The Baldwin Library
' K 11
& et /V
,2,ri^L /C f
I'"srrs~r ,_AB''i= Pl
I IC T
THE COTTAGE BY THE CLIFF.
WITH COLOURED FRONTISPIECE.
FREDERICK WARNE AND CO.,
BEDFORD STREET, STRAND.
D.LZIEL BROTHERS, CAMDEN PEESS, LONDON, N.W
'/(, ",' :-..a_ t . 0 I a ' L o- ". ."
THE COTTAGE BY THE CLIFF.
"* IOME, Willie, dear! if we don't start
now we shall be too late," said a
S neatly-dressed:peasant woman, as she
tied the well-worn strings of her
Sunday bonnet. "Come, make haste,
now! You can bring that piece of bread in your
hand, and eat it as you go; there'll be no one to
see till we get to the top of the cliff."
I dare say I could, mother; but I'm not going
to try," was the saucy answer of a dark-eyed boy,
who was sitting at the table, quietly eating his break-
fast. Why, I haven't half done yet: this herring's
a great deal too good to leave any of it behind, and
I mean to have a bit of that other one, too; so you
had better not wait for me, if you want to get there
"I declare, Will, it is too bad of you why, I
might have eaten twenty breakfasts in the time you
have taken to eat one," said the woman, impatiently,
TWillie's Disobedience; or,
" I've a great mind to start without you; only, if I
did, I don't believe you would come by yourself.
Oh, dear, dear And to think how I've been hur-
rying and skurrying all the morning to get ready in
time, and now you are making me as late as ever.
There, now, I am sure you have had enough."
"I should say that I know best about that; at
any rate, I am going to have some more, for all the
churches in the world shan't make me stint myself."
So saying, he helped himself to another plateful, and
then added, with a careless laugh, "'T isn't my fault
if I am slow, for there's a bone, about half a yard
long, stuck at the back of my throat; so that if I
hurry I shall choke myself, and I don't suppose you
wish that, mother, do you ?"
"You shouldn't talk in that light way, Will, it's
very wrong," replied his mother, gravely. "If you
only think how dreadful it would be if death came
upon you now, in the midst of all your sins, you
wouldn't laugh about it so, I'm sure."
"Well, you needn't preach; you had better leave
that to the minister, who can do it much better than
you, any day," said the boy rudely. "At any rate,
having had one sermon, already, you won't catch
me going to church to hear another; so you had
better not wait for me any longer, for I shan't come."
"Oh, Willie, Willie! to think you should be such
a bad boy after all," said the poor woman, with tears
in her eyes. "And I had hoped, too, to have your
arm to help me up the cliff, for I'm not so well as
I might be, and I don't feel so firm on my feet as I
used to; but that's no matter. I shouldn't mind
going alone, if I knew that I should see you in
The Cottage by the Cliff.
Her son made no reply; so, with a deep sigh, she
turned away, and, stepping out of the open door,
began to climb slowly up the steep path which led
up the side of the cliff to the church, which stood
on the top. For many, many years, Nancy Barton
had toiled up that same path on every Sunday
morning, but to-day it seemed unusually hard and
steep to her; for when one's heart is heavy, one's
feet are apt to be the same, and hers was very heavy
and sad as she thought of the naughtiness of her
darling and only son. Her husband, Robert Barton,
or Old Bob," as he was called by the people of the
village, had died about six years ago, and ever since
his death she had clung to her child with all the
warmth of her loving heart. His large dark eyes
and glossy chestnut curls were her pride and delight,
and she would often say to herself, as she looked at
his bright, happy face, that noe-of the neiibours
had so handsome a boy as her Willie. She had
brought him up well and carefully, teaching him to
love all that was pure and good, and to dislike and
fear alL that was wrong. His gentleness and docility
had, at first, amply rewarded her for all the pains
which she had taken with him ; but latterly a gradual
change had come over him. He grew wilful and
even passionate, called going to church very slow
work, and laughed at her gentle reproofs. Her
heart was often wrung with sorrow for his misdoings,
but she bore it patiently, resolved to do her duty by
him, however hard it might be; and trusting in her
simple faith that God would, in his own good time,
listen to her earnest prayers, and lead back her way-
ward son irto the narrow path which leadeth to sal-
-\ .'' "* ,, .- '-. : 's _I ,
W HEN Nancy had set out on her lonely walk,
and Willie was left to his own thoughts, he
began to be ashamed of the part which he had
played towards one who was always so kind and
good to him. Pushing the breakfast things impa-
tiently away from him, he rose from the table and
walked to the door, where he stood for some time,
looking wistfully after her retreating figure, till it
went quite out of sight. He felt very sorry for
having vexed her, and would have run after her to
tell her so, had not a false shame kept him back; so
he consoled himself by thinking that he would
make up for it by being extra good when she came
"She'll be too tired to go to church again,"
thought he; "so, maybe, I'11 read a chapter or two
of the Bible to her this afternoon, and that's sure
to please her nicely."
It was a glorious morning; the sky was of the
deepest blue, scarcely a cloud to be seen, except
far away on the horizon, where nobody thought of
them; and there was just breeze sufficient to curl the
edges of the waves, which sparkled in the sunshine.
"After all," said Willie to himself, it would have
The Cottage by the Cliff
been a sin and a shame to waste this lovely day on
shore, cooped up between four walls. The sea's
the only place where one can enjoy it properly. I
declare I 've a great mind to have out the boat, and
go for a sail; it would be a jolly way of spending
the time till dinner's ready, and mother's come
Conscience whispered softly that his mother had
forbidden him to take out the boat on a Sunday,
and that by doing so he would displease her again;
but its voice was soon stifled, and Willie ran eagerly
down to the creek, where his boat was moored, and
springing lightly into it, soon put out to sea, leav-
ing all his disagreeable scruples behind him on the
The little craft bounded gaily over the waves,
which seemed to dance beneath it, and, as the fresh
breeze bore it farther and farther away, and the
roofs and chinrney-tops of the village of Eversfield
faded in the distance, Willie's heart bounded too,
at the sense of freedom from all restraint, and he
even rejoiced at having so obstinately resisted his
mother's entreaties that he would accompany her to
"Thank goodness I haven't been quite so slow
as that! said he to himself, approvingly. How
Jim and the others would have laughed at me if I
ad been weak enough to go! They would have
said that I was tied tighter than ever to my mother's
apron-strings. They'll see now that I've as much
spirit as any of them; and they won't dare to call
me a Molly Caudle again, that's a comfort! And
what's more, I don't intend to be bullied any more
by that fellow Jack; and if he tries it again, I '11
Willie's Disobedience; or,
give him such a licking as he shall remember, so
sure as my name's Will Barton!"
He was too occupied with his own thoughts to
notice the change in the weather. The wind had
gone down, and there was a dead calm. Not a
ripple disturbed the surface of the water, which was
smooth as a mirror, and the heat had become in-
tense. Willie was at last surprised to find that he
was making no progress; the boat had been at a
standstill for some time, though he had not noticed
it; but now, finding that there was no wind to help
him on, he quietly lay down at the bottom of the boat,
to wait until a breeze should be kind enough to spring
up, and send him home again. The heat made his
eyes feel heavy, and about five minutes after he
had closed them he was fast asleep. Hours passed
away, and he still slept. A storm was approaching,
but he knew it not. The wind had risen again, but
in a different quarter, and was hurrying before it the
dark, angry-looking clouds, which had formed a
heavy bank on the horizon earlier in the day. Willie
had not cared for them then, when the sky was so
blue, and the sun so bright, and danger seemed so
far off: he little thought how terrible they would
become to him when the sun was hid from sight, and
all was dark around, and peril was coming very near.
Whilst he lay asleep in the boat, unconscious of
the gathering storm, Nancy was standing at het
cottage-door, anxiously watching the signs of the
weather. A little girl stood by her side, whose name
was Ellie. She was the daughter of a neighbour,
who had lost his wife when this child was born.
Kind Mrs. Barton pitied the poor little motherless
thing, and when Ellie's father went away on a fishing
The Cottage by the Cliff
expedition she offered to take care of her; and she
was then so good and loving, that she soon won
Nancy's affection, who, in time, looked upon her
almost as her own child, and loved her second only
to her darling Willie. So, after a little while, it was
settled that whenever Ellie's father went away, she
should come and stay at the little cottage by the
cliff. Often and often had she stood by the cottage-
door, watching for Willie's return, when he had been
away for days together, with the rest of the fishing
boats. And when the "Fairy" appeared, like a
speck in the distance, how gladly would she clap
her little hands, and then run down to the shore,
and help Willie to unload the boat. She loved
Willie so much, just like a brother, and the little
boat, which she had named Fairy," was very dear
to her, and seemed almost like one of the family.
"Don't you stay any longer, mother, dearest!"
she said, pulling Nancy's dress to attract her atten-
tion, for she had spoken to her before without
being heard. "Don't stay any longer; you '11 be so
tired of standing. I'11 wait here, and I'11 run in and
tell you directly I see him."
