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The Baldwm Library
^_ -_ _
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A VILAG OFSWIZERAND
FOR LITTLE FOLK AT HOME
w itb 4umerous IIlustrationt
J. S. VIRTUE & CO., LIMITED, 26, IVY LANE
IRINTED BY J. B. VIRTUE AND CO., LIMITED,
STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
MADAME PEYROT'S CHILDREN.
ITTING in an outside gallery of the
S hotel at La Tour, and in sight
of those glorious mountains that
had proved the defence and
refuge of God's Church in the
days of old, we had the follow-
ing story from the lips of a
The hotel was originally the
house of a private gentleman,
I n the year 1795 Piedmont
was engaged in war with
SFrance; and when the French
armies were crossing the Alps
to descend like an avalanche on the plains of Italy, the young men
of La Tour, with others of their compatriots, were sent off to defend
The Vaudois were good soldiers, and loyal as well as brave,
notwithstanding the cruel wrongs they had suffered from the House
of Savoy. The stoutest, bravest of them in La Tour had gone to
6 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
fight, and, if need be, fall in defence of their king and country;
leaving their wives and children without any protectors.
This offered the Roman Catholics-who either would not or could
not fight-an opportunity of making a second St. Bartholomew.
Dead to every generous, humane, and Christian feeling, they
resolved to seize it; and because these brave and good people were
not Catholics, they entered into a plot to murder the wives, children,
infants, aged parents, and pastors of the brave men who had left them
to dye the snows of the mountains with their patriot blood. The
night of the massacre was fixed; the arrangements all completed.
At that time there were two Roman Catholic chapels in the town,
one standing at each extremity. These were to be the rendezvous
of the conspirators. A list of the Protestants was drawn up with
the greatest precision; and furnished with this, each band of
murderers knew exactly where to strike, what houses to enter, and
whom to massacre. The work was to begin when midnight sounded
from the steeple. At that signal the assassins were to start from
each chapel; and murdering every Protestant in every house in their
way, they were to meet in the centre of the town after the bloody
tragedy. One account says that the infants were to be spared;
another, that the child at the breast was to die with its mother.
But fortunately this wicked scheme oozed out; like the Gun-
powder Plot, when the Papists attempted, in the reign of James I.
of England, to blow the Houses of Parliament with Lords and
Commons into the air. It oozed out, but not till the day fixed for
its execution, when husbands, brothers, sons, and indeed all who
could defend them, were far off on the frontier. The warning came
too late; the foe would be weltering in their blood before the
messenger they hurried off with the news could reach the frontier.
So there remained nothing for them but to consider, when the
first burst of alarm and anguish had subsided, how they could best
defend their homes and preserve their lives. Their faith in God was
great. He could save them, as He had often done their fathers, at
-- I _____________
2'"`'1; 11. -j ,. : .,
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Aur TOWN IN PIEDMON
-4 -~-' - ~l~~XfE~~:fr~~,~
A TOWN IN PIEDMONT.
8 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
the uttermost; and women as they were, defenceless women as they
seemed, they resolved, along with the pastors and aged men who
had been left behind as not fit to go out to battle, to defend their
homes and children.
In La Tour there was at that time the residence of a family of the
name of Peyrot. Madame Peyrot had a nephew and niece living
with her-Henry and Caroline. To this house came Monsieur
Geymet, her son-in-law, with his seven children. Out of the mouth
of babes and sucklings, says the Bible, God ordaineth strength; and
he did so in this hour of jeopardy by the hands of these children.
They sallied forth; and from gardens, fields, roads, and walls
gathered stones, and piled them at the windows in the attic, ready
for action-like round shot by the guns of a beleaguered fortress.
Hurled down from a height of four stories on the heads of their
assailants, these would, they trusted, do good service when the fatal
hour arrived; for had they not read in the Bible how "Abimelech
came unto the tower"-and La Tour just means the tower-"and
fought against it, and went hard unto the door of the tower to burn
it with fire. And a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon
Abimelech's head, and all to brake his skull "-and broke it too, for
it is added, "He called hastily unto the young man his armour-
bearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men
say not of me, A woman slew him. And his young man thrust him
through, and he died."
Trust in God, said Cromwell to his soldiers, and keep your powder
dry: and in the spirit of that famous speech, the poor Waldensians
neglected no means of defence. Fires roared in every chimney of
the house; and pots and pans were ready to discharge cataracts of
boiling water, along with the showers or paving stones, on the
heads of the assailants. The doors are strongly barricaded, and
the falouszes-a species of outside window-blinds, perhaps more like
shutters, made of wood-all closed; and this done by nightfall, the
defences of the feeble garrison are completed.
YAAM EYO AD H//IDRN
1o STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
It is now time for the children to seek a brief rest on the mat-
tresses which had been spread out for them on the floor; but, before
doing so, Caroline, a girl then nine years old, approaches a window
to peer out through the lattice of the jalousie. The night was dark
as their prospects ; the rain fell in torrents; but she could see what
was enough to freeze their blood.
There, stealing along by the wall of the house, in single file and
in profound silence, to reach the place of rendezvous without raising
suspicion or alarm, were the assassins, armed for their bloody work
-some with knives, some with bludgeons, some with scythes.
From this sight the poor child turns to seek her couch, and Mon-
sieur Geymet to look to the priming of a brace of pistols, and take
his post at the top of the stair. He is resolved that the Papists
shall not come at his children, but over his dead body.
Madame Peyrot meanwhile passes the weary, anxious hours
walking up and down between the two rows of mattresses, her
arms crossed on her breast, her head bent down, her lips moving
in suppressed, silent prayer; ever and anon, as her7 :eye 'falls
on the nine children, so soon perhaps to have their throats cut
by the popish ruffians, raising her hands to heaven to exclaim,
"Alas, alas "
From time to time she turns to the window to look through the
jalousies; but all is quiet-quiet as the mine before it explodes. It
is now eleven; and now half-past eleven. The fatal hour approaches
that shall rouse all the town, and fill the ear of night with shrieks
and screams-the yells of the murderers and the groans of their
victims. The finger of the clock steals on to midnight. A few
minutes more, and the signal to begin the massacre sounds out
from the steeple.
At this terrible moment, and all of a sudden, making Madame
Peyrot shudder with horror, the pattering of many feet and the
cries of women and children sound through the street; blows-rapid,
thundering blows-are struck on the front door, and with them
MADAME PEYROT'S CHILDREN.
come the cries of women and children-" Madame Peyrot! Madame
Peyrot! Help! Open! open to us !" But these women and children
did not want help, they were shamming; for they were the tools
of the assassins. They were probably persuaded by their priests
that it was a most meritorious action. The murderers were at
their heels, ready, so soon as this foul trick had opened the door,
to rush in.
But the Vaudois were on their guard; nor has that noise ceased
when assailed and assailants hear another. Is that a drum ? Yes,
thank God, it is! Near and nearer, quick and quicker, it beats;
and the hearts of those who were ready to perish beat with un-
expected hope. The hurried tramp, tramp of armed men pours
along the street; and in with a rush come husbands and brothers
and sons, shouting as they go, "We are here! We are here to
As tigers, hyenas, and wolves to their dens, so now did the baffled
and bloodthirsty Papists slink away; while there is light in the
homes of the brave Vaudois, as they embrace their families and
weep tears of joy over their children, giving thanks to God for a
rescue that was "life from the dead."
Strange to say, this remarkable deliverance was due to a good
Papist, the king's confessor, who could not find in his heart to let
such cruel things be done. How he obtained a knowledge of the
conspiracy we are not sure. We have heard that he got it in
confession from the king's own lips. But whether it was so or
not, he was struck with horror ; and, insisting on his sovereign
taking steps to defeat the plot, he obtained authority to send off a
messenger to warn the Vaudois on the frontier of the danger that
was impending over their wives and children; and this in time for
them to return ere the massacre had begun.
Honour to whom honour, and justice to whom justice, is due!
Nor will what this Roman Catholic priest did be forgotten on the
great Day of Account.
HE Waldensians are a people who live
in a charming country in the north of
Italy. Beautiful valleys run between
gloriously grand hills. In the valleys
they grow large fields of grapes. On
the sides of the mountains grow tall
pine trees, and on the mountain tops,
though it is very hot in the valleys,
there is snow all the year round.
The Waldensians believe in Jesus
Christ, and are a very brave people.
They are near to countries that used to
imprison them and burn them and
shoot them because they would not be Roman Catholics, and believe
what the Pope told them instead of what Jesus told them.
The people in these Roman Catholic countries were doing their
cruel work to please the Pope, and they did it for many, many years.
The sufferings of the Waldensians are related by their historian,
Leger, in a book which is illustrated by prints, and which is so full
of horrors that as we read it our blood now boils with indignation,
and now our eyes rain tears upon the page. No wonder they do not
allow their youth to read it, lest it should make them hate Papists as
well as Popery.
Of the many persecutions which desolated these beautiful valleys
I can note but a few. The first of which we have any details occurred
in the winter of 1400, under Borelli, an agent of the Inquisition.
This ruffian had satisfied Rome that he was a fit tool for her work;
THE WALDENSIANS. 13
having already at Grenoble burned alive at her bidding one hundred
and fifty men, women, and children.
Suddenly, on Christmas night-of all the nights in the year !-he
-~ : _'_---
2- .. i, -.
MOUNTAINS OF WALDENSIA.
burst into the villages, and slaughtered their inhabitants, with an eye
that knew no pity and a hand that did not spare. The morning that
broke on the Albergo-to which, stricken with terror and leaving
,'" . ',1,., .'. g -.._
14 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
their dead behind them, the survivors of the massacre had fled-saw
eighty infants lying dead in their mothers' arms, and many of the
mothers also dead, with the snow for their winding-sheet.
After a while, persecution burst out again in all its fury in 1488.
The forces of Savoy and of France murdered straightforward in the
valley of Pragella: nor was their butchery checked till they invaded
San Martino. At their approach the inhabitants of that valley flew
to arms, and so completely did they get the victory that of the seven
hundred who attempted to carry fire and sword into San Martino,
only one returned to tell the tale.
