The Baldwin Library
,_ _u' [
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BOLD AS A LION
REV. J. D. STRONG,
AUTHOR OF "CHILD LIFE IN MANY LANDS," ETC.
. u i w. : ' i "
. LOTrHRoP & Co.
38 & -0. CORNIH/LL,
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by
D. LOTHROP & CO.,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
Rockwell & Churchill, Printers and Stereotypers,
122 Washington Street, Boston.
BOLD AS A LION.
SGH! you coward!
you are just like
S a girl,- afraid to
climb a wall. I
: wonder you are
'. not ashamed of
"Not a bit ashamed, Dick," cheerily
answered Peter Price, to whom these
words were addressed. Nor afraid
either. Certainly I am afraid of doing
wrong, if that is what you mean. But,
thank God, I fear nothing else; and if
6 BOLD AS A LION.
you'll have my advice, you'll come away,
and leave Farmer Browne's apples alone."
Peter Price, with his two companions,
John and Dick Holmes, and their little
sister Mysie, were standing just outside
the gate of Farmer Browne's garden.
The garden was surrounded by a high
stone wall, covered on the top with pieces
of broken glass; but at a little distance
from the gate, near the wall, grew a large
apple-tree, the boughs of which, with their
tempting burden, hung over toward the
road. John and Dick, who were a pair
of idle, careless boys, bad been watching
these branches from day to day since the
fruit had begun to ripen; and they now
proposed to scramble up the wall, and,
getting on to one of the strongest boughs,
to shake down the apples on the road
BOLD AS A LION. 7
The gate of Farmer Browne's garden
was half open, but they dared not enter
there, lest Growler should see them and
spring upon them. Growler was a great,
shaggy fellow, with a terrible bark, the
terror of all the village children, and
the boys knew well that he was ready to
protect his master's apples.
But with the proposed theft, whether
by gate or by wall, Peter would have
nothing to do. They might call him a
coward if they pleased, that could not
hurt him; for Peter knew he was not so.
He knew it was not cowardly to fear and
hate sin, and he earnestly entreated his
friends to give up their wicked scheme;
but it was of no use they would not
listen to him.
"It's all very fine, and easy to preach,"
scoffed John. "I could do the same any
8 BOLD AS A LION.
day. Oh; yes! I see your plan, Master
Peter. We are to have all the danger,
but you are to have a share of the apples,
I suppose ha ha!" And as he spoke
he turned to help Dick up the wall.
That is not true," shouted Peter, with
flashing eyes. "You know I would not
touch one of them; and I can tell you I
think you both no better than a pair of
But Dick and John, thinking them-
selves sure of their prize, only laughed at
this outburst of Peter's honest anger; for
Dick had already swung himself clear of
the broken glass, and was holding on as
best he could to the branch of the apple-
tree, which swayed beneath his weight.
None of the boys knew that Farmer
Browne, who at this hour of the day was
usually far away upon his farm, happened
BOLD AS A LION. 9
on this particular occasion to be at home,
and was then sitting at the open window
of his little parlor, and overheard every
word that was spoken. The good farmer,
who knew Peter well, did not believe that
he was a coward. "Wait till I set
Growler at the young rogues," he said to
himself, as he rose and laid down his
newspaper, "and then we shall see who
are the cowards."
But meantime poor little Mysie, all un-
conscious of Growler, or of danger of any
sort, had, unnoticed, wandered away by
herself, and, not understanding what her
brothers were doing, she fearlessly pushed
open the gate and walked up the garden-
path, gathering flowers here and there as
she went along.
"Dick, do come down! Remember
that God sees you," urged Peter again,
10 BOLD AS A LION.
forgetting his anger, in his desire to keep
back his friend from dishonesty.
"Hush Hold your noisy tongue, will
you, or we shall be discovered," cried
John. We all know well enough you're
just afraid of Farmer Browne's little
finger. Here, Dick, shake down the
apples, and don't be all day about it."
"It is all very well to talk of shaking
apples," gasped Dick from his perilous
position on the trembling bough; "but if
you were up here yourself, you would see
I could not move an inch any way without
falling. I dare not let go my hold for a
He had hardly finished speaking when
Growler, who had been just unchained by
the farmer, rushed from his kennel in the
yard with a terrific bark, and made
BOLD AS A LION. 11
straight across the garden toward the
apple-tree to which Dick was clinging.
