Citation
The basket of flowers, or, Piety and truth triumphant

Material Information

Title:
The basket of flowers, or, Piety and truth triumphant
Uniform Title:
Blumenkörbchen
Portion of title:
Piety and truth triumphant
Creator:
Schmid, Christoph von, 1768-1854
Evans, Edmund, 1826-1905
Frederick Warne and Co ( Publisher )
Scribner, Welford & Armstrong ( Publisher )
Woodfall and Kinder ( Printer )
Place of Publication:
London
New York
Publisher:
Frederick Warne and Co.
Scribner, Welford, and Armstrong
Manufacturer:
Woodfall and Kinder
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
243, 12 p., [24?] leaves of plates : col. ill. ; 14 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Fathers and daughters -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Jealousy -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Children and death -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Theft -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Natural history -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1874 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1875
Genre:
Children's literature ( fast )
Publishers' catalogues ( rbgenr )
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
United States -- New York -- New York
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

Citation/Reference:
NUC pre-1956,
Citation/Reference:
Baldwin library,
General Note:
Translation of Das Blumenkörbchen.
General Note:
Author's name from NUC pre-1956 cited below.
General Note:
Date from dates of publisher's name, Scribner, Welford, and Armstrong, cf. Tebbel A history of book publishing in the U.S., v. I, p. 318.
General Note:
Publisher's catalogue follow text.
General Note:
Baldwin Library copy lacks 4 illustrations? - spine says "24 pages of coloured illustrations."
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
translated from the German ; with illustrations printed in colours from original designs.

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 (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026748352 ( aleph )
ALG9080 ( notis )
71279239 ( oclc )

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Full Text




ee





The Baldwin Library

University

|RMB sin





THE

BASKET OF FLOWERS

OR,

PIETY AND TRUTH TRIUMPHANT,

se from me ad

i “ ee,



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS PRINTED IN COLOURS

FROM ORIGINAL DESIGNS.

LONDON:
FREDERICK WARNE AND CO.

BEDFORD STREET, COVENT GARDEN.

NEW YORK: SCRIBNER, WELFORD, AND ARMSTRONG.
















PREFACE.

a

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

publishers.



vi PREFACE.

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



PREFACE. vii

may appear strange and improbable to English
readers, because the scenes described took place

at a time and in a country very different from

their own.










CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.
. . PAGE

THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER . 7 . ‘ ° +. 13
CHAPTER fi.

THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT . ot 7 7 . + 27
CHAPTER III.

YHE STOLEN RING =, oe ; 7 . . + 39
CHAPTER IV.

MARY IN PRISON . : . : 7 F : . §2
CHAPTER V.

THE TRIAL. . . . 0. wwe
CHAPTER VI.

THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER IN PRISON. . . . 70

CHAPTER VII.

THE SENTENCE AND ITS EXECUTION. 7 8 6



x CONTENTS.

CHAPTER VIII.





PAGE

A FRIEND IN NEED 7 ° . . . 87
CHAPTER IX.

THE EXILES FIND A HOME, 7 . : . » 94
CHAPTER X.

PLEASANT DAYS AT THE PINE FARM . . . 03
CHAPTER XI.

JAMES'S ILLNESS : . . - 126
CHAPTER XII

@AMEs'S DEATH. : : . . . . : . 134
CHAPTER XIII.

THE AVARICIOUS DAUGHTER-IN-LAW . 149
CHAPTER XIV.

FRESH TROUBLES i 7 . . : : : . 158
CHAPTER XV,

HELP IN TIME OF NEED . . - 168
CHAPTER XVI.

THE COUNTESS AMELIA’S STORY. : : : » 174

CHAPTER XVII.

THE RING FOUND . 6 6 eee 185



CONTENTS.
CHAPTER XVIII.

VIRTUE REWARDED

CHAPTER XIX.

AN EVENING AT-THE HUNTING LODGE



CHAPTER XX.

A VISIT TO THE PINE-TREE FARM

CHAPTER XXI.

FURTHER OCCURRENCES AT PINE FARM.

CHAPTER XXII.

RETRIBUTION

CHAPTER XXIII.

A HAPPY EVENT

CHAPTER XXIV.

THE MONUMENT



xi

SAGE

+ 197

+ 203

. 208

. 217

+ 230

+ 246








yy

oy,
sas

=
ae







THE

BASKET OF FLOWERS.

—4—_.

CHAPTER I.



THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER.

‘'O friendly to the best pursuits of man,
Friendly to thought, to virtue, and to peace,
Domestic life in rural pleasure pass'd!

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. I5

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
household.

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 THE 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. 17

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
conversation.

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

B



18 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

of the beds in the garden with what she liked
best.

‘Mary had thus a constant and pleasant occupa-
‘tion during her hours of leisure. She carefully

‘tended the delicate plants, watched the blossoms

‘hat 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
daughters.”

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. 1g

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 this
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

B 2



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
sun.

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 DPAUGHTER. 2r

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. Itis the emblem
ofa meek and lowly heart, which wears the genuine
blue of heaven, and is made like unto our Lord, whe
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.’



Orme

22 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

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 new-fallen 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



Io

-
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER. 237

words. Remember that a word, or evem 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, dear~
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 FATHBR AND DAUGHTER 25

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 he
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 fortln still
more precious fruits, even the fruits of the Spizit,
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.”







IR'HDAY

B









CHAPTER II.

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.”

iN a lovely morning in the beginning of
the month of May, Mary went into a



neighbouring 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
reward ?”



THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT. 29

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



go THE 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. 3r

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
at it.”

Mary carried the basket to the castle, and pre-
sented it to the Countess Amelia with her rhost 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 delighted 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 loyely
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
beautiful flowers.”

The Countess also was much pleased with the
basket. “Tt is indeed very beautiful,” said she.
“T 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. 33

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, “J
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. Itis as goodas 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

c



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
for it.”

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
Mary.”

“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
rest.”

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. 35

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 night. I
could tear out the eyes of this hateful floiver-
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
themy as my gift. Wear this dress as a remem
brance of me, and give my best thanks to your
father.”

Mary took the dress, kissed the hand of the:
young Countess, and took her leave.



35 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 selfcommand 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 if.

“Are you angry, Harriet?” said Amelia,
gently.

“¥ 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
sensibly.”

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. 37

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.” (1 Peter iii, 3-5.)

‘We sacrifice to dress, till household joys
And comforts cease, Dress drains our cellar dry,
And keeps our Jarder lean; puts out our fires,
And introduces hunger, frost, and woe,
Where peace and hospitality might reign.”

COWPER,



33 THE 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 Lam loving I shall be beloved ;
And men shall bless the fragrance of my name,
And hail my presence and my absence mourn.”

PARTRIDGE.

«©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.”

PARTRIDGE.

































CHAPTER IIL
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. ‘T'o 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.

“Ob, 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
be arranged.”

Mary was so terrified that she became as pale as
death. “Ah, my lady,” said she, “what can this
mean? Ihave not the ring. I did not even see
aring inthe 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 thering. 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. 4

‘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. 43

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
to light.”

‘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. 48

was left alone—before and after this there was no
one else there. After we had gonc, 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. 47

“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.”

“Qh, 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, do,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
father.

“ 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.

“Tt 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

D

.



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
be done.”

‘ 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, St

“ 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.”

P. HUTTON.







CHAPTER IV.

MARY IN PRISON,

“ Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage,
Minds innocent and quiet have
These for an hermitage.”

SIARY 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







>RISON.

ALARY Lv

cr



MARY IN PRISON. 53

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, O gracious God! Oh, deign to look
into this prison, and behold me on my knees
before Thee! Thou knowest that I am innocent !
_ 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
sorrow |”

A torrent of tears flowed from her eyes, as she
thought of her father. Sobs choked her voice,
and she wept long in silence.



S4 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

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
friend.

“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



MARY IN PRISON. 55

see you thus! What is my father doing now? Is
he waking, and looking on you, and mourning as
Tam? 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
sorrow.

“But how foolishly I have been speaking in my
misery. Forgive me, O 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 halfopen. 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
God.”

Again she wept, her tears dropped on the rosebuds
and forget-me-nots, and glittered in the moonlight



MARY IN PRISON. 57

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



38 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, O 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 preserye me amid the

storms of misfortune. Here are some laurel leaves.



MARY IN PRISON. 59

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
unchangeable.”

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, O 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 belovéd sleep.’



ALARY IN PRISON, 6r

** 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 belovéd 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 belovéd 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 belovéd sleep.’ "’

E. B. BARRETT.













- CHAPTER V.

THE TRIAL.

“ 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, O 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 arm-chair, covered with red cloth 5

















THE TRIAL. 63;

the clerk sat, pen in hand, before a large writing-
table blackened by age. The magistrate put many
quéstions 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 J, 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. Jam 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



THE TRIAL, 65

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,

ae E



66 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

and added several additional circumstances, and,
having been cross-examined in vain, was at length
dismissed.

“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
with it.”

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-
treated.

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 im prayer.



THE TRIAL. é7

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 tor
her father, continued thus: “If you persist in
silence, and if you do not value your own young
hfe, think at least of your old father! Could you

5 E 2



68 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.
4“ 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, O my God, and leave all in Thy
hands, trusting in Thee to save us.” She then said



THE TRIAL. 69

aloud, in a tone of deep emotion, “If I were to
say that I have the ring, it would be a lic; 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'll gently clear thy way;
‘Wait thou his time, thy darkest night
Shall end in brightest day.”













CHAPTER VI.

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 !"—Scorr.

AIIE 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



Burne

A Tha
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SSS
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SS SSK
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THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER IN PRISON. 7%

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. 7%

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 yox 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 ¢o 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, 1s
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. O God, grant
that I may not have to see it fall on the scaf-
fold !”-

“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
some hope, 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, ina
broken yoice, “ O Lord, Thy will be done! Thou
requirest 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!
Ah! dear Mary, it is better that you should die
innocent. than that I should ever live to see you



7 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
jand, 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.
“‘Parriet 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 *

straw !

James was again brought before the judge.



78 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

“ Before Almighty God, in whose presence we
stand, I assure you,” said he, raising his right
hand as he entered the room, “she is innocent.
My child is not a thief”

“JT 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 tothe
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.























CHAPTER VII.

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 eat-



“Bo 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
the truth,

At length, the judge passed sentence. Mary,
on account of her theft, and her obstinate denial
of it, was pronounced deserving of dexth; but in
consideration of her youth, and formerly unblem-
ished reputation, her sentence was commuted to
imprisonment for life in the house of correction.
Wer 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

F



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
pain.”

Harriet had taken it away, and now brought it
out inher 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
behind her.

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,

F 2



os TAE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

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 provimce, 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
old oak-tree.

“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. 8%

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 alt
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 ;
© Lord, thy mercies fail me never,
Where once Thou lov'st, thou lov'st for ever.

** In all extremes, Lord, Thou art still
The mount whereto my hopes do flee ;
Oh, 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.”

QUARLES.















CHAPTER VIII.

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.”

POLLOCK.

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 FLOWERS. .

He had been out early that morning in pursuit of
a stag.

“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
ceally 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
journey.”

“Efe who clothes the flowers will also clothe us,”
replied James,

“And about money?” again asked the forester.
“ Have you got any with you?”



A FRIEND IN NEED. : 8&9

“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
that ?”

“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.



go THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
e

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
dificult for me to get up yonder hill without it.
And here is a little money,” continued he, taking
asmell leathern’ purse out of his pocket. “I
received it yesterday evening in the village in

payment for wood.”



A FRIEND IN NEED. fod

a

“T 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,
- toa 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
you.”

“T 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.
“T 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. 93

** 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.

o
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PP FESS Sey



Full Text






ee


The Baldwin Library

University

|RMB sin


THE

BASKET OF FLOWERS

OR,

PIETY AND TRUTH TRIUMPHANT,

se from me ad

i “ ee,



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS PRINTED IN COLOURS

FROM ORIGINAL DESIGNS.

LONDON:
FREDERICK WARNE AND CO.

BEDFORD STREET, COVENT GARDEN.

NEW YORK: SCRIBNER, WELFORD, AND ARMSTRONG.










PREFACE.

a

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

publishers.
vi PREFACE.

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
PREFACE. vii

may appear strange and improbable to English
readers, because the scenes described took place

at a time and in a country very different from

their own.




CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.
. . PAGE

THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER . 7 . ‘ ° +. 13
CHAPTER fi.

THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT . ot 7 7 . + 27
CHAPTER III.

YHE STOLEN RING =, oe ; 7 . . + 39
CHAPTER IV.

MARY IN PRISON . : . : 7 F : . §2
CHAPTER V.

THE TRIAL. . . . 0. wwe
CHAPTER VI.

THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER IN PRISON. . . . 70

CHAPTER VII.

THE SENTENCE AND ITS EXECUTION. 7 8 6
x CONTENTS.

CHAPTER VIII.





PAGE

A FRIEND IN NEED 7 ° . . . 87
CHAPTER IX.

THE EXILES FIND A HOME, 7 . : . » 94
CHAPTER X.

PLEASANT DAYS AT THE PINE FARM . . . 03
CHAPTER XI.

JAMES'S ILLNESS : . . - 126
CHAPTER XII

@AMEs'S DEATH. : : . . . . : . 134
CHAPTER XIII.

THE AVARICIOUS DAUGHTER-IN-LAW . 149
CHAPTER XIV.

FRESH TROUBLES i 7 . . : : : . 158
CHAPTER XV,

HELP IN TIME OF NEED . . - 168
CHAPTER XVI.

THE COUNTESS AMELIA’S STORY. : : : » 174

CHAPTER XVII.

THE RING FOUND . 6 6 eee 185
CONTENTS.
CHAPTER XVIII.

VIRTUE REWARDED

CHAPTER XIX.

AN EVENING AT-THE HUNTING LODGE



CHAPTER XX.

A VISIT TO THE PINE-TREE FARM

CHAPTER XXI.

FURTHER OCCURRENCES AT PINE FARM.

CHAPTER XXII.

RETRIBUTION

CHAPTER XXIII.

A HAPPY EVENT

CHAPTER XXIV.

THE MONUMENT



xi

SAGE

+ 197

+ 203

. 208

. 217

+ 230

+ 246


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THE

BASKET OF FLOWERS.

—4—_.

CHAPTER I.



THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER.

‘'O friendly to the best pursuits of man,
Friendly to thought, to virtue, and to peace,
Domestic life in rural pleasure pass'd!

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. I5

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
household.

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 THE 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. 17

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
conversation.

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

B
18 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

of the beds in the garden with what she liked
best.

‘Mary had thus a constant and pleasant occupa-
‘tion during her hours of leisure. She carefully

‘tended the delicate plants, watched the blossoms

‘hat 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
daughters.”

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. 1g

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 this
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

B 2
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
sun.

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 DPAUGHTER. 2r

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. Itis the emblem
ofa meek and lowly heart, which wears the genuine
blue of heaven, and is made like unto our Lord, whe
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.’
Orme

22 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

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 new-fallen 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
Io

-
THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER. 237

words. Remember that a word, or evem 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, dear~
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 FATHBR AND DAUGHTER 25

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 he
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 fortln still
more precious fruits, even the fruits of the Spizit,
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.”




IR'HDAY

B






CHAPTER II.

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.”

iN a lovely morning in the beginning of
the month of May, Mary went into a



neighbouring 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
reward ?”
THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT. 29

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
go THE 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. 3r

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
at it.”

Mary carried the basket to the castle, and pre-
sented it to the Countess Amelia with her rhost 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 delighted 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 loyely
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
beautiful flowers.”

The Countess also was much pleased with the
basket. “Tt is indeed very beautiful,” said she.
“T 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. 33

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, “J
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. Itis as goodas 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

c
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
for it.”

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
Mary.”

“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
rest.”

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. 35

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 night. I
could tear out the eyes of this hateful floiver-
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
themy as my gift. Wear this dress as a remem
brance of me, and give my best thanks to your
father.”

Mary took the dress, kissed the hand of the:
young Countess, and took her leave.
35 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 selfcommand 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 if.

“Are you angry, Harriet?” said Amelia,
gently.

“¥ 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
sensibly.”

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. 37

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.” (1 Peter iii, 3-5.)

‘We sacrifice to dress, till household joys
And comforts cease, Dress drains our cellar dry,
And keeps our Jarder lean; puts out our fires,
And introduces hunger, frost, and woe,
Where peace and hospitality might reign.”

COWPER,
33 THE 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 Lam loving I shall be beloved ;
And men shall bless the fragrance of my name,
And hail my presence and my absence mourn.”

PARTRIDGE.

«©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.”

PARTRIDGE.



























CHAPTER IIL
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. ‘T'o 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.

“Ob, 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
be arranged.”

Mary was so terrified that she became as pale as
death. “Ah, my lady,” said she, “what can this
mean? Ihave not the ring. I did not even see
aring inthe 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 thering. 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. 4

‘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. 43

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
to light.”

‘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. 48

was left alone—before and after this there was no
one else there. After we had gonc, 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. 47

“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.”

“Qh, 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, do,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
father.

“ 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.

“Tt 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

D

.
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
be done.”

‘ 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, St

“ 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.”

P. HUTTON.




CHAPTER IV.

MARY IN PRISON,

“ Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage,
Minds innocent and quiet have
These for an hermitage.”

SIARY 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




>RISON.

ALARY Lv

cr
MARY IN PRISON. 53

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, O gracious God! Oh, deign to look
into this prison, and behold me on my knees
before Thee! Thou knowest that I am innocent !
_ 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
sorrow |”

A torrent of tears flowed from her eyes, as she
thought of her father. Sobs choked her voice,
and she wept long in silence.
S4 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

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
friend.

“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
MARY IN PRISON. 55

see you thus! What is my father doing now? Is
he waking, and looking on you, and mourning as
Tam? 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
sorrow.

“But how foolishly I have been speaking in my
misery. Forgive me, O 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 halfopen. 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
God.”

Again she wept, her tears dropped on the rosebuds
and forget-me-nots, and glittered in the moonlight
MARY IN PRISON. 57

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
38 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, O 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 preserye me amid the

storms of misfortune. Here are some laurel leaves.
MARY IN PRISON. 59

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
unchangeable.”

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, O 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 belovéd sleep.’
ALARY IN PRISON, 6r

** 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 belovéd 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 belovéd 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 belovéd sleep.’ "’

E. B. BARRETT.










- CHAPTER V.

THE TRIAL.

“ 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, O 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 arm-chair, covered with red cloth 5











THE TRIAL. 63;

the clerk sat, pen in hand, before a large writing-
table blackened by age. The magistrate put many
quéstions 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 J, 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. Jam 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
THE TRIAL, 65

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,

ae E
66 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

and added several additional circumstances, and,
having been cross-examined in vain, was at length
dismissed.

“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
with it.”

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-
treated.

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 im prayer.
THE TRIAL. é7

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 tor
her father, continued thus: “If you persist in
silence, and if you do not value your own young
hfe, think at least of your old father! Could you

5 E 2
68 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.
4“ 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, O my God, and leave all in Thy
hands, trusting in Thee to save us.” She then said
THE TRIAL. 69

aloud, in a tone of deep emotion, “If I were to
say that I have the ring, it would be a lic; 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'll gently clear thy way;
‘Wait thou his time, thy darkest night
Shall end in brightest day.”










CHAPTER VI.

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 !"—Scorr.

