Oakhurst Manor


Material Information

Oakhurst Manor
Physical Description:
viii, 133 p. : ill. (some ill.) ; 19 cm.
Lyster, Annette
Stanteall, A. G
Stanteall, A. G ( Author )
Sunday School Union (England) ( Publisher )
Unwin Brothers (Firm) ( Printer )
Gresham Press ( Printer )
Sunday School Union
Place of Publication:
Unwin Brothers ; Gresham Press
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Uncles -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Friendship -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Cricket -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Marriage -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Accidents -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Prize books (Provenance) -- 1879   ( rbprov )
Bldn -- 1879
Prize books (Provenance)   ( rbprov )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
England -- Chilworth


General Note:
With: Frank Elwood / by A.G. Stanteall.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Annette Lyster.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002231778
notis - ALH2163
oclc - 62121041
System ID:

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CHARLIE'S NEW HOME .. .. ..'.. .. .. .. .. .. .. 18


ANT BENSON .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .... .. .. 48

TOM REYNOLDs .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 53

DICK'S CHARACTER.. .. .... .... .. ...... .. 70

TWO MARRIAGES .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .... 73

" WHERE WAS THE MISTAKE ? ". .. ........ .... 88



THIRSTY .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Frontispiece

" THESE ARE YOUR ROOMS, SIR .. ., ........ 30

A BBOKEN LEG .. .. ...... .. ... .. 39

"WHO'S THERE?" HE CRIED ALOUD ...... .. .... 50



TRUSTED .. .. ..... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 111

SUSPECTED .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. ..... 120

RIGHTED .. .. ..' .. .. .. .. .. .. .... 126




BRIGHT, fine day, the cheery warmth of
the sun tempered by a pleasant breeze; a
smooth, new-mown field, with two great
tents in the shade of the giant oaks which
Sounded one side ; a well-contested game
of cricket going on in the middle of the field;
groups of neatly-dressed girls, some watching the
cricket, some engaged in a game of their own in a
distant corner; other groups of elder people, walking
about or sitting under the trees, chatting and
enjoying themselves; in the distance a large, ram-
bling old house, with two great rose trees cover-
ing the front nearly up to the second storey windows


with a glory of colour; all these things you
would have seen had you visited Oakhurst Manor on
that sunny June day some years ago. The young
people whose shouts and laughter filled the summer
air are grave men and women now; the old folk who
watched their games are gone to their rest. My story
has to do with both old and young.
Mr. Beresford, whom some of the old-fashioned
people on the estate called the squire, was the owner
of the Oakhurst estate, and the father of a large family,
some of whom were grown up, and some still children
at the time of which I speak. The one with whom I
have to do was a fine, intelligent looking fellow named
Charles, just come home from Rugby, and, as I need
hardly say, he was at this particular moment in the
very heat and hurry of the cricket. He dearly loved
cricket, and among those who were playing there was
only one who could at all compete with him, and
Charlie said himself that if Dick Rylance went on
improving as he had done lately, he would soon beat
him all to sticks," to use his own forcible schoolboy
But I have not yet told you the occasion of this great
gathering at Oakhurst Manor. It was an annual fete-
the cricket club met on that day, and had a sumptuous
dinner in the great tents. The morning hours were
taken up by the Rector's annual examination of his
young people, gentle and simple, in Scripture, the cate-
chism, and religious knowledge generally, and prizes


were given to the best answerers. And in the evening
the rector was to address the people on the subject of
temperance, and distribute cards to such as would
join the Oakley Temperance Union," and take the
pledge," promising total abstinence. Now this was
the only part of the proceedings in which the good
squire and the good rector did not] go hand in hand.
Mr. Beresford did not agree with Mr. Mildmay on this
subject, but so great was his respect for his friend and
pastor, that he never interfered by word or look with
what he thought it right to do.
They were both, the squire and the clergyman, sit-
ting with Mrs. Beresford and one of her daughters on
a bench near the tents. The ladies were consulting
each other. on some point connected with the supply
of tea for the meal which was to conclude the fes-
tivities; the gentlemen were watching the game with
the keen interest of men who had handled a bat in
their day. What a difference there was between them
as they sat there, side by side! Mr. Beresford look-
ing just what he was, a thoroughly good, kind-hearted,
prosperous man, with whom the world had gone well,
and on whom his years sat lightly. But the world
had been a scene of trial and sadness to Eustace Mild-
may, and a patient, most gentle, but most sad face
was his. He had been married, and one son had lived
to grow up, that was all the young Beresfords knew of
the story which had written itself so deeply upon their
kind friend and teacher's brow.


A great shouting among the players; up sprang the
squire, shouting with the best.
"Well done, Charlie! well hit, boy! run, boy, run!
-one-two-three. Hullo take care, take care-
you can't do it, sir,"-then sinking back upon the seat
-" There! he's out. I knew that last run was risky."
"Well, dear Frank," said his wife quietly, "no one
can say that you did not try to caution him. You
roared like your own bull, Black Douglas !"
"Good for the lungs, my dear. I say, William,
how many runs did Charlie make?"
William was another son a few years older than
"Fifty-nine, father. Not bad for a fellow used to a
better ground. Young Rylance made forty-eight. It
was he caught Charlie out; however, his side is safe
to win now."
Here Charlie and a young friend, Ralph Anstruther,
came up to the group under the trees.
Father, Anstruther and I want some beer, and
there's none in the tent!"
"No; you can get it at the house," said the squire,
with a glance at Mr. Mildmay.
Why don't you have it in the tent as usual, sir ?"
inquired Charlie, taking off his straw hat and fanning
himself with it.
Well, very few ask for it. You go to the house,
and Rogers will get it for you."
"Come along, Anstruther, we shall be wanted in


five minutes," said Charlie, and the two lads went off
Charlie had some difficulty in finding Rogers, who
was looking on at the game, and, having found him, he
"Draw me a good jugful to put in the tent, Rogers.
We cannot be coming all this way every time we
want to drink."
Rogers, who had no sympathy whatever with the
Rector's views, gleefully obeyed, and Charlie carried
his jug to the tent. As he was leaving it, Dick
Rylance ran up.
"Dick, you villain! how dare you catch me out
just now? "
It was a great stroke of luck, sir. Only for that
you'd have ended the game then, for there won't be
time for a second innings."
"All the same, I've a mind to try and punch your
head. Don't drink that, Dick, you are too hot.
Here's some beer-have a mug of that."
"Thank you, Mr. Charlie, but I've taken the
Ralph Anstruther laughed.
"What made you do that, Rylance ? Were. you
inclined to exceed."
"Oh no, sir, but it's a grand safeguard. I never
touch drink of any kind," said Dick, his handsome
face flushing, but with a very well satisfied air all
the same.


"They are calling you, Dick," said Charlie; "run
off now."
"What nonsense," said Ralph, and he and Charlie
slowly walked back toward the game. "A fellow
like that to take the pledge as a baby, and look as
pleased with himself as if he had been a martyr."
Poor dear Dick," Charlie answered, laughing, I
don't suppose he thought himself a martyr. It's Mr.
Mildmay's doing, you know. My father does not hold
with him, and that's why I wonder he has let it go
so far."
"So do I; as if that boy would have been the
worse for a glass of good beer."
"It is not that," Charlie answered. Of course
no one thinks that one glass of beer would hurt him,
but I know Mr. Mildmay thinks that there is no
safety but in total abstinence, and that you can't
begin too early; while my father thinks that the real
temptation does not begin at home, under the parent's
eye, and that taking the pledge as a child won't stop
any one when the real temptation does come, if there
is nothing else to stop him. Indeed, I have heard
him say that getting children to take the pledge makes
them less safe, because there would be a sense of
disgrace that would be bad. I have never thought
about it myself, but I've heard him say something
like that."
The game went on merrily, and came to an end as
all games must. The long tables were spread with


great piles of bread and butter, thick slices of home-
made cakes, and small mountains of strawberries.
The Miss Beresfords filled cups with good, strong tea
with unwearied zeal; every one, old and young, was
attended to with the kindly grace which springs from
a real wish to give pleasure, and the good things
disappeared as if by magic. Then came the last
business of the day. Mr. Beresford went away, and
so did William; but Charlie and young Anstruther
remained "to see the fun," as the latter remarked.
But there was no fun to see, for the pale face-paler
even than usual-the pleading manner, and few, but
earnest, words of the good Rector were anything rather
than amusing. Anstruther yawned, and then saun-
tered away to his house; but Charlie found interest
in watching the faces round him, and drawing his
own conclusions.
First he looked at Dick Rylance. Dick, a hand-
some, fair lad, stood near his mother, a widow-a
sickly-looking woman, who looked more like his grand-
mother. Dick listened; the Rector spoke of tempta-
tions resisted, and Charlie saw Dick draw near to his
mother and whisper to her how he had been tempted
that very day to drink a glass of beer; how he had
resisted, though it was very hot, and Mr. Anstruther
had laughed at him. Mrs. Rylance put her thin hand
on his shoulder.
"Thou'rt a good lad, and thy mother's blessing,


And by this whispered conversation they both lost
a few words, in which Mr. Mildmay warned them that
strength to resist temptation must be sought in humble,
hearty prayer. The address ended in a request that
any person who wished to join the Oakley Temper-
ance Union should now come forward and give their
names to Mr. Mildmay, and that any person who had
broken their oath should remember that it was now
his or her duty to seek Mr. Mildmay as soon as pos-
sible, and to return the card, which should be restored
to them if they renewed the pledge.
"Hullo!" said Charlie to himself, "what's the
matter with Tom Reynolds ? "
For Tom, who was the gamekeeper's only son, had
suddenly crimsoned at these words, and held down
his head while the Rector expressed a hope that his
last remark was a mere matter of form, as, since the
institution of the Union, only one person had returned
a card. Now poor Tom had gone to the tent for a
drink, and finding the beer there, being moreover hot
and tired and quite alone, he had taken some of it.
But, alas, for poor Tom he had not the courage to
go to Mr. Mildmay with his card.
"I'll never do it again, never But I can't have
every one pointing at me as having broke my oath.
Mr. Mildmay'd never tell, I know; but, these things
always do get out. Every one knows 'twas Adam
Brown did it before, and that cocky Dick Rylance
wouldn't speak to him hardly. I couldn't bear it."


