The Baldwin Library
|) Madge and Ber Cor Recruits.
ws QQEMPERANCE SRALE.
E 6. E,
Author of â€œ Ethel Clemence,â€™ â€œ Mattieâ€™s Happy Home,â€ â€œ AimÃ©e,? &Â¢t.
** Absence of occupation is not rest,
A mind quite vacant is a mind distressâ€™d.â€
JOHN S MARR AND SONS,
51 DUNDAS STREET.
CHAP. 3 PAGER
I. Tue First River 1n THe BAND or Hore CHAIN, . 5
II. In tox Hosprran Warp, , 0 9 . 13
Ill Toe Dawn or Licut, â€˜ ; , . . 21
IV. Unconscious INFLUENCE, . c . 0 30
V. â€œIr av First you Donâ€™r SuccrEpâ€”Try Agatn,â€ 7 38
VI. A PracticaL View or ToTaL ABSTINENCE, 3 a 47
VII. Manpcerâ€™s First Recruits, . . 7 . . 55
VIII. A Curtous ADVENTURE AND ITs CONSEQUENCES, : . 65
IX. ExampLe BerrerR THAN PRECEPT, . 3 7 . 77
X. Home once Mors, . : a 5 . . 88
XI, More Recruits anp A Great Opsect GAINED, . 0 97
XII. A Treat or FLowers, : - . . . lll
XIU. THe Excursion, . ; ' 0 e . 120
MADGE AND HER TEN RECRUITS.
THE FIRST RIVET IN THE BAND OF HOPE CHAIN.
â€˜Do what you can for fellow-man
With honest heart and true,
Much may be done by every one,
Thereâ€™s work for all to do.
Though you can do but little,
That littleâ€™s something still ;
Youll find a way for something,
If you but have the will.
Be kind to those around you,
To charity hold fast,
Let each think first of others
And leave himself till last.
Act as you would that others should
Act always unto you ;
Mvci MAY BE DONE BY EVERY ONEâ€”
THEREâ€™S WORK FOR ALL TO DO.â€
Ir was a bleak cold evening in winter, and the misty rain
and sharp wind pierced the thin scanty clothing of two
children, who, though not begging, were aimlessly wandering
up and down a quiet street. â€œO Madge, come home!â€
pleaded the smaller of the two. â€œIam so cold, and tired,
and hungry; do let us come home.â€
6 THE FIRST RIVET IN THE BAND OF HOPE CHAIN.
Poor Madge! was she not the same, and anxious into the
bargain? â€œLet us sit down here, Nellie,â€ she said coaxingly,
â€œand I will take you on my lap to keep you warm. We
canâ€™t go home yet, because of fatherâ€”there now, isnâ€™t that
better?â€ and she wrapped her thin shawl round the shiver-
ing child and held her close.
But Nellie was not so easily pacified. â€œItâ€™s not much
better,â€ she whined, then breaking into a cry, she sobbed, â€œO
Madge, come home, itâ€™s so cold here, and Iâ€™m so tired.â€
Madge knew it would be useless to go home yet. The church
clock had just chimed, and she well knew that a long time
must pass before there was even a chance of her father
coming out of that brilliantly-lighted public-house at the
corner, where he spent his evenings. She wanted to be near
to take him home, and besides, to-night he had locked the
door, or she could have put little Nellie to bed, and come
out again to wait for him; so nothing remained to be done
but be patient, and try to amuse the weary little child.
â€œSee, Nellie,â€ she said cheerfully, â€œall these boys and girls.
I wonder where they are going! What a lot! seven, eight,
nine; how they run!â€ Nellie stopped crying, interested in
watching the children, who were hurrying along in all direc-
â€œLook, Madge!â€ she cried, emerging from the shawl, that
she might see better, â€œthere are more coming down the other
way, all going to the same place; big people, too; thereâ€™s a
woman with a baby in her arms.â€
â€œShall we go too?â€ said Madge, whose own curiosity was
THE FIRST RIVET IN THE BAND OF HOPE CHAIN. 7
now aroused. â€œHere, take my hand, and we'll see what
Following the stream of people round a corner, they came
to a brightly lighted house: the door stood open invitingly,
but Madge and Nellie held back, although all the others
hurried in as if quite at home.
â€œCome along,â€ said a man who stood inside, â€œarenâ€™t you
_coming in? the meeting is just going to begin.â€
â€œWe didnâ€™t know we might, sir,â€ said Madge.
â€œTo be sure,â€ said the man good-naturedly, â€œevery one is
welcome at the Band of Hope; the more the better; here
are more children, in with you all, or you'll be late,â€ and
almost before Madge knew what she was doing, she found
herself and Nellie seated in such a nice, warm, bright room,
filled with people of all ages, young and old. Nellie had
forgotten her troubles in the pleasure of this new scene. So
Madge was quite satisfied; this was a much nicer place to
wait for father in, and if Nellie was good and happy that was
the chief thing. So she gave herself up to enjoying herself
for once, and looked about with great interest. At the
farthest end of the room was a table, behind which sat some
gentlemen, and on which Madgeâ€™s sharp eyes spied rows of
shining silvery things like half-crowns ; what could they be
for? Presently one of the gentlemen gave out a hymn,
every one stood up, Nellie and Madge doing whatever they
saw the others do, and Madge found herself joining quite
loudly in the chorus, for she had a quick ear, and a sweet
little voice, and the words and tune of
8 THE FIRST RIVET IN THE BAND OF HOPE CHAIN,
â€˜*Rescue the perishing,
Care for the dying,
Jesus is merciful,
Jesus will save,â€
were just as easy and far prettier than the songs she knew
well from hearing so constantly in the streets. Then every
one knelt down and aclergyman prayed. Madge did not
quite take in all his words, but she listened and liked what
he said. Then after a pause one of the gentlemen stood up,
and said he was now going to give away medals to all those
members who had kept their pledges faithfully for a year;
and while Madge was wondering what he meant, he began
to call out different names, when boys, girls, men, and women
from different parts of the room went up, each to receive
one of the shining things which Madge had seen on the
table, and which they now fastened on their coats, suspended _
_ by a blue ribbon. The two children gazed at this strange
scene with the deepest interest until every medal was gone,
and the noise of clapping (in which Nellie had assisted until
her little hands were quite hot) had subsided; then the
gentleman said he had still to give away the highest prizeâ€”
that for obtaining ten recruits, and he called on Janie Wilson
to come up for it. To Madgeâ€™s great surprise, the people on
the row with her began to make room, and a little girl who
sat next to her got up, smiling and blushing, and went up
to the table. As Janie passed, Madge saw that she already
had a medal and blue ribbon on, so she wondered what she
was to get, but as she returned to her seat, she held in her
THE FIRST RIVET IN THE BAND OF HOPE CHAIN. 9
hand a little silver bar, which she began to fasten on the
ribbon. Seeing Madge watch so earnestly, she said, â€œ Look,
isnâ€™t it pretty ?â€
â€œVery,â€ replied Madge, â€œbut what is it? and why did you
â€œThe medal is because I have been a year a teetotalerâ€”
never drink spirits or. anything like that, you knowâ€”and
the bar is because I got ten other people to sign, or promise
they wouldn't either.â€
â€œ How nice,â€ said Madge admiringly. â€œI would like to
â€œWell, will you sign?â€ said Janie eagerly. But just then
there was a cry of â€œ Hush-sh,â€ and a woman sitting behind
tapped them sharply on their shoulders, so Madge did not
answer. Another gentleman began to speak so simply and
plainly that she understood every word he said. He told
several stories which made the children laugh, but chiefly
he spoke in an earnest way of the sin and misery caused by
drink, which went to Madgeâ€™s very heart, and when alluding
to homes which had once been happy, but were rendered
wretched by drunken fathers, who spent all their earnings on
drink while their children starved, Madge started and looked
at the gentleman, quite sure he was speaking of them, but
he was looking another way, and she remembered with a
sigh that there were plenty of other poor children as sad
and wretched as they were. In conclusion he said, â€œ This is
a great war which we have to carry into the enemyâ€™s camp,
and if we mean to win, we must be like true soldiersâ€”brave.
10 THE FIRST RIVET IN THE BAND OF HOPE CHAIN.
and steady. I iment a great many in this room to-night
have already signed, but there may be some who have not,
and to them I address myself particularly. I beg of you not
to go home before joining our ranks, by signing our Band of
Hope pledge. Let no one say, â€˜J am of no consequence; or,
â€˜What good could J do by joining?â€™ We want every one to
join. The grandest castle in the world is formed of multitudes
of stones, all different sizes and shapes, but cemented together
by mortar into one grand edifice; let us be like that; you can-
not all be the polished handsome stones, but you can be like
the useful mortar that binds them together, filling every chink.
If every one here who has not yet signed will do so to-night,
and will then try each to get one more before our next meeting,
what a fine addition to our ranks that would be! At the
close of this meeting any one who wishes can be given a
pledge-card; do let me once more urge on you not to lose
this opportunity ; who knows if you may have another?â€
He sat down, and the closing hymn was sung. Madge pon-
dered over the words she had heard. Young as she was,
poor child, she had seen enough of the evils of drink to
make her feel she would do anything to put an end to it;
the gentleman had said he hoped nobody would go away
without signing, but she was a stranger, too shy to go for-
ward alone. While she was thinking what she should do,
her neighbour touched her arm, saying pleasantly,
â€œWell, will you join?â€
â€œT donâ€™t know how,â€ answered Madge. â€œI'd like to, but
THE FIRST RIVET IN THE BAND OF HOPE CHAIN. 11
â€œQh nonsense,â€ replied the other, â€œitâ€™s so easy; and itâ€™s
so nice to feel you belong to the Band of Hope. Yow donâ€™t
want ever to drink, do you?â€
â€œOh no, no,â€ said Madge with a shudder, â€œindeed, I donâ€™t.â€
â€œWell then come with me, Iâ€™ll show you what to do.â€
Madge got up, holding her little sisterâ€™s hand, and followed
her new friend shyly to the table. One of the gentlemen
looked up with a smile, saying, â€œJanie Wilson is an inde-
fatigable agent; here she is with a new recruit. Well, Janie,
are you going in for another bar ?â€
â€œ Please, sir, this is a little girl who would like to sign,
but doesnâ€™t know what to do,â€ said Janie, â€œso I brought her
up ; she may sign, maynâ€™t she ?â€
â€œ Of course, indeed she may,â€ said the gentleman kindly ;
then turning to Madge he said, â€œ Well, my little girl, what is
your name ?â€
â€œ Madge Stevenson, sir.â€
â€œWhere do you live?â€
â€œTn 3 Back Lane, sir.â€
â€œHow old are you?â€ Madge was not sure; she only
knew she was a great deal older than Nellie.
â€œNo matter,â€ said the gentleman, â€œI daresay you are
old enough to understand what it is you are going to do;
listen now while I explain it.â€ He then clearly explained
the nature of the pledge, and made Madge repeat after him
that by Godâ€™s help she would â€œabstain from all intoxicating
drinks as beverages.â€ Then he filled up a little card, and
desired her to sign her name. Poor Madge thought it was
12 THE FIRST RIVET IN THE BAND OF HOPE CHAIN.
all up, for she could not write; but the gentleman wrote the
name for her, and showed her where to put her mark. How
proud and happy she felt when he gave her the pretty
little card, telling her to keep it safe, and that she was now
a regular member of the Band of Hope! Nellie was tired
out with the eveningâ€™s excitement, and was almost asleep ;
so Madge took her in her arms, waiting patiently near the
door of the public-house until her father should come out.
The words of the hymn â€œ Rescue the perishing, care for the
dying,â€ rang in her ears; while she went over in her mind
what she had heard about the war needing brave soldiers,
or the castle needing many stones, and wondered if she was
like the mortar now that she had taken the pledge, and
would she ever become one of the great stones, until she
nearly fell asleep sitting on the cold doorstep.
IN THE HOSPITAL WARD.
On lifeâ€™s ocean wide
Your fellow-creatures guide,
And point to a shore beyond the stormy tide!
What is marred make right,
What is severed unite,
And leave whereâ€™er you go loveâ€™s golden thread of light !
JOE STEVENSON when sober (now, alas! a rare occurrence)
was not unkind to his children ; indeed, at one time he had
deen an affectionate, loving father; but so long ago that
Nellie had quite, and Madge almost, forgotten it.
The recollection therefore of the weary, patient, cold little
children, waiting outside the public-house for him that bitter
evening, caused him severe self-reproach next morning. It
was only Tuesday, yet what had become of his Saturdayâ€™s
wages? True, some had gone for the rent, and some to
Madge to buy food and fire; but what of the rest? He well
knew it had gone for his own selfish gratification in three
evenings at the â€œpublic.â€ With mind and body both
uncomfortable, he turned from the scanty allowance of stir-
about prepared by Madge for breakfast, and went out to try
to seek work, having been told by his employer on Satur-
day that he need not come back again, as he was too
unsatisfactory. But what was in reality the prickings of.
conscience, the children very naturally mistook for an
increase of bad humour; so that they felt a sense of relief
14 IN THE HOSPITAL WARD.
when the door closed after him, and they were able to
speak to each other without fear of a harsh word or blow.
â€œDo you know what day this is, Nellie?â€ asked Madge,
as she washed up the breakfast things, giving them carefully
to her little sister to dry and put in their places.
â€œ Visiting day,â€ answered Nellie brightly.
â€œYes,â€ replied Madge. â€œWe'll see mammie to-day, and
tell her all the news. I wonder what sheâ€™ll say when she
hears Iâ€™m a Band of Hope!â€
â€œWon't you show her your nice little book that the
gentleman wrote your name in?â€ asked Nellie.
â€œTo be sure I will,â€ answered Madge. â€œIâ€™ve got a bit of
clean paper to wrap it in, to keep it from getting soiled.
Wonâ€™t it be nice when I get a medal with a blue ribbon!
I mean to get a silver bar too, like the little girl that sat
â€œ How will you get it?â€ asked Nellie with interest.
â€œ By getting ten people to sign their names,â€ said Madge.
â€œTâ€™d like one too,â€ said little Nellie, â€œI want to be a
Band of Hope.â€
â€œYouâ€™re too little yet,â€ said Madge. â€œThe gentleman
said so; but maybe you'll be big enough to be the last of my
â€œWho will they be?â€ asked Nellie. â€œI wish youâ€™d get
A shade crossed Madgeâ€™s face, indeed she wished so too;
but there was almost nothing she would dread more than to
speak to him on the subject. â€œCome along now,â€ she said
IN THE HOSPITAL WARD. 15
to her little sister, â€œitâ€™s time we were going to see mother;
â€˜T'll dress you first, and you must stay quiet till Iâ€™m ready.â€
Soon they were ready to start. Madge took Nellieâ€™s hand
as they walked through the crowded strects to the hospital
where their mother was. Madge had been there so often,
that she was not shy now when they passed through the
big gates and went into the large hall, where the good-
natured porter nodded to them, telling them they might go
up. Nellie tightened her hold of her sisterâ€™s hand, as they
went up flight after flight of scrupulously clean stairs, along
corridors, into a large airy room, with long rows of white
â€˜beds down each side, and tables down the middle, on which
were scrap-books, flowers, &c.
Many a languid eye followed the children as they passed
down the room without even glancing around them, till
they reached almost the end; then with a cry of joy they
sprang forward, half. pacers their mother with kisses.
The sick woman raised herself on her elbow, holding out
both her hands. â€œO mammie! mammie!â€ said Madge,
kneeling down beside her, â€œI am so glad to see you!â€
Little Nellie climbed up into the bed beside her mother, and
with her arms tight round her neck, hugged her with all
her might, smiling defiance at the nurse, who, passing by,
warned her it was against the rules to get into the beds.
â€œ And how are you, mammie?â€ asked Madge.
â€œ Better,â€ answered her mother cheerfully, â€œThe doctor
says Iâ€™m doing nicely.â€
â€œWhen may you come home?â€ asked Madge.
16 IN THE HOSPITAL WARD.
â€œT donâ€™t know that,â€ said Mrs. Stevenson. â€œHe hasnâ€™t
said a word of that yet.â€ -
â€œÂ© mother! we do want you so much,â€ said poor Madge.
â€œDo you think I donâ€™t want you too?â€ said her mother
softly, stroking her hair. â€œHow is father?â€
Another cloud passed over Madgeâ€™s face as she replied,
â€œHeâ€™s very well.â€
â€œTI thought maybe he would come to-day to see me,â€ said
his poor wife wistfully.
â€œHe went out to seek work,â€ said Madge, then turning
the subject, she exclaimed, â€œO mammie, do you know
where we went last night? It was so nice, and now I ama
Band of Hope, a member, you know; and Iâ€™ve promised I'll
never again take anything to drink.â€
â€œ* Never take anything to drink!â€™ bless the child, what
does she mean?â€ exclaimed Mrs. Stevenson in surprise. -
Madge produced from her pocket a tiny parcel, and
unwrapping several papers, took out her little pledge-card,
saying, â€œHere it is; now, mammie, read what is on it, and
youâ€™ll know all about it.â€
Mrs. Stevenson took the card, but her eyes were weak,
and the print small, so she gave it back to Madge.
â€œGive it to me, child,â€ said a woman in the next bed, â€œIâ€™m
a good scholard, I'll read it for her.â€
Madge did so, and the woman slowly and carefully read:
â€œTI hereby promise, by Godâ€™s help, to abstain from all intoxi-
cating liquors (â€˜that means whisky, or beer, or porter,â€™
explained Madge, â€˜the gentleman told meâ€™) as beverages,
IN THE HOSPITAL WARD. 17
and I consider this promise binding until I return this card
of membership, or have my name removed from the roll of
Madge then gave a minute account of their adventures
the night before, detailing every word almost that she could
remember. While not only her mother, but the women at
each side of her, listened attentively. â€œYou donâ€™t mind my
signing, mother, do you?â€ she asked in conclusion.
â€œMind! indeed I donâ€™t,â€ answered her mother. â€œIâ€™ve
seen enough of drink to make me hate it; but there was
nothing of this sort in my day, or Iâ€™d have joined it too
â€˜myself. Iâ€™d be only thankful to feel sure that no child of
mine would ever touch a drop of it.â€
Madge was surprised at this outburst from her usually
quiet mother, but she only answered, â€œ Well, then, mammie,
when you come home, you can join and be the first of my
ten recruits.â€ Mrs. Stevenson smiled, and said she would.
â€œDrink is a bad thing,â€ remarked one of the women.
â€œTeetotalism is good, Iâ€™m sure, though I donâ€™t know much
of it myself.â€
â€œMaybe it would be better for you, maâ€™am, if you did,â€
observed the nurse politely, as she, too, listened attentively
to the conversation. The woman winced a little. Nurse
Mooney knew more about her private affairs than she cared
to be made public, and could, if she chose, disclose the
fact that drink had been the cause of the accident which
brought her to the hospital.
I wish the Parliament would make a law that not a
18 IN THE HOSPITAL WARD.
drop of liquor could be sold; itâ€™s a curse to the country,â€
said Mrs. Stevensonâ€™s other neighbour. â€œOnly for it I
wouldnâ€™t be here now.â€
â€œYou! Mrs. Tracy,â€ exclaimed the nurse. â€œWhy, I
thought you were the soberest woman in the place; even
when you were ordered stimulants you wouldnâ€™t take it.â€
â€œJ never touch it myself,â€ answered Mrs. Tracy quietly, â€œbut
all the same, itâ€™s what brought me here. I was coming home
one night from my work; I suppose I was tired and was walk-
ing slow; but suddenly a carriage dashed round a corner,
the coachman was lashing the horses, and was too drunk to
pull up when he saw me. I was knocked down, and the
wheel went over my leg; there was a crowd in a moment,
some of them carried me here, and the coachman was taken
to the station-house. They only knew that he had been
leaving his master and mistress at a party, and had stopped
at a public-house on his way home; so that is how I came
â€œT donâ€™t deny that it must be a good thing to be a
teetotaler,â€ said the first woman, â€œbut it must be awfully
hard to give up what you're used to; I donâ€™t think I could
â€œWhat's that written on the rest of the card?â€ asked
The woman took it up again, and read slowly and dis-
tinctly, â€œO Almighty God and merciful Father, listen,
I beseech Thee, to my prayer: forgive me all my sins}
help me to keep my promise of abstinence; bless me in ny
IN THE HOSPITAL WARD. 19
efforts in Thy service, and may I ever trust only in Thy
heavenly grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.â€
Then turning the card round and round, she read, â€œWithout
me ye can do nothing ;â€ â€œ Watch and pray ;â€ â€œ Even Christ
pleased not Himself;â€ â€œBear ye one anotherâ€™s burdens;â€ â€œIn
Me is thine help,â€ texts which were printed on the margins.
When she came to this last, there was a silence; each of
the women seemed to feel that it was a sort of answer to
her last remark, and nobody liked to speak.
â€œ Here is the lady with the flowers,â€ said nurse, presently
breaking the silence.
A lady with a basket of evergreens came up to the
bed, saying pleasantly, â€œIâ€™m sorry we have no flowers yet,
but even these bunches of evergreens are pretty,â€ and
she handed each of the women a nice little bunch of a
shiny dark plant, box and cyclemen leaves; then seeing
Nellieâ€™s dark eyes peeping over her motherâ€™s shoulder
she smilingly handed her one too, and with a curious look
at Madge she wished them all good morning, and passed
down the other side of the room, distributing her bouquets,
for which an eager hand was held out from every bed.
â€œTtâ€™s very kind of you, Miss Arnold, to come here, even
in the winter time,â€ said the nurse. â€œThe patients love
the flowers in summer, and these green things will be a
treat to us.â€ Miss Arnold said she hoped soon to have
flowers also ; then nodding pleasantly, she left the ward.
â€œMammie!â€ whispered Madge, â€œI know that ladyâ€™s face;
she was at the meeting last night when I got my card;
20 IN THE HOSPITAL WARD.
I think she knew me too, for she looked very hard at
â€œTsnâ€™t she kind to bring us these?â€ said Mrs. Stevenson,
putting her little bunch into a glass which stood beside her
bed. â€œI had what she brought last week until to-day,
when they were so withered, nurse took them away. Iâ€™d
give these to you, only Nellie has some for herself; put
them in water, Madge, when you go home, they'll look nice
for father when he comes in: he used to be very fond of
flowers. Iâ€™m glad they came before you had to go away.