AIIE 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
Burne

A Tha
ami

SSS
RK GAS
SS SSK
IWS


THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER IN PRISON. 7%

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. 7%

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 yox 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 ¢o 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, 1s
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. O God, grant
that I may not have to see it fall on the scaf-
fold !”-

“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
some hope, 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, ina
broken yoice, “ O Lord, Thy will be done! Thou
requirest 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!
Ah! dear Mary, it is better that you should die
innocent. than that I should ever live to see you
7 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
jand, 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.
“‘Parriet 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 *

straw !

James was again brought before the judge.
78 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

“ Before Almighty God, in whose presence we
stand, I assure you,” said he, raising his right
hand as he entered the room, “she is innocent.
My child is not a thief”

“JT 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 tothe
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.

















CHAPTER VII.

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 eat-
“Bo 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
the truth,

At length, the judge passed sentence. Mary,
on account of her theft, and her obstinate denial
of it, was pronounced deserving of dexth; but in
consideration of her youth, and formerly unblem-
ished reputation, her sentence was commuted to
imprisonment for life in the house of correction.
Wer 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

F
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
pain.”

Harriet had taken it away, and now brought it
out inher 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
behind her.

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,

F 2
os TAE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

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 provimce, 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
old oak-tree.

“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. 8%

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 alt
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 ;
© Lord, thy mercies fail me never,
Where once Thou lov'st, thou lov'st for ever.

** In all extremes, Lord, Thou art still
The mount whereto my hopes do flee ;
Oh, 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.”

QUARLES.









CHAPTER VIII.

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.”

POLLOCK.

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 FLOWERS. .

He had been out early that morning in pursuit of
a stag.

“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
ceally 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
journey.”

“Efe who clothes the flowers will also clothe us,”
replied James,

“And about money?” again asked the forester.
“ Have you got any with you?”
A FRIEND IN NEED. : 8&9

“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
that ?”

“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.
go THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.
e

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
dificult for me to get up yonder hill without it.
And here is a little money,” continued he, taking
asmell leathern’ purse out of his pocket. “I
received it yesterday evening in the village in

payment for wood.”
A FRIEND IN NEED. fod

a

“T 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,
- toa 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
you.”

“T 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.
“T 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. 93

** 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.

o
ie

PP FESS Sey




CHAPTER IX.

THE EXILES FIND A HOME.

“Thou who did’st sit on Jacob's well,
The weary hour of noon,
The languid pulses Thou canst tell,
The nerveless spirit tune.
“ From darkness here and weariness,
We ask not full repose ;
Only be ‘Thou at hand to bless
Our trial hour of woes.
“Ts not the pilgrim’s toil o'erpaid
By the clear rill and palmy shade?
And see we not, up earth's dark glade,
The gate of heaven unclose?’’

AY after day Mary and her father wandered
on, till they had reached a distance of



more than sixty miles from their old
home. During all that time they had not been
able to find a place in which they could remain



THE EXILES FIND A HOALE. oS

with the hope of getting work; and their small
sum of money was exhausted. They fared very
il. The mere thought of asking alms was un-
speakably painful to them, but at length they were
forced to do so. At many a door they were
repulsed with harsh words, and at many another
a dry crust was thrown to them with a grudge,
and they had nothing to drink with it but a little
water from the nearest stream. Sometimes a little
soup or cold vegetables were given them in an.
earthen plate; still more rarely a small quantity
of broken victuals or pastry. But Mary could
often see that the smallest and worst pieces of the
left food were picked out for them. For many days
they never tasted anything warm, and at night
they were thankful to find shelter in a barn.

One day, when the road on which they were
travelling led them between woods and hills, far
from any village or even scattered houses, the old
man was suddenly taken ill. Pale and speechless,

he sank down on the fallen spines of the fir-trees at
96 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

the foot of a hill covered with wood. Mary was
nearly beside herself with terror and anguish. In
yain she looked all around for fresh water; she
could not find a single drop. In vain she called
aloud for help ; the echo alone replied. Far and
wide there was no human habitation to be seen.
With trembling limbs Mary hastily climbed the hill,
that she might be better able to see all around.
Then at length she perceived on the opposite side
of the hill a farm-house, which stood alone on the
edge of the wood, surrounded by ripening corn-
fields and green meadows.

She ran as fast as she could, and reached the
house almost breathless. With streaming eyes and
a voice broken with sobs, she implored for help.
The farmer and his wife, both rather aged, were
good, kind-hearted people. They were touched by
Mary’s grief, her pale face, her tears and her anguish.

The farmer’s wife said to her husband, “ Put a

horse in the light cart; we can soon bring the sick
man here.”
THE EXILES FIND A HOME. 97

The farmer went to harness the horse, and bring
out the cart. The farmer’s wife got ready a few
blankets, an earthen jar of cold water, and a
bottle with a little vinegar.

As soon as Mary heard that the cart-road round
the foot of the hill was very bad, and much
further than the path across the hill, she at once
set off to return by the way she had come, that
she might be sooner with her father. She took
with her a pitcher of water and a little vinegar.

When she reached the spot where she had leit
her father, he had semewhat revived. He was
sitting up under a fir-tree, and was heartily glad
to see Mary, whose absence he had remarked with
pain, when he recovered consciousness. The
light cart soon after arrived, and he was gently
laid in it and carried to the farm.

The farmer had a neat back room, with a back
kitchen, and small room beside it, forming a little
separate lodging, which now chanced to be empty.
He kindly cleared this for the sick man. The

G
98 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

farmer’s wife prepared a comfortable bed for him.
Mary was glad to sleep on a mattress on the floor.
She was contented with anything, if she could only
make her father comfortable. James’s illness pro-
ceeded entirely from exhaustion, caused by the
want of food, the discomfort that he had endured
and the fatigue of the long journey.

The good farmer’s wife gave all which she could
offer to refresh and restore the poor old man. She
spared neither meal nor eggs, milk or butter—even
a few fowls were willingly given to make strong
soup for her sick, weary guest.

The farmer brought in almost every day a young
pigeon from his dove-cote. “There,” said he to
his wife, with a smile, “since you do not spare
your poultry, I must do something too.”

The farmer and his wife had been wont every
year to go to an annual festival, held in a neigh-
bouring village. This year, after a consultation
with each other, they resolved to remain at home,
and to set apart the money which they would
THE EXILES FIND A HOME, 99

otherwise spend at the festival to buy some good
old wine for the invalid.

Mary thanked them with grateful tears. She
thanked God, who, in their great need, had guided
them to such kind and hospitable people. “ God
be thanked,” said she, “there are kind people
everywhere ; but the kindest hearts are often found
under rough exteriors, in plain country homes.”

Mary scarcely ever left her father’sside. She
was always near to answer when he called, yet her
clever hands were never idle. She was avery good
needlewoman and knitter, and she worked con-
stantly for the kind farmer’s wife. She wasted not
a moment. Her new friend was much pleased
with her industry, and her quiet, gentle, and
modest behaviour.

Old James was quickly restored by the good
food and nursing which he now received, and he
was soon able to be out of bed.

As soon as his strength had to some extent
returned, it was impossible for him to be idle.

Stes ‘G2
100 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS,

Mary was sent to fetch hazel-branches and willows
from the wood, that he might begin his basket-
making. His first work was an offering of grati.
tude—a neat, useful hand-basket for the farmer’s
wife. He contrived exactly to suit her taste.
The basket was beautifully shaped and firmly made.
He dyed some willow twigs of various colours, and
wove in the cover of the basket, in dark red
letters, the initials of his kind friend’s name, and
the date when she had so hospitably sheltered
him. On the sides of the basket a pattern was
woven in yellow, green, and brown willows, re-
presenting the farm-house, with its brown walls,
thatched roof, and a few green pine-trees near it.
This allusion to the name of the farm, which was
called “Pine Farm,” pleased the farmer’s wife.
She was greatly delighted with the pretty and
useful gift, and all who saw it admired it very
much.

When James had quite recovered his health, he
said to his kind friends at the farm,—
THE EXILES FIND A HOME. Tor

“J have been long enough a burden to you; it
is full time that I should take my staff and wander
on further.”

But the farmer took his hand kindly, and said,—
“What has come over you, dear James! I hope
we have not offended you in any way. Why do
you wish to leave us? You ar2 usually a sensible
man; this new whim is not like you.”

The farmer’s wife wiped away a tear with her
apron, as she said, “Oh, stay with us! It is late
in the season already! See, the leaves on the
trees and hedges are yellow, and winter is at the
door! Do you really wish to be ill again ?”

James assured her that he only wished to go
because he was afraid of being a burden to them.

“Make your mind easy about that!” said the
farmer; “how is it possible that you can be a
burden to us? You are not in our way in your
little back room there, and you earn all that you
need.”

“Yes, indeed |!” said the farmer’s wife, “ Mary
102 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS,

alone earns it all by her sewing and knitting.
And if you, James, will go on with your basket-
making, you will have ‘plenty to do. I took your
pretty basket with me last week when I went to
the christening of the miller’s child. There was a
large party, and they all admired my basket, and
wished to have one like it. I will get you plenty
of orders, if you like. You need not want work.”
James and Mary agreed to remain where they
were so kindly welcomed, and both the farmer and

his wife were heartily glad of it.

“ When all within is peace,

How nature seems to smile!

Delights that never cease,
The livelong day beguile.

“Tt is content of heart
Gives nature power to please;
The mind that feels no ‘smart
Enlivens all it sees;

‘Can make a wintry sky
Seem bright as smiling May,
And evening's closing eye

As peep of early day.”
COWPER,.




Farm.

THE Pine








SY
SS Le










CHAPTER X.
PLEASANT BAYS AT THE PINE FARM.

God made the country, and man made the town.
What wonder then that health and virtue, gifts
That can alone make sweet the bitter draught
That life holds out to all, should most abound,
And least be threatened in the fields and groves?"

CowPER.
AMES and Mary now settled themselves
in their little rooms, and prepared to



begin housekeeping. A few articles of
necessary furniture, and a few kitchen utensils were
provided. Mary was much pleased to have once
more a fireside of her own, and to be able to cook -
‘her father’s meals in comfort. Both father and
daughter were contented and happy. They had
many a pleasant talk while James was making
1 TO4 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

baskets, and Mary was busy with her sewing and
knitting. On many an evening they were invited
into the front room, where all the farmer’s household
were assembled ; and all were pleased to listen to
James’s amusing stories and pleasant conversation.
Winter with his storms passed quickly and pleasantly
away amid these useful occupations.

Near the farm there was a large piece of garden
ground, which had been allowed to lie waste. The
farmer and his wife had not time to attend to it,
because they were so constantly busy on the farm;
and even if they had been able to spare the time,
they did not understand gardening. James under-
took to make a good garden of this useless piece
of ground.

He cleared and dug it well in autumn, and as
soon as the snow melted in early spring, he and
Mary worked hard in it, both early and late. He
fenced it round, laid it out in beds, filled it with
useful vegetables, and such flowers as the bees love,
and gravelled the walks. Mary took the flower-

a ssn

n
PLEASANF DAYS AT THE PINE FARM, 105

beds under her especial care, and when her father
went to the neighbouring town, to bring seeds
and plants for the vegetable garden, she persuaded
him to bring also rose-bushes, lilies, auriculas, wall-
flowers, stocks, and other pretty flowers.

So blooming a garden had never before been
seen in this remote place, and it became famous
in all the valley, and in the neighbouring villages.
The orchard also prospered under James’s care,
and bore better fruit, and larger crops. A blessing
seemed to rest on all that he did.

The old gardener was again in his element. As in
the old times at Eichburg, he began to teach Mary
lessons from the flowers and plants growing in pro-
fusion around them. There was scarcely a flower
or green leaf that did not seem to give him a text
for a fresh lesson.

In the early days of spring, Mary looked for
violets under the hedge which bordered one side |
of the garden, that she might bring her father the
first opening flowers, as she had been accustomed
106 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

to do. One day she joyfully presented him with a
beautiful sweet-smelling nosegay.

“Well,” said her father, smiling as he took the
pretty bunch of blue flowers, “who seeks well Is sure
to find. Butlisten,” continued he, “it is worthy of
notice this lovely little flower, the sweet violet, often
grows under thorns, and this seems to me to apply
to our own case. Who could have believed that,
in this lonely valley, and under this old moss-
covered thatch, we should find so much comfort
and joy? There is no path in life so thorny, but
we may find some quiet pleasures hidden under the
thorns, if we seek for them. Be meek and humble
in heart, my child, and even amid many sorrows,
God will send you that peace which the world can
neither give nor take away.”

A tradesman’s wife from the town came one day
to buy flax from the farmer’s wife, and brought her
little boy with her. While the flax was being
examined, and the price of it settled, the boy, left
to himself, escaped through the open door into
PLEASANT DAYS AT THE PINE FARM. 107

the garden, and ran eagerly to a bush, covered
with full-blown roses, to gather flowers, but in his
haste he fell, and was sorely pricked by the thorns.
His loud cries brought both his mother and the
farmer’s wife to his help; James and Mary, too, came
to see what was the matter. The boy was standing
crying passionately, with face and hands bleeding,
and loudly abusing the ugly, deceitful rose-bush.
“There are many children of larger growth like
him,” said James. “Like the rose-bush, every
worldly pleasure is surrounded by thorns, and many
rush eagerly to grasp them. One seeks his amuse-
ment in dancing and gambling, another in intoxi-
cation, or even worse. The pleasure Soon passes
away, leaving a cruel sting, and the pleasure-seeker
stands like this boy weeping and lamenting, and
accusing, as the catise of his misery, what he has.
most loved. Even innocent pleasures should be
moderately used, and while we admire the beauty
of the rose, we must not grasp it too eagerly. God
| has given man Reason for his guide, that he may
108 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

learn to be temperate in all things. He must not
blindly follow his own pleasure, but try to find his
pleasure in the path of duty.”

One lovely summer morning, after several days’
rain, Mary went with her father to the garden, and
found the first lilies in full blow, looking lovely in
the rising sun. She ran to call the people in the
farm, who had been anxiously waiting to see the
lilies in blossom. All admired them much.

“What a dazzling white, how pure and spotless
they are,” said the farmer’s wife.

“Yes, truly,” said James, earnestly. “ Oh, that
the souls of men were as pure and spotless as the
lies, then would they enjoy the greatest possible
happiness. Is it not said that ‘the pure in heart ~
shall see God?’ I have often before taught you,
dear Mary, that none are pure by nature, and you
know well how we can become pure, in no other
way than through the cleansing blood of Christ.
Thus washed, we shall shine for ever in robes as
white and spotless as the lily-blossoms.”
PLEASANT DAYS AI® THE PINE FARM. 1g

“How beautifully straight is the slender stem,”
said the farmer; “how erect and upright it
stands.”

“Tt is like a finger-post pointing upwards to
heaven,” said James; “I delight to look atit. Such
lilies should be in every country garden. We,
working people, are obliged to grub so much in
the ground, that we sometimes forget to look
upwards. This lovely, upright flower, with its
white cup open to the rays of the sun, ought
always to remind us that amid all our toil and
hard labour, we too should be looking upwards
and seeking for better things than earth can give.
All plants,” continued James, impressively, “ even
the most delicate, have a natural tendency to grow
upwards, and those which are too weak to rise by
themselves, are so formed that they cling to some-
thing stronger, and ‘so climb higher and higher.
The honeysuckle, the ivy, the sweet-peas, and the
hops, even the wild convolvulus in the hedge, are
all ever clinging and striving to raise themselves
TIO THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

from the ground. It would be very sad if man,
with his high aspirations, hopes, and. wishes,
should creep on the earth, instead of rising up-
wards to heaven. If we prize this world and its
vanities too much, we shall always be grovelling
on the ground, for ‘where the treasure is, there
will the heart be also.’ But let us cling to Christ,
and rise upwards by his help. Let wus set
our ‘affections on things above, not on things
on the earth, and so shall we be ever rising
higher and higher, and shall rejoice in the
glorious life-giving rays of the Sun of righteous
ness.”

One day James was planting out young seed-
lings in the same bed which Mary was weeding.
“This twofold work, my dear daughter,” said he,
“is like our life-work here below. Our hearts are
like gardens, which God has given us to tend.

We must ever be busy in uprooting the evil and

sowing the good seed, or the garden will soon be
a, wilderness. By nature, weeds grow therein
PLEASANT DAYS AT THE PINE FARM. wrt

more luxuriantly than flowers. As the seed I am
how sowing cannot thrive, unless the weeds are
cleared away and the soil is prepared to receive
the refreshing rain and dew, so the’ good seed
sown in our hearts cannot spring up unless God
send the gracious influences of His Holy Spirit,
like the refreshing rain, to cause it to grow and
bear fruit abundantly. The soul thus blessed,
becomes like a well-watered garden, bringing
forth abundantly the precious ‘fruits of the
Spirit! ”

Three springs and summers had glided plea-
santly away, since James and Mary first came to
the Pine Farm, and they had almost forgotten the
sorrows of the past. These years had been well
and usefully spent in active industry, lightened by
many innocent pleasures, not the least of which to
Mary was her father’s instructive conversation.
At the return of autumn, when the mid-day sun
cast longer shadows, the last ornaments of the
garden, the red and blue asters, were in bloom,
LI2 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

and the many-coloured foliage of the trees showed
the approach of winter, James’s health began
visibly to decline. He felt his strength daily
diminishing. He tried to conceal his feelings of
illness from Mary, fearing to distress her, but his
teachings from the flowers were of a melancholy
cast, often leading to thoughts of death, and his
words made Mary feel sad.

One day Mary, as she was gathering flowers,
saw a rose, the last lingering blossom on the tree,
but when she wished to gather it, its leaves fell
off, and were scattered on the ground, around her.
“So is it with man,” said her father. “In youth
we are like a newly-opened rose; but, like the
roses, we wither and fade, our season of bloom is.
very short, and quickly passes. Do not prize,
therefore, my dear child, the vain fragile beauty
of the body, which will soon pass away, but strive
after the beauty of the soul, the ornament which
can never fade.

One evening, when they had been gathering in


PLEASANT DAYS AT THE PINE FARM. 113

the crop of apples, James ‘was standing on a
ladder under one of the trees, and handing down
the apples to Mary, which she was carefully laying
in a basket. Then he said, “Hear how the
autumn wind whistles among the trees, plays with
the yellow leaves, and blows about my grey hair!
Tam in the autumn of life, dear Mary, and one
day, if you are spared, your autumn will also
come. Try to resemble this tree which you see
rich in good fruits, and may you also bring forth
abundantly, so that you may be approved by the
Lord of the harvest.”

When Mary was sowing seed for the following
spring, her father said, “Even so, my daughter,
must we one day be laid in the earth, and covered
with the earth. But be comforted! As the corn
of wheat which is laid in the earth rises to new
life, and as the seed of the fair flower also springs
up fresh from its grave, so shall we one day rise
to a new and glorious life from the the tomb. "Think of this, dear Mary, when at

H
“ZIg THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

some future day you may: have to follow me to
“the grave. As the seeds that you sow there’
spring up and blossom, may you regard. them as
*the emblem and the pledge of my resurrection
and immortality.”
Mary looked anxiously at her father, and she
. could not but see that he was. greatly changed.
“Two large tears: rolled slowly down her cheeks,
and she shuddered at the thought. that she
“must lose. him. Dark forebodings filled her
heart.
‘* When the spark of life is waning,
Weep not for me;
When the languid eye is straining,
Weep not for me;
When the feeble pulse is ceasing,
Start not at its swift decreasing,

"Tis the fettered soul’s releasing ;
‘Weep not for me.

‘« When the pangs of death assail me,
Weep not for me;
Christ is mine—He cannot fail me,
Weep not for me.