"No, no, I can't rest in-doors," said Nancy,
quickly; "and, besides, it is no use getting dinner
ready, for I'm sure I could not taste a bit till I knew
that my boy was safe. But I forgot you, my poor
child! no doubt you are hungry enough, and I
never thought of it."
Oh, no Do you think I could eat till Willie
comes back? You must think I love him but a
very little," said Ellie, her blue eyes filling with
tears. "But you don't think any harm has hap-
pened to him, do you?"
Wl-.'.':,'s Disobedience; or,
"No, dearie, I trust not," said Nancy, trying to
speak cheerfully; "but I always feel anxious about
him when he's on the sea, and the weather isn't as
fine as it might be."
"No, there's a dreadful storm coming on, I'm
sure; it's getting so dark, and the wind is so high.
Oh, how I wish that he was safe at home with
us," said Ellie, clasping her hands together. Oh,
mother mother only look at that cloud It is as
black as ink, and it seems to be coming all over the
"Yes, yes, child! I see it," said poor Nancy.
" May Heaven protect my boy !"
"Oh, look! look!" cried Ellie again. "How
high the waves are! I never saw such a big one as
that before. Oh, the poor little Fairy !' it will be
broken to pieces in such a sea as this. Can't
something be done? Couldn't we send out a big
boat to look for Willie? I 'm sure any one would
go out to fetch him back again Shall I run to ask
Mr. Myers ? He has got the biggest boats of all the
people here, and I am sure he would go if he knew
that it was to save poor Willie."
No, child," Nancy answered, wearily; the boy
may be safe enough for all we know to the contrary.
Whilst we are worrying ourselves about him he may
be resting quietly in some harbour along the coast,
waiting till the storm has blown over."
Ellie looked up into her face to see if she thought
that what she said was likely to be true.
Oh, mother !" Ellie cried, as the tears streamed
down her cheeks, you would not look so sad if you
thought that it was true. Perhaps he is drowned
already, and we shall never see him again. Oh,
The Cottage by the Clzif.
dear! oh, dear i I couldn't bear it! I should die
"Hush child," said Nancy, solemnly, as she
raised her tearful eyes to heaven; "whatever trial
it may please the Lord to send us, we must learn to
say, 'Thy will be done.'"
SHEN Willie woke up from his deep sleep
he found that he was flying along in the
"Fairy," at a terrible pace, before the face of a
furious gale. The sea rose up in huge billows on
every side, each one of which seemed as if it must
swamp the little boat. Willie was not a timid boy;
but it was no wonder that his heart sank within
him when he looked about him; the storm would
have been enough to terrify the bravest man if he
had been in so frail a boat as the little Fairy."
As he looked up at the dark and threatening
clouds above his head, and then at the wild waste
of angry waves all around him, he felt that there
could be but little hope of his ever gaining the shore
alive. There was nothing to be done, he could only
wait for the end. Yes, there was one other thing
to do; he could pray. But as he opened his lips to
form a prayer, the words died away before they
were uttered, for over him rushed the memory of
the past years of his life. Years that he had wasted,
or misspent, seemed to rise up before him, bringing
with them the recollection of a thousand sins which
he had long since forgotten. The false excuses
-with which he had deceived himself then vanished
now, and he saw himself as he really was.
The Cottcage y tle Cliff
How had he behaved to his mother-that mother,
who had ever been so kind and good to him ? Had
he rewarded her for her kindness and patience, by
doing his best to please her? When his father
died, and she was nearly crushed by that great
trial, had he been a comfort to her, had he tried to
make up, by his love and obedience, for what she
had lost? No! no! he had been ungrateful and
disobedient, a trouble rather than a comfort. And
how had he served his God ?
He could not answer that terrible question. He
thought how, that very morning, he had refused to
go to church, and how often before he had broken
the Sabbath in the same way. His face sunk in his
hands, as he cried in bitter agony, God be merci-
ful to me a sinner."
And the wind was blowing him onward, swiftly and
surely, to the rocky shore where death seemed to be
waiting for him. Was there nothing to save him?
Oh for one year, one short year only of my life
to repent in 1" he cried.
But his only answer was a loud clap of thunder
and a bright flash of lightning, which showed him
the white cliff, not far off now, but very near. And
then he thought of his mother, how she had parted
from him in anger, and he would never be able to
ask her forgiveness for his wicked conduct, and he
groaned in his bitter grief. Then little Ellie came
before him, with her golden curls and soft blue eyes,
and the tears rolled down his cheeks to think he
should never see her sweet face again. And then
he thought of death, and his face became white
with terror, for he feared to meet his God! And
the winds and the waves were bearing him onwards
towards the shore!-One minute more, and the
boat will be dashed to pieces against the rocks!
only one minute more !
He is perfectly calm now, as he stands up in the
boat, and he raises his eyes to heaven with a brief
.prayer, and then throws himself into the foaming
waters. For an instant the waves seemed to play
with their prey. ere they flung him down on the
''- .. :-
...L., .'--. ;-, 2 i ..:,-,, .
A KNOT of men had gathered round the doot
of the small and only inn of which Eversfield
could boast. They had come out to enjoy the cool
evening air, which they found very pleasant after
the sultry heat of the afternoon.
"The storm seems to have blown over at last,"
said a powerful-looking man to his neighbour.
"Ay, time enough too!" said the other, as he
stopped smoking, in order to refill his pipe; "time
enough too i I '11 be bound that it has done a sight
of damage already. We should have looked rather
queer, Bill, if we had set out this morning, as you
wanted to do."
"Not a doubt of it," replied the first speaker,
coolly. We should have been lying as quiet as a
couple of mice at the bottom of the sea by this
time. Dear me what a pretty story it would have
made. All the girls of the village would have cried
their eyes out over the sad fate of two men in the
prime of life, one tall and the other small, who met
with an untimely end in the cruel sea. Ha! ha!
ha Really it's almost a pity we've disappointed
them; don't you think so, eh, Jack?"
"Not I," said Jack Howell, laughing; I'm too
fond of my missus and the little 'uns to want to
WIillie's Disobcdience; or,
leave 'em just yet. That sort of thing may do for
your rowmances, and such like, and may suit a
feller who 's a bit of a scholar, like you, but they
are not at all in my line; so I would rather live on
in my humdrum sort of a way a little longer, if it's
all the same to you."
Suit yourself, my little chap !" said Bill, shaking
the ashes from his pipe. Maybe you '11 sing another
tune when--But, I say, here's Ned Graham
looking at us as graceful as a parson, and with a face
as long as a cow's tail. What's up now, old fellow ?"
"I was thinking," said Ned Graham, gravely,
"that it would be better not to joke about death,
after the warning we have had to-day. It may be
our turn next."
"What do you mean by a warning? Has the
lightning and thunder frightened the poor little
dear?" said Bill, sneeringly.
Haven't you heard, then, that poor Willie
Barton's lost?" said Ned, not noticing Bill's mock-
"Willie Barton lost !" cried Bill, looking very
much shocked. "You don't mean-no, you can't
mean that he's drowned ?"
"Drowned! who's talking of being drowned?"
said Jack Howell, who had been talking to another
man, and had not heard what Ned Graham said.
" Nothing gone wrong, I hope ?"
"Willie Barton has been lost in the storm; and
I'm afraid there's no hope of our ever seeing him
again," said Ned, sadly.
"It's too dreadful! too dreadful! I can't believe
it," said Bill. Poor little Willie; so bright and
happy as he always was, too He was the merriest
The Cottage by the Cliff.
little fellow that ever I saw, and now to think of
his coming to this I declare it almost makes a
woman of me !" and he turned away to hide a tear
which would run down his rough cheek.
The sad news spread, and soon quite a crowd
collected round the doorway of the small inn. They
were all eager to hear how it happened, and beset
Ned Graham with many questions.
"Tell us all about it !" cried several voices.
"What could take him out on such a day as this?
Didn't he refuse to go with the fishing boats ?"
"Yes, he said he wouldn't, because his mother
did not wish him to be out on a Sunday," said Ned.
"At any rate, he told me so when I saw him on
Saturday evening. But it seems that this morning
he hadn't finished his breakfast in time to go with
his mother to church, and so stayed at home in-
stead; and I suppose the fine morning tempted
him to take a sail, for when Mrs. Barton came back
he and the boat were both gone; and she hasn't
seen nor heard anything of him since."
Is that all ? cried Bill, hopefully; then, after
all, you don't know that he is drowned; so, depend
upon it, he's safe enough somewhere. He's not
the boy to die if he could help it."
No, that he isn't," said Jack Howell; "but you
forget that no boat, as small as the Fairy,' could live
in such a storm as we've had to-day. But the question
is, has any one seen a sail out at sea ? It isn't likely
that he could go without being seen by some one."
There was a long pause, which was broken at last
by a sullen-looking man, who said, gruffly,
"I've been turning it over in my mind, and I've
a fancy that I did see a small craft pitching and
Willie's Disobedience; or,
tossing off the Point; and says I to my old woman,
' There's some one in trouble yonder;' but she told
me to be quiet and hold my tongue about it, for if
the lad (that's my boy Jim) heard of it he was sure
to go and throw away his life in trying to save
whoever it was in the boat. So I just held my
peace, and quite forgot all about it."
