Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Lonely Paul
 Aleck's mother
 The little fisher's return
 New Year's Day
 The river mist
 The better land
 The children's hospital
 Back Cover

Group Title: The royal law
Title: The Royal law
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00085625/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Royal law
Physical Description: 80, 16 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Mason, Charlotte, b. 1830
Knight ( Printer )
Religious Tract Society (Great Britain)
Publisher: Religious Tract Society
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Knight
Publication Date: 1891
Subject: Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Orphans -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Loneliness -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children -- Death -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Selfishness -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1891   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1891
Genre: Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Acquisition: Graham Parker;
General Note: Undated. Date from BLC.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
Statement of Responsibility: by Charlotte Mason.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00085625
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002233971
notis - ALH4388
oclc - 63089662

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Lonely Paul
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Aleck's mother
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
    The little fisher's return
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
    New Year's Day
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
    The river mist
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
    The better land
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
    The children's hospital
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text


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iE sunlight was lying everywhere,
flooding the white road as it
wound its way between the hills
overshadowed by trees, where the
patches of soft grass were tender
and green; on the broad river
slowly eddying under the wooded
banks, until its shiny waters were lost in the
hazy distance; through the great orchard, where
the twisted boughs of the apple and pear trees
interlaced, and where the birds piped and twit-
tered from twig to twig.
Bright, warm, sunshiny rays; every nook and
corner was bathed in the glow; the purple fox-
gloves and the yellow iris, the marigolds and
the lilies reared their heads and quivered in the
golden light. The world of nature was smiling
under the touch of summer, after the long

6 The Royal Law.
spring; and the same gladness stirred the
heart of Aleck's mother, as she stood near an
open window, and watched the beams lighting
on flower and tree. Her face was a little sad
in expression when the features were in repose,
but in Mrs. Vincent's smile and voice there was
a fascination which inspired confidence, and
which made her friends think of her as good
and wise and gentle. She was a widow; her
girlhood and youth were gone in the vista of
years which lay behind her; but at thirty-five
her spirit was still young, and she looked
eagerly into a future which was bright and
beautiful, not for herself, but for the little son,
whom she loved better than her life; for him
she lived and hoped and dreamed, as though his
welfare depended on her love, her wisdom, and
her prayers.
Now and again, a smile lit up her face, as
the sound of merry voices and childish laughter
was borne to her through the sultry air from a
distant part of the garden.
Little Doris Vane was spending the day with
Aleck; and when they were together, Mrs.
Vincent knew that they were perfectly happy
and needed no companionship but the society of
their two little selves. They were seldom apart
in the holidays; day by day, they met in the
meadows; rowed on the river, galloped their
ponies under the hedgerows, elms, and con-

Lonely Paul. 7
fided wonderful secrets to each other, as they
wandered hand in hand through the fields,
plucking the daisies and buttercups, and letting
their shrill young voices fill the air with their
songs and laughter.
A dark, sad-eyed little boy, dressed in shabby
clothes, often followed in their footsteps, and
watched their games from behind a clump of
trees. Paul Stafford was an orphan, and owned
no tie of blood save his cousin Aleck. Thrown
on the charity of his uncle by marriage, Mr.
Geoffrey, who lived at the Hall, he felt like a
waif whom nobody claimed, and his holidays
were very dull and lonely. His guardian was a
stern man, who laboured in his office through
the week; returning home on the Saturday
night, worn out and jaded in spirit, to seek the
rest and repose of the country after his arduous
city life. But the weekly home-coming brought
no happiness to Paul; his uncle allowed him to
indulge in no fun or play in the house, and he
rarely noticed his presence there, except with a
frown or a sharp word, which made Paul feel
that he was in his way; and he always moved
about the great still rooms as though he were
expecting a reproof.
The old housekeeper was too busy to heed
him, beyond attending to his bodily wants;
and Mrs. Vincent regarded him as a shy boy
who liked to be left alone, and who shrank from

8 The Royal Law.
any attention, while all the time his little heart
was pining for sympathy and love. He felt
full of health and vigour, but there was nothing
to cheer him in his solitary life, and he envied
the spirits of the two children, who seemed full
to overflowing with merry glee.
Sometimes he ventured to join them in their
rambles, but Aleck was selfish in his pleasures;
he paid little heed to him as he trotted by their
side, and often forgot his presence after the first
few minutes, so that he felt more friendless with
them than when he was alone, and was glad to
draw back to the shelter of the clump of firs,
where he could battle unseen with his feelings
of lonely disappointment. The only happy days
of the holidays were the days spent at the
Laurels, Doris' home, when Mr. Vane called
him Paul in his kind voice, and bid him go and
play with the little white-robed girl, in the
garden, who did not mind his shabby clothes,
and who let him hold her hand in his, as they
crossed the river on the narrow plank.
The path in life had been made so easy for
Aleck and Doris; their every wish was gratified,
and they dwelt in an atmosphere of love. His
own path had not always been so rough; he
also could remember a sunny home and a dear
mother, who loved her curly-headed boy so
tenderly that she always had him with her.
He was never in her way, and she never told

~-4i% 1

F--' .---



ril I_/


10 The Royal Law.
him he was troublesome when he ran and
skipped by her side, or played with his dog and
rushed about from room to room. She never
wearied of the eager voice asking question after
question, as he sat by her, with his bright
happy face upturned to hers; she was always
ready to listen and to give him the sympathy he
wanted in his childish joys and sorrows. He
loved her so dearly, and while she lived he was
never lonely, and needed no companion but his
They had very loving talks together in the
quiet summer evenings, when he used to coax
her out into the fresh air, and then throw him-
self down in the clover meadow, with a smile in
his eyes as he rested near her and felt his
hand close folded in hers; and long, long after
she was laid to rest, and Paul had a different
home, her gentle words rang in his ears and
were echoed in his heart.
A deep longing to do right was early im-
planted in the manly little breast, and he
learned perhaps to think more seriously than
other children of his own age, from this close
companionship, but he was very happy, and the
days then were never lonely or dull.
The time came when the brightness was
clouded. The dear mother grew weaker and
weaker; and when she was called to the Home
they had so often talked about together, Paul

Lonely Paul. 11
felt he could never be happy again. The
change in his life seemed too terrible. The
gloomy old Hall-where there was no familiar
face or voice-was strangely desolate for one so
young. The little home-nurtured lad had no
one to comfort him, none to whom he could take
his troubles, only as he sobbed them out in the
ear of Him who is the Father of the fatherless,
and who was the only One who witnessed the
bursts of tears which were shed out in the fields
during the early months after his mother's death.
Yes! Paul was very lonely and very sad,
though two long years had rolled away; but he
had a brave unselfish spirit, and the memory of
his mother was like a sweet sound in his heart;
he loved to recall her words, and do'everything
that he knew she would wish.
He had one treasure of his own, which he
always carried in his pocket: it was a little
leather Testament, very brown and very dingy,
but he loved it, and touched it very reverently;
he began to love it first, because there was his
mother's name, "Mary Stafford," in it: and
then it grew very dear to him as he lay in the
sloping meadows and read again the precious
truths in it that she had taught him, and tried
to live them in his young life.
He had no remembrance of his father, he was
barely four years old when he died. Mr. Stafford
was a minister in the East of London, and his

12 The Royal Law.
life was spent among the poor and wretched in
the alleys and slums; but his strength was not
equal to the work, and his self-denying spirit
would not let him take the rest he needed, so
that when an epidemic of fever broke out and
he visited the stricken people in their infected
crowded dwellings, going in and out among
them, night and day, his health gave way. He
caught the fever himself, and in less than a
week he laid down his life here, and entered into
the joys of Paradise.
Mrs. Stafford constantly talked to her little
son about his father, and Paul loved his memory.
Of all the talks he had with his mother, these
made the greatest impression on his mind, and
he liked best to think about them after she
died: for it was in one of these conversations
that she first told him about the Royal Law."
He was sitting by her side, with her hand
resting on his curls, and he had read the verse
aloud to her in the little brown Testament: he
did not understand it very well then; but he
could remember what she had told him of its
meaning-of the Royal Law being a law of love,
sent from the King of kings for His people to
obey, to teach them to be self-denying, to be
ready to do little acts of kindness as they have
the opportunity, and so to follow in the footsteps
of the Saviour.
Paul liked to think about it, and he had

Lonely Paul. 13
pondered his mother's words so often in his
loneliness, until they had become to him the
very spirit of his own life. His faith was very
simple, and a trusting look of love used to light
up his features when he thought of mother so
safe and happy; but he often found it hard,
dreadfully hard to believe that it was right and
best for him to be left behind when he was so
lonely, and found it so difficult to be good now
he no longer had her gentle voice and loving
words to help him.
He had many a struggle with himself to keep
his lip from quivering and the tears out of eyes,
when his uncle spoke harshly to him, and bid
him be quiet, if he only ran softly across the
floor, when he used to scamper about just as he
liked. It was no easy matter to know how to
get through the lonely days and the silent hour
in the evening, when Mr. Geoffrey dozed over
his newspaper, and he was afraid to move; but
he tried to bear it patiently, and restrained his
feelings and choked down his sobs.
Still the lively boyish voice had lost its
ring and the bright face had a very wistful
look; no one understood how his loving heart
had been bound up in his mother-how his
thoughts dwelt upon the past, and how glad he
was to be in bed, where he could bury his head
in the pillow and cry, and the sleep took all the
sorrowful thoughts away.

14 The Royal Law.
Aleck would have been happier had he tried to
cheer his cousin's lonely hours, but he was selfish
and too fond of going his own way.