Charlie waited until the crowd had dispersed, and
then stepped forward and joined the Rector.
"Well; Charlie, my dear boy! I saw you listening
very attentively."
"You spoke so earnestly, sir, that a fellow must
listen, you know. But I am like my father, I'm not
"And. I won't argue the matter with you. Yet,
believe me, if you had my experience, you would not
blame me for holding it a duty to warn my young
people against what has ruined many of as fair
promise as any of them."
"Blame you, Mr. Mildmay! I'm not such a con-
ceited donkey as all that comes to. Only it seems to
me that there's a good deal to be said on the other
side; but I haven't thought much about it, I confess."
"I wish you would, then, for a steady, sensible
fellow like you is sure to influence others."
The Rector had now gathered his tracts, cards, and
papers together, and lifted them from the table.
"Let me carry that for you, sir. Why, you are
going home my mother will expect you to supper."
"Not to-night; I am tired. Will you tell her so,
and make my excuses ?"
I'll see you home first," said Charlie.
They walked together along the Green Avenue,
which was one of the glories of Oakhurst, and then
by the road to the parsonage, a pretty house stand-
ing in a well-kept garden. Not a large house, and


arranged with nuch neatness and simplicity; yet it
looked very forlorn and lonely to one accustonmd to a.
large home circle or a crowded school.
"Do change your mind, dear Mr. Mildmay, and
come home with me. I can't bear to leave you here,
all alone."
I am so much alone that I don't feel it as you
would, Charlie. Thank you for the kind thought; but
I am not up to anything this evening."
What is it, sir ? Are you ill, you look ill indeed."
Only tired; I am not ill."
He put his hands upon the lad's shoulders, as he
stood before him-the Rector on the doorstep, Charlie
below on the gravel-and looked sadly and lovingly at
"Charlie, Charlie! your bright, young face looks
kindly at me; and you stand here in your youthful
strength and vigour, type of your race, and you won-
der what is saddening me to-night. Just so looked,
just so wondered, one dearer to me than even you and
Bernard, my two best loved pupils. And I lived to
see that face wear a look so different I lived to lay
that strong, bright creature in an untimely-in a
dishonoured grave."
"Dishonoured of whom do you speak? But no
-don't tell me-don't say another word, Mr. Mildmay.
You are quite knocked up; I can't bear to see you like
this. Come in, let me help you; I see a light in the


He almost carried Mr. Mildmay into the study, and
placed him in an easy chair.
"I shan't leave you till you are better, sir. Can I
"get anything for you? I know you take no wine ; a
glass of water, then."
This he procured, but when he came back with it
Mr. Mildmay had recovered himself.
"Charlie, you are a good, kind fellow," he said.
"I'm glad you are to be a doctor-your manner is
just what a doctor's ought to be. But, now, give me
half an hour of your time, and I will tell you why the
subject I have spoken on this evening is so particularly
painful to me."
"But will it not-"
"No; I would prefer to tell you. Briefly, then, my
earliest recollections are of a home made miserable
by the excesses of my father. How well I remember
the terrible scenes, night after night, and my poor
mother's constant entreaties to my brothers-I had
five, all elder than myself-to avoid the sin which
was making our home so wretched."
Mr. Mildmay went on very briefly to sketch the
history of his own youth-how, one by one, his
brothers followed in their father's steps, deaf to the
heart-broken appeals of their mother. Somehow,
Charlie gathered that his poor mother had been a
weak, well-meaning woman, who had lost her influence
over her elder children by incessant worrying. Then
the Rector spoke of his own happy marriage, and


told of the early death of his wife; of his son's
promise, and the bright hopes which gathered round
I had never told him the history of his uncles,"
he continued, "and I had kept him from all inter-
course with those of them who were then alive. He
knew of course that they were not all that they ought
to be, but I shrank from telling him the disgraceful
truth. I educated him myself-he left me only to go
to college. I cannot dwell on the rest, Charlie. Just
now, when you stood before me in the porch, it brought
back a scene so vividly that I was overcome. He was
going back to Oxford, I had gathered courage to ask
him if he still kept to the abstemious habits of his
happy childhood. He told me, No, he found it made
him remarkable, but that only once had he been the
worse for what he had taken. And when I showed
the horror I could not help feeling, he turned and
looked at me, much as you looked then. I told him
the wretched story of my family. I implored and
besought him never again to exceed; he promised,
and I know he meant to keep his word. But I did
not know then, as I know now, that total abstinence
is the only hope. I only urged moderation. I cannot
tell the rest, my boy. Think it over; I should be glad
to-'e you on the right side, both for your own sake
an&t hat of others. Now you had better go, I shall
be better alone. Good night, and God bless you, my
dear boy."


Charlie walked home very thoughtfully. He found
his family at supper.
"Why, Charlie," exclaimed William, "what have
you been up to? You look as solemn as an owl.
Anstruther has gone home, and he declared that you
deserted him in a most unkind manner."
"On the contrary, he deserted me. I walked home
with Mr. Mildmay, who looked quite knocked up by
his sermon-speech, I mean. Mamma, he sent his
Excuses by me."
I did not expect him. Poor Eustace."
He was awfully overcome. I never knew before
why he feels so strongly on that subject; but he told
me his story."
Well," said the Squire; and what conclusion do
you arrive at, Charlie, both from his speech and from
what he said to you alone ?"
"I have hardly had time to think it over yet,
father. He seems convinced that total abstinence
from childhood is the only safeguard against be-
coming a drinker. You don't think so, my dear old
dad, I know."
"Not he," said William; laughing. "That is Mr.
Mildmay's mad point; we all have one, you know.
My revered Pater's is-Turnips !"
"Hold your tongue, you saucy fellow. Mildrgay
is no more mad than I am. Come, Charlie, you htve
brains, which is more than I can conscientiously say
for Willie. Tell me all you think of what you've


been hearing td-night. It is a matter upon which I
hold very decided opinions myself, so naturally I
should like to assist in forming yours. So speak out."
Yes," said Mrs. Beresford, he will speak out, but
it shall be in the library, Frank. For we have all
done supper, and I don't like to keep the servants up."
So saying, she rose, and led the way out of the
room. When they were all comfortably established
in the other room, William said-
"Now, you fellow with brains, hold forth, and let's
hear your opinions, if you have any."
"I haven't! I told you so before. Father, was
Mrs. Mildmay-the Rector's mother, I mean-was
she a sensible woman ?"
I said he had brains," remarked the Squire con-
fidentially to his wife. Quite the contrary, Charlie.
A good, soft little soul, never knew when to hold her
tongue. Cried incessantly and worried ditto."
"Ugh," said William, "what a woman! Well,
between a jovial, genial, though slightly disreputable
father-for such I take it the late Mildmay was-and
a nagging mother, with a white handkerchief always
at hand, I only wonder it wasn't a procession of six
to the little Bowskies."
"What do you mean, William ?"
"All go to the dogs together, the Reverend Eustace
included, mother ?"
Even that is hardly English, Will. Still, I will
own that I agree with you."


"She wasn't the right kind of mother," Charlie
said, with a look at his own mother. "Well, then,
as to the dear old Rector's son. What sort of fellow
was he ? "
"Handsome as a picture. Such a noble looking
fellow-but easily led. Ah, poor boy. It was a sad
business. Did poor Mildmay tell you all about him ? "
"No. He really couldn't."
"He mixed with a wild set at college. There was
a son of his eldest uncle's there who would have cor-
rupted a saint. He was expelled for a very daring
disregard of discipline; got his father to put him into
a line regiment; took to drinking harder than ever,
and was cashiered for being drunk on duty and using
unbecoming language to his captain. Then he got
worse and worse, and died at four-and-twenty, poor
"Total abstinence would have saved him, father,
don't you think? "
If he had kept to it, no doubt. But I see your
meaning. Once a man has got into a habit of taking
more than he ought, I have no doubt that his only
'hope is in total abstinence. What I object to is im-
posing it as a duty on every one alike, and getting
children to promise they know not what. Not one
boy in ten will go through school and college, through
youth and manhood in any rank of life, without break-
ing an oath taken before they knew what they were
promising. Then, in addition to the sin of drunken-


ness, there is the sin of a broken oath, the sense of
disgrace, and the loss of what has been looked upon
as a safeguard. I think all this increases the danger.
But Mildmay takes the other side, and has a great
deal to say for himself; and as the instruction of the
young people is his business, and is not mine, I never
interfere; only I should be sorry a son or daughter of
mine joined the Union."
There is one thing that seems to me strong on
your side of the question, father," said Charlie, after
a little thought. "Mr. Mildmay spoke to-night in
terms of horror of all kinds of fermented liquor; but
after all, God made it. Wine was given to cheer the
heart of man; and the first miracle was to turn water
into wine. It seems to me ungrateful to condemn one
of God's good gifts so completely."
But," said Fanny Beresford, looking up from her
knitting, is there not an idea that the wine men-
tioned in the Bible was not fermented? "
If Bertram were here, he would tell us all about
it," said Charlie.
But, my dear Charlie, if wine was to make man
of a cheerful countenance, it must have been fer-
mented," exclaimed Will, "otherwise it would have
been like raspberry vinegar, Fanny's pet abomination.
And little cheerfulness is to be found in that."
"Oh, Mildmay told me himself that the idea was
untenable," said the squire. Well, I'm off to bed.
Good-night, boys and girls. Kiss me, Fan; and you,


Miss Pink-face, who did not get a prize for her an-
swering this morning. How came that, Georgie ? "
"No one had a chance with Amy Benson, papa. I
did my best."
And Benson is so pleased that it would have been
quite a pity Amy did not get it," added Mrs. Beresford.
Amy Benson was the orphan grandchild of the
Oakhurst housekeeper, and was being brought up in
the house.




HIARLES BERESFORD was to leave home
a few days after the cricket match; his
school days were over, and he was about
to enter upon new and untried scenes. An
offer had been made to Mr. Beresford by
his brother-in-law, Dr. Emery, a physician of
some note in London, who was now an elderly man,
and not likely, he said, to marry; and he wished to
adopt one of his sister's sons, and educate him to
be his assistant and successor. Charlie was the only
son of an age to profit by this opening, for his elder
brothers were already launched in life, and the other
boys were mere children. Mr. Beresford had spoken
of it to Charlie, telling him that for many reasons he
wished him to accept his uncle's offer, but that if he


had a dislike to the profession of medicine he would
by no means oblige him to do so. But Charlie
accepted gladly, and, by Dr. Emery's desire, he was
to return to school no more. He was to study under
his uncle's direction, living with him in Londoh for
about a year, when he was to go to Oxford. After
he had gone through college, he was to study abroad
for some time, and, altogether, he was not likely to
be much at Oakhurst Manor again, except for brief
visits. He was standing, thoughtfully, in the deep
bay window of the library, when his mother put her
hand upon his shoulder, and said, "Well, Charlie, so
to-morrow you begin your new life; I shall miss you
very much, my dear. Your long stay here since you
left school has been a very pleasant time to me.
We see so little of our sons when they grow towards
Very little, mother dear, and less of me now than
of the rest-except, of course, Frank, and he will come
home for good, I suppose, in a year or two."
Frank was the eldest son, and was in India with
his regiment.
Frank's a dear fellow, but you have made your-
self more my companion than he ever did. Frank
is his father's shadow, when he is at home; he
despises gardening and such lady-like pursuits.
Yes, I shall miss you very much, Charlie; but still
I am pleased that you should be with William. His
is a very lonely life."


"He must like it, though, or he would come here
oftener. You've begged him to come again and
again, and yet he has been here so seldom that I
hardly know him."
Quite true ; and yet when I first married Je was
often here. Dear Charlie, I have been wishing for a
talk with you before you leave us on this very
subject, for I feel certain that it is not good for a
man to be so wholly engrossed with one pursuit as
William is. Not that I have a word to say against
his profession, for in many ways it is, with one
exception, the best in the world. Yet I should be
sorry to see you, Charlie, as utterly given up to it
as he is."
She paused and looked thoughtfully at the honest,
intelligent face of her son.
Speak out, mamma," Charlie said, with a smile.
"That's not all that's in your dear old head. Tell
me what it is."
"Yes, 'I will speak out, for you area sensible
fellow, Charlie, and you won't misunderstand me.
You will be much with my brother William now,
and you will belong to him in a special manner; and
though what I am going to say gives me pain, still I
know I ought to warn you. If any one had warned
him, perhaps I should not now have to warn you.
For there was a time when I would have said that
of all the young men I knew, my brother was the
least likely to become worldly. He was so good, so


unselfish and charitable, I have known him to attend,
for months, people who could never pay him in
money. But now-perhaps I may be mistaken, but
I cannot help thinking that he looks only to making
a name and a fortune, and gives himself no time for
other thoughts."
"But it is not wrong, mother, to wish to make a
name and a fortune too, indeed. For I confess to you
that I should like to be a tip-top doctor one of these
days-have people coming from the country to
consult 'Beresford;' write, study, make my mark, in
short, if I can."
"Quite right, dear Charlie; what is worth doing, is
worth doing well, you know, But don't forget, my
son, that this life is not all; don't forget that you
have a Master to whom you must give an account,
and that you may be a great man here, and yet have
lost your place in the kingdom of God."
"And that would be a bad bargain," answered
Charlie, boyishly. "Yes, mother, so far in my life I
have tried to remember all that, but-"
"But what? Go on, dear. I am as much your
mother now as when you used to say your prayers at
my knee, with your dear little face looking so solemn.
Let me keep your confidence, Charlie, though I must
lose you."
No mother ever deserved confidence. better,"
Charlie said, kissing her. It's a thought that has
been a good deal in my mind lately. I was saying


that so far in my life I have not forgotten my Master
in heaven, but then my temptations have been nothing
to what they will be. No fellow ever was so lucky
as I have been. Bernard made school a very different
place for me from what some poor fellows find it.
Beresford minor was expected to follow Beresford
major, you know. Then at home I had you and Mr.
Mildmay; and, with my father's example before me,
I must have been a very wrong-headed fellow if I had
gone far astray. Now I shall be alone, in a new
world, among strangers. It's enough to make a
fellow think."
"I don't wonder that you feel thus, Charlie. The
time has come to you which comes, I think, to every
one-certainly to all boys-when the help and
guidance which surrounded your childhood must be
left behind. Not quite, though, for you will write to
me, won't you, Charlie ? and your father and I will
send you our advice. But still, you must stand alone
now; there is no denying that."
"The question is, shall I stand, and how? What
can I do, mother-you know what the life I am
going to is-how can I best keep up the memory of
my Master, and of all we have been speaking of?"
"By making that memory a living principle, my
son. Don't content yourself with remembering,
thinking, wishing; but do those things which will
please your Master, and leave undone those that He
would dislike."


