Ella's dream

Material Information

Ella's dream
Series Title:
The Victoria tales and stories
Yonge, Charlotte Mary, 1823-1901 ( Editor )
Frederick Warne and Co ( Publisher )
Dalziel Brothers ( Engraver )
Place of Publication:
Frederick Warne and Co.
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
[16] p. : ill. ; 14 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Altruism -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Egoism -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1870
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )


General Note:
Cover title.
General Note:
Date from inscription.
General Note:
Illustrations engraved by Dalziel.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
edited by the author of "The heir of Redclyffe.".

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections ( with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
027275704 ( ALEPH )
ALK2857 ( NOTIS )
56970137 ( OCLC )

Full Text

The Baldwin Library





CAN'T, and I shan't, and I wont; and
what's more, I don't mean to, so you
needn't bother!"
That is a very pretty speech, is it not ?
And who do you think made it? The
prettiest littlegirl you can imagine. It was Ella Nairne,
a child nine years old, who had the most loving brown
eyes, and the loveliest auburn curls, and the cleanest and
neatest frock, and the pleasantest voice, and the sweetest
smile you can fancy. But for all that, little Ella had
her little faults, and one of them was that she did not
at all like to give way to her elder brother Jack, who
was really very kind to her, and seldom required her to
accommodate him at her own expense. Sometimes,
however, Jack wanted her assistance in something or
other, and if she had anything she wished to do, she
was not always willing to go and help Jack. Mrs.
Nairne had constantly impressed on Ella that it was
better to give way to her brother, and that she should
never make herself the first consideration. Also, Mrs.
Nairne was a very precise woman, and did not at all ap-

4 Ella's Dream.
prove of Ella's expressing herself in such excessively illo-
gical speeches as the one just quoted. But on the present
occasion, Jack having asked Ella to give up doing
her bead-work in the sitting-room with her mamma,
and to come out and help him with his fishing-lines,
the little lady quite forgot, as indeed she often did,
both her mamma's lessons, and burst into Mrs. Nairne's
presence, work in hand and with the speech in question,
poor Jack following her up with unavailing entreaties.
What can't' you, and shan't' you, and 'wont' you,
Ella ? and what is it, moreover, that you don't mean to
do ?" asked Mrs. Nairne.
"Oh, mamma dear, how can I answer all those
questions at once ?" replied Ella.
Very well, dear, if you think a minute: I imagine
that the answer would be the same to all of them,"
said her mamma.
Oh, of course !-so it would," said Ella, thinking
a moment. Well, then- "
In that case," interrupted Mrs. Nairne, "would it
not have been sufficient to say' I can't' ? because if you
can't, there need be no question whether you shall, or
will, or mean to. And were you speaking kindly to
Jack? How did he bother ?"
He wants me to go out and help him fish, mamma,
and I want to stop in and work with you; and he
wont let me alone, because he says it's such a fine day
for going out, and we'll be so jolly together," said Ella,
rather pettishly.

Ella's Dream. 5

Well, dear, don't you think it would be better to
go with Jack ?" asked Mrs. Nairne.
"I don't like fishing, and I do like bead-work,"
pleaded Ella.
But you like Jack, don't you? and you do not wish
him to think you are indifferent to what pleases him
surely ?" said Mrs. Nairne, persuasively.
Well, mamma, I'll go and get my hat and go with
Jack," said Ella; and away she ran.
Now when the two had been fishing together for some
time, Jack bethought him that he would leave Ella to
watch two floats, while he went away to the other side
of the pond and tried his luck there; and before he
had been gone many minutes, Ella had forgotten all
about the floats, and sat at first gathering flowers at the
root of the tree, and then gazing into the deep water,
where she fancied she should see all sorts of beautiful
things, if the waterwas not so cold, and she could make
up her mind to jump in. Then she watched how the
bubbles kept rising to the surface, and wondered how
they came; then she speculated why the water wrinkled
itself into circles when a fish jumped or a leaf fell in;
and just as a circle came up and made the rushes near
her rustle, and she was expecting to see the circle jump
up on to the bank, a beautiful dragon-fly flew by.
Ella left off watching the water, and followed the
dragon-fly about with her eyes as it flitted in and out
among the leaves of the trees, looking now dark, now
brilliant, according as it was in a shady or a sunny