"Well, I never!" cried Bill; "to see a fellow-
creature perish, before your very eyes, and never
stir a finger to help him! You're a brave fellow,
you are !"
The man, whose name was James Arnold, said
nothing, but went on smoking quietly, whilst all
the bystanders reproached and abused him.
At this moment, a boy ran up, panting and
breathless, who, on seeing Arnold, suddenly sprang
forwards to his side, and, seizing his hand, cried,
Father, it isn't true, is it, what they are saying
down there, that you saw the Fairy' sinking and
never said a word about it, or tried to save her?
Oh, say it isn't true! It's all a lie, I know it
"I did it for the best," said Arnold, after a
while, without raising his eyes to meet his son's
eager glance. "And you, of all others, should be
the last to blame me, for it was for your sake I held
my tongue, Jim. But what's the good of talking
over what might have been ? "
"For my sake oh, father cried the boy, and,
flinging from him the hand which he had taken, he
rushed away, and never stopped till he reached the
sea-shore, when he threw himself down on the beach,
sobbing out, "Oh, Will! Will! I might have saved
you, if I had but known !"
The Cottage by the Cliff
Vexed at his son's manner and words, and feeling
very ill at ease, Arnold got up from his seat, and
walked moodily away.
"A good thing for him that he has taken him-
self off," said Bill; "for I couldn't have borne it
much longer, without giving him a black eye, or
knocking him down. I declare I feel inclined to
kill him, when I think that, if he had but chosen
to tell us, we might have got out the life-boat, and
poor little Will might have been saved!"
And so they went on talking for some time, till
at last Graham proposed that they should all go
down to the beach, to see if they could find any
signs of the wreck of the Fairy."
T HE afternoon passed slowly away, and still
Nancy Barton stood by her cottage-door
watching for her lost son. Little Ellie had never
left her side, though the rain beat down on her
fair head, and the rough wind seemed as if it would
blow her off her feet. She scarcely felt the rain,
or heard the howling wind; she only thought of
him who had been to her as a brother, and whom
she had loved with all the warmth of her childish
"I must go in now, Ellie, dear!" said Nancy's
sad voice; "my legs shake so that I can hardly
stand up. Won't you come too? you must be so
tired, my poor child !"
"No, I'II stay here, mother, dear !" said Ellie;
"I'11 stay here to keep watch, whilst you rest."
"But you are wet, quite wet, dear, and you will
catch cold and be ill."
Oh, never mind that, it is not raining now; so
the wind will dry my frock very soon," said Ellie,
as she sat down on the step.
The stars came out one by one, as she sat there
all alone, with her weary eyes fixed on the sea.
Suddenly an idea struck her, and she rose quickly,
and, putting her head in at the door, said, I am
The Cottage by the Cliff
going along the shore, mother, dear! if you don t
mind being left alone. He might be lying on the
beach, not able to move, and I might help him and
"Run quickly, my child!" said Nancy, eagerly.
"It may be as you say. Would that I could come
with you, but I should drop by the way. Oh!
God grant in His mercy that you may find him
alive Oh, my boy! my boy! shall I ever see you
again?" and she hid her face in her hands, and
Drawing her cloak close around her, little Ellie
hurried on; it was so dark now that she could
scarcely see her way, and she stumbled over the
wet stones, made slippery by the rain; but still she
went bravely on, hoping soon to find her lost
Willie. After some time she reached the headland
called the Point, and here she suddenly stopped,
for her heart failed her. Trembling all over, she
stood still to listen to the howling wind, which
blew like a hurricane round the Point, and to the
noise of the waves which beat violently against the
rocks, and sent sheets of foam high up into the
"Oh, God, my Father! be with me now, and
protect me, I pray thee, for Jesus Christ's sake.
This little prayer had been taught her by Nancy,
who told her to say it whenever she was frightened;
and now she repeated it aloud, in her fear, clasping
her hands, and looking up imploringly to Heaven.
After that she felt braver, and began to climb up
the rough uneven rocks, over which she had to
clamber, in order to get to the bay, which lay on
Willie's Disobedience; or,
the other side of the Point. Often, when out with
Willie, looking for pretty kinds of sea-weed, she
had sprung quickly from rock to rock, but now
she was obliged to go very slowly and carefully,
for it was very hard to find a sure footing in the dark.
"Willie! Willie!" she cried softly, but no answer
came. She almost trembled at the sound of her
own voice, it struck so strangely on her ear in this
wild and lonely place. Suddenly her foot slipped,
and she fell from a rock down on the hard beach.
For a minute or two she lay quite still, being, in
fact, half stunned by the fall; but, when her senses
returned, she was startled by hearing a sound
like a whisper, which seemed to come from some-
thing close by her side. She sprang to her feet,
and looked eagerly around. Under the shadow of
the rock, a dark-looking object was lying. What
was it? Could it be her lost brother? She stood
for an instant in doubt, when the soft whisper came
again, and this time she knew that it was Willie's
voice, though very weak and very low, saying,
"Oh, Willie! darling Willie!" she cried, half-mae
i-ith joy; and, falling down on her knees beside
him, she threw her arms round his neck, and,
hiding her face on his shoulder, burst into tears.
He groaned when she touched him, and she looked
up quickly, saying, in a frightened voice,
"What is it? What is the matter? Are you
hurt? Oh, Willie, do tell me!"
He replied slowly, as if he could hardly say the
"It's my leg, I think, that is broken."
"Broken!" she cried; "Oh! how it must hurt
The Cottage by the Cliff.
you! but when you get home the doctor will make
it all right. I've been looking for you so long, and
I thought I should never see you again, and I was
so very, very miserable." Her voice was almost
choked with sobs, but she went on, Mother and
I, we stood by the door, watching for you all the
day long. And then the storm came on, and the
waves rose so high, and it thundered and lightened
so dreadfully, mother was so frightened!"
"Oh, if I could but see her again!" moaned
Willie, only once before I (lie, just to ask her to
Oh, Willie, don't talk like that! you'll be all
right when you get home, and have mother to
nurse you, and make you well again. I'll run
back, and get some one to carry you home. But,"
she said, stopping, as she was about to set off,
"what shall I do? I can't leave you here all alone.
Oh, how I wish I could carry you myself! Oh,
dear! what shall I do?" She wrung her hands as
she looked helplessly round her.
"Run, Ellie, quickly," said Willie; "you can
leave me here, no harm will come to me, as the
tide is going down. But come back very soon, for
I'm weary of lying here all by myself."
"I'll be as quick as ever I can," said Ellie "but
you must first let me put this round you, to keep
you from the wind." So saying, she took off her
little red cloak, and began to cover him over with
it; he tried to stop her, but was too weak to do so.
Don't, Ellie," he said; "please, don't; you will
want it yourself."
Oh, never mind me," she answered, cheerfully,
"running will keep me quite warm enough."
Willie's Disobedience; or,
S~Mind how you cross those rocks," he said,
anxiously. I'm so afraid you will fall down again
and hurt yourself; you are not used to going over
"No, because you were always there to take
care of me. But you need have no fear about me
now, for it won't be so dark, as the moon is coming
out, so I shall be able to see my way better than
before. I mustn't stop talking here, though; I must
make haste; but I'll come back as soon as ever I
can," she said once again, and then ran off into the
Willie sighed wearily as the sound of her foot-
steps melted in the distance. It seemed to him as
if he had been lying there, all by himself, for hours
and hours, before little Ellie came, like a sweet
angel, to help and comfort him. As he thought
over the events of that long, sad day, he could
scarcely believe that it was but that very morning
that he had left his home in the pride of health and
the highest spirits, and had set out for a sail in the
pretty, graceful "Fairy." Ah how lightly she had
skimmed over the waves, with her white sail flut-
tering in the wind. And now-nothing but a
shapeless wreck remained of the boat, which had
been the pride of his heart, whilst he, who had
been so strong and happy, lay helpless and crippled
on the shore, with scarcely strength to stir a finger.
When he was thrown on the beach by the waves,
he remained for some time perfectly insensible.
The thunder rolled over his head, and the lightning
flashed round him, but he neither saw nor heard.
When at last he came to himself, the storm had
almost passed away, though the waves still dashed
The Cottage by the Cliff.
furiously against the rocks, drenching him to the
skin with their showers of spray. The hours which
succeeded seemed as if they were endless. It was
dreadful to be lying there all alone, with no com-
panion but his sad thoughts, racked with the pain
of his broken leg, and shivering with cold in his
wet clothes. He was so near the village that he
could hear the church-bell ringing for evening ser-
vice, yet he was just as much alone as if he had
been miles away from it, for no one was likely to
pass that way so late in the day. He thought of
his mother's grief--he pictured her to himself,
standing by the cottage-door, watching for him, with
a heavy heart and tearful eyes; and then a great
fear seized him lest he should die there before any
one came to find him, and take him home. He
tried to raise his voice to call for help, useless as he
knew it would be, but he was too weak, and his cry
died away into a low moan. And then he prayed,
as he had prayed before on that same day, when
death seemed terribly near him, and he knew that
God alone could save him. Then, as if in answer
to his prayer, he heard footsteps coming nearer and
nearer; his heart beat fast as he listened eagerly to
them. There was a sudden fall followed by a cry,
and, in that cry, he knew the voice of Ellie, his
dearly loved Ellie!