"A living principle; yes, I see. Not a dead faith,
content to say 'I believe,' but a living faith, saying
' I obey.' Is that it, mother ?"
"Exactly. Do you obey, so far as you have light,
and He who gave you the light will give you more."
"Yet-don't be vexed, mother, but I must make
my meaning plain. You said that my uncle, you
are afraid, is not as religious as he once was. I
suppose the deadening influence of the world has
made him careless for religion. But I must be in
the world too, and what if it deadens my religion too?
Oh, Mr. Mildmay, have you come to say good-bye to
me ? I was going to run over to you after tea."
Mr. Mildmay came forward.
"Yes, I came to say good-bye, but I am in no
hurty. I see Georgie at work among the flowers, so
I can go and chat a little with her; don't let me
interrupt you."
"You will not interrupt us at all, Eustace," said
Mrs. Beresford; "on the contrary, you will help us
very much. Sit down, and answer Charlie's last
remark; you will do it better than I could."
"What is it, Charlie?" said Mr. Mildmay, seating
himself in the easy chair which his old pupil pulled
forward for him.
My mother and I were having a little talk, and
the question I asked is this. How can I, going alone
into the world, the influence of which has deadened
the faith of so many-how can I best keep mine


alive? I am not thinking, you know, that I can do
it, but how can I get it done ? You understand me,
I think I do. Grace being given freely to all who
feel their need, and ask for it, you want to know how
best to ensure that you will continue to feel your need,
and ask."
"Just so. For so many fall away, and yet if they
had continued to ask, they would have been kept,
wouldn't they ? "
"Certainly. My dear boy, your question is one
which no one could answer exhaustively; there are
so many causes for falling away. Any wilful sin,
allowed and habitual, bad companions, thoughtless
words of mockery, meant only to astonish some one,
but too surely reacting on our own minds and sapping
our faith in what we have allowed ourselves to seem
to doubt. All these, and many other things, begin
the evil. But I think, Charlie, that I may leave these
alone. Gross sin-would not be your first step astray,
and from bad companions I trust your uncle will guard
you until you have time to know them for yourself,
and avoid them.".
"And I never heard Charlie say an irreverent
word," said Mrs. Beresford, fondly. "But against
what, then, do you warn him, Eustace ?"
"Against what I believe to be the cause of more
evil than any other error you could name. Against
fancying yourself secure. Let us suppose that you


are tempted to become careless and irregular in some
acknowledged duty-going to church, for instance,
I take this, not because I want to put it before all
others, but to make my meaning clear. Some real,
unavoidable obstacle prevents your going as usual
once; you don't feel much the worse for it, and you
say to yourself, 'I am a Christian; it cannot matter
to me if I occasionally miss going to church. I am
not likely to fall away because I don't go as regularly
as I would if I had plenty of time.' But it is the
thin end of the wedge; occupation increases, leisure
lessens; not church going alone, but private prayer,
is shortened-grows colder; the love of God dies
out, the love of the world creeps in, and little by
little the man becomes a mere worldling."
"But still, that's only what happened!" said
Charlie, earnestly. What I want to know is, how I
am to avoid that ? "
"By living from day to day," was the equally
earnest reply. Some people seem to think that
because they asked for grace to-day, and got it,
therefore they are sure to have it to-morrow, even
without asking. You might as reasonably say that
because you had a good dinner to-day, you cannot be
hungry to-morrow. You asked for grace, and it was
given; in it you met and foiled the tempter for that
day, and in the battle you used the grace. Next day
will have its own temptations, and must have its
own grace, which must be asked for, and got in the


same way, or 'the victor of yesterday will be the
vanquished of to-day. Charlie, live from day to day.
Never imagine that you have a stock of grace and
strength laid by. Use all the means of grace dili-
gently. Pray constantly. Never think a temptation
is overcome finally as long as you live. Don't look
back except to repent; in fact, live from day to day."
Charlie's face brightened.
I see that's just what I wanted. From day to
day. 'Forgetting those things that are behind, I
reach'-no, 'I press towards the mark.' Is that
what St. Paul meant, do you think ? "
"' Forgetting those things which are behind, and
raeabhiug forth unto those things which are before, I
press towards the mark.' Like most of St. Paul's
many-sided sayings, it has more than one meaning;
but it does mean that also. I know you read your
Bible, Charlie, and I hope you won't give up doing
so. Even'a couple of verses a day will be a help to
you. It is able to make you wise unto salvation."
Charlie remained in deep thought for a few
moments; then he began a sentence with, But, Mr.
Mildmay, if you think-" there he suddenly stopped,
and blushed crimson.
If I think what ?"
Never mind, sir. It was a stupid thing to say."
"But you didn't say it, Charlie," observed the
Rector with a smile. And I know by your face that
something is puzzling you. Out with it."


I'm afraid you will think me impertinent, and I
should be very sorry to vex you."
"I promise not to be vexed. You think I have
contradicted myself somehow; but perhaps I may be
able to explain."
Mr. Mildmay, you always had that way of knowing
what I was thinking of. I may as well tell you now.
If we are to live from day to day, and never to think
any temptation finally overcome as long as we live,
why do you wish us to take an oath against one
particular form of temptation ?"
"Because that oath places a barrier between us
and the temptation. I never said that the mere
taking the oath overcame it. To keep that oath
requires daily watchfulness, daily grace. I never
fancied the victory won, because the oath was taken;
but I think you the more likely to gain the victory
because you take the oath."
Charlie made no answer for some time. At last he
I shall try to remember all you've said to me, Mr.
Mildmay. I cannot see quite as you do in that one
matter, but I understand it better now. I don't think
I shall forget your warnings-nor the pain you gave
yourself for my sake the other night," he added in a
low voice.
Early next day Charlie left his dear old home and
went to London to begin his new life.
Dr. Emery was not at home when he arrived, but


had left word 'that he hoped to return in good time
for dinner. Charlie was received by a butler, solemn
looking enough to have been a bishop, who spoke
in a slow, ponderous manner which nearly upset,
Charlie's gravity.
"My master was unwillingly obligated to absent
himself, sir. My Lady sent for him in haste."
Charlie afterwards discovered that Portman never
mentioned any patient of his master's under the rank
of my Lady B-" or my Lord C--."
"But you will inform Mrs. Price if you require
refreshment, sir; and she will show you to your
"When is dinner ? at eight? Oh, then I'll have
some refreshment, certainly, Portman."
"I will summon Mrs. Price," said Portman; but
he was not to have that trouble, for Mrs. Price, a fat,
alert looking little woman, whose tongue ran so fast
that she was often quite out of breath, bustled into
the hall at that moment.
" Well, Mr. Portman, to think of your keeping the
dear young gentleman standing in the hall all this
time! but you'd be slow if the house was blazing.
Mr. Beresford, come this way, sir. I've ordered a
tray to be brought to your rooms, and I'll show you
the way."
Charlie, used to be one of the younger sons in a
large family, was inwardly much amused to find him-
self the object of so much attention. If Willy was

1 '1
i h




here, he'd die of laughing," thought he, as he followed
Mrs. Price to a newly-furnished, comfortable bedroom,
with a sitting-room off it. Both rooms looked quite
pretty, and there seemed to be everything that the
most particular person could want.
"These are your rooms, sir. Master chose the
furniture himself, and very particular he was, too,
about the colour of the carpet and curtains. I never
saw him so taken up with anything as with the notion
of having you here, sir. Here's Thomas with the tray,
and I made Jemima fill the bath, sir. Is there any-
thing else you would wish for ?"
"Nothing, Mrs. Price. You've treated me like a
king-and a hungry one."
"Then I'll leave you to rest, sir. If you should
fall asleep, the gong will wake you."
"Fall asleep! no danger of that," remarked
Charlie, busying himself with the contents of the
tray, meaning to unpack his belongings afterwards;
but when he went into the bedroom to do so, he
found that some one had been beforehand with him,
and his clothes were all arranged in the drawers and
wardrobes. So he went back to the sitting-room, and
threw himself into an easy chair, with a book which
he took from the well-filled shelves, and there his
uncle found him, fast asleep and snoring-if I may
admit that my hero could snore-when he came home
to dinner.
"Who's there?" cried Charlie, half awake. "Is it


you, Will? Have I slept too late? Why, Uncle
William, I declare I forgot where I was."
Dr. Emery laughed.
"And everything else, I suspect. Well, my dear
boy, you are welcome. I hope you like your rooms.
You must tell me if you want anything more to make
you comfortable. How did you leave them all at
Oakhurst ? "
"All well; and my mother sent her love, and a lot
of fresh eggs. The rooms are perfect, uncle. I can't
quite believe that they are mine, just yet."
You'll soon feel that they are home, I hope.
Dress yourself now, Charlie; dinner will be ready to
the moment."
Charlie dressed, and ran downstairs just in time.
After dinner, his uncle asked him a few questions
about his studies, and tried to ascertain what his
tastes were.
"I hope you like the idea of being a doctor," he
said at last. It is not a profession to adopt if you
have a dislike to it."
"I like the idea very much, though I wonder I
never thought of it myself, because I always felt I
was not good enough for a clergyman."
"You had thoughts of entering the Church,
then ? "
No; only a vision sometimes. But Bernard is
so-well, he is so different, somehow-that I felt half
afraid. And then my father told me that you said


that if I were not afraid of hard work, I should do very
well; so I thought, if you would try me, I would do
my best. But I'm not clever, uncle."
"You are not afraid of work, then?"
"Not a bit. I like it. I like of all things a study
whichmakes you do all you know; but you feel you
are getting on; don't you know what I mean ? And
then it is so useful, so noble a profession! I am sure
I shall like it better every month."
"I think you will; and with the advantages that I
can give you, it will certainly be a better thing than
the Church for you. Bernard of course will succeed
Eustace Mildmay, but you might remain a poor curate
half your life. And you are not without ambition, I
hope ? that would not suit you."
"I don't know," Charlie answered absently. His
uncle's tone in.speaking of the Church as a profession
had rather chilled him, and he did not know what to
say. It seemed hardly honest not to say something,
and yet he did not want to be priggish," as he called
it himself. So he blundered out presently, "A fellow
might be ambitious as a clergyman, Uncle William."
"Quite true. There are few careers more fascina-
ting than that of a popular preacher; and it's not a
bad thing to be a bishop."
"I didn't mean in that way," Charlie answered,
colouring. "I meant-ambitious to do one's duty
thoroughly, and then, the higher the duty, the higher
the ambition."