One warm sunshiny morning, Paul arose very
early and his dark eyes looked out eagerly
from his window, on a cloudless sky: he had
been anticipating this day for more than a
week, and a bright glow of pleasure illumined
his countenance when he saw the sun's beams,
and the grey mist fading into the distance.
Aleck had promised to take him in his boat for
a long day's fishing up the river and Doris Vane
was to go with them to take care of the lunch.
He had spent hours of thought and labour in
preparing the tackle, and his clever ingenious
fingers had been busily employed in manufac-
turing the flies, which were a marvel of success.
Aleck had thanked him very warmly for them,
when he told him the evening before, and had
warned him not to be late, as they would start
punctually at half-past ten. This was an un-
usual treat for the boy, and the real invitation
pleased him ; it was so seldom that he could be
with Aleck without the thought oppressing him
that he was looked upon as a bore; but this
day he knew he need have no such feelings,
because Aleck would not have asked him if he
had not wanted him.
There was no fear of his missing the time.

Lonely Paul. 15
As soon as his basin of bread and milk was
eaten, he seized his rod and fishing basket and
started along the road, bordered on either side
with the fragrant woods, and his quick little
feet, as they tramped in the dust, speedily put
a mile between him and the old Hall. There
were not many joys by the wayside for him to
cull; but in this great joy awaiting him, he felt
really happy and even fancied that the wild
flowers in the hedge-rows nodded to him and
danced in gladness for his sake.
When he passed the Laurels he peeped
through the iron railings to see if he could
catch a glimpse of little Doris' soft blue eyes
and golden-curled hair; but there was no one
in. sight, except the gardener who was mowing
the lawn. So on Paul trudged again, until he
came to the meadow which lay at the foot of
the woods and stretched down to the river;
this was the last field he had to cross; and as
he paused a moment by the stile, the village
clock chimed the hour of ten; then he knew
there was only just one half hour before they
would paddle out the boat. He gathered some
of the lovely honeysuckle, and wreaths of wild
roses for Doris, while he was waiting, and
whistled to the birds who were singing joyously
in the warm air. He turned his head resolutely
away from the old clump of trees, and half shut
his eyes till the hill had hidden it from sight;

16 The Royal Law.
he did not care to look at the spot where his
dreary hours had been spent, when he was
going to be so happy; and he hoped that Aleck
would be blind to his shabby clothes, and not
see how threadbare they were, nor how long his
arms had grown for his jacket-sleeves. He was
rather surprised that no sound of voices fell on
his ear as he neared the meeting-place, and
that Aleck and Doris were nowhere to be seen;
he had expected to see Doris standing on the
river banks, while Aleck helped the boy to un-
moor the boat; but no one was in sight, and
only the hum of the bees broke the silence.
A slight fear awoke within him; he crept to
the edge of the hill and gazed along the sunny
lane, stealing away under the trees to Aleck's
home; but there were only some speckled and
spotted cows, walking quickly along to the
pastures behind the village, with the little red-
hooded girl who milked them every morning.
Then the half-hour chimed, and grasping his
rod tightly in his hand, he ran with rapid steps
down the sloping sides of the hill, and never
paused until he found himself standing breath-
less in front of the boat-house ; but even there he
was all alone; to his surprise he found the doors
thrown wide open, and no boat in the harbour.
How late they are," he said to himself,
"but they are sure to come," and he threw him-
self on the grass to wait.




18 The Royal Law.
The river flowed silently on at his feet, the
gleams of golden sunshine made the ripples
sparkle, and he longed to be gliding down the
stream while the light was dancing on it; but
after half an hour of patient waiting he grew
weary, and wondered if he might venture into the
old garden to see if Aleck were there; so he laid
his tackle and basket and rod down on the soft
grass, and set off at a swift trot to find out why
they did not come. Paul was naturally very
shy, and his life made him more so; he was
almost afraid to enter the garden when he
reached the gate, but his great anxiety con-
quered his shyness, and he let himself in so
softly that he almost startled old Joseph the
gardener by stealing so quietly to his side.
Can you tell me, please," he said, in an en-
treating voice, "where my cousin Aleck is ?"
Ay to be sure I can," was the ready reply;
"he has gone fishing up the river, more than
an hour ago; and he won't come home before
evening, so you had best not wait for him."
Paul's face clouded, and he stood for a
moment twisting a piece of fishing line round
his fingers; he seemed in a mist, and he could
not understand why they had left him, or why
they had started so much earlier than arranged.
"Are you quite sure they have gone?" he,
asked; and it was hard work to keep the sound
of tears out of his voice.

Lonely Paul. 19
"As sure as I am alive ;" and the spade was
dug vigorously into the celery bed; "and who
would be so like to know as me, when the little
master has taken the boy with him, and there
are these beds to be weeded for the mistress;
and they never so much as said, 'And by your
Did any one else go with them ?" Paul felt
that he must go on asking the questions before
he could satisfy himself that they had really
"Ay! there was a party of them: Miss
Doris and her cousins, Master Gerald and
Alfred; it was a real surprise and pleasure to
the little master when he saw the young gentle-
men. Ay! and there was the sister, too, Miss
Margery, and they were a lively party I think
the river will ring with their voices to-day, if
they be as merry as they was on starting; but
they'll have to sober down a bit if they means
the fish to bite."
He talked on, pausing a second between each
spadeful of earth he turned up, and without
knowing how sorely he was wounding the
feelings of the little fellow by his side; but if
he had raised his eyes from the ground he
would have seen the glow fade away from Paul's
face, while the white look which came there
instead made his features look thin and sharp.
Paul understood now, and the knowledge gave

20 The Royal Law.
him pain. Aleck had forgotten him; merrier
boys had come in his way, and he had never
given another thought to him; he had passed
from his mind as completely as though he had
never invited him; he was forgotten, and he
was left behind.
For a moment Paul let his eyes rest on the
flowers around him, and then he rubbed them
with his little fist. He thought there must be
some clouds flecking the bright light, but the
garden was still bathed in sunshine.
"I thought I was going to be happy this
morning," he said to himself, as he turned away
into a side path which led to the wilderness
part of the garden; he wanted to get away from
the sound of the river, and he fought with all
his strength against the sobs which were almost
suffocating him. A struggle, too, was going on
in his mind; he could not help feeling angry and
miserable; it seemed such a mean trick for Aleck
to play him; and it cost him so little to make
others happy, when he had everything he liked.
But better thoughts soon came: he didn't
wish to be in a temper about it, and he did not
want to cry; he wanted to be brave, and to bear
his disappointment well, but it was hard work,
and he did not like to be forgotten. He threw
himself down on his back and lay among some
feathery grass which nearly buried him, and
rested his head on his hands; he could not

Lonely Paul. 21
return just then to the great still house, so he
lay there with his tearful eyes fixed on the blue
sky, watching the white clouds, and wondering
if father and mother knew up there how lonely
and miserable he was. Then he took the little
Testament from his pocket and pressed his lips
to the name on the first page; it was his
mother's writing, so he knew her hand must
have rested there, and the thought comforted
I should like to have died with you, mother,"
he whispered into the long grass. Why did
you leave your lonely little boy down here?"
And then he was able to bear no more; the
flood of suppressed feeling burst forth, and he
fell into a wild fit of sobbing, which was deeper
than any ordinary childish grief.
Poor motherless child! but he was not left
long to weep alone; a human heart of sympathy
was nearer than he thought.


LECK'S mother was wending her way slowly
down the garden, with a handsome grey-
hound by her side, when the smothered
sobs broke in upon the sweet harmony around
her. She paused in a little alarm, until she
remembered that her boy was happy and away
on the river with his young companions; she
listened in silence, and again the sobs were
repeated. Her quick ear caught the sound and
knew the spot from whence it came, and in less
than a minute she was kneeling near the quiver-
ing boy, and found that it was Paul.
Paul, my dear," she said, kindly, what is
it? Why are you crying; can I help you?"
She feared his uncle had been severe with him,
and her motherly feelings were roused. She
pressed her lips to his brow and begged him to
tell her what distressed him; her voice soothed
and comforted the little fellow, but no persuasion
could make him tell her the cause of his tears;
he had a boy's dread of meanness, and his
generous spirit would not let him complain of
Aleck. A red flush mounted to his cheek, and

Aleck's 1Mother.

there was a shy look in the deep brown eyes
which were fixed upon her face.
"I don't feel," he said, in a low husky voice,
" that I can tell you; I would really rather not."


And when Mrs. Vincent saw
the wistful expression she
ceased to urge. him. Very well, dear," she
answered pleasantly, "then let us talk about
something else; and I won't bother you any
more." She found his spirits were at the lowest
ebb; and with the hope of cheering him, she

24 The Royal Law.
began to tell of the party of young fishermen
who had rowed their boat out so early that
morning, little dreaming that she was touching
the sore spot in his breast.
She drew him nearer while she talked; "I
wonder why Aleck did not take you with them ?"
Mrs. Vincent's tone was a questioning one, but
Paul half turned away his head and made no
answer. "It was thoughtless of Aleck," she
continued, you would have enjoyed a day on
the river, but perhaps the boat was full."
"It was," Paul answered bravely, "the gar-
dener told me so."
"Well! I think they might have found room
for you! and there was a mixture of pity and
doubt in her heart as she spoke. A thought had
entered her mind, which she would like to have
put away; a thought which connected the boy's
trouble with the fishing expedition; also her
eyes fell on the piece of line which Paul was
still twisting in his fingers.
Did Aleck ask you to go with him ? she
asked, presently.
Paul's eyes filled with tears and his lips
quivered, but he made no reply; the pressure of
the disappointment was felt again, and he would
have given anything not to tell; he did not
want her to know how hard he found it to bear,
and the sensitive heart would like to have
screened Aleck. But Mrs. Vincent raised the

Aleck's Mother.

drooping head with her hand, and said again:
"Answer me, Paul, I wish to know." The dim
suspicion had flashed suddenly into belief.
Please, don't," he faltered, as he hid his face
out of sight; "please, don't ask; he didn't
mean it; he only forgot me."
Then Mrs. Vincent knew the whole truth;
her son's heedless selfishness burst upon her all
at once, but she would not burden the troubled
spirit of the boy beside her by asking him any
more questions.
"It's nothing to cry about, I know," Paul
said, choking down the sobs as he spoke.
But Aleck's mother felt that there was a great
deal to cry about, and her face wore a sad
expression as she looked at Paul.
Tell me, Paul," she said, after a minute's
silence, why you did not wish to tell of Aleck;
he has treated you very badly."
"Oh! it's all right now," he said, lifting his
dark eyes to hers ; "I am not going to bother
any more;" and the round little fist soon
rubbed all the tears away.
I should like to know," she said, gently.
Paul crept closer to her side, the tone of her
voice showed him that his trouble was under-
stood; after a slight hesitation he said shyly,
with the crimson mounting to his cheeks-" I
think it was really, because of the Royal Law,
don't you see?"