Again, in 1560, Count de la Trinita, at the head of four thousand
infantry and two hundred cavalry, invaded the valleys; and baffled
on that occasion by the bravery of their inhabitants, resumed his
attacks with redoubled fury in 1561 ; giving houses to the flames,
ravaging the country, and committing other dreadful atrocities.
But all in vain, for no cruelties could make the brave people swerve
from their faith. They chose death rather than the mass; and though
far inferior in numbers they met their invaders with such skill, deter-
mination, and indomitable courage, that they were broken in battle,
dashed as the wave that flings its water on a rock. God was their
In 1655 Pianezza, at the head of fifteen thousand men, advanced to
exterminate the Waldensians, or their faith. Kill all, even to the
cat! was the cry, and very fit tools he brought for that work-
among others three French regiments that had dyed their swords
in the blood of the Huguenots, and twelve hundred Irish Papists,,
banished by Oliver Cromwell for the share they had in the
massacre of forty thousand Protestants in Ireland.
In the valley of Rosa, Javanel, with a handful of brave men, held
the pass, and repulsed the enemy, killing a man every time his rifle
rang. But in Lucerne, where he had treacherously lulled the sus-
picions of the Waldensians, Pianezza commenced a massacre, the
like of which is hardly to be found in history.
THE WALDENSIANS. 15
On the signal being given from Castaluzzo, a noble rock which
looks down from its mountain seat on La Tour, his soldiers, who had
been billeted on the disarmed and unsuspicious inhabitants, rose to
the slaughter. They massacred in cold blood all within their reach
-cutting their throats like sheep; taking children by the feet and
dashing out their brains against the wall; tearing infants, one at
.5 -- .-.
r, a ri i t r i t r
% '2 --
WALDENSIAN WOMEN AMONGST THE VINES.
each foot, asunder before their mothers' eyes; impaling women on
spears, and marching with them to the sound of the drum in triumph
through the streets; flaying men alive; roasting young maidens on
the fire; and finishing the work of individual slaughter by driving
men, women, and children in a flock to the top of Castaluzzo. There
they stripped them naked; tied them by the neck and heels; and, as
we have sent a stone bounding, whirling, smoking down the hill, they
t.6 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
hurled their victims over, with fiendish glee watching the poor body
as it leaped from crag to crag and fell with a thud on the rock below.
Such was Popery.
What an indictment, full of crimes and cruelties, might be drawn
up against the church of Rome! Savoy and France were here her
tools; she being the instigator of those cruel persecutions of which
these are but specimens. She was drunken with the blood of saints,
and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus."
The preservation of this people and their Church amid persecu-
tions of unparalleled ferocity and unparelleled duration, if not a
miracle, is a near approach to one. It is at least "the Lord's doing,
and marvellous in our eyes." By this-with the exception of the
existence of the Jews, the most wonderful event of the kind in history
-God had manifestly some great purpose to serve. Long concealed,
it now appeared plain and patent-in Italy, all Italy, Rome not
excepted, open to the preaching of the Word, and the Waldensians
coming down from their mountain fastnesses to teach their long-
benighted countrymen the glorious Gospel of the blessed God-the
truth that shall make them free.
Now there is one physical feature of the valleys which, while it
must strike every traveller, is intimately connected with their fortunes
and religious history. He that walketh righteously and speaketh
uprightly," said God to ancient Israel-when in their day good
men, like the Waldensians, were persecuted-" he shall dwell on
high, his place of defence shall be the munitions of the rocks."
The valleys are full of such places,-places without which the
truth had been extinguished and the Waldensians exterminated ages
ago. Crags which no feet but mountaineers could climb; caves
where flying women with their infants were hid as in the hollow of
God's hand, while the battle raged below; tremendous gorges where,
with a mere ribbon of road beside the torrent that boils, and roars,
and foams through its rocky barriers, a handful of brave men was
match for a thousand-these were their strength.
~L i 14
-I~---~~-BEING MARCHED TO CAST AL UZ Z O,-
18 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
The moss where the dragoon sunk to his saddle-girths, and fell an
easy prey to his light-footed antagonist; the mountain with paths
unknown to the foe, and a plaided watchman on its summits to com-
mand the glen and signal the approach of danger; the mists God
wrapped around his saints when the battle went against them, or out
of whose bosom they fell on their enemies like a bolt from a thunder-
cloud-these were the Waldensians' strength through all their long
and heroic struggle; by the tremendous defiles, the foaming tor-
rents, the glaciers, the snow, the caverns, and frowning crags of their
hills their help came. With David they could sing the grand song to
God: "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh
my help. My help cometh from the Lord, who made heaven and
A SYRIAN SHIEK.
P OSSIBLY you wonder who this singular-looking man, with a
turban on his head, and a loose robe and girdle, instead of
a hat and coat, can be. He shoulders a gun, too, though that is what
many Englishmen do. Nor, perhaps, without entering into further
particulars, would you be much the wiser were we merely to tell you
that he is an Eastern Sheik.
A SYRIAN SHIEK.
POSSIBLY you wonder who this singular-looking man, with a
turban on his head, and a loose robe and girdle, instead of
a hat and coat, can be. He shoulders a gun, too, though that is what
many Englishmen do. Nor, perhaps, without entering into further
,particulars, would] you be much the wiser were we merely to tell you
that he is an Eastern Sheik.
--- __. r_ --- -_ ..--: -
'-.i= -- i,
7N '.. .2
THE SHEIK'S HORSE.
22 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
Well, then, not to leave you in ignorance, you must know that in
such countries as Egypt, Arabia, and Syria, in the last of which
Palestine is situated, the chief man in any town or district is called
the Sheik; and a very important man he is. It is he who decides
all disputes, as well as everything relating to public matters. In
fact, he is a sort of king on a small scale. He is held in great
respect by the people; and, whenever they meet him, they invariably
make a salaam,. or low bow. In return for so much honour, he
entertains all strangers who come from a distance, providing them
with food and shelter according to their station in life. This cer-
tainly is a very generous and hospitable custom; but if a few railway
trains filled with passengers wishing to see that part of the world
were to arrive daily, as in so many European towns, we are afraid
Mr. Sheik would find it rather embarrassing, and have to give it up.
As with our English nobility, so with these Eastern sheiks-they
are not all of equal rank. Some, by living in small towns or
out-of-the-way places, are necessarily of little importance; while
others are so rich and influential as to command the respect, and
even homage, of the inferior grades, who, when they meet, prostrate
themselves to the ground before them. This seems a strange
custom to us, but very likely they would regard many of our
proceedings in the same light.
Contrary to Europeans, the Arabs and Syrians do not live in brick
or stone houses, but in tents, which, again, unlike those temporary
structures so frequently to be seen in English gardens during the
summer-time, are of a substantial nature, being constructed with a
pole or wooden framework, and covered with strong canvas fastened
to the ground by means of stout pegs, in order that they may not
be blown away. Then, too, our tents are usually white or light-
coloured, while those of the Syrians are black, and look very
picturesque from a distance.
Some of the tents belonging to the richer class of sheiks are of
immense size, the interior being fitted up in most magnificent style.
-i~ I --~~-~sP~~'-.45 ~ tr ._- _
TH HMEO TE HEK
24 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
When these Eastern grandees remove from one place to another-
which, by-the-bye, is no uncommon occurrence-they pack their
tents, with all their interior fittings and ornaments, on the backs of
camels, which safely convey them to their new destination, where
they are again erected. From their leading this wandering life in
tents, these Eastern-tribes are generally called Bedouins, which is
the meaningof the term.
In the Bible a beautiful story is told of a distinguished Syrian
sheik-a man who was not only looked upon as one of the greatest
princes while living, but whom all the people who have ever since
lived in that country, to say nothing of the Jews, have been proud of;
so he must indeed have been a wonderful man. The story was written
many hundreds of years ago by Moses, and is to be found in the Book
of Genesis. One circumstance connected with it strikes us as being
very remarkable; and that is, that though such a long time has
elapsed since this great sheik dwelt in Syria, the primitive customs
of that country have remained almost unchanged, for other sheiks
now living are in the daily practice of many things exactly the same
as they were then.
The name of this celebrated sheik, whom we call Abraham, figures
prominently in many other books besides the Bible, which have been
taken such great care of by the people as to prove how solicitous
they were to hand down to posterity the noble deeds of their favourite
patriarch. The Bedouins, however, do not call him Abraham: they
know him by no other name than that of the "Friend." Can we
wonder, then, at the love and reverence with which they cherish his
-- -- -- --
i' i ....... I
IN THE DESERT.
ON THE TRACK OF GOLD.
Ztn riniftat' (Storpt.
EOPLE are very hearty with one another at
the end of a voyage, and very civil at the
beginning; but in the meantime, on board a
passenger ship, everybody, as a rule, quarrels
with everybody else-quarrels, and makes
friends again, half a dozen times over.
But Chessy Chalk and her baby never
quarrelled with anybody, from the time the
Gold Finder left the jetty of the London Docks to the time when she
let go her anchor in Hobson's Bay; and still more wonderful, nobody
on board the Gold Finder ever quarrelled with them. Chessy and her
baby, on the other hand, were constant pets with all the passengers,
officers, and crew. Everybody on board had a kind look and word
for them, and was willing to do them a good turn.
A coarse, wild lot of both sexes, and a good many grades, we had
on board; for the Gold Finder sailed for Melbourne some eighteen
years ago, when people of all sorts were making a mad rush out of
England, in hope of becoming Rothschilds a week after landing in
Australia; and eager as we were to reach the Golden Land, the Gold
Finder's rate of sailing was not likely to improve our tempers.
Ship after ship overhauled us, and it became a standing joke on
board that the Gold Finder would get to Port Philip just when there
was no more gold left to find. Under these circumstances it is
wonderful that even pretty, bright-eyed Chessy and her plump baby-
boy never got a cross look. Who gave her that name, or how we
ON THE TRACK OF GOLD. 27
came to know that she was called so I cannot say; but when I joined
the ship at Gravesend, the name was already public property, and its
bearer a general favourite.