Spoken like your mother's son," said Dr. Emery,
half sadly. "You are like her too-I see it now.
Dear Grace! she has managed to keep her illusions
in a wonderful manner. Women can, sometimes."
And men too, uncle, though they may not talk
about them."
"I'm not going to say a word to dispel yours
before your time, Charlie," was Dr. Emery's answer.

7 q -_... r



N due time Charles Beresf6rd left college,
and went to Paris for two years' study-
years which passed very swiftly and plea-
santly. He had taken up his profession with-
out any strong liking for it, but being one who
threw himself into any pursuit which became his
duty with hearty industry, he was soon as much inter-
ested and engrossed as even Dr. Emery could desire.
His uncle was never weary of praising him in his letters
to Mrs. Beresford, and always treated him as if he
were his own son.
And did this young man, in the midst of all the
temptations to evil-all the difficulties of his lonely
life in the strange, gay, wicked city-did he retain
uninjured the faith of his boyhood? Yes, by the


blessing of God, he did. Few indeed are so unspeak-
ably blessed as to pass through the trying years of
early manhood, with the right to say, "I have never
lost my hold on the faith into which I was baptised
in infancy; I have never forgotten the God I first
learned to know at my mother's knee; I have never
doubted the love of Christ my Lord." But there are
such men, and when we think of them we "thank
God, and take courage." Of these, Charles Beresford
was one; not that he would ever have used the words
I have written above, for he was too humble and too
little given to self-assertion to do so. His own account
of the matter was, "I have been such a lucky fellow!
First, you know what a father and mother I had!
Then at school I had Bernard, and there was Mr.
Mildmay always so kind. And in Paris, where I might
otherwise have been in great danger, I had Mr. Oswald
and Mary."
"Which leads me to tell you who Mr. Oswald and
Mary were.
It was soon after Charlie had begun his studies in
Paris, and it was Sunday. He had attended morning
service in the chapel of the British Embassy, and
was taking a solitary walk, feeling rather lonely and
dismal, for he did not care to pay visits, as most of
the other students were doing, and he had read until
he was tired, and hac written a long letter to his
mother-and still there were several hours to be dis-
posed of. So he set out for a good long walk. It was


rather late, and he was on his way home, when he
passed the door of a house in a quiet street, which was
open; and to his surprise, when he accidentally glanced
into the hall, a tall servant said in English, Walk in,
sir; you know the way to the drawing-room." Then,
perceiving his mistake, he said in very bad French,
"Pardon me, sir; I thought you were coming in."
Before Charlie could ask a question, a most extra-
ordinary noise was heard: a mixture of sharp barks,
little growls, and squeaks of terror, also a scuffling,
rolling sound-all accounted for by the sudden and
involuntary appearance of a beautiful little King
Charles dog, tumbling downstairs head over heels as
fast as he could fall. As soon as he reached the
ground, the little creature picked himself up, and,
frightened out of his poor little senses by his fall, flew
out of the door and into the middle of the street. The
servant gave chase immediately with an exclamation
of dismay, for a carriage was coming rapidly along
the street, and before he could catch the little dog
the horses were upon them both. Charlie caught hold
of the man and dragged him back just in time, but a
piteous squealing announced that the poor little dog
had got a kick. Charlie contrived to get hold of it,
and the carriage (which was empty) was soon out of
sight. He approached the door, carrying the dog into
the house, and at the same moment a young girl, with
brown hair hanging in pretty curls round a pleasant,
animated face, came running downstairs.


"Oh Stretton, you were in great danger for a mo-
ment I saw from the window. And poor Charlie-
poor little bonny Charlie Oh, sir, is he killed ?-will
he die ?"
This was addressed to Charlie Beresford, who was
examining the dog.
He makes so much noise that I hope he is not
badly hurt. Let me lay him down somewhere, and I
shall soon find out."
She opened the door of a room, into which he carried
his patient, and laid him on a table.
Oh, he is bleeding! exclaimed the girl. "My
poor little doggie, why did you run out and get killed ? "
But he is not killed, I am happy to tell you," said
Charlie. One of these ridiculous little legs is broken;
see-just here; and his nose is cut, but that will be
nothing. If you will get me some linen to make a
bandage, and a little stick-a pencil will do, to cut
into splints-I'll set his leg for you, and he will soon
be as well as ever."
The girl got all that he wanted with a quiet quick-
ness which made him think well of her common sense,
and she even helped him in his surgical operation,
during which the dog howled as loudly as if he had
been a mastiff of immense size, but when it was done,
he licked his doctor's hand with a little whine of gra-
titude. Charlie finished by laying him comfortably
on a pillow, in a basket, which his mistress produced
for that purpose.


"He will do nicely now," said Charlie. "If you
like, I can come to-morrow to arrange the bandages."
"Would it be very troublesome?" she said; but
very plainly she wished him to come.
"Not at all. I am a doctor-almost," he added
smiling, and this is my first independent patient.
Besides, you are my countrywoman-and my patient
is my namesake too-- so I will take down your number,
and cure Master Charlie thoroughly for you."
"You are very kind. Papa will be vexed if you
don't let him thank you, for you saved poor Stretton
from a serious accident. Papa will want to see you; but
I don't know whether you will like to come up or not ?"
She looked inquiringly at him, but he made no
answer, not quite understanding her.
Should you dislike it? she said at last.
He could not help laughing, as he replied, Why
should I dislike it ? "
"You don't know, then! I thought you would
have seen the people coming. My father is a clergy-
man, but he is unable from ill health to do any regular
duty-indeed, he is obliged to lie on a sofa nearly all
day; but he holds a meeting here every Sunday
evening for reading the Bible, and prayers and sing-
ing, and any English people are welcome. Will you
come up now ?"
Indeed, I shall," cried Charlie with alacrity. I
think my namesake's misfortune was a great piece
of luck for me."


Then as she led the way upstairs, carrying her dog
tenderly, he asked-
How did the creature fall, to begin with? "
"He was on the landing, and that clumsy Mr.
Arkwright trod on him, and when poor Charlie growled,
he shoved him away with his foot. I was sitting by
the window, but the door was open, and I saw him-
and he came in quite coolly, not the least ashamed of
himself. Wait here, please, for one moment, until I
put Charlie in my room."
She returned, and led the way into a large, pleasant
room, where a good many people, old and young,
were gathered round a sofa on which lay a tall, thin
man, who looked up and smiled at his daughter as
she came in. But he did not interrupt the reading;
and Charlie found a quiet corner and sat down to
listen. They were reading, each person a few verses,
and then they talked about what they had read. Mr.
Oswald took the lead, but not in such a way as to
silence others. Such meetings are most useful and
delightful when conducted by such a man as George
Oswald, who joined considerable ability to a wonder-
ful degree of tact. When the chapter had been gone
through in this way, he made a short address upon
the whole, drawing practical lessons and warnings
from it in a way which made Charlie feel that he had
indeed found a treasure in this house, entered, as we
would say, by mere chance! He afterwards found
that the meeting began by reading part of the Church


service, for which he had come too late. After the
address, the piano was opened, and there was a good
deal of really good sacred music; after which the
people went away one by one, but the little dog's
mistress came and asked Charlie to wait until all were
gone, and her father at leisure.
"Papa, are you too tired to be introduced to this
gentleman ?"
No, my dear. I saw you bring in a stranger-
an Englishman, I think-but what kept you so long,
Mary? Nothing serious, I hope."
"Did you not hear poor Charlie howling? "
"I'm not deaf, my dear."
"Mr Arkwright stumbled over him as usual, and
the poor little fellow fell all the way downstairs; and
the hall door was open, so he ran out, and got run
over! and so would Stretton, but that this gentleman
caught him just in time. And Charlie's leg is broken,
papa; but this gentleman set it for me, and says it
will soon be quite well again."
"You have obliged my daughter very much," said
Mr. Oswald, pleasantly.
"I think I am the person obliged," Charlie answered;
"I've had such a delightful evening, and I had made
up my mind to a very dull one. Sunday evening
in Paris, all alone, is rather dreary."
Then come to us again; come whenever you like.
We shall always be glad to see you. I keep open
house from five o'clock till eight every Sunday even-


ing, and we employ the time as we did this evening.
Mary, you have a very bad method of introducing
pebple-you have not told me your friend's name."
Mary laughed merrily.
"Because I don't know it myself, papa! I know
that his Christian name is Charles, because he said
Charlie was his namesake, but that is all."
"And I don't know yours. My name is Beresford
-Charles Beresford-and I am a medical student."
Mine is Oswald-George Oswald. I knew a man
of your name once-Frank Beresford. I met him in
Perhaps it was my father--his name is Frank."
"My man married a Miss Emery. Ah, then it is
the same. I knew your mother a little and your
uncle, Dr. Emery."
Here Mary, by a glance, called her father's atten-
tion to the fact that Stretton was bringing in the
"We are going to have some tea, Mr. Beresford;
you'll stay and have some with us."
This was the beginning of a friendship, the benefit
of which to Charlie Beresford it would not be easy to
exaggerate. Mr. Oswald had been a very popular
preacher in London at one time, but a painful and
incurable disease put an end to his active life. Still,
being a true follower of Him who went about doing
good, he could not bear to be wholly useless; and
being obliged to live in Paris, he found the way of


usefulness which I have described, and to Charlie he
was a real friend.
Now the two years in Paris were over, and Charlie
was to begin his work as Dr. Emery's assistant. He
had passed very fair examinations both in London
and Paris, and had what his impertinent brother
"William called "three-fourths of the alphabet trotting
after his name." But as he had worked very hard
during the last few months, and really required, rest,
his uncle sent him home for two months, to the great
delight of his own people.
Oakhurst Manor was beautiful in its autumn
colouring, when Dr. Beresford in a dog-cart driven
by his brother William came swiftly over the smooth
turf of the green avenue. His father was standing
on the steps watching for him, and raised a cheery
shout which brought out Mrs. Beresford and so many
brothers and sisters that it seemed possible that he
might be smothered before they could all satisfy them-
selves with hugs and kisses.
Mother, dear mother! how well you look-and my
father not altered a bit. Georgie, you've grown a yard
or more in these two years. Fanny, I'm so glad I can
be here for the event. Ben, my dear fellow, I didn't
expect to see you here; you're not ill though, are you ? "
Ill-no! I'm going to sea! Think of that,
Charlie; and I'm studying with Mr. Mildmay until
I go up for examination."
"Come in, all of you," said Mrs. Beresford; the


dear boy is actually starving, I am certain. Do come
in and let me give him some food."
"' The dear boy,' she calls him A physician, if
you please; duly qualified and empowered to work his
wicked will upon her Majesty's subjects. Grace, my
dear, you've no bump of reverence. When Bernard
is Archbishop of Canterbury shall you call him your
dear boy, do you think ? "
"Very likely, Frank; and so will you too. Sit
down, all of you, and let me get a good look at my
doctor. You are very thin, Charlie."
"Yes; I've been working very hard. Uncle William
wouldn't hear of my not having a holiday, though he
wants me very much. He has more to do than he
can manage. I am going in for a good rest, mother.
I mean to lie on the sofa, eating apples, and get
Georgie to read to me. Fanny wouldn't spare time
for that, I suppose."
Fanny blushed, and declared that she would, with
great pleasure, whereupon Ben remarked with a wink,
To-morrow and next day, she means. After that,
she'll be busy. Mother," added this impertinent
boy, "is it not on Thursday that you expect Fred
Palmer ?"
"Ben, when I was your age, I should have blushed
for myself in your place," remarked Charlie, gravely.
Times are changed then, Charlie; for it is Fanny
that blushes in this instance," replied Ben.
"It's a great piece of luck for me, getting home for


the wedding," remarked Charlie; I shall see Pauline
and Arthur, shan't I? And Bernard is coming too?"
"Yes; and Willie can stay for the wedding, and
Frank hopes to be with us next week. Even Robert
is to come home from school-so all the birds will be
in the old nest again, for once, at all events."
And a very tight fit the old nest will find it, Grace,
my dear. Palmer's brother is coming to be best man,
and a sister to help Georgie out in her duties as
bridesmaid; and where they are all to find room, I
don't know."
"Mr. Mildmay will give a room, and two of you
Sboys must sleep there during the eventful week,"
Mrs. Beresford said.
"I shan't," remarked Ben. Bob and I will stick
to our attic. Mr. Mildmay would take a mean ad-
vantage of me, and make me do double lessons, if he
had me at his mercy."
Is that the way you speak of me behind my back,
Master Ben?" said a voice from the window; and
looking round, they saw Mr. Mildmay standing there.
"I Is Charlie come ? "
He is, sir," Ben exclaimed, running to the window;
and if you promise not to cane me for what I said,
I'll help you in, and let you see him."
"Agreed," said Mr. Mildmay; and with Ben's help
he soon stood among them, welcoming his old favourite
with all his heart.