6 Ella's Dream.

place, till at last the large brown eyes began to grow
listless and the long lashes drooped, and little Ella fell
fast asleep, wishing she could fly up there with the
dragon-fly and look as light and beautiful as he did.
Oh !" I hear you say, what a stupid story can't
y ou tell us about anything better than a little girl
that gets cross with her brother and then goes to
sleep ?"
Wait a minute.-Did you ever have a dream that
was so beautiful and so like a reality that you wished you
could go t6 sleep again and dream it over a second
time ? I have often, and so I mean to tell you what
Ella dreamt about; and if you will only take the
trouble to read to the end, I think you will say that the
dream is the best part of the tale. At all events, it is
meant to be the best part; and if you don't think so,
it will be your own fault, not mine.
Ella dreamt she was in a maze-right in the middle.
Were you ever in a maze? I daresay you never were;
but if you wait till you are old enough to go to Hamp-
ton Court, I have no doubt your mammas will take
you to the maze there. In the mean time I may as
well tell you that when you are once inside a maze the
difficulty is to get out again, for the paths are all made
in the most intricate manner, and when you have
turned two or three corners and think you must be
coming out, you find that you cannot get any further,
and have to turn all the way back again, and try going
round two or three more covers; and this you may

Ella's Dream.

go on doing for a length of time till you are quite tired
out, unless you happen to meet some one who knows
the way and can direct you. Fair Rosamond, you
know, had a silken thread leading up to her in her
maze; and unfortunately for Rosamond the dragon
queen Eleanor found the thread and got in, and made
her drink poison. But Ella was all alone in her maze,
and did not know that there was a silken thread to get
out by, so she wandered about, looking for an aperture
through which to escape, and finding nothing of the
sort. The maze was full of pictures and statues of
people who looked melancholy or dissatisfied or cross:
none of them looked agreeable; and Ella wanted to
get outside, where she felt sure there must be agree-
able-looking people. She noticed that there were a
great many finger-posts about, with the words that
way out," on them, and she followed the direction of
some fifty or sixty, but always found that that was not
the way out. At last she sat down, weary and dejected,
close under a statue of Alexander, representing that
monarch at the time when he had conquered the world,
and grieved that there were not other worlds to
conquer. The finger-posts were no more use to him
than to her, and there the two sat.
Ella was just beginning to cry, when she heard a
sound of some one breathing close to her, and, turning
found, she saw a tall beautiful woman, who looked as if
she had never stopped thinking, and had the destinies of
the world upon her mind. In fact, she never had stopped

8 Ella's Dream.

thinking, and though her face was careworn, it bore an
expression of great benevolence as she smiled on poor
little Ella. She did not say what her name was, and
doubtless meant it to be kept a secret, so I shall not
tell it to you. But she loved wisdom; and that was
what her name meant.
"What is the matter, dear ?" asked the beautiful
I can't find the way out," answered Ella; "and I
hate stopping in here:-it is so horrid and miserable,
and everybody looks so dreadful!" And here the tears
burst out, and poor little Ella laid her head on
Alexander's feet and sobbed aloud.
"Shall I tell you the way out ?" asked the woman.
"Oh, yes, do!" said Ella, eagerly. "I can't bear it
any longer."
"There are two fairies who can help us out," said
the woman. "If you go the way one directs, you will
have to come back again, and be as miserable as ever;
but if you let the other lead you, you need never come
"Oh! let me go with that one," said Ella. What
are their names?"
"Egoismus and Altruismus," answered the woman.
"Which is the one you stop out by ?" asked Ella.
"Altruismus," was the reply. "But shall I not
show you the abode of both, and let you see what will
be required of you in following either ?"
"Yes, please," said Ella; and she followed the

Ella's Dream. 9

woman in and out the windings of the maze, till they
came to a rock which was very large, and which had
something of the shape of a human head. The woman
knocked at the rock, and a door immediately opened,
through which she and Ella entered. There sat the
two fairies, each by a fountain; and certainly there
never was a greater contrast than those two fairies and
their two fountains. Egoismus sat close to his, by a
statue of himself, which he looked at adoringly from
time to time; and when he was not doing this, his head
usually fell on his breast, and his eyes peered downwards,
as if he were trying to see into his own heart and
consult its requirements. Altruismus, on the other
hand, stood in a light and free position, looking through
a window on to the outside world, with a wistful
expression of desire to be out and doing among and for
the many beings whose movements, you might see, he
was contemplating. The fountain of Egoismus was
made entirely of pieces of looking-glass, placed at every
possible angle, so that you could not look at any part
of it from any point without seeing yourself. There
were two streams flowing from it out into the world.
The fountain of Altruismus was very beautiful: it
consisted of a statue of Charity, mounted on a plinth
covered with elaborate bas-reliefs; and these represented
all the good deeds that had ever been done in the world.
There were two streams from this fountain also, and
they went out into the world as those of the other
fountain did. Ella stood astonished for some time