The baby had been christened Adolphus, after his father, who had
been in such a hurry to get to the gold-fields that he had rushed out
in the first Australian ship in which he could secure a single place;
and Chessy was very fond of calling the baby 'Dolphy. But the
THE "GOLD FINDER" AT SEA.
grown-up Adolphus was not respected on board the Gold Finder.
Rough lot as we had on board, they thought it a shame that a man
should leave such a wife and child to come out by themselves amongst
such a rough lot; and so we always spoke of 'Dolphy as Chessy
That baby really was a "remarkable child." I suppose it must
have cried sometimes, but whenever it made its appearance in public
28 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
it was always either sound asleep, or else crowing, and capering, and
smilingly shaking hands all round. Its fat, knuckle-dimpled little
hands made rosy rings round the horny fingers of many a heart-
hardened ruffian; and yet the ruffians, though they grinned, seemed
to like the tender little touch whilst it lasted, and never said a rude
word to the mother.
Chessy, like her child, was a really remarkable character." We
had a miserable eight days between Gravesend and Plymouth:
squally weather; sodden, lumbered decks; 'tween-decks littered with
the muddy shavings and tool-baskets of carpenters, still hammering
away at uncompleted bunks; make-shift meals; a sulky crew, not yet
shaken down into order; passengers, both cabin and intermediate, in
a state of damp deshabille and sea-sick despair-the women, for the
most part, looking especially limp, draggle-tail, and miserable.
And yet, even in that dreary time, Chessy Chalk and her baby, on
the few occasions on which they make a public appearance, were
comparatively as neat as new pins. When the other women tem-
porarily recovered strength enough to talk, they wasted it in making
pathetic appeals to the skipper, the cabin-boy-any one of the ship's
company they could get hold of-to be put ashore that minute, or in
angrily abusing their friends for bringing them to sea.
Chessy had no friends on board to abuse, but if she had, I am
sure she would not have abused them. When Chessy came out of
her berth during those dreary eight days, she busied herself in doing
as many quiet little kindnesses to her muddled, melancholy neigh-
bours as the of course paramount claims of Master 'Dolphy would
permit. But Master 'Dolphy was so exceptionally" good a baby
that these kindnesses amounted to a good deal; and it was owing to
their remembrance of them, and to the frequent renewals of them,
that the generally cantankerous womankind on board the Gold
Finder did not grudge, the golden opinions which Chessy and her
It was very little that Chessy said in any way, but all she did say
ON THE TRACK OF GOLD. 29
was cheerful and kind, and what she did-which was a good deal
more-was of the same sort.
We discovered shortly after leaving England that we had on
board a family in great distress. At first, their condition evoked a
great deal of genuine pity. The poor woman was assured that she
and her little ones would be well looked after on the voyage, and that
a subscription should be got up for them before they landed in the
strange country to which they were bound. Little, if anything, came
of the subscription. The iron was not hit whilst it was hot. And
in a week or so scarcely any one gave the lonely family a thought,
The mother was a poor, shiftless creature. She was completely
stunned by her misfortune, and, if it had not been for Chessy, she
would have moped all day in bed, and her children would have come
poorly off. But the first visit Chessy and her baby paid in the
morning was to Mrs. Weston's berth, and, 'Dolphy being consigned,
fro tem., to the care of the little Westons in turn, Chessy busied
herself in putting, and rousing up Mrs. Weston to help to put, the
place and its inmates in order. She "messed" with the Westons
also, and her management made their mess the envy of the 'tween-
Chessy had some private stores, but she did not confine them to
her own use. Every child on board was her pensioner, and when
people fell ill, the tasty little dishes which Chessy concocted for them
were far more highly appreciated than the medical comforts dis-
pensed by the doctor. She would go and sit with women tossing in
their dark, close quarters, when their husbands and children had left
them for the sake of the fresh air and bright sunshine to be enjoyed
Sometimes, as a special treat, she allowed her patients to have a
minute's peep at baby, brought down for the purpose by the volunteer
nurse who then had him in charge. Chessy had her pick of nurse-
maids, and so she had all kinds of servants. If the Westons had
30 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
taken their meals by themselves, they would have had to wait on
themselves, in spite of the loud promises of help which they received
off Plymouth. But when Chessy became their cateress, there was
always some one anxious to get her water for her, draw rations, and
carry dishes to and from the galley.
Chessy did not confine her sister-of-mercy cares to her own sex.
There was a poor young fellow on board who was going out to
Australia in a vain hope of escape from consumption. He had a
brother with him, a huge healthy ruffian, who, nevertheless, was
sometimes very kind to the sick man, but, as a rule, left him pretty
much to himself.
Chessy was like a sister to this poor fellow. As long as he could
get about, she helped him up and down the steep ladder that led to
the 'tween-decks, and sat with him on deck, making him as comfort-
able as she could, reading to him and talking to him when he was well
enough to listen, and sitting in silence when he was too ill. Baby
took a fancy to the poor fellow also, but manifested it so demon-
stratively that, in spite of the sick man's remonstrances, he was often
sent away in charge of one of the volunteer nursemaids. When the
poor fellow could no longer get on deck, Chessy and her baby still
The male passengers' sick bay was quite in the forepart of the
ship, and to get to it Chessy had to traverse the part of the 'tween-
decks roamed over by the roughest, coarsest men; but Chessy was not
afraid of them, and she had no reason to be afraid. The men would
cease swearing, and joking, and quarrelling when she went by, only
stopping her to shake hands with the wonderful baby; and whilst she
was in the sick bay, they would go on deck that she might not be dis-
turbed whilst she was doing what she could both to alleviate the poor
fellow's sufferings and to prepare him for his approaching end.
She was in the sick bay when the sick man died, and he died
clutching her hand in the belief that it was his mother's hand. His
big brother was at the funeral service, which was conducted in the
DECK OF THE GOLD FINDER."
32 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
early morning, and many of the rough sailors and emigrants were
too, all out of respect for the loving and gentle Chessy.
When baby fell ill, the doctor had so many inquiries to answer in
every part of the ship, that he had serious thoughts of pasting a
bulletin of the state of the baby's health daily upon the mainmast.
If there's safety in a mere multitude of counsellors, Chessy need not
have felt alarmed about her little pet.
For a possession so precious to her and us all, mere doctor's
advice-the doctor a bachelor, too-of course was not considered
sufficient, and amateur prescriptions of all kinds poured in upon
Chessy from all quarters for her little fellow's measles, whooping-
cough, teething, or whatever it was.
When 'Dolphy had recovered sufficiently to be brought on deck
again, he held a levee. Everybody on board came to be presented
at his little court; and when he had dropped off to sleep upon his
mother's lap, great rough fellows, both passengers and crew, would
stoop down as they passed to uncover his face that they might have
a look at him.
They lifted his little shawl with a comically tender touch to be
given by such rough fingers, but the little amateur nursemaids, who
were longing to have 'Dolphy lying on their laps, watched these bold
proceedings with jealous severity, greatly wondering that Chessy,
though she lifted up her fingers and said "Hush!" looked pleased
rather than otherwise at having her baby peeped at by such rough
When I last saw Chessy and her baby everybody on board was
giving them a ringing cheer as they were rowed ashore; and I could
not but feel what real and glorious power over men there was in a
kind and cheerful heart, and how blessed must be the life which
IN THE PRISON AT BREST.
0. StDr) n.f a Vet gat.
1 ERHAPS you would like to hear a very
strange story about a man and a pet rat.
It is a very strange story, but it shows how
love always brings love again, and how it
makes the people who love braver, and
kinder, and happier, even though the thing
loved be only a poor little rat.
SThere was, in 184-, in the prison at
Brest, a man condemned for life to the gal-
leys. His birth and parentage, and the nature of his crime, had
vanished into the past; nor even the name of this lost wretch
remained; he was simply designated by a number. Upon his fea-
tures crime had most plainly impressed its hideous stamp. Evil
passions had prematurely wrinkled his brow and withered his
sallow cheek; was gloomy and dangerous.
He was constantly and severely overlooked; the stick of the
galley-sergeant, if not actually in contact with his back, was per-
petually suspended over it; a double chain was added to the weight
of his irons, and he was subjected to the most painful labours. He
had several times endeavoured to put an end to his wretched exist-
ence, but had never been able to complete the attempt. After
submitting to an amputation, and a sojourn of eight months in the
infirmary, he had re-entered the prison, never to leave it.
Gradually an extraordinary change came over this savage man.
I-s day's labour completed, he one evening seated himself in a
corner of the enclosure with the companion to whom he was chained.
34 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
His usually grim face assumed a less frightful expression; and words
of tenderness escaped from the lips which were usually closed in sullen
silence, or opened but to give utterance to the most wicked words.
These changes seemed to be effected by a mysterious something
that he concealed in his bosom, and watched over with the utmost
solicitude. The galley-sergeants began to suspect that the convict
had obtained some species of weapon, by means of which he hoped
for deliverance. Two of them approached to search him, and did it
so suddenly, that the convict had not time even to comprehend their
design, much less to resist it. When he found himself in their power,
he uttered a cry of despair.
"Do not kill him !" he entreated-" do not kill him "
Before the words were well out of his mouth, one of the guards had
seized a rat that the criminal had hidden in his bosom.
"Do not kill him repeated the man. "Beat me-do what you
like with me-but spare him! Don't squeeze him so hard. If you
will not return him to me, set him at liberty." And, for perhaps the
first time in his life, the big tears streamed down his cheeks, and fell
upon his breast. The guards, though hard-hearted, could not hear this
strange supplication, and see the man's tears, without feeling kindly
towards him. The one who held the rat, and was about to strangle
it between his finger and thumb, released his hold, and let it fall to the
ground. The frightened animal fled with great rapidity behind some
timbers that lay heaped up at a little distance. The convict wiped
away his tears, and followed the rat with his eyes, appearing not to
breathe freely until he had seen his friend altogether out of danger..
