BASKET OF FLOWERS
PIETY AND TRUTH TRIUMPHANT.
anslateb from tie BnTmn,
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS PRINTED IN COLOURS
FROM ORIGINAL DESIGNS.
FREDERICK WARNE AND CO.
13EDFORD STREET, COVENT GARDEN.
NEW YORK: SCRIBNER, WELFO.D, AND ARMSTRONG.
THERE have been many editions of this popular
work, all of which have been received with favour
by the public. The original story is from the pen
of a German writer. Some of the English editions
have been American translations, and some
(English) translations from the French edition
of the original work. Some of these have been
added to, and others curtailed, according to the
tastes or fancies of the various translators and
So far as we can ascertain, there is yet no
English translation of the German original without
alterations and additions by French, American,
and English writers.
The following volume is translated from the
German story, almost literally, except that here
and there a few verses from the best English poets
are given at the beginning or close of the chap-
ters, where they are peculiarly suitable to the
subject, and a few striking emblems and verses
from natural objects, or from Scripture, have been
added where it seemed necessary to do so. But,
on the whole, this edition will be found a much
more faithful translation of the original book than
any other yet published.
It seems almost unnecessary to remind the
reader, that various events in the following story
may appear strange and improbable to English
readers, because the scenes described took place
at a time and in a country very different from
$.. .- ',-,
TIE FATHER AND DAUGHTER .
THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT .
THE STOLEN RING .
MARY IN PRISON .
THE TRIAL. .
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER IN PRISON.
THE SENTENCE AND ITS EXECUTION
A FRIEND IN NEED . 87
THE EXILES FIND A HOME .. 94
PLEASANT DAYS AT THE PINE FARM 03
JAMES'S ILLNESS I16
;AMIES'S DEATH. 134
THE AVARICIOUS DAUGHTER-IN-LAW 149
FRESH TROUBLES 158
HELP IN TIME OF NEED 168
THE COUNTESS AMELIA'S STORY 174
THE RING FOUND 185
VIRTUE REWARDED 197
AN EVENING AT-THE HUNTING LODGE 203
A VISIT TO THE PINE-TREE FARM 208
FURTHER OCCURRENCES AT PINE FARM 217
A HAPPY EVENT 230
THE MONUMENT 240
"~ I -'
BASKET OF FLOWERS.
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER.
0 friendly to the best pursuits of man,
Friendly to thought, to virtue, and to peace,
Domestic life in rural pleasure passed !
Few know thy value, and few taste thy sweets."
N the market-town of Eichburg, in Ger-
many, belonging to a Count of this
name, there lived above one hundred
years ago, a sensible and pious man of the name
of James Rode. When he was a poor lad, he
came to Eichburg to be under-gardener, and to
acquire a knowledge of horticulture, in the gardens
14 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
of the Count's castle. The excellent qualities of
his mind, the skill he displayed in everything that
he undertook, and his prepossessing appearance
bearing the impress of nature's nobility, gained
him the favour of his master and mistress, who
employed him in various subordinate offices in the
castle. When the Count, who at this time was a
young man, went on his travels, James accom-
panied him as one of his retinue. In the course
of these travels James made diligent use of the
means of improvement afforded him. He learned
much, gained a knowledge of the usages of
society, acquired elegant language and refined
manners, but what is still better, he brought back
with him his noble, honest heart, uncorrupted by
his intercourse with the great world. The Count
sought to reward James's faithful services by
giving him a profitable situation; James might
have been made steward in a palace which be-
longed to the Count in .the capital; but the good
man looked back with pleasure to the tranquillity
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER.
of a country life, and, as just at this time a small
farm, that had hitherto been let on lease, happened
to be at the disposal of the Count, James re-
quested to be allowed to rent it. The generous
Count permitted him to have it for life, without
paying any rent, and also gave him every year as
much grain and wood as sufficed to supply his
James soon afterwards married, and supported
himself and his family upon the produce and pro-
fits of this little farm, that besides a nice house
had a large, fine garden, half of which was
planted with the best. sorts of fruit trees, and the
other half was used for the cultivation of vege-
tables and flowers.
After James had lived for many years happily
with his wife, who in all respects was worthy of
him, she was snatched away by the hand of death.
His grief was inexpressible. The good man,
already somewhat advanced in years, seemed to
become prematurely aged, his form was bent, and
16 1THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
his hair turned grey. His sole comfort in the
world was his daughter, the only survivor of
several children, who, at the death of her mother,
was but five years old. She was named Mary,
after her mother, and was her very image.
Even when a child, little Mary was exceedingly
beautiful, and as she grew up, her pious mind, her
gentleness, modesty, and the unselfish kindness
that she showed to every one, gave a peculiar grace
to her beauty, and endeared her more and more to
her father's heart.
How like a new existence to his heart,
Uprose that living flower beneath his eye.
Dear as she was, from cherub infancy,
From hours when she would round his garden play,
To time when, as the ripening years went by,
Her lovely mind could culture well repay,
And more engaging grew from pleasing day to day."
There was so amiable an expression in her
countenance, that all who saw her loved her.
Reared in a good and happy home, she grew up
a gentle, pious girl, loving flowers and all the
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER.
beauties of nature, and seeing the hand of God in
all His glorious works.
Mary was not quite fifteen, when she was re-
quired to manage the affairs of her father's little
household, which she did to perfection. A speck
of dust was never to be seen in the neat sitting-
room; in the kitchen the cooking utensils, and
other articles, were almost as bright as new, and
the whole house was a pattern of order and cleanli-
ness. With unwearied industry Mary assisted her
father to work in the garden; and the time she
thus spent in helping him was the happiest in her
life; for her wise father knew how to make labour
a pleasure by means of cheerful and instructive
Thus Mary grew among the flowers, and the
garden was her world. From childhood she had
taken great pleasure in rare and lovely plants,
therefore her father every year sent for seeds,
roots, and grafts of sorts that she had never be-
fore seen, and he allowed her to plant the borders
i8 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
of the beds in the garden with what she liked
Mary had thus a constant and pleasant occupa-
tion during her hours of leisure. She carefully
tended the delicate plants, watched the blossoms
Ihat were new to her, wondering what kind of
flowers they would produce. She could scarcely
wait until the buds opened, and when at length
the long looked for flowers appeared in their
beauty, the sight gave her inexpressible joy.
"This is pure, innocent pleasure," said her father,
"smiling. "Many people expend more money for
gay dresses for their children than I spend in
flower-seeds, and yet they do not procure so
pleasant and harmless an enjoyment for their
Every month, and even every week, Mary found
new sources of amusement in her garden. She
often said with delight, "Paradise could scarcely
have been more beautiful than our garden." Few
passed by without stopping to admire the rare
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER.
blossoms. The children of the village on their
way from school peeped through the fence with
longing eyes, and Mary often gratified them by
giving them a few flowers.
The wise father knew how to make a still nobler
use of his daughter's delight in flowers. He
taught her to see the wisdom, goodness, and
almighty power of God in the beauty of the
blossoms, the variety of their forms, the distinct-
ness of their varied features, their exact propor-
tions, their splendid colouring, and their delicious
perfume. He was accustomed to spend the first
morning hour of each day in devotion, and he
always rose early in order to be able to do thi-
before he went to work. He thought that there
was little worth having in human life, if, amidst his
business, a man could not secure a few hours for
devotion, or at least could not command half an
hour in a day, in which he could commune undis-
turbed with his Maker, and elevate his mind by
raising his thoughts to heaven. In the beautiful
20 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
days of spring and summer he took Mary with
him to shady spots in the garden, from which,
amidst the lovely songs of birds, and the blossoms
besprinkled with dew, they could see an extensive
view, bounded by the golden rays of the rising
Here James communed with God, who created
the sun to shine with friendly light and heat, who
gives us dew and rain, who bounteously feeds the
fowls of heaven, and richly clothes the flowers of
the field. Here they learned to know the Al-
mighty as the loving Father of the human race,
who is gracious to all, whose tender mercies are
over all His works, and whose love is shown more
clearly than in all besides, by the gift of His only
and well-beloved Son. "God so loved the world
that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoso-
ever believeth in Him should not perish, but have
everlasting life." James taught Mary to pray to
this loving Saviour as he himself prayed, with his
whole heart. The devotions of the morning hour
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER.
bore much fruit, and tended to implant child-like
piety in Mary's youthful heart.