In an instant the scene was changed.
"We're caught! we're caught, Dick!
Come down quick We must run for it!"
shouted John. And, suiting the action to
the word, he turned and fled along the
road, leaving his brother to follow if he
"Come back, John Peter Some one
save me. Here he is! he has me 0
Peter, save me!" cried unhappy Dick, in
an agony of terror.
Neither of them thought of poor, inno-
cent Mysie, left in the garden alone with
But it was very different with Peter.
He had not been doing wrong, and the
time was come when he could prove he
was no coward. When his guilty com-
12 BOLD AS A LION.
panions fled, upon the first sound of
Growler's bark, Peter at once, like the
brave fellow he was, remembered helpless
little Mysie, and, perceiving that she had
entered the garden, he boldly pushed
open the gate, and dashed in just in time
to save the little girl from being over-
turned on the gravel-path by Growler,
who was making for the gate in pursuit
of the fugitives.
The good farmer fortunately at this
moment appeared in sight. Down,
Growler! down, sir!" he shouted to his
dog; and the obedient animal, seeming
to understand that it must be all right
from Peter's quiet air, as he stood waiting
the farmer's reproach, ceased his barking,
and trotted back again to his master's side.
"Well done, Peter, my boy Who are
the cowards now, I wonder?" he said, as
BOLD AS A LION. 13
he laid his hand kindly on Peter's head.
"And you, little one," he added, with a
pleasant smile, while he stroked poor
Mysie's cheek, "you need not be afraid
any more, for you have got brave Master
Peter to take care of you."
Poor Mysie, as she clung with both
her arms round Peter's neck, began to cry
afresh when she missed her brothers.
"Dick! Dick !" she sobbed, "come back
to poor Mysie But Dick had run away,
having thrown himself headlong from the
tree, where he had left tattered fragments
of his coat as memorials of his visit; and,
besides, he would have been afraid to
show his face even could he have heard
his little sister's words.
As for the farmer, he did not seem to
trouble his head much about the culprits.
Having called back Growler, who seemed
14 BOLD AS A LION.
terribly anxious to get out at the gate, he
walked slowly across the garden, and
looked at the drooping branch of his
apple-tree which Dick Holmes had broken
in his efforts to escape.
"Well, Peter," he said, after a pause,
"I dare say it is you who will have to
take little Mysie home this evening; for
I guess pretty well her brave brothers
won't venture near this place again for a
Peter, not knowing what reply to make
to this observation, reddened, and looked
down on the gravel-path.
Now, Peter," continued the farmer,
with a merry twinkle in his eye, will you
take a message to your friends from
"Yes, sir," answered Peter. But he
felt very uncomfortable, for he did not
BOLD AS A LION. 15
wish to be the bearer of the angry message
which he feared was coming.
The farmer now took out of his pocket
a large red cotton handkerchief, and
spread it on the grass at the foot of the
tree. On it he placed twelve of the finest
apples he could find on the tree, and then
he tied up the corners of the handkerchief,
keeping the apples inside.
Will you just carry this," said he, plac-
ing it in Peter's hand, "to Masters John
and Dick, with my compliments, and say
the next time they want any apples I hope.
they will come and ask me, instead of
stealing about like thieves, and breaking
down my trees?"
Peter's face flushed with joyful surprise,
but he could not manage to express his
feelings further than by repeating, "Yes,
sir thank you, sir," many times over,
16 BOLD AS A LION.
as he took the knotted handkerchief, and,
leading Mysie by the hand, prepared to
leave the garden.
"I say, not so fast," said the farmer,
laughing. If you carry apples for Dick
and John, I am sure Mysie will lend her
pinafore to carry apples for you."
Little Mysie smiled, and stretched out
her pinafore to the full length of her arms
in earnest approval of this plan; and
Peter expressed his thanks as well as he
could, while the farmer placed eight rosy
apples within it, six for Peter, the same
as the other boys, and two over besides,
as 'a special reward to him for his good
behavior. Little Mysie had hard work to
hold up those apples as she and her young
protector made their way home across the
common. Indeed, more than once an
apple rolled out and had to be picked up
BOLD AS A LION. 17
again; but the children arrived at last
without one missing apple at Widow
I need not pause to describe the sur-
prise of Dick and John when they received
the farmer's gift and message; but I will
pause to say that their surprise was
mingled with shame, shame for their
own unworthy conduct, their dishonesty,
their taunts to Peter, and their cowardly
desertion of their little sister upon .the
first appearance of real danger.