Nobody knows the pleasure these flowers give to us poor
sick people in the wards.â€
THE DAWN OF LIGHT,
** Yet some there are upon whose childish brows
Wan poverty hath done the work of care.
Look up, ye sad ones!â€”'tis your Father's house
Beneath whose consecrated dome you are ;
More gorgeous robes ye see, and trappings rare,
And watch the gaudier forms that gaily move,
And deem, perchance, mistaken as you are,
The â€˜ coat of many coloursâ€™ proves His love,
Whose sign is in the heart, and whose reward above.â€
â€œTHEREâ€™S a knock at our door, Madge.â€
Madge, who was singing at the top of her voice, almost
drowning the very discordant accompaniment of cleaning
with a knife the saucepan in which their breakfast of stir-
about had been cooked, stopped both occupations, and
shouted, â€œCome in:â€ thinking it was either one of their
fellow-lodgers come to borrow something, or the landlady,
although, indeed, she always dispensed with the ceremony
Great, therefore, was her surprise when the door opened,
and a nicely dressed lady entered, saying pleasantly, â€œDoes
a little girl called Madge Stevenson live here?â€
â€œYes, maâ€™am, thatâ€™s me,â€ said Madge, awkwardly twirling
her apron, while Nellie looked up in surprise from the old
doll which she was nursing in the corner, and whispered,
â€œTtâ€™s the flower lady.â€
22 THE DAWN OF LIGHT.
â€œTo be sure,â€ said the lady, â€œI might have known your
face: I am sure I saw you lately,â€ then catching sight of
Nellieâ€™s bright eyes glancing in the direction of the mug of
flowers, she added, â€œOh yes, I remember now, that is the
little girl who was in her motherâ€™s bed at the hospital
yesterday, and I saw you both before atâ€
â€œThe meeting on Monday night,â€ said Madge promptly.
â€œExactly,â€ answered the lady. â€œAnd now, are you not
wondering what brings me here to-day ?â€
Madge was wondering very much, but did not like to say so.
Miss Arnold continued, â€œWell, I am what is called â€˜a
district visitor,â€™ and when you joined the Band of Hope it
became my duty to come to see you, to become acquainted
with you, in fact! However, I daresay you donâ€™t understand
much about that. Now, tell me, do you two children live
all alone here while your mother is in hospital ?â€
â€œThereâ€™s father,â€ said Madge doubtfully.
Miss Arnoldâ€™s quick eye glanced round the cheerless,
uncomfortable room, taking in more of the family history
than Madge would have dreamed of telling; she was used
to visiting the poor, and understood the circumstances of
the case pretty well. Changing the subject she asked, â€œI
suppose you and your little sister go to school every day ?â€
â€œNo; nor to Sunday-school ?â€™
â€œThat is a pity. But you go to church, I hope?â€
â€œNo, maâ€™am.â€ '
THE DAWN OF LIGHT. 23
â€œTs it possible?â€ said Miss Arnold. â€œYou would like it
so much if you went.â€
â€œWe didnâ€™t always live here,â€™ said Madge looking down.
â€œ And we didnâ€™t know we might go to the school.â€
â€œOf course you may,â€ said the lady cheerfully. â€œCan
you read ?â€
â€œ No, maâ€™am.â€
â€œWould you like to learn? If you would, and if your
parents have no objection, I can easily arrange for you.â€
Madge looked greatly pleased, and answered at once, â€œI'd
like to go school well; I often wished I could learn to read.â€
â€œWell, so you shall then,â€ said Miss Arnold, â€œat least if
we can get leave; tell me, before your mother was ill did
you never go to church, or chapel, or any such place?â€
Madge was not quite sure; mother had not been able to
walk much, and father never went.
â€œWell, about school, there is no time like the present, and
you might as well begin at once,â€ said the lady. â€œI will
take you to-morrow, if you can only ask leave from your
father first.â€ s
â€œTâ€™d rather ask mother,â€ said Madge; â€œbut we canâ€™t see
her till next visiting day.â€
â€œThatâ€™s too bad,â€ said Miss Arnold, who was quite up to
hospital rules, and knew that this was the case, â€œbut wait!
Iâ€™ve thought of a plan. I will go to the hospital now, I
can always get in, and I will ask your mother if she will
allow you to go to school; if she says no, I shall call here
and tell you; but if she has no objection, you must come to
24 THE DAWN OF LIGHT.
my house to-morrow morning, and I shall take you myself.
Now, do you think you understand ?â€
â€œYes, maâ€™am,â€ said Madge; â€œif you donâ€™t come back by-
and-bye, we're to know that mother says we may go to you
â€œ Quite right,â€ said the young lady smiling. â€œNow I must
explain where you are to go. Do you know Clarence
â€œYes, maâ€™am ; itâ€™s not far from this.â€
â€œVery well, then, go to No. 15, and ask for Miss Arnold,
and donâ€™t be later than ten oâ€™clock. Now, do you think you
can remember all that?â€
Madge smiled too, and repeated, â€œGo to 15 Clarence Street
at ten o'clock, and ask for Miss Arnold.â€
â€œVery good,â€ said the lady. â€œI think you wonâ€™t forget.
Now, good-bye, I hope I shanâ€™t see you again to-day, because
if I donâ€™t it will mean that I shall see you to-morrow!
Good-bye, little one, what is your name?â€
â€œNellie,â€ replied the child shyly, while Madge opened
the door, and showed her guest down the rickety stairs.
Then bounding up again she cried, â€œO Nellie, Nellie, donâ€™t
you hope mother will let us go? it would be so much nicer
to go to school than to sit here all-day, or play in the street.
I do hope she will say yes.â€
Little Nellie always liked what Madge liked, and not
knowing anything about school did not much care; but
seeing her sister so excited, she was quite content to be so
too, and went down to the front door with her, where she
THE DAWN OF LIGHT, 25
sat curled up on Madgeâ€™s lap, with the old doll in her own
little arms, watching to see if Miss Arnold should come
again, until daylight faded, and the lamps in the street were
lighted; when with a sigh of relief Madge declared there
was no chance of her coming that night, and they went
Miss Arnoldâ€™s visit to the hospital was most satisfactory.
Mrs. Stevenson was an ignorant, poor woman, but very fond
of her children, and so pleased and grateful for any interest
shown in them that she readily and willingly gave her con-
sent to all the plans for their good. Miss Arnold was sorry
she had made such a negative arrangement with Madge, and
would have gone round again by Back Lane to tell her the
result, but it was too late; however, she need not have been
afraid of her forgetting her promise, for next morning,
punctually as the church clock struck ten, a modest ring
sounded at the door of 15 Clarence Street, and the servant
came in to say that two little girls were waiting in the hall.
Madge had made herself and Nellie as tidy as possible, and
it was well she had, for, as she said afterwards, â€œ the lady was
that good, she actually walked with the likes of us herself.â€
When they reached the school, Madge was much interested
to see the way in which all the girls stood up in answer to
Miss Arnoldâ€™s pleasant greetingâ€”she seemed to know each
one of them separately, asking for mothers, sisters, or fathers,
as if she knew all quite well. After a few words with the
teacher, Miss Arnold stood up to leave, patting Madgeâ€™s
shoulder, and telling her to be a good girl, and do whatever
26 THE DAWN OF LIGHT.
Miss Anderson told her. A monitress was then called up to
take her in hand, and Madge felt inclined to either ery or
run away, when lo! who should it prove to be, but her old
acquaintance, Janie Wilson! so that she felt quite at home,
and soon found that school was not so formidable as she
feared. When three oâ€™clock came, she and Nellie felt quite
proud of themselves as they walked home, swinging the bag
of books which Miss Anderson had given them, in imitation
of the other girls.
Since their motherâ€™s illness, Sunday had always been an
unusually dreary day to the children. Their father had no
work to do, so slept half the day. If fine, they went out,
but if wet, they were afraid to make a noise or do anything
to make him angry; so that the idea of going to Sunday-
school was a joyful one.
According to Miss Arnoldâ€™s directions, they went to her
house, and with her to the school, which was ever connected
in Madgeâ€™s mind with the Band of Hope meeting. She was
put in a class with several other little girls of her own age,
and was so pleased to hear them repeat their verses correctly,
that she wished she could do go also; but firstly, she had no
Bible, and if she had she could not read it, so she contented
herself by listening attentively to what her teacher said.
The lesson was about Christ feeding the multitude, and it
went home at once to Madgeâ€™s heart. She was very hungry;
as usual their allowance of food had been very small, and
whatever it was, Nellie always got the largest share; so
that to her was particularly appropriate the story of the
THE DAWN OF LIGHT. 27
wonderful man, who cured the sick, taught the people who
followed Him in crowds, and when night came, and they
were too far from home to go back, would not listen to the
suggestions of those who said they might go and buy food
for themselves, saying the poor tired men and women might
faint by the way, but desired them to sit down on the grass
in rows, so that nobody should be forgotten or overlooked,
and divided the food amongst them, not only each person
getting as much as he could eat, but plenty being left over.
Madge was sorry when the lesson was over, she felt so
interested, and now she did not quite know what was to be
done next. While she was waiting in uncertainty at the
school-door, holding Nellieâ€™s hand, somebody touched her,
and looking round she saw Janie Wilson.
â€œT thought,â€ said she, â€œthat perhaps you would not know
where to sit in church, would you like to come with me?â€
â€œOh! very much,â€ replied Madge, â€œI was just wondering
what I was to do.â€
â€œWell, come along then,â€ said Janie. â€œHow did you like
â€œ Very much,â€ answered Madge decidedly, â€œI thought that
a lovely story ; I couldnâ€™t help wishing that man lived now,
and would cure sick people and give food to hungry people.â€
â€œThat's like the hymn,â€ said Janie, â€œ where it saysâ€”
â€˜*T wish that His hands had been laid on my head,
And His arm had been thrown around me,
That I might have seen His kind look when He said,
â€˜ Let the little ones come unto me!â€™â€
28 THE DAWN OF LIGHT.
â€œThat's just what I would say,â€ said Madge. â€œIs there
â€œYes,â€ replied Janie, â€œthere is another verse that goes on
** But now to His footstool in prayer I may go,
To ask for a share of His love,
And if I thus earnestly seek Him below,
I shall see Him and hear Him above.â€
â€œThatâ€™s not so pretty,â€ said Madge, â€œ besides I donâ€™t know
what His footstool means.â€
â€œOh! that means praying,â€ said Janie. â€œThough we canâ€™t
sce Him, He sees us and hears us too; and we may ask Him
for anything we want.â€
â€œBut would we get it?â€ asked Madge with interest.
â€œT suppose we should if it was good for us,â€ answered
Janie. â€œYes, I know we should, for there is a verse that
says, â€˜ Ask, and it shall be given you.â€™â€
â€œWell, I never!â€ said Madge slowly. â€œTo think of any
one so great-and powerful as He is, listening to a poor child
like me. Are you in earnest, Janie?â€
â€œT am indeed,â€ said Janie, â€œbut hush! here we are at the
church, we mustnâ€™t talk any more now.â€
Madge and Nellie followed quietly into the seat Janie
entered. Everything was very new to them; the size of the
church, the grandeur of its coloured windows and tall pillars,
the swelling of the organ, which just then began to play, and
the crowds of ladies and gentlemen combined to overawe
them and kept Nellie quiet; as for Madge, she listened to
THE DAWN OF LIGHT. 29
every word and watched every movement of the clergyman
as if she could not be tired. Of course there was a great
deal she did not understand, but there also was a good deal
she did, and the chapters and some of the prayers she liked
greatly. When the service was over, Madge observed that
every one knelt down in silent prayer, so, following their
example, she did so too. Janieâ€™s verse, â€œAsk, and it shall
be given you,â€ had been in her mind all the time, and the
thought now came that she would try if the good Lord
would really hear her if she did â€œask.â€ So with bowed head
she whispered to herself, â€œDonâ€™t be angry with me for ask-
ing, but I am very hungry, and I know there is no food at
home; will the kind Lord who gave bread to all the hungry
people in the far country, give us some too? and help me to
try to be a good girl and learn about Him, and will He soon
cure mammie, and send her home?â€
Madge then took Nellieâ€™s little hand and went home feel-
ing, she knew not why, as if she did not mind being hungry
as much as she had done.
** In manâ€™s most dark extremity
Oft succour dawns from Heaven.â€
Lord of the Isles, Canto 20.
WHEN the children got home they found the door locked.
â€œOh dear,â€ said Madge in dismay, â€œI never thought father
would go out so early ; what shall we do?â€
â€œTs that Madge Stevenson?â€ called a voice downstairs.
â€œYes, maâ€™am,â€ cried Madge, running down quickly.
â€œYour father has gone out,â€ said the woman. â€œMy
manâ€™s out too, and Iâ€™ve just got a present from my sister in
the country, so I thought you two might as well come and
help us to eat it.â€
â€œOh! thank you, Mrs. Connor,â€ said Madge gratefully ;
â€œthatâ€™s real good of you.â€
â€œ One good turn deserves another,â€ said Mrs. Connor, â€œand
you often give me a helping hand when Iâ€™m busy, and I |
daresay often will.â€
â€œ Indeed I will, maâ€™am,â€ said Madge.
â€œWell, sit down now, and try if country bread isnâ€™t better
than what you get to buy.â€
The children needed no second bidding, and â€˜igre ehty
UNCONSCIOUS INFLUENCE. $1
enjoyed the thick slices of bread and butter which kind-
hearted Mrs. Connor cut for them. When she had finished
Nellie went to play with a kitten on the hearth, where after
a good romp they both fell asleep together.
â€œPoor child! sheâ€™s tired out,â€ observed Mrs. Connor;
â€œwhat have you been doing with her all day ?â€
â€œWe've been to Sunday-school, and to church,â€ replied
Madge importantly, as she covered the sleeping child with
her own little jacket.
â€œWell! well!â€ remarked Mrs. Connor, â€œthat is a new
thing. What put that into your head? See, there is the
â€™ rain, itâ€™s well you are in here. I'll tell you what, you help
me to tidy up a bit, and you can stay comfortably here till
your father comes in.â€
Madge joyfully agreed, it was pouring rain now, and if
they were out it would only be to sit outside the public-
house door, waiting to catch their father, to coax him for a
penny or two, which most likely he would not have to give;
besides, this room was a perfect paradise compared to their
â€œ Well, so youâ€™ve been to school,â€ said Mrs. Connor when
the â€œtidyingâ€ was done, and they sat down at the fire.
â€œTâ€™m glad to hear it, thereâ€™s nothing like education when
you are young.â€
â€œT am learning to read and write,â€ said Madge.
â€œVery good,â€ returned her friend. â€œI wish I'd learned
when I was your age. Why, once we were offered a fine
situation, to care for offices, and Connor to be hall-porter,
32 UNCONSCIOUS INFLUENCE.
but when they found neither of us could read well, they
wouldnâ€™t take us.â€
â€œThink of that,â€ said Madge. â€œIâ€™m glad Iâ€™m learning.â€
â€œAnd another time,â€ continued Mrs. Connor, â€œI could
have got a place as housekeeper, only I couldnâ€™t read much,
and wasnâ€™t a teetotaler.â€
â€œTâ€™m one,â€ said Madge. â€œI joined the Band of Hope on
â€œYou! child,â€ said Mrs. Connor in surprise; â€œif it was
your father now, there would be some sense in it; but you.â€
â€œTâ€™m very glad I did then,â€ said Madge, â€œonly for that
Iâ€™d never have gone to school,â€ and she began the story of
their unexpected visit from Miss Arnold after the Band of
Hope meeting, and how she had got them to go to school.
Then came a description of the Sunday-school, and the
beautiful story she had heard there; to which Mrs. Connor
listened with deep attention. When she had finished telling
of the church, and all she had seen and heard there, Madge
suddenly exclaimed, â€œ Oh! I do believe He heard me.â€
â€œ Who heard what, child?â€ asked Mrs. Connor.
Madgeâ€™s colour deepened. â€œIf he did, itâ€™s the most
wonderful thing I ever heard of,â€ she said slowly. â€œA
girl told me that the same Lord Jesus that gave the
crowds of people all the food is in heaven now, and that
He hears any one that asks Him for what they want. So
though I wasnâ€™t sure if she was in earnest, I thought Iâ€™d
try, for I was very hungry, we'd had so little breakfast
before we went out, and I just asked Him to send us some-
UNCONSCIOUS INFLUENCE, 33
thing to eat. I never thought of it till now, but, sure
enough, though our door was locked that we couldnâ€™t get in,
you brought us in here, and gave us twice as nice things as
we would get at home ; so it must have been that He heard
what I said, and made you ask us in.â€
â€œThatâ€™s very queer,â€ said Mrs. Connor. â€œI donâ€™t know
when I saw my sister before, and she brought us such a lot
of bread and things, that I couldnâ€™t help thinking when I
saw you two going away into the rain, it would be a pity
not to give you a share when we had plenty; but, the
queerest part is, I donâ€™t think I ever did it before, and I
donâ€™t know what made me do it now.â€
â€œWell! that is wonderful,â€ said Madge. â€˜â€œ How good He
must be to hear me, and answer me so quickly.â€
â€œT havenâ€™t heard that sort of talk for years,â€ said Mrs.
Connor reflectively. â€œLong ago, my mother used to tell
me that very story, and I used to go to church, aye, and
pray too, but someway I got out of the way of it. Now
Connor and me, weâ€™re very respectable, we donâ€™t drink the
way others do, our room is very snug,â€ and she looked round
it complacently, â€œand we put by something every week,
but as to going to church, I donâ€™t think we were there since
the day we were married.â€
â€œWill you come with me to-night?â€ asked Madge. â€œI
know it will be again by-and-bye.â€
â€œTut, child, you'll be tired,â€ said Mrs. Connor.
â€œNo, I won't,â€ said Madge. â€œId like to go, besides
when I got what I asked for there, it would be only right
34 UNCONSCIOUS INFLUENCE.
for me to go, and thank Him for it; do come, will
â€œ Well, I donâ€™t mind if I do,â€ said Mrs. Connor hesitat-
ingly, â€œsomeway that story you told me has set me thinking
of old times; Iâ€™d like to go, if it was only to hear â€˜Our
Fatherâ€™ again, but Iâ€™m ashamed, thatâ€™s the fact.â€
â€œNever mind,â€ said Madge, who didnâ€™t know what she
meant by â€œOur Father.â€ â€œI know the way now, and I'll
show you; Nellie will sleep safe enough till we come back.â€
â€œWell, ll go,â€ said Mrs. Connor getting up; â€œwhen I
take a thing into my head, I have to doit. Connor will be
in presently, and will mind the child, but heâ€™ll think I am
If Madge thought the church imposing in the morning, it
seemed doubly so now, with the numerous brilliant gas-
lights. The organ was playing as they went in, so they
slipped quietly into a seat near the door, just as the clergy-
man began to readâ€”â€˜â€œI will arise and go to my father,
and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against Heaven,
and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy
son.â€ When Madge looked next round at her companion,
she was astonished to see tears running down her cheeks.
Mrs. Connor was generally so self-possessed and good-
humoured, that it was all the more strange, and Madge
eyed her with curiosity, but made no remark. As they
walked home, Mrs. Connor said, â€œI think now Iâ€™ve been to
church, Iâ€™ll go regular. I would be a better woman now if
Ihadnâ€™t given it up. Oh! dear, but it reminded me of long
UNCONSCIOUS INFLUENCE, 35
agoâ€”hearing the very same words. If I shut my eyes I
could have fancied I was a girl again sitting beside my poor
mother. Madge, youâ€™re young; donâ€™t be like me when
youâ€™re old, regretting all the things you ought to have done.â€
Before Madge could answer they reached the house, and
at the same moment her father came up in the opposite
direction, so she just ran into Mrs. Connorâ€™s room for the
still sleeping Nellie, and followed her father upstairs, but
not before her kind friend put a large piece of the country
bread into her pocket, telling her to eat it for her supper.
Madge looked furtively at her father, and was relieved to
see he was not in a very bad humour. The â€œearly Sunday
closingâ€ of the public-house was a boon to her. â€œ Where
were you coming from when I met you?â€ he asked.
â€œFrom church, father,â€™ answered the child; but instead
of being surprised as she expected, he went on,
â€œT saw your mother to-day, and she told me of some fine
friend that had sent you to schoolâ€”queer that you didnâ€™t
tell me, though I was in the house with you.â€
â€œOh, Iam so glad you went to see mother,â€ cried Madge,
disregarding the latter part of his speech. â€œShe is always
so glad to see you, and so disappointed when you donâ€™t
Joe Stevensonâ€™s face softened ; he used to be very fond of
his wife, and his conscience pricked him when he thought
howâ€˜seldom he had taken the trouble to go to see her, now
she was ill, although, as Madge said, it gave her such pleasure.
â€œFather,â€ said Madge timidly, taking the bread out of
36 UNCONSCIOUS INFLUENCE.
her pocket, â€œMrs, Connor gave me this, will you have a
The father looked ashamed. â€œNo, child,â€ said he, â€œeat it
yourselves ; itâ€™s well for you that strangers are kind, for I
think itâ€™s precious little you have here.â€
â€œBut youâ€™ve had no supper, father,â€ persisted Madge.
â€œNever mind,â€ he answered gruffly ; then added, â€œ Who is
this lady that has taken you up?â€
â€œMiss Arnold, father, of Clarence Street,â€ answered
â€œMiss Arnold, the clergymanâ€™s daughter!â€ said her father
in surprise ; â€œhow on earth did you come across her ?â€
Madge told the whole story of their following the crowd
on Monday evening into the meeting, of Miss Arnoldâ€™s visit
a few days after, and of the trouble she took to get permission
for them to go to school.
â€œBut whatever made her do all that for you?â€ asked
Stevenson; â€œshe didnâ€™t know you; what made her take
such a lot of trouble?â€
â€œT donâ€™t know,â€ replied Madge simply, â€œunless it is that
she is real good.â€
â€œ And so youâ€™ve signed the pledge,â€ said her father again.