HE family, gathering a Oakhurst was al

came home in time for the wedding;
Bernard performed the ceremony, and all
agreed that Fanny was a very bonny bride
and that Mr. Palmer was a lucky young man.
Charlie's stay at home was drawing to a close; but
the house being still very full, Willie and he slept
at the parsonage; and thus it happened that one
night at about ten o'clock Charlie was walking down
the green avenue alone, his brother having gone
on before. He was walking slowly, for the moon was
behind a cloud, and it was very dark; when suddenly
he heard a cry not far off, followed by a sound as of
some one falling.




"Who's there ? he cried aloud; "anything wrong
with you?"
There was no answer, but he thought he heard a
long-drawn breath, as if some one was trying to
repress tears.
"Georgie, is it you? What trick are you trying
to play me, Miss Madcap "
A frightened voice replied-
"It's only me, Mr. Charles, Amy Benson, please.
I got such a start when I heard you coming that I
fell, and I have got caught in the ferns and can't get
up again."
"Well, then, I must help you, as it seems it was I
that frightened you. Here's the moon coming out
so that I can see you. There !-now you are on your
feet again. You're not hurt, I hope ?"
"I've twisted my ankle a little, sir; but it will be
better directly. But I must sit down for a minute
until the pain goes off."
The moon shone brightly now, and Charlie saw that
the girl's face was stained and swelled with crying.
"Amy, there is something more wrong with you
than a fright and a hurt ankle. Here's one of the
seats close by; let me help you to it. There, sit
down for a little, and tell me what is the matter ?
How came you here so late ?"
Amy burst into fresh tears.
"Oh, Mr. Charlie, please don't think hardly of me!
-for indeed I've done no harm."


"I'm sure of'that, Amy. But I am afraid you are
in trouble somehow. Can I help you in any way ? "
Amy made no answer, and he went on, "Is it
anything wrong with Dick ? I hope not."
Mr. Charlie, I have been down to Mrs. Rylance's
to see Dick and bid him good-bye; and granny
would be angry if she knew it. For she has for-
bidden me to see him. But you know, sir, we've
been engaged to be married this long time; and
when he was down for a day, and sent a message to
me, I could not refuse to go."
I knew that you were engaged, but I thought it
was all at an end, Amy."
"Oh no, sir; things like that can't be ended in a
moment. Even granny didn't say that; she only
told me I must see him no more until he has been
two full years in one situation. But indeed she is
too hard upon him. Mr. Mildmay has Ce highest
opinion of him, and yet she takes up a notion that
he is not steady."
"But, surely, not without some reason, Amy ?"
"She thinks he is too fond of change, sir. You
know he began as a gardener here, under Mr. Somers;
and it was then he first spoke to me. Granny was
not pleased from the first; she never liked poor
Dick, but says his mother and Mr. Mildmay have
spoiled him."
"He was a very fine boy," remarked Charlie.
"That he was, sir. I was going up to be examined


for a certificate-to be a schoolmistress; but Dick
did not wish that, and so as Mrs. Harley was leaving,
I asked the mistress to keep me as her maid for a
time; and then Dick said he was bound to try. to rise
in the world for my sake, and he gave up the garden-
ing, and got a place in Kingsford, in Mr. Atkinson
the lawyer's office. Dick is so clever, Mr. Charlie.
He writes beautifully and can keep accounts, and he
was thrown away working in the garden."
But surely Benson did not blame him for that ?"
No, not for that. But Dick drew some patterns
for vases for Mr. Paterson, the jeweller in Kingsford,
and they were so much admired, that Mr. Paterson
got him a place in London, in a great working
silversmith's house. And that suits him much
better, and he wrote to say he was settled at last,
and his wages so good. And then granny said she
wouldn't hear of it, that he was for ever changing!:
about, and hadn't a penny saved."
Here Amy broke down again, and cried softly.
Dick came to see her and reason with her, but
she said something that angered him very much,
and she was angry too. And so she ordered me not
even to write to him until he had been two years in
one place, and had a little money saved for furniture."
Well, if your ankle is rested, I'll see you to the
door, Amy. I will ask my mother to befriend you,
but don't go to see Dick again without your grand-
mother's knowledge."


"No, sir, I will not. But you will not tell her of
my having gone to-night, Mr. Charlie? She would
be very angry, and I couldn't let him go without
telling him that I-won't forget him."
"I won't get you into a scrape, never fear. Tell
my mother the truth, though, for she will see that
you are lame. Good night, Amy."
"Good night, sir; and thank you for all your
She limped into the house and upstairs, not a
moment too soon, for before Charlie was out of
hearing, the butler came and shut the hall door.
"That was a near thing," said Charlie with a
laugh. "Now for a quick walk, Mr. Mildmay and
Will must have got tired of waitipgfor me."
Away he went briskly, but he was not destined to
reach the rectory in a hurry; his adventures for the
night were not over yet.



HE moon was now shining brilliantly, and
Charlie walked quickly along the green'
avenue, on the soft turf which completely
deadened the sound of his feet. This
beautiful old avenue was formed by two double
rows of fine oaks; on one side, beyond the oaks,
lay the cricket-field; on the other, an extensive wild
and tangled coppice where the pheasants loved to
roost. In this coppice Charlie presently heard a sound
-a rustling among the leaves of the evergreens-a
stealthy footstep, and soon watching intently, he saw
a light appear for a moment in the distance. He
made up his mind to see what was going on; so, as a
beginning, he cut himself a stout ash stick from the
low wood, and then gently forcing his way through


the laurel thickets, he advanced cautiously towards
where the light had appeared.- There, indeed, -was a
young man, a slight, wiry-looking fellow, busy in
netting the poor pheasants as fast as he could. His
plan was simple, but effective. He flashed his lantern
suddenly upon the sleeping creatures, who of course
began to move and flutter, when he dexterously
caught them in a bag net, fixed to a hoop with a long
Charlie waited for some time, to make sure that
this enterprising person, whose face he could not see,
was alone; having come to the conclusion that he
was, he watched his opportunity, sprang upon the
poacher, knocked him down, put his knee upon his
chest, and took up the lantern (which had fallen but
was not extinguished) to see who he was. And who
should it be, but the old keeper's only son, Tom
"Tom, you unfortunate fellow! What possessed
you to do this ? "
Tom looked very sheepish, lying with. his head in a
great hart's-tongue fern; but he panted out-
"Let me go, Mr. Charlie; do let me go. It 'ud
break father's heart, it would. Let me go, sir, and I'll
promise to leave Oakley and never trouble no one
no more. Only don't break the old man's heart along
o' me."
"Oh, Tom, I'm so sorry for you. What ever made
you do such a thing "


Tom grunted, but made no other reply. In fact,
speaking was not easy under the circumstances: as
his captor was still pinning him to the earth. After
a moment's thought, Charlie continued-
"Tom, we know each other of old. We haven't
played cricket and football together for nothing, have
we ? I always liked you, you were such a manly,
plucky little chap. I should like to be your friend
now, if you will let me. You're alone here, are you
not ?"
Yes, sir, I am alone."
Then get up," answered Charlie, rising and re-
leasing his prisoner. Get up, Tom, and come with
me to the avenue, there's a seat there. I want to have
a talk with you."
He walked on as he spoke, and after a wild look
round, as if meditating flight, Tom followed him.
Charlie went to the seat where he had already had one
conversation that night, and made Tom sit down
beside him.
"Now, old fellow, the moon will set in half an hour
and leave us in the dark; and, what is worse, I am
keeping them up at the parsonage. Still I must have
a talk with you. Tell me-me, your old playfellow
and friend-how you came to do so foolish and so
wrong a thing as this ?"
Tom twisted about as if he was in actual pain; but
after a moment or so the kind familiar voice conquered,
and he said in a low, hurried way-


"I've gone to the bad, Mr. Charlie, and that's the
plain truth. I'm in a bad way altogether. Oh, sir, if
you'd believe me, 'the best and kindest thing that you
can do is to hold your tongue about this night's doings
and I'll promise to clear out of the place, and never
trouble nobody any more."
"And your father-good old Reynolds, who has
only you in the world, and who looks to see you take
his place when he gets too old for it, as he took his
father's-vould that be the way to save him from
trouble ? "
"It would," said Tom, earnestly. It would in-
deed, sir, if you could only see it. Father would
fret, no doubt; but if I stay on here, I shall just go
from bad to worse, and end in breaking his heart."
Now look here, Tom," said Charlie, suddenly, I
am not going to be satisfied with such statements as
that. There is no fate upon you, that you must per-
force break your father's heart; you can keep from
doing so, if you choose. And I'll help you to the
very best of my power, but you must begin by telling
me all about it-how it began, and what you've done,
and the whole truth, in short. Come now, old play-
fellow, out with it."
Tom wriggled convulsively, and looked into his
game-bag as if he rather wished he could change
places with one of the poor murdered pheasants.
Then he began, slowly and unwillingly, but after a
few words he spoke more frankly.