So touched were they by the good
farmer's kindness, more, perhaps, than
they could have been by any harsh words,
- that they resolved to go and thank him
openly on the following morning, and ask
him for his forgiveness.
As they approached the house they
were welcomed by a cheery voice:
18 BOLD AS A LION.
"Well, my lads, good-morning! Any
walls to be scaled to-day ?"
No, sir," answered John, with some
hesitation. We have just come, sir, to
thank you for the apples; and to say, sir,
we never mean to act again as we have
"Bravely said, my boy! replied the
farmer. But you should add, With the
help of God.' You will never succeed in
your good resolution without his assist-
ance; but he will help you if you ask
him. And then, my dear boys, you will
never be caught in such a position as you
were in yesterday. There will be no
more running away and sneaking out of
sight. I hope this old apple-tree," he
continued, pointing to the overhanging
branch, may serve to remind you of the
true nature of courage. The wicked can
BOLD AS A LION. 19
never show thai real bravery which alone
is approved in the sight of God. No;
sin makes cowards of those who indulge
in it, even where there is no danger. As
the proverb saith: The wicked flee when
no man pursueth; but the righteous are
bold as a lion' (Prov. xxviii. 1).
"Remember that, my lads; and en-
deavor, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to
keep your consciences clean, 'void of
offence toward God and toward men'
(Acts xxiv. 16). Fear God, and you
will then find that there is nothing else in
heaven or on earth of which you need be
S, i '
AFRAID' OF THE DARK.
ITTLE Herbie Stamer
and his mother sat
together in the draw-
ing-room on a dark
....w "-winter evening very
near five o'clock. The
lamp on the round
table had not yet been
lighted, but the flames in the fireplace,
as they leaped merrily up and down, gave
light enough for the little boy to see his
mother's face as she smiled and spoke to
22 AFRAID OF THE DARK.
Mrs. Stamer had sprained her ankle
badly the day before, and was unable to
leave her chair, and Herbie had declared
that he would be her little messenger and
nurse-tender until she was able to go
about the house again. They had been
chattering together all the afternoon, since
the twilight came, of a great school-feast
which was to be -given on the following
day to the poor children of the village.
"Well, Herbie," said his mother, as
the servant at length entered the room to
light the lamp; "I must not now sit idle
any more, so just run upstairs and bring -
me down my work-box; you will find it
on the dressing-table in my room."
"All right," answered Herbie, rising at
once from the footstool on which he had
been seated, and running out of the room
on his -message.
AFRAID OF THE DARK. 23
The hall outside was brilliant and warm
with gas-light, and Herbie crossed it with
a confident step. But the staircase!
Ah, that was different! Far up upon
those winding steps it looked all black
and shadowy. Herbie stood on the mat
at the bottom of the stairs and gazed
gravely upwards. I don't think mamma
can want her work-box this very minute,"
he said to himself. "I don't like to go
up into that dark place."
Nevertheless he did walk up a few
steps very slowly,- and then again he
paused. He fancied he heard something
moving, just a little way higher up. He
did not know that it was only the old
gray kitchen cat, which was scampering
off to get out of his way. He strained his
eyes in his efforts to see, as he stood
there holding the banisters with a firm
24 AFRAID OF THE DARK.
grasp. But the evening shadows fell so
heavily across the staircase that he could
not make out anything. Just then a gust
of wind dashed suddenly against one of
the windows above, and caused a door -
the very door of his mother's bedroom -
to shut with a bang.
Herbie, like a foolish little goose as he
was, jumped and clapped his hands to-
gether when he heard the noise, and re-
treated quickly again to his position on
Herbie cried his mother, who heard
his returning footsteps through the half-
opened drawing-room door. Herbie -
come quickly! Have you brought the
The little boy came back slowly across
the hall, shuffling his feet along as he
walked; for he felt half ashamed to con-
AFRAID OF THE DARK. 25
fess that he had not yet gone on his
Well?" said his mother, as he ap-
peared in the doorway.