The next morning, as the wretched man returned to labour, his
countenance pale from want of sleep, he glanced uneasily towards
the heap of timber, uttered a short cry, to which there was no
response, and then continued on his way, feeling a sadness that he
could not conceal. Arrived at the place where they commenced
labour, he began to work in a wild, gloomy sort of way, lifting
stones that two men could scarcely carry, and exposing himself,
IN THE PRISON AT BEST. 35
without apparent motive, to useless perils, as if he wished to kill
himself. He was preparing to carry an enormous plank, with the
assistance of some three or four of his companions, when, all at
once, he felt a slight tickling on his cheek. He turned his head
with a cry of joy: it was the sole friend he had in the world, his rat,
who had quietly run up his shoulder. He took the animal in his
hand, covered it with kisses, and replaced it in his bosom; then
that I will become a model man. I'll do all you want."
The governor to whom he addressed himself made a sign of assent,
and passed on. The convict opened his shirt, to give one more
look at the faithful animal, and then continued his work in a cheer-
ful, satisfied spirit.
turning to one that time he overhead had nobody to love, who handed to pass at
thatennoblin is it to love something that from the moment when he
"Monsieur," said he, -"let me have this animal, and I promise
that I will become a model man. I'll do all you want."
The governor to whom he addressed himself made a sign of assent,
and passed on. The convict opened his shirt, to give one more
look at the faithful animal, and then continued his work in a cheer-
ful, satisfied spirit.
Up to that time he had had nobody to love, and so refining and
ennobling is it to love something, that from the moment when he
36 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
was permitted to keep the rat in his bosom, the hitherto incorrigible
convict became the mildest inmate in the prison.
What neither intimidation, confinement, nor beating had been
able to accomplish, affection even to a rat brought to pass with a
promptitude that seemed miraculous. He still availed himself of his
courage and energy, but it was to maintain order among the more
desperate of his companions, who were inclined to enter into revolt
against their guards.
Ratapot, for so he had named his rat, became an object of his
tenderest affection. He divided his food with him, preferring to
stint himself rather than the little animal; and finally became
ingenious in fabricating, during his rare hours of repose, a few
trifling articles, which he sold to buy Ratapot spice-cake and sugar,
and other dainties in which he delighted. During the fatigue work,
if Ratapot crept out of his master's shirt to sit upon his shoulder,
the convict would smilingly turn his head towards his friend, and
despatch a double quantity of work. The animal, confiding in the
protection and solicitude of his master, went and came quite at his
ease, sure that no one dared offer him the least injury; for to touch
Ratapot had been to expose themselves to a terrible chastisement.
Just for having thrown a little stone at him, a convict was once
obliged to pass a week in the hospital, in consequence of blows in
his breast from the mighty fist of Ratapot's protector.
A year passed away, and this criminal was transferred from the
painful labours reserved for the undisciplined, to the workshop of the
mechanics. He was not long in distinguishing himself by his
superior intelligence and ability, and as for Ratapot, he became the
favourite of the place. Four years passed thus, during which the
friendship between the convict and Ratapot continually increased,
and even became, if possible, more excessive in its tenderness.
One day, a cat entered the workshop, attacked from behind and
hurt Ratapot severely. The recovery of the rat was slow, but during
more than a month his master carefully dressed his wounds. What
IN THE PRISON AT REST. 37
consoled the convict not a little, was the interest that every one took
in the sufferings of his favourite. Even the hospital nurses furnished
him with bandages and medicaments; and the surgeon himself did
not disdain to give his advice as to the mode of treatment most likely
to cure him.
At length, after many days and nights of inquietude, Ratapot
recovered his health and gaiety. He still, however, trailed one of
his paws after him. The tractable creature, however, had resumed
his habits of familiarity.
One morning, good tidings reached the convict. Thanks to his
excellent conduct during the four last years, his sentence for life had
been commuted into twenty years, in which term were reckoned
those which he had already passed in prison.
"It is to God and to Ratapot that I owe this! he exclaimed, and
in gratitude for the prospect of speedily regaining his liberty, he
tenderly embraced his faithful little friend.
MAN AND BEAST.
a. Varablh mi t atneszs.
ANY hundred years ago there dwelt in a certain
island the King of the Jins.
Now for a long while there were no men in this
island, and the beasts dwelt in peace; but after a
time it so chanced that a ship, being driven by
contrary winds, touched at it, and the men, finding
it to be fertile and pleasant, took up their abode there,
and began, after their manner, to pursue the beasts,
killing some, and making slaves of others. Whereupon
the beasts made complaint, and the king ordered that they
and also the men should appear before him, and each plead
their cause. And after a while they assembled, and the king said-
" 0 ye men prove this claim that ye make to be lords and masters
of the beasts."
And the men said many things, alleging that God hath made them
upright and of a graceful form, wherefore it was plain that they had
the pre-eminence, and that they helped the beasts, protecting them
and healing them, so showing their mastership. But the beasts
answered that each had his proper shape and form convenient for
his mode of life, and that each was beautiful after his sort, and that,
as for the help of men, it was not given but for their own ends.
And each of the beasts made his complaint. The ass said, They
put great burthens upon our backs of wood and stone and iron, and,
having sticks in their hands, they beat us sorely."
MAN AND BEAST. 39
Then the bull said, They bind us to the plough, and harness us
to mills, and put muzzles on our mouths."
After this the cow said, "That they may have milk for their
children, they take away our young ones, whom indeed they slaughter
And others also made various complaints, according to what they
At the last, after much debate, the king held counsel -with his
wazir and with the sage of the Jins. And he was not a little perplexed
as to what he should do, for being a just king he wished to deliver the
beasts from the tyranny of men, but on the other hand he was loth to
cause enmity between men and his own people. In the end it was
ordained that the beasts should send their orators, six in number,
one for each kind, and that the men also should appoint ambassadors,
so that the whole cause might be argued before the king, and that
both should abide by his judgment.
T HE messenger went to the lion, who is king of the wild beasts,
Sand told of what had happened. So the king called his sub-
jects together and held council with them. And each boasted of his
own qualities,-the leopard, who was the king's wazir, showing how
he excelled in strength and courage, and the ounce saying that he
was very skilful in leaping and seizing, and the wolf that he was a
great plunderer, and the fox that he was exceedingly crafty, and the
weasel that none could hide himself better, and the monkey that he
could mock and mimic, and others, other things. But the king said,
"These things are not needed," and he turned to the leopard and
asked him, 0 wazir! whom shall we send as our orator ? Is there
any beast that is acquainted with men ?"
And the wazir said, "The dog, 0 king, is well acquainted with
40 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
men, but then he is a traitor to the beasts. For, indeed, being a
slave to his belly, he has sold himself to the men. So greedy is he
that if a fox enter a village at night to steal a fowl, he will bark with
great violence, desiring to have everything for himself. And if he
see a child with a piece of bread in his hand he will fawn upon him,
and wag his tail, and shake his head. So that he is altogether to be
And the king said, "Is there any other animal that is friendly with
Then the wazir answered, "The cat is friendly with them, and she
is better off than the dogs, for she dwells in their houses; but she
also is a slave to her appetite, and is unworthy."
And the king said, May God never grant a blessing to these cats
and dogs !"
The wazir answered, "So it is, 0 king! God has taken his favour
from them and given it to the goats. For we see that though the
dogs multiply exceedingly, and no one uses them for food or sacrifice,
yet no one ever beholds a flock of them; whereas of goats, though
they bring forth but one or two kids in the year, and though they are
slaughtered continually, there are many flocks to be seen."
In the end, after much talk, the jackal, who was indeed a friend of
the king, and had done him much service in the past, was chosen to
W HEN the messenger had come to the king of the bircs he
called for his minister, and said to him-
"Whom shall we send as our orator ? Tell me the virtues of each
bird, that we may choose."
The peacock answered, "The hoopoe was the companion of
Solomon, whom he told about the Queen of Sheba. He is the bird
AMAN AND BEAST. 41
of prayer, for do you not see that he bows his head continually?
The cock again summons men to prayer, and he is exceeding
THE KING OF BEASTS.
pigeon is the guide, and he takes messages from city to city, and
pigeon is the guide, and he takes messages from city to city, and
42 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
from friend to friend. The nightingale has an exceedingly sweet
voice, and is a great teller of tales, and the crow is a soothsayer, and
the swallow is a traveller, and the crane is a watchman. Each of
these is wise after his kind."
And the king said, 0 wazir, whom shall we send ?"
And the peacock answered, "Let us send the. nightingale, for he is
the most eloquent of them all."
So the king said, "Go, 0 nihhtiniale, and plead for us against
these men, and Allah help thee!" .:
Now another messenger had gone to the phoenix, who was the
king of the birds of prey; and he, too, called together his people
that they might choose whom they should send.
The phoenix said to the falcon, who was his wazir, Who is fit for
this business ?"
The wazir answered, There is no one fit but the owl; for, whereas
other birds fly from men, he dwells near them, even in the houses
which they have deserted; nor is there any bird who is so full of
wisdom and piety."
But the owl said, I cannot go, 0 king, for men count me unlucky,
and hate me. Do rather send the hawk, for him do men love, even
having him to dwell with them, and making him to sit upon their
But the hawk said, "Not for our own sakes do men love us, but
because we catch prey for them. Do thou rather send the parrot, for
all, whether small or great, men or women or children, love him, and
talk with him, and listen with much attention when he speaks to
So the phoenix and his people sent the parrot.
MAN AND BEAST. 43
THE messenger went to the bee, who was the king of the insects,
and told him of the matter, and the king called his subjects
together. Now these, after the manner of small things, had a mighty
conceit of themselves, nor was there one of them but was ready
The gnat said, "We have prevailed in times past over great kings.
Was not Nimrod a great and arrogant tyrant? yet one of us stung
him till he died."
The wasp said, "Hast thou not seen a man ready armed for
battle with sword and shield and dagger? and lo one of us pierces
him with a sting that is no bigger than a needle, and his body swells,
and he is unable to fight or even to move."