-. _- -_ LI
W HEN Ellie left Willie, she clambered over
the rocks as fast as she could, and when
they were passed she ran along the beach, looking
neither to the right nor left, till she stumbled and
nearly fell over the body of a boy, who was lying,
seemingly asleep, at the foot of the cliff. The boy
jumped up, and as the moonlight fell full on his
dark, sunburnt face, Ellie, exclaimed in surprise,
"Jim! is ityou? What can havebroughtyouhere?"
What are you doing here all by yourself at this
time of day, or rather night?" said Jim. "You're
the last person I should have expected to see."
"I 've been looking for Willie," Ellie said, simply.
"We thought he was drowned."
"And he isn't? Oh, tell me quickly!" cried the
other eagerly; "is he safe?"
"Yes, yes; I've found him! But let me go,
please; you mustn't keep me," said Ellie, trying to
pull away her frock, which Jim had caught hold of
in his eagerness. I must go and get some one to
carry him home, for he's lying there, all alone."
"Only tell me where he is, that I may go to him,"
said Jim earnestly. "I can't believe that he's
alive, till I have seen him with my own eyes."
Run, then, to the Point, you '11 find him just on
The Cottage by the Cliff.
the other side. But speak gently to him, for he's
very ill. Now let me go."
Without another word, Jim rushed off to the
Point, whilst Ellie ran on towards the village.
Willie was startled from a doze into which he had
fallen for a few minutes, by the voice of Jim, who,
throwing himself down by his side, cried joyfully,
"Thank God, you are safe! I thought you were
"I was very near it, Jim," said Willie; I was
very nearly lost in the storm, and I thought I should
never see any of you again."
"Oh! I should have died myself if you had
been lost. I couldn't have borne it. I tell you,
Will, when I first heard that you were gone, I nearly
went mad, I did, indeed," and, as he said so, Jim's
eyes sparkled, and his broad chest heaved with a
"Poor Jim!" said Willie, caressingly; I thought
of you in the midst of it all; I never knew till then
how much I loved you, and, oh! I longed so to say
a word to you before dying, that you might know
how--" his voice failed him ; he was too weak to
talk any more.
Never mind, you shall tell me all about it when
you get better," said Jim, cheerfully. Meantime,
you must hold your tongue, and keep quiet till they
come to carry you home."
"But I must say it now," said Willie, "or I
mayn't be able to if I leave it till-- "
"No, no!" you mustn't speak another word,"
said Jim; "and I promise you I'll listen to any-
thing you like to say afterwards, if that'll please
Willie's Disobedience; or,
Willie smiled his thanks, and then closed his
weary eyes. Jim sat by him, holding his hand,
with one arm passed round his neck, to support his
head, and, as he looked down on the pale thin
face, which looked so wan and white in the bright
moonlight, he longed for the others to come that
he might be taken home quickly, and put to bed.
After waiting for a few anxious minutes, they came
at last. Ellie met Ned Graham, Bill, Jack Howell,
and the rest, who had come down to the shore to
look for Willie, and, telling them that he was found,
she begged them to hasten on and bring him home,
whilst she went to tell Nancy that he was coming.
No need to ask them to hurry, for, overjoyed at
hearing that he was alive, each tried which could
get to the Point first. Panting, and out of breath,
they reached the spot, but when they saw the closed
eyes and white face, all drew back in horror, for
they thought he was dead. It was only for a
moment, for when Jim touched him, and said that
they had come to take him home, he looked up
with a pleased smile. Then they all crowded round
him, and told him how glad they were to find him
safe when they had given him up for lost.
"And now, my little fellow!" said Bill, "we'll take
you home to your mother, who '11 be glad enough to
see you, I'11 answer for it."
So saying, he bent down and took him in his
strong arms; but, though he lifted him as tenderly
as if he had been a babe, Willie groaned and
writhed with pain, for the slightest movement was
torture to his broken leg.
Oh! put me down, put me down!" he moaned,
and then fainted dead away.
The Cottage by the Cliff.
Surprised and alarmed, Bill did not know what
"Take him home, take him home!" said Ned
Graham; "I 'm afraid either his leg or arm must be
broken, and, if so, the sooner it's set, the better."
"Poor little chap!" said Bill, kindly; "he must
have been in awful pain for a long while. I remember
when I broke my arm out bird-nesting, when I was
a youngster, the pain was so bad that I could have
cried like a child. Didn't he tell you anything
about it, Jim?"
"No, he didn't," said Jim; "he never said one
word about it. But I was only with him a few
minutes before you came, and he was so weak that
he could scarcely speak."
"What's become of the 'Fairy,' I wonder?" said
Jack Howell; I don't see a sign of her anywhere."
Look yonder," said Ned Graham, pointing with
his thumb to a rock at a little distance from the
shore; "there's something by that rock which
looks like a bit of wreck, and I expect that's all
that's left of the poor thing."
"How sorry the boy will be for it," said Bill;
"he was always so fond of his boat."
And no wonder," said Jack Howell, for it was
the nicest little craft I ever set eyes on. He won't
get another like it in a hurry, I'm sure. There
ain't such another in Eversfield, nor in Crowsbeck,
As they were speaking, they drew near to the
cottage. Lights were in the windows, and Nancy
Barton was at the door, with Ellie by her side.
Little Ellie could not long keep still, but ran for-
ward to meet them, and ask how Willie was now,
Willie's Disobedience; or,
and then ran back again to tell Nancy that he was
fast asleep, and she must not be frightened if he
looked a little pale, for no doubt he was very, very
tired. And Nancy stood there quietly all the
while, without moving or speaking; and no one
would have guessed how wildly her heart was beat-
ing, or what difficulty she had in keeping herself so
composed. When they were only a few yards from
the house, she could restrain herself no longer, and
she ran down the little path to meet them.
Where's my boy-where's my boy?" she cried,
looking eargerly round her, for the moon was hidden
behind a cloud, and it was so dark that she could
not see him.
Here he is; I've got him safe and sound," said
Bill. Hold the lantern, Jack, so that Mrs. Barton
may see him."
Jack did as he was bid, but when the-light
fell on the pale face and closed eyes, Nancy
started back, as the others had done, with a piercing
"He's dead-dead!" she wailed. "Oh, why
did you deceive me ?"
"No, no! he isn't dead," said Ned Graham,
quickly. It's only a bit of a faint; else, he's as
much alive as either you or me. You make haste
and put him to bed, whilst one of us goes for the
doctor." Nancy stood looking from one to the
other, trying to see by their faces whether Ned had
spoken the truth.
Come, now, Mrs. Barton," said Jim, taking het
hand, "it's quite true, 'pon my honour. Will has
been talking to me, and he only fainted 'cause he
had hurt his leg."
The Cottage by the Clih
"Thank God!" said Nancy, fervently. "I
thought I had lost him for ever."
Then she followed Bill into the cottage, where he
laid his burden down on the bed with a sigh of
relief, for the boy was a heavy load to carry so far.
As his head touched the pillow, Will opened his
eyes, and looked up into his mother's face.
"Oh, my darling, my darling! she cried; and,
throwing herself on the bed, she clasped him in
her arms and kissed him again and again.
Then all the men silently left the room, for they
felt that the mother ought to be alone with her child.
Ellie only remained, and kneeling down by the bed
she hid her face in the counterpane and sobbed,
though she did not know why. After a few minutes,
Nancy got up, and, taking Ellie's hand, said softly,
Let us both thank God, my child, for giving us
our darling back again."
Then side by side they knelt on the bare boards,
and offered up their heartfelt thanks to God for the
great mercy which He had shown them.
z11r':88 -N, -
" A ND you think he'll be better soon, don't you,
sir?" said Ellie, eagerly, as she unfastened
the door, to let out the kind doctor, who, ever since
Willie's misfortune, had been good enough to come
at least twice a week to the cottage on the cliff.
Well, I don't know about that," said Mr. Burton,
stopping a moment to wrap his woollen comforter
round his neck. We mustn't be in a hurry, you
know; patience,-patience, that's the thing. He's
better now than I ever thought he would be, and
we must be satisfied with that for the present."
"But you are sure that he will get quite well.
some day, aren't you, sir?" asked the little giri
again, fixing her large anxious eyes on the doctor's
grave face. "He '11 be able to walk about just as
he used to do, won't he?"
"We'll hope so, we'll hope so, my dear," said
Mr. Burton, briskly. I can't wait another moment,
or it will be too dark for me to find my way home;
so open the door, quick, child."
He stepped out hastily, but had only gone a few
yards, when he was suddenly stopped by a little
hand, which clutched his arm eagerly.
Hallo! what do you want, and who on earth
are you?" cried the doctor, sharply.
