainty dishes, no roast
chicken; but instead of it, scanty fare, plenty of stick, hard toil,
little rest. This was their real life.
I bathed the child's swollen feet, undressed and put her to bed;
then I lay down beside her and took her in my arms. I felt that
night as if my own dear little dead child, a baby no longer, stood
beside me, and said, "You have done for her all you would have
desired her mother to do for me had I stood in her place."
92 frS. Lorrimrr'$ airing.
You should have seen Olive's timid pleasure when she awoke
and found herself lying in a comfortable bed, instead of on the hard
mattress in the van, with the savage-looking bull-dog chained to the
back. You should have seen her delight when I gave her the
canary bird and the pot of white narcissus !
After breakfast I went to the police and told them her story.
They advised me to keep the little girl close, whilst they would
pay a visit to the gipsies.
On their return they brought the information that Sharp George
had disappeared from Coles' Meadow, leaving no trace behind.
Olive's enemies had gone, but the trembling child could hardly
realize her freedom; she still looked hunted-almost as much so
as when she ran into our ancient Hall to hide herself, all unknow-
ing that love and aid were near.
So after writing to Dr. Bassett to tell him that his lost daughter
was found, I bought little Golden Curls a pretty, neat frock, and
took her straight into the Fair to let her see for herself that the bad
old life was over.
When she came to the corner where the van stood, she caught
my hand and trembled, saying, If I could only forget, dear Mrs.
Lorrimer, if I could only go back to the time before I was stolen."
She could not, alas, do that, and I scarcely knew how to comfort
her; but something else now claimed her own compassion-a
fsrv. Larrimer'd jTairing. 93
something which pulled her skirt, and feebly whined. It was Toby,
the bull-dog, which had been left behind by his gipsy owners
because he had hurt his leg. Like many bull-dogs, he was not
really savage, but only looked so.
"Poor, poor doggie," said Olive, "have they hurt you, too ?"
and she threw her thin arms round it, forgetting her dislike in pity.
"May I have him for a fairing ?" she asked.
"Yes, surely, darling," was my reply, and we took the animal
home with us-home to St. Lucy's Hall, where we found somebody
waiting to welcome us, somebody with a bronzed face and cheery
voice, who came fresh from "the shadows of palms, and of shining
sands," my sailor lad, Jack, and he soon made little Olive smile
That was the happiest Cornbury Fair I ever knew, save one,
years afterwards, when your grandfather leant on your father's arm,
as a wedding party went up the Linden Walk-a wedding party,
Where the bridegroom was your own father, my Jack, and the
"bride was your own mother, little Golden Curls, whom they called
1' Grandmother's Fairing."
eMpmins Tom gAigbtinganle.
AM only a quaint old wooden figure in a cocked hat,
called Peeping Tom of Cornbury-a poor old figure,
revered as a relic, and loved as a friend.
Never, I trust, will the carpenter's hammer remove
me from my place, but if ever that evil day should come, I pray
you, dear citizens, do anything, everything, rather than sell poor
old Peeping Tom.
Chop me rather to pieces for firewood, for better by far is death
than oblivion; better death by fire than death by decay. It would
even be more pleasant to be placed in some nursery as a new and
unique kind of doll. For gentler by far would be the caressing
touch of soft baby fingers than the careless brush of the antiquary's
duster; better by far would it be to be put in a garden in place
of the stump of a tree, for then, at least, the ivy and moss would
creep over me and keep my memory green.
19eaptns dCam'. giffbtingalr. 95
Keep my memory green, did I say ? Shame on you, Tom, for
saying it; shame on you even for thinking it. Do you think that the
city you have looked on for generations would let that memory die ?
Think of the men and the women who have loved you; think of
the children who have grown up under your eyes, and who in their
turn have lived to lead their little ones past you, and bid them look
up at Tom.
Yes, each archway and pinnacle, gateway and spire, must fall
into ruins and crumble away before the townsfolk whom I have
loved and guarded shall say to each other, We'll part with Tom."
And if ever you paint up a motto above me, I pray you put this
-" Peeping but changeless, peeping but faithful, Tom, the un-
Think of the changes that have gone on around me; think of
the many sights I have seen.
Think of that bitter, that memorable winter when the looms
grew silent, and men's hearts grew sad; when the children's faces
grew pinched and eager; when the cupboards grew empty, as the
hearths grew cold.
When parents wept by little graves, sobbing, "Thank God,
our darlings are free from pain." In other towns where reigned
peace and plenty they thought with pity, they helped in mercy, the
suffering city of Peeping Tom.