But Herbie advanced no further.
There he stood rattling the handle of the
door, and rubbing the back of his hand
into his eyes.
"Why don't you speak, my boy? in-
quired his mother, looking at him
curiously. "Could you not find the
"It was so dark," he muttered at last,
in a cross tone; "there was no light at all
on the stairs."
"Eh! you foolish little man!" cried
Mrs. Stamer, laughing. "Surely you
were not afraid of the dark. I fear you
will never make a brave soldier."
But Herbie did not move; there he
26 AFRAID OF THE DARK.
stood in the doorway, silent and down-
My dear child," said his mother, after
a pause, "I want my work-box. to finish
making a cloak for a poor, little, blind
girl, to wear at the feast to-morrow. If
she does not have the cloak in time, then
she cannot go to the feast; and if you do
not bring me the work-box, so that I may
begin at once, I cannot allow you either
to go to see the feast, from which you
have been the means of keeping poor,
blind Mary away."
Herbie hesitated when he heard these
words. He knew poor, blind Mary very
well, and he had often pitied her, when
he saw her groping her way along the
village street, unable to join the other
children at play.
AFRAID OF THE DARK. 27
"May John come with me, with a
candle?" he asked, doubtfully.
"Nonsense, Herbie!" replied his
mother. You must choose between two
things, either you must conquer your
foolish fears and run at once for the box,
or, by not doing so, you must prevent
poor Mary from going to the feast.
Which will you do?"
To this question Herbie made no reply;
but he went out again into the well-
lighted hall, and once more took up his
position on the mat. Here for some
minutes he stood uncertain what to do,
heaving one deep sigh as he thought of
Mary, and another as he looked upwards
into the darkness. The nursery door
upstairs stood open, and he could hear
nurse up there, singing his baby-sister to
28 AFRAID OF THE DARK.
sleep. The sound seemed to give him
"I will not be a foolish little coward,"
he said to himself, and away he darted.
Two steps at a time he mounted the
stairs, and never paused to look behind
him, or into the dark corners on the land-
ing-place. No. He made straight for
his mother's room, groped his way to the
well-known dressing-table, seized the box
that lay upon it, and, turning quickly,
rushed headlong back again down the
shadowy staircase, conveying his prize.
Nothing very dreadful had happened to
him, after all Herbie entered the draw-
ing-room this time without any shame or
shuffling, because he felt that he had done
what was right, in spite of the foolish
fears that had been in his mind.
"Well! here you are, Herbie, quite
AFRAID OF THE DARK. 29
safe and sound !" said Mrs. Stamer, with a
pleasant smile, as the little boy crossed the
room and laid down the work-box on the
table beside her. "And so no terrible
hobgoblin succeeded in catching you, after
Herbie looked confused. He suspected
that his mother was laughing at him.
"What are hobgoblins, mother?" he
asked, after a pause.
"Indeed, I do not know," replied Mrs.
Stamer, for I never saw one. But when
little boys are afraid to run upstairs in
the dark, I suppose they must think there
is something up there to frighten them,
and I call that a 'hobgoblin.' "
"There was nothing on the stairs to-
night, mother; for I went up the whole
way and back again by myself," said
30 AFRAID OF THE DARK.
His mother laughed. Of course there
was nothing, my dear boy," she said.
"The staircase is just the same in the dark
as it was in the daylight, only that you
cannot see it. But you conquered your
foolish fears this evening, Herbie; and I
am-very much pleased with you for doing
Herbie thought it was quite worth a
race upstairs in the dark, to find his
mother so pleased when he returned,
and he even volunteered to go up again
and ask nurse for some black sewing-silk,
which was missing from Mrs. Stamer's
His mother did not particularly want
the silk, but she allowed Herbie to go
upon the message, in order that he might
prove to himself once more that the dark-
ness could not harm him.
AFRAID OF THE DARK. 3' 1
When he returned again in safety from
this second adventure, Mrs. Stamer told
him that as a reward for his courage he
might himself carry the cloak to poor
Mary on the following morning.