PLEASANT DAYS AT THE PINE FARM. 118

Yes! though sin and doubt endeavour
From his love:my soul to sever,

Jesus is my strength for ever—
Weep not for me.”

DALE,


i
1






CHAPTER XI.

JAMES’S ILLNESS.

“When languor and disease invade |
This trembling house of clay,
"Tis sweet to look beyond the grave,
And long to soar away.

‘' Sweet to look inward, and attend
‘The whispers of his love: ,
Sweet to look upward to the throne
Where Jesus reigns above.”

INTER set in with unusual severity. Hill
and valley were covered with snow, and
good old James suffered from ‘the cold.
He became so ill as to alarm Mary, who en-
treated him to allow a doctor to be sent for from
the neighbouring town, and the kind-hearted
farmer went himself in his sledge to fetch him.














James's Tutwrss.
Jam ]

PL oTrd.
YAMESS ILLNESS. 117

After the doctor had seen and prescribed for the
sick man, Mary accompanied him to the door.
She asked him whether she might venture to hope
that her father. would recover. The doctor told
her that for the present her father was not in
danger, but that, at his advanced age, he could
not answer how the illness would end. Mary
feared the worst from this doubtful answer, and .
she sank down on a chair where the doctor had
left her, and wept bitterly. After a time she
became more composed, wiped away her tears,
and tried to appear calm before her father, that
she might not alarm or distress him.

Mary attended her beloved father with the
tenderest care. She did everything for him that ~
was in her power. She watched all night long by |
his bedside. When others offered to take her
place, lest the constant watching should be too
much for her, if, yielding to their persuasions, she
consented to lie down for a few moments, she
could not close her eyes. If her father even
118 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

coughed, she started up; if he moved, she was at
once by his side to see what he wanted. She
prepared and served the most nourishing food to
him with the tenderest love. She arranged his
pillows, she read to him, she prayed for him with-
out ceasing. Often while he slept she stood by
him with clasped hands, and, looking up to
heaven, said, “Oh! my God, spare him to me
still, even for a few years!” She often remained
up half the night, sewing or knitting, to earn
money to provide comforts for him. Yet, frugal
as she was in her own wants, she would have
spent the last farthing she possessed to purchase
anything that might do him good.

The pious old man, although he had somewhat
revived for the present, yet felt that his “sickness
was unto death.” Notwithstanding, he was calm
and composed, and spoke cheerfully of his ap-
proaching death. Poor Mary could not’ bear this,
and when her father spoke of his death, she said,
amid her tears,—
FAMESS ILLNESS. Lig.,’

“Oh, do not speak of it, dearest father! I
dare not even think of it! What would become~
of meP? Ah, your poor Mary would then have no:
friend on earth !”

“Weep not, dear child,” said her father, taking:
her hand kindly. “If I am taken away, you have:
still a Father in heaven. He has promised to be
a ‘Father to the fatherless.’ Remember what
David says in the Psalms, ‘When my father and
my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me
up’ Your Father in heaven will be ever with you,
even if your father on earth is taken from you.
How to provide for your food and clothing is
among the least of my cares. The -birds of the
air are fed, and so will God feed you! ‘Man
wants but little here below, nor wants that little
long’ Ah! far different cares weigh upon my
mind. “My only anxiety is that you should remain
as gentle, pious, and innocent-as, thank God, you
are now. My beloved daughter, you know not
how corrupt and wicked the world is, and what
120 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

evil men there are in it. Alas, it is too true that
there are men who would think it merely a jest
to deprive you, poor girl, of innocence, honour,
peace of mind, and the whole happiness of your
life. They may call you childish if you speak to
them of the fear of God, the voice of conscience,
the commandments of God, and of endless eter-
nity. But if they regard not these things, flee
from such men, dearest Mary. Remember they
are those whom the Bible commands us to shun.
However nauch they may flatter you, and call you
beautiful, hovering round you like the butterfly
zound the flowers, yet listen not to them, and
mind not what they say. Never accept a present
from them, and never believe their promises.
Satan himself has appeared in the form of an
angel of light; and a poisonous serpent often
lurks among flowers. For your protection, God
has given you a true badge of innocence, holy
modesty ; if any one suggest an evil thought, or
says a word that is not innocent, you will feel the
FAMES'S ILLNESS. 121

glow of modesty rush into your cheeks. Take
warning from this guardian of innocence! Neg-
lect it not, that it may not leave you for ever. As
long as the blush of modesty remains, if you listen
to its warning, you are safe from temptation. But
as soon as you slight this warning, even in the
least degree, if you yield even once, you are in
danger of being lost for ever !

“Oh! Mary, there will be an enemy in your
own heart. There will be moments in your life in
which you may feel a desire for what is evil, and
in which you may easily persuade yourself that
you are not very wicked, even if you break the
strict rules that have been imposed upon you.
But take warning, and engrave the counsel of your
dying father deeply on your heart! Do, speak,
even think, nothing for which you must blush were
it done or spoken in your father’s presence. My
eyes will soon be closed for ever. I shall no
longer be able to guard you, but think that your
heavenly Father is everywhere present, and sees
122 ‘THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

the secrets of your heart. You would be ashamed

to show any evil feeling to me, your father on

earth ; fear infinitely more to give offence to Him,
your Omniscient Father in heaven.

“ Dearest Mary, remember my advice. If temp-
tation should ever assail you, think of me, remem-
ber my pale face, my grey hair, the tears ‘that are
falling over my wasted cheeks. Come, put your
hand into mine, cold and withered as it is, that
will soon be laid in the dust. Promise me never
to forget my words. In the hour of temptation
try to imagine that you feel the clasp of my cold
hand, holding you back from the brink of the
abyss.

“My darling girl, you ‘look upon my pale and
careworn features with tears of sorrow. Oh, see
now that all on earth is passing away. Once I
was as fresh and blooming as you are now. One
day you will be as pale and wasted as I now am,
lying on my dying bed, unless it please God to
take you away still earlier. “The joys of my youth
FAMESS ILLNESS. - 123

have faded like the flowers of the past spring, the
place whereof knows them no more. They have
vanished like the dew on the early blossoms,
which glitters fora moment, and is seen no more.
But noble deeds are like the precious stones,
which have an enduring value; virtue and a good
conscience are like the noblest of precious stones,
the diamond, which is indestructible. Strive to
obtain this jewel! the good that I have done is
now my only joy, and my faults and failures are
my only pain. Keep close to God, dear child,
trust ever in Him, walk as in His presence. In
Him I have found my sweetest joys, and in Him,
also, the best.and only consolation in my sorrow.

“Believe me, Mary, I speak the truth! If it
were otherwise, I would tell you. I have seen the
world as much as most men, when I was travelling
with the Count. In all the large cities, In which
there was anything beautiful or attractive to be
seen, I was permitted to visit it. I enjoyed all
the pleasures of the world, for I saw and heard, as
124 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

well as the young Count did, the gay masquerades,
the noisy music, the merry talking, and the jests ;
and of the delicate food and costly wines there
remained always more than I could consume.
But worldly pleasures such as these left my heart
empty. I assure you that during one quarter of
an hour of quiet devotion in the bower of our
garden at Eichburg, under this thatched roof, or
even here on my dying bed, I have enjoyed more
inward peace and pleasure than all these vain
delights afforded me. Seek thy joy in God, dear
Mary, and thou wilt find it in rich abundance.
“You know well, my dear child, that during my
long life I have not been without many sorrows.
Ah, when your dear mother died, my heart was
like the dry and thirsty ground which is burnt up
by the heat of the sun, and is longing for rain.
Even thus did I long for comfort, but I found it in
God. Oh, my child, there will certainly be days
in your future life, when your heart, too, will be
like the dry and thirsty ground; yet be undis-
FAMES'S ILLNESS. 125

mayed. Not in vain does the earth thirst for rain,
God sends it in his own good time. Seek comfort
in God, He will strengthen and refresh your heart,
as the parched and cracked earth is refreshed by
the mild and gentle rain.

“Dearest child, always keep your firm confi-
dence in God’s holy providence. God causes all
things to work for good to them that love Him;
He leads them through the path of sorrow to
endless joy.

“Do you remember, dearest Mary, what bitter
sorrow you felt, when on our journey I sank down
. on the high road, unable to move? Yet this
illness was the very means used by God to prepare
for us this peaceful home, where we have been so
happy for more than three years. But for this
sickness we should probably either have passed
the door of our kind friends, or our misfortunes
would not have excited their compassion. They
might perhaps have given us a cup of milk and a
piece of dry bread, and then have let us go on
x26 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

our way. But for this sickness we should not
have learned to know these dear friends, and
should not have. loved them so much. All the
pleasures that we have here enjoyed, all the good
that we have done here, and the many hundred’
days of content and pleasure that we have lived
here, have been blessings that have sprung from
that attack of sickness. Thus, dear Mary, in the
most melancholy occurrences: of our life, we can
see the grace and mercy of God. As. God scat-
ters His flowers on mountain and valley, in the
wood and by the brook, even on the moor and in
the marsh, with a liberal hand, so that we may
everywhere see the evidences of His goodness and
loving-kindness ; even so has He ordered all the
events of our lives according to His infinite
wisdom, His love and compassion, so that every
attentive mind may remark this, and find comfort
cand joy therein.

“ Amongst our greatest sorrows we must reckon
the accusation brought against you of theft.
FAMES S ILLNESS. 127

While you were lying in’ chains: and bonds,
condemned to death,. and we,. in® your prison-
house, were weeping, and mourning. together,
these sorrows were certainly bringing: great bless-
ings, and I think that: these: blessings are now’
visible. At the time when the young. Countess
distinguished you above all other girls in the
neighbourhood;. honoured you: with her company,
gave you'so. beautiful'a'dress, wished to have you
always’ with: her—then you: thought, did you not?
—that you were happy. But how easily amongst
the. honours, pleasures, and. luxuries of this world
might you not have become vain, frivolous,
worldly-minded, and forgetful of God: God has
been gracious to you, He has ordered it otherwise,
and sent misfortunes to:us. In prison, in misery,
and, at length, on our weary: wanderings, we have
learned to know Him better, and have been
brought nearer to Him: In this remote place,
far from the distractions and disquietudes of the
world, He has prepared a better place for us,
128 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

Thou bloomest here like a flower in the solitary
wilderness, safe from all dangers.

“God, the true and faithful one, will order all
things for your good. I truly believe that He has
heard my prayer, and will yet bring your innocence
to light, even if I should not live to see it. It is
not necessary to make my mind easy, because I am
already convinced that you areinnocent. Yes, dear
Mary, happiness and joy will spring forth to you
even out of the sorrows that you have endured;
although earthly happiness is but a small conside-
ration, and the great reason why God sends sorrow
to us will never be known until we are in heaven,
for it is through much tribulation that we must
enter into glory.

“ Grieve not, then, pious soul, if thou art brought
into poverty and overwhelmed with anxieties, but
believe that God will graciously care for you, and
that you need have no care. Wherever His holy
providence may lead you, and however hard may
be the lot which has been appointed for you, believe
YAMES'S ILLNESS. 129

that trials are sent to render you still more virtuous
and happy.

“As a gardener transplants young plants from
the seed-beds, when he finds it best for them, and
as he does this at the time best suited to make
them thrive and grow; so God removes each
human being from this world to the next, at
the time and in the circumstances that are best
for his or her eternal good. All things work
together for good to His people. He graciously
removes me to a land of pure delight where I shall
be perfectly blessed. And be assured, dear child,
that this event which you feel to be so heavy an
affliction will be overruled for good. As in all your
past sorrows, so will it ever be. . My sickness and
death, distressing now, will be turned into a bless-
ing. ‘No chastening for the present seemeth to
be joyous, but grievous, nevertheless, afterwards it
yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness unto
them that are exercised thereby.’

“ My loving child ! when I even mention death,

I
130 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

you burst into tears afresh! Oh, weep not! Look
not upon death as so terrible, rather look upon it
as a source of joy to a Christian. Let me remind
you of some of the lessons that I taught you in our
old garden at Eichburg. - Remember our seed-beds
in spring. How weak and insignificant the little
green shoots looked when they first sprang up in
the narrow bed. From their appearance then you
could not have told what magnificent flowers: they
would become, or what rich fruits they would one
day produce. -But if they had remained crowded
together in the little seed-beds, they would
neither have produced flowers nor fruits. They
would not have had room to grow. The gardener
never intended them to remain there to decay and
rot; no, he merely left them there till they were
ready to be transplanted to the open garden, in
which, under the beautiful blue sky, enjoying the
fresh air and the golden sunshine, and refreshed
with the rain and dew of heaven, they might
‘ grow and blossom in beauty and luxuriance. Re
YAMES'S ILLNESS. 131

member how pleased you where. when I trans-
planted the little seedlings, and how often you urged
me not to:delay- it, because the poor plants were
getting sickly and. required: removal. You were
glad when you saw them planted owt in the garden,
and you used.to say, ‘How much better they are:
now; I think I see an improvement in them al-
ready.’ We poor. human beings are like these
weak little seedlings, and our earth is like the close
moist seed-bed. Here on earth is not our abiding-
place! Here we are like these feeble, miserable
plants. But we shall become something better and.
more glorious when God shall transplant us into:
His great, and glorious, and beautiful garden
above.

“Weep not for me, dear child. For me it is far
better to depart and be with Christ. It is good
for me to put off this vile body in which I have
suffered so much, and to be free for ever from sin,
and pain, and woe! Dear Mary, do you: not re-
member the extreme joy we felt in our blooming

”
gots v
132 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

garden in the lovely mornings in spring? Heaven
may be compared to a Paradise, an infinitely
glorious garden in which reigns an eternal spring.
_I am now going to this better country. Oh, be a
pious girl, keep ever close to Christ, and trust in
Him, and we shall one day meet again in heaven!
Here we have suffered many trials and sorrows
together, and must part in tears. But there we
. shall meet to dwell together in joy and blessedness,
and never to part again! There shall I see your
mother again! Oh, how I rejoice at the thought !
Oh, Mary, seek to be prepared to join us! If you
should be in prosperity, forget not amid the fleeting
joys of earth the glory that is prepared for us in
heaven. Weep not, then, my beloved child, but
rather rejoice in the hope that is set before you!”
Thus the pious father made use of the last days
of his life to comfort his daughter, whom he was
obliged to leave alone in the world; and thus he
warmed her to beware of the evils and temptations
that would surround her in the world. Every word
FAMES'S ILLNESS, 133

that he uttered was like a good. grain of corn that
fell into good ground. “JI have made you sorrow-
ful, dear child,” said he, “‘and have caused you to
shed many tears. But these tears are needful.
What is sown amid tears, takes deeper root and
thrives better, like the grain of corn that is sown
amidst the soft, gentle showers of spring.” They
that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

'' Where calm the spirit sinks to ease,
Lulled by angelic symphonies !
Oh, then to think of meeting there
The friends whose grave received our tear!

‘' The child long lost, the wife bereaved,
Back to our widowed arms received ;
And all the joys which death did sever,
Given to us again for.ever.

“O Lamb of God, by sorrow proved |
The Friend of man,.the Christ beloved,
To Thee this sweetest hope we owe,
Which warms our shivering hearts below.”
H, K, WHITE.


CHAPTER XIL

JAMES’S DEATH.
“ Tt matters not at what hour of the day
The righteous fall asleep; death cannot come
To him untimely who is fit to die ;
The less of this cold world, the more of heaven ;
The briefer life, the earlier immortality.”
MILMAN.

S soon as the illness of her father had
appeared alarming, Mary had gone to



= Erlenbrunn to see the clergyman of the
parish to which the Pine Farm belonged. She
told him how ill her father was, and entreated that
he would come to see him. The clergyman, a
worthy man, and a good minister, visited him often,
had much edifying conversation with him, and
never left the farm without saying a few words of
comfort and encouragement to Mary.


















































Les


FAMES'S DEATH. 135

One afternoon when he came as usual, he found
the good old man much weaker. James told
Mary to leave the room for a little while, because
he wished to speak with the clergyman alone.

When after a short time she was again called
into the room, her father said to her, “ My dear
Mary, I do not think I shall ever be able to be up
again, and the clergyman has kindly promised to
administer the Holy Communion to me to-morrow
morning.”

Mary had not thought her father in such great
danger. She saw that he thought death ap-
proaching, and she could not restrain her tears.
But by a great effort she recovered her composure.

“Vou are right, my dear father,” said she.
“ What can we do better, when we are in trouble,
than seek the comfort which God has promised to
give in His holy ordinances ?”

The rest of that day and most of the evening
was spent by James in silent prayer: he spoke
little, and seemed to be communing with his own
130 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

heart. Next day he received the Communion
from the hands of the minister with indescribable
joy. Faith, love, and the hope of eternal hfe,
shone in his venerable countenance ; tears of deep
emotion flowed over his withered cheeks. Mary,
kneeling by his sick bed, wept and prayed. A
small congregation had been formed in James’s
sick room. The farmer, his wife, and several of
their workpeople joined in the holy service. All
seemed deeply affected; some were moved even
to tears.

“ Now,” said Mary, after it was all over, “ my
heart seems lighter, and I am much comforted.
Truly, both in life and death, religion is the support
of the soul; in God alone can we find peace and
~ comfort in affliction !”

James continued to get weaker every day, and
he felt that death was slowly approaching. The
farmer and his wife did everything in their power
for him, for they regarded him as their best friend,
and blessed the hour that he had come into the
FAMESS DEATH. 137

house. Many times every day, either one or other
came into his little room to see how he was, and if
he wanted anything. On these occasions, Maty’s
frequent question was, “Oh! don’t you think that
he may yet recover ?”

Thinking it better to prepare her for the future,
the farmer’s wife once said to her, “My dear girl,
I much fear that he will not survive the spring.”

From that time Mary looked with fear and
trembling from her little window into the garden.

. Hitherto she had always rejoiced in the return of
spring. But now she looked sad when she saw
the first delicate leaves appear on the hedges, and
the swelling buds on the trees; she dreaded the
approach of spring, and the early song of the
birds that she once loved so much, caused her
pain. The earliest snowdrops and primroses were
an unwelcome sight. ‘“ Ah!” she said, “all around
me is springing into new life! must my dear
father alone die, while all seems reviving? Is
there no hope for him? Yes,” continued she, rais-
138 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

ing her eyes to heaven, “we are commanded not
to sorrow ‘as those that have no hope ;’ our Lord
Jesus Christ has said, ‘He that believeth in me
shall not die’ He is merely putting off this
earthly house of clay, to rise to a new and better
life in heaven above !”

The pious old man often wished Mary to read
aloud to him. She read with reverence and feel-
ing, and her voice was sweet and clear. ‘Towards
the end of his illness, the passages he heard with
most pleasure were the last words and the last
prayer of our Lord Jesus.

One night Mary was watching silently beside him.
The moon was shining into the little room through
the window so clear and bright that the feeble
glimmer of the night-light could scarcely be seen.

“Mary,” said her father, “read to me once
more the beautiful prayer of our Lord.”

She lighted a candle and read it.

“Now give me the book,” said he, “and hold
the candle for me a little.”
FAMES'S : DEATH. 139

Mary gave him the book, and held the lighted
candle to him.