From the lovely flowers he taught her to draw
sublime lessons of heavenly-wisdom. One day, in
early spring, when Mary joyfully brought him the
first violet that she had gathered, her father said,
"Dear Mary, this lovely flower is an emblem of
humility, modesty, and unobtrusive benevolence.
It is robed in celestial blue, but grows close to the
ground; it hides itself in the shade, but fills the
air with the sweetest perfume. It is the emblem
of a meek and lowly heart, which wears the genuine
blue of heaven, and is made like unto our Lord, who
was meek and lowly. While it retires from the world
and thinks little of itself, it is precious in the sight
of God; 'for He hath respect unto the lowly'
(Ps. cxxxviii. 6). Be thou, dear Mary, humble
and retiring like the modest violet. Do not desire
to be gaily dressed like a gaudy flower. Remem-
ber our Lord's warning, 'Take heed that ye do
not your alms before men to be seen of them.'
22 TH-E BASKET OF FLO WERS.
Seek not the applause of men, but act from a
nobler motive. Let it be your earnest desire to
live for God's glory, and let that be your aim in
all that you do."
When the garden was in its greatest beauty, and
the flowers were in full bloom, James pointed to a
splendid lily, on which the rays of the sun were
shining, and thus spoke to the delighted Mary,-
"This fair lily is the emblem of innocence;
white is always used to denote purity; and see, its
blossoms are white as ::,.. -.i 11. I1 snow. But white
is more difficult to keep clean than any other colour;
the least touch of impurity destroys it. Alas none
of us are by nature pure in heart, yet there is a
fountain wherein we may wash and be clean.
There is a white robe freely offered to all. Blessed
are they who have washed their robes and made
them white in the blood of the Lamb. Blessed
are the pure in heart.' Pray for this purity, dear
Mary, and avoid the least contact with evil. Go
not in the way of sinners; listen not to their
TEE FA _-..2. A _'D DAUGHTER 23-
words. Remember that a word, or even a thought,
may soil the purity of the mind.
"The rose," continued James, "is the emblem
of modesty. Lovelier than the rose is the colour
that flushes the cheek of a modest girl. The face
that is never tinged with a blush is the sign of a
heart that has been soiled by the world."
James gathered a bunch of roses and lilies, and
made them into a beautiful bouquet. Then giving.
it to Mary, he said,-
"The rose and the lily, emblems of purity and
modesty, are twin sisters that should never be
separated. God gave modesty to purity to be a
warning when evil is near. Fly from all, dearc
Mary, that can call up a blush to your cheek.
Avoid even the appearance of evil. May your
heart be pure as the lily, and your cheek as red as;
the rose. Lovely as.these roses are, they will fade
and wither; but even when their leaves are brown
and dry, the sweet scent will remain. The rose
on your cheek may fade, dear Mary; outward
24 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
beauty may pass away; but true purity of heart
will endure for ever, and the beauty of the mind
can never decay."
The most beautiful ornament of the garden was
a dwarf apple-tree, not higher than a rose-bush,
that stood in a small circular bed, in the middle of
the garden. Mary's father had planted it on the
day in which she was born, and the tree now bore
every year golden, rosy-cheeked apples. One
season it flowered particularly well, and was
completely covered with blossoms. Mary went to
look at it every morning.
"Oh, how lovely !" exclaimed she, in an ecstasy
of delight. "What exquisite red and white. The
tree looks like one large bunch of flowers !"
One morning when she went to look at it as
usual, it was withered; the frost had destroyed all
its blossoms. They were already yellow, brown,
and shrivelled, and Mary wept at the sad sight
"So is the bloom of youth destroyed by sinful
pleasures," observed Mary's father; "like the nip-
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER
ping frost, they blast and wither the fairest and
most promising. Oh! my dear Mary, keep far
from the polluting pleasures of the world. Trem-
ble even to taste them. Oh, my child beware of
them; venture not near the forbidden path; pray
to be kept from evil. If the fair hopes that I
have of your bright future, not for one year only,
but for your whole life, should be thus blasted, I
would then weep more bitter tears than you are
now shedding. I should never again have a
happy hour, and my grey hairs would go down in
sorrow to the grave."
Tears stood in James's eyes as he spoke, and
his words made a very deep impression on Mary.
Brought up under the care of so wise and
loving a father, Mary grew up amongst the flowers
of their garden as blooming as a rose, pure-minded
as a lily, modest as a violet, and with as bright
hopes as a young tree when in fairest blossom.
The old man had always contemplated with
happy smiles his favourite garden, the fruits of
26 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
which so well rewarded his industry; but 1ke
looked with far greater pleasure on his sweet and
gentle daughter, who, by the blessing of God on
his labours, rewarded the care he had bestowed on
training and teaching her, by bringing forth, still
more precious fruits, even the fruits of the Spirit,,
to the praise and glory of God.
Domestic Love! not in proud palace halls
Is often seen thy beauty to abide;
Thy dwelling is in lonely cottage walls,
That in the thickets of the woodbine hide,
With hum of bees around, and from the side
Of woody hills some little bubbling spring,
Shining along through banks with harebell dyed;
And many a bird to warble on the wing,
When morn her saffron robe o'er heaven and earth doth fling."
T]:E B.H'lIfD.1'i PKIKNT,
THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT OF MAY FLOWERS.
The gorse is yellow on the heath,
The banks with speedwell flowers are gay,
The oaks are budding, and, beneath,
The hawthorn soon will bear the wreath-
The silver wreath of May."
N a lovely morning in the beginning of
the month of May, Mary went into a
neighboring grove, and cut some twigs
of willow and boughs of hazel, with which her
father, when he was not occupied in his garden,
made very pretty baskets. There she found the
first lilies of the valley in blossom. She gathered
some of them, and made two nosegays-one for
her father, and another for herself. As she was
passing along a narrow footpath across a flowery
28 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
meadow, on her way home, she was met by the
Countess of Eichburg and her daughter Amelia,
who usually lived in the city, but who were now
spending a few days in their castle at Eichburg.
As soon as Mary perceived the two ladies in
white dresses, and with green parasols, then not
used by the peasants, she stepped aside to make
room for them to pass, and stood respectfully
waiting beside the footpath.
"What are there lilies of the valley already in
flower?" exclaimed the young Countess, whose
favourite flower it was.
Mary immediately offered a bunch of lilies to
each of the ladies. They accepted them with
pleasure; and the Countess drew out her purse of
purple and gold, and wished to make Mary a
present. But Mary said, "Will not your Excel-
lency permit a poor girl, who has already received
so many benefits from your Ladyship, to enjoy the
pleasure of giving a few flowers without thinking of
THE BIRTHDAY Y PRESENT.
The Countess smiled kindly, and said that
Mary might often bring Amelia a bunch of lilies
of the valley.
Mary did this every morning, and, so long as
the lilies of the valley lasted, went daily to the
castle. Amelia found greater pleasure every day
in Mary's visits, on account of her naturally good
understanding, her merry disposition and artless-
ness, and her increasing popularity. Mary was
obliged to spend many hours in the society of
the Lady Amelia, long after all the May flowers
had faded away. The young Countess often
showed that she wished Mary to be always with
her, and she therefore thought of giving her a
place in the household of the Count, so that she
might have her constantly near her.
The anniversary of Amelia's birthday was draw-
ing near. Mary was busied with a little rustic
present for the occasion. She had often before
given a wreath of flowers. She now decided
on giving something else. During the previous
3o THIE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
winter, her father had occupied himself in
making beautiful work-baskets for ladies. He
had given the most beautiful of them all to
Mary. He had obtained the pattern of this in
the city, and had succeeded remarkably ,well in
making it an exquisite piece of workmanship.
Mary resolved to fill this basket with flowers, and
to offer it as a gift to Amelia, on the anniversary
of her birthday. Her father gladly granted her
request, and he still more adorned the pretty little
basket by weaving on it in delicate workmanship
the name of the Countess Amelia and the crest
of her family. When finished, the basket was
quite a masterpiece.