26 The Royal Law.
"Not quite," she said, trying to smile down
upon him, and kissing away the pucker from the
wrinkled brow, for she wanted him to recover
the brightness he had lost.
"Well, this is what I mean," and he put his
hand in his pocket to find his treasure. "You
won't laugh at me," he asked, pleadingly, as
he drew the Testament from its hiding-place.
Nothing but his love for his mother and her
favourite words would have betrayed him into
this self-revelation. With his thumb he turned
the pages rapidly over, and put the book in
Mrs. Vincent's hand.
She read the verse slowly, and half-aloud,
"If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scrip-
ture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,
ye do well."
The words did not seem very simple, but the
boy knew what they meant. He watched the
expression of her face closely, and when Mrs.
Vincent caught the anxious glance, she laid her
hand tenderly on the curly head. Many acts of
kindness and self-denial which Paul had done
for Aleck, sprang up in her mind, and she read
them in a new light which gave them a fresh
Yes, dear," she answered, I quite under-
stand; and I am sure God meant us to be
loving and unselfish, one with another. When
did you learn about the Royal Law ? "

Aleck's Mother.

"Mother taught me," he said, wistfully, "ever
so long ago. I mean-- and then his courage
failed, and the words died on his lips; he had
never had any one to talk to about her since
she left him.
Mrs. Vincent felt very sad as she looked at
him; she was realizing for the first time how
lonely the poor little heart had been.
But were you old enough," she asked, gently,
" to understand what your mother meant ?"
I remember what she used to say about it,
and she wrote the words in my Testament.
Look here."
And he pointed to the beginning. On the fly-
leaf, Mrs. Vincent found traced in delicate
letters the name "Mary Stafford," and under-
neath, was written in fresher ink, and in a round
childish hand, "Paul's dear mother; then in
the corner there was the Royal Law.
She wrote that," he said, pointing to the
name and verse, and a half smile rested on his
lips as he bent to look at it.
Tell me what she said about it, Paul? "
Oh, I don't think I can say it out," he re-
plied; "but I know mother wants me to try
and keep it. She said it was to do to others as
I would like them to do to me."
And this is what he has done to-day with re-
gard to Aleck, thought Mrs. Vincent, but aloud
she said-

28 The Royal Law.
"Yes, that is it, dear; the Royal Law is the
law of love, and God who gave it to us wants us
to love Him, and please and serve Him by being
kind and unselfish to those we meet with, like
the Lord Jesus. We find it very hard some-
times to give up our own way and will, but
when we do it makes us happier."
Paul gazed earnestly into her face while she
was speaking.
Mother told me so," he said, she always
made things so easy for me, and I tried so hard
not to forget after she died. I used to lie in
the fields and think and think about her, and
the talks we had together, and it seemed to
make the loneliness easier to bear. I was so
happy at home with mother; then when I came
to uncle's, there didn't seem any one to care for
The big tears glistened in his eyes, and there
was a tremble in his voice. He tried hard to
smile-he didn't want Mrs. Vincent to think he
was crying-but it was only a little struggling
attempt, which soon died away.
Mrs. Vincent's heart was full of tender feeling
for the boy; she drew his head down on her
breast, and said, in the tone Aleck always loved
to hear, Will you let me try and be a little bit
to you, darling, what she was ? I think God
sent me to you to-day."
Paul nestled closer to her, and looking up

Aleck's Mother. 29
with a happier expression, he said eagerly,
"Please, do; that is just what I want." And
he laid his soft round cheek caressingly near the
hand which rested on his shoulder.
And then Mrs. Vincent talked to him very
lovingly about the Home where father and
mother lived in perfect happiness, and where he
would see them again one day, never to be
parted any more. And Paul grew happier as he
listened; encouraged to have some one to talk
with, whose sympathy he was sure of; he forgot
his shyness, and the next half hour was spent
in chattering to his willing listener about his
early home.
Mrs. Vincent felt very full of regrets; she
never knew before that the motherless boy was
yearning in his loneliness for some one to be
kind to him. She remembered the time when
she was young and impulsive, when the want of
love would have killed her, and for a few
minutes she was a little happy laughing girl
again, back in the meads and fields where she
and her brothers used to play, gathering cow-
slips, singing merry songs, and listening to the
cuckoo bird. And then she realized the lonely
condition of Paul, and every tender instinct
awoke within her, and she felt she could love
him dearly; she looked at him with a new kind
of interest, and resolved-with a quiet prayer
for help-to strive in the future to prevent him

30 The Royal Law.
from missing, as far as she was able, a mother's
The simple words of the boy touched her
deeply, and the Royal Law of Scripture came
home to her with fresh power. She felt her life
had been a selfish one, because she had spent it
in dreams, and she was so wrapped up in her
little son. There had always been a readiness
to promote his plans, to enter into his feelings,
to sympathise in his pleasures, endeavouring
ever to smooth down the small difficulties in his
way, and studying how to make him happy.
She had never troubled to take an interest
in her little neighbour ; never cared whether
he shared in Aleck's enjoyments, or thought
whether he were happy or miserable in the
lonely old Hall; but his trustful love and
ready obedience to God's command had taught
her a new lesson, and she silently vowed that
the "Royal Law should find a fresh place in
her daily life.
During the few minutes' silence, Paul's rest-
less fingers had been plaiting the feathery grass,
but Aleck's mother was filling all the empty
places in the boy's heart. He looked up once
to see if the golden sunbeams made her face
look so lovely, and the searching glance made
her smile; she bent down and kissed the flushed
cheeks, but she did not know that in that
motherly caress Paul found all that he had

Aleck's Mother. 31
longed for-somebody to care for him and some-
body to love. In his new-found joy, he threw
back his curly head, and laughed up in her face
a clear, boyish, ringing laugh.
"That's because I'm so glad," he cried; and
as Mrs. Vincent rose from the grass, he caught
her hand in his and danced along by her side.
Will you come and spend the rest of the day
with me, Paul?" she asked, as she gathered
the sweet-smelling flowers. "You can go into
Aleck's playroom after luncheon and ride his
horse; you will find his tools there, too."
Paul's eyes sparkled, but there was a moment's
Could you spare me now ?" he said, "just
for a few minutes. I won't be long, but- "
Again he paused.
"Of course I can, dear boy; where do you
wish to go ? "
Well, you see, I brought some lunch with
me, because Aleck told me to; it is in my basket
near the boat-house, and I think the little
cripple boy down by the river-side would like
to have it; -there are some real nice jam
pasties, and I should say he doesn't often get
anything as jolly as those to eat. I can run
very fast, so I shan't keep you waiting long."
And before Mrs. Vincent could reply, his
rapid feet were running down the gravelled
paths, and the thick shrubs hid him from view.

82 The Royal Law.
"I am not coming to you, old clump, to-day,"
he said, as he passed the trees in the meadow;
but he stayed to twine the wreaths of roses and
sprays of honeysuckle he had gathered for Doris
round one of the low hanging branches, and
plucked some fresh bunches to enliven the sick
boy's room.
Paul found the cripple alone and in bed, his
mother was out charming, and his father was on
the barge up the river; the little cripple was
always pleased to see Paul, and the jam pasties
which he laid on a plate within his reach, looked
very good and tempting. Paul felt very sorry
for him, when he saw his pale wan face, and
knew that he had to lie there in his helpless
state without any one to speak to.
The sun was blazing in through the window,
and the torn blind could not shut out the fierce
rays; the boy's head was hot, he was very
thirsty, and the heat was great in the small
room. After a few minutes, Paul ran to the
spring to fetch him a glass of cold fresh water,
which he gave him to drink.
How kind you are to call and see me, Master
"No, I like to come, Charlie; do you find it
very dull?"
A bit lonely before you came in, but I don't
mind now," and he smiled at Paul, who was
standing near his bed.

Aleck's Mother.