â€œWhat good will that do you? You didnâ€™t want it.â€
â€œNo,â€ said Madge, â€œbut they say the good of getting chil-
dren to join is, that if they never taste drink when they are
little, they wonâ€™t want it when they grow up.â€
Joe Stevenson nodded his head in a sort of sad assent; he
felt the truth of what his little daughter had said. Madge
UNCONSCIOUS INFLUENCE. 37
could hardly believe that she was really talking so familiarly
with her father, of whom she generally was so afraid; she
went on, â€œIf I keep my pledge without once breaking it for
a whole year, I shall get a lovely medal on a blue ribbon, to
hang here,â€ touching her frock; â€œand if I can get ten other
people to join too, I shall get a silver bar to put on the
ribbon, wouldnâ€™t that be nice, father?â€ No answer.
Madge, greatly interested in her subject, went on without
heeding, â€œI told mammie about it the day we saw her at
the hospital, and she promised to be one of my ten recruits
when she comes home; I wish you would be another, father,
will you?â€ But Joe Stevensonâ€™s good humour had vanished.
â€œHold your tongue,â€ said he angrily, â€œand be off to bed;
itâ€™s where you ought to have been sent long ago. I won't
stand talk like that, so you needn't try it on; be off with
you at once.â€
Poor little Madge! so this was the end of her nice chat
with her father, which, in her own little mind, she thought
was the beginning, perhaps, of better times! Bitterly dis-
appointed, and more than ever frightened at his manner, she
went away, and quietly creeping into bed beside little Nellie,
she silently cried herself to sleep.
â€œIp AT FIRST YOU DONâ€™T SUCCEEDâ€”TRY AGAIN.â€
â€œTn this is our safetyâ€”doing the daily â€˜/itÃ©lesâ€™ as opportunity is given,
and leaving the issue with God.â€â€”Agnes Jones.
Days and weeks passed by. The children went regularly to
school, and made fair progress. The weekly visits to the
hospital, anxiously looked for, were paid, when every scrap
of news was eagerly told, and as eagerly heard. Mrs,
Stevenson was much better, and the doctors held out pro-
mises that very soon she might go home. The Band of
Hope meetings were great objects of interest, and whatever
the weather might be, the two little figures were always to
be seen sitting in the front row. Madgeâ€™s taste for singing
was gratified, as she now attended the practice of hymns to
be sung, and delighted in learning the pretty tunes. In-
deed, there seemed no end to the privileges to which her
Band of Hope membership admitted her. They had been
to a magic-lantern display, and already the school children
were talking of the â€œexcursionâ€ in the summer. What this
was Madge and Nellie were not quite sure, but they took
it for granted it was something delightful, looking forward
This was the bright side of the picture, but there was a
dark one too, Their father spent as much time as ever at
â€œTF AT FIRST YOU DONâ€™T SUCCEEDâ€”TRY AGAIN.â€ 39
the public-house. Monday and Tuesday he never worked,
and occasionally his employer dismissed him for idleness.
Then when he got his wages, some was always overdue for
rent, a little went to Madge to buy necessary food, and all
the rest Joe Stevenson spent on his own selfish gratification.
Child as Madge was, she couldnâ€™t help thinking how well it
was her mother was provided for in the hospital, and what
they would do to get her good food when she came home.
Then, though the days were longer, the March winds were
bitterly cold, and whistled through the childrenâ€™s clothes as
they sat almost every night waiting in the street for their
father. Thanks to kind Miss Arnold, they had warmer
clothes now; but even these were not proof against the cold
blast that blew round that corner shop which the children
had good reason to hate. Mrs. Connor was unfailingly kind
to them; many a comfortable meal they got in her warm
room, where she often allowed Madge to learn her school
lessons by the light of her fire and candle. Whether Connor
had thought his wife mad, as she predicted, for going to
church or not never transpired; but she went again and
again, until at last he began to go too, and also to the week
evening service, to which they could drop in in their work-
ing clothes without being remarked. Madge often tried to
induce them to go with her to the Band of Hope, but with-
out success. â€œThey were too old,â€ they said, â€œto go to that
sort of place, it was more suited to children.â€
â€œTndeed,â€ said Madge earnestly one Monday evening,
when, after helping her kind friend to â€œclean up,â€ she was
40 â€œIF AT FIRST YOU DONâ€™T SUCCEEDâ€”-TRY AGAIN.â€
trying to persuade them to come with her and Nellie, â€œin-
deed, plenty of grown-up people go, real old men and women
too; do come, I know youâ€™d like it ever so much; thereâ€™s
lovely music, and nice speaking, and funny reading too; do
come this once, and sce if you donâ€™t like it ; I know you will.â€
But Mr. Connor only shook his head.
â€œNonsense, Connor,â€ said his wife, â€œyou could go if you
liked, donâ€™t disappoint the child.â€
â€œWhy donâ€™t you go yourself then?â€ asked her husband
Madge perceived her advantage, and hastened to urge it, â€”
saying coaxingly, â€œDo come, I know if you were once there
you would like it; for the same gentleman is to speak that
was there the first night we went, and he is a lovely speaker ;
if you donâ€™t like it Iâ€™ll never ask you to go again.â€
â€œWell, there is something in that,â€ said Connor good-
naturedly. â€œWhat do you say, missus?â€
â€œT donâ€™t care if I go this once, just to please the child,â€
said Mrs. Connor; â€œsheâ€™s always asking, and weâ€™re always
â€œWell, hurry up then,â€ said Connor, â€œand mind you're
never to ask us again.â€
â€œThat is, if you donâ€™t like it,â€ said Madge archly, as she
ran in delight upstairs to dress herself and Nellie for the
meeting. As they went along the streets, Madge was
half afraid her friends would even then change their minds,
and it was not until they were all seated in good places
that she felt easy about them, .
â€œTF AT FIRST YOU DONâ€™T SUCCEEDâ€”TRY AGAIN.â€ 41
She was glad that the hymn was one of her favourite
lively tunes, with a good full chorus, and she sang with
redoubled energy when she saw her friend nodding his
head, and keeping time with his foot. Then came a spirited
dialogue between two boys, which was followed by a couple
of songs, one a simple ballad, the other a rattling sea-song,
both equally pleasing to the taste of the audience. Then
came the speech of the evening. Madge almost wondered
did the gentleman know who was present, for he began by
saying he was going to address himself, not to drunkards,
but to the sober, respectable people who had not signed any
pledge, and who felt themselves secure, in no danger of temp-
tation, or of being ledaway. Madge stole a glance to see how
her companions took this, but they looked interested, which
was all she wanted. The speaker then went on to say, he
was â€œa soldier employed in the cause of warring against
one great enemy, the drink traffic, an enemy more dangerous,
because more insidious, than if an army of Zulus, under
Cetewayo himself, assailed our shores. In that case every
one would make common cause, and cowardly indeed would
be the man who would keep back from the fight from fear
of what people would think of him, or from fear of exposing
himself to privation or discomfort. Now here was an enemy
which had almost taken possession, not only of our own
country, but of every country in the world;â€ in proof of
which he read an extract from the writings of Robertson, the
celebrated American historian, who said, â€œit seems to have
been one of the first exertions of human ingenuity, to dis-
42 â€œIF AT FIRST YOU DONâ€™T SUCCEEDâ€”TRY AGAIN,â€
cover some composition of an intowicating quality, and
there is hardly a nation so rude, or so destitute of invention,
as not to have succeeded.â€
â€œNow an enemy which had conquered nearly every nation
in the world, must indeed be a powerful one; and yet what
a mere handful, comparatively speaking, there was to battle
against it! Was it any wonder the captains wished to
recruit their ranks, when they saw this enemy in their own
towns, their own neighbourhoods, aye, many of them in
their own families? Was it a time for half-hearted people,
merely content with being decent and temperate themselves,
but who did not care to join in fighting the foe and driving
it out of the country? People of this kind might be com-
pared to Englishmen who would give food and shelter to
the supposed Zulus landing on their shores, but protested
that because they had not actually joined them, they were
not really encouraging them.â€ Here Connor gave the floor
an angry knock with his stick, and Madge looked up at
him in alarm; but she saw that it was only in sympathetic
indignation at the picture drawn by the speaker, and that
his interest had carried him away. â€œWhat brave man or
woman in this room could see a person walking heedlessly
on the brink of a precipice, and say, â€˜Let him do it, it is no
business of mine to interfere;â€™ instead of, at least, giving a
word of warning; or, if the person tumble over, say â€˜Serve
him right, he deserves it, he should have looked where he
was going.â€™ Should you not rather warn him of his danger,
and then, if necessary, stretch out the helping hand to pull
â€œIF AT FIRST YOU DONâ€™T SUCCEEDâ€”TRY AGAIN.â€ 43
him back. Yet how many are there who act on this plan,
seeing friends, neighbours, relatives walk on, day by day,
to the brink of the precipice of drink (down which, if they
fall, it is so hard to get up again), without a word of warning
or advice; literally acting on the words, â€˜Am I my brother's
keeper ?â€™ and if they fall mentally say, â€˜Serve him right.â€™
Dear friends, remember who it was that said â€˜he that is not
with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me
seattereth abroad!â€™ You must be either one thing or the
other; either on our side, which is the right one, or on that
of the enemy fighting against us. And now, to take a
more personal, practical view of what this enemy does for
usâ€â€”the speaker then entered into the statistics of how
much was annually spent on drink; how many millions
went into the pockets of distillers, brewers, and publicans,
while public appeals were being made on behalf of the
starving poor in the country, who, although unable to buy
ordinary food, could generally spare money for drink. How
much each person, even the most temperate, spent, if he
put together every glass of porter, ale, wine, or spirits, and
made out the sum-total at the end of a year. Madge thought
this part extremely stupid, but was satisfied when she saw
how earnestly her companions were listening; indeed Connor
got so excited and red in the face, that Madge was afraid
he would speak out. However, when the speaker sat down,
he contented himself by vigorously applauding with hands,
stick, and feet.
â€œThatâ€™s what I call a fine speech,â€ said he, as they went
44 â€œIF AT FIRST YOU DONâ€™T SUCCEEDâ€”TRY AGAIN.â€
home. â€œThereâ€™s no nonsense about that man; didnâ€™t he
put it plain? I am sure I never thought before that a
simple glass of something every day was any harm, but,
according to him, it is encouraging the drink traffic, little
as itis. But sure enough if every one did it, what a lot of
money must go to the publicans; and if nobody did it!â€”
Mary, how much do we get a day ?â€
â€œNot much indeed,â€ replied Mrs. Connor, â€œjust a pint of
porter each with our dinner.â€
â€œWell, thatâ€™s threepence a day, and threepence a day is
one and ninepence a week,â€ said Connor getting excited
with his subject. â€œOne and ninepence a week comes to,
let me seeâ€”four pounds eleven a year. And that, counting
odd treats, festivals, and those sort of things, certainly
mounts up to five pounds at least. I say, wife,â€ and he
gave his stick an angry knock on the pavement, stopping
short as he did so, â€œwhat do you say to that? Did you think
that you and I spent five pounds a year on drink ?â€
â€œTndeed, I did not,â€ she answered ruefully. â€œOh dear,
what a lot of things that would buy.â€
â€œ Aye, or better still, think if we had saved it what a
nice little sum weâ€™d have now in the bank. How long are
we married ?â€
â€œFive and twenty years last Christmas,â€ answered his
â€œThen, if weâ€™d put by the five pounds a year all that
time, weâ€™d have one hundred and twenty-five pounds now!â€
eried Connor, waxing wrathful, â€œAnd all that time weâ€™ve
â€œIF AT FIRST YOU DONâ€™T SUCCEEDâ€”TRY AGAIN.â€ 45
dealt regular at Simpsonâ€™s. All our good money has gone
into his pocket. There he is, driving his carriage, with his
wife and children dressed so fine, too grand to look at the
like of us. Thatâ€™s the fellow that wouldnâ€™t even give me a.
letter of recommendation when I asked him, saying â€˜he
didnâ€™t know me!â€™ Not another penny of mine shall he ever
get, mind that, Mary.â€
â€œSure it will be as bad if you give it to some one else,â€
said practical Mrs. Connor. â€œThey are all the same. If we
donâ€™t go to Simpsonâ€™s, thereâ€™s Foxâ€™s, the next nearest to us,
and his wife is a real fine lady, with riding horses for herself
and her children, and a grand country house. They wouldn't
live over a public-house !â€
â€œThen I'll go to none of them,â€ cried Connor. â€œItâ€™s our
hard-earned wages that pays for their grandeur. Simpson
and I were boys together, though â€˜he doesnâ€™t know meâ€™ now.
Maybe if Iâ€™d taken to selling whisky Iâ€™d be a rich man now
too. See, here is a handbill I got at the door just now, say-
ing that gentleman, Mr. Hamilton, is going to give a lecture
at the Town Hall to-morrow evening on the same subject.
Iâ€™ve a great mind to go and hear him again.â€
Madgeâ€™s eyes twinkled, but she wisely said nothing, though
her heart leaped with joy at the success of her undertaking.
â€œ Hollo, whatâ€™s this?â€ exclaimed Connor, as they reached
their own door; and in the dark, ill-lighted lane he stumbled
over a prostrate figure.
â€œOh, itâ€™s father,â€ uttered Madge, springing forward. â€œHe
is dead, his head has hit against the doorstep.â€
46 â€œIF AT FIRST YOU DONâ€™T SUCCEEDâ€”TRY AGAIN.â€
â€œNo, child, heâ€™s only drunk,â€ said Connor, raising him up.
â€œ Hold on now, and I'll soon get him upstairs for you.â€
â€œOnly drunk!â€ When Connor came down again, heated
with the exertion of helping Joe Stevenson up to his room,
where he left him with his two helpless little girls, he said to
his wife thoughtfully, â€œMary, I think thatâ€™s a case of leaving
aman to walk on the brink of the precipice without a word
of warning, and now he has fallen over, and no mistake. [
might be tempted to say, â€˜Serve him right, if it was only
himself, but itâ€™s a sore sight to see those innocent children
suffering for him. I believe the gentleman is right; drink
is an enemy that ought to be put down.â€
â€œDonâ€™t make your mind up too sudden,â€ said his wife
cautiously. â€œSleep on it.â€
â€œT will,â€ he answered; â€œfor when I say a thing I do it.
But that manâ€™s words are ringing in my ears. Iâ€™d like to
hold a helping hand to poor Joe Stevenson, for his childrenâ€™s
sake; but how could I preach to him if 1 took my bottle
every day myself? Anyway, it has given us something to
A PRACTICAL VIEW OF TOTAL ABSTINENCE.
â€˜Live the life of faith; let God, and the glory of God, be the end and aim
of all your occupations ; love one another as Jesus Christ loves you ; yield
yourselves wholly to His guardian care; listen not to the suggestions of your
interests, but lend your ears to the calling whereunto ye are called; and
while ye behold with love and forbearance each otherâ€™s imperfections, strive,
each of you, with all energy and carefulness, to live as though you were the
least of all your companions.â€ â€”WSister Liduvine BarrÃ©.
Next day was hospital visiting day, and the children ran all
the way from school lest they should lose a moment of the
precious time allowed them. They found their mother, with
her two companions, sitting at the fire, all much improved in
health. Nellie nestled in her motherâ€™s arms, eager to show her
a treasured doll lately given her by Miss Arnold. Madge sat
on a low stool at her feet, in perfect contentment at being
beside her. People say an hospital ward is a little world in
itself, with its petty jealousies, friendships, and cares; but, if
so, what a narrow little world it is! Madgeâ€™s visits were
quite events to the strange wonten, who listened to all her
news with deep interest. This day she hada great deal to
tell about the exciting meeting the night before. She had a
wonderful memory, and could generally give the substance
of anything she heard quite plainly enough to be interesting,
and Mr. Hamiltonâ€™s speech being rather off the common, she
remembered with remarkable accuracy all about the Zulu.
48 A PRACTICAL VIEW OF TOTAL ABSTINENCE.
army compared to the enemy drink; and the cowards who
were afraid to warn people from the dangerous precipice, or
to help them back if they fell over. To all of which her
audience listened with admiring interest. But she became
rather hazy about the statistical part, only remembering what
Mr. Connor had calculated about his spending five pounds a
year on porter.
â€œDear, dear, think of that!â€ exclaimed one of the women.
â€œWho would imagine that threepence a day could mount to
that in a year? Why, Iâ€™m sure I spend more than that my-
self alone, and then thereâ€™s my husband and my two sons!
Iâ€™m sure they spend twice as much each of them.â€
â€œWell, suppose, then, you all spend the same,â€ said Mrs.
Stevenson quietly, â€œthereâ€™s twenty pounds a year gone out
of your family. What do you think of that?â€
Mrs, Sims stared blankly into the fire while she totted it
up in her mind to try if there could be any mistake, but
finding there was not, she ejaculated, â€œ Well I never!â€
â€œYou ought to give it up, Mrs. Sims,â€ observed the nurse,
who generally joined the conversation when not busy. â€œYou
would soon be a rich woman.â€
â€œ Kasier said than done,â€ returned Mrs. Sims sulkily.
â€œJ donâ€™t care a pin about it,â€ said the nurse. â€œI only
take my beer because it is part of my rations, served out to
me like any other allowance, but Iâ€™d just as soon not take it
as take it.â€
â€œWell, will you give it up then, maâ€™am?â€ asked Madge
A PRACTICAL VIEW OF TOTAL ABSTINENCE. 49
Nurse Mooney looked sharply at the child to see if she
meant to insult her; but Madgeâ€™s clear, innocent eyes met
hers so fully that she saw the child never dreamed of giving
â€œT wish if you did you would be one of iy ten,â€ she said
simply. â€œNobody has yet promised me to sign but mammie,
and I am so anxious to get some names.â€
â€œWell, if I ever do sign, Il do it for you,â€ said nurse
laughing, â€œand Iâ€™d do it to-morrow if I had to buy beer, but
when Iâ€™m given it, it is different.â€
â€œAsk them to give you the money instead,â€ suggested
â€œThatâ€™s not a bad idea,â€ said nurse; â€œI declare I willl.
(ll ask the matron this very day.â€
â€œAnd then you'll come with me and join the Band of
Hope,â€ said Madge oily: â€œbut mind if you sign, you
must keep your pledge.â€
â€œWhy, child, do you think I mean to break my word?â€
said nurse half offended. â€œNo, if I promise, I keep it, and
Ill say this much, if the matron grants what I ask her, I'll
let you know.â€ 4
â€œAnd mammie will sign when she comes home,â€ said
Madge, laying her head on her motherâ€™s lap.
â€œIndeed, I will,â€ said Mrs. Stevenson. â€œI think if I can
get a cup of tea and a little food, itâ€™s as much as I can
expect then. O Madge, dear, I keep wondering how we
are to get on; if I only could get some work to help to keep
the house: bit what can I do?â€
50 A PRACTICAL VIEW OF TOTAL ABSTINENCE,
â€œYou wonâ€™t be able for any hard work, mammie,â€ said
Madge sorrowfully, looking at her motherâ€™s pale face.
â€œNo, not for many a day,â€ replied Mrs. Stevenson, â€œ but if
I could get needleworkâ€”only now I am so out of practice ; I
mean to speak to Miss Arnold about it the next day she
comes here, I am sure she will help me if she can; O
Madgie, she is so kind to me: her very visits seem to cheer
â€œT wish I could help too, mammie,â€ said Madge.
â€œSo you do,â€ answered her mother cheerfully. â€œDonâ€™t
you think it is a comfort to me here, that my little Madge
is at home taking care of Nellie, and making father com-
â€œO mammie,â€™ said Madge sadly, â€œthat is just it. It is
easy enough to mind Nellie, sheâ€™s no trouble, but I canâ€™t do
_anything for father; he is just as bad as ever: whether I
make the room nice for him, or donâ€™t touch it at all, it is
all the same. I vexed him once, and he never speaks to me
now.â€ And the recollection of the fright he gave her the
night before overcame the poor child, though she wisely
said nothing about it: she laid her face on her motherâ€™s
knee, and sobbed.
â€œ Poor little one,â€ said Mrs. Stevenson softly stroking her
hair, â€œyou have a hard time of it at home, but soon [Il
be back to help you, and it wonâ€™t be quite so bad when
we can share it together. Madge, thereâ€™s one thing Iâ€™ve
learned since I came to this place, thanks to Mr. and Miss
Arnold, and that is, that God will take care of us in all our
A PRACTICAL VIEW OF TOTAL ABSTINENCE. 51
troubles, and help us out of them. Mr. Arnold gave mea
beautiful verse one day I was fretting sorely, â€˜Casting all
your care upon Him, for He careth for youâ€™ Someway,
whenever I think of those words, I feel more easy. I am
quite sure we'll be taken care of somehow. So I donâ€™t
mean to fret over it now.â€
â€œBut about father,â€ said Madge looking up. â€œIf he stays
this way, we couldnâ€™t be happy.â€
â€œThat is part of the â€˜careâ€™ I suppose,â€ said Mrs,
Stevenson thoughtfully. â€œSo we must leave it, and maybe |
God will look after poor father for us. At all events He
knows best, so we had better leave it to Him; the verse
says â€˜He cares for us,â€™ and if so, He will settle all about us.â€
Madge had need that evening to try and think of her
motherâ€™s words; for when they got home she found her
father had again been dismissed by his employer for drink
and idleness, and had consequently come home in a very
bad humour, It was supper-time, but there was nothing to
eat, and when she timidly told him so, he swore at her; and
when little Nellie, tired after the day, and frightened at her
fatherâ€™s words, burst into a fit of nervous crying, he struck
and shook her violently, saying he would beat her if she did
not stop; and strode angrily out of the room, as Madge well
knew, to the public-house. Poor Madge, she soothed her
little sister as well as she could, although she needed cheer-
ing herself. Cold, hungry, lonelyâ€”they had no fire, food,
or friend; true they might go to bed, and forget their
sorrows in sleep, but when morning came, it would be as
52 A PRACTICAL VIEW OF TOTAL ABSTINENCE.
badâ€”no food, no fire. Madge knew she had only to go
downstairs to her kind friends, and they would give her all
she wanted, but she shrank from asking them. They were
so very kind, that she couldnâ€™t bear to beg from them,
besides she suddenly recollected that this was the evening
Connor had said he would go again to hear Mr. Hamilton
at the Town Hall, so that even if she wished, there would
be no use in her going down, as they were out. Then her
motherâ€™s words came again, â€œ â€˜Casting all your care upon
Him, for He careth for you!â€™ someway when I think of
those words I feel more easy.â€ â€œMammie has more to fret
about than I have,â€ thought Madge, â€œfor she is sick and
away ; so if they make her feel happier, I ought to also. I
wonder does He care for us. I'll ask Him to, at all events.