On the morning of the Countess Amelia's birth-
day, Mary gathered the loveliest roses, the most
beautiful white, crimson, and purple stocks, dark
brown and yellow wallflowers, dark red, yellow,
and clove carnations, and other exquisite flowers
of all colours. She arranged these in the basket,
amongst elegant sprigs of green, with correct
THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT. 31
taste, so that the colours contrasted well with one
another. She surrounded the edge of the basket
with a light wreath of rosebuds and moss, and she
encircled the Countess Amelia's name with a gar-
land of forget-me-not. The fresh rosebuds, the
tender green moss, and the blue forget-me-not
looked beautiful on the white lattice-work of the
basket. The whole looked so perfect, that even
her grave father praised Mary's good taste with
a complacent smile, and said, when she wished
to take it away, "Let it stand there a little
longer, that I may have the pleasure of looking
Mary carried the basket to the castle, and pre-
sented it to the Countess Amelia with her host re-
spectful good wishes. Mary found the young Coun-
tess seated at her toilet. Her maid was standing
behind her, dressing her hair for the festival. The
Countess Amelia was (i._i1 i.'d with the basket, and
could not say enough in praise of the exquisite work-
manship of the gift and the beauty of the flowers.
"You good child," said she, you must have
32 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
quite stripped your garden, to bring me so lovely
a gift And your father's work is so beautiful, so
tasteful! I have never seen anything more ex-
quisite. Oh, come with me, and let me show it to
my mother !"
She arose, took Mary kindly by the hand, and
led her upstairs to her mother's room.
Oh, look, mamma!" exclaimed she, as she
entered the room, what a lovely and inimitable
present Mary has brought me I have never seen
a prettier basket, and there could not be more
The Countess also was much pleased with the
basket. "It is indeed very beautiful," said she.
" I should like to have a picture of it. The basket,
with the flowers still wet with the morning dew,
would make as fine a flower-piece as has ever been
painted by the great masters. It does great credit
to Mary's good taste, and still more honour to her
kind heart. Wait here a little, dear child," con-
tinued she to Mary, beckoning at the same time to
Amelia to follow her into the next room. Then
THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT.
she said to her daughter, "We must not allow
Mary to go home without a present. What do
you think it will be best to give her?"
Amelia considered for a few moments. I
think," said she, at length, one of my dresses
might be the best thing; at least, dearest mother,
if you will allow me to give her the dress which
has small red and white flowers on a dark green
ground. It is as good as new. I have only worn
it once or twice, but I have outgrown it. It would
be a pretty Sunday dress for Mary. She is so
neat-handed, that she will alter it herself to make
it fit her. If you do not think it too much, I will
give it to her."
Do so," said the Countess; "when we give
anything to the working-people, it ought always to
be something useful and suitable. The green
dress with the pattern of flowers will be an appro-
priate gift to the little flower-girl." The Countess
went back to the room in which she had left Mary.
" Go, now, children," said she, kindly, "and take
34 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
care of these flowers, that they may not fade
before dinner-time. We have company to-day,
and the basket shall take the place of the epergne,
and be the chief ornament of the dinner-table.
I leave it to you, dear Amelia, to thank Mary
Amelia hastened back to her own room with
Mary, and desired her maid to bring the dress.
Harriet (for this was the maid's name) stood hesi-
tating, and said, "Your ladyship cannot surely
intend to wear that dress to-day ?"
"No," replied Amelia, "I mean to give it to
"That dress !" returned Harriet sharply. Is
her ladyship, the Countess, aware of it ?"
"Bring the dress here," said Amelia, in a
decided tone, "and leave me to settle the
Harriet turned hastily away to hide her vexation,
and went with a. countenance flushed with rage.
She angrily pulled the dress out of the wardrobe
THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT.
of the young Countess. Oh, if I only dared to
tear it to pieces !" said she, "That detestable
gardener's girl She has already partly taken my
place in the favour of my mistress, and now she
is robbing me of this dress; for the cast-off
dresses of my lady belong to me by right. I
could tear out the eyes of this hateful flower-
seller !" Notwithstanding, Harriet suppressed her
anger as well as she could, and put on a civil
expression when she returned to the room, and
gave the dress to Amelia.
"Dear Mary," said Amelia, "I have received
many more costly presents to-day, but not any
that have pleased me so much .as the flower-
basket. The flowers in this dress are not so
beautiful as yours, but I think that you will like
them as my gift. Wear this dress as a remem
brance of me, and give my best thanks to your
Mary took the dress, kissed the hand of the:
young Countess, and took her leave.
36 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
Harriet continued her work in silence, with
feelings of jealousy, envy, and anger burning in
her heart. It cost her no little self-command to
Conceal her ill-temper, -and she could not refrain
From slightly showing it by pulling Amelia's hair
a little while she was dressing it.
Are you angry, Harriet ?" said Amelia,
"I should be too foolish were I to be angry
because your ladyship is so kind."
That is a very sensible speech," said the Lady
Amelia. I wish that you may always think as
Meantime Mary hastened home with the beauti-
ful dress, her heart full of joy. But her prudent
father was not particularly pleased with the elegant
present. He shook his grey head and said, I
had rather that you had not carried that basket to
the castle. I value the dress, indeed, as the gift
of our kind ladies, but I fear that it may make
other people envious of us, and what would be
THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT.
much worse, that it may make you vain. Take
good care, dear Mary, that the last may not, at all
events, be the case. Modesty and proper behav-
iour are better ornaments for a girl than the most
beautiful and becoming dresses. Remember what
the Bible tells us about the best ornaments of
woman. Whose adorning let it not be that out-
ward adorning of plaiting the hair and of wearing
of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be
the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not
corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and
quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great
price. For after this manner in the old time the
holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned
themselves." (r Peter iii. 3-5.)
We sacrifice to dress, till household joys
And comforts cease. Dress drains our cellar dry,
And keeps our larder lean; puts out our fires,
And introduces hunger, frost, and woe,
Where peace and hospitality might reign."
38 TiHE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
A sweet temper, and an open heart,
A loving breast, and animated eye--
These, these best dignify, and still endear
The meanest and the lowest. Many round
May overtop me with their pride and show,
But let me be what they but seem to be,
And seem, and be, the best. In my small sphere
Perfume the atmosphere around my path
With kind sweet words and loving happy looks.
If I am loving I shall be beloved;
And men shall bless the fragrance of my name,
And hail my presence and my absence mourn."
The pompous flowers but dazzle, not delight,
Astonish while their worthier mates attract,
Admired by many, but by none beloved.
Fine features, symmetry, a large estate,
Taste, wit, and genius admiration win."
3 -.. -,_-. --,
'11!1; SToA% T :.1
THE STOLEN RING.
Let the crush of wrong
Disclose my sweetness rather than my gall.
Come sorrow then, or joy; come woe or weal,
All shall subserve His purpose who ordained
The winter as the summer-night as day-
And formed my soul for glory. To enjoy
May be the blest prerogative of heaven;
On earth we still must suffer and endure."
ARY tried on her new dress; she then
folded it up carefully, and put it away in
her box. Scarcely had she done this when
the young Countess hastily entered the cottage, pale,
trembling, and out of breath.
"Oh, Mary," exclaimed she, "what have you
done ? My mother's diamond ring is missing No
one has been in the room but you. Do give it to
40 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
me quickly, or it will be a dreadful business.
Give it me quickly, and then the matter may still
Mary was so terrified that she became as pale as
death. "Ah, my lady," said she, what can this
mean ? I have not the ring. I did not even see
a ring in the room. I never even left the place in
which I stood."
Mary," pleaded the Countess, "I entreat you,
for your own sake, to give me the ring. You know
not how valuable the one precious stone in it is.
The ring cost nearly a thousand crowns. If you
had known that, you would surely not have taken
it. Probably you thought it only a trifle of little
value. But do give it to me now, and all shall be
forgiven you, as merely an act of youthful folly,"
Mary began to weep. Indeed, indeed," said
she, I know nothing about the ring. I have never
even ventured to touch anything that did not belong
to me, far less to steal it. My father has trained
me too well ever to take anything from any one."
THE STOLEN RING.
~'he father now entered the room. He had been
working in the garden, and had seen the young
Countess enter the house, apparently in great haste.
When he was told why she had come, he exclaimed,
in great distress, "What is this ?" The good man
was so agitated that he was forced to catch hold
of the table for support, and sank, half fainting,
upon a bench.