The Cottage by the Cliff
"It's only me," said Ellie, panting for want of
breath. Oh! sir, do, please, tell me if-if-if you
think he will be a cripple for life. Jim says he will,
and that you said so too."
Confound the boy! said MIr. Burton, angrily.
"I wish to heaven he would mind his own business,
and not meddle with other people's."
Don't be angry with him, please, sir," said Ellie,
anxiously. It wasn't his fault: I made him tell
me, for I thought he was keeping something back
from me, and I wanted to know so much. But it
isn't true, it can't be; it isn't true, is it? "
She pushed back her long golden curls, and looked
wistfully up into his face, which was scarcely visible
in the gathering darkness. A few moments passed
before Mr. Burton made any reply, and then he
"The boy's getting on, I tell you, and you must
content yourself with that. So run home, quickly;
it's time for little people to be in bed, quite time.
Heyday! what's that for? What crying?"
"I couldn't help it, sobbed Ellie, hiding her face
in her apron. "Oh, what will he do if--if he
doesn't get better? My poor, poor Willie!"
"Who says he won't get better? Come, cheer
up, little one !" said the doctor, kindly patting her
head. If you cry so, you will make yourself ill,
and then Mrs. Barton will have another to nurse,
and that will never do. And don't fret about him,
for, I dare say, before another Christmas has come
and gone we shall have him walking about again
as well as ever."
Do you really think so, sir ?" said Ellie, raising
her head. "Do you really think so ?"
Willie's Disobedience; or,
Well, I hope so," said Mr. Burton, cheerfully.
" But, I say, when's your father coming home ? he
has been away much longer than usual, hasn't he ?"
"Yes, sir, that he has," said Ellie, gravely. It
was the day before Willie was so nearly lost, that
the fishing boats sailed, and now it's seven weeks
or more that they've been away."
Well, Mrs. Barton isn't tired of you yet, I sup-
pose, is she? Not quite, eh? I thought not. Now
run home, and keep up your spirits. Mind, if I
wake up to-morrow with a cold on my chest, I know
some one who will deserve a scolding for keeping
me here in this biting east wind. Good-night."
So saying, the kind-hearted man walked away at
a rapid pace towards the village, at the other side
of which his house was situated. Little Ellie did
not stop to listen to his footsteps as they went
farther and farther away, but ran home as fast as
her legs could carry her, for she was afraid that Mrs.
Barton might be anxious about her.
So, here you are, child!" said Nancy, as she
softly opened the door. "I was beginning to wonder
whatever had become of you. What could take you
out into the cold, on such a freezing night as this ? "
Oh, I just ran after Mr. Burton to ask him some-
thing, that was all," said Ellie, carelessly. "But
how is Willie now? is he asleep?"
"Hush! You must only speak in a whisper,"
said Nancy, putting her finger to her lips. He's
just dropped off; so I thought we would have a bit
of supper whilst we could. There's nothing much
to have, but thank God for what we 've got. Come,
put off your hat, child, and begin to eat, for I want
to get the things cleared away before he wakes up."
The Cottage by the Cliff
"I don't think I want anything to-night, thank
you," said Ellie, slowly untying the strings of her
"That's all nonsense, I 'm sure," said Mrs.
Barton. "You only say so, because I talked about
there being a little; so come along; I won't taste a
bit unless you do. Why, child, I thought you knew,
by this time, that if I had only a crust of bread, you
would always be welcome to the half of it; so sit
down, dearie, for I'm too tired to talk."
That I'm sure you must be, for you haven't had
one good night's rest ever since Willie was ill. I do
wish, mother, dear! you would let me sit up instead.
I should like it so much; and I would give him his
medicine all properly, and smooth his pillow, and
make him comfortable, just like you do; and then
I'm so strong that it wouldn't tire me a bit, as it
does you; so, please, let me try to-night, just this
Ellie said this very imploringly, but Mrs. Barton
only shook her head, with a kind smile, and bade
her eat her supper, and not mind about her, for she
could never be tired of waiting on her boy.
But you said just now, that you were very tired,"
"That may be, but it isn't the sitting up at night
that makes me so, for I always was tired out before
bed-time. But it's good for me, my dear, I 'm sure
it is, for it makes me sleep so sound, when I once
get to bed, that I never wake till it's time to get
up again. Won't you have any more, dear? No?
Why, you've eaten just nothing at all! Don't you
feel well? You've been looking rather peaky lately,
I think; but you must be sure and get your roses
Willie's Disobedience; or,
back again before your father comes home, or he
will think that I've been starving you."
"No, he wouldn't," said Ellie, laughing, and
shaking her head; he knows you much too well
to think that. Father likes you better than any
one else in the world; and he always says he
would rather leave me with you than with his own
sister even. You are not tired of having me, are
you, mother, dear ?" she asked softly, as she wound
her arms round Mrs. Barton's neck. "Mr. Burton
was asking me if you were, and I've been thinking
of it since."
"Mr. Burton been asking you if I were tired of
having you! What does he mean by it?" cried
Nancy, angrily. "I should like to know what
business it is of his, if I choose to keep you with
me for a century? What can have put it into his
Oh, I'm so sorry I told you," said Ellie, sadly;
"but I did not mean to make you angry: he only
said it in joke, I'm sure. But he was asking me if
father had not been away longer than usual; and
now I come to think of it, I don't believe he ever
stayed away so long before, and I'm afraid that
something may have'happened to him. Oh, mother!
you don't think anything has, do you?"
Ellie looked fearfully into her face, but Nancy
"What's more likely than that they've all been
kept away by these rough winds, my child? They,'
would have made it very hard to land, not a doubt of.
it; and your father was never venturesome by nature,"
and would not be likely to risk his life just in order[
to save a little time; so cheer up, my lass, and don't
The Cottage by the Cliff.
look so sad; there's never any good in always ex-
pecting evil. But, hark! somebody knocked; I
wonder who it is, so late as this ? "
Ellie ran to open the door, and started back in
surprise on seeing Jim Arnold.
"Jim! whatever has brought you here now?"
I just run up to tell you that the 'Red Rover'
has come in. I thought you might like to come
and hear if there's any news of your father."
"I '11 come, I '11 come," said Ellie, catching up
Nancy laid her hand on her shoulder, as she was
on the point of hurrying away, and said, gravely,
"Wait a moment, child! Jim, did you never ask,
before coming here, how it had fared with the other
"No; I wouldn't stop, 'cause I thought Ellie
would like to hear it for herself. Will you come,
No; I can't leave my boy. But will you be
sure to take care of this child ? I don't know that
I'm right to let her go," said Nancy, shaking her
Oh yes, you may trust me," cried Jim, eagerly;
"indeed you may, and I'11 bring her back again,
myself, too. Come along, Ellie."
They ran down the little path, to the beach;
and Nancy, closing the door quickly because of the
cold wind, went softly into the next room, to see if
Willie were awake. No, he was still asleep. What
a change had come over the face, which rested on
the thin, delicate hand! So pale, and wan, and
worn, with sunken cheeks, and dark circles round
the closed eyes, few would have recognized it for
'he face of the once strong and healthy Will Barton;
but there was a look of peace on it now, such as it
had never worn before; and, as his mother bent
lovingly over him, she thanked God for it, in her
heart, and thought that even if her worst fears came
true, and her beloved child never recovered his
health, yet she ought not to murmur, for by sickness
and suffering he had been made more fit for the
heavenly home, to which he seemed to be speeding.
As she stood by his bed-side, fondly watching him
with tearful eyes, little did she think that sorrow
had fallen, like a sudden blight, on that other child,
who was almost as dear to her as her own.
fearful storm, followed by the good wishes and
farewell. When the news spread through the"i' l
tht "Red Rover" was one of the littflfeet of
f fishing boats which sailed the day before the
fearful storm, followed by the good wishes and
blessings of numbers of friends and relations, who
crowded the shore to see them off, and wave a last
farewell. Whe h the news spread through theo a1ll .
that the "Red Rover was in sight, those who lead
friends in the other boats hastened to the beach to
ask tidings of them. They crowded round tlhe
sailors as soon as they landed, eagerly asking why
they had come back alone? What had become of
of all the others? Where were they? And to all
of these questions the two men (for there were but
two of them) could only shake their heads sadly in
reply; till the elder, a grey-headed man, cried in a
voice half choked with sobs,
Oh, my poor creatures! I'm so sorry for you.
They're all gone; all gone!"
No, no, you can't mean it," shrieked a pool
woman standing close by; "not my husband, oh,
say, not him!"
He's gone with the rest. His boat was the
first; but they all went down on the same day.
Now, don't take on so," said the sailor, starting for-
ward to catch the woman, as she fell fainting to
Tillic's Disobedience; or,
the ground. "Poor thing! it's a pity she should
ever wake up again."
Oh, sir, please tell me," said a childish voice,
" please tell me, if you know, when father's coming
home ? "
"What's his name, little one?" said the man,
James Merton ; and he went out in the 'Ellen'
along with the rest of the boats,"
Merton! are you his child? "
"Yes. Do you know where he is? Oh, tell me,
quickly!" cried Ellie, hoarsely. "Will he come
He'll never come home no more," said the
sailor, sorrowfully. He's gone like all the rest of
them; and there's only Sam and me left, to say
how they were lost."