And the poor little weary, sorrowful girl knelt down to
pray, before lying down in bed with her still sobbing little
â€œThereâ€™s that Joe Stevenson going out,â€ said Mrs. Connor
looking over the geraniums that nearly filled their little
window. â€œI wonder what brought him home so early.â€
â€œJâ€™m afraid he must have been shunted again,â€ said her
husband. â€œItâ€™s a great pity: such a clever workman as he
is might earn what he liked, if he would only keep steady.â€
â€œMy heart aches for those poor children,â€ said Mrs.
Connor. â€œThey look as if they were half starved; I wonder
now has he left them their supper! Iâ€™ve a mind to go up
â€œWell, bad as he is, he would hardly be such a ruffian as
A PRACTICAL VIEW OF TOTAL ABSTINENCE, 53
not do that,â€ said Connor. â€œI say, missus, do you know
what time it is? if we donâ€™t make haste we shall be late for
the lecture; Iâ€™m curious to hear that gentleman again.â€ So
Mrs. Connor had not time to go upstairs to see after her
little protÃ©gÃ©s, but all the way her thoughts ran on them,
and her heart misgave her. When they reached the Town
Hall, it was almost filled throughout ; and Connor whispered
to his wife with a chuckle, that it would put a start in the
enemy to see how many were against him ! *
Mr. Hamilton took up the same ground as the evening
before ; speaking still more strongly on each point, especially
dwelling on the duty of each person who considered himself
not in danger, to warn, help, or encourage those who were :
â€œLet him who thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall!â€
Every strong point of the other side of the question was
assailed in turn, fairly discussed, and finally beaten. Mr.
Hamilton seemed to have arguments to prove everything:
yet he did it so quietly, fairly, and practically, that they
Connor listened breathlessly : he was an intelligent man,
who understood and appreciated scientific explanations of
the subject; but it was so very new to him, that it was like
newly opening his eyes to a fresh view of an old familiar
subject. Amongst the numerous rows of faces his, honest,
beaming, and intelligent, was conspicuous, and attracted the
attention of the speaker, who, orator as he was, felt encou-
raged by the manifest attention and interest this man, in
particular, took in his subject. When he had finished, Mr.
54 A PRACTICAL VIEW OF TOTAL ABSTINENCE.
Hamilton slipped away from the platform, and singling
Connor out from the crowd who were slowly making their
way out, addressed him pleasantly. In a few minutes they
were deep in conversation, and several points to which
Connor could not quite agree, Mr. Hamilton patiently
went over, proving and explaining in the most persuasive
way. â€œI think, my friend,â€ said he at length, â€œyou could
not do better than join us! Come; will you?â€
â€œT am strongly thinking I will, sir,â€™ said Connor, â€œbut
â€œWhy not?â€ asked Mr. Hamilton. â€œThere is no time
like the present, and I have not much faith in putting off
to a more convenient season; I like to strike while the iron
â€œWell, sir, so do I,â€ said Connor slowly; â€œbut if I join
at all, Iâ€™d like to do it for a little girl; it was she who first
spoke to me about total abstaining, and though I used to
laugh at her, she never left me alone, till at last I said Iâ€™d
go with her for once, just to stop her bothering. She thinks
a deal of her â€˜recruits,â€™ as she calls them, so I wouldnâ€™t for
anything disappoint her.â€
â€œCertainly not,â€ said Mr. Hamilton warmly, â€œI quite
agree with you, and I am not afraid of your disappointing
either her or me. If I am not mistaken, you will be a good
friend to our cause some day. Good-night to you,â€ and he
shook hands heartily with Connor and his wife.
MADGE'S FIRST RECRUITS.
â€˜* The Lord will fashion in His own good time
(Be this the labourerâ€™s proudly humble creed)
Such ends as, to His wisdom, fittest chime
With His vast loveâ€™s eternal harmonies,
There is no failure for the good and wise ;
What thoâ€™ thy seed fall by the way-side
And the birds snatch it ; yet the birds are fed ;
Or they may bear it far across the tide,
To give rich harvests after thou art dead.â€
â€”Polities for the People.
Next morning Mrs. Connor sent up to the children, and
before they went to school gave them a good comfortable
breakfast, at the same time administering a friendly scolding
for not having come down to her the night before instead of
going to bed hungry, as she found out they had done; but,
after getting a promise from Madge that she would never do
so again, she forgave them, and they ran off to school happy
and contented. At twelve oâ€™clock Connor, as usual, came
home for his dinner, and at the door met Joe Stevenson,
lounging with his hands in his pockets, smoking idly.
â€œMorrow, neighbour,â€ said Connor cheerily, â€œwhat brings
you here at this time of day?â€
â€œGot nothing to do,â€ answered Stevenson erufily.
â€œOut of work, eh?â€ said Connor. â€œThatâ€™s bad these hard
times. Itâ€™s hard enough when youâ€™re in work to keep the
56 MADGEâ€™S FIRST RECRUITS.
â€œTtâ€™s my luck,â€ grumbled Stevenson.
Connor felt inclined to question this, but wisely refrained.
He was thinking of the two lectures he had heard, and in
his own rough, honest way was trying to put some of his
good resolutions into practice. Here was a man whom he
had seen for a long time stumbling along at the edge of the
pit without feeling himself called on to utter a word of warn-
ing from his own safe standpoint. Now the man had gone
over, should he not do his utmost to draw him back? But
he was not a diplomatist. Whatever was in his mind he gave
utterance to without trying to modify or soften its plainness.
â€œT say, neighbour,â€ said he bluntly, â€œdo you want
â€œOf course I do,â€™ answered Stevenson. â€œItâ€™s not from
choice Iâ€™d stay at home and starve.â€
â€œWell, then,â€ continued the other, â€œI think I could get
you some if you chose to take it. Weâ€™re short a hand at our
place, and you are just the man that would do if you were
steady ; but, to tell you the truth, I wouldnâ€™t like to recom-
mend you at present.â€
Stevenson fired up at this, and said angrilyâ€”â€œI donâ€™t know
what you mean; I am as good as you any day.â€
â€œOh, you know well enough,â€ said Connor.
â€œ Well,â€ said Stevenson, changing his ground, â€œI donâ€™t see
much difference. I take my drink at the public, if that is
what you mean; and you get yours there and take it at home;
it comes to much the same.â€
â€œTam going to give it up,â€ said Connor quietly.
MADGEâ€™S FIRST RECRUITS. 57
â€œYou are,â€ returned Stevenson, with a sneering laugh;
â€œwhen will you begin?â€
â€œThis minute, if you like,â€ answered Connor good-humour-
edly. â€œI really am going to give it up (not that I ever took
much, but thatâ€™s nothing), and if you'll promise me to do the
same, Ill nearly promise you a good situation. I think Iâ€™ve
only to ask for it. You see, I know you are a first-rate
workman, so in that way I can recommend you.â€
Stevenson stared at him, utterly unprepared for this, and
not knowing what to answer.
Connor went on :â€”â€œI know thereâ€™s no good in rowing a
fellow when heâ€™s down. The best plan is to help him up
again; so if you will do what I advise, Iâ€™ll try and give you
a hand. Just make up your mind not to go near the public,
say fora week. Try how you get on, and I'll speak for you
when I go back to work after dinner. I know theyâ€™re ina
hobble for the want of a man, and youâ€™d just suit the place.
But if there was a chance of your going off drinking in a day
or two, I wouldnâ€™t ask for you.â€
â€œTâ€™d have every one laughing at me,â€ muttered Stevenson.
â€œNot a bit of it,â€™ said Connor; â€œbut I must go in, or I'll
have no time for my dinner. See here, you come in too, I'll
engage my missus has enough for us both, and we'll talk it
â€œNo, no,â€ said Stevenson, drawing back. â€œTIâ€™ll think over
what you said, but Dl not go in.â€ ;
â€œOh, come along, man,â€ urged Connor, but Joe still refused.
He felt really ashamed of himself, for he well knew the kind-
58 MADGE'S FIRST RECRUITS.
ness his neighbours invariably showed his children. He knew
that only that very morning they would have been breakfast-
less but for the kind message which he overheard when all
thought he was asleep. He knew he might, if he chose, often
have done a civil turn for them, but that instead he was
always markedly rude in his manner when they met, so that
now Connotâ€™s kind offer to get him a situation, and his friendly
invitation, made him for once feel quite abashed. He was
pleased the children should accept this hospitality, but for
himself, he felt as if one mouthful, under all these circum-
stances, would choke him. Muttering something about having
dined, Stevenson said he would think over what they had
been discussing, and would meet Connor on his way to his
work to tell him bis decision. Whatever this was, Connor
spoke to his employer, and came home in the evening with
orders for Joe Stevenson to go with him to the works next
Madge knew nothing of all this, for her friends rightly
thought it was not fit for her to discuss her fatherâ€™s conduct;
but she was thankful and delighted to find he had got work
again. â€œTIâ€™ll tell mammie about this,â€ thought she, â€œwhen I
see her next. Surely it is wonderful how God knows what
we want. I never felt so lonely and miserable as last night,
but I asked Him to help us, and I tried to say over and over
till I fell asleep motherâ€™s verseâ€”â€˜Casting all your cares upon
Him,â€™ and before I wakened this morning He had made things
better for us. It must have been Him who put it into Mrs.
Connor's mind to think we had no breakfast, and to give us
MADGEâ€™S FIRST RECRUITS. 59
some; and now He has sent father work. How good it is of
Him! I wonder if I never stop asking would He make
father give up drinking! That would be nice; but, oh dear,
I donâ€™t think anything would make him do that. Anyway,
Dll try,â€ and Madge remembered one of the large texts on the
walls of the school which said, â€œ Whatsoever ye shall ask in
my name, I will do it.â€ So, with a feeling of relief, as if she
had got an answer to her question, she put on her hat to go
as usual with her friends to the working peopleâ€™s service. She
knew nothing of her fatherâ€™s resolve not to go to the public-
house that evening; so never thought of staying at home
with him, nor would he have liked it if she had. Madge often
wondered how her friends had liked the lecture at the Town
Hall, but they never mentioned it. She felt a little disap-
pointed, for she expected great things from it. Connor had
taken such a keen interest in the first, that she quite thought
he would like the next still better. She longed to ask, but
was afraid, for had he not told her on Monday that he would
go that once if she promised never to ask him again. Little
she guessed all that was passing through his mind. He was
an elderly man, and, on his own showing, had been accus-
tomed for twenty-five years, at least, to take some stimulant
every day, so that it was no small sacrifice of inclination and
habit to give it suddenly up. Mrs. Connor was satisfied with
an extra cup of tea, but when dinner-hour came, and he came
home hot after his work, he missed his long-accustomed
frothing glass of porter more than he could have imagined
possibleâ€”so much, indeed, that he wondered at himself, for
60 MADGEâ€™S FIRST RECRUITS.
he always had prided himself on being so abstemious as to
care very little about it. Still, though he missed it, he felt
none the worse for that. He did as good a dayâ€™s work as
ever. He slept well, looked well, and, still better, felÃ© well,
so that he could not object on that score. His wife acknow-
ledged she felt just as he did, and at the end of the week
produced one and ninepence, saved from their porter.
â€œ Simpson is that much the poorer,â€ said Connor triumph-
antly, as he looked at the money. â€œMary, for curiosity
sake, keep it safe; thatâ€™s the firstfruits of our temperance,â€
then added reverently, â€œand please God it wonâ€™t be our last.â€
That was really Tom Connorâ€™s pledge. Until he uttered
those words, he had not fully decided on which side to stay;
but from that moment his mind was made up. He always
said he was slow to take an idea, but that once convinced
that a thing was right he did it, and it was so now: from
that day Connor and his wife were total abstainers from
conviction. Tom Connor loved a joke, and he determined
that Madge should know nothing of his intentions until
Monday night. He wanted to see if she would ask him again
to go with her to the Band of Hope; but if he knew how
to keep a promise, so did she, and when the evening came,
although she was longing to know if he would go with her,
she refrained from asking. She had been helping Mrs.
Connor with her washing, and, as usual, stayed afterwards
for supper, but when the clock pointed to seven, she rose up.
â€œYoure not going yet, surely?â€ said he in pretended
MADGEâ€™S FIRST RECRUITS. 61
â€œYes, this is Band of Hope night,â€ answered Madge
â€œT suppose you donâ€™t want us to go there any more,â€ said
Connor, his eyes twinkling.
â€œOh, indeed, I do,â€ cried Madge; â€œonly I promised I
would not ask you to go againâ€”that is, if you didnâ€™t like
it. O Mr. Connor, you are laughing at me! Are you only
â€œ Indeed I am,â€ said Connor. â€œWe meant to go all the
time; aye, and more than that, me and the missus are
going to sign for you to-night, too! What do you say to
Madge hardly knew what to say. She clapped her hands,
and hugged her two friends with all her might, then,
stopping short, she askedâ€”â€œ But what will you do without
your porter every day ?â€
â€œNever mind that,â€ replied Connor gaily â€œWe havenâ€™t
touched it for some days, and we are alive still; so I suppose
we can do without it. Now be off and get ready.â€
How happy Madge was ushering her friends again into
the hall! How she listened to everything for them, hoping
they would like it, and sang with redoubled energy when she
thought that next time they would be members too! She
was glad they should see how many were the privileges to
which members were entitled, for this very evening it was
announced that ata certain time prizes would be awarded to
children under a particular age for essay-writing, or examina-
tions on a given subject, and for window gardening, flower-
62 MADGEâ€™S FIRST RECRUITS.
seeds for which would be sold to members after the meeting.
Of essays and examinations, of course, Madge knew nothing,
but she dearly loved flowers, and would gladly have gone
in for that, but where would she get the pennies to pay for
the seeds? So she put it out of her head.
When the meeting was over, the general public went
away, but a few went to the far end of the room to buy
their seeds, and a few more remained to signâ€”amongst
these were our friends. Proudly important was Madge, as
bidding Nellie sit quietly on the bench, she elbowed her
way, followed by her recruits, to the large table at which
Mr. Arnold himself was sitting ; but he looked so kind and
pleasant that she did not feel a bit afraid of him, and said
simplyâ€” Please, sir, hereâ€™s Mr. and Mrs. Connor come to
â€œT am very glad to hear it,â€ said Mr. Arnold warmly,
turning to the old couple. He had noticed them lately at
the services, and especially had observed Connor's energetic
appreciation of the temperance lectures. He then desired
all to kneel down, while he offered up a prayer that none
might undertake this pledge in his own strength, but that
He who had begun this good work in them, might enable
them to keep it firmly and faithfully to the end. â€œNow who
will sign first?â€ asked Mr. Arnold, when the prayer was
For a moment there was a silence, then Connor came
forward, sayingâ€”â€œ Here goes, I will.â€
Mr. Arnold smiled, and took up a little pledge-book, in
MADGE'S FIRST RECRUITS. 63
which, after reading aloud the contents,he wrote the date,
then gave it to him to sign.
Connor took the pen, and with infinite pains, in his
biggest writing, with many flourishes, wrote his nameâ€”
Â« edie Connor.â€
Mr. Arnold then called upon his wife, to whom writing
was a much greater labour; however with her spectacles on
her nose, and her pen oe balanced, she carefully wrote
â€”â€œ Mary Connor.â€
â€œT suppose I may enter these to your account?â€ said Mr.
Arnold smilingly to Madge, who answered blushingâ€”â€œ Yes,
â€œVery good,â€ said he, referring to her name on the roll
of members. â€œThat is a good beginning.â€
Connor and his wife took their little books, and carefully
put them in their respective pockets; but before they
reached the door, Connor exclaimedâ€”* Now I am a member
of the Band of Hope, and have a right to buy flower-seeds
as well as any one else; how do you sell them, maâ€™am ?â€
â€œThey are only meant for children,â€ answered a lady who
was selling them at the table.
â€œWell, itâ€™s for a child I want them,â€ replied Connor.
â€œ Here, Madge, what kind will you have?â€
â€œMe!â€ exclaimed Madge in surprise. â€œOh, thank you,
Mr. Connor. I was just wishing I could get some;â€ and,
looking up at the lady, she saw that it was Miss Taylor,
her own teacher in the Sunday-school.
64 MADGEâ€™S FIRST RECRUITS.
â€œSo you are going in for the gardening prize, Madge,â€ said
she with a smile. â€œ Now choose, what will you have?â€
Madge did not know one name from another, so Miss
Taylor chose for her some sweet-pea, mignonnette, and dwarf
nasturtium, saying as she did soâ€”â€˜ Do you know how to
sow them ?â€
â€œT think so, maâ€™am,â€ answered Madge; â€œbut I havenâ€™t
â€œNever mind, child,â€ said Mrs. Connor, â€œIâ€™ve got some
old boxes at home that will do just as well, and Connor
will get you some good soil, I am sure. They wouldnâ€™t
grow in the stuff about our placeâ€”a mixture of mortar and
So Madge went home with her treasured packages of
seeds, as happy and light-hearted as if she was going
home to a palace, and brimming over with pleasure at
having succeeded in getting her two kind old friends to
join the Band of Hope.
A CURIOUS ADVENTURE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
â€˜Tn the baronâ€™s hall of pride,
By the poor manâ€™s dull fireside ;
*Mid the mighty, â€™mid the mean,
Little children may be seen,
Like the flowers that spring up fair,
Bright and countless everywhere !
â€˜* Blessings on them! they in me
Move a kindly sympathy,
With their wishes, hopes, and fears,
With their laughter and their tears,
With their wonder so intense,
And their small experience!
Â§* Little children, not alone
On the wide earth are ye known,
Mid its labours and its cares,
â€™Mid its sufferings and its snares ;
Free from sorrow, free from strife,
In the world of love and life,
Where no sinful thing hath trod,
In the presence of your God,
Spotless, blameless, glorified,
Little children, ye abide! â€â€” ary Howitt.
ManpcE was not long in perceiving that her father did not
go, as before, to the public. He came in more regularly,
and gave herâ€™more money, so she tried her very utmost to
make him comfortable, and please him in any way; but in -
spite of all her efforts she was conscious of failing miserably,
and day after day she longed for her mother to come home.
She had always told her to keep the room clean, for that
father disliked a dirty floor; so one day after eon Madge
66 A CURLOUS ADVENTURE AND ITS CONSEQUENCHS.
set to work with much difficulty to wash it out; but the
day was damp, and she had so deluged it with water that it
would not dry, and when six oâ€™clock came, and her father
came home, he swore at her for the state of discomfort the
place was in, and saying he would catch his death of rheu-
matism if he stayed in it, strode away in a rage, while poor
Madge, every bone aching with her exertions, sobbed with
disappointment. Then when Stevenson gave her more
money he quite expected he would get better food; but
Madge knew nothing of cooking beyond making tea or stir-
about, and unsavoury indeed were her attempts at frying
bacon or fish, or even boiling potatoes, from which her father
would turn in anger, saying she only wasted the food. Poor
child! she did her best, and she was only a child, but the
best was very bad indeed! Their clothes, too, were in a sad
state for want of mending; but though Madge learned to sew
at school, she had not become proficient enough yet to be of
much use, and her attempts at mending was mere cobbling.
Oh! how she did long for her mother to come home and set
things right. She was very anxious, too, to hear the result
of Nurse Mooneyâ€™s proposal of giving up her beer; but
several times that Madge went to the hospital, nurse herself
was ill, so she could not hear. At last one day she went
she was glad to see the nurse back as usual at her post. â€œO
mammie, mammie! when are you coming home?â€ she cried,
throwing herself into her motherâ€™s arms.
â€œVery soon now, dearie,â€ said her mother. â€œThe doctor
is to tell me to-morrow what day I may go out.â€
A CURIOUS ADVENTURE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES. 67
â€œT am glad,â€ said Madge with a sigh of relief. â€œ But,
mammie, Iâ€™m afraid you wonâ€™t be as comfortable as here.â€
â€œHome is home, dearie,â€ said Mrs. Stevenson smiling.
â€œVes, but, mammie,â€ said Madge, â€œIâ€™m afraid you will
miss the nice meals at regular hours, and these lovely soft
beds,â€ and she glanced admiringly at the beds with the com-
fortable wooden spring mattresses.
â€œBut I shall have father, and you, and Nellie,â€ said Mrs.
Stevenson, â€œIâ€™d rather have that than all the comforts of a
palace. O Madge! I have some good news for you! I spoke
to Miss Arnold about getting me some work; she asked
could I sew, but I said on account of my eyes I could not do
any fine work; so then she asked could I knit? Of course I
said yes, for I have been knitting all my life, so she got me
an order for a dozen pairs of stockings to begin with; she is
to supply the wool, and she says she thinks she can get me
as much as I can do. Isnâ€™t that a comfort, Madge? Donâ€™t
you think we may be sure now that God does care for us?â€
â€œO mammie! that is good news,â€ said Madge, her eyes
filling with tears. â€œThat will be nice easy work that wonâ€™t
tire you. I am so glad.â€
â€œHere is a little pair of socks I made for Nellie,â€ said her
mother, trying them on her little foot. â€œA lady gave me
some wool to amuse myself with, and I have another pair
for you nearly done.â€ Madgeâ€™s eyes sparkled now.