Child," said he, to steal such a ring as this
is a crime which, in this country, is punished with
death. But this is the least part of it. For such
a deed we have to answer not only to man, but to
a far greater Lord-to the highest Judge of all,
who sees the secrets of all hearts, and before whom
no excuses or refuges of lies avail. If you have
so forgotten God's holy commands, and, in the
moment of temptation, have not remembered my
fatherly teachings; if you have suffered your
eyes to be dazzled by the splendour of gold and
precious stones, and have thus been led into sin,
oh deny it not, but confess it, and give back the
42 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
ring. This the only way to make amends for your
guilt, and perhaps it may still be forgiven."
Oh, father," said Mary, between tears and
sobs, I assure you-I assure you-indeed I
saw nothing of the ring. Ah if I had even found
such a ring in the street, I could not have rested
until I had restored it to its owner."
"See," continued her father, "'.hat angel, the
young Countess Amelia-who has come here out
of love to you-to save you from the hands of
justice-who wishes you so well-who has just
given you so valuable a present-surely she does
not deserve that you should tell her a lie-that you
should seek to deceive her, to your own destruction!
If you have the ring, confess it at once, and the
gracious Countess will, perhaps, by her entreaties,
avert from you the punishment you deserve. Mary,
I entreat you to be honest and tell the truth."
Father," said Mary, "you know well that I
have never stolen the value of a farthing in my
whole life I have never even ventured to take an
THE STOLEN RING.
apple from a tree, or an handful of grass from the
meadow of a neighbour; how much less could I
have taken anything so precious. Believe me,
dearest father, you know that I have never told
you a lie in my life !"
Mary," said her father once more, "look with
pity upon my grey hairs Bring them not with
sorrow to the grave Spare me this deep agony !
Confess it before God, before whom I hope soon
to appear, and who will permit no thief to enter
into the kingdom of heaven. As in His sight, I
ask you again, have you the ring ? For your own
soul's sake I implore you to tell the truth !"
Mary looked with weeping eyes to heaven,
clasped her hands, and said solemnly, God knows
that I have not the ring As surely as I hope to
be saved, so surely I have it not."
Now," said her father, I do truly believe that
you have it not, for you could not tell such a false-
hood in the very presence of God, before the noble
Countess here, and your own old father. And as
44 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
I now firmly believe you to be innocent, I am easy.
Be at peace, too, dear Mary, and fear nothing. There
is but one real evil in the world that we have to
fear, and that is sin. Prison and death are nothing
to this. Whatever may become of us, even if all
men should forsake us, and be against us, yet we
have God for our friend, and He will certainly
rescue us, and sooner or later bring our innocence
The young Countess wiped away a tear as she
said, Good people, when I hear you speak thus,
I really believe, too, that you have not the ring.
But again, when I consider all the circumstances,
it seems to me next to impossible that you
should not have it. My mother distinctly re-
members the very place on her work-table on
which she put down the ring before I went into
her room with Mary. No one else entered the
room. Mary herself can testify that I did not
even go near the work-table. While my mother and
I were speaking together in the next room, Mary
THE STOLEN RING.
was left alone-before and after this there was no
one else there. After we had gone, my mother
closed the door to change her dress. As soon as
she had dressed, and wished to put on the ring
again, she found it gone. My mother herself
searched the whole room for it. She took the pre-
caution not to ring for any of the servants, and did
not allow even me to enter the room till she had
thoroughly searched it two or three times. But all
was in vain Who, then, can have the ring ?"
"That I do not understand," said Mary's father.
"God has appointed a severe trial for us. Yet
whatever may be hanging over us," continued he,
looking upwards to heaven, "see, Lord, here am
I! Thy will be done! Only give me thy grace,
O God, and it is sufficient for me !"
Indeed, I shall go home with a heavy heart,"
said the Countess. It is a melancholy birthday
to me! It will be a terrible affair. My mother
has not yet said a word about it to any one but
me, in order not to injure Mary. But the matter
46 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
cannot be concealed much longer. My mother
must wear the ring to-day. We expect my father
about mid-day from the capital, and if the ring is
not on her finger he will immediately miss it, for
it was his gift to her when I was born, and she
has always worn it on my birthday. She is
hoping and expecting that I shall bring it back
with me !"
There was a silence for a few minutes, then
Amelia said sorrowfully, Farewell I shall,
indeed, assure them all that I believe you to be
innocent; but-will they believe me ?"
She went mournfully to the door, with tears
in her eyes. Both father and daughter were so
stunned with grief, that they did not move to open
it, or to accompany her on her way.
The father sat upon the bench, with his head
leaning upon his hand, looking on the ground, as
if lost in thought, while tears flowed down his pale
cheeks. Mary fell on her knees before him, looked
up into his face, weeping bitterly, and said,-
THE STOLEN RING.
Oh, father, indeed I am innocent of the whole
matter I assure you that I am innocent."
Her father raised her kindly, looked long and
earnestly into her blue eyes, and then said, "Yes,
Mary, you are innocent. Guilt could never wear
so honest and so truthful a look."
"Oh, father," continued Mary, "what will be
the end of this? What will become of us ? Oh,
if I alone were to suffer, I would bear it willingly,
but that you, dearest father, should suffer on my
account is more terrible to me than all the rest."
Trust in God," replied her father, "and be
undismayed. Without His permission, not a hair
of our heads can be touched. -Whatever may
happen, it is all ordered by God. It is, therefore,
all right, and for our good, and what would we
have more? Do not, then, be terrified, and
always keep strictly to the truth. However they
may threaten you, whatever they may promise
you, dot not deviate a hair's breadth from the
truth, and wound not your own conscience. A
48 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
good conscience is a soft pillow, even in a prison.
We may now possibly be separated from each
other, your father will no longer be able to com-
fort you, dear Mary But cling the more trust-
fully to your Father in heaven. None can sepa-
rate you from Him, your Almighty Protector !"
The door was then suddenly thrown open, and
the officers of justice entered the room. Mary
uttered a loud cry, and threw her arms round her
Separate them," said the chief officer, his eyes
flashing with anger. "Put the daughter in irons,
and take her to prison. The father also must be
held in custody, at least, for a time. Let the
house and garden be well watched, and let no one
enter till we have searched it thoroughly."
Mary still clung to her father, but the officers of
justice tore her from him by force, and put her in
irons. She fainted, and was carried away un-
conscious. As the father and daughter were taken
through the streets, a crowd of people collected.
THE STOLEN RING. 49
The story of the ring had spread like wildfire
through the whole of the neighbourhood. The
crowd rushed round the gardener's cottage as if
the building were on fire. The most conflicting
opinions were expressed. Kind as James and
Mary had ever been to all their neighbours, yet
people were found that rejoiced in their fall, and
made the most malicious remarks on that which
had happened. As James and Mary had prospered
well through their own industry and frugality, they
had been envied by many less industrious.
"It is easy to see," said they, "where their
wealth has come from. Before this we could not
understand it. But now it is not difficult to see
why they lived better and dressed better than' any
of the other people in the place."
However, most of the inhabitants of Eichburg
truly sympathized with honest James and his good
daughter. Many of the good townspeople thus
spoke to each other: Alas! what wretched
creatures we poor human beings are, the best of
50 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
us are not secure from falling. Who would have
thought it of these worthy people ? Yet, perhaps,
they are not guilty, and if so, may God bring
their innocence to light But, even if they have
done it, may God help them, that they may con-
fess their sin and amend, and escape the great
miseries that threaten them: May God in His
mercy guard us all from sin, for without His help
we are not safe for a single day."
Many of the children of the place gathered in
groups, and stood weeping as Mary and her father
passed. Ah said they, if these good people
are put in prison, honest James will give us no
more fruit, and kind Mary no more flowers. It is
wrong to put them in prison, and it ought not to
Child of sorrow, hush thy wailing,
One there is who knows thy grief,
One whose mercy, never failing,
Waits to give thy soul relief;
He, thy Saviour,
Faithful still, of friends the chief.
THE STOLEN RING.
"Child of sorrow, do they leave thee,
Those on whom thy hopes have stayed;
Jesus calls, and will receive thee
With a love can never fade;
Hark, He bids thee
Seek the home for sinners made."
MARY IN PRISON.
Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage,
Minds innocent and quiet have
These for an hermitage."