"Take me home," said she, faintly. Oh, take
me away, Jim."
He took her in his arms, as if she had been a
baby, and carried her to the cottage. She hid her
face on Nancy's shoulder, sobbing and moaning:
"It can't be true, it can't be true! Why should
he die ? he was so good. Oh, mother, lie was too
good to die like this, wasn't he ?"
Hush, darling !" said Mrs. Barton, whose own
tears were falling fast. How thankful we ought
to be that he was so fit to die. God has taken him
to a home, darling, where he 'll be happier than he
was here, for he 's been very sad since your poor
mother died; very sad, and very lonely."
"But what shall I do?" cried Ellie, almost
"You will try to say, that what God orders is for
The Cottage by the Cliff
the best. Oh, my child! I know how hard it is to
bear; for, have I not had sorrow greater-ay, far
greater than this ? said the widow. When first
my husband was taken from me I could only cry to
God to take me too. But now I can see how
wicked I was to murmur, and how merciful the
Lord was not to grant my wicked prayer. 'T was
hard at first, but God has given me grace to say
humbly, Thy will be done.' "
"Oh, I can't! I can't! sobbed the poor child,
clinging round Nancy's neck. "He was all to me,
and now I've no one to love me, no one who
belongs to me."
"Oh Ellie, don't say that; haven't you always
been to me as my own little daughter; and doesn't
Willie love you as if you were his sister ? "
"Yes, yes, you've always been so kind; but-
"It isn't the same love, I know," said Mrs.
Barton, kissing her golden curls. But you must
try and love us, and think of us as your own family.
Hark! I hear Willie calling us; come, and say
good-night to him."
I've sad news to tell you, my boy!" said Nancy,
as she stood by the side of Willie's bed. "Poor
James Merton has--"
"Yes, mother, I know," said Willie, gravely; I
heard all about it, for the door was open. Come
here, Ellie I 'm so very, very sorry."
He drew her down to him, till her head rested
on the pillow beside his own. She did not say
anything, but covered her face with her hands and
Don't, darling! please, don't'" 'aid he, anxiously,
Willie's Disobcdience; or,
stroking her fair curls. "Do try not to cry so; it
makes me so miserable to hear you."
Let her have her cry out, poor child !" said Mrs.
Barton, wiping her own eyes, as she spoke. She '11
be better after a while. It was a heavy blow to
come upon her so suddenly. I wonder she was
able to get home at all; but, to be sure, I think
Jim carried her all the way. He had got her in his
arms, just like a little baby, when I opened the door
to him. But I must go and clear up a bit; so take
care of her till I come back."
"Ellie, darling!" said he, gently drawing her
hands from her face, "who was it told you all
about it ? Was it one of those who were mercifully
"Yes; but I don't know who it was. Oh!
Willie, why was not that man taken from the
world instead of father, who was so good, and so
Hush, dearest!" said Willie, very much shocked;
"you mustn't say that. We must never wish for
harm to come to others, instead of to ourselves;
and, besides, who, in all the village, was so fit to be
taken as your father? He was so good and kind;
I don't think I ever heard him say a harsh word
against any one else. Oh! when you think of all
this, Ellie, and of how sad a life his was, you '11 be
almost glad that he has been taken away from all
the sin and sorrow here."
"That's just what mother said; but I'm sure
you wouldn't say so if you had ever known what it
was to be as unhappy as I am."
. "Ah, dearie we each have our sorrow to bear;
all men have, I believe, though some keep it to
The Cottage by twh Cliff
themselves, and never say a word about it. Cannot
you guess what mine is ?"
No, you never seem unhappy, but are always so
patient and cheerful. Oh I if you have a sorrow,
why did you not tell it to me ? and I would have
tried to comfort you; at least, I would have done
"Did it never strike you that it must be very hard
to lie here helplessly, whilst my mother is working
so day and night to support us?" said Willie,
with a deep sigh. "When my father died I used
to delight in thinking how useful I would be to
mother, how I would toil and labour for her, that
she might sit quietly at home and rest, and now
what is the end of all these hopes ? I have to lie
here, a helpless cripple, a burden instead of a sup-
port, seeing her wear herself out in doing that which
I ought to do for her. Oh if you knew one-half
the misery I feel when I watch her dear, kind face
growing day by day more pale and careworn, though
she tries to hide it, by that patient smile of hers,
lest we should see it and grieve Sometimes I felt
as if I could bear it no longer; but lately I 've tried
-o be more patient and resigned, like her own dear
self, and then, perhaps, God will have pity on me,
and give me back my health and strength, that I
may work for her again."
Oh, Willie and to think that I never saw all
this !" cried Ellie. How good you have been to
oear it so well I 'm sure I never pitied you half
enough, though I was so very sorry for you all the
That I 'm sure you were," said he, warmly.
"And you mustn't think because I have only spoken
of my mother's kindness that I have forgotten all
yours, my good, patient, little nurse. Kiss me, and
say good-night, for here's mother come to fetch you
"I won't forget what you said," Ellie whispered,
as she kissed him. "And I will ask God to help
me to bear it."
.~ -.. .. ,- -_ --- ,
T HE severe winter had passed away, with its
cold winds and hard frosts, and gentle spring
had taken its place. The fields were bright with
cowslips and primroses; and the pretty bluebells
drooped their heads in the shady woods. The
cottage by the cliff was half hidden by the pink
clusters of early monthly roses, which twined them-
selves over the humble porch, peeped curiously into
the lattice windows, and even dared to climb up to
the thatched roof.
It was a beautiful morning, towards the end of
May, when Ellie skipped lightly into the garden,
calling out to Willie, who stood in the doorway,
"I 'm going to pick a rose for your button-hole,
for you must wear it to-day, as it's the first time
you've been able to go to church."
Then you must be very quick, for I don't know
how long it may take me to get there, and I want
to be in good time. Mother, are you coming ? "
"Yes, here I am," said Nancy, coming for-
ward with Willie's crutches. "There's no hurry,
though, for it has only just gone ten by the church
"Oh, here's such a darling little bud! it 's the
very thing for you. Isn't it a beauty ?" said Ellie,
Willie's Disobedience; or,
holding it up to be admired. "You must let me
put it in for you."
Thanks, Ellie," said Willie, repaying her with a
kiss. My crutches, mother, please. And now let
us be off."
And so they climbed slowly up the narrow path-
way, cut in the side of the cliff, Willie in front,
limping along, eagerly, with the help of his crutches,
followed close by Nancy and Ellie, who watched
him anxiously, lest he should slip down. How
often, as he lay on his sick bed, had he longed for
the day when he should be able to kneel once more
by his mother's side in church, and offer up his
fervent thanks to God for having so mercifully pre-
served him And now that he was on his way he
was all eagerness to be there, lest anything should
happen to prevent him. When they reached the
top of the cliff they were joined by many friends,
who all gathered found Willie to shake hands and
congratulate him on being out again.
Glad to see you, my boy !" said our old friend
Bill. But I shall be still more glad when you are
able to do without them fellows, and go on your
own pins again," he said, touching one of the
crutches as he spoke.
"Oh, you mustn't abuse them!" exclaimed
Willie, laughing. "They are my best friends at
present. I don't know what I should do without
They arrived at last at the church-door; and, as
it closed behind them, and Willie found himself once
more within that sacred building, which he had so
often neglected in the days of his health and happi-
ness, but where he had so often longed to be when
The Cottage by the Cliff
sick and sorrowful, tears of joy rose to his eyes, and
he murmured, softly,
"Thank God for this !"
The service was ended, and most of the con-
gregation had already left the church, whilst Mr.
Burton still lingered on the steps waiting for the
"Oh, here you are, Reeves !" he said, stepping
forward, as a tall grey-haired gentleman appeared
in the doorway. "I want you to come and take
your dinner with us, in a friendly way, if you don't
mind early hours; we dine at two, you know. My
wife will be so pleased to see you: do come."
"With all my heart," said Mr. Reeves, putting
his arm through Mr. Burton's. Nothing I like
better than a quiet sociable dinner with two or three
friends. Will you take me as I am ? or must I go
home and wash my hands, and put on a clean
necktie ? "
"I 'm so glad to get you," said the doctor, laugh-
ing, "that I certainly shan't let you out of my
sight, for fear of losing you. Do you see young
Barton limping along over there ? I declare I feel
quite proud of my patient."
I 'm very glad to see him out again," said the
clergyman, warmly. A little while ago I thought
it was all over with him. I never saw a boy so
changed in my life. He used to be so wild and
headstrong, that I was afraid he would turn out a
regular scamp; but now he is so patient and good,
I can scarcely believe it is the same boy. And he
has done so much good to others, too; that Jim
_rnold, you know what a wild fellow he used to be !
Well, Will has persuaded him to turn over a new
leaf, and give up all his bad habits, such as not
coming to church, swearing, and the like; and I
heard that he actually knocked a boy down for
sneering at me and my holy office."