A sight of his kind little friend seemed to help
him to bear his pain better; he thought Paul
was always trying to do something to cheer him,
when he was home for the holidays. But the
days were sadly weary when he was away at
school. He had not always been a cripple; but
when he was quite a child, he had fallen down
on a slippery place in the street and hurt his
back; and now he always had to lie in bed.
He was gradually wasting away. The room was
quite neat and clean; but there were the signs of
poverty about, and there was only some dry
bread, with a few cold potatoes, near him, so
Paul felt glad he had given him his lunch.
"Do you feel any better, Charlie ? he asked,
looking at the wasted hand which was lying out-
side the coverlid.
"Worser, I think, Master Paul; I shall be
real glad when all this pain is over."
"You are bad to-day," was the boy's reply;
"but you know people do get better sometimes,
Charlie, after all."
Charlie shook his head.
There was a patient look on his face, but the
lesson of patience had been learned amid pain
and disease.
Paul's eyes were full of thought as he watched
him; he had never seen Charlie so ill before; he
reminded him of his mother, when she used to
tell him that she was waiting for God to send

34 The Royal Law.
for her, and that the Lord Jesus was preparing
a place for her in His home.
Shall I tell you the verse mother used to
like, Charlie 2 He thought he looked just as
white and weak as she did.
"Ay Master Paul."
And the little fellow repeated very slowly the
text which has given comfort to so many sorrow-
ful hearts : "' Come unto Me, all ye that labour
and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.'
Mother said she liked to think about the rest,
because she was always so tired."
The sick boy repeated the words to himself.
"It was kind of Him to think of the heavy
laden when He said 'Come,' because they need
rest most of all."
Of course they do, Charlie; and then in a
timid voice, Paul said, You haven't been quite
so dull since you knew that He loved you, have
you, Charlie ? "
A faint smile flitted over the thin white face.
Not a quarter," was the quick reply; the
long hours have been a deal better to bear; but
it was you taught me about Him, Master Paul."
Paul flushed at the words.
I think He taught you Himself, Charlie," he
said, softly, "just as He taught me ; and with
a quick good-bye and a bright little nod as he
reached the door, he lifted the latch and let
himself out into the fresh air again.

Aleck's Mother. 35
He chattered very fast to Mrs. Vincent when
he returned, and after luncheon he spent a long
time in Aleck's play-room; but in the midst of
enjoying a ride on a rocking-horse, he suddenly
remembered a question he wanted to ask, so he
dismounted and ran down the stairs, and with a
quiet tap at the drawing-room door, waited until
he was bidden to enter. He never went into his
uncle's room without knocking, and it had be-
come a habit with him.
Mrs. Vincent was seated at her work near the
open window, and she greeted Paul with a smile.
"Are you tired of play ?" she asked, as he
stood by her side, or do you want somebody
to talk to ? "
Oh no, I'm not tired, it's jolly up there,"
he said; but I just remembered something I
wanted to ask you, but perhaps, I am in the
"No, indeed, you are not; Aleck never feels
himself in my way, and neither must you;
what is it, Paul?"
"Are you mother's sister 2" he asked the
question a little bluntly, but there was an
earnest ring in his voice.
"No, dear, she and I were not related; but
your father and Aleck's father were cousins;
this is why Aleck calls you cousin."
Paul's face clouded a little, and he did not

36 The Royal Law.
Why, dear boy, are you disappointed ?"
"Well, a bit," he said, "because, don't you
see, I thought if you were mother's sister, you
would be near to me, and then I could call you
'auntie.' "
She interrupted him, taking the dark little
face in her hands, and kissing the red cheeks.
" But you can call me Aunt Agnes all the same;
I should prefer it to Mrs. Vincent."
"Would you ?" he asked, joyfully; thank you
ever so much, and you don't think Aleck would
mind ? "
"I am sure of it; and I will try and make
myself as dear to you, darling, as though I were
your mother's sister; sit down on this little stool
at my feet, Paul, and tell me why your mother
wrote the 'Royal Law' in your Testament."
"It was to help me not to forget it," he said,
laying his hand in hers, and-because of
father. Do you know why he died?"
"Yes, darling; I know how he ministered to
the poor fever-stricken people, until he laid
down his own life; the law of love must have
been very deep in his heart, Paul." Her eyes
rested tenderly on the grave little countenance
while she spoke.
Yes, that is just what mother told me; she
said almost those very words to me one day."
"And it helps you, dear, to remember;
doesn't it?"

The Little Fisher's Return. 37
"I think so," he said. "I can't recollect
father, but I love to hear about him; mother
said he loved God, and I know she wants me
to try and keep the Royal Law as he did, but
I can't do anything big like that."
Of course you can't, darling; but Jesus will
bless the smallest effort to please Him."
"Do you know the hymn, 'We are but little
children weak ?' "
Paul's smiling face showed that he did.
Will you tell me the last verse ?"
And, in his clear sweet voice, Paul repeated
the lines:-
"There's not a child so small and weak,
But has his little cross to take ;
His little work of love and praise,
That he may do for Jesus' sake."

s the afternoon wore away, Paul began to
feel a little uneasy. He thought he ought
to be going home, and yet it required an
effort to tear himself away from the beautiful
old garden and the lovely flowers; but he did
not want to be there when the fishing party re-

38 The Royal Law.
turned. He shrank from meeting Aleck; and
he always felt afraid of Alfred and Gerald, he
had seen them point and whisper and laugh at
his patches, and he could not help his clothes
being shabby. So, after he had finished his
tea, he wished Mrs. Vincent good-night, caught
his cap from the stand and rushed down to the
boat-house to find his rod and tackle. He held
the flies with their glistening wings tenderly in
his hand and turned them over and over. Then
a sudden thought struck him and he retraced his
steps to the house, and sprang lightly through
the open window to speak to Mrs. Vincent.
"I have only come back for a minute, Aunt
Agnes," he said, in an apologetic voice; but I
thought Aleck would like these flies," and he
laid the pocket-book down on the table; "he
knows all about them, and I expect he would
want them to-day, but he can have them now if
he likes."
"I don't think he deserves them," replied Mrs.
Vincent; "Aleck has grieved me much to-day."
"Oh, but I want him to have them, Aunt
Agnes, and I don't care a bit to take them
home; I have never anywhere to fish unless I
go with Aleck." Then, seeing the grave ex-
pression on Mrs. Vincent's face, he added-but
he spoke almost under his breath, "I say, Aunt
Agnes, you won't punish Aleck, because you
know he only forgot me, and it hasn't been so


I s ---

J .b-


40 The Royal Law.
very bad, after all. Uncle gives me a drubbing
sometimes, when I displease him; but Aleck
didn't do anything wicked, and he will want to
tell you all about their sport when he comes
Mrs. Vincent wondered what wicked things
Paul had done, but she gave the promise that
Aleck should not be punished, and she sent him
away with another kiss and a happy mind.
Aleck's mother sat for a long while alone in
the grey twilight of that summer's evening: she
was listening for her boy's step, but she was
thinking grave thoughts. The bright gladness
which stirred her heart in the morning had
faded, and a sore little pain had taken its place.
The soft flickering shadows fell on the sloping
lawn and the great trees waved their branches as
the light breeze played among the leaves; the
sky was bright with crimson and purple clouds,
and the copse beyond the meadows was glowing
in the beams of the setting sun. Mrs. Vincent
leaned her elbows on the window-sill and watched
the outside world. The cows were slowly wending
their way down the hill from the green pastures,
and a distant peal of bells was the only sound
she heard, as it floated to her through the still
warm air; but, as she mused on Aleck's heed-
lessness, the words-
"Evil is wrought by want of thought
As well as want of heart-"

The Little Fisher's Return. 41
clung to her closely, and she felt that perhaps
she had failed to reprove him seriously for his
faults and selfish actions. Her devotion had not
blinded her to his failings, but her heart forgave
him always because she loved him so. Yes! she
had loved him tenderly, but had it been wisely?
She felt she had not taught him the "Royal Law."
Aleck was a high-spirited boy, with a healthy
frame and a stout heart, in which there was a
rich spring of love for his mother. A pained
look from her grey eyes was often sufficient to
curb the angry temper and the proud will; and,
unknown to her, he often sobbed himself to sleep
after he had been wilful and naughty, and re-
membered that he had wounded the feelings of
another through the day.
The fishing party returned home much more
sober than they set out; there were no bois-
terous laughs as they rowed the boat through
the river-weeds and trailing plants, past the
water-dock and bulrushes, which grew on the
marshy banks; but every stroke of the oar
reminded Aleck of his broken promise to Paul.
He could not even join in the song of the Mid-
shipmite, which Gerald and Alf were singing;.
and without his clear young voice, the chorus-
With a long, long pull,
An' a strong, strong pull,
Cheerily lads, yo ho!"-
sounded very flat, and the sounds soon died away.

42 The Royal Law.
And Doris had not enjoyed it at all; she was
very unhappy when she found out that Paul was
left behind when he expected to go, and her
little heart ached for him all the afternoon.
It was later than they intended when they
reach home, and Aleck ran quickly through the
big garden, after saying good-bye to his com-
panions, for fear his mother should think him
late, and be uneasy on his account.
"Where's mother ?" was his hurried question
at the door; and then Mrs. Vincent heard his
springing step as he bounded up the stairs,
taking two or three at a time. He threw open
the door with a jerk and tossed his cap upon a
"We have had such splendid sport, mother ?"
he cried, after he had kissed her, "just look at
these fine fellows "-and he opened his basket
and revealed five large well-fed and prettily-
spotted trout. "I let Alf and Gerald take the
biggest lot, because they are such a party at the
Laurels now; but you will not be able to eat
more than these, will you?"
Scarcely, dear," she answered; and she
would have smiled at the idea at any other
time, but she felt pained to see Aleck in such
good spirits as though he had never given a
thought to Paul through the day.
"And you have had a happy day, Aleck, as
well as good sport?"