ARY had been dragged to prison, while
still almost unconscious. When left
alone in her dungeon, she came to her-
self by slow degrees, and as she remembered her
misery, she wept, sobbed, wrung her hands, and
then recollecting where alone she could find com-
fort, she prayed earnestly, till at length she fell
asleep exhausted upon her bed of straw. Soft
sleep closed her weary eyelids. When she again
awoke it was night. All around her was dark, and
MARY IN PRIISOM.
MARY IN PRISON.
she could see nothing. At first she knew not
where she was ; the story of the ring came to her
memory like a dream-for a moment she fancied
that she was in her own bed at home. She was
just beginning to rejoice that her sad dream had
been chased away by her awakening, when she
felt the weight of her fetters, and their dismal
clang awoke her to the fearful reality. She started
terrified from her hard bed.
"Oh, what can I do !" exclaimed she, as she
sank on her knees, "but raise these fettered hands
to Thee, 0 gracious God! Oh, deign to look
into this prison, and behold me on my knees
before Thee Thou knowest that I am innocent 1
Thou art the refuge of the innocent! Save me !
Have pity on me Pity my poor father! Oh,
give him comfort, and rather let me suffer double
A torrent of tears flowed from her eyes, as she
thought of her father. Sobs choked her voice,
and she wept long in silence.
.54 THE BASKET OF FLO WRS.
The moon, which had long been hidden in the
clouds, now suddenly shone out in full splendour
and threw the shadow of the grated window on
the floor of Mary's dungeon. In its clear light
Mary could now see the four walls of her prison-
the rough stones of which it was built-the white
lines that marked where they were joined together
-the stone which, in one corner, served for a
table-the earthen pitcher and earthen plate which
stood on it, and the wretched bundle of straw,
which served her for a bed. Yet, as soon as the
thick darkness had passed away, Mary felt lighter
at heart, the bright moon seemed to her like an old
"Do you come, lovely Moon," said she, "to
look again upon me, who have loved you so much ?
Oh when you shone into my room, through the
quivering vine-leaves, how much more beautiful
you seemed than now, when your rays beam through
the dark grating of my prison window Are you
mourning with me? Ah, I never believed I should
iARRY IN PRISON. 55
see you thus What is my father doing now? Is
he waking, and looking on you, and mourning as
I am? Ah, that I could see him but for a
moment Lovely Moon, you are shining on him
now! Oh, could you but speak, you might tell
him how Mary is weeping, and mourning for his
"But how foolishly I have been speaking in my
misery. Forgive me, 0 merciful God, for these idle
words! Thou seest me. Thou seest my poor
father. Thou seest into both our hearts. Thy
Almighty power can help us, through prison walls
and iron bars None can withstand Thee Oh,
send comfort to my father in his sorrow !"
Mary was now surprised to perceive a pleasant
perfume in her prison. In the morning she had
gathered some half-open rosebuds, and other
flowers; she had made them into a little nosegay,
and put them in her breast. The sweet perfume
came from these flowers.
"Are you there still, you dear little blossoms ?"
56 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
said she, as she saw her nosegay; "and have you
come with me to prison, you innocent creatures ?
You have not deserved punishment, and it is my
comfort that I deserve it as little as you do."
She took the nosegay from her breast, and
looked at it in the moonlight. "Ah," said she,
"when I gathered these rosebuds, this morning, in
my garden, and plucked these forget-me-nots from
the brook, who would have believed that I should
be in prison to-night? When I fastened the wreath
of flowers round the edge of the basket, who could
have thought that to-night iron fetters would be
fastened round my wrists ? So changeable are all
things on earth, no one knows how speedily his posi-
tion may be altered, or to what melancholy events
the most innocent actions may lead. Truly all
human beings have good reason to commend
themselves, every morning, to the protection of
Again she wept, her tears dropped on the rosebuds
and forget-me-nots, and glittered in the moonlight
MARY IN PRISON.
like dew. He who forgets not the flowers, but
refreshes them with rain and dew, will not forget
me," said she. Oh, most gracious God, send
comfort into my heart, and into the heart of my
poor father, as Thou fillest the cups of the thirsty
flowers with the dew of heaven."
Amid her tears, she thought again of her father.
"Oh, my kind father," said she, when I look at
this wreath, how many of your words about the
flowers come back to my mind, These rosebuds
have bloomed among thorns: so may joy spring
up amid my sorrows. Whoever would have tried
to unfold this rosebud before its time would have
destroyed it. God who created it has ordered that
its tender leaves should unfold themselves one by
one, and should breathe forth their delicious per-
fume. Thus will He overrule my sufferings, so
as to develop the blessings that are sent to me in
them. Therefore will I patiently wait till His time
comes. These forget-me-nots remind me of their
Creator Ah, gracious God, I will not forget Thee,
as Thou hast not forgotten me These delicate
.58 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
flowers are blue as the sky above us. May heaven
be my comfort amid all earthly sorrows. Here are
some odoriferous sweet-peas with their delicate red
and white blossoms As this tender plant clings
to the support upon which it leans, and so climbs
joyfully upwards, so may I, borne upwards from
earth as if on wings, rise unto Thee, 0 God, and,
clinging to Thee, rise above all earthly sorrows. It
is this mignonette which, more than all the rest,
diffuses its delicious perfume in my prison. Lovely,
gentle flower, thou rejoicest even her whose hand
plucked thee. I will try to be like thee, and strive
to feel kindly to those who have torn me from my
home and cast me into prison, when I had done
them no harm. Here is a fresh sprig of periwinkle.
This is green even in winter, and in the most dreary
season of the year keeps the lovely colour of hope.
Even now, in my time of suffering, I will not give
up hope. My God, who can preserve this little
plant fresh and green amid the storms of winter,
under ice and snow, will also preserve me amid the
storms of misfortune. Here are some laurel leaves.
MARY IN PRISON.
They remind me of the unfading wreath prepared
in heaven for those who suffer heroically and
patiently on earth. Oh, I imagine I can see it
now, this evergreen wreath of victory, this glorious
golden crown Flowers of earth, you are passing,
like its joys, withering and fading away. But after
the brief sorrows of earth, there awaits us in heaven
above, a glory and blessedness which is eternal and
A dark cloud now suddenly obscured the moon.
Mary could no longer see her flowers, and her cell
became fearfully dark. Again her heart sank within
her. But the cloud soon passed away, and the
moon again shone out in all her beauty. Thus,"
said Mary to herself, may innocence be under a
cloud for a time, but at length it shines forth again
clear and bright. Thus, 0 my God, wilt Thou at
last make manifest my innocence, and clear it from
all false accusations, though now it is hidden by the
dark clouds of suspicion."
Soothed by these thoughts, Mary knelt in prayer,
60 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
and then lay down peacefully to sleep on her bed
of straw. A pleasant dream comforted her during
her slumbers. She thought she was walking in the
moonlight in a garden she had never seen before.
It was surpassingly beautiful, too lovely for words
to describe, and it appeared to be surrounded by a
wilderness in a gloomy forest of fir-trees. She had
never seen the moon so bright and lovely as it ap-
peared in her dream. All the flowers in the garden
seemed to bloom more beautifully in the soft moon-
light. Her father, too, appeared to her in this
marvellous garden. The moonbeams shone on his
cheerful, honest, smiling face. In fancy she rushed
towards him, and throwing herself upon his neck,
shed tears of joy, with which her cheeks were still
wet when she awoke.
Of all the thoughts of God that are
Borne inward unto souls afar,
Along the Psalmist's music deep-
Now tell me if that any is,
For gift or grace surpassing this,
He giveth his beloved sleep.'
IARY IN PRISON.
" What would we give to our beloved?
The hero's heart to be unmoved-
The poet's star-tuned harp to sweep -
The senate's shout to patriot vows-
The monarch's crown to light the brows?
He giveth his beloved sleep.'
"'Sleep soft, beloved,' we sometimes say,
But have no tune to charm away
Sad dreams that through the eyelids creep:
But never doleful dream again
Shall break the happy slumbers when
'He giveth his beloved sleep.'
'He men may wonder while they scan
A living, thinking, feeling man,
In such a rest his heart to keep;
But angels say, and through the word,
I ween their blessed smile is heard-
'He giveth his beloved sleep.'"
E. B. BARRETT.
For slanders I of many heard ;
Fear compass'd me while they
Against me did consult and plot
To take my life away.