"It is along of owing money, Mr. Charlie; least-
ways I mean the pheasants began that way. That's
the plain truth. I had got into bad company, and I
had lost money more than I could pay easily, betting.
And says they to me, says they, 'You're a poor creature,
Tom, not to pay us with a few brace o' pheasants
when you could get them so easy, says they.' I was
struck all of a heap like at first, and yet I did it And
I've done it these two years now, and no one ever
suspected me."
"But you don't owe money still, do you ?"
"No, not now. I did it lately because I was drove
to it; they threatened to tell father if I did not supply
them with a certain number, and I would nearly do
anything to keep it from father."
You must have had a miserable life, Tom."
You may say that, sir. -I've been that miserable
lately, that I've had thoughts of throwing myself into
the big pond, and maybe poor father would think I
fell in by accident."
Yes; the way of transgressors is hard."
There's not a truer sentence than that in the Bible,
sir. Many a time I've thought of that verse, for I
learned it in Sunday-school long ago."
Then why did you go on in the hard way, Tom ?"
"I could see no way of escape, sir; and I don't
now, except to run away. Oh, Mr. Charlie, I'm all
wrong somehow, and I've never been right since I
made up my mind to keep my secret and deceive the


rector. You're so kind, I'll make a clean breast of it,
Mr. Charlie, and then you'll see whether there's a
hope for me or ,not. It was at the cricket match,
just before you left home for good; and you and
young Mr. Anstruther, that's in India now, brought
some beer and left it in the tent. I ran in to get a
drink, and I saw it there; I was awful hot and thirsty,
and there was a mug handy and no one near to see,
so I drank some. Well, in the evening Mr. Mildmay
syke, you know, and he says, says he, 'Any one that
has broken their oath come to me and give me back
their ticket.' I hadn't remembered that when I took
the beer, and I made up my mind I could not do it.
Mr. Mildmay would have thought a heap less of me,
and so would father, though he was against my taking
the pledge at first: he said he didn't see the sense of
it. And it would have got to be known-things do,
somehow, and Dick Rylance, that was always a con-
ceited chap, would have thought, 'Oh, he'd have been
quite too much for me.' "
Have you ever broken the pledge again? "
Odd times, sir. I don't care for much drink, only
a mug of'beer when it's hot. Poor father says some-
times, Them little barrels don't hold out as they used
to,' but indeed I never took anything stronger, and no
one but yourself knows that I ever broke my pledge.
But it has been the ruin of me all the same, near and
as much as if I got drunk, for I've felt such a liar that
I didn't care what I did. And so I've gone on, deceiv-


ing father, deceiving the rector, passing for a quiet,
decent lad, and all the time I've been out o' nights,
up to all sorts o' games."
And not getting much pleasure out of them, eh?"
"No, sir, not after the very first. At first I
thought how clever I was, and that I'd stop when
I liked and where I liked; but, dear heart, sir, it's
like rolling a stone down hill, there's no such thing
as stopping."
"Oh yes, there is, but it cannot be done by stealth,
Tom. I used to think you were on the right side.
I remember when we were all confirmed, my brother
William and myself, and a lot more; I thought that
you had made up your mind to serve God, but I'm
afraid you've been serving the devil lately."
"It's only the truth, sir; and he's a very hard
master. Ah, Mr. Charlie, what would I give to rub
out the last three years and start afresh."
"Now I'm right glad to hear those words, for
that's just what you ought to do. I think I can
help you to the fresh start; you know yourself who
can rub out the past, ay, and will, too."
"Mr. Charlie is it, after all my deceit and sham-
ming good-singing in the choir and all ?"
"After all that, and more; never you doubt Him.
Why here am I, a man like yourself, ready and
anxious to help you, because we were boys together,
and I like you; and will He forget that He died for
the love of you and me, and all like us ?"


"If I could think that," said Tom slowly.
"You needn't think about it; it's true, whether
you think so or not. A fact is a fact, whatever one
may think. Now listen to me. My uncle says that
now that I am to have a horse of my own, I must
have a man to look after him, and attend on me.
He told me to look about for some one here that I
should like. Now if you prove by your conduct
that you really repent of your past folly and sin,
and that you sincerely propose to do better, I will
take you with me, and the new life, so different from
the rather idle one of helping your father and doing
odd jobs in the stables, will be the best thing for
you; and, besides, it will remove you from your bad
"Would you really trust me, after what I've told
you, Mr. Charlie ? "
"Yes, if you act as I expect you will, Tom."
"What must I do, sir "
You must give back your card to Mr. Mildmay,
telling him the whole truth. You must see my
father, and tell him how you have been stealing his
Tom winced at the word.
"Stealing Oh, Mr. Charlie "
Well, what else is it? Those birds in your bag
are not yours, are they? They are just as much
your master's property as the sheep on the field
yonder. It's getting pitch dark, I declare, and


they'll think I am lost. But we won't call it stealing,
if you don't like. I don't want to vex you, old fellow."
"And father," whispered Tom; "must I tell him ? "
"We'll leave that to my father, Tom. Let him
decide. I would gladly spare him, but there may
be reasons that I don't see. Now, Tom, all this is
not pleasant, but it is the right thing to do. If you
do it, I shall know that you are in earnest. If you
don't, I shall know that your sorrow was only talk.
I must go now, and do you go home too, and think it
over quietly. I'll stay to breakfast with the Rector
to-morrow, and then if you come to him, I shall be
more glad than I can tell you. And if you feel that
you are not strong enough to do it, ask for strength.
You'll get it, never fear."
"Mr. Charlie, it's no use; I never could face the
Rector, and the master, and poor father."
"Yet you must face them," said Charlie, very
gravely, and One against whom you have sinned
more deeply still. But then it will be too late for
repentance. Come, old fellow, show yourself a man;
I'11 stand by you if you will make up your mind to do
what is right. For my sake, do it, Tom; for I feel
very much grieved at having brought the beer into
the tent that day. I know my father had ordered
that there should be none, and I thought it a foolish
thing to do; but now I see that he wanted to avoid
putting a temptation in the way of those who had
taken the pledge."


He got up as heispoke and stamped his feet upon
the ground, saying, "I am as cold as stone! Tom,
you and I are laying up quite a little stock of
rheumatism for the comfort of our old age. I must
go now, this is the path, isn't it ?-yes, and we are
quite near the gate, I think. I coaxed old Hetty to
leave the wicket open for me, so the poor old body is
not waiting, which I am glad of. Good night, Tom.
Ten o'clock to-morrow at the rectory; you don't
know how anxiously I shall watch for you."
Tom groaned dismally and went off in the direction
of his father's lodge. Charlie walked quickly on to
the 'fec:to.y, thinking over his two adventures. He
could not help laughing, serious as the matter was,
when he remembered Tom Reynolds' face as he lay
on his back, with the great fronds of the hart's-tongue
nodding over him. He found Mr. Mildmay asleep
on the sofa, and William Beresford asleep in an easy
chair; and, the spirit of mischief getting the better
of him, he slipped softly upstairs to the room which
he and his brother occupied together, and having
tumbled his curly brown hair with both hands,
rubbed his eyes to make them look sleepy, and with
slippered feet and many a loud yawn he. walked
downstairs and into the drawing-room.
"I say, Will, do you mean to go to bed to-night
at all ? Have you any notion of the hour ? it's past.
twelve o'clock. And Mr. Mildmay here, too, catching
cold, the fire having gone out! Why on earth are


you sleeping here instead of in your snug beds,
gentlemen "
Willie sat up and stared.
"Why, it's Charlie; and the rascal has been in
bed and asleep he exclaimed.
And that is where all well-disposed people ought
to be; all, indeed, who wish to keep out of the hands
of the profession," answered Charlie with great
"But," said Mr. Mildmay, "I don't understand
how this happened, Charlie., We were sitting up
for you."
"Is this what you call sitting up, Mr. Mildmay ?
I shan't engage you as a night nurse for critical cases."
"But when did you come in ?"
"Oh, I was late," answered Charlie, with a yawn.
But it was too loud, that yawn-too much of a roar,
and it aroused William's suspicions.
"You were late-what kept you? inquired he.
"I had adventures, but I shan't tell you of them
Where did they take place, Dr. Charlie ?"
"Green Avenue. Will, has my father been com-
plaining of losing pheasants lately?"
"Charles Beresford, M.D., A.B.C.D.E.F.G., and all
the rest of it, you are no better than a humbug.
You want me to believe that you saw poachers in
the coppice, and I distinctly refuse to believe it, sir.
Now I look at you, too, there's a wide-a-wake twinkle


in your eyes which does not look like a recently-
awakened man. Do my eyes twinkle, sir, or the
Rector's ?"
" "No, indeed. They look more like boiled goose-
berries than twinkling stars, Will."
"You stayed at home, chattering with mother,
sir, and then got up this sleepy appearance the better
to deceive us, after depriving us of our natural rest.
Charles, I'm ashamed of you."
"Charlie, Charlie to deceive your Rector in such
a saucy way," said Mr. Mildmay. "I really think I
must warn your uncle; I declare, William, he ought
to be put on his guard."
"It would serve him about right if you did, sir.
There's one o'clock; I'm as sleepy as an owl."
Charlie said no more about his adventures, but
next morning he let William set off without him, and
invited himself to breakfast with Mr. Mildmay, who
was very glad to have his bright, cheery company,
and they breakfasted together very pleasantly. But
as the clock on the iantelshelf showed that the
hour of ten was near, Charlie grew absent, and kept
watching the front door, which he could see from
his place. He will be in good time if he means to
come," thought he; and when ten struck, and no
Tom had appeared, he felt very sorry. But he had
forgotten that Tom would not come to the front
door; and, to his great relief, the Rector's servant
came in and said-


"Tom Reynolds, keeper's son, is in the study, sir.
He wants to speak to you."
"Tell him I will be with him in a minute," said
Mr. Mildmay.
"I'll tell him. I want to speak to him," Charlie
said, hurriedly, and went at once to the study.
"Tom, I am so glad You will rejoice as long as
you live-and longer, too, I hope-that you made up
your mind to face the truth. Shake hands. I'm sure
it's a struggle, but courage it will soon be over, and
you will then begin a new life, free-no fear of dis-
covery to make you miserable."
Tom looked pale and haggard, but he returned the
grasp of Charlie's hand warmly, and said, earnestly-
"God will remember this to you, Mr. Charlie. I
do believe you've saved me. Here's the Rector! stay
with me, sir, I shall have better heart to."
Mr. Mildmay looked from one to the other, and said,
"What is amiss, Tom ? your father's well, I hope."
"Yes, sir, thank you. There's no one bad that I
know of; but I have that to tell you that will vex you
sore, sir, and give you a bad opinion of me-which I
deserve, to be sure, so that don't matter. Mr. Mild-
may, I've broke my pledge-I've brought you this."
He laid the ticket before the Rector as he spoke.
"Oh, Tom! I am very sorry. When-how-did
this happen ?"
Then poor Tom, slowly and haltingly enough, told
the whole story of his errors; ending by confessing


how Charlie had "Icounselled him last night." Mr.
Mildmay was deeply grieved and disappointed, but
very glad that the poor fellow, who seemed truly re-
pentant, should have so good a chance of doing better
as was offered him by Charlie.
The confession concerning the pheasants was made
to the squire, and forgiveness was accorded kindly
and freely. But Mr. Beresford decided that old Rey-
nolds ought to be told the whole truth, as he was
certain to hear something of it sooner or later, Tom's
late friends not being likely to remain silent. This
was very grievous to poor Tom, but he obeyed with a
sad humility which greatly touched the squire. But
the keeper's dismay and anger knew no bounds.
"Thou art too old for a hiding, Tom, more's the
pity. To go a-killing the very birds thee was paid to
help guard! I reckon, young Tom, thee'll come to the
gallows yet."
Poor Tom was in the lowest possible spirits after
hearing this paternal prophecy.
Charlie went to see old Reynolds, in the hope of
softening him to his unhappy son.
"I wonder, Mr. Charles, as you'd trust the mis-
fortnet lad. 0' course he may go wi' ye-it's better
luck than he deserves. But I ha'nt a got a wink o'
hope he'll stay respectable-not a wink. What can
y' expect, when he'd go killing the master's peasants "
(Reynolds always spoke of the birds, as peasants),
"when his father was keeper, and my father keeper


before me, and his'n before he, I believe. It's good
of ye, sir, and like the family, but I wonder ye does it."
"But, Reynolds, Tom is really sorry, and I am
quite sure he'll retrieve his character."
He'll have to be a very sharp retriever to do that,
sir," replied the keeper. Charlie looked at him, and
saw that nothing was further from his mind than a
joke, so he smothered a laugh with some difficulty.
"You are very hard on him, Reynolds."
"Not a bit more so than he deserves. I could use
the big dog whip yonder on him with pleasure."
"And I'm sure I wish you would, father, and then
perhaps you'll be able to forgive me," said poor Tom
with a groan.
"Reynolds," said Charlie, quietly, "I'm very glad
that our Father in heaven is not as hard upon His
sinning children as you are upon your only son. It
would be a bad thing for all of us."
"Well, that's a true word," Reynolds answered
slowly. "And I do mind me now, when I was a
young chap well, there, Tom; you mend your
manners, and your old dad will never cast them
peasants in your teeth again."