The Little Fisher's Return. 48
Oh, jolly, mother," he said, after a moment's
hesitation, but a faint tinge of colour crept into
his cheeks.
"Then I am sorry for it, my son; I would
rather hear you had been miserable and unable
to enjoy anything."
"Whatever do you mean, mother?" Aleck
asked the question lightly, but his eye sank
abashed beneath the grave expression of hers.
"I think your conscience will answer, if you
will let it. Have you done unto others to-day,
Aleck, as you would like them to do to you "
"Oh, you mean about Paul, I suppose," he
said, with an outward show of indifference he
was far from feeling: "I only forgot him,
mother, and I don't like to be scolded for no-
thing at all. I don't suppose he troubled his
head much about it."
We will talk about Paul's feelings presently,"
was the quiet reply: "how was it that you
forgot him, Aleck : she drew him nearer to her,
and took his hand in hers.
"Well, I don't know; I expect it was because
those other boys turned up, and I didn't want
him then; but nobody does think much about
Paul, do they, mother? He must be pretty
well used to being forgotten, and Gerald and Alf
would only have poked fun at his shabby clothes,
so he was better away."
"I think he was, Aleck; he spent the day

44 The Royal Law.
with me, and I felt it was of little consequence
what he wore, so long as he possesses such a
noble heart, and the 'meek and quiet spirit'
which, in the sight of God, is of great price."
Aleck tapped his foot restlessly on the floor;
he was in a wilful mood, and there was an ill-
tempered look on his usually happy face. Mrs.
Vincent was even afraid she caught the words
"sneak" and "pest," but they were spoken
under his breath, and his mother would not
notice them. A battle was raging in his young
breast; he felt strangely uncomfortable, and yet
his rebellious will was urging him to brave it
out; the tears were not far off, but he hated any
one to see him cry, and he tried to think there
was no need for the tone of grave displeasure in
his mother's voice.
Mrs. Vincent saw the workings of quick feeling
as well as of quick temper in the misty eyes that
would not meet her own; she knew he was
struggling with his naughtiness, and, as she
looked down at him, she smoothed the rumpled
hair from the downcast face.
"Are you ready for your supper, Aleck? I
hope, dear, you will think differently about
Paul's disappointment and your own selfishness
to-morrow; I know my boy will feel sorry, and
I am sure I do. Shall I say good-night to you
now, Aleck ?"
No, mother; you know I hate saying good-

The Little Fisher's Return. 45
night when I feel like this, and I don't want any
But when he looked up in his mother's face,
and saw the sad expression that rested there, a
quick sob burst from his lips instead of the
wilful words. The ill-humour vanished: and as
he whispered, with a great effort, "Tell me about
Paul," the little head with all its bright curly
hair was buried on his mother's shoulder, and
he hugged her tightly round the neck.
"I did care, mother," he cried. "I was full
of sorry feelings, but I did not want to tell you.
I quite forgot Paul until we were a good way up
the river and Alf asked me for the flies. Then I
tried not to mind, and kept shouting real loud;
and I tried to think it was jolly and to enjoy
myself, but I didn't; and all the time they were
laughing and singing I felt ever so miserable
and bad, because I knew Paul wouldn't have
forgotten me; he never breaks his word, and-
that-verse Paul thinks about so much kept
running in my mind, though I tried to drive it
away; you know what I mean, mother, that
about the 'Royal Law;' Paul calls it his won-
derful secret, and he tries to love others better
than he does himself."
Thus, in broken words, the boy's confession
was sobbed out. He wondered-now he was in
his right mind-how he could ever grieve such a
dear, tender mother! And, while Mrs. Vincent

46 The Royal Law.
clasped her son closely to her, she gave Paul
also many kind thoughts. She felt she was
finding out more and more about his young life,
how he had even influenced Aleck; and she
secretly thanked God for watching over the
desolate child, with the love and pity he had
known from no earthly father. Then she raised
the face, still wet with tears, and said, while she
softly kissed the crimson cheeks:
"Aleck, my darling, will you ask God to help
you to keep the 'Royal Law?' It is such a
happy thing to try and do right; to obey the
One who gives us the command to please others
instead of ourselves. You know how to get His
help, dear."
"Just by asking for it, mother," and he smiled
up into her face; then he put his arm round her
neck, and said in a low whisper: "You are not
vexed with me now, mother, are you? I do
think sometimes, I don't always forget; oh, I
say, was poor Paul awfully cut up ?"
"He was terribly disappointed, Aleck: he had
set his heart on this pleasure; he had counted
the hours until the day came; his life is such
a lonely one that the promised treat was much
more to him than it could have been to you; he
awoke with the first ray of sunlight, his mind
full of delight at the thought of the fishing, so
he was very unhappy when he reached the boat-
house and found you had gone."

The Little Fisher's Return. 47
Aleck was very quiet when his mother was
speaking; but, when she went on to tell of Paul's
generous love in wishing to screen him, he
dropped his head in his hands and sat for some
time without speaking; then he looked up eagerly
as if a new thought had struck him.
Are you afraid I shall grow into a bad man,
mother?" he spoke quickly and earnestly;
"because I won't"-and the dirty fishy little
fingers stroked her cheek.
"God forbid, Aleck," she said, laying her
hand on the clustering curls and folding him
closer to her; "but I should like to have a talk
with you, darling, about being selfish. I have
thought sometimes that my son is never very
happy in his play, unless he is leader and has
everything his own way, and I want you to
learn to be yielding and unselfish, and to think
about making others happy. You know, Aleck,
there is a love that seeketh not its own,' and
this love will help you to overcome all selfishness
and to think of others before yourself; and,
when you find pleasure in being kind, you will
feel far happier than you do now, and you will
be obeying the 'Royal Law,' which is to love
your neighbour as yourself. Will you try and
think about it, dear?"
"I do, mother, often," he said; "but I find
it harder than Paul does, because-- he

48 The Royal Law.

Tell me why, darling."
A shy smile trembled on Aleck's lips before
he spoke; then he said, with a wistful look in
his big blue eyes-
Oh, you know why; because Paul loves God
more than I do; he talks about Him as though
He were close beside him, and I think He seems
ever so far away."
"And yet, dear, Paul is right; God is always
with us; always near to help us, though we
cannot see Him, and it pleases Him to know
that His children are loving one another, gentle
and kind in their play, and ready to give up
their own will, because they are trying to serve
Him, and to keep His commandments. Do you
remember the hymn, Aleck, about God being
always near you? You used to say it to me
when you were a very tiny boy.
'Through all the busy daylight,
Through all the quiet night,
Whether the stars are in the sky,
Or the sun is shining bright.
'In the bedroom, in the parlour,
In the street or on the stair,
Though I seem to be alone,
Yet God is always there.
'Whatever I may do,
Wherever I may be,
Although I see Him not,
Yet God sees me.'"
Aleck nestled very close to his mother while

The Little Fisher's Return.

she repeated the lines in her sweet voice; then
he suddenly broke away from the loving arms
and ran upstairs to bed.
Come and wish me good-night, mother," he
shouted, in recovered spirit, from the top of the
oaken balustrades.
When Mrs. Vincent went into his room half-
an-hour later, she found the moon shining in
through the small window with a soft shifting
brilliancy, the beams rippling over the floor and
on the white coverlid of the little bed, and Aleck
amid the downy pillows with his arms tossed
over his curly head.
I say, mother he cried springing up, "I
think Paul is splendid. I never found it out
before; but I always knew he was one to be
trusted, and I am awfully sorry, mother, I
haven't tried to make him happy, because his
life is dull enough to mope him to death. I am
going to have him for my chum now, I always
shall, he is ever so much nicer than Alf and
Gerald, and"-Aleck dropped his voice to a
whisper-" he is not a muff, is he? Alf said he
was, and he called him a coward too, but he has
plenty of pluck, hasn't he, mother ?"
"Yes, my darling, Paul is no coward; he is a
brave, noble-hearted little fellow." Then Mrs.
Vincent kissed him, and tucked him up in bed,
and left him to sleep away the fatigue of the


SVERY holly bush in the big old-fashioned
garden was gleaming with scarlet berries.
The winter sun shone out in the blue sky,
and the waters of the broad deep river rippled
beneath its beams, while soft feathery flakes of
snow lay white upon the ground.
Merry shouts of happy little people rang
through the clear frosty air; as Aleck, Paul, and
Doris danced beneath the shadows of the dark
old cedars, and played hide and seek among the
winding footpaths, which were every now and
then hidden from view by the branches of the
evergreen shrubs.
Paul thought it was almost the happiest time
of his life, he was full of health and in joyous
spirit; Aleck and Doris never neglected him now,
and the old clump of trees was quite forsaken.
Aleck still loved his own pleasure and his own
way and will, but there was more yielding and
less selfishness than in the old days; and he and
Paul were the staunchest friends. It was a
relief to both the boys to find that Alfred and
Gerald were not coming to the Laurels to spoil


(~.~2 ~;




52 The Royal Law.
their holidays. Little Doris was treated like a
queen; they were never rough in their play
when she was with them, and her presence
seemed almost indispensable to their happiness.
It was New Year's Day; many good wishes
had been flying through the air, and the boys
had been laden with gifts. Paul never remem-
bered such a time, and it seemed ahnost im-
possible for his short arms to carry home all his
treasures. Mrs. Vincent had given him a beau-
tiful paint-box, with a loving kiss; Aleck's pre-
sent was a long-coveted box of tools; but Paul
fairly leaped for joy, and his face beamed, when
Doris bounded into the room and laid a curly
bundle in his arms.
"It is my puppy," she cried,' in a delighted
voice; "and daddy said I might keep him for
you; look at his bright eyes and swishing tail,
he is such a dear doggie; and she kissed his
hairy head to say good-bye and to resign him to
his new master.
Yes! it had been a wonderful day; and Paul
felt so happy to thilik he had shared in all the
fun and gladness of Aleck's home.