The fly said, Oftentimes a great king sits upon his throne in much
splendour, and there comes a fly from out of his kitchen, covered with
44 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
dirt, and sits upon him, and torments him so that he knows not what
The mosquito said, "Lo, men seek to hide themselves from us
behind curtains, but one of us finds an entrance, and then how mad
does he become, for he thumps his own head, and slaps his own
cheek, and all to no purpose, not finding his enemy."
The king said, "Ye are foolish boasters; there will be no talk of
such matters before the King of the Jins, but of justice, and discretion,
and eloquence. Who is there among you that has any ability in such
matters?" But they were all silent, and hung down their heads.
And in the end the bee resolved that he would himself go.
THE messenger went to the leviathan, who is king of the fishes,
and he also held a council about the matter.
And the dolphin spoke first. Now the dolphin is very friendly with
men, for often when one is drowning, he. will bear him up so that he
gets safe to the shore. And he said, "Let us send the whale. She is
very large and very swift, and men honour her; for did she not give
refuge to one of their prophets when he was cast into the sea ? and
they believe that the earth rests upon her back."
But the whale said, "I cannot go, for I have no feet wherewith to
walk, nor have I any tongue, nor can I live away from the water.
Let us rather send the turtle."
But the turtle answered, "The way is long, and I am but a poor
traveller Let us send the dolphin, who is very vigorous, and a good
Then the dolphin said, Let us send the crab; for he is swift, and his
claws are strong, and he is clad in armour."
"Not so," said the crab, "for I am ugly, and when they see me,
men will say, Who is this headless animal, with eyes in his neck,
MAN AND BEAST. 45
and mouth in his breast, and cheeks split open, who has eight legs,
and goes face downward, as if he were made of lead ?' Let the croco-
dile go, for he is large, and swift, and patient, and has mighty strong
Then the crocodile answered, Rather let the frog go, for he is the
friend of man, and they honour him. When Nimrod cast Abraham,
the friend of God, into
the furnace, did he not
take water into his .'
mouth and squirt over 1
the holy man so that ....
he was not hurt ? And ..' L' -r
when Pharaoh strove '''."--
with Moses, did he not
help Moses? And he "
can move both on land
and in the water. His --
head is round, his face t
is good, his eyes are --
bright, and he has no
fear of men."
This speech pleased
the king and his peo-
ple, and they chose the TIE OWL.
Last of all, the dragon, who is the king of the reptiles, chose the
locust as the orator for him and his people.
T HUS it came to pass that after many days the orators of the
animals presented themselves before the King of the Jins; and,
on the other hand, there came on the part of the men seventy ambas-
46 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
sadors from all the nations on the face of the earth. To these said
the king-" Argue now the matter before me. Begin, O ye men, and
prove the claim that ye make to have lordship over the animals."
Whereupon there rose up the man of Rum, that is to say, the Greek,
who spoke thus-
"We are acquainted with many sciences and arts, and we excel all
animals in wisdom and counsel. Whence it is plain that we are the
masters, and the animals the slaves."
What say ye to this ?" said the king to the orators of the animals.
They were all silent for the space of an hour. At the last the bee
said, "We too have many arts, and are indeed superior in them to
the men. Without rule or compass we construct in our dwelling all
manner of angles. We have taught men the rules of government,
for we have kingdoms excellently well-ordered in all things. And
we lay up much store of food, of which, when we have eaten enough,
the men take gladly the remainder. But it is not the custom, 0 king,
for kings to take the leavings of slaves. And it is also plain that
men have need of us, but that we have no need of men. Let them
also regard the ants; how they make winding dwellings under the
earth, so as that even in flood-time the waters cannot enter them;
how they lay up food for the winter, and how, being very small of
stature, yet having wisdom to join together their strength, they do
mighty works. Let them also consider with what prudence the locusts
and silkworms lay their eggs, so that their young ones may be duly
nourished. And this they do entirely out of tenderness, for they have
not the hope, as have men, of being benefited by their children; but,
knowing that they themselves will die, they do this that others may find
comfort in it; and when the time of their mortality is come, they pass
away with resignation and cheerfulness, not doubting, as men are
wont to doubt, that God will reproduce them. Let not the men, there-
fore, boast of being masters."
The king was much pleased with these words, and said to the men,
" Have ye any answer left, 0 ye men ?"
MAN AND BEAST. 47
Then rose up an Arab, who spake thus-" We have many good
things in our life of which the animals know nothing. Thus we have
many kinds of food, with sweetmeats and confections. We have
dancing and music, tales and stories. We wear all manner of beauti-
ful jewels, and we have tapestry and carpet under our feet. But the
animals eat grass, and go about naked, both by day and night; where-
fore it is clear they are slaves."
The nightingale answered
and said: "This foolish man,
O king, does not perceive that
all this variety of food and '
drink is a great trouble and
torment to him. For look how
he ploughs, and sows, and
reaps; with what trouble he
cooks the food which he has
got; how he wrangles with
butchers about meat, and about ..;
accounts with shopkeepers; -
how for the sake of getting j'~ ,
money he studies difficult arts, '- iL1 *!
and travels into far countries; 7.' -
how he bows himself in the
presence of a great man to get THE PEACOCK.
a farthing or two; so heaping
up wealth which, before long, goes to others. But we have none of
these troubles and cares; no thought about food or drink enters into
our minds; wherever we go God gives us enough. Look, too, at
those men who, as they have many kinds of food, so are plagued
with many kinds of diseases."
Then the Arab said, "Ye too have many diseases, 0 ye beasts."
"Not so," said the nightingale; "but only such as have intimacy
with you, or are in bondage.to you.. For these cannot pass.their days
48 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
in their natural manner, but eat to excess or at unreasonable hours,
and so fall ill. But those who roam at will in the jungle are pre-
served from sickness."
Then rose up a Hebrew and said, "We have many ceremonies
which God hath bidden us to perform, in order that he might bring us
to Paradise-washings, and fastings, and sacrifice, and almsgiving,
and the saying of prayers, and the preaching in pulpits, but ye
have nothing of the kind. Wherefore it is evident that we are
Then said the nightingale, "Ye have these things by reason of
your sins, but were ye pure as we are pure ye would not need them.
And, as for almsgiving, if ye were as ye ought to be, there would be
no rich men accumulating many things wrongfully, nor poor men to
whom alms should be given."
Then one of the men said, 0 beasts, it is not meet for you to
speak before us."
And the jackal replied, Why not, 0 man ?"
Then the man cried out, being very wroth, "Least of all does it
become you, 0 jackal! for you are more wicked and vicious than all
other beasts; though, indeed, your fellows are exceedingly bad, tear-
ing and devouring each other."
And the jackal replied, "If we tear and devour each other we have
learnt it from you. And, besides that the beast are righteous, learn
from this, that the most righteous among you, 0 men, being weary of
the wickedness of their fellows, go out into the desert and dwell with
the wild beasts. Now it is well known that the righteous do not
willingly dwell with the wicked. Again, your tyrants have ofttimes
driven out holy.men into the jungle, and the beasts, being holy, do
not tear them; for as your own proverb says, 'Saint knows saint.'"
Then the men hung down their heads, being sore ashamed, neither
had they anything to answer.
And the parrot said, See the children of these men, how helpless
they are when they are born, and for many years afterwards. As
MAN AND BEAST. 49
many as twenty years pass before they arrive at years of discretion,
and even then they are often mightily foolish. But see, on the other
hand, the young ones of fowls, and partridges, and quails, how they
run out and feed themselves as soon as they are out of the egg."
Much more talk, of this kind was held. At the last the King of
the Jins said, Have ye anything more to say, 0 ye men ?"
And then rose up a sage, who was wiser than all the rest, and
spake, "God has promised us many blessings-resurrection from the
grave, and judgment, and entrance into Paradise, Heaven, the garden
refuge, the mansion of peace, the mansion of permanence, the home
of rest, the glorious abode, nearness to God. Can the animals attain
to these things ? "
And the nightingale answered, "Truly God has given you these
things; but he has likewise given you, for as many as do evil, many
dreadful things; wherefore ye are not better off than those who
neither hope for reward nor fear punishment."
50 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
Then the sage replied, "Nay we are better off; for it is the will of
God that we should come to good, and not to evil, and we trust that
even in the fierceness of his wrath there is mercy, that we may be
cleansed from 'our sins, and may come to dwell with Him at the last."
Then spake the King of the Jins, It is enough; I give my decision.
The men are the masters, seeing that God has given to them the hope
of immortality, and the beasts are their servants. Do ye, 0 men, be
kind and just; and ye, 0 beasts, serve faithfully and well; so, it may
be-for who can tell how great is the power and mercy of God ?-that
ye yourselves, seeing that ye are, the friends and companions of man,
and help to make his life perfect, may have some measure of this gift
bestowed upon you also, and be sharer of endless life with him whom
THE SWISS PEASANT AND THE THIEF.
a village of Switzerland there lived an honest peasant
who loved God, and whose head and heart were in
the right place. He was well-to-do; and as his
harvest had been good, his barns and lofts were
As he sat quietly one evening with his pipe, his
neighbour came in and said, "There is a thief in
your loft; I have taken away the ladder; climb up, and you
"Well, that is wonderful," said the peasant. He did not storm,
however, for he was of a cool-blooded temperament, but took a
lantern in his hand, and went up the steps to the loft. There stood
the thief as if it had thundered, and as white as a sheet. He tried
to speak, but the words stuck in his throat; a sack of corn stood
beside him, for he was just on the point of carrying it off. But the
peasant said, "Good evening, my friend; this is' a late visit. You
might have come during the day at any time. Come with me; I
The thief was scarcely in his senses; he was stupefied. Never-
theless he could not help following the peasant, who was already
descending; and, as you may suppose, left the sack of corn
"Oh," said the peasant, "I beg you will bring the corn with you."
The thief refused.
Oh, bring it," continued the other, it is not mine: bring it."'
It is yours," stammered the thief.