N the midst of his excitement about Tom,
Charlie nearly forgot his promise to Amy
Benson; but he remembered it in time,
and spoke to his mother about her.
"I was greatly vexed when Amy told me
she had gone to see him-Dick, I mean; but
indeed it is partly Benson's fault. She ought not to
insist upon so complete a separation, when they have
been engaged to each other so long; though I think
she is right in wishing for a delay. Dick is clever,
but he certainly has changed about very often."
"But always for the better, you know. And if he
were married he would never run the risk. Call
Benson in, mamma, and let us talk to her a bit, but
don't betray Amy, mind."



Mrs. Benson was sent for, and came in, asking "if
there were any orders ?"
"No, Benson; sit down for a few minutes. Mr.
Charlie has been asking about Amy's engagement,
and being young, he feels great sympathy for the
young people; he is anxious to know why you have
parted them so completely."
You must think me an impudent, interfering kind
of fellow, Benson. But Amy is unhappy, and I am
very fond of Dick."
Dick! repeated Mrs. Benson with a kind of snort,
"everybody's fond of Dick, sir, except me, and I should
be fond of him too, if he didn't want to marry my Amy.
But I've no sort of confidence in him, Mr. Charles.
He's clever, and he means well; but he thinks himself
a deal cleverer than he is, and he mistakes his mean-
ings for doings. He talks-laws, he does talk, ma'am
-fit to make you dizzy, about working for his wife, and
that want and sorrow should never come near her,
and yet he has never laid by a pound towards fur-
nishing And when I mentioned this, he said as flip-
pant as you please, 'Oh, lodgings will do very well to
begin in,' and you know, ma'am, what furnished
lodgings are in London-dear and dirty, and the ser-
vant-girl looking like a sweep, as far as the face goes."
"But, dear Benson, Amy must know all that."
In a way she knows it, no doubt; but mark my
words, Mr. Charles, the workhouse is the furnished
lodgings she'd end in. Dick would give up the best


situation in London at an hour's notice, if a friend
said to him, This is beneath you, Dick; you could
make twice as much at so and so.' And he'd never
think how to live while he was learning the new busi-
ness; his mother would help, or I must help, or he'd
get credit. There's no steadiness in Dick Rylance.
I don't value his professions, because he thinks too
much of himself. I assure you, sir, I've heard him
talk as if he'd fought the good fight, like St. Paul, and
had no more to do, and no danger to pass through.
And to be plain with you, sir, I am always expecting
to hear he has had a fall like other folk, just to teach
him his mistake; and he'll be a better husband for
Amy after that than before."
Well now, Mrs. Benson, I will go to his employers,
and if I hear a good account of him, will you let Amy
see him sometimes, and let them write to each other?
Do, like a dear old soul."
To this Benson agreed, quite pleased by Charlie's
interest in the matter. In a day or two this pleasant
holiday came to an end, and "Dr. Beresford began
his new life as his uncle's assistant. Tom Reynolds
went with him, his new costume as groom making him
look extremely smart, though his father remarked he
"thought little of a man without he carried a gun;
but there, I'm not to name they peasants."



T was some little time before Charles Beres-
ford had leisure to pay a visit to Messrs.
J Brown and Keeffe's establishment, to find
out how Dick Rylance was getting on, but
t he did not forget his promise, and at last suc-
ceeded in getting a couple of hours to himself.
Having hailed a Hansom, he was driven quickly to
Street. The firm was an old-established one,
doing a very large business, and there were glass cases
containing cups, vases, centre-pieces, &c., in the shop,
some of which struck Charlie as being very graceful.
Seeing an elderly gentleman in a small office off the
shop, he went up to him and said-
"Can you spare me a few minutes, sir ? I want to
inquire about a young man at present in your em-


At your service, sir. Will you sit down ? and who
is it-the person you want to ask about ? "
His name is Richard Rylance. I have known him
ever since we were both boys, and I wish to know how
he is getting on here."
"Well, very well indeed. He is clever and indus-
trious, and I have no doubt he will get on."
I am very glad to hear it. And do you think him
steady? I ought perhaps to tell you why I ask these
questions," and in a few words he explained his
present interest in Dick Rylance.
Well, upon my word, I think your old housekeeper
may make her mind easy," answered- Mr. Keeffe.
"His wages are very good, and will rise; and we all
think well of the lad, though he is a little inclined to be
a prig; but if the young lady doesn't mind that, no one
else need. I daresay he is in the house-should you
like to see him? Marks send for Mr. Rylance."
In a few moments our old friend Dick, grown a tall,
handsome young man, whose golden locks and smiling
blue eyes Charlie would have known anywhere, came
into the office.
"Why, Dick! what a giant you've become," cried
Charlie, holding out his hand. "You know me, don't
you? I am so glad to see you again."
And I to see you, Mr. Charles," Dick replied; but
even in the surprise of the moment he did not relapse
into the homely dialect of his boyhood, but spoke cares
fully and well.


"You are a doctor now, I believe, sir? I have
heard how well you passed your examinations. It
was kind of you to come to see me."
"I should have done that in any case, Dick; but I
made what haste I could to do it, because I promised
Mrs. Benson to send her a report of you, and I have
some hope that my good report may be of use to you."
Dick's handsome face rather puzzled Charlie. At
first he looked pleased, but then a shade of embar-
rassment crept over his countenance, and he said-
"With Mrs. Benson, sir? I am sure you would
befriend me if you could."
And I can; for if I send her a good account of you,
she is to allow Amy to write to you, and you to her,
and you may see her when you go to your mother's."
Mr. Keeffe having considerately left them alone,
Charlie could speak plainly.
That would be a great comfort to both of us. But
may I ask, Mr. Charles, what she wished you to inquire
about ? for surely even Mrs. Benson has no doubts of
my steadiness! I have not been a Christian man so
long to fall into bad ways now."
She wanted most of all to know if you were still
in this situation, I think," Charlie answered. He
felt put out, and hardly knew why.
"I might have known that was it!" cried Dick.
" Mrs. Benson would have had me remain a gardener
all my life, for no better reason than because my
father was a gardener before me. She carries her


dislike to change so far, that I believe she thinks no
change could be for the better."
I don't think she goes quite so far as that; but
I am sure she will be pleased to hear that you are still
in this situation."
Mr. Charles, I shall be candid with you. I am not
likely to remain here long. They don't know it yet,
but I shall soon give notice. I find that my powers
are a good deal thrown away here; and I have a
friend who is a wood engraver, from whom I have
taken lessons in that art, and I am told I shall succeed
exceedingly well. And it is a much better profession
than this; so, for Amy's sake I feel it my duty to
make this change."
"I am very sorry to hear this, Dick; I think that
for Amy's sake-as you know how her happiness
depends on you-you ought to remain where you have
good wages and constant work."
"My salary here," Dick said, with emphasis, "is
very much below the income of a successful engraver;
and the employment is mechanical and tedious.
These things are all-and must be-so like each other,
that one has to strain one's invention to the last point
"to get a new effect, and when one succeeds it is only
perhaps a little less ugly than the rest."
I cannot agree with you. Some of these vases
are really beautiful as to form; and I think it no
mean endeavour to bring a little beauty into the form
of common things."


"I am sorry, sir, that I cannot better explain
myself. I am sure that if I could, you would agree
with me. Don't mention this to Mr. Keeffe, if you
please, I should prefer to announce it myself."
It will delay your marriage, Dick."
"Oh no, sir. Mrs. Benson says I must have a
certain sum laid by for furnishing, and I shall make
so much more at my new art that I shall easily regain
the few months I shall lose."
But in the meantime how shall you live ? "
I have saved a few pounds, and my mother will
help me."
Charlie could not help feeling that Benson's doubts
were justified. For Amy's sake he argued the matter
a little longer, but in vain. Dick was perfectly good
tempered and perfectly self-satisfied. At last Charlie
"I must go," he said. I am very sorry to have
nothing better to write home. By the bye, do you
know that Tom Reynolds-another of our old cricketers
-is with me in London You'd like to meet him. I
can let him have an evening any time you like."
"Thank you, Mr. Charles; but mother wrote me
an account of his sad falling away, and I think I would
prefer not to meet him. He must have been a dreadful
hypocrite, sir, to keep up a fair appearance so long.
I fear he will do no good."
And Dick shook his head primly.
" "Why should you think so?. He has the same


help to look to that you and I must have, unless we
want to fall too-perhaps even lower than poor Tom."
Oh, Mr. Charlie! you would not seriously liken
yourself or me to such an one as Tom Reynolds has
become. Why, I hear he has broken his pledge, given
back his ticket of membership, robbed the squire of
pheasants, and been hand and glove with some of the
worst characters from Kingsford."
"All quite true. Tom has had a bad fall, but he
has got up again, a sadder and a wiser man, and
started afresh. He is most sincerely sorry."
Well may he be sorry. I always say that as long
as a man keeps the pledge he is safe ; but once he has
broken it, I give him up."
"You speak as if drinking were the only'sin in the
world," said Charlie quietly. And I am afraid you
will find that other sins are quite as bad-as truly
sins in God's sight, and very hard to conquer, even
with His grace. Dick, old fellow, don't take it ill, but
there's a quiet pride and self-conceit about you that
makes me feel quite sorry for you."
Sorry Why so, Mr. Charles ?"
Because I fear that you are trusting in yourself;
in the fact that you have been kept from gross sin so
far, and forgetting that you may yet be tempted, and
may fall too, even after years of uprightness, unless
you have God's grace in your heart."
Dick looked half offended.
"Of course I know I must have grace," said he.


"But my trust is that He who has kept me so long
will keep me to the end. I have no fear, sir."
That's just why I am sorry for you, Dick, I wish
you had."
It would be want of faith," said Dick.
It would be common humility and common sense,
Dick. As Mr. Mildmay once said to me, 'Live from
day to day.'"
"Mr. Rylance, you're wanted," cried a little white-
headed boy, popping the said white head in at the
door. So the two young men parted, and Charlie was
obliged to write to his mother that Benson had been
right in her judgment of Mr. Dick Rylance.
A year passed, and Charlie was recalled to Oakhurst,
by the sudden illness of his dear old teacher, Mr.
Mildmay. He was with him to the last, and so was
the dying man's other chief favourite, Bernard, who
was to succeed him as Rector of Oakley.
I fancied I had a good deal of advice to give you,
Bernard," he said. "But I am weak, and -it has gone
out of my head."
You will be stronger by-and-by, my dear old friend,
and then you will remember all, I hope," said Bernard.
"I shall not get stronger, Bernard. Look at our
doctor-you won't. say I am likely to be stronger,
Do you feel weaker at this moment ?" Charlie
asked him; and Mr. Mildmay's face lighted up with a
half-amused, half-tender smile.