Paul never complained of the treatment he
received from his uncle, though the neglected
look of the little lad, still brought an expression
of pity to Mrs. Vincent's face. The truth was
Mr. Geoffrey did not mean to be unkind to the

New Year's Day. 53
boy; but since his wife's death, many years
before, he had lived a solitary life, and he felt
Paul an unnecessary burden ; he was giving him
a liberal education, and he intended taking him
into his counting-house when he left school and
to establish him in the business. Paul yearned
for more than this.
His home-coming at Christmas had been more
dreary than ever; and Mr. Geoffrey seemed so
stern that Paul scarcely dared to move in his
presence. On the first Saturday, after his return
from school, he had rushed into the room with
all a boy's delight to show his uncle his first prize ;
but the greeting he met with quickly tamed his
eager spirit. When his uncle merely surveyed
the book in his cold cynical way, the hot colour
rushed to Paul's cheeks, and his eyes filled with
tears; he had won the approbation of the mas-
ters, but an approving smile or kindly tap on the
head from Mr. Geoffrey would have been more
valued by him than all the praise at school.
It doesn't matter," he said to himself in a
sad little way, as he tucked the book under his
arm and turned to leave the room; and thoughts
filled his mind as he went slowly upstairs, of how
pleased mother would have been, if he could
have shown it to her. Oh! mother," he said,
softly, "I have tried, but it is hard, you don't
know how hard, now you have left me. Nobody
thinks much about me in this house, and I can't

54 The Royal Law.
do anything to please uncle." And the little
fellow restrained his feelings by a strong effort
and choked down his sobs. Then a whisper
from the small Testament cheered him; it was
only two words-" Thou knowest,"-but he was
glad to remember that God knew he had tried
his best to win the prize; and if he had failed
in pleasing his uncle, he had pleased Him, and
that was best of all.
The thought had often risen in his mind that
he was a burden to Mr. Geoffrey, and it returned
again with fresh strength; two little red spots
burned in his cheeks for all the rest of the day.

But Christmas had come and gone; and on
this New Year's Day, Paul's love for Mrs.
Vincent was driving away the desolate feelings
which always beset him as soon as he returned
to the Hall.
He felt the January air very cold and frosty
as he trudged quickly home after the simple
festivities of the evening, and he could scarcely
help shivering as the wind swept through his
threadbare clothes. When he came within view
of the old Hall, the thought of the loneliness
within its walls fell on his spirit like a chill, and
a strange foreboding seized him when he entered
the long, low breakfast-room and found his uncle
seated there; it was an unusual thing for him
to return in the middle of the week, and at the

New Year's Day. 55
sight of him the bright colour from Paul's cheeks
vanished, and the happy smile died away.
"Are you here, uncle? he exclaimed in a
surprised voice, going slowly up to him. "I
didn't expect to see you to-day, but I wish you a
happy new year; he held out his hand doubt-
fully and his voice faltered.
"You didn't expect, when did you ever expect
anything?" Mr. Geoffrey replied in a harsh
voice, and he pushed the boy's hand away
with almost an unkind touch. "However, I
have something to say which you don't expect.
I have returned on purpose to tell you some news,
so listen to me at once."
He spoke in such a quick, sharp tone that
Paul was startled, and looked up in his face with
a feeling of alarm.
"What is it, uncle 2"
I am going to be married, Paul; and when I
bring my wife home you will have to go to school,
and stop'there."
Mr. Geoffrey's conscience pricked him very
unpleasantly as he spoke, and he felt slightly
ashamed of himself; but the vision of the
haughty Lady Isabel rose in his mind, and he
dared not alter his decision.
"Am I never to come home again? Paul asked
fearfully. He felt he was to be banished for ever.
"Not for two years. In about ten days' time
I am going to take you to the continent, perhaps

56 The Royal Law.
to Germany; after that I must consider what I
shall do with you."
Then he turned his face away from the boy,
who stood like a little marble figure which made
no moan and shed no tears, though there was
an agony of appeal in the upturned eyes.
A fjw misgivings entered the stern man's
mind at the thought of leaving the lad in a
strange country alone, but he did not try to
soften his words; his worldly success had be-
come a snare to him, and ambition was the
mainspring of his life.
But there was One near to pity and comfort,
and Paul knew that even his small griefs were
not beneath the notice of Jesus, and that he was
never overlooked or forgotten by Him. His
trustful love for the Saviour never wavered, and
the broken, childish prayers that night were
very earnest as he laid each burden at the foot
of the cross. He had been looking forward so
joyfully to the holiday games, and he had been
so happy all the day. Moreover, he felt he
could not live for two years without a sight of
Aleck's mother; and as he thought of her, he
hid his face in the pillows and sobbed himself
to sleep.

There was a dismal-looking sky the following
day, but in spite of the wintry storm which
howled through the trees, and the mantle of

New Year's Day. 57
snow which covered the ground, Paul found his
way to Aleck's home.
Mrs. Vincent knew at once, from the expression
on the boy's face, that something had happened
since he parted from them the afternoon before,
and she drew him to her very tenderly. Paul
meant to be very brave and tell his tale with dry
eyes, but the moment Aleck caught sight of him
and cried, "Hallo, Paul! what's up now?" he
burst into a bitter fit of crying, threw himself
down on the floor, and hid his face on the
motherly lap.
Aleck was very angry when he heard Paul sob
out that he was to be sent away for two years; "
so angry-as his quick feet paced the floor-
that Mrs. Vincent's voice fell unheeded on his
ears. Mr. Geoffrey is an old bear, mother,"
he cried, "and he thinks of nothing but his
money. It is abominable. Paul han't be sent
away; cheer up, Paul," he said, placing his arm
round his neck; if he doesn't want you there,
we want you here, and you shall come and live
with us; won't that be ever so nice, Paul? "
A dim little smile flitted over Paul's face.
"I am afraid he won't let me, Aleck; because
you see if I lived here, he would have to see me
sometimes, and I don't think he likes that,
because he always sends me out of his way."
See you, indeed! he shouldn't have a sight
of you." And Aleck's fierce temper sent all the

58 The Royal Law.
hot blood into his cheeks. "I am sure we
shouldn't want him walking over here, and we
would rather he stayed at home."
Hush Aleck, my dear," said his mother, "I
don't like you to give way to such angry feelings."
"Well! but, mother, it is horrid conduct! I
couldn't have believed that even he could have
acted so selfishly, it seems to matter little enough
to him what becomes of Paul." He felt very
irritated, and he wanted his mother to share his
displeasure; but she checked the words which
rose to her lips, and said gently, "It does seem
unkind, Aleck, but it is not for you to judge
him;" and then she kissed Paul's cheek, to
show him that he had her sympathy and love.
Never mind, Aleck," Paul said, uncle does
not mean to be unkind; he only feels it was a
bother for father and mother to leave me down
here; and I don't seem to belong to any one now."
Mrs. Vincent's eyes were dim with tears as
she listened to the boy's words.
It's only ten days," he said, looking pitifully
up into the loving face bending over him.
Words at first failed her, because she knew
Mr. Geoffrey was his guardian; but it was not
long before she was talking to him in her
winning way, and the boy's face cleared and his
eyes brightened when he found she understood
what a trial it was to him.
"I suppose I shall feel this ache all the time I

New Year's Day. 59
am there," he said, because I shall want you
so badly; but I won't cry any more, Aunt Agnes,
so don't bother about me. I dare say it won't
be so very bad after all, and I shouldn't have
minded when I was so lonely, but it is all the
difference now. I say. Aleck, shall we go out
and skate."
Even in his misery Paul did not wish to dis-
appoint Aleck, and he had promised the day
before to go skating with him. Mrs. Vincent
felt that the fresh air and exercise would do him
good, and help him to forget, for the time, the
trouble before him.
The two boys were soon equipped for theii
walk; they did not mind the wintry wind, and
there were feeble glimmers of sunshine breaking
through the clouds.
Take your great coat, Aleck," said his mother,
just as they were starting.
Oh no, mother he cried from the hall;
"I can't be bothered with it, don't tell me again
I am to take it," and he rushed out into the
garden with his skates in his hand, beyond the
reach of her voice.
"Don't fret about Aleck, Aunt Agnes, I will
see that he has a great coat and doesn't get cold,"
said Paul.
"Thank you, dear boy. Be sure and don't
run into danger, I should be very grieved if any
ill happened to either of you."

60 The Royal Law.
"Would -you ?" he said wistfully, "then you
love me, Aunt Agnes ? "
"Yes, darling, you have grown very dear to
me," and Mrs. Vincent was thankful all her life
that she had given him this assurance. But
while they talked, a selfish anxiety to start was
creeping over Aleck.
"If you don't come, Paul, I shall go without
you," he shouted in an impatient voice; and
Paul tore himself away, seized his skates and his
own shabby great coat, and ran after Aleck who
was in such a hurry to be gone.
The lake was a large piece of water in a gen-
tleman's grounds two miles away, and when the
boys reached the banks they came upon a very
gay scene. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and
girls were skimming over the smooth ice, and it
only took a minute for Aleck and Paul to put on
their skates and tighten the straps, before they
were also sliding among the rest of the skaters.
They were as much at home on the ice as on
dry land, and the exercise brought a bright
colour to their healthy cheeks. In his enjoy-
ment Aleck lost count of time, but Paul remem-
bered that Mrs. Vincent had said they were to
be home by four without fail, so when the after-
noon wore away, he went to Aleck and reminded
him of their promise.
Oh, bother the time he said, and he tried
to skate away from Paul.