“See,” said he, “this shall be my last prayer for
you.” He laid his finger on the place, and prayed
in a broken voice, while he changed the words a
little, so as to suit himself and-his daughter,—

“Oh, heavenly Father! I have not long to
remain in this world; but this, my child, will be
left for a time in this world. I believe and trust
that I am going to Thee,.O Father! Thou, Holy
and Almighty God, preserve my child from sin

and evil, for Thy name’s sake. While I have been
with her in this world, I have endeavoured in Thy
name and with Thy strength to guard her from it.
But now come I to Thee. I pray Thee not that
Thou shouldest take her out of the world, but
that thou shouldest keep her from the evil of it.
I implore Thee to sanctify her through Thy truth ;
Thy word is truth. Oh, heavenly Father! grant
that she, whom Thou hast given to me on earth,
may one day come to meet me where I hope soon
140 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

to be with Thee, in heaven. These things I ask
in the name and for the sake of our Lord Jesus -
Christ. Amen.”

While James prayed, Mary stood by his bedside,
holding the candle in her trembling hand, and
_ when he concluded, she joined in his earnest
“amen,” as well as her sobs would permit.

“Ves,” continued her father, “my dear daughter,
there shall we see Jesus in the glory which was
given him by God before the foundation of the
world, and there in that better land we shall meet
again.”

‘He laid his head back on the pillow, and lay
quiet for a little, grasping the book in his hand.
It was a Bible, which he had bought with the first
_ money that he had been able to save after he had
' been driven from Eichburg, asics of everything
he possessed.

“Dear Mary,” said he, after resting for a little,
“T thank you again for all the love which you have
shown me during my last illness. You have well
JAMES S DEATH. 14

and faithfully kept the fifth commandment. Re-
~ member the promise given to those who love and
honour their parents. I believe, dear Mary, that
it will be fulfilled to you, and I trust God will
provide for you, though I must leave you, to all
outward appearance, poor and helpless. I can
give you nothing but my blessing and this book.
Trust in God, dear daughter, and this blessing will
not be in vain. The blessing of a father who
trusts in and pleads God’s promises, is a greater
blessing to good children than the richest inherit-
ance. Take this book as your father’s last gift.
It cost only.a few pence, yet if you will read it
diligently, and follow its directions carefully, it is a
greater: treasure than gold or silver. If I could
leave you as many pieces of gold as there are
leaves on the trees in spring, you could buy no,
thing better with all this money. For it is the
Word of God, which has a power to make all happy
who believe it. Our Lord says, ‘The words which
I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are life.’
142 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

Read it every-morning; try to find time for this
amid all your toil and labour, even if you have time
but for one text; learn it and meditate on it in
your heart all day. If you do not quite. under-
stand any part of it; pray that the Holy Spirit may
enlighten you. Ihave always read it with prayer
for this help. God alone can teach you rightly to
understand it. All that is most essential in it is
clear and simple to the understanding of all. Hold
fast by it, follow it, and’ you will not be left with-
out a blessing. A short text meditated on with
prayer is full of wise teaching. These few words
—‘ Consider the lilies of the field,’ have taught me
more wisdom that all’ the books which I read in
my youth. The deep meaning contained in these
words has been the source of many innocent enjoy-
ments; and, amid many sorrows which would
otherwise have filled my heart with anxious care,
and made me faint-hearted and desponding, it
has inspired me with a cheerful and happy spirit.”

About three o’clock in the morning James said,

~
Â¥YAMES'S DEATH. 143

“J feel very ill, Mary. Open the window a
little.”

Mary opened it. The moon was no longer to
be seen, but the stars were sparkling brilliantly in
the dark sky.

“See how beautiful the sky is,” said James.
‘What are the fading flowers of earth, when com-
pared with the unfading stars of heaven? I am
going where nothing will ever fade or pass away.
Oh, what joy! Iam going to my Saviour! Keep
close to Him, dear Mary, and so we shall meet
again.” .

Saying these words, he sank back upon his bed,
and he slept away gently and quietly. Mary
thought it was only a swoon ; she had never before
seen death. No one had believed that her father’s
death was so near; but Mary was struck with a
look she had never seen before—that once seen is
never forgotten—and she hastened to awaken the
people in the house. They quickly came into the
chamber of death, and saw that James was gone.
were

144 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

When Mary heard that he was really dead, she
kissed his pale face, and embraced his cold
remains, weeping bitterly.

“Oh, my good, good father,” said she, “I can
now never reward you for all you have done for
me! Oh, I can do no more for you! Thanks,
thanks, for all the kind words and precious advice
that those pale lips have given me! With heart-
felt gratitude I kiss the cold, stiff hand which has
bestowed so many benefits upon me—has laboured
so hard for me—has chastised me with such
fatherly kindness in the days of my childhood!
I now see, for the first time, how good it was for
me! Oh, thanks, thanks, for all your goodness!
Forgive me, if I have grieved you through my.
childish thoughtlessness ! Ob, may God reward
him for all his love tome! O God, let my death
be like the death of this righteous man! How
brief is this earthly life! How blessed that there
is an eternal life in heaven !”

All present wept. At length the farmer's wife,
FAMESS DEATH. T45

by persuasion, and entreaties, succeeded in inducing
Mary to leave the room. .

Mary would not be prevented from returning to
sit beside the corpse of her father, where she read
and wept, and prayed until the morning dawned.
Before the coffin was closed, she looked once more
on the much-loved form.

“ Ah !” said she, “do I look for the last time on
this venerable face? How pleasant it looks, as if
he were smiling ; almost as if it were lighted up
by the first rays of the future glory! Oh, farewell,
farewell, my good father!” sobbed she. “J hope
—I believe that your spirit is now at rest in
heaven !”

She had made a bouquet of rosemary, of golden
primroses, and dark-blue violets, and put it into
the hand of the good gardenez, who had sown and
planted so many of them.

“These first blossoms cf the newly-reviving
earth will be an emblem of his speedy resurrec-
tion,” said she; “‘and this evergreen rosemary an

K
146 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

emblem of my constant and loving remembrance
of him.”

While they were nailing down the coffin, each
stroke of the hammer seemed so deeply to pierce
her heart, that she almost fainted away. The
farmer’s wife took her into another room, and
entreated her to lie down for a little rest.

Mary followed the funeral of her father ina deep
mourning dress, which had been given her by a
kind friend in the village. She was as white and
pale as corpse, and every one pitied the poor
orphan, who was now left alone without either
fatlier or mother.

As Mary’s father was a stranger in Erlenbrunn,
his giave was dug in a corner of the churchyard,
near the wall. It was overshadowed by two tall
fir-trees. The clergyman gave a touching address
to the people present, on these words of our Lord
Jesus Christ, “ Except a corn of wheat fall into the
ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die it

bringeth forth much fruit.” He spoke of the death
FAMESS DEATH. 147

unto sin, and the new life unto holiness, shown
forth in the example of the worthy old man. He
showed that each individual believer must die unto
sin before he can rise to new life in heaven. He
told them how meekly and patiently the good old
man had borne his affliction, thus proving that he
was bringing forth the fruits of the Spirit, among
which are meekness, patience, and long-suffering.

Le said a few comforting words to the bereaved
orphan, and told her to remember that God is the
Father of the fatherless. He thanked the kind-
hearted people of the village for all their goodness
to the departed, and entreated them to continue to
be kind to the bereaved daughter, because, as he
reminded them, Christians are especially called to
visit the fatherless in their affliction.

Mary visited the much-hallowed grave whenever
she went to church at Erlenbrunn, and as often as
she could spare time in the evenings. There she
wept and prayed. Homeless as she was, the grave
that contained the dust of all she loved seemed

K 2
143 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

like ahome. She loved the quiet of the lonely
churchyard. ‘ Nowhere else,” said she, “can I so
well pray in peace. Here, worldly things seem to
disappear from my view, and I have a longing for
my heavenly home.” She never left the grave
without making pious resolutions to live only for
the glory of. God, with the blessed hope that,
believing in the same Saviour in whom they trusted,
and following their holy footsteps, she might join

her parents before the throne of God.

“ Nay, shrink not from the word ‘ Farewell,’

As if ’twere friendship's final knell !

Such fears may prove but vain ;
So changeful is life's fleeting day,
Where’er we sever, Hope may say,

“We part to meet again!’
Even the last parting earth can know
Brings not unutterable woe

To souls that heavenward soar ;
For humble Faith, with steadfast eye,
Points to a brighter world on high,
Where hearts, that here at parting sigh

May meet to par* 77

BARTOI,











































A SSE, SS

je AY ~S a
SEEKS





CHAPTER XIII.
THE AVARICIOUS DAUGHTER-IN-LAW.

“' Fittest is, that all contented rest
With that they hold: each hath his fortune in his breast
It is the mind that maketh good or ill,
‘That maketh wretch'd or happy, rich or poor;
For some that hath abundance at his will
Hath not enough, but wants in greater And other, that hath little, asks no more,
But in that little is both rich and wise;
For wisdom is most riches, fools therefore
They are, which fortune do by vows devise,
Sith each unto himself his life may fortunize.”
SPENSER.

ROM the time of James’s death Mary was
constantly sad. All wore a gloomy look,



as if the flowers had lost their fresh
colours. The dark pine-trees round the farm
seemed black and dismal, as if clothed in mourn-
150 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

ing. Time at length softened Mary’s grief for the
loss of her father, but she had soon fresh sorrows
to endure.

Great changes had taken place at the Pine Farm
since the death of her father. The farmer and his
wife had given up the farm to their only son, a
good, quiet man, who had recently married a
young woman who was rather pretty, and very rich
for one of her station. She was governed by two
ruling passions, vanity of her fancied beauty, and
the love of money. Avarice and conceit had so,
stamped themselves upon her countenance, that
her face, though, pretty, wore a repulsive expres-
sion. Whatever she thought was agreeable and
pleasant to her father and mother-in-law she was
determined should not be done. When they gave
up the farm, the old couple had stipulated that
their son should provide for them for the rest of
their days, but this contract was fulfilled by their
daughter-in-law in the most penurious and niggardly

manner. She annoyed them in a thousand ways,
THE AVARICICUS DAUGHTER-IN-LAW. 151

and seemed to grudge every morsel they ate. The
good old people withdrew into the little back room
that James had formerly occupied, and very seldom
entered the front parlour.

The young husband fared no better. The shrew
to whom he was married abused him in the
coarsest terms numberless times a day, and con-
tinually taunted him with the large fortune she had
brought him. If he did not wish to pass the day
in wrangling and strife, he was obliged to suffer in
_ silence. She would not even permit him to hold
any intercourse with his old parents, because, she
feared that he might find out how much she
secretly oppressed them. It was only in the
evening, after his work was over, that with a beat-
ing heart he ventured to go to see them. He
generally found them seated together, mourning
over the past, and he sat down with them, and
confided his sorrows to them.

“Ves, yes,” said the old farmer, “such is the
way of the world. ‘You, mother, were dazzled
152 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

by the glitter of the gold, and you, my son, were
caught by the rosy cheeks and bright eyes of your
wife; I was to blame because I yielded my better
judgment too easily to your entreaties. We have
all three been punished; we ought to have fol-
lowed old James’s advice. When this marriage was
spoken of during his lifetime, the sagacious old
man did not at allapprove of it. I still remember
his words, and have often thought of them since.
Do you remember, mother, you once said, ‘ten
thousand florins are worth having. Itis a pretty sum
of money.’ But James said, ‘Don’t call it a pretty
sum. The flowers that you see from the window
in the garden are a thousand times prettier. You
should rather call it a heavy.sum ; for it is certain
that it would need strong shoulders to carry it,
without weighing down to the ground him who
tries to carry it, and crippling his energies, and
making him a sordid, worldly-minded man. Why
should you strive so earnestly for money? You
have never, as yet, felt the need of it. You have
THE AVARICIOUS DAUGHTER-IN-LAW.

153

always had what you wanted, and something over.
Believe me, superfluity is no blessing; too much
is as bad as too little. Useful. and necessary as
rain is, too much of it would destroy the healthiest
plants in the garden.’ As well as I can remember,
these were James’s words; I can almost fancy I
hear him speaking. You, my son, once said, ‘She
is a beautiful creature, as blooming as a rose!”
But prudent James replied, “A flower is not
merely beautiful, it must have some other good
qualities united to its beauty. From flowers we
receive many valuable gifts, such as rich perfume,
pure wax, and the sweetest honey. A fair form
without virtue is like a rose made of paper; it is
very like the real flower, but it is a misezsble life-
less thing, without perfume and freshness, without
wax or honey.’ So spoke honest James, but we
would not listen to him, and now we feel the
effects of disregarding his counsel. . This mar-
riage, that we once esteemed so fortunate, we now
see to be our greatest misfortune. May God grant
us grace to bear this affliction patiently, for it can-
254 THE BASKET OF. FLOWERS,

not be helped now. What can’t be cured, must be
endured.”

Thus the father, mother, and son often con-
versed together in the little back room.

Poor Mary now fared very ill As the old
people occupied the little back room, she had
been obliged to give it up to them; and though
there were several good rooms unoccupied, yet,
out of ill-will to Mary, the young farmer’s wife put
her into the worst room in the house, annoyed her
in every imaginable way, and tormented her as no
words can describe. The whole day there was
strife. Mary could never work ‘enough to please
her hard task-mistress, and nothing that she did
gave satisfaction. The poor orphan felt only too
acutely that she was considered as an unwelcome
intruder. The old people could afford her no
assistance ; they could not even help themselves.
She very often thought of leaving the place, and
going elsewhere. But the puzzling question arose,
whither could she go?

Mary asked the advice of the worthy clergyman.
THE AVARICIOUS DAUGHTER-IN-LAW. 155

This excellent man said to her, “You cannot
remain much longer at the Pine Farm, my good
Mary. Your late estimable father gave you a
superior education, and had you instructed in all
that is necessary for the management of a house-
hold in the middle class; but at the Pine Farm:
they require from you the rough work of an un-
educated peasant-girl. They overwhelm you with
hard labour which is beyond your strength, and is
not suitable for you. Notwithstanding, I do not
advise you to start off at once, and wander at
random about the world. I think that the best
thing you can do is, to remain here at present, to
work as much as you can without hurting your
health, to pray, to. trust in God, and to wait
patiently till it pleases God to deliver you out of
your troubles. He who caused you to be brought
“up in another circle will also be pleased to restore
you to the circle which you were forced to leave.
I will try to find a situation for you in a respect-

able Christian family. Pray without ceasing, and
156 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

trust in God; He will preserve you in trial, and
will make all things work. together for your
good.”

Mary thanked the clergyman for his judicious
advice, and promised to follow it.

Her father’s grave was the dearest spot on carth
to Mary. She had planted a rose-bush on it.
“ Ah!” said she, as she watered it with her tears,
‘if J might be permitted to come often here, my
tears would so moisten the ground that the rose-
tree would always be green and flourishing.”

_The rose-tree was now adorned with green
leaves, and the dark crimson buds began to open.
“ My father was ight,” said Mary, “when he said
that human life was like a rose-tree. Sometimes it
seems withered and bare, with nothing to be seen
on it but thorns; but if we wait awhile, the time
returns when it is clothed with fresh foliage, and -
covered with lovely roses. It is now my time of
thorns, but I will be undismayed. I will believe

your words, O my good father. Perhaps your pro-
THE AVARICIOUS DAUGHTER-IN-LAW. 157

verb will be fulfilled in my experience, ‘ Patience

will bring roses.’”

‘« God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform ;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

‘Deep in unfathomable mincs
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will.

© Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread,
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

-‘* Judge not the Lord, by feeble sense,
But trust Him for his grace ;
Behind a frowning Providence
He hides a smiling face.

‘« His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour:
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

‘¢ Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,

And He will make it plain.”
COWPER.




CHAPTER XIV.

FRESH TROUBLES.

‘* When gathering clouds around I view,
And days are dark, and friends are few;
On Him I lean, who, not in vain,
Experienced every human pain ;
He sees my griefs, allays my fears,
And counts and treasures up my tears.”
R. GRANT.

HE fifteenth of July had been wont to be
a happy day to Mary, for it was the
birthday of her beloved father. This

year, when the morning sun shone bright and



warm into her room, she greeted it with tears
instead of smiles. In former times, she had been
accustomed to prepare some little pleasure for her
father on this day ; she gave him a present that she
had privately prepared, cooked some dish that he




‘TRou

FRESH
FRESH TROUBLES, I59

liked, and tastefully adorned the table with flowers.
She tried to find out whether she could not still
show her love to him in some way. The country
people in the neighbourhood were wont to adorn
with flowers the graves of their beloved friends,
especially on their birthdays. Mary knew this,
for they had often asked her for flowers, which she
always willingly gave to them. This gave her the
idea of placing flowers on her father’s grave. The
ill-fated basket, which had been the cause of all
her misery, was standing in the room, and her eye
fell upon it at the moment. She took it in her
hand, filled it with the loveliest flowers, and
prettiest green leaves from the garden—set off to
Erlenbrunn an hour sooner than the time for
divine service, and placed the basket on her
father’s grave. Her tears dropped on the flowers,
and glittered like dew on the fresh leaves. “My
dear, good father,” said she, “you. strewed the
pathway of my early life with flowers ; I can never
repay you for all your love and care. But I will
160 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

at least adorn your grave with flowers!” She left
the basket standing on the grave; she was not
afraid that any one would take away either the
flowers or the basket. The country people rather
regarded it with sorrowful reverence. They cor-
dially blessed the good daughter, and sympathized
in the respect she paid to the good father she had
loved so much.

On the following, day while the farmer and his
work-people were busied among. the hay in a
distant part of the farm, a piece of linen was
missed, which had been laid out to bleach, on the
bleaching-green near the house. The young
farmer’s wife did not miss it till the evening, and
as like all avaricious people, she was very
suspicious, she immediately blamed Mary.
Honest James had made no secret of the story of
the ring, and confided all the circumstances con-
nected with it to the old people. The son, who
had thus become acquainted with it, thoughtlessly

and most indiscreetly told the story to his wife.
FRESH TROUBLES. 165

In the evening, when Mary, with a rake on her
shoulder, and an earthen pitcher in her hand,
appeared in the house among the other servant-
girls, the young farmer’s wife met her in a furious”
rage, accosted her with the most insulting words,
and told her to produce the piece of linen.

Mary modestly said, that it was impossible she
could have taken the piece of linen, because she
had been all day in the hay-field, along with the
other work-people. She thought that while the
farmer’s wife had been cooking the dinner, some
stranger might easily have carried off the linen.
This had been really the case. But the farmer's
wife would not listen to reason, and screamed out,
in a fearful passion, “You thief! Do you think I
don’t know that you stole a ring, and narrowly
escaped the sword of justice? Go out of my
house this moment! I will not keep such as you
under my roof !”

The young farmer’ said, “You will surely not
send her away so late! The sun is already set!

L
162 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

Let her have her supper this evening, since she
has worked for us the whole day in the heat.
Give her a bed at least for this night.”

“She shall not stay one hour,” screamed the
virago ; “and you had better hold your tongue, or
I will stop your mouth for you in a way you won't
like.” The poor man saw that anything he could
say would only make matters worse, therefore he
was silent. Mary made no answer to the railing
and passionate woman. She quietly packed up
her few possessions, and took her little bundle
under her arm, Before leaving the Pine Farm she
protested that she was innocent of the crime of
which she had been accused, and begged to be
permitted to bid farewell to the good old people,
and thank them for all their kindness. “ Certainly
you may see them,” said the young wife with a
sneer, “and if you would take them both with you,
it would be doing me a favour. Death seems in
no hurry to come for them,” — a

The good old couple had heard the uproar, and
FRESH TROUBLES. 163

were weeping for Mary’s sake. They kindly com-
forted her, and offered her all the money they had,
which amounted only to a florin. “Go, dear
child,” said they, “and may God be with you!
The blessing of your father will rest upon your
head, and God will protect you. Remember us
kindly, we are sure that all will go well with
you.”