52 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
"No," said the peasant, "it is God's, who has only lent it to me.
You have not stolen it from me, but from God. Do you know the
eighth commandment ?"
The thief struggled long, but at length, hard as he felt it, he had
to take the sack and bring it down. So the wicked fellow, trembling
and shaking, came down the stairs with his burden, and entered
the peasant's room.
"Quick, wife," he cried, "bring bread and butter, and'a can of
beer, for we have a guest."
The good woman came in, greeted him kindly, covered the table,
and set bread and butter and a can of beer upon it. But the guest
had no wish to eat and drink.
"Fall to, my friend, and much good may it do you," said the
But the guest only shook his head how could he let a bite enter
his mouth ? If the man would but cease to press him so hospitably !
At last there was nothing left but to begin, and by-and-by the meal
became less disagreeable than he had thought. The peasant, more-
over, spoke in a simple, manly way, as only a good friend can; he
.asked after the other's wife and children, and listened with sympathy
as he told of his necessities.
The meal was over, and the guest wished himself miles away, if
-he had only known how to get off.
Then the peasant said, Will you stop over the night with me?
It is dark without, and the roads are bad. You will have a decent
bed; but if you would rather go, you are quite free."
"I would be very glad to go home," said the thief.
"As you will," replied the peasant; "then go, in God's name."
So the thief bade him good-night, and hurried off; but the peasant
"You are not taking the sack of corn with you. You won't leave
-the corn.behind you?"
The man, all ashamed, declined; but the other continued, No,
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54 STORIES'OF FOREIGN LANDS.
no, I keep my word. You have stolen the corn, and I dare not take
it back. Stolen goods don't prosper."
Let the thief beg and entreat as much as he would, it was no use.
He asked to be forgiven; it would never, never be done again; but
the peasant said, "I have nothing to forgive you. Set it right with
God, whom you have offended. He alone can forgive your sins."'
So, hard as it was, the thief had to carry the sack away with him.
An hour before, he could not have thought it would have been so
painful. It was not the sack that was so hard to carry, it was
another burden that pressed him where his conscience was. All
alone he went through the lonely night, yet there was a conversation
carried on the whole time, so that he was often in doubt whether
there was not really another person who spoke to him. One indeed
spoke with him; no man; it was the living God.
The next morning had scarcely dawned, when there was a knock
at the peasant's door. He opened it, and there, outside, stood no
other than his friend of yesterday.
"Where do you come from ?" he asked; "why are you so early ?"
"I have had no rest," replied the thief; "I had to come to you.
The night long I never closed an eye. I am ashamed that I have
stolen from you. I cannot understand how Satan has so blinded me
as to do this sin. Forgive and forget it."
The peasant brought him into his room, sat down with him, and
spoke earnestly about the sin and evil of the human heart and.its
deserts; he showed him how sin makes the sinner so comfortless
and miserable, and how, if he is not converted, nothing but judgment
and condemnation await him. He opened the Bible and read him
the passage where it is written that thieves shall not inherit the
kingdoiir of God, and their fhe preached to him the name of the
Saviour of sinners, who also would save him.
From that time the thief was often seen with the peasant. He
was also seen at the service and at the table of the Lord. His
neighbours marvelled how it all came about.
3 iraanmaOn's 5ti~r.
AM a very old lady, but what I am going to tell took
S place nearly twenty years before I was born, so you
see it is a very, very long time ago.
"Well, a long time ago, a long way from here,
there lived a little French girl, whose name was
Louise de Miravault. Her home was in one of those
beautiful parts of Southern France where it is always
warm and sunny.
"Louise lived in a fine large house called a chateau, where
there were lovely gardens, with groves of orange-trees, and par-
terres of all kinds of beautiful flowers. She was always dressed in
silks and laces, and had more costly toys and bonbons than she knew
what to do with. She did not always live at the chateau though, for
the Marquis and Marquise, her father and mother, were very grand
fashionable people, and spent a great part of their time at the Court
in Paris; and, as Louise was their only child, she always went with
them. Louise did not like Paris, where she had no garden to play
in, only a great gloomy courtyard, planted with a few old trees.
She loved the country, and the birds, and the flowers; and so when-
ever they left Paris and came to the chateau she would sing and
dance for joy, while Madame la Marquise, her mother, who was a
very gay fashionable lady, would wonder almost crossly how she
56 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
could be so pleased to leave Paris for such a dull, dismal place as
their country house.
"'Ah, but, mamma,' said Louise one day before they left Paris, 'I
love to sit in the groves, to hear the doves coo and the little birds sing.'
"'Well, child, you have a great cage full of much handsomer birds
here in Paris that I bought you last year than any you see in the
"'But their singing does not sound the same, mamma, and it
makes me feel quite sorry for the poor little things. I long to open
the cage, and let them fly away to their beautiful homes in the woods.
And then, too, I miss the flowers.'
"'Why, child, you never see such flowers in the country as there
are here. I ordered Antoine to place fresh bouquets in your room
"'So he does, mamma. Antoine is very good. But oh, they are
so different, those flowers, from what. I gather off the rocks that I
climb with Justine, or wet my feet to get down by the little stream.'
You are a strange child,' said the Marquise, 'but you will soon
be happy now, for we are to leave Paris in a week, and then you will
scramble after flowers and listen to the birds to your heart's content,
while I shall be moped to death.'
'But, mamma, how is it you do not care for the dear birds and
flowers too ?'
"'I am no longer young, like you,' answered her mother with a
sigh. 'Some day you will get tired of these things you prize so
"'How dreadful it must be to be old!' said Louise thoughtfully.
"The Marquise sighed again; then she smiled, and kissed her
little girl on both cheeks.
"A few days later Louise was back at the chateau, racing about
with rosy cheeks and a great appetite, quite different from the pale
little girl who arrived tired and languid after her long journey from
Paris. One day, when she was out with her nurse, Justine, they
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58 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
went further than usual, and wandered into the woods that belonged
to Monsieur de Neuville, who owned the estate next to that of
Louise's father. Presently they came upon a little girl, who was
sitting on the trunk of a tree crying bitterly. She held something in
her arms; Louise could not see what, only that a thin dark red line
was dripping down the child's coarse frock on to her bare feet.
"'Oh, Justine, what is it?' cried Louise, clinging to her nurse.
'Poor, poor little girl!'
'Wait here, mademoiselle, until I go and see,' said Justine; but
Louise took courage and went with her, keeping tight hold of her
"'What have you there, and what makes you cry, little one?'
asked Justine of the peasant child; but she continued to sob, and
made no answer.
"' Poor little girl!' said Louise softly, ready to cry for sympathy;
'tell us what it is that makes you so unhappy.'
Oh, my poor, poor Fiddle !' sobbed the child, half unclosing her
arms and showing the dead body of a little brown dog, with a great
wound in its side.
"'Oh, who has done that?' cried Louise, her eyes filling with
"'It was the bad, cruel young seigneur, Monsieur Armand de
Neuville,' answered the little peasant.
"'Armand de Neuville !' cried Louise, the colour coming to her
cheeks, for he was her great friend and playfellow. Oh, little girl,
are you quite sure ?'
'' Oh, yes, quite sure, ma'inselle,' sobbed the little girl. 'Oh,
"'Why did he do it?'
"'He came along with his gun, and Fidl'e barked very much at
him, and then he pointed at Fiddle and shot, her here in the side,
where it still bleeds.'
He is a bad, cruel boy !' said Louise indignantly. Poor little
girl, I am very sorry for you,' and the little lady took from her pocket
a silver bonbonniere full of choice sweetmeats, and offered them to
the peasant child.
"For a moment her eyes glistened, and she half stretched out her
hand, then she drew it back again, and laid it on the cold body of
the poor little dog, saying, Oh, my poor, poor Fid6le!'
.. .' M .: .. ..
"'What is your name ?' Louise asked presently.
"' Suzon, ma'mselle.'
"' And where do you live ?'
"'In the village down there, ma'mselle,' and Suzon pointed
through the trees down the valley.
6o STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
"Louise had a very compassionate heart, though she was a grand
young lady, and had been taught that her flesh and blood was very
different from that of the peasants. She stood for a moment trying
to think how she could comfort the poor little peasant for the loss of
"'Suzon,' she said presently, 'you shall bring your dog to the
chateau if you like, and I will have it buried under an orange-tree in
Suzon shook her head. Oh, no, ma'mselle, Fiddle and I were
never parted. I will take her home and bury her just outside the
cottage.' And then her tears began to flow afresh.
"'Come, mademoiselle,' interposed Justine, 'you see we cannot
do anything for the little girl, and it is time you were going
"Just at this moment young Armand de Neuville came in sight.
When he saw Louise he ran quickly up to her. He was a handsome
boy of fifteen, and until now the little girl had always been very fond
"'Louise!' he cried,' dear little Louise I did not know you were
back at the chateau,' and he put out both his hands to her, but she
"' You are very wicked and cruel,' she cried with flashing eyes,
'and I do not love you!'
'Why, Louise, what is the matter?' he asked in amazement,
and Justine whispered, 'Hush, hush, mademoiselle, do not speak so
to M. Armand,' for she knew that, being a rich young gentleman, he
thought that he might do anything he pleased, and that peasants
were only made to be oppressed and trampled on. For you know,
my dears, in those days things were very different from what they
are now-the rich people ground down the poor, and treated them as
if they had no souls to be saved, but were only sent into the world to
minister to their pleasures, to serve them, and till the land, and then
have only starvation and ill-usage in return.
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62 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
'Why did you kill the poor little dog, Armand, you cruel boy ?'
'Is that all?' he said, laughing. ''I thought I had done some-
Sthing dreadful. The cur came yelping at my heels, and so I shot it.'
I do not love you,' said Louise, with tears in her eyes. 'See
how unhappy you have made the poor little girl.'
'Peasants' tears are soon dried,' answered Armand con-
temptuously. 'There!' he cried, flinging a gold piece to Suzon,
'go and buy another cur with that, '.:nly teach the next one not to
bark at gentlemen's heels.'