And so it happened.that the next morn-
ing, at an early hour, Herbie with a happy
heart made his way to the cottage close
at hand, where the blind girl lived, and
presented her with her promised new
cloak. Mary was very glad and thankful,
and more so when Herbie himself took
her by the hand and guided her along
the street; for she feared, if she were left
to grope her way alone, she could never
get*to the school-house in time to join
with the other girls in singing the morn-
Now, however, holding each other's
hands, the two children stepped along at
32 AFRAID OF THE DARK.
a rapid pace, and Herbie felt quite proud
of himself as he carefully guided his com-
panion away from the loose stones and
pools of water that lay in the road, which
she could not see for herself with her
poor, blind eyes.
This little boy had been always taught
by his mother to be kind and gentle to
the poor; and to help and pity those who
were not so happy as he was himself.
For some time they hurried along in
silence, but at length Herbie spoke.
Pointing to a group of merry, laughing
children on the other side of the Aroad,
who were all eagerly talking of the music,
the races, the prizes for good conduct,
and last, not least, the feast of tea and
cakes to be enjoyed that day at the school-
house, he said: -
"Look there, 'Mary We are in plenty
AFRAID OF THE DARK. 35
of time. See, half the children have not
But Mary shook her head sadly in re-
ply. Herbie had forgotten, in his haste,
that she was blind, and could see nothing
of the gay scene which so delighted
Mary," asked he, very gently, "can
you never see anything ? "
"Never, Master Herbie," she replied,
tears welling up for a moment in her
I am always in the dark. But," she
added, brightening into a smile again, "I
am used to it now, and I do not mind
Always in the dark," repeated Herbie
softly to himself. And he thought of
what had happened the evening before.
"Mary, are you not sometimes afraid?"
86 AFRAID OF THE DARK.
But the little blind girl laughed out-
right at this question. "Afraid, Master
Herbie!" she said, merrily; "afraid of
Of being in the dark, I mean," said
Herbie, uneasily, half afraid himself now
that Mary was laughing at him.
Mary's face suddenly grew serious.
"Master Herbie," she said, "I must never
be afraid, because God can take care of
me. Though it seem dark to me, it is
always light with God. The Bible says
Herbie made no reply, for they had
now reached the door of the school-house.
But he did not forget poor Mary's words,
" Though it seem dark to me, it is always
light with God." And he resolved that,
for the future, he would try never again
to be. foolishly afraid of the dark.
AFRAID OF THE DARK. 37
"Mother," he exclaimed, running joy-
fully into the drawing-room, upon his
return home in the evening, "I have had
such a pleasant day! And I gave the
cloak to Mary, and I guided her myself
the whole way to the school."
Poor Mary !" said Mrs. Stamer. I
fear she cannot have enjoyed herself very
"Oh! but, mother, I think she did.
She looked quite happy all the time, and
she told me she was not one bit afraid,
though she was always in the dark."
"And did she tell you why she was not
afraid of the darkness, Herbie ? "
"Yes, mother. -She said God could
take care of her, and that he could see
her as well in the dark as in the daylight,
and that the Bible said he could."
"She was quite right in that," observed
38 AFRAID OF THE DARK.
Mrs. Stamer. "Bring me my Bible, and
I will show you the verse which I think
Then Herbie carried over a Bible to his
mother, and she opened it at the 139th
Psalm, and read these words : -
The darkness hideth not from thee; but
the night shineth as the day. The darkness
and the light are both alike to thee."
"THE WICKED FLEE WHEN NO MAN
"q-. claimedold Mis-
the woman who
resided in the
g gate-lodge at
the entrance of
"Johnnie, where are you gone to? Come
here quickly. I have a message for you."
Johnnie had been very busy and in-
40 TEE WICKED FLEE
terested in making mud-bridges over a
little channel of water that lay at the back
of his grandmother's lodge, and he ad-
vanced, in answer to her summons, with a
"Here, child," she continued, holding
up a pretty open basket, the contents of
which were daintily covered over-by clean
white paper. "A lady has just left this
fruit at the gate, with a message that Miss
Flora is to have it at once; so let me see
you lose no time about it. Be smart.
Brush your hair, wash your hands, and
"Miss Flora" was the poor sickly
daughter of Colonel and Mrs. Stone, of
Stone Hall. She was never able to leave
her sofa to play about as other children
do; but every one loved and was kind to
her, and many were the prresclts of rare
WHEN NO MAN PURSUETH." 41
fruits and flowers she received from the
kind people around.