Mary went away in the twilight, with her little
bundle under her arm, and slowly ascended the
narrow footpath that led across the wooded hills.
She wished to visit her father’s grave once more.
When she came, out of the wood, the evening
bells were ringing in the village, and before she
reached the churchyard it was dark. But she did
not fear to wander among the graves at night ; she
went to the little grassy hillock which marked the
spot where her father was buried, and sat down
there:to weep.

The full moon shone bright between the two
dark pine-trees, and its pale silver beams lighted

L 2
164 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

up the roses and the basket of flowers which still
stood upon the grave. The evening breeze rustled
gently in the branches of the pine-trees, and
stirred the leaves of the rose-tree on the grave.
This was the only movement, all else around was
still and silent.

“My dear father,” said Mary. “Oh, that you
yet lived, and that your poor Mary could tell you
her griefs! Yet I ought not to say so; I ought
rather to thank God that you are taken away from
this new sorrow! You are where neither sorrow
nor suffering can ever reach you more! Would
that I was with you! Ah, I was never so unhappy
in my whole life before! Even when I saw the
moon shining through the iron erating of my
prison, I had the comfort of feeling that you,
dearest father, were alive, feeling with me and
praying for me. But now the moon is shining on
your grave. At the time when I was driven out
from my home, I still had you with me, my true
protector and friend. Now I have no friend left;
FRESH TROUBLES. 165

poor, forsaken, suspected of being a thief when I
am innocent, and a desolate stranger in a strange
country; I have no home, and am alone in the
world ! I must leave even this little spot of earth,
which seems to belong to me since you have been
laid there ; and the last comfort of weeping over
your grave must now be taken away from me.

“O gracious God!” said she, as somewhat more
composed she sank upon her knees, “my kind
heavenly Father, look down on a poor, forsaken
orphan, who is weeping on the grave of her last
earthly friend, and have pity on me! When our
need is greatest, Thy help is ever nearest. My
grief. could not be greater, and my heart is ready
to burst with sorrow! Oh, show me that Thine
arm is not shortened that. Thou canst not save.
Make manifest Thy mercy in saving me, forsake
me not, for I have no friend but Thee! Oh, take
me to Thyself in heaven, where my good parents -
are! Ob, send, I beseech Thee, a little drop of
166 | THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

comfort into my fainting heart! When the thirsty
flowers are drooping and fading after the glowing
heat of noonday, Thou sendest the refreshing dew
to revive them in the cool moonlight! Oh, have
pity! Have pity on me!” Her hot tears flowed
afresh down her cheeks.

“What shall I do?” said she, after thinking for
a while, “and where shall I go? I am afraid to
seek a shelter in any house at such a late hour!
If I were to tell why I had been turned out,
probably no one would like to take me in.”

She looked around her. Near the wall of the
churchyard, and close to her father’s grave, there
was an old moss-covered stone, and as the inscrip-
tion had been long worn out, and it was in the
way, it had been put on one side and used as a
seat. “I will rest on this stone,” said she, “and
spend the night beside my father’s grave. Perhaps
Iam here for the last time, and shall never see

this precious grave again. In the morning, at
FRESH TROUBLES, 267

break of day, I will go forth, trusting in God

wherever His Providence may lead me.”

«When gathering clouds around I view,
And days are dark and friends are few ;
On Him I lean, who, not in vain,
Experienced every human pain;

He sees my griefs, allays my fears,
And counts and treasures up my tears.

** When mourning o'er some stone I bend,
Which covers all that was a friend ;
And from his voice, his hand, his smile,
Divides me for a little while ;
Thou, Saviour, mark’st the tears I shed,
For Thou didst weep o'er Lazarus dead.

** And oh: when I have safely past
Through every conflict but the last;
Still, still, unchanging watch beside
My painful bed—for Thou hast died;
Then point to realms of cloudless day,
And wipe the latest tear away.”
ROBERT GRANT.


CHAPTER XV.

HELP IN TIME OF NEED.

*« Hope on, though woes be doubled,
Hope, and be undismayed;
Let not thine heart be troubled,
Nor let it be afraid.

“Up, up, the day is breaking,
Say to thy cares ‘Good night !’
Thy troubles from thee shaking,
Like dreams in day's fresh light.
‘« Thou wearest not the crown,
Nor the best course canst tell;
God sitteth on the throne,
And guideth all things well.”
. GERHARDT.

SIARY sat down on the moss-covered stone,

in the dark shadow of the overhanging



fir-branches, and hid her face in her

pocket-handkerchief, which was already wet with




TimE oF NE

ELP IN

4

H


HELP IN TIME OF NEED. 169

her tears. Her soul was deeply moved, and she
prayed earnestly and fervently to God for help.

“Oh,” sobbed she, “that God would send an
angel to show me where I should go !”

She had sat thus some time, when she thought
she heard a gentle voice calling. her, ‘“ Mary,
Mary!” She started up affrighted, and looked
round. She clearly saw, standing near her in the
moonlight, a fair and lovely form, with eyes
beaming with heavenly kindness, cheeks of the
most delicate pink, like an opening peach-blossom,
flowing golden hair, falling in graceful curls on her
shoulders ; clothed in a light dress, as white as
snow. Mary sank trembling on her knees before
the figure, exclaiming, “tas God really sent an
angel to help me?”

“Dear Mary,” said the kind voice, “I am not
an angel, but a human being like yourself, yet I
have come to help you. God has heard your
earnest prayer. Look at me. Is it possible that

you do not remember me?”
170 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

“Oh, yes!’ exclaimed Mary. “How is it
possible that I did not know you at first? It is
the Countess Amelia. How have you come here,
my gracious lady ?—here, in this desolate place, at
this hour of the night, so many miles from your
own home !”

The Countess Amelia gently raised Mary from
the ground, folded her arms round her, kissed
away her tears, and said, “Dear, good Mary, we
have done you great injustice. You were ill-
rewarded for the pleasure you gave me by the gift
of the pretty basket. But your innocence is now
clear. Oh, can you forgive us ?—will you forgive
my parents and me? We will do all we can to
atone for our cruel mistake, and make you forget
all you have suffered. Do forgive us, dear Mary.”

“Oh! do not speak of forgiveness, gracious
lady,” said Mary, weeping. “Considering the
circumstances, you dealt very gently with us. It
never even came into my mind to cherish any

evil feelings against you. I always thought with
HELP IN TIME OF NEED. 171

gratitude of your kindness. What gave me most
pain was, that you, dear lady, and your kind
parents, must have thought me wicked and un-
grateful, I desired nothing more earnestly than
that one day you should be convinced of my inno-
cence. God has granted this earnest wish and
prayer. Thanks be to Him !”

The Countess embraced Mary kindly, and
bedewed her face with tears. Then she looked
down at the grave at her feet, clasped her hands,
and said, in a sorrowful voice, ‘Oh, worthy,
excellent man, whose mortal form is lying here—
whom I have known and loved from my earliest
childhood—wwho made the first cradle in which I
lay, and whose last gift to me, on my birthday, was
this basket that is now standing on the grave—oh,!
would that you were yet alive, that I might see
your face once more, and entreat your forgiveness
for the injury which we unjustly did you! Oh, if
we had but acted less rashly, and had more confi-
dence in your long-tried fidelity, honest old servant,
172 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

perhaps your body would not now have been lying
here—perhaps you would have been still alive and
with us as you used to be! Oh, that I could have
heard you forgive me! In the name of my
parents, I here make a solemn vow at your grave,
that the atonement that we can no longer make to
you, we will make doubly to your daughter. It
shall be our care to make her happy. Oh, Mary,
did your father forgive us?”

“My gracious lady,” said Mary, “my father
never felt the least resentment towards the family
‘he had so much loved. He remembered them
every day, in his morning and evening prayers, as
he had been wont to do at Eichburg. He blessed
them on his death-bed; and, shortly before he
died, he said to me, ‘Mary, I firmly believe that
the noble family at the castle will one day acknow-
iedge your innocence, and recall you from banish-
ment. If this should be the case, then tell the
noble Count and gracious Countess, and that
angel the Lady Amelia, whom I have often carried
HELP IN TIME OF NEED. 173

in my arms when she was a child, that, to my last
hour, my heart was full of veneration, love, and
gratitude towards them. I assure you, gracious
Countess, that these were his very words.”

On hearing these words, the Lady Amelia could
not restrain her tears. At length she said, “Come,
Mary, let us sit down a little on this stone. I
cannot leave the grave till I tell you how God has
made manifest your innocence, and how earnestly
we desire to .atone to you for all you have
suffered.”

“The hours of pain have yielded good,
Which prosp'rous days refused ;
As herbs, though scentless when entire,
Spread fragrance when they ‘re bruised.

‘ The oak strikes deeper as its boughs
By furious blasts are driven ;
So life's vicissitudes the more
Have fixed my heart in heaven.

ff All-gracious Lord! whate’er my lot
In other times may be,
I'll welcome still the heaviest grief
That brings me near to Thee.”


CHAPTER XVI.

THE COUNTESS AMELIA’S STORY.

“ Father! Thy faithful love,
Thy mercy, wise and mild,
Sees what will blessings prove,
Or what will hurt Thy child.

And what Thy wise foreseeing
Doth for Thy children choose,
Thou bringest into being,
Nor suff'rest them to lose.”

PAUL GERHARDT.
vaxeqOD is surely with you, dear Mary,” said the

Countess Amelia, while she sat down




beside Mary on the stone. “J have
been brought here in a wonderful way to help you.
I must tell you how it happened. It seems all
quite simple and natural, yet, in the chain of little

circumstances which have resulted in bringing me




Amernra’s Srory.


THE COUNTESS AMELIA’S STORY. 175

here, we may trace the overruling hand of Divine
Providence.
“From the time when your innocence was
discovered I could not rest. You and your father
were ever present to my thoughts. Believe me,
dear Mary, I shed many tears on your account.
My parents caused search to be made everywhere
for you, but we could not obtain any intelligence
as to where you were. Three days ago, I came
with my father and mother to a hunting-lodge,
belonging to the Prince, not far from the village.
It had not been inhabited for twenty years, except
by a forester put in to take care of it. You know
that my father is the keeper of the Royal forests,
and he has lately had some disputes to settle about
the boundaries. He has been all day engaged
with two other noblemen, who are concerned in
the affair. My mother has been obliged to enter-
tain their wives and daughters. I am glad that
she did not require my assistance, as I do not like
these formal parties. After the hot day we have
475 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

had, the evening was so cool and pleasant, the
sunset so lovely, the hills around, with their
picturesque cliffs appearing between the dark pine-
trees, formed so charming a picture, and so
enchanted me, that I begged my mother’s permis-
sion to take a short walk. I was accompanied by
the daughter of the forester.

“We passed through the village ;

; the gate of
the churchyard stood open. The gravestones
were gilded by the rays of the setting sun. From
my childhood I have always had a fancy for
reading the inscriptions on tombstones. I am
much moved when I read thata youth or a maiden
has been cut off in the blcom of life ; and I feel
a kind of melancholy pleasure when I find that
an old man or woman has reached a very advanced
age. Even the rhymes, although their meaning is
generally better than their composition, have often
suggested to me many good ideas, and taught me
many a useful lesson. We-therefore went into the

churchyard.
THE COUNTESS AMELIA'S STORY. 177

“After I had read many of the inscriptions,
the foresters daughter said to me, ‘Now I will
show you something really beautiful. It is the
grave of a poor man on which there is neither
tombstone nor inscription, but which has been
decked with flowers by his daughter, who fondly
loved him. Do you see under the dark shade of
yonder pine-trees, a rose-tree covered with roses, and
a pretty basket of flowers placed on the grave ?’

“‘T went to the place, and stood petrified with
astonishment! At the first glance, I recognized
the basket which had been frequently in my
thoughts since you left Eichburg. I examined it
more closely ; it was certainly the same. The
initials of my name and the crest of my family left
no room for doubt. I questioned the forester’s
daughter about you and your father. She told
me that you had been living at the Pine Farm,
and related to me some particulars of your father’s
last illness, and of your deep affliction at his death.
I hastened to the parsonage, to see the clergyman

M
178 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

who visited your father. I found him a very kind
and worthy man. He confirmed all that I had
been told, and said much in your praise. I-wished
to go immediately to the Pine Farm; but while I
was conversing with the clergyman, the time passed
so quickly that it was already dark.

“What is to be done?’ said I. ‘It is certainly
too late to visit the farm to-night, and to-morrow
at break of day we are to leave this neighbour-
hood.’

“Then the clergyman sent for the schoolmaster,
and asked him if he would kindly go to the farm
and bring you to the parsonage.

““Mary, poor, desolate girl!’ said the school-
master, ‘I need not go so far to fetch her. She is
in the churchyard, weeping and mourning over her
father’s grave. Poor child, I fear that she will lose
her senses through grief. I saw her through an
opening in the church tower, when, after the ring-
ing of the evening bell, I went to wind up the
clock, that if possible I might keep the old
THE COUNTESS AMELIA'S STORY, 179

machinery going, at least, as long as the noble
family remain at the Lodge.’

“The clergyman wished to accompany me to
your father’s grave, but I begged him to allow
me to go alone, that I might speak to you freely,
without witnesses. I earnestly entreated him to
be so kind as to go to my parents, who might be
anxious about me, and tell them where I am, and
prepare them see you return with me. You see
now, dear Mary, how it was that I appeared to
you so suddenly. By the interposition of Provi-
dence, the basket has been the means of re-uniting
us at your father’s grave.”

“Ves,” said Mary, clasping her hands, and
looking up thankfully to heaven, ‘God has done
it all. He has had compassion on my tears, and
has heard my prayers In my most extreme need.
- Oh, how graciously, how lovingly has He dealt with
me! Some say, indeed, that God does not now
send angels to succour those in suffering. But I
know from experience that He still sends angels—

M 2
180 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

noble souls, full of compassion. and kindly feeling,
who, like the Countess Amelia, take an active
part in’ relieving the distressed. God sends
messengers such as these, and guides the footsteps,
at the right time, to the very place in which they
are needed, and where their presence gives comfort
and joy, as if an angel had appeared.”

Amelia here interrupted Mary, and said, “I
have yet one more circumstance to tell you, dear
friend, respecting this story, which I have felt very
deeply, and which has inspired me with reverence
and awe for the holy providence of God, who
overrules all that we do when we are least thinking
of it. Harriet, the greatest enemy.whom you
have on earth, had been plotting and contriving
how to deprive you of my love, with the hope
of getting into greater favour herself. On_ this
account she invented the wicked falsehood she
told, and her malicious plot seemed for a time to
have been completely successful. But in the end,
as you shall hear, this very falsehood was the
THE COUNTESS AMELIA'S STORY. xr

causé of her losing her place and our confidence
for ever, and of making you still dearer to our
hearts. She sought to separate you for ever from
me; she exulted in your banishment for life; in
the last outbreak of her wickedness and malice,
she threw the basket that you had given me at
your feet, with a mocking smile ; but it was exactly
this malicious action—little as she could have



thought it at the time—which was the cause of
uniting us again, for it was by means of the basket
that I have found you here. It is not true that no
enemy can injure those who love God, for God
overrules for the lasting good of His people all the
evil that wicked people try to inflict upon them,
and so that while our worst enemies are striving to
injure us, and plotting our destruction, they are
actually working for our good against their will.
That good comes out of evil, is a certain truth.
“But now that I have told you all this,” con-
tinued the Countess, “will you now tell me, dear

Mary, why you came to the grave at so late an
182 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS,

hour, and wherefore you were weeping so very
bitterly 2”

Mary related the circumstances of her unjust
dismissal from the farm.

“Oh!” said the Countess, in surprise, “this is
another wonderful instance of God’s providence.
When you were in the deepest need, and in sore
‘distress were imploring help from God, He
answered your prayers by guiding my steps to this
spot at the right moment. Here you see a fresh
proof that God brings good out of evil. When the
wicked farmer’s wife turned you out of her house,
as she thought, to suffer misery and want, she
little imagined that her cruelty would be the means
of guiding you to me and my good parents, who
will do their best to make you happy.

“ But now,” continued Amelia, “it is time that
we should go home. My parents are expecting
me. Come with me, dear Mary, I shall not wil-
lingly part with you again, and to-morrow you shall
go with us to Eichburg.”
THE COUNTESS AMELIA'S STORY. 183

Mary could not help feeling a pang at the
thought that she might, perhaps, never see her .
father’s grave again. She lingered, as if unable to
leave the place. The Countess gently took her by
the arm, saying kindly, “ Come away, dear Mary,
and bring the basket of flowers with you ; it will
be a lasting remembrance of your good old father.
Instead of the basket of flowers with which your
fihal love has adorned his grave, we shall order a
more lasting monument to be erected. You shall
come back and see it, but come away in the mean-
time. I am sure that you must be anxious to hear
how the ring was found, and on the way I shall
tell you all about it.”

They left the churchyard arm in arm, and
wended their way towards the old castle in the
soft moonlight.

°

* Dear as thou wert, and justly dear,
We will not weep for thee ;
One thought shall check the starting tear,
It is that thou art free.
184 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

And thus shall Faith's consoling power
The tears of love restrain;

Oh! who that saw thy parting hour,
Could wish thee here again?

“ Triumphant in thy closing eye
The hope of glory shone;
Joy breathed in thy expiring sigh,
To think the fight was won.
Gently the passing spirit fled,
Sustained by grace Divine—
Oh! may such grace on me be shed,

And make my end like thine !”
DALE,




CHAPTER XVII.

THE RING FOUND.

‘Trust God to govern all! _
No king can rule like Him;
How wilt thou wonder when
Thine eyes no more are dim:
To see these paths which vex thee,
How wise they were and meet ;
The works which now perplex thee, —
How beautiful, complete !”’
PAUL GERHARDT,

HE way to the castle led through an
avenue of tall old lime-trees. After the
Lady Amelia and Mary had walked
together along this road, for a little way, in silence,

overcome by varying emotions, the young Coun-
' tess said,—




“1 must now tell you how the ring was found.
186 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

This year we went earlier in the season than we
used to do to the castle of Eichburg, because
business obliged my father to be there. It was
about the beginning of March. When we arrived,
the weather was pleasant for the season, but it
soon changed, and during one night in particular
there was a terrible storm of wind and rain. Do
you remember the very tall pear-tree in the garden
at Eichburg? You know it was very old, and
scarcely bore any fruit; on that stormy night it
had been so bent and broken by the wind, that
it seemed ready to fall. My father, therefore,
ordered it to be cut down. All the servants were
called out to help to hold the ropes to prevent its
destroying the other trees in its fall) My father
and mother, my brothers and I, and, indeed,
almost a!l in the castle, went into the garden to
look on.

“When the tree had fallen with a great crash,
my two little brothers rushed to seize a magpie’s

nest which was near the top of the tree, and had
THE RING FOUND, 187

long excited their youthful curiosity, though they
had never been able to reach it. They now
examined it with the greatest eagerness. ‘Look,
Albert, said Augustus, ‘what can it be that is
sparkling so brightly among the interwoven twigs ?’
‘It is sparkling like gold and precious stones,’
replied Albert. Harriet, always inquisitive, came
forward to look, and uttered a loud cry. ‘The
ring !’ exclarmed she, becoming as pale as death.
The boys pulled out the ring from the nest, and
carried it to my mother in gréat glée.

“*Ves, it isindeed my lost ring,’ said she. ‘Oh,
good, honest James, poor Mary, what injustice we
have done you! I am very glad that the ring is
found, but I would now be much more glad if
I could find James and Mary. With what joy
would I give the ring, and much more, to atone
for the injustice we have done them !’