â€œWell, Madge,â€ said nurse coming up, â€œyou never asked
about the beer money.â€
â€œT couldn't, for I didnâ€™t see you, maâ€™am,â€ said Madge, â€œbut
I thought of it very often, and I asked mother, only she
â€œWell, I went to the matron that very day, as I said I
would,â€ continued nurse, â€œand she at once said she would be
very glad to do it, and wished all the rest would do the same;
so Iâ€™ve got the money instead ever since.â€
â€œThatâ€™s all right!â€ cried Madge joyfully. â€œYou wonâ€™t
forget your promise to me, will you?â€
â€œNo fear,â€ said nurse laughing. â€œ When will be the next
â€œOn Monday evening,â€ replied Madge.
â€œNot till then? I hoped it would be sooner; Id like to
do it at once. Never mind, you may be sure I wonâ€™t forget
it then, so look out for me at the hall, for you must show me
Nurse was called away before Madge had time to express
her delight, but she saw how glad she was.
â€œOQ mammie,â€ said Madge, â€œI do think this is a day of
good news. Everything Iâ€™ve heard since I came here has
â€œWill you think this good also, Madge?â€ said one of the
women whom she had got quite to look on asa friend. â€œI
am going out to-morrow.â€
â€œAre you, Mrs. Tracy?â€ said Madge. â€œIt is well mother
is going soon too, or she would miss you; yes, I think that
is good news too.â€
â€œT shall be lonely enough,â€ said Mrs. Tracy, â€œfor Iâ€™ve been
very comfortable here; but your mother says you donâ€™t live
A CURIOUS ADVENTURE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES. 69
far from where I stop, so I want to know will you sometimes
come in to see me?â€
â€œIndeed I will,â€ said Madge, â€œif mother lets me.â€
â€œT expect at first Pll be rather lonesome,â€ said Mrs. Tracy;
â€œyou see I live alone, and till my leg gets quite strong, I
canâ€™t go about much; and here [Iâ€™ve got so used to seeing
people come in and out, that Tâ€™ll miss them, so Iâ€™d be very
glad if you will come to see me. I like to hear all your news
about the Band of Hope and the schools and church.â€
Madge little guessed how all her weekly chat had en-
livened or interested this poor stranger in her monotonous
life in the hospital !
â€œMiss Arnold has promised to go see you, hasnâ€™t she?â€
said Mrs. Stevenson.
â€œYes; God bless her,â€ replied Mrs. Tracy. â€œShe is like
a ray of sunshine that brings light and warmth wherever it
â€œMiss Arnold is our district visitor,â€™ said Madge, â€œshe
came to see Mrs. Connor the other day, and she says she is _
the nicest young lady in the world.â€
â€œOQ Madge! what about your seeds?â€ said her mother,
â€œhave you planted them yet?â€
â€œO mammie,â€ said Madge ruefully, â€œ1 made such a stupid
mistake ; I was so vexed: Mr. Connor brought me a big bag
of good clay, and Mrs. Connor gave me some boxes to put
them in, but I never planted seeds before, and I put the dear
little mignonnette seeds in first, and then covered them up
with the clay, wasnâ€™t it a pity?â€ All the women laughed
heartily at poor Madgeâ€™s mistake, while she went on, â€œI was
70 A CURIOUS ADVENTURE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
so sorry, but fortunately Miss Arnold happened to come in,
so she showed me the right way to do it, and I think the
rest will come up nicely; I have a bit of broken glass over
the top of each box, and I water them every day.â€
â€œWhen will the show be?â€ asked Mrs. Stevenson.
â€œSome time in summer,â€ replied Madge; â€œyou will be
home then, mammie, and will be quite strong long before it.
O mammie, thereâ€™s going to be an excursion in summer
too. Miss Taylor says Nellie and I may go, and any one that
is a Band of Hope; won't it be nice?â€
â€œWhat is it?â€ asked Mrs. Stevenson.
â€œJ donâ€™t quite know,â€ said Madge. â€œThe children say
itâ€™s lovely ; they go in a train to the country, and see the
sea, and gather shells or flowers, Mammie, if youâ€™re a
Band of Hope then, you can come too.â€ But Mrs. Stevenson
in her present state did not feel equal to any such great
exertion, so made no remark, not liking to damp the ardour
of her little daughter, who had so few pleasures.
As the children were going home, Nellie pulled her sister's
hand, saying, â€œ Look, Sissy, at those pretty little girls; what
a lovely dolly the littlest one has got.â€ There were two little
girls, almost their own sizes, walking before them, but the
elder, unlike Madge, left the little one to take care of herself
while she gazed with admiration into the shop windows.
They were pretty children, and beautifully dressed. Madge
and Nellie followed them, watching them until they had
reluctantly to go into a shop to do a message for one of the
hospital nurses. When they came out the pretty children
A CURIOUS ADVENTURE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES, 71
â€œSissy, did you see her dollâ€™s lovely little red cloak?â€
â€œNo; I was looking at the little girl herself,â€ answered
Madge. â€œShe had such beautiful long golden curls, and a
lovely little hat with a real bird in it.â€
â€œTâ€™m glad you donâ€™t leave me to walk alone, Sissy,â€ said
little Nellie, skipping along on one foot, as she held her
sisterâ€™s hand. â€œI think I would get frightened in the
â€œTf you werenâ€™t, I would be to see you walk alone,â€ said
Madge laughing. She watched over this little one as if she
had been her mother.
â€œ Sissy, there is the biggest little girl again,â€ cried Nellie
suddenly ; â€œbut she is alone, and she is crying! What is
the matter 4â€
Yes, there was the â€œ biggest little girl,â€ as Nellie described
her, standing at the door of a fashionable shop crying bitterly,
while a couple of women questioned her, and a tall police-
man looked down majestically on them all. â€œI only ran
across to look in at a shop window for a moment,â€ sobbed
the child, â€œand when I came back she was gone. Oh dear!
papa will be so angry, and mamma will be so sorry! Oh,
what shall I do?â€
â€œThe idea of leaving a child alone in this crowd,â€ said one
of the women indignantly.
â€œDepend upon it she has gone somewhere,â€ observed the
â€œThatâ€™s just it,â€ said the woman, â€œso she must; but the
thing is, where did she go?â€
72 A CURIOUS ADVENTURE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
â€œTâ€™d go and look for her, only I donâ€™t know what she is
â€œT do,â€ exclaimed Madge eagerly. â€œI know her; do let
me go? I'll try to find her.â€
â€œOh thank you, thank you,â€ said the little girl, drying
her streaming eyes, never thinking of asking how she could
possibly know her.
â€œThen you must stay here, or the child wonâ€™t know where
to find you,â€ said the woman. â€œWould the little girl know
her way home, do you think %â€
â€œNo, we never were in town before,â€ said the child, sob-
bing afresh. â€œWe only came yesterday from the country.
Our maid left us in the square this afternoon, but we thought
it stupid, like the country, and not half as much fun as look-
ing at the shops, so we thought we would go into the streets
for a while; we didnâ€™t think it would be any harm.â€
â€œWell, if you stay there, Iâ€™ll go and look for her,â€™ said
Madge compassionately, while the policeman and women
questioned her about her name and address; and, holding
Nellieâ€™s hand very tight, she ran down the street. But here
was a great thoroughfare, one street led into another, while
each was filled with people, horses, carriages, and tram-cars.
Which way to take was a puzzleâ€”each seemed equally un-
likely â€”so she turned down the most crowded, looking
keenly from side to side. Just as she almost was giving up
in despair, she caught sight, to her great joy, of the little
figure with the long golden curls,and the dollâ€™s scarlet cloak.
Two tram-cars were coming in opposite directions, a carriage
and pair was close beside, and several cabs driving hither
A CURIOUS ADVENTURE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES. 73
and thither, while the little girl, bewildered with noise and
bustle, was preparing to run across.
â€œO Nellie, sheâ€™ll be killed,â€ screamed Madge. â€œStop
where you are; donâ€™t you stir for your lifeâ€”Iâ€™ll be back in
â€œChild, are you mad? you'll be killed yourself!â€ cried
a man, catching her arm; but Madge, freeing herself from
his grasp, darted into the street and caught the child just as
a tram-car glided by, and a coachman pulled up his horses
so suddenly as to nearly throw them down. A policeman
came up and held Madge, who had got a severe blow and
hardly knew where she was. A crowd collected.
â€œTt was no fault of mine,â€ began the coachman, when he
suddenly stopped, and looking at the unconscious cause of
the accident, exclaimed, â€œ Why if that isnâ€™t our Miss Eva!
How on earth did you get here, Missie?â€
â€œO Smithson, save me!â€ cried the little girl.
The coachman took her up in his arms, while the police-
man held the horses. â€œBut, Miss Eva, whatever brought
you here alone?â€ he asked ; â€œand who is this girl that saved
you? for thatâ€™s what she did, and no mistake,â€
â€œYouâ€™d better get on now,â€ said the policeman ; â€œthereâ€™s
no harm done.â€
â€œT won't go without this girl, too,â€ said Smithson. â€œMy
master shall hear of what she has done for him to-day; that
child is the very apple of his eye.â€
â€œWell, let the child go too,â€ said A 44, beginning to tire of
â€œNo, no,â€ said Madge faintly, â€œI must go to Nellie.â€
â€œWhere?â€ asked the man.
â€œTtâ€™s her little sister,â€ said some one in the crowd. â€œI saw
her bid the child stay still when she rushed off under the
The policeman marched over to the pathway where Nellie
was standing, and led her to Madge, who, for the first time
realising the horrors of what had been, burst into tears.
â€œNow, coachman, drive on,â€ ordered the policeman, â€œdonâ€™t
stop the way any longer.â€
â€œThereâ€™s the other little girl; I promised I would look for
this one if sheâ€™d stay where I left her,â€ said Madge, vainly
struggling against being put in the carriage. â€œI must go
and tell her she is safe.â€
â€œSo you shall, then,â€ said Smithson, beginning to compre-
hend what she meant. â€œThere, get in, like a good girl; I'll
drive slowly along, and you can show me where you left her.â€
Madge told him the street, and they drove off. Little Eva,
now quite recovered from her fright, stared steadily at Nellie,
who, thinking it very good fun to be in a grand carriage like
this, stared equally fixedly at her. Not so Madge; she gazed
out of the window, in terror lest they should pass the little
lady, whom she at last spied still at the door of the shop
where she had left her. â€œThere she is,â€ cried Madge, while
Smithson pulled up, saying severely, â€œI donâ€™t know what
your papa will say to all this, Miss Alice, nor what brought
you young ladies out in the crowded streets alone; but this
I do know, only for this brave little girl, Miss Eva would
have been killed under a tram-car or by these very horses.
Now, jump in, like a good child.â€
A CURIOUS ADVENTURE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES, 75
â€œ Please, sir, let us get out,â€ pleaded Madge. â€œIâ€™d much
â€œYou're not able to walk,â€ said the man, turning the
handle safely. â€œBesides, you must come home, that my
master may hear of what youâ€™ve done ;â€ and, without wait-
ing for an answer, he drove off.
Alice put her hand into Madgeâ€™s, saying timidly, â€œI am
very, very much obliged to you. Thank you for what you
Madge smiled. She felt rather sick, and couldn't talk
much, but managed to say, â€œ You should hold her hand all
the time; I never let Nellieâ€™s go.â€
â€œTs this Nellie?â€ â€œYes, miss.â€
â€œAnd what is your name ?â€
â€œMadge Stevenson,â€ replied Madge.
â€œDo you live near here?â€ again asked Alice.
â€œPretty near,â€ replied Madge. â€œMother is in hospital.
This is visiting day, so weâ€™ve been to see her, and were
coming home when we met you,â€
â€œTs your mother sick?â€ asked Alice.
â€œShe was; but sheâ€™s nearly well now. She is coming
home in a few days,â€ answered Madge.
But just then the carriage stopped at the door of a very
handsome house, and a number of people rushed down the
steps when they saw the children. A tall gentleman seized
little Eva in his arms, and covering her with kisses, bore her
into the house, where a fair, gentle lady met her at the door,
sobbing, â€œOb, my child, my darling, you donâ€™t know what a
fright you gave us! Thank God, you are safe,â€
76 A CURIOUS ADVENTURE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES,
â€œYou may well say that, ma'am,â€ muttered Smithson.
â€œWait till you hear all.â€
Meantime Madge and Nellie felt very uncomfortable. No-
body noticed them, and they wished they could go home.
But Smithson was determined his master should hear of
them, so bidding them stand in the hall, he followed his
master into the library, while a groom led the horses away.
Ina few minutes the gentleman came out, looking very pale,
with something very like tears glistening in his eyes. Hold-
ing out his hand to Madge, he said in a deep voice, â€œ Little
girl, I cannot thank you for what you have done for us
to-day. I never can express what her mother and I owe
you. My man has told me about it. You have saved us
from a sorrow too deep to think of.â€
Madge was quite frightened, and not by any means proud
of le She felt much inclined to run away.
The gentleman then catching sight of the blood trickling
down her face, cried in alarm, â€œMy child, were you hurt too?â€
â€œNot much, sir,â€ said Madge in great confusion.
â€œHere, Smithson, I leave them in your charge,â€ said Mr.
Gilbert. â€œTake them both downstairs, and let the women
dress the childâ€™s cut. See they have something nice to eat,
and then take them home in a cab; and you, my little girl,â€
turning to Madge, and speaking in tones of deep feeling, â€œI
want you to-morrow. Smithson will arrange about your
coming. Mrs. Gilbert wishes to see you herself, but she is
too excited now to bear it at present. Smithson, I leave you
to see that these children get every attention,â€ which kind-
hearted Smithson gladly promised to do.
EXAMPLE BETTER THAN PRECEPT.
_**Bad custom, consolidated into habit, is such a tyrant that; men some-
times cling to vices even while they curse them. â€˜They have become the
slaves of habits whose powers they are impotent to resist.â€”Samuel Smiles,
Hap Mrs. Stevenson been at home, she would have been
alarmed at the non-appearance of the children, but their
father troubled himself very little about them. Hour after
hour struck without his once thinking it strange they were
not in. Not so Mrs. Connor. Her motherly heart was
ereatly disturbed. Knowing that the hospital rules forbade
their staying beyond a certain hour, she could not imagine
what kept them out so late. Great therefore was her relief
when a cab drove down the narrow lane where they lived,
and stopped at their door. It was dark by this time, but
the light of a gas-lamp showed a livery servant lifting
Nellie out of the cab, while Madge followed.
â€œGracious me!â€ exclaimed Mrs. Connor, catching sight
of a bandage across Madgeâ€™s forehead, â€œwhat has happened?
How did you get hurt, child? What 2s the matter?â€
â€œTtâ€™s all right now, maâ€™am,â€ said Smithson, â€œbut there
might have been matter enough; wait till I pay the cab,
and you shall hear all about it. Iâ€™ve brought you home a
wounded hero, or heroine, or whatever you like to call her,
anyway sheâ€™s the bravest little girl in the country.â€ He
then dismissed the cab, and following into Mrs. Connorâ€™s â€
snug room, began the whole story which he had already
78 EXAMPLE BETTER THAN PRECEPT.
recounted to his master, and to all the servants assembled
in the servantsâ€™ hall, of how, only for Madgeâ€™s prompt action
and â€œpluck,â€ the darling of his masterâ€™s house, the precious
little Eva, would inevitably have been run over by either a
tram-car or his own horses. While he was speaking, Joe
Stevenson, attracted by the unusual bustle, entered the
room unperceived, and without knowing at first that it was
of his own daughter the man was talking in such glowing
terms. â€œMy mistress is very delicate,â€ continued the man,
â€œand she got an awful shock; for some of the people who
heard Miss Aliceâ€™s story, and found out her address, rushed
off to the house with the news that Miss Eva was lost; so
that when we got home, the poor lady was nearly frightened
to death, and could not bear the excitement of hearing the
particulars, much less seeing the girl; but my master desired
me to be sure to say she is to come to-morrow, for they want
to see her very particular.â€
â€œOh, please no!â€ cried Madge, â€œindeed Iâ€™d rather not;
Iâ€™ve been thanked enough already, and Iâ€™m sure I never
did it for that.â€
â€œTâ€™m sure you didnâ€™t,â€ said Smithson, â€œbut you donâ€™t know
my master! When he says a thing, he means it to be done;
so if you donâ€™t come to him to-morrow, heâ€™ll come to you!
Now, maâ€™am,â€ turning to Mrs. Connor, â€œwill you see she
comes? She's not much hurt (strange to say), and my
mistress will be real vexed if she doesnâ€™t see her herself.â€
â€œThat I will,â€ said Mrs. Connor heartily, â€œIll take her
myself; stay, hereâ€™s her father.â€ Smithson looked at Steven-
sonâ€”was he the father of this brave little girl?
EXAMPLE BETTER THAN PRECEPT. 79
â€œShe shall go,â€ said he, for the first time feeling a sort of
admiration for his little daughter, â€œand I am much obliged
to you for all your trouble.â€
â€œNot at all,â€ said Smithson, â€œJ owe her something too,
for only for her pulling the child away, at the risk of her
own life, I couldnâ€™t have held those horses back; law, I
canâ€™t bear to think of it! Good-night to you all,â€ and he went
Madge was glad when the fuss was over. It had been an
exciting day, and the praise and admiration she had received
were very new to her, so she kissed her kind old friends,
and went wearily up to bed. But nothing was so new, or
so unusual, as, when she was in bed, to find her father
bending over her with a kiss! Madge sprang up in amaze-
â€œTâ€™ve been a bad father to you, Madge,â€ said he, â€œthatâ€™s
a fact, but I mean to be better.â€
â€œÂ© father, you have been better,â€ cried Madge, â€œa great,
great deal better lately. Itâ€™s I that haven't been able to
take proper care of you, or make you comfortable; but,
father, mammie is coming home in a few days now, and
then we'll be happy again: sheâ€™ll make us all right.â€
â€œYou're a good child,â€ said her father in a softened voice,
and to her surprise he stooped down to give her another
kiss. He had not realised, until he heard Smithsonâ€™s story,
how fond he really was of his little girl, nor how terribly
near losing her he was. A wave of recollections swept over
his mindâ€”of when, as a young man, he had just brought his
blooming bride home to a snug little cottage, while it had
80 EXAMPLE BETTER THAN PRECEPT.
been his boast that she should want nothing, as long as he
had strength to work; then his pride and joy when his
little girl was born, and christened after her mother; how he
worked doubly hard: that both wife and child should live
comfortably ; then the beginning of his downward course,
when a fellow-workman first tempted him to â€œthe Crown
and Anchor;â€ the removal from the suburban cottage toa
room in town; the birth and death of two little boys; the
parting with one, after another, all their nice furniture ; his
wifeâ€™s delicacy, brought on by fretting; and finally, their
removal to this narrow lane, where the scantily furnished
room told its own storyâ€”poverty, neglect, caused by DRINK.
A wild longing to cast it all away as a bad dream, and
begin again, came over him. Oh! if he could only undo
the past, and live a new life for the future! Then he
thought of Madgeâ€™s words: â€œ Mammie is coming home; then
we'll be happy again: she'll make all right,â€ and something
more like a prayer than he had said for many a long day
rose to his lips, that this indeed might be the case. He
knew how forgiving and loving she always was to him, so
that the fault was altogether his own, and a lurking con-
viction grew stronger in his heart that his love for drink
was at the bottom of all. Could he but overcome that, all
might yet be well. Yes, this was his enemy, which had
turned him into a selfish animal, robbing him of all love for
wife or children or self-respect. He used to pride himself on
his strength; he was strong still, surely he would not allow
himself to be vanquished, body and soul, without a struggle. |
An intense burning desire to be free once more caused his
EXAMPLE BETTER THAN PRECEPT. 81
heart to throb wildly. Madgeâ€™s conversation with him
weeks ago came into his mind. Could he ever humble
himself so as to do as she asked him that night, and sign
the pledge for her! He got up and walked rapidly up and
- down the room to clear his brain. How his companions
would laugh at him, how they would sneer and jeer at his
expense! Would he ever have strength of mind to bear it!
But an enemy which had taken complete possession for
several years was not to be evicted at a minuteâ€™s notice ;
its stronghold was shaken, but not destroyed; and when
Joe Stevenson at last lay down in bed, a hattle between
right and wrong, conscience and inclination, was raging
within him. Which would win? Oh for a good angel to
watch over him and guide him aright! Yes, there was One,
who, looking down from heaven, saw the conflict ; whose
loving heart yearned over this one sheep, apparently so
hopelessly lost in the wilderness, and determined that He
would seek for it and save it, that in its safety it might
secure the happiness of the two little tender lambs, whose
very lives till now had been in such jeopardy. Joe Steven-
son little thought that he was being led by One whose
never-failing Providence ordered all things both in heaven
and earth, and would not even suffer one sparrow to fall to
the ground without His permission. Quite unknown to
himself this poor wandering sheep was being watched and
led home by a way which he knew not.
Next day Mrs. Connor fulfilled her promise of taking
the children to see the lady. Madge implored to be let
off, and when her friend would not hear of it, she worked
82 EXAMPLE BETTER THAN PRECEPT.
herself into such a state of trepidation, that when they
reached the house she could hardly stand. Mrs, Connor
preferred staying outside, and as the children, hand in hand,
went up the flight of stone steps alone, Madgeâ€™s knees
trembled so under her, that she almost fell. With beating
heart she timidly rang the bell, and would greatly have
liked to run away before the door was opened; but when it
was, the servant received her as one who was both expected
and welcome, desiring her to go upstairs. Madge felt as if
all hope for escape was gone when the door shut behind
her, and they followed the servant up stairs carpeted soft
as velvet, past a conservatory, where flowers, more beautiful
than Madge had ever dreamed of, bloomed, perfuming the
whole house with their sweetness, into a drawing-room
beautifully furnished, and so covered with mirrors, that for
a time Madge thought there were endless rooms opening off
each other, and then did not believe in the reality of the
second room, separated only by lofty folding doors! At one
of the windows overlooking the square, in a low easy-chair,
sat the fair gentle lady they had seen the evening before for
a moment when they arrived, and by her side the two pretty
little girls, the elder doing some gay crewel work, the little
one sitting on a stool at her motherâ€™s feet, playing with the
identical doll whose red cloak had been the means of attract-
ing Madge in the crowd, and so saving her life. She looked
as bright and as sunny as if she had never been in the
slightest danger or caused any one the least anxiety! Mrs.