Johnnie forsook his mud-modelled
bridges with a sigh, removed the traces
of his dirty occupation from his hands and
face, and, taking possession of the basket,
set out for the Hall. The carriage-drive,
from the gate-lodge to the Hall, was an
unusually long one, and, for want of some
other occupation for his thoughts, the
little boy began to turn his attention to
the basket that hung upon his arm.
"I wonder what nice thing Miss Flora
is going to get this time," he said; "I'll
have a look; and he raised the corner of
the white paper. He had just time to see
a tuft of green moss, and what seemed
very like the soft red cheek of a peach,
when a sound of wheels caused him
quickly to replace the paper. A carriage
42 THE WICKED FLEE
full of visitors dashed by, and Johnnie
touched his cap as they passed him; but
it was a narrow escape, Johnnie would
not have liked any one to see him finger-
ing Miss Flora's peaches.
But he longed to take another look at
that so tempting treasure. The carriage
full of visitors was gone. Johnnie stood
and listened; there was no sound of any-
thing stirring, save the uproar made by
the crows in the old rookery. With one
quick glance around him, he stepped
aside off the drive, and, pushing through a
thick laurel hedge which bordered the
approach just there, he found himself in a
sheltered spot, quite secure from the ob-
servation of any chance passer-by.
Why did he wish to hide himself? He
forgot that he could not hide from God.
The paper was now not only raised a
WHEN NO MAN PURSUETH." 43
little at the corner, but quite turned back
over half the basket. What a sight met
Johnnie's eager eyes Six ripe, blooming
peaches, nestling on their mossy bed.
Such beauties It was still early in July,
and Johnnie knew there were none such
nearly ripe yet in the garden of his em-
ployer. And then it was a pleasure only
to touch them, only to feel that soft
velvet red, shading off gradually into a
rich yellow. Johnnie did touch them, -
touched them a good deal, turned them
over and over, -when, lo a noise amid
the laurels, a rustling of their stiff, shining
leaves. The little boy started, dropped
his basket, and out rolled the largest and
ripest of the peaches upon the rough
ground at his feet. After all, the dis-
turbance was caused only by a blackbird
flying through the laurels, and with a sigh
44 THE WICKED FLEE
of relief Johnnie stooped and picked up
his peach. But, alas! it was all soiled
and bruised by the fall, and small pieces
of gravel were sticking into its velvet
Johnnie brushed away the pebbles, and
then sucked his fingers, for sake of the
moisture left upon them. It was very
good. It was a long time since he had
tasted a peach. Miss Flora would never
miss this one. Besides, now it was not fit
to replace in the basket, with those oozing
holes in its soft sides. Should he take
it? Yes. What harm? And in went
his teeth through the luscious fruit. It
was certainly a most delicious mouthful;
but he had scarcely time to taste it, so
quickly did he gulp it down. He remem-
bered now how long he had delayed
already, and mouthful after mouthful was
WETEN NO MAN PURSUETH." 45
hastily swallowed, while the juice poured
over Johnnie's hand, and down his sleeve.
But there was no time to think of such
matters. The peach must be got rid of
now, some way or other, and the faster
In a few minutes Johnnie came out in
safety from his hiding-place; his feast
over, and not much enjoyment. of it re-
maining. True, he smacked his lips once
or twice, and tried to remember how
good it was; but in reality he felt rather
anxious and unhappy. With rapid steps
he proceeded along the remainder of the
approach, and arrived at the house with
quickened breath. Dreading discovery
should he make any delay, he quickly de-
livered the basket and message to the
servant, and without another word "re-
turned on his way.
46 THE WICKED FLEE
But he was far from happy now.
"What if they should find out what I have
done? he asked himself over and over
again, and never could he find a satis-
factory answer. His bridges of mud no
longer possessed. any charm for him, for
his thoughts were otherwise occupied.
"Perhaps Miss Flora knew the lady
was going to send her six. Perhaps the
white paper is torn or stained. I forgot,
in my haste, to look at it. Perhaps, oh
perhaps, worse than all! I may have let
the peach-stone drop into the basket.
I'm sure I do not know what I did with
it!" Such were Johnnie's reflections as
he sat idly looking at his muddy bridges;
and they were not very pleasant ones.