“*But how was it possible,’ asked I, ‘that the
ring could be carried into the birds’ nest, at the
very top of the tree ?’
188 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

“¢T can soon explain that to you, my lady,’ said
the old forester, Anthony, while tears of joy stood
in his eyes at thus seeing your innocence proved.
‘It is clear that neither the old gardener, James,
nor his daughter, Mary, could have hid the ring
there. The nest was too high, and the branches
too weak, for anybody to have reached it by
climbing the tree. Besides, there was not time to
have done it. Immediately after Mary reached
home after leaving the castle, both she and her
father were imprisoned. But the magpies who
had their nest in this tree are well known to like
anything bright and glittering. Whenever they
can steal anything’ shining they carry it to their
nest. Doubtless one of these thievish birds has
stolen the ring. I am only surprised that an old
forester such as I am did not think of this sooner.
But it must have been the will of God to send this
great trial to my old friend James and his daughter
Mary.’

“My mother said, ‘You are perfectly right,
THE RING FOUND. 1&9

Anthony, and the whole matter is now quite clear
tome. I distinctly remember that the birds were
often accustomed to alight on the window-sill from
the top of the high pear-tree; that at the time
when the ring disappeared the window was open ;
that the little table on which I put the ring was
close to the window; and that I had closed the
door of my room, while I was in the ante-room
adjoining for some time. It is, therefore, certain
that one of these sharp-eyed birds had seen the
ring sparkling on the table, and while I was in the
adjoining room had stolen it unperceived, and
carried it to its nest.’

“My father was much troubled and distressed
when he so unexpectedly received the full proof
that you and your father had been innocently
condemned. ‘It pains me to the very heart,’ said
he, ‘that we should have done such gross injustice
to those good people, and my only comfort is that
it has not been done wilfully, but through igno-

rance, and by acting on false information. I will
190 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

never lay my head quietly on my pillow till I have
found those worthy people, have restored them to
the position they. deserve to hold, have acquitted
them of all blame, and atoned to them, so far as
it is in my power, for the injustice they have
suffered.’

“He then turned to Harriet, who was standing,
pale and trembling, like a condemned criminal,
amid the joyful group which surrounded us.

“«False and deceitful serpent, said he, ‘how’
could you venture so to deceive your mistress, to
perjure yourself before the court of justice, and to
commit such a fearful sin? How could you find it
in your heart to treat a respectable old man and his
innocent child in so cruel a manner, and plunge
them into such undeserved misfortune? Take her
into custody at once,’ said he to two constables,
who had chanced to be present at the cutting-
' down of the tree, and had since hovered round
Harriet like hawks, watching for a signal from my

father to seize their prey. ‘Let the-same chains
THE RING FOUND. I9gl

be put upon her,’ said he, ‘with which Mary was
loaded, let her be cast into the same dungeon in
which Mary languished. She shall receive the full
number of stripes which were inflicted unjustly on
Mary; all the money she has saved, and every-
thing she has, must be confiscated, and given ta
those whom she has injured, and, lastly, she shall
be banished from the province, and conducted to
the boundaries by the same police officer who
accompanied James and Mary.’

“All present stood silent, frightened, and
amazed, for no one had ever seen my father so
excited, or heard him speak so angrily. But when
he went into the castle the silence was broken, and
they all began to make their remarks on what had
happened.

“Tt serves you right,’ said one of the police
officers to Harriet, as he took her arm. ‘Those
who dig a pit for others, often fall into it them-
selves.’

“¢Vou see what comes of lying and perjury,’
192 , THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

said the other police officer, also taking hold of
her. ‘The proverb is true, there is no thread so
finely spun but it may be seen in the sunlight.’

“The cook said, ‘See how one fault leads to
another; Harriet’s jealousy of Mary, and her envy
about the pretty dress that was given her, led her
to tell a lie, and when she had once done this, she
found it impossible to draw back, and she was led
on to perjury. Itis atrue proverb, “If we give
the devil a single hair to hold by, he will lead us
to destruction.’’’

“<«Well,’ said the coachman, who had helped to
cut down the tree, and had still the axe upon his
shoulder, ‘we must hope that, at least, she will
now repent, or it will be the worse for her in
another world. ‘The tree that bringeth not forth
good fruit,”’ added he, swinging the axe round
him, ‘“must be hewn down, and cast into the
fire.”’

“The report that the ring had been found, was
soon spread through Eichburg, and crowds of
THE RING FOUND. 193

people came flocking to ascertain the truth.
Among them came also the magistrate. He had
heard something of it from his clerk, and had.
hastened at once to the castle. You can scarcely
imagine, dear Mary, how deeply grieved he was
when he heard the story, and knew that you had
been unjustly condemned. For however severe he
may have appeared to you, he is a strictly just
man, and has prided himself all his life on his
upright dealing.

“¢T would give the half—nay, the whole of my
fortune,’ said he, in a voice that went to the hearts
of all present, ‘that this had not happened. It is
terrible to have condemned an innocent person
unjustly’ He looked round the circle of people
who had now assembled, and addressed them in a
loud and solemn tone. ‘God is the only judge
who never errs,’ said he, ‘and whom no one can
deceive. He, the Ommiscient, alone knew who
was really guilty, no human being knew what had
become of the ring, or where it had remained until

N
194 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

now. Human judges easily err, for man is but
short-sighted, and cannot read the heart. Here
on earth innocence must often suffer, and guilt
seems for a time to be victorious. God, who will
one day reveal the secrets of all hearts, has im this
case been pleased, even in this world, to clear the
innocent and punish the guilty. See and acknow-
ledge how wonderfully all the circumstances have
combined together to work out His holy will. The
stormy wind which last night shook the castle, and
made us all tremble, beat the old tree till it
seemed ready to fall, then a heavy shower washed
the bird’s nest clean, so that the ring sparkled and
attracted attention. Then it was so ordered that
the Count and his family were at the castle at the
time, so as to be present when the tree was cut
down; the ring was first discovered by the frolic-
‘some boys who would never once think of con-
cealing what they had found; and Harriet, the
false accuser, was the first to declare Mary's

innocence by the. piercing cry she uttered when
THE RING FOUND. 195

she saw the ring. If we would carefully observe
the course of events, we should find that such
providential occurrences take place oftener than
we imagine. On the Great Day, when God Him-
self shall judge the world, He will give to every
man according to what he has done, whether it be
good or bad, life.or death. Yet sometimes, even
in this present world, He so orders events as to
reward the innocent and punish the guilty, that
men may not forget that the Lord reigneth, and
that amid the many unrighteous things that are
done on earth, they may not lose their belief in
an eternal, unfailing, Almighty Power, ruling all
things in righteousness.’

“The magistrate spoke impressively, and the
people listened with great attention, agreed that he
was right, and dispersed quietly. So now, dear
Mary, I have told you the whole story about the
finding of the ring.”

By this time Amelia and Mary had reached the
gate of the old castle.
THE BASKET OF FLOIWERS,

Trust in God to govern all!
No king can rule like Him ;
How wilt thou wonder when,
Thine eyes no mote are dim,
To see these paths which vex thee,
How wise they were and meet ;
The works which now perplex thee,
How beautiful, complete!
PAUL GERHARDT:




{RTUR REWARDED.






; Bs aikie,
‘S Sob CES At









CHAPTER XVIII.
VIRTUE REWARDED.

“God doth not leave his own;

This sorrow in their life He doth permit—
Yea, chooseth it.

To speed his children on their heavenward way,

He guides the winds. Faith, hope, and love all say,
God doth not leave his own,”

HE Count, the Countess, and visitors
staying at the Lodge, were assembled



in the principal drawing-room, furnished
idetraing to the fashion of the times, in great
magnificence. The walls, hung with rich tapestry,
represented scenes taken from the chase. Hunt-
ers, huntsmen, horses, dogs, rein-deer, and wild
boar, were each so vividly and life-like depicted,
as at the first glance almost to delude one into

»
198 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

the fancy that they were treading upon magic
hunting-ground.

The worthy clergyman was still interesting the
assembled party in the stirring incidents in the
lives of Mary and her father. He praised the
filial obedience of Mary, whose piety, patience, and
modesty led her to the fulfilment of those duties
which were now about to be so signally rewarded ;
and he dwelt long on the noble feelings which
actuated her good old father never to forget,
notwithstanding the untoward circumstances in
which he and his daughter were placed, the duty
and honour due to the noble family whom they
had once served.

At this moment the young Countess Amelia
entered the brilliantly-lighted drawing-room, lead-
ing Mary by the one hand, and holding the basket
of flowers in the other.

The Count graciously came forward to receive
Mary. “My poor child,” said he, as he looked at

her pale, careworn face, “come that we’ may
VIRTUE REWARDED. 199

welcome you amongst us again. We will make
you forget the grief and sorrow you have suffered ;
and the little cottage which your father rented shall
not only be yours from this moment, but the
garden shall be the prettiest in the village, and my
daughter, who loves you dearly, shall have the
happiness of handing both the one and the other
formally over to you to-morrow.”

The Countess approached, kissed Mary, and
led her to the couch on which she had previously
been sitting. Taking Mary’s hand in her own, the
Countess said soothingly, as she looked down on
the ring on her finger, “ Innocence and virtue are
gems of priceless worth, even as this precious
diamond in the centre of this ring. Although rich
in the one treasure, despise not the other, my
child, but accept this ring in remembrance of the
restitution I desire to make, as a pledge of my
maternal care of you for the future. Accept it to-
day as a jewel of priceless worth. Should the

time, however, come when its intrinsic vulue may be
200 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

more useful to you, come to me, when I will
redeem it at double its value.”

Mary’s feelings completely overcame her, and
tears of emotion prevented her giving utterance to
the deep-felt gratitude stirring within her.

One of the guests, noticing such to be.the case,
came forward, and in a friendly way patting Mary
on the head, said, “Accept the ring offered you
with such generosity. It has pleased God to bless
the noble Count and the amiable Countess not only
with wealth, but with hearts capable of bestowing
bounties.”

“Say not bounty,” replied the Countess, “ not
bounty, but justice. To our sorrow and deep
regret, we committed an act of the most cruel
injustice that we can never sufficiently atone for ;
merit we cannot lay claim to, we are simply ful-
filling an act of justice.”

Mary, with tears in her eyes, still held the ring,
and as she looked at the good kind minister, her
face bedewed with tears, she seemed silently to
VIRTUE REWARDED. 2c

implore that aid which she did not venture to
ask.

“ Accept the ring, Mary,” he replied, “it is the
wish of the Count and the Countess. As this
circumstance has afforded an instance of how
apparently the most circumstantial evidence may
lead to error, in the same way let this unusual way
of compensating for error remain a bright example
in your memory of how noble hearts seek to expiate
faults they have unwittingly committed. It has
graciously pleased God, my child, thus to reward
you for your filial love and duty to your parents in
leading the Count and Countess to compensate for
your former sufferings. Accept, then, their rich
gift, and as you have hitherto showed yourself
pious, gentle, and patient in affliction, there re-
mains now but to evince your gratitude to the
Almighty, and continue that modest and becoming
demeanour which is the true adornment of virtue.”

Mary hesitated no longer, placed the ring on
her finger, and gently kissed the hand of the gene-
rous Countess, but she could not speak for tears.
202 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

The young Countess Amelia, standing with her
basket of flowers, was a silent spectator of the
whole, her face radiant with joy at the generous
way in which Mary was welcomed by her parents.
The minister took in the full meaning of the whole
scene, and silently offered his prayer that the
Count and Countess might have their goodness to
this poor orphan child repaid in the devotion and
unselfishness of the own daughter. Though it
may sometimes appear to us that we do not always
meet with our just reward in this world, let us,
however, bear in mind that precious gifts are
bestowed upon us, and that it becomes our duty
so to act as good stewards, prompt to give an

account of our stewardship.

“The heart unaltered in its mood,
That joys alone in doing good;
The joys within such heaft that burn,
No loss can quench, nor time o’erturn !
The stars may from their orbits bend,
The mountains rock, the heavens rend,
The sun's last ember cool and quiver.

But Virtue still shall glow for ever.”
Hoae.








Ay Evexinc av TRE Hunvinc Lopcs

2, 202,










CHAPTER XIX.

AN EVENING AT THE HUNTING LODGE,

«

God doth not leave his own :
The night of weeping for a time may last,



Then, tears all past,

His going forth shall as the morning shine,

The sunrise of his favour shall be thine.
God doth not leave his own.”



UPPER being announced, the Countess
| graciously invitéd the clergyman to
+ remain, Mary also being of the party.
As was the custom in those days, the clergyman
said grace before supper. Poor Mary’s feelings
almost overcame her, as she breathed her prayer
of gratitude to the Almighty, contrasting the
present sumptuous banquet with the recollection
of those days spent at Pine Farm, when the poor
204 THE BASKET OF FILOWERS.

girl, after her hard day’s work in the fields, had not
unfrequently been obliged to go supperless to bed.
Her prayer implored forgiveness for ever having
distrusted the providence of God, and entreated
grace to trust Him for the future.

The Countess observed Mary’s shyness in taking
her seat at table, but, actuated by the noble feel-
ings which prompted her to an act of justice, she
felt as though. Mary were conferring the favour in
being seated beside her at table.

The supper was pleasant to all present. Even
old Anthony experienced joy in seeing Mary re-
established in favour, and was pleased to wait upon
her. He felt as though he would willingly, at that
moment, have given up years of his own life for
Mary’s poor old father, the honoured friend of his
youth, to be present at that evening supper. But
we must not confine our views to wishes for this life
only, for this world is but a probationary state for
the world to come—the preparation for an after
and a better lifein heaven. It was sad to think
AN EVENING AT THE HUNTING .LODGE,. 205

the poor old man had not witnessed the public
testimony to his daughter’s innocence, but it would
- be wrong to wish to recall him after having passed
the great boundary of this world’s suffering here
below. And however great and complete may be
atonement in this world, what is it as compared to
the joys of those realms of bliss prepared for those
whose hopes are fixed on a world bryond the
fleeting joys of an hour?

Before leaving the table, the good clergyman
expressed a wish to relate a little incident that
occurred previously to James’s death.

“One morning,” he continued, “I went to
attend his bedside as usual, and was surprised. at
the calmness, if not cheerfulness, expressed on my
poor friend’s countenance. In reply to my look of
astonishment, he remarked, ‘I have not slept
very well; but I have prayed, prayed long and
earnestly, and I feel at peace concerning my child.
Ihave faith in the belief that my prayer will be
heard. I have trusted my child to the Almighty,
206 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

and I feel as though her innocence would yet be



made known—perhaps not till long after I am
gone—and, who knows? perhaps even by the
friends who have so long condemned us. On
referring afterwards to dates, I found that the night
James spent in fervent prayer was the very night of
that violent storm which shook the pear-tree, and
consequently led to the discovery of the ring,
previously fo Mary’s innocence being established.
God hears our prayers, and even answers them
whilst we are asking, although we in our ignorance
do not see the answer vouchsafed to us:

“This little anecdote ought to®convince us that
God, who has implanted the tenderest feelings of
love in the hearts of parents, experiences towards
his creatures a more boundless love and a more
tender watchfulness, surpassing that of any earthly
parent. Neither wealth, nor honour, nor position,
can prevail against this belief, which is our only
comfort in the hour of tribulation and death.”

The good minister then rose to depart. The


AN EVENING AT THE HUNTING LODGE. 207

Countess, holding out her hand, begged that they
might adjourn to the library, and that he, their
good minister, would not depart without asking
God’s blessing wpon the assembled household,
thanking Him for the goodness of the past day.
He gladly consented, and after an impressive
prayer, the party separated for the night.

‘O Christian! afflicted with wave upon wave,
Whom no man can comfort, whom no man can save,
With darkness surrounded, by terrors dismayed,
In toiling and rowing thy strength is decayed.

" ¢© fearful, O faithless,’ the Saviour cries,
‘ My promise, my truth, are they light in thine eyes ?
Still, still, I am with thee, and faithful to keep,
Though seeming, amid the rough tempest, to sleep.’

“« © Saviour, we trust Thee, our life is secure,
Thy wisdom is perfect; supreme is Thy power;
In love Thou correctest, our souls to refine,

To make us at length in Thy likeness to shine.

“The foolish, the fearful, the weak are Thy care ;
The helpless, the hopeless, Thou hearest their’prayer ;
From all our afflictions Thy glory shall spring,
The deeper our sorrows, the louder we'll sing.”
J. GRANT.


CHAPTER XX,

A VISIT TO THE PINE-TREE FARM,
‘«Oh, loving and forgiving —
Ye angel words of earth,
Years were not worth the living
If ye, too, had not birth !
** Oh, harsh and unrepenting—
How would ye meet the grave,
If heayen, as unrelenting,
Forbore not, nor forgave?”
SWAIN.
ARLY next morning all in the castle were
astir, busily preparing for their intended
departure; but not any of them took
so much interest in Mary as the kind Countess



Amelia and the young foreign friend who was then
staying with her.
i

i

NY
\\
AN





A Visit TO THE PInE-TREB Fars.
A VISIT TO THE PINE-TREE FARM. 209

Mary, who had formerly dressed as became her
station at Eichburg, after she was settled at the
Pine Farm, had adopted the dress worn by the
villagers, rather than attract attention by affecting
a superiority in appearance as contrasted with her
companions. The young Countess Amelia per-
ceiving this, suggested to her friend, who was
about Mary’s height and size, that she should give
Mary one of her dresses until a suitable wardrobe
should be prepared for her.

This was accordingly agreed to, and Mary was
told to put on the pretty new dress belonging to
the Countess Amelia’s friend.

Mary would have-gladly remained in her modest
village attire—and it required some gentle persua-
sion on the part of the Countess to induce her to
make the change.

“Come, come,” she said, “let me see you in
your new dress; from this time you will be my
friend and my companion, and you must not any
longer be dressed as a peasant girl. Better begin

oO
210 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

at once to change your style of dress, as it will
cause less observation than doing so later.”

Mary could not do otherwise that consent, after
which the two young ladies kindly descended with
her to the breakfast-room.

At the first glance every one was astonished at
seeing three young ladies enter the room, but on
perceiving that Mary was one of them, their
astonishment was speedily changed into congratula-
tion on her improved appearance.

Immediately after breakfast the carriage was
ordered, and the whole party set off with the utmost
gaiety for Pme Farm, Mary having her seat beside
the amiable Countess Amelia, opposite to the
Count and Countess.

The Count made many kind inquiries of Mary
about the old people at the farm, and finding
they had nothing very comforting to look forward
to as they.advanced in years, he resolved to judge
for himself as to how he might best improve their
circumstances,
A VISIT TO THE PINE-TREE FARM. QIL

When the carriage drove up to the farm, never
before had so grand an equipage appeared at the
modest little homestead.

The young farmer’s wife, eager to welcome such
noble visitors, was as cringing in her attentions as
she was tyrannical to those under her. Officiously
putting out her hand to assist one of the ladies,
she was ready to drop with rage and envy on
recognizing Mary to be the lady whose dress she
had so carefully protected from the wheel of the
carriage.

Forgetful of assumed good manners, she rushed
away, fearing they had come to punish her for her
former cruelty towards Mary.

The Count perceiving the old farmer busily em-
ployed in his garden, went to speak to him, ac-
companied by the Countess and the Lady Amelia.