"But Suzon left the gold piece lying, and rising, walked away,
casting an indignant flash of her dark eyes upon him.
"If it had been a- boy, I would have thrashed him for his im-
pudence!' cried Armand angrily. 'Mutinous dogs, they want a
Oi, hush, Armand !' said Louise, reproachfully, 'I cannot bear
to hear you talk so.'
Forgive me, dear little Louise,' said the impetuous young fellow,
who was really very fond of her; 'I am so sorry you are vexed.
Come, I will walk home with you, and you will make it up with me.
Such a paltry affair is not worth quarrelling about.'
"Meantime Justine had picked up the gold piece, and followed
the little girl with it.
AW ILL you promise me, Armand, to give poor Suzon another
dog ?' said Louise gravely as they walked home together.
"'Yes; I will do anything you like if you won't be angry with me.
I have four splendid puppies at home, each of which is worth a
hundred times the value of that cur. You shall pick out the one
you :like best, and we will take it together, if you wish.'
"Louise smiled. 'I will choose the very best, just to punish
"'You shall do whatever you like. And now say you love me
"'We shall see,' said the little girl, and then they were friends
again, and went home to the chateau together; Armand scrambling
over the rocks to pluck all the most beautiful wild flowers for his
little favourite. For he loved her as if she had been his sister, and
was very much more attentive and kind to her than brothers
generally are to their sisters. They spent a very happy day together,
and in the evening, when Armand was going home, Louise walked
with him as far as the gates of the park. Just outside, a peasant
boy was loitering about, as if waiting for some one. He had a
dark sunburnt face and keen intelligent eyes. When he caught
sight of the young seigneur, a red flush came over his face, and he
moved a step forward.
"'What are you doing here?' cried Armand, in a loud over-
bearing voice. He was not bad or unkind at heart, but he had
been brought up to look upon peasants as mere beasts of burden.
Louise pulled his arm gently.
"The boy was silent.
"'What do you want ?' thundered Armand again.
"' I'll tell you,' answered the peasant, when ma'mselle there has
What do you mean, you impudent beggar ?' shouted Armand,
laying his hand on the dagger that he wore in his belt.
"'I mean that you are a coward,' cried the boy with blazing eyes;
'a coward who frightens girls and shoots poor harmless dogs;' and
he flung the piece of money Armand had thrown Suzon right in
"In a moment Armand had sprung upon him, and the two were
grappling furiously together. Louise shrieked, and Justine, who
was a few paces behind, came running up. It was no use for her to
64. STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
try and separate the combatants. She could only stand and wring
her hands, for no help was nigh.
"' Oh, what shall I do! -Monsieur Armand will be killed! What
shall I do!' she cried.
"The combat went on with unabated fury for a minute; then
there was a shriek, and one fell; it was the peasant. Armand stood
over him, an uplifted dagger in his hand; but just as he stooped
to thrust it into his adversary's heart, Justine caught him by
"'Let me kill the wretch!' he cried in a fury; but Justine,
succeeded in wresting the weapon from him.
"'Oh!' said Louise, trembling with horror; 'Armand! What
have you done? He is dead!'
"'So much the better!' cried Armand furiously.
Louise, with horror-stricken face, bent down and saw the blood
gushing out from a great wound in the boy's side. He did notstir,
his face was the colour of lead.
"Just then the Marquis de Miravault, who had been walking in
the park and had heard Justine's cries, hurriedup.
"'What is all this?' he cried, looking first at Armand and then
at the prostrate form.
The wretch insulted me,' cried Armand.
"'And so you took the law into your own hands, eh, my boy?'
said the Marquis. Have you killed him ?' and he stooped and felt
the boy's pulse. 'No, he still breathes. Well, we must not let him
bleed to death. Here!' and M. de Miravault called to two wood-
cutters who were passing; carry the lad up to the chAteau, and
Monsieur Dupont will see to him.' "
Oh, grandmamma!" cried Cissy, horrified; "was that all he
said ? And was nothing done to that wicked, cruel Armand ?"
"A peasant's life was not thought of much value in those days,"
replied grandmamma, "and rich people were never, punished for
being cruel and unjust to the poor."
"Oh, how dreadful!" exclaimed Cissy. "I should not like to
have lived in those days. Just fancy if Monty were to run a knife
into our page-boy Tom "
ARMAND AND PIERRE.
"Ahl those days are over now," said grandmamma. "And,
please God, they'll never come again.
6b STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
"Well, the boy, who was Suzon's brother, and whose name was
Pierre, was carried to the chateau, and would have died but for the
care good Monsieur Dupont the chaplain took of him. For he
understood a great deal about surgery and medicine, although he
was not a doctor.
W HEN Pierre began to recover, Louise begged so hard to be
allowed to go and see him that her father and mother, who
never refused her anything, consented, although in those days it
was considered very much beneath the dignity of a. little lady to
associate at all with a peasant child. Louise went very often to see
Pierre, and would take him all sorts of good things, and showed
him her beautiful toys. But Pierre did not understand these fine
things, the like of which he had never seen before, and, besides, he
was rather inclined to be sullen and bitter, for he had heard and
brooded much over the wrongs of the poor. At first, when Louise
went and sat by him and talked kindly to him, he scarcely answered
her, so that Justine would say impatiently,-
"' Come away, Mademoiselle Louise; don't trouble yourself any
more about this ignorant boy, who does not understand the honour
you do him in troubling yourself so much.'
"But Louise, who was a dear sweet little girl, answered-
"'Oh, Justine! we must be very kind to him, poor fellow; think
how much he has suffered, and all through Armand's fault. I love
Armand, and I want to be very good to Pierre for his sake. Some
day I know he will be grieved for what he has done.'
But Pierre, who was still very bitter, said-
"' Do not trouble yourself, mademoiselle. I am only an ignorant
peasant, as madame there' (pointing to Justine) 'tells you. We.are
not made of flesh and blood like you great ladies and'gentlemen-
we are only dogs and slaves, to be kicked and stabbed when our
masters are displeased with us.'
'Oh, Pierre, do not talk like that!' cried Louise, her eyes filling
with tears; 'indeed you are wrong to say so,' she went on, quite
distressed. 'I wish every one was rich, and had nice clothes, and
good things to eat, and there were no poor people at all.'
"' What would fine young ladies like you do without the poor,
mademoiselle?' said Pierre still bitterly; 'you would have no ser-
vants, no fine houses, no nice things to eat. If every one were rich,
no one would work, and so at last it would come to there not being
even bread for any one to eat. If there were no poor, there wouldn't
be any rich either. We don't mind work, we peasants, if only we
weren't treated as bad and worse than the dumb animals.'
"' I shall speak to my papa,' said Louise; 'and he is so good I
know he will do all I ask him. If I tell him his poor people are
badly used, he will have it altered.'
"But when she went to the Marquis, he only laughed, and said-
'Ah, my little reformer, I cannot have you listening to all these
idle tales. They are a set of worthless vagabonds, these peasants,
who would not work at all unless they were kept with a tight hand.
It is their nature to grumble and be discontented.'
"' But, papa,' interrupted Louise, 'we should grumble if we had
to work very hard and had not enough to eat.'
The Marquis looked grave.
'"'You cannot judge of these things, my dear,' he answered;
'little girls cannot be expected to understand such matters, but if
your protege tells you any more of these tales I shall have him kicked
And so Louise, in her fear for Pierre, was silent. She made him
no more promises, but only tried to console him for his present
sufferings. She sent for Suzon to see him, and, as his illness lasted
a great many weeks, Louise amused herself by teaching him to read.
Her father and mother laughed at her, but M. Dupont encouraged
68 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
her in her good work. Armand was quite indignant when he heard
of the notice Louise took of the peasant boy, and reproached her
bitterly one day when he came to the chateau. But Louise was so
sweet and gentle, he could not be angry with her long, and then she
put her arms round his neck, and begged him to go with her and see
Pierre, and tell him he was sorry for having hurt him.
"At first Armand would not hear of it, but with many entreaties
the little girl prevailed, so that he actually went to see the peasant
boy, and told him with a tolerable good grace that he was sorry he
had suffered so much; and doubtless what he said was quite true, for
the dear loving Louise made everybody feel sorry for doing wrong
when she grieved at it. But Pierre turned his face to the wall-he
could not forget and forgive all at once. However, he learned to
love Louise with all his heart for her sweetness and goodness; and
when he was better, and began to crawl about, he would follow her
like a dog, and carve toys and ornaments in wood for her, and try to
anticipate her every wish. The end of it was that he was taken into
the Marquis's service to wait especially on Mademoiselle Louise.
And by the little lady's earnest desire, Suzon (for the children were
orphans) was brought to the chateau and instructed by the Marquise's
femme-de-chambre (the French name for a lady's maid), so that in
time she might be Louise's own maid.
You have heard, my dears," pursued grandmamma, "what a very
terrible affair the French Revolution was-how the poor rose against
the rich, the people against the aristocrats, as they called them. I
will not stop to tell you about it now, for it was so very, very terrible
that I am afraid if I relate any particulars to you so near bed-time
you would not sleep all night for thinking of it, or if you did you
would have horrible dreams, and then mamma and nurse would both
scold me to-morrow. However, I may tell you that nearly all the
French nobility who did not succeed in flying from their country
were murdered, and some of them put to shocking deaths. Their
splendid houses were destroyed, their fine estates laid waste, and all
their beautiful furniture, china, and jewels trampled under the feet of
the revengeful mob.
"The Marquis and Marquise and Louise would have been put to
death with the rest but for the faithful Pierre and Suzon, who pro-
vided means for their escape, and after great perils by land and sea
brought them safely to the shores of England. In all this kind
Louise was reaping.
At the last moment before leaving, Louise (who was a young lady
of seventeen now) said to Pierre, crying bitterly, 'Oh, Pierre!
Monsieur Armand is in dreadful danger-I shall die of grief if any-
thing happens to him.' Pierre turned very pale, then he kissed the
hem of his young mistress's dress. 'Mademoiselle,' he said, I will
save him or die with him.' Thus Louise was reaping still.