His grandmother was hanging out some
clothes to dry on a hedge in her little
garden at the back of the lodge, whence
WHEN NO MAN PURSUETH." 47
could be obtained a good view of the car-
riage drive. "Here is one of the young
ladies coming down the drive, Johnnie,"
she cried, presently. "Go out to the front
door and see what Miss Lydia wants."
"I have been discovered then, after
all," thought Johnnie, and he turned and
fled. Away he ran out at the front door,
across the road-way into the shrubbery
beyond, away, away, as fast as his legs
could carry him. He tumbled into a
ditch, and covered himself with wet green
slime, but that was no matter to him;
he scrambled out again without a thought
of that misfortune. He cared not what
might happen if he could but get out of
reach of the lodge.
What a poor coward Johnnie had be-
He heard his name called many times
48 THE WICKED FLEE
by his grandmother, and by Miss Lydia;
but he lay quite still, wet and shivering
though he was, under the shelter of the
slimy ditch. It is hardly necessary to
say what was the cause of his flight and
terror. It was his own accusing con-
science, which could not allow him to rest,
and turned him into this miserable fugi-
tive, afraid to look even his kindest
friends in the face.
The wise king Solomon wrote, as one
of his proverbs, The wicked flee when no
man pursueth;" and little Johnnie was
just now proving the truth of this wise
saying. He had fled away from his home
when indeed no one was thinking of pur-
suing him. Miss Lydia had not known
anything about the peaches which had
been sent to her sister Flora, and she had
come down-to the lodge upon a very dif-
WHEN NO MAN PURSUETH." 49
ferent message from that which Johnnie
supposed, she had come with a new,
neatly bound Bible as a present for
Johunie himself, because she had observed,
on the last Sabbath day, that the book he
carried was shabby and almost worn out.
Little did the foolish boy think, as he
sat shivering in his hiding-place, why it
was that "Johnnie! Johnnie !" was so
perseveringly called for. No; those calls
made him more sure than ever that his
theft had been discovered. And he could
not return to meet the accusations which
he expected were in store for him.
Dame Dawson was much perplexed to
think what could have become of her
grandson, and after a time Miss Lydia
returned to the Hall, leaving the Bible in
charge of the old woman at the lodge.
Later in the evening, Johnnie, feeling
50 THE WICKED LEE
too cold and hungry to remain out of
doors any longer, stole out of his hiding-
place and came slowly back to his grand-
mother's dwelling. To all her questions
he made one sulky excuse after another;
for he felt half uncertain still whether the
story of the peach was known. At length,
as desired, the old woman presented him
with the Bible, together with a kind mes-
sage from Miss Lydia. Then a flush of
sudden shame and surprise rushed over
Johnnie's face, and he hurried away up a
little staircase to his own room, where he
cried bitterly. His tears fell all over the
bright new binding of his Bible, and,
before he noticed it, they had stained the
purple cover, and caused great blotches
to rise up on its sides.
His grandmother saw something was
amiss, but she judged it better to wait till
WHEN NO MAN PURSUETH." 51
Johnnie should speak himself. Next
morning, when Johnnie, after a restless
night, tried to get out of bed, his head
ached so badly, his throat was so sore,
and he felt such pains through all his
limbs, that he was glad to obtain his
grandmother's permission to lie still. He
had caught a severe cold from sitting so
long, the day before, upon the damp
ground in his wet clothes. As he lay in
his bed thinking over his troubles, he
made up his mind upon one point, -
come what might, he resolved to confess
the whole matter to the young lady who
had brought him the Bible. And he was
right. He could never have been happy
had he not confessed his fault, confessed
it to God, who could see into his heart,
and confessed it also to those earthly
friends he had deceived.
52 "THE WICKED FLEE
About mid-day Miss Lydia came down
again to the lodge, and, on hearing that
Johnnie was ill, she kindly stepped up
herself to see him. This was Johnnie's
opportunity; and now he told with shame
and sorrow, and not without tears, all
that had occurred.