In reply to their thanks for his goodness to
Mary and her father, the honest farmer warmly
replied that the obligation was not due to him, but
to Mary’s father himself, adding, —
212 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

“ He brought a blessing under my roof, and had
{ but more faithfully followed his advice, I should
now be better off than I am. Since his death, this
garden is my only friend. I have to thank him
even for the little plot of ground I now hold, for
it was he who led me to cultivate it. I am grown
too old to work at the plough, and amongst my
plants and my flowers I seek for the quiet and
repose which is denied me within doors.”

In the meanwhile, Mary had found the good old
farmer’s wife, and was gently persuading her to
come forward, and not be afraid of her kind
friends.

The poor woman, who had never been in the
presence of such company before, approached
trembling and shy, whilst the Count and Countess
received her with cordiality, and overwhelmed her
with kindness.

The poor old couple could not refrain weeping
with joy, and turning to Mary, the farmer affection-
ately remarked that he always said Mary’s dutiful
A VISIT TO THE PINE-TREE FARM. 2x3
love to her father would bring a blessing with it,
and now he rejoiced to see his words coming to
pass.

His wife, taking courage on hearing her husband,
added, as she touched Mary’s pretty dress,—

“Ves, yes; and I, too, remember her father’s
favourite saying, that ‘He who clothes the Idies of
the field will also clothe us.’ ”

The young farmer's wife still held back, over-
whelmed with envy and rage.

“ Well, well,” she muttered to herself, “ to chink
that this wretched little beggar-girl should be con-
verted into a fine lady ? What next, I wonder ! Now |
she will be too grand to associate with us; still,
we all know who she is, and that she was glad to |
carry her bundle and beg from door to door !”

Although the Count could hear nothing of the
mutterings, the expression of her face sufficed to
show what was passing within, so after a few
moments’ consideration, the Count said to the

farmer,—
ard THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

“My good friend, I have an offer to make,
which I think will please you. As Mary will
remain with us, and as at any rate she is too young
to live by herself in the cottage rented by her
father, and which I have lately given to her, what
do you say to living there yourself, with your good,
worthy wife? It is a pretty little spot, and I think
{may venture to say that Mary will gladly see you
living upon it rent free. The garden is still there,
which Mary’s father cultivated, and there live
many at Eichburg who, remembering his good
counsels, will be glad to talk of your worthy
friend.”

The Countess, the Lady Amelia, and Mary
urged the old man to accept the offer of the
Count.

But little persuasion was needed to leave a home
rendered so unhappy by the repeated quarrels of
their daughter-in-law.

Daily they sadly experienced the full force of
the proverb—* That it is better to dwell in the
A VISIT TO THE PINE-TREE FARM. ars

corner of the housetop than with a brawling
woman and in a wide house.” (Prov. xxv. 24.)

Great was their joy at the prospect of a quiet
and peaceable home.

The daughter-in-law rejoiced too, although from
very different feelings, and she hastened to in-
form her husband of the circumstances, as he had
now returned from his day’s work in the fields.
However reluctantly he might part with his worthy
parents, he could not but rejoice at the prospect of
their future quiet home.

In his gratitude in seeing his parents comfort-
ably settled, he said, as he turned to his wife,—

“Did I not always tell you that a kind act towards
a poor but virtuous fellow-being brings happiness
and a blessing into one’s home? You did not
believe me—now you are convinced.”

His ill-tempered wife, crimson, with repressed
rage, said nothing, but glancing savagely at her
husband, did her best to conceal her feelings from

the others present.
216 THE BASKET OF FLOIWERS.

Soon after the Count promised to send for the
old folks, so soon as they could be comfortably
received at Eichburg, and the party, once more
taking their seats in the carriage, drove swiftly
away.

‘Shall mortal man —a child of earth,
Who yesterday received his birth

From God's ail-bountcous hand;
Shall Ze while sojourning below,

Presume th’ Almighty plans to know,
His ways to understand ?

“€« His wisdom—infinite and vast,
Shall through eternal ages last,
Unchangeably the same;
While in the dreary shades of heli,
His justice so inflexible,
Proclaims his awful name.

« Ah, then, suppress each rising sigh,
Nor dare to ask the Almighty why,
Or what his hands perform;
Submit to his all-wise decrees,
Whose power can calm the raging seas,
Or raise them to a storm !”
RAFFLES,


Pine Farm.



IRTHER OCCUR
















CHAPTER XXI.

FURTHER OCCURRENCES AT PINE FARM.

‘Why dost thou heap up wealth which thou must quit,
Or, what is worse, be left by it?
Why dost thou load thyself when thou'rt to fly,
O man, ordained to die?
Why dost thou build up stately rooms on high,
Thou who art underground to lie?
‘Thou sow'st and plantest, but no fruit must see,

For death, alas! is sowing thee.”
COWLEY.

HE noble Count kept his promise, —

Before autumn was over a conveyance



was sent for the worthy old couple to
take them to their comfortable new home at
Eichburg. Their son shed many sad tears on
parting with his parents, whereas the step-daughter,
who had counted the days and hours til their
218 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

departure, could scarcely contain herself for joy,
when at last the day of departure arrived.

But such joy was not without alloy. Before
leaving, the coachman handed her a legal notice
from the Count, ordering her husband to pay
regularly every quarter into the nearest bank, under
penalty of a fine, the value of board and main-
tenance with which her husband was bound by his
agreement on taking the farm to supply his parents,
and which sum was estimated at a very high rate.
In vain she stormed, declaring they were worse off
than before, and that they could keep the old
couple at one half what they had to pay. The
son not daring openly to brave his wife’s anger,
inwardly rejoiced at still having to contribute to
the comfort and support of his parents.

They left the following day, in the conveyance
provided for them by the Count. The son bade
them farewell with tears in his eyes, whilst the wicked
daughter-in-law was unfeeling to the last. But

such conduct brings its own punishment sooner or
LURTHER OCCURRENCES AT PINE FARA. 219

later, and the avarice which made her grudge a
home to her hushand’s worthy parents, was soon
to be signally avenged. Instead of following her
husband’s advice, and investing her money safely
at a moderate rate of interest, she insisted on
risking the whole in the hands of a speculator,
simply because he promised her a higher rate
of interest. For awhile all went well, and the
interest being paid regularly, she never supposed
that the capital was jeopardy. Happy in her
fancied security, she never ceased calculating how
much she could accumulate in the course of the
next ten or twenty years. But the day came when
her covetousness was to bring its own bitter
retribution. The speculation failed, and the
speculator himself was declared bankrupt. Here
was a blow too heavy for this woman to bear. As
the sole object of her life had been the hoarding of
money, now that she saw it swept from her, her
one aim was to persecute the man who had so

ill-advised her, and the little money that was left
220 THULE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

she spent in consulting with lawyers and men of
business, eager only to punish the man who had
ruined her. Her despair and rage at last com-
bined to bring on a violent fever. Her husband
wished to send for the doctor, which she surlily
rejected, saying, “ What good can he do me, when
he did nothing for old James?” She secretly sent
for some cheap medicine from a miserable impostor
lately arrived in the village, thinking thereby to
save a few shillings ; in the meantime her husband
had himself gone for the doctor, and in her rage
at his having done so, she threw the medicine the
doctor sent her, untasted, out of the window.

The good clergyman of Erlenbruin came to see
her during her illness, and did all in his power to
lead her thoughts from dwelling on earthly things
only, and to repent, and turn to God whom she
had forsaken. But his kind counsels only irritated
her the more. “I cannot make out,” she would
say to the neighbours, ‘what the clergyman means
by preaching to me as he does. It would be fair
FURTHER OCCURRENCES AT PINE FARAI. 221

enough to speak in that way to the man who has
robbed me—but as to me, J have nothing to
repent of. On the contrary, I expected him to
praise me. Every Sunday I attend his church, my
daily prayers are never left unsaid, and throughout
my life I have worked and saved as a thrifty
housewife ought to do; no one can say a word
against me, why then should he?”

The worthy clergyman seeing that his words
were of no avail, felt himself compelled to speak
even more plainly than he had yet done. He
dwelt long on the two great commandments of the
law, love to God and love to our neighbour. He
showed her especially that love of money was still
her ruling passion, and that the violence of her
anger, the cruel treatment of the poor orphan who
had been under her roof, her undutiful conduct
towards her husband’s worthy parents, whom: she
ought to have treated as her own, all proceeded
from that avarice which was her besetting sin, and

which was not to be mistaken for economy or
222 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

thriftiness. That the violence of her temper caused
her husband endless unhappiness, and that the
duties of charity were not encompassed in the
mere giving of our superfluities only. That however
incumbent upon us to attend the church regularly,
that with feelings such as hers, church-worship
alone availed but little. He reminded her of the
story of the pharisee and publican, entreating her
to pray to God as a sinful woman needing pardon,
and to ask God’s forgiveness in the true spirit of
the publican.

But the unhappy woman could hear no more ;
she raved wildly at the clergyman’s exhortation,
saying what had she done to be spoken to in that
way ; that every one was against her, even to the
clergyman, from whom she had expected comfort.

Depressed and grieved, the good clergyman took
leave of her for the present. “ When the love of
money once takes possession of the heart,” thought
he, “ how true it is that money alone cannot ensure
happiness! The poor rejected orphan, Mary, has
FURTHER OCCURRENCES AT PINE FARA. 223

spent happier hours in this garden beside her pious
and good father than all the wealth could bring to
this hardened woman.”

She had still much physical suffering to endure.
Her cough became more severe, and her weakness
imcreased daily, yet her avarice prevented her
taking the necessary. nourishment she needed.
She had neither patience to endure, nor resignation
to submit to the willof God. ‘The good clergyman
spared no trouble in his efforts to bring her to
repentance. Towards the end she appeared less
violent, and expressed sorrow at her former miscon-
duct. She died shortly afterwards, in the prime of
life, a sad victim to avarice, and a melancholy
example that riches alone will not suffice to happi-
ness, but, on the contrary, a misdirected use of
them will not unfrequently lead to misery and ruin.

“ The sinner's doom—the sinner's doom—
How dark the agony :
That haunts transgression to the tomb,
Then prays on endlessness to come,
‘Whose worm may never die.”














CHAPTER XXII.
RETRIBUTION.

« Pere see, acquitted of all vain pretence,
The reign of genuine charity commence.
She makes excuses where she might condemn,
Reviled by those that hate her, prays for them;
Not soon provoked, however stung and teased,
And, if perhaps made angry, soon appeased ;
She rather waives than will dispute her right;
And injured, makes forgiveness her delight.”

COWPER.

ARY accompanied the Count’s family to

their residence in town. One morning



she was surprised on being told that an
old clergyman wished to speak to her. She found
him in the drawing-room, and he told her that he
came from a person dangerously ill, whom he

believed to be dying, and who earnestly wished to



RETRIBUTION. 225

see her before her death. Mary was astonished at
this announcement, and went to the Countess for
advice. The Countess knew the clergyman, and
giving orders for a servant to accompany Mary,
she consented to her going to see the sick person.
Mary had some distance to go, until they
arrived at an out-of-the-way part of the town. At
last they came to a dingy little lane, where the
clergyman stopped at a very high house. Here
she had to go up five storeys high, the last two
flights being so narrow and dark that Mary was
quite frightened. At last the clergyman opened
an old door just nailed together out of odd planks
of wood, and then showed her into a room, the
very picture of want and misery. The broken
window was stuffed up with paper, a miserable
bedstead, with a still more wretched bed, if such
it could be called, a broken stool, and a pitcher
without a handle filled with water. But the most
pitiful object of all was the poor creature stretched
on the bed of sickness. Her voice was hollow
P
226 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

and rough, and she was so emaciated that she
appeared rather a skeleton than a living being.
Mary trembled from head to foot. It was at
length with difficulty that she understood from the
hollow voice that this poor object lying before her
was indeed Harriet—Harriet, who had formerly
served at the castle, when bright and blooming as
a spring flower. The unhappy woman had learnt
from the clergyman of Mary’s return to the
Count’s family, and, struck with remorse, she was
anxious to relate the true story of the ring, and
entreat her forgiveness. She feared to let Mary
know who she was until she came, trembling lest
Mary would refuse to come to her.

Mary was deeply affected, and bursting into
‘tears, assured her again and again that all was
forgiven, and that her only feeling towards her
was that of sincere and sympathizing compassion.
Harriet was too unhappy to believe herself for-
given, and entreated Mary to let her be a warning
to others, reproaching herself that her vanity, folly,
RETRIBUTION. 227

and love of dress should have led to so much
misery and sin.

“JT am too sinful for pardon,” she exclaimed,
“and do not deserve it. I have brought all this
misery upon myself. My only thoughts were on
finery, flattery, and pleasures—the beginning of all
my sorrows, and which have led me to what you
see me. I would not turn to God. I would not
listen to good, so that I should cease to hear the
voice of conscience. Oh, what shall I do to be
saved?” she groaned. “I have lost all in this
world, and I dare not hope for the future.”

Mary implored her to seek repentance from God
by prayer, reminding her of the returning prodigal,
“but despair seemed to have seized on Harriet, and
all she could say was, “Oh, Mary, noble-minded
Mary—pray for me, that God, too, may for-
give me.” ,

Harriet, on being dismissed from the castle,
thought she would live in the town. Without
friends to advise, and already stung by remorse at

P 2
228 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

her misdeeds, she fell deeper and deeper into the
slough of sin and vice. The good old minister in
his district visitations found her out, and touched
by her bitter remorse, had promised to try to
obtain Mary’s forgiveness. She stayed with Har-
riet a long time, saying all she could to soothe and
comfort her; but at last, fearing the Countess
might be surprised at her long absence, she took
leave of Harriet to return to the castle.

it was long before she could forget the sight
she had just witnessed. She gratefully called to
mind her own father’s good counsel, and thanked
God that she had hitherto been brought up to
eschew evil. She earnestly entreated the Countess
in behalf of Harriet, who at her intercession kindly ~
sent a supply of clean linen, of nourishing food,
and all that the unfortunate woman required.
But beyond alleviating present. suffering, it was
too Jate for kindness to-save her. At three-and-
twenty she died, a melancholy warning to those

who stray from the path of rectitude and virtue.
RETRIBUTION.

to
oOo
©

*€ Love not the world—the hour is near
Of parting and of pain;
Oh! what will then the world appear,
With all its thoughtless train ?

“ Ah! then when all is passed away
Of pleasure’s fatal glare ;
When death asserts his dreadful sway,
“How will the spirit fare ?

“Alas! if in that hour of woe
No beam of light be given,
The spirit to that place will go,
Where none can be forgiven.”’












S585









CHAPTER XXIII.

A HAPPY EVENT.

‘« But happy they! the happiest of their kind!
Whom gentler stars unite, and in one fate
Their hearts, their fortunes, and their beings blend.

An elegant sufficiency, content,

Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books,

Ease and alternate labour, useful life,

Progressive virtue, and approving Heaven !”
THOMSON.

STE following spring, when the country was




once more resplendent with verdure and:
flowers, Mary again found herself in her
accustomed seat in the carriage by the Countess
Amelia’s side in company with the Count and
Countess on their way to Eichburg. ‘They arrived

about sunset. Mary was not unmoved as she






EVENT.

A Happy
A HAPPY EVENT. 231

recognized each remembered spot in succession.
“ Ah,” thought she, as the tears were not to be
- repressed, “ how little, when I left Fichburg, did I
ever expect to return to it, and still less with the
dear kind Countess by my side. How can I
thank God for all his goodness to me !”

When the carriage stopped at the door of the
castle, the old servants as well as the work-people
on the Count’s ‘estate were drawn up ‘to receive
the family in due honour. Every one present
welcomed Mary, and some even ventured to con-
gratulate her on her return of fortune. The old
judge took her tenderly by the hand, begged her
forgiveness, adding that his greatest hope was to
lead her in time to forget the wrong he had unwit-
tingly inflicted upon her.

Mary arose early the following day. The
beautiful spring morning and joy at finding her-
self at the spot she loved so well, had disinclined
her to sleep. She longed to look at her father’s
cottage again. Early as it was, she met many well-
232 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

remembered friends of former days, and others
whom she left as children, and to whom she
had formerly given flowers, so grown that she was
puzzled to make it out.

The good old couple, the farmer and his wife,
those who had afforded her shelter at the Pine-tree
Farm, met her at the door, welcomed her gladly,
telling her in the gratefulness of their hearts of
their content and happiness in their new home.

«Once upon a time,” said the farmer, with tears
in his eyes, “you were homeless and we gave you
shelter, and afterwards, as we were driven from
our home, you have provided one for us.”

“Yes, yes,” added the wife, “it is always right
to do good one to the other, for we never can tell
what may happen to ourselves.”

“That is true,” answered the husband, “ only
that we never thought of that. So true it is:
‘Be merciful, and ye shall obtain mercy.’”

Mary went into the house, the parlour, the

corner where her father used to sit, calling to
A HAPPY EVENT. 233

mind days long gone by. She walked thoughtfully
round the garden. Each tree her father had
planted, she welcomed as an old friend, especially
she lingered over the beautiful apple-tree, now
laden with blossoms.

“Ah!” thought she, “the trees and the grass of
the field outlive man’s transitory life. It passes as
a vapour.”

Last of all she seated herself in the arbour where
so many of her good father’s precious lessons had
been given. She shed tears at these recollections,
and breathed a prayer where she had so often knelt
beside her father, until it appeared almost hallowed
ground ; she then took leave of the good farmer
and his wife, and returned with a calm and grateful
spirit to the castle.

Mary remained as companion to the young
Countess Amelia, each spring returning with the
Count’s family, as was their custom, to spend some
few weeks of spring at Eichburg. She never
ceased taking interest in the village children, and
234 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS,

the Countess Amelia not unfrequently accompanied
her in her visits, dcing much good among the poor,
visiting the schools, and sometimes making articles
of clothing for the smaller children. One morning,
whilst busily finishing off a little frock at which
they were each working, they were surprised at
hearing the old judge announced. He seemed to
look more important than usual, and after bowing
to the Countess Amelia, begged for a few minutes’
conversation alone with Mary. The young
Countess looked somewhat surprised, but imme-
diately left the room. The judge then told Mary
that he came on behalf of his son Frederic, who
had long loved and admired her, and having been
fortunate in obtaining a good appointment, and his
love for Mary being approved by the judge, he
himself wished to obtain Mary’s sanction to his
son’s proposal, and at the same time have the
renewed assurance that she freely forgave him for
the wrong he had formerly inflicted. He added,
that as soon as his son had spoken to him on the
A HAPPY EVENT. 235

subject, he had offered to come up to the castle,
and by Mary’s permission would speak to the
Count and Countess on the subject.

Mary blushed deeper and deeper, not knowing
exactly how to reply. The fact was, Mary knew
the judge’s son to be a worthy young man who
had distinguished himself at college, and was well
spoken of everywhere. He was handsome and
agreeable, and during the repeated visits to Eichburg
Mary had frequent opportunities of not only seeing
him, but hearing the opinion of others respecting
him. Mary had already suspected that he cared
for her, and she even had herself thought that she
could be rvey happy with him, but her modesty
forbade her to anticipate so good a marriage, and
rather than encourage hopes which might not be
realized, she avoided all opportunities of meeting
Frederic, as she had done once or twice in the
garden. Although this proposal made to her by
the judge was the choice of her heart, she found it
impossible to reply. She hesitated, and deeply
236 THE BASKET OF FLOIVERS.

biushing, said that she was unprepared to reply to
so flattering a proposal, but begged for a little time
for consideration, and that she must speak to the
Count and Countess, who deserved her first
consideration. ;

The sharp-sighted old judge seeing Mary’s
agitation, guessed how matters stood, and taking
leave of her, requested an audience of the Count
and Countess.