And brave Pierre kept his word. He changed clothes with
Armand, and let the young man escape. But when the infuriated
mob discovered what he had done, they almost tore Pierre in pieces;
however, he got off with his life, though a great deal hurt and
injured. A month later he worked his way to England, found out his
young mistress, and he and Suzon toiled day and night to support
her and her parents. Armand, who had a beautiful voice, gave
"It was not for many, many years that they were able to return to
their own country. Monsieur and Madame de Miravault both died
in England, but at last, when peace had settled again in France,
and there was no longer any danger, Armand and Louise went back
as the Marquis and Marquise de Neuville to their sunny home in
Southern France, and with them went their faithful servants Pierre
We ought always to be good and kind, because that alone is right,
and because the great Lord over all has made a life of goodness and
kindness safest and best.
A CALM SEA.
THROUGH THE BAY OF BISCAY.
T HERE are not many boys and girls who have been on a sea-
voyage; but you may often hear from friends how pleasant,
and yet how troublesome, ocean life is. Among nice agreeable pas-
sengers, who take a pleasure in talking to each other about where
they have been before, and whither and why they are sailing now, it
is not surprising that, in fair weather, a trip to America or a cruise
about the Mediterranean should prove exceedingly enjoyable, espe-
cially as it is the general custom on board ship for everybody to tell
all the funny tales he knows; and depend upon it somebody or other
will be almost sure to have a good stock on hand. But then the
weather is not always fair by any means, particularly eastward; that
is, towards Egypt, or Arabia, or the Holy Land. The Bay of Biscay
must be crossed; and a terrible sea that Bay of Biscay often is.
SHATTERED TO PIECES.
72 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
Uncle once told us of a dreadful storm there. It was night when
his ship Palestine began pitching, darting, and rolling from side to
side. No one could sleep, and poor uncle was tossed out of his funny
sailor-bed, head first, on to his companion's portmanteau, which hurt
him very much. After that he took care to fasten himself in with
straps. The night had been bad enough; but, when morning came,
the day was still worse. Wild waves towered on all sides like angry
water-monsters, as though they would bury the ship in the deep the
next minute. Yet they did not, for on went the ship, leaping and
plunging in a frightful way. Often was the bow, or the front part,
driven along right under the water, while the stern-that is, the other
end-rose high up in the air. Then suddenly the bow mounted, and
down went the stern. No wonder ships are sometimes shattered to
pieces. Uncle thought it wonderful that theirs was not.
But, before long, the bowsprit-which is the long pole projecting
in front of the vessel-was broken; and that was most alarming.
You do not know, perhaps, that a ship is in the greatest possible
danger if the bowsprit is broken, because the principal sails are
fastened to it; and one after another they would give way and fall
down. Then where would the ship be, out in the open sea, without
any sails? So every one was very glad, you may be sure, when the
sailors on duty seized a long pole called a spar, and, although the
savage tempest was howling around them, bravely lashed it to, and
made the bowsprit firm and secure again. But a sad calamity hap-
pened while it was being done; for a heavy, reckless wave caught
one of the men, dashed him against another part of the ship, and
broke his spine; that is, his backbone. Poor fellow! he could never
work any more for his wife and his four little boys and girls, who
were waiting at home for their father to come back. No; he must
lie quiet, and suffer a great deal all the rest of his life.
But we must tell you about another brave fellow who saved the
ship without its costing him so dearly; but he had to be brave, for
THROUGH THE BAY OF BISCAY. 73
The hold, which is a large hollow place where the ship's cargo is
THE SUNNY MEDITERRANEAN.
put, was discovered to be filling with water. That of itself would
74 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
certainly sink the vessel if it continued. What was the cause?
Why, there must be a hole somewhere; and it was soon ascer-
tained to be in the side, under the surface, though no one could
tell exactly where. The next question was, How could it be found
and stopped ?
"Fasten a rope round me," said one of the men the moment he
heard how matters stood, and let me down over the ship's side into
the sea, and I'll see if I can't find it."
Down he went, the great waves flinging him away first the full
length of the rope, then sweeping him back with a dash against the
ship; but, soon managing to steady himself, he was lowered into the
water, and, after being drawn up several times to breathe, and to
take suitable things for the purpose, eventually succeeded in finding
and stopping the gap.
Think how anxiously the passengers and crew-captain and all-
must have watched that one man, as they were rocking about in the
wild tempest, with no other thought but, Could he save them all, or,
could he not ? He did it, however; and though the storm raged on,
their hopes rose once more above all their fears.
During the next night another ship, not quite so large, was driven
right in front of the Palestine, and it was with the utmost difficulty
the latter avoided running into it. That would have been dreadful,
for it must have sunk immediately. A rush to the boats might,
indeed, have saved some; but, in such a sea, to rescue all would
have been impossible, and so those who were left behind must have
gone down into the whirling waters.
All this time many of the passengers had been dreadfully ill, and
had kept in their little bedrooms, which on board ship are called
berths. A French gentleman, who shared uncle's berth, called him
" the good Samaritan," because he did so many little kindnesses for
him. About the fifth day, however, which was Thursday, a few of
the passengers reappeared in the saloon; and on Friday more came,
till at length they all met together again as they did the first day
THROUGH THE BAY OF BISCAY. 75
they were on board. Then how funny it must have been to hear that
nearly all the glasses had been smashed; and to see, even yet, the
plates and dishes, and all sorts of sundries, capering about on the
table while the company were dining! Other things in racks against
the walls were hopping over this and that, and finally hopping and
popping out of the little windows into the sea. When uncle wrote
his letters, too, the inkstand seemed trying to perform clever skating
POMPEY'S PILLAR IN EGYPT.
feats, and often nearly turned a somersault over the edge of the
And then what should we think of our rooms being three inches
deep in water? That had been the case with theirs, and it had
washed from one side to the other continually. Their keys had
rusted in their pockets; for all their clothes were damp, and some-
times their beds too. Only fancy how uncomfortable that must have
76 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
been. Fortunately, though, people do not take cold from the damp
of sea-water, as they do from fresh water.
However, it was all passed through safely-thanks to the vigilance
and bravery of a good captain and crew, a well-built ship, and, above
all, a kind Providence, that always seems to help those who try to
The charming coast view of Africa and Spain, with the famous
Gibraltar Rock and town, as they reached the Mediterranean, all-
sunny and bright, more than repaid whatever they had suffered in
the terrible tempest through the Bay of Biscay.
.. --- -
... -' .-: ---:: : -- I.\ L : -- _- ,- v :_..- _
A BRAVE ROMAN.
RAVE Dentatus! Do
you see him that
giant-like man in the picture?
And do you almost stop your
Breath in wonderment at what
the terrible scene can mean ?
Well, this strong man--
stronger, I think, than any one
you have ever known--was a
Roman; and he was as brave as
he was strong. Many centuries
before our time he became a
soldier in the Roman army, and
fought for his countrymen in
one hundred and twenty battles.
How brave he was is proved by
the many prizes he won of the
kind given to men of his class, for he was not a patrician or an
aristocrat, or even remotely descended from rich people, but a ple-
beian of the common rank, who through his valour won fourteen civic
crowns made of oak-leaves, each of which was given for saving the
life of some fellow-citizen. Besides these he had received three of
78 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
what are called mural" crowns, as rewards for having been thrice
the first man to scale or mount the walls when besieging cities, as well
as eight golden crowns, and chains and bracelets in large numbers.
More still than these, he had been presented with gilt spears and horse-
trappings for killing the enemy at different times in single combat.
This mighty man had received no fewer than forty-five wounds in
front, but not one in his back; for he never turned his back to the
enemy. He had been made a centurion-that is, an officer over a
hundred men-and a member of the Roman Senate, or Parliament.
Subsequently he was appointed one of the tribunes, who were elected
by the people, just as our Members of Parliament are.
Now some of the patricians had gained much greater wealth, both
in money and lands, through the victories of Dentatus, than he him-
self had; for, according to the custom of the Romans, a plebeian was
not allowed to receive such gifts. The patricians and others in
authority were perfectly aware that Dentatus considered this unfair,
as he had not scrupled to express his sentiments on the point. This
greatly annoyed them; and, although he had acted so nobly in the
service of his country, they cruelly determined to kill him. But
patricians or nobles though they called themselves, we scarcely think
it possible for you to imagine anything so mean, so cowardly, as the
way in which they set a5out it. But you shall hear.
They pretended to be very kind to him, and gave him an honour-
able post in the army, treating him at the same time with every
appearance of respect. A better position being required for the
army to encamp in, Dentatus was chosen to select one. A number
of- soldiers were sent with him, whom he naturally thought were
intended to be a help and a protection to him. Instead of that, they
were unscrupulous fellows who had* been quite used to doing all
kinds of wicked things at the bidding of others; and, before they
left, the two generals in command of the army cruelly ordered them
to murder Dentatus while.they were away. Accordingly, no sooner
were the mountains reached than they began to plan how they could
80 STORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS.
lure him into the steep place among rocks which you see in the
picture, and which they rightly knew would be a favourable spot for
the execution of their abominable design.
All unsuspicious of treachery, Dentatus readily fell into the trap;
and not until they began to strike spears into him did he discover
the plot. But though the fine strong Dentatus had grown a rather
old man, his courage did not desert him. Turning bravely to meet
his treacherous foes, he desperately struck at them with his spear as
they came up, until fifteen lay dead under his feet, and thirty more
were wounded. Terrified at the havoc made among them by such
undaunted courage, they fell back a little, and began to hurl javelins
at him; but, by a clever use of his shield, Dentatus succeeded in
warding them all off. Then they thought of another stratagem.
Climbing the rocks above him, they hurled down a huge stone upon
the noble victim; and, amidst the trumpeting of another of the
wretched miscreants, the brave, mighty, and country-loving Dentatus
was crushed to death.
P T B*.,
PRINTED BY J. S. VIRTUE AND CO., LIMITED, CITY ROAD, LONDON.
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