"That's a striking proof of his religious zeal,
certainly," said Mr. Burton, laughing. "But I
must say you are quite right as to young Barton.
I never saw a better proof of the truth of that
saying, Our heaviest trials often prove our greatest
THE HIGHLAND SOLDIER.
ERGEANT McCULLUM was sent out
with his company from England, under the
command of Sir John Moore, to the war
then raging between England and Spain. About
one man in a hundred was allowed to take his wife
with him; and Sergeant McCullum, having a wife
and little boy whom he dearly loved, was more glad
than I can tell you not to be parted from them.
It was a pleasant afternoon in the month of May
when they set sail for the coast of Spain. If you
have ever seen Highlanders dressed in their uni-
form, you can easily imagine what a pretty sight
they made, walking up and down on the deck of
the long ship, the sun shining brightly on their tall
caps, while the ostrich plumes waved backwards and
forwards in the breeze.
Do you wonder that the sergeant's wife's eyes
were red and swollen as she sat straining them for
yamie's Obedience; or,
one last glimpse of the land where she had passed
so many happy years ? Her husband did not wonder.
His own heart was sad with the same thoughts. He
said softly to her little son, Jamie,
"Look well now, my lad; for it may be many a
year before you '11 see the like again."
At last they reached the seat of war, and began
to make hurried preparations for giving battle to the
enemy. McCullum knew that he might have a place
for his family with the wives of the private soldiers;
but he feared to leave those so dear to him in such
company. Most of these he knew to be coarse,
vulgar women, who did not hesitate to utter oaths
when they were angry. He obtained permission,
therefore, to leave his wife and child outside the
camp but near enough for him to spend his leisure
hours in their company.
Jamie, his boy, was just learning his letters when
they reached Spain; and Maggie resolved to im-
prove the time when they were alone together, to
give him a good bit of learning, as she called it.
Among the children of the regiment there were
only a few with whom Maggie would allow Jamie to
play. She shuddered at the thought of his learning
their rude ways, and rough, profane language. On
deck she had kept him as much as possible away
from them, though she herself was always ready to
do them any favour in her power. Among the
soldiers who carried their wives to the Peninsula,
was one whose name was Michael Ray. Maggie
had singled out his pretty little wife on the first day
of their passage, and tried to make friends both
with her and her sweet flaxen-haired Belle.
Lizzie was a small, meek-eyed woman, who
Tue Highland Soldier.
seemed wholly unfitted for the toils and privations
of life in the barracks. She shrank away from the
coarse women, all of whom seemed disposed to be
friendly, if only for the sake of Belle, who, before
two days had passed, was the favourite of all on
board. But when Maggie took a seat by her side,
and in a low voice began to talk of home, the little
woman answered with a burst of tears,
"I am leaving it for ever. I am going to Spain
to die and there is no one left behind who will
mourn me much."
After a while Maggie drew from her the sad story
which had united her fate to a Highland soldier;
and from this time they were fast friends.
Lizzie had been brought up in wealth. When
sixteen, she went to a boarding school, where she
first saw Michael, whose regiment was then quar-
tered near. He had asked her to be his wife, and
she had accepted him, and married him without the
consent of her parents. They had only one child,
little Belle, who was only four years old when her
father's regiment was ordered to Spain. She had
her mother's eyes, deep violet eyes, into which no
one could gaze without a thrill of pleasure.
As they grew more intimate, Lizzie told her friend
Maggie that, feeling sure she should not live to
return to her native land, she had ventured, before
leaving the country, to go to her father's house, and
beg for one word of farewell; but she found only
strangers there. Her father had sold his place, and
moved away, she could not learn where. She con-
fessed with tears, that if she could only have left
her little Belle with her parents, to be the daughter
to them which she herself ought to have been, she
yamie's Obedience; or,
should be more sure God had forgiven her great sin
"Oh, if I had only believed the Bible!" she ex
claimed, "I should have known I could not break
God's holy laws and expect happiness. No, no," she
added, "I have never known one moment of true
peace orpleasure since I disobeyed mydearparents."
Lizzie was right in supposing she was near the
close of life, and would not return to England. She
grew more feeble every day; and at last the surgeon
connected with the regiment told her gently that
she had not many days more to live. She instantly
desired to see Maggie, and asked her to take care of
"I know you love the Saviour," she said, panting
at every word, "and that you teach your child to
pray. I want Belle to learn obedience to God's
commands; and then she will never bring sorrow on
herself as I have done."
Maggie promised, if Michael would allow it, to
adopt Belle and bring her up with Jamie.
"And if not," gasped the dying woman, "will you
care for her, and teach her whenever it is in your
God helping me, I will," wais the solemn answer.
And if ever you have a chance, send this to my
father. It is a picture of myself and my sweet
Belle, with a letter confessing my sin."
Yes, yes, I promise."
"Remember the name," gasped the dying woman;
"LUTHER ARNOLD. Isabella is my mother's name.
I have called my child after her."
Maggie put the package in her pocket, and pro-
mised to fulfil the dying woman's request.
The Highland Soldier.
Steps were now heard, and presently Michael,
just released from parade, hurried into the room.
"Hush !" whispered Maggie, "she's just going."
The dying woman lay with one arm around little
Belle, whose long, flaxen ringlets floated over her
mother's face; the other hand pressed against her
own heart. All was so still, they thought she had
ceased to breathe; but suddenly she opened her
eyes, smiled as she saw her husband bending over
her, and then spoke feebly:-
"Jesus has blotted out my sins with His own
precious blood. I can leave my husband and babe
with Him. Farewell!"
U. 'K i
MICHAEL would not consent to give up his
child. He clung to her more than ever;
and for some time the thought of Lizzie's pure life
and peaceful death kept him from seeking bad
company. At last there came orders to be ready
for marching at a moment's notice; for an engage-
ment was soon expected.
Maggie now urged a request to take Belle for the
present; and her father was glad to comply, though
he said if anything happened to him, she was to be
the child of the regiment, who had promised to sup-
port and educate her.
From this time forth, every morning, Jamie
McCullum might be seen at the barracks.
Keep up a good heart, my little man," said the
Sergeant one day to Jamie; "and whatever happens
to me, don't forget that I leave your mother in your
care. You have learned the fifth commandment;
now let me hear you say it once more."
Jamie folded his hands and repeated solemnly the
words, Honour thy father and thy mother, that
thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord
thy God giveth thee."
The Highland Soldie.
"That's a good lad; and if you obey that com-
mand as you always have done, you'll have the
favour of the Lord as long as you live."
At last the order came for part of the men to be
Among these were Sergeant McCullum, and also
Michael, who was in his command. There was
only time to send one last word of love to Maggie
and the boy, and the men were all on their way.
Now there were hours and days of terrible sus-
pense to those left behind; but they were soon
relieved by news of a skirmish in which none of the
Highlanders were injured, and also the announce-
ment that there would be no more fighting for a
month. The men were not to return, however;
and Maggie resolved to improve every moment in
teaching Jamie all in her power.
One morning, on returning from a short walk on
business, Maggie heard the sound of voices. She
approached softly and listened. Jamie was repeat-
ing the lesson she had taught him the evening before.
Glancing through the trees, she saw nearly a dozen
children, seated on the ground, Jamie and Belle in
their midst. The little girl was sucking her favourite
finger, her lovely eyes upturned to his face, while he
"I know it's right for us to do the things that
God tells us, because He knows best; and we must
obey our fathers and mothers too. The Bible says
so, and if we obey the Bible we shall live on the
earth a good while."
Maggie started with a flush of pleasure, as a happy
idea flashed into her mind.
"Jamie has taught me a lesson," she said to her-
yamtic's Obedienrc; or,
self. "Why can't I teach these poor, ignorant
children? I have been longing to do them good,
but did not know how until my Jamie taught me."
She watched their eager look of interest, and after
hesitating a moment, stepped forward, and sat down
in the circle.
Do you like to hear stories ? she asked. I
will tell you a story of some children who disobeyed
their parents, and of some good ones who obeyed
them, and had their reward.
"There were two children named Henry and
Henrietta Edwards. They were twins, only eight
years of age. They lived in India with their father,
who was an officer in the English army. One day
they begged to go out to the jungle, or woods, be-
hind the house; but as their ayah, or Indian ser-
vant, was busy, they could not go. By-and-bye they
promised to go only to the creek, and their mamma
knowing they would obey, said,
"' I will let you go so far; but remember, if you
cross the bridge over the creek, you will disobey
and be punished.'
They wandered out, hand in hand, chatting
merrily. They walked so slowly that it was some
time before they reached the water; and then they
sat down on the bank under the shade of some large
palm-trees to rest.
"Presently three little girls came running down
"'Here areHenryand Henrietta,"they said, shout-
ing. 'Come, let's all gooverthebridgeintothejungle.'
"'No, no, we can't; our mother has forbidden
it,' answered Henrietta.
"'So our mother has; but she didn't know how
The Highland Soldier.
much more shady it would be in there. Come, do,
"'Oh, don't!' exclaimed Henry, 'don't disobey;
it's very wicked: mothers always know best.'