IO Ella's Dream.

without saying a word, till at last the beautiful woman
broke silence with,
We Ella, will you decide now, or will you watch
the courses of the streams which flow from the two
fountains ?"
I should like to see the streams right out to their
end, but I don't see how, for they are buried under the
wall," answered Ella. "What are they made of?
They look very strange."
"The streams from the fountain of Egoismus are
galland vinegar," said the woman; "and those from
the other source are milk and honey."
How very queer!" said Ella. I should like to see
what becomes of them; but how can that bemanaged ?"
"Thus," replied the beautiful woman; and she
touched the wall in which the window of Altruismus
was made. The wall at once disappeared, and disclosed
to the astonished sight of the little girl a vast tract of
country of the most varied description, which appeared
to have no end. It seemed as if the most civilized lands
within the pale of European culture, as well as the
desolate white wastes of Siberia--the wilds of Central
Africa, and the boundless bright lands of the New
World-the hot and dusty deserts of Asia, and the
most thickly peopled regions of Eastern civilization-
had all been brought together and woven by some
mighty artist-spirit into a comprehensive landscape, in-
cluding all known countries, and adorned with every
variety of the human race in its most sublime aspects,

Ella's Dream. 1

and alas! disfigured by every evil manifestation which
the same human race can produce. The four streams
flowed out into the landscape side by side, and the first
thing Ella noticed was, that whereas the rills of gall
and vinegar got smaller and smaller as they flowed on,
those of milk and honey grew broader and broader.
The streams of gall and vinegar ended by ascending a
mountain, at the furthest point which the eye could
reach, and, as they joined at the top of the mountain,
they became crystallized to a dark dagger-like spike, and
ended in a point. But the widening streams of milk
and honey grew to two large rivers before that point
was reached, and seemed at times to overwhelm the
other two streams, which nevertheless persistently re-
appeared over and over again. Ella saw that the two
rivers also ascended the mountain; and where the two
streams of gall and vinegar ended in a point, the rivers
of milk and honey mingled together and were dashed
up far above into the pure ether, forming a spangled
fountain more glorious than Ella had ever beheld,
lighting the heavens with a brilliance not their own, and
shooting over all visible objects shafts of soft radiance
that warmed the heart and dissolved the eyes in kindly
tears, one hardly knew why. At all events, Ella cried,
and could not give the least idea what was the cause of
her tears. When she had dried her eyes, she turned
inquiringly to the beautiful woman, who asked
whether she would like to see what the people were
about on each side of the streams. She said she would,

12 Ella's Dream.

and the woman produced a large magnifying-glass,
through which you could see distinctly one group at a
"All whom I shall show you were once in this
maze," said the beautiful woman. Some tried to get
out by the help of Egoismus, and though they seem to
be out, they are not really, as they will learn some day.
Others got out under the conduct of Altruismus, and
they are out in truth, and will remain out. First I
will show you a few of those who have left the maze
with Egoismus to guide them," and she turned the
glass on one of the groups occupying the gall and
vinegar side of the streams.
"Oh! how dreadful!" shrieked Ella, shutting her
eyes, for the group consisted of a number of African
savages, in the wildest whirl of a barbarous encounter,
beating each other's brains out with clubs and
tomahawks, and even tearing the bodies of those that
were slain.
The woman shifted the glass, and told Ella to look
again. This time she saw a drove of the same savages,
men and women, being driven off by a lot of brutal-
looking white men, who had them yoked together like
beasts, and were lashing the poor creatures whenever
they began to flag. Ella knew what that meant, for
she had heard of the iniquitous sale of men and women
into slavery, and how the markets were supplied; but
she did not know that the fairy Egoismus had anything
to do with it.