New Year's Day. 61
"But, please, Aleck, remember what your
.mother said: we have two miles to walk, and
she will feel uneasy."
Then you go and tell her am not drowned,"
he cried; but in a minute he skated back again.
"All-right, Paul, I'm ready," and he unstrapped
his skates and slung them across his shoulder.
Oh, but I say, how freezing it feels," and
Aleck shivered as he encountered the cold blast.
"I didn't expect such a stormy walk home."
Here, take my coat, Aleck, I don't want it."
And Paul passed it to him, as though he were
indifferent to the elements, while all the time
Aleck was clothed in the warmest cloth, and
Paul's own suit was worn and old. Aleck, never
thinking whether the coat was his own or not,
was only too pleased to wrap himself in it and
be sheltered from the cold.
He found some difficulty in keeping up with
Paul's rapid steps; but the latter never knew
that his legs were carrying him along so quickly,
because he was starved in every limb.
They parted at the cross-roads, just half-a-mile
from the Hall, and Aleck had almost reached his
home before he realized that he was still wear-
ing Paul's coat, and that he had never asked
him if he needed it, or if he were cold.
What a selfish beggar I am," he said to
himself, as he entered the house "and mother
wanted me to take my own.

HEN Paul reached home, he crept very
Softly into the small low room which he
called his own, and knelt on the rug in
the front of the fire to warm his chilled hands;
his head ached and he felt very cold and tired,
but there seemed no heat to warm him, al-
though the blaze crackled and burned half up
the chimney, and the walls were ruddy with the
glow of the coals; still he shivered, and his eyes
felt dull and heavy. It was only five o'clock,
but the outer world looked dark, and he was
just thinking how glad he was to be sheltered
from the wind, when the door opened and the
old housekeeper appeared, with a look of con-
cern on her face and a letter in her hand.
So you've come in, Master Paul, and most
thankful I am to see you, for whatever I should
have done, I don't know. The master has been
gone two hours ago, and he left this letter to be
delivered by the groom-when he came back
from doing some errands-at -a gentleman's
house three miles away, and the stupid fellow
has never come back. Master said it was of
the greatest consequence, and the gentleman

The River Mist. 63
must have it by six o'clock this evening; so I
think you had best catch the train and take it
yourself; if you hurry at once, you will be in
time, and any one in the village will tell you
where he lives."
Paul's heart sank, and there was a slight
touch of disappointment and fretfulness in his
voice as he spoke.
But how am I to get back ?"
Why! the same way as you go, by the
train, I suppose;" but in her eagerness to get
him off, she never paused to consider whether
any train was due at their small station after
dark; or what the little fellow would do, if he
found himself left behind and three miles from
It was such a rare thing for Paul to be un-
willing to do a kind action for any one, that
the housekeeper stared at him in astonishment,
and said in a hasty voice:
"You had best be off at once, instead of
standing there as though your feet were stuck
to the ground; here is the money for your
ticket;" and she thumped a shilling down on
the table.
But still Paul did not move; he heard the
moan of the wind in the bare trees, and he
crept closer to the fire; he did not always find
it easy to give up his own will, and not go his own
way, and this afternoon he found it very hard;

64 The Royal Law.
so difficult not-to yield to selfish feelings; and
there was a piteous look in the wide-open eyes.:
"But it will be pitch dark," he said, "before
I get home," and a half-stifled sob escaped him.
Well! you are a cry-baby," exclaimed the
housekeeper, and a little coward too, to fear
going into the dark by yourself, when you have
only got to walk half a mile, and all the rest
of the way is in the train; but if you won't
take it, I suppose I can't make you; one would
have thought you would have been only too
glad to do a little errand like this for master,
when he has fed and clothed you for two years;
but a bit of gratitude is the hardest thing to
find in this life;" and she turned quickly round
to leave the room. But Paul did not let her
reach the door.
"Here, give it to me, Mrs. Grey, I will take
it directly; I am sorry I didn't want to go, and
I don't mind the dark at all ;" and Paul sprang
to her side and took the letter quickly from her
hand. I won't fail you; I shall be in time,"
he shouted; and in a minute the Hall door was
shut, and he was out in the cold stormy after-
noon, with an aching head, tired feet, and no
great coat to protect him from the blast which
grew keener every minute.
"I don't think I am a coward," he said to
himself, as the train bore him on through the
fast growing darkness; "anyhow I don't want


66 The Royal Law.
to be; I want always to be brave; mother didn't
like me to be afraid of anything, except doing
wrong; she said I was to be kind and unselfish
to others, and I am real sorry I forgot all about
the Royal Law just now; but I am going as
fast as I can, and I didn't really want to love
myself best, only I was so tired;" and the poor
weary little head sank down upon his hands
as he propped them on the window panel.
Paul could not understand how it was that
he ached so all over him, because he never felt
ill, or suffered pain like cripple Charlie, although
he had been so dull and lonely. And then he
began to wonder how the crippled Charlie was,
and if he were lying just a wee bit nearer the
Golden Gate than when he saw him last;
perhaps he had really entered in, and had seen
the King in His beauty and the angels in their
shining robes. And he sang softly to himself,
"Will any of them at the beautiful gate,
Be waiting and watching for me?"
The sudden stopping of the train roused Paul
from his reverie, and he found he had reached
the station where he had to alight, so, after
delivering his ticket, he jumped from the
carriage, and was soon pacing the long lane,
with the letter clutched tightly in his hand.
The snow lay much deeper on the untrodden
footpath, and the flakes were falling much
faster than when he started; he had no

The River Mist. 67
difficulty in finding the house, and he felt re-
lieved when the important letter was taken in
by the footman and it was out of his keeping.
Then he turned to retrace his steps and the
village clock chimed six, so he knew he had
been in plenty of time; and he thought, when
he reached home, he would be very glad that he
had not pleased himself, and had taken this
trouble for his uncle. But while he was baffling
against the wind, he felt he could not be glad
about anything.
"No more trains to-night, sir," was the
answer he met with, when he reached the
station; "no trains stop at the villages after
six o'clock in the winter, unless gentlemen of
importance require them to;" and the porter
turned and went about his business, leaving a
very desolate boy alone upon the platform.
Paul was bewildered, and numb with cold, and
he did not seem able to think it all out, or to
find what was the best to be done; but he knew
it was no use standing there, because he was of
no importance: he was only a little fellow, and
nobody minded much about him, except Aleck
and Aunt Agnes, and they were miles away;
and the thought of Aleck in his guarded home
and Aunt Agnes sitting in the bright warm
firelight, brought another sob, as he turned
away to find the river-path which would lead
Him direct to the old Hall.

68 The Royal Law.
He kept praying short verses and prayers to
God as he trudged along; but as his feet trod
the long winding way, they felt unsteady, and
he was scarcely able to guide them. Once or
twice he halloed loud, but there was no sound
of a footfall anywhere; the roar of the river,
which had been swollen by the heavy rains,
was the only noise which broke the silence.
Paul strained his eyes to catch a glimpse of any
human creature, but not a living being was in
sight; the dense snow shut out every object in
the landscape, and every minute the night be-
came darker and darker, while fiercer and fiercer
waxed the storm. He was so afraid of straying
from the path, and he was breathless with the
struggle; but all the while one hand was folded
on his breast, as though he were guarding his
treasure from the sleet and rain.
At last he reached the turn of the river, and
he felt he could walk no farther; he was so
sleepy and cold and stiff-so spent with
struggling,--that he laid himself down among
the thick reeds and rushes, and it was enough
for the poor tired little body to have found a
haven from the storm, where he could rest and
sleep; but the cold mist from the river folded
him in its chill damp mantle; and the thick
falling snow melted beneath his thin garments;
and the tiny worn book which never left his
possession was soaked through and through.


T was midnight : the pale stars were looking
down on the snow-clad village, for the storm
had passed away, and the wind had ceased
to moan, when Mrs. Vincent was startled by the
loud ringing of her garden bell.
Aleck was asleep in his little bed; but she
had been sitting up late to write some letters,
which were to be posted early the following day;
and she was watching the fire die slowly down
in the grate before she retired to rest. She felt
rather fearful of opening the door herself at that
late hour, but she did not want the house dis-
turbed by the bell pealing again; so she peeped
through the half closed shutters, and was sur-
prised to see a carriage and pair of horses wait-
ing at the gate. A sort of presentiment seized
her that there were ill tidings for her to hear,
and she walked quickly to the door and opened
it without another moment's hesitation.
A gentleman's footman was standing there,
whom she recognized at once as belonging to
Mr. Vane's household.

70 The Royal Law.
"What is this," asked Mrs. Vincent hastily;
"are you the bearer of bad news? "
"I fear so," was the reply, spoken in rather
an awed voice; "Master Paul has been found
among the reeds near the river bed, and he is
dying in the master's house; they carried him
there because it was near and his home was so
far away. Can you come? They say his cry is
all for you, and Mr. Geoffrey can't be here in
time. Master has sent the carriage; he is only
just alive, poor little fellow;" and the man's
voice sounded husky as he turned away.
The tears fell very thick and fast from Mrs.
Vincent's eyes as she was driven furiously
through the night air to the dying bed of the
child she loved so dearly.
Mr. Vane, with a grave, sorrowful face, met
her at the hall door. Thank you for coming,"
he said; "he is nearly home;" and without
another word they passed swiftly up the wide
stairs into the large airy room where Paul
was lying, with his arms tossed out on the
white bed and his large eyes fixed upon the
Aleck's mother saw that he was conscious, but
he scarcely seemed to hear as she mentioned his
name; his thoughts seemed to have flown to the
" Better Land," and the little life was fast ebbing
Paul, my darling, Aunt Agnes is here;" and

The Better Land. 71
the soft hand he loved wandered caressingly over
the curly hair, which was still damp with the
river's mist and the touch of death.
Then the sound of her voice seemed to reach
his ears, and the far-away gaze left his eyes as
he slowly turned his head.
"I am tired, Aunt Agnes; I shan't be tired
up there, shall I ? "
No, darling, you will never be weary or sad
any more; He will carry you in His arms, and
let you rest your head on His bosom."
Jesus? he asked softly.
"Yes, dear; and He is waiting to welcome you
to the joys of His kingdom."
Then there was a long silence, and Paul lay
quite still as though he were asleep, but Mrs.
Vincent still knelt by the bed and held his hand
in hers.
Was Aleck warm ? he asked presently; and
the tears rained down the mother's cheeks as
she remembered the act of love and the despised
little coat which had kept her boy safe from the
Yes," she said, gently, "Aleck was quite
warm; thank you, darling, for all your love;"
and she bent down to the white face and kissed
him very tenderly.
"Dear Aunt Agnes," he tried to say; but the
sweet voice was more feeble, and the eyes grew
misty and dim.