"'Mine don't; that's all about it,' shouted the
eldest girl. 'She's always fussing wherever we are.
I'm going;' and she ran gaily on till she was lost to
their view in the thick woods.
I'm sorry she's so naughty,' murmured Hen-
rietta, with a sigh. 'I 'm afraid she hasn't learned
the pretty verse : Children, obey your parents in the
Lord; for this is t eight '
"They waited a few moments to see whether the
other girls would follow their sister; and then, join-
ing hands, they walked home.
About ten hours later, the whole garrison was in
commotion : the children of one of the officers were
missing, and it was feared they were lost in the jungle.
"Men and horses were sent off in haste for a
night search. Toward morning they returned, bring-
ing one child alive, the other two had been bitten by
a poisonous serpent as they lay on the grass, and
were already dead. Their faces were so frightfully
swollen that they could scarcely be recognized."
"Oh, mamma, how dreadful!" sobbed Jamie,
clinging to his mother's side.
"I'm glad there isn't no jungle round here," ex-
claimed one of the boys, "I hate snakes; I do."
But if these little girls had obeyed their mother,
they would not have been bitten," explained Mrs.
McCullum, kindly. Now, if you will come here
every day, we will have a nice school, and I '11 pro-
mise to tell you a good many stories."
"I'11 come; and I."
Yamie's Obedience; or,
"My mammy says you 're proud," murmured one
little boy; but I don't care; I'll come for all that."
No, indeed, I can admit none whose parents do
not approve; but I think they will," she added, with
The more Mrs. McCullum talked with Jamie about
the school, the better she was pleased with the idea
of teaching the children their duty to God and to
each other. She wished her husband was at home
that she might ask his advice; and she prayed her
heavenly Father to give her wisdom to guide her
aright. The next morning she set out for the bar-
racks, determining to call on all the parents of those
who had heard her story, and ask them to allow the
children to come again.
Her great desire was to form all the children be-
longing to the regiment into a Sabbath school, at
her own room; but she knew few of the mothers
would consent to this at first. She resolved, there-
fore, to invite them to come often to hear stories,
and in this way seek to interest them in the truths
of God's word.
Most of the children had repeated her story at
home, and it had made so happy an impression, that
she found no difficulty in obtaining a glad consent
to her wishes. In the afternoon of that very day
she heard a sound of merry voices approaching the
house, and went to the door to welcome fourteen
girls and boys. Jamie and Belle carried her seat
out under the shade of the trees, and Maggie there
taught her little pupils. Then she told them a
pretty story. When she had finished, she asked
them whether they would like to learn a verse from
The Highland Soldier.
"Yes, yes, ma'am!"
Then she repeated the words, Children, obey
your parents in the Lord; for this is right." In a
short time they all could say it very prettily; and
then she dismissed them till the next day.
In a few weeks she had the pleasure of knowing
that her teachings did good not only to the chil-
dren, but to their parents. Every word she told
them had been repeated at home. Some of the
mothers came to thank her for her kindness to their
little ones, and confessed they too had learned many
a lesson from her stories.
Jamie and Belle were growing every day more
lovely, when the terrible news came that there had
been a battle at Corunna, in which a great num-
ber had been killed; and among them Sergeant
Poor Maggie! She was talking with the wife of
a soldier who was sick, when the fatal announce-
ment came. Her last words had been,
Our heavenly Father does often chasten us, just
as we punish our children; but it is always for our
Just then a man came running in, his face pale
with excitement; and not noticing that the wife of
the Sergeant was present, he hurriedly told the
She sank back in her chair, gasping for breath.
"I am indeed chastened sorely," she faltered,
pressing her hand on her heart.
But even in this awful moment she felt an Al-
mighty arm supporting her. She staggered to the
door, longing to be alone in her grief.
Everybody who knew what an affection existed
Yamie's Obedience; or,
between the Sergeant and his wife wondered at her
apparent calmness. For a few days she might be
seen at almost every hour of the day hovering around
the barracks, and administering consolation to other
newly-made widows; or when the wounded men
were brought home, ministering with her own skil-
ful hands to their necessities.
All she could learn of her husband was the fact
that he had been seen to fall, and one of his men,
while beating a retreat, passed him lying on his
back among a heap of dead.
Until this hour the poor widow had sustained
herself by a vague hope that her dear James was
The next morning Jamie and Belle came running
to the barracks in great terror. Maggie lay quiet in
bed and neither moved nor spoke.
She was not dead, however, though in a dying
condition. She revived under the influence of
medicine, and lived nearly a week.
At first it was with a terrible struggle that she
felt willing to leave her darling boy to the care of
strangers, and among such company as he would
have in the barracks.
And little Belle, too, who had become almost as
dear as her own child : who would provide for her ?
But finally her faith in God's love and in His pro-
mises to be a Father to the fatherless prevailed
over every doubt. She yielded her most precious
treasures to His care, sure that He would provide
To the surgeon who visited her frequently she
confided the package Lizzie had left for her parents,
and then improved every moment of her remaining
The Highland Soldier.
hours in trying to prepare the dear children for her
Over and over she repeated the words, "Obey
God, and keep all His holy commands; and if you
have persons who supply to you the relation of
parents, obey them as you would obey me."
One morning she was quite refreshed by a short
nap, and calling them to her side, asked, "Jamie,
can you tell me who obeyed his parents perfectly?"
"Yes, mamma; I think Christ Jesus did."
"Where did you learn that?"
"In the Bible. It says He was subject unto
"Will you try to obey Him, and to follow His
"Yes, mamma, I will."
"Can you tell me who obeyed God when it was
very hard for him to do it?"
"Do you mean Abraham, mamma?"
"Yes, God told him to leave his country." Poor
Maggie grew very faint, and could only add, "Pro-
mise me you will be a good obedient boy."
He wondered at her earnestness, but said at once,
These were nearly her last words, then she drew
them both down for a last kiss, and murmured
When the surgeon came for his morning visit, he
found the children weeping convulsively over their
Thus Jamie was left an orphan. He who had so
loved and obeyed his parents was deprived of them
as it were at a stroke. At first the poor child was
stricken down-almost stupefied by sorrow.
yamie's Obedience; or,
The kind surgeon, who was a good religious man,
took care of him and little Belle, and reasoned with
him, reminding him that though his earthly parent
was taken, there still remained for him a heavenly
One who would always watch over him; and Jamie,
who recollected and tried to obey his mother's com-
mands, bowed submissively to God's will; and when,
at length, the women and children who had been left
widows and orphans were sent to England, submitted
with patience to leaving his good friend, though his
heart ached at thus parting from the only person to
whom he could look up, and who cared for him.
His sorrow was increased by being parted also from
Belle, whom the surgeon had adopted for his own
child, and who was to be sent to a lady friend of
his at Lisbon to be taken care of.
Jamie made great friends on the voyage by his
good conduct, and was recommended by one of the
invalided officers to the Duke of York, for admission
into his school with the other soldiers' sons.
The Prince was greatly interested in all the chil-
dren, and desired his aide-de-camp to see them and
report on their fitness for the institution as to age.
As Jamie had been already named for it, the aide-
de-camp took the child at once to the Duke. As
they drove off, the aide-de-camp perceived a High-
land soldier hurrying along on the pavement. A
sudden impulse made him pull the check-string,
and order his coachman to drive after and stop the
The sight of the familiar uniform made Jamie's
heart beat so wildly that he was obliged to lean
back against the cushions.
The carriage drew up; and the aide-de-camp asked
The Highland Soldier.
the soldier, "What is the number of your regi-
The man pointed to the figures on his coat. They
"Ah !" exclaimed the officer, then perhaps you
were acquainted with Sergeant McCullum, who was
killed a year ago at the battle of Corunna."
"No, sir," replied the man, betraying some emo-
tion. "I was acquainted with no Highlander by
that name who was killed. But, sir, if I may be so
bold, will you have the goodness to tell me why
you ask the question ?"
Because," answered the officer, "this is his son,
who was sent with the other orphans from Spain."
The Highlander gave a step forward, then stag-
gered, and would have fallen, but for the support of
a man who was passing. His whole form seemed
convulsed, while he was unable to articulate one
Jamie at that moment looked from the carriage
"window, when the man cried out,
My son my lost son Oh, Jamie, don't you
know your father?"
The aide-de-camp opened the door, and the weep-
ing boy was held fast in his father's arms.
The officer himself was so much affected that he
ordered the driver to conduct them to a hotel
where he could give vent to the feelings which
almost overcame him.
Now, my dear little reader, I am sure you will see
how safe it is to trust in our heavenly Friend. If
Jamie had not learned this lesson before, he would
now have found that God has a special care of those
who put their trust in Him.
Jamie, thus wonderfully restored to his parent,
was the happiest of boys. The sergeant, who rose
about that time to be quartermaster of his regiment,
put his little son to school, and by careful saving
was able, when the lad was of sufficient age, to buy
him a commission.
As a Christian, a man, and a British officer,
Jamie has practised to old age a soldier's first