But as for me, 0 Lord, my trust
Upon Thee I did lay;
And I to Thee, 'Thou art my God,'
Did confidently say."
CARCELY had Mary awoke when an
officer of justice came to the prison to
take her before the Court. A cold
shudder came over her as she entered the dark
gloomy room, of which the vaulted roof and the
small hexagonal panes of the old-fashioned windows
attested the great antiquity. The magistrate sat as
judge, in a large ann-chair, covered with red cloth;
the clerk sat, pen in hand, before a large writing-
table blackened by age. The magistrate put many
questions to Mary, and she answered them all
truthfully. She wept, mourned, and protested her
innocence. But the judge said, "You cannot
deceive me so far as to make me believe what is.
impossible. No one was in the room but you; no
one can have the ring but you; therefore confess
it at once."
Mary pleaded and wept. She repeated her pro-
testations. "I cannot, and I know not how to
speak otherwise. I know nothing whatever of the-
ring; I have not seen it, and I have it not."
"The ring has been seen in your hands," said
the judge, sternly. What answer can you make
to this ?"
Mary still insisted that it was impossible. The
judge rang a little bell, and Harriet was put into
the witness-box. To account for her appearance,
we must tell what had taken place in the meantime
at the castle.
64 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
In the excess of her anger and envy on account
of the dress, and with the wicked intention to
deprive Mary of the favour of her mistress, Harriet
had said to several persons in the castle, "No one
can have the ring but that wretched girl, the gar-
dener's daughter. When I saw her coming down
stairs she had a ring set with precious stones in her
hand. She hid it, and looked frightened, when she
saw me. I thought it was very suspicious. I did
not wish to be rash, and therefore said nothing
about it. Perhaps, thought I, they may have given
her the ring, as they have given her so many pre-
sents before. If she had stolen it I knew it would
soon be missed, and then it would be time enough
to speak. I am very glad that I did not chance to
go into the Countess's room at the time. Such
wicked creatures as that hypocritical girl may cause
honest people to be suspected."
They took Harriet at her word, and she was
summoned to give evidence before the Court.
When she was put into the witness-box, and the
judge warned her to speak the truth, as in the pre-
sence of God, her heart throbbed, and her knees
trembled beneath her. But the wicked young
woman neither gave ear to the words of the
judge nor to the voice of her own conscience. She
thought, If I now confess that I have told a lie,
I shall be dismissed in disgrace, or perhaps impri-
soned." She therefore persisted in her false state-
ment, and said boldly to Mary, "You have the
ring, I saw it in your hand."
Mary was horror-struck when she heard this false-
hood, but she did not return railing for railing. She
only wept, and could scarcely articulate these words,
in a voice stifled in sobs-" It is not true. You
did not see the ring in my hand. How can you
so perjure yourself, and make me so miserable,
who have done you no harm !"
But Harriet could not be turned from her pur-
pose; she was looking only to her own temporal
advantage, and her heart was full of envy and
hatred of Mary. She repeated her false accusation,
66 THE BASKET OF FLO WERS.
and added several additional circumstances, and,
having been cross-examined in vain, was at length
"You are convicted," said the judge to Mary.
" Your guilt is clear. Every circumstance is against
you. The young Countess's maid saw the ring
in your hand. Now confess what you have done
Mary assured him that she had it not; that she
had never seen it. According to the barbarous
custom of the time, the judge ordered her to be
flogged, to force her to confess; Mary screamed
and wept, but with prayer to God for strength and
help, she repeated her protestations of innocence;
but these availed not. She was most cruelly mal-
Pale, trembling, bleeding, and exhausted, she
was taken back to prison. Her wounds gave her
great pain. She lay tossing sleeplessly half the
night on her hard bed of straw. She wept and
groaned, but at length she found relief in prayer.
This strengthened and soothed her, and ere long
she sank into a refreshing slumber.
The next day Mary was again brought before
the Court. As severity had failed to move her, the
judge now endeavoured to induce her to confess by
gentle and kind promises. Your life is forfeited,"
saidhe; you have been found guilty, andby the law
you deserve to die. But if you will confess where the
ring is, you shall be set free. What you have already
suffered shall be considered sufficient punishment.
You shall be allowed to go home in peace with
your father. Consider well, and choose between
life and death! I mean kindly to you. I am
advising you for your good. Of what use will the
stolen ring be to you if you are put to death ?"
All persuasions were vain; Mary continued
to assert her innocence.
The judge, who had observed her great love ior
her father, continued thus: If you persist in
silence, and if you do not value your own young
life, think at least of your old father Could you
6. THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
bear to see his hoary head fall bleeding beneath
the axe of the executioner? Who but he could
have persuaded you to persist so obstinately in
falsehood ? Do you intend that it should cost him
his life ?"
Mary was so terrified when she heard these
words, that she nearly fainted.
Confess," said the judge, that you have taken
the ring. A single syllable, the little word, 'yes,'
may save your own life and that of your father !"
This was a sore temptation to Mary. She stood
long silent. The thought came into her mind that
she might say she had taken the ring, and had lost
it on her way home. But she resisted the evil
thought. "No," said she within herself, "it is
better through everything to keep fast to the truth.
To tell a lie would be a great sin For no bribe
would I commit such a sin, not even if by so
doing I could save both myself and my father. I
will obey thee, 0 my God, and leave all in Thy
hands, trusting in Thee to save us." She then said
aloud, in a tone of deep emotion, If I were to
say that I have the ring, it would be a lie; and I
will not tell a lie even to save myself from death.
But," continued she, if blood must flow, let it be
mine only. I implore you to spare my good
father, have pity on his grey hairs. I would gladly
die to save him."
All present were affected by these words. They
touched the heart even of the judge, stern and
severe as he was. He said no more, but made a
sign that Mary should'be re-conducted to prison.
Commit thou all thy griefs
And cares into his hands,
To his sure truth, and tender care,
Who earth and heaven commands.
Put thou thy trust in God,
In duty's path go on;
Fix on his word thy steadfast eye,
So shall thy work be done.
"' Through waves, and clouds, and storms,
He '11 gently clear thy way;
Wait thou his time, thy darkest night
Shall end in brightest day."
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER IN PRISON.
Home feelings are to mortals given,
With less of earth in them than heaven;
And if there be a human tear
From passion's dross refined and clear,
A tear so limpid and so meek,
It would not stain an angel's cheek,
'Tis that which pious fathers shed
Upon a duteous daughter's head !"-ScoTT.
HE judge found himself not a little em-
barrassed. "It is now the third day,"
said he, on the following morning, to his
clerk, "and we are no further advanced than we
were the first hour. If I could see any possibility
that any one else could have taken the ring, I
would be inclined to believe that girl innocent.
Such obstinacy at so tender an age is a thing
.. .. .
HF FATHER AND DAUGHTER IN PRISON
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER IN PRISON. 71
quite unheard of. But the evidence is too strong
against her. She must have stolen the ring; it
cannot be otherwise."
He went to see the Countess, and questioned
her again about every little circumstance. He
also re-examined Harriet. He sat nearly all day
considering the report of the trial, and weighed
every word that Mary had uttered. At length,
late in the evening, he sent for Mary's father, who
was ushered into his room.
James," began he, "I have been always known
to be a severe man, but no one can say that I
have ever done an unjust action. I think that
you must be quite sure that I do not wish to
condemn your daughter to death; but she has
been found guilty of theft, and, according to law,
she must die ; her guilt has been fully proved by
the evidence of the lady's maid. If, indeed, the
ring could be found and restored to its owner, she
might be pardoned on account of her youth.
But, if she persists so obstinately in falsehood,
72 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
she must be old in wickedness, though young in
years, and I can hold out no hope of pardon.
Go, then, to her, James, persuade her to restore
the ring, and then I promise you that if she does
this, she shall not be put to death, but the punish-
ment will be commuted into one less severe.
You are her father. You have very great influence
over her. If you cannot induce her to confess,
what can any one think but that you are in collu-
sion with her, and an accomplice in her crime. I
repeat once more, if the ring be not produced, it
will go hard with you."
The father replied, I will, indeed, speak with
her, but I know already that she did not steal the
ring, and therefore she has nothing to confess.