72 The Royal Law.
"Tell uncle I did do it; the letter was safe;
but it was so dark and the river made such a
noise; what did mother write in my book ?"
"Do you mean the 'Royal Law,' dear ? "
"Oh! yes, I tried to keep it; my love to
SAleck, and tell him always to remember, he
promised me he would! The broken words
were uttered in a weary tone; I am waiting
now for God to send for me; He found me such
a snug little bed near the river, and I soon fell
asleep; did you come and wake me up, Aunt
Agnes ?"
"No, darling; cripple Charlie's father found
you and carried you here; you will meet Charlie
there, dear Paul; he went home this afternoon."
A lovely smile broke over the boy's face:
"Then Charlie will be waiting, and father, and
mother, I shan't feel lonely a bit up there; and
uncle need not send me away, because I am
going very soon."
And the time was drawing very near. The
summons came, even before the watchers ex-
pected. There would never be any more need
for Aleck's mother to comfort the tender, sor-
rowful child. Before the smile had faded from
his features, he stretched out his arms with a
happy cry; and Jesus took the little loving
heart home to Himself. Of such is the King-
dom of Heaven."

" Y' ND shall I never see him again, mother,
S never hear his voice, or the sound of his
-" step, never more in all my life ? Oh!
Paul, why did you leave me ? and Aleck threw
himself down near his mother's knee, and sobbed
bitterly as she told him of little Paul's death.
It all sounded so strange and so terrible; and it
was a long time before Mrs. Vincent could quiet
him at all; he cried and talked between his
sobs, and could not understand why Paul
should have died so soon when they were
skating together the day before.
God needed him, darling," Mrs. Vincent
said gently; but she could scarcely trust her
voice, the tears were so near.
"But I needed him, too, down here, mother."
He is very happy, Aleck; he will never feel
lonely any more; he was often sad and sorrow-
ful; and I am sure my son will not wish him
back again, when he thinks of all the trials he
met with here. Do you remember, darling, the
story of the little boy who lived in a mine,

74 The Royal Law.
always digging by the light of a lamp with
pickaxes and shovels from morning to night ?"
Yes, mother, why ? and Aleck sat with his
elbows on his knees and his chin resting on his
hands; there was a look of wonder on the
tearful face.
"Because, dear, I think we might liken Paul
to him. When the miners let him go above
ground, he was so happy to see the green grass,
the waving trees, and the blue sky, that he
never wished to go down to his work again; he
said, 'I have seen the world up yonder; oh I
have seen such beautiful things. I can never
live in the mine again !' "
"And Paul has seen the 'world up yonder.'
Think, darling, of all the glorious sights he has
seen in God's Paradise, and then I am sure you
will understand that he never could be happy
down here. You and I will try and be glad for
him, Aleck."
"Yes, mother dear, I will be glad for him,
but I am so sorry for myself." Then he hid his
face of her loving breast, and asked for Paul's
message to be given him again.
"I will never forget," he cried, "and I will
try and be as unselfish as he was; oh, mother,
you don't know half how good Paul was to me.
He was always ready to do just as I liked, and
play the games I chose; he never seemed to
care about pleasing himself, and I am sure he

The Children's Hospital. 75
never thought he was doing anything very won-
derful; because, you know, boys do like to go
their own way and please themselves, but Paul
never did. And then, mother, all the time he
was doing things for others, he was doing them
because-because he loved God so much, I know
he was."
The tears were running down Aleck's face all
the time he was talking; it was so dreadful to
feel that Paul was dead, and that he could never
play with him any more; then as a quick
thought darted into his mind, he said, in an
awe-struck whisper, fixing his large blue eyes on
Mrs. Vincent's face:
"Mother, darling, tell me; I took his coat and
wrapped myself up in it, and hs never said he
was cold; do you think, oh, mother, I can't say
it! and the tears flowed fast; did that kill
him ? Piteously he sobbed the words out one
by one.
"My darling, no! was the loving response;
"he was very shivery without his coat, and he
might have taken a severe cold; but it was the
river mist and the falling asleep in the storm
which killed him."
Then, mother, I am sorry he took that letter
for his uncle, I am sure he never deserved it; he
was an old bear to him."
"Hush! darling; Paul would not like you to
call him names; Mr. Geoffrey is so grieved now

76 The Royal Law.
to think that he never tried to win the little
fellow's affection; but Paul's willingness to ex-
pose himself to the fury of such a storm, to do
an act of kindness for him, has touched him
deeply; and when he was told of his death he
shut himself up in his room and refused to see
anybody. I think we all feel the sweet influence
of his young life; and I am sure we may say
that dear Paul followed in the Saviour's foot-
steps even unto death, and now he shares His
Mrs. Vincent was very still for some minutes;
she was thinking of the two struggling little
souls who had crossed the river within the last
few hours; and were either of them to be pitied,
when the tired feet had stepped into the land of
rest, away from the world where they had
suffered so much?
And Aleck's mother clasped her boy tightly in
her arms and prayed God to keep him His faith-
ful servant; unselfish in his life, and obedient,
for Christ's sake, to the law of love.

"What shall I do with my money ? I have
neither kith nor kin of my own; tell me, Vane,
what shall I do ? and the tones of Mr. Geoffrey's
voice sounded sad in the evening air, as he sat
with Mr. Vincent and Aleck, and Mr. Vane and
Doris, in the big old garden, which was glowing
in the sunset.

The Children's Hospital. 77
It was difficult to recognize in him the once
worldly, proud, ambitious man-the uncle of
Paul Stafford-who had courted the world's
flattery in his intervals of leisure, and had
lived a life too wrapped up in his own concerns
to think of others. The softening influence of
God's Holy Spirit had wrought in him the meek
and tender mind of Christ, and as he was
brought under His constraining love, old things
passed away and all things became new.
The sorrow and remorse he felt after little
Paul's death always hung like a cloud over
him; the business which had once engrossed
all his attention became unwelcome and hard;
he no longer pursued it with pleasure; it was
only a work of toil and misery, and he was
harassed with continual care and anxiety. The
brilliant marriage he was to make with Lady
Isabel never came off, and many plans of earthly
happiness and grandeur were involved in the
disappointment. He found himself a rich and
lonely man, but he had fathomed the hollowness
and insincerity of the world he courted, and
had learned to estimate its opinion as worthless
-he had endured a trying existence, instead of
leading a happy life.
But the little voice he had never cared to
listen to on earth was continually pleading with
him in death; and he was ready to acknow-
ledge, with a deeply thankful spirit, that the

78 The Royal Law.
fulfilment of the Royal Law" brought real
Many thoughts flashed through Mr. Vane's
mind, after Mr. Geoffrey asked him the ques-
tion, and he did not answer at once; but the
colour flew to little Doris' cheek and the sparkle
to her eye, as she stood with her arm round her
father's neck.
Oh! father," she said, and then she paused,
but Mr. Geoffrey marked the eager look and
drew her to his side.
The display of tenderness in a man who had
always seemed so stern had surprised the chil-
dren at first; and then, as the growing kindness
of his manner towards them increased, they
said one to the other in hushed voices, It is
for Paul's sake," and they were not mistaken.
Mr. Geoffrey loved to hear the joyous laughter
as it rang through the air-to watch the merry
romps, and listen to the childish fancies; but,
as he did so, thoughts of the young companion
who had shared their amusements always
saddened his heart; and he often yearned to
see again the small dark face, to hear the
patter of the quick feet, to fold him in his
arms and assure him of his love; but he had
left him-and he was childless and alone!
"What purpose have you in your heart for
my money, little Doris ?" he asked, gently.
And Doris clasped her hands together and

The Children's Hospital. 79
said reverently, "Give it to God, please, Mr.
Geoffrey; Paul would like that best."
And he could not resist the wistful, pleading
look; he was ready at the Saviour's word to
part with his money freely, and, as he had given
himself up to the Master's service, so he wished
to give Him of his best.
How shall I give it to Him, Doris ?"
"Oh build a hospital for the little sick and
suffering children who are all crowded together
in their homes in the street, and have no nice
house to be ill in; where they can be away from
the noise, and have just what they ought to have
to eat."
"And if I build it, little maiden, what text
shall I have put in the stone-work over the
door ? "
Doris only thought for one minute and then
said slowly, as she looked at Aleck:
Paul would have put this: 'Inasmuch as ye
have done it unto one of the least of these My
brethren, ye have done it unto Me.' "

The hospital was built and endowed; and as
Mrs. Vincent and Mrs. Vane, with Aleck and
Doris, passed through the beautiful airy wards,
Mr. Vane said:
Thank God, this is no monument to human
ambition; but a loving tribute to the Lord; and
an act of real benevolence to all these poor and

80 The Royal Law.

suffering little souls: 'Freely ye have received,
freely give.' "

Dear young readers, If ye fulfil the royal
law, according to the scripture, Thou shalt love
thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well."
Little deeds of kindness,
Little words of love,
Make our earth an Eden,
Like the Heaven above."


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