Ella's Dream. 13

The next time she looked through the magnifying-
glass she saw an old man seated under a tree, counting
out pieces of gold from a leather bag which he had
taken out of his bosom. She perceived that a poor
woman with two starving children had just gone away
from the old man, having sued in vain for a piece of
money to buy bread; and she also saw how two ill-
looking fellows were creeping up behind the tree, armed
with bludgeons, so she turned her head lest she might
witness more deeds of horror.
Again the glass was moved, and this time Ella's gaze
fell on the great smoky city of London. She saw men
issuing from the city and hurrying along the banks of
gall and vinegar, some with faces full of cunning and
grim satisfaction at the sums they had made by means
of superior dishonesty, others wearing the expression of
excitement and anxiety, as if the world depended on
their being able to excel their fellows in cheating. The
woman said that there were many from the city on the
other bank, but that numbers such as those she had
seen might be found along the gall and vinegar bank.
Then Ella saw in succession fire-sides cold for want
of a little cheerful sacrifice on some one's part,-
mothers who left their children half cared for while
they followed the bent of their own inclinations,-
husbands and wives who treated each other as though
they were twain, and not one flesh,-children who
would not give way to each other, but wrangled con-
stantly for the mastery,-and a motley throng of

14 Ella's Dream.

brawling, cheating, and fighting beings which made her
feel very sad indeed. The woman also showed her
massacres and crimes which her mamma had told her
of, and many a piece of active or passive sin which
seemed familiar to her. Poor little Ella was very
weary long before she had got to the end of these
sights, and it was a great relief to her when the
beautiful woman said,
Now we will see some of the people on the other
bank-the milk and honey side."
The sights whichthe magnifying-glass disclosed here
were indeed refreshing to Ella after the painful contem-
plation of the miseries she had been witnessing. She
saw now women moving cheerfully about in their
families, doing all that could be desired to secure
domestic happiness and comfort, and ministering out of
doors to the wants of the poor and distressed. There
were men slaving at books which were to be flung out
as lights to all generations, and others consuming their
lives away in the immediate service of their countries.
There were devoted philanthropists travelling among
tribes of naked savages, and trying to illuminate the
darkness of their ignorance, and noble women who had
given up the comforts and luxuries of home to attend
the wounded and dying in lands whereon the curse of
war lay heavily. Every conceivable deed of love and
devotion Ella saw acted on this bank; and here also
she saw scenes familiar to her from the teachings of her
mamma. At one time she saw Marcus Curtius leaping

Ella's Dream. 15

down the hideous gulf in the Roman Forum, and at
another the great St. Paul at Athens, preaching down
undauntedly the old gods in the shadow of the very
Parthenon, and among the very monuments erected to
those gods by generations of ardent worshippers. And
at one point she saw that the rivers of milk and honey
washed the bases of the sacred mount of Calvary, where
stood the sacred cross ;-and Ella and the beautiful
woman both bowed their heads in reverence at the
thought of Him who had once occupied that cross and
whose agony had sanctified for ever both cross and
Then the woman set down the wonderful glass, and
turning to Ella, said-
Choose, little one, whether you will go out of the
maze with Egoismus or Altruismus."
And Ella answered, "With Altruismus."
Consider well what you will have to do," continued
the woman. "You must make up your mind to act,
not for your own pleasure, but for the pleasure,
and benefit of others,-not seeking your own good
to the detriment of any one else, but being willing
to forego any personal advantage in order to secure
happiness for another. This may seem hard at first;
but if you make it a rule you will always find yourself
satisfied of having done the right thing; and that will
be the truest pleasure."
But I don't quite understand what Altruismus has
to do with all this," said Ella. I saw the people

16 Ella's Dream.

beside his two rivers were that sort of people, and I
should like to do the kind of things they do."
Then you must go with the fairy who has led them
out of the maze," said the beautiful woman.
And Ella looked up at her face and saw that it was
full of wisdom and kindness. She felt that what that
mouth uttered must be true, and she exclaimed reso-
"I will be led by Altruismus !"
Will you ?" said Jack, for Ella's dream was broken
by the strong effort with which she had really said the
words in her sleep; and she found Jack bending over her.
"Will you be led by Altruismus, little sleepy-head ?
And perhaps another time you will stay awake and
watch my lines when I ask you to, and not let me lose
a beautiful carp and get one of my hooks broken off ?"
"Oh, yes, indeed I will, Jack," answered Ella, "and
I'll come with you fishing whenever you like, whether
I want to do my bead-work or not."
Kiss me then, dear," said Jack, "and tell me who
Altruismus is."
Oh, I don't know, Jack," replied Ella, throwing her
arms round his neck and kissing him. It's a beautiful
dream I've had; but let's come in to mamma and tell it
to her, and then we'll get her to explain it."
So away they went hand in hand to Mrs. Nairne.
And if you don't understand the dream you had better
ask your mammas to explain it to you, for I don't
mean to do any such thing.

\"je 1572,