However, I shall do all in my power, and if my
innocent child must die, I esteem it a great mercy
to be permitted to see her once more "
The officer conducted the old man in silence to
Mary's cell, placed a small lamp on the stone
table in it, on which stood an earthern pitcher
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER IN PRISON. 7S
containing water, and a plate on which was Mary's
supper, that was still untouched. The officer then
quitted the cell, and closed the door, leaving the
father and daughter together.
Mary was lying on her straw couch in a half-
slumber, with her face turned to the wall. When
she opened her eyes and saw the glimmer of the
lamp, she turned round, perceived her father,
uttered a loud cry, and sprang from her bed so
hastily, that her chains rattled, and she fell half
fainting on her father's neck. He seated himself
on the straw beside her, and folded her in his
arms. They sat some time in silence, and
mingled their tears together.
At length the father began to speak of the com-
mission that he had received, "Oh, father !" in-
terrupted Mary, "surely you cannot doubt that I
am innocent! Oh, my God !" continued she,
weeping. Does every one believe me to be a
thief, even my own father! Oh, father believe
my word, I assure you I am not a thief."
74' THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
Be calm, my dear child, I do believe you," said
her father, "but I have been commanded to ques-
tion you." Both were again silent.
Her father looked earnestly at Mary. Her
cheeks were pale and careworn, her eyes red and
swollen with weeping, her long, fair hair, which
fell round her like a mantle, was rough and
dishevelled. My poor child," said he, "God
has laid a heavy burden on you And I fear-I
very much fear, the heaviest, the most terrible, is
yet to come Ah, perhaps-perhaps, they will
even cut off this dear young head !"
Oh, father," said Mary, I do not think of
myself, but of your grey head. 0 God, grant
that I may not have to see it fall on the scaf-
Fear nothing for me, dear child," said her
father. "They will not harm me; but you, my
darling, are in great danger. Although I have still
somehope, yet I believe their cruelty may go so
far as to take your life."
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER IN PRISON. 75
Oh !" exclaimed Mary, joyfully, if you are
safe, the heaviest load is off my mind. All is
well! I assure you, my dear father, that I do not
fear death. I am going to God, to my Saviour .
I shall meet my mother in heaven. Oh, how joy-
ful it will be !"
These words deeply pierced the heart of the old
father. He wept like a child; God be praised,"
said he, at length, clasping his hands, God be
praised, my darling, that I find you so composed,
but it is hard-very hard, for an old worn-out man,
a loving father, to lose his only, his dearly beloved
child, the only comfort, the last support, the crown
and joy of his old age Yet," sobbed he, in a
broken voice, 0 Lord, Thy will be done Thou
requires a heavy sacrifice from a father's heart,
but I surrender her, if it be Thy will Into Thy
hands I commit her, my dearest on earth ; I trust
in Thee, thou wilt order all things for the best i
Ah dear Mary, it is better that you should die
innocent than that I should ever live to see you
76 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
led into sin. Forgive me, my dear child, for say-
ing this; you are, indeed, good-very good, worthy
to be among the angels in heaven; but the world
is wicked-very wicked, and fall is possible, for
even angels fell. If it be God's holy will, that
you should die, my darling, better that you should
die innocent. You will be transplanted, like a
pure, white lily, from this rude world to the better
land, and, cleansed from all sin, in the Saviour's
blood, you will be with Him in Paradise."
A torrent of tears choked his utterance. "Yet
one thing -more," said he, after a little while.
Harriet has given evidence against you. She
asserted upon oath that she had seen the ring in
your hand. If you are put to death, her evidence
will have caused it; but, dearest Mary, you forgive
her, don't you ? You have no ill-feeling towards
her ? Ah, my child, even in this dark prison,
loaded with chains, you are happier than she is,
living in ease and luxury in the castle of the
Count. Better, far better, is it to die innocent
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER IN PRISON. 77
like you, than to live like Harriet with a guilty
conscience. Forgive her, Mary, as your Saviour
forgave His murderers. Is it not true that you
forgive her, and that you take all this affliction as
coming from the hand of God?" Mary assured
him that she fully forgave her.
The jailer's step was heard in the passage.
" Now," said her father, I must go. I commend
you to God and His mercy. I commit you into
the hands of the Redeemer who died for you.
Should we never meet again, my child, should this
be the last time that I look upon you on earth, we
shall not long be parted, for I shall soon follow
you to heaven! For this blow! I feel-I know
that I cannot long survive it !"
The jailer now came in, and warned the father
that he must go. Mary wished to keep him, and
threw her arms round him. He gently disengaged
himself. She sank back unconscious on her
James was again brought before the judge.
78 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
"Before Almighty God, in whose presence vwe
stand, I assure you," said he, raising his right
hand as he entered the room, "she is innocent.
My child is not a thief."
"I would willingly believe it," said the judge,
"but, alas I am not permitted to pass sentence
according to the protestations of you and your
daughter, I must decide according to the evidence,
and act as it is my duty to do, according to -the
letter of the law."
Of all the knots which Nature ties,
The secret, sacred sympathies,
That, as with viewless chains of gold,
The heart a happy prisoner hold;
None is more chaste, more bright, more pure,
Stronger stern trials to-endure;
None is more purged of earthly leaven,
More like the love of-highest heaven,
Than that which binds, in bonds how blest,
A daughter to a father's breast "
J. W. CUNNINGHAM.
Ti i SENTENCE AND ITS EXrCUTION-
THE SENTENCE AND ITS EXECUTION.
Scripture is the only cure of woe;
That field of promise, how it flings abroad
Its odour o'er the Christian's thorny road !
The soul, reposing on assured relief,
Feels herself happy amidst all her grief,
Forgets her labour as she toils along,
Weeps tears of joy, and bursts into a song."
VERY one in the castle, and in Eich-
burg, was anxious to know what would
be Mary's fate. All that felt kindly
towards her, feared for her life, for at that time
theft was punished with extreme severity. Many
had been punished with death for stealing a sum
of money not the twentieth part of the value of
the ring. The Count wished nothing more ear-
So THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
nestly than that Mary should be proved innocent.
He attentively perused the minutes of the trial,
and had many consultations with the magistrate;
but could not convince himself of her innocence,
because it seemed nearly impossible that any one
else could have taken the ring. The two Coun-
tesses, mother and daughter, implored, with tears
in their eyes, that Mary might not be put to death.
Her old father, in his prison cell, prayed to God
day and night without ceasing that He would
make manifest Mary's innocence. Mary, left
alone in her cell, when she heard the jailer's
footstep, or the clank of his keys, supposed he
was coming to announce to her the sentence of
death. The executioner had begun to prepare the
place of execution, and to clear it from the weeds
with which it was overgrown.
One day, when Harriet was walking near the
place, she saw him employed at this work, and it
seemed as if a dagger had pierced her heart. She
felt the stings of remorse, and that night at supper
THE SENTENCE AND ITS EXECUTION. 8r
in the castle, she could eat nothing, and looked so
pale and miserable, that her agitation was observed
by all the servants. That night she could not
sleep, and Mary's bleeding head haunted her
dreams. Her guilty conscience gave her no rest
day or night. But the worthless girl was too
much under the dominion of her evil passions to
listen to the voice of conscience; she was not
sufficiently noble-minded to atone, so far as
possible, for her crime, by an honest confession of
At length, the judge passed sentence. Mary,
on account of her theft, and her obstinate denial
of it, was pronounced deserving of de-th; but in
consideration of her youth, and formerly inblem-
ished reputation, her sentence was commuted to
imprisonment for life in the house of correction.
Her father, who was considered a participator in
her guilt, either as actually her accomplice, or as
having caused it by the bad way in which he had
brought her up, was banished for ever from the
82 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
province. All their possessions were confiscated,
and were ordered to be sold to pay the law ex-
penses. The Count succeeded in obtaining a
mitigation of this sentence. Instead of being
sent to the house of correction, Mary was to
accompany her father in his exile, and to spare
them all noise and publicity, as much as possible,
it was settled that Mary and James should be
conducted across the boundary early in the
morning of the following day.