"Listen to the doctor, how he has learned to fence
with a question, Bernard. But never mind, Charlie,
I know the truth,, and believe me, I am glad to go.
Mine has been a darkly shadowed life, but there are
no shadows where I am going now. There has been
a grievous, unsatisfied craving at my heart ever since
my boy's death, but I shall be satisfied when I awake
after His likeness. How satisfied-how delivered
from the sorrow which has worn me out, I know not,
nor ask to know. I have His faithful promise, and
am content."
In this faith he had lived, and in it he died.
It was about two months after Mr. Mildmay's death
that Charlie received the following letter from his

"MY DEAR CHARLIE,-POOr old Benson is in great
distress, and I cannot convince her that you may be
unable to help her. You will be, as I am, both sorry
and surprised to hear the cause of her distress. Did
I tell you that young Rylance came here after dear
Mr. Mildmay's funeral, to attend which he came to
Oakley; and after a long talk with Benson, he ap-
pealed to yourfather, saying that 'Surely Mr. Beresford
would see how unreasonable Mrs. Benson's objections
were?' But when Benson explained that although
he had begun to make a fair income by engraving, he
was only just free from debt incurred while learning
his work and that he had refused to promise to remain.


constant to this, his last trade, your father declared
that to allow Amy to marry him would be madness.
Dick went away, evidently thinking us all very nar-
row-minded and hard-hearted, and matters remained
as they had been before. But Amy was restless and
unhappy, at which I did not wonder, as Benson could
not leave the poor child alone, but was always scolding
her for her folly about Dick. At last Amy determined
to go to London and pass the necessary examinations,
as had been her original plan, and become a school
mistress; and I really believe she had no other idea
in her head when she left us. She went to relations
of her father, and we heard no more until this morn-
ing came a letter, announcing her marriage, and telling
her grandmother that she and Dick sail at once for
New York, where he has got a fine situation as 'Art
Editor' of an illustrated paper: he is to have two
hundred a year and a share in the profits. Poor Amy
is very contrite, but declares that Dick knows that
granny would never consent to their marriage, but
would make one excuse after another. Benson is in
great tribulation, and she wants you to see Dick (I
enclose the address), and tell him that if he will only
remain in London and work as an engraver, she will
give him one hundred pounds to furnish a house
(marriage without furniture being contrary to all
Benson's notions of propriety), and will allow Amy
twenty pounds a year. This letter must be closed at
once if I wish to catch the post, so excuse all blunders


and see Rylance f you possibly can. All here well.
"Your affectionate mother,

Charlie hastened to the place named, but was too
late. Amy and her husband had sailed for New York
.the day before.
I have nothing to tell of the next few years of Charles
Beresford's life. He worked hard, studied much, and
advanced steadily in his profession. But he some-
times surprised and provoked his uncle, who was
nevertheless very fond of him. Charlie, on his part,
was like a very dutiful and loving son to Dr. Emery.
In almost all things he deferred to and obeyed him,
but there were matters in which he showed that he
was not to be turned from his path; and more than
once Dr. Emery was seriously annoyed. The first
event which showed him this side of his nephew's
character occurred before Mr. Mildmay's death, when
the following conversation took place between uncle
and nephew.
You must really go, Charlie. I actually asked for
the invitation for you, and Lady is so easily
offended. I thought you'd enjoy it so much-good
music, you know-and I greatly wish you to go.
Surely you are not so narrow.minded as to fancy that
you must begin your Sunday as the clock strikes
twelve? even if music were incompatible with Sunday."
"No, it is not that; but really there is so much


that I must do on Sunday, that I find it difficult to be
regular at church;. and when I am late on Saturday
night I sometimes miss the early service."
Never once, I declare, since you have been with
me. Why, you have actually shamed me into going."
Oh, I meant the eight o'clock service. But I'll go
to-night, Uncle William, as it might seem rude if I
did not, and it was very kind of you to get a ticket for
me. Only please don't forget Saturday night again."
"Indeed, I shall remember nothing that will help
you to make a donkey of yourself," Dr. Emery replied,
Then we shall have war, uncle! war to the knife,"
Charlie answered brightly. But there was something
in his manner which carried his point; his Saturday
evenings were left in peace after this.
Again, one evening Dr. Emery had a great dinner-
party, and he was rather vexed because Charlie disap-
peared soon after dinner; a poor woman had come
begging for assistance for her husband, a coachman
who lived in the neighboring mews, and who had got
a bad kick from one of his horses. Dr. Emery thought
she might have found another doctor, but Charlie had
made it a rule that he never refused to help those who
needed it, unless he really had not time; and once
more his uncle had to submit.
But by far the nearest approach to a quarrel was
when Charlie lost a rich and noble patient, who had
taken a fancy to him, by telling him candidly that he


would be quite well if only he did not eat and drink
too much, and neglect to take any exercise. Dr. Emery
was very angry, the more so because his plain-spoken
assistant was by no means penitent.
Things like this, small in themselves, sufficed to
show the doctor that his nephew would have his own
way when he thought himself in the right. For this
reasonhe was greatly annoyed at the attachment which
had sprung up between Charlie and Mary Oswald;
but being a wise man, he held his tongue, and hoped
that it might yet come to nothing. But one day, when
Charlie was nearly twenty-eight years old, he came
home from one of his flying visits to Paris, and told
his uncle that he had, with Mr. Oswald's full consent,
asked Mary to be his wife.
"My dear boy how could you do so silly a thing ?
And I think you ought to have asked my opinion first."
"Why, uncle, you have known all about it for
years. You've known it as well as I know it myself.
I told you years ago-all there was to tell-and you
made no objection."
"No, because I never expected it to last, to be
candid with you. But I think I ought to have been
consulted before you took so serious a step; I should
have spoken plainly enough when you threatened
a definite engagement. It will greatly injure your
Charlie was about to answer rather angrily, but
checked himself; and after a few moments of silence
he said very gently-


"Perhaps I ought to have spoken to you first; but
the fact is, that when I went to Paris I had no inten-
tion of making any change in the state of affairs
between Mary and myself. But I found Mr. Oswald
so much worse-he cannot live many months, perhaps,
not many weeks. He spoke to me of his happiness
in knowing that Mary would not be alone in the world,
and then I spoke to her, because I knew it would be
more comfortable for her by-and-by to know that he
had arranged everything. He looked upon it as a
settled thing, and I really was under the impression
that you thought so too."
I never thought it would come to this."
"Then, Uncle William, what did you think it would
come to ?" Charlie asked, laughing. "For an engage-
ment between two people who love each other as we
do, generally ends in a wedding."
"Not as generally as you seem to fancy. I have
seen hundreds of such engagements die out of them-
selves ; and I hoped that you would, as you grew older,
use your good sense, and become aware how fatal such
a marriage may be to the rising professional man.
Miss Oswald is a good girl, fairly, well educated, and
fairly well looking. But she is neither rich, well con-
nected, nor in any way likely to help you forward.
You will have a quiet stay-at-home wife, and the cares
of a family before you are forty. You'll be kept back
ten years at least in your profession, if not kept in the
second rank all your life."


But I shall, I trust, be very happy; and you
know I do not care so much for being in the first rank
as you do. It seems to me a poor exchange, to give up
all home ties, all innocent pleasures, and make my very
amusements part of my work, and gain-what ? To
be talked of, to earn more money than I want, and to
feel lonely and disappointed when the time for making
a change is perhaps gone by. But even if I agreed
with you, I could not help myself now, for Mary and
I have been really engaged ever since we grew up,
although we seldom talked of it."
"And when shall you be married ? "
"I don't know. Mary cannot leave her father, and
we have no idea of marriage while he lives."
You will find it a change," said Dr. Emery, drily,
"and not quite a pleasant one. You have hitherto lived
with me as my son, and had your own money as
pocket-money. And of course that will be over; you
cannot expect to bring your wife here."
Charlie coloured high.
Uncle," said he, gravely, "I wish you had not
said that-it is neither like yourself nor fair to me. I
have never squandered my earnings; during these
past years I have saved a good sum, which Will invests
for me. My income, with my salary as second con-
sulting physician at your hospital, is four hundred
a year; my father has promised me two thousand
pounds, and Mary has one thousand. So I think we
shall do very well."


"You've saved money! Really, Charlie, you are a
prudent fellow! "
"You see, I had Mary to think of," said Charlie,
No more was said at the time; but in a few months
Mr. Oswald died, and poor Mary was left alone, for
she had no near relations, except an uncle in Australia.
Charlie's sister Fanny asked her to stay with her until
her marriage; and when she was able to turn her
thoughts to such matters, she found pleasant employ-
ment in furnishing the house which Charlie had taken.
What happy hours they spent, these two, in searching
for furniture to their taste, and in choosing colours
which would harmonise with the well-known articles
that Mary had brought away from her Paris home.
There was not a prettier home in London than that to
which Dr. and Mrs. Beresford came home, after a most
happy quiet stay at Oakhurst. Dr. Emery had so far
relented as to be present at the wedding, and to make
the bride a very handsome present. But what Charles
and Mary were much more rejoiced at was, that in a
few months his visits (few and formal at first) became
more and more frequent, until at last he made his
appearance regularly every evening. Tom Reynolds,
now "the doctor's" right-hand man, as steady and
honest a servant as any in England, remarked slily to
his master that "Portman and Mrs. Price had easy
lives of it nowadays, a trifle lonely, mayhap. Dr.
Emery be getting quite a family man, for sure "



OUR years have passed since Charles
Beresford's marriage; quiet, happy years,
full of work, well and honestly done, and
"full, too, of peace and joy at home. Two
Snoisy children play now in a great airy nursery
Sat the top of Dr. Emery's house-yes, Dr.
Emery's, that is a fact and not a mistake of mine.
About two years after Charlie's marriage, his uncle
said to him one day at dinner-
"Charlie, I am going to make you an allowance
for my board, you know."
Charlie laughed, and Mary said, "No indeed, you
shall not. We like to have you here."
But I don't like to be here, my dear Mary."
Then you are a great hypocrite, uncle, for any
one would think you did."


"No, I don't. The house is too small, you see;
I have to sleep and keep my horses and carriages at
No. 16. If we had only one establishment, with Mrs.
Charles Beresford at the head of it, we should be
more comfortable-at least, I should."
Mary looked at her husband, and he looked at her.
After this mute consultation Charlie said-
"Well, uncle, if you really mean that, I think it
might be arranged. But pray, what will Portman
and Mrs. Price say to a mistress? for Mary is her
own housekeeper, you know."
"Price is leaving me. She has saved money, and
I shall give her a small pension. I am quite serious
in wishing this; but I can quite understand that you
may not wish it as much as I do. But, in truth,
Charlie, I am getting old, and I long for a cheerful
home and-and for you, Charlie. I was a fool to let
you leave me."
Say no more, uncle. I am your son, you know,
and Mary and I owe everything to you."
Both parties being in this mind, matters were easily
arranged, and William Emery wrote to his sister that
he had never been so happy since her marriage left
him lonely. She remarked that from this time, the
worldly, hard, and ambitious tone disappeared by de-
grees from his letters, and before very long she knew
that she had found the brother of her youth again.
This change was a great happiness to Mrs. Beresford,
who dearly loved her brother, but it added to her


happiness to know that it was brought about by her
son. Not that Charlie had ever consciously influenced
his uncle; had le tried to do so, he would probably
have only succeeded in making him angry; but there
was a power in his steady, consistent Christian walk
which made itself felt, all the more for being so quiet.
By this time the Beresfords had lost all knowledge
of Amy Rylance. Good old Benson was dead, and so
was Dick's mother, to whom he had written regularly.
Amy's silence had begun even during her grand-
mother's life, so that they had not been able to make
known to her that the affectionate old woman was
dead. Benson had saved three hundred pounds, which
she confided to Charlie's care for her poor Amy, who
would come to want it sorely yet." She bid him use
it for Amy and her children, and not to let Dick get
hold of it.
One evening Charles Beresford was driving home
rather late; he was in a hurry, for he feared they
would be waiting dinner for him, and yet he could
not drive quickly because there was a nasty thick fog,
and the streets he was in were narrow and crowded.
Presently a denser crowd blocked up the way, and
:shouts were heard. Charlie drew up and called to his
-trusty Tom.
"Jump down, Tom, and see if there's a chance of
our getting through. What a row they are making."
There's a fight going on, sir, but I see a police-
man coming. I'll see if we have a chance."