The Count said, “I am delighted at the news you
bring us, my friend. We have often thought that
your excellent son Frederic and our amiable Mary
were well adapted for each other. We were
careful, however, to conceal our wishes in this
respect, fearing it might be looked upon as a sort
of obligation, and it is better never to interfere in
such matters. It is therefore the more agreeable
“to see the affair brought about without our inter-
ference.”

The Countess added her congratulations and
good wishes, telling the judge he would have the
A HAPPY EVENT. 23°

best of daughtersin-law, and his son the best
of wives. “ Mary,” she continued, “has been
brought up in the school of early trials, the best of
all schools. The best of us have little corners to
be knocked off, and this is best done by patience
and suffering. Mary is meek and lowly of heart.
Flattery has never spoiled her ; she is modest and
generous in her nature, gentle and pious. She
was an admirable housekeeper, and a kind and
agreeable companion, before she came to us. She
has since shared the advantages of education
with my daughter ; you will now find her ladylike
and accomplished as well as amiable and good.
In every respect she is worthy of your son—he
will be happy in possessing such a wife.”

As soon as the Countess had Mary’s consent to
the marriage, she commenced making the necessary
arrangements.. The frowsseaz was ordered, a
liberal marriage portion was settled upon Mary,

and the good clergyman from Exlenbrunn was to.
238 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

officiate at the marriage. The Countess seemed
to wish Mary to wear the ring—-the one that had
caused so much sorrow and so much joy, next to
her wedding-ring.

The wedding-day was one of great rejoicing,
such an one as had never been seen in Eichburg.
At the appointed time, the whole of the Count’s
household and a large crowd assembled, all eager
to be witness to Mary’s happiness. The bride
looked pretty in her white wreath and veil, whilst the
Countess Amelia was the most graceful of brides-
maids. The old forester Anthony stood not far
from the bride and bridegroom, rejoicing at the
good fortune of his little favourite, the daughter of
his good old friend.

The wedding breakfast was all that could be
desired. In the centre of the table, instead of
the usual silver epergne, was the basket, which the
Countess Amelia had filled with flowers, and had
placed on the table. The good clergyman alluded
A HAPPY EVENT. 239

to it in his speech after breakfast, suggesting that
Mary should keep it as a precious heirloom, as a
memorial of her trials and of her blessings.

“Domestic happiness, thou only bliss
Of Paradise that hast survived the fall!
Though few now taste thee unimpair'd and pure,
Or tasting long enjoy thee ! too infirm,
Or too incautious, to preserve thy sweets,
Unmixed with drops of bitter, which neglect
Or temper sheds into thy crystal cup;
Thou art the nurse of Virtue; in thine arms *
She smiles, appearing, as in truth she is,
Heaven-born, and destined to the skies again.
Thou art not known where Pleasure ts adored,
For thou art meek and constant, hating change,
And finding in the calm of truth-tried love
Joys that her stormy raptures never yield.”

COWPER,








oe 2S

SON
OLY LS



CHAPTER XXIV.
THE MONUMENT.

“ They who die in Christ are blessed,
Ours be then no thought of grieving ;
Sweetly with their God they rest,
All their toils and troubles leaving.
So be ours the faith that saveth,
Tope that every trial braveth, _
Love that to the end endureth,
And through Christ the crown secureth !”
BIsHOP DOANE.

the meanwhile, the monument was

finished which the Countess Amelia had



promised Mary should be erected at her
father’s grave. It was very simple and very
beautiful. It was of white marble, and the name
and age of the good old man were inscribed upon

it in letters of gold. ‘The only additional inscrip-























THE MONUMENT, 241

tion was these words of the Lord Jesus: “I am
the resurrection and the life: he that believeth on
me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”
Beneath these words was sculptured in bas-relief
the flower-basket, by means of which it had
pleased God to deliver Mary from her sorrow at
her father’s grave. Under the basket were these
words: “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of
man as the flower of grass. The grass witnereth,
and the flower thereof falleth away; but the word
of the Lord endureth for ever.” (1 Pet. i. 24, 25.)

‘The minister of Erlenbrunn gave directions for
erecting the monument at the grave. It had an
imposing effect amongst the dark shadows of the
fir-trees, and the rose-tree planted by Mary grew
and flourished, twining its beautiful branches over
the pure white marble. The monument was the
greatest ornament in the country churchyard, and
the chief attraction in the village. The good
-clergyman never failed to point it out to the
visitors who came to the village. When one or

o
242 THE BASKET OF FLOWERS.

other approved the idea of aman who had been
a gardener and basket-maker having a basket of
flowers upon his grave, the worthy clergyman
replied, “It is more than simply a good idea.
The flower-basket has a still deeper meaning, and
the peasantry are right in saying it relates to a very
touching story. This earth on which we live is
often moistened with tears.” He then related the
story of the flower-basket to his interested listeners,
the greater part of whom left the grave with
impressions and resolves that nothing more could
be desired than that the same impressions and
resolves may be experienced by the readers on
finishine this little book.
‘« There is a secret in the ways of God

With his own children, which none others know,

That sweetens all He does; and if such peace,

While under his afflicting hand, we find,

What will it be to see Him as He is?

And past the reach of all that now disturbs

The tranquil soul's repose, to contemplate,

In retrospect unclouded, all the means
By which his wisdom has prepared his saints
THE MONUMENT. 243

For the vast weight of glory which remains !
Come then, Affliction, if my Father bids,

And be my frowning friend—a friend that frowns,
Is better than a smiling enemy.

We welcome clouds which bring the former rain,
Though they the present prospect blacken round,
And shade the beauties of the op’ning year,

That, by their stores enriched, the earth may yield

A fruitful summer, and a plenteous crop.”
SWAINE,

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Qe OY. * Golden Links” Series of Gilt-Boohs.

In square feap. 8vo, with Original Illustrations, cloth gilt.

THE BASKET OF FLOWERS. With s2 Coloured Plates.

THE STORY OF THE ROBINS. By Mrs. Trimmer. With ra
Coloured Plates.

THE BOY AND THE CONSTELLATIONS. By Jutra Gopparp.

MADELEINE’S TRIAL; and other Stories. By Madame Prus-
SENSE.

A LIFE'S VOYAGE; or, With the Tide. By Srpruy Daryn.

HESTER’S FORTUNE ; or, Pride and Humility.

CAMPANELLA ; or, The Teachings of Life. By Mrs. Mrrcter.

PICCIOLA ; or, The Prison Blower. By X. B. Sanvrinn.

CHRISTABEL HOPE; or, The Beginnings of Life. By Mrs,

MERCIER.
PEDNEY STUART ; or, Love Seeketh Not Her Own. By ©. D.
PALES. "BOR BOYS AND GIRLS. Coloured

HOME RECREATIONS AND FOREIGN TRAVEL. Plates.
TWO YEARS OF SCHOOL LIFE. By Madame Du Prussunse.
Edited by the Author of “The Heir of Redclyffe.”

EILDON MANOR. A Tale for Girls.

MARIAN AND HER PUPILS. By Cuartorry Lanrusrner,
LILY GORDON, the Young Housekeeper. By C. D. Brux.

THE HUGUENOT FAMILY; or, Help in Time of Need.
LAURA AND LUCY. A Tale for Girls. By Caarntormm Apans,
FIRST STEPS IN THE BETTER PATH. By Aunt Frrenpuy,
GOLDEN LINKS. By Aunt Frienpry.

FILLING UP THE CHINKS. By Hon. Mrs. Grennz.
WEARYFOOT COMMON. By Lerrcn Rrrcewm.

MY DOG MATCH. By House Lun.

LUCY WEST; or, The Orphans of Highcliffe By Mrs. H. B,

PAULL.





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eMarne’s 28,“ Pome Circle” Gitt-Books.

Feap. 8vo, with Original Illustrations, cloth gilt.
WHAT KATY DID. By Susan Coozrper, Author of ‘‘ The New
Year’s Bargain.”
GANNET ISLAND ; or, Willie’s Birthday. By Rev. H. C. Apams,
THE CHILDREN OF THE PEAR GARDEN. By E. L. Hervey.
ROUND THE FIRE STORIES. By the Author of ‘Charles

Auchester.”
FALCONSHURST ; or, Meta’s Birthday. By Rev. H. CG. Apams.
STORIES OF THE KINGS. By ditto.
STORIES OF THE PROPHETS. By ditto.



PHILLIS PHIL; or, Alone in the World. By Miss Knary.
BOWMAN’S POETRY FROM THE BEST AUTHORS. Anciext

and Modern.
BENAIAH: A Tale of the Captivity. By Mrs. Wxns.
ONLY A GIRLS LIFE. By Mrs. J. Murcren.
THE ROCK LIGHT: or, Duty our Watchword.
THE LITTLE CASTLE MAIDEN. By Hon. Mrs. Grezne.
THE BURTONS OF BURTON HALL. By ditto.
CUSHIONS AND CORNERS. By ditto.
MARY LEIGH ; or, Purpose in Life. By Mrs. Grnpart.
THE JUDGES OF ISRAEL. By Rev. H. C. Apams.
cunt ate AT ENCOMBE ; or, Tales for Sunday Reading. By

MARY "ELLIOT ; or, Be Ye Kind One to Another. By Caruurine
D. Ben.
LOUIE ATTERBURY. A Book for Girls.

HOW TO BE HAPPY ; or, Every-day Work.
EVERY SATURDAY. By ©. D. Bett.
OLD MERRY’S TRAVELS ON THE CONTINENT,

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WARNE?S
Is, 6b. “Birthday Series” of Gilt-Books,

Pott 8vo, with Original Illustrations, cloth, gilt edges,
FRITZ ; or, Experience Teacheth Wisdom.
THE LEONARDS ; or, The Cobbler, The Clerk, &e.
CHILD’S FINGER-POST ; or, Help for the Heedless,
BIRTHDAY STORIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.
BIRTHDAY TALES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.
THE LOST HEIR; or, Truth and Falsehood.
HENRY BURTON ; or, The Reward of Patience.
THE TORN BIBLE; or, Hubert’s Best Friend.
COUSIN ANNIE; or, Heart and Hand.
MR. RUTHERFORD’S CHILDREN.
MAUD LATIMER ; or, Patience and Impatience.
STORIES OF OLD. Bible Narratives for Young Children— Old
Testament. By CaroLint HADLEY.
Ditto Ditto New Testament.
STORIES OF THE APOSTLES: Their Lives and Writings.
By Canotine HaDLey.
SHORT TALES FOR SUNDAY READING.
PHILIP AND HIS GARDEN. By Cuarnorrm ELizsBEtR.
STORIES OF THE BIBLE. Ditto,
WILLIAM HENRY’S SCHOOLDAYS. By A, M. Draz
WILLIAM HENRY AND HIS FRIENDS. Ditto.
CHILDREN’S SAYINGS ; or, Early Life at Home. By Canonins
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UNCLE JACK THE FAULT KILLER.
CHILDREN OF THE SUN.—Poems for the Young,

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By CATHERINE D. BELL.

AN AUTUMN AT KARNFORD.

ARNOLD LEE; or, Rich and Poor Boys,

ALLEN AND HARRY; or, Seb About it at Once,
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THE DOUGLAS FAMILY ; or, Friendship.

WARNE’S

ls, 6b. “ fairy Series” of Gitt-Boshs.

Pott $vo, with Original Illustrations, cloth, gilt edges.

THE CHILDREN OF ELF LAND. New Fairy Tales, By FP. J.

PavLy.
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THE NEW YEAR'S BARGAIN.’ By Susay Coonrpes.
THE DAISY AND HER FRIENDS. By Mrs. Bropgare.
DREAMLAND ; or, Children’s Fairy Tales.
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NURSERY TALES. A New Version. By Mrs, VaLEnting,



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CHarne’s One Shilling “Bound the Globe” Library,

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ORIGINAL FAIRY TALES. By Sximetr-SKaueix.

TILLY TRICKETT; or, Try. By M. Keary.

ALEC DEVLIN; or, Choose Wisely. By Mrs. F. Aytarmr.
MANOR HOUSE EXHIBITION anp THE DARRELL MUSEUM.
THE CHILDREN’S GARDEN, and What they Made of it.
WILLIE HERBERT AND HIS SIX LITTLE FRIENDS.

OLD GINGERBREAD AND THE SCHOOLBOYS.

THE SEVEN KINGS OF ROME, anp THE STORY OF
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THE ITALIAN BOY, axp INDUSTRIAL MEN OF NOTE,
HOME TEACHINGS IN SCIENCE.

CHAT IN THE PLAYROOM, anp LIFE AT A FARMHOUSE
OUR PONDS AND OUR FIELDS, &c.

BRAVE BOBBY, PETER AND HIS PONY, &e.

THE PEASANTS OF THE ALPS, &e.

FRANCES MEADOWS, TRAITS OF CHARACTER, &e.
UNCLE JOHN’S ADVENTURES AND TRAVELS.

GASPAR. ia : . i
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TOM BUTLER’S TROUBLE. A Cottage Story.

LIZZIE JOHNSON; or, Mutual Help.

MR. RUTHERFORD’S CHILDREN. rst Series. Ditto,2nd Series,
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CHARLIE CLEMENT; or, The Boy Friend.

A QUEEN. A Story for Girls.

RUTH CLAYTON. A Book for Girls.

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NELLIE GRAY; or, Ups and Downs of Life.
CLARA WOODWARD; and Her Day Dreams.
SUSAN GRAY. By Mrs, Suzrwoop.

THE LITTLE MINER; or, Truth and Honesty.
EASY RHYMES AND SIMPLE POEMS.

MY EARNINGS; or, Ann Ellison’s Life.
BABES IN THE BASKET. By Aunt Frrenpuy.
BASKET OF FLOWERS. Revised Edition.
SAM; or, A Good Name. By M. Kzuary,.
EDITH AND MARY; or, Holly Farm.
WILLIWVS BIRTHDAY.

THE SILVER TRUMPET.

WILLIW’S REST. A Sunday Story.

UNICA. A Story for Sunday.

STORY BOOK OF COUNTRY SCENES.
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GOLD SEEKERS AND BREAD WINNERS.
STUYVESANT; or, Home Adventures.
CAROLINE; or, The Henrys. By Jacoz Apgorrt.
AGNES; or, Summer on the Hills.

MARY ELTON.

PRIDE AND PRINCIPLE.

THEODORA’S CHILDHOOD.

MRS. GORDON’S HOUSEHOLD.

LITTLE NETTIE; or, Home Sunshine.
ROBERT DAWSON; or, The Brave Spirit.
THE DAIRYMAN’S DAUGHTER.

JANE HUDSON; or, The Secret of Getting On.
LITTLE JOSEY; or, Try and Succeed.

THE YOUNG COTTAGER.

MASTER GREGORYS CUNNING.

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WARNE’S
“ @roftor Cousins” Yo, Fubveniles.

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JACKY NORY ; or, Do Your Best. By H. Mazur.
CHARLEY FRANKLIN; or, Time Unveils Truth. By N. Brooxs
THE STRAIGHT ROAD. By A. L. 0. E.
THE CROFTON COUSINS. By E. Marswatn,
HOME PLEASURES. By Mrs. Wixvrs.
THE STITCH IN TIME. By Mrs. Wuzs.
TALES FOR VILLAGE SCHOOLS.
TRUTH; or, Frank’s Choice. By Mary Mitts.
RALPH CLAVERING. By W. H. G. Kixasron,
EXAMPLE BETTER THAN PRECEPY.
MR. JOHNSTON'S SCHOOL; or, The New Mas'er.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER; or, The 'wo Schoolboys.
SABBATH TALKS WITH LITTLE CHILDREN,
SABBATH TALKS WITH JESUS.
ADA BRENTON; or, Plans for Life.
FANNY LINCOLN; or, The Mountain Daisy.
DADDY DICK. By Mary E. Bronurrenp.
NAUGHTY NIX; or, The Vain Kitten.

GOOD HABITS AND GOOD MANNERS.

HOME DUTIES. A Book for Girls.
Uniform, cloth gilt, od. ; limp cloth, sewed, 6d.
BARBAULD’S HYMNS, in Prose. 20 Illustrations. -
WATTS'S DIVINE AND MORAL SONGS, 50 Illustrations.
COBWEBS TO CATCH FLIES. 50 Illustrations.



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WARNE’S |
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ARCHY YOUNG. By Mona
B. BicKERSTAFFE.

JOUN BARROW; or, Coals of
Fire.

LITTLE NETTIE.

ANNIE AND MARY.

LITTLE BLACK HEN.

MAGGIE'S CHRISTMAS.

MARTHA STILL.

GERTRUDE AND LILY.

ALTHEA.

AUSTIN MAY.

BASKET OF FLOWERS.

ROBERT DAWSON.

BABES IN THE BASKET.

THE DAIRYMAN’S DAUGH-

| TER.

JANE HUDSON.

RUTH ELMER.





PHILIP AND ARTHUR.
THE LITTLE ITALIANS.
HATTY AND MARCUS.
KATE DARLEY.
CAROLINE EATON.
TIMID LUCY.

MARY BURNS..:

LITTLE JOSEY.
RICHARD HARVEY.
LITTLE NINA.



{| YOUNG COTTAGER.

GIFTIE, THE CHANGELING

CHILDREN ON THE PLAINS.

JEWISH TWINS.

RHYMES FOR THE LITTLE
ONES.

TOM WATSON.

ROBBIE THE HERD BOY.

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OLD JACOB; A Friend in Need.

GENTLEMAN Ghoran: or, the Advantages of Reading.

WILLIE’S DISOBEDIENCE; or, The Cottage on the Cliff.

THE GARDEN. By C. D. Bent.

THE CHILDREN’S ISLAND. By Madame Dr Genuis.

THE ADOPTED DAUGHTER

LIFE OF A BERLIN DOLL.

ALICE THORPE’S PROMISE; or, A New Year's Day.

LITTLE NELLIE; or, Patience Striving. By C. D. Brett,

JANET’S BOOTS. By the Author of ‘‘ Finette.”

THE LITTLE SUNBEAM; or, Lizzie’s Orange.

JULIA’S MISTAKE; or, The Fairy Valley.

THE SON OF THE PYRENEES; or, Perseverance,

ESTHER STANHOPE; or, The Crowning Delight.

MARY AND NORAH; or, Queen Katherine's School.

SARAH WATKINS; or, Crumbs for the Birds.

ALICE; or, The Little Sentinel.

WILLIE’S TROUBLE; or, The Old Gig.

FLUGH TAYLOR; or, The Desert Island.

TEMPTATION; or, Henry Morland.

ST. CADOG'S WELL.

EDWARD'S PRIZE; or, The Premium.

PHILIP AND MMA, the Little Gardeners.

JOSEPH; or, Humility before Honour.

THE SIMPLE FLOWER.

FINETTE; or, A Doll’s Fortune.

WAG. A Tale for Children,

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WILLIE’S TRUNK; or, Mrs. Lambton’s Legacy.

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RED RIDING-HOOD.

COCK ROBIN’S DEATH.

HORSES.

OLD MOTHER HUBBARD.

DOGS.

BOOK OF TRADES.

CHILDREN IN THE WOOD.

SUNDAY ALPHABET.

EDITH'’S ABO.

OBJECT ALPHABET.

JACK IN THE BOX.

OUR PETS.

PUNCH AND JUDY.

CINDERELLA.

HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT.

NURSERY RHYME ALPHA-

BET.

COCK ROBIN’S COURTSHIP.

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DANIEL.
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These Toy Books, consisting of Six Pages of Coloured Illus-
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