As Mary and her father passed before the castle-
gate, accompanied by the police officer, Harriet
came out to meet them. Since the affair had
taken this turn, this heartless woman had reco-
vered her levity and good spirits. The thought of
Mary's death had haunted her, and caused her to
feel remorse, but that Mary should be banished
was the very thing she desired. She had always
feared that Mary, one day or other, might take her
place in the castle. She had now no cause for
fear, but the hatred and jealousy she had felt were
THE SENTENCE AND ITS EXECUTION. 83
as strong as ever in her wicked heart. A few
days before, the Countess Amelia had observed
Mary's basket standing on a side-table in her
room, and had said to Harriet, "Take the basket
out of my sight. It awakens such sorrowful
remembrances, that I cannot look at it without
Harriet had taken it away, and now brought it
out in her hand. "Take back your fine present,"
said she to Mary, "my lady will receive nothing
from such hands. Your finery has all gone with
the faded flowers, for which you managed to get
so well paid. It gives me the greatest pleasure to
give you back your basket." She threw the basket
at Mary's feet, went back to the castle with a
mocking laugh, and closed the gate violently
With tears in her eyes, Mary silently lifted the
basket, and went on her way. Her father had not
even a staff for the journey. She had no earthly
possession but the basket. She looked back,
84 THE BASKET OF FLOW ERS.
weeping, again and again, to gaze upon the home
she was leaving, till it disappeared from her view,
and at length the castle, and even the top of the
church spire, were hidden from her sight by a
wooded hill. After the police officer had con-
ducted Mary and her father to the boundary of
the province, and had left them in the forest, the
old man, worn out with grief and pain, sat down
on a moss-covered stone, under the shade of an
Come, my daughter," said he, as, taking
Mary's hands in his, he raised them to heaven,
"before all things, let us thank God for having
delivered us out of the dark, noisome prison, and
permitted us once more to enjoy the fresh air
under the open sky, let us thank Him that He has
saved our lives, and has restored you to me, my
dearly beloved child."
James looked up to the sky, which could be
seen clear and blue through the green oak-leaves,
and he prayed with a loud voice, "Our Father
THE SENTENCE AND ITS EXECUTION. 85
which art in heaven Thou only comfort of thy
children on earth, Thou Almighty Refuge of the
oppressed! accept our united thanks for our
merciful deliverance from chains and bonds,
imprisonment and death We thank Thee for all
the benefits that Thou hast bestowed upon us in
the home that we are leaving. How could we go
without first looking up to Thee with grateful
hearts! Before we tread the soil of a place in
which we are strangers, we ask thy blessing and
guidance. Deign to look down on a poor father
and his weeping child. Take us under thy Al-
mighty protection. Be our guardian and guide in
the rough paths which may be before us. Lead
us among good people, incline their hearts to have
compassion upon us. In thy wide world let us
find a little corner in which we may spend in
quietness the remaining days of our pilgrimage,
and then die in peace. I believe that, although
we know it not, Thou hast already prepared this
place for us. With this hope, and trusting in
86 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
Thee, we go on our way comforted. Strengthen
and guide us, for our Lord Jesus Christ's sake."
After both had prayed thus, for Mary's heart
echoed her father's words, wonderful peace and
joy filled their hearts, and they were prepared to
go on their way with trust and hope.
When winter-fortunes cloud the brows
Of summer friends, when eyes grow strange,
When plighted faith forgets its vows,
When earth and all things in it change;
O Lord, thy mercies fail me never,
VWhere once Thou lov'st, thou lov'st for ever.
In all extremes, Lord, Thou art still
The mount whereto my hopes do flee;
Oil, make my soul detest all ill,
Because so much abhorred by Thee;
Lord, let thy gracious trials show
That I am just, or make me so.
Fountain of light and living breath,
Whose mercies never fail nor fade,
Fill me with life that hath no death,
Fill me with light that hath no shade;
Appoint the remnant of my days
To see thy power, and sing thy praise."
.A FmIeS ."*Y NETO.
A FRIEND IN NEED.
Many sounds were sweet,
Most ravishing, and pleasant to the ear;
But sweeter none than voice of faithful friend-
Sweet always-sweetest heard in loudest storm.
Some I remember, and will ne'er forget-
My early friends, friends of my evil day;
Friends in my mirth, friends in my misery, too;
Friends given by God in mercy and in love-
My counsellors, my comforters, and guides;
My joy in grief, my second bliss in joy."
HILE the father and daughter were still
sitting under the tree, Anthony, the
Count's old forester, came through the
wood. He knew James well, as they had been in
attendance on the Count when he was travelling.
88 THE BASKET OF F.LO WERS.
He had been out early that morning in pursuit of
"Good morning to you, James," said he, how
goes it with you ? I thought I heard your voice,
and I find I have not been mistaken. Have they
reallyy been so cruel as to banish you? It is very
hard, in your old age, to be forced to leave your
own dear home."
The earth is the Lord's," replied James; "and
wherever we may be under the blue sky, we are in
His sight, and His love is ever around us. But our
home is in heaven."
"Can it be true," said the forester, kindly, "that
they have had the still greater cruelty to cast you
out without anything but the clothes you have on ?
Why, you are not even sufficiently clad for such a
" He who clothes the flowers will also clothe us,"
"And about money ?" again asked the forester.
Have you got any with you?"
A FRIEND IN NEED. 89
"We have a good conscience," answered James,
"and we are richer with that than we should be
without it, even if this stone on which I am sit-
ing were of pure gold, and belonged to us."
But tell me," said the forester, "have you
really not a penny?"
"This empty basket at my feet is our only
earthly possession," said James; "what do you
think it may be worth ?"
"A florin," said the forester, looking perplexed
-"a florin, or perhaps a dollar. But what is
"Well," said James, smiling, then we are
rich, if God grants me health and strength, and
the use of my hands. I could make at least a
hundred such baskets in a year; and with an
income of one hundred dollars we might certainly
manage very well. My father, who was a basket-
maker, insisted that I should learn basket-making
as well as gardening, in order to give me useful
employment in winter. I thank him for it now.
90 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
He has done more for me, and provided better for
me than if he had left me three thousand florins,
which would have given me a yearly income of a
hundred dollars, and allowed me to be idle. A
sound mind in a sound body, and a respectable
trade, are the best and surest riches on earth."
Now, God be praised," said the forester, that
you can take it in this way. I quite agree with
you. I think, too, that your skill as a gardener
will assist you. But tell me, where do you intend
to go now?"
Very far away," said James, where no one
knows us. God will guide our steps."
"James," said the forester, "take this strong,
thick crab-stick with you. Fortunately, I brought
it with me this morning, because it is somewhat
difficult for me to get up yonder hill without it.
And here is a little money," continued he, taking
a small leather purse out of his pocket. I
received it yesterday evening in the village in
payment for wood."
A FRIEND IN NEED.
"I will gladly accept the staff," said James,
"and keep it in remembrance of an honest man.
But I cannot take the money. As it is payment for
wood, it belongs to the Count."
Honest old James," said the forester, make
your mind easy about that; the money is already
paid to the Count. I advanced it, many years ago,
to a poor man who had lost his cow, and could
not pay for the wood he had bought.. I thought
no more about it till yesterday evening, when
quite unexpectedly he paid me the money with
many thanks, as he is now in better circumstances.
God has sent the money just at the right time for
I will thankfully accept it," said James. God
will reward you for your kindness. See, Mary,"
continued he, to his daughter, how graciously
God has provided for us at the very outset of our
journey. Even before we had crossed the boundary,
he has sent our good friend here, who has supplied
me with money, and a staff to support me on the
92 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
way. How soon God has answered our prayer
Be of good courage, and fear not; God will con-
tinue to care for us."
The old forester now took leave of them with
tears in his eyes. Farewell, honest James-fare-
well, good Mary," said he, while he first shook
hands with the father, and then with the daughter.
" I have always thought you honest people, and I
think so still. You will get on well yet, no fear;
honesty is sure to thrive. Yes, yes ; he who does
right, and trusts in God, will never be forsaken.
Take that assurance with you, as my parting word,
and may God guide and protect you. "
The forester turned away, deeply moved, and
went towards Eichburg. Then James stood up,
took his daughter by the hand, and walked on with
her along the high road through the forest-forth
into the wide world.
Parted friends may meet again,
When the storms of life are past,
And the spirit, freed from pain,
Basks in friendship that will last.
A FRIEND IN NEED.
" Worldly cares may sever wide,
Distant far their path may be;
But the bond by death untied,
They shall once again be free.
" Parted friends again may meet,
From the toils of nature free;
Crowned with mercy. Oh! how sweet
Will eternal friendship be "
C. W. THOMSON.
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