Connor had told Madge to make a curtsey when she saw
the lady, even showing her how to do it rightly; but
EXAMPLE BETTER THAN PRECEPT. 83
when the time came, Madge forgot all about it in her
shyness and fright, so that it was not a very polished
little maiden who stood there. But Mrs. Gilbert never
thought of that; she only saw in her the girl who had
saved her little darlingâ€™s life, and whom she felt she never
could thank or repay sufficiently. Madge was more than
ever confused by the torrent of tearful thanks with which
the lady greeted her; but before long her gentle manner
made her feel more at ease, and she was able to answer her
The little ones soon fraternised. In the first excitement
Nellie had touched the doll in silent admiration, and before
the others knew what they were doing, the two were happily
playing together with childish innocence of the difference
in rank. Madge was horrified, but Mrs. Gilbert smilingly
interfered, telling her to leave them alone, as she wished to
speak to her. Alice had told her mother all she knew of
Madge, so Mrs. Gilbert asked all about her sick mother, how
long she had been ill, and when she was to be home; what
the children did every day, whether they went to school,
and who took care of them. She was filled with pity, and
Alice with wonder, at this little girl (just her own age, as it
turned out), who managed everything in her motherâ€™s
absence, and took such care of her little sister. As Madge
became more at ease, Mrs. Gilbert was struck by her simple
earnestness of manner, quiet and unassuming, bashful, though
not awkward; and she felt utterly puzzled as to how she
could reward her as she wished, for when she hinted it the
child grew perfectly silent. Nellie, who was playing near
84 EXAMPLE BETTER THAN PRECEPT.
another window, catching sight of Mrs. Connor's check shawl, Â©
patiently going up and down outside, ran over exclaiming,
â€œThere she is, sissy! there she is again !â€
â€œHush |â€ whispered Madge, â€œdonâ€™t make a noise, Nellie!â€
â€œWho is it?â€ asked Mrs. Gilbert kindly. â€œWhat does
she mean ?â€
â€œTs Mrs. Connor, maâ€™am,â€ said little Nell, now quite at
home, and delighted beyond measure with all the untold
wealth of playthings she saw for the first time in her little
life. Mrs. Gilbert looked at Madge for explanation.
â€œShe came with us here, maâ€™am; she lives in our house,
and is the kindest friend we ever had; she said she would
wait till we were ready to go back.â€
Mrs. Gilbert rang the bell and desired the servant to ask
the woman who was walking up and down outside to come
in, as she wished to speak to her, thinking perhaps that
through her she might find out what she wanted better
than from Madge. Mrs. Connor, flushed with surprise, came
into the room, making her lowest curtsey, and looking what
she wasâ€”a thoroughly respectable, decent old woman.
â€œ Alice, dear,â€ said Mrs. Gilbert, â€œtake these little girls
to the school-room, I told Mathilde to have dinner ready
there; and when they have finished, you might show them
the dollsâ€™ house, and all your pretty things.â€
The children followed Alice out of the room, and when
the door was shut Mrs. Gilbert, making Mrs. Connor sit in
a comfortable chair near her, began to ask her all about
Madge, as she had very soon discovered she might do, for
Mrs. Connorâ€™s honest face showed she could be trusted.
EXAMPLE BEITER THAN PRECEPT. 85
Her account of Madge was all Mrs. Gilbert could wish; she
told how unselfish and self-denying she was in the untiring
care she bestowed on her little sister; how difficult it was
for a child of her age to fill the place vacant by the absence
of her sick mother, and in a few words told that their
father was neither very steady nor very kind to them.
This she did not tell from gossip or unkindness, but that it
simply formed part of the childrenâ€™s history. She then
spoke of what she herself owed to Madge; how she had per-
suaded her at first to go with her to church, which for many
years she had neglected doing, and that gradually, what
she did at first to please the child, she and her husband
did regularly now, as their own greatest pleasure as well
as duty, looking forward to Mr. Arnoldâ€™s visits and week-
evening services with joy.
â€œMr. Arnold! is his church near here?â€ inquired Mrs.
Gilbert with interest. 2
â€œ Yes, ma'am,â€ replied Mrs. Connor, â€œit is the nearest to
us, and is not far from this on the other side.â€
â€œTam so glad,â€ said Mrs. Gilbert. â€œWe used to know
Mr. Arnold years ago; he is a truly good man! I knew he
lived in town, but being strangers ourselves, I did not know
whether his church would be near us or not. I am very
glad, indeed, for we shall certainly attend it.â€
â€œHe is a good man indeed,â€ said Mrs. Connor warmly,
â€œand ours is a different place since he came; he knows
every one, and is as friendly and plain-like with us as if
we were his equals; heâ€™d come in, and sit down for a chat,
86 EXAMPLE BETTER THAN PRECEPT.
without being a bit afraid of himself? What with his
services, schools, and Band of Hope, he has done a power of
â€œBand of Hope,â€ said Mrs. Gilbert, â€œI am glad he
goes in for that; I believe that is one of the most impor-
tant institutions in a parish. Well, I am very much
pleased to find we, too, are living in his parish, and I
donâ€™t doubt we shall soon become better acquainted with
all its workings.â€ She then asked Mrs. Connor might
she give Madge and her sister some clothes, which she
thought would just fit them; she hoped to do something
more substantial for them, but this would be a beginning.
Mrs. Connor was as pleased as if the children were her own,
for their clothes were worn, and shabby to a degree, and
there was no prospect of money to buy new. Mrs. Gilbert
then took her upstairs to the nursery, and made a selection
of suitable things, neither too grand nor too flimsy to be of
use. Mrs. Connor was in high delight at the comfortable
stockings, boots, and underclothes, in particular, as well as
plain hats, jackets, and frocks, in which she pictured her
little favourites going to church and school on Sundays.
Some weeks ago she would have distrusted the idea of such
nice clothes coming into Stevensonâ€™s possession, but he was
so much steadier now, she felt almost sure he would not take
them from his little children. At any rate, she would keep
a sharp lookout on them, so she gladly packed them in a
large bundle to carry home, where she said she thought
it was time for them now to go.
EXAMPLE BETTER THAN PRECEPT. 87
When they went to seek the children, the school-room
was in rare confusion; playthings of all kinds strewn about,
which Mathilde, the French maid, not understanding half
that was said, was good-humouredly trying to put in their
places. But she knew that this little girl had saved her
precious little mademoiselle from a cruel fate, therefore
nothing could be too good for her. Every time she spoke
to her young ladies in her own language, Nellie first stared,
then stuffed her little hands into her mouth to hide her
laughter; for, as she afterwards told Madge, it sounded
exactly like the way the monkey-man chatted to his monkey
on the barrel-organ! Miss Alice and Madge had gone
through the usual little girlsâ€™ ceremony of making friends:
had compared ages and tastes; but Madge could not under-
stand how Miss Alice could bear to come to town just as
the trees were budding, primroses growing, and lambs in the
fields skipping about as she described; while Alice equally
wondered how any one could be ever tired of seeing the gay
shops, crowded streets, soldiers, bands, and amusing sights
with which town abounded. But on their dissimilarity of
tastes they agreed to differ. Altogether it was a day to
our poor children to be marked with a white stone in their
calendarâ€”a day to be long remembered, talked over, and
dreamed of, whose various pleasures far outbalanced in
all four childrenâ€™s minds the danger of the previous day.
Yes; it was â€œun jour des plaisirsâ€ which stood out in their
memories, although at the time they did not think of its
having any more important result,
HOME ONCE MORE.
** Several acts may seem in themselves trivial ; but so are the continuous
acts of daily life. Like snowflakes they fall unperceived ; each flake added
to the pile produces no sensible change, and yet the accumulation of snow-
flakes makes the avalanche. So do repeated acts: the one following the
other, at length become consolidated in habit, determine the action of the
human being for good or for evil, and, in a word, form the character.â€
â€”Smilesâ€™ â€œâ€˜ Character.â€
â€œMamma,â€ said Alice Gilbert to her mother, the first time
they were alone, â€œ what is the meaning of a Band of Hope?â€
â€œA number of people who join or band together in pro-
mising not to take wine, or any other kind of intoxicating
drink, except as a medicine,â€ answered Mrs. Gilbert. â€œThey
make the promise, and sign their names to it, which is called
â€˜taking the pledge;â€™ then as long as they keep their pledge-
card they are bound not to take any sort of â€˜alcohol,â€™ as it
is called, as it would be breaking a solemn promise, taken in
the presence of a witness. But if a person tires of it, he
may return the card, and cease to be a member, which I
think is very shabby.â€
â€œTs it a good thing, mamma?â€ asked Alice again.
â€œ Certainly it is, dear,â€ replied her mother. â€œWhy do you
ask? What put it into your head?â€
â€œThat little girl, Madge Stevenson, told me of it, mamma,â€
answered Alice. â€œShe belongs to it, and it seems so nice.
She says she will get a medal when she has been a whole
HOME ONCE MORE! 89
year a member, and she will get some other thing if she gets
ten new people to become members.â€
â€œThat is a very good plan,â€ said Mrs. Gilbert. â€œI am
glad she belongs to it.â€
â€œMamma, do other people ever join?â€ asked Alice ; â€œor is
it only for people like Madge and Mrs. Connorâ€”I mean, do
people like usâ€”oh, you know what I mean?â€
â€œYes, Alice, I think I do,â€ said her mother smiling. â€œTo
be sure they do; for instance, although we are not actually
members of any society, papa and I never take any sort of
wine, so that we are almost the same as if we had signed.â€
â€œThen, why donâ€™t you, mamma?â€ asked Alice.
â€œT donâ€™t really know why,â€ returned Mrs. Gilbert, â€œfor
our sympathies are entirely with it; I think it is one of the
best safeguards any one in any rank, or of any age, can
â€œT thought, perhaps, it was only for the common people,â€
said Alice hesitatingly.
â€œOh no,â€ said her mother, â€œ if it is wrong for them to take
strong drink, it is doubly so for us, because we should know
â€œThen, mamma, might I sign?â€ said Alice eagerly, â€œI
should like to so much.â€
â€œTJ donâ€™t know about that, dear,â€ said Mrs. Gilbert. â€œ For
my own part I have not the least objection, I should like to
see every one I love a teetotaler, but I do not know what
papa would say to your joining.â€
â€œWell, may Iask him, mamma?â€ persisted Alice.
90 HOME ONCE MORE!
â€œYes, you certainly may do that,â€ replied her mother,
â€œand you must abide by whatever he says; but now, darling,
leave me, I am too tired to talk any more.â€
Alice ran to the school-room, where she found Mathilde,
and began the subject anew to her; but to her surprise she
found Mathilde knew a great deal more of it than she did,
and said she had often wished to have an opportunity of
joining some such society.
â€œOh then, Mathilde,â€ cried Alice joyfully, â€œif I get leave
from papa to sign, you shall come too, and we can do it
together. I would sign for Madge, and you would sign for
me, wouldnâ€™t you? for I mean to get ten people too.â€
Aliceâ€™s energetic little mind was so full of this, that she
could not think of anything else, and she longed for evening
to come, that she might ask her father about it. So as soon
as dinner was over, and she and Eva came down to dessert,
she preferred her request; but although he did not decidedly
say â€œno,â€ he would not say â€œyes.â€ Like most people who
live in the country, he had an intense dread of infection,
and was convinced that if his children went to Sunday-
school, or any sort of crowded meeting, they must surely
bring home scarlatina, measles, or some sort of dreadful
illness. Mrs. Gilbert laughed at his fears, saying that when
she was a girl living in town, she went to all sorts of classes,
yet she never took any kind of infection; she really wished
that Alice might attend Mr, Arnoldâ€™s Sunday-school, for in
the country she often felt the disadvantage of living at too
great a distance to allow them the privileges which were so
HOME ONCE MORE! 91
easily obtained in town, and she earnestly wished that every
member of the household should take advantage of these
golden opportunities now that they were within their reach.
However, the most that Mr. Gilbert would promise, was that
he would speak to Mr. Arnold (whom he was delighted to
find was their pastor), and with this promise Alice was
obliged to be content for the present.
On Saturday afternoon, to Madgeâ€™s great joy, Mrs. Steven-
son came home! She had written the day before to her
husband, telling him when he might expect her, so Madge
devoted the whole of Saturday to preparing the room for
ier receptien. Fortunately there was no school that day,
so she had plenty of time, and her kind friend Mrs. Connor,
giving up her own usual weekly cleaning, assisted in scour-
ing and washing floor, table, chairs, and clothes. Poor
Madge, with the recollection of the scrupulously white beds
and floors of the hospital, feared her mother could never be
satisfied with their room, but Mrs. Connor consoled her with
the old adage, â€œthe best can dono more.â€ Then during
their work, Miss Arnold came in for a minute. She had
heard from Mrs. Stevenson that she was going home that
day, so she brought, â€œto look pretty,â€ as she said, some
primroses and other spring flowers, and a little basket with
tea, sugar, nice butter, and a couple of fresh eggs, so that
Madgeâ€™s mind was at rest on that score. She arranged the
flowers in a cracked tumbler, putting them in the middle of
the table; and someway they seemed to brighten up the
whole room, which, when a little fire was lighted, the kettle
92 HOME ONCE MORE!
put on to boil, and the table laid for tea, really looked quite
homelike. Oh! how glad was Madge when the cab drove
up and her mother got out! How she hugged her and clung
to her, as if she could never bear to part from her again.
Good Mrs. Connor welcomed her as if she had been her own
daughter, then retired to her own little room, feeling that
it was better to leave the children and their mother to
themselves. Madge had thought her mother looking so
much better the last day she saw her in hospital, but now
that she saw her in her old accustomed place, she was grieved
to see how pale and delicate she was still) When Joe came
home from his work, the marvellous change in his room
astonished him, He was really glad to see his wife back
again, and in his unreasoning fashion, attributed every-
thing, comfort, cleanliness, flowers, and food, to the fact of
her presence! to which, even had Madge known it, she
would have gladly agreed! When supper was over Mrs.
Stevenson, knowing her husbandâ€™s habits of old, dreaded his
going out, so she produced the knitting with which Miss
Arnold had supplied her, and sitting beside him began to
chat pleasantly. Madge was very tired after her dayâ€™s hard
work, so was glad to go early to bed, thus leaving her father
and mother quietly together, when they enjoyed a happier
evening than either had spent for many and many a long
Next morning Mrs. Stevenson really did feel proud of her
two little girls when she saw them dressed in their nice new
clothes ready to go to Sunday-school. Respectable and bonnie
HOME ONCE MORE! 93
they looked: even Joe seemed pleased. He knew well where
the clothes had come from, and for what reason. . Mrs. Connor
need have hadno fear of his appropriating them; in his heart he
felt proud of them, and he would as soon now think of giving
either of his children poison as of depriving them of one
article of their new clothes. On Monday evening Madge
wondered very much would Nurse Mooney remember her
promise of going with her to the Band of Hope meeting. She
did so hope she would! For once she was able to leave little
Nellie at home, â€œto keep mammie company,â€ as she said, and
went with her two old friends to the hall, where, to her great
delight, she found Nurse Mooney waiting for her, so they all
went in together. When the meeting was over, the Connors
waited while Madge escorted her new friend up to the table
at which, as usual, Mr. Arnold presided. â€œWell done, Madge,â€
said he smiling when he saw then, â€œYou are a capital recruit-
ing sergeant. I wish all our members were as active! I like
to see new members joining our ranksâ€”the more the better.â€
Madge coloured with pleasure at these words, and Mrs.
Mooney felt gratified at being the means of her receiving
â€œNow,â€ said Mr. Arnold when all had signed their names,
â€œT wish you would each try to work as busily as this little
girl, who, I plainly see, is going in fora silver bar! Think
of how much good would be done in the world if every one
who joins the Band of Hope induced ten more to join also!
Take any one of you here, for instance. Suppose you get
ten recruits. Well, suppose each of those ten gets ten more, .
94 HOME ONCE MORE!
that would be one hundred! And if each of the hundred
induced ten more to join, what an army there would be! for
it is most likely they would be scattered about, not all in
this town or even country, but the good work would be spread-
ing all the time, the farther away the greater the influence.â€
â€œJT donâ€™t think that would be very hard,â€ whispered a boy
who had just signed; â€œI think I'll try.â€
â€œDo,â€ said Mr. Arnold, quickly turning to him. â€œ What
matter if it is a little hard; who minds a little trouble when
there is a good object in view! Now, I'll tell you what this
reminds me of. Is there any one of you who has not watched
a pebble thrown into smooth water? Now,a little circle comes,
which spreads into another, and that again into another, till
the whole surface of the stream is covered by gradually widen-
ing circles, until at last the shore at each side is reached. Yet
all this is caused by a little pebble thrown in, perhaps by the
hand of some little child! Could not each of you try to be
the centre of a gradually widening circle of total abstainers?
At anyrate, you might put it before you, and each one of you
try your best how many friends, neighbours, or acquaintances
you can bring in! Now, I am not going to preach, but I want
each of you to try and remember what I have said, and also
what I always say before any one signs, that this is a work
not to be rashly undertaken in vain self-dependence, but
prayerfully; for if you think you can keep your pledge by
your own strength you are greatly mistaken. Any one who
does that is sure to fail; but what is impossible to do of our-
selves is easy to do with Godâ€™s help. And He is ready and
- HOME ONCE MORE! 95
willing to give you that help if you only ask Him for it.â€ And
with a kindly good-night, and shaking hands with each new
brother member, Mr. Arnold went home.
Every one said Mr. Arnold was a wonderful man to get
through all he did, and so he certainly was. Not a moment
in the day was unemployed, for, besides all the parish work,
he had an immensity of visiting. No one was forgotten, and
the same day that he visited poor Mrs. Stevenson in her
dingy two-pair room in Back Lane, when his words cheered
her heart and made her better able to face her anxieties, he
called on Mrs. Gilbert in her elegantly furnished drawing-
room in Buckland Square. They had known each other years
before, so were very glad to meet, and had much to say. Mr.
Gilbert, who seldom came in to see his wifeâ€™s visitors, came
to see this welcome guest, and enjoyed a cup of afternoon
tea together with his agreeable conversation.
â€œMamma,â€ whispered Alice during a pause, â€œdo you think
will papa remember to speak to Mr. Arnold? He said he
would the first time he had an opportunity.â€
â€œWhat about, dear?â€ said Mrs. Gilbert.
â€œOQ mamma, donâ€™t you remember? The Band of Hope.â€
â€œAh! to be sure,â€ said her mother smiling. â€œ William,
Alice wants me to remind you to ask Mr. Arnold about whether
or not she should be allowed to join the Band of Hope?â€
â€œThat is a very familiar word in my ears. Is there any
doubt on the subject?â€ said Mr. Arnold, turning to Alice
with his bright, genial look. â€œI hope, my dear, you are
going to join us?â€
96 HOME ONCE MORE!
â€œTf papa allows me,â€ said Alice looking down.
â€œPapas and mammas have to be careful in their â€˜yeses or
noes,â€ said Mr. Gilbert laughing. â€œSo I have learned not
to commit mye but told Alice I would leave it entirely to
â€œTn that case you have your answer at once,â€ said Mr.
Arnold laughing. â€œI would advise every one to join, each
for different reasonsâ€”some for the sake of example (which,
believe me, is better than precept), some for expediency, all
because it is right.â€
â€œ There, Allies, â€ said Mr. Gilbert to his little girl, â€œpapa
has committed himself after all!â€
â€œThen may I, papa?â€ she asked eagerly.
â€œYou are in Mr. Arnoldâ€™s hands,â€ he answered smiling.
â€œVery well, Alice,â€ said Mr. Arnold; â€œTI shall expect you
on Monday evening at seven o'clock, that is the time we
always mect, and I shall be very glad indeed to enroll you a
member.â€ Then, turning to Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert, he spoke
on other matters connected with the church and schools
which did not interest her; but, having gained her point, she
ran off to tell Mathilde that on Monday evening she too, if
she wished, might come and join the Band of Hope,
MORE RECRUITS AND A GREAT OBJECT GAINED.
*Â¢ Know all the good that individuals find,
Or God and Nature meant to mere mankind,
Reasonâ€™s whole pleasure, all the joys of sense,
Lie in three words, health, peace, and competence ;
But health consists with temperance alone,
And peace, O virtue! peace is all thy own.â€
*Â¢ Happiness is much more equally divided than
Some of us imagine. One man shall possess
Most of the materials, but little of the thing ;
Another may possess much of the thing,
But very few of the materials,
MapceE did not forget her promise to the poor woman in the
hospital to go to see her; but for some days after her
motherâ€™s return, she was extremely busy when she came
from school; for Mrs. Stevenson believed that the best thing
she could do for her little daughter was to train her to work
well, Therefore, the housework which poor Madge had done
so badly when alone, was now overseen and directed by her
mother, who was very particular, allowing no mistake to
pass, rightly thinking that what was thoroughly learned
when young, would not be forgotten when old, However,
at last a day came when Madge was at leisure, so, oe
98 MORE RECRUITS AND A GREAT OBJECT GAINED.
herself neatly, she set off, and with a little difficulty found
the house. Mrs. Tracy was delighted to see her; she was
still very weak after her accident, and, living at the top of
the house, was not able to go about much, â€œI thought you
had forgotten me,â€ she said, â€œfor I have watched, expecting
you every day; now come, and tell me all the news; how is
your mother ?â€
Madge explained why she had not been, and proceeded to
tell all she could think of, the chief thing ue that mother
had come home.
â€œAnd how are your flowers getting on?â€ asked Mrs.
â€œOh! they are actually coming up,â€ cried Madge. â€œThe
sweet pea and nasturtium are doing beautifully, but I
thought my poor little mignonnette would die after my
foolish mistake, however it has really begun to come up
nicely, so I am in hopes, with great care, it will be all right ;
but not, of course, in time for the show. Tl be content if it
ever flowers at all.â€
â€œ And how does the school get on?â€ asked Mrs. Tracy.