Miss Lydia heard the whole story
patiently to the end. "Johnnie," she
said, kindly, "do not cry about it any
more. I see that you are truly sorry for
your fault, and I forgive you heartily. I
feel sure, too, that Miss Flora will forgive
you also when she hears the story. But
our forgiveness is nothing. It is God
who is always most offended by sin. Of
him, therefore, there is most need to ask
forgiveness. The Scripture encourages
you to do so. St. John says, 'If we con-
fess our sins, he is faithful and just to
WHEN NO MAN PURSUETH." 53
forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from
all unrighteousness.' And again, Te
blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth
us from all sin'" (1 John i. 7, 9).
Johnnie, having relieved his mind of
the burden that lay upon it by this tearful
confession, was now able to brush away
the traces of his grief, and look up with
a smile into Miss Lydia's face.
I think you are not afraid of me to-
day, Johnnie," she said, as, after some
pleasant talk, she rose to return home.
"But I will just mark one verse in your
new Bible, to make you remember what
And when Johnnie looked, after she
was gone, he found the marked verse was
the proverb of Solomon to which we have
before alluded: -
54 THE WICKED FLEE."
The wicked flee when no man pursueth;
but the righteous are bold as a lion"
(1 Prov. xxviii. 1).
SLEAR was the sky
i01. and smooth the
Skater, when on
a beautiful day I
walked on the
cliffs opposite the
Ssea. More than
,-j two hundred ves-
sels of various kinds were at once visible,
each pursuing her way through the track-
less waters to a distant shore.
I watched them with no common
attention. "Fair breezes and God's
56 THE WRECK.
blessing," said I, as they' proceeded on
their several courses. It was a sight to
Not many days had passed, when from
the same place was witnessed a different
scene. It was high water, and the sea
was exceedingly rough. The crew of a
schooner, which had just discharged her
cargo, did their best to get her off. All
was done by them that men could do, but
all was in vain, for the strain upon the
vessel was so severe that the moorings
were pulled up and shore-tackle broken;
she soon broached to, and drove on to
leeward with the sea breaking furiously
It was a sad sight to gaze on, when, in
the season of their extremity, the captain
and crew were dragged by ropes through
the surf to land, the wind howling, the
THE WRECK. 59
waters roaring, and the schooner driven
against the sea-wall, heavily beating and
pounding the shingle with her hull.
Her keel could cleave the deep no more,
For the waves had beat and bound her;
And she lay a wreck on the shingly shore,
With the white foam raging round her.
The wreck of a vessel may suggest to
our minds the wreck of a soul; for many
a soul, that appeared to set out like a ship
on a prosperous voyage, has been forever
wrecked, not in a storm, but in a calm.
When a ship is wrecked, there is some-
times hope of escape: some friendly sail
may heave in sight; the broken hull may
yet bear up against the storm; or the crew,
some by swimming, "some on boards,
and some on broken pieces of the ship,"
may get safe to land; but the wreck of a
60 THE WRECK.
soul is nothing less than helpless, endless
It was long before I left the beach, and
when I did so the ocean waves were still
dashing against the stranded hull of the
broken vessel. Sobered and solemnized
by the mournful sight, I walked away
Be thou my stay, 0 Lord, in every
storm, that my faith may not suffer ship-
wreck. Give me grace so to love and
trust thee, -
That my soul in her need, when the tempest is nigh,
May escape to the Rock that is higher than I.'"
THE LOST NESTLINGS.
AVE you seen my darling
A mother robin cried.
"I cannot, cannot find
Though I've sought them
far and wide.
S I left them well this
When I went to seek their food;
But I found, upon returning,
I'd a nest without a brood.
"Oh, have you naught to tell me
That will ease my aching breast,
About my tender offspring
That I left within the nest?
62 THE LOST NESTLINGS.
"I've called them in the bushes,
And the rolling stream beside,
Yet they came not to my bidding;
I'm afraid they all have died."
"I can tell you all about them,"
Said a little wanton boy,
"For 'twas I that did the mischief,
Your nestlings to destroy.
"But I did not think their mother
Her little ones would miss,
Or ever come to hail me
With a'wailing sound like this.
"I did not know your bosom
Was formed to suffer woe,
And to mourn your murdered children,
Or I had not grieved you so.
I am sorry that I've taken
The lives I can't restore;
And this regret shall teach me
To do the thing no more.
"I ever shall remember
The plaintive sounds I've heard,
Nor kill another nestling
To pain another bird."
1, -." -
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