â€œWe go every day,â€ replied Madge. â€œI can now read
almost quite well, maâ€™am.â€
â€œTam glad to hear it,â€ said Mrs. Tracy. â€œOnce you can
read you'll never be lonely. I donâ€™t know what I would do
without it here by myself, though indeed, except my Bible
and prayer-book, I have hardly any books; but I read them
over and over till I know them nearly off by heart.â€
â€œ Are you fond of stories Â¢â€ asked Madge.
MORE RECRUITS AND A GREAT OBJECT GAINED. 99
â€œTndeed I am,â€ answered the woman. â€œWhen I was a
girl in service, my mistress used to say I read too much!
Have you any you could lend me ?â€
â€œNo. I have not been long enough at school to get a
prize yet,â€ replied Madge. â€œ The other girls have beautiful
prize books, and I will too, some day. But, maâ€™am, if you
only belonged to our Band of Hope, there is a grand library
where you can get books, and change them whenever you
like, and you've only to pay sixpence for six months.â€
â€œBless me! but I'd like to join that,â€™ said Mrs. Tracy.
â€œWhy, that is next to nothing.â€
â€œAh! but itâ€™s only for members,â€ said Madge, shaking her
â€œWell, â€™m almost the same as one,â€ said Mrs. Tracy. â€œ1
never touch a drop of anything, though I never actually
signed the pledge.â€
â€œThat won't do,â€ said Madge sagely. â€œI know, because I
went with a girl to ask about it for her sister; itâ€™s only real
members can join.â€
â€œDear me, thatâ€™s a pity!â€ said Mrs. Tracy. â€œId like well
to join, for my sonâ€”he that is a soldier in Indiaâ€”sent me
some money when he heard I was ill, so I could afford it.â€
â€œSuppose you join the Band of Hope,â€ suggested Madge,
â€œthen you could.â€
â€œT never liked to do that,â€™ said Mrs. Tracy, â€œI never
took anything, but I always thought if I signed the pledge
people would think Iâ€™d had to do it.â€
â€œLet them think what they like,â€ said Madge stoutly. â€œI
100 MORE RECRUITS AND A GREAT OBJECT GAINED.
wouldnâ€™t care if I was you: Iâ€™d just do what I thought was
â€œ Besides, how could I get the books?â€ said Mrs. Tracy.
â€œTâ€™m so lame, I couldnâ€™t get up and down these stairs,
much less walk so far.â€
â€œT would do it for you,â€ cried Madge. â€œO Mrs. Tracy,
do join the Band of Hope, join for me, and be one of my
ten! Do: you'll like it so much, every one does.â€
â€œI won't promise,â€ said Mrs. Tracy, â€œthough maybe I'll
see about it. I couldnâ€™t walk so far.â€
â€œJT wish youâ€™d come and live in our house,â€ said Madge,
â€œthereâ€™s a room on the groundfloor empty now, just behind
Mrs. Connorâ€™s, so youâ€™d have no stairs to go up.â€
â€œTs there?â€ said Mrs. Tracy interested. â€œCould you find
out about it for me, child? Iâ€™m lost at the top of this
house, for Iâ€™ve nobody hardly to come near me.â€
â€œIndeed, I will,â€ said Madge. â€œMrs,.Connor will know
all about it.â€
â€œ And will you come soon to tell me?â€
â€œJT will,â€ said Madge laughing, â€œon condition you'll do
as I ask you.â€
â€œWell, I'll think about it,â€ said Mrs. Tracy, laughing too,
â€œand Iâ€™ll tell you when you come. Iâ€™d like well to go
live in your house; it would be company-like, for itâ€™s very
lonesome here since I canâ€™t use my leg. Only for my boy
sending me that money, Iâ€™d have to go into the workhouse,
for I donâ€™t know when I'll be able to work again.â€ -
Madge asked Mrs. Connor, as she promised, about the
MORE RECRUITS AND A GREAT OBJECT GAINED. 101
room, and with a satisfactory answer went next day to tell
Mrs. Tracy. One advantage poor people have over rich is
that they can manage their flittings with so much less
trouble. No notice to quit was necessary, but when the
week was up she had only to go, and an hour sufficed to do
all. A donkey cart carried Mrs. Tracy and all her worldly
possessions from one house to the other, she herself being
seated on a feather-bed; and once settled, by the assistance
of Mrs. Connor and Madge, she felt almost in a palace in her
tiny back parlour, without having those long, weary stairs
to mount, which, as Mrs. Connor observed, would give her
leg a chance now of getting well. Madge was not slow to
claim her reward of getting Mrs. Tracy to join the Band of
Hope, which, backed as it was by arguments from the
Connors and Mrs. Stevenson, she at length, to Madgeâ€™s
great joy, agreed to do! Her objection of not being able to
walk so far was met by Connor offering her the use of his
strong arm to lean on. So, on Monday evening they set off,
Mrs. Tracy with a sixpence safe inside her cotton glove,
ready to pay her subscription to the library as soon as she
was entitled to the privilege of doing so!
She was still very lame, so they had to walk but slowly;
consequently, when they reached the hall it was pretty well
filled, and they were obliged to go into the back benches;
but they heard well enough, and made their way up to the
front when the meeting concluded, where, to Madgeâ€™s great
â€˜Surprise, who should be at the table but Miss Alice Gilbert
and her French maid! The little girls smiled their recogni-
102 MORE RECRUITS AND A GREAT OBJECT GAINED.
tion of each other, and Alice slipped round to whisper to
Madge, â€œI have got leave to sign, and when I have done it,
Mathilde is to sign for me; isnâ€™t it fun?â€ Mr. Arnold took
the signature of the poor lame woman first, that she might
not be tired by standing too Jong, and gave Madge an
approving smile when he found she had come with her; but
when Alice Gilbert told him she was another of Madgeâ€™s
recruits, his astonishment was so great that he could not
help asking how she had ever had an opportunity of getting
â€˜hold of her. Alice told him immediately how it had hap-
pened, that Madge was the first person who ever spoke to
her on the subject, and that now she meant to try and get ten
recruits for herself, of whom Mathilde Perrier was the first.
Surely the circles caused by Madgeâ€™s pebble were widening
But in spite of all this, there was a deep feeling of dis-
appointment in Madgeâ€™s heart. She had fully counted on
her mother being at least one of the first to sign for her,
yet day after day, and week after week passed, without her
doing it. It could not be that she was not strong enough
to walk so far, for she had been to church, and went regu-
larly to the weekly service; but every time Madge asked
her would she come next time to the Band of Hope, her
mother answered vaguely that she hoped she would soon,
but not just yet. Madge little guessed the reason for her
delay, nor how patiently her mother was biding her time,
until father would go too. She had been surprised and
thankful at the change in him when she came home, but
MORE RECRUITS AND A GREAT OBJECT GAINED. 103
knew that she would gain the desired end far better by
patience and gentleness, than if she urged him to take the
step at once, which he, she well knew, would then refuse.
So, though sorry to disappoint her little girl, she determined
to wait herself, in order to support him by example and
company whenever he would make up his mind; but this
he could not do from an uncontrollable dread of being
laughed at by his former companions. Strange that a man
who physically was afraid of nothing, should morally be
such an arrant coward! But Mrs. Stevenson never despaired,
feeling assured that what she asked faithfully she should
Summer was coming on apace, and all the school children
were looking forward to the two great treats of the yearâ€”
the local flower-show and the â€œexcursion,â€ which took place
within a few days of each other before the holidays. Those
who had been before gave glowing accounts of the country
and sea, which excited Madge and Nellie to the highest pitch
of enthusiasm. They, poor children, had never even seen real
country in their lives, the nearest approach to it being pick-
ing daisies or dandelions in dusty hedges, but never beyond
the region of tram-cars, telegraph-poles, and postmen! A
whole day, therefore, far away in the country was a delight-
ful prospect. ATI the school children whom the master and
mistress recommended as deserving, were entitled to go, and
all their parents who belonged to the Band of Hope might
have this privilege also, but not unless they were members,
it being a sort of encouragement to adults to join. Madge
104 MORE RECRUITS AND A GREAT OBJECT GAINED.
was in an agony of anxiety for her â€œmammieâ€ to join, so
that she, too, might have the treat. She saw how pale she
looked, how hard she worked at the never-ending knitting,
and she felt sure that a day in the fresh sea air would
freshen her up, after the closeness and heat of the little
house in Back Lane in June. But in spite of all her
coaxings and entreaties she could not get her to promise.
There was only one opportunity more, for on the next
Monday evening, after the usual meeting, the names of those
who wished to go to the excursion were to be given in, so
that provision might be made for their accommodation.
The children were not afraid now to chatter before their
father, although Madge at least seldom ventured to address
him personally ; but on the morning of this Monday she was
so full of the idea of her mother being able to go, that she
could think or talk of nothing else, urging and coaxing
with all her powers.
â€œYou ought to go, Maggie,â€ said Joe to his wife. â€œThe
child is right, you do want a breath of fresh air. Suppose
you go with her to-night and give in your name.â€
Madge held her breath.
â€œNot without you, Joe,â€ said his wife in a low tone, but
â€œWell, youâ€™re a fool, then,â€ said Joe, taking up his hat and
bag of tools; â€œyou'll only lose the dayâ€™s pleasure.â€
â€œO father,â€ pleaded Madge, â€œwill you come too? Mr.
Connor is getting the day, and he says he can get it for you
too, Do, do come!â€
MORE RECRUITS AND A GREAT OBTECT GAINED. 105
But her father had left the room. Madge was bitterly dis-
appointed. It was a dream, one of her few pleasant ones,
that mother should sign (she despaired of father) for her, and
that through her she should spend a long, long day enjoying
the country pleasures, of which she herself had no experi-
ence. Now the last chance was gone. If such a thing as
distrusting her motherâ€™s wisdom and love were possible, it
would have been now; but, fortunately, it was not possible,
only Madge could not understand her reasons. Mrs. Steven-
son was grieved at having to give her little girl such pain,
and there was unusual tenderness in the kiss she gave each
crimson spot that burned in her little cheeks as she started
_for school; but she felt her duty lay with her husband rather
than with her child, and she preferred to sacrifice herself to
losing the remotest chance of one day gaining him over,
Madge walked slowly on to school, her tears dropping on
the dusty pavement, and little heeding Nellieâ€™s unceasing
prattle. She had not felt so miserable for a long time. She
used to think if they had plenty of food, and mother at home,
nothing would be left to wish for; yet now she felt almost
more unhappy than ever in her life before. Suddenly there
came into her mind the recollection of her first day in Sun-
day-school and church; of Janie Wilsonâ€™s text, â€œ Ask, and it
shall be given you;â€ of her first real prayer when she was
hungry, and of its wonderful answer. If she had been heard
then, why should she not be again? They had reached the
school, but before going in she lifted her eyes to the cloudless
blue sky above, and murmured, â€œOh! good Lord, who heard me
106 MORE RECRUITS AND A GREAT OBJECT GAINED,
before, and gave me what I asked, wilt Thou hear me again;
and, if it is right, give me what I now want so much? If not,
make me content with all Thou hast given me already, for
Jesusâ€™ sake. Amen,â€ She then went up to the school-room,
determined not to let her mind run on this subject any more,
but to do her very best at her lessons. She had told God of
all her trouble and anxiety. He would do for her whatever
He knew to be right. So she felt she might leave all the
rest with Him. She worked so industriously, and did what
to her was a very difficult sum, that when a visitor happened
to come in to see the school, Madge had the pleasure of hear-
ing the mistress mention her name as one of her most diligent
pupils, who had made the greatest progress in her studies.
When the hour for needlework came, Madge was devoting
all her energies to an intricate patch which she was putting
on one of her fatherâ€™s shirts (for the girls were allowed to do
their household mending at school under the teacherâ€™s direc-
tions), when her neighbour startled her by askingâ€”
â€œAre you going to the Band of Hope to-night ?â€
â€œ Of course I am,â€ replied Madge. â€œWhy?â€
â€œSarah and I wanted to know if we might go with you,â€
said the girl. â€œYou wanted us long ago to sign, but we
didnâ€™t like to. However, Sarah is going to-morrow to a
situation, and she wants to sign before she goes. So I might
as well, too, for I am going to the country to my aunt in a
day or two.â€
â€œOh, Iam so glad,â€ cried Madge. â€œI thought you had
forgotten what I said.â€
MORE RECRUITS AND A GREAT OBJECT GAINED. 107
â€œOh no,â€ replied the girl; â€œwe always meant, if we did it
at all, to do it for you, Madge. It was what you said made
us first ls it right, so itâ€™s only fair you end know it
before we go.â€ Madgeâ€™s face glowed.
â€œWill you call for us, or shall we meet you there?â€ asked
â€œT think if you meet me at the door,â€ said Madge, â€œI'll
look out for you, and we can go up together.â€
So it was agreed. This was very cheering to her, for she
had known these two girls were soon going away, and greatly
feared if they did not sign before they left that they would
not afterwards. Besides, now her number of recruits was
increasing! She counted them up on her fingersâ€”Mr. and
Mrs. Connor, two; Nurse Mooney, three; Mrs. Tracey, four;
Miss Gilbert, five; Sarah and Annie Duncan would be seven.
Yes, she was getting on! When the children went home,
Mrs. Stevenson was glad to see Madge so much herself again.
Even she did not know what had caused the change, and
attributed it to the fact of the two girls who were to sign in
the evening, of which Madge told her. Monday was Mrs.
Connor's washing-day, so Madge helped her as usual, besides
having some messages to do for Mrs. Tracy before laying the
table and boiling the kettle for their own tea, so that she
really was so busy she had not time to think much, and was
tired and hungry enough when her father came home, and
they all sat down to supper. When the church clock chimed,
Madge got up to â€œtidy â€ herself and Nellie before going out,
but to her amazement her father got up too.
108 MORE RECRUITS AND A GREAT OBJECT GAINED,
â€œMaggie,â€ said he, nervously pinching up a crumb of bread,
â€œwhat do you say to going to-night with these youngsters ?
Tl go if you will.â€
Ifshe would! Could he ask? A light came into Mrs.Steven-
sonâ€™s eyes that had not been there since she was first married
and living in their suburban cottage. This was what she had
waited for, longed for, prayed for. Her husband was a, diffe-
rent man to what he had been, but still she felt she could not
be sure he would not relapse before temptation; but once he
signed the pledge, it would be such a safeguard; his bad
companions would not care to be with him; it would give
him an interest in better things.
â€œO Joe, indeed, indeed I will,â€ she said, looking up grate-
fully at him.
Her words were not much, but he understood them. It
had caused him a considerable effort to make up his mind,
but he felt himseif now almost rewarded, for Madge, forget-
ting her dread of him, threw her arms round his neck, and,
hugging him tightly as Nellie might have done, cried, â€œO
father, dear father, Iam so glad! Oh, I am so glad!â€
â€œNow mammie can come to the excursion,â€ put in Nellie
wisely. â€œShe couldnâ€™t go â€™cos she'd be tired if father wasnâ€™t
there to help her; father â€™ll carry me too, if Iâ€™m tired, wonâ€™t
â€œMr. Connor will be there,â€ said Stevenson. â€œHe would
carry you if you're tired.â€
â€œAh! but heâ€™s not father,â€ said the little one, burying her
curly head in his neck,
MORE RECRUITS AND A GREAT OBJECT GAINED. 109
This was conclusive. Joe wondered at himself for not
having been fonder of his children, He did not guess, for
he could not remember how cruelly he had treated them
over and over again, but those times were past. Brighter
days were dawning. Henceforward he would be a better
Mr. and Mrs. Connor made no remark when they saw Joe
Stevenson, with his wife leaning on his arm, set out with
the children for the temperance meeting ; but they were very
glad, for they knew that this had long been the cherished
scheme of both Madge and her mother. At the door of the
hall were Sarah and Annie Duncan ready waiting, so they
all went in together unnoticed, for there was an unusually
large attendance that evening of old and young, on account
of so many coming to get tickets for the excursion.
When Madge brought up the two girls, Mr Arnold, as
usual, smiled, saying she was indefatigable; but when she
brought forward her father and mother to join, the smile
changed into something more, for Mr. Arnold knew and
appreciated what she had done. He could almost have
pointed the little girl out as a heroine in her own small
circle, and he felt she was an unconscious example to every
one inthe room. Joeâ€™s hand shook so that he could hardly
sign his name when his turn came, and a mist was before
his eyes, so that he could hardly see. He was awfully
afraid of, as he expressed it, â€œmaking a fool of himself ;â€ but
just then their attentions were diverted by Nellie, who, after
looking about her, and nodding to all her little friends, sud-
110 MORE RECRUITS AND A GREAT OBJECT GAINED.
denly discovered that her father and mother were signing
â€œOh, I want to be a Band of Hope,â€ she cried piteously,
â€œT thought father was waiting for me to be big enough, but
now heâ€™s gone and done it without me.â€
Madge was scandalised at Nellie making such a disturb-
ance, but the child would not be pacified, and kept repeating
in piteous tones, â€œI want to be a Band of Hope.â€
â€œWell, so you shall, my little woman,â€ said Mr. Arnold
kindly, â€œwhen you are old enough to write your name.â€
â€œBut 1 want to be it now,â€ sobbed Nellie, â€œand Iam able
to write my name now. I know all about it, and I wanted
to try whether father or I would keep it best. Please, maynâ€™t
I do it dow?â€
Mr. Arnold patted the little girlâ€™s head, â€œYes, I think
you may,â€ said he; â€œyou are in good hands, and I am not
afraid of your undertaking such a solemn promise without
knowing what it means. Yes, you may join the Band of
Nellie was in great delight. She dried her tears, and
making her father lift her up high enough at the table,
signed â€œ Nellie Stevenson,â€ in big roundhand letters, which
more than covered the space on the card allotted to the
The whole party then went to the other room, where they
gave in their names to a gentleman as members of the Band
of Hope, who wished to go to the country excursion on
A TREAT OF FLOWERS.
â€œTake up a subject and pursue it well, and you cannot fail to succeed,
There is fortune in it if you pursue it with energy.â€
â€”Dr, Marshall Hall.
OnE day while the children were at school as usual,
a handsome carriage and pair appeared in Back Lane, and
stopped at the Stevensonsâ€™ door. Miss Arnold, followed by
a sweet, gentle-looking lady, alighted, and, after knocking,
entered. Mrs. Stevenson curtsied, while she placed chairs
for her visitors, saying as she did so, â€œI beg your pardon,
ladies, I did not hear you come up.â€
â€œ Never mind, Mrs. Stevenson,â€ said Miss Arnold pleasantly,
â€œI came to see how you are, and to bring this lady, who
wanted to see you. This is Mrs. Gilbert, whom you know
so well by name, donâ€™t you?â€
â€œJ have wished for a long time to come to see you,â€ said
Mrs. Gilbert, â€œand to tell you how grateful I feel to your
little girl for what she did for mine; but I am not strong.â€
â€œOQ maâ€™am,â€ said Mrs. Stevenson in confusion, â€œdonâ€™t
mention it, you have already done so much for us, itâ€™s we that
ought to be grateful to you, and so we are, maâ€™am.â€
â€œNay,â€ said Mrs. Gilbert gently, â€œyou must let me thank
you; if my child had done an equally brave act, I know how
112 A TREAT OF FLOWERS.
proud and pleased I should feel, and you must feel the same
for your little girl.â€
Mrs. Stevensonâ€™s eyes glistened as she said, â€œShe is a good
child, maâ€™am, I must say that for her. She is always trying
to help some one, and never thinking of herself. It was
that made her do what she did that day; she never thought
of being praised or rewarded.â€
â€œT know that, indeed,â€ said Mrs. Gilbert warmly; â€œit is
one reason I am sorry I cannot do more for her now, but as
long as we are both spared, I hope she will find me a true
friend. I came to-day to pay you for some of the work you
have done already, and to ask if you would like to under-
take another jobâ€”a large quilt in fine cotton, which I wish
to get done, but for which I am in no hurry.â€
â€œThank you, maâ€™am,â€ said Mrs. Stevenson gladly, â€œI'll
be only too pleased; knitting is no trouble to me, and it is
such a geat comfort to feel I can do something to help us on.â€
While Mrs. Gilbert took out her purse to pay what she
owed, Miss Arnold glanced round the room, contrasting it
mentally with what it had been the day of her first visit,
now many months ago. Of course there was still very little
furniture, but what there was, was beautifully clean. Mrs.
Gilbert followed the direction of her eyes, and said, â€œHow
nicely you keep your room; but is it not a great exertion
to you when you are still so delicate ?â€
â€œMe, maâ€™am!â€ answered Mrs. Stevenson, â€œOh, I never do
anything; I could not stoop down for scrubbing as I used to
do. Madge keeps the room just as you see it.â€
A TREAT OF FLOWERS. 1138
â€œIs it possible?â€ exclaimed Mrs. Gilbert in surprise.
â€œWhat a clever child she must be!â€
â€œOf course I show her what to do,â€ explained Mrs. Steven-
son. â€œJ used to bea hard worker myself. I was brought
up in a farm-house, where I was taught all a good servant
ought to do. So I know how it ought to be done, and I am
very particular with Madge, not to pass over any mistake.â€
â€œ Quite right,â€ said Mrs. Gilbert. â€œIt is no kindness to a
girl to be easily satisfied with half-done work.â€
â€œT daresay she sometimes thinks me over particular,â€ said
Mrs. Stevenson with a quiet smile, â€œ when I make her go all
over again something she thinks quite bright enough, but
she will see the sense of it some day. If I have nothing else
to give her, I can at least give her a good training that will
stand to her whatever her future may be.â€
â€œWell, this room speaks well for both you and her,â€ said
Miss Arnold. â€œShe has improved marvellously in every way
since I first made her acquaintance.â€
â€œT see you are fond of flowers,â€ said Mrs. Gilbert, standing
up and going to the window to look at the sweet-pea and
â€œYes, ma'am, but those are Madgeâ€™s,â€ said Mrs. Stevenson.
â€œShe thinks a deal of them flowers. I wish every child was
as well cared !â€
â€œThey are for the flower show,â€ explained Miss Arnold to
Mrs. Gilbert. â€œThere will be prizes given for the best plants,
which must be grown by the members themselves.â€
â€œ Members?â€ inquired Mrs, Gilbert in a puzzled me
114 A TREAT OF FLOWERS.
â€œOf the Band of Hope,â€ said Miss Arnold laughing. â€œT
forgot you were not quite so conversant with the term as we
are. Everything in this parish hinges on â€˜The Band of
Hope,â€™ doesnâ€™t it, Mrs. Stevenson ?â€
â€œTudeed that it does, maâ€™am,â€ answered she in a heartfelt
manner, which Miss Arnold understood.
Meantime Madge and Nellie were running home from school
as fast as they could. As they came to Back Lane, Nellie
exclaimed, â€œ Look, sissy, there is our carriage I do believe!â€
â€œÂ¢QOur carriage,â€™ you funny child; what do you mean?â€
said Madge laughing.
â€œYes it is,â€ persisted Nellie. â€œI remember Mr. Smithsonâ€™s
face, and his lovely big horses.â€
â€œSo it is really,â€ said Madge in surprise; â€œand itâ€™s at our
door too. I wonder what brings it there?â€
â€œMaybe Miss Alice has come to see mammie,â€ said Nellie.
â€œWell, little one,â€ said Smithson, looking down kindly
from his lofty seat, â€œIâ€™m glad to see you well, You see I
donâ€™t forget you.â€
â€œThank you, sir,â€ said Madge smiling, â€œI donâ€™t forget you.â€
â€œHere are the ladies,â€ said Smithson, gathering up his
reins as Mrs. Gilbert, followed by Miss Arnold, came out of
the narrow door. j
â€œWe have just been looking at your flowers,â€ said Mrs.
Gilbert kindly. â€œYou seem to have taken great care of them.â€
â€œThey look very well, Madge,â€ said Miss Arnold. â€œI
daresay you will have a chance of a prize for them.â€
Madgeâ€™s face beamed with pleasure.
A TREAT OF FLOWERS. 115
â€œ Arve you fond of growing flowers?â€ asked Mrs. Gilbert.
â€œOh yes, ma'am,â€ replied Madge, â€œI love them, but I never
tried rearing any until now.â€
â€œWell, if you would like to have some cuttings and young
geraniums,â€ said Mrs. Gilbert, â€œif you come to my house this
evening I shall give you several. â€˜They will be allowed also
at the flower show, will they not? or must there be only
â€œYes, there are other prizes for them,â€ said Madge eagerly.
â€œOh, thank you, maâ€™am, Iâ€™d dearly like to have some of them,
but â€â€”and her face fellâ€”*TI forgot I must have the plant at
least three months myself or I couldnâ€™t send it in to the show,
that is one of the rules. I am sorry.â€
â€œNever mind,â€ said Mrs. Gilbert, â€œyou can come all the
same and get the plants, and perhaps your father would come
with you to-night to help you to carry them. The pots will be
heavy, and awkward besides; you never could manage by
yourself. Now, good-bye; I shall expect you this evening.â€
Madge made her lowest curtsey, then rushed upstairs to
tell her mother the good news; for if there was anything
Madge longed for, it was to have some plants of her own to
take care of through the winter, and she pictured to herself
how pretty their room would look with the window full of
brilliant scarlet, pink, or white flowers.
â€œWhat a respectable, sensible woman that is,â€ remarked
Mrs. Gilbert as they drove off. â€œShe seems quite above the
ordinary run of people in that rank.â€
â€œYes,â€ answered Miss Arnold, â€œshe is one of the very few
116 A TREAT OF FLOWERS,
mothers we meet who see that the greatest kindness they
can show their children is to teach them to work, and make
them do it. We so often find clever, hard-working women
allowing their daughters to grow up idle, useless fine ladies.
They do not mind how hard they themselves work, but they
like to spare their children.â€
â€œTt is a false kindness,â€ observed Mrs. Gilbert. â€œTI believe
in the old saying that â€˜a light-footed mother makes a heavy-
footed daughter!â€™ Donâ€™t you? But still, I think, there must
be something particularly good to work on in that little girl
â€œShe is a good child,â€ said Miss Arnold warmly. â€œYou
have no idea what she has had to contend with, nor how
wonderfully she has improved in the short time that I have
known her. When I first saw her she was in the depths of
misery, with her mother away sick in hospital for months,
and a drunken father, who gave them barely as much food
as kept them alive. That room which we admired just now
for its cleanliness was simply wretched, while she and Nellie
were in rags, miserable, delicate-looking children.â€
â€œShe looks the picture of health now, at anyrate,â€ remarked
Mrs. Gilbert, â€œin spite of her hard work.â€
Â«And hard it certainly is,â€ added Miss Arnold. â€œI suppose
she has done quite a dayâ€™s work already before they went to
school; and she will be busy now until bed-time, but she
never fails to make time to attend all our Band of Hope
meetings. She is one of the most regular, as well as active,
of our members.â€
A TREAT OF FLOWERS. 117
â€œWhere thereâ€™s a will; thereâ€™s a way,â€ said Mrs. Gilbert
reflectively. â€œIt is curious that although the temperance
movement has been all my life of the deepest interest to me,
I have never spoken much to Alice on the subject, while
this poor little strange girl, the very first time they met,
spoke to Alice so strongly about this Band of Hope of yours
as to thoroughly arouse her sympathies and interest.â€
â€œ Out of the mouths of babes,â€ quoted Miss Arnold; â€œ you
see children have a way of entering heartily into things
that we grown-up people seldom can do; they are so single-
minded, they do not fear being ridiculed or laughed at for
riding their hobbies, as, I am afraid, we too often are!â€
â€œT think Alice bids fair to be as energetic a member as
Madge,â€ said Mrs. Gilbert laughing. â€œOur maid Mathilde
signed for her the very evening Alice did so herself ; and
now she is trying her best to persuade some of her cousins
to join also. You know most of our friends are, unfortun-
ately, quite of the other way of thinking, and chaff Alice
unmercifully about her pledge-card ; but she does not mind
that in the least, and I think she has almost succeeded in
persuading some of her little friends to join, although getting
their parentsâ€™ consent has been no easy matter.â€™
â€œ How very nice,â€ exclaimed Miss Arnold; â€œthat is great
encouragement to us, and I assure you we often need it,
for there are â€˜lions in the pathâ€™ at every turn. It is very
pleasant occasionally to get a little bit of cheering news like
this, to help us on in our task, and show that it is not in
118 A TREAT OF FLOWERS,
â€œ Mathilde, too, has taken it up â€˜con amore,â€ continued
Mrs. Gilbert. â€œI think she and Alice are trying who will
get the most recruits, as they call it. Mathilde has begun
to preach quite a temperance crusade in the servantsâ€™ hall;
so much so, that I should not wonder if she succeeded in
making all the servants teetotalers before long.â€
â€œT must tell father of what you say,â€ said Miss Arnold,
â€œhe will be greatly pleased. It is just like his simile of the
pebble thrown into the water, of which he was telling the
people one evening lately at the Band of Hope meet-
â€œ What was that ?â€ inquired Mrs. Gilbert.
â€œYou see he always tries to speak as plainly there as
possible,â€ said Miss Arnold; and, on this particular occasion,
when speaking of the spreading influences of total absti-
nence, he compared it to a pebble thrown (by some childâ€™s
hand, perhaps) into a smooth stream, causing one circle after
another to rise on the surface, each widening into several
more still wider, till at last the outermost circles reached
the shore from side to side.â€
â€œTt is a pretty idea,â€ observed Mrs. Gilbert thoughtfully,
â€œand a very true one, too. I suppose we hardly consider
how many opportunities we lose of saying or doing some-
thing useful or good. Indeed, Emily, you make me feel quite
ashamed of myself for being such a useless drone, now that
I have had a peep into this busy hive of working bees!â€
â€œNonsense,â€ said Miss Arnold laughing, â€œour lives run in
such totally different grooves that they cannot bear compari-
A TREAT OF FLOWERS. 119
son; besides you are so far from strong, whereas I am blessed
with a superabundant supply of health and energy!â€
â€œWon't you come in?â€ asked Mrs. Gilbert, â€œ1 am just
going to have my afternoon tea, do come, and join me at it.â€
â€œThank you very much, but not to-day,â€™ said Miss
Arnold, â€œI must hurry home now, as already I am rather
late. We dine early, and father will be waiting for his tea,
wondering what has become of me. He has a lecture to-night
at which he is to preside, so I must not delay. Good-bye,
Mrs, Gilbert, and many thanks for this pleasant drive, it has
been quite a treat to me this warm day.â€
â€œThat is a good girl,â€ thought Mrs. Gilbert, as she
watched Miss Arnold hurrying along the square. â€œ Whata
help she must be to her father, and how her influence must
strengthen his hands.â€ And as she slowly went upstairs,
she pondered, whether in spite of her really delicate health,
she might not be able to do more for the good of others.
That evening punctually at the hour named, Madge and
her father arrived at the door in Buckland Square, he
remaining outside while Madge was taken into the conserva-
tory, where Mrs. Gilbert had set apart for her two beautiful
geraniums and a pot of musk, besides slips of several of the
other plants, for which Mr. Gilbert gave her money to buy
proper mould and pots. Madge gratefully thanked them,
and, with her fatherâ€™s help, took the flowers home, delightedly
anticipating next yearâ€™s show when these cuttings would be
â€œ Now from the town
Buried in smoke, and sleep, and noisome damps,
Oft let me wander oâ€™er the dewy fields,
Where freshness breathes, and dash the trembling drops
From the bent bush, as throâ€™ the verdant maze
Of sweet-briar hedges I pursue my walk.â€
â€˜God made the country, man made the town.â€
THURSDAY morning dawned beautiful and bright as any one
could desire, with the soft haze which surely betokens a
hot day. Buta hot day at the seaside is very different to
the same ina close lane! It was perfect weather for an
excursion, and fully an hour before the appointed time,
groups of children began to assemble at the place of meeting.
There was only one drawback to Mrs. Stevensonâ€™s pleasure
in going, and that was the shabbiness of her and Joeâ€™s
clothes. During her long illness, when she almost thought
she would never recover, they had parted with her best
things, while he had only his working clothes, which already
were sadly worn, She was not proud, but on an occasion of
this kind she would certainly have liked to make a decent
appearance ; so she washed, ironed, and brushed, but without
any very marked result. However, the night before the
THE EXCURSION, 121
excursion, a parcel arrived from Mrs. Gilbert, containing a
dress, cloak, and bonnet of her own, plain and nice, for Mrs.
Stevenson, and an entire suit of her husbandâ€™s rough tweed
shooting clothes for Joe. Nothing could be more opportune.
Madge wondered how Mrs. Gilbert could have known they
wanted them so much just then; but her mother privately
thought Miss Arnold knew something about it. Anyway she
was very thankful, for now Joe would have no excuse for not
going to church. It was a very happy party that sallied
forth from the house in Back Lane, the Connors and Steven-
sons going together, Mrs. Tracy alone remaining to keep
house, but with one of her beloved library books she was
not lonely, and nodded cheerfully to the children, who waved
their hands to her as long as they were in sight. Joe
Stevenson began to feel very proud of his wife and children
in their nice clothes. He had not seen his Maggie look so
well since she was a girl. Madge and Nellieâ€™s admiration
for â€œmammieâ€ knew no bounds, they thought there was
nobody in the whole party who could compare with her!
Great was the excitement at the railway station, but, con-
sidering the number of travellers, they were packed into
their places with wonderfully little confusion, and at last
the heavily-laden train started, with long cheers from the
excited children. At first, as they passed the outskirts
of the town, the women hanging clothes to dry in the
little yards or children playing in the streets, looked up
at the train with its carriages filled with bright-faced
children, who occasionally recognised a companion or friend,
122 THE EXCURSION,
and cheered accordingly ; but a very few minutes brought
them out of the region of brick and mortar, and then what
joy! everything gave pleasure, the wild roses in the hedges,
the hay-fields, sheep, cows, the farmyards by which they
flew, with their cocks and hens, pigs and ducks, everything
was new to the poor little town children. â€œ Who will be the
first to see the sea?â€ said Mr. Arnold, who was guarding a
large contingent of children. Every eye was strained imme-
diately, and Madge exclaimed, â€œI do!â€ but what she thought
must be the sea, was only a lake, of not very large size even.
So after a hearty laugh at her mistake she subsided. But
when the real sea did appear, even the noisiest child was
awed ; it was so grand, so beautiful, so much larger than they
expected. The sun was dancing on the little waves, which
sparkled and glittered like millions of diamonds. Several
boats were gliding about, and in the distance the smoke of a
steamer was visible against the horizon. Madge was speech-
less with admiration and astonishment. This was more than ~
her wildest dreams had pictured. â€œO mammie!â€ she cried,
when at last she could find words, â€œI had no idea the sea
would be so big. I never saw anything before so lovely.â€
But now the train stopped, and the platform of the little
country station was crowded with eager children, almost
tumbling over each other in their fear of being carried on.
Another cheer was raised as the train steamed on its way,
while its passengers looked out of the windows smiling at the
excited little crowd. Then they were marshalled in order, and
led to a delightful hayfield close to the seashore, where they
THE EXCURSION. 123
might either tumble in the sweet, new-mown hay, or pick
shells on the beach. In fact, the day was all too short for
the pleasures to be enjoyed, and the children trying to do
everything rushed wildly back and forward, not knowing
which they liked best. Mr. Arnold guessing that most of
the party had started very early indeed, and must be hungry,
had dinner ready, and very ready the guests were for it.
How they did enjoy the nice cold meat, pies, or puddings
which were provided in abundance, and how heartily they
joined in thanking God for these and all His other mercies.
After dinner, the men generally went for a long walk, the
children went to pick shells, and Mrs. Connor and Mrs.
Stevenson, not being walkers, seated themselves in the
delicious, newly-cut hay to enjoy a chat, but not idly, for the
latter produced the inevitable knitting from her pocket,
while little Nellie, in perfect enjoyment, made daisy chains at
their feet. Then came tea, with quantities of cake and
gooseberries ; the children trooped back to the field at the
sound of the big bell, their pockets bulging out with shells
or seaweeds, their handkerchiefs filled with treasures, and
their shoes wet and filled with sand. But little recked they
of such trifles! Nothing but dire fatigue reconciled them
to the necessity of going home; but when the shadows on
the grass grew long, and the western sky was brilliant with
crimson and gold, melting into the blue sea and tinging its
waves with purple, although there was a murmur that it
was an â€œawful pity â€ to have to leave so soon, even the most
active person was getting tired, and there were many sleepy
124 THE EXCURSION.
eyes before they were long in the train. But it had been a
happy day! Joe Stevenson acknowledged to himself that
he had not thought it possible he would ever again enjoy
anything so much, and was pleased and proud to feel his
wife leaning on his arm, while be carried his little Nellie,
already fast asleep with one little arm round his neck.
Madge did not wonder now that â€œthe excursionâ€ was a topic
of interest all the year, and went to sleep, looking forward
already to the next one, and dreaming of trains, sea, boats,
shells, daisies, and sweet-smelling hay, all mixed in one
But there was still one more piece of excitement before
the holidaysâ€”the flower show. Almost every child in the
school had taken seeds to grow for this, so great was the
emulation among them as to who should gain prizes.
Mrs. Stevenson had shown Madge how to tie up the sweet-
pea and mignonnette with slender sticks to keep them from
growing unevenly, and no day had passed without her giving
them careful watering and turning the pots round, that each
side equally might have the benefit of the sun. Consequently
her flowers -were really in very good condition, and the
unfortunate mignonnette, in its old biscuit-tin, not only
had struggled up, but was actually showing signs of
All the flowers were to be taken to the hall on a certain
day, when they were to be judged and exhibited to the.
public. And the prizes were to be awarded to the successful
competitors on the following Monday evening at the Band
THE EXCURSION. 125
of Hope mecting, when prizes would also be given for the
best essays and examinations.
Madge was afraid of knocking off one blossom from her
precious plants if she carried them herself, and was puzzled
how she could get them safely conveyed to the hall, when
her father volunteered to carry them for her. So, following
with the mignonnette herself, as there was no danger of its
tiny flower being spoiled, they set out for the hall. There was
quite an imposing array of flowers, each with the name, age,
and address of its owner plainly written on a card attached to
it. The annuals were all placed together in one division; the
geraniums, fuschias, calceolarias, pelargoniums in another,
and ferns in another. There were several window-boxes full
of flowers in brilliant bloom ; some most tastefully arranged
with a background of fuschia like a bower, shading the more
delicate geraniums and princeâ€™s feather. When the public
were admitted there was great excitement to see who had
gained prizes, but it was capitally managed, for there were
so many divisions and sections, according to age or residence
of the children, that hardly any one was left out without, at
least, a card marked â€œHighly commended.â€ Madge was
overjoyed to find her sweet-pea had gained a first prize, while
a mysterious card, unlike any other in the collection, was
fastened to the tin of mignonnette. Nobody could make out
what it meant, so she was obliged to wait in patience until
Monday evening, when the prizes would be awarded and
this mystery cleared up. Her friend, Janie Wilson, had
gained several honours, both for annuals and larger plants,
126 THE EXCURSION.
while a large glass of delicate maiden-hair fern attracted
general admiration, and was unanimously pronounced de-
serving of a first prize. Madge felt very happy, holding
Nellieâ€™s little hand as of old, as she walked round the rooms,
but now with father and mother close behind. She looked
forward to Monday evening with eagerness, for father had
promised to come that he might see her get her prize, and
perhaps, if he liked it very much, he might make that a
beginning, and attend regularly.
When the evening came, the house-door was locked, for
even Mrs. Tracy hobbled out, and all arriving early, got
good places in the front seats. But to Madgeâ€™s surprise,
unlike the ordinary Band of Hope nights, there was on the
table the display of medals and ribbons which had so
attracted her that first memorable evening that she had gone
in. And when Mr. Arnold took his place, he announced that
before the prizes for the flower show were given away, there
was to be a distribution of medals to all who had earned
them, by having kept the pledge for a whole year.
Of course this was most interesting, for besides the feeling
that if they were all spared for a few months more, they
would themselves be entitled to go up for their medals, there
were a great many going up whom they knew, several being
school-fellows of the children. Then there was a pause, and
Mr. Arnold said, he had now a pleasing but most unusual
duty to perform, namely, to award a silver bar to a little
girl who had gained ten recruits, although she was not yet
a year in the society, and therefore had nota medal. Madgeâ€™s
THE EXCURSION. 127
heart began to beat, and her cheeks to burn, surely it was
very like her case, only she had not yet ten recruits, only
nineâ€”stay, Nellie had signed! Yes, she was the tenth;
could Mr. Arnold mean her? She was not long in suspense,
for the secretary in a loud voice called â€œMadge Stevenson,â€
and she had to go up. There was something almost affec-
tionate in Mr. Arnoldâ€™s voice and manner as he handed her
the blue ribbon with a tiny bar upon it, saying that he
hoped ere long she would have her medal too, to hang at the
other end. Madge returned to her seat blushing at the loud
applause which she received, and which her father and Mr.
Connor assisted to give her with all their might, while
Nellie, wriggling on her seat with glee, and clapping her
little hands, cried, â€œOnly for me, Madge, you wouldnâ€™t have
got that. If I hadnâ€™t been a Band of Hope that night you
wouldnâ€™t have had ten recruits! Iam so glad I helped to
get it for you!â€ Then came, what seemed now the less
important ceremony of distributing the prizes, and Madge
received as her first prize a nicely bound Bible, while for
her unfortunate mignonnette, Mr Arnold, amid much amuse-
ment and laughing from the judges, awarded her a special
prize of a small story book, saying that it was the general
opinion that under the circumstances the plant must either
be unusually healthy, or have had unusual attention and
care to allow it to grow at all! and so they considered it
deserved a very special prize to itself !
After singing the doxology, the meeting broke up, and
our friends returned to their humble home in Back Lane,
128 THE EXCURSION.
happy with their pleasant evening, thankful for having
been enabled to take advantage of it, and filled with earnest
hopes for the future, that in their own ways they might
strive to perform their duty to their neighbour as faithfully
and humbly as little Madge had done hers, and with the
same confidence that whatever they should ask, believing,
they should receive.
JOHN S. MARR AND SONS, GLASGOW.
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'146500' 'info:fdaE20100130_AAAABBfileF20100130_AAAIBR' 'sip-files00121.QC.jpg'
'3102904' 'info:fdaE20100130_AAAABBfileF20100130_AAAIBS' 'sip-files00132.tif'
'39304' 'info:fdaE20100130_AAAABBfileF20100130_AAAIBT' 'sip-files00064.pro'
'350286' 'info:fdaE20100130_AAAABBfileF20100130_AAAIBU' 'sip-files00111.jp2'
'1734' 'info:fdaE20100130_AAAABBfileF20100130_AAAIBV' 'sip-files00125.txt'
'2903908' 'info:fdaE20100130_AAAABBfileF20100130_AAAIBW' 'sip-files00125.tif'
'42886' 'info:fdaE20100130_AAAABBfileF20100130_AAAIBX' 'sip-files00124.pro'
'1622' 'info:fdaE20100130_AAAABBfileF20100130_AAAIBY' 'sip-files00017.txt'
'2925148' 'info:fdaE20100130_AAAABBfileF20100130_AAAIBZ' 'sip-files00126.tif'
'158376' 'info:fdaE20100130_AAAABBfileF20100130_AAAICA' 'sip-files00085.QC.jpg'
'47989' 'info:fdaE20100130_AAAABBfileF20100130_AAAICB' 'sip-files00031thm.jpg'
'2955408' 'info:fdaE20100130_AAAABBfileF20100130_AAAICC' 'sip-files00030.tif'
'205350' 'info:fdaE20100130_AAAABBfileF20100130_AAAICD' 'sip-filesUF00054264_00001.xml'
TargetNamespace.1: Expecting namespace 'http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/digital/metadata/ufdc2/', but the target namespace of the schema document is 'http://digital.uflib.ufl.edu/metadata/ufdc2/'.
The element type "div" must be terminated by the matching end-tag "